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File: drowned quest 2.jpg (58 KB, 564x846)
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You sleep uneventfully, except for once waking up in the dead of night to consider how these tents or the fence was supposed to protect you from things that swam. Your eventual conclusion was "nobody else has been eaten yet, so".

You are stirred awake by the gentle, rhythmic swaying of your tent. The newspaper clipping flaps against the right wall.

Picking yourself up, you poke your head outside. Everything is swaying. Little eddies of sand swirl up and die just as quickly.

"Hey," you ping Madrigal. "Is it windy?"

"Gwughh. What?" Her voice is echoey.

"Windy? Can that even happen?"

"I'm literally sleeping. Right now. I'm asleep. If you go to my tent, I will be sleeping."

This is news to you. "How?"

"Closed my eyes, dumbass. You're interrupting my nightmare. I forgive you, because this one isn't even interesting."

"No, I meant... how can you hear me?"

"Feck if I know. Bye."

It strikes you as she falls silent that this is your first free day. You're not being arrested. You're not being watched. You're not being woken up by angry spearwomen.

What is there to do with it?


(You have entered DOWNTIME. There's a number of standard options available, as well as special quest options.)

>[1] TALK: Introduce yourself. You've been here for three days and still haven't spoken to anybody.
>[2] EXPLORE: Carry on your exploration of the camp.
>[3] EXPERIMENT: You've discovered some things you don't think the people at the camp know about. The only way to learn, then, is by doing.

>[S1] Is Madrigal actually sleeping? Go find her.
>Previously on: Drowned Quest

You were executed for the crime of worship by being thrown into the deadly ocean. It didn’t work out. You made camp on the seafloor and were awoken by a woman with a spear, who you got into a fight with. The two of you made your way back to the camp where she lives, where your exploration of it was cut short by the announcement that “crabs” were coming. You and the spearwoman, Madrigal, hiked north to try and delay the crabs while everybody else prepared for them. The stalling attempt was mostly unsuccessful, but luckily it wasn’t necessary: the crabs only came to ask for aid against “incursors” in their territory. They’ve requested you and Arledge, another man at the camp, to come… on account of your MALLEABILITY. Nobody knows what this means. You have a week before you have to leave.

Meanwhile, other strange things have been happening. Your lungs have turned slick and solid, rendering you unable to breathe or speak. And your reasonable (you prefer “naggy”) thoughts have turned traitor and have started manifesting themselves as you... but a little cleaner and taller and with blue eyes, not hazel. On one occasion of panic, you’ve had it/him assume control of what you aren’t quite sure is your body. Nobody yet knows about this.

>Last Thread: >>3148921

>Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=drowned%20quest

>Twitter: https://twitter.com/BathicQM

>Character Sheet: https://pastebin.com/vugu4geW

>Other People: https://pastebin.com/f0k1deSv

Excellent time to try switching with naggy us. Sleeping Maddy will be less likely to notice a cut connection.
>EXPERIMENT: "Switching"

There's something that's been… there's been a lot of things bothering you. Most things have been bothering you. Dumb turn of phrase. But there's something that's primarily bothering you, and it's when you dissolved.

Or, or whatever. You haven't been thinking about it enough to give it a good solid name, because you haven't wanted to be thinking about it. You're scared of it. How- how wasn't the question. Where had it come from, inside of you? From what deep silent place-

You're pontificating. And you're going to try it again anyways. Look at yourself. You're crouching on your bedroll, hands splayed out in the sand. You're doing a pose! There's literally nothing I can do about this. It's a fecking stupid-ass idea that didn't make sense the first time and continues to make no sense. So you're gonna do it.

You are going to do it. You have to do it. You are deeply fecking scared about what this means, but you also need to know. And… unless Madrigal is pranking you, she's asleep, right? She isn't gonna know like last time.

The only issue is knowing how. What, do you just… squat here and wish really hard? Do you say something? Draw magicians' sigils? You don't know any magicians' sigils. What happened last time?

Roll me 3 1d100s vs DC 0...
>+40 - Thinking too much.
>DC 40

No Passes - Critical Failure
One Pass - Failure
Two Passes - Success
Three Passes - Critical Success
Rolled 18 (1d100)

Rolled 20 (1d100)

Damn, that's a huge penalty for overthinking!

Didn't we just envision the other us in our place last time?
You don't know how you did it last time. While you know for sure it happened and know vaguely what "you" did, the initial process is a complete blur.
Ok, I just looked it up and apparently we willed ourselves to dissolve into the water and darkness, leaving the double behind. Also we got +5 to actions involving our double which is still not enough to save those rolls.

At least it's shaping up to be an interesting failure.
Rolled 70 (1d100)


>18, 20, 70
+5 to actions involving your DOUBLE!
>23, 25, 75


Did I forget about that bonus? Uh... yes, probably immediately after I gave it. I'll stick it on the sheet shortly. Thanks.
In the end, you just try to relax. There was something about dissolving. So lay back and dissolve, right?

You scrunch your eyes closed and wait. The seconds tick by with your heartbeat.

It's not working.

No shit. You scrunch your eyes harder, until they start making that buzzing sound.

No, I mean: it's not working. I'm *making* it not work. You wanna know why you're scared?

He already has your answer, and you already know his response. Funny how things work.

I'm scared. That's why. If I weren't around, you'd be barreling into danger every time you got the whim. This is danger! This is danger, Ellery, and you know it is, and so you're stopping yourself. I'm just the vector.

You open your eyes to the blank tent ceiling.

You're sabotaging yourself. This fact is supremely fecking annoying, but facts haven't stopped you before.

>[1] Try again. [Easier roll.]
>[2] Maybe…take some precautions before anything happens.
>[3] He's right. You're right. It's not safe, and you don't even know if this is something new. You need to talk to someone about it.
>[4] It's not safe. Do something else.
>[5] Write-in.

Not sure what precautions would help though. Tying ourselves down? Meditation? Having a mirror handy?
>Take some precautions first.

You have the entire day empty, so there's no use in rushing things. And though you're loathe to admit it, he's right-- this is... maybe not dangerous, but certainly untested and definitely unusual. It would be wise to prepare a little.

You aren't sure what preparations would be necessary. Would he be violent? Nothing happened last time, but it'd only gone on for a minute or two. Well, I don't know. Would you be violent?

No. So probably not, then. What else?

Madrigal might be up by now, and a repeat of last time would be a disappointment. You buzz her. "Hey-"

"I'm in the middle of getting searched for smuggled goods. Can it wait?"

"What? Like, really?"

"In my head. It's very tense. What?"

"Uh..." You've lost your train of thought. "Oh. Uh, if you feel any... breakage, don't come check on me. I'm just trying something."

"Not planning on it. Bye."

That's settled, you hope.

You've been wondering if it's actually you, physically. Is that a silly question? No. No, and you can- oh, okay. In agreement here.

You lean for your bucket in the corner and fumble around for its contents, finally pulling out the stone knife. You could make a cut...

You couldn't make a cut. Gross. But you do slice the bottom of your jacket, before thinking better of it and discarding the jacket entirely. (You're cold.)

Would that be enough? You don't know, but you're tired of waiting.

Roll me 3 1d100s vs. DC 0.
>+20 - Thinking a little less too hard.
>DC 20
Rolled 49 (1d100)

We gotta knock ourselves put before trying this for that coveted DC 0.

Rolled 16 (1d100)

Rolled 13 (1d100)

Rolling to keep things moving. Regardless of this result, it's a success. Forgot the +5 again! I'll learn at some point.
>54, 21, 18

Halfway through the post, but I need to step out for a few. Should be 30 minutes maximum, hopefully sooner. Sorry to keep you guys hanging!
no problemo
Back and continuing.
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>54, 21, 18 - Success.

You settle back down into the crouch, feeling very naked without your jacket. You'd had it on for a few weeks straight on account of the cold, and then on account of being distracted by larger issues.

Steadfastly ignoring the persistent buzz of concern in the back of your skull, you close your eyes. Just relax. Dissolve, or whatever. The sand grates against your knuckles.

Focus, or relax, or both. Just dissolve into the water and the dark in your head. Just...

The buzz of concern gets louder, and then cuts out completely.



You open your eyes, and then regret opening your eyes. It's very bright.

Godsdamnit! He did it again. Now what, huh? What did you expect to gain from this? I'm just gonna have to figure it out?

It continues to be very bright. You sit up, unsteadily, and by chance touch the discarded jacket. It's still intact. You feel your way down to the hem: there, a gash, with little brown threads fraying the edges.

Okay. Okay. So that means what? Lifting yourself to your feet is a difficult proposition, especially when your hand keeps catching on your... jacket.

Not the jacket on the floor. This jacket is a little bit paler, and checking the hem reveals a gash- but at a different angle, and with no threads.

Shit. Shit. You scrabble to unbutton the new jacket while a thought comes unbidden: can you make infinite jackets, then? Maybe, but it doesn't come to pass: even without your shaky hands, the new-jacket refuses to come loose below your customary undone top two buttons. You push. You pull. You even try the knife, but it's no use.

... You stare pensively down.

>[1] This is all well and good, but a mystery jacket is the least of your concerns. What about your face?

>[2] You need to examine this more. Try the rest of your clothes.

>[3] What's the point of this? You really don't know, but it's probably not to sit in your tent. Go outside.

>[3] Abort! Abort!

>[4] Write-in.
That should read [4] Abort! and [5] Write-in, of course.

1 is why I wanted a mirror on hand.
2 is a complete surprise.
You don't know what a mirror is, much less have one.
>[1] This is all well and good, but a mystery jacket is the least of your concerns. What about your face?
What? How do we do our hair in the morning!?
If you're lucky, there's a puddle around. If not, you finger-comb and hope for the best.

It's been mentioned that you aren't well-groomed. I believe "unkempt" or "disheveled" have been the words tossed around.

That being said...

>2 (briefly)

>Check out the rest of your clothes...
>But mostly your face.

Half out of obligation and half out of dread, you feel down to your boots. They also refuse to peel off, as do your pants (probably a good thing: don't want to be caught with your pants down. Heh.).

Okay. This is not something I can deal with. You're going to leave all the rationalizing to someone else with more experience functioning as an individual. Face.

What? You feel up to your face instinctively. Still there. Still got all the face bits. Mouth. Uhh, nose. Eyes. Wait, shit. Can't tell color. You've been told they're hazel, but color is difficult to determine from puddles and even more difficult to determine from nothing at all.

>[1] You need to ask someone about your eye color. Find someone to ask about your eye color.
>[2] It's too risky, and you're lacking in other options. Abort.
>[3] It's possible there's something reflective outside. Go out but avoid people.
>[4] Write-in.

Sorry for size in relation to time spent. This post suffered a few rewrites.
>[1] You need to ask someone about your eye color. Find someone to ask about your eye color.

No probs.
All that time and I still managed to miss the vote.


Also if we can't take our pants off I guess it's a good thing we don't need to poop down here.
Little late there, sorry!
>Find someone to ask.

There's no way around it: I'm gonna have to ask someone. Your eyes have mostly adjusted to the lighting in the tent, but the unfiltered sunshine blinds as you step outside.

At a first glance through squinted eyes, nobody seems to be around. Good. You'd rather it be this way, so you can promptly vacate and get back to whatever it is you do that isn't this. (Your head throbs warningly.)

No, there is somebody. Arledge. He's making concentric circles in the sand with a wooden pole to your left, nearly out of sight. Weird, but you guess he's as good as anyone.

"Hey," you call out, and instantly regret it. Firstly: the word grates like sandpaper in your throat. Secondly: You aren't supposed to be able to do that. Thirdly: It rings out clear as a bell. Arledge freezes where he stands and whips around to face you. He looks you in the eyes.

"U-" and before you can get another syllable out, he's upon you. It'd be quick for someone normal (somone real?), but you're unused to physical space and so it seems an instant: you're bowled back over into the tent and he has his pole against your throat. Still staring you down, he raises his free palm to his mouth and bites down.

It draws blood, and you squirm. He spits onto the palm and presses it hard against your forehead. A great ringing joins the throb, and you squirm further.

"Answer me," he says inside your head. "What are you. Speak out loud. Don't struggle."

>[1] "Uh. Ellery Routh."

>[2] "Dude, what are you doing?"

>[3] "What color are my eyes?"

>[4] Answer as honestly as you know.

>[5] Struggle. (Difficult.)

>[6] Write-in.
>[4] Answer as honestly as you know.
Writing. Nice dub dubs.

This is the pragmatic one.

fuck, I almost made it
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>Answer as honestly as you know how.

His eyes burn, thin rings of blue barely containing the hot green middles. You wilt under his gaze and thought-voice, and the truth tumbles out of your mouth.

Quick, panicky: "I- I don't know. I mean, I do, kind of, but-"


"-BUT it's uh, uh, complicated, I think, and honestly it doesn't sound super good to say it out loud-"

"Say it." His pole presses harder. You swallow hard and rush on.

"uh, uh, I AM Ellery, but not exactly? Not really. I, uh, I'm in his head... I am his head, I think, I mean, but he's cut me off. And, uh, this..." You gesture weakly to your face. "this, uh, well, I mean, it's me, I guess. He's gone somewhere. So it's just me left."

You can't read his face, but his eyes have stopped burning and his voice no longer reverberates. "Has this happened before?"

"Once, on accident, uh, I think."

"After Montgomery punched you?"



"Uh, yeah."

The storm clouds clear from his brow, and he raises the pole. "I see. And the- you said 'cut off'?"

"When he hit the ocean. We. I don't know."


Your head hurts quite a lot.

>[1] "What does 'ah' mean? Is that meaningful?"

>[2] "So... what do you think?"

>[3] "What did you see about me? To warrant the, uh, tackling."

>[4] "Who are you?"

>[5] "What color are my eyes?"

>[6] "Write-in."
Needless to say, the bolding went out of control. Imagine it for Arledge's dialogue up and through "Say it."
yay multiple choices
also good night
3. How bad is it?
3 + 5. I really want to put this eye color thing to bed
Taking a shower. There's enough to call, but I'll leave it open just in case.

Good night! Thanks for voting!
>What did you see?
>What color are my eyes?

The blood/spit lies sticky on your forehead. You reach to wipe it off, but Arledge shakes his head.

"Don't break it."

You don't. You chew your lip instead. Godsdamn.

Arledge won't stop looking at you hungrily. To break his concentration, you ask, finally: "What color are my eyes?"

"Blue." You knew it. You'd always known it. You just had to be sure.

"Sky-blue, not sea-blue. But they were brown before."


"Hazel. Don't care. Either way, it sticks out. That, and..."


"You're paler, don't know if you've noticed. You hair is combed. You don't have the black eye-"

"I had a black eye?"

"Madrigal didn't tell you? Didn't want you to be embarrassed. Yes. Uh, you stand like you're not used to standing; legs spread out. You might be taller, but I haven't gotten a good look. Maybe other things. Very obvious overall, and I'd give you a fail grade if you were trying something. I don't think you are."


>[1] "So what are you, some kind of... special ops?"
>[2] "How are physical changes possible? Hell, how is any of this possible?"
>[3] "Would anyone else notice?"
>[4] "Is this something you've heard of before?"
>[5] "Write-in."
Writing. Second-to-last update of the night.
>Is this something you've heard of before?

Is he still staring? He's still staring. You're very uncomfortable.

"Have you heard of this? The... you know, this whole... thing."


He's squatting now, pole in the sand, still staring. You press him further.

"No... but? You said 'ah'."

"I did. Uh..." He hauls himself up to stare at you from a higher angle. "It's not unheard of for things to change in a person when they hit the water. Sounds like that."


"Physically, mentally. Either or."


"You're not that chatty, are you? Madrigal said you'd be, but she wasn't talking about you. Yes, 'oh'."

"Well, I meant- did you...?"

"Change? That's personal. Should probably keep yours personal, too, because I gotta say: it's real weird. How'd you do it?"

You furrow your brow. How did I do it? I didn't do anything, really. "Asking the wrong person."

"Ah. Can you go back?"

>"Sure, I guess." (Requires roll!)
>"I can try, but there's still something I want to do." (What?)
>"I can try, but there's still something I want to ask you." (What?)
>"I don't know if I should."
Sure, I guess.
>Sure, I guess.

Roll me 3 d100s!
>DC 20 (Easy)

No bonus, because the you who has the bonus isn't available!

And I am going to stop here for the night! Please roll in the meantime, and feel free to leave me questions, comments, or concerns.

I also have a question for you!
>If you're new, where'd you come from? If you're here from last thread, what has you coming back?

Good night!
(Running tomorrow most likely.)
Rolled 43 (1d100)

I'm from thread one. Seeing where the story goes.
Rolled 86 (1d100)

>Samefagging the roll
It's open until I run again. No need to rush, bud.
Rolled 1 (1d100)

Here ya go
Rolled 13 (1d100)

Rollan, hopefully the samefag vote doesn't count
From thread one. Coming back because the story and writing are good and this is a high quality quest.

If you're looking to rustle up more players you could advertise it in the qtg thread or discord.
I'm here from the first thread and I'm here because it's some good shit m8
Running in approx. 40 minutes.
Update's taking longer than hoped-for. Running whenever I finish (~15-20 minutes? but no guarantees).
I am sad. My lungs have filled with saltwater and I have begun to hallucinate
>"Sure, I guess."
>43, 1, 13 vs. DC 20

Oh, thank gods. This is your exit ticket from reality, which you've decided is difficult to handle and indeed dangerous. You can retreat back to wherever... (your head throbs)

"I think so," you say aloud. "I mean, I don't know. Sure. I guess so. Yes."

"Wait," he says. "You don't have to if you aren't sure..."

But you don't hear him, because you're already falling backwards into darkness.


You are Arledge Graves.

Not-Ellery slackens like someone's let all the air out of him, which you suppose is accurate. You're only half-watching behind your quarterstaff, but curiosity overpowers your disgust and you lift your head to see.

He hangs like that for a second, two seconds, while you tense in turn. Three seconds. You shift the staff from hand to hand.

Four. He bolts straight upright, eyes closed. You're beginning to realize the brand wasn't a great plan, because your head is filling with static.

He opens an eye, newly blackened when you weren't looking. It's brown and darts around in its socket. You uncoil in relief...

He opens the other eye.


You are Ellery Routh.|You are somebody else but not entirely. And something has gone awfully|terribly sideways|wrong.

Your vision is very blurry.|You are wearing a jacket. You squint up at Arledge, who is hastily tying the tent flap|down at your chest, which is indeed jacketed. Coated with jacket, you might say.|You would not dare to pun about this.

It is not supposed to be blurry.|You aren't supposed to be wearing a jacket. You rub your eyes, to no avail|fiddle with the buttons, which function as buttons.

Arledge has turned and looks nervous. "Are you okay?", he asks in half your head.

"I don't know," you try to say, but you can't form words|"I don't know," you say in two different voices.

"Gods," is all he says in reply. Now that he's closer, you spot|notice something bizarre|curious: you're seeing double. A fuzzy mirror image of Arledge hovers to his left, looking just as panicked.

Arledge is muttering something in your right, while you get a surprise in your left: "Ellery!", Madrigal says brightly. "You're back! Listen, I've talked to almost everybody about the questions... we're set for lunchtime. Hope you have a list-"

Oh gods|oh gods. What do you do|can you do?

