Salutations, Swamp Sorcerers, and welcome back to the tenth 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 dealt with the aftermath of the Well. You entertained (suffered, more like) a diplomat from the Ryd Mountains, made your next move in your ongoing regicide game with Lady Amaranthe Ryd, took your army to Kidney Lake to reclaim the Sunken Tower where the monster initially used in an assassination attempt on you was originally being kept, went on a fishing trip with Lady Hannah Galdynfyrgenbach, were discovered by the Shadowbinder Doloranna mid-hug, discovered that the lake had a terrible guardian, and made plans to kill said guardian.Now, you are standing outside the tent of a weeping necromancer who you know for a fact is bold, ambitious, and vengeful. This is a situation that could easily end with a snake in Hannah's bedroll if you aren't careful.
Jakob Absol, Swamp LordUnspent Exp: 1Total Exp: 38BODY: 2COORDINATION: 2SENSE: 3Eerie: +1Empathy: +2KNOWLEDGE: 4Counterspell: +2MDLanguage (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)Spells (1)Spells (2)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 Thought, Rank 3 placeholderThe General's Visage: Words of Iron, Heart-Hardening RhetoricSPELLS:Aqueous Divination (Sense): Weather Wisdom, Froth, Clearwater OracleEldritch Visioning (Sense): Mind's Eye Clarified, The Gaze That Splits the StonesMirror Magic (Command): Grifter's GoldSmoke Sculpting (Knowledge): Bore Gaze, 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
You are standing outside a sky-blue pavilion, having opted not to just barge in. Inside, you can hear indignant sniffling and the sounds of her moving around loudly. Perhaps intentionally loudly. With some girls, you would have just let them cry it out and explained later that just because she caught you in the arms of an eight-foot-tall warrior maiden that doesn't mean anything, but you aren't sure you have time on your side here. After all, Doloranna is one of Grandmama's brood, and Grandmama is a vengeful, petty terror. A young, pretty woman raised and taught by her is capable of awful things. Is it just your imagination, or are the shadows of perfectly static objects in the nearby vicinity starting to waver and dance? It could be a trick of the firelight.>[Butter her up with sweet words and flattery, a tried and true method of dealing with witches]>[Reason with her using facts and logic, you are in the right here and surely she will have to admit it]>[Scold her, she's being a sulky brat over nothing and if this keeps up she's going to end up over your knee before she hurts someone]
Also yes, this thread is quite early, I'm going to deal with votes and as much of this girl stuff as I can from work, if possible, so that tonight can be about dealing with the tower.
>>4682050>[Reason with her using facts and logic, you are in the right here and surely she will have to admit it]Because that always works, right?
>>4682050>[Butter her up with sweet words and flattery, a tried and true method of dealing with witches]So by not barging into her trap we've placed ourselves in a situation where we must use one of our worst stats and skill sets, being charming and social.... Poetry.
>>4682050>[Butter her up with sweet words and flattery, a tried and true method of dealing with witches]We can put her over our knee after (to scold her, of course).
>>4682050>[Butter her up with sweet words and flattery, a tried and true method of dealing with witches]Prepared for spaghetti but hoping not
>>4682050>[Scold her, she's being a sulky brat over nothing and if this keeps up she's going to end up over your knee before she hurts someone]Just seems like what she would react to this best/worst given previous interactions. She likes the feisty, but might not be the best time. Still wanna roll the dice though.
>>4682050>[Butter her up with sweet words and flattery, a tried and true method of dealing with witches]Tempted to try and go full logical on her, but that's begging to be knee-capped by emotion. Even if she thinks it's a damned lie, at least we're trying to spare her feelings about it instead of going full Nuncle Arad and not understanding matters of the heart in the slightest. There's a time for autistic Vulcan-grade logic, and this isn't it.
Roll a few dice for me, just to see how close to home Jakob can hit here.
Actually, one more vote too. I'm at the store but will be home in about twenty minutes. Did Jakob feel bad when he saw she'd been crying? Think your answer through before you vote.>[Yes]>[No]
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4682651
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4682651>>4682668>[Yes]I flipped a coin for this, does that count as thinking?
>>4682668Wasn't loaded when I rolled>[No]
>>4682685No. I actually discard any vote that indicates it was picked at random or for the purpose of sabotage when I count them. There is no shame in saying "I have no opinion on this vote." There is also no shame in not being swayed by tears when you're a lord.
I am home. As usual, remember that you can roll the dice as many times as you like! Even if only one or two people are here, I can run with sufficient dice.
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4682651>>4682668>[No]That's not the short stack that kidnaped and fed us cheese.
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4682651Also, I may be busy tonight, so I'm trusting you lads to be the chads here, alright?
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4682651Dice Boiz, assemble!
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4682651>>4682668>[Yes]
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4682716I do hope my absence won't muck things up too much, and I'll try and get back here later, barring Murphy's Law of course.
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4682651Another die
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4682651Now, one final die before I hit the road! Cheers lads!
You sit down by the tent flap, with your back to it. Something is clearly wrong, the eyes you saw when she fled were angry. She may be crying too, but this is Doloranna, not some shy and shrinking maiden. You can't rely on some logical argument that she may have already thought of, and hope she just changes her mind, “Do you remember when we first met?” You ask her.“Y-yes.” She sniffles, “It wasn't that long ago, I-I'm not stupid.”“I never thought you were. Just rather terrifying.” You tell her with a smile, reaching up and flicking the fabric. “Imposing, even. So it's a mystery to me why you're in there crying, now. I have to imagine it's some trick to lure me into your clutches. Or you're trying to distract me from whatever awful curse you're laying on Hannah.”You feel arms wrap around your shoulders from behind, and the distinctive squish of breasts against your back. Soft breasts. Large breasts. Utterly bare breasts. Tactician that you are, you have to admire the audacious skill with which she employs the trick known as the feigned retreat, a most devilish feint that. No wonder she only poked her head out. “Yes, but it's not just a trick.” She whispers in your ear, audibly sulking. “Don't want some...some foreign girl to just lure you off, to live in her cold lands, with only her to keep you warm. 'Poor little me', she'll croon, and that big heart of yours will thump-thump-thump. Maybe I'm just Doloranna from the marshes, not some fancy lady with a magic sword, but I won't take you away from your home.” She pouts, interlocking her hands. How do you always end up grappled? One of these days you will learn to slip out of these holds, you swear. “'Just' Doloranna is a lot more than most women. Dry your tears.” You can't help but be slightly unsympathetic for the crying, this isn't like her. Everyone needs a good shake now and then, and you give it to her. “You're not acting like the woman who kidnapped me and hand-fed me cheese. Which she has never done, I'll point out.” How did it come to this? You're still not good at these one-on-one interactions. “Wait, hang on. Hannah...”“Oh she's 'Hannah' now, is she? Not Lady Gall...Gallben...Gadden...fire...Gadflyfirebug?” Doloranna's attempt to be catty ends in an exasperated sigh, “Never mind, Jakey, that one makes sense. I don't wanna choke on that word either. Look, of course I'm upset, I can't tell you NOT to go and crush your enemies! Things are easy when I can just solve them and when they aren't, well, they're hard!” [Continue]
“...Yes, well, she's not foreign, is she? She's Vartynen, same as we are.” You have to admit that has been puzzling you.She chuckles softly, “Oh you. You don't get it yet, do you?” She smiles against your ear, “You are the swamp. Vartyne's just...a word.”“Hang on now. Don't repeat that.” You struggle against her grip, alarmed, “We are subjects of...”“...Oh I know, your oaths to the crown. Oaths you never swore before any king, did you? The ceremony where you became lord, you took no oaths to him either, did you? That ceremony is old. Older than you. Older than the Absols. Recognizing one to look out over all the swamps, that was rare until the day of the hero Amadeus, who took a witch of the high blood to his bed and claimed the hill of thorns to build upon.” She chuckles, “But it is not an oath to Vartyne, to distant kings. It is our pledge to...you. Did the king lead my cousins to Cheil? No. That war of vengeance was led by our master, by the mailed fist of magic itself. To most of us, she is a foreigner. An ally, perhaps, but Jakey you should know by now that we hold those closest to us the closest.” >[Attempt to convince her to release you]>[Use your superior height to stand up and walk forward. If she continues to dangle the entire camp will see her naked]>[Remain sitting]
>>4682748>[Remain sitting]Well what if we convert then entirety of Vartyne into swamp? Is she still a foreigner then?
>>4682748>[Attempt to convince her to release you]have to go to bed early, so I'll have to miss most of the thread.
>>4682748>[Remain sitting]Idk why we would just walk away on her
You remain sitting, “What if we made the whole kingdom into the swamp, then? Would she still be a foreigner?” You reach back and pat her head.She hesitates, then a huge smile crosses her face, “What an interesting idea. Conquest, from my Jakey? Oh yes. Oh yes oh yes oh yes yes yes, this I like.” She pouts again, “But not every girl would. What if some soft-heart who would rather you kneel than fight takes your heart? How can I protect you?” “Doll, I'm not choosing a wife yet. You're being...” You hesitate before calling her crazy, “Impetuous. Calm down, dry your tears, stop whatever you're plotting to do to Hannah. I need you focused.” You lean back into her.She sighs, huffy.“That's an order.” You reaffirm.She continues to grumble, then pipes up hopefully, “May I stand next to you tomorrow in front of everyone?” You sigh, and nod. She releases you at last. “I'll put my clothes on. You hurt a girl's feelings by not looking, but I guess you're polite.” She kisses your cheek and darts back into her tent before you can reprimand her, her tears replaced by peals of laughter.You are in terrible, awful danger. Yet the night passes, and after every night comes morning.[Continue]
>>4682748>[Remain sitting]I'm back, and earlier than expected!>>4682781Besides that one anon phoneposting from work, I don't know Wong. We could discuss it later if you want to.
>>4682800>She was planning a naked ambush Called it
The morning dawns, pale and misty. The camp is subdued, every motion stifled, the men nervously aware that something great and terrible lurks beneath the mossy waters of Kidney Lake and that you mean to lure it right to them. However, most of the work has already been done during the night. The net has been secured to the ground at one end by a stake made from sharpening an entire sapling and pounded into place by Hannah with a maul. She waits now at the place where, when the trap is sprung, the other end will be secured. Overnight, the corpses of dozens of pigs, deer, crocodiles, birds, fish, rabbits, and beavers have been dumped into the water, as far out as a man can wade without needing to swim. Many were killed on-site, stabbed with billhooks and long knives so that their blood would flow out with the current. A half-dozen wild pigs, caught by a squad of ambitious young Stormtongues with the same spell you've repeatedly used to knock enemies unconscious, have been tied to stakes, grunting nervously and daubed in blood but still alive. Now, the waiting begins.Small fish arrive first to nibble at the corpses, but soon larger ones follow, to prey upon the small fish. Then larger predators, bass and stripeheads, then larger predators still. Predators like gar, pike, and flathead catfish. Soon, crocodiles, notorious cannibals that they are, are swimming in towards the corpse pile, but abruptly they scatter and as they do, you see the multiple sharklike fins of the giant breaching the water. A great, blunt head bursts from the water and seizes on a massive gator, biting down so hard you can hear the spine crunch. Eyes that look more reptilian than piscine roll in delight as its mouth opens again, shifting its grip on its prey and beginning to feed.The fog is not entirely natural, in several places it's been tactically placed by your Stormtongues, and as they dismiss it the mist flows away and dissipates from rank after rank of men holding crossbows, cords creaking as scorpions are sighted in on the creature. Mages open their mouths to speak words that crackle, or weave arrows from campfire smoke. You among them.For a moment, there is a pause, but just before you can feel bad for the monster you notice it's slowly creeping forward on its front fins, which are massively overmuscled and practically legs. Its gaze turns towards you, and you can see in the thin flesh of its cheeks as its jaws shift. It snaps them open wide in the blink of an eye and surges forward, but being indecisive with its targets dooms it. Its sheer mass plows through the corpse pile like a battering ram, but rather than attempt the spiked barrier shields guarding your siege weapons and lines of mages, it seizes the live pigs in its jaws and attempts to shimmy backwards with a serpentine motion of its long tail, gulping the animals down before surging forward again. [Continue]
A trumpet blast goes up, and the net is dragged across the waters. It isn't very tense as Hannah pounds it into the ground at the other end, it's designed to dangle loosely, meant to entangle rather than try to stop that monstrosity cold. After all, at its size it could easily just rip the stakes from the ground. Lightning crackles, and smoke missiles leave grey streaks through the air, spells peppering the inside of its mouth. The crossbow quarrels pepper harmlessly off its armor plating, as do any of the spears hurled by the scorpions at a less than ideal angle...but some do find their mark and dig deep beneath the scales. The massive fish recoils, turning its body in a great C shape and darting back into the water, only for its progress to immediately halt as the net catches its fins. It thrashes, its massive, finned tail rising high and smacking down with enough force to crush the corpsepile and send the bodies of dead animals whipping through the air, hitting your smoke mantlets like catapult stones, but you were prepared for this, “Mages, forward!” You instruct, stepping forth yourself. You inhale a mouthful of smoke through the breathing holes in your armet, your tongue passing through, the smoke as it begins to congeal in your mouth. What you spit out is called a smoke arrow, but it resembles nothing so much as a slender, grey needle, trailing smokemass behind it as it hurtles through the air and into the eye of the massive bichir. Lightning hammers its flanks, breaking the scales and charring the meat beneath, and the Shadowbinders unleash their own offensive magic. Doloranna is first forward, hurling a fistful of powdered obsidian that creates a cloud of darkness beneath the water. The leviathan thrashes as she begins conjuring her beasts from the blackness, their teeth and claws ripping into its flesh, while other Shadowbinders throw crude felt dolls that explode into clouds of biting black sprites.You aren't quite sure when the fish goes stiff in its confines, and tilts over in the water, mouth open...but it does, before the lower edge of the sun has quite crested the horizon. Your army cheers, but there is little time for celebration. Immediately, boats are pushed into the water, and your Smoke Sculptors begin constructing more using the bonfires. By noon, your army has disembarked on one of the great, flat rotundas around the tower shaft.>[Remain in camp and await reports]>[Inspire the men by taking your bodyguards and being the first inside]
>>4682826>[Inspire the men by taking your bodyguards and being the first inside]We are the Chad Lord after all.
