A human flutist’s adventure in the land of giants
Vibrant amber and vermilion lingers in the horizon as the day approaches its end. A veil of cerulean blue hangs over the mountains underneath the setting sun. It’s been years since I came toBLACKWING, but I could never get enough of this view. “Emi. Fifteen minutes before show starts.”The ever meticulous and gloomy fight choreographer,ZORN, momentarily visits the rooftops to give me a reminder. TheMIST RAVEN troupe needs their flute player, after all. ‘Thanks…. I’ll be down there in a moment.’My garters’ grasp on the sleeves and stockings remain firm, its shade as violet as ever. The makeup is intact, and my coat is secure. I’m ready. I take one more look before walking down the stairs. The north’s fabled coldness no longer affects me now, save for turning my breath into a fog. I suppose living in the land of the giants for a decade tends to do that to you. Huh.Now that I thought about it, It has been a while. For the past few years, my life revolved around this troupe. What kind of person was I?
>I was beloved.[famous: well known and well liked by most of Blackwing][charismatic: skilled at negotiations]Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a musician. I wanted to be part of a troupe. Their performances meant the world to me. Walking this path was difficult, even with my parents supporting me at every turn. Learning the flute was an arduous journey, but being in the industry was another thing entirely. The behind-the-scenes politics, the audience, the journalists, the intermediaries… navigating it all was tough. Even after proving myself as a capable flute player, I still had to fight pretty hard for my ideas to be realized - having musicians dress as characters from novels and plays while performing was considered an unnecessary and costly pursuit to most.I was the first to do so. I was called many things. Considered peculiar to some. Leered at by others. As I continued to persist, more and more people took note of it, and a few people visited Mist Raven purely of this gimmick. It started with the kids. Then the teenagers. Then the adults. Nowadays, musicians dressing up as characters from the fantasy light novel FLOWERS FOR PRINZESSIN DOROTHEE is commonplace, but the people will always know me as the original prinzessin.
>I was scared. [witch’s apprentice: access to spells and rituals][loner: has few friends, and talking to people becomes difficult without her familiar, Isabelle]My original parents….I hardly remember them now. Their names and faces have faded away from my mind a long time ago. Rare were the occasions when all three of us were together. I didn’t think much of it at the time, chalking it up to merely demands of their careers. It all came crashing down during my prepubescent years. “Bribery.”“Assault.”“Racketeering.”“Pre-meditated murder.”“Unlawful production of opium.”“Unlawful distribution of opium.”He was put to the sword, along with many of his colleagues. For not reporting his crimes, my mother was put in the pillory. They nailed her ears against the wood and whipped her. They watched as stones and bricks were hurled. I… A witch found me in a forest. She said I was shot. She reconstituted my left eye and parts of my skull with a strange substance, something stygian and glossy. Her and her husband helped me leave my hometown and start anew.Still, a part of me never forgot what happened. Whenever I am near a crowd, I still sweat. My voice becomes nervous. A persistent sting lingers in my chest. I could barely visit the markets, even with the two of them with me.My mother graciously bestowed me a familiar to ease this burden. A raven, Isabelle. With her around, I was finally able to become the prinzessin of the Mist Raven troupe. No matter how stressful things got, no matter how hopeless it felt, she was always there.
>I was strong. [fencer: skilled in armed combat and grappling][giant’s physique: bigger and stronger than most humans][intimidating: many people are scared of her]Before we moved to Blackwing, we used to live in the capital of the kingdom - a city surrounded by rivers, a trade center, and the destination of many who wished to elevate their social status. My family was simply one of countless others that settled there. During my youth, I fell in love with plays and puppetries. I adored the music and songs. I wanted to be someone who could bring enjoyment to everyone, but I’ve seen how ugly the people could get, too. Stories of actors and musicians being harassed, threatened, or manipulated shows up occasionally in the news. If I were to pursue this dream, I must be strong enough to protect myself and others against internal and external threats.I didn’t receive much training with weapons during my earlier years, but helping my parents carry crates of fish and crustaceans nearly every day built up my stamina quite substantially. Holding a dusack or rappier, or even a schiavona for a long time wasn’t that difficult for me.Blackwing is quite different compared to my hometown, but even in a smaller city, there’s still filth. Crooks. Degenerates. Swindlers. Manipulators. These things are used to people bowing down to them. A prinzessin does not.
>>5718344>I was beloved.Let's begin happy!
>I was strong.
>I was strong. Big and buff girl..
>>5718347>I was scared. Magic! Childhood trauma! A cool crow familiar!
>>5718342>I was beloved.
>>5718344> I was scaredA far more interesting character
>>5718346>I was beloved.
>>5718344>>I was scared.
>>5718347>I was scared.
>>5718344>I was beloved.
>>5718348>>I was strong.
>>5718344>>I was beloved.
>>5718344>I was scared
>>5718348>I was strong.Musclegirls and HEMA, my two loves.
>I was scared.This ought to bring more sweet drama.
>>5718346>I was belovedBe fabulous
>>5718347>I was scared. Witch powers: activate!
>>5718347>I was scared.zap, motherfucka
Will the options we don’t choose remain as NPCs that we can meet?
>>5718465Vote btw:>I was strong.
>>5718342>I was beloved.Come on, let's bring joy for once.
>>5718348>I was strong.
>>5718347>I was scared.Lets go
Rolled 3 (1d3)>>5718346>>5718347>>5718348dont care1-beloved2-scared3-strong
>>5718344>I was beloved.we will live and die by the flute!
>>5718348>I was strong. U O
>>5718465PicrelLeaving vote open for a few more hours.
>>5718578based as fuck
tally>beloved>>5718357>>5718369>>5718372>>5718385>>5718390>>5718394>>5718446>>5718460>>5718477>>5718501>>5718516>scared>>5718367>>5718370>>5718375>>5718375>>5718379>>5718419>>5718444>>5718458>>5718464>>5718495>strong>>5718363>>5718366>>5718389>>5718436>>5718467>>5718467>>5718479>>5718500>>5718505if I missed anyone feel free to correct me. I'll be closing the vote in about two hours.
>>5718735I think you double counted>>5718467
>>5718744I double counted >>5718375 as well My badCurrently 11 for beloved9 for scared8 for strong
>>5718769>>5718777I'll change my vote (>>5718458) to>I was belovedbecause strong is the least interesting to me and because I don't mind being a diplomancer as long as a cute shy witch girl character with chatty bird still appears in some capacity per >>5718578
>>5718735>beloved wins. Writing…
Almost done writing the update. Posting it in an hour or so.
>>5718735>I was beloved.My journey here was a perilous one. I endured hardship from both within the troupe and outside it. I’ve lost count of the rumors I had to endure. I could never forget their dismissive words and looks. Then again, neither could I forget all the smiles and compliments I received by those who shared my passion. It is time for the prinzessin to entertain them once again.Tonight’s play is particularly important. “Mortal Severance” has several sections where the three stringed fiddle and low pitched flute are at the forefront. It’s up to Nara and me. She’s a good fiddler, but not terribly accustomed to crowds. Not the type to talk much either, even with the rest of the band. Her raven tends to do much of the speaking, anyways.By the time I arrive at the first floor, there’s ten minutes before the show starts. Most of the crew is ready to perform. Drummer is here.Lutist here as well.Singer’s here.… dammit, Nara. “Emi.”Zorn’s voice somehow feels even more exhausted than usual. ‘I didn’t see her when I came down the stairs.’“She’s not in the outhouse either.” This… is strange. She used to be a lot more jittery, but even then, it wasn’t this bad. The bird and a copious amount of tea usually keeps her in check - something’s definitely off.The rest of the band didn’t know where she is either. This is bad.I tell Zorn to sweep the first floor while I check upstairs again. She might be hiding in the storage or dressing room.
>>5719110Not a single tin of tea leaves in the storage was disturbed. I called out her name. I pressed my ears against the floor. Nothing. The medicine chests were untouched as well. Everything here she regularly uses to ease her anxiety weren’t used… at all.I decide to check on the dressing room instead. As I walked up the stairs, I heard something crashing against the rooftops. It sounded heavy. It’s her and her crow. She’s panting pretty heavily. I help her up and got her down the stairs. She better have a good explanation for this later. A minute later than this and Catesby would not let us hear the end of it. […]“Mortal Severance” is set in the Dawnfall Isles, during the civil war which ended several decades ago. It centers around the last remaining child of a bloodline which could bestow immortality to others at the cost of siphoning life away from people around them. The plot revolves around the child and his retainer escaping the war torn provinces and performing the titular severance to prevent anymore famines and deaths. One of the main attractions (and difficulties) of this play are the sword fights, and few did them better than Zorn. The first act alone has a total of three sword fights, none particularly brief either. I can’t even imagine the training needed for all that…. No wonder he used to be a fencing instructor.
>>5719112After the first act concludes, both the audience and troupe takes a fifteen minute break. ‘Nara, I need you to explain what happened.’“I… uh… sorry about that.”“I.. it’s..”She looks away as she tries to explain."It’s best if we speak privately."Her raven, Isabelle, speaks up on her behalf. [ Storage ]“It was… thirty... minutes I- I think, before the show starts. I was ready then. I was.. about to go downstairs. Then Izzie.. saw Fennec’s dog getting into a fight with strays. We.. went there to break it up. It.. took a lot longer than expected.”Ah. Fennec. Poor guy can’t catch a break. Last week he got bit and now this. If someone like Nara wasn’t around, things could’ve been a lot worse."We came back as soon as possible once we took care of them." Her and her raven can probably handle themselves against a pack of dogs, but still…‘I know you did it for a good reason, but still.. that was pretty dangerous. How many of them were there?’“Not much. There were about.. three. Most in his neighborhood are active at night. I remember staying up to—““… uh.”“… yeah. About three.”What the hell did I just hear.‘Nara.’‘What did you mean by that.’“…. uhh……. well.”
>>5719113“.. you.. uhh.. you know how.. he got.. bit. Last week? Well.. I figured.. I would—“The raven sighs and cuts her off. "She asks me to stalk him for the past week."“No, no- no. That’s not what I.. I just wanted to make sur- he gets home safe!”How do I even respond to this…?charismatic: Nara seems to be obsessed with him.>I believe you, but this isn’t the right way of going about it.I understand you’re worried about him, but you shouldn’t do this without his consent. This.. this is messed up. Once we get off work, we’ll go talk to him about this, alright? Let’s do it properly. I’m sure he’ll appreciate your bird watching over him. This.. stays between us. >This is creepy, Nara.Look, this is.. NOT healthy. I understand being worried about him, but this is too extreme. You need to stop this, right now. None of this skulking shit. Here’s what you’re going to do: You’ll go talk to him after work. Tell him you’re worried about him getting bit again, and ask if there’s anything you could do to help. I’ll be right with you.>You.. like him, don’t you?I.. understand where you’re coming from, but trust me, this will not help. Talking to him directly might be hard, but it’s better than doing… this. Even if he rejects you, it’s going to be much better than merely observing him from afar and never taking that chance. Right after we get off work, go ask him if he’s busy or not. I’ll be with you. >write-in
>>5719114>You.. like him, don’t you?Cut to the heart of the matter, and offer to wingman for her.
>>5719114>>You.. like him, don’t you?
>>5719114>This is creepy, Nara.
>>5719114>You.. like him, don’t you?
>>5719121>>5719129>>5719154>>5719170>>5719571>>5719606like him>>5719144>>5719342creepyVoting closedWriting…picrel is a wip drawing
Sorry folks, can’t finish the update tonight. I’ll continue tomorrow. Already finished the drawing.
>>5719837Alright, thanks for the heads up!
Hey folks im still writing dont worry.Family and sleep issues. Expect it within a few hours.
>>5719665>you like him, don’t you?She’s hopelessly lovestruck and doesn’t know how to express this properly. Nara didn’t have much to say when I gave my advice on this matter. ‘Let’s talk about this more on our second break, alright?’“Mhm.”Before the break ended, we talked to the rest of the band about her reasoning for nearly being late. They didn’t have many questions to ask.The second act is where I and Nara are at the forefront. To accomplish severance, the child and his retainer requires three objects. A sword locked away in an old monastery, a flower in the valley of monkeys, and a fragrant stone from a seaside village. While battle sequences demand the intensity the lute and drums, the eerie Insmasu requires something slower. As they begin to piece together what caused the downfall of the village, my low pitched melody looms over them. As soon as the two gets spotted by the human and fish amalgamations, a piercing tune from Nara jolts the audience. Still gets them every time. And people say the later half of the second act was boring. […]I was going to recommend bars and teahouses they could visit, but that wasn’t necessary - Nara already complied a list of ones which he frequents.“… rice wine seems to be his favorite. He drinks four cups on average. His snacks of choice is fried chicken skin.”I suppose I should’ve expected this level of thoroughness - I have heard before Lady Rin was a librarian, she used to be a private investigator. Nara must’ve picked up a thing or two from her mother. “Do you think.. ah… buying him a jar of Moonsilk is a good option?”She’s coming off a little too strong. Jars are generally for already established couples. ‘Err, no. You should probably start off with something a bit smaller. A bowl is a good starting point.’“I.. I see. Ah.. yes. I.. I see!”“Do.. do you think I could.. do the pour-him-a-cup-and-feed-it-to-him thing!?”
>>5721067This is probably the most giddy I have ever seen her and I do hope she and Fennec get to be happy together, but.. that’s not always how such things go. I just hope she can take rejection well.
