>>Previous threads can be found at: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Vale%20Quest>>In case you're lazy and don't want to archive binge, The synopsis and character descriptions can be found at: http://pastebin.com/WAF7dq90In front of you, the morning's light casting light across the walls, was the city of Nerull, great marble walls blocking you from seeing the city proper. To your side sat Hannah, Cass, the gryphon that is Ariana, and clinging to you in a hug was Tannis. Sitting at the front of the wagon, driving the horses was Kale, his eyes and hair strange. He no longer grinned, but he seemed like he was calmer, more at peace. Serene."Here's your gun." Cass said, and handed you the revolver. "I didn't need to use it. Though... I almost did when the maenad arrived.""This is Nerull." Kale said, his voice low and strong. "Once the heart of Skiitara, now it is merely the eastern border. It still bears memories of being the passage the serf cities once used, though, before they became the Free Cities."
>>23028100"How long ago did the free cities break away?"
>>23028100"Will we need to use Tannis's book to get in?"
"How long ago did the free cities break away?""Three hundred years." Kale said, with a nod. "Or so. Give or take several decades.As he rode the horses toward the gates, eventually pulling them to a stop, you saw five men at the gates, with a ballista set up, the huge bolt glimmering with something."Tannis." Kale said. "Have you recovered your family name, yet?""Lyra, you said you'd find it." Tannis responded, and climbed out, calling to Gearworks, where Lyra was sitting on."Uh, right." Lyra said, and flipped open Tannis's mother's journal, looking through. "It was... Rowling.""Rowling, okay." Tannis said. "Uh, Kale-""... Please, call me Kelaris." He said. "Names are important to elves, and that is the one I am currently bearing. Anyway, continue, please.""Uh, Kelaris, how do I do this?" Tannis asked."Show them the seal on the pouch." He said."Halt!" One of the guards called, the ballista wheeling toward Gearworks."Wait, wait, Gearworks. Stop moving." Lyra called, panicked, and the brass spider lurched to a stop."Travelers." One of the guards said. "Are you refugees?"
>>23028275"No, we need to deliver a message to a princeps.""We think that Tannis might be a descendant of a princeps too."
"No, we need to deliver a message to a princeps." You say. "And we think that Tannis may be a descendant of a princeps too.""Then we're going to need some proof, I'm afraid." The guard said."She bears a seal." Kale sai, and turned to Tannis, who's ears were drooping nervously. "Go on, show it to him."She held out the pouch with the silver seal on it, and the guard touched it- before pulling his arm back."May I ask what your family name is?" He asked, after nodding."Rowling." Tannis said. "It was... in a journal.""Very well!" He said, and turned back, calling to the city gates."'Tis a homecoming!" He called, and the gates started to creak open. "You will need to stop at customs, I'm afraid, and your weapons will be peacebound."He turned to Gearworks, which was perfectly, utterly still."... And I'm afraid that we cannot allow this thing in." He said. "We can keep it here, but... it's too dangerous, with the recent troubles in Amberway, to allow Forged into the Skiitaran nation."
>>23028440"Very well, thank you.""I'd prefer not to leave it, but if you're certain I can't bring it with us, then I'll deactivate it."
>>23028440"It's not a Forged and it only exists for protection. I'd like to bring it along. If it eases you, I can set it to accept commands from not only us, but Skiitaran officials as well."
"Very well, thank you." You say. "I'd prefer not to leave it, but if you're certain I can't bring it with us, then I'll deactivate it.""I hope it's understandable." The guard said, with a nod. "When you leave, we'll make certain to return it to you."With a word, you deactivate Gearworks, and some men come out of the gates to carry it into storage."Simply move in through the gates, and you'll find customs- and some stables- to the left." The guard said. "They'll set you up and peacebond your weapons before you enter Skiitara proper."Kale nodded, and drove the horses on, as Lyra climbed into the wagon proper."They keep talking about peacebonding." Lyra said. "What are we going to do about the guns? Tell them they aren't weapons?"
>>23028565"That's what I planned to do. I don't want to be left defenseless."
>>23028565"Just tell them they're weapons of my own design. Hey, maybe I can make a fortune selling some toned down designs for guns."
>>23028565"I've been able to pass them off as alchemy equipment before."
>>23028565We can unload them, if we need to, and the pistols can be peacebonded into holsters.
"That's what I planned to do." you say. "I don't want to be left defenseless, and I've been able to pass them off as alchemy equipment before.""Okay, let's do that." Hannah said, and you put all of your firearms into your alchemy bag, as Kale takes the wagon to the left, the horses mildly uncomfortable with all the high walls near."Alright, everybody should be able to come out." Kale said. "They will interview us all, and ask about our own personal situations. We should make it clear that Ariana is a witch, and that her gryphon is a familiar."Everyone climbs out of the wagon, and the guards are simply standing there lazily, until a man in a red robe came out, spectacles balanced on his nose. "Yes, yes, one moment. One at a time. I'm told this is a homecoming, is it not?""It is." Kale said. "For Tannis Rowling.""Yes, then we'll start with her." He said. "Come this way, Tannis.">Field too long!
>>23028896Eventually, Tannis came back out of the simple stone building, her arms full of papers, with a thick steel box in her hands, her ears and tail wiggling. She frowned, and you saw she was wearing a large pendant with a symbol on it- a larger, more easily seen seal, it looked."I'm not allowed to shapeshift in a city." She said. "But at least they let me keep my claws.""Next, the order knight, please." The thin man with the spectacles said, and Lyra entered the building. It wasn't long until she came back, and you saw her sword was sheathed, copper cables wound around the handle, with a wax seal holding it there."The huntsman?" The man said, and you entered the building."Yes, just set out all of your weapons and tools here." He said, and inside, you saw a long workbench, with cables and wax, as he got to a pile of papers, asking you this and that about who you were."Now, if you have any questions about skiitaran law, now is the time to ask. It's rather similar to the free cities' laws, I believe, but it's best to make certain. And what are these? All alchemy tools?" He asked, brandishing a hand to your alchemy bag, with the guns and ammo strapped to it.
