The age of heroes has long passed, and with it the influential magic that once permeated the world has waned to a faint glimmer of its former strength. The gods both good and evil have died, fallen into deep, unbreakable slumber, or have otherwise abandoned this plane. Only their ancient weapons of war remain, terrorizing a world woefully under-equipped to deal with their wrath.The federation has long been disbanded and forgotten to time. A great many of the races that made their numbers have dwindled away to a shadow of their former glory, or live on now only in myth. Only humans, with their vital physical independence of magic have continued to prosper. Their cities grow, as do their numbers. Their trade routes have grown into strong arteries of a great beast that ravenously consumes resources to fuel production. Their technology has grown as well, but not to the point they have nothing to fear. Their combined might heaths and breathes as a single entity, yet they are still vulnerable to ancient danger, both great and small.You know all of this as you once protected them all from the greatest of these dangers at the heights of their power. Those heroes of legend were your friends, your rivals, and other things. But today, today you need to scrounge more coin to meet this week's rent. No one remembers the ancient rulers' promises of a chateau for all eternity, that decree has long been buried under hundreds of years of meticulous records. Nor would anyone believe you to ever dig through those records. [1/2]
>>4982368>"Need more work, Elewyn?" The young human woman, well put together, leans over you from behind the guild counter, a bemused smile faintly appears on her face. "A shepherd came in early this morning with a request to find a few runaway sheep. "She idly hums as she skillfully pulls out the request form from a huge stack.>"Sounds easy." You state flatly as you look up toward her. "Sounds low paying.">"Extra hands needed for early summer harvest festival preparations." She taps the new request form without skipping a beat. "4 silver coins for half a days work of-"You make a move to grab the stack of papers off the wood counter, but the high height makes your action slow enough to block with her firm hand placed to flatly on the requests. >She looms further over you as if she intends to scold you for stealing a bite of dessert before dinner. "You kids are too adventurous for your own good." She leans far enough to give you the passing thought of poking your staff into her cleavage for her rudeness. "Those two are headed out to clear out river sl-">"Aldo back there?" You cut her off as you lean to peer around her.>Only her eyes follow your lean. "He's off for a while again. His wife needs more treatment."So much for getting actual work then.>She's quick to regain her composure. "Like I was saying. Go ask nicely to play with those other kids and they might share work and reward with you." Her eyes settle upon a table across the guild lobby. "30 silver coins to split for clearing out river slimes that are clogging an aqueduct." She smiles with a wrinkle in her nose as she looks back to you. You finally turn back to look at the "kids." They are, to you, but they probably have at least 50 years on the tart women denying you real paying jobs. They are Elin like you, which have been rare enough for the past few decades to be mistaken for strange children by the younger humans. It doesn't help that your animalistic features have significantly diminished along with your former prowess. Their aura still shimmers with Pora Elinu so they are certainly novices in combat and in life in general. A magic user, if you could even be called that anymore, and an archer. 10 silver coins would barely cover what you need for rent, without much for leisure. Perhaps you could demand a larger share? You might have to convince them to take you along, but you get the impression it wouldn't be too difficult.Then again, who is this young brat behind the counter to deny you dignified work? Just because she has a foot of height on you... You could protest further, but it won't get the sense it won't be easy as she smirks at you knowingly. Aldo always had better work for you, but you don't know the condition of his wife. It could be a bad time to make such requests. Humans are quite fragile in their last years.What to do...>Try to join the river slime quest>Protest further with the guild clerk>Go to Aldo's home for better work>Write in
>>4982369>Try to join the river slime quest
>>4982369>>Try to join the river slime questMight as well.I also have a few questions:How old are we ?How much power have we lost, and how does whatever we have left compare to humans ?How did we end up in such a position, as opposed to being looked up to as a hero of legend and a trusted advisor due to our long life ?How does the guild work ? Can't we say "fuck it", grab a higher level quest from a quest board or something and go do that. So that we don't have to deal with the clerk ?
