Kara was asleep when Rinnier had finally arrived, and you can't remember what the look on her face had been to see the two of you stained in blood. You didn't explain yourself. You didn't have the words, nor the presence of mind... And she didn't ask. That- That was the sole detail which lingered.The pause. The confusion. The realization. The resignation.Deft silence filled your memories, unsure even of how you made it back inside, or where Kara ended up, save for that Rinnier's silent aide had helped see it all through. She had been worried... And disappointed. The ways that could have shown drifted through the back of your mind in a different way every time, too eager to fill the void of what happened with something concrete... But you knew how she felt, because 'Hearts in Harmony' made sure you felt it, too.The rest of that night was a blur. You were content for it to remain that way. And now you were being dragged back from this blissful abyss between then and now; consciousness drawn back to the surface by the frustratingly familiar beam of sunlight searing your eyelids. It was an annoyance, one which drew bitter and black murmurings from the bottom of your throat as you laid the back of your hand against your eyes to shield yourself and squint groggily towards the customary offender.What greeted you was only the midday sun, and the soreness which accompanied having slept upon a hard, wooden floor. Your room was empty, bed left in disarray with its blanket torn haphazardly onto the floor. Maybe you'd never made it there in the first place, if the lack of untoward stains in its sheets were any indication... As even now, you could feel the stiff weight of demihuman blood soaked and dried into your clothes. It flaked from your skin, leaving you insufferably itchy with every sift and brush between skin and fabric.A labored breath you hadn't realized you were holding escaped, creating the first dreary sound to enter your ears since your wine red eyes had opened.Right. Asche wasn't here... And having passed out here, even your connection to Rinnier had been severed. You were alone for now, kept company solely by the white noise of your own scattered thoughts while the events of the last few days finally - belatedly - sunk in.Everything you'd done. Everything you still had to do.Part of you wanted to lay here. A little longer. Just a little longer... But your body itched. You were already beginning to feel restless. You pulled yourself to a sitting position, hissing as you pulled your hair in the process, and stared vacantly down at the dried caking of blood flaking from your palms. You couldn't leave yourself like this... You probably should take a bath. Change clothes....Do something.
The halls outside were quiet. Too quiet for the middle of the day, but you wouldn't complain. You had a headache that had only worsened since the moment you woke up, and dealing with the commotion of people going about their day would only make you more frayed than you already were. All the same... You shambled through these empty halls waiting to be found. Your path took you towards the front, standing at the threshold to the entryway where Fen's station stood untouched.The knight in question was nowhere to be seen, and you caught yourself squinting at his desk as if staring long enough would tell you more. The meeting room you'd held dinner in that one time was as empty as the entryway, save for the comfortingly familiar citrus scent that forewarned of your redhaired Testament's attempts to figure out tea. It hung faintly in the air still, seeping from the cold remnants of its brewing. You took a single, heavy breath of it and felt your mind start to clear as you turned on your heel and set a hand against your hip."Where is everyone...?""No one's allowed inside right now."A soft voice provided your unexpected answer, drawing your attention back around. Ari offered a small smile when your attention finally landed on her, her dull brown eyes peeking out through perpetually stringy hair as she clutched a flesh coated walking stick before her. "Good morning, master.""Morning..." You repeat dubiously. Even by your standards it wasn't that anymore. "What do you mean 'not allowed'?""Rinny said you needed rest."Your brow arches skeptically. "And she vacated the entire headquarters for that?" "No." Ari shook her head slowly, "Kara's here too.""Ah." You intoned. Given the state Kara was in, you wouldn't be surprised if Rinnier had chosen to treat the demihuman like a disaster waiting to happen. That explained why this place had been so empty... But it wasn't as if you had many other places to fall back to. This had to be a temporary measure at best. "How is she?""I don't know. Bad?" Ari's smile shrank as she offered her meager evaluation. "She's awake, but she hasn't left her room. I don't know how much of the blood is hers... Do you know what happened?""Mm." A minute passes, and you don't bother to elaborate."Well..." She continues awkwardly, rolling the fleshen staff in her hands before sporting a brighter, more earnest smile. "You won! Rinny's been doing her best to clean up last night's operation, and she thinks we got everyone! I didn't let anyone get out, either!" The staffbound Testament practically beamed with her last words. "Not one, all night!">Ask about something (what?)>Meet with someone (who?)>Self care comes first.>Other? (write-in)
Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Valen+Quest Where things are said: https://twitter.com/Riz_QMWhere things are asked: http://ask.fm/RizQMAssorted Supplemental:Irue Things (up to 74) - https://pastebin.com/PchcdWpwA List of Forgotten Things (up to 74) - http://pastebin.com/kPEscJ3hIrue's Memoirs (Scares the QM to update) - http://pastebin.com/sWnicrK7Arc I - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DMjxLjSbvr-xcxqX9M_ysKaBV1zkUmu5/view?usp=sharingArc II - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cXL1fIYb22IqQ51wWUp3-IMZa2nV5TY8/view?usp=sharing"Really I'd say anybody catching up should read threads instead of this because of what goes on in them, so this is more for looking back I'd say." - Ebook anonWrite-ups:Kara's Day Out - http://pastebin.com/8ZbiSKLsAdventures with Asche - http://pastebin.com/RNviCBJuThe Reclaimed Doll - http://pastebin.com/n6miP1qTIn Your Shadow - http://pastebin.com/EfeeHFAEFriends Forever - http://pastebin.com/Yn0QaTVBThe Woman Beneath Steel - http://pastebin.com/pMGgiHC3Paper Flowers - https://pastebin.com/Pk0W7rEmMerciless Compass - https://pastebin.com/8Hy0krxvBetter Strangers - https://pastebin.com/mvShXpCtMisc notes:Something has been retconned because on further consideration it would have been arbitrary on my account due to a QM failure to properly track time, which landed you in an unfortunate circumstance.An unsatisfying attempt to track the timeline: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1TarAKEt4uvucx-3y4A5d2T46FPF3dXs60an9-AMrJUA/edit?usp=sharing Memo:1. Work through dying before it causes issues with the Shade scar.2. Return and investigate the Dryad Shrine3. Bring Miska and the other "People skilled with arms, with a taste for conflict" with us to the main house.Itinerary:1. Discern knights with an affinity for Mana worth polishing.2. Train the most combat apt knights.3. Track down Asche, who left to find the descendant of the Ice Queen's bloodline.4. Track down the Tier siblings, currently located in Resuri.5. Expedition for resources to the north.6. Unfinished business at the Ruined Shrine. 7. Respond to your aunt's summons.Current Goal: Respond to your aunt's summons.What's On Your Mind:
>>4099312>Ask about something (what?)Firstly, Ask what Ari did with the people she, er, "caught." Also, if anybody came *in.*Because I'm sure Ari absolutely loves Mim.Secondly, what became of the people causing a scene in the town square, and the nature of the scene they caused. Thirdly, we need to start a search for Raid so that Kara doesn't reach up through our ass, punch our teeth out our mouth, grab our hair, and turn us inside out into a grotesque approximation of a sea cucumber defending itself.But once we're sure the house isn't burning down around us->Self care comes first.There are absolutely people we have to meet but if we're to be a pillar for the community we need to look good, not just act good. Stumbling out a disheveled wreck covered in day old sanguine spew will raise the eyebrows of everybody but people into bloodplay.So now is the time to see Markovic.
>>4099312>Self care comes first.Didn't we break our arm or something. Also FINALLY! Been waiting a long time to see u again Riz. Very nice
>>4099312>Ask Ari about who tried to get out, what became of them, and who tried to get in while we're engaging in self-care.Our current short-term goal should be to ensure things go smoothly here while we're seeing our aunt. Dealing with the arriving Paladin is an important part of this.>>4099330Marchovic probably still hasn't arrived.
>>4099312>Hug Ari>Ask her to tell us everything that happenedI remember telling Ari we'd spend some time together but I think our schedule is permanently full of suffering.I wonder if we could fool Raid into believing that we killed the pack so he doesn't lash out at Kara? First order of business would be cleaning the blood off Kara and having the aspiration eat the evidence.
>>4099312Oh and I guess>Ask Ari to help us wash the blood offAin't gonna be easy wish a broken wrist
What did you retcon?
>>4099819Something horrible. Horrible!SUFFERING PLUS ULTRA
I won't be updating until much later tonight, but hello everyone! I will now talk about things I'm sure none of you care about.Timeline! We have one now! I considered setting it up to be a decent recreation of the whole timeline from the start of the quest until now, but as you can see that didn't happen. We had a quite a few fuzzy-time inducing timeskips which would have made that ugly to try and chart out. On a general scale however, I estimate that it's been around half a year for Irue since the quest started? Probably a little more than that. The first arc leading up to Carona's destruction took place within the span of roughly four months, there was a one month drunken timeskip, and you've spent a ~1-2 months in your efforts since. That puts us pretty comfortably around the seven month mark!Going forward I'm probably going to utilize the timeline primarily for specific instances of keeping track of the cast being split, but you're also welcome to specifically request a running tracker of something I don't think of.
Itinerary and To-Do lists! Basically an extension of the memo function, which I'm not pleased over. I wrestled with a few different formats for this, because if I was going to create two MORE lists for you guys to slot items onto, I wanted them to be more meaningful than just another additional reference list. To that end, I considered trying to incentivize management and tying in the utilization of the list into a mechanical interface screw. Ex: Dialogue options leading to your goals would be marked as such.Trashed: Holds your hand too much, leans on your agency to make your own decisions, and mass effect's paragon/renegade system is bad.Ex: Dialogue relevant to your goals in an update are color-coded to stand out to you more easily!Trashed: Holds your hand too much, encourages disregarding uncolored information, discourages discerning opportunities for yourself, and aesthetically it's obnoxious.Ex: The option to shift into a "goal oriented" mindset where in your default interactions with people and situations would place lower priority on information and avenues unrelated to your currently configured goals. This runs the risk of ignoring people who need you, or situations that you could have resolved, in favor of pursuing your goals. An emulation of how focusing on achieving your goals can sometimes make you lose sight of the people and things around you.Trashed: Leans on your agency, felt bad as a QM to railroad even if you explicitly opted into it, you all do a good enough job of this without mechanical enforcement.So in the end you just got a new list. I don't know if it will help any, or if there's a more interesting thing I can do with it, but it is what it is for now.Itinerary is your catch-all "things we want to see to".Current Goal is your most pressing matter currently.What's On Your Mind is an additional matter you're trying to balance while handling your current goal.As always, these are entirely yours to update, manage and assign. I'll remove items as they become irrelevant, but only you guys can decide when to add an item, or when to assign it.
>>4099819>>4099822The timeline spoils this if you look at it. If you'd rather not know what was retconned I don't advise checking out the spoilers, and anyone responding to this post should probably use spoilers as well just for good measure.After sending Mim and Gehr back, you teleported to Carona and arrived before they did, then immediately decided to push forward with the purge ASAP. Due to reasonable apprehension of Ari's Dryad favor being publicly discovered if she was kept in town, you assigned her and the Oakenrue to guarding the perimeter of Carona.Due to you cutting through travel time with a teleport then rushing the operation, the purge was set to line up exactly on the days that Mim and Gehr should have arrived back in Carona, where they would have encountered Ari and the Oakenrue, and you already know exactly how that encounter ends. Dryad has nothing but seething hatred for Luna and its favored.In essence, Mim and Gehr died off screen.So, why was it retconned? Because this was my fault, and not yours. I did not do a proper job keeping strict track of time, so even if some of you were keeping careful note of all that, there was a fuzzy period created after establishing HiH with Rinnier that made it unreasonable to hold any of you responsible for the consequence of disastrous schedule conflicts.While it is entirely possible most, or perhaps none, of you had considered this outcome, it was too drastic for me to accept going through with if there was any degree of arbitrariness in my decision, and by nature of me having to dictate where in that fuzzy-time between establishing HiH and beginning the operation the incident fell, it would have ultimately been something I was responsible for rather than purely your own choices which led to it.I spent about a week thinking it over, and whether the decisions leading up to it were enough to warrant going through with it regardless, but there are things which are inviolable and no degree of QM error are acceptable. This was one of them.
>>4099312>>Self care comes first.
>>4099846Does the itinerary have limited slots like the Memos?IIRC, we haven't recovered the newborn Oakenrue yet, that should be on the itinerary.
>>4100176>Does the itinerary have limited slots like the Memos?Yes, it should have six slots. It has 7 currently because I forgot to remove #7 when it was placed as your main goal.Theoretically you could have as many slots in the itinerary as you want, but for the sake of your to-do list not getting too huge I'm capping it at 6 (and then whatever two you assign to Goal/Mind, for 8 total).Total slots may change in the future if I think of a satisfying way to make it more engaging.
>>4100212Ok then, swap itinerary 3 for "Recover new Oakenrue from outside city". We spent less than a day with it before haring back to town, and we don't want it trying to come over the walls looking for us or something.
>>4099330>>4099363>>4099635What happened to the people Ari caught? Did anyone come in?>>4099330>>4099635What was up with the town square, anyway?>>4099330>>4099335>>4100157Self care. We need a bath! And new clothes!>>4099647Ari I'm covered in blood, help.>>4099330Gotta find Raid before we become a sea cucumber.>>4099635Hugs?alright, writing!----Itinerary:1. Discern knights with an affinity for Mana worth polishing.2. Train the most combat apt knights.3. Recover new Oakenrue from outside city.4. Track down the Tier siblings, currently located in Resuri.5. Expedition for resources to the north.6. Unfinished business at the Ruined Shrine. Done!
Crud, I forgot, we ought to check on Miska.Specifically if she got lynched after running off on her own.
>>4099312> pat Ari's head and praise her for doing a good job.Secret loyalty weapon: headpats. >>4100459
>>4100212Ultimately, I think the itinerary is the best solution, because it seems to me that our main issue is forgetting the context during the long gaps between threads threads.I think though that it should have a larger, if not unlimited, slot cap. At least as an experiment.
>>4099868Jesus Christ.That's, uh, yeah. A level of granularity that I wasn't prepared for. Glad you exerted your discretion there.On the whole, feeling pretty optimistic about how we survived the whole purge. Even the Kara stuff and the Behemoth Damocles Sword hanging over us doesn't detract that we've gotten a good grasp on the actual conspirators and are making significant progress. I'm leery about Raid's reaction the the slaughter of the demi-humans. We can maybe talk him through it? I mean, he IS a sociopath to a vague degree but now Rue and Kara are pretty much his only reliable system of support.
>>4100754You know, I expect Raid to to just make fun of Kara for being stupid enough to believe Maro.
"So there were some who tried to escape?" You'd expected as much considering Ari was assigned there in the first place. "Where are they now?""I dunno, probably still out there." Ari blinked owlishly, exchanging miscomprehension with you for a silent tick before leaning forward in alarm. "Was I supposed to do something with them? I put them all together, that's good, right?!""No- Yes, that's fine." You shake your head, "I was more wondering if Rinnier had any plans for them."Ari sighed in relief. "I don't think so. I guess she'll want them buried eventually?""..." Your head tilted. "You... Killed them?""No." She holds out the fleshen walking stick blandly. "This one did, I watched.""You just... Let it kill everyone trying to escape last night? And then made a pile of dead bodies outside town?"Ari's tentative smile flinched under your questions, slowly retracting the staff to clutch nervously in front of her. "Was I not supposed to? Not even that rock guy?" Your eyes widened reflexively, fragments of last night rushing back to you. That's right, you'd killed the Artemis agent, but his bodyguard had still been alive when you left.You hadn't specified how vicious to be in dealing with people escaping, but to some extent you didn't think the abomination you'd lent Ari would jump immediately to slaughtering people... In retrospect, maybe you should have. It had experienced a lot since it was born, and warped into whatever human-flesh covered, twisted existence it was now; Besides its unceasing hatred for Luna born from Dryad itself, you really knew nothing about it these days."No, you did well. I expected that Gnome adept to keep being a thorn in our side, but you already took care of it." In the end, it wasn't as if your choices lately left you any room to chide anyone else over something like this. You reached out to ruffle her already stringy hair, but catching sight of your bloodied hand forced you to reconsider... It was all well dried now, but you weren't about to flake it off in her hair. That moment of hesitation, however, was all the opening Ari needed to step deftly past your hovering hand."I don't mind the blood." She admitted plainly.Ari peered up through stringy bangs as she sidled closer, standing calmly scant inches away. No, you had to revise that notion, she wasn't standing there - She was waiting. Her chin tucked, angling her eyes meekly upward when you failed to respond. "Master?"
"Did something happen?" You regretted the question the moment it left your mouth, but those words were the first to bubble to the surface. Something didn't sit right, but what other answer could you expect to a question like that? especially after last night. Rather than wait for an answer, you shook your head and wrapped your extended arm around her shoulders idly. "...Nevermind. good job Ari, I'm proud of you." She did everything you'd hoped she would, and more beyond. Some praise for that wouldn't be misplaced."Mm..." The smaller Testament stifled a giggle of satisfaction under her breath while leaning into your bloodstained clothes.If the rest of Carona were as easy to please as Ari, these past few months would have gone much smoother. "Besides those trying to escape, did you encounter anyone from the forest?" "Not someonem But something?" She intoned carefully. "I told it to wait."So it had already made it back? "I'm surprised it listened." You wouldn't exactly call those apparitions disobedient, but they were very similar to overenthusiastic children. Even if it wanted to please, it would become restless if left alone too long."Mine is stronger." She noted with almost ticklish pride, "It's an Aspiration now, did you know?"The fleshen rod sandwiched between you pulsed dully, perhaps aware on some degree the conversation involved it. You'd expected that it had shed its core at some point, but to hear someone else actually voice the idea... The fleshen abomination had well matured beyond its child-like apparitional state. You can't help but wonder if Dryad's slumber, or the rerousing there of, played any part in its final steps."Have you gotten better at communicating with them?" You eased her away to take a closer look at the Aspiration, currently masquerading as a walking stick covered in human flesh. It was a curious sight... If one defined 'curious' as 'deeply unsettling'. As far as you knew, Rinnier still hated the thing.Ari, however, held onto it as if it were her most treasured possession. "I make progress, and then something goes wrong." She shook her head apologetically as frustration colored her report. "I took a break like you asked me to, though! I'm ready to work harder at it now that everything is over, so I can be more useful to you next time."It almost made you laugh, but blithe prospect of increasing her own usefulness left a discomfort in your chest. Even more so that the path to achieving that would align her further and further with Dryad. It wasn't a choice to be made lightly, and you weren't in the position boldly claim you didn't or wouldn't need that power in the future, either...
You pulled Ari back into a brief hug before letting her go. You needed time to think over whether you should keep encouraging her development... or not. You'd spent so much time when you'd first met trying to nurture an interest in the Mana, and with her affinity being polished so diligently you had to be amazed - And a little jealous, if you were being honest. This was the route you had hoped she'd follow from the very beginning, and she'd taken to it swimmingly. You knew full well there would be consequences if her affinity with Dryad continued to grow, but the prospect of what asking her to abandon the path she was on this far in made your stomach churn all the same."You're fine as you are." You catch her eyes seriously. "I don't need you to push yourself just to be useful.""You're pushing too." She returned, driving a stake clean through your gut as your smile stiffened. "That's different." The look in her eyes told you well enough that wasn't getting sold. "I have a lot relying on me, I have to do what I can.""Rinnier's not the only one who can help you." The frailer brunette unexpectedly dug in her heels. ...This wasn't a point she was going to compromise on. "No, she's not. I'm relying on all of you. Kara as well." A heavy sigh dragged your shoulders down as you thought about where you'd even start with that. From the depths of that fatigue, a dull laugh clawed its way up. "But you're right. I guess I'm the last person any of you want to hear say 'take it easy'."It felt like you were getting chided by more and more people lately. "Well, enough of that. I need a new change of clothes, and a bath on top of that." You glanced down at yourself for emphasis, bearing a wry smile that just barely survived the flinch of seeing yourself in the daylight. Kara probably looked even worse. "I actually may need your help with that, I uh... Broke my wrist last night.""...?" Ari blinked up at you confused. "Does it hurt?""..." You opened your mouth to respond with the obvious, but... "No." You stared down at the offending appendage, misshapen and crushed to the point of uselessness. "...It doesn't. I'm still in need of an extra set of hands, though."Ari nodded, evidently as uncertain of your answer as you were. "I'll get the water ready, Master."You watched her make for the door. There was a sense of satisfaction that was hard to place in seeing the once near-cripple girl having grown strong enough to move about on her own again. There was pride and... Maybe relief? Or satisfaction? You weren't sure what to call the warmth it spurred. "Ari, wait-" She turned at your word, "-Do you know what happened in the square last night? Or anything about Dullem and the other knights?""No." She shook her head apologetically. "I've been here all day."You waved her off, freeing her to go start a bath while you were left with your thoughts again.
You needed to ascertain the state of Carona, the sooner the better... And if you didn't make immediate overtures towards finding Raid, you couldn't be sure what Kara would do - either to you, or herself. Ari had unexpectedly already met with the latest Dryad apparition, so for the moment you could rest assured it was behaving itself... But you probably couldn't expect that to last forever, either. And then, once you were sure the precarious balance of this place wasn't about to bring everything crumbling down around you, that still left your aunt's summons. As well as everything else you'd continuously put on the backburner.You may as well start keeping a list of it somewhere before it got so long you started forgetting things.Still... It would take Ari some time to finish preparing a bath. You couldn't exactly leave the headquarters like this, either. That left you time, and a nearly empty building, to yourself.>Check on Kara>Wander through Rinnier's room.>Sift across Fen's desk.>Continue bothering Ari.>Take time to Meditate (To who?)>Other? (write-in)
>>4100802>Try to set our wrist before our monstrous regeneration does it incorrectly.
>>4100802>>4100804Or no, this is better left to a professional. Instead, >Check on Kara
>>4100802>Wander through Rinnier's room.Rinnierier
>>4100802>>Wander through Rinnier's room.
>>4100802>Take time to Meditate (To who?)Dryad.By meditating on all OUR people and what they mean to us and how far we are willing to go for them.Expand our posessiveness to the town of Carona. We don't really like it, but it's OURS now. We proved that with the purge. The purge was good. The purge was RIGHT. Not in any like, moral sense, but fuck 'em they made their choice. A whole universe of possibility where the could choose not to fuck with us but they insisted on it, and if staying alive meant killing them when they wouldn't stop well - the wolf eats the fox.
>>4100805>>4100802This first, then meditate on Dryad if Kara isn't awake yet. She's hurt, we should prioritize her. She's our Testament, same as the others. Also our friend. Carona can burn a little bit more while we take care of this.
>>4100804Why don't we just use the book to return to a healed form?
>>4101453Aw shit. I forgot it could do that.Let's do it.
>>4101453Because we don't need to be fully healed right now. In fact it's a decent excuse for not being there for our knights.
>>4101495Fair enough. Well. Since it doesn't actually hurt, I guess.Although lack of pain is usually a very bad sign when experiencing significant trauma.
>>4101495We could also just turn back with the book when we need to.Or get a cast put on and then fix it inside the cast.Or not have to explain jack shit to our Knights becausw they have maxed out loyalty and don't expect us to show up anyways. We can always just tell them we got caught up dealing with the demi-human situation also.
>>4101495It also just occurred to me how inhuman this line of thought is. "Oh, crushed and mangled limb? Hrmmm, could be useful. I could fix it, but better leave it for now."
>>4101580>We could also just turn back with the book when we need to.Yeah I'm not against healing ourselves if we're in a position where we need to, I just don't want to resort to using our powers for convenience. We're fucked up enough already.
>>4101594> You stared down at the offending appendage, misshapen and crushed to the point of uselessness. > I just don't want toresort to using our powers for convenience.I mean. We're well past the point of "convenience" here.
>>4101612When's the last time we solved a problem with our hands? We can fix it at any time using the relic, right? I'm not saying we should stay like this forever, lets just exhaust any other options we have first. Besides, Irue always seems to heal from any damage without leaving a so much as a mark so I get the feeling this isn't as serious a wound as it seems.
>>4101672> When's the last time we solved a problem with our hands? All the damn time? Rues strength is in using tools. IDK, when's the last time you chased down your dinnet and ate it raw, then slept naked in a tree.Rue doesn't have the luxury of indulging in vanity like that. She has to use the tools available.What's next, send Rinnier to doght without her weird flaming staff that we never used the fire option on?Note to self, get oil for Rinniers staff to spew flames with.
>>4101672Also when is the last time we had a problem that could be fixed without using other people or artifacts or aspirants under our control?Rue ain't got those kinds of problems.
>>4101594How would using the book to heal be bad?
>>4101716Because using relics and powers from ateliers always have a price, we have a limited understanding of what the web and the bracelet are doing to us but we don't understand what kind of effect using the diary is having on Irue, and the idea of paying an unknown identity themed price scares me. Again, I'm not against using it if we find ourselves in a precarious circumstance but we're safe now, we should at least do our due diligence in asking for healing from one of the wisp adepts at the shrine or basic medical attention from our knights.
>>4101725Do we know that for sure that they always have a price? Doesn't the bracelet only hurt us because we were using it in exactly the wrong way, and even then we were able to heal from using it?The web as well, isn't it only because we were using it wrong that it was addictive, and we've resolved that now?
>>4100802>Check on Kara>>4101453>>4101456Support. The more I think about a messed up arm, the more it grosses me out. I suppose we could leave it mangled to manipulate Kara but that feels wrong.
>>4101744There's a lot of unknowns on the specific aftereffects they have on Irue, we know the price for using the bracelet wrong but we don't know how to use it correctly or what using it correctly would even look like, it can be used to communicate with mana but I feel like there's more, like we're missing something big.Using the web with Rinnier has unlocked the full(?) offensive power of the web but does not seem to have reduced the effect of dulling Irues feelings when not in the web, in the last thread Riz alluded that this is the reason Irue had such an underwhelming reaction to having her arm broken.Rinnier will also be vindicated on calling us a hypocrite for using the relics flippantly. Up until now we've only used it when we needed to (as far as she knows). This is frustrating because Rinnier is full of shit and it was absurd to call us out on using the diary to fix the damage caused from literally dying after telling her off for using it on her fat tits.
>>4101765A broken arm is a big deal.Also, what do you have against Rinnier.Don't be a clown.
>>4101767What is your malfunction anon?
>>4101769That's my question for you. You want to wander around with a fucked up arm, and think that's somehow gonna fuck Rue up less in her identity as a person instead of having her fix the arm with the book.Because of REASONS that you don't actually know, but fear.And then you go off on Rinnier. What's your malfunction, Anon? Are you the guy who keeps ranting about killing our aunt?
>>4101775>You want to wander around with a fucked up armI'm not going to say it a third time.>Are you the guy who keeps ranting about killing our aunt?No, I'm one of the guys that always argues with him.
OH YEAh. Well I think we should... hug Rinnier
>>4101779Well at least you're not that guy.Are you the guy who keeps suggesting we put a Dryad core into the Behemoth?
>>4101784No, but I like that guy.
>>4101784You say that like it's a bad idea.
>>4101791Well in that case I can vote to not fix our arm. Honestly I started day drinking at lunch and this kinda feels like its starting to get out of hand.But thanks. Glad to hear you like me.
>>4100802>>4100804Rue's pain tolerance is a little low for that, but we should get it treated properly. Using the diary to heal as Rue will definitely have an effect on our psyche.
>>4101793Have you considered not posting for a bit?
>>4101794Honestly, so long as we do something about it
>>4101803Dryad is the true Oaken-Waifu.
>>4101822Yeah fuck it, Irue has been alone too long. Cummies for the lifelord! Dicks out for Dryad!
>>4100802>>Check on KaraI forgot to vote
Closing the vote soon!
>>4100804>>4101759>>4101794This wrist is worrying. Maybe try to fix it up first?>>4100805>>4101452>>4101759>>4102018Kara is worrying. Maybe try to fix her up first?>>4101449>>4101452Relax and calm your mind. Dryad meditation!>>4100810>>4100918What possible reason did you have for choosing this?Alright, writing! There's a general concern towards trying to fix your wrist, but a split on whether or not to use the diary to just resolve it immediately.
