>Previous threads can be found at: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Ascent>Here's a handy list of things you should know, including an inventory list, character list, and synopsis! You can even find a list of your held runes here; http://pastebin.com/3L0zZV2KYou awaken to the sound of a storm. Thunder rattles the windows, and the rain simply pours. Based on your internal timing, you suppose it's pretty late in the morning- you've slept in a bit. You peer out the window, but it's dark, clouds blanketing the sky. You can barely see the sun, muted just as everything else. You spend a few moments to shave and wash yourself, and then head downstairs.Downstairs, where Dalton, Leroy, three farmers you haven't met, and Ann are. All of them have candles lit, and Miriam is cooking something in the kitchen."It's a storm." Leroy says, blindfolded. "One of the bad ones. These tend to flood the houses downhill, so we go here. It's the highest building, except for the old man's tower.""What about your crops?" You ask."We dug a channel that takes most of it past our fields and to the sea." He says.You look out the window. The loot-filled wagon is covered in water, and Mal's bedroll is drenched, but he doesn't seem to be there."You know where Mal is?" You ask, looking outside."I didn't see him." Leroy says. "And my echolocation isn't very good with all the rain.""Here we are!" One of the farmers say, and raise their mug to Miriam. She walks out, arms laden with food. "You have my thanks, love.""Mind helping me carry the rest of this out?" Miriam asks you. You shrug, and get to your feet.Some time later, you're sitting at one of the tables, eating. The rain continues to pour- and two more farmers come into the tavern while you sit. Apparently it gets a bit crowded during these storms.But Mal hasn't shown up at all.>What's the plan? Talk to someone, go out into the rain, or simply spend your time here?
>>27364871Do we have an overcoat to fend off the rain a bit? Let's go find Mal. Doesn't seem like the kind of guy to go wandering about in the rain
You make your way back to your room, and look through your supplies for something useful. You do find a thick, heavy overcoat, so you sling it on over most of your clothes and head out into the rain.It's very rainy, the clouds whirling overhead and storm drizzling down around you. You make your way uphill, and look out at the village proper. The channel is doing its job, water rushing past the farmlands and toward the sea, but you can't seem to find Mal anywhere...At least, until you look down at the east, where sea sits. You see a figure lying in the water, spluttering, and a figure in sodden cloth pulling them up and out. The wind howls, and lightning rages above your head. The sodden figure lifts them out of the water, and starts to carry them back to the tavern.You make your way closer, and it's Mal, with a young, slim person in his arms. The person in question is unconscious- older than Ann by at least a few years, but you can't tell much more.
>>27364930Maybe ask Miriam if she saw where he went as well.
>>27365120Go help him out. "Who's this, Mal?"
>>27365120Approach cautiously. This might be another ghost trick.
You make your way closer, ignoring the pouring rain. You come cautiously- but then Mal waves at you, waving you over.<Who's this, Mal?><No clue.> He says. <I was hunting for poison eel. They should be coming this far north in this kind of weather. Found him on a destroyed boat.><Did you at least find any?><Poison eel? No, none.> He says. <I think I'm going to take him to Miriam.><Probably a good idea.> You say. You examine the boy in Mal's arms- and it looks like he has a long, curved knife on his hip. You like to think you know a lot about weapons, but you've never seen one like that.The two of you pull open the tavern's door, dripping wet, carrying the boy."Who's that?" Miriam asks, when Mal all but dumps him into the back room.You translate her words into galdian.<Shipwreck survivor.> Mal responds, and you translate it as well."Oh dear." She says, and looks the boy over, checking his throat and then putting her head up to his chest. "I'll take care of him. How's the rain?"<Very wet.> Mal responds.You're getting used to this whole translation thing.
>>27365311<You had me worried bro. I thought the ghosts had got you.>
>>27365311If Ann's around, let's get her to teach us some more Kystaran until the boy wakes up.
>>27365311<I'm guessing the rain woke you up?>might as well study our Kystaran
<You had me worried, bro. I thought the ghosts had got you.><Ghosts don't exist.> He grumbles to himself. <I'm guessing the rain woke you up?><It was a very unpleasant awakening.> He says. <I almost drowned.>You chuckle at the mental image, as the two of you go back into the main room. Dalton is laughing and talking with Leroy and one of the other farmers, so you remove your overcoat and take a seat at Ann's table. Mal follows."Hi!" She says. <Hello.> She adds, for Mal.<That's making me jealous. She and you can pick up new languages like they're coins, while it's all just gibberish to me.> Mal grumbles. Ann squints her eyes, trying to figure out what he just said."Any chance you could teach me some more kystaran?""I could, I guess." She says, and rubs at her eyes. "But I can't think very well. Didn't sleep well last night. I kept thinking I saw things outside."
