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Your name is Gunlance Vance, or 'Freelancer' as you've come to be known as. You came to the New World seeking new frontiers and monsters to brave, joined by your loyal Palico companion Vivi and your best friends. Numerous adventures await you here you, and you will brave them all.

Right now, you were finishing off doing some miscellaneous things before you would head in for tonight.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Character Sheet: https://pastebin.com/tEiVJgb1
Mechanics: https://pastebin.com/x9qu33KM
Quests: https://pastebin.com/hSf9iAep
Urgent Quests: https://pastebin.com/8H13PEXs

Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=monster%2C+hunter%2C+drawquest

Previous Thread: >>4158832
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>>4180544
>that op pic
>>
>>4180563
KUTKED
>>
>>4180563
Delete this
Rathian is pure
>>
>>4180598
Rathian is a whore that puts out for kings and researchers.
>>
You headed back down to the Tradeyard with your hefty prize of Zenny. Along the way you saw Atricia and Vivianne picking up some things from the Botanist, various fruits grown there. You called your Palico over and she came running, dazzled by your four hundred thousand Zenny reward. You tasked her with taking it back home, and she readily takes it, promising to get it done despite the visible strain she showed carrying such a heavy purse.

You trusted her as you moved on yourself. You headed up the stairs and went off towards the office of the Doctor looking for Brigg. You saw him earlier and you were surprised to see he had made a full recovery already just today, so you wanted to catch him before it was too late out.

As you approached the door, you saw it open first before you touch the handle, and there Brigg is exiting the office just in the nick of time. He had multiple wrappings around his arms and legs.

"Vance!" He greets you, raising his arm.

"Brigg, just the man I wanted to see." You say back, grabbing his hand for a shake. "You got through it well enough."

"Da. The Doctor knows his way, he had some tricks he picked up after a few hundred years of practicing medicine. I'm almost back in tip top shape thanks to him."

"So how soon do you think it'll be before you get back to hunting?"

"Mmmm.... Give it a measly couple days, I'll be back in the field. I just wish poor Senzo could say the same, he got it far worse than me..."

"How is he holding up?"

"Well... the Doctor said he isn't hunting..." Brigg tells you with a pause. "Ever again."

"For real....?"

"He lost some vital parts of his body to that Nakarkos. What is more, the wounds had been infected with a disease onset by exposure to Dragon Element. The Doctor had a grievous time healing him, and it's a miracle he even managed as much for poor Senzo."

"Damn. That's a shame." You say.

"The Doctor said he'll need some rest for tonight, so he closed the office down. Senzo is still in the infirmary. I suppose I'll meet him again tomorrow, the Doctor said he should be good enough to walk on his own by then."

"I see."
>>
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"Other than that, I was pondering what to do when I'm sufficient enough to hunt once more. I did still have that Sand Barioth in the Wildspire. Oh, and Atricia was going to depart tomorrow to the Recess for a Seething Bazelgeuse. What about you, now that you've pulled off quite a big hunt this day? What was the creature called again?"

"Amygdala. It was... the most difficult hunt I've been in yet. Even had the Star there, even he was under the weight. You can't imagine anything like it." You say. "As for what I'm going to do? I guess I'll get back on trying to do Urgent Quests, or anything else interesting."

"You could try your luck getting on board with the extraction team they're putting together in the Guiding Lands. A Hunter named Jun Lu Fen got kidnapped, they need some men to get him back."

"Yeah, I heard about that one." You say, leaning against the railing. "Say it was Ahtal-Ka or something that kidnapped him."

"Strange if it is. Hopefully they'll get to the bottom of it." Brigg says, stepping down and yawning.

"Well, it is getting late. I should retire to the barracks. I have to keep on these." He says, showing a green bottle of vitamin pills he had. "The Doctor said I have to take them daily at morning, can't miss a dose."

"Alright, maybe I'll catch you again." You say.

"Of course. I'll probably be at the Canteen first thing tomorrow." He said, beginning to walk off. "So long."

"Night." You wave him off.

Good to know it isn't serious, you and him will get to hunt together again one day. Senzo on the other hand? As you said, a shame.

What will you do now?
>>
>>4180619
I was hoping to put that order for the Amy equipment in but we gave our purse to Vivi. I say we tell Shara about our hunt and turn in for the night.
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>>4180598
Wrong.

>>4180619
Go see Atricia now.
>>
>>4180628
We could just go get the amount we need from our house and then go order it.
>>
>>4180638
We could do that too.
>>
You left the Doctor's office, traveling down the stairs on the way to your room, where you open the door to find Vivianne enlisting Shara's help with stuffing your reward money purse into your trunk.

"Such a good listener!" She pats his snout.

You thank Vivianne for for getting your purse back and come over, opening it to the sight of glimmering golden Zenny coins sparkling within.

"Pawlways on the case, Meowster!" She says vibrantly.

Vivianne then leaves again, blurting something out about going to get 'Miss Atrish'.

You fish out the amount you needed and leave yourself, going on back up to the Smithy where the Second Fleet Master sat in wait for you.

"Well lad." He leans forward. "Will we be doing business after all?"

Now you had to make a choice on these Amygdala materials. It would take the Second Fleet Master a whole month to do both the set and weapon. But alternatively you could get one in half that time while conserving your cash if you only ordered one.

>Buy the lot. (290000 Zenny)
>Order only the set. (200000 Zenny)
>Order only the weapon. (90000 Zenny)
>Take your materials back, you'll hold on for now and come back when you've built up more money.
>>
>>4180689
>Buy the lot. (290000 Zenny)
>>
"Yeah. I'll take the whole deal." You say, sliding the right amount across the belt to the Fleet Master.

"Marvelous." He says, scooping it into his arms to set aside. "Those materials you brought all freak me out, lad, but I'm sure that working with them as I go will help ease my nerves. It may not look like it, but they're all shot for me as we speak!"

"You aren't the only one. That battle was... something else for me."

"Hmm, I'm sure it was if the parts alone make me shudder. Urghh."

"Well, I'll leave you to it." You say, raising your hand and turning away.

"Aye. Come back in exactly one month's time and I should have it all ready." The SFM says, waving his hammer.

It was just right at night now, the closing of nine, should be. It'll be ten in a few minutes.

You walk down the stairs leading off from the Smithy. You saw Vivianne and Atricia near your door as you descend. Atricia hands off a basket of fruits to Vivi before going back to her own room.

>Lets go in and sleep now.
>Lets go visit Atricia at her room.
>We haven't seen Tabitabi yet, lets go by the arena.
>Lets talk to Shara.
>Write in.
>>
>>4180732
>We haven't seen Tabitabi yet, lets go by the arena.
She might end up using us as a teddy bear, though.
>>
>>4180732
Actually,
>Lets go visit Atricia at her room.
Let's wish her good hunting.
>>
>>4180766
I'mma support this

But I say we get to TabiTabi soon after that

She needs some company
>>
>>4180732
I sure hope you guys have a plan for that equipment.

We need to test out our swaxe swag and figure out what the moon light greatsword can still do later.
>>
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>>4180732
>Lets go visit Atricia at her room.

>>4180563
You posted the wrong bull anon, Rathian only takes rad boys not ugly bastards.
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>>4180766
Support.
>>
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>>4180802
If that's so, then why does this really angry bird exist? Cause Rathian let Kut-Ku coo her then screw her.
>>
So we're asking Atricia out when we talk to her right? I mean, its already been suggested and we can't just be going to wish her good luck with Bazel and that's it, can we?
>>
>>4180878
>So we're asking Atricia out when we talk to her right?
Wouldn't that raise a "x doesn't come back" flag?
>>
>>4180732
>>4180878

No, I wanna go help her out.
>>
So you walk down that way yourself and pass by your room, coming over to Atricia's door and knocking upon it. There is a muffled squeak from the inside followed by the sound of something solid being dropped to the floor. Did you spook her?

"Coming!" You hear from the inside.

There is some shuffling of things inside before the door unlocks and pulls open to reveal Atricia.

"Hey!" She says brightly. "That was quite the hunt you had today with the Star! To think, you and him are the first people in the New World to slay a First Class Monster, and a new one at that..."

"Yeah, I've been hearing that a lot. First Class Monster though? I'm only now just hearing about such a thing."

"Yeah, not a lot of people know about it outside of the biggest Guild cities and districts. In Dundorma, we have the Elder Dragon Observation Team and the Scriveners, who compile lots of information about those things and make it public. There's about two known First Classes in the Old World. Alatreon and Merphistophelin."

"Interesting..." You say. "Well, I'm beat. What about you?"

"Eh, sorta. Vivi seemed responsible enough so I let her stay here with Shara for the day while I ran a gathering quest for some Researcher. I better rest up, my big day is tomorrow."

"Yeah I know. Hey, you'll do better now that Amygdala is out of the way."

"Yeah! I also wanted to thank you for that, the restriction on the Recess should be lifted now, so I can go there to do my thing in peace." Atricia says.

She dips her hand down into one of her pouches and then pulls out something which she hands you. It is an Antidote Jewel+ 4 Decoration. You graciously accept it.

"It isn't much. I thought I'd give it to you as a gift."

"Thanks, Atricia." You say, smiling under your helmet.
>>
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"So, you'll be hunting a Seething Bazelguese. You sure you can handle it?"

"Hah! Of course, I've been doing my fair share of preparation for it. I'll be A-Okay."

"Will you though? You're going all by yourself."

"Don't worry about me, Vance, I've already hunted two Kirin before in my life all on my own. A Bazel shouldn't be any worse, even if it is astronomically angry."

You nod.

Atricia smiles at that.

>"So.. Atricia, there's something else I've been meaning to ask you..."
>Request she let you come along so you can watch at the least tomorrow.
>Bid her a goodnight and then return to your room.
>Write in.
>>
>>4181544
>>"So.. Atricia, there's something else I've been meaning to ask you..."
Do It Faggot!!, Ask her out for a date! You already looked death too many times today this is nothing.
>>
>>4181544
>Request she let you come along so you can watch at the least tomorrow.

I am curious.
>>
>>4181544
>"So.. Atricia, there's something else I've been meaning to ask you..."
Like I said in the last thread, picnic date.
>>
>>4181544
>"So.. Atricia, there's something else I've been meaning to ask you..."
inb4 unfortunate coincidence
>>
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"Say, Atricia?"

"Hm? Yeah?"

"I had something else I've been meaning to ask you..." You say.

"Oh? What is it, Vance?"

>(Input your exact words.)
>"Uh... n-nothing. Never mind."
>Write in.
>>
>>4181610
>Request she let you come along so you can watch at the least tomorrow.

somebody beat it to us probably~
>>
>>4181610
Oh yeah. changing.

>Show me how to GS good!
>>
>>4181610
>>(Input your exact words.)
We know each other for like a long time now like almost a year or so... and you're a pretty swell gal... and like both Shara and Vivi like you... well nevermind the last part what I wanna say is... after your business with basel is done, would you like to go out with me???
>>
>>4181610
>"I was wondering if you'd like to go somewhere together sometime."
insert pauses as you see fit
>>
>>4181625
Supporting
>>
>>4181636
This. Make it simple and to the point.
>>
>>4181625
This reads like a marriage proposal.
>>
>>4181731
Well this is the first time our boy Vance is asking a girl out, spaghetti drop is to be expected.
>>
>>4181625
>>4181610
That is a bit much.
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>>4181764
So is that a vote for my suggestion?
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>4181625
>>4181636
>>
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"Well..." You start with a pause."

"I've been... well, I was..." You get out quickly before slightly shaking your head. "I was wondering if you'd like to go... somewhere together sometime."

Atricia looks at you quizzically. "Go together sometime?"

"Yeah."

"Mmm?" She taps her chin. "You mean... like a date?"

You gulp quietly. "Yes. L... Like a date."

Atricia gives you this look with a small frown and blank eyes, and you fear you might have messed up somewhere along those lines. But your fear resides as it dawns on you just how unknown this expression was. You couldn't tell right away what it was, though you could tell she was studying deep in thought.

You feel yourself become eased as she smiles.

"Sure! I'll go with you." She states.

"...You will?" You say too fast, regretting such a line then in your hurry.

"Yeah, I can make some time. I think it'd be interesting. Did you have a day and a place?"

Hmm... well, there was many options. Depending on how well she does after slaying Seething Bazelgeuse, you could try for that afternoon or night. But where would you take her? The canteens are rather... corny.

Pick one.
>We'll see about later tomorrow, during the day.
>Tomorrow night.
>In two days we'll decide.
>In three days we'll decide.

Pick another.
>The canteen is more practical however.
>The Seliana canteen is quite nice.
>We'll take her out on a picnic in the Ancient Forest.
>We'll take her out to the Lambent Bay for a swim.
>We'll go to the Guiding Lands on a safari.
>We'll go sightseeing together in the Confluence.
>>
>>4182189
>In two days we'll decide.
We're probably gonna go out to check out the Sand Barioth tomorrow, maybe kill Akantor or find Chameleos(?).

>We'll go to the Guiding Lands on a safari.
>>
>>4182189
Two days
Picnic please
>>
>>4182288
Backing this, also I fully expect our boy Vance to immediately either cheer or drop his spaghetti entirely once Atricia is out of sight. Think we can ask our meowscular buddy to whip up something nice as a sort of gift for pumping him up to face Granny all that time ago?
>>
"Sure, we'll meet up in two days back here." You say. "How does having a picnic in the Forest sound?"

"Wonderful actually. I know plenty of good spots there we could use there." She says, accepting of that suggestion.

"But of course, you are the Scoutress after all."

"Yep!" She says proudly.

You looked up at the moon now rising in the sky and crack your knuckles to stretch a bit. "Well, I guess I'll be seeing you."

"Yeah, you too." Atricia says with a yawn. "Aahhh.... goodnight."

"Night." You say, walking to your room as she closed the door to hers.

You stopped just as you touched your handle and thought for a moment about what you've just done. You were always on the move in your life, so you never stopped to consider women before. Now you were in one place here in the New World no longer on the move, and you've just successfully took the first step towards courting a nice girl.

Come to think of it, your mother and father always did want you to one day find a nice wife, though you weren't so open to the idea then personally. You are sure they would be proud that you've made a start here towards entering a relationship, and you are sure they would have liked Atricia.

You like her, no doubt, so you raised your fist in pride over being able to have asked her out. "Yes."

Entering your room, you lock the door behind yourself and throw your armor off before hopping into bed. You were full of confidence, and you were sure she'd be able to handle herself tomorrow.

For now, you rest easy.
>>
Come morning, you rise early, at about eight.

Vivianne was already moving about and had prepared coffee with the furnace. Shara was eating some fruits and scratching at the lotus scales of his neck.

Your armor was all left lying about on the floor lazily from last night. You quickly assemble the suit part's back together and get dressed in it before coming over to the window and opening the blinds as you had a cup of the brew Vivi made.

Outside, you saw Astera operating as normal, so you wordlessly step out and look around.

First to your left, you see a notice hanging on Atricia's door. It was signaling that she was out, having already left for her Seething Bazelgeuse hunt. She rose much earlier than you could.

Besides that, you spot another thing that catches your eye. That figure that was with the Commander yesterday was near the docks, where the Argosy was staying put for now. He was conversing with a man using a crutch on the dock as the crewmen of the ship packed up some things, presumably belongings of the man using the crutch.

Just who was that guy exactly? Was he the 'Guild Representative'? And what was he here for? What could make him travel across the ocean just to find? And who was that guy using the crutch?

Hmm...

Maybe you should just go get onto doing those Urgents.

>Accept an Urgent Quest.
>Accept a normal Quest.
>Go out on an expedition.
>Go out on a recon to the Recess. You want to stealthily monitor Atricia's battle, she could still get hurt and might need help.
>Walk down to the docks to investigate.
>Talk to Shara.
>Go see Tabitabi.
>Write in.
>>
>>4182543
Can we check what the Yama Set has? Every ED set has negative dragon resistance, if I recall correctly.
>>
>>4182543
>Talk to Shara.
Sure he might be a little curious about what the fuck we have been involved with yesterday then go visit Tabitabi.
>>
Curiously, you turn back into your room and see something you didn't before near your changing separator. The parts to your Yama Tsukami armor, the Carnage Set. Each piece was beautifully crafted and masterfully made.

You look the pieces over, comparing them to your Cainhurst Set received from the Hunter's Dream...

+======+

Carnage Set β

Set Bonus: Yama Tsukami Divinity; Grants near total resistance to Paralysis and greatly boosts stamina recovery.

Skills: Speed Eating, Evade Extender, Tremor Resistance, Windproof

Def: 760
Vs. Fire: 15
Vs. Water: 20
Vs. Thunder: 10
Vs. Ice: -15
Vs. Dragon: -10

Compare to;

Cainhurst Set β

Set Bonus: Vileblood Heresy; Allows the wearer to grant two more usable carts to the quest when all pieces are worn.

Skills: Bleeding Resistance, Critical Eye, Earplugs,

Def: 810
Vs. Fire: 10
Vs. Water: -10
Vs. Thunder: -10
Vs. Ice: -10
Vs. Dragon: 30

+======+

Which set will you wear?

Additionally, will you exchange your now inert Holy Moonlight Sword for your Usurper's Roar Gunlance?
>>
>>4182594
>Carnage Set β
>Usurper's Roar
I'm looking to help Brigg with the Sand Barioth and maybe hunt Akantor or Chameleos. I also want to see how it looks on us.

We could probably talk to Shara after dressing up.
>>
>>4182618
Support
>>
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Stepping behind the separator with your new gear, you switch out, putting the Cainhurst pieces into storage as you slip on the easily equipped Carnage armor.

You step out and get a feel for the flexible and comfortable yet sturdy set. Then you turn to the mirror.

Hmmmmmm......

You cannot help but feel this armor makes you look a bit... fatter. The frame is quite bulky for all the other qualities it has. The design is quite fascinating however, depicting the image of some sort of road Ogre or other Oni of legend like what you'd find in Yukumoan or Pokken culture.

The lack of a visor really helped to show off your handsome features too, like your [INSERT COLOR] eyes.

"What do you guys think?" You say, doing various poses in the armor.

"Scary and fierce, Meowster!" Vivianne says cheerfully.

"It looks much like the wear of prehistoric humans who inhabited the Steppe in olden days." Shara commented

What about you though? What did you think?

>We look stylish and stunning.
>We look strong and unstoppable!
>We look decent.
>We look pretty silly, not gonna lie.
>>
>>4182817
>visible face
Immersion: Ruined

>We look decent.
>>
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>>4182820
>Immersion: Ruined
Do you prefer it this way then?
>>
>>4182832
is joke
>>
>>4182817
Like the other guy said, we look good.

>your [INSERT COLOR] eyes.
I'm leaning on Vance's eyes being a darker shade of green.
>>
>>4182817
>[INSERT COLOR]
Hazel.
>>
>>4182852
Hazel's sort of a dark green.
>>
Decent. Yes, we look decent, much like your average Hunter whose slain some big and strong beasts before.

You looked down then at Shara as you grabbed your Usurper's Roar.

"Hey buddy, how are you holding up?"

Shara scratches his neck excessively. "I am doing well, if slightly discomforted by my moulting."

"You're moulting right now?"

"Indeed. My juvenile scales are to fall off as the new ones replace them almost instantly. It is like the blossoming of a flower, I've been told. I scratch myself to help loosen them."

"Could I... make any use of them? Do you want to keep them or...?"

"My childhood scales? They will be about as useful enough to make a necklace with for you. These tenderplates and scales are too soft compared to what will replace them, they will have no practical use in forgery for you. I do not care what you do with them."

Just then, Shara kicks another scale off of his neck, sending it fluttering to the floorboard. You reached down and picked up said scale, feeling how mushy it was now that it was moulted off.

You look at the spot on Shara's neck where it fell from and see the beginnings of the adult scale growing in it's place. You can almost see the skin of Shara's flesh below the scales in the tiny gaps.

Curiously, you reached down and poked that spot with your finger, making Shara jolt in surprise, though he stays silent as you prod it. The area was quite sensitive, not enough so to feel unpleasant.

"So, did you feel that thing yesterday?"

"The rumblings as the sky went red? Yes, anyone could witness it. I can only imagine how nightmarish the thing you killed was"

"You can't even imagine it. I feel like in that fight... I died.. more than once, but not for good. It was like hopping between worlds..."

"Hmm.... That sounds so akin to what it is like to face the Ancestor."

"I think it's different though, but I still don't know for sure. I have a lot to learn."

"Time will tell just how much you uncover."

"Mm."

>Ask Shara something else.
>Experiment, pet the soft spot on Shara's neck to see his reaction.
>Go visit Tabitabi now.
>Accept an Urgent Quest.
>Accept a normal Quest.
>Go out on an expedition.
>Go out on a recon to the Recess.
>Walk down to the docks to investigate.
>Write in.
>>
>>4182874
>Go visit Tabitabi now.
It's been a long time, let's see if those idiots are keeping her healthy for once.
>>
>>4182874
>Experiment, pet the soft spot on Shara's neck to see his reaction.
Cause I want to see him be pouty with us, it'd be cute.

Then
>Walk down to the docks to investigate.
Cause we saw a guy with a crutch there. No way that isn't Senzo, which means we should check on him.
>>
>>4182874
>Experiment, pet the soft spot on Shara's neck to see his reaction.
Hope it ain't a reverse scale.

>Walk down to the docks to investigate.
>>
You didn't lose your curiosity as you looked at that patch where the scale used to be on the back of Shara's neck. It was a strange sight and so out of place with so many other childhood scales surrounding it. It was just big enough you could fit your fist on the spot to cover it.

Reaching down, you decided to experiment a little. You wondered just how he might react if you were to...

"....Hmm...? Hm...!"

You started to pet that spot on his neck softly, like he was some kind of overgrown Poogie.

"H... Human! What are you...?!"

"W... Wha... Huegh... huhhhh..."

Shara was now practically purring like a Felyne as you pet him, his spine was lightly vibrating and everything, like he really was just a big pet.

"Hah!" Vivianne snickered as you assaulted Shara's neck with your human touch. "I mew he loved the pettings! He'd turn a blind eye to me every time I tried laying a paw on him, but I just knew he loved it deep down!"

"Grr! I.. I am n- not a mere p-pet!" Shara said, dragging himself away out of your reach.

"I don't know, you seemed to like it!" You gibed at him through the connection, smirking at his embarrassment as he went over to huddle in the corner and shoot you a glare.

"No! I-I did not like it! I swear! You are not to put your hand on me again like that! It is humiliating!"

"Heh heh heh, okay, okay! Simmer down, I won't do it again." You backed off as you stood up. Shara only pouted and snorted in response as you went towards the door.

"Hey, Vivi, I'm going out for a while. You know the drill."

"You can count on me, Meowster!"

"Right. I'll tell you if I'm going anywhere." You say, closing the door behind yourself.

You still chuckled as you walked out. That was amusing, you thought.
>>
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The first thing you did after stepping outside was go down to the docks. That sighting of the mysterious man you saw with the guy using the crutch has really piqued your interest, so you must simply know what is going on.

As you approach the dock, the mysterious man says one last thing to the crutch guy before turning away to leave. You stood still at the end of the dock as that mysterious man came by. He looks up at you and stops, allowing you to get a good look at him.

At once you realize you've ran into this man before, back at The Fort in the Guiding Lands. You were going to the Colonel's office when this guy came out. He was a Wyverian wearing a distinguished Guild uniform and the hat of a Guild Knight. He has a pair of round glasses with red shades which he lowers to look at you with his own two eyes.

"Hmmphf...." He does it again, just like the last time.