>>4102503Oboy I am excited to sleep with Kara. Full Hearts in Harmony. I wonder who took her memories of us summoning Shade.But if she can trust us enough to sleep with us, she can experience what we've done herself. I'm confident in it.
For a single, dubious moment, you seriously considered using that freedom to go snoop through Rinnier's room. She wasn't here, and as far as you knew she probably wouldn't be back anytime soon. There certainly wasn't anyone else that would question it. Now was a rare chance to have the run of the place completely to yourself! Except, specifically speaking, you always had the run of the headquarters. You were indisputably the highest authority here. You didn't actually have to explain yourself or your actions to any of your knights. Or your Testament, for that matter. This wasn't an opportunity at all, thinking of it like that implied there were times when you couldn't just do as you pleased. That was patently ridiculous....And it wasn't like you had any good reason to go in there in the first place. You had no reason to mistrust the flamehaired Testament, and it wasn't as if you'd left anything there; There really wasn't anything of interest to you in there. It was a stray thought, bereft of any particular reason or basis, and the amount of time you'd spent entertaining it was already more than it deserved. You had far more important things to do, and more important things to be considering, than something like this. More responsible things. Like what you were going to do with this destroyed wrist of yours.It didn't hurt, and that was perhaps its only saving grace... And a major point of concern. You weren't terribly familiar with broken bones, but you're certain something like this should have left you in a fair degree of agony. It would be child's play to utilize the Diary of Reflections and simply leave the damage behind, but- If- If you did that, you'd be toying with a Relic in the same manner you'd made a point to lecture others not to.Were the circumstances different? Probably. Your wrist looked more apt to fall off than stay attached at this point, so you would comfortably rank the direness well above Rinnier's shallow application. Were the circumstances different enough to warrant the risk regardless...?No. Probably not. This wasn't life threatening, and you had no idea what manner of long term side effects might accompany flippant disregard for something as abstract as your 'identity'. It would be safer to find a Wisp adept willing to help you, and baring with it for now. Maybe you could get Ari to help you bandage it for the time being, if just to keep up appearances until you could get a proper healer to look at it....You probably needed a proper healer to see Kara as well. There really was no way of knowing whether somewhere underneath the gore you'd last seen her caked in were injuries of her own.A heavy sigh brought you back to silence. You knew exactly why you were so keen to distract yourself with stupid ways to waste time; It wasn't a coincidence that Rinnier's room would have taken you away from the one you were most worried over.
You didn't know what to do for Kara. You didn't know if there was anything you could do for her; Just the idea of seeing her again made you hesitate, because what then? What kind of face would she show you? What could you possibly say?The longer you dwelled on it, the more you realized how thoroughly the demihuman haunted you. For all intents and purposes, you should have been ecstatic right now - In roughly a week you had ripped Artemis out of your hair by the roots, purged its local supporters, and gained proper control over Carona. You'd even done it mostly on your own, sans some unexpected aid from the Shrine itself. You had every reason to feel like celebrating... But instead you were pacing in the foyer of an empty building, trying to muster the courage to be more than arm's-length support. Finding, and making up excuses just to distract yourself from dealing with what was in front of you.Shade bless, but you had always been terrible at dealing with people who were upset. You couldn't handle people crying without starting to cry yourself, and it felt horrible to catch yourself hoping against hope that after everything that happened last night, maybe she wouldn't be crying when you went in.But... You had to do something. You couldn't leave her like this.
Your good hand rapped against a closed door, having followed the trail of blood on the floor to find the room your demihuman Testament had been left within. "Kara?" It didn't matter what you said, it wasn't as if you expected a response; Your hand was already moving to rest on the door knob as your voice dropped. "I'm coming in."What struck you first upon entering was the smell. Like a physical blow, it nearly made you recoil when you stepped beyond the threshold to find the occupant in question with her knees clutched flush against her chest. Where you'd no doubt grown accustomed to your own rancid scent, the strench emanating from Kara's gore caked body was horrendous. You tried, and failed, to suppress a wince of empathy as you imagined what it must have been like for Kara's own nose.For the smallest of mercies, she was, in fact, not crying. There'd been no shortage of it last night, but at this point you weren't even sure if she'd slept yet, and to describe her as too exhausted to keep crying... You couldn't say that was anything to be thankful for."How-" Are you doing? Reflexive words of concern, something to bridge this gap, swelled and caught in your throat as your rational mind beat them back down your gullet. You approached her slowly, understandably wary of the damage she could cause, even without meaning to. You swallowed your words and knelt several feet away. "Have slept?""..."You swallowed again, receiving not so much as a flicker of her eyes in response. Even her tail remained conspicuous still, limply curled about her ankles.This is what you were afraid. Seeing yourself reflected in her dull eyes, you felt as helpless now as you had in her place over a decade ago... Like you'd come this far, and still understood nothing. >Keep talking to her. (About what?)>She needs a bath more than you do.>Offer some kind of physical reassurance.>Leave. There's nothing you can do for her like this.>Other? (write-in)
>>4102911>Leave. There's nothing you can do for her like this.
>>4102911>She needs a bath more than you do.>Keep talking to her about meeting Raid. Which means bathing, clothing, making preparations, determining the time and direction of his arrival and so on. Get her to make plans.I'm afraid us and Raid are the only two anchors she has.
>>4102911>She needs a bath more than you do.>Keep talking to her. (About what?) >Raid can't see her like this, we need to clean her up and dispose of the evidence >Offer to tell Raid that we killed the pack
>>4102911>>Leave. There's nothing you can do for her like this.
>>4102911>She needs a bath more than you do.>Offer some kind of physical reassurance.Grooming patterns. Also, Raid should be back soon, no? Can we send people out to get him, because Kara seems broken.>Keep talking to her. (About what?) >Raid can't see her like this, we need to clean her up and dispose of the evidence >Offer to tell Raid that we killed the packThis seems good too. But later, after we gauge what state she's in.
>>4103158>This seems good too. But later, after we gauge what state she's in.Yeah actually you're right, we don't know what we're dealing with yet.>>4102911>>4102922Retract that part pls
>>4103195Just want to say, if we want to tell Raid we totally iced his chump pack, how exactly did we do it? I can imagine the first thing he'll think is, "how did this literal twig kill an entire pack" since even depressed demihumans aren't exactly weaklings. I don't think he knows we can summon demons, after all.
>>4103312Same way we can take care of the bodies. With our aspiration. Speaking of which, I think our abomination has earned a name by now.
>>4102911>Help her bathe and change clothes. Talk about raid and focus her mind on the one thing in this world that's actually good for her.Riz, add "use hearts in harmony with kara" to the list.In fact, if she falls asleep in the bath let's try to sneak in a nap ourselves and use it with her. She doesn't understand words, words aren't going to help her.>Call for Ari and tell her to fetch the town's healer to fix our wrist and give Kara a check-up
>>4103412I don't think we should be letting people in to see Kara while she's broken
>>4103412>Riz, add "use hearts in harmony with kara" to the list.Itinerary:1. Discern knights with an affinity for Mana worth polishing.2. Train the most combat apt knights.3. Recover new Oakenrue from outside city.4. Track down the Tier siblings, currently located in Resuri.5. Expedition for resources to the north.6. Unfinished business at the Ruined Shrine. What are you replacing?
Why do we want to HiH Kara again?
>>4103438Nah. I'm gonna constantly bring it up so don't worry. We'll have a bath, have a cry, maybe a fight, then a sleep.
>>4103444Because she's the last testament to do so.Because she has trust issues and it's the most open and honest we can possibly be with her.Because it will let us better understand her.Because Kara threads are best threads.
>>4103412No, do not. We're far from unified on that.
>>4103448Those reasons aren't all that convincing anon
>>4102915>>4103122It can't be helped!>>4102916>>4102922>>4103158>>4103412Sausage isn't an acceptable material for a face mask!>>4102916>>4102922>>4103158>>4103412Can't shut down now, Raid's gonna come back.>>4102922>>4103158Offer to tell Raid you're the one who killed the pack.>Note for this to maybe come up later?>>4103158Physical reassurance in the form of...! Grooming?>>4103412>>4103436>>4103508some division in whether to call for a healer to see to Kara as well.Called for bath! And reassurances! And maybe grooming?
>>4104094No for the healer.
>>4104094Yeah, I mean we know how to bandage people, right? *What could go wrong*.Tell me again how badly Kara is physically messed up?
>>4104094Bathing together is a type of grooming.Brushing Kara's hair out.Sniffing it.Letting her actually touch our below where we're holding it in our hand just to feel safe.
>>4104107> Letting her actually touch our hair just below where we're holding it in our hand just to feel safe.Haha I a word or two.
>>4104105>how badly Kara is physically messed up?You don't actually know. Most of her is covered with assorted flesh. She is, quite literally, coated in her pack.>>4104107...
>>4104123Well we might as well clean her up first before deciding on calling a healer.Maybe we should send some Knights to check in on the mess and cordon off the splash zones so people don't panic.
>>4104123I mean. Irue has a whole hair fetish thing. Kara is like, a thick maned demi-human? I see Irue sniffing Karas hair not in a sexual way but just in a way too focused on hair kinda inquisitiveness pluss Irue having the social skills of a highly manipulative toddler. Just all over the place.Trust has been a running theme with Kara, too, what could be more trusting than letting her hold Irues hair that she values not like, more than her Testaments, but if both were falling off a cliff in a hypothetical situation she might instinctively try to save her hair first.
>>4100796> That moment of hesitation, however, was all the opening Ari needed to step deftly past your hovering hand.> "I don't mind the blood." She admitted plainly.> Ari peered up through stringy bangs as she sidled closer, standing calmly scant inches away. No, you had to revise that notion, she wasn't standing there - She was waiting. Her chin tucked, angling her eyes meekly upward when you failed to respond. "Master?"Also y'all just gonna sleep on this creepy. ass. shit right here?
>>4104131We know ari is insane. I like how rue complimented her and told her "good job watching people get killed and smart of you to pile up the corpses" because that kind of reinforcement will obviously end well
>>4104157She did do a good job, though.And she didn't kill indiscriminately, that was good too.Besides, Irue doesn't mind the blood much either.
Looking her over, Kara needed a bath more desperately than you did. Being covered in dried blood was one thing, but the gore which coated your Testament was tangibly thick; In some places it resembled raw sausage. Shifting awkwardly, you pushed to your feet and shuffled across the cautious distance separating you. "Come on, Kara. You can't sit in here like this, we need to get you cleaned up." You started to offer your hand to her, but the instant it took you to determine which had she'd broken last night was enough to make you rethink that plan altogether. "Ari's preparing a bath already, can you stand?"...No response. She may have been ignoring you, but her half-lidded stare didn't necessarily discourage you from continuing. You gingerly lowered your good hand over her head, trying to stroke her hair through the accumulated grime. You can't really remember what Asche had done to help you all those years ago. The memories were... Dark. A muddied blur of days and nights melting together. What you do remember was that even at your worst, she hadn't often left you alone. Even if it was meaningless, something trivial and irrelevant, she had stood near and coaxed you through it.All told, maybe just getting you to do those things had been the hardest step. For both of you. In some ways, Kara was in far worse a condition, but in others- "Raid won't be happy if he comes back to find you like this." -In others, she at least still had someone close to her.Maybe it was unfair to taunt your Testament with her little brother, but you still felt her ears lethargically twitch beneath your hand. If she resented you for it... Keeping her from shutting down was more important. "It doesn't have to take long. We'll wipe you down and you can come back."For a second you thought you'd roused her, played strongly enough on her concern for the only family she had left to coerce her into going along with you... But after the thought seemed to have wormed its way through her, her head only sunk lower. "...Kara?"The demihuman uttered something hoarsely through her arms."...?" You eased yourself down to the floor next to her, resigned to not getting her up that conveniently. Her mutters continued, broken and half-formed words muffled through her limbs and clothes."Can't." She repeated, urgency beginning to bleed through her increasingly resolute - almost desperate - mantra. "Can't. I can't. Not Raid. I can't see Raid... I can't.""He's not here yet." You make the mistake of trying to squeeze her shoulder and instead feel your fingers sink into the mottled, raw meat like grime caked to her. "Yet. He's going to be, he's still alive, I'm going to-""No!" Her guttural growl cut you off, rising up like curdled blood from the pit of her throat; It set even the hair of her tail on end. "I... can't meet Raid again, I killed everyone... I can't... It's my fault, he's going to hate me...!"
Your mouth shut tight, letting her outburst run its course before she began to sink back into herself in a miserable panic. Maybe... Maybe reminding her about Raid wasn't the best thing to have done. On some level it was heartening that apparently she still trusted in you enough to believe that Raid was still alive, that he would be back - And Mana bless, you pray you weren't forced to eat your words over that - but the time she'd spent crying had dulled that panic. Given her jarred mind time, and space, to creak forward again.Just far enough forward to fall into another pitfall after she realized she would have to explain herself to her little brother."Kara, cal-" No, no, you absolutely could not tell her to 'calm down'. "-Hold on, Listen to me-" You grimaced as you slid your arm past her shoulder, like snaking it along a trough of slaughtered livestock, to try and hold her attention. "-Listen, Raid..."You... Have no idea if he'd actually hate her for this or not. You didn't think he was much like his sister at all, so whether he had the capacity to be emotionally attached to them or not was questionable."...Raid will listen to you, alright?" Your mind turned quickly over what you did know of the boy, settling down a path that could get dangerous. "You didn't do... any of this because you wanted to. You had a good reason, Kara. You can explain yourself, he's going to listen.""He's going to hate me." She babbled miserably, emitting squishy noises that made your stomach retch as she buried her face into her knees. Her whole body trembled under your arm. "I fucked up... I fucked up bad.""He's... Not going to be happy." You acknowledge evenly, "But I don't think he's going to hate you. You're all he has left now.""Again."Now was a rather poor time to realize that you actually knew very, very little about Kara. Her past, her actual relationship with Raid and her now former pack... Nothing. She wasn't about to elaborate either, and maybe that was for the best right now. She certainly wasn't in any state for prying.But if you left her like this, there's no telling what solution she'd come to on her own.>Coax her into facing Raid.>Offer to take the blame.>Just try to calm her down for now.>Other? (write-in)There's no real guarantee anything you choose will work, but it is the direction Irue will try to encourage.
>>4104242>Just try to calm her down for now.It doesn't have to be solved right away. Kara can get clean, she can tell us what happened while she figures out what she wants and then we can help her get that.We can fix this, we can explain it to Raid or take the blame for whatever she did so that she can keep Raid. She might be all he has left, but she has us and Ari and Rinnier as well so in a way Raid has all of us also. We'll take it one problem at a time, for now let's start with cleaning up. Then we can work our way through the rest of the things that have to be done.
>>4104246>>4104242Can we get her some food, too? With juice or water, no alcohol.
>>4104242Damn, I hoped mentioning Raid would give her motivation to go on.>Just try to calm her down for now.
>>4104242>Offer to take the blame.
>>4104242>>Just try to calm her down for now.
>>4104242>Just try to calm her down for now.It did happen only the other day, maybe time can scar it over just a little. We really do need to amend this lack of knowledge though; maybe when we find Raid we can get it from him. >>4104247She likes apples. Get her apples.
>>4104465While the town is on the mend, it's still a far ways off from having access to things like apples.
>>4104560They literally grow on trees
>>4104242>Just try to calm her down for now.I'd say get her some apples, but that would break the flow right now.
>>4104563During fall. If we have any orchards nearby. If anyone is bothering picking apples when more nutritious foods are much more valuable at the moment.
>>4104242>>Offer to take the blame.
>>4104571But Rue is a noble. So she gets apples.
iirc when we went to the valen estate or thereabouts raid pulled Irue aside and said he would fuck her up if she abused kara in any way? Kid cares more about her then anything, and a good deal more than what we're told that demihumans are capable of. It happened again after the alcohol episode, and pretty much every time we're alone with him he talks about his sister. He's been concerned about the pack dynamic for a long time>>4104242Tell her about all the times he's threatened Irue if she mistreats her, how protective he is. He cares about her, not the pack retards and not maroEither way she needs to be cleaned, being covered with bits and bobs of old bullies is not healthyOh and,>You're all he has left now."Irue is so bad at this lol
We might be able to get her cleaned if we feed her some faekda
I haven't reread in a long time and I haven't had time to go check so please if I'm Wrong do negate my vote. I'm reasonably sure that I'm not wrong, but eh.
>>4104827I'm gonna need you to be more specific!
>>4104242>"You're all he has left now."But she has both of us.Sure, Raid probably don't think too highly of Irue aside from "she's got some seriously whack magic shit going on, I don't want to mess with that", but we're here for both of them. They are a one package deal.Worried about saying it out loud because Irue had a serious case of foot in mouth syndrome... She'd just end up nonchalantly say "if he does hate you at least you've got me!"
>>4104836>>4104786>>4104827>>4104837All me, i dunno what's up with my ids
Alright, I am home! I'll be closing the window and writing soon!
>>4104246>>4104258>>4104397>>4104465>>4104567Don't push her, don't involve yourself, just calm her down!>>4104269>>4104600You... You can fix this. >>4104247>>4104811Faedka will fix our problems!>>4104786notes about Raid to help encourage her.Alright, the vote outcome looks pretty obvious! I got about 2.5 hours of sleep and went through an 8 hour lecture and a 4 hour round trip today though, so I'm probably just going to crash and try to make an update in the morning.As an aside note, apples are a tricky thing to get a hold of currently. This was touched on a bit the last time they were accrued (by Asche!) but supplies are at a premium after the Mistral's Child, and simple things that La'Fiel would otherwise have in spades - such as apples - aren't so abundant to you because merchants have been giving Carona the cold shoulder for some time.It's unlikely you'll scrounge up more of them around town, but they aren't too difficult to acquire overall. There are multiple ways you could go about doing so, it'd just won't be done immediately. One way, for example, would be if you tasked the demihumans with searching for wild apples using their superior sense of scent.
>>4105302> Implying they wouldn't just ferment the apples.
>>4105354Cider is weaksauce, unless they've got distillation set up in their beatnik woods somewhere they'd want to make somebody else turn it into proper firewater.
>>4105302Wild apples are shit though. You need to carefully preserve your tasty cultivars with grafting, anything that grows from seeds will more likely than not be only good for cider.
Maybe we should do some fan stuff. Any ideas for ms paint?
>>4106155Oakenrue removing insurgents.
>>4106155Kara and Irue in a bath.> perspective from behind them, so all we can see is their hair.
>>4106922Just the backs of two heads, resting above the rim of the tub as Kara lies in Irues arms after Irue cleans the gore off her.I mean. You don't expect Irue to get her hair *wet*. So it would be in an updo, while Kara's would be all loose and flowing from being freshly washed.
>>4106929that's a pretty weird thing to draw. And "ms paint" was meant to suggest it's shitty, so ideas 4 something simple would be better
>>4106155shouting at mimgetting drunk for a month straightForgettinggetting speared through the chest by Reiner's pole/staff/thinginitial meeting of Oakenruebeing woken up at the beginning of each loopshadowruehunting the snake"Jinn calls me"getting our teeth kicked in by the paladinalmost dying to that oakenbearbiting the mayor sowing the seeds of our hate of the townchoosing a hairbandpassing the Testamentothers wondering at Rue's... ambiguityNot all of these are really suited for paint, but hopefully they at least spark some ideas.
"...I don't know what happened before, but Raid cares more about you than he does anyone else." And maybe reminding her that he didn't have anyone else now wasn't the best approach. A stupid mistake, an amateur mistake, and one you'd have never made if your only goal had been to exploit her vulnerability to get what you wanted. Dealing with people was at its easiest when you held them at arm's length; The more you concerned yourself with someone on a personal level, the more complicated it got.Your lips pursed, trying to shake the creeping frustration and desperation off as Kara's panic worked to fray your nerves. "I know he does. You're almost the only thing he's ever talked to me about. He gets jealous when you spend too much time with other people, just... We'll take this a little at a time, alright? I can talk to him first. We'll get you cleaned up and we'll figure things out.""Shoulda never come 'ere." It hurt in ways you weren't prepared for to hear that; Ways which soundly made up for whatever physical pain your mangled wrist was conspicuously lacking. Whether it was something brought on under the weight of recent events or something she had genuinely begun to feel, it still hurt. Your rational mind rallied immediately, pointing that for everything you'd done for her, there was no reason to feel guilty over this. No point in tormenting yourself over something that she, by all rights, was only saying because she herself was in pain and trying to escape.But rationality was a poor defense, and an even worse balm. Doubt clawed rivets through its paper-thin gauze, questioning whether she had been actually wrong when she had observed that her life had only steadily fallen apart after meeting you. Much of what occurred had been your fault, either directly or indirectly, after all... And the longer you dwelled, the more apt you were to recall one scenario or another and begin to wonder if you could have done something different then. If there had been a moment staring you in the face that you missed.
...You weren't about to make this about yourself. The death of Kara's pack was blood on her hands, and hers alone. You knew that. Yet... Still. In a way you struggled to justify - That someone so presumably close to you had done something so drastic left you with the guilt that somehow, there must have been something you could have done. Some part to play, long before now, which could have prevented the state she was in now.And to even consider that left you at a such a complete loss as to where to so much as begin that it only confounded the sense of helplessness you felt trying - and failing - to console her. Ari's muffled voice sounded through the door. "Master? The bath is ready."In the end, you couldn't coax her from the floor. You don't know if your presence here was even helping, or just making it worse. If the latter were a possibility, maybe it was better to pray it wasn't doing anything at all - But! But you had made your resolve already. Made it once, and then again, and again, and again, and again. Kara was your Testament, and she needed... Someone. Maybe it wasn't you, maybe Raid could help her where you couldn't, but you were the only here right now. You weren't about to abandon her because it was hard. Because it was heavy. Your resolve wasn't so flimsy that you'd let that discourage you."Ari, change of plans." You called back, "Can you bring a pair of rags and the water to the door?""Ah? Y-Yes! I'll be right back, Master!" The timid Testament briefly showed her confusion before squeaking an affirmation. Barely minutes later, she had returned with the rags in one hand and several fleshy root-tendrils encircling a rather large bucket of water. She held the rags out questioningly. "Is this what you needed?""Yeah, this will do." You look over the abrasive scrap of cloth as the fleshen rod obediently set its cargo behind Ari, and in arm's reach of you. You sighed, submerging the rag within with your good hand... Only to realize you lacked the requisite second hand do what you wanted. "Ari-""I can handle this much, Master." Her answer carried a soft confidence, a tone which was vindicated by the fact she had already knelt to dip - and wring - her own rag before you spoke. You nodded, flashing a small, grateful smile as you took it in hand and turned back to Kara. Unresponsive, buried in her own arms... You let out a sigh and started from the top, plopping the warm, wet rag over her head.
Bits and pieces of flesh had congealed in her hair, holding together clumps of it that you could feel even through the rag as you worked to disentangle it all. Scraps of dried blood that, once moistened, slowly broke apart and let you pull away small handfuls of the gunk at a time.It was fortunate that Ari was prompt with exchanging rags while you worked, as the filth which accumulated in just the time it took you to try and wash Kara's scruffy hair clear had already stained the bucket of water a foreboding reddish-black... And created a small pile of little cream-colored fragments of varying sizes and shapes. Sometimes they had come free, buried within a particularly frustrating knot, or half-hidden under chunk of stubborn flesh.You had probably found three before realizing what they were. It did nothing to make this task any less disturbing to you.But her hair wasn't even properly cleaned yet and both you and Ari were now left to wait as the Dryad Aspiration carried out its menial duties to acquire unsullied wash water. You might legitimately be here for hours before so much as starting on your own bath.Yet while you occasionally still winced as you felt the flesh work free, and felt the nausea in your stomach settling into a semi-permanent state of 'repressed gag', the ritual carried its own sort of... Familiar catharsis. She wasn't cooperating with you, but she wasn't resisting either - And if that meant sometimes you had to roll her head one way or another, or hold up an ear to carefully clean out the inside, then her lethargy served just as well. It was only after a new pail had been brought and your rhythm settled in did the source of the faint, misplaced smile playing across your lips occur to you.In another building. When the mess she'd made wasn't nearly so personal. When her resistance had been stubborn recalcitrance."Tell me when you get hungry, Kara." You echo the words gently, lathering through her hair to scrape blood from the roots. "...I'll get food for you. Real food. Turkey. Or, maybe some apples if we can find them."This time there was no momentary lapse into docility to take advantage of. No reaction that you'd spoken at all. Maybe she didn't remember. Maybe it didn't matter."...Thank you for not throwing me across the room this time." You continued softly, combing through her drooping, wet hair for spots you'd missed. The warm rag hung across her face while dripping beads of water along the cracking, slickened coating of carnage across her skin... And you hesitated, trying to find words out of an awkwardly stumbling heartbeat. "I hope... It hasn't all been a mistake to you."
No response. No reply. You forced your faltering smile in place and stroked her hair back. "It may not make you happy, but I'm here if you need me. Though maybe I wasn't here when you needed me, or you didn't know that I was, or... I didn't know that you did." You felt your tongue starting to tie, twisting and curling unfamiliarly around a string of words you couldn't tell the ending of. You pressed the rag against her cheek, weakly scrubbing the flakes of dried blood free in pensive silence. "I don't know." You admitted under your breath, heaving a sigh as you gave up trying to speak while Ari watched on quietly. "Come on, Kara. We need to get your..." You trailed off, the logical conclusion to actually scraping all this filth off Kara finally crystallizing. "Kara, if you don't work with me I'm going to have to just cut you out of these clothes."Still nothing. Your head hangs, committed despite yourself to seeing this through. "Ari, make sure no one unexpected walks in.""...Yes, Master."You don't know if her lack of response no matter what you did was ultimately a blessing, or something to be dejected over. You could only push and pull her so much, even with Ari's aid to try and contort the depressed demihuman to properly scrub her down... But it could have been worse. At some point it almost seemed like she'd simply given up even resisting, rather than becoming frustrated and trying to stop you by force. On one hand that made stretching out her limbs a much easier affair. On the other...By the time you were done, the floor was soaked in water, small piles of carnage, and tiny chunks of bone. Both you and Ari were little better, and Kara herself seemed as if she'd simply given up. There were a few times you had thought her eyes had twitched across you and Ari while she was being washed; Moments of unexpected stiffness in her muscles that made you wonder if she was finally through with being treated as if she were a doll... But nothing ever came of it.
Having seen her nude body in full, inch upon inch across her toned flesh and taut muscles, the thing which stuck most firmly in your mind was how many scars she bore. Of injuries from last night's slaughter you found more than her fair share; Already healing bruises and scrapes, some claw marks especially - whose angry red lines were already healing over - but by and large what you found were scars. Old ones, of all shapes and sizes, which left you running your fingers along her skin in silent wonder to feel the bumps of irregular tissue paint a map across her body.Among them, the one which drew your eyes back time after time was one you felt in the pit of your stomach you recognized. A large gash along the center of her shoulder blade, as if something large had pierced the flesh and then been violently ripped free.>Anything else you'd like to do with or to Kara?>Attend to your own bath.>It's been long enough, someone is probably back by now.>Am I forgetting something...? (write-in)
>>4107033The only thing I can remember that could wound Kara was the Paladin.Is it him that we're forgetting about?Other possibilities: Injury received in slavery (does Ari have a similar one?)Injury inflicted by a Dryad Apparition (where could we have seen one?)Injury inflicted by a Revenant or another Shade apparition (if I understand the description correctly this kind of injury could've been inflicted by a giant claw)Something similar to what we saw on the proto-demihuman kids in the Dryad Matrix>Attend to your own bath.A potential way to cheer Kara up could be to load Irue with optimism, energy and WAFF, then use Hearts in Harmony to try to share it with Kara. Doesn't seem too likely to work.
>>4107033>Attend to your own bath.
>>4107033>>Attend to your own bath.
