Salutations, Swamp Sorcerers, and welcome back to the ninth installment of Swamp Lord Quest! Once again, you are Lord Jakob Absol, heir of the Archmage Lord Arnveis Absol the Black, rival of the rebel sorceress Albeda Absol, Liege of the Absol Swamp, and Master of Castle Briarfast.Last time, you fought a grueling battle at the Well against the Shadowbinder Archmage of the Pentacle, Brother Gloam, known also as Gorol. Although he drove you back once, on the next day you rallied your magi and used smoke and fog as your weapons, cutting his undead legions to pieces despite their number and ferocity while a secondary force scaled the walls and slew his mercenary archers.You spent the night within the walls of that ancient fortress, and received arcane revelations. Even as you are informed that you have received a messenger from the Ryds, you feel somehow calm. Purposeful. As if your eyes have opened wider, and things that were once invisible to you are now easy for you to perceive and manipulate. Even a spell from Albeda's own favored school that you have been struggling to master falls easily into your new understanding. You simply know that you could now cast it...and effortlessly.
Jakob Absol, Swamp LordUnspent Exp: 8Total Exp: 35BODY: 2COORDINATION: 2SENSE: 3Eerie: +1Empathy: +2KNOWLEDGE: 4Counterspell: +3Language (Vartynen): +MDSorcery: +3MDStrategy: +2Tactics: +2COMMAND: 4Haggle: +1Inspire: +3Intimidate: +1CHARM: 2Graces: +1Fascinate: +1ADVANTAGES: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)Possession 3 (Well-Made Plate Armor)Literate in Vartynen 1 (FREE for plot reasons)Greater Literacy in Vartynen 2 (FREE for plot reasons)Wealth 3Spells (1)Spells (1)Spells (3)Spells (3)Spells (5)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 wifeESOTERIC DISCIPLINES:Spiritual Escutcheon: My Power Is My Own, Defense Before ThoughtThe General's Visage: Words of Iron, Heart-Hardening RhetoricSPELLS:Aqueous Divination (Sense): Weather Wisdom, Clearwater OracleEldritch Visioning (Sense): Mind's Eye Clarified, The Gaze That Splits the StonesMirror Magic (Command): Grifter's GoldShadowbinding (Sense): Nyctopian Vision Smoke Sculpting (Knowledge): Minor Smoke Form, Smoke Arrow, Minor Smoke Structure, Smoke ArmorThe Night Hunter's Art (Sense): Whiff of the BloodThe Way of the Wood (Knowledge): Blossom FreshnessWings of Words (Knowledge): Spark, Soar, Words of Lesser Attunement, Minor Lightning StrokeABSOL SWAMP: Might 3, Treasure 2, Influence 2, Territory 2, Sovereignty 3
>>4638314My apologies, you do not have Nyctopian Vision, I apparently copypasted the old version. You have Bore Gaze, a Smoke Sculpting spell, instead.
You have gained two Intensity 1 spells.Grifter's Gold duplicates a mirror image of an object you hold in your hand, It takes five hours to cast, and lasts for Width in hours. However, these objects can be detected as magical to those who get a success on a Sense+Eerie roll.Mind's Eye Clarified takes three minutes to cast and lasts for Height in minutes. While active you can recall anything you have seen with absolute, perfect clarity until the spell ends. This does not retroactively improve your vision, nor does it alleviate conditions such as darkness, fog, or the veil of tears, but if you skimmed over a page in a book too bored to retain any of it this spell would let you recall it with enough clarity to copy it perfectly. You have gained two Intensity 2 spells.Bore Gaze is a spell that is instant to cast, and combative in use, lasting about a second. It punches a cone-shaped tunnel about a hundred feet long through smoke and haze, granting you a clear view of a battlefield or through a burning building. If it affects smoke being enchanted by an enemy Smoke Sculptor, this is an opposed roll, which if successful may disrupt his spellcrafting. The gaze begins at your face and is about that size, gradually expanding to about ten feet long at the other end. The Gaze That Splits the Stones takes four minutes to cast and lasts for Width in hours. While active, you can, at will, see through solid matter. Your gaze can pierce a number of feet of stone, flesh, cloth, wood, dirt, etc. equal to the Height of the casting roll. Everything beheld this way is seen by you as if lit from all sides by clean, glare-free white light. The spell does not actually create light, but this effect means it can be used to see in the dark (up to the distance determined by the casting roll). Not the same as the Shadowbinders' methods, but it has the advantage of being able to effortlessly watch girls change through the wall. Never let Cailm learn this spell from you.
>>4638314>Eldritch Visioning (Sense)Confused screaming>>4638333Seems like a interesting selection of utility spells
>>4638337>Cuthulu graced us with his presence>don't look at the eldritch operating behind the curtains
In accordance with the usual procedure, the Ryd messenger is kept at the periphery of your camp and not permitted closer until you are made aware of his presence and issue permission for him to enter. This is to prevent against the unfortunate occurrences of spies and assassins, those eternally useful tools of state. Accordingly, he must stand out near the muddy banks of the river until your bodyguards bring him to you. In accordance with ancient law, corpses claimed in battle by the lord of the swamp are Absol property, and so your Shadowbinders are busy carving masks in the dark and planting etched stones and shells in the bellies of the cadavers, to raise them as husks in your service. Let the dead stand watch on the walls, it is the way of the swamp. You will, of course, leave a garrison here. With this action you have reestablished enough dominion over the swamp to significantly improve how much of your people's requisite taxes actually reach you, and commerce can freely transpire between towns again. It is extremely doubtful the Pentacle can threaten you further from a military standpoint, and has been reduced to a few magi acting as individuals or, at best, a cadre. A pity that Gorol escaped, a side-effect of failing to take the Well immediately. If Brother Grey seeks to contest your army in the field without Sister Char's flaming giant spell and Brother Gloam's undead horde, he and his will be slaughtered to a man. It would be suicide. Although nothing in life is certain, it seems that focusing on the less obvious issue of Gloam rather than the too-convenient bait of Night Hunters occupying Dampmeade was the right decision. The messenger is a surprisingly heavyset man, with a moustache as thin and dark as if it was daubed onto his face with squid ink and a calligraphy brush. He has a carriage with driver and footman rather than riding a swift horse, and has all the appearance of a well-to-do merchant rather than the military courier you might personally choose to send. He dresses in gaudy silks with great ruffled sleeves and his thick calves strain his tight hose greatly. He wears a cap that reminds you of nothing quite so much as a jade-green mushroom with a pheasant feather thrust through the hatband, and golden rings on his pudgy fingers. His posture is impatient and, frankly, huffy at having to wait.There are two votes. First, where does he find you?>[Seated in the grandest chamber of the Well's underground passages, awaiting him in state. Let him be awed by your grandeur.]>[Overseeing the disposition of your soldiers, personally managing the establishment of the garrison. You have work to do, he is a temporary distraction.]Second, how does he find you?>[Clad in your full armor, both steel and smoke with thurible in hand, as you would stride onto the battlefield]>[Dressed in the formal robes of state, a sorcerer-lord at repose and unthreatened, as one might find you holding court or in your library]
>>4638365>[Seated in the grandest chamber of the Well's underground passages, awaiting him in state. Let him be awed by your grandeur.]>[Dressed in the formal robes of state, a sorcerer-lord at repose and unthreatened, as one might find you holding court or in your library]Best play politics in a proper setting. Plus, the Shadowbinder aesthetic will do well to unnerve him.
>>4638337Gaze That Splits Stones seems solid for doing things like scouting out deployed enemy positions in fortifications, then combined with Mind's Eye to memorize it, and Soar to keep at a distance, all combines to allow us to set up perfect battleplans for assaults on fortified positions.Or even just ensuring we aren't gonna get caught out by archers hiding behind a 1 ft thick stone wall, like we did recently. Or, pinpointing exactly on what level someone's hiding inside a ruined tower that's half-sunk into the swamp.BETTER HOPE YOU BUILT THICK WALLS, NONE ESCAPE THE EYE OF ABSOL>>4638365>[Seated in the grandest chamber of the Well's underground passages, awaiting him in state. Let him be awed by your grandeur.]He's more than a little annoyed already, best not insult him further by not giving him our full attention.>[Clad in your full armor, both steel and smoke with thurible in hand, as you would stride onto the battlefield]As we are still at war, and this man doubtless comes to petition us on military matters, would be best for him to see us as a military man.
>>4638379>Sauron memes intensify
Oh right, you got +1 exp from that drawing of Lilly, just letting you know I saw it and factored it in.
>>4638314I thought we had picked up Froth as an anti-divination spell a while back when we got spark. At least I think that's what it was called.>>4638365>[Overseeing the disposition of your soldiers, personally managing the establishment of the garrison. You have work to do, he is a temporary distraction.]>[Clad in your full armor, both steel and smoke with thurible in hand, as you would stride onto the battlefield]
>>4638365>[Seated in the grandest chamber of the Well's underground passages, awaiting him in state. Let him be awed by your dopeness]>[Clad in your full armor, both steel and smoke with thurible in hand, as you would stride onto the battlefield]As for exp, I would vote for acquiring the next two ranks of Spiritual Escutcheon or General's Visage. I feel like finishing out one of these esoteric paths is worthwhile.
>>4638365>[Seated in the grandest chamber of the Well's underground passages, awaiting him in state. Let him be awed by your grandeur.]Take the time to deal with the R*ds properly. We'd expect our messengers to be heard out in a courtly setting, no sense in letting the goat-fuckers live out their spurious views of us basically being uncivilized bog people.>[Dressed in the formal robes of state, a sorcerer-lord at repose and unthreatened, as one might find you holding court or in your library]We're in our own lands, in a fortified position, with our guards and magi around. I'd rather us give off vibes of over-confidence and disaffectedness to the R*ds than treating Albeda's reading circle as a credible military threat. May backfire in them reading it as us over-playing the rebellion issue to avoid helping them with their lizard problem, but if they sent an overdressed merchant to chat instead of a military advisor, they're probably already thinking that, and we'd be hard-pressed to change that for them.
>>4638365>[Overseeing the disposition of your soldiers, personally managing the establishment of the garrison. You have work to do, he is a temporary distraction.]>[Dressed in the formal robes of state, a sorcerer-lord at repose and unthreatened, as one might find you holding court or in your library]
>>4638406I...you definitely did and have been acting under the assumption that you had its protection. I must have forgotten to add it! Well then! Fixed!
Next vote is the tiebreaker, sorry for the delay, year-old boxer dogs and an unattended plate of chicken curry do NOT mix.
