The year is 1374 DR. Sixteen years have passed since the Time of Troubles, when the gods were made humble, and forced to wander the Realms as mortals. With the ascension of the mad god Cyric, Prince of Lies, and the recent return of the tyrant god Bane, Lord of Darkness, the future of Faerûn seems increasingly uncertain. It falls to bold individuals who possess an abundance of cunning, might, and determination to shape the future... should they be up to the challenge."Is is done, Phaere?" Purrs Vierna, eldest daughter and de facto matriarch of House Delyl. She sneers, causing her nose to turn up in a manner most hideous, though none dared inform her of this. It is an ugly idiosyncrasy that has possessed her since childhood, the sole blemish of a woman so otherwise fetching. Ever the impatient sibling, she paces back and forth, supervising the project expectantly."No, sister. It has only just begun." Playfully slapping her hand against the construct's burnished carapace, Phaere works some mystifying Art, activating the monster-machine. Thrumming mightily, the creature of steel comes alive, ready to fulfill its purpose. She holds an old garment in front of its snout, suppressing a cackle as it commits the scent to memory. "The curtain rises, and the first act of our show begins!" She exclaims, sweeping her arms toward the mouth of the cavern, from which the daylight trickles into the dark below. "Run along now, lovely. And do play nice with Jezyrene - I love her so much! I ordered a glass coffin for her, so no mangling, understand?" Vierna jabs Phaere in the side with her scepter, employing just enough force to leave a bruise. "You waste my time with your grandstanding," insists the elder Delyl. "Get on with it."Phaere laughs mirthfully, despite her recent injury. "Yes. Yes! Forgive me, sister. Hurry along now, my lovely!" Demanding no further instruction, the hunter speeds hell for leather toward the sunlit Realms.
>>5426249You stand in Everlund's All-Faiths Hall, a place touched by the presence of the surfacer gods. Having sought guidance from Selûne, goddess of the moon, your next destination is clear. The followers of Eilistraee - an enclave of your people who have turned away from the ways of Lolth, the Spider Queen, were last seen concealing themselves in the Moonwood, which lies to the north. According to Amaranth, you should be able to manage the journey on foot. But you are in no great hurry. Better to prepare fully for a journey than to rush headfirst into what could be a greater peril than you have faced up to this point. What now?>Let me get on with it, then. I resume my quest and leave for the Moonwood.>I seek transportation - not as covert as traveling by my own means, but speed is my priority.>There is something I must do before I depart. [Write-in.]>I still have business here, particularly with...>>Lathander, the Morninglord - God of the Renewal, Athleticism, Creativity, and Birth >>Sune, Lady Firehair - Goddess of Passion and Beauty >>Tymora, Our Smiling Lady - Goddess of Victory and Good Fortune >>Oghma, the Patron of Bards - God of Knowledge and Inspiration >>Liira, the Joybringer - Goddess of Happiness, Liberty, and Dance
>>5426251Previous Adventures:https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=Forgotten+Realms+AdventuresThe Rules™:https://pastebin.com/VRQHDHSrJezyrene's Abilities:https://pastebin.com/0kjsLuHWCharacter sheet will be updated soon™
>>5426251>>I still have business here, particularly with...>>>Lathander, the Morninglord - God of the Renewal, Athleticism, Creativity, and Birth
>>5426251>I seek transportation - not as covert as traveling by my own means, but speed is my priority.Get a riverboat, Jez's destination is downstream
>>5426251>>I seek transportation - not as covert as traveling by my own means, but speed is my priority.I care not for the means, so long as it means we are travelling with others, by land or water. Preferably heavily armed others.
>>5426251>>>Lathander, the Morninglord - God of the Renewal, Athleticism, Creativity, and BirthI don't want to lug around a rotting head. Let's sacrifice it and be done with it.
>>5426251>I seek transportation - not as covert as traveling by my own means, but speed is my priority.If we’re going to offer a head to a god, let’s offer it to the one who helped us get it. We’ll grab a new bag and some fresh flowers so it doesn’t smell.
>>5426251>I still have business here, particularly with...>>Lathander, the Morninglord - God of the Renewal, Athleticism, Creativity, and Birth>>Sune, Lady Firehair - Goddess of Passion and Beauty
>>5426251>I seek transportationRiverboat is go!
>>5426251>I still have business here, particularly with...>>Lathander, the Morninglord - God of the Renewal, Athleticism, Creativity, and Birth
>>5426251>>I seek transportation - not as covert as traveling by my own means, but speed is my priority.
All right, I am making an executive decision. It's going to be a long, bumpy road going forward, and possibly quite some time before we encounter another shrine or temple dedicated to a major power depending on decisions. So, we will see what Lathander has to offer and leave immediately after.
>>5426270>>5426277>>5426304>>5426325>>5426332>>5426354>>5426370>>5426610>>5426892Peering at a glimmering shrine situated beneath a symbol of gold and gems arranged to depict the sun rising over the land, you find yourself needing to push through the gathered crowd to reach the forefront. In front of you is an altar rich with offerings of art and craft - sheets of paper that contain prayers, or mayhaps poetry, jewelry, portraits, landscape paintings... even money, from the less creatively-inclined. Without a doubt, whatever power this shrine is dedicated to is the 'most popular' in the All-Faiths Hall. Little wonder that Lolth detests the sun so vehemently when she could only dream of having such a committed, adoring faith.As for who this bizarre deity is, you make the grave mistake of asking the faithful around you, who are more than eager to answer your question. Lathander, or 'the Morninglord' as they know him, is allegedly the stalwart, ebullient god of dawn. Not merely the rising of the sun, mind you - but of new ideas, new hopes, new lives... even a new beginning. They are quick to extol the virtues of optimism and perseverance, going as far as encouraging you to embark on your own journey of renewal.Whatever you make of this, it is perchance a bit strange to offer respect to male power, albeit less intimidating than trying to appease a goddess.>Offer to do Lathander's bidding, to secure his favor.>Name the Morninglord as your patron deity.>Pose a question to the god.>Sacrifice the werebear's head to Lathander.>Nothing; you were merely curious.
>>5427353>Sacrifice the werebear's head to LathanderCould use his blessing before heading out on a journey of renewal, yeah?
>>5427353>>Pose a question to the god.Can you grant me my wish? >>Sacrifice the werebear's head to Lathander.
>>5427353>Nothing; you were merely curious.
>>5427353>Offer to do Lathander's bidding, to secure his favor.>Sacrifice the werebear's head to Lathander.Strength for the trials ahead. Not like it makes him our single patron deity.Also, I understand the need to speed things up, so it's not like we need to spend time roleplaying it out, but I think Jez should/would leave a letter for Amaranth/Willow/tavern girl before she leaves just to inform them she'll be gone for a while.
>>5427353>>Offer to do Lathander's bidding, to secure his favor.>>Sacrifice the werebear's head to Lathander.Renewal and birth sounds good
>>5427353>Sacrifice the werebear's head to Lathander.In the name of new beginnings
>>5427446>>5427481>>5427542>>5427703>>5427927>>5428202Determined to be rid of the trophy you acquired during your hunt, you reach into your bag and produce the head of the fallen Huntlord, wrapped hastily in a cloth. Unfurling it, you take in the sight, as well as the rank stench. Suffice to say, your prize has lost its luster. There are now maggots, and- no, best not to afford too much thought to this. Repulsed by the horrid thing, the enthusiastic Lathanderians instinctively give way, observing you with morbid curiosity.Holding the head aloft, you step toward the altar and try to deduce the proper way of offering such a thing to the Morninglord. You needn't rack your brain for long. The decomposing remains of Malar's champion are momentarily engulfed by a potent brilliance, strong enough to rival that of the sun itself, robbing you of sight.Ideas of what is and what could be swim through your consciousness. You have done a worthy deed in breathing new life into the Silverwood, perhaps even reinvigorating trade in Everlund. Truly, you have gone above and beyond what is expected of any mortal in your valiance, intentional or no. By the time your vision returns, the light is gone, and the head with it. Instead, you hold a gift, given from the Morninglord to you.What is your reward?>Sunlight's power, held between my hands.>I feel a sliver of my fleeting youth return to me.>A magnificent bangle of rose gold.>A radiant elixir in an ornate bottle.
>>5428467>I feel a sliver of my fleeting youth return to me.People are probably going to be voting for the power of the sun in the palm of their hand, but Jez not having to worry about yellow streaks in her hair sounds nice, along with the other signs of aging.
>>5428467>I feel a sliver of my fleeting youth return to me.
>>5428467>I feel a sliver of my fleeting youth return to me.We're starting a new life on the surface. Let's start from (a little closer) to scratch!
>>5428467>>A radiant elixir in an ornate bottleMystery box?
>>5428467>Sunlight's power, held between my hands.Gentlemen, there is always time to find a potion or other spell that de-ages us, but we're talking about some kind of SUNLIGHT spell/artefact. Not only will it let us fight vampires, targeting our sister(s) with it should give an incredible advantage given their sensitivity, no matter if we meet them in the surface world or beneath.
>>5428467>>I feel a sliver of my fleeting youth return to me
>>5428467>A radiant elixir in an ornate bottle.
The clock doesn't turn back, Jez. Vote closed.
>>5428473>>5428573>>5428609>>5428712>>5428859>>5428869>>5428998For the briefest instant, you are in touch with a wellspring of vital essence, the very stuff of creation. The stiffness in your back abates imperceptibly, and you remember what it is to be a girl. While your youthful vigor will never return and the years will continue to pass without relent, who is to say that you cannot age gracefully? Being younger is impossible. Feeling younger is not. The Lathandarians cheer, elated to look upon one so favored by their god, and none could fault them for it. Your Strength has permanently increased by 1.Your business with the gods concluded for the time being, you demand that a messenger informs your... reliable allies that you will be absent for an extended period, before seeing to your travel arrangements. Having heard that it is possible to travel upstream to Silverymoon, you first think it expedient to journey by water - only to learn that there is a blanket ban on 'your kind' that prohibits you from entering the city, even if only to pass through it. You strongly suspect that this is the sort of treatment that you can expect once Everlund is long behind you.
>>5429454That leaves travel by land. Investigating your options, you receive a lesson on travel conventions on the surface world. The first is to find what is called an 'open' or 'road caraven.' This is usually a diverse group of travelers and wagon owners who pay a caravan master to travel under their protection. Naturally, this is the default choice for the common folk of Faerûn, and the economic option.The alternative is seeking what is called a 'closed caravan' or 'coster.' These are run by alliances of traders who turn a profit by charging other merchants a fee to 'rent' space in their caravans, and are operated by trained professionals, often in uniform. Many costers operate in the more hostile regions of the Realms, and are better equipped to handle the threats of the road than open caravans, employing more adventurers than any other group in Realms society. Obviously, the well-to-do may opt to transport themselves in safety using coster services.A more unorthodox opportunity presents itself to you as you weigh your choices. Camped outside of the city is a band humans with their own wagons, whose manner and dress telegraph that they are foreigners in these lands. The quantity of supplies and spare beasts of burden in their possession suggests that they are itinerants who live their life on the road, and by the look of it, they will soon be heading in the same direction as you. Would they be willing to allow one more to embark with them, especially someone as useful as yourself?What will it be, then?>Coster it is. The rate is robbery, but I will gladly pay for security and discretion. [200GP]>I fear no road. So long as I reach my destination, then the open caravan will do. [25GP]>Those foreign folk seem to be experienced travelers. It would be convenient if we share a destination. [Free]
>>5429459>I fear no road. So long as I reach my destination, then the open caravan will do. [25GP]
>>5429459>>I fear no road. So long as I reach my destination, then the open caravan will do. [25GP]We could even offer the caravan master our services as a skilled warrior/commander, for the purpose of protecting the caravan.
>>5429459>I fear no road. So long as I reach my destination, then the open caravan will do. [25GP]>travel upstream to SilverymoonSilverymoon is downstream. Sad that going by river isn't an option, I was really looking forward to seeing the gnomish artifice sent after Jez floundering and sinking in the water. Speaking of the thing sent after Jez, that potion of pass without a trace is REALLY going to come in handy for the eventual showdown.