>>5721068‘Well… maybe. Depends on how comfortable he is with physical contact and.. gestures like these. It.. really depends on the person.’‘When it comes to these sort of things... if he says he isn’t comfortable with it - you should stop. Right away. Alright?’“.. yeah. Yeah. Got it.”How the minutes go by. It’s the third act already. Having acquired all the materials for the immortal severance, the two escape from insmasu village. By the time they return to Ashihara, the neighboring clans have already begun their siege - smoke and fire engulfs the buildings, and the central governmental forces have carved a bloody path through the provinces. Reeds have turned grey from the ashes.The two hold off the severance and make their way through the war torn land, one last time, eventually culminating in a continuous five minute fight scene against the gun corps and artillery division. Although emerging victorious, the two have drained the land of vitality. Weeds have rotted away and water has turned black, but they survived, and the occult blood is severed at last. By the end of it all, the entire band was exhausted. Three hours felt a lot longer tonight. The sounds of clapping and cheering fade away from our minds as we clean the stages and put the equipment back in the storage room. Now then.
>>5721073Her breathing is still nervous, but a pat on the shoulder calmed her down somewhat.‘Hey, Fennec.’Sitting on the edges of the wooden stage and drinking his flask is the fair skinned giant, taking a momentarily respite from carrying the props. He gives us a nod as we approach.'Heya.'‘You free tonight?’'uh.. yes?'Nara puts her hand on my shoulder and steps forward. Uh.. I’ll trust her judgement with this one, I suppose. “I.. uhm.. I .. I wanted to get into drinking so I figured.. maybe we could.. go have a drink together.. tonight. If- If you, want to, of course.”Nara nervously pets her raven as she tries to talk to him. Her voice is trembling and she can barely maintain eye contact… but that was a pretty decent attempt. 'Oh.. uh.. sure! Is the Silver Hound alright with you? It’s on the right side of town. Just-'“Yes.. I- I do know where that is.”'Oh nice. Yeah. They’re.. pretty good for the price point. There’s this rice wine…'After a few more minutes of talking, she sat next to him. He doesn’t seem to mind. That went much better than expected. I should probably leave these two alone. ‘Do take it easy on the wine, Nara.’She nods. A little more cheerfully this time around.
>>5721075Well. That’s that I suppose. Whatever happens next, it’s up to them now.I’m not the type for alcohol anyways. I leave those two alone and head to the storage for some roasted tea. … seems like Zorn has already beaten me to it. He wordlessly pours me a cup of the earthy brown tea. Such a warm, toasty thing eases much of tonight’s stresses. I remember when this little corner had six of us. I do wonder how they’re doing now. Have the other troupes they’ve joined been better or worse? Or have they left the industry all together? I take one final gulp and double-check my things. Nothing is missing from my bag. .. uh. I don’t think I ever talked to her about where to buy condoms. Technically they don’t “need” it as giants and humans can’t breed, but there’s still the issue of venereal diseases. Fennec doesn’t seem to be the type to have it, and Nara probably won’t go that far on a first date, but better safe than sorry. They’re still sitting on the stage. Fennec seems to quite enjoy petting her raven. '.. that’s pretty cool. So.. her and your.. left eye can see them?'“Yeah, but it’s not… most of the time the apparitions tend to leave people alone. Unless you take their food, or trespass, I guess.”'I see. Did you ever encounter.. those types?'“Yeah. Sometimes. Met one today, even. There’s this.. cat in your house who told me to leave. I was trying to find a shovel or something long to deal with those strays.”Wait. Didn’t Nara said the shovel was in the backyard or something?‘Ah. That.. that’s probably my mom’s late cat... she actually likes me more than her for some reason. We let her stay inside the house a lot.‘“Ah. That makes sense! No wonder she’s in your roo…m.”Her voice plummets. She said too much for her own good once again. Isabelle begins to panic as well. Fuck’s sake, Nara. Why do you keep doing this…
Do I even.. intervene?>Yes. Intervene right now.Nara and him seems to have good chemistry. What she did before was creepy and obsessive, yes, but she has changed. I don’t want to see her fall into this hole once again. I’m her wingman, after all.‘Hey Nara, need to talk to you real quick….’>No. I’ll talk to her after this conversation concludes.I overlooked her creepy behavior. I tried to help her. Gave her advice. What she does after this is entirely up to her. Maybe she could come up with a convincing justification. Maybe she could not. Good luck, you two.>Write in
>>5721082>No. I’ll talk to her after this conversation concludes.She can't change what she said, its not your place to meddle in their relationship
>>5721082>No. I’ll talk to her after this conversation concludes.
>>5721082>>Yes. Intervene right now.
>>5721082>Yes. Intervene right now.Such is the wingman's duty. The vote was to wingman, and wingman we must.
>>5721082>Yes. Intervene right now.
>>5721082>Yes. Intervene right now.A wing girl's gotta do what a wing girl has to do
>>5721082>Yes. Intervene right now.A witch owing us a favour is valuable.
>>5721082>Yes, intervene right now.>Lines and details on Nara's face.Not gonna roll with the borderless art style QM. DESU these don't look as good as the OP pic.
>>5721913>Not gonna roll with the borderless art style QM?Sorry meant it as a question, not a statement.
>>5721100>>5721140No>>5721166>>5721263>>5721334>>5721378>>5721411>>5721655>>5721913YesVoting closed. Will write after sleep.>>5721914was trying out a new (less time consuming style) which might be needed in the upcoming weekend
>>5722155>Yes. Intervene.She came this far. Might as well help her see this thorough. Fennec’s expression seems to be that of confusion rather than panic. '.. uh. Shovels in my house are—'I tap Nara on the shoulder and ask to talk privately. We head through the front door. Outside, only our frosted breath and warmth of the lanterns awaits us here. Few vendors and stores on this street stay up as late as our troupe, and fewer linger there. She has surprisingly in-depth knowledge of sex and contraceptives, even right down to knowing to soak condoms in water before use. Practical application is where she falters - Nara knows these are generally sold in bars and the green lamps district’s brothels, but doesn’t know which ones in particular. “.. wow. How did you know all of this?”I was never the type to frequent those places, but I wasn’t exactly a puritan, either. ‘I have a few friends in there.’I’ve heard far too many people regurgitating the idea of not having sex before marriage. Some chastising those who have contraceptives, fearing they would do just that. Such line of thought worked for some. Did not for others. I won’t let their failings fail her too. While Nara is currently interested in a giant, I also mention abortifacients and places to find them as well. Just in case she, or someone else she knows, decides to be with a human in the future.‘…tell them I sent you.’‘Now. About what you said. Do you have any good excuses yet?’“Well.. I got a few. The.. "Must’ve missed where the shovels were and searched around the house" excuse could work. Bit then I figured it would be weird since his room isn’t connected to the attic. So.. I was going to go with "I couldn’t find the shovel inthefirstfloor so Idecidedtogotothesecondfloor butIcouldntfindanything inthe—“She’s panicking pretty bad. Isabelle tries to calm her down by resting her head on her arms, but she’s still jittery.‘Nara. Listen. Just keep it simple. The more complicated it is, the more you linger on it, the more he will be focused on it, alright? Just tell him you looked everywhere and couldn’t find it at first. You were panicking. You come across some cat that scared you. Then you decide to check again and found a shovel in the backyard.‘“Alright, alright. Got it. Got it.”I tap her on shoulder.‘You got this, Nara. You’ve come this far. Good luck.’
>>5722802She’s still clinging onto her raven rather strongly, and her breathing is still heavy, but there is commitment in her walk and focus in her eye.We return to the stage. He bought the brief explanation and the conversation continues, as cheery as before. As far as he knows, this was the first time she was at his house, after all. They got their things and left the building together shortly after. Maybe I’ll ask her about it tomorrow. For now, I’ll just stay at the playhouse. Might as well go for another cup of roasted tea. Maybe talk to Zorn about stuff.The storage is filled with a smoky aroma. Zorn remains on the stool, his eyes remain grim and shadowy as always, but what’s unusual is his attire - a mere nightshirt. Hardly an appropriate thing outside of one’s own home. When did he get time to change?“Emi. Grantham’s in trouble.”‘… what happened?’What the hell did our illustrator do? I don’t think he ever gambled. Barely drinks. Did he get involved with people in the [criminal] life? “He got robbed and beaten up. One.. maybe two hours ago. Some of his 'customers' didn’t like the prices on the pornography. Took quite a handful. If you can go talk to Lady Rin about it, maybe track them down, find where they kept those artwork, that would be great. Me and my friends will handle those guys.”Ugh. Dammit. That’s one danger of drawing and distributing such artwork. Street justice is the only way to deal with such an issue, it seems - complaining to law enforcement will just result in him being arrested.‘.. is his kid good?’It’s a dangerous, albeit lucrative path. I don’t blame him. “Yeah. They didn’t even see him. He was cleaning some dishes when it happened. If they were any slower they wouldn’t be walking out of the store.”‘.. Zorn. When you find them.. what will you do?’
>>5722803“Beat some sense into them.”He pulls out the wooden dusack from his shirt. I remember asking him about it a while ago. Even got to try out his puffy breeches. They feel a lot lighter than they look. This wooden sword is a good deal longer than the ones used in practice, with a much thick spine and edge as well. A single cut from this thing will bruise. Unless he’s coming across someone with another (steel) dusack, or a rappier, he will have more reach. Zorn might be in a tough spot if he goes head-to-head with a giant, though.Before I could respond, he also pulls out a packet.“Dust and chili.”And two more. And.. three more. He says it will produce a cloud that stings the eyes when thrown. This nightshirt can conceal quite a large number of things. And then taps his chest. A soft thomp can be heard - gamberson, or something like it. It’s probably adequate against a knife or sword, and he’s probably not going up against a polearm anyways. Knowing him, he probably has a long knife on his body as well. And a dagger. ‘… I mean, you could’ve asked Lady Rin to just.. curse them or something instead of this. Maybe ask Nara. This just seems dangerous. You could be recognized or injured. Or crippled.’“Possible, but it’s a risk of all us are willing to take. Those guys deserve more than some headache or a few nightmares. They beat up a man because they couldn’t afford it. He didn’t raise the prices. Didn’t do shit. He was doing his damn job. And half his face was bloodied because of it.”
>>5722804This is a difficult situation. What Zorn and his colleagues are planning to do is pretty dangerous. I know he’s good with a weapon, and many of his colleagues are giants, or have the size to rival them, but still… a lot can go wrong.Then again, asking Lady Rin to curse them is an unpredictable affair. Her curses could merely be a few days’ worth of aches, or condemn them to mental retardation for.. who knows how long. Do they really deserve that?I suppose I could ask Nara about this after tonight. Lady Rin might be more willing to listen to us especially if her daughter is in support of our cause. Then again, the longer we wait, the harder those stolen pornographic artwork are to find - Grantham could lose a decent chunk of work. It will definitely affect his income.What should I say?>We will talk to Lady Rin. After she finds them… it’s up to you guys. But stay safe, alright? These jackasses deserve a lesson, but above all else, try not to get hurt! Run away if you must. It doesn’t matter how much you could hurt them. Your bodies are more important. Those assholes will run into the wrong people eventually. >We will talk to Lady Rin and ask her to curse them. I can’t let you do that. You’re good, Zorn. Real good, but I don’t want you to get caught up in all.. this. I don’t want to see you crippled or tied to a pole and whipped for the whole town to gawk at. Lady Rin will take care of this. Grantham will be avenged. I promise you.>It’s a little late right now, Zorn. Let’s ask her tomorrow. I’ll ask Nara about this too.I know she is a night owl, but this is nearly midnight. We shouldn’t bother her right now. Let’s talk again tomorrow. If I could convince Nara to join our cause, Lady Rin will definitely be more likely to hear our case. We have the next two days off. >write in
>>5722807>>We will talk to Lady Rin and ask her to curse them.
>>5722807>>We will talk to Lady Rin. After she finds them… it’s up to you guys.
>>5722807>It’s a little late right now, Zorn. Let’s ask her tomorrow. I’ll ask Nara about this too.
>>5722807>We will talk to Lady Rin. After she finds them… it’s up to you guys.
>>5722825>>5722878>>5723010>>5723302up to you guys>>5722809curse>>5722831>>5722939a little lateI’ll close the vote tomorrow morning then update.
>>5723579>We will talk to Lady Rin. After she finds them… it’s up to you guys.Grantham is a good man. Never bothered people. Never got into illegal things aside from pornography, and even then, it was just merely an means to make money. He doesn’t deserve a portion of his income taken away by some dogs. If we’re going to talk to Lady Rin, might as well get the rest of his friends with us. Zorn says they’re not far from the playhouse. The stench of fish sauce and crackling of boiling oil preludes the aroma of crispy omelettes and warm rice. An old street vendor had just finished cooking for a group of six people. “That’s them.”A group of giants, humans, and a single goblin greets me. Some wear a plethora of thick, loose fitting clothing while others dress relatively minimally. Although somewhat dim, the food cart’s lantern allows me to the calluses and scars on their arms. Someone who writes a lot would merely have them on a finger or two - these people must’ve used their hands and forearms substantially. “Ah. Kid! You hungry?”Honestly, if it weren’t for old cooks selling food at nightly hours, half of the troupe wouldn’t be here. I let her down gently and ask about the librarian.‘Sorry ma’am, I’m a bit full right now. Have you seen Lady Rin? We need to talk to her. It’s urgent.’“She’s there until Midnight I believe. What’s the time again..?”We look at the central clocktower. Although taller than anything else in Blackwing, its gongs and drums has seen better days. ‘5 in the dusk.’ One hour is probably enough, but it’s best if we hurry. North West of Blackwing is quite a few minutes away, and the wind isn’t getting any weaker. […]As we move further north, the desolate pathways of dirt and pebbles gives way to a finer one, slightly more pleasant on the feet. The howls of dogs are just as piercing over there, though, but it doesn’t matter. Beyond the rows of darkened stores lies our destination - the library tower. A wide, cylindrical structure that rises above most others. The decades have withered some of its pale colors, but the stone construction remain just as strong. Not the prettiest thing out there, but such is the case for many public establishments. Apparently the ones in the central provinces are a lot nicer than this.