>>4682826>[Inspire the men by taking your bodyguards and being the first inside]It's not like we are going in solo, and besides we are more heavily armoured than anyone else here.
>>4682736>>4682741Nice activation roll on your see-through-matter spell.
>>4682855Gonna make me blush here, Wong.
You announce that you will lead the first party inside, and enter the tower. You approach the wall, and focus your senses. Why should solid matter impede those who have mastered the inner workings of their acane leylines? Who can see with sight beyond sight? Slowly, in your vision, the stone before you turns to mist, and vanishes. At first, all beyond is dark, but slowly it comes into view as if lit by bright, neutral-tinted light. Beyond the wall, there is a stone landing. No, a STAIR. A stair as wide across in all directions as a peasant's hut, though the height difference between it and the next stair is a normal, comfortable stepping distance. Slowly, leisurely, the staircase traverses the inside of the tower wall, with a second wall on the other side. Peering through that, you see that the central shaft is divided into chambers, although with naught remaining but walls and archways, their purpose is impossible to discern. Lead-colored crystals hang at regular intervals from the ceiling, though their purpose is unclear. What is clear, though, is that the whole thing is positively caked with cobwebs, and that you can see the remnants of a campfire inside...and moreover, footprints in the dust. Several pairs of them. Gazing down through the floor, you see more steps, continuing down into the dark, these considerably more cobwebbed, and above, more steps, less cobwebbed. A trail through the dust seems to indicate traffic in both directions. Motioning to your bodyguards, you make your way into the tower.>[Go up the steps]>[Go down the steps]
>>4682932>[Go up the steps]I'd say we go for the most well-traveled path, though the dungeon diving visa down stair is very tempting, I must say.
>>4682932>[Go down the steps]
>>4682932Changing my vote here >>4682945, going down stairs!>[Go down the steps]
>>4682932>[Go down the steps]ONCE MORE INTO THE DARKNESS
>>4682961It's strangely quiet tonight.
I will actually need a few more dice rolls.
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4682987You got it, boss!
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>4682987Rollin
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4682987Another die
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4682987Mice and dice? You know, because of the Fleshsculpter?
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4682987Dicy dice dice dice
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4682987For the SWAMP.
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4682987Remember to dice the meat for a hearty stew!
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4682987I don't know what we're rolling dor but it's not looking great so far >_<
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4682987Dice dice baby!
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4682987The Dice Duo! The Dynamic Dice? The Dynamic Duo just sound corny...
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4682987Don't lose faith, we got dice to spare!
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4682987Dice for the Dice Gods
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4682987Spice the dice, chief!
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4682987Sets for the Set Throne!
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4682987Rollin, rollin, rollin, gotta keep on rollin
>>4682987We need more Dunkin'Dice around these parts.
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4682987Rollin rollin rollin,Roll high!
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4682987To die, or not to die.That, is the question...
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4682987Roll da dice, man!
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4682987You got the rolls you were looking for, Wong?
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4682987
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4682987>>4683006>>4683011>>4683018>>4683020>>4683022Damn, I'm a 1 magnet tonight!
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>4682987Die diddly di Dieghberino
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4682987Keep on rollin till the sun don't shine!
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4682987Dice the rice? Nah, doesn't have the right ring to it...
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4682987Rice'n'dice? Nah, doesn't work either...
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4682987We are rollers, duh duh da duh da duh da!
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4682987Rice-a-Roni?More like Dice-a-Roni
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4682987Gotta keep on dicing!
>>4683000>>4683004That Lucky Advantage I thought you'd never use has saved the day AGAIN.
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4682987>>4683041Absolutely inspired, anon!
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4682987>>4683046Wooooo!
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4682987>>4683046Do we keep on rolling, Wong?
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4682987Come on dice, papa needs a secure swamp!
>>4683049That's not inspiration anon, it's my slowly fading sobriety!
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>4682987I wonder what some swamp dice would look like, actually.
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4682987>>4683056Wooooo good4u, mate!
>>4683058Looking at Google search results....Mostly just various shades of green.
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4682987We're not going to use all this dice, are we lads?
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4682987>>4683062Noice! Shrekdice!
>>4683065>inb4 Wong only needed 6 rolls for the rest of the evening.
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4682987>>4683070;_;I'll stop now.
>>4683071I mean, 38 of 88 posts are just us rolling right now.So we should probably be good for a bit.
>>4683072I hope so. What kind of situation would require so many dice? Hypothetically.
>>4683079Lots and lots of combat
>>4683082Not charm? Oh boy.
>>4683082Or the constant rolls to survive the physical rigors of smashing Hannah or the constant rolls to keep counterspelling Doloranna's attempts to summon her shadow friends to make our cheese play an orgy
>>4683085Not whispering sweet nothings in Lilly's ear?
>>4683094>Implying it's not The reverse of that and Jacob has to role to endure Lilly's prolonged combo attack
You take your bodyguards and head down the steps. Although with your magic, you do not absolutely need light to see by, the subtle glitter of a particular strand of cobweb, slanting shallowly from wall to wall at around neck height, is made more apparent by the movement of the lanterns they carry. The ones in front have billhooks drawn, and those behind them have crossbows readied. In the event of an atttack, an adversary will find men crouched and braced, ready to hook their limbs and stab them with the points, while those behind them pepper the foe with arrows.Yet this trap cares not for formations. It is simple, although the exact form of spellcraft eludes you, this particular cobweb strand is as hard and unyielding as stone as you examine it, its sheer narrowness making it sharp enough to take off a limb or slice open a neck. Yet stone can be cracked, and once you point out the garotte it does not take long for your soldiers to shatter it with the butts of their weapons, and forewarrned as you are you spot all of the subsequent iterations of said trap, at different heights and angles, shrouded within clusters of normal cobwebs, as you gradually wind your way down into the tower. Eventually, though, you come to something entirely different. Ropes, actual ropes, not cobwebs, have been strung back and forth across the corridor to form a grid or a grate, and all enchanted in the same fashion, turned into rock. Spearbutts prove insufficient for breaking through, and as you stare at it in puzzlement, peering with your arcane vision as deep as it will reach into the darkness beyond, further down the stares, you hear something.“Please feed Eshtei. Eshtei is hungry.” Whines the piteous voice of a little girl. Deep in the darkness, you hear the scrape of something massive, moving across stone.
>>4683082No, that is soon, enough that it was frustrating getting through all this stuff BEFORE it.
>>4683103Oh god it's gonna be drider isn't it...
>>4683103Stress levels slowly increasing.Certainly hope it’s something we can kill with smoke and steel and not some Eldritch being that twists minds
>>4683301>Whines the piteous voice of a little girl>kill it with smoke and lightningMaybe the true monster was inside us all along.
>>4683104Do we panic now, then?
>>4684724If you aren't constantly in a state of Shadowruns then something has gone terribly, terribly wrong anon.
>>4683109Wait, are there dark elves in this setting?
>>4685953I'm 99% sure this world doesn't have any nonhuman races.Mainly because Reign doesn't have them, and Wong dislikes minorities.
>>4691095The fleshcrafters can make whatever demi-human abominations they can think of.
Dog slipped her collar and ran off into the neighborhood, found her at a neighbor's house and got invited for a beer, starting soon.
>>4692691Time to assemble!
It is a bit late, truthfully. I'll shoot for tomorrow night.
>>4692751Alright, I can pass out in peace
>>4692751Well I've got tomorrow night off too, so that works for me.Glad to hear you found your pupper Wong!
Begin rolling dice. This is a Sense+Empathy roll.
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4694130
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4694130
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4694130
Remember as always that you can roll multiple times.
Rolled 71 (1d100)>>4694130Dice away.
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4694130
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4694154Whoops, added an extra zero.
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4694130
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4694130Idk if you need more but here
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4694130Dice!
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4694130Last one for the road!
In the darkness, something massive moves, and although your sight can pierce a little ways into the black, all you see is at the very end of your vision. Something fuzzy, and long, like a fingertip pressed against the ground, but massive, as thick around as your waist.“Please. Eshtei is hungry. Eshtei will die. Eshtei was good! Eshtei made the cuddle-monkey for the masked woman!” The little girl's voice has a terrified tremor in it, and it sounds weak, threadbare, “Eshtei made so many things for you, please, Eshtei does not want to die. Eshtei is too big, and cannot go so long without eating. It is dark, and wet, and the masked lady's magic stops Eshtei from hunting for a piggy or a tasty croccy. Eshtei is frightened. Eshtei does not want to be alone, in the dark. If Eshtei has been bad...if Eshtei needs to die...please do not kill Eshtei this slow and hurtful way.” With a quiet, chittering sob the fingertip-thing withdraws, and in the darkness the torchlight gleams off many large, bright eyes. Whatever Eshtei is, it is clear that it had some part in the making of the creature sent to assassinate you, and moreover, that is not some form of natural person there in the dark. In fact, judging from the eyes, from the tip of an arachnid leg you saw, and the cobwebs all over this tower, you have a very good idea of what Eshtei is. The how of it is another matter, supposedly only humans can utilize sorcery. Is Eshtei somehow a person?>[Can't take the risk, instruct your crossbowmen to take aim and fire until their quivers are empty]>[Walk away and leave this abomination to starve]>[Instruct your soldiers to capture yet more game and feed it to Eshtei while you work out how to get this grate off, if you end up choosing to get the grate off]
>>4694191>[Instruct your soldiers to capture yet more game and feed it to Eshtei while you work out how to get this grate off, if you end up choosing to get the grate off]Gotta have some compassion for the little one, even if she's bigger than us.
>>4694191>[Instruct your soldiers to capture yet more game and feed it to Eshtei while you work out how to get this grate off, if you end up choosing to get the grate off]So, if this doesn't backfire horrifically, we are on our way to having an abomination zoo.
>>4694191>[Instruct your soldiers to capture yet more game and feed it to Eshtei while you work out how to get this grate off, if you end up choosing to get the grate off]The masked woman is almost certainly Shell. If we can trust this thing's manner of speaking, Shell might not be here anymore. Maybe ask Eshtei how long it's been since they've eaten? It might help give an idea of how long ago Shell fled the tower if she did leave.
>>4694191>[Instruct your soldiers to capture yet more game and feed it to Eshtei while you work out how to get this grate off, if you end up choosing to get the grate off]We haven't been met with hostility, so I see no reason to employ violence.We want to consolidate power in the Swamp, not eliminate all sources of it outside ourselves.
>>4694191>[Instruct your soldiers to capture yet more game and feed it to Eshtei while you work out how to get this grate off, if you end up choosing to get the grate off]I feel like the Ancestor from darkest dungeon going yes, we can USE this.Not sure we wish to pry the grate off immediately tho.
And next time we go diving we want to cast that Gaze spell. No more of this Thing-that-hides-in-shadow getting the drop on us.
>>4694191>>[Can't take the risk, instruct your crossbowmen to take aim and fire until their quivers are empty]kill it with fire
>>4694252Pretty sure we already have it cast, it just has a limited range and this SpooderGirl has scuttled all the way to the back of its dark room
You step forward.“My lord, it isn't safe!” One of the Last Loyal protests, but when you raise your hand all voices are silenced. You put your hand through the grate, “You are not alone, Eshtei. I am here.”“But when you leave, Eshtei will be alone.” The little girl's voice echoes from deeper down. “I will not leave. I am right here. Reach out to me.” You keep your hand out, and you hear the massive scrape of something vast and hairy scuttling uncertainly towards you. Something fills your hand, the tip of one massive arachnid leg, pressing against your palm. You can see her now. As you guessed, she is a spider vast beyond what nature should support. Her body is covered with sleek russet hair, and her fangs are as long as a mammoth's tusks. “Who are you?” Eight shining eyes peer nervously down at you from the shadows near the ceiling.“I am Jakob. Lord Jakob Absol. I will not hurt you.” You keep your voice soothing, as if talking to a child.“Absol.” She says, sounding terrified, but she waggles her abdomen and musters up her courage, “May Eshtei have something to eat? Eshtei is sorry, but it must be alive. Eshtei cannot eat that which rots.” You turn to your bodyguards, “Send out the Stormtongues. Bring me live crocodiles, trussed up, and wild pigs. Have them go north, we hunted out so much of the south already. Live meat only.” “Are you sure, my lord? We cannot leave you alone with...” The Loyalman's masked helm turns towards the darkness beyond the grate, “What if it's a trap?”“A tyrant lives in fear of his subjects. A ruler knows that they have cause to celebrate his continued existence. One of my subjects has been unlawfully imprisoned by the Pentacle and starved, this is injustice and when caught the perpetrator will be charged with these crimes. Yes, I am sure.” You reply, evenly. You're a little more frightened than you let on, Eshtei is hungry and you're the only one who can see how massive her venomous fangs are. Then you turn your attention to the stone ropes.>[Do you have any ideas on how to remove this obstacle?]
