Hawksong. The surface-scum of this world call it a “shining city on the hill”. It is the pinnacle of civilization in the current era, if one measures civilization by population, by cosmopolitanism, by trade, by martial merit. Even now, made more paranoid and insular by the actions of you and your predecessors, it remains undeniably brilliant. Even at night, it is a sight to behold. You survey it now by way of monochromatic Darkvision, broken up by pockets of warm yellow-red where the lamp-lighters have recently done their work. Your vantage point makes all the difference: you are leaning over the balcony of a room in the palatial complex of Hawksong’s Paladin King, Archos.To the royal family, you are an ill-begotten guest: Long Wang, an Easterling barbarian, of slanted eyes, slat face, and bronze hide. As far as they know, you hail from some unknown barbarous waste, and have come to make trouble for them. You arrived on the arm of a local noble, Heinrcih Yosef (in reality, possessed by your demonic companion Irinnile the Succubus). You made a name for yourself by slaying a hidden enemy (Irinnile’s incubus rival). You come to render aid against their enemies, who seem to mass all around them: demons, Southern sorcerers, and worst of all the dreaded subterranean ‘Reptoid’ menace! You are a scarcely-civilized, disrespectful vagrant, yes, but you are a skilled exorcist, and good with a sword—a valuable ally, potentially.Ha. FOOLS!
>>5614284In actuality, ‘Long Wang’ is a fiction. It is just a mask, a name to accompany the Amulet of Disguise you wear around your neck. You’re no Easterling, not a human of ANY stripe—at least, not fully. In other parts of the world, beneath the surface, you are better known by another name: Theral, of the Blodorise Mountains. Still others now you by reputation, by title. To the dark elves of Wevenore, you are Destroyer of the Devourer, Slayer of the Shoggoth, Ghoul-Gutter Supreme. To the kobolds and dwarven slaves under you, you are simply called The Copper Dragon King. Those who have heard you speak call you Dark Prophet of the Coming Age. The Master Race who engineered you called you their Chosen Champion. Lately, you have done a great deal to give proof to your first and foremost title:You are the DRAGONBORN ANTIPALADIN!When you left for Hawksong a fortnight-and-half hence, it was with a simple (albeit ambitious) mission: you would find the princess of this place, and fulfill a bargain with the Dark Goddess of Motherhood of Protection by impregnating her. In this way, you would relieve yourself of a terrible burden which she laid upon you: a roiling turmoil which, even now, troubles you physically and spiritually to think of: the ephemeral embryo of your demigodly spawn, sired in a trust with that same deity and implanted inside of you. To that end, you made your way in stops and starts to the home of the Paladin King, and did what needed to be done.You earned your place. You secured an audience. You seduced his daughter—the surprisingly-endearing Princess Ekaterine. You bested his firstborn son—the shockingly strong Paladin Prince Alexos.And that’s when things got... Complicated.
>>5614286Well, these things happen. At least it has proved an opportunity for personal growth! In pursuit of your dark designs, you honed your skills, further developing your…>Fisticuffs: you have been forced to adapt to this limited human form you wear, and have become adept at striking and grappling, without benefit of tooth, claw, tail, or wings>Athleticism: Whether dodging patrols or blows, your adventures through Hawksong have made you nimble, mobile, and tireless>Spellcraft: You have confronted magic demonic and divine, and broadened your horizons—and, trapped in your room, you’ve had a LOT of time to read up on magical theory as the humanoids understand it>Divination: You have floundered to follow the threads of fate and fortune these last few weeks, relying more on luck and physical skill than on the power of destiny; it’s time that changed>Elementalism: Stoneshaping and earth-magic have been your greatest ally, against Green Knight Yosef in particular—you have chosen t focus upon this facet of your magic>Illusion: Your Amulet of Disguise has been a great boon, but you are in the home of a Paladin King who knows of the Great Conspiracy—you must be prepared to conceal yourself from even the most refined senses>Diplomacy: It will be difficult to convince the royal family and their supplicants of your intention, but it won’t be long before you need to… Best to polish your rhetoric, yes?>Seduction: You ARE here to impregnate (and maybe abscond with?) a princess… And while your attraction is clearly mutual, you also made several missteps, and will have to work hard to win her love>Religion: You are an Antipaladin, now facing your opposite number directly—you will need the FULL favour of the Dark Gods Below and Beyond to survive this ordeal, and to emerge triumphant!>Write-in[Choose ONE. Remember: you can only max one more stat at 5, though doing so will net you an additional bonus.]
>>5614287>Religion: You are an Antipaladin, now facing your opposite number directly—you will need the FULL favour of the Dark Gods Below and Beyond to survive this ordeal, and to emerge triumphant!Woohoo, we back baby.
>>5614287>Seduction: You ARE here to impregnate (and maybe abscond with?) a princess… And while your attraction is clearly mutual, you also made several missteps, and will have to work hard to win her loveI didn’t expect you to use the fanart as the thumbnail. Very cool, rqm!
>>5614287>Seduction: You ARE here to impregnate (and maybe abscond with?) a princess… And while your attraction is clearly mutual, you also made several missteps, and will have to work hard to win her loveWe gotta impregnate her after all.Would also be fine with Spellcraft, Divination, Elementalism, or Illusion- our magiks need buffing as well.
>>5614287>>Spellcraft: You have confronted magic demonic and divine, and broadened your horizons—and, trapped in your room, you’ve had a LOT of time to read up on magical theory as the humanoids understand it.Since we cant use the shogoth sword or our dragon form in polite company, we need to make up for with spell craft incase someone attacks us.
>>5614287>Seduction: You ARE here to impregnate (and maybe abscond with?) a princess… And while your attraction is clearly mutual, you also made several missteps, and will have to work hard to win her loveId go for religion but I think getting her bagged is most important right now, keeping up Long Wang for subversion long con would be better IMO, nothing says we cant leave to "go home" after we knock her up we can even bring "eastern physicians" to take care of Ekaterine before we have her converted and taken to Bloodrise if thats the course we decide to take, obviously it has some holes but nothing we cant work on together
>>5614287>>Seduction: You ARE here to impregnate (and maybe abscond with?) a princess… And while your attraction is clearly mutual, you also made several missteps, and will have to work hard to win her loveTrying to rape her was a misstep? Damn humans and their complicated mating rituals
>>5614432It was a misinput, misinput! Calm down! You calm the fuck down! It was a misinput!
>>5614471yeah, happens to me all the time, IRL, my Grope and Greet buttons are too damn close
>>5614432>>5614471>>5614476[You jest, but a social superior asserting sexual dominion over an in-season subordinate they want to breed with is entirely acceptable in Reptilian society, if their breeding is deemed acceptable by the Fleshweavers and nobody in the subordinate's family has means to stop it. Stopping when she said "no" and made it clear she legitimately didn't want would be regarded as an act of weakness given her lowly status as a mammal. Theral would probably think himself unusually generous and kind for not going ahead; even in his limited expedience and from his perspective as a part-mammal, most of his other sexual encounters have been with a woman whom he literally owned.]
>>5614629>society where women are not given agency over sex and birthYes sir glory to the reptilian masterrace
>>5614292>>5614313>>5614320>>5614343>>5614372>>5614432>>5614679Given the nature of your mission here, you have made it a priority to better understand the mind of the human female. Among your self-appointed titles is Prince of Love, and yet despite an early success—your first kiss, in fact!—the Princess Ekaterine rejected your attempt to rut with her… Only to then accept a wager for her hand in marriage. You won that bet by way of battle, but found you could not go through with it—or, at least, you reckoned it would be unwise to do so, if you wish to avoid assassination attempts, and if you desire the mother of your son to be ally rather than adversary in the Age of Darkness ahead.Truly, human courtship is a far cry from that of the Reptilian Master Race. Among your kind, it is sufficient to outrank your chosen mate, to petition her family or the Fleshweavers and Rookery Priestesses for breeding authority, and to take her to a breeding pit... Not that you have any actual experience with that process, admittedly.>Seduction: Level 4
>>5614733So here you are: much like Princess Ekaterine lamented of her own position, you have become a prisoner in a gilded cage. You have been ‘guest’ here for over a week now, but cannot leave your quarters without guards. Their diligence keeps you from your Ekaterine, who you mean to court, but also from your nearest ally, Irinnile-as-Yosef. Elsewhere in the city, your Reptilian Infiltrator allies await your return or report: Roth, Oluwadamilare, Halle. Further afield, you know events are unfolding outside the narrowed span of your control: war in the Bloodrise mountain range, engineered turmoil in the Southlands, and your true love Sseztlussth the Novice Fleshweaver and her scheming Serpent Priest father overseeing it all in your absence, according to their own agendas.Worst of all, thoughts of the Princess (and rare glimpses, across busy halls and under supervision of the guards) have done little to calm your <appetite> (that is to say, your overactive libido, product of your mixed mammalian blood. When it stirs, so too does your spiritual affliction inflict pain and discomfort. It is a reminder of your incomplete mission. You can still remember the softness of her body, the floral scent of her perfume, her tongue and lips, her warmth…You grip your turning guts and lean forward, closing your eyes until the pain passes. This will not do—action must be taken, and soon.What will you do?>Try to sneak out and to visit Ekaterine’s room—you can hardly advance your cause without speaking with her!>Call for a meeting with one of the princes, to discuss the courtship which they owe you, and to make your case as a mate [Alexos, or Rufos?]>Try to make contact with Irinnile, that the succubus can coordinate to advance this mission of love and lust (or at the very least help you plot an escape)>You just need to take your mind off of your condition… You will demand a visit to the city proper, to mingle with the locals and experience Hawksong’s famous markets>Write-in
>>5614735>>Try to sneak out and to visit Ekaterine’s room—you can hardly advance your cause without speaking with her!
>>5614735>Try to sneak out and to visit Ekaterine’s room—you can hardly advance your cause without speaking with her!We've got plenty of magics to make this happen.
>>5614735>Try to make contact with Irinnile, that the succubus can coordinate to advance this mission of love and lust (or at the very least help you plot an escape)>>5614818>>5614875Oh no bros…Backlink>>5614313
>>5614735>You just need to take your mind off of your condition… You will demand a visit to the city proper, to mingle with the locals and experience Hawksong’s famous markets
>>5614735>Try to make contact with Irinnile, that the succubus can coordinate to advance this mission of love and lust (or at the very least help you plot an escape)>You just need to take your mind off of your condition… You will demand a visit to the city proper, to mingle with the locals and experience Hawksong’s famous marketsGet over here you slut, we needed to get a moving a week ago!
[We have a three-way tie, so I'll hold off on an update for now. I may get too drunk and high to write a decent update since this is my Friday night; if so, next update will be tomorrow after Vampire the Masquerade.]
>>5615278isnt it a two way tie>>5614818>>5614875sneak>>5614902>>5615089contact>>5614983visit
[>>5615089 voted for contacting Iri AND heading to town. As a result, 40% of voters support each option.]
>>5615278Enjoy your VTM, man. I'll add >Try to make contact with Irinnile, that the succubus can coordinate to advance this mission of love and lust (or at the very least help you plot an escape)
>>5614818>>5614875>>5614902>>5614983>>5615089>>5615336As much as you sometimes wish you could deny it, the success of this mission in Hawksong hinges upon your mother’s demonic lover, the questionably-loyal succubus Irinnile. You’ve bound her by pact, but the desire-demon remains of mixed loyalty, for her other pact-mate (apparently beloved for reasons you don’t fully understand) is her host, Heinrich Yosef… Also called the Green Knight, for his emerald-hued anti-dragon armour, inherited from his father after he slew your mother. Irinnile insistence on preserving and protecting the Green Knight ahs put you at odds at times, even as you are bound tother by your mutual loyalty to the mission which you both inherited from your mother…A mission of love.It is a trivial thing for you to get by your guards with strategic use of your <Shadow> spell. You may be no MASTER of Illusion magic—Elementalism has long been your forte—but since you never demonstrated such capacities in your pivotal play-battle with Paladin Prince Alexos, the royals never knew to prepare for it. The guards stationed by your door ‘for your protection’ are utterly oblivious of your passage to the adjoining rooms. One by one, you creep into them, until a few doors down you finally find the room playing hos to Yosef and the demon within him.Or, rather… Atop him.Your eyes widen as you shut the door to he room behind you. You have not found a knight possessed, but a knight mounted—by a glowing, green demon-woman. Irinnile, half-translucent, rises and falls above the human male, who clutches at her spectral hips and waist and stares, dead-eyed, into and through her half-visible visage. Only when you clear your throat does the female demon sink into the male human, her sly expression supplanting his pleasure-consumed and pain-wracked face, in fusion of the two.“Sorry, baby,” Irinnile apologizes without regret, “just keepin’ our boy under, so he don’t pop up when we don’t expect it. A man regularly milked is, like, a guy that’s not gonna’ fuck shit up unexpectedly, ya’ know? It’s how we tame you bad boy types, right?”You say nothing. You aren’t sure what to say.
>>5615392“Woop!” Irinnile seems to realize her faux pas. “Uh, I mean, how can we—I! I… Uh, help ya’?”The effete demon possessing the muscular Knight Errant Yosef makes for a parodical display, as devilish instinct positions the well-proportioned male into an ill-suited position of coquettish seduction. You stifle a laugh at the ridiculous contrast, and instead address your purpose here:>You need help suppressing and controlling your <appetite>, so you can court Ekaterine chastely and honourably in the silly fairy-tale way the sheltered woman seems to expect>You would seek Irinnile’s aid in corrupting, perverting, and subverting the morality of the Princess until Ekaterine is your warped-but-beautiful plaything>You wish to ally with Irinnile to meet with Prince Rufos, and reassert demonic control over the once-possessed princeling>You have questions for Irinnile about some aspect of her knowledge about your predicament [feel free to bring up any questions you’ve had for Irinnile over the course of the last thread and this one]>You seek Irinnile’s company (as Ysoef, of course) as you pay a visit t Hawksong proper to take your mind off of matters lustful and lovely>Write-in
>>5615393>>You would seek Irinnile’s aid in corrupting, perverting, and subverting the morality of the Princess until Ekaterine is your warped-but-beautiful playthingAs the vessel of ours and TMOAD presumably trueborn demigod dragon child it would be preferable that we control her so the interest of the master race are maintained in its upbringing if she survives the process and cares for it
>>5615407+1its metamorphosis timebacklinkr>>5614902
>>5615393>You would seek Irinnile’s aid in corrupting, perverting, and subverting the morality of the Princess until Ekaterine is your warped-but-beautiful plaything>You wish to ally with Irinnile to meet with Prince Rufos, and reassert demonic control over the once-possessed princelingWhat, no form-change to please our eye? You’re slipping Irinnile.
>>5615393Also>You have questions for Irinnile about some aspect of her knowledge about your predicament [Is there any way to address the appetite without the affliction causing us pain?]I do think our Dragonborn would ask about alleviating his pain- those gut pains alway make me wince.
>>5615393>>You would seek Irinnile’s aid in corrupting, perverting, and subverting the morality of the Princess until Ekaterine is your warped-but-beautiful plaything
>>5615407>>5615413>>5615448>>5615492>>5615598“You are slipping,” you address the succubus-turned-knight, slipping back into the True Speech of the Master Race for the first time in nearly a week. “I would have expected you to adopt a form more pleasing to my eye.”Irinnile smiles a wicked little smile.“You expected it, or you WANTED it?” the succubus teases, momentarily shifting the octave of her host’s voice to resemble the feminine pitch you associate with the unclean spirit animating Yosef. “Truth is, the longer we stay here, the more energy it takes ta’ keep Ricky under. Shiftin’ form and maintainin’ it takes a decent chunk a’ change, mana-wise, so unless you want ‘The green Knight’w akin’ up on the wrong side a’ the bed an’ raising a BIIIIG ol’ stink…”“Understood,” you interrupt, getting the gist of it.That is… A little troubling, though Irinnile seems unbothered. The demon wiggles the knight’s feet, crossing their legs at the ankles and cupping their masculine puppet’s face in his calloused warrior’s hands, awaiting the reason for your visit. Well, you suppose that if you will benefit from Irinnile’s aid, then time is of the essence, even more now than ever.“My affliction—”“Yoru whole ‘demigod m-preg thingie?”“—AFFLICTION is troubling me,” you conclude, brute-forcing your way through the succubus’ teasing interjection. “Princess Ekaterine must be impregnated. But more than that… It is preferable that we control her. If she is to survive the birth of my offspring and to care for the child, we must ensure that the interests of the Master Race are maintained in its upbringing.”“Ooo, so you want blondie all twisted up and evil?” the succubus coos, sitting up with sudden interest. “Kinky!”“Not evil,” you correct the succubus. “We are not EVIL. That is a propagandistic lie by the false ‘gods’ of light, to justify the usurpation of our—”“Yeeeeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah YEAH,” Irinnile groans. “I knoooow, okay?”You narrow your eyes, a little annoyed at the demon’s sass—exacerbated by their form, that of the man Irinnile loves, the man who killed your mother and who has exposed and attacked your race. Irinnile seems to sense your irritation, and stands up, , taking your arm to their chest and stroking it soothingly. It is… Disconcerting, coming from Heinrich Ysoef’s flesh, to it at elast prevents any more pangs of stifled, spirit-troubling <appetite>.“Well, how do you wanna’ do this?” Irinnile asks. “Th way I see it, ya’ got a couple options, but if ya’ wanna’ use ME ta’ do it, the best way’s a dream-delve.”
>>5616352“A what?” you ask.Irinnile flicks your human guise’s reddish beard playfully, gently admonishing you: “Baby, DREAM-Delving. Remmber? I tolja’, didn’t I? I can go into, like, the collective unconscious of mortals at night. If we were to do that at night, you could visit your honey without ever leavin’ your room, an’ start steering her all subconscious-like!”Hm. Well, it’s certainly one option…“But I’m gonna’ need somethin’ in exchange.”You narrow your eyes, turning your full attentonto the scheming succubus.“We have a pact,” you point out. “You are to serve and me, and my cause, and my heirs.”Irinnile puts up their hands placatingly, and soothingly says: “I know all THAT, babycakes! I ain’t tryin’ to PLAY ya’ or nothin’. I just need the JUICE, right? This kinda’ thing takes mana, and Aunty Iri’s usin’ all she’s got to keep Ricky all beddy-bye, jus’ like I said before.”You tilt your head, and Irinnile places her hands together and pouts pleadingly.“Come on, I’m beggin’ ya’, baby! You’re fuuuull of that dragon-mana, right? What’s a little bit for little old me?”It isn’t just the donation of mana, however. You remember the feelings which swept through you during yours and Irinnile’s attack upon the Incubus cult prior to your coming to the Paladin King’s palace. You’d been utterly consumed by a sort of bloodlust battle frenzy which you had never before experienced. It wasn’t just the thrill of battle, it was a perversion of your instincts, beyond your ability to control or direct… And you liked it. You were changed by it, you sense, ever so slightly. Your sexual fantasies, when they arise and trouble you, are more aggressive and violent than once they were. Your desire for bloodshed in battle is piqued more easily. It’s as if an accelerant were dumped upon the fire of your carnal urges.If you do this thing, it won’t only be Ekaterine who may suffer a sort of corruption.What will you do?>Go with Irinnile in dreams to corrupt Ekaterine, though it means empowering irinnile and risking yor own corruption>Dream-delve with Irinnile, but you will NOT engage in any sort of congress with tehd emn—though it means you must act fast, or else risk the Green Knight’s waking>Might it be less taxing for Irinnile to go alone, and to manipulate the Princess without bringing you along? It means putting rgeater trust in the succubus, though…>Wait, can’t Irinnile just implant Ekaterine with some demonic ectoplasm, as your mother had her do to manipulate the local Archmage years prior?>This is needlessly convoluted and dangerous—you would just have Irinnile help sneak you to Ekaterine’s room, and serve as a watchdog while you woo and convert her the old-fashioned way>Write-in
>>5616354>Go with Irinnile in dreams to corrupt Ekaterine, though it means empowering irinnile and risking yor own corruptionIri needs the mana to keep the GK under, and I don’t trust her enough not to put other thoughts in Ekaterine‘s head.
>>5616354>Go with Irinnile in dreams to corrupt Ekaterine, though it means empowering irinnile and risking yor own corruptionWe have the diadem of clarity now, so just make sure we're wearing it before going beddy bye bye.
>>5616354>Go with Irinnile in dreams to corrupt Ekaterine, though it means empowering irinnile and risking yor own corruptionAcceptable risk>>5615413Backlink
>>5616354>>Might it be less taxing for Irinnile to go alone, and to manipulate the Princess without bringing you along? It means putting rgeater trust in the succubus, though…Going with her on a dream dive means opening up our soul to her. And while she swore to serve us she said nothing about not corrupting's or influencing us.
>>5616376>>5616391>>5616500>>5616598>>5616725You reach up to touch the circlet of metal upon your brow—the Diadem of Clarity, taken from the fallen form of the Green Knight upon your victory. This artefact, like Irinnile herself, is your inheritance—tools used by your mother as a Reptilian Infiltrator, to great effect. In theory, the diadem should protect your mind and spirit against the demon, allowing you to avoid corruption.In theory…“Let us do as you have proposed,” you agree.Irinnile grins a too-wide grin, and waggles Yosef’s eyebrows. Ooo, we’re gonna’ do it? Let me just… Settle in, then…”As you sit cross-legged upon the floor in your usual meditative position, you find your focus disrupted by a heavy weight plopping into your lap. You open your eyes to find a twisted and twisting column of flesh and bone astride you, vaguely the shape of a human. You recoil slightly, nearly leaping to your feet, but in stops and starts the lumpy, tumorous mass shrinks and shifts into familiar proportions: the ‘true’ form of Irinnile, curvaceous and feminine, horned and hooved, tattooed with green-black line-art of violent and lascivious, she sheds Yosef’s ill-fitting attire, revealing bare breasts, and presses against you, sliding hands around your neck and shoulders and though your hair. Blazing yellow eyes regard you; breath as hot as the winds in Hell feel as if they will ignite your skin with pure experiential sensation where it washes over you.Only when Irinnile works this dark magic, it seems, can your <appetite> stir within paining you—or, at least, with such pleasurable desire as to drown out the pain.With trembling hand, you reach up. Irinnile opens her mouth invitingly, for you to insert a finger, but instead to clasp your diadem and squeeze your eyes shut until the disorienting flood of physical and emotional <hunger> pass.“Party pooper,” the succubus complains.You ignore her until, with a sigh, Irinnile stops her grinding upon your lap and simply settles upon you. You take a deep breath, calming yourself still more fully. You still mind, body, soul. You focus upon the essence of the True Dragon within—long your ‘north star’ to guide you to a place of spiritual introspection.
>>5617026Your spirit and the demon’s essence are at odds in many ways, but you find the commonalities—you find each other, in the unfamiliar mystical space between your spirit and the world without. Irinnile—fully green of hue, now, and even more ‘herself’ in appearance—appears as if from a thick fog around you, and takes your astral projection by the hand.“Fancy meeting you here,” Irinnile cracks at you with a smirk. “I guess they’ll let just anyone in these days, huh? But, say… Is that the form you’re goin’ with, big boy?”You blink a couple times and tilt your head, confused as to her meaning. You are on the plane of spirit and mind—how can you be anything but yourself?Irinnile sighs, and with a snap of her fingers she materializes an illusory mirror. You gaze into it, and see…>’Theral’, King of Bloodrise, glorious copper-gold king of a dark empire, clad in armour made specially for his massive <Dragonshape>>’Long Wang’, the shoggoth-cuirassed and shaggy-bearded human, who has bested princes in battle and wooed princesses in the arena of love>Your true, natural form—bronze-pink of skin, orange-red of hair, long of snout, of more human proportions[This will affect how the Princess perceives you, but your choice will also reflect your self-perception moving forward]
>>5617033>>Your true, natural form—bronze-pink of skin, orange-red of hair, long of snout, of more human proportions
>>5617033>Your true, natural form—bronze-pink of skin, orange-red of hair, long of snout, of more human proportionsWe can only keep up the 龙王 act for so long… backlink>>5616500
>>5617033>Your true, natural form—bronze-pink of skin, orange-red of hair, long of snout, of more human proportionsdang that self perception bit
>>5617033 >Your true, natural form—bronze-pink of skin, orange-red of hair, long of snout, of more human proportions The goal is her raising the child in accordance to our beliefs, I dont wanna end up with some weird demigod who is trained in the way of the steppe people that weve been bullshitting about this whole time
>>5617033>’Theral’, King of Bloodrise, glorious copper-gold king of a dark empire, clad in armour made specially for his massive <Dragonshape>We can at least have some fun with this with Iri. Also, you lads take too much stock in the self-perception bit- even Long Wang would be a fun improvement.
>>5617033>’Theral’, King of Bloodrise, glorious copper-gold king of a dark empire, clad in armour made specially for his massive <Dragonshape>
>>5617375>>5617338>>5617078>>5617075>>5617041>>5617468The face that looks back at you from the mirror is… Familiar. That is remarkable in and of itself, you suppose, since you haven’t really seen this version of yourself in many months. It makes sense, though. To your soldiers and disciples, perhaps Dragon King Theral is the ‘real’ you: your potential, your draconic-tinted Reptilian heritage fully realized, face and body armoured in shining scales. It definitely how you’ve portrayed yourself to the world, as you took on more and more titles and made more and more promises. Prince of Love! Copper Dragon King! Knight Ascendant! Heir to Bloodrise! You are the hope of your forsaken and struggling race—once and future MASTER Race—made real!But… That’s not really you.Obviously, neither is ‘Long Wang’. That’s literally just a name you recycled from ancient history, in a spur-of-the-moment decision. The flat face, smoothly scaleless and beige-pink, DOES echo certain of your features… But it is not YOUR face. It never will be. You may have a human grandparent, but that heritage is a stolen thing, acquired strategically. It is not your TRUE heritage, your TRUE identity. You will never, EVER be a human, nor would you aspire to such a sorry state. Oh, you may be more tolerant of the mammals than most of the Master Race, more similar and sympathetic to the warm-blooded ‘surface scum’, but you are OF the Master Race—THEY are your people!The face that looks back at you… THAT is your face. It is not masked by layers of <Dragonshape>, molded by your Novice Fleshweaver’s carefully-crafted magical manipulations to be more human OR more dragon. It is the face of the Dragonborn that looks back at you from every limpid pool of stale water you drank from as a young male. It has the yellow-pink, not-quite-copper scales and accursed reddish locks of hair which you lamented so often as a youth. Why did you never shear them? Maybe it’s the same reason that, even now, your subconscious regards it as your TRUE self. This is you, ‘warts and all’ as the dwarves say, and it is THIS self that you embody in your dreams.“Uh, well, that’s real sweet an’ all,” Irinnile interjects, “But our pretty l’il princess ain’t gonna’ like it.”“Are you sure?” you ask, still surveying yourself. “She HAS SHOWN AN ATTRACTION TO THE… Exotic.”“Babycakes, there’s a biiiig fuckin’ difference between fuckin’ with some hunky oriental guy’s long wang and, like, doin’ the do with a double-dicked dragon-dude, ya’ know what I’m sayin’?”
>>5617478You do. It’s the difference between the sort of cross-caste breeding which produced your lieutenant known as the Bastard—already stigmatized, as evidenced by his nom de guerre—and the human admixture which even now you hide from most every one of your allies. One is a variant of the same race, frowned upon but neutral of value; the other is an abominable, degenerate thing, such that it shames the Infiltrator called Roth to even acknowledge his parentage of you, in spite of your auspicious reputation. You don't know if the same principles hold sway over human society, but with the menace of hidden reptilian agents and secret demon-cults filling the darkest dreams of the city's populace (thanks in equal part to you and the Green Knight Yosef), it seems likely that humans will reciprocate your race's antipathy to their ilk.Irinnile takes your hand—interlacing her fingers most lewdly-and guides you through dark clouds of empty psychic space, past shining, cloud-clearing beacons which she tells you represent sleepers’ souls. As she guides you towards the bright and shining light of Princess Ekaterine’s own private dreamscape, you plan your approach—how to appear to her, appeal to her, manipulate and reshape her into YOUR creature. Despite your best efforts, and Irnnile’s efforts to help you, you can’t seem to restructure what you look like on a fundamental level here—can’t suppress your natural self-perception enough to simply embody Long Wang. Instead, you must make your subconscious case to her through…>Raw sexual magnetismEven as a ‘dragon-dude’, you have made mammalian females melt at your touch, surrender to your passions, long for your heat! Can this one be so different? You made her swoon and give into you as Long Wang, now you’ll do so again as… Well, you!>Philosophy Reason and religion, theological and ethical debate—you will convert her to your cause, fully and truly! She may be the daughter of a Paladin King of the Gods of Light, but she has expressed a skepticism for her people’s practices, a distance from her family… You can use that!>Fear and forceYou will demoralize her, break her down bit by bit. It will be easier to make your own case once you have eroded what remains of her faith in her father, her false gods, her Paladins, her city! You will give her visions of the collapse to come, and the Dark Age which will swallow up the light… Let her know that only YOU can provide her safe harbour!>LoveLove is all you need, love and truth. You’ll begin with memories of your own loves, present and lost, your dreams and ambitions, your care for your people. She is a compassionate creature, isn’t she? She will see how you and your race have suffered,and the relief you have brought, and surely she will understand…>Write-in
>RetpoidQMFuck my life
>>5617481>Raw sexual magnetismIt worked with Devora, and we killed her husband and enslaved her people beforehand- this should be easy, by comparison.
>>5617481>Raw sexual magnetism>PhilosophyWe are a force in both of these arenas and appeal to her in both senses.
>>5617514+1if philosophy doesnt work we can attract her physicallybacklink>>5617075>>5617485picrel
>>5617481>>Philosophy>Raw sexual magnetism
>>5617481>Philosophycan't vote for the magnetism until we confirm that she's a degenerate scalie like Davora was
>>5618072>>5617800>>5617627>>5617514>>5617493[Well then. Locked and writing!]
>>5618687>sexual tyrannosaurus>philosoraptorMy fuckin' sides.
>>5618687Your most immediate frame of reference for how to approach this seduction is, of course, Davora. There are differences—of station, of relative position—but the dwarven herbalist Davora, like Princess Ekaterine, was a mammalian female and a follower of the false gods. Ekaterine, like Davora, seems… Kindly-disposed, somewhat sheltered an unsatisfied in her life. You can offer this sort of female something, you feel: excitement, stimulation, experiences and ideas beyond the world they know! This will be your approach: you will seduce her in mind AND body, at once!Perhaps it is because of this thinking that, when you and Irinnile finally arrive to hover spectrally over Ekaterine’s sleeping form in her rather ornately-decorated personal chambers, your previously-nude astral form is now clad in a mix of different garb: something like a lighter form of the imposing ceremonial armour which you wore when you conquered Davora’s people and claimed her for your possession, with the gown-like, billowing coat and silken shirt which you donned at the Wevenore Winter Ball, in the capital city of the ball. Lover and leader at once… Appropriate!“You look like a pirate from a harlequin novel, baby,” Irinnile notes.You tilt your head, and ask: “Is that good, or bad?”Irinnile taps her lower lip thoughtfully, placing her other hand on her hip as she orbits around you in the open air.“Well, shit, I’d fuck you!” she decides, though given her rather over-active and indiscriminate libido, you’re not sure if that means much.Still, it is with well-earned confidence in your sexual magnetism and your persuasive eloquence that you delve down into the personal dreamscape of your target. As you descend towards the princes’’ sleeping body, it grows massive, until her every feature is like a geologic monument: her face and bosom mountainous, her gown-clad abdomen a field of purple, gauzy plains stretching out to meet a rising tide of finely-woven blankets which threaten to swallow you up. Your raise your arms to shield yourself against them s everything seems to swirl about you…
Rolled 18, 11, 16, 16 = 61 (4d20)>>5618707And then you are once more in the waking world. You are startled for a moment, eyes stunned by the sudden transition from surreal night to the brightness of day… But the stunned status does not last as long as it naturally would, you and this is your first giveaway that you are in a dream. Other hints emerge as you walk through the grounds—areas that are hazy and indistinct exist between those realms with which you are more familiar. You walk the gardens, and find that only some flowers have a scent; for those which do, it is a more vivid and FULLER scent than seems natural, as if the princess’ own attachment to these blooms makes them more real here than even in reality. Statuary and topiary shift and change at times—you look away from an elegant sculpture of a swan to find a hedge trimmed to look like a human dancer. Changes made throughout the years to this small realm which seems so central to Ekaterine’s experiences of the world?When you find the Human Princess herself, it is by following your ear: the ground are mostly quiet, but eventually you make out a… Well, melody is the wrong word. It is a discordant and clumsy music, coming haltingly over the hedges. You walk them warily, trained warrior’s instincts telling you to be on-guard as you stroll this unfamiliar world alone, but you find no threat—just Ekaterine, princess of Hawksong, wearing a loose blue-purple dress which contrasts well with her emerald eyes and brown-blonde hair, and with a simple necklace of pearls set against her smooth, fair hide.“Ack,” she exclaims, then growls softly at the string-instruments which she teases and plucks with a strange bow-like implement upon her lap. The Princess sits upon an elaborately-cushion stool, incongruously surrounded by bookshelves, furnishings, and dioramas better situated to be indoors than out. Before her is a wooden stand, upon which a book is unfolded, filled with strange symbols you do not understand—though, by how intently the woman stares at them while she again runs her odd bow across the musical instrument’s strings, you infer they must convey the intended tune of the music which Ekaterine is presently butchering.“Gggghhhrrr,” she vocalizes again when the instrument turns from its eerie, squealing song to something more like a vibrating warble and abrupt screech. “The Gods Above have DAMNED me, haven’t they? Cursed me to these stupid lessons that never make me ANY better…”“Well then, the Godss Above are foolss,” you suggest amicably.The Princess looks up with a start… And then her eyes widen to veritable saucers, lips parting in a gasp.“Or perhapsss,” you smoothly segue as you approach her, “the weaklings fear that one of their creationsss, already sso beautiful, would become truly DOMIANNT if she wass alssso a masster of musssic?”You thought it a rather good line, so it’s rather disappointing when the Princess responds by screaming.
Rolled 15, 6, 3, 3 = 27 (4d20)>>5618709The Princess raises her string-instrument like a club, then fumbles and drops it. She waves the bow-thing around like a sabre—well, like child or invalid wielding a sabre, really—then seems to realize that this, too, is futile. She lobs it at you, missing—you don’t even need to move to dodge—and then attempts to stand and flee… Only to totter upon her queer perch, and very nearly to fall. As if you’d allow THAT.You rush forward, snatching her up in your arms before she can tumble to the ground and… Well, you suppose she wouldn’t HURT herself, would she? This is all a dream. But what if she startled herself awake? That won’t do. At the very least, your chivalric act seems to interrupt her hysteria.“Careful,” you admonish her.>18You lift her up, holder her and gazing into her eyes and upon her fine features a little longer than strictly necessary. Her breathing is quick and shallow, still fearful. Her expression is hardly one of arousal or romantic interest—not like how she looked at ‘Long Wang’. Still, the feel of her dream-body against yours feels… Nice. You are wearing less armour now, for one thing—the soft ’squish’ of her mammalian chest against you is a pleasing sensation, the feel of her cotton-clad back and hip under your claws so pleasant that you can’t help but linger.“W-w-what are you?” the Princess asks, before arriving upon her own indelicate assessment. “You’re a—a monster! One of those, those… Reptoids! The lizardmen, from beneath the earth!”You tilt your head. It seems pointless to deny it… But Ekaterine is not a TOTAL stranger to you, nor are you entirely unfamiliar with her thought process.>“Mister Long, you may not know this, but ‘barbarian’ is a derogatory exonym… Ah, an insulting thing that outsiders call your people. It means you are uncivilized, crude, lesser. It is… It’s not nice. It’s wrong.”“’Monssster’,” you tell her, “is a derogatory exxxonym… An insulting thing which outsssiders call my people. Likewisse, ‘Reptoid’ or ‘lizardman’. We are not misshapen or crude thingsss. Thosse wordsss aren’t inaccurate… But on a deeper level, they are WRONG.”Ekaterine stares at you blankly for a time, then slowly a pinkish blush rises up from her collarboens to her hairline, bit by bit.“I’m… Ah, I can’t believe I’m apologizing to a…”“Well,” you bemusedly interject, “not like THAT you’re not.”Ekaterine seems to catch herself, raising her hands to her mouth and gasping.“Oh Oh Gods—gosh! Oh, I’m being so, so rude. You are… I am sorry. What, um… What am I to call… You… Then?”
