This game is heavily inspired by old CRPGs like Icewind Dale and Bauldur’s Gate, and settings like Warhammer Fantasy and the cosmology of Dominions. The quest will run until you either reach your destination and becomes a new person - or die trying.There is a tree at the edge of the known world. A mighty Samam tree, tall and strong and as old as history.Stories of its seeding are many; it was a gift for the first people. It marks the threshold to the barren world they left behind and the promise of the fertile lands ahead. The lands where they would eventually tame, a land to prosper and proliferate, and eventually forge the civilized world. It was long ago when the first people left the shadow of the great Samam tree behind, but their children’s children have ever since respected the old customs of their forefathers. One such custom is the Right of Roots.By the Right of Roots every and any of the people can be absolved of their past actions by bathing in the waters below the old Samam tree. On completion the person is considered born anew and given a new name to honor. It isn’t an easy task. Any would-be pilgrim must complete the voyage from Zenith to the Glassway, which is a perilous journey at the best of days, and as proof of the act a hex is placed upon their heart. It can’t be removed short of removing the heart whole. To return bearing the hex is punishable by death. Trying to remove the hex is punishable by death. Giving shelter or aid to anyone bearing the hex is punishable by death. In the face of those harsh terms many who undertake it never return, living the rest of their days in a self imposed exile- as short as those days may be. Many see it as a harsher sentence, a thread of dwindling hope to be dangled over the head of the damned."Next!" the officer of the line barks from under his helmet. You take a step forward. "Name and occupation." The man stinks of metal and sweat. It is the end of their shift for the day, and this is the last caravan heading south... Just your luck."Ash- I am Ashlad." You lie. The words almost get stuck in your throat. You swallow them with all your regrets.The armored officer looks up from his papers and into your eyes. "And occupation." He spits out. Choose wisely.**a - I am a Vagrant.** The path of the Vagrant is one without structure by desire and design, easily taken but hardly ever seen to its conclusion. Their sword is survival and their shield is self-interest.**b - Warrior.** The Warriors of the aspect shrines are a semi-nomadic order of monastic martial practitioners, feared and respected in all civilized lands. They are trained in war and the dealing of death.**c - I was trained to use magic...** Spellcasting, Enchantment, Alchemy and Witchcraft are the four major fields of arcane theory, put to practice by the magic-user. Magic-users have grown rarer and are highly sought after.
>>5537153>**b - Warrior.** The Warriors of the aspect shrines are a semi-nomadic order of monastic martial practitioners, feared and respected in all civilized lands. They are trained in war and the dealing of death.
>>5537153>**c - I was trained to use magic...**
>>5537153**c - I was trained to use magic...** Spellcasting, Enchantment, Alchemy and Witchcraft are the four major fields of arcane theory, put to practice by the magic-user. Magic-users have grown rarer and are highly sought after.
“Is that so?” He is clearly more interested than he was a few seconds ago. He eyes you up and down for the first time. You are in a terrible state of dressing, but even country bumpkins know the clothes don’t make the mage.“What can you do?” There it goes again. That dreaded question. The two decades you spent apprenticing to your old master prepared you to identify, write down and cast spells. To give power to inanimate things and to extract the very essence of the world and distill it into liquid gold. You memorized all the formulae, mastered the theory and you know of half a dozen different spells you can cast from your mind with dirt and willpower. But with these people it is never about what you know, it is about what you can do. As if your vast knowledge on the subject of arcane arts was useless if you couldn’t light a lamp from half a room away.You sigh. “I can enchant, cast spells and brew potions and balms-” You start the same old discourse you had given a hundred times before, but the line officer cuts you off. “Can you fix wood?”You are taken aback. “Wood?”“Yeah, wheels, doors, whatever else. Can you fix the things?”You blink once, then twice. “Yes? I think so. Are they enchanted-”“Great, you are in.” He interrupts you again, stamping a paper in his hands. “You get lunch and breakfast, and one bed on the second. You are to carry all your belongings and are obligated to defend the caravan in case of an attack. And do work during the night, of course.” He thrusts the paper into your hands. “Go to the back now. We leave soon. Oh! And don’t step in front of the animals!”Well. That was surprisingly easy.--You left that same night.The trek was easy here, so far inside Throne’s domain. Not a single bandit or wild creature would dare step foot near the roads for fear of the Watchers. The caravan marched through the lamplight for only a few hours before camp was made and duties were given.Without any repair work to do you find yourself free to explore the circular camp. The hubbub of activity is somewhat warm, but you don’t know these people. They gossip, they talk and lay down their beds. The center is for the caravan master with the inner ring for companions and officers, then a second ring for people like you: passengers. A third ring for followers and beasts of burden, and the last for soldiers and guards.**A** Check the kitchens. There won’t be anything to eat until sunrise, but you know better.**B** Go to the inner ring, where the caravan master and the officers are. Maybe you can see who’s who.**C** Go look at the giant beasts of burden. Ox, horses and even the giant rams from home are all gathered in the currals.**D** Ignore the other caravaneers and passengers and try to find a nice spot in the second ring to lay down.
>>5537282**B** Go to the inner ring, where the caravan master and the officers are. Maybe you can see who’s who.This seems wisest, we probably have more to fear from our traveling companions at this point.
>>5537282>**B** Go to the inner ring, where the caravan master and the officers are. Maybe you can see who’s who.>>5537310Was going to dissent, since I'm not even sure we'd be allowed to into the inner ring without having performed some sort of noteworthy feat, but I agree with your point and this is the most interesting anyways.
>>5537282>**B** Go to the inner ring, where the caravan master and the officers are. Maybe you can see who’s who.
>>5537282>**C** Go look at the giant beasts of burden. Ox, horses and even the giant rams from home are all gathered in the currals.
You step inside the concentric rings of tents to a sight you are all too familiar with. Old men, tired men, of wealth and repute are all seated around the central tent - a luxurious bundle of carpets and pelts - and are quietly talking about the journey ahead while sharing smoking weeds. A lot of them look like Thronelandians, but all the guards are Qartians. They have beautifully sewn headwear that sets them apart from the people from your homeland.Two of them move forward to intercept you, hands on their sharp blades. You quickly present the document proving you are a working member of the Caravan and they let you in. “Don’t disturb the master.” He says, under his scraggly beard.You nod. You look at the carts and the great piles of trade goods tied into bundles. The line officer who signed you in is here, as is the captain of the guards - a horned Qartian, of all people. He looks as imposing as a land pirate, but has a princely air about him.You could approach one of them, or try to take a peek at the central tent. It is not forbidden to enter, but it is considered rude to disturb the master while he rests. There are other people of interest too... One of the noble tents, a very small one, looks like it is home to one of the Beastkin of the south! It is a rarity to see one of the wild folk here, since they aren’t allowed inside the city of Throne. They are a curious and superstitious lot. Often have many tales and tools to trade.>A - Enter the central tent quietly. It is rude to disturb the Master.>B - Go introduce yourself to the horned Qartian, the captain. Maybe he has work for you...>C - You have never seen a Beastkin before! Go take a peek.
>>5538401>B - Go introduce yourself to the horned Qartian, the captain. Maybe he has work for you...
>>5538401>>B - Go introduce yourself to the horned Qartian, the captain. Maybe he has work for you...
This tall man that you so carelessly approaches is a horned Qartian from the western deserts. They are a hardy and industrious folk, bent on the acquisition of wealth in all its forms. In the lands of Throne they are sometimes called Gold Eaters for their habit of biting gold coins. You remember reading about it. Without a central authority that mints them, the coins from the Qartian peninsula are a decentralized mess of diluted metals and arcane forgeries. It bred suspicion in their habits.The same suspicion flares in the man’s light blue eyes. “Can I help you?”“Hello. I am Ashlad and-”“Ashlad?” The line officer who signed you in pipe up, looking from his deep bowl of alcoholic broth. He is a Thronelander through and through, with black hair and black eyes, and an armor forged in arcane fire. Even still, the officer and the Captain seem very at ease with each other. “What you doing here, boy?”Boy. You probably have a winter or two over the man’s head, but let’s not disabuse them of their prejudices.You clear your throat. “I wanted to introduce myself to the Captain. Just want to be of use to the Sheish.” You flex your knowledge of Qartian honorifics with a respectful measure that translates to something like *I am your humble servant* or somesuch. Your Qartian is very rusty.“Sheish, huh?” Seems the Captain was amused by it. He turns to the line officer. “Where did you find this one, Albe?”“Signed up this afternoon, moments before we packed up. Almost threw him back.” Albe responds.The Captain turns his full attention to you again, playing around with the many rings on his hands. Some of which, you can tell, are enchanted.“You said you want to ‘be of us’. How so?”You smile. Hooked, line and now for the sinker.>A - “I practice spellcasting, Sheish. Ask something of me and I will work to make it true!”>B - “I couldn’t help but to admire your enchanted rings, Sheish. I am familiar with their art.”>C - “Alchemy is my forte. What foolhardy warrior would go into battle without their strongest potions?”>D - Some other skill, perhaps? You are proficient in all writing arts, worldly history and even otherworldly knowledge.