>>4694296>That PictureThat's rough...I can't help but recall Wong in an earlier thread stating that there were two wife candidates that we haven't interacted with yet, and I'm pretty confident one is supposed to be the princess of Vartyne. I was going to make a joke about the spider Chimera was the other, but damn if she's physically all giant spider with the brain/soul of a human girl that's a really hard sell..... As for an actual plan to remove/deal with the trap threads I've got nothing atm.
>>4694296If father was here he would have been through this in an instant, unbending the spells upon the ropes. Seeing as we don’t have his skill, there must be some trick to it. They wouldn’t make a dungeon without a key, or without some way to get smaller creatures through. If this IS the flesh crafter, they would need a way to feed her, and retieve whatever she created.Breaking the walls where the ropes are fixed to is probably a harder task than breaking the ropes, considering what little we know about the tower.Ask how long she has been down here. Who came before us, how Eshtei came to be down there.
>>4694296If the "ropes" are not as strong as the super ancient and enchanted tower use smoke sculpting to make some really big scissors/branch loppers and have the men and/or Hanna use them? Or have Hanna try her sword on the stone ropes, just tell her not to hurt our subject. Side note: we are the nicest Sauron I have ever heard of.
>>4694296Find the weak points with our Stonegaze and use Spark to weaken them further. Then, Smoke-arrow said weak points to break the cage.
>>4694296If they're ropes that are as hard as stone but flex like rope, it's simple. Get the sappers from our army to cut away the stone that the ropes are anchored to with pickaxes. A mundane solution to a magical problem. It might take a while compared to trying to disenchant them, but it's guaranteed to work, so long as the walls surrounding them are stiff enough to cut away. There's probably other magical means to deal with it, but this one will work if the other anons ideas fizzle out.
>>4694296Aside from attempting to nullify the enchantment using Spiritual Escutcheon, we could ask among our more seasoned troops if this has been seen before.If that isn't an option due to proximity issues, then we could just try making super high torque shadow-mass vice grips to break the ropes. Some lever action that extends far behind us might be able to create the kind of force necessary to break them.Some ancient greek said that with a long enough lever, they could lift the earth. That's true, assuming the lever itself doesn't break. I dont remember the exact strength of the smoke mass we can make, but it might be possible to create a mechanically strong enough "long crowbar" to break this obstacle.
Alright, plan A is then just hammering at the rope with picks, plan B is cutting the places where the wall is secured to the ropes.Plan C is smokemass lever to try and break into parts of it.Plan D is getting her to wait until we can learn the spellbreaking from EscutcheonSound good?
>>4694330>the magical solution are the last solutions>doesn't even dignify my suggestion with a footnoteWhat am I, chopped liver?
>>4694330No point in hammering the ropes themselves with picks. They'll have enough flex to avoid being cut with a pick axe, since pick axes cut via impact rather than sawing or sharpness. Probably go Smokemass lever as Plan A, Picks on the wall as Plan B, and Wait for Spell-breaking from Escutcheon as Plan C.
>>4694330This seems like a solid combo of the ideas presented thus far. Also Hannah wacking it might work
>>4694337Didn't notice your option through the muddle. Probably add it as plan B, moving the picks and wait out later on.So, as far as I can tell this is my proposed order of plans>Plan A: Use a Smoke-mass lever with sharp edges to try and break it at junctions.>Plan B: Use Stonegaze and Spark to potentially find frayed sections, and either weaken them or burn them through. It might be as tough as stone, but it might not be as fireproof.>Plan C: Brute force it by cutting into the walls with pickaxes from our soldiers. We're bound to have a troop of sappers to do the grunt work.>Plan D: Wait out until we can disenchant it with higher levels of Spiritual Escutcheon.>Plan E: Get Hannah to hit it with her sword? Might have consequences from rebounding or collateral damage, but it could work.Sounds good?
>>4694341I'll take making Hannah hit the ropes with the biggest sharpest smokemass stick we can muster for 500
>>4694337Consider using sparks to break stone. Weak points aren’t really gonna be affected by that.As for smoke arrow, the power of that is its sharpness, not the force it hammers home with, it’s like using a needle to again, chisel stone.We don’t actually have the tier 5 technique that is used to break lingering enchantments, so directly counter spelling it is out right now, that’s why I put it as the last option.From what I read earlier, there is no flex, it is just fixed in place, right?
>>4694341Plan A and B could be merged, but yea, that looks good.>>4694344It's more about weakening the stone, then leveraging force against the weak points to break it fully, and smokearrow applies physical damage to the structure. We could just lighting the damn thing off, but I don't want to spook the spider too much.
A point of clarification, I went and dug around looking for the spell that has been used here. It makes the ropes as strong as an equivalent thickness of granite, and ALSO as inflexible, so if it factors into your plans...no, they do not bend.
To add to this, some detail. The ropes appear to be one unbroken rope. There are holes in the walls, ceiling, and floor into which have been placed iron plates with a ring attached to each, similar to the kind of ring you might chain a prisoner to. One unbroken length of rope has been passed through these rings, over and over again, criss-crossing over itself, and then presumably enchanted to form a grate of stone. Each strand is about as thick around as your wrist, it looks like thick hemp rope was used as the base material.
>>4694350Lightning bolt or Hannah then. Unless we can put smoke in between the ropes and expand its shape to break them apart, that is. Sort of like a smokemass bubble.
>>4694349Right on, thanks Wong. Since they're inflexible like granite striking them with picks would be one of the most effective means we have. Even if they're three inches around or so, that's only around ten or so strong strikes with a pick. It might glance off a little, but stone's brittle. Without anything acting as a backing, striking at a center-point between two crossovers will be most effective, After the first bit breaks off, the rest should follow along pretty easily. There's a reason why you use iron instead of stone for jail bars after all. So long as they aren't at least four inches around, without anything to absorb the impact from a strike, you'll be through something like this in under 30 minutes with a 6lb pick or 8lb sledgehammer.
>>4694349Strong as granite... but still just rope?So flammable? Light the torches!
A third point. For the sake of your plans, I will let you have the spell Major Smoke Form, which you currently lack, since Minor Smoke Form is insufficient and Minor Smoke Structure is actually generally too big.
>>4694355You cannot achieve this with smokemass. It's only capable of expanding or moving before it becomes solid, so you cannot, for instance, create a set of smokemass stairs beneath you that lift you up as they grow.
Considering Granite gets brittle at high temperatures, I wonder if shooting a lighting bolt at it will heat it to a significant enough degree.Than again, it's probably not a good idea to shoot Lightning bolts in the general vicinity of a scared giant spider.
>>4694364I figured. Repeated Sparks then, and leverage the smokemass to break away the structure. Maybe Spider-chan can help us break her cage with her strength?I believe there must be another way, but I feel too retarded to see it.
>>4694357"As inflexible and strong as a piece of granite", it says. Hmm.
>>4694357>>4694379Now I just feel retarded.
>>4694341Alright stick attempting to poke a torch into it somewhere before part C?
>>4694402Sounds good to be. Revised order of operations is:>Plan A: Use some Sparks to try and weaken a few of the joints, and use a smokemass lever to snap a few of the weakened junctions.>Plan B: Light it on fire with a torch. It should burn, and try to keep Eshtei from panicking at naked fire in her presence.>Plan C: Get a few strong sappers with pickaxes and sledgehammers to break it apart. It should be inflexible enough to shatter under strikes at the right place.>Plan D: Use Hannah's sword to try and shatter the grates. Might run the risk of backfire and collateral damage given the strong respone it had from us just touching it, stone-like rope splinters flying everywhere is a hazard.>Plan E: Wait until we have the capacity to disenchant object from Spiritual Escutcheon. Will probably be a long wait, method of last resort.Anyone have anything else to add in?
>>4694416Looks good to me!
Oh god I got distracted designing custom Smoke Sculpting spells for when Jakob masters all of the existing spells. Fucking Smoke Lance and Smother.
>>4694437>SmotherMy interest has been peakedIs it just funneling smoke into an area to displace breathable air?
>>4694437Oh the humanity!
>>4694437>Wong's spending a lot of his time designing custom spells for Smoke-o-mancyNo worries mate, we'll be arguing over spending our exp on either more skills, Esoterics, or stat-ups before that becomes a concern. Sense 4 never ever.
>>4694440And then weaving a fine smokemass mesh around it to keep it there and do Shock damage.
>>4694456But what ifNiw just hear me outWhat if instead of sealing it with a smokemass mesh to seal the smoke in, we Juat solidified the smokemass around the victims head ?
>>4694456hmm, could you also use that to put out fires? No oxygen, no flame right?
>>4694500Yes, you could.
>>4694416Spark, or Minor Lightning Stroke?
>>4694507Cool, sounds like a possible dancer counter. Might be useful if we end up having to fight more nobles.Or just more wars in general, fires always a problem, at least for non- Smoke sculpters.
>>4694514Stroke, but with a warning to not scare the spider.
>>4694437So, you got other custom spells in mind Wong?
>>4698050There is an entire custom spell building kit. Mostly I was driven by how weak the upgrade to Smoke Arrow, Smoke Scythe, is. It's weirdly written. It could be strong if given very liberal GM interpretation of the ten-foot-wide AoE it has which is written differently than most AoEs in the game (which are just area effects with actual distance abstracted), and it's one of those spells that needs a full bonfire, not just a torch or something, to cast.
>>4701437So smoke arrow upgrade into Smoke minigun when?
"Eshtei, move back as far as you can. This is going to be loud, and a bit violent, but I am going to get you out of there. Be brave." You instruct the massive spider in the dark, watching her cephalothorax bob up and down as she scuttles backwards and hunkers down between her furry legs, covering her eyes with her pedipalps.You spit a glowing blue spark into your thurible, and the dried herbs within begin to smolder, smoke pouring from its vents. You wave your hand through it idly, feeling the arcane field within you interacting with the smoke, changing it, making it stay in shape as you draw it out into a long, thin rod. Two prongs sprout on one end, and a textured pattern for grip on the other. It solidifies at your will, and you hand the four-foot prybar to the biggest and strongest of your bodyguards, "Here. Pry it up where I weaken it." You instruct him, and then comes the more laborious part.Again and again, you repeat the process. You speak the words that attune your body to the magics of the wind and sky. You spew lightning onto the petrified ropes. You speak the words again, you spew more lightning. The rope's normal fibrousness is somewhat diminished by its petrified state, but it appears that, yes, it can still burn. It doesn't want to catch easily, but each shot blackens the strands, creating glowing coals that gradually eat into the ropes. You focus on the edges, where the ropes meet the wall and curve at tight angles, and whenever you have eaten away enough at one your bodyguard works the prybar. The first one comes off, and you cheer inwardly. The second comes free, and you exhale in relief. You're doing it, you and your magic are REALLY doing it...>[Begin rolling dice]
>>4702154I'd stat that as effectively a damage over time spell, myself. A hovering smoke crossbow that continues to automatically manufacture and fire smoke arrows without necessitating your direct intentions.
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4702224Operation save the spooder waifu is a go
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4702227I think that would change the combat rating of the Last Loyal pretty seriously>>4702224
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4702224Dice for the spooder saving
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4702224An entire line of loyal just keeping tabs on a a few autocrosbows each....
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4702224So far I've got a pair of 2s 9 highYeesh dice plz
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4702224Another die to help save Eshtei
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4702253>>4702242Pair 1>>4702240>>4702238Pair 2>>4702224..........
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4702224The dice cometh!
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4702224Keep on rollin rollin rollin...
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4702224I really hope this was for something we have a MD for
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4702224Roll high!
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4702224Dice dice dice
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4702224Another Spooder saver die
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4702224Funnily enough, I didn't expect to start this early.
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4702224Dice mice ice Christ
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4702224Never say die not even when you want to...
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4702224Enough die for whatever you need yet Wong?
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4702224It's do or die but I prefer doing the die, if you get my meaning...
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4702290>>4702288>>4702266>>4702253>>4702242So many 1s...>>4702224
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4702290Here's to hoping!
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4702295
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4702224Praise the Dice Gods!
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4702294Another 1.. >>4702224Well enough width in 1's at least gives us casting speed....
