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/qst/ - Quests

You are Kokabiel. You arrived on this world with the simple mission of saving every living thing in it, and maybe some beyond it. You have caught wind of two representatives of the two greatest organized militaries of the world making a secret meeting. Colonel Fole of the Rastegan Republic, and Captain Alenia of the Varonian Empire.

Unfortunately both of them and their retinues were taken hostage during this silent exchange. There was also some nefarious plot involving torture, and some addictive substances. Luckily you seemed to have arrived before it went into full swing. Though Alenia’s sister Sitara, seems to have been less fortunate then them.

The two of you now move across in the dead of night in the eerily empty mansion that held the two Varonians hostage, packing a large bundle of stolen clothes. Maid and butler uniforms, and even some skimpy dancer outfits. You return to the old tower where you have left Alenia with the captain of the mercenaries who done the kidnapping. He is still unconscious but now bound with makeshift stripes of bedsheet. The captain herself has changed into a blue uniform she was captured in, likely not content int staying in the nightgown you initially found her in. Her long blonde hair is in a tight bun now.

“No sign of your men anywhere but I found your...”

Your report is cut short as the demure auburn-haired girl in maid uniform drops the clothes and rushes up beside you. She embraces her sister with faint sobbing. There is no way they could really be related. Although you have a weird family tree yourself, so who are you to complain? You turn away to give a moment of privacy to the two, and regard the unconscious Commander Lascore.

With him gone, you would have no witnesses to this entire thing. You did whack a guy for this nice disguise uniform already. He could also know a lot of info, after all you are still one diplomat short. However it’s not like he is a sole source of information, and dragging a hostage around could have plenty of complications.

>A) Loose lips sink ships
>B) He still has information we need
>C) Let the others decide
>D) A question for another time, we should strategize first (any info you would like to be recapped?)
Monster points : 1 (allows you to change your physiological feature thanks to your monstrous origin)
Arcane points: 1 (allows you to emit and manipulate energy crudely)
>wearing: mercenary detachment uniform
Oh! and archive of the previous thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=royal+monster+quest
>>C) Let the others decide
>>A) Loose lips sink ships
It's going to be hard enough getting a crowd of people out without dragging an unconscious guy around.

Welcome back.
>>A) Loose lips sink ships
>>A) Loose lips sink ships
thanks, good to be back
Deciding that Lascore is more trouble than he is worth, you drag him out of sight behind a sofa. Wrapping both arms over his head, with a sharp twist break his neck. You can feel him tense up and choke just a little before the torn and twisted nerves make him fall like a ragdoll. His eyes grow increasingly glassy, and there is the instinct that makes you want to suffer him more. To revel in his pain, but it is as gone as quick as it came.

[Monster Points +1]

“Well, time to get out before they find out what happened.” you say straightening up.
“But where are my men?” Alenia’s expression is full of worry
“Not here, that’s for sure. The most of the rooms are empty, and the only armed personnel I’ve seen are around the estate.”
“If they found out I’ve fled they will kill them!” she says quite resolutely
“When they find their commander, I don’t think they will be in the forgiving mood.” you say. She pushes her sister behind her, and steps forward to peer over the furniture at Lascore's pain-twisted body.

“You...” she looks at the man in disbelief “He should have answered for his crimes!”
“He did, in a way. Though if you ask me, he deserved worse.”
“Who are you? Why are you here?” she demands angrily despite her bad situation
“I was named Kokabiel, and I came to rescue one Captain Alenia, and one Colonel Fole. Tell me, why are YOU, here?”
“I was captured by...”
“No. Here. Why did you come to this city?”
“To stop the century-long war between our people.” she says without hesitation
“You came here with a mission. People rely on you. Far more many than the handful you came with. And those men who came with you? They came here with that mission in mind as well. They took the risks. And let me ask, if they died would you tell them you failed to save all those lives, because you were worried for them alone?”

The young woman takes on an angry and grim expression, before closing her blue eyes. You suspect it is not you who she is angry with in the end. She gazes at her sister, who is looking between the two of you meekly.
“Very well, what is the plan?” she asks finally.
“My plan?”
“Well you are the rescue party."