>>4982383Sure thing!>How old are we ?The exact number is unknown as you've stopped keeping track, but between 500 and 600 years old.>How much power have we lost, and how does whatever we have left compare to humans?This one is also hard to gauge as you're not facing off with the enemies you once did, but we'll say that magical power originating from the gods is at ~10% of height of power during the age of heroes. A handful of magic does not originate from the gods or only partially does.>How did we end up in such a position, as opposed to being looked up to as a hero of legend and a trusted advisor due to our long life ?You weren't always in this city. Long absences tend to make people forget.>How does the guild work ? Can't we say "fuck it", grab a higher level quest from a quest board or something and go do that. So that we don't have to deal with the clerk ?The guild's scope is limited. It deals with mundane quests for the most part, and the occasional more serious quest. You could always deal with issues on your own, but there's no guarantee of payment.
>>4982374>>4982383While you could teach this uppity youth a lesson in manners, you find that sometimes the easier route is avoid that sort of unnecessary conflict. Despite how easy it would still be for you to knock her flat on her rear with a wave of your staff. >"Fine." You mutter through your teeth as you stop bothering to look at her. Or so you thought. You turn back for a few final words. "You should be more mindful not to be deceived by appearances." You sternly point as you let the words settle for a moment before turning back to the two young elin.>"You as well, Elewyn." Her voice dangerously saccharine as you walk away. The pair hardly notice as you approach, they seem busy taking inventory of their heavily stuffed packs on the wooden table. The dust caught by the window's sunlight is rapidly stirred by their movements.Other than that, only a few other humans seem to be at the guild this morning. Likely here to get an early start on drinking rather take up any actual quests. The two elin's movement are conspicuous, but not in any suspicious way.>"Healing Potions?" The one with the red hair asks hotly.>"Y-yes." A quiet reply from the magic user. "They're here.">"Arrows?" Accused more than asked. "I don't want a repeat of what happened last time.">"Y-ye..." The demure and mousy one pauses abruptly. "Huh??" She begins pulling out potions, camping supplies, sleeping rolls, but not a single arrow. >"Oh for crying out loud." The red-headed archer pushes her smaller companion aside. "I should hope that if you did manage to remember them, that you wouldn't stuff them deep inside a packed bag!" She huffs and then sighs. "What did they even teach you back home? Go upstairs and find them!" She points a finger toward the lodgings upstairs with notable quickness. [1/2]
>>4982415>"O-okay..." The quiet one hides her gaze behind her bangs as she turns and rushes off upstairs, only to trip on your feet and land flat on the stomach with a dull thud that elicits slight chuckles from the surrounding patrons."Uuuuu..."She whimpers meekly as she looks up at you from the ground, face covered in grime, and dressed flipped over her backside.The red-head quickly stands between you and her fallen companion. Bow instinctively at the ready, but without a single arrow. "What do you want?" She barks at you hotly.These two are a mess. Even with river slimes being more tedious to defeat than dangerous you wonder about the usefulness of these two. Still their naivete makes your kind seem incompetent, and its not really in your nature to steal a quest from anyone. You can easily help them, and they certainly need it. It just comes down to personal preference how you feel like handling this pair.>Take charge and whip them both into shape.>Focus criticism and punishment on the red-headed elin, her hasty nature is flustering her companion.>Focus criticism and punishment on the demure light-brown haired elin. Her carelessness is slowing their departure.>Calmly explain your intention to help with the request, and that you mean no harm.>Other
>>4982418>>Calmly explain your intention to help with the request, and that you mean no harm.We breeze through this well enough, and they'll be the ones asking for training. Let them warm up to us. We can make notes of their mistakes for when they ask for pointers.
>>4982433Also, can they see that we're older than them the same way we could tell they were young ?
>>4982436Due to their inexperience, no. They'd be able to tell that you've been in city for longer than they have, but that's about it.
>>4982418>>Take charge and whip them both into shape.
Going to sleep for a bit, but definitely still plan on continuing. Continue voting, and feel free to post any questions that come to mind
>>4982418>Calmly explain your intention to help with the request, and that you mean no harm.