>>27365447"What kind of things?"
>>27365447"What kind of things?""I think I saw something last night as well."
>>27365447"I didn't sleep very well either."
"What kind of things?""Flickering lights." She says, her cheeks growing red. "Shapes moving in the trees outside... I got pretty scared when I thought my own shadow was a remnant.""I think I saw something last night as well." You say."What, really?" She asks.You nod."I didn't sleep very well either." "Oh." She says. The three of you sit there, picking at your food."Alright, let's get to working on kystaran." Ann says. "Or you can try teaching me Galdian like the other day.""Let's do a little bit of both." You say.>Roll for linguist! Skilled, N/A difficulty!
Rolled 96>>27365618Language, go.
Rolled 98>>27365618learning up in this INN.
Rolled 11>>27365618Third roll, in case it is needed.
>>27365641Hot damn, Anon.
>Result: Flawless!<And then you have to remember that, when writing down, all of the grammar and stuff are written almost... *over* the normal glyphs.> She says, and writes.Quite suddenly, as the two of you talk, something in your mind just... clicks. The pieces fall into place.<How's this?> You ask, and write.<That's really good!> She says. You have a feeling she'll be a capable teacher- that is, if she weren't the youngest one in a village without children.Time passes, and eventually, you start to reach something close to fluency. The storm eventually slows, and then stops entirely, around the time you start explaining galdian. <How's this, Mal?> Ann asks.<We're friends, so you have to end it with 'bro'.> Mal says. <It's just polite.><Ohh, okay.> She says, experimenting with the new language. No wonder she was fluent in kystaran before you arrived- she has a talent that dwarfs yours.You look outside again. It isn't until a few hours after noon until the clouds part proper, after which the farmers make their way out, giving their thanks to Miriam. The boy is still asleep, but according to the tavernkeeper, he should be up by dinner.But you have some time before then.<We going out anywhere today?> Mal asks you. <Like those ruins you mentioned? When you saw the heart.>
>>27365788<Thanks, Ann. Kystaran seems to get easier the more you know it.>
>>27365788<More ruins. Sounds good, bro. Maybe we'll get some exotic runes.>
>>27365788<somewhere close by, I'm curious about the boy so I'd like to be here when he wakes up.>>I completely forgot our surroundings so I'm pretty much fine with anything."See you later Ann, try to get some rest."
<Somewhere close by.> You say. <I'm curious about the boy, so I'd like to be here when he wakes up.> You say.<That rules out the city.> He says.<The ruins, maybe, too.> You add. <They're not as far away from the city, but we'll still have to go over hills and rocks.>Ann just sat and listened to the two of you talk, trying to get used to Galdian.<Oh, and thanks, Ann. Kystaran seems to get easier the more you know it.><That's fine.> She says. <Er, you're welcome, I mean.><That leaves what, the mansion?> Mal asks. <Or the Jackolope den. Maybe the temple. Hey, we could ask that girl in the temple about that guy you fought yesterday. 'Failure' or whatever.>> Mansion> Jackolope Den> Temple>These will take too long to go to and return from- you'll return late, late at night at the earliest.> City> Ruins
>>27365924Temple, and lets not puss out on plot hooks this time
>>27365924> TempleWe haven't found her book yet have we?we should probably take off the identify glove before going in to see her.
<To the temple.> You say.<Awesome.> He says. <The girl in there is cute. But maybe evil. Maybe-evil is worse than just plain Evil, because you're never sure...>You nod.<Hard to play with fire if it's not hot, after all.> He adds.<Isn't the temple close?> Ann asks. <Can I come?><Sorry, sis.> Mal says. <This kind of thing is for combatants only.><You watched me fight with the runes a few days ago, remember?> She asks. <I figured out how to turn a Light rune into Fire. That has to be worth something, right?>You give her a look. Your first instinct is to say no- she's only ten years old, after all- but you did watch her effortlessly burn a ball-of-arms remnant alive, a few days ago.> Take Ann. She is way better with runes than either you or Cromwell.> Dalton will fucking murder you. Hell no.
>>27366049>> Dalton will fucking murder you. Hell no.