>>4638333Grifter's Gold could be useful for making false copies of diplomatic objects, or maybe an example of something for a craftsman. That 5hr casting time is brutal though.Mind's Eye Clarified is huge. Being able to recall exact faces, maps, dispositions, emotional moments as we experienced thing, etc. is a huge advantage. Even if it's not being used for military or planning purposes, being able to accurately recall things like a condemned man's last words or the loving embrace of our waifu on campaign gives us a lot of utility usage for an Intensity 1 spell without Attunement.Bore Gaze is good for bursting the fog clouds that plague the Swamp on it's worst days, the rolling clouds of smoke on Absol battlefields, and gives us a chance to burst opposing Smoke Sculptors siege-works after they've already been cast at the front end of the fray. Good, since we seem to have a tendency to lead from the front with our men, rather than hide in the back lines like people expect of a sorceror lord.The Gaze That Splits the Stones will be good for potential spycraft, or if we get into another fray underground. The range of 1-10 feet isn't much, but it's enough to at least see an opponent at grappling range. Agreed on the whole not letting Cailm learn it though, he's degenerate enough as it is, without being able to see Floofy Bard's, Straw Hat's, or Rib-Witch's tits whenever he wants, with a four minute lead-up.Glad to see that Territory went up to 2, and that we're sitting on 8 exp. No Chains (Spiritual Escutcheon level 3) is really good, and I Say Only Endure (The General's Visage level 3) is good too. We should still be saving up for a boost in Sense or it's skills though. Probably go No Chains, and an Eerie ED? Should be cheap enough at 6 exp (3 for No Chains, 2 for a +2 in Eerie, and 1 to turn one of them into a ED in Eerie) That way, we're set up to turn the ED into a MD when we get a total of 5 exp for it later on, leaving a reserve of 2 exp in case we see something shiny on the way. Another thought is that we could also skip on the Esoteric Technique for now, and get Counterspell to 2+MD for 6 exp (1 for ED, 5 for MD) so that we'll always get a set at just nope-ing enemy casters to make them seethe, since we're shaping up to be an opposing caster's nightmare on the field with our spells and techniques. Sense 4, MD Tactics, and MD Strategy never ever.
>>4638365>[Overseeing the disposition of your soldiers, personally managing the establishment of the garrison. You have work to do, he is a temporary distraction.]>[Clad in your full armor, both steel and smoke with thurible in hand, as you would stride onto the battlefield]
>>4638377>>4638379>>4638406>>4638427>>4638435>>4638436>>4638474So we're seated in a grand chamber in full armor? I do wonder how the messenger will interpret that.
The messenger is led down, down into the tunnels of the Well, into one of the grandest cathedral chambers there. Doubtless it was once used for grand rituals, but now it serves your purposes. Armed soldiers line the walls, and magi in their robes and at one end with your back to a burning brazier you sit.You cut a barbaric figure in your plate armor, overlaid with smoke, your otterskin cape around your shoulders. You are seated on a folding camp chair, and in accordance with procedure the messenger stops a respectful distance away, and bows as deeply as his pudgy midsection will allow, “Greetings, Lord Absol. It is only the right and proper way of things that two great provinces sharing a border should be good neighbors, and so it is that Lady Ryd desires to treat you with the same courtesy you showed her father. Although enclosed and sealed, I bear instructions for her next move in your regicide game, she furthermore bids me inform you that she looks forward to hosting you in the Highest Hall whenever you should deign to grace the mountains with your presence.” He pulls out an envelope from one of his pockets.>[Begin rolling dice, this is a Sense+Sight followed by Sense+Empathy roll]
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4638487More....Dice....
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4638487And thus the Dice Lords cometh.
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4638487The lord of smoke sits and ponders his next move?
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>4638487Dice! Dice for sale! Get the finest set ever achieved!
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4638487Let's roll!
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>4638487Dice once more
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4638487Looks like we probably should invest in more Sense after all, huh?
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4638487Dice dice dice!
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4638487We probably already failed both checks. ''Tis life.
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4638487Dice dice dice
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4638487Another die>>4638497>>4638512Well a pair if 5's isn't that bad
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4638487One more die, then back to doing work
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4638487>>4638520We botched the Sight roll, but a 2x5 is something on the Empathy check. Probably missed a clue on the letter, but have some semblance of a read on the fat man.
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4638487>>4638522Unless we managed to split the 5s across each set lol
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4638531Anon plz... >>4638487
Failed the first, 2x5 on the second.
>>4638527I would assume it to be something physical, due to the poor lighting. This was once inhabited by Shadowbinders after all.
More dice, this time for Charm+Graces.
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4638545Time to borrow some luck from the alchemist quest
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4638545Yoshi!
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4638545Mmmm, loving all these 3 die rolls. Probably should work on our social skills in the near future with Lil, so we aren't a complete embarrassment.
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4638545ONO Social interactions our greatest weakness!
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4638545
Boo, I can't find her Knowledge+Tactics stats. We'll say 4 and 4. Once again, continue rolling.
Rolled 2, 7, 9, 9, 6, 10, 8, 10 = 61 (8d10)You see nothing unusual about the man, save this. He's sweating. Not nervously, but beneath those plump lips his teeth are gritted, and his every word has effort in it. He's no fan of yours, assuredly. You aren't sure to what degree, but he disapproves of you profoundly, perhaps even hates you.One of your bodyguards takes the letter from him, bringing it over to you. You gesture, and the soldier opens it. It's a normal letter, no scorpion inside, no poison powder. The fat man scoffs under his breath as you read the letter. It is a formal invitation for you to, at your leisure, be hosted at the Highest Hall just as you hosted Lord Londo at Briarfast. More personally written is the following:'Thus far an interesting gambit, I wish my father had not played so recklessly, but you will find me an opponent worthy of your time.'You call for your regicide board, set up the pieces as they should be thus far, replicate her move, and spend some time thinking before making yours.>[Send the messenger back with your move]>[Detain him, you don't like the way he's looking at you and you're surrounded by those loyal enough to you to get away with literally feeding him to the crocodiles if you want]
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4638578>[Send the messenger back with your move]>Send the messenger with an escort, we are still at war and it would be a travesty should anything happen to our neighbours messenger.Plus this way he will have less opportunities to say change our moveCould we also make a Smoke glass Regicide piece to send along? Assuming it would last long enough to survive the trip that is. >>4638572
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4638588Haha off to a lovely start I see>>4638572
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4638578>[Send the messenger back with your move]Let's just hope this doesn't bite us in the ass in the future.
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4638578Here's hoping for a good set.>[Send the messenger back with your move]With the added part of an escort from here>>4638588Don't want a fat little piggie getting ripped to shreds by a big bad wolf out east by Dampmeade. Call it a measure of good faith, plus then the escort can come back to us with her response. A mutually beneficial agreement after all, as a measure of good faith.
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4638572My, what high sets she got with this gambit. Good on her.
>>4638588Sadly it wouldn't survive the trip.
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4638572Alright dice, we need to be at peak performance here okay!
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4638600That's a shame >>4638572DICE PLEASE A-a pair of 1's is at least a pair......
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4638578Well, naturally the grudge wouldn’t be one-sided between swampfolk and the mountain peoples.Would be a real dick move to randomly detain him, though randomly serving as a courier so that two people can literally play a chess game has to be grating, if he’s high enough ranked.
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4638572Come on dice, papa wants a new carriage and waifu.
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4638578I mean, if we get another 7, at least it might beat it out on speed, if nothing else.
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4638589>>4638599>>4638605 Even better triple 7'sJACKPOT kek>>4638572But seriously MD in Tactics and Strategy oneday... My dream shall not remain a meme for ever!
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4638572Hoe be mad!
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4638578>>[Send the messenger back with your move]
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4638572Another die
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4638612>>4638620Shame I don't think This is within the range>>4638572
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4638612An even bigger Kek would be if this (>>4638565) was counted as apart of our roll.
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>4638612>>4638620>>4638621Why not before, o' dice gods of old?
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4638612>>4638620>>4638621For the love of jove>>4638572We need to maximize our die pool for Regicide Maybe create an entire esoteric art for it kek
A 3x7. Well, you beat her on width, I'm gonna say the game is now effectively 2-1. You both score points, your game is tighter but hers is more inspired.
>>4638633Finda use for tripple 10 plzIt hurts me to see it going to waste.
Will you...>[Send the messenger back alone]>[Inconvenience some of your cavalry by having them escort him to the border]
>>4638638Sometimes it happens. There will be more 10s, sometime later
>>4638639>[Inconvenience some of your cavalry by having them escort him to the border]
>>4638639>[Inconvenience some of your cavalry by having them escort him to the border]The totally polite and not at all here to make sure he’s not meeting other people in the swamp choice
>>4638638As much as it pains me to say it, we need to respect the sets the dice gods gives us, even when they design to torture us so.>>4638639>[Send the messenger back alone]Wait, we have cavalry?
>>4638643The amount of dead/late 10's I managed in MSPQ still haunt me anon....
>>4638647Yes. Not a lot, but you do have SOME.
>>4638639>[Inconvenience some of your cavalry by having them escort him to the border]It'll be a bit of a hassle, but I'd not have him him 'accidentally' lose our moves, and 'try to remember what they actually were' along the way. Plus, our escort for him might be able to catch news about Grey on the way back.
>>4638647I'm not even suggesting they be used for anything relevant or useful. Nothing like a triple 10 roll for boot polishing or troop inspection!
>>4638638>another Sense/Errie roll>start magically tripping balls infont of our courtThe magical equivalent of mushrooms.>>4638656>get a set of three 10's on a boot inspectionStrike me down, for life isn't worth living if that is the case.
Damn, I've forgotten what day you set out from Briarfast.
>>4638656>get a 3x10 on your boot inspection.>flawless, inky black boots that you can pick out individual teeth when you grin at the toes.Sounds like a way to become the designated boot bitch in your platoon. Better off getting a 3x8 or so. Good enough to pass and make most people happy, without being roped into shining important people's boots when they want them good for parade.
You write down your move and send the messenger off. It takes you very little time to come up with the move, a quick and competent rebuttal to the strategy you sense she's employing. She seems to be playing a deep game, and she's good at this, but you've managed to keep your seat on top of the match so far and with this latest move you can get one of your mammoths out from behind the front line. Superb. You also detach some of your admittedly rather sparse cavalry to accompany him. If he tries to, say, meet with any members of the Pentacle to discuss some kind of, say, Ryd-backed coup now that their army is gone and Albeda would be at best a Ryd puppet...well, he'll be killed.With that accomplished you send him off, dispatch instructions to inform Castle Briarfast of your success. Propaganda is a powerful tool, and while sometimes downplaying and even lying about your victories can be the smart choice, right now you need people to know that they are safe in the hands of the rightful Absol. There are two ways to do this.>[Downplay the threat. Make it seem like the Pentacle was a weak enemy and always has been, a paper tiger easily crushed, scarcely worth calling a rebellion. This makes people feel secure because the forces arrayed against them aren't worth worrying about.]>[Play up the threat. Make it seem like the Pentacle was a strong enemy, and only thanks to the valor of your soldiers and your personal might are your lands kept safe from these monsters. This makes people feel secure because you are their invincible champion.]
>>4638673>Play up the threatTelling the truth is the most important part here. The Pentacle are a frustrating thorn in our side, but most importantly, they're traitorous, which makes them a real threat no matter their actual strengths. Absols don't abide traitors.
>>4638673>[Play up the threat. Make it seem like the Pentacle was a strong enemy, and only thanks to the valor of your soldiers and your personal might are your lands kept safe from these monsters. This makes people feel secure because you are their invincible champion.]
>>4638673>[Play up the threat. Make it seem like the Pentacle was a strong enemy, and only thanks to the valor of your soldiers and your personal might are your lands kept safe from these monsters. This makes people feel secure because you are their invincible champion.]I don't like the ego trip it implies, but boosting our image and influence would do more to help our cause than playing it down. Plus, it'll make the troops even prouder of our success.