>>4982444Sure, some more questions.How good of a mage are we, in regard to humans ? What about our physical strength ?Why stay here if it's so hard to make a living ? Why did we always come back here in the first place ?Do we know of many other Elins ? If yes, how are they doing ? And if not, what happened to them ?
>>4982603>How good of a mage are we, in regard to humans ?As far as you know, and this is with a great amount of certainty, there are none if any human mages.>What about our physical strength ?You are a support magic user type, so poor overall.>Why stay here if it's so hard to make a living? Why did we always come back here in the first place?This one will certainly answered in time, but for now I can say that you wouldn't stay in this city unless you felt that you had to.>Do we know of many other Elins? If yes, how are they doing ? And if not, what happened to them?You don't know of many others. Your kind isn't the type to stay around in one place for too long, especially the young ones. Also all creatures of magic origin are in severe decline overall, but you get the sense that Elins are affected disproportionately harder than others.
>>4982616No human mages, eh ? How interesting.By support, I understand buffs and healing magic primarily ?Do we run off a personal mana system/ spell slots or do we tap external sources ?
>>4982433>>4982443>"You're not going to do much to me or a slime without an arrow notched." You nod to her effectively empty hands. You step past the archer with little effort and extend a hand to her companion on the floor. "And you won't get very far if you lose your head so easily."The young mage rises unsteadily to her feet with your assistance. Her hands cling to your arm for balance, staining your sleeve with the floor's grime, but you ignore it. >"Here." You state calmly holding your handkerchief out to the stained mage. She meekly reaches for it, hesitating for a brief moment, before giving a quick nod and whimper of gratitude. You straighten out her disheveled tunic while she busies wiping her face clear.>"Geez!" The archer huffs a long strand of hair out of her face, her guard already seemingly lowered. "You keep mothering her like that, and she'll never learn to use that head of hers." >"Taking a hand in times of need will get you further." You smile slightly as the mages face appears again cleaned making the rest of her stained frontside stand out all the more. "I'm Elewyn. I came over to ask if I could join the two of you with the request-"The young magic at once spots your staff. "Oh a healer! We won't need all to carry all those healing potions and balms, Rynna." She beams at you. "We'd be glad to have your he-">"Alys, you idiot!" Rynna the archer cuts her off. "Who said that you're in charge, when you can't even pack a bag right?">"B-but you said yourself that having to carry these packs slows your attacks." Alys protests.">It wouldn't matter if you carried everything yourself!" Rynna jabs a finger into Alys' chest. >"B-but last time with the cave worms you said that you were going to leave me behind to find a healer." >"You mean when you let our packs with our spare clothes get dissolved after we lost most ours to acid?!..."These two really have no qualms about arguing in front of others. "Anyway, you...Elewyn!" The archer finally remembers that you're there. "I-I suppose I can allow you to join us." She puts on a haughty look on her face, for the sake of appearances, and props a leg up on a stool. "Listen to me well, and follow my orders and I suppose we can take you along with us. But a peep of protest out of you, and you can walk back home!" She counts on her fingers for more than a moment. "30 silver coins split three ways would mean 12 for you. A lot for you I bet!""Umm..."Alys looks hesitantly to her math challenged companion before back to you. You smile calmly.>Agree to the terms and let things play out.>Set her straight with a quick bit of magic>Other
>>4982627>By support, I understand buffs and healing magic primarily ?That's right. With a few extra defensive type spells as well.>Do we run off a personal mana system/ spell slots or do we tap external sources ?Personal mana system, but running off external sources, while rare, has been known.
>>4982669>>Agree to the terms and let things play out.We can impress them in the field. I wonder what she'll do if she realizes her mistake before paying us. It could tell us a lot about her.In terms of tech, are we closer to the high middle ages or are we well on our way to industrialization ?>Personal manaHow do our healing spells work ? Is the price set, does it go up with the severity of the injury or is it freely adjustable?
>>4982667>>>Agree to the terms and let things play out.
