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/qst/ - Quests

A brothel keeper’s adventure in a lighthearted fantasy inspired by South East Asian mythology.
It is the 1550s.
A time of expansion, exploration, and trade.

Amidst great empires, a small country manages to establish itself as a trading center.

Within Sablestream lies Clawflash, a city surrounded by many rivers. The prosperous center of trade was originally founded by Birdmen, divine messengers of deities.

A highly competitive world where wealth can be easily amassed and washed away. A destination for any goblin, human, or giant seeking to improve their status.
YOU are Sira

Formerly an apothecary in training, ladykiller, martial artist, security agent of a slave auditing company, and a member of Red Winter crime organization that funded the company, his career was ended by Johannes, the military advisor (and hitman) of the monarchy due to uncovering state secrets.

His left hand was severed and both of his thighs were cut. His colleague, Bow, managed to reconstruct him with the use of blood magic, but the extent of his injuries forced him into an administrative role — he became a brothel keeper.

For years, he did the bare minimum and preferred to stay in his room to daydream about Kriegmessers (Warknives) and sideswords.

Recently, he decided to give a shit again, and turned the barely solvent brothel into a successful one.

(Not necessary to read, although it details Sira’s journey from the 1st - 4th month)

He just needs to keep this brothel going for eight more months and his time as a brothel keeper will be over — his body would have fully recovered from the injuries by then.
Sira does not run theNectar Droplet brothel alone, and these are his colleagues…

Head of security division — Arun
An old man that has seen and dealt with troublemakers his entire life. He is someone Sira consults when it comes to criminal activity and his reputation within the Red Winter organization.

Head of financial division — Dao
A goblin that oversees the funds of the brothel. She is a reliable colleague that is knowledgeable about the entertainment district in general.

Head of medical division — Warin
Sira’s most trusted colleague and lover. Oversees the monthly supply of contraceptives and abortifacients being sent to the brothel. One of the few that dabble in black magic.

Shock troops — Sira’s Crows
Fellow security agents from his days working for Catchers Corps, a slave auditing company. A small force of only nine people, but skilled in raids and infiltration.
Aside from his expertise in fencing and gunnery, Sira is blessed with supernatural powers.

Warin mended his muscles back together using a magical black resin, which permanently connected him to the supernatural world.

His abilities are…

Teleport to a location within line of sight. Time slows down when concentrating on a location.

Arcane bond
Gift his 'Fade' to others by holding their hand. The stronger the connection, the more powerful their Fade becomes. He can take back his blessing at any time.

it’s basically Daud’s blink from Dishonored.
To operate the brothel smoothly, there are 4 aspects to keep track of…

Amount of money the brothel has.

The happiness and loyalty of employees.

Speed of neutralizing troublemakers.

Reputation of the brothel and the ability to ask for favors from other members in Red Winter.

Each of these aspects can be used as currency in certain decisions.

Depending on how a mission is finished, some can increase or decrease.

Don’t let any of them hit 0.
Miscellaneous info:

Updates — 2-3 times per day

Voting period — 7-10 hours, although depending on my sleep schedule and player vote, it can be extended

Is this a drawquest? — sometimes, depends if im free or not

Your tripcode(s)? — I phonepost but I occasionally tabletpost as well, so you might see two trips. Don’t worry. It’s me.
Fifth month — first half

Funds 8/10
Morale 8/10
Security 8/10
Connections 6/10

The start of rain season in Sablestream, which will last until the tenth month. A time of farming, fishing, and mosquitos. In a month, the Royal Ploughing ceremony will occur, signaling an auspicious beginning of farming.

Depending on what the sacred cows choose to eat, the astrologers will predict which aspect of Sablestream will grow, which usually becomes a self fulfilling prophecy as people will support it. A roll of the dice to see which industry will prosper. Whether it be commerce, agriculture, or aquaculture, they will affect the brothel in some way.

In this month, he only has time for a single favor, but he receives two…

>Investigation — Apothecaries’ missing shipment (+connections, ++ / — morale)
Zeal and Cris are highly trained apothecaries who supply the brothels with contraceptives and abortifacients. Morbid and edgy, they get away with their crassness at times due to their importance to the Red Winter.

Recently, their recent shipment has gone missing on their way to Clawflash. Investigating them will calm a lot of people in the entertainment district.

>Guidance — train the Moon Silk’s plantation security (++ / — connections, —security)
Moon Silk is a liquor company that specializes in fruit wine. Fearing their fruits get stolen during the next month, the Red Winter associates ask for Sira and his crows’ help on improving their security on their plantations, in the northern province of Pikebreak.

Assisting them in training will make the senior members of Red Winter happy, but at the cost of reducing the security of the brothel.
>Guidance — train the Moon Silk’s plantation security (++ / — connections, —security)
>Investigation — Apothecaries’ missing shipment (+connections, ++ / — morale)
Rolled 1 (1d2)

1 = guide
2 = investigate


Sablestream was never a single, homogeneous country. Regions were ruled by small kingdoms which consisted of varying numbers of provinces.

As the Clawflash Kingdom became a center of commerce, its influence overpowered the northern Kingdom of Unblood, eventually annexing it and changed the capital of the country to Clawflash.

While not as powerful commercially, the northern provinces and its hearty environment has allowed animals and plants to grow to a substantial size.

Few places aside from Pikebreak can produce peaches and plums with proportions similar to a melon.

With the size of the plantations, this operation requires many people from the brothel.

Sira, his crows travel to the north…

Pikebreak — Moon silk plantation

Three weeks.
Sixty guards.
Ten instructors.

Most of the guards are giants, but some are decently large humans. While most are equipped with polearms, some have matchlock arquebuses.

Despite having weapons with longer reach, they aren’t particularly successful at warding off bandit groups based on their previous records.

They rarely caught the bandits, and when they do, they cannot close the distance due to their eye irritant powders. Sometimes, their equipment were unknowingly covered with sticky substances that made using their polearms and guns difficult.

From the reports, the bandits carry knives and swords, and could have used them in combat, but preferred to flee or use the powders. Perhaps they are afraid of these guards being replaced by more competent ones?

From what he has seen, there’s a lot to teach..

Target identification. Weapons and equipment manipulation. Situational awareness.

Sira decides to focus on..

>Target Identification
Locating these bandits first is key to avoid being blinded by them.

>Weapons manipulation
They need to fight effectively even when the odds are stacked against their favor.

>Situational awareness
They cannot let their equipment tampered with.
>Weapons manipulation
If they can fight even when caught off-guard or impeded by powders or adhesives, then the bandits can fuck around all they want, and even change specific strategies around and STILL be fucked.
>Target Identification
Information is key in most situations.
>Target information
I assume you meant “target identification”?

There’s only target identification / weapons manipulation / situational awareness

closing votes in an hour

>Target identification.

In order to engage the threat, the guards must see the threat before them.

While Sira isn’t the best arquebusier out there, he knows a few tricks in identifying a target.

「This is the most important lesson of all — DO NOT try look to for people. You’ll overlook things that doesn’t resemble a normal person. Tunnel vision makes it hard to spot people.」

「Your brain is good at pattern recognition and figuring out where things are supposed to be, but we can improve it. You need to force yourself to look in a different way than usual. If you look left to right, you need to look right to left. It is unusual, but a different perspective can help spot things you might not previously.」

His background in infiltration allows him to advise the guards about techniques for stealth.

「I’ve noticed from the reports that these bandits are short. Really short. Slightly shorter than me, which means their hiding spots can be a lot more diverse.」

「This technique is the 'quail'. Basically, you curl up into a ball and slow down the breathing. From a distance, they will look like a rock.」

「Height changes are important in stealth. Your eyes don’t focus on the sky or ground unless something there demands your attention. This is also the reason why you need to look in a different way than usual.」
Rolled 1, 3, 2 = 6 (3d3)

With the classroom portions done, the guards will be tested on application of their knowledge.

「Three tests. For the first test, you need to find objects that the bandits that leave behind. Traps. Stashes. Boxes. Things that don’t belong in a forest. Find and Identify them. Time limit is three hours.」

「Second test is identifying and intercepting the bandits. Your polearms will be wrapped in cloth. Your blades will be replaced by wooden wasters. The guns will be wooden replicas. I and other instructors will be playing as the bandits. We will try to run away. Time limit is three hours.」

「Third test is a combination of both. I and other instructors will try to steal fruit replicas. Some of us will try to flee if spotted. Some will try to fight. Three hours as usual.」

「First test will begin at dawn. Second at noon. Third at dusk. If you fail the third test, you better pass the first and second. Same goes for the opposite. Good luck.」


While Sira has taught them extensively about spotting threats, the guards’ attention span and stamina are not infinite.

Bonuses [3d3]
1 = +2 bonus
2 = +4 bonus
3 = +6 bonus

>Assign the bonuses
you can put multiple bonuses in one test

First test: DC 13
Second test: DC 15
Third test: DC 18
>Test 1
>Test 3:
+6 AND +4
Rolled 18, 1, 16 = 35 (3d20)


First test +2 bonus
Second test no bonus
Third test +10 bonus
Yikes, what a spread. Still, two successes, one quite monumental!

Oh god, the crtifail

>20, 1, 26 vs 13, 15, 18

At dawn, the guards had good concentration and retained the majority of what they learned from the previous days. With their rigorous studying and application of spotting techniques, they were able to identify all twenty objects with nearly an hour remaining.

The test at noon is where they completely failed. The bright sunlight and fatigue makes them barely able to focus, with some of them falsely identifying other guards as bandits instead. A frustrating experience that resulted in none of the instructors being captured, let alone identified. Sira is pretty worried about how well they would do in their final test.

They spent their free time preciously, going over their primary plans, their secondary and alternate ones should the first ones fail, creating slightly larger groups and revising their tactics based on the failure of the second test. Each person will cover smaller angles than before, but the group will be able to move faster in general.

They are frustrated, no doubt, but they don’t have time right now. They just need to pass this test. Although faint, Sira can see a semblance of his crows’ early days in them.

Their rigorous training and practice pays off. As the night continues, more instructors are chased off or captured. The fruit replicas were secured.

Since they passed the tests, they get a day off tomorrow.

Still, the catastrophic failure of the second test will not be forgotten — Sira and his crows will need to build team cohesion and cooperation when they teach situational awareness and weapons manipulation.

Fifth month — Second half

The sun starts to set once again. The day off for both the guards and his crows are coming to an end.

Sira spends the evening alone, writing down reports of the guards’ progress and checking the schedules.

They’re learning pretty quickly. At this rate, I could give them another day off if they can pass the weapons manipulation tests.

In his peripheral vision, he sees shadows moving and vegetation being disturbed through the open window. It’s probably the guards trying to visit, but he can’t be sure.

His wheellock pistol is retrieved and cocked, but remains hidden underneath the desk. Sira unsheathes his sidesword.

""calm down mister.""

He hears a voice of some young teenager. Male. No older than sixteen. Sira immediately moves away from the window, thinking someone has spotted him through it.

""we only want to talk.""

The sound must be coming from the outside.

""you are the instructor they sent, right? we want to negotiate.""

「.. I am speaking to the leaders of the bandits right now?」

""I can see you’re gonna make our job a lot harder than before. we want to make a deal: we won’t bother this place again if you help us find another source for peaches. You send us to your competitor and we’ll be on our way.""

「How many of you are out there.」

""uhh… about eight?""

The number sounds about right. These bandits are.. sixteen year olds? Risking their lives for some peaches of all things? It’s expensive, sure, but they’re probably better off stealing something that doesn’t lose its values after a couple days.

「Why peaches, of all things?」

""it’s important to us.""
""so, can you help us?""

「I need some time to think. Remain here. I will call my men to talk about this.」

""alright, but if we see something off, deal’s gone, alright?""


Sira calls his crows to meet at the house he is staying at.

With all nine other crows in the living room, Sira tells the leader of the bandits that all of his men are here, waiting for the negotiation.

A knock on the door.

They see a young human, wearing dark green clothes. Despite being sixteen, his height nearly surpasses Sira. His tunic is tattered and his fabric covered straw hat has many nicks in it. His only weapon is a cheaply made dussack on his hip — a crudely constructed blade made from a single piece of metal, with the lower portions of the tang bent and shaped into a knucklebow. Little more than a tool than can cut wood and leaves.

""I am the leader. The one you spoke to.""

「Where’s the rest?」

""They are here. Observing me. They’re not good at talking.""

The bandit leader explains that they have been stealing peaches off this plantation in order to keep their family safe.

Him and seven other bandits are children of a farmer and a merchant. Their father was a player of the dark arts, and had a 'Bow Buffalo', a type of statue made from occult metals that holds a spirit. If properly fed and given water, it can perform miracles when commanded.

Their father chose peaches as the main food source due to its abundance during his time. For a few decades, their farm and their mother’s career were successful, but recently, Clawflash’s focus on international trade has pressured many farmers to cultivate higher quality fruits and sell them at a higher price, or specialize in rice entirely.

Eventually, their father isn’t able to afford the once cheap peaches anymore, and the Bow Buffalo curses them for their failure. Once their father passed away, it became even worse for the family since there wasn’t anyone that knows how to deal with the occult statue. Right now, they can only satiate it with peaches to keep them from debilitating their mother and stifle their family’s income.

「That’s tough.」
「Couldn’t you give that thing peaches of your own farm?」

"No. We tried that. He-."
A young female voice is heard.

""Fine. No more tricks. Drop your veils.""

Seven more kids appear in the living room. Their presence by spirits, they were listening in on the conversation this entire time while being invisible.

The clothing themselves aren’t invisible. They’re aided by spirits, similar to Warin.

The bandit leader taps his younger sister’s head.

""He only want peaches from somewhere much colder than our farm.""
This is difficult.

From what Sira has heard, a Bow Buffalo is a particularly powerful occult construct, even capable of inflicting death if the owner commands it. In this case, a masterless one is pressuring this kids for food.

Sira decides to..

>Find another planation
As member of Red Winter, he is obligated to put the organization above all else. Their plantation cannot be harmed.

>Negotiate with his Red Winter associates
Talk to the associates and convince them to sell the peaches at a reduced price to these kids, or have them perform tasks in return. They don’t need to steal anymore.

>Ask Warin to visit and deal with this
He’s not qualified to deal with the supernatural — Warin is. It will be a difficult task, the hardest option of all, but for the sake of these kids and this plantation, it must be done.
>Negotiate with his Red Winter associates
Wroth a shot, right?
>Negotiate with his Red Winter associates
>Ask Warin to visit and deal with this
>>Negotiate with his Red Winter associates
Closing vote in an hour


「I don’t want you to steal anymore. I will talk to the land owners — maybe I could get them to sell the peaches at a discount, or have you work for the peaches directly.」

「I cannot make any promises.」

""I understand.""
"Thank you."

Sira has two weeks to appease the land owners, the Attitaya (Are - ti - ta - ya) brothers.

The eldest is most concerned about the profitability of the plantation. A businessman, who sees Sira as little more than another investment.

The middle is most concerned about the security of his employees. He sees Sira as an instructor that is stern but understanding to his men.

The youngest is most concerned about the ethics of this plantation. He is skeptical of Sira due to his proximity to organized crime.

Currently, the eldest remains neutral about him, the middle already likes him, and the youngest is wary of him.

To get the peaches, he’ll have to make at least two of them agree to his proposal. A good balance between emotional and logical appeal will be required, depending on which person Sira wants to influence. The nature of the proposal will also affect their willingness to listen as well.

Which proposal will Sira use..?

>A new audience
Sira has received reports of people wanting to buy Moon Silk fruits, but unable to due to the high prices. He asks that the more blemished peaches are sold at a discounted price instead — this could be another source of income for the plantation. Better than throwing it away, at least.

>A treat for the guards
During his stay in the plantation, he noticed the more blemished peaches are thrown away due to not meeting the high standards of Moon Silk. He asks that these peaches are given to the guards instead, as another source of motivation.

>Giving back to the community
During his stay, Sira has witnessed the impoverished many times. He asks that the blemished peaches are donated to temples, collectives of shanty towns, or even the homeless that resides in the outskirts of town. Rather than throwing these peaches away, they could help those in need by giving them something nutritional to eat.
>A new audience
Sira has received reports of people wanting to buy Moon Silk fruits, but unable to due to the high prices. He asks that the more blemished peaches are sold at a discounted price instead — this could be another source of income for the plantation. Better than throwing it away, at least.
>>A new audience
mixed with
>Giving back to the community
Unsold product can be pocketted by the guards, or local actors, to avoid waste
Gotta sleep in an hour. I’ll leave the vote up for ~8 more hrs.
>A new audience
No reason for Middlebro to oppose it, and he likes us, so he's probably onboard. Youngbro is the hardest ell, so let's appeal to Oldbro's financial focus instead. Less waste, more sales!
>Giving back to the community

>new audience

Sira’s proposal targets the eldest, who cares most about the financial aspect of this plantation.

While he understands Sira’s concern, the eldest is hesitant about this new strategy.

〔I’m not sure if that will be possible. Moon Silk prides itself on high quality products. Selling subpar fruits, even at a discounted price, could cause us to lose some of our original customer base. When luxury brands cater to people with less wealth, they lose some of that prestige — we could end up losing more profits.〕

The middle brother is a bit more willing to give this idea a chance.

⋯I think this could work. We’re not catering to them ー we’re giving them a sample of something much better. Besides, they don’t have to see the entire thing. We can cut up the blemished peaches and sell the cuts at a discounted price. Mark it as ‘old’ so they would understand the reduction in price.⋯

The youngest brother seems to think there’s a better way.

※I think we should just give them free samples. Get them hooked to it. ※

〔No. Definitely not. We do that and they’ll just wait for us to give free samples and not spend any money. We can not let our customer base get used to that.〕

⋯Yeah. It’s probably best if we don’t do that. If we’re selling at a cheaper price, maybe, but this is not us.⋯

His idea gets outvoted.

〔.. I have some doubts about the ‘selling cuts of blemished peaches’ idea. It is possible, and the company will remain dignified, but we'll need to make a new line of packaging for it, test out the demand and how many of these cuts we should sell, and then there’s the ploughing ceremony we have to worry about…〕

〔We need a lot of time to get this going, and with the royal ploughing ceremony happening in less than a month, we might need to postpone this if the monarchy decides to promote aquaculture or commerce instead of agriculture. The risk is too high.〕

The youngest brother is completely in opposition with the middle and eldest, so Sira should probably try to convince those two instead. The middle’s idea about selling cuts at a cheaper price is a good idea, but the eldest needs some convincing in order to agree to it.

To influence the eldest, Sira decides to…

you can choose as many choices as you want, but certain combinations of choices will conflict and make his message weaker overall.

>Security doesn’t need to be as high
From his experience in training the guards, Sira can confidently say that they are capable men that do not require any more funding in order to be effective in keeping this plantation safe. The brothers can spend this leftover funding on this new project.

The brothers will pay close attention to the guards’ training during these last two weeks. Their confidence hinges on how well these guards will perform.

>The bandit issue will be resolved
Sira has conducted an investigation and found that there were more bandits than originally reported. A lot more. There’s a lot of people that want the peaches but cannot afford it. Their motivations range from using it as an ingredient in an occult ritual to shrine offerings. If they sell these cuts, there will definitely be a demand for it.

The eldest will want to question him further about this ー Sira must be careful of how this lie is constructed.

>Red Winter as insurance (—connections IF ploughing ceremony 1d3 diceroll doesn’t land on agriculture)
Sira offers Red Winter as insurance ー they will be willing to buy the peaches if there isn’t enough demand for it. This will strain his relationship with the organization, though. (current connections 6/10)

>Sira as insurance (—funds IF ploughing ceremony 1d3 diceroll doesn’t land on agriculture)
Sira offers to be insurance ー his business will buy the peaches if there isn’t enough demand for it. Sira can afford this option, but he can’t keep doing things like this for long. (current funds 8/10)
>Sira as insurance (—funds IF ploughing ceremony 1d3 diceroll doesn’t land on agriculture)
>Sira as insurance (—funds IF ploughing ceremony 1d3 diceroll doesn’t land on agriculture)
>>The bandit issue will be resolved
>Sira as insurance
>>Sira as insurance (—funds IF ploughing ceremony 1d3 diceroll doesn’t land on agriculture)

>Sira as insurance

He has the money to spare.

「I will insure the peaches. If there isn’t enough demand, I will buy them.」

⋯That’s great. Thank you.⋯

〔…I see.〕
〔We will need some time to calculate all the costs.〕

〔.. your contact details are these, correct?〕

「… yes. They are correct.」

For now, it seems the eldest and middle brother is satisfied. The youngest remain neutral about him, but it doesn’t really matter much.

With the matter of the bandits settled, Sira only has to worry about the guards.

The third week of the fifth month begins with weapons manipulation training.

As most guards are equipped with polearms, it is what Sira will focus on.

While their fundamentals are good, they need to learn how to deal with opponents when their weapons are not in ideal positions.

When the opponent is past the point, there are many responses they could perform.

A strike with the butt of the polearm is useful should the momentum is working against the top of it.

Grappling techniques, kicks, shoves are good if they manage to hold onto the shaft.

Letting go entirely and drawing their knives or swords is another option they should consider if the leverage is not favorable.

While the bandits may have the advantage in stealth, the guards generally larger size means they can cover more ground, so strikes or thrusts that passes steps are a useful method of closing the distance and gaining initiative.

Techniques from the twohander (sword) also applies with polearms as well — wide sweeping cuts which keep the momentum going will allow the guards to offend an area around them, which will compensate for the reduced accuracy should they get blinded.

Watching them struggle to perform certain cuts and thrusts, mistime when they should move their weapon, arm, and body brings back old memories during his younger days.



His family never wanted him to learn about weapons, deeming it an unnecessary pursuit that detracted from his apothecary studies and gaining favors with the influential people that could get him a stable career. He never disclosed his interest in them to the family.

Sira was good at studying, but navigating the complex social structure of the prestigious Adamant Spearhead academy was difficult. All the nuisances, the intricacies of even existing properly became grating. Getting yelled at by seniors for not bowing at a certain angle or forgetting to crawl to the teacher when addressing them weren’t exactly something he had in mind when attending a school for apothecaries.

He eventually gravitated to the outcasts of the academy once he realized his efforts meant little — his teachers and other students had already made up their mind about him.

As the years went by, his family became more hostile to him. Even a minor mistake escalated into arguments and shouting. He eventually learned to accept it, even when their statements were based on falsehoods. Being part of underground fencing clubs and fooling around with women were the few times he truly enjoyed living.

Eventually, he was accused of being a member in organized crime, and the staff were all too willing to believe it — his frequent sparring bruises, lecherous nature towards women with similar goals and disregard for authority were all the 'evidence' needed to expel a problematic student.

As expected, his fami-

It is sunset once again.

The guards have listened to his teachings well, and performed decently at their tests. While their footwork remains a little too static and their timing could use some more work, their natural agility and application of techniques have made them able to hold their own against the instructors. He can work on those tomorrow.

Whenever Sira thinks about his past, he can feel some pain in his chest. Even when he can barely recall them, the effects of such stress still remain.

Right now, Sira just needs to relax. He wants to…

>Hang out with the group of kids (bandits)
Butterfly pea flower tea has always calmed him. Maybe he could share these with the kids and talk about random things.

>Find a nice spot to draw a landscape painting
He has been thinking too much. Maybe all he needs is to let go and do something calming after a long day of sparring.

>Sidesword sparring with his crows
He yearns for the good moments of past. He wants to remember more! This faint semblance could be the key to it.
>Hang out with the group of kids (bandits)
>Hang out with the group of kids
Closing vote in three hours.
>Find a nice spot to draw a landscape painting

>hang out

He needs some tea to calm himself. And people he could talk to.

He returns to his lodging. A moderately large wooden building with few windows — little more than cutouts with wooden panels that can be closed to prevent mosquitoes entering or heat exiting.

The jar of dried butterfly pea flowers is opened. He scoops up a bunch of the shriveled up indigo blue stuff and drops them into the steel cups.

After some stirring, the cold water turns into cobalt blue. A perfect drink to soothe the mind, although most would prefer to add some lime or honey to it for the additional flavor, or turning it into a recognizable purple color.


""Wow. Thanks, man. You didn’t have to. Thank you.""

Wit, the leader of the bandits expresses his gratitude towards Sira’s actions. The rest follow suit.

「… so, what are you going to do now?」

""Well.. we’re probably going to just.. tend to the farm, help our mom sell stuff and get some side jobs, I guess.""