However, he adds some more as he speaks then in a gruff voice.

"You... you're the Hunter I heard sits the baby Elder Dragon. Vance, was it?"

"Yes, my name is Vance." You say, offering your hand. "And you are?"

He doesn't even regard your hand as he sets his glasses back up.

"My name is Damen. I'm the Warden."

You expected that answer fully. "Ah, so you're the Guild Representative then. It's my pleasure to meet you, sir."

"We'll determine if it's mine as well soon enough, Vance. I've been planning on having a little chitchat with you anyway ever since I caught wind of what has been going on around here. Anticipate a call to my office sometime soon." The Guild Warden Damen tells you, making you feel slightly nervous.

"Take care of yourself until then. You wouldn't want to end up like Senzo back there."

He walks away without another word.

You watched him trail off for a minute before looking back at the man with the crutch. It was Senzo after all... he looks back at you with this expression that seemed a mix of regret and sorrow.

You step up to him.

"Vance.... Hi..."

"...Senzo... What's going on?"

He sighs as he looks down at his right arm. The whole arm was covered in tight wrappings since he lost his right hand to Nakarkos.

"I'm set to leave, back to the Old World. I'm... not coming back after that either. I've been discharged from the Guild, my licenses have been revoked."

You are taken aback.

>What will you ask or say to Senzo?
>>
>>4182986
Holly fuck Nakarkos fucked his shit, let's have a talk with him maybe asking ehat are his plans when he gets back and such.
>>
>>4182986
Nod and ask him...

Ask him what his plans for the old world are?
>>
>>4182975
We will most definitely be petting him again sometime.

>>4182986
All right, now I really think the warden is suspicious.

As for Senzo, ask him if the warden fired him, ask him why he's leaving and what he'll do when he gets back. Also ask about that time he seemed jealous at the canteen.
>>
"Why are you leaving, Senzo? Was the Warden the one who laid you off?"

"Yeah." Senzo sighed. "He told me I was no longer fit to be a Hunter, so he ordered me to go home. He took my cards and stuff, so I'm just a civilian now."

You only nodded silently.

"I see." You start.

"...Where are you going to?"

"My home village, Kokoto." Senzo answered.

"...What are you going to do when you get back into the Old World?

"Huh, I guess I'll have plenty of things to choose from. I'll have to adapt to left writing since I don't have my right hand any longer." Senzo said, looking over the stump.

"My village was agrarian mostly, so I guess I'll meet back up with some relatives and see what I can do to help on one of the farms."

"I'm sure you'll do well." You say, searching for a few words.

"Hey... probably. Gog knows if I can swing a Longsword, I can plough a field. You know, my dad always did tell me I would never cut it going into the Guild, he always wanted me to be a big farmer like him. Me, being a kid like I was then, told him he was wrong and that farming wasn't exciting enough. Guess he was right all along, eh?" Senzo says, cracking an inkling of a smile.

You didn't say anything as you looked Senzo in the eye. His semblance of a smile disappears once more as he sighs and readjusts himself on his crutch. You squinted slightly, feeling bad for him. But another thing crosses your mind about him and you just have to know the answer.

So you ask him.

"Hey, Senzo...?"

"Yeah, buddy?"

"That time at the canteen..."

"...."

"You acted... different."

"Ah... ah... yeah. I did, didn't I?"

"You seemed jealous."

Senzo says nothing.

You paused with him for a moment.

"Why?" You asked.
>>
"..."

"Because... I was jealous, and... I shouldn't have been. It was just... dumb." He says.

"You were jealous of me?"

"Yeah, I was."

Senzo looks down in shame.

"I got here kind of like you, except I was on the Fifth. I wanted renown kind of like you, but I just couldn't get it. Why? Cause I'm not good enough. I'm an awful Hunter."

"Senzo..."

"No! Really, I am. I'm terrible. I barely got through the training. I mean, just look at that time I got outwitted by the Gajalaka of all things. You and the others had to save me. You're better than me, Vance."

"Before you arrived, I made so many mess ups I became a laughing stock for a while at the Canteen, and when I was out in the field I could never hunt a big creature without someone else to help me. You know what I spent my days hunting mostly? Kulu-Ya-Ku. Just big birds, with rocks!"

"That tiny Dodogama 'Big Jaw'.... that... well, you helped me with that in specific a bit didn't you? You told me to give it to the Researchers. They appreciated it for a little while... but then they just went and forgot, and some other Hunters laughed at me again."

"I'm sorry Senzo." You say.

"No, you shouldn't be. Really, I should be the one saying I'm sorry. I was already failing and by the time you rolled around I started thinking you were the problem. You came from nowhere and suddenly you were already making big accomplishments, like slaying fracking Ukanlos while I was here longer and never did anything special."

"I thought that last quest was my final chance to do something big, and look how that turned out..."

"You couldn't have known what you were in for." You try to reason.

"I could have gotten an idea, trying to take a Master Rank Quest while still being Low Rank." Senzo points out. "I was practically marching towards a cliff blindly. I just can't keep up with anyone."

"Look, I don't blame you, that would just be... stupid of me. These injuries? Everything else? This was all my fault. I should have never became a Hunter." He says.

There is another moment of silence.

"...Well, I learned my lesson. In the end, some people are just more unlucky than others. All I can do is chin-up, and pursue some other background when I get home." Senzo says.

"Vance. I'm sorry, for being so petty to you that time."

You look Senzo in the eye.

What will you say?
>>
>>4183774
Is there really anything to say besides "It's alright"? I wish we took him along with us on more lower-rank missions, maybe then he'd only have been marginally injured like Brigg.
>>
>>4183774
Forgive him for it and then wish him good luck in his travels back home.

I feel like he could have been better in some way, he just didn't find that way. Or maybe this is the universes way of punishing him for using the LS, I dunno.
>>
>>4183774
I dunno, kinda seems a waste for just give up, sure, he can't be a hunter but there other things he might do, maybe he should try to talk with the smithy or one of the guys at research station or try to talk with other people of the fleets to see if can find something else he can do, I mean we wish him the best in whatever he ends up doing but he should't simple give up and pack his stuff unless that's what he really wants.
>>
>>4183984
That'd be dandy if the Warden didn't essentially kick him out of the Guild, which the Smithy is a part of.
>>
>>4184018
I'm calling it now, the Warden is more sinister than he sounds.
>>
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"Senzo, it's alright." You say, raising your hands. "I don't harbor any ill will towards you. You just felt... held down I guess."

"Yeah, I had some pretty irrational thoughts. Then and now."

Senzo shifts on his feet again.

"At least I have a few memorable moments here."

"Heh, yeah. You got so angry seeing me bedridden you charged off all by yourself to the Guiding Lands." You recall.

"Yeah, to squash that big bug. Eh, I'm kind of glad I didn't find it though, cause then I'd have been bedridden too, hah." He jests. "Hey, you'll at least be able to lend a helping hand in crushing the Ka, huh?"

"Yeah, can't let that thing run loose and wild."

"You'll do good." Senzo says.

You reach forward and put a hand on his shoulder.

"Hey, Senzo. I'm sure you'll also do good when you get back home man. Just because you lost a hand doesn't mean you should give up on trying anything."

He nods. "Yeah, I won't. I'll be giving it my all."

He raised his stump of a hand and you raise your fist as well, bumping his stump in a gesture. He flinches from the aching sensation of having his wound tapped, but he doesn't let it get to him.

"You know, I actually always did have a penchant for writing, like poetry and stuff, I used to write about the things I saw. Maybe I'll try diving back into that when I figure my way around my leftie."

"Not a bad idea. The world could always use more good writers."

"Yeah, and nobody from my region has ever been known for their writing. Who knows, maybe I'll be the first."

"More power to you." You say, giving his shoulder a pat before removing your hand.

"Thanks, buddy." Senzo says.
>>
>>4184033
You know if we ever go to hunt down squidward, we should send Senzo one of his mats through mail with a message something like "It's done buddy" or something like that.
>>
You thought for a second and your mind fell over Brigg and Atricia. They were Senzo's friends too.

"Do the others know?"

"Kolash and Atricia? Yeah, but not right now."

"What do you mean?"

"I got a little help from the Doctor writing some goodbye notes to them since this all just happened so fast, what with the Warden breaking the news to me in the office suddenly and giving me a time to prepare. I don't have much longer, so I won't be able to talk to either of them."

"I left the notes with the Housekeepers and told them to only deliver them after the Argosy leaves on the voyage. And I left some big cuts of my profits here with the notes too for them. It's a weak way for me to apologize for dragging Brigg into that mess and leaving on Atricia's important day, but it's pretty much my only option now."

"Won't you need that money? Going back to live in your old village? Those areas aren't as exactly prosperous as towns and cities." You point out.

"It will work out." Senzo dismissed it, shaking his head. "My village always had a balanced economy, so essentials are cheap, and things like ink and paper too. I could live out my whole life there and get whatever I need or want anytime I want with only half the money I made here anyway."

"Besides, I can't cling to coins, I don't covet money, just not my thing. I'd rather make something people like and remember and be poor than be rich."

You nod. "I get it."

"Thanks."
>>
Just then, a bell on the deck of the Argosy rang out. A crewman came over to the rails and looked down at Senzo.

"Eou! Your cabin'be prepped."

"Alright, I'm coming now." Senzo says up to the matey.

He looks back at you.

"Take care of them for me, will you? I could never, but you? You can."

"You know I will." You reply.

Senzo smiles and leans on his crutch to raise his good left hand. You take it into your palm firmly and shake it before Senzo has to turn away and limp over to the ramp. You offered to help him, but he manages to get up all on his own well enough.

"The ship will be leaving in about five minutes." He says to you over the deck. "I'm glad I got to know you and the others a little before this whole Hunter thing went downhill."

"Me too." You say.

"Maybe we'll run into each other again one day down the line, like if you ever come back to visit the Old World again."

"I plan on it."

"Good to know."

Senzo waves with his stump. "So long buddy."

You wave back as he treads off and goes to his cabin, waiting for the ship to leave. You stood there for the next four minutes watching.

Eventually, the Argosy lifts it's anchor and unties it's binds. The ship begins to push away out to the sea and the sails unfurl, let loose to the wind when it finally gets far enough away to go on it's voyage. That was the last you saw of him. Hopefully, better tidings were awaiting him in the Old World, rather than bitter ones.

You sighed faintly to yourself as you left the docks. There were Urgents to be done.

What will you do now?
>>
>>4184113
Let's see Tabitabi then maybe head out to the fortress. We haven't tried listening to her thoughts yet.
>>
>>4184113
Rip jackie chan, he didn't want any trabbu but still got trabbu anyway.

Go see Tabitabi now.
>>
>>4184148
Support.
>>
But you couldn't go on one of those Urgents yet without taking some time out of your day first to see your other, other girl, Tabitabi.

You took a Mernos on a quick flyover to the Arena, where you stopped down in the prep deck where the operator usually sat at. He wasn't here today, but the arena was definitely lively as you heard something from within the confines of it nearby.

You came over and looked down to see Tabitabi out within it, being directed by that younger Wyverian Researcher assigned to her over various obstacles which she crosses easily enough. He looked to be having fun guiding her around.

You hopped down inside yourself. Tabitabi's head reared up in confusion as she heard you drop, and she came running over instantly upon smelling you. You were almost downed by her head ramming into your torso, demanding you pet her hair.

"Good girl." You called her as you ran your fingers over her head and neck.

"Oh, hello there!" The Researcher said, coming over in a hurry with a pant. "I've got some good news!"

"Really? Well lay it on me."

"Of course." The Researcher said, going over his notes. "Firstly, it seems that my efforts have helped cultivate the Tobi-Kadachi's sense of direction splendidly! I've, at this point, tried out nearly two hundred different obstacles with her that I set up myself using what I had here in the arena with the cranes and things."

"That's good?"

"Yes, quite. I believe she has heightened acrobatics as a result, making her superior even to other members of her own species. Observe."

The Researcher snapped his finger, causing Tabitabi to look at him in alert. He points up to the the air, at an iron ball hanging by chains from one of the arena's cranes.

"Uppem'!" He says.

Immediately, Tabitabi bolted away from both of you. You watched as she sprinted fast to gain some momentum before she leaped off of the wall of the arena, using her psuedo-wings to glide over to the ball and grab on.

The ball spun around in the air, and you were amazed to see her use her own body weight to make it spin faster before she went and leaped over off of it to another hanging by the second crane. From there, she climbs the chain until she is standing on top of the crane arm.

"Uhh... isn't that a little too high for her?" You ask, getting worked up at the sight of her all the way up there.

"Nonsense, I've helped reinforce her control over her pseudo-wings. Watch." The Researcher said, clapping his hands.

Tabitabi jumped off then, and you looked on almost horribly as you thought she would plummet down to the ground hard from terminal velocity working on her larger frame.

But contrary to what you thought was incoming, she instead used her pseudo-wings to ease her fall down to the ground, descending at a slower pace before she lets go, landing on all of her feet perfectly in front of you and the Researcher.

You were speechless to see how agile she has become.

"Impressive, no?"

>Answer.
>>
>>4184393
Amazing.
>>
"Indeed. Simply amazing."

"Now, for the other part..."

You raised an eyebrow at the Researcher. "Other part?"

"Yes. Being as that we've researched her long enough, and that the Ancient Forest is now safe from the threat of an invading Rajang or Deviljho, my superiors have elected to reintroduce her back to her original habitat." The Researcher says.

"Oka- Wait, what? You mean they're going to let her go? Back out into the wild?"

"Yes. The head Biologist has deduced that there is no longer anything else we have to learn from her about Tobi-Kadachi. She has become so unique a specimen and different from the rest of her kind that she is almost a dead end for learning things about her species. We no longer have any use of researching her."

"However, as she is such a special case that we have documented, it is also in our best interests to continually monitor and caretake her as well while allowing her to live in an environment she is comfortable with. Interestingly, we think she shows signs of sadness over being locked in the cage often."

"...And when she is back in the forest, what about you?"

"Well, I'm still assigned to her, so I will now be spending time in the camps around the Ancient Forest to monitor her, as well as feed her so she doesn't bother anyone else. Remember, this all began because of someone's lunch!" The Researcher tells you.

"You consider yourself her technical 'owner' don't you? Are you personally okay with this?" The Researcher asks, wanting your opinion.

>Answer.
>>
>>4184492
Our reason for keeping her has passed and if she's feeling homesick then it might be best for her to go back. We can still visit her now and then.
>>
>>4184596
We could also try asking her how she feels about going back to the Ancient Forest.
>>
You glanced between the Researcher and Tabitabi multiple times as you reviewed the question at hand in your mind and came to a conclusion soon after.

"I don't see why I wouldn't be. She won't be in any danger out there anymore, and you helped her get better at being able to run away too." You say, patting Tabitabi's snout.

"Ah, I'm glad to hear as much." The Researcher says. "She does seem quite homesick. Perhaps out there in the wild again I might also be able to get her back on fending and hunting for herself, so she won't need to plunder so much of our food, hah hah hah!"

The Researcher then looks at you and bows his head slightly.

"I must also thank you for being easy on me, Hunter. I know that given the circumstances of usual research methods and experimentation her very being here in storage is frightening to you. I know that could not have been made any better by the time we accidentally caused her to get infected by that Jagras disease either...."

"Hey, I don't fault you. You were just doing your job." You say.

The Researcher Cadet just slightly bows again.

As you scratched Tabitabi's chin, you wondered about something, since you had Shara's 'Connection'.

"Hey." You project outwards.

Tabitabi's pupils thin and the Tobi-Kadachi just stares at you blankly like she just saw a ghost.

"How are you doing?"

You listen in carefully, waiting to see if you'll get an answer back.

...

...

...

"FRIEND!"

Tabitabi's expression returns to the usual jovial one she had.

It seems she recognized that was you. You cannot however decipher if that word you heard was something she herself thought up, or just what she felt manifesting as a response for you to feel in return. This 'connection' stuff was still cloudy to you, if easy to use.

Hmm, now what if...

"Hey, Tabitabi, food." You project.

"FOOD?!"

She looks up in alert and scans the surroundings all over.

"FOOD!"

"FOOD?"

She was still just as animalistically primal in thought and function as any other Monster, just friendlier. You weren't about to forget that.

"Well, I'll leave you to it." You say, turning the reigns back over to the Cadet as you pet Tabitabi one last time.

"Of course. I'm going to have her fed and washed before we release her back out soon." The Researcher Cadet says, clapping his hands so Tabitabi would follow.

You watched as he led her back over to the gate at the other side of the arena for a good distance until you use your Slinger hook to get back out to the deck above.
>>
You fly back to Astera proper from the Arena and land at the Canteen. It is getting close to nine in the morning now.

What will you do?
>>
>>4184793
>Hiding In Plain Sight.
>>
>>4184804
support.
>>
>>4184793
Hiding in plain sight I suppose.

Whats this hunt for?
>>
>>4184932
Chameleos most likely.
>>
You decided it was time to tackle your first Urgent since Ukanlos. You had it in mind to help deal with the 'sneak thief' at The Fort in specific.

You grabbed a quick meal at the Canteen, Chef's Choice as usual, and then called for a Mernos to transport you away.

It would be a long flight from here by Wingdrake...
>>
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When you eventually arrived in the Guiding Lands after your long flight, you touched down on a pad marked for landings with some Wingdrake posts nearby on one of the solid roofs of The Fort. One of the Defense Corps Troopers on lookout was there to greet you and tell you where the Colonel was.

You passed down into The Fort by a flight of stairs, coming out to the second floor which was lined with railings and walkways suspended by the design of the architecture. You looked down over the rail and saw the main hall of The Fort below with it's inhabitants going about their daily routine of operation.

You strolled on up ahead and came out to a balcony, one of multiple others that was built onto the mortar walls. You came upon the Colonel looking down at the shorelines, he turns to face you and you salute.

"Colonel sir, I'm here to deal with your 'sneak thief' at last." You address him.

"You've arrrrived at a good time then. It would appearrrr that just moments ago, the thief has let himself in again. My trrrrrroops have been up in arrrrms, looking everywhere for disturrrrbances to find it, to no avail. They have all rrrrreporrrrted multiple strrrrange happenings arrrrround while on theirrrrr patrrrrols."

"Some of them arrrre saying that things in the trrraining yarrrrd are going misplaced, while another rrrreporrrts items vanishing frrrom the storrrage units. Otherrrr than that, the sailorrrrs and worrrkerrrrs have noticed that we have a shorrrrtage of cannonballs herrrrre, despite the deliverrrries I orrrrderrrred all arrrrrrrriving on time. Those orrrderrrs were quite sizable in quantity too!"

"Yesterrrrday, one of them rrrrrran out of the showerrrrs in fearrrr, squawking something about a big scary 'black thing' he saw in therrrre."

"Hm, mhm... mmmn... I see." You say, taking mental notes of everything he tells you.

"The Forrrrrt is a verrrry larrrge locale lad. Take your time. Pick a place to starrrrt and get investigating. When you find the sneak thief, don't hesitate to use your flarrrre, my trrrroops will come rrrruning to help you take it down. Now off you go." The Colonel says.

You nod and turn around, leaving the balcony.

There have been disturbances in the Training Yard, the Storage Units, the Delivery Dock and the Showers here. Other than those places, there was the East, North, West and Southern walls, grounds and watch towers, the two gatehouses, the main atrium, the barracks and the steam boiler chamber.

Where will you begin your search at?
>>
>>4184980
Maybe start at the Storage Units.
>>
>>4184980
Let's start at the Storage.
>>
>>4185021
>>4185372
Support
>>
The Storage Units were best to start your search off at for today. You went out of the Main Atrium after taking a ladder down and came out to the easternmost section of The Fort, where the Storage Units and Steam Boiler were located at.

There were a few workers here and there, as well as two of the Defenders looking over the units.

There were two unit houses for all of The Fort's cache of supplies. On the left hand side you saw the first unit, which mostly contained things such as restoratives and enhancements like Potions and Demondrugs. The right hand second unit contained things such as tools, traps, phials and supplies for ballistae.

In the first unit, you see some shelves missing things, large boxes that look out of place in the corner, a smashed crate and a crooked crude chandelier of candles hanging from the ceiling.

In the second unit, you see some ballista bolts embedded in the wall with one of the boxes of the bolts broken with the ammo spilled out over the floor. There is also beds for where cases of cannonballs are supposed to be, but there are no cannonballs in the unit at all, and presumably none in The Fort itself, which meant this place was a sitting Kelbi for a strong enough Monster.

Upon closer inspection, you see the unit buildings, while made of the same cobblestone and mortar of the walls, are not built onto the wall or intermingled with it, there was space between them and behind them.

The Defenders stood by, ready to receive any questions you might have.

>Inspect the cleared shelves.
>Inspect the large boxes.
>Inspect the smashed crate.
>Inspect the crooked chandelier.
>Inspect the ballista bolts.
>Inspect the cannonball beds.
>Look behind the units.
>Question the Soldiers.
>Look over another area.
>>
>>4185736
>Inspect the smashed crate.
>>
>>4185736
>Inspect the smashed crate.
>>
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Walking inside the first unit brings you to the sight of the smashed crate in there.

The crate was rather large, like it were an important shipment. It had metal casings to double the sturdiness of the wood, yet it laid there splintered easily. Whatever did this wasn't weak.

The crate in question was also ripe with a strange fluid leaking about it. It was greenish and yellowed in appearance, as if a mixture of two things in one. But besides that fluid, the crate had two other specks you could not recognize on it as well. There was a greyed out substance and a blue slimy secretion on it that was partially shiny to the candlelight.

You could take some samples as evidence. The more evidence here at The Fort you collected would strengthen your Scoutflies' ability to track the mystery perpetrator behind all of this, giving them better sense of it to sniff them out.

You had only a few sample bottles that were clean however... you could not use all of them.

>Take the mixture as evidence.
>Take the substance as evidence.
>Take the slime as evidence.
>>
>>4185887
>You had only a few sample bottles that were clean however... you could not use all of them.
This is tough...

>Take the slime as evidence.
Where is everybody else?
>>
>>4185887

>Take the slime as evidence.

Sleeping the sleep of the dead.
>>
Using your carving knife, you scrape up as much of the blue slime as you could find and shovel it into the bottle.

Examining it further leads you to believe it is a creature's saliva. The Scoutflies turn over to their blue shade upon looking it over. They seem to want to lead you, but there may still be evidence elsewhere.

>Will you investigate something else or follow them?
>>
>>4186090
>Blue Scoutflies

This could mean that whatever hijacked these things is pretty damn strong. Or maybe it’s just to differentiate the trail from things that are irrelevant to the scent.

Let’s question the soldiers. You’d think that whatever stole this many things would have made quite a ruckus.
>>
>>4186090
Let's check the training yard.
>>
Don't see why we can't do both.
>>
Stepping over to two of the soldiers, you decide to question them. The two listen and answer about as well as they are able to.

"What time did this all happen last?" You ask.

"Well sir, before today, the latest intrusion was during the middle of the night yesterday. The Fort was all locked down tight and everyone was asleep. There's usually natural fog that blows in from the north, and it happened to be foggy out that time when we woke up to the sounds of wood being smashed and something rumbling inside the storehouse. When we got there, all we found was that crate like it is now. The thing missing were gone days before that." One of the Defenders says.

"I think the Monster breaking in is using this all as a good chance to eat for free. That crate was full of jars of honey and potions." The other Defender says.

"I see." You say, thinking for a moment.

"How did it get in? The doors to the units are human sized." You ask.

