Stalking forward through snow covered ruins, you keep your eyes peeled, scanning across ancient toppled ashlar walls and collapsed towers from centuries past, looking for any sign of trouble and… ah, there they are. A small grin spreads across your face as you spot the pair of squat grey birds atop an old frosted over pillar. You lift your oak staff to eye level, resting it along your shoulder and squinting down its length as you take careful aim, the small bag of pebbles tied to its far end swaying slightly in the chill mountain wind. Crouching low, you steady yourself for the evocation.“Sayerd.”You whisper the contraction and focus your mind, sending a jolt of mana coursing through the staff. There’s a crack like thunder as the pebbles in the bag accelerate, tearing loose from their bonds and toward the birds. Puffs of snow and dust splatter about them, accompanied by nearly simultaneous popping noises like a dozen sticks were snapped all at once, and the birds drop to the ground lifeless. Elsewhere throughout the ruin, animals scatter and birds take to the sky in a great clamor as the cracking of the spell echoes off the old stone walls.“Lines and signs, it did it again…” You grumble, adjusting your hat in a huff and examining the torn cloth bag at the end of your staff with mild disappointment. The contraction, 'Scatter Stone' as you’ve come to call it, isn’t supposed to be loud, but over the last few days its made that damned cracking noise every time you’ve cast it.“Nice shot, Frauke, two with… well, a lot of stones actually, but you’re getting good at this. You sure you can’t do anything about the noise though? It’s scaring the game off.” Arastro comments, the handsome dark-haired mercenary moving alongside you with his crossbow in hand. He’s on foraging duty as well, along with Peter who went elsewhere in the ruin to pursue a deer.You stand and walk across the snow covered grounds toward where the birds fell, “I know, I know. It isn’t supposed to be so loud. At least I hit this time.”“Like I said, you’re getting better.” He says encouragingly, walking alongside you. His blue hood is pulled up, and his normal plate armor has been stripped down to a handful of pieces and padded over in places to reduce the sound of movement. Peter dressed similarly, the Drakes apparently liking to stay armored even while hunting. Probably prudent given the dangers of the East Wall, its not a tame mountain range.“I’d hope so, if my mentor saw my earlier tries she’d have words for me... Still rubbish at tracking though.” You say with a sigh. It’s been on Arastro and Peter to find areas with plentiful game like this, you have little experience with such things. Hunting was never a priority until now.
>>4679565“Ah, here they are. Clean kills.” Arastro says, crouching down and picking up the pair of birds, holding them up for you to examine your handiwork. The tiny stones passed clean through the animals, blood staining their ruffled grey feathers on both sides, their eyes now lifeless and cold. Part of you feels the slightest pang of guilt looking at them... they’re sort of cute up close, or at least where before what did to them. Best to not linger on the thought, you’re a mercenary now and a slain pair of birds can’t be allowed to bother you.A faint echoing crack sounds throughout the old ruin again, less sharp than that of your spell, and coming from the far side of one of the collapsed towers. There's a strange bleating noise at the same time, and then silence returns to the old ruins. This place used to be an imperial fortress of some kind, guarding the passes of the East Wall from foreign barbarians, but it's been overrun by wildlife for centuries, making an almost perfect hunting ground... And a rather interesting site of arcane history. Mages were more common in years past, and a ruin like this might still be home to secrets of some kind.“Peter must’ve got that deer.” Arastro says, looking off in the direction of the noises. Quite the conclusion to draw from what little could be heard, but Arastro has years more experience with this than you; he's probably right.>”Less work for us then. Come on, there’s something I want to see in the keep.” Search for the ancient mage’s chamber within the fortress, your curiosity is killing you.>”We’ll see about that, I bet I’m still in the lead.” Head toward Peter’s position, its best to meet up every so often for safety.>”Good, even more to bring back to camp then. There must still be some game around here somewhere...” Continue the hunt. This is foraging duty, not ruin exploration hour.>Write-in.
>>4679568>>”Less work for us then. Come on, there’s something I want to see in the keep.” Search for the ancient mage’s chamber within the fortress, your curiosity is killing you.
Recap and quest admin:You are Frauke, a young witch of considerable potential and one of many bearers of the mark of witches. Two years ago, your adoptive mentor Åse sent you away from her hidden island abode and out into the wider world to learn the secrets of magic firsthand. Armed only with Åse’s old grimoire and your mother’s manaruby pendant, you set out for adventure! ...But it’s been very slow going, and it turns out learning magic alone is hard.Life as a wandering witch had begun to feel normal, but with early snow falls already beginning you chose to winter this year at your childhood village of Brokhof, staying with your uncle Tristan. Tragically, Brokhof was sacked by a savage mercenary band, the Boars, and you were forced to flee - And as it happened you fled directly toward another mercenary band, a small detachment from The Band of the Drakefang. You made a deal with the Drakes, joining their company for a year and a day in exchange for their help in rescuing the survivors of Brokhof, and the Drakes more than delivered on their end. The survivors were safely freed from the Boars, and escorted to the nearby town of Tordorf where they have been left under the care of the church. The church also attempted to thrust a pair of templars upon you to act as bodyguards and teachers during your travels in the east, but you refused the offer.The road to Tordorf was not without event, marking perhaps the strangest encounter of your life. Gazing toward the sky from the rear of a wagon, you noticed the distant silhouette of a winged creature high among the clouds, and it noticed you in return. What followed was unsettling. The creature projected a message directly into your mind, a prophecy foretelling of tremendous suffering yet to come, and commanding you to ”SEEK THE CHILD!”.Of course it didn’t stop to explain the finer details before disappearing, the bastard, so you’ve been left pondering what exactly any of it meant…Tordorf is now days behind you, and currently you’re travelling through the East Wall, the ancient mountain range which separates central Teutsland from the old eastern imperial territories. Most of the Drakes have grown accustomed to your presence on the march east, and despite your small stature you’re an experienced enough traveler to not burden the party overmuch; if anything your magic is speeding the journey along significantly, stuck wagons easily freed with spells of earth and control.But all is not well, the old ruins common throughout the East Wall are home to opportunistic brigand bands and man eating dire beasts, and rumors speak of far worse than simple bandits or wolves lurking within the ancient mountain range...Previous Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4612320/Longer Story Summary: https://pastebin.com/eDn5D64VPic related is Frauke’s character sheet.
>>4679568>”Less work for us then. Come on, there’s something I want to see in the keep.” Search for the ancient mage’s chamber within the fortress, your curiosity is killing you.yasss, it's back!
>>4679568>>”We’ll see about that, I bet I’m still in the lead.” Head toward Peter’s position, its best to meet up every so often for safety.
>>4680930>>4680226>>4679575“Less work for us then. Come on, there’s something I want to see in the keep.” You say, looking off toward the vast grey bulk of the keep, a squat pile of rubble at the center of the ruined fortress walls. It was a grand building once, but centuries of weathering and hard freezes have reduced it to a depressing mass of frost covered stone.“Have something particular in mind?” Arastro asks idly while setting about field dressing the birds with his knife.“I do. A fortress like this probably had a resident mage, once upon a time.” You say, your eyes fixed on the keep. It isn’t hard to imagine it in its glory days, towering above the surrounding walls and abuzz with the movement of Imperial legionaries. “Think there’s anything left after so long? This place has definitely seen better days.” Arastro says, continuing his work with practiced ease even in the numbing cold.You adjust your scarf and consider the question absentmindedly for a few moments, your attention stuck on the keep and its peculiar weathered features, “...Maybe. I’ve never seen one out in the wild, but Imperial mages liked to keep engraved casting circles in their chambers. If anything is left, that would be it.”“I vaguely remember something about those, in one of Grond’s treatises, On Configurations I think...” Arastro says, trailing off as he finishes securing the birds in his bag.The mention of Grond snaps you back to the present, a smile spreading across your face at Arastro’s mention of the ancient mage, “Well, look at you, monk. You really do know the classics... for whatever they’re worth, anyways. On Configurations is one of the better ones.”Arastro shrugs, standing up and moving alongside you, “I haven’t forgotten it all quite yet. What do you mean by casting circles ‘in the wild’ though?”You start walking toward the keep, snow crunching under your feet as you cross the nearly empty grounds, only a few pillars and bare foundations left of the fortresses’ lesser buildings in this section, “My mentor has a few circles of Imperial vintage, plucked right out of old ruins… I think, anyways. They might have been replicas, we made a few together.”“You can carve?” He questions.You look up, tilting your hat’s wide brim to get a clear view of Arastro’s face, “Earth magic, Arastro.”
>>4680982“Right, of course. Imagining you with a hammer and chisel didn’t seem right anyways.” He says a little wryly, stopping as you both come upon a stone arch holding up a section of the keep even after centuries without maintenance. Beyond, the darkness of the ruined keep’s interior looms.“Huh? What’s that supposed… ah, nevermind, I think this is the best entrance we’ll find. I’ll make a light.” You shake your head, not knowing what to make of Arastro’s comments sometimes, and whisper a simple spell as you focus your thoughts and visualize the desired result. Ethereal geometric patterns coax the mana flowing within your staff to a brilliant and flaring blue orb, ”Vezarko.”>-3 MP“Are you sure that’s safe?” Arastro questions, eyeing the burning ensorcellment with mild suspicion.“Just think of it as a torch, don’t touch the pretty light and you’ll be fine. Come on, it won’t last forever.” You tease, moving ahead into the darkness, wavering blue light casting deep shadows as it illuminates the long abandoned hallway. There are strange lumps along the base of the walls to either side.“Resist my inner moth, got it.” Arastro says with a chuckle, “What would I ever do without your sage counsel?”“Hey, you’re the one that asked…” Your voice trails off as your mind finally registers what you’re looking at in the hallways. Corpses. Nearly a dozen of them. Ancient decayed skeletons trapped in armor long ago rusted to little more than clumps of reddish dust. Elongated red stains on the floor mark where swords fell from their hands, the blades now entirely gone.“Moon and sun… It’s like they just collapsed all at once.” Arastro whispers in shock.“That's because they probably did. The fall was…” You hesitate a moment, recalling what little you managed to beg Åse to tell you years ago, “...bad. The spells should have worn off centuries ago though. There’s no telling what's still in here. It doesn’t look picked over.”Arastro sets his crossbow down on the stone floor and draws his longsword, “No telling what’s in here?”You give a small nod in response. A sword probably isn’t needed, but it never hurts to be safe.>Inspect the ancient corpses more closely. >Carry on into the ruined keep. The keep not having been picked over yet is very promising, many artifacts might remain.>Wait, why hasn’t the keep been picked clean? Pull back, this is a little too spooky.>Write-in.
>>4680988>Carry on into the ruined keep. The keep not having been picked over yet is very promising, many artifacts might remain.
>>4680988>>Inspect the ancient corpses more closely.
>>4680988>Inspect the ancient corpses more closelyCould tell us if we need to be on guard.
>>4681004>>4681052>>4681096“Watch the hallway for a moment. I want to take a closer look at these bodies...” You mutter, nearly lost in your own thoughts.“Take your time, I’d rather know what happened than move in blindly. Poor bastards...” Arastro answers, briefly glancing toward the ancient remains with a solemn look.You cautiously approach one of the fallen Imperial soldiers, your staff held closely with both hands. The light from the mana orb continues to cast the area in a pale blue-white hue as you crouch down by the ancient skeleton, getting a better view of what little is left of his bones and rusted away plate armor. There really isn’t much left, it’s little more than a pile of bones kept in a vaguely human shape by the rusted scraps of armor.Whatever did this took him off guard, and after all these years he’s still laying on his side with an arm outstretched toward a reddish stain on the stone floor. That must’ve been his sword once. Nobody came back to bury him. Nobody came back for any of these men from the looks of things, not even thieves looking to loot the place; the swords would surely have been taken. A shudder runs through you at the thought. The East Wall isn’t heavily populated, but surely someone has been here in the last thousand years...Pondering what could have caused this, you look over the body for clues. You’re not a physician, and the light from your staff isn’t the brightest or positioned all that well, but there don’t look to have been any traumatic wounds on the corpse. Nothing obvious at least, like torn armor and severed limbs or crushed skulls and helmets. No, it’s as you first suspected, ancient spellwork.Even if you could cast a spell of detection, the residue of the ancient magic would be long gone. All you have are faded clues to work off of, and what little Åse told you of the fall. Rituals gone horribly wrong, poisoned mists employed en masse by armies… Regardless of the exact cause of these soldier's deaths, it wasn’t recent, and it wasn't done by magic you'd discuss in polite company.Moving to the other bodies, you inspect them in turn hoping to find new evidence. Each scene is depressingly similar. The soldiers fell suddenly and without sign of struggle, the nearly uniform spacing and forward orientation of the bodies leading you to conclude they were moving in ranks and not a simple crowd. None looked back, there were all headed to the doorway. With swords drawn there must have been trouble, and… oh, now what’s this?The rearmost body, wearing slightly different armor, has something clutched in the pile of bones that used to be its right hand. A small silver whistle in the shape of a dragon, gleaming brightly in the light of the mana orb. It’s untarnished, and bears a pair of runes you recognize…Nkal; communicate. Suhr; spirit.>Reach out and take the whistle.>Leave it where it lies and move on.>Write-in.
>>4681185>Reach out and take the whistle.Do we know if curses prock on skin contact? If they do, pick it up with a cloth just in case.
>>4681185>Reach out and take the whistle.
>>4681185>>Reach out and take the whistle.
>>4681185>>Reach out and take the whistle.>Nkal; communicate. Suhr; spirit.cool, maybe we can ask their ghosts why they were here
>>4681185>>Leave it where it lies and move on.
>>4681250>>4681359>>4681533>>4681603>>4681608You reach out with one hand, delicately removing the silver whistle from its resting place among the skeleton’s finger bones. It’s frightfully cold to the touch, not that surprising in this weather, and you pull your hand back into the sleeve of your robe as protection to handle the whistle more comfortably. It’s about the length of your index finger and crafted to resemble a dragon’s head, a small mouthpiece jutting from the base of the head and the nostrils flaring slightly into openings; it’s clearly a whistle, no doubt about that at least… But the runes and lack of tarnish, those speak to enchantment of some kind. You spin the whistle about, rotating it carefully in your cloth covered hand, examining the runes as best you can in the light cast by your staff. Nkal and Suhr. They’re engraved on both sides of the dragon’s head in a delicate black font, running along its slightly puffed out cheeks. The runes stand out starkly from the base silver by some unknown means, acid etching perhaps. It’s pretty, but its exact purpose remains a mystery. “Found something?” Arastro asks, breaking his silence while continuing to stand guard.“A whistle. Here, look.” You say, standing and showing him what you’ve found. He looks it over with great interest, lowering his sword slightly as his attention focuses on the trinket, “...Is it enchanted? I’ve haven't seen anything like it, even among Lussan’s collection.”You nod, “I think so. The runes indicate it was used to communicate with spirits somehow, but how narrow or broad of a spell it is I can’t say, and there might have been more words involved - From what I’ve been taught, it isn’t necessary to carve any at all, if secrecy is important enough.”“So you have no idea what it does?”“Not no idea, but I can't know for sure without using it.” You grumble, turning the silver whistle over again in your robe covered hand. What does it do? Curiosity is burning away at you.Arastro looks about at the skeletons laying in the hallways, his expression growing uncertain, “You’re not going to use it, right? This isn’t exactly a place of peaceful rest for the dead.”“They'd have faded into the astral world long, long ago… Spirits might not be my area of expertise, but using old magic is.”>Blow the whistle and power it with some mana, see what it does.>Place the whistle in your satchel and move onto the rest of the keep. You can investigate it later.>Write-in.
>>4681185Pick up the whistle, but don't touch it with our bare hands until we know it's not cursed.
>>4682007>Blow the whistle and power it with some mana, see what it does.
>>4682007>Place the whistle in your satchel and move onto the rest of the keep. You can investigate it later.Let's not mess with enchanted items willy nilly when we don't even know what they do.
>>4682007>>Place the whistle in your satchel and move onto the rest of the keep. You can investigate it later.nerves got to me
>>4682136>>4682371“...That being said, maybe you’re right. An abandoned ruin isn’t a great place to experiment.” You tuck the whistle away in your leather satchel for later inspection.Arastro sighs in relief, “Moon be praised, I really thought you were going to use it for a moment there.”“It scares you that badly?” You ask, taking up a position beside the mercenary and extending your staff forward to burn away the darkness shrouding the chilly stone hallway. It splits off up ahead, the archways of an intersection still holding strong even with most of the ancient building’s upper levels long collapsed. Cobwebs cling to the walls and ceiling, spiders at least having made the fortress into a home after the Empire abandoned it; hopefully that’s all there is.“No, it’s not that it scares me, Frauke. I've always wanted to be able to practice magic, or be around someone who could so I could at least learn more, but it was just a distant sort of daydream. Now that it’s a reality…” Arastro chooses his words carefully, lowering his voice as you slowly walk deeper into the ruined keep, both on the lookout for trouble, “Well, there are practical concerns, you know? If that whistle called an angry spirit to us, could I fight it off? Do swords even work on them?”“Astral beings have to materialize in some way to affect our world, a sword would work fine. I think, anyways. Are you familiar with the overlap of leylines in our world and the astral?”Arastro shakes his head and comes to a halt, examining the split in the hallways before you, both are equally shrouded in darkness, “...No, I’d remember something like that. Right or left?”You pick at random, and continue your explanation, “Right. The lines exist simultaneously in both worlds, not identical copies but the same lines. We’re similar, a portion of our being is spirit but we’re, arguably, natives of the material world. Our presence in the astral world becomes nearly total upon death, but in life it can be enhanced through spells, projections, or even simple meditation.”“Meditation? What, like you do in the mornings?” Arastro asks, stopping by a doorway leading to a larger chamber. You extend your staff to illuminate the new room in pale blue hues, stepping through a long ago rotted away door and into the half collapsed room, “No, not like that, more- Wait a second, are you… do you watch me in the mornings?”
>>4682924Arastro follows you in, and you both set about examining the area, a small gloomy temple of some kind, “It’s hard to miss. You wander off with your grimoire and go into a trance almost. Makes you useless for helping pack up the camp most days.”“Oh. Well, I guess I hadn’t really considered what it looks like for others.” You respond, not entirely convinced by his answer. You haven’t given it much thought though, perhaps it really does look odd. In the past you’ve always been able to seclude yourself in the mornings, but travel through mountainous wilds hasn’t left you much of a chance for privacy beyond the bare minimum for your dignity.“You were explaining something about spirits?” Arastro prods, crouching down by a toppled stone altar and inspecting a small metallic object. Empty stone pews stand near him, waiting for a congregation that will never come; in the dim light cast by your staff it’s haunting. Not hauntingly beautiful, just plain old skin-crawlingly unsettling.“...Before you interrupted me, I was, yes. Beings of the physical world can increase their presence in the astral. Sometimes it’s as a disembodied projection, I’ve done that before with my mentor, but with some methods you never leave your body… it’s just a simultaneous perception. Both worlds are reality at the same time, adding detail but also allowing physical interactions and travel which don't track fully with material reality. I don’t know how to do that at all, or to project even. I only know that they’re possible.” You try to ignore the statues lining the sides of the old temple in stone cutouts, their faces staring outward with cold, shadowed expressions in the dim light, almost as if they know you’re an unwelcome intruder.Arastro stands up, placing whatever he was looking at back on the toppled altar. He seems to be following along with your impromptu lecture without issue, an aptitude you’ve grown used to over the last few days, “So spirits do the same but going the other way? That sounds similar to how the catechisms describe it, in some parts at least.”“Yes, more or less. That’s why a sword would still cut them, our world would become as real for them as it is for us. What were you just looking at?”
>>4682929“An old holy symbol.” He picks the object back up, and holds it out into the light for you to see more closely. It's a small silver lion’s head, its mane flared out almost like the rays of a stylized sun. The metal is heavily tarnished, turned a corroded brownish color. “Oh. It looks odd.” You comment, a little disappointed by the find. Another enchanted artifact would’ve been far more interesting than a corroded holy icon.“It is odd.” Arastro echoes, “I’ve never heard of a lion faced sun before, but it's clearly a solar icon. The number of rays are the same as modern ones.”“...I’ll take your word for it. Planning on keeping it?” You ask, turning around a bit to scan across the pew filled chamber. It feels almost as if you’re being watched, but nothing is there. You try to shake the feeling off, with limited success.Arastro sets the icon down once again and turns toward the exit, “No, I won’t loot a church, not even a half heathen one like this. Lets move on.”You nod, heading toward the rotten out doorway and past the unnerving statues again, “Lets. The mages chamber should be nearby.”“What makes you think that?” Arastro questions, leading you back toward the right “The right side had the keep’s temple, so it stands to reason that the left would have the mage’s chamber.”That gets a small chuckle from him, “I’m not sure that makes sense, Frauke, but okay.”“What? No, it makes perfect sense, witches…” You trail off, having a difficult time articulating why exactly it makes so much sense to you. It just feels correct....And sure enough, it is correct. At the end of the long left-side hallway lies a circular stone barrier about three meters in diameter, its surface inscribed with intricate overlapping runic circles and complex thaumaturgic patterns; an Orellian portal. It’s a spell-locked puzzle door, only openable by mages that know or can decipher the correct combination of mana inputs to power its enchantment. It’s an old Imperial pattern, which makes sense given your surroundings, and one which you know extremely well; Åse had a portal just like this that she forced you to train on constantly, hundreds of hours worth of grueling lessons on how to utilize complex pre-shift spells. At the time it seemed like it was just a nifty practice piece, but perhaps not…This should only take a few seconds to open the door, assuming the normal pattern hasn’t been badly scrambled.>Quickly input the correct mana charges, tapping out the rune order almost by memory alone. No reason to waste time, this place gives you a bad feeling.>Check over the door’s patterns more closely. It isn’t as if you’re pressed for time, you aren’t expected back at camp for another hour at least and the keep seems to be empty.>Write-in.
>>4682938>“What makes you think that?” Arastro questions, leading you back toward the rightThis should read: “What makes you think that?” Arastro questions, leading you back toward the intersection.
>>4682938>Check over the door’s patterns more closely. It isn’t as if you’re pressed for time, you aren’t expected back at camp for another hour at least and the keep seems to be empty.Check for any traps that could go off if we put in the wrong inputs too. No need to rush things and get ourselves killed.
>>4682938>>Check over the door’s patterns more closely. It isn’t as if you’re pressed for time, you aren’t expected back at camp for another hour at least and the keep seems to be empty.
>>4682952>>4682964>>4682978>>4683242You approach the sealed Orellian portal, reaching out with a delicate hand and tracing the ancient spell wrought lines of the stone. It’s cold to the touch, but you ignore the mild discomfort and carry on, handing your staff off to Arastro so he can handle the light while you work. There’s no mana fueled pulse of self-powered enchantment, no faint tingling or buzz at your fingertips that such things normally cause, so it’s unlikely any automatic traps were worked into the spellwork. That still leaves the more fiendish possibility that door uses an unwitting mage’s own power against them, and unfortunately that’s the default for these things.You make a frustrated little noise, stepping back from the stone door and looking at it in its entirety once more, “Hmph.”“Something wrong with it?” Arastro asks, offering you your staff back. You wave it away, it’s best if both of your hands are free for this type of work.“No, nothing at all. I’ve opened a portal exactly like this one dozens of times.” You say, still examining the patterns of the doors.“Well, that sounds like good news to me." He answers, looking you over briefly, "You’re nervous though.”“A little.” You admit, “If I’m wrong about how to open it, if something subtle was changed, it’s going to do far worse than a little training shock.”“Training shock?” He questions. “Lightning, but very small.” You explain. Electricity is a bit of an esoteric topic, even for someone as studious as Arastro.He catches on quickly though, “...and I suppose this wouldn’t be small? Figures.”You let out a small nervous laugh, not liking the thought of dying in a dreary abandoned ruin like this, “Not at all, no. I’m going to check the spell formulae to be sure. This will take a few minutes. Just move the light around as I ask, okay? It’ll help a lot.”“Of course.”With that you set to work, untying the red protective knot of your satchel’s main compartment and removing your grimoire from within. Unclasping the silver rose holding its cover shut, you flip the huge old spell book open to its section on Orellian portals. There are only a few pages treating the subject, but they deal with precisely this variant; even with the spells memorized, it’s good to have a reference to check against. The whole point of this is safety, may as well take all the precautions you can.
>>4683416It’s tedious work, checking and rechecking each line and angle, deciphering the meanings of the movement spells and distinguishing them from false security warding. The entire mechanism is genius really, redundant and designed to thwart brute force openings with spells of earth movement or magic destruction, while still able to handle more subtle interference such as attempts to carve new lines to alter the meanings of key spells. The mana powering the spells to move or alter the stone would be the very thing that activated its defenses and mana reservoirs, the result of complex siphoning and reflection warding.Trying to destroy the enchantment directly would be very difficult due to its permanence and multifaceted nature, not to mention extremely loud and explosive. It's not something you want to be around when it happens, the energy of the blast would be channeled right down this hallway and away from the mage’s chamber. Simply blowing it apart from a distance could work, and so would using muscle powered tools such as picks and hammers, but no defense is perfect and it would still require enormous effort on the attackers part. More complex portals integrate steel plating and self-powered enchantments to thwart such attempts, and even spirits bound as guardians. Thankfully this one isn’t nearly so heavily defended.No, as you finish up your calculations and checks you’re sure this door is exactly as you suspected, lacking any additional traps or tampered spells. You take your staff back from Arastro and tap out the familiar pattern, channeling mana through the length of oak to power each spell in turn with the correct magical charge. Pale blue light appears at each contact point and spreads across the geometric patterns of the door like growing tendrils, brightening where it connects with other lines of light and splitting off to fill out yet more of the detailed surface. Several patterns remain completely dull and unlit, the security warding you took painstaking efforts to avoid. The door rolls open with a hiss of released stale air, sliding into a hidden cubby in the wall to its left. Perfect work.