"We have like.. a ton of of chili and pepper leftover. [sip] we could probably sell it or something."

""Hey, look, you’re here for one more week, right? I know some restaurants around here. Their duck noodles are pretty good.""

「Thanks, but you don’t really need to.」

""You gotta try it! The ducks here are real good. The skin is really good. Nearly as thick as your finger.""

「Damn. That’s insane. Back in Clawflash, the skin is barely thicker than my nails.」

""… I never knew there were a lot of ducks there. I thought with all the.. tension between them and the Serpents..""

「Well… they always find their way into it, somehow. At a certain point, they just stopped caring. Having them around is good for the economy, anyways. 」

「And the tension between them kinda.. subsided nowadays. I remember back when stores were trashed because customers thought the things were made in Silverport.」

「People try to be more 'civilized', I think. Having those kinds of extremism around will scare off foreign investors and merchants. If you go there now, most people would be wearing collared shirts and breeches.」

"That’s nice i guess..."

The kids were interested in Sira’s life in Clawflash, as they don’t travel often. He’s more than happy to talk about most things in his life.

"Do they allow tattoos there? I saw a black line on your wrist. Looks cool." She unknowingly refers to the occult black resin that reattached his left hand to his wrist. A small strip of obsidian like blackness remains.

「Thanks, but it’s more of a.. remnant of a surgery. Not really a tattoo.」

「As for the legality of the tattoos.. it’s technically legal, but most people don’t really do that. Finding a capable Player [of the Dark Arts] that’s good at tattooing, and paying for those inking… it’s not feasible for most people. Unless the monarchy pays for it, you’re probably not gonna get it.」

「There’s not a lot of them, but they were pretty damn scary. The ones with genuine marks, they’re tough. Years ago, there was this bandit in Cinderpath that shrugged off being shot and cut like it was nothing…」

… time passed quickly.

Before Sira knew it, it was the end of the month. It took a while for guards to practice situational awareness, but their teamwork and dedication has paid off in the final exam — a grueling all day exam where their skills in detection, combat, and awareness were tested.

They passed.

They throughly earned their reward — a party during the final day of the fifth month.

Cold meats and heavy seasoning. Rice wine and bountiful herbs. Silky fruits and sugary sweets. Stories and memories were shared.

The coldness of the northern province was swept away by the spicy food and hearty guards. The party spans from the late morning to the late evening.

Sira and his crows could hang out with the guards, or they could leave the party early and go see those kids one last time.

Sira chooses to..

>Leave early — have a party with those kids before they leave Pikebreak
Their parting gift will be otherworldly keepsakes. Something powerful with a cost. Bittersweet, just like their time as bandits. This might be useful if they go up against something or someone much more powerful than them.

>Stay at the party — spend their last moments here hanging out with the guards
Their parting gift will be mundane keepsakes. Something they can look back on and remember fondly. This might be useful when morale is low.
>>Stay at the party — spend their last moments here hanging out with the guards
>>Stay at the party — spend their last moments here hanging out with the guards
>Stay at the party — spend their last moments here hanging out with the guards

>hang out with the guards

It’s best if he, as representative of Red Winter, remain with the associates and the guards during the evening.


It has been interesting, being in Pikebreak. A province where people are few and nature shines the most. All those stories about the health benefits of this province did not do it justice — even the act of breathing was pleasant. If he was raised here, his height might’ve rivaled a giant.

Before they part ways, the Moon Silk guards give them a set of ceramic cups. Pale blue and highly resistant to heat. Might be useful in the winter months.

They returned to Clawflash during the first of the sixth month. Arun has done his best to maintain security within the Nectar Droplet while Sira and his crows were gone, but there were a few more incidents than usual.

Red Winter appreciated his help with the Moon Silk plantation and gave the brothel a few bottles of peach and plum wine.
Rolled 1 (1d3)


Sixth month — first half

Funds 8/10
Morale 8/10
Security 8/10 » 6/10
Connections 6/10 » 8/10

Finally, the royal ploughing ceremony draws near. A time of nationalism (or fanaticism, depending on who is asked). Drab red and yellows decorate the busy city as people announce their allegiance to the monarchy. According to Warin, this is also the time of the occult as well. Offerings, rituals, spells, they will be at their height during these following weeks. Maybe that’s why those astrologers are present.

The king and his subordinates travel to Unblood, the old capital, for the royal ploughing ceremony.

An upstanding citizen that is loyal to his country, his religion, and the monarchy would be up at dawn to watch them depart, but Sira can’t be bothered. It’s hard to care about the government when they nearly killed him for learning about a plot to funnel drugs into Galepeak to prevent diplomatic relations between it and other countries.

As night falls, news of the ceremony reached Clawflash.

The oxen has chosen and the court astrologers prophesied that this industry will flourish..

1 = agriculture
2 = aquaculture
3 = commerce


The two oxen chose to eat grains — a sign of the agricultural industry flourishing!

Turns out that insurance wasn’t that necessary, after all.

Since the agriculture industry will flourish, it will affect the brothel in a few ways..

※Customer Influx※ (+1 Funds each month, -1 Security each month)
Nectar Droplet caters to people of low - moderate income. They’ll be able to make a lot more money due to the influx of laborers, but the security will need to be increased so they could effectively deal with troublemakers. [LASTS UNTIL THE TENTH MONTH]

※Disintegrating Industries※ (-1 Fund for a mission not related to agriculture)
This single minded focus has left certain industries less profitable than others. Things will become more expensive. [LASTS UNTIL THE TENTH MONTH]

※Strengthened Connections※ (stronger magic)
Supernatural effects become stronger. During this month, Sira’s 'Fade' can stop time when he is concentrating on a destination, and he no longer requires line of sight with the destination if he has been there before. [LASTS UNTIL THE SEVENTH MONTH]

Sixth month — first half

Funds 8/10 (+1 per month)
Morale 8/10
Security 6/10 (-1 per month)
Connections 8/10

It’s a busy month for everyone in the entertainment district. Gambling houses have more money in it than before. Bars have plenty of fruit and rice wine to accommodate people, and brothels are filled with exhausted laborers.

However, Red Winter has noticed a few things that could prove dangerous later on.

An investigation must be conducted.

>Vigilante killings on Red Winter associates (++security, +morale)
Some of Red Winter’s associates were brutally murdered. Based on pervious investigations, it seems that these vigilantes were also responsible for stealing the shipment of abortifacients as well.

>An officer’s disappearance (++security, ++connections)
Clawflash’s law enforcement is mainly hired by the monarchy to keep the city safe, with private organizations acting as auxiliary forces. Red Winter has few connections in the monarchy, and when one of them goes missing, it needs to be addressed immediately.
>Vigilante killings on Red Winter associates (++security, +morale)
>Vigilante killings on Red Winter associates (++security, +morale)
>Vigilante killings on Red Winter associates (++security, +morale)
>Vigilante killings

He’s not touching any of that royalty stuff again. Sira decides to look into the killings more closely.

Four murders. Two males, two females.

Most are killed by multiple cut and thrusts. Nearly all of them sustained severe damage to the genitals — the killers were trying to send a message.

>First victim: Baimon (bai - mon)
50 years old. Long time associate of Red Winter. Owner of a bathhouse in Cinderfall. Died in an outhouse near his building four weeks ago. Killed by multiple deep cuts to the body. His hands, arms, and legs were severed once he was on the ground. His groin was mutilated by repeated cuts.

Previous investigator’s addendum: The limbs were severed in a single cut. Likely came from a two hander [sword], or a giant using a single [handed] sword.

>Second victim: Boon
28 years old. Long time associate of Red Winter. Owner of a large textile company in Shadowfall, and frequent donor to temples. Died near her workshop, four weeks ago (two days after Baimon’s murder). Killed by multiple stab wounds to her lungs. The thrusts were launched from behind. Her breasts were cut off and groin repeatedly cut. The wounds indicate a wide blade was used.

Previous investigator’s notes: Her workshop has extremely high security. I was unable to talk to her workers, despite my affiliation with Red Winter. Her death went unreported by the news in Shadowfall for some reason.

>Third victim: Juda (ju - da)
36 years old. A minor associate of Red Winter, but she was a carriage driver of Baimon. Died two weeks ago, while traveling to Clawflash. She was shot in the side, the bullet hit her spine and caused her to crash the carriage. Multiple cuts were delivered to her throat and arms. The cuts indicate a wide blade.

Previous investigator’s addendum: the cuts delivered to her while on the ground are jagged — I believe it was sloppily done in a hurry. Likely to finish off the victim before escaping. The shot was likely came from a matchlock arquebus, as I spotted traces of burnt slowmatch near the scene.

>Fourth victim: Supun (su - pun)
27 year old. Leader of a minor private security group that guards Juda’s carriage while traveling. Likely died a week ago, but his body was found four days ago. Body was buried in a forest near Shadowfall province. Killed by multiple thrusts to the throat. Wide blade was used, similar to other murders. Traces of melted sugar were found on his clothing.

Previous investigator’s addendum: Based on the usage of melted sugar, which, while painful, is not immediately lethal, I suspect he was likely interrogated and killed in a house, likely his own, before being thrown into the forest.

Four people dead, and nearly all of them had their genitals mutilated. The motive remains unclear… Rape? Adultery? Honor killing? Business rivals?

Things don’t add up.

Baimon’s death could be attributed to his business — certain (shady) bathhouses offer sexual services, and he could be the target of some vengeful family members, a rival, or a misguided group of vigilantes who hates prostitution (they did steal those abortifacients, after all), but Boon’s death..?

Shadowfall is a southern province that is highly regarded as one of the best textile manufacturer of this entire country. A wealthy place, a center for commerce. How the hell did someone like Boon get swept under the rug? A death of a moderately large textile company’s owner would usually be talked about for months in the news.

Sira decided to visit…

A wealthy southern province. Sira needs to find out what is going on in the textile mill and the forest.

A city closer to Clawflash, known for its presence of mercenaries. Sira needs to know why they chose to target Baimon and his driver.
I think Juda might not have been killed by the same party - no genital mutilations?
What about sunpun, was he mutilated?
Hey anons, my updates are gonna take a bit longer than usual. I am visiting my grandparents for 2-3 days. Not sure if drawings will be possible.

Updates will still be 2 times per day.
Hope your visit goes well.

He needs to find out what happened to Juda and Supun. The fact that the previous investigator was denied questioning despite being a Red Winter member is quite unusual.

Besides, the most recent kill happened in Shadowfall. Maybe Sira could catch those vigilantes if they strike again.

To keep this investigation low key, Sira only brings only a few people — two of his crows who were from the southern provinces, and Warin.


While the northern and central parts of Sablestream are influenced by a confederacy of western countries, the southern provinces mostly concerns itself with the neighboring countries, with Dawnfall being the main country that they trade with, a group of islands that is north east of Sablestream.

Few live in the central provinces, and those that do are mostly being military advisors or mercenaries. In Shadowfall, their presence extends beyond military affairs, with a decent chunk of the population being descendants of Dawnfall immigrants.

Giants here are slightly different as well — most are red or blue skinned, with small horns on their heads.

The dialect proves difficult to understand at times, as Sira wasn’t born here. To him, it’s a flurry of words that he can barely comprehend. Luckily, his crows were more fluent. They got in contact with a Red Winter associate who provided them with lodging.

Sixth month — first half

After staying at Shadowfall for a few days, Sira begins to piece things together slightly better…

>Sira’s crows investigated Boon’s textile mill
The reason Boon’s textile mill has extensive security and soundproofing is due to the highly advanced looms. According to those that work closely to her business, she can produce clothes with highly detailed patterns in a short amount of time due to the special mechanisms within the looms.

Due to its complicated nature, it requires a large number of specialists to repair and maintain it — their identities are kept hidden from nearly everyone to ensure they don’t become a target. Few people know what their silhouettes look like.

>Warin investigated Supun’s body
His bloated corpse has turned somewhat black. Warin manages to identify a few things from it that the previous investigator didn’t pick up.

Bones in his hands and feet were fractured. Based on the dislocation of the bones, this likely happened before he died and thrown into the forest.

The extensive decay on the lower limbs and crotch indicated the melted sugar was poured directly on his skin — the melted sugar fused the skin with his clothes, making removal especially difficult without tearing apart skin. Definitely a torture method.

It seems that each of the victims, aside from Juda, had their genitalia mutilated. Was she 'more innocent' than other victims? Or was the killing done in a hurry? Sira is currently unsure.

If he wants a more thorough investigation, he’ll have to pick which location to focus on.

>Boon’s textile mill (— connections if caught)
With his Fade, he could infiltrate it and more throughly see its inner workings. He’ll definitely learn what got her targeted in the first place, but getting caught will make the relationship between him and Red Winter deteriorate.

>Supun’s house (Higher investigation DC)
There could be some evidence remaining in that house. Maybe he could learn more about what those Supun did, and what the vigilantes’ next targets could be.
>Boon’s textile mill (— connections if caught)
>There could be some evidence remaining in that house. Maybe he could learn more about what those Supun did, and what the vigilantes’ next targets could be.
We worked hard for those connections.
Gotta sleep. I’ll leave this vote open for ~10 more hrs
Have a good visit, SQM!

>Boon’s textile mill

>Textile mill
At a causal glance, the mill looks like a large, albeit simple building that primarily is made of wood and utilizes drab grey and white colors.

A more through observation reveals that every this building and the area around it was designed to obscure itself as much as possible. The building itself has many entrances and windows which are intended to resemble walls, making it difficult to even determine where to even enter it.

Thick vegetation surrounds the mill on all sides, its shadows and dark colors obscures the building from onlookers.

Large fences and signs constantly state the area is private property, ensuring that no matter the angle people approach, they will see the message.

Getting closer to it, Sira realizes just how big it truly is — he is barely tall enough to reach the fences’ middle rails.

According to the associates in Shadowfall, they have never seen a weaver or mechanic in the mill leave nor enter it during the day. They must’ve entered before dawn or after dusk.

After spending an afternoon scouting out the area around the mill, Sira, his crows, and Warin infiltrate it during the hours before dawn.

With their ability to Fade, they easily bypassed the vegetation, teleporting past it and landing on elevated floors of the mill.

In front of them are countless doors. It took a while before they found the ones that wasn’t a wall imitating a sliding door.

They enter some kind of storage room. Piles of lacquerware create a fortress that Sira and his crew must climb over them to get past, as each are roughly one thirds of their height.

This room is quite large — a giant would be twice their size, and the storage room could accommodate someone twice as tall as the giants.

Some of the boxes are half open, revealing multiple lists of names that were crossed out.

Strangely, the people in these lists do not have a surname, and some of them have symbols next to their name. This could be a valuable piece of information, but they need something to cross reference it.

His crows scout out the area while Sira and Warin copy the names and symbols from the lists.

They return with a map:

They are currently in the storage room, north of the mill. Next to them is a medicine storage room. Past the medicine storage room is a tea room and a stairway to the second floor. What is beyond the tea room is unknown, as the crows saw people in the tea room.

The secrets of this place likely resides in the second floor, as the first floor doesn’t have any space for the advanced looms and the weavers.

For the list of names, Sira decides to..

>continue to copy it down
This will take a considerable amount of time, but people won’t know the lists have been tampered with.

>take the lists (bonus to stealth DC, makes future stealth DC higher if people notice the missing lists)
A much faster option, but if people open the laquerware, they’ll definitely know something is wrong.

After the list has been dealt with, Sira decides to travel to..

>Medicine Storage room
If the lists are employee turnover rate, there’s definitely something wrong. Warin could analyze the medicine in here and see if the turnover rate is related to this or not.

>Stairways to the 2nd floor [Stealth DC]
They need to find out more. The second floor is likely dedicated to textile work. That’s probably where all the important information are as well.

>Tea room [Stealth DC]
Maybe they could eavesdrop on the people inside that room. They will need to know when to stop listening and leave before they get discovered.
Thanks anons

Also thanks for upvoting my archived quest

Seems like that “I'm tired of low effort fetish quests being on my board.” troll keeps downvoting my quest. Yesterday I saw it have +4 out of 7 votes and today its +6 out of 12.
>take the lists
>Medicine Storage room
Hm. Are they drugging and transporting people tagged as merchandise for some sort of illegal sex slavery operation? Might explain the genital mutilations...
Don't sweat it. Some asshole has been forcibly downvoting every popular or semi-popular quest.
>continue to copy it down
>Medicine Storage room
Closing vote in an hour
>>take the lists (bonus to stealth DC, makes future stealth DC higher if people notice the missing lists)
>Medicine Storage room

>take the lists
>medicine storage

Speed will be the key to stealth. The papers are folded and kept in their pouches.

Through the small slits of the door, the crew fades and appears in the medical storage room.

Unlike the haphazardly placed lacquerware of the previous storage, this room is well maintained, with large wooden drawers and cabinets neatly arranged around the walls.

Chipped wood and fading colors of the furniture clearly shows this room was visited frequently, although not particularly cared for beyond the bare minimum.

His crows watch the door while Warin and Sira search the cabinets — he used to be an apothecary (student), after all.

>Lower drawers
Contains medicinal products, mostly ointments and jars of herbs that are used to treat minor injuries or to deal with insects. Judging by the amount remaining, they don’t use these much. Out of all of products in this section, the ointment for treating minor cuts were used the most.

>Middle drawers
Contains herbs and powders with pain relief properties. Old manuals are found in these as well, giving detailed instructions on what type of medicine are to be given depending on the situation. Concussions? Broken bones? Hand injuries? These workplace accidents could conceivably happen, but the fact that these drawers seem to be used somewhat regularly paints a very dark picture of workplace safety.

>Upper drawers
Contains stimulants and ingredients for making them. There’s even instructions on the ingredient jars on the methods of preparation. They recommend mixing the stimulant powders with very little water or consume it without water at all — extremely effective at keeping people awake, but prolonged effects could result in anxiety or insomnia. Out of all the drawers, this one is constantly used and restocked. Unlike the lower or middle drawers, no trace of the powders or ingredients are found outside their containers — these things are in constant demand, and they cannot waste any of it.

>Old cabinets
Mostly contains cooking and measuring utensils. Judging by their dustiness and stains, they don’t use them very often — most of the processed medicine are delivered here instead of being made in house.

>New cabinets
Hallucinogenics and sleep medicine are here, in boxes and cups of various sizes. While the heavy usage of sleeping medicine makes sense considering the presence of stimulants, a sizable portion of the cabinets are dedicated to hallucinogenics.
A highly efficient mill that runs on overworked weavers and mechanics. No wonder there’s so many crossed out names — why keep the strained, subpar workers when newer ones are available?

The regular usage of pain killers also calls into question the treatment of the employees — were the workers abused? Addicted to them? Used as a temporary solution to the unsafe infrastructure and looms?

The hallucinogenics in the cabinets — were they used as recreational drugs by the employees? Another source of motivation? A way to prevent witness lucidity and create plausible deniability?

Sira doesn’t know everything yet, but he is beginning to piece things together. This mill is held up by a workforce that is barely kept alive through medications. A shithole that tries its best to hide its sins while reaping the rewards. He’s no stranger to institutions that exploit people in it, but it is still upsetting nonetheless.

.. this still doesn’t explain the genital mutilations, although it wouldn’t surprise him if the workers were sexually abused as well.

Sira’s crew decide to move on and check out the rooms further south. Lurking behind the sliding doors, they spy on the tea room and the stairways to the second floor.

They notice that there’s screaming coming in the tea room. The crew moves the doors slightly ajar and fades through it. Pressing their ears on the tea room’s walls, this is what they heard…

≪Shit. Shit! Wake up dude! Arugh!≫

The crew hear a thud on the floor. The person speaking must’ve moved someone and laid them on the floor.

°Holy shit. What.. what do we do?°

≪There’s some pain medicine in the storage. Uh.. middle drawer. I think there’s some burn treatment ointments in there as well, I think.≫

≪Go get them. I’ll try to get rid of the hot water.≫

°Got it.°

≪Fuck’s sake. He had to pass out now...≫

The silhouettes reveal two giants, armed with a sword on their hip. The third one is on the floor.
A guard must’ve passed out and burned himself while carrying hot water.

The crew knows there isn’t any burn treatment medication in the medical storage. They could either lend them help, or use this opportunity to slip by and enter the second floor.

They decide to..

>Help the guards [Dialogue battle*]
They have burn treatment medications. They could easily help this one guy and the guards likely won’t try to stop them. Convincing that his crew are supposed to be here on the other hand…

*dialogue battles:
you will be given ‘follow your heart’ and ‘follow your mind’ options. Some options will work, some won’t work in convincing the opposition

>Discreetly place some burn treatment medications in the storage [Stealth DC]
They want to help, but they must maintain stealth. They could place some medicine in the storage and escape with their Fade. However, these people might assume they’re threats to the mill if his crew mess it up.

Stealth DC: 13 / 16
Sira bonus: +5
Crows bonus: +4
Warin bonus: +3
(2 people or more fail = failure)

>Leave them — get to the second floor
This mill is fucked up, but they can’t get caught. They must maintain stealth and find more information. All these secrets will be lost if the crew got captured or killed. They can’t risk that.
>>Leave them — get to the second floor
Sorry, burned one
>Leave them — get to the second floor
We aren't here to put out every little fire, but by our actions may make this world a little bit better in tge long run. The mission comes first, though.
>Leave them — get to the second floor
>>Leave them — get to the second floor

Sira is not obligated to help them out. His duty is to investigate the murders, and risking it all to save one person is not a worthy trade.

His crew uses his misfortune as an opportunity to sneak up the second floor.

Discoloration are clearly seen on the wood — dark brown and reds have stained the once bright wheat brown wooden stairs. Dried blood. There must’ve been a lot of falls for it to accumulate this much.

Beyond the stairs lies a pair of sliding doors. It pretends to be merely paper, just like the rest, but touching it reveals it has been heavily reinforced with wood. Several metal locks are on the outside, preventing people inside from leaving.

After pressing their ears against the ground and floor, they have determined there were no people here.

As for the locks, the crew have prepared for this. Each of them carry a rolled up cloth that contains lockpicks and chisels. It didn’t take long until all of them were unlocked.

Opening the doors, they are greeted with rows of looms that stretch across the entire floor.

There doesn’t seem to be anything unusual about the looms, aside from modifications to the foot levers, which are smaller than usual. The chairs are a little strange, being quite small for an adult human.

..Actually, everything here is small. All these needles, beaters, knives, scissors, they’re way too small for an adult.

Unlike the northern or central provinces, the population of goblins in Shadowfall is very small — certainly not enough to supply this mill if those crossed out names are referring to goblins. The lack of surnames and the small stature.. they’re [human] children, most likely.

Child labor (and stimulants).
So that’s the secret behind pumping out intricate clothes at a breakneck rate.

Things are starting to fall into places now…

There’s only two places that Boon must’ve gotten these children — Baimon’s bathhouse in Cinderfall, or the temples she generously donated to, in Shadowfall.

A promise of payment, supposedly better living conditions, or simply kidnapping must’ve gotten the children here.

The crew can’t be in two places at once. They’ve either have to stay in Shadowfall to investigate the temples, or depart to Cinderfall to investigate the bathhouse.

Considering the most recent murders occurred here, they might be able to catch the vigilantes if they stayed.

However, in Cinderfall, they will have more resources to draw from — the investigation there will be easier.

The crew decides to..

>Stay at Shadowfall (investigate temples)
They can only rely on a few people in this southern province, but they could possibly catch those vigilantes before or after they strike again.

>Depart for Cinderfall (investigate bathhouse)
The town in central Sablestream has associates and Red Winter members that could help Sira’s crew. Some people might have knowledge that could solve this mystery.
>Stay at Shadowfall (investigate temples)
Fortune favors the bold.
>Stay at Shadowfall
The bold shall make their fortune! Or, well, improve security for our brothel.
>They can only rely on a few people in this southern province, but they could possibly catch those vigilantes before or after they strike again.

>stay at Shadowfall

They are an elite fighting force. They must led the way.

The crew decides to gather some evidence before leaving. A sample of the medicine inside the storage is taken for further analysis.

That guard is still sleeping while being treated for burn wounds.

Perhaps they could’ve helped, but taking unnecessary risks aren’t worth it. The crew fades away from the mill.

By the time they end up on their lodging, it is in the early morning. Those birds won’t shut ever up…

The crew can’t be bothered to change clothing or care about blankets. All four of them plop on the single large bed and sleep.


The next few days are spent investigating temples while a portion of the samples are sent back to Clawflash for testing.