>>5429459>Those foreign folk seem to be experienced travelers. It would be convenient if we share a destination. [Free]
Also, 25 gold to get from Everlund to Silverymoon? Holy shit what a ripoff, Jez is getting fleeced HARD.
>>5429459>>I fear no road. So long as I reach my destination, then the open caravan will do. [25GP]
>>5429459>>Those foreign folk seem to be experienced travelers. It would be convenient if we share a destination. [Free]
>>5429454>Those foreign folk seem to be experienced travelers. It would be convenient if we share a destination. [Free]Adventuring party go!
Vote closed.>>5429618Simply a small drow tax.
For anyone who's curious, a typical caravan charges 3cp per mile (both in 3.5e and 5e), and Silverymoon is 50 miles from Everlund. A truly horrendous tax.
The past few days were difficult, but I can finally start updating again. Post soon.
>>5432056I feel you, bud. I hope it's nothing too serious, and wish you the best. Take the time you need!
>>5429525>>5429542>>5429561>>5429586>>5429634>>5429716>>5429733>>5429772You do not expect much in the way of danger. The Silver Marches seem comparatively tame, when measured against the worst of what you have seen whilst wandering the Underdark. As such, you reason that joining with other travelers on their way to Silverymoon should be sufficient, even if you will have to part from their company before they arrive at the city. Finding a suitable caravan is a simpler affair than you had initially imagined. It is currently late summer, a good time to travel in this corner of the Realms - or so you are told. The master seems incredibly uneasy as you work out your arrangement, and those who will be joining you look on with intrigue or skepticism, as if you are a gladiator from the arenas who has somehow snuck out of their cage to wander about the city. In turn, you sneer at them, adopting a more assertive posture to deter their stares. Is it truly so strange, to see a flesh-and-blood Ilythiiri woman?This would not be the first time that you have ridden in a wagon, but the experience differs significantly from your numerous journeys though the Underdark. For one, the surface-dwellers do not use lizards as beasts of burden. Instead, they employ a bulky creature which they have dubbed the 'ox' to haul their goods and wagons. For another, security measures are quite lax by your metric. Most often, several dozen soldiers are organized into elaborate patrols positioned ahead of and behind the caravan as a precaution, but this is not so in the sunlit world.From a place of moderate comfort, you watch from midday to dusk as the verdant idyll of the northern lands rolls by. At night, you study the moon and stars as chilled winds from the northern mountains sweep over the land. Even still, several tenday after emerging from the Underdark, those crystals in the sky have yet to lose their luster. What is it that keeps them fixed in place when this world has no roof?
>>5432708The conclusion of your time with the caravan marks the beginning of your quest on foot. You arrive at Silverymoon, a metropolis of white walls and odd magics, the descriptions of the fabled Myth Drannor given form, forever denied to you. But your thoughts lie elsewhere. From where you stand, the terrain directly north of you is gentle and grassy, leading to a massive forest larger than the Silverwood - presumably, this would be the Moonwood which you seek.To the northeast, a fork in the road leads into a slightly frosted mountain pass. The steady rise of smoke near its entrance informs that civilization is present ahead. By your estimate, reaching whatever town or village resides there would be but a minor diversion. Regardless of what you decide, you will still have a trek ahead of you.Well?>Better a bed than the cold earth for a time. Visiting this town is but a small detour that I can easily afford to make.>No delays. The terrain from here on out is easy to traverse. I should be able to reach the Moondwood in two or three days.
>>5432711>>Better a bed than the cold earth for a time. Visiting this town is but a small detour that I can easily afford to make.
>>5432711>Better a bed than the cold earth for a time. Visiting this town is but a small detour that I can easily afford to make.The thing sent after Jez is going to 100% attack the town in her sleep, leading to her becoming ousted and Drow becoming more reviled locally. That, or it's going to attack Jez while she's (probably) alone in the Moonwood.>those crystals in the sky have yet to lose their luster. What is it that keeps them fixed in place when this world has no roof?Pretty cute honestly
>>5432711>Better a bed than the cold earth for a time. Visiting this town is but a small detour that I can easily afford to make.Besides us needing to ask the guard about the pilgrims of Lady Silverhair, and finding someone experienced in the dangers of the Moonwood, we need to see what the local fashion is. Can’t be a trendsetter without knowing what everyone thinks is currently The Newest Thing.
>>5432711>Better a bed than the cold earth for a time. Visiting this town is but a small detour that I can easily afford to make.
>>5432748>>5432785>>5432787>>5432880>>5432988>>5433248To follow the road, wherever it may lead - that is your course. Finding your kin remains a priority, but a slight delay can be beneficial. Moreover, the wilderness does not suit you, and the less time you must spend with it, the better. Keeping a vigilant eye trained on your surroundings, you adhere to the path, which bends to the northeast. The flat land transitions into an incline leading upwards, guiding you toward a hilly region set betwixt two mountains.With the change in scenery comes a change in temperature. From your breath comes condensation, a sure sign of cold weather, and a stark reminder of the war that haunts you to this day. The formidable gloom that the southern mountain casts over the valley has shielded a blanket of the previous winter's snow from the otherwise omnipresent solar scorch, chilling the road even at this time of year, and informing of the sort of weather you can expect in the coming months. Visitors to the Underdark oft speculate that it is insulated from weather phenomena, but nothing could be further from the truth - woe to the poor fools who die of hypothermia after exposure to a frosty Midwinter fog.As twilight begins to fall upon the land, you happen upon a sign which reads 'Khelb,' positioned a short walk away from a small settlement partially buried in the snow. Calling this 'civilization' is an incredibly generous appraisal of the modest collection of buildings encircled by a log fence that you see before you. In all likelihood, this place is but a stopping point for those venturing further into the past, and a place to recover for those weary souls who cross the perilous lands from the other side.You encounter no strangers as you stroll about the place. By this hour, most everyone has retreated indoors seeking warmth and light. And as for yourself, where will you go?>The Sick Dog Pub. The name does not inspire confidence, but I could use a hard drink and a warm meal right about now.>The Last Resort Inn. It... has certainly earned its name, by the look of it.>That building seems newer than the others. The sign above it reads 'SHOPP.'>Another shrine, to another strange god. A dour priestess tends to it while walking barefoot in the snow.
>>5433993>That building seems newer than the others. The sign above it reads 'SHOPP.'Probably need to get some warmer clothing.
>>5433993>>The Last Resort Inn. It... has certainly earned its name, by the look of it.
>>5434042Supporting.>>5433993>That building seems newer than the others. The sign above it reads 'SHOPP.'We'll also get an idea what sort of welcome might await us here.
>>5433993>>The Sick Dog Pub. The name does not inspire confidence, but I could use a hard drink and a warm meal right about now.
>>5433993>That building seems newer than the others. The sign above it reads 'SHOPP.'You'd be surprised at the things you could find in a the random item table of a small townHowever, after that, The Last Resort inn.
>>5433993>>Another shrine, to another strange god. A dour priestess tends to it while walking barefoot in the snow.
>>5434042>>5434079>>5434191>>5434199>>5434378>>5434430Thinking to seek respite from the chill of the mountain's shadow and possibly procure some suitably warm clothing before you return to greener lands, you enter what you assume to be a general store of some sort. Expectations are easily betrayed, however, as you find nothing in the way of clothing, equipment, or amenities. You find yourself alone in a claustrophobic room, in which there are naught but a handful of tables, and a counter set in front of several bins containing powders and crushed leaves. These substances carry the distinct aroma of a product known as 'tea.' Allegedly a luxury on the surface, it is even more scarce in the world below. Calling it expensive would be the understatement of the century. Were you capable of hauling this quantity to a major trade hub, you could live as queen for a day, provided a covetous soul did not murder you first. To see this treasure set out in the open presents no small temptation."Greetings! Not very often we have new visitor!" Emerging from behind a curtain is a girl - not a young woman like Ilanis, but a child whom you reckon is fifteen or so in human years. Clad in a garment made of the same silk as your dress, she appears as some sort of perverse inversion of you, possessing dark ebon hair and a milk-white complexion.
>>5435978Bowing politely, she stands upright to address you. "I am Li. Good to see new face in uncle's tea shop." Every word of hers is carefully selected, and her accent differs significantly than that of the humans and half-breeds you have encountered thus far. That means that she is a foreigner - and your grasp over the local language is better than hers. "You are dark elf, like Veldrin!"'Veldrin.' One of, if not the most common name amongst your people. Meaning 'shadows' or 'concealment' in Ilythiirra, it is a name suitable for either a male or a female. An outsider might even consider it the generic Ilythiiri name. Had you a coin for every Veldrin you've killed, you would be an incredibly wealthy woman. She must have met one of your people, then.You may choose no more than three.>Veldrin? Who is this Veldrin?>I am looking for other Ilythiiri, actually - followers of Eilistraee.>She does not dress like the other surface-dwellers. Are those religious garbs?>Tea would be nice to warm my bones. How much does it cost, I wonder?>What news of this town, and the surrounding lands? Mayhaps she has rumors to share?>Talk about... [Write-in.]
>>5435979>Veldrin? Who is this Veldrin?>She does not dress like the other surface-dwellers. Are those religious garbs?>Tea would be nice to warm my bones. How much does it cost, I wonder?Veldrin would probably know more about any Drow hanging around the woods or passing through. Let’s warm ourselves and wait for him to come visit this girl.
>>5435979>Veldrin? Who is this Veldrin?>Tea would be nice to warm my bones. How much does it cost, I wonder?>Does this place welcome Ilythiiri, then? Others have sometimes been... Less hospitable.
>>5435979>Veldrin? Who is this Veldrin?>She does not dress like the other surface-dwellers. Are those religious garbs?>What news of this town, and the surrounding lands? Mayhaps she has rumors to share?Her knowing another Drow by name could very well mean that the followers of Eilistraee are in the Moonwood, perhaps this town is a means for them to resupply? Also, wonder if Li's from Shou Lung or maybe Kozakura/Wa.
>>5435979>Veldrin? Who is this Veldrin?>She does not dress like the other surface-dwellers. Are those religious garbs?>Tea would be nice to warm my bones. How much does it cost, I wonder?
>>5435979>Veldrin? Who is this Veldrin?>She does not dress like the other surface-dwellers. Are those religious garbs?>What news of this town, and the surrounding lands? Mayhaps she has rumors to share?
>>5435987>>5435988>>5436084>>5436144>>5436197>>5436508"Tea," you mutter, "how much does it cost?" The less-than-temperate environment outside and the exotic curiosity in front of you both lead you to consider having a sample, even if it could prove expensive for a beverage. Li's eyes light up, and she once again bows, pivoting to return behind the curtain. "Please wait one moment."You seat yourself at one of the tables. There is nothing grand about this modest place, but it possesses a certain... quality to it, which puts you at ease. Certainly not the sort of establishment that one could easily find in the Underdark. The world of light is home to more oddities than you could have possibly imagined.Returning with a cup and teapot, both crafted from a smooth, white material of indeterminate origin, she sets the cup in front of you. Delicately, she tips the teapot, pouring a steaming liquid with a mild, bitter fragrance into the cup. With a coy smile, she bows again. "No cost this time. I will not tell uncle."Who are you to refuse that which is given freely? Your chances of being poisoned by a commoner girl in a town far removed from any location of note are so minimal that you sincerely doubt that she harbors any ill intent. Cup in hand, you take a sip of the red-tinted fluid, relaxing as its subdued bitterness runs down your throat. Magnificent. Crossing your legs, you lean back and glare at Li."Who is this Veldrin?"