>>5539690>>B - “I couldn’t help but to admire your enchanted rings, Sheish. I am familiar with their art.” Your knowledge of enchantment is not quite the equal of your talents in witchcraft, though you are versed in its theory the most, but better to offer the least disturbing of your skills.Additions for in case this is a char gen choice for which among the four arcane fields we are most skilled in. If it isn't and we are just choosing which skill to offer then my choice would still be the same just without the addition.
>>5539690>>B - “I couldn’t help but to admire your enchanted rings, Sheish. I am familiar with their art.”
“If you’d allow, I could reinforce your enchantments or even add another one! A gift, of course, from me to the Sheish.”The Qartian smiles openly now. He turns to Albe, eyebrows raised. “You were gonna turn an enchanter down?”The line officer spits. “What good are trinkets when we are going south?”“That is exactly when you need good trinkets, my good friend Alberam.” He turns to face you. “Ashlad, correct? Here. What do you think?” He hands you one of his golden rings. It is weighty and has a strong charge to it, and it is warmer than your hands. Beautifully crafted with an inset gem - perhaps a spherical ruby or garnet. Very, very valuable. You can tell from the strong charge it is meant to do something on a trigger, like a permanent spell, but more subtle. It also goes both ways, giving and taking.“So?” The captain breaks your concentration. “Can you tell me what it does?”You think for a moment. “Yes.” You say. “It keeps you warm- No. More than that. It keeps you cool too. It absorbs warmth when it is hot and gives it back when it is cold.”You smile proudly.The Captain looks at Alberam and bursts laughing. His eyes are full of delight. “What a find, Albe! What a golden find!”The line officer shrugs.“The name is Sammyak Tusker.” He pats you on the shoulder, all smiles. You notice a few of his back teeth are also golden.“It is a pleasure, Sheish Sammyak.”“Please, boy, call me Sam.” He takes his ring back and hands you two others. Each is half the weight of the first one, and half that as impressive. With the same movement, he pulls you to sit down in front of him closer to their campfire. And away from others’ ears, you notice. “Here is the deal: I am a great collector of magics. I have the coin to pay, of course, but more importantly than that; if you stick with me I can make your life way better in the foreseeable days, yes?” He opens a big smile, eyes twinkling. You can hear the line officer groan and turn away. “Now, before I do that for you, I need you to prove to me one simple thing. I need to know I can trust you. These two rings here, you see them? I ask only that you enchant them. Anything you can do, anything at all, but they both must be the same kind. Same charge, same weight, same spellwork. Get my wind? You do that, no funny trades, no bargains, and you are in. I move you here in the inner circle, get you washed, take care of those rags you are wearing. The works.”You nod. His mannerisms changed completely.“So, what say you, kid?”
Something about Sammyak reminds you of a bird of prey. The way he looks at you, the way he smiles. The man is also very deadly. His callused hands, his sharp eyes, the rope-like muscles of his arms.Still, your choices are simple. You could try your luck elsewhere, maybe rough it out with the caravan life... Or you could work for Sam the Horned Qartian.>A - Do as the Sheish asks of you. Warm food, good clothes and a steady job are not easy to come by.>B - No. You will do his enchanting, but you are ‘beneath the Sheish’s charity’ and ‘unworthy of working under him’.>C - Decline it all, give both rings back and say you are not interested.
>>5540470>A - Do as the Sheish asks of you. Warm food, good clothes and a steady job are not easy to come by.Seems like a good deal. If we were so discerning as to be interested in finding the patron with the best character or the most to offer then we should've taken the time to rumourmonger earlier. Declining now seems pointless and perhaps offensive, even if put politely.
>>5540470>>C - Decline it all, give both rings back and say you are not interested.
If the tie doesn't break in a few hours I will give it to the first vote. It has a good reasoning and greater engagement.
>>5540470>A - Do as the Sheish asks of you. Warm food, good clothes and a steady job are not easy to come by.He has coin, we have magic, may as well.
“I accept your generosity, Sheish.” You bow. In part to show your respect to your new patron, in part to hide your frown. You honestly don’t like being under the thumb of another greedy man so soon after you left the Thronelands, but this is an offer too hard to pass.“Of course you do.” Sammyak smiles from ear to ear. “Why don’t you go to my tent and pick yourself a change of clothes, eh kid?” He pushes you towards one of the largest tents in the circle, it is red cloth covered in great pelts and with lamps hanging from wooden spears.“Oh! And tell the Matron to give you a bath too.” He turns his nose, cleaning his hand on his leggings. Well, you travel with nothing but the cloth on your back for a month and let's see how fragrant you get. Wait, Matron?!--Why are you surprised.Of course the greedy Qartian was dragging not one, not two, but three women! Around with him. Into this caravan going to the wildest parts of the civilized lands, where monsters carve kingdoms and bandits and warlords roam free.The girls look downright dour, and you can’t blame them. The Matron, a red haired woman of middle age, quietly blocked your way at the entrance. She didn’t say anything at first, but you noticed she was pawing a knife. And the two girls on the bed pillows also didn’t look so defenseless, either.You had to show them the twin rings Sam Tusker gave you to enchant. After that, the atmosphere changed almost completely. You were quickly disrobed like a child, rushed to a large brass tub which was full of cold water. Through protests and screams they scrubbed you and picked on you. Your hair was too dirty, not enough meat on your bones, you were too fat on the butt, no girl would marry a boy who wouldn’t cut his nails. It was an incessant barrage. Disregarding the fact you were possibly older than the Sheish they called master, this was really demeaning. The worst part is that you have been without the touch of a woman for the past years, so their coddling made your body react in a very straightforward manner that only exacerbated your discomfort and embarrassment.At least you denied them the pleasure of dressing you up like a children’s doll, claiming the Sheish ordered you to choose your clothes.You step out of the partition looking bright red in the face. The Matron whistles at you, her face bright with delight. The other two just share whispered gigglings with each other.You sigh.>A - Stay inside and try to get to know the three concubines of the Sheish. Or at least try to fix that horrible first impression.>B - You’ve had enough of these cruel women. You are going outside!
>>5543814>>A - Stay inside and try to get to know the three concubines of the Sheish. Or at least try to fix that horrible first impression.
>>5543814>A - Stay inside and try to get to know the three concubines of the Sheish. Or at least try to fix that horrible first impression.We are in fact a world-weary magician of some advanced years. By which I mean we aren't as young as the Qartian pretending to be older than he is with that immaculate beard of his at the very least.Anyways, where better to learn about this man and the inner circle than his "attendants". Or maybe they really are just that, I dunno.
>>5543814>>B - You’ve had enough of these cruel women. You are going outside!
>>5543814>B - You’ve had enough of these cruel women. You are going outside!Off to meet other people! Probably won't need to interact much with Sam's harem anyway.
>>5543814>A - Stay inside and try to get to know the three concubines of the Sheish. Or at least try to fix that horrible first impression.
You sit down in one of the pillows, crossing your legs as is custom, and look at the red-haired matron. She is well within her middle years and could even be older than you and Sammyak, but she has the airs of a charming courtesan. Dimpled cheeks, full red lips and pearly white teeth. Her eyes are the color of the sea, grayish blueish greenish.You make a measure once she sits in front of you. “Now that I can finally get a word in” - You turn to the giggling pair to your right and make a scowl - “the Sheish calls me Ashlad. I will be doing enchantments for the Sheish for the next leg of the journey.”The Matron opens a wide smile. It makes your heart skip a beat. “D’old pirate must’ve liked you keenish, Ashlad boyin’. He’s never even handed us his jewels ever.”“Never ever.” The other two say together and giggle. You turn to them, scowling again. You have a hard time hiding your displeasure in front of beautiful women.“Is true!” The dark-skinned one speaks. “We thought you were thieving us! Gave Cora quite a scare, you did.”You apologize to the girls. You didn’t know how else to approach, so the most direct route seemed the best.They giggle again. “You’re so propper! Is so funny.”You blush and file somewhere inside your head that you need to be less formal. The manners of an academic wizard don’t fit your new vagabond lifestyle... Too much attention.It is the Matron that interrupts your thoughts again. “I’m Sara. Tha’s Cora and Mira.” She points to the other two. “Sam cares of us, pays us too.” You have never heard such a thick northern accent as this.“Yeah, and we can drink and eat and play with the boys too.” Mira speaks proudly, making Cora giggle again.--You spoke with the three girls for a few hours. They hail from all over the world. Sara is from the northern islands and Cora is from Qart-Hadasht to the east, Mira being from the heartlands of Throne just like you. They joined as camp followers in the caravan after their brothel closed and Sammyak has been taking care of them ever since. There were others too, but they left for other places. These women seem very flirty and flighty, but they are well traveled and hardened by life. You can see it in their eyes once they speak of their past.They try to ask questions about you, but you told them only enough to change the subject. The less they know - the less everyone knows - the better for you and for them.Eventually the conversation became games and small talk, and then drinking.A- Sleep inside where the women are warm and the wine is flowing.B- Go sleep at your place, outside, in the second circle. You can’t get too attached...C- Sleep?! Are you crazy? You can’t sleep around these strangers! Stay awake, you will sleep in the carts tomorrow.