>>23028921"Yes, I recently bought that kit, it's become something of a hobby to pass the time."
>>23028921I'd just like to go on record as saying I'd rather be honest about the nature of the guns. We can carry them unloaded, or craft holsters and then have them peacebonded in.Peacebonding isn't actually all that hard to break, if it comes down to it - the point is that if somebody breaks it, they KNOW who it was.
>>23028921"As I understand it, you use notes for currency instead of coinage, is there anywhere in town I can exchange some?"
"Yes, I recently bought that kit. It's become something of a hobby to pass the time.""Good to hear." He said. "It looks rather well worn."He wrote something on a few papers, and then put them into a container for you."As I understand it, you use notes for currency instead of coinage." you say. "Is there anywhere in town I can exchange some?""Oh, yes. Right here, sir. There is also a moneylender in town, though his exchange rate is questionable, at times. As I recall, a copper coin is worth five dollars, and silver is worth a hundred. Gold coins are worth too much to exchange easily, but we can write up a banknote for you."
>>23029092why are all weapons being treated like this?
>>23029092"Can I exchange 50 Copper and 5 Silver, please?"
"Why are all weapons being treated like this?" You ask."Not all weapons, merely those of travelers, serfs, and non-citizens." He said. "We hardly care if you break the peacebinding outside of cities, but within them, we dislike weapons free. We find it cuts down on murder, deadly fights, and treason."As he says this, he slides your sword into a scabbard, binding it with copper wire, and pressing wax into it- and for your bow, he simply unstrung it, wrapping it in cloth, and pressing wax into it as well. The hammer, he wrapped it in a bag, filling the head with stuffing, before wrapping and sealing it. The knives he let you keep, as he did the guns.""That should be all, Mister Abel." He said. "Is there anything else you need?""Can I exchange 50 copper and 5 silver, please?" you ask."Oh, certainly." He said, and took your money, leaving the room for some time, before returning with a wad of paper money, alongside a scrap of paper- a receipt, it looked.Finally, he gave you a simple iron container to put your paperwork into, which you put your small pile into it. With that, and many more sealed weapons than you had, he gave you a nod."That should be all." He said. "Unless there's anything else you need."
>>23029302"I think that's it, thank you."
>>23029302"Would you happen to have a map I can buy?"
>>23029302we're traveling together with a young witch, her familiar is the gryphon standing outside with the rest of the group.
"We're traveling together with a young witch, her familiar is the gryphon standing outside with the rest of the group." You say. He nodded. "The princeps told me about that." He said."Would you happen to have a map I can buy?""Not here, I'm afraid, but you can find one in the city.""I think that's it, thank you." You say. He nodded again, and lead you out of the building."Now, the witch, please." He said, and the gryphon stepped forward. He gave her a look up and down."Well, familiars are always a nightmare of paperwork." He said. "I'm going to apologize for the delay beforehand.""I don't mind." Ariana said, and the leonine bird head nodded, as he lead her in. Some time later, he came out again, and Ariana wore a collar, with some kind of container on her neck. As time went on, Hannah, Cass, and finally Kelaris went in, and came out, their weapons bound-Except for the long, white sword on Kelaris' back.
>>23029428"So your citizenship still applies after all those years?"
>>23029428Your citizenship was recognised Ka- Kelaris?
>>23029428i guess, they still recognize you?that's quite a sword.
>>23029428"What did they ask you about, Tannis?"
"So your citizenship still applies after all those years, Ka- Kelaris?" You ask, and he nodded."He didn't seem to recognize my name, which is surprising." He said. "But yes, my paperwork was in order.""That's quite a sword.""It is." He said, and nodded slowly."What did they ask you about, Tannis?" You say."They asked me who I was, how I was raised, where I was born... everything. He had me give my entire life story, and then asked me who you guys were. He acted weird when I told him I wasn't a werecat, though.""They only asked me my name, age, and my purpose here." Lyra said. "And then droned on about not killing any magical beings, no matter what my order tells me to, and that they'll treat it as murder, even if the being isn't human.""They kept asking me about my 'trained metamorphs', but I don't know what those are." Cass said. "Finally he just shrugged and bound up my spear.""How come they didn't give *you* cold iron, Kale?" Hannah asked, rubbing at the bracers she had around her wrists."That's not my name." Kelaris said."... Right, I'm sorry, I forgot."
>>23029620"This is an entirely new place for me, so I have no idea where we should go and who to see. Any ideas, Kelaris?"
>>23029620that will take some getting used to, we'll get it eventually, why didn't they give you cold iron?
>>23029620Just to reassure me, how quickly can you get out of those bracers, Hannah?You'll have to bear with us for a bit Kelaris, Kale was our friend for a long time. We aren't going to forget him.
>>23029620Might I ask your new Oirgin, Kelaris?
>>23029715It's obvious that he didn't get any cold iron because he's a citizen.