>>27366049<I want to bring you, but the woman in the portal might be the one who killed pretty much everyone in Kystara.>
>>27366049> Dalton will fucking murder you. Hell no.Unless she can get permission from Dalton or end up there on her own where we have no choice but to take her, fuck no. Especially not taking her to see the lady who might potentially be super evil.
>>27366049> Dalton will fucking murder you. Hell no.
>>27366049> Dalton will fucking murder you. Hell no.<I'm sorry Ann, we have no idea yet if she's the bad guy or not but in the off chance that she is, if anything happens to you, I wouldn't be able to live with myself.>
<... I want to bring you, but the woman in the portal might be the one who killed pretty much everyone in Kystara.> You say.Ann's eyes widen. <Oh.><Yes.> Mal says. <'Oh' is the right response.><Sorry, Ann.> You say.She just 'hmphs'. <Well, you guys have to be careful, then.><We will!> Mal says. <Come on, bro.>You arm up, and make sure to remove the gauntlet Kaederi gave you before you follow Mal.Outside it's damp, and the clouds are still peppered across the sky. The two of you make your way into the thankfully dry temple, push aside the altar, and descend.The darkness is just as dark as it was last time, the catacombs just as dry as they were before. Sitting just outside of the entrance to the chamber, two knight remnants stand, tall and powerfully muscled. The two of you enter the portal chamber once more. The stone disc sits there, suspended as always, and two more knights stand in front of the grand double doors at the back of the room, guarding it.<You ready to enter?> Mal asks. <Or do we want to establish what we do or don't tell her?>
>>27366227<I'm pretty sure if we mention any of our suspicions she'll just wizard us away. So, let's just go in, tell her we're working on getting the book, and ask about 'Failure'.>
>>27366227<Well, let's not mention me being carried off and receiving that other gauntlet, say we were looking for that book but were then distracted by the heart and 'Failure'>not sure if we should tell her about the archive pages we found.maybe ask her if she knows about our mother.
<I'm pretty sure if we mention any of our suspicions, she'll just wizard us away.> You say. <So let's just go in, tell her we're working on getting the book, and ask about 'Failure'.><So, nothing about the guy who told you that she was evil? That's why you hid that glove.>You nod.<Seems simple enough.> He says. <I'll let you do most of the talking.>You nod, pull off your overcoat, and raise your gauntlet to the portal.With a flash, the portal arcs open, violet, iridescent light emanating out from it. The liquid swirls, and you and Mal both climb in.The world is warm, and dry. A brilliant white stares down at you, and too-blue tides wash in and out along the beach. The sand and sky are both an unnatural violet, and Remnants amble about aimlessly. Tarda lies back on the sand, wearing little but to preserve her modesty. She shoots both of you a grin, and waves."Welcome back." She says. She looks a lot less tired than she did when you were here last time- but the domain looks shaped entirely differently than it was before. "Did you find the book?""Not yet." Mal says. "Sorry.""Oh, that's okay." She says. "The way to it is probably covered in traps. It's more important that you two be careful. So you came back to chat?"
>>27366452"Yeah. Lots of traps. Many, many traps.""Who is Failure? And why did it have a giant heart that pumped out remnants?"
>>27366452>brilliant white stares down at you>That got cut off. It's a 'brilliant white sun'
>>27366452"Did...did you and the other wizards ever figure out a way to bring someone back from the dead?"
>>27366452"hey, do you mind if I ask what's behind the door those guys are guarding?"
>>27366452"partially, the village we're staying in kept being attacked by remnants, we followed their trail and came across a very large heart in the middle of a forest, it was spitting out more degraded remnants, during our fight with it something made out of pure magic appeared and was able to use magic like one would a rune by simply saying the words. it called itself 'Failure' and it was trying to harvest the towns folk to produce better remnants."we also want to ask what's behind mystery door and why there are suddenly more brutes guarding this place.
>>27366452"Changing the scenery like that! Pretty cool!"
