>Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Bladebound%20Retainer%20Quest>Previous Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2887979/>Twitter: https://twitter.com/TaskForceKaz>Pastebin: http://pastebin.com/u/TaskForceKaz[STATS]>Combat: +++>Social: +>Knowledge: ++[Abilities/Traits/Perks]>Indomitable, Rank 1 [Special]: Ignore the penalties imposed by Blood Loss. Does not negate health loss. >Atelier of Death, Rank 2: Craft your own Bombs and Poisons up to Rank 2 without penalty.>Blutmörder: +10 to Combat Rolls made against Blutlings and Blood Mages.>Fleetfooted: If a Natural One would be among any roll related to acrobatic feats both in and out of combat, immediately disregard it and either take the highest roll or reroll again.>Lone Wolf [Special]: You work best when alone. Take a +15 when fighting by yourself, and a -10 when fighting with more than three allies. Additional ranks increase the bonus, and may decrease the penalty.>In Plain Sight: >+30 to Disguising/Hiding/Sneaking, Take 75 in non-stressful situations >Mind of Steel [Special]: Your experiences have led you to be jaded and cynical. Take a +30 to resist attempts, magical or mundane, to try and influence you (i.e. seduction, intimidation, etc.).>Nimble Fingers 2: +40 to non-attack actions involving your hands (lockpicking, pickpocketing, etc.).>Knowledge: Nobility (Aderaveth): Take a flat 50 to Knowledge rolls concerning this subject. >Knowledge: Underworld (Aderaveth): Take a flat 50 to Knowledge rolls concerning this subject.>Riding, Rank 2: You are able to ride unassisted, and perform rudimentary skills to obedient horses.>Specter’s Dream [SPECIAL]: A technique to allow one to rest while remaining aware of one’s surroundings. (4/8/12 hour intervals each with their own bonuses)>Taste for Magic [Special]: Years of living with a sorceress have instilled a biological reaction in your body whenever you are near magical sources. You can make a Check to identify and distinguish magical auras, with each degree of success yielding additional information.>Underdog: You have spent many years fighting against opponents bigger and heavier than you, and emerged the victor. Against Large humans or monsters (i.e. in excess of 7 ft. of height and 300 lbs of weight), you gain a +10 to Combat rolls.You are Marcus Painel, the troubled son of the late assassin Lucien Painel, dead by your own hands at ten. At the age of eighteen, you have already loved and lost, and the blood of dozens stains your hands a crimson red of retribution. But a chance meeting at the brink of death has found you as the bodyguard to Princess Ellana Crowmond, youngest of the royal family of the Aderaveth Empire. Inducted to her service as her Crownguard, you have sworn to keep her safe from harm by whatever means necessary…(cont.)
In the last thread, you navigated the aftermath of the drakling’s death, and soothed the ire of your princess, who mourned and feared you dead. Now, back on the trail of the Vascieli, you and Silverow deduced that the meeting point of the Drowned Lady not an inn, but a shipwreck down the Anosar river. And in the course of this investigation, you took a woman into your arms, a prostitute named Caris, and spent each other insatiate for the first time since her death…Plans were made to voyage to the Boat Graveyard, but due to an irate and posessive Ellana, you were not permitted to leave. Thus, you find yourself guarding the three Crowmond siblings in the sleepy village of Westholm while the other Crownguard take a boat down the river, to find the rebel contact.And now, the story continues…>>Choose a point in the story to resume:>POV Shift to the Crownguard Expedition. [Combat focus]>Resume with Marcus and the Crowmond siblings. [Politics focus]
>>3204206>POV Shift to the Crownguard Expedition. [Combat focus]
>>3204206>Resume with Marcus and the Crowmond siblings. [Politics focus]
Glad you're not dead Kaz.
>>3204206>Resume with Marcus and the Crowmond siblings. [Politics focus]Want to see both, not much bugged which we see first. Shame im not going to be on long to see it until re-reading tomorrow.
>>3204328>>3204259>>3204211We are locked in for playing as the Crownguard. For this mission, which Crownguard would you like to play as?>Bellatrix Lupine, the Highland Wolf.>Urath the Ingulan, the Silent Hunter.>Raleigh Silverow, the Eye of the Storm.
>>3204360>Raleigh Silverow, the Eye of the Storm.Imagine playing as a girl kek.
>>3204360>Urath the Ingulan, the Silent Hunter.
>>3204360>Bellatrix Lupine, the Highland Wolf.
>>3204360>Bellatrix Lupine, the Highland Wolf
>>3204360>Raleigh Silverow, the Eye of the Storm.we need a feel for what Sparks do, if we're ever going to take advantage of that magic sight perk.
>>3204360>Raleigh Silverow, the Eye of the Storm.
>>3204404>>3204360Changing this to Bell to break the tie.
Vote's called for Bellatrix's POV. Sorry I couldn't call it earlier, had some issues with Chrome that took a while to fix.Writing...
>>3204417>>3204423>>3204425>>3204503>>Winter 76, 238 ACR>>The Highland WolfThe morning air is crisp and cool, blowing down from the distant peaks of the Whrelzwth with the faintest taste of thunder. Every breath is bracing vigor, kindling your blood even as the air bites and pricks within your chest. If not for the scarcity of heather and the absence of the ocean, you might have found yourself at home with every single blink.But it is not the castle of Karthmire Keep that appears in your mind, the citadel fortress you have lived and resided for the last eight years. What you do see is a vast swathe of land, untouched fields and valleys of evergreens and whites, a gorge of twisting mountains and scraggly rock that only a brutish giant could have shaped or found beautiful.It is a land that only flourishes by the blood of its people, a price the Straxine have paid happily for hundreds of years. Life in the highlands is violent, brutal, and rare is the chieftain who has died in his bed. It is all too common to fall against a foe, to have one’s head crushed by the claws of a drakling, to have an Ascomanni berserker tear out your guts, or to be dragged into the depths of Cairnchrom to never be seen again.Once, during his lessons with the princess, the old man went on about how heroes seldom live long. “The candle of their lives is burned at both ends, burning quickly but all the more brighter for enthrall and light the world.”Gnuryll may be the homeland of the Hero-Emperor Maxvell the Great, but its sister Straxhult is, without a doubt, a land of heroes by mere virtue of survival. And it is a land that you will one day return to. Even this journey is but a mere stepping stone to that final and ultimate freedom.Everyone is silent as you bring the boat down the river. Silverow is at the till, eyes watching for clusters of ice and hidden rocks underneath the lazy current. Every so often, he will wave his fingers, and the course of the boat steers away from some threat, seen or unseen. You are on one side of the boat, and Urath is on the other, but both of you carry the oars that propel the vessel forward towards the Boat Graveyard.Three Crownguard to a mission is certainly either an overestimation or a sign of true danger ahead. Not that you would complain. Any opportunity to regain that thrill, to feel the surge of m’ amar crú flowing through your veins…even as it wars with your own duty to protect Adrianna Crowmond.…you have one complaint, actually. The fact that the littlest Crownguard had thrown a fit about Painel and forbade him to come. Urath looked more than happy to stay, but the brat had a good point beyond being a clingy little chit. You’re certainly irritated that he was the one to lead the drakling away, when it was the closest one you’d ever come to fight one.(cont.)
That is to say that you are not displeased with Painel’s success. In fact, you could not deny the concern about his absence, nor the relief of his return. It would be such a long time until the Lord Commander would find someone of his skills and talent. The littlest princess would not be the only one mourning his death.You can’t help but smile, even as an unexpected shift in the current nearly bowls the three of you over. He did promise another spar, didn’t he? The first one only managed to rouse m’ amar crú, and the second was the closest you ever came to satisfying it in the last…gods, it’s been too long.Another thing to look forward to once you return, you suppose.“We’re just about here,” Silverow suddenly declares, gesturing to some unseen point behind the curve of the river, “Just beyond that and we’re at the Boat Graveyard.”Urath grunts in acknowledgement, heaving to turn the boat correctly. “What do you think we will find?”“I’m not sure,” the sorcerer admits, “But we’ll need to be prepared for anything. For all we know, there’s more than one who was supposed to meet the Vascieli captain.”“All the better,” you grin, flashing rows of teeth at the two men, “Hopefully he’ll have lost his cock and the will to fight once we kill all his men.”The Ingulan counters, “Doubt it will be easy like that. Knowing our luck…”“Please don’t hex us before we’ve even gotten off the damn boat,” Silverow demands, snapping his fingers for a final adjustment. And soundlessly, with only the gurgle of the water as the river narrows and the current accelerates, the three of you enter the Boat Graveyard.Occasionally, you might be able to detect the masts, prows and splintered hulls of ships from the last fifty years that were caught by the current and flushed into the lake. There might have even been a station or a house along the shoreline, given the abundant clearing on one side of the water. But everything is rotten, everything is in decay, and the prison of the ice acts both as manacles and coffins for the vessels and their dead.Their faces can be seen, some who’s skin have long since rotted or served as meal for the fish. Others are more recent, still fresh without much decay, their eyes wide and tongues bloated purple, caught in the final throes as they drowned beneath the surging whirlpools of the summer.“…poor bastards,” you mutter as you smash your oar into a corpse that gets too close to the side.Silverow grunts in agreement as he brings the ship towards the inlet in the middle, towards the center and deepest part of the lake, “I’ll support that notion. Now, we just need to find the damned ship…”Whoops, fucking italics.
>>What will you do to search for the Drowned Lady?>Explore deeper into the small island.>Investigate the ruins of the docks.>Swim underneath the ice and water.>Custom option.[CHAR SHEET]>>Bellatrix Lupine>Combat: ++++>Social: +>Knowledge: +>>Anything not immediately pertinent has been either removed for the sake of character limit or censored due to spoilers.[Abilities/Traits/Perks] >Bleeding Strikes, Rank 3: Every attack made with your weapon has a 30% chance to inflict Bleed damage on an enemy.>Chieftain’s Authority, Rank 2[Special]: What is a common man to a chieftain or his kindred? +20 to Social rolls made to resist magical or mundane coercion, and +20 to Social checks made to enforce your will upon others (command, seduce, intimidate, etc.)>Dual Fighter, Rank 4: +10 to Combat Rolls when wielding a weapon in each hand.>Foreigner’s Fangs: +30 to Intimidate, -30 to Diplomacy made against “civilized” individuals.>Hunter’s Senses, Rank 5: +50 to rolls made for Perception in the wild, away from the walls and confines of civilization.>M’ amar Crú (The Bloodsong) [Special]: It drives you wild, the scent of blood, heightening all your senses, to drive you mad with lust and rage…>Moonlight’s Curse [Special]: ???>Speed of the Highlands [Special]: Your ancestors fought with naught but furs, paint and skin, naked against their enemies’ blades, arrows and claws. +30 to Dodge when wearing Light Armor, +40 to Dodge when wearing clothes, +50 to Dodge when unarmored and unclothed.>Riding, Rank 3: You are able to ride unassisted and perform advanced skills to obedient horses.>Wolf’s Blood [Special]: ???
>>3204669>Investigate the ruins of the docks.
>>3204669stable land is probably where we're going to find the lab for making the explosives for the ship, but the island is too exposed. I'm thinking maybe a cave underwater.But since those still need supply routes, let's check the less tinfoily option.>Investigate the ruins of the docks.
>>3204669>Explore deeper into the small island.
>>3204669>>Investigate the ruins of the docks.
>>3204669also>Foreigner’s Fangs: +30 to Intimidate, -30 to Diplomacy made against “civilized” individuals.>Hunter’s Senses, Rank 5: +50 to rolls made for Perception in the wild, away from the walls and confines of civilization.>M’ amar Crú (The Bloodsong) [Special]: It drives you wild, the scent of blood, heightening all your senses, to drive you mad with lust and rage…>Moonlight’s Curse [Special]: ???>Wolf’s Blood [Special]: ???Totally a werewolf.
>>3204805I thought I made it clear that werewolves, vampires, leprechauns and other things of that nature don't exist in this setting!
>>3204820This setting has dragons, high level druids able to create forest titans, and blood drinking gribblies. If Vampires do not exist it's because no one with blood magic has made them yet. Leprecahuns are fae, soooooooo take that for what it is worth.Given the sheer amount of magic behind the scenes a werewolf or skinwalker is highly likely.I just hope she's not a proto-wendigo.
>Investigate the ruins of the docksI mean, if she's drowned...
>>3204820Yes yes of course she's a waifuwolf
>>3204870Hah, no. Did you forget the shit she pulled on us last time?
>>3204876Yeah that was the wolf part.
>>3204672>>3204674>>3204803The three of you split up. Urath takes to investigating the island deeper, vaulting up into the treetops in a neat little feat of dexterity. Silverow walks around the shoreline, careful not to get his robes too wet. The sorcerer mutters to himself, gesturing in a way that makes the skin of your neck crawl, and your teeth ringing unpleasantly. It’s only a simple spell to reveal for magic, but it still gets underneath your skin something awful.“…fucking hexers…” you mutter darkly, stalking off towards the pier in a huff.At one point, the dock might have been able to comfortably house three barges, four if they were able to squeeze together. But now, there is barely enough for one, and it would sit perilously close to the shore just to be moored to the pier. The sturdiest parts of the half-rotted dock seem to only hold on by ancient, rusty nails. Any outlying boards and posts have already been claimed by the depths. The sole proof of their existence are pale shadows just inches below the surface.The air takes on a pungent tone as you draw close, and the cloying, sickeningly sweet stench of rot fills your nostrils. And that primal, wild instinct inside of you wants to crow, to roll in the filth until it covers you like some kind of badge.The dead had that smell, not the dead long since left to turn to dust in forgotten cairns and ivory jars, but the recent dead, the dead not long since they perished. You almost tripped on one of them, a mangled lump of meat buried underneath a foot of snow. The hoarfrost had delayed the rot, but not enough to protect it from the searing gaze of the sun, winter or not. It would putrefy as soon as the weather became warm enough.You offer no particular reverence as you kick the snow off the corpse. It had belonged to a man, no more than thirty years of age. Closing your eyes, you could still smell the beer from the stain on his tunic. A villager, undoubtedly, one from Westholm. There was no mistaking that gods-awful alderman brew.He must have perished no more than a week ago. A few days at the earliest, given how fucking cold this winter’s been. Bending down, you check the tongue and eyes as best you can. Neither of them are bloodshot or purple. This man did not drown. Not unless someone had poured a barrel of water into the large gash across his throat, wide enough to nearly take off his head.Kicking away more of the snow reveals more individuals in sorry states. Some are almost pristine, as if they’d died in their sleep. Others are little more than shards of frozen blood and bone, lumps of chilled meat that stain the shoreline red.What were these men doing here?>You recall Painel’s information.…pilgrims, perhaps? Scared villagers who thought bringing offerings to a dead lady’s shrine would stop the whirlpools, pleading for her vengeful spirit to leave the commoners alone…(cont.)
…or smugglers, perhaps the alderman’s or of a different scheme that were caught by...“...Cruach’s balls,” you curse, making a warding sign across your heart. You’re not sure which one is the worse idea, that there really is a vengeful spirit lurking in the island, or that these idiots, a group of seven grown men, were easily slaughtered by the single Vascieli contact.These men didn’t drown. That much is clear. And nothing seems to have been stolen, not even a single coin from their purses (to which you help yourself to). And there’s not a single clue about their identities beyond the alderman’s shitty beer. Unless…“…if you didn’t drown, then where did you fuckers stash your barge?”But even as the thought crosses your mind, you pick up the trail of something else. For a moment, that crisp, cool air from the mountains washes away the scent of rot and fermentation. And in its place is something else, something that…eases the raw edge inside of you, lulls the worst of your instincts and gives you relief for the first time in as many months, if not years…You spit, snorting and coughing as you clear the stench from your nose. And by the time you’re done, the worst part of you is rearing to go and hunt the bastard down who dared leave hazeleaf lying around.>Roll 1d100+50 Perception.>Best of three.
Rolled 40 + 50 (1d100 + 50)>>3204919What could possibly go wrong?
Rolled 9 + 50 (1d100 + 50)>>3204919rolling>>3204925everything
Rolled 81 + 50 (1d100 + 50)>>3204919>>3204925She tries to fuck the bad guy.
>>3204929>She tries to fuck the bad guy.I must protest this vile slander. I'll have you know that Bellatrix only tries to molest her allies! She always kills her enemies.
>>3204919>These men didn’t drown. That much is clear. And nothing seems to have been stolen, not even a single coin from their pursesObviously it was a mass suicide from violating Hillary Clinton's private email server.
Hey Kaz, check out the Quest remembrance thread. BLadebound is in it. Apparently it's dead!
>>3204996What do you think lit a fire under his ass?
>>3204925>>3204928>>3204929Your hackles are up, and your teeth are grinding something awfully fierce. It’s that smell, that goddamn smell. Worse than hexers, more wretched than witches…too many bad memories, too many sleepless nights because of their kind and ilk…The trees whip past, scratching futilely against your armor as you tear into the inlet without a second glance behind you. Your steps are light, rage giving you grace beyond your brutish strength. The forest is quiet, as quiet as you can make it, and even your armor remains quiet, clanking softly as you catch the wind and simply…run.You run, leaping over fallen trees with the heft of your spear, spinning to avoid the embrace of branches and thorny undergrowth. That wilder part of you, the worst part of your feral nature is content, content to run as far as you can let it. And for a moment, you think to tear off your armor, strip off your leathers and simply run as your ancestors might have in the days before the Dragonic Wars…The taste of hazeleaf is faint, just barely enough to trigger lethargy, just enough for you to track its source. But what kind of blood would the enemy shed once you caught them? Traditions state that a warrior must walk soaked in his enemy’s blood to inherit their power. Would it be a hexer or a sorcerer, pissing and weeping as you bleed the life from their eyes? Or a warrior, same as that Vethic Barbarian, the captain of that expedition…There is only the hazeleaf, and the trail it leads to the end of the trail…your preyThis is a hunt, a hunt that will rid you of your rage, and hopeful, satiate m’ amar crú for a little while longer…just a little while longer until the next time you can fight Painel…and he can coax the Bloodsong to release…There!It is a small pile of snow that you quietly dive into, underneath the large boughs of an elder tree. Quiet and hidden, with ragged breath and throbbing heart, everything snaps back into focus as your eyesight focuses where the scent has led you.The cave is small, barely the size of a peasant’s hut. But it is deep in the island, hidden away by a natural alcove in the rocky hill. The light of the fire is hidden by the sheer angle of the cliff, and whatever is burning leaves no smoke. Your nose wrinkles at the smell and you almost gag. Animal dung as fuel for the fire.But the object of your hunt is right there, a figure poking at the fire with nothing more than a stick. It is nearly formless, shrouded by a cloak so large that determining sex is a futile endeavor. It simply sits there, staring at nothing, keeping itself alone, but unmistakably reeking of that putrid hazeleaf.(cont.)
Your hand tightens around your spear as your instincts roar from within your heart. It’s dangerous, you can tell that much. Hexer, witch, or warrior? It doesn’t matter. The figure is a strong foe, a worthy foe, someone to throw to the worst, darkest, most primal part of yourself without having to worry about the consequences.You could end it right now, you could just simply throw the spear and be done with it. Even if it didn’t nail the bastard to the fucking wall, you still had your sword. And do they even know that the spear is hexed to return to your hand, no matter how far the distance? Painel isn’t the only Crownguard with fancy little hexed weapons…You don’t care about the glory…you don’t need the Urath or Silverow…not when you found the enemy first, to do with as you entirely please…to state that burning need inside of your veins...whose mere existence offends you……whose blood you want dripping all over your body…>Attack the enemy. [Initiate Combat]>Retreat and find the others. [Willpower Check]>Custom option.
>>3205057>Retreat and find the others. [Willpower Check]
>>3205057>Attack the enemy. [Initiate Combat]Seems like what she would do, besides it's just one guy. And Bella is way better than Marcus.
>Retreat and find the others. [Willpower Check]
>>3205057>Attack the enemy. [Initiate Combat]I do not trust her willpower
>>3205065>>3205072>>3205084>>3205089“…I trust that you’ll do the right thing, Bella.”The princess’ voice cuts through the haze of violence like a hot knife through butter. For a brief, momentary instant, the whispers and urging vanish without a trace. And in its place, where there was once an overwhelming bloodlust comes bile in the back of your throat.Is it getting worse? But you’d just had Painel to take care of it…even though you lost, it was still satisfactory for the Bloodsong……no, this is different. Your instincts, your…wilder side demands not simply a satisfactory fight, but a bloody, messy, kill. No matter what you’ll have to do to get it, and even if it means destroying the only lead you have on the Vascieli…“…we all have our skeletons in the closet, Lupine…”The sound of your heart threatens to drown out all and everything else. But no matter how loud it goes, even as your vision begins to blur and your hands grip hard enough for your spear to protest, it is not enough to mask the memoires of two very important people…perhaps the most important people in your life.…you are Bellatrix Lupine…knightess of the Aderaveth Empire…Crownguard to Adrianna Crowmond…exile from the Isle of Strax……and two people believe that you are more than…no…they believe that you are not just a bloodthirsty monster.So for their sake…it’s only decent that you try to repay their faith with an effort of your own."Get out of my fucking head!">Roll 1d100+20 (+20 for Chieftain’s Authority)>Best out of three.
Rolled 12 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>3205153Oh boy I can't wait to turn into a giant wolf.
Rolled 38 (1d100)>>3205153Honestly, probably would've voted for attack if I was here earlier. Oh well.
Rolled 9 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>3205153
I guess she is a bloodthirsty monster. Oh well.
Rolled 4 + 20 (1d100 + 20)lmao
Rolled 59 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>3205153Woof woof
Rolled 87 + 20 (1d100 + 20)I heard you were fucking up
Uh...okay, I think I'll take an OOC moment to clarify what constitutes as what will be counted in the pool for "best of three". Consider this official rules for any of my games.1. The post MUST be linked to the relevant post that asks for the roll.>> Any posts that are not linked are discounted for the pool.2. The post must have the proper modifier, regardless of whether or not it is positive or negative. I will not retroactively add the modifier after the roll has been made.>>Any posts that do not have the modifier will not be counted for the pool.Any other rules or clarifications, please don't hesitate to let me know....hmmm, do people really wanna see Bella just let loose? I could move forward with the technical success, but that would just be applying rules ex post facto, so...
Rolled 79 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>3205153>>3205218Fine, reroll.
>>3205218Eh do whatever you feel
>>3205218Eh, looks fine. So a 79 for not fucking up since only the 12, 9 and 59 count.
>>3205218You're just doing that cause you don't want Bella to fail you cuck. All because you want her to dropkick your taint.
>>3205226Can you blame him though?
Hmmm...I'll be committing to the original three rolls. Consider this my lesson learned.Writing...>>3205226>>3205230I actually hate redheads.
>>3205234Establish the rules in the OP. Not the real OP, but the post after it, you know what I mean.
>>3205165>>3205168>>3205185...and like a breath in the dead of winter, that fleeting moment of calm disappears into the ether. It is all you can do to create a haven in that darkness, a small, tiny corner of your mind as a last bastion of sanity..."What use is a girl upon the field of battle but for chattel and prize?"The blood in the enemy's veins, the sound of his heart pumping it underneath his robes...you can hear it, you can almost taste and smell it...how it would feel gliding against your naked flesh..."This will make you strong...you will never have to fear anything again..."A rasping breath, the sound of armor groaning as you double over coming down on all limbs. Spear in your hands, a singular claw to pierce and strike. A mouth stretched wide, a maw to rend and tear. Eyes too wide to see everything, nostrils flared to smell everything, tongue lolling, savoring the taste of the moment before battle..."Airitech, tha sinn gad ghairm...Airitech, tha sin gad ghairm, Madah Mòr..."...no, this is not Bellatrix Lupine, a knightess of amber-golden eyes, protector of a maiden on the cusp of womanhood?"THOU ART NOW MINE CHILD, AND SCION OF MINE BLOOD."...what else could this be but a monster with a crimson gleam, a wild beast without a care beyond bloodshed?>Roll 1d100 + 60 Combat. (+40 Stat, +20 Blood-Drunk)>Best out of three.
Rolled 42 + 60 (1d100 + 60)>>3205306Watch us dab on this roll.
Rolled 86 + 60 (1d100 + 60)>>3205306
Rolled 21 + 60 (1d100 + 60)>>3205306
>>3205309>>3205310>>3205319The Vascieli has barely any time to react. At one moment, you’re crouched, still in that snowbank as it prods at its fire. And in the next instant, you’re in the air, screaming something unholy at the top of your lungs as you aim your spear right at its heart. Sparks fly and ashes scatter as the Vascieli dodges the attack, rolling into the fire pit. Cursing in what is unmistakably a man’s voice, he tears off the burning cloak and throws it away.“What the hell is this?” he demands, almost incredulous at what he sees. Any saner, and you might not have blamed him. But you might have asked him the same. His armor is well-crafted, his weapons well-maintained, too expensive to be bought with a mere rebel’s “salary”. Even as he draws his sword, he continues, “Who the hell-”Your answer comes as a wicked stab. He retreats further into the cave, finally drawing his sword. By the time he even brings his buckler up to counter, it is all he can do to parry or avoid any of your blows. His mace is too short, and the little trick blades on his buckler have no way to come close to your spear’s reach.Now this is a warrior! A worthy opponent to kill in a fight to the death! Your blood sings in glee, and you howl in unrestrained joy. No more are you bound by petty rules, oaths of chivalry and meaningless promises to those who hold your leash.Your strength is unfettered, the fragile chains holding you back have been dashed and sundered. The only loyalty you have is to your body, and satisfying the desires and wants it demands. Only the strong for you, for the battlefield and the bedroom, and the weak on days when you desire to release your anger. Willing or not, they will submit to your power.He only recognizes you when you come up on your feet. The symbol on your armor is impossible to miss, and his eyes go wide. Surprise turns to alarm, before quickly ceding to rage.“Crownguard whore! “ he growls, discarding his mace and drawing a sword, “I should have known that Aurgvarr was too-”No breaks, no pause, no time for talking! The time for words can come later, once you’ve broken the man across your blade. It will not be until he cannot swing his blade that you will grant him a stay from combat…until his execution.Your attacks are a blur, a hornet’s stinger at the end of a wooden shaft. His armor is of quality make, imported steel from beyond the Empire’s borders, but it still has its weak points. Joints, neck, upper arms, thighs. By the time the last bit of the fire pit has died, the man is already bleeding from dozens of small cuts.You are wounded as well, but only in the most superficial of ways. Head wounds are always the ones that bleed the most, even for a shallow cut against the forehead. The scent of your blood wafts past your nose, its taste stains the edge of your lips. It is rejoicing. There's no mistaking that taste.(cont.)
