Chapter Four, Verse SixPrevious Threads:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=And+I+Will+Fear+No+EvilYou are Bartolomè de la Fuente, an ordained priest of the Catholic Church, though you are still young. Following the disappearance of your father, Hidalgo, you were recruited by a woman named Catarina Belmont to take his place within a secret branch of the Church, the Executors, and serve as a weapon to destroy those who would besmirch the name of your Lord.You've been taken to see the first piece of art your father took notice of in the Painter's home: a magnificent tapestry that, curiously, does not seem to depict him, but you and the people you've met as an Executor...Bartolomè:Wounds: 14/15 (Broken Arm, Crippled Arm.)Faith: Strong (+1 to Rolls, Holy Relics at 1.5x effectiveness.)Strength: C (3 Wounds dealt per hit, +0 to strength-related rolls.)Agility: C (1 attack per round, +0 to dexterity-related rolls.)Endurance: C (Can sustain 15 Wounds.)???: D (Unknown effect.)???: C (Unknown effect.)Traits:Gifted Skirmisher: +5 when using Thrown WeaponsButcher of Dead Apostles: +1 Wounds dealt to Dead ApostlesMissing Eye: No Penalty, but depth of vision reduced.Extra-Sensory: +2 to Combat Rolls, Can perceive Secret Options.Instinct: Chance to perceive the optimal strategy in combat.Items:Black Key (x2): +10 to attack rolls, currently at 1x effectiveness. Can be thrown. Bonus doubled against foes with Faith ratings.Cross of Orleans: +10 to Attack Rolls, +1 to Wounds dealt, deals 1 Wound per round after hit as burn damage for two rounds. Treats Faith lower than Stable as Stable while held.Inventory: Catarina's cell phoneBlack KeysRosaryCross of Orleans
Remarkable. This work is remarkable, and also deeply disturbing. You step away from the left side of the tapestry, taking a wider perspective. The Painter seemed unfamiliar with your identity, yet recreated you so perfectly. Your working hand reflexively grasps towards your missing eye. Perfectly. This effigy is bound to many people, but you were mistaken when you observed that the many-colored threads came from you. As you step away you can see the true source comes further from the right of the tapestry. You shuffle towards the center portion. The scene is different, and a different person is at its center. It is a girl. Your eye is drawn to her, and lingers there. She is unfamiliar, you're quite certain you've never met her. But you recognize her all the same. She stands in the center of many figures, just as the effigy of you had before her. And she too, is bound by the thread, but not in the same way. Her body is in tatters. In dozens, maybe hundreds of places you can see where her flesh is splitting itself apart in what must be an excruciating death. But even as she's ripped apart, the girl is held together by the blue thread. It spills from her wounds, sewing shut the splits and lashing out in every direction, pulling others closer towards her.Looming above and behind her you see a man, and everything clicks. His shaggy, orange hair is impossible for you to forget. "This is the man I saw in my vision." Your finger traces across him, feeling the texture of the green cloak he's thrown over both he and the girl. If this is the man you saw, then... obviously, this is that same girl. But she did not appear wounded in your vision. What does what you see here mean? You are not sure, and look to see who else stands around her.
Two familiar faces strike you. From before, the man in the blue suit and hat stands a distance from the girl. He appeared happy, and friendly, as he extended a hand to you. But here he frowns, despairing over heavy iron chains that wrap around him. He bears these chains to restrain a great beast that seeks to devour the child. And the second is surely Kayton Abraham. He wields a crooked, festering knife. His face is uncertain, and his arm cannot decide between dropping the knife and using it. There is a boy there as well, young and with flaxen hair. He appears the happiest of them all. He balances two items in his hands: a tome and a wrench. He stands the closest towards the girl and the man, to the point that he seems vulnerable. A man and a woman,stand a distance from this boy. The man stands tall and proud, offering a sword to the wounded girl, though many other weapons protrude from his body and are surely killing him. The woman is wrenching the blades from him, though from the pile at their feet you cannot imagine she will ever reach the end. Yet another woman, hair white as snow, scavenges among the discarded blades, desperately thrusting the weapons into her own body, ignorant of the serviceable spear she carries on her back.A pair of identical girls stand far behind the girl. They wield a pair of swords: one white and pure, the other black and foul. Though to your surprise, it is the wielder of the pure blade that seems to be swinging at her companion."This is all too much to take in," you groan, bewildered at the sights. But there is one more, looming above them all. A familiar blond-haired girl with a blood-red halo, smiling cheerfully, towers above the girl at the center. She holds in one hand a crystal ball, over which two silhouettes bicker. And in the other she wields a cracked bowl, pouring out its contents over the girl in the center, and the orange-haired man trying to shield her.
