The dwarf came down from the mountains, as dwarves are wont to do. There’s nothing strange about that, of course. He came bearing ore and gems, to trade for fur, food, and fabrics from the humans below the Bloodrise. This, too, is typical of the relations between the dwarven corporations who lease the rocky crags above and the humans who dwell in the baronies of Blackpine, Unset lake, Undershadow, and Redwell.“What I want to know,” says one of the human males playing cards in the corner of the trading outpost and saloon, once the dwarf is gone, “is how he’s getting to and from. You know, past them kobolds and all?”Every man, woman, and child under the mountain has heard the stories. There are kobolds in the mountain—not a few scurrying sneak-thieves or isolated raiding-parties, but a warband who captured and conquered an entire settlement on the westernmost side of the Bloodrise Mountains. They struck suddenly and en masse, slaughtering or driving off the settlers and taking their homes and possessions.“I hear they’re gone,” one man whispers. “Burnt the place up. Must’ve gotten bored, I guess.”“I hears that any adventurer who goes up that way gets his throat slit, THAT’S what I hears,” says another.“Bullshit. Who told you that? Who saw it happen?”“Well… Nobody. That’s the idea, isn’t it? Adventurers and other mercs goes up. They don’t comes down.”“So NOBODY who saw anything SAID anything, so you figure that means anyone who saw anything is dead?”“Makes sense, though, don’t it?”The skeptical man throws down his hand of cards.“Don’t make any sense at all, Jasper. Just play.”The three men tally their points. ‘Jasper’ comes out ahead; the skeptic is none-too-pleased.“Well I hear that the Paladins are sending someone to check in on the kobolds,” says one of the other men in the store, drinking a watery beer at the counter of the saloon portion of this outpost’s general store.Jasper and the skeptic both look to him, surprised. The third player at the table doesn’t turn, but sits up a bit straighter, clearly interested as well.“What?” the skeptic balks. “Paladins? Fuck, they make me antsy.”“Why?” Jasper sniggers. “Done something ya’ shouldn’t’ve done?”“Always feels like it when they’re hovering like they do,” the skeptic mutters. “Why’re they sending their likes for kobolds, anyhow?”“Way I hear it is there’s some knight who came from south and east. Wandering type, adventurer or demon-hunter or some such, all in green. He showed up in Hawksong and revealed some kind of… Disguised lizardman. Looked just like a normal guy, but then this adventurer strings him up and starts poking at him with his sword, and BAM! Lizard.”“What do you mean?” the skeptic demands. “’Bam! Lizard.’ Just like that, huh? What kind of disguise makes a lizard look like a man?”“Magic, obviously,” Jasper reasons.
>>5493538“Lizardmen are basically animals,” the skeptic asserts. “Just like kobolds.”“Well, maybe they figure that if lizards can look like men,” the gossip at the bar says, “then… Maybe kobolds can, too? Or maybe the lizardman was really some weird kobold?”“So, what,” the skeptic snaps, “you think the kobolds didn’t go away but just… Blended in, like?”“Just speculating,” protests the gossip, returning to his drink with chastened body language. “That’s all. Just making conversation.” The game continues for a time. The third man at the table, the quiet one, makes sure to lose. He pays his few coins of reparation for the defeat, then stands up.“What’s wrong?” the skeptic mock. “Scared of the kobold-talk?”“Maybe he’s just tired of losing,” Jasper cackles.“Jussst tired,” the third man says calmly. “And out of money to bet.”The quiet man leaves the table, and the store, and the village. He heads not towards the in, or onwards the trade-roads which lead to other human habitations, but into the forests and up into the mountains. It is dark, but darkness does not trouble him—he was bred, born, and raised in a deeper darkness than this, deep beneath the earth, deeper than any dwarf or kobold dwells. He is called The Thief these days, but tonight he is once more a Reptilian Infiltrator, and he has news to bring back to his people.
>>5493540Meanwhile, high amongst the mountains, the Bastard and The Pit-Guard are holding another council. The two males have been jockeying for position and status ever since their commanding officer—the Dragonborn—departed for Drow-lands, to attend and subvert some sort of… Social function. Neither is highly-born or of impressive station among the Reptilian Master Race, but the Dragonborn, or ‘Copper Dragon King’, has made it clear that this does not matter so much in the Bloodrise as it does under the watchful eye of the Serpent Priesthood back home. So it goes that each of them seeks to outdo the other in accomplishment and prestige, to earn favour that neither of them ‘deserve’ but merit of blood alone.“The defensive fortifications and living-quarters are nearly complete,” the Bastard boasts. “The store-rooms have been outfitted with ample drainage, and I have instructed the Engineer to supervise the kobolds in building passages to maximize heat retention in winter and while still venting bad air.”The mixed-and-clanless specimen, well-regarded among the Kobolds of Bloodrise, has taken to lording over his lesser reptilians.“Thanks to MY dwarves,” the Pit-Guard growls. “The stores fill with food and trade-goods to keep the work going, and each and every room is furnished with the goods which the slaves’ labour mining gems and ore pay for.”The Pit-Guard and his Apprentice, meanwhile, have put their skills in coercion and physical reprimand to use in wrangling the Bloodrise’s dwarven slaves, aided by the so-called ‘Duergar’ race-traitors.“I suppose,” the Bastard admits. “But all those gems and all that ore is worthless if we do nothing but sit on it like a female on a clutch of dead eggs.”“Without this influx of mineral wealth, the entire operation will collapse,” the Pit-Guard presses. “This is why we must PROTECT that mining operation.”“Is this about the bugbears again?” the Bastard sighs. “They are savages. Nothing more. Don’t tell me you can’t repel a few disorganized barbarians.”“I am TELLING you, they are NOT NORMAL,” the Pit-Guard retorts angrily. “They are… Changed. And they aren’t alone. There is something else haunting those places. Dwarves go missing without so much as a scream. I send the Hunter and his males looking, but they find nothing.”“Maybe you ought to stop your slaves from running away in the first place,” the Bastard shoots back.“Running to WHERE?!” the Pit-Guard demands. “There is nothing down there but darkness and half-excavated rock!”“We of all races should know there is ALWAYS somewhere to hide and survive in the underdark,” the Bastard notes. “But you are correct, yes… WE should recapture them before they can spread word and reveal our Conspiracy.”“No need.”
>>5493543Both the bickering males look up at this voice—the gravelly hiss of the Hunter, expert ranger and marksman, recruited by the Dragonborn on his most recent return to their deep-dark homelands, below the northern realms.“They have not escaped,” the Hunter continues, elaborating upon his point.“You found them?” the Pit-Guard asks, sounding relieved.“No,” the Hunter answers grimly. “But I found something else.”Two of his followers stride forward, dropping a ragged mass of matted fur and keratinous spikes at the centre of the cavern-chamber. The strange mammal looks haggard, half-dead, sodden and shivering… But as it looks up, the darkly-defiant eyes and savagely-heroic set of the face is unmistakable, even to those not accustomed to differentiating between mammals.“The Bugbear Boss,” the Bastard hisses.He’d been missing for months now, ever since he led his people—the spikey, ape-like goblinoids called bugbears or ‘Bogbarri’, in the first of many successful raids against the dwarves, as part of an alliance with Bloodrise’s Dragonborn. Since then, his people had turned foul and feral, and none had been able to contact him.“Did you capture him attacking my slaves?” the Pit-Guard demands. “We should torture him to death and sacrifice him to the Dark Gods for his betrayal!”The Hunter holds up a hand, and the Pit-Guard simmers down somewhat.“He claims he isn’t responsible,” the Hunter explains. “I must admit, it looks like he hasn’t been experiencing much happy hunting,” the Bastard laughs cruelly.“I didn’t capture him,” the Hunter admits with no small disappointment. “He actually SURRENDERED… To the slaves. He was babbling something in dwarf-speak…”The Bugbear Boss grunts something, a guttural croak that might be dwarven… or, then again, might not.“Begging for his worthless life?” the Bastard speculates.“Requesting our aid,” the Hunter acknowledges. “And bearing warning… About a kobold sorcerer, amassing an army of demons and dead, readying to strike.”The two supervisors of development in Bloodrise exchange a meaningful look, their rivalry put on hold for the moment. They both know what this means: Hapo the Necromancer, one-time co-ruler of this place before defeated once by their master, has completed his dark studies of the ancient tomes which he stole away with… And he has returned to take his revenge.
>>5493544While turmoil roils above and beyond you, to the north-east-and-up, you remain blissfully unaware. Your last month hasn’t exactly been peaceful by any means: you’ve slayed shoggoths and ghouls, seduced priestesses and deities, infiltrated elven politics and religion, made allies and enemies, learned to dance and to love. You even adopted a name—Theral, King of Bloodrise! But a king is nothing without his kingdom, and you are eager to return to yours.“Do you not think you will feel embarrassed, to return and to be reminded that you aren’t REALLY a king?”You glower at the Novice Fleshweaver, who shows no ounce of shame or remorse for the jab at your ego. She was never shy about undermining you, of course, but if anything she has only become CHEEKIER since you confessed your affections to her at the dark elves’ Winter Ball coronation ceremony. It seems she thinks she can get away with anything with a sashay of her hips and a deviously-teasing look, now that she knows of your love for her.You wish she were wrong… About her sway over you, AND about the mental adjustment ahead. You have been playing the role of evangelizing priest-king for nearly a month now, but among your own kind your actual rank is… Not quite so high. ‘Copper Dragon King’ is a title for mammals to know and fear you by, after all, as ‘Theral’ is a name for outsiders to call you. Your own true name is scarcely-spoken. Your true role in Bloodrise is a conqueror and peacekeeper, but not necessarily a RULER… Not forever, anyway.You are THE DRAGONBORN ANTIPALADIN, and soon you are coming home.What do you plan to do when you return?>You will prove to the Serpent Priesthood that the Bloodrise—and the multicultural Dark Alliance you are building there—deserves their support and recognition>You are a loyal servant of the Dark Gods and the Serpent Priesthood—not always dutiful to the LETTER, but always to the SPIRIT of the Grand Design—and you are satisfied to be steward and shepherd, if you cannot be king>You are a Dragon King, no matter what anyone says, and you will RULE as one! If the Serpent priests have a problem with that… Well, perhaps you will grant them an audience and hear the aging order’s grievances, in YOUR court>Write-in
>>5493547[ Your recent experiences in Wevenore have helped you to grow as a lizardperson. You can choose to raise one of the following:>Intimidation>Seduction>LeadershipOR you can save this <experience point> to raise stat such as >Religion>Reptilian Empathylater! ][ If you're just joining us, archives are at https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=ReptoidQM ]
>>5493547>You will prove to the Serpent Priesthood that the Bloodrise—and the multicultural Dark Alliance you are building there—deserves their support and recognition>IntimidationWe should really have at least 3 dice, being the monster that we are.Good to see you back as always RQM!
>>5493547>You will prove to the Serpent Priesthood that the Bloodrise—and the multicultural Dark Alliance you are building there—deserves their support and recognitionYo, we got that magicmetal for y'all.>>5493550>SeductionLet's get to Home Base with Novice.
>>5493547>You will prove to the Serpent Priesthood that the Bloodrise—and the multicultural Dark Alliance you are building there—deserves their support and recognition>SAVE Experience PointI want to improve our diplomacy and religious stat. We're going to have to wheel and deal with the Serpent Priesthood to get them to accept everything we've been doing.
>>5493609The fifth point takes two EXP, anon, I don't think we'll get there before the wheeling and dealing.
>>5493623With the way RQM structures this quest we should get another EXP point after dealing with Hapo. They've been hyping it up for a while now so it wouldn't make sense to not gain one after dealing with it.The wheeling and dealing is most definitely happening after that too.
>>5493550>You will prove to the Serpent Priesthood that the Bloodrise—and the multicultural Dark Alliance you are building there—deserves their support and recognition>SeductionI want to see if we can seduce the Novices into season.
>>5493609>diplomacy[Good catch! Yes, that is the other social stat you can boost by one star with two EXP. Meant to include that. Woops!]
>>5493547>You are a Dragon King, no matter what anyone says, and you will RULE as one! If the Serpent priests have a problem with that… Well, perhaps you will grant them an audience and hear the aging order’s grievances, in YOUR court>SeductionWelcome back RQM!
>>5493538Become a Dragonborn Propaladin
>7th thread of Antipaladin quest>Current level in Antipaladin class : 0What are the implications, anons?
>>5494190That we technically suck at our job! ;^)
>>5494190[All your initial class options, and your specializations since then, are technically 'antipaladin classes' for the purposes of the setting. You just never chose a specific patron deity, but that's fine -- you have still invoked gods to perform miracles, preached the virtues of your pantheon, smote enemies in their name. It doesn't get much more paladiny than that!]tldr, the REAL paladin class was the gods you impressed along the way
>>5493563>>5493595>>5493609>>5493918>>5494185You answer the Novice thusly:“I will prove to the Serpent Priesthood—even to your father—that Bloodrise is a worthy project. This Dark Alliance will form the foundation for a new AGE of Darkness.”“But not an Age of Scales,” the Novice Fleshweaver notes. “Or not ONLY an Age of Scales. Dwarves, elves, even BUGBEARS… This alliance of yours is as impure as its founder. Do you really think MY sire will back such an endeavour?”>+1 Seduction“I guess I will just need to keep my own Serpent Priestess close at hand, to keep an eye on me and to ensure I walk a righteous path.”The Novice narrows her eyes.“We both know whose eyes linger longer upon the other, Degenerateborn.”“Would that it were more than eyes,” you muse.The Novice scoffs, her tail whipping the stone beneath her talons irritably. With your knack for <Reptilian Empathy>, you sense the distinct admixture of embarrassment and pride which such statements are wont to invoke in your beloved mage-companion.“They will see that OUR efforts deserve their recognition and support,” you assert.The Novice glance back at you, and you sense… Uncertainty in her.You and your company are close now to where you set out from a month hence: the border-camp of the Drow scouts, commanded by Princess Jazkarmel. This camp itself is a scant week from your own base-of-operations in the Bloodrise Mountains. You wonder how things have developed in your absence—the projects of development and veiled trade which you ordered? And then there’s the matter of the bugbear raids… In your own travels, you encountered some of those furry fiends, and discovered them to be no mere raiders, but undead minions of that false prophet and thieving traitor, Hapo. Despite a clever ambush, they were no match for you and yours—not without the power of the envy demon which you keep trapped and separated from the kobold. It dwells within a ring, within a box, within your back, sealed away from Hapo. Without it, he can be no match for you… Right?And then there is the Green Knight—the emerald-clad adventurer who slew your mother, and who periodically plagues your dreams. Since you arrived in Wevenore, the city-state of the Drow, the dreams have abated… But as you make your glorious return, those most inglorious visions of this destined adversary have returned, such that even resting your head in your Novice’s lap is insufficient to banish them entirely.
>>5494381You are no weak-willed surface-mammal, though. You are an Antipaladin, a Champion, a True Dragon King! As the Dark Gods will only help those with the strength and determination to first help themselves, you do exactly that: as you travel, you train your body and mind for the dangers ahead. You find the most success in…>Practicing your swordplay with the Drow Duelist, Azonia>Honing your skill with the bow with your close companion, the half-breed Archer called Oluwadamilare>Strengthening your command of spellcraft with the aid of Princess Jazkarmel herself>Expanding your natural reptilian affinities to other kingdoms of life, with the aid of the Centipede Lancer and Throat-singer>Write-in
>>5494383>Practicing your swordplay with the Drow Duelist, AzoniaI know that one anon wanted to duel wield. I wouldn’t mind spellcraft winning though, our Elemental magic keeps saving our ass.
>>5494383>Strengthening your command of spellcraft with the aid of Princess Jazkarmel herselfWe really improved seduction, really? Not something actually useful like leadership?
>>5494423Supporting this And yeah, we should’ve saved the XP point
>>5494423>>5494493I choose to take it as a compliment
>>5494383>Strengthening your command of spellcraft with the aid of Princess Jazkarmel herself
>>5494383>Practicing your swordplay with the Drow Duelist, AzoniaSHOGSORD is the real waifu
>>5494383>Practicing your swordplay with the Drow Duelist, Azonia
>>5494389>>5494619>>5494653>>5494513>>5494423>>5494493[Well, it's a tie game, so it looks like we're going to post the next update tomorrow evening!]
>Strengthening your command of spellcraft with the aid of Princess Jazkarmel herselfAm >>5494190
>>5494383>Strengthening your command of spellcraft with the aid of Princess Jazkarmel herself.Our magic swords and our inhumane strength means we win most combats that aren't against freaks of nature.By comparison, our spell craft abilities are shallow and need work.
>>5494383>Practicing your swordplay with the Drow Duelist, AzoniaDuel. Wielding. Legendary. Swords.Come on, they’re both Nat 100, we NEED to duel wield them!
>>5495269>>5495246>>5495199>>5494389>>5494619>>5494653>>5494513>>5494423>>5494493A combination of martial training and biological manipulation via the Novice Fleshweaver’s Dragon Amulet has endowed you with greater size, strength, and sword-skill than ever before. Coupled with your weaponry—two magical swords, one of allegedly-divine origin and one forged from the remnants of a powerful aberration—makes you a formidable fighting force! On the one hand, you would love to further exaggerate this advantage with further training… But on the other hand, your magic could also use work.Spellcraft has proven both useful and unreliable at current juncture. While it has undeniably saved your life on more than one occasion, your current command of the discipline makes it less reliable than perhaps it could be. While the Drow Princess called Jazkarmel has limited skill in the specific magic disciplines which you favour (divination, elemental magics, and biological or ‘fleshweaving’ spells), she IS a naturally-gifted and well-trained elven mage in her own fields. You could sue her insight.“I would borrow the Princess.” You thus inform she and Olu the Archer, when you find the two of them. As they often do, the odd couple snuck away during your pause in the homeward hike to enjoy each other’s company. The two have become romantically entangled—and sexually entangled, though thankfully you found them engaged in less athletic displays of mutual affection than that. They must enjoy it while they can, since they will soon be parting.Jazkarmel looks a little exasperated at the interruption of their privacy, but your Archer squeezes her hand comfortingly and shrugs.“Duty calls,” he accepts in Dark Elventongue, then adds a promise: “I will see you soon.”The Drow Leader nods, then turns to you with a quizzical quirk of her eyebrow.“How can I assist?”When you explain your need for magic tutelage, you realize you have struck upon a sore spot.“Why not ask the Ambassador?” she asks, with a slight edge to her tone.You wouldn’t tolerate such back-talk for your subordinates, but then again, Jazkarmel does not serve you. Aside from this, she is your friend, and you understand the nature of her grievance. It was your decision, made for political and tactical reasons rather than for sentimental ones, to reject her as Wevemore’s formal representative in your Bloodrise ‘court’. Instead, you took on an ambassador of the new king, also known to be a skilled insect-trainer and illusionist, to tutor your bard-slave and to serve as your connection to the City of the Drow…And thus, you separated she and the Archer from one another.
>>5495469“The Ambassador is otherwise occupied,” you explain, “and you have greater raw power, or so I am told.”Jazkarmel looks as bemused as affronted, but yields when you point out the truth: you’ve scarcely seen her work any actual magic in your time together.“Well then, no WONDER you took that Lahlabar servant over me!” she smiles wryly, showing some of her usual good humour. “Let me show you how silly that was!”According to rumours and your own brief observations of her technique, the Borderguard Princess is most adept in combat magic. You suppose it only makes sense, in such a role, and it is this that makes her perfect to tutor you. Most magecraft breaks and buckles in close quarters, concentration shattering under physical rigour and divided focus. Jazkarmel’s strength is the way in which she summons forth blasts of blinding and stinging light, then cloaks herself in shadow and glamour, all while wielding her mage’s staff like a cudgel or quarterstaff at the same time.“Impressive!” you admit, breathing heavily from the brief sparring match. “What was that technique you demonstrated?”“<Guiding Bolt>?” she asks, with a grin and a wink. “You WOULD be interested in that. It’s useful for we who command. Lights up the enemy even as it burns them, so they can’t hide from your friends or their arrows.”Do you attempt to smooth things over with Jazkarmel?>Apologize for troubling she and Olu—though it was necessary, you understand her angst>Appeal to her professionalism as a fellow warrior of the underdark and one used to difficult command decisions>You? Apologize? For being LOGICAL? Jazkarmel is a mammal, bit no fool—she will get over it.>Write-inWhat will you ask Jazkarmel to teach you?>A new spell – this “Guiding Bolt” [deals damage with clinging white light, grants targeted enemies penalties to hide and allies bonus to hit them]>Close-quarters casting [raises Spellcraft by one point, improving focus in combat, and improving your general understanding and awareness of magic]>Actually… Illusion, such as allows Jazkarmel to hide and blinds her foes… This could be a worthy addition to your arsenal [Gain two low-level Illusion spells, Dazzle and Shadow, and gain a rank in Illusion]
>>5495471>Apologize for troubling she and Olu—though it was necessary, you understand her angst>Close-quarters casting [raises Spellcraft by one point, improving focus in combat, and improving your general understanding and awareness of magic]
>>5495471>Apologize for troubling she and Olu—though it was necessary, you understand her angst>Actually… Illusion, such as allows Jazkarmel to hide and blinds her foes… This could be a worthy addition to your arsenal [Gain two low-level Illusion spells, Dazzle and Shadow, and gain a rank in Illusion]Honestly choosing Illusion for nostalgia reasons. I really like all these options.
>>5495471>You? Apologize? For being LOGICAL? Jazkarmel is a mammal, bit no fool—she will get over it.>Actually… Illusion, such as allows Jazkarmel to hide and blinds her foes… This could be a worthy addition to your arsenal [Gain two low-level Illusion spells, Dazzle and Shadow, and gain a rank in Illusion]
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>5495777>>5495761>>5495716>>5495575>>5495517>>5495508[Post coming soon, flipping coin for tiebreaker]
>>5496107>>5496107“Your abilities are admirable,” you acknowledge readily. “The way you manipulate light and shadow to your advantage… It s of particular merit, facing foes from above and below alike. Those accustomed to darkness can be blinded with light, those used to light can be blinded by its absence.”“I wasn’t given command of a border patrol at random,” Jazkarmel quips.“I can see that. I am impressed.”The Drow frowns, and looks away.“And yet,” she notes sourly, “with the border patrol I shall remain.”You wince a little under this implicit critique. It behooves you to say something, you feel… But expressing such feelings as empath and affection remains somewhat alien to you, a foreign country, barely colonized.“I… Understand.”Jazkarmel raises her eyebrows, looking back at you.“It was necessary,” you explai. “Our alliance, our races’ futures, it RELIES upon relations between Bloodrise and Wevenore. It was not… EPrsonal.”“So it goes, with lizardmen.”You sense some tension there, and you realize at length that Jazkarmel is not upset with YOU… But with your subordinate—her lover, the Archer.“Oluwadamilare is loyal to the cause,” you say. “It does not mean he does not love you.”Jazkarmel huffs, and rubs her forehead.“He can’t even tell me what his lifespan is, as a hybrid. Humans… They live such short lives! Who knows how long we have? And yet…”You hesitate a moment, then do as the elves do, and rest your clawed hand upon the smoothness of Jazkarmel’s silk-swathed shoulder. She pause sin surprise.“He does this for your future, and his, as well.”You think of the Novice, and of your other… Well, not LOVE, necessarily, but your first mate, and the bearer of your children: the great glowworm-queen whom you call ‘Glowie’, bearer of a clutch of your eggs. She waits for you at the Drow encampment even now.“We all do what we must,” you say, “for those whom we care for. It is not always a GOOD thing, but it is a NECESSARY thing… And it is done out of love.”Jazkarmel meets your eyes for time in silence, then laughs her crystalline laugh, and rests her forehead upon your chest as she collects herself from the outburst.“You know, you have become a very sappy creature, Theral,” she comments.“I am sorry,” you say.“I know,” the Borderguard Princess acknowledges. “Now, assume the position. We meditate until you can summon light and darkness as easily as you control fire and earth.”>+1 Illusion>Learned: Dazzle [Imposes a minor disadvantage against any foe when successful, and a doubly-severe disadvantage against those used to darkness]>Learned: Shadow [Imposes a minor disadvantage against any foe when successful, and a doubly-severe disadvantage against those unused to darkness]<C>
>>5496232>>5496232Your lessons go well. Through concentration, you can now generate flashing sparks of light, or deepen shadows into magical darkness sufficient to hide your movements. You are no master of the illusory arts, and these talents come more slowly to you than do those of elemental or biological mastery, but nor are they foreign to you. In fact, you think you feel something akin to… Deja vu, and unplaceable familiarity.It helps that Jazkarmel is a teacher both exacting and kind, encouraging in victory and failure. In these days of lessons, you are reminded anew that while you have lived scarcely two decades, this dark elf has dwelled in the below-realms for likely five times as long.Unfortunately, it is not long before these skills—and all those others which you have acquired—are put to the test.It is a few days later when you finally arrive at the Drow border-camp which you left many weeks ago. However, what should be a gloriously-triumphant return is stymied by the cruel realities of your savage empire. You arrive not to the beauteous songs and playfully-dancing blades of black-skinned elves at play, but instead to the wails and war-cries of Drow fighting for their lives.“What in the hells?!” Jazkarmel demands, alighting her staff to illuminate the cavern where her forces have long made their base-camp.Below your stony ramp, atop the well-worn stone of the barren base-camp, you see toppled and torn tents, scattered bodies, and the clashing of humanoids engaged in the aeons-long struggle, of life and death. To your horror and rage, you see not just the bugbears which you by now expected, but others: dwarves, kobolds, and subterranean entities unknown. You even witness other Drow with twisted bodies and bloodied faces contorted in death-screams, moving with uncanny awkwardness and unnatural speed, risen in undeath to slay their fellows and friends.“It is that damned kobold!” The Novice Fleshweaver hisses at you side.“Hapo,” Karz Throat-singer grunts in Northern Common-tongue, reaching the same conclusion.You feel your fire rise within, your Dragon Soul incensed at this pretender’s reproach. He must be HUMBLED!
>>5496253Then, you feel a shock of pain, not physical but… Psychic. Glowie! She was bloated, freshly-moulted, and with her new exoskeleton still half-formed when lats you saw her… Hidden away in her private chamber nearby, guarded by only two scrawny elven nursemaids, guarding your seven unborn sons, still but half-formed grub-things ensconced in translucent eggs!What will you do?>Hold together! Lead your forces in a unified and strategic assault upon the mass of the undead, pushing them back and ending their menace in a way that preserves as many lives as possible>Rush in! Use all your magic and might to plunge through the mass of undead, and to seek out the source—that damned Hapo!—and end him and his threat now and forever>Save her! Glowie, your first mate, your sons’ mother, is in danger! How can you champion love and yet risk her life? Let the others face the horde, but you will NOT let her perish>It’s you they want! You and that demon-of-envy, trapped in your pack… Take out the box, expose the ring, and draw the undead menace away from the camp to face you alone, while others evacuate>Write-in[Full disclosure, character death is not IMMEDIATE, but IS on the table. Backlink 1 post IDs; I won't dismiss them out-of-hand, but will be watching them]
>>5496256*nine unborn sons[Please pardon my first major continuity faux pas. I somehow remembered a more alliterative number of sons.]
>>5496256>Hold together! Lead your forces in a unified and strategic assault upon the mass of the undead, pushing them back and ending their menace in a way that preserves as many lives as possible>Send an elite Kill-Squad of our Drow allies and Lizardmen to secure Glowie and our broodI don’t think we should be stupid her. I also think letting Glowie and our blessed children get killed is unacceptable.
>>5496256>Save her! Glowie, your first mate, your sons’ mother, is in danger! How can you champion love and yet risk her life? Let the others face the horde, but you will NOT let her perish
>>5496256>Summon the lightning elemental to guard our alliesThis thing is pretty powerful this should serve to delay the undead at least a little>Rush in to save GlowieOur kids and our alliance with the Mother of Dragons depend on her.
>>5496256>Save her! Glowie, your first mate, your sons’ mother, is in danger! How can you champion love and yet risk her life? Let the others face the horde, but you will NOT let her perish Shes important to us having a genuine "kingship", part of our now super intricate dealings with the mother of drowgons, and the fate of the wyrmlings, plus glowie hasnt been in a thread in a hot minute
>>5496882>>5496806>>5496649Does glowie even need help though?? She naturally has poisoned mandibles which are now giant sized, and novice said that our kids would be monstrous even beyond the glow solider norm due to the red dragon blood, flesh crafting she performed on them.I feel that as long as we quickly rout this army glowie should be fine.
>>5496256>Rush in! Use all your magic and might to plunge through the mass of undead, and to seek out the source—that damned Hapo!—and end him and his threat now and foreverEither we kill Hapo and his horde is now leaderless, or we threaten him enough that he has to pull back his forces to protect himself.
>>5496256>Rush in! Use all your magic and might to plunge through the mass of undead, and to seek out the source—that damned Hapo!—and end him and his threat now and forever>Have Jaz and some elites run over to Glowie’s cave to protect herJaz knows illusion magic, yea? She could hide the cave from undead senses.>Use the elemental- either in defending Glowie, or attackingTime to bring out the big guns.
Rolled 9, 6, 1, 16, 13, 2, 12, 16, 5, 15, 14 = 109 (11d20)>>5497270>>5497257>>5496962>>5496882>>5496806>>5496649>>5496608[Vote locked, post incoming!]4 Athleticism, 3 Leadership, 2d20 for your forces, 1d20 bonus die for clever use of Elemental, 1d20 for the enemies and/or environmental hazards
>>5497311“Princess!” you address Jazkarmel. “Duelist! Lancer! Archer! All of you—handle these menaces!”>Leadership 13“Wh-what?” Azonia the Duelist scrambles, drawing her baldes. “’Handle’ them? I mean, OBVIOUSLY, but what are YOU going to be doing?”“Wait,” Karz Throat-singer interjects. “What am I doing?”You are already gone by the time the questions are uttered. You hear them, but don’t slow to answer them. They are competent enough—they do not need your personal oversight. This is a good thing, because your first priority is clear—for reasons from the personal to political, tactical to spiritual: Glowie.The great glow-worm ‘queen’ may be able to handle herself, too, admittedly. She IS a giant bug-monster with terrifying venomous mandibles… But then again, can venom even affect the undead? And what of your sons—have they hatched? What sort of form have they taken if so? If not… how durable are those translucent, rubbery insect-shells of theirs? No. It’s not a risk you’re willing to take...<bzzZZ-krakKRAK>…But you don’t forsake your friends, either. You command your lightning elemental, tamed by your will and ever-near since then, to rise and annihilate. Unfortunately, your control of it is imprecise, its understanding of your commands incomplete. Even as you hurtle through the caverns, you hear the buzzing and crackling accompanied by the screams of Drow scouts and the croaking roars of undead footsoldiers alike.Bah, no time for that. As you suspected—dreaded, really—the scourge of cursed unlife is not isolated to the main camp. You spy torn-and-ragged kobolds, bugbears, and corpses so desiccated as to be unrecognizable shuffling and lurching purposefully about the camp, accosting any who cannot escape their clutches or gathering whatever weapons and valuables they can get their filthy hands upon. They readily wield these weapons against you, and with surprising force—they may be rotting, but they are no mere shamblers when they sense an enemy at hand, and they strike with unnatural strength and speed.>16 AthleticismThey’re no match for you in a straight swordfight even so… But you’ve got no time to prove this point of pride, either. You dip and dodge the swings and thrusts, barreling past them and <Jumping> over a small horde the walking corpses and down to the entrance to Glowie’s brood-cavern. The spell takes a lot less out of you than it once did, attesting to your growing magical aptitude and mana reservoir—or perhaps just your honed physique means you need to channel less energy into the spell to get the same effect. Either way, it brings you to your destination without delay… And there you find your first unavoidable interruption.
>>5497340The pair of abominations loom hunchbacked over a slim-waisted elven effete--one of Glowie’s attendants, still whimpering with the remnants despite having been cracked open from above and behind and splayed out like a dissected specimen. Her black chin is now grey with ash or red with heat, scorched to the point of splitting by hellfire… And yet she lives. Demons, even these dull-witted hounds of the hellish realms, relish in mortal suffering. The two have been playing with their food.The brooding-caverns were specially-chosen to be accessible by only one entrance, so that Glowie could be safely guarded from both physical threats AND unauthorized disclosure during her metamorphosis and the laying of her eggs. Her true nature, and ESPECIALLY the paternity of her spawn, remains a closely-guarded secret, of which only the Novice Fleshweaver is aware. However, this security comes at a price: she has no alternate means of escape, nor do you have any secondary way to reach her.Thus, when the hellhounds spy you, they do not immediately attack. They hold their ground. Your course is clear—they know where you are going, and they know you have to go through them to get there. Their faintly-canid forms twist and contort in ways that give lie to any corporeal normality, swelling and stretch, their faces spread out into vertically-split grins as they spit infernal invective at you.What will you do?>You are fireproof… Though, admittedly, you’ve not tested your mettle against the fires of Hell just yet. Bullrush them and wrestle them into submission! [Fisticuffs, fast and (probably) effective]><Dazzle> them and loose some strategic arrows to kill them safely from a distance[Illusion + Archery, maintains a safe distance or baits them out, but leaves Glowie alone longer]>Draw your ancient elven moonblade and, with a pulse of magic, slash them in twain with a channeled <Moonbeam>! [Sword Mastery + Elementalism, gives them a chance to strike, high mana cost, but if you win they’re done for]>Assume your <Dragonshape> and command their surrender and submission[Intimidation, high DC but could net your missions; however, high mana cost and they aren’t just going to passively watch you transform]>Another, smarter thing [Write-in]
>>5497342>Chop them up with the shogswordwhat could be better suited to killing demons with weird corporeality?
>>5497342>You are fireproof… Though, admittedly, you’ve not tested your mettle against the fires of Hell just yet. Bullrush them and wrestle them into submission! A DRAGON does not fear the flame
>>5497342>>Another, smarter thing>Bypass the hell hounds entirely by flying above them with Dragon Wings (L) and blocking their pursuit down the single entrance with wall of stone afterwards.
>>5497342>You are fireproof… Though, admittedly, you’ve not tested your mettle against the fires of Hell just yet. Bullrush them and wrestle them into submission!
>>5497469>>5497472I don't think we can actually fly though, lmao. We just have big ass wings.
>>5497544[Lesser Dragon's Wings grants (temporary, magically costly) flight.]
>>5497371[An interesting idea... Hm.]