"This is an entirely new place for me, so I have no idea where we should go and who to see. Any ideas, Kelaris?""I'm taking a backseat to this adventure." He said. "I will to translation, if necessary, and I will, of course, fight, but I'll not act of my own accord, or make decisions." He said. "This is something I chose as Kale, but he would not tell you so sternly.""Just to reassure me, how quickly can you get out of those bracers, Hannah?""Uh.. it'd take me a bit." She said. "They unclasp, though, so less than a minute." She said, and struggled with them, her wings fluttering. She was almost a foot off the ground when they came free. She gave you a grin, then landed again, clasping them on.""Might I ask your new Origin, Kelaris?""My old origin was the sound of blades, clashing." He said, and chuckled, the corner of his mouth pulling up into a subtle smile. "That ended the training exercise quickly, as I recall."
>>23029827"Suddenly, an elf?"
>>23029827Laugh."I'll trust your judgement."Well then Ariana, shall we stop here for the night or continue?
>>23029827can't imagine how they would react to that.
>>23029827"Oh, I shot Gareth in the chest by the way."
>>23029827Do elves arrive beclothed?
>>23029897yea see if that would be a mortal wound along with tell every thing that happened
>>23029934It won't be fatal. That wouldn't work for the plot.
>>23029954still, wouldn't it be great if it did?at least it gave her something to think about for our next meeting.
>>23029991Very true. And I bet it hurt like nothing else she's ever felt.
>>23029996She likes pain, doesn't she? Maybe she enjoys melting.
>>23030010I think she enjoys inflicting pain, rather than experiencing it herself. Sadist, not masochist.Unless of course she's both.
>>23029991We should have taken Gearworks power core and used it to build a Gauss Rifle.
"Suddenly, an elf?" You ask, and he nodded. "Do elves arrive beclothed?""Yes. And no." He said. "One born in the forests, born feral, would arrive wearing nothing, while one born from the sound of a dog's howl, or from the embers of a manmade fire, would be born wearing clothing. An elf's life is a balance between nature and mankind. Those of us oriented toward mankind are born with clothing, and with basic knowledge of language.""Well then, Ariana, shall we stop here for the night, or continue?""We might want to buy some things, maybe." Ariana said. "Maybe even a map.""Oh, I shot Gareth in the chest, by the way."Kelaris's eyebrows shot up."Interesting." He said. "Did she die? It would've been obvious if she did.""I don't think so." You say."A pity."
>>23030010She likes emotional pain more than physical, I think.
>>23030027It's fine, we'll have more opportunity for that later. Surely Sky can't boobytrap EVERY power core.
>>23030030"The shot was full of everything that harms the supernatural though, and it went right in her belly. I'm betting it hurt a whole hell of a lot."
>>23030030"I'm sure we'll get another shot at her.""A map is good." Find a store.
>>23030010she likes making others suffer, probably react poorly to getting hurt herself.>>23030030at least now that Gareth and Gabe/sky are working together our paths are sure to cross again.>i hope we told them about those 2, begrudgingly, teaming up.
>>23030030"Let's find a general store then. I exchanged some coins for their banknotes."
>>23030040or you know now we know they all are so take safety steps >>23030030so lets get a map some food and be on our way so Kelaris what do you eat now..also tell sis so we are apparently related to the founder of the order one of the crones said I look just like him :P
>>23030135We should probably tell that to Lyra in private. Not out in the street.
>>23030158That'll be pretty funny actually."Lyra, I met with the Crone. She said Kristoph left me...THIS!" and then we dramatically hold up the hammer that is now covered in fluff and looks like a toy.
>>23030183I like the idea, but we got the hammer from Onyx, not the crones. It was a Catastra family heirloom.
>>23030212Well yeah, but who do you think gave it to them?
"Let's find a general store, then. I exchanged some coins for their banknotes.""Kelaris, can you show us where to go?" Tannis asked."I may as well." He said, and started walking. The rest of you followed into the city, and you were struck by how run down it looked. Most of the stone buildings had been taken down, leaving sparse ones unused. The town center once had a fountain, you could tell, but it'd been torn down as well. You had a strong feeling that once a strong, heavily populated city, this city was now smaller."There is a general store that way, I believe." Kelaris said, pointing toward a building on the corner of the street center.Then he turned to look at a young, pale girl standing in the center of the town center, blindfolded, a stick in her hands. Laying in a circle around her were multiple sticks, some shattered, some discarded. Most of them were shaped vaguely like the sort of sword Kelaris had on his back."Hm." Kelaris said. "Abel, go take up one of the training blades and strike her."
>>23030247"If you say so, if I get hit in the face because of this I'm going to blame you.What is this for anyways?"
>>23030247"...I'll do it, but would you care to explain?"
>>23030247"She's in training I assume?"
>>23030247Poke her gently on the nose.
>>23030247"Some kind of training, presumably?"Take a training sword and do as instructed. Except let's be tricky about it, with a feint-and-strike.
>>23030286Let's not do that. I don't wanna get bonked on the head like an idiot.
>>23030247i'm guessing there is more to this than meets the eye, if i get smacked, you are not permitted to laugh until after i get a full explanation.pick up stick and have a swing.
>>23030247you want me to hit a blindfolded girl?Ok
>>23030326Poke her on the nose with a sword.
>>23030357That's not any better!
"Huh?" You ask. "Why?"He didn't respond, instead stepping forward, picking up one of the discarded training swords, tossing it to you. You caught it, easily."She's in training, I assume?"He nodded. You take it in hand, and carefully step forward, and start to poke her in the nose with it-And she smashed it out of your hands, spinning in a circle, bringing the blade down toward your neck. You parried, and then swung- and she caught it on the end of her own blade with a 'hup', before swinging the end of the blade at you. You hardly had a chance to back up before it whistled past you, and she started swinging wildly."Hm. Interesting. You can go make your purchase." Kelaris said, and picked up one of the other training swords. "I will be here. And then her hour will be over, and we can both explain this to you."Everyone in your party watched... he simply started whaling on her, stepping into her reach just long enough to smash the training blade against the inside of her knee, or her shoulder, or down along her back, adroitly dodging each of her strikes- she'd hit and kick nothing but air. Throughout this entire time, she was perfectly silent, trying to keep up with him, albeit blind, letting out no more than a whimper when she was struck.