>>5725196Countless book shelves surround the walls of the interior, with such amount that it would be more accurate to call it a secondary wall. Each floor is connected through a spiral staircase, with steps so big it could be used as a chair. Some even prefer this to the ones specifically provided. Amidst the vast array of books and large furniture lies a reception desk on the very first floor. Wide and crescent moon shaped, this is where Lady Rin is said to be frequently found when she isn’t reorganizing the books. For such occasions, she can be summoned by using a statue of a raven holding a bell with its beak, which is prominently displayed on her desk. Right now seems to be one such occasion. I ring the brass bell, but what is produced isn’t a high pitched ding, nor a deep one. It felt like an amalgamation of words all spoken in a single moment.“Hello.”Her voice came from behind us. The middle aged (?) lady accompanied by her bird and staff seemingly appears from thin air a moment after the bell is rung. “… what can I do for you?”Zorn and I explain the situation to her. We talk to her about how Grantham got injured, and the plot to beat some sense into the perpetrators. We need her skills to find those artwork and tracking those people. “… this is dangerous. Even with superior numbers, and better weapons, things could get ugly. Raw strength, at a certain point, is just a massive advantage - if a giant manage to get into grappling distance, it’s going to be one sided. Even if you’re quick and manage to stab them, you might not be walking away without broken teeth or a concussion. What if you got severely injured? Will you be able to stay afloat until they fully heal?”“But let’s say you did everything right. Beat the shit out of them without a bruise on you. You still don’t know how these people will react: will they be scared off and leave him alone? Or maybe they decide to bring more guys and more weapons next time around? Grantham might end up dead if that’s the case. You could get recognized by those people without knowing it as well - especially you, Zorn. They might decide to take revenge and ambush you, a month or two from now.”“And that’s not even getting into legal matters. If ANY of you or your targets get caught, Grantham could be in trouble. You might not snitch on him, but those people? I’ve seen people like them too many times in my life - willing to save themselves at any cost. They’re not the type to admit failings, and they’re going to drag everyone down with them if they fall.“As expected of a former private investigator, she breaks down many key points on why doing this isn’t a very good idea.
>>5725198Before going over the leads, she reaffirms their primary objective. “I don’t wish to see them go freely either, but we need to focus on getting all the pornography back first. That’s a decent chunk of his income. Get them first. The rest is secondary. Are we clear on that?”With their confirmation, her investigation can properly take place. She begins with gathering all the information that Zorn and colleagues could provide. They provide her with something those crooks left behind as well. “… I’ll see what I can do with this.”She vanished as quickly as when she appeared. […]We locked the doors and snuffed out the lanterns as instructed to ensure the appearance of a closed library. All of us must’ve stayed in the library for an hour or two before she returned. “Four targets. Three giants, one human. Amberlight street. They are drinking at Silver Hound bar. Each of them will be heading home soon.”She also provides them with a trinket, based on the evidence they gave to her earlier.[Choose one]>Pulsating massThe evidence they provided were fragments of flesh and skin Grantham bit off in the fight. Lady Rin used this ingredient to create a clump made skin, flesh, and something metallic. It will locate the crooks injured by Grantham. It can also be destroyed as well, and such effects will be reflected onto those crooks. Burning it causes scalding around their wounds, for example. However, Lady Rin advises to not damage it outside of life-or-death scenarios. Excess cruelty attract the wrong kind of apparitions.>Cloth talismanThe evidence provided was a small piece of fabric that was torn by Grantham in the fight. Lady Rin used this ingredient to create a spherical ball made from layers of cloth. It feels heavier than a pebble sized object should be.It finds the crooks through the clothing they wear. To unravel it would cause their clothing to be unraveled as well. Unraveling it a second time will unravel their undergarments. Never unravel it a third time, outside of life-or-death situations.
>>5725205“Act judiciously with this. Use as little violence as possible. Return this to me once you’re done.”Once acknowledged, she talks about payment and hands us a list.“Send all of this to my house within two weeks.”We have plenty of time to buy these. Pretty sure I saw those incenses a few days ago. Duck bones shouldn’t be a problem as well. Zorn has the next two days off. His friends also visit the markets more frequently than us. They’ll be discussing the responsibilities later. After thanking Lady Rin, Zorn and his colleagues leave the tower. I might as well go with them - we’ll pass by my house on the way to that street anyways.“Emi. A moment, please.”She caresses the raven’s neck. The bird nuzzles her arm in response. I don’t think that is Isabelle. What she is about to say probably isn’t that bad. I decide to stick around for now.“Isabelle mentioned to me the incident about the strays. Also said you helped her in explaining it to the troupe. I give my thanks. She’s not a particularly… social person. Not even to me. I only heard about this incident a few minutes ago.”There is a faint smile on her face when mentioning it. She seems a little proud. “Now.”“I want to ask. Is there anything else noteworthy that happened today?”>She made a new friend. >Not really. >write-in
>>5725205>Cloth talisman>She made a new friend.
>>5725205>Cloth talisman>>5725206>She made a new friend.
>>5725205>Cloth talismanI wonder what the third unraveling does...>>5725206>She made a new friend.
>>5725206>Cloth>She made a new friend.
>>5725205>>Pulsating mass>>5725206>>She made a new friend.
>>5725217>>5725223>>5725228>>5725341>>5725597>>5726262Cloth + friend>>5726199Mass+friendVoting closed. Drawing in progress. Will write tomorrow.
>>5726300>cloth talismanZorn was the one to carry the talisman.He….I’ll be honest, I do not know much about him personally, even after all this time. He never shared much. I never asked much either. I do believe his heart is in the right place, though. I’ve seen him stand his ground against sharers and management when their demands were not practical. He showed restraint, perhaps more than most, when it came to handling discourteous folk that crossed paths with Mist Raven. Whatever they do tonight, I am sure it will be out of necessity rather than indulgence. >she made a new friendI keep my answer brief - to overexplain is to create more vulnerabilities in my excuses unnecessarily. It worked for Nara. Should work for me as well.“That’s nice. I’m glad she is getting along with the rest of the troupe.”“…”“Ah. It is getting rather late. Do you want me accompany you home?” ‘That- would be nice, thank you.’The wind is merciless tonight. Good thing I don’t live that far from here.[…]Even when walking alone at these hours, it’s highly likely that an assault or a robbery will happen. The amount of people in Blackwing is relatively small compared to the size of the province - the streets and alleyways are wide and open. Harder for crooks to get the drop. Still, such things are to not be chanced if possible. Lady Rin knows this well. Her family used to live in the central provinces, and cities there tend to be densely populated and crimes more frequently occurring. She occasionally talks about such stories. In nearly every cases, it’s better to get out or de-escalate before the situation spirals into violence. Many find it insulting to back down, and some got severely injured for it. I believe her late husband got into a really nasty fight in his youth - his hand and both of his legs were nearly severed. He managed to recover and live a long life, but the majority doesn’t. I do hope Zorn and his friends don’t go down such a path.
>>5727945Once we reached my house, she stood by and watched my back as I unlock the door. ‘Thanks ma’am. Good night….’She vanishes just as quickly as before. Nara says she can transport people when traversing this way, but it tends to be hard on the mind. I suppose there’s nothing I can do about it now. They’re half way across town. I’ll just sleep it off.[…]The incessant chirping and howling of animals still got me to wake up before dawn, but I can’t be bothered to get out of bed. I must’ve slept for two or three more hours before getting up for good. Even on my days off, there’s still plenty of chores to do. Laundry. Groceries. Rehearsals. The month is near its end as well, so I have to write back to my parents pretty soon. I unlock the latches and open the wooden shutters…9 in the morning already. I’ll get the groceries in the afternoon, then. Bits of wood and coal catch fire with some prodding by a candle. While the stove begins to warm up, I check on the jar of green custard. A faint scent of coconut and pandan is produced when I open it up. Nearly empty, but good enough for now. The bread is sliced thinly, its width no wider than my thumb. With the fire ready, a metal frame and three slices of bread are placed on top of it. Once they turn copper, I cut them into small squares. Crispy, sweet, a little buttery, and requiring few utensils. The late morning and noon was mostly occupied with washing and drying clothes. Carrying those buckets and changing the covers gave my arms quite the sore. Ah, it was so much easier once. Sing and I would help each other out when we were free. How his bed managed to be more cleanly than mine is still a mystery. I don’t think I ever met someone with that many pillows in my entire life. At least we did not separate on bad terms. We just…. drifted away from one another. Even if his family didn’t move, I don’t think things could have turned out differently. … hmph.I originally wanted to finish writing my letter before the afternoon hours, but the words do not come easily to me right now. How quickly do the minutes pass. The reed pen feels heavy in my hand. Perhaps a decent lunch will help me.
>>5727946I do get recognized occasionally when I visit the markets or restaurants - the hair dye tends to mark me as someone in the entertainment industry, and process of elimination is not particularly hard for someone of my stature. I’ve had a few interesting conversations by people who follow the same novels and plays as me.But not today. There’s an awfully high number of people in the streets, but their demeanor are not relaxed. Queues are long and goods are sold quickly. Children are paying more attention to broadsheets than their snacks or drinks. This is not normal. I really should have gotten a subscription to one of these publishers long ago. I pushed away my anxiety about Zorn and his friends before, but there’s no escaping it now. I need to see what the news are about…There’s a great pox outbreak in the capital. Loathsomeness between the foreign merchants and local people are at a breaking point - at least five people were snuffed out in the past night alone. The Goldfort monarchy is currently placing the city under lockdown for an indefinite period and requesting additional medical personnel from Silverport. It’s estimated that for the serpents and their scholars will resolve this situation within three weeks or so. Until then, all exports from the city will be massively scaled down. The next month is going to be difficult now that the trade center got hamstrung. Everything is about to get more expensive. Replacement parts for instruments will not be easy to find. Troupes and other entertainment venues are about to see a lot less silver. Damn it all.One more noteworthy news story is the arrest of four adults for possession of pornography, public nudity, public indecency, and attempted sexual assault. Multiple witnesses report four adult men, in full nakedness and erect manhood, fleeing from a restaurant on Amberlight street. The waitresses stated they were harassing the staff before they decided to tear apart their own garments. Multiple instances of highly depraved pornography were discovered at the restaurant they fled from. Currently these individuals are in jails, awaiting trial.Some seriously impressive work from Zorn’s group: they got the law to do their work. Crimes of this caliber would usually warrant the pillory, mutilation or branding, but considering the current circumstances, it could very well escalate to execution. I.. don’t know how to feel about this one. All that artwork still got seized. At least no one got hurt. I suppose this is a good thing.
>>5727950Seeing all those long lines and dwindling goods did dishearten me a little. Out of all the days to fuck up, it’s now. I suppose I don’t have that many options that the moment. I’ll try my chances at groceries in the evening. Most of the meat will probably be gone, but eggs should still be around. Hearty enough when paired with porridge or toast. “.. ah! Emi!”Nara and her mother noticed me while I was eating some beef noodles. I waved at them as they pass. The two of them have a staff on their shoulder, which have large bags suspended on each end. Even with a tool helping them, carrying all that coal is no easy feat.Huh. Coal. Makes sense. I should definitely buy some as well. Oil too. […]What a shitshow that was. All that’s left are eggs and milk that’s soon to expire. I definitely can’t trade this with someone. I’ll need to turn this into a meal first. Eggs are versatile - crispy omelettes, poached eggs, or boiled eggs make for decent side dishes to most meals. I can definitely serve this to anyone. Milk is a little different. It’s decent drink on its on or when combined with honey, but not terribly substantial. Right now, onion soup or milk soup are the only meals I could feasibly make. If I had sugar to spare, I could probably make poor knights*. There’s way too much bread in my house anyways. Might as well turn them into dessert. *french toastWho should I trade with?>Lady Rin and Nara — for oil and coalI can make some poor knights if they lend me some sugar. The crispy and buttery toast will make for good desserts, especially when paired with fruits. Their Oil and coal will prove useful in the upcoming days. I would have the opportunity to talk to Nara about what happened last night if I share this with them. >Zorn — for meat and riceI can make some crispy omelettes for him. Simple, salty, and hearty. I have more than enough eggs and fish sauce for it. He has cured meat and rice. Those will last me a while. I could know more about what went down last night if I trade with him.>Grantham — for spices and jamI can whip up some onion soup for them. Creamy due to the milk and cheese, and rather filling due to the bread. They have spices and jam. They don’t have green custard, but it’s a decent substitute. While not essential, these things can go a long way in making food more enjoyable. I would be able to check up on him and his kid as well if I trade.
>>5727957>>Zorn — for meat and rice
>Zom For meat and riceluv me rice luv me meats, simple as
>>5727957>Lady Rin and Nara — for oil and coalOil and coal sound important, but these are all solid choices except for the jam.
>>5727957>Lady Rin and Nara — for oil and coal
>>5727957>Zorn — for meat and ricewanna know how they pulled that off
>>5727957>>Lady Rin and Nara — for oil and coal
Opening vote until tomorrow morning. I’ll roll for a tiebreaker if theres still a tie
>>5727957>Zorn — for meat and rice
>>5728058>>5728142>>5728404>>5728702Vote closed. Writing.