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4702224>>4702297>>4702307>>4702308Damn son.
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4702297>>4702307>>4702308I think we're being taunted>>4702224I hope all these rolls get used
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4702224One is the loneliest number that you ever knew...
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4702224Two, can be just as bad, it's the loneliest number since the number one...
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4702224And one last one before I grab a bite to eat. Brb.
>>4702290Yes, more than enough.
One of these days our bleeding heart is going to get someone killed. Just hope it isn’t today.
"One of your sorcerers, my lord." One of the Last Loyal glances behind you, and you pause, your lips still tingling from the last lightning bolt you fired. Down on one knee behind you, some distance up the steps, is indeed a Shadowbinder. A rather unthreatening one, as a matter of fact, a man of average height and build, with brown hair of medium length and a full beard that has been carefully trimmed and cared for. Were it not for his eyes of pitch and the black, hooded cloak worn over clothes that would better fit a leatherworker or other artisan, you would have thought him just another villager. "My lord, Jakob Absol." He lowers his head still further. His stance betrays no aggression that you can see, he simply appears to be calm, composed, one of your mages kneeling to deliver you a report."Rise. What is the matter?" You ask.He smiles, "Nothing, my lord. All is as it should be. It simply transpires that I am looking for Doloranna, have you seen her?” “I have, often enough. She would be with the others right now. If you see her, do make sure she isn't causing trouble, won't you?” You turn back to the web of stone ropes, which he respectfully approaches to examine.“Is the fireworks display intentional, my lord? A clever strategy, if so. Impress whatever is in the dark beyond, so that it will know your might. Although, I would be equally as impressed myself if you simply touched it and the enchantment fell to pieces, as your father would have done.” He remarks, folding his arms across his chest.>[“When we seek to stand upon the shoulders of giants, it takes some time to climb up there”]>[“Eshtei might not understand something so simple, and believe the enchantment simply weak. This way, she will know that I am powerful enough to command the fume and the levinbolt”]
>>4702337>[“When we seek to stand upon the shoulders of giants, it takes some time to climb up there”]Haha greatThis Shadowbinder's sas is bordering dangerously close to insult.He should be careful not to tread into Cailm's territory on our taze list....
>>4702337>[“When we seek to stand upon the shoulders of giants, it takes some time to climb up there”]Such a badass line needs to be said, Clint Eastwood style.
>>4702337>[“When we seek to stand upon the shoulders of giants, it takes some time to climb up there”]>May I know your name, sorcerer?We need to know the people who doubt us, so we can prove them wrong.Or put them on our shit list for snarking us.
>>4702412Actually, I wish to talk a bit more with him before we ask for his name.
Man /qts/ threads have felt pretty empty the last few weeks....
>>4702337>>[“When we seek to stand upon the shoulders of giants, it takes some time to climb up there”]
“When we seek to stand upon the shoulders of giants, it takes some time to climb up there.” His sass is a bit more than strictly needed, but he is older than you, after all. You speak the words of attunement again, and spit more lightning over the ropes.“Ah, humility. Wisely said. The techniques were written over the course of many years in a book your father kept on his person, and brought with him to Cheill. I imagine he brought it home with him, and managed to pass it on to you. Or rather, it was put in his library as a book ought to be, a library you control. Were Albeda a bit older and wiser, she would have put acquiring that book to further her claim of being your father's heir-by-tutelage ahead of the silly games she insisted on playing with you instead. She could have said he gave it to her, and who would gainsay her?” He glances into the darkness beyond the grate, clearly able to see in the blackness, although the color of his eyes makes it impossible to see how swiftly he caught sight of Eshtei, “Does it have a name, my lord?” He asks, “This creature you seek to free?” “Eshtei.” You glance sidelong at him, “You knew my father well?”He bows, “I did. I was not with him on his final campaign, and for all the rational reasons I have to be thankful I am still alive...I regret that I was not there. First, to save him and those of my siblings who perished. Second, to learn the nature of what precisely the Cheillans unleashed on him. I have always disliked the idea, so common in some schools, that magic has limits. As the power of your spells rises higher, I believe that the 'how' becomes more obscure, but never truly impossible.”“Unless said spell is to control any horse I ride. I swear those animals hate me.” You reply, dryly. It is nice to have a senior mage to talk to who isn't as overwhelming as Nuncle Arad or Grandmama.He chuckles, “The Orruks, my lord, possess magics to that effect. For some reason, what is left of their ancestral ways from before their period of nomadic wandering remembers a time when, perhaps subconsciously, the aspects of magic they saw as most magical were those that transformed the body. Whereas in Galdaea, magic is viewed inherently as communicative, they outstrip Vartynen magi by far in the number and prestige of their diviners, in addition to their rune-mongers, their own caste of Stormtongues, and other, similar magics.”You pause, “You've been to Galdaea? And the lands of the Orruks?”[Continue]
>>4702435Starting to think this is Doloranna's brother.
He bows his head deeply, “Through books, one can be transported anywhere. Although I must confess that yes, when I was young I did wander far and wide. One cannot deal peacefully with the Orruks, sadly, but I observed much from my encounters. I found their magic less interesting than their strategy, on the whole. Did you know that an Orruk is at his most dangerous when he is running away? The feigned retreat, the Ledo Plainsfolk call it, rather unimaginatively. You see, the Orruks will break, and they will ride away in poor order, and you...tired and frustrated from their raiding...you order your forces to pursue, to catch them and crush them before they can regroup and work themselves up to burn your border villages again. Your men grow overconfident, their formation sloppy, perhaps some of them have lost family to the Orruks and they ignore the orders of their sergeants to keep together, hungry for revenge as they are. Then, you ride past some shallow rise in the ground, a little hill or a copse of trees, unaware that the copse is larger than it looks and the little hill is actually the crest of a large downslope on the other side, and there hide many more Orruks, and they pour out and tear into you when you least expect it. Or they simply turn, and as one fire their arrows into you. Some foes are at their most dangerous in flight.” He sighs. “Some.” “Are you?” You inquire.He shrugs nonchalantly, “Possibly, if I had time to prepare, resources to spend, and overall command of the operation to ensure the enemy was not alerted to my intentions before I was ready. In Galdaea, I was able to learn very little precisely because the Galdaean magi were alerted swiftly to the presence of an inquisitive foreign mage, and swiftly formed ranks to lock me out from learning very much of anything. A Bearer of the Star...sorry, my lord, that description pertains to one who is the illegitimate offspring, and thus a potential heir, of the current emperor. Anyway, a Bearer of the Star accused me of being a Vartynen spy, my money and possessions were seized, and I was quite lucky that I was able to barter my magical skills in exchange for passage back to the Dog Kingdoms. All it took was promising a miserly and unscrupulous captain that I could procure for him rowers that would never need rest or sleep. Always be aware of the uses of your magic. I could have simply threatened him with my powers, and for my pains been chucked into the sea in my sleep. Yet through his greed, I made myself wholly safe from betrayal, for at any time I could have unleashed his new oarsmen upon him and had him torn limb from limb. Perhaps when you visit, you will have sufficient forces at your back to make them address you more respectfully. It would satisfy me greatly.”>[“What is your name?”]>[“You seem quite content to chat, what do you really want? Doloranna isn't here, after all.”]
>>4702450>[“You seem quite content to chat, what do you really want? Doloranna isn't here, after all.”]I believe I already know who he is. Bold is quite the understatement.
>>4702450>[“You seem quite content to chat, what do you really want? Doloranna isn't here, after all.”]And here I was thinking Brother Gloam was more in his thirties and not an old man.
>>4702450>[“You seem quite content to chat, what do you really want? Doloranna isn't here, after all.”]Honestly tempted to just try and go for a headshot.Considering we’re about 90% sure he’s gloam.
>>4702478Of he wanted to ambush us, he would have already done so. Though another headshot would amuse me greatly.
>>4702482Fair enough at the same time there’s clearly some sort of goal to coming here. And unless he’s gloating and our men are dying outside to a flame giant or something.
>>4702484He's either confident in his ruse and doesn't suspect we're on to him and is scoping us out for himself because Albeda's clearly not a reliable info source on us, or long shot, he's here to surrender.Or he's here to deliver a warning from the remaining Pentical members.
>>4702450>>[“You seem quite content to chat, what do you really want? Doloranna isn't here, after all.”]
>>4702484>>4702492I think his intentions are more benign. Or maybe he's simply inquisitive, and satisfying his curiosity. It could be a trick, but a gut feeling tells me it isn't.
>>4702498It is entirely possible he just wants to Know the enemy commander. Maybe we should just challange him to a game of Regicide.
>>4702504I'm down for that.
>>4702504There’s a time for know your enemy and there’s a time for metaphorically punching them in the face and THEN negotiating
“You seem quite content to chat. What do you really want? Doloranna isn't here, after all. Although perhaps it would be more painful for her if she was.” You pause, then add, “Though not as much as it would be, if Grandmama was here to see this.”He sighs. He is in his mid thirties, perhaps, though with all the marks of a life lived fully and hard, “Grandmama. No, I fear she would have killed me before I entered speaking range. Her fears would have been misplaced, but she is the creature she is. I am one of the few who knows her true life story, and so I understand her rather more than most. I want multiple things, most importantly to offer my terms of surrender, but first...do you understand what that is before you?” He points into the darkness, straight at Eshtei, “A person. Kindly cease calling her 'that' and 'it', one of my subjects who has been unjustly starved and imprisoned, and likely had her magic employed against me under duress.” You glance rather sharply at Brother Gloam.“Eshtei has done nothing to hurt!” The giant spider wails from deep in the darkness, flailing her pedipalps. “Eshtei has done nothing wrong!” She sounds frightened.“My apologies my lord. My apologies, Eshtei.” Brother Gloam bows low, “My lord, Eshtei is an old, old word, virtually forgotten even here. In the days before words were preserved, an Eshtei was a clan record, a living possessor of its oral history, traditions...and most importantly, its magic. What stands before you is, if what I heard from my former colleagues is correct, a Thorn-Dweller. Or at least, something they created. Certainly, the only known attuned member of...”“No.” Eshtei corrects him, “Eshtei didn't make this place her true grove. There is only one for Eshtei.” Her childish voice is stubborn, “Where Eshtei was born. Where Eshtei will go again someday. Until so, Eshtei is not attuned. Eshtei knows.”“I shall have to swallow this crow whole, it seems.” Brother Gloam sighs, “Nonetheless, it is good to learn new things. Eshtei is potentially necessary for my true work. Thus I came here in hopes of absconding with her, only to discover that Sister Shell...I would use her true name, my lord, if I but knew it...had beaten me here and taken steps to forestall me. Thankfully, they do not forestall you. I suspect she had some complicated plan to kill Eshtei without coming within reach of her admittedly impressive fangs, and I hope you have thrown said plan into disarray with your swift arrival.”“You seem remarkably unafraid that I will simply put you to death.” You remark.[Continue]
>>4702519>Metaphorically punching them in the faceBut what if i want to punch them in the face literally?
“Moral clarity. I acted for good reasons, if one does one's best and dies in a good cause, that is enough. As it stood, with the kingdom hostile to our survival, the Absol lands stood upon the edge of a precipice. Young rulers, my lord, are terribly dangerous. History is replete with fine young men and women who were handed power and proceeded to turn into monsters without the threat of challenge. Although my plans made the issue rather moot, when Sister Shell approached me, offering a vial of godsbile, information, and the assurances that Albeda with her superior sorcerous learning was going to rebel and legalize an avenue of magic I was keen to pursue...well, I had been the one who taught Albeda her first Shadowbinding spells. As her teacher, just as I was Doloranna's, I couldn't help but feel an older brother's protectiveness.” He smiles awkwardly.“Sad, isn't it? All high learning disintegrates in the face of base sentiment. All grand causes are built on it. Both of you had to be strong enough to take the reigns, in the event that I fail in my goal of ressurecting Arnveis Absol and restoring him to his seat, so that he can fulfill the prophecy and wreak vengeance on the King and those who used us...our people...our families...as so much fodder...” His hands tense into fists, his tone growing icy, “My little brothers. My little sisters. Fed to the Cheillans so the parasites in Old Vartyne can grow fat and weak without fearing usurpation by us. Murdered for convenience. My anger bites into my intestines with teeth of ice, and scourges me in my sleep. Oh my lord, I know a terrible fury, one that I think you share.” He spreads his arms wide, “Believe me, my lord, I do not doubt your claim or your legitimacy, and although my proposal to the Pentacle was rewarded with zero votes from the others my obvious solution of crowing up enough support for Albeda to give you complete control of the swamp and any potential naysayers via marrying her nonetheless required you to be ALIVE. My current plans also require you to be alive. Thus it was inevitable things would end this way. Or you would die uselessly, and my belief in the strength of the Absol bloodline would have proven misplaced and Albeda would have had to continue alone. That was also a possibility, or so I told myself to avoid my disdain for their vainglorious assassination attempt. Had I thought it had more possibility of success, perhaps I would have tried harder to sabotage it, I think. I did enough in ensuring both of your strongest archmagi knew as much about the Pentacle, including my part in it, as possible. I imagine they probably told you all I slipped into their hands via my apprentices as soon as they heard it? I expected no less.”[Continue]
The words rush over you, and for a moment, are as opaque as sea water. Two things stand out, however, Shell's primary involvement in the plot and what he said about your father. “You mean to bring my father back to life? But how, he was cremated?” Your eyes narrow suddenly, “Or was he?”Sensing your anger, your bodyguards react, and Brother Gloam, Gorol of Briarfast, is surrounded by a forest of billhook points. He bows his head, “I am a thief and a rebel, my lord. I will not deny my crimes. If at the end, the Wall awaits, I shall not protest it. However, before we continue down this road, I would ask you this. What have you learned from fighting me? No, from fighting the Pentacle?”>[Write in your answer, which may or may not include punching him or spitting lightning at him]
As this answer is important, I will give you considerable time, and the answer may give you variable rewards based on what it is. Take your time, think hard, read back over past chapters if you like, and feel free to chip in with individual ideas or a coherent whole, however you like. In a way, this IS a boss battle.