>>4638682Ego doesn't come into it so much as projecting stability versus strength.
>>4638673>[Play up the threat. Make it seem like the Pentacle was a strong enemy, and only thanks to the valor of your soldiers and your personal might are your lands kept safe from these monsters. This makes people feel secure because you are their invincible champion.]It'll probably get played up that way regardless of how we want. The facts are that we descended down from the keep clad in smoke and steel to smite Char with a single bolt of lightning, the initial repulsion at the Well, the feral and fearful nature of The Ragged Elder. The Pentacle isn't composed of two-pump chumps dredged up from the bogs. The Ragged Elder, Char's claims of becoming a giant of fire, Shell's creation that we have in our dungeon, Gorol's army of husks, and Albeda acting as Arnveis' apprentice. All of them are formidable threats, even before they banded together. The word will spread from the insurrection attempt, trial, and Well assault, even if we tried to suppress it. May as well embrace that they were a threat to the Swamp itself, and that we are more than a match to bring it to heel. Plus, not all of our successes were landslides. The aspect of us being repelled first before crushing Gloam's forces makes it more believable for the smallfolk too, rather than us posturing and lying like Ralf would.
>>4638673>[Play up the threat. Make it seem like the Pentacle was a strong enemy, and only thanks to the valor of your soldiers and your personal might are your lands kept safe from these monsters. This makes people feel secure because you are their invincible champion.]Can't very well go around having people thinking our dad's apprentice is weak and useless, that would make dear old papa sound bad.
>>4638670Easy enough when we can cheat our biot polishing because that perfect shine is all just smoke and mirrors, literally smokeglass kek
You go into detail about the strength of the enemy and the forces at its disposal, yet how they were no match for you. Your people will feel safe knowing that despite the terrors lurking the swamps, you are there to keep them safe. The Pentacle is not composed of weaklings, the swamp is a land of great magi, and people know that, yet you are more than capable of defeating them.Regardless, you set off, leaving a garrison behind. You and your army march west, heading for the Well. The weather is wonderful, sunny and warm, and the camp is full of music and laughter. The soldiers raise toasts to their gallant sorcerer-lord. You can tell that the sight of your banner at the front of the army, and your presence behind the first smoke-shield, has inspired a lot of them, and they take pride in their service and will tell their children fondly about this campaign. So far, your reign is off to a wonderful start. Beginning things with a rebellion usually isn't how any lord wants to assume his seat, but it has made you stronger, wiser, a better sorcerer, and it has given you the chance to PROVE it. Rather than Arnveis' son, you are becoming a figure in your own right.On the Fifteenth Day of the Month of Thaw, you reach the sunken tower. Although that...that is an odd name for it. The structure is similar in construction to the Well, with no sign of mortar or individual bricks, as if the stone was simply grown into that shape somehow. What a shape it is, too.The swamp is a wet place, naturally, but some places are wetter than others, and Kidney Lake is a geographic low point. The lake curves around a patch of higher land to its southern side, giving it its distinctive shape, its southern banks heavily forested and its northern banks notoriously vague and variable depending on the season and amount of rainfall. Usually, they're a shallow slope of thick mud, partially covered by water.[Continue]
At its heart lies the Sunken Tower. It resembles almost some vast, strange undersea filter-worm. A tall, narrow, cylindrival shaft, with regular wide, disc-shaped outcroppings like balconies that circumvent the entirety of the central shaft at various heights. These discs are large enough for soldiers to march in parade on, you have no idea what purpose this bizarre structure could have served. Maybe at one time, each level had people camped out on it? Some sort of multi-level village? It certainly isn't the kind of defensive structure you're accustomed to. Most of the structure has sunk beneath the water, and what is left lists to one side, but it shows no sign of cracking and breaking apart. It is significantly closer to the more shallow north bank than the south one.There is no sign of a bridge. “Twull.” You ask your senior Night Hunter, “How did you get over there?” You suppose wolves can swim, but...not towing the squonkog.“Took a boat, my lord. Just a little rowboat, ought to still be where we stowed it, if you like.” He remarks, munching on a rabbit skewered on a stick. The rabbit is barely cooked at all, still bloody.You consider your options.>[Take the rowboat and go over there yourself, ferrying your bodyguards with you over the course of a few trips. This can be done without delay, but it leaves you and your ten Last Loyal minions separate from your army. You could take your Stormtongues along, naturally.]>[Go south of the lake, through dense, gnarled forest, and begin constructing a fleet of rafts. This will take a considerable amount of time and effort, but it will let you land in force at the tower with all the forces at your disposal.]>[Go north of the lake, wading through shallow water and deep mud, searching for a place where the water is shallow enough to cross on foot. This is a gamble, it could immediately let you get all of your soldiers to the tower in no time at all, or it could prove fruitless, forcing you to go back and try something else, wasting the most time for the least gain. As I said, it's a gamble.]
>>4638721Whoa hang on I think it's a sign I am falling asleep, because those vote options are fucked up. One sec!
>>4638721Can we (and our fellow Smoke-o-Mancers) create a bridge or other structure like possibly smokemass boats to cross the lake?
Nevermind, I checked my notes, it's too far out to just make a smokemass bridge and lead everyone over. You could, piece by piece, assemble smokemass bridges that overlap to get there, so assume that instead of rafts you would do that, and it would still take considerable time to get your army through there, and it would be very visible what you were doing as you made smokemass boats or bridges. Same as the physical rafts, just with less time (still a lot of time) invested and more visibility. The reason you can't do this on the north side? It's solid mud. If you made a bridge, your army crossing on it would squish it down into the mud, and it might tip. >[Take the rowboat and go over there yourself, ferrying your bodyguards with you over the course of a few trips. This can be done without delay, but it leaves you and your ten Last Loyal minions separate from your army. You could take your Stormtongues along, naturally.]>[Go south of the lake, through dense, gnarled forest, and begin constructing a fleet of smokemass boats or bridges. This will take a considerable amount of time and effort, but it will let you land in force at the tower with all the forces at your disposal.]>[Go north of the lake, wading through shallow water and deep mud, searching for a place where the water is shallow enough to cross on foot. This is a gamble, it could immediately let you get all of your soldiers to the tower in no time at all, or it could prove fruitless, forcing you to go back and try something else, wasting the most time for the least gain. As I said, it's a gamble.]Respond to this post with your votes, I'm going to sleep.
>>4638728>[Go south of the lake, through dense, gnarled forest, and begin constructing a fleet of smokemass boats or bridges. This will take a considerable amount of time and effort, but it will let you land in force at the tower with all the forces at your disposal.]On one hand this gives time for Shell to prepare her monstrosities... On the other hand, do we want to risk facing her monstrosities just us, 10last loyal and no advanced prep?Wading through the swamp is just screaming trouble to me desu.
>>4638728>[Take the rowboat and go over there yourself, ferrying your bodyguards with you over the course of a few trips. This can be done without delay, but it leaves you and your ten Last Loyal minions separate from your army. You could take your Stormtongues along, naturally.]Night Wong. Good session today!I want to try a subtle approach this time.
>>4638728>[Take the rowboat and go over there yourself, ferrying your bodyguards with you over the course of a few trips. This can be done without delay, but it leaves you and your ten Last Loyal minions separate from your army. You could take your Stormtongues along, naturally.]I mean, we could also use Soar and fly with the Stormtongues, while Hannah or Doloranna go in the boat with the men. I don't trust the lake to not be full of monstrosities, but while the men get ready to land the boats, we can scout it out with our shiny new utility spells. The main issue I have is that we don't want Shell to get away like Gloam did if we give her the advance warning with the huge fires and sounds of falling trees, and trying to bank on finding a path through the mud isn't worth the wasted time if we come up short. It'll be rough if there's worse things than the squonkog lurking there, but nothing ventured is nothing gained.
>>4638739I hope the pacing was alright, I know things had been a bit draggy lately and I wanted to pull us ahead to the Tower. Cozy camp scenes with the girls soon, I promise.
>>4638743Pacing is pretty good on my end. Fights tend to go fast, especially when you're against someone who knows when to cut and run. Been enjoying it, mainly because it's nice to play an MC who actually has to think about the long-term consequences to their actions, instead of going full Magic Mik when it comes to social etiquette as a sorceror.
>>4638743>Cozy camp scenes with the girls soon, I promise.That's a strange way to spell "High tension scenes of Hannah and Doloranna starong daggers at each other over perceived slights and Lil trying to talk them out of the inevitable fistfight"Or god forbid Doloranna raises her voice at Hannah and she starts crying completely shocking Lil and Doloranna.
>>4638743It's fine, I'm enjoying it. Also, hype!
>>4638728>[Take the rowboat and go over there yourself, ferrying your bodyguards with you over the course of a few trips. This can be done without delay, but it leaves you and your ten Last Loyal minions separate from your army. You could take your Stormtongues along, naturally.]
>>4638743Question, what system do you use for this?
>>4638743Are we picking back up tonight or is this a see you Monday/Friday scenario?
>>4639874Alright thanks for running Wong! See you Friday.
>>4639874Right on, catch ya then Wong.
Finished drawing LilyI have a question tho, is Jake built liie a shota or built like a normal teenager. The image of a tall bimbo shadow lady smothering Jakob is very much like Ethan Winters and Lady Dimitrescu.
>>4640257Hell yea Bard artIt was mentioned at one point that we’re a little on the tall side, I believe.On the topic of the main vote, is there anything that stops us from examining the tower’s interior at a distance with our new X-ray hack spell? Or to check for hidden monsters in the lake before we try to row across it? Or does the spell require focusing on a specific point to see specifically what lies behind that point?
>>4640257I love it.Btw, Jakob is the tall one, and the shadowbinder girl is the shortstack.>>4640428>The Gaze That Splits the Stones takes four minutes to cast and lasts for Width in hours. While active, you can, at will, see through solid matter. Your gaze can pierce a number of feet of stone, flesh, cloth, wood, dirt, etc. equal to the Height of the casting roll. Everything beheld this way is seen by you as if lit from all sides by clean, glare-free white light. The spell does not actually create light, but this effect means it can be used to see in the dark (up to the distance determined by the casting roll).So we can see through a few feet of material, and I assume we can control what our gaze can see and see through with the spell's limitations.Also, I think the range of our sight with this spell is determined by the amount of solid material, rather than within a certain range of the caster. So I imagine the only things keeping us from examining the tower's interior are how thick the walls are and how far our natural sight can see clearly.
>>4640447>solid materialSo you’re saying that the water looks like a chlorinated pool to us with this on?
>>4640590I imagine so, yes. Only for those couple feet though, give or take some as it's the gunk in the water that blocks our site, not necessarily the water itself. I think, anyway.
>>4640447The way I think about it, the distance of enhanced vision begins when our normal vison hits something we couldn't normally see through, so it would start at our eyes if we were in total darkness, and start at the wall if we're looking at a fortress from a distance.
>>4640447>>4640640I've got until Friday to think about this, but for now I agree, because you're seeing at most ten feet past whatever you're looking through.