>>4982704>In terms of tech, are we closer to the high middle ages or are we well on our way to industrialization?High middle ages is a good way to put it. I imagined about 100 years before the renaissance for all non-magic based tech.>How do our healing spells work ? Is the price set, does it go up with the severity of the injury or is it freely adjustable?It is on a gradient, with the more change costing more mana. Therefore more grievous injury or a higher number of injuries would cost more.
>>4982704>>4982711>"12 coins sounds like it will be appropriate." Bemused, you roll a part of your bangs in your fingers. "You're in charge then, Rynna.">"Good! Seems like you have a good head on your shoulders...unlike someone" She seems quite satisfied with the result as she crosses her arms. "You go help Alys lighten our packs." She nods for you to head upstairs, and you acquiesce to her barked commands. "And make sure you two remember the arrows!"...Sometime later the three of you make your way to the outskirts of the city, and to a dank and mossy sewer entrance guarded by only a rusted gate. Any passing breeze plays long whistling notes as they move by the entrance, suggesting that the passage goes on for quite a ways. Rynna secures her quiver to her hip as Alys digs out a borrowed key for the heavy padlock. Their packs, while much lighter are still cumbersome for free movement.>"What spells do you know?" You ask the mage as you focus on sensing deep within the passage.>"My specialty is fireball!" Alys smiles as she finally finds the key. "With some modification for a greater area of effect.Tactfully, you keep any grimace from forming on your face. A fireball of her level would be as effective as shouting at the river slimes, and more than likely to do collateral damage than anything else. >"How about traps? You quickly suggest, recalling that they are some of the more simple spells."I know how to conjure up a stunning trap." She fidgets with her hands nervously. "But I've never successfully captured anything with one before."You don't sense anything out of the ordinary from within, so these two young ones won't find anything that couldn't simply run away from. Still you subtly enhance their durability with a bit of buffing magic.>"That will work better here." You nod to reassure her. "Just be cautious that water may conduct the effects further than you're used to. >"If you two are done gabbing the day away, I think we should get started." Rynna says the instant she finally manages to secure her quiver. "Get a torch ready.""Not necessary." You concentrate a ball of light at the tip of your staff, illuminating the mouth of the sewer entrance.>Rynna huffs at being cut off. "Well, if it goes out when we stuck in there it's going to come out of your share!" She turns back to the entrance, but pauses before crossing the threshold. "The area of blockage should only be a 20 minute walk from here." She peers quietly into the depths. "Not deep at all..."You perceive a slight bit of shaking in her legs, but choose not to point it out. Alys is like a leave swaying in the breeze, and taking deep breaths to calm herself.Rynna finally takes the first step, and leads your group with you and Alys following a few feet behind.
>>4982835The first few minutes are uneventful and quiet. Your conjured light easily illuminate the way forward, and their tension, while still elevated, begins to relax. Only the sharp echo of your footfalls and the increasingly unpleasant aroma of wastewater accompany you so far. >A light confident laugh comes your leader. "This is a good mission to take rookies like you on. Just keeping following my lead, like good girls." She gazes back at the two of you while still marching ahead. "Nothing but human poop here." She grins and then turns to the wastewater stream to the side. "Strange that they need to do that. And why does it smell so-"You hear it first, but she hardly notices as it emerges from a ruined hole in the wall, and nearly bumps into it before you shout for her to stop. A sewer toad, standing at your chest height but wide and menacing glares at the three of you and blocks your path forward.You know this type, an ambush predator that typically injects toxin via bite into its prey, that will stiffen the muscles until helpless and easier to consume. Not to mention that its said to cause quite a bit of pain the process. The paralyzing aspect of toxin can easily be healed, but the pain will take several hours to dissipate. They aren't known to attack humanoids very often, but will do so if no other prey has presented itself.Rynna is caught off guard and shrieks as she finally notices what's right in front of her. Alys hides behind you, unsure of what to do. Other than her bow, Rynna has a sheathed knife, which could be more helpful at that range.At this disadvantaged angle, one option that springs to mind is shouting for Rynna to duck then aiming a blast of wind to push the toad back to a more manageable range. Alternatively, you could focus on blinding the toad with your light, but it might strike out in confusion. The final defensive spell option is stupor, which would easily stop the toad in his tracks, but given how close she is that will also affect Rynna.A bit of a mess, but nothing life-threatening.>Rynna to use knife to defend herself.>Use a blast of wind for pushback.>Use blinding light to temporarily stun and try to fall back to a safer distance.>Don't risk anything and use stupor.>Other(Feel free to get creative if you'd like, but keep it feasible please :) )
>>4982837>Use a blast of wind for pushback.