Snarling, the Vascieli says, “Enough, you damned…woman!”He raises his buckler, as if to charge with both sword and shield. But he smirks, shouting as some mechanism within the shield makes an audible CLICK. They are too fast, the little blades that are spat out from the mouth of the wolf emblem. The blades are wicked things, barbed rods of iron that could easily pin a melon to the wall, savage and cruel weapons to match the motif on his person.This pup dares to call itself a wolf? When it must resort to petty tricks to win a fight?! No wonder he thought this might actually kill you! The whelp must be taught a lesson before he can challenge his betters.Your wilder half is more wicked, more savage and cruel. His face falls as you dodge the first one, tilting your head to avoid the rod. It turns to horror as you let the second stab into your stomach, punching through the Crownguard armor. The force of the blow makes you stumble backwards, even as the barb wobbles messily in your guts. “…I almost died, you pretender!” That voice is a gleeful roar, a guttural and hoarse declaration brought about by laughing through the entire fight. “I almost climaxed as well!”He lunges at you with the sword, but you parry that away with an almost careless strike of your spear. The counter brings the haft around in a nasty CRACK that sends the man sprawling backwards.You close the distance as he draws his dagger. It is a desperate attack aimed towards your blood-drunk eyes. The taste of oil and iron fills your mouth as you clamp down upon the blade. And then, to both his shock and yours…the sane part at least, you grind down, and the blade simply…shatters.The Vascieli is so shocked that he fails to react as you spit flects of metal into his face. He does, however, notice the shortsword that plunges into his shoulder, scrapping against the collarbone to pin him against the dirt. His roar of pain echoes in the cave, but he makes no move to resist as you strip him of his weapons, and dispose of the wolf regalia.“…in the end…” the voice snarls, mere inches away from his face and with bloody spittle dripping down, “…you’re not even a pup.”…this one isn’t worthy of your bed. But you can “consume” him just as well enough as any of Straxine might. Bathe in his blood and wear the stuff for a day. Honor your enemy by taking his spirit and power unto yourself, so he may fight on as well.You won't even need to kill him...yet, anyway. And even if he passes...there's no shortage of information on his person. Scrolls, folios, even a journal...Painel might find this more useful in the bastard's death than he might in life!And maybe, maybe...he'd be willing to satisfy both of your lusts...>Attempt to reassert control. [Willpower Check, +10 Bonus]>Perform the Straxine Ritual. [Steal Perks from the Enemy]>Torture for information. [Your duty with a little savagery~]>Custom option.
>>3205477>Attempt to reassert control. [Willpower Check, +10 Bonus]>Torture for information. [Your duty with a little savagery~]
>>3205477>Attempt to reassert control. [Willpower Check, +10 Bonus]
>>3205477>>Attempt to reassert control. [Willpower Check, +10 Bonus]
>>3205477>Perform the Straxine Ritual. [Steal Perks from the Enemy]we're already well past NOPE, control without tactical advantage isn't that great.This way at least, we get the vascieli fucking terrified.
>>3205477>>Perform the Straxine Ritual. [Steal Perks from the Enemy]I have no idea what this is, but I want to see it.
>>3205632>>3205638Ritual = kill, bathe in blood and wear foes armor.
>>3205412>The symbol on your armor is impossible to miss, and his eyes go wide. Surprise turns to alarm, before quickly ceding to rage.>“Crownguard whore! “Stupid fucking bitch went there with Crownguard armor on?! WTF?!
>>3205477>Perform the Straxine Ritual. [Steal Perks from the Enemy]
>>3205477>>Torture for information. [Your duty with a little savagery~]Man this is so over the top
>>3205477>Torture for information. [Your duty with a little savagery~]
>>3205477>Perform the Straxine Ritual. [Steal Perks from the Enemy]Torture is unreliable anyways.
>>3205477>Attempt to reassert control. [Willpower Check, +10 Bonus]Bel's probably not even the best torturer.
>>3205632>>3205638>>3205752>>3206319This basically fucks over the entire point of doing this in the first place. We lose all information from our only lead.
>>3206353It's what the character would do.
>>3206353>You won't even need to kill him...yet, anyway. And even if he passes...there's no shortage of information on his person. Scrolls, folios, even a journal...Painel might find this more useful in the bastard's death than he might in life!Still that's no reason to not try and get more.
>>3206353One. She's out of control. Why would she give a fuck?Two. I don't understand how she get bonus when she fucked up so badly.Three. Why torture is an option without regaining control?Four. I don't like taking control of side character because of shit like this. That decision should not be decided by majority but by our rolls. I don't like picking side characters decision because most anons will pick one that affect MC in best fuckin way. OBVIOUSLY! So we lose drama and interaction between characters for min maxing, for the sake of MC.
>>3206356All 3 options would be what the character would do.>>3206364Forgive me if I won’t trust an unreliable narrator at her word.
>>3206435> All 3 options would be what the character would do.Then why are you judging me for picking one of said options?
>>3206353see >>3205632There ARE advantages to acting impulsively and intuitively, and given how much noise we've made, we've already eliminated most of the advantages to moving cautiously.And torture is always dodgy.
>>3207346Not to mention that my the sound of it she'll have more control later when it could be more important.Really it's looking ahead for her to keep her head.Plus the power boost.Anyways nothing saying we can't torture him THEN perform the ritual.If we just promise to let him live on it's not really much of a lie since he'd live on as part of her.
>>3205486>>3205500>>3205504>>3205550>>3206334…you are better than this.Even as you slice through buckles, strip armor and weapons, that thought does not leave you. His blood is in the air, a pungent odor that irritates your senses. Hazeleaf you smell, but not only that damned hexer’s plant. There are many other scents, so many other concoctions, narcotic corruption that flows through his veins. Though not as potent as to render him incoherent, like the men you rode down just the other day, it is still a gross offense. His blood is not fit for consumption.And in that moment of clarity, that second of hesitation when the wildness pauses, you seize your chance and wrestle with it once more.You are the master. It is but the steed that guides you to victory.Indulge not in the Bloodsong, indulge not in the curse, even as it might tempt you with such inhuman sweetness and pleasure beyond mortal comprehension. You are better than what he had forced upon you, what the clan did to its daughter...If not for your own sake, then come back for theirs. Come back so that the children will live beyond the next day, when you bring the Vascieli broken and bloodied as a prize before their feet. Come back so that you will fight alongside your pack, your companions, as a human, and not a beast…Come back so that she might entrust her back, her hair, her delicate comb, to you once more…two women before a mirror as they prepare for the day…A Straxine must be strong. You are strong, even while not in the throes of Bloodsong, even without the aid of someone’s blood to add to your own power. And it would be disgraceful for a highlander to let something else ride roughshod in their own flesh, blood and bone.If this is your fate, then so be it, until you find a cure for what ails you, a hammer to strike the curse from your flesh.But until such a time comes…you are the master, not the steed. And you will fight at every turn no matter how unruly it gets, no matter how sweet its siren song beckons for surrender...>Roll 1d100+30 Willpower (+20 Chieftain’s Authority, +10 Circumstance)>Best out of three.
Rolled 63 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>3207684Nat 1 Baby!
Rolled 6 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>3207684I'll roll the 1, let's turn into a giant wolf and eat this fucker.
Rolled 65 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>3207684Rollan>>3207688Watch and learn
>>3207697>>3207694>>3207697Man we suck at calls
>>32077026 is close.
>>3207708I will give you that. You're the best of us.
>>3207688>>3207694>>3207697…then until next time, child…Coming back is always the hardest part. The world is a burst of colors, a display of things that man could not normally see. You smell the noise of distant birds, taste the colors of metal, and that burst of sensation drives a wedge into your skull. You hold back your nausea, swallowing bile as the numbness in your limbs recedes to the warmth of your touch.The Vascieli is still beneath you. In that thing’s haste to rend and tear, the rebel’s head had been smashed into the cave. Unconscious and heavily bleeding from the lump on his head, but still breathing and quite alive. He will live to squeal like a pig at the hands of your companions.All that is left to address is the iron stake in your stomach. Prodding and poking reveals no shit, no bilge or shit from your guts and stomach. The pain is agony, a burning chill lodged hard in the meat of your body. It does not come to the worst you’ve ever felt. When you get back to the village, you will treat it then.All that remains is to return to the beachhead, and reunite with the others…whichever comes first. Binding his hands and feet, you depart from the cave with your prize following and lolling ignominiously in the snow, dragged along by a length of rope.Even as you kick yourself for succumbing in the middle of something as important as this, you can’t help but marvel at the little buckler on his wrist. Part of the victor’s right is conquest of the spoils of battle. This bastard is already a dead man…being dragged, so who better than to repurpose the pup’s regalia than the Highland Wolf?But a sudden noise from the trees interrupts your mood. In an instant, you drop the rope and bring your spear to bear. You are not alone, and there is something else here with you…something downwind from your scent-“Lupine!”From the high bough of an elder tree, a red mass descends to the ground. It is Urath, breathing hard and eyes smoldering. Of immediate notice is his bow, unstrung for travel, then the sight of his quiver. It only contains half of the arrows it had when you set off down the river.The Ingulan is silent at first, eyes taking in the sight of you, your prisoner, then back to you. He drops his bow, rushing to your side in an instant. “You are injured.”You shrug, ignoring how the muscles pull at your wound. “The other guy is worse off,” you hiss through gritted teeth, “…didn’t expect to see you here this quickly.”“I did not know he was here,” the man says.“…aw, you worried about me?” you say past gritted teeth, and with a lightness that churns your gut into a further mess.The look he gives is sobering. “…can I not be?” Then, he reaches into his belt. “Drink this. Ingulan tonic will ease and dull the pain.”“…you lost that right a long time ago,” you quietly answer, even as you take the bottle from his offered hand.(cont.)
With a single motion, you pry the cork off with your teeth and down the contents of the bottle. Gasping and spitting at the sour taste that runs down your throat, you glare at him, grousing, “But I’m fine, thanks for asking…”“No you are not,” he says, retrieving his bow, “…but I will accept that you are, in spite of your…relapse.”“…yeah, it’d be real awful of you to lose a hunting partner, wouldn’t it?” Ingulan tonics? Big words for nothing more than strong alcohol with powdered yarrow. “Especially with all the progress we’ve made.”“I do not ask you to accompany me,” he retorts bitterly, “It is my quest to make him answer for his crimes.”“…but you’re not exactly telling me to fuck off either.” His quest, now that’s rich, considering how many fires you’ve both pulled each other’s asses out of. But you shake your head, ridding yourself of bittersweet memories of better times. “…so, since this clearly ain’t a pleasure visit…and you’re halfway out of arrows…and where the fuck is Silverow?”Urath snorts. “One question at time. But…there is a problem at the beach. More enemies than just this one.”Huh. More enemies than this bastard, and enough to warrant half of his quiver? Things are definitely taking a turn for the worst, even after you’ve come out of a bad relapse. “…and you’re not with Silverow because…?”“In his words…’I can handle it’,” he mimics the former noble without trying too hard to pass as genuine.In spite of your lukewarm relationship with the sorcerer in question, you snort. Or maybe it’s the alcohol loosening your tongue and lightening your mood. “Classic Silverow…”“Can you run?” he asks.“No, but I’m going to,” you declare, handing the rope to Urath. The pain is gonna hit worse by the time you’re done, but you’ll be damned if you’re going to leave Silverow by himself. “Take care of this guy, will you? Not all of us can leave comrades to fend for themselves.”A low blow, but he ignores it, smirking instead as he looks to the trees. “I will be with you shortly. Just need to find thick, high enough branch for our friend to sit in for short time…”Crazy Ingulan bastard…but hold on.“Oi, you never did say what we’re up against!” you call as he begins to hoist the man into the air. He’s thrown the chain over a branch as thick as a barrel, and the Vascieli’s already ten feet off the ground. “Rebels, bandits…angry farmers?”This time, his eyes betray no jocular emotion. He’s as serious as he’ll ever be. “...and I thought this was the necromancer responsible. It seems we are both wrong.”…aw, shit.(cont.)
>>The Wraith of Black AlleyIn the end, Pullman decided to think about the issue, but he seemed more willing to compromise than not. The landgraff is a proud man, befitting of someone bearing the heraldry of an eagle. But he is also a just man. He will, perhaps, ask von Roie permission to deal with the contact once both noble and rebel return to Westholm. The man will settle for no less than to punish the one who slandered his knights and name by with his own two hands.You would be a hypocrite to disapprove…not that you do. If there is anything worth doing, then it must be done by one’s own hands. No matter how bloody the act might be.Still, it seems that the landgraff of the Vale must rest. The remainder of the short time passes with small, banal talk between the children and their uncle, with nothing of import beyond the occasional entreaty for gifts or other small pleasures. Within minutes, Ser Hagenson is politely, but firmly, ushering you out from the landgraff’s tent and back into the cold outside.The camp is certainly quieter than when you arrived. For one, there is a noticeable absence of coupling, faked or genuine, and more than one red-faced man quailing at Adrianna’s glare. Word must have gotten around that the Crowmonds had come to visit their uncle. Perhaps even the most lusty knight would lose courage if the noise of their fucking offended the princess’ ears.On the journey back, the pockmarked squire, whose name you learn to be Reolus, makes no mistakes in guiding the cart. A smooth, uninterrupted ride across the field, over the bridge and back into the town proper without as much as a jolt or a bump. The threat banning his advancement to knighthood seems to have had a permanent affect, not that the boy seems to know that Adrianna was bluffing…or was she? She does not strike you as being that petty about creature comforts.Returning to the village, you guide the Crowmonds back into the alderman’s house, nodding to the sentries and shutting the door. One of the servants has already started a fire, so the royals do not have to wait long before they are sufficiently warmed. Lunch will be shortly served, roast quail and rabbit stew, courtesy of Alderman Giso…who is away on business to his brewery.Thus, with the visit of their Uncle Pullman completed, and with Adrianna declaring it to be “too cold” to venture and explore, the four of you settle in for a long, extended stay indoors…>>Select two of the Crowmonds to entertain for the day.>Adrianna [Politics and Nobility].>Allanus [Magic and History].>Ellana [Alchemy and Healing].
>Allanus [Magic and History].
>>3208091>Ellana [Alchemy and Healing]I'll never not pick my waifu.>Allanus [Magic and History].Is this a panzer commander option?
>>3208091>Allanus [Magic and History].>Ellana [Alchemy and Healing].
>>3208091>Ellana [Alchemy and Healing]>Adrianna [Politics and Nobility].
>>3208091>Adrianna [Politics and Nobility].>Ellana [Alchemy and Healing].
>>3208099>>3208091Reading comprehension? What's that?Add>Ellana [Alchemy and Healing].
>>3208091>Allanus [Magic and History].>Ellana [Alchemy and Healing].We don't really spend that much time with the prince.
Vote called for Allanus and Ellana. Writing...
>>3208091>Allanus [Magic and History].>>Ellana [Alchemy and Healing].Tasty, tasty roya-i mean exposition
>>3208099>>3208187>>3208119>>3208120>>3208132>>3208165>>3208259>>3208376>>Ellana Crowmond>Darkroot, [1/5]: +10 roll to anything related to identifying poisonous herbs, plants, etc.>Lifeguard, [3/5]: +30 to anything related to identifying curative herbs, plants, etc.The visit to Landgraff Pullman seems to have improved Ellana’s mood. She is no longer displaying any of the sullenness or anger from the day prior. The princess is just as cheerful and kind as she would be on any other day, all too eager to open another book on alchemy and peruse its contents.It would be a lie to say you are completely relieved of the change. You doubt that her protest, ill-delivered as it had been, is coming from any deeper, underlying issue. She did have a point about your recklessness to keep her alive, but you resolve to keep a close eye on her. Just in case.“You aren’t hurt anywhere are you?” Ellana asks as you seat yourself beside her. “They said that the drakling fell from such a terrible height.”Offering her a slight smile, you shake your head. “Your concern is appreciated, but I am fine. I have nothing more serious than some purpling bruises and skinned palms. The beast is an even more unruly mount than that daft horse they saddled me with, and the skin of my hands is a fair trade for not falling from its back.”“But you’re in pain, are you not?”It would be a lie to say you aren’t, but you won’t have her fussing too much about them. “Just a little, but nothing that would seriously keep me confined to a bed. I am more than able to carry out my duty, your highness…”For a brief instant, you see something in her eyes darken at the mention of your duty. But it fades quickly as she nods, seemingly pleased with what you have to say. “Good! Now, your current duty is to teach me about the art of alchemy, is it not?”Perhaps it’s best not to make a fuss about it. At least, not with her siblings nearby. Adrianna has their brother going over arithmetic and history with a keen and strict eye. When the two of you are alone, then and only then will you have a very long talk about it. “Yes, that’s right.”“So what are we going to learn today?” she asks, stretching for one of the leather-bound tomes. “More poisons, then? Healing salves and tonics? Claudia let me examine the tools of her kit, and I helped measure out ingredients for simple reactions…and she shared stories about her father's experience as War Alchemist to one of my father's campaigns...”>>What will you teach the princess today about?>You will teach her about the art of bomb-making.>You will teach her about curative and restorative herbs.>You will teach her about toxic and poisonous herbs.>Custom option.
>>3208476>>You will teach her about curative and restorative herbs.
>>3208476>You will teach her about the art of bomb-making.
>>3208476>You will teach her about curative and restorative herbs.
>>3208476>You will teach her about curative and restorative herbs.Bombs are too overt to get a pass for her.
>>3208476On second thought, changing my vote>>3208505to >You will teach her about curative and restorative herbs.
>>3208476>You will teach her about toxic and poisonous herbs.
>>3208482>>3208490>>3208538>>3208561Vote called for curative herbs.Can I please get a Knowledge check to see if the lesson sticks?>Roll 1d100+20 Knowledge.>Best of three.
>>3208476>Lifeguard, [3/5]: +30 to anything related to identifying curative herbs, plants, etc.Knock this out first.Pic related, Ellana at 16 when Marcus still hasn't gotten the hint.I tried to find a photo of when Chio-chan started to accept that the MC was literally retarded about things, but this was the closest.
Rolled 24 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>3208616Today I will prove that praying to avoid nat 1 causes nat 1.>Please no nat 1
Rolled 99 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>3208616
Rolled 13 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>3208616
>>3208625Fuck yeah I'm the boss.
>>3208621Ah, dammit. Now I'm sad because season two FUCKING NEVER.
>>3208624>>3208625>>3208626It could have been anything, really. Is it your particular teaching method on this particular day? Or the way that Ellana throws herself into studying, brute-forcing her way to understand when heuristics or simple tricks will not work. Regardless of the catalyst, no pun intended, it seems that the princess takes to your lesson with extreme gusto.>Ellana’s Lifeguard skill has progressed to [4/5]>She will now gain +40 to identifying curative herbs and tonics.>Upon maxing her skill, there is a chance her skill may Mutate.>Skill Mutation occurs during critical successes for certain stat Checks.>Mutation is the process of a Skill becoming enhanced or otherwise turning into the next tier of a skill without any other checks.“…thyme, clove and garlic to prevent wounds from being fouled and turning putrid,” Ellana dutifully recites as you quiz her on her lesson. She puffs her chest out smugly as you observe full marks for the seventh time in a row. “Peppermint and valerian for muscle cramps, dandelion and milk thistle to support the liver!”“And full marks to her highness,” you note, setting down the book. “Well done. If you decide to stop being a princess, there would be no shortage of villages and cities in need of an herbalist or apothecary.” She beams at your praise. “So does that mean-”“If I let you anywhere near my kit, let alone my cutting knife, during any of my procedures, your sister would have my head on a platter,” you dryly counter, and she pouts at that. There is nothing inherently wrong with teaching her old wives’ wisdom or how to otherwise know the functions of plants beyond their aesthetic appearance. Poisonous herbs would certainly be pushing it, but proper alchemy is still off the table…for now, at least.Besides, your alchemy is not that of Claudia’s, or the sanctioned alchemists of the Empire. Your art, unrecognized by any formal authority, is more suited for death and other morbid things. Completely unnecessary for a princess to learn.“There are so many herbs that do so many things,” Ellana says, aimlessly flipping through the book without any aim. “…why is there no single weed that cures everything?”"A truly ponderous question for philosophers and priests,” you reply, “But I chose to think that it is just the way things are. And it’s not like we cannot process or otherwise convert reagents into placentas and powerful curatives. There are a great many deal of potions that can cure a great many deal of things.”Like Godess’ Tears, you think, with only a small amount of guilt. A potion that costs tens of thousands of aurums, created with ingredients so rare that only Grand Masters of alchemy can brew or know its proper measurements. A potion used for royal emergencies…used to save your life.(cont.)
The potion is not just some mere tonic. There is magic within that liquid. Nothing else could explain how the worst of your wounds staunched themselves, how it knit your flesh together in a time that would have taken months to heal. And how it drove away the cold, filled your body with warmth and life…both a miracle of alchemy and an act of magic you’ll never forget.Palme must have given her quite the scolding…oh, dear gods. The Empress would have thrown such a fit. A potion exclusively for her own injuries, something so expensive that’s out of reach even from a majority of the landed nobility…used on some bloody commoner from the poorest slum?…you would like to think that you’ve more than paid back that investment.But she doesn’t think the same way. In fact, Ellana is not thinking about that night at all. Instead, her demeanor changes, and her pride and coquettish petulance give way to melancholy.Gazing forlornly at a beautiful illustration of herbs, tracing the paths of their stems with her fingers, she exhales, sadly, “…but no potion to cure my father, it seems…">Ask if she wants to talk about it.>Change the subject to something else.>Custom option.
>>3208811>Ask if she wants to talk about it>Custom option: emphasize that she should talk about it if she wants to
>>3208811>Ask if she wants to talk about it.
>>3208816>>3208824>>3208825>>3208864>>3209011Sometimes, you are too quick to forget that Ellana is not just any noble lady, not some lordling count’s daughter or an archduke’s heiress. She is an Imperial princess, and her father is the Emperor of Aderaveth. The blood of Maxvell the Great flows through both of their veins, and for two hundred years, their family has ruled over the empire the Crimson Tyrant forged.But here, her words are not the stiff, artificially cultured words from one noble to another. Hers are simply that of a worried daughter greatly troubled and concerned about her ailing father.“…would you like to talk about it?” At her look, you elaborate further, “Only if you wish to.”There is no one else in the room. Her siblings had departed to get stew from the servants. There is no one who would otherwise interrupt your conversation…but just to be sure, you check outside for servants and throw more logs into the fire. There is no one nearby. The fire is merrily blazing in the hearth, hissing and popping as veins of sap ignite, splitting under the heat of the flames.Ellana chews on her lip, mulling the decision over in her little head. It seems that beyond your little issue as her protector and Yaya’s tirade, there are a great many things that weigh on the little princess’ mind. “…mother doesn’t like to talk about it,” she eventually says, slumping down on the table. Her gaze betrays nothing as she stares at some undefined space on the wall. “All I know is that father has been ill for some time…”Nearly two years, but the specifics escape you. By the time her mother assumed regency of the throne, you were still a little gutter rat in the slums of Karthmire. The man has been bedridden for the last two years. Certainly enough time for people to suspect the worst and conspire about the reason for the cloak-and-dagger play.There’s no obvious reason to think how the empire would benefit by faking such a thing, or otherwise covering up his death. Such things never affected you until very recently.“…your father is not the first sovereign to take leave due to illness,” you comfort her.“No, he isn’t,” she admits, “But mother won’t permit any of us to see him. The only ones allowed into his chambers are herself, Lord Commander Palme…and our Yaya. Even Ansell can’t get in.”Disconcerting as that is, it at least confirms that the man is still alive. But that might just make things worse. Adrianna and Allanus seem to be able to live without worrying too much about the emperor’s illness. And the brief moments you had with Emeron, he doesn’t appear to be that irritated beyond his mother, not him, serving as regent of the empire. If anything, the crown prince is all the more happier that she’s calling the shots.Then the question becomes: what separates Ellana from her siblings?(cont.)
“When was the last time you saw him?” you gently ask.She replies without lifting her head: “Just before I was being sent to foster with the von Roies…nearly three years ago.”Gods above and below. That certainly might explain things.As if in response to the look on your face, she hurriedly responds, “I-it’s not that bad, really. Fostering is normal, and I still remember lots of things that we did before I left. I’ll have you know I have a good memory, Marcus.”“Of course, your highness.”But the vigor is quick to leave her, and she lapses into melancholy once more. “…I remember his voice, the feeling of his hands on my head and shoulders…how itchy his chin was when he didn’t shave…”You remain quiet as the princess rambles, going on about impressions, sensations, vistas from her earliest years. And therein lies the difference: her siblings have had time to both be fostered and have solid memories with their father. But the same could not be said about your charge.“Uncle Alistair would write letters,” Ellana says, gazing towards the fire, “Talking about his demesnes, imperial business and other functions of the crown. But he always made time for me to dictate something for me, no matter how small or boring it was. And…I can’t help but think that he never got to read beyond the first few months of my stay.”“I’m sure your mother would have read them to him-”“And I’m sure she would have,” she agrees, sourly, “…which is why I had separate messages for her and father.”…another point of contention for another day, you suppose.“Then you want to learn medicine for your father’s sake?” you ask. Even though the best healers and ingredients are at your family's beck and call? is the question that goes unasked. "You've a long way to go before you're brewing anything beyond tea...permitting your sister lets us."Her brow twitches at the mention of Adrianna, but she shrugs in response to the question. “It was something on my mind, even before that stupid Yaya read her stupid bones. Now I have a whole family to be scared of loosing. But…at least learning about healing herbs and plants and restoratives didn’t make me feel so…helpless. Or useless. It showed that I…” Ellana has to pause, checking the door before she continues, “…it shows that I hadn’t just forgotten father.”>Assure her that her siblings are not as callous as she thinks.>Distract her by changing the subject to something lighter.>Suggest that her father would be touched by her efforts.>Custom option.
Also last post before I sleeeeeeeeeep
>>3209076>>Assure her that her siblings are not as callous as she thinks.>If the empress has gone to these lengths, then that means it is her decision for you siblings to focus on matters of the kingdom. It may not be that they agree, but active infighting within the Royal Family does not make for a stable kingdom.>I could not say if the Empress is right or not; I do not exactly have experience as a mother. All I can say is that I approve of dedicated learning: whatever you choose to do, it is better than sitting around stewing in frustrations.
>>3209076>Custom option.Teach her poisons. >"Don't forget his enemies either"
>>3209104>>3209076This is surprisingly good.