"No idea. The shuffling stops before we even reach the units when we hear something. Either that thing is smaller than we think, can shapeshift... or maybe it's still in there..." The first Defender says.

"Come to think of it, there was some cracks in the wall at the back, but they don't look bad enough that the wall would collapse. Nobody knows what caused them, but the engineers say they're only from the structure settling." The other Defender says.

"Hmm..."
>>
>>4186252
I wonder if the cracks are large enough for a Palico-sized individual to fit through?

I’m wondering if this is the work of that one Ahtal-Ka monster. But there’s not a lot of telltale signs of an arachnoid monster being here, unless it has acidic saliva. Since it’s intelligent enough to make a sophisticated mechanical suit, I wonder if it might also be intelligent enough to recruit Galakaja or some such to do some pilfering of some harder to acquire materials without exposing its presence.

That acid stuff is a bit puzzling. Maybe some kind of alchemical mixture? Galakaja can make poisons and bombs, it might not be so hard to teach them to make acid mixtures to eat away at structures without making a lot of noise.

That fog makes me wonder if it might not be something a bit less mundane, though.
>>
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"Thanks, gentlemen." You tell them before stepping off as they saluted quickly.

You went off now to the Training Yard through one of the inner gates of The Fort.

Inside the training grounds you saw three of the Defenders working to rearrange everything that had went out of place. There were dummies and weapon stands overturned and flipped about with all of the contents spread out far and wide.

The poles that scale hides were hung on for use in practice were torn down and apart to smaller pieces scattered all over like confetti, yet there was one pole which looked entirely unscathed. There were a few wooden devices here as well as obstacles for the soldiers to use in their training, such as for acrobatics and movement in different terrains, but two of them were broken down, just as smashed as the crate was.

This seemed to be where the Scoutflies were trying to take you, but as they arrive with you, they become confused. You see the swarm all flutter about as if trying to decide what to check out, but they eventually give up and return to your lamp.

"This keeps getting worse and worse!" You hear one of the troopers complain.

"This is the fifth time it happened too!" Another says.

"Tell me about it. We spend more time cleaning this place up than we do actually using it! Maybe we should all just become... janitors or something." The last says.

What will you do?

>Investigate the torn hides.
>Investigate the overturned stands.
>Investigate the ruined obstacle courses.
>Investigate the untouched pole.
>Ask the Defenders something. (Specify)
>>
>>4186284
>Investigate the torn hides
>Investigate the overturned stands
>Investigate the untouched pole

There’s clearly something different about the pole that stands out from the others, and a common thread between the broken items. I wonder if whoever was here was acting on some sort of poorly relayed instruction and just breaking open wooden things with a certain smell and hoping to find something inside?

Do the defenders know if any of the broken containers and broken objects in this room are made of the same material? Like made out of the same wood? Do they do any artillery training or handling when using the obstacle course?
>>
>>4186284
Also to ask: have there been any recent interactions with local Grimalkyne tribes? Any ones that stand out in particular?
>>
>>4186302
The training equipment, cannonballs and ballista bolts have something in common: they're all related to combat. Whoever is galavanting around the fortress knows what those objects are and their purpose, they want to limit the Defenders' combat effectiveness.
>>
>>4186284
>Investigate the untouched pole.
>>
>>4186333
Not just that, but they’re also targeting stuff that’s effective against large targets or a lot of targets en masse.
>>
>>4186333
Also, come to think of it, Honey and potions combined together make Mega Potions, don’t they?

Whoever did this really didn’t like the idea of hunters having a stockpile of curatives nearby.
>>
You step over to the Defenders leading the clean up. You realize these were the same three you took with you to slay Basarios, as they possess a Warhatchet, Insect Glaive and Heavy Bowgun.

"Hey! Long time no see! I guess now that you're here we'll bag that thief soon enough, huh?"

"I'll do my best. Right now I have to ask something." You reply.

"What is it, sir?"

"All those broken containers and objects, they're made out of the same stuff right?"

"Well yeah, strong wood from the forests of the Old World. We also might use some stuff from here in the Guiding Lands. The Colonel once said everything here was 'more powerful', whatever that means. We haven't truly began any lumbering though."

"If you're wondering about the crates, they're built strong so Monsters like Great Jaggi can't get into them so easy if they ambushed a caravan and some cargo was dropped. But now anything bigger might get in easily, though that isn't the case with caravans since traveling merchants always stick to the known roads, they don't ever come across anything bigger than Great Jaggi unless they're extra unlucky."

"Could a Gajalaka break in?" You ask.

"Well, that's a bit iffy. Those Gajalaka aren't as strong as Humans, they rely on their fighting styles to survive since they're experts at making coatings inducing sleep and stuff. I don't think anything but a chief would be strong enough to break that crate, and even then it might still be hard."

"Has there been any contact with local tribes? Are there any to note?" You ask.

"Yeah, there's some Grimalkynes out there in the forest region, but they're not unfriendly, we did exchange some food for tips about getting around with them. There's also some Gajalaka, but they haven't come near yet and we generally avoid each other."

"Okay. Also, do you guys have any training with heavy weaponry? I've noticed you lack stuff to learn artillery." You point out.

"Of course sir. We all learned that back on the main continent. The Defense Corps drills recruits in artillery and stuff much much more than it does closer ranged combat. If we didn't know artillery, we wouldn't be here. While we need to improve in other areas... which you yourself know from experience... we aren't really expected to face Monsters up close and personal unless absolutely necessary. The Fort's main armaments of cannons are our concern."

"Okay. Thanks." You say.
>>
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The first thing you looked over was some of the overturned weapon stands. Your Scoutflies flickered blue at something you noticed about them all that remained consistent.

Each one had claw marks on their back ends. You could not right away match this with any Monster you knew, though there were certainly many candidates as the claws were rather small, or it's possible these marks only show what the tips did if the claw that made them are bigger. You knew there were Jaggi in the Guiding Lands, since you came across a pack once, so there are Great Jaggi out there.

But a Great Jaggi couldn't have made this, a Great Jaggi is still bigger than the doors to the storage units and you're sure they couldn't get into The Fort any other way than the gates because they can't exactly climb the walls.
>>
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Next you came over to the unscathed training pole, which was farther over in the corner.

This pole in specific wasn't dug into the ground for stability like the others, it wasn't being used by anyone yet. It was also situated near some taller patches of grass that hadn't been shaved yet to flatten out the walking ground.

It seemed rather mundane, and it made you curious as to why this one went unharmed unlike the others, until you get down in a squat to examine the scene here.

You see by some grass blades leaning down more than other blades that something's large foot was assuredly over here, but some of the blades of the grass are bent in folded ways that make it look like whatever stepped on the grass was in a hurry to relocate.

You trail the folded blades over until your hand stops near something on the scale sheet. It seemed to be the dried and sticky contents of a potion that leaked down the sides of the scales, right through the tall grass. You trace it back until you spot another juicy clue.

There is a broken glass potion bottle here with little of the dried content inside laying in the patch of tall grass.

There are some small drops of a red dried substance too. Blood from the looks of it. Whatever had the potion might have cut itself on the glass while in a hurry.

You collect the sample into your second bottle. The Scoutflies are flickering again, but they aren't able to pick up a trail to lead you.

What will you do next?
>>
>>4186366
Are the floors dirt, or are there any signs of burrowing or disturbed earth that are close to the buildings? Tunneling might be less obvious to detect than climbing or sneaking.
>>
>>4186387
Let's head to the Dock next.

>>4186390
Dirt burrows would likely be noticeable, unless there's another Everwyrm running about.
>>
You took a minute more to look at the composition of the ground here in the training area.

The space was mostly dirt and gravel with trimmed grass, but there were walks with smooth stones and cement there as well. Overall, this area would be quite noisy to tunnel in for a Monster that could go underground, unless it was an expert digger. In any case, tunneling here would alert The Fort without a shadow of a doubt, so the culprit of your investigation being a digger was out of the question, maybe...

Well, that was all there was to see here. It was time you moved on.

The next place you went to check out was the Dock, where all of The Fort's shipments came in by boat.
>>
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The Dock was quiet and almost completely empty. Save for a small tool shed, this place was unremarkable.

There were two workers you saw there sharing some plant they lit while they drank booze. You approached and the two as you could tell were intrigued to see an actual Hunter, they most likely didn't get around much on their jobs otherwise.

"Good day fellows. I'm investigating a little, can you tell me some things?"

"Shoah hoss, what would ye' be needings?"

"When were the last shipments to The Fort made?"

"Some two days ago mos' likely." The first one said.

"And before that?"

"Aboot a week back. Mosta us had weak backs draggin' inna haul." The second one grinned in between a cough.

You smiled innocently at his snark little joke he cracked.

"Okay. What was shipped then on those two occasions?"

"Well, the shipment aboot a week back had lotsa' potions and otha' healthy spells. But I'd be guessin' mosta' those got got by that thief anyow'." The second one says with a puff of smoke.

"And two days back we hadda' batch of balls for the cannons. I dunno how they can say they ain't gots no boom balls when we jus' gottem' some newunes. The cart we rolled em' in on shuld' be there still. I thoughts they already unloaded em'...."

"Okay, good to know. Thanks, guys." You say.

"No problemo friend."

"Hey, kickitz ass for us all, willa'?"

You give them a thumbs up as you walk off.

As you go to leave the Dock, you look over and notice a bubbling from the shallow water down past the edge nearby....
>>
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You lean over and look down within the shallow water. You take your binoculars out and peer deeper until you are able to notice a shape in the water not too far down inside.

It is a cannonball, abandoned right there. Some bubbles slid up the side from under it to the surface, mostly because of the open pocket in the sand beneath the ball, which rested on some rocks and conch shells.

You reach down within and fish it out.

"Hey fellows, how did this get down there?"

The two workers are perplexed as they come over to look at the cannonball.

"What in thah wurld...?"

"I ain't got no idea, hoss!"

"Hmm..."

Strange.

What will you do now?
>>
>>4186508
Check the sand pocket, I guess. If nothing comes up then off we go to the showers.
>>
You peer back down below at the pocket of sand to see if anything else is about. There is nothing there, the pocket is merely the indention made from the cannonball rolling off the deck to that place.

You keep the cannonballs with you as you walk the trek back to The Fort, at a slower pace due to the weight of the heavy ammo.

Upon getting back, you set the cannonball off to the side, near the delivery cart the rest of them all arrived on. There was a tarp over the cart and it looked to be loaded with more cargo.
>>
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Now it was time to hit those showers and see what might come up.

You approach the showerhouse, which had a very large opening covered only with a curtain that was hanging off to the side, almost torn off it's hinges.

Inside the shower house, you come to the scene of a destruction that took place here. It looked that the showers were each stalls separated by thinner wooden walling, but they were all crushed almost flat. The debris that used to be the showers was brushed aside as well to make space in the middle.

Some water was leaking from the heads of the now snapped nozzles. This place had drainage at least and a way to siphon water from the outside too. You wondered if they also had a filter since they had the means to power one using the Steam Boiler...

"Messy sight isn't it?"

You look back and see a Defender in the room you hadn't noticed before, he was sitting on a bench near the corner where there stood many lockers. He stands up and walks over closer to the rubble.

"I was in here yesterday early in the morning when mostly everyone else was asleep since I rise fast. I was just having a peaceful wash when suddenly I heard this... squelching." The irate Defender says.

"When I looked out, I got a blast of steam to the face! There was some kind of... large imposing black form in the room with me! It shoved itself into the stalls and broke everything down!"

"Hope you held the soap." You snort.

"Soap? If there was any to hold, it wasn't there long."

"What do you mean?" You crane your head.

"That thing went and... somehow collected all of the soap in the whole Fort and brought it in here. There certainly wasn't any left in Storage!"

You raised your eyebrow.

"I remember digging myself out from the debris only to be met with a splash of water as it slapped the shower heads right off the wall. Then, there was a big bubbly explosion! That thing used all of the soap and water up in one go! I'm not kidding you when I say there was so much soap, it was filling the room up and spilling outside!"

"So... the thief was... washing itself? Using your showers?" You scratch your chin.

"I don't know, maybe? I did remember seeing lots of black stuff come off of it as it lathered up in the soap and rinsed off. It was gone before I knew it."
>>
"Any idea where all the drainage ends up at?"

"If I had to take a good guess? Somewhere out in the woods. You know how The Fort faces, right? Well we're in the northern part, so the jungle and woods are just right outside the wall of the shower house here."

"So if I go out and follow the way facing off from the wall and into the woods outside I'll eventually be able to find where the drainage comes out to?" You question.

"Probably yeah. The pipe is a straight shoot. But it might be a little longer than you'd think, so who knows how long you'll be walking out there."

"Got it." You say.

The Defender gives a lazy salute and walks out.

If you find where everything that goes down the drain culminates at, you might be able to scrounge up more samples for evidence to find the thief, more substance to feed your Scoutflies' sense with.

Will you attempt the potentially long and treacherous trek to find it or will you do something else within the confines of The Fort?
>>
>>4186573
>he was sitting on a bench near the corner where there stood many lockers
Good thing we didn't bring our Khezu set.

>>4186578
>Will you attempt the potentially long and treacherous trek to find it?
Yes.
>>
>>4186578
>Will you attempt the potentially long and treacherous trek to find it
Sure, still a relatively fresh clue.
>>
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If there was a time to do it, it was now.

You leave out the nearest gatehouse of The Fort and circle around, going off on your way to the wall where the Showers sat behind the mortar.

You back up against the wall and use something you haven't used for a while now, not since you left the Old World, your Compass. The finicky little thing bobbled in it's glass as you opened it. The arrows on the compass pointed in each direction and you kept your eyes on it as you began to walk forward, going north into the Guiding Lands.

You followed it, delving deep into the foliage of the woods, the arrow never dipping off of the northern northern direction even as you turned the compass.

You just hoped you didn't run into anything bad while you were out here.

>Roll a 2d50.
>1-9; You find the drainage point without trouble.
>10-29; You encounter a small Monster(s) along the way.
>30-49; You find the drainage point without trouble.
>50-69; You encounter a friendly face along the way.
>70-89; You encounter a large Monster.
>90-99;Y ou find the drainage point without trouble.
>100; You are both incredibly lucky and unlucky in what you end up finding.
>>
Rolled 26, 50 = 76 (2d50)

>>4186690
>>
Rolled 16, 42 = 58 (2d50)

>>4186690
>>
Rolled 27, 37 = 64 (2d50)

>>4186690
>>
Rolled 1 (1d3)

>>4186693
>>4186701
>>4186706
>>
>>4186714
Oh, wait, I misread those rolls. Seems there's two for the forth option's range so I'll go with that.
>>
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As you walked deeper into the forest region of the Guiding Lands, it became ever more apparent to you that there was a certain nip in the air. Things were getting chillier now, and you were still far away from the tundra region of the lands. What was this bite?

Then you hear a rustling and stop at a patch between four trees. There was something coming through the woods, something large.

You kept still with your hand ready to grasp your Gunlance should you need to fight as you thought of what it might be. Worst case scenario it could be a large and strong Monster such as Yian Garuga, Deviljho or Basarios, and best case scenario it could be a weaker Monster you wouldn't have any problem with, such as Banbaro or Jagras.

You waited as the rustling got closer, and it came up until you saw some branches falling over ahead that you were able to realize what it was.

Brilliant blued and purplish scales come out of the brush and you now discern the form of Velkhana of all things, sporting some form of frozen armor. Was it the same as the one you knew?

The Ice Dragon happens to glance off to the right and spot you, which brings them to a stop as they sniff the air to catch a whiff of your scent.

"Hmmm? Mm? Human?" She projects outwards, facing you with her neck.

"Oh. Uh, hi. I didn't expect to see you of all people here."

"Mmm, I had no other choice than to come here so I could moult in peace. The land I use ordinarily for that has become haunted by something I could not face, nor stand against, until recently however."

"You can thank me for that. I went there with some allies and killed the being that roaming there. We called it Amygdala."

"Amygdala? What a funny name." Velkhana says before her eyes grow wider. "And you say you slew it?"

"Yes. It was a tough battle, maybe even my toughest ever."

"Truly?"

You nod.

"Ah! What terrific news. I had thought it only just moved on elsewhere, it had me quite fearful. Now I can use the area again safely. Thank you, Human."

"Don't mention it." You wave your hand.

"Anyways, where are you headed?"

"I have smelled something wonderful off this way and I go to see what it is."

"Eh, you might not want to do that. There's a human settlement off near the shore, a fortress. They could shoot at you if you got too close."

"Oh? So you say. Well that is a shame then, I was very well keen on knowing what that smell was. I suppose I will leave then, as I have nothing more to do here."

You couldn't smell what she was talking about, you just smelt forest all around. But you do remember smelling something nice at The Fort when you were there. Maybe someone was cooking something strong up, you didn't know.

>Ask her to tag along. Monsters avoid Elders generally so it will be beneficial to you for now.
>Let her leave. You don't know when someone else might show up and you don't want any confusions, because then something bad will surely happen.
>Write in.
>>
>>4186788
>Let her leave. You don't know when someone else might show up and you don't want any confusions, because then something bad will surely happen.

We can handle this alone. We really don't need a big dragon following us around right now.
>>
>>4186788
>>Write in.
Ask her if she saw anything weird recently, explain to her we're looking for something which has been raiding the fortress.
>>
>>4186834
This right here
>>
>>4186834
Supporting
>>
>>4186834
Dis do it.
>>
"Have you by chance seen anything out of the ordinary while you were here?"

"What do you mean?"

"There's a Monster of some kind that's been stealthily pillaging the settlement back that ways. I'm out to take it down."

Velkhana shifts her neck as she thinks over it.

"Well, I'm not sure how related it may be, but I have seen webs strewn about in some places. These webs were golden, and held very fast. I'm sure even I would have trouble getting out if I were to fall in a pit of the stuff."

"Golden webs? Must be Ahtal-Ka... how much have you seen?"

"Not much honestly. The web is scattered in odd places that take a moment to notice right away. It is as though whomever made the web hid it in plain sight."

"I would watch my back out there if I were you."

"Alright, thanks."

>Continue along alone.
>Ask her to tag along.
>>
>>4188086
>>Continue along alone.
>>
>>4188086
>Continue along alone.
>>
>>4188086
>Ask her to tag along.
We didn't bring any backup with us.
>>
>>4188112
It won't end well bringing her along.
>>
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Velkhana left then, picking herself up with her wings to fly away as she no longer had any reason to be here. You were sure she'd make it back to her home safely.

You continued up ahead through the woods to get back to searching for what you needed to find.

As you went along the trail your compass pointed to north, you noticed a pattern repeating itself here. There were rocks you could see here in abnormal places in stacks of three each here and there... the way they were all placed made them look like... a line.

That's it though, it clearly was a line. The rocks were all aligned perfectly leading down into the forest, they were obviously placed by Human hands or something or...

Wait, you see something out of the corner of your eye, up there in a tree. A patch of golden web...

Could Ahtal-Ka have placed these? If so, why? What purpose did this long line of stacked rocks serve? You didn't know, but you did finally reach your destination.

You come up upon the sight of a large dirt mound in the middle of the woods. The whole place is wet and muddy, and you see a spot dug out in the mound from which a bent metal pipe stuck out from, held higher into the air by... more golden web.

This had to be the drainage for the shower house, but you could tell it was targeted in specific by Ahtal-Ka, leading you to more questions you didn't have the answer to.

The smell is awful, but you see what you came for in the dug out spot, a puddle of old suds and everything that went down the drains when that occurrence at the shower house with the thief happened. You hold your breath as you step closer and get a sample into another bottle, minding the fact your legs almost sank down to the calf in the mud before you step away with now slightly dirtier armor.

Your Scoutflies react to the sample, blinking blue at it. You got what you came for, you're one step closer to ratting the thief out.

That line of rocks continued far past the mound and the pipe.... Where did it end...?

>Return to The Fort to continue your search.
>Follow the trail of rocks further into the woods.
>>
>>4188206
>Follow the trail of rocks further into the woods.
>>
>>4188206
>Return to The Fort to continue your search.
We really don't need to run into Ahtal right now.
>>
>>4188206
>Return to The Fort to continue your search.
>>
Well, you didn't have time to find out, you needed to get back to your job.

You turn away and leave the place where the drainage ended at. You'd have to report your findings so they could get that fixed up.

You walk along back the way you came through the woods as fast as you can so you can get back to The Fort. You were very close now.

As you walked along the path back following your compass, you spot something to your right.

Looking over... you see a troop of Altaroth marching through the woodwork... carrying metal parts.

What was... Ough! This just keeps getting more and more confusing by the minute!

You didn't have time to check it out though, so you continue on your way.
>>
Man, what was the connection all of this shared? Why were those Altaroth carrying metal parts? Why did Ahtal-Ka uncover the pipeline?

Who was the sneak thief really? Could it be Ahtal-Ka? It would certainly make sense, given the kidnapping that happened and all the web you've seen about. But you didn't find any evidence that it was Ahtal-Ka at The Fort, not even footprints, and the claw marks didn't match Ahtal's pinchers.

You get back to The Fort while you think and come out to the Western section of the place.

You've already searched the storage units mostly, the training yard, the dock and the showers. The only places left were the gatehouses, the barracks and the steam boiler.

There was that mention of cracks on the wall in the storage unit though... and that cannonball cart.

The Fort's cannonballs were all stolen from storage too. But that cart should be the new untouched delivery to resupply them, so they definitely have cannonballs, right? What happened to the older supply?

Hmm...

What will you investigate now?
>>
>>4188358
Check the cracks.
>>
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Entering the Storage Units again, you walk past the shelves and all the supplies to the back where you come to the dead end of the wall with the cracks.

The cracks are not so noticeable first until you run your fingers along the wall and feel the cracks. They are tiny, almost like they were cut into the wall with precision...

For clarity, you go into the other unit and check that one's back wall, seeing it also has cracks in it, ones much similar to the last.

Could these walls... fall back with enough force? You could try pushing one... but the Colonel might not be so happy if you do, you know you'll definitely have that taken out of your paycheck.

Will you push one of the walls or leave it alone?
>>
>>4188424
>push one of the walls
Sometimes is better to act first and apologize later.
>>
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Reaching forward, you push into the wall to see the results you'll get from it.

The cobblestone begins to slide back further as you press against it with your hands, just as you thought it would. The cracks were not cracks at all, but cuts right through the stonework. There's no way it could slide perfectly like this if it were just minor cracks.

The wall comes out of it's place, dislodged as apart from the rest of the building. You watch it tip over backwards, falling into the disconnected wall of the fortress right behind it.

To your surprise, the mortar wall of The Fort itself also comes loose from similar cuts, coming right down to reveal a secret passageway out and in. This had to either be made by Ahtal-Ka, the thief if they aren't Ahtal-Ka, or someone at The Fort itself...

The thing that sticks out the most is how almost soundless the fallback of those two wall pieces were. The noise was muffled with a plap from the ground outside due to how wet it was. This was probably a rain forest The Fort was situated in, explaining the moisture.
>>
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Your Scoutflies come out immediately after you reveal the secret passageway. You step over the cobblestone and follow them outside as they fly ever closer to the rim of the rain forest.

It is there you discover more evidence in the form of a smell left over on the ground.

It permeates from a sink in the ground where there was plenty of mud. It looked to be that something large was rolling here, waddling around in the mud. This was a clever trick for intelligent Monsters to use as a method of masking their scent, dirtying themselves up with a cover.

Your Scoutflies wanted to go deeper into the forest as you scraped some of the mud into your second last phial.

You chose to follow them.