You can see why: the blue strings have grasped the looming figure by its neck, and will strangle it if not removed.At last you step away from the tapestry, gripping your aching mind. You feel a sense of wrongness, that you have observed more than you were meant to. But you have not yet reached the end. One portion of the tapestry remains to be observed.You approach the final portion of the tapestry. It is remarkably simple, for all the complexities of the previous parts. But it does not make you feel any more at ease.The only sight to speak of here is the planet Earth, red and barren of all life, lying dead beneath a rising crimson moon.You do not know what it means, but something deep inside of you runs cold.>1. Ask the Painter a question about the tapestry.>2. This does not help find your father. Ask the Painter to bring you to the second painting.>3. Ask one of the others what their take on it is.>4. Do something else.
>>31002724>3. Ask one of the others what their take on it is.Talk to Kayton, ask if he recognizes any of the people from anywhere else, if he knows anything about the crimson moon, .
>>31002944You turn toward the others and see they've been as preoccupied with the work as you. Kayton is up towards the tapestry, scrutinizing it closely with his arms crossed. Wayne is trying to appear disinterested, but you've been around him long enough to tell he's got both eyes glued to the Painter's work. He seems most drawn towards the center. Even Aldric's flights of fancy have faded, and she stares intently at the scene playing out upon the weavings. You choose to approach Kayton, sidling up and speaking in a hushed tone. "What do you make of this, Kayton? Do you recognize any of these figures?""Yes," he says dryly. "You, Wayne, and the Brunestud.""Am I to take it you know none of the others, then?""Not a one," he answers. You both sigh, not making eye contact and instead keeping focus on the piece. "I've misjudged you, Bartolomè. I've misjudged you and your circumstances... quite drastically.""You sound concerned," you note to the mage."I am." He states this much resolutely, and falls quiet again.You nod towards the right end of the tapestry. "If I may take a stab at why? That red moon, what does it mean?"Kayton frowns, his face creased with heavy concerns. "You don't know anything about what you've gotten yourself into, do you, young father? That moon is... troubling. No, that's not the right way to put it. That moon shouldn't exist at all. That the Painter has depicted it fills me with absolute terror." You feel a chill, hearing him speak so gravely about it. "But now is not the time, we are in improper company to discuss this. Speak with me in private, another time, and I shall tell you what little I know.">1. Ask the Painter something.>2. Ask one of the others something.>3. Ask to be taken to the other painting.>4. Do something else.
>>31003209>3. Ask to be taken to the other painting.
>>31003209ask Aldric what she thinks then>3. Ask to be taken to the other painting.
>>31003294>>31003397For good or ill you believe that's all you'll be learning from this work of art without much more time to think on it. There is still one more clue you might use to pick up your father's trail. As you turn to the Painter she smiles, looking quite proud of her work. "Has this piece spoken to you, Bartolomè?"You don't really know the answer to that question, but you choose to be polite. Smiling, you tel her, "Yes, this has proven to be a wonderful experience. Could you perhaps take me to the second piece you spoke of? I would be delighted to see it."That seems to be exactly what she wished to hear, and she curtsies before gesturing to the door, where Damton waits to lead you on. "It would be my privilege. Come, let us not tarry." She leads the pack out of the room. You move to follow, but stop as you see one of your group has not yet moved on. Aldric is rooted to the floor, gawking at the tapestry. Feeling a touch of worry you approach her and tug gently at her arm. She snaps out of her trance and gives you the most bewildered look. "Ah--huh, Bartolomè?!""We're moving on, Aldric. Is... everything all right?""All right?" She asks faintly. You can see her gaze drifting back towards the tapestry even now, and she bites her lip. "Uh... uh-huh. I'm okay. Let's go."She unroots herself, and comes willingly as you pull her along to catch up with the others. But she doesn't look reassured. You jog up behind the others, finding that the Painter is moving along at a brisk, silent pace. Perhaps in her better moods, when she's showing off her art, she doesn't feel the need to snark.You traverse a few flights of stairs and come to a door against a third-story turret. She gestures towards a small, square flap at the bottom. "As you can see, I've installed a doggie door for your hound's convenience."
Wayne's face turns red as a beet as you realize no, there's nothing that will ever lighten the Painter's mood that much. Under the withering glare of Kayton the Enforcer buckles, grumbling and mumbling as he gets down on his knees and shuffles through the flap. Once he's through Damton opens the door and allows the rest of you in.It appears this gallery is devoted to landscapes. Rolling hills, gray crags, quaint villages and sweeping fields of wheat line the walls, providing a feast for the eyes. But you brush them all aside, looking for one in particular. The Painter is polite enough to point it out to you. "There, upon the far wall. That one is several years old, and if I were in the business of going back and improving upon perfection, there are many personal touches that may not be as pleasant to an impartial viewer's eye as they are to my own. But Hidalgo seems drawn to it all the same. Perhaps you'll figure out why?"You approach, and see that it is a forest in the winter. Many tightly-packed trees contrast the powdery white snow with their stark black trunks, creating a lined pattern quite pleasing to you. At first, you believe there is no sign of civilization within this work. But deep within the far-off mist, past the trees, you make out a shape."A... castle." You are certain that it is a castle of some old, European fashion. But it is isolated within this forest. Where could it be, and what isolated person dared dream to make it?>1. Ask the others a question about the painting.>2. Ask the Painter if she was inspired by any particular location for this piece.>3. Do something else.