>>5497469Support if RQM allows it if not…>You are fireproof… Though, admittedly, you’ve not tested your mettle against the fires of Hell just yet. Bullrush them and wrestle them into submission! >Assume your <Dragonshape> and command their surrender and submissionWe can do both, right? Fight while transforming?
Rolled 10, 20, 9, 1, 4, 6, 18, 1, 4, 13 = 86 (10d20)>>5497371>>5497427>>5497469>>5497472>>5497536>>5497723>4 Spellcraft/Bio. Manipulation to grow the wings and hold the spell under attack, 3 Elementalism for the Wall of Stone, 2 dice for your adversaries, 1 mystery die.>All DCs lowered by that enterprising write-in using a spell I forgot to put on the character sheet
>>5497939>20, 18 for us>1,4 for them>13 mystery.Either it was a roll to attack Glowie, or overall how she's doing. both case, we should be fine... Right anons?
>>5497950>>5497939Your gaze shifts upwards, from the Hellish horror-hounds to the roof of the tunnel behind them. It’s a narrow gap, due to the low ceiling, but you are not without your agility and flexibility. If you can make it over them without issue, you can bypass these monsters to reach your mate.Luckily, you know just the combination of spells to achieve this.You shift your stance, roll your shoulders, lower your head, and focus your mind. You remember the feeling of moving muscles which you no longer have—phantom limbs, granting phantom flight. The Novice’s amulet burns brightly upon your breast as you take deep and even breaths, willing your spine and shoulders to split, morph, reshape. Luckily, your bare-chested elven armour enables this transformation without issue…>Hellhound: 1>Transformation: 20…But your foes are not so obliging. One of the hellhounds lets loose a soul-quaking sound, half-screech and half-roar, and launches itself at you. Luckily, your wings are three-quarters formed, and this proves more than ample to form a shield with their hardening membranes. The beast scrambles across the great wings’ surface, slashing with heated claws and biting with spectral, half-formed head. You focus upon the spell and, completing it, spread them wide and hurl the whining demon back into its fellow. Then, free of interference, you take flight!You soar over the hateful devil-beasts with regal glory. The two demons bite and snarl at each other as they stumble to stand. The one who held back throws off the other, whom you battered and threw, and hurries to intercept you. You dodge a snap of the demon’s jaws with a beat of your wings, bringing you dangerously close to cavern-roof, and then engage in a twirling dive to evade a whip of a long, barbed tentacle-tongue which bursts from between those unholy peg-teeth. The hound crashes down, while your own landing is somewhat more graceful—you land behind the hounds, in the tunnel, and turn around to face them from the other side now.“Enough!” you roar. “I have no time to deal with more dogs.”You plant your feet in a wide stance and focusing your power up through your core and into your hands, lower them and then lift them as if raising a great weight. The stone of the cavern floor moves with you, startling the hounds as a <Wall of Stone> begins to form, sealing them off from you and from Glowie and your offspring…
>>5497963>Hellhound: 18>Elementalism: 1But while the one hound remains stunned from its earlier failure, its companion is more dangerously competent. Seizing the fumbling hound’s throat in its jaws, this second hellhound hurls its ostensible ally into the gap between your half-erected wall and the ceiling. The other hellhound screams in pain and rage at this betrayal, but its sacrifice is sufficient to delay the formation of the structure… Just long enough for the other hound to hurtle through the wedged-open space and to land on your side of the wall.The wall is no barrier keeping this hound out, but a fence keeping you and your brood trapped in here with a ravenous beast.>???: 13You reach for one of your blades, preparing to face down this persistent predator, when you hear an alarmingly-loud chittering sound in the cavern behind you—no, a chorus of them. You turn swiftly, automatically shifting your attention to your sons and their mother, only for a heavy impact and lancing pain to remind you that the hellhound yet remains. The quasi-canid pins you in an instant, taking advantage of your surprise to sink its teeth into your forearm; your gauntlets protect you, but its twisted appendages rake your chest, drawing blood and inflicting a burning chill upon you that sets you to shivering. You hurl it up, and quickly roll to your feet…But then you hear another cry from Glowie and her spawn—your sons.What do you do?>Face down the hound [specify a weapon, spell, or tactuc]>Forget the hound for now—hurry to Glowie first!>Summon your third elemental—the ice elemental—to occupy the hellhound while you go ahead>Write-in
>>5497966Wait, did i misread the roll?10, 20, 9, 1, Spellcraft/Bio 4d20 4, 6, 18, Elementalism 3d201, 4, Hellhound13 MysteryWhy are we stucked with the hound?
>>5498023[Damn, you are correct! My bad. You'll get yourselves a tidy bonus on next roll in lieu of a rewrite.]
>>5498041>>Forget the hound for now—hurry to Glowie first!
>>5497966>Forget the hound for now—hurry to Glowie first!
>>5497966>Try to intimidate the hound first, then rush to GlowieSo we should’ve beat them with that Nat 20 vs Nat 1, right? Or at least intimidated them into submission?Shit happens I guess.
>>5498292[Well, you went for fly + wall, so you would have just defetaed one and blocked one rather than defwatjng one and trapping one on your side.]
>>5498376Ah. Shame that, I would’ve loved another pet.
>>5498399[Unlike the Infiltrator, you have no Occultism skill, ao it would be tough to bind a demon.]Even your comtrol of the elememtal is tenuous
>>5498067>>5498088>>5498172>>5498292You clutch at your chest, glowering at the hound. You can’t afford to waste time here—there is obviously someone or something deeper down this tunnel, even now endangering all you have worked towards with Glowie and her ‘grandmother’, the Dark Goddess of Motherhood. However, to turn your back to one of the ireless soul-coursers of the fiery pits is to risk your own life.Bah. Wouldn’t be the first time, would it?You turn on heel. The hound leaps to shred, but with a swing of your spade-tipped tail you intercept the lunge and send it skittering and yelping into the stone wall. This buys you ample time to barrel ahead, evading immediate assault from the ear as you rush to Glowie’s aid—a darkly-chivalrous knight of a lady anything-but-fair.You find the chamber much as you left-it: swathed in luminescent adhesive goo and hanging curtains formed from strands of silk. At the centre of the chamber is curled the great mass of Glowie: a thin-waisted parody of a humanoid or reptiloid shape, bearing a wide-set and faintly serpentine head with two many eyes and prominent pedipalps and venom-dripping fangs, while behind her rests the bulk of her digestive and reproductive apparatus—yards of bulging, translucent bug-flesh, to rival a small dragon. Before her stands a greyish hulk built to rival her stature: a gauntly-muscular figure with shaggy hair upon its head and a tumorous body, lurching to one size and carrying a great, spiked cudgel. You recognize a troll when you see one, even only having heard of them from books and the Hunter’s tales… And yet, this thing moves with an unsettling grace for its cumbersome size, and with focus and purpose uncharacteristic of the breed. Undead, no doubt, puppeteered by your unseen Necromancer foe.
>>5498590Despite her towering form comparing favourably to the figure before her, your one-time mate’s posture is defensive, shrinking even while defiant. You quickly grasp why this is the case: hanging from the threads around her, you spy what can only be described as… Furry lumps, or tubes, shaggy caterpillar-things clinging to swaying strands of fabric. Still others cling to her great, grub-like frame, and she clutches one to her chest with unmistakable protectiveness. You count nine of the hairy things.Nine eggs, hatched. Nine sons.You hear the hound fast approaching on your heels, cruel claws scraping the stone for purchase as it bays for your blood. Both Glowie and the troll before her are distracted with their personal battle for the lives of your offspring. You have the element of surprise, but not for long, and if you squander it you will be flanked by your foes.What will you do?>Cast <Dazzle> to blind and disorient the troll, and draw your blade to stand between it and your family[specify which sword(s) or daggers you wield]>Cast <Shadow> to dark the space, and usher Glowie and the offspring to safety while you handle the demon and troll>Assume <Dragonshape>, and join this clash of titans>Draw your bow and loose an arrow with <Guidance>, to slay the troll or draw it out>[UNLOCKED] Solve one problem with another—when the hound leaps for you, duck, and allow it to crash into the troll and stun them both>Write-inIn deference to my earlier error, your primary roll for the next phase of this combat will have its difficulty reduced by 5, and will crit on a 15 or higher.
>>5498593>Cast <Shadow> to dark the space, and usher Glowie and the offspring to safety while you handle the demon and troll>[UNLOCKED] Solve one problem with another—when the hound leaps for you, duck, and allow it to crash into the troll and stun them bothDarken the cave, and make them both think that they are fighting us in the darkness.
>>5498593>Cast <Shadow> to dark the space, and usher Glowie and the offspring to safety while you handle the demon and troll>[UNLOCKED] Solve one problem with another—when the hound leaps for you, duck, and allow it to crash into the troll and stun them both
>>5498593>[UNLOCKED] Solve one problem with another—when the hound leaps for you, duck, and allow it to crash into the troll and stun them bothnormally this would be way too unlikely to go for but this upcoming roll has a mega bonusI'll back shadowcasting if feasible
>>5498593>[UNLOCKED] Solve one problem with another—when the hound leaps for you, duck, and allow it to crash into the troll and stun them both
>>5498593>>[UNLOCKED] Solve one problem with another—when the hound leaps for you, duck, and allow it to crash into the troll and stun them both>Then, assume <Dragonshape> and go bully them
>>5498857SupportIf casting <Shadow> is on the table, also +1
>>5498593>>[UNLOCKED] Solve one problem with another—when the hound leaps for you, duck, and allow it to crash into the troll and stun them bothWe still need to kill hapo or his minions after this, we can't be wasting mana while there are still more enemies to fight.
Rolled 16, 15, 15, 1, 11, 10, 12, 14, 9, 19 = 122 (10d20)>>5498995>>5498985>>5498892>>5498857>>5498742>>5498711>>5498609>>5498598[2d20 for Illusion, 5d20 Athleticism (bonus for dance) to dodge the leaping hellhound at the right time to redirect its attack towards the troll, 3d20 dice for enemies and allies]
>>5499134Oh boy, I really hope that 19 is for ally as implied by the wording.So... 16-15 illusion, 15 athletism..Did we triple-crit?
>>5499152>>5499134>16 for Illusion: Critical successBoth the undead troll and GLowie are disoriented when the glow-goo of the chamber dims and sputters as a snuffed candle, plunging the scene into darkness. You understand their disorientation—like them, you can see in pitch black, but as with their own sight, it takes some time to adjust from the colour-vision brought on by light and to return once more to the monochromatic Darkvision.Luckily, it is not Glowie’s only useful sense—she has a vibratory Tremorsense as well, inherited from her people’s mundane glowworm forebears.“My king!” Glowie enthuses, her enthusiasm vibrating the space as she senses your presence.You do not speak, giving away your position, but instead gesture to her—first, to hold. The devil-dog is still hot on your heels, seemingly untroubled by the total blackness of the space… But hurtling at such speed that coming to a sudden stop would be impossible. You bait the beast by turning to face it and striking a mock battle-stance. In actuality, you have no idea of its exact location, and little experience in blind-fighting. Instead, you let your muscles loosen, your mind clear, your nictitating membranes slide over your eyes, and your <Danger Sense> take autonomic control.>15 for Dodge & Redirect>14 for Hellhound>9 for Undead TrollAt the last possible moment, your body twirls with dancer’s grace out of the course of the gleefully-growling demon. It realizes too late what you have done, while the troll does not even understand THAT much—at least, you assume it doesn’t by the sound of the hellhound’s impact, and then the wrathful groaning of the undead behemoth and the sound of smashing wood and bone, and the frantic protestations of the suddenly-quite-talkative beast.Now! You beckon to Glowie to move as swiftly as her girth can manage. She delays only momentarily, long enough to collect to cat-sized bundles of bristly fur; as your Darkvision takes hold and your glimpse her at work, you are reminded of the sight of kobold servants plucking clumps of fungus from cave walls.
>>5499174>19 for GlowieWith a surprising lithesomeness for her size, Glowie dodges the clumsy and uncoordinated flailing of the shadow-stymied and impact-staggered brute who moves to stop her. One by one, she collects your sons. Your bizarre offspring curl in on themselves as she gathers them, quietly humming them a comforting song. They form almost perfect spheres, vibrating with their own peculiar response to her maternal tune. As she clutches them tightly, she pulls herself past you, and the tone of her hum shifts briefly to the ‘love song’ which she so often thrummed in your presence. Two of her hands are full, but in this form, she has four; one reaches out to touch yours, and for a moment you hold it.There is no time for reunions, though. The troll has all but battered the hound to the point of banishment—the latter lies whimpering and broken upon the floor, its corporeality dissipating as the gifted and stolen energies holding its physical form together spent and its essence barely clinging to this plane. Its unwitting annihilator, though, has regained its own senses. It sets its sights on departing Glowie, and then upon you.“Dragonborn!” it bellows.
>>5499175You are startled when the thing speaks, rather than simply moaning and groaning in the manner of the other undead. You squint, and with your sixth sense you spy a peculiar glint in the troll-thrall’s eyes—that of Divination magic, tying it to a distant viewer.“Hapo,” you deduce, “the Traitor.”“Hapo the Mighty-Strong!” the troll protests, its guttural and rumbling voice so unlike that of the kobold speaking through it. “Hapo the REAL-real Dragon King of Bloodrise! YOU are traitor, liar, fake-false, PRETEND dragon, stealing my place and making kobolds slaves!”You size up the stinking, desiccated troll-corpse which now advances towards you, club splintered upon the rock and upon the defeated demon upon which it now wantonly treads.“I do not see the makings of a True Dragon here,” you scoff.“This is because you steal-thief it! You kill-murdered Hako and TOOK it!”You clue in quickly. He means the envy-demon hidden in your pack—his treasure, which allowed he and now-dead Hako to fuse with one another, and with the bloodlines of basilisks and dragons, to form a winged ‘Dragonwrought’ form. It was in this guise that they were ruling Bloodrise’s kobolds, when you arrived to pacify them and take control.“Had planned to capture-ransom your elf-friends… Well, those that survived. Make you give it back. But then… Surprise-surprise! This BUG was living here, too… And with little babies, yes, with little dragon faces!”You freeze. You hadn’t got a clear look at your sons in the chaos and darkness.“And covered in hair-fuzz,” Hapo notes through the troll, whose awful, tusked maw splits into a lopsided and snaggletoothed grin. “What other dragons have hair, besides fake-false DragonBORN? Not knowing… Gets me wondering…”You gnash your teeth at the impudence.“What HAVE you been doing with the dragon hatchlings and magic you stole from Hapo and Hako, I guess-wonder…”He knows (or correctly suspects) too much! But… You are facing a pawn, a remote vessel. The real Hapo… He must be near to control so many undead and demons, and with such precision, right?
>>5499176You narrowly dodge a swing of the troll’s club, backing up a step. Your magically-induced darkens is beginning to give way to the glow of Glowie’s luminescent secretions again, while her alarmed chattering reveals that she has met the wall which you set as barricade. Only you stand between the troll-thrall and her, and you have precious little room to work with—and no time to waste.What will you do?>Enough talk—it’s time to fight! Assume <Dragonshape> with the majority of your remaining mana, and take up arms [which sword(s)?]>Use your <Guidance>, <Jump>, and athleticism to draw out the fight, and maybe to goad Hapo into giving away more information about his plans, while you try to scry his location>The chamber is empty of your mate and kin now… While it could potentially be dangerous if it fails, a blast of Firebreath and an <Earth Tremor> could turn the brood-chamber into an oven>Write-in
>>5499179>>Use your <Guidance>, <Jump>, and athleticism to draw out the fight, and maybe to goad Hapo into giving away more information about his plans, while you try to scry his locationGood chance to get him talking too much.
>>5499179>Use your <Guidance>, <Jump>, and athleticism to draw out the fight, and maybe to goad Hapo into giving away more information about his plans, while you try to scry his location>Also utilize <See Invisibility>- the cheeky little kobold may be hiding right under your nose
>>5499179>Use your <Guidance>, <Jump>, and athleticism to draw out the fight, and maybe to goad Hapo into giving away more information about his plans, while you try to scry his locationHapo is low IQ
>>5499179>Use your <Guidance>, <Jump>, and athleticism to draw out the fight, and maybe to goad Hapo into giving away more information about his plans, while you try to scry his locationMore info is always good. Also, never saw a fuzzy worm Hapo? Only shit he got us on is using the Dragon remains to experiment with another creature, and even then, we have the Drowgon to point at. He really got jack shit on us.And to think, had he simply served us loyally, he probably would’ve gotten his Dragonwrought desires via our MoD blessings.
Rolled 4, 14, 3, 4, 11, 2, 20, 10, 4 = 72 (9d20)>>5499184>>5499272>>5499360>>5499745[3d20 divination, 4d20 athleticism (DC reduced for <Jump>, 2d20 for enemy actions]
>>5499817>>5499817You calm yourself. Hapo is an impetuous little fool of a kobold, but that’s not reason to be upset. On the contrary, it’s something to be GLAD for. If he is a fool, you can PLAY him for a fool, and use his indignation and small-mindedness against him.“It is an interesting story,” you note calmly.“It is more than a story!” your Necromancer adversary assert through his thrall. “I have trapep-cuaght you, Liar King!”You dodge a blow of his troll-minion’s club with ease, channeling you remaining mana to bolster your agility and foresight. You can’t keep it up for long, but that just means you must make the most of the time you have.“It is curious that a kobold from high mountains in a forested region acts as if he has never seen a fuzzy caterpillar before,” you mock. “Did you really think you had something there, One-Who-Plays-With-Corpses?”“I am HAPO, the NECROMANCER!” the troll roars on its master’s behalf, as you leap over a horizontal swing, twirling in mid-air, to plant you feet upon the roof.“Hardly a more flattering title,” you snort. “Only a kobold would think necromancy so great an art as to make him equal to a True Dragon. You have no inkling of real power, whelp!”You reach out with your sixth sense, trying to find the thread between dominated and dominator, but the troll interrupts you with another swat of its weapon; you avoid the impact, but lose your concentration in the process.>13 for divination; narrow failure“You are right about the draconic faces, I admit,” you casually divulge. “But surely you know how I achieved that? After all, I used methods not unlike your own... Maybe, if you’d had the sense to remain loyal to me, you would be privy to these secrets?”“I KNEW-knew it!”The troll reaches for you with a ragged-nailed, skeletal hand. You focus once more upon your <Jump> cantrip and, with suddenness the lurching corpse-creature cannot match, evade its grasp.“Is that why you’ve come back?” you goad. “For the hatchling corpses? They are all used up. Done!”It’s a lie, but the Necromancer doesn’t need to know that. If you can’t locate Hapo, you can at least draw out some useful intelligence.“You are fool! IDIOT-fool!” Hapo boasts thoughtlessly. “You think I am just wanting hatchlings? You are contenting yourself with little books for young-young babies, with corpses of tiny-little dragons, but Hapo thinking BIGGER! Much bigger! GREAT-bigger!”The troll gurgles with laughter, an echo of the kobold’s distant cackling. You feel a chill, but power through it, stepping from foot to foot with dancer’s timing to avoid one, two, three crushing blows from the troll.“Something as small and pathetic as you cannot possibly be ‘great-bigger’ than anything,” you say, rattling with mean-spirited laughter.‘What is he up to?,’ you wonder…
>>5499833The troll roars in fury, but you duck between its widely-placed legs and evade its reach.“You will see!” Hapo declares. “All will see, and kobolds—EVERYONE—will know Hapo is REAL-real king! While you prance and play with elves and insects, Hapo is stealing ancient books and scrolls out from under weak-stupid dwarf slaves’ nose, making fools of big lizards… And soon, hatchlings will be USELESS things, next to REAL-real dragon!”You narrow your eyes.“What do you mean by ‘REAL-real dragon’?”The troll’s mouth snaps shut, then its lips split open into a bloody, angry grimace as Hapo the Necromancer seems to finally realize your game.“No!” he cries. “Enough! Now Dragonborn DIES!”Bah. Well, all good things come to an end. It seems you’ll get no more information out of Hapo this day. Still, you think you have an inkling of his plan… Maybe.>20 & 10 vs. 10 & 4Better yet, you’ve managed to position yourself in such a way that the troll must contort awkward to reach you, while you have a clear shot at its ‘vitals’, such as they are. The beastly humanoid is undead, of course, but you know few entities in ANY semblance of life which can function after being bisected or burned.How will you finish your foes this day?>The moonblade>The shoggoth-sword>Firebreath>Tooth and fang>Write-inYes, the method mattersHave you figured out Hapo's scheme?>Yes [write-in]>No
>>5499836>Firebreath>Yes [He’s going to revive a full grown dragon]
>>5499865>He’s going to revive a full grown dragonPartial credit
>>5499836>The shoggoth-swordI'm holding out hope that shog will someday be powerful enough to induce insanity along these mental connectionsbad touch shog
>>5499836>Firebreath + Moonblade>Hako's schemePierced the plan of the Chaplain, will get for himself Green Bro and/or new generation and/or deep asleep/Banned into X dimension dragons
>>5500068Support, though I’m also fine with the shogg-sword, I just want a Blade and Fire combo.Merge with big-bro, us, or a dead dragon (or some combination therein of all three).Also, maybe we can talk-no-jutsu him into coming around? I don’t think it’ll work, but I honestly find the idea funny. Maybe have turn one of our kobolds into the Dragonwrought? Hell, just show him Junior, have him get super jealous of the ghoulish dragon.
>>5499836Ok second try>He’s going to try to gather enough dragon genetic material to make a patchwork necromantic dragon that he will either become or control
>>5500130I'm afraid using shogg so soon might give him insight on how to counter that on final showdown.Fire to cut troll's regen, but not enough to turn the hatch room into an hoven, that might be detrimental to kiddregs. Then, moonblade because pokemon taught me moon is fairy aligned and super effective against dark.
>>5500132Partial credit on the scheme again...
>>5500140>>5500068No credit for me? shame
>>5500143They're good schemes, but not HAPO'S schemes.
>>5499817Isn't that a 14 for Divination? I don't see a 13 anywhere.>>5499836>Firebreath + Moonblade>YesHapo's planning to animate (and maybe possess) the corpse of the old Great Red Dragon, which will be REAL bad.
>>5500243[It was a 14, yes. Narrow failure regardless -- it was 15 to glean details of his surroundings, 18 for direction, and 20 for exact coordinates][Also, you guessed correctly!]
Rolled 8, 10, 5, 8, 13, 10, 12, 13, 12 = 91 (9d20)>>5499918>>5500068>>5500130>>5500243>>5500294[Vote locked, post incoming ASAP.]
>>5500372You've gathered all the intelligence you can, and positioned yourself as advantageously as you are likely to. If you keep dodging like this, you're likely to run out of mystical power, and to run your body ragged—or, worse, your luck might run out, and the titanic strength of this zombified behemoth might come crashing down upon you! It's time to end this menace and leave this place.Necromancy is typically regarded as a ‘dark’ art, and so you reason that the elven moonblade is your best bet to finish this swiftly. According to Drow legend, it was once the weapon of their fabled founding king, and before that was gifted to him by their ancestral moon goddess—a divine weapon of the hated Gods of Light, now an implement of your dark will yet still perfect for the destruction of lesser rivals in the shadows. You draw the smooth, white scimitar from its silken sheathe, slicing the makeshift blade-wrappings to ribbons in your hurry. No matter—you can worry about fashioning a new one later. For now, you have bugger worries…>13…Like the fact that the troll-thrall is still standing! You slashed the monstrous hulk from groin to throat as you rose and stepped out from below its bulk, and yet even as its putrid entrails spill forth and its black-green blood oozes down the broad side of your blade, it looms over you.“Y-you…ou… fool-idi-idiot!”The troll’s rended and exposed vocal chords vibrate imprecisely, and the giant stumbles slightly. The damage has clearly affected the precision of Hapo’s necromantic control… But not broken it, not felled the already-dead thing thing itself.You narrowly dodge a thrust of the troll’s leg, hopping back and lashing out with your sword again. You had hoped to sever the offending appendage outright, but it is tree-trunk thick. Worse yet, you are alarmed to note that the wound is sealing behind your blade, nearly trapping it. So, too, it the gut-wound sealing shut!“Every hatchling knows trolls heal-fast-heal!” the troll gurgles merrily on Hapo’s behalf.You THINK you recall having heard rumours of this, though troll-hunting was never an especial focus of yours. You’d rather hoped that any such ability would end with death, but apparently it was reawakened along with its motor functions…And like those damnedly-fast reflexes, the effect seems to have been bolstered further.In desperation, you resort to immolating the behemoth with a blast from your fire-lung. The troll holds fast, being immune to pain, and you finally catch a blow of the club to the chest. Badly abused and now alight, it cracks and crumbles on impact, but you worry one of your ribs might have as well. You manage to tumble to your feet, just in time to see your foe come tumbling down as its gouged leg gives way.
>>5500445>Another 13>Bonus for choosing a smart option, bonus for your last critical, resulting in a narrow successThe fire spreads from the collapsing husk of the troll, up the strands of Glowie’s cocoon and surrounding silk. It reaches for you with all the Necromancer’s channeled hostility, and you step back to avoid its clutches, watching the unlife leave its dull eyes until they blister and burst. Only then, certain that it is not going to rise again, do you turn to leave.You hurry up the tunnel, and shortly rejoin Glowie and her bundled offspring. The smoke has begun to billow out behind you from the blaze filling the chamber and choking you all. You gesture for Glowie to drop lower, below the worst of it, while you wield the last of your strength and magic to deliver a power <Earth Tremor> to the stone barricade you earlier erected. The hellhound thereby crushed now tumbles down, not dead but limp with injury; you ignore it for the moment to usher the great-worm and your spawn to safety.But that does raise a question… What shall you do about this clan of arthropod abominations? You are fond of Glowie, even in her current shape, but to all but the Novice and a select few of Jazkarmel’s Drow, she has only ever appeared in a now-defunct Reptilian disguise. She is too large for the Amulet of Disguise to work its glamour now, to say nothing of the children…And the ‘children’ are, indeed, an entirely separate matter. Clad in fuzzy coats of hair resembling nothing so much as your own youthful red locks, before your recent transformations darkened them to a bronzey brown. That is perhaps easily excused, but the traitorous Necromancer spoke true: as they unfurl, each of them bears an elongated, toothy maw, not unlike your own handsome quasi-draconic visage, albeit with two pairs of unsettling insectoid eyes each, and the addition of venomous barbs to either side of their queerly-grinning mouths. They look at you with an expression of confusion and curiosity, and you look back upon your sprog with… Ambivalence.“Dragon King,” Glowie hums proudly, “meet your princezzz!”How will you explain THIS?>Introduce Glowie as Bloodrise’s queen, and formalize your alliance and legitimize the ‘wyrm princes’ as your heirs in Bloodrise>Acknowledge Glowie as your mate, and the ‘wyrmlings’as your bastards… But not your heirs>Spin a similar excuse to that which you offered Hapo, admitting to heretical experimentation with sacred dragon remains, but not unauthorized and abhorrent interspecies breeding>Pin the draconic appearance of the wyrmlings on the mysterious intervention of the Dark Gods [may have consequences, as the Gods are always listening]>Have Glowie and the wyrmlings hang back, lurking in the shadows until such time as you arrive in Bloodrise and can secret them away>Write-in
>>5500453>Introduce Glowie as Bloodrise’s queen, and formalize your alliance and legitimize the ‘wyrm princes’ as your heirs in Bloodrisefuck iteveryone's gonna know anyway from the appearance, might as well fess up
>>5500453>Acknowledge Glowie as your mate, and the ‘wyrmlings’as your bastards… But not your heirsHowever, one or some of those bastards can rise to legitimate heir. We'll see.
>>5500453>Echo the message you preached in the drow enclave about blessings from the Gods, but claim this action as your own.>Glowie is another scion of this Dark Alliance, a hitherto unrevealed ally in the war against the surface; your spawn reflect a solidification of that and are your heirsI think it's important to assuage the immediate questions of whether these are terror-spawn or friends, and to callback to the insect logistics train that we've leveraged for Bloodrise so far.
>>5500453>Have Glowie and the wyrmlings hang back, lurking in the shadows until such time as you arrive in Bloodrise and can secret them away
>>5500453>Introduce Glowie as Bloodrise’s queen, and formalize your alliance and legitimize the ‘wyrm princes’ as your heirs in BloodriseMothers of Dragons better be really fucking happy and give the Chaplain a handjob so he doesn't try to kill us
>>5500614>>5500594>>5500513>>5500475>>5500466>>5500461[Hm, pretty even split. We'll leave it a bit longer. It's an important vote, so backlink your 1post IDs, if you please!]
>>5500475I agree with this, plus I trust that our closest allies trust us enough to keep their lips shut even around Chaplain
>>5496882This is me, using data
>>5500453>Declare outright that she and her spawn was the product and will of the Mother of Dragons, similar to the Drowgon, and a loyal follower of the Dark GodsI mean, it’s not wrong. We don’t have to state that sired her young, and we will allow them territory in the kingdom, particularly whatever is liberated from Hapo.
>>5500453>Spin a similar excuse to that which you offered Hapo, admitting to heretical experimentation with sacred dragon remains, but not unauthorized and abhorrent interspecies breedingOr>Echo the message you preached in the drow enclave about blessings from the Gods, but claim this action as your own.>Glowie is another scion of this Dark Alliance, a hitherto unrevealed ally in the war against the surface; your spawn reflect a solidification of that and are your heirsWe should not be declared glowie our queen or the hybrids our "heirs" until we have an actually secure recognized political position amongst serpent kind. Doing so now would put our leadership of bloodrise in jeopardy.
>>5500782>>5500824>>5500895>>5500614>>5500594>>5500513>>5500475>>5500466>>5500461[Alright, locked and writing!]
>>5500930You explain your compromise gently to Glowie, but you can still tell that it upsets her. She doesn’t object it or rage against it—she simply deflates, and her happy humming stops.“You do not like uzzz?” she asks. “You are… Azzhamed of uzzz?”You shake your head. That’s not it—even if your sons are peculiar, a part of you HOPES that one among this clitch will rise to such station as to be your heir-in-truth. When your position is secure, perhaps one of these… Hatchling… Can inherit your legacy. It’s just that the last thing you need right now is the risk of having your sovereignty or leadership questioned. After all…>>5500243…You think you have pieced out Hapo the Necormancer’s dastardly plot, and it is a truly terrifying proposition which will require all available lizardmanpower to overcome. You were unable to glean any details about the sinister little saboteur’s whereabouts, but he gave away enough in his braggadocious ramblings to give away his master plan: with pilfered knowledge, he seeks to resurrect not just a hatchling, nor even some other lesser dragonspawn perished at the twilight of the last Age of Scales. No, he plans to resurrect a the Red Dragon King of Bloodrise himself!Even thinking about this possibility causes your heart to hammer with instinctive fear, as if griped by a shadow of that demigodly Fearful Presence. This distant ancestor of yours was LEGEND, practically the epitome of Dragonkind: a direct creation of the gods, motherless and fatherless, born of primeval power. It is said that by the time of his death, his wingspan could create an eclipse over Bloodrise, that he breath was like a volcanic eruption, and that when he reared his head he was the tallest peak in all the mountains. That Hapo could even ATTEMPT to awaken such a sleeping giant, and that he would DARE to attempt to enslave or recombine that Great One with his own pathetic self… It horrified you on ground religious and tactical alike, and on an instinctive level that no amount of willpower can overcome.If he could do this thing, Hapo the Necromancer would be INDISPUTABLE lord of the Bloodrise Mountains, and the TRUE prophet of a new Age of Darkness besides.(CAN it be done?! Surely he is simply overestimating himself, or bluffing, or you are mistaken in his intent…)You gulp down your fear, and gently pay Glowie’s chitin-armoured, spider-fingers hand to assuage her wounded heart. Holding her hand the whole way would be a step too far, but you clasp it until you enter sight of the others—your allies—and behold their fate.
>>5500985>>5497311>16 & 15 for allies>14 for adversaries and hazardsYou see that your allies have squeaked out a victory upon your return, but clearly it was a hard-fought won. You count nearly a dozen elven corpses upon the ground. Some of them are butchered so badly that it is clear that they rose from the dead and were, out of necessity, put down a second time. A few skulking demon-shades hover sheepishly around the site of the battle, looking for souls to devour or bodies to possess, but none dare draw close…>13 for leadership…For the Lightning Elemental still crackles with directionless fury, its storm striking friend and foe alike as it flits about the mostly-deserted battlefield and menaces any who approach. By the look of it, many of the destroyed undead are its doing… But you would also wager that a few of the fallen Drow were slain by your energetic ally as well, without having turned. Those who remain have taken shelter behind a rudimentary magical barrier (and somewhat more effective shadow-cloak) erected by Jazkarmel.“About time you got here!” shouts Azonia the Duelist, before ducking a hurled bolt of electricity.“It can’t tell friend from foe, “ acknowledges Hamaraska, the Centipede Lancer; they are soothing petting their namesake mount, but they pause when they take in your companions.“…What are those?” the Lancer questions, voice clam but eyebrows flying up their forehead in obvious shock.“You brought her HERE?! NOW?!” the Novice demands, then her own expression shifts as she sees the furry hangers-on crawling across Glowie’s abdomen. “Are those…?”“Nevermind,” you hiss in Dark Elven, so all may understand. “They are friends. I will explain later.”Then, you turn to the Lightning Elemental, and clear your throat. Grabbing its attention, you raise the Ring fo Elemental Command which once bound it, project all your Dragon King confidence, and issue a roar of command. It takes a moment—an eternal moment of hesitation, when you fear you may need to subjugate it by force—by the energy-form collapses into a single spark of ball-lightning and sinks down to the floor in grudging submission. In underground thunderstorm abates, and your allies emerge.