>>3209076>Distract her by changing the subject to something lighter.LiGHtEr TOne
>>3209731That was Moloch
>>3209104>>3209159>>3209266>>3209408>>3209487>>Assure her that her siblings are not as callous as she thinks.Ellana makes a derisive noise in the back of her throat. “Then they do a good job of hiding their concern. I’ve never seen Adrianna begging mother to see father, or Allanus trying to sneak into his chambers. Emeron is still busy keeping the imperial peace, but at even he makes some effort to try and butt heads with mother over access to his bedside.”You pause to think over your words. Then, you say, “Your siblings have other responsibilities as well, beyond concern for your father. As you said, your brother leads his Silver Knights to keep the peace-”“And my sister is too busy concerned about which dress goes best with which cloak and jewelry,” she counters, “And my brother…all of us are worried about his control…fledgling and barely existent as it is.”“Magic is not a gift as much as it is a burden of responsibility, taking years to master…”“And he treats it like a toy,” she sighs, and the both of you remember the near-fire that happened in Alnerwich’s great hall. Silverow would have thrown a fit, but that foppish Patryck Mazur was an idiot for encouraging the prince to show off with parlor tricks.Tentatively, slowly, you place a hand upon her shoulder, squeezing lightly as she looks up from the table. “I seem to recall that you had no desire to grow up quickly. Why are you in a hurry to burden yourself with responsibility?”Ellana pouts. “That’s cheating.”“Simply the effect of a good memory,” you counter, and she sticks her tongue out in response. Continuing, you elaborate further, “But if your mother has gone to such lengths...I would believe that she does not wish for you to worry.”“But how could I not worry,” she grouses, sitting up in her chair, “When she is tight-lipped about father’s condition and forbids us from seeing him?”Silence. Inhaling, you intone, “…I do not have exactly any experience as a mother…nor as someone who ever had a mother. But I would think that the burden of your father’s illness is one the empress insists on bearing alone. She does not wish to bother you.”She stares, before shaking her head. “Bother us…bother me? How is caring about father a bother to her?”“Not a bother,” you correct hastily, raising a hand in supplication, “But…a concern, a worry. It is her duty to be directly responsible for his wellbeing, and not his children’s.”“…how noble of her,” Ellana eventually declares, “But is it necessary to keep us locked out and away, stewing about in frustration?”It is a rhetorical question, but you answer it anyway. “You are not stewing about. All three of you are doing merely what she wishes, living your lives and youth…although I cannot say if she is right nor not.”“I doubt that mother would be pleased with Allanus throwing fireballs like snowballs..."(cont.)
Shrugging, you counter, “Something for Silverow and your sister to work on. But it would only make things worse if you held any animosity to your siblings.”Ellana sulks, twisting her shoulder from out of your grip as she reaches for a nearby mug of water. Sipping from its depths with both hands around the vessel, the littlest Crowmond stews in silence. And you let her, with only the sound of your breath and the crackling of the fire to fill the space between you.“…I don’t hate them…” she mutters, “I just wished that they cared more.”Not completely unreasonable, but this might hit too close with her…outburst the prior day. Instead, you try to make the logical approach: “Infighting between nobility, especially the royal family, is never good for everyone involved.”She turns on her seat, swiveling to frown at you with a petulant glare. “I’m not about to declare war on them-”“No matter the scale, it is never good for the kingdom involved for the royal family to be fighting amongst themselves…in our case, the Empire’s wellbeing.” Now that’s rich, the stability of the empire coming from a former gutter rat, thriving on the lack of order afforded by the slums. “So it’s not wrong for you to act your age or otherwise be like your siblings…”>Ellana approves!>??? sharply approves!>Ellana will remember that.>??? will remember that.The princess puffs her cheeks in irritation before setting her head down on the table. Her forehead comes to rest against the thick tome of alchemy with a muffled thump. With her head still pressed into the binding of the book, she says, “…so you never had a mother?”The change of subject catches you by surprise. Stilling your heart at the unexpected question, you slowly reply, “…I never knew my mother.” A true statement, one that does not otherwise botch the cover story you and Palme came up with. There are almost too many adventuring orphans missing a parent, or both.It seems that the knowledge causes her to shudder. At least she does not loath the empress to wish to be in your position. “How awful…do you know what happened to her?”“…my...my father refused to say anything,” you admit, cringing at the beatings Lucien would give at such questions. The mere act of referring to that man as your parent is enough to bring bile to the back of your throat. “The subject was…sensitive to him.”“He must have loved her very dearly, then,” Ellana muses innocuously, ignorant of how her words cause your face to twist.The thought that you are the byproduct of love is equal measures incredulous and horrific to think about. At least thinking that your mother was a whore or a distraction during a mission provided some comfort and reason as to why the lessons were so harsh. Although, for Lucien to love a woman…it only spoke more about her than him if she was content for you to become what you are now.(cont.)
>>LaterDinner passes quickly enough, a meal as good as the prior nights. It is not the lavish banquet served in both Alnerwich and Karthmire, but the Crowmonds do not complain. It seems that their tastes have suitably adjusted. Snidely, you think they might not have if the alderman did not have such a quality larder, richer than a majority of the landed peasantry.Once everything is cleared away, the children return to their respective studies once more. Ellana has opted to read more of the herbalist book, sitting quietly at the table. Adrianna is content to perform needlework by the hearthfire, concentrating fiercely at the needles and thread in her lap. As for Allanus…“You killed a drakling!” the little prince whispers excitedly, vibrating in his seat as you pull up beside him, “That was amazing, the way you just…I want to hear everything!"In spite of yourself, you manage to crack a smile. It seems that at least someone has a high opinion of your recklessness. But perhaps you shouldn’t encourage your particular brand of…suicidal behavior in such an impressionable lad. His siblings might not ever forgive you.>>Select one option:>Discuss his favorite heroes, myths, legends. [History]>Entertain his request for stories about your fights and battles. [???]>Focus on talking about his magical talent. [Magic]
>>3210470>Focus on talking about his magical talent. [Magic]
>>3210470>>Discuss his favorite heroes, myths, legends. [History]
>>3210470>Discuss his favorite heroes, myths, legends. [History]
>>3210470>>Entertain his request for stories about your fights and battles. [???]
>>3210470>Discuss his favorite heroes, myths, legends. [History]Commentating on his magics not really our place, and the drake battle we can save for a better time. Get the kid to talk about his hero's and we might be able to get him to concentrate on his studies and control more.
>>3210470>Entertain his request for stories about your fights and battles. [???]
>>3210470> >Entertain his request for stories about your fights and battles. [???]Each time, talk about what it cost you. Losing parts of yourself, losing people. About how winning battles can lose you wars.Then tie it into talking about his magic. How it's to be used to protect the things he cares about more than destroying the things he hates.
>>3210470>Entertain his request for stories about your fights and battles
>>3210414>??? approvesWho could possibly be listening?>Entertain his request for stories about your fights and battles. [???]
>>3210470>Entertain his request for stories about your fights and battles. [???]I'm with >>3210579Allanus is going to need more concrete examples of cost and Silverrow won't be the first to explain them.
Vote called for regaling the prince with your fights and battles. Writing...
>tfw no one wants to learn about Magic
>>3211615I was thinking about it, but everyone else seemed pretty set in their ways.
>>3210503>>3210533>>3210558>>3210579>>3210726>>3210790>>3211229Very well. You will regale the prince with stories about the fights and battles you have participated in…within reason, of course. His sisters are still in the room, and you will spare all of them the gorier details for Adrianna’s sake.“You were there when we fought the monster,” you say, sipping from a tankard to clear your throat. “And you performed an admirable job in protecting your sisters. I am not the most…knowledgeable when it comes to high sorcery, but a shield of that caliber is certainly no small feat.”A half-truth. Her choler was Water, the magic of emotion, flow and feelings. The spells that Tidecasters specialize are those in a supporting role, bolstering their allies while undermining their enemies. Of course, they are capable of utilizing offensive spells should the opportunity arise. From globes of boiling water to the more advanced spears of ice, woe to those unprepared to fight a prepared and Tower-trained Tidecaster.Water is your area of familiarity. But from sheer memory alone, you can safely guess that the prince is a Flameweaver, a sorcerer with the choler of Fire. Certainly, he fits the description of folk tales and the archetypal pyromancer – reckless, brash, passionate and excitable. Their entire repertoire of spells are almost entirely offensive, with barely any defensive or support magics.It would only be natural for you to know some rudimentary knowledge about the opposite of her choler. Your knowledge of the cholers of Earth and wind, and their respective Stoneshakers and Airdancers, are even less than that. But you know enough that for Allanus to cast a spell more suited for any other choler is certainly no small feat.The statement you offer is only a polite observation, but the prince seems to delight in it, nonetheless. “I only owe Raleigh letting me cast it because of your insistence, Painel. So I thank you for that opportunity to prove myself!”If anything, you should be the one thanking him. What a remarkable boy. Casting a spell above his skill level, and he has enough energy to run around the town and harass his sisters. The little prince seems to be a veritable wellspring of magic, certainly no slouch in terms of raw talent and power.“But enough about that! I missed everything when we ran aground, and by the time I got back up, you were gone!” He stares at you, eyes wide and excited. “So when you rode away to bait the drakling, how exactly did you get on its back?”“A potent combination of rope and no shortage of luck,” you reply, settling into your role as a storyteller…>You give a sanitized account of your battle with the drakling.>You removed mention of the aftermath and the encounter with Feija.“…any season other than winter, and I don’t believe I would have survived the fall,” you conclude. “Nothing broken save for a few bruises on my backside.”(cont.)
>>3211701Wonder what the fifth one is. Void?
>>3211739That's one of it's names. Other names include quintessence, spirit magic, chaos energies...the fifth element of high sorcery is raw magic in its purest form.
>>3211739Yes. Ubik, Slan, Femto, Conrad, and Void.
>>3211751non-elemental, almighty, god juices, super goop....The fifth element is mysterious indeed.
>>3211751Sorry to distract you again, then, but I'm curious, and you might've said/shown this already, but if so, I've forgotten:Where is lightning under? Wind or Fire? Usually it's one of the two if not its own element.
...bleah, looking back on it, I don't like the names for the sorcerers for the cholers of Earth, Wind and Fire. Gimme a sec to change those...Water - TidecastersFire - FlamecharmersEarth - EarthshakersWind - Stormweavers
>>3211793The sub-element of Lighting is underneath Wind. Fire has a sub-element called Starfyre (read: plasma). Water is Ice. Earth (stone) is metal and magma.
>>3211814Wow good job Nickelodeon.
>>3211701His desert and drink long forgotten, Allanus pays attention to every single word with rapt fascination. Amusingly, you can spot Ellana frowning, a chilly glare from her direction before she turns her back to the both of you. Even Adrianna’s hands work at noting as she strains to listen from her seat by the fire.“…but…but you just left it there? The corpse?” he eventually asks. “Without taking any trophies?”“…nothing but a fang or two,” you slowly answer, maintaining a neutral expression. This is an outright lie, but you have little desire to mention the aftermath of the battle, let alone your meeting with the dragon cultists. “And some ambergris and bones.”You pause, and then add, “I’m no adventurer…not anymore. I have something more important to do than chase glory and self-aggrandizement.”The sputtering noise from Ellana’s direction goes unmentioned by either of you. But Allanus does not seem satisfied with your answer.His brow furrows in a confused, but definite frown. “But…you’re the first man to slay a drakling by yourself in…” You can see the arithmetic he performs in his head before he continues, “…only four years, but still an impressive feat-”“Not by myself,” you cut him off, not unkindly, “I merely delivered the finishing blow. That battle’s victory belongs to not just me. It also belongs to Urath, Raleigh Silverow…Bellatrix Lupine and your uncle and his Eagle Knights. And we were not fighting to kill it. Driving it away would have been fine, but we had no choice when it became enraged.”“And why were you not fighting to kill it?” he asks, as if angry on all of your behalf. “Crownguards are the sworn champions of their respective Crowmond…if an enemy appears to threaten a single one of us or yourselves, then you must slay them.”You give him an odd look. “…your safety far outstrips any glory we might gain by prioritizing to slay the beast, your highness.”Allanus bites on his lip, chewing on the information you’ve given him as if it was a difficult statement. You can see the gears turning in his head as he frowns, purses his lips and otherwise tries to understand that there are more important things than destroying your enemies.Then, he suddenly perks up, “What about that bandit captain? Or…or that Blutlinge you killed? The one the Alnerwich alchemists dragged into Mazur’s great hall?”Now that catches you by surprise. “Who told you about my part with the Blutlinge?”It’s almost reflexive the way he quickly points to his sister. The Crowmond in question has the decency to hide behind her needlework, but there was no mistaking the guilty flush on her cheeks. Meanwhile, you can hear the loud SMACK of your charge palming her forehead.(cont.)
“…it was bound to get out eventually,” you mutter to yourself, resigned and resolved to have Adrianna keep a tighter lip on things, “…yes, I did kill that Blutlinge. And the barbarian captain Augvarr.”“Were those kills not for glory as well?” he demands, “Or were they just slain because they stood in your way? Because even if you will not boast yourself, people will still speak in admiration of your actions.”>“Do not assume that the Crownguard are your surrogate tools for glory.”>“I fight to protect the people I care for, not to destroy the things I hate.”>“Prestige and fame are useless to me if Ellana, your own sister, is dead.”>“Your desire to show off will get you and your loved ones killed, little prince.”>Custom option.Gotta take care of something, be back in a bit...and don't scold him too hard, he's just a pre-teen boy...
>>3211861>“Do not assume that the Crownguard are your surrogate tools for glory.”>“I fight to protect the people I care for, not to destroy the things I hate.”>“Your desire to show off will get you and your loved ones killed, little prince.”>don't scold him too hardHe needs the lesson driven into his head before he grows up into a shithead and trades his passion for glory.
>>3211861The Blutlinge was an unfortunate by product of my investigation onto the attempt on my charge's life. I could either kill it, or let it kill innocents and lose any chance of finding the culprits. So I kept it busy until someone could dispose of it properly. So it was "in the way" as you speak.The barbarian captain lead the attack on all of you. If he died? the enemy would lose heart and run like the scum they were. He was also a cut above most enemies I've fought. Letting him attack freely would have possibly gotten you all killed. So he too died.I do not fight to win glory. I fight to protect the Royal family. Glory does not bring back the dead, feed the hungry or save lives. I can understand your desire to see heroes out of the tales Allanus, but rarely do they tell you about what it costs them in the end. I'd prefer to forego it if at all possible. The Vascelli seem to be determined to prevent that for me.
>>3210579Ban this anon please. >>3211861>“Do not assume that the Crownguard are your surrogate tools for glory.”>“Prestige and fame are useless to me if Ellana, your own sister, is dead.”>“Your desire to show off will get you and your loved ones killed, little prince.”
>>3211861>“Your desire to show off will get you and your loved ones killed, little prince.”>While there are uses for a grand reputation, glory is never the final goal. There is danger aimed at you and your siblings, and it's simply a matter of weighing the risks of being present the moment it strikes or ending the threat before danger ever becomes a possibility.>I will also note that there is no glory killing Blutlinge, only dread. If I could lay a storehouse full of bombs and lure it in from the comforts of the castle, that would be vastly preferable to fighting it face to face.
the barbarian captain Augvarr was the lynch pin of the savages cohesion, and you never give a blood mage and his creations a chance to fight again it's far too risky all they need is a drop of your blood. my choices have always been tactile in nature it was never for glory
>>3211861>“Prestige and fame are useless to me if Ellana, your own sister, is dead.”>“Your desire to show off will get you and your loved ones killed, little prince.”
>>3212054>>3211861>Custom option."Allanus I think you are misinterpreting something from the tales and legends you've read about, romanticized as they usually are. A lot of them weren't fighting for glory, that came after their deeds. Most of them were fighting because they HAD to. For a cause, an ideal, to protect something or someone. A higher purpose than fighting for glory's sake. That's why they are remembered.Fighting merely for glory in and of itself can lead to an early grave out of recklessness. If you're going to fight, do it for the right reasons."
>>3211861>“Prestige and fame are useless to me if Ellana, your own sister, is dead.”This too>>3211893
>>3211828Hey, their explanation for Lighting was perfectly reasoned.
>>3211893>>3211861This is a good explanation.>>3211934Well fuck you too buddy.
>>3212577Fuck off Rose.
>>3212675The shot of her kissing Finn with Finn's 'What the fuck' expression with the Rebels all dying behind them because she fucked over his suicide attempt to save the day has to be the most unintentionally hilarious shots of 2017
>>3212721So . . . I accidentally quoted Star Wars? Lol.
>>3211861"People will still speak in admiration of your actions">"I have doubts Empress would share your sentiment, young prince">"I promised your mother that all of you will reach your destination safely. All of this is me working on that promise.">"As thing about glory. Glory brings fame. And I find safety and strength in being inconspicuous. So glory doesn't work for me"
>>3211875>>3211893>>3211934>>3211962>>3212054>>3212168>>3212176>>3212802...does he think that the Crownguard are his tools for glory? Believe that their victories, or at least Silverow’s and Urath’s, likewise belong to their bonded noble? The implication is flabbergasting, but not entirely unsurprising. It seems that it’s only nascent, not nearly as bad as it could be. And there are too many stories of superiors, noble or otherwise, all too content to reap the fame of their levies, subject and underlings without shedding a drop of blood.Maybe it’s a point of pride or contention for the little prince. Perhaps a kind of rivalry between him and his siblings as to who’s Crownguard performs the best. You highly doubt that there is any malice or ill intent between it, nothing beyond youthful ignorance. But it would be best to nip this in the bud before it can develop into anything worse.“...I didn’t mean to run into the monster,” you slowly say, in a measured tone that brokers no flippancy, “That kill was simply an unfortunate…byproduct of my investigation into the Alchemists’ Fire. I could either kill it, or let it slaughter its way through the guild. Even if I wanted it, glory was the last thing on my mind that night.”“Then what was?” he asks, coming off as both genuinely curious and abrasive simultaneously.“Information on the Vascieli. And the fact that there was…there was a friend of mine in immediate danger. Would that I could kill it without making such a fuss, but the nature of Blood Magic and its abominations make interactions seldom subtle or unnoticed…”You see something akin to comprehension flash in his eyes, but Allanus remains frowning. Continuing, you intone, “…there is no glory in fighting or killing a Blutlinge. Rapid regeneration, coagulating blood, hide thick enough that almost need magic weapons to pierce…fighting the children of the Crimson Tyrant on an equal level is dreadful. Had I the time or opportunity, I would have preferred the honorless, safer method of an ambush. With bombs.”He doesn’t react with as much distaste as you expect. It seems that he knows the dangers of the Blutlinge, or at least recognizes how threat they are. Wasn’t he the one, after all, who confirmed that it was the Warlock of Envy that was responsible for the entire plot? As a student of magic, you would expect him to be all but inundated about the perils of Blood Magic, its fell creations and the consequences of dabbling in its arts.“…then what about that barbarian, Augvarr, Champion of Ultar?” he asks, drawing his breath as if to spit at the mention of the old god before thinking better of it. “Flaming sword and axe in hand…”“The cornerstone of their cohesion,” you darkly intone, disgusted at the memories that the name brings to the front of your mind. “Killing him broke their morale quickly enough. They routed as soon as I’d killed him.”(cont.)
Allanus nods in agreement, but his face remains clouded. “…there are some Eagle Knights who whisper that you stole the honor of battling Augvarr that rightfully belonged to Ser Hagenson. Not from me, though,” he hastily adds at the surprise on your face, “…I just heard a little bit of it when we visited Uncle Kieran’s tent…between that and the drakling…”In hindsight, you should have seen that coming. If Hagenson was offended at your intervention, he did a good job of hiding his irritation. Which you doubt, of course, as you’d saved his life. No, it would make more sense for his men to be angry on their commander’s behalf…and maybe their liege as well. The drakling killed…too many. Only under a little bit of half of the initial two hundred Eagle Knights made it to Westholm uninjured, and another forty limped along. Sixty died to both the drakling and the Vascieli ambush, and they had not a chance to avenge both their comrades and their injured landgraff.Not when you had slain the ones most responsible for their grievances.“…how bothersome,” you exhale, pinching the bridge of your nose in frustration. Now you have to worry about a possible confrontation with your own damned allies. “…thank you for bringing that issue to my attention, your highness. But I don’t think that is the only reason for you to disagree with me.”He hesitates before nodding. “I just don’t…how could you be so indifferent to fighting even though you’re good at it? Even Bella and Urath…they embrace any fight involving our immediate safety...”Curiously, he leaves out mention of Silverow. Perhaps you have more in common with the sorcerer than you think.Directing as flat of a stare as you can towards him, you chortle dryly, “I have doubts that the Empress would share your sentiment or desire for action, young prince. I think she might be horrified, if not angry, that we’ve had this much trouble getting you to your other uncle. All of us…Bellatrix, Urath, Silverow and I have promised your mother that you would reach Mont Gormaic safely in spite of the daggers pointed at you and your siblings, not too try and prove a point of superiority.”Especially when you suggested that going into hiding would be a safer option.But you ignore the little voice in the back of your head. “Fighting merely for glory’s sake is a reckless path to an early grave. If you’re going to fight, do it for the right reasons. You’ll get yourself and no shortage of people killed.”Glaring, he counters, “I’m not an idiot who’d charge headfirst into battle without a strategy-”You hold up a hand in a placating gesture, “Peace, your highness. I meant no offense. Merely a point that no amount of prestige, even that of a hero’s, can bring back the dead or save lives.”(cont.)
There’s little more that can be said. If you were to take a guess, the little prince has a great desire to prove himself. For what reason, you can’t tell, but that’s a discussion for a later time. It would not be good to otherwise overwhelm him in a single night. How many tragedies were there about heroes seeking prestige and fame, only to find it in death, celebrated in songs handed down from one generation to the next?“And glory is such an inconvenient thing for me…” your hand rests towards your knife, fingers gently tapping the pommel of the blade, “Glory brings fame. And I’ve found safety and strength in being obscure and unkown, especially when we have to be careful about where we go, now more than ever. Glory does not work for me, and I’ve never found use in it.”>Ellana approves.>Adrianna approves.The prince’s brow is curved so sharply that you might think it would never return to normal. Though he remains unconvinced, you’ve at least shown your side of the argument. And he’s at least got something to think about before going to bed.>Allanus will remember that.Later, once all the royals have all washed and begin to go to their rooms, you accompany them to the upper floor. In the master bedroom, the three will share the alderman’s bed, leaving you upon the ground in the Specter’s Dream.But before Allanus goes to bed, pausing as his sisters fuss over sleeping arrangements, he catches your eye with a curious look.“…it must work for you,” he says quietly, without anything beyond curious wonder, “Obscurity, I mean. Ansell, Urath and Raleigh could not find any mention of your life as an adventurer prior to your life with us.”And with those words that freeze your blood, the prince follows his siblings and settles quietly into a deep night’s slumber.>>The following day…Apparently, one more day of being trapped inside of the house is enough for the siblings, even Adrianna. The fact that her siblings’ restlessness had frayed on her nerves probably had something to do with it, and she brokers no arguments, not even from you. It seems they had already contracted cabin fever long before your return to Westholm.“Being cooped up like some prized hen is not how a princess should live!” she declares, shivering as she steps out into the village square. “And there’s nothing wrong with a bit of fresh air every now and again, so long as we’re adequately protected!”A small contingent of knights and servants will accompany you into the town proper. They trail close enough to be seen and rush quickly should something happen, but far enough so as not to disturb their walk or otherwise impair their view of the scenery. You are the only one closest to them, and thus find yourself in the stressful position of keeping your eyes and senses paying close attention to everything in the village.(cont.)
“Don’t run too far!” The eldest Crowmond shouts as Allanus and Ellana chase each other, any animosity between them forgotten or otherwise set aside. They’ve not yet resorted to throwing snowballs, only for the fact that the muddy slush would be impossible to remove from their clothing. “And for the sake of the gods, not too fast!”But beyond checking ramparts and rooftops, tavern entrances and market stalls, you keep a close eye towards the Eagle Knights accompanying you. Your exit from the alderman’s house prompted the casual stiffness afforded to the royal children, but you could detect at least one of them, no more than two out of the six, staring at you with less than pleasant neutrality.They would not forsake their oaths just at some petty stab at your duty, but you keep a close eye, nonetheless. Hopefully, the opportunity will present itself for you to at least try to isolate the ringleaders and make amends…or threaten them into abandoning the issue. Whichever is the more permanent solution to the problem…>Roll 1d100 Encounter.>Best out of three.
Rolled 11 (1d100)>>3214502Nat 1?
Rolled 53 (1d100)>>3214502ahhh
Rolled 87 (1d100)>>3214502
Rolled 65 (1d100)>>3214482Oh shit, All Anus knows about us being basically Corvo Atano like holy shit Kaz you fucking hack. >>3214502SHOW ME THE 100
>>3214511… Holy high-jumpin Hyperbole Kaz man, we got ourselves a shitpsoter here!
>>3214511For the once and future record, so that this does not get brought up again, the name "Allanus" is a derivative/corruption from the Breton name "Elanus". It is also the name of of a genus of bird, as well as the origin of the name "Alan". I would really be disappointed if anyone thought that I carelessly named the prince something vulgar without thinking twice.Writing...
>>3214537He may not be All Anus but he's still a little prick.
>>3214571When he grows up and becomes a Lich he'll change his name to Hugh Janus.
>>3214537https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21hBPopYjHUThis vaguely reminds me of Marcus in the first thread.
>>3214504>>3214507>>3214510It happens almost too quickly. The Crowmonds are watching a blacksmith hammer out a horseshoe for one of the knights, and are most definitely not taking advantage of the warmth the forge provides. Allanus looks worryingly attracted to the roar and below of the flames, even as his sisters observe the process of the forging.You were expecting a threat from the rooftops or distant ramparts, even from a chimney or another building. A lone bowman, perhaps an assassin disguised as a chimney sweep, even…even a bloody fishmonger, but what the hell would a fishmonger be doing in the middle of the winter when everything’s frozen? A threat to the Crowmonds would have been easier to deal with. Or at least, easier to explain or otherwise make disappear.“M-Marcus? Is that you?”You almost don’t want to believe the voice that you hear, a voice in foggy memories that you coaxed to screaming your name in wild abandon. And those memories are only growing stronger as they come to the front of your mind…as well as the response she elicits from your body.She had been approaching with no hostile intent, even with her head bundled up in a thick woolen cloak. The basket in her hands is small enough to hold a knife, disguised underneath her foodstuffs, but her hands lack the calluses for such activity, a fact you know for yourself. But there’s no mistaking the blonde hair that peeks out from her hood, nor the blue eyes that capture that meet your gaze.It is not even a loud question, barely enough to cause the villagers to pause around you. But it is enough to draw attention from the remainder of the Crowmonds, who stare first at the woman, then back to you. How could they be not surprised? Being who you are, it would be odd for strangers to approach you……disregarding Klara and Claudia, but that’s beside the point!Even with her hood up, and her thick clothing covering up most of her attributes, her face is still plainly visible to everyone within sight. The guards are surprised, gawking openly, some of them. The little prince’s cheeks heat as he stares too long, quickly looking away before his eyes begin to trail too far own. Ellana remains surprised while Adrianna’s narrow with open suspicion.Either she failed to recognize the commotion she created, or she simply doesn’t care. Because Carris of Westholm walks right past them. She has eyes only for you. The worst part is that you can’t tell if the way she emphasizes each step is deliberate on her part or a lingering consequence of how…thoroughly you had your way with her.“…g-good morning, Marcus,” the prostitute says, a tinge of red on her face that has nothing to do with the winter. “…it’s been awfully cold for the last few days...and I do hope you’ve been staying warm.”(cont.)