>[1] Can Arledge do anything? Listen to what he's saying.|...
>[2] ...|Settle down. Breathe. Think: what happened?
>[3] |The only way to deal with this is remove yourself(ves) entirely.|
>[4] Write-in.|Write-in.
Goddamn, that was a bitch. Hope it's worth it. Deepest apologies for the extended delay.

Sorry to hear that :(

If I catch samefags, I won't count them (unless there's no other rolls).

Thank you! I appreciate the support, and I hope I can keep things up for you gentlemen (or ladies).

I am advertising on both the QTG and the Discord, but I'll continue to do so!
2. You could have prevented this.

Just got home from work

Wondering if we can just stay as two people forever. Twice the communication. Also Maddy doesn't notice the static? Also she noticed we were gone in the first place? damnit
>...|Settle down. Think.

It's all you can do to not scream bloody murder|curl up in a tightly-wound ball of terror. It looks like it's all Arledge can do too, it seems like, given his pacing like a cat in a cage|fingernails biting notches into the wood of his pole.

But you can't curl up|scream, that would be embarassing. And besides, you have this under control.

There's absolutely nothing under control! You feel like you've been gutted like a fish! And you can't think with-|You have this under control. This is fine. It's clear what's happened, and it's fine, we just have to-|-someone else thinking something different at the same time!|-focus.

What do you mean, it's clear what happened? How is it...

"Hm," says Arledge in your right. "Are you okay?" Madrigal returns in your left. "Who are you talking to?"

Something malfunctioned.

No shit. What did you do? | Something malfunctioned. You were in the water. I was falling back to it.

So? | I hit something.

There's nothing around to hit. It's water. | I hit something. Maybe you hit something.

So? | So, it went wrong. I stayed while you returned.

Good gods. | I don't know how to fix this. It's your head.

"I can hear half of this," Arledge interjects|says, with an edge that betrays his current state. "I don't really want to know."

>[1] |Send one person down to retrieve your body. (Which?)|
>[2] ...|Can you knock me out, Arledge?
>[3] Let Madrigal in on everything before she hears anything else.|...
>[4] ...|Tell Arledge what you think you know before he jumps out of his skin.
>[5] Write-in.|Write-in.
You informed her you there might be a cut-off as part of your prep.
>"I may or may not be both of me at once right now."

>1 - The pragmatic one
Someone is going to have to go back for my body. Also I might be two people. We don't understand it either
>[1] - Not you.

>Have whoever... him... that guy go.
>But explain to Arledge first.

Arledge has trod a sizeable ditch into the sand at the front of your tent. You should probably | you need to help him out here.

"Uh," you say. "I'm okay|fine." Once again, it comes out doubled: a thin reedy|nasal voice muffled by the water, and something clearer and deeper. The last word comes out layered. Arledge rubs his eyes and stops pacing.

"Salt Sea" is all he mutters, but you sense his attention is on you.

"I think | Something went wrong with the going back."


"It didn't work properly."

"Yes. You'd said. You sound awful."

"Uh, sorry. So I'm going to try and... fix it."

"I'd hope so. You look awful, too. Got a brown eye and a blue eye."

"Hazel!|Hazel. So if, I don't know, anything happens..."

"Beyond this?"

"...don't freak out|worry. And I should still be here."

He puts his weight on the pole and reaches up to grab at his ponytail. "Take this." He drops his hair tie onto your legs and brushes his former ponytail back over his shoulder.



"Take it. I've been thinking. Might help."

"Oh. Thanks."

You slip it onto your wrist and watch as absolutely nothing happens. "Uh, bye."

"Good luck."

It's not your mind, at the moment, so you're already hanging on by a silver thread. It's little effort to sever it (above, you wince), teeter, and plunge backwards head-over-heels.

It won't stick. You can't succumb that easy to subconciousness. But it's enough to head there for what might end up being an instant or a minute or an hour.

The darkness is all-encompassing. Roll 3 d100s to land safely.

>DC: ???
Rolled 58 (1d100)

Rolled 32 (1d100)

File: Spoiler Image (5.24 MB, 265x198)
5.24 MB
5.24 MB GIF
Rolled 42 (1d100)

Well fuck since things are moving slow I'm going to roll again feel free to ignore
nat 100 incoming
Rolled 59 (1d100)

if I remember to roll....
Our luck is not consistent.
>32, 42, 59 vs. DC ???

Unfortunately, I have to keep you guys hanging! Back in hour max.
not even revealing the ?'s, ouch
>DC: ???
>32, 42, 59 - ...

You're used to falling. The wind would be whistling past your face, if this were real air or you had a real face, but it does not.

Instead, you watch in silence as the darkness parts before you and reveals... aw. The pillar, whitewashed. Not dangerous, but certainly not where you left off.

You start to adjust your position (gotta land feet-first), but are stopped by the hair tie on your wrist. It's glowing in its best approximation of white-hot where white or hot doesn't mean anything.

Still falling, you scoot the hair tie off and spread it between your fingers. The interior glows the same. You stretch it farther, and it continues. You stretch it farther than any hair tie had right to go, and it stiffens into a hoop.

There's no wondering involved. You bend to slide the hair tie/hoop under your feet just as the ground rushes up to reach you...

>32, 42, 59 - Auto-Success!

>|Property of ARLEDGE'S HAIR TIE(?): All rolls for subconscious navigation are auto-successful with it in your possession.|

And suddenly your hands lie above you. They're holding a hair tie, which snaps vigorously back into its original dimensions. You haven't looked, but you know: below you is the empty ocean.

Not-empty ocean, rather: for you've landed bodily on a sandbar. Next to you is you, and you do mean you: his hair is combed back.

He isn't moving. He is breathing.

>[1] Just shove him back into the ocean. Problem solved.

>[2] Check him over. This is you, right?

>[3] Try and wake him up. You'd like to talk.

>[4] Write-in.
>[2] Check him over. This is you, right?

Can we talk to ourself like this? Is it just like thinking inside our own head, or is it deeper, so Maddy and Arledge can't overhear?
It's hard to say without trying, but you know Madrigal definitely won't hear: she's only hooked up to real!Ellery, not you. Arledge is a maybe.

Writing for [2] and [3].
>Check him over.
>Try and talk to him.

You're not gonna lie: it's unsettling seeing yourself like this; especially because there really shouldn't be a you here or anywhere. But that bridge is long since burnt.

There's no sign of life from you except the shallow rise and fall of your chest. You don't want to get too existential, but it does make you wonder: you aren't a real person. So who is this? Is he your version of you, making him doubly false? Are you him and you're imagining this? Is he even a person, or just a symbolic representation of something? Hell, are you just a symbolic representation of something? You'd be fine if you were, you think.

It's not relevant, it's not relevant. But you do want to make sure this is who you're looking for, and so you brush yourself off and stand over you. Yeah, that sure is you. Got the face and the neck and everything.

You're busy feeling up his shoulder when he cracks open a blue eye.


Hastily, you withdraw.

"Hi. Uh..."

He opens the other and scans your face.

"You look like me."


"How is that possible?"

Oh. You have a rube.

>[1] "Doesn't matter, pal. Let's get you in the water."
>[2] "You know, I was just asking myself the same question."
>[3] "You have no idea how deep this rathole goes."
>[4] "Uh. I'm your dad."
>[5] "Write-in."
I would like to get back to "normalcy," could you help?
Number one

He has blue eyes, meaning we're the silly one and this vote is 1000% valid.
You both have blue eyes. I'll give you a minute to change your vote if this affects it.
Rolled 1 (1d2)

Rolling between these two: [4] might not be 1000% valid but it's still 100% valid, I promise. 1 - 1, 2 - 4.

And taking this.

And then writing.
This is getting hella confusing. Did we just spawn a third us? Blue eyes one was right, this is dangerous.
>Got any tips on getting back to normal?
>Doesn't matter.

You feel a little bad, but this is potentially even less of a person than you are. You just need to get the job done before your brain starts oozing out through your ears.

"Listen, it doesn't matter. Let's just get you where you're supposed to be."

You grab his hand. He offers little resistance, which makes you feel worse. You decide to throw him a bone.

"Before, uh, you go... got any advice? Secrets? Repressed memories? Hidden stores of power? I don't know, anything?"


"Okay, calling that a no. C'mon." You drag him to the very edge of the water. "Nice meeting you."

He just stares back. You give him a shove, and he falls backwards into the water with a plash. It foams briefly, and is gone.

Okay. Could've been worse. Problem solved? Problem solved.

Your finger starts to foam.

You'd half-been expecting this, though you were hoping it'd be a little quicker. Eye for an eye and all that, especially when you're taking your own eye.

It's more interesting than anything else, watching your hand and forearm and arm dissolve and drip onto the sand. There's nothing real at stake here: you're certainly not real, and this whole place is probably metaphorical. The job is probably done. What better can a man do than kick back and watch bits of himself drop off into the waves?

Probably nothing.


"Hey," says Madrigal, waving a hand in front of your face. "Hey."

You've been wrestling with the burning feeling that somewhere, bits of you are diffusing into seafoam. But your vision is clear, which you'll take as a net positive.


"You're staring off again. Pay attention."

"Waving your hand in front of my face makes me more distracted." It's lunch, which doesn't seem to indicate any food consumption but rather general "midday". You're seated at the wooden table in the meeting tent, as is everybody else. You can't hear Arledge at the moment, but he definitely insisted on sitting next to you: he keeps "subtly" looking at your eyes.

You've been told they're both brown. (Hazel.)

"So, yeah. You ask a question, we ask a question. Standard, y'know, tooth for a tooth stuff."

"That's a pretty violent idiom."

"Whatever. You can probably get away with asking a few questions at once. This isn't an interrogation or anything."

>[2] "Hold on. What do you guys want to ask me?"
>[3] "I'm not sure I'm up for this at the moment. Uh. Not feeling too well."
>[4] Write-in.
>"Hold on. What do you guys want to ask me?"

You're still a little out of it, but this doesn't sit right with you.

"Sorry, hang on. What's that you want to know? I don't think I've warranted suspicion."

"It's not suspicion- it's mostly not suspicion. It's just a background check. You know. What's your full name, where'd you come from, what you're good at, whatever. They just want to be safe."

Maybe a little paranoid, but you're not going to begrudge them that. "And I can ask?"

"I don't know. You probably have a lot of questions. Pick one."

>[1] Well, okay. BEGIN.
>[2] "Why'd you call it lunchtime when there's no food?"
>[3] "Do we have to do this now?"
>[4] "Hey, uh, did you notice anything? Recently?"
>[5] Write-in.
I'm going to end here for the night. Vote remains open until my return.

Planning to run again on Thursday, ~3:30-4 PM PST. Questions, comments, etc. are always, of course, appreciated. Take care!

And sorry for the slow updates! Combo of thorny situations and me being tired. Thursday will hopefully be better.
Well, okay begin!
1 & 2
>Also 2 but try not to let it count as one of our questions.
Calling and written. Running approx. 3:30 PST (11:30 UTC) tomorrow shouldn't be a delay because it's done! woohoo.
(6:30 EST) for bEST timezone
>Why do you call it lunchtime when there's no food?

"I do have a question. Why did you say this'd be at lunchtime? There's no food or anything."

Madrigal sighs; she runs her fingers through her hair, down her face. She sniffs. You wait in polite silence.


"Oh. Sorry?" Did you strike a nerve?

"Don't- it's fine, it's all cool. Um, I won't count that as a question. We haven't started. Here-"

She turns from you and raps once, twice, on the table. The handsign conversations stop.

Hey! You can make out a little of what she's saying. "Hello............E-L-L-E-R-Y....here...." Across from you, Visco slumps against the table. Arledge is scraping thin lines into the wood.

"Okay. You're up first. I'll translate both ways. Oh, wait." Elise is signing something.

"Godsdamnit. Okay, uh... 'have...you...two...banged...yet-' Godsdamnit, Elise!" She's flushing bright scarlet. Elise has a cat-like smile on.

You're feeling a little hot under the collar, too. "Tell her-"

"Yeah!" She's up from her stool, signing furiously. Her voice trickles through.

"...and just because we may have been alone..."

"...were stabbed!"

"kind of a slatternly..."

Elise is unfazed, though she clearly starts to get bored halfway through. She starts waving her hand in what you assume is the universal sign for "get on with it." Hedy titters. Monty, from the front, starts unsuccessfully trying to catch the attention of either woman.

You're frankly a little offended that Madrigal's going to such great lengths here. Is it really that outside the realm of possibility that you could've had sex? (Yes.) No.

Finally, she starts to slow down. You pounce: "Hey, uh, I had a question."

"-4 days... What?"

"You know. I wanted to ask a question. Get the ball rolling and so on."

"Oh." She delivers one last invective then climbs gingerly back onto her stool, face still red. "Um. What?"

You didn't actually have a question in mind. You just wanted it to stop.


(To make things easier: pick a TOPIC, and appropriate questions will be asked. If there's something in particular you want answered, specify and it'll be included.)

>[1] "It was about the [HISTORY OF THIS CAMP]."
>[2] "It was about [WHAT YOU DO ALL DAY]."
>[3] "It was about the [PROPERTIES OF THE OCEAN]."
>[4] "It was about [WRITE-IN TOPIC HERE]."

Why are my lungs all hard and stony now? And is it normal that I can reach down my throat and feel them? Anyone else tried that?

Also how does the blood share brain link work? Is it magic? Can I be a mighty magician?
>A whole bunch of questions!

>It was about... [STRANGE GOINGS-ON]: lungs, blood bond, magic

You may not have had a question in mind, but that doesn't mean you don't have questions. You pull a random one from the list.

"Yeah, uh. My lungs."

"What? What about them? The breathing water is... well, I wouldn't call it normal, but it is what it is."

"Oh. No, uh, the opposite. They don't work, remember?"

"What?" The flush, angrier, is returning. "You never told me...?! They don't work?"

Did this never come up? "I guess it never came up."

"Never... how could this not have come up? What do you mean?"

"Well, they just don't work, I guess. I don't know how they're supposed to be normally, but right now they're just kind of... frozen, I guess. Won't move. Oh, uh, and they're sort of hard. And they have stuff in them."


"Liquid. I didn't really check further than that."

"How..." She keeps glancing incredulously out to the others, and then back at you. "Check?"

"Well, I just kinda..." You'd been a little distracted during and since, so you hadn't given the whole thing a lot of thought. Now that you are, you're not sure if you want to continue with this statement.


"Kinda, uh... stuck my hand down there and fished around."

She's stopped glancing and is just staring right at you. You're regretting bringing this up.

"Sorry. Did you just say you stuck your hand..."


"Into your lung. Like, just plunged it straight into your chest?"

"Down my throat."

"Ah. And discovered that it was... solid."


"Ah-h." She massages her temples. "And what's your question regarding that?"

"Uh, is that normal? Anyone else done that?"

"No. No, it's not-- look, I'll ask. Maybe it is! Maybe they have! I don't know. I don't know."

She has to rap on the table again to regain everybody's attention, then launches into what you hope is an explanation of what you'd said. From their rapidly changing faces, it sure seems so. Arledge surreptitiously tries to stick his own hand down his throat, but can't even fit it into his mouth.

When Madrigal stops, everyone else starts. You can't catch anything in the blur of hands, but Madrigal translates snippets: "'No, and are you okay.' 'Are we sure he isn't a goo-' yes I saw his blood, Monty. Uh, 'seriously are you okay' save it for later! 'no'- thanks Visco for the actual answer... 'Can he talk' I don't know, ask him... oh."

You're having trouble following, so it's a relief when she addresses you directly. "Can you talk? Not like this, but you know, out loud."

"No. And while we're at it, what is 'like this'?"

"Uh, hold on." She signs 'no' to whoever asked, which judging from their collective reactions seems to be Eloise. "You mean the blood thing?"

What else would you mean? "I mean... yes, the blood-"

"Hold on." She once again signs something, which you're guessing is 'hold on': everyone returns to their conversations. "Uh, they don't know that much about it, so I'll just handle this."

"But you do know?"

"Well..." Madrigal waffles. "Yes. I've, um, held one before. They haven't."

"Arledge-" You cut yourself off, the phrase 'you're blowing your cover in the least stylish way possible' coming suddenly to mind. "Uh, why not? Wouldn't it be easier?"

"More than one gets taxing. And it can screw with you if it goes on for too long."

What?? "And we have one why?"

"It's been 4 days, it was an accident, and you'd apparently be mute without it."

"But..." You don't know if you can deal with any more mind-screwing.

"Suck it up. You want to know how it works, huh?"

You had.

"No clue. And everyone else knows less, so they have less than no clue. It's something about the blood, but- I think I said this- blood is hard to test on account of having to come from someone."

Blood brings something to mind. "Could it be a magician thing? They don't seem to have any trouble with the blood."

She scoffs. "Magicians aren't a thing. I don't know from what backwards... oh, I do. No."

"Are you sure? 'Cause, I mean, they do the whole thing with the cutting themselves and the drawing blood sigils and collecting the seawater and everything. It sounds like a magician thing."

"Maybe! I don't know what they do."

You come upon a realization. "Oh shit. Am I a magician?"

"Do you draw blood sigils or whatever? I don't know. I don't... we're trying to do a thing here and you're off asking like five different questions at once."

"You said I could ask multiple..."

"Not five. Hey." She raps once more and raises her hand, evidently a pre-agreed-upon signal. Monty signs something back. ".....there......." is all you can make out.

"'When...you...landed...there...Maddie-rigal...said...mauraders?" Her face drops like a stone. "What...kind?"

You don't remember this at all. "Mauraders?"

"Uh. I lied about the stabbing, right? I didn't think they'd remember. Uhhhhh, shit. Shit."

>[1] Make something up! (Specify!)
>[2] Tell her to make something up!
>[3] Be honest!
>[4] Write-in!
>[3] Be honest!
Too late to vote, but I'd like to use the phrasing "she stabbed me to see if I was goo but I didn't know that and VERY UNDERSTANDABLY feared for my life and acted in self defense."
Unfortunately, it's up to Madrigal to phrase it! You'll toss your two cents in, though, and hopefully she listens.
We need the stealth switcharoo so we can mental beam Arledge and check. Also I'm surprised no one asked us to demonstrate the hand down throat.
>Be honest!

You didn't cause this problem, and you aren't going to be the one to solve it. "So? Just, I don't know, tell the truth! What are they going to do, lynch me?"

"Maybe," she hisses. "There's a reason I lied in the first place! It's a hundred times less trouble than having to explain that A), we managed to stab each other and B), I brought you in despite this! You seriously want to throw that all away?"

"What other options are there?! I don't know any 'mauraders' or what they might look like, and if I tell them, or make you do it, what then? Are we gonna go on a wild goose chase into the apparently deadly wilderness to go find them? Is that better?"

"Maybe!" She's once again glancing, this time between you and the expectant eyes of Monty. "Godsdamnit. Fine. I will tell them I lied for your sake, and that you asked me to."

"But that's…also a lie. Can't you just say that you, uh, stabbed me-"

"Nicked you."

"-nicked me, and 'cause I was freshly dropped I didn't know why and kinda…you know, reacted in self-defense? Understandably? And then you wanted to avoid the trouble and all that?"

"Mmmaybe. You don't earn the 'understandably'. And you're getting at least a little blame."

"What? Seriously?"

"I stuck my neck out for you and you're jumping up and down on it." She flounces- (that is a word, right? yeah? does it mean that? you're wishing you'd paid more attention while you were forced to get an education)- from you and signs rapidly across to Monty, who frowns and signs back.