>>4107033>801 mention of Kara in the 1st act aloneGods of datamining save me.
>>4107180...And I found nothing. Sorry anons.
>>4107180>>4107241Did you try "shoulder"?I'm gonna go look myself but I really am not sure.
>>4107033Yeah that was sneaky of you, really sneaky. I *knew* I had read it but there were so few details in the thread.>Kara's Day Out>When you had stopped to think about that, a blossom of pain erupted from your back as you felt one of the stabby-toting guards drive the tip past the underside of your shoulderblade.She was stabbed because Irue chose to attack Carona's city guards and eat Roderick like a savage.>Remind Kara of what she is to us. Her battles are our battles. We are together, Irue and all of her Testaments and nothing will change that. She is NOT alone. Shared grief is half the grief, shared joy is double the joy.>Apologize for not dealing with Maro before this had to happen. We knew he was an absolute piece of shit, but we never thought he was a priority issue.>Try to explain what led to this. We made her pack leader because we believed it would help *her* grow and make decisions and we trusted that she would make the right ones. We didn't get involved or tell her what to do because we thought that would be best for *her*. It was our failure to understand just how bad Maro truly was and we fucked up somewhere if Kara didn't think that she could come to us to ask for help or advice.We should have done this a long time ago, we had so many chances to talk to Kara but we never fucking did. Every damn thing in this quest boils down to a failure to communicate.
>>4107364Damn. I skipped Kara's Day Out because I didn't think Irue would forget something she didn't even experience.You did great anon.
>>4107033That being said, voting against the following>DON'T DO THIS: Try to explain what led to this. We made her pack leader because we believed it would help *her* grow and make decisions and we trusted that she would make the right ones. We didn't get involved or tell her what to do because we thought that would be best for *her*. It was our failure to understand just how bad Maro truly was and we fucked up somewhere if Kara didn't think that she could come to us to ask for help or advice.It's easy to interpret this as telling Kara she had failed our expectations. This is not what she needs right now.
>>4107374You're right. I'm trying to do too much at once there.I'm going to blame exhaustion because I've nearly fallen out of my chair twice tonight from nodding off.I'll retract it, Irue is bad at this consoling stuff as shown above. I can't accuse her of foot in mouth syndrome and then be an idiot all on my own in the same thread
>>4107364Sounds possible, but I seem to recall Riz saying all the side stories and such were optional content, and as such aren't viable for Forgettings.
wait, what colour headband is Irue wearing?
>>4107589Grey. Ari is wearing the red one.
>>4107033>Cover up Kara with a blanket or something. Did we cut the clothes off and if so are there spares?
Anyway, here's a bad attempt at Forgetting faceIf anyone wants to try improve on it go ahead
>>4107688Needs more anticipatory dread.
>>4107688Oh I forgot it's a hairband not a headband
Closing the window soon!
We should apologize for the scar and actually thank her for helping us back then. She wasn't supposed to get hurt because of us. And she got hurt by Maro again because of us, it all comes back to our mistakes and others pay the price
>>4107054>>4107061>>4107093After bathing the dog it is finally time to bathe yourself!>>4107681Don't leave Kara wet and naked on the floor!>>4107364Things to do with Kara! Including, especially, implying she has failed our expectations of her!Writing!----Forgetting stuff! >>4107364 Surprised me and got the referenced scar exactly. While that wasn't the full scope of the Forgetting, there really isn't anything closer to a bull's eye with these than quoting the exact relevant line, and from a piece of supplemental at that.I'm impressed! Besides the outcome of the Forgetting itself, this probably warrants something extra. I'll leave it to you guys to decide what you might be interested in; Specific pieces of lore, extra clarification of this or that, a write-up concerning certain events or individuals... You guys have until the end of the thread to come to a consensus on what you'd like to see....Some things are obviously not going to happen, though.>>4107372>I didn't think Irue would forget something she didn't even experience.The write-up was a really easy way to get this one, but it's been addressed vaguely in other places. Specifically, Irue was aware that she had been injured during the early-quest escape from Carona, but beyond the acknowledgement it happened no one was ever concerned further. She's also been injured on several other occasions, and while not the explicitly referenced scar, I would have accepted any of those answers as well and redirected Irue's attention to the one mentioned.Special shout out to >>4107054 who listed a few other incidents! One related to you, one not so much.>>4107575>all the side stories and such were optional content.This is as true as ever. I don't expect any of you to read them, so I make an effort to ensure nothing contained within is necessary to you in the quest.>aren't viable for Forgettings.Also technically true. The exact details of Kara's wound could only be found in that write-up, but as mentioned above Kara has a lot of scars. One stood out to you more than the others, but identifying the origin of any of them would have sufficed. What's important here isn't the specific creation of the scar, but the realization that you knew moments she had probably gained them.That said, if any of you do happen to read them and something shows up from one or another, I really can't be held responsible if it unsettles you.
>>4108530>a write-up concerning certain events or individualsHow about one regarding Marcus and his posse? Could be interesting to see what they have been up to (before they all died)
>>4108530>especially, implying she has failed our expectations of her!These jokes are cruel, please don't :(
"Where were you, Kara?"You knew this scar. Or, you felt like you should, at least. There was something familiar about the pale discoloration which gnawed at the back of your mind as you traced its patternless edges. She can't have gotten it last night, but... Recently? Maybe? You frowned, casting your mind back to try and remember.She had come back both times.Your brow knit pensively while your initial interest in one scar led you to another, then others beyond that. Some of these were much older than others. Some of them didn't look old enough. A number of the more concerning ones seemed like they had to have been gained within the past few months, but... When was the last time Kara had even gotten hurt? You- You couldn't remember....But you didn't know if that would keep happening.Your eyes flickered across her bare back, searching for an answer written on her skin among the pale scripture. You couldn't name a single time Kara had been hurt, but that was ridiculous! She wasn't invincible, you had the proof of that right in front of you, and she'd been the vanguard of nearly every major physical conflict you'd ever been part of. She'd fought the Paladin head on, subdued the Behemoth at least once, helped you evacuate your knights during your first formal meeting with Dryad. One of your first memories with Kara was even-Her slave garb, already rather worn, now resembled a forcibly punctured and ripped series of rags that had been haphazardly thrown over her.The image of her ruined clothes flashed so vividly through your mind that it made your chest hurt. You remembered now - Why that scar seemed familiar. You had been so concerned with trying to cover your actions in Carona that you hadn't paid her any mind, more stressed and frustrated that she had gone missing than anything else... But she carried you from Carona in that shape. Did you think she was fine? That the weapons which had made ribbons of her clothes had just missed the one wearing them?For each severed seam and punctured hole, the feeling that your fingertips could trace a memento along her skin made your stomach churn... But she hadn't seemed hurt. She... Never seemed hurt.A wordless, frigid horror stirred."Beast. You've no skill, no technique. Have you lived your entire life relying on that precious strength?"Of course you couldn't remember the last time she was hurt, you never paid any mind to it at all. She'd never seemed as if she were hurt; No matter who, or what she fought. Even when what she fought should have been outright impossible to emerge from unscathed. You had always been focused on something else, some greater goal, some more immediate concern... As long as Kara had proven ready to keep going, you never once stopped to question it.
You had no reason not to trust your demihuman Testament's self-evaluation. If she was hurt, if it had mattered, then all it would have taken was for her to say so - But Kara rarely spoke out at all. You could count on one hand the number of times she'd ever so much as asked you for anything, and those few and far between moments still dwarfed the number of times she'd ever pushed back. In the months since you had claimed Kara as one of your own, how readily had you been satisfied with her so long as she did what you needed? Even when she'd overtaken the mantle of leadership for her pack, you knew she wasn't fit to lead - She knew she wasn't fit to lead. She wasn't even comfortable thinking for herself, much less being responsible for everyone else... And you saw the choices she was making. "Faedka." Raid muttered, wincing as he pulled himself off his back and sat up. "Sis made a deal: If they could take her down, she'd give them more of it."It was her pack; Her decision. You stayed out of it. Unless she asked, it wasn't your problem. That you knew she was in over her head... Wasn't enough for you to involve yourself. You watched her struggle. You watched her drown. "Rather than let them tear themselves apart, she got them focused on her instead."She never complained. She'd smile, she'd push forward, and in that way, she'd silently take everything on her self. So long as she kept her pack out of trouble, it didn't matter. You set her aside until needed, and left her to find her own way. You thought it would help her grow, that she'd reach out when she struggled.She was never going to ask for help. You didn't know that. You couldn't have known that. She was never going to tell you when she was hurt, and you were never going to find out until you ripped off her shirt to see for yourself....And now it may have been too late for that realization to make a difference.The words you wanted to say to her jumbled in your throat as you draped a blanket around her shoulders, wrapping it tight near the front. A difficult task, when you could scarcely keep your fingers from shaking... Either from shock, or fury, or something else entirely. It took everything you had not to demand answers from her, to ask why she'd kept everything to herself so stubbornly, to shake her in the blanket until something approaching an explanation tumbled out of her lips--But in equal measure, it was all you could do not to try to explain yourself. To justify why you hadn't stepped in during any of the opportunities you had. That you had trusted she'd make the right decisions, that the experience would help her grow. That you didn't get involved because thought it would be for the best for her. If you had known what Maro was planning- If you had somehow contributed to the reason Kara never turned to you-You don't know... And you worry that it's too late to make it right.
"Kara, I'm sorry." You swallow a torrent of divided words, finding only grains of sand left on your tongue as the tide receds. Dry, gritty, and unpleasant to speak. "I knew Maro was probably going to cause trouble again, but I didn't-" No. No excuses. "-I shouldn't have let you do this alone."To tell her that she wasn't alone now? To step in and offer your hand when all she felt was resentment and regret? To try and remind her of some family ideology about the intimacy of your Testament when these exact circumstances spit in the face of everything a proper relationship with one's Testament should have been...?Did you even have the right?"For what it's worth, you have a home with me. Whatever happens... That doesn't change."You waited, and watched; Searched the bundle of blankets for something - some sign - that she'd heard you... And left the room in silence, with nothing to show for it. Standing in the hall, you drew a heavy breath and felt the weight settle on your shoulders. It was easy to lose sight of all the progress you'd made last night, staring down the abyss like this. You still had the bigger picture to consider, plans still in motion that needed your attention. If you let it all slip now, then whatever meaning Kara's actions had would well and truly be wasted."Ari, is there any hot water left?""No. But I can get more?""...Don't worry about it." You shake your head, rolling the idea around in your head. "I need to cool my head, anyway. Wiping down with something cold might help.""Is there something I can do, Master?"You considered the question, slowly trying to reframe your mind before you actually had to talk to someone.>No. You just needed space.>Something Ari can accompany you for! (what?)>Something you need Ari to go elsewhere for! (what?)>Other? (write-in)
>>4108736>No. You just needed space.
>>4108736>>No. You just needed space.
>>4108736>Something you need Ari to go elsewhere for! Get a healer here.
>>4108844>>4108736This. Also have her tell the Knights to lock down the Demi-Human camp so we can search it for evidence.
>>4108859I'm afraid to ask... What kind of evidence are you hoping to find?
>>4108736>Something you need Ari to go elsewhere for! (what?)Bury all the demihuman corpses so they don't turn oakenbear. Tell her to find us again after she's washed herself off, we should have words about becoming too attuned to Dryad, I'm worried about how easily she brushed us off earlier.
>>4108885Linking them to the Artemis cult, I presume?>>4108898>>4108736Supporting this.
>>4108844I think this is potentially dangerous, her physical wounds appear to be healing fine at the minute but we don't know how she'll react to being stripped naked and prodded at by someone she doesn't know. Worst case scenario the local healer ends up as pulp on the wall, we should be present at the very least.
>>4109074Rue also needs a healer reasonably importantly.
>>4108736If she could fetch a knight that would be great, we need to send someone to make sure Raid is not actually prisoner at the graveyard. We promised to find him.I'm worried about sending people out to search in the forest but if it's dangerous for them it is dangerous for him, too. Maybe Ari should find and escort him.Thank her for the help with Kara.
gonna close the window soon!
>>4108739>>4108785Space. Space is enough, time to yourself.>>4108844>>4108859You're going to need to see a healer sooner rather than later.>>4108859Secure the area the demihumans were staying in! We'll search it later to see what we can find.>>4108898>>4108909Have the Aspiration deal with the demihuman corpses. Last thing we need is more oakenbears with Dryad waking up.>>4108898>>4108909...And speaking of Dryad.>>4109320If you can hail a knight and send them here, that'd be nice too. Also thanks for helping with Kara.Writing!
What you needed the most right now was just space. Time to yourself, to decompress, defragment and reassemble after all the excitement. You tuck loose strand of hair behind your ear. "A lot, actually. I need the the area the demihumans frequented quarantined for search later... And for their corpses to be cleaned up."Kara should have been the one deciding what to do with the bodies, you guess. If they had any interests regarding what was done with their dead post-mortem, you imagine being eaten by an abomination wasn't one of them. Although... Now that you thought about it, Ari's Aspiration was a mana born of Dryad. Despite its peculiar nature and appearance, having your body eaten by it technically fulfilled the Valen family tradition of returning your body to the forest....You shake your head, setting aside potentially unsettling conclusions about the nature of your family and Dryad's relationship for the moment. "I also need to meet with a healer sooner rather than later, and for someone who knows what went on in the square last night to make a report. If I let that lie too long, something I don't know is bound to try and bite me.""Yes, Master." Ari's reply came a half second late. Less than a beat, but delayed - It was a sort of hesitation you weren't used to hearing out of her. You glanced curiously to your left to see what was wrong, only to catch yourself staring conspicuously at nothing. "...Master?" You blinked, following her voice more attentively to the other side to find her peering up at you quizzically."I confused myself for a second." You admitted uncertainly, "Are you fine with handling what I was talking about?""I'd prefer to be of use in other ways." She demured, "But something like this is no problem, Master."None of it was particularly what you would describe as the responsibility of a Testament. In fact, between this idle grocery list of chores and the bath earlier, it was a workload more fit for a handservant... But you could only need what you needed. "Sorry, right now the only other thing I really feel like I need is time to think." Your lips quirked wearily. Not quite a smile, not enough to reach your eyes. "After the operation last night there's a lot of things I need to get done and attend to at once, and there's already things vying for priority after we've wrapped things up here in Carona.""I know. You're coming back to your room tonight, aren't you?"
The abrupt non-sequitur left you off-kilter, and the answer took a second to form. "I should be?" Mostly because you had to stop and think about why you wouldn't be. "Why? Where else would I go?""Because it's cold sleeping alone." The smaller brunette whined. "But since you said all that's left is to clean things up here, there's no reason you'd end up elsewhere, Master."You stopped outside of your own room, digging your nails through your hair to sate an itch as you scowled ornerily. "I don't plan on vanishing in the middle of the night to go jump in an Atelier or anything, of course I'm coming back. We need to have a talk later tonight, anyway.""About what, Master?""Your affinity." You summarize shortly, "...And more importantly, there's more about the honing of it that you probably haven't studied yet which I want you to be aware of." Because you couldn't exactly tell the girl to stop, but you weren't about to let her barrel ahead without knowing what the dangers were.Ari's posture straightened, having visibly caught her attention as she looked to you brightly. "You'll be teaching me again? Like you used to?""I don't know if it would qualify as teaching, seeing as I lack my library..." Which was something you'd not given a whole lot of thought to really, but there were a lot of books still back at your overrun estate. They'd be immensely useful if you wanted to try and ferret out and subsequently polish the affinity of your knights without involving the Shrine. "...But yeah, I guess it's been a while. I've learned a few things I think you need to know as soon as possible.""Tonight, then?" She repeated curiously. "Before we sleep?"You nod, not even really needing to consider it. "Probably. It's private material, so others having gone to settle in suits it fine.""Yes, Master!" The brunette chirped merrily. "I'm looking forward to it!"
With that last exchange you were alone again. Alone in your room, with your thoughts and a wash rag and a basin of lukewarm water. It was far from the luxurious bath you'd left behind at your estate, but what you needed right now wasn't a several hour long soak and deeply lathered hair care so much as... To not resemble a butcher. If it were only that much, a birdbath would suffice until you had better opportunities.Opportunities... Some part of you had legitimately entertained the idea that once you'd uprooted Artemis from Carona and sorted through the remaining dissidents that you would be done. You could just move on to other things. Other, far more important, things - Like continuing to gather and establish a power base, pursuing Artemis, or- Or really anything that wasn't the obligatory tying off of loose-ends you wished you could just handwave away. Instead you found yourself beset on a number of sides with tasks demanding your attention, not the least of which now came in the form of your aunt's official summons and your Testament's broken heart.You were mostly certain that Raid was fine. It was unlikely he'd even made it back to Carona in time to be kidnapped and used at all, so his survival wasn't really a concern. His reaction on the other hand... That you had no idea where to begin predicting. You had to hope your initial judgement that he would prioritize Kara's well being would prove accurate, because if it didn't you had no idea what Kara would do.However, as concerning as the possibility that you were wrong about her little brother was, what stubbornly carved out a niche for itself in the forefront of your mind was simply that your aunt had summoned you. This wasn't an invitation, it wasn't an optional visit. She didn't call to ask if you would meet with her, it was all but an explicit order for you to drop what you were doing and go.It was unimaginably rude between noble peers, and still rude and uncouth even between family members in most cases. A very literal discarding of any pretense of personal respect - This was a matter wholly and fully formed by authority. An authority which, you'd like to note, she only still questionably held as the head of House Valen because you hadn't forcibly claimed regency from her yourself. You'd passed your Rite, you were legally an adult, and as blood heir to House Valen that meant her stewardship could be ended the moment you asserted yourself....It wasn't entirely that simple, obviously. If the rest of the world continued to acknowledge your aunt as the head instead of you then there was nothing you could do. If she resisted after you chose to force the issue, and you lacked the necessary political backing interested in seeing your claim officially recognized, then all you'd succeeded in doing was making a very powerful enemy.
Never the less, while the possibility hadn't escaped your consideration all this time, you couldn't bring yourself to fully believe your aunt Clara would do that... So the only reason she had this authority to summon you was because you had chosen not to devest her of it in the first place, and instead accepted her decision to saddle you with this miserable township. You knew that.She knew that.So why would she choose now to pull a card like that, when your respective positions were already so mutually precarious? Ruminating on mysteries like that was only going to stress you out and cause frustration. While the idea that she'd had a change of heart and decided to simply disown you from your inheritance was enough to spark the occasional flicker of indignation, it was difficult to stay persistently mad over it. The predominant emotion, and the feeling which plagued you most, was simply... Confusion.Aunt Clara had never summoned you before. Not even when you were a child. It didn't make sense.
In far less time than it had taken to wash down your uncooperativve demihuman Testament, you were once more in a presentable state - Save for one rather badly mangled wrist, which you hoped to get resolved later. The cold water hadn't made for a relaxing experience, but there was little better to shock your muddled mind into focusing than shivvering droplets trickling across your skin. Your lukewarm birdbath had provided some other benefits as well, not the least interesting of which being the curious realization that the only sensation your broken wrist seemed to be missing was pain. You'd no problem feeling the gooseflesh rise across its crushed and fractured surface while the evening air cooled your moistened arm... And while using it was beyond you, your tentative attempts to scrub it hadn't produced so much as a twinge of discomfort. Physically, at least. You are fairly sure you heard clicking and grinding when you were cleaning it, muffled through the flesh. It was disconcerting to the say the least, and a powerful incentive to stop prodding it. The sooner you had this looked at, the better.In the meantime, you could finally afford to leave the headquarters and actually gather information on Carona yourself. Several hours after having woken up, you were both mentally and physically... Somewhat presentable again. You stepped free of the building's confines and onto the cobbled stone steps leading up to it, breathing in the subtly changed Caronan air.......Right as the sun was starting to set. Glimmers of orange and golden yellow painted long shadows across the uncomfortably silent town. It felt like standing on the precipice of a forest holding its breath.Lost in that sight, it took you a moment to pick out the silhouette of a man actually sitting on a bench further down the road. His head rose as you stepped towards him. "Ah, Ser Valen? What can I do for you?" Your good hand set on your hip, allowing you to stare up at the man. You recognized him, recognized his face, but not his name. One of your knights, one of the many you didn't personally know yet. "I er, you did need me, didn't you?"Short hair, stubble on his chin that you imagine he'd shaved recently. His eyes met yours only fleetingly, darting into your gaze out of a sense of perpetual curiosity before looking away meekly. A cycle which repeated itself over and over as the man himself grew restless under your silent inspection."I apologize Ser Valen, maybe I misunderstood-""No," Your idle mind interjected confidently. "I asked Ari to send you along." And if she'd managed this, you imagine a healer would be on their way sooner or later as well. No need to seek one out in the meantime.>What do you want from this guy?
>>4110027>You are fairly sure you heard clicking and grinding when you were cleaning it, muffled through the flesh.The fact that this doesn't bother Rue more is disconcerting itself. I've got good odds the healer os going to freak out when they see the damage and realize we've been ignoring it for the better part of a day.I assume this guy is here to tell us what happened in the square. Just ask him to give his account of what he saw.
>>4110027Holy crap, we spent a whole day washing Kara?>Report on yesterday's events>Also on what is Rinnier doing
>>4110027>Ask him what he saw yesterday.
>>4110016Did we just accidentally cock-block HiH with Kara because of manipulation from Ari?We gotta talk about boundaries and the fact that Ari is going to have to learn how to share. Has she considered sleeping beside Rinnier for instance, or finding someone else worthy?
>>4110023Aunt Clara summoning us- she isn't in control anymore and someone else is using her authority.- Shit has Hit The Fan and she doesn't have any time left to train us up on how to rule with Carona anymore.- We've passed her test and she's going to fully support us.In order of liklihood.
>>4110027>What do you want from this guy?Report on yesterdays events. How he feels it went, how he feels about being a knight afterwards. How the other Knights are feeling about it. How the wounded are doing, what they need. How the people of Carona are acting towards them.
>>4108530>I'll leave it to you guys to decide what I want the lewd imposter back >>4110027>ask his name>ask if there were any casualties or wounded >ask about the Web >try to get him to relax while he gives us his debrief>>4110627She's jealous because she's becoming more attuned to dryad. We gotta get her to stop becoming more attuned for both our sakes or else her behavior will escalate and bring heat down on us.
>>4110085>we spent a whole day washing Kara?Part of it! Irue woke midway through the day in the first place, Kara took up ~1-2 hours, then your own self-care and decompression took a while. In respect to how many hours of the day though, most of it went to sleeping after last night's events.>>4110627>Did we just accidentally cock-block HiH with Kara because of manipulation from Ari?HiH with Kara hasn't been a set-in-stone goal or activity. There's been some talk of it happening, but no solid decision as to whether it's something you should and will attempt. So no, Irue currently hasn't made any plans in the first place to attempt it. On the other hand, if you were waiting for the vote to do so to arise before locking it in stone then this is liable to delay it.>>4110651>I want the lewd imposter back I'm probably going to regret asking this, but... Can you explain why?
>>4110835>I'm probably going to regret asking this, but... Can you explain why?You've been 4chan around long enough, you should know. Anons are always thirsty.
>>4110835I'll back Hearts in Harmony with Kara.> Lewd imposterI think they mostly post in QTG.
>>4106921This is me.
I'll be closing the window soon!>>4110921I typed a lot of things here to the effect of denying that my cute anons were like that but every re-reading sounded cliche and so I gave up. I'd still like a proper, specific explanation of what they were hoping to see or get out of that return, though Asking for someone to come back feels like there's something you guys want or need that I'm not providing for properly, and I'm not sure how I can help that if I don't really understand what it is I'm lacking.>>4110651So explain yourself!
>>4110631You've forgotten the most likely reason:- Alouette almost killed her and Clara wants to talk to us while she's still alive.
>>4111433That anon was just trolling, Riz.But to counter-offer:>I'll leave it to you guys to decide what Extra clarification on how to use the bracelet correctly.I get it's intended to communicate with Mana, but what did we do wrong?
>>4111613I am super concerned that the Behemoth is gonna wake up while we're gone. Especially since the Karamobile is currently broken.Not sure what we can do with the remaining time limit. Teranford sisters are still lost (can we clarify what, if any, info about their location we got from Asche? Like an address would have been good but a city or town name or something would have been nice too.)So are we gonna fuse a dryad core with it? We can get one from the Aspiration tree. It might slow down Ari's assimilation to weaken the aspiration too.
>>4111686Okay I think this has been asked several times already, but why the hell would we want to plug a Dryad core into the Big B?
>>4110036>>4110085>>4110128>>4110638>>4110651What happened in the square!>>4110085Where's Rinnier?>>4110638Reactions?>>4110651Injuries, personal inquiries...Writing!---List of things you've expressed interest in so far. Keep in mind there'll need to be a consensus on what actually happens in the end!>>4108544 - Write-up focusing on Marcus and his bandits before they all died!>>4110651 - lewd imposter!>>4111621 - More information about the bracelet!
>>4110631Again with the anti-Clara paranoia. Come on anon this is stupid>>4110835I do not support HiH with Kara, for one>Who the hell is the "lewd imposter"
>>4111689Dryad can control animals, the braclet lets us control apparitions. Use the core instead of part of our soul.
>>4111708I don't think any of those are anti-Clara? They're all her needing our help.What do you have against HiH?
>>4111924Maybe I misinterpreted the post, but I think it's pretty clear that Clara is on her deathbed and needs to meet us before that.
>>4111923>Dryad can control animals<citation needed>So far Dryad did exactly none of that.
>>4111939Yeah, she did. In the Atelier in the past it was explained to us in detail, and a crucial plot point since the animals were attacking Lunas envoys under Dryads control.
>>4111949That was an awake Dryad though.
"You were part of the knights in the square last night, weren't you?""Aye, Ser Valen." The man affirmed quickly. "It's a night I won't be forgetting anytime soon."You weren't sure how to parse a tone like that. He looked exhausted, but that probably wasn't unusual after what happened. "Hmm... Your name?" "Zane, Ser Valen." The answer came immediately; Not so much as a blink that you'd needed to ask. Your evaluation of this one rose a notch out of relief alone. Your lips quirked into the ghost of a smile before continuing. "Zane, what can you tell me about what happened last night in the square?""..." That smile, small as it was, was immediately strained when he proved to hesitate. "Which part, exactly?""As much as you know. Consider it a report on how things went on your side last night.""Wouldn't Captain Dullem handle something like that...?" He wondered doubtfully, meeting your even stare for the laborious moment it took him to realize he'd just questioned you. "Er, right, a report! I... Think things were going well last night. We were organized into several groups, each of us responsible for handling different parts of Carona during our initial sweep-""I'm aware of how you were organized." You wave his preamble away unconcerned. "What went well? What went wrong?""Everything went well at first. There were a few runners, but by and large things were handled peacefully... Until those screaming lights started showing up, at least." Zane's shoulders tensed. "I'm not sure who set off the first one, but apparently they were using them as warnings. I heard they're called flares? Once went off, more of them started going off, and suddenly everyone knew we were coming."You hadn't planned for anything like that... But you didn't even know something like that existed until last night. "Something like this is to be expected dealing with Artemis..." you sighed, "So discretion failed us, how did everyone end up in the town square?""A few of the runners had friends who weren't on the list. I don't even know if they were involved and we just missed it or if they were sticking up for their neighbours." Zane fidgeted uncomfortably recounting his confusion. "It would have gotten out of hand if Dullem hadn't shown up when he had. Guess he had better luck, because he showed up with a crowd of his own- Long story short, the runners started congregating in the town square to give some kind of speech... And they had hostages."Your weight shifted reflexively, crossing your arms as he stumbled over that last detail. You had seen them, it was what drove you to such drastic measures last night, but hearing someone else say it didn't make you any happier about it. "How did they get hostages?""If I had to guess, some of them got the drop on one of our other groups before retreating." Zane sighed, "I don't know, though. Captain Dullem is looking into it."