>>5546593And that is why I have trips. Also, sorry for the formating. I don't know what is going on with me lately. Huh
>>5546593>A- Sleep inside where the women are warm and the wine is flowing.May as well, they seem friendly enough and we don't have anything worth stealing on ourselves. And Sam lets them play too!
>>5546593B- Go sleep at your place, outside, in the second circle. You can’t get too attached...They seem nice, but this is the tent of the Sheish, it wouldn't do to be found asleep in his bed with his women. That and the talking of thievery and the girls never being handed the jewels has me paranoid that they are gonna get jealous and steal them for some reason.
>>5546593B- Go sleep at your place, outside, in the second circle. You can’t get too attached...
>>5546593>B - Go sleep at your place, outside, in the second circle. You can’t get too attached...
You step outside after bidding farewell to the ladies before they fill you with too much wine. They are a warm and welcoming bunch. It is hard for you to get so close to them on a lie.You leave the inner circle for the second, stealing a glance towards Sammyak one last time. The Qartian is still talking with his subordinates about movement orders, supplies and such. You can’t fault him for being diligent.The second circle is a poultry collection of lesser tents, bedsheets and poorer folk huddling around small campfires. It is the poorest circle, considering the guards and soldiers sleep on the third. Without much as a look at the others you take your spot and cover yourself with the flea ridden sheets you have used so far. At least your new clothes feel good and fresh against your skin.--The morning wakes you with sun and dew on your face, and just the slightest hint of the wine you had last night to dry your tongue.You join the others in the line for the bread. It is a boring march, one step at a time, until you finally get hands at your loaf. You break by yourself and eat it in silence, washing it all down with some water from your waterskin. It takes a few hours to take the camp down again, so you have some free time before you are on the road.>A - You have a job to do and it would be bad to keep the Sheish waiting. Time to enchant those rings.>B - There is still time. Have a look around. See if someone else has any other work they wish to ask of a mage.>C - Is there something else you want to do? Write-in.
>>5547390And now I forget the trips.
>>5547390>A - You have a job to do and it would be bad to keep the Sheish waiting. Time to enchant those rings.May as well get it done, just don't rush to Sheesh, gotta seem like we need more time to do it.
>>5547390>A - You have a job to do and it would be bad to keep the Sheish waiting. Time to enchant those rings.
>>5547390>>A - You have a job to do and it would be bad to keep the Sheish waiting. Time to enchant those rings.
>>5547390>A - You have a job to do and it would be bad to keep the Sheish waiting. Time to enchant those rings.One task at a time.
There is a saying in the white halls of Throne. “Magic is not a sword, magic is not a broom, magic is not a hammer. Magic is a pen. It exists to create.” That is some self-fellating high bullshit that only one of the philosopher priest-mages would come up with.You studied enough magic to know the truth. Magic is shaping the world to one’s will.Of the magical arts, Enchantment was the first to be gifted to humanity. Long ago, when humans first came to the paradise land of Throne, they met the six divinities. They were angels called Principalities, and each passed down to us some of their immortal arts. Azazel, the First, passed down the knowledge of war and the making of weapons. But it was Semyaza, the Angel of Love, who taught humans the resolving of enchantments, and in turn, spellcasting.Some of the more snobbish philosophers consider Enchanting as the simplest form of Spellcasting. First, to cast a spell one needs to build a mold. It is a negative of the desired spellwork. Kind of. Then the mold is used for the casting. One fills the mold (the cast) with willpower and energy, normally one that synergises well with the purpose of the spell (its morphology). That is Spellcasting. Enchanting follows a similar road, but the spell is never meant to be discharged. It is a slow burn compared to a Spellcasting roaring fireball. For that reason, only very resilient casts can hold enchantments, often ones prepared for this task, and their effects are lessened unless one uses a very powerful source.The two rings in your hands are exactly like such low-level casts.They have been melted in arcane fire and carved with the idea of allowing a spellwork to flow in them. Still, this is shoddy work. Nothing like the gold ring that the Sheish showed you last night. At best, it could hold a 1st level spell. Maybe a 2nd if you are good at it (which you are).The question now is: do you use one of the spells you have previously prepared, or do you create a new one?>A - Use one of your spells. Choose one or more to combine together.>>1 - Astral Sight (Allows one to see the world of ideas. Used to see spells and spellwork)>>2 - Ignition (Can light flammable materials on fire)>>3 - Changing of Shapes (Can change a malleable object into another shape, respecting volume and mass - If you push it, you could make it work on tougher materials like metals)>>4 - Protection of Self (Makes one’s self impervious to some form of harm, be it from spells or physical - you can also push it for a better protection)>>5 - Rapid Cooling (Steal heat from an object at fast speed - can be pushed for larger objects and lower temperatures)>>6 - Water Creation (Will turn one source of energy into an equivalent amount of water. Careful)>B - Create a new one. Write-in. Go nuts, your imagination is the limit.
>>5548909Huh. Reminder not to use double >> in front of a number.
>>5548909I think I'd either do Protection or do a combo of rapid cooling and water creation to make chilled water for survival or a neat party trick. But I'm somewhat wary of doing complicated stuff with water creation owing to the cautionary 'careful' warning. Not to mention our boss wants them both to be the exact same as one another, complicating our job increases the chances of failing that task. Clearly he simply wants to know if we are the real deal, but I also wonder if he actually intends to either give us one of the rings since he asked for too, or maybe he just wants to give a gift to someone else as a favour.I'll ask a few questions and then vote, I may change my vote depending on the answer to the questions. If we combine rapid cooling and water creation, do both effects have to be consistently activated at the same time, would you not get to pick one or the other? What would happen in that case? What would happen if there wasn't a convenient source of energy aside from the person wearing the ring? Could you use the ring offensively, like to turn someone's blood into water? (Basically insta-killing them)>Protection of Self (Makes one’s self impervious to some form of harm, be it from spells or physical - you can also push it for a better protection)
>>5548938*asked for two
>>5548909>Protection of Self (Makes one’s self impervious to some form of harm, be it from spells or physical - you can also push it for a better protection)the guy seems like he would value us for our craft and as he pays use we can use the money to either learn more magic and experiment should we wish to learn any other skills like potion crafting or buying books for spell casting all in all money makes the world go round so it will always help to keep a pigy bank alivein the near future I think we should do >>1 - Astral Sight (Allows one to see the world of ideas. Used to see spells and spellwork)for one our personal items so we can find any hidden gems of sorts of magic
>>5548938Distance, potency and size of effect are all derived from the original source of power. A weak enchantment would be able to create a few drops of water and freeze them, or create liter or so of chilled water. If you forego the cooling, you could create a few liters, or freeze a bit less than a liter. And that is all considering the effects come directly from the rings in question.You could do more, especially if you are a powerful magic-user, but it could destroy the rings in the process.To turn someone's blood into water is a question of range, power and the resistances of the someone in question. If they have a protection magic, or are trained to defend against magic, it would be considerably harder, but it is not an easy task to begin with.Protection of Self just tries to reinforce your own idea of "safety", "good health", etc. It can make blades bounce off of your skin or magic wash around you harmlessly, depending on the level of potency. Into a ring it will make you harder to injury. A classic Ring of Protection +1 TM.And for a source of energy, when one is not provided, it will often drain something of equal value or just fizzle harmlessly. The problem is when it doesn't. If you create water and use, let's say, the moisture of the air itself to fill a cup, that is fine. Fill a barrel and you might suffer from severe dehydration. Fill a swimming pool and you - and everything around you - will turn to dust.Magic always takes the path of least resistance.
