Once upon a time, the heir to a noble family undertook a rite of passage with a little too much pride. They piled onto themselves more responsibility than they'd ever realized was there to be held, and with every step they took they discovered just how ill prepared they'd been in the first place. Into their secluded forest home came the others. Faces, names and expectations; each a tangled knot, some less content to be untangled than others. Were it a simple story then we would know how it ended, yet months later the only knot that silly noble had even begun to unravel was their own. Before they could help someone else they had to learn to help themselves; confronting the fragile mask they'd built their life around, and the unsettled wounds left hidden rather than healed. Each new day bringing just one more trecherous decision to be made after another. Trust me.Fight that.Damn them.Protect this.Prove yourself.Maybe that was a better way to begin this?Once upon a time, a little blonde noble set out to prove themself. First to their family, then to their peers, eventually to themself. Prove who you are. Prove your worth. Prove you can be trusted, that you should be fought for, that your orders to damn are just, that you can protect what's important. How much of that had they proven by now? Perhaps the worst thing that little noble ever learned in their frantic quest to prove any of those things is that so very few of them were provable at all. Their struggle to find answers to what had seemed such simple questions slowly, agonizingly, stripped away their childish delusions... Thrusting them ever further into uncertainty.There were no right answers. The decisions that had to be made were never glamorous. The strongest people they knew were every bit as unsure of how to proceed, and the successes behind them were litered with just as many regrets. Everyone that little noble knew was struggling in their own way. One person's actions will never unravel the knots in other people's lives. They must fight for themselves.Stupid, stupid child. Their problems were never yours to solve. It is all you can do to be there to support them, praying they will see through your pride and do the same when the time comes....It is a choice to struggle alone. One you made. One they made. One which can change.Oh but I forget myself. Does this even apply to you? After all, you're->The heir.>Scared.>Unwanted.>Broken.Choose your PoV!
Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Valen+Quest Where things are said: https://twitter.com/Riz_QMWhere things are asked: http://ask.fm/RizQMAssorted Supplemental:Current Abilities - http://pastebin.com/PchcdWpwA List of Forgotten Things - http://pastebin.com/kPEscJ3hIrue's Memoires - http://pastebin.com/sWnicrK7Write-ups:Kara's Day Out - http://pastebin.com/8ZbiSKLsAdventures with Asche - http://pastebin.com/RNviCBJuThe Reclaimed Doll - http://pastebin.com/n6miP1qTIn Your Shadow - http://pastebin.com/EfeeHFAEFriends Forever - http://pastebin.com/Yn0QaTVBThe Woman Beneath Steel - http://pastebin.com/pMGgiHC3Paper Flowers - https://pastebin.com/Pk0W7rEmMisc notes:Pending interest in opening a discord for Valen. It would be locked while the thread is running, but I figured I'd pose the possibility.Memo:1. 2. 3.
>>3338482You came back!Starting us off nice and easy as usual, I see. >?>Unwanted.>All of the above
>>3338530I want to run more consistently! It is my heart's desire! Also you can't be everyone at once, anon.
>>3338482>BrokenMy light is broken but I still work.>>3338530>All of the aboveYou are Irudbeksbmdejshvfhgerror
>>3338482Oh wow you made it, congratulations! So uh, this is this a vote on what character we'll play as for the thread, right? I guess I'll choose>Broken.I wonder who broke
>>3338586>is this a vote on what character we'll play as for the thread?It is, yes!
>>3338530Unwanted!>>3338547>>3338586Broken!I actually thought the vote was tied for some reason. Writing!
>>3338586>I wonder who brokeI'll hazard this is Rue and her three testaments. Rue is obviously the heir. Scared would be Ari, Unwanted Riener, Broken Kara.Unless someone else has followed this pattern before us. That seems to be a theme on occasion.
>>3338700I think unwanted is Asche. We never take her on our suicide missions.
You're just broken after all. Are you that determined to remain a part of this story? You're hardly what you once were, can't you see your time is over? What you were supposed to be is beyond you now. You know that. Does that offend you? Does it hurt to hear it? I don't know if you actually feel anything. The fact you're here at all puts every theory I've studied to shame. What are you? Oh I know what you are - what you were but not this... Whatever it is you're doing now. If I had known what I do now, I'd have paid so much more attention to you, you know?It's too late for that now. Or, seeing you, maybe it's not. What kind of secrets do you have hidden away in that mind of yours, hm?You won't answer me? You haven't answered me at all these past few months. You're terribly unfriendly when that stupid child isn't involved, aren't you? I think I deserve some kind of respect. Oh... Oh you know don't you? That's why you never cared much for me, isn't it? But we can move past that, can't we? After all it's not like there's any harm in it. I'm not really here anymore. I can't do anything, even if I wanted to.Besides talk to you, of course. For what good it does. Like talking to a wall most of the time. Save for that short time period where even that was cut off. Hey, hey tell me, what happened to my little Ariel? What...Oh you're going to ignore me? That's fine. I have time. We both have time, don't we?
A paper is set aside with the same minimalistic, fluid motion as the one before it, and the one before that, so on and so forth. The time you would put up with aiding the Teranford princess would end shortly, leaving her to dig through these records of missing people at her own leisure. She and Irue were searching for subversive elements within the records as a way to root the last of the resistance in this town. One of your many roles was to aid Rinnier in that while your heart's keeper was absent in a more pro-active venture... One which you'd been left behind on once again. Your other roles however were more varied, and a handful of them had even been self-assigned. A fact that years later you were still getting used to.You wonder if Ariel would be proud. Your memories of her contain only information. Nothing you could understand. People were incomprehensible at the best of times, their actions leaving you exhausted just to keep up with. The only one you really needed to understand was Irue in the first place. Your heart's keeper had been making strides of late, growing more and more into their legacy. It hurt to watch, drawing an inexplicable pain in your chest as you struggled to understand what they were going through - And more importantly, what you could do to help.All too frustratingly those answers came too late, when they came at all. This feeling of failure was something you ignored, just as you ignored That Woman's day to day taunting. She was unnecessary. This pain, what you believed to be 'anxiety' was unnecessary. You'd been useless to Irue back then as well, but you had learned. You got better. You made yourself useful. For a time, you had been the only thing your heart's keeper needed... yet those days felt further and further away.You weren't needed anymore. It's the only reason you could think that Irue had started leaving you behind like this. Their eyes were focused further afield, always chasing and searching for something else.Before you knew it, you'd felt your view of the blonde's back obscured by people you'd never met. People whose words held far more weight than your own. People who were more useful to what your heart's keeper was now."I'm finished." Rinnier didn't bother looking up when you reported your status. Just as well, as the door was shut not a moment after the words left your mouth. If she had requests she could ask someone else.
"Heading out, Asche?"One of Irue's followers called your name as you made to leave the building, prompting a single moment of patience from you to stop and nod a short affirmative. He was one you had discovered you could command to some effect. Many of Irue's followers turned out to be unsure of who held authority here, lending you the technical ability to move them about as you willed.You weren't the only one who had taken to this discovery. You had significantly less faith in them to do as you needed than she did, though.These self-assigned tasks were things you needed to carry out on your own. When Irue had needed a shoulder to cry on, you became that. When Irue needed a friend to distract them, you became that. When Irue needed a saviour, you became that.You don't know what Irue needs most now. Memories of that day the blonde had spent unloading their emotions not to you, but to the princess of all people held a sting you still hadn't put behind you.But no one noticed your teeth gritting as you walked the streets of Carona. No one noticed them gritting in that room, either.You are Asche. Just Asche. There were terms used to describe you, poetic epitaphs which refer to you, but all of them were deemed too complicated. You were content to forget them, they held no meaning to you. You were broken, and what you were isn't what you are now. Now you are Asche, and you could change what that means. You had to change what that means, because if Irue no longer needed you then even this name was something you would rather forget.>Make your rounds to expunge the uninvited.>Retrieve an update from the experiments.>Check on Dryad's Host.>Other? (write-in)
>>3338734Not too far off. I forget she exists most of the time.>>3338915hmm. Interesting. I don't like Asche, and now I have a better idea why. >>Retrieve an update from the experiments.
>>3338915>Retrieve an update from the experiments
>>3338940>>3339045Experiments!It's a quiet night.
>>3339058Yea, dunno why. They'll trickle in sooner or later.
Others would wander through this destroyed town but you had a goal in mind. Always focused, always driven. The town had seen better days, but it had seen worse days. You felt like you should remember them both, but whatever vestiges whispered such things to you were notoriously evasive about painting the picture. A lingering affection, soured by what they did to your heart's keeper. The notion of holding a rebellion against Irue in the first place was inconceivable. If they weren't strangers then the impulses tingling along your fingers might have found a more violent acknowledgement than the simple single-minded stilling you forced upon them.Oh but they were strangers, just like these streets and so many faces. The fact they lived here was enough to stir something in you, but you didn't know them. Whatever they stirred wasn't something worth expressing to them, and you hardly knew how to express it even if it was.Never the less, locating these experiments was a task swiftly accomplished. One way or another your heart's keeper had come into the custody of a gathering of them, with one in particular serving as a representative for them."Yo! Rare t'see ya round here, Asche."Its tail wagged, lending you every bit the attention it gave Irue. Kara was its name. Her name. Something not quite human - Something that didn't belong. That shouldn't exist. It and the rest of its kind were aberrations of the world.A fact that was irrelevant then, just as now. From the moment they stumbled into this world your heart's keeper had held some strange affinity to them. It wasn't something for you to judge, but that persisting interest meant you had long since accepted their presence. Most of them were failures, flawed in some fundamental way, but at least one of them seemed to have found its roots."Whatcha need?" Kara rocked back on her heels, stretching atop the ruins of a broken manor. "'Rue's got us sniffing out bodies, so I can't help ya t'much. I wanna get it all done before they get back."Your neck craned back to meet the towering experiment's bright eyes, waiting for it to remember. And waiting. And waiting. And wait- It wasn't going to remember, you realized flatly. "What have you learned?""That there ain't a lot o' dead people down here!" Kara replied cheerfully."The Tiers."Her wagging tail slowed as understanding crept across the experiment's face. "...The who?" Your arm rose, pointing directly through the ruins towards their now burned out estate. The experiment's eyes followed, squinting into the distance and catching on the destroyed portion of the wall surrounding Carona. Her fist lightly smacked against her palm a moment later. "Ah yeah, them! Ah... Huh. Yeah, hold on- Sasha!"
>>3339058Timezones.It's alright though, I am here now.
Your attention turned to another of the experiments when they approached, dull eyes shifting between Kara and yourself with coiled listlessness. Kara turned back to you with an overbearingly wide fanged grin, slapping the newcomer on the shoulder with enough force to send him staggering. "He's yer best bet! Well, Maro's yer best bet, but he's bein' an ass, so Sasha it is!"Sea-green eyes peered up at him, finding a shaggy and unkempt individual whose lanky form was shared with most experiments. This was another of the group that Irue's flagrant misuse of the bracelet had crippled. He observed you wordlessly, exchanging a minute nod. He would do."Aight, have fun you two!" Kara's hand descended upon you, her absent minded hair ruffling jerking your entire body back and forth frenetically until she finally walked away, leaving you standing as if you'd just rolled down a hill into a Jinn apparition. You watched her go, entirely unaware of the destruction left in the wake of her simple affections, before turning towards the new experiment - This 'Sasha'.Sparing the time wasted on words, you produced a bound journal. One you'd had the fortune of recovering from this very manor before it was dismantled by Irue's incorrigibility made manifest. "Tell me about this.""..." He lifted it from your hand gingerly, flipping through the pages with a practiced ease. Too fast to read it, too fast even to scan it. Pages shifting before his face blindly before the covers snapped shut again. He shrugged. "They wrote in this. The ones a dead man kept to put us in check.""Mercenaries?" You affirm briefly, "They've left?"He shrugged. "I don't remember much after the fight. I don't think they were being paid.""?"Sasha shook his head slowly, scratching flakes free into his unwashed mane. "Maro pegged them as allies. The mayor gave orders, but he made preparations and took advice. Sellswords don't talk more than they're paid and this town wasn't that rich."You blink, taking the journal back from the taller experiment deftly. Its contents were known to you in passing, mostly detailing dates and the passage of money. If it wasn't the mayor's, and the sums being moved weren't payments rendered... No, they definitely weren't. You had read precisely how the mayor had attempted to embezzle money for his doomed rebellion, what this experiment said was true - Carona didn't have the spare resources to move as this journal indicated.So there was another angle involved. Something more than a single man forgetting who they owed their lives to.
Oh? Leave. Are you forgetting something? You weren't. It wouldn't be the first thing, now would it? Your jaw clenched silently.
>>3339345Asche knows very curious things.
Irue had encountered the type of people who could trade in sums like these, and given the irregular basis you had to assume the product being moved wasn't routine. A large influx occurred not long after you were betrayed that night.You didn't have the connections you needed to make use of this information. If you involved the others you'd do little more than prove how useless you were now.Irue had tasked you with finding the Tiers. You hadn't failed yet. You could still do this. "The mercenaries?" Sasha only shrugged, prompting a nigh imperceptibly small frown. Irue understood you better than this. "When did they leave?""Probably after the Banshee."You blinked, breathing out softly. Again. "Before that. When did they leave?""...?" His arms crossed, for small mercies seeming to understand that he wasn't answering your question properly. "They didn't. Not entirely. Sometimes they'd thin. We'd see new faces. I'd say twice a month."Regular. Constant. New faces, reinforcements? No, you remember more. The guard had been changing, more unfamiliar faces replacing the locals. Where were the locals going? The town was in lock down. Replacing citizens... Missing citizens. The discrepancies in the list of missing people? It never stopped. The mercenaries never left. Even if this farce of a rebellion was over, people were still being sold.Why? And where were the proceeds going? More importantly, who was buying them?>Maro has answers you want. (Questions?)>They held you prisoner once, you have that lead to follow.>You needed to tend to your other responsibilities for now.>Other? (write-in)
>>3339356>Maro has answers you want.Who commanded those mercenaries? Where were they from? Did their outfit have a name?
>>3339367This I guess
Sasha didn't have the answers you needed but you knew who might. The former leader of this congregation of experiments, the failure who had handled most of the face to face business, Maro. A victim of Irue's temper who brashly provoked - and consequently bore - the brunt of the blonde noble's ire. From what little you'd observed since, he was not one who took to the role of a victim easily. Maro had never gotten over the way your heart's keeper had humiliated him, never let it go, and that simmering resentment only flourished once his very position was ripped out from under his feet at the blonde's encouraging behest.That lingering grudge had saved him in the short term, just as it would devour him whole in the days to come. An emotion, such a foreign thing to these failed experiments, strong enough to pull his mind back from the brink... And one that did little but nurture the incubating parasite planted within him."You know what I need.""Fuck off."As expected, he was uncooperative. Simple acts of spite were the strongest form of retort he could afford to lash out with. He didn't dare jeoprodize himself further. Kara held power now, but while that experiment could break Maro's body over her knees, the truth of the matter was plain and ugly, pulsating with every shred of self-denial he fed himself. The shadeborne scar that permeated his body and ate him from within as it fed on his every shortcoming - It screamed to you the image of his fear."You will answer me.""Funny, I don't see anything in it for me?""The mayor's mercenaries." You spoke past him blithely. "Who led them?""None of my business.""Where were they from?""Didn't ask.""Did they have a name?""Guess I forgot."You met his gaze evenly. Scowling as he was, there was little he could do. He was enjoying being able to deny you like this... But these were games you refused to play.>Request Kara 'assist' your interrogation.>Quicken the Shade within him.>He can be sacrificed to something far hungrier.>Other? (write-in)
>>3339470>Quicken the Shade within him.I wonder what kind of shadescar Raid is bearing. He seems to be well-adjusted.
Upon further deliberation, maybe 6am on a monday morning was not the best time to begin.Fortunately the thread will be running all week, so hopefully things pick up! And it's not just people abandoning ship because it turned out to be an Asche thread.Anyway, I'll probably leave this here for the night and get some rest. I'd appreciate people weighing in on the Misc Notes thing as well, so I can make a decision by the end of the thread.
>>3339477I'm not opposed to a Discord
>>3339470>Quicken the Shade within him.>>3339477Yeah it's the timing, I only just got here
Regarding the discord, I wouldn't join it personally because I think discord is gay. It just draws discussion away from the thread into that little box of cancer
>>3339490It would be locked while the thread is up anyway.
>>3339524We can make do without it if you ask me
>>3339470>He can be sacrificed to something far hungrier.So is Asche a dryad apparition skewed even further away from clarity and towards humanity ala doppelrue? Is that what's going on?I'm conflicted on the idea of a discord, I don't think we need one if you're going to get threads up regularly again and it is indeed very gay but it could be useful for sharing info and theorizing if any of us are inclined to do so.
>>3339663Also for whining at Riz to post next thread
>>3339490This more or less sums up my feelings on the matter.>>3339668That's what Twitter is for.
>>3339470>>Quicken the Shade within him.I suspect the sacrifice would be to the behemoth, but I've been mistaken about what every option has actually meant so far.
>>3339470>>Quicken the Shade within him.This implies Asche has some control over Shade. Interesting.What's also interesting is that Asche isn't a dispassionate professional like I'd always taken her for, she's just arrogant and considers everyone beneath her, including Rue herself. She only cares for the older better dead daughter, Rue's just the backup, only cared for because *she* would want it that way. I suspect "heart's keeper" is rather literal than we know.
>>3340011I don't know what it is but I don't think it's arrogance. Something less human maybe.Am I the only one that likes Asche?
>>3339474>>3339484>>3339962>>3340011Quickening!>>3339663Sacrifice!How incredibly one sided. Writing!
One arm extends, a fistful of his tattered and dirtied shirt curled between your fingers. The size difference makes such an act comical: A maid barely up to his chest forced to stand close just to properly reach the haughty experiment's collar. The self-satisfied grin which leered down at you from on high was proof enough of just how aware he was of this, and how very little he thought of your attempts to manhandle into acquiessence. But it wasn't your form he had to fear. The Shade within him lay dormant, feeding on the grudge and bitter feelings he nurtured to keep himself moving from day to day. It would wake on its own in the future, eating him from within as it sought to test someone unprepared and unqualified for its cruel proctoring. It lay dormant, but simply because it wasn't awake now did not mean it could not be woke."Keep your games." You muttered, dispassionately observing the split second of confusion which flashed across his face before you stirred the parasite within him. A singular pulse, like a waking nudge, and its sluggish murmuring was enough to turn Maro's body rigid. Confusion bled to wariness, fear, and in short order it was replaced with anger. A simple, practiced emotional response to convert his feelings into something he knew how to deal with. The same spiraling mistake that would coax something like a Shade apparition further from its incubation.The ground raced up to meet you, body ill suited for physical conflict and all but incapable of keeping up with the impassioned reactions of one of the experiments. You had no idea when he'd moved or how he struck, but your body was already beginning to internally knit itself back together in the aftermath. You felt no pain lying there, sea-green eyes unblinking as you very deliberately pushed yourself from the ground- An action only briefly lived before Maro's foot arced up from the ground and caught your ribs, sending you twisting violently across the ruined manor wreckage. Your face struck the ground, splintered wood and broken stone tearing through your lips and nose as you rolled to a stop some yards away."What did you-""Maro!!"Maro's own voice drowned beneath Kara's howl, a fight ensuing which you spared a glance for only during the sparse few seconds your face was turned that way. Pushing yourself off the ground, you stared disappointedly at one of the rips freshly accumulated on your uniform. It would need sewing before it got worse.
Across the manor ruins, following the skidded trail of debris from your own skipping flight, Kara's fury had all but driven the rebellious experiment into the ground. Even from here the tremors could be felt vibrating along ground.It was unnecessary. Something you needed to stop before he was rendered too injured to answer you. Yet even still, you found your eyes lingering one moment longer on the damage you would need to sew back into place later. One more 'scar' on this set of clothes, all but covered already in minor reconstructions. A necessary measure for clothes worn year in and year out, and you'd worn no other for over a decade. You'd taken such care in making your repairs as subtle as possible, but this... It was too large."Ah, Asche?" Kara's tirade ended as you, rather than any other onlooking experiment, tugged at her shirt to pull her attention from Maro's shuddering, bowed body. Driven to his knees but no less rebellious, this beating did nothing to damage his spirit and everything to nurture his resentment. "...Y'alright there?" She turned her back to him, all but dismissing her former pack leader in favor of kneeling to look you over with a frown. "...Y'don't look hurt. I dunno what Maro's game was, but we're really sorry-""I am fine." You assure her softly, suffering under her heartfelt inspections with a deadpan gaze and unblemished skin. You were fine. Of course you were fine. Your uniform was not. It could be destroyed."...Aight, if y'say so." Kara's tail shifted nervously. "I'll put the bastard in line for this, please don't go tellin' 'Rue about this. I'd really 'ppreciate you keepin' it secret, yeah?"You nodded simply. "I still need answers.""Answers? From Maro?" The experiment frowned, "Ah yeah, told you he was bein' a right arse lately. Y'sure about this?"You nodded again, looking past her to Maro as he curled into himself and found his feet under him once more. Despite being driven into the ground like a fence post, it wasn't Kara he was backing away from. You'd be less surprised if you didn't know precisely what your presence did. Even if he had nothing to fear from you, your proximity had stirred the Shade within him. It had forced fear onto him, and every step closer you took was another chance that you would do it again....Is what someone ignorant to the parasite's nature would believe. That all consuming fear wouldn't abate. All you had done was quicken its incubation, shortening what little time he had left before it woke to consume him. Those episodes would only get worse. Your presence, your proximity, they didn't matter at all now.But there were still answers you needed from him, and so you advanced on him, stoically dismissing the reversal of roles as you loomed over his now floored posture."No more games."He recoiled with fangs bared when your eyes bored unto him."Tell me everything."