>A) Provide a distraction yourself while the two escapes
>B) [1 Arcane point] Set the mansion on fire
>C) Try to escape together
>D) Write-in
>E) [2 Monster points] Do distraction while rampaging like a crazy monster of the night
Just realized I should probably provide a monster point option as well, so you don't think using your resources is the best plan
Also damn the ID change, I was looking forward to making colored test!
>>B) [1 Arcane point] Set the mansion on fire
>>C) Try to escape together
Even if things don't go to plan, this way we can still actively defend them and/or keep tabs on them once they make it clear. It would be a pain if they made it out, but we can't find them or they got recaptured or something.
>>C) Try to escape together
“We’ll stick together.” you look at the large mechanical clock beside the shelves, saying 8:32 “If the guards didn’t slack on their rounds, two guys should be at the eastern wall by now.” (And if they do not have alternating patrol times for nighttime) you add in thought, hoping your daytime observations are still correct.

“How do we get through the wall?” Alenia asks. You think over the options. Could try to grow some clawed appendages to climb across yourself, but bringing someone else is lot more difficult. Not to mention that monstrous displays might scare your charges. Maybe Alenia is tall and fit enough climb over with your head as a vault, but the little girl...

“There is a ladder.”
You haven’t heard the silvery voice before, and takes a little to realize it belongs to the little girl with the dog ears. This is the first time she spoke since you’ve seen her.
“Sitara saw a ladder.“ she explains ”in the cleaning room, used to wipe the high shelves.”
“Is it tall enough?” Alenia inquires, to which her sister nods
“It is a bit shorter than the wall, but not by much. Sitara checked.”
“The back entrance is watched, and at the front entrance is visible form the gate which is also guarded.” you interject “dragging a long ladder would just I invite trouble”
“Ladder is two.” the girl shakes her head “Has rail in middle to make into tall ladder. Room on right wing has window to push through.”

The plan has merit, but smuggling the ladder is still more risky than trying to go without it. The girl however probably thinks that all three of you are meant to escape together, which need not be the case. You can also try to get rid of the back guards to make moving the ladder easier. There is two of them though and armed.

>A) Go with the ladder plan
>B) Try to get rid of the guards on the rear and use the ladder
>C) Leave the mansion yourself and try to find a way to break in again but this time with a way out
>D) Write-in
>>B) Try to get rid of the guards on the rear and use the ladder
Should try to get a monster part for melee that can be hidden like wrist spikes or retractable claws
>>D) Write-in
Find if posible an abandoned house near the wall that has a underground floor, then get monster part made for burrowing and make a path bellow the wall
>>A) Go with the ladder plan
Showing off our monstrous powers has 'bad idea' written all over it. And while I have no qualms killing when the alternative will cause us more trouble, wanton violence is likely to cause us long-term problems.
The ladder is awkward, but if push comes to shove we can fallback on one of the other options.

I like the cleverness, but that would require us to be able to see housing over the wall from the ground, and be able determine which (if any) of them have a suitable basement to tunnel into.

Supporting this.
Rolled 3, 6, 3 = 12 (3d6)

“Let’s see that ladder then.” The three of you quickly gather your things. Well, mostly your wards do. You yourself were born with next to nothing, and didn’t really have time to change that. Maybe later.

The ladder is a sturdy thing, with metallic rails on the end of it that slide into one another. The two pieces together are well over eight feet. Sitara and Alenia takes a part each while you are on the corner, making sure the two sentries don’t suddenly decide it is time for a patrol. Alenia reasoned that they won’t jump you on sight because of the uniform. Unlike her and her sister.
“...That’s a no brainer! Shag the Varonian, kill the brat, and marry Iralda.” one of them answers. It seems the rear guards have busied themselves with some sort of game, and the discussion is going about it.

“You know someone in Madame Iralda’s position doesn’t get there without doing some dirty deeds, right?”
“Oh yes, she can put some of that dirty knowledge for use on me...”
“Why what is your distribution?”
“Kill the Varonian, shag the Rastegan, and marry the maid.
“Seriously? The beast girl?”
“Easy to tame. Besides she is already a maid, perfect material.”
“Your views are skewed.” the other pokes fun at him
“I knew you hate the Varonians, but you would rather go with the Rastegan?”
“What’s wrong with her?”
“Talks like man, walks like a man… if it wasn’t for her knockers I’d think her a man.”
“Oh but those knockers...” and they both laugh
“My next shift will be over by her prison. Want to switch?”
“Yes, she has a temper on her. Was funny at first, but honestly getting tiresome.”

You can see Alenia wave at you from the corner of your eye. Now that you think about it, they spent more time taking that ladder apart then one would need. They were probably talking behind your back, and whether you can be trusted or not. It’s probably the natural reaction, but no matter. They would never believe you anyways. Not yet at least.

