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/qst/ - Quests

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You are Hamilton, a man whose head was stolen and replaced with a skull. You are in an unfamiliar land, currently being accompanied by a witch named Liza. She tells you that the nearby town of Rinther might have the answers to some of your questions, so you are both headed that way now.


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“This is where you live?” You raise a non-existent eyebrow at Liza’s home. It used to be a mansion, but to you it looks as though it hasn’t been inhabited in a few decades. The windows are all busted out, the roof is caving in, and there isn’t even a hint that the wooden sidings were once painted.

She nods. “Nobody in their right mind wants to go into an abandoned mansion like that. It’s a good place to live if you don’t want people bothering you.”

You shrug. “Guess you’re right. Lead the way.”

The two of you walk up to the place, but Liza doesn’t go for the front door as you both approach the house. “This way,” she motions for you to follow her around the side of the house. You follow her to a set of basement doors, which she opens carefully. “I don’t live in the house itself,” she explains. “It’s practically falling apart at the seams. The cellar is still livable though.”

You both descend the stairs into what you assume was once a wine cellar. There are a couple of large barrels off in a corner of the place, and the vaulted ceilings are surprisingly high up. The place is lit by candle light. There is a four-poster bed in the corner with threadbare drapes hanging from the top of it, and nearby are a couple of work tables and chairs. Atop the tables are mounds of books, glass jars, baskets, and clay pots and urns. You notice a skull sitting on a cluttered shelf near the bed. Closer to the center of the cellar is an old, wooden dinner table with four chairs and some modest decorations. You see an improvised fireplace with a cauldron near the back of the cellar, and you guess that the flue is carved up into where the ground floor’s fireplace is.

“Sorry for the mess,” Liza says with a hint of embarrassment. “I hadn’t expected any guests…”

“Guest?” A booming voice speaks with a French accent. “Mon dieu! You should have told me. I would have prepared a pot of soup!” The voice guffaws. You look around for the source of the voice, only to see nobody else in the room.

“Don’t mind Jean,” Liza says in an exasperated tone. “I’ll just find a place to put these and we can head out.” She points to her basket of flowers.

>”Who is Jean?”
>Say nothing.
>”I’ll… Just wait outside…”
>”Nice place.”
>”Nice place.”
>”Who is Jean?”
>>”Nice place.”
You sit your pillar down, balancing it vertically on the cobblestone floor. “Nice place,” you remark.

“Thanks,” Liza says with a smile. “It’s not the fanciest place around, but it’s quiet.” There is more French-accented laughter from somewhere, causing Liza to sigh. “Well, most of the time anyway.”

You put your hands in your pockets. “Looks like you’ve been here a while.”

“Since I can remember,” she replies with a distant smile. “The house itself belonged to my family for generations… I’ve done all the work down here myself though.”

“Impressive,” you say. “Must’ve taken a while.”

“The little lady didn’t do it all on her own,” the voice says with a hearty chuckle. “After all, she had my help!”

You frown uselessly. “And who are you, exactly?”

“I am Jean,” the voice replies. “Mademoiselle Lizabeth’s humble assistant.”

“You’re not being so humble at the moment,” Liza grumbles. You see her roll her eyes. “Jean did most of the heavy lifting, but I still had to get the necessary materials to make this place livable.”

You nod slowly. “Right, right…” Looking around, you run a hand over your head, feeling your phantom hair run through your fingers. “Well, compliments to Jean too, I guess.”

Liza walks up to you, throwing a heavy-looking pack over her shoulder. “We can go whenever you’re ready.” As you reach down and pick up the pillar, resting it on your shoulder as you have for the past few hours, Liza makes a strange expression. “Hamilton, I could make a sling for that… Column. If you’d like one, that is.”

>”No thanks. I’m fine carrying it.”
>”How long will it take?”
>”So where is Jean? I keep hearing his voice, but I don’t see anyone here.”
>>”No thanks. I’m fine carrying it.”
Feels pretty light. Must be basalt or something.
>Two days
>One vote
I'll type up the next story post when I get home from work tonight.
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You shake your head. “No thanks, I’m fine carrying it.”

“Fair enough,” she nods toward the door. “Let’s get going then. Best to get to Rinther before sundown.”

You both leave Liza’s hidden abode with little ceremony, and she leads you through the woods to a small dirt road. The journey is uneventful, for the most part. You both talk about trivial things mostly, though Liza does tell you some interesting details.

There are a few villages nearby, with Rinther being the largest. She mentions that this place has never been under Chapel control, though the lands to the north are firmly under their grasp. You notice she seems to prefer avoiding the subject. She also mentions that the region you came from is a massive cemetery that has been there for centuries. Apparently the oldest parts of the cemetery are frequently used by necromancers for rituals. You both encounter a horse-drawn cart along the way, and the driver gives you a strange look before waving to you and Liza.

“See, I told you that people wouldn’t make a fuss.” Liza raises an eyebrow as the cart trundles into the distance. “You might get a few glances, but that’s more because of sentient undead being uncommon.”

“So I qualify as undead?” You frown.

“I mean, you do have a skull for a head. Most people probably assume you’re a full skeleton at first glance.” She shrugs. “I’m a witch and you’re the first living example of a head transfer I’ve seen, so you're a bit of a rare sight.”

“I see,” you reply. Your attention is directed away from the conversation as the trees give way to a clearing. Far up the road you see a brick wall, high and stout, with guard towers spaced along it. There is a gatehouse in the center of the whole construction, with a road leading out of it, the same road you are on, in fact. You squint, seeing what appears to be a few rooftops over the edges of the wall.

“Here we are,” Liza announces. “The town of Rinther!”

>”I wasn’t expecting a practical fortress.”
>”Any idea where I might look for answers about my… Condition?”
>”So is this where we part ways?”
>”How big of a town is this? What sort of services are available here?”
>Any idea where I might look for answers about my... Condition?
>>”Any idea where I might look for answers about my… Condition?”
“Do you know of anyone who might be able to help me with my…” You knock on the side of your head. “Condition?”

“Ah, right.” Liza ponders for a moment. “Well, there’s always the library, though you’d be hard-pressed to find anything related to necromancy…” She frowns. “Of course, you could try asking around in a tavern or something, that’s bound to at least get you pointed in the right direction.”

You grimace. “So either the library or the bar.” The two of you pass through the city gates, and you are greeted with a sight right out of a renaissance fair. The city is crowded, and the buildings don’t look like anything you’ve seen outside of movies. The air here smells bad. You see a group of soldiers wearing armor leave a building, their commander barking orders at them. They move through the crowd, up the main street.

“There is one other option…” She rubs her chin. “If you could manage to get an audience with the head physician at the grand hospital, you might be able to find some clues.”

“And where would this grand hospital be?” You raise an eyebrow.

Liza points forward. “See the lord’s keep?”

You nod slowly. Even with the buildings obscuring it, you can see the outline of the place. It is situated higher than the rest of the city. “Okay… So I’m in medieval Europe now,” you mutter to yourself.

“What’s that?” Liza raises an eyebrow.

“Nothing, nothing.” You shake your head. “So is that where the hospital is?”

“Yes,” she nods. “It’s just within the walls, near the main hall itself.”

You grimace, looking around again. Just what the hell is this place?

>”So why would a doctor know anything about magic?”
>”May as well start by heading to the tavern.”
>”Where is the library?”
>”Well, I may as well follow you for now.”
>”How would I go about getting an audience with this head physician?”
>”Who were those guys in armor just now?”
>>”Well, I may as well follow you for now.”
>>”How would I go about getting an audience with this head physician?”
>>”Who were those guys in armor just now?”

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