>>3214601“…good morning to you as well,” you answer neutrally, all too keenly aware of more than one glare boring into your backside. The worst of it is that it’s certainly more than just the pair of irascible Eagle Knights. “…Carris, what-”“How dare you?” Adrianna interrupts, uncaring of how each step churns the slush beneath her feet and dirty the hem of her dress. The eldest princess interposes herself between you, affixing the tavern wench with a fierce and hawkish glare, not unlike her mother’s. “You certainly have brass to ignore us and not pay respect to your imperial princesses.”It takes her a moment to realize who is standing before her. In spite of the difference in age, Carris is quick to curtsey. Three times, each before one of the Crowmonds. Unnecessary for each one, overdoing it even, but the extra courtesy does nothing to calm Adrianna. “Ah…I’m most terribly sorry, your…ladyship? Grace?”The princess clicks her tongue in irritation. “‘Grace’ for my father, ‘your highness’ to me and my siblings. Make that mistake again, and I'll correct your manners myself,” she answers coolly, before turning the brunt of her ire towards you. “Marcus, who is this rude...peasant to address you so boldly and familiarly?”>Claim she is a friend from your wilder, adventuring days. [Lie]>Tell her the truth, but sanitized for the sake of her siblings. [Truth]>Custom option. [Write-in]
>>3214614>Custom option: "It's a lewd-- I mean long story."
>>3214614>Claim she is a friend from your wilder, adventuring days. [Lie]
>>3214614>We met at tavern(inn?) after I had returned to you all and I asked her about the situation and the rumor mill around here.>Now Carris while it is good to see you again I *am* on duty here.
>>3214614>Tell her the truth, but sanitized for the sake of her siblings. [Truth]
>>3214614>Tell her the truth, but sanitized for the sake of her siblings. [Truth]we enlisted her aid in tending to our wounds and the matter the others are investigating.this is suuuuch a bad influence on allanus
Calling the vote for a mix of "Truth" and the "Write-in" of eUg/l/J9.Writing...
>>3214628>>3214629>>3214633>>3214634>>3214639>>3214671>>3214698Give me a drakling any day of the week…Carris could not have appeared at a worse time, but it’s Adrianna’s outburst that brings attention towards you. Some of the villagers have stopped, looking on with more curiosity than concern that one of their own is being shaken down by a princess. They do not look as if they are to rush to her defense, though. Perhaps they are either too lethargic, the villagers simply are not fond of her, or the guards do a good job of keeping them away.Still, you have an irritated princess to mollify, one who’s demanding an immediate answer with a cocked eyebrow and a frigid glare. “Well, Marcus?”…it looks like there isn’t going to be any lies or half-truths today. Although for her siblings’ sake, there wouldn’t be any problem in double-talk and entendres she might only get…no, implications that she will get. For whatever reason, Adrianna is all but too quick to judge a dubious remark as improper.“…Princess Adrianna, may I introduce to you, Carris…of Westholm,” you exhale, looking towards the woman in question. “I’m sorry, I don’t think I caught your family name…”“Narten. Carris Narten of Westholm.” She curtsies again, equal measures for a greeting and precautionary manners. “I’m a server at the River’s Rest Inn for Herr Hennick.”A technical truth. She certainly does serve more than just alcohol and food to customers with the coin. But Adrianna doesn’t seem to be fooled, or perhaps she’s naturally suspicious of peasants without proper introduction. “Carris, it’s good to see you again,” you say, truthfully even. Certainly, the more primal part of your brain is pleased with seeing her. “But for the goddess’ sake, I’m *on* duty.”She wrings her hands uncertainly, confessing, “I was just so worried about you…and your injuries…”“The concern is appreciated-”“Ahem.The look on Adrianna’s face could freeze a roaring river.“…I met her two days ago, just after I’d gotten back into town,” you say, before lowering your voice so that she is the only one that can hear you. Nothing Ellana or Allanus can do to strain their ears will work. “…I didn’t want to present myself to you covered in blood, grime and dirt. I paid for a bath at the inn and for her to dress my wounds…”“A bath…” the princess says slowly, with an edge in her tone of voice. “…surely that can’t be all that you paid?”So that’s how she wants it to be? Very well, then.“No, it wasn’t,” you declare bluntly, though not harshly. She blinks in surprise at your forwardness before you continue, “I paid for more than just a bath, your highness…everything and anything you could think of, I paid for and received, performed enjoyed and before returning to you.”(cont.)
>>3214757lmao that isn't subtle man.
>>3214767Sanitized for Allanus and Ellana. Not for Adrianna. Besides, WOG that the youngest two Crowmonds know next to nothing about sex.
>>3214757That was one good chicken
>>3214757Carris turns an even deeper set of red. For a whore, she’s surprisingly easy to embarrass…or perhaps she’s simply recalling the “everything and anything” that you two did together. And the fact that it’s being discussed in front of the emperor’s daughter doesn’t help either.For a moment, all said princess can do is stare, incomprehensive as she digests your words. Then you can see the gear click into place in her mind. Adrianna’s eyes go wide, her nostrils flare, and her cheeks turn red as she finaly understands what you did with Carris.To her credit, the princess doesn’t nearly lose composure as you feared she would. All she does is adopt a scandalized, flushed face as she tries and fails to form words. “…you…how could…beyond improper…” she sputters.It appears to be a day for flat looks towards nobles. “…where do you think I got the information about the Drowned Lady from? And how certain I was for where the others should have gone?”That seems to reorient her. Swallowing heavily, she manages to adopt a façade of calm, even as she grabs you by the neck, hissing low: “And all of that…’everything and anything’…was that also necessary or otherwise an important part of your little investigation?!”“…there was nothing that Palme said prior to swearing me in-”“As it doesn’t bring disgrace to your office and our name!” she finishes in a harsh whisper.“...and I took careful measures to keep everything quiet and under wraps-” you protest.“I most certainly hope you did! But you still wouldn’t beat the record of how quickly a Crownguard fathered a child. Did you learn nothing from how stupidly the Rudnick woman and her knight-”That actually causes both you and Carris to blanch. “Gods above and…that’s not what I even meant! And if anything, you’re the one currently making a scene.”More and more people have gathered by the blacksmithy, enough that said smithy is beginning to get annoyed. People have already begun to whisper, some gesturing to Carris, some to you…even a few bold pointed fingers at Adrianna. And to their credit, Ellana and Allanus look almost innocuous, trying to remain unobserved as they fail eavesdrop by the noisy forge.Carris protests, although not the way you want her to. “I…we were sure to use all matters of preventing-”“Speak only when you’re spoken to…woman,” Adrianna cuts her off, on the verge of saying something fouler, but stopping for the sake of manners. "...and you have yet to explain why you were in a hurry to speak with him."(cont.)
>>3214418> Glaring, he counters, “I’m not an idiot who’d charge headfirst into battle without a strategy-”Just catching up, but does the thought of avoiding battle being the best option never come to this kid? Just because you could win a fight with someone doesn't mean that's the best way to resolve things.
>>3214783Nah. He's at that delicate age where boys have a "might makes right' mentality, and respect only force, violence and proving your point with your fists. That on top of the extra burden of being an emperor's son.
>>3214781This is going *swell*
>>3214786>telling the princess who's sweet on us we fucked a whore>Going wellReally, ya think?Love that trolls are trying to fuck us over.
>>3214794Lie wouldn't have worked any better due to Carris being understandably confused and Adriana catching the lie. This is the lesser of the two evils, but I felt that there was some wiggle room to omit some details.
>>3214798True. Your write in was the best call by far.
>>3214781Somehow, the prostitute is able to find some courage to stand upon. Taking a deep, shuddering breath, she meets the disapproving glare in the princess’ eye with a staunch one of her own. “…I wanted to remind him of my deal.”“And what deal was that?” she demands.“…that since I had no customers and because he did such a good job, Ser Crownguard could come and see me,” she says, tugging down her collar with a wicked grin on her face. It isn’t the barest hint of collarbone that causes Adrianna to choke on her breath, but the red marks just along her neck that spoke of how thorough of a job you *did*. “Free of charge for as long as you’re staying in town…your highness.”For a moment, Adrianna is silent, and even Carris looks uncertain of her words. Then, she says in a near-perfect imitation of her mother’s voice, “…I could have you horsewhipped for that.”“Let’s not get too dramatic,” you cut in, bringing both of their attention back to you. "von Roie is going to be coming soon, and the last thing he wants to hear is his niece horsewhipping the locals-"“This peasant is far out of line, Marcus,” she whispers through gritted teeth, “…and I’m not going to lie and say that I’m not irritated with you as well.”>>How will you respond?>“Believe me when I say that it was for more for your safety than my gratification.” [Clever]>“No disrespect, but I fail to see how it’s your business as to how I spend my money.” [Standoffish]>“This deal was for one night only, so don’t worry about me returning her offer.” [Reject]>“Why are you so angry? Are you perhaps jealous that I spent time with her?” [Flirt]>Custom.
>>3214808>“This deal was for one night only, so don’t worry about me returning her offer.” [Reject]WHEN YOU ARE FACED WITH A GIRL IN LOVEYOU MUST DENY, DENY, DENY THE OTHER DOVEOR A SNAKE UP YOUR ARSE SHE WILL SHOVE
>>3214808>CustomIf she's angry with us, she shouldn't take it out on an innocent woman who has to take a job such as whoring to survive. We're the Crowmunds Crown Guard, if she insists on whipping someone because she's mad then we're the one she should whip.> Elana's face when
>>3214808>“Why are you so angry? Are you perhaps jealous that I spent time with her?” [Flirt]
>>3214808>Custom.>"Princess I crashlanded with a Drakling in the middle of the woods after holding on for dear life and had to hoof it to Westholm by myself with all the injuries crashlanding entails. Yes I mixed business with pleasure. In learning about the Drowned Lady I took a moment to alleviate myself of the exhaustion of the past few days. If that's out of line for you I'll make a note of it for the future, but I hope you understand why I did what I did.>Carris thank you for the offer, but I think this was a one night thing."
>>3214808>Then I request you take it out on myself and myself alone, as the maker of the decision, not a woman who simply showed concern for my health and does what she must to survive.>"Carris, I thank you for the offer, but I think for both our sakes, this was a one night thing."
>>3214808>This is no conversation for the middle of a town. We already making a scene, let us go back. Discuss it inside>Carris later
>>3214821>>3214808I will also support this. We can't say that we didn't enjoy it, although we didn't intend to. It helped us move forward from some difficult times in our past as well, so we can't be rude to Carris just to soothe ruffled feathers.
>>3214808This seems like a good write-in>>3214813
>>3214808Oooh, I also forgot we could go the other way too.> Princess . . . So if I marry Carris that means it will be okay?Just to see her reaction.
Man I feel so bad for Carris.All she wants is some TLC, and this haughty princess just won't have it.I can't imagine her being too fond of royalty after this encounter. Especially if we fuck up and get her horsewhipped.
>>3214808>“Believe me when I say that it was for more for your safety than my gratification.” [Clever]>"Princess. If you punish anyone, punish me instead.">"If I have spare time i'll see if I can drop by, but please remember that my duty is a full time commitment, and best left uninterrupted."
anything tonight Kaz?
>>3216375He's busy sucking dick down at the bus station tonight.
>>3216375Yeah. Gimme a few minutes. IRL bit me hard, but I'll see what I can do.
>>3216446>few minutes>2 and a half hours
>>3216730Kaz-time does not move at the same rate as anon-time
>>3216730Always add 3 hours
>>3214808I'll support >>3214813
>>3214813>>3214821>>3214828>>3214848>>3214851>>3214852>>3215104>>3215141>>3216861“…then if you’re going to punish someone, punish me, your highness.”At your statement, Adrianna blinks owlishly, and even Carris is taken aback. But even as both of them open their mouths, either to question, protest or otherwise give voice to their confusion, you’ll never know. You cut them off before they can speak, still in that low, quiet tone for their ears alone.“I may have embellished the story I told your brother,” you say with a rueful smile, “And given you the wrong impression of how I walked away from the battle with that drakling. The truth is, your highness, that not even a Crownguard can escape without some sort of injury.”Were you in the house, you might have pulled off your armor, stripped off your shirt to show the discolored bruises that run along your body, or the scars where its spikes pierced your skin. All you can do is mimic Carris’ gesture, pulling down your collar to reveal just the barest hint of green and purpled flesh.The prostitute offers a look of sympathy, and even the princess seems taken aback. Bearing wounds that would leave a man confined to his bed is a skill Lucien quite literally beat into you. And fighting with wounds that would put other men into a sickbed is one of your better qualities.Fixing your clothes, you continue, “Walking back to Westholm…I was lucky to find a cart and a driver willing to take me back, and that was only after I made it out of the woods after…two days of wandering through the Schwartzwald.”“Two days?” she repeats, incredulous yet demanding.“Aye. So to speak plainly, I won’t deny that I mixed Crownguard business with my own personal pleasure. In learning about the Drowned Lady, I took a moment to simply alleviate myself of the exhaustion of the past few days of…bandit attacks, the drakling, and the long journey back to civilization.”You might have added the stress of the Blutlinge and the mess of spying for Klara, but the aforementioned incidents should be enough to make your argument.“…so if that’s out of line for you,” you finish, “Then I’ll make note of it for the future. But I hope you understand why I did what I did. That is why if you must punish someone, punish the one who paid for services…”…and not the woman who must whore herself to survive. is the sentence that goes unspoken.>Carris sharply approves.>Adrianna disapproves.Her glare still affixes both of you, even as her mouth moves with nothing audible coming from it. You could have bet money that her lips mouthed “men” and something along the lines of “commoners”. Carris nervously shifts, as if suddenly aware of the small number of people gathered around you…at a respectable distance, of course.(cont.)
The princess turns her attention to her siblings, voice ringing out like the crack of a whip. “Allanus! Ellana!” The youngest Crowmonds, like guilty conspirators, leap off from their perch and present themselves before her. Adrianna continues, “We’re going back to the house. I cannot stand the air any longer. Guards, disperse of the villagers.”They look like they might complain, but perhaps they know better than to argue with her. Especially since she’s in a foul mood. And at her command, the knights begin shooing the villagers away, more often than not using the butts of their spears to prod them along. No malice beyond curt, if not apologetic, professionalism.“…and Marcus?”You bow low, and respectfully inquire,“Yes, your highness?”Adrianna crosses her arms, folding them beneath her breasts as she maintains her cool and frigid glare. “I think I understand…but we will be speaking of this later. And not so near and close to…” She pauses to incline her head towards the crowd, just a little under a people still staring and straining to hear. “…my father’s subjects.”Her mouth sets into a thin line of disapproval as she jerks her head towards Carris. The woman jumps at the mention, but it’s clear that your words to the princess have spared her a horsewhipping. All Adrianna does is give her a look of thinly-veiled disgust before meeting your eyes once more, flicking briefly to hers before finally settling on you……ah.Straightening up, you turn towards the tavern wench. The tone of your voice isn’t quite apologetic. Certainly, Carris did choose not only to approach you in the open, but also disrespect the princess. Were it not for your intervention…Adrianna doesn’t strike you as the sort of petty or noble, but in her fit of pique, she might have easily ordered for her to be thrown into a stockade or otherwise horsewhipped.“Thank you for the offer, Carris,” you begin, and you feel only the slightest twitch of your mouth curling upward, “But I think that for both of our sakes, that was only a one-night thing.”She shakes her head, blonde curls bobbing slightly with the motion. “No, no, I quite understand. This humble and wanton woman would not dare as to intrude upon her highness’ servants and companions.”You frown at the sudden stiffness of her words before she breaks out into a smile. “Oh, don’t give me that look. I’m a whore, Marcus. I couldn’t be one without facing an angry fishmonger or merchant’s wife every so often…although this is the first time I’ve ever angered a noblewoman.”“That was reckless,” you can’t help but answer, “Were you trying to get horsewhipped? How could you make money with welts and wounds on your backside?”Carris makes an obscene gesture with her hands and mouth, causing you to scowl even as you hear Adrianna sputter indignantly. Now for her sake, you hope that Ellana didn’t see that.(cont.)
“Are you trying to make my efforts futile?” you demand, “Because I will hold the whip myself-”“Peace, peace, forgive me,” she says, clenching her stomach as she holds in her laughter, “…you were so serious that I couldn’t help but answer…and whips are something that I’m not quite fond of, no matter how much you pay.”Once she regains some of her composure, the prostitute exhales, “I’m not nearly as experienced or refined as your prettied-up city courtesans. And I can’t exactly say that I’m a blushing maiden either, given how many men I’ve had…”“…but I must say,” she pauses. And to your surprise, the smile she gives you is one devoid of her lilting tease, a smile as warm as she might have made. “That was the first time someone ever defended me and offered to take a punishment…”“Carris, what-” Before you can react, she closes the distance, placing her mouth upon your cheek in a quick, chaste kiss. Retreating before the princess changes her mind or you can retaliate, she whispers, “My offer stills stands. I’m also used to rejection. But if you ever change your mind or escape her highness’ sight…then you know where to find me.”And with those final words, she departs from the scene, disappearing as she rounds a corner. For all intents and purposes, she appeared to have gotten the last laugh out of the princess. Certainly, the townsfolk know what she does for a living, and you have no doubt that wild rumors will be spreading once you’ve departed.But there was no ignoring the moisture on her cheeks when her face came close to yours, nor the little tremble in her steps and voice…>>LaterAdrianna is still in a foul mood after luncheon. As the eldest princess…she doesn’t sulk as much as give an aura of irritation with every movement of her utensils. Case in point when she may have stabbed too hard into a chicken breast. She speaks only when necessary, even so far as to gesture for utensils or food from the table. The serving girls quail if the princess even as much as glances in their direction from the corner of her eye.…perhaps you should let her stew for a bit. Hopefully, Gizo’s house has enough holes and leaks for winter air to cool down her temper. And if he’s sealed them all with tallow…then perhaps time would be the best remedy for her anger. Time and something to take her mind off of the subject…...which means that it might not be a bad idea to stay out of her sight for a few hours...>>Choose one:>Finish your discussion with Adrianna and be done with it all.>Investigate into Allanus' information about discontented Eagle Knights.>Spend some time with one or both of the youngest Crowmonds.>Take some time for yourself to recover from your wounds or train your body.>Custom option.
>>3216988>Investigate into Allanus' information about discontented Eagle Knights.
>>3216988>Finish your discussion with Adrianna and be done with it all.I know, let's be excessively polite and servile. After all, we're but a servant to the crown, and she's so concerned with our conduct that she dragged out our private matters in public to chastise us.Should we find an appropriate whip for her to beat us with? One heavy enough to sting, but not so much to leave obvious wounds. I imagine we have a wealth of experience with those from our father.Seriously, as upset as the Princess is, she is being a total bitch about this. Since she's a Princess though and we're but a mere commoner, there's not much we can do about it.So if we are to be treated as a dog, we at least won't let her forget that we're a LOYAL dog, first and foremost.
>>3216988>Finish your discussion with Adrianna and be done with it all.
>>3216992The thing to remember is that she's also very much got a crush on him. Her emotions are spiking extra-hard because it's both 'Hey that common girl disrespected me!' and, arguably more importantly 'She's trying to take the guy I already have eyes on, fuck off.'It's not really something you can logic away, honestly. Like, if you want to do THAT, then best to rip that band-aid off and tell her flat out that you're not interested.But that's ridiculously risky.>>3216988>Investigate into Allanus' information about discontented Eagle Knights.Give her some space, seriously. Let her stew for a bit and work it out herself. IF it seems she's still being a bitch about it, THEN we'll confront her, but as of now, keep things calm. Emotions are fickle, and even the best intentions can cause a blow up.
>>3217018Support. People are not thinking it through.
>>3216988>Investigate into Allanus' information about discontented Eagle Knights.If it was a different kind of guy, maybe finishing the discussion could work. But Marcus is a young boy robot.
>>3217018I'm angry that she's angry. She should be old enough to know better, being royalty and all that.
>>3216988I'll switch my vote to this> Take some time for yourself to recover from your wounds or train your body.Also, how did the villagers perceive what happened? More importantly what about Ellana, is she upset by seeing that?
>>3216988>Finish your discussion with Adrianna and be done with it all.Never leave anger to fester.
>>3216988>>Take some time for yourself to recover from your wounds or train your body.
>>3216991>>3217018>>3217022>>3217028>>3217031>>3217048>>3217159...perhaps it would best for you to wait until Adrianna summoned you to speak. Intruding on your part, even if you are to make amends, would more likely than not exacerbate the situation. You will wait for her temper to cool and simmer down…and hopefully not fester. And what better way to pass the time than to inquire about the Eagle Knights?Prior to making inquiries, you decide to check up on Ellana. You did not fear the worst, but you at least hope that she is not otherwise upset by the confrontation. Privately, you doubted she did, given how your own little Crowmond has her own venomous streak, but it is best to lay your concern to rest.Your fears are unfounded. Ellana is more confused than anything else, perhaps due to either her youth or seeming innocence in adult matters. If anything, she’s wondering as to what could have possibly caused her sister’s temper to flare as it did.“The worst anyone ever got punished for not paying proper respects was three strikes across the backside with a switch,” she recounts, looking up from her book, perplexed and brow furrowed in a way only a child could appear. “…but I’ve never seen her get this angry at someone failing to perform obeisance.”You shrug. “It’s a complicated matter, your highness.”“I’m not surprised. She’s always worrying and fussing over so many things…” She pauses, frowning before considering something else, “But I don’t understand why she’s angry at you. All the woman did was approach you or otherwise…” A pause, then suddenly, light dawns in her eyes. “…hey, Marcus, who was that woman?”This time, the question does not catch you off guard. And in the private confines of the small living room, you may entreat upon her with all the obscuring double-talk and half-truths you may.“That would be Carris. She’s a serving girl at the River’s Rest Inn. I…befriended her when I was searching for information about the Drowned Lady.”“A friend,” she repeats, not quite accusatory. Yet. “What kind of friend kisses someone on the cheek? She doesn’t look like someone from Brúcain.”“It’s an Opranian custom as well, your highness,” you’re quick to point out. “In the Halidom, people can kiss men or woman as a greeting.”“Really? I thought followers of the One God are all too stuffy for that kind of thing. Except for Uncle Kieran,” she corrects herself, sticking out her tongue. “He and Auntie Braena do not hide their love for each other…ick.”“If everyone was as strict as the Council of High Clerists and their Most Revered Vicar of Light,” you dryly answer, “Then Opran would be a miserable and dreary place, beyond having to live so close to the Aschenfeld…or the Dreadlands, as they call it. And not all Opranians are devoted followers of their ‘True God’.”Quite true. She’s speaking to one right now.(cont.)
At any rate, you manage to deflect further questions, citing Crownguard business as your excuse to get away. But, you digress. Ellana is not upset. Only confused and demanding answers. Now you have no other concerns prior to investigating the Eagle Knights. They should be safe in Gizo’s house, given the security protecting them.>>Who will you investigate first?>Go straight to the leader of the knights, Landgraff Pullman.>Inquire from one of their respected leaders, Ser Hagenson.>Speak to the rank-and-file outside of the alderman’s house.>Custom option.
>>3217659>>Inquire from one of their respected leaders, Ser Hagenson.
>Inquire from one of their respected leaders, Ser Hagenson
>>3217659>>Inquire from one of their respected leaders, Ser Hagenson.That was the name of the man we stole glory from.
>>3217659>Inquire from one of their respected leaders, Ser Hagenson.How much has Pullman actually recovered?
It's kinda sad that the knights how are hating on us are doing so because of not merely the glory but we're also getting the attention of the very beautiful princess that many of those knights are lusting after.
>>3217748And seducing the best looking whores, too.>>3217659 >Speak to the rank-and-file outside of the alderman’s house. >Custom option.Heck is it possible to drink with the squires?Buy them booze. The bastards too far down to dream of glory over returning home.Then we make it clear how uncomfortable we are with the attention given, and how really those who wounded it prior and lost lives and friends are the ones who should be getting honors.All we were was the headsman. It's just that, we can't refuse honours on our own right? We got a royal, and an eight year old girl at that, who is going to need men with title and ability around her.How we gonna knowingly weaken her shield by refusing honors? Can't kill *everyone*, not without getting found out.
>>3217659>Speak to the rank-and-file outside of the alderman’s house.
>>3217659>Inquire from one of their respected leaders, Ser Hagenson.
I can't believe BBR is going to be 300 threads.
>>3218121Kaz confirmed that BBR was only 5% done. It's been three years...
>>3218084>>3218124That’s a goddamned lie and you know it. Quit cluttering up my thread. What happens on the quest discord stays on the quest discord, and don’t make shit up because I didn’t give a concrete date or timeline.
>>3218168*the /qtg/ discord. BBR has no official quest discord.
>>3218174Glad to see you back Kaz, this is one of my favourite quests
>>3219033I second this feeling!
>>3217659This>>3217769, let's not start by snitching.
Say, QM, are there any pastes in your Pastebin that aren't clearly labeled which are also Bladebound Retainer relevant?
Nice to see this Quest is back.Have to say, Carris just won a few points in my book but Klara still a best>>3217659Supporting this write-in >>3217769.
Just read through the archive and I'm having a lot of fun with this quest. Great world and writing Kazan. Also I cant wait for adriana to say that our inquiry with the knights was just a cover to fuck carris
I forget her name but the noble girl we helped chase that harlot and meat headed thug out of her house was best girl
>>3222372Klara is indeed best girl, I'm glad we all are in agreement here
>>3219579I think it would be best to assume that everything is by default for the SMT quest that I run. For future reference, I'll label which relevant snips and pastes are for each quest.>>3219631Good to be back, anon.>>3222019Thanks!>>3222372>>3222813>>3222920>>3222954>All this love for KlaraWew, okay. I'll be sure to keep that in mind.Anywho, vote called for Ser Hagenson.Writing...
