Welcome back, marsh magi, to the third installment of Swamp Lord Quest. Once again, you are Lord Jakob Absol, hopefully known as Jakob the Whispering Eye rather than Jakob the Hasty, heir of Lord Arnveis Absol the Black, rival of the rebel sorceress Albeda Absol, Liege of the Absol Swamp, and Master of Castle Briarfast....but it isn't Friday, is it? So we're not quite starting yet, and that gives me a little bit of time to talk about Vartyne's history. For one thing, why is it that only the Swamp, Tundra, Mountain, Forest, Island, and Plains provinces were available to you as a starting location, when there have been repeated references to a King, to a Capital City, and to Southern Provinces as yet unnamed?The Swamp is perhaps the least representative of Vartyne's usual social order out of anywhere in the kingdom. Villages are ruled for the most part by headmen who are elected (in theory) by the residents of those villages (rather informally) and either approved or vetoed by the Absol of Briarfast. In most provinces, a village or town would be under the control of the local knight or dame, but while the Absol swamp does have prominent families they tend to be sorcerous bloodlines, as this carries greater social status in swamp society. The election of headmen also is intended to either avoid (or present a united front against) the problem of some local powerful witch in a hut outside of town getting peeved over the person in charge being a jilted lover of hers and reacting irresponsibly with her power as a result. In practice, as the headman is usually the wealthiest or most powerful person in town, it frequently does come down to bloodline anyway. With that aside, let's get to the differences between the Northern Provinces you've already heard of (often called the Frontier Provinces down south despite being settled centuries ago) and the Southern Provinces, which are more commonly known as Old Vartyne. Then, into the history of why it is that way.
Old Vartyne consists of the Megalopolis of Magdal, the Undyne Shore, the temperate Passionlip Hills, and the Escanto Desert. Each of these provinces is directly under the rulership of His Radiant Majesty King Ulrich Li Magdal Escanto Undyne Passionlip De Vartyne. These provinces all are subdivided into smaller areas with a wealthy and established noble class, each lord of whom is in THEORY socially equal to, say, Lord Jakob Absol. In practice the comparison is ridiculous, a lord of the Frontier Provinces has an army of his own instead of a petty household guard he brings with him when called to war by the King, a castle instead of a manor, a province instead of a palatial estate, and a Treasure rating instead of a Wealth rating. This disparity has led to the nobles of Old Vartyne compensating with complex codes of manners and honor, pretensions of culture and other such affectations. A Lord in Passionlip might deck himself in enough silks and velvets to outfit an entire acting troupe, despite having trouble meeting the eye of a Schwaltz or a Ryd. As to why the Frontier Provinces are so notably different...Vartyne was not always the dominant and powerful kingdom it is now, a little over twelve hundred years ago it was nothing but an abandoned city and its surrounding environs. Nomadic tribes discovered a great walled city devoid of inhabitants, a city that stretched from horizon to horizon when one stood at its center, a city where aqueducts provided fresh water and vast parks waited to be tilled for farmland, a city of domed towers and grand canals diverting the river that ran through its heart into a thousand tamed streams, before braiding them together again. Naturally many of them opted to settle down and build new lives for themselves. Built with architectural techniques and a scale unknown to these primitives, it seemed almost a city of the gods. Wars broke out between the tribes over it, but at last Magdo, the First King, raised his bloody sword over the corpses of his fallen rivals, and declared that this would be the seat of his empire. It was not a dream he lived to see, but his son Vartys did, naming the city Magdal in honor of his father, and his kingdom Vartyne in honor of himself. He swiftly subdued the surrounding lands, and over the generations of kings their sphere of influence gradually subsumed their neighbors from the hill tribes of Passionlip to the sea people of Undyne, even taming the desert tribes of the Escanto, but there the Kingdom of Vartyne halted its expansion.
There was no impetus to grow further, the kingdom had its own problems to deal with, and up north lay hard battles with long supply lines. So it was for hundreds of years. During this time, many of Vartyne's neighboring kingdoms withered and decayed, and Vartyne's King Gyrgos was a particularly able and beloved ruler, who fended off multiple attempts by rival nations to take bites out of his lands, from the Orruks to the Cheillans, even an expeditionary force led by an exiled royal from far-off Galdaea. A well-travelled man, Gyrgos had spent time in the theocratic nation of the Schwaltzwood, and came to see merit in their belief in the sun-god Mihto and the teachings of Mihtoism. He spread these beliefs into the military and saw that it was adopted by nobles who wished to curry his favor, creating what became the basis for the virtues of knighthood. Although the Schwaltzwood was annexed bloodlessly, on the condition that Mihtoism became the kingdom's official religion, the powerful in both nations eyed each other nervously, unsure whether the Schwaltzfolk would keep their traditional authority over their homeland or the province would be divvied up and given to Vartyne's existing noble class, as they clamored for. Had Gyrgos not been thrown from his horse and died by sheerest coincidence, things might have turned out extremely differently. Gyrgos had outlived his son, but he had two grown grandsons, Lartyr and Ledo. Both were superb warriors, considered the flower of knighthood, but the younger brother Ledo was especially gallant and skilled. Lartyr, his crown fresh on his brow, was left facing increasingly fractious nobles at home and, worse, a schism in the new province of the Schwaltzwood. There was a dispute over who was to be Mihto's Hierophant, the highest religious role in the province. One candidate was biddable, pragmatic, and pro-Vartyne, but his rival was a populist with fiery charisma and a much wider following. Lartyr reached the only compromise he could, persuading the firebrand to give up his religious claim in exchange for secular authority over the Schwaltzwood, answering only to Lartyr himself. He thought this was quite clever, solving the problem, installing a Hierophant who owed him, while creating a powerful ally in the form of the Schwaltzwood's new lord. Instead, a coalition of Vartyne lords who had already bargained on being able to establish fiefs in the forest conspired to unseat their king and replace him with his younger brother.
When Ledo heard of this, he was appalled, told his older brother everything, and vowed to leave Vartyne and subdue the grassy plains to the northeast, far away from home where he couldn't be involved in further schemes. After his victory, he declared that he was nothing more than the lord of the plains, and distributed land to his faithful knights while pointedly cutting out the ambitious nobles at home. While he succeeded, many expeditionary forces traveling through the Schwaltzwood to the northern frontier were stymied, until a minor knight by the name of Amadeus Absol tamed the swamps that had bottlenecked any further adventurism. With two precedents before him, dead monsters and sorcerers piled at his feet, and otherwise intractable swamp-dwellers acknowledging him as their leader, he refused to share his lands as well, The friendly natives of Gwelm saw Vartyne's troops and joined quite willingly so long as their heritary chiefs got to remain in charge, while the tribes of the frozen northlands fought bitterly until they were conquered by force. Regardless, it was that precise sequence of events, the Schwaltzwood being handed to one native ruler, a prince who could not be corrupted conquering the plains, and the victory of Amadeus Absol, which doomed the nobility of Old Vartyne to remain cramped in the kingdom's heartlands while the Frontier Lords ruled vast swathes of the kingdom unopposed. However, the downside of this is that the nobles of Old Vartyne, while a squabblesome lot, lock ranks tighter than a shield wall against political inroads from the northern provinces. As far as they are concerned, you are an unmannered rustic, dangerous at worst and useful as a blunt instrument at best.
And with that, I'm good to answer questions, handle your exp-related stuff, and instigate waifu-related shitposting well before there's any good reason for it.
>>4501543Oh yeah, and you can easily afford to have that censer made. It's a fairly common item and as the ~Local Lord~ smiths will compete for your patronage.
>>4501543kinda curious on the empire's view on their founding, it's been thousand plus years already did they embrace that they were nomads or did they rewrite history and said they themselves built it?
>>4501533>Nomadic tribes discovered a great walled city devoid of inhabitants, a city that stretched from horizon to horizon when one stood at its center, a city where aqueducts provided fresh water and vast parks waited to be tilled for farmlandNow this I find to be extremely interesting. Because how the fuck does a city that sounds like the equivalent of Rome at it's peak just sit around abandoned and unclaimed?
>>4501570Shenanigans either magical or divine>>4501546Well then, time to put out the word and start a Censer crafting Tournament
>>4501557They embraced it and are proud of it. The rewrite is that it was destiny for them to end up in Magdal. >>4501570Some of the architectural flourishes seem like they would have required an unknown form of magic to use. Now, I was going to take a long breath before bringing this up, but I might as well mention it now and go into more detail later.There are a lot of these old ruins in the Frontier Provinces, which look an awful lot like they came from the same civilization or at least sister nations. None of them are on a remotely comparable scale to Magdal, but you might find a broken tower or something similar. The written record isn't exactly great, so nobody is quite sure why the people in the surrounding regions didn't go take it for themselves. The generally accepted theory is that their reach wasn't wide enough to know it even existed, and if that doesn't suffice, the two words "primitive superstition" spoken in a condescendingly civilized voice surely do.
>>4501582Interesting. I take it that Adventuring is a popular undertaking with regards to these ruins?>>4501585I still hear the call of the ATM.
As a side note, it's become much easier to find character art now than it was a few years ago. I am actually having a lot of fun finding portraits for the various nobles.
I wonder if it would be a spoiler to at least show you what Petrine Gwelm, Amaranthe Ryd, and Hannah Galdynfyrgenbach look like...>>4501591It is an eldritch evil which has consumed many lives AMMO WEIGHT NOOO
>>4501585AhahaYou say that now every qm eventually succumbs to the sirens call of the tournament arc Just don't let any of us make any contestants or control anyone other than Jacob and maybe THE waifu when/if that ever happens
>>4501597>Ammo WeightI can't imagine being the kind of guy who uses ballistic weapons in a beam heavy setting. Seems like it'd just be stupidly complicated.
>>4501604I literally wrote MSPQ's setting to mostly use beam weaponry because working out ammo weight in a system that heavily rewards riding the bare 0.5 ton limit to the next weight category was a pain.
>>4501608So which of the Wife candidates is bestgirl? Who gets the Bestgirl mug this time around?
>>4501613Clemmy won that mug based on a popular vote. I don't decide who best girl is. Keep in mind, in this quest, there can be only one wife. Also it's a pain in the ass that so many of these portraits for dark-haired witches I'm finding don't have sufficient tiddy to be Albeda.
>>4501617I was about to suggest the Dragon's Crown sorceress, but she has red hair.and I'm gonna pass on the waifuing this time around. Unless one of the girls is a blond yandere, or a glasses girl in a cheongsam
>>4501617Don't worry, I gotcha
>>4501617Clemmy won that vote by winning our hearts and our violence Boners We need more waifu candidates stat so the Waifu war can begin again! Preferably before it boils down to a battle between Ableda and Giant Artic sword Noble with the crazy to spell name
>>4501620>Karen had actual fansWow, things I didn't know.
>>4501621s u p e r b
Don't worry, I found a good Albeda. Not the lewdest one, but she's supposed to be a girl who used to be chubby and awkward until puberty made her hot.
>>4501647I will never not be mad at how she was treated during the entire quest.
As a side note, I admit this is kind of how I picture Jakob. Longish, messy dark hair. Big ears. Not ugly, but not really ultra-handsome. Slightly pale complexion.
>>4501647>Karen has fansWell good ventilation is required in space ships
I actually have a good Hannah too, my only worry is that she has a few differences from the typical "big, nordic amazon" stereotype. In part because I played some Pathfinder: Kingmaker a short while ago and was startled by how much I disliked the barbarian girl there.
>>4501524>Whispering Eyeyou know that's a euphemism for vagina right
>>4501675That's hilarious, and quite possibly Cailm's fault.
>>4501666amiri is a cameo that's why she feels so restrictive compared to the OC companions
>>4501656>As a side note, I admit this is kind of how I picture Jakob. Longish, messy dark hair. Big ears. Not ugly, but not really ultra-handsome. Slightly pale complexion.Sounds good to me. I can get behind this.
>>4501741That's probably part of it, but what got me was her going on endlessly about how strong she was with her special sword and how the barbarians of her tribe could effortlessly kick my Paladin's butt and she could effortlessly kick their butts and I'm just going "you've got 2 less Strength than me".>>4501742Although it's not perfect, this one is similar-ish enough unless someone finds a better one that clearly shows all four limbs, that I'm gonna shoop some wound boxes on here and use it as Jakob's combat paper doll.
>>4501755I'm interested in the Glass Diplomat spell. Please tell me more.
>>4501833Well, as you don't know any Mirror Magic, what you know about it so far is what she told you. It makes a clone that knows all of your spells and skills but dies from the slightest bit of damage, doesn't age, can't learn anything new, and can theoretically kill the original. It says a lot about Albeda's personality that she sees it as lethal for the wrong spellcaster and well-suited for her.
>>4502072An former chubby introvert Neet with magic that now has a rocking bod but a crippling power mad/drunk focus on life. What could ever go wrong?When you realize the Glass Mirror that shattered isn't your reflection, but the real you...
>>4502215The light inside should only break after its shell does.
So, a few things...here are your stats.Jakob Absol, Swamp LordUnspent Exp: 8Total Exp: 8BODY: 2COORDINATION: 2SENSE: 3Eerie: +1KNOWLEDGE: 4Counterspell: +3Language (Vartynen): +MDSorcery: +4Strategy: +2Tactics: +2COMMAND: 4Haggle: +1Inspire: +3Intimidate: +1CHARM: 2ADVANTAGES:Lucky 1 (one reroll per session on a roll where NO sets turn up)Thick Headed 1 (one extra wound box in the head)Status 3 (Lord of the Absol Swamp, FREE for plot reasons)Followers 5 (10 Threat 4 Unworthy Opponents, the Last Loyal, FREE for picking Swamp)Possession ? (Castle Briarfast, FREE for plot reasons)Literate in Vartynen 1 (FREE for plot reasons)Wealth 3Spells (1)Spells (1)Spells (3)Spells (3)PROBLEMS:Hated Enemy (+1 xp whenever the Hated Enemy harms or inconveniences you)PASSIONS:Mission: Solidify your hold on the Absol Swamp Duty: Be a lord your people and ancestors would be proud ofCraving: Find a worthy and powerful wifeSPELLS:Aqueous Divination (Sense): Weather Wisdom, Clearwater OracleSmoke Sculpting (Knowledge): Minor Smoke Form, Smoke ArrowThe Way of the Wood (Knowledge): Blossom FreshnessWings of Words (Knowledge): Soar, Words of Lesser Attunement, Minor Lightning StrokeRegarding your exp, the last vote indicated you wanted that armor spell, but it was pretty close, so I'll hold it again at your new total.>Spend 8 exp and just solve your armor problem forever by buying Spells 5 (Smoke Armor and another Intensity 5 spell), plus Possession 3: Plate Armor>Spend 6 exp and convert one of your Sorcery dice into a Master Dice, letting you choose the result it shows after rolling the rest normally
>>4502813>>Spend 8 exp and just solve your armor problem forever by buying Spells 5 (Smoke Armor and another Intensity 5 spell), plus Possession 3: Plate ArmorOUR ENEMIES WILL CHOKE WHEN WE CLASH
>>4502813>Spend 8 exp and just solve your armor problem forever by buying Spells 5 (Smoke Armor and another Intensity 5 spell), plus Possession 3: Plate ArmorAcquire censer flail and let's become the witch-king of the swampfor the spell its gotta be minor smoke crafting or whatever its called.
>>4502813>>Spend 8 exp and just solve your armor problem forever by buying Spells 5 (Smoke Armor and another Intensity 5 spell), plus Possession 3: Plate ArmorThose who will not kneel shall be made to!
>>4502813>Spend 8 exp and just solve your armor problem forever by buying Spells 5 (Smoke Armor and another Intensity 5 spell), plus Possession 3: Plate ArmorDefinitely need that Smoke crafting spell as our second intensity 5 spell and to get those local craftsmen building us a censerAnd now to live our lives forever within two sets of armor like some kind of paranoid magical turtle
>>4502813We'll, it looks like it's decided. I will ask how you expect to craft the magic smoke without using your hands?>belt censerI do thin Glass Diplomat is the more useful in the short term (a body-double that effectively is you, skills and all) but eh, what do I know?
>>4502813>Spend 8 exp and just solve your armor problem forever by buying Spells 5 (Smoke Armor and another Intensity 5 spell), plus Possession 3: Plate ArmorVoting this because survivability is one of the few things I think should be prioritized over getting that sweet sweet Master Die in Sorcery.
>>4503324A literal body-double would potentially solve a lot of problems. Plus, think of the shenanigans we could get up to if we had two Jakobs around to help out...>>4502813>Spend 6 exp and convert one of your Sorcery dice into a Master Dice, letting you choose the result it shows after rolling the rest normallyI shall be the sole dissenting voice. Matter at magic=better at spellcasting.And while we're on the subject, it'll take 10 exp to gain and turn one of our Counterspell dice into a Master Dice, correct?
>>4503324Won't we have to learn an entirely new magic school for that spell?
>>4503609¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Like I said before, I just roll when they tell me to. The inner machinations of the magical mind are an enigma...https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1jXxnJgeTd8
>>4503626It's been mentioned before that we don't know jack about Mirror Magic, so presumably we'd have to hunt down some books or a teacher that knows it to teach us Glass Diplomat so we can have our own clone.
>>4503635>>4503324So we just need to figure out how to make a SmokeClone then
>>4503635We already have the book I believe, we just chose to read the letters first.
>>4503742But do we REALLY want to go through the Shadowbinder attunement ritual?
>>45035996. 1 to make it Expert, 5 more to make the Expert die a Master.
>>4503769Glad you know how rough it is. You get strips cut out of your skin to let the dark in.
>>4503796>>4503797Me, by the way, on my phone while I was out and about. I forgot my trip, sorry!>>4503658You could make a statue of yourself, probably.
>>4503797That's so early 2000's Emo it hurts
>>4503956Can we make the smoke statue permanent?Also what the difference with an Expert dice?
This looks baller.I've got to read through the old quests.
>>4504068You can make it last for Width years. Expert dice also let you choose the result of one of your dice, but you choose it before you roll. This makes it useful for, say, called shots in combat ("I'll set it at 6 to hit his sword arm if I get any other 6s" for example), but Master Dice are worlds away better because they guarantee you will always get at least one set.>>4504006Yes it really is.
>>Spend 8 exp and just solve your armor problem forever by buying Spells 5 (Smoke Armor and another Intensity 5 spell), plus Possession 3: Plate ArmorDo these stack? Like can you be wearing plate and smoke armor for turbo defense?This seems like a pretty good solution for a dude with bad combat skills, but killer mooks on standby.Also for future plans, I think we are better off not going north, since Albeda is actively sending out agents to turn settlements. Sending forces, and maybe diviners north sounds like a plan though. It seems like the confrontation with Albeda is unlikely to be a military one.
>>4504507By that logic, we should go North and have our forces take care of the home front. If Albada's confrontation isn't going to be military one, then we should send in the military to deal with her while we get out of dodge. Why would we be willing to play her game, a game where she has the initiative and the advantage?Plus, we haven't even gotten to the other letters yet. We should read them first before we commit to anything.And yes, defenses do stack, so you can have a literal walking mage tank.
>>4504518That's a good point. Stationing men in villages is a good sign of authority and if we make it known that they're there to protect the populace, Albeda can't attack them without undermining her position with the populace. I agree opening the other letters and finding out what the envoys want is the most pressing concern. Can't make lordly decisions without information.
>>4504518>And yes, defenses do stack, so you can have a literal walking mage tank.I think we should go with defenses then. We've already delt with two assassination attempts, and divined a third. What other intensity 5 spells are on the table?