>>5548909>6 - Water Creation (Will turn one source of energy into an equivalent amount of water. Careful)
>>5548948Agreed.>>5548952Okay, thank you for the quick answers. I think I'll keep my vote the way it is for now.
>>5548909>A - Use one of your spells. Choose one or more to combine together.>4 - Protection of Self (Makes one’s self impervious to some form of harm, be it from spells or physical - you can also push it for a better protection)He probably already has this, but more never hurts.
You open your pouch and spread your casts in front of you. You have prepared three out of cloth, one of wood and one - the one you are looking for - from lead. You remember stealing away from this drunk slinger soldier on the last post you rested and it hasn’t weighed your conscience since. The man would sooner die from liver hardening than actual combat.You pick up the small lead sling bullet. It is heavy in your hand. You have drawn circles around it with your nails and a small stone and filled the bullet with an all-purpose protection spell - Protection of Self.This spell, contrary to others more widely used, requires the wielder to have a good understanding of offensive and defensive magics. Magic takes the path of least resistance. Casting a spell that would burn a man alive sounds like a good idea offensively until the “man” it decides to burn is the closest one to the spell - you. Protection of Self requires the user to have a good understanding of what is the Self. If the Self is too lax, a knife might dig inside before the spell tries to ward it off. If the Self is too rigid, one would ward off all sorts of small scratches and exhaust the spell too fast.In this case you have the ability to use the rings as a focus instead of the owner. After all, copper doesn’t need to remember how tough copper is. It is not as good as steel, or even iron, but having a skin as tough as copper could be the difference between a small injury and an arrow across the throat.You smile. You normally don’t take this long to enchant such a lowly trinket, but it has been such a long time. You feel nostalgic.You hold one of the rings tight in your palm. You take a deep breath.With a snap, you break the lead cast for the Protection of Self.The spell surges through you before you expertly redirect it inside the ring and change it. You change it to draw upon the copper ring’s own integrity instead of the weight of the lead. The source is done.Now the effect. You can have it go in many different directions. Since you can cast this at a second level, you can choose two effects or one greater effect.>A - Conductivity of Copper. Make magic wash over your body harmlessly.>B - Resilience of Copper. In the face of harm, you borrow the hardness of metallic copper.>C - Copper Elementality. Slight resistance to elemental lightning (when grounded), fire and cold.
>>5550107>B - Resilience of Copper. In the face of harm, you borrow the hardness of metallic copper.
>>5550107>B - Resilience of Copper. In the face of harm, you borrow the hardness of metallic copper.Probably the most common threat I imagine would be mundane kinetic threats.
You smirk to yourself. Why are you even thinking about this. Magic users are so rare that entire armies would pay to have a handful of them on board. Warriors who can kill like the gods are also so few that nations were built around them. The only threat you honestly should worry about is the common banditry of these awful lands.The spell solidifies onto the ring once you let go of it.Enchanting would normally be a little harder than this and require way more time and effort, but what can you say? You are just that good. That is the legacy of 13 years locked up in that horrible study... Even just remembering it makes your blood boil. You spit on the ground, gather your casts and pocket the twin rings. All that you need to do is complete the second one just like you did the first and present them back to the Sheish.You look around. People are raising their tents, clearing their campfires and gathering their belongings. You have a bit less than an hour now before the caravan starts moving for good.You could quickly complete a new Protection of Self spell to enchant the other ring, but any more than that would start exhausting you.Enchanting, much like spellcasting, can take a toll on your body. Your mental powers are great and you have a vast reserve of inner strength, but what you just accomplished should not be diminished. Your teacher said he took 30 years to master enchanting. The fact you could do it more than once per day and at such a young age never escaped the toxic attention of your peers. Any normal person would take maybe a week to finish what you just did in an hour. Truth be told you are ahead of schedule.[7/100 fatigue. You recover fatigue with time. About 1 per hour, or around 20 per day. If you reach 100 you risk collapsing. Anything above 100 means your body starts taking serious damage and it becomes life threatening.]>A - Just do the other ring now. Even if it steals some of your breath away, there is no reason to save it since you are not in danger.>B - For now just go mingle with the other passengers. Save any spellworks for when you are at top shape. You can never be too cautious. (Choose someone or leave it to chance. The Sheish, Line Officer Alberam, the harem ladies Sara, Cora and Mira, the Caravan Master, the Beastkin Merchant, or someone new.)
>>5550328>B - For now just go mingle with the other passengers. Save any spellworks for when you are at top shape. You can never be too cautious.>the Beastkin Merchant
>>5550328>A - Just do the other ring now. Even if it steals some of your breath away, there is no reason to save it since you are not in danger.Nah, get this over with, 7 out of 100 is nothing. Don't want to wait around with valuables just lying about, our in with the inner circle depends on this, or at least our reputation now that we have made the commitment.
>>5550328>A - Just do the other ring now. Even if it steals some of your breath away, there is no reason to save it since you are not in danger.
>>5550328>B - For now just go mingle with the other passengers. Save any spellworks for when you are at top shape. You can never be too cautious.>the Beastkin MerchantI'd not do the other ring so soon in case Shish realizes how good we are. It takes a week to do a ring and we did it in an hour, keep it quiet. We can do the second one in a couple of days and we can always give him this one if he starts being pushy.
>>5550328>>B - For now just go mingle with the other passengers. Save any spellworks for when you are at top shape. You can never be too cautious.>>the Beastkin Merchant
You've done enough for today. Your old teacher would pop his hat if he saw you, but there is no need to reveal yourself here.Instead, you stand up and go for a walk around the encampment. You take in the faces around you and their positions, recognizing a few guards and even some of the few lucky ones that signed up at the same time you did. You remember the last night then. There was that beastkin merchant tent! You have never seen one before and you have always had an overwhelming curiosity. You make your way into the inner circle and walk up to where you remember spotting the diminutive tent, and that is where you see him. The catling creature would measure up to your thighs and you are not even tall compared to the average thronelander. You can't help but smile. All the rumors about them being cute and friendly looking were surprisingly true.The tiny cloak, the oversized pipe, the tiny paw-like hands and his bag of trinkets - all make such a picturesque caricature. You straighten your back and walk forward, drawing the little cat-man's attention."Oh. Hullo there moy big froind." He takes the pipe out "And who would you be?""Ashlad, sir. It is a pleasure to meet a beastkin of the cat."The tiny cat laughs with his belly. "So polite! A pleasure to meet you, Ashlad of the Thronelands. I am the merchant and scholar Cashire Chet." He puffs his pipe again, making smoke rings. "Say, you seem like a capable person. Would you be interested in a quick job? Full compensation, of course."Ah. Straight to business. He is a merchant alright.>A - You'd be delighted to accept the beastkin's offer. No need to complicate your relationship with details.>B - Accept his offer as long as Cashire Chet understands you are working for Sam Tusker as well.>C - Refuse stating you are already working for the Captain. But you would be glad to get to know master Chet more if he has the time.
>>5552281>B - Accept his offer as long as Cashire Chet understands you are working for Sam Tusker as well.
>>5552281>B - Accept his offer as long as Cashire Chet understands you are working for Sam Tusker as well.B I suppose, though I'd much rather first find out what he wants before agreeing to it :V
>>5552329I wrote the update on a rush. I will take that into consideration.
>>5552281>B - Accept his offer as long as Cashire Chet understands you are working for Sam Tusker as well.Taking this >>5552329 concern into account as well.
You raise a hand. "Sir Chet, before I accept anything-""Yes, boy, I know you work for the Qartian Captain. It is nothing that is going to interfere, I promise you." He turns to look up at you. "Oh? How did I know? Easy. How else would you be wearing Qartian silk and smelling like his own bath." He laughs with his belly again.Oh. You smell yourself and it is true. The scent of cinnamon and earthy flowers is all over you. "I didn't notice it."Cashire points at his nose. "It is hard not to notice when you have one of these." He smiles brightly and you can't help but smile too. "And about the job, it is nothing that will interfere with your other duties. See, my assistant has set up these lamps yesternight and I fear they are too high for me to take them down. But a tall lad like you should be able to do it, no problem, right?"You nod and pull one of the lanterns down. You immediately recognize them for what they are. You grew up in your uncle's atelier and since your family had always been humble you held many lamps like this one. Everburning Lanterns, or Everlamps, are a normal trinket in the streets of Throne. The spellworks eat the sunlight by day and give off a a bright candle-like light at night. It is incredibly simple to make, other than their ornate exterior. For a merchant to have these hanging outside all night, back in Throne, he would be ridiculed as tacky and cheap. Bright phantoms and light globes were all the rage back when you were young..You must have zoned off for a bit, as Cashire is looking at you with keen eyes and a business-like smile. "Do you like them, boy?"You can't help but agree. "Yes. They are very pretty."--The work takes a little longer than expected as Cashire also asked for your help moving them into their boxes. It overall took a bit less than 20 minutes to set everything in order and tie the crates."Is that the last of it, master Chet?""Huh?" The catling hadn't seem to be paying any attention to you. He seems distraught and preoccupied. His eyes keep scanning the crowd beyond the inner circle, as if looking for a familiar face. "I am sorry, my lad. But there is one more favor I wanted to ask of you. I will reward you, of course, so could you please look for that harebrained assistant of mine? The caravan is departing so soon and I fear he might have gotten himself in trouble again. Ooooh my whiskers!"Again?Well, there is nothing to it. How hard would it be to find a beastkin of the cat among all these people?>A - "Of course, Master Chet. It would be no problem for me.">B - Accept but haggle for a better reward.>C - Refuse. You are a magic-user of Throne, not an errand boy.
