>Previous threads can be found at: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Ascent>Inventory list, character list, and synopsis, and held runes here; http://pastebin.com/3L0zZV2K>Also, I'll be running daily until I don't feel like it anymore!It's late, but you're not tired.You're standing somewhere deep, deep underneath the temple. Your electric torch flickers warily, and an enormous, white-furred beast stands next to you. It's part feline, part bear, part elk, and all angry.It's also currently being controlled by the galdian sitting on its back. Below you, lying on the ground and dying, is one of the tall, lanky creatures called troglodytes. Pale, scaled, and completely blind, the monsters love dark and humid places like caves or ruins. It had most likely wandered out here. You finish burning its body, preventing it from healing, and look up.Finally, in front of you, sits what once used to be the wall of the catacombs. The bricks had long since fallen away, revealing a large passageway of naturally-eroded rock. Stalactites and stalagmites stick out of the floor and ceiling, and you can hear water dripping. Hot, humid air drifts from the hole, and the jackolope shivers.You readjust your new lance and armor. It's still rather uncomfortable, but it's better than nothing.<You ready to move on?> Mal asks. He shoots you a grin, and the jackalope beneath him harrumphs. <And do you want to do it the fast way, or the quiet way?>> Fast way!> Quiet way!> Other?
>>27792210>[X]Quiet way!you never know what nasty surprises caves hold and if we run in to several troglodytes their healing could prove to be problematic.
>>27792222I'll switch to [x] Quiet to speed this along.
<... Let's go the quiet way.> You say, after a moment.But you're tempted. Really, really tempted to go the fast way. You heft up your lance, and lash it to the jackolope's side.<Alright.> Mal says, and climbs down. <This big guy won't like that, though. Can we have Tarda shrink him down like she did when we got in here?><She complained that it tired her.> You say. Mal sighs, and climbs down off of his beast's back. The two of you head forward, into the caves proper. The jackolope, a proper monster made of muscle and fur, follows behind like a domesticated hound.Carefully, you creep forward, lance in one hand and your newly repaired steamsling in the other.<What exactly did Tarda ask for?> Mal asks.<There's some magic artifact in here, protected by monsters.> You say. <Should be close....>The tunnels slowly wind around. You suddenly hear a few clicks, and then three pudgy, long-legged things goggle at you for a few moments. They look almost like fish with legs, about your own height. You warily take a step back.They blink, and then flap their flippers. One gives you a very threatening 'glurk', and then it suddenly puffs out, spines bared in all directions.<I've seen these.> Mal says. <Kobolds.>
>>27792382<Dangerous? I'd kinda like to avoid fighting for now, I'm starting to get tired.>
>>27792382<Are those spines venomous?>be ready to draw our steamsling(with normal bolts), in case they try to charge. Avoid unless they get aggressive.
>>27792382Do we have any food? Throw some food to them.Wait. Can Mal control them?
<Dangerous?> You ask, and draw out your steamsling. <I'd kinda like to avoid fighting for now, I'm starting to get tired.><They can be. They're ... malicious. Not very clever, though.> He says.<Are those spines venomous?><Yes, they are. Not normal venom, though. It slows down healing. Makes you bleed out if you get speared.>Another kobold makes another 'glurk' noise, and walks closer.<Can you control them?> You ask.<I don't want to try. When I was practicing, I could only keep two things controlled at once. And I have a feeling the jackolope won't take it kindly.><Got any food?> You ask.<Not on me.> He responds. You check your own rations, but that isn't suitable for your own meal, let alone a meal for monsters.One of the second kobolds glurk, and take another step forward.The third starts kicking the second in the side, making it stumble away.<Let's try to avoid fighting.> You say. Mal nods... But then you look down at your map. You need to go straight past them.<Shit. This might be their territory.> He responds.You hear a glurk to the side of you, somewhere behind some stalagmites. Webbed feet patter around you, but you don't see any of them.<... And they're trying to get around us.> He says. <There's more than just the three.>
>>27792521<Clear behind us with the Jackalope. I'll try and hit the ones at the front here with a lightning rune.>Lighting + Blast rune at the group of them, might be able to catch them all.
>>27792521<Well, can't say we didn't try to negotiate.>Lightning Rune the ones in front of us.>>27792554you gotta roll for it bro.