>>5437043Li idly uses a finger on her free hand to curl her hair, looking fondly at some infinitely distant object conjured from her imagination. "Veldrin is my friend," she proudly announces as her facial features become subtly flush. "He tell me about his adventures in the Underdark! Fighting with Bregan D'aerthe!"Bregan D'aerthe is an elite mercenary band of Ilythiiri outcasts, with a reputation that extends even beyond the Underdark. Led by the roguish Jarlaxle Baenre, these hired blades will gladly fight for any with the means to pay their exorbitant rates, and double as information brokers. Killers of their caliber are rumored to have a cruelty to match your own in combat, and they are infamous for meddling in politics. Of course, claiming to have been a member of Bregan D'aerthe and actually serving as one are two separate matters. "And? Where is he now?" You inquire, taking another sip of tea. "Adventures!" She exclaims with zest. "Some times he is gone for more than a tenday, or months. But he always comes back to tell stories and pray to Auril," she states confidently. Raising an eyebrow, you shift your weight and inquire further. "'Auril?' Not Eilistraee?" Li inclines her head in thought. You suspect that she does not even recognize the word that came out of your mouth. "Everyone here pray to Auril. Veldrin never tells stories about his people's gods, but..." The child begins regaling you with tales of her hero's exploits - which you reflexively tune out.By Lolth's venomous teats, does she think of anything else besides her passing fancy? You suppose that she is at about that age where she would be interested in such things. Were you this obnoxious when you started to notice the opposite sex? Dismissively, you wave your hand and make an attempt at changing the subject. "Your clothes are strange. Are they religious?"
>>5437045"Mm-mmh." She shakes her head. "I am from Thesk. Uncle comes from even farther. Merchants bring many things from far east to the Realms. A place where things like my clothes are made - and your sword!" Li points out your silver katana. Indeed, you have never held another weapon quite like it. It makes sense, to know that its origin can be traced to a place that lies beyond the Realms. "My uncle know everything about the sword. He should be here, any minute," she adds, implying that you might wish to speak with him.But only you decide how your time is spent.>Fine. I shall await the return of this uncle of hers. Perchance he will be of more use to me.>I need a meal, and three hard drinks to forget about this deplorable child. I go to the Sick Dog.>This cold mountain air is making my back hurt. To the Last Resort, to rest my bones.>That shrine must belong to 'Auril,' whoever that god is. I want to speak with that eccentric priestess.
>>5437046>Fine. I shall await the return of this uncle of hers. Perchance he will be of more use to me.
>>5437046>>I need a meal, and three hard drinks to forget about this deplorable child. I go to the Sick Dog.
>>5437046>Fine. I shall await the return of this uncle of hers. Perchance he will be of more use to me.Huh, was not expecting a mention of Bregan D'aerthe here. Also, if Li mentioned the katana, does that mean that Jez is strapping all 3 of her swords to her body? Carrying 3 swords at a time, buying katanas, Jez might need an intervention before it's too late.
>>5437046>Fine. I shall await the return of this uncle of hers. Perchance he will be of more use to me.On a meta level, I don't knw why Bregan is so popular, the name pops up a crazy amount in 5E. Jarlaxle seems to be a real writers pet for the WOTC crew.Anyway, maybe uncle can teach us some neat Iajutsu tricks
>>5437046>Fine. I shall await the return of this uncle of hers. Perchance he will be of more use to me.>While waiting, ask Li about where someone could purchase clothes like hers… if one was interested in wearing them, of course. Which we’re not.Wonder if Amaranth is a tea drinker, or if he prefers coffee?
>>5437203I think we're only carrying the Dark Fantasy and our silver katana.
>>5437046>This cold mountain air is making my back hurt. To the Last Resort, to rest my bones.
>>5437046>That shrine must belong to 'Auril,' whoever that god is. I want to speak with that eccentric priestess.>Fine. I shall await the return of this uncle of hers. Perchance he will be of more use to me.>I need a meal, and three hard drinks to forget about this deplorable child. I go to the Sick Dog.
>>5437147>>5437166>>5437203>>5437211>>5437244>>5437709>>5437840This could be your only chance to relax for a good long while. May as well make the most of it. Studying Li's attire, you could not help but wonder... "Your clothes. Pretend I want some. Where could I get them?" Sip. "... For my sister," you add. Li presses her left index finger against her cheek, squinting as if struggling to recall. "Item from Kara-Tur always found in Thesk. Maybe Sembia, or Chessenta."You pinch the bridge of your nose and sigh. How are you supposed to memorize the names of so many places when they all sound the same? Most likely, you would have better luck enlisting Amaranth's assistance, or perhaps the aid of that duplicitous gnome who somehow manages to keep selling ridiculous things. "Right. Tell me about your uncle."This is something that she is passionate about. Almost as passionate as she is about Veldrin, at the very least. "He is a greatest warrior! In Chessenta, they say he is the Iaido Lunatic, slaying one hundred in one evening. True story!" She insists. Sip. You question the veracity of her claim. Having killed several hundred - or maybe thousands of living beings yourself, the act of singlehandedly felling a hundred foes over one single evening in melee combat reeks of embellishment. "Li, no more stories from those grim years of your uncle's life," waxes a masculine voice that sounds of coarse sand in a grandiose fashion. "Siege after siege... bloodbath after bloodbath... with age, my eyes were opened to the truth; violence disrupts the natural balance of the world. Now a wise man, I have abandoned the way of the sword for the Light Way, and journeyed into these mountains to enjoy my enlightenment." A diminutive, elderly man - shorter than the girl - sporting garb similar to Li's marches through the tea shop at a sluggish pace, speaking with a smug pretention that makes you doubt his sincerity. Finally getting a look at your appearance beneath your cloak, he strokes his facial hair contentedly, smirking like a burglar who has chanced upon a precious treasure."Mmmh. But this mature dark-skinned beauty has got me actin' unwise...""Stop it, uncle."
>>5438748The mystery behind human family dynamics continues to vex you. Ilythiiri women seldom take it upon themselves to shoulder the burden of child rearing. That displeasure is left to the junior priestesses, and the young are later sent to apprentice under a master of whatever trade they are destined for, only to return home as capable adults should they succeed and survive. Yet this old lecher serves as guardian for a girl that is not even his daughter. How peculiar."I hope my Li remembered her manners and introduced herself?" The man squints at her, placing his arms at his sides as he expectantly awaits a response. Li stands rigid and nods in affirmation. "Good. I am Lu, and you are drinking my tea. I do hope you paid that. Imports are veeery expensive!" He shouts, raising an eyebrow toward the girl. Li stands rigid and nods in affirmation. Old Man Lu's facade of weightiness crumbles almost immediately as his focus shifts back to you. Clapping, he leans forward, prompting a hideous snapping sound from his spine as he grins a grin of questionable intent. "Now what can I do for you, my lovely Dark Dancer?"You may choose no more than three.>He is going to back away. NOW.>What is this about a Iaido? Some sort of human fighting technique?>I want him to tell me about Veldrin. But forego the heroic tall tales.>'Dark Dancer?' He knows of the Dancing Goddess, I presume?>Why bother taking care of this girl? What is the point? I genuinely do not understand.>Talk about... [Write-in.]
>>5438749>What is this about a Iaido? Some sort of human fighting technique?>'Dark Dancer?' He knows of the Dancing Goddess, I presume?>Why bother taking care of this girl? What is the point? I genuinely do not understand.
>>5438749>>What is this about a Iaido? Some sort of human fighting technique?>>I want him to tell me about Veldrin. But forego the heroic tall tales.
>>5438749>>What is this about a Iaido? Some sort of human fighting technique?>>'Dark Dancer?' He knows of the Dancing Goddess, I presume?>>I want him to tell me about Veldrin. But forego the heroic tall tales.Also, if the fighting technique seems appropriate for our sword, and if the technique seems legit to Jez, a natural followup question would be :"What would it take for you to teach me these arts for this blade?"
>>5438749>He is going to back away. NOW.>I want him to tell me about Veldrin. But forego the heroic tall tales.>'Dark Dancer?' He knows of the Dancing Goddess, I presume?Not all that interested in Iaido, incredibly situational technique that works best with curved blades, and the Dark Fantasy is a straight sword. Also, Jez must be saved from becoming some sickening Kara-Tur enthusiast.>"Mmmh. But this mature dark-skinned beauty has got me actin' unwise..."Amazing
>>5438749>He is going to back away. NOW.>What is this about a Iaido? Some sort of human fighting technique?>'Dark Dancer?' He knows of the Dancing Goddess, I presume?
>>5438749>He is going to back away. NOW.>I want him to tell me about Veldrin. But forego the heroic tall tales.>'Dark Dancer?' He knows of the Dancing Goddess, I presume?
>>5438749>I want him to tell me about Veldrin. But forego the heroic tall tales.>'Dark Dancer?' He knows of the Dancing Goddess, I presume?>Why bother taking care of this girl? What is the point? I genuinely do not understand.
Attention gamers. I am currently ill. The next update should be up in a few hours, unless the medicine knocks me out.This has no impact on the long-term of the quest, but I feel that it's important to give a tangible reason why there has been a delay.
>>5438760>>5438767>>5438926>>5438961>>5438983>>5439071>>5439248"Dark Dancer?" You raise a curious eyebrow. "That is Eilistraee. You know of her?" Li and Lu exchange a look of welcome surprise, no doubt recalling a fond memory. The old human chuckles. "Ho ho ho! Do I? Men and women who follow the Dark Dancer used to come here one, two times every year to make merry and tell stories. Do you remember, Li?""Yes!" She exclaims, pressing her hands together. "Talassysnre would dance with me. But... I was very bad at it." She sighs. 'Talassysnre' must have been their leader, the one Willow spoke of. It comes as no surprise that poor half-breed could not pronounce such a distinctly Ilythiirra name. "Very sad that they do not come here any more." You do not feel the need to inform them of Talassysnre's ultimate fate. And, if any yet remained who cared to, then why have they not done so by now? You can think of one obvious reason. Though hopefully your journey to the Moonwood will not be a futile effort."What of a male?" You ask. "This 'Veldrin' I hear of." Lu slaps his hands against his hips indignantly and puffs his chest, an act that us much less intimidating than he seems to believe. "A bad influence on my Li! He is - how do you say? A rake. A scoundrel! That man says he is a hunter of bounties, but I know ill-gotten gains when I see them. The only thing good about him is the absurd amount of money he has! Why, if I were a younger man, I would throw him out myself! In my day, we men..." The old bag of wind is ranting. You elect to ignore this.
>>5441234He is a slave hunter, then. If not a priestess or a mage, the most respectable career a person in Lolthite society can aspire to pursue is that of the hunter. Though too proud to admit as much, slavery is the fulcrum upon which the greatest of Ilythiiri communities rest. Far outnumbering their masters, throngs of goblins handle the endless toil of agriculture, while captured dwarves design and construct vital infrastructure. Orcs are coerced into hauling goods, and traitors provide a steady supply of flesh to appease the ever-voracious Spider Goddess. Even other Ilythiiri are not exempt from this. On the contrary, your own kind are among the most treasured of slaves. Many derive demented amusement by watching as their erstwhile peers, rivals, or families are made humble, languishing in chains until their dying hour. With quality slaves in such high demand, a skilled hunter can make a fortune by procuring rare or troublesome specimens - like yourself, for instance. Luckily, it is incredibly unlikely that he is hunting Sindiira Torani, nor would he recognize Jezyrene by sight alone. But you should not exclude the possibility that circumstances can change in the future.As Lu's anecdote-tirade amalgam rolls on with no sign of concluding, you interrupt "What is Iai... that word. What does it mean?" Falling silent, he leans in close enough for you to feel his breath and squints at you. Wagging his finger in a manner most disdainful, he huffs. "You are one-hundred years too young to understand. Return when you fight for something greater than yourself; only then will your heart be ready to accept true power."
>>5441236His eyes wander downwards, towards your chest. Stroking his goatee pensively, he leans back. "However... I can think of one way that we could skip past that part, ho ho." Setting the empty teacup down you rise from your seat and start toward the exit."I'm leaving."Where to?>The Sick Dog Pub.>The Last Resort Inn. >The Shrine of Auril.
>>5441238>The Last Resort Inn. Need a drink after all THAT.
>>5441238>>The Sick Dog Pub.
>>5441238>>The Shrine of Auril.Veldrin would worship there on the regular, perhaps the priestess could point us to his current whereabouts, by mundane or divine inspiration!
>>5441238>The Sick Dog Pub.Good meal and good drinks I hope
>>5441238>The Last Resort Inn.
>>5441238>The Sick Dog Pub.Tea’s nice, but we need something better than trail rations and hardtack to eat.Three gold says “Veldrin” is a dumb teen lying to impress his crush.
