The Twists and turns of the case have taken on a fever pitch. Henry has found out that certain members of his family are still alive after meeting with his Grandfather. Henry and Larry now find themselves on the island containing White Chapel Asylum. What secrets does this location hold?Quest rules:1. All dice rolled are assumed to be D100 unless otherwise stated2. The first two rolls will be given far greater importance, but additional rolls, good or bad, will affect the outcome. This choice ultimately falls to the Lorekeeper, odd circumstances may cause him to change how the story progresses (a ton of crits for instance)3. All dice rolls are final4. Critical fails are considered to be between 1-5, Critical hits are between 95-100. Crits overpower any other roll except another crit. In the rare chance that a crit fail and crit success happen. The Lorekeeper will do something interesting from a story angle. Similarly, rolling 2 of the same number will be considered a MEGA crit, just pray its two high numbers. 5. Near misses may occur, where a rolled number is close to the required threshold, whether over or under. This can have an impact on how the story proceeds. However these are up to the decision of the Lorekeeper.6. Sometimes there are optional choices one may participate in, these will generally NOT be taken unless there are multiple posters who wish it, assuming there are multiple posters in the thread7. There are often times choices with multiple parts, each part is counted separately, unless otherwise stated, sometimes rolls will be required before counting the second, third, etc, part8. There will be “Time Limited” decisions, in which characters may only do a set number of actions, these will be clearly marked. Generally you will only be able to choose one decision per ‘round’.9. Rules may be subject to change between threads, but will not change during the same thread. These rules are what we will follow for the remainder of this thread.Archived Threads + Sidequests: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Necromancer+Detective+QuestDiscord (Meet the Loremaster himself, and get live updates and all that jazz): https://discord.gg/5sZYkz9 (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)Main Character Spell List: https://pastebin.com/raw/PHc7TmBNEquipment Listhttps://pastebin.com/raw/w7WUxyK6
>>3497069> previous threadThey wandered up the path, stopping to take in the sights, both of the bay and of the various flowerbeds and small fields that it contained. Henry noticed that Larry was hugging the walls a bit more than was justified. The black iron railings looked more than sturdy enough to hold his weight, hell it’d probably take a heck of a lot of force to budge them, the things were secured into the cliff itself. In addition, all along the path were a series of angelic runes of all sizes, and all in functional order from what Henry could surmise. When they reached the top, Henry saw a massive administrative building made out of white marble stretching in from of them. Brilliant gothic architecture showplaced throughout and with a massive glass dome in the middle brought home how weird the place was, why build all of this just to house the insane? Henry noticed something else, the entire thing was walled in, and most of the steep drops had very large chainlink fences, probably to protect people from falls. Further down Henry could see a small forest and the very top of the white chapel the place was known for. The island was very defensible, a single point of entry and multiple places to defend from. He took the time to notice massive angelic runes carved into the sides of naturally occurring rock formations. Far more freeform than he was used to seeing, but it probably saved on cost and effort. Regardless, this place wasn’t going to get shredded by the gheist tide or by stitched monstrosities that happened to was onto shore.
>>3497070Henry took the time to use his mage sight to scope out the location. It had an overall eerie atmosphere and an unusual amount of aetheric residue for some reason. Henry wondered if the place had issues with ghiests, even with all the protection he’d seen up to that point. This was far too much aetheric residue to have been caused by casual spellcasting. Beyond that he felt an overall sense of unease, although Larry seemed completely unaffected. Heading inside, Henry found himself in a large lobby lit up with glow runes placed inside glass lanterns. The floor was marble tiled and there were several sets of impressive looking dark wood furniture. The place didn’t smell of salt air at all, in fact it was incredibly sterile. He didn’t see anyone at a nearby welcoming station, a collection of four quarter circle desks with some filing cabinets and tables in the middle. Henry noted how clean everything looked, very little wear or tear visable on anything, the staff on hand must have done a very good job. Speaking of which, where was everyone? Did they get so few visitors that they didn’t keep anyone on duty up here?Larry walked over to the circle formed by the four secretaries desks and inspected a small golden service bell sat on the table. It had a few runes carved into it which seemed to amplify and spread the sound to several other locations. Henry wasn’t able to tell anything further about it from a glance.Decisions:1. *ring the bell*2. *dig through some of the filing cabinets and the desks* (roll 2d100)3. *head further inside*4. (write in)
>>3497090Considering all my normal voters are on vacation or indisposed I will try to do a few oneshots.
Rolled 61, 19 = 80 (2d100)>>3497090>2. *dig through some of the filing cabinets and the desks* (roll 2d100)What could go wrong?
Rolled 57, 11 = 68 (2d100)>>3497090*dig through some of the filing cabinets and the desks* (roll 2d100)
>>3497090Henry took a few minutes to rummage around in a few of the desks, making sure to cover his tracks and leaving Larry on guard duty to ensure nobody saw what he was doing. What he found was… well, nothing really. A few notes on various treatments, visitation requests of various sorts, medical supply lists, and a few references to secret treatments categorized by sets of three digit numbers. Everything else was even less interesting somehow. Henry didn’t know what he’d been expecting but it wasn’t this. Then again anything worth hiding wouldn’t be left out in the open like this.“Can I help you?” A female voice called from further inside the building.” “Yes hello.” Larry said, waving the woman over.The woman had a set of light blue mage robes which consisted of a fairly plain but well-made looking dress with a small belt loop containing pouches of tools and vials, and a couple of unnerving hypodermic needles. Henry wondered why employees would need to carry something like that around, and what exactly they could contain. The woman was in her early twenties, around Henrys age, and married based on the small ring on her left hand. She had a nice head of brown hair which had been done up in a bun. All of that was ruined by the cross expression her face held had. It looked like she wasn’t really pleased about them being here. Decisions:1. “Hello I was wondering if you could answer some questions for me.” 2. “Is that any way to treat visitors?” 3. “Do you happen to know anything about the leyline intersection that occurs right on this island?” 4. “Sorry for bothering you, we’ll be on our way now.”5. (Write in)
>I apologize but do you happen to know anything about the leyline intersection that occurs right on this island?
>>3498901“I apologize but do you happen to know anything about the leyline intersection that occurs right on this island?” Henry asked.The woman’s expression changed to one of mild surprise and then she coughed a couple times. “Something the matter?” Larry asked.“No… well somewhat. Is that why you’re here?” The woman asked. “I’m just surprised it’s something I can actually help you with.” “Why’s that?” Henry asked.“I’m the one in charge of maintaining all of the runes on the island, including all of the islands magical defenses, and so naturally I am in charge of ensuring that there is no change in the leyline intersection.” She said. “Oh right, my manners, Viola Farkus, runic mage.” “Lucky.” Larry said. “So can you tell me more about it?” Henry said.“Yes, well there is a fairly large leyline intersection on this island, four different leylines intersect right here. The asylum was founded as a sight of healing, based on old and sadly disproven myths of healing properties of the intersections.”“Anything else?” Larry asked.“Well, I could share with you the history of leylines, if you really want. Beyond that I’m not really at liberty to say, last time didn’t go so well and the administrator put his foot down.” Decisions:1. “Not at liberty to say?”2. “Last time?” 3. “It’s incredibly important, potentially a matter of life and death.” (roll 1d100)4. “Well this was a massive waste of time, come on Larry we’re leaving”5. “Have there been any issues with the angelic runes?”6. “Actually I could do with a history lesson.”7. (write in)
>>3499077no posts, rip in peace
>>3501804Sorry chief, life was busy.Supporting this>>3502792 but i would also>Have you noticed anything strange happening with the laylines recently? Any fluctuations in the energies?
>>3503484>>3502879>>3502792writing>>3502794if you wish to do a dice roll then you need to do a dice roll, I only roll dice for enemies and random events.
>>3499077“Last time?” Henry asked.“I shouldn’t have said anything.” Viola responded, trying vigorously to avoid eye contact.“Look if someone came before us asking the same thing then we should know, right?” Larry said, glancing over to Henry.Henry nodded, taking the initiative from Larry, “Lives are at stake here, please, any information you can provide will be incredibly valuable.”“I can explain the basic situation, but I’ve been strictly forbidden from giving any names.” Viola said. “About two months ago, there was an official investigation of this asylum, its practices and the overall state of the facility. Of course we passed with flying colors.”“Was a report written?” Henry asked.“I believe so, but I’d imagine that the paladins involved wouldn’t be liable to share that.” Viola replied.Henry made a note of that particular piece of information and considered taking additional action against that one paladin from before… at the very least information on him could be sold to the cult for a tidy profit. It had to have been him who was involved, far too much of a coincidence… unless there were multiple paladins, or someone pretending to be one… too many possibilities. “Can you perhaps tell me what questions were asked?” Henry said.The woman hesitated, glancing around, behind her, and even up towards the ceiling, before relenting. “They asked several questions relating to the tides, the local ocean currents, and the leyline itself, Due to their rank and the fact it was an official request I of course complied. I really can’t say anything else, I’d lose my job at the very least.” Viola said. “Have you noticed anything strange happening with the leylines recently? Any fluctuations in their energies?” Henry asked.
>>3504050“As of now, no.” Viola replied. “Honestly there isn’t anything a human could do to it that would cause any noticeable effect. Most leylines have remained untouched for at least a thousand years, going off Church records, anyhow.” Henry paused for a moment, thinking. Asking if someone could use multiple sets of leylines to cast a spell by drawing mana would be too obvious a question. For all he knew this woman was a conspirator too. Well, a conspirator that talked far too easily, but still. He had to be careful with his question.“So anything funky happen to these leylines?” Larry asked. It took all of Henry’s concentration to keep a calm facial expression. God fucking damn it Larry couldn’t you be more careful? Still, the question wasn’t horrible, it would give them enough plausible deniability, probably. Henry noticed Larry giving a thumbs up behind his back, the man seemed to be aware of the idea of not saying stupid shit, it still would’ve been nice to have been consulted on this. Well, maybe he was just being too judgmental. “Oh, well yes, actually. The Long Day Festival is in a month correct? Well the leylines are going to be the most active they’ve been in a hundred years the day before, they get pretty active right before the long night too, actually. It’s actually a good thing, means all the islands defenses will be at peak performance. Everything’s getting spotty now with the angel issues.” Viola said.“Yeah can you believe that?” Larry replied. “I’ve heard they can’t even fly normally anymore, people have been seeing them walking the streets.” Viola said. “But that would mean that their source of mana has been cut off, and well, that’d just be silly, right?” The woman’s face revealed a tinge of fear, if only for a second. “Yeah.” Henry said. This was troublesome. Mana could be drawn from leylines to cast spells with. Generally anything of that nature was complex and written down. Very few mages were talented enough to cast directly from the source, not to mention the strain on one’s body while doing so… still, Henry couldn’t really make any guesses. Decisions:1. *inquire further* (write in)2. *leave* (will bring up locations list)3. *tell Larry to not say things so quickly once you’re a safe distance from the building*4. (write in)
>3504052>1. *inquire further* (write in)Would it be possible for us to see the lay line intersection? If she says no and my fellow snobs wish it, we could try and bribe her with that runic telegraph we had Ophelia cook upNow we have a deadline, long day festival is when it will go down... whatever it is the bug is planning
>>3504052“Would it be possible for us to see the leyline intersection?” Henry asked. “You’re standing on it, most of this island is directly over it.” Viola replied. “Ah.” Henry said. “So is there a center point to the intersection?” “Oh I see, well the chapel through the forest is the true center point, although that doesn’t have much more than a symbolic impact. Its technically open to the public, though we don’t get too many visitors out here.” “Thanks.” Henry replied. “I don’t mean to be rude, and I’ve enjoyed this conversation, but I need to be going back to work.” Viola said, breaking off the conversation and heading for the exit, leaving the door open in her rush. The woman wasted no time going down the trail Henry and Larry had come from. A moment later she had disappeared from view.“She must be going to inspect those runes.” Larry said. “So boss, where to now?”Decisions:1. *head to the chapel*2. *head out, you don’t think you’ll find much more here*3. *head deeper into the asylum to investigate* (will count as trespassing)4. (write in)
>>3505072>"Better now than later."> *head to the chapel*
>>3505184will continue when I get home from work
>>3505072“Better now than later.” Henry said, “Come on we’re already here.”“Why did I let you drag me out here again?” Larry asked. “Come on you massive baby.” The two exited the asylum’s lobby, hooked a right and took a lovely stroll along the cliffside. Henry peered past the fence and was greeted with a five story drop into the ocean. There were probably rocks jutting out as well, Henry didn’t bother looking for long. He wasn’t really afraid of heights but he knew better than to tempt fate. Larry on the other hand stood as far away from the cliff as possible. “Afraid of heights?” Henry asked.“Just not keen on dying like an idiot.” Larry said.Henry suppressed a laugh before realizing he was an utter hypocrite. Luckily Larry either didn’t hear him or was a nice enough person to not call him out for it. The forest walk took around five minutes. The forest itself was much larger than Henry had expected, but nowhere near massive enough to get lost inside. The chirping of birds and the squaking of gulls broke up the sounds of plants moving from the wind. Henry took the time to appreciate the salt air between bouts of nervously checking every possible hiding spot in case of an ambush.The church came into view. At one point it must have looked magnificent but now it was beginning to show its age. The stain glass above the entrance was dirty and there was moss and rainwater stains marring the stone architecture. However the roof, windows, and doors were completely intact and the building looked like it still served its function. It was far too early in the day for evening mass so the chances of them running across any patients was slim. Inside there were a couple of people gathered, a hooded man bowed in prayer near the front, a woman wearing a set of healers robes, and a priest making himself busy by sweeping around the pews. He looked up with a jolt when Henry and Larry made their entrance but the others didn’t react at all. The priest motioned for them to enter and pray. “There’s an angel in the rafters Henry.” Larry muttered, pointing up where an angel was perched. A nearby open window was the likely point of entry for the woman. Henry couldn’t make out her features as the angel was laying across the rafter like she was asleep. Decisions:1. *talk to someone* (choose a person, write in)2. *leave*3. *investigate the area* (write in optional, going into private rooms considered trespassing) 4. (write in)
>>3505733> 1. *talk to someone* (choose a person, write in)The hooded person. Ask if you can join them in their prayer, and afterwards ask about what they pray for. If anyone asks what we are praying for, it's health, wealth, and the safety to keep those two things down the road.