>Roll a 1d100.
>1-9; You are led by the Scoutflies to discovery.
>10-29; You are ambushed by tribals.
>30-49; You are led by the Scoutflies to discovery.
>50-69; You encounter a small Monster(s) along the way.
>70-89; You encounter a large Monster.
>90-99; You are led by the Scoutflies to discovery.
>100; You find something... special.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d100)

>>4188607
>>
Rolled 4 (1d100)

>>4188607
>>
Rolled 35 (1d100)

>>4188607
>>
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Going through the wet landscape of the forest, you duck under branches and push your way through vines to follow the Scoutflies as they blink their blue glow and flutter on to their destination.

You find footprints then, wide ones in the mud you did not recognize straight away off hand, but they were enough to keep your Scoutflies on the move and you with them.

You pass by trees and jump over a stream, getting deeper and deeper into the woodland until at last you reach your distant target.

You move some large leaves from the brush aside to reveal an open area there.

In the middle of that area, you see them all. Dozens and dozens of cannonballs lying out here in the middle of nowhere. This was what your Scoutflies were leading you to using what you found from the waddled in sink.

Looking closer in over the cannonballs reveals their carrying cases all splintered aside below them. The cannonballs had a slimy substance over it, the same saliva like what you found in the Storage Unit. You gather it into the previous bottle you used back there and cap it off.

This was all you needed. You had enough evidence to produce a scent the Scoutflies could follow, one that would lead you straight to the thief as soon as you combined it.

For now, you returned off back the way you came, going to return to The Fort...
>>
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Upon getting back, the first thing to greet you was The Colonel himself along with most of his troops waiting in front of the Storage Unit for you.

"Frrrrreelancerrrrr, I don't suppose you have a good rrrrreason forrrrr kicking down my wall, do you?"

"I didn't make that actually, it was already there. Those walls weren't cracked, they were carefully cut out, in such a perfect way it could be opened and covered back up easily without anyone being the wiser." You explain your case.

The Colonel furled his eyebrow. "What?"

"Yeah, it's true. Even better though, I found your missing cannonballs."

"You did?! Where are they at?!"

"Dumped, right out in the forest in a place you wouldn't stumble upon easily. Whoever moved them took their time and did it quietly." You say, shaking around the sample bottle you just filled as proof.

"Hmmm.... well that is a good find then, we'll be able to rrrrrecoverrrr them. Besides that, has your searrrrch amounted to anything yet?"

"Let's find out." You say.

Taking out your sample bottles one by one, you pour all of them together in one bottle and mix all the evidence around by shaking it, creating a concoction with a much more powerful scent.

Upon being exposed to it, your Scoutflies emerge and begin to fly off, right past the Colonel and his troops, over to the large cannonball cart that was delivered two days ago.

When your Scoutflies get near it, they all stop... and then blink red before flying right back to your lamp...
>>
Everyone got tense then. The Defenders all drew their weapons nervously as they eyed the cart.

The Colonel squinted. "Hmm... now that I think about it, that carrrrt is... not as flat as I rrrrremember it being a few days ago. What gives? I thought it was unloaded of cannonballs alrrrready?!"

The Captain of the Defenders in the greenish tabard looks very much confused as well despite his face being obscured by his helmet visor. "W-Well sir.. it was..."

"I saw it flat and unloaded yesterday. I don't remember it being like this until today." One of the other Defenders testified.

"How many of you have been arrrrround herrrrre today?" The Colonel asked.

All of the Defenders speak up and raise their weapon.

"All of you have been arrrrround today? And none of you buffoons noticed? You'rrrre telling me not one of ye's stopped to look at that carrrt and mulled overrrrr how differrrrent it suddenly was?! Do you not even memorrrrrize yourrrr own station...?"

None of the Defenders say anything more.

"Gaagh!" The Colonel stomped "Okay.. I'll ask this... do we have any sparrrre cannonballs?"

"Yes sir!" The captain said. "We have three."

"Frrrrreelancer, yourrrr call." The Colonel tells you.

"Yes sir." You say, stepping forward two paces towards the cart.

>Approach the cart alone.
>Signal the troops to surround it and back you up.
>Get them to prepare traps around the cart to be sprung.
>Ask they push a cannon around and shoot the cart with their last balls.
>Write in.
>>
>>4188714
>Approach the cart alone.
>>
>>4188714
>Ask they push a cannon around and shoot the cart with their last balls.
Take no chances
>>
>>4188743
It's clear that whatever it is is intelligent, maybe even sapient; the fact that it hasn't actually injured anybody up to this point is telling.
>>
>>4188747
Just because nobody has been hurt (yet) doesn't mean we shouldn't show it we mean business. It's been stealing for this long now and has to be taken out. You just know that even if it is sapient the Colonel is still going to order us to kill it, and we aren't in any position to disobey him.
>>
>>4188714
>Approach the cart alone.
>>
>>4188757
If it's intelligent enough to practice discretion then it may be reasonable. We might be able to plan a way out of the fortress if we don't immediately go guns blazing.
>>
Stepping up along after easing the others back with a gesture, you stand near the cart and steel yourself for whatever you were about to unveil.

You were ready for a fight if you needed to act in that capacity. The others weren't so composed as you were, but they weren't about to run away like sissies either... right...?

Well here goes.

Placing your hand on the tarp covering the wagon, you pull it off fast and hard! Revealing the...
>>
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....sneak thief?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TIGvB7X-0Y
>>
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....
>>
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...
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.....
>>
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"Wh-"

"SCCCCHHHHRRRRIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEGH!" The creature before you suddenly screeched!

"AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!" Came all of the Defenders, who dropped their weapons and huddled behind the startled Colonel.
>>
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The thing lost all calmness as, becoming dizzy on it's feet as it tried to stand up, only succeeding in shattering the cart it lay on. You fell back as it twisted around and bumped you off of your feet with it's strange tail. You swear you saw it become teary eyed before it got some momentum flapping it's wings to take off.

The thing flew right away, going off towards the forest region of the Guiding Lands in a hurry.

"I had a feeling!" The Colonel says, coming over with his Defenders, who help you up to your feet.

"We've got a rrrrreal prrrroblem on ourrrr hands herrrre. That is Chameleos, a bizarrrrrrre Elderrrr Drrrragon known for it's ability to turrrrrn invisible!"

"Invisible? Like, completely invisible?"

"Yes. That thing could be standing next to you invisible and you wouldn't even rrrrrealize it. That makes it a top prrrrriorrrrity to take out." The Colonel says.

He then looked at his men, who shrunk in fear under his gaze and he growled. "I'll deal with YOU clowns later!"

"Frrrrreelancerrrr! You arrrre to slay that thing no matterrrrr the cost. I will gladly lend you anything I can herrrrre to get the job done. Am I clearrrrr?"

"Yes sir." You salute.

"Good. Now, what arrrrre you thinking?"

>It can't escape my Scoutflies now with this evidence. I'll go out and face it in it's lair.
>I'll need a helping hand to accompany me, and some things. (Request three Defender types to join you as subordinates, and ask for items of your choosing.)
>We should set up here and wait until it shows up next to do something. Let's lay a trap for it to walk right into.
>Write in.
>>
>>4188979
>It can't escape my Scoutflies now with this evidence. I'll go out and face it in it's lair.
Hard no on taking Defenders with us.
>>
>>4188979
>Write in.
Let's get some hunters to help us, we got its scent now so whetever it goes we can track it.
>>
>>4188979
>It can't escape my Scoutflies now with this evidence. I'll go out and face it in it's lair.
Is it just me or does this Chameleos seem like a coward?
>>
I'm surprised that the chameleons managed to drill the wall open

And why the hell you want a wagon of cannonballs and potions, you crazy lizard?
>>
>>4189076
Well the colonel did talk about the guild wanting to colonize the guiding lands one day. Maybe Chameleos was preparing for gorilla warfare to save his home.
>>
>>4189084
Oh shit, viet-chameleos

In a more serious take, it seems smaller that the Usual, it might be a young chameleos or somewhat hurt, if he keeps stealing potions and honey

Or it could be tabitabi 2.0 elder boogalo
>>
>>4188979
>It can't escape my Scoutflies now with this evidence. I'll go out and face it in it's lair.

Theres still something weird going on here.

Those atronachs.
>>
>>4188979
>It can't escape my Scoutflies now with this evidence. I'll go out and face it in it's lair.
>>4189164
And those rocks that were lined up.
>>
>>4189300
i have a few ideas on what can be, but i cant peg down what it can be
>>
>>4189124
>viet-chameleos
Kek
>>
>>4189164
Those Altaroth are obviously working for Ahtal-Ka in some capacity.
>>
>>4189522
but why whould she want potions? she didnt get beaten back that badly, was she?

also theres the cannonball thing, why any monster whould want these explosives? if it was a teostra, that eats gunpownder from time to time, sure, but aint none here

this aint some standard situation
>>
>>4189534
Chameleos is the one plundering potions, the Alteroth were taking metal parts, which makes me a bit worried since we didn't check the boiler.
>>
>>4189543
We could ask the Colonel to check the boiler while we're gone.
>>
>>4189547
Yeah, lets do that.
>>
>>4189543
im with you withthe boiler, but didnt the metal parts have ahtal-ka silk?
>>
"First Colonel, I think you need to have a check ran. Get people you can rely on to scan every room in The Fort, make sure everything is as it should be, note differences and ask questions."

"Aye. I'll have the worrrrkerrrrs do that while these henchmen fetch the cannonballs." The Colonel says.

"And make sure nothing is wrong the steam boiler room either. I have a bad feeling that was also touched."

"Got it."

"So what will you do?"

You begin to walk away to find the nearest gatehouse.

"I'll hunt the Chameleos. You hold down The Fort." You say, raising two fingers as you picked up pace to hiking speed.

"Verrrry well, I'm counting on you! Now, men, chop chop! We've got worrrrrk to do!"

Letting your Scoutflies out of their lamp, you let them lock back onto your bottle of evidence as you pass out the eastern gatehouse to The Fort.

The useful little bugs turn blue and fly off into the woods. You follow them at running speed...
>>
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Eventually, the Scoutflies take you almost all the way through the forest region of the Guiding Lands as you followed them.

The place Chameleos had ran off to hide at was an enormous tree near the border of this region. It wasn't large enough to be a Great Tree yet, but give it a few more centuries of living here off the energy of the land and it just might.

The tree, much like the Great Tree in the Ancient Forest, had a big hollowed out opening in it which you use to duck down inside.

You are taken off guard by the fact the way down was a sudden fall, but you'd found where you needed to be; An expansive subterranean chamber full of mossy rock.

And ahead of you was your target.
>>
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The Chameleos was seemingly minding it's own business there until you fell into it's home.

This weird Elder gave you a look with it's bulging, bulbous eyes. You couldn't see any initial trace of hostility in those orbs, it was like the thing was more afraid of you than you were of it.

You hear it sniffle as you stood there. Slowly, that sniffle turns into a defensive hissing.
>>
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You see Chameleos open it's jaw then, spraying out a misty fog from it's throat that clouds up the whole place fast.

You see it begin to fade from sight...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9cFG6Zg4Ro
>>
>>4189735
we could try a talk with him, if not
diplomacy has failed and its time its kick its invisible ass

just keeping the guard up
>>
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It seemed Chameleos was preparing to attack you... but from where?

You drew your Gunlance and strode forward to stop in the middle of the chamber. You'd have better ground to defend from any direction there. You heard the footsteps of the thing coming from all around at once before it stops...

You can only either attack in a direction, or defend in one at the moment, or use an item from your inventory. There is north, east, west and south.

What will you do?
>>
>>4189750
>Defend to the West(assuming left=West)
>try to ask why it's stealing from the Fortress
Time to begin the Elder Dragon Harkness Test.
>>
>>4189750
Try to use telepathy. See if its sentient and why its messing with the camp here.

Also. Its to your left.

Is this thing a baby? I though they were bigger.
>>
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You hear the scraping of a claw to your right, which would be the left universally.

You think quickly and turn to that direction with your shield high, blocking a strike from the mist as Chameleos lunged forward with it's snappers. It's teeth bit down on your shield, but the thing lets go and backs off, partially visible to your eyes.

"So, there any particular reason you've been raiding our stores?" You asked through the connection.

The Chameleos stops in it's movement briefly, blinking blankly at that. The Elder was pondering this response you gave it, as far as you could tell.

You were hoping for an answer, but all you get in return is another hiss as it shakes it's head and backs away into the fog. It sprays more out, further obscuring the field of view. You hear it pace away and stop somewhere. It wasn't moving an inch now, but you did not know where it was.

If you waited around here too long, it might attack as soon as your guard is down. You had to find it by searching in some direction.

What will you do?
>>
>>4189817
He's Southeast.
"I'm trying to give you a way out of this. Give me a sign that you're reasonable."
If he insists on attacking us then we have to put him down.
>>
>>4189817
>"I don't want to kill you if I can avoid it, but if you don't answer me I have to."
>Check south-east, keep our guard up.
>>
>>4189848
supporting

i think we are getting somewhere
>>
>>4189848
I like your phrasing better, support.
>>
>>4189848
Try to get the word out before he attacks us. If he attacks us after, full burst him.
>>
>>4189863
Actually, don't this yet.

Think mentioning the Everwyrm would help?
>>
I think I can revise it.
"I'm a friend of the Old Everwyrm; I'm trying to give you a way out of this. Give me a sign that you're reasonable."
>>
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"I don't want to hurt you. If you won't answer me, I'll be forced to, just give me an answer. We don't have to do this."

You walk towards the southeastern direction then. You were sure you saw the mist moving to some force over there.

As you approach that direction, you hear something. It is a light voice with a nervous tone. You couldn't tell if it was masculine or feminine at first, but as you really focus into the tone, you realize it is male. It is full of slurred ess's as well, you might even call this voice... goofy?

"Can't trusst Human!"

"Huh?"

"Massster sssay Human bad!"

"What? Master? Who is your 'Master'?"

"I... I not ssssay! You mean! You get out!"

Suddenly, Chameleos reveals itself in front of you again, taking you off guard as his tongue shoots around. You felt it rip something out of your satchel before moving away again. There is a crunching of glass and you hear it drink down whatever it just stole from you before there is a sound of the glass falling to the ground.

He sprays out another fume into the fog then. It is a yellowed mist that makes your hands feel less stable being in it. You back away as Chameleos positions himself somewhere else. You think you hear it crawling on the ceiling now.

You've got to shoot it down, but you don't know where it is.

What will you do?
>>
>>4189897
all right, so its probably a young chameleos under a "master"

do we have a flashpod to knock him down or something?
>>
>>4189897
guard up to the north east
>>
>>4189897
>It is full of slurred ess's as well, you might even call this voice... goofy?
Oh no. It's retarded.

Northeast across the arena. Out of range, though, not sure if a Flash Pod can get him past the mist.

Tell him that we have a sort of "Master" as well; the Old Everwyrm, a dragon much older than he is.
>>
>>4189897
Your master is correct.

So why arent you listening to him and staying away from them?

Your endangering yourself by drawing the humans attention.

Dodge projectiles. Our shield cant block poison.
>>
"If your 'Master' told you we were bad, why do you come around then?"

"I not fall for word trick! I not talk! I hurt you, make you leave!" Chameleos growled back from above.

You went farther in to the north, passing through the yellow mist quickly in the fog. You hear a snap and step to the side then suddenly, avoiding a stalactite that was dropped at you.

Chameleos was right above your head, so you popped a Flash Pod into your Slinger's slot and aimed straight up, shooting it at the ceiling. You hear the Elder hiss, disoriented and blinded but still latched firmly onto the ceiling. You could see only his eyes visible now.

You raised your Gunlance and fired a shell up at where you thought his claw might be, but you end up hitting his arm instead. That seemed to do the trick though, as Chameleos falls right from the ceiling, down onto the hard mossy rock on his back.

He twists, still disoriented from the impact.

You guessed the best choice you had now was to simply beat some sense into him until he was willing to talk.

>Attack his belly.
>Attack his head.
>Attack his tail.
>Attack his tongue.
>Write in.
>>
>>4189948
Attack the tongue
>>
>>4189948
Tickle him!

Should have brought some traps.

ok for real though.

>Attack his head
>>
>>4189948
>Attack his head
To break the tie.
>>
Also try to make it so the next item he tries to steal is a Dung Pod.
>>
>>4189948
>Attack his head.
>>
You stride forward, aiming to attack Chameleos' head!

+==============+

Chameleos' Sense: 0

You gotta beat some sense into this sneaky forest slicker! Get the bar to 1000 to succeed!

+==============+

>Roll 1d100.
>>
>>4190045
>>
Rolled 37 (1d100)

>>4190045
>>
Rolled 61 (1d100)

>>4190045
Whooops
>>
Rolled 63 (1d100)

>>4190045
>>
Rolled 80 (1d100)

>>4190045
>>
Rolled 16 (1d100)

>>4190045
>>
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As you got up to him, Chameleos rolled over onto his side and shook his head before looking up at you raising your Gunlance, facing it around to the blunt end.

"EEP!"

You didn't let his cry get in the way of you smacking him over the head repeatedly with it, beating his thick skull while he squirmed there on the ground!
>>
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You could tell he felt that. He didn't seem all too big up close. You estimated he was only about larger than being a small crown for something around his size. Still bigger than the Kirin you saw once in the Highlands, but not by much.

Just then, Chameleos manages to get in a hit himself, bring his tongue around to slap you right in the face! And damn! It stung! You'll give him some credit for that at least.

He sneaks off again into the fog, which is lessening up around you by some degree.

It seems he is muffling his movements now, you don't hear anything, but you know he isn't being still as dust falls off of the walls and ceiling.

What was he trying now...?

You'd probably have to shoot him down again, but maybe another item might work...

Where was he...?
>>
>>4190202
Use a flash bomb.
>>
>>4190202
>Where was he...?
Northwest.

>maybe another item might work...
Screamer Pod?

By the way we have traps. We should set one down, maybe a Pitfall.
>>
>>4190217
Diminishing returns are a thing.
>>
>>4190202
Use a screamer then.

Or a duuuung pod.
>>
>>4190202
This poor chameleos.

Hes trying so hard to be sneaky but Vance is just having none of it.

>I see you~
>>
You hear the sound of pressure reflecting off of the rocks and turn to the northwest.

"I SEE YOU!"

You see Chameleos diving at you through the air! You load a Screamer Pod and fire it at his face midair! He comes crashing down into a roll across the rocks as you narrowly step out of the way of his body.

This might go faster if you apply more force behind beating him.

Walking up close, you charge your Gunlance and unleash a Wyvern's Fire blast at Chameleos' underbelly.

"OOWWW! OWIE! OWOWOOWHU! THAT HURT LOTS!" He cried. You see his eyes tearing up again, but you don't feel bad, at least not right away.

+==============+

Chameleos' Sense: 348

+==============+
>>
>>4190282
>Stealing is wrong!
>You should be more careful around strangers!
>Be polite when adults are speaking to you!
>Wash your claws when you eat!
>Eat your vegetables!
>gotta deal that emotional damage.
>>
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"I told you, we don't have to- Wuh-OAH!"

Should have kept your mouth shut. Chameleos jumps back up and it almost appears like he does a dance around as he swings his tail, fanning a hard gust of wind at you that knocks you back off of your feet.

You have little time to respond before he crawls forward fast at you!

You were anticipating him using this opportunity to bite you with his sick teeth, those fangs could really do some damage. But he rather instead jumps and lands right on top of you, winding you as he let loose and laid over your form.

You felt Chameleos press down, and it was crushing! You couldn't breath so well! he might have been trying to suffocate you, or knock you out. You had to get him off quick.

Thankfully, you could still reach your satchel.

>Use all of your strength to push him off. You did it with Zinogre, what makes him any different?
>Reach for your carving knife and drive it into his side. If he's going to play dirty, so will you.
>See if you can crawl out of your own.
>Try and rub the bolt paper in your satchel against him to see the effect.
>Write in.
>>
>>4190300
>Fire a dung bomb in his face.

Sorry not sorry. If we dont have one try bolt paper.
>>
>>4190300
>Reach for your carving knife and drive it into his side. If he's going to play dirty, so will you.
Only way we'll get him to stop is by showing him we will kill him if he forces us to.
>>
>>4190332
>as a reminder

Chameleos' Sense: 0

You gotta beat some sense into this sneaky forest slicker! Get the bar to 1000 to succeed!
>>
>>4190300
>Reach for your carving knife and drive it into his side. If he's going to play dirty, so will you.
>>
>>4190346
We just used fucking wyvern's fire and thay really sent the bar up. The more cruel we are the easier pacifying him will be.
>>
>>4190300
>Reach for your carving knife and drive it into his side. If he's going to play dirty, so will you.
Time to teach him some manners.
>>
>>4190300
>The more cruel we are the easier pacifying him will be.

Please tell me you don't believe that in real life.
>>
>>4190362
Or perhpas I should say.

>Please tell me your not allowed around actual children.
>>
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"Alright you ugly... erngh.. fracker..."

You grab the carving knife and yank it out from under your pelvis, barely managing with your free left arm.

"Take..."

"HRM?!"

"THIS!"

You stab the carving knife into Chameleos' ribcage as hard as you can.

He wails in horror and gets off of you immediately as you pull the knife back out and sheath it, picking up your weapons.

Chameleos sprays out a poisonous cloud then, and directs it straight at you with a flap of his wings. The purplish mist goes into your lungs right away, poisoning you as Chameleos fills the room up with even more fog than before.

You find yourself backing all the way up over to the far wall the fog consumes almost everything in sight. You really didn't know where Chameleos was this time.

You had to pick a direction to guard.

>Left.
>Right.
>Above.
>>
>>4190401
You have a point.

>>4190300
>>4190357
Switching to
>Try and rub the bolt paper in your satchel against him to see the effect.
Channel our inner Pence.
>>
>>4190401
Hes literally trying to kill us, by choking us to death.
>>
>>4190409
South east.

First blood to vance. Asshole.
>>
>>4190422
Hes a child. Were not. Were supposed to set an example, and know better than him.
>>
>>4190409
The direction we're facing is south, right? So if I want to guard against an attack from the Southeast I should choose left. Right?
>>
>>4190409
He's on the right hand side of the image so right.

>>4190436
>hes a child
We don't know that, all we got was his size in one of the above posts.
Having a speech impediment =/= being a child
Ukanlos talked that same way to Velk and I'm sure he was fully grown.
>>
>>4190448
>Ukanlos [...]
is a feral beast from conception, not at all sapient like Chameleos.
>>
>>4190448
OOWWW! OWIE! OWOWOOWHU! THAT HURT LOTS!" He cried. You see his eyes tearing up again, but you don't feel bad, at least not right away

Hes immature as hell, hes incredibly small, and hes got a care giver (master) running around out there somewhere.

He sure sounds like a child.

And now if their master does show up. Who will be a REAL elder dragon were gonna have to explain the hole in their charge.
>>
>>4190409
>Right
>>
Two for left and two for right it seems.
Should I roll or wait for tiebreaker?
>>
>>4190513
Hes on the right side of the picture. Which is vances left.
>>
>>4190513
It's unanimous, depending on the perspective. It's right from the meta, top-down, point of view, left from Vance's POV.
>>
>>4190409
Switching to Left
>>
You scanned around until your eyes fall to your left where some moss was kicked up at from the ground. There Chameleos was, charging faster than any Bullfango right at you, coming like a torpedo.

You block with your shield just in time to save yourself, but the impact is still so strong that you are sent flying backwards.

When you look up, you notice your shield embedded in the rock wall, having been lodged in it by the unadulterated force of Chameleos' charge. But Chameleos was also stuck in the wall by his horn, leaving his head open for you to attack.