>>4504507They explicitly stack, unlike most armor bonuses.
>>4504584An addendum to this, though. I looked it up, and there are some weaknesses to this setup, they just happen to be weaknesses that are covered by your other strengths. Some spells are stopped by armor, and some spells explicitly provide armor against magic. If it is not explicitly the case, though, magic damage punches right through armor. Another thing to note is that unless it explicitly requires it (like Flame Dancing) you can't take Multiple Actions in the same round you cast a spell. There are exceptions, for example, one of your father's more famous techniques was that he could simultaneously counterspell while casting. We may've fucked that up earlier, but oh well.>>4504531Of the schools you currently know, Weather Change. Which works about like you would expect. You roll, there is a chart, how well you roll determines how many categories of temperature and precipitation you can move the current weather on that chart.
Also, I took today off work, so I'm ready to start whenever there's a few people around.>>4504518>>4504523You guys are going to have fun when I explain Company Actions. Your actions ingame have already given you a substantial bonus to a couple of things you could roll to do.
>>4504762>MORE DICEmy excitement is off the charts
>>4504758>We may've fucked that up earlier, but oh well.Nah, senpai. Dogman was in such shocked awe at our moves his perception of the rounds fucked up, seeing one when there was in fact two.>>4504762>I can start now>just as I head off to bedYour killing me, Smalls.You lads should go on ahead, I wouldn't want to be the one to drag y'all behind and lose out on some fun.Just remember the previous stuff we talked about in the previous thread, and the fact that I want to pull one over on the old fox himself before he realizes he's snared (pranked). Would set out to meet the Ryd entourage after all lordly duties are dispensed with.
>>4504758Oh, there IS another one. Battle Prophet. Battle Prophet lets you make a Tactics roll for an advantage in a battle if you would not normally have enough information to make that roll. If you DO have enough information to make that roll, you get a Master Dice. Personally I would get all of the above at some point so you can sit in your smokemass command bunker, which is already warm and cozy, while the enemy army cries in the blizzard you summoned and you know exactly when the enemy commander will be desperate enough to attack......of course, guaranteeing all of those spells work might require a Master Dice.
>>4504758>Weather Change. Which works about like you would expect. You roll, there is a chart, how well you roll determines how many categories of temperature and precipitation you can move the current weather on that chart.This sounds supremely useful for any Lord level interactions.Especially if you lived in some sort of swamp and had troops used to the terrain. At the least it would mean no rain in your parades.What about the smoke object creation spell? Is that level 4?
>>4504790The Major version of your Minor Smoke Form spell is Intensity 4, it can make any object up to the size of a small house so long as it's all one piece (parts of the creation can move independently). The Intensity 5 one people seem to one (besides Smoke Armor, which is confirmed) is Minor Smoke Structure, which makes architectural things out of smoke. Like an 800-foot ladder, or a 10-foot-tall 80-foot-long one-foot-thick wall, or an emplaced smoke ballista.
You watch as the Glass Diplomat crumbles into shards, which in turn crumble into glittering grains of polished glass. Perhaps to your surprise, perhaps not, you're disgusted. “What a foul way to die.” You remark, hugging yourself slightly. Despite yourself, you hope it didn't hurt. Some people would call that a weakness Albeda could potentially exploit. Other people would call THOSE people edgelords unfit for lordship. “Still, another victory for Jakob of the Whispering E-”You cut off your words at a choked sound from behind one of the Last Loyal's helms. You distinctly heard a snerk. Another one clears his throat, “Er, my lord...can we persuade you at all to use a different nickname?” You blink owlishly at him, “Why? It's very imposing.”The guard uncomfortably fiddles with his crossbow, still trained on the pile of gleaming dust that was Albeda's shade. “Permission to speak frankly, my lord?”“Granted.” You cross your arms, feeling a mild sense of annoyance at this.“Well, er, it's just...my lord, Whispering Eye sounds like...it sounds like an orifice, my lord.” Your bodyguard has his visor down but you can tell he's wishing he could just sink between the cracks in the floorboards right now. His loyalty is commendable, though, sometimes people have to tell the hard truths.The color leaves your face, “Oh no...” This is a blow worse than any Albeda could have struck you with, why must you have such appalling luck with nicknames?“Who came up with it, anyway?” Another Loyalman asks, shifting his billhook to rest against his shoulder.“Cailm, but...” Your knuckles crack with how tightly you clench your fists. You can just see it now. Cailm 'innocently' suggesting something like that, having a good laugh, and then not being able to back away from it on pain of having lightning spat at him. The Loyalmen all take a few steps back from you and the aura of arcane menace you radiate. You're still attuned to Wings of Words, and the lambent flow of your anger manifests in a subtle crackling, whisper-thin blue strands of lightning playing between the webs of your fingers and sizzling in your breath each time you exhale. “I used it in front of the entire village.” The cold oil of dread pours thick and slow into the brazier of your mind, the torch of fury raised to light it.“That's not what I heard.” One of the Loyalmen, one of the younger ones, pipes up. “The village closest to the castle, right? Huskerly village? I've got a girl from there, and she says you used like, half a dozen different ones as you started drinking. She thought the first one was Withering Eye, anyway.”“Could be Whistling Eye.” Another suggests, but he gets shoved by his squadmates, berating him for making it even MORE inappropriate.“We'll deal with it later. As for Cailm...” Your voice trails off.[Continue]
>>4504787>get a master dice in both strategy and tactics >become the Lelouch you always wanted to beThe dreams, and the possibilities... so many thing, so little exp...
>>4504813I really like that one. Weather is good too, but a small instant castle seems like it would be really good in battle too.
>>4504814>Could be Whistling EyeLean into it. Make a penis banner.
>>4504762Well damn, freak snowstorm got me sent home early from workWong is starting early today What a great coincidence
>[When he gets back from rabbit hunting, escort him to a cell]>[When he gets back from rabbit hunting, bring him to me]>[When he gets back from rabbit hunting...don't do anything]With that, you dust your hands off, and turn to go back to the great hall. You have things to do, after all. You want to speak with your mages. Many of the ones you normally would have spoken to went to fight the Cheillans with your father, and like him, slowly melted to death, but a few remain. Even with journeyman battlemages, the Absol military is still twice the fource of any other Frontier Province (and at least four times as strong as the Schwaltzwood). Moreover, not all of them went on campaign. Some of them, respected elders too frail for the long trek, stayed here and two of them in particular you recognized at the funeral last night.Assuming they haven't killed each other, you have no doubt they will seek you for an audience today, even if just to offer their congratulations. Both are distant relatives, actually, though on different sides of the family. Much of the morning is spent smiling and nodding. The locals have brought you coronation gifts. Tokens of loyalty, mostly. A bottle of rice wine from a local brewer, flowers from the children of the Castle Briarfast servants, a rather nice cloak from a gap-toothed old trapper who proudly points out the quality of the otter fur. A particularly nice silver thurible on a chain, patterned with thorny vines into which has been worked the eye sigil of the Absols, the pupils forming the holes from which the smoke emerges. A suit of fine plate armor, with the eye worked into the breastplate. The blacksmith who made the last tells you, rather sadly, that this commission was long in the making, your father ordered it for you before going away to war. A parent hopes for the best, but prepares for the worst. These two gifts will go nicely with the two spells you've been spending the last few weeks studying. Your most ambitious, difficult spells to date. With all of that done...>[Read a book, I'll post the selection if this option wins, and write out every spell in the school for you to peruse]>[Read another letter, I'll let you vote on Schwaltzwood, Gwelm Island, or the Ledo Plains if this option wins]>[Summon a bard to try and figure out why exactly the rebellion in Galdynfyrgenbach lands is happening]Two votes, and they'll be tallied separately.
>>4504851It's eighty degrees or thereabouts here in Ohio, but my buddies in Minnesota are apparently being dunked on by snow.
>>4504844We Black Company now?
>>4504854>Bring him to meand >Read another letter, We have to get them all opened and read so we have a better idea of the situation. We at least have a small understanding of what's going on locally.
>>4504857Everyone underestimates the Raging Cocks.
>>4504854>>[When he gets back from rabbit hunting, bring him to me]>>[Summon a bard to try and figure out why exactly the rebellion in Galdynfyrgenbach lands is happening]
>>4504866We gotta open those other letters though. We can only burn down one house at a time.
>>4504854>[When he gets back from rabbit hunting, bring him to me]We need to have the talk Calimthe talk about what nicknames are acceptable for ruling with an iron fist>[Read another letter, I'll let you vote on Schwaltzwood, Gwelm Island, or the Ledo Plains if this option wins]
>>4504866>>4504869Went to go check on my dog and posted before writing out my thoughts on the matter. If we plan on helping out up northward, I think it would be best to get a better idea of what's going on up there, as we're deciding to go ourselves and with fighting men. The information could be very useful, and I think it's worth pursuing while we can. iirc, the letters have piled up for a while anyways, and while we have just had our coronation ceremony and are the new lord and all that, I doubt it'd hurt to let them sit a while longer.
>>4504854>[When he gets back from rabbit hunting, bring him to me]>[Read another letter, I'll let you vote on Schwaltzwood, Gwelm Island, or the Ledo Plains if this option wins]>>4504855It's Barely - 4°c up here where I live in BCBut it wasn't supposed to snow till next week and it dumped about 42cm (just under a foot and a half) in 2 hours and they shut the plant down and sent everyone home before the roads got unuseable since they don't Plow the access roads where the tree plant is
>>4504875That's a pretty good point. And I think venturing north personally, is a good idea. But, It was just the first of what is likely several time sensitive crises/opportunities in the letters. If I had to guess, the envoys from mountain land are going to ask for help slaying a dragon.
>>4504875>tree plant...Aren't all trees plants?
>>4504889It's a packing plant for tree saplings that get shipped to wherever they are planting trees usually logging sites
Well, that was a decisive vote. >[Read the letter from Lady Petrine Gwelm of Gwelm Island]>[Read the letter from Lord Balam Ledo of the Ledo Plains]>[Read the letter from Lord Ralf Schwaltz of the Schwaltzwood]
>>4504884>several time sensitive crises/opportunities in the letters.Definitely. It certainly seems like we'll be picking sides here, and won't want to spread our aid too thin between whoever we decide to help. Thinking over it a bit more, I think it'd be a bit better to have all of our opportunities laid out in front of us before committing to anything. Changing to:>[Read another letter, I'll let you vote on Schwaltzwood, Gwelm Island, or the Ledo Plains if this option wins]>the envoys from mountain land are going to ask for help slaying a dragon.Seems like it. Doubt anybody here is keen on helping the Ryds out, so turning them down if they sent an envoy and everything doesn't seem like a good idea. Maybe we could breeze through and give them a hand with the dragon on the way up to the tundra? May secure some additional aid from the Ryds to use in that fight as well. Though, iirc they didn't want to involve the Ryds since what's his name is a womanizer. And my idea of the world's geography may be off. I dunno. Just throwing ideas out there.
>>4504903>>[Read the letter from Lord Ralf Schwaltz of the Schwaltzwood]
>>4504903>[Read the letter from Lord Balam Ledo of the Ledo Plains]
>>4504903Open them all in alphabetical order, then read them in reverse alphabetical order by the first name of primary senders.
You open the letter from Lord Ralf. The difference between Lady Hannah's letter and this is night and day. For one thing, he knows who the current Lord Absol is. His province is closer and you have no doubt given the Schwaltz's reputation that he hears more news than the distant Lady of the Tundra.'To my esteemed peer, His Excellency Lord Jakob Absol, Sorcerer-Lord and Rightful Protector of the Absol Swamps, greetings and salutations!Alas that my first address to you cannot be purely salubrious, for the entire realm mourns the passing of a titan. Easily did we of the southerly lands rest at night, knowing that Arnveis the Black stood as a pillar of the arcane and a bulwark against foreign magi. When the news reached me, I could not help but gnash my teeth and tear my tunic in sorrow. Yet, there is no tragedy without opportunity, and I would proffer my hand to you in these trying times, as your father so often did to those around him. With your strength of arms, and my connections to the royal court and my network of friends in every province, together we would be a force to be reckoned with. I have heard from afar that you have a distaff relative, a young woman of surpassing beauty and poise...'You snort loudly and in a very un-lordly way before continuing.'...one Albeda Absol, your father's apprentice, and my heart has been moved, thinking of this poor, bereaved maiden...'You need a minute. You need a good, solid minute to just chortle like an utter buffoon, smacking your fist against the high table.'...drifting around your grand castle like a wraith, tears staining her cheeks. I would kiss them away, if I could. In my halls, she would never know sorrow or want, I would be to her the most faithful and loving of husbands, and it would be my privilege to embrace you, Jakob, as a brother by alliance. Women unwed can be troublesome, for ambition is a flame easily sparked. She would be safer from such malign influences under my aegis, and all involved would benefit. I do not expect, of course, immediate assent, naturally I would have to meet her first, and begin the formal process of courtship, but I eagerly await your reply and hope it sheds light on your demeanor regarding my proposal. In hopes of a long and abiding friendship, Lord Ralf Schwaltz, Rightful Protector of the Schwaltzwood.'You'll right your reply later, but for now...>[Oh no no no no no]>[Oh yes yes yes yes yes]
>>4504956SoooooooThis is where we laugh like an absolute lunatic for a few minutes right?Ot at least until someone comes in to see if we are okay
>>4504956>[Oh yes yes yes yes yes]Yes, YES! Ship her off to another province to be someone else's head ache. Honestly this seems like a more fitting punishment than death. Sure it will probably bite us in the ass in the long run, but think how much fun it would be to have her dragged in front of us in chains, then tell her you're pleased to announce her engagement.
>>4504956>[Oh yes yes yes yes yes]This can only end spectacularly.
>>4504964>>4504956>>[Oh yes yes yes yes yes]I forgot to add my actual vote
The Forest province is the week informed one isn't it? I figure he's the one most likely to know the situation. I'm thinking we could pen back a letter like:>Dearest Lord Ralf Schwaltz, Rightful Protector of the Schwaltzwood>Nothing would make me happier than to see a marriage between our two great houses, and you could not choose a more comely maiden in all the lands.>Unfortunately, gripped by grief, Lady Albeda has departed the castle for parts unkown. >If a lord as esteemed and noble as yourself could find her and offer your condolences I am sure you could mend her wounded heart.>Such a union would have my blessing and best wishes.>Nothing would make me happier to see her at your side in Castle Schwaltz, as husband and wife.
You fold the letter up.You set it aside.Your mouth quivers, and then like a dam bursting, you can't contain your mirth anymore. Howls of laughter, mad and jubilant, echo off the walls and rafters. Harvin, going over the castle's finances with an abacus, looks mildly disturbed, but you're too busy imagining Albeda in a wedding dress, livid as you push her down the aisle at spearpoint. A more fitting punishment than death.Sure, it could bite you in the long run, but you don't have to give an actual answer now and you're just...just imagining the look on her face when you tell her. You nearly fall out of your chair in gales of mirth.At least, until you hear the raspy sound of a throat clearing, and feathers rustling. You look up, and coming in through the wide double doors that connect the great hall with the practice yard is an old man. You're immeasurably relieved to see that he is alone.Arad, the headman of Great Crag village, is your mother's mother's older brother. Tall and scrawny, with long limbs, his slicked-back hair is the color of steel. A full mustache that hides his mouth, a small nose, and a waxed beard that forms a narrow, bladelike point three feet long, give him the look of a great swamp heron, an impression accentuated by his magnificent feathered wings. He regards you evenly, his pale brown eyes cool and serious as always. He is silent for some moments, as if considering what to say, before pronouncing, “It is good to find some joy in one's labors. Especially in these trying times.” He folds his arms into his voluminous sleeves, “Great-nephew.” It may be informal but it's a welcome break from being milorded, “You look well, considering the circumstances. She would have been proud of you, you stood well at the funeral, and I am informed that not more than a few hours after you dropped a Night Hunter twice your age using the magic of the skies. Well done.” By his standards, this is practically a standing ovation. Despite his advanced years, he remains standing, not even glancing at any of the chairs at the high table. They say that he meditates standing on one leg in the fiercest gales, as an example to his students. >[What will you say to him?]
>>4505049>"Arad. It's a pleasure. My apologies, you caught me at a bad time. What brings you here today?"
Oh, in case it wasn't obvious, Arad is very much one of the two archmages here today.
>>4505056This. I wonder if it's more bad news. Hopefully we can convince him to take a more active role at court. With father's court magicians all dead, Great Uncle Arad could be incredibly helpful.
>>4505049>He was but a fool who thought me Naught but a child who would cowtoe to him if he raised his voice, a mistake he paid for. It is a pleasure to see you uncle, shall I call for some refreshments while we talk?
>>4505061I should add we should rise from our chair and offer him the appropriate hospitality. We might be the lord, but he's still our uncle and our elder.
You rise from your chair to greet him with a smile, “Great-uncle, it is a pleasure. Do you require refreshment?”“There will be time to wet my beak later, but the offer is appreciated.” He claps you on the shoulder with one of his wings, an affectionate buffet, “Normally, I would be pleased to take my time and discuss your training, but I fear I bring rather more urgent news. Albeda is attempting to steal your seat.” He raises his eyebrows, “You are aware of this.”You nod, “She has an entire coven of powerful sorcerers, it sounds like. Sister Char, Sister Shell. Brother Grey, and Brother Gloam. She's going by the title Sister Oath, but I won't indulge her on that right now. Do you have any idea who they might be, nuncle? Who would be powerful enough to give her a chance?”“The women, I don't know. The men...yes, I think I do. One word, and the pieces fall into place. Grey.” Arad's eyes narrow in distaste, “The Wolf King of the East. It could be no one else, or he would have already joined you.”Your brow furrows, “Who?”“He must be ancient by now, he was a force when I was still a boy. They call him by many names, each spoken in whispers, but the Wolf King, the Scalp-Taker, and the Ragged Elder are all common. Perhaps he has no name, as his wolves have no names. In the eastern part of the swamps, he is lord of the Night Hunters. Your father encountered him once, and by all accounts bested him. It was thought that he died of his wounds, his legend kept alive by his many apprentices and the students they, in turn, taught. His very name is terror. As a sorcerer, you must know this, some men rule their power, others are ruled by it. For the Ragged Elder, a bandit, a cannibal, a sorcerer who has forsaken humanity for beasthood, it is clear that there is little left of him besides that power now."[Continued]
"His own minion was terrified of him." You note, remembering your encounter in the dungeon."Common in the sorcerous world is the hierarchy of master and student, and those students are master to students younger still. Such is the way of things in Grand Crag, assuredly. When my wings can no longer bear me aloft, the best-suited of my students shall assume headmanship.” Of course there is probably a vote, more to test unanimity than anything else, “Although...many of those I would once have relied on have fallen from the sky, their proud wings broken by accursed Cheill. May every single one of the Cheillans have died at the hands of the curse they unleashed.” He shakes his head, and circles back to the topic, "The Night Hunters take to the relationship of master and student better than any other. There is the pack, the hierarchy, and when those above are no longer fit to run at the head of the hunting party they are cast down."He pulls the end of his beard, “I would have you know, my great-nephew, that the Stormtongues of the Absol Swamp are loyal to you and you alone. Your mother was Lenida of Grand Crag. One of us. You are the rightful son of Arnveis, his chosen heir. Albeda has no claim. The Old Ways she calls upon are half-remembered superstitions, nostalgic rewriting of history. Even her claiming that strength gives her the right is nonsense, she has no moral justification for her coup.”You don't want to ask the question that springs into your mind, “What if she wins?”He stares you down, “Then the Stormtongues will defy her. Our wings can carry us away, we will leave the swamp and take our strength with us, to go and find her enemies and avenge you.”That is something of a relief, “Nuncle, you said 'men'. Do you know the other one?”“That is the urgent news I bring you. Treachery most vile, here in your own castle. You see, I know who Brother Gloam is, and...”You feel a sudden prickling in your thumbs, and the hair on the back of your neck stands up.[Continue]
>>4505194IT'S OUR OTHER PERSONALITY ISN'T IT?