Rolled 18>>27792577Ah, yeah.
Rolled 75>>27792521>>27792577I pressed shift for some reason.
Rolled 51>>27792521Third roll.
Rolled 95>>27792521also, if the first five rolls contain a 1 or 100, they will get picked.
>DC: 50. Success!<Well, can't say we didn't try to negotiate. Clear the ones behind us with the Jackalope.>Mal nods. You take a step forward, your weapons in hand, and the lead kobold rears up. Its mouth gapes, and the next thing you hear is a deafening screech, as the kobold slowly starts to deflate.The jackalope's roar is louder. It bellows, and charges backward. Stone splinters everywhere as the jackalope cares not one whit about being slowed by the stalagmites. The kobolds all screech, this time in fear, and start to run around again, gathering behind the 'leader' who just screeched at you. There aren't as many as you feared, luckily- only half a dozen. A few more didn't get back before the Jackalope had its way with them; their broken bodies sit behind you, dead or dying.You instead raise your open palm.<Lightning.> You say. Raw power comes arcing out of your hand, and the kobolds all collapse, twitching. You smell something burning as they inflate and deflate uncontrollably. The 'leader' screeches again, howling in pain. You finish it with a quick stab of your spear.<That seems a bit easy.> You say.<This is just part of their hive.> He says. <Around a third of it, at the most.>The two of you continue onward, following the map Tarda had given you, and you make your way to the next large chamber... and for once, it has light that isn't from your electric torch. Strange, bioluminescent mushrooms sit around every surface, making it as crowded and as well lit as any normal forest this late at night. You hear various 'glurks' and 'glorks', and then Mal stops walking.<I can't fit.> He says. <I mean, he can't fit. The passage into this chamber is too thin... Unless I force it, but that'll make a lot of noise.>You look back- and there stands the jackolope, shoulders pressing into the passage. It can't quite fit through unless it intended to break it.
Rolled 31>>27792721<Shit, don't worry too much, we'll proceed ahead quietly. Use him to make sure we've got a safe avenue of retreat.>
Rolled 3>>27792721if we leave him behind, he'll probably go on a rampage down here anyway and draw the attention of the kobolds.might be best if we let it rampage to clear a way for us.
Rolled 44>>27792780>>27792734Are we meant to be rolling for anything?I hope not, but have a third dice.
>>27792794don't think so, I forgot I had my dice on.
>>27792721We should send the jackalope head long into the kobolds, we kinda need to get it killed before mal gets to tired to control this thing
>Technically, you guys only have to roll when you're doing combat-related actions. Fighting, using runes, or retreating, that kind of thing. For everything else, I'll ask for.<Shit, don't worry too much.> You say. <We'll proceed ahead quietly. Use him to make sure we've got a safe avenue of retreat.><Got it.> He says.The two of you creep ahead, leaving the jackalope behind. Mal's eyes remain gleaming that unnatural silver, so you assume he's keeping control of it fine.<You getting tired?><No, I can still control it fine. I think I will for some time.>You slowly circle around one of the large, tree-sized mushrooms, ignoring the blue glow it's giving off- and bump straight into another kobold.It squeaks loudly and retreats, puffing out. It quickly turns and runs...And then you hear a low bellow, from somewhere else in the chamber.Terrified squeaks come from the 'forest' as kobolds run past you, completely ignoring you as they do. Tromping past, knocking aside the giant fungi, is an enormous, lanky beast. Covered in green scale, with an alligator-like head, and fins flaring from its cheeks.It's eyes are pale, and milky white. Entirely blind.The troglodyte has an enormous bone in its hand- a rib bone of some ancient, enormous beast.<Shit.> Mal says. The trog doesn't spare you a moment as it pounces toward the two of you, club in hand.> How do you plan on doing things? Fight offensively, put it down before it can hurt you? Or fight defensively, try to whittle it down? Or even distract and dodge, buying time for the jackolope?
>>27792899Dodge and release the jackalope!
Rolled 50>>27792899welp, call in the Jackalope, dodge the club and keep the mushroom 'trees' between us and it.>this definitely counts as a rolling situation.
Rolled 14>>27792899Offensively. If it's blind, then it might rely on hearing more than anything, so try to stay quiet.Earth + Lance, to crack its scales as an opener.