You had already suspected it, but... "They took some of us hostage?""Aye, Ser Valen." He confirmed dutifully. "I got there late and only caught the tail end of their speech, but it seemed like their speaker was trying to make an appeal to the crowd. I figure they knew they were cornered, so it was a last ditch attempt to band Carona together and tell us all to leave.""Bold of them to think they had a say in the matter." You mutter. "Seeing as we're still very much in this town, that didn't go well for them?"Zane winced. "Some of the crowd seemed like they were leaning towards it to be honest, Ser Valen... But the ones Dullem rounded up were quick to thrown in with us, and things started getting tense. Think everyone was real nervous 'bout how things would turn out; Most of the folk I've seen and talked to today still seem real shaken up over it all.""Makes sense. Carona's seen more chaos in the past half a year than I'd imagine it has in the past few decades." You sighed. "Well it's fine it stopped before a proper riot broke out, but what kind of casualties are we looking at?"Zane blinked several times, making a face as if to question you again before thinking better of it. "Casualties, right. I've not kept up with it but for the most part it was only some knocks and licks. Sprained ankles, some broken bones, nothing serious. Well, some of them got it worse." He corrected himself morbidly. "A fight broke out, I think-" His mouth shut, and what came out next was a lie. "I don't know what started it, exactly. Not long after it did, one of their 'flares' seemed to break, or something... It went off in the crowd."With a lie that obvious you wondered if you should even press for the truth...? The better question would be why he seemed compelled to lie to you in the first place. More importantly though, "A flare went off in the crowd?" You raised a hand to your mouth, "So that's why... You said some were hurt worse, what happened?""Fire, mostly, Ser Valen." Zane's summary was short and to the point. "None of us had any idea what happened at first. Just, there was a sudden burst of light- It blinded me, and probably everyone else too. We couldn't hear anything but screaming at first, just this shrill, horrendous shrieking, and when it stopped everyone else was already screaming. A lot of the Artemis supporters were already on fire, and some of ours too. And... Most of the hostages."
He shook his head. "It'd been a while since I saw fire like that. There was nowhere to run, the people trying to escape ran straight into the rest of us, and the fire just spread from person to person from then on... Then all at once it was- Gone." He looked down at you with open awe written across his face. "I thought a miracle had happened, but... We went from a nightmare of blue flames to pitch black, and then some kind of paralysis settled in. It was like waking from one horror to the next. Couldn't move, could barely breathe, couldn't see. The only thing you could hear were people screaming all around you, confused and scared, and those poor bastards who were on fire still crying."He drew a shaking breath, exhaling heavily while wringing his hands together. "I don't know how long we were stuck like that. Minutes... Maybe an hour, I don't know. Eventually Miss Lamandra arrived, and the night... Well, the night was more or less over. We could move again.""...So." You murmured stoically from behind your hand. "How do you feel about being a knight now?""I-" Zane hesitated, licking his lips nervously. "I... I'm not sure, Ser Valen. Last night was going so well, and then it... Wasn't. At the end, I thought- What if this is it?" A desperate, shaken look haunted his eyes as he looked to you. "What if this is how I die? Blind, paralyzed, surrounded by screaming?" His eyes clenched shut, shaking himself free of the recollection before he continued solemnly. "I don't... Know that I'm cut out for this, Ser Valen. But I don't know what else I can do after you took us in."Wine-red eyes narrowed. An action born of consideration, which none the less caused the man to wince as the gears in your mind started to move again. "Is this a common sentiment among the knights?""That- I don't know." He seemed nervous when he answered, but you didn't suspect he was lying again. "I know a few of us are still pretty shaken up about it. I can't speak for anyone else, and one woman seemed convinced it was your doing in the first place." He chuckled despite himself, "But I mean, if you need a report then you weren't even there, right?""..." His mirth died a pitiful death as you stared him down in silence. "And the people of Carona? How did they take it?""I couldn't tell you. I don't think anyone was prepared for what happened last night... It's probably still sinking in for a lot of people.""Hmm. And the wounded, you said there were only a few scrapes? But that people had caught fire?""I don't know what they're looking like today." He admitted earnestly. "Most of the people I've talked to were already released. You know, sprain an ankle and you're not really sticking around the healer's tent. I haven't heard anything about the burn victims."
Maybe good news. Maybe not. Probably not. You weren't that lucky... But you'd had burns before and the healer in Carona fixed you up properly anyway - For a tidy sum. Whatever the case, Dullem or Rinnier would probably know more. Speaking of which... "Do you know where Rinnier is right now?""Miss Lamandra?" He echoed back, "I remember hearing she would be busy most of the day addressing the Crafter's Council. Captain Dullem seemed really relieved someone else was going to handle that, you'd think they tortured the man during those meetings." Zane forced a laugh, coughing it up somewhat awkwardly in an attempt to lighten the mood. "Course, the day's almost over now. I'd guess she's done with that by now."A meeting with the Crafter's Council, but your headquarters were off limits... Nowhere immediately sprang to mind as a place to substitute a meeting besides the Shrine or the town square, and neither of those places seemed like good choices considering the circumstances. There were probably places you didn't know of offhand, though - You'd been gone for most of Carona's management. "Could you take me to where they were meeting?""I know the general area, at least." Zane sobered up, "Do you want to go now?">Yeah, let's go find Rinnier.>You should make an appearance at the Shrine.>See the town square for yourself.>Some of the burn victims were your knights, you wanted to see for yourself.>Other? (write-in)
>>4112076>Some of the burn victims were your knights, you wanted to see for yourself.I also think we should pay for healing all the burn victims, ours and Artemis, as a PR gesture.
>>4112076>Some of the burn victims were your knights, you wanted to see for yourself.
>>4112076>>Some of the burn victims were your knights, you wanted to see for yourself.
Do we even got money
>>4112442ha ha, no. We've only ever had that one money chest we lifted off the mayor, and that's long gone.
>>4112463At least we can give people I.O.Us then!
No we're broke.Ask if anyone knows how to set broken bones
>>4112053Good news! Dryad's waking up! Hence the apparitions even existing.However - Rue was able to hack the original Oakenrue, remember? The one we let Dryad eat? Haha, nature, red in tooth and claw.But that means we should be able to hack the dryad core in the behemoth, which is BETTER than Dryad controlling it.>>4112076>Some of the burn victims were your knights, you wanted to see for yourself.We can get our arm looked at while we're seeing them in what I assume are the healers.>>4112125I mean, that's really what a ruler should do so I support it.>>4112442Pay for it by confiscating the property of the people who took the hostages. We should be executing the ringleaders, they set a bunch of our people on fire. I want them fucking dead.
>>4112463Justification to the town for us going to see Clara. Make it look like we're taking to task the old Valen house and demanding the resources to rebuild.
>>4112076>Some of the burn victims were your knights, you wanted to see for yourself.It'd be good to see what we're dealing with. Particularly, what sort of fire it might be, because thi doesn't sound like normal fire at all. Actual flares don't use normal fire either but we don't know what the hell a flare is in context anyways. Might be good to grab Priat, or Rinnier, as theoretical experts on incendiary things.>>4112469Who knows if there are any in Caronavirus but it wouldn't be out of the question to go grab some loans, to be honest. As the ordained administrator of the town and a noble we've got a better "credit score" than most schmucks.
>>4112715Irue has never even seen a bank stop making shit up.
>>4112739I am somehow certain that Irue knows about the concept of borrowing money, official banks or no.
Damn. You're on to something, a whole bunch of people must have died. So we seize their assets
>>41129321.Kill people2.Steal their stuff4.Profit!And thus Rue becomes the bandit queenWhat could go wrong?
>>4112932>>4112951Uh, that's how almost all governments work.We aren't seizing the property of the victims. But criminals who took hostages and killed people? Gotta make reparations. Fuck their families, they killed people what about those families.
Maybe Marcus has a cache of Incredibly Valuable Artemis Magical Relics™ hidden somewhere
>>4113032Taking from citizens is going to piss people off and won't get us much since they're impoverished peasants living in a ruin. Wouldn't mind taking whatever artemis had though, I bet Marcus had some level of wealth with all the shit he had his fingers in.
>>4113264I think taking it to provide care *for the people they set on fire* would be fine. If we do it to just the main leaders then we can in turn be lenient with the followers. Say we don't have the time or resources to investigate everyone for the events leading up to the fire.That way nobody will want to get lumped in with the leaders because then they'll be punished too, not for opposing us but for hurting their neighbors.
window closing soon!
>>4112125>>4112160>>4112433>>4112696>>4112715To the burn victi- Wow there's actually no other votes at all here.Writing then!
Lmao we made a night of horrors by using the webImagine being paralyzed while burning half to death.Dryad 1Luna 0
"...No." While it was tempting to meet with Rinnier, you trusted she had whatever she was doing handled; You showing up would only slow her down. "I'd like to see the burn victims for myself, though.""That should be easy enough. If you'll follow me, I think I know where they're being treated."Zane's back straightened with an actual goal in front of him. He stepped aside, gesturing down the street politely and you fell in step beside him as he led you through Carona's winding streets. Stone and grit crunched underneath as you traveled, filling the conversationless gap with self-conscious footfalls. It was, you observed, a gracious cover for the pregnant silence which seemed to permeate your path. You felt the eyes of men and women alike following. They lingered along the sides of the road, stealing surreptitious glances from the corner of their eyes - Turning away when their gazes were returned. A nervousness, perhaps, and an uncertain tension which left you waiting for the first word to be called. A question, an accusation. You were left waiting, longer and longer than you expected you would be, as that anxious energy only ever rippled fruitlessly over the surface of something deeper."You couldn't tell me this?" Your eyes scanned the empty streets. Ones made emptier by your approach, which only so very slowly filled in your wake. You wouldn't call it fear, but it was a queer sort of apprehension that followed the two of you."It's weird." Zane agreed quietly, sneaking his own glances back. "But I don't know what to make of it. If you talk to them they don't seem scared, really. Curious, maybe?"You side-eyed him skeptically. "This is what curiosity looks like to you?" Zane shrugged in response. Whatever you thought of it, your knight at least seemed correct in that it didn't necessary feel hostile. Just... Strange. Uncertain. The events of last night weren't liable to be forgotten by anyone anytime soon, and it was still too soon it seems for the people of Carona to have made up their minds how they would eventually remember it."We're here." Zane tugged at your attention some few minutes later, stepping up to hold aside a tent's flap.
What struck you first was the smell. A familiar vanilla scent that seemingly clung to the interior, mixing nauseatingly with something foreign and starkly bitter. The patients themselves occupied mats laid upon the floor in spaced rows. Their states varied, with some so heavily burned it was difficult to recognize them while others looked as if they'd gotten off with only localized blistering. Those furthest from the initial blaze if you had to guess, but you didn't pretend to know what you were seeing. Compared to how many there could have been, you were relieved to see that there weren't actually that many people held up waiting for treatment here.You hailed the healer's attention down once it became clear she wasn't in a rush, receiving a vaguely irritable glance for your troubles. "If you came for medicine, you'll need to ask someone else.""No, I'm more interested in seeing what you have to tell me." You reply, spawning a glint of confusion in the patience-frayed healer's eyes as she turned a proper 'who are you?' look your way. A fortune then, that your bloodline was distinctive, as her brows rose not moments after meeting your eyes. "Irue Valen," You introduced yourself, more on principle of the matter than anything else. "I can wait if you're in the middle of something.""Valen..." She repeated thoughtfully, seemingly more distracted inspecting you even after your introduction than before. "Irue Valen... Blood heir to House Valen, you live up northwest, in the woods.""You-" You nearly stagger. "You recognize me? Really?""Not really." The healer admitted with a wry grin, one which only grew with as your hopes fell. "Some months back I had a kid stumble into my apothecary with burns asking for treatment, introduced themselves the same way. I'll be damned but you really were a Valen, huh?"It was your own fault for getting excited that you were finally being recognized... And in some respects, you guess she did recognize you now. Just... Apparently it was because she remembered you from before. "Seems so." You return flatly, eager to move on with the subject. "So what can you tell me?""A lot." The healer reported brusquely, turning away as she spoke. "Less than I'd like. I've had a few deaths since last night, but most of them seem like they'll make it fine given some time to heal.""The burns were that bad?" You meandered after her as she left, scanning the mats with a pit in your stomach for faces you recognized. "Are you expecting many more?""At this point? No. I've had to slow down my work on some of the worst injured... I don't want to say it was the burns exactly, though." The weary healer retrieved a small pouch from what passed as a desk, offering its tightly drawn strings to you matter-of-factly. "Lotta people got burned last night, but as far as I can tell the people near the thing that caused it all took it the worst. It's not just the flames that they were exposed to."
Fishing open the drawstrings of the pouch revealed a collection of very small, granular chunks of translucent crystal, tinged in blood. Not quite a powder, too large, but similar to tiny little misshapen pellets."Been fishing stuff like that out of people off and on all day. For some people it really burrowed down in whatever skin they had exposed, then as far as I can tell, each of those little pieces of shrapnel melted everything around it.""Shrapnel...?" You scowled over the innocuous material, carefully tightening the drawstrings once more. "I was told it was some sort of warning device.""Maybe it was." The healer proved thoroughly unconcerned with the true nature of whatever caused all this. "All I know is I can't afford to let any of my apparitions work on someone until I've gotten most of that junk out. Whatever it is soaks up the mana until it destabilizes, then... 'Pop'." She makes a small wave with her fingers illustratively. "The smaller it is, less it matters. Worst case scenario it just seems to dissolve into these real flashy lights, but the larger chunks like I got there?"The healer trails off and shakes her head resignedly. If she was having to perform surgery on every subject before even introducing a Wisp apparition, that would slow things down tremendously... And time lost like that boded poorly for people already on the edge. "Thankfully what you've got there is about the lot I've gathered so far. There's not a whole lot of it causing problems, but I can't take the risk.""Understood... Do you have the names of the ones who've died already?""Unfortunately, no." The healer shook her head, narrowing her eyes as a lock of hair slid rebelliously loose. "I've not had the time to work on identification with patients still needing my attention... On the other hand, if luck holds then I won't have to work too hard. Most of the ones still with us aren't in any immediate danger, but I'm running out of salves and poultice. Those are things I'm going to have to make on my own, assuming I can scrounge up the materials for it.""What do you-" You start almost reflexively, only for the healer to cut you off."Nothing like that, little heir. I know the materials are already in stock, I just have to dig them out. I was planning on doing that after I took a break, now that things have settled down... Then you walked in."
You sigh, feeling a weight slide off your shoulders unexpectedly. "I shouldn't keep you too long, then. When I heard some of the victims were my knights, I came worried.""Knights, huh?" The healer mused thoughtfully, briefly glancing past you as the sound of movement drew her attention. "You done?" She called out over your shoulder... And received no response. You followed her line of sight, glancing behind you in time to catch Miska exiting the medical tent. You thought to call out to her, only to blink and miss the opportunity when you caught sight of a familiar head of sandy blonde hair waiting outside in the evening sunlight. You caught him in what appeared to be mid-sniff, only seconds later making eye-contact before he slipped inside himself with a darkening scowl."What did you do?!" Raid hissed.When he'd gotten back to Carona was a question that briefly flashed through your head, but that he had found you first was almost bewildering; For a crucial second, you just stared at the exact person you were looking for walked into your life. Raid took offense to this, jerking you forward by your shirt roughly and grinding his fangs together."What. Did. You. Do?!" >Take credit for his pack's death. You killed them.>Tell him what Kara did. This doesn't involve you.>Deflect, try to find out what he knows first.>Brush him off, you need to talk to Miska!>Other? (write-in)
Well, he's alive.>>4114300>Other? (write-in)Kara needs him.Anything else, I'm presently unsure on. We could bullshit him, but I also highly doubt Kara will cooperate with our lie.
>>4114300>Other? (write-in)>Tell him that Kara needs him. Send him her wayPretty rude of him to yank us. Shouldn't just let him do that when we're the heir of Valen
>>4114300>Be vague.>The pack betrayed me and tried to blackmail Kara by threatening you. >Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
>>4114299> "What do you-" You start almost reflexively, only for the healer to cut you off.> "Nothing like that, little heir. I know the materials are already in stock, I just have to dig them out. I was planning on doing that after I took a break, now that things have settled down... Then you walked in."Holy shit. The healer is now my most favourite person in the quest.>OtherTell Raid "Maybe I should be asking you that question, Raid. But regardless, you should know Kara's hurt. Marco and your pack . . . Well, you and I both know how Kara can be hurt in ways most demi-humans can't, and that Marco was really good at it. She needs you, but not right away, and not unless you're willing to take her side. It's bad, Raid. It's real fucking bad. So while words cannot express how relieved and happy I am to see you here and alive, I need to know if you had anything to do with this. I need to know if you helped Marco and your pack hurt her like this, Raid, if you stood back and let this happen to her, Raid. Because if you did then so help me by all the mana in the world that while Kara will forgive you I never will. You may think you've seen me angry and spiteful but I swear I will reach new heights just for anyone I find out had a hand in hurting Kara.""Now come along. You need to see Kara as soon as possible, and whether or not you had some role in what happened I need you to be there for her now."I dunno. On the one hand, Raid is the one person I expect to understand what Kara did. I don't think we need to lie to him about what happened. On the other hand, Raid may have been involved to some degree. If not now, he definitely was earlier.But yeah. I'm placing the blame for this squarely on Marco and the pack, and preparing for the guilt for Raid when he finds out Kara did it because she thought she had to save his life.Then we can help him with his guilt by directing him towards Artemis as being the remaining culprits, while getting him to actively work with us to help Kara get better so he doesn't direct his anger at us.Really, my only regret with the Demihumans is that we didn't actually kill them all ourselves. Ironically, we tried so hard with them for Kara.
>>4114300>>Deflect, try to find out what he knows first.
>>4114300Also can we get our arm looked at before we go?And can we start out with questioning tone and slowly transition to heatedly angry and then ice. fucking. cold. At the end of my write-in (if people want to use it).
>>4114300>>Tell him what Kara did. This doesn't involve you.
>>4114497No offense anon but I don't like this write-in
>>4114548That's fine. What don't you like about it?
>>4114565For starters, it's too verbose
>>4114548Yeah I don't like it either, it's too aggressive and escalates the situation, from Raid's perceptive I'd imagine Irue would look like a guilty part trying to shift blame.>>4114300>>4114310Seconding this, but also >try to ease him into the truth of what happened rather than letting him go in with no info>frame the whole issue as maro's faultIrue's good at manipulating people, right?
Why is the option to tell him the truth the I don't give a shit option?
>>4114587I mean, to be fair, it really is all Maro's fault, but it's preferable to have evidence for that instead of just claiming it.
>>4114300>*I* was quelling a rebellion in the city.Take him outside, talk and walk. This isn't the place for this talk.>Simply explain what we know. Maro and the pack played a stupid game and won the stupid prize. They lied to his sister and threatened his life to make her wake up the behemoth. They finally pushed her too hard and she killed them and now she is catatonic and deathly afraid that he will hate her for what she did.>I didn't think that Maro was a priority issue. I'm sorry, I should have dealt with him before this had to happenI would like to tell him that he is not going to hate her for it, or else... But eh.
>>4114621>>4114300I'll support this, then.>>4114587What if Raid was in on the plan?
>>4114497I don't have an answer for that honestly but I think it's likely since it Maro waited until Raid was gone before making his move, if Raid was in on it they could have done it any time.>>4114497>>4114621I would also like to change my vote to this pls
>>4114650Meant to reply to this
>>4114733>but I think it's likely since it Maro waited until Raid was goneBut I *don't* think it's likely*jesus christ
>>4114621but if we're leaving for a walk... we'll miss miska
>>4114806We can wait to meet Miska first.
>>4114806We know she's safe and that should be enough for now.We'll take her with us to auntie, how's that for an adventure?
Closing window soon!
>>4114806We can call out to her, that we want to speak with her soon.
>>4114335>>4114544>>4114587>>4114621>>4114650>>4114733Tell him about betrayal.>>4114310>>4114334>>4114497>>4114587Kara needs you!>>4114335>>4114621>>4114650>>4114733Insult his dead pack.>>4114621>>4114650>>4114733Apologize for not dealing with Maro yourself.>>4114335>>4114500Be scant with details!>>4114334Also please don't yank.>>4114497Immediately escalate the situation and threaten Raid! He better fess up and tell us what he did!>>4114502Actually while you're here, please look at my wrist.Alright!--->>4114594Specifically speaking, it doesn't involve you! Whether you care or not (and you do, clearly) is another matter entirely. You had no hand in what happened, and no direct responsibility for the decisions made by anyone involved.
On second though, update will need to be delayed until I return from class tomorrow.Some context, which is really just life stuff so ignore at your leisure: On mondays and wednesdays currently I have lectures which go on for about 5.5 to 6 hours, and an additional ~2 hour drive there and back. As a result I end up leaving the house around 1pm and am lucky to get back around 11 hours later. Days are long, traffic's dense, material is exhaustive, so skipping on sleep is rough.Apologies!
>>4115682A good sleep schedule is really important for health. I unfortunately know this from experience. So pace yourself.
>>4115682we are patient, dont worry
>>4115823Speak for yourself
>>4116005I learned to be patient or I would die
"I quelled a rebellion." You grab Raid's offending wrist with an indignant scowl and... Fail to remove it at all. You exchange a tense moment of embarassing frustration, having underestimated his strength as a demihuman. "...I'd appreciate if you released me now."Raid's eyes narrowed, sporting a scowl to mirror yours as he roughly acquiesced. "You expect me to believe my whole pack was rebelling? And you just happened to murder all of them?""Your pack played a stupid game, and they got their stupid prize." You retort, irritably readjusting your shirt. "...If you want to blame anyone, blame Maro.""Maro?" the sandy haired youth returned incredulously, "Maro warranted everyone dying?!""He made the call, and they followed. Every one of them betrayed us.""Shade take me if they did!" Raid bore his fangs as he snapped back. "No one gave a damn about that old man!""Then why did they side with him?!" Your temper flared, "Not one member of your pack was loyal to your sister!""Because they were loyal to me!" Raid shouted back, thrusting his palm to his chest as he slammed his foot down. "No shit no one was loyal to Kara, she's a horrible leader! I was the new Alpha, they were mine! Maro was a Shade damned outcast!"You staggered back a half step, wide-eyed and bereft of words. Your mouth hung, struggling to find a response until the bewildered confusion finally won free. "What?""...Little heir, as interesting as this is," The healer interjected tepidly. "Maybe you could continue shouting at each other away from my patients."You mutter something under your breath, glancing at your surroundings with a frown while Raid seemed to reign himself in. He favored you with a hard stare; Turning on his heel wordlessly to stalk free of the medical tent first. You lingered a moment longer, considering whether or not to show your wrist to the healer while you were here... Ultimately leaving it aside to follow after Kara's little brother. It wasn't going to get any worse for a few minutes negligence longer.
Emerging from the tent into the sunset-cast streets, you find Raid already waiting impatiently. Zane's eyes followed the younger demihuman as he paced back and forth, fists clenched tight enough to pale beneath the pressure... The knight looked to you in askance, gesturing subtly towards your unexpected guest. It takes you all of a hand gesture, given perhaps more forcefully than you meant, to usher him away for the moment. He wouldn't go far, but he seemed incredibly grateful to be given permission to not be here for whatever was about to happen."Raid, we need to talk.""Talk?" He echoed back, turning his eyes on you as if you'd grown a second head. "You want to talk now? After executing my entire pack?""That's why we need to talk." You held your voice tightly in check. "I wasn't the one who did it. I didn't know anything had happened until it was over.""Then who-" His voice hitched, terminating all at once. "No..." If he ruled you out of the picture, that didn't leave many others capable of this - But he shook his head, visibly rejecting the idea in the first place. "Why would Kara have- She actually cared about those sulking fools!""...Listen, Raid." Your lips thin. He was, begrudgingly, willing to hear you out at least. "Maro... Lied to her. He tried to use her to wake the Behemoth.""I don't care about that beast, what could he have possibly told her to cause this?!""From what I understand, he convinced her that you were a hostage." ...You wonder if Raid really understood what he meant to Kara. Was he more like his sister than you'd given him credit for? ...If this actually was a blind spot for the demihuman, could you be surprised? "She killed him, and it's my best guess that when he realized he wasn't going to survive...""...He tried to drag everyone else down with him." Raid ground out bitterly, lashing out at - And cracking a chunk of - a pile of stone near by. "So that's it? That's all it took for that stupid bitch to ruin everything? I leave her alone for a week and one lie from someone she shouldn't have trusted in the first place just- She-" His clawed hand curled around a fragment of stone, ripping it free from the rubble with a wordless, frothing roar before throwing it to the ground to shatter at his feet. "Dammit. Dammit!""If I had known Maro was going to do this, I would have taken care of him myself earlier." You can't help but commiserate in demihuman's frustrations, "There's no telling how much damage he could have caused, but I thought he was dealt with- That if he had a problem with me, he'd just bring it to me directly.""Why in Shade's name would he?" Raid snapped, lacking the furor from mere moments ago. "Last time he stepped to you, he and the other weaklings wound up broken and suckling on booze for months. Maro was scared shitless of you."
"If you knew he wouldn't take it up with me face to face, why didn't you say anything?!""What was he going to do? Not a damn one of us was sympathetic for him, he brought those Shadestained months on all of us! who was he going to turn to?!" "You still could have warned me." You stressed, receiving a sarcastic scoff from the younger Demihuman in turn."Oh, yeah. Hey Irue, that guy you humiliated? Left broken and teetering on the brink of suicide for months? The guy you ripped authority from? Yeah-" Raid rolled his eyes, gesturing wildly in the air. "Did you know he held a grudge? He really doesn't like you. Surprise!"You met his simmering stare with your own crimson irises, scowl deepening... Only to heave a harsh sigh. You cursed under your breath when you finally looked away.What were you doing? It was too late to be bandying blame back and forth like this. It wasn't as if you had anyone better to hold responsible for this than... Yourself. Raid. Kara. All three of you dropped the ball, and it didn't matter who did what now."...Kara needs you, Raid." The Behemoth hadn't been woken, and while the loss of a demihuman pack at your disposal was a considerable one, Kara remained the most important thing still in danger. "She's... Bad. She barely responds when you talk to her, and she's scared you're going to hate her."Raid's eyes narrowed, dismissively shaking his head as he turned to glare at nothing. "Am I supposed to go comfort her?""...""She jumped to a damn conclusion, ate a lie from someone she had no reason to trust, and caused all of this." Raid growled, "She's 'bad'? They're dead. All because that stupid bitch was desperate. Again.""Your pack is Dead, but Kara isn't." You dig your heels in. "If you don't support her now, you really might lose everyone. Are you so mad over this you'll throw her away?""Shut up..." Raid uttered a tired retort with almost frightening calm, fixing an even, disparaging gaze on you. "You don't know a damn thing about us, and as long as my sister followed orders like a good dog, you didn't care, either. Don't bother acting the part now, it makes my stomach retch.""Excuse you?""Oh, did I hit a nerve?" Raid turned mockingly. "By all means, prove me wrong. Tell me what you know about my sister. Anything!" The sandy haired demihuman's clawed fingers snapped, a look of faux surprise affecting his features. "Oh, I know! How about her name! You know that much, don't you?">?
>>4117668This hits too close to home.I'm not sure at all what to do here. Still, it seems more likely to me that Raid is trying to emotionally blackmail us rather than being truthfully appaled. As far as we know, he's as much of a sociopath as the rest of the demihumans, after all. This means we shouldn't rise to the provocation.Let's throw the ball onto his half, because I have no better ideas.>So what are you gonna do now?I hope you anons can come up with something better.Interesting things to note:- Raid kept the pack's loyalty a secret from his sister- IIRC the pack worked with the insurgents, yet turns out they were loyal to Raid all along. This puts Raid's loyalties in a big question.
>>4117679I'll post when I get home, this went as expected... Kind of.Riz, I think you misunderstood something. We weren't expecting fucking maro to come to us, it was Kara. Thinking she'd tell us if she needed help. I don't know how it turned into this?