Not making any sound, you follow the two, as they move down into the guest room. It has the only door still open, nobody behind it, and with a window view to the garden. The rapidly growing darkness is a little hard to navigate, but Sitara is undeterred. You are not sure this is because she remembers the room well, or because her eyes are better adapted to the darkness, but her sister follows her without any doubt.
Taking point, you climb out the window as they give the ladders down to you. It goes without issue, save Sitara fumbling a bit with the large skirt of her uniform. Once all is down, you raise your hand, and count the heartbeats. Or what you think is a heart at least. Hundred-thirty beats past, and the time of the patrol outside should be near. That is if the night patrol is not different than what you observed at day.

You could trust your plan, and just set up the ladder, but if you are wrong you will be seen. You can move ahead to make sure, and giving the clear once you are certain. However then the window for the climbing itself becomes more narrow. Last one is to let them go and set up the ladder, as you move down to observe, and hold up the patrol if they are indeed there. That will put you in danger.

>A) Trust your earlier observations
>B) Scout ahead to make sure, but make the climbing itself more precarious.
>C) Send the girls ahead with the ladder, and move up to intercept a possible patrol
>D) Write-in
>It seems the rear guards have busied themselves with some sort of game, and the discussion is going about it.
>Besides she is already a maid, perfect material.” “Your views are skewed.”
>“Talks like man, walks like a man… if it wasn’t for her knockers I’d think her a man.” “Oh but those knockers...”
I kinda wish the girls had heard that exchange, just so we could see their reactions.

>C) Send the girls ahead with the ladder, and move up to intercept a possible patrol
All these plans have their flaws, but I think this gives us the lowest risk of failure and the most flexibility to switch to 'plan violence' if needed. We seem to be pretty proficient; I'm not worried about us being in a little extra danger.
“Go set up the ladder, I’ll keep watch down the road. If you get over just keep moving ahead in a straight line.” you instruct them. Before going ahead you turn back “Oh and please don’t try to run away unless you have to. I still didn’t find Colonel Fole, and your retinue might be out there too. We stand a better chance together.”

Alenia nods, though you can see some doubt in her bright eyes. It is expected of her to be cautious, but you haven’t given her any outstanding reason to distrust you yet. Letting her keep the revolver probably helped too. Though you are uncertain whether you can survive several shots in the head yourself.

The three of your move in. Squatting down among the exotically-trimmed and lush hedges. It is hard to see in the dark, but beyond the walls gaslamps light the streets. You are agile and unburdened enough to skip up and grab hold of the edge. Peering behind you can see the four-man group stand there, but they stopped to argue over something. One of them seem to be somewhat drunk and another one berates him over it. Seems to be a recurring incident by their voices.

All is well and good, since they are a lot less attentive than they would be if patrolling properly. On the other hand they don’t seem intent on moving any time soon. You could wait and see if the moods turn worse and there will be a fight that is enough to slip away from. On the other it could be that nothing will happen and as the captives jump into the gaslight, you will have trouble on your hands. Finally you can provide a distraction yourself, though you will have some explain to you if they see you on the wall. You still should have a few minutes maybe enough to approach them without them noticing you came from the mansion.

>A) Go back and stop Alenia from laddering over
>B) Try to chat with them from your position
>C) Hope that they are too busy among themselves
>D) Write-in
>>B) Try to chat with them from your position
If we need something to talk to them about, we can ask them about their argument.
>>B) Try to chat with them from your position
You pull the bill of your hat into your eyes, and making sure your shoulers are visible above the stone, so they see your uniform. Trying your best to take up the mannerisms of a guard, you angrily hiss over to the patrol.

“Psst! Hey! What are you morons doing?!” you demand to know as they turn towards you.
“Roy is drunk as a fucking skunk again” the angriest of them replies right away, with barely contained rage as he is doing his best not to shout. “He doesn’t even have his gun!”
“Lookshh here” Roy says, starting to wag his fingers at his accuser “I’ve been on patrol for 20 hourss befoh! I was on my break when the sarge said I HAD to take over for Martin. Alrigh? Be glad I have mah unifrom.”
“Where is Martin then?” you ask trying to keep the conversation going, as in the corner of your eye you see someone scaling the wall. Luckily they are looking at each other while shrugging.

“Last I saw he was with the boss.”
“Right, we were escorting him between the mansion and the docks.”
“Wait Mack, you were there?”
“Yeah, I picked up the afternoon shift from Gilbert.”
“And then?” asks the angry one, and the drunk Roy nods along.
“I dunnow, he was to follow that girl we caught recenty. You know the short one with the dog ears.”
“Dog ears?” you egg him on to speak.
“Yeah, you know...” he puts his hand to his head to mimick the flopping of ears “whoop whoop”.
“We get it you moron! Where did he follow her? Back all the way to Varonia?!”
You have an idea where Martin could be, and you also know he’ll probably won’t return to his shift any time soon.
“Well if he was sent with the boss, you could try to take it up with him in his office?” you inquire. There is only silence in answer. You also spot the second figure crossing.
“Yeah that’s what I thought. Get back to yer patrols before the boss finds out!” and with that you drop down behind the wall before they can ask any uncomfortable questions from you. Like who you are, and how did you hear them if there are no guards stationed in the garden?