The shadows boil. They twist and writhe, reaching out from beneath tables, down from the rafters. Much as you can turn smoke into a substance akin to glass, this twists the natural properties of the spaces light does not touch...but in a very different way. It's as if something is reaching through the shadows, wriggling and formless, weaving them together into a pit of blackness behind your great-uncle. You grab an incensed candle off the high table, and prepare to weave a handful of smoke into an arrow, when you hear the voice.“VILE! VILE VILE VILE OLD MAN!” It emerges from the center of the blackness as it rises up, wriggling like a worm, slowly sloughing away in layers from the wildly gesticulating shape inside, “TREACHEROUS OLD GOAT! SWEET BOY, PROTECT ME FROM THIS SCHEMER!”Arad takes a step back, “Your breath reeks of onions, pallid sow. Are you here on Albeda's behalf, too?” He raises his feathery eyebrows, a gimlet gleam in his eye as one corner of his mouth tugs into the smile one wears when stepping into the sparring ring.The shadows fall away from the shape like water, and a nightmarish face lunges up to almost snap at him. The cheeks and around the eyes are a mass of wrinkles, centered around two deeply set eyes of purest black, obsidian chips that glitter in that ruin of a face. Emerging from that visage, giving it depth, are a long, pointed nose and chin, giving the owner almost the look of some exotic beetle's vertically aligned horns. Its voice is a shriek, and its hair is like cobwebs, thin, white, and exposing the scalp beneath. Long fingers, with yellow nails like those of a rat, wag beneath Arad's nose as the bent old woman hisses angrily at him, “I came here to warn him, as did YOU! Won't even let an old woman have the dignity of conducting her own affairs, oh no, you come here with your back all straight, playing NOBLE, while you undercut me!” Her voice rises into a wail, “And to dear little Jakob no less, you heartless GOAT!” She whirls towards you, her ragged black robes utterly shapeless, much like the body beneath is a portly suet-blob of questionable dimensions, “Can you BELIEVE him?” She clutches at her withered bosom, “A poor old lady's heart could burst of sorrow. Oh Jakob, where is my hug? Are you too grown-up to give Grandmama a hug?” She pinches your cheek in her bony fingers.>[Never too old for hugs!]>[You're not my real Grandmama, you were just my grandfather's wet-nurse]
>>4505227>[Never too old for hugs!]I feel like a wise mage respects his elders..."But still, we're not related."
>>4505232She's Grandmama to everybody, even strangers, but she's been some people's Grandmama longer than others, and she certainly picks favorites.
>>4505227>[Never too old for hugs!]jenny accepted me btw grandma, she let me touch her the other day
>>4505227>[Never too old for hugs!]But also not so young as to not be paranoid and suspicious of everyone
>>4505227NEVER TOO OLD FOR HUGS!
>>4505273Also:>I wish you two wouldn't fight. >Half my family in the whole world is in this room. >Couldn't you pretend, for me?>Call it a coronation present.
“Never. Never ever will I be too old.” You lean down and hug her. She does smell of onions. Of onions, and mushrooms, and fresh-turned soil. If Grandmama has a name, you don't know it, and in all likelihood neither does anyone else still living. In much the same way that Arad is every inch the proper sorcerer, resplendent in his power, Grandmama is exactly what most would think of when asked to picture some mad old witch of the swamp living in an mossy hut on the moors.If ever there had been a monster under your bed, it would have been watching you on her behalf. She used to tell the most horrifying stories, stories that don't seem so bad when written down, but when you hear them, or worse, think about them in your bed at night, the footsteps outside your hut, the shape in the moonlight that shouldn't be there, your blood turns to ice. Stories of grotesquery, vulnerability, isolation, claustrophobia. Stories that made you feel powerless, at the mercy of something horrible, coming closer and closer to your hiding place. She understood fears, primal, ugly fears, and she put her thumb on them and pushed with a decisive twist.Your mother hated her telling you stories, and when you grew up a bit, you had the unenviable revelation that it was because so many of them were true. Your mother and Grandmama never saw eye to eye. Grandmama doted on your father, and had apparently wanted him to marry one of her granddaughters. 'Should have poisoned your wedding cake after all, you ungrateful girl' and 'Should have thrown you into the sky, you bitter old woman' crossed your ears more than once, growing up. She isn't the only Shadowbinding master in the Absol Swamp, but every Shadowbinder in the caves near Briarfast, in the castle town, and in nearby Huskerly is either trained by her, trained by one of her students, or married into her vast extended 'family'. “Of course you're here, hag. Find out about treason in your own circles, and here you come to dote on my great-nephew and whine and escape blame for it. Your own poisonous teachings led to this. Isn't Albeda herself a student of your so-called dark mysteries?” For Arad, it goes deeper. It's an ideological difference that cannot be resolved. Both are convinced that the other's existence besmirches the practice of sorcery itself.“How quick you are to use that girl's name as a club, you heartless old man. Then again, you never did have much use for women, did you?” Grandmama's voice turns mocking.[Continue]
>>4505292>“How quick you are to use that girl's name as a club, you heartless old man. Then again, you never did have much use for women, did you?” Grandmama's voice turns mocking.I thought you had to atune to use powerful burn magic.
>>4505292i feel like an olenna tyrell vs tywin lannister vibe going on
Arad waves the insult away. “Jakob, out of common courtesy, I'll let her tell you what I came here to. Let her redeem herself at least slightly for her family sins. I'll be staying at the Fox and Trout, my usual quarters, if you wish to hone your mastery of the FAMILY magics.” He gives Grandmama a look much like a heron gives a fat carp shortly before it impales it on its beak.“...All I'm saying is it's not natural, man of his age, no wife, no children. Oh I'm not calling him anything, no, no, not in front of little Jakob, but it is rich hearing 'family' come out of his mouth when he'd shriek and run away from a woman's spread legs.” Grandmama spitefully mumbles to herself, with the cadence she might use in uttering a hex.“I wish you two wouldn't fight.” You remark, “Half my family in the whole world is in this room. Couldn't you at least pretend, for me? Call it a coronation present.” The two master sorcerers regard each other with stoicism. They both try to nod first, looking a bit sour but shamefaced. “Harvin, it's good to see you again too.” Arad gives your steward a nod and a smile. Arad likes Harvin. It goes back to something that happened before you were born. Harvin doesn't like talking about it, too modest, but the proud Stormtongues generally treat him very well despite him being a hideous hunchback. Harvin knows a bit of magic, at least, in the Way of Wood, but he doesn't show off or use it often, making it hard to gauge his ability. “Speak up more next time.” He gives you a cavalier salute, and walks out. You pull a seat out for Grandmama. She, of course, has no compunction about sinking into it immediately, with a satisfied sigh, and wriggling around until she's completely comfortable. “Harvin, dear boy.” She pats his forearm, “Could you go and make us some of your delightful tea? At this age the cold does seep into my bones so.”Taking the hint, he stands up, “My lord, Grandmama, I'll put a kettle on.” The hunchback bows awkwardly, and shambles out.[Continue]
“Behind an ugly face, there can be such purity. From experiencing suffering, one can learn such kindness.” Grandmama remarks, before turning her stygian gaze to you, “From weakness, one can learn empathy too. Or a desire to grow strong. Everything that dies feeds something. Everything that rots is a cradle for new life.” Her voice turns quiet and sad, “I have told myself that so many times, since I realized Albeda would not bow. So many, many times. This is life, the natural turn of the wheel, the dance of predator and prey...but I am human, aren't I? I'm allowed to mourn for the children I watched grow and blossom into sorcerers.” Spite creeps into her voice, spite at fate, at life's cruelties, “Such a waste. Albeda, so beautiful, so talented, so wicked, so clever. I can't even call her a fool, if she didn't do something like this she would be denying who she is, and be the lesser for it. Sometimes, our strengths and our weaknesses come from the same root. A man can be an utter narcissist, and as a result be completely incorruptible, as his ego won't allow him to be bought.” She shakes her head, and regards you seriously, “I won't tell you not to kill her. As much as I would like to. If I told you to show mercy it might as well be my hand that plunges a dagger into your back, I'd be killing you by doing so.”Sometimes, listening is as powerful as talking, but you feel obliged, “She sent mages to threaten my people into obedience. She set one of them as a trap, that would have killed me if I wasn't lucky enough to find what she gave him and throw it into the moat before she could set it off. I don't plan to treat her like a gentle maiden weeping beneath a willow tree.”“Oh so you remember that story, do you?” Her lips stretch into a grin, “I hope it traumatized you. Fear is an excellent teacher. The weakest minds are those that have never felt it. I, too, was once a frightened little girl, small and weak as a mouse. Now, I'm me, and so many girls who were strong and arrogant, noses upturned and magic coming easily to their fingertips, are corpses in the dirt.”“No doubt that you put a few of them there, too.” You remark. Giving old ladies compliments is kind. “What was it you didn't want Arad to tell me?” Although you noticed enough. He said he knew who both men were, and you know what Gloam means.She cackles, but it's a wan shadow of her usual witchy mirth, “You distract me, sweet boy”“Who is Brother Gloam, Grandmama?” You ask kindly. Gently. Without hidden claws.[Continue]
>>4505406"i guess that's what happens if the gods give you a head start, you expect everyone to follow and drag them"
Her shoulders droop, “...My grandchildren were so proud to fight the Cheillans. No nation or people has ever hated magic more than Cheill. None have ever mistreated our people so. Even the Thorn-Dwellers were merely cruel tyrants. They did not smile and feel blessed as they flensed captives from the swamp inch by inch, to let the magic back out into the world. They did not send hunting parties on quests to the swamp to do so. The Cheillans did. To them, one less sorcerer was a world made brighter. In the days before Vartyne, it was common. So many of us eagerly went to get revenge, to visit suffering upon them, and they came home softening by the step, bloating, bleeding at the softest touch, crushed beneath the weight of a feather. So many sorcerers and sorceresses I had rocked in the cradle, I put in the grave. Nothing makes you feel more old. Yet, I made a mistake.” Her fingertip traces nonsense runes along the grain of the table, “I kept my favorite grandson home. I forbade him to go. Losing him would have been too much. My most brilliant student, a prodigy to outstrip me even at such a tender age. His younger brothers and sisters went, but him, I meant him one day to succeed me.” She slams her fist down on the table, “The fool! How can I forgive this!? How can I tolerate this!?” She hisses like a viper.“So, Brother Gloam is one of yours.” Now it all makes sense. A trusted second of Grandmama's turning traitor would absolutely be a humiliation for her, “But why?”Her pitchy eyes meet yours, “Why?” Her question is like a pebble dropped into a lightless well, “For the forbidden dream that lies at the end of the road we call Shadowbinding. The one thing we learn we cannot have. Over and over. With every corpse we raise, and see the soullessness in. With every shade we conjure, and see the fiction in. There are many gifts the denizens of the lightless sea beneath the world give us, but the ability to truly bring back the dead is not one of them. Yet, his strength has blinded him. Cannot is a word he no longer believes in. Loss has left his soul bleeding, and so he reaches out to fill that wound with the one thing that has never failed him. His power. Had I but a few more decades to teach him, he would not have made this mistake, but he has. It may be forbidden to attempt such magic under me, and under your rule, but Albeda promises complete magical freedom. Why would it matter who he has to kill in the process, if it would bring those he loves back? What I said earlier, about strength in weakness, can be true in reverse as well. Love makes people do terrible things. Love for family, especially.”“I guess that's what happens if the gods give you a head start, you expect everyone to follow, even if you have to drag them.” You remark, and she nods sadly.[Continue]
“He struck out south when he left, other than that I know nothing. I had to tell you. I just...I wish it were someone else's loved ones my loved ones want so badly to fight with.” She turns your own words back on you.>[What will you say to her?]
>>4505421So an ancient lunatic and a Shadowbinder protégé obsessed with bring the dead backGreat Ableda has surrounded herself with the mentally unstable>I would be the fool Albeda thinks me if I offered a promise to give him a chance to return to the flock or banishing him after his treason. Thank you Grandmama your loyalty is seen and appreciated.
>>4505421"for what is worth i intend to take the crook that's in charge on the sheep with the golden fleece"
>>4505421>I don't know what to say Grandmama. I can't stay my hand. But I promise to be as merciful and painless as I can.
>>4505421>Thank you. I'd like to learn more about this man's capabilities once Harvin's brought our tea. For now, Grandmama, I must know what you've been doing to combat his influence. I'm sure he didn't strike out alone, or at least not without sowing dissent among his students and followers whom have remained.
There we go, power's back.
Were b you hit by snowstorms too?
>>4505580Rain. Lucky the repair van got out here fast.
“Thank you. I wish I knew what to say, Grandmama. I can't stay my hand.” You shrug apologetically at her. It's true, you know it's true, she knows it's true. “I would be the fool Albeda thinks me if I did. “Of course you can't. Asking a living creature not to defend itself is ridiculous.” She nods.“What I can promise is that it will be quick, and as painless as I can make it. It will be clean.” You mean it, too. “By the way, what would you do, if we lost?”She exhales through her teeth, “I owe you honesty, Jakob. That old crow said his flock would leave with him if you fell. That he would, I have no doubt. For loyalty to you, he would leave. For loyalty to our homes, our ancestors, we would stay. There is no other home for the Shadowbinders but here, no other refuge. Here our ancestors first spoke to what lives beneath the shadows. Here, we first dug down to meet them in places where light does not touch. The Stormtongues would fly south, there are other sorcerers in Magdal. We would not make it into lands that worship the Sun God. If it is over, and you have lost, I will come to you, and it will be quick, and painless, and clean. You will go to sleep one more time, as you did when you were a baby, feeling not a thing. I would ensure Albeda can do naught gruesome with what remains, and then I would take my own life, and the responsibility for denying her the support of the Shadowbinders with me. We can fight with you until the end, but only until the end.” Her eyes meet yours, “So don't lose. Tragic lords who were gallant and died beautifully in their youth are only good to the bards, not to those who love them.”For a moment, there is silence, you steeple your fingers, “If someone is backing them, I'll crush them.” You put it plainly. “I'd like to learn more of this man's capabilities.” You glance up, spotting Harvin coming back in with the tea, making eye contact and nodding before he approaches. “For now, Grandmama, I must know what you've been doing to combat his influence. I'm sure he didn't strike out alone, or at least not without sowing dissent amongst his students and followers whom have remained.” [Continue]
She cups the teacup in her hand, turning it back and forth, “Getting out the good ones for little old me? You're good boys. Well, I've made my position clear, opposing you is opposing our family. What Brother Gloam is doing is forbidden magic. Some other covens in the hinterlands might disagree, but the taboo is strong here. He took at least three students along, but everyone else has been quick to disavow him. He has...changed, since watching his siblings die. It has been alienating, as much as we tried to look after him as a community. As far as his capabilities, I regret to say that he is our pride and joy. His abilities match my own, and at a fraction of the age, something I once was quite pleased about. He lacks the connections, and of course, I'm more feared, but he is charismatic and a voracious reader. He knows a remarkable amount about a remarkable number of topics. History. Warfare. Herbology. Insects. He once spent an entire teatime with me talking about how the future of naval warfare was galleons rowed by animated husks, then talking about how boats are built and from what wood. That's how his mind works, he screws into things, digs away at them until the problem is gone or there isn't anything left of him.” This worries you. Raw power is less dangerous than intelligence. Gloam might have less experience than Grey, but if he's as strong as Grandmama, he could be an extremely dangerous enemy. “Grey's territory is in the east, and Gloam went south. Is there anything significant that way?”She scratches her cheek, “Old ruins. Lots of them. From whatever civilization built Magdal. There's one called the Well, a great big stone hole into the earth with all kinds of little off-tunnels. It's where I'd go, any normal attackers would have to fight in tight tunnels in the dark, against entrenched defenders. Siege weapons won't work. Stormtongues could fly down the central pit, but they'd be exposed to whatever spells the defenders had...Stormtongues CAN lose a battle of direct magical combat, no matter what they tell you. Time was, it was a refuge for our people, but we left. It wasn't close enough to any towns for us to bring in fresh blood or buy supplies. Besides, if we need a fortress, Castle Briarfast's good enough to shelter in.”“Oh, I forgot to tell him.” You sigh, remembering what you meant to mention to your great-uncle, “The wall accepted me. I put my hand on it, and not a single thorn touched my hand.”[Continue]
>>4505623young upstart genius faction entrenched in an underground base, great.
She stares at you, “That's possible, is it?”“Wasn't it that way for my father?” You ask, confused.She shrugs, “I don't believe so. At least, I never heard it from him. There are all kinds of rumors that go around, about powerful sorcerers. Especially unattuned ones, people can attribute powers to them they never even had.”“Anyway, the ruins?” You press her.She seems momentarily distracted, “Oh, yes...the ruins. Well, besides the Well, there are a few I know of that were at least sound enough for me to have trysts in, back when I was a girl. The Well is straight southeast, but if you head due south, there is a shallow lake with an old tower sticking up out of its center. Stubborn old thing, won't just fall over so someone can use the stones. It's near Weeptree village, where Albeda was born.” She smiles and licks her lips, “Ooh, I used to go swimming in that lake when I knew the boys from Weeptree were out hunting. Of course, I don't know who's left there after the plague. Damned shame, there were some braw lads when I was young.” She narrows her eyes slightly, and abruptly slides the question in, “Have you given any thought to an heir, Jakob? There are a lot of eligible young women of fine sorcerous bloodlines in this swamp, you know. Some even right below your feet, you might say.” >[Crush her hopes of you marrying a Shadowbinder]>[Permit her hopes of you marrying a Shadowbinder]>[Vow to at least marry a sorceress]>[Confirm her hopes of you marrying a Shadowbinder]>[Crush, Confirm, and Vow nothing, but don't even give her a 'maybe' on marrying one of her black-eyed girls]
>>4505633Also they can summon wolves and reanimate zombies.
>>4505634>[Vow to at least marry a sorceress]>>4505636so some young geniuses are making an unknown underground fort made by an advance civ. who loves summoning.i really hope they don't go way overboard with experiments and wake something...
>>4505634>[Permit her hopes of you marrying a Shadowbinder]Grandmama plz, we've been lord all of one evening and this morning, we haven't even finished moving into our new room let alone given thought about who we are sharing the bed with. Although, you bring us a Shadowbinder that can hold up an intellectual conversation and is capable of fending of every suiter we encounter.....
>>4505645What about the potential giant magical sword welding Waifu of the frozen lands who asked for our help?
>>4505647This is a thing to consider. Then there's the thirty-year-old socialite to the west. Or the rich ojou-sama of the mountains that BELONG TO YOU in the north.
>>4505633Don't worry, I've got a cunning plan.>>4505634>Permit her hopesI mean it never hurts to have a necromancer in the family.
>>4505650>thirty-year-oldNo one wants Christmas cake.
>>4505634>[Crush, Confirm, and Vow nothing, but don't even give her a 'maybe' on marrying one of her black-eyed girls]Sorry Grandma Doomshadow, we're undecided.
>>4505657Well we do have a horny best bud that we owe a few "favours" in return for bot our wonderful nicknames We can always force feed him the cake if don't want them, or throw him on the golddigger/lordluster grenades
>>4505660Yup. Supporting this.