>>3223022>All this love for Klara>Wew, okay. I'll be sure to keep that in mind.Don't listen to them, Kaz. Claudia was clearly the best girl. Klara is a close second, though.
>>3223045But anon that's objectively wrong!
>>3223045It's been so long that barely remember her other than 'Alchemist Girl'. I should probably reread sometime.
>>3217670>>3217671>>3217710>>3217720>>3217875Ser Hagenson is not a hard person to find, but he is not where you expect him to be. Instead of hovering by his liege’s side, the mustached captain makes the rounds of the camp. The knight is constantly in motion, no sooner leaving from one location that someone points to you. One minute, he was toasting to the health of a wounded man, and in the next, he stopped to correct a squire’s footwork before sending him back to his training.Eventually, you catch up to him, and your trail ends before a large tent. Its canvas is large enough to hang from the yardarm of a merchant’s caravel, at least nearly three times the size of what the knights are sleeping in. Its purpose unknown, the entrance is guarded by two pikemen, who have eschewed the cool and heavy plate for chain and cloaks of woolen fur. Huddled around a coal brazier, they stiffen at your approach, weapons and armor rattling as they block your path.“Halt! State your business,” one of them says.“Crownguard business,” you smoothly answer, shifting your cloak so that the emblem on your armor is readily visible. “I was told that Ser Hagenson would be here.”They give you a look that isn’t quite hostile, but not inviting either. “Aye. The captain’s inside.”“Good. I need to speak with him.”“About what?”Now it’s your turn to give them a cool look. Throwing the weight of authority around is something you are still not used to. Displays of force are more in line with your methods. But he had done it several times, both to enforce order among the Locusts and to carve a place among the slums for everyone to stay.“As I said, Crownguard business. I would not be asking if it wasn’t important.”Even behind their cowls and warmers, you can see the way their brows move and mouths twitch into sour scowls. But they relent, moving aside to let you pass, albeit stiffly and reluctantly.“If it pleases you, Ser Crownguard,” one of them says dryly just as you’re about to part the entrance open, “This is a temporary temple of the One God. We’d greatly appreciate if you’d be as quiet as possible.”A place of worship, then, you think to yourself as you enter. Clearly, some of the knights aren’t the most ardent adherents of their liege’s faith, given the prostitutes the other day. But what would Ser Hagenson be doing in the middle of the day?Praying, the answer comes as you step into the tent. And it is as if the world ceases to exist beyond the confines of the structure. The only source of light is the one afforded by the candles atop the altar, twelve set around the symbol of the One God: a magnificent golden sphere set upon a dais of hands raised in supplication. The sliver of wind let in by your entrance makes the candles flicker, catching off the sphere in a wild display of dueling shade and light.(cont.)
Where there might have been benches, pews or cushions to kneel in supplication, there are only rows of bodies. Dozens of bodies, covered underneath blankets stained with blood, shit and snow and laid to rest upon cloth so they might not touch the muddy ground. Atop each of the fallen lies their weapons, some broken and bloodied, others as clean as if fresh from the forge.The smell is overpowering, a heady mix of slow-burning incense and the bitter tang of frozen iron. How could one pray in a place like this?But Ser Hagenson has no trouble. Towards the left of the altar, the captain is kneeling before one of the fallen. Whispering, murmuring and talking as if in conversation, he replaces the blanket to cover the body’s face before moving onto the next one. Then, he repeats the process, speaking as if they could whisper back the last moments of their life, and any regrets before they fell.You do not make any noise, or otherwise show signs of interrupting, but he is the one to make the first move. Without turning, he gestures to the body before him, the smallest of the lot, barely over half the size of the largest one:“This was Ebbo’s second expedition. He distinguished himself well enough against the bandit lords of the Schwartzwald, and even killed his first man with a clumsy thrust of his spear. His friends said that upon returning to Karthmire, they would pay for his first night with a woman at the finest brothel.” He shakes his head with a weary sigh. “I could only hope that in the wake of Princess Ellana’s assassination attempt, they were unable to carry out their scheme. It would not look well in the eyes of God for him to die to have spent a night in a courtesan’s arms.”You offer no answer. Beyond the customary rites of the Vethic gods you don’t even follow, you know even less about the stricter rules and obeisance of the Canticle of Light.The knight rises, joints of both metal and bone creaking and cracking as he straightens. He straightens his tabard, shifting the weight of his belt to a more comfortable side before making his way towards you. For the armor he wears, full plate without the garnishing, he is a delicate step, carefully treading between the bodies of valemen.“I don’t suppose you’re here to pray?” He asks, a wry smile on his lips, before sobering up immediately, “But if you’ve left the Crowmonds, the matter must be something quite serious.”>Be blunt. Ask him straightforwardly and without any flowery language.>Be indirect. Attempt to ease him into it gently before broaching the subject.>Custom option.
>>3223120>>Be blunt. Ask him straightforwardly and without any flowery language.
>>3223120>Take it somewhere else. Aside not being best place to discuss it, this tent definitely has ears then>Be blunt. Ask him straightforwardly and without any flowery language.
>>3223120>Be blunt. Ask him straightforwardly and without any flowery language.But conciliatory. We're here to ask him to help us with a problem, not to protect our "glory" or "honour".We don't want to cause a rift between the Crowmonds and the Knights. If they want, so long as the Princesses life isn't in danger, they can kill all the Drakes and Warlords.
>>3223120>Take it somewhere else. Aside not being best place to discuss it, this tent definitely has ears.>Be blunt, but conciliatory. Ask him straightforwardly and without any flowery language.
>>3223124>>3223133>>3223138>>3223166>>3223209The riverside is empty, devoid of any significant activity. Ice has long since formed along the slower parts, but the faster rapids are unfettered by the cold. The only company one might expect to find might be the odd birds or wild beasts stopping for a drink. Thus, it is completely perfect for a private conversation.Hagenson understood perfectly. No matter how holy or saintly, a temple tent has ears you might not see. If the knight-captain has any frustrations at being jerked around by a young man half his age, then he shows nothing of it. He follows silently, only stopping to let the guards know of his destination.Once you reach the furthest point, stopping by an outcrop of rocks, Hagenson brushes off a mound of snow before settling himself on a nearby boulder. The heavy-set man sighs, shaking the snow that has fallen on his moustache.“Now, what seems to be the problem?” he asks.Clearing your throat, you say, “I’ve been hearing some things about your knights.”He raises a questioning brow. “What kind of things?”The kind of things that make me worry about the safety of the Crowmonds. But you do not say that, both out of respect for their earlier services and to avoid throwing about accusations of sedition. “I have it on good faith that the men are restless. Both the wounded folk and the whole and hale.”To your surprise, he nods. “Aye, you’d be right about that. Campaigning in the winter is something we all like to avoid. The lads already fought with Prince Emeron during the sweep of the Midland-Reach border. Barbarians are nasty sons of whores, but bandits, looters and raiders deserve far worse than that.” He spits on the ground, coughing up a great ball of while phlegm before continuing, “Normally, we’d be back by now.”But now we’re playing escort duty for the royal family, freezing and dying in the middle of winter while fighting rebels, monsters and bandits. The statement goes unspoken. A sentiment you hadn’t anticipated, but could understand.“Still, I wouldn’t worry too much about it,” he remarks, pulling out a pipe from his belt. Striking a flint and tinder, he sets an aromatic tobacco, puffing great clouds of smoke into the air. “Once Landgraff von Roie arrives, they’ll all be better taken care of. I’ve lost count of how many secret sweethearts and friends milord’s troops have in Mont Gormaic.”At the look on your face, the joviality fades away. Exhaling, you respond, “I have it on good faith that some of your men are…resentful of the Crownguard, and by extension, the Crowmonds.”“Resentful?” he repeats, surprised. “How so?”“Honor, Ser,” you declare, “A matter of honor about the last few battles we’ve had. Between the drakling and the Vascieli horde lead by Augvarr…I hear that some feel that they've been cheated out of it."(cont.)
“Cheated out of honor…” he muses, taking a particularly long draft from his pipe. “…and who had cheated them?”“I did, Ser,” you answer bluntly, to his surprise, “I was the one who pushed you away from Augvarr. You and the knights were used to purchase time so that the Crowmonds might get to safety…a tactic that failed and forced the Crownguard’s hand.”He slowly nods. “…because you were the one who killed it. And that antlered bastard”“Aye.”He is silent for a few moments, puffing along and merely staring out into no particular point. Then, he says, “And do you know the identities of those men, these so-called…resentful?”You shake your head, even as you suddenly feel as if you are on very thin ice. “No, I do not.”“No, I can’t imagine you would, given our armor and your relative time of appointment. Can you describe them?”“No, I cannot.”“Then how did you come by this information?” he demands.“The source is good, ser,” you answer, almost halfway conciliatory. “But I need to know what you’re going to do with them.”“What am I going to…” Shaking his head, Hagenson empties his pipe, muttering something underneath his breath. “You are accusing me of being resentful, then as well?”“The thought had crossed my mind, but you don’t strike me as being nearly that…focused on the subject.”“Aye, that’s fair enough,” he chortles, putting a fresh cut of tobacco into his pipe. And you relax before he continues, “But I’ll have you know that I could’ve taken Augvarr. No thanks to that feckless coward who stabbed my horse’s ass. But beyond an injured pride, I am wholly satisfied with the outcome of both barbarian and drakling fight. It's my men you'll have to speak to, but I'll see what I can do on my own..">Roll 1d100 Perception>Best of three.
Rolled 28 (1d100)>>3223301Problems.
Rolled 99 (1d100)>>3223301
>>3223310>>3223301Nice roll. Now here is the 1
Rolled 36 (1d100)>>3223301rolan>>3223310hawkeye over here
>>3223324Well don't I look stupid?
>>3223309>>3223310>>3223327That’s a lie.You know it, and he either doesn’t know it, or he’s doing his damnedest to keep it from you. Which he failed to do. There was just something about the way he gripped his pipe, or how his eye twitched at the mention of his apparent lack of dissatisfaction.The heavyset knight sighs contently, emptying the contents of his pipe upon the immaculate snow. Dusting the flurries off of his clothes, he stands, armor clanking once more with every motion he takes. “Now, if there isn’t anything left to take care of-”“Ser Hagenson.”He stops in his tracks, facing away, and back unprotected with naught but his shield and armor. “…yes, Crownguard?” he asks in a neutral voice. “…what exactly do you resent about me? Then if not me, then what of the Crownguard, or the Crowmonds? We’re alone, there’s naught to listen in but the wind and the river-”The man whirls around, good mood vanished and gone, passing as quickly as snow upon an open flame. His eyes are wide, and his mouth twisted in a vicious glare. The knight’s cheeks are flushed an ugly shade of red. Metal parts and pieces of his armor shake terribly, and his hand twitches as if reaching for a sword.“Resentful? No, I’m not resentful at you, Crownguard. And I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about honor, either,” he hisses, and the sheer anger in his voice almost makes you draw your weapons. “I couldn’t give a single, bloody damn about it. Honor cannot feed a starving family, nor can it pay for goods and services.“I’m resentful of the fact that my lord nearly lost his eye, his right arm, the entire right side of his body when the drakling tried to turn him into a fine paste. I’m resentful of the barbarian whose filthy throat I couldn’t rip out because of his compatriot’s cowardice and time’s ravages on my body. I’m resentful of all the families in the Vale that will never have their sons, brothers or husbands home for another Winter Solstice and Dawning of Spring because of assassins, renegades and nobles playing their games of intrigue.”You do not answer. But even as you let him rant and rage, you think to yourself. He did a good job of bottling it up. Maybe his frustrations slipped, and impacted the mood of the knights, but maybe they didn’t. These may be his own personal thoughts, but you could hardly say the same for every man underneath his command.Once he calms down, he looks at you straight in the eye, mustache quivering with barely controlled rage. “I do not resent you…Painel. I don’t resent your Crownguard, or our royal highness's. I resent this journey, the mere fact that ‘honor’ demands we answer for the slight that assassin paid when he disguised himself as one of us. I resent the recklessness of youth, how boys throw themselves at an enemy with foolish, stupid courage.">>How will you respond to his anger?>Custom option. [Write in]
>>3223532>I resent this journey,Yeah man I get it. Feels like it's been going for two years now. :^)
>>3223532The world is unfair as hell, and the ebst people are the one who are often the ones with shortest lvies. I'm sorry this duty fell on the shoudlers of the men of the vale, but I am glad that you and yours were here nonetheless. Someone else might have gotten it wrong, or worse been traitors in the wings.I wish I had an proper answer for you Ser haggenson, best I can do is buy you a drink.
>>3223532>>Custom option. [Write in]"You and your men got dealt a shit hand Ser Hagenson. I can only express my sincere gratitude for their support during this terrible journey. It won't bring the ones we lost back, I know that, but I can assure you that I don't take their lives granted. I very much hope that worst is behind us and your men can go back home soon."
>>3223553I'll back this one :^)>>3223532But really this one>>3223787
>>3223532>You and your men got dealt a shit hand, Ser Hagenson. And if the alchemist's guild is any indication, those same families may get caught up in some grander scheme.>Were we in a tavern, I'd toast to a quicker end to this winter. Journey or no, it won't be over until your men are home and ready to protect their own families.
>>3223596>>3223787>>3224144>>3224440“I don’t take their lives for granted”, you refute, trying to keep the situation from escalating. The last thing the Eagle Knights needed to their already middling morale was to see infighting between the Crownguard and their leader. “And I know that the world’s dealt you a shit hand. I’m glad you’re here, because someone else might have screwed it up. Were we in a tavern, I’d toast to-”Hagenson scoffs, but there isn’t any of the venomous malice in the noise. “Don’t patronize me, boy. I’ve already killed my fair share of men long before you were born…how old are you again?”Mulling the thought over in your head, you decide there’s no fault in giving your age. If nothing else, humoring him might keep him in a good mood. “…eighteen at the youngest, twenty at the oldest.”“Born just after the Bastards’ War?” He shakes his head. “Now that was a bloody thing, that was. That campaign took me all over the continent, fighting one pretender to another…and at least we were fighting other knights and civilzized men, not…savage barbarians and monsters, least of all draklings.”He pauses, taking the time to take a deep, long draught from his pipe. The trail of smoke that comes out of his mouth spins lazily in the winter air as he stares up at nothing. “…I know the price of war, boy…so you’ll permit this veteran to bellyache and curse at the price of how victory is won or lost in these uncertain times.”You offer no answer, electing to remain silent.“Still,” he says, giving you an evaluative look, “I must say, you fight impressively for a lad your age. And I can’t say that I’ve ever seen such unusual style before.”And hopefully, no one ever will after you’ve long since turned to worm food.“…but I can’t just ignore your words. High praise coming from both a Crownguard and a draklingslayer.” Hagerson’s mustache trembles as he smiles, sardonically but not unkindly. “And I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol since the War, but I’ll agree with that sentiment.” Removing his pipe from his mouth, he gestures to you as if holding a drink. “To a quick end to the winter and a swift return home. May the brains and tongue of all these schemers wither and rot.”You nod, but only to the first one. Mayhaps the good knight-captain won’t take it well to learn that you were the one to suggest the expedition. Clearing your throat, you instead request, “…so you’ll speak to your men about the problem?”“Aye, I will. But you’ll have to deal with dirty looks and sour faces for a while. Expecting a man to obey blindly without complaint is a fool’s errand, as well as a tyrant’s desire.”“…I’ll make note of that,” you reply, starting your walk back to town. But in a similar move to what happened earlier, Hagenson cuts you off with a short cry. “What?”(cont.)
“If you’re really sincere about your gratitude…one of the weapons you looted from Augvarr…either the flaming sword or that runic axe. It’s only fair that I receive one as well. Like you saw and I said, I would have had him had I not been unhorsed.”For a moment, you are taken aback. Was this just his goal the entire time? Masquerading envy of the treasure for some kind of philosophical shouting match about the fragile human condition?“And what use would you have for a magic sword or axe?” you ask, eyes narrowed. “You use a flail and morning star.”His smile deepens, and he offers a clever little grin. “I think one of them would look nice over the mantle and hearth.” Then, he sobers up. “Selling one of those would pay not only for my fallen brothers' funerals...a family can live off of three hundred aurums for a year, if they stretch your food. Any one of those weapons might fetch a fortune. Relief for their families, boy. Just a little relief.”Unlike the last time, you can tell that he’s isn’t lying. If he were to sell it, everything you’ve seen about him suggests only the best intentions for the gold. It was up to the family on how they would spend it, but it would at least ease the first few months without a son, brother or father. Splitting it between...at least seventy men. Fourteen thousand Imperial Golden Aurums. What a price! That could easily be the price of a small army, or the renovations of a small fortress or castle.How was this man still but a knight-captain at his age? He should be on his own title of land, tilling the soil and raising a generation of squires for Landgraff Pullman’s army. Still, his past is his own business, and you’re not about to prod into that. Not that you could care, anyway.>Attempt to talk him out of wanting one of your spoils of war. (High Diplomacy Check)>Offer the flaming sword. (Enchanted sword that bursts into flames on command, does extra Fire Damage)>Offer the runic axe. (Unknown effect, requires a Kowledge Check to discern its abilities.)>Offer something else of equal value. [Write-in]>Custom option.
>>3224766>Offer the flaming sword. (Enchanted sword that bursts into flames on command, does extra Fire Damage)
>>3224766>Attempt to talk him out of wanting one of your spoils of war. (High Diplomacy Check)If he won't budge:>Offer the flaming sword. (Enchanted sword that bursts into flames on command, does extra Fire Damage)He WOULD have gotten Augvarr if he wasn't unhorsed. But he was.
>>3224766>> Custom option.Ask why he feels the Crowmunds don't give adequate compensation for their soldiers, and why he hasn't brought this up with them.What will he do next time, when there's losses but no loot to make up for it. We're happy to share the loot now, but we would have to check with our Princess first. After all, if we give him the sword for his men, then he's cutting the Crowmunds out of this and we're essentially buying him. That's concerning, because if we can buy him who else can.
>>3224766>Offer the flaming sword. (Enchanted sword that bursts into flames on command, does extra Fire Damage)Something tells me the axe is cursed.
>>3224766>Offer the flaming sword. (Enchanted sword that bursts into flames on command, does extra Fire Damage)Could he use it as it is to heat up part of the camp?
>>3224766>>Offer the runic axe. (Unknown effect, requires a Kowledge Check to discern its abilities.)
>>3224780>>3224793>>3224801>>3224806>>3224838>>3224853>>3224876At first, it appears to be a fair deal. A sword for valor rightfully gained. Certainly, he did a good job of holding off Augvarr for a time. If you were feeling nice, you might even say that he softened the barbarian up for you. It would only be fair to divide the reward between two equal parties. Hagenson has shown nothing but qualities becoming of a cranky, but good-hearted, war-weary veteran.But why does he feel compelled to ask you about reward? The issue of payment and relief for the dead knights sounds like a question to be taken to the Crowmonds, if not Pullman himself. Is he not being paid adequately enough to request for the sword? Or is he trying to double cross you underneath the table?...you don’t like it, even as you hold no malice towards the veteran knight. But with that said…“I would be more than willing to give it to you,” you say. “But it is back in Westholm, inside the house. Tomorrow, maybe you could come and pick it up then? I just would need to speak to the princess, and I see no reason for her to deny your request.”Nodding happily, Hagenson smiles, and bows slightly from the waist. “Many thanks, boy…no.” He pauses to correct himself. “Many thanks, Crownguard Painel.”The two of you shake hands and go your separate ways. He returns to the camp, you return to the village, and you can feel eyes upon both of you. Ignoring the tension in your gut is no easy task, even if you feel like you’ve discovered a hidden caveat in the fine print of a contract……then again, you’ve never been one for swords yourself. Ineffective, inelegant weapons for the technique of the Dance. Especially ones that light on fire! Hopefully, the knight-captain will have better luck in guessing the command word than you.>>Later that eveningAdrianna offers nothing towards you in the way of words. The eldest Crowmond continues to ignore you as she readies herself for bed. Fussing over herself and muttering in terse, clipped commands to the terrified maidservants, there is little attention she could spare beyond her own absorbed irritation.It is when you finish gathering your materials that your hand brushes against it. Buried deep inside of your satchel, carefully hidden beneath wadded paper folios and discarded sheets, you come across the items that Feija had traded with you. Three relics of from the Age of Smoldering Ash lay in your bag, all in exchange for drakling gemstones and the warmth of your body…or lack thereof, an amusing ‘first’ for her.Still...given what happened with Carris...you can't help but wonder what it would have been like to lay with her. There are seldom any 'firsts' you have left to give, but fucking a traitor of the human race would certainly be one for the bards and bawdy taverns....barbarians. Not even once.(cont.)
The Dark Grimoire, bound in the hide of dragonskin, chronicling the Age of Smoldering Ash, as told by a barbarian elder. A cursory look reveals nothing beyond incomprehensible runes, more akin to the wild scratches of a madman or scribe with palsy. You will need time to decipher this…Then, the Pale Blade. A weapon made from the bone of a dragon’s finger. Eternally sharp, it will pierce through all armors no matter their material. The blade will hold an edge for hundreds of years, and nothing short of powerful magic could break it. But while those two are of great value to your line of work, or otherwise pique your interest, it is the last item that is truly worth a king’s…nay, an Emperor’s ransom. No larger than the pommel of your fingernail, the jade-green scale has not lost its luster. Indeed, even with your taste for magic, you can detect lingering traces of…something there, something inhuman fused within the scale itself.This is Vizhorek’s Ward, a remnant of Vizhorek the Calamitous, the green dragon who bathed the continent in poison. Unlike Drathil the Elder Fang, who made compacts with disparate peoples, the green dragon had a bottomless appetite for cruelty and malice. His sovereign liege, Mallifax, the Shroud of Shadows and Dragon-King, desired to cleanse the continent of all human life. But Vizhorek’s malice was that of a cat that toyed with its food, of a cruel child plucking the wings from a hapless bug, delighting in the suffering of his prey.His breath was not of flame, heat hot enough to turn a man to ash in mere seconds, but a noxious vapor that spelled a slow and painful death. Reports vary from chronicle to legend, but a single breath could begin to melt a man’s lungs. Mere exposure caused welts to appear on open skin, blistering and cracking flesh like tile. To face the direct brunt of his breath was a death you would only wish upon your worst enemy. Stone melted from its acidic potency, and flesh ran like liquid to slough off of sinew and bone. His mood mattered not – Vizhorek controlled the potency at his whim, granting quick or slow deaths both in good and foul temperament.Worst was the effect upon the land. Plants withered, the soil became sand, and the ancient forests of Kaithe became mere husks of themselves, collapsing into great mounds of ash. Nothing could grow in a land seeped with Vizhorek’s poison, nothing could survive in a land left barren by his breath. He did not simply wish to kill humans. He wished to rob them of their ability to live, to turn them against one another to fight for what meager scraps he had not tainted. “So this is what you truly are? How quaint. To think that the only thing holding your pathetic race back from devolving into savagery was pangs of hunger and empty bellies…”(cont.)
Barbarians of the ruined lands, including Vethics, Hults, Ingulans , Askarans, Kimberi and Teuton, fled into the lands of the Eridian Empire. Not even the full might of their legions and war wizards could stem the desperate tide. And it would not take long before the sheer mass of bodies pressing against their forces would break through. Settlements and outposts burned, legions perished both by dragon and their fellow man...a plague broke out, a terrible epidemic caused by the desperate cannibalism of poisoned human flesh.Then came Saint Marteus, former centurion and plebian of the Empire’s most southern borders, now Prophet of the One God. Blessed with spears of lightning and miracles of healing, he traveled with Hero-King Baldir the Dragonsbane as his sworn companion and brother in all but blood. They fought, drank and feasted together, fighting the dragons and holding back the tide of Mallifax’s genocide. Having recently slain Drathil the Elder Fang, and shattered her Hultish armies and human allies in the north, they set their sights for the second of Mallifax’s generals. And it was in the heart of the poisoned land, after a perilous journey through storms of tainted dust and fetid air, that they confronted the Calamitous Heart. Baldir’s blade sang with the Bladesong, and the sky disgorged great lengths of lightning into the palm of Marteus’ hands. The Battle of the Poisoned Peak saw the deaths of several of their beloved Dragonslayers, but in the end, the heroes proved victorious, and they smote the corpse of the Calamitous at the bottom of the mountain.After the Dragonic Wars had ended, and Mallifax was no more, Marteus returned to the poisoned lands. Atop the Poisoned Peak, he sat down and prayed, prayed to the One God. And as he prayed, the poison in the land would recede, drawn into the Saint’s body like water into a sponge. His vigil would last for twenty years before his heart succumbed to the poison, but in that time, his disciples built the magnificent cathedral-city of Opran around their savior’s body, and the disparate peoples of Kaithe had a place to call their own.The Eridians must have been furious, you think, examining the scale with a curious eye. They should have been quick to capitalize on him, proclaiming him to be the incarnation of Jupiter himself. Alas, a great deal of both the plebs and the patricians, but mostly the plebs, abandoned Eridia in favor of the city-state of Opran.…what you hold in your hands is proof of a legend, a relic of an age where the monsters hid not in the hearts of men. This scale could have only come off of Vizhorek after Marteus blasted the dragon with lightning. If you look closely, you can even see scorch marks along its more jagged edges.…now, you must decide who to give this relic to. >Give Vizhorek’s Ward to Adrianna, as an apology for earlier today.>Give Vizhorek’s Ward to Ellana, your bonded Crowmond princess.>Save it for someone worthier.
>>3225143>Give Vizhorek’s Ward to Ellana, your bonded Crowmond princess.
>>3225143>>Give Vizhorek’s Ward to Ellana, your bonded Crowmond princess.never let the healer get CC'd
>>3225143>>Save it for someone worthier.Because Adrianna needs to lean how to not blow up over everything going her way, and Ellana still needs to be able to stand on her own two feet and not whinge on about us. Neither of them are really worthy of such a thing at the moment, although either or both may grow into it later.
>>3225166It's a poison resist necklace so I don't know if 'Worth' factors in when it adds another layer of protection for our charge.
>>3225143>>Give Vizhorek’s Ward to Ellana, your bonded Crowmond princess.Ellana's safety is our only real concern at the end of the day.