>>5618725You nearly smile, but you remember the effect this has on mammals when you are wearing your true visage, and so you merely bow your head respectfully.“I am… A Dragonborn. The Copper Dragonborn, I wass called, growing up.”Ekaterine regards you with fresh eyes—you allow it, flexing slightly, shifting to a properly heroic stance as you might do before a crowd of your supplicants and slaves to make clear your majesty. You lament the lack of wings to spread, but then, the human female hardly seems to miss their absence. She is, you sense, impressed.“You do look, um… Dragony. Well, from what I’ve read and, ah, depictions and drawings. But aren’t dragons all…”She pauses, seeming to realize the question is rude. You finish the inquiry for her:“Dead?”She nods, almost imperceptibly.“Yesss,” you admit. “Your racesss… The mammalian racesss sslew them all. Our great kingssss and queensss… Our lordsss and leadersss. Our connection to the Godsss…”“In the War of Knights and Dragons,” Ekaterine nods, then seems to take stock of you a third time, and takes a wary step back. “The dragons were horrible creatures, who slaughtered indiscriminately and ruled their vassals like tyrants… Demanding tribute, making humans, elves, dwarves, and others into… into slaves, into livestock!”“Sso go the ssstoriess,” you point out, “of the victorsss… But you well know how these sssortss of talesss can be sspun, when one ssside fearsss and failsss to underssstand and resspect the other, yesss?”The Princess looks thoughtful at that, then nods slightly, albeit with obvious uncertainty upon her face.“Well then,” she says. “Tell me your version? I… Rather think myself a student of history. It should be interesting to hear how a DRAGON tells that tale…”
>>5618727You tell the tale as it was told to you, more or less: the tale of woe and horror, of loss and shame and bitter spite. You sand down the rougher edges—the forswearing of blood-vengeance against all mammals, the conspiring to subvert the governments, erode their institutions, weaken their wills and hamper their happiness. These things are all true—you’re actively furthering those goals right now—but they’re not important. What you attempt to communicate to Ekaterine is the glory of the Age of Darkness—“A misssnomer, in ssome waysss,” you point out. “It wass an age of LEARNING… Of technologies and magicksss that have ssince been ssdly lossst. We lived in great citiesss, populated by sssundry Reptilian racesss… Mossst now exxtinct, or elsse degraded.”“It sounds… Lovely,” Ekarine says, politely if not entirely convincingly.“I wouldn’t know,” you admit with a shrug. “I wasss born… Afterward.”You tell her of the life YOU know—of a hollow-hearted people, cast into a TRUE darkness, a darkness of the spirit. You tell of the empty and deprived existence of the world below—of cowering, never seeing the very stars which once dictated your people’s lives and destinies. You tell her of the empty halls and eroding monuments, of the stale and half-rotten meals of pallid bug-meat, of an entire world that could fit within a single city-block of Hawksong.“I grew up locked away in a boxx,” you hiss, surprising yourself with how bitter is the venom of this truth upon your tongue.“I understand that much, at least,” the Princess says. “But… Well, not like that, obviously. I’m sorry. That is quite presumptive of me to claim… I mean, I’ve never been… Not like that.”“No,” you agree, looking around at the shifting but ALWAYS resplendent ‘cage’ wherein the Princess has lived her life—roughly, you suppose, as long as you’ve lived yours. “Not like that.”As you tell the tale—particularly of your first sight of the sun, the moon, the stars, the forest and mountains and lakes and SEA!—you start to speaks with greater enthusiasm. You find yourself not just relating a story, but engaging in a true dialogue: the Princess is a sheltered creature, but she has read much more widely than you, and seen samples of the world beyond, and seems very well-educated in the world’s wonders.“Oh, I wish I could SEE the Silverwood! I’ve always… Well, it’s a silly little girl’s fancy, but a piece of the Feywood, or the moon’s own forests, placed upon the earth?”“I hear that the deer are so tame,” she tells you, “that they’ll eat from your hand, if you know the right elven words! And the birds are supposedly ANGELIC!”
>>5618755>18 for SeductionShe sighs happily, wiggling slightly at the thought. At some point, the two of you found yourselves seated upon a small, perhaps somewhat UNDERSIZED sort of seat intended for PRECISELY two people; with your size and anatomy, the Princess of Hawksong is almost in your lap. You rather wish she was, but her easy proximity to you belies some success, you feel—she doesn’t regard you with any sexual interest, but you often catch her staring at your face, your scales, your claws or tail, your hair. She seems to regard you as, if you had to guess, a beautiful and strange sort of animal, if not yet a ‘man’ in the sense you’d prefer.You tell her—veiled, without specifics—of what you’ve seen of this world’s wonders—the Bloodrise and its more ‘mundane’ but no less lush and populace woodlands, of the underdark’s strange and terrible beasts and the peculiar insectile and arachnid pets of the Drow, of their crystals and crude-but-spirited patchwork cloth-craft, of their massive and black oasis.“Though Hawksssong,” you admit, “may be the mosst wondrousss of all… The fieldsss without, the ssoundsss and ssightsss and peoplesss within… And the occeaan, by the GODS! I think everyone should sseee these thingsss… Be ALLOWED to.”“Yes,” Ekaterine readily agrees.“But your people, and your ‘godsss’, deny mine these thingsss.”>15 for ReligionEkaterine pauses, uncertain how to reply.“Your, ah, people… They killed and enslaved thousands, millions. You don’t deny this, do you?”“My race isss not EVIL,” you insist. “We do what we mussst… In the apssst, we did what the Dragon Kingsss dictated, waging war and committing terrible actsss asss any fighting forcce might in sssuch dire timesss.”Ekaterine frowns.“Did you great ancessstor, the Paladin king, not do the sssame to my people, to render usss sso few?” you point out. “Both our racesss committed were guilty of great crimesss, by your logic… But the Sssilverwood, the sssea… They belong only to you. Only my people ssuffer.”“That… Is rather unfair, yes.”You feel your heart lift, warm. You’re getting somewhere! She isn’t just comfortable with you—she UDNERSTANDS you!“Are we not due our Age of Sscalesss… Our Age of Dragonsss?” you press.The Princess frowns again, and narrows her eyes. You hesitate. Have you said too much?“What,” she asks pointedly, “does that look like, for the rest of us?”
>>5618757You tilt your head in question.“I seem to recall that MY people did what WE had to… To escape being subject to the abuse of YOURS originally.”“We owned thsiss world firssst…” you begin.“So YOU say,” Ekaterine sharply interjects, “but what did YOU do with it? Did YOU share all the seas and special places of your glorious Age of Scales with we humans, when we got here? Don’t WE deserve to enjoy our lives, too?”“You have enjoyed them for aeonsss now…”“And we shouldn’t be allowed to continue?” she demands. “I seem to recognize, sir, an undercurrent of… Of ‘us versus them’ in your understanding of the world! But even if you have less than you deserve and I… I have… Maybe a little bit MORE than I ought to… Why should every humble and kingly person suffer so you can thrive?”“I never sssaid—”“Then WHAT,” Ekaterine demands, “does your Age of Scales and Darkness and Dragons LOOK like, Mister Dragonborn?”The female beside you is suddenly fiery and intense… But not, oddly, angry. She pokes a finger into your chest, accusatory… Yet, rather familiar. She does not move away from you, rather turning to face her upon the seat you share, one leg by necessity pinned by your sprawled tail… Which, you note, she lays her other hand upon, unconsciously, rubbing fingers over the texture of its scales and spines.How do you reply?>You... Actually agree. It would be best if your peoples could live in harmony, alike in stature and dignity, and that’s what you’ll strive towards, and lead ALL the races towards if you have your way. You’ve seen too much of the world to believe any longer that other races are simply inferior.>Her view is naïve—painfully so! The strong eat the weak, and rule what remains… This is what the Serpent Ascendant teaches, what you KNOW is true! You are benevolent in your way, but not some… Egalitarian ALTRUIST!>You don’t think what she envisions is possible, even if it’s a pretty picture to imagine, but under the strong stewardship of True Dragon King like yourself… Maybe some measure of leniency can be granted, to those who renounce their faith and embrace the way, as loyal servants of your kind.>Write-in[Sorry for the long one. I wanted to do some character and worldbuilding, and it's sort of a focal scene!]
>>5618759>Write-in>You do agree, however, there were situations in the past where conflict was inevitable, and force is required. You want to share the world, but you want to make sure the other races can’t backstab you again. You want to unite the people, for your and her people’s sake, but also for the prevention of any threat of attacks.Bring up that dwarf story as well ‘theres this dwarf faction that we commissioned to build weapons for us but they didn’t, and our people nearly got wiped out’Embellishments and changes to make theral look like the good guy, of course.backlink>>5617627
>>5618759>You... Actually agree. It would be best if your peoples could live in harmony, alike in stature and dignity, and that’s what you’ll strive towards, and lead ALL the races towards if you have your way. You’ve seen too much of the world to believe any longer that other races are simply inferior.But>You don’t think what she envisions is possible, even if it’s a pretty picture to imagine, but under the strong stewardship of True Dragon King like yourself… Maybe some measure of leniency can be granted, to those who renounce their faith and embrace the way, as loyal servants of your kind.I'd love the lizardmen to be less comically evil in the future
>>5618759>You... Actually agree. It would be best if your peoples could live in harmony, alike in stature and dignity, and that’s what you’ll strive towards, and lead ALL the races towards if you have your way. You’ve seen too much of the world to believe any longer that other races are simply inferior.optimism go
>>5618759>You... Actually agree. It would be best if your peoples could live in harmony, alike in stature and dignity…But>You don’t think what she envisions is possible, except under the strong stewardship of True Dragon King like yourself… A utopian society needs a strong guiding hand to ensure that racial and religious animosity does not lead to war and genocide. We are Hobbes’s Leviathan! But I expect that the men of the surface will never see our people as worthy and they will resist all efforts to create a more equal world…That is why the old world will have to be cast down and a new one forged in its place!
>>5618824+1 My people are too bitter and yours too proud to achieve this without tearing down the order of things.Only by tearing down both we can emerge the victor and create something grander; the logical and tempered thought of the lizardman with the creative flexibility of mammals.All in the gaze and glory of the mother who makes children grander than their parents, the seeker who makes us crave discovery, the champion who makes us strive to surpass our station and the end that makes us all equal.
>>5618759>Her view is naïve—painfully so! The strong eat the weak, and rule what remains… This is what the Serpent Ascendant teaches, what you KNOW is true! You are benevolent in your way, but not some… Egalitarian ALTRUIST!>You don’t think what she envisions is possible, even if it’s a pretty picture to imagine, but under the strong stewardship of True Dragon King like yourself… Maybe some measure of leniency can be granted, to those who renounce their faith and embrace the way, as loyal servants of your kind.I’d love for the lizardmen to be more comedically evil in the future.
>>5618759>You don’t think what she envisions is possible, even if it’s a pretty picture to imagine, but under the strong stewardship of True Dragon King like yourself… Maybe some measure of leniency can be granted, to those who renounce their faith and embrace the way, as loyal servants of your kind.
>>5618759>>5618824 +1Creating a realm never before seen and becoming King of Kings? Even if I don't think it will be utopian it does sound like the start of something greater and more magnificent.
>>5619647You stop and think for a moment. You suppose you should have anticipated this turn of events. Your chosen mate here is the flower of a walled garden, yes, but she is a scholar as well, and has demonstrated this more confrontational side before, when pushed. This time, at least, she doesn’t seem ANGRY—not exactly. You get more of a playful sense from her tone and demeanour, and she watches you with patient attentiveness as your formulate your answer. Is this philosophic debate… Sport, to her?“When I envisssion the Coming Age,” you finally say, “I musst admit… Yesss, it iss ass you ssay. I have sseen too much to think that your ssurfacce racesss are without merit. When I picture it in my mind, all the racess of are alike in ssstature and dignity.”Ekaterineblinks,s eemingly surprised, then smiels widely.“That’s a wodneful thing, sir, and—”You hold up your hand, and the Human Princess silences herself.“But it’sss naïve… Unrealisstic. It’ss jusst a vision, a dream…”(Ironic, given the setting of your rendezvous)“Utopia isssn’t real. There siss not paradise on Earth,” you assert. “A sssociety needs a sstrong guiding hand to enssure that hissstorical enmity does not lead to war, to genocccide.”Ekaterine shakes her head, hard enough that her bundled locks of hair fall loose.“That isn’t true!’ she defies you. “That’s what people BELIEVE, but if they could be shown otherwise, there would be no need to, to, to FORCE it upon them.”“Love mussst sometimes be forced,” you say, paraphrasing your noble Dragon King ancestor, the last King of Bloodrise, in his advice to you. “The ape-men of the ssurfacce will never ssee we ‘monsssterss’ as worthy. If I bring them equality, they will resssent it—rightly, perhapss—asss a sstep DOWN from their current ssuperiority…”And, in truth, your Master Race is little better. Your people are too bitter and too proud to achieve this vision—a vision that you are admittedly happy to see Ekaterine shares—without tearing down the order of things. Only by tearing down both the world above and the rigid structure of the old order of your own society can you emerge the victor and create something grander; the logical and tempered thought of the lizardman with the creative flexibility of mammals. A New World Order for the New Age of Darkness!You don’t voice this aloud, of course—you want this female to think well of you, to see your best characteristics rather than the beast she screamed to spy in her garden, or the forward foreigner she slapped in the waking world. As you watch her now, you see her expression crumple, lips pursed and nose scrunched with distaste, and you fear for a moment you have misjudged the balance. But…“You’re right, of course,” she sighs. “I was… rather, ah, quick to judge YOU, wasn’t I?”You tilt your head in surprise. She’s… Upset with HERSELF, then?
>>5619722“Father speaks—spoke? When last did we speak… He speaks like you.” The Princesss sighs, seems to deflate a little “It’s why the world NEEDS a Paladin King, rather than simple a, a… I don’t know, council of scholars and elders. HE says. It’s why men must rule with strength of arms while women like me…”She trails off, and you sit in silence for a moment, while she lowers her eyes, continuing to stroke your tail, to fiddle with the forked tip. She’s not doing so idly, not anymore, but more consciously.“You called me beautiful,” she notes. “I… Am surprised, upon closer consideration. It’s flattery, yes? We are… Quite different. Beauty standards aren’t universal, or so I’ve read. Not even among distant HUMANS, let alone…”You reach out and cu her face. She flinches slightly, but doesn’t take flight. She meets your eyes.“There isss beauty all throughout thiss world,” you tell her. “Sstrength exissstss to protect that which iss beautiful to usss…”The human female shivers a little, before reaching her smaller hand to clasp your larger, clawed one… And gently, to remove it. She places it back upon your lap. Her own hand withdraws from your tail.“Is that all I have?” she asks then. “Is that all that the… The beautiful, the weak, the gentle ARE? Never the masters of our own destinies, never free… Always protected, treasured, KEPT?"You feel as if you’ve fallen into another rhetorical trap of this woman, but she regards you not with fury—just a sort of sadness, and a resigned disappointment. Up immediately begin to formulate a response, a means to extricate yourself and to score another victory for your shared vision—your inevitable future…But you are interrupted.“Hey, lovebirds! Or, wait, should that be lounge lizardssss?”
>>5619729You narrow your eyes and turn to face the source of the familiar voice, in an unfamiliar guise: Irinnile, disguised as a tiny green cherub, still cloven-hoofed but now bird-winged and a plump little thing—albeit plump primarily in the chest and rump.“Is, uh… She with YOU, Mister Dragonborn?” the Princess asks.You’re a little surprised at how calm Ekaterine is at this but, well, once you spend a while in placid and pleasant conversation with a ‘monster’, perhaps you become less prone to surprise and fright?“What is it?” you hiss at the succubus, displeased at the demon’s unexpected appearance.“It’s almost time for wakey wakey, eggs and bakey!”“Oh…” Ekaterine mumbles, then louder: “Oh! I’m dreaming! Of cours,e this is all—”To your own surprise, the Princess of Hawksong no sooner realizes she is asleep than she ceases to be, popping out of existence.“She awoke,” you quicklu piece together.“Yeah,” irinnile says urgently, “an’ you better get back to your hot bod, Big Boy, or we’re gonna’ get caught out here an’… Well, you don’t want that, aight?”You nod, and reach out to take the succubus’ little hand. The demoness takes you back the way you came—though it isn’t a route you could map, short though the distance is in real-world terms. You arrive at your body, to find it positioned upon the floor of Yosef’s bedroom, legs crossed, still meditating—or sleeping, maybe? It is surreal, to gaze down upon ‘Long Wang’, the exorcist from the nebulous east, as if he were a separate entity, and yet to know that he is you. You begin to descend, to reunite with your disguised corporeal form—“Hey!” Irinnile squeaks. “Ain’t you forgettin’ somethin’?”Ah, right. You turn to find the squashed and reshaped little pixie-demon grinning widely, hands outstretched expectantly, fingers clutching greedily at the empty air. Her nipples, exposed and green, are pointed like cut emeralds. To maintain control of The green Knight—presently sprawled fully-clothed upon his bed—she requires energy. It’s a small price to pay, you suppose, and you have mystical power to spare thank to the soul of the Red Dragon King within you. You step towards her, open your mouth to speak, and immediately find your attempt stymied by the small and curvy body hurtling into you.
>>5619734Irinnile clings to you face and neck, riding astride to your chest as her legs wrap around your shoulders in a deadly grip. You wheeze, unable to breathe, as she slavers your Face in longs and a freakishly disproportionate tongue. Unable to kiss you—your true face doesn’t really have the proportions for that humanoid form of affection—she makes do as she can. With every kiss and lick, you feel a tinging tingle across your astral form, Your clothing and armour melts away, and as you look down upon your newly nude form, you find you solidity of form dissipating and wavering. You grow half-transparent, flickering in and out of being… All save for your hemipenes, emerging from their internal sheathe, growing large and swollen, looking almost ‘hyperreal’. In the same way the scent of the flowers in Ekaterine’s gardens were amplified by scent-memory and personal attachment, Irinnile’s attentions have awoken and amplified your shared hunger… Your lust, still unsatisfied.The pain of the Mother of Dragons’ ‘gift’ and the pleasure of the succubus’ ‘kiss’ merge, mingle, war with one another. Your soul is their battlefield, and it is afire.“Fffuuuuck,” Irinnile gasps, drooling slovenly upon your abdomen as she crawls down your body toward your throbbing genitalia. “Look at how BACKED UP you are, baby! She left you all blue-balled, right? Maybe I can… Help ya’ with that?”Already, you can see that the demoness is growing back to her original proportions, and that her green, tattooed flesh is taking on more and more vibrant colour—practically IRIDESCENT with stolen energy. The world around you is swirling, ‘Long Wang’ and the unconscious Green Knight a distant shore that seems ever further away as the tide of Irinnile’s influence pulls you deeper, deeper…But by all the GODS, you want it. Her breath is hot as hellfire across your groin, and wet, and the <HUNGER> is eating away at you from inside and outside at once!What will you do?>RefuseIrinnile has eaten enough! You will wake, and master this affliction in your own way—meditation, physical activity, self-control!>Give inLet Irinnile relieve your burden, and strengthen herself yet further. An empowered ally, relief from the pain and distraction… Why not enjoy yourself for the first time in... God Beyond and Below, almost a YEAR?
>>5619738>refusedont we need to wake up and shitbacklink>>5618767
>>5619738>RefuseDoesn't seem like the best of circumstances to indulge.
>>5619738>RefuseFuck that entire noise, I dont like this demon stuff one bit, its helpful but I dont want to have her demonic influence to grow faster if at all and there is no way on this fucking planet should we donate any part of our demigod nut to her in any capacity, "Moms ex gf" is still a demon and we have the diadem on specifically to resist these advances
>>5619738>RefuseThis may cause some problems with Heinrich, but I think we can handle it.
>>5619738>Give inThis has the added benefit of keeping Yosef submerged subconsciously.
>>5619774>>5619778>>5619795>>5619796>>5619803[Seems like a pretty decisive vote, so...]“W-wait,” you manage to protest, a little angry with how weak and mewling you sound. “We need to wake up, yes? These are not… Ideal circumstances.”“We’re sooOOOoo close to our bodies, though,” Irinnile says, wiggling her own body enticingly against yours as she begins to massage your nethers with her inborn expertise. “We can spare a minute for a QUICKIE, right?”You bite back a guttural groan that threatens to rip forth from your throat at the much-needed attention—and the agony which accompanies the ecstasy, for that matter.“Ooo, your gods are so MEAN to you baby” Irinnile coos, beginning to lower her salivating mouth between yoru legs. “Let Auntie Iri make it all better~”“N-no,” you growl through gritted teeth.The pain has reminded you of another complication: the demigod’s essence brewing within you, meant for delivery to a worthy mate to incubate it and give it physical being. What if Irinnile drains it away from you—takes that power, that growing life, for herself? Your mother’s one-time lover is STILL a demon, after all, and demons are never to be fully trusted—even allied ones.“Is that all you’re worried about?” irinnile asks innocently, as if she didn’t just pluck the concerns from your mind. “I promise, I’ll be gentle—we’ll leave all that baby-gpd-nu inside while I just slurp and suck the ~mana~ right out of you!”“P-promise?” you gasp. “Like… A pact?”“Sure, sure, whatever BIG boy wants…”You lose your composure—and metaphysical consistency—for a moment as Irinnile tongue delivers a sample of this promised pleasure. Your hips buck and thrust, provoking the unclean spirit hovering over you to giggle mischievously.“You’re pretty easy to play, aincha’?” she asks. “You’re always playin’ so BIG and CONFIDENT, I forget how young and inexperienced ya’ really are…”You narrow your eyes a little. ‘Easy to play?’ And this succubus… She agreed to this pact so readily. Do demons not dread to bind themselves so readily, so such vague and amorphous contractual terms? The binding of pact-magic is the closest this to a sacred rite which demons abide by, is it not? Something is WRONG here…You reach your wavering, immaterial hands up towards the aggressive sex-demon, eliciting more laughter and encouraging words:“Ooo, returnin’ the favour? That’s good, baby, dig right and eat UP!”
>>5619897You do no such thing, though. Instead, you reach up to your forehead and grasp your diadem—still solid, even as (most) of your body wavers in and out of consistent form. Your mother’s Diadem of Clarity, which grounds and steadies the mind, protecting against outside influence and clearing your perceptions… THIS is your salvation! You cling to it with white-knuckled grip, and somewhere out in the hazy, amorphous fog of the unconscious realm around you, a sapphire light gleams—the match to the diadem’s gemstone!With a sudden surge of spiritual strength, you bring your knees to your chest—catching Irinnile in the head and shoulders and sending her spiralling through the air. Trying to ignore how much this experience feels like being underwater, you push off against the succubus—cursing and swearing now—and ‘swim’ towards that beacon of bleu light. Eventually, ‘Long Wang’ appears in your vision again. Your physical body, like your astral projection, has raised his hands to grip the diadem upon his brow. With Irinnile hot on your heals—pleading, promising, offering whatever you want and more—you put on one last burst of speed and hurtle into your body.You awake with a start. Your body is trembling. Your arousal is gone, a queasiness taking its place which causes you to retch. You are stiff in leg and arm, as you are no longer stiff in groin, and your effort to stand and find somewhere to throw up is in vain. You tumble to the floor, laying tehre for a moment as you steady yourself.It was NOT a restful sleep.You prop yourself up on your elbows and look to the bed. There, Heinrich Ysoef—onetime Green Knight—jerks and spasms upon the bed as if undergoing a seizure. He cries out in silent agony or outrage (or both), and these twisted feelings only seem to amplify when he fixes his gaze upon you. He shrieks a silent accusation, before his face and body go as rigid as a mortis-stricken corpse… Then limp and languid, as a pouting expression appears upon his face.“You’re no fun at all, baby,” Irinnile-as-Yosef complains. “All work, no play, DULL boy, ya’ know?”“Do you have the power you need to control the Green Knight?” you ask.“…Yeeeaaaah,” Irinnile sighs, eventually. “You know, if you just gave me what I wanted, I’d have the power ta’ keep Ricky all locke dup neat ‘n tidy AN’ do all kinds of other stuff for ya’…”As the demon-possessed-knight speaks, they lean back in a stretch that pushes forwards Yosef’s nonexistent ‘assets’ .Where a dimorphic human female (or demonic mimic of such) might manage to look enticing in such a pose, the Last Heir of the Yosefs looks laughable… But you’re in no mood to laugh.
>>5619898“What are you playing at?” you demand. “We have a pact: you must serve and protect me, and my bloodline, my RACE, and NEVER attempt to control or dominate me.”Irinnile looks a little nervous at that, immediately protesting against the accusation.“I didn’t!” the demonic knight whines, the quailing sound a poor fit for the Green Knight’s gravely throat. “I promise, okay!”“A promise should be unnecessary,” you reiterate. “We have a PACT.”Irinnile looks away, grimacing a little and then suppressing a nervous laugh. You narrow your eyes.“Well, like,” Irinnile begins, then halts. “See, well, like… Umm… Do we?”Your eyes widen.“I-it’s just, like, we didn’t do no RITUAL or nothin’. You kinda’ just made me, like… Pinkie-swear, without any like… Rituals, or circles, or incantations, or…”“You TRICKED me!” you roar, realizing too late why most Reptilians who work with demons do more than lightly dabble in the occult—and why, after all, you keep an Occultist on-staff.“I didn’t, like, take ADVANTAGE or nothin’, though,” Irinnile offers, by way of a defence. “I coulda’, but look at how good we are together! We’re doin’ great things, getting’ ya’ laid—”You reach for your sword and take a step towards the Green Knight. Henrich Yosef, terror of your people and haunter of your dreams for many months, comically hops up onto the bed and shies away. Under Irinnile’s cowardly control, he is no threat…But you are pact-bound not to harm him—ACTUALLY bound by your word, unlike the demoness within the knight. You stop short, and another wave of nausea hits you, sending you sliding down to the floor again. Miserably, you are helpless to so much as slap away Irinnile-ben-Yosef’s hand when the demon-knight comes to pat you comfortingly.“Eeeasy, babycakes,” they whisper.
>>5619899Before you can reply, the door swings open. There stand two of the royal guards assigned to supervise you and your fellow ‘guest’ They evidently came to investigate the commotion in the room, and are shocked to find you have snuck out of your quarters and into Yosef’s during the night. They look between the two of you, and at one another. They seem unsure how to proceed—after all, while you have been under their watchful eye for this past week, neither you nor The Green Knight are formally PRISONERS, or TECHNICALLY forbidden from visiting one another… Even if you did so secretly, under cover of knight, and dodged their supervision to do so.How will you proceed?>You just need some air… Fresh air, out on the grounds… Maybe a trip into the city? You need to clear your head, get some space, plan your next move…>Yosef is a traitor—a betrayer, a danger to Hawksong! This man should be arrested and detained!>You would like to arrange a meeting with Prince Rufos—you, Yosef, and the Prince—to discuss some matters of great importance (and maybe activate the demonic taint within him, to influence him to your cause)>You would meet with Alexos—the Paladin Prince—to demand he end your confinement and finally make good on his oath to you!>Write-in
>>5619901>You would like to arrange a meeting with Prince Rufos—you, Yosef, and the Prince—to discuss some matters of great importance (and maybe activate the demonic taint within him, to influence him to your cause)oh godI don't remember mom needing any rituals for her incubus pacts, I guess Iri must have covered all thatwe're still bound by our word though? I thought it was phrased as this for that, not as we'll do this and you'll do that.
>>5619908>I don't remember mom needing any rituals for her incubus pacts, I guess Iri must have covered all that[Essentially. The 'sealed with a kiss' bit and The Infiltrator being soul-bound to a demon were both key components of those negotiations. Binding and 'taming' Irinnile herself in RIQ was a much more involved affair... And she's only become more intelligent and (having fed quite a bit now) more powerful since then.]>we're still bound by our word though? I thought it was phrased as this for that, not as we'll do this and you'll do that.[The oath to not harm Yosef was made unilaterally, prior to any effort at a demon pact, to reassure Irinnile that you weren't going to kill him and that she should come with you as you left the Mages' Tower.]Technically, you can break that vow, but it will violate your oaths as a Knight Ascendant
>>5619901>>You just need some air… Fresh air, out on the grounds… Maybe a trip into the city? You need to clear your head, get some space, plan your next move…
>>5619897>baby-gpd-nu*baby-god-nut[Funny, spellcheck doesn't recognize either as a word, somehow. Kek.]
>>5619901>You would like to arrange a meeting with Prince Rufos—you, Yosef, and the Prince—to discuss some matters of great importance (and maybe activate the demonic taint within him, to influence him to your cause)
>>5619901>You just need some air… Fresh air, out on the grounds… Maybe a trip into the city? You need to clear your head, get some space, plan your next move…backlink>>5619774
>>5619901You’re lucky I like you Iri, and that you’ve only helped us so far- if you had betrayed us like you betrayed my trust, I do promise that you’d live to regret it.I have half a mind to say fuck it and take a long walk.>>5619914I’ll be straight with ya, I don’t like being hoodwinked like this, nor do I appreciate returning to the paranoid mess that was the Infiltrator- if Iri wasn’t so helpful of her own volition, I probably would’ve voted do something even more drastic.This also raises a serious question- if she needed rituals and shit to be bound to the pact, how, IN THE FLYING FUCK, did a newb Yosef bumble into to sealing a goddamn pack with her? It beggars belief, it honestly does.>“I promise,” you continue, doing the interrupting this time, “not to kill the Green Knight so long as your pact with him remains intact.”And we promised not to personally kill the Green Knight, we make no mention of his physical or mental well-being, and no mention of bare necessities.The other deal- the ‘pact’- remains contingent on her keeping her side of the bargain, for WE made no oaths on that deal, only an agreement apparently not bound by ‘the unbreakable laws of demonic dealmaking’, but by her word and her word only.
>>5620043>I’ll be straight with ya, I don’t like being hoodwinked like this[Sorry, anon. Sometimes NPCs are untrustworthy. Soemtimes your character's knowledge is incomplete. I've been pretty up-front, I feel, with including lots of danger flags about Irinnile's intentions and loyalties, and Theral not being omniscient or skilled in matters demonic.]>how, IN THE FLYING FUCK, did a newb Yosef bumble into to sealing a goddamn pack with her?[Coercive use of a legendary holy weapon, sealed with a magical demonic kiss that had other, dire effects upon him]>WE made no oaths on that deal, only an agreement apparently not bound by ‘the unbreakable laws of demonic dealmaking’[Pacts with demons are only 'unbreakable' on the demon's end under most circumstances. They physically cannot go against the letter of an agreement made under the right circumstances, or properly-sealed. A mortal making the deal generally can, just at the cost of freeing the demon from their end of that bargain at the same time.]
>>5619914fuck, that's rightwe were thinking we already made the oath so we wouldn't lose anything by making the pact, only gainI guess it's not even too much of a setback in that case, just need to find a demonologist to make this pact official
>>5620125Eh. Having some time to think on it, she’s loyal enough without the demonic kiss (at least in non-Yosef matters), and given our unique situation, we can probably coerce her into pact-like adherence if we promise to make Death single her and Yosef out for….special treatment in Hell, if we aren’t satisfied with her actions and loyalty. Can’t escape the Reaper forever Iri.I do hope I don’t have to coerce her though, it’d be a shame to lose our last link to Izzy.>>5620217I mean, we don’t have to- our unique in with Death puts us in a position to enforce our will without suffering the consequences of the demonic kiss. Besides, we don’t need a demonologist if you really think hard about our situation ;)
>>5620187>>5620011>>5619966>>5619929>>5619918>>5619908You exchange a silent look of displeasure with Irinnile. This matter of manipulating you and betraying your trust WILL require redress… But not now.“Uh,” one of the guards finally speaks up, “You aren’t really supposed to be—”“Enough of thisss,” you say, standing up and waiting for your gut to settle and head to clear. “I will not be kept here any longer. I am a free man, yesss? I go where I wish.”“Are you alright?” the other guard asks, a it more compassionate—or maybe you just look that unsteady.You repudiate his concern, declaring: “I’m fine. Fine enough to have a meeting with Princcce Rufosss, to disscusss my ssstay here, and the conditionsss under which it will continue.”“Well, we can transport that message,” the second, seemingly-swifter guard suggests.“That isssn’t all we wish to sspeak with him about,” you clarify, and gesture to ‘Yosef’ as you do so. “The ressst isss not for mixxxed company. It isss a matter of grave importanccce.”Irinnile-as-Yosef waves, and hops delatedly down from the ebd. Both the guards look at them, then at each other, and finally back to you. “We’ll be right back,” the second says.“Stay here,” half-commands the first.“Or elssse?” you ask.Neither human male ahs an answer to that question, and so they go and you remain.“Baby—” Irinnile begins, egntly reaching out to you.“Sssave your breath, and adjust your inflection,” you command succinctly. “We will disscusss this later.The two of you wait in uneasy silence, as you stew in your wounded pride and lost trust, trying to figure out where you went wrong. You miss your loyal lieutenants, your trustworthy allies. Hawksong is a den of vipers—and not, to paraphrase Irinnile, the good kind. Your captivity here is driving you to paranoia.What comes next does little to abate that feeling.
>>5620756The guards return, and the first announces: “Prince Rufos will meet with you, Mister Long.”“Of courssse,” you say, maybe a little snappily.You and Irinnile both step towards the door of the Green Knight’s room, only for the guards to hastily close ranks behind you, and the second to hold up a hand.“Only Mister Long,” the first knight says.“Am I, like, under arrest?” Irinnile asks, surprised more than offended.The guards glance at each other and shake their heads in near-unison.“No, no,” the second guard says, as they part to allow the secretly succubic knight to exit the room. “But… Prince Rufos requests the private meeting of Mister Long. Alone.”That’s the sort of thing to set your <Danger Sense> atingle… or, well, it would if it were a direct, immediate, physical threat. It’s still an unusual request, though.“Why?” you ask.The guards have no answers, for noen were given to them. ‘prince’s orders,’ and no elaboration besides.>Oblige the Prince>Refuse the request—you’re BRINGING Irinnile!>Nevermind then, you’re going to…>>Find Ekaterine—she is awake as well, after all, and you know where her room is>>Find Alexos—you will engage with the more REASONABLE brother, then!>>You’re leaving—you are sick of this palace>Write-in
>>5620757>Oblige the Prince>Get a private moment with Iri to discuss if contact with her ectoplasm is enoughUltimately, she decided to tell the truth, which works in her favor. Let her stew in our displeasure though.
>>5620804+1 to this. No reason not to talk to Rufos, and maybe we can still touch him with some ectoplasm or somethin'.
>>5620757>Oblige the Princewe can at least complain about the babysitters
[Heads up: expect a delayed or misse dudpate today. Staff party after work!]
>>5620804>>5620810>>5620846>>5620909>>5620983“Yess, alright,” you decide. You will oblige the Secondborn Prince. It’s an odd request, but you have no reason not to talk to Rufos, and maybe you can still complain about the rude appointment of these guards… And maybe touch him with some ectoplasm or something? Before you leave with the guards, you decide it wise to ask Irinnile about your options in that regard.“Oh, so now you trust me?” the succubus-infested-knight pouts.“You’ve given me reassson not to,” you acknowledge bluntly, “but I will hear what you have to sssay.”Irinnile winces, but in the end their sheepish reply is simply:“M-maybe? I mean, I think it’s gonna’ have ta’ be more involved than, like, ‘‘haaaack, here’s a glob of ectoplasm, plop, go slap ‘im with I’’, ya’ know?”You think you understand. The exaggerated pantomime of Yosef hocking up a wad of demonic spectral-essence (which draws raised eyebrows and mutterings from your guards) is rather vivid, at least.“The proccesss iss more involved,” you acknowledge. “I am on my own.”You glower at Irinnile, wanting the succubus to feel yoru displeasure, and add: “Maybe I alwysss wass, yesss?”You turn your back to the demon-knight, leaving Irinnile to stammer and stew in your disappointment.“Let’ss go.”The guards guide you to yet-another heretofore unseen chamber stocked with minimalist furnishings and small shelves. The shelves are stocked with books on religion, philosophy, trade—well, the titles on the spines suggest such, anyway, from ‘Ye Economies of ye Easte and Weste Compared and Contrasted’ and ‘Meditations Upon Ye One Hundred Known Godes and Godes’ Children, OR Which to Worshippe?’. In actuality, you note layers of dust and a firmness of structure which indicate they have rarely been removed or opened—they are here for show. The prince, too, sits in a chair higher, more ornate, and more comfortable than the admittedly well-crafted one which you claim for yourself. He looks down upon you—deliberate posture of dominance. You recall meetings with dark eleven princes, with the Chaplain. You don’t like it, but you understand and (to a point) can respect it.“…Sit down, please,” Prince Rufos says dryly, as if you had already done so without permission.You smile. He narrows his eyes.“Stop that,” he says. “Easterlings do not smile so much.”
>>5621977You blink, uncertain how to reply to that.“I… Feel asss if I might know more of the Easst than you?” you eventually hazard, to fill the silence.“I rather doubt it,” he says, pensively tenting his finegrs and leaning evr the desk.“…What do you mean?” you ask, warily.The guards are gone. The door is sealed. It is just the two of you.“You could not even ATTEMPT to geographically pinpoint your origins, ‘Long Wang’. You must improve upon that, if THIS is how you plan to present yourself, in your human guise.”No, you take it all back—paranoia was, indeed, the correct stance. You start to shift, ready for combat, but the Prince snorts derisively and waves at you to settle.“Calm yourself, lizardman,” he says, confirming your suspicions. “If I planned to attack and end you, wouldn’t I have sent more than two guards? Would we be alone in this room together?”You remain leaned forward, tense, ready to spring. You don’t speak for a time, waiting for HIM to explain himself. Eventually, frustrated, he does so.“I did NOT do this for the same reason I will NOT be meeting with your demonic associate, nested within poor, stupid Yosef.”This time, YOU break the lengthy silence which follows.“…Why do you think I am a ‘lizardman’?”“I know you are BECAUSE you travel with my… With the demon.”The Prince fidgets a little when he mentions Yosef and Irinnile, you note. He is sweaty, pallid. Does the proximity of your demonic assistant—infused with the essence and the power of the incubus she consumed—irritate or otherwise affect this Prince of Hawksong, once bound by the pair of hellspawn?“I recognize your kind,” Rufos continues, bitterly. “I have been befuddled by your folk once. Never a second time. And the demon… It has played with me long enough. I was freed, likely in tandem with whatever conflict you engaged in to break and tame the beast.”“You’re welcome,” you say, a little smugly.“Yes, well, forgive me if I don’t gush with gratitude, given that the air of you arrived here to reconquer my mind,” he says, glaring.You meet his gaze levelly, saying nothing, mind racing.