Rolled 14>>27792899Third roll.
Rolled 85>>27792899welp, these rolls are awful.and this one will probably be too.
>DC: 40. Failure!The trog lets loose a massive rumble, and you leap to the ground. The club whirls above Mal's and your heads, smashing the trees around your head.An unlucky kobold squeals, getting caught by the swing and sailing across the top of the cavern. More kobolds come pouring out of the trees. Behind you, you hear something crack- and the jackalope bursts out of the tunnel. The ground below you quakes, as the Jackolope collides with the Trog. The next moment, you see the Trog fling the jackolope, using its own momentum against it. It flips the enormous beast, slamming it into the ground. There's a savage crack- and Mal howls in agony.The trog twitches, and turns to where Mal is howling in pain. The enormous beast of muscle and scale raises his club... and brings it down.You push yourself to your feet, snatch Mal from the ground, and heft him away.The troglodyte's blow slams into you, the glancing blow sending you spinning. You slam back, into one of the trees, and then collapse into the mud. Your armor is making it hard to move, bogged down like this. You promptly push yourself to your feet, and in response, the trog gives you another low rumble, smashing its club into the jackolope. Mal abruptly stops screaming, unconscious.You tear off your gauntlets and pauldrons, and flex your arms.The kobolds have all but vanished, Mal is unconscious, and the jackolope is dead.And you're facing the largest, most gigantic troglodyte you've ever faced.>Good luck! What's the plan?
Rolled 40>>27793143Maybe Naga teeth to burn through the scales, then try and hit it with a lightning rune at the same spot so it burns through?But also maybe dodge after firing the teeth. Give them time to burn through.
Rolled 9>>27793143Throw a rock in a direction away from us and Mal to abuse its blindnessLightning + Lance. >Exa said Lightning goes past defense and the Troglodyte has no insular slime.
Rolled 66>>27793143Third Roll
Rolled 30>>27793224What a shame. So far every single one of our forth rolls has been rather decent.
>DC: 55. Success!You heft up a rock, and then fling it across the room. It knocks against one of the nearby mushrooms- but the troglodyte doesn't even look. Instead, it stomps closer to you, raising its club once more-You don't even need to focus for the second word, the one for which you lack a rune. You just need to do it fast enough.<Lightning.> You say, stumbling over your own words as you talk. <Lance.>A twirling spire of light tears into the troglodyte's chest. It howls, and rears back, twitching uncontrollably. Its scales are blackened and burned, and a moment later, the spire is gone.In its place is a hole in its chest, small fires around the edges.A moment later, it collapses backward, onto the jackolope behind it.You take a deep breath, and look over its body.The wound isn't healing, that's for sure- the fire and the heat should make sure of that. Exhaustion overtakes you, and you slump down, next to Mal. There you sit, regaining your breath as best you can...Something glurks behind you. You turn back to see a kobold. It struts over to you, and then with one leg, sets something in front of you. A small, flopping fish.It glurks again, almost happily, and runs off to join the others.You look back to the troglodyte to see kobolds climbing up it, kneeling to set their beaks against its scales, tearing it apart with their mouths.
Rolled 99>>27793298Take the fish. It was a gift.Try and wake-up Mal.
>>27793298take the fish, see if Mal is doing alright, try to wake him up.
>>27793298Shame we don't have a fire rune, or I'd suggest cooking the fish and eating it right away.Take a minute breather, have a drink of water, splash some on Mal's face.
>>27793298>Slap Mal with the trout.
You pick up the flopping fish, and then make your way over to Mal. You shake him a bit- and his eyes open.<Fucking Ow.> He says. His eyes are orange once again. He holds his head, and sits up. <Not to self. Let go when something's about to kill the beast I'm controlling.><You alright?><Yeah.> He says. <Just a headache. You fine?>You look yourself over, and find some rather bad bruising along an entire arm and one of your sides. Pretty bad, but not a risk to your life. You'll probably get Miriam upset with you again.<I'll live.> You say, with a shrug. You and Mal sit down on one of the fallen mushroom trees, and watch the kobolds go about their gruesome business. They chirp, glurk, and cry, happily plunging their bloody little beaks into the troll's flesh to swallow it alive.You take a deep breath, and then push yourself to your feet.<Ready to continue on?> You ask.Mal nods. The two of you walk, the fish in your hand, and you finally reach the place where Tarda's treasure is supposed to be.And sitting on the chest where the artifact is, snoozing, is a small, half-grown kobold. It squeaks angrily when it sees you, and starts to puff out.Then it notices the fish in your hand, which is flopping its last. Obediently, it opens its beak, leaning forward.