>>3225143>Give Vizhorek’s Ward to Ellana, your bonded Crowmond princess.Make sure it's hidden well. Other people finding out about it would be bad.That said, we should probably tell our fellow Crownguards about how we got our new gear.
>>3225143>Give Vizhorek’s Ward to Ellana, your bonded Crowmond princess
>>3225042> ...barbarians. Not even once.Haha Bella, don't get fucked.
>>3225143> Give Vizhorek’s Ward to Ellana, your bonded Crowmond princess. If the King is I'll, by the way, might this not help him? We should let Ellana know about its qualities.> Ask Ellana if you may teach Adrianna about herbs as well, in order to reconcile with her. Besides, it cannot hurt to have a second Crowsmund know about them.Note I didn't say healing vs poison. Adrianna is old enough to decide. Anyways what she really wants is to spend time with and be special to us anyways.
>>3225747a +50 to resist poison without actual cures probably won't save him when he's this far gone.....but it could keep him kicking for another year or two. That could mean something.
>>3225171It might, make her more prone to using it maybe.>>3225143>Give Vizhorek’s Ward to Ellana, your bonded Crowmond princess.I wish Marcus was stupid enough to try eating it.
>>3226657Well we could always try the classic Magical Girl Noir option>Lick the Vizhorek's Ward
>>3225154>>3225161>>3225216>>3225448>>3225747“Marcus?” Ellana is surprised when you catch her, just before she’s about to sleep. The littlest Crowmond had chosen to prepare for bed away from her cantankerous sister. Only when the appointed time arrive did she return to the master bedroom, and not a minute before. “What’s wrong?”“…I have something to give you,” you say, clutching the scale behind your back. “A…a gift, of sorts.”She blinks, surprised. “A gift? For me?”“Aye, your highness.”Ellana’s expression turns to one of bright amusement. “Marcus, it’s too early for my birthday! And it’s been a long time since Yuletide-”“I’m well aware of that,” you cut her off gently, kneeling down to her level. Amber meets brown as your gazes match. “But this has nothing to do with either of those…don’t make that face at me! I don’t know when your birthday is.”The princess makes a dissatisfied noise, and folds her arms across her chest in an indignant huff. “A Crownguard should know those kinds of things!”“Yes, well…this Crownguard is very unusual,” you dryly mutter, pulling the charm from your back. The scale came pierced, carefully placed around a length of small chain. Perfect as a necklace for any size of neck. “He begs of your forgiveness for his slip in judgment…ah, don’t turn around. And keep your eyses closed! It will ruin the surprise.”She shivers, and you know not whether from the drafts in the house or the chill of the metal as it brushes against her neck. “…Allanus better not have put you up to this. Because if this is one of his jokes…”Chortling, you reply, “Rest assured that I am, and will continue to be, your agent.”Her patientce doesn’t seem to last very long. As soon as you shift the chain, sliding the coarse surface of the scale across her skin, she cannot take any more. You don’t need to see her face to know that her eyes have opened, and she’s reaching for the charm. “Enough with the games, what are you fastening to my…”Her words die in her throat, and her breach hitches sharply. Ellana is unable to speak as she catches sight of the scale as it drops from her collarbone.“Marcus…” the princess whispers, her voice full of awe and wonder. Closing the chain with a delicate touch, you retreat from her back as admires the scale, marveling at how the candlelight washes over its oily surface. Her eyes are transfized at the colors it casts, and the sensation of warmth that it gives on its own. “What…what is this?”“Vizhorek’s Ward,” you answer quietly. The way her neck snaps to look at you, eyes wide in surprise, you might have worried for serious trauma. “Aye, that Vizhorek. Green bastard of a dragon, pardon my vulgarity.”“Th-the Calamitous Heart?” she demands, incredulous. “You…this is one of his…his scales?”“A fragment of a scale, but yes."(cont.)
Her response comes quick, but you anticipate it in time. Just as she opens her mouth, you bring two fingers to your mouth, gesturing for her to be quiet. It would not bode well for you to bring the entire household to the little study room.“…how?!” she hisses lowly. “Where did you even…how can you be certain this is a real scale? And not some…something just painted to look like the real thing?! I’ve seen Uncle Alistair have men thrown into the stocks for trying to sell fake antiques and relics-”But you can tell in her voice that even she doesn’t believe her own rebuttal. Ellana wants to believe that this is just a token, something a traveling peddler might hawk to some gullible noble or backwater villager. Cream to make your skin flawless and beautiful? Or what about a sword that will never break? Perhaps even a knuckle of Saint Marteus, guaranteed to increase the harvest of your crop.“…you and I both know that there’s no faking that sensation, your highness,” you quietly answer. “That moment of when you touch it…that echo of a distant power…”Ellana deflates, her incredulity leaving her as she stares at the scale in wonder and awe. “…a proof of a great and terrible legend…” she continues, as if the two of you are entranced, “…something that nearly killed all of humanity…”“Nearly.” And you resist the urge to spit. “He might be furious to find out that a part of his corpse is being used to keep one of his hated humans safe.” Ellana shakes her head, once more turning to you in a furious, but not angry, glare. Repeating herself, she says: “Where did you get this? When did you get this? You couldn’t have had this before…before the drakling fell! And, and when you came back, all you did was…”>>Choose one option for disclosing the one who gave you the scale:>Refrain from telling her about your time after the fall.>Tell her about your meeting with Feija, the Dragon Cultist.>Custom option. [Write-in]>>Choose one option about keeping a secret:>Her siblings should know about the scale.>Only the Crownguard should know about it.>The scale must be kept a secret from everyone.>Custom option. [Write-in]I.E., a vote will look like:>Tell her about Feija, etc.>Only the Crownguard, etc.
>>3228875>Tell her about your meeting with Feija, the Dragon Cultist.>Only the Crownguard should know about it.
>>3228875>Tell her about your meeting with Feija, the Dragon Cultist.>Only the Crownguard should know about it.Fuck that was cute.
>>3228875>I ran into someone willing to trade for it on my way back to town. I bargained hard for it.>Tell the crownguard and Adrianna about the cultist, but not the scale. Tell Silverowe about the scale and ask him to check it though. Also examine the tear we saved just in case.
>>3228875>I ran into someone willing to trade for it on my way back to town. I bargained hard for it.>Only the Crownguard should know about it.
>>3228875>When the drakling fell, there were people who investigated. Enemies, possibly, but not that day.>I'll tell the story when the other Crownsguard arrive. I at least want Silverrow to verify before I tell you boogieman tales I'm not even certain are true.Follow >>3228968on keeping a secret
>>3228875>Tell her about your meeting with Feija, the Dragon Cultist>tell no one
>>3228875>Tell her about your meeting with Feija, the Dragon Cultist.Also mention our reasoning for why we bargained with her.>Custom option. [Write-in]The Empress might be good to tell about it so she can use it to help her father.
>>3228875>Tell her about your meeting with Feija, the Dragon Cultist.>The scale must be kept a secret from everyone.
>>3228905>>3228964>>3228968>>3229012>>3229026>>3229054>>3229132>>3229318>>3229808“After we fell, I took what I could from the drakling,” you tell her, “Nothing more than what I could fit into my satchel. Some scales, ambergris, a few teeth, and a handful of drakling gemstones. Not trophies or badges of honor as much as proof the thing was truly dead. I doubt I could find the corpse even if I wanted to.”Ellana’s mouth twists, mood apparently souring. “And the fact that drakling materials sell for hundreds of aurums has really nothing to do with it?”“Making a profit was the last thing on my mind. The funds to buy whatever I want come right from the Lord Commander.”“Then what do you intend to do with them?”“I do not know, but that is neither here nor now. You asked me about the Ward, your highness. Let me finish that story first.”The princess puts her nose in the air, but thinks better and quiets herself.“It was on the journey back,” you continue, “That we ran into each other. I doubt it was coincidence, but I’d bet my purse that she was also chasing the drakling…”>You tell her about your meeting with Firja, the Armanni woman and Dragon Cultist.>You tell her about the bargain you struck, seven gems for three artifacts.In the time you’ve known her, the princess is rarely one to be surprised. Angry or irritated? You saw that with the ultimatum she gave the other day. Happy and kind? Her normal, everyday demeanor. But you could count on your fingers the number of times that Ellana Crowmond could be truly surprised. This moment, at this time and location, is one of them.“A Dragon Cultist?!” she nearly yells, recoiling as if you’d said something obscene. The princess stares at the scale around her neck with new light, and a dawning unease. Not that you could blame her. Memories run long and deep, and though five hundred years have passed since the last sighting of any true dragon, the fear and loathing they caused still lingers within the land’s people.“At least, that’s what she claimed to be,” you say, gesturing for her to keep her voice down. “Not that I have any reason to doubt her. The fetishes around her neck seemed real enough, not to mention the artifacts she carried. There was no reason for her to lie, either.”Ellana isn’t furious as much as she’s equal measures disgusted and amazed. “I didn’t think any of them remained…no, if necromancer covens have survived even the Dawnlight Crusade, of course the dragons’ thralls would simply go into hiding…”You say, darkly, “I wouldn’t call her a thrall. There’s no way someone could be that…enraptured to worship the distant memory of our near-destroyers and be forcibly shackled. Firja is more than a willing participant in whatever religion her tribe claims to follow…”(cont.)
“Then why did you not kill her?” That certainly comes as a surprise. She holds the Ward delicately, as far away as she can with the length of chain still fastened to her neck. “Or at least drive her off? Did you have to entreat with her like she wasn’t a traitor-”You halt her just as she’s getting worked up into an impressive tirade. It seems that the cultural memory that she resonates the strongest with is that of the Dragonic Wars. Or perhaps a side-effect of too many of Lord Commander Palme’s bedtime stories.“…I’d just fought a drakling,” you answer with a wry look, “Bruised and battered all over…even if I didn’t break any bones, I wasn’t in any condition to fight. Gods know what she had beyond the artifacts on her person. A reengage mage…or one of the heretical sages who practice the Dragon’s Weave…I intended to return to you, your highness. Picking pointless fights would have certainly only delayed if not outright prevented it.”She seems ready to contest the point. But it seems a moot point to argue with you about the specifics about Firja. Ellana’s focus returns to Vizhorek’s Ward, which she holds and looks at as if holding a sack of rotting meat.“…what would a barbarian Dragon Cultist be doing with a true scale of Vizhorek?” she questions.“Relics to worship, perhaps, or treasures in their little reliquaries or shrines, perhaps. But it matters not.”“No, it matters.” Ellana shivers, in spite of the thickness of her nightgown. “…I just don’t understand how seven drakling gems balance out to a grimoire, a dagger, and a scale, not of demidrakes, but derived from true dragons.”You don’t claim to know the barbarians rituals or oddities. But when she does put it that way, Firja only comes out as all the more suspicious. Even if you refused her offer of sex, which you carefully omitted in your retelling to the princess. By all logical standards, you were the one to emerge with a clear and better deal.The princess speaks, “…I won’t doubt that this is the genuine thing. Not anymore. Wearing it will truly ward me from poison?”“I had no opportunity to test it,” you reply, lightly to hopefully clear the air. “I’d used up all my poisons on the drakling. There’s nothing but wild dandelion and onion grass to poison myself with. I doubt the Ward works on something as trifling as indigestion.”She giggles, albeit tinged with restrained hysteria. “What a sad thing that would be…” But Ellana still looks doubtful. “…I want to wear this. I really do. But if my sister finds out…or my mother…”“We will keep the secret. You and I, and the rest of the Crownguard when they come back. And then we will tell Palme, of course, but that probably will not be for a while. Silverow can verify the Ward, as well as check for anything Firja might have left behind…”(cont.)
With that issue seemingly settled, the tension leaves the princess’ body. Deftly, she pulls the collar of her nightgown, slipping the Ward underneath her clothes. As it disappears underneath her neck, she shudders. “…it’s cooler than I thought,” she admits.“At least it will not chafe.”“I’m more worried about it slipping out than anything else.”“…if you’d like-”“That won’t be necessary.” She straightens up, a little prideful. Then, in a voice of clearly put-on airs, she declares, “I graciously accept your gift, Marcus.”“And I’m glad your highness is pleased,” you answer, “Now come on. Your siblings are waiting. Best not to give them reason to venture out and look for us.”“Yes…ah!” Before she runs down the hall, towards her siblings’ room, she turns to you, wagging a finger. “But do not think this excuses you from my birthday! I still expect a gift come the First Dawning of Spring! I know it is extremely short notice, but I will be most displeased if you forget it or give a gift that does not match this one.”“…such a demanding princes I have,” you murmur as she slips into her bedroom. Ellana’s birthday is Spring 1, the first day of the New Year and the beginning of Spring Dawning. …it is fitting for her.>The following day…>Winter 78, 238 ACRNews comes just as you’re about to eat breakfast. Your companions are returning from the Boat Graveyard, but not from the way they came. Instead of going back up the river or diverging to another nearby waterway, they are traveling along the road, by means of oxen cart. Pullman had sent knights to scout for signs of von Roie, but the news of your fellow Crownguard’s return is just as warm a welcome. Especially with more than one prisoner in tow. Little wonder they were taking so long to return.“Ah…I was told to give you this message, Ser Crownguard. From the sorcerer Silverow,” the scout says to you. At your gesture for him to continue, he sheepishly recites, “‘Please pay the dockhands the cost of building a new boat. Destroyed by the Vascieli scum.’”...somehow you’re not surprised. Especially since it's the taciturn sorcerer to give you the message. Cheap bastard.>>You have enough time for one thing to do before the Crownguard return:>Attempt to make amends with Adrianna, now that a day has passed.>Sneak out to visit Carris at the Riverside Inn, just for a quick encounter.>Teach Ellana more about the myriad curative and poisonous plants of Kaithe. >Custom option.GO RAMS! Kick New England's teeth in!
>>3230676>Attempt to make amends with Adrianna, now that a day has passed.
>>3230676>Attempt to make amends with Adrianna, now that a day has passed.>2nd option is to get a quickie with Carris.That's almost tempting to see what shit would stir up
>>3230676>Attempt to make amends with Adrianna, now that a day has passe.
>>3230676>Sneak out to visit Carris at the Riverside Inn, just for a quick encounter.I don't know. I think her coming to us was something more. Would she have that kind of tunnel vision she wouldn't notice cordon of guards, and our charges?It gave vibe of "I like you, don't come to school tomorrow". Or she really, really likes us, one way or another worth. Also Adrianna will be pissed and will go full tsundere on us. Thats another plus
>>3230676>Sneak out to visit Carris at the Riverside Inn, just for a quick encounter.
>>3230676>>Attempt to make amends with Adrianna, now that a day has passed.
>>3230821I just want to end the Carris thing properly. Ellana is our one and only true priority. While we can care for Carris, and what she gave us, we can't offer anything but coin.Still, we should leave her a way to contact us if she ever does run into trouble. Hers isn't the safest of occupations, and while we might not be able to come ourselves I'm sure we could always send a couple knights or such if needed to dissuade anyone giving her problems.Or maybe we could help her get set up in a city with a respectable business, or a respectable brothel, whatever, since she's always talking about how fancy they are.
>>3230676>Sneak out to visit Carris at the Riverside Inn, just for a quick encounter.What is a spy without little birds to help him? Although i guess that would make Marcus look more like his father.
>>3230676>GO RAMS! Kick New England's teeth in!>>3230669>Good taste in teams kaz, now if only they were not choke artists. Hurts me to admit it.>>3230654>GO RAMS! My Falcons couldn't make it, so give the Saints a good kick in the rear!Get fucked.
>>3230676>Attempt to make amends with Adrianna, now that a day has passed.I really want to say hi to Carris, but ultimately not sure what we'd do with her and we have to 'live with' Adrianna
>>3230676>Attempt to make amends with Adrianna, now that a day has passed.We may be Ellana's Crownguard but she's still our boss.
>>3232421Get a quickie for the road obviously
>>3232460majority vote is always NO MY BODY MUST STAY PURE! NO QUICKIES!
>>3232474I think that statement loses some weight when we rocked her world not two days ago and this vote is less about 'purity' and more about what to do next.
>>3230687>>3230691>>3230791>>3231085>>3231108>>3231192>>3231544>>3232421>>3232448>>3232470“It took you longer than I thought…” she murmurs, affixing you with a keen and steady glare. Her words suggest a great punishment, but you sense no hostility or outright malice in her tone. Indeed, slumped and reclined in a comfort chair, the elder princess is the picture definition of an indolent noble. And to think that it’s not even noon. “…most in your place would not be so keen to keep a lady waiting, especially a princess.”You resist the urge to roll your eyes. Coming from Ellana, pointing out the difference between your respective status shouldn’t have done something to you, but it kind of did. It wasn’t anything serious, and perhaps her age contributed to your lack of finding offense. To hear the same words from Adrianna, however, it’s less charming and infinitely haughtier.“I thought it best to avoid groveling immediately,” you say, with only the smallest trace of sarcasm. “In the public square, I mean.”“Good of you to do that. We don’t need any more rumors to be spreading.”You aren’t surprised. There probably isn’t a single person in the entire village of Westholm that has no knowledge of the incident. Give it a few months, when winter thaws and spring brings trade caravans and travelers, the incident will be spread across the Midlands. A year? To all corners of the empire.Wisely deciding to not ask about the specifics, you change the subject, “But let us put aside the small talk and get to the heart of the matter.”“And what would that be?” she coolly asks.“I came here to make amends,” you answer firmly, “And to conclude the rest of our discussion. Now that we’re as private as we can be.”Not quite true, but it’s the best you’ll get. Shut away in another room, with plenty of servants and Eagle Knights to keep them company, Allanus and Ellana will not be eavesdropping any time soon. It is only you and the Princess Adrianna…although that may only be adding to the rumors, you think in dismay.She straightens in her chair. “There’s little to finish. I’ve had time to think about your answer for your reasons with sleeping with that…woman. Business with pleasure, I believe was what you said. How…convenient.”Adrianna sighs, resting her face against her hand. “I don’t suppose it’s too much to ask for you to not act like some kind of...adventurer, wasn’t it? Before my sister saved your life?”“Aye, that I was,” you lie with a straight face.“An adventurer, then, travelling the land, taking quests from nobles, slaying monsters and charming your way into the dresses and smallclothes of village girls…”(cont.)
You try not to bristle at her words, but you can’t stop your fists from tightening. Regardless of your cover story, what kind of man does she take you for? Certainly, you’ve been more than a little libertine with women…but you are not that kind of man.She treads too close. Far too close. That sort of cavalier attitude was something that Lucien did. There was nothing he held sacred so long as it helped him complete the mission. Taking advantage of a family’s kindness, or seducing a maidservant into slipping him into a castle, pretending to be an apothecary to administer rites to a sickly child…“Once you’ve accepted the contract, you’re not even human anymore. You’re merely a tool. An emotionless, thoughtless tool wielded by the one who owns you, and you will perform whatever task and duty necessary to accomplish that goal.”No matter how many lives got ruined. The family is accused of aiding an assassin, thrown into a dark and fetid dungeon. The maidservant is thrown out, belly fat and swollen with an unwanted babe. A child dies because the “medicine” given to him was little more than tea leaves ground into a sticky paste…Obvlivious to your discomfort, Adrianna continues, “But clearly, you are none of those things. Not anymore. And as I had said earlier, you have more than proved your valor in your duties, both for my sister’s sake and ours, mine as well. Nothing has changed in spite of your prior…occupation and your little distraction with that harlot. I…still have a high opinion of you, Marcus.”How very kind of her, you think. If she thought you are incorrigible now, she would truly blanche if she learned the truth about your past.>Comment on how much of a backhanded apology her words are, especially your past. [Sarcasm]>Inquire as to how to make further amends for the strain on your current relationship. [Genuine]>Remark about how virgins are the most uptight of peoples, and you know a remedy for that… [Flirt]>Swear to permanently forgo mixing Imperial Crownguard business with pleasure in the future. [Serious]>Custom option.
>>3232981>>Inquire as to how to make further amends for the strain on your current relationship. [Genuine]
>>3232981>Inquire as to how to make further amends for the strain on your current relationship. [Genuine]
>>3232981>Swear to permanently forgo mixing Imperial Crownguard business with pleasure in the future. [Serious]>Because frankly, with the movements of Blutlinge and Dragon Worshipers alike, I doubt there will be many more opportunities. [Cynical, Distract]
>>3204206KAZ IS BACKI'm still mad about the direction last thread went btw, fuck you guys.Time to put our murdering hat back on.
>>3232981>Comment on how much of a backhanded apology her words are, especially your past. [Sarcasm]
>>3233098This is good.I wonder if Adrianna realizes that our comment will mean we won't be mixing business and pleasure with her any time.> Marcus sharply disapproves
>>3233122Fuck you too anon
>>3232981Changing my vote and supporting: >>3233098
I hope you serious boys realize you're making a promise we might not be able to keep.The reason we slept with Carris was Drowned Lady information which is going to pay off considering the other Crownguard segment. Seduction is part of intrigue which is part of our skill set. If it can help protect the royals why swear it off? I'm not saying it would be something we'd do lightly, Marcus obviously doesn't like it, but saying we won't ever do it again cause Adrianna got upset seems kinda stupid or insulting her intelligence cause we may actually have to do it again someday.
>>3233494Point. Changing>>3233392 to > >Because frankly, with the movements of Blutlinge and Dragon Worshipers alike, I doubt there will be many more opportunities. [Cynical, Distract]> >Comment on how much of a backhanded apology her words are, especially your past. [Sarcasm]She doesn't know about the fact that we were found near death after getting revenge for the loss of the only perso to ever love us, or us to love, at that point in time.She can criticize us, but we don't have to stand for her slandering our love.We're Ellana's Crownguard, not here.
>>3232981>Comment on how much of a backhanded apology her words are, especially your past. [Sarcasm]I don't like the idea of us groveling for her forgiveness.
>>3233494It's a valid point. I'm just not sure how well that argument sounds given what happened with Carris, Marcus being pretty young, and Adrianna being young AND muddled with romance novels.I don't really know how to word it to sound convincing.
>>3233122You remember the last thread? >>3232981>Swear to permanently forgo mixing Imperial Crownguard business with pleasure in the future. [Serious]
>>3232981>>Inquire as to how to make further amends for the strain on your current relationship. [Genuine]There is no point swearing off of it. Just ask permission first.
>>3233721I remember, because I quit it halfway and had to read it from the archive.
>>3232981Yeah I think i'm gonna change to>Comment on how much of a backhanded apology her words are, especially your past. [Sarcasm]His love was the only thing he had and is one of the few things that would inspire ire if insulted.
>>3232981Also>Comment on how much of a backhanded apology her words are, especially your past. [Sarcasm]
>>3233773Kek. Yeah the pussyfooting around pussy-fingering more like desu with Carris and then ending up plowing her in the end wasn't great.
>>3233787It was either that or blueballing the rumor mill wench that we just asked to keep the questioning a secret.That wouldn't have gone well.
>>3233813It wasn't banging Carris, just the way that it went.
>>3233819Oh yeah the voting and how drawn out was sucked I agree.
>>3233510That's the thing, she DOESN'T KNOW about Marcus' "adventuring days", being sarcastic is only going to force him to tell her about it.
>>3233833What's there to tell? "I murdered an entire gang after they murderaped the love of my life." Don't need to delve to deep into the specifics.
>>3233872No, Adrianna needs to know about the brutal, Death Wish-esque gangrape. Wait shit. Is BBR just a medieval Death Wish?
>>3233872>>3233833Perfect opportunity to tell her, then.Part of why we could do it was because Carris wasn't a relationship.
>>3233955Pretty sure we swore to Palme not to tell anyone including the royals.
>>3233959I feel like we can tell enough of it, that we lost our true love once and this was the first experience we've had since then, without breaking our word.
>>3233959Wasn't he just talking about the whole 'assassin' thing? I'd need to go back and look to make sure.
>>3233963Eh I'm not really feeling like we should go into the whole sob story in this situation.Rather wait for a more interesting, dramatic moment.Imagine being Adrianna and after scolding your normally stoic retainer he gets all offended at your adventurer stereotype and starts going on tirade about 'MY GIRLFRIEND IS DEAD, YOU DON'T KNOW A THING ABOUT MUH PAST'.Can we just move on and get off this stupid fucking road for the past 2 years without bring up more bullshit?
>>3233981Could have been worse.We could still be on the boat.
>>3233981>Can we just move on and get off this stupid fucking road for the past 2 years without bring up more bullshit?Just 3 more years.
I still think it's hilarious that the youngest Princess found her Crownguard in a gutter somewhere, and he's somehow more dangerous than the other three.
>>3234000>other threeI think there are six excluding Marcus.
>>3234000Girl was born under a symbol of great power. Enough so that she scares blood mates enough to take a shot at her.
>>3234008SevenMorganaPalmeBellaSilveroweUrath Nameless sorcerer guarding the queen The emperor’s shadow whose name I forgot.
>>3234000I have no doubt that Silverrow could incinerate us in a second if we don't play it smart or that Urath could snipe us from a substantial distance if he got an angle on us.Lupine? We might be better than her. Kaz hasn't given us any reason to think otherwise.
>>3234019You're assuming a straight fight though.We're an assassin. A better question is who would be the best at protecting their charge.
>>3234018The Emperor, the Empress, their three kids (excluding Ellana cause Marcus), and his brother, or does he have two brothers?
>>3234024Palme free floats, because he's the commander.Allanus has two because he got the magic.
>>3234020Young Prince is that you?
>>3234162Actually we'd probably lose an indirect fight too. They got a lot of institutional power as well.And the Shadow dude.
>>3209020I know it's probably some Fire Emblem dude. but for a moment that flowing mane gave me Leon PTSD again. I need to lay off Langrisser for a while.
>>3210414> [x] will remember that.Goddamit Kaz, stop making me paranoid.
>>3214781>you still wouldn't beat the record of how quickly a Crownguard fathered a childWait, there's a story behind this. Who's the record-holder?
>>3233098I'll throw my vote at this.