>>31003877>>2. Ask the Painter if she was inspired by any particular location for this piece.
>>31003877>2. Ask the Painter if she was inspired by any particular location for this piece.
>>31003938>>31003945>>31003985>>31004056"Alas, I'm afraid I know nothing of this place." You turn to the Painter and plead, "I understand it isn't your policy, but might you tell me where you found the inspiration for this piece?"Firmly she responds, "I cannot.""But--"She holds a hand up and cuts you off, not letting another syllable be spoken against her. "Interrupting a lady? How uncouth. If you had let me finish you might have heard that I have no desire to impede your search. Hidalgo was a favored guest of mine, and always behaved cordially. I would lose something valuable should he never return. But I do not receive inspiration from the physical world. That is not the nature of my gift. I create only what is present in my mind, the world that exists inside of me. That is what finds itself on the canvas for you to scrutinize. It is quite possible this place exists on Earth somewhere, or it may be a metaphor for some concept you have yet to grasp." She shrugs, looking quite nonchalant. "I simply cannot say one way or another."Darn it. You lean a hand against the wall and scowl at the painting. There must be some clue you've missed! You can't have come this far to go back empty-handed.And suddenly, Wayne sighs. Rubbing his temples in frustration he quite pointedly says "Hey, Kayton. Take a look at that forest. Anything familiar about it to you?""What?" The other mage seems quite dumbfounded by the question. "I do not believe so, why--""Take another look," Wayne insists. His friend obliges, and slowly his eyes grow wide."My word... you're right. If my guess at the species of tree is correct, then--""Then what?" you ask, spinning on your heels to face him.
>>31004302Then that's Kayton's castle in the distance?
"That's the Black Forest," Abraham declares. "Yes, I don't know how I didn't see it before. It makes sense... there IS an old territory out there that once belonged to a family of magi. The village they supervised was burned to the ground centuries ago, and rotted away. But the keep may still remain.""A keep?" you ask. "What 'family' ruled this keep?"Kayton's eyes grow wide, and rubs his chin in contemplation. "If I recall correctly, it was the Hind family.">1. This castle belonged to that vampire?!>2. What do you think my father could have wanted from there?>3. Ask the Painter if Hidalgo made any remarks after viewing this piece.>4. Do something else.
>>31004327>How quickly can we leave?
>>31004327>1. This castle belonged to that vampire?!>2. What do you think my father could have wanted from there?>3. Ask the Painter if Hidalgo made any remarks after viewing this piece.add in >>31004346Need to call Cat. and check in on her actually.
This thread seems stronger than previous ones, so I'm curious. Does it seem that the review he got in qtg was beneficial?
>>31004327>>31004346Only 3 then, the rest we can ask on the way or try and figure out for ourselves. We need to get there before the trail gets cold.Also we might really have to become friends with Kayton, the whole tapestry means we're hopelessly in over our heads, like no doubt our father is.
>>31004647What review? Thread's are usually busier around the usual times as well.
>>31004647Was the thread archived? And I just made it in time for a thread for once!
>>31004682Grumpy'sThere's no qtg so you might not find him though.
>>31004706Here you go >And I Will Fear No Evil http://pastebin.com/EMxxwYLw
>>31004755Hm, it's a pretty striking review, although the general atmosphere of the quest doesn't really require a lot of fast-packed action or tension. We know there's stuff going on in the background and we're just a hopeless little priest who doesn't quite know whose puppet he is. The tapestry was also great, because we crawled into Bartolomè head for a while, knowing it's an obvious message but unable to make any sense of it. The dialogue options are a valid point though, we want to know it all!
>>31004937Fast paced Action <= tensionThere are a myriad of ways to create tension, and drowning in the unknown isn't one of them.
>>31004346>>31004576>>31004650"Young mistress!" you exclaim. Your heart's beating so quickly it's ready to burst out of your chest. The Black Forest. At last, you've got a solid location! It's all but certain your father went there after meeting with the Painter here. "What did my father say when he was through here? Anything important?"The girl rubs her earlobe between thumb and forefinger, thinking back laxly. "Hm! I cannot really recall. The details of the conversation have slipped my mind, I'm afraid." Though you feel disappointed she doesn't keep you that way for long. She snaps her fingers and asks in an oddly childlike voice, "Damton, do you remember anything Mr. Hidalgo said?"The butler clears his throat and says, "Many things. Though I think the most important would be the part he kept to himself." He speaks to you indirectly, answering the Painter's question yet clearly intending the answer for you. "I heard him mutter something most peculiar as he departed that afternoon. I believe the phrasing was, ahem, 'She's the weapon I've been looking for.'"She? Your eye is inevitably drawn towards the one other woman in the room. She doesn't take notice; you are confused by your father's words. She is a 'weapon'? The Painter's hints seem to have been correct that he was seeking to combat some threat, and Aldric must have been the key. But what did he fear so much that he chose to wake her? And what relevance does this castle in the painting hold to her?There are too many questions here, and not enough answers. "We need to get there before the trail runs cold," you declare. "Kayton, how quickly could you get us to the ruins of that keep?"