>>27793462<Want to see if you can control this one, Mal?>
>>27793462drop it in to it's waiting beak, then point to the chest and back to us.
>>27793462Kneel down to its height and offer it to him.Make it walk to us.Establish ourself as the boss of this underground town.
You hold out the fish, and it leans forward. You take a step away, still holding it out. Bit by bit, you lead the kobold off of the chest before giving it the fish. It gurgles happily, and swallows it whole. Then it does a small dance around you, cheering and gurgling happily.<Want to see if you can control that one, Mal?> You ask.<Sure, let me try...> He says, and focuses. A moment later, he shakes its head. <No, it doesn't feel right. I don't think my power works on proper monsters.>You pull open the chest, and inside... is a small, strange disc made of amber. Gold metal sits around the edges, and it's gleaming with a strange power...<Is this what she wanted?> Mal asks. You nod, and he carefully picks it up, careful not to touch it with his bare hands. <Anyway, you ready to get out of here? Or did you want to play with the 'bolds some more? I think they might think we're kobolds too, now.>
>>27793572<Ah, we can come back another day if we want to play.>
>>27793572<We might be able to skin the Jackalope as our 'share of the meal', other than that, I have no idea what else we could do down here.>maybe they'll remember us when we do eventually need to go back down here.
>>27793572Tap the discs with that leaf-bladed sword we have. It might do something cool.
>>27793572"You want to come with us, little fella?"<Can these things survive in the open? Might make a cute pet for Ann, or a friend for Bruchak.>
>>27793625we probably don't want to do that, if we damage it Tarda will be very cross with us.
<We might be able to skin the Jackalope as our share of the meal.> You say. <But we can come back another day if we want to play.><Yeah, it's late. Let's get to it.> Mal says.The two of you finish skinning the jackolope, much to the consternation of the kobolds, but you stay out of their way enough that they don't get upset. Carrying the fur between the two of you, and dragging along your lance, you make your way back to the catacombs.When you get there, Tarda is curled up in the arms of one of her knight-like remnants, sleeping there and snoring loudly. No wonder she is- it's late.<There she is.> Mal says, and Tarda opens her eyes."You're back!" She says, giving you a pleased grin. "Do you have the artifact?"
>>27793698"We have the artifact!""What is it anyway? Power circles?"
>>27793698"Yes and I must say, it is a little strange. What is it for?"I guess she'll want the armor back now.
>>27793698"Why are there artifacts hidden away in tunnels anyway? Surely it'd be easier if you had them all within easy access?"
"We have the artifact!" You say. "What is it, anyway? A power circle?""Something like that." She says, and holds out a hand. Mal gives it to her. "What is it for?""This will give me a huge boost to how fast I'll get things done." She says. Then she glances at you and Mal. "I also need to pay you two for your work..."She twists the circle in her hand, and out of it, swimming through the amber like it was liquid, a bulging bag full of coins fell into her other palm."It's my treasury. As well as where some of my ley spheres are."Mal's eyebrows raise when he looks at the bag. "Why are there artifacts hidden away in tunnels anyway? Surely it'd be easier if you had them all within easy access?""To keep people from finding and stealing most of it, obviously." She says. "How'd you do against that guardian trog I made?"
>>27793794"Alright, I suppose. Lightning rune has to be the most useful rune I've ever handled, though.""There's no need to pay me that much, really. You did kind of replace my heart and all that."
>>27793794"lighting and lance, tend to trump most things"
>>27793794"Killed it with runes. Kobolds moved in and are eating it now."
>>27793794"Do you mind if I watch whilst you work on it?"
>>27793794"food for the kobolds, it killed our experimental Jackalope for us and found out that you shouldn't control beasts when they take a killing blow. also, we may or may not have been part of the kobold hive for a short period.">>27793821but we got hurt getting that book to her, I say that coin is well earned.