>>5553511>A - "Of course, Master Chet. It would be no problem for me."
>>5553511>B - Accept but haggle for a better reward.
I will write it so you try to haggle at least a little bit.
"Master Chet, I will be glad to help, but there better be more than a few copper coins waiting for me when I get back." You smile in your best imitation of a cunning merchant and that is enough to make Cashire Chet laugh again."You are a smart one, Ashlad. Very well! You have this poor merchant at a bind, so I will relent to your demands." Cashire does a big flowery bow. You are both laughing as you walk away into the crowd. Who'd know you would get on so well with a beastkin.--You spend some time asking around for a catkin servant, but you come empty handed. You were starting to have doubts when you heard some voices hooting and namecalling. It came from one of the more secluded corners of the camp, the place where crates and barrels of water had been stacked in a temporary storage. Your curiosity picked you decided to take a quick peek. What you see is a man as tall as you, stripped to his britches, going fists up against a furry child-looking guy. No, not a guy, a beaskin of the hare! Around them there is a score of 6 more soldiers, all wooing and spitting swears at the harekin.The harekin takes one ugly punch to the sides. It is enough to knock the air out of him! After that the fight looks to be one-sided for the human, but the beastkin is not going down.Maybe you should step in. They wouldn't raise a ruckus if they can tell you work for their captain, right? But then again, that hare. Something about the way he fights looks strange. You are no warrior, and you can't put your finger to it, but maybe you should watch for a little while longer?Whatever you choose, you should do it now.>A - Join in and stop the fight. That man could kill the harekin!>B - Reveal yourself but don't stop the fight. Let's see what the Hare can do.>C - Hide and watch for a little while longer.>D - Cast a spell to change the course of the fight (Ignition, Changing of Shapes, Rapid Cooling, Water Creation). And who are you going to hinder (The soldier or the Harekin)?>E - Write-in
>>5553745>B - Reveal yourself but don't stop the fight. Let's see what the Hare can do.
>>5553745>B - Reveal yourself but don't stop the fight. Let's see what the Hare can do.We'll collect him either before things go too far or when the fight is obviously over.
>>5553745>>A - Join in and stop the fight. That man could kill the harekin!
>>5553745>B - Reveal yourself but don't stop the fight. Let's see what the Hare can do.>E - Ask what're the odds, we want to put some money on the bunny.
>>5553745>A - Join in and stop the fight. That man could kill the harekin!
All eyes are on you when you step out from the water barrels. The soldiers become really stiff for a second. Surely they recognize the clothes you are wearing. You raise your hands and say "I am putting a silver coin on the little guy." Everyone but the harekin smile at that and the fight resumes.You notice that this time the fight is decidedly even. Whatever the advantage the semi-naked soldier had over the hare is gone now.The harekin gives a punch and takes another, but neither give way. The rules seem simple enough. You catch the gist of it by listening to the soldiers jeering and hooting for their comrade. You lose if you fall down, if you step out of the circle or if you surrender. Each contestant take turns attacking and defending. It is very bloody, more of an endurance contest than a true brawl. This goes on for a minute or two until, in one unlucky move the soldier overextends and falls on his face. The victorious hare falls on its butt, pretending to be out of breath.Disgruntled and lip bloody, the guard gets up with the help of his comrades. They are all in a foul mood but still honor the bet. You get your silver and the Harekin takes a bagful from them. Before they leave the soldiers look at you and the hare and say "No word of this, to anyone." It is clear they are talking to you specifically, so you just nod.It is only after they leave that the Hare stands up and take his weapon."Hey. That is mine." He is pointing at the silver coin you are holding.He goes on after seeing your dumbfounded face. "Don't play dumb. You came in to take a cut of my profits." Seeing as you are even more confused, he continues on, marching up to you. His ears peak right to your chin. "I heard you coming, yeah. What, you think these are just for show? Nah, my man! You saw me heel and decided to take a cut, didn't ya? Yeah ya did!"The spirited little lapin man doesn't brandish his halberd at you, but he is coming really strong.Honestly, you could tell he was doing something weird, but betting on him was just a in-the-moment decision. Nothing more than a flight of fancy. You had no plans behind it.>A - Relent the coin to the Hare. It was his before you butted in.>B - Keep the coin. You won it fair and square, but there is no reason to be rude.>C - Square up to the hare. "You would do well to not threaten a mage, beastkin!">D - Write-in
>>5554716>D - Write-in>No, I came here because master Chet asked me to find his apprentice. I betted on you because I know a good fighter when I see them.
>>5554733+1 to this
You take one step back. "No, I came here because master Chet asked me to find his assistant." You smile. "And I bet on you because I know a good fighter when I see one."The harekin keeps a standoffish gaze but you already called his bluff. He blinked twice when you gave Cashire's name, and smiled ever so slightly when you complimented him. The harekin lowers his head a sighs. "Ya got me, ya got me. Not like I can complain to the guards that ya cut on me, now, could I? Not without explaining it was a swindle. Heh" He touches his nose with a shitty smirk over it.That is not entirely true. The harekin could also beat the shit out of you and take the coin by force. Of course, if he recognizes your allegiance to the Captain, that would be his word against the Sheish. So instead of antagonizing you, he changed tactics. He is all charm and attitude now. You admit it is kind of working. The small guy has a real cool swagger to his walk."Name's Lapom, anyways. Nice to meetcha!" He extends his furry hand in a friendly greeting."Ashlad. Likewise." You shake it. A vigorous grip.You also notice his nails are surprisingly hard, if not particularly sharp. Still, he fought with closed fists."Anyway... Let's go back to Chet before that old cat chew my ears off. I still have to take the lanterns down."Oh!"What? A hare not good enough to work for a cat?" He smiles at you before vaulting over the water barrels in one swift jump. He just cleared your height and some! Carrying his halberd, nonetheless. "Come on, ya slow poke! I will buy ya a drink if you beat me on a race."You can't help but laugh.--No matter how hard you could run, there is no way in this life or the next you could have caught up to that sly hare! He is almost half your size, but each one of his steps covers up to two or three of yours. And that is not even taking his ridiculous jumps. Cashire was less impressed, however, and berated Lapom for a good while before putting him to work again."I am incredibly sorry, master Ashlad. My assistant is a bit incorrigible, but I assure you his heart is in the right place." The catkin seems really apologetic. "Anatomically, yar right!" The harekin shouts back from behind the tent. You laugh at their jest and play fighting. You also noticed Lapom paid a good sum of the coins to Cashire, so this is hardly a one man con."Please, master chet, it was no trouble." You receive another silver coin for your trouble. It practically doubles your wealth.Wow I could retire like this... Your inner sarcasm aside, you came to enjoy the company of these two rascally beastkin. They seem to work well together and if they survive in human cities, they must really know their trade. There are those that think of the 'lesser races' as inferior or weak, or incompetent, but you never believed that to be true.
A blasting sound pierces trough the campsite, making everyone rush to finish their preparations."There is the horn! Gotta go fast, now!" The hare runs around tying loose ends. Cashire is worriedly looking from his pipe to his timekeeper trinket. You too, should hurry now.You got a choice to make. Do you walk alongside the beasts of burden, or do you ride in a cart?>A - Just join the long procession of soldiers and poor people unable to pay for a cart.>B - Go back to the Sheish. Ride inside, with Sara, Mira and Cora.>C - Ask if the beastkin would allow you to ride with them. You do enjoy their company.>D - Try to barter for a ride in another cart.
>>5555401>C - Ask if the beastkin would allow you to ride with them. You do enjoy their company.