>>23030389Well, he's training her, he won't hurt her too much, and it's a good lesson, she's doing this voluntarily.Go buy stuff.
>>23030389"I guess they train them from a young age.""Let's find that store."
>>23030389Well, that seems to be well in hand, if mystifying. Let's do shopping.
>>23030389i'm a hunter, i'd rather take on a bear.gotta compliment her on her skill when we get back.
"Well, that seems to be well in hand, if mystifying." you say. "I guess they train them from a young age.""... That doesn't look nice." Ariana said, hanging her head. You can almost hear the frown in her voice. But nonetheless, the group walked to the store, walking in.The man in there clapped his hands when you came in, and started babbling in Skiitaran. The shelves in the walls carried all sorts of tools, supplies, and materials, as well as a strange, mystifying object that first looked like the watch you'd made for Astora, but always pointed the same direction, even when you turned the object."That's a compass." Ariana said, over your shoulder. "They're really rare, and made of cold iron."Lyra responded, and the man grinned, clapping his hands again."Yes, yes, from the free cities. Tourist? Hm. What would you like?" He asked.
>>23030483Were looking for a map
>>23030483"Ideally, we'd like a map."Forgot to ask when we made it, but are pocketwatches or clocks rare?
>>23030483anything you can tell me about the city?interesting places?>>23030526i'd say pocket watches probably don't exist yet (maybe they do in Skiitara). Astora probably now has the only one in sanctuary (and surrounding areas)
>>23030483Browse his fine wares.
>>23030526>They're so rare in that they don't exist at all, in any form save sundials, until you made one with your robotics knowledge."We're looking for a map." You say."Map, map..." He said, and pulled one out- it was old, made of lamb skin. "Here. Twenty dollars."You look at your own clip of paper notes, and count them quickly, adding them all up to 750$. Based on the exchange rate the customs officer had given you, apparently twenty dollars were four copper coins. You give him the money, and take the map, looking at it closely."Anything you can tell me about the city? Interesting places?"He thought about it, and then started babbling in skiitaran again, as Lyra backed up, trying to wrap her head around what he was saying."Um, he's saying there are knights, and something about princeps, and something about the emperor." She said.>This is the map. Yes, the mountains are different, but that's because I forgot how I did them in region 10.>Made pretty much on the spot. Thanks to those in the IRC for village names.
>>23030612So many swamps. Can we not go to the swamps?
>>23030612>that little town called Steve>haha!not sure what else we would need from this store, aside from maybe supplies to make more shells for our Gareth-bane shotgun. how much for one of those compasses?
>>23030612"I guess we're heading straight for Skiitaris then.""Let's go see Kelaris."
>>23030663>Steve is the best name."Not sure what else we need..." You say. "How much for one of these compasses?"The man counted on his fingers for a bit, before looking up."Four hundred." He said. "Very useful, very rare."
>>23030612Clocks could be a valuable trade item if we make them. Do we know cold iron is magnetic thanks to our robotics?Anything else in the store catch our eye?
>>23030695We don't need a compass, we've got our directionsense.But give them a look over, maybe we can make one later.
>>23030695We can make those on our own and we're good enough at woodscraft that we don't need it.Though take a closer look at them, imagine how to recreate them and if they don't already have a gimbal system imagine that so we can IMPROVE them so they're easier to use on a ship.
>>23030695>400?>nahmentally steal the design we'll make our own.anything else worth checking? if not we're good to go, check with the rest if they need/want anything.
You give the compass a once-over, reaching into your knowledge...And then your arm burned. It would be easy, so easy, to look into how it was made, to copy the design. You just weren't sure how it turned northwards...>Roll Magic. 1d6. Taking first only!
Rolled 3>>23030801gogo magic!~
Rolled 5>>23030801Magic! It's simple, magnetic poles.
With a sigh, you set it back down, unable to understand how it worked. You could try making one later, but you had no idea if it'd work properly."Are we good to go?" You ask, looking around."I don't think there's anything here we need." Cass said, leaning on the peacebound spear."I don't see anything." Hannah said, her ears fluttering as she looked fluttered over the shelves, in case she missed anything. Ever since she got her magic back, it seemed she could fly short distances.Tannis just stretched. "I want to change shape so I can sleep, but I can't." She whined."I guess we're heading straight for Skiitaris then." You say, stepping out of the store. "Let's go see Kelaris."By the time you got back to the town center, the girl was panting, exhausted, and Kelaris no longer had a sword in hand, simply standing there, saying something. Finally, the girl took off her blindfold, and turned around."Her hour's complete. Good timing." Kelaris said, with a nod to you.The girl looked first to Kelaris, and then to you, a serious expression on her face.Her eyes were the same gray as Kelaris's, though neither of them seemed to notice."Meet the imperial princess." Kelaris said, with a shrug. "Skiitara is strong, this generation."
>>23030907"Princess? Was that some kind of training?"
>>23030907princess... well, that's certainly someone you wouldn't expect to see blindfolded in the middle of the street.pleasure to meet you, your highness.
>>23030907"Lovely to meet you princess. I always keep on running into royalty, I wonder why.