"He's pissed. You can tell." He doesn't look pissed to you- maybe a little disappointed. Mostly just frowny.

"That's what he looks like when he's pissed! We're getting an earful later, and it is 1000% your fault, and I'm making you do whatever it is we're gonna do. And I didn't say 'understandably'. Ask a question."

(Select a TOPIC, write in a TOPIC, and/or write in questions.)

>[1] [MAGIC & MAGICIANS] - you think you're on to something.
>[5] [WRITE-IN]
Normally the guy won't shut up- but he's been dead silent since he backflipped outta your head. You've even been having to do your own sarcastic asides! You can't be positive without checking, but you're pretty sure he's out of commission for the time being.

They may or may not believe the arm thing.
What you do for fun? Besides attacking strangers.

How does one make a living in these parts?
Do we even need to make a living if no one needs to eat?

Writing. Sorry, stepped out.
"Okay, okay. Uh… what do you do all day? If you don't need to get food, I mean, and there's nobody around, and there's nowhere to go…I don't see how this actually works. How do you not go stir-crazy?"

"Well..." She seems to forget her previous indignation. "I wouldn't say we don't."

"Oh." You wait for a continuance, but none comes. "So what happens?"

"Depends. If you're smart, you find something to channel it into. Something that lets you get up in the morning and go "I have something to do today". Every day. Until you die, or maybe even not that. Elise likes to paint. Monty collects trophies. Hedy composes a lot of bad poetry. Who knows what Arledge does, but he sure does it. Whatever. But you have to know it or find it, or else one day you're going to snap, feck off into the Lea, and never come back."


"I mean, it's not…it's not that bad. We get visitors, sometimes. There's a lot of little errands and jobs to run because everyone keeps making excuses not to do them. We send out expedition parties just to see what's out there. We get monsters, though it's not as bad as it used to be before we moved. Uh… we have game night twice a month."

It sounds kind of nice, really. Your free time has been negligible and frankly of poor quality. Do you even have any hobbies? Maybe now's your chance to discover them.

You have another question, though, because you can feel Arledge's eyes burning into your back. "Why didn't you translate this? They can answer it, right?"

"Yeah. Uh… Visco is here. Everyone else is fine, but he gets— I'm gonna call it 'touchy'— about this topic."

"What?" You can't see how. "I can't see how—"

"He has a very strongly held opinion. Look, fine: I am doing this for you once, and then I am going to tell you I told you so."

"V-I-S-C-O: .................................here", she signs.

He's been draped loosely over his stool this whole time, but as she finishes he stands up so quick it nearly topples over. His eyes lock onto yours for the first time.

"Hell," he growls through the water.

You can only stare back in utter bewilderment as he signs at you. Madrigal translates with unmistakable smugness. "'What do I think we're doing here?? I know you haven't stuck around long enough to figure it out, so let me tell you: we are in hell. We won't die, because we are dead. But we sure aren't living?' Uh… 'do you call this living? Sitting here on our asses, withering away...' yada yada, 'when we do die, we come right on back to do it again'...not true, but okay...'eternal purgatory'…he's still going but you get the gist, right?"

They've heard this before, you're guessing from Hedy's face in her hands.

Madrigal's signing with Arledge, which is uncomfortable since you're directly between them. "Okay," she finally says. "We're just going to let him continue while we ask you stuff. I think Arledge wants to know: what are you good at? Or like to do? Like, I guess it doesn't have to be anything. But it'd be nice to know."

You're genuinely not sure. Hunting, maybe, but only because you've done it so much. There's not a lot of passion in it. Your reforming crusade was too short-lived to count. Maybe...

>[1] FIGHTING. You're scrappy, resourceful, and usually armed. And they broke out every day, so it wasn't like you had much choice.
>[2] TINKERING. You have little nicks on your hands from where the metal bit in. What else were you supposed to do all day, surrounded by heaps of junk?
>[3] GARDENING. It had started with a tiny shoot of glasswort and ended with a healthy patch of a steady food source. And it calmed you.
>[4] WRITE-IN.

I saw the "2 hours ago" from a previous post of mine and freaked out just a little. I'm not that bad, thank goodness.
>[4] WRITE-IN.
Couldn't fight, had to use our words instead of our fists. Turns out, we're not that good at speaking, given how we ended up here.
Due to the nature of this vote, I'll be leaving it open a little longer than normal.

yay building things
Rolled 1 (1d3)



Never change, /qst/.
It's dumb as hell, but you can only think of one thing that'd fit.

You've always been a talker. You'd talk to your neighbors, which is probably why they hated you. You'd talk to passersby, which is probably why passersby eventually stopped coming your way. You talked your way out of trouble, when trouble inevitably came: not because you were particularly charming or compelling, but because you did it so much trouble got annoyed and went home. And then you talked to yourself.

Bitterly ironic, then, that you're fated to never talk again....maybe......

"You are the literal worst," Madrigal says. "I should've left you in your dinky little tent. You were adorable and decorated it and everything. Look, I'll just tell them you were too busy selling drugs or whatever to be good at anything."

"I never-"

"Don't care, doubt they'll care. Got a question?"

|PERQUISITE GAINED: LOUDMOUTH - +10 to rolls involving talking yourself in or out of things|

(Pick a TOPIC, write your own, or just write a question.)

>[5] [WRITE-IN]
>[6] End questioning.

You guys are gonna tell me that explosive sand we ran into on the way back isn't magic? Also my lungs are stone now and my throat expands, even if that didn't happen to any of you. Plus blood telepathy? It's magic. Gotta be.
4. History.
Exactly what I wanted. Thanks for making it fit the character QM
I don't think they know that much about magic, but they probably do know a lot about themselves.

Glad to hear it. Honestly I saw "diplomancy" and was skeptical, but I think I figured out a way to handle it that doesn't tread quite so much in the footsteps of past diplomancer MCs.
Writing program just crashed on me. I'm searching for a backup, but if there isn't one I'm going to end it for the night. Sorry, folks!
All good, thanks for running QM
and what's this about diplomancers? I'm relatively new, so I don't know much about past MCs,
I think you need to have saved it in the first place for it to back it up, which seems unhelpful to me but there's nothing I can do about it. I'll try again tomorrow.

Welcome to /qst/! Voters have a habit of making MCs in quests "diplomancers": they try and talk their way out of every situation using diplomacy. It's not a bad thing by any means, it's just... a thing that happens.
Diplomacy, Power of Friendship and waifuin the first thing with a vagina we see (and even some without) is the rite of passage of any quest worth its salt.
Head's up: I'll be redoing and posting the History of the Camp question(s), but not actually running today. Should be here Saturday.
Just finished reading up. Loving it, very weird and interesting premise. Looking forward to the next session
Glad to hear it!

Believe it or not, I am currently writing the update. It remains to be seen if it'll actually get published before midnight, but oh well.

Running tomorrow, likely at 10-11 AM PST (or 1-2 PM EST, for those of you in the bEST time zone).

"Wait, wait, hold on. Why does he want to know what I like?" You don't see how this is relevant, especially if she's not even going to answer it.

"I don't know! He probably wants to track your star sign or whatever. Says I'm under the Maverick, which is probably right. Ask him later. Do you have a real question?"

"No. Hold on, I'm not finished. Can we circle back around to the whole magician thing? Because I'm really not on board with that, and I feel like you think I'm on board with that."

"What's there to circle back to? They're bunk. Look, have you ever seen one do anything?"


You may be exaggerating. You'd seen one, once, but your recollection comes in flashes: needle buried in her shoulder, sclera stained pink. A common addict, but the scales! The teeth! Her blood running red down her face...

"-Okay, okay. I get the idea." Madrigal looks kind of disgusted. "Fun story, but how does it prove anything?"

"How does it... How does it not?!"

"It's a half-remembered anecdote! Sounds to me like you stumbled on some poor sap getting his fix and invented the rest later."

There's no way. You press on. "Well, fine. What do you say about, I don't know, everything else? This? I- you're saying surviving underwater is natural? It's not magic?"

"You're putting words in my mouth! I have not once mentioned anything besides magicians being fake, which they are! Sure, it's not natural. I don't know what it is. I just don't like the word 'magic' for it. Seriously, are you just gonna argue this or do you have a question?"

It doesn't seem like she's willing to go further with this, so you make a note to ask someone else. You're not sure she knows what she's talking about.

"I can hear this. You keep forgetting I can hear this, Ellery, and I really wish you'd keep it private."

Fine. You do actually have a legit question. "You said the camp moved earlier. Does it do that a lot, or...?"

"Finally. Uh, I don't think so, but I haven't been here all that long. Lemme check with Monty."

Monty still has his pissed(?) face on, but returns to placid neutrality as Madrigal leans across to ask. His answer is longer than you would've expected: "yes...............there...here........." is all you catch.

"Yeah, so I was right. It's the first move he can remember, and he's been here ages--"

"How long's ages?" How long have there been people living here?

"Uh-" She again signs to Monty, who looks happy to be included, and again his answer is really long.

"6 years, or maybe seven. And because he's a feckin' nerd, he gave everyone else for good measure. Hedy's second newest next to me by six months or so, Eloise is three years, Visco, uh, fourish. Arledge won't say but Monty thinks it's longer than him. Gideon... I know you haven't met him, but he's been down absolutely yonks. Oh. Anyways, yeah, first move. The attacks just got way too frequent. It happened super recently, which is why everything's so bare."

"What, was it fancier before?"

"Are you kidding? There were manicured gardens! That was all Dwyn, though, and she's not really in a position to reproduce them."

She says it so matter-of-factly, but there's a morbid overtone. And the name Dwyn rings a bell... "Dwyn?"


You thought so, but didn't expect that answer. "Oh... I'm sorry."

"It's fine, it's fine. I didn't know her that much, and I don't think she was very nice."

"Still, I mean..."

"Plus, you get used to it. Been here a year and what? Dwyn vanished, Ambrose got the leafire, Calanthe... don't want to talk about it. And Gideon, maybe..."

"Oh." Is it selfish to be worrying about your own safety? Probably not, right?

"...if he's out any longer you might get stuck on gravedigging, which let me tell you is a bitch in sand. Have you seen the graveyard? It's out back, got the big plants."

Right. Arledge warned you from eating the fruit.

"Probably a smart idea. You won't die or anything, but you'll get their ghosts, who are all super irritating--"


"Like, Dwyn was irritating in life, but Ambrose was alright and Calanthe... and I never knew Constance, but considering Monty sneaks off to go cry over her every week I guess she must've been nice too..."

Seriously, what? "You lost me at ghosts?"

"Right. If you eat the fruits, firstly they taste like garbage and you'll spit them out. And secondly, you'll pass out and see their ghosts, which is much less interesting than it sounds. I've tried."

"O...kay." Fine, whatever. It's not even halfway up the list of things you're wondering about here. "Moving on. Did Monty start the camp, or...?"

"I know this one, actually. No, there was some chick in charge when he got here. He moved up the ranks pretty fast cause he used to be some high mucky-muck up on whichever pillar. When the chick checked out, he took over."

"What, you think he murdered her?" It's not unreasonable. In passing, you've heard of the power struggles at the top levels.

"No! That'd be pretty badass, but no. Dude's a pussy, and I mean that in the best possible light. Seriously. Wouldn't even cross his mind."

Monty must have a sixth sense for being discussed, because he interrupts just then.

"are you- see? Look at that. He's asking if you're okay with the whole adjusting process. 'It can be difficult'... so on."

Arledge's eyes fix onto your face.

(2/2, votes next)
>[1] Actually, yes. Maybe others would have trouble, but so far, despite everything: this is a straight upgrade on before you fell.

>[2] Actually, yes (lie). You're not going to drop your guard for someone you don't know at all. You can manage by yourself.

>[3] You've been putting on a brave face, but it's overwhelming.

>[4] Write-in.

(That's all for... the next 10 hours or so, folks! Vote is open until I return. Good night.

Also, I felt bad about aborting early Thursday, so I included the other vote in the writeup just for fun.)
>[1] Actually, yes. Maybe others would have trouble, but so far, despite everything: this is a straight upgrade on before you fell.
Don't have to worry about food, there are people who care if you die and strange wildlife must beat drug addicts and muggers, or at least it's some variety.
>Actually, yes

I'm back and writing!
>Actually, you're okay.

It's funny. Maybe it just hasn't hit you yet, but you're shockingly free of the extistential questions that should probably ought to be plaguing you right about now. You can totally imagine other people flipping out about losing their friends, their family, their life. But you started with nothing, and this is something, and that's like an infinity% increase.

"Tell him I'm fine."

"Are you sure?" Madrigal looks skeptical. "I bottled it up at first, and then after a few weeks it got too much and there was screaming. Ask anyone. It takes time to get used to..."

"Seriously, I'm fine. I don't know. Maybe the worry part of my brain is broken, but I'm not overly concerned about anything. It's no worse than what I had previously."

"Damn. Well, if you say so. If you're wrong, please don't scream in my tent." She relays to Monty, who chuckles but doesn't respond.

"Okay, I think we have time for a few more. Not, like, not like there's a restriction… but I think we're heading towards the boredom tipping point where everyone's gonna pack up."

(Pick a topic, write-in a topic, or write-in questions.)

>[1] [CREATURES OF THE OCEAN] Sorry, monsters?
>[2] [CRABS] You feel like the idea of other thinking(?) beings in the ocean was skimmed over.
>[3] [PERSONAL HISTORIES] (Of whom?)
>[4] [WRITE-IN]
>Last time on Drowned Quest:
You asked a whole lot of questions and answered a few yourself.

>Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=drowned%20quest

>Twitter: https://twitter.com/BathicQM

>Character Sheet: https://pastebin.com/vugu4geW

>Other People: https://pastebin.com/f0k1deSv

Crab people who charge us rent and ask for help? What's with that situation?

>[2] [CRABS] You feel like the idea of other thinking(?) beings in the ocean was skimmed over
What's up with those? They collect protection money, but seem nice enough



"The crabs! You were all panicked about them, and then they were here, and then everybody forgot about it." You'd almost forgotten about it, but you've been kind of preoccupied with… other things.

"You're so damn mysterious. But yeah, the crabs. They marched over here when we moved, which was probably a month or so ago. Two months? Anyways, they basically extorted us for protection money. ...Not money, but valuables, you know. Told us they'd keep out the monsters. Which, I mean, so far so good… but still, right?"

"...Right." That's fine, but not really what you're angling at. "But, like, what are they?"

"Big crabs! We have no idea, so we just call 'em crabs. They're weird things. Really big on decoration, which is why we had everyone decking up the place while we were gone. And they're very polite, in a menacing sort of way. You can take some notes when you're busy being kidnapped or whatever with Arledge."

This you had forgotten. "Oh, geez. Does it have to be with Arledge?" He's been staring at you even more frequently since this morning, and not in a flattering way.

"What, you want to go up there yourself and tell them he's sick? Yep. He's not gonna bite you."

"I don't know! He might! He-" You're cut off by Visco, who scoots back his stool and sweeps out of the tent.

"Oh, there he goes. Watch, Hedy's next. In retrospect, I probably should've encouraged you to open up another bond or something so that there's less of us just staring off into the distance."

Probably. "Are we done, or...?"

"We can be. I'll still answer whatever, but if you want other input you should act quick. It's going to be Hedy, then, uh… it'd usually be me, but it's probably Eloise. Arledge, Monty."

>[1] You do have something you want to ask the others. (Specify!)
>[2] You're done. (End questioning.)
>[2] You're done. (End questioning.)
We can find and question them later

What are these monsters the crabs protect us from?
Calling. I'll write for asking about the monsters, then packing up.
>Wait. Monsters.

"Okay, that's nice, but you keep mentioning things then waiting for me to ask about them instead of just explaining."

Madrigal scoffs. "I'm doing you a solid here by even explaining at all! You know what kind of a welcome I got? 'Hi, welcome to the rest of your life, sure hope you don't die, share a tent because we're out.' You have your own tent!"

"Only because the guy who owned it is maybe dead! Why is there a briefcase in there!?"

"That's where his stuff goes! And it's better than rooming with Dwyn! She kicked in her sleep!"

You have to concede to that. "Fine, whatever, I have my own tent. I was punched and dragged into it!"

"I thought we went over this! You still haven't talked to Monty at all, so what do you expect me to do about it? Hell, Visco whacked me with a femur! It's a rite of passage!"

"You still haven't answered my question."

"You didn't…I don't think you asked one. What."

"The monsters. You said you had to move because of them, and that the crabs are maybe protecting you from them. What monsters? I haven't seen any."

"Good! Do you want to?"

No, you should be thinking, but you can't. "Kind of."

"You're not very bright, then. They have a lot of eyes and a lot of teeth and they kept trampling our driftball field. That's about all I know. Eloise is the expert… oh, she's gone."

Hedy's gone, too, leaving just you four.

"Ask her later. I don't like 'monsters', it feels overdramatic. But 'big teethy fish things' is worse, right? It is. Anyways, they'd swarm almost daily by the time we decided enough was enough."

Finally, Monty unfolds his hands, uncrosses his legs, and signs something to Madrigal. "Okay, he's done. I don't know what Arledge is up to, but I guess he's just gonna stay here. Let's go."

She follows Monty out the door, not really waiting for an answer.

Arledge whistles, clean and clear through the water. He points down at the scratches he's been making this whole time.

"S T A Y H E R E"

>[1] Follow Madrigal. You don't want a part in whatever he's up to.
>[2] Stay here.
>[2] Stay here.
He seems somewhat 'magical' and his hair certainly is.
I'll trust Arledge.
>Stay here.

Breaking for lunch then continuing to write.
I'm back and writing.
>Stay here.

Your eyes dart out the door and back to Arledge. He raises his eyebrows.

You stay.

You don't know. He put all the effort into scratching that out. He's good at whistling. And maybe he knows what's going on.

Arledge doesn't say anything, but inclines his head towards your wrist. Confused, you follow his gesture-- oh, his hair tie. You have no idea why he gave it to you. Subtle jibe at your hair length? It is getting a little unruly.

Either way, it's no difference to you giving it back. He takes it and stretches it out a few times before pulling his hair back into a ponytail.

Is that it? Just wanted his tie back? Seems like a lot of effort, but whatever. You stand...

And he stands with you, placing a firm hand on your shoulder. Fine, you don't have to go anywhere. You squat awkwardly back down, which he takes as an opportunity: he grabs your face roughly and starts prodding. If you could speak, you'd be protesting- but you're reduced to staring in blank bemusement as he pries open your eyelids.

After what seems like years, he releases you from his grip and steps back. You rub your cheeks in indignation. Why couldn't he have carved "I'M GOING TO PROD YOUR FACE" into the table instead? It would've been more honest.

You're too busy to notice the steely knife he's pulled out of his boot.

You're not too busy to flinch at the sudden flash of silver, nor at the deft little cut he's bit into his palm. He offers the wound up to you on the table, on top of his carving. It trickles red. The knife rests next to it: it's fancier than you've ever seen, with an actual metal blade. It too has a dash of red on its very tip.

Oh gods. It's not a lot of blood, but it's still nasty. Arledge doesn't meet your eyes, but hunches ahead.