>>4117668>He's right! You don't know much about Kara, or Raid, or the mush pile that became of their pack. They're all been more trouble than it's worth so if he's no longer attaching himself to Kara, he might as well get out of your sight forever!Fuck Raid 2bh
>>4117684Irue expecting Kara to come to you when she needed help was addressed when you were interacting with Kara. Irue's expectations of what Maro might do were a call back to the conversation had back during the first (and only) meeting Irue had with the pack where you broached the topic of a better future to them!>"Anything in particular he's got a problem with?">"Yeah," Kara snorted, "You.">"He could always take it up with me." You offered flatlyThis tied in with questioning why no one told Irue what Maro was up to, and the bandying of blame back and forth, all of which were lifted as references to that scene's conversation.
>>4117668>"...Kara needs you, Raid.">Emotional appeal>to a demihumananon...>"She jumped to a damn conclusion, ate a lie from someone she had no reason to trust, and caused all of this."Nice to be vindicated for once.
>>4117679>>4117685>>4117901So I'm home and I got a couple of things to throw out there.First off, I guess Raid is determined to be a lost cause. He's got no capacity for empathy, so any chance of him being better than the sociopaths that just got killed is well and truly gone.Secondly, what he's doing to Irue is emotional abuse. This whole outrage is a power play to him, to dictate the tone and direction of the discussion. *He* does not care, on an emotional level, about his own sister or what Irue do or do not know about Kara.Any answer we give him is irrelevant because nothing will be good enough. Even if we had all the facts and laid them out, they would be dismissed and he'd go for another angle of attack. "So you knew all that and this still happened yadda yadda". There is no coming out of that argument intact much less the upper hand.We need to confront him and take control. He thinks that Irue is an emotional creature like all other humans and we have kind of nurtured that idea in him in our previous interactions. Irue needs to be aggressive, direct and not let him speak to make counter arguments. Aggressive, direct and assertive. Bulldoze him. *Irue* is in charge.>. "So that's it? That's all it took for that stupid bitch to ruin everything? I leave her alone for a week and one lie from someone she shouldn't have trusted in the first place just>"She jumped to a damn conclusion, ate a lie from someone she had no reason to trust, and caused all of this.">"Because they were loyal to me!" "I was the new Alpha, they were mine! Maro was a Shade damned outcast!"
>>4118002If they were his why the fuck did Maro work on his own? If they were his, why were they backing Maro? If they were his, why didn't he control Maro? If he knew that Maro was a lying piece of shit even for demi standards why was he still in the pack? Was he going to use him for another scheme? Were they behind Maro because his plan was in line with Raid's own, so they believed it was his? If he cared about his sister's well being why didn't he kill or exile Maro? Why didn't he talk to Irue? Or Rinnier? Was he working against us? Was he under the fucking impression that he could climb above his station and supplant us, or even believe for a second that he could become our equal? That with a few plots and schemes hiding behind his sister's skirts, he'd overcome the WELL WARRANTED DISTRUST AND HATRED against demihumans and become something more than outlaws and bandits to be used and discarded by humans? No pack in history had ever come as close as they to wielding real power and perhaps even trust but they just had to FUCK UP didn't they? Did he really think he was the alpha? A weak little kid who's greatest contribution to the world is his SISTER? He would be nothing if he ever dared to step outside of her aegis. Kara didn't ruin everything because he left her alone for a week, *He* ruined everything because he left *the pack* alone for a week. He was never in control. He couldn't take his eyes off them for even a moment before they went behind his back. He did not understand his pack. He does not understand his sister. He does not understand humans. He does not understand society. He does not understand himself and his own fucking faults and flaws. He is the leader of a bunch of dead fucking retards. He is the King of Nothing. And. It. Is. His. Fucking. Fault.The only fucking reason we kept the goddamned pack alive was for Kara's sake. For her health and peace of mind. The only reason we tried to get to know him better, the only reason *we* allowed *him* the chance to get to know *us* better, is because of his *sister*. He will do fucking well to remember that his *life* depends on him consoling Kara and he better goddamn fake it till he makes it because Mana be our witness, if he does not he will be our fucking bathroom rug by this time tomorrow.>"The weak die." You echo back one of his own lines, "Your entire pack seemed to have been 'weak where it mattered'." You only smile slightly at the way his skin bristled, a slight misstep the only other outward sign of reaction.>"The survivors will be stronger for it.">"Because you survived?">"Yes.">"Then if it happened again, could you survive?">You adjusted your bracelet briefly, allowing the light to reflect off its dual rings and flash across Raid's eyes. It was enough to make him hesitate, a cloud of doubt and reflexive aversion painting his features before he looked away quietly.Fuck him. It is time to remind him that Irue is a monster
>>4117668> I know Kara love apples. That she lived watching Mana play in the shrine. That she worries about her little brother, Raid, because she thinks he's a runt that gets picked on. That he isn't let out very often because he wanders off. That she HAS to protect him.> I know she hasn't been protected from getting hurt. Getting used, and having her belief in other people broken again and again.> It's funny. You're telling me she cared about the pack, but she repeatedly told me that she was protecting them because YOU would be sad if they were gone. That they were still your family, your pack. Not hers. > When she tried to stop us from saving Rinnier and betrayed us. When she was caring for the pack after they became "Shade-Tainted". >How much do you really know about Kara? About me, and what it costs to keep her by my side, much less give a Demihuman authority, openly?> Do you really think I just wanted Kara to my loyal dog, instead of yours? Why do you think I made Kara the leader of the pack, instead of picking you. Or just taking the role myself? Do you think it's because I didn't believe I could control them, Raid? I've been told I would make an excellent Demihuman, you know.> You're right about one thing, I never really cared about your pack. You say you were in charge, not Maro, but you did a piss poor fucking job of it if it's actually true. After I saved them instead of letting them all die from sadness or drink, how did they repay it? Did they bow down and do their jobs, trying to curry favour with me? No, they constantly caused trouble. Do you know what it cost me, my reputation with the people in Carona, just to keep them around much less try to let them have a place in Carona? Not as outsiders, not as disposable tools, but as people with the right to be equals with others?> Do you have any idea what I've given up to protect her, Raid? What I will do to protect her? To never have to hear her talk about how she's been too hurt to trust anyone, to hear that pain in her voice?> Did you know that the first time I fought the Shrine, and Carona, was for her? I punched a Gnome adept right in the face, then fought the Guards with her. I don't regret it, not then, not now despite how much trouble and pain going against that adept cost.> I put Kara in charge because I don't wanr her to be anyone's dog. Not mine, definitely not the pack. It was hers to lead, or fail. I wasn't going to take that away from her, although I wished she had asked for more help. And maybe yes, that was a mistake. She didn't want the pack for herself, she wanted them for you. She maybe even wants to just follow orders, "like a dumb dog", but that's not good enough for her despite her believing that because everyone tells her that.> I gave her the pack to rule. She decided to kill them all, because she couldn't trust them, and I'm going to back HER decision to the hilt. Because it was true.
>>4118008I won't argue against this as a whole but I'd like to cut out any sort of apology. Don't give him an inch.Do no reconciliate with him, do not show weakness, because that is all he will see. He is looking and listening for opportunities to *win*, to come out on top regardless of what Irue says to him. You can't guilt trip him and you can't let him think he's on our level.
>>4117688I checked. Kara didn't actually like the pack. She protected them for raid.> "Ah?" She looks you over sceptically, "I could stop all ya right now, though. M'actually more worried 'bout you than them." While the point was fair, you were still marginally offended. You kept your stare on principle, letting Kara know your decision wasn't going to change. "Do you want to take that chance?" The question was simple, banking on the vague memories you had of the last time you and Kara had been in the courtyard not far away. It's enough to give her pause, enough to force her to seriously consider it.> "M'bro will be sad if they get hurt." She finally sighs, scratching frustratedly at her hair. "They pick on him, but they're his family, y'know? They're pack."> "Everyone was fine th'first day an all. Second day some of 'em started t'move again. They'd look at me when I tried to talk ta them, y'know? Most of them just laid there. It was kinda scarin' me... Then one morning, they were just gone." Kara seemed more disturbed than upset as she told you the story. When she was staying with us and keeping Raid with her, she mentioned some of the pack was with her too> "I was worried 'bout Raid, since he hasn't really said anythin' yet." She admitted with drooping ears, "Sometimes he'll look at me when I talk, an' he's eatin', but that's all."> "Then they're here because..."> "Didn't wanna leave 'em in Carona." Kara muttered, "Raid'll miss 'em when he gets better, and I need t'keep an eye on 'em."She also didn't know how the rest of the pack was doing.She doesn't give a fuck about the pack like Raid thinks. She thinks they're important to Raid, so she protected them for HIM.How fucking DARE he pick the pack over Kara, then thrrow that in our face. We've stood against the Shrine and Carona for Kara, against Rinnier our other Testament, against our aunt, against Carona AGAIN when the pack was being a bunch of little shits on top of the already existing prejudice against Carona. Note as well that if Raid was truly leading them, then that means that he was doing just as shit a job as he thinks Kara was doing because it was getting to the point where even our love for Kara couldn't save them any more.Kara so desperately wants to be trusted. Putting her in charge was a way to show that we trusted her. Not just to be loyal, but that she could learn to lead them eventually. Just because it didn't work out, doesn't mean we won't trust her to lead people in the future, it was partially our fault for not realizing that she didn't really want the pack, she just wanted Raid to be happy.Anyways, it's going to be a real shame if Raid throws away everything she's done for him. We were just starting to like him a little bit. We were really trying to see if he might be enough like Kara to even be worth trusting enough to work with.
>>4118014Nah, the point is that trusting people means trusting them enough to let them make mistakes. Maybe Kara WOULD fail to lead the Demihumans. But we trusted her not to. And maybe she did fail to lead them, and it was a mistake to put her in that role. But fuck it, mistakes and failures happen. Irue doesn't feel in a position to blame someone for failing despite them doing their best at a job that's just too big. She only blames herself for that.
>>4118014The only things Kara asked of us, is that we protect Raid and that we be worth trusting.Protecting the Pack was a way for Kara to protect Raid. Her killing them was also to protect Raid. We promised to trust her, and to be trusted in return, so we're going to do just that and tell Raid that Kara always chose him.
>>4118008tl;drdon't write paragraphs, write intent.>>4118014This. Demihumans do not have empathy (kara excluded). It's not the usual fantasy racism, it's an actual thing. They cannot be trusted for anything remotely long-term.
>>4118008>>4118014Final note: If Raid tries to run away, I say we hunt him down and put him in jail. We'll keep him there for Kara, unless she decides to let him go. That's being kept as a loyal dog. So long as Kara is happy, we don't give a damn.>>4117685I'd also like to point out that we apparently know more about Kara than Raid does. He thinks she actually cared about the Pack.But we can't let him run away. Not unless Kara is willing to let him. We promised we'd keep him safe for her, and if he joins Artemis or works against us in the future he will be very unsafe.
>>4118033Riz is perfectly capable of taking what is appropriate from the write ins and using them properly.If you want intent, read >>4118014 where I quote what Kara has told us in discussions.But sometimes intent is best given through write-ins. It provides more context for the tone to be taken, whereas just intent can be misinterpreted.Giving both write-ins AND intent is best, in my opinion.
>>4118047To be honest anon I tldr your essays as well. Riz has to sort the walls you post for what's "appropriate" that's not a burden I would put on a QMAlso I'll say it again - screw Raid. He yanks us again I propose we use our nuclear bracelet on him
>>4118062If Riz asks to not do write ins, I'll stop. But maybe she likes them. She's a writer, after all, it's possible she likes to read.
>>4118072Nothing wrong with write-ins I just think you should condense them
>>4118078I try, but in this situation there's a lot to cover.> What we know about Kara> That she didn't care for the pack, that she only did it for Raid> What we gave up not just for Kara but to protect the pack for her> Why put her in charge, despite the risk she might not be up to it> Fuck you, Raid.The intent post here >>4118020 is large because half the post are the direct quotes Riz wrote.I honestly wanted to add more to the write in about just starting to like Raid, and wanting him to help us with the pack so it's kinda shitty he just said they were following him while working against us.The problem I have is that Riz' updates can cover so much ground between votes that I don't want UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. It's much harder than a write in vote for "wat do action + dice roll".
I want to remind everyone that the first time we took Kara to Carona, she killed someone's pet dog and ate it raw. She believed that was food. She had never eaten apples before.We've seen the pack bully her and they've been abusing her for as long as she's been with them, calling her stupid so often that she actually believes it herself.And this LITTLE SHIT who's been with her his whole life, THIS LITTLE SHIT who could not or would not stop the abuse thought that HE was the ALPHA? He who let his sister eat fucking raw roadkill has the fucking balls to ask US what we know about her? How fucking dare he claim kinship with her and how fucking dare he try basic bitch manipulation at Irue?>>4118033>>4118072>>4118078It's better to write too much so that we can discuss together than not properly getting your point or idea across. Riz never writes things verbatim, so it's fine. We've got time.>>4118023>>4118030I understand you. I simply strongly disagree with falling for his pathetic attempt at manipulating us. I am being a little hyperbolic but it needs to be made abundantly clear to this CHILD that he is worth less than dust and only Kara is important to us. We've given him a chance and he will NOT repay it by throwing a tantrum at the one person who holds his life in her hands.Actually telling him how much we do know about Kara is 50/50, it does not actually matter to him. He chose the pack above her. His first impulse after hearing that his sister finally snapped at their pack and is a wreck is not thinking about her welfare but about how HE lost power. How HIS schemes and plots failed. He does not care.As far as I am concerned, anything we say to him is good, on the condition that we turn the entire conversation around on him, that Irue never pauses for breath and interrupts him every time he speaks. Irue is in control. Irue holds all the power. Irue only choose not to exercise the control and power against him because he is of worth to *Kara*.
>>4118072Writein are fine. Hell, they're required for open-ended prompts. Paragraphs are severe overkill, and are more likely to be ignored or cherry-picked than actually read. At best, they'd have to be mined for intent, then completely rewritten to actually fit the story.>>4118091Hey look, you boiled down your paragraph to a few lines expressing your intent. That works perfectly fine as a vote. I don't necessarily agree with it, but that's something workable now.
>>4118103>And this LITTLE SHIT who's been with her his whole life, THIS LITTLE SHIT who could not or would not stop the abuse thought that HE was the ALPHA? He who let his sister eat fucking raw roadkill has the fucking balls to ask US what we know about her? How fucking dare he claim kinship with her and how fucking dare he try basic bitch manipulation at Irue?He's a demihuman, anon. They don't have empathy. You think any of them cared about eating roadkill? Food is food. And to be honest, he'd be a better pack leader than her. She was only the 'leader' due to her raw strength and because we put her there as a puppet. She also has a hard enough time taking care of herself, never mind a bunch of a-morals. The rest of the pack was aware of all of this, which is why another de facto leader was chosen, in this case Raid.
Like what the fuck, "Oh you know that skinwalker monstrosity who in two seconds flat turned everyone I ever knew into a suicidal wreck with a psychic emotional assault, of which only 6 people survived? You know her? She summoned shade and ripped a mercenary company to shreds? That girl? I'm going to beat her ass to the ground with my awesome command of the powers of emotion by guilt tripping her about my sister's real name!"
>>4118116You are assuming that Raid is telling the truth. Oh he may very well believe it to be the truth, I don't doubt that.It does not matter though, as you say he is a demihuman. They're all dead and the one person out of them all that we care about is alive and catatonic. It is in his best interest that she does not remain so. If we need to put the fear of God in him to accomplish that, then by God it will be done.
>>4118117Well seeing as raw power isn't viable (as you just described), social/emotional attack/manipulation is all he's got, and he's clearly got plenty experience there. What's he got to lose by taking the shot? He knows we won't do anything serious to him, and the potential return is great.>>4118122>It is in his best interest that she does not remain so.Is it though? He doesn't really care about her, and she ties him down with us. She's a useful pawn, sure, but with her gone he'd be free of this ruined place and us, able to do as he wished.I'm inclined to let him go, honestly. Banish him, and never have to deal with demihuman scheming again. Tell Kara he left/died, deal with the fallout, and move on.
>>4118130It is in his best interest because if not he's fucking dead.This IS dealing with the fallout. There will be no chance whatsoever to help Kara without Raid. I do not care if Raid ends up being a paranoid maniac or a fucking incontinent vegetable but his only worth is as a safety blanket to our Testament. If she needs to haul his braindead ass around like a teddy bear to keep her happy, then that is what he will be.He says one fucking word without our express permission in the future and hell hath no fury like which we will do unto him. He will wish for the death he will never receive.That is the deal and he can accept it as is or his life is forfeit. It is the only deal a person like him can understand, his own life is the only thing that matters and it is the only thing that we can take from him. He has no emotional attachments, no ideology, no belief, no property or people of value, he has his own life and his desire for power and control.The only thing that matters is that he believes us. We don't have to be telling him the truth. We don't have to make promises we intend to keep. We are only bound by our word as long as us players think it is convenient or serve our purpose, our votes are not sacred oaths.
>>4118002>>4118153>>4117668You won me over, I'm seconding this.
>>4117668Gonna link my posts as votes.>>4118002>>4118003>>4118014>>4118103>>4118117>>4118122>>4118153Damn I am angry at him. We have to deal with so much goddamn shit all the time, we do nothing but put out one fire at a time while everything else turns into an inferno at every turn. And then when this kid plays at being alpha, a leader, he goes and fucking blame us when he fucked up? If there's ONE thing Irue knows then it is that responsibility is not an old coat that you shrug off when it is inconvenient.
>>4118291>If there's ONE thing Irue knows then it is that responsibility is not an old coat that you shrug off when it is inconvenient.What do you call abandoning the reiner and every at the square then? What about keeping Ari despite her being an infection vector?Rue shrugs off that coat plenty.
>>4118363yeah fuckin ruin this nigga
>>4118363You enjoy making these, don't you Riz
>>4118391I keep wondering if I should've made the actual posts large enough to zoom in and read, but so much of it is quest-specific details I can't help but wonder if it's worth it. I had to zoom out to 30% monitor resolution just to capture it all in the first place.Vote won't be closed until much later tonight, but I hope you guys are ready to commit to... Whatever it is you'll choose.
>>4118400Ready to commit my foot into Raid's asshole
>>4118379That's just what my write-in did though. Grumble mumble mumble.I think we need to remember that Raid is still A) A little shit, and B) Shade-tainted.He knows what guilt is now.Let's punch him in it. Anyways remember we can't hurt him too much or drive him away because we promised Kara.As the Anon that made Mim cry, I'm confident we can make Raid cry.
>>4118453who r u
>>4118363Please cherry pick my big long write in.
>>4118453>>4118463>>4118008This is me.
>>4118471Oh, well then I can tell you I didn't like yours cus it wasn't funny. Also it kinda sounds too imperious and high handed for my tastes. Sorry anon.
>>4118453>He knows what guilt is now.He remembers guilt. I don't think he has a guilty conscious though.>Shade-tainted.Ya know, it's possible he has a shade scar. If he does, we'll need to be a little careful in handling him. Blowing open his scar due to stress would suck. I dunno how we'd go about checking that though.>As the Anon that made Mim cry, I'm confident we can make Raid cry.Mim is a human, and a child besides. She has things like empathy. Raid doesn't. I wouldn't bet on being able to get him to tear up.>>4118415I understand the sentiment, but Remember what little power Rue does have is entirely soft power. She couldn't beat up a wet noodle. If he does decide to pick a fight, all the soft power in the world won't stop his fist from hitting our face. And if he starts that fight, he'll know there's only one way to stop us from coming after him.
>>4118400Thinking about the scar reminds me, are there equivalents for the other Mana? I know Shade deals heavily in emotional stuff, but it can't be the only one that have such peculiar effects on people otherwise unattuned with them.
>>4118491But I plan on blowing open his Shade scar.
>>4118485Irue IS imperious and high-handed. Even for Nobility. She knows best and expects people to agree. Can't please everyone I guess. That's fine, we all have our goals for what to do. I personally don't think funny is appropriate for the situation, but what would you want to write in to make it funny?
>>4118527If he has one, we don't want to be anywhere near if it goes. Ideally, we don't even want him in Valen territory. We've had enough rogue apparitions wrecking towns, thank you very much.If he does have one, I wonder how he'd resolve it, as he lacks the emotional depth to process guilt like that.
>>4118552But I want Irue to have an Apparition army. > If he does have one, I wonder how he'd resolve it, as he lacks the emotional depth to process guilt like that.By increasing his dependence on us
>>4118534I dunno man, when the other anon made his points he made them in a way that made me laugh, that's pretty rare in this quest and it counts for a lot in persuading me when I'm here to have fun.
>>4118561Well. I'll take that into consideration.
>>4118561Not to tell you how to have fun, but you might be in the wrong quest, anon. Valen is fairly serious as quests go.
>>4118625some day i will have lots of fun and i will bring you all with me, even if you are a bunch of bucket crabs.
>>4118625I think it would be fun to turn the Behemoth into a Dryad abomination.
I wonder if Zane will shit his pants before raid does.If Zane is smart enough to come and back us up while making the threats I'm promoting him. To what I am not sure but it will be done
>>4119235Promoted to husband, clearly.
Alright, home and writing!
>>4117679What's Raid gonna do now, then?>>4117685Raid's right! You don't know anything! He should leave if he doesn't like it!>>4118002>>4118003>>4118014>>4118103>>4118117>>4118122>>4118153Local man angry enough to scream elephant into submission reported to be incensed upon being told he still only counts as one.>>4118279Authorities report local man quoted to be supporting resident rage typhoon because "it was funny".>>4118008Local man slightly less angry than neighbor, but still fairly angry. First interviews report his rage to be "A solid six or so".I forgot to tally votes, but now I have. Not sure if I missed any here. Writing resumes!--->>4118502>Shade Scar equivalent to other Mana?Wisp and Luna have unusual effects!Wisp stimulates health, regeneration and raw physical vitality. While it's significantly not advised, overcharging your body with wisp mana for prolonged periods of time allows you to become nearly immortal through sheer recovery force. Bones may heal faster than they break, outpacing the fractures in real time. Piercing injuries sealing the moment the offending material is removed, muscles straining to pop your own joints back into place. Most commonly this can occur as a result of a Wisp adept consuming a potent core (or several less potent ones), and is treated as a form of doping - Both literally and figuratively, as Wisp apparition cores are used in a variety of medical activities, albeit in more indirect or diluted ways. This can occur in normal people as well, under the same circumstances, but as they can't communicate with their mana it becomes a toss up as to whether their body becomes impossibly robust, or if it just tears itself apart.Attuning to Luna actively for too long at a time slowly empties your mind. Memories, personal quirks and habits, in severe cases even how to do basic physiological things can be forgotten as the space for that knowledge - instinctual as it may be in some cases - is overwritten with whatever knowledge the adept was seeking. This is generally discouraged, as it most often results from a form of obsession or fixation, but it's not terribly rare to find a Luna adept who can barely function in society any longer who traded such paltry things for encyclopedic knowledge of something or other. It's hard to say if something similar could occur outside of a Luna adept, as Luna apparitions - and indeed, any physical representation of Luna's mana - are exceedingly rare. However such crystallizations are on record as theoretically possible, and could contain any degree of knowledge, or perhaps even the capacity to "learn".If you're paying attention to how most Mana have counter-balances, mirrors or "partners" in the cosmology, this implies Dryad is also capable of something similar, but there's no information available on that in the modern age.
If Kara isn't singing hallelujah and proclaiming her love for him from the tallest tower, if she has not made him a wreath of flowers to put on his head before the first rays of fucking sunrise tomorrow he will know that we do not make idle threats
>>4121192If Raid thinks he has seen as at our worst, he is wrong. We have been mad, we have irritated, but mostly we have not had time for Demihuman antics up until now.If he wants to know what we're like when it's personal, then he can find out first hand just how spiteful and petty we can truly be.I wasn't kidding about putting him in a box.We can ensure that he's forever kept "safe" for Kara to love, literally chained in a room if necessary. Or chained to us, by his very fucking soul. We will find a way. We don't know what he knows about adepts, but summoning apparitions like we do? Not normal.
>>4121117> Concern about our broken arm intensifies.
>>4121320I had a thought. Next time he needs a reminder, we use the diary to change into him and make our threats and promises wearing his skin.
>>4121439And let him know we can do that? Basiclaly all of the diary's utility is based on the fact people don't know we have it.
>>4121447Let's not do that though. It won't even be an effective intimidation tactic.
Alright, so this update is getting delayed again. The good news is that I have compiled and sifted through all of the walls of text left to me. I've gone through each of them, line by line, paragraph by paragraph, and sorted mostly what's going to come out of this bearing in mind the tone and details you guys specified.The bad news.
>>4121495I know you'll enjoy writing it
>>4121495oh no what does this mean
>>4121495I'll come back tomorrow then. Either the quest survives, or it doesn't.
>>4121564whattdya mean anon
>>4121117>This can occur in normal people as well, under the same circumstances, but as they can't communicate with their mana it becomes a toss up as to whether their body becomes impossibly robust, or if it just tears itself apart.Can they become an Akira baby? Also can you give us a similar rundown on what a shade scar is?
>>4121581It means pissing off someone stronger than us and without morals outside of earshot from anyone else is a bad, bad idea.
>>4121495This is the point where Riz takes revenge for all the bullying.REPENT!
>>4121495Hey. Hey.How bad was my write in?
>>4121551It means that responding with psychotic anger all the time is probably not Irues best trait.
>>4121495You know. I AM glad Raid cares enough about Kara to be pissed that he thinks we want to just keep her as a loyal dog.
>>4122063All the time?
>>4118552Actually, thinking on his response, it doesn't make sense for a manipulative person to attack us like this. We're the seat of authority. Raid is being really emotional about all this.Dude probably does feel guilty about his pack getting killed by Kara, and probably did care about them more than a normal demi-human. He's like a little kid, where because he hasn't had emotions like this before he can't really handle them.We may have taken the wrong tactic here.
>>4122131A significant part of the time.We play a very angry person. Who is pretty much always angry. And sometimes it blows out. Like when she has a broken arm that she still hasn't had time to get treated after an attack on her city just happened and she had to go see all the people it injured and she has a broken friend at home who just did a BAD THING and now she has someone beaking off at her about not caring about Kara who also claims to have been leading one of her biggest goddamn problems secretly.So. Yannow. Might be a little bit more than the usual seething anger and oh look someone just stepped into the croshairs waving a bunch of red flags at her. Us.
>>4122139>We play a very angry person. Who is pretty much always angry....No? Rue is constantly frustrated and depressed, but that almost never spills over into actual anger.
>>4122139You have a very odd view of Irue, my man
>>4122162Things Irue has lashed out at in anger> Gnome adept> Carona guards> Mayor > Whisp adept> Carona> Her family> Luna> Oakenbears> Rinnier> Asche > The forest> MimAnd that's just off the top of my head
>>4122231anger and psychotic anger are very different things my dude
>>4122234I have to agree with that anon. We have an anger problem, which probably stems from a feeling of a lack of control.
>>4122234Those were all psychotic moments.Especially the Oakenbear.
>>4122234Valen Diplomacy> "YOU LOT WANNA FOIT?! WE'LL BREAK INTO YA RELIQUARY, YA SCROWDER! GONNA TAKE ALL YOUR ARTIFACTS AND WEAR 'EM ABOUT! WE'RE GONNA TAKE YOUR ENGINE-THING! I'LL SLAP YOUR SHIT IN I SWEAR ON ME MUM! ME MUM WAS A TUBE!! A TUBE IN MOUNT-FUCKIN'-EVEREST! FUCK! MOM EVEREST!"
>>4122139...what? Anon start reconsidering before you post next time.
>>4123177The game started with us picking 3 testaments out of spite, and that really set the tone.Have you read the quest?
>>4123186And this is not even considering all the angry votes that didn't win, like that Clara-hater anon.
>>4123196Like I said. At least 13 major events have been driven by Irue flipping her shit.