"Ideally, within the day," he tells you. "Mind you I can't be certain of it's location. I would be directing us from memory, unless I were given time to check my records at home."You suppose that much should have been obvious, but you're frustrated at the thought of spending even one more night inactive when you've finally found a lead. And as you recall... you've promised the Painter a meal in payment.>1. You can repay the Painter at another date. Head for the Black Forest immediately.>2. Leave the Painter's home, but stop at Kayton's estate first to let him check his maps.>3. Payment due is payment due. Before anything else, make the Painter her meal.
>>31005184>3. Payment due is payment due. Before anything else, make the Painter her meal.Besides, I'm sure everyone could warm up a bit from the meal.
>>31005184>Painter, do I have your permission to return within the fortnight to make good on my promise? I have to go there, now. Aldric, do you remember that place, is it where you woke up?
>>31005184>3. Payment due is payment due. Before anything else, make the Painter her meal.We shouldn't let our impatience get the best of us, a matter of hours will make no difference here.
>>31005492>>31005343It might just as well make a difference, anyone could have dropped by there and erased trace of Hidalgo, or could be doing so now.
>>31005644It's been months anon, the chance of it happening right now is incredibly low, unless there's some evidence I've missed of it happening now.
>>31005343>>31005492You need to get ahold of yourself. Impatience will only lead to disaster here. You have waited months for this opportunity, and it won't slip away because you took a moment to be hospitable. In a more quiet tone you happily announce, "Then we shall go there as soon as we are able. But first, young miss..." your eye lights up, and the Painter, face stoic, takes a step backward. "I believe I promised you a meal, as payment for today's exhibition?"Although she doesn't seem enthused to be discussing it she admits, "Yes, I suppose you did. Were you... planning on doing that now?""Yes."She's silent a moment. "Not some... other time?""No," you declare. "It wouldn't be right to leave a debt unpaid, no matter how long. I would like to begin preparation now, if you do not mind."She scratches her cheekbone. "I suppose not. Damton, please lead Bartolomè to the kitchen. I shall show our other guests to the dining hall."The butler extends a hand and gestures out the door. "Right this way, sir."...You're led down to the ground floor and find a fully-stocked kitchen, quite modern for such an isolated home. You suppose if anyone would remain on the cutting edge it would be an artsy type. What's more, Damton leads you through a door and into a pantry the size of a small apartment. "Please, take whatever you need to provide an adequate meal."You pick out many choice ingredients and spices for the task ahead of you. You're dead-set on making the Painter try those gallinejas. You relent and set out to make a stew in the Madrid style as well, just in case she can't stomach the intestines. It wouldn't be fair to leave her to starve because she can't stomach foreign cuisine. The side dishes are easy to choose from there, and you have Damton carry them out into the kitchen for preparation. Normally you would be doing all of this work with your own hands, but in your current condition you lack the dexterity for cooking personally.
Instead you dictate actions for the Painter's butler to carry out. He's certainly no stranger to the kitchen and follows your orders with professionalism and grace. In less than half an hour you find he's already handled most of the work, and set the prepared dishes to cook.>1. Talk to Damton about something.>2. Focus on the meal.
>>31006035>How did you enter the Lady Painter's service?
>>310060081.Is it difficult working with the painter? How did he get the position? Has she always treated Wayne like this, or did he do something special once?
>>31006035>1. Talk to Damton about something.I'll second how did he get to work with The Painter, and ask him f he can make any further observations about our dad.
>>31006224>>31006068>>31006081You begin, like all great ideas, with a shrug. It might be nice to speak to Damton in an environment where he needn't check his speech to avoid the ire of his odd master. "You are certainly a wizened man," you tell Damton. "You can't have been serving the Painter your whole life.""An astute observation," he answers you with a keen grin.You chuckle. "I suppose that much was obvious. What were you doing before? And how did you come to work for the Painter?"Damton washes his hands in the sink, preparing to peel a few potatoes while you talk. You hear a bit more of his natural Austrian accent leak through as he speaks openly. "Ah. An unusual story, that one. As you deduced, Master Bartolomè, I had a life before meeting the Painter. Fuffuf," he laughs to himself. "I suppose I could have worded THAT better. I am truly appreciative of my purpose here, do not mistake that. I was once a...made man, of sorts. I worked for an enterprising gentleman that operated out of Budapest.""His profession?""Mm, death and drugs, mostly." He's quite frank about that much. "And as most men in that business tend to be, my employer was most obsessed with securing his own power. It isn't often that my current mistress' existence reaches the ears of those outside the realm of the... non-mundane. But it does happen from time to time. And my employer was one of the lucky ones to hear of her. And so he, I, and many others came to visit her."He does not look at you, and quietly says, "She lived here all alone, at the time. She's never told me how it came to be that way, though I have my suspicions. She was quite young. Barely up to your hipbone, at full height. Such a fire in her, though! Greeted us like we were peasants in the presence of a Queen. Took our coats, and made us kiss her ring.""Your 'employer' can't have liked that."