>>5728873>ZornRice and salted pork sounds nice. Maybe find out how his group pulled off that stunt as well. Yeah, I should go talk to him. Roads of southern Blackwing feels more brisk and lonely as the sun continues to fall. Several sections of the street turned barren, as the vendors that once lingered there have sold their day’s worth of stock. Hardly any bovines and their handlers are present for the same reason - beasts of burden are no longer needed when all the cargo is gone. Persistent noise mostly comes from butchers processing the carcasses and smiths refining their metalwork. These folk - slaughterers, cutlers, blacksmiths, and the like - they’re becoming more prominent now that times are becoming hard. I suppose I should be happy for them. What would my life turn out had I gone into a more conventional trade instead, I wonder. Maybe I wouldn’t have to deal with obnoxious people as often. Then again, I did hear apprenticeship is damn tough, and their internal politics can be brutal. At least I know a thing or two about tailoring. If things really—I recognize that mess of a hair anywhere. I was going to visit his house to talk, but that won’t be necessary - Zorn is talking to someone at a butchery. As I approach him, I hear the voice of a person on the other side of the counter - a rather young giant with blood red skin, whose height nearly matches mine. If it weren’t for that apron, it would have taken me a moment to find determine what I am looking at. “… yeah, they took all of it.“He looks… familiar, and sounds familiar as well. I think I know this kid, but I don’t seem to remember his name.“Ah! Hi ma’am!”He seems to recognize me, though. Weird.
>>5730459I ask him about how he knew this detail. “My mom said you and that mister used to come here a lot. I could barely carry those cuts back then - it was like tree stumps to me.”Ah, that was a very long time ago. My foot was barely through the door back then. I couldn’t exactly eat beef often, and even then, they had to be cheap. Buying the leaner meat in bulk was the most optimal choice. Back when Sing and I…He was pretty good at cooking round cuts. He had this system of tenderizing it - he marinated them in lime and vinegar just long enough that the meat doesn’t disintegrate nor make my mouth sore from chewing it. I handled the seasoning. It was an efficient process. We worked well together. It was good. “Toht, ma’am.” Ah. I remember now. That kid. I don’t think I saw him much during those days. He usually cleans the equipment and packages stuff. It must’ve been.. three.. four years since then. He does seems small for a giant, though. For a fourteen… fifteen year old, he should be almost twice my height already. “We’re out of round cuts today but we do some pork shoulder left.”These look decent. Not the biggest cuts out there, and the marbling is not the prettiest, but it will do.“Thanks ma’am.”If I’m judicious with the cuts, using them mostly as a another ingredient in side dishes, it could last me almost an entire week. I could use more meat, but right now rice becomes the main priority. I might as well ask Toht about it. His family should know a thing or two. “The harvest isn’t the problem, no, we’re at peak of season. It’s where they’re going. With the capital closed, the Goldfort monarchy wants the other trading centers, mostly in the south, to compensate for it. Those folks are importing EVERYTHING.”
>>5730460Toht explains this caused a mad dash on who can provide those centers with the most supplies - not just for the silver they could earn (although that very much is the motivation for most) but also the serpents themselves. “Many know them for their knowledge and elixirs, but they are really good at construction.”Although their role as deities of the water are considered mostly ceremonial these days, the serpents still genuinely hold power over them, able to create and shape waterways at a fraction of the time needed by landfolk. They just don’t do it that much anymore since it’s not as profitable compared to their other pursuits. For a developed, sea side city, or one that is surrounded by rivers, their services in this aspect are not needed – the same cannot be said for many other provinces, however. Having something this will massively help out the farmers and hunters. His family wants a share of this as well, and exporting pork or beef alone won’t do. They need to expand their lineup. And that’s where Toht hits an obstacle.
>>5730463“There weren’t any bombs left.”Traps and fishing rods are the usual way of catching seafood. It’s cheap, sustainable, and the catch is generally big enough for most purposes. And then there’s Explosives. They can catch a lot more fish in the same time frame, and they’re a lot more efficient at killing larger ones as well, but a mistimed fuse can mean severe injury. “It’s the same outside the water. Too many hunters in forests.” So people are sending most of their products to elsewhere. If I’m not quick, I need some strong incentive if I want a reliable source of food. Speaking of which..I ask the two if they have rice to spare, in exchange for eggs or milk. I don’t mind whipping up a batch of omelettes that’s larger than usual. Or anything else, really. “I’ll go talk to my mom about it. I think she knows someone that keeps chickeneaters around. They might be willing to trade their rice for eggs.”
I’m pretty sure those lizards eat just about every thing that walks. Or swims. Raising those things must be tough — I certainly couldn’t handle a hound that’s half my height, let alone something venomous. I suppose their leather and eggs make it worthwhile.
As for Zorn…“Er.. sorry, I’m eating out tonight. I owe them a meal. But you could join us for dinner if you want to.”The restaurant mainly serves noodles and porridge, but the ingredients are a little higher in quality and price compared to others. A little finer than most noodle shops, but not that expensive. It would be a decent treat if I decide to go. ‘How many people there?’“Four. They’re not the guys you met yesterday. They couldn’t make it - scheduling issues. These are.. they’re.. old friends of mine. I reached out to them recently for some help. Figured I should repay them for their trouble. It’s- it’s been a while, anyway.”He seems to speak of them with a lot more reverence and distance compared to his six man crew. His brows become furrowed, and there is an unusual frailty to his words - Zorn is rather disappointed in himself when mentioning the topic. He… doesn’t look well. I understand it. I would feel like shit too if my old colleagues thought I was only contacting them again because I need their help. The dinner should clear things up between them. I ask him to go somewhere else more empty and talk.‘Zorn, you good?’“No.”“…”“Hey. About yesterday. I’m sorry for getting you involved.”‘Look, Zorn, I agreed to it. I chose that path, alright? Can you explain what happened?’He relents.“We’re good. No one got caught, or anything like that. It’s just…”
>>5730467“Remember Dao?”‘Yeah.’She was pretty cool. She was the lead singer in our band and the occasional illustrator. Aside from Grantham, I don’t think the troupe had an illustrator as good as her. “I liked her. Really did. I was fucking retarded then. I should’ve tried to talk to her before she left the troupe. That… really fucked me up. I— I got involved with Grantham’s side business and the green lamps district. I wasted too much time and money there.”
>>5730469“Then I met them: the guys you met yesterday. We were in the same situation, more or less. We wanted to get out. And we did. Even got a few others out as well. The friends I mentioned earlier - they were prostitutes that we helped leave the district.”“We don’t talk much ever since. We just.. give a nod when we see each other. We just went our separate ways. It wasn’t until Grantham got hurt that I got them together again.” Zorn talked to them and formed two groups: the main force, consisting of him and his six-man crew, and the observers, which consisted of three women. The plot went much better than expected. He thought they would have to follow them home and break in, but Lady Rin’s help was invaluable.They tracked those crooks down, but the location made it difficult to find the stolen pornography - the restaurant was dimly light, but it was small. They couldn’t get close to their bags, nor could they afford to unravel the talisman when those crooks are within the staff and other customers’ sight. They had many methods of distracting the crooks so they could steal their things - pretending to be sick, loud arguments, but all of that didn’t matter. By the time they arrived there, they were already harassing the staff. Drunken yelling and all.“I should have intervened.”They could’ve stopped them. They really could. They had the numbers advantage. They had weapons. But they didn’t. Zorn wanted to that stolen artwork back. “I looked everywhere. Searched all their bags. Couldn’t find any of it.”Zorn decided to cut his losses and uses the time when those crooks bothered the staff to plant some pornography on their bags. Just sliding those thin books with his feet was all that needed to be done. The dimly lit place aided this maneuver which a bit.Once all the preparations were set, him and his crew intervened, yelling and walking towards them. They tried to surround them and block as much of the staff and other customers’ sight as possible before Zorn turns them naked. Those closest to their bags also tipped them over to spill their belongings. When the moment was right, he unravels the talisman and their clothing peels off from their bodies. The group screams and backs away, acting surprised that they are ripping their clothes off. The crooks got violent and started yelling, but after a quick exchange of shoves and punches, they grabbed their things and tried to flee the scene. They actually managed to flee the street and got home, but the sheer of witnesses there got them arrested a couple hours later.Zorn and his colleagues are fine, if a bit drowsy. Most of their bruises have faded away. They spent the better part of the day getting some rest after giving statements to law enforcement.“… that’s how it happened.”
>>5730470He’s still disappointed for not finding the stolen artwork and getting some of his colleagues bruised, though. I try to cheer him up a little. ‘Hey, at least those guys don’t have the chance to hurt anyone now.’“Yeah. Maybe. We’ll have to see.”“…”“Hey.. er.. thanks for helping us out, Emi.”His brows becomes marginally less furrowed. I wonder what I should do now.There’s still that offer by Zorn - meeting up with his old friends could be nice. Getting familiar with these people could be useful. Never know when I might need informants or people who could do these sorts of activities.Then again, now that I have pork to spare, I could focus my attention to other things I might need. Maybe work out a deal with Toht’s mom for rice, or get oil and coal from Lady Rin.How do I want to spent this evening?>With Zorn and his friendsKnowing people who would go this far could be invaluable in a time as volatile as this.>With Toht and his motherWho knows how long the capital will be closed for? Rice will last a while. >With Lady Rin and NaraOil and coal will be vital to keeping warm during winter. Who knows how cold it could get this year?I would like get some feedback now that we’re 15 days in.>what do you think of the current pacing? Too slow? Too fast?>which aspects of this quest did you enjoy or didn’t enjoy?>do you prefer more dialogue or less?Thanks.
>>5730471>With Lady Rin and Nara>pacingGood so far! Excited to get back to the theatre troupe aspect though.>best/worst aspectsSo far I enjoy pretty much all of it, especially the earthy vibe, the art, and the world-building. My favourite parts so far have been the matchmaking and trading bits, but I'm most excited to explore the theatrical element as mentioned before.>dialogueThis amount's good, but sometimes more dialogue tags would be helpful to clear up who is saying what.
>>5730471backing >>5730488the feedback too, theater stuff when
>>5730471>>With Lady Rin and Nara
>>5730496Soon™The next update should cover the evening and end the day. After that, Emi’s next day off will be focused on preparing for the upcoming plays. >>5730488Noted. For the idol route, I wanted to the tone to be similar to VA11-HallA - the world is fantastical, but the plot mainly revolves around the day to day life of someone ordinary. I’m glad you liked it.
>>5730471>With Lady Rin and NaraThe pacing is good, it's leaning a bit more on day-to-day instead of something grand and overseeing (which I personally enjoy, not saying I don't like action or intrigue or something like that).I like everything about the story, don't have many complaints here. Although I do have the same suggestion about dialogue this anon >>5730488 has.
>>5730471>With Lady Rin and NaraI think I'd like to see more description of places. Other than that, I have no complaints.
>>5731428>Lady RinZorn has been carrying quite the burden, hasn’t he? I’ve seen how severe the wounds of heartache can be. How deep those cuts are. Some couldn’t recover from it fully. Some changed for the worse. He seems okay. Physically and financially, at least. I don’t know enough to judge anything else. I did know about her more than he did, though. She was fun to hang around with. Easygoing, but confident. Dao was part of the industry longer than I was - she knew how to deal with the public when they were hard on us, knew when to push against the sharers and when to appease them. I can see why he liked her. Had the circumstances been different, maybe they would have been a happy couple. I vaguely remember a conversation we had, a couple months before she left Blackwing. We were drinking after a particularly long night. Adaptions, especially novels can be lengthy, but ‘Regression’ was something else. A total of four hours just to cover the first book alone. And that was the shortest one. We were all too tired to return home and just decided to stay in the playing house for the night - it was nearly an hour after midnight when all the cleanup was done, I believe. We decided to hang out on the rooftops for a while after. We talked about random things, and the topic of relationships eventually came forward. How reckless some of us were when it comes to romance. One particular individual knew where contraceptives are sold and carried it regularly didn’t even bother to use them during the first night with her lover. Another one used her raven to procure books whose content were geared towards someone a little older than her. Even the carefree yet shrewd giant had her fair share of escapades, nearly getting caught by colleagues and parents on more than a couple occasions. Ha. Good times. I did remember Dao saying she wasn’t interested in a relationship at the time. Not out of heartbreak or anything of sort - she parted ways with her former lover on good terms, but rather due to her not finding anyone that she likes. She said she might find one had she looked more thoroughly, but it wasn’t a priority.… who knows.I probably shouldn’t give Zorn false hope or make him think his actions were for naught. Best to lay it to rest and remain silent.
>>5733523As for his offer, I let him down gently. A refusal, not out of dislike, but due to other obligations.‘About the dinner…’‘Thanks, but I won’t be able to join you tonight. I already have my plans for the evening. Maybe some other day.’Zorn takes it pretty well. He seems slightly happier now that he got all that off his chest. His expression remains as grim as usual, but his tone definitely gives it away.“Yeah. Some other time, then. See you, Emi.”Not particularly faint, nor cheerful, but it was a little more excited than the usual. It’s probably the best I could ask, to be honest. Now. Time for me to go talk to Lady Rin and Nara. I need those oil and coal. […]Their house essentially consists of two smaller houses, joined together on a platform and supported by stilts. Although concerns of flooding are still present in our architecture, much like those in the central or southern provinces, the height of stilts scaled back. Keeping it low to the ground ensures heat don’t dissipate as easily. Surrounding this umber colored home’s sides and backyard are vegetation large and small, with such thickness it resembles a wall of basil green (and knowing Lady Rin, some of it might actually be basil.) Quite the fine place, especially during the sunset hours.It didn’t take long after knocking before Lady Rin and Nara greeted and welcomed me into the house. I explained my current situation - I have eggs and milk in excess while lacking other necessities, and wishing to trade. If they lend me some sugar, I could make a batch of poor knights for dessert.Graciously, Lady Rin provided not only with sugar, but rosewater and a pinch of saffron as well. Even offered me a couple bags’ worth coal and oil. Since the two have dinner rather late, I’ll have quite a while to cook the poor knights. I think I can finish the letter tonight…
>>5733527I kept my dinner relatively simple. Toast, some omelettes mixed with pork, and a handful of vegetables. Wholesome enough for now. I finally finished writing the letter. My parents are not the jittery type, but I still mention contingencies should the situation worsens - the troupe has plans to schedule tours to cities less severely impacted economically should the need arises, and my savings is more than enough to sustain me for the rest of the year. My contacts in Blackwing can get me a tailoring job to supplement the potential loss of income if need be.It’s been a while since I could follow the recipe of cookbooks precisely. Many times the ingredients had to substituted due to cost or unavailability, but not tonight. First, the bread. Sliced thickly, and cut into squares. Crusts must be removed. Toast until it reaches a brown color - dark or light, that is up to the preference of the cook. (I prefer the shade of honey brown.)For the eggs, they are beaten until it turns into a liquid of consistent yellow color. Straining them is a good method of ensuring the egg whites and yolk are combined properly. A few tablespoons of sugar and rosewater are added and whisked afterwards. (Three or two each is usually enough for most folks. And me.) This mixture will be then poured into a container. It should be wide enough to accommodate the bread but not to the point the eggs cannot coat all of the bottom. There is many options one could choose regarding the length of time for the toasted squares to soak, but I prefer twenty minutes - ten on each side. It will be sodden enough that it won’t burn too easily in the pan, but firm enough it doesn’t disintegrate when you try to flip it over. As for the pan, add butter and lard to it as it heats up. Lard is a particular important ingredient here - it will raise the smoke point of butter, giving more opportunities for the cook to prevent burning. Once the layer of fat is boiling, the soaked bread are gently added into the pan. It should take three to five minutes of frying, although it should be flipped multiple times during those minutes. Seconds matter here, as toast can turn from edible to being burnt in a blink of an eye.