>>4123198Of those, only attacking the guards was off the handle. The others were all the culmination of ages of stress and frustration and fuckers who needed a beating for refusing to listen or even talk.Battle is an extension of diplomacy
>>4123235>fuckers who needed a beating for refusing to listen or even talk> Rinnier> Asche > The forest> Mim
>>4123239Are you saying that rinnier did not deserve a beating?
You stand bereft of words for a several long moments, letting silence eat the space between you as it became apparent that Raid had no intention of pressing any further. You could have let it go there, could have held your tongue, but the moment his eyes left yours... something snapped."I know she loves apples." The words spill quietly from your lips like a poison and the demihuman's ears twitch beneath his bandana; He froze, and you knew he wouldn't miss a word. "That she's curious about the Mana, and likes to watch fires burn. That she worries about her little brother, because she thinks he's a runt that gets picked on, and she has to protect him." The fingers of your unmangled hand twitch, reflexively seeking to curl when steel traced your muttered voice. "I know she hasn't been protected. That she's been hurt, used and abused by the people around her again and again.""-Like you've done any better.""You know what led to all of this? you gestured vaguely to your surroundings with a venomous hiss. "I picked a fight with the Shrine here over your sister. I stood up for her and made an enemy out of the Gnome Dominion and town guards alike.""And?" Raid scoffed, "Do you want a medal for defending your own self interests? You think I don't know about your little rite? How you needed her?""Do you have any idea what I've given up to protect her?""You haven't given up shit for her!" The demihuman growled back, "You used her like everyone else!"Now it was your turn to scoff, drawing yourself up straighter. "I used her? What do you even know about me? Do you know how much it's cost me to keep your sister as my Testament? To openly give her that authority?""Oh, I'm sorry!" Raid puffed out his own chest to make a show of the sarcasm seething through his apology. "You gave my sister authority? That's the first I'm hearing of that. Does she know? Has anyone told her?"Of course she knew, you told-"Does the demihuman know this already?"You... "I hadn't planned on telling her."Your teeth grit, eyes flashing furiously when Raid's sneer spread. "Do you want me to? To tell her she's got all the same authority as that red haired bitch leading you around by the nose?!"Your cheek twitched, feeling something more volatile than personal fury sparking to life. "My sister being your Testament's been kept a pretty good secret since people started knowing your name, ain't it?""The moment people find out one of your Testaments is a demihuman, we're going to have no end of trouble.""Would have been a damn shame if anyone found out about it in the past few months, wouldn't it?! Don't give me shit about all you sacrificed for my sister! You only ever cared about what she could do for you!"
"I'm still better for her than any of you ever were!" The quiet, almost somber shriek of something precious cracking resounded from somewhere inside. Too far away too care, too far to look back at as words tore from your tongue. "Your pack abused her for as long as she'd been with them! She's been used by everyone she's ever met, at least I give a damn about her! At least I don't insult and demean like the rest of you, for so long she started believing she really was too stupid to think for herself!""She IS, that's why we're HERE!" Did Raid have a point? Did it matter? You were already yelling over him, and in moments the opportunity to admit as such, if even only to yourself, had passed. This wasn't an argument... It didn't actually matter what Raid had to say anymore."Who let her eat raw kill? Who let her act like a damn animal?!""We all-""I got her real food! I treated her like a person! I gave her the pack to rule, I put her in charge of the rest of you because I didn't want her to be anyone's dog! Not mine, not yours, not theirs!""You didn't give her anything! She did that herself! Who died and made you think you were ever part of the pack?!""I could have handled the lot of you myself, you don't think I could?!" Your face contorted with rage. "Who was it that said I made an excellent demihuman, huh? I could have put you all on a leash, but I didn't - I let Kara do it! I gave her your pack to do whatever she wanted!""How full of yourself can you get?!" The golden eyed youth roared back, grabbing you by the shirt once more as he closed the distance far faster than you could react. "The only thing you gave her is the shit she's dealing with now!" He shook you, and your sight ran red as your eyes as you reached back out with your good hand to grasp a handful of his own tunic and twist it in your fist. "It was hers to lead, hers to fail, I wasn't going to take that from her!" It was fortunate Raid lacked the height to lift you from this position, as all being this close did was allow you to tower over the shorter Demihuman. "Not like you, who had the gall to try and steal it out from under her in the first place!""Steal? STEAL?! No one respected her, she was a terrible leader and everyone knew it! You knew it, they knew it, SHE knew it! I was helping! I didn't see you lift a fucking finger when she was struggling!""She never asked!" How could you help if she never told you anything?! "But fine, maybe it was a mistake! Maybe I should have gotten involved, because then I wouldn't have had all of you stabbing me in the back!"Raid's moistened golden eyes let slipt their furrowed glare for a single second, only to knit over with near redoubled indignation as his face screwed up in disgust."What?!"
"No pack in whatever primitive shit you demihumans consider history has EVER come as close as yours did to having actual power! Real authority! You could have earned actual respect until you all fucked it up!" Raid was physically far stronger than you, but sheer anger drove you to loom over him as your tirade continued. It was confusion that flecked through his fury with each accusation you bored into him. "What? Trying to weasel out of it now? Some stupid kid whose biggest contribution to their circumstances was their SISTER? I thought you were the fucking Alpha, Raid?!""And what's your big deal!?" He bit back, slipping back defensively a half step despite himself. "Which one of us totes their family name around like the world fucking owes them something!?""I earned my place!" Your throat hurt just roaring that, driven in under such endless, raw emotion that it all you could parse as your heart near leapt to your throat was the burning in your veins. "But you! YOU! Did you think you'd climb above your station with a few plots and schemes?! That you could just hide behind your sister's skirt and get out of what you did?!""What the fuck did I do?!""You betrayed me!""How?!" Raid shrunk back, thrusting you away as he let go of your shirt - But your own grip on his held firm, and only served to drag him back as every muscle in your body strained to overpower the off-balance demihuman. "I did everything you wanted! Everything that was asked of me!""If you were the Alpha then why was the packworking with Maro!?""I told you they weren't!""Why would Maro possibly work on his own, then!?""He hated you! You knew that!""If you knew he was going to be a problem, why didn't you just kill him! Did you not care at all about your sister's well being?!""And what about you? Why didn't YOU kill him!?""Shut up when I am speaking to you!" It was easier to scream at him than give an answer. You didn't owe him any answers in the first place, and this wasn't about what you did or didn't do - Not anymore. "If you were the damn Alpha, then why didn't you control Maro?!""What do you think I was doing all this time?!" His voice cracked, higher pitches sliding mortifyingly through his frustration. "I had everything under control!""You were never in control!" You hissed scornfully, "You couldn't take your eyes off them for even a moment before they went behind your back. Kara didn't ruin everything just because you left her alone for a week, you ruined everything because you left the pack alone for a week!""I left them alone?" Betrayal was raw in the demihuman's shout. "Why do you think I wasn't here? Who do you think is responsible for me NOT BEING HERE?!"...
Your nostrils flared, taking a deep, chest burning gasp of air as your mind temporarily blanked - Too angry to properly even parse your own thoughts. Your muscles burned, body felt like it was on fire, something was squirming just under your skin again. Something horrible, insatiable, the yawning maw of an abyss.It ate at the flame in your veins, swallowed your beating heart and encased it in a tepid, sinking balm. When the deafening static receded from your mind, you could hear your own thoughts again."You know what, Raid?" But those thoughts were sluggish. Sedate. Floating on the surface of an ashen morass. "You're right."How much time had you wasted yelling at him? What were you hoping to achieve? "I didn't care about your pack. I care about Kara, but not your pack... And not you. I gave you a chance because of her, and the only reason I didn't just kill you all in the first place was for her."You released him, leaving the younger demihuman to stagger back in full as, for once, he didn't have a smart-ass retort to interrupt you with."I saved your pack because she asked me to. All of your lives have been contingent on Kara's well being, and if she hadn't killed them all then I would have. It was the right thing to do. She made the correct choice... But now, she's upset because she's worried you'll hate her. Raid-" You look at him, look through him, for once seeing just how fragile he was, "-If you're not going to help your sister, then I don't have any use for you.""...You didn't save anyone." Raid muttered bitterly, setting his jaw as he shook. "She saved me, and we saved the rest of them. We stayed out of trouble, we did everything you asked, you- You said you trusted us-" His throat caught, fist clenched until his claws drew blood from the palm. "-You have no room to talk about anyone using anyone." Raid finished tightly."And you have no grounds to claim Kara is your sister. Don't make me laugh, it's too late to pretend you feel anything. You don't understand the people around you, you never understood your sister, you absolutely don't understand me. The only thing that's ever had any value to you is your own life and whatever power you could grab." You shake your head. "There. There's your Alpha position. You stole leadership of a dead pack fair and square, you're the King of Nothing, your sister's a broken mess, congratulations. The fruits of your labor."
"...I bet it looks real fucking familiar, too." Raid disparaged hoarsely, each breath shaking him from the spine down. He rubbed at his nose, using it as an excuse to quickly swipe his slive across his eyes as his feet shifted away. "Fine. Whatever. trusting you was my mistake. M'done.""...Done?" You snorted, watching the demihuman turn from you. "And where do you think you're going?""Does it matter?""Kara still needs you.""I think I've done enough for her already, don't you?" The youth spit on the road, leaving his back to you as he stalked away. "You do something, since apparently you care so much.""...If you're not going to do it, I'll drag you back to her myself. I don't care if I have to cripple or break you to do it, either." You called after him, feeling the weight of your bracelet on your wrist as the sun set.And Raid's feet dragged along the ground, sliding to a stop as he stared on ahead, narrow back held to you for as long as his head hung."Do it. See if I care."Your skin squirmed.Do it.Do it.Do it.DO IT.>Do it. You warned him.>Break him. Maybe she'll enjoy trying to nurse him back again.>Cripple him. He can't run from Kara like that.>Kill him. He was useless.
>>4123481>Break him. Maybe she'll enjoy trying to nurse him back again.
>>4123481You do really enjoy throwing our fuckups in our faces Riz.
>>4123481I won't even vote. This is useless, we've driven ourselves into a corner, there's no good or even less bad decision.
>>4123481We're not using the bracelet to deal with one uppity demihuman. It is not to be sued frivolously, and we're not doing anything to him without it. Accordingly,>Let him go.
So I'm finally in the august company of people who fucked everything up.I'm about as thrilled as you may expect. I really wish someone had opposed me but I guess I'm supposed to take full credit for this. It didn't go as I thought that's for sure. I was mad at how he treated his sister and the betrayal was far and above what could ever be forgiven. He could have reported the situation to us. He could have said no to the invitation, but obviously he believed that he could leave them alone and this shit is still a gross error of judgement on his part. He is still abandoning his sister because she is not useful to him.And I suppose we're doing the same to him. I really dunno what to vote
Just let it happen. Whatever happens we'll see it to the end
>>4118453I know how you feel, now.
>>4123481> Take a step back.Fuck your options.> Raid, I might not care about you, or your pack, but I care about Kara. I do trust Kara, and if you leave her now at the worst moment of her entire life, you'll regret it.> At least see Kara first. If she really wants to go with you . . . Then she can. > Start to fucking cry.
>>4123635We fixed things with Mim afterwards. This is still fixable.
>>4123734Anon I really don't think that this will convince him. It's too late to back downAs a side note, I can't believe that Irue's day has just begun and we've already reached this level of JUST
>>4123635We fixed things with Mim afterwards. This is still fixable.Christ. Irue is what, 17? And lived with one person in the woods most of her life after all her family died and the rest abandoned her? JFC we can't lose Kara. So we can't lose Raid.Besides. If he leaves now he'll regret it. God knows we regret getting to this point already. If he really does care about Kara, if he's genuinely not an amoral sociopath who wants something more for demihumans, then walking away now to hurt us isn't worth losing his sister.So we can negotiate. We can have a genuinely honest conversation that isn't just us hurting each other and try to make this work. We can admit we made some mistakes.For Kara. For the last family member he has left, who is hurt worse than she's ever been before.We don't want her to be broken. If it comes to that, we would rather lose her.
>>4123481>Do it. You warned him.
>>4123762Honestly, we can just ask him to hold on a minute and we can try this again without focusing on stabbing each other. Okay. We're both kinda fuck-ups. He didn't come to us either with the problems regarding the Demihumans, and we didn't really care. Yeah, we tried to care for them but we didn't care about them. We didn't come see any of them, because everyone knows they're amoral sociopaths who only follow power and we thought Kara was an exception to that and maybe we were wrong. We don't even know the names of any of them except Maro and Raid.We asked Raid to come with us to start working on that. Ironically, in this situation, it was because we had just started to trust him a bit. We didn't know how fragile things really were, we didn't and we don't really understand Demihumans except for what we've heard about them. I mean even now, Kara genuinely believed they were willing to kill Raid to blackmail her, so it's not like she was gonna change our mind about that.So. Let's stop word shanking each other, it's not making anything better.
>>4123787>ask him to hold on a minuteWill this work? If we tell him "wait lets try again" will it make everything we just said disappear? In THIS scenario we just cooked up?Riz said it's too late....
>>4123734Anon, what don't you get about "demihuman"? He does not have empathy. The closest he gets is emotional manipulation. Your vote will at best have him trying to manipulate her into going with him. And crying in front of him is open season for him to drive more knives into us..
>>4123771>We fixed things with Mim afterwards. This is still fixable.>Mim is a human, and a child besides. She has things like empathy. Raid doesn't.
>>4123493By the way, I'm changing my vote here to>Do it. You warned him.At the very least it'll have majority against the vote to start crying in front of fuckin Raid
>>4123799>>4123800He's shade scarred. Nothing about how he's acting is right for a sociopath. Kara's nearly broken right now, if he really wanted power he would go to her right away. He wouldn't have told us about him leading the pack. And yeah, yeah I do think apologizing and telling him that we need to take a step back would work. He doesn't really have experience losing control like this, and getting caught up in emotions and making bad decisions because of it. Irue does, on the other hand.They've both gotten angry enough to be honest and say all the horrible shit that's been bothering them. Now, if they can focus on stopping just hurting each other, they know enough to actually start working on their problems.Raid has called us out on some valid shit. We've called him on some too. We need to calm down enough to start working on it now.
>>4123810Fine, maybe the crying tears of frustrated guilt is too much for anons.But this is just doubling down on a bad decision.How he responded to us changed my views on him being a sociopath. He's more like a little kid, unable to handle his emotions and overreacting to hurt.An apology that we haven't trusted Kara completely like we promised her, and admitting that we want to do better but we didn't know enough to do so and that yes we fucked up and that we need him to help fix things, and that we're willing to let him work with Kara with her full authority is the only way to actually keep Kara.Breaking him now is just, man, I dunno if we want to full on play an evil character.Especially in a setting with Luna adepts.
>>4123810Honestly, I was thinking showing weakness in front of him would shock him enough to listen to us and calm down.
>>4123815We're not apologizing to him for shit, anon. He is emotionally manipulating us, and you're falling for it.
>>4123815>>4123822I'm sorry anon, I just can't imagine any of your proposals working out by any measure. We're too deep in this and all that's left is to go forwardAnd I strongly disagree with your perceptions on Raid.
>>4123824>>4123827Whelp. Evil route is a go then. On the plus side, pretty sure this ends with an Apparition army so there's that.
>>4123481>Let him go>I'm afraid of what I'm becomingI think this is fucking with our aeon foundation in an unexpected way, like we're aligning ourselves with the blind rage that consumes Dryad.>"I'm still better for her than any of you ever were!" The quiet, almost somber shriek of something precious cracking resounded from somewhere inside. Too far away too care, too far to look back at as words tore from your tongue.>Your muscles burned, body felt like it was on fire, something was squirming just under your skin again. Something horrible, insatiable, the yawning maw of an abyss.>"Do it. See if I care.">Your skin squirmed.>Do it.>Do it.>Do it.>DO IT.
>>4123861Ayup.Also, another apparition in town + rumors we had to do with the destruction.Raid has a shade scar. That means he now has feelings to be scarred.
>>4123810>>4123481Also to soothe this poor soul I will explicitly vote >do not cry
>>4123921>Raid has a shade scar.Possibly. But if he does, then so did the others that survived the Apparition. And that means it would be trivially easy to do the same to any other demihumans we come across, which seems too easy.
>>4123861>the blind rage that consumes Dryad.this isn't unique to Dryad. All the Mana are protective of their favored except maybe Shade, who's more of a 'sink-or-swim' typeI still disagree that Rue's an angry person; considering the amount of times she hasn't blown up at things she easily could have and the constant stress she's under, she's done fairly well.
>>4124108Dryad's berserk rage and hate is very much unique to Dryad. Others might get angry and possessive but there isn't any other mana who, if given the choice would kill everything (except Irue) it saw forever.
>>4124103I mean. It does involve tearing off a piece of our soul.
>>4124127> Voted to destroy the world for being unfair if killing Ari was the other choice.Anons. . .
>>4123635Side note . . . Apparently my write in DID help make Raid cry> He rubbed at his nose, using it as an excuse to quickly swipe his slive across his eyes as his feet shifted away. Shame Anons are so paranoid about Demihumans. Well. On your heads be it, as it always is in this quest.
>>4123498There really wasn't much wiggle room with this update. You guys laid out exactly what you wanted brought up, and even specified how uncompromising and aggressive Irue's tone should be going forward. A lot of the update was just finding ways to fit it all into a single fluid sequence - Many parts of the dialogue were lifted directly from the walls of text everyone left.I hope I've captured everything you wanted and requested!>>4121595>Akira babyUnder some circumstances this can be accomplished! Circumstances you have helped create.>Rundown on what a Shade scar is?Well you know most of it already. Someone exposed to an overt amount of Shade mana, whether through application of a Shade core or an apparition, aspiration, or other such manifestation can gain a "scar" of sorts. It is intangible, and in specification is akin to the Shade mana consuming whatever trauma, stress, and untoward emotional/mental duress to embody itself. It contains these feelings, becomes the form of them, and then it lurks within you - Biding its time, drawing its energy from you in its dormant state - Until awakens to force you to confront it.Your Shade scar is a memento from Dopplerue. The core of a literal Shade apparition which was born explicitly from you, and it has had many, many sources of distress to feed from. This doesn't have any particular extra or additional effects beyond the norm, aside from giving Irue a personal and sentimental complication with how you think of it.How much mana is "too much" can absolutely vary from person to person, though. You can think of it as more quadratic than linear in progression however... Or perhaps diminishing returns is more accurate? To someone on the brink of death, a little bit of Dryad's mana changes everything. To someone in the prime of their life, that same drop may never be noticed. To someone sickly and physically frail, the energy Wisp could grant easily overflows in their body. To someone at the peak of their physical fitness, it's meaningless.The more accustomed you are to handling and adapting to a Mana, the less susceptible you are to becoming imbalanced by them, and the greater potency of affliction it requires to do so. That said, bear in mind that these imbalances ultimately represent an unusual concentration of a given Mana within you. It's not the same as gaining an affinity with that Mana, but you know how the presence of some Mana has adverse effects on the rest of the mana that would regularly be there, as well as influence over the affinity they may naturally possess. This exact same principle is, you may remember, used in purging adepts of their Mana to render them less harmful.
>>4124337>I hope I've captured everything you wanted and requested!I'm just waiting for us to get past the stupidity from last thread and move on to damage control with the town and townsfolk. Goodness knows there's plenty to do.
>>4124337> To someone on the brink of death, a little bit of Dryad's mana changes everything. To someone in the prime of their life, that same drop may never be noticed. To someone sickly and physically frail, the energy Wisp could grant easily overflows in their body. To someone at the peak of their physical fitness, it's meaningless.The more accustomed you are to handling and adapting to a Mana, the less susceptible you are to becoming imbalanced by them, and the greater potency of affliction it requires to do so. C O N C E R N for shade scars on someone who has never had to deal with emotions like that before.
>>4124391> Stupidity from last thread.Man we can't even handle this thread.
I'll be closing the window in a few hours!
>>4124530Hurt me Mommy.
>>4123577>>4123861Let him go, you said all you wanted too.>>4123734Try to convince him to take Kara with him! She's broken now, not like you'll get any more use out of her.>>4123772>>4123810Do it!Technically we're 2/2 on whether to let him go or cripple him, but the vote to see if he'll take Kara with him also includes letting him go, so...Calling it for that!
>>4124995> She's broken now, not like you'll get any more use out of her.Riz. Riz. Why would you phrase it like this. This hurts me in the heart.As accurate as it may be for other anons here.
>>4125017>Why would you phrase it like this.The more accurate way to say it that all the King's Horses and all the King's Men could not possibly put the pulverized splinters of Kara's psyche together again, and that the best you can do is sweep up her dust in a pan and put it in a little baggie, but "broken" has more brevity to it.On the bright side, now that Kara is Broken, when Ash comes back they can be Broken together.
>>4124337>I hope I've captured everything you wanted and requested!I didn't vote for any of THAT.
>>4125031>On the bright side, now that Kara is Broken, when Ash comes back they can be Broken together.The only reason to keep broken things is for spare parts>>4125039Welcome to the party anon. The foolish sacrifice in the square was for naught. All you can do is skim the next few story posts until this blows over and/or the next fire starts.I think Riz secretly wants Rue to go full bandit queen. With the way things are going,..
>>4125056"bandit queen" is a meme. It makes no sense
>>4125234yeah i cringe erry time honestly
A dull glint out of the corner of your eye led your attention astray, leaving you to blink owlishly when you realized you had started reaching out towards the demihuman's back. Your bracelet's dual rings glimmered innocently, perched upon the extended wrist and waiting.Waiting.What... What were you about to do? If you had- If you hurt Raid now, Kara would have never forgiven you. He was the only one she had left, probably the only one left who could help her now, if you had-You were afraid of what you were becoming.Your outstretched fingers flinched back. This wasn't right. No matter how mad you were, you couldn't just resort to that... You couldn't just keep screaming how much you cared about Kara only to destroy the thing she loved most. What kind of person did that? Justified to themselves that it was for the best? It was disgusting, violent, and arbitrary. As if for a moment you hadn't thought of the people involved as people. It wasn't as bad as consigning the bandits to Dryad's wrath had been, but......But why would you even make that comparison to something like this?Maybe you refused to acknowledge your shortcomings until it was too late."Raid, wait." How many times had your temper gotten the better of you now. How many times was this scene going to repeat itself before you learned better? "Raid-" ...Yet even now, you couldn't bring yourself to apologize. "-Before you go, please-" This wasn't like with Mim. He wasn't your friend. Your relationship had been tenuous at best, an associate by degrees, mutually cooperating through work for his sister's sake.For Kara's sake. All of this was for Kara's sake, and you'd been so focused on how you could help her that you'd nearly lost sight of the demihuman herself. Concern for her had driven you to scream and rail, and Raid had responded in kind. Grown sick of your professed concern for his sister, fed up and furious with the idea that you had used her like everyone else.Dammit all. If Raid hadn't cared about her, he wouldn't have stood his ground and fought back. If all he'd cared about was his own well being, why the hell had he bared his fangs against you?"If I stopped believing in you, where would I be?"None of this was right. You couldn't keep being this person. You had a choice, even if it hurt to make.
"...Please, see Kara. She needs you."You couldn't resolve this for Kara. You couldn't be for her what Raid was. This wasn't your problem to solve, and in truth... Maybe it had nothing to do with you. This was a family matter, and you were an outsider. Everything you could have done for her, you did last night- And with that, your part was over. It was difficult to realize how horrifying it was to accept that sometimes you couldn't solve the problem, when for so long you had struggled to live up to the weight of being the only person who could."She needs you, Raid, more than anything right now. If you're leaving..." One conversation wouldn't be the end of it. If she needed Raid, then..."Please. Take her with you."...You had to let go.
You were numb long after Raid left, standing like your limbs had turned to stone. Asche was gone, and more than likely Kara now as well. At this rate, you'd... "Ser Valen?""Oh. Dullem." Tilting your head back took more effort than you expected, and finding out you had to tilt it even further back to meet the eyes of your knight captain was an unpleasant surprise. "What are you doing here?""Came t'check on everyone." The larger man ran a hand across his face slowly. "S'been a long day, Ser Valen.""Yeah?""Yeah." ...It felt better not standing here alone. A strange sense of empathy drew the tension from your shoulders, and in short order you were sighing in relief. "Did we do the right thing?""Ser?""With Carona, and..." In general. Dullem was probably the least capable person of answering this, but having someone friendly to talk to had just let it slip. "Nevermind." You lapsed back into a companionable silence for a time. "How did things go last night?""Not great. Not the worst." Dullem mulled over his answer gradually. "For a while I was starting to feel good about what I'd done, y'know? Knight Captain and all. Things were going good, right up till they weren't... Then some o'the folk we worked with to help rebuild the place, they started takin' a stand for us." You glanced up with a complicated expression, watching the bear of a man actually wipe at his own misty eyes before continuing. "Helpin' build this town back up ain't exactly what I thought I'd be doing as your knight captain, Ser Valen, but I'll be damned if folk didn't stand up for us because of it.""I heard." That was a major silver lining from last night. If the town actually had turned on your knights, you can't say you'd even be standing here right now. "It was a gamble as to whether they'd side against their neighbours or not. I'm glad it paid off."
"It's different." Dullem glanced up, watching something in the distance. "Y'get to know the people and it's real casual, but then y'hear a whole crowd of em defending you..." He scratched at the back of his neck, finally looking down at you. "Ser Valen, do y'have a moment to talk?""..." You stared. "This is talking.""Ah... Yeah, I s'pose it is." Dullem chuckled dryly. "It won't take long, just- I wanted t'talk to you about the whole 'Knight Captain' thing.""Oh?" You drew a fortifying breath. "What brought this on? Do you still feel not cut out for it?""No, well, yeah. Especially after last night, I... Really don't know if I have what it takes to do this." He shook his head. "Y'already know it but I'm not really the soldier type, Ser Valen. I'm a farmer, pretty happy tilling fields all told. I figure only reason I got stuck with this job in the first place is because I was representin' everyone back when we met."He'd talked to you about this before, somewhat. You knew his feelings on the matter fairly well, already - But now was a poor time to have to figure this out. "Do you still want to step down?" "A little, yeah." The man nodded slowly, "I never really wanted to be the boss of the group back before we were knights, felt like a scapegoat. Didn't matter what choice I made, we were losing people... And even if it didn't matter what I did, I still felt guilty about it. Afterwards, went a couple months not even really sure what we were supposed to be doing for ya, honestly. Being put to work building stuff got a lot of us wondering what this knight thing really was. Y'know?"Your attention started drifting. The same conversation, the same insecurities. You left him to grow into his own role the same as you had Kara as Alpha... "Now that Artemis has been handled, I'll start looking into replacement candidates. If you have anyone in mind-""Actually, I want y'to give me some more time, Ser Valen."You blinked. "...What?"
"I've been making the calls for most everyone the past few months." Dullem started hesitantly. "Workin' with Miss Lamandra, the demihuman lass, and dealin' with the council and all. I ain't any good at it; Mana bless, Miss Lamandra's got more plates spinning at a time than the kitchen uses, I had t'start keeping a list just to remember what I was doing each day... But you and she told me what needed doin, and I tried figuring out how to deal with the council, and by the time all the meetings and reportin' was done, I was damn glad to just go build something- I'm getting off track." He grumbled the latter part to himself. "I ain't saying I'm any good at this stuff, or that I'm better now than I was last time, but... After last night, I feel like I kinda get it better.""'It'?" You echo.He gestured vaguely with his hands, trying and failing to physically convey the words he lacked. "...I don't know." A lame, disappointing and disappointed admission. "It's just a feeling I got, I guess. We made a difference for the folk here, an' they appreciated it enough to stand up for us. We rounded up those Artemis guys, and Miss Lamandra seems t'think that means it'll be safer and smoother round here for a while." Dullem's barrel chest swelled as he took a deep breath of evening air. "We lost a few of our own last night, too... I guess what I'm trying to say is, uh..."You waited with more patience than you thought you still had for him to continue, watching with some degree of fascination as his expressions contorted further and further into frustrated resignation. At times you almost felt like he was looking at you as if you'd just divined what he was trying to tell you so he could stop making the effort."Miss Lamandra made this seem a lot easier than it is." He confided, defeated. It was the first thing you could nod sympathetically to. "Being knight captain... I want to keep trying.">?