Damton chuckles. "Oh, you haven't the slightest idea. It infuriated him, but the idea of peering into the future was too alluring to pass up. He, and by extension the rest of us played along with her bratty, childish games, stringing us along and seeking praise and defenestration of all our pride before she would show us a single piece of her work. But when she did... even then, she was a prodigy. We were stunned, awestruck at what this child had created. But my employer, he was... impatient. When he looked into her paintings he expected his future to be laid out before him. He was not in the business of detective work. He asked the Painter what her work meant, to spell it out for him." He turns to face you, and makes a wry smile. "She didn't like that much. Called him things even I, a grown man, wouldn't dare repeat! Oh-ho, it humiliated him. And my employer... did not like to be humiliated. He took the girl, and ordered us to teach her... a 'lesson.'"You begin pulling out platters and silverware to set in the dining room. "So, what did you do?"A shadow falls over Damton's face. "What had to be done. I... severed ties with my employer. And after that, well, I had nowhere to go. And she had no one. It was a mutual arrangement, you see. And I've been here ever since.""And you enjoy it?" you ask."It has its ups and downs," he says with a weary smile. "She is certainly in a privileged position, and perhaps she lacks the discipline of a peer around her age should. But I suppose that being how she is is how I came to be her butler. So in the end, I suppose I'm grateful for the little frustrations. Is this enough potatoes for the stew?""Perfect!" you exclaim. He tosses the peeled roots into the pot and begins to stir the mixture up. Wishing to keep the conversation going, you decide to ask a more mischievous question. "So... is there a story behind the way she treats Wayne?"The shaking of the butler's shoulders tells you he's chuckling.
"There are two theories. There's the story I tell, and the story I believe.""What's the story you tell?""My Mistress has quite the proud streak, if you hadn't noticed. She never took kindly to who dismissed her gifts as anything less than incredible. And Master Tepes, with his... unique abilities, seems most resistant to the way her gifts, her paintings, intertwine with the souls of their audience. So for he to call them trash would, obviously, invite ruin upon him. Only a lowly dog could mistake her greatness for charlatanism, true?""Quite. But then.. what's the story you believe?" you ask with a smirk.He smirks back at you. "Ah... you were young once, weren't you, Bartolomè? And what greater spark for conflict can there be than young love?"...You set the dishes out, awaiting inspection. You sit beside Wayne, who has been left without a chair, and stands awkwardly at the table while the others sit around it. This place is not on the scale of Kayton's dining hall, but it is just as well-decorated, thanks to the Painter's exquisite tastes. You allow Damton to set out portions for everyone before saying grace, at which point you allow the others to dig in.The sounds of smacking lips and praise fill your ears from either side. Aldric and Wayne gorge themselves on every morsel they can scrape up for themselves. This includes from each other, and more than once you see thieving forks swipe a bite from the other's plate. Kayton and Damton are a bit more refined, but the speed at which they consume is not to be scoffed at. You feel quite proud of yourself. But there is one patron, most important of all, to please...The Painter sits at her chair, looking quite composed, eyes closed, as she awaits the others to finish her meal. She has not even touched her stew. You feel your heart sink.And then you notice: the gallinejas have disappeared from her plate.Success!>1. Talk about something at the table.>2. Let dinner pass quietly.
>>31007057>"Ah... you were young once, weren't you, Bartolomè? And what greater spark for conflict can there be than young love?"oh boy>>31007057>1. Talk about something at the table.Ask the painter how she finds the meal I suppose. Want to talk but can't think of much to talk about.
>>31007057>2. Let dinner pass quietly.
Rolled 14>>31007057>1. Talk about something at the table.Like >31007385 discussed, it would be a ncie pleasant covnersation thing, if nothing else. Aside from that - we should probably just eat quietly. We've been through a LOT today, especially with my meta-knowledge of what these things mean.(I wonder what the English countryside is like this time of year? I hear wonderful things from my friends in Aylesbury.
>>31007057>1. Talk about something at the table.man I would love some intestines for dinner...