>>5733529The end result should ideally be squares of bronze and copper color, although ones darker than this should still be edible - even with bits of pitch black, it should still taste sweet and crisp. Lastly, there’s the flavoring. Saffron is to be mixed with rosewater and strained - this yellow liquid is then sprinkled onto the toast and followed by sugar. (I’ll do that once I’m serving them.)Thus, poor knights is made. A decent dessert (or meal) by itself, but fruits are a good compliment.… I never did understand how such a name came to be associated with this dish. Apparently the first instance of this word dates back nearly three hundred years ago. Lady Rin might know more about it. […]It is one thirty in the dusk. Night falls and streets brisk, but not empty.Arriving at the umber household didn’t take more than a few minutes. A flock of ravens are on the railing and fences this time, seemingly waiting for someone. After a couple knocks on the door, they greet and welcome me inside. Peaches and berries give the withdrawing room a rather lovely scent. Lady Rin joined me and Nara for dessert briefly, but had other matters to attend to and asks me to not visit the backyard. “Have fun. I’ll be back in thirty minutes. Don’t be too loud, and don’t visit the backyard.“Nara says she’s there give offerings to entities that assisted her in making a talisman. Had I looked more closely at those ravens, I would have realized their shadows don’t exist. Perhaps it’s best that I didn’t.
>>5733531It’s a shame I won’t get the answer to my question right away, but no matter, I can wait. Now that we’re alone, I prod Nara a little about what went down last night. She’s… rather proud about it.“It- it was good! I had a lot of fun drinking with him. I.. I got to hold his hand a couple times. It was real nice.”She said they left the bar sometime around midnight - any longer and her mother might’ve yelled at her for coming home late.“After.. I told him I loved the date but I had to leave early, I proposed one final drink. He was about to drink from his glass when I leaned forward and- grabbed his hand and rest my other hand on hisneckandkissedhim!!”Nah… no way.. no fucking way Nara did the romance novel prince shit. Nah… “We used our tongue too! For a bit.”“His was.. so much larger than mine. I couldn’t breathe.”“After that I.. I whispered to him that I’ll.. be ‘looking forward to the rest’ next time. I left the bar after that and didn’t look back.”I certainly didn’t expect her of all people to pull something like that on a first date. This is some shit I would see in some sappy, forbidden romance type of novel. Still cute, though. I’m sure Fennec would feel over the moon about it. He did seem to reciprocate when she kissed. That must’ve been pretty cool.
>>5733532[…]How quickly do the hours go by. We had so many things to say, to discuss. Tomorrow is when I’ll need to pick up the pace and start practicing seriously again. We will be performing an adaption of Regression’s final book in two days. Luckily, the music won’t be as important compared to the other four.Nara and Zorn are fond of it as well, although the latter tends to criticize how the criminals were depicted in those books. (In hindsight, it’s probably because he might’ve ran into people similar to them in real life.)I remember him saying something like..“That was just retarded. The guy had him - his pistol was trained on him but says.. ‘too easy..?’ and goes back to his horse to pick up a wood cutting axe? Why not use their long knife? Or just stomp on him?”“Those twins were just dogshit. How the hell did those assassins live that long…”It’s not a perfect series by any means, of course, but the story was more than the sum of its parts. I left her household happily and returned home without much problem. I’ll need to practice with the band tomorrow during the late morning to afternoon, but before that, what should I do?>Brush up on my sewing skillsI remember writing down methods on sewing a while back. Refreshing my memory could come in handy should the tailor be unavailable and my clothing gets damaged.>Get a broadsheet subscription It’s long overdue. I won’t have to worry about potentially missing the news again if they’re delivered to my doorstep.>Talk to Toht’s mother and discuss plans about tradingMaking the poor knights tonight got rid of some eggs and milk, but not all. I need someone else to trade with. Maybe schedule something.
>>5733534>Get a broadsheet subscription These could all be useful. Though to be fair the trading might be more urgent, unless we want to keep the rest of the eggs and milk.
>>5733534>Brush up on my sewing skills
>>5733534>>Get a broadsheet subscription
>>5733534>Get a broadsheet subscription
>>5733534>Talk to Toht’s mother and discuss plans about trading
>>5734978>broadsheet subscriptionI’ll definitely be doing that first thing in the morning. There’s no telling how fast things could change, and I definitely don’t want to be caught unprepared again. Before I return to bed, I deposit the bags of coal and rice in the kitchen. Since I’m already at the back of the house, I also take the time to wash the plate and cup we used earlier. Better do this now than later, especially when sweets are involved. Last thing I need are a trail of ants.Hah.That was quite a night.Nara, Isabelle and Fennec proved far bolder than I thought. Cheers to them. I do hope she heeded my words. …I never did find out how poor knights became the name of that dish - even lady Rin doesn’t know how it came be. She did know of dishes similar to it, first emerging in cookbooks one to two hundred years ago. Their names, 'golden sippets' and 'lost bread', do seem to indicate bread of lower quality being used. I guess that explains the 'poor' in poor knights. Plopping on the bed, I can still feel the frigidity of my pillows and blanket. How I wish I could bury my face into them forever. The night brought me no dreams nor nightmares, passing quickly as it began. Dawn is upon me once agin. Even with daylight barely climbing above the horizon, the streets still possess their traffic. I have no need for salted fish nor chili as of now, but it’s nice to see those vendors again. Even if this entire region goes to hell, the very last thing to disappear would be the mackerels. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come down to entrails. It didn’t take long for me to find where those vendors were. The trail of broadsides plastered on restaurant walls and stalls gave me a pretty decent idea of where they congregate. Fees for the subscriptions were modest, but the logistics of these things can add up. My house already has more than enough paper than I could feasibly need - there’s only so much food I could wrap, and I don’t really need that much bum fodder for the outhouse.Two subscriptions is more than enough.
>>5736744The walk home wasn’t that swift, owing to a cup of caramelized bananas. They’re a little too sweet compared to green custard, but they’ll have to do. It’s going to be a long rehearsal today, but before that happens, I still have a few hours. Might as well clean up the desk and drawers.Far too much clutter is in these things. Piles of scrap paper, once used as written reminders and checklists no longer serve any purpose. The nature of these things are too sensitive to throw away - it will do as serviceable kindling.Mist Raven’s acceptance letter… the contract renewal letters… as crisp as the day they came. Never thought I’d land the job out here in Blackwing of all places. Looking through our old letters were pretty amusing. Records of our little saga in removing my blood from his bedsheets is still around. Heh. … alright, enough messing around. […]Not the most organized room out there, but most of the paperwork are placed into different stacks and separated by scrap paper turned bookmarks. Good enough.Time for the rehearsal. The bulk of the music comes from the string instruments, but the conclusion demands everything from the band to create a cheerful yet bittersweet eulogy for a man who regressed in morality and lost everything. People are few in the playing house today, but I’m proud that amongst them were Nara. The entire band is pretty much ready.
>>5736745As far as ensembles go, our group is amongst the smaller ones, mainly due to our role in the troupe. Much of Mist Raven’s prestige come from the actors and their supporting elements: costumes, set design and choreography tend to eat up a lot of the budget. They cannot afford large ensembles specializing in wind or string instruments, and thus settle for a Mahori sextet. It’s more versatile and cheaper over all. There’s me, flute player.Nara, fiddle player.Baimohn, lute player.Nin, drum player.Bua, tambourine player.Tip, finger cymbal player and lead singer. Rarely does Baimohn brings her crocodile lute, and it marks a special occasion indeed. String instruments, especially the lute, usually play a supporting role in melodies rather than take center stage. For this play, her usual handheld lute won’t do - a larger one, with sharper sound is used instead.
>>5736747It was a nice change of pace when we practiced Regression’s main theme. The lute’s piercing tunes are well complimented by the bellowing of tambourine and drum. A melancholic melody, brimming with hatred. Quite fitting for the penultimate chapter of an opium farmer who had nothing left to lose.After an hour of practicing the main theme, we move onto the finale. I.. actually misremembered this one. Now that I got to look at the lyrics again, it was never an eulogy. Rather, it was an declaration of love towards the very product that doomed Wichien Watcharin and everyone associated with him - opium. That makes a lot more sense now. He liked it. He was good at it. He was alive. That’s why the tone is cheerful despite the story concluding with his death.
>>5736751Before continuing with our practice, we double check a few things with the other actors and stage director.… so the instruments kick in after he looks at the scarf, and once he picks it up, lyrics kick in. Got it. […]We were at it for nearly four hours. Basically went through the entire performance with the actors. It was one hell of an exercise, and it went pretty damn well.Without a shadow of doubt, all of us know performance tomorrow will go well. That being said, there’s still some unease about the current great pox outbreak. If the sales aren’t good, the troupe might reduce the number of plays and cut down on staff on them.Zorn did alleviate some of that concern during lunch time. “That’s not going to happen. None of us will be let go - not this year. I talked to his accountant. Grantham and the shareholders are buying plays and commissioning broadsides. They’re not short on silver.”He was just given a fair copy of some of these plays and asked to give his input regarding the logistics of the choreography. He’s still in the middle of processing it. I don’t think he’ll be available for the rest of the afternoon. I’ll leave him to it, then. The rest of the band also has their own matters to attend to after the rehearsal, and so do I.I still need the milk and eggs off my hands. Toht should be able to help me out with that, along with getting some more rice.
>>5736753Before I go talk to him, I get back home first. Storage and cleaning is an essential part of an instrument, much like any other tool. … hmm. Now that I think about it, at least it isn’t all bad when it comes to people like me. Folks in swan song ensembles must be making quite the killing these days, now that funerals are becoming more prevalent. As I prepare myself to leave the house again, I notice a recently placed letter on my porch’s chest. Courier must’ve put it there when I was at the playhouse. Looks quite roughed up, though. There’s nicks everywhere - who the hell is doing the delivery?Opening it up reveals two very brief sentences." we know your part in this. you’re next. " It’s written in red. The ink is nearly bleeding through the paper. … this is probably some bullshit. Threats and scams aren’t uncommon to me - some try to terrify me because I apparently did something that offended someone, somehow. Words made by pathetic people that wished I conformed to some unachievable standard. Those retards can go get raped and die for all I care. But what if it isn’t?What if this is coming from someone who caught us plotting against those punks? Did someone spot us when I was out at night, talking to Zorn and his friends in that street? Maybe someone eavesdropped on us when we were at the library tower? I don’t know.But better safe than sorry. When it comes to situations like this, I know who to visit first. >ZornHim and his friends know the criminal world far better than me. They might be able to determine if this is an empty threat or not, and in case of the latter, maybe get a general idea of who we are up against.I need a crew who knows the game.>Lady RinHer command over the supernatural will help determine who wrote this, and possibly neutralize them as a threat. Her past as an investigator could help me legally as well - maybe put these people to justice if there’s enough evidence.I need a knower. >TohtHer mother and I used to be good friends. It’s been a while since we interacted, but I have no doubt if I come to her about this, she’s more than willing to call upon her friends to protect me as well. I doubt this anonymous writer has the firepower to go against a score of people well versed in blades and firearms. I need a militia.
>>5736756>Lady RinIf they sent that to see how we react because they're unsure, going to Zorn will confirm our guilt.
>>5736751>Feudal Thai Fantasy Breaking BadHa, nice.>>5736756>Lady Rin>>5736809 makes a valid point.
Pretty close this time.I’ll be waiting for a couple more hours before closing vote.
Updating tomorrow. Had a doctor’s appointment.
>>5740362Hope everything's well. Don't die, alright?
>>5740362>Lady RinHmph.Their letter does seem pretty vague. If they truly “knew” my part in this, why the hell wouldn’t they say it directly? And why would me of all people? All I did was.. visit Lady Rin with Zorn and his group. That’s it. I never acted. Never was at the scene. Maybe they’re being vague on purpose - to prevent themselves from revealing too much about how they got this information, or this is just bait. If it’s the latter, going to Zorn or Toht could confirm their suspicions. They might think I played a larger role, If I do these. Fine. We can play this game. After taking a good look at the letter, I glance at the buildings and streets around me. As expected, I don’t see anything out of the ordinary - part of me had hoped they were genuinely retarded enough to be spotted, but sadly, that isn’t the case today.I retreat into my house and lock it shut. Talking to Lady Rin is the best option right now - her expertise in the occult and investigation will definitely help in catching this anonymous writer. Her background as a private investigator could help me legally as well. It’s a short trip, but there’s no telling what might happen on the way there, even during in the early afternoon hours. Theft, mugging, assaults, these things happen in daylight too, and more than people think.The broadsheets turn my bag puffy and a little more resistant to knives than usual. Before I leave the house, I put on one of my larger waistcoats. Undyed and a little on the cheaper side, but damn good at hiding the dagger on my hip. Most people don’t mind me carrying it openly, but I prefer to not give up the element of surprise. It’s sharp enough to cut through paper and meat — I have little doubt it wouldn’t do the same to living flesh. I don’t bother with the brass hooks and wear the coat open instead. Helps with the draw.