In Sablestream, temples are more than a place of worship. Traditionally, it is also an orphanage and school for the impoverished — their role in society begets respect, but some abuse such privileges. Sexual abuses. Violence. Swindling. Such crimes are occasionally discovered.

Out of all the temples she donated to, there are two that could allow Boon to get children into her mill.

Ratana (ra - ta - na) temple and Misen (Mi - sen) temple.

Ratana is the older and larger of the two, and they mainly focus on education. While they mostly succeed at making the minors literate, the crew found a few reports of violence towards minors who lives in the temple, but legal action were scarcely taken as the minors displayed dangerous behavior. In one case, a minor threw a tantrum and started smashing objects because people didn’t give alms in the 'correct' order according to him. People did not intervene when he was beaten by sticks for his inappropriate conduct. Not even when his back was bleeding and when he was crying.

Misen is smaller and mainly focus on selling services or products. They were established only a few decades ago by Dawnfall immigrants who fled the country due to civil wars. While other temples would gain money through donations, fortune telling or selling food for animals, they prefer more labor intensive methods, such as growing herbs and fruits, teaching boxing and stickfighting. Although some criticize the monks for being too maritally inclined and financially focused, their presence has kept people from being attacked by stray dogs nearby the area.
Boon donated to these the most, and visited them the most. Both have reports of people, minors in particular, disappearing without any explanation.

Investigating these places will be difficult — temples are holy places, and can ward off evil. Those that have committed grave sins will find themselves uncomfortable there. The few monks that dabble in the supernatural may realize his crew are not the usual law abiding citizens.

The crew decides to investigate

>Ratana temple
Education inclined monks who are willing to do anything to discipline their minors.

>Misen temple
Martially and physically inclined monks who are willing to do anything for the money.
Money makes the world turn.
>Ratana Temple
>Misen temple


The temple that is more interested in money than anything is likely the one that’s shipping off children to the hellish textile mill.

Being in the temple will be difficult. All of them have committed far too many grave sins.

Sira has hurt too many. Killed too many. No matter how many flowers he plants, the pile of unwanted infant corpses never get any smaller.

His crows have overlooked many injustices against slaves. They tried their best to be just, but total idealists don’t keep their job for very long.

Warin made a family of eight people mentally handicapped. Perhaps her vengeance is justified considering how they cruel they were to slaves and workers, but her actions have destroyed countless people’s jobs.

All of them are definitely going to struggle when they enter the temple.
Misen temple — South Shadowfall

Brightly colored roofs and pristine white walls clearly shows the status of this temple — A well maintained place with frequent visitors. Trees surround this temple, giving shade and crops depending on the season.

Stepping past the gate, Sira is starting to feel exhausted already. His movements feel slow and sweat begins accumulating.

His crows stagger and takes a moment to squat down to catch their breath.

Even with her staff, Warin struggles to stand.

one hell of a start.

A temple is divided into three parts:

The religious quarters — it holds buildings that are used for religious purposes. Most people are here.

The living quarters [of the monks] — it holds facilities to help monks live. Most of the time, only monks are allowed to be here.

The earthen quarters — remaining available land, which are used for specialized buildings (if they have the money for it), such as dedicated schools and crematoriums.
Considering their painfully exhausted state, splitting off to investigate each section won’t be possible. They’ll need to chose a single area to focus on.

To the untrained eye, their exhaustion may seem typical of people who visit the temple during the late morning hours, the few monks that dabble in the supernatural will be able to notice something strange with them.

(Choose one)

>Religious quarters
They could ask the citizens of Shadowfall about this temple. Hardest to find good information, but easiest to blend in.

Investigation DC: 16 / 18
Stealth DC: 12

>Living quarters
A difficult area to sneak around, but these private quarters could yield valuable information.

Investigation DC: 10
Stealth DC: 18

>Earthen quarters
More knowledgeable people are here, but they can’t blend into crowds as easily — people don’t come here that much.

Investigation DC: 14 / 16
Stealth DC: 14 / 16

After they decide which quarters to investigate, they need to allocate their focus on what to do..

>Assign the bonuses to the DC (you can put multiple bonuses in one DC) [1d20 vs investigation, 1d20 vs stealth]

Sira: +5
Crows: +4
Warin: +3
File: Spoiler Image (41 KB, 512x511)
41 KB
Visit is done. Update should return to 2-3 times per day.

It was pretty interesting lol
>Living Quarters
>+5 and +3 to Investigation
+4 to Stealth
Go big or go home (at a brisk jog, beset by monks)
Rolled 17, 7 = 24 (2d20)

Closing votes

+8 vs 10
+4 vs 18

>25 vs 10, 11 vs 18

They dedicate most of their remaining stamina on finding secrets within the monks’ living quarters.


The crew first visited the dining hall, a mostly empty place as breakfast had already occurred and the time for lunch hasn’t arrived yet. A good starting point to plan out their infiltration.

Under the shade of the dining hall’s roofs, they plan out their route. They’ll hit the study hall first, then the sleeping quarters, and finally the washing hall. If they manage their time well, they could probably get away with rummaging through the halls without being noticed.

The study hall is a wide building, with dark green roofs and bright yellow roof spikes, reminiscent of the Serpents that made the southern provinces prosperous through bestowing education to people. Used by monks for studying the scriptures, but also a place where they could teach those knowledge to people that visit the temple.

Luckily, there isn’t a lecture right now, allowing the crew to visit it and gather information without much difficulty.

Even in this delirious state, they noticed strange spots in the shelves. Shadows that don’t look right. Textures that feels strange to touch. Details that seem out of place.

After fumbling around for a few minutes, they discovered hidden compartments and secret notes within the study hall’s libraries.

These notes reveal a disturbingly detailed information about the people that visit the temple. Their reputation, their opinions, their actions, their associates, and 'suggestions' of the monks on dealing with them, ranging from observing them more frequently than others, to kidnapping and killing.

Notes on people that committed serious crimes that went unreported, such as murders, rape, fraud or had ties to crime organizations were much longer, and the suggestions required multiple votes in order for it to be executed.

Out of all the crossed out names, a decent portion of it are minors. They earned their disappearance through crimes such as repeated property destruction, starting fights, and..

Sira recognizes these incidents — some of the minors displayed behaviors that resemble ones in Ratana temple.

An excerpt from a note detailing a minor.

'..the minor appeared to be distressed by the monks eating lunch in the dining hall, picked up a chair and smashed it while telling the monks to “shut up”.'

'This minor has caused similar incidents in other places, such as schools and temples, and his parents were ineffective at preventing his tantrums. I suggest we transfer him to Ratana temple.'

[Decision approved by 20 people]

Addendum: immediate execution

'During the 12th of fourth month, the minor killed multiple chickens for being “too loud”, and when a farmhand intervened, the farmhand was concussed in the ensuing fight. The minor fled the scene after biting his ears and tearing skin from his face. The authorities were unable to find the minor guilty. This minor proved too dangerous to be handled by anyone. I request an immediate execution.

[Decision approved by 15 people]
The lack of legal action towards Ratana starts to make sense — the reason why Ratana temple has so many misbehaving minors is partly due to parents unable to handle them and sending them to temples instead. Sue them for unnecessary violence and there won’t be a dumping ground for these misfit children.

The Misen temple has done many things to keep the peace — surveillance, manipulation, torture, kidnapping, killing, but there doesn’t seem to be any records of sending kids to Boon’s textile mill.

The crew wants more recent information, not just writings in old libraries, and they decide to check out the sleeping quarters.

Unlike the highly decorated buildings of before, the sleeping quarters is merely a single wide wooden building with wooden stilts lifting them above ground. Just a dark brown thing.

There’s a few monks there who are cleaning the building and the area around it, but the crew is able to avoid them. Even when they’re about to pass out, having the ability to teleport is a massive advantage when it comes to stealth.

Inside the private quarters are mainly books and the bare essentials for living. To the untrained eye, anyway.

Although half awake, the crew deduces that the building feels slightly smaller than it really is, and they were able to find hidden compartments within the walls and floors.

Stashes of bullet coins, polearms, firearms, armor, herbs, medicine, combat manuscripts, maps of buildings around Shadowfall, and strange trinkets — these stashes make the monks are more resemble of a militia or a spy ring than a group of people that wants to spread a religion.

In the smallest of crevices, the crew uncover a small manuscript made from palm leaves. It details the crime organizations within Shadowfall and their current status.

… nearly every gang has been wiped out. Even the Old Tigers, the gang that prevented Red Winter from fully taking root into the southern provinces was recently neutralized. All of them wiped out. The last one remaining is Red Winter and their associates.
The interesting thing in this manuscript was their writings about other organizations’ ties to Red Winter.

These monks have suspected that the Ratana temple is working with Red Winter after recent reports of minors in a Red Winter owned bathhouse in Cinderfall matching ones that were in Ratana temple.

Boon’s textile mill was long suspected to have a link with Red Winter, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago when a group of informants came forward with evidence — the bathhouse forced the minors into prostitution, and the informants traced these minors back to the textile mill.

They want to neutralize the problem in Shadowfall first, and they made a deal — the monks deal with the Ratana temple and neutralize those responsible there, while the informants will clean up the textile mill after dealing with the bathhouse.

As of time of writing (likely a few days ago), the informants have…

-killed the bathhouse’s owner
-killed the bathhouse driver responsible for transporting the children
-killed the textile mill owner* [mill is still operational: inheritor is still alive]
-obtained information from the security team about inheritor

the monks’ objectives..

-assist the informants in killing Boon (done)
-neutralize the Ratana temple monks involved in sending children to the mill* (preparations complete — waiting for the informants to kill the inheritor)
-finding replacements for Ratana the monks (40% incomplete — can be done later)

Shit. These guys are working with the group of vigilantes. They were being sexually abused in the bathhouse, and that’s why the all they mutilated those genitals.

Boon’s inheritor is her sister, Ging pronounced similar to Ring, with R » G

The security guard leader was killed a week ago. Ging could be killed at any minute.

One positive thing about this whole ordeal is that when the informants do decide to attack, the majority of the monks will be busy dealing with the ones in Ratana temple, so the crew won’t have to contend with the monks if they decide to protect her.

That’s enough information. They need to leave and inform Ging immediately!

They need to leave!
They need to..
They need..

Sira should have realized this was too easy. Any competent organization would have had more people around to making sure people like him don’t snoop around and find things they’re not supposed to.

Unless, they wanted to lure them into places away from the public. His crew must’ve been spotted in the dining hall.

When the crew tries to leave the monks’ living quarters, they hear a faint melody coming from a flute. A soothing, high pitched sound that makes them even more exhausted than before. Those monks must be hiding somewhere in the building..

Even if they can somehow stay awake, they’ll be exhausted, in no condition to fight the monks if they try to capture or kill them. They need to run away.

Sleep DC: 16
Escape DC: 18

>Assign the bonuses (can stack)

Sira bonus: +3
Crows bonus: +2
Warin bonus: +1

The crew can do a few things to help them escape or resist passing out..


>Sira: Draw and fire wheellock pistol
+5 to Sleep DC, but -3 to Escape DC

>Crows: Set the building on fire
-6 to Sleep DC, but +4 to Escape DC

>Warin: Summon otherworldly wind
roll a 1d3.
1 = -6
2 = +1
3= +6
Bonuses can be assigned to any DC

maybe they can talk it out…?
>Stack all bonuses to resisting the soporific melody

If we can't escape, we can at least be awake to fight!


>Warin: Summon otherworldly wind
Rolled 3 (1d3)


+6 vs DC 16
Btw i assume you want me to put the wind bonus in Sleep DC?
Hm, good question. Might be good to add that to the escape, since it's a wildcard.
Rolled 15, 5 = 20 (2d20)


+6 vs 16
+6 vs 18
We’re so awake and about to shed blood in a temple.
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Almost done writing…
Well, we are fighting the martially incline, I would be surprised if we didn't suffer some heavy losses.

>21 & 11 vs 16 & 18

They must stay awake!

Those dreamy sounds slowly becomes more muffled in their mind as their attention shifts to escaping the temple grounds. While the crew are unable to openly carry their swords in temples, they still have a few weapons concealed.

Without their sideswords, Sira and his crows draw their tantō, a single edged knife with a moderately thick spine. Their blades are particularly long compared to most, being 10 - 11 inches in length (~30 cm). Good enough to contend with short swords.

Sira also draws his wheellock pistol from underneath his shirt. After removing the firearm from his side, he cocks back the “dog”, a metal arm that holds the pyrite. The wheel is already wound up, and Sira will be able to fire at a moment’s notice.

Warin sticks to using her staff, the reach offered by it will be allow her to contend with longer weapons that the monks might employ.

Having armed themselves, the crew leaves the exposed hallways and enters a previously visited room in order to escape through the window. Sira sweeps the room with his pistol while Warin and the crows watch his back. Room is clear.

While the crows are checking the windows and the area past it, Warin devise a plan ー she will summon a windblast towards the entrance of the building, making the monks think they will try to leave through there. After planning out where to fade to, the crew synchronize their teleportation with her windblast.

Warin taps her wooden staff on the ground and commands the spirits to conjure a wind that does not exist in this world.

>1d3 » 3

They answer.

The brightly colored cloth wrapped around her staff billows in the supernaturally cold wind.

A raging rush of wind passes through the monk’s living quarters, slamming doors shut and scattering furniture across the floor.

The crew fades, leaving behind a few crow feathers as they teleport to the rooftops of the study hall.

Standing on the hot rooftops, they can see several monks surrounding the building they just left. Had they gone through the entrance, it would’ve been a hard fight — multiple polearms and a narrow hallway makes it difficult to close the distance for their knives.

The crew takes a moment to catch their breath before fading to the trees nearby the dining hall. The shade will prevent them from being exhausted and shroud their presence.
As they pant on the ground, they look at the living quarters again. Those monks are little more than dots in the distance. Just a couple more-


A beast lets out a vengeful growl.
Its set of hooves makes the ground around it tremble.

Emerging from the shade is a Bow Buffalo, an occult beast with elegantly curved bow like horns and a hide so black that light cannot reflect off it. The monks must’ve sent that thing to find them. A particularly powerful spirit, as old as archery and agriculture itself.

Before the crew could fade again, the buffalo opens its mouth. Hundreds of spirits pour out of its throat and scream otherworldly words into the ears of Sira and his crew.

Deafened by the noise and disoriented, they fall to the ground. Warin tries to reach for her occult knife, but the buffalo sneezes at her.

Despite her supernaturally cold body, her arm and hand is burned by the hot air generated from the animal.

Her knife tries to move out of its scabbard, but the Bow buffalo sees the movement underneath her shirt and stomps on her hip.

While the buffalo is focused on Warin, Sira is able to pick up his wheellock pistol and fire at the occult beast.

The muzzle flash briefly clears the black masses and their otherworldly voices. The shot rips through the shadowy hide and makes the buffalo flinch, giving the two crows time to reach out for Sira and Warin.

Before they make contact, the buffalo’s pitch black eyes light up, turning into bright yellow spheres that radiate extremely bright light and heat.

Despite nearly passing out, the crows is able to grab them and fade. They reappear in the air, landing on the large lake nearby the temple.

Sira and his crows spent the last of the stamina dragging Warin to land. As they lie on the wet dirt and rocks, the shadowy beast emerges from the depth of the lake. Its pitch black eyes fixate on the four as it keeps hopping underwater towards them.

All of them are too exhausted to fade again. Sira had his shot. Warin is the only person that could deal with this.

Rather than calling upon spirits that linger around her, she calls upon her professor, the person that taught her everything about the supernatural. Warin can barely remember when she passed away.

Although Warin has forgotten her face and can barely remember her name, she can never forget her soothing voice. A laidback mentor taught her the art to keep herself and others safe, but she abused it to curse her enemies with mental retardation. Ever since, she was cursed to be a Krasue — an apparition that lingers between life and death, unable to pass on.

๏What keeps you here, Warin?๏

A calm voice whispers into her ears. Her professor has been watching Warin for a while.

He means a lot to me. He set me on the path to help people, to use my knowledge for good again.

I want to live for him.

>I want to help people
I fucked up too many times in life. Hurt too many people with my skills. I just want to help people in anyway I can.

I want to live for them.

๏I see.๏
๏Well.. how do I put this...๏
๏These next few months, things will change, a lot. You’ll encounter the people working with the monks soon. What you decide to do, or don’t, might interfere with your reason to live.๏

i need your help, professor, right now.

๏Ah yes. About that. Be more specific, please.๏

i need..

Her professor will briefly guide her in summoning lighting and wind to defeat the Bow Buffalo. She can’t kill it, but she can cause enough pain for it to cease hunting them.

๏You’ll probably be deafened and blinded by the lightning for a bit. You should be fine. You handled being crushed by that buffalo pretty well.๏

Her professor will briefly guide her on banishing the Bow Buffalo. It will be sent back to its statue and will be too tired to hunt again.

๏Personally, I always preferred Leaf Hornets instead of a Bow Buffalo because of this reason. It’s harder convince a hundred spirits to fuck off instead of one.๏
Also please choose the
>i want to help people
option (choose only 1)
>I want to help people
Seems healthier
>want to help people
Closing vote in an hour

>I want to help people

I want to live for them. Grant me wisdom to banish this being.

๏So be it.๏

Warin’s cold limbs is able to move again, guided by her professor’s hands. Standing upright with staff supporting her, she faces the shadowy beast that emerges from the water.

The Bow Buffalo opens its mouth again, but before the swirling masses of spirits could be released, Warin staggers forward and leans towards the animal’s ears.

What followed was a voice not her own, but rather her mentor’s. A soothing low pitched voice that pronounces words compressible to few.

๏it’s best if you leave us be. we wish no harm.๏

The buffalo remains unconvinced. As swarms of spirits begins to pour out of its mouth, Warin’s guided hand shoves the staff inside its throat and summons the otherworldly wind into its stomach.

The cold wind causes the spirits to retreat back inside the buffalo’s body. It flinches and starts coughing.

The Bow Buffalo, much like any other occult beast, needs the statue to be blessed first to be functional. What few people know is the opposite can be done, and by countering each aspect of the enchantments, it will be deprived of its power until the owner enchants them again.

๏Have you forgotten this chant, Warin?๏

‘I ask of the old spirits. Grandparents of grandparents. I ask for this buffalo to be created. Welcome the sun and moon to be its eyes. Welcome the hoards of spirits to reside in its organs. Welcome the deities that guard the four directions heaven to bless its legs. Welcome the leaders of the gods make its horns strong and its tail mighty.’
The buffalo’s eyes turn a bright orange. Her professor guides her left hand to cover herself with the staff while drawing the Doctor’s knife.

Despite the light piercing through her closed eyelids and the heat burning her skin, she is able to draw the occult blade and holds the flat towards the buffalo. Despite being horribly bent from being stomped by the buffalo, it still manages to reflect light.

As the buffalo flinches and closes its eyes, Warin stumble towards it and pushes its head into the water. The burning eyes are countered.

The shadowy beast sinks into the darkness and reappears in the shade of trees nearby Warin.


It growls at her before sprinting towards Warin, trying to use its horns to skewer her.

As Warin turns to see the buffalo charging at her, she can feel things changing. Colors leaving the world. Leaves barely moving from the wind. Time limps forward at a glacial pace.

Her professor asks her a few things.

๏By the way, Warin. I assume you haven’t forgotten what I’ve taught you about occult beasts, right?๏

NO I HAVENT. Can you please deal with this thing first?

๏Eh. I’m basically done with countering this thing. Once I deal with the horns and legs and the tail, that’s it. It’ll be too tired to continue and go back to its housing.๏

Her professor looks at Sira’s arm. His hand is attached to his wrist by an occult resin.

๏Ah. I see you’ve managed to use the art of golden joinery quite well. It looks good. I would’ve preferred adding in some color, to be honest. I can imagine it.. his brown skin with a hint of shiny silver served nicely on that fluffy white bed and..๏


๏Alright. I’ll stop messing around if you answer this question. Get this right and I’ll banish him for you. Get this wrong and.. well.. you’ll get some motivation on why you should study more.๏

๏The Bow Buffalo is associated with two very old things. What are they?๏

>Archery and Agriculture
>Archery and Aquaculture
>Archery and Agriculture
I think it was hinted at just a couple posts ago, but also:
>bull = agricultural beast of burden
>bow-shaped horns = archery.
>>Archery and Agriculture

it was mentioned a few posts ago. “A particularly powerful spirit, as old as archery and agriculture itself.”

>archery and agriculture

๏Correct. It’s nice to see you haven’t forgotten these things, Warin.๏

๏They have existed alongside us from the beginning of this nation. A beast of burden, used to till the land. They lived and died with farmers. The bonds between them were strong, and this was one of the first types of occult constructs to be created. At the start, the chant were little more than blessing it with swiftness of arrows because their horns resembled bows. As knowledge becomes less localized and shared around..๏

๏Ah. I do wonder, centuries from now, would our understanding be considered rudimentary? Perhaps you might even live to see those days.๏

Maybe. Assuming I don’t get gored by a buffalo first.

Colors are added back into the world and time begins accelerating back to normal.

Hooves of the buffalo makes the ground quakes as it moves towards Warin. Her professor guides her to turn around and look at the lake instead.

Flowing water. Rocks. Dirt. Vegetation that grows around the stream.

The buffalo’s noises get closer to her. She can feel the wind being parted to give way to this shadowy beast.


Warin disappears, leaving the buffalo’s horns to only hit the air. Supernatural wind is conjured and the buffalo is into the lake again.

Warin reappears on the other side of the lake, with her staff raised to her head. Clouds starts forming and strong gusts of wind blows leaves around. A clear sign of someone about to cast lightning.

The buffalo panics and tries to swim out of the water. Its heavy size makes it difficult to do anything but flail around, splashing water but doing very little to help itself. Had it taken its time to think, the buffalo could’ve used the darkness in the lake to fade away and avoid the lightning strike.

๏Come on now.๏

Warin walks towards the water and grab the buffalo’s horn. The clouds have stopped and wind no longer disturbs the trees. The panicking beast soon yield and sinks to the depths of the lake with Warin.

They stare at each other for a while before reappearing from the shades of the trees. Its pitch black eyes and dispassionate expression has indicated the beast feels defeated.

When they were at that lake, Warin could’ve summoned lightning and struck the beast. All that power in its legs, horns, and tail meant little when water was the only thing it could touch.

๏We can keep going. But I figured it would be a waste of time for both of us.๏

The buffalo scoffs at her before retreating back into the shadows, eventually dissipating into the ground.

With the threat gone, her professor ceases control of her body, causing Warin to fall to the ground.

She starts feeling all the pain and soreness from all around her body again. All that bruises and injuries will eventually fade away during nightfall, where her Krasue nature becomes more prevalent, but the hours before then will be pretty damn long.



The crew returns to their lounging. It was an extremely taxing day on their mind and body.

Technically, the investigation is over. They found everything.

Those vigilantes were killing these people because their ties to Baimon’s bathhouse, which forced children into prostitution. They allied with Misen temple monks so they could deal with the textile mill more efficiently.

Their next targets are the textile mill owner’s successor, Ging. When that happens, there will also be a raid on Ratana temple.

But that was the plan they discovered, not the one that would happened.

With their escape from the temple, those monks would definitely try to inform the vigilantes about what happened and change their plans. Red Winter and their allies will be their main target, instead of a supplier of minors.

They’ll likely raid the textile mill, possibly destroy it, and wipe out the web of people that controls it.

It would be a massive loss of profit for Red Winter if the textile mill or Ging were to be lost as Red Winter is very cautious around outsiders being part of their organization.

But on the other hand, few people truly know what is going on in that textile mill. If he sheds light on that, there will definitely be disagreements on what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to making money. Most of the time, Red Winter try to avoid civilians being involved in something like this. This might fracture the organization. Could they afford an internal war?

The crew decides to..


>Save the mill and Ging — Let Red Winter remain in the dark
They just need to neutralize those monks and the vigilantes. The organization can keep going like usual. Allies and resources in Shadowfall will be scarce, however.

>Negotiate with the monks and informants
There must be a way for this to work out. Red Winter has more resources. They can afford to bleed more, but they don’t want to.