>>31007385"Is everything to your liking, miss?"The Painter takes a sip of the wine in her glass, cupping it in her palm and letting it swirl around a while. You have plenty of time to ponder whether she'd old enough to be drinking that before she quietly answers, "You are an admirable chef, Bartolomè. I am pleased with your work, and accept your payment.""No one can resist the sheep gut," Wayne remarks. He gets a steely leer, and you imagine that the Painter is concocting some punishment to dole at a later date."I am glad to be of service, miss. If ever you desire another meal, I'd be happy to drop by."She smiles and says, "See that you do."...You stand at the front door of the Painter, she and Damton seeing you off. "Thank you for having us," Kayton says on your behalf. "You are truly a miracle worker.""I try," the Painter boasts. She bows her head to you all. "You've got quite a journey ahead of you. I do hope that you find your ways back here soon, all of you." She casts a glance Wayne's way. "I would be remiss to go long without a visit from my favorite pet.""Pleasure... seeing you too," the mage growls through gritted teeth."And perhaps on your next visit, we might find you a painting of your own, Bartolomè." A faint smile grows on the young woman. "I'm sure your father would love to see it."You smile back, sharing a glance and nod with the large butler standing behind your host. With the final goodbyes said, the door shuts, leaving you out in the snow. "So!" Wayne exclaims. "Castle-ho, or...?">1. Yes, let's head for the Black Forest. So long as Kayton knows the general region, you can seek it out.>2. Stop by Kayton's home first so he can pinpoint its location.
>>31007947>1. Yes, let's head for the Black Forest. So long as Kayton knows the general region, you can seek it out.
>>31007947>1. Yes, let's head for the Black Forest. So long as Kayton knows the general region, you can seek it out.Time to get lost in the woods!>"I would be remiss to go long without a visit from my favorite pet."I'm having visions of Wayne in a gimpsuit, and my room-mate is now wondering what I'm laughing so hard. Truly, to be a mage is to walk a path of pain.
>>31007968>>31008041"Castle-ho," you confirm. Wayne smiles and strides off towards the car, eager to tackle the unknown without any plans. That seems to be his way. Aldric hops off ahead after him, hands cupped around a cup of coffee Damton provided for the road. She's avoiding eye contact with you as you watch her. How unusual for her. Kayton is your only company on the ride back to the car, though you're grateful to see a snowplow's been by. The roads looks somewhat traverse-able now. "What did you think of her?" Kayton asks."She is... not unlike what you had me expect. But she was more helpful than I had expected, as well.""That's just the way she is. I'm sure she sympathizes with someone trying to find their father." He leaves you to ponder what that means as you reach your automobile. Kayton opens the door and allows you into the rear seat, then walks to the other side and gets in beside you on the left half of the car. Aldric has taken the passenger's seat, and Wayne is once again driving. The wing-haired man pulls a map out of the glove compartment, unfolding it and holding it up so Kayton can see, asking for a general idea of where he's headed. "Around here," Kayton tells him, circling a small portion of the Black Forest with his finger."Got it." The map is refolded, replaced, and removed from thought as Wayne screams back onto the road. The long trek has begun. Even if you won't be making any detours the trip will still take some time. You reckon that it will be nighttime before you get there. The only question now is how to spend it.>1. You may be headed into danger, and you'll need any tricks available to you. Ask Kayton about this supposed capacity for magic you possess.>2. Talk to the others about something.>3. Call someone on your phone.>4. Pray for guidance.>5. Take a nap, you need rest after everything that's happened.>6. Do something else.
>>31008340>1. You may be headed into danger, and you'll need any tricks available to you. Ask Kayton about this supposed capacity for magic you possess.>2. Talk to Aldric about what she saw in that Painting. Is she upset over something?>6. Heal up, somehow.>4. Pray for Guidance. Lord guide our way!
>>31008340>2. Talk to the others about something.Ask Aldric what's up with her.
>>31008420This but add 3 and call Cat. Update her on the situation, or attempt to anyways.
>>31008340>1. You may be headed into danger, and you'll need any tricks available to you. Ask Kayton about this supposed capacity for magic you possess.and ignore Cat. our mentor needs to prove herself worthy through battle
>>31008630But if she dies, how can shen reveal Plot Relevant Secrets or answer the question Why Did Father Know Adopt You?
>>31008420>>31008452Both of these.Ask her if we met before when father brought her to the family home.
>>31008420>>31008427>>31008630You groan, working out the kinks in your muscles as you settle in for a long ride. It will be an important one as well, as you have important questions to ask. The first is intended for Kayton, whom you turn left to address. "I wanted to talk more about what happened the other night. You say that I used magic.""Magecraft, yes," he subtly corrects you, though in all honestly you don't know the distinction. "Specifically of the principles ascribed to magi. Entirely different from what your Church practices as 'magic.'""Well whatever it is it may prove the difference between life and death someday. I would like to know more about how it works.""What you're asking is like requesting a professor to teach a child calculus, after the child has spent a life learning maths incompatible with what he wishes to learn. If you'll pardon me borrowing a phrase of our friend's: basically, it's impossible. At least with my current resources.""Is that a 'no', or a 'later'?""Neither, and both. I can tell you this much: you've already been taught the theory. By whom I cannot fathom, nor can I guess at why you don't remember. But the knowledge is there. You simply have to draw it out. Perhaps you know more, but start with what you're certain of: the aria you used to reinforce your body. Keep it in mind, and practice with it. If you do that it may come back to you.""And if it doesn't?" you ask warily."It will kill you from the effort." Kayton certainly doesn't mince words. "Make no mistake, you've entered a deadly business. But if what I saw in that tapestry is true, well... you've already surprised me several times. You could do so again."(New parameter unlocked: Magic Potential! Currently at Rank: D, -5 to Spell Rolls, Strain Limit: 5. Can now make Spell Rolls! New Spell unlocked: Fear No Evil, DC 65, deal triple damage from physical attacks for one round. Take 1 Wound at end of round.)