>>4702541This man is trying to play all the sides so damn hard or he’s just that much of a madman that he actually expects us to go with this.Like holy shit man there are easier ways to peacefully transfer power and teach lessons. This stinks of a man trying to cover his mistakes by claiming he planned it all.I’d trust him about as far as I could throw him right now, and that’s not far at all. And if we cannot trust him, he’s useless at our side.>Knock him out with a lightning bolt. His fate will be decided later, either exile, death, or imprisonment.I’m in favor of not killing him, as he did surrender, and he could still be of use, but I just cannot trust the man. Lock him up for now, in decent conditions, and finish hunting down the rest of the ringleaders.
I will also, because I'm kind of constrained by having to speak in Gorol's voice and he's not a straightforward person, explain his plan(s) in detail once it's all over.
>>4702572At least the part he told you. Organize it better. It may not be news, any of it, but it's more of a clarification because there were multiple things he was planning for.
>>4702570A peace transfer of power was irrelevant to a strong Absol ruling over an undivided Swamp. Cheil was a trap, and Shell the ultimate mastermind of this plot. By the time Shell came to him, the revolt was already in motion. His intention wasn't our death, but the prophetic Absol reigning supreme and getting just vengeance on our enemies, wether it be our father, Albeda, or us is irrelevant so long as the Absol line and the Swamp survives. He may not have helped overtly, but he did not wish us dead.Also keep in mind, we we a young, untested Absol in the wake of our father's death. We did grow stronger in character, if not in physical strength. We needed to be challenged in the end, to better face our enemies.
>>4702592...better face our enemies ahead.
>>4702592I’m glad someone is bigger brain than I am.Does seem to line up with the shadow binders and Grandmama’s intent to surrender if we fell in battle. Looking through that lens of siding with whoever was on top.Hell we ourselves somewhat subscribe to this ideology considering our stated reasons for executing Char, I.E. damage to the swamp’s power base.
>>4702552Btw, I am reading back rn. I only hope my answer would be satisfying when I come to it.
>>4702604Ye. Better a strong ruler than a weak one.A bigger brain isn't necessarily better. I may have killed a couple of quests by trying to be clever.
>>4702606"Fear is an excellent teacher. The weakest minds are those that have never felt it." - Grandmama.
>>4702606“Cunning is grand, girl, but the time comes when one must exercise strength personally.” - Grandmama, again being based.
>>4702541"What I cannot use I break Brother Gloam and for you I offer redemption" offer him our hand "Do not mistake this as mercy because I'll make sure of that" then we do an eerie smile.
>>4702606Good possibility Grey is already dead btw lads, as it seems only his immediate students are his connection to the rest of his pack. Also, ego killed Char and fucked up all their plans.
>>4702606"What isn't known is the lengths he went to to find the culprit, and how deep his paranoia has become. There is a substance I have only seen once, smuggled out of Magdal by one of our associates...whose confidence I cannot betray...known colloquially as godbile. Apparently, it enhances one's arcane abilities and senses..." - Albeda, durning the trial. Shell is most certainly her associate that smuggled godsbile out of Magdal, as well as the one who facilitated the service of the Mercs at the Well. Question is, was she the killer of the Queen, the diviner, an unrelated third party, or some above combo? Either way, Shell is the CIA spook of our Swamp, what with all this godbile, connections in Magdal, some Thorndwellers in her pocket, and the ability to identify and arm the discontent and rebellious sorcerers in our Swamp.
>>4702541Fighting you and the Pentagram required me to not only be quick and decisive in actions, but a certain degree a finesse and flexibility as well. The Pentacle's divisions and ego was self-defeating, despite their experience, knowledge, ability, or prowess. They couldn't leverage their advantages to their favor because their differing agendas.>>4702570Thinking more on it, it wasn't necessary a plan(s) that Gorol had in mind, just a goal with differing strategies and tactics to achieve his desired ends. He wasn't committing to a solid, ridged plan, he was more like navigating a flowing river, with it's dangers, opportunities, and deviation all flowing toward the same ends.
>>4702541I may be shadowrunning here but get the feeling he wants to use thorndweller and shadowbinder magic on dad's corpse and Jacob to either merge them, or bring back daddy in Jacobs body. Which I'm pretty sure even if it worked would lead to the result of Anvis swiftly killing Gloam and then either an hero or go mad in anger and grief. That aside the veil of godbile makes me think he plans to wipe out the capitol with chemical warfare.
>>4702541"what i learned? you think all this some kind of grand lesson, a tampering of blades in the blood of my subjects? I will not deny that I am stronger now than when my father died, but what you have done and helped others do is not justified. The time and effort I have spent trying to keep my lands together and my subjects safe, safe from some of the very people who should have been marching with me in the first collums, could have been spent building up our swamp, securing alliances with the other frontier lords by helping them out and putting them in our debt. If you thought me weak you could have helped me grow in a thousand ways that did not murder my subjects and weaken an already weakened swamp. I will accept your surrender and I promise you a fair trail and to hear what else you might have to share I'll even protect you from grandmama. But do not delude yourself into thinking that what you have done is just and moral it was what you thought the shortest and easiest way to what you wanted."If he doesn't go peacefully it's time to spit on the dark man.>>4702795I feel like this kind of answer is just telling him "good job, your plan worked and was a gift to me as a new ruler" >>4702962>That aside the veil of godbile makes me think he plans to wipe out the capitol with chemical warfare.Seems I misremembered what godbile is.
Ok so from what I'm seeing, Shell is the actual leader behind this whole uprising, with Albeda at best being a potential puppet figurehead. The others fell in line for their own, sometimes conflicting, reasons. Not excusing the others, but Shell has to die.
As I remember it, Godbile is a magical ability boosting drug.>>4702983Shell definitely seems like the inciting figure, collecting all these disparate parties and motivations into a single force aligned against us.
Is anyone else starting to wonder if Sister Shell is some sort of red herring? Not in the sense that she doesn't exist - from the way that Gloam is talking about her, there is obviously a singular person behind the 'Sister Shell' identity - but a few threads ago, didn't Jakob mention that it was strange how little anyone knew about this powerful woman? Could it be possible that she is an operative sent by a third party to undermine the swamp? In fact, recalling what is going on in neighboring provinces, it seems kind of suspicious that all of the hinterland is dealing with instability at the same time, doesn't it? I think there is some sort of unified conspiracy going on here, possibly going all the way back to the disastrous war that killed Jakob's dad.
>>4702541>What have I learned? That despite all your grandiose claims otherwise, not one of your lot seems to have known my father at all, Despite Albeda having been raised by him. Arnveis was more than just the arcane fist of Vartyne. He was a man who loved the citizens under his protection, and you all fail to understand that even if you did somehow defy the laws of this world and resurrect him that he would strike all of you down for your shameful and careless disregard for the cost of swamp life in your endeavor to return him to the world of the living.>All the Pentical has done has reinforced the lesson in lordship that my father taught me, unfortunately the cost has been paid by denizens of the swamp. A crime that will eventually need to be paid in full by all your members. >Despite Grandmama asking me to ignore you and to end you on sight, you are still a part of the swamp though lost as you are, I accept your surrender you have much to answer for. Unless you'd like to test how much of my Father's magics I've mastered for yourself? Or perhaps you're more privy to a discussion of Zombies as oarmen for warships or to propel siege towers and smokemass walls over a game of Regicide? Thought about this all night, and this is by no means perfect. Hopefully some of my thoughts here are useable.
>>4703579>All the Pentical has done has reinforced the lesson in lordship that my father taught meI suppose we could also add lessons in Tactics and as a military commander here as well.
>>4702980Recognition isn't a reward in of itself. We're not condoning what he did, just recognizing what we achieved ourselves. For all he knows, he may have damned his plans for revenge by taking arms against the victor here.>>4702962That's a good theory there, without the godsbile bit.>>4702983>>4703012>>4703111CIA spook, like I said. If she's involved in all the provincial disturbances, then I got to say, bravo. How the hell did she get a dragon on side?>>4703579Would he even be our father, or just a shadow of a great man?On a different note, if we died as Jakob, would we have a chance to play whatever monstrosity that Arnveis became? Now that would've been quite the twist.
>>4703654Dying as Jakob before he has kids triggers the succession crisis arc and Albeda assuming the lord's seat.
>>4702541Nailing dykes to vines feels better than it should
Ya know I'm surprised Doloranna isn't hiding in our shadow, or if she is she hasn't come flying out to protect us from Gloam.
>>4703111Isn't the symbol of that one woman that sent a letter to our alredy dead father (the one that talked us like she was our aunt) two golden shells on top of each other? Or maybe it's just that the spider chimera is sister shell and knew we would rescue her and lead her to our castel, or to be mor especifict, to the thorn wall (this seems to be vital for attuning to the chimerism school)
>>4703862Kek. This answer would probably throw him off by being both sudden, shocking and terrifying.Gloam: [Tries to use his prodigious intellect to get out of this mess scot free and also continue his research]Jackob: [Ignores him and spends two hours monologuing about the oddly satisfying experience of nailing retarded traitors into giant magical thornewalls]Gloam: W-well, fuck
>>4704954Wouldn't explain the rope rock. Plus, I'm sure Gorol would have said something along the lines of 'oh yea, this little one is Sister Shell' instead of trying to play mind games with us.>>4704961Kek.
>>4703654>CIA spook, like I said. If she's involved in all the provincial disturbances, then I got to say, bravo. How the hell did she get a dragon on side?She does make monsters for a living, anon. Alternatively, there could be some sort of Skyrim situation, where dragons are locked away somewhere and she let a big one loose.
>>4706256I don't think she can actually make monsters. Eshtei being chained up down here and wimpering that she made the ape like shell asked indicates that she's the actual source of them.Gloam also expressing regret over not reaching Eshtei first, seems to indicate he had some sort of plan utilizing her. Perhaps some thorn-dweller magic combined with his own shadowbinding capabilities to bring back our father in a new body?
>>4706482Well fuck, he gave me Frankenstein vives, but this fit's too well
>>4704990You know when you are a giant monster spider chimera with the brain of an extremely ancient fleshcrafter mage, and you see this giant army spend all day hunting and then building boats and then they kill your fish pet. And you go all "Well fuck, gotta trap myself with stone ropes and tell them that I was a prisioner so they carry me to theyr castle, which is coincidentally the nexus of my powers"
>>4706530I didn't know turning string into stone was a spell of a Fleshscuplter.
>>4706530It's entirely possible we're getting taken for a ride by the giant spider, which would really suck. Jacob falls for every pretty face, even if it's just a voice.We might want to spend a little bit of time investigating the rest of the tower, before we release her. At least her immediate concern of starving to death would have been addressed, she can probably wait for a bit while we check on other areas.Gloam probably knows if we're being lied to, tho. If we can immediately interrogate him as to where the other people in the tower are hiding, or if they've already escaped through passages, and then move to uproot them, I'd really want to secure all the rebels, then trade banter over lessons learned.Decisive Action over words.Doesn't really fit with what exactly we've right now, considering we're spending our time doing something that can be solved later, while a prize might be slipping away or preparing more esoteric defenses against us.
>>4706592I think there is a prize that's going to be lost if we don't strike now while the iron is hot. Remember, this is supposed to be a boss battle fought with words instead of spells.
>>4706576She said that she wasn't attuned, she just knew a lot of fleshsculpting spells, like the MC, that knows a lot of smokemancy and then other useful and fitting stuff, like stone webs for a giant spider monster
Unfortunately, due to my worsening health and some things going on at work that I may go into later, it's unlikely there will be any quest this week at all. I apologize profusely, but these circumstances are beyond my control.
>>4712111Irl stuff and your health take priority!Take your time and feel better Wong.
>>4712111No worries Wong, health takes priority. Can't exactly get the words out and online if you're laid up in a hospital somewhere.
>>4712111Don't worry about it mate, just focus on real life for the moment, the questing can come later.