>Save the mill and Ging — Reveal the truth to Red Winter
They will send reinforcements to help the crew deal with the monks and the vigilantes, but this could cause some tension in the organization…

>First Strike — assassinate the monks and vigilantes
Warin to ask the spirits to scout out where they are. Once located, the crew can wipe them out before they have the chance to act.
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>>First Strike — assassinate the monks and vigilantes
Never daud it.
>Save the mill and Ging — Reveal the truth to Red Winter
>Save the mill and Ging — Reveal the truth to Red Winter
IF we keep the brothel well-funded and well-defended, we could come out of this on-top
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suptg's system is really easily a bused and broken, huh?
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>Save the mill and Ging — Reveal Truth

This might fracture the organization, but it doesn’t matter right now. They just need to keep Red Winter (and themselves) profitable and secure. The crew spend the rest of the day copying and sending all the information back to Clawflash.

While they wait to hear back from the other Red Winter members, the crew begins preparing for an encounter with those monks and vigilantes.

Layers of fabrics are stitched to the insides of their clothes, giving more protection towards cuts and thrusts.

Warin guides the crows in making medicine. She packed a lot of ingredients in her bag, and they’re going to need everything. She’s too injured to use a mortar and pestle right now, but they aren’t.

Their allies in Shadowfall are few, and their power is limited. They can’t help them directly, but the crew can ask them to do a few favors.



As nightfalls, Warin regains her vitality through eating several buckets of meat. The cuts were poor in quality and tough to chew, but it didn’t matter. The raw flesh satiated her otherworldly hunger and mended her wounds.

The crows have expended the bags of dried butterfly pea flowers Sira and Warin brought with them. Drinking a jar’s worth of tea isn’t exactly healthy, but it was able to calm their minds after being assaulted by spirits.

Red Winter has responded. They’re sending people. 30 from Clawflash. 20 from Cinderpath. 10 from Unblood. 5 from Silverport.

Due to the distance, only the ones from Silverport can make it tonight. Ones from Unblood and Cinderpath will arrive tomorrow late morning, and ones from Clawflash will arrive at tomorrow noon.

The associates in Shadowfall have reinforced the textile mill will be reinforced with roughly twenty people. Mostly laborers that owned them debt. Unskilled at fighting, but they’re just there to buy time for the real reinforcements to arrive.

The guards will act as their commanding officers, guiding the force against the monks’ assault.

The small size of Sira’s crew and their experience lend themselves better at protecting Ging.
Shadowfall’s pleasure quarter — Moonlight Grace brothel

Boon’s textile mill had connections to other businesses, and one of them is a high end brothel.

As expected of Boon’s successor, Ging has allies in this brothel who are willing to shelter her. The brothel is one of the largest and elaborate in Shadowfall, a three story building with several gardens and teahouses around it.

Staying at a brothel makes a lot of sense — guests must surrender their weapons before entering, making target identification easier.

Its sheer size also makes retreating as well, with multiple pathways she can use if things go wrong.

Ging is guarded by four giants, but she also wears mail underneath her clothing and carries an ōdachi, a two hander [sword] to the brothel.

The crew’s job is to act as lookouts, their mobility will make them better at spotting and reporting information back to the guards than being another security unit.

Perched on top floors of the brothel are the crows, remaining hidden in the darkness as they watch the people below them.

For ranged weapons, they were provided…

>matchlock arquebuses
Long guns capable of piercing any armor aside from the toughest cuirasses. Despite its length of 50 inches (~127 cm), they won’t be too difficult to carry, well suited to a force that might need to be move a lot.

>Hiya-zutsu (Incendiary arrow launchers)
Large matchlock guns that launch arrows with an incendiary payload. Devastatingly powerful, but slow to reload and cumbersome to wield. A short, heavy thing that’s good at defending a position.
>Hiya-zutsu (Incendiary arrow launchers)
>matchlock arquebuses
>their mobility will make them better at spotting and reporting information back to the guards than being another security unit.
>well suited to a force that might need to be move a lot.
>>matchlock arquebuses

Sira’s crew are lookouts, and they need to be mobile. Ordinary arquebuses suit them better than large guns.


With every passing hour of the night, more people visit the cherry red walls of the brothel. Their eyes are beginning to feel sore. Their arquebuses feel heavy and awkward to maneuver. His crew are currently residing on the fourth floor, watching the four sides of the establishment from dark balconies. While the brothel stands above nearly everything else, it is surrounded by other buildings on all sides except the front. Around the brothel are bars, restaurants, and teahouses. Watching them and their bright lamps for a few hours is straining on the eyes.

Sira watches the left side of the brothel, which has a large restaurant.
Warin watches the right side of the brothel, which has a teahouse.
The crows watch the front and back of the brothel, which has rows of small establishments.

During the last few hours before sunrise, Warin notice something wrong with the teahouse on the brothel’s right. Hoards of guests are leaving it while the staff are covering their faces with cloth. There doesn’t seem to be any smoke, so it’s unlikely a fire problem. She thinks they have some kind of animal infestation or a smell problem. As more people are evacuated, some of the staff return to the teahouse while carrying large bags and cloth.

Sira notices the shadows shifting. On the flat rooftops of a two story restaurant, he sees some silhouettes moving. He blows on his slow match and opens the pan, being ready to fire. If he was going to kill someone like Ging, he would likely breach the brothel through the upper floors, using this rooftops. This location is also good for assassination as well, having a good view on the second and third floors of the brothel. A few people, armed with long guns can deliver a volley to a target if they decide to walk to the balconies.

.. the silhouettes look pretty small. They seem to be pretty young, mostly teenagers or young adults.

They appear to be drinking something from large jars and bottles. Most likely alcohol. These kids are likely assistants of the restaurant’s staff. A bunch of juveniles that are probably drinking rice wine when they’re not supposed to.

Maybe. Then again, Sira has seen minors being used in crime far too many times. People have a tendency to trust children, and many crime organizations exploit that. He has seen far too many people lose their money or their lives because of it.

He never flinched when he killed those unwanted infants. He’s not going to hesitate now, especially against people like this.
Rolled 1 (1d3)


Both of these situations put the crew on edge. Either of them could be distractions so the vigilantes could breach the brothel.

Normally, the crew would be able to concentrate on watching both sides of the brothel, but the fatigue of observing buildings all night has made them fatigued.

The crow’s concentration are…
1 = Sira and his crows’ eyes are in pain from staring for hours (+2, +1, +1)
2 = Sira and his crows can barely concentrate (+3, +2, +2)
3 = Sira and his crows are slightly fatigued (+4, +3, +3)

Warin’s concentration: +5

>Assign the bonuses against Perception DC (can stack)

Restaurant rooftops: 18 / 20
Teahouse: 16 / 18
DC will be a 2d20 as usual

The bonuses:
Sira: +2
His crows: +2
Warin: +5
>Warin and Sira focus on the rooftops
>Crows focus on the teahouse
Rolled 18, 12 = 30 (2d20)

+7 vs rooftops
+2 vs teahouse
>DC of 16/18
>Crows assigned roll: 14
Need some eyedrops or some equivalent.

>14 vs 16

Despite having both crows watching the teahouse, they can’t accurately find what was the cause of people leaving the teahouse.

All those swarms of people and their aching eyes are making it difficult from the crows to determine the cause of the problem. Right now, they only know that it wasn’t a fire hazard or a brawl that caused people to leave.

>25 vs 20

Warin and Sira focus on the shadowy rooftops, as it is harder to determine precise movements in the dark. While his eyes are becoming more sore, Warin is quite accustomed to the dark due to her ghostly nature, allowing her to spot finer movements and gestures that someone normal might miss.

After observing the teenagers for a few minutes, one of them make the mistake of glancing at the darkened balconies while drinking and quickly snapping back like nothing has happened — these people know they’re being watched, but pretend otherwise.

This is unusual. Normally, people that realize they are being watched while doing something illicit would either acknowledge it, or try to disengage. These kids are doing neither — they pretend to remain like before.

They could be the type to not give a fuck, but if that was the case, instead of snapping back into a previous position, they would just turn around like usual. Furthermore, their composure isn’t perfect. Fidgeting of the fingers. Their head movements become more erratic. They are panicking, but they’re not trying to leave, either.

These movements… Sira has seen them before. Sira tells Warin to watch them closely while he reports back to Ging and the brothel.

With the occult nature of the sixth month, Sira doesn’t require line of sight with his destination in order to appear there.

He reappears on the second floor and alerts Ging about possible intruders on the restaurant’s rooftops.


Loud explosions penetrate the wood and paper walls of the second floor. Sira fades back to his balcony immediately after hearing it. Those kids must be behind this.

Sira returns to his post and is immediately greeted with a volley of fireworks. He drops to the ground and try to get an angle to use his arquebus.

The group of teenagers have split into two groups — the first remains at the restaurant rooftops, launching fireworks at the upper floors of the brothel, while the second have deployed grappling hooks which attach themselves to recently made holes on the second floor’s walls. The second group are climbing on the rope.

Explosives. Those fireworks must’ve been a distraction to cover up the sounds of these.

Warin manages to deflect some of it back with her windblast, revealing a force of only four people on the restaurant’s rooftops, each armed with short arquebuses and a single handed sword on their hip.

Warin will handle the rooftop group while Sira and the crows will handle the group trying to breach the second floor.

They fade directly on top of the grappling hooks, allowing gravity and their natural weight to assist them in stomping those teenagers’ heads, kicking them off the ropes.

The crows manage to kick four of them to the ground, but quickly realizes there were actually six grappling hooks. Two escaped them.

They can hear more explosives going off inside the second floor..
Fading into the second floor, the crows can see several normal guards and brothel staff covering their injured limbs and reeling on the floor. The chunks of flesh and fat across the ground indicates they got hit by particularly powerful firecrackers.

This isn’t good. Ging and her guards are in a room near the middle of the brothel, right next to the central stairway.

As they move past the bodies and follow the sounds of explosives and screams, they eventually see one of teenagers throwing caltrops on the central stairway.

A young woman with dark grey clothing, possessing a bandolier of cylinder shaped firecrackers across her chest. Several loose bags and pouches are attached to her hip. On her thigh rests a Katzbalger, a type of single handed sword. Slung on her left shoulder is a short arquebus.

She had just reached in one of her pouches threw some caltrops, while her left hand is resting a zweihänder, a large two hander [sword], on her shoulder.

Sira and this woman used to know each other.

Her name is Sohm, a child prostitute Sira has rescued many years ago when his crows raided a brothel. One of many were kidnapped and forced into it. Even after she was able to find her family again, she wanted to became part of Red Winter. Partly due to a money problem at home, but mostly because she wanted to help people like Sira.

After being with the organization for a few months, she eventually became disillusioned by its actions and left it once her family were solvent again. The organization wasn’t what she envisioned it to be. She wants the abusive business owners and slave masters punished for their transgressions, but Red Winter vetoed that due to their ability to bring profits. The last time Sira saw her was nearly half a decade ago, parting coldly.

He barely recognized her at first, as she was a lot more muscular and taller than he remembered, but her hairstyle remained unchanged all throughout these years — straight bangs, an imitation of Sira’s.(although hers is much shorter overall)

Right now, the only people still standing in the second floor’s hallways are her and the crows. They can’t let Sohm and her colleagues find where Ging is.

Sohm hesitated less than Sira when seeing each other, and grabbed a handful of dust from her pouch, throwing a cloud of eye irritant dust towards the crows.

Sira has his sidesword and wheellock pistol drawn.

He decides to..

>Give fire
Shooting her will be difficult, but if he succeeds, he can gravely injure her before engaging in melee combat. Then again, he could also save his shot for later.

[1d20 vs DC 15]
Sira bonus: +3

>Fade into grappling distance
Sira can past the eye irritant dust and grapple her — she only has one hand on her sword, and making it easier to disarm her. However, she might be stronger than he is.

[1d20 vs 1d20]
Sira bonus: +4
Sohm bonus: +5
>Give fire
>Fade into grappling distance
>Fade into grappling distance
Rolled 8, 3 = 11 (2d20)


Sira vs Sohm

1st roll is Sira
2nd roll is Sohm
Jobbers, both of us
Maybe neither of us really wants the other dead?

>12 vs 8

Sira fades past the smoke, reappearing in front of her. Sohm is taken by surprise and gets struck on the forehead with his sword’s quillons, knocking her back and allowing Sira to strike her large sword out of her hand by hitting it with his wheellock pistol.

Enraged by the pain, she does a shoving kick to his groin. It connects, pushing him back as well.

He wants to close the distance and offend the area in front of him. This situation calls for a particularly powerful cut — the wrath strike.

Sira moves his hilt to be slightly above his right shoulder, and begins cutting diagonally downwards as he steps forward, letting the blade and quillons protect his head as he moves.

As Sohm steps back, she manages to draw her Katzbalger and perform a rising diagonal cut against it, barely deflecting the the cut. Their blades remain in contact.

With the tip pointing forward and the blade covering her head, Sohm is in Ox guard — a position that protects against strikes from above, and a strong position to thrust from.

Right after she deflects his strike, she launches a thrust aiming at his head.

Since the blades are in contacting each other, Sira is able push the thrust aside and close the distance. By continuing to being in a ‘bind’ (blades contacting), each of them can feel the pressure being exerted on the blades and react accordingly.

As soon as their bodies make contact, Sira knees her in the crotch, and tries to align his wheellock pistol towards her body. Both of their swords are off to the side and unable to he swung effectively.

Despite the pain, Sohm is able to grab the barrel and wrench it away from her stomach. Sira can feel that her strength and leverage is overpowering him, so he lets go of the gun and punches her in the throat.

While normally he would try to pull back the pistol and bring his center of gravity lower, Sira isn’t sure if his strength can match hers.

As Sohm gags from the punch, she slams the butt of the wheellock pistol on his groin, causing Sira knees to bend further.

Sira takes advantage of this lower center of gravity and slams his head against her stomach, pushing both of them to the floor.

Pain spreads across his scalp as he realizes Sohm is wearing mail underneath her clothes.

As they crash onto the slippery wooden floor, Sohm loses her grip on wheellock pistol and her Katzbalger, which slides across the ground in two different directions. Her pouches spill out caltrops and paper packets of eye irritant dust.

At this point, both of them are tired and too injured to think of elaborate strategies or perform techniques. Sira repeatedly slams the sidesword’s quillons into her crotch while she keeps punching his head and throat.

After a few moments, both of them cannot take the pain any longer and stop hitting. Sira falls to the ground due to the bruises while Sohm can barely move her legs. They pant and think about how to deal with the opposition.

Sira definitely cannot use fade right now, otherwise he could pass out from the exhaustion.

While Sira is still panting, Sohm grabs the last of the packets from her pouch and tosses a cloud of eye irritant dust. Sira manages to cover his eyes, but some of ended up in his throat. It still stings due to the amount of ground up chilli in that concoction.

As he coughs, Sohm is able to grab his right arm, preventing him from moving his sword. Her back leans forward and her left hand reaches for his throat.

Sira’s response is..

>Crotch strikes
Sira can load up powerful punches and strike her groin repeatedly in order to cause submission by pain.

>Grab a few of her fingers and pull it aside
Normally, the technique is supposed to be done with both hands — counter someone trying to grapple by grabbing their fingers, and pulling them in two different directions.

>Arm wrap
Sira can wrap his arm around hers, locking it and possibly breaking her arm. Normally this technique is done on foot, and relies heavily on speed and strength, but he has to make do.

DC: 16
Correct answer is guaranteed success
Good answer gets a +5 bonus to DC
Wrong answer gets no bonuses
>Crotch strikes
I can't envision how we could do that finger thing with only one hand, and any technique that relies on superior footing and strength is doomed when we're pinned, disoriented, and fighting a phsically-stronger foe.

>finger break
Basically what you’re doing is yanking the fingers beyond the point they are unable to move normally, breaking them.

Your fingers can move up and down pretty well, but horizontal movement is limited. By doing that really hard, you’ll dislocate and break the fingers. That’s what that technique is doing.

In this case instead of using both hands to break four, you’re limited to just one.
>Grab a few of her fingers and pull them aside
One hand is tied up in stopping us from drawing our sword, and she's trying to choke us.
I don't quite have the image of how our positions are looking like, how close we are together, but she's leaning back, and if we have to punch, I think we would have to move towards her with the strikes and thus into her hand trying to choke.
If we can break a finger or two to prevent her from choking us, that's a hand out of the running for some actions.

Unless QM is willing to draw a picture for us so we can better gauge how our positions have ended up.
Left is Sohm Right is Sira

Sira’s right wrist is grabbed by Sohm, stopping him from moving his sword

Sohm’s left hand is reaching for his neck.

Sira could grab a few fingers and pull them really hard horizontally to break them

>crotch strikes
Sira can wind up punches to her groin
But how would we manage that one-handed? Seems like we'd need both hands to do it effectively, one to grab each pair of fingers.

If it's doable, though, let's do it. I can support, and change my vote (>>5640575) to
>Grab a few of her fingers and pull them aside

Easier to reach, based on >>5640939
you only pull on two fingers and break them as mentioned here >>5640621

In this case instead of using both hands to break four, you’re limited to just one [hand] to break [two fingers]

is what i meant
In a case like this, I can't help but wonder if it would have been a wise idea for Sira to carry a knife, so he could just shank her.

>Crotch strikes [Wrong answer]
Sira isn’t doing anything about the grab at all. While punching her crotch can stop her due to pain, he’s not doing anything to defend his throat.

>Grab a few of her fingers and pull it aside [Correct answer]
By attacking her fingers and breaking (or dislocating) them, Sira attacks her and keeps himself safe at the same time.

>Arm wrap [Good answer]
This technique relies on speed and strength, and Sira doesn’t have that much of those compared to Sohm. A gamble, but he is intercepting the attack.
>Finger break — guaranteed success

As Sohm reaches for his throat, Sira grabs her ring finger and little finger, yanking it horizontally with as much force as he could muster.

Her fingers cracks and breaks from being violently pulled beyond its natural limits of movement. She retracts her mangled hand in pain, but Sira doesn’t let her fingers leave his grasp, pulling and moving it as much as possible to cause further dislocation.

Sohm groans as her fingers gets more twisted, and tries to headbutt him. Sira manages to move her injured left hand to shield his skull from the strike, letting it absorb some of the force.

His forehead still stings from the hard strike, but he can feel her grip on his right wrist loosening. He just need to injure her a little more. Her stamina will run out soon.

Sira pulls her right arm forward and bites down on her index and middle fingers. He uses his canine teeth to bite the fingers while moving his head toto the right, pushing the fingers ever closer to being dislocated. Her screams are deafening, and it becomes more difficult to keep biting the hard flesh with every passing moment.

Eventually, her right hand can no longer maintain its grip, allowing Sira to move the blade again. He immediately performs a push cut on her wrist, sliding the blade across her skin and drawing blood. Instead of going for a thrust at her armpit, Sira follows up the strike by repeatedly cutting at the side of her head, bashing into the skull as blood covers her face.

As her head hits the floor, Sira is able to free himself from her and stand upright again. Although faint, he can see her chest expand and contract. She is unconscious.

He could deliver a finishing blow to ensure she properly dies, but he could use her as a hostage. Sira decides to tie her up using some rope in her pouches.

He puts her arms behind her back and ties the rope between her wrists and neck, ensuring that if she tried to move her arms a little too far, she would be choking herself.

After securing Sohm, he pats himself down to check for any injuries he might’ve missed. Once he reached his thighs, he realized he was carrying a tantō (knife) this entire time. He could’ve ended this much earlier, and if Sohm wasn’t panicking, she might’ve noticed it hidden underneath his pants and tried to reach for it.

All that damage to his body must be getting to him…

Hitting his head against a metal door during the first month..
Suffering a heat stroke during the third month..
Being assaulted by those spirits during the morning..
And now, being beaten in the head and throat repeatedly by someone much stronger than he is..

No. He’ll deal with it later. Right now, he just needs to tell the crows to..

.. where did they go?

Muffled groans from the third floor gives him a clue about what happened. His two crows must’ve faded to the top of stairs and encountered one of those vigilantes there.

Sira fades past the caltrops and approaches while holding his wheellock pistol and sidesword.

Moving closer to the sound of grunting, he sees a teenager bleeding on the stairs and two crows recovering from injuries. One crow is wrapping cloth around another’s thigh while leaning against a wall. From looking at the blood stains, the vigilante and crows must’ve ran into each other on the stairs and fought there.

「Captured one of them. Second floor.」

\Shit, Sira you good? Your neck../

He didn’t look at it much. The bruises on his head and neck sting, but not enough to put him out of a fight.

「I’m.. I’m good. I can still go. What about those four at the rooftops?」

\Warin is still fighting them. I think the ones we kicked are out of the fight. I think you.. you…. can use that one for leverage./

「Got it. Go to the first floor. There’s an infirmary there. You can fade, right?」

|… yeah…. you guys go ahead. I’m out of this fight.|

Sira and one of his crows return to the second floor to retrieve the half awake Sohm. They grabs her and drag her to the walls the vigilantes originally breached from.
Looking up, they can see fireworks and the occasional gunfire coming from the rooftops of the restaurant. Warin returns fire and deflects some of the fireworks with her otherworldly wind.

Sira decides to..


>Negotiate [dialogue battle]
They have Sohm. Cease hostiles or they will execute her. This should buy some time for everyone else to deal with the vigilantes on the rooftops, but perhaps at the cost of putting himself as a target.

>Fade to the rooftops ー Use Sohm as a meat shield
Her eye irritant dust will prove useful in distracting the other vigilantes. Sira also has his wheellock pistol ready to fire. His crow has his arquebus.

2d20 vs DC 17
Sira’s wheellock pistol: +5
Sira’s combat bonus: +4

Crow’s arquebus: +3
Crow’s combat bonus: +3

>Use Sohm as cover
Sira has his wheellock pistol and matchlock arquebus at the ready, and his crow has his arquebus. 3 shots from a prone position should be good enough to take out some of them.

3d20 vs total score 40
Arquebus: +5
Arquebus: +5
Pistol: +2

Sohm is a self righteous hypocrite. She wants to kill Ging and destroy the textile mill that abuses workers, but how many people have been injured, crippled, died, in this brothel right now? People like her deserves to die before they have the chance to propagate their idea any further.
>attach firecrackers to Sohm’s body ー Fade to the rooftops and leave behind her body
Her firecrackers have a lot of power. If they wrap all of them around her body, they can create a very powerful bomb. Ignite it, Fade to the rooftops, leave her behind and watch as the rooftops becomes a river of blood.

roll a 1d4. 2,3,4 = success.
>Negotiate [dialogue battle]
Winning a fight with no more losses is something that sounds nice.
What are the chances that choosing this will turn Sira into a bloodthirsty monster eventually?
>Use Sohm as cover
Gonna sleep soon. Voting closes in ~10 hrs.
>Negotiate [dialogue battle]


Sira doesn’t want anymore losses on the brothel or vigilante side.

After positioning Sohm at the large holes in walls caused from the explosion, he summons the last of his strength to yell out commands.


The rooftops fall silent. Darkness still shrouds the rooftops, making him unable to see what they are doing. Warin also ceases hostility (for now).

| What about Puck? |

They hear a voice coming from the rooftops. That teenager is likely referring to the guy on the stairs.

「Knocked out. On third floor. Everyone that breached the brothel have been detained.」

「You have to options. Surrender now and we could pick you up alive. Fight and both of us will lose people, but we have more people.」

| …We could run. |

「You could. And you will get shot in the back. It’s a gamble at best.」

| I don’t think security will let us live even if we surrender. |

「We will. You have a lot of information that some people want. They want answers about what the hell happened during these past few weeks.」

| I’ve seen what Red Winter does. Assholes that are willing to do anything just for profit. |

| 'Results matter most. The method is secondary' they said. Well, they sure don’t like it when we’re doing same thing as them. WE ARE NOT SURRENDERING, contractor! |

Maybe I’ve taught Sohm a little too well. This guy thinks I’m just private security and not a Red Winter member. Good thing Sohm can’t correct him on that.

His voice is unstable. They’re either going to run away, or do one final assault.

Sira needs to come up with something that will make them reconsider surrendering..

Some options will cause them to retreat or attack. Some will make them surrender.


>Your goal wasn’t accomplished
You’re not saving anyone. Your target is still sipping her fucking tea in the first floor (lie) while your friends are bleeding out. All you did was blow off limbs of some people that were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

You accomplished nothing. Your method is shit.

>Those monks sold you out
Run away and what? Join those Misen monks in assaulting the mill? We know about that, too. They told us ourselves. In the end, those monks were willing to overlook things when you throw enough money at them.

You’ve got nothing.