After that, you listen to their grumbling a little more from behind your cover. It seems they get moving under a minute with Roy getting threatened one last time with slappings if he doesn’t behave. Once they are gone, you climb the ladder yourself, and move among the buildings. Alenia and Sitara apparently elected to wait for you.
“Let’s go, we have no time to waste.” Alenia waves at you the moment you arrive “we need to leave the city.”

>A) Let her take the lead as they will try to leave the city
>B) Try to find Colonel Fole instead
>C) Make a plan (write-in)
>“I dunnow, he was to follow that girl we caught recenty. You know the short one with the dog ears.”
Ah. I think we know where he wound up.

>C) Make a plan (write-in)
We have no bolt hole here in the city we can stash them. So I figure there's no harm setting them up outside the city, then going back in ourselves to look for Fole.
“That is probably wise.” you agree.
“Where are we?” she asks looking around the street.
“Not sure, I know we moved east of the mansion...”
The gaslamps are relatively few and far between. Being in a rich neighborhood it is probably better than many other parts of the city. It is not easy for you to orient yourself either, and both of you are new in the city in the first place. The evening is cold at this time of the year, but that is more of an observation than an actual feeling for you.
“Sitara knows that north-eastern gate is that way, down the road.” the dog girl points down a dark path where you faintly see a road leading down to. Alenia probably can’t even see that.
“Right, lead the way then.” her sister nods.

You make your way as fast as you can, which is admittedly not very fast. You expect an alarm to blare up any minute, but no such thing happens. Eventually you put enough distance beween you and the mansion that Alenia decides it is safe to speak.
“Do you have a horse? A carriage?”
“No, I came… incognito.”
“Do you have a weapon?”
“Only what I gave you, and I’ve got that off of Lascore.”
She poses no further questions, and keeps quiet until you make it to the gate. The massive thing has a dual system with locking down two layers of high city walls. Apparently they close it for the night.
“At least you have anyting to bribe guards with?” she asks hopefully
“I have a handful of precious stones. But its not the most unconspicious way to pay.”
“No.. no they are not.” she says as she looks at the massive obstacle in your way again. “We are not getting out tonight.” - she turns away waving Sitara - “we need to camp out for the night.” she stops not going anywhere.
“And where?” you ask, and she looks at you, serious.
“I have no idea.”

Since you’ve been around the city at daylight, you have. Some of the alleys are quite close to each other, and Sitara is still carrying the large bundle of clothes you’ve pilfered. It is not comfortable, and filthy, but at least you can sit there till dawn while no one notices you. Unless someone roaming the night finds you. A city this big probably has its own share of criminals.

Then there is trying to buy shelter for the night with the valuables you have. There has to be someone who won’t say no to a handful of gems, or you can try to be charismatic and say you’ll pay in the morning once you manage to convert them to conventional money. You do have two beautiful ladies with you.
“Sitara smelled horses.” the girl chimes in “they must further that way in stable, with hay. We could hide there.”
The idea is not bad either, though you might get into trouble by sneaking in there, just like anywhere else, but less sever than in a house.

>A) Find a camping place in the alleys
>B) Begging your way into a house
>C) Sneak into the stables
>D) Write-in
Do we need to sleep? If not,
>A) Find a camping place in the alleys
and stand watch overnight.
If so,
>C) Sneak into the stables
I'm tempted to try buying ourselves shelter, but that risks putting us on the radar if we have bad luck. If we get caught in the stables, it is much more likely we will be brushed off as beggars, bums, or vagabonds.
Having better control over your body functions, you can go longer without the bare necessities of rest and nutrition. You suspect you could digest things inedible for others but didn’t have the time to test it yet. It does get harder the longer you push though unless you start to tap into your monstrous nature to shrug them off. Maybe it something about the way the world simply is.

You shoot a questioning eyebrow at Alenia, and she shrugs in response. Seems an accord was reached. Sitara guides you again between the streets and across the cobblestones. The stable is close to the wall, and seems warmer than the night. There is a chest-high gate closed for the night that you’ve got to hop over. Likely put there to make horse thieving pretty much impossible, but does not impede your entry. The horses themselves do not react to your trespassing beyond a few snorts to acknowledge it.