The mayor's "mercenaries" if they could be called such were led by a Wisp Adept. Someone who for what Maro had gathered had been onboard the foolish attempt of a coup long before the experiments had been drafted into it. It wasn't that this man and his mercenaries had been brought on to keep Kara's natural strength in check, but that they had been there first and found it convenient.It was an unfortunate truth that Maro never discovered where they'd come from. Seeing as they had seniority in the operation, the experiment had opted not to provoke them any more than necessary as he negotiated payment and rewards for the pack's services. On the other hand, the experiment himself was hardly one want to respect the privacy of others - His decision to play nice with them found its roots further than simple amiable employment conditions. There was someone, or something, bigger behind them. The mercenaries came well capable of delivering information on the Valen house hold, the movements of Irue's aunt and uncle, and more interestingly, the seemingly fulfilled promise of allies who could do more for the rebellion than wield a weapon.Extracting all you needed to know from the experiment, you left him behind. His fate had been sealed the moment Irue's poison had set in his veins; Today only cut the time that much shorter.This Wisp Adept though. You don't think a brigand would carry a title as needlessly sophisticated as "Paladin". You didn't know enough about how people threw such vague titles around, but you were passing acquaintance with another who bore that title. Comrads, maybe. Or former associates? Peers?Questions you would need to find other sources of answers for, as Alouette was out of reach.>Investigate the catacombs you were held prisoner in>Pursue information on the title (How?)>Repair your uniform immediately.>Other? (Write-in)
>>3340553>Pursue information on the title (How?)Maybe the wisp dudes at the shrine know? probably a long shot, im going to sleep
>>3340553>Investigate the catacombs you were held prisoner in
>>3340553>His fate had been sealed the moment Irue's poison had set in his veins; Today only cut the time that much shorter.That's... not good. He can't be the only demi-human like this, and them going critical is only going to further sour relations.>coax something like a Shade apparition further from its incubation.Are...are they incubating Shade apparitions? That is supremely bad news.I wonder if "experiment" is a deliberate name. A hint of their origins?>>Repair your uniform immediately.It will generate annoying questions.>posting in the middle of the dayWho are you and what have you one with Riz? Or should I call you DoppleRiz?
>>3340597It's been very cloudy. I knew yesterday it would be a very rainy, dreary day which is why I was comfortable going to bed a little earlier than usual last night. These days are always a treat.>I wonder if "experiment" is a deliberate name.Much of Asche's dialogue is very deliberate. Her perspective is an unusual one.
>>3340553>>Repair your uniform immediately.
>>3340590Title information!>>3340596The catacombs!>>3340597>>3340709Uniform repair is of utmost priority.Writing!
For now, the tear in your uniform was what bothered you the most. It needed to be mended now. Before it had a chance to get any worse. You fingered it absently, feeling the cloth worn to a thread between your nails. It had been soft when you received it, but years of toil had seen that worn from it. What remained in these tired vestments now was the only comfort they brought you... A small thing which you had taken great care to guard and preserve in as unobtrusive manner as possible.Yet looking at these scrapes, it wouldn't be possible this time. Most of them could be recovered well enough but the tear your fingers traced around... You would have to find a way to obscure it. These reluctant thoughts kept you heavy company as you left the experiments to their business and returned to the building the princess has claimed under Irue's name in the heart of Carona. It was a place you felt correct in returning to - No other place in this town was better suited to have offered its aid to the blonde noble's legacy than this; A statement whose truth would be unchanged whether it had been as small as a hovel or a mansion unto itself. The meaning behind it was meant to be judged in cycles over space.It wasn't necessary that you return to here precisely, as the needle with which you sew was one you kept on your person at most times, but it was a safer decision. A place where you could slough your clothes without needing to cast concern for prying eyes, carefully inspecting your reparations.You nodded wordlessly as the follower at the front greeted you, stride unpausing as you traced your way back towards the room Irue had laid claim to. As you did not sleep so much as wait, you had never seen a reason to hold a room to yourself. There were few of them as it was, rendering the sole reasoning Irue had succeeding in arguing you into a room at the old estate a moot point....Not that Irue had raised a concern over it since you'd arrived in Carona for good. You knew well how much had weighed on their mind since the Rite had begun... Or you thought you did. Recently you wondered if perhaps you weren't as well informed on the matters of Irue's feelings as you used to be.
Your sewing slowed, lingering overlong on the growing gap between you once more. When had it grown like that? You remembered every moment you had ever spent with Irue, what happened that you were suddenly being left behind? Lately it felt as if your presence did little but agitate the noble. Even after you'd finally found an opportunity to speak with them over the bracelet, the intimacy you thought would resume had stayed so distressingly out of reach.It wasn't a question of whether or not you would find a place in Irue's life again - You had to. The further your heart's keeper drifted, the more hollow your actions became. The more damning your dreams became. Memories from a piece that lay dormant growing ever restless as the widening gap proved reluctant to mend.As hours passed your sewing resumed. A delicate and deliberate process of tedium that allowed your fingers to move without thought. This was the closest to meditation you would ever come, but it didn't help you understand yourself any better. When all was said and done what remained was a scar upon the familiar maid's attire. One of a select and rare collection of carefully threaded stitches which you're certain you couldn't hide....How long had you spent simply staring at your uniform now?You suppose it doesn't matter. It wouldn't fix itself, but your mind ran ablank thinking of how to approach it. It was a simple task. A physical alteration to conceal something. It had no deeper meaning.It had no deeper meaning.There was nothing more to it.You just... Were going to lay here on this bed a while longer. You couldn't leave the room until you redressed, anyway. And you couldn't do that until you decided how you were going to fix this.You were going to fix this.>Resume searching for the Tiers.>Learning more of Paladins took precedent.>Everything was on hold until you found an appropriate method of covering those stitches.>Other? (write-in)
>>3341347>>Resume searching for the Tiers.Work on the wisp adept is useless, as anything she does find won't reach rue until she gets back, which won't happen until the mission is done or things go sideways.
>>3341347>>Resume searching for the Tiers. I take a certain amount of please in her working on a dead end task. And if she does find something, all the better.
>>3341347>Everything was on hold until you found an appropriate method of covering those stitches.Well this is ominous, I hope Ashe doesn't fucking kill herself.
>>3341455>>3341466The search continues!>>3341500Gotta fix it. Can't get distracted, gotta fix it.
Asche needs a smoke break and a cute heart patch over the tear, obviously.
Clothed once more, you take leave of the safe place for the second time today. A small blemish marring the waist of your uniform, indicative of the stitch you'd yet to think of a proper and permanent solution for. Your arm brushed against it more than strictly necessary when you passed, doing what you could to hide it despite yourself; no one here would ask questions of you, but it wasn't as if you were hiding it to avoid attention. It was an embarassment, and something to be kept private. Something that had suddenly shot terribly high onto your list of priorities to handle... But also something which couldn't precede your search for the Tiers.You needed to find the Tiers. If you could just do that then maybe things would start going back to the way things were. It was a task easier said than done though, especially this late. All of your efforts to dig up more information on their whereabouts had led you to an increasingly comprehensive understanding of the mayor's rebellious efforts, doomed as they were to fail, but key components remained absent.Where had they been taken the night the experiment betrayed you? You know they had held you captive in the catacombs but there was no way of knowing what else was hidden down there. Simply because the Doppleganger that had near consumed your heart's keeper had stumbled upon you didn't mean that it had exhausted the options below... Or perhaps it had, if you were to take into account the way it - and later Irue's - presence projected itself. But if not there, then where? They had to be held somewhere and you had already spent any time you could spare searching the woods for bodies. The only things to be found there were your own victims from your initial infiltration, and whatever new additions Dryad's Host had made.
If you were right then searching for them inside the bounds of Carona was a fruitless effort. The journal indicated an influx of resources not long after your betrayal, and consequently, after the Tier estate was burned to the ground. That meant they were held only long enough to be sold, charitably, or that what was being sold were the exotic creatures they'd been domesticating... Which had, quite similarly, not been seen since.There remained the possibility that they had simply been killed, just as they were the night you had arrived and saved them. That your efforts that night had ultimately only delayed their death, rather than prevented it. That somewhere you'd missed the churned earth marking their shallow graves. It was possible, and if that were true then at the very least finding their bodies might still be enough for Irue to trust you again.But for now, you had leads which seemed to point beyond these walls. You would follow them first. If you were wrong then the bodies would remain where they lie, but if you were right then forgiveness was still in reach. You could still make this right.For now there were two places you needed to find: Where they were held, and where they were taken. If you could find out what was sold - Confirm it was the Tiers - Then maybe you could find out who they were sold to, or at least to where.>Search the Behemoth enclosure.>Traverse the catacombs.>Consult the Atlach Nacha>Other? (write-in)
>>3341966>Consult the Atlach NachaAs an Undine apparition it should have a way with secretsBtw why didn't we ask Mim about Tiers?
>>3341976If by "we" you mean as Irue, then it's because she technically cannot help you. As is reiterated fairly often, Mim is first and foremost the Representative of Luna and thus not at liberty to freely offer aid to political agents or get involved in outside conflicts. She bends this rule when she can for Irue on account of trying to maintain their friendship, but it can only go so far. Also I don't believe anyone ever voted to do this, but if you had then this would have been your response, more or less.If by "we" you mean Asche while you weren't controlling her, then it's because solving problems by involving someone else would only further prove how useless she is to Irue now.
>>3341966>Consult the Atlach Nacha
The third question has a very simple answer, in that it'd obviously be in the Valen archives. As it is such precious information, it would certainly not be in the public section, which leaves the Founder's personal library - Incidentally that would also most likely be the source of any such information in the first place. So the information you would be seeking could be found there!Except you went there, and it wasn't. What did you find there...?I hope you haven't forgotten already.
>>3341342>>3341347Why is Asche so insistent on hiding who she is from Irue?
>>3342013I am unsure what this is in reference to.
>>3342023Just something that I came across while looking for clues about the Tiers.Also why doesn't Asche get a new uniform instead of constantly repairing an old one?
>>3342023hey, did we find out what happened to that inn waitress whom we offered to become our maid, unaware that most maids don't face deadly danger on a regular basis?I wonder if her Father or Brother would know where people got sent off to, or where she ended up. Seemed like she was running with a bad crowd.
>>3342023Also, reading in the ask.fm it said that we (and Ari) could provide power to the Oakenrue.Additionally, there are all the cores from the Oakenrues left behind still.So . . . . could we collect those cores, and then re-power them, for a creepy as fuck OakenArmy?
>>3342023>Did we ever clear out the remaining mercenaries working as guards? Nope! You had no idea which guards were mercenaries or not, and the destruction of the Banshee gave them all ample time to go to the ground.Hey, so what about the Demi-humans recognizing them? They must at least be able to point to some faces, whom we can then interrogate with a little "bad cop / terrifying abomination" play.
>>3342031The function of the clothes have negligible value to her. The meaning of them is everything. They cannot be replaced. She has fought diligently to keep them presentable for precisely this reason and in fact learned to sew entirely because of that.It goes unmentioned because Asche has often been left out of frame due to the choices made, but every so often her uniform acquires some new accessory. A strip of lace, or the like. Irue assumes she finds something that strikes her fancy, but it's typically because something has happened she couldn't mend well enough and she found something to sew over the stitching so it wouldn't be noticed.>>3342038>what happened to that inn waitress whom we offered to become our maidYou spoke with her father. Her brother has been missing since the Mistral's Child swept through Carona, and shortly there after in the aftermath he says that his daughter Jill left Carona on her own. >>3342045It's not an impossible task, but you would be remiss to consider yourself an infinite battery. You've barely context for what it means to be the life support of the one you have.
>>3341964>The only things to be found there were your own victims from your initial infiltration, and whatever new additions Dryad's Host had made.She left dead bodies out in the open in the forest? Isn't that how you get Oakenbears?>at the very least finding their bodies might still be enough for Irue to trust you again.ha.>>3341966>>Traverse the catacombs.>>3342038We poked around a little, I think, but that bridge burned prettily, so we haven't pressed. IIRC, our current HQ is made out of that tavern. And the father is dead.
>>3342056Actually, I think we might be going about this the wrong way.We should figure out who would need/benefit from Beast Tamers the most.Where did all the beasts go? Who has the resources to keep and maintain them?
>>3342055> You've barely context for what it means to be the life support of the one you have.Plural?
>>3342064Wait no sorry I misread it. It's late. I'm out.
>>3342055> but every so often her uniform acquires some new accessory.These are the sort of details I love your writing for. We aren't the center of the universe, merely a character within.>You've barely context for what it means to be the life support of the one you have.On the plus side, it'd be nice to have at least one more oakenrue that's actually ours, instead of "loaned" to Ari. As long as anons didn't immediately give it away again, as they seem to love doing with anything useful we acquire.
It seems like the vote is leaning towards Atlach Nacha for now, but I'm going to leave it here while I take a break for the night. I have some things to do tomorrow so we'll probably pick back up a little later than usual, but I didn't want anyone staying up for hours waiting on the next vote.If I can get out an update before my business starts tomorrow then you shouldn't need to worry about it closing in the usual hour window either, so take it easy! In the meantime if people have questions or comments, I'll do what I can to address them when I've got a moment.
>>3341996Does looking for missing persons after a disaster the Shrine is already helping with constitute "aid to political agents"?
>>3342124In this case, yes. The Tiers have been missing since well before the disaster and are a family tied extremely closely to the Valens, as they are one of House Valen's only two retaining bloodlines.There's more you could read into that statement as well, but it may only tell you what you already suspect.
>>3342129I'm thinking more about the people who went missing again because there were sold to slavers
>>3342140The Dominion of Luna, and by extension the Shrine, is already cooperating with you on this matter by sharing the reports/records and helping you narrow down the likely suspects.Though it's worth noting that you have two theories for those missing people. One being that they were sold to slavers, and the other being that they are supporting the mayor's rebellion even after its failure by undermining your management efforts.
>>3342129Honestly, it's entirely possible they ran away to Valen forces and are at one of our other holdings. After all, they didn't know us so we aren't the Valen that would come to mind when they were looking for safety.> Nooooo, don't ask our Aunt for help at all costs even if it's just a simple letter to check.We could also ask our Uncle. Unless he's the one who took out all the info about Dryad that was supposed to be in the inner library where he spends all his time.Fucks sake. Let's send a letter or something to ask about them, it's so easy and low cost.
>>3342189I can at the very least confirm that they haven't retreated to any other Valen holdings. If your family was aware of their status, you would have been made aware during the time Irue visited, if not since.
>>3342192If our family was aware?Well hopefully Irue had better luck with her party of cool kids. Cooler than Asche.Does that dress represent all the lies she's told Irue by omission over the years?
>>3342202Yeesh, anon. The only thing she might be blamed for is keeping silent about the bracelet.
>>3342207And all the stories behind the rips.
>>3342202what's with your hateboner for asche anon? she dindu nuffin
>>3342355Everyone just feels bad for her now, but she's been using Irue. Maybe she cares about her, but she's been bad at caring for her.Maybe because she's an inhuman abomination, but it seems like she's using Irue to keep lying to herself in a codependent relationship instead of actually helping Irue.It's like she never taught us to fly so we wouldn't leave the nest.
>>3342355Also she killed Shadowrue.
>>3342390Blame Anon Anonymous for that, not Asche
>>3342387Just because she preferred being alone with Irue doesn't mean she's responsible for Irue's 10 year stagnation, her duty as a maid does not extend to raising a child (that was our aunts job). Also it was mentioned in a previous thread that Ashe was the only one who bothered to nurse Irue back to health after our parents died, that hardly counts as being bad at caring.
>>3342387>but it seems like she's using Irue to keep lying to herself in a codependent relationship instead of actually helping Irue.This sums it up pretty well. She only cares for the original Ari, and only deals with Rue because Ari wanted it that way, or was commanded by her to do it. Everyone else is beneath her, only noteworthy by how much they are needed to achieve Rue's goals, in a pitiful attempt to be important to Rue.>>3342391We've discussed this before, but the blame lies with Asche there, as she killed ShadowRue in cold blood, without even considering or attempting other options. We'd been stuck that way for quite a while, an extra few days to determine alternatives would have been all it took, even if in the end there was no alternative.
>>3342678Asche might love us, but she isn't our friend. She's like a crippled mana, all jealousy and . . . Huh.Huh.I wonder, what would happen if Irue meditates on Asche?> What could go wrong?
>>3342678Yeah I disagree with you on the latter
>>3342678>only deals with Rue because Ari wanted it that wayI fail to see what could make you think so.
>>3342684I also still think that if we can't find the Tier sisters, we should plant an Oakenrue in the Behemoth.
>>3342129> as they are one of House Valen's only two retaining bloodlines.Probably grabbed by Caylens bitch when she passed through, for schemes with Artemis.I wonder if Caylen could help us find them.
>>3341964> your heart's keeper The bracelet? Is Asche some sort of artificial mana? A shard of Dryad grown in a Homonculus? She can't die or be harmed apparently, so that's different.What happens if we poke Asche with one of those funky trees?I'm honestly just tossing out wild theories here. For fun!
>>3342686How so? I would have been quite unhappy if the search for alternatives came up dry, but Asche would have done her due diligence, and would be free of blame in this matter.I kinda wish the Shade adept was more of a traditional priestly type; it'd be nice to be able to talk to him about the whole DoppleRue thing without being mocked and flirted with.>>3342696It's an inference, but it reads pretty clear to me in her internal way of addressing Rue as her "heart's keeper", her desperation to be important to Rue, and her way of thinking about Rue. She thinks about dealing with Rue like it's a job or duty like something she's gotta slog through, not with respect or affection.>>3342704We've only got the one that got perma-loaned to Ari. Even if we could get it back, I've rather not lose it again.>>3342710Asche gave Rue the bracelet herself. She was with us long before that. She does have some Shade control, and unnatural healing, so she's clearly not human.
>>3342713There are cores in the woods by our house!We could get it super hammered on Faedeka then feed it some cores. All the cores! Make up for their lack of individual energy with sheer numbers!Then feed it MORE Faedeka!I mean. Seriously I can't think of any good plans for dealing with the unkillable beast.Riz said it was a thing that we could do, last thread.
>>3342713Look maybe we could gather cores and Faedeka . . . Just in case. Besides we'll probably need Faedeka from around town anyways. For the Demihumans if nothing else, to purge whatever it is of Shade we left in them maybe.We can send people to gather them up for us. We have that power now.
>>3342713>She thinks about dealing with Rue like it's a job or dutyShe thinks about everything like it's a job or duty. She thinks like a robot, because she very likely is.I also encourage you to reread Asche's pastebin and note the part where Irue had "taken" her after Ariel's death. That doesn't seem like Asche was fulfilling Ariel's wishes.
>>3342721>There are cores in the woods by our house!The cores come *from* apparitions. I don't think you can reverse the process, or at least not without some way of putting more power back into the cores.>We could get it super hammered on Faedeka No thank you. Every time we've drank the stuff massive problems result. Also the stuff was coming from Dryad; with it back to sleep and the mansion cleaned out of the stuff (and wrecked), I doubt we could acquire any even if we wanted to.>I mean. Seriously I can't think of any good plans for dealing with the unkillable beast.Currently, the best plan is to get Kara to take a massively sturdy spear and run it through the thing's lungs and heart. No oxygen, no life. It's not a great plan, as we only get one chance and failure doesn't leave room for fallback plans, but it's more likely to work than anything else so far. I'm not sure what an Oakenrue would accomplish. Ari's tame one already had it's power reduced when Dryad went back to sleep, and even at the height of it's power it couldn't have taken a Behemoth down.
>>3342724>Look maybe we could gather cores and Faedeka While the cores could be useful, we couldn't keep them in the town. Those cores contain raw Dryad; I wouldn't be surprised if adepts can sense cores at a distance, and anyone discovering them could cause things to go downhill very fast.>For the Demihumans if nothing else,Even if we still had access to Faedka, the Demihumans freely partook during the month-long binge with the rest of us. It helped a little, maybe, but an alarming amount of them still committed suicide.>We can send people to gather them up for us.Even if we weren't constantly lacking in manpower, they'd be detecting (somehow) and collecting Dryad cores. If Dryad's existence leaks out, we will be at war with the Shrine.
>>3342746> The cores come *from* apparitions. I don't think you can reverse the process, or at least not without some way of putting more power back into the cores.That's why we get a whole bunch, and soak them in Faedeka!> No thank you. Every time we've drank the stuff massive problems result. Also the stuff was coming from Dryad; with it back to sleep and the mansion cleaned out of the stuff (and wrecked), I doubt we could acquire any even if we wanted to.We aren't drinking it though. We could mix it with the Abomination sap and see how it goes.> I'm not sure what an Oakenrue would accomplish. Ari's tame one already had it's power reduced when Dryad went back to sleep, and even at the height of it's power it couldn't have taken a Behemoth down.Well, since we would put it inside the Behemoth, I was hoping it could like merge with it. Or act like cancer and tear it apart from the inside after spreading through it. Or pull it into Dryads dream and keep it asleep.Maybe we could throw it into Dryads Atelier?
>>3342754How can they sense Dryad without a Dryad Adept? Wouldn't they have sensed the Adorable Abomination?
>>3342759>Faedka>I doubt we could acquire any even if we wanted to.>Well, since we would put it inside the Behemoth,I'm... not even going to touch that.>>3342763This is speculation, but I suspect cores of any mana would be detectable by adepts.Even if they can't, someone could stumble across any stored in the town easy enough.
>>3342773That's why we hide them . . . In the Behemoth! You'd have to be nuts to look in there!
>>3342773Buuuut I'm serious it's worth a shot I think.
>>3342746> I don't think you can reverse the processYou can, we used our bracelet to activate a core and summoned a salamander apparition at no apparent cost to ourselves. If you want to check, we did this shortly before entering the fae woods in order to allow Priat to find us easier. We did not undergo the same strain that comes with summoning apparitions without cores. Going off what Riz said in this thread about how the oakenrue is powered by Irue and Ari I gotta say summoning lots of them is a terrible idea. With that in mind, killing the behemoth with an apparition is the only idea I've seen that has a chance of working without any collateral damage. It goes without saying that we don't want them to fight each other, rather give it an order like this->Take root in the behemoth, slowly strangle its vitals and ensure it never wakes up again.The only problem with this that stands out to me is how killing a helpless opponent would be this apparition's first act, this would have an impact on its personality. I'm also curious about the dryad juice idea, Irue should never touch the stuff again but maybe we can save Raid with it? I don't want Raid to die of shadow cancer.>>3342790>dryad begins to wake up again in 200 years>a giant rampaging skeleton covered in man eating plants emerges from the ground
>>3342797I mean. If the Apparition took root in it, Ari could probably control it?And the Abomination would have a friend!Hopefully we could mitigate the energy cost by using a bunch of cores, and then having it be dormant.> 200 years later, not our problem.
>>3342797> The only problem with this that stands out to me is how killing a helpless opponent would be this apparition's first act, this would have an impact on its personality. It's Dryad. It's all about that nature stuff. Nothing more natural than eating to survive and thrive.