...wew, that got out of hand.>>3234024Two brothers. A legitimate and bastard brother...lemme just dump the Crowmond family tree for the last few years...Emperor Albrecht “the Lewd” Crowmond (b. Autumn 77, 150 ACR, d. 200 ACR)- His children by Princess Maudelyne of Brúcain. (b. Summer 28 160 ACR, d. 201 ACR)-- Leonhardt (b. Summer 52, 187 ACR)-- Leutfried (b. Spring 31, 189 ACR)-- Maudelinde (b. Winter 23, 195 ACR, d. 201 ACR)-His principle bastard children, who saw active participation in the Bastards’ War:-- Osvald (b. Spring 13, 186 ACR, d. 222 ACR), by affair with Adelaide Perriers, handmaiden and confidant of the Empress-Mother Maudelyne.-- Seigric (b. Winter 4, 188 ACR, d. Summer 90, 210 ACR) by affair with Countess Enlein von Vilingen, wife of High Marshal Durand von Vilingen.-- Gisela (b. Spring 57, 192 ACR, d. Spring 57, 215 ACR), by affair with Ilsebe, daughter of the Rentz merchant family.-- Flavius Aurelius (b. Autumn 45, 196 ACR, d. Summer 43, 216 ACR), by affair with Caedicia Augurna, niece of the Eridian Emperor Galerius Tullius Aquilar.-- Eckbert (b. Summer 67, 198 ACR), by rape of Edaiya, Ingulan handmaiden of Archduchess Svala TarmundAlbrecht is noted to have had many more bastards, but for the sake of brevity, only the most prominent will be given focus. Osvald, Seigric, and Gisela were the principle antagonists in the civil insurrection that would later be called the Bastards’ War, when the assassination of Albrecht the Lewd opened a power vacuum that many were eager to fill. This war would begin in the Summer of 201 ACR, with the night of Empress-Mother Maudelyne and Princess Maudelinde’s assassinations, and the flight of Leonhardt and Leutfried from Karthmire. It would only end with the death of the final pretender Osvald Crowmond, his defeat at the Battle of the Köingswald, and subsequent execution by Leonhardt in 222 ACR. Seigric would be killed by his own men as the loyalist forces closed around him, hoping for a nonexistent mercy the rightful emperor would not give. Gisela and Aurelius, having united their coalitions by incestuous marriage, died within months of each other, the former by an arrow through her throat as she led her troops into battle, and the latter by syphilis contracted during a bout of depressive excess.All remaining bastard siblings who raised their hands against the loyalists were summarily executed by Leonhardt and Leutfried, and their allies executed, stripped of their titles, or banished from the Empire, depending on the severity of their collaboration. The only bastard to survive was Eckbert, who served as Leonhardt’s squire, then aide-de-camp. After the end of the war, he would create the cadet House of von Tohle (lit. Jackdaw), and be appointed to the Count Palatine and Administrator of the Ingulan Protectorate by virtue of his mixed blood. He is formally disqualified from the line of succession to the Bladebound Throne, and thus, has no Crownguard.(1/??)
>>3233098I'd like to point out that the extra write in mentions Dragon Worshipers when we are trying to keep our involvement with her a secret from everyone but Ellana and eventually the Crownguard.So you know. That'll open up another fun line of questioning.
>>3234486>Emperor Albrecht “the Lewd” CrowmondJust how much handholding and missionary position for the purprose of procreation did he do to gain that title?
>>3234499>Albrecht is noted to have had many more bastards, but for the sake of brevity, only the most prominent will be given focus. A lot apparently.
>>3234499>>3234501More than a dozen, less than thirty, not all consensual and from women both of high and low standing, and within and without the Empire's borders.
>>3234491we are hiding the scale, not the dragon worshiper.Also, that was kind of the point. Note the explicit mechanical [DISTRACT] tag.
>>3234550It's going to lead into a line of questioning that'll get Marcus in deeper shit than pounding Carris, but you do you.
>>3234575honestly, I'm surprised I got this much support. In terms of impudently manipulating a Royal, this is as offensive as sarcasm and flirt, if not more.
>>3234529Was he burned from a stake?If he was or wasn't, do itagain/do it, his degeneracy is inexcusable even in death.
>>3234486Emperor Leonhardt Crowmond, whom they call “The Bloody Crow” and “The Kinslayer”- His children by Melianna “the Cunning” Tarmund, daughter of Archduke Emerich “the Blood Eagle” Tarmund of Gerforen’s Reach (b. Autumn 46, 201):-- Emeron (b. Summer 75, 218), Crown Prince and young man of twenty.-- Adrianna (b. Autumn 13, 222), a young lass of sixteen.-- Allanus (b. Summer 19, 226), a young lad of twelve.-- Ellana (b. Spring 1, 230), a young girl of eight.Prince Leutfried “the Noble” Crowmond, regent of the Principality of Gaiseric- His children by Deidre Uí Canann, a tribal princess of Gnuryll. (b. circa Spring 210 ACR)-- Lugh (b. Summer 72, 231), Heir-Apparent and lad of seven.-- Luete (b. Autumn 88, 232), a young girl of six.-- Lutz (b. Autumn 88, 232), a young boy of six.Duke Eckbert "the Just" von Tohle, Administrator of the Ingulan Protectorate and Palatine of the Moonlight Plains- His children by Arzu of the Bitui-Manana Ingulan tribe (b. circa Winter 204):-- Sevim (b. Winter 4, 220), a young lass of fifteen.-- Kadir (b. Spring 70, 225), Heir-Apparent and lad of thirteen.-- Leyla (b. Summer 4, 226), a young girl of twelve.-- Arslan (b. Summer 62, 228), a young boy of ten.-- Haluk (b. Winter 87, 231), a young boy of seven.-- Verda (b. Autumn 54, 232), a young girl of six.The Imperial Crownguard:- Lord Commander Orici Palme (b. circa 210).- Vaast Ruvel, Crownguard to Leonhardt. (b. ???)- Thorkell “the Tall” Erlingson, Crownguard to Prince Leutfried (b. 181).- Jochen “the Eunich” Stolze, Crownguard to Empress Melianna. (b. Autumn 13, 200)- Morgan Ruvel, Crownguard to Emeron (b. circa 219).- Bellatrix “the Wolf” Lupine, Crownguard to Adrianna (b. circa Spring 216).- Urath “the Last” of the Lanuk-Burol Tribe, Crownguard to Allanus (b. circa Summer 214).- Raleigh “the Tempest” Silverow, Crownguard to Allanus (b. Autumn 44, 218).- Marcus “the Wraith” Lupine, Crownguard to Ellana (b. circa 216-218)....and that should be the immediate family tree for the Crowmonds. Now, to make sense of the vote..hoo boy.Writing...
- Marcus “the Wraith” Lupine, Crownguard to Ellana (b. circa 216-218).....shouldn't that be Paniel?
>>3234614you mean Painel, and yeah it should unless Bellatrix already claimed us in the court of law.
>>3234614>>3234619...fuck, you're right. That should definitely be Marcus Painel. I didn't pay attention when I copy/pasted. Bleah. Let that be a lesson to me, I'm not gonna delete it just to correct a single word. It's correct barring that, and no, there's no barbarian laws for marriage that apply in the Empire.>>3234604He was assassinated by Ikem the Sharp, the Master of the Hunt for Archduke Emerich Tarmund, out of revenge for the rape of his wife, Edaiya. As Albrecht was doing a meet-and-greet with the peasants from his balcony, Ikem shot him with a Screaming Arrow and blew a hole in his torso and in between his legs the size of a watermelon.The Archduke Tarmund swore no knowledge of his servant's behavior, and personally saw to the manhunt and eventual execution of his renegade Master of the Hunt. And while there are some whispers that say that the Archduke provided the magical items to his servant, it's still a mystery if it was for the slight against his wife's, and by extension, the House of Tarmund's, servant, or for an opportunity he could not help but take.Ironically, it would be to Gerforen's Reach where Leonhardt and Leutfried would flee to first. Emerich Tarmund pledged his house, bannermen and soldiers to the loyalist cause in exchange for his then-infant daughter, Melianna, to be betrothed to Leonhardt.
>>3234619>yeah it should unless Bellatrix already claimed us in the court of law.I could see it
>>3234604Wait, forgot. As soon as the war was over, and he got crowned the rightful Empire of Aderaveth, the first decree that Leonhardt ordered was to have all monuments, statues and tributes to his father torn down and destroyed. The tomb where Albrecht was laid to rest was plundered, the decorative images destroyed. The exhumed remains were ground into a fine powder, mixed into pig feed and then fed to swine, which were later drowned in a vat of Alchemists' Fire. The only image holding Albrecht's image that survived the "purge" is a marble bust in the royal chambers. Leonhardt stares at it upon waking up and just before going to bed, as if obsessively affirming and reminding himself from where he came from and what he will and must never become.
>>3234670Jesus. Damnantio Memoriae, huh?
>>3234670>Leonhardt stares at it upon waking up and just before going to bedSo, all day because he's a rock which doesn't move?
>>3234606So, the Empress is called "The cunning" and was betrothed to a man at least 18-20 years her senior, going by that backstory.Anyone else see where this is going?Although on the other hand... she DID bear him no less than four children, although the first would have been enough to satisfy the requirements of an heir. Eh.
>>3234680Basically she's the Queen of Thorns.
>>3234680Roughly 14-15 years her senior by a few months, give or take. And she got that title from being a pretty damn good regent while her husband's been left incapacitated by the mysterious illness that ails him.
>>3234721Since you're answering questions, Kaz, what about this?>>3234292
>>3234292Legit just supposed to be a Noodle Incident kind of thing, but what the hell. I'll write a blurb.A Crownguard of Maxvell Crowmond's grandson by his daughter, Emperor Mederic "the Reclaimer" Crowmond, who succeeded Maxvell after his death and ascended the thrown in 44 ACR. That man's name was Ouen Tichy, a Lyurish (not!Poland) knight who won a tourney to decide who would become the Lord Commander of the Crownguard. Not two days after his swearing-in, he was found in a compromising position with a visiting duchess in the imperial stables. The scandal was the stuff of legends, and the child she would bear him would become a prominent commander of Aderaveth and founder of a noble house in the Lyuran Commonwealth. To this day, to do a "Tichy" is to seduce or otherwise impregnate a woman within two days of meeting her, and to do a "Mederic" refers to men (successfully or not) impaling the lovers of their daughters with rusty pitchforks should they be caught in flagrante delicto, especially near livestock.
>>3234680> Emerich Tarmund pledged his house, bannermen and soldiers to the loyalist cause in exchange for his then-infant daughter, Melianna, to be betrothed to Leonhardt.Pretty cunning to do that as an infant.
>>3234762Now this is what I call quality worldbuilding.
>>3234529>>3234639>>3234670Despite me asking in an obvious joking manner, you still answered in such a serious and lengthy post, even mixing it with a lot of history and world building at the same time. You're a great QM, Kaz.Just how much more have we not yet heard in this setting?
>>3234794Well, if the wording doesn't make sense, then let me correct that and put it straightforward. In exchange for Emerich's support, Leonhardt was to be betrothed Melianna. When she became of age, he would marry her, and take her as his Empress, giving Emerich a more permanent line of influence after the Bastards' War had ended.>>3234819Admittedly, my serious and lengthy posts come from being unable to read tone or tenor in verbiage. It's hard to tell when someone's being serious or sarcastic given the lack of tonality when reading words on the internet, so I just give the benefit of the doubt and answer seriously and to the best of my ability. But thanks for the compliment.There's just a little bit more of the time between the end of the Dragonic War and the Beginning of Crimson Reckoning, but I'll pastebin that stuff in a general history paste.
>>3234845>unable to read tone or tenor in verbiage>autism.mpeg
>>3234852Hush, it's the good productive kind of so.
>>3234845But yeah nah, the other dude was implying her marriage was cunning and I was pointing out she was an infant at the time of the engagement, so it's unlikely she contributed significantly to the engagement.
>>3234845So, will the whole scandal with Sofia Rudnick and her Knight get a phrase?
>>3234869No, you dolt, I was implying that her epithet being "The Cunning" IN CONJUNCTION with the fact that she was engaged before she ever had a chance to say dada, let alone protest, to a vastly older man could all be seen as an indicator that she was displeased with her current husband and had the means and motive to remove him from affairs. But like I also pointed out, that wouldn't really mesh with what we know of her, including the fact that she had four children.
Ansell is at least 200 years old if he held the Crimson Tyrant as a baby, and he was old enough to have stopped counting even then. His epithet was that he cannot die. So, he predates the big bad Blood Mages.I wonder what his story is.
>>3234975He's a vampire. Like how Bellatrix is a werewolf. Or maybe she's a skinwalker. But those are just Native American werewolves.
>>3234977Kaz said vampires don't exist in this setting.
>>3234979Kaz also said that Adrianna was a virgin.
>>3234981I can believe it.
>>3233017>>3233065>>3233066>>3233272>>3233444>>3233772It isn’t completely Adrianna’s fault that she would grossly mischaracterize you. Your past, after all, is a thin veil of obscurity and pretension, a carefully construed lie made by Palme’s design. Therefore, it would be illogical to get too worked up.…but there’s a part of you that does. That gaping hole in your chest, the rending of your heart…how dare she make light of everything that you’ve suffered though. Broken as you are, a fact that you irredeemably know for a fact, there is a part of Marcus Painel who feels a true and genuine rage that he would have never felt.You school your face to portray nothing. All you merely do is offer a slight nod of your head, a deferential gesture without appearing to grovel. You are a wraith, not a dog, no matter who has your life. And that would be Ellana Crowmond, not her sister. Then again, there isn’t any harm in at least trying to get along with her…insufferable as she can be.“…then I would hope that settles everything…unless you require something else of me,” you intone, surprised that you aren’t cringing. Then again, playing the conciliatory, charismatic negotiator was one of his best skills. It would have been odd for you to not at least have picked up on some of that talent in those formative years.“I’m sorry?” she asks.“Amends, restitution…within reason, of course. Aye, you have a high opinion, but I want to keep it that way, prevent it from worsening. Do you have anything I could do to…ensure my words are genuine?”That catches her by surprise. The elder Crowmond thinks hard, pursing her lips and furrowing her brow. Then, as if stung by an insect, she starts, clapping her hands together as if realizing something profound. “Very well. If you’re so keen on that, then I’ll permit for you to prove yourself. I ask of only two things.”This time, you do cringe, although she’s so caught up in herself that she doesn’t seem to notice. Gods save us all…Adrianna’s smile is uncharacteristically bright. “You will dedicate some of your unoccupied time to learn how to become a better Crownguard. There’s no denying your prowess in battle. Palme certainly knows that. But for attending to us in public, or in the privacy of a feast thrown by the high nobility…?”You have a very good idea as to where this is going. “I’d like to think I’ve been doing a good job.”“Indeed you have been. And certainly, no offense to the Mazurs or Uncle Kieran…but they are just landgraffs! They can afford to be lax with us, and Uncle Alistair is the same way. Old friends of my father can afford to ‘let their hair down’ when we come. Not so much for other nobles not directly sworn to my father.”(cont.)
>>3235035Gotta learn to extend that pinky I guess.She's just using this to get some alone time with him
>>3235035…she does have a point. And in hindsight…where did you get those manners? Certainly not from any one-copper production. No, the most realistic option would have been “what would he have done”. And loathe as you are to admit it, Lucien’s near-destruction of your ego and self helped as well.The princess begins to get surprisingly into her words. She goes on and on about traditions and etiquette, bizarre cultural references to the Archduchies across the Empire. No, you did not know that in the River Marches, they drink their soup directly from the bowl, without need for a spoon. And that in the Lyuran Commonwealth, it is a taboo to sit with an ankle on the other knee, lest you bring bad luck upon the entire dining table.“...it’s quite a lot to take in,” you admit, rubbing the back of your head. Instinct and vague politeness would have only gotten you so far. And gods forbid that you offend someone of high rank seated beside Ellana.“It is, isn’t it?” she declares, with only a slight tinge of smugness. “And that’s why I’m here to help better yourself.”You snort. “And I am grateful for your help. But I can’t help but feel that I am not the first person you’ve bettered. Clearly, whatever you do must work.”She beams (beams!) at that. “Indeed. When Bella came, she was certainly a handful to deal with.”Bwah?Adrianna seems puzzled at the look on your face. “Why are you surprised? The Isle of Strax are our sworn allies, but they are certainly only a degree less coarse and rough than our local barbarians. So when Bellatrix first came, I was sure to spend some time helping her…adjust to Vethic society. It’s still a continuing work, even after seven years, but she’s made great strides.”The memory of a naked, blood-lusting barbarian, raging in the moonlight with a dripping sex and bloodthirsty grin, comes and passes in the front of your mind. The ghosts of her attacks, phantom twitches and pains in your body, still tingle and raise gooseflesh along your skin. That is a night you will never forget, for better or for worse.‘A continuing work’, you think to yourself. But if THAT is improvement...You don’t nearly have the heart or the malice to explain how Adrianna’s Crownguard goaded you into fighting her. Stripping off her clothes in the middle of some godforsaken part of the Köingswald and propositioning you for sex while half-buried in the snow. Against a tree, breasts heaving-You cleanse your mind of the image and memory before the primitive part of your body can even think about stirring to life. “…you said that was only the first of two things. What is the second?”“Ah, that…” she pauses before smiling once more. “I’ll ask you when it becomes applicable. Now...ah, I need to prepare for their return. Marcus, you are excused, but I look forward to our lessons."That does absolutely nothing to smooth your nerves.(cont.)
>>LaterTo no one’s surprise, the first thing that Bellatrix asks upon her return to town is food. Vaulting off of the edge of the cart, taking no care to avoid bumping into the prisoners, the Straxine woman scrutinizes the encampment the Crownguard have pulled into. Encircled by handful of Eagle Knights, they hold weapons at the ready, not provisions of dried sausage or wheeled cheese.“You try walking ten miles without anything bigger than nuts to keep your belly full,” she grumbles, tearing into a strip of cured beef you magnanimously offered. “All the while struggling with two holes in your gut.”“I’ve done worse,” you mildly reply, keeping your attention as Urath and Silverow take the prisoners off of the cart. One is an armored man, sullen and despondent with a lump the size of a goose egg on his head. The other is wrapped in a cloak, with the hood pulled back to reveal a pale and jaundiced complexion. What he is isn’t immediately available, but you can taste how the magic in the air sours, seems to twist in response to the man’s very presence.A mage, definitely. But not a blood mage. It doesn’t have that iron tang of blood, but it isn’t the flavor of any high sorcerer. It’s…deceptively sweet, but the more you chew on it, the more foul and intolerable it becomes.…necromancer. It has to be.“You have, really?” Bellatrix asks, intrigued.“Flipping from one building to the next with a knife wound in my side,” you murmur quietly as Silverow and Urath debrief the expectant Lord Pullman. “Unstitched.”The knightess grins. “You’ve got a lot of blood in you, then. Or a real iron belly to not bleed out.”You don’t offer an answer to that. All you do is shift the bulk of your attention to the grim-faced Pullman. And the frown on his brow only grows more severe with everything your companions are telling him. His eyes are filled with loathing, and you do not blame him. Beyond the presence of the Vascieli contact, it seems that a necromancer had made their lair in the Boat Graveyard, taking the offerings and sinking the vessels that dared to brave the rapids for “fresh supplies”.“You, I’ll leave for Alistair,” the valeman murmurs to the armored man, but to the necromancer, he directs a look of pure disgust. “But you? No, I don’t have to wait for my friend to come to deal with the likes of you.”“Your false god can offer you nothing,” the necromancer spits with a voice that is unmistakably, to everyone’s surprise, female. “The Light is a lie, lordling. That bitch of a saint Lumeria only stopped the inevitable. Ash may be the Umbral King, but just as we are ash and dust-”Pullman roughly backhands her, knuckles of his good hand flared out. Teeth and blood go flying, and the woman sprawls to the ground. Ellana gasps, but you keep a tight hand on her shoulder in solidarity. Perhaps this is a side of her uncle that she isn’t used to seeing.(cont.)
Hm. What all are the types of mages, then? Elementalists, Necromancers, Blood Mages...what else? Or are their too many to count?
>>3235064Human magic users are encompassed in the following:- High Sorcerers/Elementalists, students and learned descended from the first Eridian Spellcasters- Necromancers, the fell pupils and members of the Umbral King, the Dread Necromancer.- Blood Mages/Warlocks, the scions and students of Aedric von Brandt, the Crimson Tyrant.- Primal Mages/Druids, most believed to have died out after Eridian Expansion into Vethica.Other magic includes the Divine Miracles granted to Saints and followers of the One God, and the Dragonic Weaves, which is the magic exclusive to dragons that they cast using their hearts as Cores/Sparks. Dragonic Sages are humans that have imbibed in Dragon's Blood, and are granted the privilege of using magic bequeathed onto them by their overlord.
>>3235063“There is only one God who can grant eternal life,” he exhales, gesturing sharply. The squire by his side nods, trembling, and presents the landgraff’s sword with both fear and reverence. In a swift motion, he draws the blade, holding its point just beneath the jugular vein. “One God, the True God. What your Umbral King offers is mimicry, a grotesque parody of life disguised as a mere delay of rot. Death is the natural order of things, and you’d do well to remember that.”“Tell me, lordling…do you fear death?” the necromancer asks as Pullman positions the blade. You might have opted to stop them, but Urath and Silverow assure you that she had nothing to offer but bile and curses. Her journals and spellbook, however, are a different story.“Aye, who doesn’t fear death?” In a singular swift motion, he will execute the necromancer. And the bastard makes no attempts to otherwise resist. “But it’s how we greet him that separates the two of us. When we both stared at him…you blinked.”The necromancer chuckles, even as he lays his head upon the execution block, an impromptu block quickly fashioned by a knight good with his hands. “…is it so wrong to fear death that you would do anything to stay alive?”"Not when you've lived a life without any regrets." Before he swings, the landgraff pauses. "Do you have any last words? Mercy is not an option, but I will grant you that much."She shakes her head. "...please don't burn me. I'm so very much afraid of fire.""I cannot do that. Someone may try to resurrect you.""...then scatter my ashes into the river. Right along the most violent rapids...""...granted." And he brings the longsword high into the air. Kissing the emblem on the hilt, he chants, "I, Landgraff Kiern Pullman, sworn to Leonhardt Crowmond, sentence you to death for the crimes of necromancy, murder and disturbance of Imperial Peace. May the gods of my liege and my own God have mercy on your soul."The necromancer closes her eyes, and extends her hands forward. "You have already given me more mercy than I deserve."Adrianna looks straight on, in spite of the doubt on her face, but she will not look away. Her brother could be no different, looking on with eager anticipation. But even through the gauntlets around your hands, you can feel Ellana trembling. You don’t need to see her face to know that she’s gone pale.>“Don’t look away, Ellana…you’ll have to see this sooner or later.”>“Look away, Ellana…you don’t need to see this thing yet…”>Custom option.
>>3235075>“Look away, Ellana…you don’t need to see this thing yet…”
>>3235075>“Look away, Ellana…you don’t need to see this thing yet…”Honestly, she's 8. The sound alone will scar her for life.
>>3235070Wait. Does this mean the Dragon Cultist got her powers from a living dragon?
>>3235075>Custom option.Ask her if she wants to look or not, then support that decision.
>>3235085I mean, if you wanna cover her ears or otherwise grab her and run, that's completely up to you.
>>3235075>>“Look away, Ellana…you don’t need to see this thing yet…”
>>3235075>>“Don’t look away, Ellana…you’ll have to see this sooner or later.”>cover her ears
>>3235075>“Look away, Ellana…you don’t need to see this thing yet…”>cover her ears
>>3235075I'll switch to supporting this>>3235097
>>3235075>“Don’t look away, Ellana…you’ll have to see this sooner or later.”>cover her earsI doubt troubles will stop following Ellana. We can't have her freeze at the first sight of blood or harshness.
>>3235122Yeah this one.
>>3235075This>>3235097And maybe cover her nose too, get her used to this sort of thing one sense at a time.
>>3235075>“Don’t look away, Ellana…you’ll have to see this sooner or later.”Its never going to be easy. Better now then in a fight.
>>3235075>“Don’t look away, Ellana…you’ll have to see this sooner or later.”Exposure therapyGood for everything but a fear of flashers
Calling the vote to have her watch the execution, albeit covering her ears.Writing...
>>3235634We have to praise her for being strong. Tell her that if she wants to learn about poisons, she first has to learn about death. Poisons are death, and there isn't any such thing as a good or easy death, but this one here is easier than most.
>>3235634rip innocence. It was good while it lasted.
>>3235634Christ we got some real big brained people here. Literally picked the stupidest options.You either go all in with her having to deal with death or you completely shelter her for now.Not this half assed 'You have to see this, but I'll spare you the sound, one sense at a time' bullshit. You guys can't even commit to your own ideal here.
>>3235712Someone is salty their vote didn't win.
>>3235097>>3235122>>3235124>>3235160>>3235199>>3235444>>3235491>>3235631“Don’t look away, Ellana,” you whisper, squeezing her shoulder gently. “…this is something you’ll have to see sooner or later. But if you’ll allow me…”She shivers as you cover her ears, gently brushing the metal digits of your gauntlets against the side of her head. The princess does not completely stop trembling, but she does allow herself to be eased into your hands. The leather that guards your palms is pliable, but thick enough to block the worst of the noise. Hopefully.In a single stroke, her uncle brings his blade down upon the malefactor’s neck. The head parts in a single stroke, an impressive feat to accomplish with only a single good hand to swing. A torrent of blood sprays from the stump, soaking into the slurry to mix with the mud and snow. The sharp tang of iron fouls the air, and the nearby oxen have to be restrained lest they bolt.The head bounces along the ground, rolling to a stop in front of the Crowmond children. Adrianna blanches, and even Allanus looks mildly disturbed. Your own little princess seizes in your hands, going ramrod straight as the object rolls to a stop. Even with the blood running down its nose, and the dirt that’s streaked across its face, there is no hiding the smile on the necromancer’s face, a smile as calm and serene to be found in sleep.Pullman sheathes his blade, calling for a nearby group of knights. “Assemble a pyre. Purchase timber from the village if you cannot find any dry wood, and a ceramic jar for the ashes. I want her to be burning within the hour.”At those words, the gathering disperses. The knights go back to performing their own business, and the townsfolk that appeared meander back into the village proper. A few stay behind, elders who stare with hatred at corpse slumped against the block. There is one bold child who runs as if to kick the head, but the combined glares from all four of the Crownguard send him scurrying away.Soon, there is little reason for you to linger. Bellatrix takes Adrianna, and Allanus presses Urath and Silverow for their stories about the fight. Only you remain, still clutching the ears of a standstill princess.“…to learn about poisons, you first have to learn about death,” you say, once you remove your hands. Ellana shivers at the absence of warmth, but you place a hand on her shoulder to steady your charge. “Poisons are death, your highness. And there isn’t really such a thing as a good or easy death, but this one…this one here is easier than most.”And this you say with the wary and weathered experience of one who has both seen and dealt many a death neither easy nor good. The Dance can be quick when you want it to be, a swift and painless end. But when your temper flares, or you lose yourself into that lifeless void, when it would be better to forget about everything, happiness and warmth, sorrow and pain...(cont.)
>>3235719I also don't really understand covering her ears. Like really. Why? What it will do?