>>4640742Wait a sec, hang on, I actually had that wrong. You can pierce up to that level of solid matter. So for example, if you looked through a castle wall five feet thick with a 2x8 set, you would be able to see all of the courtyard on the other side and watch the guards doing their routes, etc. You would also be able to, with your remaining three feet, see through most of the outbuildings with their thin wooden walls, and the lower levels of the keep inside, although as you angled your gaze up it would be passing through progressively more stone due to the angle until you reach the limits of the spell. It's useful for Jakob, but this would be the absolute magic waifu of, say, an assassin-mage who knows a handful of spells but mostly gets by on stealth and bladeplay.
By the way, now is a good time to begin discussing some of the ways you want to spend exp. More spells? More esoterics? Improve your skills, maybe?
>>4640791I still say we need more ranks in Eerie if not boosting Sense and entire time rankBut the next rank in Spiritual Escutcheon would also be cool.One day though, maxed out tactics and strategy.
>>4640791Max out Spiritual Escutcheon, and we'll work from there.
>>4640889>boosting Sense and entire time rankErrr wow phone, and Damnit me proof read.... Boosting Sense an entire rank*
>>4640791Had an in-depth talk about it here. >>4638466Short form of it is that we should probably get No Chains (Escutcheon lvl3), and boost Eerie to a +1 ED for 6 exp, setting up for a MD later on. I'd rally like to boost Sense up to 4, but I doubt we'll get it with everyone's itchy spending fingers.The other option I was thinking of ignoring No Chains for now, and boost Counterspell to a 2+MD (1 for the ED, 5 for the MD) so that we can just 'Nope' any of the more experienced casters Albeda has left. That way we can go for No Chains, I say Only Endur, or boost something else later on with the 2 e we have to spare.
>>4640975>MD for counterspellYeah that's also definitely worth getting
>>4641283I mean, that's useful, but we haven't actually used Counterspell very often so far.We'll use it more whenever we max out the Spiritual Escutcheon tree, so let's try to max out that ASAP. I'd like to look at our spell list a little more. I know we just picked up utility spells, but Battle Prophet would be a really good grab for just straight murdering people on Tactics rolls or when we're caught off-guard and can't normally do tactics rolls.In addition, someone did bring up the Wolf temporary attune + Wolf transformation as something we could pick up. As a sort of melee option to swap to, because it basically pulls our mental stats and buffs our physical ones with them, to a max of 6.So many thoughts, so little XP
>>4640791You okay there Wong?
>>4647920He's around, just check his other quest
>>4647920Gotta give this quest some love. I'm sure when the current arc for Wong's L5R Quest is finished we will see some life come back to Swamp Lord Quest,
>>4648445oh so that's why it slowed down, what is the other quest called?
>>4648747L5R Chanbara Quest>>4646341
>>4647920What do you mean? Of course I'm alright, I'm just trying to work out how to do the vote for your exp expenditure.
>>4648790Sorry, you just kind of left for like a week so I was getting concerned
>>4647932>>4648445>>4648747Thank you for the explanation!
Fear not, for it is Friday and we know we will have more to discuss soon.The armies of the Eye shall spill forth from the Swamp, and dread shall follow in their wake!
Internet is down and has been so for about an hour after getting home from work
>>4649518The fortunes conspire against us, Wong! We shall preserve!
>>4649518Fucking RIP. Hopefully it gets sorted out without a whole bunch of issues there Wong.
Okay, so. As a general way to spend exp, you have a few options>[Pursue the path of turning into a giant monster wolf, this will entail putting points into Fight and learning a handful of key Night Hunter spells]>[Study Shadowbinding with Doloranna, this will involve mostly buying Shadowbinding spells, possibly increasing Eerie]>[Master the arts of antimagic, with a MD in Counterspell and more points in Spiritual Escutcheon]>[Focus on your basics, buying useful spells in your primary schools of Smoke Sculpting, Aqueous Divination, and Wings of Words.]
>>4649596>>[Master the arts of antimagic, with a MD in Counterspell and more points in Spiritual Escutcheon]Gotta make Pops proud
>>4649596>[Master the arts of antimagic, with a MD in Counterspell and more points in Spiritual Escutcheon]Our current big threats are other mages (Albeda, Grey, Gloam, potentially Shell, and whatever minions they scrape up.) Follow along in Dad's footsteps for now, and prove that we are more than capable of supporting his legacy. We're still a bit drawers in a fight against melee Autists, but we've got friends who can help us with that afterwards. The next step of turning into a giant monstrous wolf to rip enemy casters and archers into pieces comes later, after we become an opposing mage's worst nightmare by no-selling all their best attacks as a flying, steel and smoke covered brick to overcome.
>>4649596>[Master the arts of antimagic, with a MD in Counterspell and more points in Spiritual Escutcheon]Extremely good for this point in the game, and the ability to negate magic is an amazing thing to have in your pocket.
>>4649596>[Pursue the path of turning into a giant monster wolf, this will entail putting points into Fight and learning a handful of key Night Hunter spells]Gonna add some variety here. Otherwise, I'm satisfied by the Pops route.
>>4649596Just put of curiosity Wong, How many 10's in width would we need to roll on a CounterMagic roll with our Dad's esoteric skills to say deny a existing magical construct like a zombie, Chimera, Golem ect? If even possible of course.Or just blast a normal very magical creature like a fairy temporarily into the mundane?
>>4649729In the same vein, Would it be possible to use these skills to also temporarily deactivate magical or enchanted items?
>>4649596>[Master the arts of antimagic, with a MD in Counterspell and more points in Spiritual Escutcheon]
>>4649596>>[Master the arts of antimagic, with a MD in Counterspell and more points in Spiritual Escutcheon]
>>4649596>[Focus on your basics, buying useful spells in your primary schools of Smoke Sculpting, Aqueous Divination, and Wings of Words.]I’ll toss a vote here because we’ve got a lot of space to expand our arsenal
>>4649729>>4649740An excellent question. It depends, I suppose, on how you define ongoing enchantments. I'd say that a chimera would be immune because the magic happens prior to its birth and the resulting creature exists "naturally" and without magic animating it.
>>4649596>[Master the arts of antimagic, with a MD in Counterspell and more points in Spiritual Escutcheon]I'm glad we are investing in self defense, it scares me that there are crazy powerful magic users in our own domain that may want us dead.I think this esoteric path can boost our public image too. From what I can tell, our citizens loved Arnveis. If we make a public display of counterspell power in a way that only Arnveis the Black could, maybe political holdouts who admire Albeda's power will think again about who the true successor is.
>>4649596>[Pursue the path of turning into a giant monster wolf, this will entail putting points into Fight and learning a handful of key Night Hunter spells]
>>4649962So a zombie or Golem that are animated by a continuous on going enchantment yes. A creature that exists because of magic but isn't constantly animated by magic no. And I'm assuming that would also mean we couldn't mundane a naturally existing magical creature, just prevent them from using any additional magic around us. Alright, and we'd basically need to touch whatever we are unenchanting and need to have maxed out spiritual Escutcheon to do it.Cool.
Is this running?
You give the orders to your lieutenants, and the army swings south of Kidney Lake. It's a long thing, your army, and its formations are ugly. Your soldiers are used to treacherous ground, and by nature and habit travel somewhat spread out, experienced scouts identifying mires at the head of each neck of the hydra that is the Army of the Eye. Which in part informs your judgment, you better than any other commander in Vartyne know the peril of those swamp flats. The earth itself can swallow a man here, gobble him up without even spitting out his bones and armor. The forest is safer by far, and if Gorol had pockets of undead waiting to ambush you, they won't be able to form a wall of pikes amidst the dense trees. In spite of that, it's a beautiful day. Not without its clouds, and with a stiff breeze, but the sun is shining brightly through the clouds, and it's pleasantly cool without being cold. The kind of crisp day that makes you feel just a bit more awake and alert. It feels like everything is in bloom, the sundews glisten like molten gems, and the air is thick with the sweet scent of syrup lilies and bluemanes. You have time to notice it, as whether your boats are smokemass or wooden your soldiers still have to find a landing spot and hack down enough green, soggy wood for some large, smoky bonfires. Tonight, you can set up a camp, tomorrow morning your boats sail. Wars, your father explained to you once, involve a stunning amount of tedium. Short periods of frenetic activity, and long stretches of riding, waiting, taking some time to read, and getting to know the men around the campfires. One time, Albeda asked him if it wouldn't be easier not to, as he was sending them to die. He told you both, sitting at the high table, gesturing with a chicken leg, that the solution was to be ready to die too. Everyone is mortal, after all. You live while you can.Speaking of living...what will you do while you wait? >[Go for a walk. Inspect the fortifications of the camp being set up, and oversee the construction of the smokemass ships.]>[Go fishing. Take the chance to get a better look at the area, and get a sense for the lake, its currents, and what might be in there.]Who will you take with you?>[No one, no distractions, you need to work at your peak efficiency]>[A single dangerous individual that can protect you against most problems, will obviously talk to you and be a slight distraction]>[Your bodyguards. With ten people around, they talk, they make noise, they can throw you off when you're trying to focus, although you can order them to stand there and be quiet.]
>>4650908>[Go fishing. Take the chance to get a better look at the area, and get a sense for the lake, its currents, and what might be in there.]>[A single dangerous individual that can protect you against most problems, will obviously talk to you and be a slight distraction]It's about time we give Hannah a proper thank you. Plus, all this spring blooming would be a wonderful experience to a Lady of Winter.
>>4650908>[Go fishing. Take the chance to get a better look at the area, and get a sense for the lake, its currents, and what might be in there.]>[A single dangerous individual that can protect you against most problems, will obviously talk to you and be a slight distraction]Hannah
>>4650908>[Go fishing. Take the chance to get a better look at the area, and get a sense for the lake, its currents, and what might be in there.]>Nuncle AradI want to talk strategy with him, he should be one the more experienced campaigners we have. Though if he's not here, then Hannah.
You need to get away for a while, get a look at the terrain that isn't from the back of your wagon, do something that gives you time to think, and get a better look at what might be a battlefield. So from among your kit, you retrieve your trusty fishing gear. The rod doesn't appear to have been damaged from being stored through most of the winter, and Cailm doesn't appear to have filched any of your hooks recently. Satisfactory.Still, having the leader of the army wander off alone is never a good idea, but you want to be able to focus somewhat. So you pick someone rather quiet, and pleasant to spend time with. She has her own tent, and generally her own campfire, and despite being generally well-liked seems almost terrified of socializing with the soldiers. When you approach her, though, you see her indigo eyes light up, and her blade-kissed face turn into one big smile. She stops polishing her sword, climbs off the pile of crates she's perched on, and practically skips over to you, vaulting a tent in the process for getting into her way. “Lord Jakob!” She chirps, “Is there something you need? Do you want me to go over in the first boat?” She tilts her head to the side. For all of her size and terrifying strength, she has the mannerisms of any girl your age, albeit a shy and awkward one.“I was thinking of going fishing, and I wanted someone to keep me company. You sprung instantly to mind.” You smile at her, showing her the spare fishing rod you brought along for her use. Her face goes red, “My lord...you need not...I mean, such charity is not required. I know your reputation will suffer for being seen in the company of an ogress like me. You have been so kind to me already, I couldn't possibly impose more.” >[Be gentle with her]>[Scold her]
>>4650970>[Be gentle with her]Though we really need to tell her to believe in herself more. Can't be a leader with -100 self-esteem
>>4650970>[Scold her]Self deprecation isn't cute!