>>3342815That's besides the point. Sure, anything born of dryad will likely have no qualms about killing, but consider our abomination. The first order we gave it was to protect Rinnier and Ari. It has internalized that order, functioning now as a full time bodyguard, it will kill to carry out that order, yes, but this is just a means to an end. My fear is if the first order we give to a new apparition is to kill, then maybe it will internalize killing as a goal in and of itself.It's a problem but not an insurmountable one I think, we could raise it for a while during our trip north to give it some context and blunt the impact of our order on its personality.Just another idea on the feasibility of hiding this thing when not in use: tell it to turn into something pocket sized and sleep until called upon, let Asche keep it. If she can't keep it safe then I dare say no one can.
>>3342826I don't disagree, but>let Asche keep it.Plz quite trying to give away powerful items/things anon. That's how we lost the first one.
>>3342826Why would we tell it to kill the Behemoth when we could tell it to tame it?And the order to protect Ari and Rinnier was reinforced, like a lot, and we barely supervised it.Also killing the Behemoth would be the last resort if taking it or keeping it asleep didn't work. And it's easier for us to put down an apparition than it would be a Behemoth anyways.I just remember that in the Atelier Dryad could control the animals of the forest. I5 was a whole thing.
Window will be closing shortly! I expect we'll get a couple updates tonight, but I'm a bit worn. I'll address some things in the meantime.>>3342202>>3342226>Does that dress represent all the lies she's told Irue by omission over the years? All the stories behind the rips.Most of the rips and tears have been a result of inexperience, clumsiness and inattentiveness. It's been referenced on occasion but Asche's competence was something hard earned; She was a terrible cook, near incapable of cleaning, yard work was absolutely beyond her, etc. Her outfit would suffer a lot of nicks, tears, and on occasion she probably burned the hem of her sleeves.Her skill at sewing is thus one of her most developed (and least mentioned) capabilities due to how often she found herself having to clean up after herself. This would also occasionally be applied to laundry she did for Irue, as she was similarly kind of terrible at that as well.>>3342387There's... There's a lot to unpack here and I am not sure I actually should.Ultimately character interpretations are up to you, and I try to keep tabs on the general mood and perception of a character in order to color Irue's thoughts and reactions towards them. I'll note that in some cases you've probably seen resistance to this (Most notably regarding Clara and Asche), and this is typically because Irue's opinion of them started skewed strongly in one direction. Rather than being neutral and immediately dipping negative, they started positively and would instead gradually degrade.These are not set in stone. Even good relations will break down as trust and good will crumble, leaving nothing to stand between your ire. You can, for example, eventually learn to hate Alouette despite Irue identifying her as a mother figure.>>3342773>cores of any mana would be detectable by adepts.Cores are generally recognizable by other Adepts, but they can't outright sense them. For easy visualization, imagine a Jinn core. If you're a Gnome Adept then you're aware of Gnome mana, where it clusters, how it moves, what have you. Because of this you would innately be able to discern a nearby Gnome core because of how potent it was - But being fluent in Gnome doesn't give you insight into how any other Mana moves. You could theoretically walk past a Jinn core for months and never notice it because the clustering of Jinn mana was entirely invisible to you. However if you were HOLDING that Jinn core then the Jinn mana infusing it wouldn't at all play nice with Gnome mana, so you would understand from that contact (or violent lack there of) that it was the core to a different kind of Mana.From there comes the question of identifying what kind of Mana the core belongs to, but that's elementary in most cases, and at worst it can just be brought to a Luna Adept.
>>3344370> I'll note that in some cases you've probably seen resistance to this (Most notably regarding Clara and Asche), and this is typically because Irue's opinion of them started skewed strongly in one direction.This is one of those odd side effects of starting a quest in the middle of a life. Backstory never seems to hit as hard unless you've live it yourself. But that takes time, and isn't always interesting to work through like that.>CoresI figured Adepts would have some interaction with the cores, as they're both involved with Mana. Good to know they couldn't home in on them if we dug them up, but keeping Dryad ones in the city is still dangerous.
>>3344413A behemoth at home is dangerous, let alone poking it and hoping it dies. Hell, Irue is dangerous, arguably more than the Behemoth of she uses the bracelet. Ari and the Adorable is hella world ending dangerous."Safe" stopped being an option a long time ago.
>>3344453>Some parts of our life is dangerous, might as well throw caution to the wind
Alright, vote called for Atlach Nacha now that I have some food.Writing!
>>3344453You could use that to justify anything. "A Behemoth is dangerous, but so is asking Mim about Dryad, so might as well ask away."He also never mentioned "safe".
Honestly if we don't find the Tiers in the foreseeable future, we should just go ahead and kill the Behemoth. Because waiting any further is a bad idea
>>3344466Keeping cores is dangerous, but not as dangerous as stabbing the sleeping behemoth let alone having it wake up.
>>3344463Since the Tiers share the Valen bloodline, I wonder if maybe the Fae took them or something.
>>3344531They don't share the bloodline, they are retainers for them. The Tier family is a bloodline which has sworn to support the Valen bloodline, and has done so for generations.
>>3344530Not sure how that's relevant to anything. Walking down the street is less dangerous than attempting to kill the behemoth, and more dangerous than staying at home all day.
>>3344370>I try to keep tabs on the general mood and perception of a characterI hope you will avoid the vocal minority bias.
>>3344545Whoever shouts loudest is objectively correct, anon.
>>3344546ASCHE A CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
>>3344596Asche is flat incidentally.
who else here /Rinniergang/
>>3344605Rinnier is a good girl too.
>>3344605Only if you can properly pronounce her name.
>>3344604Cause she's a robot.
>>3344617Robots, too, are justice.
>>3344614rin-eehrit's hard to express through letters shit
>>3344623I think it's ri-nyeh
>>3344627yeah that's actually better. I'm not good explaining pronunciation in english through text
>>3344627Ren-wah. All French like.
>>3344623Rin-î-ay.No hard R or else it's racist.
You were searching for information best kept hidden; A secret in all but name. While you could walk the length of Carona yourself in search of answers, there was something closer which might be able to guide you more effectively. Your heart's keeper had turned over its location to the favored months ago in return for some measure of aid and cooperation, yet there may still be a chance to barter. The Atlach Nacha were, as all Undine apparitions, avid collectors of things best left forgotten... And it is against the nature of those who hoard such things to help others remember. It was not the easiest approach. You were beyond taking the easy route. Results were all that mattered to you now, even if you needed to part with something to make it happen."Hold, we can't let you go any further." A pair of favored stood before you, cordoning off entrance to the Atlach Nacha's nesting tunnels. To protect you? Protect them? Whatever the case it was keeping you from where you needed to be. "Do you have business out this far, young miss?""Didn't think we had anyone in Carona who actually wore maid uniforms... Oh, you're with the Valens right?"The two of them talked amongst each other, slowly putting together the truth behind your identity as you watched and waited. Your heart's keeper had envied the favored for nearly as long as you had been at their side; a strange notion, but hardly the first time. Perhaps it was something that would never change. The two before you spoke in a bland tongue, not unlike children... Given time, they may well come to know Undine's doting words, but for today their command of its language was crude and halting. Much of the elegance of its flowing melody was lost on them, too far beyond them to hear much less comprehend.Had it been otherwise they would have stopped you sooner.
The response was faint. Territorial as they are the Atlach Nacha had no doubt been loathe to give up the ground they were forced away from, yet the favored's desires held priority over their own whims. Even mannered as it was, Undine was a far cry from its sibling Shade - It saw no value in excessive resistance and the loss of its nieces and nephews. In the end the deciding factor had most likely been that the favored who had approached requested retreat over revelation. As long as they could take their secrets with them, then their territory, such as it is, was a small and meaningless price to pay.For that reason alone they would abandon the Atelier which birthed them, and the lost soul which nurtured their cores... If she were still present then you would have simply asked her, yet she spoke a mingled and tortured language even you struggled to comprehend. To be granted an audience would be a difficult enough task, nevermind an exchange. You were not your heart's keeper. You did not hold her favor.Yet pushed back as they were, the Atlach Nacha would come when called. Even now you knew their numbers to stir, rising with curiousity from unplumbed depths. You could feel them moving closer, filling out the sunken tunnels as a rising tide. It was the first moistening of earth at the mouth of the mines which heralded their arrival, while the babbling favored who thought themselves fluent wouldn't hear their Mana's own chiding words until water lapped at their ankles.By then it was too late to run. You watched on blandly as even the desperately clawed trail of their fingers in the gripless mud was swallowed, finally raising your eyes to meet the multifaceted sapphire orbs of the Atlach Nacha - A name which identified one, but was born to all; it was to all you exchanged acknowledgements with now.
"You called." It rippled with a voice of legion. The monster before you was no less than a mass of obedient children, too excited to maintain form beyond their coagulated morph."I seek something hidden." You murmured quite unnecessarily. A habit of human speech you had painstakingly learned which held no merit, no meaning, to these children.And so they writhed, silent and reluctant, as you knew they would. A secret is not kept by giving it away. They are children, but hardly fools. In any incarnation, even the slimmest of Undine's patient depths knew the value of what lay concealed and forgotten. "It is not yours to know."You came prepared to bargain. It was possible you could simply demand it from them, but every loudly spoken word was one more chance to draw Undine's gaze to your personal matters. Already you risked the shadows in their waters becoming a vessel to the endless, crushing abyss. She would have questions you did not want to hear. But what could you offer instead?>Perform a favour for knowledge.>Offer something you know to be lost to the depths.>human squabbles aren't meaningful to the Mana, demand answers.>Ask something about yourself instead. It is yours to know.
>4 hoursthat took too long, what the hell.
>>3344694>human squabbles aren't meaningful to the Mana, demand answers.Tell them that the one who keeps Dryads secrets, who is favored by the soul that nurtured them, needs the knowledge.A secret shared is not a secret, but then again it's also no longer a secret of there's no-one left to keep it from.Stop fucking around and share a smaller secret to keep the rest.
>>3344694Also did Asche just straight up murder the Shrine people?
>>3344711They'll be fine. Probably. It's not really up to her or her business.
>>3344692>even the desperately clawed trail of their fingers in the gripless mud was swallowedOkay WTFDid Asche just kill two more peopleThat's... that's not cute at allI like her much less now>>3344694>Perform a favour for knowledge.
>>3344712Has Asche ever asked, like, anything at all of Irue?Can we put a note to ask ask Asche what she wants, some time?
>>3344694What the fuck is going on? Can Asche talk to every mana? That's insane.>Perform a favour for knowledge.
>>3344728>Has Asche ever asked, like, anything at all of Irue?No. She is actually somewhat stubborn even regarding accepting gifts and forms of luxury as she feels them unnecessary and wasted on her. See: Her reminiscence on her room back at the estate. The exceedingly few things she does have are cared for meticulously. See: Her clothes.Memo:1. Ask Asche what she wants, some time2. 3. Memo updated!
>>3344711Well she didn't murder them, really. It was more the mana they worshiped that killed them.>>3344694>Perform a favour for knowledge.I' m sure Asche's up for anything, as long as it doesn't harm Irue.
>>3344754Mana summoned by Asche.
Alright, going to leave this open while I rest. I don't expect the vote will change any, but I don't see a point in closing the window and then going to sleep.Sorry for probably wasting everyone's time tonight, I didn't think I'd hit a wall like that.
>>3344761It's all good. Tha is for running!
>>3344761Thanks for running!
>>3344694>Perform a favour for knowledge.
>>3344694>>Perform a favour for knowledge.This is a bad idea, but it's too late to back out.>You watched on blandly as even the desperately clawed trail of their fingers in the gripless mud was swallowed,Good to see my mistrust in her is well placed. That was incredibly stupid, wasteful and pointless. More murder in cold blood.>while the babbling favored who thought themselves fluent wouldn't hear their Mana's own chiding words until water lapped at their ankles....what *is* Asche? She can freely communicate with multiple Mana?
>>3344854Obviously related to the bracelet.
>>3344856I considered that, but she doesn't have it at the moment and there was no mention of grabbing anything for this meeting. A copy maybe?
>>3344864I think he's saying that Ashe herself is intrinsically linked to the bracelet somehow. >Irue is her "heart's keeper">She seems to be able to communicate with every mana, just like the bracelet>Before Irue she was loyal to Ariel who previously owned the bracelet
>>3344872Maybe, but she did have to come down here to talk to an apparition. The bracelet lets you talk to Mana directly, no intermediary required IIRC.
>>3344890What do you mean? Irue would need to at least come face to face with an apparition in order to communicate with it. The bracelet isn't long range.
>>3344897The bracelet her allows to to talk to Mana, not apparitions. Rue found an unintended function in using it to create apparitions, but I don't think it lets her talk to them.
>>3345001But we've used it to communicate with our dryad apparition before, it can't understand us without it. Also apparitions are included under the broad term "mana".>Once she had told you that when there was no answer, the bracelet would echo what was inside. If the purpose of this bracelet was to call out to the Mana, and the apparitions you called forth were only ever born from something inside of you... Had there never been an answer?>...No, there was mana, and Mana. The bracelet had helped connect you to the golem once before, and in that instance it had allowed you to speak with it despite your utter lack of affinity. It needed something more than just ambient mana. A more powerful vestige of the Mana. Something that could answer your call.The qualifying condition for communicating with mana using the bracelet seems to be sentience. This would include apparitions, aspirations and capital m Mana.
>>3345247I'd Forgotten about that. The bracelet is much, much older than the original Ari (and as far as we know Asche) though. There's got to be more to it than Asche being connected to a previous owner.
Riz can you elaborate on the the phenomena of named apparitions and named aspirations? Also what do you mean by "expand their dominion"?
>>3345277Sure!The primary criteria which separates an "apparition" from an "aspiration" is simply whether they need a core to remain manifested or not. The distinction does not at all imply a difference in power, but it can infer how dangerous or difficult to deal with one might be. For example when facing an apparition, all you really need to do in order to disperse it is to find and destroy its core. A troubling task for anyone who isn't attuned to that Mana and capable of outright sensing its location. For an aspiration on the other hand, it has no core. You can't just find and break it and call it done. You go from fighting something with a physical medium as a weakness to something that's a sentient force of nature which will by all likelihood ignore all forms of physical damage. In the latter case it's significantly more likely they will need to be appeased or talked down, though it's still entirely possible for them to be dispersed by a strong enough Adept (or multiple lesser Adepts working in unison).Most apparitions/aspirations bear two identifiers you're already familiar with: Their Mana and their classification. The Mana is self-explanatory, "It's a Shade apparition!", while the classification is more like its species. A Revenant, Doppleganger, and Poltergeist are all Shade apparitions, but they are different kinds of Shade apparitions. These aren't names. It would be like if you identified Clara as "Human apparition, Valen". The key missing there is not what she is, but who she is. Ego, sense of self, that is of vital importance when considering the raw power of a manifestation simply because as you know all of them are smaller facets of the greater whole. Undine exists in every drop of water as ambient mana, but ambient mana is passive. Inert. The more defined an ego an apparition gains, the more sapient and aware it becomes, the more power it gains. The more capable it is of becoming a vessel for Undine itself to act through. Names are an indication of that ego threshold. Where a manifestation becomes more than a phenomena and begins to develop a specific personality and awareness unique from its peers. These names aren't just inherently obtained, they're either given by someone else (considered an artificial method of meddling) or assumed by the manifestation itself after a time (the natural method).Any of Irue's apparitions would have gone on to become named if they survived long enough. They were born preternaturally powerful because a large fragment of their being was created entirely from a form of ego. The exception to this being the Doppleganger, as it had its Clarity stolen from it moments after its birth, so it never had the chance to grow as an apparition.
So moving on to the expanding dominions. The term "dominion" gets used without much explanation in Valen and the one you're most familiar with is in regards to the Shrine. The Luna Dominion, the Shade Dominion, etc. In this context it references "Dominion" a little abstractly, but it still refers to the claimed territory and expertise, influence, what have you of the given Mana. The Undine Dominion is under the care of Undine, it venerates Undine, it is the most knowledgeable and skilled in matters regarding Undine. They are the de facto authority on Undine.Named aspirations create their own dominions. You may think of it as carving out a kingdom of their own, as to think of it as their territory isn't incorrect, but it also refers to their command of a Mana's language, which is in most senses equatable to their authority. The Mistral is often referenced here, as its "Dominion" is considered to be the full range of the northern wastes. Unlike the Mana who take a more passive role, it is a very real, very present, very active god which presides over the howling peaks of the snowy wastelands. Tribes venerate it, capitulate to its whims, and anyone who would venture north are forced to respect it. It wasn't always like this, though - It wasn't born with that oppressive reach and authority. It grew to those heights by consuming other apparitions and aspirations. For an apparition to be consumed is a simple matter in most cases, as their physical medium is, again, their weakness. The mana which they require to manifest can be drained from it and drawn into another vessel, expanding that vessel's available Mana. Aspirations on the other hand are more troublesome to overtake, requiring a raw conflict of will. To properly visualize the process of an Aspiration being consumed, imagine a contest of ego where the loser's entire sense of identity crumbles and breaks down as they're held helpless with the inevitable understanding that every feeling and memory they've had is being melted away. They are fully conscious and aware of every piece of themself breaking apart, that gaps remain, and that more gaps are being made, until all they can be aware of is the gap in which they used to exist, before finally even their awareness of their own existence is taken. They are forcefully broken back down into what is essentially their raw components - ambient mana - and that identityless mass joins with the winner willingly. Because why wouldn't it? It has no thoughts or opinion on the matter.In this way an aspiration (or apparition's) dominion can be expanded. Their authority grows, their power increases, their presence solidifies, and they can consume the very structure of an identity to melt down and reinforce their own. This, in turn, deepends their capacity to act as a vessel for their Mana.
>>3344694>>Ask something about yourself instead. It is yours to know.Why was I born?
>>3345490She likely weren't even born.
>>3339353So she has her own little Riz imp inside of her head. But it sounds like he's doesn't regularly disappear for months. or a year now and then.Asche's Head Quest must be some real bullshit.
>>3345495Of course not, she's the Reclaimed Doll. Will spider babies argue semantics or only you?
>>3344707Demanding!>>3344716>>3344730>>3344754>>3344803>>3344854Favour!>>3345490Something about yourself instead!Gonna call the voting window on performing a favour here as well, going to get writing after I find breakfast.
>>3345506A detail regarding this that's unfortunately not transmitted well through text - Irue's dealt with this same voice before. It was briefly alluded to at the start of the thread with Stupid, stupid child and Hey, hey tell me, what happened to my little Ariel?I'm unsure how obvious this was, but seeing as in an audible medium you'd instantly know them to be the same, I don't feel too bad being more overt about it. Asche just deals with it every day for the past few months.
>>3345470>These names aren't just inherently obtained, they're either given by someone else (considered an artificial method of meddling) or assumed by the manifestation itself after a time (the natural method).So was Minstrel's Child's (the Jinn one that wrecked the town) name given or taken?>The exception to this being the Doppleganger, as it had its Clarity stolen from it moments after its birth, so it never had the chance to grow as an apparition.I assume this relates to the struggle we had during its manifestation, but can you break down 'Clairity' and how it was stolen?>You may think of it as carving out a kingdom of their own,Is it carved out of existing domains, or carved out within those demains? A state within a country, or a breakaway country?>Named aspirations create their own dominions.Sounds similar to how Aeons form. I suspect an Aeon is a human going through a similar process.>Because why wouldn't it? It has no thoughts or opinion on the matter....That's a pretty terrible way to meet your end, no matter who or what you are.>>3345525Jumping into someone else's head is supposed to provide answers, not more questions!You've put more thought into this one facet of your setting than many QMs put into their whole setting. I'm impressed.
>>3345611>Mistral's ChildGiven. It wasn't alive long enough to take one for itself. Pointedly, while it certainly qualified to be a named apparition, the name was technically given post-mortem. This has no meaningful impact on things, it's just trivia.>Explain ClarityIt's the absolute understanding of your place in the world, the meaning of your life, and everything. All Mana inherently have this, Dopplerue would mourn its loss off and on. It was stolen, or rather ripped from it, because Irue forced it to deviate from its purpose and made it learn to be human instead. Anything which clouds or distracts a Mana from its steadfast understanding of its instinctual place in life can damage Clarity - This was also addressed in the Abandoned Child's Atelier.>Aeon thingsThis has been addressed at some point prior, I believe also in the Abandoned Child's Atelier. To become an Aeon you need only lose your way between being human and the state of Clarity. It is most commonly achieved by an Adept hitting a wall and having things personal to them they can't let go which spirals them away from Clarity, but it can also happens to a Mana which has had elements it should never experience forced onto it - Such as Dopplerue's reluctant journey to humanity. Being an Aeon is not an "upgrade". It is not a pleasant experience.>Carved out existing domainsA state within a country is a closer way to view it. The Mana ultimately have Dominion over the entirety of the world, as they are Creation. They're the Pillars of the World. There are "Thrones" where each Mana is most concentrated and abundant and they have been mentioned a few times. Where an Aspiration chooses to lay claim is of no concern whatsoever to the Mana, as it is akin to the neighborhood children running around the street. A big deal for the children, but the adults - When they can be bothered to pay attention - can only laugh and smile fondly at their enthusiasm.The biggest thing to understand in this is that the Mana, for all their power, are typically passive. They are content in the world existing, as their presence suffuses every aspect of that existence. Aspirations are not possessed of this detachment and are more active and opinionated.Anyway my breakfast is nearly done being cooked!
>>3345673>Being an Aeon is not an "upgrade". It is not a pleasant experience.After what we saw in the Ice Palace, I absolutely believe that.What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet lose their soul?
>>3345470Ah that clears that up, thanks Riz.I really thought I was on to something there.
"I offer action." You had precious little to part with and none of it would be done willingly. What value you had to bargain with came from what you could do that they could, or would, not. "What do you wish?"Contemplative silence passed over the Atlach Nacha. This was the safest option available to you, something unlikely to attract Undine's attention. So long as you continued to deal only with these children you had no need to stand on guard against her tranquil eye. Smaller matters, for ephemeral concerns. Nothing one of the Pillars need concern themselves with. "The Ice Queen stirs. The scent of her sibling's blood caught in fleeting." What finall came from the assembled collective was more than you expected. "Jinn calls. It teases a reckoning between mortals. From the depths of her icen tomb she fears her brother to be used.""He is dead." You correct flatly. "His time is past. Humans are not outside of time.""She cares not. Her time is frozen. She would see her brother saved."Your lips pursed imperceptibly, a silence falling over the mineshaft entrance as the Atlach Nacha's words concluded. They waited for an answer, yet held no expectation for you to do so immediately. This was the extent of their offer... And how desperate they must be. For what you wished to know, this was far more troublesome. "When did they pass?""He arrived before Jinn raged. They left when Jinn calmed." Its countless voices rasped in sequentially delayed syllables. "They are bound West."Setting aside the matter of identifying her brother's descendant, this was another task whose conclusion was far beyond the borders of Carona. This wasn't something you could afford to do on your own, not without involving your heart's keeper in some way... Or worse, leaving their side until it was complete....But that thought made you acutely aware of just how alone you already were. How often had you been near your heart since the Rite began? If you left, would it even be noticed? Your heart's keeper was restless again. Your were trapped here again. Watching them go, unable to follow. You needed something to bring them back, but even when they came back, it wasn't to you.>Accept.>Request a lesser favour.