“I’ll take this place by the entrance. If anyone was to come by I’d hear them first, and make some noise so you can hear it. You can rest in further.” you say not mentioning that they would probably feel safer too if you weren’t creeping on them while they slept. The girls retreat deeper into the building, and you find a fine spot to keep warm in the hey, not be too visible, but hear anything approaching in a dozen yards. In ten minutes or so, you actually do.

“Hey there” the silhouette of Alenia approaches you, straining her eyes to find you in the dark
“Over here.” you signal
“I’d take first watch if you don’t mind. You can take over at two and wake us up at dawn.”
“Makes no real difference for me” you shrug. It is probably a more efficient way, and you can get more resting in. “Goodnight.”
“You are going to sleep here?”
“Why not? This way you can keep an eye on me more easily.”
She does not contest the notion, as you close your eyes trying to mimic this sleeping thing you’ve seen everyone do in your scouting from Dana’s garden. It is not that hard after days of running and other activities. You are shifting in an angry void, there is darkness everywhere and it is trying to get you, clawing its way closer.

You open your eyes later, feeling recharged. It is not a blissful feeling. Closer to someone taking out the trash, and being glad it is done with.
“You still have an hour” Alenia mentions as you get on your feet
“How do you know?”
“They didn’t take away my time piece.” she waves her hand, and when she realizes you probably don’t see she explains “it’s an officer-issued small clockwork that can measure time. Every officer of the Battlements has one.”

“Handy.” you say knowing that those things existed. They were used to start fights on time and stop them. As well as coordinating among troops. A little silence sets in again.
“Still not going to tell me who sent you?” she pops the question out of the blue, not looking at you.
A touchy and hard to explain subject. It involves things that go against what people generally accept as reality. Not to mention it puts your own origins in question. Would you trust you if you weren’t you? On the other hand you could say something along the lines of the savages from the wasteland trying to make an attempt on civilized lands, more believable. You can also put it down for later, since you’ll probably have to tell this story more than once and keep it consistent.

>A) Try to slowly tell her the full story
>B) Create a more believable scenario than the truth
>C) Promise to tell her once you have the Colonel, and scout around a little
>D) Write-in
>>B) Create a more believable scenario than the truth
>>C) Promise to tell her once you have the Colonel, and scout around a little
>>D) Write-in

Telling her the truth of our origins sounds like a bad idea, but not giving her anything risks problems down the line. Spin her a simple, believable lie, such that we can flesh it out later once we've scouted around and have a better idea of the local environment. Promise to give her the 'full story' once we we find the Colonel.
“Let me ask; do you know who kidnapped both your retinues?”
“No.” she shakes her head after a moment of thinking “We have been ambushed by that pig on the first day.”
“So they were expecting you.”
“Yes, it seems that way” she nods gravely.
“There are powerful people on both sides of the war. People who are not part of the governance. However they profit easily from the ongoing conflict. Wealthy nobles, industrialists, and forth. Anyone who has significant holding in steel, minerals, gunpowder, or even medical supplies and clothing. If peace would come from one day to another, many of them would be ruined.”
“They wouldn’t.” she protests, but you can see she is. It is probably not far from the turth.

“Come on, we are in one of the richest cities of the region, where slavery is an industry. And you have met in secret to talk peace rather than in the open” you point out “Both of you are high-ranking and active commanders of your sides. You both probably know things that can compromise your own forces. Even if you just clash daily on the Battlements, even if you fight only from sunrise till sunset, there are more to both sides. Supplies, new weapons, tactics, things held in the reserve. This is how the war gotten so long in the first place by picking the time and place, and not throwing everything in.“

“They can easily fan the conflict as high as the wish.” she nods “But how would they get rid of us?”
“I don’t have all the answers. However they did seem to be gearing up on interrogation and torture materials. Maybe an accident to claim you both died somwhere? I am not sure.”
“So let’s say we get my men back as well as the Rastegan retinue. What then?”
“We’ll escape the city, and cross their plans.”

She thinks.
“And what do you get out of this?”
“We can prepare for the invasion without both sides killing each other.
“The what?”
“We have a reason to believe that there is an invasion from the Darklands.” You invoke the name of the far reaches that exist on the edge of known maps. A place with savage creatures, people, and natural phenomenons that can’t be found elsewhere. The real threat is much farther and far greater, but maybe the parallel describes it as closely as it can be.
“You don’t expect me to believe, this do you?”

“Not until I have both of you out of trouble no. Then I hope you’ll start to see things my way. But more on that later.”
She seems content with getting this much out of you at the moment.