"Food for the kobolds." You say. "Killed it with runes.""Good for you." She says. Mal takes the bag, and divides it in half, handing half to you.<Tell her I said thank you.> He says. You relay it, and she shoots Mal a smile as well."Do you mind if I watch whilst you work on it?" You ask."Work on what? Mudimuna? That's gonna wait until tomorrow. It's way past midnight. We can work on it tomorrow, though. And maybe I'll make something for you so that you can find Kaederi." She babbles, hand on her chin.<I'm going to head to bed.> Mal says, and gives you a wave. <Hopefully not have nightmares about being thrown by a trog.><Night, bro.> You respond."Oh, also, make sure to put my armor back where you found it." She says. "I'm hoping to use it for my naga minion, when I finish it."She looks up at the ceiling for a few moments.>Anything you want to talk to her about before going to bed for the day?
>>27793930Can't really think of anything to ask or talk to her about right now.I hope Miriam went to bed already and hasn't developed an injury radar for us like she did with Mal.
>>27793930"Are you alright?""How's that Naga coming along?"
>>27793930"You calling the bed again tonight, Tards?"
>>27793930Check around her lab for any cool shit as we leave!Steamsling upgrade mode go!
>>27793930"Speaking of Kaedri, how well protected will he be? Enough to withstand a, um, large explosion?"
"You calling the bed again tonight, Tarda?""No, I have my own bed now." She says, and waves the amber disc. "This has a bed in it, among other things.""Ah." You say. "I'll go leave this armor and lance in your lab and get to bed.""Be here sometime tomorrow. I'm not waiting for you!"You walk toward the exit- but then pause, and look back."Are you alright?" You ask."Hm? Yeah." She says. "Mostly.""Mostly?""I still don't have enough power for what I normally do, and my nemesis has some kind of power source, and no matter how much I work there's no way I can catch up..." She says. "So I've pretty much already lost.""Speaking of Kaederi, how well protected will he be?" You ask. "Enough to withstand a, um, large explosion?""We'll find out eventually." She responds, quietly. "But he has a power source. If it's what I think it is... we won't be able to blow it up."She looks almost... haunted by the idea.
>>27794082"What do you think it is, Tarda?"
>>27794082she mentioned a living powersource if I recall correctly, maybe he took all the Kystarans and plugged them in to a vast network to power his plans?
>>27794082"Even if it's a city-buster explosion? Because blowing things up never fails."
>>27794082Looks like we need to reassure her a bit. Pat her head. "Don't worry about it for now. Just do the best you can, okay? He's only got remnants on his side."
>>27794082"what madness is this you can always blow something up "
"What do you think it is, Tarda?""It's... not important." She says, and shakes herself. "Not right now. You don't need to know."Warily, you pat her on the head."Don't worry about it for now. Just do the best you can, okay? He's only got remnants on his side."She gives you a cold, even look."Go get some sleep." She responds. "I know I won't."As you make your way out of the lab, you watch her overturn her amber disc, strange glimmering orbs pouring out in a stream. They're all powerful, charged with magic.Miriam isn't awake by the time you enter the tavern, so you simply lay in bed, and next you know, you're asleep.===Everything is freezing.The world is quivering. Aching, stretching. It's bonds are at the limit.High, high in the sky, something sits at the top. Something you can't see. But when you look for it, the world lenses around you, distorting everything.===You open your eyes, staring at the ceiling. Your bruised side hurts, and that sliver of a dream was rather confusing...You rub at your eyes and sit up, looking out the window. Ann is playing with some of the farmers' children, who are all in town- alongside the farmers, making the center of the village rather crowded- for some celebration or other, and Mal's sitting on the wagon, drinking. Tarda's sitting on the temple roof, looking out into the sky, and Cromwell is actually outside for once, talking with Miriam.
>>27794254Go back to bed.
>>27794254>Oh, right, I'd forgotten.>Rune Recharging time! You can recharge one use of any rune you have.
>>27794254let's go find out what the commotion is about.
>>27794288my vote goes out to our Earth Rune.
>>27794288Artifact bomb, it's in the rune category huehuehueI'm down for Earth as well.