>>4982837>>Use a blast of wind for pushback.Let's try and cooperate. See if it improves her attitude. If not, we can still "accidentally" stupor her next time she blindly walks into a mob.
>>4982878>>4982897She might not like it, but you know better than letting her handle the situation on her own. >"Rynna, get down!" You're sure to get her attention before shouting the command. You deftly aim your staff square at the toad. To her credit, she snaps out of her shock with a swift duck. Simultaneously, you usher your magic to call forth a blast of wind from the tip of your staff, and brace yourself for the recoil.Luckily with Alys clinging tightly to you, it increases the mass to resist the recoil, saving mana use to resist the pushback.Unluckily, as you wordlessly push the blast of wind forward, Rynna raises her pack to guard her head from any attack. In most cases, not a bad move at all, but here the pack catches the bottom of gust, and twists with it. This tosses Rynna into the shallow wastewater stream at your side. The toad still receives the bulk of the blow, tumbling back several feet while squealing in protest.A thin mist of wastewater permeates through the tunnel as your gust howls through the labyrinthine sewer system. Rynna slides a few feet, scraping against the caked-on waste of countless years, which clings to her with sticky vigor.>"Pfffff-" She clears her mouth as she desperately tries to clear her face. "Ugh! You're unbelievable!" She spits her words at you along with bits of waste.You ignore her for the time being as you follow up with a stupor cast directed at the recovering toad. Instantly, it lies flat in a deep and heavy sleep. Alys clambers down into the waste stream to help her filthy companion to her feet, notably careful to get as little of the filth on her person as possible.>"I could've stuck it with my dagger!" Rynna shouts closely into your face. "You didn't need to do all of that.">"It would have stuck you first." You reply calmly explaining what would have happened if it did. "Which means that we would had to return to town before finishing."Rynna fumes in silent anger as she can't seem to find the words to protest.>"S-she was trying to help you." Alys explains to the heated archer, trying to diffuse her anger. "It could have been much worse!">"You can stick him now, if you'd like." You motion to the comatose toad ahead of you, trying to move past the situation.Rynna stares you down for a moment longer. "You owe me new clothes." She huffs and stomps off to take care of the incapacitated foe. Given the amount of stabs she inflicted upon it, it still seems like she's dealing with a bit of anger.After a few minutes to recover, your group sets off again, now in a silence of tension. You keep your eyes focused ahead, knowing that you handled the situation quite well. You feel a soft sensation around your left hand as Alys gives it a squeeze of silent thanks before you two continue forward. [1/3]
>>4982974...A sloshing noise of a great amount of wet mass, and a significant increase in heat let you know that you're close to reaching the blockage. With the filth that was left over on her dried and stinking, Rynna motions for the group to stop as she peers into the distance. "40 feet ahead or so..." She pauses and listens closely. "Most are around the next bend. Based off the noises, you'd say she's accurate. River slimes have hardly any individual speed or strength, but make up for it in numbers. Rynna glares at you to see if you had anything to say, but you figure to keep quiet to let her handle it as you had agreed. The archer turns to her companion instead. "Alys you go ahead. Only 20 feet! Start setting up your traps coming back to us leaving about 5 feet between each. Then come back here."Alys obediently pushes ahead to start setting up. She carefully begins a long encantation for the first trap which takes up a great deal of her concentration.Rynna then turns to you. "My arrows should be able to pierce their exterior just fine, but if any get past you'll need to help slow them down."There's plenty of arrows in their packs to take care of whatever lies ahead. Like she said, it's a matter of keeping them from overwhelming you. She does have at least a bit of a mind for tactics, but she still needs to be more mindful of what's around her...You notice them as the dull light of the Alys' encantation illuminates the passage further ahead. "Alys..." You state calmly to the young mage as she crouches down. "Don't move.""Huh?" She looks back to you at first as you say her name, but seemingly misses the very clear order to not move as she stands immediately. You swear...In that exact instant, a translucent blue mass drops from the ceiling of the sewer passage, landing directly on the young Elin. She yelps as she's brought to the ground with its mass. [2/3]