"Yeah. Lots of traps. Many, many traps." You say."Come on, sit down." She says. "It's nice and warm out today. Well... it is every day. Don't try swimming in the ocean, though, it's illusory.""... Noted." Mal says, and takes off his headcloth to sit down."Hey, you mind if I ask what's behind the door those guys are guarding?""It's my lab." She says. "Not that I can get out there and work on anything. If you get me that book, I can leave my domain and show you around." She says."And hey, changing the scenery like this! Pretty cool!""Part of it is illusion, part of it is the work of my servants." She responds. "It's a lot of work, but I'm pretty much made of time, here."You sit, and relax for a time in silence, watching the tide move in and out."Did... did you and the other wizards ever figure out a way to bring someone back from the dead?" You ask, quietly.Tarda turns to you."... People have tried. Magic isn't like science. It's one way to say 'restore their body to what it was before', but it's another to actually do it." She says. "It's why the projects were so hard to complete."You wait."No, there's no way to return someone from the dead." She says. "Not even with all the power in the world. Time cannot be twisted by mortal souls. If there's a way to fake it, I don't know it.""Who is Failure?" You ask.She blinks. Then she sighs. "You keep asking a lot of mood-killer questions. Did this 'failure' look like a servant?""Like one made of liquid." You say."... Ah. So you met that thing." She says, quietly. "Her name was Ivsiel. She was my sister."
>>27366748"I'm sorry for ruining the mood. It just seems to get worse and worse as they days go by. Remnant attacks, ghosts, traps..."
>>27366748"Do you mind if I ask what happened there?"
>>27366748"We may or may not have destroyed her completely, she was attacking the village and wouldn't listen to reason.""Sorry about the mood, a lot of things happened."
"I'm sorry for ruining the mood." You say. "A lot of things happened.""It's fine." She says, and closes her eyes."We may or may not have destroyed her completely." You say. "She was attacking the village and wouldn't listen to reason.""No, she's not destroyed." She says. "Just... Dispersed, for now. Failure is more than just her- that thing is another half dozen wizards who made the mistake of reaching for immortality. They got it. But now they're one.""... Do you mind if I ask what happened there?""There were four projects." Tarda says. "The Runes, the Domains, the Mind, and the Heart. That last one... searched for immortality. It had half of the entire nation's wizards working on it. Then there was a... breakdown. Some spell went wrong, or the constellations were off, or someone spoiled the pot. Everyone in the room was... fused, into that thing. We kept Failure contained, and went down to hunt it every time it dispersed itself, but... I suppose if there's none of my people out there, there's nobody to keep it contained.""It just seems to get worse and worse as the days go by." You say. "Remnant attacks, ghosts, traps...""Ghosts?" She asks.She opens her eyes and stares at you. Very, very hard.
>>27366748"Yeah...we ran into her. She set up a giant heart that spits out remnants."
>>27366973"Yep.""Any advice on getting past that trapped hallway?"
>>27366973"did you know a woman named Pallas?"I'm pretty sure that was our mother's name wasn't it?
>>27366973"I keep seeing this girl who appears out of no where and then vanishes just as fast, she resembles someone I used to know."
>>27366973"Yes. Ghosts. Someone from my past."
"Yes. Ghosts." You say. "I keep seeing this girl who appears out of nowhere, and then vanishes just as fast.""... And she resembles someone." She says. You nod.Tarda sighs, and pushes herself to her feet. "You're going to need to be careful with that one. It... doesn't know what it is. It doesn't know a great many things.""What does that mean?" Mal asks."I mean that it... means well. It's just... hard to control." She says."You're acting like it's a lot more dangerous than that 'Failure' thing." Mal says. "Why do you sound so more worried?""Because Failure just does what it does. This one is focused on one single person.""Bro, here." Mal says. Tarda nods."It has its own story, but I don't quite know the entire thing." Tarda says. "And I can't talk much about it. But it's not whoever it resembles. Most of its form and habits are constructed, from, well, your mind.""Will it hurt him?""It shouldn't." She says. "But it can be dangerous."You nod. "Did you know a woman named Pallas?""No, I've never met anyone by that name." Tarda says. "Then again, I only really knew wizards, back in my day. Though I guess I'm the last one, now. No more magic, I suppose."
>>27367299"Hey, you never know. There might be more domains hidden out there somewhere, keeping a few other Kystarans going."
>>27367299"I do know someone who can easily add a mental shape to an element rune, does that qualify as magic?"
"Hey, you never know. There might be more domains hidden out there somewhere, keeping a few other kystarans going.""Maybe." She says. "There might be that asshole of a high lord, though. He stuck his hands into every project he could. Be careful around fancy mansions outside town.""I do know someone who can easily add a mental shape to an element rune." You say. "Does that qualify as magic?""Not at all." She says. "That's still borrowing magic from the runes. It's entirely possible to add a mental element to a mental shape, and even that's still borrowing magic. It's still impressive, though. But it's depressing to talk shop like this when I wanted to pretend to be on vacation."She shot you and Mal a smile. "I am glad you two showed up, even though we're talking about boring stuff. It's better than just lying here alone."Then she tilted her head. "You two want to see true magic? There are no stars here, and I'm out of pretty much all of my components, but I'm sure I can cook something up."