>Earth Rune: 3 uses remaining.Your Earth rune sits where you'd left it last night after recharging it, so you pick it up and continue on your way."I'll be with you in a second!" Miriam calls, and makes her way back inside. There's food everywhere, covering every table. "So you're finally up, huh?""What's all the commotion about?""Harvest festival." She says. "Cromwell mentioned a few weeks before you arrived that it's a kystaran holiday, so we decided, you know, why not."She shoots you a smile. "Anyway, I'll be busy all day, so don't get hurt, will you?" She turns to Cromwell. "I'll need you to carry this out! And ask Dalton how the fire's going!""Of course." Cromwell says, and grabs the large tray, dragging it out of the tavern."Mal's probably a bit confused on what's going on, so maybe you could tell him!" Miriam calls over to you as she stokes a fire in the kitchen. "And tell Tarda, too! This is the date of one of her peoples' celebrations, after all!"
>>27794404"I'm not so sure she'll be around much today, but alright. Lot of worries on her mind."
>>27794404"Miriam-kun, I only bruised myself yesterday in a fight to the death. Am I kawaii?"
"Okaaay." You say. "But I'm not so sure Tarda will be around much today. Lots of worries on her mind.""At the least, tell her that she can always talk to me if she needs to." Miriam says.You make your way over to Mal, around the villagers crowding around, and sit down next to him.<You know, the worst part about this is that I don't speak the language.> He says. You spend some time talking with him and drinking, before you remember about Tarda. You climb up the rope, and stand at the rooftop.The Indomitable Project looks just like it did before- strange silver webs, strewn about the rooftop- save for some strange spheres she'd implanted in certain locations.She doesn't even seem to notice you, sitting on the corner of the rooftop, until you step closer."I have something for you." She says, and holds up a necklace on a chain. "Glows when you're closer to Kaederi. Not easy to make at all."She sounds tired.
>>27794641"Hey, you feeling ok?
>>27794641"You didn't sleep, did you?"
>>27794641"That can wait, for now. It's harvest festival, apparently. Come and take a rest. I'll carry you off, if I have to."
"Hey, you didn't sleep, did you?""No, I didn't." She says. "That can wait, for now." You say. "It's harvest festival, apparently. Come and take a rest.""No need." She says. "I need you and the barbarian to take your necklaces and look for him, and I need to work on Mudimuna. I had more power squirreled away than I thought, so I need to get to work."She continues staring out into the sky."I'll carry you off, if I have to."She turns back and gives you a Look. "I don't have the luxury of spending time on a festival. Kaederi's probably going to try to trash it, anyway. He does things exclusively to be an asshole. And I need to catch up to him. If that means giving up on sleep, I can do it. I have the ritual and everything."
>>27794752"I guess it can't be helped. A festival needs fireworks, after all!"<Mal! We're going to go set off the hellbomb!>
>>27794752"Not even for five minutes?"
>>27794752"If he's stuck himself in a domain, is there a rune I can carve on it to collapse it?"
"Not even for five minutes?" You ask."Not even." She responds, quietly. "Sorry. It's just... the ramifications... He's doing something big, near that city. He could be doing something disastrous. I can see it. The more days we waste, the closer it gets."You sigh."If he's stuck himself in a domain, is there a rune I can carve on it to collapse it?""His domain is likely free-roaming." She says. "If he has one. In short, it wouldn't have any portal except for ones he creates personally. Mudimuna is supposed to deal with that kind of thing, using his notes. Which is why, for now, you just need to scout things out, and find out where he and his power source is. Alright?""I guess it can't be helped." You say. She gives you two necklaces."Both of you put one on. Whatever it is, it's near the city, somewhere. You need those if we're going to zero in on exactly where."
>>27794996"He seems to find us both really quickly. Is there any way to make that not happen?""Oh, could he be tracking me through those gauntlets?"