>>5741413My hand is ready. My gaze is cold. I walk.A handful of people are on this street today, and I keep my distance from them. I seriously doubt a couple of fifty year olds and their grandkids are behind this, but I don’t have time to waste.My gaze remain straight on the library tower, only glancing behind me every so often. With my current pace, it took barely over ten minutes before I reached the doors. I don’t see any familiar faces from the start of my walk - seems like I’m not followed, at least. Early afternoon is a busy time for her. A fair few people have trickled into the tower to return the books, and some staying for a while longer. I don’t blame them — a tranquil place, lacking in strong smells, and being relatively warm is a sanctuary for those who have the time to spare. Mounds of paperwork and books are on the crescent shaped desk. I can hear the scribbling of her nib pen all the way from the entrance. ‘Lady Rin. I got a letter. I think it’s about yesterday.’ Her eyebrows become furrowed. Rather than an expression of surprise, it is contempt that appears on her face. She seems to know straight away about what I’m going to ask her about.“Yes. I believe I know what you’re talking about. Can I see that letter?”Her expression remains the same. “…”“You’re not the only one. Nara’s new friend. He got something like this too.” Fennec? He wasn’t even aware of it. He didn’t do anything. What the hell? Whoever’s doing this is just.. throwing shit against the wall and hope something sticks. Damn asshole is lashing out against anyone.
>>5741414His parents were notified of this and already alerted the authorities about it, but Lady Rin says it’s unlikely to go anywhere. Legally speaking, even if they catch the person behind this, there’s… not much they could charge them with, considering the letter doesn’t really ‘say’ anything specific. Intimidation and trespassing are probably the only two which will be considered. There is resentment in her voice when mentioning punishment.“They’ll receive a fine, and spend a few hours in the pillory. Get whipped for a couple times. And just like that, they’re back in society again.”Realistically speaking, if this person is determined enough to deliver these messages to at least two people, and knowledgable enough to find where certain people live, it’s not a stretch to say they might commit arson or assault as well. Even her command over the supernatural is of limited use in this case. Asking the spirits to track the paper is a (very costly) shot in the dark, and tracking the ink is largely useless due to the ubiquity of such a poor quality thing. “Sorry, I don’t think I can find whoever’s doing this. Not right now. I need a face, a name, something.”Lady Rin assures me this incident need not be weathered alone — her familiar and spirits will be watching over the troupe and its people. Still, she advises me to stay armed, stay in contact with other people as much as possible, and don’t be too predictable when it comes to routine. Leaving the house a little earlier or later than usual could help throw off a would-be stalker.
>>5741417She informed Mist Raven about this incident as soon as Nara told her about it, some twenty minutes ago. The troupe will send out a letter to warn the rest of us soon enough and implement a few policies to ensure there’s eyes on the playhouse more often. There is one silver lining to all this, however. Lady Rin notes that this intimidation method is more amateurish than most. “People in ‘the life’ don’t do this. If they want to tell someone they’re not happy, they’ll break a thing or two. Make some cuts in the door and furniture. Break in and leave a knife.”A half measure, she calls it. Whoever’s out there isn’t part of organized crime — I don’t need to stay away from the streets or anything of sort. Just need to be a little more attentive than usual. Honestly, the only pressing matter is rice. News must’ve reached Zorn and his colleagues already. No doubt they’re planning another plot to deal with this. I probably don’t need to talk to him right away.Fennec is fine, so I think the band should be-Nara. I hope she’s not doing anything reckless. I ask Lady Rin about her.There is a moment of hesitation before she speaks again. “…. I think she’s taking this pretty well so far.”She’s not doing anything self-destructive, but the letter has gotten to her quite a bit. I ask her about the extent of Nara’s knowledge about yesterday’s activities. “Not much. Only knew I was doing a ritual of a kind.”She already knew what I was about to say next.
>>5741418“Keep her from going overboard. She’s a good kid, but.. some risks are not to be taken if possible.”She’s not opposed to her standing her ground against these people if they try to assault her, or helping other people do so, but if her actions could get her into dangerous situations without a good justification, that must be shut that down. I nod. … I suppose I should get going now. Toht and his mom, and their colleagues might be busy in the evening hours. I thank Lady Rin for her time and prepare to leave.“One more thing, Emi.”“I might as well mention this now. My late husband and I… we have a few blades and polearms to spare. If the band, or anyone else of the troupe wants one, I’ll be happy to lend them.”
I already have a sword at home, although my dussack is a lot less refined than Zorn’s or hers. It’s little more than a billet of metal shaped into a blade, which I mainly used on vegetation and branches. It bares a number of nicks, but it will cut and thrust. It will withstand strikes from most other weapons of equal size. Should be good enough.
Evening will come in a few hours. Before I go talk to Toht and her mother about trading rice, do I want to visit some other place?>No. I should go straight to the butchery.Like she said, this person is a damn amateur. If I can spread word about this, I’ll have an entire score of people covering over us. That’s definitely something that would scare them off.>Mist Raven troupe. [optional]There’s no point avoiding this issue now. Things have clearly gotten out of hand, and my best shot at dealing with this person this is him and colleagues. They might know who might be behind all of this. Maybe they already have a plan to deal with them.>Lady Rin’s house. [optional] I could use a better weapon. A halberd might be nice if a fire were to occur. A rappier could give me more reach than this beat up dussack. I could go tell Nara about what’s truly happening behind the scenes as well. both optional choices can be chosen. In that case, Emi will visit Lady Rin’s house first and then visit the troupe
>>5741426>No. I should go straight to the butchery.No need to panic. It's well in-hand.
>>5741426>>Lady Rin’s house. [optional]Checking out weapons sounds fun.
>>5741426>Lady Rin’s house. [optional]mmmm, rapier
>>5741426>>Lady Rin’s house. [optional]
>>5741426>>No. I should go straight to the butchery
>>5741426>Lady Rin’s house. [optional]
>>5741426>Lady Rin’s house. [optional]>Mist Raven troupe. [optional]
>>5742694>Lady Rin’s houseWhy not. I have the time.I ask if I could visit the house right away. She obliges, although I can tell she wanted to be the one guiding me personally.“Oh. Xiao will have to accompany you then.”Lady Rin asks me to wait here while she fetch one of her birds. Without the scribbling of her dip pen, echoes of footsteps became the prominent noise — a reminder of how small each person is in this tower. She returns with a moderately sized crow on her arm. The feathers aren’t as puffy as the one on her arm yesterday, and the body doesn’t seem as long. One of her many helpers, Xiao, will be following me. She briefly gave me instructions on handling the raven if he tries to approach me. What I must do is keep him on my arm at chest level if it is tucked or at shoulder level if the arm is extended, and NEVER let him on my shoulders or head — I must pry him off. This is mainly due to the instinct of birds in general, who tend to prod things with their beak. Bringing their beaks to eye-level is unsafe. […]It became quickly apparent that the raven traveling with me was not an ordinary avian. Although faint, the afternoon sun does enough to form rough shadows when objects are blocked from light. The shadows cast from Xiao doesn’t look… right. The outline is darker than most others and extends longer than it should reasonably be. I heed Nara’s earlier advice and don’t ponder about these aspects too deeply.His behavior is also odd. He hops and walks more often than flies, but with a pace unparalleled by other birds. Now that I think about it, he seems more similar to a hound or feline than an avian. I struggled at times to keep up. It was quite the workout. He eventually hops on my arm when we reached the house.
>>5744979There weren’t as many ravens on the railings or rooftops this time around. As we walked up the stairs, there was a tinge of blackness to the shadows. I swear my footsteps became more quiet as I got closer to the door, and not by my choice. " d o n ‘ t "" w o r r y "" a b o u t "" i t "Xiao reassures me about the state of the household. Things are normal, relatively speaking. And indeed things appear normal when we entered the house — even the withdrawing room still has a faint orange scent from last night.Past that are the water room and stairways to the basement, both of which are quite open. Lady Rin has quite the stockpile, both for drinking and washing. Heh. I can still remember how cold those tend to be when I first came here. I could barely take a shower without shivering. The very last rooms in this building are the bedroom and kitchen. I wanted to go to the former right away but he had other ideas. Xiao sure took his time choosing which jar of nuts to eat from. And which bowls to drink from. Her quarters could be best described as a great hall in regards to its size. Instead of benches and refectory tables, rows of cabinets and bookshelves furnish the room. In place of balconies where the gentry would be seated or musicians would play from are paintings and large sheets of paper of arcane nature.I do recognize one of them — a painting of an instructor teaching a fencer to cut along one of the traverse lines. Zorn talks about this square a lot when I asked to use his dussack. Knowing which of the four openings to strike at, knowing how to do full and half cuts, which play to use…. all these is merely one aspect of fencing. There’s still footwork, handwork, grappling (and if I were born a couple decades earlier in a different country, legality of thrusting.)
>>5744981At the far end of the room are weapon racks. Some are mounted on the wall while others, polearms mostly, are stored vertically on a stand. Quite the collection, although I could narrow things down somewhat. I already have a serviceable dagger, so I don’t need any more of those. Two handed swords are a pain to carry and transport, so I probably don’t need those. Besides, I’m better off with a polearm if I don’t need intend to haul those things around all day. Xiao also helped me narrow things down quite a bit. He seems to know the history behind some of these things. After some thinking, there were six weapons which might be useful to me.
The halberd. A versatile and robust polearm, able to deliver devastating cuts and thrusts. I can hook with the back spike and axe to bind a weapon or limbs. Useful for firefighting as well — it can punch holes in roofs or doors if need be.The sasumata.Forked spear commonly used by law enforcement and private security to constrain a threat. While intended to be non-lethal, the forked tips can penetrate flesh and strikes with the head can bludgeon. Lighter and more convenient to carry than the halberd, but not as lethal.The fokos.Axe commonly used by shepherds. A tool that is also used as a walking stick or hammer. Carrying this axe doesn’t require that much effort — I could slot this thing on my hip relatively easy or hold it like a walking stick. It could contend with swords, although not as good as them when it comes to defense.The rappier.Single handed sword with a swept hilt design. The many iron bars and rings will protect my hand pretty well against strikes. Vicious at thrusting while maintaining a respectable cut. Its reach surpasses most swords, but proves a disadvantage when drawing — it isn’t the quickest out there.The schiavona.Basket hilted sword with a wide blade. Iron wraps around the hilt like a shell that covers my entire hand from harm. With its heft, cuts are lethal. It doesn’t take much to sever a limb or cut through flesh. Decent at thrusting, although reach is moderate. The extensive steel construction makes for a heavy thing even with multiple fullers, and the basket hilt makes it inconvenient to carry. The sidesword.Sword not as cut oriented as a schiavona, but long enough to contend with a rappier. While it has a swept hilt design, it is quite minimal — only having a knuckle bow, finger rings and a side ring. Carrying this will be more convenient than the other two swords since the hilt won’t smack itself against me as much.
>>5744983All these are good options, but I can’t carry them all (nor do I wish to push the limits of her generosity), so I should choose only one or two.[choose two or fewer]>halberd>sasumata>fokos>rappier>schiavona>sidesword
After choosing the armaments, I ask the raven where Nara is. I would like to talk to her about the incident. He obliges." in her room "" back of the house. "Since this house consists of two small ones placed next to each other, Nara essentially has half of it as hers. Damn lucky. These type of houses are generally for larger families. The walk from the kitchen to the her side of the house didn’t take more than a few seconds. Before I knock and ask to be let in, however, I notice the occult nature of this household once more, even more prominently this time.Shadows of such blackness that it drowns the texture and light from anything it touches seep out slightly from the shutters and door to her room. Even Xiao warns me not to linger in them for long before giving me the go-ahead to knock and call.‘Hey. It’s Emi. Want to talk to you for a bit. Xiao is here.’Her response was muted in tone. She sounds exhausted.“Hey.”“Busy right now.”We talked with the door between us for a few moments. When I brought the topic of an anonymous threatening letter being sent to me, she immediately went to open the doors and asked me to come in. Within that room lies an abyssal darkness that is faintly dispelled by a rushlight. I can see Nara wearing a smock, but nearly everything else in the room is black as pitch.
>>5744986“Come sit next to me. I need to talk to you. Alone.”I look at the raven for guidance. He says joining her is fine, so long as I remain near the light. Her rushlight is a good one — it will last for a while. There’s nothing dangerous in the dark, but these blackened shadows will muffle sounds to a very high degree. There’s nothing wrong with refusing. Most people might not get used to such absolute silence — a few practicing the higher arts use them when they need to deeply concentrate or relax.Should I join her?>YesShe’s a little tired right now. Nara needs someone to talk to. I need to be there for her so she doesn’t do anything reckless again. She’s a good person. I know damn well she understands consent — she heeded my words yesterday. I know she will end this if I feel uncomfortable. >NoWe can talk in the withdrawing room or anywhere else that won’t fuck me mentally. She’s a good friend of mine but there’s limits to what I’m willing to do for her. This is that. She might not feel as comfortable with sharing things with me in places less secluded, but it shouldn’t matter much. I’m still willing to listen.