>>3505733Larry took a seat in one of the pews and began to pray without another word, Henry didn’t feel it was right to ask him what he was praying about. Even if he thought the whole thing foolish he understood Larry didn’t. He glanced to the rooms other occupants, drawing his eyes over each in turn. The hooded figure caught his attention and he felt himself drawn to him. The man was emitting a steady stream of white mana which he was manipulating into the shape of the Holy Eye. An impressive feat that only an experienced mage could perform. “Can I join you in prayer up here?” Henry asked. A pretense for starting a conversation. “You again?” The man replies, cocking his head up towards you and revealing a familiar mask.“Venser?” You ask.“Not so loud, please, I come here for privacy.” He replies, turning back towards the holy alter and continuing his prayer. After a few minutes passed, Henry asked another question. “Why do you pray, and why here of all places?” Henry asked. “A few reasons, really.” Venser said, accepting the fact he would not get any peace nor quiet until Henry was satisfied. “For one, this place is quiet and it lets me channel my mana easily enough. It’s actually a common training ground for the Paladins of the Lantern, though we generally stick to the lower beach on the far side of the island. The other reason is more personal…” “If you can’t talk about it you can’t talk about it.” Henry said.After a long time spent thinking, Venser finally replied. “I was a resident of this asylum, once upon a time. I was…. I was suicidal, I suppose, I had no reason to continue living. I was unwell, and well, the people here, helped me through that time, helped me find sanity again, and helped me find a new purpose. Now may I ask you a question, Henry? What are you doing on this particular island on this particular day?”>write in
>>3507214> Oh, you know. Trying to be a better person, or at least not making the world even more worse off than it is.> In fact, do you know if they jave any empty spots in the Sanitarium? I still think I'm sane, but sometimes it seems like the world just decided to go crazy instead. Of course, that's what I would probably think if I was insane.> Like what's happening with the leylines. It seems like things are coming to a head, but it's so frustrating not knowing WHAT is coming. > Have you gotten any insights? Whether holy revelation or just your own thoughts, I'd be glad to hear someone else's perspective.Lets pump him for info!
>>3507214This >>3507228Henry knows full well how it feels to contemplate escaping life permanently.>insert brief Cult flashbackPlus Venser has his own demons he's escaping...
>>3507214Henry was in another place, another time. The black flamed candles the Lic’toron preferred hung from the walls on holders carved from skulls, each etched with a couple of runes to keep the candles alight for that much longer. As if these murderers couldn’t be bothered having to change out candles so they could see what they were doing. Like any of this mattered.Henry remembered his brother vividly, unable to think anymore, not really a human anymore, and how he’d… he’d given the boy mercy, hadn’t he? Why was he going on anymore now? All of his family was gone, by his own hands. He didn’t care for power, he’d long ago given up on escape… why? Why why why why why why?He didn’t know, there wasn’t a reason, except that he was a coward who refused to die, who would rather hurt and kill others to protect his own pathetic life. He gazed longingly at the impromptu wooden shiv he held in his right hand. The same one he’d used to kill his brother, the same one he wanted to end his own life with but couldn’t… what could he do?The high priest… he’d kill that bastard.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>>3507405Henry startled awake from his inner reflection to find he’d been praying, sort of. He was hunched over in a prayer position and was partially covered in sweat nobody had really noticed what had happened which was incredibly fortunate. If he’d said anything compromising there would’ve been no way out.Henry noticed that Venser was staring at him, he figured the man was worried for his sake.“Oh, you know. Trying to be a better person, at the very least not making the world even worse off than it already is. In fact… do you know if they have any empty spots open in the Sanitarium… I mean I still think I’m sane, but sometimes it seems like the world just decided to go crazy instead. Of course, hats hat I’d think if I was insane.”“No Henry… no if you’d gone insane the world would seem to make perfect sense.” Venser replied. “Confusion and the inability to understand are completely normal, god doesn’t deign to make us omnipotent, some mysteries and uncertainties are only natural. As long as you hold some facts close to your heart, you’ll be okay?”“Like?” Henry asked.“What is right and what is wrong, for starters.” Venser said.“Even with recent events?” Henry asked.“Especially due to those.” Venser replied. “What’s happening with the leylines? It seems like things are coming to a head, but it’s so frustrating not knowing what is coming.” “Once again we humans are cursed and blessed with not knowing the future.” Venser said. “But the Leylines… why would you ask about them…” “Well I er, I’m studying them, yes. I was hoping to learn more about them to bolster my own abilities.” “Quite.” Venser said, not really believing Henry’s lie.“Have you gotten any insights? Whether holy or your own thoughts? I’d be glad to hear someone else’s perspective.”“Henry… I think we’re a lot alike, a little too much in some ways… so you’re probably already aware but. This city is sick to the core. There are groups that do inhuman things to people, horrible things. Things the church buries due to people in power… I want to change that, to sweep away the corruption and the evil from this city, from my home. I’ve heard of a monster that’s been attacking the cult of progress, I believe that you will find more answers when you’ve slain that beast.”Venser stood up and began to head off, before turning around and leaning in close. Henry could see the man’s neck, covered in scar tissue and old burn wounds.“Beware the cult of progress Henry, true evil lies within it.” Decisions:1. “Vague aren’t you.”2. “How do you know about the beast?” 3. (write in)
>>3507414>"How do you know about the beast?”>"Can I trust you Venser, or are you in league with whoever is doing these? I just want to figure out what's going on, kill you-know-who, and secure the bounty. If the entire city is in danger thanks to the leylines being fucked with or something, then that's a problem nobody else knows or cares about to stop it happening." Shrug. "Nobody but me at least.">"And you're wrong. True evil lies under everyone's noses. If you think the Cult of Progress is the only problem, you're dead fucking wrong... but nothing going on in Avignon now is related to that can of worms.">"Are you going to help me or not, Venser?"
>>3507414“How do you know about the beast?” Henry asked.“News of it has gotten all over town, the church is abuzz with news of the thing. My order isn’t too keen on fighting it based on reports so we’re leaving it up to the heavies of the church.” Venser said. “No sense wasting gheist hunters on a tangible creature.The two exited from the church and began a walk through the woods. Henry realized he was leaving Larry behind but he figured the man would be smart enough to stay put for a little bit.“Can I trust you Venser? Or are you in league with whoever is doing this? I want to figure out what’s going on, kill you-know-who, and secure the bounty.” “You know who… in league with? Do you mean the insect? Of course I’m not working with the insect, Henry, that’s absurd.” Venser replied, sternly. “Look if the entire city is in danger thanks to the leylines being fucked with or something, then that’s a problem nobody else knows or cares about to stop.” Henry said, shrugging. “Nobody but me at least.”“Henry, I’m going to let you know this as politely as you can, I have no idea what you are talking about.” Henry heard the man’s voice waver for but a moment but from that he knew the man was hiding something. “And you’re wrong, true evil lies under everyone’s noses. If you think the Cult of Progress is the only problem, you’re dead fucking wrong. Not everything going on in Avignon now is related to what I’m talking about, of course, but there’s far worse things in this world.” “Henry, you have no IDEA what you’re talking about, I’m very, very familiar with the cult, and I’ll tell you right now that they will destroy this world of ours and destroy everything sacred. Life itself is considered their plaything to do with as they see fit! You must not treat them lightly.” Venser said, the cold anger distinct in his voice. It reminded Henry of himself when he was younger, right after you’d escaped the Lic’toron. “Are you going to help me or not, Venser?”“With what, Henry?” Venser asked. Decisions:1. “With the monster”2. “to take down the cult of progress” 3. “To take down a much greater threat.” 4. “I don’t know”5. (write in)
>>3507607> 5. (write in)> With doing the right thing. With not just the threat of the cult, but by being honest with me. I don't want to accidentally become a danger myself, stumbling over good intentions, but at the same time the world happens to be where I keep all my stuff so I can't just ignore what's happening and pretend that there's only the immediate threat.> I'm going to stumble into whatever is happening. I'd appreciate knowing just what it is though so I don't accidentally make things worse.
>>3507639roll 1d100 for charisma
Rolled 8 (1d100)>>3507639
>>3507743Huh.Someone else want to roll?
>>3507771Guess it's time to fail forward.Hopefully what I wrote is enough to just make thos a failure and not a negative result.You can't crit fail skill checks, right? Right?
Rolled 53 (1d100)>>3507730
>>3507607“With doing the right thing! Look, I don’t want to become a danger to the city myself, stumbling over my own good intentions. There’s a lot of things going on right now and I can’t just keep ignoring everything and only focusing on immediate threats. If I’m going to stumble into whatever is happening. I’d appreciate knowing just what it is though so I don’t accidentally make things worse.”Venser was quiet for a long time, the two emerged from the forest before he began talking again. “Henry, I respect you a lot, and I mean that. I’ve seen far too many good people get turned into mincemeat trying to do the right thing foolishly. Please leave it to the professionals.” “That’s all?” Henry asked. “Henry… would you like my assistance in destroying the insect?” Venser asked. “I’d only have two stipulation. I would require you to dispose of the entire body, no piece of that vile thing should remain, let the fire claim it and let whatever poor soul it used to be find rest. Secondly, the church will claim full credit for its destruction. I realize that the Cult of Progress has offered a massive bounty, and that I could never offer anything close, but still, I’d offer whatever meager sum I could manage.”Decisions:1. “No.”2. “Yes”3. “Why do you not want them to have the body?” 4. (write in)
>>3508000calling it a night
>>3508000> 4. (write in)"Sounds like you plan on destroying the insect anyways. Since you don't want to work with me, I'll flip it around and offer to work with you. But you'll have to pay me for it. If you trust me enough by the end to tell me what's going on, you can pay me with the truth. If not; well maybe you can't match the bounty. But you can pay me by owing me a favour. How big? I'll leave that to you to compare to the value of what you won't tell me. Also in coinage please, whatever you can scrounge up."The truth is priceless, but having Venser really owe us is valuable too. We can use that to get backup another time, or maybe he can help us with getting looting opportunities I mean chances to help out elsewhere.
>>3508105Now that is a very cleverl line of thought
>>3508376I like how all these writeins are in character for Henry too, in their own ways. He wants to be a good guy but he's been in shit beyond what a regular guy might take and lived it, so he has no choice but to be an anti-hero only out for himself mostly - but not when MANY people are in danger (see Grutzberg, the zombie raids in the town with Larry) or if people he values are in danger (see everybody he's 'friends' with). He passes it off as self-interest, but there's clearly more to it than that.
>>3508375>>3508376How to get a bigger reward 101, guilt.Clearly we consider the truth Venser knows to be the most valuable thing he owns. But honestly if he can't share it with us, fuck him and his high horse he rode in on.So by leaving the "favour" in his hands, one that he's admitted he can't offer a fair reward for helping him out, there's a lot of pressure for him to share the truth with us as it's really the only thing he has worth us helping him.But if he isn't willing to even consider it, then we're off to the other team. We've done all we reasonably can to work with him.Also still give us money because we have bills.
>>3508937>>3508619>>3508390>>3508376>>3508375>>3508105will update after I've had dinner
>>3508000“Sounds like you plan on destroying the insect anyways.” Henry said. “Since you don’t want to work with me, I’ll flip it around and offer to work with you. I’ll expect payment of course, and heck, if you trust me enough by the end to tell me what’s going on, you can pay me with the truth.” “You’d think that, but no, I don’t. The order has been expressly forbidden from dealing with this particular case. The church is also dead set on keeping the inquisition out of it so that only leaves members of the church proper and the cult’s mercenaries.”“You said that you’d offer to help me destroy the bug!” Henry said. “I offered assistance, I have no intention to fight it.” Venser replied. “All I know is that they’re up to something, but I’m not sure what exactly. Regardless I have no intention of being directly tied to this case, Henry.” “Directly tied… you’re worried someone will recognize you or something? You’re worried the cult is going to launch a cover up, correct?” “I keep forgetting how intelligent you are.” Venser replied. “You want me to owe you something, I believe. That’s why you offered to help me… yet, I’m afraid I cannot accept that offer. Simply for the fact I have no interest in hunting down an insect, and no interest in owing someone I don’t know all that well. I can’t trust anyone these day’s Henry. I know you try to do the right thing, but doing the right thing isn’t always what solves the problem. Unless you have something further to add, we’re done here.” “One thing bothers me, actually.” Henry said. “How did you know that the bug used to be a human? I’m fairly sure that piece of information hasn’t been disclosed to the public. Heck I only know because I’ve actually seen the thing. If you’ve been forbidden from searching for it… then you wouldn’t have any way to know, unless you were involved in this somehow.”Venser stopped for a moment, went to speak, and stopped a second time. Finally he found the words.“I’d like you to look into a certain incident that occurred in Magica, Henry.” Venser said, “When you’ve finished that I’d like to speak to you once more, and we’ll be able to continue this conversation. The Cracked Bell will ring true.” With that Venser was off, the man cast a flight spell and kicked off the ground, sailing off the cliff and back towards shore. Henry grit his teeth at the rebuke but he’d learned some very interesting snippets of information. There was something going on but he didn’t know what. Perhaps it was time to pay the Cult a visit. Decisions:1. *head to the cult of progess’ HQ to see the bounty and inquire for information*2. *head back to the asylum to check for clues*3. *head home and regroup*4. *write in*>lorekeepers note: I realize this is a bit of whiplash but this is the best way I could piece together the scene with what I had.
>>3509805> 1. *head to the cult of progess’ HQ to see the bounty and inquire for information*I mean. Giving it to the Cult of Progress is a great misdirection for keeping the corpse itself.