>>4982976It's about 4-5 river slimes in an aggregate pinning her down. Despite their relatively low number, it easily overpowers the mage. Rynna instinctively readies an arrow with great worry on her face before you quickly stop her. >"She's not in any immediate danger, so put that down." Pull her arm down for added measure. "They hunt by suffocation, not with acid. We need to stay calm to avoid rousing any more to us."The writhing blue mass continues to swirl around the helpless Elin, despite her best efforts to wrest herself free. Any limbs that manage to break free are sucked back into the core of blue slime.You and the archer approach your downed companion. "They can't consume her entirely, so they'll settle on extracting minerals and fluids they smell coming from her." >"Isn't that bad?" Rynna exclaims in concern as she places a hand on her dagger looking for an opening, finding none as the slime clings close the Alys' small frame.As the young mage loses energy to keep resisting, her chest heaving with great breaths as the mass slides to her pale upper thighs making their next targets quite clear to both of you.>"It depends on your perspective..." You answer back as both of you are momentarily entranced at the scene in front of you. Given its size, a good option could be to pull off chunks of it until Alys can make her way free. Rynna gulps as she looks back to you for direction. >Both of you begin pulling of the slime mass>Rynna pulls away slime mass as you keep watch>You pull away slime mass as Rynna keeps watch>Both of you keep watching...>Write in
>>4982978>>Rynna pulls away slime mass as you keep watch
>>4982978>>Both of you begin pulling of the slime massI suppose I should have expected this kind of thing in a quest about Elin.
>>4982978>Both of you begin pulling of the slime massLet's not be a dick.
>>4983026>>4983090A dank sewer with all sorts of creatures teeming within may not be the best location for such an activity. >"Come help me peel this off her." You quickly order as you kneel down to help the young mage from her fate. Rynna snaps back to reality after another moment before rushing over to help peel away the vigorously clinging slime mass. Upon contacting your skin a portion of the slime mass shifts to its new meal source, lessening the burden on Alys, but sticking your hands and arms with sticky persistence. The cool and moist mass slows your movements, as if you were running your arms through viscous tar.Rynna, being caked in unappealing filth, easily peels away the remaining mass of her finally recovering companion. She flings the offending mass far into the darkness without any sticking to her. The entirety of Alys finally appears, clothes heavily disheveled and exhausted but otherwise unassaulted by the slimes.She has little time to catch her breath, and you have no time to remove any of your slime bindings when the three of you hear a great writhing and inhuman squealing as something very large has contacted the only trap that Alys managed to place down. You watch as in an instant a hulking mass of river slime squirms and pulsates wildly in response to the paralyzing magic. It would easily tower over a human male, and its violent jerks shatter pieces off the hard walls and break open a drainage grate, as it then splatters into three Elin-sized masses in an attempt to escape the offending trap. >"Oh, no" Rynna begins to step back, hand shakily reaching to ready her first arrow. Her fist is white from how tightly she has the bow gripped.[1/2]
>>4983175To make matters even more troublesome, the violent commotion has roused a giant roach, as big as a large dog, which emerges from the cracked grate. Its antennae fling about in agitation, and its barbed legs chitter as it locks its insectoid gaze upon Alys, mandibles moving violently.The slimes, your targets for the request, are still stunned, but will recover soon and will direct its agitation toward something. Something seems off about their level of agitation.A good arrow or two would take care of the roach, but that would still leave the hulking slimes to deal with. Not to mention putting a deal of trust in Rynna's hands. You need time to clear off your own hands, or alternatively can transfer the blue mass back to Alys to deal with, freeing you up to deal with the slime.Beating a retreat might be the wiser option here, but unless there's something behind you to help turn the battle, you're likely to be in the same situation, unless you fully escape.You've been through worse, but having to keep these two novices safe makes this more difficult. It certainly makes you question why these two were let down here in the first place...Rynna>Ordered to take care of the roach, then help you with the slime bindings>Ordered to pull off the slime off your hands first, then take care of the roach.>Ordered to cover a retreat.>Write inYou>Wait for Rynna to help you then deal with the slime.>Transfer the slime back to Alys to free your hands to deal with the slime.>Pull Alys away for a retreat.>Write in
>>4983177>>Ordered to take care of the roach, then help you with the slime bindings>Transfer the slime back to Alys to free your hands to deal with the slime.I do wonder what Alys would do in the case that she isn't given slime or a retreat order
>>4983177>Ordered to take care of the roach, then help you with the slime bindings>Transfer the slime back to Alys to free your hands to deal with the slime.Trust and hope are what we need here.