>>5621982“I could have you killed, and easily,” he says, matter-of-factly. “Do you really think you could fight your way through my guards, Father’s Paladins, the entire CITY?”“Maybe,” you say, though you can’t be sure. “You ssaid thiss iss not your plan, though. Why are you NOT doing thiss thing?”The Prince says nothing, but you consider what you know of politics and power—and the jockeying for station which is taking place here, compared to your own struggles to assert dominion over Reptilian culture. This Secondborn Prince… He is waging a war for dominion against his brother, and he is ALREADY at a disadvantage. His claim to fame, his sole merit, is his firmhanded handling of Hawksong’s security concerns—economically stifling, but popular with a populace who have learned to fear foreigners and any unusual denizen who might be a ‘lizardman’ in disguise. You think you get it—who would still support this Prince of Protection, after learning his policies were guided by a demon-cult in alliance with the Reptilian Menace for DECADES? And if he was to just kill you and somehow do away with Yosef-slash-Irrinile WITHOUT revealing your true nature, would his brother not jump upon the opportunity to discredit him as an opportunist who violated oaths and laws to do away with a mouthy and presumptuous (but NOT criminal) foreigner?“What do you want?” you ask him, pointedly.He laughs humourlessly, and counters: “A funny question, from the one who demanded the meeting. What do YOU want? Keeping in mind, of course, that I have no reason to grant it to you, if it’s too egregious.”You blink startled, and consider the question. Before your mind can wander too far, the Prince of Hawksong drums his fingers in noisy irritation upon the arm of his chair, and shifts his stance.“My price, as a STARTING position, is that you remove Yosef from this palace IMMEDIATELY,” he adds. “Any breakdown in negotiations—any betrayal on your part—will result in your utter destruction.”What will you say or do?>Propose an alliance of interests—you will help him surpass his elder brother in status and acclaim, and send Irinnile away, if he enables your continued courtship of Ekaterine>Suggest mutual non-interference, and promise not to stay long or draw untoward attention to him—you are here for a brief spell, and you and Irinnile will leave soon, and just wish to move and act freely>You are here to take his city, but you will spare his miserable life and offer him a place in your retinue if he bends the knee and does your bidding>Why would you need ANYTHING from this weaselly ape-man? He’s a threat—provoke him to violence, and end him here in ‘self defence’!>Flee—you’ve been found out, and you need to get out of here YESTERDAY>Write-in[More generous offers have lower DC, but any promises made will be treated as knightly oaths if he fores the issue, which he VERY LIKELY will.]
>>5621984>Propose an alliance of interests—you will help him surpass his elder brother in status and acclaim, and send Irinnile away, if he enables your continued courtship of EkaterineAnd say something along the lines of.,Fine, you got me. I was sent here to spy on hawksong. Didn’t do a good job it. But now, my priorities have changed now — Ekaterine means more to me than everything else now. All I want to do is to fade away in the background and court her.Backlink>>5620846
>>5621984>Suggest mutual non-interference, and promise not to stay long or draw untoward attention to him—you are here for a brief spell, and you and Irinnile will leave soon, and just wish to move and act freelyYeah, I feel just saying him "It's cool we're banging your sister then we're out" won't work
>>5621984None of these options appeal to me. I actually hate these options quite a bit, all for different reasons.>Propose the alliance of interests, sans Irinnile. If that doesn’t work, default to non-interference, but do not set a timetable down in stone.I want to ensure that Yosef remains under Irinnile’s, and I’m willing to sacrifice an opportunity to expedite our plans just to keep him near us.
>>5621984>You are here to take his city, but you could use a local guide with some power and the ability to calm the sheep- if he is willing to assist you, you could consider installing him as regent when the time comes for a change in leadershipNote the specific wording of "CONSIDER" and not "WILL". Weaseling around the oath as much as possible and not committing to it.
>>5621984>Suggest mutual non-interference, and promise not to stay long or draw untoward attention to him—you are here for a brief spell, and you and Irinnile will leave soon, and just wish to move and act freely>>5622167>None of these options appeal to me.Agreed I think staying out of each other’s way would be best. He clearly knows too much and is a massive threat to us - but with his inferior position relative to his brother, it is a manageable risk Best to finish our business with the Princess and move on
>>5621984>Propose an alliance of interests—you will help him surpass his elder brother in status and acclaim, and send Irinnile away, if he enables your continued courtship of Ekaterine>>5622074There're a few problems with that though. I think we'd be better off claiming we were truthful about everything but land of origin - we are reptilian nobility and do want to court his sister, because we represent a more peaceful faction among our people and want a strong alliance instead of war. Just try not to admit to being a reptilian straight up though.
>>5623295Doesnt he already know we are a lizardman? I like the idea of representing a more peaceful faction tho>>5621982>“Calm yourself, lizardman,” he says, confirming your suspicions.
>>5623326the fuckI didnt put shit on my nameMust be some april fools shit
>>5623326He says he knows, but better to not confirm it for him. Plus he could have people listening in.
>>5623295>>5623034>>5622981>>5622167>>5622105>>5622074[Locked and writing!]>>5623331it is
Rolled 9, 15, 13, 4 = 41 (4d20)>>5623403You consider your response carefully. First and foremost, you make the tactical decision to speak vaguely on the matter—what if he has someone listening outside the chamber, to confirm his suspicions of you and to give him just cause to execute you? It would be a double-edged assault upon your position, endangering his own, but it’s still a possibility.“Let’sss ssay that what you ssusspect iss true,” you begin.“It is.”“Well, then we share interessstss, do we not?”Prince Rufos shakes his head slightly.“I don’t see how,” he says.“I have exxxtracted an oath which bindsss your brother, to whom you are… Shall we ssay, officially ssubordinate?”That terminology visibly rankles the Secondborn Prince, but you don’t let that stop you from pressing on.“You wish to have power here, In Hawksssong. Your brother, Alexxxosss, is an impediment. I could help you sssurpasss him…”“As your pawn?” Rufos scoffs.“Asss a partner,” you say, diplomatically.“Equals? You and I? Absurd.”“I agree,” you say, and you mean it, though for different reason. “Ssstill, we DO share thiss interessst… Thisss obssstacle… And all I ask in exxxchange isss that you ssstay out of my way… And give me Ekaterine.”Rufos’ fingers interlace atop the desk, their grip upon one another tightening. His expression hardens.“I ssstill mean to court her,” you explain. “It’sss my primary goal, in fact. I am not here to conquer your cccity.”(Not yet, anyway.)“It is a good thing, lizard, that you are not here to do the impossible.”“I am not a ‘lizard’,” you correct him.“Do not—”“If you mussst persssisst in thiss notion, consider me… A dragon.”The Prince regards you coolly, obviously not understanding the significance.“I will not sssend away Yosssef,” you say simply. “I do not need to. I will ssimply keep my ally away from you… And you will arrange for a meeting with Irinnile. In exxxchange, I will help you gain the power you sseeek.”[DC 15/17]
>>5623510>15The Prince of Hawksong glowers at you over his desk. You regard him calmly, awaiting his reply.“I make no promises,” he says.You still say nothing. He has not called guards, drawn steel, or done anything else to preicipate your ‘utter destruction’, so you know that negotiations are not yet over.“Prove your worth,” Rufos says, “and I will see to it you are given leave to meet with Ekaterine… Maybe even give my blessing.”He stands, and so do you. You make to leave, but to yoru surprise—and mild outrage, honestly-the smaller man circles around to block your exit. Does he really think he can stop you leaving?(Well, maybe. Your jaunt as you dream-self reminded you of who you are, in the end: the same Dragonborn you ever were, here deprived of even your <Dragonshape>. You have been victorious more often than not, but you are not INVINCIBLE. What is this human prince capable of, given his less-astute brother’s impressive martial capability?)“Make no mistake, ‘Long Wang’: you may think me some sort of lever to pry open Hawksong and extract… Whatever it is you want… But I love my sister. I will NOT let you bring ruin upon her.”You blink, trying to parse his meaning.“Ssso, you WON’T grant me your blessssing?” you ask.“I will on TWO conditions, beyond that which we have already discussed,” the Prince of Hawksong states, and holds up his hand—first displaying one digit. “Firstly, you will NOT harm her, EVER. Ekaterine will be SAFE, unblemished, and unviolated.”“Hm,” you reply, noncommittal.“Second,” Rufos continues, raising a second finger to accompany the clause, “you will NOT reveal your… TRUE self… In any way so as to embarrass her or bring her harm. Long Wang the auspicious Eastern exorcist may be seen with Princess Ekaterine. NEVER a lizard.”“I already told you,” you say, pushing past him. “I am no ‘lizard’.”Prince Rufos grabs you by the shoulder.“I mean it,” he says.You hesitate, then shrug him off. He made you swear no oath…But will you, anyway?>No>Yes>Yes, but modified [how?]And how, exactly, do you plan to strengthen Rufos’ claim to the throne?>Seek out the Paladin King of Hawksong, called Archos, to manipulate his favour>While Irinnile has betrayed your trust, the demon is still broadly ‘on your side’, and a useful tool—perhaps dream-delving could be used to affect the course of succession?>Take a trip into town to meet with your Infiltrator allies, and set about procuring ACTUAL poison, to wield against your foes—the king, or maybe his eldest son directly?>Your victories in war and the hunting of great beasts earned you respect—perhaps taking Rufos on a campaign or hunting trip could grant him the same prestige among his people?>Write-in
>>5623530>Yes, but modified [how?]>Ekaterine will be kept safe>I will only reveal the lizard self ONLY IF she manages to figure it outNo reason to be hiding it at that point.>Seek out the paladin kingdream delving is a little too riskypoison sounds too obvious Campaigning and hunting is a little too dangerous for theral. Too many opportunities for accidents to happen.backlink>>5622074
>>5623530>NoHe made no promise, nor swore any oath. We can say we will take care to ensure her wellbeing, but I ain’t putting an oath on it if he won’t reciprocate.>While Irinnile has betrayed your trust, the demon is still broadly ‘on your side’, and a useful tool—perhaps dream-delving could be used to affect the course of succession?Spilling poison in the King’s ear LotR style is too good to pass up.>Your victories in war and the hunting of great beasts earned you respect—perhaps taking Rufos on a campaign or hunting trip could grant him the same prestige among his people?I like this idea as well- a hunt and campaign sounds really kino right about now.
>>5623530>Yes, but modified [how?]WE won't harm her (huehuehue)with an exception for hymen tearing if that would count as harm>you will NOT reveal your… TRUE self… with the intention of embarrassing her or causing her harmlets us reveal for self defense/other reasons, plus we can reveal all we like after we conquer the world because then a reptilian husband will be a status symbol and not embarrassingand of course, both of these are contingent on him doing his part, which frees us from any one sided commitment.>Seek out the Paladin King of Hawksong, called Archos, to manipulate his favour>Your victories in war and the hunting of great beasts earned you respect—perhaps taking Rufos on a campaign or hunting trip could grant him the same prestige among his people?also seems good, sure the risk of accidents is there but if we organize the trip it shouldn't be too bad
>>5623530>No>Seek out the Paladin King of Hawksong, called Archos, to manipulate his favour
>>5624137>>5623601>>5623590>>5623558[We seem to have a toss-up at the moment, so I'll leave this open a little longer.]
>>5623530Make no oath but we can say yes we wont hurt your sister, we dont have to swear anything plus we dont plan on hurting Ekaterine while we court her afaik
>>5624528>>5624530[And the second part of the vote, anon?]
>>5623530>>Yes, but modified [how?]Not be revealed to any of your subjects.>Seek out the Paladin King of Hawksong, called Archos, to manipulate his favour
Rolled 12, 3, 18 = 33 (3d20)>>5624528>>5624137>>5623601>>5623590>>5623558>>5624663“I have no intention to harm Ekaterine, nor to exxxpose or embarasss anyone."“Tell that to my brother,” Rufos sniffs, though he doesn’t sound all that miffed about Alexos’ humiliation in truth.“I vow to bring no 'ruin' to Ekaterine, no physical harm or deliebrate shame. I will ONLY reveal mysself for... Who I truly am... If she asskss, and forccesss my hand, or in an effort to protect her, or to those who have already dissscovered or otherwise know.""Rather specifically-worded, isn't that" Prince Rufos criticizes."I sswear you no other oath, though,” you add, ignoring his interruptions. “After all, I don’t hear YOU moving to do sso, either.”There’s little he can say to that, it seems, or perhaps he simply doesn’t see any need. You’ve both said your peace. An uneasy alliance is struck, for now. You don’t necessarily trust this human not to betray you, but nor do YOU have any sense of loyalty to HIM. You are bound together by convenience and mutual risk—that he might reveal your true nature, that you might reveal his compromised status. It’s the sort of careful balance an Infiltrator often works best within…A shame, then, that you are no Reptilian infiltrator. Frankly, the whole act is exhausting and stressful to you. You have long ago resolved not to hide your true self, even pledged yourself to a Dark God who glories in boastful revelations of truth as an expression of power. You are a Dragon King, sneaking about in the skin of a monkey-man, in the court of another, enemy sovereign. It is anathema to you.Well, perhaps it is time that king met king?You could do so in dreams, but… Well, you aren’t certain how much you trust Irinnile, after last night and this morning. The demon’s loyalty to you seems predicated on the same sort of passing mutual interest as Rufos’ cooperation, albeit (possibly) strengthened somewhat by fond remembrances of your mother. Hinging this next, delicate stage of your operations upon the succubus seems a foolhardy thing to do, however one looks at it. Instead, you use <Guidance> to divine the whereabouts of the King of Hawksong—the Paladin King, Archos, long a priority target of your race’s machinations.
>>5624669>18It is… Surprisingly difficult. You are able to do so, but it takes time, effort. Is he shielded from the crying eye of those who can perceive fate and fortune, by his false gods or by some sorcerous machination? Sneaking to him, even with <Shadow> and <Dazzle> your shield, would risk discovery and confrontation, but demanding an audience would bring attention to your next move…What IS your next move?>Discuss the feud between the Paladin King’s princely sons, and the deleterious effect this is having upon the kingdom’s security—he must choose a successor, and YOU believe it should be Rufos.>Try to persuade the Paladin king of the necessity of a war against the Southlands, and that he must personally command it—accelerate your original plan!>You wish to meet with your future father-in-law to discuss that very matter—your bet with Alexos, your desire to court and wed Ekaterine, and the blessing you wish to earn with him—maybe you could hunt and destroy some threat to the kingdom, to prove your worth?>Write-inHow will you gain access to him?>Conspiracy—have Rufos grant you access, though it means he will be privy to discussions>Subterfuge—try to find a corruptible guard or councillor to bribe or coerce>Stealth—it will be DIFFICULT to sneak into his chambers, but not IMPOSSIBLE>Demonic dream-delving—Irinnile really IS your best bet, isn’t she? Ugh…>The direct approach—demand that Alexos introduce you to his father>Write-in
>>5624676>The direct approach—demand that Alexos introduce you to his fatherhaving him give us access to his dad only to trash talk him and promote his brother instead is based
>>5624676>Try to persuade the Paladin king of the necessity of a war against the Southlands, and that he must personally command it—accelerate your original plan!>You wish to meet with your future father-in-law to discuss that very matter—your bet with Alexos, your desire to court and wed Ekaterine, and the blessing you wish to earn with him—maybe you could hunt and destroy some threat to the kingdom, to prove your worth?Two birds with one stone.>Demonic dream-delving—Irinnile really IS your best bet, isn’t she? Ugh…
>>5624676>Discuss the feud between the Paladin King’s princely sons, and the deleterious effect this is having upon the kingdom’s security—he must choose a successor, and YOU believe it should be Rufos.>ConspiracyRufos is listening in? Good. Backlink>>5623558
>>5624824Supporting this >>5623034Backlink
>>5625330>>5625216>>5625171>>5624824>>5624823[Locked and writing!]
>>5625580Earning Prince Rufos trust IS key, if you’re to have any success in your MAIN objective in this place. You are simply not accustomed to working under the direct supervision of an enemy, and you even if you and the male human will never be FRIENDS, you can at least be amicable enough that he leave you alone to do what you must with Princess Ekaterine. At least, you hope so. Regardless, promoting him up the line of succession should keep him busy and, as the humans say, ‘out of your hair’.You plan your approach carefully. A direct approach appeals most to you, or at least the arrangement of a meeting through Rufos… But you cannot fail here, or create a situation where the Secondborn prince PERCEIVES you as failing. He must see you as a useful tool in his machinations if you’re to avoid exposure or confrontation, and gain access to Ekaterine in the waking world. HA! Imagine: you, the humans’ tool, as if it were not truly the reverse.And speaking of tools, that’s where Irinnile comes in.“So… You forgive me?” Irinnile ben Yosef asks, when you return.It is late in the day, after dinner has been brought to both of your quarters, when you finally deign to visit the possessed knight again. Partly, this was to avoid undue scrutiny or raising any alarm bells from Rufos, who is wary of the creature within the Green Knight. Partly, it’s because you share some of his misgivings. At present, though, the demon’s dream-delving capability is your best bet to prime Paladin King Archos for the ‘real’ meeting ahead.Ugh. It is what it is, you suppose.It is a testament to Rufos’ limited extension of trust that, though you can heard guard patrols outside the room, none check in on you. As night falls, you take up your meditative position upon the floor once more. Irinnile—rather, YSOEF—plops into your lap, leaning back against you.“…You are not going to transform into your female shape?” you ask, after a long enough period of time has passed that this does indeed seem to be the case.“Soooome~one doesn’t wanna’ give me any more mana than he absolutely NEEDS ta’!” Irinnile reminds you.You still can’t help but feel the succubus is trying to manipulate you—after all, ‘he’ shapeshifted into a ‘she’ last time, and the demon surely has more mana now than before your kiss. Bah! You squeeze your eyes shut again, focusing on the mission rather than the impudent imp—“SUCCUBUS, thank you VERY much! I ain’t no shitty l’il IMP, baby.”
>>5625639You open your eyes, and are about to chastise your demonic ally for invading your thoughts again… Only to see the green-skinned, tattooed devil-woman hovering in open, misty ‘air’ before you. You look down, and find yourself once more in your own default form—your dream-form.“Go-time?” Irinnile asks.“Yes,” you agree.Irinnile leads you through the palace—or, rather, its shadow-archetype, a dark and somehow dingy place, silent like an empty shrine. Grey, spectral shapes, those of guards and staff still awake, drift by ephemerally, their footfalls muffled to your astral ears. Only when you drift by the quarters of the sleeping servants do you hear the quiet rhythm of voices, the occasional burst of laughter or panicked cry. A dull orange-white glow peers out from under their doors—the light of dreams, which you could enter, influence, as you plan to affect those of their sleeping king.Your earlier use of <Guidance> grants you rough geographic knowledge of the Paladin King. Irinnile, your guide in this warped mirror-realm, helps triangulate it in reference to the subtly-shifted dimensions of the architecture here, moulded and reshaped by popular unconscious perception. Important or oft-frequented chambers are larger-than-life, dull hallways and rarely-visited wings are vague and foreshortened.“Trippy, huh?” Irinnile chirps, cheerfully.“Hm.”“Still sour at me?” she pouts. “Come ooon, be cool! How about, like, a quick little handy to make it up to ya’?”You glare at her, ignoring the suggestive motion of her cupped hand until she stops and sighs.“Eyes on the prize?”“Yes.”You soon approach that prize: the private quarters of Paladin King Archos. There is the say glow of dreamlight emanating from between the two great doors to his overlarge sleeping-chamber, symbol of mammalian decadence. But there is also something… Else. A different, bluish sort of glow. You and irinniel exchange a glance.“Wards?” you ask.Irinnile nods, cringing, and gingerly presses upon the door with one finger. She yelps at a quasi-electric spark which snaps at her offending digit, and draws back her hand, suckling upon the afflicted finger for a moment as she considers her options.“I guess it’s, like, no big SHOCKER that th’ Kinga a’ the Pallypals is hidden behind anti-demon wards, ‘specially with all the hubbub about demon cults and Southern demonists ‘n all that shit, huh?”You seethe silently. Why did you not consider that? Was this all wasted effort? Maybe you should just return to your own body, or pay a visit to Ekaterine…“Hey now, my blue0balled baby boy, lets’ not get all defeatist YET!” Irinnile says, reaching up to squeeze your cheeks.You resist the urge to bite her, and wait to hear your options.Hands on hips, one thrust out to the side, the succubus outlines her analysis of the situation:
>>5625642“Way I see it,” she begins, “I sure as fuck ain’t getting’ in there, but YOU just might…”“Might?” you interject.“Yeah, well…” Irinnile trails off, giggling nervously. “He MIGHT have other defences, an’ you still got here through, like, demon-y magic, right? If his defences are too strong, or YOU fuck-up—like, no offence, just sayin’, just sayin’, IF!—then your spirit’s gonna’ be all, like, vulnerable, an’ trapped, an’ away from yoru body, an’ I can’t do shit about none of that.”Your displeasure deepens.“ButbutbutbutBUUUUUUUT—BIG but!” Irinnile turns around popping her hips the other way and inflating her astral form’s rear to a pleasantly-jiggling bounciness to seize your attention and emphasize the point. “You give in and give ME a bit more juice, an’ maybe I can use my Greater Demon mojo ta’ crack that open an’ offer you some more protection.”She looks you up and down appraisingly.“Maybe make you look less lizardy, too, while we’re at it. Can’t imagine Archy-poo’s gonna’ wanna’ talk shop with you all scaley an’ shit, no offence or whatever.”You don’t’ exactly like the idea of powering the succubus up, especially when it risks losing any fragment of your divine ‘package’. You look towards the door, and wonder… Is there another option? You are in a realm of dreams, and the Red Dragon King’s immortal souls ‘slumbers’ within you… Maybe you could awaken it in this place, and ally more directly with him, rather than having this unclean spirit siphon his power to wield.“Heeey, hey now,” irinnile begins warily, floating around to meet you at eye-level. “You really think you can trust that big ol’ stinker more than Aunty Iri? Come on—just ‘cause you can’t, like, literally CONTROL someone with binding magical whatsists doesn’t mean they’re, like… Not your friend!”You remain silent. The succubus grows visibly nervous, fidgeting where she floats.“Come on, babycakes, we’re still friends… Right?”You consider Irinnile…>A friend>An ally, maybe, but NOT a ‘friend’>A tool of convenience, but no true ally>A dangerous wildcard, potentially a liability or foe>An enemy, though you shield that thought from her with the Diadem and your shamanic willpowerWhat will you do about the magical barrier protecting King Archos?>Attempt to force your way in yourself [Spellcraft DC 18]>Give Irinnile some more power [Risk of corruption [Religion DC 15], unknown other risks [???], Spellcraft DC 10]>Awaken the Red Dragon King [Unknown risks [???], automatic success to enter the Paladin King’s dreams]>Forget this—you’ll dream-delve elsewhere tonight [Ekaterine? Roth or Olu? Someone else? Please specify.]>Nevermind—return to your body and tackle this in the material realm tomorrow>Write-in
>>5625643>An ally, maybe, but NOT a ‘friend’Open to future friendship but we've only known her for like a week? Also she's kinda in love with our archenemy.>Forget this—you’ll dream-delve elsewhere tonight [Ekaterine? Roth or Olu? Someone else? Please specify.]Even if we break through these wards, and there are no others, and we successfully influence the king, what's gonna happen tomorrow when they notice the wards are broken and the king is like "yeah I had this weird ass dream that I should give the throne to Rufos". Brute force isn't the answer here.
>>5625643>A dangerous wildcard, potentially a liability or foe>Awaken the Red Dragon King [Unknown risks [???], automatic success to enter the Paladin King’s dreams]We should have been getting the red dragons help from the very beginning, he is a skilled sorcerer and would have prevented us from signing the one sided pact with Irinnile.
>>5625643>>An ally, maybe, but NOT a ‘friend’Not a friend yet. Ready to trust her.>Forget this—you’ll dream-delve elsewhere tonight [Ekaterine? Roth or Olu? Someone else? Please specify.]Time to swoon some princesses
>>5625774>Please specify[Who do you wish to dream-delve instead?]
>>5625826Supporting this.Full Princess plan
>>5625826+1. Honestly, if we can convince Ekaterine to elope with us, we don't need to continue fucking about with the rest of it.
>>5625774>>5625780>>5625826>>5625893>>5625945>>5625868>>5625980“I am not looking for a ‘friend’,” you say, phrasing your doubts as diplomatically as you can, “but a reliable ally.”“…An’ that’s me, right?” Irinnile asks hopefully.You shrug, and afford a slight nod. Better to have her with you than against you, at any rate. It seems to make the demon happy enough based upon her too-wide, too-gleeful smile. It’s vaguely unsettling, especially knowing that she is willing to lie and manipulate you in service of her own Hellish whims… And is still bound by ties of love and loyalty to the Green Knight.Hm.“So,” Irinnile asks, snapping you out of your introspection, ‘what’s the play, big boy?”You regard the door to the Paladin King’s chamber once more, and consider ways by which you might enter… btu what then? What if you fail to best the wards or what if, having bested them, you cannot reconstruct them? Would it not raise an instant alarm if, upon waking from a peculiar dream in a room with mysteriously-shattered mystical protections, the king suddenly altered his line of succession? Surely the humans are not THAT careless, even in this citadel city of theirs?“We leave,” you declare. “The risk is too great. I would see Eka, instead. Her father can wait until morning.”“…Eka?” Irinniel asks, hovering alongside you as you stride back the way from whence you came.“Yes?” you say, suddenly uncertain. “It is a… Nickname, yes? Like the shortening of ‘Irinnile’ to ‘Iri’.”“Yeah, no, I get that,” Irinnile replies. “But… Why ‘Eka’? Not, like, ‘Kat’?”You tilt your head, trying to parse the significance.“Like, you know, ‘nyan~’?” Irinnile suggests helpfully, materializing a headband with what you gather to be the ears of the surface animals known as ‘cats’., and making some strange paw-like gesture with one hand.You’ve seen a few of these small, semi-feral mammals around Hawksong, in passing, though they mostly skittered away from you with obvious displeasure. They don’t really resemble Ekaterine in any obvious fashion.“She is a primate, not a felid,” you eventually say, voicing your puzzlement.“Nevermind,” Irinnile sighs, and the ears vanish as you arrive at the door to Ekaterine’s chamber.This door is not sealed by magic, at least—a remarkable oversight in the palace’s mystical security-measures, when one considers how easily the Princess might be manipulated into a weapon against her father. (Well, there’s certainly a thought…)
>>5625992You push a palm against the door, and a moment later you are inside—passed through the portal, as if a ghost or intangible entity. You ARE a disembodied spirit, after all. Irinnile is instantly at your side, both of you peering down upon the faintly-luminescent sleeping figure of Princess Ekaterine.“She is dreaming,” you note.“Looks like a peaceful one,” Irinnile adds, then looks slyly at you through narrowed eyes, smirking broadly. “Gonna’, like, sex it up a little? You two were getting’ real cozy on that bench, weren’t cha’?”You narrow your eyes at the succubus.“I can help with that much, ya’ know,” she says, lifting and lowering her eyebrows slightly. “Come on, let your ally give ya’ a ahnd, if I can’t give ya’ a handy, hmmmm?”What is your plan, upon this visitation?>You are, indeed, here to fan the flames of the Princess’ stifled lust, and to prep her for further daylight visitations—and, should it come to it, an expedient emergency impregnation>You’re here to further encourage Princess Ekaterine’s independent streak—you want to bring to light the crimes of the Gods of Light, and share something of your own True Faith with her>You wish to wield Ekaterine as a weapon against Alexos and Archos, Paladin Prince and Paladin King, in order to advance Rufos (or her own?) claim to the throne>Write-inWill you accept Irinnile’s direct aid in warping Ekaterine's mind through magic?>Yes, you will do whatever you must, and you only need a 'quick and dirty' solution>No, you'd rather win her over on your own merits, for a more lasting effect
>>5625993>You are, indeed, here to fan the flames of the Princess’ stifled lust, and to prep her for further daylight visitations—and, should it come to it, an expedient emergency impregnation>You’re here to further encourage Princess Ekaterine’s independent streak—you want to bring to light the crimes of the Gods of Light, and share something of your own True Faith with her>Yes, you will do whatever you must, and you only need a 'quick and dirty' solutionI do hope Iri earns her ‘friend’ status eventually. Also don’t mind a more lasting effect desu.
>>5625993>>You are, indeed, here to fan the flames of the Princess’ stifled lust, and to prep her for further daylight visitations—and, should it come to it, an expedient emergency impregnation>No, you'd rather win her over on your own merits, for a more lasting effectAlthough the sex demon can set up the mood, let's not be overreliant
>>5625993>>You are, indeed, here to fan the flames of the Princess’ stifled lust, and to prep her for further daylight visitations—and, should it come to it, an expedient emergency impregnationThis is our true goal, the deal with the prince was just to buy time.>>No, you'd rather win her over on your own merits, for a more lasting effectWe chose not to force her in the waking world, is this not the dream equivalent?
>>5625993>You are, indeed, here to fan the flames of the Princess’ stifled lust, and to prep her for further daylight visitations—and, should it come to it, an expedient emergency impregnation>Yes, you will do whatever you must, and you only need a 'quick and dirty' solution.
>>5627417>>5626699>>5626382>>5626364>>5626273>>5626154>>5626052[Locked and writing!]
>>5627558These repeated setbacks have only, ultimately, served to remind you of your true purpose here. You AREN’T some human suitor come to ingratiate yourself to your chosen mate’s family, and to win their favour. You are here to impregnate, and if need be KIDNAP, Princess Ekaterine. The rest is mere set-dressing, add-ons and advantageous addendums. If you can dismantle and subvert the royal household, that is well and good, but you aren’t HERE for them—you’re here for HER.And so, you accept Irinnile’s aid.“You won’t regret it,” the demoness assures you, stroking your chin ad sensually kissing your cheek. “You’re gonna’ get fuckin’ LAAAAIIID tonight, baby!”You’re willing to take her word for it—if anything, THIS is her forte. You can only imagine the dreams and fantasies which imprison the rebellious spirit of the Green Knight, even now. Guided by Irinnile, you return to Ekaterine’s dreamscape—a world of shifting, but always sterile and empty, gardens and studies. They blend and meld into each other, a womb-like prison of constant development, without any true emergence or realization of herself. It almost reminds you of…“Hey, HEY, none a’ that!”Irinnile snaps her fingers repeatedly before your eyes, breaking your philosophical reverie.“You’re here to stuff some cock in some cooch,” she reminds you, adopting a helmeted militaristic persona, hand behind back (albeit clutching a rather fetishistic riding crop). “Don’t get all lost in the weeds, big boy. We got a JOB ta’ do, if ‘Eka’ si gonna’ give you a ‘job’, ya’ knw? Bitch is a VIIIR-gin. Frigid as SHIT, ya’ get me”You’re not sure you do, entirely, but you nod along nevertheless. Irinnile smiles, and explains:“You gotta’ sweep her off her feet. It’s easier, when it’s a dream. Take advantage fo that, like, feeling of unreality. Get her all comfy and cozy and warmed up. Let her know that she can do whatever she wants, an’ there ain’t no consequences. Get her used ta’ thinking that you’re her, like, sexual FANATSY—a big, strong, double-dicked lizard-guy. Ain’t gonna’ be TOO tricky, apart from the ‘lizard’ bit, ya’ know?”You slowly nod.“Look,” Irinnile says, placing a hand upon your shoulder. “I got your back. Just… Get in there. Both senses of the words, aight?”You nod again, and proceed into the Princess’ ever-impermanent inner garden.
Rolled 7, 12, 13, 10 = 42 (4d20)>>5627575This time, it is… Different. The hedge-maze guide you inwards, past near-explicit sculptures. You see carved stone evocative of entangles bodies, topiary eliciting artistic nudes of heroic (and erotic) proportions. When you find the Princess, she is half-clad in a loose, gauzy nightgown—a translucent parody of what she wears in the real world—and fanning herself.“Ah! Mister, um… Dragonborn, yes?” she asks, laughing nervously. “I… This isn’t the best time?”You take a step forward, feeling the gentle pressure of Irinnile’s encouragement pushing you forwards.“Isssn’t it?” you ask.Ekaterine, Princess foo Hawksong, looks at you in confusion and alarm, but you press on, advancing towards her. The clasps of your tunic come undone, exposing your chest; your armour seems to fall away, except where it strategically will not get in the way of what you intend. Ekaterine’s own gown blows open, exposing hints of soft, supple, pale human flesh to your hungry gaze. The two of you lock eyes only when you can tear your eyes away from each other’s bodies. It is only then that you see the green, spectral hands undoing your garb, caressing your extremities, pressing you together.“I…” Ekaterine begins, looking up at you in confusion. “I feel… Strange. When did you… How did we… Where ARE we?”You look down at her—far taller than her even in your natural form—and slowly move your arms around her waits, pulling her to you.“We are where we are meant to be,” you say, your voice a quiet rumble. “We are together. We have been kept apart too long.”[DC normally 15, 10 with Irinnile's aid; normally 20 for a cit, currently 17]
>>5627576>13>>Normally a failure, ONLY a success due to IrinnileEkaterine squeaks cutely in protest at your close contact, your familiarity… But before she can so much as voice a protest, the green-skinned, tattooed form of your ‘Hot Aunty Iri’ slides into place behind her, sandwiching her between the two of you. The demon is almost imperceptible, a half-illusory form, but her effect is real enough: she gropes at Ekaterine, nibble and kissing the human princess’ neck and earlobe, cupping and kneading her breasts The Princess arches her back, pressing into you and gasping, shocked and almost APALLED at her sudden surge of desire. She clutches at you, but it is like a woman lost at sea—frightened, confused, lost. She looks up at you, as if seeking safe harbour….“NOW.”…And you offer no such thing, instead letting your demonic wingman guide your hands to mirror her movements. The Princess writhes, struggling weakly in your gas, but before long she gives into pleasure—raw, primal indistinct and abstract. He clothes fall away, as do yours. Your astral organs swell, as well your physical equivalent must be doing even now. Where you fail to kiss for lack of primate lips, you instead lap at her face, her throat—she gasps, moans, curls into you. You lay her down upon a loveseat, and make use of it—and of her—for their intended purposes.In dream, both of you controlled almost as puppets of the succubus, you take Ekaterine for your own for the first time.“Nnn… Dr-dragon… Dragonborn, you need… I need… Please slow down!”But you don’t. Won’t. CAN’T. Even in your conjured conjugal interlude with Irinnile, you never experienced… THIS. Buoyed by succubic bliss, you experience sensuality in this dreamworld such as you never have in the waking one. The Princess’ body is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced—so hot, so warm, more pliable even than Glowie or Davora. It is as if, in dreaming, Ekaterine’s flesh moulds to your whims, and crumbles and breaks as her willpower does. She clings to you like a film, squeezes around you like putty, squeezes you like a velvet vice. Her eyes are ever on you—dazed, confused, half-empty, but for NO ONE ELSE—and you feel as if you fully own her, and she you.“Why can’t I… Why must I…” she gasps. “Why… Why like this? With YOU? Why… Why do I get to feel this freedom only in DREAMS?!”Her hips move in contrast to her conflicted words—with such enthusiasm as you have never felt, legs locked around you prevent escape.“Not only in dreamssss,” you hiss. “Thisss isss real!”
>>5627590As orgasm takes the Princess, she can only cry out in agreement—wordless, but unmistakable. To her, now, consumed with this fleeting dream, this is real anything ever could be.“Come with me,” you beckon her thereafter, stroking talon-nails across her skin in the afterglow, setting her to shuddering. “I will come for you. Will you be mine?”Princess Ekaterine can only shiver, and mutter indistinctly… But her small, human hand clings to our great, clawed one. You tilt your head a little, hoping for a better answer. Perhaps another round—a chance for YOU to find your OWN release—will grant you the answer you seek?“Babycakes...”You look away from Ekaterine for a moment, following the ethereal voice. You see no form to match the sound, but when you look back upon Ekaterine, in is instead Irinnile entangled with you, cooing gently, stroking your still-inflated heimpenes.“She woke up,” the succubus explains, before comforting you “woke up wet, ready, still THINKING about you…”“She will leave with me, if I request it?” you ask.“…Maybe,” Irinnile says, with less certainly, hand’s motion halted for a moment. “If you move quick.”You nod again, considering your options. Before you can think too deeply, you are interrupted by a provocative contraction around your split-tipped genitals—Irinnile, hand squeezing both shafts, while her other massaged the base. Her eyes meet yours.“Took a lot of juice to keep her under, AND Ricky,” she says pointedly. “Only seems fair you give me a bit a’ yours… An’ smart, right? Don’t want anyone waking up an’ spoiling the plot a’ your little bodice-ripper, amirite?”
>>5627592“Irinnile…” you snarl, rejecting this imposition automatically.“Come oooon,” she whines, beginning to pump you more aggressively. “You want outta’ this shithole, right? Well, so do I! You don’t want me—fine! Ricky does, an’ YOU want ‘Eka’. The rest is all, like… Set-dressing, right? You do me, I give you the Princess, you get the fuck outta’ dodge an’ me… Me an’ Ricky go our own way! Why draw it out?”You gnash your fangs, half-consumed with <appetite>.“We’re not friends,” the succubus pointedly acknowledges, “but we’re, like, birds of a feather. Do me a solid, I do you a solid, we both go our own way. I mean, why not?”Ekaterine is primed for an elopement and impregnation—that much is true. If your only objective is to spirit her away from this place, this is your best opportunity… Though she may well regret it later, when she regains her faculties. It is a more ‘genteel’ form of the same rape your ejected earlier… But ‘rape’ is no bad word, in your culture, unless perpetrated in defiance of the Fleshweavers’ breeding authority, and you are WELL beyond violating those ancient taboos, aren’t you?And even if you remain… Well, Irinnile has expended additional energy to render your Princess impressionable, ready for ‘Long Wang’ to seduce. You suspect that keeping the Green Knight under her control will require another ‘kiss’, another donation of mana and power. It will further exhaust you, and empower this out-of-control demon.What will you do? Will you…>Abscond with Ekaterine—take her away from the palace, away from her interfering family, on a daring date>Kidnap Ekaterine outright—take advantage of her discombobulated state to escort her far from Hawksong and into your embrace>Visit ‘Eka’ in the waking world, while she is impressionable, and woo her as ‘Long Wang’, without leaving Hawksong or abandoning her position in the royal family thereof>Let Ekaterine continue to stew in the waking world, while you focus on building influence with her familyAnd what of Irinnile? Will you…>Empower her with another ‘kiss’, to keep the Green Knight under her control for a day or two>Embrace her fully, giving her enough power to leave the city with Heinrich Yosef under her control, and go your separate ways>Refuse her manipulations and seductions, and reject her entreaties utterly>Attempt to seduce the succubus and bend her completely to your will, over and above the Green Knight’s? [VERY high DC, failure has consequences][Write-ins allowed for either, but they better be clever. Having your cake and eating it to results in either instant failure or crazy-high DC
>>5627595>Visit ‘Eka’ in the waking world, while she is impressionable, and woo her as ‘Long Wang’, without leaving Hawksong or abandoning her position in the royal family thereof>Empower her with another ‘kiss’, to keep the Green Knight under her control for a day or twoI wanna work on our relationship. We may be just allies now, but I do hope that we can call Aunty Iri a genuine friend soon, if only for the sake of our Mother.And I ain’t letting Yosef become unsupervised.