>>4125533>He is welcome to do so, accept his request
>>4125533>I'm glad.>You're better suited to this job than you realise Dullem, the world is in short supply of sensible men who give a shit>That's why those men sided with you, it wasn't just because you've been cleaning up their town, it was because you're willing to put aside your feelings and concentrate on what you can do when it matters most>You've always been trying your best, we all saw it>Pat him reassuringly on the arm, accidentally do it with our cripple hand>Suggest knighting some of the people who supported him, maybe they deserve the chance to make a difference too>Tell him we'll be taking Miska with us when we respond to our Aunt's, we'll be recruiting a trainer and with any luck we'll take some weapons too>Either Dullem or Miska can pick out a handful of motivated knights to accompany her>Tell him we'll probably be leaving Carona in his care while we're away, suggest setting up a command structure and delegating responsibilities, Fen is an obvious choice for assistant since Rinnier will be coming with us
Taking Miska with us? Isn't it a bit early to decide on that?
>>4125533>Ask about his life before we met him>>4125658It wasn't my idea, anons have been suggesting that for a good few threads now.
>>4125533>Glad to hear it. You were looked to initially for a reason. He's not wrong on the "what is a knight" thing though. We've just never had the time or money to organize proper military training. And to be honest, once we did we don't have many uses for a bunch of soldiers.
>>4125533Oh thank god something went right.How did Raid react to us letting Kara go? Can we send people to follow him?
>>4125533Oh yeah, I guess we should>Apologise for not providing much direction if any and ask if there's anything he needs advice on
>>4125562>>4125571>>4125724Go for it!>>4125619You did your best.>>4125619Plans for the near future.>>4126080We should have provided more direction.>>4125671What were you doing before we met?I am up from a four hour nap. Apparently I've caught ill, so if I'm lucky the Corona virus will go ahead and kill me. I will be writing in the meantime.--->>4125834>Raid's reaction?Omitted for stylistic reasons, but he also didn't react a whole lot. It's not something he should be happy or unhappy over, and there's a lot on his mind.>Can we send people to follow him?You can, but no one is going to be able to keep up once he starts moving. A Wisp adept could, but even if you had one in your ranks, that seems like a waste.
>>4127370It's fine. I just want to make sure that if he goes to get Kara, then they are given whatever they need before leaving.If I recall, Kara is still our testament whether she stays or goes so hopefully Rinnier can do a better job talking to Raid as well.I presume Kara won't just immediately leave with him.
>>4127370Also we have to tell Kara that she's welcome ti stay, or always come back later if she wants.
>>4128916that's an interesting way to pronounce "rinnier"
>>4128916No, that's how you pronounce "Kara".
>>4129023>basically just "honey"Very nice anon
So I've called out sick, should have the update out later tonight. This thread's been a lot slower than I expected between schedules and catching ill; Starting to feel a little cursed.But we're still on page 6, so we should be moving right along when I shake this sickness. Apologies to everyone kept waiting.
>>4129092Stay healthy! Don't mention curses.I'm about ready for this thread to end anyways.So far Rue has driven away Asche, now Kara and Raid.Why can't people in this quest just not be fucking cunts when they get frustrated. Oh well. At least it drives home that there's always the possibility to fail.I bet everyone participating is so single it fucking hurts, though.
>>4129318End thread already? But Irue's day has only just started. We didn't get to experience Rinnier's disappointment yet
>>4129318I hope Kara isn't just going to disappear offscreen without Rue getting a chance to say goodbye, or do HiH, or explain things.Updates. Too much happens in them sometimes.
>>4129092I hope one day you OOC answer if Raid is actually a demihuman sociopath at this point in the quest. Irue surely is inching ever closer.
>>4129396You can ask such questions over on ask.fm
>>4129396Raid is the only other halfie we know besides Kara, and despite what he says about halfies becoming full over time depending on how strong the blood is, it surely isn't a coincidence that he's a midget; Kara is the opposite end of mutation and has brain problems, so it's extremely likely that Raid has the same sort of brain problems in regards to empathy but he's just smart enough to actively conceal it; especially considering that as the runt, being the nail that sticks out is asking for a particularly vicious pounding.
>>4129463Well then everything we've done here is horrible and I hope the world ends.
>>4129954> Riz planning to hurt us by having Kara leave offscreen.
It was heartening that something good had come of last night, but you struggled to reconcile how it had been a resolution of Dullem's confidence. Or, at the very least, some manner of progress. "The position is yours, as ever. Even if it's not one you appreciated, you've found your way to where you are now for a reason, Dullem.""Kind of you to say Ser Valen, but most o'the time I'm suspicious the reason's because I'm built like an ox.""It's good that you're already aware." You deadpan, favoring the larger man with the ghost of a smile. "But you're better suited for it than you realize.""I hesitate a lot. Feels like I don't have the right answer as often as I should." The larger man confided wearily. "It's humbling that y'see something in me Ser Valen, I don't know that I could see the same in your position."You set a hand on his arm, the closest thing you could reasonably reach to his shoulder, and let the tension drain from your own shoulders. Dullem and the rest of the knights had been struggling to find their direction for some time now, and you knew that. Struggling to find a reason to devote themselves to, and to understand you - Both who you were and what you expected from them. For the most part you had left them alone... And in light of recent events, you were starting to realize you did that a lot."Maybe I should have given you more guidance.""I suppose we must be a bit disappointing after all." Dullem apologized with a weak laugh."How could you be?" You looked up at him sincerely. "You've been doing your best all this time, all of you. Carona saw it, and that's why they took your side. Rinnier and I have seen it, there's no way I wouldn't be proud of you... I just wish I had thought to be there for you more."Dullem's head hung, tongue dabbing gingerly over his dried lips; his words failed customarily to find purchase. He nodded his head awkwardly, seeming to imply he understood something, or maybe agreed, but after a few moments the nodding turned into a single shake of his head and his neck craned skyward. Your knight captain was, as ever, shyer than someone with his frame had any right to be. He laid his hand over yours reassuringly- only to jerk away a moment later. "What in Wisp's grace happened to your hand?!"
"Oh." You glanced at the offending appendage, realizing belatedly it'd been your mangled wrist. "I broke it last night.""That's a bit more than broke, ain't it...?" You waved off his concern idly. "You uh... Doesn't that hurt?""No. I was going to have it looked at, but got distracted." Dealing with Raid was a major distraction, to be sure. "I'll ask the healer about it before I leave.""Yeah, you should definitely..." Dullem blinked, shifting to face you curiously. "Leaving again? Already?""I don't have much of a choice in the matter, unfortunately." You shrug, withdrawing your mangled wrist more for Dullem's sake than your own. "My aunt's summoned me, and any immediate business in Carona has either been handled or doesn't require me. No good reason for me not to go." Besides spite, but you'd like to think you had grown beyond petty rebellion at this point. If you were going to make a stand, it'd need to have a purpose to it."Ah, well." His calloused hand rubbed at the back of his neck. "Can't be helped then. Safe travels, Ser Valen. I 'spose miss Lamandra will be holding down the town as usual?""That would be you, actually. Rinnier's accompanying me, so Carona'll be in your hands until we get back."His hand slipped. "...Ha?""I also plan to bring some of the knights with me. Miska and some others, most likely- People who were interested in training." Dullem's face fell almost immediately, giving you a strained expression."Ser Valen-""It really shouldn't be an issue." You hurry to reassure him with a wry grin. "If nothing else, I suggest delegating a bit to ease your responsibilities. Fen's worked closely with Rinnier for a while now, hasn't he? He should be a fine choice to deal with any administrative work." His lips pressed together anxiously. "You'll be fine, I promise. If anything happens-""Ser Valen, Fen's gone."The blurted confession was an effective method of shutting you up, leaving your jaw half open with unsaid platitudes running stale on your tongue. "What...?""I..." Your knight captain couldn't meet your eyes, shifting his gaze towards the medical tent behind you. "I told you we lost some of our own last night. Fen was one of them. I was actually hoping to catch Miska here-" The larger man started to explain himself, but for a second it felt like all his words just slipped over you. "She just left." You interrupt him distantly, "I mean, she left when I got here, she's been gone for a while at this point..." You shake your head slowly. She hadn't said anything to you... She hadn't said anything at all, come to think of it - Even the healer had been ignored. You struggled to take it in.
"How?""He was one of the handful they'd taken as a hostage." Dullem swallowed heavily, shuffling his feet against the stoneladen street. "We were tryin' to talk em down, me and the rest of the Carona folk... I think it was working Ser Valen- If I'd found my words sooner-" The bear of a man held his tongue when his voice quickened, gritting his teeth with closed eyes. "miss Lishp - Erika Lishp, I don't know if you know her, she's the daughter of one of the council we put together to help manage Carona's reconstruction - She still had one of their queer 'flare' things."You didn't know the girl, but you knew of her. Her name had come up in a conversation with Rinnier, tying her to the rest of Artemis proper as one of their earliest confirmed supporters. "...I guess she was trying to use it when it broke. Er... 'Malfunctioned'?" He stumbled over the unfamiliar word. "Fen was one of the closest when it happened."Was this your fault? Could you have made a difference if you'd gone there last night instead of staying with Kara?...No. You still remembered the rebellious speech you'd gleamed through the web. The moment just before something had spurred Dullem to act. Nothing you could have done at that point would have been in time."Ser Valen, I take full responsibility for this." Dullem's sober baritone slipped through your introspection. "I knew how important he was to you and miss Lamandra, I should have kept him closer, or set him out of the operation... Or maybe not surrounded them and made the situation worse." A list of alternatives tumbled from his mouth, each possibility branching off with the hope that maybe it would have changed the end result. You knew this spiral, the way it led you astray as you searched and searched for what you could have done differently.For once you were seeing it from the outside... And it wasn't any less ugly."Dullem... You still want to be knight captain?""...Yes, Ser Valen." His shoulders and back straightened at your question, giving you a front seat view of the man fighting every instinct he had in order to meet your crimson eyes. "If you'll allow it.""You're taking responsibility for everyone that died last night, and you still want to be their leader...?""Yes." A short, clipped answer uttered from somewhere in the center of his throat.But your voice betrayed you, lost and confused as it was. "...Why?""I've had to lead them for a long time now, Ser Valen. My choices aren't always the best... I don't think they've ever been the best. We lost a lot of people just to make it to your cousin's. Lost almost everyone just before it mattered most-" He drew a breathe, shaking despite the size of himself as his voice clamped down on its burgeoning quiver. "-I didn't make it here because I quit. I've got too many friends in the ground to stop now."
"Didn't you talk to me about a replacement some time ago?" Why change his mind now? If he had that much on his conscious, what tipped him over?"Yeah... And truth be told Ser Valen, catch me on a bad day and I still might take you up on it." He ducked his head, somewhere between shame and embarrassment to admit as much. "I didn't think I was suited for this. I don't think I'm suited for this... But I don't want anyone else to have to take responsibility for things like last night.""...Understood." You weren't sure how you felt about the fact you did understand."Should I still tell Miska you want to see her?"Giving her something to do might help... But putting undue stress on her certainly wouldn't. On the other hand, if she found out you left her out, that might be even worse. "Yeah. I'll ask if she's interested and let her make her own decision."Dullem nodded, "Aight. Well, hope the rest of your night goes better, Ser Valen."The man turned to leave, stumbling over his own feet as he seemed to remember something - Only to turn and provide you a sloppy salute before actually leaving. You followed his retreating back with a flat stare, eventually turning back towards the healer's tent. May as well get your arm checked out before you left.
One short exchange later, you were enduring an incensed, bewildered lecture from that self-same healer with your mangled wrist held out at the forearm in a firm grip. "How are you still walking?!" You didn't appreciate it."My legs are fine, it's just this wrist-""Yes, yes." She shushed you impatiently. "You should be dead. I can barely sense any Wisp mana circulating inside of you, do you not feel weak? Faint in the knees? Light headed?""I feel fine." Better than fine technically, seeing as you weren't in agony over your wrist right now. Even the traces of pain from last night had mostly made themselves absent. You weren't about to tell her you had died recently, though. It had been in a different body, so physically you should be fine. "So, can you fix it?""No. Not right off hand, at least." The healer scowled down at your injury as if it had outright offended her. "Normally to speed up the recovery process I would request Wisp's cooperation, but setting aside what little of it remains with you now, you're rejecting the addition of more. It's almost as if your body doesn't want to heal itself." She withdrew a small, heavily expended roll of cloth-like gauze from an apron pocket as she spoke, "I can wrap it for now, maybe push it back somewhat into shape, but until I'm not swamped with patients I can't afford to expend a Wisp core trying to force life back into you."Life really had nothing to do with this, but seeing as Wisp had taken over Dryad's spectrum in the public mind you suppose that's the crux of her concerns. Still... "Alright, I understand.""I really don't think you do, you're an abnormality in medical knowledge. I can only guess how you're walking around right now, but whatever the case I strongly urge you to not get hurt any further. I have no way of knowing if any injury you sustain would eventually heal at all."Your mangled wrist now tightly wrapped, you find yourself standing amongst the occupants of the healer's tent with no real goal in front of you. It was already dark out too, the sun having set sometime between your conversation with Dullem and getting this looked at.Your bracelet glimmered by the candlelight, drawing you into its dual ringed reflection for a time while your thoughts wandered.>What now?
>>4130498>Off to Rinnier
>>4130498> Back home to talk to Kara about if she wants to leave with Raid.Has she been . . . Happy, here? Since she became our true Testament? I just want Kara to be happy. If Raid can't stay, and she can't be happy without him, then she should go with him.But I don't want Kara to leave. I just wanted to say that to emotionally manipulate Raid. Things got out of hand and the vote went a way I didn't expect.
>>4130498> It's almost as if your body doesn't want to heal itselfYay we're subconsciously self harming out of guilt. Yaaaaaaay.
>>4130513I agree that checking back with Kara is for the best. Rinnier as designated secretary (even without requisite office bunny uniform) will probably have the most for us to look at, but she can wait. Out of everybody near us she is the least liable to detonate.So as a vote->Go to Kara>>4130514Shade *is* the opposite of wisp. Might want to get that scar of ours checked out.
>>4130494>"Ser Valen, Fen's gone."All that worry about Miska, and the other one bit the dust instead.>Could you have made a difference if you'd gone there last night instead of staying with Kara?>...No.Don't lie to yourself, Rue.We've been bleeding knights slowly but steadily even since Rue took control of them. There weren't that many in the first place, and they're not really replenishable. At this rate who's in charge of them is going to be a moot point by the end of the quest.>>4130498iirc, new oakenrue is still a day or two out. We need to work through our trama with dying. We should take the pulse of the town after that disaster of an operation. Let's leave Kara alone for now; we've spent plenty of time dealing with her (at last by proxy) in this thread. Don't want to get chewed out by Reiner right now much as we deserve it for screwing up so badly, there's been enough unpleasantness recently.>what now?Use the journal to scout out the town, get a feel for the temperament after everything that's happened. We had a riot light off right under our nose, we need to pay better attention to this stuff.>>4130514Nothing so melodramatic. Dryad is replacing Wisp's typical functions, our shade affinity has caused issues with wisp usage in the past, and potentially using the journal to heal grevious wounds has some side effects related to healing/pain.
>>4130528>new oakenrue is still a day or two outAri mentioned it's here! She told it to wait at the Tier estate for now.
>>4130529Huh, must have missed that.>>4130498change>>4130528to>go collect new Oakenrue. Bring Aspenrue along.
>>4130528> Your body is rejecting wispNah, I'm going with Shade Scar problems.Irue knows she fucked up with Raid and Kara, and her Dryad body let itself get injured because guilt and refuses to heal because guilt and our arm doesn't seem to hurt because our heart does.>>4129463This convinces me as well that people claiming Raid is a sociopath who doesn't care are wrong and willfully denying it because it makes it easier for them to treat him badly and brush off his accurate criticisms of us as just being manipulation.
>>4130521I would like to have the chance to explain things a bit more clearly to Raid. Like how we got reports of the Demihumans starting fights with the townspeople all the time, and how we started out hating Carona, and now we somehow are protecting it and committed to that. In contrast, we just didn't care about the Demihumans and since they never approached us except for Raid and Kara, we never approached them.Like I said, we asked Raid to come along outside the town and it was a big deal because it was the first time we truly trusted him even a little. And then we come back and the Demihuman situation is fucked and he says he's been leading them secretely and keeping that hidden from us, so it's pretty hard to not be instantly pissed off. Not just at the whole "were you secretely betraying us as well" but all the wasted time and effort when we could have worked with him. Especially that he knew Kara was having difficulty and didn't let us know how bad it was.
>>4130498Ultimately, I still want to do HiH, especially before Kara leaves. When we were fighting the Mayor, we made a promise to trust her and to be trustworthy. Right now things are so fucked that the only way to live upnto our words is to fully trust her, and the only way left to show that is to let her see everything through our own eyes.Otherwise, we'll have chosen to break a promise to one of our testaments. To violate something we swore to do. To be a liar, and an oathbreaker. Intentionally, not by mistake, no excuses for us not at least trying to live up to what we said we would do and who we claimed to be.
>>4130513Do you think Raid wants to go with Kara? I thought he left for a reason
>>4130498>find the oakenrue
>>4130498Oh yeah >ask what the healer is going to do with the fragments from the flaresIf she wasn't planning on giving it to the shrine maybe we could ask for it under the pretext of investigation. Don't refer to it by name obviously.
>>4130498>>4129954Is me.> Go see KaraLet's get this over with.
>>4130529Gonna change my vote to collecting the new Oakenrue>>4130509this was my previous one
Tbh we can just see kara before we go to bed
>>4130556I'll admit I'm curious what happens when we HiH with a demihuman but Kara is nearly catatonic with grief, there's no way she's in the mood for it anon. I don't think she trusts us any more either.>>4130498>Find the new oakenrue
>>4131830Letting her know we're putting ourself in the ultimately vulnerable position should resolve that. She can trust us on that. Ari and Rinnier can back us up on it. She'll be able to see it with no half truths, no misleading explanations, just the raw person we are.Grief stricken as she is, she's just as likely to latch onto us as trustworthy. After all, she came home to us still.
Anons, I just had an idea.Maybe we could go revoke Carona's autonomy, considering all that happened? The place is in shambles from the Jinn disaster, and it just had an uprising that messed things up even more.Because they are less and less self-sufficient and also due danger of insurrectionists we declare "no more Mayors, direct Valen autocracy!"It could be as simple as putting up a flyer somewhere. And it is good initiative in restricting privileges of the commoners, a very Noble endeavorWhat do you think
>>4132056But we are the mayor? Carona's independence is a valuable technicality for us.
>>4132066Temporary mayor. And if we had absolute rule then I think we would have even more power in the long run.It might not actually matter all that much but I just thought it's a neat idea...
>>4132069Nah. Far better to make Carona our personal fief, not just one of Valens lands.
>>4132104But... that's what I'm proposing. If we keep mayors around, Carona will presumably elect it's own leader someday.If we end it, then we'll be in direct rule once we inherit our position as head of the house
>>4132108A) We've already inherited direct rule.B) Personal lands are separate from family lands in Feudalism.C) It might also trigger another rebellion if we went ahead and did what the rebels were accusing us of planning.Sometimes you have to use the carrot. Fortunately, only crazy or unqualified people would actually want this mess of a town so our position is safe.
>>4132126Well, I'm not here to argue. It's just a random idea I had (more opportunities to restrict peasant freedoms will turn up later surely)But I'm curious about your second point. Explain to me how, being the sole head of the house, Irue would not be in ownership of Carona that was under direct Valen rule. I dungeddit
>>4132139Well, for one thing House Valen is a Noble House, not the Royal ruling House.That means that Valen lands are held by the family, not individuals. Holding Carona personally would prevent other family members from having the right to inherit them even if Irue was replaced.
>>4130513>>4130521>>4130911Sad dog!>>4130535>>4130589>>4130912>>4131830Fetch tree! You cannot take the Dryad Aspiration with you, it's with Ari and she is elsewhere.Seems your priorities are in order! Campaign has ended for the night, medicine has been taken through out the day. No clue how this'll go, but I will do my best.
>>4132139>>4132178It also prevents the Royal family from accusing Valen of stealing the land from them, as Irue holding them personally would be an individual assuming control of an independent region instead of Valen absorbing and independent region by force.
>>4132178I....... anon I think you have a skewed view on the situation.I'm gonna ask Riz to step in and shed some light - would Irue, as sole head of the house, be in complete ownership of Carona, if we hypothetically imposed Valen autocracy on it?
>>4132184>Carona is an independent regionwhat
>>4132200>would Irue, as sole head of the house, be in complete ownership of Carona, if we hypothetically imposed Valen autocracy on it?Theoretically, yes! House Valen as a family retains rights to this territory and every town in it. How hands on they are with the stewardship and management of any such town is entirely done at their discretion, however it belongs "to the family" rather than any specific individual.Irue being assigned to Carona as the mayor, or whatever position you'd prefer to interpret it as, doesn't actually change anything in the greater picture. Carona was always part of Valen's holdings, but they have been left to govern themselves mostly laissez-faire. Your aunt assigning Irue to it is just a matter of the Valen family taking a more hands on approach to that management. It does not technically entitle Irue to personal ownership of Carona, as any member of the Valen main family (or stewardship) could come in and swing around the same weight if they so desired. Obviously they would be forced to contend with whoever else was already there though, and the final say in such a conflict would be decided by the current head of the family.>Carona's independenceThis was the fixation for the grass roots rebellion which essentially hinges off the fact that Carona's been around for a very, very long time. It was here before East Heaven granted the land rights to the Valens in the first place, which means it also predates La'Fiel as a country. They've always been mostly allowed to mind their own business, as the founder had no desire to be a ruler and most of the Valen territory retained was an implicit boundary to the fledgling royalty of La'Fiel to not bother anyone in that region. The Valen household has, historically, trended more towards this hands-off approach to governing their lands through the generations - Although shifts in one direction or another do occur.Their town "belonged" to East Heaven initially, but they were far enough out that their oversight was effectively nil. When it changed hands to the Valens initially, not a whole lot changed. The Founder made the explicit decision to try and ensure not much would change. Future generations learned from that example, which ultimately molded the baseline for their approach overall.For the prior mayor, and many who supported the Artemis insurgency, past and present, the looming threat of micromanagement and the authoritarian take over a house of nobility who have historically left you alone is what motivated much of their resistance.
>>4132218I had so many wrong perceptions. My bad for the time wasted
>>4132224> I had so many wrong perceptionsDon't feel too bad. That's practically the player motto here.
You wanted to talk to Kara one last time. It had been some time since your conversation with Raid ended, he must have spoken to her by now. You wanted to ask if, now that a night had passed, if she still regretted meeting you. If staying by your side had really been so bad. You wanted to apologize for... So many things. Many of which you hadn't realized until now, and some of which you still weren't sure you were responsible for. You wanted an explanation, for why she never turned to you, for what her thoughts were.But no matter how many things you wanted, or how the scenario played out in your head, your body wouldn't cooperate; Your feet led you astray, further into Carona with a mindless and steady gait. Your argument with Raid refused to set aside, interrupting your walking delusions of what you would say. How you would say it. Whether what he said was true or not, or how much of it was worth taking to heart... At the end of the day, you had seriously considered wielding your bracelet against him again just to 'help' Kara.She would have never forgiven you, and knowing what it would have done to her... Made it that much harder to forgive yourself. The fear of what you were becoming reared its head again so much sooner than you'd expected. At what point did you start to lose sight of yourself? How many times were you going to keep repeating that same scene?Wandering the streets of Carona gave you time to see its people for yourself. The uncertain pulse that followed your wayward footsteps, the town settling into the future it chose. There was a sense of resolve threading through the roads, of resignation of the die being cast. It wasn't a question any longer of if they would support you, of if they considered you worth their loyalty, but whether or not their decision to have done so would be the correct one in the end.You won.Such a hollow thought. When it occurred to you, you almost didn't register the words having meaning at all, and only upon reiteration did you finally come to a stop to consider it. You won. You struggled, you fought, you stretched yourself thin, and you secured Carona. For better or worse, you earned their respect - Their gratitude. In fact, all told you'd barely lost any of your knights.It felt like a milestone. The final results of your latest trial, not unlike the end of your Rite. That even after becoming legally recognized as an adult and having this town thrust upon you, you had wrestled it into submission. When you met your aunt, you could tell her everything that had happened. Everything you learned, everything you did, everything that led to you exceeding what had to have been every expectation she had of you!These thoughts circled lazily, like water down the drain, as your meandering path took you further from the lit streets and further towards the blackened outskirts of the old Tier estate.
You saw it before anything else: A nightmare that would haunt children for years. Its humanoid silhouette standing motionless in the tall grass, the rustle of wind through the leaves of its ivy hair. It stood in silence, unconcerned with being seen with its back towards you as it watched the early night sky. It was dark, too dark to see, too dark to know the truth of what this shadowed haunting really was... But you could see it. See the way it jerked when it turned, facing you with amber eyes faintly glowing in the darkness. You recognized it, the same way it recognized you, and in that moment it filled the air with its curious trills."Fuck you?"Your lips pursed together, simultaneously acknowledging its call and wondering - on a lighter note for once - where you had gone wrong. Not every mistake was a crippling matter of emotional fortitude, or a question of your character. This mistake was not one of those things. This one-"Fuck you!"-Was so very difficult to stay angry at, as it bound towards you giddily and leapt the remaining distance to wrap its limbs about you in the short amount of time between your futile attempt to brace yourself and being gratefully cushioned by the wild grass rustling along your calves. The youngest Dryad apparition crooned your own distorted condemnations back at you senselessly while nuzzling its cheek into yours."Fuck. Fuck. Fuck."You felt tears welling in your eyes. Something painful tearing in your chest. You were beginning to cry, incredibly uncomfortable with the realization that you weren't sure if it was because of today's events, or..."Fuck."...You stroked its ivy hair soothingly, coming to terms with how much you had actually missed this thing.You should probably name it. Or maybe hold off until you named the other one first? Or maybe Ari should name that one? You hadn't given any thought to the first one actually being a permament fixture, and for a while you didn't even know what it was. It had followed you nearly from the very start, grown and matured from an apparition into Aspiration right beneath your nose, in a lot of ways you had somehow missed its entire 'childhood' - A fact you were being rather awkwardly reminded of dealing with this new one.Had the fleshen abomination been like this initially? Had you just been too creeped out by its advances to notice? ...What experiences had it internalized to have matured in the way it did?Maybe Ari would know. She was more comfortable with it than you'd ever been.>Dryad apparition loves you!>?
>>4132503At least we did something right for once.> A nightmare that would haunt children for years.New Oakenrue isn't that scary, is it? Aspenrue was horrifying because it was flesh-covered, and the older it got the more distorted it became.>?Spend a few minutes cooling down with it, putting the past in the past and getting ready to face the future....We should try expanding it's vocabulary while we're at it. Also we're going to need to teach this one to turn into a walking stick or some other disguise.
>>4132503>Teach the apparition new wordsLets not neglect this child
>>4132503>I love you too!>name the apparitionHow about a flower name? Bluebell? Iris? Marigold? Viola? Poppy?I'mma go with Viola. We should name the aspiration Lilly.>>4132513Seconding this, although a walking stick is a boring disguise.>disguise it as a wooden replica of our bracelet Why are there so few prompts these days? Is it 'cus Irue is a nutcase now? Also what's creepy about the apparition's silhouette, does it move unnaturally or something?
>>4132528Actually scratch that, I like Iris better.
>>4132503> Name the ApparitionIvy, after her hair.> Try to connect with the apparition using the bracelet.> Meditate on Dryad.