>>4650970>[Be gentle with her]Hannah plz if anything it's your reputation that would take damage for being an associate of a greenhorn swamp mage, now do you need lessons on how to coax a bass out some swamp reeds?
>>4650970>[Be gentle with her]
“Ah, Hannah, please. If anything, your reputation would be the one damaged. Lots of people have heard of you.” You start.“They have? Oh no, I'll be recognized everywhere.” Her shoulders droop.“...While I'm just some wetfoot sorcerer. Now come on, I want you with me. Do you need lessons on how to coax a bass out of some swamp reeds?” You hold out the fishing rod to her again.Hesitantly, she puts her sword back in its scabbard, and slings it over her shoulder, “I suppose I do, I never have done it before.” She smiles hesitantly, following you out of the camp. You make your way towards a narrow stream, and follow it towards the lake.For a while, you walk in silence, her following behind you. Despite that, she seems happy, a warm smile on her face and her eyes downcast, “There are so many flowers.” She says abruptly, “I don't know any of their names.”“I know a few, but Cailm or my steward would be a better source. I mostly just enjoy the flowers, I know little plant-lore.” You admit.“Some things are nice just as they are, with or without the names..” She opines. Then, in a more hesitant voice, she says “I know you didn't do anything inappropriate with Miss Lilly, um, your minstrel. I knew at once you wouldn't make it so she couldn't, um, become a bride.” Her face is bright, bright red.>[Tease her gently]>[Just be kind to her]
>>4651016>[Tease her gently]Oh?
>>4651016>[Tease her gently]
Hm, might be because it's an off night that we're so shorthanded. We'll do this another time.
>>4651016>[Tease her gently]>>4651095WONG NOOO!
>>4651016>[Just be kind to her]>>4651095Sorry I'm at work, makes it hard to vote in a timely manner.
NOOOO SWAMPBROS WE GOT TOO COCKY!
>>4651016>[Tease her gently]Always been ready to tease.
>>4651095Sorry wasn’t around, was busy :(Will try to catch it on next roll around
>>4651095Sooooo try again tomorrow evening/Monday or skip to Friday?
>>4651016>[Tease her gently]This stream will run yellow with the pasta of our waifu
>>4651335We'll aim for Monday.
>>4651016>[Tease her gently]"What, can't a man enjoy talking to his friends? Heavens, we'd be ruined for marriage too.">>4651095I was busy getting drunk, so didn't have access. Hope the next one is a bit more lively too.
>>4651016>>[Tease her gently]
>>4651016>>[Just be kind to her]
Worst news, laptop charger seems to be dying, will give updates as I get them.
Bought a replacement cord, it doesn't fit. Fuck
>>4653560>>4654240Is it time to panic?
>>4654240>Bought a replacement cord>Doesn't fit
A new replacement cord will be here Friday. We'll see how it works, I'm going nuts not being able to write.
>>4658684>Wong, getting a replacement cord, 2021 colorized
>>4658684Weekend run or stick to the schedule?
I might have fixed it.
So yes, game tomorrow, no matter how shorthanded we are. If I have to sit here and loredump by myself from 10PM to the wee hours of the morning I will DO SO.
>>4659244By all means, please do that! More stuff to read whenever I have second at work is always a pleasant surprise!
“What do you mean by that?” You ask her innocently. It's not a very good impression of innocence, but it seems to fool her.Hannah's eyes go wide, “Y-you know...um...that.”“What do you mean by 'that'?” You ask her again, furrowing your brows with an expression of scholarly contemplation. “'That' can mean all many of things. I suppose it would be hard for her to become a bride if, for instance, I turned her into a toad.”“You can do that?” She stops and stares at you, stunned.You adopt a mien you learned from your father, and remember a piece of advice he once gave you. A sorcerer, particularly an unattuned one, should only admit he cannot do something when he must. Your mother happened to overhear this and had some very tart words on the subject, but the lesson is one that stuck with you, “Many things are possible through sorcery.” You inform her gravely. Her eyes narrow slightly, and she leans down. Given the difference in height, it is a significant lean. She puts her hands on her hips, “It's...” She visibly steels herself, “It's not a...magic thing...it's...you know!”“Do I?” If you had a beard this would be the time for you to wisely stroke it. “A thing men and women do together with...with their b-b-bodies...” Her face is about to combust.“Dancing? That hardly disqualifies one from marriage, does it? Is this some Northern custom I'm unfamiliar with? Please, do tell.” Your eyes narrow slightly with artfully suppressed glee. You see her lips try to form words, but this is a battlefield where she has no chance. So like any good commander she seizes more favorable terrain. Or rather, she seizes you. She picks you up and unceremoniously sets you down on the branch of a nearby swamp mangrove, your feet dangling high above the ground, “There. Now if you promise to stop it, I'll let you down.” She folds her arms with a self-satisfied expression, which quickly turns into nervous confusion, “My lord, what are you mumbling? I don't understan-THAT'S CHEATING!” She bursts out, stomping her foot as you casually float off the branch and to the ground, tucking a sprig of leaves behind her ear like a flower in the process. She squeals as her foot sinks deep into the muddy bank, and pulls it out with a squelch, looking at her muddy greave with an almost comical pout.You pat her arm, “We'll get you washed off, my lady. Down here.” You lead her to the stream, and point to a dry spot. “Sit.”She sits, leg extended out in front of her, face scarlet, “I...I am perfectly capable of...” “Mm.” You reply, as you tear a patch of the thick moss off a nearby stone, dip it in the water, and begin scrubbing the mud off. Even in her armor, you can see how shapely and athletic her legs are. Her lower lip vanishes between her teeth as you lift her leg up to get the underside, then let it down again. “Thank you.” Her voice is barely a whisper.>[Be cool]>[Be candid]
>>4660681>[Be candid]It's all good, our fault she got her greave dirty to begin with. It's what friends are for, after all. My heart Wong, I need it to live.
>>4660681>[Be cool]Cheating guy with Fly spells is highly amusingI don't know what either of these answers lead to.
>>4660681>[Be candid]Lifting a swamp mage out of their swamp is a dangerous game to play Hannah. How long has it been since a Girl just lifted Jacob up? I'm assuming a long time given our mother's fragility and having wings for arms.
>>4660681>[Be candid]I'm new and a bit behind on the backlog reading so i'll go along with the crowd on this one. Being honest with the tall girl is always good, as well.
>>4660681>[Be cool]No problem, my lady. It's the least I could do when you chose to help in this conflict. You been an invaluably friend, Hannah.
“I should be the one thanking you.” You tell her, seriously, despite smiling while you say it.Her surprisingly cute nose wrinkles in confusion, and she reaches up to brush her hair across the scarred side of her face, a gesture you're beginning to notice is a bit of a habit, “...Why?” You sigh quietly, “When I was first made lord, there was speculation that I was just a useless child ruler.”She stares at you in utter shock.“That's partially why my two strongest sorcerers were left at Briarfast. I can't have it looking as if I'm someone's puppet.” You're being surprisingly candid with her, but it feels good to vent, “See, Albeda is...she was my father's ward, it's not the same as her being my blood-sister, but the fact that she was also his apprentice means that he approved of her, and to certain elements of my people in particular, the conscious fact that he chose her but was merely saddled with me made her the better candidate to rule. When this conflict started, I was completely untested. Barely a true sorcerer at all.” Her brow furrows, “But that's...” She looks almost as if she thinks you're trying to trick her, “I heard the stories about you floating down from the tower and striking down the Flame Dancer in a single bolt of arcane power!”You spread your arms wide, “I was almost a different person back then. It's funny, I was terrified of facing someone on Albeda's level. Now, I wonder how I ever let myself be so frightened. But you know what helped? Right after it became public she meant to oppose me, the lords of the nearby provinces all wrote, offering their support. Not just that, but your province wrote to the Absol Swamp for aid. From me. The person who, at the time, was little more than just the great archmage's son. When I read those words, I realized something. I was a lord too, and I had duties to perform, duties I could perform. It gave me some confidence. All of that was before meeting you and learning what a good friend you were, and that you were brave and gallant enough to come help me for the sake of your people. Hannah, listen to me, you are not a monster. You are not an ogre. You are a good woman who cares about her lands and the people who live there, and if some of them don't realize that, I will NOT let them hurt you anymore. I-”You don't manage to say anything else as she throws her arms around you and pulls you to her. You're held in steel-wrapped limbs, against a steel-wrapped bosom, as she just silently, almost possessively, hugs you close. “Jakob...it's alright. I didn't know anybody else felt like they...like they weren't ready for this when it was given to them.” [Continue]
“The last thing my father ever said to me was 'survive'.” She says, quietly, “All this time, I've been fighting it, I think. Treating it like my duty, but now, after fighting with you, I'm beginning to think that you're right. I'm not alone.”“Of course you aren't.” You tell her. Your arms have, somehow, wound up around her waist as well. She blushes, and sniffles slightly, “You and Lady Gwelm have been so kind to me. I...forgive me, my lord.”“There is nothing to forgive.” You tell her gently, reaching up to pat her head. You realize, abruptly, that her hair is hanging loose, but in the vision you first saw of her she had a big, floppy purple bow in her hair. Perhaps you should buy one for her. A feminine accent to this tall, imposing woman might be nice.“Even if there was, I hope we would still be close.” She says, and there is something tender, almost raw in her tone. For all of her power, she has been treated roughly by life, and your kindness is something she is clearly not used to. “Always.” You tell her.>[Begin rolling dice, Sense+Sight followed by Sense+Hearing]
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4660850It Begins.....
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4660850
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4660850Dice!
Keep rolling, lads, although it's good you got a 2x4 already.
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4660850Yolo rollo!
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4660850keep on rollin' rollin' rollin'
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4660850HE CANT KEEP GETTING AWAY WITH THESE ROLLS
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4660867Opps
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>4660850
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4660850
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4660850We done dicing?
>>4660858>>4660859>>4660862>>46608633x4, you spot it IMMEDIATELY>>4660865>>4660866>>4660870>>46608722x2 you hear SOMETHING
You're laying there, on a mossy bank of a stream in the embrace of an eight foot tall lady knight, when you see something within the shadows violently thrash upright and run away through the underbrush. You catch a glimpse of black eyes, long blonde hair, and a face twisted into an expression of pure indignation. “T-that foreign hussy, I'll-” The rest of what Doloranna hisses to herself, you fail entirely to catch. Aside from the tone, which is just a bit too dignified to be an outraged shriek. So she was out here stalking you and Hannah. That absolutely makes sense.Hannah rolls over on top of you protectively, reaching for her sword, “Stay here, I'll protect you.” She vows, clearly prepared to spring after Doloranna. Her athletic legs bunch to spring into a run.You have mere seconds to act.>[Let Hannah fetch Doloranna and bring her back, or at least try to]>[Pursue Doloranna while she's still spitting fire and curses yourself, with or without Hannah]>[Insist Hannah let Doloranna go and continue your fishing date]
>>4660887>[Insist Hannah let Doloranna go and continue your fishing date]
>>4660887>[Pursue Doloranna while she's still spitting fire and curses yourself, with or without Hannah]Lovely, just lovely. Hannah you're going to have to watch what you eat at this rate...