>>5500986“Drow of Wevenore, Reptilians of the Master Race…”You pause, recalling scrawny Ivno and stout, beardless Karz Throat-singer.“…Kobolds and Duergar of Bloodrise… I would like you all to meet the newest allies in our Dark Crusade against the surface scum and their false ‘gods’ of light. This is the Glow-Worm Queen, scion of the Mother of Dragons herself… And as evidence, behold her wyrmlings, divinely-inspired dragonSPAWN!”It is a lie by omission, strengthened by the implication of deeper truths. You cannot acknowledge your family as your own flesh-and-blood, not without acknowledging crimes carnal and alchemical which could jeopardize your reputation with the hardliners and elites in your entourage. You travel not just with Degenerates and lowborn Reptilians, but other Serpent Priests and highly-placed Silkscale traders—those whose loyalty is less personal and more circumstantial. Still, Glowie IS the ‘granddaughter’ of a Dark God, a queen of a burgeoning empire, an ally whose kin have long secretly extended and strengthened your supply chains, and her spawn ARE the product of divinely-ordained infusion of dragonblood. They DESERVE to be recognized as worthy, respectable friends, members of your Dark Alliance… Even if the particulars of WHY Glowie was created, and HOW her lineage became draconic, must remain obscure.(At least the Novice Fleshweaver does not spill the secret, despite clear anxiety)“This whole trip keeps getting weirder and weirder,” the Duelist murmurs, sheathing her dual shortswords.“Fascinating,” the Centipede Lancer says admiringly, precipitating clicks and chitters from Honemdyn the Centipede which you cannot help but interpret as jealousy.“Yes, well, thisss isss all very heart-warming,” the Novice sneers, placing her hands on her ample hips and narrowing her eyes and speaking in her heavily-accented elventongue, “but let uss not forget that we were jussst attacked by a horde of undead!”“AND our own elemental,” the Duelist reminds everyone.“And demons,” Olu the Archer adds, bow still at the ready, watching the unclean spirits still watching from the shadows.“I will explain later,” you assure them all.You will, too… Though different members of the party will get subtly different explanations. For now, it’s time to clean up and regroup.
>>5500987What will you do about the lightning elemental?>It heeled when you admonished it, and is quiet now—problem solved>It is too dangerous to retain the services of such a deadly wildcard—dismiss and banish it>Attempt, with the assistance of Karz Throat-singer and his new tutor, to bind it once more to your ringWhat of the demons?>They are weak and frightened—chase them off, and be done with them>They are useful pawns to turn against their former master—attempt to use Olu and the Novice’s limited understanding of occultism to bind some of them to your service>Make a pact with the mightiest among them for information or power [specify what you offer, and what you want in return]>The shoggoth-sword rumbles ravenously on your hip, hungering for their essence… perhaps you should feed it?
>>5500988>It heeled when you admonished it, and is quiet now—problem solvedI like it- so long as it follows our commands (and mostly avoids friendly fire), I find with keeping him out.>They are useful pawns to turn against their former master—attempt to use Olu and the Novice’s limited understanding of occultism to bind some of them to your service>Make a pact with the mightiest among them for information or power [Service, in exchange for not getting eaten by our sword]>The shoggoth-sword rumbles ravenously on your hip, hungering for their essence… perhaps you should feed it with those who fail to submit?Gunship diplomacy.
>>5500996>I’m* fine* with keeping him out
>>5500988>It heeled when you admonished it, and is quiet now—problem solved>The shoggoth-sword rumbles ravenously on your hip, hungering for their essence… perhaps you should feed it?No, no occultism, we are death's homie.
>>5500988>elemental problem solved for now>FEED SHOGSORD
>>5500988>It heeled when you admonished it, and is quiet now—problem solvedMaybe we can get a round of light-hound training once home? Far from everyone else?>The shoggoth-sword rumbles ravenously on your hip, hungering for their essence… perhaps you should feed it?*Let's see how it interract
>>5500996Support, the sooner we put an end to Hapo the better off we all are
Rolled 16, 12, 18, 6, 5, 20, 13, 17 = 107 (8d20)>>5500996>>5501102>>5501108>>5501160>>5501281You call the elemental to your side and, with only a moment’s hesitation, it obeys. If it will heel like a hound, you see no trouble in continuing its ‘domestication’… Though you make a mental note to watch it more warily. The elemental is clearly half-tamed at best, at least for the time being.The demons, though… They are a different matter entirely. You will have no truck with these inferior darknesses, as a servant of the true sovereigns of shadow, the Dark Gods Below and Beyond. And the shoggoth-sword… Its reaction, verging on a return of consciousness, intrigues you. You clumsily slide the moonblade into your belt, briefly conscious of the silent stares of those Drow allies who had not yet been made aware that this legendary artefact was in your possession. In its stead, you draw the dagger-sized aberration-blade, and with the aid of the Throat-singer’s humming and the flickering embers of your remaining mana, you will it to grow and change.The shoggoth-sword expands horizontally and especially vertically, lengthening and growing eyes, jutting spikes and semi-flexible tendrils. It is these last additions, unusual for the blade since its acquisition, which most interest you and afear the spectral devil-remnants. The demons begin to flee, but you pursue them. Following your lead, Jazkarmel and the Novice wield their own magicks to head the demons off, while Olu surprises you with some Southern Human chant which seems to slow and stymie their departure. You wave the shoggoth-sword back and forth, like one might swing a broom or brush to collect cobwebs; the tentacles reach out and grab one demon after another, pulling their barely-perceptible shades towards toothy apertures which form across its flat.One by one, the demons are devoured, given no time to retreat to their summoner and master. For its part, the shoggoth-blade seems… Exhilarated. It’s tendrils and mouths do not immediately recede, but rather wave about and gnash, eyes blinking and rolling in anger or ecstasy unknown. It broadens, thickens, and its cutting edge grows toothier, while its blackish-grey hue shifts subtly towards a crimson colouration.“Throat-singer, cease your humming,” you command. “Novice Fleshweaver, assist me in subduing this thing!”“Maybe you shouldn’t be feeding the comatose aberration demons if you don’t want it to grow more powerful or awaken?” the Novice snipes back.Both obey, though, and together with Jazkarmel and the Wevenore Ambassador, you work a series of magic in a power-amplifying mages’ circle—an ancient rite to tame the sword…
>>5501631>20: sword control strengthened, demon-sword characteristics acquiredBy the end of the ritual, you are left truly and utterly depleted of mana, to the point that Hamaraska, Azonia, and Olu must catch you to prevent you tumbling into unconsciousness. The cursed blade, however, ceases its tumult and gradually shrinks and recedes to its former knife-like dimensions. Its eye slowly glazes over, and then slides shut, as the unsettling organic implement settles down to ‘slumber’ once more. The reddish colouration remains.“Good,” you breathe, and begin to force yourself to your feet. “We must leave, now. The Necromancer who did all this is till out there, even now… And the sooner we put an end to him, the better off we all are.”“Easy there, Dragon,” Azonia the Duelist admonishes you, patting your head with irritating condescension. “You’re in no shape to get moving again right away.”“I do not recall asking you—HHHSSSS!”Your objection turns to a hiss of pain as the buxmon swordswoman saps your ribcage. Yep, definitely a broken rib.“Let your not-girlfriend patch you up,” the Duelist says, with a wink at the Novice (who, for her part, rears her head back upon her long and elegant neck as if slapped. “Then we can move.”“Elf is right,” Ivno the Kobold chimes in, unexpectedly, inferring the Drow’s advice from context even as he does not speak their tongue. “I am worried also-too about kobolds in Bloodrise, but you are hurt-wounded, tired-done. I think… Need to rest, Dragon King.”It’s rare for your kobold counsellor to speak without being spoken for, let alone to contradict you. You look around, and see quite a few expressions of concern around you. Even the Novice’s sour expression softens slightly, and she sighs.“It IS easier to heal you when you are not constantly moving,” she notes. “Besides, if you get yourself killed by the kobold YOU made a mortal enemy and who YOU let get away with all those books…”She sniffs, looking away.“You are no good to me dead,” she admits, “and if you die, we are all doomed. I… We need you alive.”What will you do?>Accept the judgement of the others, and remain at the camp while you heal fully [will take a few days, Hapo will continue moving]>Press on now—the Novice can heal you each evening of your trip, but you can waste no further time>Send messengers ahead, to announce your imminent return and assess what has been going on in Bloodrise (as well as to warn your entourage of Hapo’s likely plans)>This is all getting out of hand… If your suspicions are correct, you will need the help of the Serpent Priesthood proper, and so you will send messengers to THEM, along your glow-worm supply chain>Write-in
>>5501639Compromise :>Stop here for today, but press on starting tomorrow
>>5501639>Send messengers ahead, to announce your imminent return and assess what has been going on in Bloodrise (as well as to warn your entourage of Hapo’s likely plans)we can get our unruly minions under control with some rest time
>>5501639>Send messengers ahead, to announce your imminent return and assess what has been going on in Bloodrise (as well as to warn your entourage of Hapo’s likely plans)>Press on now—the Novice can heal you each evening of your trip, but you can waste no further time
>>5501639>Stop here for today, but press on starting tomorrow>Send messengers ahead
>>5501824>>5501729>>5501666>>5501656>>5501642You sigh, and shake your head… But how can you object to so many friends and vassals all worried for your safety? You wish to push on, but it would be foolhardy to pretend they have no valid point. When you embraced community, friendship, love, you embraced a certain moral and emotional responsibility. You won’t abdicate it now.“We will remain here for the next twenty-four hours,” you agree. “After that… We will see, but I think we should move on.”Hamaraska and Ivno matching sighs of relief, while Azonia looks duly smug and the Novice studiously affects a neutral expression, as if she feels nothing at all; you can tell by her relieved body language that this is not, in fact, the case.“You’re welcome to stay here, obviously,” Princess Jazkarmel confirms, “but… I’m not sure we’ll have much appetite for song, dance, or dueling. We may not be able to offer you many amenities, either…”You follow her sweeping gaze over the field of fallen corpses, Drow and otherwise, and the ruined tents and other temporary shelters. By your rough estimate, only half the encamped Drow still live, and only the largest or most out-of-the-way structures remain standing.“We will need to send word back,” the Wevenore Ambassdor mutters.“I will send a runner,” Jazkarmel confirms grimly. “We’ll need reinforcements.”This is a wise idea, by your reckoning, and so you do likewise: you send Ivno the Kobold and Olu the Archer ahead, lest you be waylaid; the two of them can travel much more swiftly than a larger force, besides, and you hope that they will reach Bloodrise and relay your return to your lieutenants there… And a warning of what the Necromancer has planned.You spend the next few hours in one of the few remaining elven tents—not alone, but in the company of only the Novice Fleshweaver and her namesake, the ‘Junior Novice’ whom her fell arts have transformed from a dog-headed subterranean ghoul into some sort of psionic-draconic experiment. The bizarre chimera guards the door, while the Novice unceremoniously strips away your silk swathes and leather-and-chitin elf-armour to reveal your bruised and battered body.“Why is it all warriors of your ilk rely on healing arts such as mine as a crutch?” she tuts.She slathers an oily balm over her fine-clawed hands, and you shiver slightly with a not-altogether-wholesome anticipation.“We must keep YOUR ilk honest somehow,” you mock in exchange.She hisses, and thwaps your rear with her tail. You rattle with laughter, and then suppress a half-pained, half-appreciative moan as icy-hot pleasure and deep pain radiate out from where she touches you.
>>5501916The Serpent Priestess works over each tight and tried muscle group, before extracting a pigmented form of the balm and applying it in arcane shapes and sigils to the worst-injured areas, and beginning to mutter the verbal components of a spell to speed your natural healing processes.“This won’t instantaneously heal you,” she admonishes. “You are an ignorant and belligerent creature, to be traveling through hostile terrain before being fully mended.”“I believe in your good works,” you say coolly.“Well for my part,” she snaps, “I believe you will get yourself killed, all for… What? Sentimentality, martyrdom? Your half-mammal brain is malfunctioning.”“Quarter-mammal,” you correct cheekily.Her tail smacks you again, and you fall silent, simply enjoying her lingering touch. Her hands are fine, dexterous, but soft, untroubled by the toil of hard labour or melee combat. They are the hands of a noblewoman, an artist. They press and probe with the almost-mechanical precision of the cold-blooded, and with the smoothness of a slithering snake, such that even an elf's grace could never match.“You are fondling more than strictly necessary,” you note quietly after a time.“I am merely appraising my ‘good work’ in making a proper Dragonborn of you,” she mutters, and ceases, beginning to clean her claws in a nearby basin, made of stolen bronze from the surface and crafted in Northern Human style.“Right,” you tease.“Do not be obscene,” she reports, “I am not your loveBUG. I am not even in heat. If you must leer, go find your mate. I am sure the worm will be receptive to your exhausting innuendos.”“Jealous?” you mock.“Hardly,” she spits.You DO feel better, though. Your Fleshweaver may be a technical ‘novice’ of her craft, but she is a prodigy, and she DOES perform rather remarkable works of fleshweaving and woundknitting. You are feeling about up to doing something productive with the remainder of your time here, prior to torpor.What will you do? [choose no more than two]>Speak with Glowie, and get to know your peculiar wyrmling offspring—it ahs been too longer since you have seen her alone, and there is MUCH to catch up on and discuss>Join Jazkarmel and the Ambassador to discuss the next move of your Dark Alliance, and how to proceed against this mutual menace of the Necromancer>It has been a while since you last communed with the Dark Gods… And you have questions for them [specify any particular gods, and any particular requests or inquiries]>Train in martial combat with Azonia, to keep yourself limber and your skills sharp>Work with the Throat-singer to better understand and work with the shoggoth-sword’s recent changes>Broach the subject of your offspring with the Novice… And the subject of her, ah, heat cycle, and your particular needs in that regard>Write-in
>>5501920>Work with the Throat-singer to better understand and work with the shoggoth-sword’s recent changes>Broach the subject of your offspring with the Novice… And the subject of her, ah, heat cycle, and your particular needs in that regard
>>5501920>Join Jazkarmel and the Ambassador to discuss the next move of your Dark Alliance, and how to proceed against this mutual menace of the Necromancer>Train in martial combat with Azonia, to keep yourself limber and your skills sharpWe can’t afford to be idle.
>>5501920>Speak with Glowie, and get to know your peculiar wyrmling offspring—it ahs been too longer since you have seen her alone, and there is MUCH to catch up on and discuss>Join Jazkarmel and the Ambassador to discuss the next move of your Dark Alliance, and how to proceed against this mutual menace of the NecromancerRelationship + war council sound good We shouldn’t be doing combat training while healing
>>5501920>Speak with Glowie, and get to know your peculiar wyrmling offspring—it ahs been too longer since you have seen her alone, and there is MUCH to catch up on and discuss>Join Jazkarmel and the Ambassador to discuss the next move of your Dark Alliance, and how to proceed against this mutual menace of the Necromancer
>>5501920>>Speak with Glowie, and get to know your peculiar wyrmling offspring—it ahs been too longer since you have seen her alone, and there is MUCH to catch up on and discuss>It has been a while since you last communed with the Dark Gods… And you have questions for them [specify any particular gods, and any particular requests or inquiries]Flying serpent, ask for paladinship. Or the whole pantheon, I neither know nor care, we'll face strong foe, we need power-up
>5501920>>Speak with Glowie, and get to know your peculiar wyrmling offspring—it has been too long since you have seen her alone, and there is MUCH to catch up on and discuss>Join Jazkarmel and the Ambassador to discuss the next move of your Dark Alliance, and how to proceed against this mutual menace of the NecromancerNeed to mend things with Glowie, I think, and get 100% clear on how much she does mean to us, even if she is a bit.. icky to the Dragonborn.
>>5502208>>5502131>>5501998>>5501950>>5501946>>5501944Your first duty is to your people and your allies. The Drow have suffered heinously for your enemy’s anger, and they deserve an explanation. You will give them one.“A kobold did this?” the Wevenore Ambassador—Yazzaer, you think his name was—asks incredulously.You nod, and explain: “Hapo, a kobold occultist and necromancer, wielding old relics of my people… Of Bloodrise’s last Dragon King.”“That place has had other Dragon Kings?” Jazkarmel asks, surprised. “ I didn’t think anyone had occupied the mountains properly since…”You all go quiet. The Princess works out your meaning, as the Ambassador internalizes it.“He’s wielding old magic, then,” the Ambassador whispers.“No wonder he was able to raise so many undead, then,” Jazkarmel sighs, rubbing her forehead.“And that’s not all,” you add. “It is not just the NUMBER of undead which he can animate, or the demons he can summon, which worries me. It’s… Quality, not quantity.”You tell these two elven nobles first of the troll which you battled—and the hellhounds before—while they were dealing with the main body. Then, once they understand the stakes, you tell them of Hapo’s sinister promise: to resurrect something terrible, powerful, draconic.“That… That can’t be right,” Jazkarmel protests. “What’s even left of the Red Dragon? It was slain, what, hundreds of years ago? A thousand?”“Pureblooded dragons are demigods,” you explain, thinking to the recovered eggs, the dead hatchlings which fuel the Novice’s dragonblood experiments. “They preserve remarkably well across the aeons, if not exposed to sun, wind, or rain.”“But… The humans and dwarves picked it clean, for materials!”“It doesn’t matter,” the Ambassador interrupts. “This ‘Hapo’ has proven his ability. Whether he means to resurrect THE Red Dragon or something else of comparable size and strength… We should be concerned.
>>5502584“We need to be ready,” Jazkarmel agrees. “We should request a full deployment, all the houses.”“Just after a coronation?” the Ambassador scoffs. “With everyelf still divided against the other? With accusations of…”He trails off, eyes flitting to you.“…The King cannot demand we send every elfman and elfmaid to serve in a war between, ah, dragons.”You barrow your eyes.“The Necromancer struck your forces already,” you point out.“To get to you,” the Ambassador points out, palms up, body language and tone appeasing. “He is your enemy. What grievance does he have with the Drow?”“WE have grievance with HIM!” Jazkarmel nearly screams.“We do,” the Ambassador agrees, “but if we deploy all our forces… Who will defend Wevenore? Right now, by what King Theral says, there is little danger of that… But if Drow deploy to fight this necromancer, he will target the City of Drow directly.”“So we do nothing?” Jazkarmel asks, arms crossed. “That’s stupid.”“That,” the Ambassador says, looking at you with apology in his eyes, “is politics.”What will you do to earn the aid of the Drow?>Promise them rewards, from Hapo’s hoard or from your own stores of mineral wealth>Offer to support King Solinsyr’s dream of ‘normalized’ trade relations with the surface realms>Threaten to attack their city next, if they make you face this threat alone>Try to convince them that Hapo ill come for them next, anyway [what argument will you use?]>Forget this—any Drow who wish to join you as freelance mercenaries, such as the Duelist or Centipede Lancer, or the ‘drowgons’—they may do so, but you need no others>Write-in
>>5502586>Try to convince them that Hapo ill come for them next, anyway [If Hapo revives the Red Dragon, he will come after all the Underdark, and he shall strike down you as he did the Bugbears. He doesn’t give a shit if you think he has no quarrel with the Drow- he WILL come after you next. Plus, what will the Surface folk think, if the Red Dragon returns to terrorize them and they learn that the Drow simply let it happen?]Like shit dude, he’s invading all the Underdark already, he ain’t gonna stop at the Drow when he gets Big Red back from the dead. Plus, if the Surfacedwellers get wind of the Drow’s inaction against this terror, that… is simply politics.
>>5502660Supporting this, plus:>I am a Copper Dragon in the making. I may not be kind all the time, but I have dealt with your people fairly. Do you think a Dracolich will treat you and yours as anything other than toys to torture and then consume?
>>5502586>Promise them rewards, from Hapo’s hoard or from your own stores of mineral wealth
>>5502660>>5502692Supporting these two
>>5502660>>5502692>>5502738>>5502742>>5502820“If the Necromancer is really doing what I believe he is doing, King Theral will not need to worry about anyone’s opinion of him for much longer,” you point out. “Your entire civilization will be scoured from these caverns, flushed out with fire.”The Ambassador looks incensed by this, but you raise a hand placatingly and he shuts his mouth.“It is not a threat,” you clarify. “It is a prediction. Look around you—there are not just kobolds here, not just elves… There are bugbears, dwarves, ghouls… The troll I fought.”“I think I see a few orcs, too,” Jazkarmel notes, with forced playfulness in her tone, attempting to lighten the mood.“The Necromancer is harvesting the dead of the underdark to build his army. Your people are just war materials for him. He doesn’t CARE if you have no quarrel with him—it isn’t personal, nor political. It is the way of necromancers, inevitably, to manufacture death when nature fails to provide them enough footsoldiers on its own.”“Then we hide,” the Ambassador suggests, affecting calm though his pointed ears twitch with nervous energy and his dark knuckles whiten somewhat with tension. “Wait him out, until he is… Done.”You try not to take offence at the implication that the new Drow King would abandon your people, let them die. You know the Ambassador speaks from fear, is simply voicing his desperation aloud. Instea,d you say:“He knows you are down there, somewhere. Do you really think that you can hide all of Wevenore from him?”The Ambassador bites his lip.“What about the surface-dwellers, then?” you press. “They will learn of you, if his army comes marching out the darkness, with dark-skinned elven corpses in their ranks. They will rally against him, flood these tunnels, and when they find you—conquered, or cowering—do you think they will have pity? Mercy? Understanding?”Jazkarmel shakes her head, and speaks up in your favour: “We HAVE to end this threat now, or Solinsyr’s reign is going to be a LONG, HARSH winter. We’re expanding, opening up… Even if HALF of what Theral says is true, hiding away will mean going back to the way things were, or worse. We’ll be more isolated than ever.”“These grim predictions,” the Ambassador replies, “why SHOULD we believe even half of them? This is just a kobold—one of YOUR servants, King Theral. Forgive me for saying it, but it seems like you’re making excuses to drag us into an internal issue.”Now THAT rankles you.“I may not be kind all the time, but I have dealt with your people fairly,” you answer. “I sincerely doubt Hapo will do the same, if my ‘internal’ issue remains unaddressed.”The three of you are quiet for a time.“I will… Pass along your words to the King of Elves,” the Ambassador whispers. “The decision is his.”“Of course,” you say. “Now excuse me. I have other business.”
>>5502907Your next meeting is a more pleasant one, and long overdue: finally, you meet with your hatchlings, and reunite with their mother (and one of your first and closest true companions) Glowie, While technically you were acquainted with the new family earlier, the circumstances were, put charitably, less-than-conducive to any true bonding, with subsequent interaction hampered by your decision to hide your relationship to them.“You came!” Glowie buzzes happily upon your arrival, apparently surprised—she must have still been concerned from your earlier distancing of yourself from she and her young in public.“Of course,” you assure her.She has seemingly self-segregated herself and the hatchlings from the rest of the camp. While Drow are more comfortable among huge invertebrates than most races, this does seem wise—the survivors are on-edge now, and you heard tell that one of your wriggling offspring was caught attempting to feed upon the dead.“They’re hungry,” Glowie explains, more amused than apologetic when you bring it up. “They are juzzzt BURNING the bodiezz, anyway. It’zz a wazzte of protein, and the young onezzz haven’t eaten zzinze before the attack.”You frown a little at that. You can hardly blame the dark elves, whose attentions are necessarily elsewhere and whose stores of food and ability to forage for more have been shaken. Still, a newborn requires ample nourishment, and judging by Glowie’s own appetite when you have camped with her in the past, this is doubly true for a great-worm. You DO note that the furry grub-things are more mobile and self-sufficient than you would expect of a newly-hatched Reptilian, who (you are told) are usually half-blind, mewling things requiring a great deal of assistance for their first two weeks of life. Your sons, by contrast, require constant wrangling by Glowie to prevent them from wandering off to hunt and explore. They have a curious gait, resembling the side-to-side slithering of a viper but notably wobblier; when Glowie picks one up, you see the kicking of eight stubby legs amidst their ample coating of hair, each of which ends in a small, two-pronged ‘paw’ with curling claws, not unlike that of a great spider. They seem to travel as quickly vertically as horizontally in this way, and to eagerly seize up anything that appears as if it might be edible in their crocodilian jaws.“Pleazze hold thizz one, my king,” Glowie says with palpable exasperation, handing you a squirming bundle as she rises to retrieve another who is angrily inchworming after one of the Drow’s domesticated beetles with murderous intent.
>>5502914You look down into the unblinking, domed eyes of your spawn. It—he—looks back at you with a crooked perpetual smile. Curiously, you sons seem to recognize you by some unknown mechanism—they attempted to attack Ivno earlier, seeing him as viable prey, but the only bites they deliver you are gentle, playful. Since then, you have wondered how this was—they seem scarcely more intelligent than animals at this stage of development, so it seems unlikely Glowie could have ‘explained’ their paternity. She scarcely seems to have any control over them at all.“I am zzorry,” she says when you bring this up. “I wazz not like thizz when I hatched… None of my zizzterzz were, either. I think that it izz becuzze they are malezz-warriorzzz, like their father.”You wonder if the dragonblood might play a role, as well. No dragon hatchling ahs been seen in centuries, but what you have read of them is that they are rapid to develop physically and mentally, and especially aggressive in early stages of their life.“Well, perhaps you’ll get some respite when they sleep?” you suggest hopefully.Glowie looks at you in silence for a moment, then makes a hissing sound that, after a moment, you realize is a sigh.“They zzleep for ten minutezzz at a time, a few timezzz a day,” she explains. “Never more than two of them at a time.”“…Ah.”You feel a little bad for the overworked worm-woman, but then this IS what she wanted -- and very enthusiastically, as you recall.
>>5502918You inquire after her time at the camp, and Glowie confirms she (and the young) have been well-treated. She recounts that her nursemaids were quite kind to her, though they left the chamber out of necessity after the hatchlings attacked one of them and attempted to devour her.“Zhe wazzz fine, mozztly,” Glowie reassures you.“Well, they’re both dead now,” you inform her.“Zzad,” Glowie acknowledges, without any real emotion to her half-psionic ‘voice’. “They were good zzervantzz.”Glowie has never been much of a conversationalist, and so the two of you shortly lapse into a comfortable silence. Afforded privacy, you allow her to lean the lighter and nimbler forward segments of her body against you, and to cling to your arm for a time. It is strange now, with her great and undulating bulk trailing behind the two of you, but it brings back happy memories of your early travels. This is made all the more familiar when, in an effort to placate the wyrmlings, she hums one of her vibrating worm-songs. This seems to have a calming effect, and they cluster around the two of you, for a time, wobbling and swaying in that curious way of her race.What will you do about your hungry and energetic young?>Try to negotiate for them to feast upon some of the dead—maybe just the bugbears and others for now?>Seek Hamaraska’s aid in wrangling them—the Centipede Lancer seems to have a way with elongated arthropods>Take charge yourself—they ARE your sons, and while Reptilians of any station rarely raise their own young, you are confident you can impose some discipline on these unruly young ones>Leave Glowie to it—that’s what females do, right? She’ll figure it out>Write-inWas there anything else you wished to discuss with Glowie?>Plan where she can start her nest, and where it will be in relation to your own kingdom>Ask more about your sons [like what?]>Request her aid in the upcoming hunt for the necromancer>Explain about your new relationship with the Novice, lest she find out another way and become... Upset>Something else [what?]>No, you just wanted to make sure they were all doing well
>>5502920>Take charge yourself—they ARE your sons, and while Reptilians of any station rarely raise their own young, you are confident you can impose some discipline on these unruly young onesBonding time!>Ask more about your sons [What are their names? Does any one of them stand out more than the others?]>Plan where she can start her nest, and where it will be in relation to your own kingdom
>>5502920>Write-in> Ask Karz’s to use his new found expanded bug/reptilian control song to calm down and pacify your glowbug drake sons.>Plan where she can start her nest, and where it will be in relation to your own kingdom>-Ask her too move into the abandoned human village we burned as that place had plentiful hunting game.>-See if glowie could convince her mom to move there with her as well instead of overhunting near the reptilian northern base. Since their is protection in numbers.The big problem we have is we can't have any of our drow allies or kobald servants guard glowie or our sons since, they'll try to eat them. We also cant keep them near us since we and the drow don't have that much excess food, and we can't let them hunt freely in the underdark either since hapo's forces are lurking.The safest place for them is the burned and abandoned surface ruin near blood rise, but it would be even safer for glowie and her sons if she also had her grandmother and her massive glowie worm pack with her. Glowie also seems lonely anyway, but we can't spend that much time with her since we have to focus on beating hapo.
>>5502920>Seek Hamaraska’s aid in wrangling them—the Centipede Lancer seems to have a way with elongated arthropodsWe should let glowie rest, Ham is bro and good with bugs that eat meat>Explain about your new relationship with the Novice, lest she find out another way and become... Upset I really doubt Glowie will be upset by this just because of the fact we already know that dragons have harems, as well as the fact that bug queens usually get bred by quite a few different other males to make their colonies within real ants and bee species, but better safe then sorryFollowed by>Ask more about your sons [like what?] More about them in general, as reptilians I doubt were naming them and im sure itd be equally as weird, but maybe as a group what are they called, do they show any attributes or desires that she can tell us about we cant understand because of the language barrier yet? I wanna get to know our boys a little without subverting both of our cultural norms, plus I think having Ham as babysitter/mentor for the wyrmlings would be badass, the real ambassadors of bloodrise, sons of drow, bug , and dragon
>>5502920>>Take charge yourself—they ARE your sons, and while Reptilians of any station rarely raise their own young, you are confident you can impose some discipline on these unruly young onesNot deadbeat father antipalading quest under my watch.However,>Seek Hamaraska’s aid in wrangling them—the Centipede Lancer seems to have a way with elongated arthropods'Cause parenting is extra hard the first month and you should not feel ashamed asking from help from your support network - especially when you have chores such as cleaning the house, grocery runs, cleansing a necromancer infestation.>>Ask more about your sons [Names, personality, any concerned related to the time Glowie was hurt in battle]>Introduce them to the Novice (she will be a second mom to them and she saved their lives already)>>Plan where she can start her nest, and where it will be in relation to your own kingdom
>>5502920>Take charge yourself—they ARE your sons, and while Reptilians of any station rarely raise their own young, you are confident you can impose some discipline on these unruly young ones.>Ask more about your sons [like what?]Are they developing faster than she expected? Is it normal for all of them to have survived to this stage?>Plan where she can start her nest, and where it will be in relation to your own kingdom>Explain about your new relationship with the Novice, lest she find out another way and become... UpsetDamn, I think that's just about every option. Sorry RQM.
>>5502920>Try to negotiate for them to feast upon some of the dead—maybe just the bugbears and others for now?At least the troll.>Seek Hamaraska’s aid in wrangling them—the Centipede Lancer seems to have a way with elongated arthropods>Take charge yourself—they ARE your sons, and while Reptilians of any station rarely raise their own young, you are confident you can impose some discipline on these unruly young onesAlso support the Kaz idea.>Plan where she can start her nest, and where it will be in relation to your own kingdom
>>5503312>>5503306>>5503103>>5503023>>5503016>>5503004[Alright, I think I got it. Snow day was called at work, so I'll start writing!]
>>5502920>Try to negotiate for them to feast upon some of the dead—maybe just the bugbears and others for now?nutrients to grow beeg and stronk>Plan where she can start her nest, and where it will be in relation to your own kingdom>Explain about your new relationship with the Novice, lest she find out another way and become... Upset
>>5503481While it’s not exactly TRADITIONAL to take overt interest in your mate and spawn as a Reptilian of rank… Well, neither is it traditional for a male as young as you to breed, let alone without dispensation from the Fleshweavers, Chaplains, and relevant Clan-leadership. For that matter, your entire mission has become as deviant as your genetics—even if at its core, and in your heart, you remain loyal to the spirit of the Great Conspiracy and the Grand Design. What is one more alteration to tradition, at this point?“I will find you a new servant,” you tell Glowie. “It is important that you get a chance to rest, as well.”Glowie thrums appreciatively, her song shifting slightly in tone as she nuzzles against you. You wince a little as some of the spikier armoured points of her new carapace jab you, but… Well, it IS endearing.“MY king izz zzo kind,” she enthuses. “Zzo good to us!”You consider simply summoning Karz Throat-singer to deal with them. After all, the beardless bard-slave has recently come to some degree of ‘Arthropod Empathy’. However, he is also bite-sized, and his mastery of that technique is uncertain. What if he loses control? He would be swarmed and consumed rather quickly. No, he is a good fallback, but for the moment you think you have a better option…“I will take command of this situation myself,” you declare, “and when I am busy, you will have the aid of the Drow called ‘Hamaraska’, the Centipede Lancer. He… Or she?… Is skilled is the mastery of large and carnivorous bugs. Until such time as they can be reasoned with, the Lancer should be able to help you hold them at bay.”(And the Lancer’s combat training and centipede ally should help them avoid being eaten, as well, you reason)Glowie chirps cheerfully and claps her hands. The almost ‘girlish’ enthusiasm is a reminder that, even as an enormous and swollen insect queen, her fundamental persona has not changed. It warms your heart a little to see, and so you decide to linger a little longer. You take the opportunity to project your Presence, and to observe the effect it has on your sons. Almost immediately, they all raise upright, pivoting to stare at you while standing with variable steadiness upon their hindmost legs like a patrol of soldiers at attention. A few remain like this, maintaining distance as if wary of discipline or eager to escape this hold, while others lower their bodies and crawl towards you; of these, some keep their heads low, one curls up into a ball as if to hide from your paternal gaze, and one makes what you can only describe as an ‘appeal to cuteness’, beginning to wobble and frolic about and to mimic his mother’s affectionate nuzzling.
>>5503554“Do they have—”You begin to ask after their names, only to stop short. Your race has names, of courses, even if titles and nicknames are preferred in most settings and situations. Glowie’s, by contrast… Well, it was YOU that named Glowie that, for (as she described it) her own race is so bonded by scent and song as to require no such thing. Nor do you see much purpose in asking after the normalcy of your sons’ development—Glowie was the only fully-sapient greatworm among her collective, with her mother herself a divinely-inspired Fleshweaver creation with no precedent, and THESE wyrm princes are such bizarre admixtures of disparate bloodlines as to be utterly unlike any of their kin.Still… Their differing reactions to your psycho-spiritual command intrigues you. Despite your best efforts, you cannot manage to physically differentiate your peculiar offspring from one another—each wyrmling looks much the same as the next to you—but they clearly have distinct personalities. “Tell me more about our sons,” you petition her. “I’d like to know more about them.”With motherly pride, Glowie eagerly obliges, pointing to each of them in turn as she explains their distinctions.“The firzzt to hatch wazz zzo eager to ezzcape hizz egg cazzing that he muzzt have used up hizz energy to do zzo—he zzleeps nearly twizze azz often azz the others,” she says, pointing to one who has flopped down further away from you. “Very independent.”You tilt your head. Is he… Asleep right now? Even under the pressure of your Fearsome Presence? It’s almost impressive, if a bit impetuous.“Hizz brother bezzide him izz zzecond to hatch, and a very aggrezzive hunter. Zztrong and bold, like you… But he getzz himzzelf into trouble that way.”“Also like me,” you acknowledge, eliciting an amused chirp of laughter from Glowie.“The third and fourth are clozzely bonded… They alwayzz zzeem to be near each other, and they try to hunt together, zzleep at the zzame time, wake at the same time. The fifth zzon izz zzcrawnier than the otherzz—it izz difficult to zzee under the hair, but a mother knowzzz—and he izz always hiding and zzkulking in low placezzz. The zzixth izz the playful one, alwayzz danzzing about, zzinging back to me…”You pat the son in question, who vibrates with bug-song in response.“The zzeventh and eighth zzonzz zeem mozzt obedient, good and loyal zzoldierzz who lizzten to their mother, but the eighth izz alwayzz bullied by the otherzz if the zzeventh doezz not intervene. I zuzzpect they will eat him firzzt, if they are ever forzzed to make do.”A grim prospect, but Glowie seems to take it as a matter of course.