>>5744985>sasumataThe rappier or the sidesword are probably the smarter options, but I like how unique the satsuma as a weapon could be.>>5744989>YesNice, quiet and dark. What could go wrong?
>>5744985>rappiercompact, stylish, and the quickest after being drawn :(>halberdswiss army knife>>5744989>Yes
>>5744985>fokos>sideswordWe ain't a soldier, after all, just a concerned citizen.
>>5744989>YesI really like this art
Pretty close. I’ll leave this vote up for a few more hours.
Rolled 1, 1 = 2 (2d2)Three way tie between>>5745018>>5745074Rappier 2Halberd 2>>5745342>>5745579Sidesword 2>>5745342>>5745884Fokos 2Since there’s one anon voting for both sidesword & fokos, I’ll roll a 1d2 to determine which will be the winner.1 = sidesword2 = fokosWinner will do a 1d2 against rappier & halberd1 = winner 2 = rappier & halberd
>>5746399>SideswordSo many to choose…Halberd and rappier does compliment each other — one bigger weapon at home or playhouse and one I carry regularly. Transporting both of them will get quite tedious, though. I look to something smaller and more convenient to carry instead. Since the fokos could be used as a walking stick, the time needed to bring this weapon to bear would be significantly shorter than a sword. A shift of the hand and I’m ready to go. Only problem with it would be the ability to ward off attacks from other weapons — the wooden shaft and small ace head doesn’t give me that much room to work with. I settled on the sidesword. Slightly shorter than the rappier, but the amount of blade here is more than enough to deal with cuts and thrusts alike. Hilt isn’t as protective as a schiavona’s, but the simple construction makes it far easier to carry. And that’s what it is all about, really: trade-offs.>YesI trust her. Nara can do a lot of dumb shit at times, but she isn’t malicious. She’ll pull things back if I ask her to. With a deep breath, I step into the stygian room and darkness swallows me in an instant. I can feel my feet moving yet my body still feels shocked from it — something akin to waking up from a dream where I fall from the sky or times when I misjudge the difference in elevation before I step. As my pace was beginning to slow, she reached for my arm and accompanied me to the seat. There was has a chill to it, even with the rushlight being so close by. Room is quite substantial on the chocolate brown desk, each side stretching into the abyss that makes finding corners is impossible. The desk itself has a number of indents and nicks, but what is more readily apparent are the two objects on it: a thing resembling a heart and a bird’s skull. I do believe that isn’t an actual heart judging from how unnatural the fat wraps around the tissue.
>>5747804Considering the emptiness of the table and how dark everything else is, I ask if I could place the sidesword on it. “Yeah, sure.”Even near a light, it was rather hard to see since it was furnished in black, only exception being the silvery throat and chape of the scabbard. The blade itself seems to be cared for, but I can tell it is starting to show its age: the once fully blackened hilt has spots where bare metal is exposed, small nicks are present all throughout the blade, and dust inevitably found their way on the tip. It will last a couple lifetimes more under diligent maintenance. Nara seems to know this as well, judging from the way she looks at it. Not melancholic. Not brief. Just an acknowledgment. And asks me a question.“You decided on a hanger yet?”It’s going to take some time for me to try out all the belts and their suspension systems. Baldrics might be nice, but that could flop around too much. Yeah. Probably belts.‘I think belted. Something kinda like the one your dad carried during the.. uh.. marksmen festival couple years ago.’Nara seems to remember it vividly.
>>5747808“Yeah, I.. I think I know what you’re talking about. The black and brass one with a bunch of loops, right? That one is pretty good.”“... I still remember when he bought it. I was.. twelve or something. We were at the capital back then. Told me to not tell my mom how much that and the rappier cost him. She caught him anyways when she asked Izzie about it and the facts didn’t line up.”A smirk vaguely appears on her as she recounts the story. It quickly vanishes soon after.“It will fit. I’m sure of it.”We move onto the real reason she invited me to talk alone — the heart. It isn’t an actual human heart, but was molded from flesh and shaped. Within the center, covered by a sheet of glass is a fetish that resembles an eye. This device works in conjunction with effigies, allowing one to see through the eyes of those objects by having this eye project them through the glass.A security system that could be observed without needing to be there physically. Now that’s something. She already installed a number of them in Fennec’s house. “I did ask for consent….”Good. Nothing can be done about before, but this is.. acceptable, I suppose. I ask her more about how the effigies work.
>>5747809“It.. really depends. I could make a really simple one out of animal bones and rope. Cut it up. Bind it. Takes less than an hour. But the only thing it could do is allow me to see through it. Something like this on the other hand…”
>>5747811She brings out an metallic effigy shaped like a buffalo. Dark as coal but engraved with golden writings.“I could breath life into it briefly.”This thing holds a particularly old and powerful occult beast. It can do far more than minor curses — inducing deafness and blindness is the least it could do. Hmm. This system does sound useful. I ask her how many does she currently have.“Eight installed right now. Four here, four there. I got two more. You could have them.”That does sound nice, although I ask about any… specific requirements or side effects it might have.“Well.. there’s two rules. They need to be kept at high places - in doors, it means any location that’s amongst the tallest in the room. A bookshelf for example. Out doors, they need to be above head height. Second rule is food. These charms tend to attract spirits and they must be given offerings. Usually just a drink - a strong one, and some kind of savory dish, but they like something sweet too. If you can, it helps.”“As for the frequency…. it depends. How many of them are there, how powerful, and how wicked. I’ll need to come check.”“One thing that always holds true, though, is the food must not be eaten by anyone who isn’t a recipient. No matter how hungry you are, you or anyone living CANNOT eat the offerings. Doesn’t matter how long they’ve been out, doesn’t matter when. Never do that.”
>>5747813Keep them up high and keep them fed. Got it. Not the most convenient thing out there, but this beats some asshole getting the drop on me in my own house.I ask her about the limitations of the effigies and the heart thing. This sounds really useful. Maybe she could put them at other places as well?“…. I can’t bind and oversee that many things. Ten. Maybe twelve is the limit for me. Especially something like the bow buffalo. My mom only has.. two.. maybe three occult beasts in total.”Damn shame. Still a huge trump card, though. Well, I guess I should end things soon. Maybe try on that belt, but that’s about it. Toht and his mom’s colleagues won’t be free all the time. I need that rice more than ever now that I might have some ghosts snooping around my house pretty soon.Wait… Nara’s also free this evening. She could go visit my house right away to install those effigies, or I could direct her to Zorn. Maybe me and Fennec’s not the only ones who got sent the letters. Maybe he knows more about this person than us. Hell, I could ask her to go with me too. The butchery might have bones she wants.What do I want Nara to do?>She should go to my houseShe knows more about this stuff than me. Best that I get this security system up as soon as possible.>She should go to the playhouse and talk to ZornHe probably knows more about this person than either of us. Maybe he could help us narrow down suspects and make the security more focused.>She should come with meTomorrow’s gonna be damn tough. Might as well hang out before then. Talk about things. Go to the market together. Sure as shit beats being stressed out about some stalker all the time. two more choices before this thread ends - probably updating quicker than usual. Next update maybe within 2 days. Thanks for playing!
>>5747814>She should go to my houseMaybe we should go with her too?And thank you for running QM!
>>5747814>She should go to my housenothing too powerfulalso what happens to offerings? do we just leave them out forever or will the spirit eventually consume them? don't want something rotting away on top of a bookshelf. can we eat one if we immediately replace it with a newer and better one?
>>5747814>She should come with me
>>5747814>>She should come with me
>>5747814>She should go to my house
>>5747891>don't want something rotting away on top of a bookshelf.you don’t need to feed them individually. Just set up a table and put the food there. As for the size and quality of the meal, that’s up to the financial status and availability of the food itself. Frequency is once every few months or longer. Picrel is one of the more extravagant ones, although anything will work. Even eggs and water. Just don’t give them anything already rotten.>also what happens to offerings? >can we eat one if we immediately replace it with a newer and better one?>do we just leave them out forever or will the spirit eventually consume them?offerings for ancestors are more lenient than ones for spirits or deities. If you ask, they will allow them to be taken back and eaten. For the latter, they’ll need to be donated to temples or to animals.
Pretty close vote. I’ll be closing it tonight.
Got a headache.Updating tomorrow.
>>5749552Feel better soon, QM!
>>5749866Thanks. Updating tonight.
>>5748963>she should go to my houseHer suggestion is sound. I could drop her off at my house then go to the butcher’s shop. I tell her to get ready — we’ll be going to my place pretty soon.“Ah. Okay.”“You’ve put on a hanger before? I could help.”Just as Nara told me earlier, the belt fits me — even in his older years, her father was always a lithe man. We didn’t need to adjust it much to fit my hip. The three point suspension system keeps it stable enough. Sure, it wiggles a little when I walk but the hilt firmly remains rooted to the scabbard and pointed at a diagonal angle. I hardly feel the leather loops and belt pressing against my thighs. It’s… decently comfortable. The look is quite something as well: black as obsidian and embellished in brass, which might be mistaken as gold at a glance — it’s… a little too princely for me, honestly. Still, I don’t want to throw away goodwill.… Wow. There’s an entire drawer dedicated to hangers. I’m pretty sure some of these look even more ornate than the one I wear currently. Nara explains the different styles to me. “This.. this one… it’s from Calfsteppe. They have the hook a lot further back, right on the buttocks. The.... hilt.. uh.. it puts it at an almost vertical angle. The ones that the Frankfolk uses are kinda like this… one. But there’s more loops and theirs are thinner.”“… and this one.”“Urgh.” “….. is mainly for backswords. We don’t really have those, but we do have schiavona. You want to try it?”This baldric has EIGHT buckles, all in brass, AND the leather is velvet colored. Nah. Not touching that. I’m good. That thing probably costs as much as a decent dussack. I decline her offer. The black-and-gold (technically brass) belt is more than good enough for me. “See you at the porch.”Nara leaves to pack her things and put on some clothes. It’s probably not windy, but wearing a smock alone outdoors isn’t the most appropriate thing.
>>5750404While Nara is packing her things, I sit on the stairs. Partly to test out the harness, but also because of the cold. It’s not enough to cause my breath turn to fog, but it’s plenty cold enough to get me thinking about the past day without any interruption. Just last morning was when I thought things were falling into place. Reached maybe not the top, but something pretty close to it. And now I and Fennec are being stalked by some prick. And there’s a venereal disease outbreak at the capital. Damn it all. “Heya. You good?”Nara returns, wearing ash colored bodice and brick red skirt on top of her smock. On her shoulder is a wide strap that support the large bag on her side, with Isabelle peaking through the top. Most interesting of all is the fokos in her left hand — held similarly to a walking stick. The axehead is dark blue in color, something more akin to an ocean’s depths than blued steel. The haft is wrinkly and black, much like vanilla. Lengthy engravings are present all throughout this weapon, no doubt something needing higher understanding.‘Yeah. I’m good. Let’s go.’The walk wasn’t particularly lengthy. We did get the chance to talk about a couple things on the way there, primarily about the offerings and fetishes.>How do the offerings work?“Generally, you do it.. once a couple months. You need to set up a table. The food… that’s up to your financial status. Just have a savory and sweet dish, and a drink of some kind. And.. uh.. you know those incense at temples? Yeah, you need that too, but the bundles doesn’t need to as big — a couple sticks is good.”>What is that fokos?“It’s a.. device. It can do a lot of things. I can tell wicked spirits to back off or break their curses.“She also elaborates further about Players of the Dark Arts and their tools. “We speak their language and ask them for favors. What kind of favors they’re willing to do is up to the person — and these can be influenced by the materials we use for our devices.”
>>5750405Consecrated temple nails and metals blessed by monks are the most strict in terms of application, but offer greatest protection against the supernatural. “It’s pretty easy to awaken. Beginners and old witch doctors use these.”Flowing metals are the most varied in terms of power. Higher beings, such as serpents or birdmen collect and bestow them to those who earn their favor. Some are as glossy as jewel beetles while others are little more than misshapen growths. “Most in the occult world don’t really use this. They tend to be too specialized for most.”Coffin nails and undertaker tools are the most powerful as they have the closest connection to death. They attract the most vengeful spirits, although not necessarily malevolent. “More common amongst people that don’t do it full-time. That’s also what my fokos and knife are made of.”Just as she was about to talk about her reconstructed eye and the things she saw during the first few years with her adoptive family, we arrive at my house — one made not from precisely cut wood, but bamboo. It is stilted to prevent flooding much like hers, and is accompanied by a porch with railings, but gone are the wooden balconies and any accessories that decorate the roof. This type of housing — some call it tied-type or temporary-type, or even countryside-type, is generally considered something that can last two or three years, only quickly set up by farmers or used by laborers. And indeed, its negative reputation isn’t entirely false — heating and rain were quite a pain when I first came here, but one thing that wasn’t mention was the modularity of it: I could just keep adding or replacing things without having to take the entire thing apart, and so I did. Replaced the roofing with more durable wood. Added more stilts. Added more rooms. Installed fences. It’s almost a decade now that this was first built. Pretty sure I stayed in it for half of that. And now, it’s has more in common with a castle’s great hall than a mere shed for grain.