You have now unlocked magecraft! Every round Bartolomè may, in addition to his normal actions and attacks, use a Spell. He only has one spell at the moment, and although it is powerful it is imperfect and hurts him to use. Through training he may learn or recall additional spells, or improve those he already possesses. Strain Limit is the number of Spells you can use before becoming Strained. Bartolomè's Magical Circuit is small and rusty, and can only handle so much before breaking under pressure. When Strained Bartolomè's roll bonuses halve, and his penalties double, and any spells he uses deal an additional Wound to him. Fear No Evil inflicts 1 Strain per use. Other spells may cost more, or potentially less.Some time passes, and you decide it's time to tackle another rising problem. Aldric's behavior has changed, ever so slightly. Although you wish to trust her, this needs to be nipped in the bud if a problem is brewing. You reach over the seat and touch her shoulder, prompting her to shift her weight to look back at you."Yes, Bartolomè?""You've been acting strangely since we saw that tapestry. Has something been on your mind?""Wellll..." she trails off, looking ready to speak but suddenly giving a shifty glance at Wayne and Kayton. Whatever she wants to say, she won't while they're present. You frown, then have an idea. You hand her your cell phone, and ask that she writes whatever is on her mind. She nods at you and focuses on the thing. She's clearly struggling. You remember then that Aldric has only been speaking your language. For whatever reason she cannot read or write it; she wasn't even aware what its name was when you last asked. Nonetheless she manages to type something out, and hands you back your phone."It is the sekond part of the tapest tree that confused meBartolomay said that other people were friends not food so i dont want to hurt my friends but i think that won with the bowl was me"
"And i was hurting people and i dont understand why"You can see her frown behind the phone as you read the last part of her message, each piece separated into paragraphs in place of punctuation."And also i was looking at the center part and i saw the two mayjes were there but not BartolomayWhat happened to you"You are quiet for a moment as you stare at the last fragment of a sentence. Your heartbeat seems to skip a beat before continuing. "I do not know the answers right now," you tell her. "But we will find out. I promise." Hollow words to comfort her. You barely have any idea what's going on yourself; how can you resolve doubts in others when you're in a worse place than any of them? You bow your head, wishing you could fold your broken hands. That is not the way of God. You are a shepherd. You shall find a way. You pray to your Lord for guidance, both for you and for Aldric. Maybe He has a plan for such alien creatures as vampires, and perhaps He does not. Whatever the truth is, you know what happens shall be for the best.Since your phone is out, you decide to check in with Catarina, hoping today won't be a repeat of the last time you tried. But alas, your fears are true: she hasn't answered you for the second time. You decide to give her an update on the situation on her voicemail, and let her know that you're currently headed for the Black Forest, and you hope to speak to her soon. Feeling unsatisfied, you hang up the phone. Your eye begins to flutter shut. It has been a long day, and you feel a desire for rest......The car stops. "End of the road."Wayne has stopped the car in the midst of many trees. You're not sure how far into the forest you've come, but the road stops here. You all step out of the car and take a few wary steps into the forest. You're not in the best condition yet, but your unbroken arm seems to be in less pain.10/15 Wounds."So... what now?" Wayne asks. Kayton points in an arbitrary direction.
"This way." He says. "I believe the ruins of the village lie north of us." But as he does so, something tugs at your body. A force you can't place. Beyond the veil of mist, snow, and trees comes movement that you cannot perceive with your eye alone. Even as you try to ignore it, you feel it creeping in the back of your mind.You stare off into the forest, unsure of the phenomenon that is occurring, but your instinct swears to you that something is out there. Yet as the wind swirls around you, you wonder: is it the castle you seek, or...?"Something up, Bart?>1. Tell the others to follow you and seek the source of this sensation.>2. Aldric has the best senses, let her lead.>3. Kayton is the one who knows the lay of the land. He should lead.
>>31009456>1. Tell the others to follow you and seek the source of this sensation.Logically, Katon would be the best to lead. But this is a story where Bartolome is the Protagonist - his instincts won't lead us astray!
>>31009456>1. Tell the others to follow you and seek the source of this sensation.Trust our instincts!
>>31009456>1. Tell the others to follow you and seek the source of this sensation.