>>4660887>[Pursue Doloranna while she's still spitting fire and curses yourself, with or without Hannah]Probably something we want to head off. >without Hannah
>>4660887>[Insist Hannah let Doloranna go and continue your fishing date]Tough choice. Wouldn't mind talking with Doloranna, but we can do that another time.
Anyone wanna be a tiebreaker?
It's really a question of whether you want to break off your time with Hannah to deal with Doloranna, or trust in your ability to handle her later in her spite.
>>4660887>[Insist Hannah let Doloranna go and continue your fishing date]Doloranna is spiteful, but she'll take the time to plot a sufficiently embarassing incident. May as well enjoy this small bit of peace while we can.
You grab her arm. “Let it be.” You instruct her, “I'll deal with this later.” You have a lot of fun showing her how to gather bait. You've got your various flies and spinning metal bits designed to resemble frogs and fish, of course, but today feels like a day for the basics, so together you gather worms and caterpillars into a small bucket that comes with your fishing kit, and set to showing her how it's done. It's a bit of a process. She swings the rod like a sword on her first try, a crisp overhead blow that nearly snaps it and sends the hapless worm flying end over end across the nice, mossy section of lake you pick to be your hunting grounds. After a few corrective efforts, she settles on a technique that involves using just one hand, and to your surprise, she manages to put the line right where she wants it every single time.Even if her technique is appalling, she manages to physically yank a fat catfish out of the water almost effortlessly soon enough. She gives you a sweet smile after clubbing the fish to death with a rock so that the two of you can eat it back at camp, and hands you the rod.>[Cheat and use your magic to see through the water and find a fish, to impress her]>[Do not cheat and risk flubbing it]
>>4660993>[Do not cheat and risk flubbing it]Rip that catfish, Hannah Smash.Cailm's not around to make fun of us, so no need to cheat...I swear if Cailm is right behind us....
>>4660993>[Cheat and use your magic to see through the water and find a fish, to impress her]Cheating is a word commoners use to shame exceptional people for using their abilities.
>>4660993>[Cheat and use your magic to see through the water and find a fish, to impress her]She called us a cheater once, she'll do it again. May as well own it.
>>4660993>[Do not cheat and risk flubbing it]Not about winning here, it's about having a good time and making memories. And avoiding thoughts of the inevitable storm on the horizon.
>>4660993>>[Cheat and use your magic to see through the water and find a fish, to impress her]
>>4660993>[Do not cheat and risk flubbing it]There is no failing in not catching a fish
Side note, we need to cook that fish. Not the cooks that Doloranna is around because of our "punishment", with the potential for all manner of shenanigans.
>>4661011Is the inevitable storm referring to Doloranna hiding herself in the shadows under our blankets and lying in wait to "scrub all that foreigner hussy stank off us"Albeda somehow sneaking into our castle why we are out and filling our room with traps?Whatever monster Sister Shell is brewing up for our pending visit as lord? Or whatever awful things Cailm is currently telling our soldiers that we are doing to Hannah's ass?
>>4661025I was thinking Doloranna, but all of those are good examples. See what a nice time we can have, not thinking about the problems that await us?
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>46609931.>>[Cheat and use your magic to see through the water and find a fish, to impress her]2.>>[Do not cheat and risk flubbing it]
I'm going to say...resume rolling dice.
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4661060Prepare ourselves
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>4661060Yosh!
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4661060Come on rolls, papa wants a big, fat fish to grill tonight!
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4661060
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4661060Here, fishy fishy fishy...
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4661060We finished rolling Wong?
>>4661066>>4661067>>4661073>>4661074>>4661076No fish, but continue rolling. Thankfully, you have that Lucky advantage that almost never comes up.
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4661092Okie dokie boss.
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4661060Probably too lateBut have another die
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4661060Give is the bass swamp reeds! Release your precious cargo unto us!
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4661060Dice for the Dice Gods!Sets for the Set Throne!
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4661060One more die and then back to work
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4661060Welp, hope this is enough dice for the moment.
>>4661085>>4661093>>4661094>>4661099>>46611082x9. Not bad, not bad at all. Though the veil is sleep is coming down, I shall endure. One more post.
Fishing takes time and luck. It's not immediate, and it takes a fair number of tries, but eventually the fat, hand-length caterpillar dangling from your catfish hook draws a proper lunker, and you feel it snatched and tugged with such force it nearly drags you into the water. It's a fight between you and the fish, and from how it pulls you can tell you've snagged a big one...but it isn't until it reaches the shallows that you notice the long shadow stretching across the water towards you. You're not the only one who wants that catfish.Still, a lord does not relinquish his prey. You haul on the rod, and drag the catfish, one significantly larger than Hannah's, almost as big as you, into the shallows. The fact that it's not exactly keen to swim towards whatever is slowly meandering towards you aids you significantly, but as Hannah brings a rock down on this catfish's head too and holds her hand out for the rod with an expectant smile, you find your throat growing dry as you realize just how big the thing moving towards the shore is.It's the size of a tree. At least. “Hannah, I think it's time we left.” Your voice comes out slightly strained.“But why?” She asks.You point, as a row of sharklike dorsal fins emerge from the water. You can see the outline of a vast, snakelike head and two sturdy pectoral fins that it uses like legs to move along the bottom. It's serpentine, but a stout sort of serpentine, at least sixty feet long, perhaps eighty. Its nostrils are comical, protruding tubes, and its eyes remind you more of a lizard's eyes than a fish's somehow. Whatever this thing is, it cannot be natural. Worse, its hide is clearly covered in thick, ganoid scales. You've seen Cailm bounce arrows off big gar before, and this thing looks to be the same sort of fish. It's an effort not to start swearing as its mouth opens, revealing needle-sharp teeth. Relatively small teeth for its size, but relative is such an important word, those teeth being small just means more of them will stick in you, and that they're the size of swords instead of the size of pikes. As it moves towards you, you see Hannah reach for her sword...but fortunately, a truly massive catfish darts out of hiding, frantically trying to flee. With an almost casual turn of its head, the monster snaps up the two-hundred-pound fish with no visible effort, engulfing it completely in jaws as big as a megalodon's.“Hannah. It's time to go.” You tug on her arm, and she wraps the two catfish up hurriedly and carries them as you cautiously retreat from the bank. This is a problem. A very real problem. It was attracted by the sound of you fishing, the splash of boats being launched will surely draw its ire, and that thing looks like it could headbutt a normal boat over or just flat-out swallow the typical canoe, let alone an ultra-light smokemass raft. This is a problem.A problem for which you need to find a solution.
>>4661142Seems like a good time to make a smoke walkway on the water and run away!
>>4661196The lake is too long for us to bridge across with our current smokeshape spells unfortunately. So it's definitely too long to make walkways across.
>>4661142Wong, is it possible for us to smoke shape baits for this Leviathan? Like keep it moving like catfish perhaps? So while our ships are crossing, we and a couple of smoke shapers keep it busy.
Alright, the obvious answer is let’s try inland whaling with harpoons, ballista, and the like. Tie ropes to trees, try to leash it near to the shore and pelt it to death with spells.Anyone got any smarter ideas?
>>4661392Bait with smoke shape or shadow creatures of Doloranna, keep it busy while those who cant fly cross with the boats
>>4661294Depends on what you mean by that. You can't make the baits move with just your basic smoke sculpting spells, for example.
>>4661142Keep it distracted away from the fleet, and magic it to death if need be. Shadowbinder magic may be useful for the darker depths of the Swamp, a Smokemass net to entangle it, Updraft and Lightning Stroke it into oblivion. Some of those other divination spells would be a useful supplement, considering the abundance of water we're going to be dealing with.
>>4661923So the most obvious problem of this is just the sheer size and mass of the beast. 60-80 feet long is fucking massive, which begs the question how the f does that thing get around here. The water must be deep enough to let the behemoth move around freely.It doesn't Seem to be directed with intelligence, just moving around searching for prey/defending its territory, or else it would have remained hidden until it could deal the most damage.Then again, it can just flee to those deeper waters if we should manage to wound it, and then we lose our chance.Why are we focusing on so much fake bait? It would as likely be baited by slaughtered livestock into more shallow waters, then attacked by smokemass ballista harpoons, where it can be thus tied to the shore and dispatched at our leisure.Alternatively, we could prepare some heavy duty nets, and cordon off a portion of the shallows that we bait the fish into, and close the trap on them.
>>4662116How to keep it distracted? Simple. We are the living bait that kicks up a fuss on the surface. With Soar and Stonesight (using shorthand here), we've got a better chance than most at distracting the leviathan and coming out of it relatively unscathed.>>4662446This also works. Nice job anon!
>>4662446A lot of Bichirs and related species of fish have well-developed forefins that allow them to pull themselves along, and are able to breathe air for decent periods of time. They aren't quite lungfish, but they can drag themselves along in some fairly shallow water and even go from body of water to another body of water if they are close enough.Just saying, it probably isn't confined to deep water.
>>4662446Now, I'm not 100% on smokemass mechanics, but if I remember from a few threads ago when its applications in seigecraft were discussed, I think it was the siege engines that were made out of of the stuff, and not their ammunition. Smokemass is 'ultra-light' as per >>4661142, which is the exact opposite of what you want for munitions - you want something dense, so the impact has the greatest amount of force for the size of the thrown object. And as far as a Ballista is concerned, I don't know if smokemass would be able to make the torsion springs - or for that matter, if a smokemass bolt would survive the sudden application of force in the launching process. The stuff is not indestructible, after all. Nets seem like a better option, but again, smokemass is ultra-light, and the kind of nets that we are talking about are supposed to be heavy, that slow and encumber their targets. >>4662116 Mr. Wong, could we weave actual metal weights and barbs into a net made out of smokemass? Because if that is out, then I don't think a net is going to be much use to us. >>4662446>It doesn't Seem to be directed with intelligence, just moving around searching for prey/defending its territory, or else it would have remained hidden until it could deal the most damage.But do we know that? The island is approachable only by boat. While it is certainly possible that the construct is simply baited away and held somewhere during planned visits and then let loose after the guests leave, it is also possible that the construct is able to take instruction on what is 'food' and 'not food'. We shouldn't assume anything. There is another point that I wanted to bring up - it is common knowledge that Jakob has Stormtongues with him. The last time he attacked one of the Pentacle's static fortifications, there were defenses designed specifically against Stormtongues; those snaring wires. We should assume that Sister Shell has also planned against an aerial attack somehow - she would be stupid not to - so simply flying over there could be a very dangerous proposition. I think that we should forget the landing action. Instead, we should send some of the men back to the capital and commit to a siege here - raise those smokemass trebuchets and reduce that tower to a pile, while dumping dead cows in the lake that have been stuffed with every ounce of poison that we can muster. Of course, if we dally here, then we are inviting the Pentacle to make a counter-attack (why I suggested sending some men back to our capital). If it is either eat the losses of a forced landing, or eat the losses of a diversionary counterattack, I think that the counterattack would be easier to bear. That said, there is a third option - attempting to talk things out with Sister Shell. Beyond her specialization, Jakob knows nothing about her. It is possible that there might be some common ground that can be reached. Hell, for all we know, she might have bailed on the place already.