>We know everything
We know about the Misen monks’ plan to assault the textile mill and Ratana temple. We know about your plan to assault this brothel to kill Ging. We’ve prepared for this. Those caltrops didn’t get anyone. We intercepted Sohm even before she had the chance to throw those blinding dust. Even her firecrackers didn’t manage to do anything besides deafen a few people momentarily. (lie)

Your move.

>The rooftops isn’t a good position
We have more guns and people than you. Our colleagues at the fourth floor can just keep shooting down while we can shoot up from here. Even if you can avoid all that, the security is already surrounding the restaurant. It’s only a matter of time before they get to the rooftops.

You should realize how one sided it is.

He fell silent when I mentioned Sohm. I can use this.
As I have mentioned before, we can afford to bleed more. Fighting us is not a good idea. But if you leave.. well... I’ll personally make sure Sohm will never feel comfortable around a man ever again. She has gotten far too bold after she left me.

Sira probably won’t follow through with these threats. It’s just there to keep people scared.
>The rooftops isn’t a good position
>We know everything
Rolled 1 (1d2)

1 = rooftops
2 = know

>Your goal wasn’t accomplished [instigate attack]
The vigilantes won’t appreciate Sira criticizing them harshly. He also hasn’t given them any deterrent against attacking or escaping.

>Those monks sold you out [instigate attack]
Sira has given them a reason on why they shouldn’t leave, but he doesn’t have any deterrent against attacking.

>We know everything [surrender]
Sira deters them from attacking and escaping by downplaying the effects of Sohm’s assault and destroying their resolve.

>Rooftops isn’t a good position [instigate escape]
Sira has given them a deterrent against attacking, but not leaving.

>Sohm [instigate fight]
He stands in opposition to their very existence.
>I was right
>I didn't win the coin flip


Sira points out that the rooftops aren’t tactically viable — they will be pinned down by gunmen from the second and fourth floor. The brothel security will also be breaching the restaurant soon, as people inside it are starting to evacuate.

They fall silent…

Sira has given them a reason not to take a one sided fight, and they decide to heed his advice — they would rather take their chances of escaping and possibly being killed in the process.

They decide to fire off one last volley of fireworks towards the brothel in order to cover their escape. Sparks and light are generated from slow burning cords.

A shot rips through the air.

Most of the fireworks explode on the rooftops. Their screams are quickly drowned out by the loud pops and crackles of the fireworks. Warin must’ve shot the person holding the fireworks and caused a chain reaction.

Sira almost feels pity for them.

Although the bright lights makes it difficult to see, he notices a silhouette climbing down the restaurant rooftops and run away. One of them managed to leave unscathed.

Sira tells his crow to hand over Sohm and Puck to the brothel security while he aims his fade to the cut off the lone vigilante remaining.

The feeling is different when he fades. Rather than a blur of unintelligible words being spouted at him, the voices of spirits never felt this loud. Never felt this obstructive. Never felt so.. commanding. Their suggestions felt.. intuitive.

A part of him wanted to tell those vigilantes he was going to rape Sohm. Not because he wanted to scare them out of running away, no, he merely wanted to see their reaction. The panic in their voice. Their Desperation. He Wanted to make them Suffer. He wants To SEE how Pitiful they will be. He Finally Found Despicable People And He Had The Authority To PUNISH THEM. WHY DIDNT-

Sira reappears in a dark alleyway where that lone teenage vigilante will soon pass.

… what. Why did I.. that’s fucked up.

The spirits that Bow Buffalo attacked the crew with left a mark on him. After being bombarded with their words, even for a few moments, he became more susceptible to his darker thoughts. Became more willing to indulge himself with primal, ‘intuitive’ urges rather than thinking like an intelligent being.
Such is the fate of quest with two players… again.

Might as well do this now.


It’s been fifteen days since this thread was created. I would appreciate it if you answered these questions.

>What do you find enjoyable about this quest?

>What do you dislike about this quest?

>What do you think about the tone of this quest? Want the tone to be lighter? Darker?
He must treat this.. condition soon. He has seen how paralyzing mental wounds are far too many times. He can’t bear the thought of his crows hurting themselves or others around him.

Amongst groups of people slowly staggering across the streets (and coordinated squads of brothel guards in the distance), a single teenager sprinting away from them is easily identified as the vigilante.

Sira can hear the lone vigilante’s footsteps rapidly approaching the alleyway. Rather than using a weapon, Sira will tackle him and fade again, teleporting to somewhere more remote to secure him.

Pushing his feet against a wall, Sira launches himself into the street and runs at him. Sira connects, making the unarmed vigilante fall on the ground, but as soon as he reaches out to grab the teenager, he throws that cloud of eye irritant dust at Sira. He manages to blink in time, but all that chili in them makes his bruises sting.

Momentarily dazed by this, the teenager takes this opportunity to kick his hand away and get back up on his feet.

Arugh. Dammit.

The exhaustion and the dust causes Sira to not see the teenager’s punch coming soon enough, and it connects with his neck, hitting his old bruises.

Sira falls to the ground from the pain. Before the teenager could punch him again, Sira draws his tantō and stabs his thigh, causes him to lose his balance and also fall to the ground.

His scream attracted a lot of people to turn and watch them. Not just drunk people, but normal customers who recently left restaurants and stores.

'Hey! What the fuck are you doing?'
"Fuck, man. Leave the kid alone!"
‘Get this guy away from him.’

oh great. They saw me stab this kid but not me getting punched? Fucking bullshit..

Groups of people begins approaching Sira and the teenager he just stabbed. At best, he’ll get dragged away from him. At worst, he’ll be stomped by a dozen people for his act. Sira might not survive this. Even if he does, he might suffer some serious damage to his head.

A bunch of assholes thinking they’re doing the right thing…

Sira decides to..

>Grab the teenager and Fade out
He is very exhausted right now. Fading could cause him to pass out, but it’s an acceptable risk.

[roll a 1d3. 1 = pass out]

>Draw wheellock pistol
Sira can draw his gun and make people reconsider moving towards him. He can force them away until he can recover his stamina to the point he can fade safely again.

「Fuck off. All of you. Don’t make me do this.」

[2d20 vs 10 DC. Sira gets -5 to roll]

>Educate these hypocrites
Give fire and draw steel. These people will leave him alone. Sira doesn’t care who gets hurt or killed — these people are far too biased to live, anyways.

[guaranteed success]
>Draw wheellock pistol
As long as our vote isn't forced by circumstance, we can't justify a massacre as not our doing, no matter what spirits may be afflicting us.

I really like the setting, the attention to detail in the rituals, locations, attire, and combat, and the traditional/mystical understanding of how physical and mental afflictions manifest and what they mean.

I generally prefer a more open-ended system to a "guess the correct answer" puzzle solving approach, though this isn't a dealbreaker.

A bit dark with the babykilling and rape, but there's room for darkness on the baord, and especially in a quest about organized crime.
Not like my quest doesn'thave a fair share, being a villain quest itself
>Draw wheellock pistol
Rolled 2, 12 = 14 (2d20)


-5 to rolls

DC 10
Close call!

It’s -3 and 7 vs DC 10

It’s joever for him
File: 4ae.gif (2.32 MB, 500x280)
2.32 MB
2.32 MB GIF
Ah. Well then.

> -3, 7 vs 10

Sira struggles to get his pistol out as he tells the crowd to back off. By the time he can pull it out of his shirt, his head and limbs are repeatedly stomped by the crowd of half lucid people, yelling words and sentences that Sira can barely understand as his vision becomes dimmer.

arugh. I fucked up. I should’ve tried to fade instead.

Provincials and immigrants, of all things. Of course ‘people’ like that would be selective with perception. They should’ve been taught a lesson AND YET

After a particularly hard stomp to the head, Sira loses consciousness.

… o f f !
.. a w a y .. f r o m.. h i m !

Half awake, Sira can see his crow telling people to leave. They screamed at him and tried to surround him. They scatter after one of them tried to grab him and got impaled in the process.

The guy that got stabbed drops to the floor in an usual matter — his chest and hips react to the injury and bends down, but his legs remain still. As he falls to the ground, he writhes but his legs do not move. That thrust must’ve paralyzed him.

Shit. That’s tough..

The crow grabs the lone vigilante and Sira before fading to a more remote location.

Those voices become even stronger, likely due to how closely he comes to death right now. While the teleportation itself was little more than blur, he can feel himself speak internally.

Typical alien behavior. He should kill himself to spare his family the burden of having to take care of someone this retarded.

Ah well. You can’t expect much intelligence from immigrants, can you?

.. are these his inner thoughts merely resurfacing? How much of this is suggestions from the spirits?
The crew’s lodging — nearly noon

He is alone in the bed.
Towels and packets of medicine remain on the nightstand. Warin is at the other end of the room, writing something down.

「.. ugh… hey.」

“How are you feeling. Still dizzy?”

「.. uh. No, not right now. I can move my head just fine. What.. what about Ging and the mill?」

“Ging is safe, but attack on the Moonlight Grace hit them pretty hard. 20 people injured overall. Mostly burns and hearing damage, but some had to be hospitalized due to blood loss. The journalists called it a bandit raid on teahouses and restaurants.”

“Nearly all of those vigilantes were arrested. People didn’t pity the ones that blown their limbs off from their own fireworks.”

“We still got Sohm, though. She was a leader of sorts to them. I think Red Winter wants her knowledge.”

“As for the mill… it was a bloodbath. I think.. 30 ish people got injured in total. About 20 died. Some of the trees and part of the mill burned down. It is still operational, but production will probably be reduced by one-third. Repairing it is going to cost Red Winter a lot…”

“The news reported that a large bandit gang raided the mill, probably too afraid to publish news about monks committing crimes, but Ging pulled some strings and got them to correct it and got law enforcement to raid the Misen temple. About ten of them are on the run.”

“… It’s a mess. Red Winter just lost a shitton of profits and resources from this. There’s gonna be a lot more rivalry in the organization, I think. People will try to recoup costs in anyway they can.”

「When are we leaving.」

“Probably tonight. The Red Winter guys from Clawflash and Cinderfall will be here to make sure those monks don’t retaliate against us or the brothel.”

“Try to get some rest and take these painkillers if you have a headache. Don’t drink any alcohol for now. And tell me when you want to take a shower — I’ll wash you.”

“Oh, and one more thing. Ging also gave us some money for helping out the brothel and mill. ” (+1 Funds)

[Current brothel status]

Funds 8/10 » 9
Morale 8/10 » 9
Security 6/10 » 8
Connections 8/10

「.. uh. Warin. I need your advice.」

Sira explains his recent thoughts and stronger connection to the spirits to Warin. He asks her on how to treat these mental wounds.

“That is concerning. Your crows reported the same thing. If left unchecked, the hallucinations might be more severe. It might progress to visual ones. I know a few people back in Clawflash that can treat this.”

「How long do you think this is going to take?」

“I.. I’m not sure. A few months, at least. You should probably stick to favors that don’t require much physical activity in the meantime.”

「Yeah. Got it.」


Sixth month — later half

The crew and Sohm returns to Clawflash without much difficulty. They handed Sohm to other Red Winter members with skilled interrogators and didn’t hear from her for several weeks.

During that time, Sira and his crows got in contact with medical practitioners who specialize in treating mental illnesses. Their medication and relaxation techniques help, but progress is moving slowly. Those thoughts still come to him often, but dissipate slightly quicker.

During the end of the month, Sira is contacted by other Red Winter members. He is invited to Sohm’s execution. They have gotten all the information out of her.

>Sohm’s last day (++ / - connections)
Plenty of members are invited. This is a good chance to talk to them and see which people Sira should align with to ensure the brothel remains stable.

[Negative events during the next few months become less severe]

>Medical check up (— connections)
Sira’s mental state and his crows are more important. He would rather miss it and other events if it means he can lead the brothel more effectively.

[Sira’s darker thoughts become less prevalent]
>Medical check up (— connections)
Very important that Sira doesn’t go mad and have a fit which end with him killing everyone.
>Sohm’s last day (++ / - connections)

Agreed. Though we could make some really good connections at the execution, and, well, with rivalry growing in the organization we'll NEED those to become crime kingpins. Besides, we're able to banish the thoughts before they get too bad now...
Fair, I'll switch to support you then. But if we end up making the negative thoughts worse by being exposed to a broken Sohm, well, we should try to avoid conflict until therapy.
Sira won't go insane yet.
He still has his friend group supporting him.
id change but its me
>Sohm’s last day

His mental health is important, but the opportunity to be connected to more successful members of the organization doesn’t come up often.

With the reveal of some members using forced child labor and prostitution, and the recent loss of profits due to partial destruction of her mill, the people in Red Winter are becoming more divided on what is and isn’t acceptable in order to achieve profits. Plots are planned and alliances are shifting.

He just needs on the right side.

Sira interacts with many members, but these are his closest allies…

>Bow — Manager of Two Fencers gambling house
An accomplished manager and bloodbearer, who magically reconstructed Sira after his life threatening injuries all those years. Although the past few years he and the pink skinned giant has grown distant, his recent activities have shown her that he doesn’t want to be a lazy man who only lives day to day anymore.

A skilled earner that garners respect from senior members of Red Winter.

>Tong — Bow’s second in command
Her brother, more laidback and well versed in dealing with people. While not as good when it comes to making financial or pragmatic decisions as Bow, he is good at swaying people to join his cause and maintaining loyalty.

A capable leader that takes care of his people. The lower ranking members and associates like him.

>Cris and Zeal — apothecaries and overseers of drug facilities
A pair of human and goblin who graduated from the prestigious academy of Serpent Scholars. They specialize in abortifacients and sleep medication. Exceptionally fanatical about the sexual health, they readily distribute abortifacients and sterilizations to certain people, whether they want it or not. Their true strength lies in their web of connections with people outside of the criminal underworld.

Unorthodox and barely tolerated by most, although some recognize their ability to pull strings and call for favors from people far removed from Red Winter.

It’s been a while since all of them see each other. No doubt each of them have accumulated different benefactors and schemes.
Red Winter has many different types of people in it, but they can be roughly split into three groups.

>Senior members
The old guard. Few in numbers, but most are leaders of large businesses, legitimate or otherwise. Bow and Tong are in this group and have these people’s support.

>Junior members
Low ranking members that handle criminal activities on behalf of senior members or operate small businesses. Sira and most others in the entertainment district are part of this group.

People who interact with the organization but not formally initiated. They range from civilians who perform favors to criminals that the members knows and trusts. Depending on how well they serve Red Winter, they may be promoted to becoming a full fledged members. Cris and Zeal meddle with these people the most.

The seniors dislike Sira due to his uncaring attitude towards Red Winter as a whole. The juniors already like him due to his casual nature, while the associates remain neutral to him.

The seniors oversees the juniors, and the juniors oversees the associates.

If Sira wants to keep himself and the brothel from getting caught in the crossfire between these groups, he must find more information about their schemes.

When they arrive to the location where Sohm will be executed, Sira decides to stick closely to..

[2d20 vs Senior members DC and Associates DC]

Senior DC: 17
Associates DC: 13

>Bow & Tong (Senior members)
+6 bonus to seniors DC
-3 bonus to associates DC

>His crows (Junior members)
+1 bonus to seniors DC
+1 bonus to associates DC

>Cris & Zeal (Associates)
-2 bonus to seniors DC
+6 bonus to associates DC

[Enter dialogue battle. Success results in knowing both schemes. Failure results in both sides becoming less willing to trust Sira.]
[Choose only one option]
I don’t feel lucky
>Cris & Zeal (Associates)
Rolled 2 (1d2)

1 = sohm
2 = cris and zeal
Rolled 20, 11 = 31 (2d20)

1st roll - senior DC 17
2nd roll - associate DC 13
Turns out the health fanatics were the way to go. Makes sense considering what business Sira owns.
he spent all his luck on this one
Welp, time to fail the next roll to not go crazy, right?

Yay, more Cris and Zeal!
Hey guys writing this update taking a lot longer than usual. It will be posted in a few hours. Thanks for your patience.

>Cris and Zeal focus
Sira should align himself with Cris and Zeal. Having connections to people far away from Red Winter could come in handy when people in the organization itself starts turning on each other.

It’s been a while since he last saw those two, anyway. Most of the time, they reside in the south of Clawflash ー an moderately wealthy area, supported by slavery related institutions.

Sleep medicine likely comes in handy for those in the academic world, and sterilization could prove useful for wealthier families to prevent potential heirs before marriage.


Bright colors and a lively sheen are present on nearly all the buildings of this portion of the city. While most people would adore the elegance and abundance of resources available, he knows these places are built by slave laborers, carefully hidden from most people’s eyes to ensure they remain fixate on more important matters.

Sira barely visits these parts anymore after he was expelled from the prestigious Adamant Spearhead academy and his family disowned him. He fled to the central and northern parts of Clawflash and didn’t look back.

After following the directions of the invitation letters for nearly an hour, Sira and his colleagues overhears two people talking who are walking in the same direction as them. A tall female human and a goblin, both wearing wide brimmed hats.

Those two sound strangely familiar…

『.. and he sent that letter to her instead.』

《.. oh no.. it’s over for him.》
She chuckles.

『So she receives th- this TEN page long rambling about how he thinks he is allergic to women because he involuntarily starts sweating whenever he interacts with her.』
The male goblin can’t stop himself from giggling, either.

《Ah, man. That’s-
Hey, hey, who knows. Maybe. I mean, it’s not the worst confession out there.》

Seems like they are just as juvenile as ever.

Sira greets them.
They are pretty happy to see him and his colleagues. They write to each other sometimes, but they haven’t seen each other during the past few months. They’ll have plenty to talk about when they get to the tower.

Although those two are technically older than Sira by a couple years, they interact less formally than what Red Winter dictates, which places more emphasis on age and seniority that comes with it.

Good thing the associates don’t really care that much about such things.
Messenger’s Tower — South Clawflash

This tall building used to belong to Forked Spear, one of the major slave auditors that Catcher Corporations (funded by Red Winter) eliminated several years ago. It was turned into the residence of the elusive birdman that founded Red Winter.

Birdmen are supernatural beings that are messengers between deities and spirits. They stand twice as tall as giants, being roughly 3 Waa in height (6 meters). Although they prefer to abstain from meddling in mortal affairs, Clawflash attracted their attention, and they aided in making this province the prosperous capital of Sablestream. Apparently the monarchy is closely related to them.

The birdman that founded Red Winter rarely acts, and only a fraction of the organization even know what he looks like. This must be one of the few occasions where he deemed it necessary to have nearly everyone meet each other.

what kind of scheme he is plotting this time…


The first floor is filled with large dining halls where the people of Red Winter can socialize while eating lunch. Traditionally, such affairs take up a large amount of time, being several hours in length.

The tower also offers many other places for entertainment. From the tranquil arboretums and menageries of the second floor to the history museums that span from the third floor to the fifth floor, although most prefer to linger in the more open areas of the first floor.

There’s still several hours before the execution will take place, so Sira has all afternoon to talk to people around.

>Senior members DC 17

His close association with the lowing ranks and fringe groups of Red Winter during lunch made the seniors quite hesitant when Sira tried to approach them afterwards. Even with Bow and Tong assisting him from the sidelines, he had to remain on his best behavior in order to convince the senior members that oversee the districts to divulge a modicum of their plots.

While the past few years he hasn’t been.. very active in terms of running the brothel and improving Red Winter in general, Sira is able to persuade them using his past accomplishments during these past few months and careful usage of his words.

He assisted Bow and Tong in running the Two Fencers gambling house during the first month of this year ー helped it remain profitable and stopped cheaters from interfering with a fishing contest in the North East market district.

On the second month, he and his crows competed in a fencing tournament and proved to the people in the entertainment district how skillful him and other Red Winter aligned members are. The resulting brawls was not intended. He merely wants to help Red Winter but went a little overboard with it. He apologizes.

Hah, hell no! He knows damn well. He intentionally switched out his red garters for blue ones because of money, and he made damn sure his crows didn’t hold back so they could get their prize money. He didn’t really give a shit about the spectators and wanted to embarrass the seniors for betting against him. But for this moment, such lies are preferable.

During the third month, he sent Warin to resolve an issue with the carpentry workshops in Cinderpath ー Her skills in black magic was able to deal situations that would otherwise be difficult to neutralize. Her assistance can be highly beneficial to whatever plots the seniors might have.

Last month, he and his crows went to Pikebreak to personally train the guards of peach plantations, able to turn ineffective guards into an elite fighting force within a few weeks.

And of course, him and his crows were the ones who figured out who those vigilantes are, and prevented Ging from being killed. Sira omitted and downplayed a few things in order to convince them that they were more competent than the seniors thought. He definitely didn’t nearly die from being beaten up by a couple drunk people.

>18 vs 17

They reluctantly concedes. The crows seem capable enough to handle sensitive information. They’re a long way from being ideal members like Bow, but they will have to do. For now.

>Seniors’ plot
The monarchy imports and export many things from foreign countries. Mercenaries. Guns. Handicrafts. Animal products. Silver. The list goes on. Their contacts say that this year, they are hoarding high quality tableware and sculptures in order to trade with the Dawnfall merchant ships, who will arrive during the later parts of the year, somewhere around the eighth or ninth month.

All Red Winter needs to do is make cheap imitations of these objects, sell them to the monarchy through a front (at the normal price) and pocket the difference.

They have forgers and middlemen, but the contacts in the monarchy are currently unable to help them — recent disappearances and removal of people inside the institution has made them too scared to act. Those contacts need some kind of reassurance that they won’t be arrested or disposed off by their superiors.

To ensure their superiors turn a blind eye to their actions, they also want some compensation — the monarchy always had a rivalry against the free market of northern Clawflash.

The market district must be deprived of its power.

A plot to fool the monarchy itself. These seniors are quite bold, but if successful, they’ll have access to money and influence that surpasses nearly everyone else inside Sablestream.

Sira says he’ll think about it.

Naturally, once he is out of sight, he goes straight back to the associates and ask them about their schemes in order to keep themselves afloat and influential.

Although Sira gets in trouble with the senior members a lot, the associates mostly sees him as a distant ally that occasionally helps them out due to being asked to.

>Associate DC 13

He assures them that he is more than just another businessman. Sira briefly talks about his earlier years and how he relates to these people.

He was expelled from a prestigious medical academy and disowned by his family because of some rumors and hostility between him and school staff.

He started out a just guy that buried things for Red Winter. Sira eventually became part of a slave auditing organization and made a name for himself, walking a fine line between helping his people, protecting the innocent, and satisfying the demands on the company.

They obviously doesn’t need to know about the fact that he personally killed and buried unwanted infants. People draw different lines when it comes to killing, but Sira preferred it over abandoning those kids to die in some forest or river because they lack the conviction to kill them quickly. Best if he doesn’t divide his audience.

And now he is back in the organization once again, albeit due to injuries. He knows how fucked up Clawflash is. He has seen how badly the associates were sometimes treated. How some ended up. He wants to help people like them.

>17 vs 13

Stories of The Crows are still mentioned to this day. His defiance of typical Red Winter behavior and willingness to bend the rules for lower ranking people resonates with the associates. They are willing to divulge their plans with him.

>Associates’ plot
Large institutions in south Clawflash are often supported by a small group of powerful individuals. Within the highly prestigious academies, the associates can nudge certain people into funding them when their children are admitted into the academies easier than others or when their subordinates are offered connections to industries they are interested in.

Recently, the associates who work closely with these academies reveal that there have been some tension going on between the corrupt faculty staff and parents — the cost of fees are increasing, and larger donations are being asked. Hostilities between them are high, and plenty of people on each side have been hurt. Some were forced to quietly retire, and some had their connections severed.

A war that goes on behind closed doors, where words, connections, and money are the main weapons. Naturally, some of the staff, government officials in particular, resorted to less civilized means of removing their opponents. Blackmail. Legal action.

Such acts are effective at getting rid of opponents, but paint a large target on their back.

Sira will need to assist the parents in ruining certain people’s reputations.

Although the associates don’t want to cross the monarchy, it is an unfortunate side effect of such a plot.
Sira is faced with two conflicting plots.

On the senior’s side, they want to deceive the monarchy by selling counterfeit items. They are asking Sira to help them reduce the amount of power the northern market has.

On the associates’ side, they want to earn money and influence through the wealthy elite in south Clawflash. They ask Sira to help deal with government officials who are deemed a threat.

A tough choice from a business and a personal standpoint.

Sira has experience with both of these institutions, and how vicious they can be.

However, he doesn’t have to make a decision on which to support right now — he hasn’t heard what the junior members’ plot is.

But how should Sira approach them?