>>5627595Also, I do hope to seduce Iri from the Green Knight later on, if only because I find that whole affair irksome on a fundamental level.
>>5627600Supporting this Get Long Wang to focus the discussion on how free our life is - how we’re able and encouraged to indulge our passions We need to win Iri over (or dominate her) - we can’t let her leave with the Green Knight
>>5627600+1Seems like the best optionBacklink>>5626154
>>5627600+1, adding a note that Irinnile values her freedom greatly and will never fully have that with Yosef, whereas we could be convinced to let her fully run rampant with a coterie of demons if it was to our ends.
>>5627595>Empower her with another ‘kiss’, to keep the Green Knight under her control for a day or two>Abscond with Ekaterine—take her away from the palace, away from her interfering family, on a daring date
>>5628214>>5628034>>5627671>>5627665>>5627612>>5627601[Seems like we have a pretty clear consensus, more or less. Locked and writing!]
>>5628455You pry Irinnile away from you while she whines in protest.“You will go nowhere,” you say sternly. “You are needed here.”“Ooooh?” she asks, smiling slyly and licking her lips. “What kinda’ need?”“I am not done with the Princess,” you clarify. “You are a useful asset.”Irinnile pouts, but brightens somewhat when you step forward to embrace her. You only afford the demon a ‘kiss’, but it is enough to sate her for now, and to replenish her energy reserves. At least you certainly hope so—two nights of dream-delving and granting the demoness your mana have left you feeling tired even in spite of technically taking your torpor, while your adamant refusal of her repeated entreaties to partake in GREATER pleasure have left you restless in other ways. This arrangement, you realize, is not tenable in the long run… Yet still, you are reluctant to lose Irinnile as an ally, dubious though her intentions may be. She was your mother’s great love, after all, and is a useful enough fiend…And leaving the Green Knight unsupervised? THAT is an anxiety-inducing notion, even bound to the lust-demon as he may be at present.You decide to take your breakfast in the palace’s dining hall rather than in your chamber, an arrangement that the guards do not attempt to intercept as they once did. You suppose Rufos has removed your proverbial shackles somewhat, to see what you will do… Or perhaps he hopes that, with a loose enough leash, you will hang yourself. Regardless, you make the most of the opportunity to socialize with Irinnile in less prison-like confines.“Thisss arrangement, you begin, setting down a fork with a half-eaten sausage impaled upon it, “it isss… unpleasant.”“Well yeah,” Irinnile-as-Yosef remakrs, mouth still full of a mishmash of every available foodstuff, mushed together on the demon-knight’s plate and now shoved into Yosef’s ravening maw. “But SOMEONE said I gotta’ stick around, even though eh won’t even FUCK me or nothin’.”You give Irinnile a meaningful glare, and they grin sheepishly and lower their voice. Luckily, it doesn’t seem the guards overheard the outburst—they’re strategically maintaining their distance, though they do hover near the door to keep an eye on your comings and goings from one are of the palace to the next.“I meant in termsss of our imprisssonment,” you say, affecting a sympathetic tone. “I have alwayss preferred freedom, autonomy. Are you not the sssame?”Irinnile blinks a couple times, then asks hesitatingly: “Like, ME-me, or HIM-me?”“The true you,” you clarify.Irinnile sets down their fork and stretches, considering their reply.
>>5628481“Well,” they say, “like, YEAH. But I can’t ‘member ever HAVIN’ in. The me I am today was, like… FORMED when I got summoned by this occultist prick. Then your momma’ got me all tangled up in HER biz, which was fun an’ all but not exactly FREEDOM, an’ then there was Ricky, and NOW I’m stuck here helping YOU, so…”Irinnile seems to consider, then shrugs and grins dopily.“It’s nice havin’ the reins for a change, I’ll say that! Can’t wait to finish up here an’ take this body for a cruise through every brothel between here ‘n wherever-we-end-up!”“Freedom doesssn’t require that we part company,” you suggest, meeting the eyes-behind-Yosef’s-eyes. “Why not become a ssort of… Demon General, in my ssservice?”Irinnile laughs aloud. You take another bite of your breakfast, to hide your irritation.“See, you SAY freedom, then OFFER service,” Irinnile points out, gesturing at you with their fork. “An’ this is after ya’ like… Tried ta’ bidn me with a pact, right? You’re only even TALKIN’ about ‘freedoms’ for me ‘cause you fucke that up, amirite?”You frown, saying nothing.“Right,” Irinnile scoffs, and licks the last of the carb-and-protein mess they made of their meal from their plate, drawing uncomfortable looks from the guards.“I could be… PERSSUADED to afford you sspecial privileges.”Irinnile regards you neutrally, and then stands.“Baby, I can’t even convince you ta’ dick me down,” the succubus-in-the-knight replies. “You think I buy this shit for a single copper coin? Mmmnope. Sorry, but let’s do it you-style, keep this all… professional, aight?”You watch the knight leave in silence, then finish your meal. Perhaps Ekaterine will be more receptive.“Freedom on the high plains…” she murmurs, a little dreamily. “The life of an adventurer… My brothers and the Paladins look down on it, of course. It’s mercenary work of a low and undisciplined sort, as they tell it… More, ah, ‘tomb-raiding and barely-sanctioned banditry than proper heroism’, as I heard Paladin Mackie put it once.”“I’ve sssaved no shortage of livesss, and ssanctified tombsss rather than plundered them,” you say, truthfully.“Well,” Ekaterine says with a small smile and a giggle, brushing her hair aside to glance sidelong at you, “you are, um, rather an unusual adventurer, are you not?”The two of you remain on the palace grounds, under your usual guards’ careful supervision. As in dreams, you walk past statuary and topiary, flower-beds and arches, monuments and fountains. The palace’s gardens are expansive, and much more concrete in their daylight detail than in the fuzzy, shifting half-memory of Ekaterine’s sleeping mind.“‘Unusssual’ in a bad way?” you ask.
>>5628482Princess Ekaterine looks away, not saying anything. You scrutinize her quietly. She has been… Different, today, as you expected—the lingering effects of Irinnile’s influence, and the erotic dream the two of you inspired. It isn’t EXACTLY as you’d hoped, though—she is no heat-stricken, lusty creature, hanging on your every word. Rather, in as many ways as she is impressionable and pliable, she is also withdrawn—quiet, reticent to make the same sort of physical contact with Long Wang that she did with Theral. She blushes more readily than ever, maintain a careful distance, and seems distracted. She speaks less than normal, but stares more than she typically did.The dream must linger in her mind, as it does in yours.“I will say,” she eventually admits, “your… Lifestyle… It seems rather DIFFERENT than what I’m used to, and I envy you that.”You look around at the finery with which she has, quite obvious, ever been surrounded. In spite of this, you nod.“I have exxxpriencced the ressstrictionss you sspoke of these lassst two weekss,” you acknowledge. “It issn’t to my liking, either.”Princess Ekaterine seems to focus upon the conversation, then, and points out rather bluntly: “You can leave whenever you’d like, Mister Long.”“I could,” you agree.“…Why don’t you?” she asks, though you both obvious know the answer.“You,” you reply, for her benefit.Her flush deepens. You walk in silence for a time.“I must admit,” she eventually speaks up, “I was surprised—pleasantly, that is!—when you didn’t pursue your, ah, ‘claim’ upon me.”“Am I not doing that right now?” you ask.Ekaterine twists her hands , looking down as she walks.“Yes, well, you know what I mean. This… ‘Courtship’ is a different sort of thing than what you, ah, seemed inclined towards before, between our… Encounter… And then your bet with my brother.”You regard her for a time and, eventually, shyly, she meets your eyes.“Why didn’t you just… Take what you wanted, if marriage is what you are set upon?”How do you respond?>It’s because you truly love her, and value her consent [half-truth; can no longer be FULL truth, since you have wielded Irinnile to manipulate her]>It’s because you truly love her, and value her consent [outright lie]>You value freedom—THAT’S what you want to offer her, an escape form this place!>You wish to have her father’s blessing—perhaps she can make an introduction?>You feared her father and brothers would have you assassinated if you did so [sort-of-joke]>You were worried EKATERINE would kill you in your sleep one day if you did [kind-of-kidding]>Write-in
>>5628492>You value freedom—THAT’S what you want to offer her, an escape form this place!Eh. This sounds like the best option? The ‘love’ ones seem a bit dodgy and the jokes one might not cut itbacklink>>5627671
>>5628492>It’s because you truly love her, and want her to love you in return>You were worried EKATERINE would kill you in your sleep one day if you did [kind-of-kidding]Hehe.I want to keep trying with Iri. All of her observations can be summed up in a lack of trust- and she did take advantage of our trust first, especially when we indulged her in her wishes (eating Inky, keeping an avowed enemy alive and healthy, etc.). I don’t want to keep it professional- I want a personal, deeper relationship. I’d like to keep working on it.
>>5628492>You value freedom—THAT’S what you want to offer her, an escape from this place!>You were worried EKATERINE would kill you in your sleep one day if you did [kind-of-kidding]>>5628503Not gonna lie, I'm pissed off at Iri right now. We've done nothing but help her and she's bitten the hand more than once. I'm down for one more shot, maybe two, then I'm over it.
>>5628512I get that, I’m frustrated about this situation as well. Frankly I just want to occupy a greater part of her heart than Yosef- he’s ultimately the source of this relationship strife, and I’d appreciate a fair chance at winning her back. We should consider visiting a brothel Iri- something nice for her, and chance to bond.
>>5628492>It’s because you value her consent [half-truth; can no longer be FULL truth, since you have wielded Irinnile to manipulate her]>>5628512>We've done nothing but help herwe've been helpful, but we did also try to pact her into eternal servitude, I wouldn't say that was nothing but helpful. I'd want to give her and Yosef space but without the pact preventing her from working against Reptilian interests that's no longer a viable option.
>>5628529To be fair, she asked to literally eat a greater demon with significant connections we could’ve used, and this was after her professed love of our arch-nemesis over our mother came out- without even explaining the nature of Yosef’s pact and shit, and after we fed her starving ass.Maybe we can get a reptilian demonologist to make the pact preventing her from working against our and Reptilian interests? Bare minimum.
>>5628539Yeah that's what I suggested a while back, redoing the pact but binding with a demonologist.
>>5628492>>It’s because you truly love her, and value her consent [half-truth; can no longer be FULL truth, since you have wielded Irinnile to manipulate her]NGL, We should have had the confidence to woo her on our own. This shouldn't have had to be a half truth else we'd have done the deed and been on our way a thread ago.
>>5628568>>5628529>>5628512>>5628503>>5628498[Alright, doing one more update before bed, since we have a fair few votes in!]
>>5628604>>5628604“I don’t want marriage,” you say simply, “I want love.”The Princess stops short, and you slow down once you realize this. You pivot to face her, and find her clutching her cheeks, which are as rosy as they’ve ever been.“S-sir, I fear you go too far.”You tilt your head, then catch yourself and turn it into a roll of the shrug.“Marriage isss NOT too far, but love isss?” you ask.“Well, marriage to, to a PRINCESS of HAWKSONG… I don’t mean to sound full-of-myself, but it makes SENSE. Alexos warned me that… That you wanted me for your own gains, and I can… It makes a certain amount, of, of, of SENSE. But LOVE…”“Well,” you half-joke, “if you do not LOVE me, I foresse the ssort of marriage which doesss not end WELL, most essspecially for ME. Ssomeone who livesss in ssuch opulence can SSURELY procure any number of ssubtle pissonsss, yess?”The princess looks at you, gasping as if affronted… But then squints her eyes.“Youa re joking,” she realizes. “playing with my feelings.”“A little,” you admit, forcing a smile. “Iss it working?”The Princess glares, and you step forward. She shrinks a step bac, but you raise a hand in placation. She holds steady as you approach closer, and even glances back and gestures to her approaching guardians to maintain their distance for the moment. You take advantage of the momentary distraction to take her dainty hands in yours. Your own hands feel strange to you, foreign in their human flesh… But it is pleasant, to feel hers in the flesh, so much more real and tangible even than they were in the sensuality of the demon-manipulated dream last night.“I wass joking about the mariticccide,” you clarify. “Not the love. I wish for you to WANT me… To CHOOSSE me, Eka.”And it’s true… To an extent. Oh, it’s not below or beyond you to manipulate Princess Ekaterine’s mind, to put your mystical thumb on the scale with your succubus ‘ally’, but you have no desire to force this female into anything through overt aggression or politicking—not mating, not marriage. ‘Eka’ is… An unusual creature, not exactly your usual type, but something about her holds your interest. Moreover, she is to be the mother of your spawn-a DEMIGOD SPAWN, no less, destined to rule a conquered Hawksong if you have your way. It behooves you to make sure she is made a willing participant in your dark designs, rather than a mere war-wife or sex-slave.Ekaterine is speechless, though her mouth flaps as if she is trying to form words. She doesn’t pull her hands away at least, merely squirming in place. You decide to resolve the dilemma for her, sparing her further embarrassment.You lean down, and kiss her.
>>5628626>No seduction roll neededThe lingering influence of the dreams of draconic intimacy do their work. Ekaterine lets loose a single muffled cry of surprise, but quickly melts into your arms. You take handfuls of her flowing gown, and she clings weakly to your arms as she slowly shuts her eyes and returns the kiss. The guards rush to break up this blatant impropriety, and the two of you quickly part as the furious defenders of your fiancé’s chastity rush to remove her from you and to form a blockade to further fraternization…But Ekaterine’s flushed face is still focused upon you, her pupils dilated, her breathing heavy, lips still parted. She idly touches a finger to her lips, tracing where they touched yours.“Mister Long,” she says, before the guards lead her away as per some Princely mandate, “you are… Full of surprises.”“You have no idea,” you say, again truthful in ways she cannot comprehend.You’ve made real headway in subverting, swaying, and securing your target today—an unqualified success! However, you have the whole day ahead of you now, before evening comes again and you must decide whether to delve again into the realm of dreams. Having chosen not to simply slip away with Ekaterine, you must make the most of your time in Hawksong—in the palace complex—both day and night.
>>5628628What is your plan for the days ahead, over this next week? Choose NO MORE than THREE main objectives:>Advance your relationship with Ekaterine as Long Wang, within the confines of the palace>Attempt to strongarm Alexos into granting you and the Princess leave to visit the broader city on a proper, authorized ‘date’>Make good on your alliance with Rufos—seek an audience with his father, and attempt to impress upon him the secondborn son’s superiority>Discuss goings-on in the South, to determine how your machinations are coming along, and attempt to manufacture further conflict>Investigate the conflict in Bloodrise, to discover how your forces are faring, and whether your aid is required elsewhere>Attempt to make conflict with your Infiltrator allies in the city—Olu, Roth, and Halle—to learn how they fare and to learn what is happening in the city>Build upon your relationship with Irinnile—attempt to forge true bonds of trust, and even friendship >Reach out to the Hawksong Mages’ Tower, to seek counsel or aid from Archmage Henzler—privy to your secrets, freed from blackmail by your actions, yet still a great unknown in all thisWhen the rest of the palace sleeps, and night falls, what will you do? Choose ONE:>Get some rest—further dream-delving and ‘donations’ to Irinnile will leave you suffering physical and mental fatigue, at this rate>Continue to meet with Ekaterine as Theral in dreams, further manipulating her emotions with demon-magic>Visit Eka, but do not rely overmuch on Irinnile—you wish to further advance your mutual understanding>Wield Irinnile as a weapon to invade and investigate the dreams of others [who?]>Focus upon Irinnile herself—give her a little of what she wants, being careful to keep your demigodly ‘embryo’ secure[Write-ins allowed for both. Expect the results to be broken up into a series of updates with their own separate votes in some cases, possibly a cross a few IRL days depending on how they flow.]
>>5628630>Advance your relationship with Ekaterine as Long Wang, within the confines of the palace>Attempt to strongarm Alexos into granting you and the Princess leave to visit the broader city on a proper, authorized ‘date’>Build upon your relationship with Irinnile—attempt to forge true bonds of trust, and even friendship >Focus upon Irinnile herself—give her a little of what she wants, being careful to keep your demigodly ‘embryo’ secureI want to build up the relationship before we focus on our other priorities.
>>5628630>Advance your relationship with Eka>Make good on your alliance>Visit Ekathese sounds like the best options while keeping the princes happybacklink>>5628498
>>5628630>Attempt to strongarm Alexos into granting you and the Princess leave to visit the broader city on a proper, authorized ‘date’>Make good on your alliance with Rufos—seek an audience with his father, and attempt to impress upon him the secondborn son’s superiority>Reach out to the Hawksong Mages’ Tower, to seek counsel or aid from Archmage Henzler—privy to your secrets, freed from blackmail by your actions, yet still a great unknown in all this>Commune with the SHOGSORD
>>5629036>>5628697>>5628647[We have only three votes so far, and a wide spread, so I'll revisit this later tonight and post then.]
>>5628630I'll back >>5628697
>>5628697+1, yeah. I'll support that.
>>5629658>>5629628>>5629036>>5628697>>5628647[Alright, locked in for seduction and sedition.]
>>5628697+1 to this >>5628647I dont know why this anon wants to fuck iri so bad I get shes a powerful ally but she was literally made to rail our mom, failed to protect her, and is in love with the enemy, if anything lets make a pact when were done here that she and heinrich are forbidden from meddling in the affairs of reptiles or Hawksong again
>>5629702>>5629693You set aside your ambivalent feelings about Irinnile (and what, if anything, should be done about them) to focus on the increasingly-pleasant feelings which Eka inspires in you, and vice versa. Over the next week, you never leave the palace grounds—in fact, rarely leave the palace at all-and yet it’s hard to feel like you’re missing much. In truth, the two of you actually grow quiet close. In Eka you find something truly unique: a sort of kindred spirit.Oh, there are differences, to be sure—fundamentally, unbridgeable gaps between your life experiences and yours. However, the similarities only seem to grow as you spend time with her, revealing themselves piecemeal until you behold a patchwork tapestry of a soul not unlike your own beneath the squishy, stuttering mammalian exterior—an exterior you’re ALSO fairly fond of. Eka, like you, has a certain FIRE in her, you learn: a need to know, understand, and to experience. She cares deeply for her people and her nation, for the hearts and minds, their fates and fortunes. She is curious about the outside, of course—the exotic, the other—and curious without automatic judgement or condemnation. It’s this that allows her and ‘Long Wang’ to bond by day. You aren’t left alone together, of course—not after your impulsive kiss was reported—but the two of you are permitted to continue your courtship within the confines of the Princess’ favourite area besides the garden: the palace’s extensive ‘study’, a place stocked with books on the world’s peoples, politics, geographical wonders and legends. Having seen relatively little of the richly-populated surface world yourself, you can’t help but find it all fascinating, and Princess Ekaterine seems to delight in educating you on her favourite fancies.“…And of course, just as before, the so-called ‘Eternal Empire at the Centre of the World’ shattered, again, because of a dynastic dispute, AGAIN, and the so-called ‘barbarians’ whom they underestimated swept in to establish a new dynasty… AGAIN. How many times have we heard the same story, there as here? With the humans of this world, the dwarves in their won way...""The elvesss in theirss," you agree, recalling the succession crisis which led to the bitter estrangement of Wevenore's dark-skinned Drow from their surface-kin, in their own histories.The mammals really do rise and FALL with shocking speed, and perhaps with some regularity. The thought is, of course, a comforting one to an enemy of the current order.
>>5629739Ekaterine take a deep breath, and shakes her head with a rueful, sad laugh.“It sometimes seems as if people just move in circles, doesn’t it?” she asks. “I… I mean, it sounds arrogant, and I don’t pretend to be a GENIUS, but I sometimes wonder if everyone sees it? Or… is it because I don’t really live in the world, that I’m… Somehow privy to the patterns, because I can be dispassionate about it?”You regard her cute frown, her flushed cheeks, and chuckle inwardly. You wouldn’t describe this female as ‘dispassionate’ by any means. She’s skeptical, almost cynical at times, about the rise and fall of nations, the firmly-held truths of her society, JUST like you are… But her idealistic insistence is always that it should be fixed, mended in some way.“If people could just SEE the shape of these, these… ECHOES… maybe we could finally stop squabbling, jockeying for power, trying to separate everything into ‘our side’ and ‘their side’, and work TOGETHER,” she often says, in one way or another.“You mussst remember that these booksss are written by the victorsss… No, the victorss’ hissstorianss,” you remind her. “Thingss might sseem to repeat becaussse the writerss are TRYING to communicate a ccertain theme.”It IS difficult to miss the similarities to the repetitive (and, you’ve learned, not entirely unbiased) sermons of the Serpent Priesthood During your youth. It’s to Eka’s credit, maybe, that she spotted the holes in things on her own, locked in her ‘gilded cage’ with only her books, her brothers, and her servants for company. You learned the truth of the world much later, and it was not always an easy lesson.“Well, what of you, then, Mister Long?” she asks.You blink. Wait, what?“Me?”“Yes,” she presses, scooting a bit closer to you upon your long, plush bench—close enough that one of the guards nudges the other, and both begin to watch you more closely. “You haven’t just READ of the world, you’ve LIVED in it—really fought for it, been a PART of it.”“I ssuppose,” you grant her, feeling a bit wary under her sudden intense appraisal.“Lately, I’ve…” she pauses, and blushes a little. “I’ve been having… Thoughts. Strange notions, I suppose, when I dream.”“Oh?” you ask, raising an eyebrow as you fondly recall some of those same dreams.“Yes, well, the IMPORTANT thing,” she hastily pushes forward, “is that I’ve begun to wonder… Maybe, human, so-called ‘demihuman’, non-human… Maybe we’re all bound up in that same sort of, of, of PATTERN… Almost like we’re playthings of fate. But… Like we don’t HAVE to be. Like there’s another way, a way to break free!”She pauses, and sighs, gripping her head in her hands.“I’m sorry, these dreams… I haven’t, um, been sleeping as RESTFULLY as I normally do. I fear I must sound positively deranged... Delusional!”
>>5629740“No,” you hastily raise your voice to banish the thought. “No, I think… You make a lot more sssensse than you give yoursself credit for, Eka. Thiss world iss broken. It isss up to those like USSS to fixx it.”The princess smiles at your peculiar diminutive for her name, and at your echoing of her own idealism.“Mister Long… Rather, Wang…”She reaches out, and places a hand upon yours, and seems to want to say something… But then withdraws it sheepishly, glancing at the guards and tilting her head apologetically.“I am quite glad I met you,” she says. “You have… My life is much more interesting, with you in it.”“Then marry me.”Ekaterine’s face sccrunches up, and she laughs, but not mean-spiritedly.“That’s… Not entirely my decision, in truth, is it?”Indeed, it’s not. Her elder brothers, and her father, will determine that. As with The Novice Fleshweaver, your (other? truer? greater?) love, you are placed in a position where your breeding rights are blockaded by a wall of caste and political circumstance. However, you are the DRAGONBORN ANTIPALADIN. You have yet to meet a wall you could not bring crashing down, and this will be no exception.
>>5629741“You wish to meet with my father?” Rufos asks.You meet with the younger Prince again in his out-of-the-way meeting-room—small, humble, furnished to intimidate and impress but seemingly little lived-in, cleverly selected for a certain distance and privacy from the finer discussion-spaces favoured in his less clandestine affairs.“I wish to marry Eka,” you raffirm. “To earn your blessssing in thisss, I will earn you your father’sss blessing to be king. It isss a ssimple exxxchange, yess?”The Prince leans back, crossing his arms.“Oh, yes, VERY simple,” you replies with dry disdain. “Don’t be stupid, creature. Birth is birth. I can no more be Paladin King with a word from you than I can knight you and make you a man.”You gesture to your adopted form, and counter: “I can passs well enough for a man, yess? If I can make you heir to the throne, can you passs sso well for a King?”He frowns, and you raise a hand to appease him.“I mean no offenccce,” you add.“Yes, well,” he says, then looks down at the desk. “A king… Certainly. But a Paladin…”Ah. So it is not birth alone that is the issue here. Alexos, elder son, is also PALADIN Prince—and paladin-trained, Paladin-capable. He is favoured of the Gods of Light, as you are of the Gods of Dark, if perhaps not quite so individually and personally singled-out for greatness as you are by your (superior, truer, greater) pantheon.Well, perhaps you can work with that…“Arrange the meeting with King Archosss,” you say again. “I will do the ressst.”
>>5629742Rufos bids you leave without confirming any intent… But over the next few days, you find yourself summoned, not by a Prince of Hawksong, but by its Paladin King.By light of day, you pass through the portal which barred your invasion in the realm of dark and dreaming. You hesitate only momentarily at the portal, wondering if its wards will affect the illusion and fleshcraft which make ‘Theral’ into ‘Long Wang’… But you take the step, ever-bold and fearless as a Knight Ascendant ought to be, and you do not burst into flames or sprout horns and tail.The Paladin King sits upon a throne, of sorts, but it is more like a great and well-carved wooden chair with a single plush, red-and-gold cushion for his tailless posterior. Your eyes flit behind him and to the side, where you see a smaller, more humble door—entrance to his sleeping quarters, you’d assume. This chamber where you now meet him is no great and ceremonial chamber of auspicious office, but a sort of guest-room. Perhaps he is no longer well enough to leave it, even to hold such meetings?Still, he is flanked by both of his sons, and by his worried-looking daughter—your would-be mate, your technical-fiancé, Ekaterine!(Oh, and a half-dozen guards, though none with the same unmistakable air you’ve come to recognize as ‘Paladin’)You approach the throne and, as you were instructed by the male humans who escorted you here, you drop to one kneed before the throne and bow your head. He is, after all, a king, and if a Paladin King is a lesser thing than a Dragon King, it is at least worth noting that the former has been known to slay the latter. Perhaps that’s worth some respect, even if it’s mostly feigned?“Rise,” the man upon the throne croaks.You do so, and regard him. Archos is… Not well. He is still powerfully-built, and if he can stand straight at all you imagine eh would stand at nearly seven feet in height. He is less a human as you have come to know them, and more a giant. Neither of his sons, muscular though Alexos is and leanly-built though Rufos may be, is taller than six-and-a half feet, and even Alexos lacks the breadth of this giant-among-men in the shoulder and chest. Ekaterine is small among them, uniquely so—perhaps her sex and her youth are not the only reason they are protective of her?
>>5629746“I welcome you to my home, Mister Long Wang of the East… Though I understand you’ve been here for some time, hm?”You bow your head again, in acknowledgement.“I am told you would have words with me,” the King says, sounding rather skeptical. He regards you with eyes that, though somewhat obscured by bags of hanging, loose pink skin, are still a piercing blue-green hue, and focused as any young warrior’s might be.“Yess,” you agree, drawing a sniff from Alexos, and a quick glance at his brother.“Prince Rufos tells me you have rid my realm of a great evil, with the aid of Sir Heinrich Yosef. I am in your debt for this, and so I am inclined to listen.”Rufos’ expression remains impassive, a careful mask. Ekaterine’s eyes are searching, looking to you for explanation.“So,” this greatest King of Men and Chosen of the Gods says, “speak. I’m getting no younger, nor healthier… Nor, fi I’m being frank, am I inclined to be awake longer than I must be, at my age, unless it is to attend to important matters. I will thus assume this important, and that you will get the point, so I am wasting no time nor asking you to repeat yourself for the sake of my old ears and failing memory.”You can’t say that the king, ill and old though he may be, strikes you as anything less than razor-sharp in his mind and keen in his senses. Even the (ceremonial) sword which he leans upon like a cane as you shifts forward in his seat radiates a sense of… <Danger>. Your instincts scream at you, from somewhere deep inside. Though he never had the chance, this man is a true scion of his ancient bloodline, possessed of all Alexos’ combat abilities and all Ekaterine’s inner fire. He may not be a dragon-killer, but it is only for the lack of opportunity, not a lack of will or power.
>>5629747What will you do?>Tell the Paladin King of Alexos poor hospitality, his impetuous bet, and how he has seemingly reneged on it—you have been treated like a prisoner, and denied your prize, and you DEMAND to take his daughter on a proper date outside the palace!If successful, you may earn yourself a date and cast aspersions upon Alexos’ honour; failure may enrage the king and cost you dearly>Describe the sorry state of the city’s slums, the demon-infested apartment complex where you found the Incubus, and the weakened state of magical security brought on by the neutered Mage’s Tower, the lizards infiltrating the ranks of the bourgeois under the Paladins’ noses—all failings brought on by ALEXOS’ poor leadership, in spite of RUFOS’ wise counsel and best effortsIt’s certainly a compelling argument, but it will draw more attention to your own allies… Wherever they are, whatever they’re up to>Tell of the dread armies to the South which you have spied in your travels (a lie) and of their imminent invasion (you’re working on it), and how you have been speaking with Prince Rufos on how you might meet this challenge… if only he and Alexos will allow itIt advances your cause, and will mean immediate action… But if you’re going out on expedition or campaign with Rufos, you’ll hardly be bringing Eka>Ask about events in Bloodrise—you have heard mutterings, but nothing specific—and whether Alexos has even shared these rumours with the King of Hawksong; if not, why no? if so, what are they doing about it?How are your friends? Is your home safe? Maybe you can diminish Alexos in his father’s eyes AND get a quick status report?[Choose one, please. Write-ins are allowed, too.]
>>5629748Describe the sorry state of the city’s slums, the demon-infested apartment complex where you found the Incubus, and the weakened state of magical security brought on by the neutered Mage’s Tower, the lizards infiltrating the ranks of the bourgeois under the Paladins’ noses—all failings brought on by ALEXOS’ poor leadership, in spite of RUFOS’ wise counsel and best effortsThe first option sounds a little too arrogant. Keeping the lie of thr third option is gonna be difficult. Fourth option doesn’t do much for rufos.Backlink>>5628697
>>5629748>Ask about events in Bloodrise—you have heard mutterings, but nothing specific—and whether Alexos has even shared these rumours with the King of Hawksong; if not, why no? if so, what are they doing about it?>>5629702It’s less about fucking her and more about stealing her heart away from Yosef and rectifying that ‘loving the soulmate killer’ idiocy- I played as Izzy back in Infiltrator quest, and this point really irks me.
While we wait for more votes, an art update!
>>5629748>>Tell the Paladin King of Alexos poor hospitality, his impetuous bet, and how he has seemingly reneged on it—you have been treated like a prisoner, and denied your prize, and you DEMAND to take his daughter on a proper date outside the palace!Preferred option.Lovin' the art
>>5629748>Tell the Paladin King of Alexos' poor hospitality, his impetuous bet, and how he has seemingly reneged on it—you have been treated like a prisoner, and denied your prize, and you DEMAND to take his daughter on a proper date outside the palace!We can absolutely prove this, so I think it's the best choice.
>>5629775>>5629777>>5630276>>5630324[Leaving the vote open another 45-to-60 minuets while I go grab a couple libations for the evening, then I'll lock the vote and start writing]
>>5629747>Describe the sorry state of the city’s slums, the demon-infested apartment complex where you found the Incubus, and the weakened state of magical security brought on by the neutered Mage’s Tower, the lizards infiltrating the ranks of the bourgeois under the Paladins’ noses—all failings brought on by ALEXOS’ poor leadership, in spite of RUFOS’ wise counsel and best effortsyeah sorry to our allies but they're plenty capable - and this is way better than the whiny sounding option 1RQM are you happy you can finally use the plotlines you prepared for the first quest?
>>5629748>Describe the sorry state of the city’s slums, the demon-infested apartment complex where you found the Incubus, and the weakened state of magical security brought on by the neutered Mage’s Tower, the lizards infiltrating the ranks of the bourgeois under the Paladins’ noses—all failings brought on by ALEXOS’ poor leadership, in spite of RUFOS’ wise counsel and best effortsThe best option imo. First one is too presumptuous, third one is too risky and the fourth one doesn't do much for Rufos.
>>5630420>>5630384>>5629775>>5629777>>5630276>>5630324[Locked!]>>5630384I modified them quite a bit, but I am enjoying finding ways to integrate old ideas I had, and to resolve some of the old plotlines. I hope newcomers are enjoying it, too!
>>5629748>Describe the sorry state of the city’s slums, the demon-infested apartment complex where you found the Incubus, and the weakened state of magical security brought on by the neutered Mage’s Tower, the lizards infiltrating the ranks of the bourgeois under the Paladins’ noses—all failings brought on by ALEXOS’ poor leadership, in spite of RUFOS’ wise counsel and best effortsI’ll add to the majority on this
Rolled 19, 1, 12, 9 = 41 (4d20)>>5630471>>5630476“Do you know the ccircumssatncess in which I dissscovered your demon inefssstation?”The King, drums his fingers on the hilt of his sword, waiting an explanation. You’re happy to provide it.“The demon in quessstion wass preying upon your ssubjectss in ssqualor… Dwellingin the propertiess of your most destitute, taking advantage of… Failingsss in Hawkssong’ss governance.”The King narrows his eyes, and both his sons look troubles. Alexos looks furious at the implication,a nd Rufos worried as tow here you’re going with this; both, after all, are tasked with aspects of administration. You give the latter a reassuring nod, and look back to King Archos, continuing on:“Your people have grown paranoid, hossstile to… Outsssiderss, to those outsside the ccircle of power, the esstablishment. The Magess’ tower, where I met with Ssir Yossef and with the Archmage, isss plainly underfunded, a shadow of the GREATNESSSS I had heard tell of in my homelands. The cccity’ss trade isss hampered by the threatsss within and without—by Sssouthern demonisstss, yess, and by these hidden ‘lizardmen’ I hear sso much about ass of late… But alsso by the current adminissstratorss’ inability to deal with it.”You look to Ekaterine, meeting her pensive eyes, and conclude: “It isss my feeling that there hasss been sso much effort put into ssseparating everything into ‘your ssside’ and ‘their ssside’ that, perhapsss, you have become blind to how much your sside iss ssuferring.”“Is it my understanding, Mister Long,” the Paladin king says, at length, “that you have called upon me, made special appointment through my sons, to tell me how bad a job they are doing in succeeding me?”You shake your head slightly, and clarify: “No, prince Rufos is doing a fine job.”The barb does not pass by Alexos unnoticed.“See here,” Prince Alexos bellows, stepping forward and looking very much as if he’d like a rematch. “This is NONSENSE. I have been adamant that trade SHOULD be opened up… That these people SHOULD be uplifted with the economic stimulus that reopened trade and negotiations would bring! What you’re describing… it’s all the result of policies made by those who have advocated for stricter security measures.”Unsaid is the name of the chiefmost proponent of those paranoid and restrictive measures: Prince Rufos, albeit secretly under the influence of the since-defeated Incubus.
>>5630497Unfortunately for Alexos, though, he has once again taken your bait and fallen into your clutches: your victim in debate, as he was in your duel.“Yesss,” you agree grimly. “Princcce Rufoss hass told me of the desperate measuresss he hass been forced into by your—rather, the cccity’ss—inabiltiy to uncover and eliminate dangerousss elementsss… Of how the Tower wass allowed to become a breeding ground for traitorsss targeted by terrorissstss. Of how Paladinsss uninteressted in the poor and dessstitute failed to sstop beassstmen from ssmuggling in drugsss through Goblintown, and he had no choice with hisss lesssser ssstation and reduccced ressourceess, to ssimply sssmash the entire community to crush the contagion, and then to bar the gatesss of your great, shining cccity… At the cost of honessst goblins, beassstmen, Sssouthmen, and the people whose livelihoodsss relied upon them. All, of courssse, to make it easssier for the Paladinsss to root out the demonsss an lizardsss who preyed upon the ccity, ssso he could the reopen Hawkssong to the world onccce more…”You meet Alexos eyes, and frown.“…But that never happened. Sso unheeded wasss he that the emergencccy measures could never be lifted, and SSTILL a Greater Demon wass able to ssset up a nest amongst the victimized poor, and these mysssteriousss lizardsss to infiltrate even the higher ranksss of sssociety in ssome placesss.”>19Princess Ekaterine looks deeply moved by what you describe—a deep unfairness in the world, rooted in the same cyclical, fixed problems of mistrust, arrogance, and stagnant status quo thinking which she has so lamented and decried in your time together amongst her histories and travelogues. In truth, you crafted it this way deliberately—an appeal to her, as much as her father. Irinnile was a great help in this, of course—her knowledge of the city, partly a result of her past life with your mother and partly deirved from her leeching of the slumbering Heinrich Yosef’s own recollections, helped to build your case. As you finish your analysis, Rufos watches you with the same neutral expression, but you see him relax as you go on, and gradually he looks towards his father, even as Alexos stares at you with barely-concealed murder in his heart. And the Paladin King… He nods.“I see,” he says gravely.“Father,” Alexos begins to protest, finally looking away from you to plead with his father, “you cannot SERIOUSLY mean that you are heeding the word of this, this, ADVENTURER over—”The Paladin King looks to his eldest son. He does not speak, gesture, or glare, but Paladin Prince Alexos falls silent all the same.