>>5503558“What of the ninth to hatch?” you ask.Glowie sighs her hissing sigh again, and pokes gently at the son who curled up upon himself. After a couple proddings, he unfurls his length slowly.“Very lethargic, and he barely ezzcaped hizz egg,” GLowie notes. “I think he izzz weaker than the otherzz, maybe… He izz the right zzize, but doezzn’t zzing much, or go hunting. But the otherzz zzeem to avoid him… Zzo maybe he will not be eaten?”Hm. Curious…>Do you want to assign nicknames to any of your weird monster babies? If so, please feel free to discuss.
>>5503561You summon Hamaraska the Lancer (and Honendym the Centipede) not long after, and explain the task before them. The placid Drow shows perhaps the first overt enthusiasm you have ever seen from them in response, surprising you with their sheer excitement.“Really??” they ask. “I would love to help this… Queen Glowie with her young princes!”“They are quite a handful, as I understand…” you warn.The Lancer waves off your concerns, saying: “OF course they are. Predatory insects are naturally very dangerous to those not used to handling them, and even those that are…”The Drow strokes Honemdym, calming the enormous centipede and distracting it from its predatory tracking of your sons. For a moment you are concerned… But then, Glowie is here also, and you have never seen the centipede eat anything without the Lancer’s explicit permission, even unattended.“Once you get to know them, and they you, they have their own sort of… Rhythm, a way of being, and it is just like any other animal.”“Or person,” you correct, feeling a touch defensive of your (admittedly not yet entirely intelligent) offspring.“I was counting people—even elves—among animals,” the Lancer clarifies apologetically. “I understand these are your allied princes. I mean no disrespect to them, or their mother.”“I like thizzz one,” Glowie chirps happily.You and Glowie observe your new nanny at work for a time, as you gradually ease off the Fearsome Presence and allow the Lancer to assume greater control of affairs. You are pleased to see your instincts were correct, for even when your hungry sons turn to pack tactics in an attempt to slay them, the androgynous Drow scout easily avoids them, using the blunt end of their eponymous lance to batter them away and hold their venomous mouths at a safe distance. Honemdyn the Centipede readily assists as well, with its chitin proving difficult for your sons to penetrate and its flat bulk perfect for pinning them in place when they become too rowdy. When you are satisfied that all is well, you return your attention to your conversation with Glowie.
>>5503563“We should also discuss your nest,” you suggest.“OUR nezzt?” Glowie hopefully corrects.You hesitate to respond, and Glowie takes your meaning, and slumps slightly.“It is complicated,” you apologize. “But you will not be far—that was my thinking, in asking you to come with us to Bloodrise. You and the… Wyrm princes… They will be safe.”“We will zzee you often?” Glowie asks, as needy for you as ever.“Yes,” you agree, patting her hand and eliciting a happy hum. “I am likely to be… Busy… But I will try my best to visit when I can.”“Then it izz good!” Glowie agrees. “I love my king, zzo kind, zzo good to hizz family!”You… Decide not to mention your deepened relationship with the Novice just yet.Instead, you tell Glowie of the site you have in mind for her settlement…>The surface, in the burned-out ruins of the human village which the kobolds once occupied>The volcanic cavern where the Red Dragon King once kept his own hatchlings—appropriate, for his descendants and (maybe?) heirs>The Devourer’s old territory, and the surrounding caverns, once the threat of the Necromancer is ended>Gift them one of the dwarf fortresses you captured, to rule as vassal stateIn addition, you consider offering a summons to Glowie’s mother, the Glowworm Queen… But then, she is less pliable and cooperative than her smitten daughter, and her current position near to the northern forward base of the Master Race makes Glowie’s simpler siblings ideal as a supply chain between the two locations. Conversely, the great-worms remaining there ALSO risks their discovery and conflict between your races…Do you invite Glowie’s mother to join her closer to your kingdom?>Yes>No[Write-ins are allowed!]>>5503312>>5503306>>5503103>>5503023>>5503016>>5503004[Sorry for the delay and the wall of text -- I'm enjoying this interaction, so it ended up being a long one. Thank you all for indulging me.]>>5503531[Sorry, JUST saw this. The vote was, alas, already locked.]
>>5503561Nicknames : 1 : Scout2 : Hunter (Ranger class)3 : Kin (2 halflings...)4 : Dred (...In a trenchcoat)5 : Skitter (Rogue)6 : Minstrel (Bard)7 : Simon (fighter)8 : Richter (fighter)9 : Mystic (Pretty sure that one will have power)
>>5503573>The volcanic cavern where the Red Dragon King once kept his own hatchlings—appropriate, for his descendants and (maybe?) heirsWe need to end the necromancer threat before installation though, for now she'll stay with us.>Regarding delay and wall of textSolid update. I love our offspring. I enjoy the interraction too.
>>5503573>The volcanic cavern where the Red Dragon King once kept his own hatchlings—appropriate, for his descendants and (maybe?) heirs>NoThis whole thing with Glowie was all in part a design by her. She'll reach out to us if she wants to come.>Name each of your children after a great dragon of history that was close to their personality, so they always remember their heritage
>>5503617>>5503671[Uhhh... Alrighty, I'll see what I can do if this wins]
I don't want stupingly long name hard to remember plz
>>5503690Honestly, that was the idea, heh. I care less about the actual names and more about the Dragonborn's investment in the fuzzy kiddos.
>>5503617>>5503699Backlinking, this is me mobileposting.
>>5503617>>5503612Did you guys forget the fact that Hapo was with us when we liberated the dragon's kings egg nest and fought the boggbari? And thus remembers it exact location and how to tunnel there?Or the fact that Hapo himself used to be a kobold miner and thus is good at sneaking around underground.Or the fact that he is actively hunting for hostage's to use against us. And he has the undead camouflaged bugbears to help him do it.By comparison if bug sons are out one the surface hapo can't just dig a tunnel to ambush them, he'll have risk having his forces out in the open ground.Also Glowie's mother glow worm pack can serve as an early waring network if he does try to do that. Since both time we went to visit her glowie's mother always knew we were coming in advance. >The surface, in the burned-out ruins of the human village which the kobolds once occupied>Yes
>>5503716What part of "End necromancer threat before installation" did you forget to read?>Inb4 "that's not a possibility"Devourer option especially specify it
>>5503573>>5503612About Baby momma momma : >No
>>5503573>The volcanic cavern where the Red Dragon King once kept his own hatchlings—appropriate, for his descendants and (maybe?) heirsAncestral home rooted with deep darconic magic, perfect for the boys, and still a good midway point between the outpost and bloodrise>Names?Ill leave to anons for names, Id prefer them be lore friendly though so elfy dragony or buggyThis was a super fun interaction RQM>>5503023Is me im out running errands
>>5503573>Do you invite Glowie’s mother to join her closer to your kingdom? >NOWhen bugs leave to make their own nests it is more likely they will fight in the future, not always but not common for them not to, plus she give me the heebie jeebies, shes a prototype spawn of the mother and has her own goals given to her my the mother that can interfere with our goals given to us by the same mother, the gods are fickle but wish for entertainment through there champions and offspring
>>5503716>>5503573>The surface, in the burned-out ruins of the human village which the kobolds once occupied>Yes+1The surface has the best hunting ground, our kids are hyper active from being couped up in one chamber and want to stretch their bodies outside.And even if the bug mother is "creepy" we don't know the full extent of Hapo's forces should we could use all the help we could get. And im pretty sure some of the glowie bugs have been eating reptilians who have got themselves stuck on their webs. So we need to try and move them to where that won't happen eventually anyway.
Pic related was me from the last quest..
>>5503823[This sort of backlink isn't actually very useful to purposes of identifying valid 1post IDs. It kind of needs to be backlinked to a post in the same thread, ideally one which has multiple posts, to be useful.]
>>5503815>>5503789>>5503779>>5503739>>5503716>>5503699>>5503671>>5503617>>5503612>>5503604[Alright, let's give this a go...]
>>5503903In the end, there is nowhere you can think of that would better serve as a creche for your young than the Red Dragon King’s own nursery, where you found the eggs which were used to transform yourself—and these curious little grubs—into successors to that great ancestor. And what better names to identify them by, then, than those of legendary dragons and half-dragons? Modern True Speech is highly-derived from the ancient Draconic tongue, to better fit Reptilian lips and tongues, but every good and faithful member of the Master Race knows how to pronounce at least a few of the ancient Names of Kings.“Tudyivak,” you dub the first one, “He Who Traveled Beyond.”“Jepvysk,” you call your second son, “He Who Hungered for Flesh.”“Lopfivik,” you call the third, and of the fourth: “Fidiefvik. They were brothers who ruled as dreaded co-tyrants of the coastal mountains in the islands to the far west. The were called The Twin Terrors.”“Telovvisk,” you dub the fifth, who scurries and skitters about so, “He Who Crawled from the Deep Places.”“Noptivisk,” you decide upon for the sixth. “He Who Sang the Song of Apocalypse.”“Sevenths on, you shall be… Tonupask,” you decide. “The Shield-Scaled, The Ironclad, The Unbreakable.”On the eighth, bullied and defenceless, you bestow the ancient name of a half-dragon warrior, that it might inspire him to strength: “Gohjavisk.” And the ninth… Mysterious, withdrawn, sluggish and passive without fear or timidity. You Sense something odd in that one, and so you name him thus: “Natvodask, the Unknowable Horror.”“Share these names with no one,” you tell them, though mostly Glowie and Hamaraska, “save those whom you trust. A True Name is a powerful thing, in many ways. It is important. For others, give them only false names, titles, pseudonyms, euphemisms. Always protect and hide the True Self from adversaries and rivals.”‘The Unknowable Horror’ tilts his head in a surprisingly-Reptilian gesture—you almost wonder if this odd child, ‘Nat’, understands you. None of your other sons give any indication that they understand their names, let alone the significance of them. Glowie, for her part, kindly humours you, but plainly thinks the ritual is somewhat silly.“I think they are very auspicious names,” Hamaraska says. “You are kind to do so much for this ally, King Theral… As you are for taking in that ‘drowgons’ and their families.”“Hm,” you murmur, suddenly concerned about how much the Lancer might suspect, or come to know. “How else can I count myself a proper leader of this Dark Alliance.”The Centipede Lancer says nothing, only nodding.For short: Tud, Jep, Lop, Fidi, Telo, Nopti, Tonu, Gohja, and Nat
>>5503940With the wyrmlings well-in-hand, you consider the matter of their grandmother—Glowie’s forebearer, first-among-worms. Should you invite her to take up residence with your kin as well? It would have distinct advantages and disadvantages from a tactical, political, and logistical perspective… But personally, she sort of creeps you out, and you worry about the influence she could have upon her daughter. Her people were created to replace your own, after all. That you are now allied with her creator, the Mother of Dragons—even once a lover, to your lasting trauma—does not guarantee that the fickle Dark Goddess will not pit your races against one another again. No, better to secure Bloodrise more completely first.So it is that, having waited as long as you dare and healed as much as you can, you set forth once more towards the place that you hope will be home to all your faithful followers, your friends and lovers, and your strange new relations.What route do you follow?>The safety of the most well-trodden path, which you have traveled many a time this last year>The known shortcut through the old flooded-and-cursed elf-shrine, where once you faced fish-faced horrors and where you made love to Davora the Herbalist for the first time>Use divination to guide you along a different path—one yet-untraveled, and thus hopefully off of Hapo the Necromancer’s radar and free of his ambushes
>>5503945>The known shortcut through the old flooded-and-cursed elf-shrine, where once you faced fish-faced horrors and where you made love to Davora the Herbalist for the first time
>>5503945>Use divination to guide you along a different path—one yet-untraveled, and thus hopefully off of Hapo the Necromancer’s radar and free of his ambushesadventure whoo
>>5503945>>The known shortcut through the old flooded-and-cursed elf-shrine, where once you faced fish-faced horrors and where you made love to Davora the Herbalist for the first time
>>5503945>Use divination to guide you along a different path—one yet-untraveled, and thus hopefully off of Hapo the Necromancer’s radar and free of his ambushesAdventure!
>>5504058>>5504081>>5504117>>5504119>>5504457>>5504532>The known shortcut through the old flooded-and-cursed elf-shrine[Writing soon!]
>>5505204Whether it is unfinished business or romantic nostalgia which underlies your motivation, or perhaps simple logical expediency, you opt to take the fastest possible route to Bloodrise. You have lost too much time already—to injury, to idleness, to your enemy. You say your farewell to Jazkarmel and her scouts, thanking her for her aid and hospitality. Had Olu the Archer been here, you suspect the farewell would have lingered longer; while the Archer was sent ahead and his favoured mate shall remain here, you have spent the last day with your son’s mother and your beloved one, and now both your females shall accompany you.The Archer is a loyal servant, deserving on such peace as you find yourself feeling… But life isn’t fair, and neither is the foe you now face.You travel a familiar path, and you do so with the speed of a male on a mission—which, of course, you are. You are slowed by only two factors: your injury, and your company. Glowie was once surprisingly swift, though admittedly moreseo in her Reptilian disguise; now, she is easily five to ten times her previous weight, trailing yards of organic apparatus, unable to benefit from the compacting properties of the Amulet of Disguise. At least she is strong, though—stronger even than you, now, able to force her way through a cave-in which would otherwise have required you to exert yourself magically! Moreover, Hamaraska the Lancer proves a most excellent babysitter, requiring only occasional intervention by you or the Throat-singer’s Presence to tame your unruly princelings.When you reach the spring, though, you find yourself face-to-face with that which you might well have expected—dreaded, anticipated, prepared for. The cursed spring roils with a dark energy, its calm surface belying a mystical turmoil beneath. You feel it, the Novice and Glowie feel it, the Ambassador and the other elves of your entourage feel it… Even your apprentice Throat-singer feel it. Tension fills your lungs, spreads to your hammering heart, floods your blood and sets your nerves alight like dragonfire—no, HELLfire.When the dark shapes of piscine bipeds part the water with their looming, darkly beautiful forms, their hideous bulging-eyed faces, and their slick and shining green-black scales, none among you are surprised.“Did you not learn your lesson last time?” you snarl.
>>5505239They stare, unspeaking. This is not unusual—they did not speak last time, either, when they accosted you and you fought them back, drove them into the bowels of their accursed spring with your sacred elf-sword, and chased them to the very depths beyond the world of the living. What is unusual this time is how sickly they look upon closer inspection, how flaking is their flesh and ephemeral their hold on this world. The curse, impure though it already is, has been further corrupted. Their magical aura is… Of. They are…“The damned kobold,” the Novice interjects into your thoughts, he voice a hiss. “The Necromancer’s stench is on these things!”She’s right. Hapo has not been idle, all these months since he abandoned and betrayed you, stole Draconic knowledge and turned it to your ruination. As you have explored the underdark and made allies, so has he—but his are pressganged, bound by dark pact and darker power, dominated and coerced in far more aggressive ways than you yourself have manipulated your minions and mammal-friends. These… Things, accursed elf-shades or embodied divine punishment, they now stare at you with a hatred that is not their own—a grudge more personal.What will you do?>Hold aloft your moonblade, and channel your energies into it—it is a symbol of King Endymion and the Drow’s divine ancestor, and if it bqanished them once it may yet break their spell and do so again!>Draw the shoggoth-sword and will it to enlarge—it has feasted on demons, now let it feed on ghosts and grudges, and prove its enhanced ability with action!>Dive into the lack—you saw something in the deep once, and if you can but seize it… Silly as it may be, you sense that it might end this threat more permanently!>Assume <Dragonshape> and try to out-coerce their commander, dountering Hapo’s influence with your own>Trust in your allies: Reptilian, Greatworm, Drow, and Dwarf, you will pit an army of the living and blessed against an army of the dead, damned, and dominated any day!>You know what? Fuck THIS shit! Barrel through, and escape to the other side as swiftly as possible, and leave these sinister spectres to be a problem for another day>Write-in
>>5505240>Dive into the lack—you saw something in the deep once, and if you can but seize it… Silly as it may be, you sense that it might end this threat more permanently!Speed is of the essence and I think this is the most expident option. also maybe more loot
>>5505240>Assume <Dragonshape> and try to out-coerce their commander, dountering Hapo’s influence with your ownYou follow me now.https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TjzQ8VXqJ6E
>>5505240>>5505249*Dive into the lakeFeck
>>5505240>>Dive into the lack—you saw something in the deep once, and if you can but seize it… Silly as it may be, you sense that it might end this threat more permanently!
>>5505240>Assume <Dragonshape> and try to out-coerce their commander, dountering Hapo’s influence with your ownAfter>Dive into the lack—you saw something in the deep once, and if you can but seize it… Silly as it may be, you sense that it might end this threat more permanently!Watch us drown again.
Rolled 14, 17, 7, 3, 9, 1 = 51 (6d20)>>5505576>>5505497>>5505255>>5505249[Alright, we're going to dive into the lack (*lake) and dounter (*counter) the influence of the Necromancer, if we can, using the Dragonshape and intimidation. Rolling, and readying to post.]
>>5505838You step towards the dark shapes, your movements parting the once-warm mists—now cooled, chilling, as the grave-chill of necromantic energies—which surrounds these cursed fish thing. You have cowed them before, and you’ll do so again! Taking a deep breath, you close your eyes, focus your life-energies into the Novice’s amulet, and will yourself to change and transform. Your back burns with brief agony as you become once-more aware of your wings. A heaviness sets in as your skin redoubled and armours itself in thick copper scales, then a great strength wells up from within as muscles and organs bulge and shift to accommodate you.It is a good thing you still wear this lighter elf-armour in lieu of plate, or you’d have split it like a snake outgrowing his skin. <Dragonshape IV> is truly tremendous!“You know me, accursed-among-elves,” you snarl, in deepened voice which accompanies this increased mass, and with all the force of your amplified Fearsome Presence. “Move, or BE moved.”>17 for Intimidation (DC increased by Hapo’s influence but decreased by Dragonshape)You can feel the Necromancer’s will here, or a fragment of it, warring against you… But you are a Dragon, and ever closer to being a Dragon in Truth. Furthermore, though Glowie kindly rewrapped your sword in her silk, you suspect that these fish-things—especially the tallest, whom you take for the leader, seems to recognize you as its bearer. This being, whom you assume to be the warped shade of the rather regal-looking elf whom you saw when last you ‘visited’ the warm waters of the spring, shrinks back from you, parting as the mist parts. You waste no time, striding trough these stunned revenants and towards the spring.Your last ‘visit’… Well, you refer to it euphemistically, but you nearly drowned pursuing that magical glow at the bottom of the lake. You have never been a strong swimmer, for all your other athleticism—you’ve nearly died to drowning an almost embarrassing number of times this last year. This time, though, it is not for sake of treasure or glory that you go spelunking, but to end this threat and undermine that persistent pest, Hapo. You will succeed!You dive.
>>5505863>9The spring, like its undying occupants, seems… Corrupted. The sulphuric stench of hotspring waters is amplified, filled with a rotten scene which hits your nostrils before you even hit the water. You find yoru senses staggered, sixth sense stymied…>3Like the mist, the spring-water has lost its warmth, trading it for a bitter cold. You are a quarter-human, but your heart is a reptile’s heart, your mammalian blood thin and cold. Your Dragonblooded firelungs and <Dragonshape> transformation preserve you against instant coma, but it is still a deep and terrible shock. You flail your arms and legs, beat your mighty wings… But your muscles and armour are heavy, your movements sluggish, you mind still penetrated by that deep and deadly necromantic chill. You are sinking, deeper and deeper, deeper than the spring should naturally go, into blackness.>1You open your mouth to roar, and you find yourself drowning.Your consciousness begins to fade away from the waking world, and into the eternal darkness of the world beyond. Is this how you are destined to die? Why is water your nemesis? You begin to take it for the touch of fate, that are the air above, the earth below and around you, and the fire inside are all your allies, it was almost INEVITABLE than one of nature’s elements should be your enemy. It has a… SORT of logic to it, and a poetry….>Acquired: <Aquaphobia>, and <Water Weakness>, lowering your effectiveness in water and against water magicBut no… No! This is not how a Dragon King dies, not how YOU die, drowning in a spring while your followers and family look on with horror. Hapo the Necromancer will NOT rule Bloodrise! And the Green Knight… Wherever he is, you MUST face him. THAT is destiny!You force your eyes open, and your body to move. You cats your senses about—mundane and mystical, until you find it—light! It is…>The mystical light of that which you dove for—the heart of the spring![Chance to seize an artefact and end the threat of the cursed spring forever, BUT it leaves your allies undefended above]>The light of life, love, spells being flung and Glowie’s bioluminescence[The cursed spring’s secret remains beyond your grasp, but you will not risk losing any of your allies yet]
>>5505864I swear to the Gods, we’ll conquer this fucking spring if it’s the last thing we do, AND learn how to fucking swim. That’s for another day though…>The light of life, love, spells being flung and Glowie’s bioluminescenceSeriously, what the fuck were you idiots thinking?
>>5505868Supporting Stop fucking trying to swim anons
>>5505864>The light of life, love, spells being flung and Glowie’s bioluminescenceWe have four fucking dice how are we critfailing. What the fuck Dragonborn get it the hell together
>>5505868>>5505886>>5505890[Given low traffic, I'm going to leave this poll open until I hit the hay, and do a post up before I sleep.][Also, you probably expected as much, but expect delays and intermittent posting over Christmas weekend... Unless I'm still too sick and/or snowed in to attend my family's Christmas, in which case I'll just see about ordering in booze and pizza and dedicating myself to some updates.]
>>5505864>The light of life, love, spells being flung and Glowie’s bioluminescenceThe dice really love to cuck us in this spring
>>5506392>>5505890>>5505886>>5505868You force the water-damnable, accursed element of the enemy!—from your lungs. What erupts is flame, and fury, parting the spring like the sea before a prophet. With a single desperate beat of your wings you push up, up and OUT, into the stagnant and foggy air of the cavern above. It is alive with light: Glowie’s luminescence as she pivots her great bulk and lashes out with surprisingly swift and brutal blows of her forelimbs against the encroaching horde of shapes; hurled spells of the Novice Fleshweaver and Wevenore Amabassdor also. Neither are masters of evocation or elementalism, though, and these accursed spirits have no true flesh to weave or to rend, no corporeal eyes to blind or bewilder with illusion. They are out of their element.The Drowgon children cry, while their parents scream and thrash to pull them back from the talons of their twice-ensorcelled ancestors.Your sons hiss in defiance—less than two weeks old, but full of the same dragonfire as you, the same drive to ascend and conquer.“ENOUGH!”You project Presence most fearsome, filling the cavern with the sound of your bellow and the essence of your soul. If your sons can fight like True Dragons, wriggling and barely-armoured grub-things that they are, what excuse do YOU have? You are ashamed for the fear you felt a moment ago, your near-death in pursuit of an ephemeral glory. Do you forget so easily the revelation which the Master of the Insightful Eye led you to, the promise you made to yourself? A True Dragon King is one who puts his kingdom—his people—first. Even through the dimly-lit mist, you see the momentarily frozen figures of those people—elf, Reptilian, insect…And dwarf.Karz Throat-Singer banishes the mist about him with a single reverberating note and a pulse of mana, then draws it about him in a swirling vortex. It is mere stagecraft, no true force of Elementalism behind it, but it clears the way for him to see you clearly, and vcie-versa. He has looked at you with curiosity and ambivalence so very often, and with more than a little of the bitter hatred which he has held in his heart for his slaver, his owner, the destroyer and violator of his people…The one who let Davora, his friend, die.But now, for the first time, he seems to view you with something like… Hope. Maybe even respect.“Nobody dies today,” you assert.No hidden subaquatic treasure could matter more.Karz nods.
>>5506430The Throat-singer does what he does best: he sings. Your waning, half-drowned strength swells to fullness, fills you anew, and you dive for the tallest and strongest of the piscine shades. Upon his brow is a rusted and tarnished tiara, itself a shade of that which he wore in life.You descend like a dark angel -- no, like a rampaging dragon of legend! -- and…>Sever the shade of this cursed king with the moonblade, and cleanse away this lesser darkness with the light of the moon above>Summon forth the shoggoth-sword to consume and end these wayward elves, further strengthening it whetting its appetite for their Necromancer master>Write-in
>>5506436>Sever the shade of this cursed king with the moonblade, and cleanse away this lesser darkness with the light of the moon aboveI think it's a foolish choice to overfeed the shog-sword; let's just end this farce of a fight and get on the move. We oughta drain this damn place.Also kek the stock image cracked me up>>5506334Merry Christmas, RQM, enjoy the break and have a good one.
>Sever the shade of this cursed king with the moonblade, and cleanse away this lesser darkness with the light of the moon aboveMerry Winter Solstice
>>5506436>Sever the shade of this cursed king with the moonblade, and cleanse away this lesser darkness with the light of the moon aboveMore Christmasy this way. Merry Christmas everyone!
>>5506436>Summon forth the shoggoth-sword to consume and end these wayward elves, further strengthening it whetting its appetite for their Necromancer masterWe already tried the moonblade and now these guys are back. Maybe if shog eats them they won't come back.
>>5506436>Sever the shade of this cursed king with the moonblade, and cleanse away this lesser darkness with the light of the moon aboveWe Moonmaning this?
>>5506436>Sever the shade of this cursed king with the moonblade, and cleanse away this lesser darkness with the light of the moon aboveCan’t overpower our cosmetic horror sword too much
Rolled 6, 1, 2, 19, 4 = 32 (5d20)>>5507039>>5506977>>5506883>>5506657>>5506571>>5506451
>>5507056You draw your moonblade once again, and this time find the single-bladed selenic sword pulls free and clean without damaging the sheathe. Glowie’s new silk threads must be more durable, you reason… or else, seeing how quickly you go through them, your one-time mate diligently wove you a gift with extra effort so that it might endure.>19That thought, as much as frustration at this foe’s return, drives your slash. Your arm is moved by such force and with such purpose as to cleave the spectre in twain, splitting ephemeral flesh and bone and reducing the bisected shadow to so much more mist. The rusted crown clatters to the ground with a gentle tinkling, as of bells, and a gasping wail goes up from the other slickly-scaled ghasts. You stand tall, holding your luminescent sabre aloft, and each of them shrinks back from its glow as you point at it at them, or slash at their tentative advance. They back away, undead turned by this symbol of their ancient faith (and by your own mastery of it to best their leader). One by one, their dark shapes vanish into the mist, and you hear the soft splashes of them vanishing once more into the spring from whence they emerged.You look down, hoping to claim the crown of the fallen fish-prince as a trophy… But it is gone, vanished with the rest of them. There is a silence for a time, as of everyone holding their breath in anticipation of renewed hostilities… But nothing comes. A cheer goes up, celebrating your name and your victory:“Hail the Dragonborn Champion!”“Hail King Theral!”Even your pre-linguistic wyrmlings hiss and rattle in jubilation, though perhaps more at the happiness of their mother and general contagious excitement as any actual understanding of events.
>>5507072You sheathe your sword, and your <Dragonshape> necessarily fades. Your muscles ache and your chest and throat are wracked by coughing and wheezing as you expunge the remaining water from your lungs – a reminder of your latest near-death-experience. Hamaraska the Lancer steps forward to pat your back, but you shrug them off, for you are tender to touch while the transformation abates and your outer shell of enhanced skin begins to separate.The Novice Fleshweaver tuts, and admonishes you for carelessness.“And overreliance upon that form,” she adds, though with a hint of smugness: “Given the UNDENIABLE excellence of my work, though, who could blame you?”“Are they actually DEAD, though?” Azonia the Duelist asks, her dual short-swords not yet sheathed, and her eyes still on the spring. “Like… properly, I mean?”The chill mist is dissipating, sinking and spreading away to reveal that accursed pool, and with it the chill… But even as the geothermal heat begins to slowly increase the ambient temperature, you know that the underlying magic remains. The Necromancer’s taint has been banished, but the ancestral elven magics are older and stronger than that.“No,” you sigh. “Not yet.”You’re in no shape to face them in battle again, however. The thought of delving down once more to find a permanent solution fills you with dread, and working any sort of magic or miracle would require more mana than you can presently muster. Even the notion of continuing on in your current state makes you cringe… But you can you really waste time with rest and recouperation AGAIN?>Push forward, for home and for Bloodrise, before the damned Kobold necromancer can lay any more traps or obstacles to impede your progress>Linger here a while—while the curse is momentarily banished—to make use of the spring and to allow yourself to rest before continuing>You will NOT live in terror of some POND! You will spend some time here, first in rest and then in prayer to the Dark Gods to cleanse this place of its ancient taint once and for all!>Write-in
>>5507074>Push forward, for home and for Bloodrise, before the damned Kobold necromancer can lay any more traps or obstacles to impede your progresspond 2 scary
>>5507074>You will NOT live in terror of some POND! You will spend some time here, first in rest and then in prayer to the Dark Gods to cleanse this place of its ancient taint once and for all!Fuck this pond
>>5507074>You will NOT live in terror of some POND! You will spend some time here, first in rest and then in prayer to the Dark Gods to cleanse this place of its ancient taint once and for all!As painful as it is to spend the time, I don't want a potentially endless source of troops for Hapo between us and the Drow.
>>5507074>Push forward, for home and for Bloodrise, before the damned Kobold necromancer can lay any more traps or obstacles to impede your progress
>You will NOT live in terror of some POND! You will spend some time here, first in rest and then in prayer to the Dark Gods to cleanse this place of its ancient taint once and for all!>Ask paladinship for Serpent daddy against water breath or something
>>5507074>Push forward, for home and for Bloodrise, before the damned Kobold necromancer can lay any more traps or obstacles to impede your progressThe pond is not urgent Preventing the resurrection of the Red Dragon is!
>>5507074>Linger here a while—while the curse is momentarily banished—to make use of the spring and to allow yourself to rest before continuingI want that loot damnit!
>>5507095>>5507361>>5507458[Three to move forward...]>>5507152>>5507287>>5507399[Three to fight your fears...]>>5507459[One that seems to be voting to rest, but also has a comment implying that diving into the spring again would be their preference, I think?][After work, assuming no clarifications, changes in vote, or additional (multipost or backlinked) ballots are cast, we will spend another day here attempting to conquer the cursed spring of the ancient elves!]But please remember, Hapo is not idle, nor is the Green Knight, when you delay. I won't have anyone accusing me of unfairness if they continue to move and advance...
>>5507659>Push forward, for home and for Bloodrise, before the damned Kobold necromancer can lay any more traps or obstacles to impede your progressChanging my vote from >>5507287
>>5507669>>5507459>>5507458>>5507399>>5507361>>5507152>>5507095You glare at the still surface of the spring-water. You know that beneath it lays loot—and lost dignity. However, even at this distance you feel the pangs of a creeping fear. You remember the feeling of that cold taking your body, seeping in from you extremities to your core… The terror of holding your breath, feeling your physical and psychological werewithal dissolving away in solution… The helplessness of your mouth opening in instinctive idiocy to take in air that wasn’t there, and water rushing in instead… The knowledge, certain KNOWLEDGE, that you were sinking to your grave amongst the spirits of those damned elves.You move on. You tell yourself that it is because the Necromancer is more important. You think it might even be true, for the most part… But you know in your heart it is not the only reason.>Aquaphobia an Water Weakness: PermanentThe next few days are rough going. You press on with a vengeance, determined not to be brought low by your almost-drowning. If you cannot conquer those waters, they will at least not drown your Dragon Soul! The experience has had a lasting effect, though. You pause periodically to cough and wheeze, and find yourself prone to dizzy spells. On more than one occasion, the Lancer and their Centipede are forced to abandon your sons with their mother for a moment in order to prevent you falling, and to support you.“You are being a fool,” the Novice hisses as she tends to you at your next rest.“Maybe,” you acknowledge, and neither of you says any more than that on the subject.The Novice’s ministrations help, at least enough to allow you to reach Bloodrise within a few days. The caverns warm as you approach the caves surrounding the dormant volcano at the centre of your domain, and traces of rudimentary plant-life creep in where cracks in the earth bleed with glacial run-off or surface rains. You start to feel more at ease again. This is your home—or will be, with your concerted efforts and the aid of your allies. You are a king, and this mountainrange is your castle!“Dragonborn! We heard what happened below.”“The degenerate and kobold you sent reached us…”“But there were complications.”The feeling of relief is short-lived. Relaxation never comes. A Dragon King’s work is never done.Upon your arrival, you are accosted by the Translator, the North Merchant, and the South Merchant—a Serpent Priest of your Novice’s caste, and two lithe Silkscale males with a background in surface commerce and infiltration, from among your initial retinue. The three debrief you on news both good and bad.
>>5507810First the good, from the North Merchant, who reports that your covert trade with the dwarven Blackmantle Corporation and the neighboring human settlements has borne fruit—in some cases literal, but more often figurative. From nearest Blackpine, and Undershadow have come furs, blankets, and rations beyond mere game meat (including the fruit and vegetables which the dwarven slaves require to keep them productive). From Redwell and Sunset Lake have come fish—a thought which brings back bad memories of recent events, but is also a welcome addition to your diet—as well as currency and lumber for construction. The currency and remaining ore which is not needed for your own work has been shipped back and forth with Blackmantle, under the auspices of your captive Blackmantle Delegate and supervised by the careful eyes of your disguised agents, to facilitate the acquisition of finely-manufactured goods—including tools!—which have decreased maimings and deaths among your pressganged workforce and improved the mountain’s livability as a whole.“And the bad?” you ask, already dreading it.Here, the Translator interjects, his tone and expression dour.“As you already know… The kobold runaway has returned with new powers.”“The Necromancer, yes.”“Yes,” the Translator agrees, “but it is perhaps worse than you realize. While the Merchant is correct that accidental injury is reduced among the slaves, and productivity up per-slave due to improved tools and conditions, we have lost many to bugbear attack.”“The Necromancer collapses mines to cut off slaves from their workmates and supervisors,” the South Merchant adds. “When we reopen the tunnel, we find the bodies gone, as well as much of the day’s extracted wealth.”“Trade is still bringing us much of what we lacked before,” the north Merchant adds hopefully.“But less than it was,” the South Merchant counters, "and it has stalled. We cannot deploy anything but the most well-defended column of miners without risking losing them and their bounty. It is MOST inefficient.”“My messengers made it through safely,” you note, since they knew you were coming and had encountered the necromancer en route. “Maybe smaller groups of forces would slip through unnoticed?”The South Merchant shakes his head.“The Necromancer knows these tunnels. He has lived in these mountains all his life. And he may have… Other means, with his arts.”“Knowledge and means to locate his ultimate prize,” you conclude. “The Red Dragon King.”You all sink into an unpleasant pause as you consider this dreadful possibility.