So you tell him. Your answer is not an emotionless one, it contains your anger and grief that those you expected to help you solve the problems of the swamp have instead complicated them. You speak of having to learn speed and decisiveness, as well as finesse and flexibility. You speak very frankly of how the conflicting egos and agendas of the Pentacle are their greatest weakness. It is a long answer, broken up into an hour or more of conversation, during which you continue to work on the stone ropes trapping Eshtei. “Despite all of your grandiose claims otherwise, not one of you seems to have known my father at all.” You note, sadly, at the end. “He was a man who loved his people, not just a font of arcane power. If you did somehow restore him to life, he would surely execute you on the spot, do you not realize that? Even reinforcing the lessons of lordship he taught me wouldn't save you. I will accept your surrender, unless death is your preference.”He sighs, “My life is nothing, my lord. Indeed, it may already be that my sun is setting. Perhaps you fail to understand the seriousness of this. I took the godbile myself, to learn of its efficacy, and under its influence I somehow, by means my mortal self cannot recall, managed to restore the cadavers of those I wish to bring back to a perfect moment-of-death state, undoing all the damage the curse did to them. Yet, they breathe not, nor do they open their eyes. It is my belief that through Eshtei's magic, and my ability to summon the greater spirits of the dark, I can find their souls and restore them to their bodies, but it is not a process I will survive. It requires blood, you see. Of a close relative. That is why I absolutely could not permit your demise. The amount required would not be lethal, not for you, but for the number of people I mean to raise...well, I imagine you already heard the reason why Grandmama would not let me go to war, yes?”“Because she meant for you to succeed her.” Your voice comes out bitter.“Oh, she is a creature of feigned pragmatism over a well of boundless sentiment.” He sighs, “Perhaps partially, but in truth it is because even a minor injury can be lethal to me. When I bleed, I do not stop. A wound that would, on you, close quickly and be a scab by the end of the week, well...” He laughs softly, “As I said, I would not survive the process. It has to be done in one attempt.”“All the more foolish, then! Why gamble the life of an archmage...not a foreigner like Char, but one we need...on something like this?” You snap at him.[Continue]
He bows his head, “Because, my lord, I love my homeland. Knowing that godbile works, I believe the prophecy we were told of was indeed genuine, and moreover that the crown believes it too. With such knowledge in their heads, it was natural they would seek to decapitate us, and one attempt would not satisfy them. Consider Ralf Schwaltz, his province was bled so dry of men that he can scarce control his lands, all on the mere suspicion that he was tangentially complicit in the murder of the queen. No, the king will not feel safe until he has torn the Absol line up by the roots and shattered the province. Only overwhelming might, and a symbol that can lead, and win, the revolt promised by the prophecy will save our people. You are strong, my lord, but you are not Arnveis Absol.”“Completely untested magic is nothing for an intelligent man to pin his hopes on. You know that. You must be aware that what you are doing has never been succeeded at, why do you expect it to work?”He smiles, “It is less that it has never been succeeded at, and more that, due to the nature of the Shadowbinders, it is not tried by those with serious power. The laws against it do not exist because it cannot be done, but because it is expected that once the master is dead the apprentice will rule, and if the master's family brings him back it disincentivizes the talented and ambitious. In this case, I am at least following the spirit of the law.”You snort, “Highly debatable. Is your workshop here, then?”He shakes his head, “No, my lord. I came here to retrieve Eshtei. Unfortunately, I found her as you did, trapped, most likely by Sister Shell. Lacking many other options, I simply chose to wait and see if the spell expired, and make arrangements to...” He pauses as a few of your Stormtongues come stomping down the stairs, carrying a well-trussed but very much alive wild boar. They look utterly nonplussed at this indignity, “...feed her.” He bows again, “My lord, again I would make my case that your father alive would make for a rallying...” There is a dreadful squeal as Eshtei's fangs pierce the boar, and an appalling slurping sound, “...rallying symbol for all of the Frontier Provinces. We could easily sweep through them, unite them, and deny Old Vartyne the soldiers and resources it has become accustomed to. At least permit my research to continue, I beseech you.” Despite his lowered head, you easily get the sense that he isn't asking whether or not he may continue, but if he may continue with your blessing. Unless he is killed, he probably won't stop.>[He is too dangerous for his continued existence to be permitted. Give one of your bodyguards a nod, and let them do what must be done]>[Clap him in irons, he may be useful but he is still too dangerous to walk free]>[Let him accompany you untethered, he did surrender of his own volition]
>>4718342>[Clap him in irons, he may be useful but he is still too dangerous to walk free]I'm of the mindset to have him put down regardless, but we should do a trial for him when we do. Make it clear that it's not just the Absol and the Shadowbinders who are against using godbile to raise the dead, but the entirety of the swamp. If he manages to persuade enough of the headsmen/women that he is worth keeping alive, fine, but it will help solidify our grasp even further. One thing that should probably be mentioned is that if we DO raise the previously dead to a state of perfect resurrection, what impact would it have on the kingdom? Perhaps something like that, which can viewed as vile blasphemy by the sun-worshippers and those not familiar with the magic of the swamps, is the spark that ignites the purging fires they will send. Better to shear off the diseased branch, before it spreads to the rest of the tree.Of course, if people want to just cut him down where he stands, that's alright too. Just feel he's too dangerous to leave here unbound.
>>4718342>>[He is too dangerous for his continued existence to be permitted. Give one of your bodyguards a nod, and let them do what must be done]
>>4718342>>[Clap him in irons, he may be useful but he is still too dangerous to walk free]>>4718429like this anon says it's more about doing it right than allowing him to fuck with dads corpse. I'm not sure where I stand on letting his execution be by bloodletting ritual to bring back his friends or not. But I am leaning toward no, since the can of worms that just rumours of working resurrection magic would open is not something I'm eager to deal with. also the very real possibility that there are side effects or it sets of a bomb in the spirt world or some such shit, not to mention the theological and psychological implications of getting ripped out of not!heaven or not!hell or whatever happens to you in this setting.
>>4718342>[Clap him in irons, he may be useful but he is still too dangerous to walk free]I can understand where he's coming from, and he's far to dangerous to just be left to roam free.... And yet he's an incredibly fount of knowledge and a potential asset. That's assuming he doesn't choose to off himself in captivity when he realizes odds are highly unlikely we would consent to him returning the dead to true life. Hard choices.
>>4718342>[Clap him in irons, he may be useful but he is still too dangerous to walk free]
>>4718342>[Let him accompany you untethered, he did surrender of his own volition]If we control Eshtei, we control him. Putting him in chains is a mere formality.>>4718429Gorol's not a rabid dog, frothing from the mouth. Your point about the kingdom's perception is valid, but utterly useless beyond optics and propaganda. Killing Gorol won't save the Swamp or the Absol line from the Crown's machination, and we are the last bastion that the Shadowbinders have left, so we were always going to be perceived as a Dark Lord of a hive of scum and villainy. Having our father comeback from the dead would only scare the ever loving shit out of them.
>>4718817I support this mentality, if letting him be free doesn't win I side with imprisonment.
>>4718342>>[Clap him in irons, he may be useful but he is still too dangerous to walk free]
He is talking about dark, DARK magic, necromancy, blood magic, human sacrifice, and soul tampering bullshit (with souls that are alredy in the afterlife) like he is trying to sell us a car. This shit has more dangers that he tells us and QM stated in his immortality debate thet you need a constant stream of lives of equal value to sustain one beyond his time, one life will not serve to bring back frigging Archmage Lord Absol and all of Gloam's brothers, it will just bring one of the evil godshards, pour angry spirits of the now restless dead into the world, free demons, or some other apocaliptic bullshit that we don't have time to deal with.>[Clap him in irons, he may be useful but he is still too dangerous to walk free]Make sure they are shadowbinder-proof
>>4718817>our father coming back from the dead.Gorol STOLE our father's corpse before it could be cremated and stored properly with our ancestors. Argue all you want about intentions, and prophecies that we did not cast ourselves, or were there to hear from the diviner's own lips, but that is a fact. If Father is in the afterlife with the woman he loved so dearly, it'd be devastatingly cruel to separate him from her, raised to fight against the kingdom he defended so ardently. That level of desecration isn't worth it. Let the man rest for once, we'll take the fight to them ourselves if we choose to go that path.In addition, say we do raise Arnveis the Black to perfect life, using godbile and the life of another. Once it's been done once for a good cause, it'll be done multiple times for a bad one. If that genie is out of the bottle, it's not going back in. Anyone who's loved ones have died under tragic circumstances will be clamouring to get their beloved returned. How much godbile and skilled enough Shadowbinders are there in the world for that? No matter how many, the answer is always going to wind up Not Enough in the end. Better to not even start down that path, it only leads to ruin.
>>4719133I agree with you anon
>>4719037>a shadowbinder talking about dark magic and necromancyUnfortunately, the rest of that is meta-knowledge, otherwise I would agree.Also, put a candle in his cell to stop the dark magic.>>4719133He's not getting off scot free, but it's useless to ascribe a fantasy afterlife to our father. For all we know, the soul may dissipate after death, and that's why we can't bring back the dead in any meaningful way.
>>4719290The thing is, Anon isn't off base with what Jakob would know, and Jakob is a sorcerer with a high Knowledge skill. He would therefore know about the limitations on magical immortality.
>>4718342>[He is too dangerous for his continued existence to be permitted. Give one of your bodyguards a nod, and let them do what must be done]I wish I could use you, but desperate men and desperate means are not what I want to rely on.I don’t want to end up kidnapped and bled out on a ritual stone, either, which would be what seems to be required for his studies.
>>4719290How religious Jakob is is actually a question that hasn't come up yet. I've made a point thus far that nobody actually KNOWS what happens to the soul upon death although Mihtoism has its own set of answers.
>>4719336And the Shadowbinders? What do they believe?
>>4719428That's a good question which will surely be explored in more detail later, but what Jakob knows, at least, is that they have a friendly transactional relationship with spirits of darkness whose existence they can easily prove. Probably, judging by the fact that these spirits vary in size and power, one could extrapolate that there are ones powerful enough to be considered gods, but at least the Shadowbinders Jakob knows don't really seem to worship them. Bribe them, sure. Cajole them, flatter them, befriend them if they can, for power and influence over their kind. Worship, though? Not quite.
>>4719439That... makes a lot of sense, and puts some context into why he thinks his mad scheme could work potentially.
“Tell me, where are the other members of the Pentacle?” You inquire. He smiles wryly, “Ah, the question that could not be avoided. I am relieved at the lack of heated irons and thumbscrews.”“I can always go fetch some from the baggage train.” You inform him politely, “It would be no trouble, really.”“No, no my lord. No need for you to inconvenience yourself. Sister Shell has an oxcart of a most unusual design, quite distinctive. Its exterior is made of shields.”“Tower shields?” You interrupt him, abruptly remembering one of your visions, “Or at least, stylized to look like a shield wall?”He tugs his beard, “However did you know that?”You smile in a way very reminiscent of your father, “Foresight, Gorol. Foresight.”He laughs wryly, “I suppose that was how you were already preparing for Sister Char's attack when one of my agents managed to slip information on it to Grandmama.”You laugh, and nod. There is something sad about all of this. He must have been a great magus once, but now he's a defeated man and worse, you can see the cracks in his psyche. You loved your father, you were utterly devastated when he died, just as you had been when your mother passed on, but accepting death is a part of becoming an adult. You know why this cannot be pursued. If you allowed it once, it would kick off a desperate scramble in which everyone who lost someone they loved would be begging and pleading for you to bring them back, doing increasingly reckless and desperate things to see it done. This is assuming it works properly. You don't even want to think about how it would feel to see your father brought back as some kind of abomination, or imagine his misery at being torn away from your mother. Moreover, what if there is some cosmic reason against undoing the process of death? What if the gates to His research cannot continue. He cannot be permitted to go free. He cannot be given godbile again. You understand now, why what you heard of him made him sound at first like an invalid. Like someone the Shadowbinders of Briarfast had been taking care of. If history is kind, he will be remembered as he was, not as he is now. “She shows up when she will, and disappears just as swiftly.” He says, plainly, “As to the rest...my lord, without my undead army, the forces of the Pentacle cannot stand against you. Without any of the villages throwing their support behind Sister Oath, behind Albeda, the numbers are simply too great. As you yourself witnessed, through tactics and experience I was able to, briefly, make up the difference on my own but...it was ultimately insufficient against the resources you could bring to bear. Such is the case with the others. We gambled and lost, although I opposed the measures taken. I sent my apprentices to Albeda, she will have likely fled the province by now.”>[Begin rolling dice, Sense+Empathy, +2 dice from your Passions]
>but Wong, why are you posting this now? Making up for lost time by inserting stuff when I can and so I can get those rolls quicker and see if you get a set.
>>4722616>what if the gates toWeird, dunno how I deleted the rest of that sentence, which is "the underworld becomes stuck ajar, and the process of true death ceases?"
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4722616Sending up the first die to see what this nerd's hiding.
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4722616
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4722616MY HABIT OF CHECKING ALL THE THREADS WHEN I GET OFF WORK HAS PAID OFF!TAKE MY DIE WONG!
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4722616Just incase have another die!
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4722616Well since I'm here no one else isHAVE ANOTHER DIE!
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4722616
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4722616
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4722616I'll throw my hat into the ring as well.