>>5630520“Rufos,” he asks, not looking away from Alexos, “did you put this man up to this, on your behalf, to strengthen your won position.”Rufos looks equal parts affronted an embarrassed, and glances your way nervously, but shakes his head.“Long Wang told me only that he wanted to meet with you, Father.”“And is what he says true, to the best of your understanding?”“Father!” Alexos bellows, sounding angry now“…Yes,” Rufos says, drawing castigating ire from his elder sibling. “More or less.”The Paladin King looks to you again, frowning deeply.“You are a foreigner, and a man with whom I have no prior relationship, Mister Long.” The King pauses, consider his next words. “I mean no offence when I say that, while I thank you for your frank input, I must consider my next actions carefully. I do not promise to heed your counsel, but I promise you that what you have said WILL be investigated, and more directly by my most trusted servants. I thank you for your honesty. I would be honoured if you would remain on-hand for a time, to offer your practical advice on how to rectify these… Shortcomings.”“Father,” Prince Alexos nearly snarls, “he and Rufos are… Are CONSPIRING together. This man is an outrageous, opportunistic CHARLATAN!”“Oh?” the King asks with dangerous calm. “Why would you say that, my son? Because he does not flatter your ego, as heir apparent?”Alexos looks as if he’s been slapped for a moment, then sputters: “No, because of Ekaterine!”Ekaterine and Rufos both stare wide-eyed at their brother, then. Your technical-but-obviously-unofficial fiancé goes crimson from forehead to collarbone, and makes and alarmed squeaking sound that isn’t quite a word. Rufos places one hand upon his face, slowly Sweeping it up to his forehead in a gesture of disbelief.“What ABOUT Ekaterine?” the Paladin King asks, his voice no longer wholly calm.“F-father, I can explain—”Ekaterine’s attempt to leap to your defence is cut off by the same look the King earlier gave the Paladin Prince.What will you do?>Tell the King everything—that you’ve been courting his daughter, that Alexos has been keeping it from him, that he bet his sister’s hand in marriage upon a prideful duel—ruin him!>Admit that you were promised Ekaterine’s hand, but formally renounce your claim—only to request the paladin King’s formal blessing for an open courtship, a date, and—if Ekaterine will have you and the King will allow—a wedding?>Spin a lie to protect the Paladin king’s children from his wrath—and to double indebt the Paladin Prince to you, even as you work to ruin his claim. Delicious irony, and a useful card to play later, when the time is right!>Write-in[Failure means fury, success could seal the deal or buy you great leeway and influence here!]
>>5630522>Admit that you were promised Ekaterine’s hand, but formally renounce your claim—only to request the paladin King’s formal blessing for an open courtship, a date, and—if Ekaterine will have you and the King will allow—a wedding?this both ruins him and makes us look like a big guy
>>5630522>Spin a lie to protect the Paladin king’s children from his wrath—and to double indebt the Paladin Prince to you, even as you work to ruin his claim. Delicious irony, and a useful card to play later, when the time is right!I like the trolling aspect of this.
>>5630571+1Sounds like the best move
>>5630522How about...>Admit that you were promised Ekaterine’s hand in a prideful duel by Alexos, but formally renounce your claim—only to request the paladin King’s formal blessing for an open courtship, a date, and—if Ekaterine will have you and the King will allow—a wedding?I like the tact of the second but I want to include the part about Alexos promising it in a duel.>>5630571for you.
>>5630612Yeah that sounds goodSwitching to this instead of>>5630591
>>5630612+1Oh yeah, a duel he lost bad by someone he deemed a savage/barbarian, and put some stank on it Eka has been teaching us that its a dirty word we have learned to distance ourselves from
Rolled 18, 11, 5, 18, 7, 12, 13, 13 = 97 (8d20)>>5630571>>5630586>>5630612>>5630614>>5630620You take a step forwards, raising your voice above the family tiff:“It isss true” you say, with a hint of (false) shame. “Your eldesst sson and I… Earlier came to blowsss, in a matter of foolish pride. He called me ‘ssavage’ and ‘barbarian’, which I’ve been eld to believe are UNKIND termsss.. And in my youthful impulsssivenesss, I sspoke out of-turn asss well. We made a duel of it.”You glance at panicking Ekaterine, and then back at her father, ignoring the paling Paladin Prince most pointedly.“I wass promised Ekaterine’ss hand in marriage if I won, which I did.”The Paladin king’s eyes widen though in shock or rage you cannot be certain. His grip tightened upon his sword, so you hasten to add:“I renounccce it.”A silence falls over the room, broke only by the faint murmurs of the guards in attendance. Rufos, seizing his initiative, silences them.“You… Renounce it?” Prince Alexos asks, incredulous.You sigh melodraamtcially, and look to Ekaterine, bowing low.“I wasss wrong to make sssuch a claim upon her, I now realize, even in jessst or the heat of the moment. Yet, still…”You stand up straight, and meet the eyes of the Paladin King, mankind’s greatest sovereign, protector of Hawksong.“I would requessst your permissssion, King Archosss, to court your daughter… With a proper Wessstern 'date'. And, if you will grant me your blesssing, and if she will have me, I WOULD like to requessst her hand in marriage, of her and your own free will.”Ekaterine looks like she might faint, the entire affair you've been carrying n suddenly made all the more real to her by her father's involvement in this very public proposal; she fans hersel frantically with a hand, and leans against the wall for support. Her brothers—for entirely separate reasons, look as if they might vomit. Their father narrows his old eyes, and regards you more closely.[4d20 Seduction, 4d20 Diplomacy]
>>5630674Should’ve lied lads
>>5630674>>5630704“What is your parentage?”The question catches you off-guard.“I am… The represssentative of a powerful and influential family,” you say, half-lying except by technicality and exclusion, keeping it deliberately vague as you did before. "Of any reocgnzied noble family?" the King demands. "One I would know of, or my scribes and viziers?""...No," you admit. “But I come to bring sssomething Hawksssong dessservess, and needsss.”“And what is that?” the King asks, sternly. “your advice is appreciated, but it suddenly seems as if it comes at a price. Perhaps a price too steep.”“It isss not transssactional,” you assure him.“Yes, you said as much,” the King huffs. “You ‘renounced’ the claim… Which, I gather, was made in front of an audience of gossiping nobles, servants, and courtiers. To marry Princess Ekaterine to some foreign commoner is, and I mean no offence in this, unthinkable.“Father!” Ekaterine begisn to protest, then stops herself, placing her hands to her lips.“…You WISH to marry this man?” the King asks, quietly.Ekaterine looks between the two of you, and then simply settles back to the wall, uncertain of what to say. But… it is not a denial.“To break my son’s oath, though…” The Paladin King trails off, then sighs. “That would be a grave dishonour. I will not.”You await further explanation, nervous but patiently quiet.“You may go on a ‘date’ with my daughter, and continue to court her,” the Paladin King pronounces. “But I ask that you give me time to speak with her, and that you give HER time to think about what this REALLY means.”You bow your head. It’s not… Exactly what you hoped to obtain from this course of action, but it’s something“Al of you,” the paladin King wearily commands, “go, leave.”You all hesitate, then begin to file out.“Except you, Prince Alexos.”The eldest prince stops short of the exit, not daring to turn around.“Leave us,” the King reiterates to the rest of you. “We have… Important matters to discuss.”You exchange a glance with Rufos, who says nothing, and does not even smile, but rather regards you with fearful respect. Ha! Well he ought to do so.
>>5630705You retire to your quarters here, exhausted. You have not slept well all this week—dream-delving and feeding a lust-demon does NOT equate to a proper torpor. Tonight though, of all nights, you know you must pay Ekaterin e your habitual visit.“You sure you don’t want me to work a little, ya’ know, SPECIAL magic on her this go’ round?” irinniel asks, still wearing her host’s skin, but this time meeting you in your room.You shake your head. Tonight, as with every night this week, you will avoid overreliance on the temporary effects of the succubus, instead letting Irinnile transport you to the destination where you will then take the lead.Then again…>18It’s not as if you always need her, anymore. While you have still not achieved a complete bout of illusory sexual congress, your dream-self and Eka’s have long grown intimate in a way that the two of you have rarely if ever rivaled ‘in-the-flesh’. You’ve noticed that be it sex or conversation, Ekaterine is more candid in dreams, less guarded. She is also less logical, more prone to flit between subjects or to simply ‘go with the flow’ of the conversation as you direct it. She overlooks incongruities and breezes past trepidations which would trip her up in the waking world—a consequence of her sleeping state, you suppose.Tonight, though, she is strangely withdrawn.“Eka,” you speak her nickname, and caress her face to draw her eye, “what’sss wrong?”“You’ll think me silly,” she mumbles, averting her eyes and blushing, as she so often and so easily does.“Never,” you half-lie.“You’ll be mad,” she corrects herself.“Unlikely,” you tell her. “Tell me, pleassse.”“I… Something happened today. In a dream, maybe? While I was awake? It’s… It’s tough to say. But… I think someone… proposed to me?”You hold back a laugh, and nod, while Ekaterine twiddles her finegrs, then looks up at you.“You… Aren’t mad?”“Should I be?” you ask.“it’s just… You and I… We’ve done much more… Been very… Um…”She pauses, and her face scrunches in on itself as it often does when she has realized—and must now voice—an unpleasant truth.“I think… I think maybe I have done, or THOUGHT, or DREAMT, something rather… Problematic.”“Oh?” you prompt her to continue, curious now.
>>5630706She looks at you thoughtfully, and then almost sadly.“I think… Maybe I’m dreaming? And that means that, since these dreams started after I met… Him… And after he and I… In this garden… Well… And it’s only, you sound so similarly, and you are SO so alike..”You tilt your head, waiting her embarrassment out, and finally she simply can hold it back no more.“I think you’re Long Wang!” she cries, and squeezes her eyes shut. “I think… Oh Gods forgive me… I think I have maybe… Been exoticizing the poor, s-strange, but SWEET and THOUGHTFUL man, so much so that in my dreams he’s some, some, some MONSTER.”She blinks, and flushes, raising her hands.“N-n-no offence meant! That’s so, SO rude of me! You asked me not to call you that, I know, but… I think I’ve almost, sort of, seen him as such an OTHER, so STRANGE and MYSTERIOUS, that I just… Subconsciously… Equated him to a, a, to… Umm…”“Me,” you finish for her, feeling merciful.Eka nods.You regard her, considering what to do about this arrangement. Your will be taking her on a date tomorrow, at the very least… And with things between you more formal, the Paladin King’s blessing within your reach, you may soon be wed. You may not have to wait much longer, then, to breed with her with the full permission of she and her family. After that… The truth will inevitably emerge. To tell her now, though, would risk all that before the baby is born—the demigodly child which was your whole purpose in coming here, assuming that false identity, delaying your return to your Beloved One back home!But… Isn’t that what a Knight Ascendant would do? It’s not EXPLICITLY in the code. Eka’s never directly INQUIRED as to your true name or identity as Long Wang… But hiding your true self from her isn’t exactly proud, brash, boldness equal to an Antipaladin of your patron Dark God…And anyway, Ekaterine looks so pathetic, and so lost.
>>5630708“I don’t know what to do,” she confides. “I… Think I love him. I think I love YOU. But… FI I’m dreaming, you’re just… Me, projecting my, hahaha, oh Gods, my IDEAL MAN? As a LIZARD? Sorry, sorry, a Dragonborn. I just… Do I even love either of you, or have I just become so LONELY that I will just… T-take anything?”Eka wrings her hands now, staring at them, and begins to tear up.“Oh god, I’m so stupid, so SO stupid, and now it’s all just gotten so out-of-hand. Mister Long doesn’t deserve this… Nor you, hahaha, if you were even, um, w-well…”Your eyes widen. The Princess, having realizes she is asleep, begins to fade, to wake. Lucidity has broken the spell of sleep and dreams. You have to act fast, fi you plan to.What will you do?>Let Ekaterine wake—avoid this subject altogether, and sort it out in the morning>Call for Irinnile—you need her help, to anchor Irinnile in place, to purge these doubts and suspicions from her mind, to make her love you thoughtlessly for just a little longer!>Grab hold of Eka, and tell her the truth: you are Theral, also called Long Wang, and you have been visiting her in dreams to make her love you>Write-in
>>5630710>>Write-in>Agree with her and tell her that Theral is just the dream projection of long wang but you are both the same people. I don't think we should tell her that we are a lizard dragon monster, but it seems like she needs reassurance to believe she is not crazy.
>>5630710>Hold her hand, tell her to stop overthinking it, and ask if we just enjoy each other's company just a little bit longerTrying for the romantic option. If Iri can help set the mood though, I would appreciate it.>>5630717She’s overthinking a dream. Dreams aren’t rational. Simple as.Enjoy the lucid dreams while you can is my advice.
>>5630717+1. Say something cryptic about the soul seeing what is the most true in dreams.
>>5630717>>5630720>>5630734>>5630753>>5630765Before the princess can slip away, you reach out and grab hold of her hands—something hat seems to stabilize her presence in the realm of dreams for the time being, and to take her attention away from her spiraling anxiety.“You’re overthinking thisss.”“E-eh?”You gesture to the world around the two of you—half-formed, shifting, impermanent and imprecise. For once, you get the feeling that Ekaterine sees it as you do.“Dreamss aren’t rational,” you remind her. “ALL of thiss iss a warped projection of the waking world, and your feelingsss about it. Your’e jusst ususually not lucccid enough to remember it, or to piecce the underlying correlationss and irregularitiesss together.”You’re honestly making this explanation up as you go along, based on what you’ve heard of dreams and can infer from inhabiting Eka’s. You, primarily and fundamentally Reptilian in nature, have never truly dreamt as her race does. Your natural torpor, uninterrupted by prophetic nightmares or divine visions as it USUALLY is, is a far more efficient process devoid of strange hallucinatory experiences. Still, you must have made some sort of sense, or else Ekaterine ahs simply slipped once more into a deeper, less lucid sort of dreaming, for she seems to calm down and to accept your explanation.“So… You ARE Long Wang, but… Not?”You shrug and nod.“Ssome asspect of how you percceive him, probably.”“How do I know how much of what I… L-love about, um, you two… Is really him and not me merely… Dreaming up what I want to believe?”
>>5630779You consider your answer, and shrug.“Don’t asssk me,” you casually reply. “I’m jusst a figment of your imagination.”That provokes a giggle, and at your invitation, Eka leans closer to you as you savor this moment of peace, amidst her fuzzy and time-displaced recollections of the only home she’s ever known.“I guess I should just… Enjoy this while it lasts?”You nod. After all, you are. It can’t last forever, though, but with a date schedule for the day ahead, you’ll be seeing her again soon enough.Are there any other suggestions you wish to implant, or subjects you wish to discuss with Ekaterine before waking?>Yes, you'd like to discuss... [write-in]>You'd like Iri to implant a suggestion again—this date is KEY [what suggestion?]>While Ekaterine is semi-lucid, it might be a good time to show her a bit more of the future you have in mind for her city, and her world [specify if you ahve any particualrs in mind, and whether you want Iri's aid]>No, just enjoy the cuddles and leave her feeling warm and fuzzy>Write-inUpon waking, what sort of date have you got in mind?>Ekaterine is a bleeding-heart, and shows great concern for the poor of her city—perhaps some sort of ‘humanitarianism’ might endear her to Long Wang?>The Princess is a cultured creature, who values diversity and dreams of distant lands; despite the bottlenecking of trade, there are no shortage of ‘ethnic’ or ‘demihuman’ venues where you could eat>The two of you share a mutual interest in elven culture, but you’ve even less experience with surface elves than Eka—maybe you could take in some elven music or artistry?>It would be advantageous to get away from her troublesome family and their meddling oversight for a little longer—maybe an OVERNIGHT stay in one of the outlying farming communities which services Hawksong could be nice, and provide more privacy?>Write-in
>>5630781>Insinuate that maybe Long Wang is more than what he appears to be, but that don't make him a monster>It would be advantageous to get away from her troublesome family and their meddling oversight for a little longer—maybe an OVERNIGHT stay in one of the outlying farming communities which services Hawksong could be nice, and provide more privacy?Opportunity to drop the Glamour
>>5630781>No, just cuddles>The Princess is a cultured creature, who values diversity and dreams of distant lands; despite the bottlenecking of trade, there are no shortage of ‘ethnic’ or ‘demihuman’ venues where you could eatBacklink >>5630753
>>5630781>No, just enjoy the cuddles and leave her feeling warm and fuzzyKeep the mood positive and light>The Princess is a cultured creature, who values diversity and dreams of distant lands; despite the bottlenecking of trade, there are no shortage of ‘ethnic’ or ‘demihuman’ venues where you could eat
>>5630781>You'd like Iri to implant a suggestion again—this date is KEY [Lewd thoughts]>Ekaterine is a bleeding-heart, and shows great concern for the poor of her city—perhaps some sort of ‘humanitarianism’ might endear her to Long Wang?>It would be advantageous to get away from her troublesome family and their meddling oversight for a little longer—maybe an OVERNIGHT stay in one of the outlying farming communities which services Hawksong could be nice, and provide more privacy?We need to accelerate things guys, we got other shot we need to accomplish.
>>5630910>>5630892>>5630874>>5630870[Having some coffee, but I'll tally votes and do a write-up in about a half-hour. Vote now if you're voting!]
>>5630781>No, just enjoy the cuddles and leave her feeling warm and fuzzy>The Princess is a cultured creature, who values diversity and dreams of distant lands; despite the bottlenecking of trade, there are no shortage of ‘ethnic’ or ‘demihuman’ venues where you could eat
>>5631385Bit late, anon, especially for a 1postID "+1"...>>5631325>>5630910>>5630892>>5630874>>5630870As you have all throughout his week, you resist the temptation to call upon Irinnile’s influence. Every iota of power spent on manipulating Princess Ekaterine, after all, must be paid back in kind. Every additional instant in the dubiously-intentioned demoness’ embrace risks corruption and subversion of yourself. And besides…“I guess at least now it makes sense why I would imagine a ‘Dragonborn’ as being so warm,” Eka muses aloud, as she clings closer to you, burying her face in your shoulder with a happy sigh. “Or with such um… Well, with ANY hair, really!”…Besides, you think you’re doing a fine job of influencing her all on your own… Right? You take some of your own advice, and simply enjoy the soothing sensation of Ekaterine’s affection until she fades away, back to the waking world. With a stretch and a yawn—and after having allowed Irinnile her minimal allotment of mana needed to maintain control of the Green Knight for another day—you join her in material reality.“So, babycakes, you got yourself a hot date, huuuh~?”You look over at Heinrich Yosef’s leering face, with Irinnile’s gleaming eyes peering intrusively from behind his own.“You really shoulda’ let me warm her up for ya’,” she laments. “You could be plantin’ that seed TONIGHT, big boy!”You shrug, satisfied with your own progress and confident in your won ability. Irinnile frowns slightly.“Seriously, though, we gonna’ be done here anytime soon? Can’t think of a better time than, like, right NOW to do the deed an’ get outta’ dodge, ya’ know?”You muse upon your options. It’s a possibility… But you’re not sure, not yet. You have managed to wield considerable influence here, in only a few weeks. You could still do more work. It’s probably better to stay in the city.“Eka enjoyss exxploring other culturesss, and hass been sheltered. Even the sssuperficial ssampling of the exxxotic one might find in a local eatery should be more than enough to impresss her, yess?”“But baaabe,” Irinnile whines, their overtly-masculine puppet of a body flopping with embarrassing brattiness upon your bed, “What about, like, your pops in the city, your buddy, that grumpy infiltrator chickee? What about your snake-girl back HOME?”
>>5631413You pause. Irinnile, despite being plainly motivated by a selfish desire to conclude your work here and thus free herself to pursue her own agenda with Yosef—something you still have misgivings about—raises a valid point. In making plain to the Paladin king the shortcomings of his state apparatus, and hinging Rufos’ own ascent on improving the workings of that system with demonstrable results, you have in fact placed additional risk upon your biological father and upon one of your closest friends and allies (oh, and Infiltrator Halle, you suppose). And the longer you are away from the northern forward base, and from Bloodrise, the more things can go awry in your absence.And then, there’s the Novice…With a start, you realize you’ve thought very little about the Novice lately. All your romantic energies and inclinations, once reserved primarily for your childhood bully turned closest companion, have gradually shifted towards the target of this current campaign of subversive seduction. In some ways, the two females are similar. They are both highly-born, well-read young females, stifled by their sex in spite of their station and desiring more; Eka says this frustration is referred to among the intelligentsia of the surface-apes as ‘feminism’. In other ways, though, they couldn’t be more different! Sseztlussth, the Novice Fleshweaver, has the characteristic ruthlessness of your Master Race—a cold-blooded pragmatism, a disdain and disregard for anyone who isn’t of immediate use or personal relation to her, a total incomprehension of romantic love or altruism. She is consistently skeptical of your grand vision for the New Age of Darkenss precisely BECAUSE she sees no worth outside the temporary and stertegic in preserving the lives of dwarves, Drow, bugbears, or humans... Even Degenerates, like Olu, or your like your late mother. Ekaterine is… Well, much more like YOU. Ekaterine cares about her ‘lessers’, about the foreigner and the alien and the lowborn. She is naïve to a fault, horrified by even necessary violence, but this is because she feels her emotions strongly, passionately, a you feel yours…And this includes love.
>>5631418You have long resigned yourself to the fact that the Novice does not, CANnot, love you. Oh, she feels affection, ownership. She humours your dates, seems to take some pleasure in your physical proximity and in teasing reactions from you, and when you express your OWN love, her embarrassment and confusion has a distinct charm… But it signals incomprehension, emotional disconnect. A pureblooded Reptilian of your era simply lacks the capacity for the sort of pair-bonding instinct and mutual commitment which you inherited from your human grandparent (whoever they even were). She is capable, intelligent, wonderfully self-actualized in her selfish intellectual ambitions... A fascinating mystery with a WONDERFULLY thickness and a smoothness of hide to put a Silkscale to shame... Perhaps a perfect partner in matters arcane and political, and the very embodiment of your youthful desire made flesh...>“I… Think I love him. I think I love YOU.”Ekaterine’s words, words Sseztlussth will NEVER say, echo in your mind as you take advantage of the palace’s rather sophisticated ‘indoor plumbing’ apparatus to pump cold water for your bath. Making sure nobody is around to witness you do it, you exhale a small plume of fire to quick-start the fire beneath the great cooking-pot of a bathtub which they have proffered for your washing. Your artificial human skin sheds, but in tiny, grimy flakes rather than a proper Reptilian’s monthly shedding, or even your own natural bi-weekly shed of large flakes and chunks, necessitating more frequent cleaning. It at least gives you time to think, really CONSIDER, your feelings.Are you… Actually falling in love with Ekaterine?>Yes>NoDo you even still love the Novice?>Yes>NoWhat will you do about the added risk you have placed upon your companions and allies in Hawksong?>Speak with Rufos about this, giving him information on them so that he can specifically AVOID his agents detecting or apprehending them as he expands his security apparatus>Reach out to the Archmage of the Mages’ Tower to negotiate for safe haven for Reptilian Infiltrators there>Instruct Irinnile to re-establish the Incubus Cult’s connections, under her auspices, and to use those resources and your insider knowledge to avoid discovery>You’ll engineer your date so you can meet with them yourself, and instruct them to leave the city for their own safety>Do nothing—making contact carries its own risks, and you trust in their ability to stay out of trouble[Write-ins allowed for the third vote, but not the first two]
>>5631427>Yes>YesDragons don’t believe in monogamy.>Reach out to the Archmage of the Mages’ Tower to negotiate for safe haven for Reptilian Infiltrators there>Instruct Irinnile to re-establish the Incubus Cult’s connections, under her auspices, and to use those resources and your insider knowledge to avoid discoverySuper.
>>5631427>Yes>YesI don't doubt the difficulty, but this is the paradigm of our whole worldview. We enjoin all through our overpowering love.>Reach out to the Archmage of the Mages’ Tower to negotiate for safe haven for Reptilian Infiltrators there>Instruct Irinnile to re-establish the Incubus Cult’s connections, under her auspices, and to use those resources and your insider knowledge to avoid discovery; specifically ask her if there's anything you can do to assist her efforts
[Also, not to lead anyone's vote or spoil anything, but I will say this: while it's possible to maintain a "harem ending" situation with all your waifus, Ekaterine and the Novice in particular are going to be a particularly difficult balancing act. I just won't want anyone to feel surprised or betrayed if you go the "both" route and things get... Difficult. Eka is an SJW and an altruist; the Novice is a racist snake-monster who sometimes eats people and frequently experiments on them. Just... Keep it in mind.]Reposted disclaimer without typos
>>5631427>Yes>Yes>Reach out to the Archmage of the Mages’ Tower to negotiate for safe haven for Reptilian Infiltrators there >Instruct Irinnile to re-establish the Incubus Cult’s connections, under her auspices, and to use those resources and your insider knowledge to avoid discoveryThis definitely feels like a montage moment>>5631475>picrel
>>5631427>Yes>Yes>Reach out to the Archmage of the Mages’ Tower to negotiate for safe haven for Reptilian Infiltrators there>Instruct Irinnile to re-establish the Incubus Cult’s connections, under her auspices, and to use those resources and your insider knowledge to avoid discovery.>>5631475> Eka is an SJW.That's about as helpful a label as socialist, fascist, communist or capitalist i.e. not at all since their meanings vary so much depending on where you are on the political spectrum and how much you know about their respective ideological theories.Do you mean she desires a non discriminatory state? Or is it something more involved like targeted welfare, non discrimination laws and quotas? Or is it even more involved like the full redistribution of property, power and influence along demographic lines?
>>5631521>get into the weeds about the exact meaning of Social Justice[No thanks, anon, I'm just using a colloquialism to point out the VERY stark divide between these two ladies' worldviews. I don't want to open up a can of words or a /pol/ debate.]>What are Eka's beliefs and concerns specifically[That IS a fair question, though, since Theral has been spending pretty much all his time hanging out with and humouring her as she excitedly rambles about things she's read, while subtly trying to disenchant her to the society she lives in and which Theral plans to overthrow...][Without stating where I or you or especially THERAL should fall on such issues or drawing any direct parallel to real life, Ekaterine is (as earlier noted) very concerned with the well-being and freedom of women, with the marginalized and the socio-economic underclass, and with equality and inclusion. She is quite enamored with cooperation between "races"--which in her world is a very nebulous term, sometimes meaning cultural and ethnic groups as we (or our ancestors, at least) would understand them and sometimes meaning, like, cat-people or goblins and elves. She wants peace and prosperity for all, a very "kumbaya" kind of future where everyone lives together and gets along.][She's also a literal princess in a religiously-based polytheistic monarchy, in a world where multiple sapient species with VERY distinct biologies and psychologies exist and gods/spirits/demons are real, so it's an imperfect analogue to anything which we experience outside of speculative fiction, and bundled up with (to some) antiquated notions of noblisse oblige, natural hierarchies, etcetera. She'd probably support major property or wealth redistribution if she thought it would make the world a better place in the end, but would obviously blanche at any major actions of physical violence, and she still sort of assumes that whoever is ordering and organizing society will (by default) be a kind of benevolent monarch, albeit maybe with a council of advisors meant to represent the common folk of various races so that said monarch could hear all their concerns and do their very best to address them.][Sorry if tl;dr, and PLEASE (not directed at the anon who asked, but rather at everyone here) don't get into any off-topic debates about whether Ekaterine is a good/bad right/left wrong/right person more broadly. Let's all keep this civil, in-topic, and in-character!]
>>5631559> [No thanks, anon, I'm just using a colloquialism to point out the VERY stark divide between these two ladies' worldviews. I don't want to open up a can of words or a /pol/ debate.]Of course, that's exactly my point. Such terms open up so many cans of worms that they lose their usefulness in tangential discussions> Eka's beliefs and concerns specifically.It is as I thought then, she has no coherent worldview but various motivations instead. Many such cases.
>>5631570>no coherent worldview[A fair assessment, as she's very sheltered, though she would dispute that and take grave offence, since she views herself as being firm in her ideals and simply deprived of the practical experience and economic education to know how best to put them into practice, or the opportunity to actually do anything about it anyway.]>Many such cases.[Anon, please, do not elaborate upon this point for the good of us all. :( ]
>>5631427>Yes>YesI think that Ekaterine is a better fit for us, given that our group back in Bloodrise is mostly made up of outcasts and degenerates, which has led to a god forsaking us. Our degenerate nature pretty much forces us to abolish the old social structure of our race, and that might be too much for the Novice in the future.So I would favor Eka over the Novice, especially because she will be the mother of our demigod child, but it would be out of character to just forget about our love for the Novice. Loving them both doesn't mean we can't prefer one of them.>Reach out to the Archmage of the Mages’ Tower to negotiate for safe haven for Reptilian Infiltrators there>Instruct Irinnile to re-establish the Incubus Cult’s connections, under her auspices, and to use those resources and your insider knowledge to avoid discovery
>>5631580> [A fair assessment, as she's very sheltered, though she would dispute that and take grave offence, since she views herself as being firm in her ideals and simply deprived of the practical experience and economic education to know how best to put them into practice, or the opportunity to actually do anything about it anyway.]It is silly of her to take offense at such an observation. She has ideals and she has conviction but those alone do not make a coherent worldview.> [Anon, please, do not elaborate upon this point for the good of us all. :( ]What controversy could come of me elaborating on it? Many people don't think through their positions on subjects and simply advocate what "feels" right to them. It's a universal phenomenon in all societies in all of human history.
>>5631599>silly of her[She's 20, a princess, and she is rarely even allowed to leave her (admittedly quite large) house and instead lives in her own head and in her books, so... Yes, maybe, but I am simply forewarning you of the likely reaction to such an accusation. Theral would know that much, since he's been ALSO spending most of his time lately (sometimes literally) in her head.]>It's a universal phenomenon in all societies in all of human history.[Fair.]
>>5631427>No>Yes>Reach out to the Archmage of the Mages’ Tower to negotiate for safe haven for Reptilian Infiltrators thereTell her we’re trying to get restrictions on the Tower lifted >Instruct Irinnile to re-establish the Incubus Cult’s connections, under her auspices, and to use those resources and your insider knowledge to avoid discovery; specifically ask her if there's anything you can do to assist her efforts
>>5631427>NoOur only job is to bang her to get rid of the danger of our demigod embryo from killing us. We don't need an emotional bond with her beyond that.>Yes>Reach out to the Archmage of the Mages’ Tower to negotiate for safe haven for Reptilian Infiltrators there>Instruct Irinnile to re-establish the Incubus Cult’s connections, under her auspices, and to use those resources and your insider knowledge to avoid discovery; specifically ask her if there's anything you can do to assist her efforts
>>5631427>Nopreggers and side ho>Yes>Speak with Rufos about this, giving him information on them so that he can specifically AVOID his agents detecting or apprehending them as he expands his security apparatusEveryone is trusting Henzler who we have barely spoken to, over the prince who we have plenty of compromising material on.
[Sorry for the delay, at my family's for Easter. I'll post before bed, or tomorrow if I'm too sleepy.]
>>5631427>Yes>YesCatfight (or snake-monke fight) time>Do nothing—making contact carries its own risks, and you trust in their ability to stay out of trouble
>>5631433>>5631470>>5631494>>5631521>>5631591>>5631659>>5631703>>5631886>>5631895>>5632160You soak in the bath for a while, letting dragonfire’s heat warm you and the embryonic egg-like weightlessness of the water centre you, bringing rest to your weary body and mind where busy nights of half-sleep have failed you. Why are you troubling yourself over this? There is no need to wonder which of these two females you love more, not for YOU. You are a PRINCE of Love, a DRAGON KING. You can love them both. No, you MUST love them both! Is this not the essence of what you are, what you hope to be? You will bind, unify, and control this whole world—the Novice’s race, Ekaterine’s race, and any others who oppose you—and you will do so WITH love. It is the very ESSENCE of the Coming Age!Yes, as you dry off, you feel much better about the whole thing. You chalk the earlier angst up to weariness and the paranoia which comes with living as a de facto Infiltrator without the prerequisite training. Surely, there is nothing to worry about.As for what to do about your allies in the city… Well, you cannot simply let them roam free, unaware of the danger which closes in n them. Nor, however, are you prepared to risk sharing additional intelligence with the head of city security and son of the Paladin King. You have compromising information on Rufos, but what if he turns on you, as his ilk are sometimes wont to do? No, it does not behoove a wise clutch-keeper to keep all the community’s eggs in a single nest, as the saying goes. Luckily, you have two more such ‘nests’: Succubus Irinnile, and Archmage Henzler.You use your newfound leeway with your guards to leave the palace for a spell after your bath and breakfast. Alexos cannot imprison you even in resplendent finery any longer, without drawing his father’s ire, and Rufos is not inclined to stop you from further aiding his cause (or so you assume to be his rationale, at least). You bring Irinnile with you, and you make your way half-way across Hawksong to the Mages’ Tower. There are few reason’s for the demon’s inclusion: Henzler has been influenced by the succubus before, and may yet be again; the succubus is integral to part TWO of you brilliant scheme; lastly, you live in dread of the succubus’ bad acting catching up with her and blowing both your cover in your absence.
>>5632189“Well excuuuu~uuuse me for bein’ my own person, I guess,” Irinnile grumpily responds to the last and most salient point.“Do you wish to be left alone, with the Paladin Prince close at hand and scrutinizing us so closely?” you point out.The succubus complains no more, for the remainder of your journey.You plan is this: you intend to negotiate with Archmage Henzler to make a safe haven of the Mages’ Tower for your race’s operatives, beginning with Roth, Olu, and Halle. You will then re-organize and revitalize the Incubus Cult, smashes some weeks earlier by you, under the demon to whom you fed the cult’s leader and central fetish: Irinnile! The cult, in service to you through their service to Irinnile, can then relay with your friends and allies, usher them to the Tower to await the conclusion of your mission, and thereafter serve as a means to smuggle messages in and out of the Palace through waking agents and dream-delving alike!Easy, right?“Is that all?” the Archmage asks dryly, with open apathy.You appear before her once more in her office, the demon-possessed Green Knight at your side. When last you left, you wore your true shape, and the knight in question was slung, unconscious, over your shoulder. The change is obviously of interest to her, though she betrays little concern with your mastery over the demon which once dominated her will at your mother’s behest, decades hence, and who now occupies the vessel of the knight errant who blackmailed and coerced her with this selfsame devil.“It isss,” you confirm. “I will bring them to you. You need only shield them from ssscrutiny for a time, until I am ready to collect my fellowsss.”“At the risk of sounds trite and transactional as ill-befits my station,” the Archmage replies without any evidence of shame, “what’s in it for me? This risks blowing up in my face like a shoddily-cast fireball spell. The Mages’ Tower was brought low by demons and reptiles. Now you’d have me repeat all that nonsense.” “You became Archmage in the processss, yess?” you point out. “It wass hardly to your detriment.”“Yes, lucky me, ever-watched and easily-blackmailed headmistress of a weakened, defunded, disrespected institution, robbed of my greatest research.”“Your ‘greatessst resssearch’ was a Dragonborn, tortured and abused, left ssstunted and deformed by your ruinousss works.”
>>5632194The words escape your mother in a furious gout, before you can clamp down on them. This human female is unbelievable—to accuse your people of ‘robbing’ her of the Great Green Dragonborn, virtually your older brother, who she crafted as a half-formed thing and beat into flinching submission in a basement too low for him to even stand straight for at least a century. It took YOUR people, using techniques devised by YOUR mother, well over a decade to undo even the greater part of that damage and give him some of the glory which he is owed, and even NOW it will take the diadem upon your brow and a divine favour to restore his mind to full working order!“Please,” the Archmage says, rolling her eyes “You ‘Dragonborn’ wouldn’t exist at ALL without what I created. The techniques which birthed You were, first and foremost, MY doing. Your mother studied MY techniques to make you the being you are today.” You glower silently, unwilling to entertain this arrogant alchemist’s self-aggrandizing interpretation of events any longer. You’re here on business, after all.“I know how badly I and this institution will suffer if you fail,” the Archmage says, breaking the silence abruptly without any apparent feeling of shame or awkwardness. “What will I stand to gain, on the off chance you do not?”What do you offer Archmage Henzler?>Increased funding and autonomy—you’ll ensure Rufos grants her that much>The return of the Tower Inquisition—as Henzler’s secret police>A steady stream of human test subjects for her, with the aid of the next King of Hawksong in covering it up and granting the Tower deniability>Access to Reptilian alchemy, and draconic materials and magics from Bloodrise>’Gain’?! If Henzler does not comply, you will unleash Irinnile and she’ll LOSE the option to refuse you—the demon will simply puppet her and control her again, as once she did!>Write-in
>>5632195>An opportunity to see a showcase of your Dragonshape, and one single session of examination- maybe Henzler can replicate your ability for less-gifted Reptillians, benefiting both her scientific curiosity and your race
>>5632195>Access to Reptilian alchemy, and draconic materials and magics from Bloodriseonce that's set up it should be easy to turn it into a 2 way street
>>5632195>>Increased funding and autonomy—you’ll ensure Rufos grants her that much
>>5632548+1sounds like the most feasible optionBacklink>>5631895
[Bit of a narrow vote, and I'm wiped from my family gathering, so I'll post tomorrow.]
>>5632195>Increased funding and autonomy—you’ll ensure Rufos grants her that much
>>5632195>Access to Reptilian alchemy, and draconic materials and magics from BloodriseGiving her autonomy could get out of hand later. Maybe we can have a sort of partnership later as >>5632548 said.