>>4505647i mean do you really want this as your step daughter?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ghAZLpPoCcjokes aside i don't want to be caught in a long campaign in the northern lands which i no doubt she will do if we crush the rebels
“Maybe, but...please Grandmama. I've been lord all of one evening and this morning, haven't even't even moved into the master bedroom yet...and no future wife wants to see my childhood bedroom, believe me...let alone given any thought about who we are sharing the bed with.” You fend her off as best you can.Old women are terribly stubborn though, “It's unhealthy for a young man to not think about girls enough!” She levels a finger at you, pointing menacingly, “Do you want to end up like Arad? What are you looking for?”“A girl I can talk to, who can fend off any suitors I don't want.” You groan, dropping your head into your hands. “You have to think beyond talking! The future of the swamp depends on it!” Grandmama has been thoroughly baited by your attempts to escape this topic.>[She has to be able to hold her own in a fight!]>[She has to think the things I like are worth talking about!]>[She has to get my bonfire blazing! Tid and thigh quality is essential to the future of the swamp!]
>>4505660How is is neither confirming not denying different from letting her hope?>>4505664Good plan. >>4505674I think that there's actually a limit to what we can do to help. If the north is rebellious, getting troops fun the south to put them down is liable to exacerbate hard feelings.
>>4505676>[She has to be able to hold her own in a fight!]Preferably they're 3/3, but this is probably the most important.when's the vote for whether Jakob is a breast man or an ass man
>>4505676>Tid and thigh quality is essential to the future of the swamp!This. As a lord it's your duty to produce sufficient heirs. Since big ol tiddies and a fat ass are essential to our land's well being.Twenty years from now we should be fielding a whole toad ball team.
>>4505674Well, if you crush the rebels, presumably you then go home. You get one roll a month, which can do things like boost your stats permanently, or remove stats from Albeda's company's coven. Reduce...I believe two of their stats to 0, and you win. Ironically you're potentially already getting a MD if you do a Police action (Might+Sovereignty) against the assassination attempt, because you know it's coming. You also know that unless she has had a lot of time to prepare and got VERY lucky, that Albeda's divining roll this week didn't see the chimera attack, so if you're prepared for it and turn it on her, you can do a lot of damage. We'll get into that later.
>>4505690Which is Jakob?>[A breast man]>[An ass man]
>>4505676>[She has to be able to hold her own in a fight!]A fight on the fileds of battle, debate and love Grandmama!
>>4505676can we do the corporate route to shut her down?"she has to have your wisdom and power while younger or around my age"
>>4505694what have you done.>[An ass man]
>>4505694>Ass ManWhat is a breast but a front ass>>4505696Fields*
>>4505694Both.>>4505697Uh that sounds like it might come out like creepily hitting on Grandmama.
>>4505694>[A breast man]Asses may have the advantage in terms of how many dramatic speeches have have been made in their favor, but I'm a man of convictions.>>4505700alternately, this- nothing wrong with both
>>4505698>what have you done
>>4505700The real problem is that, as worded, it doesn't use the word "all". Your wisdom, your power. Alright, so a girl Jakob's age who listens to Grandmama's advice and has learned Grandmama's magic style.
>>4505699Incorrect. Twinks can have nice butts, but breasts are the sole perview of the feminine sex.
>>4505694>>[A breast man]simple as
>>4505703yeah sorry about that i was going for companies that are "hiring" but actually not because the local upper management want money for themselves
>>4505692It's just common sense.
>>4505705I've seen more than enough porn to confirm that, that is hardly the case
>>4505693>>[She has to get my bonfire blazing! Tid and thigh quality is essential to the future of the swamp!]I want a demure housewife in a quest for once.
>>4505676>[She has to be able to hold her own in a fight!]>>4505694>[An ass man]
>>4505712especially with high magics, i wonder if the corner the anti glamour market
“She has to be able to hold her own in a conflict.” You start.Grandmama gives you a flat look, “What kind of conflict?”“A fight on the fields of battle, debate, and love, Grandmama. A weak and simpering girl won't love the swamp properly.” You're proud of yourself for that reply, but she's still giving you an expectant look, “And she also has to get me going, you know? She needs...” You're kind of evenly split between boobs and butts. There are good, logical arguments for both, but, “...the whole picture, curves and all. Heirs are essential to the future of the swamp! She needs good hips and...and the rest, too!” You finish lamely.Grandmama claps her hands delightedly, “Perfect! Perfect! A woman of power, but you want to be attraaaacted to her!” She draws the word out, her lips drawn in a wide smile. This, you can tell, is something she enjoys talking about a lot more than the feud between you and Albeda. “Well, there is no rush.” She says magnanimously, as if you can't tell she's telling you not to rush while she scurries off to carry out her nefarious scheme, “Young men's hearts are tender and juicy, the girl who takes a bite out of yours should be special. Don't worry, leave everything to Grandmama.” She stands up with a wheeze, pats your shoulder, and begins hobbling out>[I'm sure everything will be fine!]>[Panic and take precautions, if you choose this answer specify what precautions if you can]
>>4505723>[I'm sure everything will be fine!]WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
>>4505723Oh... What evil have we unleashed upon ourselves... >I'm sure everything will be fine>Try not to panic>Panic a little inside
As a side-note, I hope people don't mind the more western fantasy style art instead of the "this is explicitly anime" of MSPQ.
>>4505728No problems here man
You watch her go. Surely there will be no problems that result from this. Surely Grandmama will appreciate the situation you're in and show restraint. Surely everything will be fine. Everything will be fine.Everything.Will.Be. Fine.Harvin looks at you with worry in his eye as you laugh quietly, repetitively to yourself, before drinking the rest of your tea in one gulp. After all, what harm can an old woman who wants you to marry one of her granddaughters (or the daughters of one of her students) do? Grandmama is devoted to you, you know that yourself. Nothing bad will happen. Right?Now on to the next order of business, which you can hear approaching. Cailm is whistling, that usually means he caught something.>[What to do with Cailm? How to punish him, if you don't just plan to scold him?]
>>4505732"you're marrying a shadowbinder, with a binding wedding"and try not to laugh
>>4505732HmmmmIdk man>>4505734Yeah that'll work for me
Alright, we'll wrap this up tomorrow.
>>4505745thanks for running!
>>4505734I like this. >I'm sorry it's for the good if the kingdom>I'm already worked out the details with Grandmama>I'm told she is very intelligent and funny, if not conventionally attractive
>>4505732Welp, I feel low energy, but I'll give this my best go, from bottom up!Cailm! I oldest, bested bud! My most loyal and devoted subject! Great news! I've just secured the allegiance of the Shadowbinders! Unfortunately, there was terms and conditions. Your marrying Grandmama the next New Moon.
>>4505723Next thing you know, this will cause our Uncle to retaliate in kind...>bond fire is good fireThe waifu wars have begun.
>>4505693I just realized, we say a Jakob get attacked alone on a roof. We didn't see which Jakob though...This was what Glass Diplomat was made for...
>>4505634>>4505194A lunatic wolf man with a Dr. Frankenstein wannabe. Just in time for Halloween!The wolf is a tough but simple problem. Beat him in combat with your personal magical strength and the rest should fall in line. Welcome to the Wolf Pack...One-man Swamp Submarines could be a thing...And with that, we arrive at Dr. Frankenstein. Powerful, intelligent, charismatic, all qualities highly valued. And the nature of his treason is more based in personal tragedy than it is in politics. Either way, he should be the first one we deal with after the Fox.We should try to have a one-on-one talk, as all he really cares about is bringing back his loved ones, and not really killing us for power. Frankly, we probably sympathize with him a lot, as I can imagine Jakob's thoughts going down that dark path when his mother died, being young and foolish, and his father explaining to him why it's a bad idea, how binding the dark spirts to a corpse is not the same as bringing their life back, soul and all. It's defiling their memory, and worse, your memory of them, for the thing that comes to mind when you remember them wouldn't be their life, their beauty, their personality, but a decaying, shambling shade of their former glory. And no one should have to remember their family like that.We leave him to chew on that for a minute, since he only rallied to Albeda banner and has yet to take a decisive action against us. Even if he stays as Brother Golam, our subversive message will always be haunting the back of his mind, always diverting his focus, tempering his magic, hesitating before he strikes... he'll always be second guessing himself till we smoke him out. Literally.
>>4506514At the risk of tipping our hand to the GM.He's got an underground base in the middle of swamp land. I think the easy solution would be to divert a river into The Well. We can deal with whatever floats to the top.
>>4506535we should also learn lightning magic so we can UNLIMITED POWER the water
>>4506535Or, if we get the big smokeform spell, the one Wong said had could make structures that last for years. We could fill the well with smoke and then just... Solidify the smoke for years in width of our roll
>>4505049This is actually a great idea, for many reasons, some of which are less obvious than others.You'd think that combining the traitorous lady witch with a potentially scheming, kin-killing lord would be a terrible idea that will backfire on us. But you'd be forgiven for forgetting Albeda's flare for the occult and magical prowess. Though misguided, she is a creature of our swamp, and worse, everyone would know it. If we sent her off as a prize to Lord Schwaltz, not only would she be livid, but humiliated, being married off like a pawn to some pompous noble, away from all she knows and loves, forbidden from learning magic? It'll be a hell like none other, worse than the Glass Diplomat, because atleast it'll shatter easily if it has need to.This would also tie up an ambitious lord as well, with his designs on the swamp. You'd think that not only gaining the favor of the current Lord Absol, but also a powerful, beautiful witch of the Absol lineage for a wife would be such a boon, but instead it'll be a constant dagger to his back, a headache for his designs. For if it's one thing Albeda despises most of all, it is weakness, and the current lord of Schwaltz, for all his influence, is a weak man indeed. She'll never be accepted by their Sun-worshipping people, nor will she accept him a her wife. It'll be like thowing a magical match onto the oil barrel of Schaltzwood, and I wouldn't be surprised we're called in by Ralf to help put down Albeda's occult rebellion.Plus, it'll be glorious just to see her face when she's walking down the isle at spear point, or Ralf running from his chambers naked like a bat out of hell drop getting his junk electrified, or worse, cut up so bad it was like he was trying to fuck broken glass...It'll be fun to watch the chaos unfold from our divining bowl. Please pass the popcorn...The even crazier and potentially funnier part would be Albeda coming home to visit us, being visablely relieved and reluctantly... thankful, for our generosity. Prideful, powerful Albeda, brought so low as to kiss our feet and be thankful for the privilege. My, what a glorious thought...
>>4505684There are already hard feelings, they just need to be brought to heel. Frankly, I think we may have a better chance of gaining their fear, respect, and allegiance than the original lords because we're not apart of the formal power structure up there, so no institutionalized hate for us (beyond being a Valyte lord, that is). Plus, we got experience with dealing from tribes in our swamps, and a better relations too. There's a high chance we may come out better in their eyes than we'd think.>>4505674I agree, but it'll just be until Hannah can get a solid handle on the situation, then we'd head on home (or wherever the voyage of love will take us).
>>4506553>>4506536>>4506535These are all great ideas lads.
>>4506557Unfortunately outside of mind controli don't see it working. If Albeda doesn't want to do it, we don't have any leverage to make her. She's self centered and power hungry, she doesn't care about anything enough to threaten it with blackmail. We've seen how her first diplomat acted. She'd probably die before she let herself be thwarted.
>>4506864Unless there is some method for removing or sealing someone's magical ability, I doubt we could actually force Albeda into the marriage scenario unfortunately
>>4506897We're a society of magi and witches. If there's anybody who can do it, it's us.
Everyone, I am terribly sorry, I promised you a conclusion to what was going on this weekend and I failed to deliver. The truth is, my little brother got jumped, and while he's a grown man and defended himself ably he was beaten about the head with a campfire log and had to receive a bunch of staples in his scalp, so I looked after his daughter for a few days and forgot to correct the "we'll conclude Saturday" bit in the hubbub. I'll shoot for Monday night unless I'm needed to babysit again.
>>4506864One thing about that. Magic in this setting and system is capable of a lot, but one explicit limit it has is this, it cannot think for you, and it cannot control your mind. You might be attacked by a terrible illusion whose monstrous visage sends your minions screaming in terror, but they fled because they saw something horrible, not because the spell forced them to run away.
>>4508296Jesus, man. Sorry to hear that. Hope you guys are holding up okay, and that your brother recovers quickly. Take your time, and thanks for the heads up.
>>4508296Fuck, I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. My thoughts go out to you and your family. I hope he's gets better, and his daughter isn't too scarred. Take as long as you need mate.
>>4508296No worries. I hope your brother is okay
>>4506553I was thinking that a big smoke structure would make it easier to divert a river, but that works too. My guess is that they may have more than one exist so one block might not be enough.
>>4508947I didn't mean block Meant flood the entire thing with smoke and then solidify the smoke, essentially entombing anyone unfortunate enough to be in there>>4508296Damn, that the same brother that got mugged at gun point in a blm riot years back? Either way hope that your family is okay!
>>4508296Again? What is it with people trying to kill your family?
>>4509658The other one, and it wasn't a BLM riot, it was just three urban youths looking to rob a guy coming out of a bar. >>4509703I don't know, this kind of thing doesn't happen to me, the closest it's ever been was a handful of Mexicans who tried to walk up on me getting into my car. I showed them my carry piece, they made an abrupt turn and pretended they had urgent business at a van nearby until I left.
Also, of course the day I try to run during the week is the same day the machines go down at work and we have to stay late. Typing this up now.
“Heyo Jakob!” Cailm waves cheerfully as he saunters in, a trio of coneys dangling from his belt, “I heard you needed me. Girl advice? Or maybe you're just desperate to sneak out and have another drink after being lord for a day, eh? Eh?” He tosses the rabbits onto the table, “Look at them, lovely and fat for this time of year. Must be from that mild winter, right?”You heave a great sigh and steeple your fingers, “Cailm, we need to talk. Twice now, you have provided me with nicknames, and while you really didn't have to, your service has been noted and appreciated.”You see his smile turn sickly, and he edges back out of lightning distance. At least, what he thinks is lightning bolt distance. You can still get him from there. “Well, we're friends, aren't we?” He pulls his wineskin off his belt, and starts to take a sip.You match his smile, “Of course we are, which is why I've done something just as nice for you. I've found you a wife.”Reddish-purple spatters the floor as he sputters incoherently. He holds up one finger, “Wait a second, Jakob, that's really not necessary. You know, I can't just deny every other girl in the swamp a chance to have a tumble with me, it wouldn't be fair to them!”You slam your palms down on the table, rising to your feet, “Exactly the problem!” You bellow, “You're too self-sacrificing! Giving so much of yourself for the sake of those women, when what you really need is domestic bliss...no, my friend, I'm afraid I cannot let you bear the slings and arrows of a promiscuous lifestyle any longer! Besides, it's for the good of the realm. I worked out all the details with Grandmama already, it's settled.”The color drains from his face, “Grand...mama? Oh no. Oh no no no. Jakob, you didn't.”You nod with a satisfied smile, “You're marrying a Shadowbinder girl, Jakob. I'm told she is quite cunning and a great wit, prone to the most mirthsome pranks. Although she may not be conventionally attractive, Grandmama described her appearance as 'alarming when you're not accustomed to her', I'm sure you'll be a beloved addition to their subterranean family.” You gesture around, “In fact, I'm sure she's somewhere around here right now. Grandmama says that she's had her eye on you from the shadows for quite some time.”You watch with delight as a variety of expressions, in varying shades of horror, nausea, and discomfort, wash across his face. Abruptly he spins on his heel, “Excuse my, my lord. I...I'm going out for a pint. I'll be back in a century or two.” “I'll send her to join you! Congratulations!” You call after him as he departs, shoulders slumped and head twitching back and forth as if expecting to see a deformed face melt out of some dim corner at any moment. >[Have a hearty laugh]>[Play serious until he's gone, then have a hearty laugh]
>>4509796>Try to maintain a serious demeanor >Fail>[Have a hearty laugh]
>>4509796>[Play serious until he's gone, then have a hearty laugh]it would be even funnier if there are shadowbinders right now!ahahahathere aren't right?
>>4509810Grandmama's eyes and ears are always present
You manage to hold it for a couple of seconds, feeling the laughter percolating inside you, but Cailm is still well within earshot when you burst out laughing so hard that your gut hurts from it. Every time you think you've calmed down, you picture his expression when you said she wasn't conventionally attractive, that moment when he looked like a dog that has just accidentally tasted broccoli, and you roar with mirth again. You open your eyes and blink away tears of merriment, and see Cailm posing in the hallway, giving you the fig with both hands as hard as he conceivably can. “I believed you, bully-rook.” You respond with the five fathers gesture, and the two of you spend the next few minutes being unspeakably rude to each other, blistering the air with accusations of bastardry, incest, and fornicating with an increasingly unlikely succession of animals. It kind of makes you miss your father, he once heard a nearly identical exchange after your famously fumbled hunting expedition, and instead of being angry, told you a story about someone he'd met out in one of the outlying villages who claimed their cousin had made love to a crocodile and got a horrible venereal disease from it. “And that crocodile's name? Albeda.” Cailm had whispered once your father was gone. It was the funniest thing you'd ever heard.Finally, you calm down, “You got me to call myself 'Whispering Eye'.” You accuse him, “That's bloody treasonous.”He shrugs as hard as he can, palms up above his shoulders, “Well I didn't expect you to USE it. I thought you'd catch wise, and when you didn't I was stuck, wasn't I? Couldn't tell you and just ruin it, right? Besides, I was responsible, I told people at Huskerly I thought I heard Withering Eye, not Whispering Eye. Couldn't have you calling yourself Lord Hole in public, could I?”[Continue]
“I'll take it under consideration as a mitigating circumstance, three weeks in the pillory instead of beheading.” You joke.Cailm rubs his chin, “There's girls in there sometimes, wouldn't be so bad. Lots of time to chat them up.”“Maybe I should have been serious after all. Grandmama's trying to marry me off to one of hers.” You gripe.“Of course she is.” He replies without a dram of sympathy, “Of course, you'll get a pretty one.”“Yeah, but what if I can do better? There are plenty of, you know, noblewomen. Women with land, status, a few of them even have armies.” You slouch back into the lord's chair.He scolds you, “Hey! Don't let land and armies blind you to what really matters in a girl!”You roll your eyes at him, “I know, I know.” You resist the urge to throw the word 'thighs' in there. You do care about personality, after all. You also care about thighs, but thighs can't make a vapid trull less vapid.“Speaking of...” Over the course of the exchange, he's walked back into the hall, and is now scanning the letter Lord Ralf sent, his lips moving to sound out the words as he reads it. Being able to read is something he learned in the castle, out in his home village of Dampmeade he never would have had that chance. His eyes widen, and he snorts, “Is he joking?”“He's never met her. She tried to kill me with a bear sculpture today.” You pull the pile of letters away from him.“I liked her better when she was fat.” He remarks, “I used to make pig-noses at her when she was eating.” He pushes up the tip of his nose with his finger, and does a very credible impression of a pig snorting.>[That's not funny, Cailm]>[That's hilarious, Cailm]
>>4509833>[That's not funny, Cailm That's hilarious!]
>>4509833>[That's not funny, Cailm]What are you 6? That is severely insulting to pigs Cailm.