>>4132513>New Oakenrue isn't that scary, is it?It is a child's nightmare in more ways than one. It doesn't actually look scary, doesn't really behave that scary, but if you were a kid and happened to see someone's silhouette standing perfectly still in the middle of nowhere at night, and then it looked at you with glowing eyes and slightly jerky movements, it's probably something that would leave an impression.So it's more so that circumstances you found it in than the thing itself.>>4132528>Why are there so few prompts these days?Funny you ask, because as I was going to sleep I was wondering what would happen if I just transitioned entirely to write-ins! Typically a lack of prompts represented Irue being emotionally off balance or at a loss, so no immediate courses of action came to mind. As time has gone on, much of Irue's (and anon's) cocksureness and decisive confidence has been worn down, stress has built up, fatigue has taken its toll. There are more and more instances where Irue just isn't sure anymore. The foundation for who Irue was has eroded, and if you choose to think of this period as you building a new one then certainly the way you react plays into that.But maybe I've leaned too hard into that. There are some options you have available to you which Irue is theoretically aware of that may not have occurred to you, and giving them as prompts might be fun. For example! Some of your knights are dead! Would you like to change that? Because maybe you can.
>>4132874>spoiler...Tell me more please
>>4133053Dryad is awake. You know how to call for it. It is Life, it walks beside you, and it's waiting - always waiting for you. Accept it, embrace and ask from it all the affection it yearns to give. Return to Dryad its children and let them know love the likes of which will drown you. The affection and unconditional approval you have suffered so long without.
>>4132874Hey.I'd be willing to do this for all the Demihumans. Just to see what would happen.
>>4133092Sorry this is unrelated but I just had a big think. Can we use the diary to revert Ari to before she was corrupted?>>4133283Yeah, we can force life back into their gibbed remains and deliver them to Kara in a screaming sack. Surprise!
>>4133290The diary operates on a physical level, it doesn't change or alter anything to do with your affinity. Becoming a Wisp adept doesn't grant you an affinity for Wisp, nor does reverting to a younger version of yourself grant you an affinity you've lost - So you couldn't lose an affinity you've gained in that manner, either.
>>4133290I mean. We don't know how it works is the point. So yeah, testing it on them is probably for the best.Just ask Kara and see if she's okay with us trying it out.
>>4133290>>4133305Could we use the diary to ungib the test Demihumans remains before resurrecting them?Worst comes to worst we can stick their remains in the Oakenrue (it loves that shit) and then bring them back to make it a screaming horror tree.Look, it just wants to be people like its mommy Irue. > Note to self, fix trees sepf esteem.
>>4133353> People treeArtwork is Chaos Tree by Ian Miller.
>>4133353>Could we use the diary to ungib the test Demihumans remainsYou can't use the Diary of Reflections on something else. They would have to be capable of using it themselves. Theoretically speaking though, if you were a pile of sausage somehow capable of using the Diary of Reflections, you could revert to... Not a pile of sausage. This is understandably asking a great deal of sausage.
>>4133365Well some of them must be in mostly one piece.
>>4133376Well, the good news is that Ari has probably gathered and put them all in a pile somewhere! Assuming the Aspiration hasn't just eaten them in the meantime... You are free to take a shovel to the corpse pile and see what's salvageable!
>>4133376Technically they wouldn't have to be in one piece- Dryad doesn't have rules about reanimation, after all. Oakenbears are just meat. I'd say if one were to go about this, it certainly could be experimented on.I would not go about it though, both because making zombies is a huge can of worms, and because Dryad tends to have a sort of *collective* view of life except for its particular favorites- purposeful revivification with intent to restore what was before might conjure some absolutely horrible new creature we've never seen before.>>4132503Expanding its vocabulary seems to be for the best. I'm curious as to how intelligent this aberrant thing actually is- and how cognizant it is of what it is. It's not like other apparitions have talked, after all.At the very least we can get it to stop implicitly demanding coitus.
Although.I wonder what would happen if the corpse of a Luna adept got stuffed full of live giving energy.
>>4133434>It's not like other apparitions have talked, after all.Aspenrue does the same thing as Oakenrue. It parrots repeated words, but doesn't seem to understand what its saying. I think it does that because we respond to it.
>>4133305Oh. Yeah I guess that makes sense. Shame. While I'm swinging for the fences though, is the title of warden even a Valen responsibility to begin with? There wasn't any information about it in the archives and no one has ever even hinted at it throughout Irue's entire life. Could there be other people descended from the founder taking care of it on the other side of the fae woods? I think I remember that whatever that country was called exported mana purge potions, if it's the same as our faedika then that implies some level of familiarity with Dryad. Right?>>4133452Aspenrue doesn't talk 'cus it doesn't have a face, we did have another apparition that spoke You came back! but Dryad ASSUMED DIRECT CONTROL and fuckin' killed it.
>>4133464Aspenrue has a face. Our face, in fact. I could have sworn it talked at some point, but maybe that's just me.
>>4133464>I think I remember that whatever that country was called East Heaven>exported mana purge potions, if it's the same as our faedika then that implies some level of familiarity with Dryad. Right?I don't think they export them, per se. I think they're another gadget like the weird Jinn branch that lets you prank call people, or the likely salamander aspected abortion that both makes colorful signals and burns the absolute fuck out of people. Remember that Markovic was the one that referred to it- as such; we don't IC know that he plug walked around with the Paladin at one point, but he definitely thought it was that because he's seen East Heaven mana shit.I wouldn't say it's the same as Faedka. If it's East Heaven, who supports Artemis, it probably has nothing to do with Dryad except to tell Dryad to fuck off. Faedka's mechanism of working is flooding the drinker with the mana's aspect, though- I would think any purgative would work in at least a similar way. Just with a different mana, presumably one "stillborn" or "diluted" like the Jinn Apparition Branch Thing is.
>>4133477It does not, in fact, have a face! It used to have a face - Your face! - But that face was ripped from it by other Dryad apparitions who clawed into its skull and ripped it cruelly from the child as it struggled to protect Ari. It has never once spoken since, but it certainly spoke before! You have no real explanation for this, considering it's not like the face has anything to do with the fact they're capable of speaking at all. You have no idea how they speak in the first place, and frankly it creeped everyone out for so long that Irue has long since passed caring....Though even if you looked into it, there wouldn't be an answer.>>4133464> is the title of warden even a Valen responsibility to begin with?Technically it's no one's responsibility! The Founder took it upon themself to keep Dryad company in its recurring nightmare. Common knowledge is that the Valen family has a pact with the fae (Dryad), but as you say there's no real record of what that constitutes, or if anyone else has even really assumed the title of Warden... For whatever that means.> Could there be other people descended from the founder taking care of it on the other side of the fae woods?Haha, that's impossible you know? Absolutely impossible.
>>4133512> It used to have a face - Your face! - But that face was ripped from it by other Dryad apparitions who clawed into its skull and ripped it cruelly from the child as it struggled to protect Ari. It has never once spoken since, but it certainly spoke before! Huh, never realized it had lost its/our face. I suspect the lack of speaking is more of a spiritual thing; it doesn't have a mouth even if it didn't need it, so it doesn't speak. What does its 'face' look like now? a clawed out ruin? a blank visage? an overgrown trunk?>Technically it's no one's responsibility! The Founder took it upon themself to keep Dryad company in its recurring nightmare.>"You won't... Be left alone, like this.">"We're still here, with you."You're technically right, I guess. But it would be exceptionally cruel to leave it after promising to it.
>>4133434Irue is already a zombie.
>>4133464We should connect with the Oaken and Aspen Rues with the bracelet.Instead of being taken over by Dryad, we can instead make a 9th mana. Valence. The many aspected.>the combining power of an element, especially as measured by the number of hydrogen atoms it can displace or combine with.
>>4133565Irue was never alive.
>>4133568>>4133567> The name Valen, why has nobody ever connected it.Mana experiment Irue. What happens when you blend them all to create a pure mana lifeform not controlled by any of the mana? Why does her soul become apparitions? Dryad, the opposite end of the spectrum.Dryad is the beginning, and the end.Irue is the eternity in between.Now lets link our souls to these Dryad apparitions and make them like us. Then go bare our soul to Kara with HiH so that she can decide whether to stay with us or go with Raid.
>>4133596>>4133567nigga u high
>>4133648I'M ON A HIGHER LEVEL.But it would explain a LOT of things vis a Irue and Mana, especially in light of what we know of Homonculi, the origin of Demi-Humans, and East Empires mana experiments, and Irues origins.Riz don't steal my crazy theories if they aren't true.
>>4133721If it makes you feel better, your other crazy theory about Kara being gone and you not getting to speak to her before she leaves wasn't stolen, so your track record is strong so far.
>>4133733That doesn't make me feel better at all, though.NoNoNoNoYou bastards cost us a goodbye with Kara and I will nominate this as "The Second Shadowrue" to be looked back on in despair.I'm just constantly edging closer to hoping we destroy the world.
>>4133751And people won't even connect with our wood babies.Reminder that the plan to kill the behemoth relied on Kara, but people will probably fuck around with any other plan and avoid shoving a dryad core in it and then bonding with the core "because that's crazy" like we have any non-crazy options left.This world is crazy. Our goals are insane. The only way to achieve them is to commit. How do you expect us to get an army of apparitions when you cowards won't even tie our souls to abominable Fraxinus phylums who just want their meat mommy to love them.I realize I'm being confusing with my terminology, but I'm trying to convince at least that one "I like humerous votes" Anon.None of our successes have been reasonable and trying to be reasonable is fucking killing us. Take some goddamn risks, just because we've been hurt before is no reason to try and conservatively save the world.Only by daring to do the unthinkable can we make real change happen.
I'm betting we haven't eaten or drunk anything all day. Oh wellbye-bye demihumans, buhbye
>>4132528>although a walking stick is a boring disguise.How about a mask? It totally wouldn't creep people out if we carried around a mask of our own face, right?
>>4133907I mean, in addition to the metaphorical one we already do?>>4133733Can the book be used to fuse two people together?
>>4132513>>4132522>>4132528Time to relax with this adorable child! >>4132513>>4132522>>4133434Maybe teach it new words? >>4132513>>4132528Try to convince it to disguise itself somehow?Options so far: A walking stick (Lame!)A second bracelet (Fashionable?)...A mask of your own face? (This is someone's fetish, I'm 100% certain)>>4132528>>4132594It deserves a name!Options so far:Lily (Tacit approval of Yuri)Ivy (Tacit approval of Dominatrices)Iris (Tacit approval of the Goo Goo Dolls)>>4132594Meditation and connection!Hmmm.--->>4133916>Can the book be used to fuse two people together?No.
>>4133917>This is someone's fetish, I'm 100% certainHow did you know. I haven't even exposed myself yetMaskfags assemble!
>>4133917>(This is someone's fetish, I'm 100% certain)Everything is someone's fetish. And this is 4chan. There's no use fighting it.We're a little short on wooden things we'd have a reason to keep with us. I feel like there's a minimum size a bracelet wouldn't reach. Mask too, I'd bet. Uh. Maybe a piece of decorative armor, like greaves or a breastplate or something? A decorative wooden sword? A club?Well, last time Aspenrue chose it's own form. Maybe new Oakenrue will do the same and save us the trouble of scratching our heads.
>>4133961Maybe that could work
>>4133958wait, I've got it!
>>4133961I feel like putting a creature that likes hugging and has a hard time modulating it's strength on our head is asking for lots of pain.Of course, this is true of all wearables to some extent. But a serious head wound will suck to recover from moreso than a limb wound.
>>4133961This is a genuinely terribad idea and I endorse it.
I don't think anyone has discussed the matter any further but I still think our next write-up should be about what Marcus and co have been up to before they all died.It would be very interesting
>>4133733Hey just rereading this . . . When you say Not stolen, does that mean it was already the plan, or that you didn't change to that plan after reading it?
>>4134979Riz was vague on purpose anon, he feeds on your uncertainty and doubt.
Whatever the case, the child infront of you seemed to know little but love and wonder. It was only a few days old, and... Whatever mistakes you made with its siblings, didn't mean you had to make them again. "I missed you, too." You murmured in the grass, soothing its jittery excitement with gentle, measured strokes. It quivered atop you, near trembling with energy in a way even your constant ministrations couldn't quite quell; Childish joy vibrating through its wooden frame. Growing too impatient for its own frenzied nuzzling, it pressed itself as near flush against you as it might manage, snuggling close and burying its face in the crook of your neck where its contented purring could be felt against your nape."Missed you~" It's distorted warbling blossomed something unusually warm in your chest, and reminded you just how apt these children were at picking up new vocabulary... Not that they seemed to show much comprehension for their parroted dictionary. A welcome respite from the rest of your day so far - One you found yourself hesitating to actually indulge in. You groaned discontent under your breath, shaking off the uneasiness you felt to focus on what was in front of you. "You and your sibling are going to need names, huh?"It showed no immediate signs of answering, nor particularly caring about what you said. It didn't understand you, after all... Though that could change, if you were so inclined. You'd forged a connection with a Dryad apparition before, primitive as it may have been, to at least exchange general intents and feelings more readily. You'd mostly been groping in the dark back then, trying to experiment with what you thought the bracelet was capable of without accidentally hurting yourself again - But according to Asche, maybe you weren't so far off?Your voice is carried to the Mana, thoughts and feelings uncolored. To call upon them. To praise and comfort. To deny and rebuke... Or so she said. You knew it allowed for conjuring the Mana already, but praising? Rebuking? ...You weren't sure where that fit into any of this. Somewhere in between all that, it had at least managed to function as a bridge at least once.You felt a little guilty about experimenting with it again now that Asche had left, but- You did something like this before and it hadn't gone too badly! And you knew more about the bracelet now, so!...You feel like you were forgetting something.
"If you thought you knew how to use it, you would have. You would use it even if you didn't know.""If it's the same either way, why not tell me? It would have been safer to at least try and point me in the right direction.""As long as you didn't know, you would be wary." She explained candidly from your arms. "It was safer to minimize use than encourage more."
Well it wouldn't be the first time you drew a blank trying to remember something, you guess. It was pretty hard to get hung up on it while petting this life-sized wooden plant replica of yourself, anyway. You shifted your weight, trying to ease the Dryad apparition off so you could sit up properly. "We'll take this slow, alright?" By the same words Rinnier had thrown back at you over the web... You knew incredibly well how dangerous this could be. You were going to take it slowly. Carefully. You knew more about the bracelet now than you ever had in the past, so it stands to reason you were in a better position than ever to start taking more measured steps in experimenting with it!And so, duly enduring its disappointing warbling, you gently managed to convince the Dryad apparition to settle before you - where it proceeded to watch over you with its faintly glowing amber eyes as you arranged yourself more comfortably before making an effort to mirror your position. It brought a faint smile to your face, which in turn led to your ivy-haired replica radiating a silly sort of pride in its accomplishments.You adjusted your bracelet briefly, holding out the arm which bore it with your palm open and inviting. A lure the likes of which the Dryad apparition wasted little time in intertwining both of its own hands about kindly. It actually took you more time to get it to understand the concept of holding hands than anything else... Thought once you'd managed to lock your fingers within its own smooth digits, holding your palms together in the quiet night, it seemed to have finally calmed down - More taken with the curiosity of what you were doing than its own affections.Now came the hard part. Through the bracelet, your voice is carried. To praise and comfort. To deny and rebuke. To share your thoughts and feelings. You've done this before, when you were tired, stressed and anxious. Right now you were... Tired, stressed and anxious. More so. Less so. Differently, maybe- What mattered was that you could take your time. You could let your mind wander freely, let the meditation take you....And Elly had done everything she could to teach you about that.
In any other circumstance, what she taught you probably would have been impossible. It was something too far removed from who you were, too alien, too... Fundamentally incompatible that even just being around the woman who embodied such virtues had made you feel like an outsider, graced with observing something earnestly too good for the world. In these circumstances... In these, honestly, you don't know if anything would be different. You couldn't begin to think of the world in such a bright and cheery way as she had, and your heart balked at being as open as hers was. It wasn't something you could do - It was impossible. Impossible things were impossible. Absolutely impossible, no matter how much you tried. Maybe if you were younger, if you had learned it when you were learning the other forms of meditation - Long before this Rite business and everything which came after. Maybe. Now though, it was too late for that. Too late for the world, too late to even entertain the idea that you could see people that way anymore, with such hope and freely given affection.In just about every way you could imagine, the thought alone disturbed you. Unsettled you so reflexively it was scary. You were the exact opposite. Guarded, so heavily guarded that until emerging from Dryad's Atelier you had held everything zealously to your chest, keeping even your supposed closest peers at arm's length as you shouldered everything yourself. You cared from a distance, you suffered from a distance, and the stubborn walls you put up had bulged and buckled under your experiences.You broke. It was inevitable. You broke inside that Atelier, screaming at Tim and writhing even when he wouldn't let you go. I could never lie to him. You broke against him. He was always there for me. It felt right. IYou nn ee ee dd ee dd tt hh aa tt.It left you exhausted, it left you scared and vulnerable, and it left you - for a brief time - weightless. It left you cracked and bruised, in physical pain at the idea of trying to pack it all back in again. Dryad's Atelier broke you, and it was ultimately what drove you to opening your heart to Rinnier and trying to accept people again.
Identifying Wielder...W̼͉̰̟͓̪̪a̡͚̘̱̪̮r̹̹͔̻͔n̵͚͙͇̬i̤̻͟n̙̟g̻͈̼:͓̗͓̯̜͚ ̴͇̰̪̯L̩̰͖ͅu͓͇̣̩̮̣͡n̝͎̮͎a͔̙͓ ̮̞̳̦̳͝I̜͉͇m̤̪b̝̱͔̟̝̱͠al͚͇̬a̩̣̮n͙͎̟͈ç͉͎̩̹̖̳ͅe̪̠͔͔.̶̤̦̦̰̰͇̠W̡͎ḁ̤̙̤ṛ̗̜̀n̵̟̻̳͖̣į͓̙̗̰̠̻n̳̣̜g͖̫: ̺̫͓̣̮͇Ḏ̴r̬̗̫̥y̞a̷͎͉͉̪̩d͙̦̞̦͇ ̻̩͈͔̖Í̯m͙̜̯̣̪b̧͙̺̞͔a͘l̖͙͈̫͜a̤͙̳̳͎̞̞͘n̪̫̫c̢ę̝͈͔.̴̤̹̩̝̣W͈͈a̗̪̼̘̬r̯̝̪̤͕̮̘n̹̫̞̮̤̗i̥̭̱̺̟n͖̝͙g̮̮͍:͇̠͓͈ ̳̰͕S̼̭͕h̸̼̦̟̝͓͉a͍̼͈̳̩d̺̤͉̼̺̪͜ę̟͇̰̼ ̸̺̤͖I͇m̭̺̪b̵͉̞͙̘̭̻a̸͉̰̣l̕a̤̰̞͍̠̥n̦̫̹͞c̶̬̬e.̢͙̭̱̦̥̝̦͖W̧̪a͎̠̞̟rn̹̗̤ḭ̴̙͍̣͈n̙͙͘g̤͔̤͚ͅ: ̭͇̬̭͇̟W͓̭is̜͉͓͠p̣͎̱͘ ͕̙̺̕I̴͍͚ͅm̩̼ͅb̵̠͈̟̟̗͙͖a̭̫̳̯͘ͅl̵͙͖̝a̟͕̫̠͇̬̦n̴̯c͙̜̞e͎͉̭.̭̟̱̭͕̫͎̫̞̦̫̩W̨̭͈͍͇̱̭̪a̡͉r̘̜̫̹n̯̝̪̫i̟̯͓̳̘͔͟n̹̻̗̭g̦͎͢:̱͖̱͠ ͈͍͙J͇͔͕̮̪į̰̱͈n͎͙͝n̺̬̦̱̗ͅ I̝̖͕͉͚m̨̖b͖̣̱̙̗ͅa̧͕l̝̻̝a͚n̗̖̝͠c̯̫̗͈̟̯e̻̟̪͎̘͕.̟͙̯̬͜W͔a̞r̥̪̼̗̟̮͜n̖̬̝͎̖͇͡i̶̖̙͍̱̘̬͙n̖͕̤̤g̹̟͎:͉̜̩ͅ ̷̠S̹̘͔͔̦̜a̩̺̱̤͓l̞̮̱̹͉̳̙͠am̛̼͈̜͔̪̖̙a͎̺̪͎n̹͜ͅd͙̠e͓͔r͉̹̮̱͖ I̖̟͍̟̼͕̥m̘̼͕ͅb̨̜̖ḁl͇̫̦͍̣͜aǹ͕c͓͚ȩ̪̟̪̹̠.̢W͉̦͕̥̜̣ḁ̦̝̰͉́ṛ̪͚̬͉̩̕n̹͓͢i̘n̪͖̝̞̦̘͝g͙͝:̞̖͜ ̤̺U͖̹̫̺̝̼̺͠n͖̻̭͓͉̭d̘̜̕i̢̗͚̙n̷̩̭̟e ̟ͅI̛̬m̤̹b͈̳̗a̦͖͍͚ͅl̰͉̀à̪̘̻͇͓̼n̵͈͓͎͖̤̮̠c̣e̼͕̰͠.̴̙̘͓̪̝̙͖͉W̱̘ar̛ͅn̹̗͔͍͟i̷̱̰̰͚̠̯̹n̳̩g̶̖͈:̷̯̰̼̫͕͓̝ G̢̞͙̜̱͚͉n͍͎͜o̢͍̠m̠͍͍̕ͅe͙̥ ̘̤͓̩Im̳̮̩̺̝ͅb͘ala̢̺͚n̶͎̜̤̝̘̥c̻̀ͅͅe̝̩̝̥͍.̴̛͕͔̩̭̫Ẁ̬̺a̴͍r̳͔̪̝̻̩̥͢n̠̰̥̪͓in͉ǵ̗̭̰:͞ ̷̟̜͇̰̟F̝͍͔̥͘o̫̫̝̳̖̞͇un̞͖̺͕̥̹͡d̨̻͈͙̥ͅa͉̠̺̼̼̳͔t͍̙̰͠i͍̱͚̜̦͡o̭͕̱͇̰n̩͎̦̱̻ͅ ͖͞I̘̪̦̱͍n̝̫͖͚͠c͔̻͈̘͖o̯̱̼m̨p͚͕̬͈l̛̟et̵̮̙̩e͘.͍̯̦̘͞Ẁ̤̜͔̗á̬̗ŕ̞̙͍̺̱̰ṋ̡̖i̬͈̞̯͇͝n̻͈̩̭̬̩̗͡g̳̣͈̹ͅ: ͔͎̰ͅI̛̭̣̹̹̗ḍ̙̖̳͚͙e̞̗̖͟n̪̘t̨̜͙̗̥͓̞i͎͔̰͔̯̥̥t̶͕y͓ ̞͜E͇r̥̰͙̬̭̗͠ó͕̰̥̩̦̦͎si̢̼̰͔͈̝̰̜on ̘̤͇̩̻͡i͚n̜̣̘ ̡̬̤p̨̞̤r͞o̭g̶r͇͔e̹͚̙̖̘͖s̘s̹͈̤.̼̞̠̳ͅ...Identified: I̴̸̛͠ŗ̶͡ù̶̷̡͜e̸̵̢̧ǹ́͠ ValenGoddess Protocol: Divine DryadSynchronizing... Link Established.Connection: UnstableInitializin-Remote Shutdown Initiated.
A quiet voice, dull and lacking emotions. A name, whispered without inflection.You knew better. The way it clipped so softly.The damning silence that followed.She trusted you.
You opened your eyes to the amber lights aimlessly circling you, drifting on the air like the fireflies they could be mistaken for. The ambient mana of Dryad, the way it glimmered in the newly born apparition's eyes and you could feel the loveloveLoveLoveLoveLOVELOVELOVEL̴̛O̕V̸É it held for you, like an endless ocean you would drown in if only you would fall into its devoted eyes.The dual rings of your bracelet warmed your wrist, catching the light of the swirling fireflies. You felt... Normal. Fine. Content. Being here was everything you needed. But did it work? Could it understand... Anything you were trying to say? To tell it?Its head tilted to one side, the unheld hand placed gently atop your braceleted wrist. 'Being here is everything we need. Together. We love you.'You... You could name it now, at least? You hadn't actually expected it to work this well. Nothing had even gone wrong.>Ivy>Lily>Iris>Other? (write-in)Your connection to it felt... Tenuous. It was so very delicate, you feared how easily it might break. As long as you stayed very careful, it should be fine. Fortunately you had no reason to move, no reason to leave, not yet. Naming it now would mean that it would know it's name, beyond a shadow of a doubt. The first seed planted in its fledgling heart as it matured into something - Someone - more than merely a splinter of its Mana.
You should probably finalize your desires for whatever form you think would fit it most. As with the name, have a care in what you tell the delicate child in its formative moments. It wants nothing but to please you.>Walking stick>Headband>A mask>A bracelet replica>Other? (write-in)
>>4135953>You felt a little guilty about experimenting with it again now that Asche had left, but- You did something like this before and it hadn't gone too badly! And you knew more about the bracelet now, so!woah woah woah! Where did this some from!? Why are we messing with the bracelet when there was no vote to?
>>4135980>>4132594It's been there for two days, anon.
>>4135969>>4135972>Lily>HeadbandJuicy update Riz.Tempted to vote for mask but I'm worried it might creep people out to wear a flesh mask around
>>4135984The Dryad apparition is wooden, so the mask would be wooden! The flesh abomination, your Dryad Aspiration, is the only one that's weird and fleshy and not wood anymore.But technically everyone wears flesh masks around, so what's one more?
>>4135982..I see I've been lax is voting against stupid stuff again. I ignored them because we've tried connecting to stuff before to no effect.
>>4135985Ah yeah. But still, people will raise eyebrows if we start wearing a mask around. The commoners especially, they might start thinking all sorts of things
>>4135986You actually did something very similar to this to connect to the Dryad apparition in your mansion which led you into the fae forest - The one which got reconstituted into Dryad's whole to serve as a brief avatar.At that time your goal was to use the bracelet to try and connect to it without meditating. You succeeded!This time you tried to connect to it while meditating. You succeeded!
>>4135992It didn't show up in your vote summary, which is why I assumed it had been ignored.Well, whatever. What's done is done, I guess. Can we avoid using the bracelet without a majority vote in the future, at least? It's dangerous and divisive.>>4135969Plant-based names seem a little... on the nose. How about>JaneWe don't know any Janes, right?>>4135972Headband and mask seem too small to me, even if they technically work. I'll go with>Maskfor now, in lieu of a better option.>>4135990Presumably we'd keep it on a belt or sling or something. Wearing a mask around all the time would be silly.
>>4136001It just seems to me like having the form of the mask would be too cumbersome. People might draw more attention towards it rather than something inconspicuous. Which might be bad. And I can't imagine many opportunities to just wear the mask around, unless we want to put on a show and puzzle the commoners about us even further.Though if you can convince me it's the best option I'll vote for it in a heartbeat cuz I love masks
>>4136001>SpoilerIf you think naming this impressionable child Marijuana will not have implications on its development then you're about to walk face first into a domino of consequences you cannot begin to fathom.Also if you'd like to choose the mask, understand it it can adhere to you pretty much however you want. There's no strong or attachments, it just clings to your skin. Put it on your face, done. Slide it up to rest on your forehead, done. Slide it off to the side to sit across one side of your temple, done. Belts can work too, if you'd like.Will it draw more attention than the other options? Probably.Will it be cumbersome? No, not at all.
Changing vote to>MASK
>>4136001>Headband and maskand bracelet, rather.>>4136012I'm not entirely satisfied with it either, but it's the best compromise to my mind. I'm not a fan of the wearables. I have no issue with the walking stick besides the fact that Aspenrue is already one.>>4136022>>Spoiler..Not sure if Jane is slang for weed or if you're just making a point.
>>4136032Mary Jane is probably more recognizable, but it gets abbreviated to Jane and Mary, respectively.
>>4136036Oh. I just liked the understatement of naming an intelligent plant that looks like us a normal-sounding name.
Dunno why but to me Jane sounds out of place in a setting like this for me