>(Any questions before her shift ends and the dawn comes?)
Where do we need to get her before she is confident that she won't need further assistance?
>Time and place of intended meeting, and/or arranged identification signals (distinct clothings, passwords, etc)
>Description of Colonel, including any useful foibles
I dunno how well she knows him, but it could prove useful if she does.

Ideally, her men. More realistically, when we can carve out a safe heaven outside the walls to stick them in while we go back for the colonel.
sorry for the late update, got sidelined by some things. writing
“How far do you need to get, before you can confidently say you need any more help?”
There is a long silence. When you think she didn’t hear and is about to ask again, she speaks up.
“I don’t know. Don’t you have a hideout somewhere?”
“No, no such thing.”
“I’ll figure it out when we make it out of the city.”

“So about the Colonel...”
“Do you have any ways to recognize each other?”
“We have ways. I’m sure we would recognize each other” somehow you get the feeling she is not going to say more on the subject
“How would the two of you have met?”
“I suppose it doesn’t matter anymore.” she sighs “we would have met a teahouse somewhere in the southern district.”
“What went wrong?”
“I don’t know.” Alenia says, not looking at you. Her eyes seem to gaze into the distance, as she begans playing with a bracelet on her left hand. “We went in to the teahouse. Lascore was there instead.”
“He was waiting for you.” to which she nods
“So it seemed.” you feel like there is something more she wants to say but stops herself. “It’s just… hard to talk about.”
“Tell me more about Fole. Do you think you could still have some way to contact her? Once both of you are free of course. Or some way for her to know I am on her side if I manage to get where she is being held captive.”
“I’ll… think of something.” another long silence “I think its around your time for you to take over. Is that alright with you?”
“I am wide awake.”
“Thank you.” she says and walks back deep in thought.

The rest of the night is peaceful. You listen to the chirping of the crickets, and the occasional loud horse snorting up. The sky lightens to gray, to herald the coming of the sun. Deciding it is time to wake up your companions, you walk to the back of the stable. Alenia is sitting with her back to the wooden wall, nodded off. Sitara is curled up on her lap snorting and some blankets covering the both of them. Probably kept around for the horses in winter, but not in use at the moment. She wakes at the sound of your footsteps.
“Sitara, wake up.” she shakes the smaller girl awake to which she gets up and yawns. She looks like she is about to ask for five more minutes before realization and probably memories seep back into her eyes, as she is taking in her surroundings in a franctic way. Finally getting up and bowing quick succession to apologize.
“You can wrap yourself into those blankets to pass as beggars. Easily pass through the gate then, maybe I’ll do a little ruckus. You can likely hide out in the nearby forest and...”
“Got a better plan then?”
“Like you said. I have a mission. And last night made me thik; I couldn’t just sit in the woods. Waiting for you. I have to do this.”

>A) Try to convince her that this is a bad idea
>B) Suggest they hide in the sewers while you move about the city
>C) Take them with you in your investigation to the docks
>D) Write-in
>A) Try to convince her that this is a bad idea
>You'd be leaving Sitara all by her lonesome.
If she presses,
>D) Write-in
>Ok then, you want to help? Have you got any skills useful for finding or retrieving the Colonel from wherever he's been hidden away? Does Sitara?
This isn't meant to be in a quarrelsome tone, despite how it reads. We just can't have either of them along if they are a net negative when we try to get the colonel back, especially as them getting injured, recaptured, or killed would put a serious dent in our original mission.
Update on saturday
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“I think this is a bad idea.” she says nothing as you continue “We were lucky this time because they didn’t know I was coming. With you gone they know something went awry.”
“We can prepare too, this is a big city, part of the reason why it was chosen for this.”
“Yes, that means I can operate. I am just an enemy for them. If I get injured, captured, or I die, you can still continue with your mission and use what you’ve learned here back at home. If any of those things happen to you, things will get way complicated for everyone.”
“I just can’t leave my men and Fole to their fates.”
“And what can you do that I cannot? They know your face, your name, and if they find one of you ther other is close by.”

“What about your sister?” you let the question hang, the implication there.
“Sitara can take care of herself!” Sitara assures you energetically. Alenia pats her head. The conversations tops as she seems to consider something.
“Alright, maybe you are right. We need to watch out. I don’t think we would have last for long outside in the wild though.”
“What then?” you pose the question to which she furrows her eyebrows, and closing her eyes, focusing
“The catacombs.” she says finally opening her eyes. “There is a system beneath the city. It is a little risky, but perfet place to hide out for a little while”
“So you just want me to leave you in the sewers?”