“Cailm, that's not funny.” Yes it is, “What are you, a child?” You're laughing as you say it, but you manage to get the words out with some dignity. “I was back then.” He replies, unapologetically.“Pigs are noble animals who are of great use and benefit to me, they fill my belly, they hunt for truffles and other rare fungi, and they can even be harnessed to a plow in an emergency. Albeda does none of those things.” You collate your remaining letters. “Mmm, fair enough.” He concedes, “Although, I do have some real girl advice for you. When the first one comes along who's interested in you and has a pretty face, you'll be tempted. You'll want to hare right under her skirts, but you've got to stand clear. You're a lord, and you're not bad looking, and you're a sorcerer. If I wasn't there looking after you in Huskerly, you might've fallen victim to one while you were stone drunk and showing off the things you could turn the torch smoke into.”You vaguely remember this, sort of. You thought you'd dreamed it.“Maybe she's the one, maybe she isn't, but...know your options first. Learn from my mistakes.” He announces with the sage wisdom of someone every bit as young as you are who thinks he knows everything there is to know about life. “Just don't wait too long, expecting a better girl to pop out from a cabinet any moment now. Speaking of, can't Shadowbinders pop out of shadows where they like?”“It's a bit more complicated than that, but in the broad, yeah.” You shrug, “Why? Thinking of blacking your eyes after all?”“And lose this enchanting sparkle? Perish the thought, my eyes are the muse of every lady bard from here to Escanto.” He snorts.“I'm surprised you didn't say Galdaea, you're being unusually modest.” Your voice is dry enough to drain the swamp.“I'm a man of many virtues, but my thought was this. If Grandmama wants you to marry one of hers, all she'd have to do is...well there's shadows under the cover, right? So she just pops right in there, and when you wake up with her she's all 'that was lovely milord' and you're honor-bound to do the right thing.” He looks smug.[Continue]
You try to come up with a way to completely stop shadows under your bed or blankets, and are left aghast at the realization of how difficult this is, especially with the one non-flammable light you had already en route back to its enchanter with the Night Hunter you freed. “Well, I'd best get these rabbits to the kitchen. I hate watching people read. I'll let the terror percolate, maybe someday you'll actually win one of our exchanges.” He scoops up the coneys, laughing merrily.“Cailm, you were my father's ward. That technically makes me your legal guardian.” You point out. This is false, but you know he doesn't know that, “I really can make you marry whoever I want.”“You win! You win! I'm not ready for monogamy!” He concedes immediately, scurrying away.>[Read a book, I'll post the selection if this option wins, and write out every spell in the school for you to peruse]>[Read another letter, I'll let you vote on Schwaltzwood, Gwelm Island, or the Ledo Plains if this option wins]>[Summon a bard to try and figure out why exactly the rebellion in Galdynfyrgenbach lands is happening] >[Go explore Albeda's room, which may or may not be trapped]
>>4509871Additional options.>[Go for a walk]>[Go hunting]
>>4509871Ignore the mention of the Schwaltzwood in the voting options, that's a copy and paste error.
>>4509871>[Go explore Albeda's room, which may or may not be trapped]That image name made laugh
>>4509871>[Summon a bard to try and figure out why exactly the rebellion in Galdynfyrgenbach lands is happening]
>>4509871>>[Summon a bard to try and figure out why exactly the rebellion in Galdynfyrgenbach lands is happening]
You summon one of the Last Loyal, and give him some instructions, “Go out into the castle town, and find a minstrel. One who knows about Galdynfyrgenbach's history.”You spend a while reading the Book of Fume. You think you finally have it, the gestures and more importantly, the mindset that will let you cast the spell known as Smoke Armor. Time scarcely seems to pass when you're deep in the working of your craft...and then you hear a soft, feminine voice clearing its throat.You lower your book, and standing there, smiling pleasantly, is a girl. Her nose is a bit red, and her cheeks are dusted with freckles. She's rather short, with fluffy brown hair kept around chin length. Her lyre is held demurely in front of her, dressed in thick traveler's clothes suitable for the cold weather further north, although if she continues south they might get a bit stifling. “My Lord Absol.” She curtsies deeply, “I was told you have need of a history lesson?” She looks up at you and smiles impishly, “Fair well do I know your house's reputation for scholarship, I pray you do not take it amiss if I boast of adding to your knowledge in taverns across the land?”“Would you stop if I did take it amiss?” You wonder aloud, watching her.She laughs, a warm sound, surprisingly musical, “Unless you put a curse upon me, no. Oh how tragic I would, a maid afflicted with malady magical, weeping as she strums her strings.” Her voice becomes serious, “Please don't curse me, my lord. I'd be an awful toad, I wouldn't know the first thing about keeping slugs out of your garden.” She winks.It's times like these you wish you knew more about talking to girls one on one. Inspiring the masses is easy, people melt into a mass when you're standing above them speaking from on high, but up close, one at a time? People can be terrifying, and your usual oratory deserts you. Maybe that's a thing to work on, maybe it isn't. “I'm sure you'd do a better job than you think. Not that I mean to toadify you.” You clear your throat, “Galdynfyrdenbach. Um. There's a rebellion.”“As is often the case, my lord.” Her eyes are brilliantly blue and full of smiles. She looks amused, but in a kindly sort of way. “Rebellions are commonplace there.”“Why is that? Is the Galdynfyrgenbach family so unkind to their tenants?” You inquire, leaning forward in your chair.She strums her lute once, “My lord, this is a sad story I am about to tell you. Please keep in mind, it may all be myth, but does that matter to those who are moved by it?”[Continue]
>>4509908might as well tell the shadowbinders to go out and get comfortable
“In the days before days, there came Frydda. Winter's daughter, guard of the tribes. A demigoddess, ageless, pure. Virgin spearmaiden born of ice. Twice the tallest height of man, and stronger than the glacial wind.” She strums her lyre as she talks, though she isn't singing a true song, just habitually providing background music, “Long she strode across the tundra, friend to reindeer and the mammoth. She was loved, as a goddess is loved, and it is true that naught else explains her inhuman size and prowess, nor the fact that she appears in legends dating back as long as there has been a record. When the people hungered, she led them to game, and harpooned whales with her divine spear for them. Yet, love is perilous, as anyone who has tasted it knows. At least, that's what they tell me.” She smiles at you over her lyre. “Among the tribes was born a youth that squalled like the thunder. Swiftly, he grew taller and stronger than all his peers, and won his chieftainhood at swordpoint. Galdynfyrgenbach, the wild, dark of hair and dark of heart, strong as a bear and fierce as a starving wolf. He saw Frydda greeting the north wind with her spear-dance, and his heart that viewed none other as his equal felt a powerful, poisonous lust. Who but a goddess could give him a stronger son than himself? He invited her to feast at his longhouse, and presented her a keg of his finest mead. Into this, he had poured a sleep-draught, for his was a strength without honor. Yet, Frydda was a demigoddess, and though groggy she defended herself from his advances. She swung her spear, and scarred his face with a splinter from its haft, for if the blade had touched him he would surely have died. Into the night he fled, cursing, for who would follow one who had been so dishonored? For Frydda, that was the end of it, she still had mercy in her heart. Galdynfrygenbach's adventures as he traveled are the subject of their own set of songs, though I like them not as they are dark and cruel, and oft end with him killing those who displayed kindness to him. I pray my lord is not of that type, but with such kind eyes I think my prayers are already answered.” She does an insouciant little three-string strum, a musical wink.“At last, the former chieftain encountered one who could humble even him. Volmere, King of Vartyne. Hungry for conquest, yet bereft of lands to conquer, he had come to the plains to mourn the death of Ledo, the Prince Who Left. That unparalleled knight had lived over a century, yet passed on as all men do. Whilst hunting in the meadows, he and Galdynfyrgenbach both chanced to let fly an arrow into the same pronghorn, and quarreled over the prize. Without his crown, and clad in hunter's garb, the king seemed naught but a brawny youth to the dark chief, who bade him taste steel. Yet, Volmere's swordplay was polished as a mirror. Long clashed northern axe on southern blade, until at last both men were weary.”[Continue]
>>4509970THERE'S A DEMIGOD IN THE NORTH?
“The King courteously offered wine and a compromise, and Galdynfyrgenbach was thirsty from their contest, so he accepted, expecting to betray and murder his host as was his custom once they had shared meat and drink. Yet, when he saw the constellation of bonfires that marked the King's royal host, and saw the discipline of their formations, he felt a flame long thought dead rekindle within his bosom, and as Volmere spoke of his ennui as a warrior-king with no wars, an idea blossomed. He filled Volmere with wine, and tales of the northlands, of its adventure and danger. He vowed to serve as a loyal lord, in exchange for the goddess to be his. The King's heart flamed at the idea of plunder and battle, and together they made plans for war.”“Galdynfyrgenbach knew each chieftain, knew their sons and where their wives slept. He knew how to navigate the frozen river valleys, and how to keep his direction in the trackless white. He knew the secret marks of the hunters carved in pine, and how the northerners fought and where they would gather. Every secret, he revealed. Every trust, he betrayed. He counselled the king that Frydda could not be defeated in open combat, and after seeing it for himself, King Volmere gave Galdynfyrgenbach free reign to deal with her. The exile chieftain inflicted a terrible slaughter on his own people, took hostage the children of the tribes he had once belonged to. At last, Frydda surrendered, her tears turning to crystal as she wept before Volmere, pleading for an end to the killing. In truth, Volmere's lust for conquest had cooled with the things he had witnessed, yet his drunken oath had been sworn before his men, and he could not save her and his honor. He bade no more blood be spilled, took his troops, and rode for home, leaving Galdynfyrgenbach behind.”“I need not tell you what he did to Frydda. You are a man, my lord, and you can surely guess. He bound her limbs in manacles that could subdue a mammoth twice over, and kept her in a perfumed cell. Yet, by the time she had borne him a child, she was wasted and wan, and he no longer took so much pleasure in looking at her. Yet, divine strength is not so easily spent, and day by day, the cold iron upon her limbs rusted. At last, while he was out hunting, she tore free, and strode into his hall, plucking down her spear from above its mantle."[Continue]
“Such was its size and weight that none else could lift it, and she cried out in despair when she realized that she was too ennervated to wield it properly and lay Galdynfyrgenbach low upon his return. She hobbled forth, using her weapon as a staff, until at last she came to a great ravine along the shoreline. Behind her, she heard the blowing of horns, and knew her foul husband was coming to claim her. With a muted sob cast into the wind, she pressed spearpoint to her chest and hurled herself from the edge like a falling star. The spearbutt struck the ground first, her immortal lance pierced her adamant flesh, and her deathless life bled from her. A fisherman's son found her, dying, and committed her final words to memory.”“'When the line born of my rape is ended, when the stains are cleansed from the snow, when the winter is once more pure and clear, only then shall I be born anew.' With that, her flesh dissolved into snow, and was blown away by the wind. All that was left of her was her spear, broken into two pieces. Galdynfyrgenbach, riding at the head of his hunting band, suddenly fell from his horse dead. According to the songs, he had frozen in an instant. Since that prophetic day, no lord of the tundra has ever slept easy, for there are always those who wish to see the goddess reborn, and bring an end to the rule of those whose leashes are held by southern kings.” She suddenly realizes what she said and frantically holds her lyre up as if to shield her face, “That's just how the songs go! Please no toads!” >[Sorry, traitors get toaded]>[I'm not much of a fan of wearing a leash myself]
>>4509990>[I'm not much of a fan of wearing a leash myself]"i'm no southerner nor a king so you're good"i'm conflicted on helping the north now
It's pretty late. Game resumes Friday, this vote is a bit more meaningful than you think because it reflects Jakob's views towards the distant monarchy and King Ulrich.
>>4509994Addendum, you're not actually seriously threatening to turn her into a toad.
>>4510000does she have a patron? if no i'm voting of jakob being one secretly. considering the looming game of thrones bards are great info gatherers.
>>4510004Judging by her clothes you'd assume she's a traveling bard, probably. I'm not going to make you roll for that.
>>4509990>[Sorry, traitors get toaded]Bard girl is cute. Maybe not wife material, but still cute.>>4509992I'm also starting to reconsider sending them aid. Then again, we shouldn't make all our decisions based on rumur and legends.
>>4509992>>4510010Point of order, this happened a LONG time ago.
>>4509990>>[Sorry, traitors get toaded]Have magic sparks fly from your fingertips.>>[I'm not much of a fan of wearing a leash myself]Jk. We have mixed feelings. (Our father did die for their cause. Was it heroic death, or was it political murder? We'll just have to find out for ourselves...)An important question has popped into my mind. Since Attuning to Fire Dancing causes permanent sterilization, would a Temporary Attunement cause temporary sterilization? Just asking for a friend...
>>4510023oof that means the demigod's bloodline is pretty entrench to most people there, bastards and all.>>4510010true, but i do prefer having a demigod as an ally rather than a MILF. we'll have to see when get there.
Alright, well, that's a tale that the rebels are definitely using for popular support. Considering how unflatteringly it paints the current ruling family, probably anyone with a grudge against them has used this. However, that doesn't mean it's accurate or true.Not to mention, there's no timeframe on this curse besides the death of the current family, and the "Cleansing of stains from the snow".We should ask for any other versions of the tale from Hannah in private whenever we head there, they might have a different side.
>>4509990>[Sorry, traitors get toaded]>Make a smoke toad for her
>>4510219well I can't not support this now, so thanks for denying me the opportunity for free-will.
>>4509990>>[I'm not much of a fan of wearing a leash myself]fuck those posh nobles may they die in their own fire they kindled>>4510204let's hope they have a good historian and family library
>>4510402Free-will is over rated anyway
>>4510044Petrine is the Christmas Cake, Hannah is the big warrior girl.
By the way, I am around for questions if anyone has any as I get stuff written up for Friday.
>>4512553can we have a tldr on the big religions?
>>4512555Sure. Vartyne worships Mihto (pronounced Me-toe), the god of the sun, war, the sky, and order. Mihto is the maker of hierarchies, who stands above all, and sets the duties for every class of being. Mihto extols the virtues of obedience to one's superiors and the defense of one's subordinates, and the adoption of his religion is what gave Vartyne's knights their equivalent of chivalry. Mihto is depicted as the first and greatest knight. As all life flows from the sun, so all other local spirits and gods flow from him. There is a creation myth, too, but that's the TL:DR. Adopting the worship of Mihto instead of just the royal ancestor cult and smalltime local gods was what led to Vartyne annexing the Schwaltzwood.The Cheillans believed differently. They believed that the whole world, possibly the universe, is one giant living organism and everyone is a part of it this one all-being, cells in an unfathomably vast body. Magic is the vitalizing energy of this all-being, its life force...which makes sorcerers, effectively, cancer. The Galdaeans, Orruks, and Xapotchli are a bit more complicated.
>>4512628hot damn a religion has a concept of cells, that's pretty awesome.or aliens introduced them to that concept.
>>4512634Not literally cells. A small cog in a big machine.
>>4509990>>[I'm not much of a fan of wearing a leash myself]Is the truth, but >[Sorry, traitors get toaded]Is what should be said, and make the smoke toad. Telling a traveling professional gossip about being disloyal seems like a can of swamp snakes. Also considering our current civil war and our "traitors get lightning to the face speach" it's probably not wise to show anti establishment sympathies in public, when our whole claim is being the rightful heir and all.
>>4510004>>4512824These bring an intriguing idea to mind. What if we use the bards to spread rumors and stories of Albeda, and have them perpetuate across the Swamp. The Thorn Princess, the Shattered Witch, and other such unflattering nicknames we could coin to her. We could make the stories of the Absol hero myth become prominent again, subtly inferring that Albeda is on the side of the Thorn-dwellers while we are Amadeus' direct descendent, and our father's proclaimed heir, and that this conflict is simply a reiteration of that story in present times.This would work on multiple levels. Not only would this influence the psyche of the swamp towards our way, but this will influence Albeda to either limit her plots to Jakob and Jakob alone (not good for survival's sake, but would do wonders to help mitigate and limit the damage to the swamp and our people), or will force her terrorism to be seen though these mythical lens, which would push those undecided in the swamp to our side. We should also spread rumors of her trying to blow up mages loyal to her in a fit of passion, making her seem unstable (and given her Glass Diplomat, we may not be to far off the mark here).We could also frame this as a potential lovers quarrel (please, hold off the laughter, this is a serious thought), which when heard, the rumors would keep her off balance (whether though laughter or rage at the idea remains to be seen), and would take some of the wind out of her ideological messaging about going back to the old way, Magical Might makes Right and all that, if people start thinking this is more a personal fight then the semi-professional coup that it is.>>4512553Is temporarily attuning to fire a good form of birth control?
>>4513119No. You don't temporarily get the permanent attunement effects by temporarily attuning.
>>4513681Damn. So much for Ceaser-style of romance... oh, that slayer of pussy. Cats gave him wide berth...
>>4512553Personal question, if it isn't TOO spoilery- What... is your favorite waifu?
>>4513845Well considering what we know about Wong it's Cailm
>>4513902Cailm isn't secretly a big-tiddy space pirate J-Pop idol queen so no.>>4513845You never actually know until you see how the protagonist bounces off them.
>>4514297Hhmm... don't know if this is a good answer or great cop-out.Either way, my hats off to you for such an intriguing answer. But remember, I got my absolute eye on you...
>>4512824>>4510219This is pretty good. When she makes fun of the lame joke. Tell her there's a reason you're not a bard. >>4512634Monstastic orders invented the concept of cells.
>>4514297>Cailm isn't secretly a big-tiddy space pirate J-Pop idol queen so no.Plz we all know Oda was in fact your favorite girl, why else would you have written them so god damn well?
>>4514548It's also thanks to them that we know as much as we do about the Romans, and how much stuff was just flat-out lost for centuries before it was rediscovered. For example, according to a few google searches I made when working on the post I'm currently doing, the Romans had glass windows in 100 AD.
Oh right, you're almost guaranteed to succeed at casting Minor Smoke Form, but why not start rolling dice so we can see how good it is?
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4514885Okay boss, have my dice
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4514885Oh nooo... here we go again...The addiction never ends.
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4514885
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4514885Additional dice
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4514885Dice for the dice gods
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4514885First post back from the woods, so time to toss some dice for flair.
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4514872No shit? Damn. It sort of reminds me of how some Greek or Roman culture had clockwork-like mechanics in the ancient times.
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4514885Well we have at least a pair of 9's
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4514885I hope the toad comes as a lovely surprise when she opens her eyes.
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4514885Aaaaand a pair of 2's
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4514904I mean, we do have a pair of 9s. >>4514889 >>4514896
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4514885Feed the addiction!
>>4514898They weren't properly transparent, but yeah, they had glass.