>>4683424>-3 MP.Beyond lies the mage’s chamber, enchanted blue crystal lamps brightly illuminating the high ceilinged domed room in defiance of the passage of time. Several oddly curving tables covered in strange curia fill the area, and the walls all are almost totally covered in tall wooden shelves with colorfully bound books that remain neatly organized just as they must have been a thousand years ago. Golden bird cages hang from the ceiling on silver chains, a long rolling ladder propped against one wall presumably the means of accessing them. Unopened crates and chests litter the room, some in neat stacks while other rest on or near tables. Even a few plants remain alive, nurtured by enchanted planters or perhaps being some type of bound astral flora. Almost directly ahead of you an archway leads to a downward spiral flight of stairs; it probably leads to the casting circles, or maybe the mage’s bedchamber.Arastro freezes up and barely manages an awestruck, “Wow.” Used to such things, you just walk right in, feeling incredibly at home in the chambers. It reminds you a great deal of Åse’s tower. Not quite the same sense of interior decoration or organization, a little too chaotic for her tastes, but absolutely the work of one of your kind. It’s the sort of place you could happily get lost in for weeks or months, the exact type of thing you’ve been searching out for two years. You have less than an hour until you’re expected back.And of course there’s still the question of what destroyed the fortress, and why the mage’s chamber managed to be sealed despite the soldiers outside being taken by surprise. Not a comforting line of thinking…>Check the bookshelves, look for titles you don’t recognize and start making a pile.>Scour over the tables. What are all of these objects? Are they enchanted? What do they do?>Open some of the chests and crates, if they’re sealed they must be more important, right?>Anything still in those cages up there? Climb the ladder and check.>Check down the stairs, you came looking for a casting circle and that’s probably where one is.>Write-in.
>>4683426>>Check the bookshelves, look for titles you don’t recognize and start making a pile.
>>4683426>Check the bookshelves, look for titles you don’t recognize and start making a pile.
>>4683426>Open some of the chests and crates, if they’re sealed they must be more important, right?
>>4683454>>4683545>>4683606You have to restrain yourself from running directly toward the bookshelves, settling instead for a dignified if suspiciously quick walk. Brushing past the tables and chests, you plant yourself firmly before the first shelf and set about your very scholarly and not at all excited impromptu cataloguing. What ancient secrets could these hold? Thoughts of just how unsettling the ruined fortress is melt away from your mind, the comforting familiarity of the well stocked arcane study putting you at ease; it reminds you of happier times, almost like you’ve returned to the misty island. You haven’t, of course, and the bodies of long dead soldiers still lie outside in a dreary frozen ruin, but none of that matters right now...It’s making you giddy just looking at all the books, their colorful spines and covers have been kept in beautiful condition by the Orellian portal’s seal on the chamber. They hardly looked aged at all. Where to start though, where to start? You make an embarrassing little noise of scholarly interest, and carefully pull the first book from its millennium long slumber.Herminia On Thaumatological Ciphers. Interesting. Probably retreads ground you’re familiar with, but it’s worth a read. You set it aside and move onto the next, skipping several copies of classic treatises by Marcitus. They’re probably immensely valuable, but you’re here for magic and not money and you’ve read everything of worth Marcitus ever wrote, so they can continue their rest for now. The next few new books though are quickly added to the pile. Secrets of the Human Body. You open the book to about halfway through, and immediately turn red upon seeing the first illustration, a very detailed moving image of a pair of young… Well, the rest of the book is useful for your current studies of the Body at least. Yes, it will be positively vital for academic research. You glance about to make sure Arastro didn’t see, wanting desperately to avoid that particular conversation, and add the book to the pile. Mana Geysers and Cascades. Oh, now that really is something. Detailed information about leyline conditions preceding the shift is always fascinating, and immensely difficult to come by. Onto the stack it goes. On the Care of Dragons. Probably not useful for spells, but it fits the company name and Lussan might like it from what you’ve heard about him. One more for the pile, and soon joined by half a dozen others as you just keep finding promising titles...
>>4683891At some point Arastro wandered in closer behind you, setting about his own exploration of the room in relative silence, only occasionally asking you to identify a few objects as he searches through a few of the steel-bound chests nearby. You continue your hunt for tomes, leaving him about his own business for now.A Theory of Spell Harmonics. Huh. You’ve never even heard of spell harmonics before. This is absolutely a keeper. You set it aside, but realize that the pile of tomes you wish to take back with you is rapidly growing to an unmanageable level. How are they even going to be carried back to camp?You grumble to yourself, not wanting to leave any of it. The chamber could be resealed and you could come back at a later time, but it just doesn’t feel right to abandon so much knowledge…>Search a little longer and pick one last book to take back. (Initiates a vote)>See what Arastro’s found, he’s climbed up on the ladder now and seems preoccupied with one of the golden cages. Is he talking to something?>Head down to the stairs to explore the rest of the mage’s chambers. Casting circles await! Probably.>Write-in.
>>4683902>See what Arastro’s found, he’s climbed up on the ladder now and seems preoccupied with one of the golden cages. Is he talking to something?
>>4683902>>See what Arastro’s found, he’s climbed up on the ladder now and seems preoccupied with one of the golden cages. Is he talking to something?
>>4683902How many of the books have we checked, and how many of those stood out? If most of them are just old editions of stuff we've already read, we might be able to get the Drakes interested in helping us clear it out by letting them resell most of the books.
>>4683960Frauke has looked over about 3/4ths of the books, and of those the vast majority are ones she's ready before or has been actively discouraged from reading by Åse due to them containing particularly bad misinformation. Just because somebody wrote something down doesn't make it true, age just gives a veneer of authority to utter nonsense sometimes. There's currently a pile of a little over a dozen books Frauke wants to take, all of which are rather large and heavy. You could bludgeon an ogre to death with a few of them, they're very bulky.Trying to take some of the already read stuff for resale is definitely possible, though the few wagons the Drakes have are already loaded down pretty heavily with provisions for crossing the mountains; a lot of books are going to have to be left behind, but if could probably turn a tidy profit if a buyer is located. Most traders/nobles won't have any interest in arcane tomes, but those that do are usually quite wealthy.>>4683919>>4683922>>4683927Writing.
>>4683919>>4683922>>4683927You look at the decorated bookshelves and sigh, wishing again that it could all come with you. Sometimes things aren’t meant to be, but if the other Drakes bring the wagons to the ruined fortress you might be able to take a few more. They could even turn a tidy profit. Coin isn’t a particular interest of yours, most things of arcane relevance are found or made and not bought, but as a newly minted mercenary you’ve already come to see coins more mundane benefits; A well fed company is a happy company, and running a campaign can’t possibly be cheap. Tucking those thoughts away for now, you turn your attention toward Arastro and strange preoccupation with one of the golden cages dangling by a chain from the dome d ceiling. He’s standing atop the higher rungs of the moveable ladder, leaning toward the cage and… talking?Yes, you can’t quite make out what he’s saying, but he’s definitely whispering something. Could there still be something left in the cage? Surely a bird would have died long, long ago… But looking around the chamber at the still living plants sends a little jolt of doubt through you. Has some poor creature been trapped here for so long?“Arastro, what is it up there?” You call out, staring up at him as he tries to open the cage’s tiny locked door.Arastro wobbles slightly on the old ladder as he pulls away from the cage, but quickly finds his balance again and looks to you with a confused expression, “...It’s a tiny person, Frauke. She’s breathing, barely, but won’t wake up. Almost missed that she was in there.”“A tiny person… Does she have wings?” You ask, growing more concerned.“Yes, why?”“How about a flower for hair?” You question further, fearing the likely answer.“...Sort of, I haven’t seen one like it before though. Think she’s a spirit?”You wince at the question, hoping the spirit hasn’t gone completely mad in isolation, “it has to be, the poor thing. A sprite or... something, I’m not the best with spirits. Can you lower the cage?”“...No, I don’t see a mechanism or latch, the chain link is solid. Here, just climb up.” Arastro offers, sliding down the ladder at an alarming speed.
>>4684215You begin climbing, moving far more cautiously than Arastro did, and soon you’re at eye level with the golden cage. It looks to be a repurposed bird cage of some kind, but with slightly tighter bars… Lying within it is a pale, tiny woman, with long pointed ears and diaphanous insect-like wings. In place of hair, her head is crowned with a few long, almost fluffy looking white flower petals; very much like an edelweiss. At a greater distance they could easily be mistaken for long, flowing hair. She’s clad in a simple and clinging mossy white frock which matches her hair, and she's curled up at the far edge of the cave, eyes shut and breathing extremely shallow. At most she’s as little taller than your hand and forearm.Looking about at the other cages, you spot a number of tiny skeletons. It’s hard to tell what left them at this distance, they might have been simple animals.>”Hello? Are you alive in there?”>Just focus on opening the cage, use an earth spell to force the lock if necessary.>Examine the cage more closely, it doesn’t appear to be warded but it's holding a spirit captive somehow…>Write-in.
>>4684221>Examine the cage more closely, it doesn’t appear to be warded but it's holding a spirit captive somehow…
>>4684056Might I make a suggestion we seal this place back up if we can to preserve whatever is left behind.
>>4684454Resealing the chamber would be very easy, only taking a bit of mana and a few seconds.
>>4684221>Just focus on opening the cage, use an earth spell to force the lock if necessary.We know they are fairly harmless right?
>>4684221>Examine the cage more closely, it doesn’t appear to be warded but it's holding a spirit captive somehow…She's been fine for this long, she'll can wait a bit longer while we study the cage before breaking it.
>>4684221>>Examine the cage more closely, it doesn’t appear to be warded but it's holding a spirit captive somehow…If it's locked then there's probably a good reason for it
>>4684221>Examine the cage more closely, it doesn’t appear to be warded but it's holding a spirit captive somehow…Still need to read through everything but want to participate.
>>4684281>>4684642>>4684756>>4684801Some of the unease you felt whilst outside of the mage’s chamber returns, a little whispering voice of fear reminding you of how dangerous it can be to poke around another mage’s possessions, how spells can be hidden in the strangest places sometimes. Getting your wits about you, you take a moment to steady yourself on the ladder with one hand and lean forward to examine the hanging golden cage more closely. There aren’t any obvious runes or geometric patterning to indicate an enchantment, but such focus aids aren’t strictly necessary and their absence isn’t conclusive. Arastro suffered no ill effects touching the cage, so you take the risk and reach out to brush your fingers lighting against its thin bars. There’s no pulse or buzz of mana, just cold metal. Is it really just a fancy birdcage? Surely a spirit could have escaped such a contraption, physical objects exist in the astral world but their dimensions aren’t quite as definite, and she should be able to just step out with a bit of effort. It isn’t as if it’s a solid wall… Or perhaps it is solid, it’s the only option that makes much sense. The cage appears to be made of gold, which if alchemists are to be believed has its own peculiar and unique qualities. Perhaps it’s more solid in the astral world? You place your hand under it and attempt to lift the cage up, and find its weight almost immoveable, only nudging it to the side and sending it rocking slightly on its chain. It's heavy, very heavy for how lightly built it looks.Is it solid gold? If that’s true it’s worth a small fortune, but it fits your theory. You make a mental note to try and learn more about alchemy and enchanting at some point, as outside of leywood you’re not familiar with the special properties of many materials.Letting out a relieved breath, you smirk in triumph, but the sight of the collapsed spirit stops you from feeling too good about your little deduction. The cage isn’t hiding some threat, it’s just expensive and cruel. What heartless monster would trap something so harmless like this spirit and then just abandon her? Perhaps it wasn’t intentional, the fortress seems to have fallen quickly, but that doesn’t explain imprisoning her in the first place or why someone would go through the expense of having such a cage made.>”Are you okay in there? I’m here to help.” Try talking, maybe you can wake her up.>Focus on opening the cage, use an earth spell to force the lock if necessary. Get her out of there.>Check on the other cages, their occupants don’t seem to have been as lucky…>Write-in.>>4684801Welcome to the quest, anon! The summary should be more than enough to make informed decisions, but I definitely won't discourage you from reading the rest.
>>4684823>reach out to brush your fingers lighting against its thin barsShould say 'lightly'.
>>4684823>>Check on the other cages, their occupants don’t seem to have been as lucky…Let's not mess with it until we get all the info we can.
>>4684823>”Are you okay in there? I’m here to help.” Try talking, maybe you can wake her up.She might know something about the cage.
>>4684823>”Are you okay in there? I’m here to help.” Try talking, maybe you can wake her up.try to find out if that thing hasn't gone mad through the millennia stuck in a cage
>>4684823>>Focus on opening the cage, use an earth spell to force the lock if necessary. Get her out of there.
>>4684823>”Are you okay in there? I’m here to help.” Try talking, maybe you can wake her up.
>>4684823Just caught up and eager to get into the mix, really good read. Definitely missed sleep tonight.
>>4684974>>4685070>>4685099“Are you okay in there?” You ask softly, “I’m here to help.”The spirit remains almost motionless, her eyes shut and breath so shallow as to almost be imperceptible, only the faintest rise and fall of her tiny chest betraying the fact that she still lives. The sad little sight reminds you of the birds that would sometimes strike the windows of Åse’s tower, they’d remain dazed and motionless for minutes, sometimes much longer; cute, helpless, injured. More than once you helped nurse them back to health, a practice Åse encouraged, but eventually one wasn't so fortunate. After a couple of days of care it died during the night, and it had you in tears for hours. Åse warded the windows to prevent further accidents after that, but you sometimes wonder why she hadn’t done so long before.“You’re a sprite, aren’t you? I’m Frauke, a witch of the Misty Island.” You say in the same gentle tone as before, introducing yourself properly. She probably can’t hear you, but it’s worth a try. Witches and spirits often live together, it might put her at ease. Or perhaps not, considering where she's been stuck for the last thousand years...“I’d like to help you, to get you out of that cage. Is that okay?”Still no response, not even a slight shifting like a sleeping person makes; she’s simply out cold. You sigh, and try a different approach. Very carefully, you tap a few times on one of the bars of the cage, hoping the rhythmic noise might cause her to stir. There’s no effect, which by this point you expect. You just hope she hasn’t gone mad from isolation, but this catatonic state isn’t encouraging.>Focus on opening the cage, use an earth spell to force the lock if necessary.>Check on the other cages, their occupants don’t seem to have been as lucky…>Go back down the ladder and speak with Arastro about the situation, think things over a bit.>Write-in.
>>4685249>>Focus on opening the cage, use an earth spell to force the lock if necessary.
>>4685249>>Check on the other cages, their occupants don’t seem to have been as lucky…
>>4685249>Focus on opening the cage, use an earth spell to force the lock if necessary.
>>4685249>Focus on opening the cage, use an earth spell to force the lock if necessary.That's it, let's get the poor thing out.
>>4685249>Check on the other cages, their occupants don’t seem to have been as lucky…Let's not rush things. For all we know, it's dangerous. Let's look around and see what we can find out.
>>4685249>>Check on the other cages, their occupants don’t seem to have been as lucky…Either the lock or the content of the cage might be dangerous still
>>4685249>Check on the other cages, their occupants don’t seem to have been as lucky…
>>4685638>>4685562>>4685550>>4685293>>4685254Locking in checking on the other cages. Writing.Apologies for not getting an update out earlier, the gap was much longer than intended.
>>4685638>>4685562>>4685550>>4685293>>4685254Caution has defined your exploration of the ruin thus far, and slipping up now would just be embarrassing. Examining the other cages before opening the sprite’s is only prudent. Even from here you can see the tiny skeletons littering their interiors, but it’s difficult to make out more. You lower yourself down the ladder, careful to ensure your footing on the aged wood, and trade worried looks with Arastro as you reach the bottom.“No response, I take?” He asks, holding the ladder steady as you descend.You shake your head in dismay, “None. She isn’t sleeping, it’s something deeper than that.”“Moon grant her mercy, spirit or no.” Arastro closes his eyes and makes a small gesture in front of his heart as he speaks the prayer, and then addresses you once more, “Are you sure?” “No, not entirely.” You admit while struggling to move the ladder to the next hanging cage, “She doesn’t appear to be injured or starved, and I’m not sure spirits can even be ill, but I'm no expert…”Arastro helps you move the weighty ladder without hesitation, and guesses correctly at your intentions, “Checking the other cages?”“That’s the plan.” You confirm, beginning to climb as soon as you reach the correct spot, “With any luck there might be a clue or two as to what happened to…”You stop speaking, the closer inspection of the cage immediately revealing what led to its occupant’s death. The thin gold plating, that is all it was on this cage, has been clawed off of the iron bars, and a small section forcibly widened. Tiny, tightly spaced scrapes on the metal make you think that some kind of many clawed creature must have been responsible. It must have been shockingly strong for its size. The tiny humanoid skeleton within the cage is strewn about it in bits and pieces, the bones scarred and gnawed. It wasn’t a peaceful death. Bile rises in your throat, the mere thought of being eaten alive being upsetting on an instinctual level. Testing the cage’s weight with a hand reveals it is noticeably easier to shift. Still heavy, but it lifts a little. Definitely not solid gold.You lower yourself down the ladder, and move onto the next cage. The scene is much the same there, the gold plating clawed off and a small entrance forced into the bars. This cage held a pair of beings, trapped together until the end. Two tiny humanoid skulls, one slightly larger than the other and partially crushed. The next cage yields the same, and the next, and the final one as well. Tiny skeletons within them all, each of roughly the same size as the sprite woman. All were devoured by some beast which clawed part of the cage’s gold plating off and then forced the bars.
>>4685897You cover your mouth with one hand, almost brought to tears by the shocking scenes. They might not have been humans, but they were still people. People forcibly trapped, and then preyed upon by some beast, probably terrified until their last agonizing moments. Sprites can speak and sing, they form little societies and some even cast magic… and while you don’t know much more about their way of life or disposition, that’s more than enough. They didn’t deserve this. No one deserves this.But could that delicate little flower of a sprite be responsible? It doesn’t seem to track, she didn’t look strong enough or appear to possess claws, and her cage was locked with no way to open it from the interior. But even still, looks can be deceiving.Of course if the unconscious sprite didn’t do this, it means something else did. Something which very much isn’t caged and neatly contained. Something that could still be in this very room, lurking within a shadowed corner or just outside your perception on the other side of the astral veil…>Go ahead with opening the cage and freeing the sprite, using a spell if necessary. She needs to be rescued, this chamber isn’t the welcoming place you first took it for.>Attempt to locate what else might have broken into the cages, and deal with it in a bit of old fashioned preemptive self-defense if you can find it. (How?)>Try using the whistle you found earlier. You’re not sure what it does, but it might wake the sprite up so you can talk. Of course it might also attract whatever bestial creatures did this, assuming it isn’t the sprite.>Write-in
>>4685899>Try using the whistle you found earlier. You’re not sure what it does, but it might wake the sprite up so you can talk. Of course it might also attract whatever bestial creatures did this, assuming it isn’t the sprite.saves the trouble of us looking around and having to look for what did this, if its out there.
>>4685899>Try using the whistle you found earlier. You’re not sure what it does, but it might wake the sprite up so you can talk. Of course it might also attract whatever bestial creatures did this, assuming it isn’t the sprite.
>>4685899>>Attempt to locate what else might have broken into the cages, and deal with it in a bit of old fashioned preemptive self-defense if you can find it. (How?)let us not throw caution to the wind after all this tip-toeing
>>4685899>Go ahead with opening the cage and freeing the sprite, using a spell if necessary. She needs to be rescued, this chamber isn’t the welcoming place you first took it for.It will come for the last sprite but there's no telling when or if we can wait so long as to set a trap or ambush it. Us taking away his meal might reveal him and we could make ourselves ready for a fight but I have no idea how we'd locate him before hand. Let's tell our boy to keep his eyes open and watch our back.
>>4686146>>4686187Blowing the whistle. >>4686349Making sure Arastro is ready for what might happen doesn't conflict and makes sense, I'll add it in.
>>4686146>>4686187You climb down from the old ladder once more, with an idea on how to deal with this predicament in mind. The silver dragon head whistle you found earlier is enchanted to communicate with spirits in some way, and though the specifics are still a mystery it seems reasonable that it might awaken the caged sprite woman or attract the predator responsible for devouring the others; regardless of the outcome it stands a good chance of resolving the situation. As soon as your shoes touch the stone floor of the chamber, you take up your staff from where you left it propped against a table nearby and start to open your leather satchel.“Something broke into the cages, Arastro. It scraped the gold off of them and forced its way inside, and… ate the other sprites.” You explain while pulling the whistle from its snug fit in one of the satchel’s small side compartments.“Moon and sun.” Arastro mutters, looking up at the golden cage holding the unconscious sprite, “Why’s she still alive then, and what’s this about gold?”“The gold is just a theory, I’m not certain but I believe it’s more solid in the astral world than most materials, and as for her that’s what I want to find out. Her cage is solid gold, I’m sure of it, so it may simply be better protected, but the way I see it there are two likely possibilities: either she’s responsible for the other sprites’ deaths and far more dangerous that she looks, which I doubt, or there’s something else in here that killed them and it hasn’t been able to get past the golden bars of her cage. A malevolent spirit, though I couldn’t guess as to what kind. I’m going to try using the whistle we found earlier. Keep that sword ready.”“An evil spirit? Well, if blades work on them like you said earlier, I’m always up for rescuing a bit of rescue work…” He gives his longsword a flourishing twirl, and firms up his grip on it, flashing you a wolfish grin. “You just like playing the hero.” You accuse while fighting off a grin of your own, trying to keep your mind focused on the task at hand. You flip the whistle around in your fingers, feeling over the cold silver grooves and ridges of its draconic form, and the slight indents of the runes on both sides. “Absolutely.” Arastro agrees, his green eyes searching across the few shadowed area of the room.“Stay on your guard, I’m unsure of what this will do.” You say, a final warning before you press the whistle to your lips and blow. Willing a small transfer of power, you can feel the pulse of mana as it flows from you and into the enchanted object.>-1 MP.
>>4686563A shrill and incredibly loud note sounds from the whistle, its shrieking cry sounding more like the call of some predatory bird than a normal whistle. You flinch at the noise but continue to blow until the little burst of mana you fed into the enchantment is expended.There’s a tiny, frightened cry from the golden cage, ”Aaagh! What’s happening!?”But you scarcely have time to consider the voice, as Arasto lunges forward at one of the nearby tables with the tip of his longsword. Steel bites into wood, missing his target by a matter of inches. Leaping away from the blade is a small humanoid figure, hunched over and covered in thick bristling black fur, the feline features of its dark face pulled back in anger as it lets out a furious hiss. It continues it’s leaping roll away from the blade as Arastro pulls his sword back, frightfully quick for its size, a step or two beyond the scale of a normal house cat. The cat-spirit lands atop the stack of tomes you set aside earlier, having little issue balancing on its hind legs atop the precarious pile of books, its strange partially bipedal movements reminding you of moving illustrations you’ve seen of monkeys. The beast narrows its bright yellow eyes at Arasto and continues to hiss menacingly, batting a clawed paw threateningly in the air at him. Arastro doesn’t follow up with another thrust, and as you prepare to join him in the fight you see why.There are at least a dozen more of the creature spilling in through the open Orellian portal, scurrying in on all fours and leaping atop tables and onto shelves, each shrieking and hissing, calling out in unnatural sounding speech.”Noissse! Noissse! Why call?!” One of the newcomers cries out, its voice hissing and as it leaps onto one of the tables in a single bound. ”Prey! Food!” Another shrieks, following closely behind.”Finally! Finally! The cage!” A third shouts, already on the move to the shelf nearest the sprite’s golden cage.”Foolsss! Sstrong cage! No open! Try sso long!” The original creature calls at the others, leaping back from the tomes as Arastro decides to go ahead with another strike; the blade swishes through the air, not quick enough to catch the fiendish cat-spirit.“Frauke, a little help? This is more than I expected!” Arastro asks, making another opportunistic cut at one of the cat-spirit as it tries to rush him. The blow lands this time, catching it deeply across the chest and sending it sprawling back in a spray of crimson blood and panicking furred limbs.Hopefully the formatting isn't fucked this attempt, lets see.
>>4686580”Back, you brutes! Ruffians! Scoundrels!” The sprite yells, her little voice now defiant but almost entirely drowned out by the cacophony of hisses and shrieks coming from the many cats-spirits rapidly spreading across the chamber. One of them is already clinging onto the cage somehow, trying to reach a paw inside but unable to fit between the bars. Lines and signs, they're far too quick, it's only been a few seconds.>Blast em’! You’ve got a few spare bags of stones tied to your staff, get to work with Scatter Stone!>Slam the butt of your staff onto the stone floor and try to scare them off. “I am a witch of the Misty Island! Oppose me and you shall be destroyed, spirits! Leave this place at once!">”Arastro, the stairs! They can’t surround us there!” Retreat to a more defensible position.>Write-in.
>>4686583>Blast em’! You’ve got a few spare bags of stones tied to your staff, get to work with Scatter Stone!this sounds like just the right job for our little magic shotgun. QM, how's our mana? We keep losing points but I have no idea how many are left.
>>4686583>>”Arastro, the stairs! They can’t surround us there!” Retreat to a more defensible position.
>>4686606MP: 28/32Pendant MP: 26/30I believe 8 MP has been expended, taking into account everything from the contraction cast in the OP all the way through the last update.Splitting MP use between the two reservoirs means Frauke can take full advantage of their separate siphon/recharge rates.
>>4686583>>Blast em’! You’ve got a few spare bags of stones tied to your staff, get to work with Scatter Stone!