>>5555401>B - Go back to the Sheish. Ride inside, with Sara, Mira and Cora.give the guy an update on the rings and that you are almost done with the other one once you had some time to rest(not that he really needs it to completed the enchantments)
>>5555401>C - Ask if the beastkin would allow you to ride with them. You do enjoy their company.They are funny
>>5555401>C - Ask if the beastkin would allow you to ride with them. You do enjoy their company.Hmm, we haven't completed the task for the Sheish, so I guess he technically isn't obligated to look after us yet, not that I think he'd necessarily be so legalistic or anything. These folk seem interesting and perhaps more in tune with the everyday going ons of the caravan and the world for regular people, plus they are fun. May as well ask to bum a ride, build more on that good will and get to know them since I imagine we'll be spending a lot of time with the Sheish and his attendants or the inner circle for most of the quest and thus won't have a lot of time for meeting other characters.
"Say, master Chet." You turn to Cashire. "I don't want to impose, but would it be possible if I ride with you and Lapom?"The Catkin looks at you with surprise. "My lad... I... Well, I never... You see-""Let the longlegs come, uncle. I could use the help." Lapom chimes in while loading another box. Cashire doesn't look so sure. He nervously puffs on his pipe as he crosses his arms."Alroight! You holped us and are a daecent faellow." He takes the pipe out. "But if you wanna ride with us you have to follow our rules too! First: no freeloaders. If you're with us, you have to do some work. Second: under no circumstances you're to set foot in the second level, understood? That is very important." You nod. Cashire sighs and extends a soft hand. His handshake is firm but warm. Albeit being a catkin, his claws are trimmed and meticulously rounded. "Glad to have you, lad!""It is my pleasure, master Chet." You smile."Hey, ya big fella. Help me with these crates, won't ya?" You do so. Albeit they aren't too heavy, and the harekin is far stronger than you are, you make for it in stature. Within the hour, everything is ready and you decide to settle in. Loading the wagon gave you a good workout, although Lapom didn't break a sweat.The wagon itself is small for you, but quite spacious for only two beastkin.You step inside, carefully avoiding the door frame, just to bump your head on the ceiling lantern. Cashire did warn you it would be tight. For this leg of the treck, you and Cashire will ride inside while Lapom and one of the Qartians will drive the oxes. You take the opportunity to have a Qartian soldier inform Sammyak where you are. The frantic movement of people and carts earlier finally slow down as a line is drawn and orders are given. Hundreds of men, women and children, as well as oxes, horses and rams, slowly file in their assigned positions. You are right behind the Caravan Master, two wagons away from Sammyak's. The journey from here to your next stop, Fort Esix, is gonna take a week if the weather relents. Or up to fifteen days otherwise. You take a deep breath and sit on the half-sized bed.--Cashire bids you to rest as he goes upstairs. He has some paperwork to do, he says. You notice he didn't take his ink or pen, or any papers for that matter, but you only nod.Seems you have some free time on your hands again. How do you spend it? [Fatigue 10/100. The workout cost you 5 fatigue. You recovered 2.]>A - Spend the afternoon hours resting. Might as well take a nap.>B - You can use this time to prepare a new spell (Offensive, Defensive or Utility. You have 4 utility spells prepared right now. Will have a full character sheet soon)>C - Enchant the other ring now and get done with it. (Will cost 2d10 fatigue, as you need to cast the spell and enchant the ring in one go)>D - Maybe you could take a peek at that mysterious second floor?>E - Write-in
>>5556313>A - Spend the afternoon hours resting. Might as well take a nap.
>>5556313>B - You can use this time to prepare a new spell- Defensive
>>5556313>C - Enchant the other ring now and get done with it. (Will cost 2d10 fatigue, as you need to cast the spell and enchant the ring in one go)
>>5556313>>C - Enchant the other ring now and get done with it. (Will cost 2d10 fatigue, as you need to cast the spell and enchant the ring in one go)Just finish it so it doesn't hang above usWe can hand it in whenever
>>5556313>>C - Enchant the other ring now and get done with it. (Will cost 2d10 fatigue, as you need to cast the spell and enchant the ring in one go)
It takes you about 3 hours of concentration and delicate handiwork to finally enchant the last ring. It comes out perfectly, of course. An almost identical copy of the first one. You are so good at enchantment that most of the time was spent recasting the spell into a proper cast. Without any metal, you used the ring itself. Normally that would consume it upon discharge, but your skill allows you to never discharge the spell and turn it in back upon itself. Like a snake eating its own tail the spell feeds upon itself and, by your will, the enchantment is complete.[21/100 fatigue. You gained 12, reduced by 1.]You are slightly out of breath. A normal mage of the white towers would have perished trying to do what you just did. The idea makes you smile.You skipped lunch and the food has gone cold, but you are free to try the fish soup or the fresh roasted cauliflowers. Cashire only came downstairs to grab two plates for himself and steal a glance at you. To an untrained eye you would have looked like someone playing with a ring, but you caught a glimpse of recognition in master Chet's eyes. He left without a word. You could go talk to him, you never told the beastkin merchant you were a magic-user.Alternatively, this could be a good chance to finally catch a rest.>A - Eat some cold gruel and rest first (fish or greens?).>B - Go upstairs to talk to Cashire. Best get this out of the way.>C - Something else on your mind? Write-in
>>5557127>>A - Eat some cold gruel and rest first (or greens).Chet said to never go upstairs, we can wait for him to come down to talk to him
>>5557127>A - Eat some cold gruel and rest first (greens).Fish probably isn't fresh, may not be good to eat for us.
>>5557127>A - Eat some cold gruel and rest first (greens).
>>5557127>B - Go upstairs to talk to Cashire. Best get this out of the way.Cat's out of the bag, best remind him what curiosity gets him.
>>5557127>A - Eat some cold gruel and rest first (fish)
You sigh. Your curiosity is a beast clawing at your patience, but you hold back. Cashire was nothing but welcoming to you and you don't want to ruin that. The second floor will remain a mystery for now.You fill a bowl with roasted cauliflower. It is bland and lukewarm but you devour it. Your life on the road has taught you to value food, but what you wouldn't give for some salt. Human cuisine is famously spicy compared to what other species eat. You heard about it, but this is the first time you are tasting it firsthand.With your disappointing meal done, you lay down on the tiny bed. When you close your eyes, you can still see the arcane spellwork flowing at your fingertips. You try to silence the quiet desire to control it again. Using magic always leaves an aftereffect. Those who cast fiery spells tend to become brash and quick to anger, while using grounded spells can make one feel lethargic and slow. Spellcasting reduces that effect by sacrificing the cast instead of your metaphysical well-being, but there is always some bleed. The real danger is the wild practice of channeling. Colloquially known as Witchcraft, or apostasy, it is the art of shaping magic with willpower alone. It is unpredictable by nature, but that didn't stop you from learning it. Of course, your old tutor never caught on to it, but you do know a few things about curses, blessings and bindings.When you open your eyes again a good hour and a half had passed. Your muscles still ache and you can still feel the effects of magician's fatigue, but much less. [17/100 fatigue. You recovered 2 from the rest, 2 from the healthy meal.]Cashire still hasn't come down and Lapom must be bored out of his ears outside. The Qartians are marching in silence around the wagons. You can hear their blades and armor ringing with each step.You could just close your eyes and drift into a quick sleep now, or-"Ashlad?" it is Cashire's voice. You stand up, hitting your head on the ceiling again. "Oh lad, please, be careful."You sit down on the floor again."You alright?" He asks."Yes, yes. What is it, master Chet?""Oh. Uh..." It is clear to you he is trying to broach that topic.>A - Come clean and explain it.>B - Avoid having this talk. Go outside to 'water the plants'.>C - Write-in.
>>5558132>A - Come clean and explain it.>"Master Chet, please do not act so worried. If I was some sort of megalomaniac, I wouldn't have helped you with the errants, or respected your wishes about the second floor">"The Sheish has asked me to enchant his rings as proof of my capabilities, and I used the downtime to finish my work."
>>5558138Oh, and let me add>"And I have not done anything harsh or dangerous, like practicing witchcraft inside your wagon. Enchantment can be a safe and controlled art."
>>5558132"Human cuisine is famously spicy compared to what other species eat. You heard about it, but this is the first time you are tasting it firsthand."Wut...are we not human? Or is it just that where we are from most people aren't human and thus we aren't used to eating human cuisine? Weird that the cat would be making human food.>I'll support >>5558138 and >>5558141
>>5558132>C - In need of some otherworldly assistance? We can always bargain, I was just doing some work for the Sheish.
>>5558299Given how the meal was described as bland and disappointing, i think it means it's Ashlad's first time experiencing non-human food
>>5558309Oh, yeah, that'd make sense.