>>3235719Nice strawman faggot, but if you actually read my post I said I'm irritated that that combination of votes won.Muted decapitation is just as horrific as normal decapitation. All you've done is rob Ellana the ability to associate sound. It's a half assed compromise that doesn't actually do anything.
>>3235720“…the noise was muffled, but when the blade…” Ellana doubles over, not quite retching but very close to the act itself. You gently rub her back, patting until a time as she can properly balance herself. “…oh, gods, the noise, Marcus…”Humming, you reply, “…if it bothers you, you need only ask for my aid.”“She…” The princess has to swallow before she can speak, “…she looked so happy. I just don’t understand…”More mercy than I deserve…“…sometimes, death is a mercy unto itself,” you quietly murmur, steering her away from the awful sight. Already, the knights have hauled the corpse from the block and begin to clear the space for a pyre. “Come. Let’s go back to the house. We’ve reports to go over…”>>Later that eveningThere is not a single one of the Crowmonds who could take their mind off of the execution. No amount of needlework, study of arithmetic and history, or even the casual perusal of an herbalist text could distract them from the events of that afternoon. Thus, they keep themselves to the table, watching observantly as the Crownguard tell you about the journey.The prisoner sitting with the knights had no name, but Bellatrix derisively refers to him as “Pup”, rubbing her bandaged midsection. And he’d not said a single thing after waking up, even after being prodded and roughened up by both her and Urath. He does not appear to be otherwise compelled by a geass, but his fortitude is strong. He won’t be saying anything even if you did torture him, Silverow muses.That leaves the reports. You try not to be disappointed that there is no key or otherwise obvious solution to the Vascieli cipher. All there is are more folios of parchment, all written in that barely-legible hand. Still, given your progress with the journal from the Midbridge, you should have plenty of points of reference to brute-force your way into coherence.When you ask about the necromancer woman, Silverow shakes his head, saying, “An unintended consequence. I don’t know the particulars about the deal they struck, but she apparently permitted him to stay on the island. Hopefully we’ll learn more once we examine her journals and spellbook.”You nod. “Did she at least give a name?”Here, the sorcerer hesitates. Biting his lip, he quietly answers, “The only epithet she would respond to is ‘The Drowned Lady’. She said that the name she was given was lost to the river, along with her most valuable treasure.”The others are confused at his hesitation, but you catch both his solemn gaze and the meaning behind them, and it hits you like a blow to your stomach. How could they not know? They were not the ones who investigated the townsfolk for the origins behind the name.“…did she ever find her treasure?” You ask. “She was smiling when…” Your voice trails off as Ellana’s face turns a nauseating white.(cont.)
>>3235728It's more about her being held in the moment. It also keeps her from turning her head away.And hey? I figure why not cover her ears so she doesn't hear any screams or curses to haunt her. Never know how someone is going to die until they do, the necromancer smiling was a romantic but not guaranteed ending.
>>3235744>>3235728Neeeererer bahahaha validation.
>>3235748You can just tell Kaz put that in to stop the arguing. Well whatever. That's our queue to move on
>>3235744“Aye, she did. Between the bloated walkers and skeletons, there was a skeleton in armor, wielding a blacksmith’s hammer…” The sorcerer pauses to take a surprisingly deep swing from his wineskin. “…and when I turned her champion into ashes with a bolt of lightning…”“The hexer collapsed, started wailing and screaming,” Bellatrix finishes, taking a large swing from her tankard. The knightess wipes the foam on her mouth with the back of her hand, snorting derisively. “Then she damn near clawed your eyes out for that.”“Don’t remind me,” Silverow bites back, tersely, rubbing the claw marks that run down his left cheek. “…and thanks for nothing, by the way. I took down a third of her shambling horde and her Skeletal Champion before the two of you made it back.”Urath has the good grace to look apologetic, but Bellatrix can barely laugh without grimacing and scratching at the wound in her stomach.The sorcerer almost looks…regretful, wistful or melancholic even, as he resumes his story, “…in the end, she did find her treasure. And when the Landgraff scatters her ashes to the river, she’ll be with him forever.”His cryptic ending only makes the others more confused, but you infer his meaning. If there is any mercy, then the last of the Merobaudes will be reunited with her lover. It’s almost enough to make you bitter, envious even. But Silverow’s tone is curious. You know nothing about the man beyond the fact that he was once a noble in the Reach. What was in the sorcerer’s past to make him pity, if not be sympathetic to, a necromancer's plight?…still, Lord Commander Palme said that everyone of you Crownguard have ‘skeletons in the closet’, no pun intended. If Silverow wishes to surrender that information, then it’ll be when he decides to. And not before. Even if he seems to share similar emotions in regards to the Drowned Lady...“Still, I’m glad to see you all safe,” you eventually reply, meeting each one of their gazes. Even Bellatrix, for all the stress and headaches she’s given you, meets your gaze, this time with eyes full of intent to hold you to your promise. “…but let’s get to work. It’s going to be late before we finish getting through this mess…”>How well do you decipher Pup’s journals and documents?>Roll 1d100+55 (+20 Knowledge, +20 Vascieli Journal, +15 Assistance)>Best out of four.
Rolled 19 + 55 (1d100 + 55)>>3235767
Rolled 52 + 55 (1d100 + 55)>>3235767
Rolled 20 + 55 (1d100 + 55)>>3235767
Rolled 4 + 55 (1d100 + 55)Cover her ears? What the fuck are you niggers thinking?>>3235767
Rolled 82 + 55 (1d100 + 55)>>3235767
...I didn't want to cover her ears when I said the sound would scar her. I meant that as in 'that'd be enough to put fear into her, so she should ONLY hear it'.
I actually fucked up, misread the thing four or five times, and because it was 3 AM was like "Yeah that sounds about right". I thought we were turning her away and covering her ears.
>>3235771>>3235773>>3235774>>3235812The sun sets and the shadows lengthen as four minds set to cracking the code. To your surprise, Adrianna and even Allanus help contribute to yours and Silverow’s efforts. Perhaps they wish to get their mind off of the execution, but any help is appreciated. Bellatrix and Urath do not help by being semi-illiterate to even Common Vethic, but they maintain their vigil by the door, occasionally talking in hushed and small tones.As for your princess, Ellana stares out the window, gazing towards the grazing field. The knights have long since burned the necromancer to ash, but the remnants of the pyre linger, smoke trailing into a cloudless winter night. And by the time it is too dark to distinguish smoke from the dead of twilight, she merely returns to the room, staring at the fire with a thousand thought across her face.It takes too damn long, with more than one instance of someone cursing under their breath. Pup’s journals appear to have been run through another, separate cipher. Damnation! It seems that the Vascieli look to double-proof everything once you reach the higher ranks of their organization.But with brute force and sheer logic, you find the cracks in the hole and force your way into understanding. It is not nearly enough to produce a final key for your initial journal or even half of this new one. Yet it will do, for now.>The Vascieli contact’s alias is “Garro”, and he’s the local contact for Vascieli operating in the lands of Landgraff Alistair von Roie.>In exchange for tributes of luxury goods and hallucinogenic drugs, the Drowned Lady permitted him to stay on the island.>His most recent assignment was to distribute barrels of resin and pitch, in addition to myriad alchemical reagents, for the local cells to plant at key bridges along the river.>He does not get along with the man known as the Gargoyle, as he finds his brutish ways distasteful and exceedingly barbaric compared to the subtle maneuvering of intrigue and plotting.>After receiving confirmation that the barbarian Augvarr had completed his task, he would take “samples” of the Crowmond’s corpses and deliver them to a supposed Herald of the Sunken King…“…in Mont Gormaic,” Adrianna whispers, pale as a sheet. The elder Crowmond nearly faints in response to this revelation. “Our destination, Uncle’s holdfast…a nest of traitors…”“Stay with us a little longer, your highness,” Silverow says, “There is nothing your uncle could gain through this plot.”“Then who-?”“Someone working undercover, perhaps,” you muse darkly, “Either the lowest smallfolk shoveling dung in the stables or someone among your uncle’s ranks. But that’s not the most important thing we have to worry about.”(cont.)
>>3235871When it rains, it pours, it seems.
It is the identity of the distributer that brings everyone’s attention to the journals. Garro may have been in charge, but he did not oversee the shipments of explosives. Even without the explicit mention of his name, as his alias was ‘the Hopper’, there’s only one person in Westholm with such oversight over the immediate passes of the Anosar River.Perhaps Carris and the rest of the villagers should have paid more attention to their alderman’s smuggling, and not have turned a blind eye to the economic windfall. Maybe then, they might have caught Giso with his hands deep in Vascieli gold.In the end, the smuggling might have caught up to him. He might have gotten off with a fine at the most, or just a slap on the wrist from von Roie for improving the fortunes of Westholm. But there’s no ignoring seditious and treasonous actions. He would have been an idiot to not know the contents of his barrels, or their purpose and destination.>>What will you do with this information?>Infiltrate Giso’s brewery in the dead of night, so as not to raise an alarm. [Stealth]>Run a message to Pullman and assemble his men for a night raid on the brewery. [Force]>Wait until tomorrow to conduct a raid with the Eagle Knights in open daylight. [Delay]>Custom option.
>>3235876>Infiltrate Giso’s brewery in the dead of night, so as not to raise an alarm. [Stealth]Our turn
>>3235876>Infiltrate Giso’s brewery in the dead of night, so as not to raise an alarm. [Stealth]Let's move them away from the castle he saidIt will be safer he said...When Queen hears about what we drag her kids thruShe will be the one we should be wary about
>>3235886Or maybe the Vascieli have enough of a foothold in the capital to react quickly to the movement of the Crown.
>>3235876>Infiltrate Giso’s brewery in the dead of night, so as not to raise an alarm. [Stealth]Act alone with our specialty or trust Pullman and move in a group? fuck it. good luck everyone.If we trust Pullman we may want to give him a heads up.
>>3235876>Infiltrate Giso’s brewery in the dead of night, so as not to raise an alarm. [Stealth]Rogues are a shit class and I regret not being here for the extensive and in-depth chargen.
>>3235876>Infiltrate Giso’s brewery in the dead of night, so as not to raise an alarm. [Stealth]This is our wheelhouse.
>>3235906We were either going to be an assassin or a hedge Mage no matter what. That was the extent or chargen. I am more than happy with us being a competent to the point of lunacy assassin over a cut rate Silverowe.>>3235876>Infiltrate Giso’s brewery in the dead of night, so as not to raise an alarm. [Stealth]
>>3235955Hedge mage could be fun. Especially if we were a girl. Because of double entendre.
>>3235876>>Infiltrate Giso’s brewery in the dead of night, so as not to raise an alarm. [Stealth]
>>3235959Issue is we’d be shit. We’d be self taught and be weaker than anyone who has classical training. Have you not noticed how most mages here are fucking easy to kill? Like Silverowe is considered a top tier battlemage and we ran his ass over. While wounded.
>>3235982Not sure about that, I think with Lucien's training we'd be much more physical than the other mages we've seen.
>>3235983If we went mage, chances are we'd have a different backstory.
>>3235983Yeah Kaz said backstory changes with class Change. If we went hedge mage or magess we'd be Serena POV basically, but instead of us dying it'd have been Marcus. We'd have been sel taught, and decent at combat, but we'd have been not as good as Silverowe, which Marcus noted when he met the man.
>>3235728I'm pretty sure seeing without the associating the sound is better than hearing it in full without the sight.With the later, one's imagination can paint each participant a darker picture than reality.
>>3235876>Infiltrate Giso’s brewery in the dead of night, so as not to raise an alarm. [Stealth]The time has come.
>>3235876>Infiltrate Giso’s brewery in the dead of night, so as not to raise an alarm. [Stealth]Time it to happen with >Wait until tomorrow to conduct a raid with the Eagle Knights in open daylight. [Delay]We can go in ahead of time and grab info, then make a big dramatic arrest to flush out co-conspirators. Let the Mayor escape intentionally and see where he runs to by following him after infiltrating.
>>3235876>Infiltrate Giso’s brewery in the dead of night, so as not to raise an alarm. [Stealth]Seconding telling select other people about our plan. Ellana. Pullman. That's about it.
>>3235881>>3235886>>3235897>>3235906>>3235955>>3235959>>3235960>>3237161>>3237315>>3237713For a village of barely over two hundred souls, the brewery is certainly an impressive structure. Certainly, you have seen better examples, even tasted a better product from other taps, but beyond a few cosmetic injuries that can’t be fixed with tallow, Giso’s brewery is more than adequate for its task. It’s certainly big enough to both serve as a legitimate center to contain the vast space needed for the fermentation tubs as well as the storage to age the brew.In the dead of night, the brewery appears to be silent. It does not seem to be inactive during the winter, as there are visible footsteps to and from the building proper. Perhaps they are brewing a batch to be enjoyed in the seasons of the next year, or are otherwise preparing to ship their leftover batch as soon as the ice melts. Any myriad of excuses would do so long as the smuggling business continued without ceasing, all year ‘round.There is no light of the moon, no single star visible in the sky. The clouds have obscured them all. Your entrance into the brewery, barring any locks or immediate lookouts, will be conducted in as close to absolute darkness as you can.Your ribs and torso still ache from your injuries with the drakling, but your injuries have recovered enough for you to perform unimpeded. So it is with only mild irritation and dull, throbbing pains that accompany you as you leap onto rooftops of bound thatch and faded tile. The town levy meandering on the palisades and on the streets below have no hope of seeing you, not with how close they carry their torches.“Best not to make a fuss, your highness. The villages have turned a blind eye to his smuggling, or they’re active participants in his act. We don’t know how complicit they are, but it would foolhardy to just walk straight to the brewery…”With that said, the other Crownguard remain on standby should the worst come to worst. And a sealed message has been sent to Landgraff Pullman, courtesy of one of the nearby lookouts outside. If everything goes well, you will have secured irrevocable proof of the Alderman’s crimes, and the justification for Pullman to move without waiting for von Roie.Once you reach the end of the housing row, as close to the brewery proper, you set to work. The silk rope in your hands whispers quietly in the winds of winter as it follows the arc of your grappling hook. It takes two perilous tries before the teeth catch onto something sturdy enough to hold your weight, an awning along the windows of the upper floor.As quick as a flash, you’re over the gap, and hugging the walls of the brewery. The impact was little more than a quiet muffle, but you still tense, as if the noise would summon any unseen from within the building. But a few tense heartbeats later reveal no such persons, either within or without. No one has noticed your arrival.(cont.)
The river should prove enough of a quick getaway if need be. All you need is a running start, and into the drink you’ll go. But given the circumstances of your last escape into a subzero body of water…perhaps the best you can hope for is avoiding a cold. Or at the very least, another monster.The uppermost floor of the brewery has been covered with panels of wood, shut with a series of crude hook latches. These are easy enough to pry apart, slipping your knife within the crack, prying them off and open in a mere matter of minutes. Quietly replacing them back against the window, you waste no time in getting to work.Giso’s office is modest enough, no bigger than a small wardroom with a simple desk and receiving room. Seats enough for three guests and for a large man of his particular girth and stock are scattered around a desk of faded oak. The room is sparsely decorated, with only a few trinkets and baubles atop cabinets and dressers, the most notable a tankard cast entirely out of bronze and a cheap riverside oil painting.It all in all appears to be nothing beyond the cheap office that it appears to be. But at any rate, it’s time to get to work. Breaking out your lockpicks, you get to work…>>Choose one:>Search carefully. By the time tomorrow comes, no one will be all the wiser that anyone’s been in the office, but you lower your chances of finding something. [Imposed Penalty on Perception Checks]>Search thoroughly. It will be obvious come morning that the place has been turned over, but you yield a higher chance of finding something. [Added Bonus on Perception Checks]
>>3238132>>Search thoroughly. It will be obvious come morning that the place has been turned over, but you yield a higher chance of finding something. [Added Bonus on Perception Checks]
>>3238132>Search thoroughly. It will be obvious come morning that the place has been turned over, but you yield a higher chance of finding something. [Added Bonus on Perception Checks]
>>3238132>Search carefully. By the time tomorrow comes, no one will be all the wiser that anyone’s been in the office, but you lower your chances of finding something. [Imposed Penalty on Perception Checks]
>>3238132 >Search thoroughly. It will be obvious come morning that the place has been turned over, but you yield a higher chance of finding something. [Added Bonus on Perception Checks]If we find something, we can move before morning comes.
>>3238132>Search thoroughly. It will be obvious come morning that the place has been turned over, but you yield a higher chance of finding something. [Added Bonus on Perception Checks]Btw Kaz it's good to have you back
Marcus is a "Drachenslayer" now, right?
It's been repeatedly mentioned that Marcus smells components and magic and can taste them as well. Is that normal or a unique thing for him?
>>3238663It comes from his association with the ded waterbender waifu from before the quest. Literally developing a taste for magic in a sense, learning how to identify it. She was learning how to cast, he learned a bit alongside her but not enough to cast himself.So definitely uncommon, yeah. In berween an ignorant rando and an apprentice mage, useful for his line of work.
>>3238982I also meant his generally ability to identify components of things just based on scent. That's a powerful ability.
>>3239014Marcus probably developed that skill from his father beating alchemy into his head. An experienced alchemist can probably do the same.
>>3239055I don't know, even young Marcus could probably overpower even an experienced alchemist.
Bathing in Drakling blood must have had some kind of effect. Especially considering some of it got in Marcus's wounds.
>>3239455Yes, but the drakling had HIV.
>>3239458That would be D HIV.
>>3239484Well it would really be DlIV, since the H in HIV is human.
>>3238145>>3238153>>3238318>>3238326>>3238350>>3238479>>3238494>>3239225Cabinets are thrown open, drawers are rendered bare, and their contents are plundered without care or consideration. Ornaments are strewn about, roughly handled for any hidden keys or objects. Painting frames are cracked, split to make sure there are no hidden folios or other secretive documents. At the cost of any hope of stealth, you are completely and utterly thorough in clearing the room from the most obvious offenders.>You gain a +75 Circumstantial to Perception Checks.In a moonless night, the only sources of light you have to read are the distant embers of the palisade. The letters are dark, carefully written with a gentle and loving hand, and it takes a long time for you to be able to parse ink from parchment. Every single transaction for the last five years is laid bare before you. Giso has been shipping brew all along the Midlands, and wherever the river’s flow will take the barge traders. His customers include patrons in the River Marches, where the Archduke Hastigs “the Old Kingfisher” Walholant stands vigil against Eridian aggression. Beyond the river, the alderman has only a handful of partners across the Empire. How curious. For such a wide network of trade, the village of Westholm has only recently evolved from being a sparse hamlet and into a tiny village. Not to mention that the local brew tastes awful. The disparate nature between the profits and the poor state of the town simply doesn’t make any sense.Perhaps that’s a question best answered for when von Roie gets here. The domains of economics are not the target of tonight’s investigation. If the paperwork checks out, which to your reckoning, does completely, then there must be other proof you haven’t found yet.>>In a non-stressful situation, you may take 50 to any checks made.>>Taking 50 plus the circumstantial bonus of 75 yields 125, more than enough to finds what you’re looking for.Running your fingers along the desk, you hit upon a sudden depression. It’s a small thing, easily a third the size of your fingernail. The key for this little lock must be no bigger than the eye of a needle. Certainly, this is no ordinary lock, only something a master artisan could have produced, and not readily available to the public market. Perhaps little eccentricities like this one are where Giso’s money went.>Roll 1d100+40 (+40 Nimble Fingers, Rank 2)>Best out of three.
Rolled 57 + 40 (1d100 + 40)>>3239640
Rolled 74 + 40 (1d100 + 40)>>3239640
Rolled 22 (1d100)>>3239640
Rolled 73 + 40 (1d100 + 40)>>3239640Gentle touches...
>>3239685>>3239719>>3239731The lock opens with a soft click, and a hidden door sighs gently open. You wait for a few moments, ears straining to hear any kind of trap or other trick. The desk offers no such things, and after carefully teasing the entrance for any springs, cords or deadweights, you can set aside both your lockpicks and your apprehension.The little compartment was built into the frame of the desk, a small space no bigger or wider than a small loaf of bread. Tucked away along the side of the sliding drawers, no one would ever be the wiser to its location, even if they had stripped the table bare. It’s a marvel of carpentry, and you can’t help but marvel at the engineering that went into creating it. Giso must have spent a small fortune for this desk.You finger the dog-eared and faded pages of a weathered journal, squinting to see the fine print scrawled onto its surface. The finer details of the alderman’s smuggling come to light, as well as a fine list of his business partners and the products he smuggled. And the list is equal measures extensive and staggering. Even without his collaboration with the Vascieli, what the alderman helped traffic across the Empire would easily condemn him to either a nose or the headman’s axe. Narcotics along the likes of Hazeleaf and opium poppy, blocks of drugs to make a man forget his troubles or transform the world before him into something more. Here, he even claims to have aided in the movement of stockpiles of weapons and supplies meant for imperial hands, instead sending them to barbarians and rebels alike. Of passing curiosity is the acquisition of a few magical items, sold to renegades from the Ivory Tower, the sorcerers of Magica Sin Vinicula.“You’ve been quite the busy man, Giso,” you mutter, before you reach the last section of the journal. Licking your finger, you turn the page. “You’ll meet a nasty end-”Product of fiscal year 228:Gele Bletz, girl of twelve, miller’s daughter, maidenhead intact. Sold to Petrus Vatia for seventy aurums. Spring 42, 228.Otten, boy of eight, hair a lustrous gold color. Sold to Petrus Vatia for fifty aurums. Spring 42, 228.Elert, boy of ten, strong lad with bright blue eyes. Sold to Petrus Vatia for sixty aurums. Spring 42, 228.Anneke, girl of ten, whore’s daughter, maidenhead intact. Sold to Count Brice Suidger for two hundred aurums. Summer 14, 228.Isa, woman of twenty, baker’s wife, no maidenhead. Sold to Ulfrik Granisson for one hundred fifty aurums. Summer 39, 228.Joest, boy of thirteen, handsome lad. Sold to Countess Cecilien von Lientz for one hundred aurums. Summer 78, 228.Ansy, girl of eight, half-Ingulan beauty, maidenhead intact. Sold to Countess Cecilen von Lientz for one hundred fifty aurums. Summer 78, 228 (cont.)
>>3240359....is this a normal level of detail for slaves you sell?Granted, I guess you have more information available when you sell YOUR OWN FUCKING CITIZENS....
>>3240359Very kind of him to include the names of the buyers too. I wonder who Petrus Vatia is...
>>3240359…for a moment, you can’t feel anything. You’re back in the slums of Karthmire before you met them, still an emotionless tool under Lucien’s guiding hand. It’s a mission to assassinate a mistress, the proprietress of a back-alley rutting hall. A boy of your frame could slip through the cracks in the roof, dagger between your teeth as you clung to the frames and timbers overhead.It was impossible not to hear their screams. Of course, there were the practiced ones, the girls who could make a man feel twice as tall with how she moaned underneath his ministrations, no matter how clumsy. Those whores were a practiced hand at their trade, well-experienced in putting on a show for their customers.Rare are the men that can cajole genuine sounds from an experienced whore. To remedy this, simply reverse the rolls. There was no shortage of inexperienced girls in the slums, desperate to feed their families or addiction. But not all of them were willing. In the formative years of your life, you’d been owned, just like the girls bought by brothels who made their price back by selling their virginity. At least Lucien never did anything of that vein, but he was just as uncompromising and unyielding in the results he wanted. Not entirely dissimilar to a procurer holding a girl’s contract.You were able to break free. Most of those girls, who sobbed and screamed as you trained, would never even have the chance. All because of the myriad criminal organizations that dealt in flesh and pleasure, and there was none worse in the slums of Karthmire than the Red Snakes.It takes a great effort to bring yourself back, back to Marcus Painel, Crownguard of Princess Adrianna Crowmond. You were too close to lapsing back into the Wraith, or worse, as the nameless ‘Painel’ before he let you take his name...But you force yourself to focus, to analyze and think. A slaver of Giso’s…caliber would not be able to work alone. To merely subdue and gather this amount of people for just half of a year…some of the town guard would have to be in on the act as well. But what about the villagers themselves? Are they innocent to the darker side of their alderman’s smuggling…or is this another thing they turn a blind eye to?With fingers trembling not from the cold, but from a cold and furious rage, you flip from one page to the next, continuing to read Giso’s damnation. More names, more exchange of coin. Eridian slavers, decadent nobles across the empire, foreign merchants hailing from where thralls were still legal…But then you reach the last page. He had not been able to sell as many people as this year, but he had no reason to worry. There was a single name on the list for the following year, a slave who would more than recoup his losses.Carris Narten, woman of twenty four, no maidenhead, whore of exceptional beauty and physique. To be sent to auction pending the end of winter 238.(cont.)
And here. We. Go.
>>3240430…prior to this, you cared little for how Giso met his end. But now, you had more than a very solid investment in the alderman’s demise. Although it is hard to say for which cause you swing your blade. Is it for your own sake, to bathe in righteous fury and spill blood in some sort of atonement for the nameless girls of your past? Or was it for Carris’ sake, the first woman that you’ve slaked your sorrow, rage and grief after her death?The mildest you feel for her is a sort of…friendly ambivalence. But maybe those damned priests of the Light have a point. Sex is an act between lovers. And it’s hard to separate the carnal act from the euphoric feelings caused by release… …maybe that was how he fell in love with Reina. And the irony is not lost upon you. He eventually came to love a courtesan, and now his wraith is indulging in similar acts. Dieter, gods rest his rotten teeth and crooked nose, would have laughed at how devoted “the spooky, wide-eyed brat” was in emulating their leader, right down to fucking a whore.But a sudden noise below breaks you from your thoughts, accompanied by the dull murmur of a group of individuals. Someone has entered into the brewery proper. Closing your eyes, you can make out four, five…no, eight distinct voices and the sound of chainmail. At least seven of the town guard in addition to the reedy, sycophantic voice that welcomed the Crowmonds into Westholm.Alderman Giso.>Make a quick escape, you have what you came here for.>Stay a little while longer, just to see what he’s up to.>Custom option.
>>3240469>Make a quick escape, you have what you came here for.How fast can we raid the brewery? Giso gets in here and realizes what happened he might try and escape.
>>3240469>Make a quick escape, you have what you came here for.The sooner we get this documents to Pullman, the faster he can act.
>>3240469>Stay a little while longer, just to see what he’s up to.We've killed more opponents before, and who knows what bad things he's up to in the dead of night.
>>3240469>>Stay a little while longer, just to see what he’s up to.
>>3240469>Make a quick escape, you have what you came here for.The place is trashed he will either run for his life or call the guard