"Princess? Was that some kind of training?""'Twas." She said, wiping at the blood in the corner of her mouth, where she'd taken a bad strike."The imperial princess- and the empress- represents the strength of the nation. The better a fighter they are, the stronger Skitara is." Kelaris said, and shrugged. "She looks to be about the age they send her into the wilderness.""That is why I must train." She told him."... So you're doing this of your own accord?" Kelaris asked. "Interesting.""Lovely to meet you, princess. I always keep on running into royalty. I wonder why.""Because you are either an assassin or an adventurer." The princess said, meeting your eyes. "I hope the latter. For your sake."
>>23031081"The latter, like my father before me."
>>23031081I guess I am an adventure >>23031136this
>>23031081an adventurer, just like my old man.i would make a pretty lousy assassin to be honest.
>>23031081It is an honour to meet you, princess. May I ask your name?
>>23031081"Adventurer, though if I was an assassin I'd say the same thing so it's kind of a silly question. I'm Abel Byrne, my father was Ezekiel Byrne, I know it's an odd question but do you know if he visited Skitara during his travels?"
>>23031081"Send you into the wilderness? So they let you fend for yourself for a while?"
"The latter, like my father before me.""Good." she said. "It is an honor to meet you, princess. May I ask your name?""Anala." She said. "And 'tis no honor when you can simply speak to me on the street.""I am Abel Byrne. My father was Ezekiel Byrne. I know it is an odd question, but do you know if he visited Skitara during his travels?""Twouldn't know." She said. "Ask my brother, or the seneschal in the palace.""Send you into the wilderness? So they let you fend for yourself for a while?""A year." She said. "I must survive a year, with no support from fellow men, without even speaking a word or entering a building not of my own construction." She said, and said a phrase in skiitaran, the words falling like liquid from her mouth, much more eloquent than the deliberate way she was speaking english."Unspeaking and unspoken to." Kelaris translated, and she gave him a decisive nod.
>>23031261"Well, we're heading off soon, so good luck."
>>23031261That doesn't sound like much fun. With luck you won't have to begin before things start happening.
>>23031261i guess we shouldn't offer help then? we're on our way to try and meet with the princeps on a matter, most important.
>>23031261"Isn't that a bit dangerous with all the Forged running around?"
>>23031261"That doesn't sound fun. It wouldn't be the hardest thing to do if you knew the area well. But it sounds like a combination of boring, hungry, and lonely."
>>23031261We're a woodsman, right? Give her some tips on living in the woods!
>>23031261>>23031362OFFER her tips and tricks we've picked up.
>>23031383That's not a bad idea actually.
>>23031261If there's a forge/smithy in town we could make Cass a replacement fire-glove thing she had when we met her.
"That doesn't sound like much fun.""'Tisn't." She said. "But easier than carrying the empire on mine shoulders, as I will have to do.""Isn't that a bit dangerous with all the Forged running around?"She gave you a ferocious grin."Tis." She said."I'm a woodsman. Would you like some tips on living in the woods?""I've embraced mine studies." She said. "I likely know your tips. But give them as you will- I lose nothing for hearing."You start explaining a few things- how to strip an animal's fur, to boil water to purify it, and how to hide your fires by choosing the right sorts of wood. She nodded each time, as if marking them on a mental list. Finally, after you finish explaining, she tilted her head."My brother would like you." She said. "He fancies himself an adventurer. Meet him in Vigil or Skitaris, if you will."
>>23031452"I shall. What is his name?"
>>23031452"What's his name?"
>>23031452Skritch Tannis' ears."Even if you can't speak to them, try to make some friends."
>>23031452you think? i'll keep that in mind, might i ask you for his name?
>>23031452"Are you allowed to talk to animals? Because not talking to anything for a year isn't good for you, they aren't good conversationalists but it's better than nothing."
"I shall. What is his name?"She took a deep breath. "Andalus." She said, as if the word carried extra weight. "You will know him when you see him. Carries a bow-like contraption, and dons cobalt steel. Has merely one eye.""Are you allowed to talk to animals? Because not talking to anything for a year isn't good for you, they aren't good conversationalists but it's better than nothing.""No, I am not." She said. "For any may be a witch soul in disguise. I must learn to lean on mine self."
>>23031629"Bow-like contraption? A crossbow?"
>>23031629"Good luck on your journey, Anala."
>>23031629"He sounds fun, I'll be sure to meet him if I can. And I wouldn't say in disguise, familiars are a bit more complicated than that. But I can see your point. Good luck, don't go stir crazy, make sure to pick up a hobby to do during the slow moments, keeps the mind sharp."
>>23031629"A crossbow or a compound bow?""I would argue that spending a full year without any kind of companionship is a good way to go insane, but it's not for me to decide."
"Bow-like contraption? A crossbow?""At first look, yes, one would say 'twas a crossbow. But it bears a Forged heart, which beats more quickly than the heart of a man. He constructed it himself.""Good luck on your journey, Anala." You say."And you on yours, adventurers." She said, with a nod.Kelaris said something in skiitaran, in a low, quiet voice, and lowered his head as he bowed. Lyra's eyebrows met, and Anala's eyes widened, surprised as he turned away."Let's go, shall we?" Kelaris asked you, walking past, as Anala reached out with a hand, as if to grab him, before pulling her arm back, cheeks going red."Why did she talk like that?" Hannah asked."The royal family learns an archaic version of skiitaran before they learn anything else." Kelaris said. "They say it was the first language that existed, brought from the divine when the first emperor was born.""What was that you said, at the end?" Lyra said. "It sounded like gibberish to me.""Nothing of consequence." Kelaris responded.
>>23031809It didn't sound like nothing of consequence.But don't push the issue.
>>23031809"You're related to her somewhere up the royal line, aren't you?"