>>27367299"Well, good to hear it probably won't hurt me. It does know a lot of things though."
>>27367485"High lord? I think I stuffed a sword in his neck, if that cheers you up."
>>27367485"Show us the good shit™"
>>27367485"I stabbed a guy like that, he had a portal underneath his fancy mansion.""If you're fine with it then I wouldn't love to see."
>>27367485"Met him already. Stabbed him with his own rapier."
"High lord? I think I stuffed a spear in his neck, if that cheers you up."She shot you a wide grin"Really! That's splendid!" She says, and pulls you into a hug. The woman is so tiny that it's less of 'pulling' and more of 'clinging', but soon enough she lets go."If you're fine with it, then show us the good shit." You say."Hah, true wizardry is a lot better than just 'good shit'." She says. "But for killing that guy, I'll have to cook up something real nice. You guys bring in water or mud in with you?""It rained a lot outside, so he has a lot on his boots."That'll work!" She says. You scrape a lot of it off, and she takes it in hand. Carefully, humming a tune, she shapes it into a humanoid made of mud. Then she rolls it in sand, and finally stands it up. "One second... Time doesn't exist here, so a mistake will be really rough on me."She takes a few steps back from the mud, and starts writing in the sand with her foot. the words are all in kystaran- they're absentminded scrawls about the sun and the moon, something about reverberations, and one word you think might be 'aether'."Alright, I've figured it out." She said. "This spell's a safe one."She turns to the small doll of mud... And pricks her finger, sending a drop of blood onto it.Your spine lashes with thunder, and you can't help but to take a step back. Such a simple action is creating a storm, magically... And even Mal twitches."That's tingly." He says, arching his own back- seems he can feel it too.You look back to Tarda to find the mud sculpture gone- and there are two of her."Ta-da!" Both of them say. "One of me is a doppelganger."
>>27367717"Whaaaaat.""This is truly the best shit™"
>>27367717"all that with just some mud and water? impressive."
>>27367717Try to determine which one is fake."Is there any way to learn true magic, or is one simply either born with the gift or without?
"All that with some mud and water? Impressive.""Well, in the real world I'd need to wait until the tide is low, find a leyline to hone in on, make sure there's no unworked metal in the nearest twenty meters, and it'd only work three months out of the year due to the season." She says. "But here, things are simpler. No season, no tide, and all of your metal is technically alien to this place."Then the doppleganger grinned and spread her hands, spinning. "I might actually be able to use this to leave, too!" She says. "Or I could explode the moment I leave. Or go corrupt. I'm not sure how multidimensional wizardry works."Her real body huffed, and suddenly sat down. "Woah. Now I'm dizzy. The doppelganger's a simple spell, but it takes a lot out of you."
>>27367913"You could come and adventure with us!"
>>27367913"would you like me to try and take Miss. Dopple outside? I get the idea that it is a little hazardous to try."
>>27367913"Is there some kind of remote control glyph or rune? That might work. The scholar in the village mentioned something like that."
"Is there some kind of remote control glyph or rune? That might work." You say."No, no, don't be silly. This has nothing to do with runes." She says, and shoots you another grin. "This is magic, boy. Playing with the raw fabric of reality. It's not grounded in logic or science. The runes are more like playing with a single spell. This is nowhere near as complex as the runic project, but this is just as powerful.""So wait. Are you two people now?" Mal asks."One mind in two bodies." She says. "I can feel both bodies, see through both pairs of eyes... It got dizzying when I first cast it.""You could come and adventure with us!""That'd be wonderful!""Want us to try to take Miss. Dopple outside? I get the idea that it is a little hazardous to try.""It might be safe, or it might not. It all depends on the environment I exit to. No clue what'll happen." Tarda says. She grins. "So if something goes wrong, or if the doppleganger's connection is lost, feel free to smash it. It may feel and look like my warm, soft self, but beneath the skin it's just mud and ash."
>>27368147"Awesome. Let's test!"