>>5558299I am sorry it came out ambiguously. I meant that it was bland, contrary to the normally spicy and well seasoned human cooking.Have to work on being less vague.
You gather yourself."Master Chet." You start. "Please don't act so worried. I am a magic-user who offered my services for the Sheish and the Caravan in exchange for passage. He asked me to enchant that ring. I guarantee you I am not putting you or anyone else in danger with my practice.""Oh, lad, thank the great cats, but that was not what I was worried about. I have a difficult request to make... Oh cats, I don't know even how to start."You straighten up, curiosity scratching you again.Cashire takes it as an opportunity to continue. "Lad. Are you familiar with curses?" His voice is a quiet whisper, low like a purr. Probably doesn't want others to hear, but you know at least the harekin has good ears, so it must be a secret they both share. You quickly calculate what could this mean. Cashire seems to have figured out what you were thinking by the furrow in your brow."It is nothing illegal, Ashlad, I swear on my business!" You relax visibly, but your curiosity only grows. Eventually you push."You can say it.""It is... my niece. She is sick.""Have you taken her to a healer?""It is not that simple, lad. We beastkin are seen as... a nuisance to you tall folk. They tolerate us, yes, but no one would ever spend their time and effort on the likes of us. The poor girl, you see... she...""It is magic." You say. He nods."Magician's fever. It is been eating the poor thing for a year now. Seeing her in pain is breaking my heart, lad. Maybe could you... please..?" He doesn't dare finish his request.Magician's fever. It is what someone would call a sickness caused by unknown magics. It could be anything, from some hedge witch's evil eye or badly concocted potion. Or worse - an actual hex. Real apostasy, Witchcraft. It is an insidious and unpredictable magic. Only one way to know for sure."Can I see her?" You finally ask. He nods again.He guides you upstairs. If you had to crouch downstairs to not hit your head, the second level you have to actually crawl. This is ridiculous, you feel like you are walking in a doll's house. Your thoughts are derailed the moment you step inside, however. There are trinkets all over the walls and ceiling. Many of them are petty baubles, lucky talismans and superstitious trinkets. But a few are real and hold actual magic. One in particular. But what really draws attention is the frame of the small catling laying her bed, breathing so hard that you wonder how you didn't hear her struggle and gasp from right bellow.She is tiny, even for a beastkin of the cat. You could hold her in your cupped hands. Her fur is black as coal. Her eyes are shut in a mask of pain. It is indeed magician's fever.>A - Use Astral Sight to see what is wrong with her. You only have the one, however.>B - You can concoct a potion to alleviate the symptoms and help her breath.>C - If you can find that one talisman among these trinkets you can enchant it to better protect the little thing.>D - Write-in
>>5558781>A - Use Astral Sight to see what is wrong with her. You only have the one, however.best to know what type of magic is in play, and we can just enchant a new one should the enchanted item we have the astral sight on break, with the potential cash we most likely have on the way as we completed the request, we can blueprint a better catalyst for the astral sight enchantment, and we can also ask to look at the trinkets that actually hold magic should we be able to help Master Chet
>>5558781>A - Use Astral Sight to see what is wrong with her. You only have the one, however.Diagnose before assigning a treatment. Maybe we can take a magical and a normal talisman as payment so that we have something to put a new spell into.
>>5558781>A - Use Astral Sight to see what is wrong with her. You only have the one, however.I wonder if we could enchant something with astral sight first so it's not used.
>>5558986It would take around an hour to do so. But it is possible.
>>5559415I'm going to vote for that then.Astral Sight is going to be useful overall anyway
[Spoilers for gross image]You breath in and out. If you are going to do this, you can't mess it up. "Master Chet. Take down all the talismans. I will separate the ones that are helpful and enchant one of my own, so we can get a better look at this."--It took you and Chet a bit over an hour to finally separate the useless baubles from the useful stuff. Four were enchanted in the end. The other useful enchantments were: one that lowers fevers, one that quiets a place (explaining how you didn't hear her coughing her little lungs out), three more that did minor things like make the air smell flowers... and the last one - an impressive third level spell. A vial that held a magical entity. Whatever was in there made the little girl go to sleep whenever she held it. You decided to put that last one away. It was too scary. You didn't tell Cashire yet. One magical problem at a time.Meanwhile you used the time to enchant one of the fake talismans. It was an amber piece on a chain hanging from the ceiling. Someone scribbled the symbols of protection and eyesight on it, but it held no magic. Maybe it dissipated with time, or it was never enchanted to begin with, but you wouldn't spit on the face of luck now. With the piece done, anyone wearing it or holding it against their palm would be able to see into the ethereal.The very moment the paper spell vanishes from your fingertips and you complete the circuit in the amber is when your eyes take in the astral sight. However, you were not ready for what you saw and almost gagged with disgust. It was a bloated fleshy bag, barbed and cruel, digging around inside her. It festered for a long time and was now eating the poor little catkin inside out. This was a curse alright, and an ugly one."What is it, lad?" Cashire asked.You thought about lying, about comforting him and say everything was fine. In the end you just handed him the ember talisman and looked down.--"What can we do?" Lapom asked.You, Cashire and the Harekin were sitting around the floor in the first level. You filled him in after Cashire came out screaming bloody murder and it took both of you to finally calm him down."I could burn it or freeze it, but it is a high level of precision and control... If I miss-" You cut yourself short.Lapom crosses his legs. "Can't ya pull it out?" You shake your head, but then."Maybe I could. I need a proper tool for it - a long pincer. Pulling it out wouldn't be so hard, if I can grab it that is."In the end both of you turn to Cashire. He is disheveled. His nose is bright red and he is looking 10 years older, but he still has the energy to nod along.[27/100 fatigue. You gained 10 from enchanting. 2d10 for enchanting twice in the same day, thus pushing yourself.]
What will you set your mind on? There is no second chances here. You can also combine any number of these together.>A - Go with fire. Burn the worm. [Will cost your Ignition spell and 3d10 fatigue for pushing it to level 3, the highest you can possibly go.]>B - Fast freeze it. [Will cost your Rapid Cooling spell and 3d10 fatigue.]>C - Cast Changing of Shapes on a metal cutlery. You can make a pincer with it. [Will cost the spell and 2d10 fatigue.]>D - Another idea? Write in.>E - You can also leave this for another time. The girl won't die, yet. But she is suffering.
>>5561861>C - Cast Changing of Shapes on a metal cutlery. You can make a pincer with it. [Will cost the spell and 2d10 fatigue.]>D - Another idea? Write in.>Talk about the vial and the magical entity. Even if it has no other properties beyond putting the girl to sleep, it would be useful during the procedure.
Sorry about the absence. Had 3 DnD games and one Vampire game, 3 of which I am running, one day after another. And I have another game in two days.I will try to resume this by monday. I hope everyone is enjoying it, I want to get better at this so I can tell good stories that people enjoy reading.
>>5572337Huh, QM living the good life, actually managing to get in person table top games running. I'm jealous.
>>5573146A 5 year game, even. We have played from level 1 to level 15 now. I plan on ending the game close to level 17 or 18.It is a good game. But since everyone is an adult with wives and kids, whenever we get the chance to play we all drop everything and snort that DnD up like it is cocaine.
Once you decided on a plan, you go about making a pincer. You broach another topic with Chet while gathering the necessary parts. "Cashire, what was that perfume bottle in your niece's room? The one that makes her sleep.""My niece? Oh! Yes, yes. It is a talisman like the others. Bought it in the ports of Greenwater Bay, about two moons ago. Why?"You consider if you should comment about its unique nature. You decide to hold it until after. "Can you tell me who sold it to you?""Well, of course. It was a Qartian apothecary. Horned, blue skin. She had a lot of enchanted goods. It was the- my niece, she picked it when we travelled there. She said it looked pretty and it calmed her." So the little kitling chose it? Would that mean she can see the enchantment like you? That would mean she is at least magically inclined. Due to how and why they were created, Catkins - and most beastkin - are almost always insensitive to magic. You should talk to Chet more about this later, for now you are done here.You open your hands, pinching the end of two knives together and pulling their blades long and thin. It is very hard to shape iron with such a low level magic, but it doesn't have to be perfect. Thankfully this is low grade iron. You would sweat blood trying to bend forged steel. It still takes a lot of concentration to get right. [32 fatigue. You are starting to experience magical fatigue. It doesn't cause any further maluses other than mild discomfort at this point]--You step inside the second level, Chet and Lapom right behind you. You have to crouch so much you might as well be crawling. The tool you made - a pincer as long as your forearm, is slightly sharp with a hooked beak. It will pierce the curse worm and drag it out, but if you are not careful it could cut the little catkin's nose and face. Chet was very much stressed about this, so Lapom offered to hold her head still as you dig for the thing.Once you are both in position you nod to each other. Chet's niece is breathing with much difficulty, her small mouth open in a grimace of pain. Thankfully she is not conscious for this next part, but you steel yourself all the same.You look to master Chet one last time. He nods anxiously, eyes full of tears.Lapom is as cool as ice. His eyes betray no emotion.>A - Lapom will hold her head, you will try to take the thing out by looking with the amber amulet. (Roll 3d10 each, taking the best of 3 rolls. The higher the better.)>B - You are too insecure about performing such a delicate operation. Change places with Lapom! You will hold her, he pulls it out. (Roll 2d10 each, best of 3 rolls)>C - Something else you want to do? Write in.