“Sorry, traitors get toaded.” You announce seriously and stand up. Power flows into you, the currents of magic swirling about your fingers as you pass them over the flame of the candle on your table. Even though it's sunny outside, you have a lit candle on the high table. It's a habit your father started and Harvin and the other servants naturally assumed you would want continued. It also provides a bit of extra warmth for your hands on cold days, when you're doing a lot of writing. The great hall naturally has a great hearth, but keeping it always full of roaring flames would be prohibitively wasteful.“Alas! I always knew one day my honesty would lead to a sticky end...” The bard clutches a talisman around her neck, her fingers tracing its lines. For those who aren't true sorcerers, intrinsically in tune with the flows of magic within themselves, this is a common aid to counterspelling, along with meaningless superstitious chants and gestures. You can easily asusme this is what she's doing, “...but I at least hoped to leave a beautiful corpse! How cruel, my lord! I shall weep with every ribbit!”You finish weaving the little smokeglass toad, and present it to her with a smile. She blinks, gasps, and smiles as she steps forward and gingerly takes it from your hands, examining it. It's beautiful, actually, some of your best work, every little bump detailed. It has a quizzical expression, and a pouty little toad mouth. “Poor payment for your knowledge, but you're welcome to find shelter, meat, and mead here for as long as you're staying. It's less drafty than the tavern in town.” Her blue eyes are dizzyingly brilliant as she smiles at you, “Coins come and coins go, floors and food are warm for a night, but this I shall treasure always.” She bows to you.You clear your throat, slightly embarrassed, “It won't last forever, it turns back into smoke, you see.” You explain.Her smile only grows brighter, “Then I shall simply have to come get another one from you.” She replies pertly.[Continue]
>>4514928We are a house of scholars, trading smoke animals for information is a win for sure
“I shall provide them gladly.” You reply, with lordly dignity, “All I ask in return is your name.”“Lill, it's short for Liliessa. I do hope my words gave no offense, truly.” She casts her eyes downward, long lashes fluttering.The truth is, you have mixed feelings about leashes held by southern kings. You are, of course, a Lord of Vartyne, sworn to King Ulrich. As far as you're concerned, Vartyne is the best nation in the world, you would gladly defend it from its enemies, and feel a sense of responsibility to its people...but you can't recall the last time you heard of the King actually solving a problem for the Frontier Provinces. It's telling that Lady Hannah Galdynfyrgenbach wrote to you, presumably first, instead of to the King in Magdal. Your loyalty is not unconditional, nor thoughtless, “Truly, there was none. Tell me, are all the stories of the Galdynfyrgenbach founding so...monstrous?” The word slips out, “Is there no song that portrays them in a better light?”The bard looks uncomfortable, “In the songs written about King Volmere, which are naturally very positive, it is much the same. Galdynfyrgenbach was a vile man, tamed by Volmere's civilizing influence, who betrayed his own and took their leader Frydda as his, fathering a child on her before his and her untimely deaths. Naturally, some claim that calling her a goddess, demi or otherwise, is silly. Even blasphemous. That part could be called questionable. What is also in question is this prophecy. Keep in mind, according to the stories, it was a mere boy who heard and repeated her dying words to the people of his village, people with good reason to resent Vartynen rule. However, let us assume that the story I told you is true in its entirety, who has the current Lady Galdynfyrgenbach betrayed? Who has she raped? Or, as children resemble their fathers, does the taint of her ancestor make her a monster as well? I cannot answer these questions, my purpose is to sing entertaining songs and know the general doings of the realm, not shape the fate of entire provinces.”>[Ask her something else]>[Send her on her way with a hot meal]
>>4514947>Please sing us a song, dealer's choice of course
>>4514947>[Ask her something else]Something that I'm curious of would be what legends of the Swamp or the Mountains have been spread around the other provinces? It's almost certainly going to be biased in our favour, given who she's talking to, but it'd be interesting to hear what the other provinces have for tales about the Absols. Or other classical takes on how the R*ds gained their power.Either way, just one more tale would be enough. We do have other lordly duties to attend to today, and trying out that Smoke Armor spell to get an idea of how it casts would be a good idea.
>>4514947>[Send her on her way with a hot meal]
>>4514947This >>4514955Plus your favorite tale, my fair Lilly.Oh no, why have you done this Wong...
>>4514950I'm also tempted to ask her to play a game of Chess or this universes equivalent
>>4514305It's both a true answer and a copout. There are a couple who, right now, I like better than others. That might change. Liking a girl the BEST matters more in SLQ than in MSPQ, because Jakob is a noble in a monogamous society where having bastards is looked down on (unless you're a Galdaean ruler, they have special rules). This game also has a faster pace (not that you'd know it at this point) than MSPQ, with Company Actions taking place month to month, so if things go well Jakob will be married and have kids midway through his story.
>>4514963>Ask for a game of chess/ chess-like game.It'd be okay, but we do have the R*d delegation to deal with, plus other letters, position appointments, reading, imagining diplomatically inclined sorceress waifus with huge, fertile tracts of land and valleys, and potential plots from cousin dearest to deal with. There's only so much time in the day after all, and we do need to sleep eventually. It's not done to be seen amongst the proles with baggy eyes and wan complexion.
>>4514955I'll give you a tale of the swamp AND the mountain since I actually wrote a mountain story up and it gives me time to write a swamp story while you're reading. Out of curiosity, what other lordly duties did you have in mind?
>>4514963You can always have her back for a game, you've offered her shelter, she'll be around strumming her lyre while you're holding court and such.
>>4514969>Baggy eyes>Need to sleepIt's not like I suggested a game of RISKBesides, best we figure out if Jacob knows a Game of strategy now, so we can challenge that silver haired goat fucker from the mountains to one when he gets here and hopefully fleece him on a bet Now are these Fertile tracks of lands and valleys the same Plots of land Albeda has?
>>4514969>imagining diplomatically inclined sorceress waifus with huge, fertile tracts of land and valleysThis is an important lordly duty that must be done.
“Do you have a favorite song, Lilly?” You ask.She smiles as if you just asked her the most wonderful question in the world, “Yes and no. There are some I sing because they're appropriate, some I sing because they're requested, and some I simply love. I love many songs, my sole act of promiscuity.” She sounds proud of herself. She should be, not all female bards are modest, some can barely sing a note and get by on low-cut bodices and tips from lonely farmers.“Perhaps a tale of the swamp, one that comes from outside, then? Or one of the mountain? Its founding is seldom discussed here in a...dispassionate...way.” It's the most polite way you can say that the filthy Ryds are deservedly hated.Her white teeth flash in a gleaming grin, “Oh my lord, how daring. I'll encourage you. Here is how the people of the mountain tell the founding of their province.” Her fingers dance across the strings, and though one cannot replicate her music in crude writing, here is the tale of Cassian Ryd and the Silver Fox.[Continue]
>>4514975Noice, double story-tiem action.Lordly duties like reviewing our stocks with the castellan, finding a quality Sergeant-at-Arms to decide on training plans for the Last Loyal and assorted garrisons. Other useful things like standing court over some sundry cases that will be brought before us about some arbitrary point of law, or speaking with a diplomatically inclined person over how to deal with the major players that are looking to use our warmages and warriors to solve some of their problems that are coming to roost.Either way, there's always a shit-tonne of work to do, and no matter what steps you take, there's more on the horizon. May as well try to get some of the bulwarks up now to try and divert the majority of the flow to areas that we don't get much of shit about, so that we can focus on gainz and wimmen, like a proper Lord should.
>>4514975Oh, you know. Appointments, preparations, reasearch, adventuring,secret magical harems, tea- what? What did I last say? Tea?Before that? Adventuring?;^)
According to the stories passed down through the family, the Ryd line did not start off as nobles. Cassian, the first Count Ryd, was born in a hut and made his living as a hunter in the Ryd Mountains, which at the time were virtually uninhabited and thought to be worthless. One day, as he walked his favorite trails, he caught a glimpse of a magnificent fox with fur of purest silver. Thinking only of the money to be made from such a fine pelt, he stalked the creature. The beast was clever and cunning beyond reckoning, employing every trick to shake him, yet Cassian was more clever still and had the patience of a stone. Days passed, and he tracked the fox by the light of the sun and moon alike, until at last he drove the weary animal to ground.Much to his surprise, the fox began to weep when it realized its back was to a stony cliff, with the implacable hunter's arrow aimed at its heart. “Alas, that I shall never see another sunset or dance above these hills!” Cried the fox, “Spare me, I beg you, and I shall make you a rich man!”Cassian knew that foxes were tricksters, and yet he lowered his bow. “Just go in peace.” He said, “I have no stomach to kill an animal with the gift of speech, it would be murder.” He put his arrow back in its quiver, unstrung his bow, and turned to trudge empty-handed back to his hut where his hungry children waited.The fox leaped in front of him, “Wait. You show mercy without thought of reward. In truth, I planned to lead you to a valley full of thorny brambles, and make my escape.”“Such is the way of foxes.” Cassian sighed, for he was a hunter and knew the ways of beasts.“Such is the way of foxes.” The fox agreed, “Yet, for your kindness, I will make good on my pledge. Come, and follow close. As you have given up my silver hide, I shall repay you with a metal dearer still.” The fox led Cassian deep into the mountains, to a crevice where some undulation of the earth or the persistent wear of erosion had worn a deep gouge in the stone. Cassian was a poor man, and so it was not until the sun peeked through the clouds and a single ray shone into the crevice that he saw the reflected gleam and understood that he was staring at a wealth of gold beyond his wildest dreams. He emptied his satchel of snares and other hunter's tools, and began scooping the stray nuggets off the ground, when he heard the fox giggling at him.“Silly man. There is no need to grub at them like a badger. If you return home weighed down with gold, the local headman will hear of it and grow suspicious, and you may find your trove stolen out from under you. Take but a little at a time, and heed my plan, for I have devised a scheme...” The fox explained his plan, and Cassian listened, for he was a hunter and knew the fox's cleverness.[Continue]
Over the next few weeks, Cassian feigned having been saving in secret for years. Only his wife knew the truth, and because Cassian had married a good and wise woman, she kept his secret well, and advised him and the fox in the operation of their plan. Cassian opened a trading post with his 'savings' (collected in secret from the crevice) and established himself as a merchant of furs, using the purchasing and sale of other hunters' pelts as an excuse for his newfound wealth.Somehow, everything he did turned to profit. This was in part due to the fact that he and his wife were clever people, and in part due to their hidden reserve of gold. Twenty years passed and Cassian sat at the head of a mercantile empire with his hands in all manner of industries. He loaned capital to the surrounding Counts freely, and won their friendship and support.Over the years, however, a sad thing happened. Cassian's friend, the fox, grew old. Foxes in nature never reach a score of years, and even magical talking foxes do not live forever. This fox, too, had been full-grown when he had met Cassian and had many adventures of his own prior to that fateful chase. For all of his wealth and success, Cassian watched the fox's movements grow slow and painful, saw him struggle to eat and drink, and his heart ached with sorrow. Finally, one day, the fox asked him to go to the cliff where they had first spoken. Cassian accepted. The fox limped alongside him, no longer able to bound and dash as he once had, and sometimes Cassian had to carry him, and that was saddest of all. The last time they had stood together on the cliff, the fox had cried, but this time it was Cassian's beard that was wet with tears.The fox lay panting for a while, then sad, “We've had much fun, my friend. Tricking humans with you, and playing the game you call 'money' has been as fine a time as I could ever have imagined.”“You never had to tally numbers.” Cassian griped.“I fear I never will. One last point I've scored.” The fox grinned. Cassian had never named it, for the fox was a wild animal and had never needed a name. “My days are done, far more than I would have expected.”Cassian sat in silence, for he knew not what to say. He was a clever man, but not given to lies, and he knew better than to deny the fox's words.[Continue]
“Beautiful, isn't it.” The fox said, “This sunset.” He turned his rheumy eyes that had once been so bright and clear to the horizon, “Over these lands where we've spent our lives. It would please me to think that you and your kits would always live and hunt here, once I'm gone. I have one last scheme, if you'll hear me out...but there is one last kindness you must do for me, before it can be done.” The fox spoke, and like all of his schemes, this one was clever, for such is the way of foxes. What he asked broke Cassian's heart, yet it was necessary and kind.Cassian's shoulders shook with grief, but his hands were steady, and his knife was still sharp. The fox's end was dignified and free of pain, for Cassian was still a hunter, and he knew the ways of beasts. Men such as he have a respect for their quarry. As the fox had asked, he took his friend's hide, just as he had first set out to do twenty long years ago, and buried the rest of the body so that it might return to the land the fox had loved to nourish other growing things. He prepared the pelt with his own hands, although his children had grown tall and strong and he had many workers now to assist him. He traveled to the Capitol of the Kingdom of Vartyne, and he presented the marvelous silver fox hide to the king atop a hill of gold. With it he purchased the Ryd mountains, and took the name Cassian Ryd, first Count of Ryd. There was no question of his sigil, either, he placed the silver fox on his standard so that, every day when the wind blew outside the walls of the grand hall he built with the profits from his mines and timber forests and carefully-stewarded fur trade and rivers full of fish, he could see his beloved friend dance above the mountains he had loved in the deep blue twilit skyTo this day, each Lord or Lady Ryd will sit their children down when they are small to tell them the Fox Story, and remind them even when they are grown of the debt represented by that flag. That once they were humble people, and that their lordship comes from a pact between man and beast to be good stewards and protectors of this lovely, isolated domain.[Continue]
>>4514991so the old king just sold our backyard? damn.
>>4515008The king needed money and at the time nobody thought the mountains were anything but a worthless pile of rocks. All of the good land is really hard to get to.
>>4515008>Inb4 Albeda tries to buy the swamp out from under us by allying with the Ryd goat fuckers and using their funds to sway the current King/Princess
>>4515009did our dad got anything or was is it just the king's generous appreciation?
>>4515009>a simple peasant, living off our land>was going to kill a fox, but instead takes advantage of said foxes generosity, and starts stealing our rightful gold>starts a business empire off said stolen gold, completely subsidized operations>the fox has more wits than the man himself>man still butchers and skins his best friend in cold blood after taking advantage of his smarts for years upon years>presents his dead friends' skin to the king, along with our stolen gold to bribe the man for land that's rightfully ours>still has the gall to twist his friends hard work into propaganda that supports his bastardized claim to our stolen land, further desecrating his memory>under this myth's themes, the dragon now has rightful claim to ownership of the mountainsYou literally can't make this shit up.I must say, it's honorable that this current Lord Ryd comes into our swamp to recognize his true lord. Generations late, but better late then never.
>>4515009>The king sold off our land to the R*ds for a fox fur and a mound of gold.Damn son, no wonder we were so pissed about it. The goat fuckers illegally mined our hills for 20 years, poached a rare silver-furred talking fox, and gave their illegitimate gains to the king when he just so happened to be a bit short on cash? Smells like grounds for rightful reclamation in my books.
>>4515017He did NOT get accused of hiding a taxable gold mine from the king. Also, this was NOT your dad's time, probably about two generations after Amadeus Absol became the first Lord Absol.
>>4514991>humble people>their lordship comes from a pact between man and beast to be good stewards and protectors of this lovely, isolated domainToo Kek, as the dragon is a beast, and they have so obviously failed in their lordship and protection duties that they have to ask their former Lords for help in managing and protecting the mountains. The irony is... delicious.
>>4515029oof that means the kingdom recognize the legitimacy of the Ryds then and no amount of old documents would change that.although, it would be a shame if the kingdom lose it's power and influence in the northern lands.. and a new kind of government takes it's place..
>>4515035Traitors get Toaded
>>4515035Shush, you. Traitors get toaded. Although it would be a shame if the next king had an eye in his heraldry... for them. ;^)
"So the King sold our lands to one of our subjects who paid for it in our own gold." You cross your arms, your voice flat. "This is clearly propaganda from those goat-botherers to justify their own theft and poaching.""How do they bother the goats?" Lilly flutters her eyelashes, wearing an expression of perfect, feigned innocence. "I'll tell you when you're older." You respond, crossing your arms, "...His friend did all the hard work, Cassian just took advantage of it until he didn't need him anymore, killed him, cried crocodile tears over it, used his pelt as part of the downright villainous bribe that cost us half our province...""More than half." Lilly corrects you.You grit your teeth, "MORE than half, and then he has the gall to use this desecration as propaganda and feed it to his children at the teat." You slam your fist down on the table, "By that logic the DRAGON has rightful claim to the ownership of the mountains! I must say, it's honorable that they're sending a delegation to recognize their true lord! Better late than NEVER!"Lilly smiles and strums her lyre invitingly, "Peace, my lord. Perhaps a tale of young love will soothe you? It does take place in your domain, after all..."[Continue]
>>4515039Well, you probably would actually know that King Ulrich's only child that you've heard of is a girl.
>>4515042Oh god, why you do dis? Now we need to see if she's worthy of us! So many waifus, and we haven't even met any of them!
>>4515048We've met one already......and no, I don't mean you, Grandmama.Not you either, Cailm.
>>4515042>Only child we heard of is a girl.Calling it now, potential King's bastard sub-plot, or hidden heir coming out of the woodworks when his health takes a turn for the worse. Probably propped up by R*ddish gold and Schwaltzwood influence to put some more Frontier-province friendly people on the throne.
>>4515051Albeda is not REALLY blood related, she's a distant cousin by marriage, so you won't get Hapsburg babies.
>>4515058Sidenote, you've technically met two, since Lilly is also one. She has no political power, obviously, but she has high social stats and probably Esoteric Techniques related to her bardwork.
Once upon a time, there was a girl. She was the daughter of her village's headwoman, and widely loved, for she was clever and quick-tongued and pretty. Every night, her parents, her uncle, and the wise men and women of her village would sit and pose questions to her, or invite her into their discussions, and chuckle at her wit. Whenever they especially wanted to laugh, they would suggest to her father that it was time to marry her off to this boy or that boy, just to watch her grow fierce and deny them in a huff, her tongue sharp as a poniard as it pricked every flaw of her chosen suitor. “He loves his mirror so, how could I compete?” She would say, or “With a girth like his, our children would be as catapult stones, how could my slim arms hope to swaddle them?” She wrapped her insults in self-deprecation, but she was quite proud.Her father had a fine orchard of mulberry trees, and when they were in season she would often flit down from the upper levels of the village where she lived and sample the sweet fruit. If caught, she would put her hands on her hips, thrust her chest out, and grandly proclaim that it was her duty to do so, for if the quality suffered so would her worth as a bride. Inevitably, whoever caught her would laugh and let her do as she wished, knowing that her father didn't mind anyway. One fine morning, she had just entered the grove, when she caught a boy there stuffing his face with mulberries.She waited imperiously to be noticed, but though his gaze flicked to her, he simply continued with his stolen meal.She cleared her throat, and at last he spoke, “Honey and lemon juice will clear that sore throat right up.” Her nose wrinkled in affontment, noticing his plain clothes. If he had been a sorcerer of the village, she would have recognized him at once, and he was surely no warrior, lacking armor and billhook as he did. “Boy.” She warned him, “Those are my father's mulberries. Take what doesn't belong to you, and you'll get switched.” [Continue]
“My buttocks are right here.” He challenged her, “But those who brandish switches are liable to get pinched.” He leered.Flustered as she was, her rebuke was as a thunderbolt, but his smile dispersed it, leaving only a blushing girl and smiling boy. Such is the way of things between young men and young women in the Absol swamps, sometimes. With the ozone smell of the lightning stroke still hanging in the air, she crossed her arms and exclaimed scathingly, “Thief.”“If you blush over thieves, then I'll wear that gladly, but these are clearly my rightful mulberries.” He said, shoving another handful into his mouth. “And how is that, thief-boy?” She tapped her foot, but as the ground of the swamps is naturally rather soft, it had little effect.“Because I'm holding them.” He winked at her. “Hold a charge.” She replied, as the rising winds whipped her dark hair behind her shoulders, and sparks crackled on her tongue. The boy fled, his hood full of pilfered fruit and lightning licking at his heels. The sound of his laughter made her cheeks burn and rang in her ears all the way home. That night at dinner, she responded with little more than grunts no matter how clever the provocation, and her parents exchanged nervous glances while the girl picked at her food. [Continue]
>>4515062this is about mom isn't it?
>>4515062>>4515065>Man, all these men in the area are chumps, ugly, fools, or a combination of all three.>Gonna go eat some mulberries, gotta make sure that the harvest is good, don'tchaknow.>Fucking peasant boy eating my fruit, gonna wait grumpily until he notices and treat him like shit accordingly.>Bastard's just eating berries hand over fist. Fucking prick. Better let him know I'm here.>"Honey and lemon juice?" Fuck you scrub, get off my land.>Bastard's got bantz, better zap him to show him who's boss.>Fucker couldn't run off in fear, no. Asshole had to laugh the whole way off. Sonovabitch, he'd better stay clear if he knows what's good for him. Why does that seem so hot tho?Ah, the whimsy of fate and romance.