>>3509832>“One thing bothers me, actually.” Henry said. “How did you know that the bug used to be a human? I’m fairly sure that piece of information hasn’t been disclosed to the public. Heck I only know because I’ve actually seen the thing. If you’ve been forbidden from searching for it… then you wouldn’t have any way to know, unless you were involved in this somehow.”>Venser stopped for a moment, went to speak, and stopped a second time.GOT EMBacking >>3509834Magica incident? The Cracked Bell? The Lanterns ARE in on this, but to what extent? Whoever is leading this must be a madman to endanger so many innocents recklessly, assuming ley line bullshit will do something like desoul everyone standing on them - because of course it will. Either way, that Lantern fuckboy from the vampire manor and back at Del Mar's house is a link we can also pursue
>>3508390I agree completely, this quest has some of the best write ins I have seen.Henry is a very complicated character that actually seems very realistic
>>3510934I've been called into work for a double shift, I won't be home till 10-10:30 eastern, I will try to crank out updates then if I'm up for it. I'll post an update to this thread regardless
>>3510987All of the best with your double, Lorekeeper. We look forward to your return
>>3510987Make that money yo!
>>3509832Henry regrouped with Larry and the two proceeded down to the docks, Larry hugging the cliffside the entire way. Henry got a nice view of the beach where a couple of mages were training, likely a few Order of Lantern paladins or perhaps staff members of the asylum. Fortunately Malory had decided to wait for them although she constantly reminded the two that she could’ve left at any moment. Henry kindly told her to bring them as close to the Cult of Progress HQ as possible, and she grudgingly accepted. After Henry explained his conversation with Venser to Larry, the boat ride consisted of Larry making all sorts of wild predictions about what was actually going on. Up to and including the idea that it was all ghosts behind it, that the church had been taken over by a bunch of zombies, and other farfetched tales. Henry occasionally cracked a grin at a few of the ideas, and the two had a generally good time. The sun had really started to set by the time they arrived at the location, having disembarked and headed several miles inland. Malory had explained no non registered ships were allowed up the canal that lead to the HQ, so the two were forced to walk.Upon arriving the place was a swarm of activity. The biggest feature was a massive banner depicting a rough outline of the bug, with the words “Insectoid Abomination, Reward 50 gold pieces, additional reward for complete retrieval of corpse, 30 gold pieces.” Henry stood slack jawed and suddenly didn’t feel so bad about snapping at Ophelia, they’d just lost eighty fucking gold. They could’ve lived off that much for the rest of their lives. “Holy feck.” Larry muttered. “No wonder you were so pissed.” “Yeah.” Henry said, grabbing a poster from a cult of progress initiate containing more details. The normal reward would be gained directly from the cult of progress while the additional reward would have to be sought with old Ludwig himself, however that would grant Henry console with the man, which was worth far more than the gold itself. He’d be able to pitch his creation to the man. The fact that it was technically Ophelia’s creation was an insubstantial detail. >write in
>>3512564heading to sleep!
>>3512564>Get a few info papers about the bounty for the others back at the warehouse to see>Head on into the HQ and find someone to talk to, should be a person set to manage this already
>>3513264Henry grabs a couple more copies of the bounty information from a bored looking cult initiate and then promptly returns to the warehouse with Larry in tow. The walk is fairly long, the Cult HQ is practically on the other side of the city. By the time they get home the sun is just barely hanging in the sky, any later and they would have to deal with the ghiest tide. Henry notices an above average number of angels flying around, probably searching for any sign of the creature. You need to end this fast and dirty if you have any hope of claiming the bounty. You have one leg up on everyone else though, and her name is Ophelia. If anyone can find the thing it’s her. As you enter the lab you find Ophelia hunched over her desk and writing like a madwoman possessed, Requin’s Journal laid open like a broken crypt. Johnny explains she’s managed to crack enough of the code where the journal is legible, and she’s currently translating it. Henry isn’t exactly surprised, the journal seemed incredibly complex and even Ophelia was bound to run into trouble. The second piece of news is less expected, Ophelia managed to find its location using the blood the thing had left behind.“We now have a fairly good idea where its hiding.” Johnny said. “A small observatory about two miles from the city. Nestled up in the mountains near Magica.” Johnny doesn’t have any further details on the place, but the information he’s given should be plenty. More information is going to be needed you figure. Where exactly the place is, what it is, who owns or used to own it, and what the places’ layout is. Of course there could be things you haven’t thought up quite yet.“Alright alright, we need to come up with a plan for tomorrow.” Henry says. “Do we press our attack now or gather information?”“We can always find out the whys and how’s once we get our reward.” Larry says. “Just make sure we keep the pieces separate this time so it doesn’t pull another magic trick.” “I’ve prepared the corpses to be raised, just a bit more work and we’ll have a couple of soldiers.” Charles says happily. “Just as you taught me! We need to beat everyone else, we’re in a race against them! The thing won’t stay hidden for much longer, so let’s get it tomorrow!”
>>3513349 “I think we need more info.” Ophelia chimes in. “This journal… the man was quite mad by the time he let go of his humanity. Once we’re done this group voting session I’m going to have to explain, aren’t I?” Everyone turned toward Ophelia at the same time. The woman grinned nervously and shrunk back behind her desk until only the upper half of her head was visible. You hear something along the lines of ‘do I really have to?’ “I’ll be honest Henry, I’m split on this.” Johnny says. “A fast strike would be optimal, the creature is still injured from the attacks it suffered from Ophelia, and could still be healing from when you bisected it. I don’t believe it has any direct access to healing magic so the only thing it has is its regeneration. “And the missing mages.” Henry adds.“I think I have an idea of what he’s done to them, but I’ll wait my turn, because Johnny asked.” Ophelia adds, the woman is grumpy and her displeasure leaks into every word. “Please do.” Henry said. “And on the other hand, Johnny?’“On the other hand we have no idea what the terrain is, no idea the extent of the creatures powers. We don’t know if it has created allies for itself, we don’t know what other parties have gotten this far, and we don’t know how he relates to that group of misfits we ran into before.” “So you’re not voting?” “I’m not sure quite yet.” Johnny said.“I vote to go tomorrow.” Larry says. “I vote tomorrow as well. If we bring the two corpses then we’ll have enough people to take it!” Charles adds. “I want to come to!”“I vote to wait a day and gather more intel.” Ophelia replies. “I…I vote to wait another day, but no more. We are against the clock here.” Johnny adds.Henry sighs, he’s the tiebreaker. Why does he always have to make the hard choices?“ Decisions:1. Attack Tomorrow2. Gather further intel (will use up 1 more day) 3. (write in)Secondary decision:1. *Ask questions to the group* (write in)2. *Tell Ophelia to explain what she’s discovered*
>>3513351How far off is the day when leylines are amped again?
>>3513573a little more than three weeks at this point in time
>>3513623Ok cool>>3513351>Gather further intel (will use up 1 more day)>"We still have a few leyline spots to check, so we have to make the most of it. Killing Del Mar might not stop his plan if it's automatic.">(Ask the group how they've been doing since you were out. Status updates never hurt.)>(Tell them your encounter with Venser, as well as the lingering questions he left you. Both the Inquisition AND the Order are forbidden from involvement by the Church, so why would Venser want full kill bug credit to go to the Church if he worked with you? How did he know the bug was human if he hasn't been involved? Was that Lantern trainee his proxy all along? If he's so dead set against the Cult, why wouldn't he and his Order consider working with Del Mar against them if he's also bent on revenge against the Cult? Why would they torch Del Mar's house to get rid of evidence if he acted alone AND they are opposing him? How do the ley lines fit into all this? What incident in Magica was Venser talking about? What is the Cracked Bell? Why is Venser such a vague cunt?)>(Tell Ophelia to explain what she’s discovered)
>>3513760will update after dinner, for the moment voting is open
>>3513947>>3513760will begin writing once I've sobered up a bit more
>>3513351“Alright, first off, we need more intel before I’d feel comfortable committing any of us to this.” Henry says as dispassionately as he could manage. He watched as Charles’ expression darkened and Larry muttered a couple of curses about how all they’ve been doing was waiting and seeing. “Do you have a problem with this Larry?” Henry asked.“Yes, I do. The thing attacked us twice now and we’re just sitting on our hands.”“I get it, but we can’t barge in Larry, you know that. I refuse to let any of us end up dead for something as stupid as poor planning. Do you want to shoulder any of our deaths?” “Fine, fuck.” Larry replied. “Only cause it’s you, otherwise I’d be halfway across the bay by now.” “We have a few more leyline spots to check, so we have to make the most of our available time. If Requin Del Mar is doing something involving them we need to ensure that his plan isn’t automatic.” Henry continued. Ophelia looked like a blow fish with how much she was struggling to remain silent. The woman raised a hand and then finally began to talk before a glance from Johnny made her rethink her decision. “How have you all been doing since we’ve been out?” Henry asked.“Nothing much, I got the corpses loaded into the cold room, got the door sealed, and all the prep’s done for raising them.” Charles said.“No activity along the outside wall, I helped Ophelia find a bloodstain so she could track the beast. I also patched up the broken skylight so we don’t have to sleep in a puddle the next time it rains.” Johnny continued. “I cracked the book, why is nobody congratulating me?” Ophelia indignantly added. “I tracked the insectoid down, and not a thank you, not a ‘you’re amazing Ophelia’, not even a ‘good job!’” “Good work Ophelia, truly.” Henry said, giving her a thumbs up and a wink. “Fffffff… not like that!” Ophelia complained.“Well think you’re doing a fantastic job!” Larry said. He grinned at Ophelia before shrinking back into his seat during the awkward silence that followed.Henry went over his encounters with Venser, detailing what he’d said to the man, what the man had told him, and his suspected involvement with some aspect of the ongoing events.“It makes perfect sense that the lanterns would be barred from acting. The Inquisition being barred is not only ludicrous but impossible.” Johnny said after some thought.“Why is that?” Henry asked.
>>3514593Yeah Johnny, why is that?
>>3514593“Paladins take a while to train, it’s very ill advised to waste them on a threat that could be more adequately handled by rank and file. Though this seems to be a case where the inquisition would be incredibly useful, if a group of them could be contracted or pulled down via high decree. In most places that’d be difficult on such short notice but Avignon is a massive city with its own detachment of inquisitors. I suspect the church proper is hiding information and trying to cover up the incidents, its likely someone in high authority is aligned with the cult, as much as it pains me to say. Regardless, the Gold has no authority whatsoever to interfere with the affairs of the Silver. I assume Venser knew this, and thus that means that someone in the Gold is trying to stop the inquisition from gathering information. The Inquisition normally uses the church to supplement its own information gathering. So I suspect the church is simply delaying the inquisition rather than outright stopping them. I doubt that this state of affairs is stable. Its likely that the Cult is caught on the backfoot for some reason, or they would’ve come up with a more secure plan” “Probably the Ring who’s behind the cover up on the church’s side.” Ophelia said, chiming in.“Who, the Archbishop?” Henry asked.“Yes, the Archbishop of Avignon, the man’s always had a soft spot for the Cult, to the point the Cult awarded him the title of ‘Ring Finger’ for his service to their cause.” Ophelia said. “The man isn’t an genius inventor; in fact he’s not brilliant at all! He just spouts pretty lies that idiots gobble right up! I don’t why he is valued so highly by them!“A bastardization of the Ring of authority they wield no doubt.” Johnny said. “Disgusting, the man should be utterly ashamed of himself for letting outsiders influence him like this.” “So why would Venser want the church to get the credit?” Larry asked. “Probably to avoid an incident involving the Lanterns” Johnny replied. “He probably doesn’t want his name associated with us or this incident either. I can hardly blame us, we’re not exactly reputable.” “Maybe he’s being watched by someone who’d notice.” Henry said. “Maybe he’s trying to lay low till this blows over?” “What about that student he was with… odd I don’t recall his name.” Ophelia said. “The one at the party in that Chateau.” “I don’t think he gave us his name.” Henry said. “It’s obvious the two are close and working on something… wait…I might’ve fucked things up when I murdered that guy back at Requin’s house…”“Don’t tell me, you murdered someone before you had any real reason to? Again?” Johnny said, exasperation and exhaustion flowing freely.
>>3514616“He leveled a weapon on me, fucks sake! You try talking to a man who just spat a geyser of flame at you.”“I see your point.” Johnny replied. “If he was considered at all valuable then we will probably be unable to reconcile now.”“Nobody saw my face.” Henry said. “I don’t think they had the time to try and cast any scry spells either.” “I hope so for my sake.” Ophelia said. “I don’t want to have to run for my life after spending so much time on this workshop!"“Alright here’s my two cents.” Henry said. “I think Venser might be working with that gaggle of fucks in some capacity, though obviously not in any real role of authority. I’m guessing his main man is that paladin who was leading them. They might have more people, but all of them really hate the church. Now here’s where I get into guesswork. I think Requin when nutty and turned himself into a giant bug-““CAN I PLEASE TALK NOW!? THANK YOU!?” Ophelia screamed. Everyone turned and stared as Ophelia rushed behind her workstation and wheeled out a blackboard covered in notes spastically arranged in a fashion befitting a seven year old. “Alright, so I’m going to go over the basic facts. Johnny says you don’t have the attention span for the juicy bits.” “Like what?” Henry said.“How he turned himself into a bug… I mean, the sheer amount of work that went into such a spell… the time and the craftsmenship…”“Okay I get it, fuck.” Henry added. “Yeah I don’t really need to hear about how he was diddling bugs.” Larry added. “I’d like to learn the spells when you finish, if that’s okay.” Charles said. “Any magic I can learn will be useful!” “Alright, so from his journal he joined up with this group five years ago. He uses a bunch of code words for names and what not. The man was part of a small mage guild that was absorbed into the cult proper and he lost his job, his authority, and all of his prior titles due to a sham trial about stolen work.” Ophelia said. “After that he goes little nutty. I… I wasn’t really able to understand some of the things he was saying on a cursory glance.”