Sira gets a guaranteed success on knowing their plot, but depending on this action, the seniors and associates will think of him in a different light

>With senior members present
Sira can act as a bridge between the seniors and the juniors, potentially joining forces if their plots don’t conflict with each other.

The associates won’t be happy about this.

Sira might not be able to combine their plot with others very well since they are not present, but his relationships with the seniors and associates will remain neutral.

>With associates present
Sira can act as a bridge between the associates and the juniors, potentially joining forces if their plots don’t conflict with each other.

The seniors won’t be happy about it.
>With associates present
>notify the seniors of the intention to do so, first, and frame it as keeping everyone on-side and keeping the organization abreast of everyone else's plots
>With associates present
>notify the seniors of the intention to do so, first, and frame it as keeping everyone on-side and keeping the organization abreast of everyone else's plots.
Playing both sides is dangerous business.

>With associates present
>notify the seniors of the intention to do so, first, and frame it as keeping everyone on-side and keeping the organization abreast of everyone else's plots.

It’s best if he hang around other junior members with the associates — the two groups are quite distant to the seniors. Getting them together could allow Sira to smooth out relations and potentially join forces.

Before doing so, he tells the seniors about his decision, framing it as a method to get people on the same page. Nothing more. They reluctantly agree to it.

>guaranteed success on Junior DC

Sira has been part of the entertainment district from the very beginning. From his early days as a mere shoveler to a laidback brothel keeper.

The associates interact with junior members of Red Winter frequently, but not always on good terms on each other. Sira was able to smooth things out to the point they are willing to share their plans.

>Juniors’ plot
Dawnfall merchant ships’ annual arrival will be on eighth or ninth month of the year. The months before such is when market district of north Clawflash becomes most competitive. A lot of businesses are struggling to generate goods in time as the elevated demand makes transportation expenses higher than usual.

The junior members knows there’s plenty of people in the market district that’s willing to pay handsomely in order to gain an edge over their opponents, and the junior members know secret passages within the city and outside it — they just need people.

Luckily, the south of Clawflash has a decently large community of slave laborers and unskilled workers. Poorly paid and overworked, these people would appreciate doing something that pays more.

The only thing keeping them from leaving are those wealthy elite around these parts. They have plenty of incentives to keep them in line — blackmail, legal power, and slave related companies.

Weaken their grasp of them and bring those people to the market district, and the junior members have a constant stream of additional revenue.

This will weaken the wealthy elite of south Clawflash, but will allow the market district (and by extension, the entertainment district below them) to flourish.
All these schemes are conflicting with each other!

Summary of the plots
>Seniors’ plot
Suppress the power of the market district in order to scam the monarchy.

>Juniors’ plot
Weaken the wealthy elite of south Clawflash in order to make the market district flourish.

>Associates’ plot
Support the wealthy elite of South Clawflash in neutralizing government officials, weakening the monarchy.

Each of them directly interferes with each other. I got two or three months to sort this out.

Negotiations with the junior members and the associates prove to be particularly difficult.

Sira needs to walk a fine line to keep those wealthy elite and those Red Winter aligned merchants satisfied.

He decides to…

>Assist in the juniors and associates’ plots
Sira has some resources. Funds. Connections. Security. It will be tough, and he’ll probably lose some of it in the process, but this intervention could help his business stay solvent during the later months.

>Visit Sohm
Sira doesn’t want to decide right now. Might as well go see his former friend one last time. She probably will never forgive him for his actions, but it doesn’t matter, as neither will he.

>Talk to the seniors
Sira could go talk to the seniors about the plots. Maybe they are more willing to compromise than those groups? However, this could upset the associates and the juniors.

sorry for the late update. Just started a new semester in uni. Had to sort out a bunch of paperwork and stuff. My update schedule should return to normal now, 2-3 times per day
>Talk to the seniors
At a glance, the Seniors' and Associates' plots both benefit from a weakened monarchy. Maybe They can be convinced to work together to some limited extent? We could expose monarchical corruption, and scam them, and make them look like fools and weaklings.

Serves them right for what happened to Sira's hand, when they sicked that foreign merc on him
>Talk to the seniors

>talk to seniors

Both associates and the seniors’ plots involve weakening the monarchy, with the former wanting to eliminate its agents’ power from south Clawflash, and the latter wanting to keep the high ranking agents corrupt and blind so the monarchy as a whole gets scammed.

However, compromises are difficult. When Sira pitched the idea of working with the associates, the seniors were quite hesitant with working with them and some were outright hostile. Even with Bow there to help his case, they still don’t budge. Sira tried his best to appease them, but years of negligence towards the senior members cannot be easily fixed by a single day’s worth of actions.


Their words sounds a little too familiar.

Downplaying his previous accomplishments or ignoring them when they are disagreeing with him…
Judging his arguments without hearing all the points he will make..
Remaining silent and not acknowledging his points when he comes up with a counter argument..

They are starting to sound like those academy teachers or his parents. They have already made up their mind. No matter how good his points are, it doesn’t really matter — the more he argues, the more he will lose.

The only good move is to not play.

ah. of course. why did i expect anything different. I should’ve known better…

After a few minutes, Sira leaves the seniors alone and goes back to talking to the associates.

Although they don’t know about the reason, they can tell Sira feels dejected. After shit talking the seniors and sharing each others’ terrible experiences with them, Sira feels slightly better. He hasn’t reached his goal, but his mind didn’t wander back into his past and wallow in it.

Sira could spend hours telling and listening to all the stories of incompetent or annoying senior members of Red Winter, but he can’t.

After what felt like an hour or so, people begins to spread out and explore the tower. Sira manages to find Bow alone, captivated by the taxidermy animals that decorate the museums of the fourth floor.

「Hey. About that talk earlier. Thanks.」

〔Yeah. No problem.〕
Bow answers him while staring at a taxidermy owl. She soons pull out some paper and begins sketching.

「I want to ask about seniors. Is there.. any way for me to get on their good side?」

〔They’re a bit on edge right now. I think you should.. hmm…〕

〔Best chance to appease them would be the execution itself. Prove to them that you have completely forsaken Sohm in her current state.〕


〔Tip. He had a stomach ache less than an hour ago. I told him to not eat that much chili but he wouldn’t listen… You’ll be the one executing her.〕

When Sohm was affiliated with Red Winter, Tip was the senior member who taught her to act as spy and thief, as he (and many others) didn’t want her take part in activities that cound endanger her. He would eventually hand Sohm over to Sira due to her tendency to confront people abusing others and getting into dangerous situations.

Tip is still just as stubborn as always. Sira can barely match him in eating such despite being nearly one third of his age.

Dammit. I am slipping! If I wasted more time talking I might’ve missed this. I got lucky that she told me.

「Okay. This will take place in.. an hour or so, right?」

〔Yes. Just over an hour, but you should probably go to the basement soon. I know you’re not the religious type, but you should take part in those sword ceremonies. Best if you don’t upset those seniors anymore. You’ll also need to choose a Second [executioner].〕

〔Remember, Sira. Never take it personally. Whatever Sohm might say, do not get angry. I’ve seen what their dying curse can do to people. Paranoia. Hallucinations. Tremors.〕

「Yeah. Got it.」

Sira knows what it feels like to have spirits follow and curse at him. He’s on a long road to recovery from that Bow Buffalo’s attack.

Traditionally, when someone is executed legally, there are two executioners — First Sword and Second Sword. The first will deliver a cut to the neck and decapitate them with a single cut, and the second executioner is there in case the first cut doesn’t kill immediately.

Before the execution itself, the swords used must be 'invited'. Food offerings and chants are given.

The executioners must be dressed in red clothing, blessed with enchantments.

Although executioners are supposed to be skilled in fencing, knowledgeable in magic, and have good fortune, Red Winter does things slightly differently — the ones most closely related to the prisoner will be the First Sword. That person may elect anyone to be the Second Sword.

For the swords, Sira decide to choose..

>Occult Darbs
Single handed swords with a single edge. This is what is traditionally used to execute someone. The seniors will be pleased, although Sira isn’t very familiar with it. It’s easier to mess up this cut.

>Executioner Swords
Two handed swords with a wide blade and rounded tips. This is what is traditionally used to execute someone in the western countries that Sablestream trade with. The seniors won’t be pleased with using foreign weapons, but Sira is familiar with it. It will be a single cut, no doubt.

For the position of Second Sword, he chooses..

The seniors will be pleased with this option, although the associates might not be. Her natural strength will ensure a proper kill if he falters.

A safe option that will not anger any group, but won’t show support to any, either. However, Warin is not the best when it comes to fencing, and is more skilled at using a knife or a polearm. She might not land a proper cut.

The associates will be pleased, although the seniors might be disappointed. Her skills in using the falchion will translate nicely.
>Occult Darbs
I can feel the 1s.
Are you thai?
>country infamous for pimping its girls to old white tourists
>runs brothel quest
Internalized cuckoldry is helluva drug
>Occult Darbs
Explain to Cris the situation -- we want the seniors to get on board with helping the associates, so this is what's best for everyone. Get her to talk up up and mitigate irritation.

Why are you even here?
>Executioner Swords

>Occult Darbs

「I want you to be my Second.」

〔Oh… I see. I’ll be with you in a moment.〕

He needs to appeal to the seniors. Before visiting the basement, he talks to the associates and juniors about his current position. They are disappointed that he decides to choose Bow as his Second Sword, although they understand the need to appeal to those seniors, due to his close involvement with Sohm. They would love to give him some wine to drink afterwards, but due to health issues, they’ll settle for tea instead.

Sira and Bow descends to the basement. They are provided bright red shirts and crimson shorts, along with a thin book with weathered edges.

After changing into it, they are taken to a room where the pair of swords are. The dark grey scabbards and hilts rest on a large table. Several brass plates and pottery surround them, waiting for the executioner to place food offerings on it.

The invitation ceremony begins.

Two pig heads on the left and right side of the table. A duck and fish in the middle. Onions sauce for the savory food. A bunch of bananas and a coconut at the back. Boiled coconut balls and small cups of alcohol sit around the duck and fish.

Sira and Bow hold burning incenses and flowers as they read the chants written down on that old book.

Sira can pronounce most of it just fine, although unlike Bow, he doesn’t know the exact meaning of each phrase or word as it was written in an old foreign language. Only monks or the people dabbling the supernatural study this.

Likely the usual stuff — thank his teachers, his parents, ask for forgiveness from the warden that will watch over him in the afterlife, and other boring things.

Once it is done, they retrieve the weapons. The first Darb is shorter than the second, possessing a wide blade and a thicker spine. The swords have no hand guards, and their hilts large enough to accommodate two hands, although they are mainly used with only one. Their length is merely there to maintain the balance.

It’s time to see Sohm one last time.

In the large empty room, furthest from the stairs, lies a woman that Sira barely recognizes as Sohm. A naked woman who had her arms and legs tied. She lies on the floor, half awake.

Her hair has been completely shaven off and several burn wounds cover her scalp. Dark purple bruises and crimson red lie across her body, a clear indication of severe bludgeoning. Rust brown scabs cover her thighs and hips, a sign of sustaining several cuts. Large, jagged trails of brick red on her knees and legs are likely caused by her skin being peeled off.

She slowly turns to look at Sira. Her eyes are half open and her eyebrows are furrowed. She is barely awake right now, and the dark spots underneath her eyes clearly show how sleep deprived she is.

{.. ugh. what. Tip was too busy sucking their cocks or something?}

「Food poisoning. I will be the executioner.」

Technically Tip got a stomach ache from eating too much chili, but Sohm doesn’t need to know that.


Sohm turns to look at Bow.

{.. after all these years, you’re still.. sucking the cocks of those old fucks. The.. ugh.. the Sira I knew wouldn’t bend the knee to those assholes.}


「..I want to clear up a few things.」

Sira never got to say a proper farewell to her.

He clarified that Sohm meant a lot to him. He liked working with her. It was fun hanging out with her. Few people were willing to go to such lengths in order to give justice to victims and punish those deserving. Although it was brief, being her mentor was an interesting time for him.

He will miss her.

{.. do you really think i give a shit.. about what you want to say? honestly… who the fuck benefits from telling me this now…}

「… Farewell, Sohm.」
His tone becomes cold as he leaves.

She used to be a good friend, but her actions during the brothel has shown that she has no regard for collateral damage. How many people have she and her vigilante crew hurt by mistake or negligence?


It is finally time for the execution.

The basement is filled with countless Red Winter members. Every wall and corner is filled with people looking at the center of the room, where Sohm is kneeling on the ground.

Sira and Bow approach her from the sides, their blades drawn.

Despite all the damage done to her body, Sohm can still speak.

{.. i know that mill won’t be cheap to rebuild…}
{i’m sure some- no, all of you have plans to get money and power back somehow..}
{whatever you decide to do next, i hope that all of you remember this day as the high point of your lives. It’ll only be downhill from here. I’ll be watching every minute of it.}

Sira holds the hilt with his thumb pressing against the spine of the blade, a way to gain proper edge alignment when using this type of sword. His hilt is above his right shoulder and the blade hangs behind him. His body is wound up, ready to step forward and deliver the extremely powerful wrath strike.

Sira decides to..

>Strike her throat with the hilt to shut her up before decapitating her
Shut the fuck up.

>Perform the wrath cut
No hard feelings.

Sira’s cut: DC 16
+4 bonus
Bow’s cut: DC 13 (assuming Sira fails)
+7 bonus
>Perform the wrath cut
Don't feed the beast.
>>Perform the wrath cut
Rolled 18, 4 = 22 (2d20)

FYI: the options have no effect on the dicerolls

1st roll Sira
2nd roll Bow
Textbook cut, eh?

>wrath cut

Bow mentioned that executioners are not supposed to be hostile towards the prisoner, lest they be cursed by their spirit. He must remain impartial.

He rotates his body, turning from a leaning back position into a straight one. As he steps forward, he swings the Darb, allowing the momentum to power his cut.

>22 vs 16

He never hesitated.
The upper portions of the blade severs her neck in a single diagonal cut.

Her bloodied and scarred head falls to the floor. Blood leaks from her neck as her body falls to the floor.

It’s done. Sohm has been executed in the traditional way that the seniors expected. Sira did not hesitate nor become provoked by her words.

Having the strength to kill someone he used to mentor, but the restraint from not brutalizing her made the seniors respect him slightly more now. One mistake cleaned up.

With the execution done, there’s not much keeping the members here aside from wanting to talk to each other. They will most likely leave in a few hours.

It’s time to approach them again. This might be the last chance to get those seniors and associates on the same page.

Today, Sira has done the best he could. Accommodated those seniors the best he can. Catered to them, tried his best to be as polite as possible to them.

It should be enough.

Clawflash — evening



It was draining. Trying to please both sides were hard. Having to listen to the seniors downplay his past achievements was particularly annoying, although it did get them to become more agreeable.

His current condition also didn’t help — occasionally mishearing words or forgetting words due to his concussion made the situation a lot more hostile than it really should be.

In the end, he managed to smooth things out. In the following months, the associates and seniors will be working together. (Connections 8 » 10)
However, Sira didn’t accomplish it without sacrificing something in return…
(Choose one)

>Expensive gifts (—funds)

>Stressing out his colleagues as well (roll a 1d2 to determine -morale or —morale)

>Lending some of his security guards to them (-security)

[Current brothel status]
*the brothel will get +1 funds, -1 sec until 10th month
Funds 8/10
Morale 9/10
Security 8/10
Connections 10/10
The next few months will be difficult for Sira, and during the last days of the sixth month, Warin has created something that could prove useful to him.
(Choose one)

>Occult resin
A bottle of obsidian black resin. The very same type that was used to reattach Sira’s hand and patch up his thighs.

While medicinal in nature, it can also be used as a powerful adhesive, capable of supporting heavy objects.

>Spectral lining
Enchantments to his clothes, allowing him to call upon spirits to conceal his presence. Unlike those bandits, he will not only turn invisible, but the sounds he makes will be suppressed as well.

The longer he stays concealed, the more oppressive those voices will become. Sira will need to remain calm to use this — sustaining exhaustion or severe injuries will make it difficult to do so.
>Stressing out his colleagues as well (roll a 1d2 to determine -morale or —morale)
>Occult resin
>Lending some of his security guards to them (-security)
Let them deal with the chatty racist fucks for a bit. Frankly, they're doing us a favour!

>Occult resin
this anon is referring to this (During the second month, Sira increased security by hiring a certain type of guards)
Okay that's hilarious, I'm changing my vote to this >>5647841
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How much higher will it go?
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>occult resin

Sira decides to lend the newly hired security guards to the senior members. They will either get tired of their constant racism and understand how difficult Sira’s job is, or they will appreciate people who are similar to them. They can go hate immigrants together or whatever.

Either way, the other staff members won’t have to listen to their monologue as much as before.

The next few months will be perilous, and Warin decide to create another batch of the occult resin in preparation for it.

The technique of using occult resin to repair bodies was developed long ago, inspired golden joinery — an art of repairing pottery using lacquer mixed with powdered gold or silver.

While the ingredients were not difficult to find, the ceremonies and rituals involved were tedious. Going through the old books and notes in order to find the correct passages was quite time consuming.

Although she would be content with researching by herself, she doesn’t turn down Sira’s assistance. It’s a very good excuse to spend time together.

They occasionally indulge themselves in less academic pursuits during their off hours together. During the next few months, they might not have a chance to have laidback tea breaks or be this intimate as often.

Warin and Sira manage to create a bottle of occult resin during the final days of the sixth month. An obsidian black liquid with faint silver powders in it. Good enough to repair multiple limbs or glue large objects together, and strong enough to withstand the weight of multiple people. Her professor would disapprove of the lack of decorations, but it will serve its role just fine.

With their duty out of the way, they can completely focus on enjoying themselves…
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They plastered each other’s bodies with countless bite marks and kisses. Saliva and other liquids turns their chests and groins glossy.

Groping and squeezing his partially blackened thighs were entertaining for her. He returns the favor by squishing her tummy and breasts.


After satisfying their lust, the two continued to cuddle and talk about random (lewd) things that popped into their minds. Is a giant better than a goblin in bed? Do Serpents actually give good tongue kisses? If every part of the birdmen are blessed, does that mean their semen can be used as medicine?

.. after long discussions of degenerate topics, Warin eventually asks about something important.

“.. can’t believe it’s been half a year already. Six more months and you’ll be off to Catcher Corps.”

“I’ll miss you, Sira.”

Her grip tightens on his arm.

「Don’t worry, I’ll try to visit as often as I can.」

「.. i mean, you could join me. There’s not a lot of Players [of the the dark arts] in there, and we could use another apothecary.」

“The brothel needs me. Those prostitutes needs someone to take care of them. Look after them. Understand them. Maybe someone else could do it.. maybe, but until we find someone like that, probably not.”


“I know you’ll have to answer to those seniors and do some favors for [previous brothel keeper] Juda, but it’s possible, right?”

「Yeah, but.. it’s going to be hard. You’ve seen how those seniors are. Getting them to accept that would be a nightmare. They’ll rope me into some.. fucked up plot or whatever and expect me to solve everything.」

“I’m sure they’ll be more agreeable once their current plots go well.”

“If it does… will you stay?”

During this year, Sira has accomplished many things while being the brothel keeper of the Nectar Droplet.

-Helped the Two Fencers gambling house and Old Whaler become profitable again, and preventing a fishing contest from being cheated.
-Took part in fighting tournaments and proved to the entertainment district that the Crows are still to be feared and respected.
-Trained plantation guards into becoming capable fighters. Saved teenagers turned bandits from stealing peaches again.
-Solved the mystery behind the Red Winter deaths and defeated Sohm before she could harm Ging.

Then again, if he becomes part of Catchers Corps slave auditing company again, he will have fewer restrictions on what he is or isn’t allowed to do — he doesn’t have to worry about reputation quite as much. He also doesn’t have to be asked to perform favors that could be highly dangerous to him. Sira and his crows won’t likely be encountering something like the Bow Buffalo very often if they choose this path.

Right now, Sira thinks that…

>He wants to stay
Even if those seniors asked him to do more favors, he’ll do it. The brothel means a lot to him. His past actions says as much. Him and his crows spent years here. They can’t just let them go.

>He wants to leave
He loves this brothel, and the people in it, but he thinks he and his crows could do more good as security for slave auditors. He’ll have fewer restrictions that way.
>>He wants to leave
Those seniors are trying to fleece royalty. If they fail, I can't help but imagine some heads will go flying and heavy favors will be asked.
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>He wants to leave
It was a good year, all said and done. Sira got his groove back. But, shit, this place has bad memories,a ton of obligations and risks, and he just had to execute an old friend. Warin is one of the only god things in our life, right? The main NPC we even interact with? Stick together, methinks.

thanks for the help in qtg, guys, but I’m afraid you were talking to someone who is too retarded to listen. Prole samefagged for hours and when I brought that up, his only response is to claim that all those one post IDs were actually TWO post IDs.

>He wants to leave

He likes the brothel, and he wants to be with her, but it’s just too dangerous. All the obligations to other Red Winter members, all the things he lost in the process… it just isn’t worth it.

He barely avoided being stomped to death a few days ago. His mind was scarred by that Bow Buffalo’s attack. He had to behead his former friend and student.

It’s disturbing. He doesn’t want to live like this. It’s better to leave this business for good before those seniors ‘ask’ him to be part of a suicide mission.


Warin is a little disappointed, but understands it. His position was always going to be temporary, and trying to push his luck against the seniors might not end well.

Both of them have seen far too many people try to have it all and fail. Sohm tried to take down Red Winter with only a couple people by her side. She paid the price for it.


Seventh Month ー First half

(Status: +1 fund -1 sec per month until 10th month)
Funds 8/10
Morale 9/10
Security 7/10
Connections 10/10

The rain season continues, bringing fortune to those in the agricultural industry and related fields. Secrets are shared and deals are made behind closed doors.

Progress on the joint operation between the seniors and associates are going smoothly so far, but they have encountered a few obstacles.

Senior’s plot: 30% / 100
Associates’ plot : 50% / 100

>[All plots must reach 100% on the month Dawnfall merchant ships arrive]
Depending on how heavy the rain is, the Dawnfall merchants may arrive on the eighth or ninth month.

[1d2 dice roll at the end of seventh month. 1 = eighth, 2 = ninth]

In this month, Sira will have time to take part in two operations..

(Choose two, specify which will be first or second)


>Discredit the market district’s handicraft commission [+70% senior, -20% associate]
The North West portion of the market district are where handicrafts are made. The businesses owner there have formed a commission to regulate how the artisans and laborers operate. High ranking government officials dislike how powerful they have become ー make them look incompetent and give the government an excuse to reign them in.

If successful, those government agents are definitely willing to look the other way and let the seniors sell their (counterfeit) products to the monarchy. However, this action will cause some of the wealthy elite to lose some profit and influence.

>Nudging the cutler’s apprentice [+30% senior, +20% associate]
A old cutler in the market district has been uncooperative towards the wealthy elite and government officials’ proposals, rejecting their bribes and gifts. With his failing health, he will have to hand over the workshop to his apprentice soon — make the apprentice give into their demands.

Overly idealistic and kind hearted men won’t do well in life. Sira will demonstrate that to him.

>Tamper with the construction of new buildings [+60% associates]
Constructions of new buildings in the prestigious Adamant Spearhead academy was done under close supervision of a particularly despised government official. If the materials were swapped out with something of lower quality, and safety standards were not meet, it would seem like the government official had cut corners and pocketed the money the other parents gave her.

Sira will have to infiltrate the very same place he got expelled from. How long has it been? Must be nearly a decade, at least.

>A dip in support [+20% associates, changes 1d2 merchant arrival dice roll » 1d3. 2 & 3 = ninth month]
The associates have reported some of the wealthy elite are withdrawing their support and reducing the amount of illicit activities they do. If Sira can find and stop the culprit(s), the associates will be able to get reliable funding once again.

Sira hasn’t been in South Clawflash in a long time. What kind of threat is out there that makes even those wealthy business owners shiver?
*About the plots percentage:

You just need to reach 100% on both of them at the end of the month that the Dawnfall merchant ships arrive.
Shit, I think I misunderstood the vote. I was voting for the one I thought would keep Warin and Sira together!

>Tamper with the construction of new buildings [+60% associates]

Regardless, let'a return to where it all started for Sira!
Oh! I thought you meant “[the players’ choices] Stick together, methinks.”

But if things go well, I’m sure Warin could find a way out.