The next day, she woke up when the mists hung heavy over the moors, muttered a spell, and floated out of her window, riding the winds like a vengeful ghost down to the mulberry grove and perching on a high branch, arms folded and scowl firmly affixed to her face, daring the trespasser to once again show himself. “Black-hearted devil, I'll blast you to flinders if you so much as take one berry.” She vowed, “Mother is baking pies, and I won't miss a single bite.” “Aren't I doing you a favor? You'll get sick and cry if you try to fly with a bellyful of pie.” The boy, who had seemingly slipped straight from the shadows behind her, asked through a mouthful of mulberries.“You'll die, aye, so goodbye.” She responded, and once more thunderclaps echoed beneath the cloudless sky. Although she chased him away again, he had once more secured a fine hoodfull of her favorite treat, and her mood was foul as foul gets. She threw herself at her magical studies that day, and her uncle, for his part, was impressed. Her mother, however, was worried. “She's not herself.” The headwoman groused to her younger brother, “She's as gloomy as a thunderhead, rather than fresh as summer rain.”“You worry too much.” The girl's uncle stroked his beard, “Perhaps she's simply met a boy, finally?”The headwoman snorted, “Nonsense, I'll have just as hard a time marrying her off as our mother did with you.”“Pray it isn't so.” The girl's uncle replied, with a rare smile. [Continue]
>>4515060>Lilly is a Waifu candidateSince she lacks magic does she have the alternative requirement for a waifu who isn't a mage Abs ?
>>4515095Personality? Charm? Wit? Admit it, we could do worse...Damnit Cailm, I didn't mean you!
>>4515095well just imagine if you have a dad with max public speaking and a mother with a max singing>>4515060https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bSk-8C76dci know she's young but how good is her voice?
>>4515114 And then the kid was an introvert that has panic attack around more than six people Kid Could learn a magic school that uses singing though
Day after day, the thief returned. Day after day, the girl drove him off with lightning. Yet, she was too young by the traditions of her village to attune and grow her wings, and by the time she had readied a bolt, he would always be poised to scamper. It drove her to obsession. Like a general defending a fortress, she plotted maps of the orchard, learning every path in and out, spent more time patrolling it than she did enjoying the berries or the view. She scarcely noticed, when a herald arrived in her village one evening, and told her mother that Lord and Lady Gwelm of Gwelm Island to the west had perished in a shipwreck, and that Lord and Lady Absol would be traveling there to attend the funeral and ensure the well-being of the new Lady Gwelm, Petrine, then little more than a babe. After all, it didn't concern her, and she had a plan. She wove her spells, and the next morning dawned heavy with clouds and fog. This time, she didn't try to stop the mulberry thief, but flew high overhead, scowling, waiting. She watched him gorge himself, but before the sun was high, he departed on his own. She followed, like a hawk stalking a rabbit, waiting for him to drop his guard so she could blast him unconscious. Much to her surprise, he made his way to a little camp outside of town, broke down his tent, packed it up, and left. She had cast the slow spell of flight, one that lasts for hours, so she had few worries as she stalked him. Despite the fact that he seemed to be leaving her village and her mulberry trees, she was driven by something she could find no explanation for, beyond a need to know where he came from and where he was going. Mile by mile he traveled, like a natural creature of the swamp, until the sun was setting and he pitched his camp again. Shielding her eyes against the sunset, the girl spotted the spire of Castle Briarfast in the distance, and took a few minutes to work out her way home before realizing something terrible. Her spell had expired while she was focused on her quarry, and as she felt herself drop from the sky she knew that she was about to expire too. A cry burst from her lips unbidden, yet scarcely had she fallen than a tendril of smoke from the boy's campfire twisted into a sloping slide that sent her tumbling harmlessly downward until she landed into his arms. “Thief!” She gasped, then she noticed that he was no longer wearing plain clothes, but rather fine if rumpled silks and a cloak pinned with a brooch in the shape of the Absol eye.He sighed wearily, “I told you I have a right to those mulberries. I can't even save my woman without her yelling at me...”“And what, pray tell, makes me your woman?” She said, rancor fading.He looked down at her, and smiled, “Because I'm holding you.”“Hold a charge, my lord.” She replied, and gave him a kiss more electrifying than any storm.[Continue]
You'd known who this story was about from the first mention of mulberries. There was always mulberry pie on the anniversary of your parents' wedding, and it definitely explains some of their jests. This story should have been a lot more awkward, but instead it's charming. Lilly has a voice that ripples with sweetness, as resonant as her lyre when she gets into her tale-telling, capable of a broad palate of emotion and tone.Normally, you would be thinking about how strange it is to picture Arnveis the Black stealing mulberries and songs being sung about it, but it's hard not to think about those brilliant blue eyes, or the small, intensely personal smile on her lips when she sees how you've been drawn into her tale. She bows, wordlessly, hugging her lyre to her bosom, “...I hope it made you happy.” She says. It's what she doesn't says that matters, though, or even imply. She didn't say 'I hope it made you happy as my patron and thus will shower me in gold and luxuries'. She didn't say 'I hope it made you happy, because I'm willing to change it to flatter your family more'. She didn't say 'I hope it made you happy, as a tribute to your dead father'. She said those six little words precisely, and in the way a master swordsman hits only what he means to, she said only what she meant to, and meant only what she said. You must have told her, without saying so. A faint nod of your head perhaps, or something in your eyes, for her smile becomes abruptly radiant, and her blue eyes flash, “May I give you a gift, my lord?”>[Yes you may]>[T-that isn't n-necessary...]
>>4515154>[T-that isn't n-necessary...]y-you to
>>4515154>[Yes you may]But it's ok to stutter abit before stating confidently.
>>4515154>[Yes you may]I swear Cailm is lurking around the corner snickering at us and waiting to Bust in with a "I warned you about girls batting their eyes Bro!"
>>4515169Your bro called it.
“Yes you m-may.” You did not just stutter, anyone who says otherwise will be toaded. You need to learn a spell to turn people into toads, it has to exist somewhere. If people think you can do that, if Lilly thinks you can do that, you don't want to disappoint them. “Then I shall. Someone must have told me once that bards are liars and exaggerators. I don't know when, or in what context, or if it was just some implication I picked up...but I've always hated that idea. Fiction can be told honestly, if you're truthful about what it is, and music is music, it doesn't have to be deceitful. What I'm saying, or rather edging carefully around, is that I'm going to be honest with you.” She plucks a few strings of her lyre, a little musical womp-womp-wooomp making fun of how cautious she's being.“I was told that you were...a shy, shut-in boy. Not prone to conversation, always reading at the table, hardly a proper courtier.” She smiles rather fondly at the book sitting by your stack of letters, “I was in Huskerly village, taking a break from playing, when you gave that speech and fought that other mage. It was so unlike what I heard, I had to know more, so I broke my usual rule about coming within offending distance of a noble and visited the castle town, to sate my curiosity. When your man said you were looking for a bard to tell him about Galdynfyrdenbach, my hand shot up so fast it nearly lifted me skyward. I wasn't expecting a gentle, sincere man with a sense of humor. Scoff at me for interfering, but I'm not being condescending when I say I want to protect you a little. Real courtly life would eat you alive, my lord, but if you let me help you, I think I can fix that. Some conversational practice, a bit of work on your social cues...I don't want to change you, but I do want the rest of the kingdom to see what I see.” Her eyes meet yours again.>[I would like that]>[I am PERFECTLY FINE at talking to GIRLS!]
>>4515186>[I would like that]I'm not dignifying the the other answer with a response.
>>4515186>[I would like that]Damn you Floofy Bard, you've strong armed us by Exploiting our weakness for Batted Eyes
>>4515186Did Cailm claim I was a NEET? Wtf, Bro? I thought you had my back.
>>4515199Wait...... >>4515198Okay, we need to ask>Did you happen to meet a man named Cailm last night in Huskrly?
>>4515186>>[I would like that]>calim 1 sec laterhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoidDCbR1OwI TOLD YOU BRO
And now to explain Exp Packages. They're something I came up with this week, to address a natural problem of exp expenditure by vote. Naturally, people are usually going to vote for improving Jakob's core strengths and ability to wreck things with magic. That's fine and normal. At the same time, though, as a single-player Reign game there will be significant downtime in which part of a month is passing, and only getting a few exp per ingame month is pretty slow. Thus, exp packages.What these represent is training and spending time with certain NPCs in your court. Generally speaking, if you don't choose a particular option this time, it will remain an option next time, perhaps fixed if it is particularly disliked for some reason. Not picking a particular NPC's exp package will not make them sad or dislike you, you are still presumably spending a certain baseline amount of time with them. These are separate from your usual exp gain and expenditures, and are generally in things you aren't focused on (except with sorcerer NPCs, who sometimes teach spells).For example, Lilly might give you Fascinate +2, Empathy +2 (totaling 8 exp). Cailm might give you Ride +2, Scrutinize +2 (8 exp). Arad might give you Strategy +1, Tactics +1, Lore +1 (8 exp)Grandmama might give you Intimidate +2, Empathy +1, 1 Intensity 2 spell of her choice (8 exp)
“I would like that.” You smile back at her, but you can't hold back the sheer weight of the question pressing down on your mind, “Who told you I'm a shut in? Wait, did he have blonde hair and a longbow?” Oh you are going to roast Cailm for this. Roast him alive. “Shut in is perhaps not the most accurate term.” She dodges the question magnificently, “More that you aren't as social as, say, a Schwaltz or a Gwelm, let alone one of the Old Vartynen lords who don't have an entire province to manage.” She smiles, “It isn't a bad thing. In fact, if you don't mind listening to me practicing my lyre, I wouldn't mind watching you practice your magic. I've never really been able to observe a sorcerer up close, before, let alone one like you.” She sits on the edge of one of the subordinate tables, gazing up at you in your high seat. >[Invite her to the high table with you]>[Let her stay where she is]>[Tell her that her lyre practice is bothering you and you'll come find her when you want her]
>>4515228weren't she getting food?>[Tell her that her lyre practice is bothering you and you'll come find her when you want her]
>>4515228>Let her decide where to sit herselfIt'll be interesting to see her choice.
>>4515228>[Let her stay where she is]I want to invite her to the big kids table But I can't shake the feeling that she'd knife us and this is somehow a set upShadowrunning hard here
>>4515238I don't think she'll knife us, but I'm wondering if inviting her up there would be too forward, in a sense. But I'm more comfortable letting her decide where to seat herself.
>>4515228Frankly though, I guess the bigger question would be if we were planning on practicing some magic now or were planning on doing more lordly stuff atm.
>>4515245You've already spent the 8 exp for Smoke Armor, Minor Smoke Structure, and Possession: Plate Armor. You just flat out have those spells, now. Let me screenshot them for you.
>>4515228>[tell her you aren't about to practice your magic right now, but she is welcome to join you when next you do]She is nice and all, but again I'd advise against leaving the travelling gossip within earshot of matters of state we do not wish shared. Also pleas don't fall for first girl syndrome.
Look at what a massive spell Minor Smoke Structure is. Also Major Smoke Form got screenshotted as well and I didn't bother to edit it out, it's just Minor Smoke Form but better with a higher Intensity.
>>4515255>>4515258Alright. Is we're practicing some magic, better give her a show then!Make sure to craft a smoke flower for her for her beautiful preforemace, before or after we practice magic.
>>4515256Wouldn't first girl be Albeda Or even Grandmama?
Speaking of lordly stuff...So, you have a few options for what you can do with the Absol Swamp itself, this month.Your Company stats: Might 3, Treasure 2, Influence 2, Territory 1, Sovereignty 2Every Company action rolls a pool of two of those stats combined, plus bonuses or penalties for things that happened on the personal level. Every roll made in this fashion lowers the involved stats by 1 each for the remainder of the month. For example, let's say you attack another Company. No subterfuge, no rumors at court, no false flag terrorist attacks on their main city. You roll Might+Treasure (Attack) plus any bonuses against their Might+Territory (Defend). They have a few options on how to handle the roll, from playing entirely defensively to charging your attackers and trying to kill as many as possible, but regardless the goal is to inflict permanent minuses on their Company stats. Regardless of how the roll goes, you have -1 Might and -1 Treasure for the rest of the month, while they have -1 Might and -1 Territory. You have a few things you can do this month, I'll post the total list of Company Actions another time.Policing, Might+Sovereignty (5d). You know Albeda is going to try an assassination attempt on you. If you take advantage of that and make preparations for it, you could conceivably turn it back on her and do damage to some of her company stats. She will oppose this with Might+Influence. You're getting a MD on this roll for an insanely lucky Clearwater Prophet cast. If you remember, right after seeing you passed, I rolled something. That was to see the topic of the prophecy, and the results could literally only refer to this planned “hope you're ready for things to get serious” assassination attempt. Being Informed, Influence+Sovereignty (4d). Albeda's Coven is hiding somewhere in your swamp, this is unacceptable. You can send out scouts, spies, Stormtongues, and post bounties on information throughout your domain to ferret her out and render her vulnerable to a more straightforward, conventional attack. She will oppose this with Influence+Treasure. If you want a bonus on this roll, you will need to earn it first, even if that's just with some lucky divination rolls.
>>4515258>>4515255we grey lantern now, we can even make a power battery smoke dispenser.
>>4515271Improving the Culture, Territory+Treasure (3d). A good lord needs the love and support of his people. This is one of several types of rolls that improve a specific Company stat permanently. Roll Territory+Treasure with a difficulty of your current Sovereignty (so 2, so any set will beat it because sets are always at least two dice Wide). Succeed, and your Sovereignty goes up by 1, permanently, capping at 5. You can also roll against no difficulty (any set will do) for a temporary +1 that lasts until the end of the month, but because at Sovereignty 2 any set will do anyway you might as well shoot for the permanent one. This is represented ingame with things like fixing the roads, throwing a grand festival, or blasting the first person to speak against your rule with lightning before drinking with your people. You're getting a MD on this roll, too, for your remarkable success in that situation. Rise in Stature, Sovereignty+Treasure (4d). Exactly like Improving the Culture, only it improves Influence. What can YOU think of doing that might increase your standing outside your domain? Train and Levy Troops, Sovereignty+Territory (3d). Raise the dead, marshall the siege mages, summon the wolves, call up your fierce levies. Exactly like Improving the Culture, only it improves Might. It however cannot be used for temporary raises to Might, permanent ones only. Keep in mind that the order you do these in matters because rolling depletes those stats. This isn't a formal vote, yet, this is a "read and discuss because knowing what Company Actions you want to do determines what you'll want to do next". For instance, if you really want Might 4, you need to do something impressive in the field of training and levying troops to succeed with that low dice pool.
>>4515267She might not technically be first, though we haven't actually interacted with Albeda in person yet. But she is most certainly first friendly even flirty girl we interact with directly, giving us more than a vague outline of a person.
You let her stay where she is, and smile wryly, “Ah, if I was going to practice, I would have the hearth lit first, for working materials. Later, though, certainly.”She smiles and nods.>[Read a book]>[Read the next letter in the pile, you have Balam Ledo's and Petrine Gwelm's letters still to read]
>>4515281>[Read the next letter in the pile, you have Balam Ledo's and Petrine Gwelm's letters still to read]We should finish both letters first, shouldn't we lads? I say we start with Gweln.
>>4515281>>[Read the next letter in the pile, you have Balam Ledo
>>4515281>>[Read the next letter in the pile, you have Balam Ledo's and Petrine Gwelm's letters still to read]Ledo
You open the letter from Lord Balam. It's kind of wrinkled, with the characteristic spots of parchment that has been rained on. Curious. You open it up. The handwriting is remarkably good, but it's got that odd slanting and unevenness you see when someone has to write using a surface other than a desk. Like Lord Ralf's letter, it's correctly addressed to you.'Lord Jakob Absol, I wish we were meeting under better circumstances.'Odd, very few formalities.'Rather, I wish we were meeting face-to-face as I originally planned. My housemen and I crossed the border three days ago, planning to ride to Briarfast and see your father off properly. We lost many of our own in the same way, and when I heard Lord Arnveis had been afflicted I knew the next Lord Absol we spoke to would be his son. I am so sorry, boy. It's a damned hard thing to lose a parent, and nothing I can say will make it any softer. Keep your shield up, it hits you slow, when you don't expect it, when something reminds you of them, when you turn around and they're not there. Just the space they used to occupy. I want you to know, first of all, that you have a friend in the Ledo Plains. If there is anything I can do to help, you name it, and on my honor as a knight I'll see it done. We have our own problems, but barbarian raids are nothing new, and our lances are the sharper. Now, as I said, we crossed the border, so why are we not at your castle now, right? Truth is, three nights in, our guards spotted a number of large wolves, behaving right suspicious. Watching us in ways natural animals don't. Observing us. Well, we tightened our perimeter, kept our heads on a swivel, calmed the horses, and pressed on. It was not until we reached the village of Dampmeade that we realized something was wrong. We rode in openly, flying our banners, and were met with surprising suspicion and hostility. The people seemed frightened, and there were many who, despite wearing plain clothes, acted like guards, ordering the folk inside and coming to meet us themselves. They gave off a scent that the horses didn't like, and their leader, the only one of the bunch not trying to hide that he was a mage, told us gruffly that Lady Albeda was the true Absol and the real master of the swamp, in accordance with the Old Ways and tradition. Now I know bunk when I hear it, but I had my men to consider, and so I took the easy route, gave some line of garbage about how I couldn't interfere in another province's contest of succession, and made my way home. I took the time to write this, though, and hand it to a peddler with a purse of gold and the promise of more next time he made his way to my keep. You are Lord Arnveis' son and the rightful heir, and nothing some wolf-lover says will change that. You have my full support, and my lance if it comes to that.Sincerely, Lord Balam Ledo, Ledo Plains, etc.'[Continue]
...and we will continue this later, sleep is calling ol' Wong's name.
>>4515344Night, Wong. Have sweet dreams.
>>4515305Balam is such a Chad.>>4515344CYA
>>4515275>Rise in Stature>What can YOU think of doing that might increase your standing outside your domain?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HXW3gRpnFkwe as the LORD of the swamp will loudly declare our full support to the north, not only with provisions and arms but we ourselves will lead an army, we can even dress our normal infantry as mages to make it look like majority of our forces are marching out.
>>4515271>>4515275We should either do Policing, to stop the latest assassination attempts and damage Albeda's Coven's reputation among the people (Lowering Sovereignty and potentially Might by crushing her minions and showing her to be an underhanded thief), or raising taking advantage of the MD to Improve Culture. Sovereignty seems to be a really useful stat to boost up, since it's used to improve a lot of other Company skills permanently. If we get it to 3 now, that will help balance out our shitty Territory rolls for a bit, and make it easier to raise Influence or Might in the future if we need a bit more oomph in dealing with Galdynfyrgenbach's problems or sending some magical aid to the R*ds in exchange for some goods and services. Plus, helping out a lady in need or proving that R*ddish gold isn't nearly as useful to the realm as Absol Smoke and Steel should net us bonuses if we want to boost our Influence later.>>4515305Ledo proves that Plains Lord is Based Lord. We've already got a small lead that the Coven is based near the Ledo Plains from Braidbeard earlier, and this letter gives us a town name. We should probably swing a delegation visit over to Dampmeade to swing some traitors before they catch on.