>>5441238>The Last Resort Inn.Honestly what was up with Talassysnre's body? IIRC it seemed to be completely fresh despite everything around her corpse being screwed up, is that sword preserving her, or did someone go and cast gentle repose, etc? Could prove interesting when Jez potentially meets the rest of the followers of Eilistraee, perhaps they might retrieve the body to bring her back.>"You are one-hundred years too young to understand. Return when you fight for something greater than yourself; only then will your heart be ready to accept true power."Man if he knew how old Jez is lmao.
>>5441238>>The Sick Dog Pub.With a name like this how could you not visit?
>>5441253>>5441281>>5441312>>5441325>>5441391>>5441548>>5441561>>5441611>>5441737Tea is pleasant, but the thought of filling your belly with something more substantial is so much more appealing. Alas, the one and only pub in this one-lizard town is named the 'Sick Dog.' Certainly, you have been deceived about a plentitude of facts pertaining to the world of light, but knowing that you are to be dining at an establishment named after an ailing animal still leads you to assume that your meal will be of, put generously, questionable quality.Trudging through the persistent snow of yesteryear, you stroll into a cozy establishment which is not at all as lively as the Stag at Bay, nor anywhere close to being as grand as the Dreaming Dragon. 'Frugal' is the word that comes to mind, although 'mediocre' and 'bland' could serve as suitable substitutes. Tired traders and whatever dogsbodies or mercenaries they hired to accompany them chat in low voices, throwing curious looks your way now and again. No hostility - that is always a reassuring sign.The roaring flame which illuminates the interior deters the preeminent draft of chill wind that seems desperate to find its way in by any means, driving you to seek a warm spot at an empty table near the fire. The best feature of the Sick Dog, you discover, is the inexpensive food and drink. You may not be able to pronounce the names of anything on this menu, nor do you comprehend what they are meant to be when the insipid serving girl explains them to you, but you are able to secure a meal and more for the pittance of a single coin. The benefits of being in the middle of nowhere, you suppose.
>>5442695Your meal consists of some sort of salty, fatty meat, a firm bread with a rustic taste, a green vegetable doused in some unreasonably sour liquid, and a potent clear alcohol that tastes suspiciously like industrial byproduct. This is no rothé steak with green wine, of that you are confident. All in all, not terribly exciting, but it is filling, and leagues better than rockbread with cave eel for the umpteen time.It dawns on you that this is a rare occassion when your quest is not on your mind. There are no sisters to hunt you in this remote corner of the Realms; no pressing matter that demands your attention, nor a council to worry over. The strangers that surround you are no enemies of yours. Rather, at this moment, you are but another face in the crowd. Inhaling deeply, you let you shoulders sag and kick up your feet, relaxing as your body warms. Time is precious. How will you spend it?>I could take this time to read that spy book which I've yet to get around to.>Inexplicably, I find myself thinking about the woman I am, and the woman I may yet become.>Maybe I will mingle with the other patrons, humans and half-breeds though they are.>I do not know why, but I am thinking about someone. [Who?]>Nothing; I only want to enjoy being warm and relax before my journey resumes.
My fever is beating me almost as hard as Jezyrene's mother beat her. Updates should hopefully resume as normal now.
>>5442702>I do not know why, but I am thinking about someone. [Talassysnre]What WAS the deal with her corpse?
>>5442705Did you get the coofs, bud?
>>5442708No, nothing serious. Cold weather just doesn't agree with me.
>>5442702>Maybe I will mingle with the other patrons, humans and half-breeds though they are.Gotta check to see if any of our people came through here recently, and what they might have said.
>>5442702>>Inexplicably, I find myself thinking about the woman I am, and the woman I may yet become
>>5442702>Inexplicably, I find myself thinking about the woman I am, and the woman I may yet become.>I do not know why, but I am thinking about someone. [Who?]>AmaranthIntrospection time for Jez. As per earlier looks into the past, Jez did have a little interest in magic, despite how she made fun of Phaere for it. Perhaps her thinking about her past and the new opportunities afforded to her due to her actions with Amaranth will bear something interesting. If only to see her dreams get crushed when it turns out she doesn't have any aptitude for magic, though I would be happy to see otherwise. Hoping for an Eldritch Knight/Spellsword prestige class
>>5442707>>5442817>>5443101>>5443163You tip back the the glass of clear alcohol and gulp. The taste of this vile toxicant makes you retch. Why humans imbibe in this rubbish is a mystery that you feel you will simply never solve. The effect it has on the mind, however, leads you to speculate that it may be enjoyed for its strength rather than its flavor. Ideas that would never manifest if you were sober knock against the interior of your skull, roiling in the cauldron of vivid imagination.Two centuries already? And you are not getting any younger. Some fifteen decades ago, you believed that your entire life was ahead of you. One day, you would grow up to be a priestess, rise up the ranks, and spend the next six hundred years of your life visiting wickedness on any foolish enough to cross your path while living in comfort and luxury, until one of your many powerful daughters murdered you and assumed your position. How ironic, that clawing your way to the top of the body pile has earned you nothing but the chance to live and fight another day. Today, you have no authority, no wealth, no daughters.Motherhood is sacred. From a young age, all females are taught that it is their obligation to spawn as many offspring as their bodies will allow. Not for any fondness of children, obviously; the grim reality is that Lolthite society is so vicious that your race would drive itself to extinction without a steady supply of fresh blood entering the population pool at all times. Since your people are as meat and drink for the Weaver of Chaos, even the most dull, feeble, or slow woman should aspire to someday give birth to please her.This inexorable truth has gone unchallenged for the whole of your existence. Always, there are those who choese to forego the ordeal in its entirety - but those are the deviants, like your sister Phaere. Even if your child would be born and raised a surface-dweller, the specter of the old ways doggedly hounds your thoughts. Brought up into this culture, you still feel as though a core facet of your identity as an individual is somehow missing or deficient.The Jezyrene of ten, a hundred years ago knew that she needed daughters. What does the Jezyrene of the here and now say?>There is magic that can breath new life into the dead and even halt the flow of time. A cure for my... unique womanly condition must exist.>That old human, he took in that girl as his own flesh and blood when there is no connection between them. That is the same as having a daughter, is it not?>For too long, I have suffered under the yoke of tradition. I am more than the number of deplorable beasts that I can spit out of my crotch. I can leave some other legacy behind!
>>5443812>>There is magic that can breath new life into the dead and even halt the flow of time. A cure for my... unique womanly condition must exist.
>>5443812>There is magic that can breath new life into the dead and even halt the flow of time. A cure for my... unique womanly condition must exist.Nothing the god of fertility can't fix
>>5443812>That old human, he took in that girl as his own flesh and blood when there is no connection between them. That is the same as having a daughter, is it not?Desperation is a bad look, girl.
>>5443812>There is magic that can breath new life into the dead and even halt the flow of time. A cure for my... unique womanly condition must exist.A cure for the christmas cake
>>5443812>That old human, he took in that girl as his own flesh and blood when there is no connection between them. That is the same as having a daughter, is it not?Family doesn’t have to be related to count.Also, think on how hilarious it’ll be if we teach a non-drow non-noble house child Orb Alur and have them win against the best the other top houses can muster.
Jezyrene Tries It: Midlife Crisis.Vote closed.
>>5444527Good luck Jez. You'll need it!
>>5444527It's the start of a new people! Free of the underdark!
>>5443866>>5443892>>5443923>>5443972>>5444025>>5444053There must be a way to overcome your condition. So what if such a desire defies common sense? It is not your fault that you were conditioned to place so much importance in the base act of reproduction. Two centuries of viewing the world from a particular paradigm cannot be undone at a whim. You need to because you want to because you have to. Nothing more, nothing less. You have heard of - nay, witnessed - greater works of magic. Seen dark fire tossed about as a weapon and missing limbs restored by Lolth's will. It will take gaining the favor of the Morninglord, or mayhaps paying some ludicrous fee to a sufficiently powerful servant of the divine, but it is no doubt possible. But who? Willow is a reliable ally and experienced priestess, but she is not quite Menzoberra the Kinless, the Chosen One of Lolth. That traitor, Arara, could definitely do it... though the very thought causes the idea to lose some of its appeal.And what of raising the abominable little thing? There are no priestesses for you to foist your spawn upon. Maybe you could pay Ilanis to take care of it? But she might poison its mind with whatever sweet syrupy substance inhabits her skull in place of a brain. In the worst-case scenario, you will have rear the damn child yourself. What a terrifying thought.A question for another time, after you have achieved your goal. Confronting your siblings and whatever allies they have gathered is inevitable. With any luck, you will be wearing Vierna's bowels as garters and force your blade so far up Phaere's anal cavity that its tip pokes out through her mouth by the end of your adventure. But what comes next? You've foresight enough to know that 'kill my sisters' cannot be your life forever.What will you do if you prevail against your enemies?>Everlund is nice. There is wealth and trade, and it is safer than any Underdark city. People accept me. I can begin a new life there.>I am going to adventure and fight until someone kills me, as my ancestors have done for millennia. Bloodshed is who I am, all I have ever known.>The Realms call to me, and I will answer. I would like to see them - not as a warrior, but a traveler - even if many of its denizens detest the Ilythiiri for our ways and history.>I belong with the Eilistraeans, my odd kin. Their way is wholly unlike the way of most Ilythiiri, but they are my people. Only they can truly understand me, and I them.>How about... [Write-in.]
>>5445129First...>The Realms call to me, and I will answer. I would like to see them - not as a warrior, but a traveler - even if many of its denizens detest the Ilythiiri for our ways and history.Then, after a year or two traveling...>Everlund is nice. There is wealth and trade, and it is safer than any Underdark city. People accept me. I can begin a new life there.
>>5445129>The Realms call to me, and I will answer. I would like to see them - not as a warrior, but a traveler - even if many of its denizens detest the Ilythiiri for our ways and history.This MAY mean joining the Elistraeans, but let's see how weird or crazy they are before deciding for sure.
>>5445129>>Everlund is nice. There is wealth and trade, and it is safer than any Underdark city. People accept me. I can begin a new life there.
>>5445129>Everlund is nice. There is wealth and trade, and it is safer than any Underdark city. People accept me. I can begin a new life there.Totally not because she has friends, perish the thought
>>5445129>>I am going to adventure and fight until someone kills me, as my ancestors have done for millennia. Bloodshed is who I am, all I have ever known.
>>5445129>The Realms call to me, and I will answer. I would like to see them , as a warrior AND as a traveler - even if many of its denizens detest the Ilythiiri for our ways and history.>But you know, there's always Everlund if nothing else.I missed the previous vote, and I just thought I'd chip in and say while Jez could certainly be open to adopting kin, it just strikes me that her interaction with Li and Lu was a bit too brief to make those thoughts churn so fast. Maybe more encounters with adopted families could make her reconsider.Also, as a side note, would be cool to visit one of the classical large cities, like Waterdeep. Would be cool to see the GM's take on it
>>5445705Everything all right there, Ed?
>>5447583It IS Halloween weekend
>>5445139>>5445163>>5445197>>5445343>>5445400>>5445514>>5445661The mere thought of returning to stale air and endless strife has become suffocating. The far-distant Chessenta and vaunted Calimport entice with the stories which surround them. At one time, you implicitly understood that you would inevitably die a violent death and be sent to Lolth's belly, or simply cease to exist the very second that your body grew cold - the truth is unclear, with tales regarding the ultimate fate of Ilythiiri souls varying from one city to another. But not you, not any longer. Someday, you will see the gloom of Westgate, and sample the fruits of Tashalar's jungles. And, should your fortune be favorable, it will be old age that claims your life. The body of an Ilythiiri can do battle well into its seventh century and then some, yet you intend to keep your weapon in its sheath where it belongs, if it can be helped. Let another soul seek fame and glory and a warrior's end.Amid your drunk reverie, the imagery of an endless land of green that extends in all directions metamorphoses into a vision of Everlund. Of all places, it was this one that welcomed you into the light, despite the tumultuous history surrounding your people. Indeed, by the sound of things, the peoples of other lands may have provided you with a more hostile reception than Ilanis and Amaranth and Willow. Dare you say, it is the closest thing you have to a home after being driven from one place to another so frequently in the past.The evocative scene of you finding a place to sit and read in broad daylight fills your awareness. To boldly relax in the open, knowing that none would shove a dagger through your back as you were predisposed; it is a memory that you will not forget. Slowly but surely, you are coming to terms with being an idiot.Your eyes pry themselves open as you raise your head. Quickly, you wipe off a coating of drool from your cheek that has soaked into your cloak. Apparently the beverage that you've been forcing yourself to imbibe in was strong enough to put you down for a nap. As for your level of inebriation... your mind is clear. Scanning the pub, you note that many of the patrons have already left, while those that remain are finishing their drinks. The hour is late, and the sun has long fallen. Travel in such conditions is no hinderance to you; on the contrary, darkness is a boon to the Ilythiiri. Refreshed and more confident in the path you have chosen, you are ready to proceed.Where to?>The shrine of Auril.>The Last Resort Inn.>I have spent enough time here. My journey continues.