>>3345939Is it talking about Priatt? Or maybe someone from Caylin's party? Regardless I don't think sending Asche away is worth it, I have a feeling she'll be useful when we visit the ruined shrine.>Request a lesser favour.
>>3345939>>Accept.I am deeply curious as to the identity of her brother's decedent. I wonder if the relationship that a decedent would have resulted from came after the ICe Queen's seclusion, or before. If before, I would be it contributed to her isolation.I know Rue told the shrine some information about the Ice Queen, but how much have they found out, and how does Asche know anything about it?There's a certain irony in the decedent being chased away by a Jinn apparition of all things.
>>3346016Lesser favours!>>3346024>>3346230As you wish.Here we go!
>>3345939>"He arrived before Jinn raged. They left when Jinn calmed."Hmmm, does that mean recently arrived?>"They are bound West." Also the Valen estate is west of Carona... So someone who has recently arrived and has business with our family? Either that or they were fleeing to Murla and maybe even Firl. Lets just hope they haven't gone too far west.
>>3346346>Hmmm, does that mean recently arrived?I doubt it. That family has ties here.>Also the Valen estate is west of Carona...That's a good point. Carona is about as west as you can get. Why didn't they flee south or east to one of the other towns? Maybe they were captured by the slavers, or are going to join them? Wouldn't that be our luck?
>>3346368West is left on the map, anon. Carona is about as east as you can get.
>>3346374...balls. One day I'll manage keep my directions straight.
>>3346368The closes town is Sylv but that's south of Carona. Although, if you take the roads (very likely that our mark did), it seems like Murla is the closest. So if I he was just running, that's where he'd probably be.Here's the map I'm referencing, just to make sure we're on the same page here.
"It will be done."Something stirred within as those words left your lips. An exhausted, sluggish groan of something left sleeping that hated itself for the second time. You ignored its vague and feeble murmurs until it sunk fitfully back into slumber, taking the haunting melody of its broken lullaby with it. Nothing would change until you got results, and if this is what was necessary to do that then... It wasn't as if it was the physical distance between you which had bothered you in the first place."What you seek is yours to know." they returned matter-of-factly. The exchange was completed without unnecessary fanfare and the truth left concealed was laid bare to you. The fate of the Tiers that night, the path that awaited them, and where your search would lead you. Everything you would have needed to uncover and put together yourself made apparent by the whim of the keeper of secrets who had overseen it.You stood in the moistened earth and let your understanding settle. You knew what needed to be done now, but it wasn't something you could do. Not anymore. The longer you failed to pursue the tamers the less certain this information would become, the less meaningful this path would be, but the compact made to acquire it demanded your intention before all else - Such was the price paid. You had your answer now. You had the lead you needed. You... You'll be leaving in the morning, then? "That's it." You murmur in hollow revery, turning from the empty mineshaft where the Atlach Nacha had already receded to make your way back to Carona. "That's really all you have to say."You'd leave in the morning. It felt right.There was still some time until then. Time for last minute preparations. You needed to leave behind what you'd learned so that someone could make use of it. Perhaps the Host of Dryad... You would be loathe to provide the princess with anymore meaning than she already had.>Make your final rounds in Carona>Seek out the Host of Dryad>Make a specific preparation before you leave (what?)>Other? (Write-in)
>>3346410>it seems like Murla is the closest. So if I he was just running, that's where he'd probably be.Agreed. Its been so long since the brother fled, I doubt he's anyone special by this point, though apparently he's hunted or something similar. I hope we can get some sort of identifier, otherwise this will be difficult.>Make your final rounds in CaronaThe sooner we set out, the sooner we'll be done.
>>3346437forgot to link>>3346441
>>3346437>Seek out the Host of DryadThis is completely pointless if Irue can't make use of the information.
>>3346437>Seek out the Host of Dryadtell her the stuff then>Make your final rounds in CaronaI guess buying supplies? We should probably ask one of the knights who know about tracking to come with us. And maybe someone who can handle human interactions better.
>>3346437>Make your final rounds in Carona>>3346445I wish Irue could meet him, but this is being done in persuit of info on the Tiers, which doesn't need rue's involvement at this stage.
>>3346456Wait, didn't we already get it? The info?>The exchange was completed without unnecessary fanfare and the truth left concealed was laid bare to you. The fate of the Tiers that night, the path that awaited them, and where your search would lead you. Everything you would have needed to uncover and put together yourself made apparent by the whim of the keeper of secrets who had overseen it.
>>3346456Ashe knows where they are but can't act on it. I mean, I guess we could just let Asche take care of it once she's done finding this dude when the information is outdated and useless. If you want. >The longer you failed to pursue the tamers the less certain this information would become>You knew what needed to be done now, but it wasn't something you could do>You needed to leave behind what you'd learned so that someone could make use of it.
>>3346464>but the compact made to acquire it demanded your intention before all else - Such was the price paid.We got paid before we did the work, but you don't try to rip off a Mana or apparition. We have to do the work before anything else, especially as following up on the info given will likely take a while.
>>3346472Rue's timeline is uncertain, but she expected before she left that it would take a while. Assuming Asche has some way of knowing who to look for (otherwise this is basically impossible), this shouldn't take very long.
>>3346477How does telling Ari where the Tiers are before we leave rip this thing off? I don't understand. Worst case scenario Irue or Asche takes care of it depending on who comes back first, best case scenario they're acessible enough that Ari can have them rescued for Irue's return.
>>3346472Oh, you want to pass the Tier info on in case this takes a while? Sure, but why would we entrust it to Ari of all people? Give it to Rinner, she's much more responsible and can take notes.
>>3346498I thought you were saying we should pass off the descendant info and pursue the Tiers, I misunderstood.
>>3346502Because Ari is->Combat capable>Not currently doing anything>A dryad adept capable of homing in on life signs, if you remember Elly's capabilitiesShe could totally act on this information depending on where they're being held and how heavily they're guarded. If she isn't capable of rescuing them then it doesn't matter who we leave the information with so long as it's someone Irue will check in with. If notes are the problem then have Asche leave a letter in her care too.
>>3346532>Combat capableHer rue-in-a-stick is, I guess>Not currently doing anythingShe's never doing anything, because she doesn't have the willpower. She's certainly not going to go out and do anything without Rue.>>A dryad adept capable of homing in on life signs, if you remember Elly's capabilitiesFledgling, and hasn't shown any actual powers yet, afaik.>She could totally act on this information>Ari>doing anything on her own>>3346437>Make a specific preparation before you leave (what?)Leave the Tier info with Riener. Can't hurt, right?
>>3346502You know, thinking about it, Ari could act on that information today. I mean tell it to Rinny or whatever, but make sure Ari is acting on it.
>>3346543If she's so useless then why did we pass our Rite? It was because she impressed our Aunt by threatening her with the oakenrue for attempting to enter the town without Irue's permission, she also began attacking town guards on the walls and replacing them with our knights when Irue went missing. She's not the spineless worm you make her out to be.Ari does pretty much everything she's told, it's just that she's rarely told to do anything.
>>3346543Also,>hasn't shown any actual powers yet, afaikShe found the oakenrue the day after it arrived, she had no way of knowing where it was except for her adept powers.
>>3346577>If she's so useless then why did we pass our Rite?You seem to have misunderstood the point of the Rite. It was never about strength or usefulness, it was about taming them, bringing them to our side. It's why we barely scraped by with Rinner; she was hostile with us until we earned her trust (via violence, but that's beside the point) which didn't happen until right near the end.>She's not the spineless worm you make her out to be.She's not spineless, just damaged. She came to us so damaged she wouldn't get out of bed. She's better than she used to be, but she's far from independent enough to leave the city, never mind go on a mission.
>>3346543>because she doesn't have the willpowerAri: Gee, I don't know if I can─Asche: Irue will like you a lot more if you di─ Ari: Were are they!? I'll kill em! I'll kill em all!!Just kidding. But in all seriousness though, I'm pretty sure Rumpy can go with her if needed.
>>3346616>Rumpy Reiner? She could technically, but she's busy being our regent, on account of how Rue doesn't know how to rule, and keep wandering off. We've been having manpower shortages for a long while now in all fields.
>>3346648>ReinerYeah Renperf, that's what I said. It won't take that long probably. Fen's there anyway.
>>3346603>It was never about strength or usefulness, it was about taming them, bringing them to our sideIt was about both, the testament had to be judged both loyal and useful to Irue in order to pass. >She came to us so damaged she wouldn't get out of bedThis point is fair, though I'm arguing under the assumption that Riz won't make us decide whether to send her without giving us the context necessary to know how difficult/dangerous it's likely to be based on what Asche knows.
>>3346237I'm sure this will end well.Asche is totally a reasonable and responsible person who doesn't need supervisionPay no attention to the corpses in the tunnels.
>>3346437I think we lost him.
>>3346532>>3346445>>3346437Supporting for these reasons
Sorry, some things came up. I'll be a bit! Expect this to take several hours though, so if anyone needs to sleep please do so.
>>3346437>>Seek out the Host of Dryad>>Make a specific preparation before you leave (what?)Inform Rinnier of all the things you expect her to do to keep Irue healthy and happy. An exhaustive list of minutae with occasional allusions to extreme dangers like bracelets or drowning in the bath.Don't go into any actual details of the dangers, as is tradition.
>>3346437>Seek out the Host of Dryad>Notify Rinnier as well. If the Tiers won't be found just because we're jealous of Rinnier, that would be much worse than providing her with some meaning. Priorities!
>>3346437>Seek Out the Host of Dryad>Make a specific preparation before you leave:Find an embellishment for the repair in our uniform. If there is a rend in one's physical armor, it must be repaired before you are called to action. If there is a gap in one's mental armor, it must also be filled.It's not a meaningless indulgence: We cannot afford to break more than we already have.
>>3346441>>3346453>>3346456Final rounds!>>3346445>>3346453>>3346802>>3346859>>3347039>>3347241Seek the host!>>3346543>>3346859>>3347039>Asche>Leaving things with Rinnier>>3347241Fixing uniform before we leave!Matters resolved, dinner acquired, let's try and get out another update or two!
Searching out the Host of Dryad was an easy matter, even if it meant curving your return to Carona with a detour. She often spent her time in the burned out husk of the Tier estate, a place all bereft of curious eyes and ears to look over one's shoulder. Though the fire had only been some months ago, this charcoaled architectural skeleton had already become well and truly overtaken by nature as if it had been years since the blaze. An artificial growth, spurred on by its sole occupant as she followed Irue's wishes to delve into Dryad's favor with diligent meditation.Yet it wasn't purely her own power which filled these halls with greenery. You knew the moment the parasitic Aspiration recognized your approach, acknowledging you in silence and stillness even as you knew it to be alerting Dryad's Host to your arrival. This was her bodyguard, and a more dedicated and loyal thing you would be hard pressed to find - Born of Dryad's pure and single minded obsessive affection for your heart's keeper, made not only in a mimicry of their image, but nurtured on their very blood. It had known little but Irue as the light of its life since it was born. Arguably in a literal manner now that Dryad itself had been lulled back to slumber, as it relied on Irue and the Host of Dryad to remain awake and manifested at all.It was a sweet child. Its mistress however..."Asche?" Sea-green eyes rose to meet the incredibly plain appearance of Irue's least assuming Testament as she greeted you from the broken arch of a doorway, a skin of some manner of alcohol looped loosely by the strings around one hand. She ducked forward, slinking towards you in a slightly off-kilter manner as she negotiated the creaking and weakened boards underfoot. "Wine?" The waifish brunette raised her skin in rhetoric, its top already absent and out of sight. You stared wordlessly, a small, amused smirk slipping across her slightly flushed face moments later. "No? Figured. Only time I've seen you drink was when Master forced a mouthful of Faedka on you." She took a swig, swallowing her own mouthful of the bitter alcohol as if it were water... And breaking into a coughing fit not seconds after as her body shuddered. "Eh... Don't give me that look. I never thought I'd get anything half this nice." She wiped the fermented juice from her chin, half-buzzed eyes drifting across you from behind her stringy hair. "So, what brings you?"
You could question where she got a skin of wine, but the answer was moot. She had been there when Irue outlined the authority of the Testament, after all. Dryad's Host could requisition what she pleased in Carona. It was one of the less indulgent things you knew the host to have done... And ultimately her behaviour was none of your business."Resuri." You intoned softly, "Tamers were sent down river.""...?" Tension entered her posture for the first time sicne you'd arrived, sloughing the straps of her wineskin over her shoulder as she perked up. "Rinny's been irritated with Resuri for months now. Or was it Murla...?" Her brows knit together half-heartedly. "Maybe both. How'd you figure something like that out, though?"You held your peace, but you could already see her wine-addled mind piecing things together with deceptive sharpness. What Dryad's Host lacked in raw physical strength they more than made up for in sheer cunning. "This is something big if it's true. No way Master won't be excited." Her skeptical frown held every bit of the habitual distrust you'd come to expect from her. "We both know you're not the favourite anymore. Why tell me?"The simple barb went ignored. Even if you never cared for races of favoritism, it held enough shades of truth that its message was understood. "Busy." Came the summation of your explanation in a single word. "It's yours.""Too 'busy' to be here when Master gets back, huh?" Ari prodded, receiving only deft nod for her curiosities. "Alright, I'll handle it. Starting to run out of ideas around here anyway." What remained of her wine sloshed in its skin as she shrugged, a single thought spared to what else Dryad's Host had entertained herself with in the semi-constant absency of your heart's keeper. While the princess busied herself with managing the affairs of Carona and the experiment's pack took up its attentions, it was Dryad's Host alone who seemingly had - and enjoyed - the otherwise free reign that came with being a Testament. All but a few knights were quick to bend to her whims simply due to past experience, yet with the shared authority of Irue's name at her command, much of Carona had become little more than a playground for the former slave. "Why'd they took the monster trainers hostage?" She muttered, "Think they'll try to bribe us? I can't see Master caring about that.""Slaves." You returned flatly, producing the mayor's journal. "Sold for funds."
"Hmph." The stringy haired brunette snorted darkly, a gloomy scowl drawing out the luminescent amber which shown through her locks. "Tell me that first. Mind if I keep this thingy?" She waved the journal in front of you, tossing it aside without a second glance after you acquiesced. It would be useless where you were going. "I'll make sure Master knows as soon as they get back. But you..." Her voice trailed off, and for the briefest of moments she looked at you without walls behind her eyes. "...How long are you gonna be busy for?"Your eyes closed, shaking your head softly. You didn't have an answer, prompting Dryad's Host to avert her eyes with an awkward silence."If you take too long... you might not have a place to come back to."...It wasn't a threat. A warning? A fear? You don't know. It took you years to begin understanding Irue, and even that didn't seem consistent. Whatever feelings Ari suffused in those words, you could only acknowledge their earnesty. It was, in some form, the same fear which drove you to this in the first place. So even if you didn't understand..."I know."You nodded evenly in response. Without further ceremony you turned to leave - Pausing only when slender fingers grasped at your sleeve. You glance over your shoulder to find the amber luminescence of Dryad's Host staring back at you, her mostly emptied wine skin raised tentatively a final time. "Sure you don't want any?""No." It was meaningless for you to drink. The single syllable answer freed your sleeve from her loosened fingers as her eyes slid off you, searching for some new detail to be found on the skin in her hand....Should you purge her of Dryad before you leave? Her meditation efforts brought her closer to the Mana even in its slumbering state; It would render her affinity severely weakened, but it may delay the inevitable mental influence Dryad's nightmares would exert on her. It'd been an unnecessary precaution while you were here to keep vigil, but with you leaving-Was it safer to leave her empowered to aid your heart's keeper, or douse that power to protect Irue from what she might become?>Flush her of Dryad before you leave.>Move on.
going to leave this up, as the skyfire has risen in the meantime.
>>3347401> Ask Ari if she wants us to purge herProbably not.It occurs to me, Ari might be totes willing to go mad if it makes her more useful to us.Also I feel that Irue will be shocked and sad that Asche left her, even temporarily. We should remember to ask Ari where and why she went.And then be disappointed Ari didn't ask those questions.We might be awkward with Asche lately, but she HAS been there for Irues whole life.
>>3347401Holy crap. Is it even Ari?How the fuck will we deal with this all as Irue?I feel like this quest is falling apart around me.>Flush her of Dryad before you leave.
>>3347401>Flush her of Dryad before you leave.So this is what Ari is like when we're not around. Is she deceiving us with the wounded animal act?
>>3347398>You stared wordlessly, a small, amused smirk slipping across her slightly flushed face moments later. "No? Figured. Only time I've seen you drink was when Master forced a mouthful of Faedka on you."They grow up so fast these days... I like it!>>3347401>Move on.
>>3347509Nah man. She grew up as a slave. She literally worships Irue and would die or worse for her.But fuck everyone else. She's just imitating how she's seen everyone else in power act.But if Irue mentioned that she didn't like seeing Ari drunk, she would stop in a heartbeat. Then make everyone else stop.Go read the part of the quest where we discussed her name and what would have happened if we got her a gift.Remember when Riz wrote that Priat PoV? People aren't all the same as they are around Irue, and Irue has her own perspectives colouring her interactions.The quest from Irues PoV is that of an unreliable narrator.>>3347401She still has that headband, yes?
>>3347509It MIGHT be dryads influence. Don't really know. Either way Irue doesn't know so we can't really do anything about it. We'll just have to see how she acts when we get back to Irue's point of view or what happens if we vote to purge her of Dryad.
>>3347521>She still has that headband, yes?Probably... Why?
>>3347529I think that was the thread or near it where Riz talked about how potentially batshit crazy OP Ari could have been if we made different choices.And she is still that terrifying potentially. Because heavy emphasis on the crazy part.
>>3347401>>Flush her of Dryad before you leave.Rue's got enough problems to deal with, Ari going nuts is going to be even more of an issue to deal with.She's been flagrantly abusing her power as a Testament. Rue's going to have to deal with that when she gets back if someone will actually tell her.>>3347502Right? I'm baffled.>>3347509It feels like it, though I suspect there's more to it.>>3347521>But if Irue mentioned that she didn't like seeing Ari drunk,That would be treating the symptom, not the cause and meta, as rue doesn't know about this.>The quest from Irues PoV is that of an unreliable narrator.I don't think rue is an unreliable narrator, only a biased or colored perspective. True unreliables make things up and heavily distort things. Rue is only filtering things through her perception.
>>3347768I was using Irue ordering her to do something as an example, not a suggestion.Ari simply acts completely different around Irue, and the thing is the Knights are used to her leading, and they're more or less the authority around here. If anything, she is probably acting more like an average noble than Irue is.And so long as it isn't to excess, it's just another type of taxation really. Not necessarily even an unwelcome one, since the person giving it to her has the chance to build a relationship with her that could come in handy later.It would be concerning if Ari had any possible risk of manipulating Irue, but I straight up still feel Ari is all about doing whatever Irue wants before anything else.
>>3347930Maybe she's a mirror of the kind of person Irue doesn't want to be anymore. I think it's based on what Irue taught Ari and how Irue behaved during the rite, we were a manipulative little shit and we explained how she could be one too. Our feelings have changed since then but we never sat down and talked to Ari about it.
>>3347962We slept and shared our heart with her, after the changes were made.Ari feels the power, but she feels responsible to Irue not the commoners or nation.
>>3347401>Flush her of Dryad before you leave.I can't help but be extremely worried, after that answer on ask.fm.>>3347502>>3347509Perspective, huh. As if we didn't have enough to fucking worry about and here we get some real tasty meta to chew but can't act on.>>3347962I don't remember where or when but there were warnings.
>>3348019I think Riz has told us a few times now that we shouldn't worry about the meta and just vote for what we want.
>>3348046What if I want a cute innocent Ari instead of drunk manipulator?
>>3348054Well I did vote for what I want.I don't like using meta when I play anything, it's making the Worm quests a true nightmare for me.
>>3348046Usually on the heels of missing yet another Forgetting, yea, he's said stuff to that effect.I always here an implied 'because you going to fail no matter what you do anyway', though I know that's not the intent.
RIIIIIIIIZ I'M COMING FOR YOUMore seriously though, I'm up to thread 60 and I obviously have a connection (if a bad one) so I'll try to have a review up by the end of the month.It's gonna take a while to write it as there is a lot to discuss but I owe it that much.
>>3348212Can you write a review that is less than half of the quest's current word count?
>>3347428Ask before purging!>>3347444>>3347518Moving on!>>3347502>>3347509>>3347768>>3348019Purge!Writing!--->>3347521>HeadbandYes.>>3348212Oh, exciting! I hope you weren't too bored slogging through all the archives.>>3348236You made me curious.
>>3348449>ImageAs an addendum it could probably be trimmed down to about half of that in page count if I formatted it (Spacing gets smaller, fonts gets larger). I write mostly in N++ so I just copied it over for science.~1k pages isn't bad I guess. It's like 14 pages a thread. Honestly puts into perspective just how much time and effort goes into writing actual novels!
>>3348449>over 700,000 wordsThat puts you in the running for the top 50 novels by word counthttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_longest_novels#ListDo you keep a local copy of the quest?
>>3348491If by local copy you mean a masterfile of everything I've written? Then yeah. I've actually got the active file where I write things and a back up file I update periodically just in case.That said I doubt Valen would be a single novel. I'd have probably broken it up into volumes or something, so it's much less overwhelming than it seems.
>>3348212Can you write the review like a normal human being this time?