You must beat more sense into him!

+==============+

Chameleos' Sense: 408

+==============+

>Hit him real hard with the blunt ends again!
>Shell his noggin' up good!
>There on the ceiling, large stalactites. We'll wait for him to get out and then drop them.
>Write in.
>>
>>4190589
>Hit him real hard with the blunt ends again!
The blunt force trauma will surely be an effective sense-making tool.
>>
>>4190589
>Hit him real hard with the blunt ends again!
Stop being so stubborn!
>>
>>4190589

>Hit him real hard with the blunt ends again!

Yell at him too. Communication is important.
>>
Drop the stalactites, we can trap him with those.
>>
>1d100
>>
Rolled 14 (1d100)

>>4190622
BONK
>>
Rolled 84 (1d100)

>>4190622
>>
Rolled 85 (1d100)

>>4190622
>>
"Hm!"

You lifted the Gunlance with it's blunt end brought to face him.

"HaaaaaaaaaAAAAAHHHNNNNNNGGHHHHNNNNN!"

Chameleos was visibly panicking as you built up force by channeling your raw physical strength.

The cloaking Elder spat out mist and managed to pull his horn loose from the rock. He comes invisible, but you don't let that stop you.

You take a single step forward and reel back with the blunt end of your Gunlance. He tries to scurry away, but you see his eyes clearly and swing, batting him right on the head! Your strike was so hard and powerful, he gets overturned, knocked to the mossy rock floor!

That one really shook him to his core!


+==============+

Chameleos' Sense: 543

50+ bonus damage dealt by Critical Window.

+==============+
>>
Chameleos flopped back in minor pain, wincing from the strike. He lifts his neck up to stare at you, and you see his eyes a little more beadier now, developing even more tears.

"You..." He sniffled. "...are such... a BULLY!"

You shrugged.

"You so mean! So mean! I don't like you!"

Hmm... maybe now was a good chance to fight him with something else other than your hands. Now you might try laying on the hurt using words to further deteriorate his self esteem.

Just be careful, if you go on too hard, he might come back with something you can't protect yourself from, as your shield in still in the wall.

>Write in your insult.
>>
>>4190690
"You'll make a fine rug, lizard."
>>
>>4190706
>Just be careful, if you go on too hard, he might come back with something you can't protect yourself from
Anon, what are you trying to do? Make it go full survival mode on our asses?

>>4190690
"You're the bully, you been bullying the people of the fortress all the time, lay down your claws or get ready for your spanking."
>>
>>4190723
Its all I could think of!
>>
>>4190723
This sounds good.
>>4190729
Suppress the bloodlust anon, at least for now.
>>
>>4190729
Well, ok but I think we need to be careful, this one is sentient and apparently it's a child so we must deal with it as we we would deal with a bratty child, even if it's very big and spits poison. Boy do I wish we got Velkhana to tag along now.
>>
>>4190690
"I'M mean? When nobody was looking, you stole over FORTY soap bars! That's more than four tens. And that's terrible!"
>>
I might be memeing but it might help him gain some sense if we put his actions into perspective.
>>
>>4190723
>>4190794
Supporting these both
>>
>>4190807
That's kinda the approach I was going, we should make it reflect on what it has done while trying to gain some info on his master and why it thinks we're a bad guy. Me thinks it could either be Fatalis or Z-Man since Chameleos doesn't look very smart if not very naive.
>>
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"I'm a bully? I'M mean?! You've been harassing a settlement of my people for Gog knows how long now. You've not only taken things they need to survive, you've stolen things you shouldn't logically have an interest in otherwise, like soap!"

"Me.. me had to clean myself..."

"That doesn't matter, it wasn't YOUR soap. That's wrong."

"Master tell me stealing not wrong!"

"Your 'Master' is wrong then. You've been lied to. Now stay your claws or I'll have to tan your hide."

"No! Master right! I show you! I kill you dead and EAT you!"

Chameleos' jaw poured poisonous gas as he jumped up and lunged forward at you then. You were wide open with little space to spare as he came through the air at you! All you could do is raise your Gunlance with both hands and brace for impact!

He lands hard, almost on top of you, his fangs clamp down over your Gunlance and he pushes back, making you slide against the mossy stone as he claws at it to force you his way.

The constant stream of poisonous mist he spewed didn't help the poison already affected you from before. It was worsening it, weakening you...

If only you could just twist the angle of his neck slightly, you might be able to redirect him long enough to shell his face or chuck a smoke bomb into his mouth...

Now you used your strength again. This guy wasn't to be underestimated after all...

>Number to beat: 850
>3d100
>Failure will result in Vance gaining a new weakness to Poison for a month long duration, causing Poison to last longer over him, and require three Antidotes to cure as well as being more effective, making him receive more damage from it.
>>
Rolled 4, 49, 90 = 143 (3d100)

>>4190958
Whoever this Master is must be downright sociopathic, like a Seltas Queen or A...htal-Ka.
>>
Rolled 98 (1d100)

>>4190958
Jeeze dude, chew some five gum sometimes

>>4190968
Exactly my thoughts
>>
Rolled 57, 64, 27 = 148 (3d100)

>>4190958
>>4190974
I'm retarded
>>
I think the other three went to sleep.
>>
Rolled 61, 30, 99 = 190 (3d100)

>>4190958
>>
>>4191073
>481
The next 2 rolls need to be at least 185.
>>
Rolled 81, 88, 5 = 174 (3d100)

>>4190958
well well, i arrived at a good time.
>>
Rolled 54, 62, 9 = 125 (3d100)

>>4190958
5 am dice roll, here we go.
>>
I will allow only one (1) more roll. This I command.
>>
>>4191131
Does it have to be from somebody who hasn't rolled yet?
>>
>>4191153
Eh, not really at this point. Do you want to try?
>>
Rolled 8, 89, 20 = 117 (3d100)

>>4190958
Hope?
>>
Rolled 91, 94, 45 = 230 (3d100)

>>4191156
Let's see what I would've gotten.
>>
...And use your strength you did.

You wrestled with Chameleos, dragging one of your arms down and turning his jaw, forcing his head to go the rest of the way as you pushed up with your right arm. He responds by trying to drag you back instead of throw you forward, which almost works to trip you up until you lean back yourself and let your heels scrape the mossy stone. You glided across it.

He put up much resistance to you tussling with him. He played a good game, but the game was over now. You gained control back.

Chameleos made the mistake of lifting one of his legs and flapped his wings, giving you the chance to breakthrough and twist his neck. Naturally, the rest of his spinal cord followed and he falls to his back, with you slamming his head into the rock to free your Gunlance from his jaws.

You step back and hold the receiver's controls. He comes up again to lunge at you, only to be blasted back down again by a charged shot from your barrel to the mouth.

He bellows another roar of pain and slithers back into the shrouding fog, spraying out more mist to increase the density to unprecedented levels....


+==============+

Chameleos' Sense: 729

+==============+
>>
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You only needed one more pair of consecutive strikes... and maybe then he'd have enough sense beaten into him to reason...

You stood in the middle of the chamber. All was quiet and white.

Chameleos was somewhere, plotting his next strike. You did not know where.

You weren't sure if you were prepared to deal with whatever he would throw next, you only had your Gunlance...

Where is he now...?
>>
>>4191189
HE TELEPROTED BEHIND YOU. TELEPORT BEHIND HIM.
>>
>>4191189
I can't tell where the fuck he is
>>
>>4191201
He's right behind us. Or is that above?
>>
>>4191189
He is behind you.
>>
Is it time to send Chameleos to gay baby jail with the stalactites?
>>
>>4191214
Yes.
>>
>>4191214
Nevermind, that's probably too much.
>>
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Hmm... Ah, of course. The oldest trick in the book...

From behind, Chameleos charges again. The stalactites were just above you. Shooting them now would drop them down on him... and potentially trap him as well.

It was your only shot.
>>
File: Spoiler Image (113 KB, 512x351)
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!QUICK TIME EVENT!

You need to press Triangle to shoot the stalactites in time!

1 = Square
2 = Triangle
3 = Circle
4 = X

Roll a 1d4. The number rolled the most is what you press.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>4191232
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>4191232
>>
>>4191215
This is your fault.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d4)

>>4191232
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>4191236
Don't lose hope just yet.

>>4191232
I'm sure we'll be able to do this.
>>
Alright I'm going back to the iron maiden now. You fellas can have a second chance if you haven't already found success by the time I get back.
>>
We require at least 3 other people to roll a 2 without rolling anything. I'm not good at math, but the odds of that happening seem very low.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d4)

>>4191232
yeet, id say
>>
After we're done with this urgent, should we go after Akantor? I kind of want to meet the warden formally and see what hes like.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d4)

>>4191232
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>4191232
>>
>>4191234
>>4191235
>>4191239
>>4191273
>>
Rolled 3 (1d4)

>>4191232
>>
You may begin rerolling now for the second chance.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d4)

>>4192244
You should just let us fail at this point.
>>
>>4192257
>2
Or maybe not, maybe we still got a good chance here.
>>
Rolled 3 (1d4)

>>4192244
Really?
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>4192244
Second time's the charm.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>4192244

RNGesus, take the wheel!
>>
Rolled 3 (1d4)

>>
Rolled 2 (1d4)

>>4192244
>>
I will allow two more rolls.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>4192244
yeet, the second
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>4192395
And nothing changed.
>>
Dice basically going "Fuck you, you don't get to do cool shit".
>>
RNGesus giveth, RNGesus taketh
but mostly taketh, the sunnofabich
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>4192244
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

Hmmm... I wonder...
>>
Fucking 4s man. I won't be doing this again.
>>
You raised your Gunlance with both hands as Chameleos got closer, you had little time to aim, and so you just blindly fired upwards hoping to hit the stalactites.

Your shell went traveling towards that rock ceiling, and you heard it impact, so you chanced a look up to see your result. Disappointment comes over your face as you see the shell missed the stalactites slightly.

All that falls is some specks of debris. You turn around and raise your Gunlance for protection as Chameleos closes in, getting in your face.

With his fangs all shining in the faint source of light from above, he chooses to go for...

>Your legs.
>Your abdomen.
>Your shoulders.
>Your arms.
>Your head.
>>
>>4192457
>Your crotch.
>>
>>4192457
Is this a "choose which part gets hurt" vote?
>>
>>4192482
No this is a choose what part of you he hugs vote.
>>
>>4192457
Okay seriously though I choose abdomen. We have strong armor so it won't hurt as much there.
>>
>>4192457
>Your abdomen.
>>
>>4192457
>Your abdomen.
That part is bulky.
>>
>>4192428
Don't fell so bad Level, no one can predict the will of the dice gods.
>>
>>4192457
>your head
>>
...your torso.

You spewed as Chameleos' jaw locked down over your abdomen. He took you off of your feet and carried you in his mouth like a toy. Your Gunlance fell out of hand and you were shaken violently as his neck whipped around.

He went in circles slinging you, fanning the mist around away and clearing the place. Then you felt your world vibrate like an earthquake was setting in as he began to slam you onto the rock.

Your armor was tough and absorbed most of the impacts, but it could not save you from every little pinch of pain you felt biting through your skin to the bone. Your spine was especially hit by it, and your limbs went on their own like they weren't even attached to you anymore.

Then, picking his head up, Chameleos munched on your body for a second.

"Human weak!"

And then he throws you hard up into the air.

"Human beaten!"

His long tongue shot out, wrapping around your leg and pulling you down faster, making the landing hurt that much more from the acceleration.

The pain he inflicted upon you coursed through your skeleton and muscles like an electrical current. It made your nerves react in ways they shouldn't, causing you to go limp there on the ground.

+=========+

Chameleos' rough play with you has earned you a new weakness to being stunned. Strong attacks that can stun Vance will now last one round longer.

+=========+
>>
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You found that you could not move after enduring that attack. You were stunned there on the ground. Your Gunlance was there a few feet away from you, just barely in reach.

Yet, despite you still being alive, which Chameleos didn't fail to note, he did not attack again.

Your inability to move has been seen as your defeat in his eyes, for him that sufficed. And from that alone, you could tell he didn't fight much.

Chameleos let out an exhilarated gasp or noise from his throat.

"I.... I did it!"

"Me beat... Human! Beat Human! Win!

He does a motion where he jumps up to clap his front claws together while briefly standing on his back legs.

"Master told me I never beat Human! Master say I too weak... but I beat Human after all! I not weak!" You heard him cheer, letting out a few tears of joy.

His celebrating his given you enough time to recover from your extended stun. You are able to move again, but don't just yet so his illusion of victory isn't gone yet.

That long tongue of his is waggling out. You could try closing the distance fast with a roll so you could grab it, maybe cut it with your carving knife. Or you could try and go for your Gunlance, or an item.

What will you do?
>>
>>4192762
Sneak to your gunlance and once you reach it throw a dung bomb in chameleos mouth.
>>
>>4192775
No wait throw a flash bomb and while it's confused clobber his head with the blunt side of our gunlance.
>>
>>4192762
We might be able to use this to our advantage. We should start by praising him and then saying he's in for a reward. We'll point out what he just said about his master calling him weak and use that to prove his master and what he did was wrong.
>>
>>4192762
Supporting
>>4192782 while putting on a Ghillie Mantle and >>4192776 to drill a new lesson into his head: When you put someone down, make sure that they're down for the count.
>>
>>4192897
>while
after
>>
"....Good job." You say then.

Chameleos ceases his self celebration. "Sssa? ...Good... job?"

"Yeah, good job, you beat me, you did it." You say, clapping your hands slowly.

Chameleos stares blankly at you, his eyes shift around as he tries to understand why exactly you're complimenting him after he just attacked you. Somehow, you get the feeling he couldn't, as he brightens up and resumes his behavior.

"Yesss! Yessss! Me... I did it!"

You take this chance to throw your Ghillie Mantle over your head.

"Yeah, you did! And guess what?" You say, beginning to crawl over to your Gunlance.

"Hm? Hmmm? What?"

"You're in for a reward too!" You say with fake joy.

Chameleos has lost his sight on you, the mantle helping you blend right in with the floor's green moss. You are close to your Gunlance, enough that you are able to grab it's handle.

"Reward?!" Chameleos gasps. He does his jumping claps again, like a Poogie that was really hungry for attention. "What I get? What I get?!"

"A wake up call!"

Chameleos stops and looks around curiously.

"Wake up... call?"

You jump, holding your Gunlance high.

"FROM YOUR HUBRIS!"

"Kyaaa?!" Chameleos hissed as he looked at you with shock.

You smash the blunt end of your weapon right over his head again.

"YEEEEOOOWWWW!"

He recoils, buckling on his feet. You dash forward and fire a shell near his toes, scaring him into falling over.

He was in a bad spot now, so you only stood over him, whipping him freely with the blunt end as he tries to protect himself with his hands and wings.
>>
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You stop thrashing him minutes after, deciding he's had enough, there seemed to be sense in him now. On the ground before you, he looks weakly, laying there sobbing.

"I sssory! Sssooo so sssorry!"

You tilt your head at him as he looks up with a watery eye.

"I never know birth givers... I live here alone for ssssso long! There too many stronger things, always beat me up! Me only able to run, not even hunt good! Me always have to be sssstealthy!"

"But I no have to worry about bad things... I find Master! Not long go! Golden Master! She protect me from bad things with webs! She tell me about Human place!"

"Yesss! She show me Human place with so much tasty green stuff! I be able live forever stealing from there, she say!" Chameleos says, looking up slightly higher.

"So that's it? You just want to... survive?"

"Yes! Survive! Me not want to die! I only want survive!"

"Then why did you steal more than potions from The Fort?!" You question him, pointing your Gunlance at his head.

"Ah! Aah! M-Masssster tell me to! Master tell me I owe life to Master for protect me... tell me I indebted! Master only ask that me steal explodey balls and trinkets and other things for her! Massster show me what do at human place! Help me make way into Human place for stealthy work!"

"Aaa-Aaah! But... Master tell me hide at Human place few days ago... not come back until she call again... say I did everything she need... I only was waiting for Master again at Human place... and... and eating green... po..tion stuff... it delicious!"

You eased off with your Gunlance.

This confirmed what you thought already as soon as you heard him say that the first time. His 'master' was indeed Ahtal-Ka, and it seems that overgrown bug was using him as a means to steal from The Fort safely. She is a frighteningly intelligent Monster...

He said he never knew "birth givers" too, did he mean his parents by that? It would certainly explain his speech impediment and personality. He looked to be an adult for his kind, but he had a childish mind.

Maybe he might know more things he could tell you about Ahtal-Ka.

What will you do?
>>
>>4193013
Give him a potion for now, he must be smarting. Ask about what the Ahtal-ka was planning.

On a side note, how do we go about not having him killed? I have a vague idea but it involves sending a letter to the Commander requesting him to bring Shara over.
>>
>>4193045
It's probably time to let the commander know we can talk to monsters, if we want him to approve our more absurd (from his point of view) plans.
>>
>>4193051
Or at least understand them. This is partially why I wanted to bring Velk with us.
>>
>>4193083
At least we know where she'll likely be now. For the moment, I'm thinking we ask Shara to help us teach this chameleos what he needs to know, maybe we can even fix his speech pattern.
>>
>>4193091
I just hope there's a way to keep the Guild from killing him. It sucks because not a bad kid, just misguided.

We have some meat we could probably share with him but I'm not sure if we should cook it.
>>
>>4193109
For the moment, a potion, hug, and apology would probably suffice.
>>
>>4193118
And some cooked meat.
>>
>>4193045
We could see if we might convince some of the Defenders to collaborate with us in secret. They feed Chameleos at night and we'll tell the Colonel the deed is done. We need some sort of "proof" to present though.
>>
>>4193045
No, lets keep it a secret, Shara I believe has asked us to do so, he might have good reason for doing so, Also remember we can't talk with monsters we have a telepathic communication with EDs who didn't went feral, the last thing I want is to be sent on a quest to try to"talk" with a jho or a rajang.

>>4193091
I support this, Also before we let him go tell him to go see Velkhana maybe, I think what he needs is get in contact with something which at least understand a little what he is but Velkha is in her shedding I don't know how badly she will react to him.
>>
>>4193149
>Shara I believe has asked us to do so, he might have good reason for doing so
I didn't suggest it. I suggested sending for the Commander to bring Shara. The issue with hiding him is what would happen when he gets rediscovered without any context.

>Velkha is in her shedding I don't know how badly she will react to him
We could always have him hide a ways off and ask her about adopting a Chameleos.
>>
>>4193152
What I think we could do is: Report back to the colonel and say we repelled the chameleos, send him to Velkha and pray she doesn't freeze him to death, return later with more knowledge about him and try to teach him ourselves. Or convince him to come with us to Astera, convince the colonel we "captured" him, pray the biologists don't go too crazy on him and have Shara teach him stuff. Which option you people think is better?
>>
>>4193013
Time to put on our big boy pants and admit to being able to speak Elder dragon.
>>
>>4193013
Seriously, do not do >>4193171.
>>
Remember we still have the hex, disclosing the fact we can communicate with EDs might be apart of that.
>>
>>4193013
>>4193013
Alright.

>Send up a signal flare. Tell the guards you were able to successfully repel the Chameleos, but you confirmed Ahtal Ka is still stalking about and raiding their supplies as well.
>You will drop Chameleos off with Velkhana until you can get Sharas input on the matter. Warn her about Ahtal Ka.
>Catch a Mernos back to astera and talk to our lil buddy.

We need to TRY to move chameleos into the ancient forest. Ideally he could fly it, but he probably can't. So boat.
>>
>>4193173
Yes, lying has only ever ended well.
>>
>>4193171
No, let's not do this.
>>
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>>4193179
Nigger, I'm not saying anything about lying.
>>
>>4193185
That picture is great.

Also fair.

Not being honest. Even when it would help us...

Its not just the opportunity cost. It's gonna come back and bite us.
>>
>>4193187
If we tell them we would have to explain "how", which will all point back to Shara, who doesn't want that.
>>
Is it wrong that I like seeing Chameleos cry and suffer for some odd reason?
>>
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>>4193198
>>
>>4193196
Alright. I just pored over everything shara has said in the archives.

Do you have Sauce? Because I couldn't find that.
>>
>>4193149
I don't remember Shara asking us to keep it a secret, I think that might have just been something we talked about with him and decided to keep it to ourselves. And the talking with monsters thing, yes, it's true we can't "talk" to most monsters and elders, but we CAN still communicate feelings telepathically, like we did with Tabi.
>>4193175
I thought the hex only covered things related to Z-man and the ancients? But either way, we won't know until we try.
>>
>>4193200
Oh, okay.

Also, Amygdala did nothing wrong.
>>
>>4193207
>"No, I only need one person I can trust to talk with. I see no reason to allow them to gain the connection as well."
alludes that he only wants us to have the connection. If we are dead set on "telling the truth", we would have to explain that it's Shara's barf juice that let's us do so. While I doubt the Commander would do anything, the Researchers are another thing.
>>
>>4193218
The researchers can ask for the juice all they want, doesn't mean he'll give them any. And I was thinking we'd still keep this somewhat secret. Maybe just the Commander, Admiral, and anyone else in the upper leadership that could be trusted to not spill the beans.
>>
>>4193218
That is... an extremely loose interpretation of what he said.
And not at all what we asked.


"Okay first of all tell me, you didn't spit in their booze did you? None of that orange stuff?"

"No, I only need one person I can trust to talk with. I see no reason to allow them to gain the connection as well."

Thats his response to us asking if he roofied their liquor. Not about secrecy or anything close to it.
>>
>>4193218
Alright. I am not making any progress on understanding with this.

We need help. Is there anyone you DO trust to know about Shara and all the fun?

I bet Alicia and Vivi know hes sentient, would you be alright bringing them in?
>>
We should ask him first, feelings aside we need to know if our partnpartner is on with it, but we're getting side tracked from the chameloes. What are your awnser, what you wanna do now with the chameloes? My vote go for one of those options on my post here. >>4193162
>>
>>4193229
>Atricia and Vivi
They wouldn't have the authority to keep the others from going after Chameleos.
>>
>>4193243
You guys remember Atricia is going to solo a seething bagel goose right? What HR do you think she is?
>>
I love it when the players have discussion, it really toasts my buns. Anyway, I see lots of differing suggestions here, have you guys all came down to a decision you all agree with yet?

>>4193245
Atricia's Hunter Rank is 42, bridging on 43.
>>
>>4193245
That isn't the issue. There are two possible ways to save Chameleos: Drag the Commander here and tell him that we're a Monster Whisperer, like you suggested and hope that's enough to keep the Guild from off'ing him, or bring the retard to Velk. Or we could ride him back to the fort and have him genuflect in front of the Colonel.
>>
>>4193260
I am talking about in general, not the chameleos specifically.

Also somebody trustworthy and strong is almost always helpful.
>>
I still think we should do my idea >>4193137 for saving Chameleos. The Defenders are goofballs like him, they might just be willing to do it so they have a cool pet.
>>
I mean we could try to have him communicate who told him to do what he did and why through drawing.
>>
>>4193259
>Anyway, I see lots of differing suggestions here, have you guys all came down to a decision you all agree with yet?
Aside from comforting Chameleos? No.
>>
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>>4193277
Well I'll give it some time then while I go do things since a storm is rolling in. I hope to see a final decision by the time I get back, or else I'll have to take my belt off.
>>
i think that sending chamy with velkhana is the best option to spare him, but we gotta get info on what he knows about miss golden queen there

if shes smart enough to have chamy do scouting adn sabotage, i dont wanna know what she can do

as for talking about the talking with EDs, nope, atleast not yet
>>
>>4193288
Send him to velk then get sharas help somehow.