Also while you can vote for only one option, it’s probably best if you choose two.
>Discredit the market district’s handicraft commission [+70% senior, -20% associate]

This is my other vote. Sorry, I shuld read more closely, but it's busy at work. Didn't want to miss a vote!
I just finished reading all of thread 1. Extremely fantastic unique flavor to this entire quest start to finish. If Sira doesn't survive the quest to go be with Warin until he dies, I'll want to riot. Also, you had me at the Dishonored stuff incorporated into your quest. When will Sira encounter the Thai lore equivalent of The Outsider?
>Tamper with the construction of new buildings [+60% associates]
>Discredit the market district’s handicraft commission [+70% senior, -20% associate]
Come vote with us!

Dude, QM feuds drifting into quest threads? Pathetic. Stop it.
>Tamper with the construction of new buildings [+60% associates]
>Discredit the market district’s handicraft commission [+70% senior, -20% associate]

>tamper construction (+60% associates)
>discredit (+70% senior, -20% associates)

For first half of the month, Sira will deal with buildings under construction. For the later half, he’ll try to discredit the market district’s handicraft commission.

He left the Adamant Spearhead on bad terms. This could be his chance to get back at them.


The monarchy utilizes many methods in order to gain and keep influence, and one of them is the education system. Academic institutions that were founded by the monarchy are given special privileges and autonomy, producing high performing students, who would later become capable medical practitioners, military personnel, or servants of the monarchy.

Their reputation and connections gives these students a head start in their future careers — being admitted into them is a dream of many people who wish to elevate their social class (as for the wealthy elite, it’s a way to ensure their families continue to maintain wealth and influence)

Such power is also the reason for the power struggle between those wealthy business owners and the government officials in Adamant Spearhead.


The academy has changed quite a lot since he was gone. What was once a cluster of boxy buildings turned into a fortress — rows of small facilities surrounds a central building where most of the teaching is conducted, a wide structure with large stairs and doorways that can make giants feel tiny. A large emblem of the eponymous spearhead resides above the large central doorway, cast from silvery metal. Even after all these years, its pale blue color has not deteriorated.

The facilities around the central building range from minor restaurants to museums that details the founding of the academy.
The buildings under construction are a new study hall and library — if Sira can tamper with the materials used or make them violate safety standards, the much despised government official who leads this project will come under fire and the associates will earn those parents’ favor.

The study hall is less guarded, mostly having laborers. Sira and his crows could probably get in if he has some good excuses and disguises.

Easy to get in, but it will take more time and effort to sabotage this location.

The library is a lot more monitored, due to large amounts of the furniture needed and more complex interior. Without good excuses and evidence to back that up, Sira and his crows’ infiltration skills will be pushed to the limits.

However, he can easily do more damage in a shorter amount of time.

Both of them needs to be sabotaged, but Sira can choose which one he could tackle first.

He decides to infiltrate..

>Study hall [2d20 vs DC 15]
+4 bonus to both rolls
A larger location with fewer people. Mostly laborers.

>Library [2d20 vs DC 18]
+4 bonus to both rolls
A smaller location with higher security. Faculty staff are more prevalent here.

To assist him in infiltration, Sira can..

>Send his crows to scout out the location
A gamble, but possibly a worthwhile one — if speed is key.

[+5 bonus to first stealth roll, removes second dice roll]

>Spend time observing the behaviors of people throughout the day
This will take a lot of time, but he’ll know where those people will be, and won’t.

[+5 bonus to stealth roll, makes second infiltration DC more difficult]

>Procure fake documents
These documents could fool most people at a glance, but if someone gets suspicious and questions him, Sira will need to be careful with how his lies are constructed — they must not contradict his papers.

[guaranteed success, makes dialogue battles more difficult]
>Procure fake documents
Might as well do our best to ensure at least one is sabotaged before we risk detection.
+1; we can use to our advantage the fact that Sira looks like a university student and some of the younger-looking crows too, alongside that everybody is busy studying and working in a library, and everybody's too bored to care much about anything else
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Sira is in his mid 20s.

Good, that's perfect for infiltrating here. Bonus if we can use his apothecary background to back up his fake documentation, though his disregard for the social conventions might out him here. It'd be funny if he posed as an apothecary senior and the real students all clamored around him in a giant study circle, while the crows went and sabotaged the building offscreen like in the Whaler mission thread 1. He can't have kids with Warin, can he?
Please address the spoiler in >>5649373
No. She doesn’t even need to breathe in order to exist. Reproductive systems don’t really work as well.

certain spirits and supernatural creatures fit that bill. >>5637840
>first spoiler
Kind of a shame, but not that big a deal is it?
>second spoiler
Very cool
May want to see about getting this fixed, QM
Can’t fucking believe this dipshit.
Go to the guy that manages the suptg site. His contact is somewhere in one of the pages
We're so fucking back.

>fake docs

Some of the associates have access to documents that could justify Sira and his crows being at the library. Along with his old uniforms, he (and other crows who are of similar age to him) could potentially blend in with the older students of the academy.

The new library is more spiral in nature, reminiscent of the castle towers that were depicted in old history manuscripts. Such designs date back to several centuries ago, and are quite resistant to damage due to their usage of stone.

Unlike the typical grey hue from common stone, this tower makes use of marble in their construction, creating a pale white color, similar to ivory. A stately thing, a far cry from those boxy wooden buildings that Sira used to study at.

Sira dons his dark blue uniform once again. His large hat is crumbled and dusty, but no damages were done to the fabric. Even the shiny sliver stitching on his shirt that depicts the eponymous adamantine spearhead is still intact, a testament to the skilled labor that went into making these. To obscure the obsidian black line on his wrist that could be mistaken for a tattoo, he wears a coat.

Him and two other crows of similar age enter the tower with documents in hand…

>guaranteed success

The library staff didn’t do more than glance at them as it isn’t uncommon for senior students to visit the library with their book lending documents prepared. People wearing coats and hats during rain season isn’t something unheard of, either.

As Sira keeps climbing the spiral stairs, he notices more of the younger students the further up he goes. Their well kempt (and in his personally opinion, quite short) hair, their spotless and unwrinkled clothing are clear giveaways of people that have the most restrictions in their conduct.

Most are far too busy to pay attention to him. Some form friend groups where they study and share knowledge amongst each other. Some are alone, surrounded by only writing implements and piles of books. Some have passed out. And some are awake, but only through a copious amount of tea.

Sira’s main goal resides at the upper floors, where the interior are being furnished. He just needs to damage them or cause safety violations.

Sira is at the halfway point of the tower. Him and his crows could go to the higher floors right now, but he could spend time asking around for information that could accelerate his plans. (Bonus to sabotage dicerolls if the talk options are successful)

Sira decides to…

>Get to the upper floors
Fastest option, but Sira won’t have munch information when it comes to sabotaging and escaping.

[No bonuses to dice rolls due to lack of knowledge about the upper floors]

>Talk to the large group of students (2d20 vs 16, dialogue battle if fail)
[+4 bonus to dice rolls]
[2nd dice roll from the other crows since Sira didn’t use them to scout]

These people likely know a lot about the new library, based on how efficient they were able to look through the bookshelves and find what they are looking for.

Sira won’t be able to hold extended conversations with the normal students very well, as he mostly spends time hanging around fringe groups. Knowing when to leave the conversation is key.

>Talk to the loner girl [all or nothing]
Sira sees a junior student who surrounds herself with books and shut herself off from the rest of the world. Talking to her is a lot less risky than a group. He knows how to approach someone like her, but the question is, will he remove his coat?
>keep his coat on
To keep his coat on would suggest a more distant demeanor, and a briefer interaction.
>remove his coat
By removing his coat, he will become more casual and friendly.

[One of these options will result in a guaranteed success and failure — failure will result in a dialogue battle]
>Talk to the loner girl [all or nothing]
>keep his coat on

>To obscure the obsidian black line on his wrist that could be mistaken for a tattoo, he wears a coat.
>Talk to the loner girl [all or nothing]
>keep his coat on

>talk to loner girl
>coat on

It’s probably best if he remains distant. He is her senior, after all. Being casual would not be proper behavior.

Keeping his coat on will also conceal his left wrist, where traces of that obsidian black occult resin remains. People might mistake the black line as a tattoo. Definitely not the proper behavior for a student, even a senior one.

Sira slowly moves towards the desk that has a fort of books on it. He can barely see that lone junior’s head above those piles.

「Junior. Junior. About the upper floors renovation. Do you know anything about it?」

<uh.. Yes, senior. It has been under construction for.. a couple months now, I believe.>

A muffled voice of a young female student answers his question, still covered by that fortress of books stacked on top of each other

<I do not recommend going to the upper floors now. Those laborers will be assembling those bookshelves and desks from now until… the late afternoon. About three.. four.. hours. It will be noisy.>

<If you’re looking for..>

The young student finally peaks her head outside of that little fort at last. She has fluffy black hair that reaches to her nape and she wears a dark blue long nightshirt.

A proper senior would reprimand and report her for not wearing the uniform and having a haircut that might be too long.

Sira knows someone who lives on the edge when he sees one. He simply puts his hands behind his back and remain silent, waiting for her to finish the sentence.

>guaranteed success

After staring at him for a moment, she answers.

<I.. I think understand what you’re trying to say, senior.>

Her cold tone turns into a playful one. She chuckles slightly before continuing.

<If you want to lay low, go up two floors. Literature section. Poetry. Super empty.>

<Teachers don’t really go there.>


<Good luck, senior~>
<Haven’t seen someone this bold in a while.>

what..? I don’t..

Sira realizes that this student isn’t staring directly at his face, she’s looking slightly under it. Maybe there’s something on his neck? Chin?

… he completely forgot about the love bites Warin gave him yesterday.

Embarrassed, he tries to cover up his neck with his hand. Sira can hear that junior still giggling behind that little fort.

Hah?! How long has that been there? I got really lucky that I didn’t get stopped by the teachers.

If I approached her a but more casually, she might’ve thought I was flirting or something. That was way too close.

.. at least, he knows where to go after this. The poetry section could be a good place to lay low after he finishes sabotaging.

Sira decides to..

>Ask her for more information [dialogue battle]
He doesn’t want to bother her any further, but he needs more information. Sira must be careful to not reveal too much of his past and give her leverage over him.

This junior is quite something else…

>Ask her for a favor
He wants to get to the upper floors. She’ll likely want something in return — likely a resource she could use right now, such as funds, or his documents.

The larger the favor, the more resources she’ll need.

>Leave — infiltrate the upper floors
She has given him a location to lay low in. That’s good enough. Him and his crows can stay there and plan out when to infiltrate the upper floors and the escape plans.

He knows enough now.
>Leave — infiltrate the upper floors

Dang, she cute, but Warin's the only monstergirl for us!

>leave — infiltrate

He has heard enough. It’s best if he doesn’t bother her any longer.

Sira calls the other crows to him before departing to the literature section, two floors above.


Past the scarcely used bookshelves are the dusty reading rooms. Plans are formed and discussed within those desolate places.

From what Sira can gather…

The upper floors are primarily inhabited by two types of people — the laborers, and the faculty staff, who guide them on where the furniture are placed.

The first half of the day is when the flooring and walls are renovated, while the later half is when the furniture are assembled and placed.

Bookshelves are particularly finicky to assemble due to the frames’ large height and length of the each shelf. Sira could tamper with the shelf and the ladders used to reach them — cause some logistics annoyance or potential injuries that way.

Rather than leaving the library for breakfast or lunch, the supervisors will bring food to them. At the end of the day, all the packaging and leftover food will be collected and removed from the tower. If Sira rearranges those packaging into a disordered mess, those supervisors will be pretty annoyed at them.

Rocks used in the flooring and walls are far too heavy and numerous for Sira to steal, but he could file them down and cause imperfections when they are assembled. Seemingly minor holes and slight changes to the angles can be devastating when it comes to the fit and finish.

All these plans also have to take the human element into consideration. Some might be punctual, some might not. Some could jeopardize their plans by being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

His main goal is to sabotage these equipment, in order to make that government official that commissioned this renovation look incompetent, but some people might get caught in the cross fire — those laborers are mostly innocent people, doing what they are paid to do.

Sira’s sabotage will focus around..

>Property damage (Higher sabotage DC)
He doesn’t want civilians to get involved in this. His plan will focus on property destruction. They can be replaced. People can’t.

>Personnel damage (Lower sabotage DC)
He killed people before. From unwanted infants to occult monstrosities. He’s not afraid to hurt people if it means getting the job done quicker.
>Property damage (Higher sabotage DC)

>Property damage (Higher DC)

He has hurt far too many people.

Far too many infants were killed and buried in that forest. Spilled enough blood to create a river from it. Made a living through causing suffering to others.

Sira can’t let these people get hurt. They haven’t done anything wrong (aside from maybe being paid by the wrong type of people)

The sabotage will consist of three parts, corresponding to each crow.

Sira will handle the task of disabling the bookshelves, while the other two will deal with the rearranging food packaging and filing the rocks.

While that student’s information about the laborers and supervisors was helpful, the sheer size of this library and amount of people present makes this infiltration difficult. They’ll have to be fast.

Sabotaging the bookshelves will take a moderate amount of time, while filing down those construction rocks will take the longest. They’ll have to choose which area to focus on…

[3d20 vs 15, 12, 18]

Bookshelf DC: 15
Food disposal DC: 12
Rocks DC: 18

[Failing >1 DC results in detection]

+7 [student knowledge]
+4 [Sira]
+3 [Crow]
+3 [Crow]

>Assign the bonuses (can stack)
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Sira and Warin will have a happy ending togeth-


Food Disposal:
>Thoughts and prayers
Rolled 17, 18, 11 = 46 (3d20)


1st roll - bookshelf (+7)
2nd roll - food
3rd roll - rocks (+10)
Been really busy lately. Update in a few hours.

>Bookshelves DC: 15
>Food DC: 12
>Rocks DC: 18

Loud banging and warning signs become more frequent as the crows continue upwards. As the wooden stairs becomes more dusty and worn out, they prepare themselves for what’s to come.

Even with their ability to fade, having tens of people that concentrated around an open area makes it difficult to remain undetected.

Perhaps they could’ve took an easier route, but that’s not what the steel beaked crows should act. They save people while working under the constraints of their employers.

That otherworldly chill blares from their hands once again. In a few moments, they’ll either accomplish this mission or die trying.

>24 vs 15

While principles of detection he taught those guards (height changes and hiding spots) applies here, sound becomes a very important factor.

The crows fades to the top of the bookshelves and waits for a moment when the supervisors tell the laborers to move the furniture. Being this high up allows them to observe the situation with a low risk of detection.

Once those wooden furniture scrapes against the ground, Sira uses this opportunity to pull the boards out, fading back and forth between the top and bottom of the bookshelves to collect them.

Since these bookshelves hold the boards through series of interlocking grooves, he can just nick the wood with his tantō and cause them to lose their stability. They’ll become little more than wobbly things that can barely handle a few books before collapsing.

>18 vs 12

After a few moments of scraping, they also fade into different positions as well.

The second crow appears behind the mounds of bags that contain the used food packaging. With some prodding with the knife, small holes are made, allowing the grease and scraps of food to leak onto the floor.

>21 vs 18

The third crow appears behind the piles of finely cut marble and stone. With the go ahead signal from the second crow, he begins filing down those bricks one by one.

By the time Sira manages to stuff those damaged boards back into the bookshelves, those laborers have stopped moving the furniture.

With some coordination, the second crow and him manage to create a distraction by toppling the garbage bags.

Once those laborers notice the oily paper and bits of rice on the floor, they immediately try to clean it up and tell others to find more bags. Their loud yelling gives them time to help the third crow out in filing those bricks down.

With all three aspects sabotaged, they retreat to the top of the bookshelves once more, high above the ground and waiting for a moment when the stairs are unoccupied.

While the sabotage wasn’t all that physically demanding, the crows had to fade multiple times in short intervals, leaving them quite winded. If those laborers didn’t panic, they might’ve had a harder time remaining undetected.

Listening to those supervisors yell at the laborers for fucking up the bookshelves and garbage bags was amusing. They’ll panic even more when they realize those bricks won’t properly fit.

Watching the study hall from the windows, Sira can see how far this academy has come. What was once a highly condensed set of buildings have turned into a miniature town.

… he still feels conflicted about the academy. It’s nice to see all these improvements that could benefit current students, but the staff seem to just as strict and dogmatic as before.

Sira and the crows returns to the literature section to rest and plan out how they are going to sabotage the study hall.

.. faint footsteps approach the poetry section. The crows hide themselves while peaking through the reading rooms’ door slits.

It's that junior from before, still in her long nightshirt. She slowly walks to one of the bookshelves and then lie on the cold floor. All that playful attitude from earlier has been completely washed away by something.

She’s not.. well.
Maybe Sira could console her or be the one to give her advice. There’s no heat on him at this moment.

Sira wants to…

Sira wants to help someone similar to him.

>Remain hidden
Regrettable, but he’s not her therapist.
>Remain hidden
>Remain hidden

>remain hidden

They’re not going to jeopardize a mission for one person.


A few more minutes have passed. Her expression has changed once again. She finds the strength to get up and walk to the window overlooking the study hall. After glaring at a building beyond it for a few moments, she walks down the stairs with intent.

What was she staring at? The new study hall? Those small facilities? The main building itself? Sira isn’t that sure, but it doesn’t really matter. Maybe he’ll meet her again. Maybe he won’t.

The crows can just fade to the new study hall directly since the window gives them line of sight to that half finished building. A wide, rectangular thing that remains close to the ground. Not as space efficient as this tower, but the larger size of each room better accommodates group studies or a lecture.

Laborers have already finished construction of the first few floors, but the roof is still missing ー layers of wooden frames and thick cloth cover the incomplete top of the study hall. Sabotaging this could set this construction back by several weeks.

Another weak point are the construction materials. Earlier, the crows spot the laborers transporting wood and stone into the study hall ー they must be storing it somewhere within that building. Sabotaging this could be very costly for that government official.
While infiltrating the study hall will be easier than the library due to the lower number of people there, it can be more hazardous ー large amounts of dust, potentially unstable platforms, and falling debris are risks that laborers have to deal with.

>connections 10/10

Luckily, Sira played his cards right. He aligned with the right people and made a lot of them happy throughout these past few months. He can call in a few favors with the associates in order to make his infiltration slightly easier. Their close ties to the laborers (and lack of faculty staff supervising them) allows them to assist the crows in a few ways.

The favors are…
(Optional — can choose up to 2 options)

>Delayed inspection times
People who work at the facilities around the academy can distract the supervisors from visiting the new study hall — if Sira or his crows got detected and need to lie their way out, this favor will help them maintain their facade.

[If detected, laborers are more willing to believe lies]

>Wood rotting concoctions
Some savvy students have created a highly acidic mixture that will corrode wood at a fast rate. This favor will allow the crows to quickly destroy the construction materials but the acidity could prove dangerous if spilled — accidents and injuries will be more severe if the crows falter.

[Sabotage DC is lower, injuries for failing are more severe]

>Different routes
Associates in management positions can instruct their employees to take routes nearby the study hall — their combined traffic can make it more difficult for the crows to be spotted, but those laborers won’t be very happy. They’ll be much less accepting of any lie that’s not carefully woven.

[Sabotage DC is lower, laborers are irritable and harder to fool]
>Delayed inspection times
>Different routes
They balance well.

>Delayed inspections
>Routes [sabotage DC decreased]

The acidic solution could accelerate their sabotage, but Sira isn’t willing to take that risk. Manipulating the laborers are more important. While the increased traffic around the new study hall will make the laborers irritable, those supervisors won’t be available to disprove the crows’ lies if they get detected.

For this infiltration, a large force is needed ー seven crows in total will be taking part, with the older ones pretending to be faculty staff. The remaining three will act as lookouts.

The infiltration itself consist of two parts ー Sira and two other crows will deal with the wooden frames of the roof, while the other four crows will sneak in through the lower floors to locate the construction material.

Right now, Sira just need to call in the favors and coordinate with the other crows.


Looking down from this ivory tower, the masses below resemble a swarm of ants. With every passing moment, they move closer to the new study hall.

With them in position, Sira and two other crows fade to the half finished rooftops. As soon as they appear, they can feel the heat through wooden platforms and cloth. Had they not worn shoes, they might’ve been burnt. Those things have been exposed to sunlight all day.

Their gloves allows them to safely tug on the cloth and expose the interior of the building…
Underneath the wooden frames are a complex network of wooden bridges and platforms, a confusing mess that resembles a spider’s web. These bridges and platforms are supported by piles of wooden crates and boxes stacked on top of each other, forming large stilts that support the entire network.

It’s quite impressive that those laborers don’t stumble and fall off these things while working. Even the crows had to take a moment to decipher where each bridge led to.

Far below them are a relatively empty floor, mostly filled with boxes of construction equipment. There’s a few wooden splinters and scraps of wood littered across the ground. Too large to pose any danger to someone walking by, but falling on them would definitely hurt.

It seems those laborers aren’t on the upper floors yet — must’ve been distracted by the masses that suddenly appear around the new study hall for some reason.

This is the moment when they should strike, but each crow needs to get in different positions first — they need weaken the overall frame by attacking each side. To do that, they need to decipher which spots are safe to fade to.

The approach they take in doing that is..

>A quick one [1d20 vs injury DC 14]
Speed is of the essence! They can’t let this opportunity go to waste.

[Bonus: +4]

>A careful one [2d20 vs injury DC 12 — only one dice roll needed to beat DC]
They can’t risk getting someone injured or accidentally damaging this network of wooden bridges.

[Bonus: +4]
[increases sabotage DC]
>A quick one
Rolled 3 + 4 (1d20 + 4)

just us again.

>A quick one

Time is valuable. The crows fade to the different sides of the wooden frames as quickly as possible in order to capitalize on the lack of laborers on the upper floors.

>7 vs 14

However, their unfamiliarity with these complicated networks of bridges and platforms causes them to misjudge which are capable of supporting their weight.

Unable to grab onto thin wooden platforms, Sira and two other crows fall. For most people, a fall from such a height would result in some severe bruising or damaged bones.

>Arcane bond

Three months ago, Sira’s connection to the supernatural deepened — his willingness to care for people around him has manifested in the ability to share his fade with others.

All three crows manage to teleport to the floor before hitting it directly, negating the momentum and turning what would be severe injuries into minor ones.
They sustained some minor injuries.. (choose one)

>Head aches [harsher penalty for sabotage failure]
Their panicked teleportation resulted in their heads striking against something. Quite painful. This will make escaping or talking to the laborers more difficult if they get caught.

>Injured arms [+4 sabotage bonus » +2]
Their arms slammed against something after the teleportation. Somewhat painful. This will interfere with their sabotage.

… after taking a moment to look at the network of bridges and platforms, the crows fade to different corners of the room — in position to sabotage the wooden frames.

The wood that make up the frame are slightly thicker and more difficult to damage than the ones in front, but not by that much. Persistent nicking will get it to crumble regardless.

Back DC: 12
Middle DC: 11
Front DC: 10

[>1 failure results in detection]

>Assign the bonuses
Sira bonus: +4
Crow bonus: +4
Crow bonus: +4
1st roll DC 12
2nd roll DC 11
3rd roll DC 10

[3d20 vs 12, 11, 10]
>Head aches [harsher penalty for sabotage failure]
>Back +4
>Middle +4
>Front +4

Rolled 20, 7, 20 = 47 (3d20)


3d20 vs 12, 11, 10

+4 bonus to each
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>double 20

>head aches

Their head injuries were particularly painful, but it wasn’t disruptive enough that those crows can’t get into position.

Damaging wooden objects isn’t something terribly uncommon, and the crows have packed several tools to deal with it — files, small saws, and hardy knives with thick blades will come in handy with breaking down the wood.

>24 vs 12

Even the thicker wood of the back was unable to withstand Sira’s repeated sawing and hacking. His deliberate jagged cuts ensured that when this wooden frame falls, it would look like a natural breakage.

>11 vs 11

The second crow was doing pretty well until he accidentally bumped into one of wooden frames’ many stilts, aggravating his already injured head and nearly causing him to fall. Luckily, the wooden saw still embedded in the wood stopped him. After taking a breather, he too manages to damage the middle section of the wooden frame.

>24 vs 10

The front section didn’t stand a chance. A couple strikes from a stout knife and it begins to crack and fracture.

By the time the whole structure begins to collapse, the crows are down the stairs, hiding an empty room.

As the deafening cracks and bangs of the wood echoes throughout the new study hall, those laborers were too distracted by the commotion upstairs to notice the crows slipping from room to room.