>>4665056trebuchets were explicitly stated by Wong as something that doesn't work with the smokemass mechanics a few threads back unfortunately, because again the smokemass is super light and trebuchets work using counter weights. The smokemass is also supposed to be as strong as its steel equivalent.And I'm not sure how well a siege like that would work since the tower here is supposedly made of the same or similar material as the well, the magical kind of how the fuck was this done ancient building, it's just sinking into the lake. If we are going to commit to a protracted siege here we could also dig a channel with the men who aren't manning siege equipment and attempt to "drain" the lake or at least lower the water level to make the beast more exposed. Try to bait the Leviathan with poisoned feed is a good idea!
>>4665056I mostly agree with >>4665204 assumptions, and the poisoned bait was particularly inspired. I do think talking to Shell would be useful, if only to clear up the mystery that surrounds her. I should also mention that Wong said that the Pentacle ceased to have a military presence after our battle at the Well, meaning that they cannot muster up the forces for a counterattack currently and that we should be using this period to maximize our gains and keep our momentum going instead of committing to a protracted siege against a single mage and her pets, however monstrous they are in practice.
>>4665204The swamplands and mud isnt really ideal for siege. All the heavy stuff will just sink into the mud. Anyways its either we keep it busy or kill the beast are the only thing we can do. I wonder if our dispell magic could work on this badboy tho.
>>4665555Wong did specify previously that Chimera's although born through magic don't use magic to keep living so they aren't dispelable unfortunately. Zombies and Golems on the other hand are free game. But yeah, I'm questioning how well a siege would work here anyways,it is a lot harder to starve out s single sorceress in her tower than an army in a castle.And I don't think we are actually capable of damaging the tower if it is in fact made of the same magic as the well. I think it waa Grandmama who said they were both ancient sites.
>>4665204Poisoned feed seems like a good baseline idea to start on. Admittedly, the sheer size of the beast makes it hard to calculate how much would be needed. At worst, it could give it a stomachache, at best, it kills the thing outright.I'll float the idea of a smokemass boat manned by the dead to head into the lake to see if the Leviathan reacts to it, or if any other defenses are triggered by it heading across the waters. Worst comes to worst, it's the dead, so no expensive losses.>>4665279I'm also kind of worried about getting bogged down (So to speak) in a protracted siege. It might be better to try and just leave some outposts out to keep an eye on them, and stop them from getting any more materials into this place, while we pivot elsewhere to try and flush out the rest of the Pentacle. Unless they're all holed up in this stronghold, which I strongly doubt but would still be a solid win.
So after letting the thread simmer for a bit, rather than getting deep into the fascinating hunting behavior of bichirs, I've boiled it down to a few options.>Fly across the water with Jakob and the Stormtongues, nothing you've heard indicates Sister Shell has an army, thus far she's just been supplying individual monsters>Set your men to hunting. Stuff whatever they can catch...deer, pigs, rabbits, pheasants, crododiles...with poison berries and load this pile of meat onto a small convoy of smokemass rafts poled by the undead. Send this convoy out in a different direction from the route your real force will take, and once you can verify the leviathan has taken the bait you will get another vote between waiting for it to die and crossing the water while it's distracted.>As above, set your men to hunting and clear your landing site of trees, but instead of sending the fake convoy out, lure the beast to shore where you will bury it in lightning bolts, smoke projectiles, biting shadow spirits, and mundane fire from crossbows and ballistae
>>4670759>Fly across the water with Jakob and the Stormtongues, nothing you've heard indicates Sister Shell has an army, thus far she's just been supplying individual monstersWong can we do the X-Ray vision spell atleast before sallying out.
>>4670768Absolutely, it only takes four minutes to cast and lasts for Height in hours!
>>4670759>As above, set your men to hunting and clear your landing site of trees, but instead of sending the fake convoy out, lure the beast to shore where you will bury it in lightning bolts, smoke projectiles, biting shadow spirits, and mundane fire from crossbows and ballistaeI don’t think poison alone will kill something of that size, and even if we bait it somewhere we still need to return. Better to kill the beast, or try to seriously wound it.
>>4670769So you are telling me with this spell active we can wear no-visor helms?
>>4670781Breathing might be a problem.
>>4670824We obviously make some small but numerous holes beneath the jaw so we can breathe (and some in other parts of the helmet disguised amongst ornaments), if someone hits us (or is in a position to hit us) in the upper throath area we are fucked anyways, so better to use that zone for something
>>4670759>As above, set your men to hunting and clear your landing site of trees, but instead of sending the fake convoy out, lure the beast to shore where you will bury it in lightning bolts, smoke projectiles, biting shadow spirits, and mundane fire from crossbows and ballistae>>4671042We can use our normal helm but make the smokemass cover of it have no visible eye slots just the breathing perforations, make our already intimidating Flaming eye appear as though it is what we use to see!
>>4671259That's not actually a bad idea. I mean I can theoretically see a convoluted set of circumstances in which it might be used against you, but given that Spiritual Escutcheon is in-setting rare enough that it was invented by your dad those circumstances would have to be very contrived.
Game begins in 45 minutes, incidentally.
>>4670759>Fly across the water with Jakob and the Stormtongues, nothing you've heard indicates Sister Shell has an army, thus far she's just been supplying individual monstersCause I wanna talk and I'm drunk so feel free to discard my vote incase of tie :^p
>>4670759>As above, set your men to hunting and clear your landing site of trees, but instead of sending the fake convoy out, lure the beast to shore where you will bury it in lightning bolts, smoke projectiles, biting shadow spirits, and mundane fire from crossbows and ballistaeCongrats on becoming an uncle (if you weren't already) by the way
>>4671371I have been an uncle for a decade, but thank you!
>>4671339I mean theoretically Albeda could potentially know it as she was our father's apprentice.
You have plenty of time walking back to camp to plan out exactly what you are going to do. “...I could swim out after it, um, if you want.” Hannah shifts her grip on the catfishes. You glance at them, an idea beginning to form. “I'm a good swimmer, even in armor.” This is in response to the way you look her armored figure up and down skeptically. It's true, she takes it off about as seldom as you do, but you can fly. “I can't risk that.” You inform her, adjusting the way your otter-fur cloak hangs on your shoulders.“I'm not delicate, Jakob. I'm very strong.” She sounds a little hurt.You manage a smile for her sake, “I know, but I can't be seen relying on you too much, or people will think I'm weak.”“That's silly of them.” She huffs. “I could just go out on a raft and hit it with my sword, right between the eyes.”“People can be silly, and I'll be silly if it means keeping you safe. For the sake of your people, too.” You chide her, “Remember, you have a duty to survive.”She sighs, then smiles, “I had fun fishing with you. Perhaps we could do it again?” Color flares in her cheeks, “...The hug was nice too.”You can already feel the consequences of that hug looming over you, those black eyes in the shadows flaring with menace. “Absolutely.” You inform her with a smile. As soon as you walk into camp, before even scraping the mud off your boots, you collar Cailm. Literally grab him by the collar as he tries to saunter away from you, clearly expecting an overdue zap.“We need meat.” You inform him in a low voice, “Lots and lots of meat.”“Good for the endurance.” He responds, full of cheek as always, “You and Lady Galdynfyrgenbach, uh, made some plans for the night, have you?”>[Hold off, this is important and he IS a good hunter]>[ZAP HIM! ZAP HIM NOW!]
>>4671398>[Hold off, this is important and he IS a good hunter]We need the meat, damnit!
>>4671398>>[Hold off, this is important and he IS a good hunter]
>>4671398>[Hold off, this is important and he IS a good hunter]Every pound is one less volt.
>>4671398>[Hold off, this is important and he IS a good hunter]>Any other day that would have earned you another spot on my zap list, but today I'm very serious and I need you to be on your A game Cailm...
>>4671398>[Hold off, this is important and he IS a good hunter]
>>4671259This is really cool and a thing we should start doing.
Huh, I never spent your exp, apparently. You've got 10. Enough for a MD in Counterspell and Rank 3 of Spiritual Escutcheon.
>>4671428Aye, sounds good Wong.
And I'm going to be cheeky and automatically put a point into Student of Angling (used with Knowledge) with some of your exp from this session.
>>4671431Begin rolling dice. This is for three Minor Smoke Structure casts. Fret not, I am typing.
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4671443Did somebody say DICE
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4671443Oh boy let's ROLL!
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4671454>>4671448Dice are feeling a tad Bipolar tonight I see.>>4671443Another ROLL
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4671443Dice boiz!
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4671443Lets see if the Dice Gods bless us with some sets!
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4671443Dice dice dice dice dice EVERYBODY
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4671443Good thing these are all Sorcery rolls and we have a MD for that.
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>4671443Praise be to the Lords of Dice!
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4671443Another roll.
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4671443Dice for Wong's Dice addiction
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4671443More rolls, More Sets!
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4671443Welcome to Gamblers Anonymous, we are your host this evening...
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>4671454>>4671468>>4671474Tripple 10's but not within the same casting kek.>>4671443Rolling dice like I'm screaming into the void.
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4671443All hail the Dice Lords!
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4671443How many more die rolls dp you want Wong?
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4671443Come on lads, we got an addiction to fill! Wait a minute...
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4671443Die die die die dieA group of die are called dice....
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4671443Dice dice dice dice....
>>4671443Remember lads, a group of Lemurs is called a conspiracy.
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4671443A group of leopards is also called a leap.
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4671443How many more dice do we need?
“Yes, and you're a part of them.” You shove him towards the woods, “Get your bow and start killing. We need every dead animal you can bring in. Get every single one of the men who wouldn't be a liability out there to join you. Recruit beaters from among the camp followers, engage as many sorcerers as you need, you have complete command and discretion. Anything you find dead, bring back here too. No matter how decomposed, as long as it has meat.”“Jakob I'm flattered, but you know I'm a solo act. Sharing one girl, even a big one, is a little...” He makes a wobbly gesture with his hand, “Too intimate.”You snort with laughter despite yourself, “We're trying to lure a girl too big for any of us to satisfy alone.” You tell him, casting a glance out over the water, “About sixty feet long and with a hide thicker than any I've seen on a battering ram. Any other day, I'd have given you a taste of lightning for joking about Hannah the way you already did about Lilly. In fact, you've been on the zap list for that. I'm giving you a reprieve, however, I need you at your very best. We may only get one chance to court this one, and if it fails? We can kiss moving the army across the water goodbye, it will just be me and our remaining fliers, and that's a small group of relatively delicate mages between me and whatever is in there. I don't want to go down in history as the brave Lord Absol who was undone by a fish, it reads like a bad joke.”“Even I wouldn't make a jest that sour.” Cailm hums, “Ballistae?”“That's what I was thinking. Ballistae. Smoke walls around the camp for tonight, and I'll take them down in the morning.” This is hardly the first time you and Cailm have done something foolhardy together, but it has never been so serious before.“We'll need to stop it retreating. You picked a nice, shallow beach to launch from, but it's on kind of an inlet. Could we wall it off?” Cailm rubs his chin, all business with a beast to hunt.You shake your head, “There isn't enough time, I'd have to cast it in advance and...nets.” You remember the ones at the Well, the anti-Stormtongue defenses that you had been worried might have some kind of reprise here, “I'll weave the biggest net I can, and have the most junior Stormtongues who can fly tow it across once the thing's inside. If it retreats and gets tangled up in it...”“So long as its fins are held it can't swim away.” Cailm notes. “You're sending out the young ones since they're the prettiest and you don't want me distracted, right?” He grins cavalierly, “Too bad, my favorite one is twice my age, I'll be able to watch her backside wag right here in camp while she's...”[Continue]
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4671443Is a group of dicks called a dyke?