Glowing amber drained from Ari's eyes leaving them the same dull brown she'd entered your lives with. It was a silent change, one she'd undergone a handful of times in the past as you regulated how deeply she fell into Dryad's slumbering embrace, and you were unsurprised to note the slight tinge of frustration as she steadied herself in its absence. A dampening of her world that served to muffle the acute awareness Dryad's favour brought her.One hand went to her temple as she reconciled the loss of her favour once more. It was a temporary respite, one you hoped to be enough to buy time while you were gone. "Dammit, not again..." Her focus on you wavered with a disgruntledly grumbled epithet. "Thought I had it this time... What am I doing wrong?"You chose to leave while she was distracted, muffled footsteps lost in the rustling grass as you left Dryad's Host to her own devices. If possible you wanted to give Carona a cursory sweep before finallizing your preparations to leave... And seeing as you had the rest of the night ahead of you, that wasn't a difficult prospect to get done. While Carona was a large space to walk, routine culling had left the actual workload significantly less troublesome than it may have been otherwise.It was unnecessary that you do this. More than once you were forced to acknowledge that these actions were little more than selfish meddling and what you were doing now would only forestall the inevitable. In truth, even once you left there would be others to carry on this duty; the favoured did not seem the sort who could afford overlook the looming presence of Shade permeating Carona's streets.The miasmic mana clung low to the ground like a creeping smog, and who would have expected anything else in the aftermath of this destruction? There were scarcely a handful of people who could claim to have lost nothing, and certainly no shortage of those who had lost so much more. Where trials of the emotion culminated, so to was Shade drawn... And in such density as this, it had long passed the threshold of being a crucible for one. Their negativity was shouldered each day, lingering regrets filling their minds in the minutes before sleep took them. You couldn't prevent their nightmares, though admittedly you had no desire to shield from such in the first place, it was the sheer production of Shade mana which made a task like that impossible. For every cloud you dispersed, more would gather in your wake not an hour later. An inexorable tide washing in as you tried to shovel it back out.
Yet this task wasn't undertaken meaninglessly. Attentively culled, the ambient Shade had little opportunity to coalesce into something greater. Less opportunity to worm itself into the hearts and minds of Carona's people, adding more weight to their daily lives than they already carried. At the very least you could delay the manifestation of apparitions."They need me."But you held no delusions that you could stop them entirely. To do so would almost certainly cripple them. Shade's affectionate malice was a component that everyone had to experience during one time or another in order to grow... And it was your selfishness now which drove you to deny Shade its gentle, corrosive nuzzling.You had been at Irue's side every time they struggled to lead. Seen the way the weight of managing these people pulled at them. Your heart's keeper had their hands full taking what steps they were to win the trust and loyalty of these people and rebuild Carona - Distressing night and night again over material matters of manpower, resources and what elements were already arrayed against them."Their pain. Their sadness. Their desperation."You were there to see it. You had always been there. The last thing Irue needed was for even those hopeful and receptive to their efforts turning against them. Outrage, regret, loss, despair, misery - The elements for all of these things swirled and intertwined in a suffocating mire as people tried to move on. Any one of them was enough to bring men and women to their knees, To give up and lash out at someone, any one, to lessen the pain it brought. "You know nothing about it."So for one more night you walked these streets and bade the coalescing Shade to wait. Wait just one more night. Pleading that single unchanging case to the gathering darkness. You know. The time has to come. But that time doesn't have to be tonight. Just one more night. Give your heart's keeper just one more night."...Or do you?" Sea-green eyes watched impassively as the final whispers of Shade crept from sight, "You cannot forestall this forever. These feelings must be answered."You turned away, shutting your ears to the lovingly promised words which came next."Even yours."
>>3348499>I've actually got the active file where I write things and a back up file I update periodically just in case.Good to see you taking precautions. Too many QMs seem to write posts in the reply window and rely on suptg to store the quest.
...Only to bump face first into a wall."Oop, sorry 'bout that." A barrel chested man towering several feet over you apologized meekly, a hand encompassing the whole of your shoulder as he reached down to steady you. "Wasn't watching my- Oh, if it ain't the maid!"Craning your neck back, you saw his chest. Craning it further back his chin. It was only after taking the necessary step back that you finally meet eyes with the follower Irue had elected to stand above the others. A 'knight captain', or some similar title. He laughed heartily at nothing you could understand, deep baritone mirth bubbling up freely as the giant of a man grinned down at you. "Bit late for you to be out on errands, isn't it? Miss Lamandra working you hard with Ser Valen gone, eh?"You gave the man a blank stare. There was a time when you had given him pause, yet proximity had seemingly only softened his demeanour around you. While You had nothing against him, on more than one occasion you'd lost over an hour to his distracted ramblings over one day's matters or another's. A habit you'd discovered later."Hey, if you're not too busy..." He scratched at this bearded chin, "I'd appreciate the company. If yer free, I mean. Still got a few rounds to make tonight. Ah, but if ya are that's fine, don't wanna hold up whatever business yer on. Prolly more important than mine, anyhow.">Finish dispersing Shade>Accompany Dullem, you've done enough.>You should hurry back. your uniform still needed mending.>Other? (Write-in)
>>3348927>>Accompany Dullem, you've done enough.Maybe if we tweak thing just right, we can walk and disperse.>so to was Shade drawn... And in such density as this, it had long passed the threshold of being a crucible for one.uh. That's not good. Even more bad news from Asche. I think I want out of her head now.And where is the Shade adept, the one that should be, if not controlling, at least monitoring this? Galavanting off on an adventure.I wonder if forcing an apparition to form, herding it away, and dispersing it would help? Of course, that requires Rue being aware of this.Surely someone else knows about this. Asche can't be the only one. Please. Maybe one of the minor shade adepts?
>>3348973As noted, Asche assumes that the Shade Dominion will take up doing what she's been doing when she leaves. Once they notice, at least.The Shade Dominion would be aware of this as a matter of course, and you can imagine they've been monitoring the situation for a while. However, for whatever reason, the ambient Shade mana just never seemed to coalesce past a certain point! It was weird, but maybe Carona's people were really just that resilient? So since the situation seemed under control, Marchovic felt it was fine to point his attentions elsewhere.
>>3348927>Accompany Dullem, you've done enough.But only briefly, don't spend all night with him, then->You should hurry back. your uniform still needed mending.If we don't fix it before we leave there's no way the uniform survives the journey. Apply a patch, it'll be obvious but it doesn't have to be ugly. Something red I think, maybe a heart shape? That would be cute.
>>3348927Oh! Why don't we ask Dullam if there are any knights who could fix it for us? They're an eclectic bunch so at least one of them should be a better seamstress than Asche!
>>3348973>>3349054Time with Dullem!>>3349054Then mending.>>3349059hmmm.Let's see what we can do?
>>3349054>If we don't fix it before we leave there's no way the uniform survives the journey.Naked asche is fine too.
>>3349167I don't see the problem here.
>>3349184She has the physique of a kid. I think.
You could have spent more time tonight culling Shade's accumulation, but it was a futile battle. In short order you would only be retracing your steps to sweep away parts of Carona you'd already covered. Now was as good a time as any to wash your hands of it. "Well you ain't walking away yet..." Dullem rumbled, clapping you on the back softly. He was a large man, but compared to the experiments he was also merely a man. You only staggered a little. "Guess that's a yes?"You give a deft nod, stepping aside for the knight captain to take the lead. "'Ppreciate it! Won't be so nervous with someone else along." He shuddered as he stepped through a mildly dense puddle of Shade mana. "Thoughts start getting to me at night around here." He admitted earnestly after you fell in pace next to him. It took several steps to keep stride with every one of his, turning what he considered a relaxing walk into some awkward form of power walking. It was a necessary inconvenience, as otherwise he would begin offering to carry you. "Tell you, things feel like they've been going nonstop lately. Those months we spent fooling around back in Ser Valen's estate seem like they happened years ago. Things ain't as bad they were back when we were holed up around that old ruined Shrine, but... You know."You did not know. Insisting that you knew was something Dullem did as a matter of course and correcting him had only made things worse in the past. It was easier to let him assume that you did, in fact, know."Still running on a wire. New troubles. Better troubles, o'course- Don't want Ser Valen to think I ain't grateful or nothing, but... Whew. Just..." He raised his arms to help articulate himself. "Whew." His efforts provided no meaningful improvement to his ability to do so. "Rubbing shoulders with big merchants, takin' orders from people like Miss Lamandra and Ser Valen, givin orders... It's been like this for a while but it's still sinkin' in, y'know?"You caught him looking at you from the corner of your eye and returned a stare in kind."Lots'a responsibilities I'm still trying t'get used to. Like... We're having a slow time excavating the west market district, right? Had to report that earlier and I ain't got no idea how to fix it. The guys say it's just a lot to sort through, but it's taking longer than we thought and I mean-" He sighed, "Feels like I'm screwing up when I gotta give the bosses bad news. I dunno. Could be worse. I can't imagine having to deal with the sort of stuff the nobles do. How d'you handle it, anyway?"
"Become better." You return flatly, drawing from your own history of only having failures to show for your efforts. For small mercies, most of the earliest failures had seemingly only made Irue happier in some way. Or confused. Your heart's keeper had very rarely gotten mad at your inability to do things. It had frustrated you immensely, however, to be that way. "Try harder. Learn from failure.""Hah, figured. I ain't ever seen you slow down." The knight captain shook his head smiling, "Just get better, huh? Wish I knew how. Probably coulda been doing that instead of walking around so I didn't have to go give reports." The grin on his face was sardonic, but unflinching. An expression of gritted teeth the he kept a smile no matter how tired he was. "Nah, nah you're right. Guess I'm just making excuses... Seems like everyone above me's got it all figured out and I'm just tryin' to not embarrass myself. Like, Ser Valen just swoops in here every couple of weeks and-" He claps his palms together, one hand shooting off towards the stars. "Bam, everyone's got assignments, problems solved, fire's under everyone's ass and we're moving again. Takes... What? A day?" He glances your way for confirmation, continuing with equal parts admiration and envy when none was forthcoming. "I mean, damn. I'm over here trying to read notes off a piece of paper without makin' an ass of myself."He laughed half-heartedly, arms falling back to his side while you walked on. "Gettin' better at it, though. I think so, anyway. And I know it can't all be sunshine and roses up top- Did you hear anything about that time Ser Valen came back last?" You met his questioning eyes impassively, blinking once as the conversation turned. "Heard from one of the boys they stumbled in looking like they'd just about to snap 'fore Miss Lamandra dragged 'em out of the room. Wish I'd been there to see that..." He trailed off, shaking his head abruptly. "Naaah, on second thought that'd probably just scared me. It's intimidating when your boss' can just handle everything, but if something's stumping Ser Valen? Asche, I gotta tell you, my daddy raised me a farmer." He'd told you this before. "Somethin' you learn right quick out in the fields is that shit rolls down hill, you know?"You sigh.
"I don't wanna see whatever's got Ser Valen riled up. Way too far above my paygrade. Everyone's got their ideas on it though, reckon they had to go put their mouths on the fire when rumour got around. You probably know what it's all really about though- Nah-" He holds his hand up quickly, "-Don't tell me, I don't wanna know." You stare at him patiently. There had been no intention to tell him in the first place. "But do y'think Ser Valen and Miss Lamandra are uh..." He gestured vaguely. "Y'know?"You did not know. You so very rarely knew. All variations on the implication that you intuited his meaning just landed on your face like a floppy pancake and stayed there. "S'pose it's none of my business." He shrugged rather than elucidate. "Not long 'fore Ser Valen left this last time they were askin' if I'd started finding anyone and it just seemed like a really odd time to bring it up, right? I haven't really, too busy. Probably not the best time to be lookin', either. Not in..." His arms sweep out in the night air, encompassing the vaguely ruined and semi-excavated town around you. "This. Shade bless, I can't even imagine trying to do that right now. I'm nervous enough just trying to do my job, I go trying to hook up now and I may as well just dump m'soup over my head right off and save us all some trouble."You blinked, watching the larger man pantomime doing just that. No laughter accompanied this - If anything the subject matter actually seemed to shake the man."Huh uh. Nothing doing. Didn't have the nerve back on the farm, sure as shit ain't got it now. One rejection and I'mma show up for a report crying, you watch me." He laughed nervously, "Oooh boy, I don't wanna explain that to Miss Lamandra. Or Ser Valen. Or... Anyone. Yeah." Dullem trailed off in the ensuing lack of response. "Jinn bless I hope that's not gonna be a job requirement.">Offer reading material.>Change the subject (to what?)>Pat him on the arm. It is the tallest thing you can reach.>Other? (write-in)
>>3349611>>Pat him on the arm. It is the tallest thing you can reach.Dullem is great.>All variations on the implication that you intuited his meaning just landed on your face like a floppy pancake and stayed there. pfft.
>>3349611>Pat him on the arm. It is the tallest thing you can reach.I like how Dullem has found someone he can talk to, even if she doesn't talk back much. Poor guy is constantly in over his head.
>>3349611> Pat him on the arm. It is the tallest thing you can reach.> Tell him that if he knows what his problem his, he should face it. > Offer him some reading material - namely his reports. Irue needs him to do those things.Humans are weird, he just told us what he needs to get over but maybe he didn't hear what he said? Deaf to mana, deaf to themselves.Anyways if it comforts Asche to know Irue needs her, maybe it will comfort others to hear the same thing?
>>3349611>Offer reading material.Is it gonna be Ashe's smut? I really hope it's smut.>Pat him on the arm. It is the tallest thing you can reach.Don't forget to ask for a seamstress.This post was cute. Do your best Dullam!
>>3349764I wonder if she even knows what smut is? She completely passed over Dullem's remark.I could totally see her picking up a book about "relationships" in order to understand Irue more, but it turns out to be smut and she doesn't realize anything is amiss.
>>3349808Good point, I wonder if she'll understand if we vote for her to understand?>>3349611>Imply that yes, Irue and Rinnier are fucking like rabbits.
I've got an appointment early, early in the morning so I'm going to be making some preparations. I don't suspect I'll be closing the window for another several hours and there will probably only be one more update today in general.I'll still be passing by the computer every now and then so I can try to address things when I catch a moment, but that's about the extent of it. Sorry!>>3349808Asche canonically reads trashy romance novellas which are, more or less, smut. She's done this for years, much to Irue's consternation. It's been referenced obliquely a couple times that Irue has encountered them growing up and carries some mild hang ups over it, and Asche's habit of just leaving her books laying out for unsuspecting people Read: Irue to start reading.In fact, they came up in the conversation Dullem is referencing.>"By the way, have you met anyone in Carona?">"Ser?" Dullem responded dumbly. "I've been working with enough of em, I guess?">"No, I mean... You're the captain of my knights, right? You're the face of the whole recovery effort in Carona.">"I try not to think about that much." He admitted dully.>"That's a big deal isn't it? No one's tried to..." You reached for some metaphor for a topic you weren't well versed in, settling awkwardly on a verse from one of Asche's books which You Did Not Read. "Express their gratitude?" As you may have noticed, they ultimately contributed little to her understanding of relationships and interpersonal interaction. She regards them with some degree of perplexity, like a failed experiment one returns to every couple of months only to not make any progress again.
>>3349886In that case, absolutely give Dullem a book on smut.
>>3349611>Pat him on the arm. It is the tallest thing you can reach.Don't worry pal, you just do you.>Offer reading material.ASCHE. KNOWS. JUST. WHAT. YOU. NEED. SENPAI.
>>3349611>Pat him on the arm. It is the tallest thing you can reach.>Do not offer reading material. We know Irue doesn't like it.>Imply Rinnier is pure. Pure!
>>3349974Irue is pure. Rinnier was raised knowing her virginity and love was for sale as a Royal Daughter.
>>3350012Rinnier didn't even get her brothers' lewd puns. She is a cinnamon roll.
>>3349639>>3349715>>3349745>>3349764>>3349919>>3349974Pat!>>3349745Offering reports as reading material! You are needed!>>3349764>>3349919>>3349893Offer Asche's reading material! Hasn't helped her any, but maybe it'll help Dullem.>>3349860Understand implications.>Asche>Endorsing this.>>3349974Understand implications.>Asche>Caring about this.Alright, let's see if I can get one more update out tonight!
You reach up to pat the bear of a man on his arm. It is as high as you can feasibly touch without requiring tip-toes. "Irue needs you." As far as you were concerned this was the only thing necessary to rally yourself. Perhaps the knight captain didn't understand that. Your only problem now was trying to put this into words. You lingered, carefully choosing your words. He wasn't like Irue; he wouldn't simply understand. "Decisions require information. Reports provide that.""I get that, mostly." Dullem grimaced, "I mean I don't really understand how most of the stuff I'm telling them really relates to whatever they decide to do, but I get the idea. S'why I'm worried in the first place." His shoulders hung heavy, "I dunno what they're lookin' for, I dunno how to fix it when things go wrong. I dunno." He summarized his frustrations in an aimless manner. "Wish I was better at this like everyone else is.""You can improve." Three forceful words, brooking no room for refusal. "You will learn. You were chosen." You had been chosen. You had learned. You had improved. You had doubted everything about yourself, but Ariel had persisted... And after she died, Irue had taken you and done the same. "Irue gave you purpose. Even when afraid, believe in that choice."Hypocrite.Your case was different.It's always different when it isn't someone else.You had faith in Irue's choices. That was why the ones made regarding you hurt.Whatever retort that taunting voice held was lost when Dullem's palm eclipsed your view of him, his calloused fingers ruffling your hair moderately. "Thanks, Asche." He rumbled fondly, fleeting glimpses of a small, genuine smile visible to you beyond his wrist. This was the second time today your hair was being molested by people significantly taller than you. A danger which you were becoming acutely aware of the longer you spent surrounded by giants."Is this sufficient?" You ask after being released, taking your time to manually fix your own hair."Nah." Dullem wore a tired grin, "Still anxious. I appreciate you tryin', but I don't reckon I'll be talking my way out of my problems any time soon." You frown. It is an imperceptible expression, and one the man before you predictably doesn't notice. "T'be honest, kinda embarrassed I was cheered up by a slip of a lass like you. Some rolemodel I am, right?"For all you had said, he still didn't understand. Those carefully chosen words for nothing.
"I try not to let this stuff get to me too much. Least not when there are people watching." He carried on freely, voice hushed even in the night air as you stood across from each other. "I'm the knight captain. Dunno what all that's supposed to mean, but I know the rest of my group's looking up to me. They're getting settled in, but I ain't ever escaped being their leader... Starting to think I never will. If they see me frettin' over this or that, they'll start too."Dullem's hands vanished into his pockets after he shrugged, neck craned back almost as far as yours was to watch the stars in a moment of silence. "Can't talk to them. Can't really talk to Miss Lamandra or Ser Valen about it either. I ain't so good with words so... Thanks for being here, Asche. I really mean it.""..." You stare up at him, and in time, your eyes shift past him towards the sky. Whatever he sees in the stars remains unapparent, but there was little difference in looking him in the face and staring into the cosmos. The conversation ends with you, not with a bang or whimper, but in stilted and awkward silence. Seconds pass. Then a minute. And belatedly, the question he posed earlier about the princess and your heart's keeper finally sinks in."No.""What?" He blinked, tilting his face down befuddled. "No, I really-""You are wrong." You elucidate. Better to nip this delusion in the bud immediately before it can spread."...If you say so." He relented, his amused chuckle leaving you uncomfortable that he had not, in fact, discarded the thought as instructed. "Didn't think y'were the sort to be shy.""Shyness is irrelevent." You insist more firmly, "Never speak of this again."You followed after the larger man as his chuckling grew into a full blown guffaw. Further requests for him to cease went ignored, and in consternation you were eventually forced to give up after it became apparent your chastisement was only fuel to the man's bubbling mirth.
That night you watched as Dullem moved amongst the tents of the homeless, parcels wrapped in scraps of cloth given to people whose eyes followed you both in wonder. You found yourself the subject of more than a handful of lingering gazes, a phenomena which you thought would fade as it became apparent you had nothing to give. You were wrong.However it was Dullem's actions you oversaw with patient attentiveness. For all the man had talked your ear off of his worries on the way, the deep timber of his voice offered solace to people who found themselves fumbling for words to thank him. You lost count of the number of times he'd recounted the method of applying an herbal ointment, or brewing the contents of the smaller satchels he carried - Minor things which he himself cautioned were unsuited for serious injuries. They were home elixirs. Folk concoctions. They were things he had given up rejecting thanks for, yet still refused to shoulder the gratitude over."I didn't make them." He noted to you after stepping out into the cooler night air once more. "Some of the others have a background in this sort of thing. It's what kept us going back before this knight business. Some go foraging when they catch free time. Others put together remedies." Dullem thumbed a small handful of satchels still partially concealed on him, hanging aside a pocketful of empty ones he had received in turn. "Sleep aids, aches and pains, elixirs to clear the cough and soothe a cold..." He muttered them off, stopping on a small aromatic satchel. "Potpourri. I don't know what this does, honestly. Helps somehow?" He shrugged, flashing a sardonic grin. "Someone probably told me. It's a lot to remember."Your sight lingered on the little wrapped clothlets for a moment longer. "You are alone?""Usually. Tonight I've got you, if that counts." He yawned, syllables distorting under the weight of fatigue. "...I said I'd do it, anyway. Didn't expect any help."You stared up at him, hurriedly keeping pace with his lengthened stride as you moved through the streets between tents. "You cannot remember everything.""I always forget something." Dullem agreed. "...I've got more time on my hands than the rest of 'em. Much as I want to work up a sweat right there with everyone, I can't stay in one place too long. So much of my day is just... Walking and checking up on things. Trying to remember everything I see and hear to report later. I always forget something. Wish I was better at this."
He sighed, seeming to gather himself before a short string of chuckles broke lightly from his lips. He held his hands aloft, "When I was a kid, daddy told me I should go wishing with one hand and crap in the other. See which one filled up first. Most of his wisdom was shit related, if you're wonderin'. Comes with being a farmer." His arms fell. "Point is... I told 'em if they put this stuff together and told me all the fiddly bits, I'd do what I could to spread it around. Figure it helps these folk get back on their feet, and... If I can remember all this, maybe I won't be so nervous remembering my reports.""Unneeded advice." You observed softly."Nothin' you said was unneeded." He disagreed with a warm, tired smile. "A man can't sit around waiting for someone to come solve all his problems for him... But jus' cause I was already workin' on it don't mean I don't appreciate what you went said." You near tripped across your own feet as the larger man scooped you up and set you on his shoulder, providing a significantly higher vantage to the world around you.. much to your disgruntlement. "S'always nice to hear someone believes in ya. An' who knows? Maybe if I keep it up I'll be as good at my job as you one day.""..." Your planted your hands atop his head for steering purposes, unwilling to exert the energy to demand you be let down. "Can you not keep notes?""Ah... Well, truth is I can't write or read that well." Came his grumbled admission. "Little bit here and there. Not like Fen and the rest of ya'll, though.">Offer studying materials>Keep your peace. He will find his own way.>Other? (write-in)
So in the end the update didn't get done in time and I wound up going to my appointment then coming back and finishing it.It's 11:30 am and the skyfire is risen, everyone have a wonderful day while I die.
>>3350339>Offer studying materialsSFW ones.
>>3350339>Offer studying materialsSomething from our personal stash. Maybe he'd have an easier time relating to a title that only features big manly men?