>[1] Make a big cut.
>[2] Make a small cut.
>[3] Oh gods! Don't!
>[4] Write-in.
Grab back the hair tie and switch personas. Then ask if you can keep it, and if he's a magician who can enchant hair ties.
Please roll me 3 1d100s for grabbing the hair tie!
>DC: 50

No Passes - Critical Failure
One Pass - Failure
Two Passes - Success
Three Passes - Critical Success
Rolled 22 (1d100)

Oh geez I didn't mean snatch it back in a thievery style. Diplomance it out of him without words?
...DC 50 still! (No loudmouth bonus because you are not talking yourself into or out of things!)

I'll roll in a few minutes if no others turn up.
Rolled 10, 24 = 34 (2d100)

Well, okay!
>Critical Failure

[screams internally]
>Oh gods! Don't!
>Try and get the hair tie!
>22, 10, 34 vs. DC 50: Critical Failure!

You feel your heart rate start to rise as you gaze at the knife. What the feck? Does he want you to do the same? Where did he get a metal knife? Is this a threat? A warning? Did there really have to be blood?

If only you could ask him, and out of habit you try: your mouth moves, but your throat remains impassive. Damn it all! You need to, you have to, you must talk; you can't survive trapped in your head. Excuse me, you want to say, why did you just cut open your palm and offer me a knife? Because I'm not okay with that.

But you were talking to him, this morning... not you. But it was close enough, and he'd understand, right? Just ask what's going on. Simple.

Arledge shifts a little to look at you, then away. You would swallow. He's almost facing the opposite wall, now, and his ponytail drapes over his shoulder- and the hair tie lies black against it. You need it, you realize. Why do you need it, you ask yourself, but the urge won't stop. It will help you.

It's all you can do to not take it right then and there, but you contain yourself and instead reach out to tap his shoulder. He jumps and whips around in his seat, bloodied hand clenching...

As you stop short in terror, your mind filling with the dark and the water...

He realizes too late, and stands, eyes flashing, as you fall backwards...


"You aren't supposed to be here," says Arledge with short hair in the utter blackness.

You are spread-eagled on something, not a floor, but nevertheless spongy. He stands over you, one eye closed hard.

"Gwuhhhh", you say, and are pleased to hear sound.

"8 gods," he says only, and his voice reverberates around not a room. "You've really done it."

It's difficult to think here, like running through molasses. So you don't, and let him continue.

"You've really done it. Do you know where you are?"


"My head, is where. Do you know what you're doing here?"


"I sure don't! Especially when-" he closes the other eye, and vanishes, before reappearing (eyes first, then the rest) "-you ought to be in your body, which is on the floor. Do you have something to say about that?"

>[1] ...no.
>[2] ...yes.
>[3] ...what.

Can you kinda just like, push me back? Your hair tie helped me before, so you know about this weird mind shit right?

fffuck captcha
>[2] ...yes.

You do have something to say about that, but it's not forming in your mouth or your mind.


It's the only thing you can think.

Short-haired Arledge paces back and forth in front of your prone body, hands clasped to the top of his head.

"This is bad. This- they're going to come back and find us in a minute, and there are going to be questions. And what do I say? What can I possibly say to that? 'Oh, he's not dead, he just vacated his body, but it's okay because he's in here barely functioning.' Look at you!"

You can't look at you. "...help..."

"You're not okay!" He spreads his hands in the air. "You know what I think it is? You tried to swap with blue-eyes. But he's gone! You don't have him in your look, he's gone. So nobody came to take over, and now you're here."

You've found a new word! "...how..."

"You're going to have to do some soul-searching! I don't know, this isn't my area. I do-" he stops himself. "-other...things. Not whatever... I don't know."


(I have to go, so here's the half of the update I have done! Other half in an hour+. I'll keep you guys updated.)
ah fuck we lost blue eyes? I hope he's just sleeping.
Man, that took ages. Back and writing.
Got distracted. It may be a little while yet. Apologies.
No problem, but I'll probably need to sleep after the next update.
>back writing
>two hours ago
>4 hours since last update

Kill me.
It's still in the works (really!), but for obvious reasons it's going to be the last of the night. I'll pick up tomorrow morning.
He continues to pace, back and forth and around and around, and the utter blackness and the utter stillness makes you want to scream. Arledge is not helping you. Maybe he can't help you. He just paces and paces, one eye closed.

"What other things?" You stand over you, jacket fully unbuttoned, hands in the pockets you know for sure are long gone. You have a scar running just under your eyes. "And what about the hair tie? How can you say you don't know about this?"

Arledge just looks resigned. "Hello. Welcome back."

"Thanks. I see I'm not looking too hot." You have no choice but to stare balefully back up at him as he appraises your condition. Gods, he's so annoying. "Not supposed to be here, you know."

"Already covered that. You seem to be doing fine." Not even resigned- quietly exasperated, maybe. You can't think.

"I'm not real. I can seem how I want. Listen, what's going on here?"

"I have two extra people in my head and you have zero in yours." Arledge folds his arms. "Which isn't all that pleasant for either party, I'd imagine."

"No...", he says, and sips the drink just now in his hand. Git. The fruity tang of nothing at all fills your mouth. "...I wouldn't think so. What'd I do?"

Arledge begins to tap his foot, which would have more effect if it made any noise at all. His thumbs dig into his fists. "Well, I don't know, but..."

"...Tried to swap while I wasn't existing. That would do it. Dumbass."

Tap, tap. "You're talkier now."

"There's things to say. What are you hiding, Arledge?" He raises his eyebrows in the manner you've always wished you could raise your eyebrows-- well, you're capable of it, but it doesn't look cool. It looks cool. You hate him.

Tap, tap. "I don't know what you mean. And now isn't the time..."

"You were literally trying to talk to him, just now. And the whole business this morning. And you're just a weird guy, Arledge. It's transparent."

Tap, tap, pause. "It's not... relevant. Look at him! Look at- I'm trying to drag you under the table before anybody bursts in and finds you dead-ish. Is that not enough?"

"No! How is it not relevant! So I'm feckin'... half a corpse in your head." He kicks your side and winces, which makes the kicking worth it in your eyes. "Ow. You want that to stop, right? Maybe you can stop it."

Tap-tap-tap-tap. "I don't know anything! I don't do this."

"Your hair tie! How can you not?!"

Arledge stares at him with a horrible bulgy non-smile on his face but not his eyes. "It's not my hair tie."


"It's not. It's not even my hair! Look." He grabs at his head. "This is what it looked like. And I hit the water, and it grew six inches and I had a hair tie on my wrist and that's all I know. I can't help you."

"Are you a magician, Arledge." Your voice comes out of him silky smooth, but it isn't a question.


"You're lying. I'm in your head."

All of a sudden, the tapping is very audible and very loud. 'TAP-TAP-TAP-TAP-TAP' goes his foot, and he unfolds his arms.

"So what."

"So what?! So... well, firstly, that's very cool, I just have to say that. And secondly, you can do something." He slurps on the drink, and you'd give him your black eye if you had the energy to move.

"Something! Do you see any blood here? Any seawater? Knives? No? No, I can't do something, and if I could I would've already. Do you think this is fun?"

"You're not here, though. I'm here; you're visiting. Open your godsdamn eyes and magic something in real life. I don't know how it works!"


(3/4. cut off too early)
You are Arledge Graves. Your head is a lot more crowded than you ever would've hoped it to be. You are a magician.

You have just been told to "open your godsdamn eyes and magic something", and so you are opening your godsdamn eye and magicking something.

The blood from your cut has long since congealed into godstuff, and the skin beneath it is closed... but there's more where it came from. You have your knife. You have an ocean's worth of seawater.

What you do not have is a plan. Ellery lies face-down under the meeting table... not breathing, but apparently that's normal. You've closed the tent flap and are hoping desperately that nobody decides to enter.

There are a couple of potential options.
>[1] Give him a little of your blood. Hopefully he'll go with it. (Low risk, low reward, side effects.)

>[2] Drain some of his blood. What he needs right now is less personality. (Medium risk, medium reward, side effects.)

>[3] Inject yourself with a whole lot of seawater. Let the Eight fill your veins and drive out all else. (High risk, high reward, ???)

>[4] Write-in.
That's all! I feel terrible about the ridiculous delay, so I'm running again tomorrow first thing when I wake up.

Have a good night. And cheers to 88kZrlQF, because you're a real bro.

3 seems hella cool, but Arledge is a bro and I don't want a failure to cripple him.

Please roll me 3 1d100s+10 (Practiced) vs. DC 40.
Rolled 62 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

what would the DC have been for 3?
+10 vs. DC 70 or so.
Rolling the rest. 10s will be added manually. Writing after.
Rolled 12, 73 = 85 (2d100)

Ok, I am glad we didn't go with that.
>Minor blood transfusion.
>72, 22, 83 vs. DC 30 - Success.

You weren't lying: this is not at all your area. You're not sure it's anyone's area. But Eight, you want your head clear. And quiet. Mostly quiet.

You decide upon the most basic of magicks: a blood transfer. If he is in your mind, he may be in your veins. It's difficult to mess up. And side effects are minimal, from your experience.

Sliding your syringe out of the strap on your thigh, you take a moment to turn it over in your hands. "saltseabringdeath", you murmur to the needle. "greenseabringlife," to the plunger, because actually killing him would be difficult to explain.

Satisfied, you wipe the crusted godstuff off the tip with your coatsleeve before dragging Ellery out a little from under the table. He's going to have to wipe sand out of every known crevice, which suits him right. You bend over him and find his wrist.

How is it possible to be so pale despite living outside for... Madrigal said what, 30 years? You don't know, but it makes it easy to find the blood vessels that thread daintily up his arm. You push his sleeve up, then, after some reflection, yours: you're planning to draw from your neck, but it never hurts to have a backup.

You hold your head up at an angle, making sure to push the ponytail to your opposite shoulder. In one swift movement, you plunge it into your neck, draw back the plunger, and take it out.

>Your Blood: 90%

You can't actually see the blood through the metal casing, but the sloshing inside assures you it's a success. You push Ellery face-up, check his eyes one last time (rolled back in his head), doublecheck his pulse (still there), and drain your syringe into his arm.

He doesn't move. Mercifully, the tent flap remains tied.

>[1] You need to activate it. Inject a little bit of saltwater into his arm.

>[2] Just wait. You don't actually know what's supposed to happen.

>[3] Close your eyes and check up on them. You should know straight from the source.

>[4] Write-in.

He just whispered salt sea bring death, so injecting salt water is scaring me.
>Check up on them.

You purse your lips and stand, sliding the empty syringe back into its strap. Maybe it just takes a minute, but you should probably find out.

You close one eye tightly and in reality recoil, clutching onto the table edge. In your mind, you just stand and take in the scene: Brown-eyed Ellery still down for the count, faded at the edges; blue-eyed Ellery doubled over next to him, spitting curses.

"Shit. Shit. Shit," he says, and the last is not in his voice. But you can't pin it until he looks up at you wildly and convulses: and it is your face looking up at you. And just as quickly, back again.

"Ah," you say, in a way that indicates you know a lot more than you do. "Hm."

"Did you do this?" His teeth are gritted.

"Yes. Sorry."

"Shit, man! I don't- I think he's going, at least," and he has your face again, and it turns your stomach.

Ellery does appear to be "going", though nudging him with your foot doesn't produce much more than a groan.

"That's good."

"What about me?! What did you do??"

"Uh, I gave you some of my blood. I was hoping there would be a little less of you in me after that. I guess it's also vice versa."

"Any way you can speed it up?!"

"Well, I can..."

>[1] "Try injecting even more blood. He'd probably go faster. I don't know about you."

>[2] "Draw some blood back out. You might feel better. Him? I have no idea."

>[3] "Inject some saltwater into my blood. I need to clear you out altogether."

>[4] "Inject some saltwater into your blood. It might be the kick you need."

Or mutate us even further, but at least it would be us and not Arledge.
>[4] "Inject some saltwater into your blood. It might be the kick you need."


>[4] "Inject some saltwater into your blood. It might be the kick you need."

"Inject some saltwater into your blood. It might be the kick you need."

He looks at you without comprehension. "What?"

"Seawater... I thought you were the big expert on magicians here."

At least he has the decency to look embarrassed. "Well, not- not- AUGH!" It's your scream. "-not really. Just spell it out."

"I can inject seawater into your blood, which will turn it into partial godstuff. This might help. It might not do anything. I don't know how connected you still are to your physical body."

He- you?- can only stare haggardly back and nod. "Fine."

With your open eye, you've been keeping an eye on the outside of the tent. There's a shadow out there that looks like Eloise, judging by the build. You need to work fast.

Seawater is a scarce resource on the surface, but you don't need to worry about that here. You take out your syringe and open the cap to let the excess blood curdle, then wipe it out with your finger. This needs to be clean.

You swoop the open barrel to collect the water, cap it, and clasp it again in your hands. "stormseastrikeforme", you pray, and barely looking thrust the needle into his neck.

You haven't even pushed the plunger down before his eyes snap wide open. You push, and the familiar pink tinge crowds into his sclera.

He closes his eyes again, and opens them, and they are blue: not the cold grey-blue you're used to, but bright and pure the way you're... also used to.

You may have overdone it a little.

>Roll me 3 1d100s+10 (Practiced) vs. DC 45 for safety!
Rolled 33 + 10 (1d100 + 10)


There are too many different eyes coming around here.
Rolled 91 (1d100)

File: eye comparision.png (363 KB, 717x235)
363 KB
363 KB PNG
Rolled 40 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

For reference!

Rolling the last one.

Oh wow that is helpful. Saltwater is vivid.
>43, 101, 50

But hey, you decide, if there's any time to overdo it it's now. It's his first time with gods in his veins. Might as well be a whopper.

And it doesn't look like an overdose, by any means. He's not thrashing. He's not chanting. Sure, big for a first time, but it'll be fine! It'll be fine.

You can't tell if your head's been vacated yet, so you kick him back under the table and take a final look at Eloise outside. She's just leaning, it looks like. You wish it'd be anybody but Eloise, but there's nothing you can do.

You shut your eyes.

You are in the ocean. You are in your head, which is the ocean. Blue-eyed Ellery (now very blue-eyed Ellery) stands atop the water; real Ellery is nowhere to be seen.

"Hello!" he says. You hate that smile, because you've seen so many people wear it. You've worn it.

"Hello," you respond evenly. "Can we go back to the darkness?"


"Because I don't want my thoughts getting wet. Hey, listen."

Okay, it was too much. Not dangerous, still frustrating.

"I just injected you with seawater. You're having a gods complex, which is a side effect. I just need you to settle down and hear me, okay? Please get rid of the ocean."

He laughs, and the waves thrum with energy. "I've always been like this."

"I can assure you that you haven't. Believe me, I know this feeling, and that's why I know you need to get ahold of yourself. Where's Ellery?"

"I put him back!"

"Did you? Can you please do that to yourself, too?"

"Why!" He rises from the water, and you raise your eyebrows.

>[1] "Because you're making my mouth salty."

>[2] "Because you're going to be very embarrassed in about half an hour."

>[3] "Because otherwise I'll make you."

>[4] "Because we're going to be caught if you don't."

>[5] "Write-in."
> Because you're making my mouth salty.

"Wouldn't you rather be in your own natural body than in mine?"

Nice trips.

Roll me 3 1d100s vs. DC 40 for persuasion!
>-5: Write-in
>DC 35
Rolled 21 (1d100)

If only we had some candy to throw in, sweeten the deal.
Rolled 7 (1d100)

Rolled 12 (1d100)

Failure! Rolling final one for severity. Final update of today.
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179 KB GIF
I need to think about this.
How poorly can a persuasion attempt possibly fail? =D

I'm sure we're about to find out
>You're making my mouth salty.
>You'd prefer your body, right? Not your body. Close enough. It doesn't matter.
>21, 7, 12 vs. DC 35 - Critical Failure!

You feel a little guilty for causing this, but it's a good learning experience- and hey, problem #1 appears to be solved. The only issue here is...

"You're making my mouth salty. I'm sure you can understand how deeply annoying that is, so can you at least make it freshwater, or...?"

He laughs again, and a little godstuff trickles out of his mouth. You're starting to get irked. "Come on. You'd prefer your head, wouldn't you? Or... I know it's not your head, but the head you belong to. What are you gonna do in here while I have you all cooped up?"

The unnatural eyes and unnatural smile freeze and harden and crust up right there on his face, and he sinks back down to water level. "Arledge?" he says, and you think you see his eyes fade.

"Yes?" It's over.

He draws closer, too close, every step making ripples in the placid water. He stops just before you and cradles your chin in his hands.

In retrospect, you should've thought this was off. In the moment, you disregard it as the saltwater. Still, you tense at his touch.

"Arledge?" he says again.

"Just breathe. Hey. It's almost over, and then we can get around to the whole... spiritual experience part. Have you had any of that, by the way-"

His grip tightens, and you decide that enough is enough. You try to duck away, but he holds you close, and the seawater flows through his veins. "I'm sorry,", he says, and you try to say wait!

but he snaps your neck and you crumple and you sink.


don't freak
running Tuesday afternoon
have a nice day
Thanks for running!

I'm kinda freaking out
a lot
Arledge was too good for us
This is the best segment. I love every sentence.
Why are we so twitchy about cutting ourselves for communication? We should go talk to Blue Cloak, she cut herself in order to talk to us and we just skedaddled away.

I like playing this like an especially impulsive toddler.
We should try giving our imaginary self nice horns and maybe scales and then swapping with him. We gave him blue eyes, maybe we can give him other cool stuff. Doubt he'll appreciate it though, he's a bit of a stick-in-the-mud.

Too bad we broke Ponytail's neck, we're probably going to be piloting his body around for a bit until he wakes up.

OP, I like your dice system. It's more punishing than usual. Makes it a bit of a risk to do anything though.
It's stolen wholesale from Black Company Quest, with roll over vs. roll under. In retrospect, maybe not the gentlest place to steal from (loved the quest though ForgottenQM) . I'll take a look at the DCs or think about adding more modifiers.
You can balance it by moving DCs or by tuning the severity of outcomes. Do you prefer people don't really mind failing rolls, or would you prefer it to be meaningful? So far we've had few really painful outcomes, failure or no, so it doesn't seem that bad.
Ideally, people would mind failure but not necessarily fear it. I don't want to unduly punish for one roll, and I don't want to stop the story in its tracks for it either, but it ought to make a significant difference compared to a success. I think I've done all that fairly well, though of course there's room for improvement.

Mostly, I just think you've been rolling badly!
Regardless, I'll still take a look and probably write up a dice pastebin for easy reference.
File: everybody (2).jpg (1.57 MB, 2469x2257)
1.57 MB
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I like the reference pictures, but they don't 100% capture the characters and I have limited photo-manip skills. Here's some pencil sketches for easier imagining.
> tall faces all around

Okay this is an aesthetic I kinda dig. Especially Ellery's two versions.

It's interesting that no one wants to include Maddy in everything that's happening with this weird split head thing. I mean, I'm pretty sure it just got a LOT more complicated, but still.

Also, the sense that everyone's flailing around with barely half an idea of how everything works and still struggling to make something happen is highly amusing. It grounds everyone as people thrown into a weird situation, bullshitting their way along.
Also helpful! We're taller than I thought, unless that's heads only.
It's just headshots, but you are actually the tallest of everybody you currently know. I'll mock up a height chart when I get the chance, but it goes approx:

Ellery 2: 6'2"
Ellery: 6'1" (body type: gawky, malnourished)
Monty: 5'11" (body type: average)
Arledge: 5'9.5" (body type: toned, broad-shouldered)
Visco: 5'8" (body type: sinewy)
Madrigal: 5'7.5" (body type: wiry)
Eloise: 5'6.5" (body type: average)
Hedy: 5'3" (body type: small and skinny)

Running in about 10 minutes.
You are Ellery Routh, you think.