>>23031809"Kelaris, she blushed about as red as can be and was interested in you. If you don't want to talk about it I won't press, but it wasn't nothing of consequence. Quick question, are you two related somehow?"
>>23031809"you know, whenever someone says somethings is 'nothing of confidence' it normally isn't; I'll not press you on it though""so where shall we be off to next?"
"Kelaris, she blushed about as red as can be, and was interested in you." You say. "If you don't want to talk about it, I won't press, but it wasn't nothing of consequence.""It's a tradition." He said. "Every grand knight of Skiitara takes up an oath to serve the nation as best they can. It's traditional to offer to the imperial princess to become emperor. So I offered my hand." He said."... So you asked her to marry you?" Cass asked."... Come to think of it, it's entirely possible that the tradition was stopped some time in the past few hundred years." Kelaris said."Quick question. Are you two related somehow?""Of course not." He said. "I have no parents or siblings, and my wife and child died, back in the war against the Forged."
>>23031969"I only ask because of the eye color, it's rather rare."
>>23031969"So you're a grand knight, interesting. Are there any of those still around?"
>>23031969"You know, I don't think Leez would object too much."
"I only ask because of the eye color. It's rather rare.""I did not notice her eyes." He said."So you're a grand knight. Interesting. Are there any of those still around?""We'll soon find out." He said, with a shrug. "I hope there are, though only very few could cross the gauntlet, and fewer still would take the oath.""So where shall we be off to, next?" You ask."Skiitaris, of course. It's where the palace is." He said. "Unless there is something else in the city you need to do.""You know, I don't think Leez would object too much.""To what, me becoming emperor?" He asked. "I doubt it. If I became emperor, I would need to stay Kelaris. She does not know me."
>>23032140"I made a promise, so I guess I can't let you do that."We should retrieve Gearworks and continue.
>>23032140"She'd miss Kale though.But I can't really think of anything else to take care of here, let's be off."
>>23032140"I think that's it for now."Let's go grab the wagon and Gearworks.
>>23032140Tell me about the Empire, back when you knew it, Kelaris.
"I made a promise, so I guess I can't let you do that." you say, and make your way to the wagon. "But I can't think of anythign else to take care of here, so let's be off.""Yes, let's." He said.After talking to the guards about retrieving Gearworks, you got on the wagon, and Kelaris urged the horses on, carrying you out of the city, and out onto the road."Tell me of the empire, back when you knew it, Kelaris.""The empire was powerful, and honorable." He said. "Not that it isn't now- but it spanned almost all the world, when I was born. Atlask, the Free Cities, and the Triumvirate were part of Skiitara as serf cities, and Edgardis and Kalid were shivering in fear of us. We'd just turned Nerull from a serf city into a proper part of the empire when the war of atlask started. I was still a soldier then, nothing better, and I never actually saw combat until that war was over. I got to see it dwindling."
>>23032356"That's a shame."
>>23032356"What caused such a shrink in size?"
>>23032356How did you earn your position?
"That's a shame." You say. "Change is a part of this world." He said. "That's what Atlask's rebellion taught me.""What caused such a shrink in size?" You ask."Serf rebellions." Kelaris said. "Atlask said that we treated them like slaves- and perhaps we did- but they chose to secede from the empire. Triumvirate did the same, not soon after." He said. "It was fifty years later that the Serf Cities- now the Free Cities- revealed their Forged.""How did you earn your position?" You ask."... My nature brought forth ability the grand knights were seeking." He said. "And my compulsion drove me onward, ever onward."He continued leading on the horses, and finally, Tannis stretched, before curling up in your lap, turning into a cat, while Hannah and Cass sat back, eyes half lidded, and Ariana lay down."This again." Lyra said. "Everyone goes boring when we're riding like this.""I'd almost prefer to walk." Cass said.
>>23032511"Hey, Lyra I learned something interesting in Sanctuary. According to the crones, we're descendents of Kristoph himself. Apparently, I look hust like him."
>>23032511Scratch the kitty."After my 'break' in Sanctuary was interrupted so, I'm going to steadfastly enjoy this nothing happening."Do we have any alcohol? We should drink some, and offer it around.
>>23032511"So, Lyra, an trouble with Gearworks? I noticed you enjoy riding atop it, better than a horse?"
>>23032511Pet the kitty. "At least we can entertain each other. Besides, nothing happening is far better than most of the potential 'somethings'."
You scratch Tannis, and she immediately started purring, running her ear up against your hand- apparently she'd missed you. "Hey, Lyra, I learned something interesting in Sanctuary." You say. "According to the crones, we're descendants of Kristoph himself." You say.Ariana suddenly sat up to meet your eyes, and Lyra's eyebrows shot up."... Really?" She asked. "Huh. You don't think the Order knew, do you? Maybe that's why they came up to Waymoor. I guess that explains why they were acting so strangely toward me."
>>23032620"They might have suspected it. Apparently, I look just like him, so if they have any pictures of him, the resemblance would be notable."
>>23032620"No idea, it's possible, I look like him, but I wouldn't bet on it."
>>23032620"I don't know. Crios might, though. Maybe that's why he personally trained you?"
>>23032620"Maybe. Also, deep within the Catastra estate I was given this." Show the hammer.
>>23032620"We need to find that spear the dad used as well. I'm told that it's pretty important."
>>23032620"It seems he left a message for me as well, about how to kill Sky once and for all. If so, it seems likely he had some way of knowing the future.When I found this sword, there was a sort of mural engraved on the stone behind it of three weapons. The sword, a spear, and a hammer. I find out our father had the spear, so it seems likely to me that the hammer Astora and I found was probably left with the Castara family for safe keeping by Kristoph."