>>4983233>>4983251If you want to complete the request at this point, you resign yourself to needing to rely on them.You only flash a brief apologetic look at the young mage before jamming your hands onto her exposed midsection, and then turning to Rynna next. >"Focus your shots on the roach first." You quickly order as the cold shackles seep away from your wrists. In the next instant a shot goes wide and shatters against the grate the roach emerged from. This startles the insect beast into action as it glides down a few feet in front of you and the mage. Its repulsive mandibles, the size of your hands, click open and close violently. >"Focus!" You shout to the archer, but her tight shaking grip causes her next arrow to only clip one its sharp legs. It chitters loudly and shrieks, and it bears down on the two of you. You deftly fling your freed arms back then forth, vaulting into a flip with the toe of your shoe smacking harshly against the roaches open mouth. Your hands spring off the cold, damp floor and you're back on your feet, staff at the ready. Another arrow squelches into the roaches abdomen, causes its antennae to sweep back and forth wildly, but it's not enough to stop it from attacking the young mage. Alys desperately tries to wriggle away, but can only shield herself at the last moment with her arms. The roaches mandible wraps around her thin forearm and crunches in, immediately drawing a deep red stream of blood and pain-filled screams from the young elin as her feet kick and smack into the hard floor frantically. You don't bother waiting for another arrow before you stupor both Alys and the roach. Its heavy body slumps immediately onto the sleeping young mage, freeing her arm in the process. You rush to pull her out and assess her damaged arm. A gruesome wound stares back at you, a chunk of her delicate forearm is lost to the roach. The bleeding is strong. You can heal it, but you need time to focus. Unfortunately the three fractured slimes finally recover from their stunned state, and begin to recombine into its hulking original state. The swirling motion of recombination pushes its main circulatory organ to the surface of its skin. Once again, a well placed shot is all you need now.With fury welling up inside you, you turn back to Rynna who gawks with a look of horror on her face for her injured companion.>"Do not miss.">"Cover our retreat.">Write in
>>4983330>>"Do not miss."