"He seems to find us both really quickly." You say. "Is there any way to make that not happen? Could he be tracking me through those gauntlets?"There's a pause. And then her eyes widen."He's not in a domain." She says. "I'm absolutely sure of this."She pushes herself to her feet. "He knows where you are because he's scrying you. Scrying's simple. Anybody with the talent can do it. It's how I found my treasure, for example. But it has limits. At least... one limit."She raises a hand. "You can't scry when you're in a domain. At least, you can't scry something outside of a domain. It's technically a different universe, after all."Then, a moment later, she grins."I may not have a lot of power, here, but I am somewhat of a genius." She says. "I'm going to use the ley to pollute the air above the village and surrounding area. He won't be able to track you, that way, at all. Through scries *or* if those gauntlets are enchanted."She stretches, and cracks her neck from side to side. "Alright. You have your mission. You need anything else before you set out?"
>>27795297"Kiss for luck?"
>>27795297"I'm all set, unless you've got a lucky charm?"<Mal, bro, let's go scouting.>
>>27795297"See! Nothing to worry about. The day's looking up already."
"I'm all set." You say. "Unless you've got a lucky charm?""I do, actually." She says. "But... I'd prefer to keep it, for now." She says."Alright." You say. "Kiss for luck?"She stares at you."I'm sure you can get one from the dragon on your way out." She says, her tone warm. "Take care."You climb back down the vine, and wave at Mal.<Mal, Bro, let's go scouting.> You say, and hold out the necklace.<Alright!> He responds. <Should we waste time for me to get ahold of some other beast, or should we just plain go there? My head still hurts from last night, so I'm not sure it'd be a good idea, but...>
>>27795465<Nah, we're going maximum stealth on this one. Maybe hellbomb at the end, but that's it.>
>>27795465<Would a bird be too much of a strain? They are simple things and having an eye in the sky with Steve gone would be useful.>
>>27795492Oh, that's pretty smart. Do this for sure.
<We're going maximum stealth on this one. Maybe a bird would be a good idea. Would a bird be too much of a strain?><I'll try.> He says. He looks up to the sky, and one of the birds suddenly tear its way down, onto Mal's shoulder. <... Simple enough. Birdbrain's just been searching for mates, so he'll be easy to control. I'll keep him above us.>The bird tears into the sky, and the two of you walk.Behind you, at the temple, you hear Tarda suddenly start singing. A long, wordless song- something familiar. Something old.A moment later, your spine tingles, and you feel something quivering over your head. You smell that strange coppery smell of electricity, and your hair stands on end.Mal shivers. <Weird as hell. I guess she's protecting us or something?> He follows your glance.<Yeah. Something like that.>Time passes as you get closer to the city. When you do, you feel the necklace grow slightly warmer on your chest. You guess you get to play hot and cold, now. Walk where it's warmer.When you reach the city gates, you can see that someone's won the war in this district- Failure. His bulging remnant pustules are sitting on various rooftops, preventing any of Kaederi's minions from getting past. You crouch behind a fallen stone, Mal joining you.<We going to go around again?> He asks.But then, something crunches the grass behind you. You whirl about, and Failure stands there.It raises its hands above its heads.<Trueblood, I wish to parley.> It says.
>>27795637<Tell us more.>
>I should probably mention that it should be 'We wish to parley'. Word choice is important here.<Why?> You ask, lapsing into kystaran. <Tell us more.><Because, quite frankly, we are unable to slay that immortal monster you set upon us.> It says, without blinking. <We are hoping that if we give you free travel across our claimed land, you call it off. Even now, it is endlessly destroying our architecture.>Mal grumbles in galdian about not understanding any words the creature is speaking.
>>27795759<Please explain what you mean by immortal monster.>
>>27795759Look, we are here for loot, go get your guys to round up everything of value in the city and then we will talk "parley"
<Please explain what you mean by immortal monster.> You say. <It is a shadowbeast, like our own creations. It once had four wings, a humanoid body, and a sharp tail, but it has since... changed.> Failure winces. <Our foe seems to be unable to damage it for long either. You were the two who brought the beast in.><Look, we're here for loot.> You lie. <Go get your guys to round up everything in value in the city, and then we will talk 'parley'.><We cannot.> It responds. <Our travel in every district except this one, and the warehouse district is limited by the trueblood wizard's own shadowbeasts. We do not have access to the entire city.>A moment later, an eighth eye opens on its chest.<We humbly suggest these terms. If you remove your beast, we will cease attacking you or your ally until your natural lifespans end.>
>>27795966<Steve‽ Where is he now?><Are you going to continue harvesting people for your experiments?><What do you think, Mal?>
>>27795966Huh. Steve leveled up while we were gone?I actually kind of like Failure. It's pretty 'honourable' as gibbering monsters go. It offered us a chance to justify our lives when we met it."You know, Failure, you seem rather upstanding but I'm still not entirely sure. How do we know we can trust you?""Bring us to it, and I'll try to call it off."Also Tell Mal what's going on.