You feel like you've been socked in the stomach with a ten-pound brick, but, like, in a good way. You are lying face-up underneath the wooden table, which strikes you as very old. You have a great deal of sand in your mouth.

Arledge's face isn't visible from this angle, but he half-sits half-crouches on the stool closest to you. The sand in your mouth is mostly quartz and a little calcite. The water by your face is flowing gently west.

Your muscles flex and contract and tremble as you lift yourself up and out, and the world looks very blue. "Why is it blue," you try to ask, and can't, but the thought still rattles around in the hollow of yor head.

The water is flowing west, and it has life in it. It has life in you...

Arledge is very blue, but it isn't at all Arledge. He sits wrong. He sits still. And he looks at you without a trace of concealed emotion.

"Hello," he says in your head.

"Cut the GS."

"Hello," he repeats, disappointed. He's blue in your head, too. "I thought you'd be happy."

“Since when,” you unfold to your full height (which feels higher, or the tent shorter, though neither is true) “have you tried to make me happy?! And how is this supposed to accomplish that?! And for that matter, what the fuck did you do!”

“Arledge” cringes and tries to mask it with a heavy drip of condescension. “You shouldn’t *say* that.

“Shouldn’t say- answer the question! Questions! I have more! What the fuck did you do with Arledge?”

I-” His eyes flit to the door, but your blood is viscous and your reaction speed is sharpened to a pinpoint. He doesn't have time to run before you slam him bodily onto the table. Something cracks, hard and loud.

You didn't mean to do that, but there's no time to consider. Eloise, loitering outside, busts in through the flap. She freezes when she sees you, the trimphant anger painted all over her face fading quickly to outright confusion.

She signs something you'd normally deem too rapid to make out. You can see it, now, but you still can't understand it.

|INFUSED: +20 to physical & mental rolls while effects last|

>[A1] Get off "Arledge".
>[A2] Keep him pinned.

>[B1] Try to explain in limited handsign. (What do you say?)
>[B2] Overpower her. This is not something you can deal with right now.
>[B3] Wait. Maybe she's on your side.
>[B4] Write-in.
>B4 Draw blood with the knife on the table, give to Eloise so we can talk. Slowly, without picking up the knife so she doesn't think we're about to kill Arledge.
It's time to finally do a blood bond on purpose.
Writing. Nice trips.
Please make it believable that we suddenly changed our mind about drawing blood, we were pretty insistent on not doing it twice before.
>Keep him pinned
>Attempt a blood bond with Eloise

She locks eyes with you and signs something, slower this time. All you can do is shake your head. She shakes hers, too, and steps delicately out of the doorway and around you.

Her cloak floats around her as she walks, and the movement draws your eye to the right. There, Arledge's knife perches on the edge of the table. Its tip is crusted with lavender goop.

You look at it, then at Eloise. She is nearly behind you, now, and signing something fruitlessly.

There's no choice. That's the reality: there's no choice but to open up another bond, talk, and hope she understands.

Not-Arledge winces as you shift your weight to one foot, using the other to step forward and grab hold of the knife handle (cracked leather. many years old). Not-Arledge squirms. Eloise turns back, but you're too fast: you've already opened a little cut in the back of your hand.

You hold it up to her with as non-threatening of a face you can muster, so you didn't expect her flash of terror. It's only when glancing at the wound that you begin to understand-- it's not bleeding but oozing, goo leeching out in thick droplets.

You drop the knife on the table with a soft clatter. Eloise has her hand to her mouth, but her eyes betray understanding.

Not-Arledge has gone limp.

>[1] Try a cut somewhere else.
>[2] Try to reassure Eloise.
>[3] Try to question Eloise.
>[4] Write-in.
>[2] Try to reassure Eloise.
>>[2]Try to reassure Eloise.
>>[4] See if the ooze works?
>Try and reassure her.

Eloise has returned to where she started and twitches her hand towards the flap. You raise your non-wounded land out to her in a peacemaking gesture, and she chuckles nervously and shakes her head.

You hold up your hand and the knife, and she laughs harder. "NO", she signs, and laughs, and you can tell the laugh doesn't reach her eyes. And she ducks out. You lower the knife (it's very shiny. too shiny) and reassert your grip on Non-Arledge.

Someone is behind you. Someone is behind you! No, to the side:

"What," Madrigal asks, dryly, "is going on."

She's come in through the other flap, at the far end of the tent. She stands with one hand on her hip and the other resting loosely on a spear. Shark tooth tip-

Her eyes reach yours, and she sighs. They reach not-Arledge under you, and she sighs again.

"Godsdamnit. Godsdamnit. What the feck did he do, Ellery."

>[1] Tell the partial truth. (What parts?)
>[2] Tell the whole truth.
>[3] Lie your ass off.
>[4] Write-in.
We've been completely truthful with everyone so far, it might be OOC to start lying at this point.
You're welcome to choose the things you feel best fit the character. I won't write choices I wouldn't be okay with writing for the character.
>[2] Tell the whole truth.

The grain of the wood is rough against your skin. You run a searching finger along its grooves.

"I don't know. What does it look like he did?"

She grips tightly to the spear. "It looks like he drugged you and you fought back, is what it looks like! Are you okay?!"

"Well..." You don't have an answer to that. You feel the best you've ever felt in your life. "I guess."

"You guess. Green Sea save me. Is that what happened?"


She's going to find all this out eventually, you wager, and it's better to be from you than not.

"Find what out, Ellery?" Madrigal marches up to you on the table and leans in close, jabbing an accusatory finger at your chest. "You are the worst, by the way."

"Well, uh, a lot. A lot of things. Um. I guess in order of importance: that's not Arledge."

"It looks like him. I don't know what you're getting at here."

"Um, I mean, I guess it is him, like, physically. But I'm the one in there, I think."

"Wow." She raises her eyebrows, revealing tiny blue capillaries. "So have you been Arledge all along, is what you're telling me? And what, you did freaky stuff to some random guy and... I mean, I'd believe it."

"What? No." What? "Um. I don't... No, I mean, this is me. And there's another... of me, in there. Not that-" you carry on, hastily- "not that I endorsed it, or anything--"

"Two of you. Gods save us all."

"Uh, I don't know- hey! I don't know, you might... like him? He's better-"

"No, wait, I'm still hung up on this. Two? Is it, like, the ghost of your twin, or what?"

"I don't think so? It's just me. But, I don't know, as a different person. He talks to me..."

She's studying your face. "You sound crazy, just so you know. Super crazy. But you always sound crazy, so I guess it's not too far of a stretch."

"Um, thanks. So, anyways... um, he's taken over... from me. At some points. Like, I go, I don't know, in my head, or, or something, and he does things... for me."

"Have I seen this, or?"

"I don't think so. And you'd probably know."

"Why? Oh shit, is he hot?"

You'd be flushing here if you had working blood. "What?!"

"I'd probably know, so it might be an appearance thing. And you're kind of full of yourself. So he's hot."

"Wouldn't he look the same, then, if I were so-"

"You just said I'd notice. I bet my ass he's hot. Keep going."

"I don't know where I left off."

She raises her eyebrows and retracts her pointer finger. "You were bodysnatched."

"Not- whatever. So Arledge noticed the second time and kind of grilled him."

"I bet. And..."

"That's it, until after the question thing. And then he told me to stay here, and he had a knife, so I sort of panicked, and, uh, tried to switch with the other guy. But he wasn't around, so I wound up, um, in Arledge's head..."

"Damn!" She looks impressed. "Was it, like, murder-y, or..."

"I was on the ground. Couldn't see anything. So we both freaked out, and, uh, I guess he did something to try and boot me out. Don't know what. But, uh, I got booted, but the other guy stayed in there and.............took him over, I guess. So I woke up all fecked up, and Arledge was looking all wrong-"

"You look fecked up. Your eyes are nuts. Also, he looks normal."

"Whatever! And so I pinned him here, and Eloise came in and got worried or something and left, and then you came. And he's out, I guess. That's it."


Madrigal looks you over. "Hmm."

"Do you believe me?"

"Hell of a story to make up, but even so. Let's give it a maybe. Can I see him?"

You stand, and (not-?) Arledge lolls on the table.

"Damn. Did you kill him?"

"Uh, I hope not, but..." She puts two fingers to his throat.

"Got a pulse- shit!" Arledge's head jerks up, and like a cat he springs to his feet. "Is that him?"

"I think so." His eyes are wet and gleaming, but not in the hard you way. You can see the currents shift around him.

"..." She starts to sign, but stops. "What do I say?"

>[1] "(Write-in!)"
>[2] Just let her figure it out.
>[2] Want to hear a knock-knock joke?

I have no idea what I'm doing and neither has Ellery.
>uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……………….knock knock

>I don't know!
>knock knock?

Arledge advances on the two of you, clutching the knife (in the opposite hand than usual). Madrigal wields the spear protectively outwards.


Your mind is running in tight little circles. "I-"

"Godsdamnit. Fine. 'don't...murder...us'" She shakes the last sign for emphasis, you assume. "No thanks to you."

He's stopped, and is cracking his neck. "How am I supposed to- tell him a knock-knock joke!"

"I'm not going to tell him a knock-knock joke. That's ludicrous."

"Well, I would, but... it's a good one. Just do it."

"Absolutely not."

You're looking at her, but some part of your brain is cataloging Arledge's actions: cutting his hand, cursing and clutching his shoulder, spitting, lurching towards y-

You whip out of the way, and Arledge falls- but in the struggle he manages to smear some of the mixture on your cheek. Madrigal yelps ("Gods!") and drives her spear haft into the small of his back.

"Tell me why I shouldn't kill you."" He stares up from the floor in revulsion.

"Um. Knock knock."


"Knock knock, uhh, who's there. Ima. Ima who. Ima, um, sorry for... you know-"

"You're funny, aren't you. You dislocated my shoulder."


"And, let me add, you stole my FUCKING body."

>[1] "Sorry."
>[2] "I mean, that wasn't me."
>[3] "I mean, you did whatever it was you did, so."
>[4] "Uh, I won't do it again."
>[5] "Knock knock."
>[6] "Write-in."
>>[2ish] "I mean, that wasn't me. Probably."

Gotta sleep now, you should wait until a different voter shows up. Thank you, happy questing, good knock knock joke.
Good night!
I'll leave this open for a good while longer, as I'm skipping out to eat dinner.
second but also
>[4] "Uh, I won't do it again."
>[2] "I mean, that wasn't me."

Checked. Writing for [2] (probably) and [4].
>"I mean, that wasn't me."
>"I won't do it again."

"I mean," you say, smartly, "it wasn't me."

Madrigal glances, worried, between you two.

"Oh. I'm sorry. Your... what, your imaginary friend stole my body. You just dislocated my shoulder."

"Um, I didn't mean to. And... it wasn't your body, you know, at the time."

"I won't mean it when I stab your eye out. How's that? Or how about I take you for a joyride and pop your knee out. That should be okay with you, right?"

"Well..." No, of course not, but this seems kinda unfair to you. "Um, it won't happen again."

"I DAMN well hope so. Tell Madrigal to let me up."

"Weren't you just going to..."

"Do you know what happened?"


"Do you KNOW what HAPPENED."

No. You were fading out at the edges, which was kind of cool. And then there was water, and then you were back.

"You snapped my FUCKING neck, Ellery, and then you left me for dead. I hope you have some thoughts on this."

"Is your neck okay, or?"

"I think it's like a metaphorical n- it's fine! I have more concerns about you here."

"Uh, I don't feel homicidal." You feel like you could be homicidal, maybe, but you don't have any particular drive for it.

"Good, because I do. We are going to have a TALK at the next opportunity. Tell Madrigal to let me up."

"I thought you were-"

"Ellery. I have no capacity to stab out your eye at this present moment. If I did, you'd probably grow one back. Let me up."

"What's wrong with his neck," Madrigal whispers.

"Um. Got snapped. He wants up."

"Damn." She whistles mentally. "That's pretty badass. Also, I thought he was going to kill you."

"He's doing it later. Let him up."

She does, and Arledge rises with a litany of curses and limps out without looking back.

Someone's behind you!

With almost comic timing, Eloise rushes back in the opposite door with Monty in tow, looking frazzled. She stops short at the sight of Madrigal and the lack of Arledge.

Monty sighs and signs something at her.

"Oh. Uh, you said she came in earlier?"


"Elly has a thing for Arledge. Oh. Not, like, a thing... like, a bad thing. Always keeps an eye on him. Guess she thought she had him. Here, we can just politely leave and not get involved..."

>[1] Politely leave and don't get involved.
>[2] Hold on. You want to know more about this.
>[3] Write-in.
>[1] Politely leave and don't get involved.
Dammit. Foiled again.

>Politely leave.

This is none of your business, and you have too much business to take this on as well. You're a kitemaker on King Day, that's how much business you have.

Madrigal shuffles out the door, and you follow her, wiping the .

"You're acting pretty blasé about this", you note, fixing your eyes on the blue-tinted nape of her neck. "I would've expected, I don't know, more of a fight."

"You don't expect very well, then, which is about what I expected. I try not to let things get to me... even if they're as feckin' weird as you are."

"I'll ignore that. What if they do?"


"What if they do get to you?"

"Well," she turns and cocks her eyebrows at you, "there's some crying, usually."


"Some screaming, sometimes."

"Oh, that's exciting."

"It is. It's very dramatic. It was more dramatic in air, though, I think."

You have to crack a smile. "I bet."

The current has turned north. It runs cold.

"And I'm ignoring that. You bet you bet. You don't wanna bet so much in the moment, though, because I bet I'll scream directly into your brain. How's that?"

"Pretty threatening. Guess I won't."

"Yeah! So, what do you do when you can't take it anymore? Which is probably pretty often, considering how far your head is up your ass."

"I'm gonna take that as friendly banter and not just a straight-up insult."

>[1] "Trashed a few places. You just gotta let it out."
>[2] "I take it out on other people. Not, like, violently. But I get snippy and passive-aggressive."
>[3] "You know what lower levels have a lot of? Alcohol."
>[4] "I don't know. I just keep it bottled up and move on. You can't live if you have to stop and deal with things all the time."
>[5] Avoid the question.
>[6] Write-in.
>You know what the lower levels have a lot of? Alcohol.

"Uh," you say finally, "How much do you know about the lower levels?"

She dips her head. "Not... all that much. You know, it's hard to get info up or down. Probably more than most, I guess, but- not that much."


"What... oh. You know, it sucks down there. No jobs, no housing, lots of saltheads and thugs and so on."

"Sure. What's the main export?"


"Uh, maybe. Not what I was going for. Booze."

You can see the wheels turn in her head. "Ohh. So you..."

"Yes. Well, everyone does. Did. What else is there to do, you know? On the bright side, apparently I'm a nice drunk."

"I literally can't imagine you being a nasty drunk. No, this is great. I have a shitton of juice in my tent that Monty doesn't know about, but I have no idea what's what. You'd know, right?"

"Why would I kn... I mean, possibly. Maybe. Why do you have booze in your tent?"

"Monty doesn't like it. Says we have 'quite enough deaths without you being intoxicated' or whatever. He's nice about it, but he's a feckin' prude, right? You wanna go look?"


>[1] Why not? The only other things you have to do are... get lectured by Monty, get lectured by Arledge, or whatever Eloise is gonna do.
>[2] You don't know how well you'll react to alcohol, or how alcohol will react to you. Best not.
>[3] Write-in.
Roll me 3 1d100s+20 (Infused) vs. DC 10...
>+50 - High-Functioning Alcoholic
>DC 60
to refuse.
Rolled 16 + 20 (1d100 + 20)

Rolling for drinking.
Rolled 93, 21 + 20 = 134 (2d100 + 20)

Rolling the rest.
>36, 113, 40 vs. DC 60

>... (Failure!)

You weigh your options.

On one hand, you're currently on... something. And okay, it hasn't been that bad. But still. Also, your mental state is of questionable stability, and you may or may not have dislocated somebody's shoulder today.

On the other hand, those all sound like reasons to need a drink. You need a drink.

"Nnnn..." you start to say, and Madrigal raises her eyebrows. "nnnnnn....sure, okay." You're just going over to appraise her bottles, not to necessarily drink them or anything. It's fine.

"Great!" she says, brightly. "Come on. I've been sitting on some of these for ages, so I hope they aren't spoiled."

"I don't think-"

"Come on. I'm over here." She points with the spear towards the tent on the right as you first entered. It's covered with rips, and patches poorly sown over the rips.

"There? Looks pretty beat up."

"Well, you know. You get the nightmares, you lash out, whatever." She looks sideways at you. "I've gotten alright at sowing. Anyways."

It's only a few steps from where you were to the tent, and she ushers you inside. It's the same size as yours, but far more crowded- littered with half-finished woven squares and broken shards of pottery.

"Sorry for the mess. I don't spend a lot of time in here."

She crawls to the back and starts rooting around in the sand, finally pulling loose a rough wooden crate. "Here. Hey, I never said, but you have a lot of sand on your face. And everywhere, mostly. Just thought you should know."

"...Thanks. What's in there?"

"Oh, I don't know..."

>Roll 3 d100s for contents of Madrigal's juice stash!
File: Lick it.jpg (38 KB, 640x406)
38 KB
Rolled 62 (1d100)

Rolled 52 (1d100)

Rolled 13 (1d100)

I realize now that "contents of Madrigal's juice stash" might not be good wording! We are not route-locking at the moment, folks.

Rolling for the final one. Thanks for waiting, though I think it's just us tonight.
"This isn't all of it. It's just the stuff I don't know what to do with."

She offers the crate up to you, and you fish out the first bottle: it's heavy white ceramic, wrapped in sturdy paper and stopped with a cork. There's no label, but someone's written "HD" on it in dark, scrawling letters.

"HD," she says. "It's so mysterious. What do you think it stands for? Initials, or 'had done', or 'hazard, dangerous', or what?"

"What would 'had done' mean?"

She frowns. "Well, I don't know, uh, how literate people are down there. It could be, like, someone had made it, or had drunk half, or something."

"No. It's 'heavy duty'. This is powerful stuff." You turn the bottle around in your hands. Made recently, judging from its color. "Probably tastes rotten, but if you wanna get drunk it's your ticket. And a lot of people want to get drunk."



You turn the tiny capsule on its side and watch the clear liquid in it slosh around. "How do you even know this is alcohol?"

She shrugs. "I dunno. Came in the alcohol shipment. Thought it was neat, so I pocketed it."

"Well, whatever it is, it's sure as hell not lower make. What is this made of?"

It's unlike anything you've seen: the bottle itself is thin and, more importantly: transparent. You'd find it hard to believe it was there if you couldn't feel it in your hand.

"Not my problem." Madrigal is less interested than you are. "So you don't know what it is? Put it back."

"Oh. This is obvious. It has a label, look."

It's more of a small jug than a bottle, but nevertheless you've been examining it for the last 30 seconds.

"What? Where?"

"Underneath, here." You point. She looks put out.

"I saw that! I just didn't think it was a label."