>>5750407I would love to stick around and talk to Nara, but I still have to meet Toht and his mom’s colleagues. I help her into the house and mention the whereabouts of utilities.‘..and here’s the bread. You can have it if you want. The water jars are in the basement. Outhouse is...’‘Uh.. right… there.. left of those patch of trees.’Isabelle seems to have taken a liking to the bamboo stilts. It was a little amusing to watch her nuzzle against it.After taking one last counting of breads and eggs, I write down the numbers on a note. No way I’m carrying some two dozen eggs across town unless I really need to. “See you, Emi. It’ll be done in an hour or so.”[…]Almost two in the afternoon. Vendors, especially ones selling desserts continue to be as busy as ever despite the waning population on the streets. I don’t bother with caramelized bananas this time, no, I go straight and look straight. My pace is steady, but quick. Even made the scabbard rattle a little more than I wanted, but I doubt most would mind. I caught Toht at a good time — barely any customers are visiting the meat vendors right, and he is mostly relegated to carving up meat. Perfect. Too bad his mom isn’t here, though. Probably transporting the carcasses. “Ah, Hi Ma’am.”I ask him right away about his mom’s friends and their current whereabouts, along with presenting him a note of my currently stock.“Oh! Err. My mom’s already talked to mister DeBoer [pronunciation: du-boar] about it. They said they want to buy your bread and eggs in bulk for their chickeneaters. I don’t remember exactly what but my mom wrote it down. Be back in a minute…”He returns with a large piece of paper. It has both the address and the conversion rate for rice. …Wow. South west. All the way across town. It’s gonna be a damn trek, but rate is perfect. Two dozen eggs or three loaves for a bag of rice… wait.. If I trade all of my stock, I’m pretty much set for the rest of this year! Only problem would be hauling all THAT to the farm. I ask where I could find the DeBoer family — I’m sure they have a wheelbarrow or a farmhand. “Last I heard they was in.. er.. center of town. At an apothecary’s shop. Their son was struck on the face. I think he got into a fight again…”“I just saw them not that long ago. You might catch them there.”
>>5750408I thank him for his information and prepare to be on my way. They’re probably not interested in this business right now, but I might be able to schedule the trade on some other date. Especially if I give them my address. Before I go, Toht asks me for a favor.“By the way, if you do catch them, do ask them if they still have any bombs to spare. My dad could use it for fishing.”Bomb. Fishing. Got it. […]I barely missed them. I asked around and the people said they could see mister DeBoer dragging his kid home by the wrist. His face apparently wasn’t too messed up, though. Bruised, but nothing more on his face than some bloodied nose and battered cheek.Eventually, I reached their farm and asked for their time. They obliged, and allowed me in. The DeBoers are very much human, but their size was imposing. I suppose a farmer’s lifestyle, combined with being in the northern province for.. I’m not sure how many years have made Mister and Mrs. DeBoers a couple heads taller than me, even when seated.Fortunately, we reached an agreement rather quickly — the rice could be delivered tomorrow morning if my stockpile is sent here tonight. Even Toht’s request was accepted: a small box of it will be delivered tomorrow noon to the butcher’s shop.They said they would usually lend me their son to help carry all the bread and eggs I have, but they don’t trust him to not mess it up and not break the eggs on the way here. He’ll lend the cart instead.“It’s right next to the shed. Let me show you.”Mister DeBoer guides me across the farm to the mill shed. Neither of us spoke much during those moments. As the cart, it had a rather wide bottom, perhaps a little too much for carrying my items, but more than serviceable. I thank him and be on—“AH!”His son got startled by me as I was about to leave the farm. He was cleaning the chickeneaters’ pen when he saw me move past him. Poor kid fall on his ass and hit his head on the wooden frame. I can hear his heavy breathing as I passed him - and the disappointed expression on his father’s face. Oof. Tough luck, kid.
>>5750409… well. I guess that’s that. I just need to get back home and get those bread and eggs to the farm, tell Toht about his deal, and that’s about it, really. I got plenty of time to do this — there’s more than a couple hours of sunlight, and I only need one just to get to the farm. Should I go anywhere?>Swing by the playhouse and get some roasted teaWalking for an entire afternoon is damn exhausting. I could use a chat with Zorn as well.>Nah, go straight to my houseLet’s just get this out the way quick. Don’t want to leave Nara hanging for too long. one more choice after this. Since we’re nearly at the end of the thread, I would like some feedback.>who is your most liked / most disliked character in this quest?>what did you think of the narration? Too short? Too long?
>>5750410>Swing by the playhouse and get some roasted teaAs for the characters, Emi and Nara stabd out most so far and I like them both. The narration is fine. It sometimes gets pretty deeply involved in elements I don't care as much about like materials and belt configurations, but it DOES lend a lot of rwalism and credibility to the setting, an I'm sure others appreciate it.Over all, excite dfor thread 2! Keep up the good work.
>>5750410>Swing by the playhouse and get some roasted tea
>>5750410>Swing by the playhouse and get some roasted teaMy only complaint is that some choices feel pointless as one of the option is clearly superior.
>>5750671if you don’t mind, can you give me an example?
>>5750410>Nah, go straight to my houseIt's too early to pick a favorite/least favorite. Narration can be a tad long at times.
>>5750410>>Nah, go straight to my house
Closing votes in a few hours.
>>5750410>>Swing by the playhouse and get some roasted tea
>>5750410>feedbackI was promised titties
>>5751068Should’ve voted for the HEMAfag or magical girl route bruvNo seggs for the idol yet.
>>5750465>>5750541>>5750671>>5751065>>5751065pretty clear vote. I'll be writing this tomorrow.
>>5751122Accidentally put a vote there twice. Should’ve been four instead of five.
Updating in a few hours.
>>5751703>playhouseI really could use a drink. Zorn probably made the entire playhouse smell of roasted tea by now.[…]The smoky fragrance and warmth became readily apparent as soon as I enter the playhouse through the back. A handful of people still remain, mainly the ones involved in paperwork and the occasional actor practicing their lines. Most of the noise barely reach the locker room. After the cart is secured within the building, I did some much needed stretch-ughhhh.Moving the back of my shoulders too much gave me quite the sting. The soreness doesn’t last, but it was annoying all the same. I really do need to exercise more. A twenty something year old can’t be having back problems now….“…. haha. yeah. pretty much.”I expected to walk up the stairs and find Zorn in the storage or in his office, but that wasn’t necessary at all — him and Fennec are on stage, going over the correct positions of tomorrow’s props. Quite the occasion to actually see him laugh or smirk at all, although I’m not exactly sure why Fennec is here. Nara told me the last she saw of him was with his family, contacting law enforcement. Weird. I greet the two of them and get straight to the point about the letter, presenting it as well. “You hurt? Anything missing or damaged? Anyone following you?”I’m fairly sure no one followed me the entire day. I also. double-checked things in my house and nothing was out of place. Only a threat and little else. Both of them were pretty relieved when I told them that. Fennec says they’re currently working on sending word about this to the rest of the troupe — the copyists will finish writing the mails in a few hours. It should be done and sent to everyone by tonight. After giving my side of the story, Zorn proceeds to go over the timeline of things according to all the information he has, although he tells me not worry about it much.“So. Right now, there’s four people hit in total.” “Grantham. Fennec. You. Tip.”“I’m not really sure when the letters were sent, but I’m guessing its.. somewhere after the morning but before one in the afternoon. Delivered by hand. Grantham and his kid said they saw it around.. eight in the morning. Fennec, you said it was.. uh.. nine or something?”“Uh.. we found it after the rehearsal but I don’t know. Could’ve been there at nine. Ten. Eleven. Noon, even. My parents weren’t home on those hours either.”“Yeah. The letters you two got… that’s the hard part. Some four, five hour window.”“Tip was next.”“An- and…”
>>5751715Zorn produced the most devious of smirks as he mentions it, chuckling lightly in the process of forming a sentence. Oh dear.“Tip saw that dipshit. Red handed.”“It- it was like.. noon and a half. She was walking home and saw some guy - really tall human, a little shorter than a giant - trying to slide a letter through her doorway. She yelled at him and he ran. Tripped down the stairs and landed face first on the ground, got up, tripped again and hit the ground a second time. His face must’ve been busted as shit after that.”He’s a damn amateur and a dumbass, but I’m glad he was. Tip is a goblin. Even with a weapon, it’s probably going to be one sided if he decided to fight. I don’t think I could take someone like that on - even with a polearm - and survive unscathed if he rushes me. “.. she didn’t see his face, but said he smelled odd. Tip.. doesn’t.. I’m not exactly sure what she is talking about it either when she came here to warn us.”Fennec assists him in this aspect. “I think she meant it in a.. animal kind of way. Like the smell of meat or fish.” “Yeah. I think that’s the case. And she also said he sounds young. Like fourteen.. fifteen year old kind of young.““Tip already went to the city guards about this, but I don’t think they’ll do much. Tip said she might be able to find witnesses to back her up and the notes could be compared to see if they match….. but even if they get him, the punishment probably won’t that harsh since he (((technically))) didn’t do much and he’s a kid.”“Best case scenario — it gets settled out of court. He does a song and dance and B E G about how sorry he is and ask for forgiveness, his parents cough up some money or gift us some horseshit as compensation, and things go back to (((normal))).”His tone simmers down ever so slightly.“You know how it goes.““This guy… I’ve got a plan to find him. I need your help. You’re close to.. uh.. Toht, right?”Wait… the age..the build..the smell..the injury…No, no way. It fits. It.. does fit!What if he stumbled and panicked not because I startled him, but because he saw me? Now that I think about it, why the hell wouldn’t he be accustomed to the sound of a moving cart? There’s plenty of them on the farm and surely the family must’ve used them often. The one they lend certainly looks the part. And there’s the matter of those bombs.
>>5751716Zorn is.. very knowledgeable when it comes to weapons, self-defense, and criminal activity than me, I thoroughly admit. He was a fencing instructor and no doubt witnessed real life violence. Whatever he did to get his friends out of the green lamps district, I may never know. He is good. He is smart. He is definitely more experienced than me when it comes to these things, but I sure as shit won’t let him beat up a kid without a very good reason. I doubt I could stand in his way, even with a dussack in hand, but damn it, I will try. Maybe this kid was forced into it? Maybe he was friends with those arrested crooks and they only told their side of the story? Maybe he is merely good at barking but not at biting? He’s a kid — troubled, maybe, but little older than people than watch our performances. ‘I… I think I might know who he is.’‘Zorn. What are you going to do with him.’ We stared at each other for a couple moments. The stage grows more silent than a grave. His eyes don’t deviate from my face and neither does mine. The silence eventually breaks. “Talk.”“Just.. talk. A warning. And then watch him.”“That’s… all. Unless he escalates it.”… that seems fair.I relent and tell him about the encounter with the DeBoers. All of it.[…]Zorn says the bombs aren’t particularly strong — it could blow off a limb if it comes in contact with it, but it isn’t as dangerous as I thought. Little more than powerful firecrackers, but something to keep in mind.We’re definitely need Lady Rin and Nara in this — their supernatural command will come in handy. Only question now is our approach.>Gather more evidence for nowLady Rin and Nara could help. Maybe there’s something they could do now that we might have a suspect.>Confront him alone directlyEveryone currently available (Me, Fennec, Zorn, Nara, maybe the entire band, Lady Rin and Grantham) will confront this kid about this behavior when he is alone. We will talk and ensure these incidents not happen again.>Take this to his parentsEveryone currently available - and parents of those affected - will visit the farm to inform his parents and him. >write inthe final choice. Next update will be a quick one. Thanks all anons for playing! This fanart is from the previous /qag/, shout out to him.one last feedback request: what would you like to see more in the second thread?
>>5751728>>Gather more evidence for now
>>5751728>Gather more evidence for nowThank you for running QM!And as for the second thread, personally I'd like to see some more of the theater troupe and maybe even the acting itself.
>>5751728>>Gather more evidence for nowMore seggs
>>5751728>Confront him alone directlyMore theatre stuff in thread 2 would be my vote, also. Maybe some romance for Emi?
>>5751728>Confront him alone directlyparty time!>>5751119>weapon autist and magical super autist hook up sooner than the charisma maxed idolunrealistic, immersion broken
>>5751805>>5751841Noted!Pretty close so far. I’ll be closing votes after a few more hours.
>>5751892No seggs for the wingman >>5751836Yes. Wholesome handholding seggs soon depending on the second thread choices
>>5751728>>Confront him alone directly
Rolled 40, 31 = 71 (2d100)A tie again. I'll be leaving it up to the dice then. Highest roll wins. Good luck.1st roll = gather evidence2nd roll = confront
>>5752314>gather more evidence This could just be mere coincidence — just because the kid has a broken nose doesn’t necessarily mean it was from falling on his face twice in succession today. Yes, he does mostly fit Tip’s description, but that was quite broad to begin with, and how can we sure she remembered all the details correctly? We can’t act rashly now. Not without more evidence to confirm if this kid really is the same person. For that, we need Nara and Lady Rin — I’ll go talk to them right after this.Zorn concedes. Before I head upstairs for a drink, Fennec asks me about the rest of the sextet. “Oh, Emi. If anyone else in your band needs a sword, my dad is happy to lend them. He has like.. a lot of spares. Just in case. After what happened today. I just put like.. six of them here in my locker.”Huh. So his dad was that kind of cutler too. Make sense now. Blemished or rudimentary as they might be, these edged weapons are still force multipliers. It could definitely help against an attacker of large size. Carrying it might not be the most convenient thing however, especially not without a dedicated suspension system. I’ll probably talk to them about this tomorrow.[…]After taking a few moments to enjoy the tea and rest, it was time I leave the playhouse. All of us had matters to attend to, anyways. That tranquil feeling returns to me once again as I push the cart home. Icy wind that glides past my face. The sound of wheels moving on dirt and gravel. The slightly cloudy afternoon got me to reflect on things once more.The past day was quite something. I helped Nara get together with Fennec even after she literally broke into his room. I got Lady Rin to find those ‘tough guys’ so Zorn and friends could beat them up. Mist Raven, hell, the entertainment industry itself is no stranger to shady things, but these are….
…….. I suppose when it comes to things like these, what is right - wrong - useful becomes hard to judge. Let’s see whose play will be the winning move, then.
>Thus concludes Prinzessin Quest. (for now)
>>5752546Nice show bill! And good quest. Thanks for running!
>>5752546poggers run bro