"Maybe." You say. "It's possible they might have suspected it." "Interesting." She said."Also, deep within the Catastra estate, I was given this."You pull out the hammer, and unbind it, showing it to her."This looks like the one in the book I sent to Crios." She said, and took it in hand."We need to find that spear, as well.""The one dad used?""I'm told it's pretty important.""Think it's magical?" She asked."When I found this sword, there was a sort of mural engraved on the stone behind it of three weapons. The sword, a spear, and a hammer. I find out our father had the spear, so it seems likely to me that the hammer Astora and I found was probably left with the Castara family for safe keeping by Kristoph. It seems he left a message for me, about how to kill Sky once and for all.""He did?" "It seems likely he had some way of knowing the future.""What was the message?" Lyra asked."Yes, what was it?" Hannah added.Tannis just purred, half-asleep.
>>23032753"Gotta collect all three of the weapons and find the right three people to use 'em."
>>23032753Keep on petting the kitty. "More of an instruction list, get the weapons, give them to the right people, murder that fuck. Rather straight forward."
>>23032753Recite from memory: "The twin keys need to meet the twin seeds. The hammer for the sentry, and the spear for the seer. Only then may the angel become whole, and bear the strength to consume the shards.""So I guess I give the two other weapons to their respective owners, and stuff happens. I was told the spear should be held by someone I'd meet in Skiitara"
"More of an instruction list." You say, and keep petting the kitty- at least, until Tannis got up, dragged the brush you'd bought her out of her bag, and set it down before curling up in your lap again. Then you start brushing the kitty."Get the weapons, give them to the right people, murder that fuck. Rather straight forward.""You'd think magical slaying rituals would have more of a... ritual." Hannah said. "The one to call the Breath of Wind even makes you do a little dance.""... Where *do* you learn these things?" Cass asked. "It's in my blood." Hannah responded. "It's the same way Kelaris knows what a boon is, and what his name is."
>>23032843Let's not say it out loud. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but the fewer people who know the details, the better.
>>23032861"It's not really magical, in a sense."
>>23032861"What sort of dance?""I was told the spear should be held by someone I'd meet in Skiitara"
>>23032843Let's keep that part quiet. >>23032861"It's magic, I don't question it."
"What sort of dance?" You ask, and Hannah went red."Nothing you need to see." She said, mildly embarassed."Well, it's not really magical, in a sense." You say."Then what is it?" Lyra asked. "Is it like one of those practices where you have to stake a vampire, or behead a ghoul? But Gabriel doesn't give off the feeling that he's undead, and that's one of the rules. People instinctively know when an undead is near, we were taught.""Well, he keeps coming back." Ariana said. "So he has to be undead."
>>23032998"It's...a bit more complicated, I think."
>>23032998No, he's just not right. Not a part of this world. And it's a she now, Sky, I think she was called. She doesn't get killed, just set back a little.
>>23032998"It's way more complicated than that. He's not exactly undead, he does die, but he also doesn't. It's like stabbing a pool of water, it just reforms around the blade."
>>23032998"It's along the same lines as my unnatural knowledge, and ability to compile things that shouldn't exist."
>>23032998"He's not undead persay, he's...cheating. The universe has rules, and he keeps breaking them. He's coming back from the dead, yes. But only by erasing the part where he dies to begin with.I mean the first time he died he was posing as me and Tori burned him down to nothing. She doesn't even remember that happening."
"It's along the same lines as my unnatural knowledge." You say. "And it's a she now. She's not exactly undead. She's...cheating. The universe has rules, and she keeps breaking them. She's coming back from the dead, yes. But only by erasing the part where she dies to begin with."Kelaris looked back."... If it's not magic, then... it's the Divine." He said, and shrugged."The what?" Cass asked."The skiitaran afterlife." He said. "A plane where everything is made of thought, and you can make something happen by imagining it. I was told it's where elves are born from, as well as the first emperor."
>>23033109"Kelaris, could you tell me more about this. Because that seems really relevant to my situation."
>>23033109"That sounds accurate, actually. Only somehow she's applying that to here, rather than there."
>>23033109Who was the first Skiitaran emperor?
>>23033109"Yeah that sounds pretty familiar."
"That sounds accurate, actually." You say. "Only somehow she's applying that to here, rather than there.""Because reality is within the Divine." He said. "The Divine has a mind of it's own, and within that is where reality is born. If it truly exists, then I suppose that she's... blinding the Divine, somehow. Or perhaps the Divine is allowing her to twist things.""Who was the first skiitaran emperor?""I don't know right off hand." Kelaris said. "It's likely in the records, though the records have ended up burning down more than once.""Yeah, that sounds pretty familiar.""I'm not too interested in religion." Cass said, frowning, but Hannah was hanging onto his every word.Tannis, meanwhile, was purring and arching her back as you scratched her ears and brushed her
>>23033208Brush Tannis' tail and belly, if she'll let us."I've never known much of religion, out where I was."
>>23033208"How will this work when we get to Skiitara? Mention Tannis' name, get in, see a Princeps, and explain what's happening?"
>>23033239>>23033208Maybe we ought to let someone else grope Tannis.
>>23033239You don't brush a cat's belly or pet it. The tail she might be cool with though."So, Kelaris, were there any elves or long-lived beings like yourself in service to Skiitara back when you were a soldier?"