>>3514621Ravings of a madman.” Johnny added. “Look, he works on ways to destroy the cult, begins to enact them, and is stopped by some sort of anti cult of progress group. They recruit him and get him to work on understanding the cycles of the leylines and the history of the city, and this is where it gets interesting. There used to be cliffside that ran a ring around the entire bay that was mostly destroyed by a massive tidal wave that struck here almost a thousand years back, according to church records and local myths. It came from somewhere within the sea of eyes, I don’t have more details and Requin certainly didn’t. So he tries to learn about this wave some more, apparently there is an artifact of some kind that can control the tide, and could summon forth the wave again if charged with enough mana.”“How the hell does destroying the city solve anything?” Henry asked. “That can’t be right! Who the hell could even hope to control a spell like that, they’re probably be destroyed casting it! Hell even a group of people-” “I don’t know, most of this is inane ramblings of a broken mind, okay? Half of this is him talking about his pets and the other half is him thinking up creative ways to maim the former members of his group.” Ophelia pleaded.“Probably the people he butchered.” Henry added. “But why the bug?” “He talked about a revelation he got, I don’t really understand it, but he said he saw the eye of the church and it spoke to him one night. Telling him about how he needed to cast off his humanity, and to uh… become worthy, and to lead the human race to salvation.”“So the lunatic was a lunatic.” Larry remarked. “Big whoop.” “Well, there is a problem, actually. He talked about converting as many mages as he could find into the ‘glorious swarm’ and wreaking ‘holy vengeance’ upon the uninitiated.” Ophelia said, finishing. “I think that’s why he captured those mages, he’s turning them into more bugs. I found some diagrams in the book and they don’t seem to be as strong as him, so he can maintain control of his swarm, but they might still be able to cast spells if his calculations were correct. They might also share thoughts if this ‘glorious hivemind’ thing is anything to go off of“That changes things.” Henry said. “Actually that might change everything, we have limited time then, very limited time...”
>>3514641“If he is able to grow his swarm then I doubt our group will be anywhere near sufficient. A purge might be called in from the local angel’s roost if it becomes a large threat to the city. We should gather any further information and then strike tomorrow day.” Johnny said, his hands holding the edge of the table in a death grip. “I hate to ask but our best bet would to be getting additional hands, maybe you could contact Rosa? A healer would be invaluable.” “I… I’ll consider it.” Henry replied.“More people means more splitting the gold.” Larry said.“Its eighty feckin gold Larry, it’s a lot of gold.” Henry said. “That’s twenty for each of us… sixteen if Rosa agrees.” Charles explained, bouncing up and down now that he had the chance to be helpful. Henry could tell the boy hated not being able to contribute. Henry decided to change the topic of the conversation back to the mage.. the bug… the bug mage. “So he’s completely lost it?” Henry asked.“I don’t know actually.” Ophelia said. “He spoke to me… um… about something in my forehead, before. Something called the knowledge crystal, he seemed to know what it was and I didn’t see anything in the notes. I want to ask him.”The others shared a horrified look between themselves before Ophelia stomped her feet.“I’m going to subdue him first, then I’ll pull the information out of that carapaced skull of his! Obviously Did you really think I’d just… stroll up to his front door with a boquet of roses in my hand and ask him very nicely for information. Do you think we’d have a nice cup of tea together?!” “I think I speak for everyone when I uh… that’s horrible.” Charles said. “Right, one last question for everyone. Does anyone know what the hell the Cracked Bell is?” “No idea.” Charles said. “Sorry…” “Not a clue, nothing comes to mind, might’ve been more recent.” Johnny added.”“Nope, nothing bud.” Larry said. “I… no I’m sorry I don’t know, maybe it’s the name of a tavern or something?” Ophelia offered. >write in
>>3514646>It's getting late, no sense going out right now if gheist tide is up>Have everyone go do whatever, check on the corpses Charles prepared. Never hurts to have a second opinion starting out.>Have Johnny wake you up early tomorrow morning. If you act efficiently you could have the last leyline locations checked by nightfall
>>3514646“Unless anyone has anything else to say, this meeting is done.” Henry yawned. The entire day had been physically, mentally, a spiritually exhausting. He didn’t know what to think of his grandfather, he felt something akin to joy, but he was uncertain whether or not he wanted to let the others know. It was a problem that could be handled later. “Charles, get the corpses ready for use, I’m going to do final prep on them tomorrow but I’d like to have some backup if we decide to go in. They’ll be a heck of a lot more replaceable than any of us are.” “Yes sir!” Charles said, rushing towards the coldroom and carefully sliding the busted door over the floor. The scraping noise was an affront to Henry’s ears but he wasn’t about the give the kid a hard time for it. The corpses were in excellent condition, had been preserved and prepared properly, and the armor had been sown on by Ophelia from the looks of things. A couple of experimental runes had been hastily carved into the armor but sat inactive. “Johnny, I’d like to speak with you about a battle plan once we know what the location is like. In addition I want you to wake me up at the crack of dawn tomorrow so I can scout out the last of the leyline locations. Do you think there is anything we’d need?”“Bomb runes for starters.” Johnny said. “I’m also very serious about getting Rosa’s assistance, Henry. That woman is a very talented mage and she is able to both cast and dispel enchantments. I suspect the insect will try to utilize some of them, based on the fact he was a mage. Not to mention any others he might have converted. Also there is the fact that you’ve been hiding this harebrained scheme from her. The woman cares for you deeply, Henry. She was worried enough after your episode, I think you might want to talk to her tomorrow.” “I … I don’t know.” Henry said. Decisions:1. *Get Rosa’s Help* (write in optional)2. *Leave her out of this* (write in optional)
>>3516489> *Get Rosa’s Help* Fuck it, if it was ne and she kept me out I'd be angry. Might as well show her the same level of trust.
gonna wait till tomorrow to see if anyone wants to join in, its a very important decision. I'd also start discussing tactics for the upcoming fight. I'm not going to go easy.
>>3516489This >>3516493We've faced like 4 different life-threatening scenarios with her and lived. No sense in leaving her out.
>>3516654He's in a big tower and might have converted bugmages with spells of their own. If they can immediately tell when one of their own is killed thru hivemind BS, then even a stealth kill will bring up red flags. Might have to scout the place with another cat and place corpses nearby to use when needed. If corpses rush in first, then they might seem to be previous attackers who died in the attack. Bonus if we put church colors on their armor, but Rosa could see through that - maybe generic brigand shit?Also Rosa doesn't know Henry is a necromancer. And she'll be there with the team.Oh boy...
>>3516868Summon undead cats.Bury different kinds of bomb runes inside them.Send them off to explode in the tower.Then we just have to explain the cat corpses in the tower as "bugs have to eat".Can we summon a bunch of undead insects as well to swarm around? For later purposes.
>>3516489“Alright Johnny, you’re right. I need to get her help and put some faith in her already.” Henry said. “I guess I was just trying to keep her safe.” “If you’re worried about using undead you could just send an initial wave of them in to mop the place up.” Johnny offered. “Perhaps give Charles control of them? The boy seems eager to help, and it would still keep him mostly out of harm’s way. Perhaps attach some bomb runes to them, I believe setting them off should be easy enough.”“Not a bad idea. Except for the bomb rune part, Johnny, it’d be far too advanced for Charles to pull off. Simply controlling more than one undead remotely is a challenge, but using that connection to set off bomb runes is something only I could pull off. So it’ll have to be me.” Henry said. “I think there are a few pauper’s graveyards we could hit, I could probably hit up a contact in the local trash collection to see if they have any animal corpses. What’s with you, it’s a bit odd for you to suggest necromancy.” “I view this monster as a far greater threat than a handful of zombies and a few desecrated corpses, Henry. It could very well threaten the city, or at least the surrounding towns and hamlets. It’s a hazard that needs to be dealt with. I don’t have any illusions of you giving the bounty up by going to the church either. It’s the best of a bunch of bad choices for me, don’t treat this as acceptance of your chosen art form. Were I still alive I would be personally lead a purification squad and cleanse that place completely.”“Fair.”“As for the observatory, I could probably scout it out on my lonesome based on the map Ophelia drafted. If the creatures are searching for living threats then I should be able to avoid their perception. I think I can avoid being spotted as well.” “Also a good idea.” Henry replied. “I’d like to join you and send a puppet inside to check on things, I believe I still have a rat corpse I can use, the trap that caught it didn’t break its neck somehow. ” “As for Rosa… we could just say the corpses must have been from locals, do you think she’d notice?” Henry asked.“We could say the bugs were trying to practice necromancy.” Johnny replied. “There are a lot of things we could do, truth be told. Speaking of things to do, Ophelia really did want to speak with you.”
>>3517637“Fine I’ll go speak with the madwoman.” Henry begrudgingly conceded. Ophelia was pretty much where Henry expected her to be, buried in her work. The woman was busy translating parts of Requin’s journal, and it seemed like she was actually enjoying it. Henry had no idea how she could find something as dull as translation to be a fun enterprise. Henry coughed a couple of times to get the woman’s attention, then called out her name, and then finally shook her until she snapped back into reality.“Wha-, Henry! Just who I wanted to speak to!” Ophelia said, excitedly. “I know that we’re going to be attacking a fortified location and I wanted to make a bit of a suggestion. I have a way to ensure none of us are harmed during the assault”“Go on…” Henry said, bracing for whatever plan her twisted mind could come up with.“We can activate Ticky II and use this as a trial run! An actual combat experience, and even better I’ve calculated that there’s no risk that we’d lose him based on my encounters with Requin’s insectoid form. His armor is far too tough for that bug to claw through, and since the bug only uses blue mana spells, Ticky is completely impervious to anything he could conjure up! It’s perfect!”“What’s the catch Ophelia.”“The catch? What are you talking about, this is perfect!”“Ophelia, the body’s been done with the body for a few weeks now, correct? The biggest issue we’ve run into is that we’ve been unable to procure or create a proper ghiest to inhabit the thing. I do have the binding enchantments more or less ready to go, sure, but I’d need to do fine tuning on those with time we don’t have.”“Henry… I’ve been thinking about why Ticky went on a rampage in Grutzberg and I believe I’ve figured it out. The soul I bound to the thing had already been separated from its body yet still clung to the world, the woman was obviously unsuitable in the first place, mentally unsound. I hadn’t realized just how big of a problem that was! The binding process just confused and enraged it even further! The simple solution to this problem would be to bind someone who was still alive to the thing. Sure their body would be left an empty shell but you could probably find a use for that. You’d save some money on guard expenses. Heck we could probably find some orphan off the streets and use him.”Henry simply stared at Ophelia. The woman was grinning wide at the prospect of destroying someone and enslaving them into a hunk of metal in the basic shape of a person. She was completely serious, and by the way she was bouncing in her chair said everything she already hadn’t. Henry didn’t need to hear anymore.Decisions:1. *yes*2. *no*3. “Ophelia if you ever speak of this again I really will kill you.”4. (write in)
>>3517654>4. (write in)Could probably find volunteers among people with crippled bodies; not likely in time for an assault though. But you seriously didn't think that using unwilling participants, like with the gheist, may negatively affect the outcome? I honestly thought you had accounted for that and used some method to pacify them, but wow. Just, wow. Didn't even occur to you. Honestly, were you going to just kidnap people and try this again with them? Because I really am getting sick of cleaning up your messes.So, no. Nooooooooo. Very much no.Unless you're volunteering yourself to be put into it.
>>3517654“NO!” “Listen to me Henry, this will work, I know it will!” Ophelia pleaded. Henry could feel his rage welling up as Ophelia eagerly waited for his reply. She didn’t know, of course she didn’t know, and of course she didn’t feel guilt over this, all she cared about were her own projects. Henry took deep breaths and clenched his fists behind his back all in an effort to remain calm. “Are you volunteering Ophelia?” Henry snapped at her.“Heavens no, any soul bound to Ticky II won’t be able to use mana as its connection to its body and mind will be severed. I’m almost 100% certain it’s going to be irreversible to boot. I need to be able to use magic to continue my research, and you’d probably just get rid of me the second I broke down.” Ophelia retorted.“You could probably find volunteers among people with crippled bodies, those with long term illness, or lepers.” Henry offered. He sighed as the spike of anger slowly subsided. He could stay calm, he had to stay calm. “I thought of that, Henry.” Ophelia immediately replied. “I suggested using a child because they have fewer memories that would conflict with the new body. I think the gheist that inhabited Ticky died during childbirth, and she was stuck clinging to that memory along with everything else. I was cataloging everything during his rampage after all! If we use a young host with fewer memories then I’m almost certain we could negate those problems.”“You don’t think using an unwilling host will negatively affect the outcome?” “Are you saying your binding enchantments won’t be effective Henry? There is no reason I can think of why they wouldn’t work here! I’ve looked at them myself, I think you could do it with only a few alterations. It’ll be far easier AND cheaper than making a ghiest from scratch, and I think it’s incredibly unlikely that we’ll be able to find one that’ll fit Ticky II’s profile.” Henry bit his tongue, she was right, as much as he hated to admit. He very well could pull a soul out of an unfortunate and bind it to the machine, that host would be in a similar situation to Johnny. But that would be demonic magic. Magic he had sworn to never use again… but it would work…“Honestly were you going to just kidnap people and try this with them, Ophelia? I’m losing my patience with your quirks and I’m getting sick of cleaning your messes.”“I…I’m not perfect…” Ophelia said, clenching her fists and starting at Henry’s feet. “I can’t do this on my own, I’m not good with people, okay? Something would probably go wrong again if I tried doing this myself, that’s why… I want… I need your help okay?!” Henry simply stared in mild shock. It looked like Ophelia was in pain after what she’d just said, a lot of pain. She was seriously admitting to having a fault and asking someone else for help. Decision:1. *yes*2. *no*3. (write in)
>>3518897>2. *no*Not this way. First of all, those binding enchantments are always a risk, second of all there's a line between being a genius and a monster.This IS us helping Ophelia. It can be frustrating, so frustrating to take the longer way around to do things right. But as a person, as a *craftsman*, we're telling her that it's not worth it to take a shortcut. Especially with prototypes.Ophelia, as much as she frustrates us sometimes, seems to be so used to things coming easy to her that she takes the easy way out whenever she runs into an obstacle. We actually do believe in her, in that she can do amazing things. But more importantly, we believe that she can become even better if she can grow like this.After all, "not being good with people" is a trait we share. She just hasn't had someone like Johnny to push her down the more difficult path until now.Oh god. Oh dear heavens and hells. I just realized I'm becoming my dad.