>>31009487>>31009535>>31009557You hold up a hand and catch the others' attention. "Wait a moment," you insist. "There's something out there."The others peer into the mist, dumbfounded. "Out... where, Bart?" Wayne asks. "This place was sealed off by the Association back before we were born. Nobody else has a reason to come out here." And yet someone is there. Something. They see how serious you look, and quietly form up behind you. "Take it slow. We don't know what we're dealing with." "I will," you promise. And off you march, into the cold embrace of the Black Forest.For several minutes you walk in what you hope is a straight line. But it is hard to tell. The landscape here is unchanging, and you lost sight of the car in this frigid fog some time ago. As you lead onward, the others begin to grow disgruntled. But you do not heed their complaints. A terrible, entrancing force tugs you forward. There is something out there. Something terrible.Something... that is seeking you as well.Your instincts flare.DEATH.Every inch of your body freezes as despair rushes in.DEATH.The fog darkens, and a fell shadow comes. You cannot discern its shape, but its size dwarfs anything you can imagine. All the darkness you've ever feared pours in from the surrounding woods and takes shape.DEATH.And two points of light, two eyes as terrible as anything you've ever seen fixate upon you.DIE.There is no avoiding death. A pitiful human like you cannot resist a will so great. You WILL die. That is the only option.DIE."Bartolomè!" A voice calls to you and grabs you by the back of your coat, tossing you behind it with careless force. There is no time for a tender touch. You're flung into the arms of Wayne and Kayton, themselves backpedaling furiously from the nightmare before them.DEATH.The eyes have no left you. Your fate is immutable.DEATH.
Aldric faces the shadow, barring it from you. She cannot dare to let her guard down and turn around. With her back to you she screams, "RUN!""B-but--""Run away." Her voice does not raise in urgency. Aldric makes a static statement. Your only options are to run or die. The choice is yours. She will face this beast, and slow it down as you get as far away as you possibly can from it.>1. Run.
>>31009955>1. Run.What the fuck just happened.
>>31009955>1. Run.An apex predator. Something which is death to an existence such as us. Something which is Death to us.I'm glad we sussed this out when we did. Damn, that would be terrifying to have descend upon us with all this other shit flying around.
>>31010196>>31010088There is no choice. You turn on your heels and push. You push as hard as you can to get away from this nightmare. Your fellows do not impede you; indeed they're retreating as quickly as you. The forest zooms past the corners of your eyes, fog and black trunks zipping past as you dart around them. You do not know how long you run. Your legs scream for respite, but you don't dare stop. If you stop even a moment, you fear that you will die. You cover miles of ground in what could be minutes or days. Time halts for you until you've escaped.You only stop as a looming shadow in the distance grows larger. It is not the shadow that stalks you, but a castle. A great, grey castle that overlooks the forest in solitude, trees younger than their brethren surrounding its walls. You slam against its great wooden doors, unaware and uncaring of the barrier. To your luck the doors are not barred shut, and give way to your combined force. The trio of you rush in, slamming the door behind you.Something tells you this is no true escape, but it is enough, for now. The sense of death and danger has passed. Your stalker has lost interest in you, and seeks something else.But you've lost something in escaping him. Aldric is gone. And you see your friends on the floor, gasping for air, eyes bugged out of their skulls with expressions of terror you never expected them to have.All the strength in your legs is sapped, and you collapse. As you fall on your rear, you look at the dusty room around you. What was once a grand hall has fallen into disrepair. Light peeks in through cracks in the ceiling, revealing ruined heraldry and decoration.All of which once belonged to a boy you saw die. The vampire, Klaus Hind...>1. Begin Intermission.>2. Rest. The terror has passed, and you shall need all your strength for what lies ahead.
>>31010405>1. Begin Intermission.
>>31010405>1. Begin Intermission.NEVER SKIP INTERMISSION. THERE ARE NO PISS BREAKS.
>>31010497>>31010545You step down the stairs of the entrance hall lightly, skipping as you do so. You whistle a song to yourself, enjoying the cool spring air flowing in from the open doors. There is a festival today, and the village is out celebrating. Father has suggested that you take the day off from your training with him, and go about town. To get a little air, and maybe make some new friends. It's always good to put on a good face for the townsfolk, Father always says. He's certainly smart about that sort of thing. And you're definitely looking forward to today. Treats! Games! All sorts of fun. Maybe you can even slip out and explore the woods while no one's watching...You fix an errant strand of your coiffed hair, and puff out your chest as you prepare to depart your home. A brand new day awaits.Your name is Klaus Hind. You are twelve years old and, though you don't know it yet, today is the day your life shall change forever.
As it's getting late, I'll be putting a stop to things for tonight. Thank you all so much for playing! I hope you enjoyed tonight's session. Let me know here or on Twitter @Frolloswagendir if there's anything you particularly enjoyed, or anything that I can improve on to make the Quest more fun for you to play.See you all again soon!