>>5507812“However, the so-called ‘Bugbear Boss’ has returned,” the North Merchant notes. “He was retrieved by the Hunter a little over a week ago, and has been recovering ever since. He may have insight into the Necromancer… And how it is he plans to go about this.”“The Occult Researcher who you recruited when last you were in contact with the northern forward base could be of some use, as well,” the South Merchant proposes.“Or we could request help from the Chaplain and the High Priests of the Dark Light Beyond and the Secret Flame,” the Translator says, raising his voice slightly to assert his primacy over the other two. “With everything that is transpiring… It is high time we sought the help of those closest to the Dark Gods, in accordance with the Grand Design.”This phrasing catches your attention, and so you ask: “What do you mean, ‘with everything that is transpiring’? Is there something else?”The two merchants exchange a meaningful look, and allow the Translator to take the lead.“The Great Conspiracy is breached,” he explains gravely. “In the northern human city of Hawksong, one of our operatives was captured and exposed, publicly.”You freeze up instinctively, as if in the gaze of a predator. That is an unfamiliar sensation, especially of late—you are not used to thinking of yourself as a hidden prey, a slinking serpent beneath the rocks and dirt, wary of exposure to the sun. yet here it is: that reality, that reminder of your race’s sorry place.“How highly placed was this operative?” you ask.“The Operations Chaplain.”It gets worse and worse.“How did this happen?” you ask.“We do not know,” the Translator replies. “This is exactly why we must make formal contact with the forward base’s Chaplain, to coordinate a response. As it is, we have only rumours, which the Thief overheard in his infiltrations of the settlement called ‘Undershadow’. Some sort of green-armoured human ‘adventurer’ was responsible, allegedly, but now the Paladins of the Silver Order have begun to move against us.”
>>5507813You feel your fire-warmed blood run as cold as if you were once more plunged into that frigid spring. A green-clad adventurer? There are many that could be… But in your heart, you know it is the human male form your dreams. Your mother’s killer. The Last of the Yosef bloodline. The Green Knight!“…Dragonborn?”You snap out of your trance, and realize that your three subordinates are staring at you with concern. You clear your throat, and dismiss them.“I require rest,” you announce, ‘and privacy to plan.”It isn’t a lie. You feel wearier than ever, after all this. Your homecoming as meant to be a relief form the complications of elven politics, and yet it brings you only a pair of even MORE complicated situations. The Necromancer and his sacrilegious plans to raise the long-dead Red Dragon King… The Green Knight drawing closer, threatening everything you and your people have worked towards over the last few centuries…What will do you?>Prioritize the Necromancer—the closer, more immediate threat, picking at your holdings and endangering the very kingdom around you with his plans>The Green Knight has haunted your dreams with an heir of destiny, and now he threatens not just your burgeoning kingdom but the ENTIRE Great Conspiracy of the master Race—he must be your first priority>This is too big for just you… It is time you sent a messenger to the northern forward base, requesting a formal representative of the High Priesthood to discuss what to do next>Write-in
>>5507815>Prioritize the Necromancer—the closer, more immediate threat, picking at your holdings and endangering the very kingdom around you with his plansWe can't unbreach the Conspiracy; we need to be as strong as possible in our home when the fight comes to us. Sending a messenger to the forward base to ask for help now leaves us without leverage and at the mercy of whatever the Priesthood wants to do.That said, I do think we should also:>Send a messenger to the forward base to apprise them of the situation and your plans, welcoming any reinforcements that can be spared
>>5507810>You move on. You tell yourself that it is because the Necromancer is more important. You think it might even be true, for the most part… But you know in your heart it is not the only reason.>Aquaphobia an Water Weakness: Permanent….I’m just gonna politely ignore this and move on.>>5507815>Consult with the Dark Gods on our prioritiesTime for an immediate perspective on this shit.>Dominate or cut a deal with the Envy DemonI’m tired of anons fucking shit up, we could’ve tracked down Hapo earlier if you chucklefucks decided to do the smart thing and used the fucking demons to our advantage. It’s time to return to Infiltrator tradition.>Get the Novice in here, we’re Fleshweaving the Ghoul’s physic abilities into our DNA>Send a messenger to the forward base and the Drow to apprise them of the situation and your plans, welcoming any reinforcements that can be sparedGondor calls for aid.
>>5507815>Prioritize the Necromancer—the closer, more immediate threat, picking at your holdings and endangering the very kingdom around you with his plansHapo needs to go down first. He's messing with our income! and being sacrilegious with his plans, and he's annoying, and he's local. Green knight is a problem for all reptilians, so we'll let the other bases handle him for a bit while we kill the hapinator.>>5507837nah
>>5507815>Prioritize the Necromancer—the closer, more immediate threat, picking at your holdings and endangering the very kingdom around you with his plans
I guess we’re going full reveal huh?
>Prioritize the Necromancer—the closer, more immediate threat, picking at your holdings and endangering the very kingdom around you with his plans>Claim the power needed to Serpent Ascendant
>>5507815Let one problem solve the other!>>Write-in> Send a non-reptilian agent to inform the green knight of the necromancer's plans. We kill the injured remains.
>>5508271>>5508124>>5508086>>5507913>>5507837>>5507833The Green Knight is a threat to all Reptilekind, potentially far greater than Hapo the Necromancer… But that’s exactly the thing. He is a POTENTIAL threat, not yet realized nor imminent in his arrival at your proverbial shores. The Necromancer is HERE, NOW, and a local issue. If you don’t deal with him, who will? If you don’t deal with him IMMEDIATELY, who CAN deal with that which he proposes to revivify and corrupt to his horrid purposes? No, the blight beneath Bloodrise comes first. Let the Chaplain and the other High Priests handle the Green Knight for the moment. The Great Conspiracy ahs shielded your Master Race for a millennium—surely it cannot be broken so easily?>Locked in for Dragonborn Paladin: The Blight Beneath BloodriseYou make your intentions known to all your retinue. Those of the elite castes and clan gentry grumble, though the Bastard and Pit-Guard welcome the news, and both the Merchants—while ambivalent—are happy enough at the prospect of restarting their fledgling trading operation here. You, in turn, take them up on their suggestions: you speak with the Bugbear Boss, and the Occult Researcher.First, the Boss. This Bogbarri male has apparently been stored away in anticipation of your return, in the same cramped confines where you once kept your ‘honoured guests’ such as the Blackmantle Geologist and Engineer. They are both hard at work in their own expanded quarters—albeit still under guard, lest they try anything funny—leaving the stony jail to the Boss alone.“Ha, finally you are here.”The Bugbear Boss looks notably skinnier than when he last saw him, dissheveled and barely clothed. Normally, his kind take to wrapping themselves round-and-round with tied-together and coiled cloth as a form of padded attire; he has only a shoddy sheepskin blanket for a cloak now, tented over his hedgehog-like array of spines or pierced through by them and thus held awkwardly in place. He limps slightly as he approaches the bars of his cell.“You look to be in terrible shape,” you address him in elventongue, your shared language.“You too, Copper,” he says, with guttural laughter. “Like drowned rat, but bloated too!”‘Copper’, or ‘Theral’… This bugbear was the first one to call you that nickname, by which you have come to identify to so many. It speaks to your history.“You will let the Boss out of his cell, yeah?” he asks, tapping along the cage with his long, claw-like nails.You don’t answer right away, instead noting: “Your bugbears have been ambushing my people—and me—in the caves.”
“Bah!” he scoffs. “Not bugbears. Meat. Dead meat, brought back by YOUR shifty little newt.”“The Necromancer is not of my doing,” you object.The Bugbear Boss grins, and nods.“Good,” he says. “Then we agree. Bugbears aren’t mine, Necromancer isn’t yours… We are friends, yeah? Good friends, who fight and kill together?”He taps upon the bars hopefully. You sigh.“Tell me of the status below,” you command. “What has transpired?”>>5508297The Boss sighs, and rolls his hunched, muscular shoulders.“Kobold came with bugbears, real smelly males… Came as captive. Thought to myself, look, some distant families have heard of the Boss and his strength, have brought a snack as… How you say it, tribute?”His expression darkens and voice lowers.“But they weren’t new males. Old friends, died to you and yours in our battle for treasures in mine, before we were such good friends. And the kobold wasn’t a captive.”“The undead struck you by surprise?” you ask, honestly surprised that it was so easy to get the drop on, and defeat utterly, this mighty menace.“Ha! They tried. Killed several strong Bogbarri… But not the Boss. I got away, went to regroup… But every time we struck at Necromancer and his zombie friends, he had more and more, and we had less and less. He sends them hunting, gathering dead from all over dark and even corners of surface, and every time we win a hard victory…”The Boss trails off. You understand, anyway. Every hard-fought victory cost bugbear lives, which reinforced the kobold’s forces.“What of your invisibility?” you ask. “The stealth advantage?”The Boss shakes his head.“Cannot work on demons. Which he ALSO has, damn the little newt! Demons see with different eyes, yeah?”“Yes,” you agree, remembering how your illusions failed to slow the hellhound. Their extrapalanar senses must be utterly unlike a material being’s, even a member of the undead.“…Killed my bat.”You look back to the Bugbear Boss, his murmur startling you from your thoughts. You recall his enormous bat—a mount unlike any other, a winged mammal the size of a small dragon.“Turned my bat into a zombie,” the Boss seethes. “Little ugly, stupid, AWFUL newt…”“How can we stop him?” you interrupt.The Boss look surprised, then amused, bursting out into laughter.“I hoped you knew!” he says. “Well… What works for me might work for him, yeah? Find what he wants, meet him there, stop him, chase him back home…”The Boss has the cheekiness to WINK then.“Just make sure it not end up like when Boss captured you and had you surrounded and at his mercy, yeah?”You sigh. He overstates his dominance, as ever, but he’s not wrong: you’ll need all the help you can get to make such a plan—or ANY plan—work. The situation is worse than you thought. The Necromancer is massing a proper ARMY.
>>5508298You next consult with the Occult Researcher—the Dragonblooded young female Reptilian who you recruited to help catalogue your reclaimed library of tomes and to help you understand their contents.“An army of demons and undead?” she asks, when you finish relating what you have learned. “I suppose I will earn my place here after all. I was beginning to think I was hardly needed!”“Then you have solutions?”“Suggestions,” she gently corrects you. “I haven’t exactly had access to ancient Draconic spellbooks and scrolls until you brought me here, and I’ve never seen the SPECIFIC ones which this… Kobold Necromancer… Has access to. Tell me what you know of them, Superior One?”And so you do. You tell her what you know of the tomes—very little—and of the Necromancer himself, as well as of the Envy Demon which you even now keep trapped and hidden away in your pack.“Fascinating,” she murmurs. “Well, this is all quite powerful and advanced material… As well one might expect, from a dragon’s hoard!”The young female is almost giddy at the prospect, you sense, but she hides it well behind a veneer of professionalism—only your Reptilian Empathy tips you off.“Maybe we can use that demon against him?” she suggests.She means to release it?! You are a little shocked, and it must show, for she rapidly elaborates:“It is common procedure! ‘Lesser darknesses’ like demons are useful tools of the trade among our race, of course. More importantly where THIS one is concerned, they are VERY mercenary. Demons know no affection nor loyalty. They only crave sensation, power, the souls and energy of the living, and pacts to reinforce their position in the Hellish Realms. This ‘Envy Demon’ will just as gladly help us hunt down and kill the Necromancer as serve him.”“And if you are wrong?” you press. “Or if it escapes, or is captured?”The Occultist tilts her head.“Well… Then if we aren’t going to use it, why keep it?”She realizes she has been presumptuous, and rushes to apologize:“Forgive me, Superior One, but… It is just my opinion, uneducated on your reasoning, that it would make sense to sue the demon or else to hide it away somewhere it cannot be reached. Carrying ita round seems… Risky.”“Or I could destroy it?” you propose.She frowns, and shakes her head.“Demons can’t be created or destroyed so easily,” she says. “If you banish it to the Hells, the Necromancer might know its True Name, and summon it back to his side.” But that isn’t entirely true. Those demons you faced before… IF they aren’t ‘dead’ exactly, they are still trapped within the writhing non-Euclidean geometries of the shoggoth-sword. Maybe you could likewise feed it the Envy Demon? Or maybe… Maybe the Occultist is right, and you could use it in some way, to further your own ends?
>>5508300What will you do with the Bugbear Boss?>Free him—he could be a powerful and useful ally>Keep him imprisoned—he is, ultimately, a rival and a blowhardWhat of the Envy Demon?>Feed it to the shoggoth-sword, to further empower your blade and deny the Necromancer>Perform a ritual, with the help of the Occultist, to bind the demon to your service and sue it to your own ends>Keep it trapped in the ring, in the box, in your bag… It’s worked so far!>Find somewhere to hide it away—deep in a collapsed cave, behind a <Wall of Stone>, perhaps?[Write-ins are allowed, as always unless I specify otherwise. Also, we'll address ideas like summoning reinforcements, tipping off the Green Knight, and gene-splicing yourself with a psychic dogman next update!]
>>5508303>Free him—he could be a powerful and useful allyhe's lost all his homies>Feed it to the shoggoth-sword, to further empower your blade and deny the NecromanceryesYESif we're getting reinforcements we need an undead killing specialist. holy spells are probably not something the dark gods grant, but maybe dark clerics who can rebuke undead?
>>5508303>Free the Boss, and extend to him the same offer that you have made many others: participate in the Dark Alliance as leader of your people; earn your spot fighting here>Feed it to the shoggoth-sword, to further empower your blade and deny the NecromancerI don't feel like there's a great option with the demon, honestly. Open to suggestions.
>>5508303>>Free him—he could be a powerful and useful ally>Perform a ritual, with the help of the Occultist, to bind the demon to your service and sue it to your own endsListen my opinion : We try. Failure, we shoggoth-slay him. Success, we get the Kobold down and either bind him again or shoggoth-slay him.
>>5508303>Free him—he could be a powerful and useful ally>Perform a ritual, with the help of the Occultist, to bind the demon to your service and sue it to your own endsBind him, use him to track Hapo down, and turn Hapo into a tiny red salamander before we sic Junior on him. After, either feed him to the sword or use the Envy Demon to slander the GK’s reputation and discredit his ‘lizardmen conspiracy’ as a southern demonologist powerplay or some shit.
>>5508337Supporting - I like the backup option But we should check if our researcher has summoned / bound any demon before? If not, she should probably start with something less complicated as a ‘test’
>>5508303>Free him—he could be a powerful and useful ally>Feed it to the shoggoth-sword, to further empower your blade and deny the NecromancerOnly voting for this so we don’t bind him. Fuck demons.
>>5508303>>Free him—he could be a powerful and useful allyAre we totally sure, that the sword will not be absorbed into the envy demon? If so:>Feed it to the shoggoth-sword, to further empower your blade and deny the Necromancer
>>5508893>>5508671>>5508403>>5508352>>5508324>>5508332>>5508337[Vote locked, writing! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, by the by.]
Rolled 29 (1d100)>>5509042You free the Bugbear Boss readily enough. He is a smelly and somewhat unpleasant entity, crude and brusque, but he could be a useful ally. In the past, seeing him struggle to curb the less-savoury proclivities of his kin and to force some form of cooperative order upon the savages, you even felt… Affinity. After all, are you not engage din the same struggle, as perhaps the sole romantic idealist among a Master Race of cold and loveless cynics? It does the Bogbarri leader no favours that he seems to regard his freedom as some ‘victory’ over you—something you infer from the goblinoid’s puffed chest and swagger… But if he earns his keep you can forgive such things.“Get this mammal a chain, fashioned as a whip,” you convey upon his request, to a kobold servant who hastens to do so.“And I’ll need time alone to enchant it,” he tells you.This surprises you somewhat. Your prayers for <Guidance> had granted you some insight into the Bugbear Boss’ abilities once, including some form of channeled magic… But you suppose the art of imbuing objects with magical properties had struck you as sophisticated beyond his barbarous means.Beyond mere barbarity, though, is the demon. The occultist is not wrong: your people have a long history of dealing with demons, utilizing them in a wide variety of ways to aid in subterfuge, intelligence, and assassination. Such ahs never been YOUR way, though. You have long put your faith in the Dark Gods Below and Beyond, and in yourself and your Dragon Soul. Forming pacts with lesser and baser entities such as those of the Hellish Realms seems both dangerous and unbecoming. Still, the Envy Demon IS plainly valuable to Hapo, even now as the Kobold Necromancer. Is there some special property which it has? You turn the demon ring with its eye-like gemstones over and over in your hand as you consider this.“Let us see if that property is transferrable,” you decide aloud.You draw the shoggoth-sword, the bulging eyes of which emerge from the unknowable depths of its murk to stare hungrily at the ring.“Eat,” you command, your voice thrumming with a mimic of the Throat-singer’s hum as you channel mana into the command.The bubbling eyes pop, and a toothy, flapping mouth appears in their place. After a moment’s hesitation, you drop the ring—and its Envy Demon—disappear into the eldritch internals of your aberrant armament.
>>5509048For a moment, nothing happens. A moment later, the surface of the sword warps and roils. You feel yourself tense up in anticipation, expecting the worst—perhaps another fight with a reanimated shoggoth, or the demon’s emergence.>29: NEARLY a failureInstead, the sword… Burps. The mouth then disappears into the shifting surface of the sword, and the eye reappears—now a greenish yellow, perhaps a little less bloodshot. It seems to recognize you for a moment… Then, blinking blearily, it shuts and is no more, the sword asleep once again. You practcie your swordsmanship with the weapon later. When willed to assume its fuller size, the shoggoth-sword lengthens and refines somewhat, the jagged and haphazard teeth of its serrated edge taking on greater uniformity and the club-like thickness of the sword thinning to a sharper cutting surface. It is by now less a lump of darkened, tumorous flesh than a smooth-skinned, reddish appendage, clearly meant for war. Well, war it shall have!Later that day, you are with the Novice Fleshweaver. She is tending to your continued ailments, helping to heal your lungs, muscles, and mind: the dizzy-spells have mostly subsided, but you wish for the effects of the near-drowning to be COMPLETELY cured before you re-enter battle. You are not alone, exactly—the Junior Novice stands watch at the door to her laboratory—but you might as well be.
>>5509071“I thought that you would wish to examine Glowie and the wyrmlings?” you inquire.The Novice tuts irritably.“They will not hold still to be examined,” she hisses. “I observed one or two of them, individually—they all seem much he same. But when ALL of your vile little wretches are brought before me, it is almost impossible to keep their greedy mouths off of my other researches.”“Did the Lancer fail to supervise them?”The Novice looks at you as if you are mad.“I would not invite that elvish ape-thing into my private sanctuary. Did you forget that we have SECRETS here?”She gestures to the jars, vials, and other such samples representing what remains of the long-dead dragon hatchlings.“The Lancer is trustworthy.”“Real Reptilians trust no one,” the Novice replies dismissively, “Oh Mammal-minded One.”You ignore the jab, instead turning the conversation to other matters.“I have been considering options as to how to best deal with the Necromancer and his army,” you tell her. “I would have your council.”“Wise of you,” the Novice says with no small smugness. “I AM the most intelligent being you know.”“I must acquire better company, then.”She swats you upon the rump with her tail, and you laugh.“In all seriousness, though…” you continue, and you relate to her your strategy. You plan to…>Take a part of dwarven slaves and kobold miners, along with your mightiest warriors, to excavate and establish a bulkhead in the Dragon King’s old tunnels, that you might find the old king’s resting place before Hapo can>Try to bait the Necromancer into exposing himself and his fell magics to the surface-dwellers, and send an infiltrator to Hawksong to summon the Green Knight—pit one foe against another, and you will mop up whatever weakened force remains!>Remain in Bloodrise to defend and administrate your domain, while the Hunter and his scouts search the underdark for signs of the NecromancerTo aid in this, you were considering…>Calling for reinforcements and aid from the Novice’s father, the Chaplain of the northern forward base, that you might wield all the force the Master Race can bring to bear>Seeking the benefits and powers of true antipaladinship, through the pledging of true and total devotion to a single Dark God [which one]>Having the Novice infuse your <Dragonshape? With something… Impure [Ghoul Supreme cranial fluid? Shoggoth-samples? Greatworm extract? Something else?]>None of this—rely on your own empire, your own strength, and nothing more![Write-ins permitted. Please also feel free to pitch any other questions or topics of discussion you wished to go over with the Novice, Glowie, your lieutenants, or any other ally]
>>5509073>Take a part of dwarven slaves and kobold miners, along with your mightiest warriors, to excavate and establish a bulkhead in the Dragon King’s old tunnels, that you might find the old king’s resting place before Hapo can.>Seeking the benefits and powers of dutiful worship of the Dark Gods, pray to all of them and see what they offer (or barter).We've been going pretty steadily down currying favor with multiple dark gods rather than just one and I'd like to continue that. It's less power overall, but more flexibility without the restriction that anti-paladinship provides.
>>5509073>>Try to bait the Necromancer into exposing himself and his fell magics to the surface-dwellers, and send an infiltrator to Hawksong to summon the Green Knight—pit one foe against another, and you will mop up whatever weakened force remains!>Having the Novice infuse your <Dragonshape? With something… Impure [Ghoul Supreme cranial fluid? Shoggoth-samples? Greatworm extract? Something else?]Ghoul Supreme is already tested. Maybe the magic aptitudes involved will make the Dragonshape have reduced mana cost? This whas always been a big factor for us.
>>5509073>>Seeking the benefits and powers of true antipaladinship, through the pledging of true and total devotion to a single Dark God [which one]Death is out of the question as we have reproduced. Serpent Ascendant is more aligned with everything we've done so far, but I can accept the Mother after fucking both her and Glowie, or the Baleful Beholder
>>5509125Also,>>Try to bait the Necromancer into exposing himself and his fell magics to the surface-dwellers, and send an infiltrator to Hawksong to summon the Green Knight—pit one foe against another, and you will mop up whatever weakened force remains!That might be more aligned with Baleful Beholder, so I can get behind 1st option, more aggressive, if we get paladinship from serpent Daddy
>>5509073>Take a part of dwarven slaves and kobold miners, along with your mightiest warriors, to excavate and establish a bulkhead in the Dragon King’s old tunnels, that you might find the old king’s resting place before Hapo caninstead of letting hapo commit heresy we'll let the Novice commit heresy>Seeking the benefits and powers of true antipaladinship, through the pledging of true and total devotion to a single Dark God [which one]In order of preference:our Boy the Baleful BeholderBugMomSnake Rising>>5509081is it any power overall? plus I don't think being an antipaladin for one locks us out of small favors and rewards for the restThe two options I'd really not want are the infusing, as we're already a biologically unique mutt, no precedent, and adding more to the mix might lose us more than it gains. Also informing the green knight, since I don't think he's gonna just drop everything to chase this random lead that some totally unsuspicious guy gave him out of the blue. Worst case he realizes Hapo is also a threat to the reptilians and presses a pincer attack.Third that I just added is calling for aid from the chaplain, since we already decided to let his base deal with green for now asking for resources would run counter to that.
>>5509073>Take a part of dwarven slaves and kobold miners, along with your mightiest warriors, to excavate and establish a bulkhead in the Dragon King’s old tunnels, that you might find the old king’s resting place before Hapo can>Seeking the benefits and powers of true antipaladinship, through the pledging of true and total devotion to a single Dark God My boy the Serpent Ascendant
>>5509073>Try to bait the Necromancer into exposing himself and his fell magics to the surface-dwellers, and send an infiltrator to Hawksong to summon the Green Knight—pit one foe against another, and you will mop up whatever weakened force remains!Two birds with one stone.>Having the Novice infuse your <Dragonshape? With something… Impure [Ghoul Supreme cranial fluid]>Seeking the benefits and powers of dutiful worship of the Dark Gods, pray to all of them and see what they offer (or barter).I can settle for MoD or Beholder. Shame about LawGrandpa, but I guess it wasn’t in the cards for us.
>>5509073>Take a part of dwarven slaves and kobold miners, along with your mightiest warriors, to excavate and establish a bulkhead in the Dragon King’s old tunnels, that you might find the old king’s resting place before Hapo can>Seeking the benefits and powers of dutiful worship of the Dark Gods, pray to all of them and see what they offer (or barter).>Calling for reinforcements and aid from the Novice’s father, the Chaplain of the northern forward base, that you might wield all the force the Master Race can bring to bear>Do not corrupt your <Dragonshape>, it could give the Necromancer undue influence over you or give you weaknesses in tandem with extra strength
>>5509073>>Try to bait the Necromancer into exposing himself and his fell magics to the surface-dwellers, and send an infiltrator to Hawksong to summon the Green Knight—pit one foe against another, and you will mop up whatever weakened force remains!>Having the Novice infuse your <Dragonshape With something… Impure>Ghoul supreme + Junior novice samples.
>>5509073>Take a part of dwarven slaves and kobold miners, along with your mightiest warriors, to excavate and establish a bulkhead in the Dragon King’s old tunnels, that you might find the old king’s resting place before Hapo can>Try to bait the Necromancer into exposing himself and his fell magics to the surface-dwellers, and send an infiltrator to Hawksong to summon the Green Knight—pit one foe against another, and you will mop up whatever weakened force remains!We can commit to both.>Seeking the benefits and powers of dutiful worship of the Dark Gods, pray to all of them and see what they offer (or barter).Which leads into>Having the Novice infuse your <Dragonshape? With something… Impure [Ghoul Supreme cranial fluid and Shoggoth-samples]I want the Beholder’s help and insight here, and I want to see if the Mother can ‘upgrade’ our followers further. Serpent Daddy is content with us taking his paladinship via strength of will, so we’re good on that front.
>>5509599>>5509277>>5509181>>5509138>>5509130>>5509125>>5509088>>5509081>>5509126>>5509425[Given how very close these are, I'm leaving this open a bit longer. Plus, I'm sort of sick. Please backlink any one-post IDs and, remember: dividing your efforts between two major courses of action like baiting Hapo and seeking the ancient tomb will have consequences versus choosing one main focus, since you're either spreading your offensive force thin or depleting your defenders to do both with full force. A clever written-in plan can obviate this, though.]
>>5509754Oh, and here's my tally so far
>>5509130What I meant by restrictions wasn't denial of access to small favors (which I highly doubt we can get with anti-paladinship anyways, it's complete devotion), but the huge limits to our behavior according to the God's doctrine. Like how death prevented us from falling in love or saving people that aren't related to us.>>5509755They're not going to all be offers for anti-paladinship right? Cause I don't want that, I prefer the pantheon-wide medium level of support we get.
>>5509773Are we getting a medium level of support though? What support are we getting? I think we need restrictions if we want anything, it's just a matter of picking the least objectionable.
>>5509821What do you mean? We get plenty of shit from the gods when we pray to them, we've gotten advice from the beholder (and confirmation of where Paeris went after he died), blessings (and a future demi-god kid) from the mother of dragons AND garnered her support back to the reptilian race which was huge, help from death in fights occasionally, and some shit from the serpent ascendant. We've gotten lots of shit and probably would get more if we decided to pray more.Also the problem is we don't get to see the restrictions before picking anti-paladinship, and probably in most cases for the gods don't get to say no after deciding to hear them out about restrictions. Death was a special case in letting us say no, and even then we owed him some big favors after. These guys aren't exactly a cohesive unit either, they squabble and argue just like mortals do when it'd be best for them to all work together. Our race needs laws like with the persecutor, we needs strength like with the serpent ascendant, and we need fertility like with the mothers of dragons. I'd say it's best to take the positive aspects of each god's doctrine rather than fully committing to a singular one with the big weaknesses that come with it. That way it's really a dark pantheon. A plurality of gods.
>>5509926>advice from the beholderadvice is one of those things that I don't think commitment will lock us out of>blessings (and a future demi-god kid) from the mother of dragonsand trauma/PTSD, for services performedanother thing we won't be locked out of>help from death in fights occasionallyeven after turning his anti paladin offer down we still weren't locked out with him, thanks for confirming my point>some shit from the serpent ascendantvery specific - what has he given us other than "true strength comes from within"? I might have forgotten, he's never been my favorite.I could back trying to see all the benefits and restrictions of each before choosing a god, but ultimately if we can't I'd want to pick one anyway. I think it would be more interesting to play around restrictions, and it's in the name of the quest.
>>5510017When did I say we'd be locked out of interacting with gods if they allowed us to deny their offer? And I said death was a special case in that he gave us a choice while other gods would be more belligerent about it. I'm pretty sure the serpent ascendant said something to the effect to that when we were dancing around asking him. The others Gods are moody unlike death they'd take offenseAlso the PTSD was because anons were horny and pick the sex option, we could've picked something else and not gotten PTSD their were several reward options from her.Didn't we get improved dragonshape or something from the serpent ascendant i forget.
>>5510066>When did I say we'd be locked out of interacting with gods if they allowed us to deny their offer?>>5509773>denial of access to small favors (which I highly doubt we can get with anti-paladinship anyways, it's complete devotion>Also the PTSD was because anons were horny and pick the sex optionPretty sure our demigod kid is also because we picked the sex option, but that doesn't matter. The point is while the dark gods may not be in complete agreement, they're still an alliance, they shouldn't take issue with an antipaladin doing secondary worship as long as they remain the primary.>Didn't we get improved dragonshape or something from the serpent ascendant i forget.Pretty sure all our dragonshape advancements were either from crits or Novice tinkering with dragon blood.
>>5510076>>5510066>>5510017>>5509926>>5509821>>5509773>They're not going to all be offers for anti-paladinship right?[Greater power will come with greater restrictions and more stringent commandments, but the Dark Gods you don't serve as a personal champion won't utterly abandon you unless you REALLY deviate from their core tenets (as you did with the Lawgiver/Persecutor of the Weak, by repeatedly disobeying your race's hierarchies and violating his eugenics and segregationist preferences.]>Are we getting a medium level of support though? What support are we getting?[It varies from god-to-god, and moment to moment, as they are all capricious in their own ways (even Death).]>Didn't we get improved dragonshape or something from the serpent ascendant i forget>Pretty sure all our dragonshape advancements were either from crits or Novice tinkering with dragon blood[Your Lesser Dragon Wings and Dragonshape IV were upgrades gleaned through not just crits, but heroism impressing the Serpent Ascendant. You've not prayed to him directly lately, nor promoted him as much as some of the others, but he has not abandoned you and your capacity for growth is bolstered by him.]>>5509754>>5509755>>5509599>>5509277>>5509181>>5509138>>5509130>>5509125>>5509088>>5509081>>5509126>>5509425[Anyway, locking vote and writing now!]
>>5510090While it is tempting to pit one of your foes against another—and you still might, should to opportunity present itself—you realize that there is no real way to draw the Green Knight to the mountains without risking still-greater exposure. Certainly it would draw the eye of the Serpent Priesthood, who would be eager to seize command of your rather unorthodox operation from you and your trusted allies and to instead put it in the hands of an older and more highly-placed male of their own caste. As such, you must go it alone, doing as the Bugbear Boss suggested and racing the damned Necromancer to whatever secret tomb-chamber might house the mortal remains of your great and noble ancestor.Well, not ALONE. Not exactly… For the Dark Gods go with you.You dismiss your servants and clear out your old quarters of the detritus which has been stored there in your absence. You reconsecrate it with the smoke of a tallow candle made with the fat of executed elder-dwarves and the adventurers you slew several seasons ago—a worthy sacrifice to your dark masters. You set the stage, drawing the sigils in the blood extracted from one of the dragon hatchlings—a precious resource, for this is a ritual of paramount importance—and you speak the by-now-familiar words:“Oh Lords and Ladies of Eternity and Infinity, oh Lords of the Endless Black, oh Ladies of the Deep Flame. It is I, your prince! It is I, your servant! Your first among sons and daughters beseeches you, and I offer up this great tribute, in hopes you will hear me, and guide me, and make me a part of your Grand Design.”The candle sputters and goes out. You do not lose faith, though, and you are rewarded: a moment later it explodes forth with a pitch-black and most acrid cloud, which fills the ritual cavern so thickly as to block out even the notion of light. Within that embrace of solid shadow, each of your dark patrons appears—manifesting in silhouette, in sensation, in suggestive sound and scent. From beyond a veil immaterial, they peer in at you. Massive and mighty beyond comprehension, you are like a bug in a jar before their judging eyes.
>>5510116“You call to us with the blood of a child’s child,” the Mother of Dragons acknowledges, without umbrage. “A bloodline which now continues through you and your own children…”“YES,” the Serpent Ascendant agrees, “THE SACRIFICE OF A DESTINY UNREALIZED, A CHAMPION FELLED BEFORE REALIZING HIS POTENTIAL… WILL YOU TAKE HIS PLACE?”“You have uncovered many lost things,” says the Master of the Insightful Eye, his gaze as always particularly invasive and perceptive, “and you offer up one such secret in the hopes of learning still more. You seek to supplant another seeker.”“HAPO OF BLOODRISE,” the God of Pride and Victory intones, with some small admiration. “HE HAS CLIMBED HIGH.”“He has learned much, and put it into practice,” the Baleful Beholder agrees. “I can respect this Necromancer for his studious mind. Open to revelation… If also madness.”You’re a little surprised to hear your patrons speak almost… Praisingly of your foe. It is immediately discouraging, though you find at least one ally among them:“His brand of madness, his blighted undead creations…” The Lady of the Rookery’s tone is sneering. “It is a mockery of motherhood, to birth such things…”While the Dark Goddess’ voice stirs an uneasy roiling in the pit of your stomach and loins, like the opposite of heady arousal, her words are some comfort. And she is, as it turns out, not alone in her opinion:“It. Is. Abomination.”All the other Dark Gods rankle as, from the deepest darkness, a grave-stench and the clattering of bones rushed forth.“THE TRAITOR SPEAKS OF ABOMINATION,” the Serpent Ascendant mocks.“The Glutton arrives right on cue, as ever,” the Mother of Dragon laughs with one voice and spits with another, while the third remains warily silent.“You are here to enforce your stifling and hypocritical limitations upon the arts yet again, are you?” asks the God of Wisdom with some weariness.“Do you all so readily forget the Divine War, and the way in which such ‘arts’ nearly upended everything that was, and is, and might yet be?” demands Death, his tone as neutral and level as ever, but his accusations scathing. “The Necromancer must be destroyed, and with him every tome, scroll, and forbidden syllable and sigil which has empowered him to risk the integrity of the Eternal Cycle!”“ENOUGH.”