"How? It says right here. 'WORTSTUFF'. It's standard wortstuff. Maybe a little larger than normal."

"I barely know what that is."

"It's just... it's alcohol. You make it from glasswort, though I have no idea how. It's not rare or anything. How..."

"Sorry I wasn't drinking your plant sap."

"It's good."

"Well, maybe."

>[1] Drink! (pick: Heavy Duty, transparent capsule, Wortstuff, Madrigal's generic alcohol)
>[2] Don't drink! (Roll!)
Drink from the transparent capsule.
You read Discworld?
I have read some, but I don't know what you're referring to. Great books, though.

Vote is open for a little while longer.
Writing. Last one of the night.
>Drink the transparent capsule!

"Hey," you say. "Take the little one back out. Let's see if it's alcohol or not."

"Oh," she says, surprised. "Alright, if you say so-- I'm not complaining. Is there enough for both of us?"

The bottle is tiny, about the size of your pinky finger. "It's probably strong. Just take a swig, I'll go after."

"All right." She laughs, then covers her mouth and laughs again. "Monty's right across from me. It's terrible. I'll be quiet. Bottoms up."

She takes a tiny sip, and passes it to you. "Tastes alright. Not sure it's alcohol after all, but there's plenty of time to fix that. Here."

"Hey, careful with the container. It's neat." You hold it up and take a larger sip. She's right- it's smooth and mild, with a bitter aftertaste. You've had far worse.
You 've ha,d Far
w|oRse you!!vë h a d farrr,
W*r$E uv3 h`_d far...................................................................worse

your throat and your lungs and your veins are all boiling !! that's the only way to describe it and you want to scream but you can't scream so instead you black out.

[END DAY 4...?]
would like to assure readers that random death flags are not on the table, though random...other thing flags are


running friday afternoon
Just has a similar feel to it.
Oh! I thought you were referring to the bottle specifically. In that case, I'm flattered.
Aaah, I stay off 4chan for one night and I miss this. Will be here Friday.
File: height chart (2).jpg (1.36 MB, 2583x1806)
1.36 MB
1.36 MB JPG
Got a height chart done! Please disregard my disregard for human anatomy, because I have no idea what I'm doing.

Still running tomorrow, should be 3:30 PM but I'll update if need be.
>Still running tomorrow, should be 3:30 PM but I'll update if need be.
What time zone?
Guessing PST
PST is correct.
Ran into unexpected delay-- running about 4:00 PST.

In other news, apparently some guy on akun has stolen this quest name and basic premise (it's "Drowned" over there). If he's reading, that's not okay, dude, and I am not happy with having this associated with you. It's 100% categorically not me, which should be obvious but I want to make it clear.
File: the woman.jpg (77 KB, 483x648)
77 KB
It boils and boils and reaches your head.

|You are no longer INFUSED.|
|Mind: 100/100|
|Blood: 75/100|

You are Ellery D. Routh, and you have no idea why you wouldn't be. You like to think the "D" stands for "Danger", but also, that's silly, and also, you don't think you even have a middle name. You just picked an initial from thin air.

Hot, thin blood dribbles out of your mouth and onto your jacket; frankly not the worst thing that's happened to it. Did you get into a fight? You don't remember a fight, but then you wouldn't, would you, if you're bleeding from the mouth. Godsdamnit, Ellery, pull yourself together.

You wipe the blood roughly with your sleeve and wince. Oh, that's a bruise. Okay, fight. Definitely fight. With who--

"Whos talkin...?" The voice is slurred, but more importantly seems to slip right past your ears straight into your head.

You decide to ignore it. It's not your problem.

Still got all your teeth, though they're slicked with blood: you can taste the metal. Rest of your face seems intact, too, though (damn! ow!) you have a black eye. All ten fingers--

"Seriousshly......who tha feck...." and finally you look up and realize a couple of things: 1), you are in a tent, 2) surrounded by trash and booze, 3) with a woman.


Okay, things are starting to clear up a little.

So, what, brawl and then unhappy bender? Bender then drunken brawl? Or did you just hit your head?

You've never seen this woman before in your life. "Uh," you try to say and fail.

"Git outta my head....," she continues, half-slumped over an open bottle marked "HD". "I don... I don' care bout yor face..."


"You keep talkin..."


"What yoursshelf, bitch."

"But I'm not... talking." There's something off here, but you can't put your finger on it.

Your head hurts quite a lot, which is only to be expected. Bottles are normal. Tent's normal. You're normal.

The woman should have a scar, you think, and don't know why.

|Mind: 95/100|

"Thatd be pretty badassh. Like..." she draws a sloppy line under her eyes and across the bridge of her nose. "...here?"

"Sure. Um, do you know what happened?" You're getting a strong feeling of... something.


"Yeah. With me?"

"Shit, idun' kno.... we bang?" She looks you up and down, snakelike.

You can feel yourself turn red. "Maybe?"


The woman takes another swig from the bottle.

>[A1] Investigate the situation further. Who'd you piss off this time?
>[A2] You need something for this hangover. Go find something for this hangover.
>[A3] Question the woman. Maybe her day wasn't a total blank like yours is.
>[A4] Write-in.

>[B1] Take a swig yourself. Hair of the dog, right?
>[B2] There's a motherlode of booze here, and this chick is too blitzed to care. Nab a bottle of your own.
>[B3] Maybe you should be a responsible person for once? (Roll.)
>[A4] We bang.
> [A1]
> [B3]

We normally don't wake up with women that aren't in the process of kicking us out or ignoring us after nights like these. This is.. different.
Rolled 3 (1d3)


Rolling between the three B options.

Please roll me 3 d100s+15 (Clear Mind) vs. DC 50.

A high Mind will provide bonuses to mental fortitude and clear thinking. A high Blood will provide bonuses to physical fortitude and force of personality.

These stats lowering may have their own upsides and downsides. Zero is generally unwise.
Rolled 46 + 15 (1d100 + 15)


Like dnd stat zero unwise orrrr?
Rolled 78 + 15 (1d100 + 15)

Alcohol is nice! But will it solve this problem?
Rolled 19 (1d100)


Three each or individual rolls?
Re: stats - that remains to be seen.

>61, 93, 26

>Investigate the situation further.
>Don't drink - success!

Your head really is pounding. Did you slam some Heavy Duty, too? You can't help but be impressed at how she's putting that stuff away-- you'd probably be out like a light by now. Well, you were, you guess.

She's obviously not going to be helpful, so you take it upon yourself to look around. Got all your clothes on, which is an extremely good sign, though your jacket has a big slice in the bottom and (you grope over your shoulder) a few tears in the back. No wounds, apparently.

It's also damp, which feels wrong in multiple ways.

>|Mind: 90/100|

There's a ton of unopened bottles all half-buried in the sand, and you're heavily tempted to take one. But shit, alcohol is what got you here in the first place, wherever here is.

What else?

The woman's clothes are... well, they're on, which is a pleasant surprise. But also, they're clean, and her top is dyed pale blue. Not from here. Did you rope in a misery tourist from a middle layer? She's lucky she ran into you, then, you guess.

You don't recognize the tent, but you've been in several very similar to it. Besides the bottles, there's a lot of miscellaneous junk (pottery shards?) and a spear lying by the entrance.

You pick it up and turn it over in your hands. Some sort of tooth for the head, bound with common shoregrass. A name is carved into the haft: "Madrigal Fitzpatrick".


"What, is that you?"

"Sure, thas me... not my thingy, though. Som'on else, maybe."

"With the same name?"

"Feck, I'guess."

That doesn't seem right at all.

>|Mind: 85/100|

"Uh... Madrigal? Where are you from?"

She holds up three fingers. "4."

You'd hope so.

"And this isn't yours."

"Got a better one....a' home." Another swig. "Metal."

Damn, so she is middle, or higher. "So this isn't your tent."

"Noope. Looks like my 'partment, tho. Heh heh."

Something isn't adding up. It sure as hell isn't your place, so lives here?

>[1] Did you break into someone's tent and trash it? Whoops. Get out.
>[2] Hold on. Why is your jacket damp? You specifically avoid that, because sleeping in a damp jacket is the worst.
>[3] Hold on. Who is this woman, and why is this not her spear?
>[4] Hold on. Who is this woman, and why do you keep seeing a scar out of the corner of your eye?
>[5] Write-in.
>[2] Hold on. Why is your jacket damp? You specifically avoid that, because sleeping in a damp jacket is the worst.

I hope we didn't invade Maddy's mind this time.
I don't think he based it on this. Check this out, it's got to do with demons. https://fiction.live/stories/Drowned/nfy2LNmC87YtgcW5W/World-lore/ubhgcSzC5Yvv2JdWW
Yeah, actually, I think I jumped the gun on that one. Sorry akun man. Keep doing your anime quest.

>[2] Hold on. Why is your jacket damp?

You need to circle back to something here. Why is your jacket damp? Firstly, it hasn't rained in weeks. If it did, you wouldn't be in it anyways-- you'd be in the shadow of the next layer up. And there'd be no other way, because this is your only jacket and you wouldn't dare get it wet.

But it is.

And now that you think about it, the rest of you is kind of damp, too. Your boots are waterlogged, at least, and your hair doesn't seem to be at its usual volume. Were you dunked? Maybe some punkass kids filched a bucket and decided to terrorize random passersby.

It'd be drying by now, though, and besides: this doesn't seem to be that sort of damp. No, this is kind of an all-pervasive clamminess. It stings your eyes-

It stings your eyes?

You take hold of a corner of your jacket and experimentally wring it dry. Not dry, though, because the wet-color holds fast. A bubble loosens and rises.

You really, really don't like this.

>|Mind: 75/100|

There's no bubbles coming from your mouth or nostrils, though, as you might expect from... well, you aren't breathing, so of course-

Okay, you aren't breathing. That's not good. Shit, that's super not good.

>|Mind: 45/100|

Is the wo- Madrigal, breathing? Her chest is rising and falling, but there's still no bubbles. "Uh..."

"Lishen... I dunno what tha feck is goin' on, but I don' really care. Nother nightmare, maybe. Dunno." She waves her free hand vaguely in the air(???) and knocks back another swallow.

"Your nightmare??"

"Dunno. Get em loads. Tryin' to drink here."

This feels very real to you, but you're now experiencing serious doubts.

>|Mind: 35/100|

>[1] Is this her nightmare? Does that make you not real?
>[2] Are you dead? You aren't breathing. You aren't breathing.
>[3] Is this underwater? It can't be underwater.
>>[1] Is this her nightmare? Does that make you not real?
Maddie, what are your nightmares normally like?
>[3] Is this underwater? It can't be underwater.

>[4] Is this what they call a 'wet dream'?
Ok so we just lost 50 mind, so I guess we're gonna find out what happens at zero. Unless....

>Stop thinking about it! Have another drink, relax.

>[3] ...Are you underwater?

You don't like jumping to conclusions, but there's only a couple conclusions to be made here and they all profoundly suck.

Assuming this is real (it feels real), then you're underwater, right?

You're underwater. She's breathing water, you guess, you're not breathing anything. You're damp because you're wet. Who knows what else is going on here, but those seem to be where the facts lead.




You have a half-smirk plastered blandly on your face.

"So......what? Who caresh. We're fish now. Whatever."

You've had it. You need a drink. Darkness seems to be politely crowding its way into your vision, so you fumble for one and shakily pop the top.

"Thass th' spirit. Cheersh."

You just realized: you're holding something. How did you not realize this, and also it's a capsule, or a vial-- transparent, with the faintest drops of clear liquid inside. You haven't seen anything like it...

It doesn't matter. Down the hatch.


>|Mind: 0/100|

You get one mouthful before you black out again.


>|Mind: 50/100|
>|Blood: 85/100|

You're Ellery Routh. You don't feel very good, which might have to do with the open bottle in your hand. The taste of moonshine is mixing unpleasantly with the taste of blood.

Madrigal is obviously very drunk; she's splayed out over half the tent floor, clutching (oh gods) the Heavy Duty jug. Something seems to be missing about her.

"So.............how was it," she drawls.


"Tha drink...Dunno which one it was. Probably shiiit, though."

"What drink, the first one or this one?" You don't remember after the first one, but it obviously wasn't enough to keep you from the second.

"Wha firs' one."

"Uh, the weird one. The clear one. Guess not that one, though."

She attempts a shrug. "Dunno. You're a funny one.....fell over and got right back. Don' get enough funny ones."

>[1] "Sorry, what?"
>[2] "Okay, we need to get you some help. Seriously, the Heavy Duty?"
>[3] "I'm kind of fuzzy on the details. Do you remember anything?"
>[4] Write-in.
>>[3] "I'm kind of fuzzy on the details. Do you remember anything?"
Maddie please be responsible for us.

Let's just be surface level for a bit here. Hopefully we can regen some mind.
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>"What do you remember?"

You consider yourself a fairly strong drinker. You're not beating any reconds (or winning any contests-- you've tried), but you can hold your liquor just fine.

Madrigal appears to be at an entirely different level. She's sloshed, sure, but you're pretty sure she ought to be dead at that quantity of HD. While this makes her recollections questionable at best, it also means she has recollections.

"Yep, that's me, I'm funny. Uh, what else happened?"

She squints. "Joshin' me?"

"No? I think I was unconcious, so it's reasonable to ask..."

"You're funny..... heh heh. You feckin'.... I woke up, you were all fecked up... starin' at yor coat an whatever. Collaps- fell down after that. Dunno."

You've had worse happen. "Before that?"

"My door was getting feckin' bashed down by, uhhh, the copsh, I think. Got here somehow."


You're not sure if she's joking or drunk or what. "Like, on the tower?"

"Where elsh. Heh."

>[1] "Under the water, I guess...?"
>[2] "Hey Madrigal, what date is it?"
>[3] "Okay. Let's get you to bed, please."
>[4] "Write-in."

Sorry, had to step out.
>>[2] "Hey Maddie, what date is it?"
Breaking for dinner.


Back and writing for #2.
>Ask the date.

You perform a wild leap of logic.

"Hey....Maddie," you start, secure in the knowledge that's she's too inebriated to lash out. "What date is it?"

"Feck you in your... shtupid face. Itss Maddigul."

"You can't even say it right."

"Feck you. And how am I s'posed to know the date. Date doesn't matter..."

"Look." You're not sure how to respond to this without making yourself look like a hypocrite. "It might?"

"I dunno... Stranger something. Cold out."

You're briefly stymied. While you don't know the date either, you're pretty sure it is Stranger-something. But you're not gonna give up now that you've started.


"Feck you."

"You're really fun when you're drunk... Mads. Mudge. What's the year."

"Feck you. 205 or...something."

On one hand, she is not in a great state of mind right now. On the other...

It's 206.

"Itsh 205. I jush turned... uh, 26."

"Happy 27th birthday."

She scowls. "Cut the, tha shit. I don' even know your feckin name and you're all 'oooh yer twenny-seven'. I hope we didn't bang."

There's a lot to process in this statement.

>[1] Righteous anger! You hope you didn't bang, either!
>[2] Angry confusion! You didn't think you were in a position to bang, and also she definitely knows your name!
>[3] You need more alcohol. You need the most alcohol. And sleep.
>[4] Write-in.
> CONTINUE TEASING. Poke the drunken mess.
>[2] Angry confusion! You didn't think you were in a position to bang, and also she definitely knows your name!
Backing >>3204905

>"We banged! We banged for hours and everybody heard!"
>[4] Tease the shit out of her!
>"We banged for HOURS."

You got one thing out of that little conversation, which is that Madrigal didn't grouse about the second round of nicknames.

"Mmmmaggie. Dri-dri. Madsdog." You're running out of steam here. "We DID bang. Loads."

You did not plan for the second part to come out of your brain.


There's no turning back.

"Lots of banging going on. All over the tent. Very noisy."

"With... you."



"Um." Your ego is deflating like a burst balloon. "Yep."

"Damn. Guessh my standardsh've gone..." She jerks her thumb downwards and whistles. "Pwooshh."

"You... you, uh, said it was the best you've ever had."

"Uh huh. I say that loadsh.... godda make the guy feel good about himsself, yknow. No hard feelins, man."

>[1] You're done. You're done here. You have had enough for the day.
>[2] At least make sure she doesn't choke on her vomit before you leave.
>[3] Write-in.
>>[2] At least make sure she doesn't choke on her vomit before you leave.
That backfired perfectly.
>[1] You're done. You're done here. You have had enough for the day.

oof, bad luck

also I finally looked at the height chart, I figured Eloise would be taller. I coulda sworn she was described as pretty tall once or twice.

If she was (and I think you're right), feel free to consider it non-canon. Height chart of course takes priority.
I got curious and looked it up, I was wrong. Part in question was Arledge recognizing her by the build of her shadow, which I parsed as height for some reason.
Oh, alright! Glad to hear it.
(Eloise's shadow is easy to recognize: it's cloak-shaped!)

Update in a few minutes.
>At least make sure she doesn't choke on her vomit.

If you're lucky, she's too drunk to remember anything.

You're sure, though, that she's way too drunk to take care of herself. And although, you'll admit it, you're emotionally wounded-- you also like to consider yourself a stand-up guy. And stand-up guys don't leave their dumbass ...friends?... to maybe asphixiate in the middle of the night.

"Okay, so, we're just going to forget all that. Right?"

"Ohh. Did I hurt your liddle man feelings? I'm sorry..."

Stand-up guy. "No! No. You just, uh, you're super drunk. I hope you know that. And also, you don't know the year... but we can talk about it later."

"Feck you."

"So. You are going to go to sleep, and I'm going to help you out."

"Shoundss like your gonna club me over the head."

It's a little tempting. "Just move."

She sort of flops over to the side, and you pry the H.D. from her hands. "Also, this is basically paint thinner. I don't think I was super clear about that. It's not good for you."

"Yor not my dad."

You kick sand back over the bottles, prop her spear back up against the wall, and shove her gently onto the bedroll. "Don't drink it."

"Feck you."

She still looks like hot garbage, but maybe it's smoldering rather than actually on fire. Good enough.


"Feck you."

You exit.

Faint moonlight casts everything in shades of off-blue. Up the hill, seagrass waves gently in the currents.

It is night, and you are glad.

>[1] Go to bed.
>[2] You have something else to do. (What?)
>[1] Go to bed.
>>[2] You have something else to do. (What?)
Take a walk. Think about everything that's happened so far. Think about what keeps happening. Is there a way to make sense of your fecked up head, or are you going to have to try and ask Him?
I have to run for a hot sec. Back in ~20 minutes. Vote open until I return.
Back and writing for >>3205094. As a rule of thumb, if a vote is between "do something" and "don't do something" with no stakes I'll take the "do something" vote. Let me know if you have any major objections.
>Take a walk. Have a big ol' think.

You turn, and pause.

It has been four days, and not once have you stopped to actually think, or listen, or do anything except be pummeled by one horrific metaphor and puzzle-box after another. How could you stop? Stopping meant drowning in impossible seas and seas of impossibilities and you've just been doing your godsdamn best trying to hold it all together at the edges.

And stopping means thinking, and there's nothing in the world you want to do less. Thinking means considering, and considering means you have to accept things rather than smiling and nodding and moving along as quickly as possible. How can anyone accept this? Not surface-accept, where you say "this is how things are, now, and forever", but when you mean it and know it and think it and feel it. Is it possible?