>>5447583>>5447616Despite saying that I was feeling better the other day, my fever actually worsened and put me in bed for quite some time. Ironic.I am considering closing out the next few updates a bit earlier than usual to catch up on them.
>>5448264>The Last Resort Inn.>>5448268Take your time, and focus on getting. This update was excellently-written and very evocative, and if you keep producing stuff that good, nobody will begrudge you a brief delay while you recover and rally.
>>5448264>The Last Resort Inn.
>>5448264>I have spent enough time here. My journey continues.If we're fresh there's not much of a reason to go to the inn as we don't need to rest.
>>5448264>>The Last Resort Inn.
>>5448264>The Last Resort Inn>>5448268No worries, we're always here
Vote closed.>>5448277>>5448660While I appreciate it, I do want to stay in the habit of writing whenever I can.
>>5448277>>5448360>>5448371>>5448381>>5448660Rested though you may be, the prospect of laying down is an inviting one. The temperature is making you ache, and you feel compelled to relax here in Khelb before resuming your journey. Shuffling to the Last Resort, you enter a dilapidated building that you reason may well be older than you. Across the creaking floorboard, a cretin of an old dwarf offers you a frosty reception befitting his dank, drafty establishment. The cost of renting a room for yourself is near nihil. Money does go far in remote places such as this one. Alas, you get what you pay for - your blanket is thin and faded, your room is spacious enough for a creature half your size, and the entire building is warmed only enough to prevent you from falling ill. What's worse, the only 'bath' available here is a barrel of stagnant water that rests at room temperature, which you will most definitely not be using. A thoroughly miserable place, all-in-all.Laying flat on a bed which you suspect to be more stiff than the decaying planks at your feet, you jump to your feet and frantically search the sheets after some... thing bites your buttocks, but to no avail. Abandoning the hunt for mysterious bed-dwelling creature, you toss and turn until your consciousness begins to drift from the waking world.Darkness takes hold, and you dream of...>Mother. All pain serves to remind me of my progenitor.>My training. Life seemed so much more simple in those days.>Tatherin, brother of mine. How is it that I lived to see this day when you did not?>War. The battle that left a wound in my soul that bleeds to this very day.>No no no... I absolutely must wake up, before I can remember any of this!
>>5449551>Tatherin, brother of mine. How is it that I lived to see this day when you did not?Huh, I wanted to see what was up with Tatherin, but I didn't think he was dead. Unless Jez means that she lived to see freedom on the surface, while he's stuck being a male drow in the underdark.
>>5449551>>Tatherin, brother of mine. How is it that I lived to see this day when you did not?
>>5449551>Mother. All pain serves to remind me of my progenitor.
>>5449551>>My training. Life seemed so much more simple in those days.
>>5449563>>5449578>>5449581>>5449693>>5450124>>5450193Long have scholars been fascinated by a unique quirk of Ilythiiri physiology not shared by their surface cousins. Females of the species are remarkably fecund, always experiencing multiple pregnancy with twins, triplets, or more, without fail. Like all things good, however, there is a caveat to this; the fight of every Ilythiiri begins in the womb. During gestation, it is the way of the unborn to murder and subsume their siblings, leaving the sole survivor of these prenatal battles to emerge as the most fit to enter the world. It is remarkable, then, that you had a twin by the name of Tatherin. Some would even go as far as to say that such an event was an omen; rare is the child who does not eat their siblings, and rarer still is the mother who achieves a multiple birth. It is a sign that the Spider Queen favors her mightily, or an indication of her own prowess as a woman. For yourself, the nature of the bond that deterred you from eliminating your sibling may forever remain a mystery.
>>5451444"Mn.... aaah!" You yelp as a deft hand masterfully washes the skin around your fresh wounds. Mother was particularly artful with the whip-dagger today. An adult woman nearly a century old should not be stripped down and humiliated for the amusement of a crowd. For all you care, she merely wanted to terrorize you for the thrill of it. The indignity of it all! Clenching your fists, you try to suppress the pain by imagining the pleasure you would feel if you could strangle the old bitch - and then how much worse you would hurt if you were foolish enough to defy her will."Stop trembling," suggests a placid voice that sounds like the texture of black silk. "You're going to make this more painful than it already is." Under his advisement, you bite your bottom lip and shut your eyes, failing miserably at an attempt to remain still and silent as he delicately pours alcohol over your back. Tatherin is a quick study with natural affinity for the subtle arts, the most reliable person you know, and Mother's special boy. No sane person would allow another to see their exposed back, but you implicitly understand that you can count on your sibling to assist. It must be some sort of special ability that only manifests in twins which allows you to read his intent, and him, yours."So?" There is a momentary pause in Tatherin's work as the two of you sit on the floor of your room surrounded by total quietude. You clear your throat. "'So' what?" You growl in a feeble attempt at projecting the strength that Mother's brutality has momentarily robbed you of. "Come on, Jez," he sighs, as he begins to bandage you."Tell me what happened this time.">Nothing. I've never done anything wrong in my entire life.>I spat at Mother and told her that she has been holding me back. It is the truth!>Vierna challenged me, so I beat her within an inch of her life. Ha ha!>Mother is simply jealous that her newest lover has been lusting after me.>[Write-in.]
>>5451447>Mother is simply jealous that her newest lover has been lusting after me.Man you're really having us choose between these great options damn. Wanted to put in a write-in in which Jez's mother found out she was looking into magic, so she punished Jez for doing so as she already failed to once become a priestess and then started looking into "male" activities. However I can't say fucking about with Jez's backstory willy nilly is the best of ideas.
>>5451447>>Mother is simply jealous that her newest lover has been lusting after me.
>>5451447>Mother is simply jealous that her newest lover has been lusting after me.>It's not my fault that the signs of her aging have become obvious to even him.
>>5451447>>Vierna challenged me, so I beat her within an inch of her life. Ha ha!
>>5451457>>5451719>>5451726>>5451781>>5451806>>5451834"Mother is jealous." Unbeknownst to all save yourself, your lips contort into a coy smirk of satisfaction, your pride strong enough to overtake the pain for the moment. "Her new lover has been lusting after me. I simply made eyes at him, and lured him into my embrace that very evening. Before long, he shall be totally at my beck and call." You begin to cackle, but the pain quickly dissuades you from enjoying a good laugh.Fastening the last bandage, Tatherin helps you to your feet and guides you to your long chair, upon which you rest on you belly. "What an interesting way of admitting that you provoked her," he muses in a manner so suave that it is almost infuriating. "Be grateful that it was merely a whipping. The last woman who tried to steal away her lover was boiled." You snort."'Provoke?' Will I have to pluck that sharp tongue from your clever mouth, dear brother? I am not to blame if Mother is no longer the comely mistress she once was. She dyes that thinning, yellowing hair of hers, always. She still has marks on her belly even now - birthing ten children will do that to a woman. She has become so complacent that her muscles become flabby. The signs of Mother's aging have become obvious, even to him. In twenty years' time, even her own sons will not be able to stomach the sight of that she-beast!"Finding a chair, your brother elegantly seats himself and watches the door for guests or, more likely, your sisters, who would gladly take advantage of your debilitated state. "Pardon my insolence, sister. I had completely forgotten that you will not be growing old - a mistake I will be careful not to commit twice." A backhanded response that he delivers with the tact of a compliment."Indeed, I shall not grow old." You can envision your success already. All you need do is apply yourself, and you can ascend to the highest echelons of the Spider Queen's clergy. In a hundred years' time, you will be a high priestess, and after, who knows? Then, before you can grow old and decrepit, your finest protégé will slay you. Your skin will become a sacred garment, and your ribcage will be forged into holy armor that shall be worn by the mightiest priestesses for generations to come. By all the Hells, they might even honor you by raising your undead spirit to guard a temple! "I shall not," you repeat for emphasis.
>>5453397Time flies as the two of you remain next to each other in total silence. Breaking the pause in the conversation, you sigh. "You could never understand, brother. Mother pampers you with her gifts and favors. She has not scarred your back with the whip-dagger for the thrill of it, or beaten you for goddess-knows-what." Though not verbally, you find yourself asking 'why.' Why you? You are well on your way toward becoming a priestess, and no more disobedient than Vierna. The only person who has it worse is Phaere, the unashamed rebel of House Delyl.As though he could read your thoughts, Tatherin answers. "It could be your venomous personality," he jests. You feel a strong urge to jab him with a sharp object, a feat that is unfortunately beyond you in your pathetic state. Detecting this, he instead offers a more thoughtful response. "Maybe she feels frustrated because she does not control you like she does Vierna. You are latent threat to her authority. If she cannot break you now..." he does not finish his sentence. Even the wily Tatherin understands the horror of Mother's vindictive wrath."So," you ask, "What do you suggest I do?"What he told you has remained etched in your memory for nearly a hundred fifty years now. He said...>Nothing matters more than going my own way. I will suffocate if I cannot break free.>Fortitude is key. If I yield to the punishments, even for a moment, then I will be gone forever.>Strength is my salvation. I must give of my blood and sweat until my might exceeds Mother's.>To adapt is to survive. Unless I open my mind to new, less orthodox ideas, I will stagnate and die.
>>5453401>To adapt is to survive. Unless I open my mind to new, less orthodox ideas, I will stagnate and die.It would explain the woman we became.
>>5453401>To adapt is to survive. Unless I open my mind to new, less orthodox ideas, I will stagnate and die.
>>5453401>>Fortitude is key. If I yield to the punishments, even for a moment, then I will be gone forever.
>>5453401>>To adapt is to survive. Unless I open my mind to new, less orthodox ideas, I will stagnate and die.
>>5453427>>5453453>>5453495>>5453641>>5453779>>5453935"Try something different," he offers. "To be quite honest, you have spent so long blundering through your priestess training, yet you still cannot even mend a paper cut. You will become just another forgettable face at the bottom rung of the clergy, fading into obscurity as old age creeps up on you.""Wrong. I could do anything, if I felt like it," you protest.Tatherin smirks, shrugging nonchalantly. "My mistake. You simply turned to me because you did not feel like mending those hideous gashes on your back." Sarcasm oozes from his every word as his pointed remark is plunged directly into your heart. "Come on, Jez. You must have a talent. A way for you to surpass the competition. Phaere can do it." He looks over his shoulder warily on instinct, despite knowing that there is naught but wall behind him. "Try to think for yourself and come up with new ideas.""Hmm." Pushing yourself upright, you stand uneasily, placing your hand on Tatherin's shoulder for support. Thrumming the fingers of your free hand against your chin, you appraise him like a voracious predator eyeing its next meal, prompting him to raise a curious eyebrow. Surrendering to impulse, you straddle him and forcefully press your bosom to his face. "I may have a few new ideas already."