"I've never known much of religion, out where I was.""Really?" Lyra asked. "Kalveer was always praying to the Bone of the Earth, every time he tried smithing something."You suddenly remember Kalveer swearing as he hammered a hinge into place."Then there was mom, who worshipped that one spirit of water..." She said. "You just never really cared."You brush Tannis's tail, but when you move to her belly, she suddenly snatches it from your hands, and then digs her claws into your hand, giving you a glare."How will this work when we get to Skiitaris? Mention Tannis' name, get in, see a princeps, and explain what's happening?""I'm not certain." Kelaris said. "That should work, though. But the crescent says meet 'the' princeps, not *a* princeps."
>>23033318Take the brush back and brush her fur again, but sneakily brush it all backwards."Cyan, the bone of the Earth, Onyx, the heart of Fire. There's a Spirit of water as well? And a breath of Wind?"
>>23033318"Bone of Earth? Yeah. I got a message from it."
>>23033318"That was praying? I thought he was cursing the metal into shape."
"Cyan, the bone of the earth. Onyx, the heart of fire, there's a spirit of water, and breath of wind?" You ask."I feel them." Hannah said. "All around me. But I've never heard the names before.""That was praying? I thought he was cursing the metal into shape." You say."Well... Kalveer does both." Lyra said, and giggled... then closed her eyes. "I miss him."
>>23033364How about we don't piss her off because we should've known not to touch her belly?Damn, it's like you guy'sve seriously never owned a cat.
>>23033395I met the heart of fire, in Sanctuary. He was grumpy.
>>23033395"But what is CHARON?"
>>23033395"We'll head back after this is all over and pay him a long-due visit, sis. He's taking care of our old house for us, so at least we'll have someplace familiar to stay, ya know?"
>>23033395"After all this is over, we should go back and do something with the house."
>>23033440Like burn it to the ground.
"We'll head back after this is all over and pay him a long-due visit, sis. He's taking care of our old house for us, so at least we'll have someplace familiar to stay, you know?""We should." She said, and hit her hand."But what is CHARON?" You ask, and Hannah jumped, eyes wide."Charon?" Lyra asked. "What's that? That's really familiar. I remember Crios murmuring it, I think."Hanna slipped off her bracers."That name..." Hannah said, and covered her eyes. "What is that name? Charon, charon..." She said, and then opened them again."... Last night, I had a dream." She said. "And this... person told me something.""Told you what?" Cass asked."... Told me I was the Seer."
>>23033527"Who told you that?"Stroke kitty.
>>23033527"Eh? That's interesting. I guess you get the spear."
>>23033527Keep on petting the kitty."Who told you that Hannah? Because that is a really important piece of information there."
>>23033527"...If that's true, then according to the message that Kristoph left me, you're to hold one of the keys."
>>23033527"I don't know who told you that but it might be wrong. Apparently both the Seer and Sentry are human."
"Who told you that?" You ask. "Because that is a really important piece of information there.""He.. wore armor, like Lyra." She said, but her voice sounded disjointed, as if she was trying very, very hard to stay calm. "And he had a big sword. At first I thought it was one of the nightmares where the Order chased me, but... he dropped his sword, and gave me a hug."She cleared her throat."Then he said he was Charon. Kristoph." She said. "And that I shouldn't be scared."
>>23033634"That's certainly interesting."
>>23033634"Hey, tell me if Cat was right.Do I really look like him?"
>>23033634"Well I'll be.Ariana, does the gift of Truth work around your famliar?"Not enough cat petting.
>>23033634Nah I don't trust this girl at all.
"Hey, tell me if Cat was right." You say, and give tannis a feline back massage, digging your fingers lightly into the back of her neck. Her purr nearly tripled in volume, eyes tighly shut. "Do I really look like him?"She looked you up and down, squinting her eyes, and then nodded."Your eyes aren't green like his was." She said. "And your hair is darker, but... you look like him, a little.""Well, I'll be." You say. "Ariana, does the gift of truth work around your familiar?""It should, maybe." She responded. "But for some witches with Truth, it doesn't work around their familiar, and for some, it does."
>>23033739"Sounds like pot luck then."
>>23033739"Hm.. that's not much help. I'd like to know if it is working, before I trust the dream. Has anyone else gotten a Dream of Truth in the last few days?""If you do get one, tell me."Keep doing that fingers things.
"Hm... That's not much help." you say. "I'd like to know if it is working, before I trust the dream, Has anyone else gotten a dream of truth in the last few days?""I don't sleep." Kaleris said. "So I am afraid I have not.""... I had one." Cass said. "But I don't want to talk about it."Hannah takes a deep breath, and you turn down to Tannis again, digging your fingers in again as you continue the massage. It gets rather awkward when she lets out a long, low moan, her entire feline body essentially melting into pudding.
>>23033866Whoops.So how do you feel about spears, Hannah?
>>23033866So Tannis is satisfied, anyone else want a back massage?
>>23033866"Well, all we need to do is find the spear and the sentry then we're set."
>>23033866Keep on petting her, she's too adorable not to."I'm not going to pry Cass, unless it's relevant to the current situation.Has anyone heard anything about Sentries lately, capital S, not lowercase."Once Tannis is fully satisfied we should have her give us a backrub.
"So Tannis is satisfied. Anyone else want a back massage?""That did not sound like a back massage." Lyra said, and started removing her armor. "Give me one, though. You give the best massages."While you dig your fingers into Lyra's collarbones, you turn to Hannah. "Well.. All we need to do is find the spear and the sentry, then we're set.""Yes." Hannah said, looking to the stone knife on her hip, clenching her fists in anger. "Then we can *crush* Gabriel for what he did to me.">End of thread!>Again, my twitter is @futureexabyte , and we fuck around on the IRC pretty much all the time (#Exabyte on Rizon.)
>>23033997Thanks for running, Exa!