“I have memorized most of the system, as well as Fole. Supposedly it echoes well and you can hear anyone who approaches. Either of us can meet up as long as we know the order of the places.”
“Supposedly? You haven’t been in there?”
“Listen, all you have to do is take the cypher to Fole” she says unlocking a thin lance from around her neck. She holds the small item forlorn, before handing it to you “Tell her we are moving through the twilight. She should understand.”

You look at her with some doubts, to which she takes Sitara by the hand and leaves the stable. You walk after them a while, and they quickly descend down a street, under a bridge, and then gone beneath a hole before giving you one last look. Seems like dragging her out would be more trouble than its worth. For now to locate the Colonel.
The mansion has a connection here, you could go back and try to follow them, hoping they will lead you to the Colonel. The docks was mentioned by the guards who complained about the rotation, you could search there. You could also try to apply logistics to see what the kidnappers would have in common. Drugs? Human trafficking? Some non-conventional way of communication?
>A) Return to the mansion and observe
>B) Follow up on the docks
>C) Try to investigate some logial connection
>D) Write-in
>>B) Follow up on the docks
By this point the mansion will be a kicked anthill. And without something solid to start from, I'm not sure we can reason our way into finding the place.
>B) Follow up on the docks
>>B) Follow up on the docks
Update tomorrow, honest!
There is a thick river crossing the city. The docks bring commerce from far away. One of the other natural borders splitting the two warring factions. The ships are sitting peacefully with the occasional smoke puffing from them. They seem to work on the same principle as the large mechanical devices seen before. All mired in a soft fog.

You wonder how to find your quarry. Following someone from the mansion would have been straightforward, but also probably very risky; it was likely crawling with guards by now. Twitchy and armed guards, possibly looking for anyone out of the ordinary. The docks are huge however, having its entire district on both sides of the river.

There are a few people wandering in the corners. Drunks who decide to go home way too late, diligent workers up early, and urchins who do gods know what. On the other side of the fog, you see a figure, and you need to blink twice to make sure you are seeing it right. His feet is naked on the cold cobblestone, and body covered in tattered leather. Large ball of incredibly bushy hair crowning the head… or maybe it is a tanglement of branches in the form of a tumbleweed. Their bronze-red skin covered in different types of paint.

There is a savage look about them, entirely different from everyone you have seen so far. They gaze towards you unmistakably. You carefully rotate your head around to see if there is anyone else. You see a blur from the corner of your eye and they are gone.
Moving ahead to the built-in riverbank, you look for ways to cross to the other side and inspect that anomaly. There is a bridge close by, and crossing it seems the obvious route. However as you do so something else that catches your attention.

“What is up with this river?” you ponder as you try to find the source of the gurgling crescendo.
A trio of fishes rises to the surface, garbling the water, then sinking. While they are down, another trio comes up to continue the sound. They rotate with each other to make the noise for no obvious benefit to them. Could this lead to somewhere? You feel like there is more to it than just some strange natural phenomenon you never seen before.
Maybe both of these occurrences has nothing to do with anything and you are just wasting your time. Finding a vantage point to watch for the mercenaries could better results. If you can pick them out of the crowd that is.

>A) Cross on, and try to find sign of the wildman
>B) Stay and try to understand the pattern of the fishes.
>C) These are both dead ends, find a vantage point and hope for a lead
>D) Write-in
>>B) Stay and try to understand the pattern of the fishes.
Honestly, I don't expect either of these to yield useful results, but the fish are too weird to not take a closer look at.
>>C) These are both dead ends, find a vantage point and hope for a lead
>B) Stay and try to understand the pattern of the fishes.
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If this is some elaborate trap, it is so elaborate that it deserves a second look at least. You move down the bridge and get close to the bank. The fishes start to rotate faster as you get closer. What are they trying to do? Mating call? Communal hunting? At once, they disappear beneath the waves. You notice something in the very bottom of the murky depths. It grows bigger as it rises close to the surface.

It is a lily pad. You recognize the flower. It has a striking resemblance of something from Dana’s Garden. The goddess of a dead religion whom you’ve met when first made contact in this world. The bud of the flower is locked when it makes it to the top of the water, and it begins to slowly open as the fishes push it into your direction. In the middle of it there is a pile of junk, made from different thrown away gears and metal pieces.

“For… me?” you ask with reasonable doubt. The fishes bob up and under like they were nodding. You pinch the trash pile by one of the protruding edge and lift it up. Surprisingly the whole thing sticks together as one item. Placing it into your hands you see one particular line in the middle of it, like one seam where the contraption can be opened. Meanwhile the lily starts to move down the river, as the fishes abandon it and return to beneath the waters.