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4722616If they are still needed...then dice
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>4722616
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4722616A roll from work just for good measure.
A brief note, if I lay the pool and the bonuses out, you can see what that equals at the top of the page and there's no need to keep rolling after that, generally. It's become a bit excessive.
>>4723589I'm sorry if I kickstarted the rolls, I just wanted to feel like I contributed something, even if it wasn't useful.
“But you do know where she is.” You tilt your head to meet his gaze, “...Don't you?” What you see reflected in his eyes is not a teenage sorcerer, tall but a bit gawky still, with big ears and an average level of attractiveness. It is a towering figure, the gangliness obscured by the bulk of armor and cloak, further accentuated with a layer of frozen smoke, and with the brow and forehead of the armet crested by a smouldering smokemass eye. It is an imposing figure. One who secrets cannot be hidden from. At least, not entirely. He bows his head, “My lord, it is a place where she is beyond your reach. Surely you can think of somewhere she would go, where she would be both safe and utterly beyond your power.”Bereft of further insight beyond the fact that he knows where she is, you can only use logic and intuition to suss it out. He's clearly trying to weasel out of betraying her completely. It would look good for your bodyguards, who will consequently surely talk and spread your reputation for being able to see into the hearts of men, if you guess correctly. On the other hand, you could just bellow at him to tell you. Fortunately, her appearance at the trial limits her options, there is only a certain distance she could have traveled since then even if she made preparations for flight immediately. >[West, to Gwelm Island]>[South, to the Schwaltzwood]>[North, to the Ryd Mountains]>[East, to the Ledo Plains]>[South again, to the very seat of the Church of Mihto, also technically in the Schwaltzwood but in the part they control]>[Give up and get him to tell you]
>>4723601There's nothing wrong with that. It was just getting a bit excessive when we have almost double the rolls needed.
Also if you're curious what the point of a correct guess is, there's no way your bodyguards won't talk about this, and guessing correctly gives you +1 Sovereignty for the next month as people believe you have more powerful abilities of insight than you really do.
>>4723621>+1 SovereigntyWelp, what do you lads think? Gwelm may be willing to offer her shelter, and the Schwaltzwood may be an wildcard with Ralf. Lendo is an honorable man, and Ryd has a dragon problem he wants us to deal with. Mihto would be a curveball, considering she still has Shadowbinders, but it could work as a dark horse.
>>4723602I'm just spitballing here, but we can probably rule out Ryd and Schwaltzwood. Ryd wouldn't want to mess with his potential alliance, and Albeda wouldn't want to risk being dragon food. Schwaltzwood was also on the kings shitlist, but it's poor military and the leader's desire to make her a wife would likely make Albeda keep a fair distance. Which leaves us with either Ledo or Gwelm.Ledo's too much fo a bro to harbor a traitor, so I'm leaning towards Gwelm since that's both a place where she'd be safe due to Gwelm's relationship with our father, and difficult to reach because of the massive body of water seperating us. Plus Gwelm was here for the trial, and could easily sneak Albeda out of our lands.>[West, to Gwelm Island]
Well, from just idle thoughts, Petrine of Gwelm would probably shelter her for her connection to our father, and for Petrine's desire to not have us kill each other.I don't know why she'd head to the Schwaltzwood, unless she decided she'd settle things with Char's rival and try to marry him for allies.The Ryd Mountains are our ancestral rivals, but they'd probably welcome another mage to help them against the dragon.Ledo is based, and asserted his willingness to aid us, so I doubt she'd head there.I don't know why she'd go to the Church, unless I missed something.So, with all that in mind, I'm gonna vote for:>[West, to Gwelm Island]
>>4723643Well, minds think alike.It's a good point to consider she's still got Gloam's shadowbinder apprentices with her.
>>4723602As per >>4723661, the sitting ruler did show a vested interest in Sister Oaf's well-being. The sticking point for me is 'safe AND utterly beyond your power'. Assuming that Petrine allows us to so much as look for Sister Oaf on her island, then that means she really isn't utterly beyond our power, doesn't it? On the other hand, if she went to ground in the Schwaltzwood, would the current ruler even let us traipse around with a small army looking for her? I don't think so. As far as counting this option out because she doesn't want to be courted by some random lord - that point only stands if she makes herself known to him, which she doesn't need to. We're not on good terms with this guy at all, and I think that is what Sister Oaf is counting on to protect her. >[South, to the Schwaltzwood]
>>4723682If it's utterly beyond our power, the the most likely suspect is Mihto isn't it? We are the Dark Lord of the Shadowbinders, and Albeda the losing party in this war. It could be Shell pulling some strings to give the Witch shelter as an attempt to keep her in play. It would be logical, and keeps her away from Ralf's grasp as well, considering Char's distain of the Forest Lord.
>>4723602Fuck it, I'm going with my gut feeling on this one.>[South again, to the very seat of the Church of Mihto, also technically in the Schwaltzwood but in the part they control]
>>4723602If I may ask a question before I vote.Which direction was the town Albeda was born in?
Hey, didn't everyone's favorite spicy lesbian mention that she ran into Albeda shortly after burning down that manor and that she was in some kind of safe house?
>>4723602>[South again, to the very seat of the Church of Mihto, also technically in the Schwaltzwood but in the part they control]Gloam was left behind, so the main sticking point that would bother the Church of Mihto is here. A sob story about us staking a wayward Flame Dancer soul to our walls, consorting with the hated Shadowbinders and Smoke Sculptors, and shoving her out of our land after the trial will go well with their beliefs. Seeking sanctuary in their grasp will make retrieving her a thorny proposition, and she can try to muster sympathy among them and Vartyne to finally eradicate Shadowbinders when she mentions furtively about us potentially seeking to violate nature's laws to bring our father back to life. Even if that's not the case, it's a chance for her to petulantly strike out at us in a manner that will hurt as deep as her feeble arms can.
>>4723795Keep in mind, her major enemy here is Vartyne. I doubt she would be willing to sell the Swamp out to the kingdom that killed our father.
>>4723814Yeah, but the other options don't seem to make much sense to me. R*ds are untrustworthy, and she's probably not interested in Londo's rod if she can avoid it. Based Lord was going to stand with us, so that's off the table. Ralf is an option, but he's already in a bad position from the Crown's resentment. That leaves Mihtoists or Petrine. She could try and use Lady Gwelm's hospitality and isolation as a buffer against us, but that isolation makes it difficult to operate in a covert manner too. As such, I feel she might grit her teeth to get the Mihtoists to help install her as ruler of the Swamp, and betray them in turn after they're already worn down from dealing with us. She turned traitorous once, she can do it again.
And once more, my internet is back.
>>4723739I think it was located near the South, considering Char just stumbled into it of her own account. Plus, the ports are controlled by us, unless she managed to hike back to our castle and ask Lady Gwelm for asylum.
>>4723739Weeptree is the southernmost town in the Absol Swamps, before a local disease wiped out enough of the people that it was abandoned. It's not far from Kidney Lake, where you are currently, actually.
>>4723833Those dice early came in handy after all, as I turned them into a Knowledge+Lore roll. I want to give you a bit of IC knowledge to support this. Lord Balam Ledo has acknowledged your claim to lordship of the swamp with a firmness that implies Albeda would be an outlaw there. Ralf Schwaltz did acknowledge you, but in a way that implied, falsely or not, he wasn't aware of a conflict, meaning he could either take sides OR cover his ass by going "well of course Jakob is the lord, lol". Hannah is both out of the range and has picked a side more clearly than anyone else. The Ryds are dealing with you as the CURRENT lord, without addressing the conflict formally. As for Petrine, do the math from there.
In ten minutes, I will repost the vote, now that you've had time to discuss, and I'd like everyone's final answer then.
>>4723602>[South, to the Schwaltzwood]I'm torn,but this is my vote, if Aunty does turn out to be harbouring Albeda then so be it.
>>4723884>[South, to the Schwaltzwood]
Respond to this post with your final answers, please. >[West, to Gwelm Island]>[South, to the Schwaltzwood]>[North, to the Ryd Mountains]>[East, to the Ledo Plains]>[South again, to the very seat of the Church of Mihto, also technically in the Schwaltzwood but in the part they control]>[Give up and get him to tell you]
>>4723925>>[South, to the Schwaltzwood]Surely Wong wouldn't give us a other traitorous Aunt right?
>>4723925>[South again, to the very seat of the Church of Mihto, also technically in the Schwaltzwood but in the part they control]Sticking with this choice. Tempted to swap it for Ralf, but she might tell him that she's seeking sanctuary there. He could still schmooze with us, pretending like he didn't know until we talk to him about it. After all, he can just go "Oh, you were putting down a rebellion? I wish I knew, she sought sanctuary and I swore an oath to keep her from harm" or some other slimeball, political shit to avoid consequences until he knows for sure who's going to come out on top.
>>4723925>>[West, to Gwelm Island]I don't know honestly
>>4723925>[South, to the Schwaltzwood]
>>4723933Just throwing this out here now because if it comes up I'll probably miss it because of work.I want Goroll to live and see us become the man our Father new we were destined to become so when he does eventually die he can tell our dear old dad and mom in wizard afterlife all about it.
>>4723925>[West, to Gwelm Island]
Looks like a tie, some people earlier voted for the Schwaltzwood who haven't re-voted, so if it's still a tie in five minutes I'll go with that.
“...Her home village is south of here.” You remark, “I think she headed for it, and then kept going. There was nothing for her there, but beyond it?” You shake your head, “Ralf Schwaltz, that snake. He did ask me for her hand in marriage. Now, he can simply take it, and advance her claim when it suits him. It's a claim most of Vartyne wouldn't recognize, but he's already out of favor with the crown, and if I die without an heir...well, he is poised to gain an army that could well protect him, and Albeda gains much from it too. The Schwaltzes have many friends in Old Vartyne, not to mention the church.” For a moment, you were suspicious of Petrine, but she was just a bit too friendly for you to believe she would prevent you from sending men to seize Albeda in her lands. Ralf, on the other hand? Ralf surely would, and worse, he would call it invasion and demand protection. “Indeed. Moreover, the Schwaltzwood is well-known to be lacking in soldiers. In the worst case, Lord Schwaltz could easily claim she was dwelling there without his knowledge. Or, although I only now consider this, use her as leverage to make a deal with you. As for the Ragged Elder, Brother Grey, you know where he is. He was scarcely subtle in taking Dampmeade. I can tell you of his mind, for it would bring me pleasure if he in particular was to no longer taint the swamps. He blames the man in him for his loss to your father. Vices of a human, such as pride and honor, led to his defeat. He sees it as a wavering in his dedication to the beast, to living with the mindset of the wolf. Ending your bloodline is not, to him, a matter of honor, but one of survival. That which threatens him cannot live. He will do whatever it takes to kill you, Pentacle be damned, though the organizational side of his forces is managed by his apprentices.” Gorol folds his arms in his sleeves.“Have you ever met him in person?” You ask.He shakes his head, “No, my lord. He meets no one in person save those of the Pack who have submitted to him. All else, he slays. It is his way, there are only his minions and his prey in his conception of the world. As I said, I believe the swamp would be a better place with him no longer alive to haunt its nightmares. You do understand that he attained his position not through teaching widely, but by killing every magus of the Night Hunters who would not submit and serve him? When I agreed to work with the Pack, I thought I would be liasing with Rask the Shieldhand, who I have cause to be impressed by. As it stands, I must deal with those three shrill geldings who speak for him and our partnership has been a disappointment, and his inability to accept the concept of 'peers' has irritatingly forced us to divide our forces. If he and his wolves had consented to join me at the Well, at a proper fortress...consider how differently the battle might have gone.”[Continue]
“And yet, it didn't. You made a risky alliance and it turned out to be a mistake.” You point out, and he does not respond with anything other than a shallow nod. There is an appalling screeching, crumbly noise as your bodyguards lever the main body of the petrified ropes off the wall at last. Eshtei chitters in delight, and scuttles forward, the great spider's gleaming eyes reflecting the light of your lamps.Unsurprisingly, she is met with a semicircle of billhooks and crossbows. She lowers her pedipalps, looking disappointed.>[Let it be]>[Tell her she needs to keep a distance from you...and don't mention that it's because she's a giant carnivorous spider who is by her own admission, ravenous]>[Tell your men to stand aside, and pet Eshtei]
>>4724027>[Tell your men to stand aside, and pet Eshtei]I'm sorry I was busy, I didn't mean to us up if I did.
>>4724027>[Tell your men to stand aside, and pet Eshtei]Hope this doesnt end the quest
>>4724055>didn't men to fuck us up if I didApparently I'm just a fuckup today.