>>3518897For these interactions, I always think of the friction between research academics and engineers.
>>3518952>>3518947I will begin writing late tomorrow morning/early afternoon.
>>3519936Hopefully other people vote!But I also hope to read Henry having to deal with Johnny being smug about having become such an influence on him.Henry: Not a total bastard who sacrifices orphans.After all, if worst comes to worst we can run to the Church and draw Venser to them and let them deal with it.
>>3518897>>3518947My word anon, that is very well stated. You have my support!
>>3518897“Ophelia, once again, no.” “Why?!” Ophelia asked, despair and confusion seeping through every word. “Several reasons, one, the binding enchantments are always a risk-“ Henry started, quickly being interrupted by a very noisy inventor.“Hence why we’d need to install a kill mechanism in case he goes rogue! But even then, that’s very unlikely to happen!” Ophelia complained. “Please, I am so close I know I can do this!”“The other reason Ophelia, is that I don’t want you to become a monster. There is a very fine line between that and being a genius, Ophelia. Think about what you’re saying, you want to completely destroy someone’s life? For what? A hunk of metal?!” “A hunk of… Henry, this is progress, do you think it’s going to happen without any sacrifices?! This is the culmination of my life’s work! Here and now, to give life to something inert, something not dead or alive!” “I WILL NOT SACRIFICE ANYONE FOR THAT!” Henry defiantly screamed. “I WON’T SACRIFICE ANYONE FOR OUR SELFISH REASONS, AND I WILL NOT SACRIFICE ANOTHER CHILD!” Ophelia’s eyes widened and the woman took a few steps back, placing her hands above her head and cowering before Henry’s rage. “Enough!” Johnny said, placing a single hand upon Henry’s shoulder, snapping him out of his fugue and preventing him from doing something he’d regret. “Stop screaming at the poor woman Henry. You aren’t going to solve any of this through fear!” Henry turned towards Johnny, his eyes half glazed over in fury. Johnny weathered it until Henry began to calm down, breathing heavily and running a hand over his forehead. “Ophelia, I believe I speak for both myself and Henry when I say that this is not the right way to go about things.” “So what if I become a monster?!” Ophelia replied. “I want to make this creation, I want to prove to the world it can be done! Why don’t you get that!” “Ophelia, you might not realize but your humanity, the thing you’re trying so desperately to cast aside, is a key part of you.” Johnny said, the irony of the statement not lost on the skeleton. “Do you really want to become such a warped individual all in pursuit of an empty dream? Do you think that’s what your father would have wanted?” “N-no, no it’s not.” Ophelia said. The woman grabbed hold of her chair for support, sitting down and looking like the weight of the world had been pressed upon her shoulders. “I need this Johnny, I need to prove I can make something of myself. This is my project, this is my creation… I just… I want to prove I’m not just a stupid little girl who can’t accomplish anything!”
>>3520511“Then do it, but don’t take the easy way out.” Johnny said. “Don’t take the path of least resistance, be better than that. I know you are more than capable of it.” Ophelia slowly brought her hands up to her face and a trickle of tears ran down them. Johnny’s words had proven far more effective than Henry’s anger ever could.Henry stomped off, he needed to hit something. Anything. He left out the back and returned to his home inside the abandoned lighthouse, utterly ashamed of himself. He needed to stay calm and in control tomorrow, and he couldn’t keep losing his head like this, not in front of everyone… and he’d let a fact slip by. ‘Another Child.’ He said he wouldn’t sacrifice ‘Another Child’ hadn’t he? He hoped nobody besides Johnny had noticed. Back in the warehouse Ophelia had fled up to her loft to sulk. Johnny and Charles had let her. Johnny wanted to give her space to process her emotions, and Charles had no desire to get involved with the madwoman while she was that unstable. Ophelia’s surprise was tangible when Larry climbed up the ladder to her loft and poked his head through the floor. “Go away… Larry.” Ophelia said, finally remembering the man’s name. “Look I want to talk, you can’t be so hard on yourself.” Larry said. “You almost fecked up, I get it-““Three months of research, pointless, all I have to show for it is an extremely well built hunk of metal.” Ophelia said.
>>3520514 “You must feel awful.” Larry said, pulling himself all the way through the hatch and kicking it shut behind him. The loud noise caused Ophelia to jump and rub her aching head. Larry ignored the woman’s withering stare and pressed forwards. He wasn’t oblivious; he had a decent idea of just how the woman felt. He had a few things of his own he wanted to share. He held up his hands and made a show of being harmless before slowly and methodically sitting down beside Ophelia. The woman was sitting in a little ball, her knees brought up to a face marked by a reddened and slightly faded burn scar. Henry had told Larry that she’d gotten it during a fight but had never really told him the details. The woman’s hands were calloused from working on Ticky II for so long, day after day, night after night. She had a head of unkempt and partially unwashed hair, full of dirt, sweat, and the remains of the pig fat she’d used as Ticky II’s joint lubricant. It was tied back into a sloppy looking bun, simply meant to keep it out of her way. Her skinny form was dressed in a set of workers overalls and was illuminated by moonlight and a couple of lanterns filled with shine runes. Larry’s Decision:1. “Henry has a lot of his own problems to work through Ophelia, they aren’t all your problems. He just doesn’t have any other way to show it.” 2. “We all fuck up eventually Ophelia, Henry’s just a good enough friend to prevent you from doing so here.” 3. “It’s just a machine, you can always make more.” 4. “You just want some appreciation, right?” 5. (write in)
>>3520519>writeinYou want to prove yourself, I get it... I really do but there has to be another way to do this. I know what it is like growing up and just wanting to show you Dad that you achieved something with your life. But here is the thing... in pursuing this ambition it is so easy to be caught up in whether or not we can do something that we forget if we actually shouldThoughts?
>>3520566>>3520519I'll support this.Also maybe Larry can explain the concept of failing forward to her. That true success comes from failing but still working forwards.After all, once she completes Ticky v2.0, she isn't going to just stop there, right? There's going to be another challenge after that.And besides, while before she was doing this alone, now she has Henry helping her, and Johnny. And, shyly, Larry can point out that even he is there too even though he isn't really in the same league as her and Henry when it comes to this stuff.Rise or fall, they can help each other get through it together.
>>3520519I swear to god, everyone in this quest is the lonliest son of a bitch.
>>3520519Yee to >>3520566 >>3520611
>>3520519“Look, you want to prove something to yourself, right? That you can succeed or whatever? This about what you want or what your dad would’ve wanted?” “It was about my dad’s legacy at first, I was a Von Kurtz, my brother had no interest in inventing even though our family had become known from it since my grandfather started. I had to take up the mantle, I wanted to, and my dad was supportive. When he died I just redoubled my efforts, I put everything I had into my projects, a lot of people used me for their own ends but as long as I could keep working on my inventions I was happy. I just kept going and going and before I knew it everything in Grutzberg happened. I blamed myself of course.”“Well yeah, it was your fault.” Larry said sheepishly. “I mean, not the clock tower falling of course, that was uh…” “I hadn’t put up good defenses, I’d blindly believed I’d be protected by that vampire, I thought nothing else mattered but working on my projects. Then Henry came along and tied a bunch of strings to me and now I’m just a hapless puppet.” Ophelia said, her expression downcast and her lip trembling. Larry’s mouth hung open. The man tried to conjure up a response but utterly failed.“I was going to try and kill him, you know. Kill him and run as far away as I could, maybe go to the frontier or some old island on the coast, set up a workshop, and just invent until I went mad. Leave behind an island of horrors some hapless explorer could stumble upon.” “You didn’t kill him though.” Larry said. “Obviously, it’s what that skeleton told me that changed my mine. I’d spent so long trying to improve and refine my research that I’d spent no time on myself. It’s true, I’ve never tried to improve myself. I only ever learned magic for my research. The first time I made that transference rune work I felt a joy I hadn’t felt in a long time. Inventing for the sake of it, not for my own personal desires or to put food on the table.”
>>3520695“I know what it’s like, if only a bit.” Larry said.“Why does that matter?” Ophelia responded, burying her face further into her knees. “My father tried to get me to be a militiaman, but I could never handle that kind of repetitive day to day sort of life. I wanted to wander, to see new things and not get too tied down to a single way of life. Blaise is still my home. But I wanted to see the world, I learned as much about swords and combat as I could than I headed out when I was young. My mum knew and didn’t stop me. I think that’s why those two drifted apart.”“What does this have to do with me!?” Ophelia said. “I don’t care about your stories!” “You need to listen to other people Ophelia, you said it yourself, you can’t do this alone. Nobody can do everything by themselves, take me for instance. I’m terrible with plans, and I realize that, and I know Henry’s good luck, he hasn’t led me wrong yet. Truth be told I don’t even care about the coin so much anymore. He’s the best boss I ever had.” “So you have fatherly issues and low standards?” Ophelia asked. “Thank you for sharing.” “You ever hear the phrase, failing forward? It’s like, when you fail, you learn from your mistakes and improve.” “It would be better to not fail in the first place!” Ophelia responded. “Why would you want to fail?”“Cause it gives you a reason to move forward if you can get over that failure, Ophelia. You can’t do everything nice and perfect. That ain’t how the world works, you know?” “I’m painfully aware.” Ophelia said, “So you’re trying to make me feel even worse about myself? I see why you and Henry get along so well.” “Ha, the lad’s got his own issues, but he’s got a lot of good in him too. Cares for all of us, even you, even if he can’t admit it. I think he sees you as an equal of sorts.” “He sees me as an annoyance, he’s going to get rid of me the second he thinks I’m not useful.”“No, he won’t.” Larry said.“Whys that?!” Ophelia responded.“Wells for starters, he’s not that kind of person, he cares about other people, even if it might be for the wrong reasons, heck he saved my life to save his own, but I’m still thankful. Secondly, I wouldn’t let him do that!” “Why not?” “Well because I like you, Ophelia?” Larry said, leaning back against a palette of boxes. “I’d like it if you liked yourself a bit more, too.” “Flirting with me?” Ophelia said dryly. “Trying to butter me up for something? Want a new sword maybe?” “Nah, I just don’t like seeing people beating themselves up over small things. This metal man, once yer done you ain’t gonna stop with just him, right? That mind of yours has plenty to share, right?” “Yes, you’re right.” Ophelia muttered. “I didn’t even think of that.”
>>3520697“You like focusing on just one thing at a time, and that’s fine, that’s you. You need another bloke to give you perspective.”“Thank you Larry.” Ophelia said. “I think I get what you were getting at.” “Look Ophelia, you don’t gotta be alone with this, hell this is the closest thing… its like… we’ll we’re family damn it.” “Are we?” Ophelia asked. “I don’t believe your last name is Von Kurtz.” “Not that kinda family, something else. People who got each other’s backs, through thick n thin. People like that are real rare Ophelia. Johnny’s got more experience than anyone I’ve ever met, and Henry’s a damned good leader, even if he blows his top a bit too much and always looking over his shoulder like someone’s gonna get him. But he’s kept as all alive so far, so he’s alright in my book. Heck even Charles is putting his all into things every day, trying to learn magic and always trying to find a way to pitch in.” “So what are you here for?” Ophelia asked.“Well, I don’t claim to be as good as any of the others but, I’m here to help, yeah?” “You know, I don’t think I mind you flirting with me.” Ophelia said, wiping the tears from her eyes and displaying a faint smile. “To think I’d just written you off as some moron from the country…”“Hey I wrote you off as some boffin with her head too far up her ass to notice anything else.” Larry replied, laughing. “But I’m not crying about the fact I’m wrong. It’s usually the case!” Ophelia laughed at that. She didn’t even know why exactly. “Can I lay my head on your shoulder?” Ophelia asked. “I read about it in a book once, I’d like to try it.” “Sure, knock yerself out, just don’t fall asleep!” Larry said, smiling warmly. Ophelia nervously laid her head down, the man was warm. She felt a massive weight move off her shoulders, one that she’d never realized was there. “I hope you’re not pitying me because my face is deformed.” Ophelia stated. “I will push you off this loft if you are.”“Nah, in fact it’s how I knew you were a good lass. My mum is a blacksmith ya see, she always said, you could trust a woman with a few burns on her, the more visible the better. Well, whenever she wasn’t too drunk, anyway.”Decision by Ophelia:>write in
>>3520703going to head to work, will be back around 10-10:30 eastern>Lorekeeper's Note: This is incredibly fucking wholesome if I do say so myself
>>3520703>write in> Accidentally fall asleep in this position.TrappedLarry.jpg
>>3520718YES THISAnd to think we had the option of leaving Larry to die back in Blaise. Boy am I glad we saved him, he's too based to give up anymore.
>>3521198Larry is quickly becoming the heart of the team.Even Johnny is less optimistic and genuinely kind. He was gonna kill our waifu without hesitation. Never forget that he's just as if not more fucked up than Henry in his own way.Larry is the most humane person, if not the most "good". That's how I feel.