>>3350339>>Offer studying materialsIf he's got bits and pieces of literacy, he should in time be able to get up to full. But it would be greatly sped along by a teacher. Asche wouldn't offer, but anyone literate would be a help. Please nothing from the NSFW category; we want to help him, not make him die of embarrassment.>You followed after the larger man as his chuckling grew into a full blown guffaw.I wonder how long it'll be until this crops up again. He can't be the only one with such thoughts. This is compounded by Rue's androgynous nature, which makes it even funnier. And that neither of them would touch the other like that with a 10 foot pole.>Wish I was better at this.So sayeth we all. It is good to see he's doing his job well, despite his reservations. I don't know if they'll ever be proper knights, but they should be at least well rounded.>You had faith in Irue's choices. That was why the ones made regarding you hurt.Originally, we made those decisions because we knew we could trust her.It is good to know Rue's facade of knowing what she's doing is working. It never feels like it from her end. Suppose that's not to different from what's Dullem is going through right now, actually.
>>3350339>Keep your peace. He will find his own way.
I dont think putting learning on his workload is the best idea right now
>>3350339>Other? (write-in)We told Asche told help Dullam with the Gnome adept, looks like she won't have the opportunity to help him personally but if she has any advice I guess this would be the time to offer it.
>>3350339>Offer studying materialsIrue will value us more maybe if her other tools rely on usAnd we can be a step between them and her.
>>3350339>>Offer studying materialsHe can work at his own pace.It sounds like Dullem needs an XO, a second in command to help share the load. If he doesn't come up with it himself, though, I dunno where he'd get it.
>>3350339> "S'always nice to hear someone believes in ya. An' who knows? Maybe if I keep it up I'll be as good at my job as you one day."Awwww shucks, your welcome man! >Offer studying materialsWell, he has a lot of time on his hands so this seems appropriate.
>>3350339>>3351427>Other? (write-in)Oh yeah, we should probably tell him were gonna be going west for a while. The more people know, the greater the chance Irue will hear of it. Just in case Rue doesn't ask.
>>3350370>>3350427>>3350420>>3351144>>3351262>>3351427Study* material!>>3350473His problem>>3351468We're leaving!>>3350557Gnome related things. Writing!
Training his memory was one thing but if he sharpened his literacy it would be a moot point. You had no reason to doubt Dullem's committment to improvement, so what had precluded him from doing that instead? Opportunity? Lack of material with which to teach himself? There was no shortage of the former for him as he stood, and the latter was a request away at most. Perhaps he had been hesitant to make that request though? Unwilling to place any greater burden on others than he needed? It fit with your understanding of the man. He had proven a ceaseless discharge of nervousness since the first night he'd spent talking to you. If that was the extent of his problem then it could be resolved before you left. Guiding the followers of your heart's keeper into better aiding their master was a preparation worth making. "So what do you think our odds are at convincing the Gnome Dominion?" He mused as he wandered down the street, leaving you to bump back and forth with the rise and fall of each step. "First meeting went... Fine." Dullem's evaluation came out hesitantly. "Didn't expect I'd be negotiating with the Gnome Representative right off, but I 'spose I should have."Penelope. A woman built as much like a mountain as Dullem was a bear. She was one beloved by Gnome who had spared no effort in entrenching herself in its love of the consistent. A fundamental traditionalist; hard set in her ways, whose mind and heart changed like an eroding boulder. As the one Representative of a Dominion which already had a poor relationship with your heart's keeper, it was an unfortunate encounter. She'd agreed to the meeting on procedure, yet her distaste for being involved in matters beyond the Shrine's direct responsibilities was more extensive than you suspect any other would have been.You had strongly considered stifling her affinity with Gnome long enough for someone more amenable to be made Representative, but there was a hard limit to how much you could meddle with those beloved by the Mana without drawing their attention. Gnome was no more forgiving of its favored being toyed with than Penelope herself was of her Dominion being used... The risk of provoking a quake outweighed any temporary respite from the obstinate woman's stubborn dislike for Irue."What a woman, though." In the silence of your thoughts Dullem carried on mildly intimidated. "Surprised she didn't throw us out on sight when we asked for their help. Ain't often I run into someone that'll make me feel small."
You spared a dubious glance down from your shoulder perch. They were of comparable size. A meaningless distinction to you, seeing as how you spent the majority of that particular conversation being overlooked in both the figurative and literal manner, but his apprehension was ill justified. Size was an immaterial factor, if he wished to fear her he should do so on account of her capacity to command the earth."I have no idea how we managed to wrangle a second meeting out of that first one." Dullem shook his head gently, bodily lifting you an inch higher as his shoulders rose and fell in a shrug. "Don't seem like she has much interest in changing her mind about this, either... Aah, if Ser Valen weren't expectin' somethin out of this... You got any ideas?""I cannot help." A simple denial. "I am leaving.""Hey now, when was this planned?" Your steed came to a stop, tilting his head aside to glance over betrayed. "You're jokin' right? Yer not really gonna leave me alone with that woman, are ya?""Yes.""...Asche I dunno if y'noticed." He insisted, hefting you from his shoulder until you were rather gratefully standing on your own two feet again. "I can't talk my way out of a napkin. What am I gonna do in there without you?""Your best."You stared at each other blankly. The answer should have been obvious, so the difficulty he seemed to have internalizing it was admittedly concerning."Look, if y've got an errand to run we can put it off a couple days right?" Dullem finally pushed through his wordless stupor irritably. "She was willin' to talk about it again, I don't think she'd mind if we rescheduled a little.""My return is uncertain." You denied him again, sea-green eyes offering an unblinking and unemotive gaze. "My absence is beneficial.""Hog's arse it is." He shook a finger in retort. "An' what's this about 'uncertain'? Just where are y'going?""West." You had no better idea than that. Even less of an idea as to who you were looking for, or where they themselves were. Negligible details which you would address in time. "She dislikes Irue. My presence hardens her." If Dullem could not extract an agreement from the Gnome Representative alone then nothing would have come from your own efforts on the matter. This was a foregone conclusion to you, but you expected it to take some time to sink in for him.
"Great." He huffed, "Fine, I get it. Whatever yer off to do is probably real important anyhow... I'll have to figure somethin' out, I guess." Frustration welled up in him, seeming for a moment as if it would ride the crest of his anxiety and finally overspill, but that wave broke as he closed his eyes. Slowly, deliberately, the knight captain shook his head and breathed. "...Sorry, Asche. Ser Valen asked me to do it in th'first place, I really should be grateful y'were helpin' me out at all. Yer right." He cleared his throat, thumping his chest to raise his spirits. "I'll just do m'best an' if nothing comes... Well, can't say I didn't try. Here's hoping Ser Valen'll be understanding about it."You nodded evenly, turning on your heel to make your way back to the headquarters. It was a short lived trek before you were once more hoisted up under your arms and sat on the knight captain's shoulder with a grunt, leaving your feet once more bereft of the ground. "I am capable of walking.""And yer' gonna be walkin' a lot out west, too." Dullem returned with a snort, shifting your weight on his broad shoulder with a tired, if earnest grin. "Pipe down and lemme walk you back. Reckon it'll be a while before we'll chat like this again.""..." You frowned. An expression he wouldn't notice. You hated that this was becoming normal to you.The rest of your time with the imposing former brigand was spent quietly. Your conversation had flowed through the night, even if mostly only in one direction, but as the hour grew later it was inevitable that people would slow. For several hours every day there was stillness around you, an artificial sanctuary as you moved about your business between the softly breathing bodies of familiar faces. That time was approaching even now, and though its fatigue wore at the man whose shoulder you were currently using as a seat, you suspected it was more than drowsiness which held his tongue.That suspicion was as far as you could discern of him. You were not your heart's keeper. The underlying text of thoughts and feelings which they read as easy as they breathed were murky and corrupted to you at the best of times. You knew them to be there... But struggled to divine their meaning. It was an exhausting effort to discern them, and one you preferred to save for Irue alone."Welp, here we are." Dullem rumbled, dislodging you for the final time that night. Hopefully the final time. You would initiate evasive maneuvers if there was another attempt to hold your ambulation hostage. "Thanks for listenin t'my bellyaching tonight, Asche. Good luck on your errand, aight?""Wait." You caught the man's shirt as he turned to leave, getting dragged along a step before he actually did was you asked. "Wait here." You repeated, nodding once you felt he understood you before leaving the knight captain in the darkened headquarter's foyer. You returned minutes later, an unassuming book held out expectantly.
"What's this?" He murmured, voice held low to not accidentally wake anyone. He cracked the little novella open clumsily, thumbing through its pages by moonlight without much understanding. "Should I give this to someone?""It will help." Your finger tips set against the hand holding your book. "Material to learn. Take notes.""Y'want me to read this?" He eyed the character covered pages skeptically."I taught myself with it." It was one of the first things you had ever read. Nights spent manually learning the bizarre tradition of meaning transcribed to symbol; One as bizarre as language tied to sound. It had proven an invaluable skill in service to Irue, and one which would undoubtedly amplify Dullem's own usefulness once acquired. "You will learn. Improve.""Guess it won't." Dullem still seemed reluctant, but the earnest man capitulated tiredly under your expectant watch. He closed the book gingerly, pocketing it for later as he chuckled under his breath. "One of these days I need t'start looking out for you, instead."An impassive stare was his only response.
Later that night you found yourself once more sitting at the table in Irue's room, the bed behind you currently taken up in large part by Ari. She'd wasted no shame or thought in claiming the center of the bed in Irue's absence, sprawling out exaggeratedly to take up as much of the single spaced thing as possible. A far cry from her timid choices at the manor, and an even further claim of luxury when you compared Irue's own bed to the one available here. Alcohol was still present in her breath when you entered, but the lack of Dryad seeping back into her system at least told you that this sloppy slumber was at least not the result of meditation lulling her away.She tossed in her sleep, shifting sheets alerting you without the need to glance back. In a way she had taken after your heart's keeper, twisting along the length of the bed as dreaming fingers searched desperately for someone that wasn't there. You could recognize the pattern, but still knew nothing of the cause. Even when you'd known the cause, you never knew how to engage it. It was hard enough to surmount your own confusion back then; Any effort to help another had come out as feeble and blind at best. Nights spent holding onto each other to try and ward off the darker things until morning came....Your eyes refocused on the uniform before you. Clothing you'd become as accustomed to as your own skin laid before you in the dark. Wandering thoughts brought you astray, losing precious time with every distraction. How were you going to fix this...? It wasn't broken. It was still important. You didn't want a replacement.>?
>>3352719>?Keep covering the patches the way we have been, I guess. If we're not replacing it, that's the only real choice.
>>3352719>>3352726This works, for lack any better ideas.
>https://imgur.com/a/239uhX6Just dropping this here, I didn't draw it.
>>3352719>?Which Mana covers textiles? Maybe we could find someone who can directly reconnect threads.Also, is it bad that I'm shipping Dullem with Asche now?
>>3352726>>3352763hmmm...>>3352812That's not a thing, anon!Oh dear. I may try to put together a write-up for Dullem depending on interest for it. It'd probably just follow him in the next couple of days starting after Asche leaves.Moving on then. Hopefully this one doesn't take me forever to write! At any rate, there isn't a whole lot left to this thread once Asche wraps up repairing her uniform and morning comes, but I suspect we'll still have a couple days of thread life left by then. Any particular way you guys want to spend it? We can cut it short, answer questions, pitch ideas for what you might want to see in a write-up, etc.--->>3352772Haha, I love it! To be honest I was worried running an Asche thread had been a mistake in the first day or two when people didn't seem interested, but this absolutely made it worth it.These kind of shenanigans aren't unlikely, really. If the artists wants to step up, I'd be more than happy to say it's canon.I remember doing something similar when one of my cute anons doodled together Mim's Shrine uniform here. When you guys put in a lot of effort to make neat stuff I'm usually pretty happy to tie it in after some review. With all the emphasis I try to place on this being a quest defined by you all, it feels appropriate.
>>3352772Okay, the book title along with the cover art fucking got me good. Whoever the artist is, they're awesome.
Just cover it like you had the others. There wasn't any need to make this a bigger deal than it was. So what if the tear was a little larger? Some lace and it would be fine... Except you had no lace. Sophisticated fabric like that was left in the estate. What was available in Carona? Your options here were thin. The tear ran along your side, a victim of something jagged and sharp which had wasted its effort biting your flesh as you skipped across the ground. Any alteration you made would either need to be mirrored loop around entirely. In either case, you needed fabric.When it came to fabrics you had choices. None of them were appealing, but the number of curtains and sheets to be found meant you had sufficient material to work with if you worked diligently through the night. Problematically, none of them held the same texture as your uniform - Not even one similar enough to suffice - And the longer you spent ruminating on the way colors, the less time you had to work. What would Irue have suggested? All you had immediate access to were light grays and creams. It was too much trouble to find something vibrant for your needs in short order, and the closest thing to color you found was a square of pale lavender cloth squirreled away in the dining room. A handkerchief of some sort? It was soft, bearing delicate embroidery. Something out of place to be found here, in a place like this. It was also immediately discarded; You hated lavender.Morning crept closer and in the absence of ideas, you simply grit your teeth and set to work. Necessity would see you through. A simple wrap around the ribs was all you strictly needed, and if you could alter it later, all the better.Needle in hand, you began dismantling the appropriate curtain for your alterations.
Come morning your repairs were complete. Simple and uninspiring, but pragmatic. It would hold for your journey, and with the early rays of sunlight glinting off the fallen dew you knew it was time to leave. Delaying any longer than necessary risked unsettling the Atlach Nacha as they waited for your deal to be upheld.You blinked as you exited the hall from Irue's room, an acidic, citrusy scent drawing you forward and through the foyer. Subdued clinking alerted you to movement in the dining room, a flash of scarlet hair very briefly visible through the cracked doorway. A doorway you distinctly remember closing on your way out. The princess was already awake, moving through her morning ritual to brew the tongue curling elixir. You turned to leave, uninterested in confronting her this soon before leaving... Yet your hand stopped just above the knob as the Lamandran's muted voice lilted softly through the open door behind you.A simple, wordless melody hummed to herself in private. A refrain which tugged at your heart with gentle notes. You knew this song. The sloping fall and lingering lifts. Pieces of a broken lullaby you had struggled to piece together slowly falling into places as-"Oh, there you are."-Your spine stiffened when the humming came to an end all at once, shattering the trance you'd been on well on your way to falling into. The princess sleepy voice called out softly, a sweet fondness slipping off her lips. You turned stiffly, reconciling your frustration with having become distracted long enough to be noticed... But it was you she'd seen."Must have left you last night..." The princess murmured, holding up the discarded handkerchief from the night before. She brushed it off, admiring it in the morning light with a faint smile, nostalgic smile before it was tucked away. ...And then she noticed you.
"Asche?" She opened the dining room door further, peering out at you from beyond the threshold. "You're up early. I don't usually see you in the morning."You nod. There's nothing to say. You spent the nights Irue wasn't here culling Shade, a task which would have normally seen you returning several hours from now once morning had well and truly risen."I've been going over the records the Luna Dominion left us. The anomalous missing persons reports?" She continued blandly, leaning against the door frame as you realized your opportunity to leave unbothered had slipped through your fingers. "I think I'm narrowing down some likely suspects. Can you take a look over things sometime before noon? If I'm right, we might have an opportunity to move the knights and find someone for some proper questioning."You shook your head."Why not?" The princess blinked, evidently unexpecting of your refusal. She ran a hand back through her slightly curled hair, wincing as it twined into a kink around her fingers. "Something else going on I should know about?""An errand." You answer quietly. "I will be gone.""Errand..." She muttered, red eyes narrowing thoughtfully. "What kind of errand? Where are you going?"
This is why you didn't want to get caught up with the princess this morning. These were questions you didn't have immediate answers for. You return a shrug with as much emphasis as you can manage. "Going west to investigate.""Investigate what?" Every exchange only served to shake the sleep from the princess frame and sharpen her mind. You should have just left. "What do you mean west? If it's important we can send the knights instead. Does it have something to do with Murla?"So many questions. Too many posed before you could begin to answer the first one. Moments like these where why you wrote reports, so you could present your answers ahead of time instead of pick words on the spot. "I don't know." You began, blanketing the majority of her interrogation with those three words. "It is my duty. There is someone I must find.""Who?" You stared back blankly. What part of 'I don't know' did she not understand? "Asche..." She pinched the bridge of her nose. "...Please don't tell me you're planning to go west, on foot, looking for someone you don't know, who you have no idea where to start searching for.""...""...Jinn preserve, the maid is exactly like her master." She grumbled quickly, raising her voice to address you. "Asche. That's dumb.""...""You can't just run off like this!""...""You... You're not even listening, are you?" The princess sighed, gesturing you to follow her further into the dining room as she turned away. "Come in here, we need to talk about this before I end up having to explain to Irue why their maid is lost in a field somewhere."Notably, with her back turned there was nothing technically stopping you from just leaving anyway.>You've got places to be.>A few minutes of interrogation will not delay you long.>May as well satisfy your curiosity before you leave (Any questions?)>Other? (write-in)
I'll leave this open until sometime tomorrow night. Will probably sleep soon in preparation for saturday campaign things.
>>3352916>A few minutes of interrogation will not delay you long.Like I said before, the more other people know the better. Because, Asche's probably secretly hoping Irue will come look for her, so make sure they know where to look.But keep it short Rinpfer, we got places to be.
>>3352772Holy crap.Is this an edit? Or an original work? Then who drew this if not you?
>>3352916>A few minutes of interrogation will not delay you long.
>>3352916>A few minutes of interrogation will not delay you long.>May as well satisfy your curiosity before you leaveWho's the likely suspects? Maybe we'll happen on something related to them.
>>3352916>>You've got places to be.
>>3352916>You've got places to be.
>>3352836>anons doodled together Mim's Shrine uniformI don't remember this, anyone have a link?
>>3353054That was in the picture in the post.More Mim than her uniform though.
>>3353128Oh I'm blindYeah it's a cute picture though
>>3352916>>A few minutes of interrogation will not delay you long.She's not wrong. It's silly to start this without a clue who we're looking for or where to start.With her incredibly alarming Mana powers, I wonder what Rinner looks like to Asche, considering her history with Salamander.
>>3352916>A few minutes of interrogation will not delay you long.>Other? (write-in)Maybe we can get Rinnier to organise some of the knights to investigate? Send Ari and the oakenrue as emergency muscle?
Investigate our lead on the Tier, that is.
Campaign concluded. I've got a bit of a headache, so i'm going to get lunch, some medicine, and call the vote!
>>3356251What campaign are you running? This isn't the first time you've mentioned it.
>>3356281The general plot is that the party accepted a mission to enter the Sapphire Gulf to resolve some strange disappearances and ended up getting caught in the troubles of an opportunist pirate racket in cohorts with a merchant faction in a port trade city trying to sabotage the sea trade route in order to gain political leverage with command over land trade routes. However this was going poorly because the pirates were being subverted by a third party faction using subtle suggestion enchantments and hypnotic sirens (the creature) to instigate a civil war among between them. This civil war is ultimately meaningless in relation to the merchant plot other than that it's caused it to stall, as it's only an excuse to gain control of a sect of the thieving pirates in order to puppet them into conflicts with a second pirate faction that sticks to the southern gulf and typically minds their own business. This pirate faction is later revealed to be the human contractors to the Summer Court who act as the mortal hand to guarding an ancient ruin responsible for housing an elemental dragon who feeds on leylines and was the reason that the Sapphire Peaks sunk centuries ago to become the Sapphire Gulf.Much like the merchant plot, this dragon guardian plot is also somewhat meaningless other than the fact these southern pirates (who are effectively the fae illuminati) would stand again the third party, which the party has been dealing with off and on through out the last year. The third party is a coven of hags - Which in setting just equates them to three powerful magic users whose obsessions drove them to pool their power in pursuit of their desires. The party has gradually learned the identity and some backstory of 2/3rds of the coven, and come to realize that they are the core root behind everything. The pirate wars, the released (and corrupted) elemental dragon, the Silent Hill-esque creature that's haunted them for three levels, the grotesque arcane sacrifices of a cult of death worshippers (who are actually very friendly, they are our cleric's religion and I wanted to give them a plenty of spotlight), and the expansion of something called the "Black Tide", or "Eating Sea", and some other monikers.The coven's goal is to rip plunge the world into an empathic nightmare plane for their own reasons (kicks, bring back a loved one, etc.) The party is determined to stop this, but things aren't going well. The monk sacrificed themself to save the sorc, who went on to ruin everything the monk had set up to gain them allies by refusing to hand over an artefact holding dominion over Undeath, which is currently in the hands of an NPC slowly being consumed by desperation. Their vessel is nearly destroyed and they're on course to ride up to the final confrontation on a literal ghost ship crewed by undead abominations. Tonight they made the highly controversial decision to NOT betray and enslave the tortured souls of the cleric's church for power.
>>3352922>>3352928>>3352933>>3353291>>3353298Staying!>>3352933>>3353298Questions and concerns!>>3352936>>3353051Nobody has time for more Rinnier conversations!Vote called! Let me cobble something together!
>>3356517Huh.So does everyone you know just do insane levels of world building?
>>3356696I'm the DM.
>>3352926Original work, drawn by a close friend of mine.
>>3357028I'm intensely jealous.
You sighed, reluctantly shelving the thought of just leaving while the princess wasn't looking. Your odds of outrunning her likely hinged entirely on being able to hide quickly, purely due to differences in stride. You drag your feet following the princess into the dining room, shutting the door gently behind you."Sit down." She sighed, setting her hip back against the side table she'd set the lemon potion brewing on. "Walk me through this from the beginning. Why are you going west?""Searching.""Alright, hold that thought-" She held a hand up, pinching the bridge of her nose with the other. "-Why are you searching? Why are you doing this? Irue didn't tell me anything about sending you somewhere else."Your lips purse. "I made a deal.""...And?" Rinnier prompted, "Don't make me ask you to elaborate on everything you say, Asche. Can't we just have a nice morning?"The opportunity for that to happen expired once this woman noticed you. You didn't know what she wanted from you; You answered her question and it just brought more questions about her questions. A never ending spiral of interrogation that left you wondering if she just enjoyed wasting your time. "I am fulfilling my side.""What is your side?""Searching." You already told her this. Why was she asking you again? The princess groaned across from you, dragging a hand over her face as she muttered something uncharitable to herself. "Why don't you want to cooperate?" She finally asked, taking a seat to face you on a more level plane.What else does she want from you? You return a placid stare, irritation bubbling somewhere deep down as you quietly clenching your teeth. This conversation was predictably going nowhere. You just had to wait for the next question. Unfortunately, that question was one you hadn't been prepared for."Does Irue know about this?"You blink, choosing your words carefully. Irue didn't know. Of course Irue didn't know. "No.""Do you want Irue to know?" She continued, folding one hand over the other as she stared you down readingly. She continued a beat later when you found yourself struggling to find an answer, much less the words to go with it. "Asche, are you okay?""I am fine." You reply tersely, mind skipping to a question you could answer rather than stall.