Rolled 2, 1, 3, 3, 3, 3, 5, 2, 2 = 24 (9d6)>>4686606>>4686714Blasting it is! I need three separate rolls of 6d6.The first 3d6 of each roll is for casting the contraction 'Scatter Stone'; TN is 14. The second 3d6 of each roll is to hit; TN is 12. Every point of success after the TN is another hit with a pebble.You want to roll equal to or under the TN, lower is better. Once the rolls are all done I'll ask for one anon to roll all of the damage at once, assuming Frauke hits anything.Rolling for a trio of Arastro's attacks.
Rolled 6, 6, 6, 4, 4, 2 = 28 (6d6)>>4686858
>>4686862oof, would've been a very good roll on another quest
>>4686858Checking for the cat-spirits fighting back. The first pair of 3d6 is directed at Arastro, the third is at Frauke. TN for them is 14.>>4686862Oh no, that's not a promising start.
Rolled 4, 5, 6, 4, 4, 3, 1, 6, 5 = 38 (9d6)>>4686866Forgot the dice like a moron.
Rolled 1, 1, 1, 6, 1, 1 = 11 (6d6)>>4686858PUSSY DESTROYER
>>4686876That's a very shiny 3 that you have there, anon. Rolls are really all over the place currently, first an 18 and now this.
Rolled 4, 3, 6, 3, 5, 5 = 26 (6d6)>>4686858
Rolled 5, 6, 3, 2, 6, 1, 5, 1, 5, 3, 3, 3 = 43 (12d6)>>468686218, critical failure to cast. Oof!>>46868763, critical success to cast. 8 to hit; 5 hits. Probably a very, very dead cat-spirit.>>468708413, successful casting. 13 to hit; 2 hits. Possibly a dead cat-spirit.I forgot to work in the +2 to hit from rate of fire 1x9, which is a slight issue since its one of the major points of using scatter stone at all. TN should have been 14 to hit, so I'm going to correct it to that.Modifiers for anybody that cares. Base skill of 14: -3 for a range/relative movement of 7 yards (how much was range or movement depended on the target); +2 from rate of fire 1x9, +1 from using a staff.I need a roll of 7d6 for damage, and another roll of 3d6 for Frauke dodging away from an enraged cat-spirit trying to maul her. These are the last rolls I'll need before writing.Rolls are for Arastro and the cat-spirits he's fighting. First 3d6 is his parrying defense, TN 13. The next three sets are for the cats dodging, TN 9.
Rolled 5, 1, 1, 4, 4, 3, 6 = 24 (7d6)>>4687121
Just need that last 3d6 for Frauke's defense. If by the time I'm back it hasn't been rolled I'll do it myself, but I'd prefer a player did it due to the risk of injury.Feel free to roll multiple times if there's been half an hour or so since your last.
Rolled 4, 6, 5 = 15 (3d6)>>4687236
Rolled 2, 6, 4 = 12 (3d6)>>4687236People might be asleep now, ill give you another if your waiting.
>>4687329The first was all I needed, but I appreciate it. Currently writing.
>>4686862>>4686876>>4687084>>4687174>>4687259Arastro takes a step forward, his longsword flowing from one cut to the next as opportune moments to strike at the spirits present themselves. His feline targets dance just out of the reach of his blade, leaping from table to table and onto nearby shelves to avoid its bite. The fiendish looking cat-spirits, whatever the hell they are, will be absolutely swarming over the chamber and its shelves soon if something isn’t done to thin their numbers. The time for caution and subtlety is over. Shifting your feet to a more balanced stance, you extend your staff toward one of the nearest spirits and focus your will upon it, clearly visualizing its evisceration in a hail of stones within your mind’s eye. The arcane power dwelling within your blood roars to life, the pulse of mana mixing with that of your beating heart, magic and adrenaline focusing your mind upon this first hissing cat-spirit to catch your gaze.. You utter the contraction, speaking the clipped words of power in anger for the first time, “Sayerd!>-1 MP.A small thunderclap fills the chamber, sending your ears ringing as the one of the small bags of pebbles tied to the end of your oak staff simply detonates in every direction. Pebbles smash to dust against the floor and ceiling at odd angles, a few of the flatter one making terrific whistling noises as they ricochet about the spacious domed room, while others strike the bookshelves and bury themselves into ancient tomes. You aren’t hit, thankfully, but the cat-spirits hiss and shriek in terror, a few that had been bounding toward you jumping away to find cover as the stones strike about the room. That is not how the spell is meant to work.
>>4687467You don’t have long to consider the miscast as one of the spirits has already recovered from the fright, rolling back from cover and sprinting toward you on all fours. Even moving between piles of books, it clears the distance in the blink of an eye and launches itself from a table directly toward your face. You barely have time to interpose your staff and cast. “Sayerd!>-1 MP.Mana pulses and thunder cracks, and the small spirit is ripped to shreds as your spell catches it nearly dead center, only inches beyond the tip of your extended staff. The spirit isn’t wounded, it simply bursts like a melon crushed by a wagon wheel. One moment it was flying toward you, fangs and claws flashing. The next it was ragged, gore covered fur and meat flying past you, just inches off target. You’re struck by a small wash of crimson as the mangled body sails by, thumping into the shelf behind you with a dull wet impact. ”Witch, behind you!” The sprite calls out from her golden cage, and you spin about on your heel immediately, turning your staff toward another yellow eyed cat-spirit leaping down from the shelf above you.“Sayerd! You cry out again, sending another jolt of mana surging into the pebble bags tied to the staff. One more tiny thunderclap resounds in the chamber, but your aim isn’t as true and only the edge of the shot pattern catches the leaping feral spirit across its side. More crimson sprays the walls, but the beast isn’t thrown entirely off course.>-1 MP.You let out a small scream of fright as it crashes into you, your clumsy attempt to step to the side coming too late, and your cry soon shifts to one of pain as razor sharp claws tear into your skin. The robes you wear do little to stop the attacks, a dozen tiny knives ripping across your right arm and chest as the injured spirit flails and rakes at anything it can find purchase upon. Stumbling backward, you trip over a wooden stool and fall to the ground; Not a good position to be in, but the jolting impact sends the spirit rolling off of you before it can dig in further. You’re still moving, but it isn’t. Not a clean victory, but still a win.>-4 HP.
>>4687468Through some small miracle you still have your staff in hand, and you awkwardly begin righting yourself. Pushing up from the cold stone floor, even as the searing pain of your fresh cuts clouds your perception, you stagger back to your feet just in time to see Arastro get swarmed. He halts the leap of one spirit with a stop thrust, the cat-thing impaling itself down full the length of his longsword as its own momentum betrays it, and he then slices another nearly in two with a flicking cut across its belly as it jump from a shelf, but yet another strikes from below and latches onto his leg. He tries to cut it away with a reflexive swipe of his sword, but the nimble beast rushes up his back and easily avoids the awkward blow, claws digging into Arastro’s gambeson and flesh as if he was merely a tree to be climbed.“Agh! Bastard!” Arastro cries out, grabbing at the dark furred creature as it bites down on his neck with a fanged maw. Arastro manages to seize it by the nape and hunches forward, violently ripping the cat-spirit free of his neck and hurling it into a table edge with a wet cracking sound. It thuds onto the ground and doesn’t get up.”Flee! Flee!” One of the spirits cries out, bolting toward the chamber’s entrance and then out into the darkness of the ruined fortress. Another follows close on its tail, and more behind it. Several continue to hiss and screech, fur bristling as they turn back to face you at the edge of the stone doorway and making threatening swipes with their paws before leaving. Now that they’re not climbing over all of the walls around you, they don’t look quite as intimidating. Still, if a pack of them had caught you alone there isn’t much you could have done, they’re much stronger and faster than they look, and their claws cut as well as any knife.”Hunt later! Sscent sstrong. Never ssafe, witch!” The last one to leave cries out, its voice filled with hatred. It’s larger than the others, if only by a little, and narrows its amber eyes at you before slinking off into the darkness with the rest of its kind.
>>4687470The chamber is now empty of their ilk, the predators fleeing upon meeting serious resistance. You lean against your staff, one hand pressing against the painful, spreading warmth of the cuts across your chest. You wince as you walk toward Arasto, who’s gripping at the side of his neck with one hand. Blood stains his gambeson, but the heavy quilted cloth and the few sections of plate he still wears look to have stopped the worst of the attacks.“Arastro, your neck-” You begin to say, worried by the location of the wound. Even at their size, those spirits had little trouble digging deeply into flesh. An unlucky enough bite near an artery... “I’ve… I’ve had worse, it’s nothing.” Arastro brushes of your concern with a grimace, his handsome features strained by the pain of the injury. He pulls his hand away from his neck briefly, looking at his blood stained leather glove before quickly reapplying pressure.“It doesn’t look good-” You continue to protest.“Couldn’t take me out with one... bite… I… oh…” He slumps down against a nearby table with little warning, ancient papers and a few unlit candles sent scattering away by the impact, his hand still held against the wound even as his eyes begin to lose focus.“Arastro!” You shout while running the short distance to him, your own wounds now forgotten.He tries to speak but can’t get the words out, barely managing a choking gurgle as his eyes widen and search about in a panic before locking still. His bloodied hand slips from his neck a moment later.“Arastro?” You ask, trying desperately to remain calm, waving your hand before his still open eyes. There’s no response. He’s still breathing, but only barely.”Madam Witch, was your companion harmed by those vicious rapscallions? I cannot see from here, the cage obscures you both.” The sprite woman asks from within her golden cage high above you, her tiny voice crisp and clear even in your growing panic.>Try to muddle your way through a spell of control and body to aid Arastro. Spells affecting the body are very unfamiliar to you still, your study having only just begun a few days ago. >...Peter is outside still, and he’s a healer of sorts. Maybe he can help? He carries medicine and bandages, there might be something to treat Arastro.>”One of them bit my friend on the neck, he’s… he’s paralyzed, I think!” >Write-in.
>>4687471>”One of them bit my friend on the neck, he’s… he’s paralyzed, I think!”
>>4687471>>”One of them bit my friend on the neck, he’s… he’s paralyzed, I think!”
>>4687471>>Try to muddle your way through a spell of control and body to aid Arastro. Spells affecting the body are very unfamiliar to you still, your study having only just begun a few days ago.
>>4687876>>4687623>>4687560“One of them bit my friend on the neck, he’s.... he’s paralyzed, I think!” You shout back, and set your staff aside as you begin applying pressure to the deep bite wound on Arastro’s neck. It’s clearly much more than blood loss affecting him, but you can’t just stand by and do nothing.“His neck? Oh my, how unfortunate, even for a giant such as he. Those fiendish hooligans, their venom is as foul as their tongues! Your companion is in great peril!” The sprite says, her tone urgent as she speaks from high above you. Her accent is… odd, difficult to place, but it reminds you of your mentor a bit; refined, proper. You slip into it sometimes as well, the consequence of a strangely mixed upbringing.You try to focus your mind, to think through the situation carefully just as you trained to do for so long, but with the throbbing pain of your own wounds and the blood of your friend spreading across your palm make difficult, to say the least, “Venom? What does it do? What do I do to help him?”“Still your heart, Madam Witch. Your companion’s great stature has staved off the worst of its nature, but the venom may halt his breath given time.” She warns, “Please, climb upon that ladder there and release me from this gilded prison. I will render what aid I may still muster, even after such a slumber as I have endured.”“You can help him? You’re a healer?” You question, having seen no evidence of such a thing when you looked in the cage earlier. The cage was bare, the sprite woman possessing her tiny white dress but nothing else; what could she do with so little? Magic, perhaps, or some innate power of her kind?Her tone grows more urgent, speech speeding up slightly, ”Indeed, of a sort, but you must act with haste, the hourglass has already been turned! The healing ways of my people are known to me, as is the venom of the grimalkin.”The hourglass has already been turned? That’s a phrase you’ve heard before, but not from anyone you’ve met while travelling… You shut your eyes briefly, clearing your thoughts. Something has to be done, and soon.>Do what the little sprite asks, free her from the cage. She sounds genuinely concerned, and her warning saved you a great deal of pain earlier. Of course she might just be using you as a means to escape.>Ask her to explain what needs to be done from where she is, and try to use your magic to help Arastro. Those grimalkin, if that’s what they’re called, could still be lurking just outside the chamber.>Search about the room, perhaps there’s something you’ve overlooked that might help. A healing tincture or something similar.>Write-in.
no opinion between trying a spell and talking to the spirit.if we're talking to the spirit, until we have something better to do with our hands (like going up to free her, or casting a spell), we can hold onto his wound like he was trying to do.
>>4687882>>Ask her to explain what needs to be done from where she is, and try to use your magic to help Arastro. Those grimalkin, if that’s what they’re called, could still be lurking just outside the chamber.
>>4687882≥Do what the little sprite asks, free her from the cage. She sounds genuinely concerned, and her warning saved you a great deal of pain earlier. Of course she might just be using you as a means to escape.
>>4687882>>Do what the little sprite asks, free her from the cage. She sounds genuinely concerned, and her warning saved you a great deal of pain earlier. Of course she might just be using you as a means to escape.
>>4687882>Ask her to explain what needs to be done from where she is, and try to use your magic to help Arastro. Those grimalkin, if that’s what they’re called, could still be lurking just outside the chamber.
>>4688150>>4688090>>4687976Locking this in and writing.
>>4687976>>4688090>>4688150“Just tell me what needs to be done, I can use my own magic. Those spirits, the grimalkin, there’s no way to know they won’t come back for a second attack. It isn’t safe for you down here.” You say, pressing your hands more firmly against Arastro’s wound and grimacing at the feeling, blood soaking over your fingers. You try to focus your mind on the sprite’s words instead of the spreading warmth of crimson, averting your eyes slightly from Arastro’s strangely locked face.“Such prudence and concern! Very well then, I shall endeavor to instruct you from this prison. My own methods differ from those you must undertake, I am no magi, but many paths lie before you. Are you familiar with the four spheres, Madam Witch?”“Yes, yes, skip the basics! How do I stop the venom?” You insist, not needing to retread over lessons you learned years ago.“Your companion’s battle with the grimalkin’s venom is not wholly corporeal, it assails his spirit and innate magic in equal measure. First, you must strengthen his inner magic, this will ward the worst of-”“His magic? He isn’t a mage, I… I can do that, but I don’t have much to work with here!” You half-shout, worry creeping back into your voice.“Oh dear, that complicates things, and wards will do little at this stage… His corporeal form is the most grievously affected, but being of such great stature it may yet defeat the venom of its own accord.”“So I just need to strengthen his body? I can do that, that’s simple!” You say, feeling your confidence renew. Simple doesn’t mean easy though, especially with a word of power you’re barely capable of utilizing it times of total calm let alone bloodied and with a racing heart.“Precisely, Madam Witch, though finer control is necessary to ensure his form does not bring ruin upon itself. The defense must be coordinated, or it may prove fatal in its own manner.”“What am I trying to stop, exactly? I can’t visualize it clearly, I need to know the symptoms-”“Tsk! Nay, Madam Witch, you do not. Summon forth his image within yourself, behold your companion as he should be. Hold firm upon that memory. Fret not upon the details of the illness, or they shall surely consume your focus. Speak truly, is healing entirely unfamiliar to you?”“...It is, yes, but I can do this.” You admit, feeling shaken once more. What are you doing? This isn’t the time to try new magic. No, you can’t think like that or you’ve already failed, this is the only way that doesn't risk further lives.“Troublesome, most troublesome. Perhaps you should free me, the fairy way of healing is simpler and will surely work. If the grimalkin return they shall not find me defenseless, fret not for my fate.”
>>4688425>Attempt the spell, you can do this. The sprite’s guidance makes this possible, but unfamiliar magic is still far from easy. Strengthen+Control+Body. 6 MP. TN 8. Multiple attempts can be made, but will consume MP with each failure as usual.>Release the sprite and let her try the ‘fairy way’, whatever that is. This magic is beyond your capabilities, and the risk of a serious miscast or simply running out of mana is not worth it.>Write-in.
>>4688430>Release the sprite and let her try the ‘fairy way’, whatever that is. This magic is beyond your capabilities, and the risk of a serious miscast or simply running out of mana is not worth it.This isn't the time to be practicing with magic we barely know, and she's willing to take the risk of the grimalkin coming back.
>>4688425>Release the sprite and let her try the ‘fairy way’, whatever that is. This magic is beyond your capabilities, and the risk of a serious miscast or simply running out of mana is not worth it.Yea this is a serious one.. We've already thrown our lot in with her, might as well let her return the favor.
>>4688430>>Release the sprite and let her try the ‘fairy way’, whatever that is. This magic is beyond your capabilities, and the risk of a serious miscast or simply running out of mana is not worth it.
>>4688430>Attempt the spell, you can do this. The sprite’s guidance makes this possible, but unfamiliar magic is still far from easy. Strengthen+Control+Body. 6 MP. TN 8. Multiple attempts can be made, but will consume MP with each failure as usual.If multiple attempts can be made, I say we try it at least once.
>>4688711>>4688616>>4688560You run through the spell formulae in your mind, shutting your eyes as you calculate the mana charges, the unfamiliarity of magic affecting the body weighing heavily on your mind. With a few tries perhaps it would work, healing is quite different from evocations or ensorcellments but the sprite’s guidance was helpful even for how simple it was. You could do it, the spell is possible, but it would be hard. The steady pulse of blood from Arastro’s wound and the slick warmth of it soaking over your fingers swallows up what little confidence you’ve mustered. No, not confidence, it was hubris. This is not a time for possible, or experimentation, that simply is not good enough. You inhale deeply, calming yourself, and open your eyes once more. Arastro is still frozen in place, slumped against the ancient wooden table, his gambeson stained a dark crimson by more blood than you would have expected from the wounds he suffered.“I’m coming up.” You announce to the sprite, wincing a bit as you release the pressure you were applying to Arastro’s neck. It wasn’t the bleeding that was going to kill him, you’re forced to remind yourself, it’s the venom. Staunching the bleeding was more for you, almost selfish, a response to feeling the need to do something. Well, here’s something.You begin the climb up the ladder, blood slick hands grasping with some difficulty upon the angled rungs. Inconvenient, but your feet remain steady and soon you’re at the top, looking between the bars of the golden cage and at the small sprite woman. She’s standing to the side of the locked door, pointing toward it with a tiny accusatory pale finger.”With haste, Madam Witch!You don’t waste time on a response, already focusing your mind upon the golden lock holding the cage shut. Locks and their inner workings are mostly a mystery to you, but opening them is far from strange. It’s metal, and in this case that’s all you need to know. You place a hand against the golden lock, the cold of the metal distinct in your mind as you call upon the mana pulsing within your blood. With a short utterance of the words of power…“Muravazaerd!”>-6 MP....Arcane forces twist and contort the metal of the lock’s hidden mechanism, and golden bars bend and contort with brief metallic screeches as the small door of the cage is simply forced open. Not an efficient spell, just simple metal shearing control, but it worked.
>>4689079There’s a strange thrumming from the sprite’s wings as they blur into motion, and with an exultate cheer she leaps through the mangled door of her thousand year prison, ”Freedom! Freedom at last! Oh, you have my dearest gratitude, brave rescuers!”The zips right past you, arcing sharply downward toward Arastro, doing a few small happy rolls in the air near him after she descends. That little flourish is her only delay, and at once she lands atop his shoulder, placing one tiny hand to her chin contemplatively as she assesses the bite wound on his neck. You begin climbing down the ladder, observing as well as you can as she… begins to brush her hair, or petals really, over the wound. How is that supposed to help?“What are you doing? You said you’d help!” You almost shout, feet finally reaching the stone floor once more. The sprite continues to lean over the wound, holding out one of the fluffy white petals of her hair over the wound, brushing it with her free hand. She doesn’t respond to your panicked accusation, and as you get closer you can hear that she’s whispering something. It’s nearly impossible to make out her tiny voice, but…No, she’s not just whispering, there’s a melody to it. She’s singing, or maybe reciting a poem, as she brushes some kind of strange dust from her white petals. You nearly gasp as Arastro's wound begins to close up, flesh reknitting before you. His eyes slowly narrow and shift to look at the sprite now standing on him, and his breathing begins to deepen. It’s working!”...Hence, you malk-born hissers, hence!...” The sprite finishes her little poem-thing, and ceases to brush her petals. She waits atop Arastro's shoulder, watching his face expectantly as the paralysis fades.After a few more moments Arastro manages to speak, the words clearly still a struggle for him but easing by the moment, “...Moon.... Moon be praised, thank you, little spirit.””Bah, that pallorous orb aided not a lick!” She scoffs, turning her chin up at the remark and crossing her arms, though her pale cheeks redden a shade at his thanks, “But you are most surely welcome, brave warrior.”Arastro ignores the insult to the moon, and gives the sprite a wide grin, clearly feeling better already, “I’m Arastro. What should I call you?”She looks up at the cage above her and takes a moment to answer, her face written with sorrow, “...I was once Leona of Aster, but I fear that idea of myself perished within those gilded bars. You may call me... Edela.”“Thank you, Edela.” Arastro says while beginning to stand, getting one hand on the table’s edge to help support himself as he rises unsteadily to his feet. Edela simply hops off of his shoulder, blurred and thrumming wings holding her aloft in the air nearby.
>>4689080“I’m Frauke, a witch of the Misty Island.” You repeat what you said earlier while she was unconscious, introducing yourself properly once more, “And you have my thanks as well, Edela.””The Misty Island?... Upon the vast lake Waisenmeer, flanked by mountains three?” Edela says in a sing-song voice, sending a shock running through you. Those are the opening words of the disarming rhyme for the island’s outer wards! How on earth does she know that?Your eyes widen, and you wave a hand in front of your neck in a cutting motion, “Quiet, stop! He doesn’t know the words-”She covers her mouth with both hands, dreadfully embarrassed, “Oh, my sincerest apologies! I presumed you were both elf-friends.”“...Feeling a little left out here, what’s this about misty islands and mountains three?” Arastro asks, probably feeling better than you are by now but looking utterly confused. Your own cuts still ache, bleeding but ignored; they can be dealt with in a few moments, hardly being life threatening.You try to conceal your own confusion at Edela’s words, not know what she means by elf-friends, but address Arastro quickly, “I can’t talk about it with you, Arastro. It has to do with where I was trained in the arcane arts, that’s all I can say.”“Oh, that again, of course. ‘Keep your secrets, tiny witch’.” He says, impersonating Gustav’s deep voice briefly. That seals it, if he’s back to making jokes he must be fine; whatever Edela did worked wonders.>”Edela, could we speak in private for a moment? You know the Island?”>”...How did you end up imprisoned here, Edela? I’m so sorry about what’s happened to you and the others, it must have been awful.”>”Could you… could you heal my cuts as well? They’re not envenomed, but I can barely focus through the pain. Stinging little bastards.”>Write-in.
>>4689081>>>”Edela, could we speak in private for a moment? You know the Island?”
>>4689081>>”...How did you end up imprisoned here, Edela? I’m so sorry about what’s happened to you and the others, it must have been awful.”keep an eye out for the catdemons while we talk tough
>>4689081>>Write-in.Let's get out of here. I'd rather not stick around when the grimalkin might be doing the same.
>>4689277Sounds reasonable. Skedaddle first, talk later. Ask if she'll join us for a while.
>>4689277>>4689365Locking it in.
>>4689398can we bring the books we picked out?
>>4689400Yes, absolutely, gathering the books up won't take long.
>>4689277>>4689365>>4689400“We should get out of here, this ruin isn’t safe.” You announce, the intent finally crystalizing in your mind. Ancient tomes and enchanted curiosities might fascinate your intellect, but with the grimalkin potentially lurking nearby it seems most prudent to return to the camp; besides, Peter is probably wondering where you’ve run off to by this point, you were supposed to be hunting.”Ruin?” Edela asks, leaving the single word hanging in the air. She looks about the chamber in confusion, gazing across the nearly perfectly preserved shelves and tomes, and the crystal lamps still glowing with arcane power; relics of a long gone age.“Yes, this ruin.” You repeat, while moving to the pile of tomes you made earlier, “The empire fell a millennium ago, Edela, and this fortress with it. The world is very different now, for humans at least.”“Oh.” She responds, her voice sinking, “I… I had not reckoned my slumber was quite so long, the interruptions were few, only the occasional taunting of the grimalkin brought me from my rest…”“We’ll have a lot to talk about once we’re out of here.” You say, trying to sound reassuring as you sort the books into small piles, “Will you stay with us for a while, Edela? I’d hate to send you off into the wilds after only just freeing you.”Edela lands atop one of the decoratively bound tomes, sitting upon the edge of its golden scrollwork covered spine, her legs dangling off it. She brushes one of her long white petals from her face and looks up at you, ”I would be honored to accompany you, Frauke of the Misty Island. It has been far too long since I last travelled with a witch.”“Fantastic, though that raises a few questions of its own… Could you sit somewhere else? We need to get these packed.”“My apologies!” Edela says, leaping into a thrumming hover with a small embarrassed hop, “You wish to study these tomes?”“That’s the idea, yes. Arastro, do you still have that sack Dirk gave us? Grimalkin didn’t rip a hole in it, did they?” You question, moving the book Edela was sitting upon into the correct stack.He nods, removing a heavily folded cloth sack from his own small side satchel, “It’s intact, mostly. Here, I’ll get the books packed, I have more experience with old texts… Well, actually I might not for once, but I know how to handle them with care. Stay on watch, I’d rather not get bit again.”“Right, monk. Make sure to pack all of these.” You say with a sweeping motion of one hand, indicating several of the small piles, “It might be a bit of a tight fit.”“I’ll make it work.” He answers confidently, though following his eyes as he examines the stacks, it’s not hard to guess what he’s thinking: ‘how in the hell is this all supposed to fit?’