>>5455645The crisp wind of early morning filters in from the innumerable gaps of the Last Resort's walls, stirring you from your restful slumber. Awakened amid a titillating dream cut tragically short, you rise to your feet and equip yourself for whatever may come, shunting frustrated thoughts to the back of your mind. It figures that a rare pleasant memory would be denied to you in full.Swallowing spit, you cringe as you review the petulant behavior of a younger Jezyrene. In a few decades' time, you will be same age as mother was when you were a girl in that dream - that is to say, not very young. Would you too discipline your unruly child with a whip-dagger if she were so vexatious? Perchance allowing Ilanis to fill the head of your hypothetical offspring with chocolate wafers is preferable to letting them overflow with whatever rancid bile you had in you at the time. How morbid.Now outdoors, you stamp your boots on the frozen earth and take in the crisp mountain air. The sun is oft blinding at this hour, but the mountains darken the skies over Khelb, a blessing if there ever was one. Merchants and travelers make preparations to depart, while the locals shovel snow and wander south, pickaxes in hand. Auril's priestess, ever dutiful, dances barefoot in the snow as though it were the most natural act in the Realms, heralding the beginning of the day.What now?>The road awaits me. My quest is not going to complete itself, after all.>I would first visit the shrine of Auril and that odd priestess before I depart.>There is something else I must do in Khelb. [Write-in.]
>>5455650>I would first visit the shrine of Auril and that odd priestess before I depart.
>>5455650>The road awaits me. My quest is not going to complete itself, after all.Feeling worried that Jez is going to head back to Everlund and pass by this town again, only to find it destroyed by the tracker sent after her. Or perhaps the gnomish artifice shall just blunder through the entire area while trying to stay on her trail.>Surrendering to impulse, you straddle him and forcefully press your bosom to his face. "I may have a few new ideas already."Oh my, did she take advantage of her non fecund nature as well?
>>5455650>I would first visit the shrine of Auril and that odd priestess before I depart.>There is something else I must do in Khelb. [Write-in.]Let Li know we're heading out, and that we'll visit again when we've checked in with the Eilistraeans. Maybe purchase some tea for the trip, too.
>>5455693>Oh my, did she take advantage of her non fecund nature as well?She didn't know at that point, and didn't really care. Jez was an irresponsible teenager.
>>5455650>>The road awaits me. My quest is not going to complete itself, after all.
>>5455650>>I would first visit the shrine of Auril and that odd priestess before I depart.
>>5455650>>I would first visit the shrine of Auril and that odd priestess before I depart.It's not really important but I am completionist
>>5455709In other words...>>5455693>did she let her twin brother cum inside her as well?Yes.Drow, man. Weird people.
>>5455668>>5455693>>5455704>>5455845>>5455942>>5456231>>5456492Feeling the inexplicable need to see all there is to see and do all there is to do, you march up a steep hill that looms ominously over the tiny town of Khelb, to get a better look at the altar of Auril, a power whom you've only just heard of, and their dancing priestess. Yet the very second you stand face-to-face with the woman, an overwhelming sense of dread mingled with regret oppressively bears down upon you. Casually resting a hand on the hilt of the Dark Fantasy, you step forward.This tall, albino woman with statuesque features towers over you, dressed in thin white robes unfit for the temperature. Barefoot, she nevertheless stands assertively atop the packed snow as though it were warm moss. Cold of heart, her demeanor resembles that of those rare genuinely enthusiastic members of Lolth's clergy. Taken altogether, this information allows you to soundly conclude that she is a haughty bitch."Welcome, dark elf. Have you come to pay tribute to Lady Frostkiss?" Her voice is as an inhospitable mistral to your ears; placid, unemotional, although distinctly unfriendly. You incline your head, then look to the altar, a simple rectangular stone with a strange hexagonal... thing, engraved across its top. Detecting your confusion, the priestess clicks her tongue peevishly and explains."Auril is the Icedawn, mistress of winter's majesty. All you see before you is her work," she emphasizes, sweeping an arm outward in gesture at the valley. "These lands exist at her sufferance. In a few months' time, it will be only by her mercy that the North is not doomed to a frosty demise. You would be wise to respect the goddess, as all folk do." You roll your shoulders and sigh. Such tired rhetoric. The more things change...You may choose no more than three.>Fine. Suppose I want to win Auril's favor. What would I have to do?>I have heard that a male named Veldrin prays here. She has spoken with him, has she not?>For whatever reason, the mysteries of Lady Frostkiss intrigue me. I wish to know more.>If she knows the North, then she should know the Moonwood. What can she tell me of that?>I dislike her attitude. What does she think about that?>Talk about... [Write-in.]
>>5457327>I have heard that a male named Veldrin prays here. She has spoken with him, has she not?>If she knows the North, then she should know the Moonwood. What can she tell me of that?
>>5457327>I have heard that a male named Veldrin prays here. She has spoken with him, has she not?>If she knows the North, then she should know the Moonwood. What can she tell me of that?>How does one pray to Auril so that her icy caress isn’t tempted to freeze me solid?Fascinating… the Rivven even have gods for their weather…
>>5457327>>I have heard that a male named Veldrin prays here. She has spoken with him, has she not?>>If she knows the North, then she should know the Moonwood. What can she tell me of that?
>>5457327>I have heard that a male named Veldrin prays here. She has spoken with him, has she not?>If she knows the North, then she should know the Moonwood. What can she tell me of that?>How does one pray to Auril so that her icy caress isn’t tempted to freeze me solid?
>>5457327>>I have heard that a male named Veldrin prays here. She has spoken with him, has she not?>>If she knows the North, then she should know the Moonwood. What can she tell me of that?>>How does one pray to Auril so that her icy caress isn’t tempted to freeze me solid?
>>5457550>>5457662>>5458176>>5458441"Veldrin. He is a male that prays here. You must know him," you say, modifying your posture to appear more imposing. There is a hostile silence between you as she looks you over with a cold glare. "Yes," she replies, with no elaboration whatsoever. Clearing your throat, you press further, determined to wrest something of use from the woman before the end of this conversation. "Tell me more. Now."The priestess squints. Evidently, she felt that her initial answer was more than sufficient. Exhaling a cloud of condensation in your direction, she continues. "Veldrin is a smart man. He understands that he is at Auril's mercy in the mountains." Again reluctant to share more, you motion for her to proceed. "He pursues his latest quarry in the Spine of the World. It could be months until his return - if the goddess does not claim him, as is her right."Imagining this world as a living being with a spine does amuse you. You know nothing of this supposed 'Spine of the World,' though such a name suggests that it is a defining feature of the Realms. You would have to look at a map to know, but if you take this priestess at her word, then the male is a non-factor in your immediate future.
>>5459036She taps her foot impatiently, bare flesh undisturbed by its inhospitable surroundings. Abandoning any hope of this conversation proceeding organically, you change the subject and submit another query. "I want to go to the Moonwood. Tell me more about that." At first, the Aurilian seems inclined to object, though after some consideration, she decides to enlighten you. If you had to guess, she believes that answering your questions will expedite your departure."It was a haven for those who embrace the ways of the Beastlord, until the Thousand Scars descended from the mountains to challenge them. Now it belongs to the orcs." Shifting her weight, she places a hand on her side and glances south. "The Huntlord was not there during the battle; he told me that he and his would leave south to regrow the clergy's strength." You did not expect this ice priestess to be on speaking terms with the Huntlord, but a strange alliance between a savage god and a pitiless goddess is something that you could envision. You pinch the bridge of your nose and groan. Accounting for this new information, you reason that the situation is as follows; the Thousand Scar orcs drove the Malarites from the Moonwood. The Huntlord reinvigorated his flock, then drove the Eilistraeans from the Silverwood, who fled north... to the Moonwood. Individual greenskins are less formidable than the Malarites, but they are a force to be reckoned with when coordinated. On the other hand, any Ilythiiri that has survived past childhood should be able to evade orcs by stealth. With any luck, those you seek remain alive.
>>5459039Twice before you have bargained with strange powers, and succeeded in reaping the benefits they conferred. It is difficult to escape from the Lolthite mindset of trying to appease a fickle, voracious mistress whose dictates do not cease, though you are beginning to recognize the merits of acknowledging these less demanding gods. You may as well court the Icedawn's favor as well."Maybe I want to pray to Auril to protect me. How do I do this?" Raising an eyebrow, the Aurilian retrieves a bucket of water from behind the shrine. From it, she fishes out a chunk of ice the size of your fist, offering it to you while wearing the most smug expression you have ever beheld in your lifetime. "Take this," she states, indicating a mound of snow that has been deliberately piled nearby. "Then, lay down there until the ice in your hands melts.">This is absurd. I am not going to lay in a pile of snow and hold a piece of ice until it liquifies.>[Strength] Very well. I accept Auril's challenge. Heavens know why, but I will do as she says.
>>5459041>This is absurd. I am not going to lay in a pile of snow and hold a piece of ice until it liquifies.Really hoping this doesn't end with divine consequences, you never know when there are eyes on you. Anyway, Jez has certainly faced worse tortures during her time in the Underdark, but risking frostbite in the hands when she uses a sword? Rather not have her risk that considering Auril's capricious nature, and it only takes minutes to receive rather serious damage.As for the whole bit regarding Eilistraeans, I suppose Jez is going to end up trying to convince them to go back to Silverwood now that it's free of the Malarites. Whether or not that's the best decision... eh try praying to Eilistraee I guess?
>>5459041>This is absurd. I am not going to lay in a pile of snow and hold a piece of ice until it liquifies.So much for less demanding deities. This seems like a surer way to suffer the dangers of winter than to avoid them.
>>5459041>>This is absurd. I am not going to lay in a pile of snow and hold a piece of ice until it liquifies.
>>5459041>>[Strength] Very well. I accept Auril's challenge. Heavens know why, but I will do as she says.Faith can lead to amazing things
>>5459041>This is absurd. I am not going to lay in a pile of snow and hold a piece of ice until it liquifies.Even a fetch quest is better than this
>>5459094>>5459203>>5459342>>5459481>>5459723No. I do not think I will.""Hmm."Scoffing, the priestess deposits the ice in the bucket and throws herself onto the piled snow, shooing you away. "Leave." As though you needed to be told. You should have expected nothing less than a cold shoulder from a devotee of Malar's ally. Having met the Beastlord in the flesh, you could imagine the personality of a goddess who would willingly choose to align herself with the god of the black-bloods, and the thought does not inspire much reverence from you.Departing from Khelb, you follow the road until you escape the shadow of the mountain, returning to warmer climes. Once more exposed to the blazing tyrant up above, you take a detour to observe your destination from a vantage point atop a rocky outcropping. While embarrassingly shortsighted of you, it is at this juncture that you realize that you have no actual plan, aside from 'Go to the Moonwood.' That changes now. First, you decide to gather information.The first detail that becomes apparent to you is the scope of the trial ahead. The Moonwood is four or five times as large as the Silverwood. Locating the Eilistraean enclave will be much more complicated than you initially assumed. Second, though you see no immediate threat, Auril's priestess warned of an orc tribe known as the Thousand Scars. Logically, they dwell further in, meaning that an encounter with the greenskins is inevitable, and thus you mentally prepare to face organized opposition on your quest. Delightful.Surveying the region for landmarks, there are two which you can easily spot from your position. A modest village - or whatever is left of one, which you may be able to reach by this evening. It is a ruin, although the details of when and how it came to be escape you at this distance. Farther north, mayhaps a day and some away, is a boulder resting on a hill that can be seen from the Moonwood's edge. Barring some highly improbably coincidence, you reason that the boulder was somehow placed there intentionally.How will you proceed?>I would investigate the village. A ruin though it is, there may be some clue that can lead me to my kin.>The large stone seems like a promising landmark to search, even if it was not made by my people.>I know that there are orcs skulking about. I have the best chance of evading them if I go directly into the forest.
>>5461546>I would investigate the village. A ruin though it is, there may be some clue that can lead me to my kin.Might as well start looking for clues somewhere. I was hoping that there would be information about the Eilistraeans in the village we just visited, but aside from knowing that Talassysnre danced with Li we didn't get anything actionable. Also I must know what's going on with her body, is Eilistraee just keeping it fresh in that shrine of hers?
>>5461546>I would investigate the village. A ruin though it is, there may be some clue that can lead me to my kin.
>>5461546>>I know that there are orcs skulking about. I have the best chance of evading them if I go directly into the forest.
>>5461546>>I would investigate the village. A ruin though it is, there may be some clue that can lead me to my kin.
>>5461546>The large stone seems like a promising landmark to search, even if it was not made by my people.
Rolled 18 (1d20)(Perception 12) Success on 12 or less.