"I don't believe you." The princess frowned, red eyes boring into you uncompromisingly. For a moment you think she's about to press further, but to your surprise - and mild relief - she only turns away. "But I'm not going to try and drag whatever's been eating you out and play therapist. When Irue comes back and wants to know where you are, I'm fine with admitting that I tried to find out and you refused to tell me.""...""And I think we both know the first thing that's going to happen after that." She tapped the table with her nail pointedly. "The same thing that happened when Ari went missing. The same thing that happened when I got captured. Your master's an idiot, but I will set my clock by that stupidity. Now-" She leaned back, one leg crossed over the other as her forearms folded primly under her chest. "-How much time do you want Irue to waste looking for you?""I..." Too many words flit across your tongue at once. Too many answers. Denials. Affirmations. Justifications and excuses. It was impossible to choose any one of them like this, not when you weren't even sure which one was true. "I... Don't." You finished lamely, dropping your eyes to your lap hesitantly."Did you even think about this?" Rinnier posed exasperatedly, "Did you honestly think you were going to leave and no one was going to go looking?""..." It was too late to think about that. Whether it happened or not, you made your deal with the Atlach Nacha. You had to go."From the start." The princess sighed, "Where are you going?""West." You mutter mechanically."Why?""Searching.""For what?""Descendant of the Ice Queen."Rinnier's fingertips rapped against the table in place of the expected question. They continued to do so, and when you finally gathered the will to raise your eyes, you saw her face cradled miserably in the palm of her hand. A single red iris glowered balefully at you from her fingers, meeting your sea-green eyes with such concentrated malignance that you fidgeted very slightly in your seat."Why-" She began slowly, each individual syllable enunciated with painstaking control. "-Are you searching for the descendant of an Aeon, Asche?""In exchange for information on the Tiers." You supply. "They are alive.""They're what?!" Her chair scooted from the table as she shot up.
What followed was an interrogation far more enthusiastic than the first, where you watched on in some befuddlement as answers which had annoyed her minutes prior seemed to wash over her newly brightened mood harmlessly.Frustratingly it meant that the one person you hadn't wanted to gain knowledge of this information had now become explicitly aware of it, but whatever portion of you would go on to be disgruntled over that had been conspicuously hollow as it mulled over one of the many questions the princess vollied at you. One that, in increasingly distressing measures, you realized you still couldn't answer. How much time do you want Irue to waste looking for you?You didn't want that at all. You didn't do this to make Irue waste their time, least of all on you. So the answer was 'None'. You did not want Irue to waste time looking for you.Waste is the key word there, little maid.You... Didn't want looking for you to be a waste of time.You're just running away like a child, hoping someone will bring you home.It sounded nice. You... You wouldn't mind being brought home. But that wasn't why you were doing this!Does it need to be?...?Isn't it convenient to say it wasn't because you're insecure?You weren't. No one knew Irue better than you, your concerns-Then you knew what would happen when you left.The voice, taunting and teasing spoke over your own internal conflict, drowning out the princess' voice as you retreated within until this schism resolved.Which is it? You didn't know you'd be chased or you know my stupid child better than anyone? Hmm?Your lip trembles, trying to find some middle ground to justify this. You did know Irue better than anyone, but you didn't... You did... It wasn't...Who are you trying to fool, you precious little accessory? You've never told a lie in your life. The only one who bought your pitiful delusion was you."Asche?""Yes." You startle, blinking to refocus your eyes on the princess across from you."...Are you crying?""No." You lied evenly, a warm trail tickling your cheek.The princess' expression thinned. She set her hands on the table, head hanging as crimson tresses spilled over her shoulder, and when finally she straightened her posture she seemed to have resigned herself to letting something go. "Let's give this a rest for now, alright?" She prompted you gently, "If you're leaving soon anyway, at least help me look over this missing person's list before you go."You nodded, waiting until she left the room to wipe at the corner of your eye. The room became mercifully silent. The same kind of silence which left you with your thoughts. The damning kind, which made even the absence of that voice's poisonous tongue feel like a taunt in and of itself.All it took was a hair of indecision and you were trembling.
"These are the people I've narrowed down my search to." Rinnier returned with the Luna Dominion's list, now marred in notes and scratches of ink which she spent some time explaining the meaning behind. She tapped against one of the marked names pointedly, drawing your attention towards a rough scale of time she'd constructed. "It's hard to pin point when this started, but the appearance of this name - Marcus Krell - always coincided with the appearance of several others. The others would change, but in two weeks or so-" Her finger dragged along the scale, "-You can see in later editions Krell is removed. Then here, it shows up again with a new group of missing names."The princess leaned over your shoulder while walking you through her findings, morning drowsiness well and truly shed as she sipped the bitterly acidic lemon 'tea' whose aroma permeated the mostly empty dining room. "He's not the only one like this. There was one other, but something peculiar showed up recently. Another name was taken off the list when Krell reappeared. Erika Lishp. She was one of the first names that showed up alongside Krell's."So she was an accomplice? But if she went missing in the early days and only turned up now, there's no reason to suspect she wasn't just recently pulled from the wreckage. Irue had ordered the experiments to begin their excavations, after all."Investigate both?" You offered the obvious solution in a half-questioning manner, turning to look over your shoulder and bumping your face against her tunic instead."Easier said than done." She grumbled wistfully. "If this timeline keeps up, Krell won't be here long. There's always the chance he'll come back, but if he or any friends of his catch wind that we're investigating him I wouldn't put it past him to stay gone.""Lishp?" You glance back down at the list, eyes falling on the other mentioned name. It seemed familiar... And as you were thinking of that, you remembered where you'd seen it before. "Craftsmen Council?""Luke Lishp, yes. The man representing Carona's local carpenters in the crafting council. I don't know their exact relation yet, but I don't think investigating her will be easy either.">Checks out. Wish Rinnier luck, you got a descendant to find.>Pursue Erika first.>Look into Krell first.>Other? (write-in)
>>3357120>Other? (write-in)Well I would suggest that you look into Krell first, since he is leaving. After you hopefully catch him, lock down the town for a bit and try and locate the rest of the suspects. If you can't do that in a short enough time (a few days at least or until Irue comes back), lift the lock down.That's how a maid fumigates pests. Kind off...Anyway...>Checks out. Wish Rinnier luck, you got a descendant to find.We pretty much made a deal with the devil here, so sorry we gotta go.
Going to die now as the skyfire has risen and I have sufficiently disappointed everyone by achieving 1 update a day! Somehow the closer I feel the end of the thread gets, the slower I seem able to approach it.
>>3357120>>Look into Krell first.
>>3357120>Checks out. Wish Rinnier luck, you got a descendant to find.
>>3357120>OtherKrell's weird behavior can possibly be used to gain Luke's cooperation if we spin it as Krell dragging Erika into something fishy and dangerous. In any case, Krell should be investigated first for this.
>>3357120>Look into Krell first.One last thing before we go.
>>3357120>>Look into Krell first.If he's here now, better to work on him first. This is only setting's Rinner's path, nit assisting her.then>Checks out. Wish Rinnier luck, you got a descendant to find.We've delayed too much already.I find a certain amount of pleasure in Asche's ability to exasperate Rinner. All Rue's been able to manage is flare her temper.
>>3352912>You hated lavender.I get it>>3357120>Checks out. Wish Rinnier luck, you got a descendant to find.She's a princess, pressing down on peasants is her job.
>>3357151>>3357186>>3357620>>3358587Checks out!>>3357162>>3357620>>3357299>>3357203>>3357151Krell!Asche won't be investigating herself, she's just giving her opinion on where to start. On that note, giving an opinion at all has very narrowly won out over just peacing out! Writing!
"Capture Krell." You intoned after some deliberation. Rinnier hummed, stepping away as you got out of your chair. If you had been staying then it was inevitable you would have had more of a hand in this, but your reason for leaving wouldn't be denied. This short overview was all you could offer to the impending project."The root of the problem?" The princess mused. "Blunt, to the point. You don't think running the risk of him getting wind of our interest and bolting is too steep?" You offered a blank, questioning stare, prompting an explanation in follow-up. "Part of my consideration was to lure him into trying to take action by applying pressure somewhere else. If he's actually trying to subvert our governing here then we might be able to engineer an opportunity he can't resist by making him think our eyes are elsewhere."Feigned weakness. Prolonged traps. Trickery. Complicated approaches you never particularly understood - Not only in the purpose of employing them, but in regards to how people could be manipulated by them. It was a favored pastime of your heart's keeper to engage in games like these, but not one you had ever claimed any affinity for.Too much to think through, too much to try and summarize your feelings on. "Investigation is unnecessary. Capture and interrogate.""Might cause unrest if any allies we weren't aware of prior make a fuss over us detaining innocent people." The princess returned skeptically. "We have good cause for suspicion, but is it enough to act?""Capture them too." You point out flatly. "Strike quickly. You will find his allies easier."The two of you came to a stalemate, just as exchanges like this always had. The princess was often hesitant to agree to decisive actions, weaving longer, more elaborate plans to see her goals done. Plans you would just as soon ignore completely to rip out the weeds in one stroke. Since you wouldn't be here though, arguing your point any further was only a waste of time.Feeling the conversation over you turned to leave, stopping at the door as one final straw of indecision warred within you. "I..." What? Something kept you from walking out this door in silence, but what?>Will try to keep contact.>Don't want to be followed.>Am sorry.>Other? (write-in)
>>3359300>>Other? (write-in)Nothing. Asche isn't communicative at the best of times, nevermind with Rinnier.
>>3359300>Will try to keep contact.
>>3359300>Am SorryIt's not characteristic, but we're not characteristic right now.Asche needs to bend before she breaks.
>>33593241. Nothing>>33594082. Contact>>33595223. Sorry...I will soon be forced to deploy the dice of fate.
>>3359300>>3359324This. Uncommunicative maid is uncommunicative.
>>3359575no.>>3359324we go with this
Called for silence!
>>3359594>>3359596> remember, players do it to themselves in Valen questBefore "it's what the character would do", do you guys think Riz would offer choices that were out of character?
>>3359852Rest assured, I am no more satisfied with this course. At best however, we would have turned it into a coin flip. It is not much solace, but know I appreciate that another cares. I have no massive monologue; just a simple statement.>"Before they could help someone else they had to learn to help themselves; confronting the fragile mask they'd built their life around, and the unsettled wounds left hidden rather than healed. Each new day bringing just one more treacherous decision to be made after another. "In every keystroke and thought, I will strive that each of them may make themselves better, that the tragedy of their flaws may be the exception on this stage, not the norm.This I vow.
>>3359858I can see Asche being too exhausted by the conversation and not opening up to Rinnier, but I do think at least she reached a new perspective for introspection that Rinnier was genuinely trying to help her and that maybe she needs outside perspectives on herself to understand herself better.
>>3359904I can see that too.I can also see a future Asche that regrets that heavily.I'm not here to write Asche, Irue or the others: That's Riz's buisness, I'm here to put my hand on the tiller and guide them away from the shoals.This decision, too, shall be Asche's, and will resolve with consistency and character.I simply am no longer content with the idle attention I paid this quest before. I like Asche, and I would rather not see her broken if I can help it.
In the end words failed you, as they often did. Emotions you couldn't understand, much less explain, blending together into something even less approachable than any individual conflict would have been. The feeling that you wanted to say something held you at the door, frozen and wanting to say something... but what could you really say?Your lips pressed shut softly, leaving your declaration of self to hang abandoned as you left. You thought you were going to prove your worth with this. To regain the trust and intimacy which kept crumbling through your fingers. That's what you wanted.But now... Now you weren't sure what you wanted. Had you taken this path because you knew what it would bring? Because you thought it was necessary? Were you doing this for Irue? Or yourself? Whatever it was, these feelings weren't it. Even the information you'd gone through such lengths to acquire had left your hands.Aimless frustration coiled around you as you left Carona behind. None of this went like you thought it would, but it was too late to stop now. You had to keep going, because you never backed down. This stubborn persistence was the only thing that still rang true. Even if doing this didn't help you, the information you gained would help Irue. That was all that mattered.It is a choice to struggle alone. One you made. One you regretted making ever since. One you were too late to change.After all, you're broken.
"Miss Lamandra, a messenger's arrived." Fen knocked at your door, stealing uncertain glances at the man standing patiently beside him. "Oh Fen, perfect timing." You opened the door moments later, the rought notes for your plans in hand. "I need you to summon our knight captain shortly." You hand it over to your personal assistant, turning with a composed smile to the leather armored man beside him. His windswept appearance gave away the hurry in which he'd arrived, but it was the insignia emblazoned on his shoulder which caught you eye so rigidly. The Valen family's crest was difficult to mistake, yet with what Irue fragiley confessed in mind, its colors couldn't help but cast a shadow over the practiced smile you afforded your guest. "I am Rinnier Suriah Lamandra," A curt and rehearsed introduction, with an additional title not so second nature to include. "Representing Irue Valen as Testament. May I ask what's brought a messenger to Carona?""A personal summons for Irue Valen." The messenger cleared his throat, withdrawing a small scrawled letter from his pouch. "Clara Valen has returned from afield and requests Irue's presence immediately.""That won't be possible." Of all the times for the blonde to have trotted off... "If you'll give me time to prepare I can leave in their stead.""No." The messenger shook his head apologetically, "This isn't something a Testament can handle. Ser Valen specifically requested the heir's presence.""Irue just left a few days ago in a cooperative effort with the Representatives of Luna and Shade." You frown, "There's no way of knowing when they'll return. Can you tell me what this is about?"The messenger's expression tightened. In the ensuing silence you wondered if you should take his reluctance itself as an answer, yet as you resolved to signal your understanding he interrupted you with a throat clearing cough. "It's difficult to predict Ser Valen's status due to the extent of her injuries. She requests Irue's presence immediately, before something changes."
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Valen+QuestAnd we are archived.I'll be in the thread until we fall off if anyone has questions, or wants to pitch something they'd like to see from me in our remaining time..Apologies to all anons who participated in Valen Quest but died at their keyboards wondering when QM would finally stop.To those who did not make it to the end, we will never forget your sacrifice.
>>3359966Thanks for running!>>3359963>Clara is dangerously injuredWelp, shit just got real. Whatever got her, we don't stand a chance against it.
>>3359966So how bad did we fuck up this time? Did we just delete Asche from the quest? Isn't this task fucking impossible?
>>3360047>How bad did we fuck up?You made some interesting decisions. I admit I didn't expect you to just take what the Atlach Nacha offered you and go "Yeah, sure". Generally speaking, as I mentioned earlier, I didn't initially feel like there was a lot of interest or engagement once people realized it was going to be an Asche thread. I hope I ended up wrong by the end of things and everyone enjoyed themselves, though. There's a lot of fun stuff in this thread for me that I'm excited about.>Did we just delete Asche from the quest?You ultimately voted for her to not try to keep in contact as she traveled. She'll have quite a head start before Irue can even get back, and even then you'll be forced to choose between visiting Clara, pursuing the Tier information, handling Carona's rebellious elements, and actually looking for her. As you've seen, just because Irue isn't specifically involved in something doesn't mean the cast isn't pursuing their own priorities, but which one you take an active hand in will have decisive effects on their outcome. At that point it's just a question of what's more important to you.>Isn't this task fucking impossible?A lot of you probably thought a lot of things were impossible for Asche before this thread. That doesn't mean it won't be difficult. Without spoiling anything, I think the most important thing any of you should take from this thread about her is that she will not back down; even if she should, even if she wants to, she will not.I'm excited though. It's nice to be moving again, and I hope to hear everyone's thoughts.
>>3359963> "It's difficult to predict Ser Valen's status due to the extent of her injuries. She requests Irue's presence immediately, before something changes."Uh oh... Well, it looks like we won't be able to hide behind Auntie's skirt for much longer.>>3360068Hmmmm maybe you should use a more realistic silhouette for the tree. One where we can see branches and pointy leaves. Otherwise, the insignia looks pretty good!
>>3360073I didn't actually make either of them. The concept is mine, and then an anon took a crack at the prototype one, which was then used as a visual inspiration for the other one by someone else. But this being Valen Quest, all of you are welcome to take a shot at it yourselves! I imagine there's a number of ways to present it.
>>3360076>The concept is mineGuess I should expand on this, but it's been set in stone after I ended up answering a question here https://ask.fm/RizQM/answers/152549665814 about it. I spent about a month looking into details so I could make it right and it was still fundamentally wrong anyway. The moral of the story is that when you try you will fail, as long as no one sees you cry it's gonna be okay.
>>3360076I might give it a shot and try to make my own. >>3360079Hmmm Crest, Shield, Supporter, and Motto... What's house Valen's motto?
>>3360087>What's house Valen's motto?>when you try you will fail, as long as no one sees you cry it's gonna be okay.More seriously I don't have one specified. You're free to pitch whatever you like and if one of them seems appropriate we can run with it! If none of them do, I'll have to get back to you with an answer after I've had some time to think on it.
>>3360087Choose one:Et deficientEt postea paenitet estEt obliviscereTu es profunda in stercoreBibe faedka cotidie
Here you go! A little paint sketch of what I think the insignia should look like.
>>3360165Hmmm, looks a little to big in the post. Doesn't look that good up close actually. Sorry about that.
>>3360168But yeah, that's the general Idea. I'll try to clean it up and maybe make it more circular. Probably send you the final product on twitter or something.
>>3360165I like the sketch, but I don't know if it's haughty enough.Maybe nurture the weak, Oppress the strong?
>>3360165I think this sketch, as well as the first one, miss the idea that the crests are meant to be painted on shields and be viewed from afar. So simple solid colors, no shading, no tiny details.Also, IRL each color carries a symbolic meaning and there's less than 10 of them, but in the setting it migh be different of course.
>>3360175Here you go. With bigger more cursive text.
>>3360175Hmmm, alright. Simplify it and make it more definite? Well I'll see what I can do. For now I'm going to bed.
>>3360188I like it! Domineering.
Actualy, I lied. Now I'm DEFINITELY GOING TO SLEEP!
>>3360068>I admit I didn't expect you to just take what the Atlach Nacha offered you and go "Yeah, sure".The reasoning, at least for me, was pretty straightforward. We needed the info, and a lessor favor would have naturally given less info. And anything related to the Ice Queen is noteworthy. The brother is long dead, but I wonder if any family lore has survived through the ages.I understand the reasoning, but It's interesting Undine is the one interested in the relative of a Jinn favored. I wonder if Jinn cares...>I hope I ended up wrong by the end of things and everyone enjoyed themselves, though. I enjoyed the look into her head, if not what I saw. I like her even less, now.>and even then you'll be forced to chooseThe answers there is pretty easy, for me at least. The Tier info, as the Behemoth is a concrete and immediate threat. I don't like Asche, but I now trust her again to see this task through; she'll be fine, and will return eventually one way or another. The rebellious elements seem to be mostly handled, and can be safely left to Rinnier as an extension of her admin work. Clara I despise for our complete lack of education in rule, and her refusal to step down as regent and let us take our place as head of house, as she should have legally done when we passed the Testament.Thanks for running!
>>3360068>I hope I ended up wrong by the end of things and everyone enjoyed themselvesI feel like I have a better understanding of Asche, I like her and I got a bit of an idea where she's coming from now but I don't know if I could call the experience enjoyable. I mean don't get me wrong I love your quest, but this whole thread reminded me of the low, hopeless and helpless atmosphere you evoked during the later parts of the rite arc. I'd thought we were doing pretty well this last while but now I'm not so sure.Oh I forgot to respond earlier, but I'd totally be interested in a Dullam writeup. It was nice to see a less guarded side to him and I doubt we'll see it again as Irue. Does this mean the Rinnier post is officially cancelled?Thanks for running Riz!
Oh, and don't feel too bad about slowing down to one post a day in places. I very much appreciated the extra time it allotted to those of us who's timezones and schedules conflict with yours. It's easier to lose a vote and take it in stride when I can vote and argue my point than it is to accept a vote I missed entirely. Like that last one.
>>3360183The colors have specific meanings in setting as well. They were outlined up in the Ask.>>3360354>It's interesting Undine is the one interested in the relative of a Jinn favoredThis goes back a ways to the Ice Queen's Atelier, but her brother was the Jinn favored. She was always Undine favored, but she spent a great deal of the latter part of her life living a lie, part of which was currying favour from Jinn. The one who cares according to the Atlach Nacha is the Ice Queen, and they requested it on her behalf out of concern that if left unchecked she would take action.As Asche made a point of trying to avoid attracting Undine proper's attention, you can view this as a local issue, the business of Carona's Atlach Nacha, rather than of Undine as a greater whole.>>3360525>this whole thread reminded me of the low, hopeless and helpless atmosphere you evoked during the later parts of the rite arc.Things have started looking up for Irue! You've made friends, won loyalty, are learning to open up, are making progress getting your stride as a leader. None of that is any less true now than they were before this thread.But that's Irue. Everyone has their own sort of knot and Asche's only tangled further in the meantime as she was pushed away, mistrusted, left behind, and generally ignored. To Asche, Irue is the whole of her world - But for Irue, she is an increasingly smaller piece of something wider. You'll be back in Irue's shoes shortly, and the only people whose perspectives remain to be readily explored are Ari and Kara's, so you won't need to worry overmuch about this.So in summary, I guess....>I'd thought we were doing pretty well this last while but now I'm not so sure.Irue is! You're smiling more, feeling more confident, and walking with hard earned friends. One of those friends is Asche, who has always been one step behind and watching your back. Today you were Asche and learned more of Asche's world, but tomorrow you'll be Irue again and whether or not your time as Asche matters at all is up to you. You're still doing well, aren't you?>Dullem write-upI'll try and get it done and posted in this thread, rather than as a pastebin, this thread. I know several anons have mentioned not typically reading the write-ups because they feel it would spoil them on meta information, but I'm kind of curious if that concern is enforced by the write-ups being cleanly separated from the thread itself? I'm always kind of curious how many people read them in general. This thread in particular has a handful of cute easter eggs for people who have.At any rate, the Dullem write-up is technically a sort of follow-up to the events of this thread and I think you'll enjoy it as a palate cleanser, so I'll be including it in thread if I finish it in time, rather than in the pastebin.