But how can you accept comparative eternity? Not eternity, purgatory: and you're not a religious guy, but really, you feel like Visco has a point. You're here, and for what? To live, but what kind of life? Forever someone else's tent?

You don't like thinking. You don't like standing here, either, like you have nothing else to do. It feels ironic. You hate irony.

So you walk.

You walk just outside the camp fence. The grass sussurates in the non-wind. Despite your best wishes, you think, and you think in questions.

Such as:

Will this ever stop?


Where is... him? You haven't given him a name, because you've been scared.


Are you broken inside?


Did you have too much to drink? You think you had too much to drink.

You make a cockeyed loop in the dark and leave soft bootprints behind you. You don't feel any better. But you don't feel any worse, either.

>|Mind: 55/100|

You're at your tent.

>[1] Go to bed.
>[2] Do something else before you sleep. (What?)
>>[1] Go to bed.
It's okay Ellery. Let it sink it.
>Go to bed.

You're spent.

Your tent is how you know it to be. Gideon's briefcase lies in the back corner, his clipping on the wall. You nearly trip over your bucket as you duck in.

It is very dark inside.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. You qualify "better" as "raises less existential questions; features less surrealities".

But for now, you can't even muster the ability to do anything but collapse face-first onto your bedroll and sleep.


That's all for tonight! Thank you to my voters, and as always hope you enjoy.

We are archived here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=drowned%20quest. Vote if you liked it, don't vote if you don't care enough to vote. Either way, you're still here and reading this so you've done enough for me.

Running *tentatively* tomorrow at ~11 AM PST, if not tomorrow then Sunday.

Questions/concerns/critiques always appreciated, and I'll do my best to respond.

Good night.
Two quick questions about our stats.
How quickly do we recover blood, if at all?
When our 'Mind' hits 0 will we always pass out or are there a variety of potential results?
1) Blood regens at rest. I'm placing the amount at 25% / rest, but this is subject to change as I see how things work out.
2) Your recent experience did not produce typical effects.
That being said: running at ~11 (~ 1 hour from now), short session today, potentially short session tomorrow.
Got delayed. Need another 20 minutes or so.
>|Blood: 100/100|
>|Mind: 75/100|

You don't have much of a chance to sleep.

Arledge wakes you with a couple of sharp kicks to your side and an expression that says he means business. To your consternation, you already have the blood-spit smeared on your forehead and he is already barking orders directly into your brain.

"Get up."

You stare blearily up at him.

"Get up. We're leaving right now."

You hear the words, but they aren't really fitting together. "Ugh."

"Now." He drags you bodily up to your feet while you grasp for balance. "Get your stuff."

"I thought... I thought th' crabs were in a, a week, though."

"They are. We're going on a little side trip beforehand."

"Oh." You wipe the sleep free from your eyes. "What?"

"I can't have you be alone in your state. You are going to hurt someone, or yourself, or both. Is this your stuff?"

He bends for the bucket.

"So we're going to go out together, and we're going to try and manage things."

"Sounds like you wanna, I don't know, take me out back and slit my throat." It feels like a valid concern.

In the doorway, Arledge musses his hair and looks profoundly embarrassed.

"Listen... I'm sorry about, um, the way I acted, yesterday. It was inappropriate."

You have no idea how to react. "Oh."

"I mean, you were scared, and you were out of your depth, and--"

"I wouldn't call it scared."

"Whatever. And I said some things I regret... so here's my apology. Accept it."

"Uh, okay." You don't see why not.

"Great. Let's go."

>[1] "Hang on. What are you planning on doing, then?
>[2] "But getting all the way to the hills took, like, half an hour last time."
>[3] "I thought you didn't know about, um... this."
>[4] "Does anybody know we're going?"
>[5] "Do I have to?"
>[6] "Write-in."
Not my day, I guess. I'm heading off to do other things, but I'll check in sporadically for votes and write as appropriate.
May begin on a dice / mechanics pastebin.
>[1] "Hang on. Whatareyou planning on doing, then?
>So, if you're not murdering me...

"Hold on." You shake off his grip on your arm. "...Did you say what you were gonna, uh, do?"

"We," he corrects, irritably.

"Godsdamnit." You didn't get enough sleep for this. "What we're gonna do? No murdering, sure, but I don't understand the rest of it. Manage things?"

Arledge doesn't look like he got enough sleep, either, as he shifts from one foot to the other. "Just... look. Do you know what's going on? With anything?"


"Okay, then. I know more than you do. So let's bridge that gap."

"That's the vaguest possible thing you could've said." Five hours of sleep? Four? You have an abiding urge to yawn that you can't satisfy.

Oh, now he's grinding his foot into the sand. "Do you want help or not?"

"Not unless you give it to me straight."

"Do you think I have an itinerary prepped? You're going to get some control over your fecking head. I will be there to make sure you don't start foaming at the mouth. Happy?"

Actually, yes. He's trying to help you, you think, and if nothing else you need help. You just need to admit it.

>|Mind: 76/100|

"Is that a yes?"

>[1] "Fine. Let's go."
>[2] "Can you give me, like, three more hours of sleep first?"
>[3] "Wait. I have more questions." (What?)
>[4] "No! I can handle this by myself."
>[5] Write-in.
1 is good.
>"Fine. Let's go."

You're too tired to play any games here. "Fine. Whatever."


"Yes. Let's go out into the fields of nothing and get eaten by fish. It doesn't sound like you've giving me a choice."

He sounds offended. "I'm not pressuring you into anything."

"You are, but it's fine. I'm agreeing. Get on with it."

"Okay, okay."

Arledge steps backwards out the flap and holds it open for you. It's even darker than it was before you slept.

"What time is it?"

He looks surfaceward. "I don't know, but it means that Monty isn't up. That's basically the goal here."

"So he doesn't..."

"Know, yes. I left a note. Here."

He holds out the rusty bucket to you, and you rifle through it to make sure everything's in order. Knife, check. Torn blanket, check. Weird-ass doll, check (still weird-ass). Rope and bags and rocks, check.

"Thanks, I guess. Do you have anything packed?"



You stand in the darkness.

"Did you say where we were going?"

"To the crabs."

"That took, like, half an hour with Madrigal."

"It'll be longer. And we're making detours."

"Oh. You know, both of you do this thing where you say something I'd have no way of knowing about, and then you stop like it's supposed to mean something to me. It's awful."

"Look, kid--" He looks the same age as you. You seethe. "--you don't know anything. Would you rather have me say things, and then you find out when it matters, or do you want me to stop in my tracks and explain every single thing?"

"Obviously the latter, Arledge."

"..." He kicks the sand a couple more times. "Let's go. Be quiet."

>Roll 3 1d100s for random event(s)!
Rolled 35 (1d100)

One roll
Rolled 24 (1d100)

Rolled 84 (1d100)

Twoooooo roll
>35, 24, 84 - Banked for later!

Arledge slinks across the nightscape like a cat, you decide. Not a sleek cat, mind you, but the sort of mangy, jumpy tom you're familiar with: he's constantly stopping and darting and crouching in a manner that seems entirely inappropriate to what's actually at stake here. You follow, languid.

"Come on," he hisses at your stopping to adjust your boot.

"No! Didn't you leave a note? What's the hurry?"

"Things sleep at night."



"I feel like you're just deliberately leaving me in the dark. I just talked about this."

He tosses his head without a response and keeps moving.

It's not much better as you wade out into the blue grass. You can't keep it in much longer.

"Is this how you normally walk, or...?"


"Don't you get tired?"


What can you possibly say to that? You stare onwards to the horizon, which is nothing but distant open land. You stare up towards the sky you haven't seen. You stare down at sand and pick your way around tufts of evil horrible fecking spike grass. You stare backwards over your shoulder at the silent camp.

Monotony sets in.

"I thought," you say, finally, "there'd be more stuff."


"Well..." How do you put it? "It's just grass, everywhere. I don't know. Shouldn't there be... animals, or landmarks, or something? How do you even know where you're going?"


Arledge stops bobbing and weaving and stuffs his hands in his (working!) pockets. You're a little jealous.

"Oh, what?"

"Your eyes haven't adjusted."

"Is that a bad thing?"

"It's not a bad thing, it's just a... thing. Maybe a bad thing. I just didn't think about it, it's been so long. Look straight ahead."

You have been looking straight ahead. "Uh, it's grass. Loads of grass."

"Just grass."

"Maybe some shrubs or something. Did you know some of the grass is sharp, by the way? I found that out the hard way."

"No ruins? No big stone towers? No claw marks? We've been following the claw marks, by the way."

"Uh..." It's impossible to tell if he's joking. "No."

"I see."

"I don't see. Can you run this back past me?"

"Um. There's a lot of things..." Arledge sighs. "There's a lot of things down here that aren't real. They don't exist, so you can't see them-- but that doesn't stop them from eating you. Are you following?"

"Not at all."

"Probably for the best. If you've been down here enough, you project a something where there is-but-isn't anything. Have you experienced anything like this? Don't answer, I'm just being polite."


"You just need to expand it to everything else."

>|Mind: 71/100|

>[A1] "I literally have no idea what you're talking about."
>[A2] "Back way up. Why are we following claw marks?"
>[A3] "Is this something you're going to help me with, or am I just supposed to figure it out?"
>[A4] "How do you know I've been..."
>[A5] "Write-in."

>[B1] Attempt to see.
>[B2] Don't.
>[A2] "Back way up. Why are we following claw marks?"
>[B2] Don't.
>[A] Pretend to get it.
Because I like reckless Ellary more than cautious Ellary.
Rolled 2 (1d2)

Don't is locked in. Rolling for asking or pretending to know what he's talking about, then writing.
>"Oh, yes, of course."
> Don't.

Arledge doesn't sound smug, but he feels smug. You want nothing more than to burst his bubble.

"Oh, yes, of course."

"You got it?"

"You bet." You don't got it, but that hasn't stopped you before.

"Excellent. You don't need aid?"


"I'll hold you to that. All right, let's carry on. Let me know if you see anything, but we should be just up here."

Haha! You've pulled the wool over his eyes. There's no way this can backfire. (When it does, you'll figure it out later.)

It's unclear how long you've been walking, but dawn is breaking far above. Arledge hastens. You look more attentively, now, but there's nothing to see.

"Here," he says, and stops. "Tell me what you see. It's important."

It's exactly like every other patch of grass.

(Being creative in descriptions helps!)
>[1] ...Ruins?
>[2] ...A tower?
>[3] ...Claw marks?
>[4] ...Write-in?
Leaving for an hour-plus. Vote open for however long it needs to be.
>"A big scary monster that's about TO EAT ME ARLEDGE DO SOMETHING!"

Flinch and cower backwards where appropriate.
The corpse of a large fish.
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>A corpse of a large fish.

Roll me 3 d100s+30 (Loudmouth +10, Blood Pumping +20) vs. DC 75 (Wrong Shape +20)

No Passes: Critical Failure
One Pass: Failure
Two Passes: Success
Three Passes: Critical Success
Rolled 52 + 30 (1d100 + 30)

Just to clarify: those are the rules for rolling, not options! I take three 1d100 rolls, and the amount of times they pass the DC determines the result.
Rolled 2 + 30 (1d100 + 30)

oooph dc 75
guess we can't fake out arledge
Rolled 8 + 30 (1d100 + 30)

>82, 32, 38

Writing...after I eat dinner!
Back & writing.
>A big ol' fish corpse.

You take a wild guess. You're following claw marks, for some reason: the scene of a kill?

"It's a fish. Dead, looks like, from the big gash in its side. Silver scales, loads of teeth, maybe the size of a shack?"

Arledge looks up, crouches down, circles around the absolute nothing. "...No," he says, after a few minutes. "I don't think so. It doesn't feel organic, and it's too tall..."

Damn. You don't really know how this is supposed to work.

"No," he says again. "It's the tower. Look here."

He places his palms flat and parallel in front of him. "The wall."

You raise your eyebrows. "Is this some kind of mime thing?"


He closes his eyes tightly and treads halfway around an imaginary circle.

"Seriously, I've been pretty accepting here, Arledge, but..."

"Shh!" He stops, knocks the water. "The door."

"...this has gone from unrealistic to just patently sill..." Half his arm has vanished. "...y."

"Yeah huh. It's right here." He retrieves his missing arm and waves it in your direction. "Come."

Just to spite him, or the universe, you walk directly through where there's supposed to be a solid structure. Arledge looks faintly amused. "Put your hand here."

"I hate this."

"Put your hand here, please." You comply. You don't have a hand.

>|Mind: 70/100|


"It's safe. Follow me."

He steps forward, and is gone: you ignore the pit in your throat and do the same.

And instantly, Arledge is reappeared... but nothing else. You are now slightly forward.

>[A1] Lie! Compliment the interior of the tower!
>[A2] Ask what's supposed to happen. "Nothing" doesn't seem right.
>[A3] Admit that you don't actually, um, see anything.

>[B1] Make an effort to see it.
>[B2] Don't.
>[A3] Admit that you don't actually, um, see anything.

>[B1] Make an effort to see it.

A3 should be obvious since we asked if he was doing mime stuff. Unless these invisible things can look different to each person.
>[A2] Ask what's supposed to happen. "Nothing" doesn't seem right.
>[B1] Make an effort to see it.
Rolled 2 (1d2)

Rolling for A2 or A3. In the meantime:

>Please roll me 3 1d100s+5 (+5 Schism) vs. DC 35.
Rolled 6 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

Rolled 7 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

Second, also night night
Rolled 24 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

Good night! Rolling the last.
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99 KB
>Critical Failure!
>crit fail a DC 30
Nightmares ahoy
>Admit that you don't actually, um, see anything.
>Make an effort to see it - Critical Failure!

Okay, this is wearing thin. You can't keep it up any longer.

Arledge is busy brushing dust off of imaginary tables, straightening theoretical picture frames. He seems entirely unconcerned with the fact that they aren't there.

"Uh," you say. "I may have been exaggerating on the 'I got it' aspect. I don't got it."

"Oh yeah?" He arches an eyebrow-- are you imagining it?-- smugly. "What do you see?"

"Well, nothing. Same as before."

"That's fine; we'll start small. Close your eyes and put your hand out."

So much for less surrealities: if they don't come to you, you barrel straight for them. Will it ever stop? "Sure, done."

"I'm going to put something in your hand and describe it to you. Please picture it as I do."

"This sounds like a setup. Like, I'm going to open my eyes and there's going to be a dead animal and I'm going to freak. Please say it's not going to be gross."

"What? No." You can hear him cross the "room", you can feel his arm brush yours lightly and withdraw. "It's in."

There's nothing in your hand. "There's nothing in my hand."

"That's good, because I didn't put anything in your hand-- but it's still there. Listen."

Lower, softer, quicker, he intones: "It's light, and soft, and the edges are whisper-thin. It's the length of your finger and the width of two, but narrows towards the tip. The center is stiff, but hollow. Can you remember the sky? Think of the sky, really think: it's the exact color of the sky at the horizon, not-quite-blue, and it carries the sky within it. Do you feel anything?"

"I don't..." There's nothing in your hand. There's nothing in it! But the nothing carries a feeling... "I don't know."

"I think you're okay. Look."

For one tumultous second, you see it. It's a vague approximation of a feather, not-quite not-quite-blue, and GODS it hurts, it hurts to see.

>|Mind: 55/100|

The approximation is all shape and color, but around you walls are closing in-- and they have no claim to either, only pretending to be walls by virtue of their sketchy wall-outlines. The table is the same, and the paintings, and OH GODS...

>|Mind: 35/100|

It's about here when your vision decides to hang up its hat and head on a deserved vacation.

It's black, except for Arledge, and his normality makes you want to cry. He's all the way back to resigned. "Not good?"

"Not good" is so banal of a question that you have to turn it over a few times. "Um. Am I back in your head?"

"What? No. What? Why?"

"It's just like then. You know, um, all black, and you."

"Listen, I would know! I would know. You're where you were."

"So why..."

"You can't see anything?"


"So you're blind."

He doesn't sound concerned.

Womp womp.
That's all, folks! Sorry for the sporadic updates. I may do something similar tomorrow, might not, we'll see.

Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=drowned%20quest
Big ooof.

How did anyone manage to figure this stuff out in the first place?
That's certainly something you can ask about!
Running Tuesday, most likely. In this thread, if it's still up-- if not, I'll make a new one. Either way, it'll be announced beforehand.

I'll work on pastebins in the meantime.
I have to say I've been enjoying how much the MC in this quest has been fucking up at just about everything. Very refreshing.
>I have to say I've been enjoying how much the MC in this quest has been fucking up at just about everything. Very refreshing.
He's adorable.
File: post-it (2).jpg (245 KB, 671x761)
245 KB
245 KB JPG
I'm probably going to end up posting my miscellaneous character doodles if they turn quality enough. Here's #1, a little crooked: Ellery and Ellery-with-fruity-drink.

Additionally, Dice and Mechanics is complete: https://pastebin.com/7q13EE8t. For the lazy, the interesting bit is in spoilers.

What is it?: Your mental stability, grip on reality, and general ability to think clearly and rationally.
What does it do?: At high Mind, you gain bonuses to decision-making and critical thinking and penalties to ???. Low Mind is the opposite.
How do you lose it?: Exposure to things that shake your reality or directly affect your mind.
How do you regain it?: Doing nice, normal, relaxing things. Going on walks, having conversations. Alcohol helps temporarily.
What happens if it runs out?: Nothing good.

What is it?: Both the literal amount of blood in your body and the attributes that comes with it-- your constitution, energy, and force of personality.
What does it do?: Physically - At high Blood, you gain bonuses to physical activity, at low Blood the opposite. Metaphorically - At high Blood, you gain bonuses to being yourself, at low Blood the opposite.
How do you lose it?: Wounds. There may be other methods.
How do you regain it?: 25 points of Blood are restored with sleep. There may be other methods.
What happens if it runs out?: Nothing good.
I like it.
So if Blood hits zero it's still nothing good and not straight up death? Interesting. ..
That's right.
(Both Blood and Mind at zero is probably death. Death may come in other circumstances unrelated to stats, as well, but I won't be unduly punishing.)

Alright! Definitely running tomorrow at ~3:30 PST. See you guys there.
Didn't get a chance to finish prewriting, so may be a few minutes late.
|You are BLINDED! You fail at anything requiring vision.|

"Ah," you say, carefully.

"It's not so bad," Arledge blithely carries on. "You can still see me, right? It's not ideal, sure, but we'll make it work..."

"Not ideal."


"Not ideal."

"That is what I said."

"I-" You have no idea how to put it. "I'm not okay with this."

"With this?"

You can feel that hot half-smile twitch and lock firmly into place. Is it just your default reaction, now? From what deep wellspring had it... sprung? How must it look-- not great, you're guessing, considering how it feels...

There was a point here, once.

"With this! With... well, primarily with this, and really mostly with you! You think it's 'not ideal' for me to be fucking blind--"

"You shouldn't say that."

"Said the murderer to the thief! 'Not ideal'. Like it's some sort of, of, minor inconvenience..."

"It will probably be gone in an hour."

"...MINOR INCONVENIENCE, instead of, I don't know, the total loss of something I rely on!..."

"Half a day, absolute tops. And it's not absolute, based on-"

"-I don't care! I don't... it's not even about that..."

"It's just the primary issue."

He stands straight-backed in the darkness with an aura of absolute self-assurance. You have never wanted to throttle anyone more.