>>5510121All attention, including your own, turns to the Serpent Ascendant… And you find his attention is upon you.“THIS YOUNG ONE DID NOT CALL US ALL HERE TO LISTEN TO US DISCUSS OLD BUSINESS,” he says. “HE CALLED UPON US TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE.”“Y-yes, you agree, a little taken aback by the intensity of all these divine presences, and still wondering upon the exact meaning of some of their words. The God of Glory is right, though: you called them here for a reason.“You are right,” you tell them. “I am at war with Hapo the Kobold Necromancer, who means to commit a grave act of… Of HERESY, of BLASPHEMY, wielding lesser darknesses to reanimate the Red Dragon King.”“It would be quite the feat…” says the God of Secrets-Long-Buried.“The beginning of an age of bleakness and hunger for all, mortal and immortal,” he Lord of Endings asserts.“It would be pointless,” dismisses the Divine Mother. “We are already ~gestating~ something altogether greater, aren’t we?”You suppress a shudder.“I FAIL TO SEE WHY YOU SHOULD NEED OUR AID,” the Serpent Ascendant says, “TO DEFEAT A MERE KOBOLD, WHO YOU HAVE ALREADY BESTED.”“A conflict between two Children of Darkness, it DOES seem beneath us,” the Baleful beholder agrees. “You are each a scholar of self-knowledge and of the hidden arts…”“This one has served me well,” the Mother of Dragons compliments you, her voice caressing you with slimy currents of smoke and fetid air. “I would happily take you into my bosom as a Guardian of the Rookery.”“THIS IS TRUE,” the Serpent Ascendant acknowledges. “YOU HAVE SERVED -HER- WELL… BUT ALSO, YOU STRIVE EVER HIGHER, RISKING TI ALL FOR GORY. IF YOU ARE READY TO TRULY -ASCEND-… I WOULD ACCEPT YOU AS MY PALADIN.”“I will abstain,” says the Baleful Beholder. “If you can best the Necromancer… We will speak again on such matters.”“I cannot take a Champion dedicated to life and to mortal legacy as a Death Knight,” Death explains, sounding almost apologetic.
>>5510127You process their declarations, considering your options. It seems that the Serpent Ascendant or Mother of Dragons will readily offer you aid… As their Antipaladin, dedicated to their cause and edicts. The Baleful Beholder is surprisingly reticent, clearly intrigued by the horrors which your kobold rival is wreaking in the depths of the mountain… Horrors which are ESPECIALLY terrible in the eyes of the God of Death, who seems eager to aid you and yet—somehow—unable to offer you much material benefit.What will you do?>Ask for more information about the commandments and capabilities associated with being a Guardian of the Rookery, true Paladin of the Mother of Dragons> Ask for more information about the commandments and capabilities associated with being a Knight Ascendant, true Paladin of the Feathered Serpent God>Attempt to undermine the Wise God’s positive impression of Hapo, and to thus recover the special favour and preference of the Baleful Beholder [how?]>Ask about the Divine War they spoke of, and how necromancy factored in>Ask if Death [or another god?] can just… Lend you aid without all this ‘antipaladin’ business>Write-in
> Ask for more information about the commandments and capabilities associated with being a Knight Ascendant, true Paladin of the Feathered Serpent God
>>5510129> Ask for more information about the commandments and capabilities associated with being a Knight Ascendant, true Paladin of the Feathered Serpent GodI think we've shown the most affinity for the Serpent, and I also think he's most likely to allow cooperation with the rest of the Dark Pantheon. Less possessive, since he's all about personal struggle and using what you can without leaning too much on outside resources.
>>5510129>Attempt to undermine the Wise God’s positive impression of Hapo, and to thus recover the special favour and preference of the Baleful Beholder [how?]the kobold speech makes him sound like an idiot, like imagine being prayed to by that guy, having to listen to all the double wordsagonizingmore seriously>Ask about the Divine War they spoke of, and how necromancy factored inLearning about this should help us build a better case if Death is worried Hapo will cause a repeat
>>5510129>> Ask for more information about the commandments and capabilities associated with being a Knight Ascendant, true Paladin of the Feathered Serpent GodI hope the rules are not at odds with an OK standing with the Mother of Dragons. However, many of Mother's gifts were focused on children (our own and the Drowgon). For winning our conflicts, we need something more directly useful! Also, Reptiliankind needs a change of leadership away from it's stagnant priesthood. The other gods won't really help us there.
>>5510132>>5510133>>5510302>>5510351While it irks you that most of the Dark Gods—in particular the God of Wisdom—seem unfazed by the Kobold Necromancer’s treachery and heresy, you do not press the matter. Your own activities with the Novice stress the bounds of accepted religious practice, after all. Best not to prod at that nest of vipers.Instead, you bow your head low in supplication to the God of Glory, Highest and Most Magnificent, the God of Blood Honour and Dark Victory, he called Feathered Snake, Serpent Ascendant, and Sun-Eater.“Oh Great One,” you speak in solemn tone, “I would know what I must do to be worthy of your patronage.”“NOW YOU COME CALLING,” the Serpent Ascend responds, “BUT HAVE YOU NO ALREADY FAILED TO HEED MY ADVICE, TWICE? YOU HAVE FALLEN FOR THE SCHEMES AND SEDUCTIONS OF THAT FIGHTY GODDESS OF HARLOTS TO THE LEFT OF ME—”“Watch you forked tongue, you overpuffed adder!” the Mother of Dragons spits, all three heads hissing, screeching, and rattling with irritation and venom.“—AND NOW, YOU COME BEGGING ALMS?”“I will not beg for them,” you speak with certainty. “I will earn them.”“WE SHALL SEE.”<KNIGHT ASCENDANT’S CODE>>1. You must not turn down a direct challenge to your honour, no matter how perilous>2. You must better yourself physically or mentally each day that you are conceivably capable>3. You must defeat worthy foes by strength of arm or open warfare, never by assassins or diplomacy>4. You must not show nepotistic favouritism to mates, offspring or loved ones>5. You must never deny or hide your identity against direct questioning, nor the identity of the God you serve>6. You must not break an oath or promise given>7. You must do as the Serpent Ascendant dictates, forevermore, until you die“IN EXCHANGE,” you are told, “YOUR BODY HALL NEVER KNOW INFIRMITY OR AGE, PROCEEDING IN THE FULNESS OF STRENGTH UNTIL YOUR TIME COMES. YOUR STRENGTH SHALL EVER ASCEND IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR EFFORTS, FOREVER AND WITHOUT LIMITS, AND YOUR PRESENCE SHALL BE FELT ACROSS THE SPAN OF YOUR DOMAIN. NONE WILL DOUBT YOUR SUPREMACY!”Do you accept?>Yes>No>I have questions… [what?]Do you have inquiries to make of the other gods?>Write-in if so
>>5510482fuck it>Yeshe was my last choice but at this point I'll compromise and take any deal we can getthe great conspiracy seems to run very counter to this guy's nature, it's all about hiding identities and subterfuge.
>>5510482You must never deny or hide your identity against direct questioning, nor the identity of the God you serveFuck no>No
>>5510482>Ask if Death [or another god?] can just… Lend you aid without all this ‘antipaladin’ business
Am >>5509125>>5510482Fuck Yes.Conspiracy is in jeopardy anyway, let's make the best of it
>>5510482>Ask for more information about the commandments and capabilities associated with being a Guardian of the Rookery, true Paladin of the Mother of DragonsYea, I’m still unsure about this whole Paladin thing desu.>Attempt to undermine the Wise God’s positive impression of Hapo, and to thus recover the special favour and preference of the Baleful Beholder [And if he chose to burn these book for their secrets, should you like them then?>Ask about the Divine War they spoke of, and how necromancy factored inA bit late to the party I see
>>5510603The Conspiracy is a hill I’m willing to die on. I remember Izzy’s efforts.
>>5510604Remember to actually vote >no for it to be counted against pledging this guy.
>>5510482>>YesI had feared for worse! This is very similar to lots of warrior codices. Training our offspring would hardly count as nepotism, as we will only help them achieve their potential (which is kind of His thing).
>>5510482>Not yet>Ask for more information about the commandments and capabilities associated with being a Guardian of the Rookery, true Paladin of the Mother of Dragons>Ask if Death [or another god?] can just… Lend you aid without all this ‘antipaladin’ businessI want to shop around first, see what our options are. We should at least secure more of Death’s aid before we commit, just to get the best deal possible.Any ideas on how to get the Beholder on our side Beholderbros? Maybe leverage our research with the ghoul king and Shoggy? The fact that we’re turning the King of the Drow to his side? More Moonsword meditation for secrets?
>>5510732Maybe Beholder's whole deal is: "look at me, Im a mystery box!" = getting people to work for him without proper payment. Arguably his Paladinhood would require extremely weird and forbidden rituals on par with Hapo's plans.Death wants us to destroy all of Hapos material which goes beyond our deal with him, which had a clearly necromantic focus. We could use that material to sway Beholder instead, at the cost of Death.In my eyes Feathered Serpent is ideal: he allows mating but deprecates too strong bonds, doesn't force us to abandon Lizardkind and doesnt mind societal change. His instructions are simple to follow but still leave a viable niche.
>>5510732shopping around which god you devote yourself to is super rude and would get us smote if we weren't the MC
>>5510482>YesThe Master Race needs to rise. It's stagnant right now because all of the leadership are banking on some stupid long game that's been defunct for awhile. Our Dark Alliance is the future, and we should be proud of it.
>>5510821>>5510732>>5510703>>5510629>>5510604>>5510603>>5510576>>5510575>>5510550[We got ourselves another close one, folks!]>>5510620[Please backlink your 1post ID, anon. Anyone else casting 1post IDs to break the current tie, please do so as well!]>>5510776[Accurate. Theral would know enough that, if you were to reject this offer with a 'not right now', it may never be offered again. The God of Pride is, after all, prideful.]
>>5510879I can't backlink because I left this quest last thread and coming back here thinking the divisive voting was over has been the stupidest fucking thing I could've done to myself.Did the hivemind decide to drop contact with Death? Did they fuck the sociopathic lizard? Is big titty swordmaiden gone?
>>5510931[Might I humbly suggest reading to catch up before casting votes?]>Did the hivemind decide to drop contact with Death?[Not at all, and in fact Theral consecrated the funerary caves of the Wevenroe Drow to him and netted him some of his first true worshipers in the underdark in centuries. However, they did incur a debt asking him questions, which he has not yet called in.]>Did they fuck the sociopathic lizard?[The Novice isn't in heat, so no. They did take her dancing at a formal gala and then confess their love to her, though. She responded with confusion and ambivalence, but has taken to snuggling Theral while they sleep and teasing him more often while they are awake.]>Is big titty swordmaiden gone?[Nope. Azonia taught Theral to dance, helped him woo the Novice, accompanied him to the gala, and has been recruited into his extended entourage and followed him to Bloodrise.]
>>5510949I've ben there for entirety of Drow Catacombs, only left before the dance. And sorry (I know this will agitate everyone), but I don't intend to ever read the things I've not been here for. I'm not a fast reader, it is what it is. I did get enough context to make the current vote, however.
>I've benAnd I won't return him lmao.
>>5510482>1. You must not turn down a direct challenge to your honour, no matter how perilousKey word here is ‘direct’ challenge and ‘honour’. These can be interpreted quite loosely if we need >2. You must better yourself physically or mentally each day that you are conceivably capableFair enough >3. You must defeat worthy foes by strength of arm or open warfare, never by assassins or diplomacyAgain, key word is ‘worthy foe’ - I wouldn’t have called any of the dark elves worthy foes>4. You must not show nepotistic favouritism to mates, offspring or loved onesAs another anon pointed out, training our sons is not favour - it is simply being a good commander >5. You must never deny or hide your identity against direct questioning, nor the identity of the God you serve‘Direct questioning’ key phrase >6. You must not break an oath or promise givenWe already strive to do this >7. You must do as the Serpent Ascendant dictates, forevermore, until you dieObvious inclusion My vote is for:>yesBacklink to here as my last vote >>5508403
>>5511104uuuh synopsis uuuuuhwe got our boi solinsyr crowned kang elfbut he can't offer much support since he doesn't want to look like our puppet (and the drow are poor as shit)we traveled back to bloodrise to see hapo's army of undead killin our dudeshe's gotten pretty stronk, necromancy and diabolismsaved glowie from his hellhounds and undead trolls, found out she gave birth and we have 9 dragonfly sonsdecided to focus hapo over green knightdecided to finally antipaladin uphere we are
>>5511132[Indeed!]>>5511119>>5510821>>5510732>>5510703>>5510629>>5510604>>5510603>>5510576>>5510575>>5510550>>5510620[Locked and writing!]
>>5511104>>5511132oh yeah and we found out that while demons are like energy and cannot be created or destroyed, our POGSWORD the SHOGSWORD can eat their souls and trap them within itself to gain MORE POWERso we fed that super old envy demon in the ring that originally made Hapo some weird ass abomination to it
>>5511135You admittedly have… MISGIVINGS… About some of the strictures which this oath would place upon you. What of the Great Conspiracy? Surely the entirety of your Master Race’s epoch-long plan runs contrary to the commandments of a Knight Ascendant? But… Well, the God of Glory is a very direct entity, as Dark Gods go. A closer reading of his words provides key loopholes and, while to over-exploit such technicalities could be seen as ignoble in the eyes of such a proud conqueror as He of the Golden Pelage, you think you understand the limits in which you would operate as his agent.And why should you NOT prioritize the Swallower of Sunlight? Which Great Darkness better embodies the Dragon Soul to which you strive than the God of Ambition, the Father of Eclipses and Destroyer of the Light? He who demands and promotes strength of spirit and body above all else… Is he not the ideal to which you strive? Your people have long leaned upon the Lawgiver—absent as he now is from proceedings—to preserve them, but it has led to a… A… A HOLDING pattern, a perpetual backfoot which now leaves the whole Priesthood panicking at the capture and exposure of a single male. This precarious state cries out for change, and change requires the guidance of the strong.“I will be that change,” you say, more to yourself than to anyone else.“I SENSE IT IN YOU,” the Serpent Ascendant answers back. “YOU HAVE MADE UP YORU MIND, MORTAL.”“Yes,” you agree, and look up. Your eyes dry and redden at the blast of stolen solar heat and magnificence, the rays of seized sunlight which even now blast apart the darkness at the Glorious God of War and Victory reveals himself to you more fully. His siblings shrink away, not retreating but blown back by the display, made more distant as your own spiritual connection to your new patron strengthens.“RISE,” commands the God of Pride.You do so, standing tall and strong, forcing yourself to meet his terrible gaze—indeed, like staring into an eclipse, it is dark and light, distorting and wrapping your vision, almost blinding you.“ENDURE,” he commands.You do not look away, even as you are baked as in an oven, burned as in a furnace, your every sense overwhelmed at once by brightness, the stench of burning flesh and blood, the ululations of the victorious and screams of the despairing dead who stood before your master and were cast down and destroyed.“GOOD,” the Serpent Ascendant says, tone as approving as it ever might be. “GO FORTH, AND DO NOT FAIL ME.”
>>5511178One by one, the other Dark Gods—thus sidelined—pass from your perception. Each says their peace in turn.“Forget not what we have made,” the Mother of Dragons coos to you, brushing your soul with an oil-slick tendril of her essence as she departs. “A part of you is still mine, even despite this folly.”“You have made a promise,” the Emperor of Entropy reminds you calmly. “And now, a promise to my proud brother to KEEP such oaths. Death will collect. Be ready.”“You owe me nothing,” the Baleful Beholder says, sounding almost cheerful, “and I owe you nothing. Yet you do my good work. I hope you will see the wisdom in persisting in this wise enterprise, young one.”Finally, wordlessly, even your new patron deity vanishes from your senses, as the smoke of your candle dies away. The candle itself has been burnt down to nothing. The sigils, drawn in blood across the stone of the chamber, are now etched into the earth itself—melted, charred, burned into permanence.When you emerge from your chamber, the ritual complete, you know instantly that something has changed. You have longed been viewed with respect by those whom you have led to this place, or conquered and collected under the auspices of your empire. Now, though, they look at you with something more than mere respect or admiration. As if sensing the change in you, they now regard you with an almost worshipful reverence. Even the most skeptical and harshly judgmental among your band—the Duelist Azonia, the Novice Fleshweaver, Karz Throat-singer, the still-miffed Translator—unconsciously bow their heads at your appearance before them.“What HAPPENED to you?” asks the Duelist, as blunt as she ever was in spite of this transformation.Feeling it in your very bones as well, and rightly proud of what you have become, are becoming, and will become, you say:“Something glorious.”
>>5511194Almost immediately, you begin preparations for the mission before you. Hapo the Necromancer is seeking… Something. Some fragment of the Red Dragon King. You have heard that he fell in battle, that his corpse was picked clean. Still, there must be SOME part of your legendary ancestor and predecessor in the depths of the mountains. As inclined a you might normally be to hope that the Necromancer is simply ignorant and foolish, and his pursuit doomed, the respect that even the Dark Gods showed him gives lie to such optimistic interpretations. Whatever tomb or trace he seeks, YOU must find it first, and defend it!To your cause, you call the eldest and most experienced among the kobold miners of Bloodrise, the sturdiest of your dwarven slave-labourers, and the greatest of your warriors. Among these are, of course, your loyal lieutenants—The Pit-Guard (and his Apprentice), and the Bastard with his half-Steeltalon strength and his mighty maul. So too do you bring the Junior Novice, your ‘hunting hound’ with his dragonblood and newly-awakened psionic potential, leads the way. The Bugbear Boss, newly rearmed and thirsty for vengeance, insists on accompanying you, and so too the Hunter who found him, with one of his favourite students. Olu the Archer, ever a faithful friend and worthy warrior, is close at your side. Azonia the Duelist, still looking at you strangely since your re-emergence as a Knight Ascendant, is eager enough to join you in battle and (despite your mixed opinions of her) remains the deadliest sword-wielder you know.
>>5511195Do you bring anyone else? Do you make any further preparations? Is there anything else which you must do before you leave?>A moment with the Novice Fleshweaver, to discuss personal matters>A discussion with your troops about planned tactics>A divination ritual, to guide your treasure-hunt>A message, to be sent to the northern forward base about your plans and intentions>Give instructions for your forces, in the event of an attack during your absence>You'll need a new helm... Something to match your new station and elven armour>Something else [what?]>No, you are ready to depart, and to end this threat once and for allAs a Knight Ascendant, you immediately gain one rank in one of the following, fulfilling your potential. [Please note: you can only gain five stars in THREE fields, total, before you are officially capped.] Which is it?>Athleticism (also upgrades Jump spell to Lightning Leap)You move with strength and grace unmatched many nearly any other, and move with such speed that you generate lightning and thunder with your leaps>Leadership (also gain the spell Radiant Aura)Your Fearsome Presence is divinely augmented, blinding and blistering to foes and enervating to allies>Reptilian Empathy (also gain the spell Summon Reptile)Even baser lizards, serpents, and lesser dragonkin recognize your ascendancy, and will come when called to fight to the death>Firebreath (also gain the spell Blistering Radiance)The light of a stolen sun explodes from your mouth when you roar, scattering and banishing lesser darknesses and destroying flesh, bone, and even melting metal and stone>Religion (also upgrades Lesser Dragon's Wings to Greater Dragon's Wings)Your wings, coated in fine overlapping scales like feathers, last longer, allow you to fly faster, and protect you like armour when folded around you
>>5511197What, no bargaining, no deals? Not even pointing out that we’ve done more for the Beholder than Hapo? You guys really need some fucking balls when it comes to the Dark Gods. At least Death is a bro.>A moment with the Novice Fleshweaver, to discuss personal mattersGhoul juice>A divination ritual, to guide your treasure-hunt>A message, to be sent to the northern forward base about your plans and intentions>You'll need a new helm... Something to match your new station and elven armour>Leadership or FirebreathWouldn’t be mad if Religion won though. Can we duel wield now btw, as the Serpent Ascendant’s Paladin, or do we need to still work on it?
>>5511197>A moment with the Novice Fleshweaver, to discuss personal matters>A discussion with your troops about planned tacticsProposed strategy: our troops will anchor a shield-line from behind which the kobold slingers, various archers and spellcasters that we have will dispatch the great body of the undoubtedly massive hordes. We will bring a surfeit of arrows and what field fortifications we can carry (stakes and shovels), for entrenching the position and setting flame-based traps when able. We should make multiple redundant positions, in order to have the option of retrograde.Augmenting this strategy will be a pair of small kill-squads made up of our best fighter, the heavier-armed and slower of which to be led by the Bastard and a more agile one led by Azonia; they will make their way to whatever threatens our line to dispatch it.We will match the greatest enemy in battle; as is normal for us, we'll make decisions about our resource expenditure at the point of attack.>Give instructions for your forces, in the event of an attack during your absenceBuild small siege engines, like ballistae, to enhance the defense of the settlements. Give ground when necessary to gain time and preserve life; if things get particularly bad, move towards Drow territory. These troops are not the main effort and need to be aware of that.>A message, to be sent to the northern forward base about your plans and intentions>You'll need a new helm... Something to match your new station and elven armour>A divination ritual, to guide your treasure-hunt>Firebreath
>>5511215[You could always dual-wield. You're just not as good at it as wielding a single blade, and the shoggoth sword at full-size remains unwieldy to wield in tandem with another sword.]
>>5511227We’ll make sure we’ll get good in time then, I want to kick Hapo and the Green Knights ass with both swords.>the shoggoth sword at full-size remains unwieldy to wield in tandem with another swordThat won’t be much of an issue going forward, if>YOUR STRENGTH SHALL EVER ASCEND IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR EFFORTS, FOREVER AND WITHOUT LIMITShas merit.
>>5511197>A divination ritual, to guide your treasure-huntso useful>A moment with the Novice Fleshweaver, to discuss personal matters>Leadership (also gain the spell Radiant Aura)need that king aura to cow the serpent priests>>5511215I didn't really like snake rising but I knew no other god would have enough support to overcome the aversion anons feel about restrictions, and he's better than nothing>>5511269I mean, strength doesn't matter if it's a size issue. baby superman couldn't palm a basketball as well as shaq
>>5511294I don’t know, we don’t even know what MoD or Beholder’s restrictions were, I feel like this is the ‘going all in on the first god that offers us shit’ autism that happened with Death the first thread. Like, what if Beholder was like ‘find out all and use all the secrets that you can’ deal? It just felt rushed.Also, no aid from the Death, no help from the Beholder with Ghoul genetics? Anons sorta shot themselves in the foot here.>I mean, strength doesn't matter if it's a size issue. baby superman couldn't palm a basketball as well as shaqSo Shoggoth Sword is only a Dragonshape weapon? Or do we need to bond/tamper with our Dragonshape to control it’s size better?
>>5511294I do want to note it seems like we already have the big dick aura well in hand, according to the most recent post, but I understand the desire to amplify it.I don't think anyone except the most delusional could say we're not blessed by the Serpent, though, when they are in the Dragonborn's presence.
>>5511315I was more thinking of Hapo and the Green Knight really, but if we’re going loud, might as well go full loud, right?
>>5511197Our future enemies will probably eventually try to bring bear fire resisting spells or amours. Augment our flame breath with sunlight may help prevent that.Also were fighting demons and undead anyway.>Firebreath (also gain the spell Blistering Radiance
>>5511312Meh once we kill the green knight and hopefully loot his dragonslayer blade we can just duel wield that with the moon blade.So Shoggoth Sword is only a Dragonshape weapon?Thr shoggoth blade is a two handed weapon. Im pretty is handle and blade is too long to use well with one hand.
>>5511269>>5511312>>5511432[In its weaker, dagger-like form, the shoggoth-sword can be used in your off-hand. With greater control of it, you could maybe get it to only half-awaken, to a medium size suitable to use in one hand. With some training from Azonia and a Dragonshape upgrade you could probably wield it at full strength in your dominant hand and your moonblade in your off-hand. Otherwise, it requires two hands to wield well simply due to being awkwardly shaped and sized.]
>>5511197>A moment with the Novice Fleshweaver, to discuss personal matters>A discussion with your troops about planned tactics>A divination ritual, to guide your treasure-hunt>Give instructions for your forces, in the event of an attack during your absenceAll of these.If the Chaplain wants to message us, he knows where we are >Leadership (also gain the spell Radiant Aura)Most useful ability in, given most situations we’ll be in
>>5511550>>5511294>>5511224>>5511215[Just a note that if you have anything specific in mind for your discussions, please elaborate. I'll likely be updating next tomorrow nigh!]
>>5511573>gimme your handkerchief for good luck before I ride into battle
>>5511197>>A divination ritual, to guide your treasure-hunt>Religion (also upgrades Lesser Dragon's Wings to Greater Dragon's Wings)Religion is an underestimated skill. Also, this boon strikes a very nice balance between mobility and defense while showing off our good relationship with Serpent Ascending toother reptilians. This should increase our social standing in reptilian society. This boon has four advantages, while the other boons only have two.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>5511197>A moment with the Novice Fleshweaver, to discuss personal matters>A discussion with your troops about planned tactics>A divination ritual, to guide your treasure-hunt>Train with AzoniaThe upgrades are all good, but we need to think about immediate utility in a fight. That discounts Empathy and Religion (and we’ll be cave fighting, so Wings are less useful), but we can prop gain those upgrades at a later level up. That leaves Athleticism (Lightning Leap), Leadership, (Divine Aura), and Firebreath (Blistering Radiance). No one wants Athletism, so really it’s between Leadership and Firebreath. I’ll let fate decide, since both are too cool for me to decide.1- Leadership2- Firebreath
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>5511761>>5511735>>5511662>>5511550>>5511432>>5511429>>5511312>>5511294>>5511224>>5511215[Breaking the level-up tie, updating your character sheet, then writing.]
Rolled 4, 12, 15 = 31 (3d20)>>5512325A million priorities cry out to you. You grapple with them, one by one.You could arrange for a message to be sent home… But then, that would be a beacon to the meddling of the Serpent Priesthood, who you already suspect—no, KNOW—will seize command from you as one wrests a valuable treasure from the hands of an impetuous hatchling. Surely, that’s who even those unaware of your tainted origins will see you—barely two decades old, yet making decisions which will affect conspiracies older than any living Reptilian. Well, damn them all—you are CHOSEN OF THE GODS, a KNIGHT ASCENDANT. You may not be a ‘true’ Dragonborn, but you ARE a true ANTIPALADIN, and that is what counts!That said, and in site of the reckless bravado which some heretics might attribute to your patron God… It WOULD be foolish to go into this expedition unprepared. Should you armour up? Train more in preparation? No, no… Time is of the greatest essence. You have the armour you need—upon your breast in chitin and leather, within your scaley skin, beneath your flesh and in your very soul. Your very <Radiant Aura> is as a shield of faith. Your Hexblade swordsmanship is, if not QUITE as technically adept as that of Azonia the Duelist, more than enough to make short work of your lesser adversary… And your shoggoth-sword is strong, strengthen by its demon-feasting.Some delays cannot be avoided, though. Divination is your best bet to find the hidden secrets of the Bloodrise underdark before that accursed Necromancer. Though the proper preparation of such a ritual takes some time, it is time that would otherwise be squandered in fruitless searching. The spell of <Guidance>, while not a guaranteed success, is well worth the attempt.
>>5512344>15The vision is hazy, unclear, but not a failure. You see a glimpse of… A female? Not a dragon, no, but… A Reptilian, maybe, or something LIKE a Reptilian. The egg-laying hops of the silhouette are undeniable. She is nobody who you know, her features unfamiliar and archaic, almost alien. Another race far-removed from your own, like the kobolds, or the nagas of the Deep East, or so-called ‘lizardman’ trogolodytes of the swamps and coasts aboveground? No, she is more refined than that… Her features, her stature, all greater and more magnificent than even the Serpent Priests or clan leaders.To her chest, she clutches something, hidden by her claws. She holds it close, like a talisman. You cannot see it, for the vision resists your prying and manipulations. The female begins to age rapidly, to die and wither and decay and dry out like a snake in the sun, but still her bony hand clutch at her hidden, precious belonging, hiding it from your scrying across space and time. You squint, lean into the vision… But your concentration is broken by your excitement. The spell breaks. In your vision, stone and darkness swallow the female, and she is lost to you, along with whatever she holds.You awaken from the vision with a vague sense of a connection lost, and rediscovered, yet still beyond your reach. More actionable is the vague sense of which direction to travel in. Whatever significance this Reptilian female and her hidden possession hold, to you or to your rival, it lies further to the west, and deeper down than you have yet delved. Before then, though, there is one more matter that cannot wait. If anything, this vision makes you more certain of this than you already were. Some might call it frivolity, sentimentality, mammalian silliness or warm-blooded weakness. You know SHE will… And yet still, you must go to her. Just in case. Just to be sure.You meet with the Novice—YOUR Novice, Sseztlussth the Chaplain’s Daughter—one last time before you leave.
>>5512375“What is the purpose of this?” she asks, squirming slightly. “You have important business elsewhere. I… Do not understand.”You watch her fidget, faintly enjoying her obvious discomfort with your newly-augmented Divine Presence. Even without activating your <Radiant Aura>, no mortal in your presence, in your dominion, can fail to feel your dominance—your mastery of Bloodrise an all who dwell therein. Despite this literal divine commandment to obey, the Novice struggles against it. She keeps her neck extended, chin high, haughty expression strained, eyes narrow slits. Her tail whips about so frantically that you half expect it to break away, as if she were a gecko relinquishing it to distract a predator while it escapes.But she does not break. Does not bow. Perhaps that is part of why you love her?“I had a personal matter which I wished to discuss with you,” you admit.“While eating?” she demands disdainfully, gesturing widely to the meal before you.You have commanded a full course of lightly-seasoned, scarcely-singed farm-flesh and oil-preserving imported fish be presented to the two of you. Each of you has also a bowl of preserved humanoid blood—a delicacy among the Master Race, reserved for special occasions. It is that of the roguish halfling adventurer, whom you and your forces slew in battle many moons ago. Each of you is seated on either side of a dwarvencraft table, upon sturdy chairs built particularly for your larger and heavier frames—yours primarily muscle, hers largely the result of her hefty, bottom-heavy scholar’s build and appreciably-thick tail.“You are staring,” she hisses, “at my hindquarters.”“Yes,” you admit.She hesitates, clearly uncertain how to reply to so brazen an admission.“Is the meal not to your liking?” you ask innocently.“You know it is,” she spits, shoving some meat into her mouth to muffle her embarrassment. “You remembered that the milk-beasts of the surface-scum are my favourite, and that I find halfling blood most flavourful of all humanoids.”“I have known you all my life,” you note. “Manipulating you through such petty remembrances is as a hatchling’s pastime.”“You are obsessed with me,” she alleges.“Perhaps,” you readily admit.She averts her gaze and drinks her wine, tail curling with some measure of pleasure which she cannot hide.
>>5512380“What is it you wished to discuss?” she demands, eager to move beyond these pleasantries and to a realm more familiar.You laugh, but oblige.>You wish to augment your <Dragonshape> with the Ghoul Supreme’s psionic ability, though it will taint the purity of the form somewhat>You desire a token of your love, that you might carry it as a charm and a reminder of Sseztlussth as you face your deadliest foe so far>You need the Novice Fleshweaver to come with you—you cannot do this without her>You are troubled by certain recent ‘experience’s, and uncomfortable utterances by the Lady of the Rookery, but… You wish to mate with the Novice, and to know her fully, before you risk your life>Write-in[Planning phase next vote]
>>5512383>You need the Novice Fleshweaver to come with you—you cannot do this without hersheuhneeds to be on hand to make sure we don't mishandle whatever materials we find down therewould be a shame if whatever's left of big red was ruined because she wasn't there to give us proper handling procedureswould set her research back years
>>5512383>You wish to augment your <Dragonshape> with the Ghoul Supreme’s psionic ability, though it will taint the purity of the form somewhat.Hapo has a fair amount of monstrous undead stockpiled, we could use the direct combat ability.
>>5512383>>You wish to augment your <Dragonshape> with the Ghoul Supreme’s psionic ability, though it will taint the purity of the form somewhat
Am >>5512383>>5510603>You need the Novice Fleshweaver to come with you—you cannot do this without herMating is a bad idea, and we still strive to become a true, full-fledged dragon. So let's not add impurities to our dragonshape willingly
>>5512383>You are troubled by certain recent ‘experience’s, and uncomfortable utterances by the Lady of the Rookery, but… You wish to mate with the Novice, and to know her fully, before you risk your life
>>5512383>You need the Novice Fleshweaver to come with you—you cannot do this without herAlso voting against the Ghoul augmentation.
>>5512383>You need the Novice Fleshweaver to come with you—you cannot do this without herAnd voting against augmentation We seek a pure dragon form, not one tainted
>>5512383>You wish to augment your <Dragonshape> with the Ghoul Supreme’s psionic ability, though it will taint the purity of the form somewhat
>>5513181>>5512708>>5512696>>5512652>>5512580>>5512557>>5512505[We have another close race!]>>5513038[Please backlink your 1post ID. Anyone else voting in the next hour or two, please do likewise. I will revisit this and write soon! If nobody else has changed or cast votes by then we're doing the two highlighted options.]
>>5513038Back linking the post here to here >>5511550My ID is jumping around a lot
>>5513300>Love ShackKek, that gets my +1 now
>>5513321>>5513317>>5513181>>5512708>>5512696>>5512652>>5512580>>5512557>>5512505[Alright, closed and locked! I'll feed my cat, grab a beer, and write an update.]