>>5633294>>5633215>>5632989>>5632963>>5632548>>5632444“The ssecretss of the Fleshweaver’sss artsss,” you offer.“The arts MY research revolutionized?” the Archmage asks, raising one eyebrow slightly. “Why should I care for that? As ever, you Reptilians overestimate your own mystical and alchemical contributions. You have nothing I need.”You grit your teeth, but maintain your outward calm, grateful for no tail to lash and give away your frustration.“Even IF you are the sssuperior Fleshweaver—”“Chimericist,” Archmage Henzler corrects you.“—it doesss not mean you sstand to gain nothing frm access to AEONSSS of research materialsss along a parallel courssse.”The Archmage regards you coolly, then shrugs slightly in seeming acknowledgement.“In addition,” you add, “would you not benefit from materialsss beyond the usual?”The human sorceress’ eyes narrow.“What sort of ‘materials’?”“In our ssearchesss into the dark and remote palcesss of thiss world, my race hasss found flesh and blood of the Great Onesss of old… The Dragonsss!”THAT visibly excites the Archmage, even if she only shows it by an increased focus and a slight lean forward.“Which among them?”You have her now.“The Red Dragon King,” you answer.“So your kind ARE active in Bloodrise, as the rumours suggested.”You freeze, suddenly concerned. Damnit all, did you give away too much?! What if she shares this information with the Paladins, or others in positions of power? Archmage Henzler sems to recognize you burgeoning panic, though, and waves one of her oversized sleeves dismissively through the air, as if to clear a foul smoke.“I have no interest in the conflict there,” she says. “if you can rescue your ‘materials’ and bring some of them to me—the tomes of theory, the charts and bloodline studies, the dragon’s flesh and blood—you’ll have my cooperation. I will hide your father and whatever other Reptoids you send my way.”“I do not like that term,” you note.“I don’t especially care,” the Archmage replies, with neither malice nor apology. “Do we have a bargain?”“Yesss,” you hiss, without any great pleasure.“Wow, Archmage Femcel really came outta’ this whole fuckin’ debacle ahead, didn’t she?” Irinnile comments, almost admiringly, as you depart from the Mages’ Tower.“I thought her sssurname wass Henzler?” you ask, confused. “Is ‘Femcccel’ a ttitle of ssome ssort? A firssst name?”Irinnile sniggers, and you feel as if you’ve missed another of the demon’s jokes.“So, what now, big boy?” they ask.“Now,” you reply, “it’sss your turn.”The two of you slow, as the demon-in-the-knight turns to you, wary and workshy.“Uh, my turn, babycakes? Whaddaya’ mean?”
>>5633351“The Incubussss… Hisss esssencce iss inssside of you, yesss? Hiss pawnss, hiss network… They are yoursss, if you but take hisss place?”Irinnile seems to consider this as for the first time. You wonder if it’s an act, or if the ditzy demon genuinely never considered the full implications of consuming and subsuming her rival.“Well, shit, I guess so, huh?” Irinnile says happily.“You and my mother ssset up thisss… Ill-fated allianccce with the Incubusss to sssupport Infiltrator activitiesss in Hawksssong. To protect and aid my people here. Ssso shall it be again, thisss time under more DIRECT control. MY control.”“Well, like… Mine, you mean, right?”You give Irinnile a sharp look, and succubus-knight puts their hands up and takes a step back.“I’m not, like, sayin’ tha means I’m AGAINST ya’, obviously. You’re my baby, Baby, you know THAT!”You say nothing.“I’m just, ya’ know… Sayin’. If you want me ta’ play demon mob boss, I’m gonna’ need certain… Assurances. No comin’ after Ricky, or me, or siccing Paladins or mages on us, or exposin’ us, or jailin’ us, or any a’ that shit… You know, the usual. Ooo! An’ our pick a’ people to suck, fuck, eat up… Mmm, okay, yeah, I think I’m feelin’ this Crime Boss Iri thing, ackshully~!”This succubus… She is a demanding creature, and ungrateful. Have you not freed her, fed her, helped her defeat her foes, empowered and protected her? But then, you suppose it’s not as if you’ve gotten nothing in return, is it? Irinnile ahs been vital to your own objectives here, granting you legitimacy to enter eh palace, dream-magic to manipulate and romance Princess Ekaterine, and vital intelligence and leverage over Prince Rufos and Archmage Henzler.
>>5633353Still... She cannot be wholly trusted. She is not a friend. Irinnile is a schemer, and you suspect she is less vapid and oblivious than she pretends to be (though still, perhaps, no brilliant tactician). She is unpredictable, gluttonous for mana, perverse and twisted in her violent sexual desires and indiscriminate in how she fulfills them. She is in love with the Green Knight, and protects him with her own life… Though she also spoke truth when she pointed out that she has been loyal to you, as well. Even when she fooled you into believing she was bound by a false pact, she never betrayed or abandoned you, except perhaps in pursuit of absorbing more of your power that strictly necessary, and corrupting your <appetite> to match her own tastes, which one might expect from any dealing with a demon of her ilk.What will you do?>Trust in Irinnile, if she will trust in you—let the demon loose to reconstitute the Incubus Cult without a binding pact or any additional oaths>Make a pact—a PROPER pact, sealed as required with the aid of a Reptilian specialist on the matter once you can locate one—to bind you both [specify any pledges you do or do NOT want to make, and what you’d demand in exchange]>Attempt to coerce Irinnile with threats of indirect exposure or destruction into a more one-sided deal, more akin to servitude than partnership>As long as Irinnile remains bound and loyal to your mother killer, you can’t trust her—she must relinquish Heinrich Yosef, or you can never be true allies>Write-in
>>5633354>Make a pact—a PROPER pact, sealed as required with the aid of a Reptilian specialist on the matter once you can locate one—to bind you both [specify any pledges you do or do NOT want to make, and what you’d demand in exchange]I'd want to go for what we already agreed upon back when we let her eat the Incubus, now officially.
>>5633354>Trust in Irinnile, if she will trust in you—let the demon loose to reconstitute the Incubus Cult without a binding pact or any additional oathsWe need to be rebuilding that trust- of course, with the caveat that our assurances aren’t bound by oath.Also fine with the servitude thing, because apparently it’s the surefire way into her heart lol.
>>5633366Supporting this. She’s a demon, it’s in her nature to ‘bend’ relationships to her benefit - it’s not her fault that she’s like that
>>5633366>>5633508[To clarify, that would mean...]>she will serve you and all of your sons and family, so long as any of you live, sworn to protect you and keep all promises made to you, and to forever further the Reptilian cause now and future. And also not to EVER attempt to control you again.[in exchange for...]>“But you can, like, never ever come after Ricky OR try ta’ break our pact, either… and none of your subordinates, or like… Agents… or anyone else you can weasel inta’ it! Deal?”[...correct?]
>>5633544I prefer giving trust a chance- all the time you tried to insert drama by exploiting technicalities instead of following the spirit of the agreement really make me want to try the trust path instead.
>>5633544I support this, but to add some trust to it, plus this clause:>Once per five years either of us may, if we choose, revisit this pact and break or amend it so long as these changes or cancellations are made clear to the otherA five year period of mutual cooperation to start, and we can amend or remove it as the trust grows between us. It suits the current professional nature of things but has space for growth.
>>5633626I try to always play by the rules, Longterm Player Anon
You know I've noticed the oath she demanded we give her last thread has 2 big holes in it. For one thing the oath is only valid if irinnile remains pact bound to henrich. But by far the biggest flaw in it was that while she demanded we never harm Heinrich. She didn't bother to included a provision on herself in not being harmed in the oath.If we can trick or coax her out of Heinrich, we can force her to seal whatever deal we want by either using the dragon kings skill in demon binding or by threatening her to obey with the shogoth sword. And then after that we can find a way to sever the pact she has with Yosef and get rid of him.>>5633354>Write-in: Respond to her pervious betrayal with trickery of your own, Ask the red dragon king if he knows any spells that might bind, dominate or seal a demon. Then tell Irinnile we would like to form a pact with her. One that's one sided in her favor no less and play up to her ego. But first before sealing the pact request for her to leave yosef's body and return to either her sword or spirit form. Instead of going through with deal use the opportunity to trap and seal her.
>>5633650I think you're missing the part where we can't break any oaths made, anon. I am fairly certain the Serpent Ascendant would look poorly on that kinda thing.
>>5633640Then making a proper deal is the wrong way to go about this.>>5633650No- binding it to the pact is a loophole just in case Ricky here wakes up and won’t stop his revenge unless he’s dead. There are ways to break the pact without killing him.Second, you’re wrong about the harm part- we made an oath not to personally kill him, it had no mention of future harm and shit (which would be ridiculous since he has a specifically coming after us). We humored Iri’s demands to feed and keep Ricky healthy because we were being nice to her, not because of our path.We shouldn’t make a pact, we should instead be building a positive relationship with her.
>>5633366>>5633508>>5633637>>5633650Lads, doing a pact is the wrong way to go about this- I think if we built a relationship of trust and mutual expectations, we’d be better off in the long run.
>>5633366>>5633492>>5633508>>5633637>>5633650You decide to Trust Irinnile’s intentions… But only for NOW. Only SO FAR. It’s all she deserves at the moment, and all you can offer, and frankly you wouldn’t even be doing that except for the present necessity.“Keep the Green Knight under control, ssedated,” you order her. “Gather the Incubusss’ forccesss, and marshal them to bring Roth, Oluwadamilre, and Halle to the Magesss’ Tower, and to keep me abreassst of any other changesss in patrolsss throughout Hawksssong… And Rth, for that matter, sso he can ssafeguard our agentsss.”You pause in your instructions as a horse-drawn carriage passes by the two of you, waiting until he is out of earshot to continue.“Asss ssoon asss we have an Occultissst available to usss, I wish to formally lock in our earlier pact, by meansss of magic, unbreakable to suss both.”Irinnile puts a hand on their hip and coks their head.“What, you mean ‘I serve your crotch-goblins’ crotch-goblins an’ Lizard High Command for ever and ever and EVER an’ in exchange, like, you never come after Ricky or try ta’ break me ‘n Ricky’s pact, even with sneaky shit like allies ‘n agents ‘n shit? That one?”You nod.“Baby,” the succubus sighs, “ya’ know that’s not a fair deal, right? Do you, like, even KNOW how logn ‘forever’ is? Do you have ANY idea?”Irinnile looks at you hard, then sighs, head sagging.“’Course ya’ don’t.”“It’ss immaterial!” you protest. “Thisss iss the deal that MUSSST be sstruck. You are asssking me to let you pressserve the life of my mother’ss killer, and an enemy of my kind. We BOTH need assuranccces.”“Yeah, an’ I get that,” Irinnile agrees. “Hell, if it were just YOU ta’ worry about, I’d probably even just bend over ‘n TAKE it (the deal, hehehe~) right now! But what if one of your kids is a shithead, huh? What if you spawn yourself some great-great-grandbaby that’s super fuckin’ unreasonable? What if I don’t wanna’ be a servant to WHOever, FORever, without no out?”“My impresssion wass that ssuch dominanccce wass the ssurefire way to your heart,” you note dryly.Irinnile giggles, and shrugs, sticking out their tongue goofily.“Guiltyyyy,” she admits. “But not for just ANYONE, Big Boy.”Irinnile taps their lips idly, rolling Yosef’s eyes skyward in thought for a few moments, then snaps their finges.“Got it! Tell ya’ what—we do your deal, but both of us get a clause ta’ get out’ve it, no-harm no-foul, every once in a while. Howzat strike ya’, Babycakes?”‘Once in a while’ seems vague—too vague for your liking. Would it just be whenever you felt like it? That would seem to defeat the purpose of the pact. Every year, every five? How long should you lock it in-place, to make it truly safe for you and your kin?“Howzabout… Once a generation, huh?”
>>5633711You blink. Then blink again.“Wait,” you say, ‘what?”“Yeah!” Irinnile cheerfully chirps. “that’s fair, right? You ‘n me can do this dance ‘til you die, but if your heir’s a shit, I can fuck off an’ do whatever.”“You are… Okay with that?” you ask.“It’s fine, if it’s Lisspy’s big bouncin’ baby boy,” Irinnile concludes with a nod. “In a way, I made ya’, after all, an’ now you're all fucked up about ‘muh oaths’ an’ shit thanks to your big dumb dragon god.”You ignore the blatant blasphemy against the Serpent Ascendant to consider this option—more generous in many ways than you would have anticipated. You look away, and when you look back, Irinnile is in your face—Yosef’s own face warped and shifted into Irinnile’s usual feminine visage, grinning that too-wide grin.“Soooo? Don’t leave a girl hanging, baby!”Her face shifts again, subtly, and with a start you realize the demon is wearing Ekaterine’s own flesh—or a facsimile thereof, fashioned from Yosef’s and from dark magic.“We can even skip the ‘Occultisssstssss’ or whatevs an’ seal it with a kiss,” she says.You… Aren’t sure you trust that, after last time.“Succ’s honour!” Irinnile says, holding up a hand in some queer occult gesture: two fingers folded in, three together and held up. “You can even get your weird sake-witches ta’ check it over later, make sure I didn’t fuck ya’ over (except in the fun way, a’ course, if you ever wanna’~).”The succubus is laying the charm on thick, but… Well, it isn’t a bad deal. Or is it? Have you missed something? You need to make a decision, to secure your allies’ safety in time for your date…>Take the deal>Refuse the deal, and substitute your own [specify modifications, will lead to either acceptance or denial and moving on for pacing's sake]>Just trust Irinnile for now, and decide on a permanent solution for your alliance later>Write-in
>>5633659>>5633652We cant harm the henrich the human we could have always attacked Irinnile the demon. whilst the two aren't combined.
>>5633713>Just trust Irinnile for now, and decide on a permanent solution for your alliance laterKiss her on the cheek instead. I trust ya Iri, and I don’t need a demon kiss to believe ya.(We also need to get proper information on what a demon pact means for the dealmaker’s soul afterwards as well. I’m curious just what Ricky got himself into when making his deal.>>5633720>“I promise,” you continue, doing the interrupting this time, “not to kill the Green Knight so long as your pact with him remains intact.”No mention of harm, just nothing lethal. Besides, I bet Iri will do much worse to her plaything than we ever could.
>>5633711*unbreakable to usss both*how long 'forever' is>>5633713*snake-witchesThe 'lissssp' accent makes it even harder to spot genuine typos, but it's too amusing a callback (to me) for me to drop it.
>>5633721>Besides, I bet Iri will do much worse to her plaything than we ever could[Being an immortal yandere monster's meat-puppet and pet is probably not fun for most humans, it's true. Before The Reptilian Infiltrator tamed Irinnile, the demon even used to do things that disturbed HER.]
>>5629746Theral and the paladin king
>>5633821Heh, he look so done with this bs.
>>5633821[That's really awesome SQM! Thank you!]
>>5633713>Just trust Irinnile for now, and decide on a permanent solution for your alliance laterWe cant break any oath, so we should be careful and do the pact later with the help of an expert
>>5633713>Take the dealmore generous than we were looking for, and we already made these oaths so we aren't losing anything by agreeing early
>>5633713>Take the dealI think it makes sense for us, and this cuts off some loose ends that I really don't like leaving hanging. Though I'm gonna be a bit salty if this fucks us over.
>>5633721>>5634023>>5634114>>5634212[Tie game, huh? Alright, I'll check in before bed, and roll to break it if no vote is by then.]
>>5634538>>5633721>>5634023>>5634114>>5634212You stare into Yosef’s—no, Irinnile’s eyes, and consider her offer. But then… What does a demon pact even do to one’s soul? What has Yosef sold, besides his bodily autonomy these last two weeks? What had he already lost to this demoness who now wears him like a skin-suit?Why sell so much of YOURself?You elan forward as if to kiss the demon-in-human’s clothing, and instead tilt sideways, dodging her lips’ dark embrace to instead kiss her with courtly daintiness—well practiced in preparation for Eka—upon her cheek.“No deal.”“Wha?” she asks, patting the place where your lips toughed. “I don’t get it. You wanna’ haggle more or somethin’?”“No,” you say. “I do not NEED a deal. I don’t need your guaranteess of sservitude, for any length of time.. Jusst your help, right now. “Go, do your part. Reform your predecesssor’sss followersss back into he fold. Use their resssourccesss. Bring the othersss to the Tower’ss ssafety, and report back… Pleassse, ‘Aunty Iri’. I know you won’t betray me in thisss hour of need.”Irinnile’s flesh springs back to its natural shape—that of Heinrich Yosef—and the succubus-knight scratches their head.“Uh,” Irinnile stammers, “ya’ do?”You turn your back to the demon, and leave for your date.“I trussst you,” you confirm.‘For now,’ you think, and pray that the succubus cannot so easily hear your thoughts in daylight and wakefulness as she does in night and in dream.It isn’t long later that you find yourself returned to the palace grounds. Daylight is giving way to early evening in Hawksong, the sunset shadows of the mountain casting the palace’s dark shadow over the city below. Torches are being lit already, in preparation for the coming dark. These humans… Despertaely clinging to day, pushing back the shadows below and beyond… But darkness eventually swallows all, you reflect. Light can only persist so long. Darkness is coming for Hawksong, and SOON. Your mission here is almost complete. But now?Just now… You are with the royal tailors.“Thiss sseemss unneccesssary,” you comment. “My armour isss quite fine asss garb tonight, and I HAVE other attire…Well, you could transform the shoggoth-cuirass INTO other attire, albeit nothing too thin or with any texture but twisted and warty leather. In retrospect… Maybe not ideal for a semi-public dinner date with a princess. But what sort of attire do they fashion you?>Something… Stately, authoritarian, dignified and martial>Something vampishly tight, athletic, accentuating yoru physical appeal—or Long Wang’s, at least>Something casual, flowy, comfortable, and humble>Write-in
>>5634595>Something… Stately, authoritarian, dignified and martial
>>5634595>Something… Stately, authoritarian, dignified and martial>Something vampishly tight, athletic, accentuating yoru physical appeal—or Long Wang’s, at leastWe can pull off both.
>>5634595>Something vampishly tight, athletic, accentuating yoru physical appeal—or Long Wang’s, at leastLong wang need that human rizzBacklink>>5634538
>>5634595>>Something… Stately, authoritarian, dignified and martial>>Something vampishly tight, athletic, accentuating yoru physical appeal—or Long Wang’s, at leastwhat >>5634616 says.Backlink : >>5614432
>>5634595>Something… Stately, authoritarian, dignified and martial>Something vampishly tight, athletic, accentuating your physical appeal—or Long Wang’s, at leastBut more of the former than the latter.
>>5634595>Something… Stately, authoritarian, dignified and martialBut also make it a bit exotic…we’re not a local noble after all
>>5634613>>5634616>>5634681>>5634706>>5634720>>5635138>>5635143You decide to make the most of this necessary indignity, and to command the human servants on the construction of a rather exotic attire. You are masquerading as a foreign agent, after all, not as a local nobleman. The attire must be dignified, stately, commanding… But also alluring, the sort of cut of cloth which draws a female’s eyes to your musculature, your masculinity.The lesser males set to the task of clothing your seem to struggle with your vague instructions and critiques, but you are a king, not a tailor. This is their JOB! You place your trust in them, as servants must trust their masters in turn. I due time, should they survive the conquest of Hawksong, they will learn the ways of your give-and-take.When all is said and done, you are attired in a sort of martial tunic and robe, hands clad in fine silken gloves in lieu of gauntlets. Your shoggoth-cuirass becomes mere belt and leggings—rather tight, red leather leggings, their blemished and pocked contours hidden by the folded, vaguely ‘Eassstern’ breeches you ordered the servants to craft you. A black-and-gold construction of fabric a-and-leather- forms a decorative chest-plate and shoudlerguards for you, implying armour even now, and exaggerating your silhouette. You admire Long Wang’s reflection in the mirror somewhat—a foreign face, an alien body, but clad in a style which is distinctly ‘Theral’.Satisfied, you go to meet your mate.While you have ‘dressed up’, Princess Ekaterine has dressed DOWN, if anything. This isn’t to say she isn’t still impressive—her attire, custom-crafted for her own form as yours was for Long Wang’s, is still likely worth more gold than most of her subjects would see in a month, perhaps a year. Her garb is rather loser and more conservative than yours, even than her palace-wear: a gauzy cowl of black, spangled with small pearls and white gems—zirconia, or genuine diamonds?—hide a higher-than-usual neckline, though you note a sort of… Girdle or corset has pushed her most-mammalian of assets up and together, to accentuate her own sexual dimorphism. Her hair is tied up in a bun, and placed under a too-small, slightly-askew hat of some sort. Her dress is not especially clinging, but it is short, and she is wearing some sort of especially-impractical footwear with a raised heel, coming to a deadly-looking point.She totters slightly, and you rush to catch her. Her male guardians—escorting you on this ‘date’ as they so often do—regard you with brazen suspicion, but Eka just looks embarrassed, and murmurs her thanks.The two of you linger for a moment longer than necessary, regarding one another.
>>5635296“You look… Quite nice, Mister Long.”“Wang, pleassse,” you say, quickly affecting a reassuring smile. “The persssonal name isss a sssign of closenesssss here, yesss? You used it before, and I rather enjoyed that… Eka.”Ekaterine flushes ever-so-slightly, not so dramatically embarrassed as before, and nods slightly.“It is an, ah, unusual attire, I must admit,” she notes. “Is it traditional, in the… Um… Where you come from?”You nod, since it might as well be—‘Long Wang’ comes from nowhere.“Isss yoursss?” you ask, blatantly, scanning her from hat to footwear and back again. She shifts slightly, as if to cover herself, and her blush deepens a little.“Ah! Haha… Well, not precisely, no. Local, but not… TRADITIONAL, entirely. There is a boutique, called ‘Lacewing’, which I sometimes purchase from…”You nod along, and run your hand over the gauze, just barely brushing her chin. A guardsman clears his throat, and only then do you grudgingly take a step back.“Shall we?” you ask.Ekaterine smiles a little, and nods again. She steps forward, straightening her back, and holds out a hand. You blink, and stare blankly.“You’re meant to… Ah, yes, well, you stick out your arm like so, and then I… yes, like this, see?”You allow the Princess to shift and move your posture and limbs like you were some man-sized doll. She is shaking slightly with obvious excitement, and when she is done, your own back is straight, your arm out and bent, and she gingerly tucks her own hand and arm through it, to loosely hold to you.“I ssee,” you say.You pull her just a little closer, eliciting a squeak and a half-hearted glare. The guards, nonplussed and already exasperated from your antics, lead you to the waiting carriage—a carriage drawn not by a pair of horses, but by a great chimera whose visage makes you momentarily wince when it turns a predatory eye towards you.
>>5635298“What isss that?” you ask, feigning calm.“A hippogriff,” Ekaterine answers. “A sort of… Like a gryphon, but the lion aspect has been replaced by horse—or, more, accurately, by a variety of equids and bovids—horses and cows and such—to produce an appropriate stature and strength.Still with a great eagle or hawk’s tawny, razor-beaked head, though, you note. Hm.The chimeric entity regards you with a certain unease, as if it faintly senses something wrong or uncanny about you. None of the humans pay it much heed, though, one of eh guards simply giving it a cuff about the head and directing it forward as he mounts it. The hippogriff-creature seems willing enough to take you to your destination, and so you ignore the beast as best you can, instead making smalltalk with Ekaterine, and informing her of your chosen destination:>Somewhere elvenAn instant hit with your date, obviously… But the fare will be mostly vegetarian, which doesn’t tend to agree with you>Somewhere dwarvenHardy food, quite heavy on meat and the sort of tuberous root and fungus which you can digest fairly well… But one or both of you will most likely get drunk, since alcohol is a must>Somewhere beastlyBeast-men are associated with the East and South, most especially the East, and many are carnivores! You aren’t REALLY sure what to expect, though, or whether either of you will like it>Somewhere halflingBarely exotic at all, but TECHNCIALLY nonhuman—a safe bet, though unlikely to impress overmuch if you were trying to appeal to the Princess’ love of foreign notions>Somewhere orcish or goblinoidThere are few of them around the city, and their palates are notoriously ‘varied’ and ‘colourful’, but it COULD be interesting…
>>5635299>Somewhere dwarvenWe're at least modestly familiar with Dwarven fare, so we can claim some more worldliness points.
>>5635299>Somewhere beastlyalcohol with our tolerance? not happening
>>5635299>Somewhere orcish or goblinoidThere are few of them around the city, and their palates are notoriously ‘varied’ and ‘colourful’, but it COULD be interesting…Backlink >>5634681
>>5635299>Somewhere beastly>Somewhere orcish or goblinoidI’m fine with either.
>>5635299>Somewhere orcish or goblinoidIf this wins, can we choose between orcs and goblins? Is there even any meaningful difference?
>>5635299>Somewhere dwarvenGet her & the guards drunk. Then she’ll sleep with us…
>>5635544We'll get drunk before her if we do this because reptilians have very low tolerance to alcohol. So going somewhere dwarven seems like a bad idea.
>>5635554That’s a very fair point…changing this >>5635554To:>Somewhere orcish or goblinoidGiven that we’re not actually from the East, we shouldn’t hang around people who actually are
>>5635311>>5635330>>5635348>>5635406>>5635417>>5635529>>5635556“So,” the Princess asks, tone neutral, but twitching lip belaying a hidden smirk, “do you plan to be as mysterious about our destination as your origins, Wang?”In truth, you have fairly limited experiences with ALL of these races, save for the dwarves, whose boozy preferences you are wary of. Oh, you doubt that Ekaterine is a seasoned alcoholic or the like, but if carousing begins—and on the rare occasion your slaves, prisoners, and bloody-handed overseers had reason to celebrate, carousing ALWAYS began—you make still be at a disadvantage. Just as the Reptilian stomach is ill-adapted to a diet of greens or grains, the Master Race’s liver can ill master the mammalian races’ favourite intoxicants.“I wass thinking ssoemwhere… Exxxotic.”“Oh?” Ekaterine asks, then flips aside the curtains which shield the two of you from spies and nosy pedestrians outside. “Oh! I recognize this district, it think!”“you do?” you ask, surprise to hear that’s he recognizes ANY part of Hawksong beyond her father’s winding hedge maze of a yard.“From the city plans and municipal maps, yes!”Ah. She must REALLY get bored, at times.“Are we going to the traders’ bazaar, at the outskirts of the city?”“Yesss,” you admit, a little caught off-guard at how quickly she guessed it.Eka fixes you with a knowing look, and giggles little. This only worries you further.“Eastern cuisine, then? The beastfolk? I should have guessed! Are you very familiar with them?”It’s your turn to feel a little smug, as you shake your head.“I thought it should be ssomewhere exxxotic for usss BOTH, sso we can be on ssimilar footing.”“Wait,” Ekaterine asks, suddenly lost, “what?”The expression on her face when the carriage stops and you guide her down the folding steps is priceless. “It’s, uh, it is… It’s very UNIQUE, as a date destination.”In truth, the carnivorous fare of the beastmen had a certain base appeal to you, but the truth is that of all the surface races of which you know little, the beastmen are those you know LEAST about—a dangerous proposition, when masquerading as a human male meant to come from the same lands as your servers. What if they asked a question you couldn’t answer, or undercut your responses and drew suspicion? Orcs and goblins come from all different places, and—as you understand it—are rarely accused of having much culture to be ignorant OF. It’s perfect!It’s also, as Princess Ekaterine implied, ‘unique’
>>5635972 The eatery you have chosen is apparently the premier destination for what few green-grey orcs, faded and humanized half-orcs, and goblinoids—green and short, taller and more pinkish-orange, apparently ‘common’ and ‘hob’ varieties—still exist on the fringes on Hawksong society. Those that are dining here, and the few rough-looking humans and halflings, regard the pair of you, your hippogriff and guards, with equal parts suspicion and fear. A portly-looking, warty goblin in a large, floppy hat that must once have been white approaches you. You see no sign, so you go to meet him, and ask:“Iss thisss place ‘Wa-Nug’s Hot Pot Restaurant’?”“RestaurAUT,” the goblin corrects you. “Rhymes with ‘hot’ and ‘pot’ that way.”“Ah,” you say, not really getting it.“Look,” says the goblin, who you guess MIGHT be Wa-Nug, “we don’t want any trouble.”“Then ssseat uss,” you command, “and bring usss water.”“Uh,” says the goblin, looking at Ekaterine before swiftly turning back to you, “I don’t think the local water’s going to sit too well with the br—the lady.”You scent the air for a moment, and nod in understanding. It’s faint, but you can just make it out—stagnation, waste. The goblinoids and orcs live in the most squalid areas of this area of town, just inside the wall and far from the true denizens of Hawksong… And their waste-removal and water-treatment infrastructure.“What elssse have you got?” you ask.“Gobwine.”“Wine?” you ask, wary and surprised. “What sssort?”“Uh, well, it’s kind of… It’s like… Well, it has apples and quinces, lemons and oranges, cherries—plump ones, proper ripe, unpecked—melons and raspberries, bloom-down-cheeked peaches…”“‘Bloom-down-cheeked?’” you ask, already lost.The goblin proprietor, who had been counting on his fingers, seems to lose track, then waves his hand as if casting aside the matter.“Well, all that, a bunch of berries, and whatever trade-fruit from south and east ahs gone half-off on its way here. We buy it cheap, mix it all, stomp it dill, drain out the sludge—mostly—and add some crushed ice. Gobwine!”You return to Ekaterine, who looks at you questioningly, when she is finally able to drag her gaze of half-hidden horror from the local populace.“Have you ever had ‘gobwine’?” you ask her.“…No, I can’t say that I ever have,” she admits, not sounding especially eager to try it.You hold out a hand reassuringly.“There isss a firssst time for everything.”
>>5635975As it turns out, the libation is more of a cool slurry. Its taste is… Inconsistent. There are flecks of what you HOPE are skins, stems, and pits, though some remind you faintly of the cave-bugs which formed a potion of your childhood repast. The alcohol is watered down, at least, and the sweetness of it seems to appeal to Ekaterine, once she learns to fix her eyes firmly forward and not observe the liquid too closely. Neitehr of you drink much, albeit for different reasons. “So, what sort of FOOD is served at a, um, ‘hot pot restaurant’?” she asks.You don’t correct her on the business’ name, instead simply shrugging amiably.“Sssomething hot and in a pot,” you half-joke. “I undersstand they form a sort of flavourful broth from communal offeringsss, into which they dump raw or fried foodsss of variousss typoess—mainly meat and evgetablesss---and then you… Exxxtract it with these implementsss.”You hold up your own, a little fork-thing made of bent wire, impaled into a rough leather-and-wood grip. Around you, the other diners—many still watching you, while many got up and left as you sat down to scurry away to their dens or hiding places—are partaking in just such a meal.“Is it… Safe?” Eka asks, her voice a whisper.You grin. You… Aren’t sure. Paladins have access to healing magic, though, right? And you ARE an amateur fleshweaver, sort of… Perhaps your biological manipulation magics can abate minor food poisoning, with effort?“Wang,” Ekaterine asks, brow furrowing cutely, eyes squinted in suspicion. “Why did you CHOOSE this place? This isn’t… These people aren’t EXOTIC, they’re just, just, just SAD. Impoverished! This isn’t… I just don’t understand your thinking, I admit it.”What do you say?>Joke around, play it coolThis will be fun and memorable, right? That’s what you wanted—a break from palace refinement and the drudgery of a curated routine.>Challenge herYou were curious how she would react to the TRULY cast-aside and forgotten—the lowest-of-the-low, most reviled and repulsive of the gods’ creatures, who she claims to hold in her heart. So? What does she think?>Admit your motive (sort of)You honestly didn’t know what to expect… But youa ren’t cultured in the ways of the East’s cities and such, and didn’t want to make a fool of yourself among those who might have more urbane>Appeal to her sympathyThis... Honestly isn't that different from what you ate growing up. it's maybe BETTER, in fact. You didn't get various fruit-juices or mammal meat, but subsisted on substandard grub--sometimes LITERAL grubs! Is it so bad?>Offer to leave, and go elsewhereOh Dark Gods Below and Beyond, this was a mistake…>Write-in
>>5635978>Appeal to her sympathy>This... Honestly isn't that different from what you ate growing up. it's maybe BETTER, in fact. You didn't get various fruit-juices or mammal meat, but subsisted on substandard grub--sometimes LITERAL grubs! Is it so bad?Its not like Wangs backstory said we came from money, were an adventuring exorcist allegedly, and our only real horde as the Dragonborn is legendary items that we cant really show off without some bad juju coming our way
>>5635978>Appeal to her sympathyThis... Honestly isn't that different from what you ate growing up. it's maybe BETTER, in fact. You didn't get various fruit-juices or mammal meat, but subsisted on substandard grub--sometimes LITERAL grubs! Is it so bad?There’s much to be done when it comes to equality. You’ve eaten better things, no doubt, but i want you to experience these things first hand. Lest we forget how some people have it. Backlink >>5635348
>>5635978>Challenge herIs this level of impoverishment not exotic to her, a princess? Maybe not geographically, but financially.
>>5635978>Appeal to her sympathy
>>5635979[Point of order: you actually have a fair amount of horded mineral wealth and trade goods from your dwarven conquests and use of slave labour to seize and excavate the Bloodrise. It's just all back at home in a warzone]
>>5635975*HAS gone half-off on its way here. We buy it cheap, mix it all, stomp it DOWN
>>5635979>>5636002>>5636007>>5636017>>5636078“Isss thisss level of ‘impoverishment’ not exotic to you, Princcccesss?”“Wh-what?” Ekateriene asks, scrutinizing expression replaced with shock.“It isssn’t for me,” you go on to explain, and truthfully so. “Where I come from… There isss sscant food to eat. What one findsss, one eatsss. If it isss sspoiled, you cook it longer. Sssometimess, lacking means, you do not cook it at all.”(Well, firebreath helps during fuel rationing, but the point stands even so…)“So… We are here to make a point, then?” Ekaterine asks, more surprised and curious than affronted. “There isss much to be done when it comesss to the vaunted equality you crave,” you explain. “You’ve eaten better thingsss, no doubt, but I want you to exxxperiencce THESE thingsss firssthand. How can you sssolve the world’sss problemsss if you have no exxxperiencce with them?”The Princess of Hawksong nods slightly, though her face belies deep thought, opinions and feelinsg not yet settled. Your discussion, and her consideration, are interrupted by the arrival of the ‘ho pot’ in question, and several smaller, mismatched jars and plates of various… Things. Some are indeed wilted-looking vegetables, fried in some form of thin and crispy starch. You steer clear of those, though Ekaterine seems to select them first-and-fore most as her safest choice. You have eyes for tentacled creatures—ocean-dwellers, exotic as anything to you, with your only past experience with such molluscs being amongst the Wevenore Drow. These morsels, though clearly undesirable off-cuts and runts of a catch, are juicier and meatier than ANYTHING in the underdark. Eka regards your choice with a greenish tinge to her face, made worse when—after submerging and boiling your chosen foodstuffs, you consume yours with gusto. Eka nibbles hers with almost absurd, palatial delicacy, and a requisite ‘mmm’ of polite appreciation.That’s when a mischievous idea strikes.“Close your eyessss.”Eka’s eyes, if anything, widen cosndiering.“No,” she says, a gasp of disbelief.“Yesss,” you say. “Come on—we are here for the exxxotic, right? You wished to exxxperiencce other culturesss and ‘lifewaysss’. You want to underssstand your sssubjectsss, right?”Ekaterine pouts, just a little, then takes a deep breath and settles her expression and adjusts her posture. She meets your eyes boldly and, with obvious and visible reticence, squeezes them shut. You select a lump of ragged and lumpy beef—or is it pork?—and submerge it in the bubbling sauce-pot until it is properly cooked. Ekaterine whines, dreading what is to come, not knowing that, in your infinite and beneficent mercy as Dark prophet, you have taken it easy on her.“Open up.”
>>5636095In a show of (reluctant) trust, Eka opens her mouth, and sticks out her tongue slightly. The image is… Enticing, but honestly more amusing. She squirms. She looks terrified. You proffer the meat. After only a moment, she bites down, and chews… And chews… And eventually swallows.“…May I open my eyes again?” she asks.“That wasssn’t ssso bad, right?” you ask, then add: “Yess, go ahead.”Ekaterine opens one eye as if dreading what she will see, but it is just you, calmly eating—rather enjoying it, though goblin spice is a bit much for you, and your eyes water a little from it.“It… Was not bad, no,” she admits, as the two of you return to your meal. “In fact… I must rather compliment the chef. The texture is… Not dieal, but the seasoning, the way it brinsg out the flavour… It IS quite well-done, isn’t it?”You shrug, and note: “I can’t imagine the goblinsss and orcsss would give up sssuch pleassuresss asss these, even if they were ‘liberated’, would they?”Ekaterine smile slightly, and nods in agreement, then frowns.“But it’s my brothers’ policies than force them to make do with… This… Rather than Mister Wa-Nug being able to cook with higher grade ingredients, in a place with better ambience, with higher-paying clientele. Even Goblintown must have been better than…”She trails off, looking around, and then looks back at her hotpot.“You grew up, ah, poor, then… Is that right?”You swallow a bite of the same meat, and nod. It’s ESSENTIALLY true.“Prince Alexos also told me that YOU told him that you were some sort of… Well-palced visiting dignitary, in fact.”You choke a little, but play it off with a sip of your alcoholic slush-wine.“Ah.” You hesitate. “Well, I didn’t mean—”“What would YOU do,” Ekaterine interrupts suddenly, taking on a bit of the fierceness she is wont to demonstrate when she thinks she has someone rhetorically cornered, “if you were wealthy?”In some ways, you already ARE quite rich, of course. In Bloodrise, you are the de facto owner of hundreds of males, females, elven androgenes, and their sundry children—some as slaves, some as subjects. You own their homes, their labour, the fruits of the earth which they plumb from the depths. You own the Red Dragon King’s cache,--in trust to the Serpent priesthood, but in all practical manners YOURS. You are, after all, Copper Dragon King.“That isss not why I’m pursssuing you,” you say, and truthfully.“Then why?” Ekaterine asks, pointedly. “Mister Long… Wang… You are a, ah… A fascinating man. I’m…”She pauses, takes a quick sip of her own drink, looks down at the table, and steels her nerves. You wait.“I will not pretend that I have not grown, grown… FOND of you. I…”>“I… Think I love him. I think I love YOU.”