>>3520703Ophelia didn’t really know what to think about this man. She felt strange, like she never had before. She didn’t think about it for too long, as sleep soon overtook her. Her even breathing signaling to Larry that’d he’d made a terrible mistake. Larry sighed and tried to reposition himself more comfortably. He couldn’t really move without disturbing Ophelia’s sleep. Sleep she’d really need for tomorrow. He wanted to sleep in an actual bed rather than sitting against a hard wooden box. But it wasn’t all bad, and so, after a bit of time, he too nodded off. The light runes flickered for a bit and one by one went out as their supply of internal light ran out. Leaving the loft dark except for the shimmering silver moonlight. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++“FUCK FUCK FUCK!” Henry screamed to nobody. A couple of cracks appeared in the stone of the lighthouse as he clutched his shaking, bloodied fists. It hurt, it hurt but not nearly as much as realizing he’d nearly lost control of his anger again. He was a fucking mess, he’d just banged up his fucking hands, and he was still pissed off. He felt the cool Oceanside air tickling the back of his neck. He turned around, staring out towards the ocean. He leaned up against the lighthouse and slowly slid down to the ground. He needed to get a fucking grip. He needed to stay in control, there were people who were counting on him damn it! He needed a drink but he didn’t have anything useable on hand at the moment. He checked his hands again, fortunately he hadn’t broken anything. He heard a couple of footsteps behind him, slowly making their way along the sandy embankment. “Fuck off Johnny, I’m not in the mood to talk to you right now. I’m fine.” Henry said. “So just leave me be.”“You never change.” A familiar female voice replied. Henry’s head spun towards the source of the voice. In front of him were a set of floating clothes. Leather leggings and elbow length leather gloves, body wear that hugged her form, and that stupid tricorn hat of hers. Sophie had decided to come pay him a visit, now of all times. “The fuck are you even doing here?!” Henry demanded.“Actually, you have changed, you’ve gotten ruder.” Sophie muttered. “You’re a very hard man to find you know.” “Because I value my privacy, why are you here?”“I wanted to ask you for an exchange, I heard that you might be hunting a certain bug, I might be willing to help if you help me later.” Decisions:1. “Talk.”2. “Fuck off, Sophie, I’m really not in the mood.”3. “My fucking hands are covered in blood, let me wash them off first, meet me inside.” 4. (write in)
>>3521670> 3. “My fucking hands are covered in blood, let me wash them off first, meet me inside.” Fine. Fine. We are cool. We are calm. We're going rip that bug apart and pretend it's our old self or who we could have become and feel really good while doing it.
>>3521670>"My fucking hands are covered in blood, let me wash them off first, meet me inside.”>(mentally try to pull yourself together - nothing bad happened, you are just F I N E)
>>3521670“My hands are covered in blood Sophie, let me wash up first. Meet me inside; I’ll follow in a moment.” Henry whispered, still trying to process just what the woman could possibly want, and how much easier her help could make the current objective. She could scout out the observatory in her sleep, and she was almost guaranteed to do it without being noticed, but she’d want something in return. Something other than mere gold. Henry finally took a breath once Sophie had disappeared into his home. He was in control, he hadn’t hurt anyone, nothing important had been destroyed. He was mostly uninjured... fine, just stick together… He felt tired, he needed to sleep after this conversation was done. Henry directed his anger towards the bug, he’d enjoy ripping that thing apart, once that was done everything else would fall into place! He stood up, brushed the sand from his cloak, and headed inside to find Sophie sprawled out along his couch. He’d only gotten the thing so that he’d have a place to sleep if he couldn’t bother climbing the steps to the second story. “Lovely place you have here Henry. You always pick the oddest places to live though.”“I’m an odd person.” Henry replied. “Comes with the territory, do you want tea or anything?”“Some tea would be divine, thanks.” Sophie said. Henry placed a heat rune into the small stove in his kitchen and set a kettle full of spring water on top. He pulled out some herbal tea from a cubbard, sloppily bandaged his hands and returned to Sophie to talk while the water came to a boil. H“So are you going to ask?” Sophie inquired, “Do you want me to go first?” Decisions:1. “Just tell me so I can get to bed.” 2. “Yes, please tell me.” 3. “I’ll wait for you to start, thank you.” 4. “I’m still in a bad mood, Sophie.” 5. (write in)
>>3521832> 4. “I’m still in a bad mood, Sophie. You might not have any days where you suddenly have to relive old regrets, but even for me today was a bad one.” > 1. “Just tell me so I can get to bed.” I can see Henry literally exhausting himself with anger.
Calling it a night, will update tomorrow morn!
>>3521832>>3521843Oh my yes, supporting!
>>3521832“I’m still in a bad mood Sophie.” Henry said, trying to make it clear that he didn’t have any time to play games with the woman. “Down to business then, Henry?” Sophie purred. “Just tell me so I can get to bed, after we’re done you can have you tea then get lost.” “You really never change.” Sophie said, “Alright then, I’ve brought a team back together for one more job. I need your help to pull it off.”“A robbery?” Henry asked.“Oh please, you make it sound so uncivilized! Well, I’ve been contracted to steal a relic from a Van Graff controlled fortress. The place is one of the most heavily fortified in the world from my understanding, and it’s surrounded by all manner of undead and ghiestly guards. That’s why I’d like your help, to disable them and let the rest of the team through. You’d be compensated of course, if only to show the rest of the team that you aren’t kind enough to work for mere favors.” Sophie said. “Besides, with my help tomorrow, it lowers the likelihood that you’ll lose anyone.” Henry yawned, his anger had finally subsided to be replaced with general malice and an overwhelming sense of exhaustion. He knew Sophie wouldn’t leave until he gave the invisible woman her answer. As for the Van Graffs, Henry was actually aquainted with them, a family line controlled by a very, very powerful demon, like a mock form of a royal house. Every single member of that accursed family drew power from their host, and the host had a loyal army which was all tied together by blood. He’d heard Abraxas mention their leader a couple of times, one of three demonic princes. Stealing from them wouldn’t void the deal he’d made back in the crypt, of course. The Van Graffs weren’t the Lic’Toron. “So?” Sophie asked. “I want your help love, and you know you need mine.”Decisions:1. Yes2. No3. (Write in)
>>3522406>3. (Write in)You'd have to pay an awfully large amount for me to go against a house controlled by a demon prince.
>>3522406“You’d have to pay an awfully large amount for me to go against a house controlled by a demon prince.” Henry said.“I get that you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes Henry but this is a massive opportunity, most of the guards have been pulled back for some massive meeting in the heart of their territory and only a skeleton crew is on duty. As long as everyone sticks to the plan we’ll be back in church territory before anyone knows anything is gone, let alone who did it. The client only wants one artifact so that means we can keep everything else. Besides you’ll have a better idea of what this stuff is than anyone else.” “What are you talking about, Sophie.” “Some of these artifacts are very old and very powerful, Henry, things that you could probably use in your line of work. It’s really up to you, though.” Decision:1. “no”2. “yes”3. “We barely survived the last time you ticked off a powerful demon, Sophie. You hated me for it and I know you still don’t forgive me for the deal I had to strike.” 4. (write in)
>>3522935>3. “We barely survived the last time you ticked off a powerful demon, Sophie. You hated me for it and I know you still don’t forgive me for the deal I had to strike.” >4. "So why are you this eager to practically run trough the same motions ones again? I just don't see the risk outweighing the reward, unless there is something you haven't told me about this job."
>>3522935>4. (write in)"Demon *Prince*""As in, a ruler of *all* demons."
>>3522935“We barely survived the last time you ticked off a powerful demon, Sophie.” Henry warned.“This isn’t Abraxas Henry, and I’m not that same stupid girl I was five years ago. I have everything planned out, I even have evidence to plant in the vault to implicate a member of the Van Graffs. Just because we got hurt doesn’t mean we have to let the past hold us back!” “DO NOT USE THAT NAME IN FRONT OF ME!” Henry screamed. Sophie simply stared at him, wordlessly, until he calmed down. “Why are you so eager to practically run through the same motions once again, Sophie? I just don’t see the risk outweighing the reward, even if there are priceless artifacts in there. If you get caught you’re going to die horribly.” “Because Henry… I’m part of group that’s trying to make the world a bit better, and if our leader is correct we might be able to stop the world from going to hell.” “Are you serious or are you trying to lie to me?!” Henry said. “Because that’s a very fucking stupid thing to lie about.” “It’s the truth Henry, I can’t give you all the details, I swore myself to secrecy on many things, but it’s the truth. If you haven’t noticed angelic magic is beginning to fail everywhere now. We have maybe eight more months before it fails completely! I want to begin this mission in another week, with or without you Henry. I’ll even do it myself if I have to.” Decisions:1. *no*2. *yes*3. (write in)
>>3523253> 2. *yes*Well, the world IS where Henry keeps all his stuff.But we get a share of the loot as well. Helping us kill the bug isn't payment enough. Besides, it's in line with her organizations goals as well to kill it.
>>3523344This, but make her first agree that the bug, and all others we encounter like it, are destroyed completely.
>>3523253First >>3523597 then >>3523344
>>3523253“Fine, I’ll help you, Sophie. If only for old time’s sake. Happy now?” Henry spat.“Thanks Henry, knew you’d come around.” Sophie said, giving the man a thumbs up made visible by her glove. “Couple of conditions, Sophie. I want a portion of the loot as well. Helping us kill the bug ain’t nearly enough for the risk I’m going to be subjecting me and my team to.”“Your team… oh right the new band you’ve managed to wrap around your pinky. Henry, I don’t want any of them on my team, you’re the only one with the skills needed, the rest, even Johnny, are just extra risks and annoyances I can’t allow to complicate things.” “Bah, that makes thing easier at least.” Henry replied, pinching the bridge of his nose to try and keep his growing headache at bay. “So is that all? I see you’re a busy, busy man. I’ll send you a courier pigeon with further details once things are more together, I expect everything to be in order in another week or two. I’ll stop around tomorrow and say hello to everyone if that’s quite alright with you, Henry.” “Couple of things, I only need the body of the main bug to collect the reward, so no destroying it. Any others must be destroyed completely.”“Oh that’s perfectly alright, anything else sir?” Sophie said, faux politely. “Yes, actually, no bringing up the past. Can you remember to do that forme? ” Henry said. “I don’t really want to deal with that.”“They have a right to know Henry. I did too. It’s the past, no matter the things you did, you need to let go already. You’re going to drag everyone else down around you if you don’t” Sophie said, as she got up and left the room, leaving Henry alone to his thoughts. He was promptly kicked out of them by the kettle boiling over. The last mess he’d have to clean up today. He promptly did so, storing the unused tea back in its cupboard. He then climbed the single flight of stairs up to his bedroom, and then promptly collapsed into bed. Signaling the end of a very long day.==============================(End Of Chapter)===================================
>>3524192“A trustworthy ally isn’t someone who has your best interests in mind, necessarily. It’s one whose future actions you can accurately predict, a person whose motivations are known to you, and who doesn’t want to kill you quite yet.” ~ Gro’sha’tic, Demon Thane===============================(Chapter Start)===========================Charles sat on the roof of the warehouse, gathering his thoughts. He had been keeping a journal and he’d been using a code taught to him by his older brother to prevent anyone else from reading it. He’d thought that alone would keep it safe but after Ophelia’s partial cracking of Requin’s journal, Charles had taken to keeping his on the roof under a stack of crates a good distance away from Larry’s fishing spot. He’d spotted Larry and Ophelia sleeping propped up against a set of crates down stairs, and as gross as that might’ve seemed to his ten year old brain, it meant that he could safely take out his journal without the man snooping. He felt that Henry hadn’t been teaching him nearly enough, and had been compiling his own set of notes in secret. He’d been thinking about how to impress the man who’d taken him in, but as of late it felt like he hadn’t had a say in anything at all. He flipped through the pages and then stopped on a drawing he’d made of Ticky. The metal man was illustrated exactly how he looked in real life. Stock still and propped up against the rigging that Ophelia had made to keep him from falling over. If he could get Ticky to work… then they’d both have to recognize him for his accomplishments! He had a couple of options, and at one point had considered working with Ophelia to get it running, but after Henry’s bouts of violence over the past couple of days days, Charles had realized that wasn’t a workable option.He needed to think of something.Decision by Charles:1. Fix Henry’s red mana warding charm, it’ll take all of the money you’ve managed to scrounge up though…2. You can get Ticky running… but Henry would hate you for it… then again, there is that kid you met the other day, not only would nobody miss him, but the church was after him too, his disappearance would be seen as a good thing, wouldn’t it? Henry would eventually get over it…3. You need to make an impression today, go talk to Henry and demand he brings you along, you’re sick and tired of being relegated to the sidelines. 4. Maybe it’s time you headed out on your own, carve your own path5. (write in)
>>3524206>5. (write in)Go get some lunch and fresh air, all this stuffy adult stuff and dead bodies gets on the nerves.
>>3524206Charles sighed, the sun had only just come up now. He still had some time before everyone else was up and about. He’d gotten up to practice magic the second the gheist had disappeared or retreated out to sea, like he’d done every day. He needed to eat, he couldn’t push himself so hard today if he was going to convince Henry he could come along. He felt a bit more black mana welling up through him as he concentrated. Soon he’d be able to cast actual spells, instead of having to rely on circles and the warding charm he’d been gifted. The necklace didn’t really suit him anyway. He smiled, it felt like he’d become more capable over the past couple of months. All he had to do was keep practicing and he could handle himself. He’d be able to contribute instead of being such a burden on everyone. Then he’d be able to keep practicing… until he could strike back at those who killed his brother. He would get revenge on all of them. He hopped down off the box he was sitting on, hid his journal away, and set off to make breakfast for everyone. He decided he would get some fresh air afterwards, being pent up for too long was making him stir crazy.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Henry leap out of bed the moment he was woken up by Johnny, he wanted to make the most of their last day of preparation. He headed down into his kitchen to make himself breakfast before being informed by Johnny that Charles had already taken care of things, the kid had made a good amount of food for everyone, using Henry’s recipes. Henry smiled, the kid was growing up fast wasn’t he, it really was nice to have an extra set of hands. Planning: 1. Henry’s Actions for the Day:2. Johnny’s Actions for the Day: 3. Charles’ Actions for the Day4. Ophelia’s Actions for the Day:5. Larry’s Actions for the Day: 6. Rosa’s Actions for the Day: (must be informed of the plan and agree to help) 7. (write in)
>>3524509>Henry’s Actions for the Day:LEY LINE INVESTIGATINGThe sooner the places are checked the better. Del Mar must be planning something with The Wave via the ley lines, but that's still a ways off from now. Even if you somehow defeat him at his tower hideout tomorrow, his plans might still go in the background. Any clues will be good for the future.>Johnny’s Actions for the Day: Drill Charles a lot more with swordfighting. The boy's making good progress, better not tarnish that now. In-between, discuss possible plans to raid Del Mar's tower hideout. Sending in the undead to rush and fall beforehand is optimal so Rosa doesn't discover the unpleasant truth, but what other possibilities are there?>Larry’s Actions for the Day: Help Johnny to train Charles up. The big day is soon and it pays to stay sharp. While you do so, remember what the others told you about the bugman - lots of blue mana bugs to fuck your shit in if they swarm you. Fire is the best way to fight him, but then again isn't that always the case with monsters like this?>Ophelia’s Actions for the Day:Try to plan possible countermeasures for Del Mar and his slaves. Fire is great, yes, but what else? Blue mana attack and self-repair scarabs, a strong terror aura at close range, deceptively high strength, and soon a hive mind of other victims forced to become lesser versions of himself. Could the hive mind be exploited against him somehow, perhaps through feedback mechanisms and propagating certain effects through the links...?>Rosa’s Actions for the Day: (once Henry meets up with her to get her on board with helping the plan)LEY LINE INVESTIGATINGsometimes you just have to get out of your stuffy healer's abbey and go on a date yet another life-threatening adventure with the one man who accepted you for who you are>Charles’ Actions for the Day:Train with Larry and Johnny more, then go prepare another cat corpse for scouting the bugman's hideout tomorrow. With what Henry taught you and your experience from using the cat last time, nothing will go wrong. They're counting on your help!