>>4689675Removing one of the crystal lanterns from the hooks on the chamber’s wall, you stand on guard at the large stone doorway, staring out into the darkness of the hallway beyond. Edela sits, or perhaps perches would be more accurate, upon your right shoulder, treating the large brim of your hat almost like the shady overhang of a building. To her credit, she maintains her focus on the hallway, probably seeing far more than you even as she idly strokes at her hair; as a spirit she should be able to easily perceive the astral world, or even disappear back into it fully.The pain of the cuts on your arm lessens slightly as you both maintain your little vigil, as do the cuts on your chest soon after. Edela’s work, not even asked for. You whisper a small thanks to her, which she happily accepts.The grimalkin don’t return, or at least stay well enough out of sight for it to make little difference at the present, and you depart as soon as Arastro has finished packing the books. The journey back through the ruin feels quicker and less oppressively sinister, the brighter light of the crystal lamp illuminating the frost covered stone hallways and banishing much of the uncertainty of the dim light of your spell created earlier. Lurking grimalkin aside, it’s just cold old rubble and a few long forgotten skeletons; not the most impressive remnant of the empire around. You much preferred the bathhouse at Tordorf, even if it wasn’t filled with magic tomes.Moving back out into the central grounds of the ancient fortress, you’re once again surrounded by broken stone pillars and the crumbling inner ring of curtain walls and towers. Chill mountain wind cuts into you, the brightness of the sun's rays upon the snow briefly blinding you as you exit back out into the light. You blink a few times, your eyes eventually adjusting. Peter and Dirk are on the opposite side of the ancient snow covered yard, cleaning blood from their swords with small rags.
>>4689678Wait, what’s Dirk doing here? Why are their swords out? You hurry your pace toward them, Edela now flying off to your side, and Arastro follows up close behind lugging the sack of books with him. “Where’ve you two been, eh?” Dirk calls out, continuing to wipe down his wide bladed falchion, “Huntin’ on your own?”“We were exploring-” You begin to explain, but Dirk cuts you off.“No, I won’t hear none of it now.” He says grumpily while motioning with his falchion for emphasis, “Peter here, poor bastard, got jumped by a pack of mountain cats while you were ‘explorin’, bloody things nearly got ‘im.”It was difficult to see at first, but sure enough there are a number of slain mountain cats sunk into the snow, crimson staining the pristine white around their motionless forms. Not grimalkin, just huge predatory cats, they’re nearly three times the size of their more fiendish spirit relatives. Edela hovers closer to them, landing atop one of the dead animals and examining it more closely. Dirk and Peter don’t comment on the sprite’s presence, or even seem to notice her at all.“Nearly did me in, yeah.” Peter agrees, muffled and sounding none too happy from behind the woolen scarf concealing much of his lower face. He’s nursing a heavily bandaged right arm, his sword held in his unwounded off hand, “If Dirk hadn’t shown up I’d be a goner. Damn things wouldn’t run off, even after I got the one that jumped me. Just kept coming back like they were possessed.”Edela flies about the area while investigating, passing just in front of the two men a number of times as they talk, but never stopping to introduce herself. Again, they seem to be oblivious of her presence.“Well, you survived, didn’t you? Had cat troubles of our own.” Arastro says, indicating his blood stained gambeson. You motion to the bloodstains on your own robes as well, though they’re harder to make out on the dark fabric, “A pack of cat-spirits, grimalkin, attacked us. Arastro barely survived.”Dirk squints and steps closer to examine you both, “Right, right, but he's on his feet now. All's well that ends well then, but you two don’t go runnin’ off again without your third, yeah? Ambushes don’t work quite so well on bigger groups... What’s in the sack?”“Ancient tomes, they’ll help with my magic. It’s what I was going to explain a moment ago, before you cut me off.” You say, trying to avoid putting too much sharpness in your words. The tomes will be worth far more than any extra game would have been, but Dirk is probably right about sticking together.Dirk simply grunts in acknowledgement, sheathing his sword and waving for you to all to follow, “Hurry it up, Captain’s expectin’ us back at camp. Scouts found a brigand camp blocking the pass up ahead, we’re makin’ a battle plan and he wanted your help.”
>>4689682”Captain?” Edela asks, zipping back over to you with startling speed, her little white dress blowing slightly in the chill wind. You exhale, realizing how little she knows, and...>Explain to her in detail how you came to be a Drake, and some of your life before doing so.>Give a rough overview of how you came to be a Drake, but focus more on Edela’s past; that’s far more interesting.>Explain bluntly that you’re a mercenary as of a little over a week ago, and attempt to coax her into introducing herself to the others.>Write-in.
>>4689685>>Explain to her in detail how you came to be a Drake, and some of your life before doing so.
>>4689685>Give a rough overview of how you came to be a Drake, but focus more on Edela’s past; that’s far more interesting.
>>4689685>>Explain to her in detail how you came to be a Drake, and some of your life before doing so.ask her if only arasto and us can see her, and if she has strength enough to heal our friends if they need it
>>4689685>Give a rough overview of how you came to be a Drake, but focus more on Edela’s past; that’s far more interesting.also ask about how she seems to be invisible to everyone but us and Big A.
>>4689849>>4690028Talk about yourself in detail.>>4690043>>4689992Rough overview of your history, ask about Edela.Heading to bed, if there isn't a winning option when I wake up I'll roll it off.
>>4689685>>Give a rough overview of how you came to be a Drake, but focus more on Edela’s past; that’s far more interesting.
>>4690209>>4690043>>4689992Explaining your recent past in rough terms doesn’t take long, from the tragedy of Brokhof and your oath to join the Drakes, all the way to the present moment. You leave out the bit about the flying creature and its prophetic warning for now, not wanting Peter or Dirk to overhear; that’s something to discuss at another time. Edela listens intently, asking very few questions but absolutely captivated by your words.”I begin to understand you, Frauke of the Misty Island. Resilience is in your nature, as assuredly as your magic.” She says, floating alongside you as the group exits the outermost edge of the ruined fortress, leaving its crumbling walls and dilapidated towers far behind. It had a commanding view over the valley once, and it’ll be a bit of a hike back down to camp.“Maybe. There’s no need to be quite so formal anymore though, Edela, you can just call me Frauke.” You respond, not entirely sure of how to take her reading of you, “I’d like to hear more about you, if it isn’t asking too much. I know little of sprites, or spirits of any kind really, but I’d like to change that.””The long dreams of my slumber have left much of my former being a haze, but I will endeavor to recall all you ask of me, Frauke. She says with a little bow, which must be rather difficult to do while continuing to hover along, but she soon grows more nervous and uncertain, Firstly though… Might I have your leave… to explore? I so dearly have missed the wilds.”“I'm not your keeper, go ahead, enjoy it. I can wait for-” You begin to say, but she’s already gone, zipping off into a nearby tree and startling a few birds resting within its branches.Edela thrums about excitedly from place to place as your group descends back toward camp, a little white blur that’s easy to lose track of against the snowy mountain forests of the East Wall. She darts here and there, exploring between the branches of spruce trees in a search for nothing in particular before swooping down to happily greet hardy mountain flowers on the forest floor and take in their scent. It’s the simple happiness of a sprite rejoicing in newfound freedom, experiencing sights and sounds only dreamt of in isolation for a millennium. Her joy is contagious and you can’t but smile as you observe, but it seems that only you and Arastro can see her; likely something to do with her presence in the astral world, though you couldn’t guess at much more.
>>4690395Dirk and Peter are leading the way up ahead, having a far less pleasant experience trudging through snow in the chill mountain wind. It’s a clear day, the sun shining brightly overhead between the treetops and no new snowfall for now, but the East Wall is still a harsh and unforgiving place for travelers. Your own slightly torn robes aren’t doing you any favors in that regard, but pulling your heavy cloak tighter about you and being distracted by Edela’s antics keeps your mind mostly off of the cold. Mostly.You wait until she approaches again, and wave her over while speaking in a low voice, “Edela, you said you would tell me about yourself?””I shall answer your most burning questions concerning my former identity, Leona of Aster. Those answers I recall, at least.” She corrects, fluttering to your side and looking almost relaxed despite her constant effort to remain aloft, “Little is unknown to you of Edela, this conception of myself is quite new, and you have been by my side from the beginning! They are nearly twin ideas, but a gulf of time and long dreaming distinguishes them.”...Perhaps fairy concepts of the self are different to that of humans, but her insistence on being a new person still strikes you as odd. Of course you probably have the same effect on non-mages every time you ramble about leylines and words of power, so really who are you to judge?What do you ask (first)?>”So you were a different person then, this ‘Leona of Aster.’ Where was she from?”>”How did you, erm, Leona I mean, end up being taken prisoner? I assume a mage did it.”>”You mentioned travelling with a witch in the past. Who was it? I might have heard of her in my studies.”>Write-in.
>>4690397>>”So you were a different person then, this ‘Leona of Aster.’ Where was she from?”
>>4690028>>4690043Forgot to include the non-conflicting write-in parts of these, I'll make sure to sneak them in somewhere in the next post or two.
>>4690397>”So you were a different person then, this ‘Leona of Aster.’ Where was she from?”
>>4690397>>”How did you, erm, Leona I mean, end up being taken prisoner? I assume a mage did it.”
>>4690397>”How did you, erm, Leona I mean, end up being taken prisoner? I assume a mage did it.”
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4690401>>46904391>>4690487>>46904432
“So you were a different person then, this ‘Leona of Aster.’ Where was she from?” You ask, trailing a bit back from Dirk and Peter so you’re not forced to speak quite so low.Edela rests her delicate chin contemplatively upon her crossed arms, almost looking to lay down flat in the air in a state of complete relaxation despite maintaining her flight, “You misunderstand, though perhaps the imprecision of speech is at fault. The idea that is me was made anew, yet I remain a singular spirit.”“...I guess that makes sense, but I’m still not sure I understand.” You answer, not wanting to get too bogged down in the mysticism of it for now, “Anyways, where are you from? Originally, I mean.”Edela closes her eyes, speaking slowly as if she were searching through cluttered chest and drawing forth items one at a time, announcing them each in turn, “My origin? Such long buried memories to dredge, yet still pieces remain... I hail from the great valley of Aster, the land of swans and sprites deep within the astral. The rest is fog, beyond recall. As Leona I held tightly to the name Aster, for what reason though… slips the mind. When I think upon it, I feel the most lovely warmth and serenity… I shall grasp those fading memories awhile longer.”“Edela of Aster, then?” You say, confirming her name aloud while you grip onto the brim of your hat and duck under a partially fallen tree, its many green branches forming a sort of natural lean-to as it rests upon another tree. Dirk and Peter were forced to go around, and Arastro steps around the side as well. The rare benefits of being so short.“Indeed, that is my wish.” Edela says, looking utterly at peace as she continues to float along almost effortlessly. The thrum of her wings has faded mostly beyond your notice by now, drifting into the normal sounds of the forest.“I’ll make sure to introduce you as such when you meet the others. Say, why can’t they seem to see you?” You ask, pointing ahead at Dirk and Peter even as Arastro rejoins you by your side.“Yeah, what’s going on with that?” Arastro echoes, glancing between Edela and Dirk with a puzzled look, and grunting a bit as he steps over a fallen log and continues to lug the weighty sack of books over his shoulder. Something knocked a lot of trees down around here, these were already here this morning but couldn’t be too old.Edela rights herself, ‘standing’ again, or at least whatever passes for standing among sprite’s in flight, “Oh, a simple question and matched answer! I reside within the astral, but their perception is not attuned to my presence, nor have I unveiled myself before them. Their revelation might be forced, if I were to tug upon their hair or shout foul words in their ear, but I shan’t.”
>>4690647“So you could appear, and you just don’t want to?” Arastro questions, “Stories about trickster spirits are beginning to make more sense.”“Precisely! My folk easily cross the veil, but I shall remain a lurker beyond their sight. A gust of wind at the greatest. I feel no trickster’s whim at present.”“Could you heal Peter’s arm? I feel a bit guilty about leaving him alone.” You ask, the thought of your comrade being attacked by mountain cats while alone troubles your conscience. It really was luck that he was only clawed the single time before Dirk arrived. Or perhaps it was simple skill at arms and you credit too much to luck, none of the Drakes in Gustav’s detachment are poor fighters.“Absolute softy.” Arastro accuses, though you know he must feel similarly.Edela lets out a small giggle, “When he rests, he shall find a second wind. The wound was not so grievous as he first believed, his complaints were exaggerated, and none shall say otherwise.”“Thanks, Edela.” You say, grinning a bit at the idea and already formulating your next questions for her. Not a trickster? Sure.“I have done nothing.” She holds her palms up innocently, giving a small shrug.What do you ask (second)?>”Not to sour the mood, but how did you end up being taken prisoner? I assume a mage did it.”>”You mentioned travelling with a witch in the past. Who was it? I might have heard of her in my studies.”>”So, ahem, I take it you’ve been to Misty Island and remember it enough to… well, y’know, say the words. When did you do that?” Step away from Arastro a bit for this.>Write-in.One more question after this.
>>4690647Should be "sprites in flight", not sprite's in flight. I really need to stop reflexively slapping apostrophes on everything, the mistake is too common even with proof-reading.
>>4690650>>”Not to sour the mood, but how did you end up being taken prisoner? I assume a mage did it.”
>>4690650>”Not to sour the mood, but how did you end up being taken prisoner? I assume a mage did it.”
>>4690650>”Not to sour the mood, but how did you end up being taken prisoner? I assume a mage did it.”final question about misty island then.
>>4690848>>4690800>>4690763>>4690693“Not to sour the mood, but how did you end up being taken prisoner? I assume a mage did it.” You ask, the question chief among your thoughts as you continue down the snowy forest path.”Yet soured it is.” Edela sighs, crossing her arms unhappily and casting a gloomy look toward you, “Ruminating upon my capture is... most unpleasant, yet I remain grateful for my rescue. I shall divulge that which is not bound indelibly to secrecy or lost to the fog of dreaming. It was indeed a mage, a ghastly Imperial fiend by the name of Sparax.”“This Sparax, who was he? Just some Imperial mage? I’ve never heard of him.” You say, which seems to greatly please Edela, reversing her mood entirely back to the positive, her hands clasped in glee.“Wonderful, positively splendid! She practically cheers, causing you to look sharply toward Dirk and Peter, yet both remain undisturbed as they forge ahead through the woods, If ever there was a man deserving of sinking into utter insignificance it was he. Yet you bear his whistle, whence did that come?”“I found it on a body in one of the hallways… It might have been Sparax, the armor was different. I think he was caught in a spell during the fall, it killed most of the fort.” You answer, looking down to your leather satchel with suspicion. A whistle owned by a malicious wizard that calls forth spirits? Combined with what little intelligible communication that grimalkin made between their constant hissing, and the whistle’s purpose is hardly a mystery. It was a hunting horn, or at least served a similar purpose.“Oh, were I to have known! I would have spat upon his bones, and cursed them thrice!” Edela laments.“Would’ve joined in.” Arastro says, sounding very much as he did when he spoke of the Boars on the night of Brokhoff’s sacking, compassion and hate often walking together hand in hand.“Probably would’ve as well... feels a bit disgusting to have used the whistle now, actually.” You agree with a grimace, “So how did he capture you? A spell?”Edela shakes her head, the long fluffy white petals of her hair swaying as she does so, and she gestures about at the forest around you, “Not to begin with. A trap was laid far beyond these mountains, deep within the astral realm beside a nexus. Sparax’s bound minions; grimalkin, goblins, and trolls of the foulest sort, sat in ambush along one of the greater lines. A conclave of magi had been called, the details of which I was not privy to, and my… My dearest friend tasked me with the delivery of a message, committing it to my mind, and I departed to fulfill the duty with a band of allied sprites. In truth, many of the details are hazy...”
>>4690920“Oh no, I think see where this is going…” You say, not at all likely the sound of the story. It was never going to have been a pleasant tale, but this sounds more like the set up for a slaughter than a simple capture.“They fell upon us in the dark. Most were slain quickly. The unfortunate were captured. By the sacrifice of many, I escaped for a time, but a shackling spell seized upon my wings near the veil’s edge. Sparax cast me in that horrid cage, and…” Edela looks pained, and she turns away from you looking just moments away from bursting into tears, “I cannot speak of what was done, it is unbearable to think upon. I am sorry.”“No, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cause you more pain.” You apologize, feeling guilty at forcing her to relive such horrors, the situation not so different than the burning of Brokhoff, “It’s alright, I know enough.”“Thank you, Frauke. Let us speak of more pleasant topics instead, of friends or home perhaps, not villainous deeds.”What do you ask (last)?>”Agreed, how about home then? I take it you’ve been to the Misty Island if you… well, y’know, can say the words. When did you visit?” Step away from Arastro a bit for this.>”Let's speak of friends, that usually cheers me up. You mentioned travelling with a witch in the past? Who was she? I might have heard of her in my studies.”>”Do you enjoy singing, Edela? Not to be overly presumptuous, but you seem like the type. Song has always comforted me, even at my lowest.”>Write-in.
>>4690928>”Agreed, how about home then? I take it you’ve been to the Misty Island if you… well, y’know, can say the words. When did you visit?” Step away from Arastro a bit for this.
>>4690928>”Agreed, how about home then? I take it you’ve been to the Misty Island if you… well, y’know, can say the words. When did you visit?” Step away from Arastro a bit for this.We have to know, as tempting as singing is.
>>4690928>>”Let's speak of friends, that usually cheers me up. You mentioned travelling with a witch in the past? Who was she? I might have heard of her in my studies.”
>>4690957>>4690976”Agreed, how about home then? I take it you’ve been to the Misty Island if you… well, y’know, can say the words. When did you visit?” You slow your pace as you speak, moving briefly off the narrowing game path and waving Arastro past, which he accepts without argument.Edela seems somewhat taken aback by your words, ”Visit? I dwelt there for nearly ten winters once, and many other times besides, entire seasons at a span. The elves and witches welcome my folk with cheer and song, it is the way of things.”“The elves?” You question, having been wondering about them since Edela’s earlier.”Of course the elves, it is their island! One home of many, hidden away and protected.” She answers as if she were stating the most obvious thing in the world, spinning lazily in a circle out of boredom while hovering along with you. Not orbiting around a point, but actually spinning like the arm of a clock even as she moves, legs slowly going up in the air and coming back down as she rotates, her white mossy dress swishing and swooshing about but never too far. Her control of her own flight is impressive, and seemingly entirely effortless. Are all sprites so nimble in the air? It seems to defy logic.“There aren’t any elves on the Misty Island, Edela, at least not anymore. I trained there for nearly seven years and never met a single one.” You respond, finding the idea off. The island is secluded, a witches’ retreat created by Åse.“Impossible! All witches of the Misty Island are elf-friends.” Edela protests, ceasining her silly spinning and giving you an incredulous look.“...Not this one, apparently, or any I know of. It was just my mentor Åse and myself, and the old tower. A few guests visited over the years, but they certainly weren’t elves. I very much would have liked to meet one.” You say while shrugging and taking a short hop over a small dip in the path, “Say, how many ‘Witches of the Misty Island’ did you know? You make it sound like there were a lot, which… I think I would have heard of, if that were the case.”Looking perplexed, Edela considers the question for awhile before answering, “I would name them as few rather than many, but such is a matter of perspective. By your use of the title, I took that to still be so.””It’s traditional, I was taught to introduce myself as such.” You explain simply, “So who were these other witches? I'd like to know more about the island's past.”Edela extends a hand and begins to count off her fingers one by one, There was Astrid the Singer, I was her confidant, and Sieglind the Ruby, so called for her necklace, as well as Svanhildr the Silent… and several more, but the fog lies thick there. They frequently resided within my dream, and the memories of life and slumber blur. I slept far too long, I fear.
>>4691338“Sieglind the… Ruby? Like this?” You ask, drawing your silver manaruby pendant from within the concealment of your dark robes.Edela’s golden eyes light up, widening to tiny saucers, “Oh my, yes indeed! Precisely like that, that very one! When I resided upon the island she would often show it to me, I never tired of its sight, nor did the elven crafters that shaped it. How did you happen upon such a treasure?”You sigh, the origin of your prized possession is a tale of mixed emotions, “It was my mother’s, she was a witch as well, Åse trained her too but I never really got to know her… She left me with my Uncle Tristan when I was young, and never came back.”“Was she called Siegl-” Edela starts to ask excitedly, zipping around in a small loop.You cut her off before she gets too far along that line of thought, “No, her name was Runa, and she definitely was not around before the fall of the empire. I’m fairly sure not even Åse is that old, but she might have known some of the students of the witches you mentioned. She hated talking about her past, almost as much as I liked to ask.”“Perchance, do you possess the other four rubies?” Edela probes, moving closer you your pendant, thrumming wings matching your pace as she struggles to lift the pendant up on its cord and examine it. It’s comically large compared to her, nearly the size of her torso, a situation made no less humorous by the odd angle you have to look down at to see it clearly.“Other four?” You ask, having never heard of such a thing.“Yes, it is a set of five, and most beautiful when assembled. I remember it clearly.”“I’m afraid not, I had no idea there was more than this one, or even that it wasn’t my mother’s originally.” You say, an old feeling of longing returning to you, the sort you get when you gaze upon intact Imperial buildings or fine illustrations in old tomes, “You’re making me feel a bit cheated, Edela, the past has always sounded like such a better time for my people. I feel nostalgic for it and I wasn’t even alive. What a joke, right?”“Tsk! Do not dismiss your heart, Frauke, I understand that longing. I yearn for Aster of years past, yet remember nearly nothing of it, almost as if it is another's memory… Hold onto that feeling, as I do.”“I think I will.” You say, feeling a little more assured. Åse never condemned the feeling either, but she didn’t go so far as to encourage it, focusing more on the present and future.“When your oath to the Drakes is fulfilled, might we return to the Misty Island?” Edela asks, and the question hangs in the air for several seconds.“…I’d like that.” You finally answer, now feeling nostalgic for a place you have known.
>>4691339Half an hour later, in the Drake camp at the base of the valley, Gustav and the other officers are standing about a makeshift map drawn in the dirt, conducting a small war council. As the only magic user in the detachment, your presence was critical…“...Aye, they do have a palisade, and towers besides, and it’s the only way through which we can bring the wagons. The camp’s built into a ruin guarding the road, what did you expect of it?” Dirk asks, pointing at a few twigs and lumps of dirt that are meant to be the enemy camp.“Nothing less, just hoped they might be piss poor at soldiering, had it happen before a few times.” Gustav says with a shrug, his armor creaking in the cold as he crouches near the impromptu map.Dirk crosses his arms, scanning over the map again just as Gustav is, even as he continues to question the attack, “Well, they’re not amateurs from the reports, and our numbers are nearly evenly matched, and they’ve got that bloody great beast with them. The other path only adds two days to the crossing, it would be best to avoid a battle.”“We can take them, escalade the palisade in the dark, catch them off guard and beat their sodding skulls in. Turn the tables like we always do. Other option takes too long, every day risks the passes snowing over entirely, and then we’ll be gnawing on each other's bones. We’re going in.” Gustav announces, making sure to look up from the map and meet the other men’s eyes.“Lussan isn't here, Gustav, but I’ll follow you into hell if the pays good. Just didn’t think I’d do it so soon.” Dirk grumbles, a final small protest before he pulls back from the earthen map. Gustav chuckles, the protesting from Dirk more of a tradition than a real threat to discipline, “That's enough, Dirk. Marc’s always seeing things, I doubt they’ve got a troll. Never seen a troll, never even heard of any bastard I know fighting one. Closest I’ve seen was Ole, and he’s more of a toad! It’s probably just some big son of a bitch like me wearing bear pelts.”“If he’s always seeing things, why do you put him on scouting duty so much?” Peter questions. He’s not an officer, but he is the closest thing to a physician around currently and that got him a spot listening in to the initial planning.“You listening to a word I just said, Peter? Marc’s always seeing things, that makes him the best scout!” Gustav says, dismissing the comment half jokingly before returning his focus to the map, “Come on, we need to get the details worked out.”“Agreed, if there really is a troll I’d rather not go in sloppy. We don’t need another port-” Dirk starts to say, before Arastro cuts him off.“Hey, Dirk, listen. There aren’t so many maidens this time, give the port stuff a break, its behind us. Besides, whatever happens, we have a witch and they don’t.”
>>4691349“...True, monk, very true. Little Drake, any spells to turn an entire camp into frogs?” Gustav questions, opening the way for you to speak.You smirk, enjoy the frog comments at this point, “No, not quite, but if people keep asking I’ll have to work on one. I’m hardly a tactician either, but…”>”I can easily spread burning coals throughout their camp, and maybe knock one of those old towers over. Simple shock and awe, hit like a battering ram and send them reeling while you go over with the rope ladders.” Fortune favors the bold, perspective switch and lead the vanguard as Gustav.>”I can probably distract them long enough for the wagons to get past, no need for an assault. I found this crystal lamp in the fortress, and if I were to levitate it around the brigand camp at nightfall all I would need is a little support to distract the lot of them…” Perspective switch to Arastro for some night time wetwork.>”I do have ways of observing their camp much more closely. Give me an hour and I’ll have a report with everything you need.” Perspective switch to Edela to scout the brigand camp. Potentially quite dangerous, but a far better plan might be devised. >Write-in.
>>4691338Should read, 'since Edela's earlier comment about elf-friends.'Also entirely forgot the quotation marks for Edela's last bit of dialogue on that post, but oh well, text coloring means its legible enough. Trying to cut down on simple errors like that. Probably a few more small errors throughout.
>>4691351>”I do have ways of observing their camp much more closely. Give me an hour and I’ll have a report with everything you need.” Perspective switch to Edela to scout the brigand camp. Potentially quite dangerous, but a far better plan might be devised.
>>4691351>”I can probably distract them long enough for the wagons to get past, no need for an assault. I found this crystal lamp in the fortress, and if I were to levitate it around the brigand camp at nightfall all I would need is a little support to distract the lot of them…” Perspective switch to Arastro for some night time wetwork.if we can avoid bloodshed we should do it. Who are we fighting anyway?