I feel warning Velkhana about Ahtal would be wise as well.
>>
I think we should send him to the ancient forest, Chameleos don't bode well in places like hoarforst. Once hes there we'll find him a place to stay and then tell Velk about it so she goes to him.
>>
Okay, I got a full plan step by step
>comfort him
>explain why ahtal is bad
>get info out of him
>send him to ancient forest
>break good news to colonel
>????
>profit
>meet him in ancient forest after we get back to astera
>then go tell velk
How does that sound?
>>
>>4193333
Sounds Ok to me.
>>
>>4193333
Looks good to me, we can work out the details later.
>>
>>4193333
So your just gonna hope he makes it across the continent by himself just fine?

Or that he has the attention span to do so?
>>
>>4193635
he is naive, not retarded, but velk IS aroun these parts, it be easier to have him go to find velkhana over having to fly who knows how far
>>
Okay, finally caught up
Suggesting we add rajang and nakarkos to a list of monsters we need to make gear from for revenge purposes
>>
>>4194040
Eh, Rajang's equipment is alright at most. I'd much rather enter the bone zone than dress up like a samurai.
>>
>>4194071
the edgiest bone samurai

memes aside, nakarkos aint no joke here, we gotta get a strong team AND the permisión of the bigwigs, they aint gonna let any chump fight that thing, and that includes us
>>
>>4194071
True, but that fucker hurt tabi-tabi
At the very least we need to make that rajang into a tacky rug
Also
>bone samurai
>not becoming super squid sentai
>>
>>4194083
We'll make Rajang into a patterned bathrobe
>>
>>4193333
I feel like we should take him to the Ancient Forest ourselves, so he doesn't get hurt along the way.
>>
Question: How is >>4193333 going to stop Chameleos from being detected along the way and branded as a hostile ED?
>>
>>4194136
Hes the stealthiest monster there is, we can hide him there easily.
>>
>>4194158
>along the way
If he gets caught, word will likely get out and get corroborated with the Urgent, which will not only screw Chameleos over but us as well.
>>
We didn't actually handle the urgent. Ahtal Ka is still wrecking shit.
>>
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>>4194162
IF he gets caught.
>>
>>4194169
That's a different one.

>>4194182
>*when
His mist would be a telltale sign.
>>
>>4194188
We can hide him with Inagami
>>
>>4194200
I doubt that Inagami would be the best role model.
>>
>>4194206
We don't need them to interact, we just need a place for Chameleos to stay low. Inagami seems respectful, we can tell him to stay quiet.
>>
>>4194188
Good to know.
>>
Ahhhhhhh I am here at last. I had to clean my entire property up when I got back from work, that storm early today trashed it all...

Okay, so I see the most support for this >>4193333
Shall we move along with that suggestion?
>>
>>4194357
Yes
>>
>>4194357
yup
>>
>>4194357
I'm still not keen on letting him go off on his own; it's "seems simple enough"-tier.
>>
>>4194357
I am against letting him go off alone as well. other than that yeah.
>>
>>4194373
>>4194398
What we could do is organize with him to escort him after we report back to the colonel, we could set up a point then once we finish our report we met up and we travel together to Velkhana.
>>
>>4194409
Velk flew away, presumably back to the Recess.
>>
>>4194414
Well he can fly and we know the way to the recess, it's doable, if we can make the travel by mernos a chameleos will be faster.
>>
You withdraw your Gunlance, folding and sheathing it upon your back before you retrieve your shield. You come back down over to Chameleos again and kneel down beside his head.

Reaching forward, you wipe his tears away and pat his head.

"Chameleos, I know your 'Master'. We call her Ahtal-Ka."

"Ah...tal-Ka?"

"Yes. She is not a good person, Chameleos. She wants nothing more than to destroy us Humans and take everything we own for herself, so she can build horrible things and do it all over again. She broke my spine once when I was sent to retrieve things she stole."

"Master.... hurt you?"

"Yes, she did. She is wrong, Chameleos, and she isn't your 'Master' either, only you are your master. She was only using you."

"Ah... aah.... she... was... wasn't she? She not really... friend...." Chameleos tears up again. "So lonely here... no friends in wooden land..."

"Chameleos," You look down at his blinking eye. "You understand now that what you did was wrong, don't you?"

Chameleos rapidly shakes his head to nod.

"And you aren't going to steal or listen to Ahtal-Ka anymore, are you?"

"No! I not listen to bad bug Ahtal again! I swear! Me not steal from Humans again! I no want to be bad guy..."

"Then we'll leave it at that. You aren't... bad, Chameleos, you're just a tad... naive... and misguided."

You clear his lids of tears again and wrap your arms around his neck in a wide hug, rubbing his scalp to which he purred a peculiar rattling noise.

"If it makes you feel better, I can be your friend and help you."

Chameleos brightens up. "R.... Really...? Human will be friend? Not kill me for steal?" He sniffles.

"Eh, it wouldn't be the first time I've buddied up with an Elder Dragon. You don't deserve to die Chameleos, so yes, I'll be your friend, and I'll help you get out of here. I think I might just know somewhere better for you to go."

Chameleos takes you down suddenly, pressing his head into your chest frantically.

"Oh! Oh! Thank you! Thank you! You so nice to me now, Human! Ahtal-Ka never do anything but tell me what do for her! You so much nicer! I gladly be friend with!" Chameleos declared.

You push yourself back up. "Heh heh... okay buddy, I'm glad we see eye to eye now. Settle down, alright?"

Chameleos sits down in front of you, bringing his head forward, still demanding your touch. You continue to give him attention, bringing a content look about his face.
>>
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To further show you truly meant good will, you showed him a potion from your satchel, which you popped the lid off of. He looked like a kid being given a cake as he dived in with his tongue, lapping all of the nearly jellylike green substance out of the bottle in an instant to swish and chew for the taste. You scratch his chin and smile softly at seeing him riddled with happiness like this, it suited him much better than the sadness and tears.

"Okay, Chameleos." You say, grabbing his attention. "I need to ask you a few things now."

"Mhm," He gulps down the Potion's contents. "What you want know?"

"I need you to tell me what you can about Ahtal-Ka, she'll keep trying to destroy us Humans if we can't stop her. You'll do that to help me, won't you?"

"Yes! I help you!" He says, clapping his claws again. "I help good!"

You nod.

>"Does she have a lair? Do you know where it could be?"
>"How does Ahtal-Ka talk to you? How can you understand her?"
>"Ahtal-Ka kidnapped one of ours. Do you know anything about that?"
>"Do you know anything about the Altaroth taking parts?"
>"Has she built anything yet?"
>Write in.
>>
>>4194563
Pet him for being a good boy.
>>
>>4194563
>"Does she have a lair? Do you know where it could be?"
>"Do you know anything about the Altaroth taking parts?"
>"Ahtal-Ka kidnapped one of ours. Do you know anything about that?"

>>4194566
We're literally petting him right now.
>>
>>4194563
>"Does she have a lair? Do you know where it could be?"
>"Has she built anything yet?"
>>
"Does Ahtal-Ka have a lair?"

"Hrmm.... Yessss, yessss! This I know!"

"Do you know where it is?"

"Hrmm... ugh... uhhh....ah... eh... no. Nope! Me not know where it is."

You nodded, accepting at least the knowledge that she does have a place out there where she operates at.

"Do you know what 'Altaroth' are?"

"Altar... roth?"

"They're tiny little bugs, they're golden like Ahtal-Ka is."

"Oh! Yesss! I know tiny little shell creatures, I eat them! But Mas- ergh... Ahtal-Ka swipe me for it, tell me not eat her servants..."

"I saw some today carrying metal bits. Are those hers? Why were they?"

Chameleos lets his tongue hang out of his mouth as he thinks for a moment.

"Hrmm.... I remember time Ahtal-Ka tell me make lots loud noise, distract Humans. I think she use that time with little shell creatures to break in hot room at Human settlement and steal more things!"

"Did Ahtal-Ka make the way in through the wall you used to get to where the Potions are kept?"

"You mean wall hole? Yes yesss... Ahtal use sharp blades, cut right through! She teach me how use hole."

Makes sense. You can safely say now that those Altaroth you saw earlier today were most likely carrying parts from the Steam Boiler back to Ahtal-Ka. She must have made a hole into the wall there as well somewhere...

Too bad you don't know how to pick the trail up on those Altaroth now, you might end up finding out where Ahtal-Ka is.

"Ahtal-Ka also kidnapped one of ours, took him the night. You know anything about that?"

"Kidnap Human? No, no, I not know of any kidnapped Human."

You nod.

"Has Ahtal-Ka built anything with her stolen materials yet?"

Chameleos scratches his face. "Ughhh.... Build? I not know... I think I see Ahtal with big... ball thing...."

"...."

"Oh! But she also place rocks! Tell me they used for... mea...zu..err.. men."

"Measurement?"

"For thing she make! Yess Yesss! She use many tree!" Chameleos licks his lips.

Now what could that be he's talking about...? Measurement? Trees? This bug has got a lot of sinister plans...
>>
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You get pulled out of your thoughts then when Chamelos tugs at your fingers with his mouth to get your attention back.

"Human."

"Yeah?"

"Why you call me word... 'Chamealos'?"

"That's the name of your species."

"But not name of me?"

"...Technically not. Why do you ask?"

Chameleos frowns a bit. "I never have name..."

Oh, that was why.

He looks up at you with expectant eyes.

"Human, maybe you give me name?"

"You want me to name you?"

"Yes! Yesss! Give me name! I want name!"

>Write in.
>>
>>4194637
Ah fuck, naming.
>>
>>4194637
Kireek.

His face looks somewhat similar to the elder dragon in front of us, even if the original is from a different IP and is a robot.
>>
>>4194637
What about Camo? I know it's a bit on the nose, but it kinda matches with our previous monster nicknames.
>>
>>4194659
I’ll second this choice.
>>
>>4194637
As per Vance's Law of Naming, I suggest that we name him Chamo.
>>
>>4194666
I'm fine with this too.
>>
>>4194656
>Phantasy Star
I just want you in specific to know, you have fucking excellent taste.
>>
>>4194674
I'm not that person

But both of y'all have some QUALITY taste

My respecc levels are reaching height's well above their originally high levels
>>
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"Hmm.... Alright, I got a name for you." You say, tapping the tip of his horn.

"Oooh?" He comes, puzzled. "What you name me?"

"I'll name you... Chamo."

"Chamo?"

"Yeah, it's a mix of your kind's name, and camouflage."

"What Camoflaj mean?"

"It's a way to describe hiding by blending in with the environment. Like this." You say, pulling your Ghillie Mantle out and showing it to him.

He looks over the device with fascination, doubly so when you throw it over yourself and get lower down to the mossy floor.

"Oh! I see! I see! Me know what you mean now!"

"So, do you like it?"

"Do I... like it?"

"..."

"I love it!" Chameleos, now Chamo rattled vibrantly.

He shoves his head into your chest again for another hug.
>>
"I'm glad you do, little buddy." You say, patting his scalp.

He proceeded to give you a long and wet lick right across the face to your dismay, but you wiped off the sticky saliva of his tongue and kept your cool, thinking it no big deal.

"What I call you, Human?"

"I'm Vance."

"Okay! You Vance! I love you new friend Vance!"

He pauses for a moment. ".....Now what we do?"

Well, there were two things important to you right now.

First, you needed to conjure some form of fake proof that would be passable enough in the eyes of the Colonel, to convince him you've dealt with Chameleos already.

Secondly, you needed to get him someplace safe. You were thinking the Ancient Forest would be good, so long as he had a safe spot to hide in without needing to make mist just to conceal himself.

The fake proof was what you'd deal with first, but how could you produce any without having to painfully remove a part of Chamo to present to the Colonel?

What will you do to make fake proof?
>>
>>4194709
We hit his head quite throughly, maybe there's a loose tooth we can grab
>>
>>4194731
+1, let's look around the cave, see if there's any parts big enough to work as proof.
>>
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You decide to look around in the mossy chamber. Given how much you swatted his poor thick skull, there had to at least be a loose tooth around you could pick up, right?

Ahah! You were right.

There on the ground, you find not only a tooth that was knocked free from the kerfuffle you had with Chamo, formerly Chameleos, but a few of his scales as well with spots of blood dotting them. Most likely from that moment where you had no choice but to stab his belly.

This will work fine. If the Colonel ends up asking for more... you'll just tell him that Chameleos' body fell into somewhere you couldn't reach when you "killed" him.

Now you just needed to work out a place to send him to in the Ancient Forest. There were multiple spots you could think of right off hand...

>Send him to hide within the Great Tree.
>Tell him about Inagami's Bamboo Forest.
>Advise him to take shelter at Tabitabi's nest.
>Direct him to hide at a camp barely anyone uses there.
>Tell him to go there and seek the help of the First Wyverians.
>Write in.
>>
>>4194755
im right between the great tree and the wyverians
>>
>>4194755
We have no option to go with him?

>Tell him to go there and seek the help of the First Wyverians.
We don't know if there's anything in the Great Tree, at the moment.

By the way, the place where we killed the Gypceros an undiscovered area? We could try going there instead.
>>
>>4194755
>Tell him to go there and seek the help of the First Wyverians.
But if anything happens, hide in the Great Tree.
>>
>>4194755
>Tell him to go there and seek the help of the First Wyverians.
>>
Ultimately, you settle on the First Wyverians being your best bet for helping him. You know they'll already see him coming, so why not send him their way for assistance? There wasn't any reason they would not help, being apparently benevolent.

You have another chat with him, asking some questions and connecting dots here and there. As it would turn out, he does know about more places in the New World than just the Guiding Lands, though he has never spent much time elsewhere than here as the Guiding Lands are his birthplace.

And if that wasn't enough, he seems to know what you're talking about when you describe the First Wyverians to him. He says that he has seen them here as well before, but only once has he made contact, and not for long.

With that in mind, you relay to him your plan for helping him out and he listens keenly to your instructions.

He gets down every part and understands what he has to do. You tell him about some places in the Ancient Forest, especially the grove where you normally meet the First Wyverians. You tell him he must seek them out and they will help. He promises to do just that.

You trust he will be able to follow through with your instructions. He wasn't foolish, only naive in who he placed his trust in initially, and he soon got over that.

You pull Chamo into one more hug before he helps you out of the den, back to the above ground. He wishes you good luck as he ascends further off, saying his goodbyes for now. You bid him good fortune and a goodbye as well, waving him off as he took off to the sky for his flight, obscured by his invisibility.

You began to walk back the way you came, letting the Scoutflies lead you through the forest and to The Fort.

It was then as you snapped a branch stepping on it that you heard an old voice suddenly speak up from the dark of the woods.

"Disappointing..."

"Huh?" You stopped.

"Your mission was to slay the imbecile, yet you spared it instead. I suppose the Old Everwyrm's lies have gotten through... drilled right into your skull. You pawn."

"Zuhramon?"

"Who else? I've been in this area, searching and overturning rocks day and night without rest long before you arrived to find my final Core Key. I decided to take a break from my search and watch your endeavors instead. I was rooting on you slaying the thing... only to be let down."

"I would think after seeing that display that I know your true loyalties lie with our enemy, rather than the Guild you signed up with, or me and our people. I said once I don't see you as an enemy, or a traitor... but you are really making me think, boy. Really making me stop and consider the possibility that I am... wrong about you, gravely so."
>>
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You look up and see the Ancient man levitating in the air there. Your stance changes to a defensive one as you stare at him with alarmed eyes. His white pupils penetrate down at you from the green of his mask's eye sockets.

"I saw your run in back there with the protégé of Shara Ishvalda... the Ice Dragon... and now this? Helping a glorified... mentally handicapped Dragon?"

Zuhramon shakes his head in disapproval.

"He was born here on this isolated land mass and lived here in constant fear and danger for all of his life. He didn't deserve to die."

"Wrong, he did."

You grit your teeth. "Why is that?"

"He is a Dragon. But if you want more reason than that, then killing him would have at least been beneficial in helping to raise the general intelligence quotient of the world. Hah hah hah!"

You give him a look of dangerous aversion.

"Oh! I digress. I suppose now that all is said and done, I should leave too. But first, I have another thing to tell you. Another little secret... to keep between you and me. It concerns a... Neopteron roaming these lands..."

"What about Ahtal-Ka...?"

"That is an avaricious insect whose instinct is naught than to gather all the treasure she can take for herself. Whatever catches her fancy is a treasure that must belong to her and her only. Her kind will bundle all the treasure they can together... and they will add more... and more... until it is a fitting throne for them to seat."

"This throne can smite almost anything that would dare to raise a hand against the Empress moving it, which makes Atoraru-Ka an especially dangerous Monster."

"Your point...?"

"Atoraru-Ka is an extremely intelligent Monster, arguably even the most intelligent. She is not above diplomacy or communication."

Zuhramon just stares at you. It clicked almost right away what he was trying to say and your are shocked to hear it.

"You...."

"I have struck a deal with the bug before. I would think she is a good puppet. I have offered to show her some Ancient knowledge behind construction and assembly, as well as some tricks of mine, such as how to dominate other lifeforms like the weak willed Orutarosu to do her bidding."

This was unbelievable...

"In return, she will be yet another good distraction, one to help keep the eyes of the Commission off of what truly goes on in this continent. I need it, trust me."

"Why the hell would you need something like that?! Don't you know how many lives you put in danger even allowing something like her to roam free?!" You shout.

"Don't you know how many lives you put in danger helping Elder Dragons!?" Zuhramon says in a mimicked voice to mock you. "Bah! Spare me your twisted morality. I need more distractions, they help keep the Inquisitor off of my trail."

"...Inquisitor...?"
>>
"You should have been seen him already. A Wyverian he is, he arrived here not long ago, a superior to your superiors. He would tell you he is only an exceptionally high ranked figure, when in truth he is a member of the corrupt deep Wyverian government of the Guild. He is apart of a circle within the shadowy council dedicated to hunting the legacy of the Ancients. You don't know the things he would do to get his hands on a living one like me, or anything I own."

"I never lied to you about the Guild being more than meets the eye."

You lessened the tensity in your stance as you stared at him.

"It will take a long time before Atoraru-Ka is successfully killed. That is perfect to me, she is expendable. Oh, and... Mmm? What is that I hear?"

You hear a loud horn blowing in the distance, coming from The Fort...!

"A warning horn? Warhorn? It sounds like she has put her next plan into motion while you were off here dealing with the imbecile. You'd best be on your way there then, lives like the ones you claim to care about are in danger. Hm hm hm hm..."

Zuhramon just holds his place levitating in the air looking down at you. You glance between him and the distance where you heard the horn... He might have expected you to have something else to say, but he didn't speak up.

...

What will you do?
>>
>>4194853
run straight into the ahtal-ka, aint got time to stroke a madman's ego
>>
>>4194853
Run to the fort before she gets the final materials to her mech.
>>
>>4194853
This guy is such a fucking nigger holy shit. Should we just admit we're out to kill him too in the end already so he'll leave us alone with trying to come on as friendly?
>>
>>4194853
>I bet your tower is a busted piece of crap and will wipe the planet when you activate it.
>I am sure your fine with that possibility though. Since you don't care about human life, only how that their "deaths" are right.
>The ancestor dragon will be pleased, off all the people to help him wipe out humanity. How could he have expected you would do it?
>Dont stick around, we've got an elder dragon to kill.
>>
>>4194853
Oh yeah. Before we go.
>Thanks for the info, I'll put it to good use.
>>
>>4194853
>Run straight to the Fort.
DO NOT REPLY TO FOREMOST POSTS
>>
>>4194972
We need an edit of that meme image with zoomerman on it
>>
We should take some potions and enhancers on our way there. Should be easy with Speed Eating.
>>
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You clenched your fists and flashed your disdainful frown at Zuhramon. You said nothing, only darting forward to get back on your path. Zuhramon cackled as you ran. You glanced back a final time to see him wiggling his fingers at you as he floated back into the woods.

How could he do this all? How could someone like him unleash such a thing upon his fellow men like Ahtal-Ka? Was it because The Fort's inhabitants were weak and not strong? Was it because they all swore service to the Guild, which he sees as corrupt? Or perhaps he is truly that desperate to hide himself given what he said about the Warden... calling him 'Inquisitor'.

No time to ponder this any longer, you had to get a move on, so you used one of your last three Energy Drinks for a boost in running speed and stamina.

Along the way, you come up to something in the woods that makes you stop and stare in bewilderment.

It is a large wooden contraption assembled from golden web strewn about it, a catapult. Ahtal-Ka's work! And... there it was, the end of the line of rocks you saw earlier today.

Chameleos, well, Chamo was right. These rocks were lined up to help measure distance. Ahtal-Ka used them to place an accurate shot with this makeshift trebuchet device! On The Fort perhaps...?

You had to get there. Now.

You continue running as fast as you can through the woods after using your carving knife to destroy the device by cutting it's webs...
>>
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It didn't take much longer for you to finally arrive at The Fort. When you did come back to that hulking complex you looked up, seeing a storm rolling in from the East, carrying fog pockets from the sea with it as the wind blew.

You heard the warning horn blow again, and hurried inside The Fort to see the workers and Defenders scrambling to prepare and lock the place down. Speaking of the Defenders here, there were more than you remember being here before when you last visited this place. There had to at least be double the previous number of standing corps troopers here now.

They worked to get the cannons ready, and the other weapon emplacements. The Fort was dressed specially, having more than usual fortifications did in the ways of defenses. They even had a siege engine for knocking Monsters down with, as well as a Dragonator and cast iron cauldrons meant for pouring boiling hot pitch over the walls with. It was so very reminiscent of some major Guild Forts you've seen in the Old World.

Right now getting the word on the situation at hand was important, so you head up one of the towers to find your way to the top of the southern wall, where the Colonel and his second in command, the Captain of the Defenders, both stood, peering out over at the sea across the coast.

"Colonel, what's going on here? I heard the horn and came as soon as I could."

"Firrrrrst, tell me, is Chameleos dealt with?"

You showed him your "proof". "Aye sir, but I couldn't retrieve the body, it fell into a chasm too deep and dark for me to dare going into after I landed the killing blow."

"Hmm.... verrrry good. I'll see to it you rrrrreceive yourrrr rrrreward after all is said and done. As forrrr the situation at hand, it seems the giant that attacked before is inbound. It was disturrrrbed."

"Disturbed? By what?"

"Hunter sir! We were finishing retrieval of the lost cannonballs from the woods when suddenly there was a loud booming noise in the distance. We looked up and saw a flaming object coursing through the sky. It landed someways off into the sea and sunk down before exploding. Now, we feel rumblings that way." The Captain said.

Must have been Ahtal-Ka, she had to have launched something using that catapult while you were still with Chameleos.

"Where is the giant at now, sir?" You ask.

The Colonel reaches up and grabs your shoulder. He turns you forcefully to look out where he and the Captain stared to.

In the distance, you see the large shadowy form of a massive being crawling up out of the sea.

"It is Lao-Shan Lung!" The Captain says.
>>
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"That's Lao-Shan Lung? The gigantic Elder Dragon? How can that be if it is coming to us from the ocean?"

"Because Frrrreelancerrrr... that is no Lao-Shan Lung. We assumed it was frrrrom what of it we did see the last time it attacked, which was at night. We can see it so much morrrre clearrrrrly now." The Colonel says.\

"Then what is it really?" You ask.

The giant form at the mouth of the land gave off two loud slams that sent the water flying.