"You know what?! Fuck you and, and, fuck the horse you rode in on! I-"

"Do you know what a horse is?"

You have no idea what a horse is. "I-it's something you ride in on. Uh..."

"Okay, that's good. I don't either." There's a placid smirk in his eyes, if not his face.

"Godsdamnit. Would it kill you to stop! I'm trying to speak, to get a, a, point across--"


"Well, you keep f--ecking inturrupting me, Arledge, with your stupid snide comments! I'm not... I'm just..."

You have one hand white against your forehead and one hand waving like maybe you'll be able to fish whole sentences from the air.

"I'm done, okay; I'm at the end of my rope, and I'd say that rope is really extraordinarily long! What do you expect from me? Do you want me to just, what, hear that I'm blind now and say 'well that's fine'??"

"No." And he adds, almost apologetically: "You said you were okay at the meeting."

"I was, maybe! Maybe I still am! But I'm not right now."

"Good," he says, and you wish he had a register other than 'cryptic'. "Why?"

"'Why'! What a question. 'Why'. I don't know, maybe because my entire life crumbled a few days ago? Because yesterday, what happened... oh yeah." You count each out on your fingers. "You were here for half of these. Uh, I feckin'... switched bodies, or whatever, and then that went wrong and the- which was HORRIBLE..."


"And then there was the meeting, and was I finished? No! Because I wound up in your, your head, or something, which was also horrible, and you put me on something to stop it-"


"-Seawater to stop it, which was... actually nice, but then I don't know what happened but I- not I, but you know- I stole your body or something, which continued to be horrible. And then Madrigal and I got super drunk and I can't remember anything past that. And now that I say it it doesn't sound like a lot, but..."


"But it was! It was a lot! By all rights I should be dead, or, or, what did you say, foaming at the mouth, or at least affected. But here I am, and what do I get? I get no sleep and I get blinded. Immediately. And it's not ideal."

"It's not," he says, but in a different tone of voice. "And you're absolutely right. I just wanted to get that out of you."

Oh, shit. Your half-smile turns immediately to grimace. "Oh. Was this some gullshit test? Gods-"

"No, I mostly just liked seeing your face turn purple. I'm not trying to impart my wisdom or anything. That being said..."

"Are you imparting wisdom now?"

"No, I'm just telling you something. It was about time."

"For me to yell at you?"

"For you to do anything. I've seen more emotional range from rocks, Ellery. For gods' sake, 'you're okay'? Nobody's okay their fourth day in. They're crying or they're silent or they're telling us to leave them alone to die; they're not okay. You were clearly holding back."

"I wasn't holding back."

"Maybe not intentionally, but it's not possible to adapt so quickly, period. The fact that this was your big outburst? Ellery. That was tepid."


"It's a good thing-- well, it either means that you're still holding back, which isn't a good thing, or that you're done, which is. If you're done, that's a godsdamn miracle-- never seen anybody get over it so quick."

You thouroughly resent this. "I'm not over it. I'm still mad, and also I'm still blind."

"Well, you will be over it, you're not really mad, and you're not really blind. Wrong choice of words. It's a mental block."


"It's- you can see me, right? And yourself?"

"Well, I guess."

"Your eyes work fine. Your brain's just rejecting everything it's not 100% sure is real. Like I said, hour, half a day tops."

You hate him like you hate everyone else who's righter than you are.

>|Mind: 45/100|

"And hey, listen. If you do need to talk about things, I... am the only person in a few hour's walk, so you're stuck with me."

"Great." You continue to thouroughly resent this.

"So, uh, I was going to do this whole thing with the tower and the altar and so on, but you're not super able to see it at the moment, and also maybe not in the right state of mind for it. But you'd know better than I would."

>[1] Sure, whatever. You're in the right state of mind for anything.
>[2] It would help if he would maybe explain a little bit instead of expecting you to know, etc. etc. we've been over this
>[3] Can we save it for later? Your current state of mind is "petulant".
>[4] Write-in.
>"It's a good thing-- well, it either means that you're still holding back, which isn't a good thing, or that you're done, which is. If you're done, that's a godsdamn miracle-- never seen anybody get over it so quick."
I mean, we are kinda weird.

>You hate him like you hate everyone else who's righter than you are.
Great sentence.

I think we're
but we're also good-natured enough to pretend to do

(If no one else comes along, I'll change my vote to >[2])
20 minutes since first vote, so we're going with [2].
>[2] Gods below, Arledge, we've been over this.

"Got the tower, but you haven't mentioned an altar. I can't know things that haven't been explained. Arledge. Please."

He has the decency to look a little contrite. "Well, I wouldn't've. It was supposed to be a thing."

"A... thing."

"A ceremony or something like that. I probably would've done some chanting just to freak you out, maybe skinned a few animals, whatever. That's effectively shot now, but it would've been a lot of fun... maybe not for you. We can still try it out if you want."

"Um, no thanks. Was there going to be a point to it, or was it just, uh, a prank? Also, seriously?"

"You don't know how bored I get."


"Yes. And no, uh, I was going to impart some Deep Truths. Or possibly Dark Secrets. I didn't get a chance to decide on the wording. No, uh, those were serious, though."

"I don't understand." You understand a little, but you don't at all like the sound of it.

"You don't understand most things, really-" You scowl. "-sorry. But I think, considering... that," He gestures in the general direction of your head, "right now, we can wait on them. I can still take you up to the altar, though, that's legitimate."

"Is it real, though?"

"You mean... no, it's not, but I've concieved of it enough for it to be pretty close. Should have a set appearance, at least. Same thing with the tower, though I guess that didn't work out so great."

"Um, yeah." You still don't think he's putting the proper amount of emphasis on this whole debacle. "So what, you've been here before?"

"This is my spot. You understand, right? You live with the same people day-in day-out, you need a spot. Look at you. You probably need one already away from me, huh?"


You do not like jovial Arledge. He doesn't do it quite right-- not in a way you can explain, really, but you think his eyes bulge out just a little.

"'What' what, Ellery?"

>[1] Can we go back to silent staring, please?
>[2] Are you sure I haven't snapped your neck again?
>[3] Um, nothing. Uh, Dark Truths?
>[4] Um, nothing. Did you make the... tower, or find it, or what?
>[5] Um, nothing. What sort of things do you do with an altar, if it doesn't involve chanting and skinning?
>[6] Write-in.
>"A ceremony or something like that. I probably would've done some chanting just to freak you out, maybe skinned a few animals, whatever. That's effectively shot now, but it would've been a lot of fun... maybe not for you. We can still try it out if you want."
>"Um, no thanks. Was there going to be a point to it, or was it just, uh, a prank? Also, seriously?"
>"You don't know how bored I get."
Arledge, what happened to you? You were supposed to be the cool and inscrutable old man!

>Okay, fine. We're gonna make our own spot!
>Walk outside the tower and start imagining your tent.
>imma make my own tent with blackjack and hookers

>Okay, fine. We're gonna make our own spot!
>Walk outside the tower and start imagining your tent.

You're about to say something insensitive and ill-advised, but settle for regular ill-advised.

"Um." I don't like how friendly you're being all of a sudden, and in fact find it creepy. Please return to being enigmatic and brooding.

"I'm just gonna go out here and... make a tent."

"Hm?" He has a stupid-ass smile on his face, which is probably a regular smile but sure looks stupid-ass on him.

"Gods, I don't know. You made a tower, or whatever, right? So if I'm a miracle guy, it should be no sweat to make a tent."

The smile drops immediately away, which was mostly your intention. "I wouldn't-"

"Hey. I thought we were all friends now, Arledge."

It's a bitchy thing to say. It works.

He unsuccessfully attempts to resummon the smile. "It's not that... I mean, you just failed at, uh, doing that, and I'm not sure you're feeling that great..."

"I'm feeling fantastic. Let's do it, huh?"

You walk blindly in the direction you're fairly sure you came in (Arledge winces behind you as you head straight through a vase) until you're satisfied you've removed yourself from the tower. Arledges chases you out, probably saying some things. You've tuned him out.

Now, um, how do you do this?

>Roll me 3 1d100s+1 (+1 Clouded Mind) vs. DC 40.
>Detailed descriptions of intended tent lowers the DC.
Rolled 51 (1d100)

Rolled 66 + 1 (1d100 + 1)

>You walk blindly in the direction you're fairly sure you came in (Arledge winces behind you as you head straight through a vase)
Heeey, how do we know that?

>The tent is covered in flowered quilts, the bottom is made of a soft material. Maybe wool? Wool is nice. It's dry.
>Inside the tent we have an incense burner, smoke curling through the air. Pillows are piled up everywhere in a comfy clutter.
Things in parenthesis are always potentially OOC asides. I can definitely see the confusion; my apologies.
Rolled 76 + 1 (1d100 + 1)


>52, 67, 77 vs. DC 35 (-5 Painted A Picture) - Critical Success!

It's been long enough that I'll count the samefagged roll.

Writing (after I grab dinner real quick). 'Bout time something went right.
>Make a tent.
>Critical Success!

It can't be that hard. You really hope it's not that hard, because you're going to be embarrassed if this fails... and also if Arledge has a sense of humor now(??), you're not going to hear the end of this.

You pace in a roughly tent-sized circle. It's just visualization, right? You just think of whatever and it is the whatever. Easy enough.

You think about a tent.

It ought to be... well, you should start small. The size of your tent right now. All the general tent-type things: stakes and canvas and ropes and so on.

Not canvas, that's boring and it makes weird noises when you roll up against it. But what doesn't, really? Quilts. Not that you've ever ...owned... one, but the guy across the street stole a shipment a few years ago and let you touch a sample. It's not like you have to be constrained to reality, here, or even good taste.

The quilts have flowers on, because sue you, you like flowers.

May as well carry on inside. Sand is horrible, and a quilt wouldn't possibly offer the back support you need. Wool. It'll get wet- it won't get feckin' wet, it doesn't exist. Gods.

As you're considering it, you realize that wool can't actually offer that support, either. You need pillows. And not the grass-stuffed ones, the fancy feather ones. The kind you attempted to make once and only once (it did not end well for you or the cormerant). Shit, this is really coming together. You need, like, an incense burner.

Sue you. You like things to smell good.

Finally, to your utter smug satisfaction, you have a tent. You start to call Arledge over (to gloat), but discover he's been standing behind you, arms crossed. No matter.

"Made a tent."

"You didn't... you didn't make a tent." Shit, he's back to serious. It's for the best.

"I think you're jealous of my bitchin' tent, Arledge. Look how bitchin' this tent is. It has flowers on it."

"If you made a tent, I promise I would be congratulating you on your tent. You didn't." He purses his lips. "Close your eyes."

"It doesn't make any difference if my eyes are closed or not..."

"Just do it, please."

You do.

"Is the tent still there?"

It is, just as bright and crisp and pink-- the color of flowers, okay?-- as you've been seeing it.


"There you go, then. You made a tent in your head. Fairly impressive, but I assume not what you're going for."

>|You gained BITCHIN' TENT.|
>|...In your head. But it's a permanent fixture and very comfortable.|

"Well- I thought I did it right."

"You were on the right track, but A) you have to do it onto something, and B) you can't see anything right now. Is it a nice tent, at least?"

>[A1] It is the best tent that's ever not existed.
>[A2] I don't want to talk about it.
>[A3] Write-in.

>[B1] Well, how are you supposed to do it, Mr. Smartypants?
>[B2] I haven't forgotten about your Deep Secrets.
>[B3] You think there's any way to show you?
>[B4] So who discovered this, anyways?
>[B5] Write-in.
>[A2] I don't want to talk about it.
>[B3] You think there's any way to show you?
>I don't want to talk about it.
>But, like, maybe you could still see it.

"Uh," you sound out, slowly. "It's..."

It's exactly what you wanted it to be, but you're questioning your taste.

"It's, um, something. We don't have to go into the details."

"Well, alright." He sounds faintly amused, again. He must not have a compromise between "inscrutable" and "jolly", because he's firmly back in inscrutable.

"I mean, I don't know if there's a way for you to see it, or..."

"I'm not a mind-reader. Guess you could try making it for real, but it might be a long shot. Or, well."

"You know I'm going to ask about the 'well'. There's no way you don't know that."

"Well, I take back the well. That's your one option."

"No! No take-backs. Fess up, please."

"DON'T do this. Well, you decided to take a jaunt into my head. It could work both ways. DON'T do this."

"That was an accident! Do you think I enjoyed that? Do you think I can reproduce that- not even reproduce, do it the other way?"

"I took it back! I took it back. Oh, uh, I guess I could ask, um." He clams up.

"If you don't want me to ask, don't trail off like you're hiding something."


He digs a criss-cross into the sand.

"...Uh, no sense in drawing it out. You're still in my head."

"I knew it! You said I wasn't, but--"

"You aren't, sorry. The other one. Blue-eyes."

"Make him sound like a dog." You're not super happy with this revelation.

"Do you have anything better?"


"Alright. May I remind you, he tried to murder me. Well, did murder me, but it doesn't work like that. So I kept him behind for questioning. You're a lot alike."

This is the stupidest thing you've heard all day. "Yeah."

"In the ways you don't think you're alike. Anyways, he probably knows more than you do. Could ask him."

>[1] Okay, nevermind. You don't want him to see the tent.
>[2] You guess you could try to make it for real. It's what you were trying in the first place.
>[3] You guess he could ask "you". What have they been talking about, anyways?
>[4] You guess you could try getting him into your head. Somehow. You're curious.
>[5] Write-in.
>[2] You guess you could try to make it for real. It's what you were trying in the first place.

"Firstly," you say. "Can I have me back?"

"No. You're doing fine so far without him, and I need to keep an eye out. Besides, he's useful for information."

"About what? Is he spilling all my secrets to you? I'm gonna whup his ass--"

"You'd lose, I think, and no. But I believe he's more reasonable about information than you are. You get cagey for no reason."

"I do not."

"What pillar are you from?"

"Why do you ask?"

"4. What's your middle name?"


"You don't have a middle name, Ellery. Look, if you were in shambles, I'd be happy to help. Right now, you might be better off without him, and I'm definitely better off with him. What's the secondly?"

You don't remember. "Uh."

"You said 'firstly, blah blah blah.' What else?"

"Well, I didn't say 'blah blah blah'. And, uh... oh. I should probably try to actually, uh, make the tent- not in my head, for real. I mean, it seems important to do, if it's how you see things..."

"I suppose." Arledge looks thoughtful. "They're not really the same thing, though. The idea is that eventually your brain is just able to see the general shape of it and fill in the gaps via your memories or whatnot. You don't usually play an active role in the process."

"I sense a 'but' coming?"

"But you can. I don't really know how best to explain it, but it's... you can't change the shape, but if you stay within the confines you can paint it in, I guess. Like, this tower could be a lighthouse, or a watchtower, or a really skinny house: any sort of tall structure, really. I'm just partial to towers. Eloise is excellent at it, but she won't talk to me."

"So I'd need a tent-shaped..."

"Yes. Uh." He glances around. "I don't see anything at the moment, but tell you what: if I do, I'll let you know and you can make a tent, alright?"

"How can you tell, if they don't exist?"

"They aren't real; they kind of exist. You just feel it after a while."


>[1] "Say, what is the deal with you and Eloise?"
>[2] "Why would I be better off without, uh, 'blue eyes'?"
>[3] "You didn't seem convinced it was the tower, at first. Can things look different to different people?"
>[4] You're not interested in questions. You have a tent in your head, you guess, and this topic needs to be explored further.
>[5] Write-in.
1 while exploring the tent.

Also, a belated
>"He does /not/ know more than me."
Taking a shower. Vote is open until I return.
>Hey, hey. I'm the OG here.

>So, you and Eloise.
>Check out the tent.
>He does NOT know more than me.

"Would you mind if I just, kinda... close my eyes and get a better look at, uh, the..."

"The tent? I mean, I will mind, but you shouldn't let that stop you. Certainly hasn't so far."

You suppose that's a tacit okay on his part. It's good enough for you.

"So you don't mind enough to stop me?"

"I don't think I can stop you... but I suppose that's correct. It's rude, and it's weird, but it's up to you how much you care about those things."

Not very much, you decide, and close your eyes.

"See," he continues. "I don't think Blue-Eyes would've done that. That being said, I don't think he would've done the tent thing in the first place."

You're greeted with familiar red-dark and regret this idea already. The tent is comically, garishly pink against it. You're 90% sure it wasn't like this before.

"So, what. Are you saying he's more polite, or smarter, or-"

"More polite... I wouldn't say more polite. More invested in social norms, maybe."

"Wow, nice dodge of the 'smarter' bit. So you do think he's smarter?"

"Don't put words in my mouth, Ellery." Exasperated. "He's not more intelligent than you. He may be wiser about how he uses it, which I think is the point of him. He said as much."

You're stung. "Seriously? He's not even a real person."

"He used to be."

"Is that supposed to be better?! He's not-- and by the way, there's no way he knows more than I do."

"Uh... in some sense. There's... well, you know when you go somewhere, and you don't remember how you got there?"

"Sure. I drink."

"But you got there, obviously, and unless you were unconscious you know how you got there. It's just not coming to mind."

"Of course."

"From what I understand, um, it's like that. Because you're a person with flaws, you don't know everything you know. He doesn't have that issue."

That's a scary thought. "Oh."

"Mmhm. How's it looking, then?"

You were too preoccupied thinking to pay attention to the tent. "Uh, bright."

Now that you're up close, you're also noticing a surprising lack of details. There's no stitching on the quilts. The ropes are staked firmly into the floor, but aren't taut. It smells like incense, but the sticks aren't smoking. The whole thing is a little disconcerting.

>|Mind: 43/100|

"Bright as in color, or as in amount of light?"


"Were you thinking about the color previously?"


"Probably put yourself in a vicious cycle, then. Thinking about the color being bright made it bright. Did the same with a fish with a few too many eyes-- probably had a thousand by the end. Just stop thinking about it."

"It's hard when it's right behind my eyes," you complain.

"Move it, then. It's your head."

He has a point, and there's no chancein hell you're going to admit it.

"Also, there's no details on it. It looks like the things, and feels like the things, but in a... broad way, I guess."

"Did you think about the details when you tried to make it?"

"Not really."

"I don't know what you expected, then. You get what you pay for. See, Eloise is really good at the detail work."


On the bright side: if you don't look too hard, it's very comfortable and private and your back is adequately supported. It's possible you could spend some time here.

"What's the deal with you and Eloise, anyways?"

"She doesn't like me. I don't know why-- I've been perfectly civil. I'd say she's otherwise nice, but I really haven't gotten the chance to know."

"Has she always not liked you?"

"More or less. It's ramped up recently, though. I suppose you'd have to ask her about it."

Smells like drama. It also smells like incense, or your reconstructed facsimile of incense. They might be the same thing.

That's it for tonight and this thread, folks! Hope you had a good time.

Next thread ETA Thursday or Friday, Saturday max-- I'll announce it in the /qtg/, the Discord, and my Twitter to make sure nobody misses it. I'll work on updating the character sheet in the meantime.

>Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=drowned%20quest

>Twitter: https://twitter.com/BathicQM

>Pastebins (non-D&M are out of date): https://pastebin.com/u/bathicqm

Questions/comments/critiques are always appreciated and welcomed.

Good night!
>to make sure nobody misses it

My ability to miss runs should not be underestimated

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