>>27368147"well, lets deal with that when we get to it.""I've been meaning to ask, how come there are now more guards outside? there were only two when we first found this place but a third one popped up recently."
"Awesome." You say. "Let's test!""Alright!" She says. "You'll need to carry me."You heft the small doppleganger up into your arms. Mal frowns."I've been meaning to ask." You say. "How come there are more guards outside, now? There were only two when we first found this place, but a third popped up recently.""Actually, four." She says. "I made a fourth one too. I figured I should start arming up. You did say there are a lot of remnants around, so I decided to start making more servants in case they come and attack."The three of you walk across the beach, back toward the sparking, violet portal. You feel the girl in your arms tense, hanging tightly to your wrist... And then you step through.You fall out onto the stone, and take a breath of fresh air. You start to forget how stale the air is inside those domains, eventually. Mal comes out next to you, and the portal closes behind you."You alright?" Mal asks.Tarda giggles. "I'm outside. I actually did it! We did it!"She sprung from your arms, and gave both you and Mal a quick peck on the cheek."I don't have any wizardry here, so I can't do anything magic, but I can breathe! And feel stone underneath my feet! And it's actually cold here!"She giggles again, and does a spin.
>>27368319"Celebration time! Want to get eat and drink at the tavern?"
>>27368344no.Let's just see what she does. Remember, she's potentially evil.
You watch her giggle and twirl for a while, before she grabs Mal's wrist. "Come on, let's go to the surface. I want to see the sun again!"The three of you walk, as you follow the Tarda toward the stairs to the top of the temple. She seems a bit lost, but eventually finds her way- and trips.Her foot, meanwhile, sloughs off and is left behind, slowly decaying back into mud.Tarda eyes it. And then eyes her own ankle. Mal lends her some cloth, and she wraps it."... Let's continue on." She says, clearing her throat. "Don't want to wait too long. Can one of you pick me up?"You lift her up, and Mal takes the lead, taking you up stairs and back into the temple proper.<You okay?> Mal asks."... I don't understand you." She says, and frowns. <I don't understand you.> She says again, in kystaran.Mal sighs, and shrugs."Poor guy only talks in that barbarian language, does he?" She asks. She's tense, and it seems that more of her stump is sloughing off as time passes."S' Galdian." You say.She sighs.You look outside- and it seems it's raining again.
>>27368536"You're, uh, melting away, sadly. Do you want us to bring any food or drink next time? Maybe a more stable doppleganger material?"
>>27368536"Any requests before you disappear?'
>>27368536"Guess it's not really a long term solution. At least you got to see outside again?"
>>27368536"You're, uh, melting away, sadly." You say."I know." She says. The toes of her remaining foot wiggle- and slough off."Guess it's not really a long time solution." You say. You pick up the girl, and carry her outside of the temple. The rain outside is drizzling lightly."I knew it wouldn't be." She says, looking up to the sky. "The mud was from this world, and the doppleganger was made in another. It just doesn't mesh well. It'd be a lot easier if I had a bunch of diamonds to make it more permenant, but..."She shoots you another smile. "I'm glad you took me out here.""Any requests before you disappear?""... Not... not really. Not that I can think of." She says. "The only request I really have is still for that book. If I get that book, I can leave the domain for real."She looks to the sky. "And maybe chocolate. You should also bring chocolate, if you can't bring that book." She says. "... Well, you don't actually need to bring anything. Just spending time with someone isn't boring."You see Ann look out the window of the tavern, and wave at you."Who's that? She's cute. I didn't know you had a daughter." Tarda says, and waves back.Her hand sloughs off, plopping into the mud.Ann's eyes widen."Tell the other one that I said thank you." She says, looking back to the sky. Her skin grew softer, and her frame seemed to melt around your arms. "Even though he can't- can't u-understand me."Her voice choked up as she spoke, and she sighs."Visit again soon, will you?" She asks, and collapses into ash.<... Well.> Mal says. <That didn't last long.>
>>27368755<It didn't, sadly. I'm starting to think she might not be evil. She said thanks, by the way.>
>>27368755Check to make sure she doesn't have any ears left, maybe disperse the pile."It's probably better that way. She seems nice enough, but I've still no idea if we can trust her.""What do you think, bro?"