<Steve?!> You ask. <Where is he now?><Currently in the warehouse district, near the gates to the central district.> It says, the eyes blinking at you. <We lured it there because it is hostile to both forces currently in the city. It will serve as a natural obstruction.>You give him a look, and take a breath. <Are you going to continue harvesting people for your experiments?><We seek only to lengthen our own lifespan. It is our purpose.> It says. <We have learned how to purge ley power of pollutants, and thus have no more need of soulforce.><You know, Failure, you seem rather upstanding, but I'm still not entirely sure. How do we know we can trust you?><Because I have not lied or given you falsehoods in any of our previous meetings. The purpose of words is to communicate, not to send discord.>You turn to Mal, and quickly relay everything to him.<What do you think, Mal?><I think having full right to wander the warehouse district is a good thing.> He says. <And if we're going to fight that evil wizard, having something that can do, well...> He points at the rooftop, where remnant stands, protecting the skies from flying minions. <Then having a chance to negotiate with it is a pretty good idea.>You turn to Failure, and switch back to kystaran.<Bring us to it, and I'll try to call it off.>>Field too long!
>>27796279Failure walks through the streets, remnants of all sorts ambling aside. They're all mutated, and distorted, but none are the squat kinds you'd first found in the city when you arrived. Perhaps they're all casualties, or were recycled for stronger remnants.Eventually, you make your way through the entrance district, into the warehouse district, and see something standing beneath the gate.It's... an absolutely normal, human shaped remnant. Vaguely feminine, but without any eyes or features.So you think, at least, before a rhino-like minion- like the kind that had hurt you- charges it. Steve lashes out, and with incredible power, catches the rhino's 'horn' and slams it into the ground. With its other hand, it punches straight through the minion's armor. Steve swells, and tendrils come pouring out of its chest, tearing the rhino apart and consuming it. A moment later, it's once again a small, slightly feminine human shape, lacking a face.
>>27796296Uh... Steve? What did you _do_??I don't suppose you can speak now?
>>27796296"Steve! We've been looking for you!"
>>27796296<Failure, you've not so creepy any more. That's pretty good. Is there any messages you'd like me to pass along to the Third Wizard?>
>>27796296>New Waifu Unlocked"High-five me, Stebe."
>>27796296Steve just pulled an Alex Mercer.
>>27796296Is steve touching the ground?
>>27796296<Huh. Steve's not a Steve anymore.>
>>27796296>2 responses for critical info/diplomacy with Failure>10 for saying hello to steve.
>>27796296We should be calling Steve, Stephanie now.
<Uh... Steve?> You ask. The faceless remnant turns around to face you. <What did you do?>It doesn't respond.<We've been looking for you!>It doesn't respond.<High-five me, Steve.> You say, experimentally, and Steve walks closer to you. to give you a high five.It's like high-fiving a stone. You turn to Failure.<Failure, you're not so creepy anymore. Is there any messages you'd like me to pass along to the Third Wizard?><Yes.> It responds. Then it looks upward. <The Seventeenth Wizard lives still. She would know him as Kaederi.>And then it points. Straight up.<Tell the Third Wizard that Kaederi hides above the sky, atop a fortress of his own creation.> You blink.<... Tell me more.> You say, and reach for your booklet. It might be best to take notes.>End of session!>My twitter is at @futureexabyte>The IRC is #Exabyte on Rizon.
>>27796499Thanks for running, exa!>>27796467One is easier then the other.Also I samefagged responses for Steve, because I thought of more to say.
>>27796499Thanks for running, Exabyte.
>>27796499Anti-matter missile when
>>27796499Kaedri sounds like the kind of guy who doesn't like Seinfeld. Am I right?
Someone should remember to try to use the gauntlet on Steve 2.0 next thread.
>>27799675It's a good idea, but if Steve has evolved, the gauntlet might transmit info which we don't want kaedri to get his hands on.