>>5576356>A - Lapom will hold her head, you will try to take the thing out by looking with the amber amulet. (Roll 3d10 each, taking the best of 3 rolls. The higher the better.)
Rolled 1, 1, 6 = 8 (3d10)>>5576356>A - Lapom will hold her head, you will try to take the thing out by looking with the amber amulet. (Roll 3d10 each, taking the best of 3 rolls. The higher the better.)
>>5576356>A - Lapom will hold her head, you will try to take the thing out by looking with the amber amulet. (Roll 3d10 each, taking the best of 3 rolls. The higher the better.)>>5576485I think we ought not roll until the vote has been decided, otherwise the rolls might influence the vote.
>>5576622That's true, if we roll first, and the rolls for us doing the surgery are bad, but the roll for Lapom are good, there would be vote changes
>>5576622Correct. But honestly, I don't mind. Metagame as much as you want. It is fun to me.>>5576383>>5576485>>5576622A it is. Roll 3d10 three times, I will take the three best results. This works like Old World of Darkness: You need at least one dice at 6 or above, 10s are crits (count as two successes), and 1s cancel successes.Stats decide the number of dice rolled. You have 2 to dexterity, plus one from Lapom's assistance.“Ashlad”Age: Around 40 (looks 25)Attributes0 - Strength2 - Dexterity1 - Stamina5 - Intelligence4 - Perception3 - Charisma11/11 Wounds32/100 Fatigue
Rolled 8, 7, 1 = 16 (3d10)>>5577277Rolling
Rolled 10, 8, 6 = 24 (3d10)>>5577277
Rolled 2, 8, 4 = 14 (3d10)>>5577277
>>557729010, 8 and 6 means 4 successes.Writing soon.
You breath in. Your mind is a steel fortress, your senses are sharp. Lapom is in position. All you have to do is slowly reach in, through her tiny nostril. So tiny the knives you turned into a pincer could easily cut it open... Still as a frozen lake, you continue on.And success! You feel the squishy bloat of the worm wriggling against your pincer. You quickly spear it, locking the tips together, and start slowly pulling back.You manage to do it very, very carefully. Ripping the worm apart would spill its foul guts. No telling what that would do. So you just keep a steady grip and pull.Another great success. It is huge, almost half the size of the little girl's whole head. It must be agonizing having it nestled there. Even still. You persevere and pull it out whole. The thing screeches, wriggles and bites fruitlessly. It is safe, for now, held at the point of your pincer. Lapom makes a retching noise, but holds his dinner. You feel it too. An unnatural and acrid revulsion, like the smell of vomit had become color and that color was painted all over you."D-dad?" The small girl opened her eyes and let out a small sneeze. There was no blood in it.Cashire came pushing and kicking past you, eyes full of tears, to hug her. "Oh, princess. My princess, you are ok! Thank the cats!" She was more confused than anything else. Not a single sign of her fever was left, or any other malaise. If there was any doubt this thing was the work of a curse, this should snuff it out. She was entirely healthy the moment you took the grub out.Now, what to do with it...>A - Burn it with a spell. Can't be too careful.>B - Stick it in a bottle for later. Never know when you might need something even as vile as this.>C - Throw it out the window. Without a host it will naturally die out, like a bad thought without a grudge.>D - Something else?
>>5577538Forgot the cute picture.
>>5577538>A - Burn it with a spell. Can't be too careful.
>>5577538>D - Something else?>Stab it then burn it. But with normal fire instead of a spellWe have quite a lot of fatigue, no need to build more
Kind of regret going to work with Sam now, these beastfolks are cool, and the little cat could make for a good apprentice since she is apparently an anomaly
>>5577538>A - Burn it with a spell. Can't be too careful.Spare no expense in ensuring its rapid destruction. We can always rest later.
>>5577538>>A - Burn it with a spell. Can't be too careful.
>>5577538>B - Stick it in a bottle for later. Never know when you might need something even as vile as this.Keep the spoils!
Spells of fire are dangerous by nature. Not that any feat of magic will ever be completely safe. But if you mess a spell to chop wood then you might have to deal with splinters. Mess up a spell to light a fireplace, however? The house burns down.With that in mind, you quickly step (crawl) outside and jump out of the moving beastkin wagon. It is so slow now that you could catch up to it by walking in a brisk pace. The darker it gets the more sluggish the caravan gets. No one enjoys marching at night, and the stragglers need time to catch up, so the wagons will stop soon. You consider about lighting a normal fire and tossing the thing in there, but it would attract unwanted attention and you can't really explain what this horrid thing is. There is also no telling what it will do when you burn it.You swallow. Your mouth is as dry as old bark and you are sweating more than you should for just a quick step outside.Breath you think and concentrate on your task. Can't afford mistakes.The cloth strip between your fingers heat up and turn to flame. You hold the fire inside your own head, careful not to burn yourself or snuff it out, until you release its full intensity onto the foul maggot. It screeches and worms and writhes helplessly at the end of your pincer. Within the minute it is no more than foul smelling charcoal.[32/100 fatigue. Your concentration was perfect. You rolled a 1 on a d10 and accrued no extra fatigue.]You drop the pincers all together. Might as well throw it away with the curse worm. You can't think why you'd keep such crude tools, and using its a cutlery again is out of the question. The thought alone evokes a gagging reflex.You watch it on the ground for a few more seconds, and once you are satisfied it is trully dead, you stamp it out and turn back.The caravan now has moved some good distance ahead of you, but you are confident you can catch up to them.On the walk you can't help but smile thinking about the Master Chet and Lapom and even the little kittling. You did good today, you think. You notice, with some guilt, that you have been enjoying this leg of your travel. You got to practice your gift, and use it for good! And you are in the good graces of not only a very charming merchant, but also the captain of the Qartian guards. New clothes, you were washed by beautiful women, you had hot food for once... You dare even be hopeful."Hey, witch!"You turn back, startled by the scream at the nape of your neck. A huge Qartian man grabs your mouth and punch you with his mailed fist. You don't remember what happened after, only that you were on the ground. Others were there too.You were having trouble seeing and hearing. "Freak must have snuck in. Bag him!" A silk cloth was wrapped around your head. The last thing you felt was another heavy hit to the mouth of your stomach.Then it was all darkness.
[Thank you for playing. I will make a continuation soon since we reached page 10. I really hope everyone has enjoyed the read. I am learning as we go, but I hope that the story is engaging enough - and it can only get better from here.][Any and all feedback welcome.]
>>5579367Is this when the whole thing about the tree starts? And is there going to be a bunch of edge with our allies abandoning us out of nowhere? Because the qartian soldiers randomly hitting us after we started working for the captain and one of their own is who got us into the feels incredibly weird. I want to know if it's worth getting invested or not
>>5579370Yes, the tree will be explained.I will not go back on the relationships the players decide they want to pursue. This is not suffer porn, even if there will be some hardship ahead. All I can promise is that I will try to tell a fair and interesting story.Trying my hardest here not to spoil anything that will be more rewarding to find out in the next thread. But I can say this: there are a hundred and some change guards working in the caravan, and they don't always agree with each other. And I can do one more: I can promise you if vengeance for a wrong doing is what you want, you will be able take it.
>>5579383Oh, that's a breath of relief.Thanks for answering, and sorry about being worried.
>>5579385It is all good. This is the sort of feedback I want, too. Gotta git gud somehow.
As for the feedback, I really like your writing, specially how you set up the characters and the description.I'm looking forward to learn more about the mysteries about Ashlad's past that you been seeding through this thread, like his real name, why he looks older then he is, what he did with his magic before that he feels so guilty about, what happened to his teacher, why he is running away and why he can cast so much when apparently others stop after one or two spells.Oh, and learn more about the world too, it seems to be an interesting one.