You look down to the ground, and disperse the pile of ash and mud with a foot. <It didn't.> You say. <It's probably better that way. She seems nice enough, but I have no idea if we can trust her. What do you think, bro?><I think she's using us.> He says. <But I'm not sure she's evil. She looks like she might feel guilty, to me.><She said thanks, by the way.>He doesn't respond- he just looks at the floor.Ann came running out to meet the two of you.<Who was that?> She asked. <Is that the girl you two were talking about? Did she... melt?><It was magic. She's still trapped.> Mal says. <It was like a puppet body or something.>Ann looks down at the pile next to the two of you.
>>27368955"It was some sort of magic, different to the runes.""She seems nice enough.""Did that boy wake up?
>>27368955<Yeah, that was her.><I feel bad leaving her in there, but we have no way of knowing if she is going kill us all for her crazy wizard projects if we let her out.>
>>27369047I'm actually leaning with Mal on this one. She's got some sort of an agenda, but it doesn't seem outright bad for us.
<Yeah, that was her.> You say. <It was some sort of magic, different to the runes. I feel bad leaving he in there, but we have no way of knowing if she is going to kill all of us for her crazy wizard projects if we let her out.><She's a wizard?> Ann asks. Mal nods.<Did the boy wake up?> You ask.<Yeah, he did! He's Delurian!><What, who?> Mal asks.<Delura. It's an island nation to the west of the republic. No clue how he'd get all the way here, though...> You say, and scratch your chin. They speak a certain dialect of lelan, so communicating wouldn't be difficult, but you've never been there.<He won't tell me his name, though.> Ann says. <And he seems scared of Miriam.>
>>27369183<Let's go see him. Maybe he'll talk to me? The scarring instantly tells people I'm a friendly gentleman.>
>>27369183She's probably trying to poke all of his injuries.Let's go have a look.How many different countries/regions are we up to now? I'm having trouble keeping track.
>>27369183<Well, let's go find out what that's about, then.>
>>27369255>Countries: Lelan in the west, Kystara in the east, Nysta in the north, Galdia/Gardia in the south. Deluri/Delura in the far west.<She was probably trying to poke all his injuries.><Nah, Miri told me she only pokes your injuries.> Ann says. <She says it'll make you not want to get injured if she makes 'em hurt.><That... explains a lot of things.> You say. <Let's go see him. Maybe he'll talk to me. The scarring instantly tells people I'm a friendly gentleman.><It made a good impression on me.> Ann says.The three of you make your way through the rain and up to the tavern."There you are." Miriam tells Ann. "Is there any chance you'll talk to him for me? He seems scared of me.""He refused to talk to me." Ann says. "So I brought these two to talk to him."Miriam looks from you to Mal."You two don't give off a very safe feeling." She says.You hear something creak in a nearby room- there's someone in there."Call it a gut feeling." Ann says."... Fine." She says. "Stranger, Mal. Can you two talk to the boy in there? He seems okay, but he needs to drink more water. Any chance you could bring them to him?""Sure." You say.You walk into the bedroom and see the pale, pink-skinned boy sitting up, looking out the window. His hair is pale blonde- almost white- and he's taller and much more fit than you originally thought."Hello." You say. "Water?"He turns- and jumps to his feet.And then he salutes you. "Um." He says. He looks jumpy. "Yes. Thank you."He awkwardly takes the glass you hand him, and starts to drink.
>>27369405"So, shipwrecked. That sounds fun. I don't mean to be pushy, but why are you scared of Miriam?"
>>27369405"What happened?"He seems to think we're someone else, so let's get him talking as much as we can before he notices we're not them."Do you have a name?"
"So, shipwrecked." You say. "That sounds fun.""... It wasn't." He says. "Trust me.""Do you have a name?""Uh, Neophyte Marcus. " He says. His eyes widen a moment later and he hastily adds a 'Sir'."I don't mean to be pushy, but why are you scared of Miriam?""Uh... She's a witch, sir." He says. "I'm very thankful that she took care of me, but um, I don't have the money to pay her. I don't want to be cursed. Or hexed. Or poisoned."
>>27369553"What. Why do you think she's a witch? Do you know where you washed up, by the way?"
>>27369553"No need to call me Sir."
>>27369553I'm pretty sure she isn't a witch.How did you get here, Marcus? I gather the storm found your boat, but why were you on it? You're a long way from home.
"No need to call me Sir." You say, and scratch your head. You failed out of the guardsmen, anyway."Why do you think she's a witch? Do you know where you washed up, by the way?""I don't know, sir." He says. "And, well, she had all these potions and tinctures, and I've heard stories, and. Um. I made the wrong assumption, didn't I?""I'm pretty sure she isn't a witch." You say. "How did you get here, Marcus? I gather the storm found your boat, but why were you on it? You're a long way from home.""I'm, um, not sure you're authorized to know, sir. I have a mission in kystara, and I've circumnavigated the world to get me there. At least, that was the intention. Sir."