>>5461633>>5461637>>5461727>>5461753>>5461954>>5462360Committed to the venture, you follow the road which leads to a village situated at the border of the Moonwood until nightfall. Your journey is an uneventful one, a fact that you are most grateful for. Were you any younger, you might curse the tedium of a boring day, yet as of late you have gained a newfound appreciation for the less thrilling moments of life. The open air and Elysian land of the Silver Marches are wonders to behold, and make you feel vulnerable and miniscule in a way that words fail to describe. The village would be a wholly unremarkable place, were it not desolate. Walking into the village square, you stroll in a circle at a leisurely pace to get your bearings. All about you are demolished carts and stands, caked in dried blood and pillaged for all their worth. Try as you might, you find yourself unable to deduce what it was that caused such destruction. Nevertheless, the prospect of facing up against something capable of this is a worrying one, which you elect to put out of your mind for the time being.More apparent is the heap of corpses piled at the square's center, surrounding a pedestal upon which a statue once rested - the work naught more than shattered remains scattered carelessly about the ground. The cadavers are still in the process of decaying. These unfortunate souls were likely alive a tenday or two ago. Thankfully, their killers are absent, leaving you to explore undisturbed.A building, likely some sort of shop or inn wrecked in the same manner as the market in which you stand, sits roofless, exposed to the elements. A foreboding staircase leading downwards into a cellar almost begs to be investigated. Barring entry is a door crumbling from age, behind which a subtle violet glow seeps through its cracks. Were you not gifted with the ability to see in such low-light conditions, you likely would have passed this by without noticing.The last feature that catches your attention in this one-lizard burg is a large building whose double doors seem to invite you in. Likely a temple dedicated to one of the many surfacer gods, it has very obviously been ransacked for its treasures. Fortunately for you, however, your purpose here is not to line your pockets; or at the least, this is not your primary purpose.Alone in the dark, the mysteries of this place and the nearby Moonwood await you.>Like a carrion crawler, I shall pick through the body pile to slake my hunger for knowledge.>The cellar piques my curiosity. That strange light tempts me to seek out its source.>The temple seems a promising start. Surely there remains something that can be of use to me.
>>5463606>The cellar piques my curiosity. That strange light tempts me to seek out its source.An orange glow could have been a fire. Purple, however, could mean some sort of magic.
>>5463606>The cellar piques my curiosity. That strange light tempts me to seek out its source.
>>5463606>The cellar piques my curiosity. That strange light tempts me to seek out its source.Well with that roll Jez's elf eyes don't see shit. Into the belly of the best we go.>one-lizard burgAlways love seeing stuff like this.
>>5463606>>The cellar piques my curiosity. That strange light tempts me to seek out its source.
>>5463606>>The temple seems a promising start. Surely there remains something that can be of use to me.
>>5463606>>The cellar piques my curiosity. That strange light tempts me to seek out its sourceJez needs an eye fix.
>>5463638>>5463653>>5463665>>5463743>>5463909>>5464300Admittedly, your imagination is captured by the source of the violet light behind the cellar door. Its color suggests that the origin is magical in nature, and though you risk being cursed or worse, your inner-adventurer is drawn to the promise of treasure like a moth to flame. Descending down a staircase just wide enough for a single person which groans each time your weight rests upon a step, the you press your ear against the door as a precaution. Dead silence.As you place a hand on the door's handle, the heavy plodding of armored boots and chatter of baritone voices fades in from up above. Unmistakably, those are orcs; dull-minded humanoid creatures born with a single-minded love of violence to match their burly physiques and a distinct lack of culture. Focusing on their cadence, you infer that this is but a patrol, and definitely not a heavily armored one. Their arrival informs of the events that transpired here in the recent past.Holding your breath as the sound of their steps grows in intensity, you curse your curiosity for getting the better of you. You know not what lies behind the cellar door, and the bottom of a claustrophobic staircase is a poor position to be should you come into conflict with them. Then again, there is no guarantee that they will spot you if you remain still. Despite sharing your ability to see in the darkness, you do not expect them to be so diligent in their search.Well?>[Perception] Cautiously, I will try to open the door and enter without attracting their suspicion.>I remain still and silent. With any luck, they will remain totally unaware of my presence.>There are no more than three or four of them. I will venture upwards to confront the creatures.
>>5465396>>[Perception] Cautiously, I will try to open the door and enter without attracting their suspicion.Dropped your trip for the last 2 posts
>>5465396>>I remain still and silent. With any luck, they will remain totally unaware of my presence
>I remain still and silent. With any luck, they will remain totally unaware of my presence.>Use Dark Fantasy to hideDark Fantasy COULD help here, but I'm not sure if cloaking Jez in darkness would be counterintuitive as it would simply break up the darkness into an obvious mass the size of a person. Same thing for any racial darkness spells. Either end up with a +3 or -3 boon/bane.
>>5465579I guess I never went out of my way to explain this, but the effect of the Dark Fantasy is a magical, and thus a bit counterintuitive. It works just as well to conceal Jez in broad daylight as it would during a stormy night, external conditions have no impact on its efficacy.
>>5465588Thanks for the clarification. For curiosities sake, do spells work under the same conditions with your boon/bane system? Or is specific wording/situational effects more prevalent in those cases?
>I remain still and silent. With any luck, they will remain totally unaware of my presence.>Use Dark Fantasy to hide
>>5465396Oh, and >>5465652 is me (>>5459203, >>5457011) by the way. Sorry, mobile posting, messed up my copypasting of that write-in from the anon who remembered Dark Fantasy's secondary ability.
>>5465623I didn't explain spells since, unlike the other two protagonists, Jez is not really gifted. The most brief answer I can give is that, as a general rule, spells work exactly as worded unless specified otherwise. Fire magic would work just fine underwater or in a vacuum, for instance.
>>5465675......Man Jez is just going to completely fail once she gets tested by Amaranth.... If we were to put a bunch of levels into intellect and will, could we improve Jez's chances?
>>5465792The reason why it's called "the Art" and not "the Science" - as well as the reason why Jez has little talent for it - is because magic in the Realms is not akin to a tool at the caster's command.The creator of the setting likened having the Gift for magic to having a good singing voice. Mages in the upper bracket like Amaranth and Phaere would be like Freddie Mercury and Stevie Nicks, respectively. Jez, by contrast, is a tone-deaf harpy like Yoko Onno. We've seen that she's not totally unable to cast spells, and increasing her Intellect may be of help. But her poor baseline will restrict her to picking up a few parlor tricks, assuming she doesn't just embarrass herself.And of course, the gods have their own magic that they can grant to whomever they please, but that's a very different subject.
>>5465864Could you point me to where Ed Greenwood likened magic to singing? I've always wanted an actual reason that I could reference as to why certain people had a greater aptitude for magic, but I've always had to pull an answer out of my ass for any games I've run. Especially seeing as people like to argue that there is no such thing as a specific aptitude, only action and reaction when interacting with the weave, i.e. "I carry out these specific somatic/vocal actions and the spell I've memorized is pulled from my mind into reality." Along with claims that spell slots are entirely determined by mental expertise, level of fatigue, etc.Either way, confirmation that spellsword/eldritch knight prestige class is a bust is sad.
>>5465396>>I remain still and silent. With any luck, they will remain totally unaware of my presence.>>Use Dark Fantasy to hide>>5465897Was it ever a serious dream? Unless a god decides to be generous, Jez will always be magic deficient.
wish the real greenwood would run a quest on tg. i like his version of forgotten realms anyway. the one covered in smut.
>>5465396>[Perception] Cautiously, I will try to open the door and enter without attracting their suspicion.
>>5465970We already had sibling incest, what more could you ask for?
Vote closed.>>5465897https://twitter.com/theedverse/status/1360468366562107394Whenever Ed talks about magic, he'll often mention the Gift. WotC, on the other hand, handwaves a lot of things for player characters, because Heavens forbid magic be exclusive or restricted. There might be other ways to learn magic. Who knows?
>>5466307Thanks for this. WOTC making things absolutely inclusive as possible for the purpose of player characters freedom has always annoyed me.>Other ways to learn magicSo long as you're fine with letting someone fuck about with your soul I guess to provide that aptitude, though the details of said rituals and what they involve escape me at the moment. I distinctly remember something about earth nodes? There's always just making deals with powerful beings... but then it never really is YOURS to being with, is it? (I mean sure you can just blow off your patron, but good luck with that) Hell even wizards in the end are just piggybacking off of Mystra's weave, or whichever weave analogue is in the current crystal sphere that they're in. That or raw magic, but good luck.>>5465966Anyone unable to counterspell is fundamentally screwed in the end. Save or suck and all that.
>>5465430>>5465487>>5465579>>5465652>>5465966>>5466080>>5466116Thinking on your feet, you grip the hilt of the Dark Fantasy and coax forth its tenebrous magics, shrouding yourself in shadow. Kneeling to lower your profile, you hold your breath and hope that the patrolling orcs to pass you by. The rhythmic tromping of boots crescendos until the bulky frame of a warrior clad in patchwork hides somehow meant to qualify as 'armor' comes into view. Squeezing the haft of his axe, he squints in your direction. 'This is it,' you think, resigning yourself to a fight in unfavorable conditions.Yet, it would seem that you are mistaken. Draped in the Dark Fantasy's black veil, you are well-hidden from the casual observer. Grunting to himself, the orc moves on, as do his fellows. Withholding a sigh of relief, you remain still until the march of the orcs is no longer audible. Certain that you have evaded danger this time, you enter the cellar at untroubled, the creaking floor beneath your feet unable to betray your presence to any.The rank odor of dried blood and rotting entrails assaults your nostrils as you enter a cramped space of broken furnishings and dead humans. Illuminated by scattered candles which burn eternally with a cold purple flame, the centerpiece of this room is a broken altar draped in an indigo cloth. Like refuse meant for the pile, a skull with three crowns affixed to it has been battered and carelessly cast aside, a tribute to a god now defiled.It would seem that the followers of Cyric made a place for themselves here, like rats inhabiting a world just out of sight of their betters. You reckon that the orcs must have happened upon this place and slaughtered them much the same as they did everyone else. Their prayers to the Mad God did not save the Cyricists, evidently; or perhaps their deaths were simply in accordance to whatever deranged plan he had in place for them.Diligently, you comb the cellar for anything that could be of use to you. Everything of value has already been pillaged by the thralls of Gruumsh, and among the dead there is not even a single strand of silver hair to be found. The investigation is not in vain, however. Flipping over the corpse of a Cyricist dressed as any other commoner, you find a letter in his hands, which he pressed desperately against his chest before blood loss took him. Eager to see the message that this man defended until his dying breath, you tear it from his cold, dead hands, and rip it open to feast your eyes on its contents.Gibberish. Word salad. A coded message, or a madman's ravings? It is of no immediate use, but someone with the right talent could decipher this.What now?>I already smell awful. I may as well comb through the body pile next.>The temple is where I shall go. This place is awash with unholiness.>[Intellect] If I am quick, I can trail those orcs. They must be going somewhere.
>>5467482>[Intellect] If I am quick, I can trail those orcs. They must be going somewhere.
>>5467482>>[Intellect] If I am quick, I can trail those orcs. They must be going somewhere.
Rolled 19 (1d20)(Intellect 12) Success on 12 or lower.Jez tries to use her brain.
>>5468384When's the last time we succeeded in a roll.
Jeez, two bad rolls of that degree in a row. Worst case scenario Jez can ask forest friends where they went. Wonder how fast it will take her to get frustrated with the conversational capabilities of a squirrel.
>>5468465Wonder how squirrels taste 'round these parts?
>>5468809For Jez? Better than cave moss.