>>3360525>Recapping the entire Rinnier conversationIt has slipped into development hell. Before making it a write-up I feel like I'd need to expand its scope beyond the conversation itself, because recapping it from someone else's point of view is just rehashing what was already said with relatively little additional context besides Rinnier's own thoughts on it.That said, staging it now as a retrospective of what Irue told her and her thoughts on it now that there's been time to think it over for a while and handle things may prove more meaningful, so there's that. This is primarily what I struggled with in the first place, as anytime I make a write-up I want it to be interesting and generally help shed more light on things Irue doesn't get to see directly to help flesh the world a little. More history, private characterization, etc.
>>3361062>you can view this as a local issue, the business of Carona's Atlach Nacha, rather than of Undine as a greater whole.Ah, that makes sense.> several anons have mentioned not typically reading the write-ups because they feel it would spoil them on meta informationFunnily enough, this is why I don't like perspective swaps at all. This thread will effect how we run Rue, despite nothing changing from her perspective.For instance, I went from mistrusting Asche as whole while not being fond of her, to trusting her completely in a narrow band and completely mistrusting her otherwise, but really not liking her. Ari went from a completely helpless thing to an angry drunk layabout; I no longer trust her to be operating with reasonable intentions, as opposed to previously not expecting anything out of her.Feel free to disagree with my statements. They are only my perceptions.>picHas Rue ever even worn a dress?
>>3361635I believe your conclusion on Asche may be reasonable. I don't agree with your assessment of Ari.If Asche has been regularly styming her progress, that means she's been given one job by Irue (Meditate with Dryad) and failed repetitively. It's her only job, it's (for her) simple, she knows she's getting there and it keeps fucking up. If I were her, I would be venting somehow.Consider, for example, a little Valen Heir hung over on Faedka, staring at a book on Mana and cursing them as a whole for their inattention, for she is delightful and they should all want her.
>>3362011>It's her only job, it's (for her) simple, she knows she's getting there and it keeps fucking up. If I were her, I would be venting somehow.Not an unreasonable reaction, but her personality so far has been "timid, traumatized, adoration of Rue, and mcguffin". The first two have been wiped and replaced with "drunken and angry".Vaguely related, with the knowledge of all these threads, who would anons pick for Testament(s)?Personally, I'd pick Rinnier. She was a massive pain to get on side, but I think with only her we'd have been able to win her respect sooner. When it's not flaring at us, I like her fiery temper, it makes her... colorful. Plus, she actually has some understanding of statecraft, which we woefully lack. And she's the most "normal" of the options.And hey, with only the one, maybe we wouldn't have needed to absolutely wreck this miserable hole on the ground.
>>3362044Frankly, being wrecked is the best possible thing that could have happened to Carona.A pothole is an improvement on a viper's den.
>>3362044Hmm, the formatting jacked up on that for some reason. The spacing is off, and I had some of that spoilered.Testing.TestingTesting
>>3362050We resolved that feeling already when we started to interact with the not-shit people of Carona.It's at *least* as good as a hole in the ground, and anyways the Valens are responsible for it now so if it stays garbage it's out fault.
>>3361635>Has Rue ever even worn a dress?Yes.Well, a "dress-skirt."
"Dullem you didn't give out any of the potpourri?" An older woman shifted through the satchels you'd returned with last night with a discerning concern. "Did they not want any?""Ah, I forgot what it is those're for." One hand calloused hand rubbed up against the back your neck, brushing aside unkempt strands of matted hair. It was getting long again. You needed to get it cut some time, once you caught a break from all this. "I didn't want t'get anyone sick so I just kept em."The woman sighed, rapping your abs with a loose backhand. "Y'don't use em for anything, they jus' smell nice you big goof. Didn't yer momma keep any of 'em around growing up?""Nah. Least I don't think so, don't 'member the house smellin' like much but dirt and herbs." You chuckle bashfully, grinning despite the embarassed blush across your olive skinned cheeks. "Sorry, sorry, I'll hand em out later. Reckon some good smells'll be better than wet dirt and sweat.""Yer damn right it will." The elderly woman cackled freely, crows feet crinkling merrily. "But you don't got time to get hung up on little things like this, boy! Them nobles gotta have more important things for y'to be doin than handing out buncha air fresheners.""It doesn't take that much time." You assure, setting a hand on her shoulder as she reached for one of the undistributed potpourri. "And you lot are working harder than I am around here. Your grandson's told me the aches' gettin worse for you at night already.""Eh." Her smile faltered, wrinkled hands gingerly massaging each other. "Gettin all creaky in my middle age, but ain't none o'yer business either.""I'm the knight captain." you remind her gently, drawing yourself up in in faux authority. "I all yer health is my business an' I'll report you as I please.""Hmph!" She eyed you with a peculiar fondness. "Get a little respect and suddenly you're bullying a little old lady, is it?""Aye, payback for all the times some old bat smacked me with a soup spoon." Your other arm wraps around her, ushering the softly tittering woman back towards a cot. "Take a couple days t'rest, Lula. Can't have you kicking the bucket on us this far.""I ain't gonna kick no buckets." She eased herself onto the cot even as she complained, "Just a little arthritis, I ain't that old!"
Your back straightened, leaving the rebellious woman to laugh as you saw yourself out. Lula was one of the few elderly who'd not vanished in the forest during your stupid 'siege' on Caylen Valen's estate. An action which, having seen what that Alouette woman had done to the screaming Mistral's Child, you couldn't thank the Mana more for that it hadn't been the end of all of you. She'd stubborned her way onto the away roster alongside her grandson, a full grown man in his own right... And ironically, that'd been exactly why she was still around to trouble people now. Spry for her age, yet despite her protestes she was well into her seventies by now and it was a wonder that she'd made it on the road as long as she had. She'd become something of a fixture for your motley crew, eager to roll her sleeves up for whatever needed doing. Sometimes too eager. It'd be a shock if she weren't trying to erect the marker from the bottom of her own grave. You'd no doubt she was a workhorse of a woman in her younger years, but that at this rate her body was gonna burn out before her enthusiasm ever did....Shade bless you were gonna cry when she went. You were so close to having a real place for everyone to belong again. If y'could just see her face when everything finally turned out all right, that'd mean everything. You had plenty of people who believed in you, but she'd done more to keep you all going than most of the folk half her age. Medicine, stew, Wisp preserve she'd stabbed one of Carona's snakes in the gut just to see if Ser Valen was gonna be "worth th' salt in a sock".That little blonde noble had shown up riding a tree monster, told you to wait a week, then came back and told you all to pack it up and be knights. Last thing you thought'd happen after laying siege to their cousin's house, but not like you had room to complain. Everything following that was just a blur of bullshit you couldn't rightly explain if y'tried. More than salt, the little red eyed noble had come prancin' in like a damn fairy and swept common sense clean out the window.You weren't sure how you survived this far, how any of you had survived this far, but following the strange little noble had opened doors you never dreamed of. As time went on, and things in Carona started to settle down, it felt like it was finally sinking in for everyone; The hope against hope that somehow, against all odds, things were actually gonna be okay. Y'all were really gonna make it.you'd be lying if you said you didn't wish someone else'd ended up with your position, but daddy didn't raise no slacker. After everything Ser Valen pulled through to give these chances to your and yours, it was your turn to give back.Mana bless but that was easier said than done.
"I 'ppreciate the time y've taken to meet with me again." You cleared your throat before the mountainous woman before you. The Gnome Representative stood eye to eye with you without batting an eye, capturing your own hand in a firm grip. "Sorry to say I'm the only one today, but I hope that won't be a problem?""Always a pleasure, knight captain Dullem." Penelope rumbled with a voice as smooth as finely tilled soil. "Come in, take a seat." She stepped aside, granting you entrance to the interior of the Gnome Dominion. This was only your second time being beyond the public space of the Shrine and both of those instances had led you into Penelope's sanctum. You were of the vague understanding it wasn't actually hers, but that she presided over it as Gnome's most favored. The distinction was fuzzy to you, but the little maid claimed it was important for some reason. "As per our last meeting, I'm afraid my answer hasn't changed any."you startled briefly, eyes wandering across shelves of assorted knicknacks and stones. A collection of hourglasses filled with colorful grains of earth which trailed down in a murmuring whisper just at the edge of your awareness. "Pardon?"Penelope took a seat behind her desk and gestured towards a nearby chair. "The Shrine is an independant entity established for the guardianship of the Mana's favored and to provide spiritual guidance to the people. No matter how desperate the times are, we cannot jeopradize our neutrality by appearing to favor any one noble of another.""I understand that but..." You sit, feeling your tunic stretch across your chest. How in Gnome's name Ser Valen expected you to wrangle the Gnome Dominion's support was earnestly beyond you. "With all due respect, Carona's hurtin'. We're doin' what we can to get things back t'spick an' span, but we need the raw materials t'do it.""And on behalf of Carona, I wish you the best of luck finding it." Penelope apologized firmly, "But if we helped Carona recover, it sets precedent for other Shrines to be expected to act as mercenaries for other nobles when times of crisis pass. Would you put us in that position?"Your head bobbed anxiously, feeling yourself come up on a wall. You ain't good with fancy words and negotiatin' like the maid or your lil' liege. Closing your eyes, you swallowed thickly and the only thought that came to mind as your dry tongue ran across the cracked top of your lip was just..."Why's that matter?""Excuse me?" Penelope's even tempered reply betrayed little, and if you were a smaller man, it might have frightened you. Now, you were frightened of a lot of things, and if she thought she was one of them... She was probably right. But daddy didn't raise no quitters.
"When I was a boy it rained for days. Dunno what Undine was up to with all 'at, but we lived out in the hills and all that rain loosenin' the dirt ain't doin no one any favours, lemme tell ya." You leaned forward and set your elbows against the desk. "Had a landslide that week. My family was fine enough, but our neighbours farm was six feet under. We spent a good month digging it all out, retillin' that field, an' pooling seeds to try and get some harvest out of the season.""...And did you?" Penelope's only response to your story was to lean back as you told it."Well... Nah." Your shoulders sank briefly. "T'late in the year, y'know? S'not like out here, our ground weren't too fertile.""Hard to beat a good black soil." The Gnome Representative nodded despite herself. "What was it you farmed in?""Red clay, mostly." You sniffed, stifling the chuckle at the wince on her face. "Aye, aye, but a good fertilizin' mix does wonders. Kept cows just for the manure- Ain't pretty shovelling that in the summer.""Oh it's been so long since I had a cow." The mountainous woman shook her head, "Father was dairy farmer himself and I had my own calf when I was a girl... Lost her in a quake.""Ah..." You breathed a little offbalance. "Right so, as I was sayin' winter came an they didn't have a harvest, but th' whole town split what we had to feed 'em, and... I mean I guess what I'm tryna' say here is that I don't think it right matters. I know it might be puttin' you in a hard place, but them folk out there are in a place way harder already, an' they workin out there every day t'dig their fields back out.""I understand." Penelope sighed, averting her eyes for the first time since you'd met her to look over the shelves of hourglasses. "You did the right thing, knight captain Dullem, and I can tell that you are a man of integrity now, trying to do it again.""Then y'might reconsider?" You blinked, setting up."No. The Shrine does not have the freedom to set aside centuries of neutrality in order to do this. The Valens are a powerful and influential family. I do not believe they need the aid of the Shrine in this matter."
"But-""Our hands are tied, knight captain Dullem." She insisted, turning back to you with regained composure. "But if you'd like to discuss this further, I would be open to the possibility."That's the same thing she'd said last time and it hadn't amounted to much... But your only other alternative was to give up. If y'had to keep bashing your head against this woman until Ser Valen came back, at least you could say you tried. "...I'll take you up on that offer." you marshalled your determination with those words. If she kept inviting you back like this, there had to be some chance to change her mind. "When would be most convenient for you?""Is your schedule not busy?" The Gnome Representative seemed briefly surprised."I'll make time for it whenever yer free, ma'am."She blinked once, a small quirk to her lip as she smiled. "Very well, what about dinner? Say, two days from now?""Uh..." One hand slid off the desk to rub awkwardly at your neck. A nervous habit. "That's fine with me, but I don't wanna take up no more o'your time than I gotta. Thinkin' you got a lot more t'do around here lately than I do.""Oh no, I insist." The Gnome Representative reached across the desk, laying the tips of her fingers over yours. "May I call you Dullem?""Yeah?" You swallowed, eyes glued to her unmoving hand. Would it be rude to pull your hand back? What were you supposed to do here? "Miss... Penelope?""Please, just Penelope."Oh.Oh no.Oh No.
>>3362203> Dullem, eligible bachelor and anime protagonist.Does Gnome representative like him because he's as dense as the red clay earth he grew up in?
>>3362210If that were the only thing necessary then surely Irue would have qualified by now.
>>3362212I said anime protagonist denise, not full shounen "neutron star" dense.A Gnome adept would be able to recognize soil unable to be fertilized period.
>>3360183This anon has the right idea. Also I think we can make do without house words, they sound stupid to me
>>3362203OMG poor Dullem
>>3362203>Oh.>Oh no.>Oh No.My thoughts exactly. Poor guy. This is what happens when we send the guy with low charisma in for negotiations, I guess. Unintended consequences.We actually really don't want this to happen. It'll tie Dullem down in Careona, eat up his working time in managing it, and it'll get our knight leader tied into Shrine politics. We need the raw materials, but the I'm not willing to trade Dullem for them.
>>3362203Well it was worth a try, I hope Dullam isn't too much a spineless fag to tell this fat bitch no. Also I can't believe Dullam has hair! I always pictured him looking like the weapons shop guy from Shield Hero.New ideas for finding ore!>Find and help Ashe, ask her to find concentrated gnome manaThis assumes that ambient gnome mana will congregate around minerals, but is otherwise low risk and costs us nothing. In light of this thread I'd suggest travelling with Asche to the mountains while she searches and taking a direct hand in setting up the operation, while also stopping off at the ruined shrine to do whatever it was the special forgetting unlocked. Ashe should be a big help there considering the Dryad connection and the presence of a shade apparition. (iirc)>Summon and command a gnome apparition with the bracelet This has the advantage of serving as a sure-fire means of detection while additionally serving as labour and possessing defensive capabilities, may become a long term asset in it's own right. May anger the shrine if they find out, will also tear our soul asunder. Do not do this.>Awaken the talents of our mana favoured knights via tutoring, whether that be all of them, just the gnome favoured knights or a single gnome favoured knightThe benefits of this are obvious but will also allow them to defect to the shrine. Will almost certainly have other unintended side effects that we may or may not be able to mitigate with caution. (lol) Lelu certainly seems like a prime gnome adept candidate.
>>3363253She's not actually fat. Her physical design was inspired off of Ar Tonelico 3's Mute, so she's of a similar size and build as Dullem.
>>3363262Oh. In that case Dullam can fuck her if he wants, so long as Irue doesn't have to spend any time around her.
>>3363253>Also I can't believe Dullam has hair! I always pictured him looking like the weapons shop guy from Shield Hero.Ha, I've always taken the "bear of a man" thing more literally. He's very bear-like, large, friendly, slow, powerful, slightly clumsy to me.>>Find and help Ashe, ask her to find concentrated gnome manaAnd we're already seeing the meta issues. Rue doesn't know about Asche's interaction with Mana. She *might* be able to help, but Rue doesn't know that.>the special forgetting That was determined to be more stuff related to the events in the Forgotten Child. At the time, we failed the forgetting, realized what it was shortly after, then immediately determined we were glad we missed it. We could go back at some point I guess, but we've on real reason to.>>Summon and command a gnome apparition with the bracelet The only apparition that we've been able to do more than aim in a vague direction was ShadowRue, and that wasn't really what you'd call "under control".>>Awaken the talents of our mana favoured knights via tutoring, This was talked about a while back, but we decided against it. Manpower issues I think, though it's been a while. Even if we started now, where do you think they're going to get that tutoring? The same people refusing to help now. And by the time any of them are proficient enough to be useful, the need will have passed.
>>3363521>meta issuesI knew this would come up. This is a quest where life and death is decided based on whether we can identify pertinent information and use it at the appropriate time. I absolutely refuse to ignore what we learned in this thread, especially when Riz has previously told us not to worry about it. We can just agree to disagree on this point.>Special forgettingI remember Riz specifically saying that the special forgetting was counted as remembered. We did decide not to pursue it at that time but there's no way it's pointless, there's never been a pointless forgetting. I think the sentiment at the time was pls no more dryad stuff but it's been a while since then.>We can't command an apparition with the braceletCommunicating with mana capable of thought (ie not ambient mana) is the intended function of the bracelet as far as we've figured out. In thread 51, as the result of a forgetting, we successfully used the bracelet to issue orders to the creepy oakenrue that made Rinnier cry. Though now that you mention it, I may have overstated my case. The oakenrue loved us, it's not clear that we could use it to outright command an unwilling mana, unless I'm forgetting something.>We decided against making our knights adeptsWe decided to tell them we'd have them trained in mundane combat, we never ever ruled out making them adepts and there is literally nothing stopping us from doing so. As for how we'd accomplish this, Irue spent a considerable amount of her childhood attempting to curry favour with the mana, she may have failed but not for reasons of ignorance. On the subject of each individual mana Irue is as much of an expert as you can be without actually being an adept. She's easily capable of unlocking someone's potential, provided they're favoured.>the timeframe of becoming an adeptYou might have a point here, the only frame of reference we have as to how long this will take is Ari who is a decidedly atypical case. However we also have very little frame of reference as to when exactly we'll run out of time so who knows. It's a gamble I guess.
>>3363688>I absolutely refuse to ignore what we learned in this thread,I absolutely refuse to use what we learned in this thread. Meta knowledge is cheating. Making decisions base on meta knowledge is cheating. I'm annoyed my perspectives on several characters have shifted due to this thread, as nothing has changed from Rue's perspective. What's the point of "winning" if you fudge the dice?>especially when Riz has previously told us not to worry about it. I'm gonna need a source on that. He's told us not to worry about what choices we make, because we're doomed anyway yes that's a joke, anti-sad anons, but he's never said "go ahead and use meta knowledge".
>>3363723>source on thatThat's a tall order, it's the only claim I can't source. It was a response to anon chatter (about similar concerns i think?) so I can't pin it down to a timeframe, which makes it difficult to search for. From what I remember the sentiment boiled down to something like->just vote for what you want, i'll make the decisions required to filter it through irue as appropriateRiz can solve this for us? Is meta stuff halal or no?
>>3363803Generally speaking I try to respect whatever you guys vote for, but sometimes the form of what you've listed doesn't suit the character as suggested. In cases like those I try to distill the intent of the vote down and then rework it into an approach the character would be more likely to take. This is probably what you're thinking of.In regards to voting using meta knowledge or not, I don't think you should be concerned about that either. I will administratively shut down votes which revolve around taking an action or approach which Irue has no reasonable reason to be part of.This is an important distinction, because basically what it distills into is that I don't mind if there are votes using knowledge you consider meta, as I'll be the final arbiter over whether or not it actually isn't a viable option. There are some pieces of knowledge that Irue absolutely has had prior experiences with in-thread that some anons may have forgotten, ignored, or disregarded, and if you voted for pursuing them in some way then I would be able to say "Hey, remember these scenes? Irue absolutely has a reason to be suspicious of this".Though if I feel you're still reaching a bit, I may form the response as a Forgetting and challenge you to go find the moments Irue had which should/would have opened the possibility for that suspicion. If you can point them out, then whether or not you got the initial idea from another perspective to pursue something Irue already knows seems ultimately to be a moot point to me. If you can't do that much, then Irue obviously has no interest in whatever it was anyway.
>>3363869So basically, no, we can't use meta knowledge, but we can use inspiration from alternate perspectives?In this case, sending Asche out prospecting wouldn't fly, because Rue has no reason to think she could do anything like that, but if, say, something in the conversation with Rinnier sparked a reminder to check on our fresh food supplies it'd be fine.That's about as good as it can be, I guess. I have a strong aversion to characters acting "optimally" or "because plot". Even when PCs act dumb, at least there was a real intelligence behind it. It's a large part of why I like quests as a whole. That's also why I hate meta knowledge; it encourages "optimal" play.
>>3363869 . . . . So jealous of your IRL gaming group.
So, in preparation for next thread, anyone got any ideas for how we're going to deal with the massive number disparity between Rue's group and the bandits?I'm partial to using the Web's spiky function, if we can set up nearby for long enough without being detected.We could also use the bracelet I guess, but the appiriations are hard to control, and we'd have some explaining to do afterwords.
>>3367265Disguise ourselves and sow discord?
>>3367265Sleep with marchovic.Find out if he's a traitor, and if not use him to anchor the web.It's weird he's helping when the Shrine is all about not getting involved
>>3367456We can't sleep with any Adepts. Luna performed the final blow, but they were backed by the entire Shrine.He's mysterious, but that makes sense as a Shade Adept.Shade also encourages adversity and adventure. He's doing this on his own, not with Shrine backing. Remember this whole expedition was his idea.
>>3367315If we could poison their food or slit their throats while they're sleeping or similar, that could work.
>>3367456This whole "Marchovic is a traitor!" thing is nothing but paranoia, Anon
>>3367265>I'm partial to using the Web's spiky functionYou learned last thread why this has been beyond you. Irue requires a Player 2 to plug into the web, playing the role of either the Web or Spider in order to directly weaponize it. Player 2 needs access to 'A Spider's Web' the same as Irue, which means you need to either find someone else who cleared the Ice Queen's Atelier, or pick someone to sleep with and hope your mutual trust is enough to trigger Hearts In Harmony.
>>3367859I know ShadowRue pulled it off at least once on her own. I know there are advanced functions locked behind co-op, but I thought the spikes were usable with one person.>either find someone else who cleared the Ice Queen's AtelierUnless the Shrine Adepts sent down after we told them about it Solved it instead of conquering it, I doubt we'll find anyone like that, and we can't send anyone to Solve it with the Shrine occupying the place.And the only potential option for sleeping with is the knight. Inherent weirdness aside, I don't know if we have the deep trust to make that work.
>>3367979> I know ShadowRue pulled it off at least once on her own.Literally she was never alone.Much like your mother
Last post lolHAH Got'em
>>3375374Please kill yourself.
I caught up. I did it. Somehow Im here. It was hard. But I must say I'm proud you did good Anons to fight suffer for so long and not give up.Riz great Quest. You are great QM and writer, Valen was one big roller coaster of emotions. It was fun I enjoyed every bit of it, especially suffering forgetings. Hope to participate in further runs.About the discord. I think it would help. I don't think is needed as people now openly discuss quest in the thread
>>3375500Glad you're here for the ride.