>>5513333>>5513333The truth is that you really had no specific reason for inviting the Novice Fleshweaver to dine with you. You’d thought about perhaps making this the night you arranged a mating with her, but had quickly changed your mind when you realized that was merely impulsivity brought on by <appetite> and nerves. This was no time to be hobbling your premier mage with even the sort of brief pregnancy characteristic to the Master Race! Besides, recent events have somewhat stymied those sorts of urges, which once so drove our young mind to distraction. Even now, the memory of those indescribable, wonderful, awful sensations and the Mother Goddess’ mad, moaning laughter sends your hemipenes into retreat deeper into your abdominal cavity. You’re not sure you’re ready to reckon with the lasting trauma of that coupling just yet.You’d given some thought to bonding with the Novice over your shared passion for biological augmentation, instead… But no. You honestly have mixed feelings about introducing the Ghoul Supreme’s ‘dogbold’ genetics into yourself, further muddying your murky bloodline. The results of such an admixture could be unpredictable, especially as psionic abilities might affect your mind, and you have no time to waste grappling with such complications. In the end, you realize that was just an excuse.An excuse to spend a bit more time with the one whom you love.“Come with me,” you say instead. It is half request, half command.“Very well,” the Novice agrees readily, delicately imbibing a sip of halfling blood.You blink in silent surprise. You’d expected to have to do more convincing. Is this the power of a <Knight Ascendant>?“You would only foul it up on your own, after all,” the Novice smugly denounces you. “Lose or damage the samples, make some hairbrained decision in the heat of the moment because that idiot sword-elf with the chest bulges told you it would impress her… Some other characteristic ‘Theral’ blunder.”…Nope. Same old Novice.“You are absolutely insubordinate,” you chastise her.“I do not serve you,” she reminds you cheerily. “YOU serve my FATHER, Oh King of Bloodrise. I am pretty much your supervisory agent, when you think about it. And thank the Dark Gods Below and Beyond for THAT!”Yes, truly the Novice Fleshweaver is a creature unbroken, unbreakable. Her haughtiness is beyond even the ability of your divine mandate to overcome. You think you appreciate that even more than her hindquarters.
>>5513351When dinner is done, you assemble those luminaries and lieutenants best suited to the task of administering in your absence and without the necessary combat ability to accompany you. Chiefmost among them are the Merchants, the Thief, The Translator, and Ivno, while Karz Throat-singer is given the honour of standing above the other ‘Duergar’ overseer-slaves as your defacto dwarven representative.“While we are moving against the Necromancer, the Necromancer will likewise be moving against us,” you warn them. “You must be prepared to defend our holdings against assault. In the absence of those forces who are accompanying me, you will need to be smart, as well as strong.”“What is your order?” asks the Thief, drawing a glare from the Translator for his speaking up first and seizing the status of the moment.>Have the Engineer and your labourers divert manpower and resources to the construction of siege weaponry>If attacked, and especially if overwhelmed, retreat towards your Drow allies to force them into the fight>Send for aid from the Northern forward base if necessary>Kite the enemy towards human settlements, to draw in the Paladins and their Light-aligned divine magic if need be[Choose no more than two as a primary and secondary strategy. Write-ins are welcomed.]Of course, there is not just a defence to plan, but an offence. You have a history of entering into these things armed primarily with your faith in the Dark Gods and in yourself. Surely, this is part of what your Feathered Serpent patron appreciates about you… But is it wise? Maybe a strategy is in order, against so sinister a foe?>Stride in boldly, fearlessly, guided by your divine vision and armed with your <Radiant Aura>>A stealthy approach would not go amiss, with your <Shadow> spell and your many skills scouts>Be tactical—use shield walls to hold the foes at bay, ranged attackers to sap their strength, and only deploy your mightiest champions when/if an opening presents itself>Mislead and misdirect—you and your flashiest fighters will draw attention by going elsewhere, while your TRUE expeditionary force plums deep into the unknown finds the treasure, and then regroups to report back[Choose only one strategy to guide your first engagement of this campaign, but write-ins are also welcome here.]
>>5513352>>Have the Engineer and your labourers divert manpower and resources to the construction of siege weaponryTrebuchet OP plz nerfSecondary,>If attacked, and especially if overwhelmed, retreat towards your Drow allies to force them into the fightWe got a drow fuckboi on throne, we use drow fuckboiPrimary offense : >Be tactical—use shield walls to hold the foes at bay, ranged attackers to sap their strength, and only deploy your mightiest champions when/if an opening presents itselfHowever,>Toy with stealth, but be careful. Illusions are useless toward demons after all, maybe we'll need live decoys - uncooperative dwarves for example?
>>5513352>>Have the Engineer and your labourers divert manpower and resources to the construction of siege weaponryYou cannot ressurect machines that easily.Secondary:> flee to the drow>Stride in boldly, fearlessly, guided by your divine vision and armed with your <Radiant Aura>Im somewhat torn between that and misdirection
>>5513352>>Send for aid from the Northern forward base if necessaryreinforcements are always good, They are likely ant-demon specialists amongst the snake priesthood.>Have the Engineer and your labourers divert manpower and resources to the construction of siege weaponryEven if the seige weapons aren't useful against hapo, they could come in handy against the green knight and hawksong in the future.>Be tactical—use shield walls to hold the foes at bay, ranged attackers to sap their strength, and only deploy your mightiest champions when/if an opening presents itself
>>5513352Primary>Have the Engineer and your labourers divert manpower and resources to the construction of siege weaponrySecondary>Kite the enemy towards human settlements, to draw in the Paladins and their Light-aligned divine magic if need be>Stride in boldly, fearlessly, guided by your divine vision and armed with your <Radiant Aura>…. as a misdirection for your true Expeditionary force to do it’s damn job
>>5513352Primary: >Have the Engineer and your labourers divert manpower and resources to the construction of siege weaponrySecondary:>If attacked, and especially if overwhelmed, retreat towards your Drow allies to force them into the fight>Be tactical—use shield walls to hold the foes at bay, ranged attackers to sap their strength, and only deploy your mightiest champions when/if an opening presents itselfPicking and choosing our engagements will be important; Hapo is a cunning little shit
[I may miss an update, what with New Years Eve and all. Just a heads up!]
>>5513352>Have the Engineer and your labourers divert manpower and resources to the construction of siege weaponryprimary>Kite the enemy towards human settlements, to draw in the Paladins and their Light-aligned divine magic if need besecondary>Be tactical—use shield walls to hold the foes at bay, ranged attackers to sap their strength, and only deploy your mightiest champions when/if an opening presents itselfbody denial
>>5513969>>5513629>>5513611>>5513580>>5513563>>5513532[Happy New Year! Going for it before I head out.]
>>5514267You meet with the Wevenore Ambassador, first and foremost. You are confident in your people, and their ability to defend your place-that-will-become-home here in Bloodrise… But you are prideful within reason, confident but not OVERconfident. You know well that a backup plan is ALWAYS a good idea. To that end, you secure your subjects an escape.“If the defences fail and the kobold wrecth’s hordes overtake them, you must lead the people to Wevenore, and protect them until I return.”“You ask much,” he points out. “You know we have no… Special abundance of excess food or space.”“I have DONE much for your people,” you retort. “Your King and House OWE me much. Will you pass along the message?”“As a request,” he agrees, “not an order. After all, what if you DON’T return, King Theral?”You adjourn the meeting, ignoring the insolence of the question as a matter of political nicety.
>>5514289Next, you meet with the dwarf named Yule, whom you know better as the Geologist’s Daughter, or the Engineer. She is not a true ‘Duergar’—one of the blooded ones among her race who follow you faithfully for favours, and have pledged allegiance to the Dark Gods. Rather, she is a mercenary of a different sort, motivated by payment and freedom, by loyalty to her father, and perhaps by a desire to better her people’s lot during your ‘occupation’. She has succeeded in that much, at least—most of the structural improvements and technological innovations which have expanded and made liveable your mountain kingdom are her design… But now, you must turn her talents to another cause.“Weapons of war?” she scoffs. “No, I think not. Not for the likes of you.”You glare imperiously at the squat mammalian female. She crosses her arms childishly, but even with her dwarven stubbornness, she cannot hold your gaze for long-not now, with the unseen-but-undeniable light of the Sun-Eater shining forth from your eyes, and your authority thus bolstered by forces beyond mortal ken.“You will,” you command.“I… I cannot be responsible for you turning these things on my kin!”You know the Engineer means to be defiant, but it comes out like a girlish whine, a squeak of protest from a mouse before a serpent. You tilt your head, somewhat impressed that she can even manage that. You know you could force the issue… But then what? Even your cleverest kobold trapmaker is no match for her engineering genius, which is why you need her to do this… But it also means nobody else in Bloodrise is qualified to check her work over for deliberate design-flaws and failure-points. You need her compliance to be genuine if you are to sue her inventions as a primary force0multiplier for the defenders.How will you gain it?>Bring her father, the Geologist, with you; if you discover any betrayal, he will be tortured to death, and she will be next>Appeal to her love of her fellow dwarf—after all, if your defences fall, Hapo the Necromancer will sue them as a supply of raw material for his army of the damned>Level with her, for you have ‘softened’ from your time as ‘Theral’ among the dark elves, and you re no longer the harsh slaver you were before; if she requires something of you, a boon for herself and her race, you will consider it>Crank up the aura and break her will— her freedom is at an end! She will bend the knee and she will ENJOY the feeling of submitting to her proper King! [Highest DC, but if you succeed she will not question you again barring EXTREME circumstances]>Write-in[Also locking tactical approach]
>>5514290>Crank up the aura and break her will— her freedom is at an end! She will bend the knee and she will ENJOY the feeling of submitting to her proper King! [Highest DC, but if you succeed she will not question you again barring EXTREME circumstances]Fuck this whining dwarf, I say lean into our new abilities, we arent playing games, she'll do it because she was told to
>>5514290>Promise that no machine built by her hand will be used against a Dwarven force- the kobolds can always copy the mechanisms laterThis keeps us in the clear from our antipaladin oath in case she accuses us later and lets us get it done now without making concessions.
>>5514290Yeah I can back >>5514338if she catches on we can even amend it to no machine of her design, not like we're wanting for ways to beat up dwarvesalso point out that we're up against a necromancer - at least we let the dwarves live, they won't
>>5514290>Appeal to her love of her fellow dwarf—after all, if your defences fall, Hapo the Necromancer will sue them as a supply of raw material for his army of the damned>Promise that no machine built by her hand will be used against a Dwarven force- the kobolds can always copy the mechanisms later
>>5514736>>5514715>>5514405>>5514338>>5514336[Alright, I'm over my hangover and the embarrassment of last night and am ready to write! Vote's locked.]
Rolled 4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 7, 6, 2, 8, 1 = 40 (10d10)>>5515063Oh, right, guess I'll need theseRolling behind the DM screen, no you can't know what dice are for what yet
>>5515066I was about to say those rolls really sucked before I saw they were D10'sNow I realize they just kinda suck
>>5515079Let's hope we have the good suck and they have the bad suck
Rolled 4, 17, 12, 17, 3, 19, 13, 1 = 86 (8d20)>>5515079>>5515086>>5515066Those rolls were to determine which of THESE dice are for Diplomacy, which are for Leadership, and which are for your adversaries and random events
Rolled 51, 48 = 99 (2d100)>>5515090
>>5515090Here's hoping that one matches up with Hapo's efforts..
>>5515091that's surprisingly average.The suspense is killing me
>>5515093>>5515092>>5515091>>5515090>>5515066>>5515063You take a deep breath, and think. You are a Knight Ascendant now. To retain your favour and your boons, you must not break any oath you make… Which means that, if you plan to appeal to this dwarf, you must take whatever offers you make VERY seriously. In the culture of the Master race it is said that no promise made to a lesser being should ever cause one even a moment’s pause. Furthermore, falsehood in service to the Grand Design is truth! But not for you, not anymore.(It strikes you that the Great Conspiracy as a while must have been quite irksome to the Serpent Ascendant.)“We face a necromancccer,” you reiterate. “Living beingsss are kindling to massterss of that dissscipline. I, at least, will protect the dwarvesss in my realm from ssuch perilsss.”“Looking after you property?” the Engineer asks.“Precccisely.”She scowls. You sigh. She expects more, then? Well, this will take careful phrasing, but…“I promissse you, in the name of the Dark Godsss and of Bloodrise, on my oath assss a Knight Assscendant, that no machine built by your hand will ever be used againssst a Dwarven forccce.”The Engineer blinks once, deliberately, as if surprised. She opens her mouth to speak, but shuts it quickly, saying nothing.“You’ll have your defences,” she eventually acquiesces. The Engineer’s expression is strange, her tone cautious. Has she taken the bait, overlooked the loophole you’ve left for using the designs to duplicate her machines with kobold craftsmen so they can be used against other dwarves in the future? You scrutinize her, but you can’t be sure… And you can’t wheedle her forever. You have places to go, and defiant kobold mages to stomp out.>Diplomacy result to persuade the Engineer to make weapons of war for Bloodrise: UNKNOWN
>>5515099You take some time to explain your strategy, and to drill it into your troops. You will be equipping the common dwarf slaves with shields. For their own self-preservation, they will use them to protect against the undead. Behind them, you will equip their kobold overseers with slings, bows, and other ranged weapons; these will be used to pick away at the undead which your rank-and-file hold back, while ALSO ensuring no cowardly servant sees fit to flee their duty to their King under the pressure of the enemy. Yourself, Olu the Archer, the Hunter, and your Novice will all aid in this effort, while you or your other elite melee combatants will only enter the fray to strike at prime targets and in relative safety.The dwarves grumble about being armed only with defensive equipment and ungainly tools as a frontline force, but they quickly cease this insubordination when you turn your gaze directly upon them, and the Duergars among them quickly reinforce this with some physical discipline.Once your forces are equipped and drilled—which goes fairly well, given how few of them are actually soldiery by profession—you take to the underdark once more. You’ve scarcely seen sun or moon while you’ve been back in your realm, you realize with a pang of regret. Now, once more, you delve deeper into the darkness, encased once more in the stone of shell which has so enclosed your life. Such is the burden of duty, you suppose…You march your forces for days, slowed by the sheer number of them and by your conservative strategy. However, it seems to be working, insofar as you KNOW that the Necromancer must be aware of you, and yet no attack comes—perhaps he recognizes your organization, and fears to face you directly?Eventually, you reach a section of tunnels and caverns which show clear sign of having been part of the ancients’ ritual chambers. Great pillars rise like the femurs of titans—in fact, upon closer inspection, ARE the femurs of titans! Greta leg-bones from beasts of a bygone era, straight and thick and big enough to be trees, have been ferried down from the land above to build a grand hall. The stone around them cracked and broke, collapsing part of it, but the bones never splintered or shattered, and even now they preserve some sort of… Library? Archive? Mausolem? There are statues, holes in the wall which may have served as shelves for offerings or precious good. It has been looted long ago, before the collapse and likely during the wars of old—damned surface-scum!—but it is your first clue of what might lie ahead, in the direction your <guidance> leads you. You stop to command your forces to clear the rubble, while your erect a barricade of shield-dwarves and ranged combatants to defend their back.
>>5515143>51 for Hapo’s tactic rollHowever, this is when the Necromancer finally DOES strike at you, this proves your suspicions about him correct. The adversary does not send a wave of undead to attack; rather, his strike is announced by a scream from one of your workers behind the shield wall. Your forces are quick to close ranks, and both Azonia the Duelist, the Hunter, and the Pit Guard’s Apprentice are quick to respond… As are you, of course, but you were further away. You find one of your slave-workers injured—savaged if by claws and teeth—but alive and conscious, and your warriors casting their gaze about uncertainly.“What happened?” you interrogate he and those who arrived first.“A… A terrible, stinking beast… Like a cat, big, grey…”“A deep-lion?” speculates the Hunter aloud, stroking the pelt he wears as a robe.“No,” the Duelist corrects him quickly, “look at those injuries. They are numerous, but too small and shallow to be a lion.”“Did anyone see what did this?” you demand. “Besides the dwarf, I mean.”All your warriors shake their heads. You are about to order a thorough search of your camp when a terrible wail goes up—not of Reptilian, or of elf or dwarf or anything else in your company, but of something utterly OTHER in nature.“I know this sound,” the Bugbear Boss announces, barging into your discussion. “Is called something… ‘feral yowler’, if I was to say it in elf-tongue.”“Not very creative as a race, are you?” Azonia the Duelists sniffs.Before the two racial rivals can bicker—or you can intervene to preclude such nonsense—another scream breaks the fearful silence among your slaves. This time, it comes from the other side of your camp, and you hear the warcries of kobolds and others and hear the twang of bowstrings as arrows are loosed. You rush to join the fray but…“It’s gone!”“Again?” you ask, weary of this already, and wary of what this implies.Several of your forces describe a series of kobold-sized cat creatures, patchy of fur and half-rotten as with the undead you encountered before, which seemed to appear and disappear at will.“When the cat-things shriek-cried out like that, the dwarf-slaves cried and broke-fled,” the kobold overseer of that group of workers informs you.“And you did not stop them?” you criticize. “Nor did you or the other slingers and archers strike down the ‘cat-things’?”The kobold looks a little shame-faced, and Olu the Archer informs you that the kobolds, too, were panicked.“Even I was somewhat shaken,” your loyal Archer informs you in whisper. “I think it is magical.”
>>5515145“Yes,” the Bugbear Boss agrees, a little too calm and chipper about this. “Yowlers will frighten weak ones with their cries, cause them to flee into darkness… Never to be seen again. Yowlers never get seen either, because they are like Bogbarri—here, then gone! No, more than Bogbarri… They are not just invisible, they can move without moving!”“‘Move without moving’?” the Novice Fleshweaver repeats when you tell her this. She seems skeptical, but then her face lights up with understanding:“Teleportation! It’s more psionic power, like with the ghouls.”>17 for leadershipThrough your organization, you are able to keep the ‘feral yowlers’ from claiming more than a couple dwarven lives, but the effort to capture the incorrigible things slows your excavation to near-stillness. Worse, it rattles morale of the slaves and soldiers alike, and pins you down to one place, while the necromancer is doing Dark Gods know what.How will you overcome this obstacle?>You can <See Invisibility>, so you will take a force of hunters [who?] to hunt down the yowlers, and perhaps their master>Casualties are unfortunate, but so far minor, and this is clearly a diversion meant to expend time and resources—hold to your current strategy, and get this digging done!>Write-in[If you use any of your specific skills, equipment, or abilities to protect the workers or hunt the yowlers, specify. Refer to >>5512344 for a refresher.]Sorry for the delay, when I rolled up this as the enemy it took me a while to think of how to make it an interesting encounter
>>5515147>Use <See Invisibility> to catch and slay one next time they attempt to harry your forces; feed it to the Shoggoth-Sword and set the unsettling blade to their scent>You can <See Invisibility>, so you will take a force of hunters to hunt down the yowlers, and perhaps their master>Pitguard, Azonia, Junior Novice, HamaraskaMaybe a bit too creative with the first bit, but I don't want to go wandering through the dark without knowing more about what we're walking into and I'd like to avoid using too much mana at any one time.
>>5515147fuq, what a frustrating enemyI guess >>5515153is our best bet, as long as we don't have any abjuration archmages who could block teleportation
>>5515153>>5515169[Point of order: Hamaraska had to be left with your defensive forces, since they're sort of your kids' nanny now.]
>>5515173Ah, that makes sense. Should be fine, still.
>>5515173>>5515181Maybe take Throatsinger instead thenWait no we left him behind tooThe Hunter? If we have him he'd be ideal.
>>5515181>>5515183[See >>5511195 for your forces.]
>>5515184nice we do have him, take himmaybe he's hunted teleporting beasts before
>>5515189I'd prefer to leave the Hunter with our main forces to direct our ranged forces should our troops be attacked in our absence.
[Given the relatively few replies on this one, I'll wait until tomorrow to post so that others an join in. Goodnight!]
>>5515471Out of the people we're taking, wouldn't it be better to leave the Pit Guard behind? Would a guard not be better at defending than a hunter?
>>5515515The thought is that the Bastard and Pitguard's apprentice are both behind still and should be able to handle those duties, I think.
>>5515522???So if they can handle those duties, why are we leaving the Hunter behind?
>>5515153>>Use <See Invisibility> to catch and slay one next time they attempt to harry your forces; feed it to the Shoggoth-Sword and set the unsettling blade to their scent
Rolled 19, 9, 18, 4, 9, 15, 2, 13 = 89 (8d20)>>5515609>>5515153>>5515169You gather together a few of your forces—the Pit Guard, his Apprentice, the Duelist, and of course the Junior Novice—and you formulate a plan.“These are frustrating enemies,” you admit. “I struggle to think of a way to deal with them. However, I have a spell which will at least allow me to see them when they attempt to invisibly approach.”“But… Superior One, what about when they use their teleportation ability to escape?” the Pit Guard asks.“We simply do not let the one which we target escape,” you say grimly. “After that…”You look to the shoggoth sword. It does not seem to be ‘awake’, not slaveringly hungry for yowler flesh as it was for demonic essence. Still, it should be possible to treat this thing like a bloodhound, you believe. You intend to give it a taste for the cat-creatures, then follow its olfactory abilities and thirst for more yowler blood back to the source of this sabotage.You command your slaves and slavemasters back to their work clearing out the rubble from this half-ruined place. As they do so, you feign a peace you do not feel. You slide your nictitating membrane shut, dulling conventional senses as you allow your sense for fate and fortune, mystical and mental energies alike, to take precedence…
Rolled 7, 13, 4 = 24 (3d20)>>5516103>19 for DivinationIt doesn’t take long before you catch sight of one of the skulking fiends. The undead yowler might be invisible to your workers, but it positively GLOWS when you focus your sixth sense and turn your attention upon it. Apart from its invisibility, its creeping is no different from any other ambush predator, and its size is frankly unimpressive. You make a show of not noticing it, even as you periodically look past it or allow your vision to drift across its path a sit skulks towards a group of your workers.>15 for Sword MasteryWhen the thing leaps to shred your kobold servant, you strike. Your shoggoth sword is drawn as a dagger, and flung. It strikes the yowler which (perhaps predictably) yowls. Your servants and slaves freeze, then many begin to scramble and scatter. Not so your Pit Guard’s Apprentice, though, who barrels into battle and lands upon the suddenly-visible yowler. He begins to wrestle with the creature, grappling with it and preventing it from simply teleporting away. He holds it from behind, forcing its throat and belly up. In an instant, Azonia the Duelist is there too, and with two clean slices of her two shortswords, the undead yowler is decapitated and gutted.“It is strong for a small creature,” the Apprentice pants, using the Northern Common-tongue.“It is undead,” his master, the Pit Guard, reminds him. “They do not feel pain or exhaustion, nor fear overtaxing their bodies.”Azonia looks to you questioningly, and you repeat the Steeltalons’ words in Dark Elven.“Undead, and now dead again!” the Duelist boasts, holding aloft the head…Which then vanishes.The Duelist stares at her empty hand, while you hurriedly cast <See Invisibility> again. But… No. The head has not simply cloaked itself from conventional sight, but has teleported away!“Not so dead,” the Pit Guard mocks.You hurriedly retrieve your shoggoth-sword and , smacking it upon a rock and channeling your mana through your thrumming voice, awaken it. It seems dazed at first, but when you prod at the remaining meat and bone of the headless yowler, the sword understands your meaning-or simply hungers. It forms teeth and chomping maws along its cutting edge, and you allow it to taste of the creature’s corpse.The Junior Novice growls and whines, and you follow his gaze to the deeper darkness of the surrounding caves. Something is watching you out there. You can sense it, too, if not see it—it is beyond the range of your sixth sense, as well, without a dedicated casting of <Guidance>.
Rolled 19, 1, 2, 4, 2, 10, 16 = 54 (7d20)>>5516124>13 for SpellcraftYour aberrant blade is indeed excited, unpleasantly salivating so that its slicing face is coated in oily ‘saliva’; a tongue licks up and down the blade, and its eyes roll. Unfortunately, you have not dedicated the time to master the shoggoth-sword more fully, nor have you communed with it. You have no idea how to parse its intentions or benefit from its senses. It does not ‘pull’ in any direction, simply vibrates. The vibrations seem to have no pattern—when you step towards the dark unknown, it vibrates; when you step away, it vibrates. You point it this way and that… But it is just excited, not offering direction.The Junior Novice makes a chattering, nattering sound, and then something half-way between a bark and a shout.“I think your dragon-ghoul is trying to lead us to the yowlers,” the Duelist suggests.You tilt your head. Yes… You suppose the psionically-empowered ‘dogbold’ WOULD be a good tracker, also.“Very well,” you grant. “Follow the Novice Fleshweaver’s creature!”You leave the other warriors to defend your camp in your absence, and to keep the work going. The Junior Novice leads your hunting party—with you just behind Junior, shoggoth-sword in hand—down a series of tunnels and chasms. You eventually find what you seek in an open space, a moist grotto with blackish lichen and sprouting fungal-forms upon the walls and hanging like udders from the roof. There, in the midst, sits the head of the yowler whom your forces ‘slew’… But as you enter the chamber, it utters its signature yowl, and a half-dozen more erupt from every side!
>>5516126>19 for Religion>2 for your allies’ Will equivalent (DC 7/10/12)Your Dragon Souls stands strong, your Knightly virtue untarnished by fear of these foul things. Unfortunately, your allies aren’t so spiritually fortitudinous, and they are rattled, stunned. When the yowlers descend upon you, leaping from the life-carpeted walls where their undead bodies clung, your friends are unprepared, and slow to respond.>10 vs 16The Pit-Guard’s Apprentice is, predictably for his relative lack of skill, the first to be overwhelmed. Two undead yowlers tackle him, all four paws kicking and a tail like a muscularized spinal column whipping away his weapon so that he has only his own, less-deadly, claws and teeth to respond. The Pit Guard does not leap to his aid, but rather leaves his subordinate as a distraction while he lunged for another spitting felid… Only for another to tackle him from behind and bring him low as well.Azonia the Duelist, though startled by the sudden turning of fortunes, at least has the skill necessary to stay on her feet as another of the beasts slashes and swats at her, driving her back towards you and towards the Junior Novice.What will you do?>You must find a way to commune with, and master, the shoggoth-sword to make proper use of it—and you will do so, here and now!>The Junior Novice brought you this far, and he is a mighty beast with many abilities thanks to the Novice Fleshweaver’s tamperings… Trust in his ability!>You are a KNIGHT ASCENDANT, and it is time you made use of that—crank up your <Radiant Aura> to burn the beasts and rally your allies!>You cannot risk friends with untested tactics or fancy manoeuvres, nor shall you. Rescue the Duelist, your best melee combatant, and then join her in cutting down these things the old-fashioned way!>Write-in
>>5516134>>You are a KNIGHT ASCENDANT, and it is time you made use of that—crank up your <Radiant Aura> to burn the beasts and rally your allies!Although I can get behind>>You must find a way to commune with, and master, the shoggoth-sword to make proper use of it—and you will do so, here and now!So maybe Attempt Commune as a Radiant Aura byproduct?
>>5516134>You are a KNIGHT ASCENDANT, and it is time you made use of that—crank up your <Radiant Aura> to burn the beasts and rally your allies!I also want to commune with the shog, but now would get allies killed
>>5516134>You are a KNIGHT ASCENDANT, and it is time you made use of that—crank up your <Radiant Aura> to burn the beasts and rally your allies!It's unfortunate that we have to reveal the presence of this ability right now, but bad rolls are bad rolls.
>>5516134>You are a KNIGHT ASCENDANT, and it is time you made use of that—crank up your <Radiant Aura> to burn the beasts and rally your allies!The weak of soul and mind shall bow before us
>>5516134>You are a KNIGHT ASCENDANT, and it is time you made use of that—crank up your <Radiant Aura> to burn the beasts and rally your allies!>You cannot risk friends with untested tactics or fancy manoeuvres, nor shall you. Rescue the Duelist, your best melee combatant, and then join her in cutting down these things the old-fashioned way!Sword Mastery is still our best skill, though combining our Aura and Shogg-Master vote like >>5516135 sad I’d also support.
Rolled 18, 4, 18, 3, 15, 18, 14 = 90 (7d20)>>5516135>>5516149>>5516157>>5516286>>5516476You grimace a little at what you are about to do. You suspect that the Necromancer, who has taken direct possession of his putrid playthings in the past, might even now be watching you through the shining eyes of these feline freaks. That means that casting this newest spell could give the all-too-clever kobold a chance to plot some countermeasure, just as he clearly curated these creatures to circumnavigate around your shield-wall. You’re beginning to see what the Master of the Insightful Eye sees in this rival… But you have a patron deity as well, and the Serpent Ascendant has done more than merely watch you with interest. He has made you a true Antipaladin—a Knight Ascendant, champion of his ideals and agent of his will! You speak one of the secret names of your god, and a fraction of the radiance which once illuminated ancient skies now fills you—fills you full to bursting, and explodes forth!
>>5516568>18 for Religion + Intimidation>DC 17 for undead, since they have few or no self preservation instinctsImmediately, another yowl goes up—but not the psychically-charged hunting cry you heard before. These are shrieks of pain—Pain! From undead! The feral yowlers are immediately driven back, puffing up pitifully and skittering sideways as some remnant of their instinct overcomes their masters’ orders in their festering braincases. This gives your own forces much needed time and space to recover and regroup…>18 vs. 14But it does more than that.“Now!” The Duelist woops. “Now we kill these creeping things!Most of the retinue with you understands little to no elven, but when she swiftly topples and impales the head of one with a series of whirling strikes and a final lunge, they get the gist. A war0cry geos up from every Reptilian present, and even the cringing Junio Novice lets loose, seizing several fleeing felines in place with his psionically-empowered mind before they can teleport away. With tooth and fang he savages them, crushing the skull of each enemy he pins with his jaws lest they again escape. The Pit-Guard and Apprentice mop up what remains, with club and axe, until there is scarcely anything left which is recognizable.You personally take great pleasure in crushing the final head—that which teleported away—beneath your boot.“There!” Azonia whispers, slapping your rump to catch your attention and gesturing down the cavern. “One is escaping!”You narrow your eyes a little at the brazen overfamiliarity, but the elf doesn’t even seem to notice. She is lining up a shot. The Duelist is grinning with dark glee, shorsword between her small, nimble finegrs as one might hold a throwing knife.“Watch,” she says. “I bet I can kill it in one shot.”>Let her try—it’s a difficult shot, and the thing might teleport any second, but it would be impressive>Draw your bow and take the shot yourself—you’re not risking losing this last straggler>Actually… Tell her to hold up, and see if with aid of the Junior Novice and Guidance, you can track it further, to where it might be going [will separate this band from your main force for longer]>Write-in
>>5516585>Let her try—it’s a difficult shot, and the thing might teleport any second, but it would be impressive>Lop off a few yowler heads to bring back and bolster morale again Serpent is all about glory, let's not hog it too overmuch. Also, even if it gets away, no biggie because they're ruined as a combat force now.
>>5516585>Let her try—it’s a difficult shot, and the thing might teleport any second, but it would be impressive
>>5516585>Turn it into a competition
>>5516599SupportingOur God loves a show off
Rolled 5, 15, 9, 4 = 33 (4d20)>>5516953>>5516806>>5516730>>5516612>>5516599You shrink your own shoggoth-sword back to dagger-length, and fix your gaze upon the Duelist with some amusement.“Take you best shot,” you say. “If you miss, prepare to be shown up!”She laughs her too-loud laugh at that, and runs her tongue along her teeth as if to aid in concentration. You’re beginning to think the effect of your aura has made her a little manic—not surprising, given her cheerfully aggressive default state.“There’s no fear of that,” Azonia boasts, and throws…[4d20, DC 14; she isn't QUITE as good at ranged combat as her namesake art]
>>5517271>15The Drow’s blade strikes the rotten corpse-creature before it can teleport away. It was mid-leap—you suspect mid-warp—but it now tumbles and falls.“Yes!” the Duelists enthuses, praising her hands above her head and jumping with excitement.You divert your eyes from the (ahem) EFFECT that this jumping produces, and instead hurl your own dagger to finish the blasted thing off—the Duelist’s dagger struck its side, but you now impale the yowler’s head.“My god appreciates a display of skill,” you say with no small smugness, “but victory is not secure until the kill is actually MADE.”“Whatever,” The Duelist scoffs, refusing to have her good mood spoiled. “You made that shot BECAUSE I made mine, Dragon.”You shrug. She isn’t WRONG.“Help me collect some pelts,” you command her—and the others.They move to assist. You lament that you can bring back no intact heads to display as trophies, but pelts should be enough to raise morale among your harried henchmen. They will HAVE to do, since any head thus harvested is, evidently, at risk of escaping…Though, as you collect your shoggoth-dagger, you find THAT beast’s head is at least in pretty good shape, despite being clearly, truly dead. An excellent find!“Not a bad shot,” the Duelist notes admiringly.“A bow would have been easier,” you note.Azonia gestures to her overlarge mammary glands—even bound up as they must be for combat, they would clearly impede her drawing of an elven longbow.“Maybe for SOME,” she says.Your <appetite> waxes… And, as unpleasant memories rise to meet it, wanes again. The Mother of Dragons’ sadistic laughter echoes in your mind, and your loins and soul alike feel a pang of remembered, ecstatic agony.“Ah,” you simply say, and turn your head until the discomfort passes.You return to your forces, heart and aura still alight with triumph in spit of your troublesome trauma. The Pit-Guard and his Apprentice both proudly display the harvested hides of the fallen felines.“The feral yowlers are returned to Death’s embrace!” you declare.In return, you receive a unanimous cheer—even from the slaves, who evidently find their condition infinitely more tolerable now that they are at least not being terrorized and slain. Their joy is short-lived, though, for the kobolds return to their task of mastering these mammals, and they in turn return to their labour.
>>5517299“Did you bring me anything?” asks the Novice hopefully.You throw her the head, which she fumbles to catch and nearly drops. You laugh; she glares.“This is hardly worth much,” she scoffs. “The brain is ruined, and the flesh and blood are rotted away!”“The Necromancer made do,” you note.The earns you further ire.“A Fleshweaver works with living tissues, or those that can be mixed with the living. The dragon hatchlings were well-preserved by the chemicals in the eggs, and I was familiar enough with the alchemical composition of such an organism to ‘make do’, but if you expect me to make anything useful from THIS…”Her eyes slowly drift to Junior, who belatedly meets them and whines in anxiety.“Well,” the Novice murmurs with sinister glee, “I suppose we DO have the perfect disposable test subject. The gift that keeps on giving, from my generous Dragonborn benefactor…”The Junior Novice looks to you with some desperation. How will your respond?>Permit the experimentation, though it will be risky and painful>Forbid further experimentation of the poor wretch>Try to convince Junior that this is actually a GOOD thing>Write-inYour deliberation about this dilemma is interrupted by another. One of your kobolds approaches you with a progress report. The dwarves and their kobold supervisors make rapid progress—as well they might, being a hard race of miners who specifically came to Bloodrise to harvest the fruits of the earth, overseen by Reptilian servitors who live a not-dissimilar lifestyle.“But there is not one-single-one passage, but many. Three-many!”“Hm.” You scratch the spikes upon your chin in thought. It would help if you knew exactly what you were looking for… But then, maybe you do. Your visions guided you here, but also revealed an image: a female Reptilian, primordial in appearance, clutching something to her chest. Who was this female? What was this precious thing which she kept in death? What does it have to do with Hapo’s objectives?>Write-in—a correct guess will mean a much lower DC to locate the objective before the Necromancer does
>>5517301>Try to convince Junior that this is actually a GOOD thing>Write-in—a correct guess will mean a much lower DC to locate the objective before the Necromancer doesA Yuan-ti, former servant of the dragons? Magic key/location thing to find Big Red? Hapo either needs it to find Big Red or merge with him.To be honest, I don’t come here for Bananas-tier puzzles. I sure it’s hidden somewhere in the quest, I just can’t find the will to search for it.