>>4691351>>”I can easily spread burning coals throughout their camp, and maybe knock one of those old towers over. Simple shock and awe, hit like a battering ram and send them reeling while you go over with the rope ladders.” Fortune favors the bold, perspective switch and lead the vanguard as Gustav.
>>4691411You'll be fighting an unfortunately well positioned band of brigands blocking a narrow chokepoint in the valley, the only area the detachment's wagons can be brought through. The East Wall is filled with brigands due to years of war in the surrounding lands, they're either East Wall natives turned bandits or deserters from mercenary companies and nearby houses. They mostly prey upon merchants who don't really have much of a choice than to make the crossing, regardless of the danger. The detachment is on a tight timetable with the first serious winter storms likely not far off, so finishing crossing the mountains as soon as possible is essential. Each day is critical. Gustav made the decision to push through and fight, fearing you'll be snowed in the passes and trapped otherwise, which would be very, very bad. Even with the extra provisions Dirk bought in Tordorf (that whole sausage merchant thing) you probably wouldn't have enough to last the winter. Not to mention you'd be trapped with all the nasty beasts and brigands, many of which would also be very hungry. Fighting half starved in waist deep snow is a situation best avoided.On a side note, this attack might be Frauke's first proper skirmish, depending on how its handled. The raid on the Boar camp wasn't really a fight at all, just a rescue featuring some bloodshed, and as weird evil cat spirits the grimalkin attack hardly counts.>>4691365>>4691411>>4691712The accursed three way split! I'll leave voting open for awhile, I'd prefer not to roll this one off since its outcome will dominate the next few posts.
>>4691712>>4691811Locking this in.
>>4691712>>4691811Several hours later, night has fallen upon the valley, and the Drakes lie in wait within concealed positions near the edge of the forest surrounding the brigand camp. Each man has donned his full armor, girded himself for battle, prepared for the bloody work to come. You are Gustav, a giant among men and a veteran Captain of the Band of the Drakefang, and the assault is yours to lead, as always.You’re tensed up, like always before battle, crouching behind the concealing branches of an old spruce, your poleaxe gripped tightly in gauntleted hands. Your joints and old scars ache in the chill of the early winter night, but it’s a good pain, keeps you alert and lets you know you’re still kicking. Keeps you mad, too. Ready to crack skulls and rend flesh. Dirk crouches low by your side in the deep shadows cast by the trees, the visor of his dented old helmet kept up as he squints at the faint glow of the lanterns atop the brigand camp’s palisades and crumbling old stone towers. He’s a good enough quartermaster, but a much better shot with a crossbow; he won’t miss a man, even at this distance and with shit lighting. You’ve seen him take birds in flight before, a man atop a palisade is nothing. Peter, that unwounded whiner, is in a similar position several paces off to your left, as are more of the men down the staggered line. Every Drake in your detachment waits within the shadows of the snow covered forest, some with crossbows while others prepare the rope ladders, each eager to witness the rain of fire that the tiny witch promised. Tiny Drake, you find yourself correcting mentally. She and Arastro should have the coals burning by now, ready to be launched by a spell of some kind.It’s hard to get a read on Frauke, she’s an odd woman, always reading something or, as of a few hours ago, muttering to herself when she thinks you aren’t paying attention. You’re always paying attention, wouldn’t have survived this long otherwise. Most of the time when you speak to her you just see the top of her pointed hat, or those shadowed green eyes of hers between its brim and her scarf; and even that’s only when she bothers to look up. Absorbed in another world, that witch. Still, you trust she’ll come through. She gave the Boars a hell of a beating by dropping that pile of rocks on them, no reason she can’t do it again to these lot.Your focus remains locked on the palisade, watching the brigand sentries as they change shifts, glowing lamps bobbing about in the dark. Taking a hand from your oversized halberd, you adjust the position of your left pauldron slightly, the southern armor still not fitting quite right in the cold. Gods above, if only you had your proper harness, this disguised junk got old weeks ago even if it did serve its purpose at the port. You knock a bit of frost from your beard while you wait, wondering when...
>>4691995“Look, there it is!” Marc says in a hushed voice, though not hushed enough if you can hear him from so far away. A bolt of burning flame arcs across the night sky, lazily making its way over the brigand camp before silently bursting into a rain of tiny, flaming rocks that scatter about ground far below. Immediately shouts of alarm and confusion sound from the camp, the lanterns bobbing more quickly as sentries struggle to determine what’s happening.“Hold.” You command, lifting a hand. A second bolt arcs through the sky and bursts, and soon after a third. Then, with a tremendous rumble, one of the crumbling stone towers finally loses its long battle against gravity, collapsing inward upon the camp; the screams of agony are horrific, clear even from here. A devilish grin spreads across your face, unseen behind your salet’s visor as you lower it fully and wave your hand in the signal to begin the attacks. Crossbows thwump as they launch their bolts, sentries and their little lanterns falling as the shots find their mark, and every man draws his blade or takes up arms from the ground near them as they drop their crossbows. There is a great rumble as thirty men in full harness storm from the forest toward the palisade, you at the very tip of the spear, but all your men remain silent as they charge. Battle cries would only give up the game at this point.Smoke is already rising from within the camp’s interior when you reach the palisade, probably tents or dried supplies catching from Frauke’s rain of coals. The time for the escalade, the critical moment of any assault, is upon you.>Clamber over the tall base of the fallen tower, you’re strong and tall enough to do so without trouble. Begin clearing any brigands from the other side of the palisade while the ladders are set, clear the way for your men to drop in safely.>Stick closely to your men as they set the ladders, but make sure you’re one of the first over the top. Coordination is key in a night assault, make sure nothing goes wrong.>Hmm, that section of the palisade looks a bit shoddy. With some effort, you may be able to shift the stakes aside enough to enter on foot. [Strength test]>Write-in.
>>4692002>>Stick closely to your men as they set the ladders, but make sure you’re one of the first over the top. Coordination is key in a night assault, make sure nothing goes wrong.
>>4692002>Hmm, that section of the palisade looks a bit shoddy. With some effort, you may be able to shift the stakes aside enough to enter on foot. [Strength test]
>>4692052>>4692080You halt at the foot of the wooden palisade, waving for your men to follow and barking commands, “Get those ladders up, Drakes!”Three pairs of Drakes run forward, each group carrying a partially unfurled rope ladder between them, their swords sheathed for now as they handle the unwieldy things. The top of each ladder ends in a pair of wide iron hooks, and with synchronized motions your men hurl them atop the wall. Two find purchase, hooks biting into the wood as they’re tugged upon to test their grip, but the third falls back to the snow covered ground below, rungs and hooks sinking into the white. A helmeted head peaks over the edge of the palisade, follower by arms and a crossbow, and you strike forward like lightning. Sliding your grip down the length of your poleaxe and stomping forward, you bring the weapons head hurtling upward at the furthest extent of its reach, catching the brigand directly in the visor of his polished helm. Metal impacts metal, and crunches deeper into flesh and bone, the impact reverberating down the length of your weapon. The crossbow thwump as it fires, the dead man reflexively depressing the trigger lever even as he falls backward, the bolt whizzing past and impacting into the snow near your feet. That’s one. Feels good to be back in action after so much damned walking, feels damn good.As you struck at the crossbowman, your men quickly untangled the third rope ladder and made another attempt at the throw, the hooks sinking in firmly this time. “Go, go!” You order, hurling your poleaxe up and over the wall and drawing your long dagger, climbing up the nearest ladder and skipping multiple rungs at a time as you scale it. The climb is a brief one, the ladder was made for smaller men but its rocking and swaying do nothing to slow you; you’ve done this for years. Clambering over the top, you drop down onto one of the wooden watch platforms the sentries had been posted on, and get your first proper view of the enemy camp. There’s a stone building just ahead across an open yard, an old ruined imperial manor house turned into a makeshift keep, a pair of enemy archers standing among the stone arches of its long caved in roof and already knocking arrows. To the manor house’s left are clusters of rounded canvas wall tents and a few cooking fires, several tents ablaze from Frauke’s rain of coals, and beyond them look to be wagons and a huge makeshift wooden… shed, you think, of some kind. It’s big, anyways. Nearer to you, the rubble from the collapsed tower looks to have crushed several tents, a few mangled bodies visible even by only the light of the moon and flickering lanterns dropped by the sentries Dirk and your other shooters took out.The brigands are already quickly organizing a defense, even in the chaos of multiple spreading fires. A few rough voiced men are shouting commands and shoving others into groups; they’re all in armor, several with poleweapons.
>>4692251Sodding hell, so much for total surprise. You leap from the platform, the fall not so great, and take up your poleaxe from the snowy ground, sheathing your large dagger simultaneously in a single smooth motion. Around you, other Drakes begin to drop in over the palisade, snow puffing up as they impact the ground in their plate armor, some remaining standing while others land in less graceful crouches. The rest of your detachment is not far behind, clambering over as quickly as they can; They don’t have the luxury of just hurling their polearms over the wall like the first wave, so they’ll be slower or restricted to smaller weapons.An arrow strikes your breastplate, and another, each loud reverberating concussion as their shafts shatter and the iron heads skitter off harmlessly. Going to have to do better than that, bastards. Good aim though.>”Together, men!” Hold this position, wait for a few more of your men to drop down and then surge into the camp in something approximating ranks. Any organization is an advantage.>”Charge! Cut them down!” Barrel forward into the not quite fully organized brigand groups with the few Drakes that have already made it over. The vanguard should smash the enemies before they can organize!>Write-in.
>>4692253>>”Charge! Cut them down!” Barrel forward into the not quite fully organized brigand groups with the few Drakes that have already made it over. The vanguard should smash the enemies before they can organize!
>>4692253>”Charge! Cut them down!” Barrel forward into the not quite fully organized brigand groups with the few Drakes that have already made it over. The vanguard should smash the enemies before they can organize!
>>4692253>>”Together, men!” Hold this position, wait for a few more of your men to drop down and then surge into the camp in something approximating ranks. Any organization is an advantage.
>>4692261>>4692275>>4692353“Charge! Cut them down!” You bellow, that old familiar battle fury filling your voice as you thunder forward, your poleaxe held with an iron grip. Ah, the raging heat of battle, what a feeling! The Drakes already within the wall let out battle cries of their own, polearms and swords held forward as they storm behind you across the snowy yard.The brigands, to their credit, nearly manage to form ranks by the time you impact their ragged line, a sweep of your poleaxe beating aside a pair of interposing spear points as you fall upon them in a frenzy. Pushing past the out of position spears, you carry on and bring the butt of your poleaxe into the bearded chin of the nearest enemy, shattering his jaw with a crack and an accompanying triumphant roar, your grip widening on the polearm’s shaft as you begin to fight in close quarters. That’s two! Another comes at you, his messer flashing quickly in high swing, but you void the strike with a small sidestep and deflection, and bring the head of your closely griping weapon crashing down upon his shoulder in return. Steel buckles, and even with the lesser leverage of this grip the man’s armor means little, your strikes finding its weakest areas, guided by nearly two decades of hard learned lessons; there’s a spray of blood, but you’re already moving onto the next man before the wound fully gouts. That’s three! Around you, your men clash with this first line of brigands, keeping them from surrounding and swarming you as you cut a bloody swathe. Most of the other Drake more than hold their own, dispatching their opponents in the melee after trading a few blows, but it’s hardly one-sided. Marc takes a thrust near his armpit but continues to fight on, clearly in pain. Hugo falls with an agonized scream as a sword thrusts down into his inner thigh while he struggles in a grapple with one of the larger enemy soldiers. The large brigand’s blade narrowly slips past the faulds of Hugo’s armor and sinks deep into his leg. He manages a defiant retaliatory thrust with his own sword, screaming in pain, but his killer deflects the blow away with a short clanging sweep of a vambrace, the weapon’s misaligned edge doing little against the steel plate. Moments later he's overwhelmed by the other Drakes, his body mangled by a storm of vengeful attacks and sent crashing into the snow.
>>4692377Arrows hiss in from the ruined manor house’s roof as the chaos of the first melee clears and the archers get new lines of sight unobstructed by their allies, but the arrows find no purchase among your number. For now, at least. With arrows it's a game of hazard; some poor bastard will take one in a joint or the side of a visor if enough are loosed. Even with the losses, the assault is going very well. That rush bought you more than a little breathing room to get the rest of the detachment inside the walls, and the snow is crimson with far, far more of the enemies blood than your own. The first line of their defense was overwhelmed, but even now the rest of the brigand camp rallies to fight; they probably don’t realize the extent of their losses yet, if they had a damned brain between them they’d be routing, over a third of the camp must be dead already!As you meet the next group of brigands more Drakes hop in over the palisade, joining the bloody struggle. From beyond the spreading inferno of the burning tents, well out of sight in the chaos of the battle, a deep rhythmic stomping shakes the earth. But how does this last phase of the battle fare?I need four rolls of 3d6. The first three rolls are for Gustav, TN is 18. He’s very good at killing.The final roll is for the rest of the Drakes in general, TN is 15. (14 normally, +1 from Gustav’s leadership.)If no one else rolls for half an hour after you have, feel free to just do so again. I don’t want rolling to take hours.
Rolled 1, 4, 1 + 1 = 7 (3d6 + 1)>>4692379TN basically needs a 666 to pass wew thats hard
Rolled 5, 4, 3 + 1 = 13 (3d6 + 1)>>4692379If its cumulative. Understandable
>>4692494It is roll equal to or under, its actually quite easy in this case.
Rolled 2, 5, 6 = 13 (3d6)>>4692551>>4692379Ill just roll all of it if you dont mind. Board seems slow lately
>>4692562Go ahead, not a problem. Just need one more.
Rolled 5, 2, 6 = 13 (3d6)>>4692379
Rolled 2, 3, 4 = 9 (3d6)>>46924946>>469249912>>469256213Gustav did fairly well, very strong start.>>469258413. Drakes did alright in general.Rolling for the brigands in general.Won't be able to properly update until tomorrow evening, apologies for that; I had planned to get a lot more done today. Perspective will switch back to Frauke very soon and probably stay there for quite awhile, these little asides won't be that common.
>>4692693if those are wanted brigands, can we cash in on their destruction somehow?
>>4692494>>4692499>>4692562>>4692584>>4692693That strange earth rattling rhythmic stomping grows more erratic, quickening and increasingly frantic, but you pay it no heed.The ringing clash of steel and the screams of dying men fill the night air, myriad sounds of battle surrounding you as the brigands struggle on, a furious final defense in the face of your swelling numbers. Night assaults are often bloody and chaotic, it's difficult to gauge which side is winning, but by now you’re sure the battle is yours. Most of the Drakes have made it over the palisade and joined the tumult, but even still the brigands fight on. In another life some of them may have made good Drakes, but as you see a pair of your men pummeled to the ground by a group of mace wielding bastards the thought vanishes, a simple cold rage overtaking you. You do not roar in anger or cry out in joyous battle fury as you did early, or make any sound at all; you’re filled with a terrible, silent resolve as you see yet more of your men fall. These brigands will die, they’ve already lost but even now they’re killing your men. The death of each Drake hammers into you. They’re your comrades, your brothers, and by your command they’ve fought and died in this shithole of a camp… all to save a few days of travel... Striding forward through the throng of lesser men, you clear a bloody path toward the trio of mace wielders. The largest of the three, clad in yellow brigandine and old mail, charges forward at you through the snow and loses his head for the trouble, spouting gore sent arcing away with his helm as your poleaxe bites cleanly through the iron mail about his neck. That makes four kills. The remaining two brigands hesitated, frozen briefly in terror instead of supporting their freshly minted corpse of an ally, the whites of their eyes widening behind visor slits as they look upon your towering form. If they’d attacked together they might have stood some small chance. Gritting your teeth so hard they feel as if they might shatter at any moment, you swing, and swing, and swing, the brigand’s desperate efforts at defense meaning nothing as you overwhelm their parries and blocks with raw brute strength. They’re killing your men. Five kills! Six kills!This battle had to be fought, the detour would have risked too much. The Commander’s plans must come first, he made it clear that you must arrive before midwinter. It may not make sense now, but you know at your very core that Lussan’s plans are what is best for your men. For you. Not these brigands though, they won’t even see the morning, lives ended simply because they stood in the way of greater ideas at the wrong time.
>>4693818You’re not enough to take them all alone, no matter your skill and strength, and even fighting side by side with your men you cannot ensure every Drake survives. As you tear through the remaining brigands, your poleaxe rending steel and flesh alike with ease and turning six kills into eight, another Drake falls nearby. Almost instantly his killer is overwhelmed and swarmed by your vengeful brothers, the deed done well before you arrive, a dozen dozen blows raining down on the screaming armored man until he falls silent. A messy kill.The rest of the brigands finally begin to route, barely more than a handful reaming that are able to turn and run, some tripping over blood slick bodies as they stumble in the dark. The archers have disappeared from among the manor house’s old stone arches, and only that damned strange stomping remains… Until it too suddenly stops.A few of your men pursue the fleeing brigands a short distance, but they pull back as their quarry plunges into the midst of the burning tents. Slaughtering the fleeing men serves little purpose, and there’s certainly no reason to run into a smoking inferno.“Victory!” Marc shouts, raising his unwounded arm and cheering into the night. The fires of the burning tents illuminate your men as they join in the outburst of celebration, their mismatched armor and disguised waffenrocks stained with blood. Some of it is brigand, some of it Drake, but no matter its source it’s the same darkening red. In the shrouding dark of night and the burning camp’s harsh firelight, it almost looks like they’re all wearing proper Drakefang colors again, flickering shadowed blacks and reds. Not quite right though, too soft, too much orange and yellow, but close enough for the imagination to fill the blanks. ”Victory!” You roar along with your men, raising your poleaxe over your head before beginning to shout orders, “Peter, Dirk, assess the wounded! Marc, finish these bastards off-”
>>4693822Your orders are abruptly cut short as the thunderous cracking and splintering of wood fills the air, beams and wooden walls turned to splinters as something crashes outward from the large and now burning shed beyond the tents, bellowing in pain and fury.”AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!It’s monstrously huge, a towering brownish-green skinned humanoid thing; its proportions are anything but natural, arms too long, hands and feet far too large. A shaggy black mane of fur hangs far down past bent, pointed ears, framing its huge crooked wart covered nose and hideous wrinkled face. Amber eyes wide with agony stare out from under a bushy brow, the things entire face contorting as it continues its drawn out blood curdling scream. The huge overbiting fangs of the creature are displayed prominently as its jaw nearly unhinges, opening much too far as it cries out. Arching its back, burning black hair falling away from its sagging breasts, the thing extends its long arms out to either side and unfurls clawed hands, each finger ending in a wicked black talon the size of a dagger.“Sun preserve us, what the hell is that?!” Marc shouts in fear, similar shouts quickly sounding from the rest of your men. A few ready their weapons once more, and you tighten your grip on the shaft of your poleaxe.The huge shaggy haired she-beast stumbles forward through the flaming tents with awkward staggering steps, screaming for blood as one clawed hand wraps around one of the slower of the fleeing brigands, easily catching him in a long sweeping motion. Without pause she drags the struggling, wounded man to her mouth and sinks her huge yellowed fangs upon his upper torso, right through his armor, biting down and tearing away nearly half his body as he screams his last. As blood pours from the ruined body, she uses it almost as a wet rag to douse some of the flames burning her shaggy black mane of hair.”DIE! DIE! ALL DIE! FIRE! FIRE AND KILL HIM! WHY KILL HIM?! WHY FIRE?! HURTS SO BAD! AAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHHHH!” Her cries devolved back into a simple agonized scream, and leaning forward she begins to barrel toward your position with more long strides, hurling the ragged half corpse of the brigand at your men as she charges. Dirk is hit, taken off his feet by the bloody chunk of meat and sheared armor, and sent crashing backward into the trampled snow meters away.Sodding hell, there really was a troll!
>>4693826>”Hold steady! Form two lines, one on either side! Spears forward, just like Kotharg!” Hold and fight, imitating the ancient Imperial legions battling war-elephants. One of Lussan’s favorite stories of the early empire.>”Get to the manor house! Go! Go!” Stone walls will help defend against whatever strength this monstrous she-troll can muster.>”Fall back! Get back to the wagons! I'll hold it off!” Bet your own decades of skill against this beastly troll woman’s strength and reach, taking her on alone. No more dead Drakes tonight.Perspective will switch back to Frauke immediately following this vote.
>>4693832>”Fall back! Get back to the wagons! I'll hold it off!” Bet your own decades of skill against this beastly troll woman’s strength and reach, taking her on alone. No more dead Drakes tonight
>>4693832>>”Hold steady! Form two lines, one on either side! Spears forward, just like Kotharg!” Hold and fight, imitating the ancient Imperial legions battling war-elephants. One of Lussan’s favorite stories of the early empire.Create lanes where the orc can charge without causing casualties while pelting it with arrows and spears all along.
>>4693832>”Hold steady! Form two lines, one on either side! Spears forward, just like Kotharg!” Hold and fight, imitating the ancient Imperial legions battling war-elephants. One of Lussan’s favorite stories of the early empire.The most tactically sound choice
>>4694125>>4694148Locking it in and writing.
>>4694148>>4694125You are Frauke, wandering witch of the Misty Island and a bearer of the Mark of Witches.Deep shadows lay upon you as you sit atop an old tree stump, nary a flicker of light within the woods but that of the stars and moon and the distant fire set by your own arcane craft. The howling chill of mountain wind blows a faint strand of golden hair once more before your eyes. Peeved by the recurrence, you tuck the stray strand aside, slipping it beneath the wide brim of your hat with a cold numbed hand, and then adjust your dark scarf to better guard against the wind. Dirk gave you the scarf a few days ago, an overlarge spare unused by the other Drakes. It’s been a sort mask for you recently, wrapped up enough to protect your lower face from the winter chill, a habit still retained from your more carefree youth and Brokhoff’s harsh winters. Brokhoff…You banish the unwelcome thought.Arms pulled tight against your chest, you rub your pale hands together for warmth before slipping them within opposite sleeves of your robes; gloves would be by far superior, but at your diminutive size only bespoke work would fit, and clumsy mittens are the bane of casting. No, you’ll just have to bear with it. Sighing deeply into your scarf, you look over to Arastro. He stands silhouetted faintly by the distant hues of the fire you unleashed upon the brigand camp, blue hood pulled down and his long dark hair flowing in the wind as he looks down upon the distant battle. Marc led you up to this high perch earlier, the position from which her surveyed the brigand camp unseen. It served well as a point to cast from, far, far beyond the range of any arrow. Arastro’s back is turned to you, and your gaze lingers upon him a few moments.There’s nothing much to see out that way at this distance and in the dark, nothing you want to see anyways even if the flames might reveal some, and your spellcraft has left you nearing exhaustion. The mana within your veins and ruby pendant were spent upon the brigand camp's destruction. Your gaze drifts back to the snow beneath your feet, and you idly tap at it with the tip of your boots in an alternating rhythm, focusing on staying warm under your heavy cloak and robes and the gentle pattern of crunching the snow underfoot. Focusing on anything other than the battle.
>>4694375...Toppling the tower was mostly brute force and its decrepit age, gravity doing much of the work but the mana expenditure still outrageous from casting at such a great range. The burning coals meanwhile were a clever if insidious trick, bundles of the incendiary black stone magically bored with dozens of miniscule tunnels to increase their surface area before being set ablaze by Arastro’s torch, their heat and propensity to burn far increased by the work spell worked pathways almost invisible to the naked eye. That they would shatter and spread burning dust had been your hope, and judging by the size of the glowing inferno in the distance they must have; a snowy camp is no easy thing to burn, yet it does readily. Perhaps another factor is the cause of the fast catching flames, something unknown to you, but it suited your purpose regardless. Really you’re just thankful Dirk had bought the coal in Tordorf at all, and decided to lug it about in one of the wagons. Space and weight is at a premium in the wagons, the mountain crossing difficult enough as it is with whatever the Drakes are carrying in all of those locked chests and barrels, and the presence of the coal made little sense. You sigh again, the line of thought drifting too close to imagining the fighting. All’s well that ends well, as Dirk says, no need to think of the battle....And inevitably your mind drifts to the gory details of the battle regardless, imagined horrors readily appearing in your mind's eye. The battle amongst the flames is too similar to Brokhoff in your imagining of it, far too close to home. You close your eyes, trying to banish the persistent thought once more, mustering your mental discipline honed by years of focused spellcraft and visualization. Even after all these years, it’s difficult to not think of elephants, but you manage yet again. Just focus on the snow and the tip tapping of your boots. Focus on something repetitive, little rituals to clear your thoughts.