"What is it doi-"

"BRACE FOR IMPACT!" The Captain yelled.

You got down behind the wall with the others as the giant in the distance suddenly lobbed a massive sphere of acidic material from it's mouth right at the wall of The Fort. Debris of minuscule stone crumbs were sent flying, but the wall endured. It was getting hit outside of cover that made this acid deadly here now it seemed...
>>
>>4195873
IT'S Shen Gaoren Time.
>>
"Therrrrre! You see now? I alrrrready had the suspicion beforrrree...." The Colonel said, rising from his cover.

You looked up as well to see the giant in the distance raise itself to full height. It rotated around slowly on each of it's legs, showing off it's true form. The shell on it's back was the skull of a Lao-Shan Lung.

"It is Shen Gaorrrrrrren! The forrrrtrrrrresss crrrrab!" The Colonel shouted.

"A Shen Gaoren?! Here in the New World?! How unforeseen!" You say.

"Aye! And we've got a betterrrrr chance to kill it now morrrrre than everrrr! We stand farrrrr morrreee prrrreparrrred!" The Colonel says with a hint of excitement. "The firrrrrst time it came, we werrrrre lucky as it decided to leave. This time, we won't be losing rrrround two! Cap-I-tan! Get everrrryone on theirrrr battlestations, I want everrrrrything rrrrready to fire!"

"SIR YES SIR!" The Captain said, running off to ensure The Fort was ready.

"Frrrrreeeeelancerrrrr!" The Colonel says to you. You stand at attention and salute.

"I want you to help us brrrrring down this giant! You'll be completing TWO Urrrrrgents in one day!"

"You have my Gunlance, sir."

"Verrrry good. Now we need to decide on how we'rrrre to fight it. For this task, I'll gladly lend you command over my trrrroops, just don't you go getting them killed! You can't handle this one alone, everrrrryone will have to pitch in."

"You can eitherrrr dirrrect the batterrries in herrrre and we can fight it with The Forrrrt's defenses, or you can take the trrrroops to have a field day out therrrrre assaulting it's legs! The choice is yourrrrs! Now make it quick!"

You must think over how you want to go about fighting this battle with command over The Fort.

Make your pick.

>Home Defense Doctrine: Close off all the gates and walls, fire up the cannons and load the ballistae. We will utilize all of our firepower and devices here to deal with Shen Gaoren. It cannot survive the full arsenal we can unleash.

>Tactical Field Combat: Open the gates, muster the men and get the weapons primed. We move out to bring the fight to Shen Gaoren with mobile attacks. We will plant bombs and use our engines to knock those long legs out.

>Mixed Doctrine: We will use a mix of both other doctrines to deal with this Monster. Men will provide support behind the walls for brave soldiers who go out to press the attack on the encroaching gargantuan crustacean.

Note 1: Shen Gaoren will eventually call other Carapaceon minions to aid it. These minions can even storm the walls so you will need to keep check on them with your available troops as well so they don't get in the way of the larger operation. They will mostly go where your Troops are more focused at, so if little remain in the walls, they won't attempt to storm The Fort.

Note 2: Shen Gaoren is going to kick your ass.
>>
>>4195926
>Mixed Doctrine: We will use a mix of both other doctrines to deal with this Monster. Men will provide support behind the walls for brave soldiers who go out to press the attack on the encroaching gargantuan crustacean.
Can we fire a flare before we head out?
>>
>>4195926
>Mixed Doctrine: We will use a mix of both other doctrines to deal with this Monster. Men will provide support behind the walls for brave soldiers who go out to press the attack on the encroaching gargantuan crustacean.
Seems like the wisest option here.

Also, say it with me
GIANT
>>
>>4196018
ENEMY
>>
>>4196026
CRAB
>>
We'll need at least three more votes. I will wait and draw in the meantime.
>>
>>4195926
>>Mixed Doctrine: We will use a mix of both other doctrines to deal with this Monster. Men will provide support behind the walls for brave soldiers who go out to press the attack on the encroaching gargantuan crustacean.
>>
>>4195926
>Mixed Doctrine: We will use a mix of both other doctrines to deal with this Monster. Men will provide support behind the walls for brave soldiers who go out to press the attack on the encroaching gargantuan crustacean.
>>
https://youtu.be/YWJyuUjfiG8

If we aren't careful.....

We'll be freakin dead
>>
You opt for a mixed defense doctrine. You won't get the full benefits of locking down in The Fort, or taking everything outside, but you'll have a healthy percentage of both to focus on managing here.

The Colonel gives you a basic explanation of the weaponry The Fort boasts. There are several defenses in total at your disposal, available to your chosen doctrine;

- 13 Ballistae emplacements
- 12 Cannons
- Elemental Onager
- Hot Pitch Cauldron
- Twin Dragonators
- Mobile Siege Engine
- 9 Fire Mines

The Elemental Onager is a weapon fixated at the western watchtower. It can hit anywhere in the field and has a bomb type for every Element sans Dragon that it may throw when called on. Replenishing it to fire again requires some time as the bombs are quite unstable and must be transported all the way up to it from the saferoom below the Atrium where they are stored.

The Hot Pitch Cauldron will leak down a blazing mix of resin, oil and pitch down onto anything standing in front of the southern gate. It will need a period to refill after used. Be careful however, it can also harm your own troops.

The Mobile Siege Engine is a weapon that can be pushed onto the field by at least five men. It has incredible stopping power thanks to it's steam engine, and it is even capable of temporarily incapacitating Shen Gaoren. Though it must knock Shen down fast, as it is wooden and thus fragile.

The Fire Mines can be placed anywhere on the field you order them to be by your Troops. They deal a mighty burst of fire damage when stepped onto by Shen Gaoren. However, it is possible Shen Gaoren's Hermitaur minions may also trip them, so be careful where you have them placed. You only have nine.
>>
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There are twenty three Defense Corps Troopers in total, also counting the Captain. They are all organized into three squads of seven, excluding the Captain.

Each squad's Trooper goes by two numbers, the first being the number of their squad followed by the number of their position in the squad. For example, Three-Four wields a Bow, while the member before him, Three-Three, wields a Longsword.

Each Trooper comes armed with a powerful Blast Element Defender weapon, the type of their own choosing. Interestingly though, the Captain appeared to be wielding a unique Defender weapon that is rare even in the New World, the Tonfa.

Would you like to make any changes to the weapon loadouts of the squads before moving on?
>>
>>4196355
That should be good enough
>>
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You make no changes to the composition of the troops. They seem to be well suited enough.

You look over the side of the southern wall you stand on to get a good view over everything. As south was the most strategically important direction of The Fort, the bulk of it's defenses were focused here, with most of it's ballista and cannon emplacements present and facing in this direction. Not to say the other sides weren't defended, they were just less attended to with defenses.

The south sported a long, spacious beachhead to operate on. There stood many walls of sandbags for protection and cover for the troops, as well as some trenches dug out behind them. What was more, there stood many enormous cheval-de-frise that would help block the path of Shen Gaoren momentarily as it stomped across the beachhead on it's nigh unstoppable march.

The Colonel explains to you that some spots were set up across the beach to act as distraction points for Shen Gaoren in anticipation of it's arrival. These spots were beds where entire schools of caught fish remained under nets and flimsy wooden shelters. The intense smell the fish gave off would be enough to temporarily divert Shen Gaoren's attention as the crustacean comes to feast on them before making any attempt at attacking the wall.

He does also voice a worry that Shen Gaoren might end up being unable to catch the smell of the ones in beds placed farther off. He says that to remedy this, blankets for fanning the smell were set near so the Defenders would be able to send the smell off to reach Shen Gaoren. He distresses that you must not forget this, as any mistake could mean disaster.

Now that you had the gist of it, you needed to do one more thing before this battle could truly kick off. You needed to decide positions for your troops on the walls and outside as per your choosing of mixed doctrine.

+=========+

PLACE MARKERS FOR YOUR TROOPS

Download the image and open it up in paint or such. Use a utility to dot red spots down on the map where you think the troops should be at most. Whatever is agreed upon must will be the starting points for your troops.

Then the battle may truly begin.

+=========+

TROOP COMPOSITION

Squad One: 1-One (DB), 1-Two (CB), 1-Three (GS), 1-Four (GL), 1-Five (HA), 1-Six (HBG), 1-Seven (HH)

Squad Two: 2-One (GS), 2-Two (BOW), 2-Three (SNS), 2-Four (GL), 2-Five (LBG), 2-Six (SW), 2-Seven (HBG)

Squad Three: 3-One (SW), 3-Two (SNS), 3-Three (LS), 3-Four (BOW), 3-Five (LBG), 3-Six (LA), 3-Seven (IS)

Defender Captain (TON)

+=========+
>>
>>4196500
I'm a dirty phoneposter so I can't do it. Hopefully somebody else does. Maybe though I could say get as many of them on the emplacements as we can.
>>
>>4196500
The crab's coming straight from the South, right?
>>
>>4197305
Yes, Shen Gaoren will appear at the bottom of the screen, South. Were you going to try something? Because if not then I'll just go with >>4196708's suggestion.
>>
>>4197367
How many are needed to fan the fish?
>>
>>4197374
At least two for when that is needed.
>>
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>>4197378
Get 10 on the walls then get most of the rest on the Western embankments, drawing enmity to that side seems like a good idea.
>>
>>4197403
SOunds good enough to me. Let's do this
>>
>>4197403
Looks pretty good.
>>
The Colonel called for the sum of his troops to listen to you then. They all gave you their full attention as you barked orders, shouting and pointing them out to where they needed to be.

With the stolen cannonballs all retrieved from the jungle, the cannons all had enough ammo to last this entire battle the whole day though. The ballista emplacements were greased and and ready to go as well, many bolts were present and a few one-shot binders were dug out of storage to go along with the normal compliment. You set many of the troops on them both inside and outside the walls.

Overall, the battle was primed to begin.

As everyone took their place, Shen Gaoren had finally made it out of the sea, creeping up the sands down south. The gargantuan crustacean raises itself to full height and bellows out a roar from it's chitinous features.

Alongside it, other Carapaceon Monsters emerge from the waters at the call it made. Hermitaurs. These creatures were inclined to follow the bigger and stronger Carapaceon out of their animal intuition, and they would assist it in assaulting The Fort. You would also have to deal with them by giving orders, they presented the dangers of swarming and banzai charges at your men.

The Colonel leaves, retreating back into the main atrium of The Fort for safety. He leaves everything in your hands, wishing you good luck. The Captain salutes you, ready to serve with his Tonfas as well.

Shen Gaoren stomped forward, beginning it's march towards The Fort...
>>
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Some horns sounded off, blaring to warn that Shen Gaoren was now making it's move. It was like an anthem of destruction to your ears.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfDt6aiyjws

+============+

Shen Gaoren Endurance: 45000

Hermitaur Minions: 10

Everyone is healthy.

+============+

The Elemental Onager, Mobile Siege Engine and the Fire Mines were ready to deploy and be used.

The Captain and the men were ready to follow your orders. You could send the Captain out to do something personally whilst the other men dealt with problems on their own ends.

Shen Gaoren was out of reach of most of the cannons, but nearly all the ballistae had it in sight, as well as the Hermitaur. Only one could be targeted accurately at a time however.

You must give orders now.

>All Ballistae, open fire on Shen Gaoren!
>All Ballistae, open fire on the Hermitaur!
>Elemental Onager, fire! (Choose bomb type: Fire, Thunder, Water, Wind, Blast, Paralysis)
>Get the Mobile Siege Engine out there!
>Defend from Hermitaur for now, wait for Shen to come close and then fire the Dragonators!
>Place Fire Mines down here. (Select a spot on the map to place any amount at, you have nine)
>Fire an emergency signal flare, we need to call for backup to anyone who can respond!
>Fan the fish smell out to attract it's attention! (Select a bed: South fish bed, East fish bed, North fish bed)
>Disembark emplacements, meet the Hermitaurs and drive them back men!
>Send the workers out to construct a new barricade here! (Select a spot on the map)
>Captain, I've got a job for you... (Give specific directions)
>I'm joining the battle myself!
>Write in.
>>
Oh, yeah, you can use the one-shot binder periodically too to restrain Shen. Forgot to list that.
>>
>>4197623
>>All Ballistae, open fire on Shen Gaoren!
>>Defend from Hermitaur for now, wait for Shen to come close and then fire the Dragonators!
>>Fire an emergency signal flare, we need to call for backup to anyone who can respond!
>>
>>4197623
>All Ballistae, open fire on the Hermitaur!
Gotta thin them out.

>Fire an emergency signal flare, we need to call for backup to anyone who can respond!
>>
>>4197623
>All Ballistae, open fire on the Hermitaur!
>Fire an emergency signal flare, we need to call for backup to anyone who can respond!
>Elemental Onager, fire! (Choose bomb type: Fire, Thunder, Water, Wind, Blast, Paralysis)
Shoot a fire bomb at Shen.
>>
While present there were many Defenders with high-technology weapons in their use, as well as durable armor, their track record wasn't exactly great per se...

Any wrong move could cause them to faint from attacks dealt by the enemy crab Monsters, or that giant going on it's warpath. A little more help could go a ways here, another hand to help stem the tide of Hermitaur, or attack Shen Gaoren's legs.

The Fort came equipped with a large launcher for firing emergency flares into the sky. These emergency flares were far brighter and ascended much higher than the SOS flares Hunters usually carried.

You ordered the workers to fire it, and they do, sending that sparkling red light soaring into t he sky above.

With some luck, a nearby Hunter might notice and get on their way to come here and help. It would take some moments, but you were sure someone would heed the call.

But who? Who will come to the aid of The Fort?

Select who will pick up on the distress call and make their way here...

>Kentaro, the Ingot Hunter.
>Balthazar, the Brachydios Hunter.
>Strong-As-Earth, the Dober Hunter.
>Sun Lin, the Legiana Huntress.
>Crazy Charon.
>The Admiral.
>One of the Veterans.
>>
>>4197695
>Strong-As-Earth, the Dober Hunter.
>>
>>4197695
Hmm... I wanted to pick our skelefriend, but then I saw The Admiral as an option and I really want to see what he'd do so I'll go with that.
>>
>>4197695
>The Admiral.
It's just too tempting.
>>
Fuck it, wildcard.

>>4197695
>The Admiral
>>
You were banking on finding out later.

For now, you ordered your men to open fire on the Hermitaurs with their ballista batteries, and they did, sending a wave of bolts flying at the Carapaceons in succession simultaneously.

The Hermitaurs attempted to evade, but only two bolts missed their mark, and the things were swiftly put down until only four remained.

Shen Gaoren fumes at the slaughter of it's minions, stomping it's hefty feet against the sand and roaring again to call more.

This time, a Daimyo Hermitaur emerges from the beach itself, followed by three more of the smaller mooks. At the sight of it, some of your troops relocated, coming down from their farther positions to close the distance and gap.

It was then that a call rang out from the sky above. You looked up to see a Mernos carrying someone brawny through the sky down to the beach.

"Looks like I just arrived to the fun!" The person up there shouts out, his voice echoing across the entire archipelago.

No way... was that...?
>>
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He lets go of his Mernos, dropping down to fall straight at the Daimyo Hermitaur...!
>>
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...And he crushes it flat with his fist! The thing writhes in the sand before falling limp!
>>
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Another two of the Hermitaurs try to attack him, but he grabs the claw of one and pull it right off of it's feet, slinging it around like a blunt, killing it along with one he bats using that Hermitaur as a weapon!
>>
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He strides over as Shen Gaoren nears and comes to one of the ballista emplacements, where he grabs up a bolt in his hands like a harpoon. The Defender at that emplacement is shaking with fear and shock at the sight of him.

You look down and see it is indeed who you thought it was; The Admiral himself!

He glances back at you on the wall and winks.

"I ever show you why I don't use the Slingers before? No? Heh, well have a demonstration! HAAH!"

He hurls the ballista bolt he had, all the way across the expanse of the beach and straight into the face of another Hermitaur. The bolt was thrown with such force that it penetrates the shell and chitin of the Carapaceon all the way through.

The Admiral brushes his hands and shoulder off before turning to face you.

"Been a while since I've ever actually joined a Hunt myself, too long even. I saw the flare and just had to know what was going on. What are you doing here, Freelancer?"

"U.. uhh... Sir, I've been put in command by the Colonel. We have to kill the Shen Gaoren!"

"Is that right? Mind if I butt in?" He presses his thumb to his chest.

"I'm in no position to tell you that, Sir." You say.

"That's where you're wrong, kiddo! The Colonel didn't ask me to command, did he?"

You are at a loss of words at what is actually happening here. The Admiral is putting himself under your command here for this operation after showing up unexpectedly.

"Don't leave me hanging here! We've got a crab to slay from the looks of things! Hah hah hah!"

Shen Gaoren booms again then, summoning more help to it's aid! A Shogun Ceanataur and another two Daimyo Hermitaur appear!

The Daimyo Hermitaurs leads three of their lesser kin towards the eastern bank, approaching the second Fish Bed! If they feasted on the fish there, it could not be used to distract Shen Gaoren!

The Shogun Ceanataur meanwhile moves on it's own through the water towards the western bank. The many Defenders there could handle it alone, but it was trying to sneak past them, and they did not detect it yet, unlike you staring out of your binoculars.

Shen Gaoren shift's it's direction farther west as it smells the first Fish Bed.

+============+

Shen Gaoren Endurance: 45000

Carapaceon Minions: 6

Everyone is healthy.

+============+

The Admiral has joined your Hunt. He is promisingly strong and hardy, even being able to push the Mobile Siege Engine by himself.

+======+

What are your orders now?
>>
>>4197876
Call the defenders attention to the Shogun Ceanataur and have them deal with it, Ask the admiral to join with the defenders at east to handle the daimyo hermitaurs and hermitaurs and focus ballista fire on the Shen Gaoren.
>>
>>4197940
This but also order the onager to fire at Shen
>>
You point the Captain over to the stealthy Shogun Ceanataur you saw approaching to your right. He notices it as well, seeing what it was attempting to do. He nods to you before taking initiative and jumping down from the wall himself.

He quickly races over there brandishing his Tonfas, calling the three Defenders he could rally and alerting them to the danger. Together, all four of them attack the Shogun Ceanataur before it has a chance to surprise attack any of them itself. The thing swings it's long claws, but they do well evading it's reach to give many counter swipes themselves. The Lance user was especially useful here.

The Admiral goes off towards the east, to your left at your command. He finds a big rock nearby to use as a throwable, which he catches the Daimyo Hermitaur's off guard with as he sends it smashing into one of them. The nearby Defenders pitch in, guarding the Admiral with Hunting Horn melodies and supporting him with Heavy Bowgun fire as he takes on that group by himself with only his fists to boot. He fights them down until only two of the Daimyo are left.

Now, you throw your hand forward and direct the Ballista that could to fire on Shen Gaoren with Blast tipped bolts. They all obey, aiming for Shen Gaoren's legs.

>There are six Ballistae targeting Shen Gaoren.
>Roll 1d60 to decide how many are able to hit it.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d60)

>>4197995
>>
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>>4198003
>>
Rolled 48 (1d60)

>>4197995
>>4198003
What are the fucking odds.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d60)

>>4197995
>>
Rolled 41 (1d60)

>>4197995
>>
Rolled 45 (1d60)

>>4197995
>>
The Ballista emplacements let loose a rain of their Blast tipped bolts at the sturdy legs of Shen Gaoren. The massive armored monster only continued to walk casually even as it was pelted by the fire.

A few of the soldiers there missed some of their marks as well, failing to hit Shen Gaoren as the creature suddenly sped up the more it was pelted by the bolts. The Blast did not happen immediately, building up overtime, but when it down, the creature staggered on it's legs for the first time.

Now with it still like this, it was perfect to use a powerful tool against it.

"FIRE THE ELEMENTAL ONAGER!" You shouted to the air.

At the westernmost watchtower, the spotter and crewmen worked in unison, fixing their onager. The distance was quickly calculated by the spotter peering through his telescope. The crewmen loaded the Fire Bomb you called for, and then launched it.

The flaming bomb the Onager flung went up high and came down onto Shen Gaoren, exploding on contact and making the giant reel back in pain as the flames of the bomb stuck to it's shell. The giant flailed to oust the heat.

All in all, a decent set of hits were placed.
>>
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Four out of six of the Ballistae caught Shen. Meanwhile, your troops mopped up the minions and...

"Look out!" The Admiral the shouted as he finished off one of the Daimyo Hermitaur.

You looked over to the end of the beachhead to see more of Shen Gaoren's minion Carapaceons appear. Was there a whole Gog damned colony of the things resting off that ways?

There were more of them this time! And their leader was acting up! Shen Gaoren flew into a rage and barreled as fast as it could towards the barricade!

It's massive claws easily smash a sandbag wall, along with a cheval de frise and two Ballista emplacements! The Defenders there got away, but one of them foolishly tries to attack Shen's legs with his greatsword!

The giant was lowering itself down now, getting ready to perform a sweep with it's acidic material, which it would eject out of it's back. It was locked in a position where only one cannon could feasibly reach it now. It was ignoring the Fish Beds because nobody was fanning them.

If it just got into the right spot, the cannons would be able to get it, as the wall mounted cannons all had swivel stands for more flexibility. Or, perhaps if it came closer to the gate, both of the Dragonators could be used to down it.

The Captain was preparing to lead a charge with five of the men against the tide. The Admiral was searching for more rocks to throw....

The situation's violence was increasing tenfold by the second as Shen Gaoren got ever closer to unleashing it's rampage!

+============+

Shen Gaoren Endurance: 37449

6351 damage dealt by Elemental Onager.

1200 damage dealt by Ballistae.

Carapaceon Minions: 15

+============+

The Carapaceon horde was similarly preparing to banzai charge en masse....

The Mobile Siege Engine was ready for use. The Elemental Onager was not yet ready to fire again. You could jump down and join the battle personally whenever you wanted.

What are your orders now?
>>
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>>4195324
Ask and ye shall receive
Sorry about the low quality, despite my attempts I am no meme wizard

>>4198244
I'm not at all familiar with Shen Gaoren, so my input will be limited at best.
But we should order the Defenders to clear away from Shen Gaoren, maybe have a few of them intercept the incoming hermitaurs.
Order the Lance Defender to fan the fish bed next to him once Shen is done with it's attack.
>>
>>4198244
The blue bunch of Carapeceons are just gonna charge straight up the middle, right?
>>
>>4198244
Alright, time for us to join the battle. We'll get the Admiral and Captain to both come and the three of us will deal with the crabs. Meanwhile, order the five troops closest to big crab to go fetch the engine so we can knock it down.

Get that swaxe user at the far far left on the ballista to fan the fish

>>4198278
It's glorious. Now we just need a virgin vs chad edit of something and we'll be all set.
>>
I'm thinking if we can knock Shen down with the engine in front of the gate, we'll be able to spill the pitch on it AND use the drachenspeers for double the damage. But thats after we get it to the fish and shoot it with the cannons.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>4198278
>>4198292
>>
>>4199223
You didn't answer my question, so I'm going to assume "yes". Let's join the fight on the ground to fight the center crab group off.
>>
>>4199241
Okay.
>>
Seeing the horde getting ready to spearhead forward up the beach, you decided it was time to get in there personally. You jump down from The Fort's wall and call the two Bowmen Defenders at the gate to your side.

You shout to the Captain and his nearby men to avoid Shen Gaoren and instead focus on fighting back the Hermitaur and Ceanataur. He raises one of his Tonfas in compliance and rallies the other five to him, taking them down the beach to meet the horde of Carapaceons head on. All of them trudge on, except for a Lance user you point out to. That one sticks behind to fan the fish at your direction.