>>3524552>>3524509Seems good to me.
>>3524509Charles had made a wonderful spread, eggs, bacon, toast, and fresh fruit all set up nicely for the four of them. He’d even set aside a newspaper for Johnny to read so the man would have something to do while everyone else ate. Henry hadn’t noticed anything too interesting but Johnny was enthralled regardless, well, not really. The man was just trying to ignore all the food. The skeleton just stared longingly at the food on the table from time to time. Henry was used to it, and Ophelia and Larry were busy talking about random shit, but Charles occasionally shot concerned glances at the guy. Larry and Ophelia were awfully chummy for some reason, Henry didn’t really think too hard about it. Henry had more important things to worry about, like what everyone would be doing. “Alright, I’m going to go over what we are going to all be doing today. First of all, I’ll be getting Rosa’s support and then investigating the remaining Leylines.”“So a nice stroll around town with the lady.” Johnny said, moving a finger to his mouth, making a motion like he’d licked it, then turning the newspaper to the next page. “Johnny, Larry, Charles, I want you all to get some practice in before tomorrow. I need you all to be ready for this fight, we won’t get a second chance and it’s going to be extremely dangerous.”“Shouldn’t we be resting before the big fight?” Larry complained. “No, having idle time before a potentially lethal battle is a horrid idea. Better to spend every waking moment doing something. Otherwise your mind has time to think up everything that can go wrong.” Johnny explained. “Besides a bit of hard work won’t kill you, Larry.” “Easy for you to say!” Larry responded, despondent. “Do I really have to fight against you?!” “Oh come now, I do it all the time, he’s not that bad!” Charles exclaimed. “You’ve never fought anyone else Charles!” Larry said. “Johnny is feckin godly with a sword!” “Ophelia, you have the most important job, I need you to think up some ways in which we can neutralize any spells fired off by Del Mar and anyone he’s brought under his influence. I suspect they’ll mainly be blue mana spells so the lethality should be low. He’ll probably try using paralyze, sleep, or control spells on us, based on what you’ve told me. I also need you to find something we can use to counter that fear aura the thing has, and no I won’t accept simply using ranged attacks, it’s possible it’ll close the distance too quickly.”“I have the flamecaster, I’ve already begun to prepare bomb runes, we can strap burning oil to the undead you’re sending in as a frontal assault…” Ophelia began. “The only issue is that healer friend of yours. She’s a member of the church, they don’t really like necromancy. Even if the applications could be revolutionary.”
>>3525356“I can make sure she doesn’t see anything she shouldn’t.” Henry said. “Johnny I want you to oversee the undead, and no complaining! You have the most experience and I don’t trust anyone but you with this.”“Fine.” Johnny replied. “If it’ll end this battle quicker.” “Can you make warding charms for us, Ophelia? The things don’t have to hold a charge longer than a day so it should be doable.”“I can’t make anything too complex with what we have here but I can probably scrounge something together.” Ophelia replied. “I expect a thank you after all of this.” “So am I going to be scouting?” Charles asked excitedly. “I want to try it again!” “I’m afraid I will be doing all the scouting for this little shindig, kid.” Sophie said, strolling out from the living quarter’s hallway and coming into view. Henry sighed, the woman really did love her dramatic entrances didn’t she? He watched as Charles reached for his dagger and Larry went for his sword, which he’d left resting against his chair“She’s going to help us, calm down.” Henry said, placing a hand on Larry’s shoulder before the man tried to decapitate her. “Oh good, I thought a ghiest had wandered in.” Larry said, still nervous and not taking his hand off his blade for a moment. “Fascinating.” Ophelia muttered, looking at Sophie with awe. “Your aetheric soul connection is completely mangled, how are you even alive?” “I remember you.” Charles muttered, anger clear in his voice. “Stay the hell away from me!” “I’m going to ignore your friends, Henry.” Sophie replied. “Keep the questions about me to a minimum, please?” “Right, Sophie is going to perform Recon on the Observatory Del Mar is located in. Ophelia you made that copy of the map I requested?”“Of course I did!” Ophelia replied, shoving a hastily drawn map of the area around magica across the table. Sophie picked it up with two fingers, like the thing was cursed. “I have to rely on this I suppose.”“You’re… welcome!” Ophelia spat back. “I’m not going to scout?” Charles whispered to Henry, despondent. “No I’m afraid not.” Johnny interjected. “Sophie is an expert at infiltration and recon. Speaking of which, it’s an absolutely wonderful surprise to see you I must say.”“No need to lie, Johnny. I suppose the two who went for their weapons the second I said hello are your students?”“Only the boy, the man over there doesn’t have the patience for it I’m afraid.” “Hey!” Larry replied. “I don’t need patience to swing a sword around!” “Hardly my fault I can’t instill anything in him.” Johnny said to Sophie, completely ignoring Larry’s outburst. Decisions:1. Head out2. *say something to Charles* (write in)3. (write in)
>>3525360>2. *say something to Charles* (write in)You stay here with Ophelia, if anything happens to us you'll have to help her.
>>3525360This >>3525370 but also"If we survive this, I'll see if I can teach you any offensive black mana spells. White is fine and all, but it won't help you kill things you want dead before they kill you dead - and you already know we have plenty of those." Pat him on the shoulder. "You're doing good on learning necromancy and handling the prep work, and I don't think I would have had enough corpses ready for tomorrow if you weren't here to help me. Everything you do helps, even if you don't feel like you're doing much." Big genuine smile for your apprentice. "Keep your chin up, okay? We'll get through this too."Charles needs to believe in himself, believe in the Henry who believes in him and all that jazz
>>3525360> Charles, don't think this means you're getting away without having to help. If Sophie is out eyes up front, then that means you have to be the eyes in the back of my head.> Scout out some possible escape routes, and keep an eye for anyone who might crash our party. If something happens, don't try to fight anyone, don't even get close to them. Your first responsibility is to let me know that the situation has changed.> I'm not giving you this job just to make work for you. I'm going to be trusting you to watch me and Johnny . . And Rosa's back. Don't half-ass it because it's not dangerous for you, don't try to be a hero if anything happens either because you won't just risk your life but you'll be risking ours as well.Yes I'm deliberately leaving out Sophie.
>>3525360backing >>3526230 tooall these writeins are really good shit man
>>3526603>>3526558>>3526230>>3525757>>3525370reviewing and writing
>>3525360“Charles, don’t think this means you’re getting away without having to help. If Sophie is going to be doing all of our scouting, then that means I expect you to help me raise our wave of zombies later on. We’re going to need a lot of materials once we figure out which graveyard to hit. We can’t just use basic raise dead spells. We’ll need to be as conservative as possible with our mana during this fight. This is going to be critical! We can’t win without them!”“Yes sir!” Charles said, but the boys heart really wasn’t in it. “Of course!” “Don’t call me sir, remember?!” Henry replied. “Get to training with Johnny and Larry. Make sure Johnny gives you a proper sword, that dagger won’t cut it.” “I suppose we could give him that old broken rapier that’s been lying around. Just need to file down the tip back into a point and it should work well enough for tomorrow. He should be strong enough to wield it now.” Johnny said.“Sophie, I have a few other things I wanted you to do. First of all, escape routes. If the initial rush of undead fails I don’t think the mission will be salvageable. So we’ll need to plan our escape in that situation. I want an easy way out if at all possible.” “Shouldn’t be too difficult, there is a small stream we could row a couple of small boats up. If this filthy woman’s map is correct.” Sophie said. “Would lead us right back into the main harbor and back into angel territory.” Ophelia sulked and let loose a stream of mumbled curses and prophetic visions about Sophie’s untimely and very painful demise due to her supposed incompetence. “Charles, I want to speak with you for a moment.” Henry said, leading the boy away from everyone else.He watched as Ophelia scurried off to her corner while Johnny and Larry began to practice sparring in the middle of the room. Sophie had left the second they’d finished. Bad blood or not he knew that woman wouldn’t let him down. He wondered if things could have been different, would she still be with him? No, never a good idea to think of what ifs and could have beens.
>>3528347“Henry?” Charles asked. “Aren’t you going to say something?”Ah, right. “Charles, when this battle starts, I’m going to need you to keep an eye out for anyone and anything that might ruin the party. That means you’re going to be my second set of eyes. If something happens, don’t try to fight anyone, don’t even get close, you need to let me know immediately that the situation has changed, and what about it has changed.”“You’re just trying to protect me!” Charles complained. “I’m sick of it! I’m tired of being a burden! I don’t want to just let everyone I care about die while I do nothing! I couldn’t help at all during Grutzberg, I’ve been all but useless during your time in Celeste, and I wasn’t even worth bringing along when you went to that Chateau! I’m not the same as I was back then, please give me a chance!”Henry was taken aback by the passion and intensity of what Charles was saying. The kid was starting to mature, just a little bit. Henry sighed, Charles really did care about everyone else on the team. The best he could do was worry about how any of their deaths would affect him and make his own situation worse, and he hated it with every fiber of his being. He wondered what it must’ve been like, to be able to care about people who could stab you in the back at any moment. None of them would do that, right? He knew he could trust Johnny, obviously. Charles was still too young to even consider it. Ophelia… she was too frightened to try. Larry… jeez, Larry was his friend, wasn’t he? He needed to trust them, as much as every ounce of his being screamed not to, while every stray thought pleaded with him to reconsider, and all of his experience had been betrayal after betrayal, either from or at him. This time would be different. Was he the naïve one? “I’m not giving you this job to make work for you, Charles. It’s not to keep you out of harm’s way, either. I’m entrusting all of our lives to you. I’m trusting you to watch Rosa and keep her alive, she’ll be critical to our success. Don’t you dare half ass this because it might not be as dangerous. Don’t try to be a hero if anything happens either because you’ll not only be throwing your life away but Rosa’s too.”