“Spitting lightning at this thing. We throw everything at it. Correction on my earlier order, you can have any mages you want besides the seniormost Smoke Sculptors, I'm going to bring back some of those defensive barriers from the Well, only this time they'll be staked into the ground and spiked. If our maiden fair, away out there, decides to come ashore and gobble up her tormentors, she'll have to bite down on a mouthful of spearheads to do it.” You rub your hands together. This is why the Absol swamp has such a dominant military reputation. You won't just throw magic at this thing, you'll use every element of the mysteries at your disposal together. You set to work. You may not be, despite the few very public mage duels you've won, the most proficient combat sorcerer ever to exist. In fact, that may not even be at the top of your list of priorities, considering that you can order a squad of crossbowmen to make the most proficient magical duelists ever to exist into pincushions. However, you are good at what you do. You, publicly, in front of your men, create many of the things that lead to victories over armies, not just victories over people, and today you will collectively bring down a monster. There is a form of greatness in that which Sister Char could never appreciate, and it is why you are the lord of the swamp and she is a gate decoration now. It's true, it may be the largest fish you've ever seen, and in its own way a beautiful one. It's true that fisherman's courtesy often includes letting the big ones go to duel another day. However, what you are doing is a kindness. Whatever that thing is, it's too big for Kidney Lake. It was hungry enough to come investigate a few thrashing catfishes, and you're not seeing nearly as many crocodiles as you would expect to here. Left alone, it will surely depopulate these waters and then suffer a slow, miserable death of starvation before enough new fish arrive to feed it. Better it should meet a noble death in battle, even if it lacks the wit to appreciate it. True, you just sent an army to further ravage the area, but the swamp has no shortage of deer, pigs, and crocodiles. Over time, they will repopulate this area, and as for fish? One reason this land is so wet is the interconnectedness of the bodies of water that compose the Absol swamplands, more fish will come, without the leviathan there to devour them all. [Continue]
As you're getting your bonfires built, you notice Twull heading out with his students. Naturally, the Night Hunters are well suited for this kind of work, and they seem in high spirits. Sparing them was a good choice, the lupomancers are loyal to you and seem to enjoy waging war on your behalf, especially with a grand hunt in the works. Already, some of them are quaffing liquid moonlight and howling to summon wolves from afar to aid them. You wave to get the one-eyed sorcerer's attention, and he saunters over to you, grinning hugely, “Well m'lord, changed your mind? Want to come with us, do you?” He laughs, “Soon, soon. It's a precious thing, a sorcerer's first taste of blood in the wolfskin. We'll have you feasting on venison the way it's meant to be in no time.”You laugh along with him, “Soon, but I've much to learn first.” A good sorcerer never forgets that fact, “Twull, how did you cross the waters to the tower with that beast there?” He squints at you, “We went at night. It's hardly unusual for me, not worth noting even, but most folk prefer daylight, don't they?” He winks at you. It's probably supposed to be a blink, “Wait, what beast?”You nod. It does make sense for a big fish to sleep in the dark hours, especially one large enough to need to conserve energy, “There's something in these waters. About sixty foot, at least, armored like a knight and with a head like a cartographer's doodled monsters in the margins of a map.” You gesture vaguely out at Kidney Lake. “Teeth like knives, and quieter than you'd think.”Twull's eye nearly pops out of his head, and he makes a strangled noise, “That...that bitch made me ROW with THAT in the water!?” He clutches his head, “Radha's bloody tears!”“What do the women of the Pentacle have against you?” You ask him sympathetically.“Animal magnetism can be off-putting to cunts who know they won't get a sniff of me.” He remarks dismissively, his hackles still up. “If you'll excuse me, m'lord, I'm going to take this out on the first pig I see.”“Keep them intact, if you can. I mean, kill them, yes, but we need at least some blood in their bodies to bait the creature out. I mean to drain them into the inlet, let the smell draw it in. The Thorn-dwellers made their monsters by combining beasts, and the color and size...makes me think this one's part shark. I bet it can smell blood from a league away.” You call after him as he leaves, and then you set to work.[Continue]
It's funny how much easier it is, working major magic now that you have more confidence in yourself. The net is a work of art, it will last a long time and is some of the finest magecraft you have ever produced, while the walls are perfectly good, great even, although you encounter a little trouble with the terrain on the second one. To offset their lightness, the walls have protruding triangular struts on the inward side to stop them being bowled over if the creature comes to investigate your camp in the night. By the time you're done, it's well after dark and the trap will have to be set in the morning. You're exhausted, but in a good way.>[Go to sleep, you've earned it]>[Find someone to talk to, specify who]
>>4671516>[Go to sleep, you've earned it]Big day tomorrow
>>4671516>[Find someone to talk to, specify who]Shadowbinder gal. Time to mitigate the damage.
>>4671516>[Find someone to talk to, specify who]Talk to shadowmancer goth girl first so that she doesnt do anything to tall lady
>>4671516>[Go to sleep, you've earned it]>[Find someone to talk to, Doloranna]Aren't these the same thing since Doloranna is probably hiding in the shadows under our sheets?Wait, hiding, lurking.... Ready and primed to scrub off the stank of a certain foreign Hussy she watched share a hug with us.If it's not clear I'm voting to go see Doloranna.
>>4671541To be fair, she probably is hiding underneath our bed.
>>4671541Unrelated but after that exchange with Twull I kinda want to get the wolfskin and go for a hunt with the boys and then crack open a cold one around a campfire kek.
>>4671554+1 the sentiment bud.
>>4671516>[Go to sleep, you've earned it]ZzzzzzzCaptcha asking me for boats. I think it’s trying to tell me something
>>4671516>[Go to sleep, you've earned it]We fish on the morrow.
“You there, soldier.” You wipe soot off your hands and waving down one of your Shadowbinders on his way to watch duty. The sorcerer in question, a youngish fellow with a stereotypically pasty complexion and a bit of a gut, immediately stops and snaps off a surprisingly crisp bow. “Where is Doloranna?”“She's in her tent, m'lord.” The Shadowbinder mumbles, “Ain't nobody's had the stones to go near her since she got back. She's...she's in one of those girl moods, you know?”“Where is her tent?” You ask. This is a situation that needs to be handled with at least a little delicacy before Hannah wakes up covered in spiders. “That way, m'lord. It's the blue one. The one that's not military standard on account of how she brought her own with her.” He points, “See, all of us kind of made a cluster so we wouldn't have to look up the noses of the Stormtongues or get teary-eyed from all the smoke...begging your's pardon, m'lord.” He mumbles. He's a habitual mumbler. “Thank you. Carry on.” You head for her tent.“Eh...heh...carrion, he says. S'a good joke with all the huntin' tonight.” The Shadowbinder giggles to himself as he slouches off about his duties. You, meanwhile, make for the rather ladylike sky-blue rounded pavilion with conspicuously few campfires nearby. At the tentflap you stop, and as you gather your thoughts you hear a disturbing sound from within. Sobbing. Hoarse, heartbroken sobbing. >[Call out to her, and don't enter until she invites you]>[She needs you, go in whether she invites you or not]
>>4671587>[Call out to her, and don't enter until she invites you]10 credits this is a trap and that's actually one of her shadow friends sobbing away like bait in there.
>>4671587>[Call out to her, and don't enter until she invites you]Alright, boundaries to respect?
>>4671587>[She needs you, go in whether she invites you or not]She invades our privacy all the time. And yes, I do agree that this is a trap.
>>4671587>[Call out to her, and don't enter until she invites you]Manners maketh man
By the way, if you're wondering what powers this quest and why I'm able to run two at once despite all the stuff going on (those of you in the other quest might've noticed my sister has had yet another baby despite only being married for like two goddamn years holy shit), let me recommend for you the History of Rome podcast. It's good stuff. I finished it recently and started one on the history of Britain, and a lot of what goes into this quest comes from that. Also fuck Flavius Ricimer, fuck him to death, Majorian could have brought it all back and the East & West Empire boys could've brought those faggot Vandals to heel and reconquered North Africa if it wasn't for that wannabe Stilicho being such a little bitch about anything that threatened his grip on Italia proper.
“Doloranna?” You call out, “It's me. May I come in?”“I d-d-don't know, little birdy, w-w-will that...” She pauses for a wet-sounding sniffle, “That foreign girl of yours let you?” You hear her shuffle over to the tentflap, and after a moment her head pokes out. Just her head, she keeps the tentflap wrapped around her, only her face protruding like some cute little bug from its chrysalis. Her face is blotchy and streaked with tears. Even black eyes can cry, “O-or maybe.” She sniffles, “Maybe she thinks it's f-fine because I'm not TALL like her, and my chest isn't as big, and my smile isn't as nice, and maybe sometimes I come on a little strong and s-scare people...” With a wail, she vanishes back into her tent. >[Right, that's it, you're going in]>[Better not, you can talk to her from here]>[Well, time to go before something eldritch happens]
>>4671614>[Better not, you can talk to her from here]100% she's either naked or wearing sexy lingerie. Does make it tempting to vote to barge in tho....10% chance she has shadowfriends on either side of the tent flap waiting to jump us.
>>4671614>[Right, that's it, you're going in]>Just her head, she keeps the tentflap wrapped around her, only her face protruding like some cute little bug from its chrysalis.That description deserves an award, Wong.
>>4671614>[Better not, you can talk to her from here]Sorry Loonypoo, were you j-jealous??
>>4671662What's the worst that could happen?
I'll continue this either tomorrow or Sunday, Monday at worst. I'm exhausted from this week even if I know where this is going.
>>4671614>[Right, that's it, you're going in]Rip the thornbush out by the roots, before it has a chance to dig in deeper. Good thing we usually wear two layers of armour before walking into bear-traps.
>>4671614>>[Better not, you can talk to her from here]
>>4671685You still tired, Wong? Been an exciting week to say the least.
>>4671614>[Right, that's it, you're going in]Ploy or not, it's better to be save than sorry when it comes to the hearts of women.
>>4671685Enjoy your rest Wong.
>>4671685Exhausted enough that I completely forgot about this. Game will resume Friday with a new thread.
>>4677425I know that this is sort of off-topic, but reading through MSPQ inspired me to run a Mekton game for my friends and two of them are already going for the Kieth Young(tm) school of design philosophy and I can tell it's going to be a great time already.
>>4678208Teach them the power of mechaBrawl and twin automated greatshields!
>>4682032New thread up.