>>5636096“…I just wish to understand your intentions. You mean to, to… To MARRY me, is that not so? Well, that comes with riches, and privileges, and I am not OBLIVIOUS to these advantages. My brothers BOTH tell me I ought to beware of you, that you are a scoundrel and a dangerous man who only wants to TAKE from me. But… You strike me, u-unless I’m being, well, a bit SILLY… As a man who wishes to give more than he takes. So I ask again: who ARE you, Long Wang? WHY do you want to marry a Princess of Hawksong?”Is this serious interrogation TYPICAL of mammalian romances—of first dates, even? It seems extremely unlikely to you that it could be so… But then, Princess Ekaterine isn’t a typical woman, and this isn’t a typical romance. She and her brothers are right, of course: there is a GREAT deal on the line in such a union, most especially among the male-dominated monogamous mating culture of the local ape-folk. You will be sole sire of Ekaterine’s offspring, inheritor and executor of her estate as a royal, and a member of Hawksong’s nobility with all that this entails…(Or you would be, if you weren’t just going to conquer the place and cast down its royal family ANYWAY, but they don’t know that. Well, except perhaps Rufos, and even HE does not yet understand the TRUE nature of your visit, or your dark designs for his family.)Ekaterine is watching you expectantly, though. She’s not stopped eating, and even almost misses her mouth with the tongs once in her defiant refusal to remove her gaze from you until you answer. A few of the green-skinned patrons watch the pair of you curiously, though your voices are low enough and the establishment noisy enough with shrill and guttural goblin-and-orc chatter to prevent anyone overhearing much specific—even or ESPECIALLY the guards, who stand just outside the hot pot restauraut’s tent.How will you respond?>Truthfully, sort of—you are here to bring about a new age for Hawksong and the world, and you come seeking the power to change it>Honestly, in part—you want a strong mother for your child, and you singled her out because you believed she’d be suitable>Genuinely, in your heart—you came seeking certain material rewards, but found her desirable, and attractive… And you fell in love>Entirely truthfully—you are a Reptilian Infiltrator, a Dragonborn in fact… The Dragonbornf rom her dreams, here to impregnate her and take her city>Lie brazenly—[write-in]>Lament the truth—her brothers may be right about you>Avoid this conversation—down your drink, order another, and distract your date with amusing adventure anecdotes and politico-philosophical debate>Other Write-in
>>5636097A mix of >Genuinely, in your heart & Truthfully —you came seeking certain material rewards [for your own people], but found her [holding similar values] … And you fell in lovefollow his heart.Backlink>>5636002
>>5636097>Truthfully, sort of—you are here to bring about a new age for Hawksong and the world, and you come seeking the power to change it>Honestly, in part—you want a strong mother for your child, and you singled her out because you believed she’d be suitable>Genuinely, in your heart—you came seeking certain material rewards, but found her desirable, and attractive… And you fell in loveA mix of these 3 - each is true…in a way
>>5636240Supportin'.Droppin the cover only in private.
>>5636240+1, these are all true.
>>5636097>Genuinely, in your heart—you came seeking certain material rewards, but found her desirable, and attractive… And you fell in love>Lament the truth—her brothers may be right about you
>>5636097>Honestly, in part—you want a strong mother for your child, and you singled her out because you believed she’d be suitablenot genuinely, eugh
>>5636097>Honestly, in part—you want a strong mother for your child, and you singled her out because you believed she’d be suitable>Genuinely, in your heart—you came seeking certain material rewards, but found her desirable, and attractive… And you fell in loveI would like to drop down the facade, but now is not the moment. We're in public and I think her guards are near us too.>>5636240Dont say the part about the new age of the world. That might scare her.
>>5636393>>5636322>>5636301>>5636251>>5636243>>5636240>>5636104[Locked, writing, recommending this Centennial Canadian Rye Whisky Dark Chocolate I'm sipping as I write.]
Rolled 3, 4, 6, 7 = 20 (4d20)>>5636785“I am…”You hesitate. Your code as a Knight Ascendant forbids outright lying about who you are when asked directly, just as it scorns those who would renounce their divine overlord. Besides, while the guards are too far away to overhear your conversation… What if Ekaterie screams, to hear the Dragonborn in her dreams is in fact the man across from her? It seems as likely as not. Instead, you take the indirect route—the Serpent Ascendant may be the Dark God of Pride, but he is not so caught up in ideals of honour as to deny his earthly servants their loopholes.“I came sseeking power,” you admit. “It isss the main reassson I ssought you out.”The power of a Dark Goddess for your people. The power that comes with a legitimate heir to Hawksong in your bloodline. This much is true, at least. You don’t plan to elaborate on this just yet, if at all. You won’t even specify how much of that power is derived from Ekaterine’s royal uterus and womb. In yoru limited experience with human courtship, you feel this might constitute what Irinnile has called a ‘red flag’.Ekaterine doesn’t take the news well. Her expression falls, and she lowers her eyes.“I… I see. And you are… Openly sharing this with me, now. I must admit, I had sort of h-hoped that your answer might be… Well, it is what it is, as they say.”You reach out, placing your hand upon hers before the poor creature bursts into tears. She flinches away, but doesn’t withdraw, instead looking to you.“It wasssn’t for me,” you say, and this TOO is truth. “It isss for… The elsss fortunate, the outcassstss of thisss world. My friendsss, my family, my PEOPLE.”Ekaterine regards you with scrutinizing eyes again, as if seeking the lie. In this, at least, there is none. You are Prince of Love, your mother’s legacy, the guiding star of a society you hope to uplift, diversify and connect to the world at large, and ultimately impart with a spirit long-lost to the paucity and poverty of the deep and hidden places. You can’t SAY all of that, but…“In you, Eka, I found… Ssomeone, maybe the FIRSSST perssson, who actually ssaw the world asss I ssaw it… Assss I sstill ssee it. Ssomeone who underssstandss my frussstrationss, who dreamsss the ssame dreamsss for the future… For OUR future. THAT’SSS why I’m telling you thisss now.”“I don’t quite understand, Mister Long.”“Wang,” you correct her, preferring the familiarity. You grip her hand tighter, and she stares down at your grasping fingers, the back up at you with a mix of trepidation and… Is that hope?“I love you, Eka. I chossse you for your posssition, yesss. But asss to why we came here… Why I date you… Why I love you…”“L-love me?” the Princess stammers. “W-wang, I—”“—It’s because of your heart, not your crown.”
>>5636791Fuck my life, what a SHIT set of rolls.
>>5636791>>5636794“…Technically a tiara, anyway,” the Princess mumbles, tucking her face into her scarf to hide her crimson cheeks.You continue to hold her hand, silently awaiting the inevitable reply. After all, the Princess has already admitted her feelings to you, albeit unknowingly and unconsciously, in dreams.>“I… Think I love him. I think I love YOU.”>7, 6, 4, 3…But the words don’t come. She averts her gaze, looking rather uncomfortable, uncertain. Outside of <Dragonshape>, your empathic sense is limited, and mammalian body language remains a foreign tongue to you even now. She is fidgeting, flustered… But is this a GOOD sort of flusterment? Or did you make some critical error along the way?“I… Thank you for your honesty,” the Princess eventually says, gently extricating her digits from yours, and finally meeting your eyes. “It’s… It is a lot to, to consider. I must… Um…”“It’sss fine,” you say, quickly, surprised to hear your own voice. “I underssstand.”In truth, you’re not sure you do. You’d thought mammals were quicker to this sort of thing. The Novice Fleshweaver can never reciprocate your love, but Eka… Well, that was what made (makes?) her different, right? It’s ALSO part of why you love her: SHE can love YOU.But, in the waking world, on her first date, knowing that you have at least in PART been pursuing her for the power and influence of her bloodline… She cannot, will not, say it. You cannot help but wonder: does she still FEEL it, deep down, or has that fire been extinguished?The two of you eat in silence for a time. There is no more feeding each other foodstuffs, no more joking banter. Just mutual contemplation, and a dinner that cannot be drawn out indefinitely.What will you do?>Calm yourself—this will pass, and Ekaterine will see the light. You shocked her, that’s all. You have too much in common, and too much mutual attraction, to lose her over one gaffe, and there will be other dates>Attempt to win her over with rhetoric and charm [detail what you want to say to her, a good write-in will get you a bonus]>It’s time to move onto phase two—grab Ekaterine, evade her guards, and take her somewhere quiet and romantic to continue your courtship>Maybe getting the two of you drunk isn’t a bad idea after all—you to forget this mess, and she so she can ALSO forget this mess, and BOTH of you thus lowered in inhibition to the pint where making out (or mating) may be a possibility>Write-in
>>5636807>Attempt to win her over with rhetoric and charm [detail what you want to say to her, a good write-in will get you a bonus]>Listen, Ekaterine.. perhaps I am struggling with a cultural barrier here. My people, we pursue our dreams with fire, passion; I think that is why our first meeting was so electric and fraught with attraction. I desire all of you- who you are as a person, your mind, body, and soul. You, as Princess Ekaterine, were my initial interest.. but that's not what I want anymore. I want Eka. You and I are destined for more than the petty squabbling of the palace.
>>5636807>>5636817try and recover from the smiting of the dice gods
>>5636817+1Shit we got negative rizzBacklink>>5636104
>>5636807>It’s time to move onto phase two—grab Ekaterine, evade her guards, and take her somewhere quiet and romantic to continue your courtshipGet somewhere private, where there is no one else to hear us, and reveal our true nature. We need to fix this date, and for that we need to tell her the truth, because our lies to her keep getting us into trouble. Plus she already knows Theral from her dreams.
>>5636817supportin.haven't seen such a disastrous roll in a long time.
>>5636922>>5636917>>5636869>>5636861>>5636817You have to salvage this somehow. You feel the need urgently, such as you rarely if ever have before: the urge to be understood by the one you love. It's a novel sensation, this anxious desire, and you don’t enjoy it. “Lisssten, Ekaterine... Perhapsss I am sstruggling with a cultural barrier here.” She frowns a little, finally meeting your eyes again, and nods for you to continue. It seems that appealing to her cultural sensitivity was a good starting point. “My people, we pursssue our dreamsss with fire, passssion,” you say, though in truth the only ‘people’ that applies to is you yourself. “I think that isss why our firssst meeting was sso... Electric. Fraught with attraction. I desssired you, sstill do.” This brings the familiar cute flash of pink bloodflow to Eka’s cheeks, and she starts to stammer out an objection, but you press on, the words pilling out of you in a desperate torrent of context and clarification. “It’sss not jussst about power, or welath, or influenccce. It’sss about you are as a perssson, your mind, body, and soul. You, asss ‘Princcessss Ekaterine’, were my initial interessst.. but that'sss not what I want anymore. I want Eka.” “Wang, this is... It’s just a lot to take in. I need--” “You and I are dessstined for more than the petty sssquabbless of the palaccce!” DC 17 due to prior failure, -2 for your clever invocation of cultural relativism, +2 for coming on a bit strong for the poor girl
Rolled 14, 16, 15, 18 = 63 (4d20)>>5637262mistyped the dice
>>5637263Oh wow, those are all really good
>>5637263>>5637262Ekaterine stares up at you, wide-eyed. In your verve to be heard, you find you have stood, and leaned part-way over the table. You only realize belatedly how intense you must seem—perhaps alarmingly so, given your ‘barbarous’ warrior persona and your greater size. By the Dark Gods, this was so much easier in dreams, with Irinnile your ever-able emotionally-manipulative aide. “I’m sssorry,” you begin to say. >18 Before you and withdraw and seta yourself though, Ekaterine stands as well, and places her smaller hands on yours. You pause, surprised to find that her expression is not terrified but enraptured—and just as intense as your own. “Wang... Thank you. I... I understand. Thank you.” You stand there, holding hands for a time, until the snickering of the goblinoids at the next table over provokes Ekaterine to hurriedly sit down, smoothing out her dress. She sets back to her meal, taking time to regain her composure. You take her lead. “Do you mean it?” she asks, after a few hasty skewers. You blink. Mean... What? “It isss true that I love you,” you begin. Ekaterine stares for a moment, face going from pink to crimson. She squeezes her eyes shut and shakes her head rapidly. “N-no, not THAT, the... The rest of it, about... Destiny, helping people, changing the world. Do you really, REALLY mean it?” “Yesss,” you reaffirm, truthfully. She watches your expression, then makes a sort of choked giggle of disbelief, face spreading into a wide smile. “Sorry, sorry,” she says. “It’s just... I had a dream rather like this, but... Well, nevermind. Perhaps... Oh, it sounds silly, even thinking I, let alone saying it aloud.” You shake your head, and bid her: “Ssay it. I’m curioussss.” “Well... Maybe it’s destiny, like you say? The Gods Above telling me... Us... What we ought to be doing? They do that sometimes, don’t they?” You smirk inwardly. Well, she’s not QUITE right, but she’s closer to the truth than she realizes. “It doesssn’t ssound ssilly at all,” you say. You sit in silence again, but this time, you don’t sense the same disconnect, the emotional distance. It is the quiet of those who have come to a mutual understanding—comfortable, warm.
>>5637304All things must end, though, and likewise for your date. When the meal is complete and you can make no more excuses to remain, you summon the squat, green proprietor to pay your bill. The Princess pays generously—far MORE generously, since she provides gold in lieu of silver or copper pieces. Wa-Nug, clearly never having seen so money all at once by the ugly noise of shock he makes, simply stares. Ekaterine, misunderstanding the recation, apologizes profusely, and asks the guards to produce a few more gold coins. “For your family,” she says. As you leave, you hear Wa-Nug chasing off his other patrons--“Cheapskates! Skinflints! Savages! Losers!”--and closing up his shop for the day—maybe the week, or month. Perhaps he means to leave the squalor of this shanty-town altogether, having made a relative fortune by his standards. You don’t pretend to understand the ways of goblins, nor your mate-to-be, though you have the tact not to inform her of her oversight and the events which she thus set in motion. The ride back to the palace is much more intimate than the ride there. Ekaterine sits close to you and, after a bout of lengthy (and rather unsubtle) contemplation, eventually scoots close enough to curl an arm around yours, and to lay her head upon your shoulder. It is... Oddly affirming. It reminds you of your Novice, but the warmth of this human female—emotional and physically both—is something entirely other. You part company only once you are both at the palace. Before the guards can escort her back to her room, though, Eka pulls away from them for a moment, rushing back to you as fast as her peculair footwear will allow. “Wang!” You tilt your head for a moment, before you catch yourself, and ask: “Yesss?” “Y-you too.” You aren’t sure what she means for a moment, but then she uses the elevation provided by her impractical shoes to place her lips upon your cheek in a simple peck. She stares at you for a moment, clearly hungry for more—a desire you share—but the guards are at her side before she can act on the impulse. You watch her go. Well, there’s always your dreams tonight... Or, wait! You realize only belatedly, and with no small sense of loss, that Irinnile is busy reconstituting the cult and retrieving your allies! There can BE no dream-visit without the succubus’ magic! Damnit! Well... perhaps that’s for the best. Despite how invigorating this evening has been, you ARE still rather sleep-deprived and drained. Meditation and torpor could do you good.
>>5637309...Or perhaps, with Ekaterine’s heart secured, it is time to seal the deal and plant your seed—not in dreamy simulacrum, but in reality? Is that too fast? If so, there are no shortage of other matters to attend to besides...What will you do?>Get some rest>Sneak into Eka’s room to seduce and impregnate her>Investigate the rumours you’ve been hearing about Bloodrise and the Southlands>Meet with one of the Princes, or the King, to discuss something [what?]>Write-in
>>5637328Huh, weird, did my tripcode change? WHY??
>>5637328>Get some restIn the morning do:>Investigate the rumours you’ve been hearing about Bloodrise and the SouthlandsWe’ve neglected this, need an update
>>5637473+1>>5637332I think if you use different devices that can happen.Backlink>>5636869
>>5637473+1, sure. More info can't hurt.
>>5637328>Sneak into Eka’s room to seduce and impregnate herwe must cum and go
>>5637672>>5637549>>5637486>>5637473You opt to follow your mind, rather than heart (or loins). You take the night for some much-needed rest: blissfully black and dreamless, a proper Reptilian torpor. Come morning, you will need your wits about you, to begin the process of compiling rumours of your distant kingdom and the turmoil to the south.It proves fortuitous that you are well-rested, for all is not well in the distant mountains of Bloodrise.You spend much of the next day jovially ‘befriending’ (mostly accosting and detaining) various palace staff and guests in conversation. Each of these discourses inevitably arcs towards your principal interests: the conflicts which Hawksong and its vassal-states find themselves in to their west and south. It might seem suspicious, even without it being your initial conversation starter, but then again you ARE a semi-famous adventurer by now, albeit mainly for publicly humiliating the heir to the throne and courting the princess, rather than your one confirmed feat of derring-do. People are eager to learn more about you, and hardly surprised when an apparent sellsword like yourself takes an interest in military matters on the ‘frontiers of civilization’. Most of what you glean is rumour and hearsay, but you parse a general consensus on a few matters: there is turmoil in Bloodrise, described variously as a dwarven civil war or uprising, or else a series of aggressive raids by unusually-bold kobolds and some traitorous dwarven bandits.“They say they’re led by a beardless dwarf that commands reptiles and insects,” one human whispers.“I bet it’s the shapeshifting lizardmen. The Reptoids! Why else would there by some dwarf without any hair, and he controls lizards and snakes? It’s obvious!”It sounds as if the Throat-Singer—your apprentice, a young beardless dwarven male named Karz—has become the face of the disturbance. You wonder if that’s the result of his own ambitious machinations, or a deliberate strategic choice by your Reptilian lieutenants to keep their own names and faces hidden, as your Master Race is wont to do? Regardless, you are troubled to learn that the Green Knight’s dwarven ally-- Hargrat Deepvein, of Treasuretrove Incorporated—has indeed been called to that front, as he had hinted at weeks prior. His family-funded ‘investigation-and-strike team’ has been rather effective at beating back your own forces, stalling the conquest of the last few dwarven citadels and uniting them to push the army of Darkness back.“Rare to see so many different companies working together,” one human noble notes. “Dwarves bicker when land-rights are involved. This must be a big deal.”“He’s back in tow, though, trying to petition Prince Rufos and King Archos himself for Paladin aid… Not just in defending the baronies, but in taking back the mountains!”
>>5637738To the south, the war is still a cold one—economic, diplomatic, not yet violent. The myriad kingdoms and sultanates of the Southlands have begun moving to embargo several popular luxuries, such as ivory, certain rare minerals, and tropical fruits and exotic pelts, in response to ‘Northern fearmongering’ and ‘religious zealotry and racial persecution of Southmen and Beastmen.’ This, in turn, is causing fervor among traders and travelers, some of whom advocate for retaliation against the South in kind, while others lament the Hawksong monarchy’s policies and wish for normalcy to be restored.“Word is the Prince Alexos might head down that way to meet with the Southerners and broach a peace, to regain favour with the king after… Well, the falling out.”“If he can end the trade-war and avert bloodshed… Well, that’s good, right? But then again, peace with demonists… I don’t know.”What will you do about the conflict in Bloodrise?>Attempt to dissuade Hawksong from direct involvement>Offer your services there as an exorcist and mercenary (but really, of course, to undermine their efforts)>Confront the dwarf, Deepvein, in private—and coerce or end him>Send warnings and instructions [specify your message] to your forces, via Irinnile’s network and the local Infiltrators>Leave immediately—your home, your KINGDOM, needs you!>Nothing—trust your troopsWhat about the turmoil in the Southlands?>Ask Rufos to pull strings to get you on Alexos’ trade-and-diplomacy mission, so that you might direct or sabotage talks>Send word of Alexos’ imminent departure—perhaps an ‘accident’ can be arranged for the heir apparent to the Paladin King’s throne>Attempt to drum up internal turmoil between pro-trade and pro-sanction factions in Hawksong using your influence and Irinnile’s networks>Nothing—things are progressing as they should[Write-ins are also allowed, as they typically are]
>>5637741>Attempt to dissuade Hawksong from direct involvementCan the Kingdom really be distracted at this time by a Dwarven issue with kobolds…especially with issues in the city.>Confront the dwarf, Deepvein, in private—and coerce or end himKill him >Send word of Alexos’ imminent departure—perhaps an ‘accident’ can be arranged for the heir apparent to the Paladin King’s throneLet the serpent priests act on this if they so choose
>>5637741>Attempt to dissuade Hawksong from direct involvement>Offer your services there as an exorcist and mercenary (but really, of course, to undermine their efforts)>Confront the dwarf, Deepvein, in private—and coerce or end himEctoplasm him.>Attempt to drum up internal turmoil between pro-trade and pro-sanction factions in Hawksong using your influence and Irinnile’s networksWe benefit from keeping Hawksong’s leadership divided and focused on internal issues.
>>5637741>Confront the dwarf, Deepvein, in private—and coerce or end himoops he tripped and fell into an eldritch abomination>Send word of Alexos’ imminent departure—perhaps an ‘accident’ can be arranged for the heir apparent to the Paladin King’s throne
>>5637741>Confront the dwarf, Deepvein, in private—and coerce or end him>Attempt to drum up internal turmoil between pro-trade and pro-sanction factions in Hawksong using your influence and Irinnile’s networks
>>5638097>>5638094>>5638066>>5637789[Leaving the vote open for a bit longer, since we have few votes and these are so major choices with big implications for the world and the characters' interpersonal dynamics. Please backlink 1post IDs]
>>5637789+1. I echo all of these sentiments, except I'm ambivalent as to whether or not to kill Deepvein.
>>5638341>>5638097>>5638094>>5638066>>5637789[Alright, locked and writing!]Three picks instead of four or five is more manageable for me, anyway, desu.
>>5638359Yeah I can relate to that, lol. QM life.
>>5638359>>5638362This is bad. You’ve been perhaps a LITTLE bit too focused upon your romantic pursuits. Though Eka’s eyes, her lisp on upon your cheek, the fire of dream-fed desire, they all still linger within you, the Dark Crusade cannot take second-place to even such a magnificent mate! But then… Nor can you leave , with the deed yet undone, the human princess yet unimpregnated with your divinely-blessed seed. You have a DUTY here, a MISSION, not merely a personal connection. You must find a way to advance the great cause of your New Age of Darkness, to protect and preserve your kingdom in Bloodrise, and to do so without leaving Hawksong… At least, not yet.The first step, you feel, is obvious: you must prevent Hawksong from entering the conflict. Unless the situation in your fledgling nation-amidst-mountains has changed, your forces have a scant two hundred fighting-men (well, men, women, and other, technically). The dwarves are not a populace or well-organized race, slow-to-breed and divided along lines of commerce and grudge-enforced interfamilial feud, but the corporate loyalist must far outnumber your Duergar soldier-servants, even with our Kobolds and Drowgons and Bogbarri mercenaries added to the mix. If Hawksong’s elite Paladins were to be deployed—or worse, the actual ARMY of this kingdom!—your subjects would be crushed practically in an instant, whatever their zeal or valour.Through Prince Rufos, you have access to the King and his war council. Finally, having earned the right to attend such meetings in your duel against Alexos, you take full advantage of this privileged status. The elder Prince made attendance difficult, but with his fall in station and Rufos’ rise, it is an easy thing to begin attending these meetings of humans and respected ‘demihuman’ allies, and to make your voice heard even above theirs.(As for Prince Alexos himself, absent and elsewhere… Well, you have plans for HIM.)The Green Knight, too, is absent for much of this next week. You more or less take Heinrich Yosef’s place, with the succubus-dominated knight’s implicit permission. The excuse which you two give for his lack of participation is his continued efforts to root out ‘Reptilian demonism’ within the city’s lower echelons and noveau riche. In actuality, of course, the demon-within-the-knight is doing quite the opposite, reconstituting the remnants of the cult you smashed under IRINNILE’S management. You discover, to your surprise and dark delight, that its tendrils stretch not just through the city but across the countryside—a perfect network of spies-in-the-making, and messengers of your will, if you can maintain your sometimes-precarious relationship with the increasingly independent and willful succubus at the cult’s core.(At the very least, they prove useful in securing the safety of your friends… And advancing your plans for poor Alexos.)
>>5638388The absence of Sir Heinrich Ysoef is felt most keenly by his fellow adventurers and allies: the Paladin called Sir Chase, the elven forest-mystic of the Silverwood named Nenaias, and of COURSE that damnable Hargrat Deepvein. The last of them is your loudest opposition, constantly and vocally petitioning for the land rights of the dwarves, the dangers of a kobold uprising in an era of shapeshifting ‘Reptoids’, and the theory that the dwarven converts to your cause are either disguised Reptilians or are being manipulated by such.“It sssoundss to me like petty ssquabbling amongssst a people known to fall into sssuch internal sstrife when greed for gold iss involved,” you comment.“Oh? More words from some upjumped commoner from lands unknown, come from nowhere and nothing to tell us how we oughtv to do things in the North?” Deepvein mocks you openly.Any sense of politeness and propriety fell away many, many meetings ago.“Sire, and sirs, we dwarves of Treasuretrove, Blackmantle, Gems-B-We, Graphite-Grey… We leased these lands under human law, the PALADINS’ law,” Deepvein reiterates. “We kept to that law. We paid our leases. And, yes, we’ve had our… Squabbles, from time-to-time. But we’re DWARVES, damnit. We handled these things ourselves. We never, EVER, made them a problem for the race of man, or let it get in the way of our agreements with you. Dwarves HONOUR their word. They HANDLE their business.”There are murmurs of agreement from the assembled humans. “I tell you now, this is NOT a matter of dwarves-against-dwarves. There is a hand in this… Scaly-skinned, sharp-clawed, evil, demonic! The forces of darkness mass in the Bloodrise Mountains, and if we dwarves are swallowed up by it… Well, the humans below the mountains won’t be far behind. They’ve already lost villages, adventurers, tracts of land to these kobolds, and to whatever dark lord is driving them to these BRAZEN assaults. This is why we joined together—all four companies—to fund my men and put a stop to it.”“A monopoly on mineral rightsss, and yous sstill sseek ssubssidy and aid from humansss to ssuport your claim againssst little lizardsss?” you ask. “Sso much for ‘handling your own busssinessss’, I ssuppossse. It sssoundss like you jusst wan the exxcuse to ssave money on ssecurity.”
>>5638389This earns you a hateful glare from the dwarf.“Is that Sir Yosef’s opinion, too?” Deepvein asks.“It issss,” you say.“Then let him come and say it to my face.”“He isss busssy,” you say with a shrug.“Convenient.”You narrow your eyes, and you see Prince Rufos fidget uncomfortably.“What doesss that mean?” you demand.Hargrat Deepvein doesn’t answer you, though. Instead, the dwarven adventurer and mercenary turns his attention back to the others here assembled, concluding: “We stand on the front-line of a conflict which you all KNOW is coming to your own lands. Do not let these scaly bastards get a foothold on the surface. Help us drive them back from whence they came!”Yes, you decide, Deepvein must be dealt with.That evening, after dinner and before bed, you make your move. You decide to…>Confront the dwarf directly, and challenge him to a duel—if you win, he apologizes for his insults and leaves Hawksong>Call upon Irinnile-as-Yosef to petition this friend of the Green Knight to rethink his position, and to focus his efforts elsewhere>Use your Illusion spells and (admittedly limited) stealth capabilities to sneak upon the dwarf and to kill him—so it appears an accident, ideally, or at least so the body can be hidden>Press Prince Rufos into helping you frame the dwarf for financial malfeasance and fraud, and then confront and jail him “lawfully”>Write-in
>>5638391>Ask Irinille to employ one of her lesser demons to assassinate the dwarf, empowered by you or her as she thinks necessary to kill this thorn in your side
>>5638391>Confront the dwarf directly, and challenge him to a duel—if you win, he apologizes for his insults and leaves Hawksongsounds like meetings are already getting pretty heated, just play up the offense next time he insults us and we'll have a excuse to duel
>>5638391>Call upon Irinnile-as-Yosef to petition this friend of the Green Knight to rethink his position, and to focus his efforts elsewhere>Press Prince Rufos into helping you frame the dwarf for financial malfeasance and fraud, and then confront and jail him “lawfully”Best to discredit his idea before ruining his reputation and destroying the relationship between the dwarves and Hawksong.
>>5638391>Call upon Irinnile-as-Yosef to petition this friend of the Green Knight to rethink his position, and to focus his efforts elsewherei dont think we can afford a duel since we havent bred eka yetbacklink>>5637486
>>5638391>Press Prince Rufos into helping you frame the dwarf for financial malfeasance and fraud, and then confront and jail him “lawfully.Irinnile seems to be garbage at hiding her real nature and pretending to be yosef. This dwarf was a close friend of yosef. Having her deal with it could put our plans and irinnile's greenknight cover at risk.
>>5638394Supporting this Demon ambush is good Why bother discrediting him? If he’s dead, there is nobody to rally around and it proves our point about ‘nefarious elements’ still being in the city. They won’t look to interfere with Bloodstone then
>>5638391>>Confront the dwarf directly, and challenge him to a duel—if you win, he apologizes for his insults and leaves Hawksong
>>5638391>Press Prince Rufos into helping you frame the dwarf for financial malfeasance and fraud, and then confront and jail him “lawfully”
>>5638776>>5638719>>5638697>>5638640>>5638579>>5638479>>5638398>>5638394[A very close vote! I'll leave this open for an hour in case anyone wants to change camps or add their vote to the mix. Please backlink 1post IDs.]
Rolled 3, 8, 13 = 24 (3d20)>>5638885A duel is dangerous, and the dwarf likely knows the Green Knight too well to be fooled by Irinnile’s rather lacklustre impression of her unwitting and unwilling ‘love’. Perhaps a demonic assassin could be procured? But then… What if it fails? This is an adventurer, and while you’ve bested a fair few of their ilk, they were no easy prey. No, better to save the assassinations for those far from the aid of others… Like the absent Paladin prince.But one problem at a time. Hargrat Deepvein first, Prince Alexos afterwards.To decide your smartest move is a diplomatic and legalistic one. Reptilian doctrine has long been the subversion of societal institutions and state apparatuses to dark ends. When on the surface, do as the surfacers do—or, rather, make THEM do as you WANT them to do. Prince Rufos, as ever is your avenue to social control.“You wish for me to arrest Deepvein?” the Prince asks. “So he’s right, then? This… Situation in the Bloodrise Mountains. This is the doing of YOUR kind?”“It doesssn’t matter,” you say. “It’sss none of your concern.”The Prince frowns, brow furrowing and lips pursing. You see something of his sister’s features in him, albeit more aged, hairier. There is, underneath it all, a family resemblance there. Curious—you’re getting better at reading human expression, recognizing their faces’ subtleties.“I cannot do it.”“Of courssse you can,” you hiss. “We are co-conssspiratorsss. If you do thisss thing for me, I WILL ensure you become King of Hawksong. Have I not been true to my word ssso far?”“This goes a step beyond merely… Ignoring your presence, enabling your… ACTIVITIES here in the palace. This, what you are asking of me now, is outright treason. If what Deepvein says is true, and your forces move on the baronies under our protection—”“There isss no treassson here,” you interrupt. “Treasson takess place when one betraysss the king, yess? Well, YOU will be king. Who, then, isss betrayed?”Prince Rufos leans back, running fingers through his hair and gritting his teeth as he struggles to justify the action to himself.“And if your masters then invade my vassals? What should a king do, knowing that he might be enabling his own lands’ invasion, lizard?”“If I wasss planning to invade you, would I be bothering to collaborate with you? To share thisss plot rather than enacting it on my own?”The rhetorical question is a dodge, of course, to avoid making any oaths you cannot keep, but which you must not break. In the end, it is enough. Rufos has seen the success of your methods in securing him the Paladin King’s favour, at his brother’s expense. His father was even more sickly than before this last week, attending even fewer strategy meetings than Irinnile-as-Yosef. The throne is very nearly his—that must be how he sees it. He takes only the gentlest push to take the action you desire of him.
Rolled 10 (1d20)>>5638970“This is an outrage!” the dwarf cries out as the guards disarm him and force him to the ground. “I have diplomatic protections! I’m a delegate of—”“You do not, in fact,” the ascendant Secondborn Prince explains. “You are a representative of a company, not a crown or a nation. Diplomatic immunity extends to ambassadors… Not to thieves and frauds.”“I’m no fraud!” Deepvein protests. “What fraud? What THEFT?!”“My independent investigation indicated that you were, in fact, misrepresenting the situation in Bloodrise AND the nature of your relationship with Treasuretrove Incorporated, as well as that company to the others in the Bloodrise region,” the prince says, reciting the lines you rehearsed with him almost by rote. “You sought royal license to put down a worker’s strike—or rebellion, or uprising, or whatever you’d prefer—and to seize your rivals’ holdings with the Paladin King’s blessings, and at the cost fo Hawksong’s gold and human blood.”“Wh-what?” the dwarven adventurer gasps, eyes wide. “That is… No! That’s insane! Who told you this?!”His eyes slowly drift to you, silently surveying the scene with serene neutrality. His expression twists up in furious anger, and he throws off his guards, grabbing for one of their swords and charging you.>13You have no time to reach for your blade before you realize what is happening. Dwarven outrage has granted this pint-sized warrior uncanny strength—a phenomenon you are well familiar with. You flash back to your last pitched battle against dwarves, when another of their males nearly killed you… DID kill Davora.Actually, forgive me, I shortchanged you a die upon further consideration. I was thinking Fisticuffs to brawl, but Athleticism to dodge is also a fair response even when not armed.
>>5638985>10You are torn between whether to charge to meet this enraged mole-ape or to evade his blow. The momentary inaction is all it takes for the dwarf to catch you with his stolen sword in your gut. Your grunt in pain, supressing a hiss, and clutch the wound, stumbling back. You hear the shouting in panic and rage of the humans around you—Prince Rufos among them.“Seize him!” he cries. “Stop him! Take him to a cell!”“No! You idiots, you fools, you STUPID fucking HUMANS, he’s one of—”Hargrat Deepvein is swiftly tackled, beaten unconscious to preclude further struggle. He is manacled, chains, and dragged off. You take grim satisfaction in it, even as your blood seeps through your fingers, and pain greets your every breath. He didn’t puncture a lung or anything else vital, though—you’d know. You’re all too familiar with that feeling—drowning in your own blood, as if beneath a lake of dark, red water.“Are you alright, Long Wang?”You look to Prince Rufos, who regards you uneasily. He cannot hide it, in that instant: the hope that you are NOT, that he can be done with you, freed from your control.“I’ve sssuffered worssse,” you say with a smile which tempers the human’s doomed dreams of freedom.Nevertheless, you are brought to a the Paladins’ own infirmary, where you are given swift medical attention of a most magical variety. A young human male of the vaunted order with red-blonde hair and freckled face attends to your injuries with a ‘laying on of hands’, a procedure which requires you to strip away your upper vestments and expose the injury to the Paladin’s tender mercies. You keep your amulet on, of course, citing deep personal significance, but still you fear discovery. If they’re to weave your flesh, might they not detect your true nature? This does not happen, though—it seems that the Paladins’ divine healing arts are both more immediate and effective than any mending which even your beloved Novice can affect, and require no deep alchemical or biological understanding—merely faith, and hope, and (you are told) a sense of love and mercy.(The Gods of Light truly coddle their creatures, don’t they?)Once the deed is done, you feel almost as good as new. Even so, you are instructed to remain in the room for a time, for observation in case of deeper injury or dizziness from bloodloss. You are supplied a meagre repast which is all fruit juices and baked grains; you dump the former out a window when nobody is looking, and only nibble upon the latter, so as to avoid upsetting your stomach and provoking closer examination.
>>5639009Princess Ekaterine is quick to find you, when news of the event reaches her. No sooner are you mended than she is in the room, her arms thrown around your bare shoulders and her body pressed to yours in a manner which her chaperoning paladins protest as indecent. She quickly puts them in their place, saying:“I am your Princess, and this man is my… My f-fiancé! If I wish to embrace him after he nearly died, then I d-darned well WILL DO SO!”‘Fiancé’ so catches you off-guard that you cannot bring yourself to correct Eka’s overexaggeration of your injuries. The rumours flying around about the incident must be dramatic, indeed, to provoke such a reaction. You’ll take it, though—and, were there not stupid human warrior-monks hovering around, you’d have rather liked to take HER, then and there. You settle for holding her, and for a quickly-stolen kiss.“I am fine,” you promise her.“That awful adventurer… I can’t believe that he tried to k-kill you! All for exposing his schemes!”“Yesss,” you lie.You know the charges will stick, of course. After all, if the dwarf had not clued into your involvement an attacked you, you were set to present your airtight case against him: a forged letter from his ‘co-conspirators’ in his family’s company, a succubus-dominated dwarf female claiming to be a guilt-wracked family servant who discovered it, and who heard Hargrat Deepvein in drunken celebration of his sinister manipulations and the payday to come. In your absence, Irinnile will have completed these tasks. Nobody will believe Deepvein’s blatherings-on about your ‘secret reptilian nature’ as anything but a deflection—at least, nobody who maters and who will heed him.
>>5639011“It’s so very, VERY good you caught him, even so,” Eka says, regarding you with a deep fondness, and with awe as well. “You saved many lives, Wang. Dwarven lives, human lives… Lives of kobolds, even, I suppose. You really are a good man... The best sort of person.”You say nothing, merely smiling and inclining your head. Of course, she’s at least PARTIALLY right. You saved kobold lives, true enough. You save the lives of your dwarven ‘Duergar’—the bloody-handed overseers and race-traitors in your employ. But human lives? The lives of dwarves who yet serve the Mountain King, their light-aligned patron deity? Not so much…And before the day’s end, you are organizing the end of another life: that of your Eka’s eldest brother, Paladin Prince Alexos.How shall his ‘accident’ be arranged?>Use Irinnile’s demonic minions and growing network of cultists—she’s inherited a few of those, after all, and some must surely be capable>Send forth a squad of Infiltrators specializing in assassination—this should be kept in-house>Prince Rufos has proven his worth, and brought true tarnish upon his precious morals with your egging-on… Perhaps it should be HE who gives the order, bloodying his hands and binding you two in darkness?How will the ‘accident’ be framed?>A mysterious disappearance on the road—bandits, animals, monsters, who knows? This world is full of dangers…>A suicide—the shamed Paladin Prince, unable to broker peace and knowing himself to be a failure as heir, ending his sorry life>An attack by Southern forces—let the trade-war become a war in truth! Hawksong will be too busy to even look askance at Bloodrise, and the Dark Crusade will draw ever nearer!>A coup—Rufos has served his purpose, but to remove him from the equation (or at least to prevent his kingdom from becoming dangerously stable), some civil unrest is in order[Write-ins are allowed]
[Also, I finally got around to an emblem for Bloodrise!]