>>5468403We used up a lot of luck defeating that Avatar of Malar I'd say. Probably should have died by rights, or gotten a lot more hurt
>>5467645>>5467853>>5467860>>5467979Tucking the coded message into your backpack for safekeeping, you promptly emerge from the stink of decomposing Cyricists into the fresh atmosphere of the Realms. Like your kind, the orcs possess the ability to see without err in poorly lit conditions, albeit to a diminished degree. Tonight's patrol along the outskirts of the forest must then be a regular occurrence. A thought occurs to you: might you follow them on their inevitable return trip? As it stands, you have no leads as to the whereabouts of your kindred. It could be a start.Following the trail of boot prints stamped into the ruin's dirt roads, you are guided deeper and deeper into the dark of the cold Moonwood night. Pushing ever onwards, Selûne's light filters through the forest canopy, providing the only source of illumination to ease your efforts. Through a mud puddle, around a boulder, over a small hill... and you are lost, the trail nowhere to be found.Marvelous.Quickly assessing your surroundings, you ascertain that you are alone and unnoticed. Orcs are not known for their subtlety. Were there any about, you assuredly would have noticed them by now, a fact which you take some small solace in. Regretfully, the encouragement ends there. For the first time, you lament not seizing the opportunity to become a ranger when the path was available to you. To your untrained eyes, there are naught but indistinguishable trees in all directions, and no landmarks to be seen.What to do...>Like Thiala Summerbreeze, I will call out to the forest for aid. An animal could help me.>[Intellect] I have come too far to be defeated now. I need to think my way through this.>[Perception] It is too early to abandon the search. I know that I can rely on my senses.
>>5470482>Like Thiala Summerbreeze, I will call out to the forest for aid. An animal could help me.
>>5470482>[Perception] It is too early to abandon the search. I know that I can rely on my senses.So I talked about calling on the forest friends earlier, but I highly doubt Jez has the capacity to negotiate for information, especially seeing as this is her first time talking with animals outside of an interpreter. Perhaps try that when she isn't so time limited. Try once more and see what Jez's elf eyes can see.
>>5470482>>Like Thiala Summerbreeze, I will call out to the forest for aid. An animal could help me.
>>5470482>>[Perception] It is too early to abandon the search. I know that I can rely on my senses.Let's not fail this time
>>5470494>>5470510>>5470526>>5470599>>5470936>>5471228"Vendui?" You call out in Ilythiirra to nobody in particular. "Jaluss'udtila nym'uer ussta ssivah? F'sarn noamuth wun nindol taur." The flapping of wings from the canopy attracts your attention. Swooping down to a low-hanging branch more easy to view from your position is some sort of horrifically malformed bat-like creature. Assessing you with its piercing binocular vision, it rotates its head in a plainly terrifying manner before it speaks."HUMAN. WHY ARE YOU HERE? YOU ARE SCARING MY PREY." Human? You retch. The device that Willow gave you must be malfunctioning. Or could this creature merely be mistaken? How is it that any being with two functioning eyes could mistake you for a human? "I am no human," you politely correct. "I am Ilythiirra.""HUMAN!" The creature insists. "WHY ARE YOU HERE." Grumbling in frustration as you run a hand through your hair, you soon come to realize why Willow divulged so few details from her conversation with the squirrel during your hunt; it was no small feat that she was able to extract any at all. The animals in the Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor were talkative, and, dare you say, colorful in a way that you could not fathom when you first read it. This creature, by contrast, is loud, rude, and horribly, horribly dull.It occurs to you that you have never spoken with an animal before. As obvious as this truth may be, you find yourself unsure of where you should begin.>[Write-in.]
>>5471909Ah yes, a "bat".>I am looking for other humans that look like me. Humans with silver hair, grey skin and pointy ears.Why bother looking for the orc camp when you can just get the main objective done?
>>5471909Offer the bat some of our jerky, maybe that’ll make him more helpful.>”I’m looking for a group of humans with pointy ears who frolic in the moonlight. Can you assist me in finding them?”>”Are they being bothered by any loud heavy humans with sharp bottom teeth wearing the skin of prey?”Don’t bother mentioning skin or hair color, owls don’t see color very well due to night vision.
>>5471988Sorry, I misspoke. BATS don’t see color very well due to night vision.
>>5471988>>5471989I just realized… we should probably ask the bat to show us where the “humans” who frolic in the moonlight are in exchange for food, rather than assume he’d lead us there.
>>5471909Give them a morsel of our food, promise more if if they help us.Then ask this >>5471988
Jez tries to feed the bat. Vote closed.
Thank goodness that holiday's over. Update soon.
>>5471923>>5471988>>5472009>>5472410>>5472587"Creature," you command, "I seek 'humans' that resemble me. Not like these soft surface-folk. People with dark skin and silver hair, and ears like mine. Lead me to them." The bat's eerie cry resounds through the forest night as its head again contorts in a fashion that makes your neck ache as you look upon it. "NO. MUST HUNT NOW." Obstinate thing. Were you a much taller woman, you would have half a mind to smack the creature. Regretfully, you must settle for an alternative. Procuring a chunk of jerky from your rations, you wave it in the air, offering it to the animal. "Will this slake your hunger?"Without hesitation, it soars over your head and snatches the treat from your hand, perching itself on the nearest tree to swallow its prize whole. "You are fed. Now you are able to assist me. Is that right?" The bat coos and flaps its wings. "NO." Stamping your foot in the dirt, you spread your arms, glaring at the creature indignantly. "Why?!" You shout. Flap flap. "ALL HUMANS LOOK THE SAME. CAN'T FIND THEM."It is an ordeal to suppress your urge to strangle this contemptible bat. Grinding your teeth in exasperation, you elect to take a different approach to accomplishing your goal. "Humans that dance in the moonlight. Have you seen them? Yes or no." It tilts its head in consideration of your words. Could it be that you have at last gotten through to it? "NO. ONLY ORCS HERE NOW."Your eye twitches. The fact that it can so readily distinguish an orc from a human yet cannot tell rivvil from Ilythiiri is rage-inducing. Swallowing your pride for the sake of your mission, you shamefully assume the mantle of human and draw a heavy sigh. "So they were here. If I feed you more. Will you take me to the place you last saw the dancing humans?""YES!"
>>5476092Allowing the bat to take the lead, you are guided through the thick of the Moonwood. However much you suspect that you are being led in circles, your shepherd insists that they know the way, no matter how similar the scenery appears. Your attempts at conversing with them are rather... unique. No matter which topic you raise, the conversation inevitably returns to food, which you are expected to provide in generous amounts to secure its continued aid. Any subject more complex than the banality of basic existence proves too much for your conversation partner. Whether other creatures are more or less the same is yet to be determined, however, you are not very optimistic.What you had hoped would be a quick excursion has become a trek through the wilderness. The first rays of the dawn's light caress the land, and not a single other sapient being is in your sight. "DONE. TIRED NOW," says the bat, as it abandons you as swiftly as you met. Ahead of you is a muddy wound in the earth large enough for you and several others to enter, gently sloping downwards into who-knows-what. This could be your destination; or not. Your guide never actually specified. There is but one way to be certain.Your body has other designs, however. This has been no quick stroll through the woods, and weariness, that old, familiar enemy, is upon you. A quick look around reveals no immediate danger. For the moment, you are alone in pristine nature, with nary an orc or werebeast to be found. Locating a spot to rest your muscles and regain your stamina should not prove too difficult.Decisions, decisions...>I continue on my way. It is too risky to waste a single moment here.>My knees are in pain and my eyes are tired. I must stop, if only for a while...>[Intellect] Knowledge is power. I should take the time to investigate my surroundings.
>>5476095>[Intellect] Knowledge is power. I should take the time to investigate my surroundings.We have to at least try to figure out something.
>>5476095>My knees are in pain and my eyes are tired. I must stop, if only for a while...
>>5476095>>My knees are in pain and my eyes are tired. I must stop, if only for a while...Old girl needs rest
>>5476095>[Intellect] Knowledge is power. I should take the time to investigate my surroundings.
>>5476095>>My knees are in pain and my eyes are tired. I must stop, if only for a while...
>>5476112>>5476175>>5476434>>5476603>>5476863Running yourself ragged in a race to meet your objective will do you no good. However close you may apparently be to meeting the faithful of Eilistraee - or whatever may remain of them - there are no guarantees that you are in the final phase of your journey. As far as you are aware, this merely marks the beginning of the difficulties you must brave on your quest, and you believe it prudent to act accordingly.Evaluating the environment, you spy an ideal place to sit and recover. Securing a length of rope to the sturdy branch of a mighty oak capable of supporting your weight, you clamber up its side and seat yourself on the oaken offshoot, resting your back against the tree's trunk. Heaving a heavy breath, you allow the tension in your enervated body to relax, and forget your mission for a fleeting instant.Shielded from sight by a canvas of leaves, your eyelids begin to fall shut as the morning's solar warmth caresses your skin, banishing the night's crisp bite. The nocturnal fauna retreat to their lairs for the day as the songs of their diurnal counterparts fill the air, carried by the mild summer's breeze. You profess no understanding of the mechanisms at work in surfacer cultures, yet the circumambient world provides the chance for you to fully cognize the meaning of a word that has been swimming about in the depths of your consciousness since you sat in that sunny Everlund square.Peace.
Due to unforeseen complications, I have no choice but to put the quest on hiatus.I kid, of course. The next thread is on its way. Meanwhile, now is the time for questions, comments, et al.
>>5479241Kek.Thanks for running, QM! It was a blast, as it always is. I don't really have any questions save a couple personal ones:>What has been your favourite scene or character to write?>Have you ever considered commissioning art of Jez for her character sheet?
>>5479268>What has been your favourite scene or character to write?I try to give every character an equal amount of love, despite my biases. Some characters would have featured more prominently in the quests of the other two protagonists. On the other hand, being Jez lets people see the worst of characters like Arara and Dulnur, which would have only been alluded to if Lael had won the first vote.As for a favorite scene, I think I enjoyed writing Jez' dance or meeting the council the most. The former was an attempt to push the extent of my writing ability, and the latter involved working to try and give everyone a unique voice and playing their personalities off of one another.>Have you ever considered commissioning art of Jez for her character sheet?There is only one thing that I've considered commissioning art for, but I don't know if it will happen. This would be a spoiler, of course.
>>5479241You fucker, you gave me a minor heart attack in the first half.>>5479358Playing as the bumbling fish-out-of-water drow learning how2fren has been entertaining. Say, might we meet the other two prospective protags at any point?I wish there was more art for drow out there that isn't just tits, spikes or tits and spikes. You have no idea how long it took me to find a drawing of a drow in sensible plate armour for a character I made.
>>5479241Is the preservation of Talassysnre's corpse particularly plot relevant, or is that spoilers?
>>5479369You have already encountered Sam, and will likely meet Lael in the future. I'm not sure if there will be any substantial interaction with Sam with the way votes have been going, but we will see.I think the lewd/spiky drow look is just something that's cemented in their identity now. This is not helped by the fact that dark elves tend to shy away from direct fights and heavy armor.>>5479447It may or may not be. I can't really tell by how the decisions have been trending so far.
>>5479586>lewd/spiky drowEveryone knows there are three types of elves: snooty high elves, savage forest elves, and African-American dominatrix elves.
>>5479607Snooty? Savage? You insult a noble race by attributing to them the faults of the Dhaerow.
>>5479627Y'know Arara, attitudes like this are the reason why so many male sun elves are going after human-blooded women.
>>5479241thanks for running as alwaysYou've been running this for a while now, how do you feel about the mechanics that you've cooked up so far? Think it would work as well for a primary caster character (the path not taken with Lael for example)What if anything has surprised you the most with the way anons have taken Jez so far?
>>5479976>You've been running this for a while now, how do you feel about the mechanics that you've cooked up so far?I'm comfortable with it. Aside from needing to do some quick maffs now and again I think it goes smoothly. I never got around to explaining magic since Jez is the only protagonist that couldn't start with any, but spells would require a much more deliberate approach to decisions, since they consume a lot of Power and tend to fire off after other actions, a tradeoff for their potency.>What if anything has surprised you the most with the way anons have taken Jez so far?Jezyrene is a middle-aged woman, veteran commander, and jaded outcast, but it turns out that she still wants to be a princess when she grows up.
>>5480175Drow midlife crisis, nothing to see here
>>5480175I think a part of that might be because we didn't quite understand Jez age at first. However, it works excellent with the fish out of water thing. Doesn't seem that implausible for a lot of childhood dreams, repressed for a long time in drow society, be allowed to come out in a time of freedom.
The adventure continues. >>5481424