Although mostly empty, the rooms are filled with a large amount of dust and small debris. Wrapping some cloth around their noses and mouths helped mitigate some of it, but the collapse of those wooden frames are bound to flood this building with another wave of dust.

Luckily, the four crows have already discovered where they kept the construction materials. When Sira and two others manage to link up with them, they have already damaged a quarter of the total amount of wood being stored.

Rather than using saws or a knife, the crows drench the timber in water. Those laborers probably won’t mind them stealing those jars. It’s a simple way to make the wood warp and shrink, although moving the water containers around proved quite cumbersome.

While assisting the other crows in pouring water, Sira notices some light being reflected on a spot on the floor. It’s coming from a teahouse’s balcony nearby the study hall — a signal from the three crows who act as lookouts.

They are trying to communicate something..

(Choose one)

>Primary escape plan not available — use the alternate!
They spotted a few people entering the academy through the side entrance, uninterrupted by the security. Agents of monarchy, most likely. Must be here to discuss something with that government official.

Attack dogs. I should stay away.

>Lookouts need to relocate — no more overwatch!
There’s been some commotion in the teahouse the lookouts are at. They need to leave. No more eyes covering their escape for now.

they’ll have to meet up outside the academy.
>Primary escape plan not available — use the alternate!
More spicy
>Lookouts need to relocate — no more overwatch!
Less spicy
Gotta sleep. Leaving this up for ~10 more hrs.
>Primary escape plan not available — use the alternate!
Deadly government agents are the spice of life.
sorry for late update. almost done writing.

>primary escape not available — use the alternate!

Change of plans. Once this sabotage is done, they’ll head to the back of academy and fade out once they reach the more desolate parts of the facilities. While they could just fade consecutively in broad daylight, the government tends to take notice. They really don’t like it when people unaffiliated with them have access to something as powerful as that.


After drenching the piles of finely cut wood, the crows make their escape — fading into an empty alleyway of the facilities around the new study hall, and then blending in with the countless people that are currently flooding the streets.

The crows at the teahouse leave the establishment and scout ahead, making sure the back of the academy is still clear.

During these cold days, the large hats and coats are prevalent amongst the students, allowing them to blend in pretty well. Walking with confidence and purpose also helps.

..Sira now understands what those crows meant when they said those people must be agents of the monarchy — all of them have shaved short hair, a testament to the ‘variety’ of hairstyles that the government allows.

Even from a distance, he can spot these agents from the crowd. Sira doesn’t even need to see their faces to determine that. Strangely, their clothing is a little different than government officials.

Although partially covered up by coats, these guys wear dark colored shirts and long pants — normally, the dress code are white shirts and breeches. These guys are either bodyguards or military related.

Eventually, these agents separate from the crowds, heading for the central building.

Sira can identify one particular agent.

The one in front of all the agents is Johannes.

He’s a large man with lighter skin than most. To most, he’s a foreigner who became a military advisor to the Sablestream government. A mercenary turned founder of armored cavalry units.

Few know of his clandestine activities. If there’s a threat to the monarchy, whether internal or external, him and his units are sent to neutralize it. A boogeyman that keeps people in line.

Someone fucked up.

Maybe it’s a wealthy person who pushed their luck, or maybe it’s a government official who caused the king to lose profits.

Either way, Sira isn’t sticking around to find out. He knows how dangerous that Reiter (rider) is.

Sira tried to stop him from destroying evidence of the government manufacturing and distributing drugs into Galepeak, but all that resulted was him nearly dying from blood loss.

The crows make their way to the backside of the academy and successfully exfiltrates.


Several days later..

The operation was a success — the government official that commissioned the renovations has been accused of skimming funds from other parents and discredited, exactly what those wealthy elites wanted. With his resignation from the commission, those wealthy elite can put another puppet in place.

As promised, the associates were given generous gifts and donations.

(Associates’ plot : 50% » 110%)

However, the seniors have encountered a problem.

From the contacts within the monarchy, there’s currently an internal investigation due to lost funds. Johannes was there on that day to make certain people resign — he’s removing individuals that the monarchy deems no longer useful.

If Red Winter doesn’t play its cards right, they might be next.

Sira’s next operation will involve the market district, discrediting the handicraft commission.

But before that happens, he has some time off.

(Choose two)

>Mental health checkup
His progress is a bit slow, but he is recovering from those hallucinations that the Bow Buffalo afflicted him with. Medications are important, but so is advice from medical practitioners.

>New weapons and gear
Combat might be a very real possibility if things go wrong. His clothing can resist against cuts and thrusts from blades, but not much else. His sidesword, while nimble, doesn’t offer much hand protection, either.

>Find more information about Johannes
Although shrouded in mystery, he is still human. Dig deep enough and Sira might find a weakness.

>Visit the forest once again
The forest behind the brothel means a lot to Sira. It’s where Sira first started his career. Where he met Warin. Where they visited whenever they feel stressed, and he could really use stress relief right now..
>New weapons and gear
>Find more information about Johannes
Though I am loathe to not choose mental health, Johannes can mess Sira up.
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the junior would’ve done a little trolling..

>new weapons and gear
>info on Johannes (after this vote)

Sira will worry about his mental health later.

For now, he needs to be prepared to deal with this boogeyman.

His padded shirt has served him well throughout the years, but it isn’t invincible. A strong cut or thrust from a blade, or a polearm will penetrate it.

Commissioning a blacksmith would take too long. Luckily, the associates have some surplus equipment. Dawnfall isles’ ongoing civil wars have resulted in mass production of weapons and armor, and those occasionally seep into Sablestream.

After trying out many types of armor components, Sira finds a few that offer good protection while being convenient.

Kote (armored sleeves) have mail and strips of small metal plates sewn on the fabrics, able to deflect cuts and most thrusts. Light and foldable.

Suneate (shin guards) can be worn underneath loose fitting pants. The one he chose are constructed out of metal plates and cloth, able to completely deflect cuts and thrusts. Anything that isn’t a halberd will easily glance off this.

Haidate (thigh armor) consist of two large cloth attached together, and a cord that allows them to be tied around the waist. The one he choose has small metal plates overlapping each other, capable of deflecting cuts and thrusts. He can wear these under loose fitting pants.

Although these armor will help him stay alive, Sira hasn’t decided on what kind of weapons or additional armor he wants…

(Choose two)

>A new sidesword
Sword with a swept hilt. The knuckle bow and side rings offer more hand protection compared to his old sword. Excels at cuts and thrusts. Wider than rapiers, this weapon can effectively block cuts from most swords.

I always wanted this.

>Reiter's (Rider’s) pistol
A wheellock pistol with a larger shot and barrel used by cavalry. Powerful, with longer reach than usual pistols, but more cumbersome to carry and deploy. Only the best cuirasses can stand up to this weapon at close range. Even then, it’ll knock the wind out of the wearer.

"I hope this firearm serves you well. Good luck on leaving the life." -Blacksmith Jess, friend of Cris and Zeal

>Kusari Katabira (mail jacket)
A jacket of mail that can be worn underneath his shirt. Completely stops cuts and most thrusts. Blunt force can still hurt him, though. His undershirt isn’t particularly thick.

"It’ll compliment the armored sleeves." -Zeal

>old rain cloak
A tattered rain cloak that Cris once used. The lightbending enchantment is still active, allowing Sira to become invisible for a few minutes. Requires exposure direct sunlight for several hours to recharge.

"Two or three minutes at best." -Cris
>old rain cloak
Empahsize our advantages, which our knightly adversary cannot replicate or easily counter!
Choose 2

>A new sidesword
>old rain cloak
Oh, woops! Right.

Adding a...
>A new sidesword
to >>5656481
>A new sidesword
>old rain cloak


His old sword has served him well, but it was essentially an arming sword with two finger rings on the crossguard. Light, capable of cut and thrusts, but not very protective. The rings were developed due to thrusting ー by putting the index finger on a quillon, the fencer has better control over the point.

This new sidesword has large finger rings, side rings, and a knuckle bow to protect the hand. These steel parts around the hilt will be than enough to stop cuts and thrusts of larger blades.

While these arms and armor will protect him against melee weapons, not being attacked at all is preferable.

Although somewhat frayed, Cris manages to reconstitute her umber brown cloak to fit Sira. Extensively used by her during her years in the Serpent Scholars academy, its duration of light bending has waned. Still, being able to turn invisible for two or three minutes could prove invaluable in escaping an ambush.

With his new equipment acquired, Sira thanks the associates and bought them some gifts in return. He still has plenty of fruit wine from Pikebreak.

The only thing left he has time for is researching Johannes’ past.


To understand his past activities, Sira needs to understand how foreigners from western countries got into Sablestream in the first place.

Although western countries first traded with Sablestream during the early 1500s, it was the current monarch, Chaisri (Chai - Sri) Sri is pronounced similar to ‘Sri’ in Sri Lanka who extensively made used of foreign mercenaries and merchants in warfare.

While foreign influences have seeped into Sablestream for a while, his reign was when it became much more substantial. With his leniency on different religions and accommodation for these foreigners, there was an influx of people from the west.
This mainly has to do with the king’s background — In his days, and centuries before that, military conflicts between Galepeak and Sablestream occurs frequently. After the death of short lived Junntawong (Junn - ta - wohng), his five year old son became be king. Five months after his nephew’s unproductive ascension, Chaisri executed him and seized the position. He would eventually went on to drive out the Galepeak from the north eastern provinces with the help of foreign mercenaries and merchants.

The foreign divisions and cannons proved vital in securing the provinces, which is why the current government heavily invests in international trade and military power. (alongside restricting firearms and certain items of economic importance)

Officially, earliest mentions of Johannes dates to nearly a century ago, acknowledged by the monarchy as capable cavalryman and military advisor, despite his old age.

He must be nearly fifty by now…

Unofficially, he is..

>Spymaster Johannes
He has been in Sablestream for much longer than most people think. Certain sources claim Chaisri’s ascension was only possible through Johannes’ network of supporters and spies building a good public image.

He isn’t a mere attack dog. Johannes is very capable politically, able to nudge policies and change the public’s view on things.

>Augmented Johannes
Johannes started out as one of many test subjects. The monarchy’s experiments with occult metals and flesh manipulation proved successful, creating individuals whose lifespan was extended and had physical capabilities exceeded ordinary people. However, the program proved too expensive and was shut down after producing a few people.

A Reiter that barely needs to sleep, hits harder than giants, and able to react faster than insects. That’s the type of person that will be hunting Sira and Red Winter.

by the way, we’re on day 31 of this thread now. Do you guys want to continue with the plot and try finish the seventh month now or end it off soon and continue in the third thread? I’m alright with either.
>Augmented Johannes
How will out "Daud but thai and in his 20s" protagonist handle some Terminator or Deus Ex knight bastard? Let's find out. Picking this because Johannes doing the damage he did to Sira becomes understandable and far more indicative of Sira's skill in only taking that much damage and surviving (because of Warin), and far more indicative of the menace Johannes truly must be. Not only is he Sira's problem, but he's the problem of everybody the monarchy singles out. Surely he must have many enemies Sira could take advantage of? At least one person so terrified yet hateful of Johannes' mere existence, that this one person has spent many years trying to hit upon very final solutions to the lobster menace plaguing Sablestream
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even the goofy ahh haircut is present in johannes
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a sneakpeek of the next thread.

Closing vote tomorrow.
>Augmented Johannes
>Augmented Johannes
X going to give to ya
>Augmented Johannes
Here you go OP, this is for you
>Augmented Johannes
Probably makes sense to archive here and then start the new thread.

Writing tomorrow. Gotta sleep. A couple more updates to wrap up the thread.

here’s a sneakpeek of a drawing that will accompany the update..

>augmented Johannes

Years have passed since that moment. Sira can’t remember how much time he spent trying to relearn how to move his hand and walk again. Seeing his blackened wrist for the first time. The feeling of his legs failing him.

Minutes turned to hours and hours turned to days. He was tired. Very tired. It became hard to give it his all and care about the brothel after a few months. Although he can’t recall every detail, he remembered how inhuman Johannes was.

It was at the end of an investigation that he undertook mostly alone. People knew the Sablestream government spied on their citizens, and likely did messed up things behind the scenes, but it wasn’t worth looking into. Not after the mass disappearances and resignations. Even in Red Winter, few were willing to go the distance with him.

After months of tracking down people and investigating possible locations, Sira has done it. He found evidence of the monarchy producing and distributing into Galepeak. His snooping must’ve alerted someone, and while on his way back to Clawflash, the carriages that carried the evidence were intercepted by those Reiters. Men encased in armor and riding on horses. The terrain didn’t help, either. The shadowy forests and rough roads made it difficult for Sira to get a shot off. Even when he struck true, the arquebuses and pistols didn’t slow them down. Barely a dent to their black armor.

Once those Reiters get close, they give fire from their gigantic pistols. Smoke fills the air as horses and drivers crumble away. Corpses of men and horses slam into the densely packed trees. One by one, the carriages fall. Fending off those cavalrymen was one of the hardest fights on his life. At times, he even resorted some of the evidence at the horses. A stack of paper can blind them long enough that he can shoot at their horses.

Seven carriages entered the forest. Two made it out. Those old drivers managed to outmaneuver those Reiters and escape the forests despite being nearly blinded by the smoke and deafened by the gunfire. Beyond them now were desolate roads and a bright afternoon sun.
Johannes was the first to emerge from the woods. A man wearing three quarter armor, and only armed with a sword. Sira saw this large man sprint towards the carriages and rapidly gaining distance against horses in full gallop.

Without ammunition to spare and increasingly sparse evidence, Sira tried to knock him off balance with a long gun when he approached. A single cut from his sword deflected the strike and knocked the empty arquebus out of his hand.

It was too late. Johannes ran past him and went for the driver. That elderly man tried to thrust at him, but the Reiter pushed aside his blade with his own and thrust back, impaling him through the armpit.

In one last attempt at preventing his dream from crumbling, Sira dashes to the front of the carriage and slams into Johannes, who was distracted with pulling the blade from the elderly driver’s corpse.

The crash sends both of them tumbling onto the jagged road. Scraping against it at such a high speed was tough. Sira can feel the burns through his clothes and some his skin being torn up. Superficial, but painful.

That Reiter turns his attention to Sira.

It wasn’t going to end well for him. He only had a sidesword and some padded clothing while this large man has three quarter armor.

.. the duel itself felt like an eternity. The exchanges became quicker but his body felt slower. His right hand was beginning to hurt from the shock of deflecting the cuts. Johannes always managed to push aside the thrusts to the unprotected upper arms or head. Hopes of lunges or grappling were snuffed out when he landed horizontal cuts to Sira’s thighs.

He remembers that moment vividly. A lunge from Johannes made Sira to push it aside.

That very moment reminded him of a particular sparring session back when he was part the Adamant Spearhead academy — practicing the ‘heart thrust’ play.

Sira pushes his blade up, allowing the quillon to catch and bind Johannes’ blade. He turns the sidesword downward, moving the point towards that Reiter’s unprotected neck.

With himself safe from a counterattack and his blade targeting a vulnerable spot, Sira steps forward and-

He can’t.
His right thigh shivers relentlessly but the leg cannot move.

Johannes uses this opportunity to step to the right and perform a diagonal cut towards his left thigh. The cut glides through his flesh, severing his left hand that was pressing against the bleeding thigh.

He collapses.

He lies on the pebble filled road, crying from the pain. Sira didn’t have enough energy to move anymore, let alone scream.

The tears cloud his vision slightly, but he can see Johannes stumbling slightly before running again. His speed was a lot slower than before. It’s still faster than any ordinary human, but those horses might be able to outpace that stupid fucking lobster…

Maybe he didn’t throw away his life for nothing..

As he bleeds out from the wounds, he takes a look at his surroundings. A desolate road, surrounded by abandoned flat grasslands and canals.

In the moments before he passes out, he notices an old fishing boat floating in one of the canals. Its paint has withered away and those cloth wrapped around the bow have lost their bright colors. Despite being abandoned for an unknown amount of time, the wood remained beautiful.

Must be made from those Takhian wood or something….



For a while, Sira wanted to pretend things could go back to normal. He barely moved his left hand during the first few months. Had a hard time looking at his partially blackened thighs when showering. It took a while before he felt comfortable enough to let Warin touch it during sex.

He remembers now.

After he was nearly killed by Johannes, he was on that old boat. There was a lady on it as well. She wore traditional clothes and had ornate jewelry.

No one, not even the most old fashioned people in Sablestream would wear a Sbai while fishing. A breast cloth that long is impractical.

She must’ve been a “Lady of the boat”. A spirit that originally resided in a Takhian tree. Warin mentioned dealing with them a while ago. Powerful beings, for the most part. That boat wasn’t taken care of, and likely limited her powers.

That tree spirit suppressed his bleeding and kept him alive until they reached the outskirts of Clawflash, where he got picked up by Bow.

Despite such a long ride, he mostly remained unconscious, occasionally able to listen to what she had to say for a few sentences before passing out again.

〈Hey handsome.〉

Hearing those words were quite amusing. Her voice sounds exactly like those old food vendors.

〈.. let you die now, can I?〉

Apparently she saved him because he called the boat beautiful. Her somber expression tells a different story.

〈.. have a good head on your shoulders.〉

.. it’s strangely comforting. Sira doesn’t even know why he buried this memory for so long. Maybe he didn’t want to confront it, out of shame? Out of guilt? Out of regret? Out of fear?

The reason doesn’t matter now.

Years of hurting people can never be erased, he knows that well, but his actions during these past months are a step in the right direction.

>subdued the thieves at Old Whaler
>de escalated the preta encounter
He held back.

>struck a deal with the peach plantation bandits
>negotiated with the vigilantes
He used violence only when necessary.

>didn’t hurt the mob of civilians outside the Moonlight Grace brothel
>didn’t hurt laborers in the academy
He tried his best to not get civilians involved.

These aspects of his past will always be a part of him. He doesn’t want to run away from it anymore. He doesn’t want to cling onto his old days and neglect the current ones anymore.

During these upcoming months, Sira knows that..

>His darker thoughts can be controlled
Even with medications and advice from medical professionals, his inner darker thoughts will continue to be with him. Those spirits merely made it more apparent. Much like his past, he can never truly get rid of it — however, he can incorporate it in more constructive ways.

>It won’t get easier
It takes consistent effort and deliberation to do everything he did. He chose the more perilous path not because of some obligation or a reward, but because he wants to. Because he has the capacity to.

>[Option unavailable — Sira didn’t indulge in his darker desires]

penultimate option of this thread.
>His darker thoughts can be controlled
>His darker thoughts can be controlled
Whales when? Rats when?
>His darker thoughts can be controlled
>darker thoughts can be controlled

There are many things that separate Sira from a feral animal. His body, his intellect, but above all, his RESTRAINT.

His darker thoughts will always be with him, resurfacing when he feels wronged. When he is wounded. When he is scared. No matter vile, they are merely thoughts. Those ghosts could affect his thinking, but never his actions.

While he has been neglecting his visits with the medical practitioners, he has his colleagues supporting him. He has Warin. He stayed true to himself. He’s ready to confront those thoughts whenever they appear and use them constructively ー they can give him strength when he needs them.

The first four months of this year solidified his desire to care for the brothel.
The fifth month challenged him. The sixth month pushed him to the limit. The seventh month made him come to terms with his past.

This newfound understanding and acceptance of himself has caused his connection to the supernatural to strengthen. The relationship between Sira and the spirits that linger around him isn’t adversarial anymore.

Sira gains..

(Choose one)

Final choice.
>Overload: command spirits to disorient a target
Sira can command spirits that will amplify the senses of a target. Their heartbeats can feel deafening. Bright colors can seem blinding. Minor itches can be excoriating.

He can only use this for 2-3 times before becoming ravenous. Warin understands this feeling well.
>Otherworldly suggestions: whisper ideas into a target’s mind
Sira can put thoughts into someone’s mind as long as he has line of sight. He can subtly influence what people choose to do. With good judgement, Sira can sow discord amongst his enemies or form alliances.

Whispering is just as exhausting as fading ー Doing it more than four or five times consecutively will make him pass out.
>Obsidian blood: improves stamina
His blood was blessed by Lady of the Boat. Sira’s body is more efficient at transporting blood and sealing wounds than most people’s. He can perform physical activities for longer and fade more than usual.

He’ll need to fade consecutively for nine or ten times before he passes out.
>>Overload: command spirits to disorient a target
I like Otherworldly Suggestion jedi mind trick. Don't discount it as an option. We could silently use that on Johannes to make him think Sira's dead and to not bother checking his body, if the time comes where Sira has to fight him again and Johannes curbstomps him again. It'd give Sira the opportunity to run Johannes through his brain, potentially?
At the end of the day, it is still a suggestion. If it goes against the target’s personality, they can reject that.

Johannes didn’t double tap Sira after their fight because he wanted to pursue the last carriage containing the evidence.

That being said, Sira can still play some mindgames with him — trick him that he’s more injured or less injured than he really is.
Well if the man's has been enhanced to hell and back, I would bet his senses have been sharpened as well. Moreover, I cannot discount the possibility that he has experience with supernatural mind tricks.
OK you've convinced me

>Overload: command spirits to disorient a target

Sharper senses, easier to overload I bet. he's already overcloking his mind's ability to perceive, in that case!


Coldness runs through his left hand once again. Calling those ghosts feels almost instinctual to him, a far cry from his earlier days, when he struggled to precisely aim where to fade to.


Seventh month ー later half

Whenever Sira isn’t busy with running the Nectar Droplet or listening to the seniors members’ progress on subverting the market district, he and Warin visits in the forest behind the brothel to practice this new ability. He gains a new appreciation of her self restraint when she felt that otherworldly hunger.

“Chew on it.”
“Yes. Like that, but slower.”

It took a lot of concentration from Sira in order to listen to her while being afflicted with this hunger. At first, he didn’t even realize he was swallowing cuts of duck and chicken whole rather than chewing on it. He understands why she likes cockles and shellfishes so much now.

“You’re doing pretty good so far. I’ve seen a couple Players [of the Dark Arts] that don’t get along well with their spirits.”

Eventually, it was time for Sira and the brothel to contribute to the schemes of the senior Red Winter members. On their last session together, the two share a lunch within the forest. It’s been a while since they had cockles.

“.. Bow’s men got me these when they returned from the market district.”

The cockles are rinsed and placed into large bowls. After filling it with water, they use a pestle to grind them to remove any loose sand or dirt. They are then put into new bowls and water is added. Spoonful of salt are added to clean them once more.

While waiting for the cockles, water is boiled within the large pot and vinegar is added to increase the crunchiness. After roughly 30 minutes, the cockles are placed into the boiling water. Since they want to eat them raw, they only let it cook for 20 seconds before removing it and placing them into cold water.

The cockles sport a bright red and brown color. Bloody and crunchy, with a strong smell. Piles of them were quickly ingested in a few gulps.

“Hah. That was pretty good.”


After cleaning their mouths and drinking some water, the euphoria of satisfying their hunger soon wears off. The two didn’t talk much after packing up their cooking equipment, preferring to hold each other and listen to the noises of the forest.

While the associates’ plot went well, there’s no telling what could happen during the next operation, or afterwards. Red Winter could collapse even further.



「If I don’t make it-」

“Let’s… let’s just go to my room.”

「Listen. Take whatever you need from my corpse. I.. I don’t really care about being buried or cremated. All that resin could be help someone else. My bones could be part of a [witch] doctor’s knife.」

“.. no, don’t do that. Giving instructions like that.. it’s.. you shouldn’t do that.”

「Promise me you’ll do it.」

“… I will.”

To most people in a small country, an afternoon in the rain season can feel monotonous and boring. To some, it never felt long enough.

Thus concludes Sira can run a brothel!
Once again, we’re at the end of the thread. Thanks for playing!
Before you go, I would like some feedback. I’ll be posting behind the scenes notes a few hours after this.

>What do you find most enjoyable about this quest?

>What do you dislike most about this quest?

>What do you think about the pacing of this quest? Too slow? Too fast?

Next thread will be posted 2-3 days after this one.
Behind the scenes notes

Is this archived?
Thanks man
>What do you find most enjoyable about this quest?
The relationship with Warin, and the very fleshed-out and unique setting

>What do you dislike most about this quest?
I don't really have any dislikes to speak of. I guess early on, I had a less clear idea of the social dynamics and the setting, but that improved over time.

Pretty solid! Thank you for running.

Thread is up

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