>>4515271>>4515275>>4515501I agree especially considering we get a master dice, which means we can at least get one pair.Either that or Improving culture since the master dice makes that a guaranteed success.But if I understand correctly we can do both, since they use different stats. Is my understanding that we can take several company actions a month, but only use each stat towards one action?
>>4515507Reading over the previous thread for things we may have missed, found a post about multiple actions here. >>4492254Not sure how it works with Company rolls, but it sounds like it uses the smallest dice pool with a -1 for each action taken past the first. If we go Policing + Improve Culture, it'd be a 2d10 pool, since the smaller pool is 3d, -1 for two actions. We have Master Die for both actions to help sway it, but we'd be relying a lot on what comes up, to make sure it's High enough for the Pentacle's counter-action to not effect it. If we get a bit lucky with a pair that can be boosted to a 3xWhatever set though, it could kick off fast enough that they can't do shit about it.Of course, this all relies on if Company Rolls work the same as Personal Rolls for multiple actions. I don't really care if we want to go big, but thought I should mention it so that the other anons are more informed in their choices.
>>4515531It works differently for Companies...usually. There are situations in which you make a Multiple Action roll, though. For example, if you're directly attacked (Might+Treasure) and defend against it (Might+Territory), it's like being attacked in one-on-one combat. You can make an attacking roll of your own (in personal combat this would be Weapon or Fight), in which case the faster set resolves first and knocks a die out of one of the other team's sets (they get to pick in the event of scoring multiple sets), this is risky because it's entirely possible you both get a set through and successfully damage the other. You can fight defensively, the equivalent of rolling Dodge or Parry against an attack, in which case any sets you produce are gobble dice that cancel out enemy sets if your set is both sufficiently high and wide enough to do so. Or you can take a multiple action, to both attack and defend, taking a -1 penalty to your total pool for the ability to apply any sets you roll to either offense or defense against your assailants. This last one is not highly recommended right now, when your total pool on defense is 4d.>>4515507You can do as many as you want, but keep in mind that each use temporarily depletes the stats involved. So for example, the Ala Mhigan Resistance has Influence 2, Might 3, Treasure 2. They launch an Unconventional Warfare (Might+Influence) attack on Mad King Theodoric. They roll 5 dice for this. However, their Might is reduced to 2 for the rest of the month, and their Influence to 1. They then make a conventional Attack (Might+Treasure) on Theodoric's capital of Ala Mhigo, rolling 4 dice (2 Might plus 2 Treasure). They succeed, and as this is after a long and hard-fought campaign against a hated tyrant, they finally succeed in destroying King Theodoric's Ala Mhigan Loyalist faction (either by reducing its Soverereignty to 0, or two of its other stats to 0). The rebels have time for a good cheer, before receiving word that the mighty Garlean Empire, who may have low-key been funding their revolt, is sending the Fourteenth Legion to conquer them. With their Might, Treasure, and Influence all reduced to 1, they stand little chance of successfully making a stand or diplomatically appealing (with Influence+Treasure) to the nearby Eorzean Alliance for help. Ala Mhigo is conquered, and its people reduced to either serfdom or the status of obnoxious refugees in those Alliance lands that will take them.
>>4515543Thanks a lot Wong, it clears up a lot of the mechanics that I was unsure on.Since it'll lower our stats, I recommend only doing one of the options right now. There's been a lot of unconventional attacks from Albeda, so she's probably been depleting a lot of her Faction's Might and Influence. If we go with Policing, we could potentially lower one or both to 0 depending on the sets gained, and blow apart the Pentacle. Still really tempted to Improve Culture though, but it'll reduce Territory to 0 and Treasure to 1, which leaves us in a dicey position if things get bad soon.If we go with both, our stats will be at Might 2, Treasure 1, Influence 2, Territory 0, and Sovereignty 1 (2 if the Culture boost kicks in right away).>Improve Culture.Mainly going to be gambling that Albeda is going to try and spend more time recovering from the attacks to be able to take advantage of our weakened state. Winning those hearts and minds will help stave off the next clump of attacks before we sweep in and crush them like dogs, especially since future Police actions will be at Might 3 and Sovereignty 3 at the beginning.
>>4515305Would reading Ledo's letter give use a bonus to the Being Informed company action? He's telling us where a known group of rebels are at, so our spies have somewhere to start.
>>4515501>Smoke and Steel>not Smoke and MirrorsWe have the magic, and the books... ... and the character inspiration of Lelouch and Kazuma.We can make this work, lads.
Gonna say I'm sad that I'm loving this quest so far. Definitely falling for first girl syndrome but bard is a cute dammit. Even if she might stab us sometime down the line, because we need to be paranoid about that.
>>4515563I guess the real question to my vote is wether the Improving Culture MD will disappear anyway without us using it.I would also like to mention that Albeda is most likely acting on her own, just from the lack of any other obvious rivals (like, stated rivals), since they seem like literal magical swamp terrorrists advocating for the return of the good old days (of tyranny, human sacrifices, tribal wars, and cult fanatisism), and really, who among our neighbors really want that on their doorstep, especially with their own internal problems atm.>>4516078What? Lilly? Perish the thought......Et tu, Lil?
>>4516078Donno why the heck sad crept into there. /facepalmThat being said, I'll put a vote for>Improve Culture.
Didn't think we were voting on the company actions just yet, but if we are I'd be inclined to:>Improve Culture>Policingin that order.We gotta take advantage of the master die while we have them, right?
>Improve cultureIs this the setting where all men ride sidesaddle?
>>4516118My thoughts exactly. We can wait until the assassination attempt to pull the policing action, and we already know where two sources of Pentagram are, which will help immensely.Frankly, I'm tempted to learn Glass Diplomat for a literal Smoke and Mirrors for the assassination shenanigans.>>4515275>What can YOU think of doing that might increase your standing outside your domain?A literal magical college (with some minor programs in non-magical studies, ruins, archeology Indian Jones style, history, etc). It's an interesting idea, and not just for the memes (though the Absol Toads sounds like a baller sports team [not considering a Shrek-like mascot]). It would work on multiple levels, and have it become a prestigious institution in time (forget Ivy League, think Briar League).
>>4516194I would like to add that I think it would be hilarious to see a gender-bent Indian Jones go explore some ruins with our gender-bent Lara Croft protagonist.Unless the Lara Croft version isn't gender-bent... ;^)
>>4516130No. Literacy is also a bit more common.
>>4515563Keep in mind, Albeda's assassination attempt will lower her stats, too, specifically Might and Influence. This is assuming you don't take that MD and crush more numbers out of her pool.>>4515940It gives you a place to start, but you get bonuses for things YOU do, generally. What you know so far is that Brother Gloam struck out due South from Briarfast Castle when he left Grandmama. You also know that Dampmeade, your easternmost village out of the handful you control, is under the direct thumb of the Pentacle, presumably Brother Grey, and they're being a lot bolder than they were in Huskerly. Furthermore, you know that due south of Castle Briarfast is an abandoned tower near the possibly uninhabited village of Weeptree, while southwest of Castle Briarfast is another ruin called the Well once used as a refuge by the Shadowbinders. Whether Dampmeade, the Lake Tower, or the Well are where the Pentacle is laired, or whether their forces are split, is something you don't currently know. You've got three more Clearwater Prophet castings this month, and can probably think of a few solutions beyond that to enhance your roll if you use Being Informed.Regarding why it's just a handful, the swamp is sparsely populated and bigger on a map than it is in raw population, a lot of your Might score comes from the individual quality of your soldiers combined with the fact that one good sorcerer can replace a large number of rank-and-file troops. A relatively small force of competent Sorcerers is a massive force multiplier. As a side-note, your Territory WOULD be more than 1 if you had control of all of your villages and weren't dealing with Albeda's rebellion.
So it looks like we've come down to a few options. >[Improve the Culture]>[Policing]>[Both]After this vote and the events of it resolve, I'll hold another vote on whether you do any of the other options or relax on it for the rest of the month.
>>4516766As an aside, if you do both, Improve the Culture will resolve first since it will improve Policing's dice pool.
>>4516766>[Both]Go big or go home.
>>4516766>>[Both]who would we be if we didn't?
>>4516766>Both.If we don't use those MD, we're probably gonna lose them. May as well try and get ahead now and press the advantage.
Alright, alright...start rolling those dice.
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4517845
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4517845
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4517845
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4517845More for the heap!>>4517848A promising start, since we've got MD to make a set of 10.Hey Wong, for Company actions, do counter-actions kind of work like they do with Personal actions, where you have to at least as Wide to counter in time, and High enough to be able to affect it? Just idly curious while waiting on the dice to roll in.
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4517845Dice for the Dice Master!
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>4517845
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4517845
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>451784510/10
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4517845More... dice...
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4517845Master Dice, we must stop Spinner!No, my students. First, we must finish our pizza!
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4517845>pic related to Wong's crippling dice addiction.
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4517845
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4517845Oh, how the Dice Gods have been bountiful!
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4517845A pair of 10's and triple 9'sGood showing guys
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4517845
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4517845>>4517944Which raises the question of Is using the Master Die to boost a pair of 10's to triple 10's or using it to boost to quad 9's better?
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4517845>>4517955Don't know, but I trust the lads here.
Rolled 3, 9, 6, 3, 8 = 29 (5d10)>>4517866I sort of answered that but not completely enough. There are a few ways to resolve a contest. What you just described is typically how a defensive roll works, when you're trying to stop someone from hitting you or casting a spell on you. However, you can also just go "nah not gonna defend" and attack, because hitting successfully knocks a die out of one of the remaining sets.For instance, let's say Tud and Glod are fighting. Tud and Glod are both well-armored and brawny savages, so they throw defense to the winds and don't bother making their attacks a Multiple Action with Fight and Parry, content instead to do multiple-action attacks against each other, each trying to hit the other twice with Body+Fight. In combat, Width has primacy because it represents speed, with sets of the same Width resolving in order of Height. Tud gets a 4x3 and a 2x2, while Glod gets a 3x1 and a 2x10. Tud's strike resolves first, and he knocks a die out of one of Glod's sets. Glod gets to pick which one, and he picks the 3x1, making it a 2x1. His 2x10, then, is the next fastest of the remaining sets, so it resolves next. He knocks a die out of Tud's 2x2, which makes it no longer a set (you can't have a Width 1 set, since a set requires two or more matching dice). Then Glod's 2x1 resolves. That said, you're absolutely right about what happens HERE. Any sets Albeda gets will become gobble dice. If they're wide enough to match the speed of your best set, and at least as high as it, each one of her gobble dice cancel out one of yours, potentially ruining multiple sets. >>4517848>>4517860>>4517865>>4517866>>4517872A 3x10 (thanks to the MD, I assume you want to boost your highest set) and a 2x4. Not too shabby. I did some rolls for Albeda offscreen, she's acting with bonuses of her own.
Rolled 6, 5, 2 = 13 (3d10)
Small fuckup, you actually did better than that. See, what you're doing is effectively the "lure them into a trap" option of policing which I hadn't previously noticed in the text, granting greater rewards. >>4517955>>4517965The thing about it is that Company dice pools are rather small. Policing rolls Might+Sovereignty, which for you is a total of 6 after Improving the Culture on the first roll, 4 on the second (Policing has a second roll, which I forgot about. I was GOING to put it to a vote on whether you wanted to do it, but you then proceeded to get 2x9 and 2x2 on a 4 dice pool). I didn't bother with a roll for Improve the Culture, with a MD and Sovereignty 2 it was literally impossible to fail, since a MD guarantees a set and any set will do.The long and short of it is this. Albeda loses 1 Might PERMANENTLY, 1 Influence PERMANENTLY, and 1 ISovereignty temporarily. By the rules that would normally be a temporary Influence loss, but Sovereignty makes more sense here. If you did a successful Being Informed roll you might know what that leaves her stats at, but it's not good for her. You've gained a point, she's lost two. To conquer her, you must reduce at least two of her stats to 0 permanently, one of which must be Territory or Sovereignty.You're at Might 3 (1), Treasure 2 (1), Influence 2, Territory 1 (0), Sovereignty 3 (1). The numbers in parentheses indicate the temporary values, which will go back to full at the end of the month. There will be frequent timeskips where you're JUST spending your days reading, settling disputes over who owns a prize pig, and doing divinations. In fact, I'll write something up to that effect now.You've done very well dealing with this ambush, but...you still have to survive the actual fight. It's entirely possible you roll amazingly here and then the chimera slaughters you.
>>4517978>That said, you're absolutely right about what happens HERE. Any sets Albeda gets will become gobble dice. If they're wide enough to match the speed of your best set, and at least as high as it, each one of her gobble dice cancel out one of yours, potentially ruining multiple sets.To clarify, this is what I was wrong about. The default way to use Policing does indeed resolve the roll this way, but it also implies that, if you're dealing with an assassination or something, you move the target out of the way, or otherwise ensure their mission is a failure from the beginning. By electing to be bait in the trap, you turned it into essentially the Tud versus Glod situation I mentioned in this post, only considerably more one-sided. She got one set, a 2x3, which your 3x10 effortlessly ruined. This will all make more sense after a few more fights on the personal level.
>>4518001>It's entirely possible you roll amazingly here and then the chimera slaughters you.Wong plz, I can't handle having a quest end that quickly >_<
>>4517898The fact that they're d10s and all showing 0s is what really makes this image. +1 exp.
>>4518004>commit to the literal Smoke and Mirrors stratGlass Diplomat look all the more appealing...
>>4518004Well, here is the difference. If you hadn't had that roll, you would have been caught, unprepared, unarmored, without Smoke Armor cast, without Soar cast, without your bodyguards at hand. I had expected it to be a frantic running battle, trying to get to help with this horrible thing chasing you through the halls of Castle Briarfast. Instead, you're going into it as a flying tank.
>>4516194[spoiled]Have the college sports icon be the Hypnotoad. Why must these ideas always come in drips and drabs?
>>4518007The Book of Vanity has been an option to read every time people selected a letter instead. It explicitly would have made Mirror Magic available and forced me to laboriously transcript every single Mirror Magic spell for your perusal, but instead you chose the letters. Speaking of which, I'm just gonna give you Petrine's, you have time for it while Lilly is playing.
>>4518009Not gonna lie, that would have made a great horror movie/epic fight scene. It's almost a shame, really...Not that I'm complaining, of course.
>>4516194>>4518010Funny thing about that, there are sorcerous academies down south. They do have some very good sorcerers...and some dilettantes who may have learned a few spells well enough to pass their courses, but have no use for them in their pampered noble lives and have consequently mostly forgotten them. Then there are some salons of sorcerers down south which are ENTIRELY serious, teach ONE school, and once you're in, it's your job forever
>>4518013There will be plenty more, don't worry. Oh, don't you worry...
>>4518009>make a literal smoke trap for the creature using smoke structure>potentially have chimera as a pet, if it survivesPotential Chad move discovered.>>4518015Sweet.
>>4518022I eagerly await the details of this plan.
>>4518032>planI appreciate the compliment. It's more of a half-mad idea, but it essentially requires either Jakob preparing the structure (posed as experimenting with smoke magic over a bond fire) before the hailstorm (the Chad move), having other some magi nearby to help, or lure him into the castle (and into a premade smoke cage, all of which would either need a smoke door to seal or a smoke chain to lock it quickly; potentially having shadowbinder help in concealing it in shadows [or have a smoke mage conceal it in a not-so-literal wall of smoke] after it's created).Like I say, half-mad. But it would be hilarious to name him Fluffy (or something equally silly) for our troubles.
>>4518055t would handily explain why shse lost influence and might. "Guys, lets just kill him with a monster. Great idea!----Nice, now he has new pet and/or attack dog. Good going 'my queen'."
>>4518229Well a possible flaw in this plan could be if the chimera has either built in loyalty to it's creator, a self-destruct button or is simply made with unknown magic(the og swamp lords) so nobody knows how to control it. Best case scenario it's made with shadow magic and granny can wrest away control of it otherwise it's probably most useful as a "look what foul tactics and creatures our enemy employs", granted if it is made with og swamp lord magic would be super effective for our propaganda.
>>4518009Do we get the chance to capture albeda during the fight/policing action. The vision did shows exactly where she would be when the creature attacks. Setting up an ambush at the spot seems like a good idea or way to loose a household member.
>>4518253I was worried on how to feed the damn thing, so it's a good thing your here to give it to me straight. We surely need to discuss this with our Council of Magi... (no, I'm not calling it a family dinner- Grandmama! Stop trying to jump Cailm's bones! A heart attack doesn't make for a conducive meeting!) I think that no matter what, it'll make for great propaganda. It just depends on how great it can get!>>4518255I believe the Policing Action is the Absol response to Pentagram, and while we probably have a better chance than most in an ambush (of an ambush/assassination), it'll probably be unlikely. But I certianly agree that there should be some sort of response there, even if it is only a Glass Diplomat with a exploiting statue in his pants... bad thoughts, bad! Though working on two women with one piece of wood... *smack* Bad thoughts!
>>4518351And by great, I do mean insane...
>>4518351>an explording pheromone musk statueI honestly should stop while I'm ahead here...
>>4518032Pst hey Wong, when are you running next? Unrelated You said in an earlier thread that we needed an associated crafting skill to make functional smoke thingsSo as it stands even though we could create smoke siege weapons with our new smoke craft spell they wouldn't function and at best would be fake decoys, correct?And is their magic im this setting tjat would allow usbto "enchant" smoke tower shields so that they would float around us and provide partial cover against arrows and what not on the battle field? And would we actual need ranks in armour smithing to create functional smoke shields?
>>4518887You misread me. For Minor Smoke Form, you do need a relevant craft roll. For Minor Smoke Structure you don't need, say, an Expert: Masonry roll to build a smoke wall. As far as siege engines go, the spell explicitly talks about what you can and can't make with it in its description. This might be subject to veto in case someone starts yelling "I WANNA BUILD A BATTERY GUYS I WANNA BUILD A BATTERY OR A ROBOT". As for when I'm running next, we're running properly on Friday, unless I get a hankering to run between then and now. It's US election week, it's going to be hectic.>>4518359Are you okay?
>>4519019No. There was a point I should have stopped and I have clearly passed it. But lets keep going and see what happens.
>>4519019>someone starts yelling "I WANNA BUILD A BATTERY GUYS I WANNA BUILD A BATTERY OR A ROBOT".Plz I just want make smoke Ballista and maybe a Trebuchet. And floating shields to protect ourselves from projectiles!
>>4519071>>4519019AlsoDoes Smoke Armour only work on ourselves or can we cast it on others, or say a mount? And does it just look like a mass of smoke or is it customizable in appearance?
>>4519071>>4519089The spell descriptions posted earlier answer both of those questions, actually.
>>4519102Ah so it doesSo yes to the mount and it is so thin it is essentially invisible And i didn't see anything in the screen shots referring to any mechanical parts, only structures
>>4519071Speak for yourself, mate.>Autobots! Robots in disguise!Time to kickstart the Industrial Revolution lads! Workers of the world uni-*zap*I believe anything with mechanical mechanisms requires the know how to recreate it in an operational condition. I don't know about levitating smoke shields, but if we have a personal trained hawk and some mirror magic, there may be some potential there...>>4519089I don't know about the smoke armor bit, but I know that we can make some sets with smoke structure (and some smithing skill), and while it would look like smoke in color and texture, but I believe shape is fair game.
>>4519111And you can put layers of smoke armor on, though it confers no additional armor benefit.
Thread is archived, new thread going up soon(tm). I need to issue a correction, however, we'll most likely be doing this Wednesday night and Thursday night instead of Friday, although with election shenanigans one of those nights might get cancelled. Keeping you in the loop as best I can.