You gesture your men aside, “Bind our guest's hands. I'll escort the lady.” You bet Lilly would be proud of you if she heard you being smooth.“YO! I heard you needed more live animals, is there a...oh Jakob. What is...why is there...” Cailm's progress down the stairs, dragging a wild goat by a lead, abruptly stalls, “Oh no. Oh no, no no. You canNOT take that home with you!”“Hello!” Eshtei chirps, “He can, but maaaaay he?” She waggles her abdomen side-to-side smugly, as if she had just scored some great point.You give him a profoundly innocent look, “But it's my castle, I can have as many monsters as I want.” He groans, “As if your taste in women wasn't leaning that way already.”“Explain that to Lady Galdynfyrgenbach.” You point over his shoulder.He rolls his eyes, “I can hear a deer cropping grass across a water meadow, go teach Grandmama to suck eggs.” He gripes.“She knows.” Gorol says, holding his hands out without resisting as he's bound, “She wasn't always an archmage, you know. Once, she was actually the least of her master's students, more servant than disciple. It's the ones you underestimate who usually end up surprising you.” He smiles. Cailm eyes him sidelong, “I like the short one with the big tits and the fat arse better.” “Explain that to Doloranna.” You point over his shoulder, again.He rolls his eyes again, “Twice in a row isn't funny, Jakob.” He turns around, and there is a loud THONK as Doloranna leaps off the step she was standing on to headbutt him in the face, sending him staggering. The goat escapes and tries to flee, only for Eshtei to surge forward and pounce on it. There is a horrid slurping noise, and droplets of goat blood spatter all over Cailm as he reels.“Fat arse INDEED.” The Shadowbinder girl scowls, hands on her hips. Then she bows, “Hello, master. I'm sorry it's come to this.” Her tone is unusually subdued and polite.Gorol smiles sadly, “Aren't we all? We make our choices, and we cannot deny responsibility for them. Whatever happens, don't hold it against your lord.”“He will have a fair trial.” You promise her.[Continue]
“Dying in battle would almost be better.” She says, quietly.Gorol, surprisingly, cuts you off, “Fighting him is the last thing I would ever want to do. One way or another, the Swamp must have a sufficiently strong leader to avenge our fallen. Until there is a better option, his life must be preserved, I cannot risk it engaging him in a battle of mage against mage. Hence the circumstances you find me in.” He raises his manacled hands.She looks at him as if contemplating something unknowable, then sighs, “War isn't much fun, is it?” She remarks. “I thought I'd like it more.”“That isn't uncommon.” Gorol replies. Then looks at you, “Thank you, having the chance to see my apprentice is not something I felt entitled to. I do hope you're taking good care of her and not...defiling her.”“Don't tell Jakey what to do!” Doloranna snaps, her face turning very red for a girl who tried the old 'lure a boy into the tent with the sound of crying while being naked in there' trick on you.“You're on your own with this one.” Cailm remarks, “Some problems I don't envy you, unless you plan to legalize polygamy.”“Maybe I will.” You threaten him, “See how many women come forward demanding you take responsibility. You'll be at the beck and call of every hen who considers you her rooster.” “I run faster than any of them.” He vows, “I can survive where no one else can, and live off the land.”“I give it three days before you meet some peasant girl out there who knows the terrain too well for you to hide from, and her with a big, angry father who wants you to do right by her.” You fold your arms over your armored chest, “That is a generous estimate.” [Continue]
“You're terrible.” Doloranna says disparagingly, as if she has never done anything wrong as it pertains to her rivals. “Why can't you be more like my Jakob, who's sweet to me when I'm sad and fierce when he has to be?” “Because he's a virgin and I'm not.” Cailm winks, “Although I've got a betting pool going on who's going to fix that and when. I've got my own brilliant theory, but I can't tell you and influence the pool.”Smooth as spilled ink, Doloranna slips right up next to you and puts an arm around your waist, “Don't listen to him.” She whispers to you, “I wouldn't want you to be any different. My brave birdy.” Affection radiates from her as she leans her head against your armored arm. Her plain maille and sturdy boots rather ruin the slinky concubine image she would otherwise have. >[Put your arm around her as you lead the group out]>[Make her unhand you]>[Ignore the problem]
>>4724120>[Ignore the problem]I was thinking of grabbing dat ass, but I don't want Cailm to get any ideas or maybe I do, but not the other waifus.
>>4724120>[Ignore the problem]We've already put her in a salty mood earlier in the day, probably shouldn't rub it in yet in case we wake up shaved bald by her mischievious little friends in the night. Dolly's growing on me, slowly but surely. Argh, it's like the whole Karen vs Sam internal debate for me all over again, but we don't have the option to just have the whole lot like Roarke did.
>>4724120>[Put your arm around her as you lead the group out]Blarg finally got a second to catch up, damn you work.
>>4724147There is always the option of declaring polygamy legal in the face of that being the case nowhere else in Vartyne.
>>4724147That's right anon, embrace the ShortStack Shadowbinder, or more accurately let the ShortStack Shadowbinder embrace you!
>>4724147Just legalize polygamy. The other waifus will be a dessert to the buffet of eggs, hens, and a rooster we'd enjoy.
>>4724151Oh god Wong plz>Inb4 anyone can buy into being a member of the Absol wife hoard with enough cheese.
>>4724151That's an option for AFTER we rebel and depose the king, taking the throne by rite of conquest. Until then, only one waifu to avoid ruining our laifu.
>>4724151Don't tempt us. Cailm's face alone would be worth it.
>>4724120>>[Make her unhand you]
>>4724161However, if you die? Dynasty over.
>>4724167>rethinking grabbing dat ass>sweating intensifies
>>4724167Guess once we decide on the winner of the Jakobbowl, it is in our best interest to crank out as many heirs as we possibly can, as fast as we can, like a proper Lord should.
>>4724178>not going the Cailm route
>>4724178The point is that going "eehhhhh I won't pursue any of them and just see who comes to ME" is a losing strategy. If it continues too long, there will assuredly be rumors that Jakob is not interested in women.As an aside, what I decided on is that these three girls are the main three. Any ensuing ones aren't ones I really count on anything with, but if they turn out to be fan favorites, they're available. Lilly, for example, was entirely unplanned as far as I remember.
>>4724178Nothing like watching your eldest aet of hextuplets squabbling over which one of them will inherit your throne when you've already decided to hand it over to your youngest daughter. So I'm sure with all the kids Grandmama has had she can give whichever girl ends up our wife advice on conceiving, I'm hesitant to let any of them drink any special potions she "knows" how to make to boost fertility though.
>>4724189To add to this, the sooner you decide, the less trouble the others are, possibly.
>>4724189Oneday we will figure out how to make Lilly a smokeglass figurine that lasts forever.
>>4724167well Albeda's still alive
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4724189Aaaagh, fuck it. Flipping a coin, with 1 for Hannah's big heart, filled with love, and 2 for Dolly's precious smile, that shines even in the dark.Muscles vs shortstack, argh argh argh. Sticking to my guns no matter how it goes.
>>4724193Oh Jove help us allWong plz
>>4724189Oh. I was wait for the other waifus to make a bigger appearance. Huh. Thank you for telling me.
>>4724200Choose one>Dom the Giant buff shy girl with kindness. Or>Be Dommed by the short Buff assertive girl. Or>Be mutually awkward with the supernaturally fluffy musician girl. A choice so hard even Zeus would have to stop and think it over more than once.
>>4724202Yeah, that factored into my decision, I'll repeat it if need be.
>>4724206Alternative options> Play a life long game of Regicide with the daughter of your Ancestors sworn blood enemy Or> [Spoiler] Claim the princess as your wife after conquering her kingdom Or> move to a tropical series of islands and slay Pirates with your Aunt Wife Or> Literally a giant spider with the soul of a Thorndweller master fleshcrafter
>>4724206Well, I always felt it wouldn't be right to lead floofy bard on, so it was a decision between Hannah and Dolly on my end when both were shown up. Sticking firmly on the Galdynfyrgenbach express now though, unless everyone else picks the Rib-Witch. Regardless, when the dust settles and one stands supreme, I'll try to not be bitter if Dolly or Lil wins out. Hannah will have shot her shot, which is all that can be done after all. May the Best Girl™ win. Complete with complimentary mug.
>>4724214Final options> Track down and fuck out a lifetime of issues with your übertitted cousin adopted sister wife Or> Solve the Ryds dragon problem by fucking the dragon into submission aka the Cailm maneuver
>>4724206>>4724214>>4724222>All of the above, and become the second coming of Roarke
>>4724214>Thorndweller master fleshcrafterI think we've finally found Cailm a girl worth fighting for. After all, she's a great hunter, like him, and loves the great outdoors. She'll be able to keep at least one eye on his philandering heart, with a couple more to spare if needed. Plus, worst case scenario, she might be able to sculpt and graft a means to produce spawn with him as required. Cailm, stop running away! It's for the good of the kingdom, and to re-discover lost magics Cailm!
>>4724229Based girl. Cailm is so lucky!
>>4724229> Gotta appreciate a gall who can build her own home complete with traps! Plus she can always hunt Cailm down for us if he goes too long on a "hunt"
>>4724227>Alas Young Jacob lacks the sheer animal magnetism, rockstar sex drive and MAXIMUM COOL of Roark, and most importantly a giant undefeated brawler Mech that wets the underwear of entire star systems as Queen plays against a backdrop of stars
This is a problem you are happy to ignore. Can't play too easy to get, or too hard to get for that matter, but right now, just ignoring it as if this is normal seems to be the right solution. With Gorol in chains, and Eshtei mingling childish shyness with puppylike enthusiasm to be free, you make your way out. You do retrieve Gorol's things, mostly books, from where he was lodged at the top of the tower, but that's a minor diversion and not worth thinking overmuch about. By the twentieth of the month, you have made it back to Briarfast, to a wildly cheering crowd. Women throw spring flowers into the path of your marching army, as they have in every town you passed through, and the worthy men of your domain drink toasts to your name. This following month, they will follow you more ardently than they ever have before.>[Have your heralds make it known far and wide that the Pentacle has been defeated and the rebellion broken]>[Do not announce it]
>>4724262>[Have your heralds make it known far and wide that the Pentacle has been defeated and the rebellion broken]They've basically been defeated except for Grey, right? I don't see why not.
>>4724262>[Have your heralds make it known far and wide that the Pentacle has been defeated and the rebellion broken]Albeda has fled, Gorol is chained, and Char is watering the roots of the water. Even if Grey might cause further trouble, and Albeda plots against us from the Schwaltz with Shell, the Pentacle has ceased to be an actual military threat anymore. Just need to watch out when we go out hunting for a while until we bring the rebellious furries to heel. Time to get some more sick Arcane Gainz before we go to fulfill our promise to Hannah for aid.
>>4724262>[Have your heralds make it known far and wide that the Pentacle has been defeated and the rebellion broken]We should probably go deal with Dampmead soonish, or prepare for the long March North to go put down Hannah's own rebellion problems.But first drinks with our bro Cailm in a quiet celebration between brothers and definitely not to set him up with a giant spider wife.... Definitely not that.
>>4724270>watering the roots of the waterSupposed to be walls instead, but I guess she could be trying to raise the iron levels in the moat up by a miniscule amount too. Maybe the crocs might notice a bit of a tang to it.
>>4724262>>[Have your heralds make it known far and wide that the Pentacle has been defeated and the rebellion broken]Just joining the quest, but have been reading the backlog, if we're spending exp soon Darkwater Oracle looks like brilliant insurance. And would play into the rep Jakob is starting to get as being super-insightful.
>>4724262>>[Have your heralds make it known far and wide that the Pentacle has been defeated and the rebellion broken]PR is just as important as the fight itself.
>>4724262>[Do not announce it]I'm wary of calling victory with only 2 of 5 captured or dead.Announcing it could be seen as premature with the majority on the run still.[spoilers]Lily for life, Lily for wife
I've been thinking and rereading the posts pertaining to "Sister Shell"And I'm coming to think that she is definitely someone planted here by the King, other old Vartyne Nobles or someone with alot of connections if not herself being the one with the connections. Now she is possibly a spy sent by the king to fuel a civil war in our province that would hopefully keep it un-united and in no place to threaten the Kingdom.Possibly the seer who forsaw the prophecy and is trying to either prevent it from happening or actively trying to cause it to happen for reasons we are unaware of.Or lastly She's the princess and she's trying to force the prophecy to happen because her father haa gone so mad with grief that he's tearing the kingdom apart, or he has become a puppet of old Vartyne Nobility and this is her cry for help, or possibly the king in his mad grief has sent out his courtmages to look for someway to return hia wife to him and they found a genuine demon corpse and that's also the source of the godbile ala weeby 7 deadly sins style
>>4725744I feel like chopped liver.
>>4725753I also cant help but feel we missed SoMeThInG in our "boss battle" with Goroll, I don't know what, and I can't put my finger on it.And I'm not actually sure we guessed the correct answer in the end, I almost feel as though Goroll would have agreed with whatever we ended up choosing ya know.Or I'm just bored at work and overthinking things.
>>4725767I love overthinking things! I do feel that there were other prizes to be had, though what we will never know. The real thing I question was the Mihto option. It was so unsusual that it still sticks in my head.
>>4724262>>[Have your heralds make it known far and wide that the Pentacle has been defeated and the rebellion broken]Is Char still hanging up there?
>>4725813Until the wall has consumed her whole
>>4725850I meant as in is she still kicking and cursing
>>4725856Well she was certainly cursing when we left, but we made sure she wasn't kicking ;-]Unsure if she's bled out yet though.