Trying to open it hurts a little, the jagged edges bite into your finger. Inside you can see the unmistakable needle and signs of a compass. Upon coming to contact with your blood, the needle starts to spin, not seeming to stop. What a curious thing.

>A) Well, back to snooping!
>B) Something else?

Sorry, I've been struggling to come up with options for the past two hours, but they all felt like just random ideas for the shake of having an arbitrary amount of options.
Well that's something. I guess try going in the direction the compass is pointing.
You look at the compass. It’s needle spins about making it difficult to follow. What does it do? Does it lead you somewhere? Is it meant to show the strength of something? Where is it from? You think of Dana as it spins wildly. Inspecting it, looks like made from different blend of metallic and glass trash. Things that would pollute a river in an industrial city such as this.

Your intestines slightly churn. A feeling of hunger. Not the primal desire to feed like when you tap into your monstrous power, but more like someone who forgot they haven’t had any breakfast. Which is true. For the past three days, you didn’t need any, but you didn’t feel the need either. Maybe you are adjusting to the rules of this world? Could it be something else?

As you ponder, the needle stops and shows a direction. Deciding to follow it quickly, you are led down into an alley. It is one of the tight ones as it is pretty dominant for the rest of the town. The rapid expansion it had in the last few decades have left the layout a little chaotic with always some struggle for more room. You dive deeper among the tight walls and find it. A dead cat. You move around the compass to make sure you’ve got this right, and while at first it indeed seems to show the cat, it starts to spin again uncontrollably after a few seconds.

„Are you kidding me? What do you want?” the device is unresponsive. You don't have time for this, you need to find a vantage point to see the docks properly from.
The needle stops again, pointing out of the alley. Since there is no other way out besides climbing the walls, you follow for now. Right and left there are rooftops, and there might be a pile of crates you can scale higher. As you approach them you see that the needle points firmly ahead. Whatever.
One on the top of the boxes, there is another level leading higher, but the needle points at a door beside it. „Might as well give it a try” you reason. The door is open, how fortunate. You find a ladder them. Moving up on it you find a good vantage point on the level above. The device points at the left. Moving on the edge, you carefully cross to the other side, finding another ladder. Scaling that you are on the highest point of the dock. The needle spins around again.

You wonder if Alenia and Sitara are safe.
The needle points at the south-east. As you observe it, you can see it very very carefully moving counter-clockwise, as the minutes pass. How curious.

>A) Enough goofing, time to observe
>B) Think about Colonel Fole
>C) Get back to the crowd and gather information
>D) Write-in
>B) Think about Colonel Fole
>You wonder if Alenia and Sitara are safe.
tick tock, tick tock
>As you observe it, you can see it very very carefully moving counter-clockwise, as the minutes pass. How curious.
That suggests it's currently pointing at something/someone moving.

>B) Think about Colonel Fole
Let's see if this thing can be useful.
You close your eyes trying to create a mental image of the Colonel based on what little you've seen of her and what you confirmed with Alenia. The slightly taller than average height, brown complexion and short white hair. Deep mahogany eyes, that hide the energetic aggression of their personality.

Taking one last view of the docks under the rising sun, you set off to descend into street level again. The needle changing directions as you place your position changes.Despite the directions, you keep close to the walls and crates. If you are right Lascore’s men are around, and you don’t want to run into them. Not sure if another bluff would work at this stage.

You reach a ship. It is as big as a carrier can get comfortable on a river. Probably for carrying heavier freight. You need to walk up and down on the pier to make sure your device is really pointing to it. On the second way back you are rather certain; a group of four mercenaries appears from a nearby street and start embarking. They look unarmed and casual at first, but on closer look you can tell they have sidearms, and one of them checks behind their formation regularly.

When they arrive, they use a key to enter the ship. You snoop closer, to inspect the thick door at the end of the gangplank. Seems like there are other entryways, you can probably climb over to the second deck and find one. These ships usually carry heavy materials in large quantities. Not something thieves are interested in, and it is likely the appearance they are cultivating. Inside is probably a lot more guarded.

There is something else you notice; the needle starts to move sideways when you begin to scale over the door. Could something be underwater? The murky and cold depths don’t seem very safe or easy to swim in. Even though you are pretty sure you can’t catch cold. You can also wait and see when the guards come out, or the next change of shift is coming.

>A) Climb over the ship to find another entrance
>B) Plunge into the water
>C) Wait and observe
>D) Write-in
>>A) Climb over the ship to find another entrance
We'll leave diving into the water as plan B, as being soaking wet might be detrimental to stealth.
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