>>4694377A faint thrumming noise causes you to look up, Edela flying toward you with panicked speed, the long fluffy white petals of her hair jostling about as she comes to a sudden halt before you, ”The scout beheld truth, Frauke!”You squint at her in confusion, green eyes narrowing but a sense of unease filling you merely from her tone of voice, “What? The scout?...”“Frauke, something huge is moving in the camp!” Arastro shouts, already turned about and moving to your position.”A troll! A bonded she-troll, dwelling among the thieves!” Edela cries out to him, buzzing away a few feet in the air from you. You stand from the stump, your small boots fully sinking into the snow you’ve distracted yourself with for minutes now, and you trade worried looks with Arastro. He’s already drawing his longsword from its scabbard, readying himself for battle. It's a good thing he's clad in most of his armor, the dulled plates only faintly reflecting starlight and distant flame.”I attempted…” Edela puts her hands behind her back, looking nervously to the ground, “...a parlay with the she-troll, but flames and death incensed her to rage. Reason failed to reach her, a transfiguring hate overwhelming sense. I... fear I may have worsened her fury.”“I told you not to explore that far-” You begin to say, chiding her. The grimalkin threatened to hunt you, a sinister parting curse, and Edela running off so far alone in the dark was blatant foolishness. Even keeping closely together, those malevolent cat-spirits pose a serious risk in the dark if they set upon you at once as a pack. You're not her keeper, ultimately the choice is hers, but the recklessness bothers you.“Is that what that huge thing is down there, an angry troll woman? How could Marc have missed something like that?” Arastro questions, cutting you off, though you remember the dismissed warning well enough. At the time you thought Gustav was right, deferring to his experience. Who encounters trolls outside of a bards story anyways? Witches travelling with fairies, apparently. Lines and signs, if only that didn’t make its own twisted sense. Convergences of conception, as Åse called the phenomena, an idea you never paid much heed to until this very moment. There’s been too much strangeness lately.“Your watcher did warn of it!” Edela corrects, though hardly sounding pleased as she does so, her tone sorrowful, “He spied her as she must have been, tall but peaceful. Rage swells their stature, grief moreso; form and feeling are one for trollkin!”Her knowledge of spirits has proven elucidating over the prior few hours, but sometimes you really don't like what Edela tells you. “Moon and sun.” Arastro says, the divine invocation more of a swear than a plea for aid, “We have to help the others, Frauke. Can you still cast?”
>>4694388Edela can fly with terrific swiftness when she wishes to do so, but you’re very much limited to old fashioned foot slogging, theoretical feats of earth magic aided levitation aside. In the darkened woods, retracing the narrow path Marc led you up earlier will be no quick task, and crossing the distance to the camp will take minutes longer still. The crystal lantern you seized from the mages chamber lies nearby, wrapped in a spare cloak to conceal its faintly azure light, but even with it at full blaze and lighting the way the journey would not be swift; Would intervention even aid the battle? Would you arrive too late regardless? There's no way to know for certain.Arastro's question lingers in the air. Can you still cast?>”I can push myself a little further, manage a few spells if we close the distance. Lets go, there’s no time to waste!” >”I might be able to cast something big enough to help from here, but it… it won’t be pleasant. You’ll need to guard me when I fall unconscious. My, uh, my robes might catch fire too, put them out if that happens, okay?”>”I can, but I… I don’t see how it could be of much use. I’ll just end up knocking myself out again, like at the Boar camp. With the grimalkin around, I’d be too much of a liability...”>Write-in.Damn formatting errors strike again.
>>4694390>>”I can push myself a little further, manage a few spells if we close the distance. Lets go, there’s no time to waste!”
>>4694390>”I can push myself a little further, manage a few spells if we close the distance. Lets go, there’s no time to waste!”Let's try to at least pass out in the general vicinity of the other Drakes.
>>4694390>>>”I can push myself a little further, manage a few spells if we close the distance. Lets go, there’s no time to waste!”
>>4694430>>4694450>>4694474“I can push myself a little further, manage a few spells if we close the distance.” You say after a moment's delay, taking up your oaken staff once more from where it leans against the stump, “Lets go, there’s no time to waste!”“That's the spirit! Come on Frauke, we’ve got a troll to kill.” Arastro states confidently, already heading toward the cloak wrapped crystal lamp with a prayer on his lips, “Moon guide our steps and my blade, let your light be a shield in our time of need, a guardian watching over-”Edela zips over to the crumpled cloak, and straining with effort she pulls the blue crystal lamp out from its hold and lifts it into the air by its looping bronze wire handle, wings thrumming ever louder as she compensates for the overlarge lantern’s weight, ”Begone, pallorous orb, you starlit egg of woe! By my hand shall the way be lit!”“-watching over us all.” Arastro finishes the prayer despite the mildly blasphemous interruption, wasting no time in standing around here and bickering, already following the little sprite and her proportionally gargantuan lamp into the depths of the forest, “Edela, why do speak of the moon so poorly?”“It does get a bit old, Arastro, moon this, sun that.” You comment, keeping close behind the floating lantern as you descend quickly down the winding rocky trail Marc revealed earlier, careful even with the lamp’s blue-white light guiding the way to not trip upon iced over stone.“No, no, I get that feeling too at times.” He says with a small wave of his free hand, looking distracted and glancing off to the left at something, even as his pace quickens down the icy path, “...It's one of the bigger reasons I left the monastery, to tell the truth. But why be so venomous about it? The moon watches over us all, she’s a protector in the dark from unseen danger.”“Deep fog and ill feeling surround my gaze when I behold it.” Edela explains grumpily, she and the glowing lamp bobbing about in the air as she avoids the bristling branches of nearby spruce trees, ”Mere thought evokes the same. Foul thing, thief of starlight, false harlot!” “...Strong words, sprite, I've heard similar before but never so openly about the gods. How about the sun then? He’s not so bad, right?” Arastro asks, keeping the conversation going, and sounding… mildly amused? Is he just prodding at her now?
>>4694664“Quit it, you’ll get her riled-” You begin to protest before almost slipping on an iced stone, catching your balance with the aid of your staff moments before disaster. Practical for casting and hiking, these things, but you’re nearly finished with this descent anyways, the ground leveling off.“Worse still! Even within my broken recollection of Aster, light suffused all- Aaagh!” Edela cries out as about fifty pounds of screeching grimalkin leaps from the shadows without warning, the little sprite narrowly avoiding being dragged off into the dark by the cat-spirit's fangs. With a panicked, spinning swing she clonks the grimalkin over the head with the lantern mid pounce, sending it sprawling to the snowy forest floor with an angry hiss, and it flees back into the shadows.More leap from nearby hiding spots, Arastro catching a pair mid jump with single swift cut, bloodied halves striking the snow just beyond him, but a third falls upon him from a tree, wrapping its unnervingly human limbs around his neck and biting down visciously. No, no, not this again!Not again indeed. The cat-spirit’s fanged maw finds no purchase upon the steel of Arastro’s armor, making terrible noise but managing… nothing of note, really, before Arastro grabs it by its black bushy tail and slams it upon a nearby rock. There’s a crack and final yowl of pain from the beast, and he flings the body off into the darkness. The other dark furred grimalkin, just a few moments from setting upon you, break and run at the sight of their failed ambush.It’s all over so fast you barely had time to react, raising your staff defensively for a few moments but not even casting a single spell. Bickering about the sun and moon one moment, and then slain grimalkin in the snow the next...“Haha, it worked! Can’t believe they’re that easy to bait, little bastards.” Arastro exclaims with a laugh, eyes scanning over the nearby trees and shadowed undergrowth before he continues onward to the camp.’You knew! Edela accuses, before breaking into a happy giggle of her own, complementing him and giving him a tiny peck on the cheek, “Clever hunter! I begin to understand your ploys.”“Thanks, I try.” He says without an ounce of humility, cheeks a little red and basking in the small victory for a moment, “Come on, we still have to deal with the troll.”“...Right.” You manage to say, still trying to make sense of what happened. How long did he know the grimalkin were following you? You hadn’t seen a thing, too distracted by the conversation.A few minutes later and you’ve made it through the woods and to the edge of the still burning brigand camp, orangish red hues flicking about as flames light the area. Beyond the palisade are the sounds of… cheering?
>>4694667“Sounds like we won. That’s Gustav for you.” Arastro says, chuckling and lowering his blade but not yet sheathing it. You walk alongside him to the palisade, Edela setting the lantern down with an exhausted huff and flying close behind. The camp gate is closed, so you’re forced to use the rope ladders hooked along the wooded palisade, an awkward climb in your robes and with staff in hand and… oh my, that’s quite a drop down! Arastro goes over without hesitation, landing gracefully. You hesitate further, and look around the area before making the leap yourself.In the corpse filled yard beyond, near an old stone manor house, you can see the rest of the Drakes standing atop an enormous greenish brown skinned corpse, waving weapons about and congratulating one another like nobles posing around a freshly slain aurox on a hunt.Already standing on the bloodied snow far beneath you, Arastro sheaths his longsword and looks up, grinning mischievously, “Alright, you can’t hold onto that ladder forever, Frauke. Come on, jump. I’ll catch you.”>Jump!>Insist on lowering yourself down awkwardly. You have your pride!>Lower yourself back down outside the palisade, move to the next ladder, and use one of the watch platforms to descend the other side in smaller steps.>Write-in
>>4694669>>Lower yourself back down outside the palisade, move to the next ladder, and use one of the watch platforms to descend the other side in smaller steps.
>>4694669>Insist on lowering yourself down awkwardly. You have your pride!
>>4694690>>4694791>>4695151Won't be able to start writing for another couple of hours probably, so I'll leave voting open. I'll roll it off if there isn't a winner when I'm back.Unfortunately all of this week will likely only have one update a day, if even that. When I (hopefully) hit my next chunk of free time I'll start up a new thread, but I'll keep this one going for now.
Rolled 2 (1d3)>>46946901>>46947912>>46951513
>>4695354>>4694791At Arastro’s insistence you make the leap, trusting he’ll live up to his word, your dark robes rustling slightly as you fall the short distance from the top of the palisade and into his waiting arms. The impact isn’t pleasant, armored plates are not the most welcoming cushion, but his grip is strong and firm, and you’re gently set down to the ground. Your boots crunch into the bloodied snow below, and looking away from Arastro you take a few moments to situate your robes, hat and scarf, fussing about with them in the cold. It’s all so very… embarrassing, the gifted scarf concealing your cheeks as they flush scarlet.“Not so bad, right?” He asks, letting out a small chuckle.“Y-yeah. Thanks.” You answer, still situating your scarf and refusing eye contact as you begin to walk toward the Drakes surrounding the troll corpse. Several of them are already waving in greeting as you both approach. A few look wounded, and another pair are sitting with their backs to the grey manor house wall and clearly in even worse condition. “Anytime you need me, Frauke. Come on, this...” Arastro trails off, the playful cheer draining from his tone as he begins to take in the scene of the battlefield around you, several slain Drakes separated from the fallen gory throng of brigands and set out in a line near the crumbled tower, “Gods, this actually doesn’t look good.”“How many was it?” You ask, trying to count them up, seeing only five in the grim line as you approach, but a more important question burns in your mind, “Who was it?”“I’ll check, you go see Gustav. They need prayers if they’re to pass on peacefully, may as well be me.” Arastro says solemnly, looking at the moon hanging high above the night sky, barely a cloud in sight to block its silver rays. ”Poor troll… Poor men...” Edela says softly while hovering next to you, her head bowed respectfully.>”Poor troll?” You’re not sure if you're angry or just confused by the comment. The troll only made this worse, surely.>Head to Gustav, he’s standing near the wounded and speaking with them. It looks like Peter is with him as well.>Follow Arastro anyways. You need to know who’s dead, you haven't know them for long but the Drakes have only treated you well. They deserve better.>Write-in.
>>4695522>Head to Gustav, he’s standing near the wounded and speaking with them. It looks like Peter is with him as well.I hope Dirk is ok
>>4695522>Head to Gustav, he’s standing near the wounded and speaking with them. It looks like Peter is with him as well.
>>4695522>>Head to Gustav, he’s standing near the wounded and speaking with them. It looks like Peter is with him as well.
>>4695522>>Follow Arastro anyways. You need to know who’s dead, you haven't know them for long but the Drakes have only treated you well. They deserve better.
The awful sights left in the wake of the battle weigh upon your mind as you trudge through the bloody snow toward Gustav, squinting over the edge of your high wrapped scarf to try and determine who it is he’s standing by along the manor house’s front wall. Peter is kneeling and treating the two badly wounded men, one of them you’ve only spoken to in passing and the other is… Oh no. It’s Dirk! He looks to be in serious pain, sitting against the stone wall and absolutely soaked in blood, his blue brigandine stained dark by the drying gore, black hair and mustache matted down by what must have been a truly nightmarish amount of blood. How badly is he wounded? Where? You can’t tell from here, and quicken your pace through the snow as worry grips you, brushing right past the Drakes standing about the troll corpse and paying its foul smelling bulk little heed. You head right over to Dirk, ignoring the others.“Hey, Kid. Fine work with that, gah...” Dirks greets you before Gustav speaks, grimacing in pain as he tries to sit up a little more, “...With that spell. No frogs, roasted em’ good though.”“Are you alright?” You ask, better words not readily coming to mind, to which Dirk starts to laugh before coughing in pain.“You’ve got eyes.” He answers, “Look for yourself. Feeling just great, think I might run laps in a minute.”You kneel by his side, and on closer inspection he doesn’t appear to have any stabs or cuts, no bandages at all… broken bones then? Ribs maybe, hopefully not his back, and his arms and legs at least aren’t obviously broken, but a visual inspection doesn’t give hints as to the exact location of injuries. Ugh, that’s still awful, you broke a rib once after falling while trying to levitate on a boulder, and it hurt like hell to even breathe until Åse healed you. After an hour-long lesson without tea, of course.“Damned troll threw half a man at him, it took him right off his feet! If he was any shorter it would’ve taken his head clean off, isn’t that right Dirk?” Gustav rumbles, his red beard and plate armor smeared with drying crimson, though clearly not his own. The visor of Gustav’s salet is lifted, and he flashes a crooked toothy smile at both of you.
>>4696478“Sod off, giant, it’s the-Agh!” Dirk starts to respond, returning a pained tight lipped grin and trying again to sit up before wincing and settling back down, “...It’s the pay that keeps me goin’, you know that. Can’t die here, I’d miss the bonus Lussan’s gonna give us for doing such a fine job.”“...Won’t get paid if you’re dead, Dirk, stop moving around so much. It’s only going to make it worse, you need to rest.” Peter chides from nearby, busy checking over the bandages on the other Drake propped against the wall.Dirk shoots Peter an unpleasant look, “Don’t move? Get rest? Oh, thanks doc, really appreciate that wise and insightful advice, couldn’t have- Agh, Gods damn it all, where’s the spirits? Hurts somethin’ fierce just talking.”Gustav grunts in acknowledgement, “Been there before. The wagons are being brought up, you’ll get your drink.”>”...Yeah, we could really use some spirits right now, shame there’s none here.” Nudge Edela with your elbow. She’s invisible to them still, but that shouldn’t matter for this.>”...Who all did we lose, Gustav? Arastro and I tried to get here as soon as we spotted the troll, but the forest’s dark and… full of cats. I wish I could’ve done more.”>”Here, I can help. Probably. Maybe. ...It’s a bit of a long shot, actually. Hold absolutely still, okay?” Attempt to use Control+Body to speed Dirk’s recovery. >Write-in.
>>4696480>”...Yeah, we could really use some spirits right now, shame there’s none here.” Nudge Edela with your elbow. She’s invisible to them still, but that shouldn’t matter for this.Feel bad asking her to get to work right after waking up. Why I didn't want to send her scouting but.. we should ask. If not let's try ourselves. Dirks a good guy, if we can do something we should, he might not make it if not.
>>4696510We might make it worse if fuck up though, I think?
>>4696480>>”...Yeah, we could really use some spirits right now, shame there’s none here.” Nudge Edela with your elbow. She’s invisible to them still, but that shouldn’t matter for this.Get to work fairy
>>4696480>”...Yeah, we could really use some spirits right now, shame there’s none here.” Nudge Edela with your elbow. She’s invisible to them still, but that shouldn’t matter for this.do not try to fix this with amateur healing magic
>>4696480>>”...Yeah, we could really use some spirits right now, shame there’s none here.” Nudge Edela with your elbow. She’s invisible to them still, but that shouldn’t matter for this.
>>4696510>>4696558>>4697089>>4697359Prompting Edela is the undisputed winner.I probably won't be able to update until Friday night, I've been even busier than expected. Look for an update sometime around then. I should be able to get updates out as normal throughout the weekend, but there will be another halt/slowdown on monday/tuesday, and things should be back to their normal pace from next Wednesday onward (probably with a new thread).
alright boss, thanks for the update!
>>4696510>>4696558>>4697089>>4697359“...Yeah, we could really use some spirits right now, shame there’s none here.” You say somewhat less than subtly, nudging Edela lightly with your elbow. The small prompt sends the little sprite bobbing about in the air, her wings thrumming as they easily maintain her facing and altitude.”A meadow of apologies! I shall set to work at once, his condition appears most dire.” Edela responds with mild embarrassment, her attention now refocused from the slain troll and onto your injured ally. If she could heal lacerations and poisoning earlier, it stands to reason that fractured bones might be within her power too; whatever the case may be, now isn’t the time to attempt amateurish healing magic.Dirk shoots you a mildly annoyed expression in response to your comment, or perhaps it's simply pained, before cracking a small bloody toothed grin, “You’d barely down a few swigs before passin’ out, that hats not fooling anyone.”“I think you’d be surprised, Dirk. Besides, you’re hardly taller than me.” You answer, furrowing your brow at him and playing along for the moment.Your magic might not be of much help, but you can at least keep his mind off of the grim situation, not that he needs much help to be oblivious of his surroundings; Edela has landed gently atop his bloodied head, entirely unnoticed even as she begins to brush her hands along her white petals, strange translucent dust falling while she mouths words silently. Is it a spell? It didn’t have the sound of magic before… Ah, thoughts for another time. “Right, sure.” Dirk responds skeptically, shifting slightly against the wall and wincing as he tries to talk “But I’ve got years of-Gnhg… Years of drinking with Gustav. Counts for somethin’ right?”“Frauke, stop that. He needs rest, not banter.” Peter chastises sharply, looking over at you from his other patient. Perhaps he isn’t wrong, Dirk keeps moving about and that can't be helping things.“Sorry.” You answer quickly. Talking might just be making things worse.“Not gettin’ off that easily, I’m feeling better already. Can feel my feet ag- Gah, sod it!” Dirk begins to say with a bit more energy in his voice, presumably feeling the early onset of Edela’s strange healing, but as he tries to rise to his feet he quickly falls back against the wall, wincing deeply. Edela holds her arms out, wobbling around as she maintains balance atop the shifting scruffy mercenary’s head.
>>4702419“Dirk, enough. Listen to Peter and get some damned rest. That’s an order.” Gustav commands gruffly, while stepping closer and resting one of his heavy gauntleted hands on your shoulder.At his towering height Gustav barely has to raise his arm to do so, the movement little more than a slight bend of the elbow and tilt of his wrist. You turn to him, and tilt your head up enough to meet his downward gaze, forced to arch your neck quite a bit to see past the wide sagging brim of your pointed hat. For all of his loud boasting and shouting, and those terrifying silent moods that seem to catch when situations grow serious, there’s still a distinct kindness in Gustav’s eyes. No, not quite kindness, something more intense...“Frauke, can you heal them?” Gustav asks you quietly.>”...I already am, in a way. Keep your eyes open to the world, Captain.” Maintain some mystery. It’s not exactly untrue, and Edela doesn’t seem to want to be noticed anyways.>”Not safely, my magic in that sphere is too undeveloped. I can speed their recovery though.” A straight answer, but still keeping Edela secret.>“No, unfortunately I can’t. Not yet. ...Not safely. But I know someone who might be able to.” Speak to Gustav about Edela. If any of the other Drakes should know, it’s him.>Write-in.
>>4702424>>”Not safely, my magic in that sphere is too undeveloped. I can speed their recovery though.” A straight answer, but still keeping Edela secret.
>>4702424>”Not safely, my magic in that sphere is too undeveloped. I can speed their recovery though.” A straight answer, but still keeping Edela secret.
>>4702424>>“No, unfortunately I can’t. Not yet. ...Not safely. But I know someone who might be able to.” Speak to Gustav about Edela. If any of the other Drakes should know, it’s him.
>>4702514>>4702610>>4702831Locking it in.
putting-on-contact-lenses-thought: scatter stone is being loud because it's breaking the sound barrier. the projectiles have probably been getting faster as we've been mastering it, and now they start out faster than sound.
>>4702966Not quite right, but very close to what's happening.
>>4702514>>4702610>>4702831”Not safely, my magic in that sphere is too undeveloped. I can speed their recovery though.” You answer, voice muffled slightly by your large borrowed scarf. Gustav’s grip on your shoulder tightens slightly, not to a painful degree but it’s easy to tell from his expression that he was hoping for a different answer.“Mm. Alright then.” He says, his voice still low, “When the time comes, do what you can for them. You already saved a lot of lives tonight, maybe the entire raid. Don’t push yourself too far, I need you alert and ready if anything else happens.”“I-I was just doing my part, Gustav… and I know, we don’t have another practitioner.” You answer a bit bashfully, not one to handle direct compliments well. They just… fluster you, it’s nice to hear direct praise of course, but it always feels like something wasn’t done well enough to deserve it. You could’ve helped more, done more, done better; something. Maybe it’s just years of Åse’s training style making you unused to such direct praise, she didn’t give compliments easily, but even after a couple of years of travelling freely it still just gets to you.“You did more than your part, Frauke. Without the confusion, these bastards would’ve had their defense better put together. Would’ve been far bloodier.” Gustav rumbles, taking his hand from your shoulder and raise his voice closer to its normal speaking level. He motions out across the ruined camp with his gauntleted hand.The snow covered yard around you is stained red with splashes of gore and brigand corpses littering the area here and there, and the great bloodsoaked mass of the slain troll… Bloodier than this? That’s not a pleasant line of thought. A shiver runs through you, but not from the cold.“W-well, you led the attack, and did the really fighting, I just cast a few spells.” You say, still downplaying your involvement and looking to the snowy ground near your feet.“Hm. Think of it however you want, it doesn’t change what happened.” Gustav continues with his praise, a mixture of unclear feelings rising within you as he does, “You and Lussan won this raid for us, Frauke. I’m glad you’re with the Company, even if your joining wasn’t under the best conditions. I said it in Tordorf, but I do mean it; you’re one of us.... Though I do get sick of talking to the top of that hat of yours, little Drake. Barely ever see you under that thing.”>”Thanks, Gustav. I’m glad to be here too, even if it’s… a bit rough at times like this. How did Lussan help, though? He’s out by Ostgarten.”>”...After seeing all of this, I’m still not sure how I feel about mercenary work. Battles don’t sit so well with me. I’m with you for the year though, whatever happens… Who did we lose, by the way?”>”Hey, what’s wrong with my hat? You can see me just fine, it’s not that big!”>Write-in.
>>4702999>>”Thanks, Gustav. I’m glad to be here too, even if it’s… a bit rough at times like this. How did Lussan help, though? He’s out by Ostgarten.”
>>4702999>”Thanks, Gustav. I’m glad to be here too, even if it’s… a bit rough at times like this. How did Lussan help, though? He’s out by Ostgarten.”(he taught them about fighting elephants?)>>4702979we're firing from bags instead of by opening our hand. does this still happen when we fire from our hand?firing from a bag:rocks start out collected in a kinda spherical shape.rocks have to go through the bag. (leaving vacuum?)magic flows from our staff through the bag into the rocks? (what are the bags made of? maybe they count as stone or the opposite of stone.)firing from our hand:rocks start out in a flatter shape (less chance of collision.)rocks don't have to go through anything (front and back rocks move at more similar speed.)we open our hand slightly before firing to avoid hitting our fingers, incidentally letting the rocks separate a bit? (less chance of collision.)magic flows from our hand into the rocks. (maybe we instinctively accelerate the furthest rocks first?)general question about the spell: we're only using it with pebbles very close to our hand or staff. does turning a rock or metal chunk into shrapnel without toucing it also count as Sayerd? when the spell was proposed, I imagined using it to sunder the tip of someone's weapon (outside their natural magical protection) by shattering it towards them.
>>4703009It still happens when Frauke fires from her hand. The bags are just scraps of linen cloth that have been tied up with some string, they definitely aren't a vacuum. Mana does flow from Frauke and through her staff to the stones, that part is correct. It's something more mundane causing it, but I appreciate the efforts to figure it out.Scatter stone would not be able to rip off chunks of solid objects and launch them, though if something was already very, very badly fractured it might be able to do so. With full word magic and sufficiently large amounts of mana Move+Earth or Control+Earth could do it, but it's usually more efficient to use Destroy+Earth to make cracks/smaller chunks instead of brute force ripping something apart. Taking out smaller supporting sections of things and letting gravity do the rest of the work is how a lot of building toppling is done. Frauke can use loose bits of earth to sort of drill through other areas with Control, that's how she made the air pathways in the coals; it was just other bits of controlled earth slowly boring out their interiors.
>>4703033different stones since we've been travelling. contain ice/water/something else that makes noise under pressure? more fragile rock, break as they're being fired? stones still move at the same speed, but the speed of sound is slower because the air is colder?was shattering the coal Sayerd?
>>4703070Higher altitude and colder air is correct, Scatter Stone is barely subsonic under other conditions.The coals were launched with normal word magic Move+Earth in a high arc (Sayraerd). They shattered from impacting the ground/tent walls due to being greatly weakened by the internal pathways bored into them to increase their surface area and air flow/burn rate. Basically they were burning particularly vigorously and prone to shatter for the same reasons, spreading scary hot bits of burning coal about the area.The waterproofing coating on their tents was also rather flammable, but Frauke wasn't aware of that at the time.
>>4703103apparently temperature matters way more than pressure. if we keep the bags on our body instead of at the end of the staff, and bring them out when we need them, the stones will start out in warmer air and maybe slow down enough and heat the air around them as they travel. gut feeling says that would only help when it's like 2 Celsius too cold.more reliably, just slow down the stones. can we do simple changes like that when casting a contraction?if not, could maybe make silenced bags by having the stones start out in a medium where the speed of sound is higher, which also slows down the stone. e.g. packed snow. would earth work? I can see the spell flinging the whole bag.
>>4702999>”...After seeing all of this, I’m still not sure how I feel about mercenary work. Battles don’t sit so well with me. I’m with you for the year though, whatever happens… Who did we lose, by the way?”