>>5639013>Prince Rufos has proven his worth, and brought true tarnish upon his precious morals with your egging-on… Perhaps it should be HE who gives the order, bloodying his hands and binding you two in darkness?>A coup—Rufos has served his purpose, but to remove him from the equation (or at least to prevent his kingdom from becoming dangerously stable), some civil unrest is in orderlol, lmao
>>5639013>Prince Rufos has proven his worth, and brought true tarnish upon his precious morals with your egging-on… Perhaps it should be HE who gives the order, bloodying his hands and binding you two in darkness?If we do this without his approval, we risk totally breaking his trust. We shouldn't waste an ally. And he also knows of our true nature, he could even blow our cover.>A suicide—the shamed Paladin Prince, unable to broker peace and knowing himself to be a failure as heir, ending his sorry lifeThis is the best pick i think. The first option is way too suspicious, it will be obvious something shady is going on. The third and fourth options would create too much chaos at the court, and we are still busy courting Eka. We don't want chaos until we leave the city. And we if we blame Rufos, he can unmask us, like I said before. Also, if we frame Alexos' murder as an assasination by the southerners, he will be seen as a martyr, but if it's framed as a suicide, it will make him seem weak, and by comparison put his brother in a better light.Backlink:>>5636917
>>5639013>Prince Rufos has proven his worth, and brought true tarnish upon his precious morals with your egging-on… Perhaps it should be HE who gives the order, bloodying his hands and binding you two in darkness?We can bring him into the planning, but he has nobody he can order to complete the hit job Once he approves, let’s get our kind to do the deed>Send forth a squad of Infiltrators specializing in assassination - make them aware of the Prince’s abilities which we learned about during the duel>A mysterious disappearance on the road—bandits, animals, monsters, who knows? This world is full of dangers…We want Rufos‘s ascension to the throne to be marred by dark whispers that he was behind his brothers disappearanceThis creates a low level of unrest and subtly undermines our current ‘ally’
>>5639251Supporting. Anything we can do to cast shade on him while still looking like we're putting him up on the pedestal is good.
>>5639262On the other hand, making it look like an open coup lets us whisk Eka away from the capital "for her own safety", and is a much bigger destabilizer.
>>5639279This is actually a great point.Once Alexos is gone - we are merely a loose end to Rufos. Once we know the deed is done, we need to leave the capital immediately.We can show Eka ‘proof’ that the younger brother had the older killed and convince her to flee with us ‘for her own safety’ Ties the bow on this arc neatly
>>5639281>>5639279>>5639262>>5639128>>5639113[Leaving this open a little longer to see if we get a clear majority.]
>>5639013>prince rufos>disappearanceI feel like a coup is too riskyBacklink>>5638579
>>5639251Seems solid +1
>>5639372>>5639281>>5639279>>5639262>>5639128>>5639113>>5639386As you ponder how to proceed, certain fantasies drift, dreamlike, through your mind. Rufos is your obvious tool to do the deed: a highly-placed patsy, already compromised, to now perform one last foul betrayal for power and to thus poison him and his dynasty to the Dark Gods. How easy it would be, you contemplate, to then simply REVEAL this betrayal, and to plunge the entire city—the EMPRIE—into unrest! The Lesser Prince, having killed the greater and turned the very PALADINS against him, would be engaged in what amounts to a CIVIL WAR… Just in time to soften Hawksong and its northwestern bloc up for conquest by the surge of the subverted South, and your burgeoning Dark Empire!But what of the risk? What if it fails part-way, and is exposed? If Prince Rufos comes to regard you not as an ally in his rise, but a liability to is, before the final blow is struck, he may seek to do away with you. Oh, he might not succeed, but again he might… And in the interim, what will become of Eka? Could you persuade her to come away with you in the chaos, before it consumed her, too?In the end, you deem it wisest to present this idea to Rufos in a straightforward manner, and even to honour your side of the bargain (for now, and such as it is).“I underssstand,” you begin, once you are in private, “that Princcce Alexxos iss on a missssion to the Ssouthlandsss.”“Yes, he is.” Rufos raises an eyebrow. “He rather hopes to restore some semblance of normalcy. I expect he hopes to get back in Father’s good graces.”“Well THAT can’t be allowed,” you say, affecting sympathy and camaraderie. “We have come too far.”Prince Rufos shrugs, and notes: “We can spin it easily as him following up on BELATEDLY, when PRESSURED, upon a problem he should have rectified months or years before now. Not very diligent of him.”You regard Rufos silently. The human male looks back at you, narrows his eyes, and leans forward with elbows upon the desk between the two of you.
>>5639396“You have another plan to discredit him further, then?”“No,” you say slowly, “not to dissscredit him. Not exxxactly.”You explain your actual plan: to set your secret agents to locating the Paladin Prince upon the road, whereupon your Infiltrators will end him. The Prince's men, and yours, will work together to cover up the nature of the killing. It seems a sound plan to you, and one which Rufos obviously stands to benefit from, and so his reaction is rather different than you might have expected.“You want me to KILL him? Alexos? My own brother?!”“To order him killed,” you clarify. “A dissssappearancce on the road. There are sso many hazards along the way… Banditsss, animalsss, MONSSSTERSSS… Anything could happen.”“Yes,” Rufos says coldly. “Monsters ARE a problem, aren’t they?”You’re not quite sure you like his tone, and he is voicing anything but enthusiasm. You begin to grow nervous. You opt to…>Appeal to his hunger for power once more, in the hopes it overpowers his weak surface-scum moral sense>Threaten him and his family—you have QUITE easy access to Ekaterine, after all, if he is feeling reticent… And does his brother not have a wife, a daughter?>Walk back your comments, and pretend to cede to his judgement; pretend that you’ll simply work to discredit Alexos, but tonight you will bring Irinnile to reclaim the incubus’ one-time princely pawn>Write-in
>>5639397>Remind Rufos that "his own brother" was keen to cast him aside, belittle him at every turn, and keep him in his golden cage to deprive him of any chance at success. Your suggestion may be radical, but it is no less aggressive than Alexos' own attempted murder of Rufos' potential
>>5639397>write in>It is a matter of your security.I want to fulfill my end of the bargain — making you the new king is my goal. I understand he is your brother, but leaving him alive is too dangerous. He might feel slighted from what I have reported to his father. He might feel he is being cheated out of his position — he might try to launch a coup, and your father is becoming more sick as we speak. There might not be anything stopping him aside from this act.
>>5639400>>5639412Combination of these.He must ruthlessly seize power - it will not be granted to him.Even if he was somehow able to convince his brother to cede the throne willingly - he would always exist as a figurehead for opposing factions. If he truly wants to rule, this is the only way.
>>5639400>>5639412+1 This is your first real decision as king Rufos
>>5639400+1Appeal to his emotions.
>>5639400>>5639412Supportin' the write-ins
>>5639412I meant to support this here >>5639561also, but I forgot to link it.
>>5639397>What does Rufos think his brother is going to do after he loses the right to succession? Just quietly accept it? Alexos will be more desperate than he's ever been, and you saw in your duel what he's capable of at those depths.
Rolled 6, 15, 7, 8 = 36 (4d20)>>5639799>>5639619>>5639561>>5639531>>5639438>>5639412>>5639400“Rufosss,” you say, simply, “I am TRYING to fulfill my end of our bargain.”“THIS, this MURDER, was not our bargain,” he retorts angry and defensive. “I would never—”“Never be king?”He stops, mouth snapping shut, eyes full of fury and uncertainty.“Without me, without THISSS, you were jusst trapped in a… A GODLEN CAGE, yesss? You were barred asscensssion, and alwaysss would be. You know it asss well ass I. You ahd risssen as high asss you ever would.”“You don’t know that,” he mutters.“I do,” you shoot back, with utter certainty. “What do you think Alexxosss wass going to do, onccce you’d persuaded your father of your right to rule—if ever you COULD have, without me freeing you from the Incubusss’ influence?”The Secondborn prince shifts in his seat at that, averting his eyes. While you technically wield the remnants of the since-absorbed entity’s ectoplasmic influence as leverage, it is ALSO true that his freedom to think, act, and strive on his own is a gift which YOU, however inadvertently, granted Rufos. He knows it, and so do you.“You sssaw how dissshonourably the ‘Paladin Princce’ can be when threatened—remember our duel? He cheated, manipulated the ccircumstancccess. I know he isss your brother, but he won’t sstand for being replaccced by you. Who WOULD, in hisss circumsstancesss. You do not need to hate him or BLAME him, even if he dessservesss it for having limited you all these yearsss—you need only underssstand the political and persssonal reality of it. You are doing what you MUSSST to gain power, but what you mussst do isss to SSSEIZE it.”“I can simply prove to father—”“What?” you interject again, “What will you prove that you ahven’t already? And if you convinccce your father, do you really think your brother won’t feel ssslighted? Cheated? He wasss RAISSSED for thiss, alwaysss ‘new’ the throne wass hisss. When it isss not… What do you think he and those who sssuported will do? Thiss will bring chaosss, sstrife, ccivil war!”(Ha, ironic. You’d almost made SURE of that, before choosing this tack instead, but he doesn’t need to know that.)“But even so…”“Your father isss ill… Sssicker and closer to Death by the day, Princcce Rufosss,” you say gently, but firmly. “Thisss iss your firssst deccisssion asss King of Hawksssong. Unlesss you do thisss thing… It will be the lasst, and ONLY, deccisssion of ‘King Rufosss’.”[DC normally 15/17/20; all lowered by 2 for clever write-ins and hard-won victories to this point.]
>>5640296>15>Normally just high enough to convince him not to turn on you…“…Fine.”>With your bonus… High enough to convince him to kill AlexosPrince Rufos reaches into his desk and produces a rolled-up scroll of paper. He half-slides, half-throws it across the desk, unwilling to look at it, or at you. Your unfurl it carefully, and see… A note, and a small, crude map of the surface of the continent, down which one prominent line ahs been drawn looping back in on itself.“The route,” Rufos spits. “Spare your ‘agents’ their efforts to find him. Instead… Make haste to finish this awful business.”You pocket the map, and rise, affecting a smile. It seems to bring the troubled human male little comfort; instead, he reaches under the desk and produces a decanter of amber liquid—liquor, you recognize—and a glass.“You have made the right decccission, KING Rufosss.”“Leave me,” he snarls in reply, pouring his cold comfort into the crystalline goblet.You oblige him. And why not? You’re winning. Hawksong’s Paladin Prince is doomed. Its saviors and whistleblowers are jailed, outcast, compromised, absent. Your agents and allied are protected, empowered. Its Princess is all but yours.No, you’re not winning… You’ve WON.You retire to your room, cross your legs, empty your mind, and recite quietly a prayer of thanks and tribute to the Dark Gods Below and Beyond, whom you serve and who have guided you to this victory.The next day, you set out from the palace—unsupervised, guarded no longer, free as if you were already ruler of this place. You deliver the map to Irinnile’s agents, to pass along to those among the Master Race’s Infiltrators best suited to assassinate a Paladin knight. With it, you include a note about his techniques, strengths and weaknesses, and what to be wary of-your duel well-informed you of how best to end the Crown Prince of Hawksong.With that deed done, you decide to make the most of what remains of your day. Ekaterine is busy with some function, you understand. She’d been lamenting it—it was a stuffy, formal thing, which she regarded as being simply another event where she was to stand, smile, look pretty, move little and say even less. She’d been even more saddened that she couldn’t bring you, but you’re not yet a FORMAL member of the royal family.Heh. Soon, you’ll be its PATRIARCH. YOUR child, yours and Eka’s, will succeed the throne in due time. You’ve assured it.
>>5640305But for now… Well, it’s been weeks since you stayed at Roth’s home. Your biological father, a rigidly draconian adherent of the old ways of thinking and a prime victim of the loveless state of the Master Race, lives an empty and spartan existence-surrounded by mammals he loathes, wearing a false face, without friendship or even creature comforts. You’d resolved to rectify that, in some small way. Today, you finally have the chance to do so—to get him some small token to enliven his home, brighten his dreary life, and perhaps warm his cold heart to something of your great philosophy of love and glory—the new way of the coming age, the way of a True Dragon!The marketplaces of Hawksong remain numerous and well-stocked—maybe not with goods from the south or east of the surface-world as they once were, but the north and west have no shortage of successful craftsmen, traders, innovators and businessmen. You are still in mankind’s premier metropolis, the greatest city of all the surface by sheer number of denizens, diversity of cultures, and variety of goods!What will you get Roth?>A mug to drink his water from, attesting to his parentage, and some Reptilian-suitable tea to flavour it—something he can savour and which shows your appreciation for your existence>An effigy of a dragon—carved by unknown hands, suitable for placing upon a desk or mounting on a wall; rather anatomically inaccurate, but the spirit and sentiment of a great and terrible reptilian overlord will speak to him>Rare and high-grade materials with which to craft from the area around the Mages’ Tower—something mystical, maybe? He is a craftsman, and not obviously wealthy in his false identity…>Something modern—a gadget to reduce workload, perhaps something made by the dwarves of this city, to help showcase why it is that your multicultural approach works>Something else… [write-in]
Bet you all thought i forgot that little vote and personal plot beat, huh? Also, sorry for the late update -- started a new relationship, been a bit busy today with GF and roomies.
>>5640314>Something modern—a gadget to reduce workload, perhaps something made by the dwarves of this city, to help showcase why it is that your multicultural approach worksdefinitely not the dragon, he'll get pissed at how it hints at his secret identity
>>5640325+1 sounds good and appears to be the least suspiciousthe tea might give him away and the expensive materials might raise some questions
>>5640314>A mug to drink his water from, attesting to his parentage, and some Reptilian-suitable tea to flavour it—something he can savour and which shows your appreciation for your existenceHe’s a conservative guy, let’s keep it simple
>>5640317Congratulations RQM I wish you the best>A mug to drink his water from, attesting to his parentage, and some Reptilian-suitable tea to flavour it—something he can savour and which shows your appreciation for your existenceSomething modern, he'll see that as a attack on his productivity or some other bullshit instead of proof of affection. He won't get the proof of affection anyway, but still.
>>5640314>>Something modern—a gadget to reduce workload, perhaps something made by the dwarves of this city, to help showcase why it is that your multicultural approach worksi feel that he would prefer something with practical purpose.
>>5640314>A mug to drink his water from, attesting to his parentage, and some Reptilian-suitable tea to flavour it—something he can savour and which shows your appreciation for your existence>An effigy of a dragon—carved by unknown hands, suitable for placing upon a desk or mounting on a wall; rather anatomically inaccurate, but the spirit and sentiment of a great and terrible reptilian overlord will speak to himSomething nice to help remind him of his heritage would be kino.
>>5640314>An effigy of a dragon—carved by unknown hands, suitable for placing upon a desk or mounting on a wall; rather anatomically inaccurate, but the spirit and sentiment of a great and terrible reptilian overlord will speak to himHe won't understand the mug. And if he does, he'll see the gesture of affection as a sign of weakness. He'll be insulted by the gadget as >>5640373 said.The dragon is a classic symbol of reptilian power and values, perfect for a traditional guy like him. And it's not suspicious, since I'm pretty sure humans don't associate reptilians with dragons, because they dont know of their heritage.
>>5640317good luck rqm
>>5640453Looks like my ID changed again, so here's the backlink:>>5639561>>5640317I'm very happy to hear that, RQM. I wish you a lasting, and most importantly happy relationship! I also want to thank you for your dedication in writing this quest everyday all this time. Thanks, RQM, you're amazing!
>>5640317Proud of you my man!
>>5640373>>5640494>>5640632>>5640646Thanks, anons! I may be delayed in writing again today, for different but almost as important reasons: Nic Cage is playing Dracula, and I need to see this shit. Me and my roomie may go see Renfield.
>>5640314>A mug to drink his water from, attesting to his parentage, and some Reptilian-suitable tea to flavour it—something he can savour and which shows your appreciation for your existence>>5640317Happiness is awesome and I'm glad more of it is in your life now, RQM. Your quest is based and so are you.
>>5639103Nice, the twin swords and rising serpent becomes canon. Now, about the rest of that spacesuit... :P
>>5640325>>5640330>>5640370>>5640373>>5640377>>5640436>>5640453>>5640797Roth is a difficult being to buy for, you discover. Well… Maybe that’s not it. You’ve never bought anyone a gift—that’s probably what it is. Gift-giving, except as some form of tribute or debt-repayment, is unknown in the culture of the master Race. You strongly suspect that any gift will be a source of suspicion and confusion for the Dragonblooded Infiltrator, coming from a social superior. Part of you fears he’ll resent it—as, after all, he resents your conception and existence.Why do it at all, then? Well, love, obviously. It isn’t just about romance, or even family. It’s about community. That was what you resolved, when you set out on the path of Dragon King. Roth was important to your mother, and he’s served the Master Race and the Dark Gods loyally for decades—maybe a century, though the limited senescence of a Pureblooded One makes it difficult to be sure of his precise age. He deserves to know the love of his people, and to be assured of his place in the New World Order.“Thisss will do,” you say.“Oh?” the halfling merchant from whom you purchase the wares smiles. “You moved here with your family, did you? Took you for an adventurer type.”You don’t bother to explain yourself, simply proffering some of the coin your brought from Bloodrise. In exchange, you receive a handcrafted porcelain drinking-cup with a small handle—a ‘mug’ you are told—and a selection of floral herbs which you know to be safe for Reptilian consumption and pleasant to smell. The mug says ‘World’s Greatest Dad’. You can’t attest to Roth’s quality as a father in the sense you believe it is meant to convey—mentor and guide, presumably, as you are to Glowie’s wyrmlings when you can make the time—but you owe your lineage from the Red Dragon King to Roth. Without him, you would have no dragonblood at all, and that’s worth some recognition.
>>5640959His reception is, sadly, about what you expected.“What is this?”“A cup,” you answer.The two of you are meeting, as you must, in the basement laboratories of the Mages’ Tower, where the Archmage has hidden away your fellow Reptilians whose identities are not yet established or (like Roth’s) potentially compromised. The room is more spartan than Roth’s own home here in Hawksong, but not by much. The mug is, you thus decide, more needed than ever.“…Why do you mock me with these ape-scribbles?” he demands.“I do not,” you explain. “I grant you recognition for services rendered to the Master Race and to the Dark Gods Below and Beyond.”“For being raped by your muddy-blooded half-breed whore of a mother?”Your take a deep, meditative breath.“Yes,” you say, calmly. “The herbs are said to bring peace of mind, relaxation, calm, and various other health benefits.”“Mammalian hogwash. A scam. You are a fool to buy such filth.”“You will accept it, because I command it,” you say.“…Hmph.”“I have made major progress here,” you segue. “The Grand Design nears completion. The New Age of Darkness—”“Age of Scales,” Roth interrupts.“—is nearly at hand! The royal family is subverted, and shall soon be in our grasp.”“Another Degenerate, barely Reptilian at all,” Roth sneers. “Wonderful.”“A demigod, spawn of the Great Mother,” you remind him. “A Godking, like the Dragon Kings of old.”“And he will annihilate the unbelievers, the mammalian vermin who infest our ancient homeland?” he asks, sounding a bit hopeful at last. “Rip the half-formed spawn from the guts of their mothers and cast them upon the scalding rocks of a dragonfire pit? Make great feasts of the still-screaming males?”“No,” you say. “But he will rule it, and our people shall have a place of glory under the sun and moon, in a world ruled according to the will of the gods and the ancestors. The unbelievers will be made to believe, and to serve.”“They will be slaves? Bred like cattle, made to work themselves to death, naked and afraid, humbled, cast into the dust and dirt they deserve?”You shrug. it's close enough, and you don't want to break the old male's heart.Roth glares down at his mug and the herbs bundled with a ribbon therein, and his shoulders slump.“I do not understand this New Age,” he mutters. “This is not what I desired, what I strove for.”You regard him silently, and then sigh.“Enjoy your tea and your mug, Progenitor,” you address him. “That is an order.”“…Yes, Superior One."
>>5640962“You never speak of your family,” Eka says, when you are with her the next day, enjoying a meal together in the palace, openly, for the first time. “What are your parents like?”Ironic.“My mother isss dead,” you explain.Ekaterine places a hand to her mouth and her eyes widen in apologetic shock.“It isss okay,” you say. “I owe much of who I am today to her deedsss, her example, but I never truly knew her.”“…Oh.” Ekaterine is clearly curious as to how such a thing came to pass, but unwilling to ask more, perhaps fearing she will upset you. Her own mother’s death is, you know, a troubling subject for her. Instead, she asks: “And your father?”“He isss…” he consider. “We are not closse, ass you are, or were, with yoursss. He isss a warrior, and a craftsssman. Highly-born, but diligent in hisss dutiesss to the—to our people. I resspect thiss.”“It sounds like your parents gave you a good example to live up to,” Eka notes after a moment, to break the silence. “Strong, um, role models?”You nod. You suppose so.“Yoursss sseem essspecially aussspiciousss, of coursse,” yous ay, changing the subject back to her.Ekaterine laughs, and rubs her arm self-consciously.“Mother was an amazing woman, so kind and so caring. The most thoughtful woman I ever knew, and the glue which held us together. After her passing… Well, you know. And Father… Well, he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, and yet never buckles or bends, never lets it show… Even now, as he is. I sometimes wish he would carry less, share more… But that is the way of men, isn’t it?”You shrug, and Eka frowns a little at your own apparent emotional distance. But then, what else are you to do, when so much of you is secret, and when you can relate so little to human conceptions of family and fatherhood? Thinking of Roth’s reaction the previous day, you eventually add:“Fatherss who ssee themssselvess firssst and foremosst in relation to their resssponsibilitiess, to their people, mussst ssometimess sstruggle to adapt to a world in which they are more than their role.”Ekaterine smiles, a sad smile but still a smile, and nods.“Yes,” she says, “they must.”
>>5640967Eka takes your hand in hers. Not fully understanding why she squeezes it so, you nevertheless return the gesture. It feels nice, at least."Do you have siblings?" she asks.You have no idea if Roth has ever bred, and which among his progeny might yet live, let alone their identities. Thus, you answer in the negative.“My brothers largely played the typical father’s role in my life, I think” she admits. “mother’s, too, when she fell ill and… And after. Rufos always so wild, but also the one who was most willing to humour my, ah, more extravagant or esoteric fancies. And Alexos, of course, the worried mother-hen.”“…I ssee,” you say, not sure you do.Ekaterine smiles, a bit more happily, and explains: “Even if they both since… Well, grew into the sorts of roles they now occuy, became their place in society and their duty at the expense of the sorts of siblings that we used to be to one another… I will always appreciate the little adventures they took me on, the way they kept me smiling and distracted during the, the difficult times. Rufos stirring my love of politics, and world history, and Alexos always bringing me tokens from his adventures, telling me tales of his fellow Paladins’ gallantry in battle or of the things he saw and people, he met in his training and travels.”“They are important to you,” you infer.“Of course!” she says, sounding surprised that this wasn’t understood. “That’s what family is, isn’t it so?”“…Hm.”Of course what she doesn’t know is that one of her precious older brothers has been corrupted and turned against the other—infected first by a demon, then by the venom of your rhetoric and influence, to the point that he has ordered the death of the other. And the other—Alexos, Paladin Prince of Hawksong, the ‘mother-hen’ who protected your Eka and kept her precious spirit vibrant and alive in her youth—is soon to die at the hands of your assassins, using your hard-won intelligence. Do you feel any guilt at all?>Yes, a great deal>No, none at all>Some… But it must be done, for the good of all
>>5640972>No, none at allHe'd do the same thing to us, given the chance.
>>5640972>No, none at allHe's reprehensible, rotten and a mediocre leader. Not even a worthy opponent. We detest him and pity him, but do not have mercy for him.
>>5640972>Some… But it must be done, for the good of allI’m still of the opinion that keeping Alexios alive is to our benefit. Not only would it keep Eka happy, but Hawksong’s leadership divided, stagnating, feuding, and focused on internal squabbling. But whatever.
>>5640972>Some… But it must be done, for the good of all>>5641015I think you overestimate Rufos' political power. Alexos is the rightful heir. As long as he lives, the leadership isn't divided. With him dead and the map Rufos gave us planted on a Reptilian operative and "recovered" by someone loyal to Alexos/king Archos? Now that's divided.
>>5640972>No, none at allWhy would we? The only reason would be because Eka likes them which isn't good enough imo.
>>5640962Kek'in at "get off my lawn Roth">>5640972>Some… But it must be done, for the good of allAlso, why do so dirty to greenBro?
>>5640972>No, none at allWe're a DRAGON, aren't we? Alexos is our enemy (on top of being an incompetent ruler), and a dragon does not have mercy or pity for his enemies! We do what we must to achieve our goals.
>>5641248>>5641171>>5641060>>5641046>>5641015>>5641002>>5640995Your mind lingers on the thought of Prince Alexos’ coming execution. He is important to Eka, in a way you struggle to comprehend. Siblings are not closely bonded in Reptilian society, and you were raised with no clutch—not unless you count those Reptilians of similar hatching-date like the Novice Fleshweaver and your other useful tormentors. But a big brother…Well, you DO have one of those, in soirit at least.“There isss one who isss like a big brother to me, though not of blood relation,” you hazard.The Princess claps her hands together and glows at this mention of your mysterious quasi-kin, eager for any morsel of your personal history. Is this nosiness normal, in the courtship rituals of her race?“Please, tell me about him!”“He iss… A mentor to me, more than my father, jussst asss you desscrive Alexxoss and Rufosss. A ssort of… Congenital disssorder affect hiss mind and body when he wasss young, and sstill affect him to thiss day, but hisss iss the way of true SSSTRENGTH. Through hiss ssspirit and will, he made himssself mighty. Wirh his powerful heart, it wasss he who taught me love, when I knew none.”It is the memory of your Great Green Dragonborn brother which obviates you of any possible guilt. As he so often did throughout your youth in your joint meditation, the summoned thought of him restores in you the spirit of a True Dragon. A dragon does not pity the incompetent, petty, weak, and careless. He annihilates his enemies! What love you feel for you and yours—your race, your family, your friends, your subjects—is not something you give universally. The care you have for your mate, with her soft exterior and fiery spirit, is not extended to her mediocre kin.Paladin Prince Alexos will die, and though Eka may mourn, but you will never.
>>5641575The next few days pass uneventfully. You hear no news of whether Alexos’ assassination has yet been affected, and whether he has been successfully disappeared, but nor do you hear tidings of an aspiring king-of-men found dead at roadside or (worse yet) having arrived intact at some waystation to report on the progress of his journey. You remind yourself to be patient, for not every agency on the surface or even below can have the speed to relay information across such a wide territory so swiftly. As you might like. You focus your efforts upon further influence Rufos, isolating the kingdom of Hawksong from their neighbours and allies, and ingratiating yourself to Ekaterine.You think the time may soon come when you can finally reach the culmination (and consummation!) of this long journey in the shoes of another: the marriage and impregnation of your Ekaterine!But it is then that you get the news…“Heinrich Yosef’s allies are making a move.”It is the Infiltrator called Halle who provides you this update, having integrated herself into your new, expanded intelligence network, in renewed partnership with what Irinnile has taken to calling the Succubus Secret Service (usually while tittering).“What sort of move?” you demand. “Which allies? Why has the demon not HANDLED this?!”“The Paladin, Sir Chase, and the elf who arrived with Yosef and his imprisoned dwarf friend, called Nenaias. They have been under observation, but the demon and its cult fear to approach them directly… Something about the anti-demonic training of Hawksong’s Paladin order. Our indications are that they mean to move to free the dwarf, Deepvein, and then to forsake the city and travel to Bloodrise in their extragovernmental capacity as ‘adventurers’.”You tug at your beard—this human mask’s closest analogue to the chin-spikes which you grew as you naturally matured. How to handle this best, without endangering yourself or risking exposure…>Enough cowardice—Irinnile, as Yosef, must approach these allies of her ‘lover’ and make them cease by reason or by assassination!>Rufos should move to arrest them—command the Paladins to take care of their own, if need be!>Perhaps Archmage Henzler has means by which she can deal with these pesky adventurers, and dispose of the evidence?>If you want something done right, do it yourself—you will confront them personally, and end their threat permanently>Who even cares? Execute the dwarf, and set the human and elf to flight—you have a wedding to plan, and a honeymoon! Eyes on the prize!>Write-in
>>5641577>If you want something done right, do it yourself—you will confront them personally, and end their threat permanentlyand Irinnile can help because I think that would make the scene cooler
>>5641594+1Kill them, together
>>5641594Supporting Do it at night, ambush them
>>5641577>If you want something done right, do it yourself—you will confront them personally, and end their threat permanentlySet the prison aflame with mundane fire; they'll come rushing in to save their buddy.
>>5641594+1she better back us up
>>5641577>Perhaps Archmage Henzler has means by which she can deal with these pesky adventurers, and dispose of the evidence?
>>5641823>>5641815>>5641673>>5641659>>5641616>>5641594[Locked and writing!]
>>5641577>let 'em rescue their friend>Kick their ass out of town
>>5641946These mammals cannot be allowed to join the fight against your people, nor to undermine your position here by freeing the dwarf called Deepvein, who already suspects you of being one of ‘them’ that they fight. You are on the precipice of absolute victory, it’s true, but that’s all the more reason not to leave such a potentially disastrous variable unaccounted for.You cannot trust Rufos with this, or Henzler, or any other human who might still have reason tow ant you gone. No, you will handle this alone… or, perhaps, with an ally who ahs as much to lose from this as you do.With Halle’s guidance, you find Irinnile the Succubus in the manor-house of the wealthiest member of her fellowship, where the demon has began holding her strange court. In her menagerie of dull-eyed and hollow-cheeked followers, you see familiar faces from your investigations into the Incubus Cult, and many new ones. Irinnile does not mingle among them, though, as did the incubus she supplanted. She does not adopt a new form, but accentuates her old. The being which appears before you, once her minions fetch her, is in fact MORE herself than you have ever seen her—Irinnile the Greater, where you had only beheld her in pale imitation before. Buoyed upon a litter by servants, she is a giantess by the standards of humanity—perhaps seven feet tall, or more—and resplendent. The demoness is red in tooth, and claw, and in inhuman hide, with winding green serpents swallowing up men or beings wallowed BY men swirling about her form. Her quasi-knightly armour plating has enmeshed itself into her swelling, sublime flesh, forming little more than inset accent jewelry, sparkling darkly against a skin which seems perpetually oiled. Her every orifice—includinga rather large male human sexual organ, you cannot help but notice— are all visible, and drip with blood, and ichor, and other fluids better not considered. She is surrounded by offerings—glasses and goblets of frothing admixture, by treasures to match her unsettling beauty. You find yourself holding your breath in terrible anticipation as she descends, your mind saved from the mad reverence with which her flock watched her only by your <Diadem of Clarity>. When you finally breathe in, take in her scent of perfume and debauchery and sweetness and blood, you wish you hadn’t. Your stomach and loins are squeezes and twisted by the mana of the god-child within, such that you grip your gut and nearly fall over.Irinnile catches you.“Eeeeasy, babycakes,” she coos.
>>5641978Bit late>>5641994“What have you… Become?!” you groan.To your left, Halle has begun to pant, and wrapped her arms around her midsection, whining and hissing.“In heat?” she gasps in the True Speech. “Impossible, my season is not yet upon me!”“It’s always time here, sweetie,” Irinnile cackles.The demon snaps her fingers and the haze and pressure seem to let up a little, the hyperreality of the scene revealing a much more mundane—but still bloody—scene of carnality, and a less darkly divine Irinnile. Your <affliction> calms, and you catch your breath more readily. Halle, the poor Silkscale, falls to the floor, shaking and shaken.“You have grown—”“Powerful? Godlike? IRRRRI-sistible?” the demon gushes.“—fat, on the mana of your thralls.”Irinnile pouts, and pokes at her belly.“Some peeps are inta’ that. Lotsa’ peeps. Any peeps I say are, nowadays.”“It must cost you greatly to maintain that shape, that aura of power and influence, and to dominate so many,” you note.“Well, your little scheme set me up nice,” she admits. Bein’ surrounded by my followers all eyein’ me up an’ cumming BUCKETS for me is helpful, too. An if I REALLY overdo it, I just eat someone up, all nomnomnomnomNOM, ya’ know?”She giggles. It echoes and reverberates in unearthly ways which set your soul ill -at-ease.“And anyway, it’s WAAAY easier now that I’m not, like, pers’nally babysitting Ricky all day erry day, ya’ know?”That raises an alarm, and you naturally question the succubus as to what she means by that statement.“What I MEAN, baby, is this is AALLL Hot Aunt Iri!” she says, seizing handfuls of her breasts and squeezing.“And the Green Knight?” you demand. “Where is he?”“Ooooh, don’t you go worrying that pretty little head, Big Boy,” she says, patting and pinching your cheek in what you take for some condescending form of affection. “I can bring him out ta’ play when we need him. Just the rest of the time I, like, store him in the dungeon.”You stare.“The SEX dungeon,” she adds, unnecessarily. “Where I fuck ‘im.”
>>5641995“Right,” you say. “And when we require his appearances in council?”“Puh-leeeaase,” she says, rolling her eyes. “How often do you even, like, need us for that shit anymore now that you’re practically Prince of fuckin’ HAWKSONG? But, yeah, I can… Like, wear him for a bit. That why you came to visit little ol’ me?”Her eyes drift downwards, and a long tongue slithers out of her mouth as her hand moved from your face to your chest.“Or you here to join the party, Big Boy? Still got all that juicy, ooey gooey mana swirling up in there, I see…”You take her hand in yours and, politely, remove it from your body. She frowns.“Neither,” you say. “The Green Knight’s allies move to liberate Deepvein and to take up some foolish quest against us. We must stop them.”Irinnile blanches, expression and body language abruptly shifting from lascivious and relaxed to shrink back and away, frightened.“H-hey, I told your little snakey-poo there, like, no way. Paladins are a no-go for a hot piece a’ ass from the Seven Circles like me, okay?”“I require your aid,” you reaffirm. “You promised to assist me.”“An’ I have, but, like… No pact, ‘member? That was all you, baby.”“Yes,” you remind her, “because I trusted you.”“Well sucks to be YOU, then, don’t it?!”
>>5641996You narrow your eyes, and Irinnile almost immediately seems to regret her harsh reply, face softening.“Look I can help you with, like, Nenaias. But Chase… Nuh uh. Man knows his way around a binding anna’ exorcism, no two ways about it, an’ his sword and armour are all, like, anti-demony.”“Then we divide and conquer,” you say. “You take one, and I the other.”Irinnile makes a show of considering it, but in the end your trust pays off: she will not abandon you, not here and not now. She calls one of her more burly supplicants forth, and he descends into the hidden interior of this manor, returning with a worn, emaciated, but well-groomed and finely-attired Heinrich Yosef. He lifts bleary, bloodshot eyes to behold you, and they narrow slightly.“You…”He gets little opportunity to say more than that before, to his mounting horror (and something else, something eager), he beholds his one-time slave’s approach. Irinnile embraces him, and with a long kiss, melts into him. By ounces and quarts she pours into his mouth and nose, until she is all within him again. The Green Knight falls, and when he rises, Irinnile is behind his eyes, and Kinslayer once more in his hand.(It is STILL a cool sword, which you rather wished YOu possessed, but maybe that's draconic greed talking... or lingering demonically-stoked lust.)“Let’s ride,” they say as one.Do you bring any other allies?>Yes [specify]>NoWhere will you confront them?>At the Paladins’ own royally-funded gaol, where your intelligence suggests they’ll be making their play to liberate Deepvein>The outskirts of the city—let them free the dwarf, then catch them somewhere with fewer witnesses to their butchery>In the midst of town, in an ambush at a choke-point—let Irinnile coordinate the guards to keep them away while you do the deed>Use <Guidance> to seek them out and attack them while they finish their preparations, in whatever hole these pests hide>Have Irinnile-as-Yosef arrange a meeting right here—at Irinnile’s headquarters, where she is most powerful!>Write-in
>>5641997tied between>The outskirts of the city—let them free the dwarf, then catch them somewhere with fewer witnesses to their butchery>>Yes (Olu)and>Use <Guidance> to seek them out and attack them while they finish their preparations, in whatever hole these pests hide>Let's rockin' go here and now
>>5641997>Yes Olu, Halle and dad>Use <Guidance> to seek them out and attack them while they finish their preparations, in whatever hole these pests hide
>>5641997>YesRoth, but only if we can get to him before they free the dwarf>Use <Guidance> to seek them out and attack them while they finish their preparations, in whatever hole these pests hide
>>5641994>male organnope>dripping with blood...NOPE>...and ichorI HOPE that when you say ichor, you aren't refering to pus
>>5641997Well, I am rather glad that our trust ended up paying off here. >YesOlu, Roth and Halle. I'm sure Roth will be grumpy, so we can let him know these are the only people in the city who have even close to an inkling of what's going on.>Use <Guidance> to seek them out and attack them while they finish their preparations, in whatever hole these pests hideAgain, I suggest FIRE, but hey. Whatever works.
>>5642130>nope[Reminder that Irinnile ate several people in RIQ and mainly fell in love with Heinrich Yosef's fantasies of bloody ven