>>5517338>Bananas-tier puzzles[It's not some "find the hidden clue" thing. Just refer back to >>5512375, guess who she is and what she's holding, and if you HAPPEN to be right you get a nifty bonus to your next roll. If nobody gets it, it's not the end of the world.]
>>5517301>Ask her not to modify the Junior Novice, but to see if she can reverse-engineer the teleportation effects with the Junior Novice's (admittedly meager) assistance>One of the Dark God's most favored clerics, among the first to venerate them>Some sort of trinket linked to the dark and all-encompassing Akashic Record>To secure the final parts of his ritualThe Dark Gods have stated that the knowledge Hapo seeks is taboo and forbidden and will take a lot of effort. Sounds like the Akashic Record to me.
>>5517299I want that Mini in a warhammer elven army, where is it from?
>Try to convince Junior that this is actually a GOOD thing>Write-inIsssmena? claws coming from succubi form, holding the dwarven cube from Reptilian Infiltrator?
>>5517373I did, but it was so vague as to essentially be a Bananas-tier puzzle.>>5517385Sounds about right desu. I don’t remember the Akashic Record being a trinket (or even how Hapo would even discover any of this), but that’s honestly the closest I’ve seen to an optimal guess.
>>5517416It wasn't a trinket, I think, but did come from some connection to Reptillian ancestry via... a serpent priest's staff, I wanna say? Anywho, an amulet or ring that would let you access it would be quite a treasure.
>>5517423Ah, yes, the underutilized staff. I sorta wish we could go back, just to try a different path into the Tower.
>>5517338>>5517385>>5517410>>5517423[I will say: Theral has seen his mother in visions. This was not his mother, but a seemingly full-blooded Reptilian female of some unknown or forgotten caste.]
>>5517445Dinosaurs Folk then? Pterafolk? Saurians? Some Warhammer equivalent?
>>5517468[Maybe, but it's the individual and what she's holding that are most important, not the specific type of reptoid she is. Though as far as identifying her nsubspecies... No, no, that's too much of a clue.]
>>5517301>Try to convince Junior that this is actually a GOOD thingbroteleportation
>>5517470That sorta sounds like >>5517385 is wrong desu. What, is she a reptilian princess with a magical McGuffin that’ll find Big Red? One of the OG Dragon Servents?
>>5517445Hmm, let me take another shot at this then.>One of the Great Red Dragon's foremost daughters>One of the Red Dragon's teeth or a claw>To locate the Red Dragon's corpse with ease, due to the connection between the two
>>5517407[It's from https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/1282181226/dark-elf-warrior-mariya-miniature, but in retrospect picrel is probably a closer analogue to Azonia's appearance, in terms of the abs and general spunkiness.]>>5517516[You're very close!]
>>5517597The only other thing I could think of that might fit in her hands is perhaps an eyeball..
>>5517597Is the female Vandria,Gorgon or Scylla or a descendant of theirs? King red was a first born dragon and the lady of the rookery did say she took dragon kings as mates in the past.
>>5517635Shit, or maybe a SCALE!
Rolled 15, 10, 18, 14, 17 = 74 (5d20)>>5517338>>5517410>>5517478>>5517385>>5517516>>5517661>>5517680>>5517468>Guessed the held object (-10 difficulty)>Very nearly guessed the female's identity (-5 difficulty)>Did not guess the specific purpose (No change)[But before we roll THAT... Diplomacy with Reptilian Empathy for Junior! Difficulty 16, because he knows better than to expect this to not be an awful experience.]
>>5517700“Sseztlee,” you address the Junior Novice.“Do NOT call that thing by the diminutive of my—” the Novice begins, voice raspy with rage.“Come,” you interrupt, ignoring her and beckoning her would-be test subject.The Novice Fleshweaver seethes, and the Junior Novice follows. You aquat slightly, to better match the hunched ‘dogbold’ in height and eye-level.“I know you dread the Novice Fleshweaver’s attentions,” you acknowledge. “They are awful things, which inflict terrible pain. But look at yourself, at what you have become. Look at ME. We are both of us strengthened through these trials, made better than we were by them.”It is an argument that, in broad strokes, has proved persuasive to this creature before. He listens intently now, though you sense dread an uncertainty in him still.“This power she offers to imbue you with… It will open doors to you yet unopened. You saw what the yowlers were capable of—spionic camouflage, teleportation! Imagien it!”>18You can see the possibilities taking shape in the Junior Novice’s strange little mind even now. Slowly, he bows his head in supplication, and nods it in agreement. You turn him back over to his namesake, to do with what she will.“You know,” she intimates, “you could have merely beaten him into submission.”You regard her coolly, and she recoils.“What?”You sigh, and shake your head, but say nothing. It is her nature, after all, and it is this very ruthless and reckless alchemy that makes her so tactically valuable. And, well, you knew what you were in for when you fell in love with her.Thoughts of one female turn to another—not romantic, but certainly tactical. If you could puzzle out the true nature of this THER female—the one in the vision, the one whom you seek!—you could discover what it is that you and the Necromancer are both striving towards, and direct the dig accordingly. Yoru <Guidance> can only get you so close. Now, you need intuition, and logic.What the female was clutching must be small… Small enough to conceal in her claws. Could it be a tooth? A claw? An… An eyeball? No, these are all too large to be correct—you recall again the tales of the Red Dragon King of the Bloodrise Mountains as being a figure of almost GEOGRAPHIC proportions. Even if these legends overstate his size somewhat, judging by your ‘brother’ back home—the Great Green Dragonborn, created from remnants of another such Dragon King—the tooth of claw of such a being would still be much too large to thus conceal.…But what of a scale?
>>5517700Big Red’s daughter? Daughter race?Being frank, the purpose was always going to be a crapshoot. Ancient Fleshweaving abilities? Another contained demon?
Rolled 32 (1d100)>>5517724Your hand slides down from your chin, cupped in thought, to your throat and chest. It is true that most of the scales and scutes of a Dragon King would ALSO be huge in size, but not ALL of them. The throat and underbelly of Reptilians are usually more finely-armoured. It’s why you still wear a chestplate, after all! So one of these ‘heartscales’ must be what she is holding.Yes! It makes perfect sense0it would be ideal material for Hapo the Necromancer to use as conduit to find more remains of the body, and to enable him to recombine himself with the ancient King of Bloodrise in a most heretical and abominable fashion!You know the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of it, now, you feel, but what of the ‘who’ and ‘where’? Who WAS this female? You must know, to find her! It is as you wrack your brain for this that you again remember another female in your life—the Lady of the Rookery! What was it she said, when you (perhaps unwisely) propositioned her?>“Dragon Kings and Serpent Priests… All of them came to me seeking my blessing of protection. My price was their seed, to raise up champion children… Vandria, An-Ur, Gorgon, Scylla… Servants and founders of new races. I deemed them suitable for such a trade by right of their accomplishments.”Yes… That must be it! This female must be one of these children thus named—Scylla, or Gorgon or another! Such valued, divine offspring would be treasured even by a cold-hearted and logical Reptilian, for her abilities, her providence or simply to appease her Divine Mother.“What we are seeking,” you state with confidence, “is a royal tomb—a place fit for a Princess of Bloodrise!”And so the slaves and their masters abandon some entry-ways, sill half-full but by their design not appropriate, to focus on other avenues. The other rooms-treasure vaults, libraries, ritual-halls, other tombs, WHATEVER they are—can wait. You seek a demigoddess, Daughter of the Dragon!Default DC 50; lowered by 15 for your guesses. DC 35.
>>5517729…I am utterly enraged, like you wouldn’t believe.
Rolled 6, 16, 7, 2 = 31 (4d20)>>5517727>>5517729>>5517735It takes some time, during which you meditate to calm your nerves. No more attacks come from any undead scourge, and while your troops and workers regard this as a positive non-event, you do not share their feeling. If Hapo is not unleashing his fury upon your rear, it means he is attacking your burgeoning kingdom and its defenders… or working even now towards the same objective that you are.“We’ve found it!” shouts a dwarf.Your eyes snap open.“Yes, it is good-found! True-found!”The kobold overseer’s confirmation has you on your feet, an d striding rapidly towards the commotion. You found it—you really found it! The arch is replete with effigies of serpents, and dragons, intertwined and with their throats exploding out into intertwining blood vessels. These, in turn are depicted forming a sort of bord-like nest for an egg…Yes! This must be it!You summon your shield-bearers and warriors to help dig, and to defend the diggers from any attacks from the back. You are so close to victory that you can taste it. The chamber is revealed, stone by moved stone. You exercise your own inimitable might to aid the dwarves and kobolds in bracing each of the stone walls moving inward from the arch, exposing the mostly-preserved chamber therein…Where your <Danger Sense> alerts you to the actual threat.“Back!” the Bugbear Boss barks at you, before you can even respond, hurling his chain as if to strike you. This is not the danger, though—rather, it wraps around your waist, to pull you out of harm’s way as two more bugbears—undead, this time—explode into visibility and set upon you to grapple and rend with their ape-like strength and spine-covered bodies.
>>5517743>16Between your divination-triggered athletic leap and the Bugbear Boss’ aid, you are recalled behind your shield-wall before the assailants can injure you. Your shield-wall moves into place, driving back the undead. However, these two bugbears are not alone. Behind them, you see dwarves, kobolds, elves, a few other humanoids…And Reptilians. Not rotting corpses or shambling skeletons, as you have fought under necromantic or psionic control before, but… Spectres. Translucent, visible only faintly to your physical eyes but in vivid and horrifying detail to your mystical ones. These are souls, or shades of souls, bound to their dark master’s will.And there, behind this mass of physical and ephemeral undeath, is the ‘master’ in question: Hapo the traitor, Hapo Scroll-thief, Hapo the Necromancer! He is clad in a grey robe, thin with malnourishment beneath it, and his eyes are bugged out and tongue lolling with a sort of madness, but you recognize him even so. He is perches, birdlike, over a sarcophagus which two more bugbear zombies are dragging the lid away from… To expose, you know already, a female’s skeletonized remains, hands cupped to her breast, a scale clasped in her hands.You are uninjured, only lightly tired, and have roughly two-thirds of your total mana reserve—enough to activate even your most powerful magical abilities, such as your <Radiant Aura> or <Dragonshape>. You have with you a host of slaves and miners, plus the Hunter, Pit-Guard and Apprentice, the Novice Fleshweaver and Junior Novice (though he is recently and hastily modified and his combat ability may have been hampered OR bolstered), and Azonia the Duelist. You also have the Lightning Elemental at your command, and an Ice Elemental’s power upon one of your fingers.What will you do?>Write-in—you know your abilities, and your allies, or can refer back to the character sheet and the above, and I trust your judgement[Feel free to make further guesses at the identity of the female, and the purpose to which the Necromancer plans to use the scale. This update contains further clues (though they may still be a bit oblique). If you guess right, I will lower your next roll’s DC. There is no penalty for guessing wrong, or not bothering to guess.]
>>5517760>Have the Junior Novice yank the scale from the fossil's hands with his mental powers>Direct the archers and slingers to deluge the frontlines>Unleash your fire-breath upon the hordes of shades, perhaps it will melt their ephemeral flesh>Direct the Hunter to harry Hapo as best as possible; if anyone can make the difficult shots through the mass of bodies, it is him>Reserve the rest of your retinue, to bolster your lines in response to Hapo's actions
>>5517760The spectral reptilians make me go with An-Ur as its also the only one who is a spectral dragon in this random wiki i found on google, and its also the only one >>5517661 didnt mention kek, as for the purpose she is a protorace dragon demigod associated with ghosts/astral creatures, maybe hes trying to turn her into a new goddess of undeath or something, necromantic goddess born from the red dragon and the mother in the rookery, idk im spitballing
>>5517760>Fire breath directly at Hapo, burn through as much of the minions as possible and dive into the gap with the shogsord and dragonshape>Allies focus on drawing minion focus off youthat turned out better than expected, I guess we only failed the roll by a little bit
>>5517796[I wouldn't be so cruel as to make you guess an exact name. Rather, the guess that she was an important ancestor to a race and/or the Dragon's daughter were CLOSE to correct, but not quite. "Demigod dragon daughter" was NEARLY correct, but not the actual answer. The purposes proposed (means to find the Red Dragon king's corpse and merge with it) were wrong.]
>>5517760Alright, one last crack at it.>Red Dragon's heiress, a literal draconic princess>As a symbol of office, declaring Hapo the true ruler of all the old Dragon's holdings
>>5517760Aarakocra? Or does daughter race not cut it?He’s using the heart scale to revive the ghost of Big Red, potentially to possess him.>>5517795Support>>5517802That little bit enrages me, it’s teasing us about doing a better job.
>>5518383It's a good way of reflecting the tiny margin of failure in the writing though, Hapo getting there literal minutes before us. In contrast, we roll below a 10 on the check and arrive to an empty room, already looted, with at best some tracks we can follow.
>>5518480It’s less about the emphasis on writing but the fact that with a bit more information we would’ve solved this puzzle enough to win the day.And speaking of puzzles, the lack of confirmation must mean we’re dead cold on our guess, again.
>>5518519[I work during the day.]>>5518150>>5518383[You guessed (essentially) the amulet's purpose, but not the female's identity. You're pretty darn close in some ways, but off in one significant dimension.]>>5517995>>5517802[Anyway, now that Cloudflare is done shitting the bed: vote locked, writing!]
Rolled 7, 13, 17, 12, 3, 3 = 55 (6d20)>>5518838Your eyes widen at the sight of this ghastly army. You look through their translucent forms with new, horrible understanding of what Hapo the Necromancer is planning. He isn’t seeking the Red Dragon King’s long-lost body—lost to the ages, picked clean by scavengers, probably gone forever. No, this scale is for the summoning of his SPIRIT!It shouldn’t be possible, as you understand it. The Red Dragon King’s immortal soul surely dwells in the halls of the Dark Gods’, as one of their greatest champions. Perhaps it was a privilege denied to Davora the Herbalist, but to one of their first sons? Never! What sort of terrible magic could pull him back from so long an absence, from so sacred a space? The secret must lie in the scale… In the female holding it. What power does this dragon-daughter hold? Is that even her true identity?It doesn’t matter. Not really. You can sort out this mystery later-for now, you only need to know what Hapo is planning, and that it must be stopped.“Junior!” you roar. “Seize the scale!”The Junior Novice responds quickly, squinting his eyes and stretching his arms out. His claws grasp and squeeze t empty air—a crude somatic component to focus his will. He isn’t the only one who hears you, though—so, too, does the Necromancer. He looks up from his ritual, shocked at your presence. He must have been deep in a trance, not to have heard you enter the chamber… But he is awake now, and he grins a hateful grin.“False King! Liar King! You are late, LONG-late!”The scale begins to move of its own accord, catching the Necromancer’s attention. He squeals in fury and leaps for it, and shouts to his spectres:“Destroy that ugly-stupid awful dog-faced THING!”You unleash a torrent of flame in an impulsive outburst—maybe your dragonfire can burn away a spirit? You have no reason to believe so… But no actual concrete knowledge of how to harm a ghost AT ALL, so it is worth a go!>Have the Junior Novice yank the scale from the fossil's hands with his mental powers[2d20, DC 15]>Unleash your fire-breath upon the hordes of shades, perhaps it will melt their ephemeral flesh[4d20, DC 20][Cont.]
>>5518862huh, I thought it was mostly zombies with only a few spiritsshogsord save us
Rolled 11, 12, 19, 9, 1, 13, 12, 11, 10, 20 = 118 (10d20)Your fire rips through the narrow space between Junior Novice and forms a wall between him and the wrathful ghosts… But to your great dismay, they pass through. Furthermore, your blocking of your psionic minion’s line-of-sight seems to break his concentration; if that didn’t, though, you suppose the spectral assailants now attacking him like cave-drakes divebombing a nest-raider would have had the same effect.>13: Failure for Junior>17: Failure for youThe Junior Novice is driven back. In his panic, he attempts to teleport, but the Novice Fleshweaver’s work is incomplete (or perhaps his mastery is). He distorts in space for a moment, and then appears a few feet away, on his back, disoriented and no less beleaguered. The spirits rip and tear at his mutated flesh, and he whines and wails, swatting at them ineffectually with talons that have no effect upon their ephemeral flesh—as little effect as your own firebreath.“Archers, slingers, destroy the front-lines!” you command. “Hunter—”The Hunter has already anticipated your command, it seems... Or else, just planned to attack the most impressive of the foes from the get-go, and identified little Hapo—dangerous, devious Hapo—as the most prestigious target. He has his massive bow draw, his javelin-like arrow squarely aimed at the Necromancer. Perfect!>Direct the archers and slingers to deluge the frontlines>Reserve the rest of your retinue, to bolster your lines in response to Hapo's actions[4d20 Leadership roll, to ensure nobody breaks and runs, and 2d20 for their over all results]>Direct the Hunter to harry Hapo as best as possible; if anyone can make the difficult shots through the mass of bodies, it is him[The chaos and close quarter impose a higher DC (17)… But he still has 4d20 archery]
>>5518878>19: Successful Leadership rollYour forces to not waver, not even the slaves. As the bugbears and other sundry corpse-creatures crash into the shield wall, the dwarves hold fast. They are more reverent—or more fearful—of you than of this undead horde. Azonia the Duelist and your other elite melee warriors brandish weapons, waiting for the right opportunity, or for the command to advance. You withhold it for now, for you have seen how effective they will be against the souls of the dead. There are an uncertain number—five, six, more? They intersect with one another, flowing in and out of an ectoplasmic mass. You only know that any number is a bad match-up for an dark elf with swords or a Steeltalon with a club.>1: Critical failure for your archers and slingersUnfortunately, the archers and slinegrs prove no better match for the corporeal undead. They strike their targets—repeatedly!—but arrow simply stick uselessly in dead flesh, and sling-bullets and stones bounce and ricochet off of these horrific beings beyond all feeling. Some bones break, but by some dread power they seem to re-knit themselves, or simply swing their battered limbs like cudgels.Your line is driven back. The Hunter, however, is not.>20: The Hunter proves his worthEven as the line backs up, he advances forward, braving the bugbears and kobolds, the drow and dwarves and unknown undead. He bashes them aside with his bow, wielding it like a quarterstaff, and with deadeyed determination and steely resolve, he holds his ground and re-aims his shot. Unable to acquire a desirable angle, the venerable Steeltalon actually LEAPS as he looses his arrow…And hits.Hapo screams in pain and terror, pinned fast to the ancient female’s body by the arrow. It skewers him like a kobold kebab, straight through his cut. Though the Necromancer slaws at the bolt ipaling him, he lacks the strength to loosen it.The Hunter rattles with harsh laughter, and boasts: “This is our terrible enemy? I’ve killed cave-bats more fearsome than this one!”
>>5518877>>5518911…But then, Hapo’s eyes begin to glow. The Hunter is wise enough to be wary of this, and so are you. It is, frankly, astonishing that he can cast a spell in such a state—you aren’t certain you could. But his lizard-lips are moving, teeth gnashing in vile syllables, and you can sense the energy roiling off of him.What will you do? You could interrupt the spell—now, before it’s too late!—but that would mean leaving the nearly-dead Junior Novice to fend for himself—or, worse, draw the ire of these implacable spirit-warriors upon your own head, if you mean to get in sword-range. Some are already drifting from the mass towards the Hunter…Your troops are being overwhelmed by the uncaring, unfeeling force of the living dead, for that matter. They may well falter and fail without your aid, which puts all your people in danger… Including your beloved Novice.But if you DON’T stop the Necromancer… What terrible spell is he working? What new terrors will result? If you slay him swiftly enough… Maybe it will break his control over all these ghosts and zombies, and end the threat to all of you at once?What will you do?>Save the Junior Novice and Hunter>Protect and aid your main force>Strike down the Necromancer>Some combination[Remember to specify your methods, spells, equipment, etc. if you have any in mind, as well as any specific commands you wish to issue to your troops… But you don’t have a lot of time to shout specific instructions to more than one or two people!][And remember: I am not kidding when I say that some characters are at risk of dying.]
>>5518918>Some combination>Stone Wall our troops to give them reprieve>Stone Wall Hapo into the ceiling, or Moonbeam him>Save the Junior Novice and Hunter, with Firebreath and either Dragonshape or Aura>If all of the above fails, break out the emergency elementalIs the female Big Red’s lover/servant?
>>5518878>Hunter nat 20'sbasedwe must take him everywhere>Strike down the Necromancerwhy else would they be healing if not through his power
>>5518918>>Strike down the NecromancerMoonsword him>Save the Junior Novice and HunterMoonbeamYes, there is a "moon" thematic going on. Fairy type is super efficace on darkness and should hit uncorporeal beings, right?I hope that striking him down will force the troup to take a moral/leadership roll and we can make the most of it
>>5519128Supporting this, makes sense
>>5518918>Emit your <Radiant Aura> to singe the dead and give your people breathing room, also hopefully distracting the Necromancer>Strike down the Necromancer with your MoonbladeI believe.
>>5518918>Emit your <Radiant Aura> to singe the dead and give your people breathing room, also hopefully distracting the NecromancerIt’s a good idea
Switching from >>5519128 to >>5519389I like this more. Radiant Aura got radiant in name, implying higher damages on undead
Rolled 20, 9, 20, 14, 17, 5, 3, 14, 2, 15, 17, 19 = 155 (12d20)>>5519868>>5519813>>5519389>>5519287>>5518959>>5518947[Alright, post approaching!]4d20 Religion, DC 15/175d20 Swordsmanship, DC 133d20 Spellcraft, DC 10/15
>>5520286Though <Radiant Aura> is one of your more ‘expensive’ spells to cast, requiring a not-insubstantial amount of your energy to cast, it remains your best hope to accomplish all your objectives at once: to preserve your allies, to destroy all your enemies, and to defeat the vile little would-be wyrm once and for all!You utter a prayer to the Dark God closest to your heart—not a muttered oath, but a full-throated recitation of his triumphs, and a promise to follow.“Oh Dark Star, or Feathered and Winged Victory! You who awoke fully-formed and mighty, but who did not rest upon your laurels! You who shed your very arms and legs to only flight higher, and never to land and crawl! You whose plumage is bloody from battle, golden from glory, shining with the stolen light of the sun you swallowed! You who were born in darkness, and became a Star Beyond Stars! Dark God of Glorious Victory, let me humiliate the weaklings who lament and demonize your might! Let me have pride, as you have pride, and EARN that pride in the felling of my foes, and you shall feast upon the flesh of the broken, beaten, fallen, and fled! Cowards will cower, laggards will lose, and VICTORY WILL BE OURS!”>20 on ReligionYou feel it as you speak the words, rising within you, entering you from without. You are irradiated in unearthly energies, like a prism refracted the Stolen Light of the Serpent Ascendant. It, in turn, radiates froth from you. Your words echo with a voice that is not your own—deeper, more powerful, more universal. You speak not the True Speech as you learned it while young, but ancient Draconic—flawless, without accent, without stumbling or stuttering, as if you were a native speaker! Perhaps you are, for in that moment as no other, you know it in your bones. You are no caretaker prince, no agent of distant priests. No, you are the KING of Bloodrise…>Another 20 on Religion>DOUBLE CRIT…And Hapo is merely a pretender to your throne. His army is of the dead, the old, the fallen and defeated. YOUR army is of the living, the vivacious. He dwells in the past, in seething and sullen envy and dreams of resurrection… But resurrection is a fool’s errand. YOU are the future. Your PEOPLE are the future—the people with you, here, now!
>>5520335The shades od ancient Reptilians shriek and hiss in silent, spectral agony and horror as your light expands outwards, ever outwards, filling the cabinet. The corporeal undead cover milky eyes, blinded by a light spiritual and physical. Their mending wounds cease to heal; their skin and hair, scales and scutes, all bubble and burn as the flesh beneath is burned away in the holy light of your dark supernova. Your own people look on in rapt devoting, in unbridled awe… And even the Junior Novice and the dwarf-slaves, lowliest among your cadre, begin to rise and to cry out in joy and triumph, bloodlust and adoration. They charge, and tear the zombies apart with far more zealous a savagery than ever the implacable undead could manage in mindless service—and with no less determination.The tide is turned, your forces freed from the grips of fear, pain, and death. You are their Dark Prophet, their Knight Ascendant, their King and Champion… And now, you have a job to do.>17 on SwordsmanshipYou draw the moonblade, and it glows with a new, unearthly light-not the shining silver-blue of moonlight, but the radiant gold of the sun—or A sun, a sun that is long dead and devoured, from an age that was and will be again. The sigils upon its blade are faded, hidden by this glow—a glow reflected in Hapo’s terrified, bugged-out eyes.“Is not fair. Is foul-bad! Is wrong-unfair! Is cruel, not right. Is lies and falsehoods! BAD-wrong-BAD!”The impaled kobold shrieks the words, but the gurgling of blood and wet coughing punctuates them. Moreover, his spell is broken—your aura was too much for him, and he cannot concentrate any longer—not with your blinding aura permeating the cave, suffocating his own mystic connections to the earthly powers and Those Beyond. The terror of your approach surely does little to aid his efforts, for that matter.You end his terror swiftly, with a single slice of your shining sword.It is…>Better than he deserves—Hapo was always a vile, wretched thing, and you have no pity for him>Unfair—he is right, and you must acknowledge it and respect his efforts to surmount your inborn advantages, even as you do what must be done>Glorious—Hapo was, in the end, worthy! This was a good battle, and he deserves honour in death!>Write-in
>>5520339>Glorious—Hapo was, in the end, worthy! This was a good battle, and he deserves honour in death!Eh, sorta don’t believe it, but if most of the Dark Gods agreed Hapo was, and we defeated him, then we’re even more glorious in comparison!
>>5520335Let's fucking GO!>>5520339>Curious- he had the favor of some of the Gods, but clearly was wrong in his methods and application; while you are glad to see him gone, you will take some of the lessons of his doomed ascent to heart
>>5520339>>Glorious—Hapo was, in the end, worthy! This was a good battle, and he deserves honour in death!
>>5520995>>5520592>>5520383>>5520372You look down upon your fallen foe in divine judgement—your right, as sovereign knight of this realm, or so you reckon. He was no great martial opponent, not like the Blackmantle captain, the human berserker, or any of the great monsters whom you slew... But you have to admit, Hapo the Necromancer gave you a true challenge. It wasn’t a test of arms, but of faith, mettle, strategy, and leadership. Your forces cheer, morale higher than it ever has been, and you know that you ow it (at least is part) to the dead little Reptilian before you—a creature of humble origins who, just like you, rose to ascend beyond those beginnings to become a true champion of the Dark Gods. “Only one of us could rule,” you speak aloud, in case his spirit can hear you. “You fought well. May the Serpent Ascendant—or the Master whom you served—give you the magnificent afterlife which you have earned.” The ghostly wraiths vanish with their master’s passing, and the living dead surrender limply to mundane decay once more. Your divine glow fades, your sword simmers down to the dull glow of a waxing-but-weak moon… “But you are not yet done.” You look up with some startlement at the source of the voice, and see… A creature. An avatar, envoy, or demigod, you suspect. The one eye at the centre of the creature’s body—torso and head as one—stares at you with a shadow of its father-god’s presence. It has legs, arms, even dragon-like wings… But it has no mouth—the voice is in your head, a psychic-mystic presence in your own skull. “You are of the Wisest One,” you greet it cautiously. “Yes,” it confirms. “I am a Nothic. I was sent to observe the war between you and his other chosen mortal. How it was resolved.. And what comes next.” The inside of your braincase itches in an indescribable way. The eldritch gaze of the speaker holds you fixed. You don’t (can’t?) turn around—you can sense the others hovering behind you in their masses, watching with pensive unease You wave them off, lest they strike and foolishly damn you all. With all our willpower, you drag your eyes way from that singular orb… And gaze down upon the impaled, blood-sullied form of the mysterious female.
>>5521062With great care, you remove the Kobold Necromancer’s body from her stone coffin. Slowly, gently as you can, you remove the spear as well. She is mummified, practically, and now punctured by the Hunter’s oversized ammunition… But she still rests peacefully, still clutches fast to that single, scarlet scale—that of your most noble ancestor, the Red Dragon King. …But his presence is not the ONLY ancestral presence here, in this room. “You have guessed her true identity,” notes the Nothic. >>5518947 “Yes,” you agree. “She wasn’t a daughter… Not a demigod, either. But she WAS the mother of the Dragon King’s daughters. She was a mate.” “Yes,” the Nothic concurs. “But nobody special,” you say, feeling absurd even as you say it—look at her stature, her scale, her grandeur! “This is what all our ancestors were like, once,” you say. “Before we were weakened, lessened…” “But she is significant,” the Nothic presses you. “Yes,” you say. “She is my ancestor. The ancestor of every Dragonblooded member of the Master Race.” “Yes.” You feel come vindication at this. It took you time—your mind was occupied in some small part even as you struck your final blow against Hapo, puzzling out this mystery. “That caste arose from their bloodline long after both had died, though,” you continue. “That wasn’t why she was deemed significant enough for this place of honour.” It IS a place of honour. The room is replete with motifs of flowerings plants and mushrooms, of eggs unhatched and hatching, of serpents and dragons entwined as if in the throes of coitus… Or simply entangled in one another. “The Red Dragon King,” you speak slowly, hesitating to even say such a… SENTIMENTAL thing a loud. “Yes?” the Nothic asks, almost… Eager. “The King,” you conclude, “was capable of love. Romantic love, love even for a female of lesser birth. He bred with many—true dragons, the Divine Mother even… But this female, my ancestor… He loved her most of all. This tomb… It predated the end of the Age of Scales by centuries. But he kept her here, maintained this place… And kept the entrance wide enough to accommodate him, so he could visit. It is why the bond his soul has to this place—this female—was uniquely strong. It is why the Necromancer had to summon him HERE, if he was to summon him at all.”
>>5520286>>5521064The Nothic doesn’t say anything, but you sense a deep and alien satisfaction in it, at one uncovering a hidden secret and thus proving their worth before the ever-watching eye of the All-Seeing One who created it. You feel blessed by this… But your attention still lingers on the female, mother of your father, of his father and mother and all other Dragonblooded Ones going back aeons. A fiery people, with a cold heart in this era… But born not from draconic calculus, but LOVE. “And what will you do now, that you know this thing?” the Nothic eventually asks. >15 on Spellcraft The energy is still rich in this place, replete with power unspent. You sense that the Necromancer’s spell was very nearly complete when you interrupted him. Perhaps it still waits for the word of casting to call it forth, or perhaps the Nothic and the Baleful beholder who spawned it have preserved it here, to see what you would make of it. “Well?” asks the Nothic. >You owe Death Himself a debt—you will abolish the spell, dispersing its energies, an seek out the Necromancer’s tomes to burn them in dragonfire, and thus pay the debt in full >You will cast the spell, to summon forth the spirit of the Red Dragon King of Bloodrise, that you might speak with your legendary ancestor and gain his aid in reclaiming his glory in this land >You will take the power into your shoggoth-sword, and make a truly terrible blade—a KING’S blade!—to face down the Green Knight and any others who oppose you >You also lost a reassured lover once… And now, with this power, this FEELING… You believe you could call her forth from beyond Death’s veil, and once more hold Davora the Herbalist in your arms >Write-in
>>5521067>You also lost a reassured lover once… And now, with this power, this FEELING… You believe you could call her forth from beyond Death’s veil, and once more hold Davora the Herbalist in your arms All this romantic buildup needs a climax.Will say though, meeting Big Red would be neat.
>>5521067>You will cast the spell, to summon forth the spirit of the Red Dragon King of Bloodrise, that you might speak with your legendary ancestor and gain his aid in reclaiming his glory in this landI don't think this will piss off Death TOO much, and I think taking Davora back is foolish both in that it would piss Death off majorly and emotionally compromise us.
>>5521139I disagree, Death will be pissed off either way, and the whole point of the revelation is that emotion doesn’t comprise us, but is our strength instead, as it was Big Red’s when he created our race.>A fiery people, with a cold heart in this era… But born not from draconic calculus, but LOVE.
>>5521170You make good points, and I agree that emotion has become a major pillar of the Antipaladin's strength, but I was moreso saying that Davora's return would be crippling to our progress as a character; we've made gains because we had to deal with the loss and I think we would invalidate a lot of those by bringing her back.
>>5521181We made gains because we embraced that aspect of ourselves which we’ve tried to deny- love. Choosing Big Red when we’re in the literal monument to his love seems a bit anti-climatic to me.
>>5521067>You will cast the spell, to summon forth the spirit of the Red Dragon King of Bloodrise, that you might speak with your legendary ancestor and gain his aid in reclaiming his glory in this land I recognise anon’s valid points about the power of love to both us and Big Red, but I’m with anon here >>5521181We’ve grown as a person because of our loss We only recognised our emotions because we had to grieve and feel lossPlus, we’ve openly admitted our love for the Novice - why would we bring another woman back to challenge her…
>>5521195I’d say we made gains as a person because of our love, not our loss.And it wouldn’t be challenging her, we already made the choice to treat all of our lovers as equal.
>>552106720, 9, 20, 14, : double crit religion17, 5, 3, 14, 2 : 17 on sword15, 17, 19 on religion>15 on Spellcraft Hey wasn't that a 19 rob?Solid update though
Agreeing with >>5521195Voting for>You will cast the spell, to summon forth the spirit of the Red Dragon King of Bloodrise, that you might speak with your legendary ancestor and gain his aid in reclaiming his glory in this land
>>5521220[Ah, so it was. Same result in this case; I probablybjust hyperfocused on you passing the DC. Woops! Well, no harm no foul.]
>>5521067>>You owe Death Himself a debt—you will abolish the spell, dispersing its energies, an seek out the Necromancer’s tomesWe have a pact!As the pact's sole focus was necromancy, we will only burn those books with a main focus on necromancy. Burning everything was never part of the deal. WE want to be king and Davora is no more. If we tried ressurrecting her, we cant be sure its really her who returns and not something sinister that walks and talks like her.There should be enough loot lying around for us to get stronger without necromancy.
>>5521671I could get with some combination of "cast the spell" and "burn all the necromantic books".