>>4703182Range can be extended a bit, but that merely maintains the initial velocity of the spell for greater ranges rather than accelerating it more/longer (this does mean damage fall off from range happens later though). Imparting less initial energy isn't possible since only Move+Earth were used for Scatter Stone, other words would be needed to bring back small bits of the customization that contractions lack. The only available "changes" besides range are slight variations in projectile mass, composition, and shape, but those aren't really an alteration to the spell so much as to its ammunition. There might be some combinations where it won't break the sound barrier in the current cold and mountainous terrain.Forcing the stones to pass through some kind of resistant medium when they launch would reduce damage and play hell with accuracy, but it would definitely solve the problem.>>4703003>>4703009Locking these in, should be able to start writing fairly soon.
>>4702999>Write-in.> Don't knock the hat, it's traditional!
>>4703003>>4703009”Thanks, Gustav. I’m glad to be here too, even if it’s… a bit rough at times like this. How did Lussan help, though? He’s out by Ostgarten.” You ask, wondering how the Commander could have possibly helped while several hundred miles away. Morale maybe? Discipline?“How'd he help? How didn’t he! He taught us how to fight elephants!” The large man answers with his voice now fully returned to its standard bone rattling volume, closing a huge gauntleted hand into a triumphant fist, and raising far more questions than answers.“...And that helped the raid how?” You probe further, confused by the odd statement. “Helped us fight that thing.” Gustav spits on the snow in the general direction of the dead she-troll, “Made short work of it. Flanked her on both sides with polearms, went down just like the Commander’s tales. Only managed to get at a few of us.”“Arastro and I rushed down here when we saw, but I didn’t realize you’d trained for this... sort of thing.” You say, more than a little surprised by the odd training but glad your new comrades knew something so… convenient, “Aren’t trolls a bit different from elephants though?”“Mm. Thought the same thing, but luck was with us. It was too damn angry to stop and think, the way I figure it. Charged right in after screaming, so the tactic worked.” Gustav explains, pointing his poleaxe toward the troll’s body.“Too angry?” You ask, crossing your arms in the cold and thinking over the situation as it must have unfolded. Edela said as much, that the she-troll was enraged by flame and death, and the sprite’s own words.Gustav keeps his gaze fixed on the troll’s corpse, a few of the other Drakes still near it and looking the thing over, “If you heard it scream, you’d understand, little Drake. Lussan’s training saved our hide, but it was luck that that thing didn’t come at us with an uprooted tree, or throw boulders from a distance. Practically killed itself, all things considered…””Poor troll…” Edela says again, thrumming back to the empty air by your side with her work presumably complete, ”Such tragedy was undeserved.You ignore the sprite’s words for now, unable to acknowledge Edela under the current circumstances without appearing far too suspicious. You’ve already muttered to yourself a few times today, best to not push it.“Fortune’s been mixed lately, but it’s a win. It’s good he taught you how to fight like that.” You say, though the observation is not terribly insightful. Things have been downright strange, with no sign of slowing down.
>>4703472“Indeed it is. Unique man, the Commander. He’s got a real vision for the future, even if I don’t always see it at the time. Thought the drills were just for discipline, keeping the troops in line and such. Guess I was wrong one more time, probably won’t be the last.” Gustav says with an exaggerated shrug, his bloodstained and dented armor creaking slightly with the large motion.“You trust him a lot, don’t you?” You ask, looking back up to Gustav once more now that the rain of compliments is at an end, “More than a normal company leader, I mean. The way everyone talks about him… It’s hard to believe all of the tales.”“Aye, quite right. You’ll understand when you meet him, Frauke. Stories may have grown in their retelling, but there’s not another commander like Lussan.”>”So who all did we lose? It does look like things could have gone better.”>”I think I’ll take a look around, if this camp had a troll there might be other dangers lurking, or maybe magical artifacts… A spirit working with bandits is peculiar, and I’m not sure how it crossed over to the physical world.”>”I’ll be the judge of that, Gustav. Maybe Lussan’ll actually appreciate my hat. It's traditional, you know.”>Write-in.
>>4703474>>”I think I’ll take a look around, if this camp had a troll there might be other dangers lurking, or maybe magical artifacts… A spirit working with bandits is peculiar, and I’m not sure how it crossed over to the physical world.”
>>4703474>”I think I’ll take a look around, if this camp had a troll there might be other dangers lurking, or maybe magical artifacts… A spirit working with bandits is peculiar, and I’m not sure how it crossed over to the physical world.”And also>>4703366
>>4703474>>”So who all did we lose? It does look like things could have gone better.”I'm sure we can a little something with the hat
>>4703502>>4703511>>4703591>>4703754>>4703835You give a very slight nod in response to Gustav’s statement, and shift the topic to more pressing matters, ”I think I’ll take a look around, if this camp had a troll there might be other dangers lurking, or maybe magical artifacts… A spirit working with bandits is peculiar, and I’m not sure how it crossed over to the physical world.”“Fair idea, go ahead. It’s damned strange, Frauke, all of this. Never seen a spirit before, at least while sober, let alone one working with brigands. I want to know what happened here.” Gustav says approvingly, though with concern tinging his words. You notice his grip tighten on the shaft of his poleaxe, perhaps an unconscious habit of his to unsettling situations.“I couldn’t agree more. I’ll let you know as soon as I find something.” You say, and begin to head off before Gustave speaks up again, and you turn back.“Stay on your guard, little Drake. We ran the bastards off but didn’t get all of them, don’t want to lose you to some vengeful cunt with a crossbow lurking behind a tree.” He warns, which puts you back on edge a bit. Of course they couldn’t have gotten all of them, but the thought of a “Uh, yeah, I’ll make sure to be careful. Rather averse to being shot, actually.” You answer, trying to play off the danger with a bit of humor.“Go on then, just keep your wits about you. Do your… witch business, whatever it is, and find out what happened. We can handle the rest of this mess.” Gustav says, dismissing you with a small wave of his hand. “Actually, one last thing.” You say, just before departing to investigate the manor house interior.“Oh? Spit it out then.” Gustav orders.“In the future, don’t knock my hat. It’s traditional!” You say, shooting him an annoyed look from under your hat's wide brim while defending the honor of your people. Witches are supposed to look a certain way, it’s only right and proper!Gustav guffaws and waves dismissively once more, and then turns back to Peter and the wounded Drakes, striking up a new conversation with them as you head inside of the ruined doorway of the old stone manor house. Some people just don’t appreciate the classics...Edela follows along close behind, before suddenly zipping upward through a hole in the ceiling - Or what passes for a ceiling anyways, the original wooden boards of the higher levels must’ve rotten away ages ago, and the brigands have laid out an odd patchwork of roughly hewn planks to allow passage about the higher levels. Moonlight filters in through the many, many gaps, giving you enough light to work by while investigating the ancient home. Well, light in some parts of it anyways, sharp little beams of moonlight standing stark amid the darkness.
>>4703843Edela soon reappears, arms crossed and shaking her head in disappointment, ”An odious hovel, long in disrepair. No spirit dwells here.”“You’re sure?” You ask, not being in much of a position to determine the absence of spirits. Several small locked chests are nearby, near a table covered in writing tools and a few books…”Quite.” Edela answers, ”Nor have I spied lurking vengeance seekers.”“That’s good at least… So what do you think happened here?” You ask, gesturing around in general with a slight tilt of your oaken staff.Edela hovers in front of you as you move onward deeper into the ancient ruin, flying backwards without looking to check her direction and continuing to face you the entire time, “I have pondered that question since my… failed parley with the she-troll. I believe one of the rapscallions who called this sorry camp home had taken her as a lover.”The disgusting suggestion takes you by surprise, nearly causing you to gag as you give Edela a horrified look, “Ew, what? That’s disgusting! How would that even work? Wait, no, no, I do not want to know that.””Form and thought are one, the stain or sorrow and rage would not have twisted her body so foully, and rather happiness would have rendered it more pleasing to human eyes... Is the imagining truly so revolting to you?” Edela questions, giving you a puzzled look which makes you feel a bit shameful. Assuming things about spirits while knowing so little about the subject is the height of ignorance, your mentor would’ve given you quite the talk for doing something so intellectually lazy. Of course the troll couldn’t have been so large and bestial, what a silly thing to think.“...Sorry, I’m just having a hard time reconciling the idea with that body out there. Even if she was smaller, and less… horrifying… How would they have even met?” You ask, finding that idea almost as hard to wrap your mind around as the first. People don’t just find spirits, it doesn’t work like, not outside of folk stories or ancient magician’s chambers anyways. They have to cross over from the astral, and sprites and grimalkin seemingly excepted, crossing over is supposed to be rather difficult to do.“Not a clue, I gleaned little from our hurried discussion. Perhaps the veil is weakened here.” Edela answers simply, before buzzing over to the table with the books and landing atop it gently.>Open the chests, with a spell if needed, and look over the books and writing materials. The contents might be elucidating.>Just look over the books and writing materials, the Drakes can check the chests later; better to save the energy for now.>”...If there aren’t any spirits here, we should move on. Try looking over where you found the troll, maybe. I can look at the rest of this later, it’s not going anywhere.”>Write-in.
>>4703857>>Open the chests, with a spell if needed, and look over the books and writing materials. The contents might be elucidating.
>>4703857>Open the chests, with a spell if needed, and look over the books and writing materials. The contents might be elucidating.
>>4703895>>4703870>>4703916>>4703925“Perhaps.” You agree, not knowing enough to add to her assessment. Approaching the table, you pick up the first book that draws your attention, a heavily worn leather bound tome with the words On Warfare pressed faintly upon its cover. Just a book of tactics, not relevant. You set it aside and examine the next two, a pair of small black books that couldn’t have been made more than a few decades ago, practically looking new... They don’t bear any pressed titles, or naming plates, so you crack the first open and begin to flip through its contents. Dates, place names, events… It’s a journal!“Edela, I may have found something. A journal of some kind.””Such efficiency!” Edela compliments, looking to you from where she’s sitting cross legged atop one of the open letters.“Look over the rest of it will you?”She gives an affirmative little wave and sets back to reading the letter, letting you focus on the journals.Third moon, half waning, 1481.I’ve made the most wondrous discovery this past week, a treasure I never would have found had I remained shackled to the ducal court! What a blessing my banishment has turned out to be, and to think I once cursed the day that spoiled brat exiled me. While surveying a ruin for the captain, which I suspect to have been an imperial watchtower once, I made camp for the night. Settling into sleep alone and without a watch was most terrifying, but no others could be spared to aid my work and I bore the danger willingly. Upon awakening the next morning, I heard a beautiful voice upon the wind, a song which stirred…You skim over the next few bits quickly. The writer, clearly a scholar of some kind, met a she-troll in the deep woods of the valley, near a ruin… and they seem to have really hit it off. Continuing to read quickly, hoping to find useful information about how the she-troll crossed the veil, all you discover is a man’s growing affection for a strange and lonely spirit. Line after line, page after page, there’s nothing of use to you. A few mentions of collecting ‘tolls’ from caravans, some noted deaths and new recruitments, and an occasional partial inventory of stolen goods… but nothing to do with magic except an outpouring of affection for this forlorn she-troll, Drifa, who was lost and far from her homeland. ...Oh no, he even wrote her love poems. And they're good! It hurts to look at them.
>>4704115You can’t bear to read anymore, and set the journal down, covering your mouth as you push it away. This is awful. A very brief inspection of the second book reveals its contents to be much the same.“...You were right, Edela." You say, voice shaking a little, "Anything interesting in the letters?””Not a lick.” She says with a sigh, ”My suspicions proved correct?”“Unfortunately. I… I guess that’s mercenary work though, the road’s dangerous and they were still bandits.” You close your eyes, trying to clear the depressing tale from your thoughts. Deaths are usually tragic, each in their own unique ways; the other brigands may have had lovers as well, families somewhere, maybe in another valley nearby… it’s just the writing making it feel worse. Closer. There’s no point lingering on what’s already done, is there? Still, it doesn’t sit well with you.You sigh, and move onto the nearby chests, kneeling upon the cold dirty stone floor as you test their iron locks with small tugs. All firmly shut. A spell would surely work to open them, but perhaps it’s best to try another method first and conserve what little energy you have left.“Edela, can you help me with this?” You ask, gesturing to the large roughly made iron lock held in your hand, lifting the contraption up slightly. Edela thrums over, setting down near the chest, and peers curiously at the lock, trying to see into the interior of its keyway.”Pull gently upon the shackle, I shall endeavor to fool the mechanism.” She says, sticking one slender arm into the roughly made keyway and feeling about. It’s a close fit, but a fit nonetheless.“Oh, I didn’t realize you knew so much about locks. I mean I hoped you might know more than me but... Is this safe? That doesn’t look safe.” You ask, worried for your small companion but complying with her directions regardless and pulling lightly on the shackle. It doesn’t budge, unsurprisingly, even while the little sprite messes with something in the lock’s interior.“I dreamed long about one lock in particular. This is of like kind, far rougher in make but for once… within my… reach… Aha!” There’s a small click as the shackle releases, and the lock falls away, Edela quickly retracting her arm from the device and hopping backward a couple of steps.
>>4704119“Excellent work, Edela!”You rub your hands together in excitement, and lift the small chest open. Inside are… coins. Bleh. Just money, mostly silver and copper, but a few small gold pieces too. Probably spoils gained from merchant ‘tolls’ and caravan raids. Gustav will definitely want this, but it tells you little about the brigands you didn’t already know. Working with Edela you repeat the lock opening trick on the other two chests, finding the contents of the second to be much the same, but the third holds something far, far more interesting.A slender dagger of translucent and pale blue metal, the blade almost as ghostly as the narrow beams of moonlight filtering in from above you. The narrow, ethereal blade tapers to a frightful point, and at its base small curved silver quillons jut slightly outward and upward, turning back in upon the blade in a crescent. The hilt is wrapped in silver wire, ending in a small pommel that is the mirror image of the crossguard, bending downward and in upon itself.There are no visible runes upon it, on this side at least. Perhaps it’s just strangely made, some material you've never heard of, even as beautiful and unearthly as it is…>Pick up the dagger and examine it more closely, this is fascinating!>Leave the dagger be for now, it was likely just more stolen loot. Move on to another area to investigate.>”Edela, do you know what this is? I’ve never seen such a material before.” Let the sprite look it over first.>Write-in.
>>4704126>”Edela, do you know what this is? I’ve never seen such a material before.” Let the sprite look it over first.Why not ask our companion?
>>4704126>”Edela, do you know what this is? I’ve never seen such a material before.” Let the sprite look it over first.
>>4704126>>”Edela, do you know what this is? I’ve never seen such a material before.” Let the sprite look it over first.if it was locked in a chest, instead of being used it might be dangeous in some way we dont know
>>4704126>”Edela, do you know what this is? I’ve never seen such a material before.” Let the sprite look it over first.she's been around for longer than us
>>4704126>>Leave the dagger be for now, it was likely just more stolen loot. Move on to another area to investigate.
>>4703314I imagine the spell either: >applies enough force to send the projectiles at a set speed (if they were fully earth?)>applies a set amount of force, divided between the stones based on mass (of earth?) (higher total mass means slower projectiles)>applies a set amount of force, divided between the stones based on volume (of earth?) (trying to affect a larger volume of earth means slower projectiles)you say "imparting less initial energy isn't possible", so I'm guessing it's not the first? as long as it always divides the same amount of force, it should be pretty easy to adjust the ammunition. larger bags, more dense projectiles, or fill the space between the projectiles with an earth-aligned powder like sand or ash so some of the magic is wasted launching that.does it always affect the same volume? of earth or of space? how does the spell work if you substitute the pebbles with the same mass/volume of powder, or a single stone with the same mass/volume? I cast Throw Rock.
>>4704129>>4704158>>4704380>>4704389Locking it in. Probably won't be able to write until later tonight.>>4704497It is not the first.The boundaries of the contraction's effect are determined by space, all the pebbles must be together and within the same roughly palm sized area. There is a set amount of energy, and due to the way the contraction was originally conceived there must always be nine pebbles involved; there is no spillover to surrounding earth, only the pebbles are effected. As a contraction it is severely limited in what can be altered, being more or less set in stone by Frauke's original imagining of it. Pebble size, shape, and composition can vary somewhat (composition varying the most, so long as it is 'earth'), but these changes have to be within the basic spirit of "launches nine small earth projectiles that do roughly this much damage."Earthen powder of the same mass would not work unless contained in earth containers of roughly the right size, and their combined mass would need to be within the acceptable variation limits. Some fun could probably be had with explosives in this regard, but Frauke isn't an alchemist and wouldn't know much about it. Likewise, a single larger stone would not be Scatter Stone any longer, Frauke would need a different contraction entirely or to use full word magic.Word magic = maximum creativity/flexibility but at a high cost; contractions = cheap but (mostly) set in stone spells.Hope that clears things up a bit.
>>4704593so simple subsonic ammunition for high altitude: nine relatively large or dense pebbles? just sort them out and put them in different bags when we make them.nine pieces of metal that are towards the lower end of acceptable volume? dripping metal from smithing, pieces of broken metal, cut up copper pieces.metal projectiles might be too heavy and thus slow, though. steel is like 3.5 times as heavy as rock, copper is 4 times as heavy. being barely subsonic, our normal projectiles start out at around 4.5 times the speed of an arrow (but have lower mass), so maybe we wouldn't lose that much lethality, at least at short range.if we mixed rocks and pieces of metal, would they all go as quickly (power divided based on mass) or would the rocks go quicker (power divided based on volume, or equal power given to each projectile)?not suggesting using them, but are dead bones and teeth earth?
>>4704670Id assume after death, all the human "dry goods" would be. Maybe even while their alive, but I think OP explained it as being much harder to manipulate if its still alive or the souls still there.
>>4704670Having pebbles with a mass as close as possible to the acceptable limits of Scatter Stone is probably the best bet for subsonic launches under current conditions. When it comes to the end results of "damage" the real concern is often penetration depth, which material and shape can sometimes aid more than simple mass and velocity.Mixing pebbles of considerably disparate material and mass (but still within the set limitations) would work, velocity would vary for each pebble by its type but the entire spell would have the same net energy. This might be desirable in edge cases but mostly results in unnecessary extra work in tracking attacks.Dead bones and teeth would generally still be Body, though certain processes might render them to be Earth instead, or even both simultaneously. There are some points where Words might overlap in coverage, such as Wood and Earth both effecting charcoal. Generally things are discrete, but overlaps do exist.>>4705003People and (to a lesser extent) most animals are much harder to unwillingly manipulate while they're still alive. Thinking of people as having souls that provide protection isn't quite correct, it's a more complex interaction between Body, Spirit, Mind, and Magic ("the four spheres"), but 'soul protection' is probably close enough to the idea for most very basic purposes. I'll probably trot out an equivalent to a sefirot chart at some point, but I won't have time to properly work on something like that for awhile. Should be able to start writing now, just got home a few minutes ago.
>>4704129>>4704158>>4704380>>4704389“Edela, do you know what this is?” You ask, gaze locked on the ethereal blade, “I’ve never seen such a material before.”Edela places her hands on the open rim of the chest, and flutters her translucent wings a bit to lift her to a level at which she can peer inside, ”Hmmm… A vague recollection persists, tunnels of ghostly blue crystal filled with flowing rivers of arcane light.”“Leylines?” You ask, the description uncannily close to that of the lines; on occasion they have been entered, but the accounts are largely the stuff of legend. Or at least for anyone other than you they would just be legends, but your mentor made sure you were well equipped with obscure tibbits of information like that. Most of the incursions were in Imperial times, or even far before that, and incredibly dangerous even for the most skilled of practitioners. Modern attempts have been less than successful.She clasps her hands together in excitement, ”Indeed! This is a most dangerous creation, wielded by the mages of my age in their most hazardous of practices... Peculiar that such lowly thieves would possess one.”“So it’s a shard chipped from one of the lines? That’s incredible, it must have been used channeling, if I had to guess.” You say, working through the implications of the material in your mind. It’s a bit much to tackle all at once, truth be told, but the dagger’s sympathetic connection with the lines must be truly immense, and perhaps it could even store mana within its blade, like your ruby. Edela’s right though, this is a very odd find. Maybe it's from one of the nearby ruins? Or perhaps the she-troll had it.Edela carries on with her little lecture, explaining the nature of the unearthly blade, “Channelling was the chief silent use of shards, as I recall, though hardly the mightiest... They were rung as a chime, notes mingling with spoken words, amplifying spell potency. Despite muteness, Svanhildr wielded a shard to legendary effect… or perhaps not so legendary, as you knew not her name… Age diminishes even the greatest, I barely recall her face and form… Nor Astrid’s...”The pale little sprite looks to be on the verge of tears, voice wavering and tiny brow furrowed, her face absolutely miserable. Averting her gaze from the dagger, paces away a few steps along the parchment covered table, passing through beams of moonlight spilling in from above.“It’s okay, Edela. You’ll probably remember more given some time, you’ve barely just woken up.” You comfort her briefly, which she responds to with a weak smile and a small sniffle, adjusting her petals and taking a few moments to refocus her attention back on the dagger. Remarkable resilient little thing, even if she’s prone to forlorn moods at times. Hard to blame her though with all she’s been through, it hasn’t even been a day since her rescue.
>>4705650”...Perhaps. Thank you, Frauke, for showing such kindness to me.” Edela responds, sounding more like she’s trying to convince herself of her own words than addressing you, ”Sulking alters nothing, I shall cling to what remains and… be joyful for having it.”Deciding to keep the conversation moving, lest it flounder in depressing topics, you further your examination of the dagger, “You mentioned it amplifying the words of power? I’ve used casting circles before to do something similar, but this must be a bit different than that, I don’t see any runes or thaumaturgical geometry on the blade.”“It is another beast altogether." She agrees, “A most perilous practice, and one deserving of great respect. Take care with that dagger, Frauke, lest you unmake yourself. I would be loath to see such a dreadful thing.”>Try out the dagger! Channel a little bit of mana, and try casting a small spell while ringing it, whatever that entails. >Keep the dagger with you, there’s probably a sheath for it somewhere around here, and it might come in handy during the investigation. Or maybe not, but it's awfully pretty.>Close the chest back up and relock it, you’ll deal with the dagger later. It sounds dangerous, and there’s a bit more investigation to do.>Write-in.
>>4705657>>Close the chest back up and relock it, you’ll deal with the dagger later. It sounds dangerous, and there’s a bit more investigation to do.we will hopefully have time to study it later on
>>4705657>>Close the chest back up and relock it, you’ll deal with the dagger later. It sounds dangerous, and there’s a bit more investigation to do.
>>4705657>Keep the dagger with you, there’s probably a sheath for it somewhere around here, and it might come in handy during the investigation. Or maybe not, but it's awfully pretty.
>>4705657>Keep the dagger with you, there’s probably a sheath for it somewhere around here, and it might come in handy during the investigation. Or maybe not, but it's awfully pretty.don't use it until we've read up on it. this could be Spell Harmonics, since she's talking about ringing.>>4705501I meant, if you have one particularly heavy pebble, will that slow the others down?like if the force was distributed purely based on mass, we could add a single metal lump (say 3 times the mass). this shot would hit harder at close range, be wasted at long range, but most importantly would increase total mass to eleven ninths of what it is now, dividing starting speed of all projectiles by the same. a way to hurriedly convert existing ammunition into stealth ammunition.
Won't be able to update tonight, but I should have time late tomorrow. Wednesday and onward is still looking (mostly) clear, but I'll continue to hold off on a new thread until this one gets to a more natural end point.>>4705998The same amount of force is applied to each of the nine pebbles, it isn't split based on mass. A buck and ball contraction would be nifty though.
>>4704126>Pick up the dagger and examine it more closely, this is fascinating!
>>4706782too-clever-for-contraction idea, I think, but if we were to bind the stones together with a small net or something to that effect... what would happen? Think like a bolo-net. Basically wondering if we can tie them together and still try to use Scatter Stone.
>>4707797I thought about tying them together. half the stones in one bag, half in another, rope between.really depends on the mass of stones. we've been launching these things crazy hard, but they might be really small. according to wikipedia, pebbles are anywhere from 4 to 64 mm. at the start of this thread, it says our usually-subsonic-but-not-now pebbles pass through birds without completely tearing them to pieces, which sounds like it's on the low end of that. note: 64 mm is a fistalso depends on how the spell makes the shots scatter. like does it select each shot and send it in a specific direction (line up the pebbles pointing at the target: same spread), or does it apply force to all the shots directed away from a specific point (line up the pebbles pointing at the target: way tighter spread)
>>4705657>Close the chest back up and relock it, you’ll deal with the dagger later. It sounds dangerous, and there’s a bit more investigation to do.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4705872>>4705884>>47080111>>4705916>>4705998>>47066282
>>4708283You stare in silence at the ghostly blade for a few moments, Edela giving you a quizzical look and cocking her head slightly as you contemplate taking the dagger. It’s beautiful… but now isn’t the time for such things. There’s still investigation to be done. Placing a hand on the wooden lid of the small chest, you close it gently and click the lock’s shackle back into place, and then turn about to depart the faintly moonlit interior of the ruined manor house.“Lest I unmake myself?” You repeat the words, imitating Edela’s quite refined accent as you move along back toward the old doorway, “I’ve heard that phrase before a few hundred times.”“Oh?” She questions, making a lazy little series of spins in the air while hovering along beside you.“Misty Island traditions still live on, apparently. My mentor said it whenever I pushed too hard, and at the start of every channeling practice.” You answer with a slight shrug, “Come on, there’s more places to look around. Any ideas how that troll might have crossed over the veil?”“None whatsoever, regrettably…” Edela sighs, passing through a few rays of stark moonlight before you reach the doorway, the Drakes outside busy opening the encampment gate to allow the wagons inside the snowy yard, “Perhaps her lair may hold further clues?”You begin heading toward the smoldering wreckage of the tents, “It’s the only other place that makes much sense, not much left of the tents after that inferno. Burned far more thoroughly than I expected… Hope no one got caught in it...”“Quite the display indeed.” Edela agrees, leading the way between the charred wooden tent poles and scraps of black scored cloth that are all that remains of the wall tents which once filled the area. The stench of burnt meat and hair threatens to overwhelm you as you pass by what looks to be burned remains of half a man, a corpse which could only have been torn apart by the she-troll, and you quickly hold your scarf higher and tighter against your mouth and nose in a vain attempt to block the horrid smell. He wasn’t a Drake, that much is clear even if little else is identifiable. Your stomach churns, but you manage to avoid retching and push on to what little remains of the wooden shed that housed the she-troll.