>>3528354“You trust me to guard her?” Charles stammered. “But… don’t you”“Love her? Yes, dearly. But I can’t protect her and kill that bug at the same time. Charles. I can’t do that. Just like you can’t run in there and bust heads open.” Henry replied. “I’m trusting you, okay? I’m trust you with a very important person. Please keep her safe.” “Yes sir… Okay Henry!” Charles said, leaping up from his position and starting to bound away. Henry smiled, what a good kid. He got up and headed after Charles. He wanted to have a few more words with him before he headed out.“After this is all over, why don’t we learn some offensive black mana spells together.” Henry said. “It’s been a very long time since I’ve used any… and well, I need some practice.” “Really?” Charles asked, sparkles in his eyes. “Black mana isn’t like white mana, or even red mana, Charles. It can kill just about anything that’s alive if used properly. You can’t take it back once it’s been released. I want you to understand that. It’s permanent, and innately parasitic.” “I know.” Charles said. Henry patted Charles on the shoulder. “You’ve been doing good, learning necromancy and handling the prep work. I wouldn’t be able to prepare this rush of undead tomorrow without your help, either. Everything you’ve done helps, even if it’s tiny or massive. Keep your chin up okay Charles?” Henry said, grinning, genuinely happy for the boy.Charles smiled back. His anger and doubt in himself had subsided, replaced with a fierce determination.Henry sighed, he’d be relearned a bunch of things he’d tried to forget, but if he wanted to protect his people he needed to learn them anew. Black mana spells, killing arts, destroyers of life. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>>3528359Henry headed up towards the Holy Grounds where Rosa was located, finding the place humming with activity. There was some sort of speech being given in the center by a bishop based on his big hat and fancy robes and the attendants flanking him. After talking with a few of the people in the crowd, Henry discovered that the man had been visiting many of the local churches. To spread word that the scourge of vile necromancy that had been plaguing the city would soon be at an end, Henry felt a bit uncomfortable once he learned this. The Bishop’s emotional speech about how the body defilers would get their just desserts in the pit didn’t help much either. He didn’t really get the idea though. The Nirdec caverns had existed for far longer than he’d been alive. He doubted the Church would ever be able to invade them, not without making it really obvious. Maybe they’d determined where all the rogue Franks had been coming from? It would be great if they could put a stop to them. Then it’d just be the swarms of ghiests that came out during the evening tide that he’d have to worry about. Henry waited until the event had ended and the important church officials had left before going to find Rosa. The woman was reading a book under a tree, Henry noticed the words ‘Book Of Hero’s’ along the spine. One of the four books of the church. A book devoted to the great heroes of the church’s history, and lessons deriving from their stories. The woman’s hair had been braided, the normally curly locks unusual neat and tied back. Her beautiful face was on full display. “Henry?” Rosa asked, confusion and then barely contained excitement in her voice. Her face lit up once she realized it was him. “What are you doing here today?”Decisions:1. “I was wondering if you wanted to take a walk with me”2. *inform her of your plan and how you want her to help you*3. *give her a big ol’ hug* 4. (write in)
>>3528374>3. *give her a big ol’ hug*Then1. “I was wondering if you wanted to take a walk with me”
>>3528374The first thing Henry did was lean down and wrap his arms around his girl, giving her a big hug. Rosa’s face was as red as a strawberry by the time he’d finished. Henry made couple mental notes about how he’d convince her to help him, but the hug would probably be a good start. It’d get her flustered and thus easier to convince.“H-h-h-henry… n-not in public… y-y-your embarrassing me.” Rosa sputtered. It felt like the woman was shrinking away under his hug.“Its just a small show of affection, Rosa. For all anyone knows we’re just siblings.” She pretended to hate the shows of affection of course, but the woman was starved for it. She enjoyed it, Henry could tell. “Everyone here knows what we are Henry!” Rosa spat, quickly breaking eye contact, staring at the ground, and fidgeting uncomfortably. “What did you want?”“I was wondering if you wanted to take a walk with me.” Henry said, smiling warmly. “It’s a lovely day after all.” “I’d love to!” Rosa said. “I was given the day off because of the Bishop’s speech, most of us were actually. So I needed something to do.” Rosa said.Henry offered his hand to the lady and Rosa gladly accepted, hoisting herself up and walking beside the red cloaked man. She noticed the snickers from a couple of her fellow sisters, they were watching the two of them. She bit her lip and began to furiously think of ways to show them up. An idea came to her rather quickly. She pressed herself against Henry, giggling a bit at the dumbstruck looks from her sisters in the abbey, that’d show them. She felt Henry’s hand move to her side and she suddenly had second thoughts, but it was too late for regrets now. The two exited the holy grounds and began to walk the city streets. Rosa didn’t know where exactly Henry was taking them but she hoped it had a good view. “So you’re not embarrassed anymore?” Henry asked, chuckling a bit to himself. “It’s not like it’s a big secret anymore, Henry, everyone knows about us now.” Rosa replied. “I just… try to tone it down inside the holy grounds? Okay? Shows of affection like that are discouraged among members of the church.”Decisions:1. “Well I could act a bit more refined if that’ll settle everyone down.” 2. “Why do you still care what others think? I never have.” 3. “Well maybe I’ll kiss you next time, really give them something to talk about.” 4. “Rosa, I did have something very important to talk to you about.” 5. “How have you been holding up, Rosa?” 6. (write in)
>>3528893>“Well maybe I’ll kiss you next time, really give them something to talk about.”>“How have you been holding up, Rosa?”>"I did have something very important to talk to you about...">(after she asks if it's another dangerous life-or-death situation Henry has gotten himself into) "Of course it is! Why wouldn't it be?" (says in a flippant tone, perfectly aware by now of what life keeps shoving him into)
>>3528949SupportingEspecially the threat of kisses
>>3528893“Well maybe I’ll kiss you next time, really give them something to talk about.” Henry said, hooking his arm around hers and smirking, feeling all smug about it.“You wouldn’t dare, I’d strangle you Henry!” Rosa said, placing a hand over her mouth and clenching the other into a fist. “I’d probably… I’d kick you, really hard too!” “Nice, I think you look cute when you get all upset like that, its why you struck my fancy during our little crusade to Yorkshire Proper.” “If I remember correctly you couldn’t have made it without me, so a bit more respect to the healer, please?” Rosa retorted after the initial shock wore off. “How’ve you been holding up, Rosa?” Henry asked, quickly changing the subject. “Fine, I’ve been having to put up with no end of teasing and harassment thanks to all of your oh so publically displayed affection. Although the jealousy I’ve seen from them has almost made it worth it.” “Well aren’t you an honest little miscreant.” Henry said, smiling.“You might be having an effect on me, as much as it pains me to admit it.” Rosa replied. “Hopefully I’ve been having some effect on you too.” “Look, I did have something very important to discuss with you.” Henry said.The two rounded another corner and began the trek towards a massive series of buildings rising up like old oak trees in a forest of far smaller buildings. The Gold Hands Mage Guild, by far the largest in Avignon and one that had managed to maintain its independence from the Cult of Progress, although the two groups did collaborate on occasion from what Henry understood.
>>3529970“Is this another one of your harebrained schemes that will either kill us or leave us in a state where we wish we had been. I still remember Grutzberg, Henry. I nearly lost you! I don’t ever want to go through that again! Oh god above that’s what this is.” Rosa said. “Yes…” Henry replied. “I’m going after the bug that’s been terrorizing the city, we know where it is, I have someone scouting the place out, and from what I understand they’ve already been weakened by a failed assault.” Henry said, lying about the assault, he might as well start now to make all the defiled corpses that’d no doubt be littering the site less suspicious.“That’s… Henry why are you risking you’re life again!” Rosa complained, her normally calm and only slightly aggravated façade failing and being replaced with worry. She was worried that he’d die. Henry hugged her a bit tighter and continued.“I was going to ask you to help us, Rosa. The reward for its death and bagging it’s corpse is eighty gold total. Right now the split is four ways, me, Johnny, Larry, and a very talented girl we picked up.” Henry said. “I’d include Charles but I’d basically just be keeping his cut anyways.”“Eighty… gold?” Rosa asked, biting her finger as her mind raced. The woman stared off into the distance without staring at anything. Henry could see the cogs spinning as the woman began to think of the possibilities. “If got a cut… I could open my clinic Henry! I wouldn’t have to live at the abbey anymore… I could… but we might die!” She finally said. She was incredibly anxious though and a bit of sweat was running down the back of her neck. Decisions:1. “I have a plan, trust me.” 2. “Do you think I’d die right after kissing you? I want to have more magical nights like that with you.” 3. “I want your help Rosa, I want to make sure we all walk away from this.” 4. (write in)
>>3529972>3. “I want your help Rosa, I want to make sure we all walk away from this.”
>>3529972“I want your help Rosa, I want to make sure we all walk away from this.” Henry said.“I’ll do it, just this once, Henry.” Rosa said, biting her lip and pulling away from Henry’s grasp.“Thanks, truly.” Henry muttered. She didn’t want to do this at all, she was going to risk her life for his sake. “I can bless our group, give them some divine protection, a bit more strength, make them a bit harder to slay. I can heal their wounds and break enchantments. That’s all I can really do Henry. I don’t know how much help it’ll be but I’m tired of hiding and cowering while everyone else risks their lives.” “That will be plenty, the healing alone will be a massive help to us, let alone all of those other tricks you can do.” “Oh shut up, you’re just happy that I agreed to help.” Rosa said, chuckling and poking Henry in the ribs. “Isn’t that why you decided to take me on this walk?”“I do like your company too.” Henry complained, breaking eye contact and looking towards the mage guild. The two laughed together for a bit as the spires of the mage guild rose up before them. The streets were packed with mages, merchants, church officials, Cathars, and the teeming multitudes of the Commons, the common everyday folk.Decisions:1. *Rent a mage room for an couple hours to practice some spells*2. *Just inspect the leyline, you’re on a tight schedule*3. *Ask Rosa about the Cracked Bell Incident, maybe she knows something*4. *stop to get some food, find a nice quiet place to relax with Rosa*
>>3530825>*Just inspect the leyline, you’re on a tight schedule*>*Make a note of when the mage rooms close, if they do. Maybe you can stop by if investigating goes by quickly enough.*
>>3530839>>3530825This is a good plan
>>3530825Henry and Rosa walked for a while longer, heading through a large gate with all five colors of mana depicted, glowing voluminously. Henry studied the leyline for a time, learning little and growing increasingly impatient. He talked with a few of the novice mages, the couple that had time to talk with him and he learned that the actual center point of the leyline was much deeper inside the compound and off limits. Henry decided that he didn’t have the time or any real desire to try and break into the largest magical guild in the city all to see a single leyline, and if someone was able to mess with it then they’d have to be really important or really sneaky. He made a quick note of when the mage rooms closed, at dusk, and headed back out of the guild with Rosa in tow. The woman explained that she’d overheard, by chance, a couple of conversations between mages. The cult had been heavily recruiting and expanding recently, and setting up a lot of workshops along the coastline, most of which were completely off limits to anyone outside of the cult. Nobody knew what was happening in them. The woman than rambled off a couple of useless pieces of info while Henry digested the facts. Based on what Charles had told him before, it was probably safe to assume the cult had more places like the research center. What were they trying to pull right under the nose of the church? It couldn’t have been anything too malicious or the angels would’ve noticed… shit wait, wait the angels had all been slowly weakening. Did the cult know that? Henry thought a bit more and decided not to think about things too hard as it was slightly depressing. By the time they’d reached the city limits the sun was hanging lazily in the center of the sky midday had passed a little while ago. He sighed, he had no idea what he was really looking for with the leylines, he needed a clue or something to go off of. The last two leylines they’d checked, right after the mage guild, had both been duds. No tampering that he could tell. He suspected that there perps would try to pull something the night before the two suns festival. There was no way Henry knew of to seal off the leylines, and he doubted it was even possible, so that meant he’d have to stop them beforehand if he even wanted to bother with it.Getting in good with the cult came first, and then he could pitch his creation and his investigative talents. He’d much rather try to stop some shady conspiracy if he was well compensated for it.Decisions:1. *have a nice little picnic with Rosa*2. *Head out into the farmlands towards the last leyline point* 3. *ask Rosa about the Cracked Bell Incident*4. *head for home, you need to get ready*5. *head for the mage’s guild and do some last minute practice for the big day tomorrow*6. (write in)
>>3532424>*head for the mage’s guild and do some last minute practice for the big day tomorrow*Every spell we know we can do is a vital tool to not get us dead>*ask Rosa about the Cracked Bell Incident*Maybe she might know?I feel even less about checking the final leyline point now, fuck that.
>>3532424>1. *have a nice little picnic with Rosa*>5. *head for the mage’s guild and do some last minute practice for the big day tomorrow*
>>3534392gonna post tomorrow
>>3532424Henry grabbed some food from a nearby stall, located near the city’s gate and promptly returned to Rosa. He’d decided that exploring the leylines any further would be a waste of time and he wasn’t in the mood for a walk in the countryside. He needed to know more about the leylines and the mysterious group of people connected to Requin before he could find anything useful at the leyline sites. Rosa looked at the meat skewer’s he’d bought with a thinly veiled hunger. The two found a nice place to sit, underneath a weeping willow inside a small park, and proceeded to eat their meal. Rosa sat in Henry’s lap, her back pressed up against his chest. “You’re warm today, coming down with a fever?” Rosa joked. “Can I enjoy my meal?” Henry responded, causing the woman to laugh. “Henry, I want us both to survive this, after that… maybe we could settle down with the gold, live normal lives again, you’re a talented mage, so you could find less dangerous work!” Rosa said, in between eating her food. “Yeah, that’d be nice, Rosa.” Henry said, wrapping his free arm around her belly and squeezing a little bit. The two continued to eat a little while longer. The park they were in was quiet and a gentle breeze occasionally caused the willow to sway. “Rosa, I had a question.” Henry said after finishing. “If I can answer it I will.” “Do you know of the cracked bell incident?” Henry asked.“What?!”
>>3535363“I was trying to find out about it, for some reason I believe it is connected to the bug, or something.”“Ah… oh… it was a factory explosion, about six or seven years ago now. I don’t really want to get into the details.”“Rosa, I need to know as much as possible, it could be vital to my investigation.” Henry said. “Anything that will help us understand what’s going on could save our lives down the line.” “Okay Henry, I trust you, I shouldn’t try to hide things from you like this. We need to be honest with each other, right?” Rosa said after some thought.Henry was happy the woman was still in his lap, he knew for a fact his inner guilt was leaking onto his face. It was for the better she couldn’t see him. He sighed and listened intently to what she had to say.“It was a factory explosion, about six years ago. About two thousand workers were working in the cracked bell factory. It exploded, because of poor maintenance I think. It was a big experiment by the cult of progress to make a better factory I think, they covered it up, put the blame on the locals, and the church believed them, and that was that. I was working in Magica’s only hospital at the time as an apprentice. I saw things that day I’ll never forget Henry, I don’t want to talk about it anymore. I don’t know how this will help you but I hope you found it useful.” “Thank you, Rosa.” Henry said. He wondered what any of this had to do with Venser. The two departed back to the mage’s guild in silence. Rosa seemed to be lost in thought, Henry didn’t know what to say to the woman. Bringing up the incident had ruined the mood but it had given Henry a solid lead. What exactly had happened during that incident? The Gold Hands mage guild came back into view and quickly grew large as the two approached it. Henry rented a room while Rosa simply gave him a look of confusion. He explained they needed to practice. He had a couple of spells he really wanted to try out and this would be the safest place to do so. He also wanted to see what Rosa was capable of so they’d be able to work more efficiently. Rosa simply nodded and went along with it. (-2 silver)The mage room was smaller than Henry had expected, around two hundred square feet in total. A cursory glance revealed the runic symbols on the wall were in excellent condition and had been properly set up. Decisions:1. *practice some spells* (write in)2. *create something new* (costs 1 special point, write in)3. *see how good Rosa is at blocking attacks*4. *have Rosa try a few spells out* 5. (write in)
>>3535368> 1. *practice some spells* (write in)> 2. *create something new* (costs 1 special point, write in)Explosive corpse, but instead of exploding it burns explosively. Get rid of evidence! This way we can use Necromancy easier, as well as turn less combat orientated corpses such a small animals, birds, insects, etc. into viable combat spells.
>>3535994No, I am against this. We need to save special point for something else like combining the two touch-based spells for becoming Kira. Turning anything and everything into a bomb is valuable enough for us to get.
>>3536004what the fuck is a Kira.Well how about learn explosive corpse for now? I really want to be able to use Necromancy more often.
>>3536060well there's Dark Touch that makes inanimate objects blow up I think, which is what we would want