Meanwhile farther down at the eastern end, the soldiers manning the wall there decide to break on their own. A Gunlance and Dual Blades user jump down from the wall to make over to support the Admiral and their fellow Defenders against the stretch of the horde down that way.

The other three on the eastern wall, two Light Bowgun users and a Greatswordier, decide to head off inside the walls. They were going to grab the Mobile Siege Engine, though you did not know right away until you saw them abandoning their posts there to act independently.
>>
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The Lance user fanning the gunky smell of the fish worked hard to do it all by his lonesome, but he alone was not able to. Seeing this, the Switch Axe user manning a ballista not far from him abandons his post as well, running over to help enough in time before Shen Gaoren could release it's acidic material.

And sure enough, it works because of the close proximity the giant had. The creature rises to it's full height again upon catching wind of the ghastly smell of fish.

It turns to come to it, stepping over the wooden barricades as it reaches the first Fish Bed. It's claw throws the cover off of the bed easily as it lowers itself to dine in.

Now all the cannons on the southwest wall had a clear shot at Shen Gaoren. Each was loaded with five cannonballs approximately.

"FIRE!" Comes the voice of the Colonel, who was watching from the highest balcony on the main atrium building.

>Roll a 1d20 to decide how many cannonballs hit.
>Each successful shot is worth 250 hit points.
>>
Rolled 16 (1d20)

>>4199276
>>
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The cannoneers all kept their barrels trained on the giant and lit their fuses. The cannonballs were propelled at it's shell and body with thunderous force and fiery booming.

The giant squealed with clattering of it's chitin as the cannonballs collided with it, fish falling from it's orifice before it could finish stuffing the rest in. Out of the twenty cannonballs fired, at least sixteen hit Shen Gaoren. A few others bounced and one missed. The giant was dealt a harsh set of blows nonetheless.

But it was not down for the count yet, far from it. The cannonballs enraged Shen Gaoren, spurning the giant into unleashing a rampage!

It's legs folded down, and you stopped tangling with a Shogun to look up in time to see Shen Gaoren ascend, the giant jumping high into the air! You got a running start quickly and dove aside as Shen Gaoren came down right on top of midst of the battle, sending some of it's own allies flying aside, and catching you in the air.

+============+

Shen Gaoren Endurance: 33449

4000 damage dealt by cannon volley.

Carapaceon Minions: 10

You have taken a powerful hit and have become Fatally Wounded.

+============+

Now, your troops on the western side of the beachhead were being overwhelmed by the Hermitaur as Shen Gaoren's divebomb quaked the whole area, sending out a tremor that staggered everyone. Not to mention there was a Daimyo and Ceanataur falling right towards them from the air as well.

You were leaning up against the southern wall, which was where you were thrown to by Shen Gaoren's divebomb.

You looked over and saw the Admiral preparing to lead some troops to the aid of the others on the western side, but they were having trouble due to the tremor, and unbeknownst to them, Shen Gaoren was about to sweep the area with it's acid again like it was about to before.

A lot of troops were due to receive deadly consequences, and you swear one of those Ceanataur went right over the wall and into The Fort. The two Shogun were still alive as well, though stunned for the second.

The Mobile Siege Engine was en route, the Elemental Onager was nearly prepared to launch again. Some of the ballistae and cannons nearby on the ground were loaded, but going unused.

What will you do? What are your orders now?
>>
>>4199360
Find a sizeable rock to throw in the path of the Admiral, warn them of the acid attack.

Can the Onager clear out that group of crabs to the West?
>>
>>4199437
The Onager will not be ready for the next two rounds. It could take out the horde that side easily, at the risk of harming any of your own troops in the way.
>>
>>4199447
Fuck. Go into the Fort after lobbing a rock, we can't let that Ceanataur break the siege platform. Hope the Captain and the others learned how Flash Pods and Smoke Bombs work while we were away.
>>
Wait, can the wall cannons hit them if the Captain's group disengages?
>>
>>4199461
If they pass the two wooden barricades they're near, yes.
>>
>>4199467
Have his group tactically retreat then flash the crabs when they're in firing range.
>>
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You steadied yourself, using the wall as support to stand again. You yelled side to side, warning both groups of Shen Gaoren's incoming acid so that they would move out of the way.

The Admiral and the Captain both motioned their troops father back, away from harm as Shen Gaoren lowered itself further down. The jaw to the Lao skull on it's back unhinged, and a stream of the acidic material came out of it's backside like a beam. It circled around on it's legs, spraying everything in it's vicinity with acid.

Fortifications melted down at the touch of the stuff, wooden cheval-de-frise and sandbag line turned to mush under the goop it ejected. Thankfully, nobody was in the way.

The Hermitaur horde charging towards the west was brought to a stop as the Captain used a Flash Bomb he threw, disabling them from coming any closer just before the cannoneers on that wall lit them up with fire, destroying each of them.

Though, now that the Admiral and his men were backing off, the two Shogun Ceanataurs were left unchecked as they sprawled through Shen Gaoren's acid after recovering, seemingly immune to it, unlike one poor stray Ceanataur who dies waddling in it.

You had already ran back inside the gate, chasing down a Ceanataur that landed inside and slaying it before it could do anything.

Now, you felt the ground rumble as Shen Gaoren got back on the move. The giant was closing in on the front gate, and if given enough time to attack it, the giant would surely destroy it.

At the same time, the two Shoguns were moving up, both right at the gate to enter. Those two could break into the Atrium and put everyone else inside at risk if something wasn't done. At the same time, Shen couldn't be left to freely assault the wall. The Dragonators had to be used, but they would not be activated, not without someone getting hurt in the process. The switch for the massive weapons lay in the middle of the zone Shen was going to smash at with it's claws on the wall.

None of the nearby Defenders looked like they had the gall to do it. And the Shoguns were also a problem...!

What are your orders now? What will you do...?

Or perhaps.... you would like to choose the MYSTERY OPTION?
>>
>>4199647
Since everyone else is content with lurking, fuck it. Mystery Box.
>>
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Ah yes, the MYSTERY OPTION, it could save much time and massively speed this sluggish battle up with unknown consequences and rewards... will you try it out?
>>
>>4199737
I wanna say no because that button fucks your shit every time, but I also want to get back to helping Chamo and see Atricia soon so yes, mash it flat.
You got good taste in RTS games Poleman
>>
>>4199647
Am be content lurking yes.
>>
Very well, you will use the MYSTERY OPTION, auto resolve.

How many rounds ahead do you want to auto resolve? Minimum you can choose is 5. Once you've decided, three of you roll me a 1d10000. I will take the highest roll.
>>
Rolled 9286 (1d10000)

>>4199760
Lets see what we can do with 7 rounds
>>
Rolled 9984 (1d10000)

>>4199760
>>
The battle rages on for much time...

You opted to deal with the twin Shoguns yourself personally, calling on the Admiral to activate the Dragonators. The senior officer throws a hook he had tied around his waste to climb the wall fast, and he does activate the Dragonators, just as he and the wall both receive a massive hit from Shen Gaoren.

In that time that the giant was downed from sustaining damage from both Dragonators, you climbed the wall after dispatching the Shoguns and tipped the hot pitch down onto the Monster, who rightly so squirmed under the boiling black from the cauldron's mouth, it's skin under the shell becoming scorched.

You could not remain on the wall, as the giant was given reason to rise faster after the pitch was poured onto it. You vacated the top of the wall as Shen Gaoren rose and smashed it under it's claws, reducing the gate and southern wall to rubble. You did find the time to help the Admiral and yourself with both of your Max Potions afterwards, but the wall was now a fiery ruin as the pitch set it alight with smoking flames.

Ballista bolts flew and cannonballs fired at the legs of the thing and it's minion, more of it's accompanying horde rising from the sea.

The Defenders switched positions rapidly to meet the other Carapaceons on the beach. You and the Admiral joined the ensuing skirmish to hold back the tide as Shen Gaoren moved to the second Fish Bed, which the Captain fanned with another trooper.

Blades and arrows and bullets and claws danced over the sands and what patches of grass reached out far enough. Enemies and allies alike were all the eye could see here now, both licking each other with deadly attacks that scratched metal and chitin, fractured skin and shell, revealing blood and fluid.
>>
The battle was at least halfway through to reaching it's climax by now.

It was like an endless amount of the Carapaceons were still coming from the sea, and subsequently being slain by your steadfast Defenders who gave it their all. Some fainted here and there, but were continuously brought back to battle by their nearby comrades administering blue supplements you didn't know about, or what they were exactly either.

Shen Gaoren screeched to the air as it was pelted by cannons, having fallen for the same trick twice as it stood over the second Fish Bed. The giant was just about to assault the eastern wall, which had now been occupied by the Defenders who previously manned the western wall's cannons, but there is a rumbling that caught it's attention rather fast.

The Mobile Siege Engine was at last pushed onto the field by the Defenders who went off to get it. The three of them struggled, but made due.

The giant moved to try and intercept it, but the Siege Engine was faster, it's steam engine grinding like the roar of an Uragaan. The Defenders worked on it's mechanisms, and the thing pulled back a massive ram fashioned from steel plated wood reinforced with tungsten bolts and wraps, tipped with a large metal head featuring barbs and spear-like tips along it's ridges that ended with a smooth head like a mace.

The Defenders manning the siege machine smashed a button, and the ram went forward faster than your eye could track. Shen Gaoren was buffeted by it crashing right into the giant's head, pieces and crumbs of it's chitin being splashed the air as the giant was sent backwards off of it's feet.

"ATTACK!" The Colonel shouted from his balcony.

The Defenders gave out their collective cry of war, as many of them as was possible running to the sides of the limp and motionless Shen Gaoren to viciously and mercilessly attack the giant. Their weapons picked away at it's skull shell and chitin as it spat up a green substance and chortled in pain.
>>
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As victorious as the moment seemed, it could not last forever. Shen Gaoren would eventually rise again after a period of being attacked. When it did, the thing flew into a rage, stomping the ground wildly and smashing it's claws down, destroying the Mobile Siege Engine and forcing others to run, you and the Admiral included. You didn't know it could kick up like a Kirin...

Now problems were beginning to amount once more.

From the sea, another horde of it's minions was making an approach. Twenty four of them in total, with three having snuck their way up to the third and last Fish Bed as four Defenders ran off to try and stop them from threatening to devour it and squandering the last distraction for Shen Gaoren.

Many of the Defenders were locked on the beachhead, trying their best to repel the incoming wave with ranged weapons. But one Shogun has ran past them and made up behind, getting ready to attack with only a Switch Axe and Bow user there to try and stop it, and they are struggling.

Shen Gaoren was preparing to attack the eastern wall, and it's Defenders have loaded one more volley of cannons to fire, and with some luck they can before the wall is lost.

The Admiral and you weren't too far away. He and the Captain look at you, awaiting some direction here.


+============+

Shen Gaoren Endurance: 20758

12691 damage dealt to Shen Gaoren during auto resolve period.

Carapaceon Minions: 24

You and the Captain are both healthy. The Admiral is Absolutely Healthy.

Some men are wounded, getting closer to fainting. Most are healthy.

The crabs are moving slow, but they'll charge when they see a chance if the Defender line breaks even for a moment.

+============+

The Elemental Onager is ready to fire again.

The Mobile Siege Engine is out of commission.

Fire Mines are still readily available, and have in fact been restocked, giving you access to eighteen total.

Shen Gaoren's shell is close to breaking. At 10000 health, it will shatter and reveal the real health bar of the titan.

What will you do now? What are your orders?
>>
>>4199838
Okay, have the hbg and lbg users team up with the eastern cannon squad and focus fire the shen, scatter the mines on the western front, melee ground units reposition to protect the wall breach
>>
>>4199838
Lets auto resolve again.
>>
What element does the Onager have loaded up?
>>
>>4200567
It says we cam load any we want into it but dragon.
>>
>>4200106
Support
>>
Alright, roll a 1d20 for cannon fire.
God these workdays are getting longer and longer...
>>
Rolled 6 (1d20)

>>4201072
>>
Rolled 5 (1d20)

>>4201072
>>
Rolled 1 (1d20)

>>4201072
>>
Rolled 3 (1d20)

>>4201072
>>
>>4201246
Oops, shit, forgot to take off my name.

The dice aren't loving these cannons tonight are they.
>>
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>>4201088
>>4201124
>>4201180
>>4201246
>>
Rolled 20 (1d20)

>>4201072
>>
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A break had to be made in what was happening here. The gunners needed to focus on Shen instead of holding back the tide of the Carapaceons.

At your command, the dedicated melee fighters ceased their current actions to instead convene back on the beach, giving the gunners space and allowing them to switch out rolls here. The came over to the east and raised their weapons, firing sticky ammo and cluster bombs at Shen Gaoren as the thing moved to attack the wall there.

The Cannoneers didn't have any chance to aim their weapons properly, and instead set them to fire point blank onto the giant as they bailed. Most of the cannonballs missed, but at least six hit their mark as the giant smashed the wall down.

The results were clear Shen Gaoren unleashed a screech so loud and so sudden that everyone on the beach, Defender and Carapaceon alike, shook to their core.

The Lao skull on Shen Gaoren's back had been destroyed, now the Monster was truly susceptible to being slain. It's legs and arms turned over red, internal bleeding was hindering the beast, so it had to remain lower to the ground now.
>>
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"Everyone, follow me!" You shouted to the gunners. All of them immediately retreated along with you as Shen Gaoren loomed over. The giant seemed to recognize you as the one telling all the other Humans what to do, and so it made you it's prime target now.

"Kid, some crabbies got inside, I'm gonna deal with them!" The Admiral said, sprinting ahead.

You and the gunners made way to the western side of the beach, where you instructed them to lay down the Fire Mines.

Shen Gaoren was moving far faster now, stomping mercilessly through to reach you. The Carapaceons and the melee Defenders were locked together in battle in front of the destroyed gate, moving aside only to avoid the giant as they continued their skirmish.

All nine of the Fire Mines were exhausted and Shen Gaoren had caught up. The thing was charging to trample you and the gunners. It could also endanger the western wall getting this close as well, risking another row of cannons beings lost.


+============+

Shen Gaoren Health: 19258

1500 damage dealt to Shen Gaoren.

Shen Gaoren's shell has been destroyed, revealing it's true vitality.

Carapaceon Minions: 24

+============+

The Elemental Onager is ready to fire.

Things weren't looking good....

Maybe if there was some way to use the mines to destroy most of the horde without Shen wrecking them...

What will you do now? What are your orders?
>>
>>4201370
I am so very sorry, I was already writing the update and had made the images by the time I saw your roll.


Also shit, I forgot I wasn't supposed to bust the shell either until 10000 health. But, eh, whatever, we can still work with this, it's basically just a cosmetic anyway.
>>
How heavy are the mines?
>>
>>4201460
They can be carried by one person.
>>
>>4201464
How far can a ballista launch it?
>>
Is he low enough to Clutch Claw its face, or at least its upper body?
>>
>>4201488
Too heavy for a ballista.

>>4201530
You can scale his legs, but you'll be thrown off if you aren't careful.
>>
>>4201534
Would a binder keep it in place?
>>
>>4201414
Have somebody use a one shot binder to restrain Shen, then while it can't move, have everyone retreat to that wall so the hermitaur get sploded by the mines. We'll take care of Shen with cannon fire from there on out. Also use the onager.
>>
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There was no choice, the mines would have to be used for the horde.

You hurried someone up the wall and instructed them to use the one-shot binder that was ready up there. Shen Gaoren turned around and planted it's claws, preparing to use it's acid, but the binder came first and dug deep into it's carapace. The barbed projectile contracted internally, dragging together nerves and freezing Shen Gaoren in place. The giant wouldn't be able to move for a time now. While it was stuck, you called for the Elemental Onager, which throws down another firebomb onto Shen Gaoren.

With that in mind, the Defender you sent up got onto the wall mounted ballista at your command and used a special function of the emplacement. A few smoke bombs were sent up into the air to come down and shroud the field of the skirmish.

The troops were called back, and they all came running, avoiding the Fire Mines carefully as the horde behind them charged in pursuit.

The beasts were not so aware of the function of the things as they tripped the mines running into them. Gusts of flames engulfed most of the Hermitaur and Ceanataurs, killing a majority of the horde.

The strongest remained alive on the other side, where they waited for the flames to die down so that they could continue their charge. They knew all too well that the ranged Defenders could get them if they took the water.

+============+

Shen Gaoren Health: 12936

6322 damage dealt by Elemental Onager.

Carapaceon Minions: 9

+============+

Shen Gaoren was doing it's best to work the binder out, and would soon break free.

Defenders mounted six nearby cannons, waiting to use them.

The Admiral had dealt with the crabs on the other side of the wall.

Most of the Defenders were blocked in, along with you.

"Sir? What now?" The Captain asked.

You could have everyone rush inside the walls nearby from the entrance. The third and last Fish Bed to distract Shen Gaoren with was also nearby. There were three ballista as well on the ground.

What will you do now?
>>
>>4201670
Auto resolve?
>>
>>4201670
Have two Defenders use the pit to lure Shen Gaoren into the cannons' line of fire, while 3 others try to take some potshots at the smaller crabs with the grounded ballistae and cannon; see if they can aim for the topmost joints to cripple it further. See if we can't get another binder ready while it feeds. Maybe we(and anyone willing) can mount it when it tries to smash the wall. Everybody else run through the Fort to the east side, so as to not get cornered, and get those emplacements into better positions.

>>4201677
C'mon man, you gotta use your brain.
>>
>>4201705
Use brain too hard
Grug just want go back hugging Chamo
>>
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"You two, over there." You told the two Bowmen, pointing to the Fish Bed. They jogged over to fan it.

"Captain, take most of the men through the walls out to the other side. I'll handle things from here on this end."

"Aye sir. We'll get through this." He saluted you. "Men, follow me."

The majority of the Defenders joined the Captain as he went through one of the smaller entrances and got inside The Fort, taking them the long ways around to reach the eastern end of the beachhead.

You stopped a few of them, and had them mount the emplacements on the ground level, telling them to wait for the rest of the crabs as the flames finally died down.

When they did, the horde came rushing through as expected, only to be met with bolts and a few cannonballs lobbed their way.

Yet as Shen Gaoren recovered and continued on it's way, it began to indiscriminately stomp on members of it's own horde, much to your surprise while you climbed the wall with your Slinger. It seemed that it wanted to prevent them from getting to the Fish Bed first. What of the horde was left began to retreat, going back East.

Shen Gaoren stood in range of the cannons...

"Any other One-Shot Binders?" You ask.

"Sir, no sir! Not on this end, there's one on the other side, but we'll have to dig it out of the rubble." One of the Defenders says.

"Arse. Well... don't hold back! Fire!" You throw your hand towards Shen Gaoren as it passes by.

>1d25
>>
Rolled 8 (1d25)

>>4201946
>>
>>4201989
I hope the others wake up...
>>
Rolled 7 (1d25)

>>4201946
Welp, I'm in for the long haul.
Say level, am I right to assume Z man will be final boss?
>>
Rolled 5 (1d25)

>>4201946
>>
>>4201999
No.
>>
>>4201999
Or Gordito Blanco (Rango G)

>Lower every roll
Dammit, why are we jobbing so hard?
>>
Rolled 11 (1d25)

>>4201946
>>
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>>4202012
>>
Rolled 21 (1d25)

>>4201946
>>
>>4202034
>>4202040
Esto es el fin, dados dioses.
>>
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Shen Gaoren shrieked under fire from the cannons, nearly all of the cannonballs hit the giant, with only four bouncing due to bad trajectory.

Immediately, you and the others had to abandon the wall as Shen Gaoren rose to full height and kicked it's legs up into the air, bringing them down and crushing the mortar fortification down to size, along with it's cannons.

Shen Gaoren became so enthralled with it's desire to eliminate you and your allies that it ignores the smell of the Fish Bed entirely to focus it's efforts. You and the others nearby are only able to run.

On the eastern side, the Defenders brought what weapons they could out to the field from behind the destroyed Siege Engine. They were facing off again with the remaining Carapaceons, and from the looks of it, the horde would be smothered with Defenders when you and your nearby allies got there.

Shen Gaoren was in hot pursuit, not slowing down as it trampled through on a stampede, staying just behind you and the others as you all ran.

>Quickly rotate and grapple onto Shen Gaoren with your Clutch Claw.
>Order them to use Flash Bombs simultaneously.
>Dragonator switch should be fine, lets draw Shen over there and use them again.
>Write in.
>>
>>4202137
>Quickly rotate and grapple onto Shen Gaoren with your Clutch Claw.
>>
>>4202137
>Quickly rotate and grapple onto Shen Gaoren with your Clutch Claw.
>>
Tell the others to put the fire out and get the Dragonators operational again and reload the Onager.
>>
>>4202137
>Dragonator switch should be fine, lets draw Shen over there and use them again.
>>
"You guys! Put those fires out!" You say to the Defenders at your side.

"Sir?!"

"You heard me, soldier! Get those fires ousted, we're gonna need the Dragonator operational again. Double time it!"

"...SIR YES SIR!"

The Defenders along with you broke off from your column, running instead to reach the fire, which they would begin trying to smother through the use of smoke bombs to shroud the flame, aiming to try and cover it with the thick cloud of dust the bombs produced.

You took this chance then to quickly slide on your feet around, turning to face the rampaging Shen Gaoren. The thing approached fast, so you held your hand up and waited as it neared with it's large claws, ready to strike.

The claws went up and came down, but you leaped forward and deployed your Clutch Claw, using the force of the burst it's claws made behind you to shoot up closer to it, allowing you to grab onto it's head.

Shen Gaoren flailed, growling behind it's chitin as you held onto the side of it's head. The giant began to thrash, trying to throw you off!

>2d2000 to hold on!
>>
Rolled 1693, 984 = 2677 (2d2000)

>>4203493
>>
Hope the others around at this time.
>>
Rolled 872, 1685 = 2557 (2d2000)

>>4203493
>>
Rolled 1794, 48 = 1842 (2d2000)

>>4203493
>>
Shen Gaoren was rough, moving sporadically, like a Rathalos performing aerial maneuvers and twirls. More than once did it try to pull you off, bringing it's claws up to it's head as best as it could to try and nab you.

You climbed around the hump of it's neck holding onto it's whiskers and protruding chitin plates, moving out of the reach of it's claws as it pinched at it's top.

It's two eyes were like glistening sacs of air on it's head, following your movement and staring at you. They were also it's weakest pointed, and you didn't even need your knife. You simply swatted the things with your fist, earning a shriek from the giant as it convulsed in response.

You had some difficulty hanging on, but you caught the hang of it as the giant was forced to stay low due to the internal bleeding of it's legs. You hounded it's eyes with your fists first, and then your shield, until it could take no more.

The thing swayed, dizzied by your attacks.

>So seeing the fire receding thanks to the effort of the Defenders, you unloaded some stones you had inside your Slinger at it's face, causing it to run straight into the fire.
>So you drew your weapon and hit it with a charged attack, sending it down immobilized to the ground, opening it up for attacks by all the Defenders. All of them.
>>
>>4203648
>>So seeing the fire receding thanks to the effort of the Defenders, you unloaded some stones you had inside your Slinger at it's face, causing it to run straight into the fire.
>>
>>4203648

Kind of tricky decision here. Herding Gaoren into the flames will put it in a good position for the Dragonators to perform a follow-up attack. But on the other hand, if it's not dazed enough, it could thrash around and cause damage to the dragonators and the gate, which could potentially lead to another breach.