>>27369553Okay, either he recognizes us or something similar."Don't worry about that, she's not going to curse you. Or hex you. Or poison you."
>>27369700Woah. That's dedication.Mirram's more of a doctor then a witch.
>>27369700There he goes with the 'sir' again."Well, you've landed, so you're in the right place, more or less."
>>27369700"She's a doctor, by the way. A good one, too.""You need to tell me why you're here, so I can at least help you out."
"Mm. That's dedication." You say."That's the Third Hand Talon." He responds.You scratch your head."Miriam's more of a doctor than a witch.""... Oh." He says.He looks even more tense, now, looking at the open door. He leans over to you and talks in a low tone. "I didn't see any monsters, though. Why aren't there any walking corpses?"You have a feeling that any of the doctors he knew are vastly different from Miriam."Well, you've landed, so you're here in the right place, more or less." You say."This is Kystara?" He asks. You nod. He allows himself a small, accomplished grin. "Well, that was the easy part.""You need to tell me why you're here, so I can at least help you out.""Well, since we're here, I figure getting help from the locals will help." He says. "I just need to find out how they get those runes to do the magic things."
>>27369818"You want to find out how to MAKE the runes, or make them WORK? Two different things."
>>27369818"Do doctors usually have zombies where you're from? No she just does simple patch jobs. Makes pretty good food, too.""Why do you keep calling me sir, by the way? I'm just a scavenger working in the ruins of the capital."
>>27369818"If I remember correctly, they sacrificed a portion of the population to empower the runes. Something like that. See, you can go home now."
>>27369818Hoooo boy. Competition.Well we've done a good thing in keeping him alive, but I think it's best if he starts looking after himself.Relay the gist of what he's saying to Mal, and ask Mal's opinion.I'm guessing we're having translation issues. Or perhaps Delura also has magic?
>>27369877Mmm, technically we're here to find unusual examples of Kystaran magic.
>>27369818There's worse things then walking corpses here, lad.
>>27369818I really want to relentlessly bully this kid.
"Do doctors usually have zombies where you're from?" You ask."They get offended if you call them zombies. Zombies are witch work. They're 'constructs' made from different parts of their patients." He says. "They always all sewn together. And smell terrible. And they're never very smart.""No she just does simple patch jobs." You say. "Makes pretty good food, too.""I guess they're different than the ones we have back home." He says, and scratches his head. "You want to find out how to make the runes, or make them work? Two different things.""Both." He says. "I need to secure the ability to make and use runes. Because it'd be an advantage- er. Uh. The reason behind it is secret.""Why do you keep calling me sir, by the way?""Uh... You kind of give off that kind of impression. And I've called everyone 'sir' all my life. Do you want me to call you something different?"
>>27369960Make him call us 'Your Lordship'
>>27369960Sir is... just not something I'm used to, out here.There aren't enough people for nobility.
>>27369960"Just call me by my name."
>>27369960Well fuck. It looks like they're on the warpath, and he's competing with us directly. We can't afford to let him get the secrets behind runes before we do.His country definitely has magic though."Let's get a meal, and you can meet the others here."
>>27369960"Good luck to you and your endeavors."
>>27369960Let's poison him so we don't have to deal with him later on.
"'Sir' is just not something I'm used to, out here." You say. "Let's get a meal, and you can meet the others here.""That is probably a good idea..." He says. "And I need to thank that woman for saving me..." He says. He bows to you, and then gets to his feet.The two of you leave the room, and you meet Mal at the doorway. Together, the three of you head toward the common room, where you can smell food.And then Marcus noticed Dalton- and his eyes widened. Dalton doesn't seem to notice, talking with Ann and Miriam about the rain.Marcus leans over to you. "... Why is there a fugitive here?">End of session!>My twitter is at @futureexabyte>The IRC is #Exabyte on Rizon.
>>27369960Okay, I want to keep a short leash on this kid. If only because otherwise he's likely to do something stupid like releasing whatsisname. The guy who is almost certainly lying about Tarda. (Not that she may not be telling the truth, but the records don't agree with him)
>>27370125I want to use this kid as bait to draw off remnants one day.