>>4708532It was really more of a small barn, not that much remains of it now. Between fire and a raging troll the walls have been burnt down or splintered to pieces. The roof is strewn about the nearby ground and the debris is still burning in a number of places. Trails of smoke rise into the starry night sky, just a few of many drifting up from the camp, but you have no interest with such distractions. Within the center of the burnt shed, a large earthen ramp leads downward and into a gloomy tunnel, the height of which looks to be large enough to easily accommodate a man of even Gustav’s size. ”She resided within the tunnel, a mighty wooden door blocked the way previously. My parley failed here.” Edela says, flying about the area, indicating a few bits of scattered and splintered wooden planks.“A locked door? The journal didn’t mention anything about her being a prisoner, quite the opposite really.” You question, propping your staff within the crook of your arm as you rub your hands together in the cold, still wishing for a properly fitted pair of gloves. Oh, if only.”Unlocked, but impassable; I discovered her already swelling to such as tremendous size as to render movement nearly infeasible.” Edela says, holding her arms out widely to both sides, gesticulating as she recounts the events. There are concerningly deep gouges along the walls of the tunnel, and odd pounded imprints in several places, little indications of the she-troll’s fight to escape.“Regardless, it obviously didn’t hold her for too long…” You say, staring into the yawning darkness of the tunnel laying before you, “Think anything else lives down there?”Edela squints into the darkness, her golden eyes narrowing, long white petals hanging loosely in front of her as she leans forward and peers into the tunnel, ”...I see nothing within the dark, but the veil is rather frail here...”“Is that so? This couldn’t be where she crossed over originally.” You respond, looking about the moonlit and palisade protected camp, quickly confirming your suspicion; this camp is definitely a different ruin than the one written about in the black journals, “She was found away from the camp, unless I misread something… How do you cross over so readily, Edela?””Such brief forays are in the nature of my kind, though my personal aptitude is noteworthy, if my fogged recall does not deceive me. Troll-kin however are far less able, unless...”“Unless what?” You ask, trading concerned looks with the little sprite.“Unless she was banished, cursed to drift between worlds in permanent loneliness.”
>>4708539“Banishment?”“Koru’ila suhrtagh” Edela says, the words of power carrying no weight due to her lack of arcane talent, but still ringing faintly within your mind and blood. If she possessed the gift, that surely would have been a successful spell. The grammar and syntax is archaic, different from your usual methods, but the broad meaning is clear; Transform Spirit to Body.“...Lines and signs, would that even work?” You ask, aghast at the implications. Such a spell could be innocent, but with words like ‘banishment’ being thrown around you doubt it’s anything of the sort. Permanently disturbing the balance of a person’s being in such a way is heinous, sickeningly wrong on a fundamental level, and nearly at the same depths of depravity as manipulation of the mind. Alterations to the primary sphere of a being, like that which must have occurred to the body of that strange Toad-man Ole you encountered at Tordorf, is an entirely different issue to that of a change in nature.“Indeed, when cast properly.” Edela answers, “By degrees her form would have altered, pushed far from her homeland. The strengthened sphere of the body overwhelms the natural balance, mere existence becomes a struggle and… I… I do not wish to remember these things, Frauke. The veil would weaken by repeated and strained transitions, while remaining within the astal becomes torturous; I will say no more on this, it sickens my heart.”>Press onward and explore the tunnel, see where it leads. It may be a simply musty underground lair, or perhaps there is more to it now, the veil may be strained and easily penetrated here…>Accept Edela’s vague theory, it’s good enough. There’s nothing of value in the tunnel, only potential danger. Warn Gustav to keep a watch over it, and rejoin the rest of the Drakes.>Press Edela on the matter. Foggy and painful memories or not, you need clearer answers and it sounds like she knows something more. She's clearly distressed by the subject.>Write-in.
>>4708545>Accept Edela’s vague theory, it’s good enough. There’s nothing of value in the tunnel, only potential danger. Warn Gustav to keep a watch over it, and rejoin the rest of the Drakes.
>>4708545>Press onward and explore the tunnel, see where it leads. It may be a simply musty underground lair, or perhaps there is more to it now, the veil may be strained and easily penetrated here…
>>4708545>Accept Edela’s vague theory, it’s good enough. There’s nothing of value in the tunnel, only potential danger. Warn Gustav to keep a watch over it, and rejoin the rest of the Drakes.Get back to the plunder!
>>4708545>>Accept Edela’s vague theory, it’s good enough. There’s nothing of value in the tunnel, only potential danger. Warn Gustav to keep a watch over it, and rejoin the rest of the Drakes.
>>4708545>>Press Edela on the matter. Foggy and painful memories or not, you need clearer answers and it sounds like she knows something more. She's clearly distressed by the subject.
>>4708648>>4708665>>4708823>>4709021“Then we will speak of it no more, Edela. If you’re correct, it explains much of what happened and I see little reason to press onward.””The veil weakened as it is, unseen perils may yet lurk within.” Edela warns, her gaze remaining fixed upon the tunnel, tiny hands curled into fists. “I’ll make sure Gustav posts a guard.” You respond, briefly looking upward at the starry night sky and then back to the pale sprite, “We’ll only be here until dawn anyways, then it’s back to the march east.””Most prudent; I shall join in your companions’ vigil.” She says with a little flip about the air, landing nearby on an icy stone and sitting down cross legged, still watching the gloomy tunnel intently.“That’s… reassuring, actually.’ You say, not seeing much of an issue with the plan, “Couldn’t think of a better person for the job. Just stay wary of grimalkin, alright? They can’t be far off, even after the thrashing Arastro gave them.””Worry not on my account, Frauke. Cowardice is the nature of such hideous hissers, and your handsome companion’s ploy has sown disorder within their hunt; another strike will not occur this night.” Edela says with a confident smile.Glancing around the area it doesn’t seem like there are many good places for one of the cat spirits to sneak up on Edela, no shadowed heights to drop from after all the tents and the shed were destroyed. It should be safe enough.“I hope you’re correct.””As do I…” She says faintly as you march away through the snow...Retracing your path back through the smoking wreckage of the brigand tents, you find Gustav near the recently arrived wagons at the palisade gate, the huge red bearded man pointing this way and that and issuing commands to the other Drakes. Camp must be properly made, watches appointed, burials seen to, and what plunder exists has need to be gathered within the wagons. You inform him of the need for a watch on the tunnel, and the short details of how the she-troll likely came to be here; A pair of men are drawn off burial detail to stand guard at the tunnel. The chest containing the ethereal dagger is put under your care, its contents useless to the other Drakes except as treasure. Dirk and the other wounded Drakes are up and moving again, Edela’s healing having finally taken full hold upon them, but they still appear slowed and somewhat pained by their earlier injuries, and of course they’re all utterly baffled by how they healed so quickly. You’d hoped the sprite’s odd healing ability would have cured their wounds entirely, but their rapid turnaround is still close to miraculous; recovery work will be needed, but that merely offers a chance to practice your fledgling healing magic.
>>4709567>Try to clear your mind of the day's events. Briefly help set camp, and then study one of the tomes you found in the fortress, reading until sleep finds you. (Commence thread wrap-up).>Try out the dagger with a small and simple spell. What’s the harm in it, really?>Join in the burial duties. With your mana reserves so depleted it will be tiring and slow work even using earth magic, but it would still speed things along considerably.>Write-in.
>>4709570>Try to clear your mind of the day's events. Briefly help set camp, and then study one of the tomes you found in the fortress, reading until sleep finds you. (Commence thread wrap-up).>>A theory of Spell Harmonics
>>4709570>Join in the burial duties. With your mana reserves so depleted it will be tiring and slow work even using earth magic, but it would still speed things along considerably.Nothing like hard work to help you fall asleep.
>>4709570>>Join in the burial duties. With your mana reserves so depleted it will be tiring and slow work even using earth magic, but it would still speed things along considerably.
>>4709570>>Try to clear your mind of the day's events. Briefly help set camp, and then study one of the tomes you found in the fortress, reading until sleep finds you. (Commence thread wrap-up).
>>4709570>Join in the burial duties. With your mana reserves so depleted it will be tiring and slow work even using earth magic, but it would still speed things along considerably.
>>4709570>Try to clear your mind of the day's events. Briefly help set camp, and then study one of the tomes you found in the fortress, reading until sleep finds you. (Commence thread wrap-up).
>>4711295>>4711190>>4710331>>4710022>>4709967The sharp chill of winter wind bites into you with startling sharpness, its eerie howl slowly rising as it passes over the smoking ruins of the camp. You trudge across the dreary snow covered yard to where the men assigned to burial detail labor, each taking turns with the few spades available, sharing the workload between them; Arastro is among their number, the blueish white glow of the crystal lantern you seized within the ruined fortress illuminating the area in a ghostly light. He must have brought it back over from the other side of the wall. Handy thing, that lantern.Arastro gives you an acknowledging nod as you approach, bright green eyes peering out from the shadow cast by his blue hood. A couple of the others stop and take brief note of you before returning to their labor, none speaking, and all breathing heavily enough to make out clearly even over the sharp impact and work of their tools. Their armor has mostly been stripped off, the weighty plate set aside nearby in neat piles. A frantic night battle followed by digging into hard chilled earth; it’s little wonder they don’t speak except for the occasional grumble and slight direction to their fellows. Each Drake labors with a silent intent, determined to see their fallen allies buried properly.“Stand back a few paces, if you would.” You prompt them with a wave of one arm, taking careful steps to the edge of the partially dug grave and lightly thumping the end of your staff upon the ground, “I’ll handle the rest of this one.”The nearest digging man shakes his head at the order, continuing his work unabated, “Got to do my bit first, witch. Almost done here.”“Let him finish, Frauke. Everybody on duty does their part.” Arastro says, gesturing with a small wave for you to approach.“Oh.” You state with a touch of surprise, suddenly getting a better sense of the situation and moving past the half dug grave and to Arastro’s side, watching the men work in the faint blue light of the crystal lantern.“We don’t have time for much more than prayers and a few words, nothing close to a proper funeral. Even this is an indulgence really, and not one everyone can chip in on.” Arastro explains solemnly, his gaze resting upon the carefully laid out bodies nearby in the snow.“I figured it was something like that. ...I didn’t know them very well, truth be told, but I’d like to help.” You say, trying to find the right words for the situation, thoughts of Brokhof and the scores of unburied villages which must’ve been left to the predation of wild animals, “Everyone should have proper burial, even the brigands. Us first though, of course.”
>>4711700“In better times, I’d agree.” Arastro replies grimly, “We can spare the effort for our brothers, but the brigands will get a pyre.”“Better than leaving them to the wolves.” Maybe not too much better.“Had to convince the Gustav, but it wasn’t too hard, didn't take more than a few words. Brigands were just in the way at the wrong time,” Arastro says, voice tinged with the slightest remorse, “But that’s often how it goes. A lot of our number have been caught on the wrong end of similar situations, before they became Drakes at least.”“Mercenary work doesn’t seem the most forgiving, and it’s not so hard to get caught up in it by happenstance.” You agree, “Like me. Well, maybe not quite like me, but I didn’t plan on...”“No, I get what you mean, and it drifts into banditry more often than not for similar reasons.” Arastro half cuts you off, but you didn’t have much more to add anyways, “The paths we walk are fickle, changing for reasons we have little control over at times. Only the sun and moon have any idea of our fates. I try not to hate most of our enemies, Frauke, even when we lose brothers to them... unless they’re sacks of filth like the Boars, they can rot for all I care.”>”That’s noble of you, Arastro. I regret that any of this was necessary. If we just weren’t so pressed to make the crossing, maybe things could have been different…”>”Burying our own dead makes it a little easier to hate though, doesn’t it? I was conflicted after casting, I didn’t want to think about what I’d done, but it… It was us or them. I just wish it was less of us in the end.”>Wait in silence for your turn to aid in the burials. This is a bit more ritual than you expected, but that doesn’t change too much practically speaking. (Commence thread wrap-up.)>Write-in.
>>4711702>”Burying our own dead makes it a little easier to hate though, doesn’t it? I was conflicted after casting, I didn’t want to think about what I’d done, but it… It was us or them. I just wish it was less of us in the end.”
>>4711702>Wait in silence for your turn to aid in the burials. This is a bit more ritual than you expected, but that doesn’t change too much practically speaking. (Commence thread wrap-up.)
>>4711702>>”That’s noble of you, Arastro. I regret that any of this was necessary. If we just weren’t so pressed to make the crossing, maybe things could have been different…”
>>4711702>>Wait in silence for your turn to aid in the burials. This is a bit more ritual than you expected, but that doesn’t change too much practically speaking. (Commence thread wrap-up.)
>>4711781>>4711964>>4712701You wait by Arastro’s side as the other Drakes dig a while longer, each making good progress despite the rough work conditions. Some things just have to be done right, half frozen soil and winter winds be damned. Eventually you’re waved over, the men stepping aside from the deepening grave and giving your room to cast. Their dimly illuminated faces bear expressions of uncertainty, none of their number having clearly seen you cast until now. Dimly perceived flashes of azure mana bolts, trails of flame streaking across the night sky, an ancient stone tower sent tumbling into collapse by unseen force; It’s little wonder that the frog jokes have been so incessant. Though they’ve been quick to accept you, singing marching songs and boasting of past battles, many of the Drakes are obviously nervous when they’re near you, unsure of your abilities but knowing without a doubt that they exist. Veteran mercenaries or not, magic is as strange to them as any other non-mage. There’s nothing to fear though, you’re with them now. This should help prove that.You plant your boots firmly upon the snow covered ground near the half dug grave, setting one end of your staff against the lip of the small pit and shutting your eyes to the world. The formulae for a simple earth moving spell are nearly as familiar to you as your own body, geometric patterns alight within your mind’s eye as you visualize the final image of the grave, its dimensions and form the product of your intuition and years of practice. Focusing inward, clearing away all thought, you reach out for the familiar pulse of mana within your blood. A steady pulse of arcane power, nearly a second heartbeat in time with your own… sometimes exactly in time, at others far from it, but always there. You seize upon that unseen strength, the creative force of the world, and channel it outward from your very core. An electric tingle courses down the length of your arms, swelling up briefly at your palms before pushing onward into the once living wood of your oak staff and then finally down into the earth below…
>>4713405“Muraerd” Soil stirs, the dark ground reworking itself under the control of your manifested intent, mana infused earth rising gently from the grave and piling itself nearby in a tidy mound. The process is over in a few seconds, and you let the spell slip away into nothing, fading into the night air…Your eyes snap open accompanied by a small gasp, breath caught painfully in your throat as the rush of power fully leaves you. The energy expenditure is like a punch to the gut, no reserves of power to draw upon but the strength of your own body; It’s mana just the same of course, pulsing with identical power, but far less pleasant to use. There’s no rush of adrenaline to mask the feeling, no excitement of a daring rescue raid or frantic escape. You perceive each tendril of withdrawn energy with a frightfully painful clarity, like running several miles all condensed into a few seconds.If you hadn’t trained for exactly this for years you might have stumbled into the freshly dug grave, an deeply embarrassing proposition, but with the aid of your staff you manage to steady yourself and pull back. Looking about, the Drakes seem satisfied with the work. Small respectful nods, a few grunts of acknowledgement, and Arastro and another man step forward with the spades and begin setting about digging the next grave. Only three more to go…
>>4713408The burial work was a grim, tiring duty, but it helped put your mind at rest. Every Drake in the detachment, even the wounded, made sure to pay their respects at least briefly before the job was complete, soldiers trickling in here and there as they finished setting up camp or tending to the horses, whatever jobs they found themselves assigned were completed to Gustav’s satisfaction before they took the time to honor their fallen brothers. Gustav arrived last, and didn’t say anything… just watching silently as the fallen were interred, listening to Arastro repeat a few familiar old prayers to the Moon and Sun, and then making sure to be the last person to finish the burials, filling in the final few spadefuls of dirt and leveling the graves off with unfortunately well practiced technique. Clearly not the first time he’s buried people.In the end the raid had its intended goal; nothing blocked your path the next morning, the entire force departing at sunrise and continuing the journey east. The wounded rode along in the wagons, cramped in with cargo, provisions, and plunder seized from the brigand camp and your exploration of the ancient fortress. Weather worsened rapidly over the next week, freezing wind turning downright arctic at times and the snow fall increasing each day; after a few days you were wearing so many extra cloaks you felt more like a waddling clothes pile than a witch, only your pointed hat and small stature betraying your identity. The sun was blocked by clouds for long and dreary hours at a time, which combined with the deep shadows of mountain valleys gave the journey a dreamlike gloom at times... A delay of a few days would have seen it become more of a nightmare, but you cleared the most treacherous portions of the eastwall by the time winter truly arrived in force.With even further struggle and yet another week, the entirety of the range was cleared. You’re safely in the foothills of the eastern side now, a lengthy and unpleasant but by no means deadly journey still ahead to reach Ostgarten. Well, at least the weather shouldn't be too deadly going forward, the roaming mercenary companies, bands of religious heretics and zealots, rebel armies, and house soldiers are another issue entirely, and that's not even taking into account the zuiderlander witch and the monsters she apparently commands. Lines and signs, the east is a burning mess.Thankfully there were no further battles of note during the crossing besides a few abortive attempts by grimalkin to ambush Edela on her morning flights; none amounted to much thankfully, but those cat bastards are very persistent. Quick to flee a foiled ambush, but unbelievably stubborn in their grander hunt. Something will have to be done about that eventually.
>>4713421What did Frauke focus on socially during this leg of the journey?>She spent more time with Gustav and made a greater effort to get to know the rest of the Drakes, learning much more about the mission they were sent on by Lussan and a great number of stories of the Band of the Drakefang’s past exploits. There was a frankly surprising amount of singing involved, which was nice. (+History (Band of the Drakefang))>She made efforts to grow closer to Arastro. He has been nothing if not a steady friend these last few weeks, even through the worst of it, and of course being rather handsome doesn’t hurt. The journey wasn’t nearly as miserable as it could have been, rather pleasant at times even. (+Ally (Arastro))>She remained fairly secluded, focusing more on her unseen relationship with Edela. There’s much to learn about the old world from her, and she’s eager to learn more about the last millennium. It even doubled as arcane training in its own right. Despite not being a mage Edela learned a lot from that witch she used to travel with. (Faster progress on learning Body)>Write-in.Aside from practicing casting spells with Body to help tend to Dirk and the other wounded Drakes during their recovery, what arcane study did Frauke focus upon in her very limited hours not spent fighting against nature?>Studying one of the tomes seized from the ruined fortress. (Initiates another vote to choose which tome)>Mana endurance training. It’s painful and exhausting, tedious casting without drawing from your mana reserves to further deepen their limits. The labor of just getting through the mountains is contributing to this already. (+2 MP)>Attempting to utilize the Leyshard Dagger. It’s unearthly and fascinating, bewitching to look at, easy to get lost in the beautiful noises it makes… (+???)>Write-in.Also, choose one of the following (Roughly of equal value):>+3 MP.>+1 Fatigue, +1 HP.>+1 Will.
>>4713429>She spent more time with Gustav and made a greater effort to get to know the rest of the Drakes, learning much more about the mission they were sent on by Lussan and a great number of stories of the Band of the Drakefang’s past exploits. There was a frankly surprising amount of singing involved, which was nice. (+History (Band of the Drakefang))>Studying one of the tomes seized from the ruined fortress. (Initiates another vote to choose which tome)>+1 Will.Pastebin with mechanics would be nice
>>4713429>>She made efforts to grow closer to Arastro. He has been nothing if not a steady friend these last few weeks, even through the worst of it, and of course being rather handsome doesn’t hurt. The journey wasn’t nearly as miserable as it could have been, rather pleasant at times even. (+Ally (Arastro))>Attempting to utilize the Leyshard Dagger. It’s unearthly and fascinating, bewitching to look at, easy to get lost in the beautiful noises it makes… (+???)>+3 MP.
>>4713429all seem good socially.>Studying one of the tomes seized from the ruined fortress. (Initiates another vote to choose which tome)>+1 Will.
>>4713491I'm not sure a pastebin with mechanics is actually a feasible thing to assemble. The quest is running on GURPS 4th Edition with a handful of altered Advantages relating to Magic and a modified version of Syntactic magic from GURPS: Thaumatology. Otherwise its basically just a vanilla TL4 GURPS 4th Edition with some fantasy genre conventions/switches.Here's GURPS Lite, it compresses quite a bit of stuff but the mechanics are still mostly correct and it isn't a terribly long read.If you want to know more I suggest reading the relevant sections of GURPS 4th Edition Basic Set. Low-Tech, Thaumatology, and Martial Arts, are also relevant books. Everything is available in the OP image on /gurpsgen/ over on /tg/.I'm still trying to figure out how I want to compress the mechanics to a playable level for the slow posting quest format, asking for the normal amount of rolls would be insanely tedious at the pace quests move.I'll see if I can assemble a rough outline of the quest's magic system by the next thread.
>>4713429>She remained fairly secluded, focusing more on her unseen relationship with Edela. There’s much to learn about the old world from her, and she’s eager to learn more about the last millennium. It even doubled as arcane training in its own right. Despite not being a mage Edela learned a lot from that witch she used to travel with. (Faster progress on learning Body)>+3 MP.
>>4713429>She made efforts to grow closer to Arastro. He has been nothing if not a steady friend these last few weeks, even through the worst of it, and of course being rather handsome doesn’t hurt. The journey wasn’t nearly as miserable as it could have been, rather pleasant at times even. (+Ally (Arastro))>Studying one of the tomes seized from the ruined fortress. (Initiates another vote to choose which tome)>+1 Will.
>>4713429>She made efforts to grow closer to Arastro. He has been nothing if not a steady friend these last few weeks, even through the worst of it, and of course being rather handsome doesn’t hurt. The journey wasn’t nearly as miserable as it could have been, rather pleasant at times even. (+Ally (Arastro))>Studying one of the tomes seized from the ruined fortress. (Initiates another vote to choose which tome)>+3 MP.
>>4713429>>She spent more time with Gustav and made a greater effort to get to know the rest of the Drakes, learning much more about the mission they were sent on by Lussan and a great number of stories of the Band of the Drakefang’s past exploits. There was a frankly surprising amount of singing involved, which was nice. (+History (Band of the Drakefang))>>She made efforts to grow closer to Arastro. He has been nothing if not a steady friend these last few weeks, even through the worst of it, and of course being rather handsome doesn’t hurt. The journey wasn’t nearly as miserable as it could have been, rather pleasant at times even. (+Ally (Arastro))Approval voting for one of these 2. No strong feelings on the other.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>4713491>>4713541>>4713552>>4713899>>4714099>>4714194>>4714374Arastro and studying one of the tomes wins. +1 Will or +3 MP is tied, rolling off between them. Will is 1, MP is 2.Which tome does Frauke study?>Herminia on Thaumatological Ciphers. Herminia isn't a name you're familiar with, but from a very brief skim you can tell she must have been very knowledgeable about advanced meta-magics. This would aid in efforts to unravel and bypass complex spell wards, or make your own. There's some overlap with enchanting from the looks of it.>Secrets of the Human Body. It's an, ahem, 'highly academic' read in some parts. Directly helpful for your current studies of Body.>Mana Geysers and Cascades. A fascinating study of unstable leylines during the late Imperial age, shortly before the fall and line shift. Rare information indeed, but a bit remote in its day to day applicability to casting. Might be useful for using old magic, but you're already quite capable of that.>On the Care of Dragons. Without a dragon this doesn't seem particularly useful, and Dragon's aren't particularly common or cooperative these days, to say the least. It makes for very interesting conversation with the Drakes at least, a quaint little look into ages gone by.>A Theory of Spell Harmonics. You hadn't even heard of spell harmonics until finding this tome, and it seems directly relevant to the use of leyshards and singing to enhance word magic casting. There's much more in there though, some of it quite alarming...
>>4714618>>Secrets of the Human Body. It's an, ahem, 'highly academic' read in some parts. Directly helpful for your current studies of Body.
>>4714618>A Theory of Spell Harmonics. You hadn't even heard of spell harmonics until finding this tome, and it seems directly relevant to the use of leyshards and singing to enhance word magic casting. There's much more in there though, some of it quite alarming...singing and magic, our two great passions combined! Also dat dagger...
>>4714618>Secrets of the Human Body. It's an, ahem, 'highly academic' read in some parts. Directly helpful for your current studies of Body.
>>4714618>>A Theory of Spell Harmonics. You hadn't even heard of spell harmonics until finding this tome, and it seems directly relevant to the use of leyshards and singing to enhance word magic casting. There's much more in there though, some of it quite alarming...
>>4714618>A Theory of Spell Harmonics. You hadn't even heard of spell harmonics until finding this tome, and it seems directly relevant to the use of leyshards and singing to enhance word magic casting. There's much more in there though, some of it quite alarming...
>>4714639>>4714836>>4714900>>4715793Been close to 24 hours and there probably aren't more votes coming in, Secrets of the Human Body wins.Thanks for playing Anons, really appreciate having you all here. Next thread should start sometime in the next week or so, possibly as early as Friday. It'll probably run for three weeks or so, and then there's going to be a dead period for several weeks due to finals.