>>4983330>"Do not miss
>>4983361>>4983363>>4983502 >"Do you see how she is?" Your anger is controlled for the most part, but still painting your words with a slight cut. "This is your fault." The familiar warm healing aura pours begins to pour from your fingertips, and sinks into the wound. Such a thing would've been child's play such a long time ago, but now you need to focus.>"Do you know even know what it means to lead?" Your eyes fixed on the very slowly mending wound. "The trust this one puts into you with how helpless she is?" Alys stirs in slight pain from the mending wound. "You can hardly take care of yourself, yet you intend to try to take care of her!?" You glare straight into Rynna now. "Pick up your bow, and try to salvage this mess."You watch as horror in her face shifts to shock, then anger, sadness, then finally resolve. The bowstring strains from her pull, but her grip on the body of the bow has finally relaxed. >"If you ever hope to take care of yourself, if you ever hope to take of anyone, do not miss."As if sensing your intent, the major pulsing organ of the great slime begins to recede further into its body. This window of opportunity closing with it.A sharp whistle cuts through the damp, heavy air. The final shot...~~~ [1/3]
>>4983552You massage your temples as you lean over your drink a small pouch of ten silver coins. The dull roar of the guild hall slowly getting louder as the night progresses. That phrase that the veteran human adventurers said so often in the past comes to mind.>"I'm getting too old for this." You sigh quietly to yourself as you close your eyes. You're not sure if such a thing is possible for your kind, so you don't dwell on the feeling too much.You think instead about the initial request report that you were quick to snatch up once you finally got Alys settled back into her lodgings. It did in fact indicate a few dozen river slimes with that were only minimally hostile. If that were the case, then those two would've been able to blunder their way through the quest just fine on their own. The sudden shift in the slimes condition doesn't add up. Such events, in your experience, are almost always tied to outside influence...You hear to small figures settle at your table, and can guess well enough who they are before opening your eyes. >Your glance first catches Rynna's embarrassed gaze, who quickly looks away from you. "Don't blame me for disturbing you. She's the one that insisted we thank you." She mumbles under her breath as she still can't bring herself to look at you. "I'm just here to eat. I'm starving.">"I hope we're not disturbing you, but I wanted to make sure we caught you before you left to thank you properly." Alys brings her hands together before bowing her head in gratitude. Her left is still bandaged, but she manipulates it with little issue. "Thank you for saving us."After she finishes her bow, she glances over expectedly to her red-headed companion. Rynna huffs and sighs before quickly muttering. "T-thanks for the help. I guess." Her head bows in an attempt to hide her reddening face and ears. "and for the words, I guess." She shamefully utters before chowing down on the dinner that was timely placed in front of her.A rich creamy soup is placed in front of Alys, and she smiles sheepishly as you motion for her to start eating. You find yourself glad that she has an appetite after the days events.[2/3]
>>4983554You sigh again and take a deep sip of your drink.>"Fwhat's dat?" Rynna points to your mug, mouth full of food, quick to move past her earlier embarrassment. You place the mug down for the two of them to peer at the contents. "Ale. The older humans like to drink after a long day." You smile knowingly. "Some drink it at the start of the day too.">"Can I?" Rynna asks still gazing at the dark brown contents. You motion for her to try it.She takes an eager sip before immediately regretting it. She coughs and spits immediately "Oh, that's awful!" She exclaims loudly enough to elicit a few chuckles from the nearby patrons.>"It's not often drank for its taste." You pull the mug back towards you as Alys is too intimidated to try it herself.>"Then why drink it?" Alys asks politely.>"They drink it to celebrate, to pass the time, or forget things they'd rather not remember." You gaze at your murky reflection contained with the mug. "It's just an old habit for me..." You don't dwell on what you're beginning to feel. "Anyway, children would rather have a sweeter drink." You pause on Rynna and grin ever so slightly.>"Oh, please!" She huffs haughtily. "As a matter of fact, I know that I'm older than most of the humans in this whole city. Sixty-seven would make one of their sage elders." She crosses her arms and nods. "Heck, I'm even older than this one over here.">"Only by four hours!" Alys protests. "And it's just because they found you in the Lake first. Who knows which one of us appeared first.">"Still counts." >"O-only to you!"You grin at their foolishness. >"Oh yeah? You don't think I see you smiling smugly to yourself?" Rynna points a her fork in your direction. "How old are you anyway?" She interrogates.>"Older than you." You reply flatly.>"That's not what I asked." She huffs yet again. "Sure fine, you're probably older than us, so what's the harm in letting us know?">You finish the last of your drink, and motion for another one to be brought to your table. "Since you're so curious, I have a proposal. You want to know more about me, you're going to have to share something about yourselves first. If I find it interesting enough, I might tell you more about me."Rynna scoffs. "Fine. What do you want to know?">"What are the two of you doing in this city?">"How did you two come to adventure together?">Write in
>>4983559>"How did you two come to adventure together?"
>>4983559>>>"How did you two come to adventure together?"
>>4983559>>"How did you two come to adventure together?"
Thank you for the replies so far. I'll be posting updates later in the day
>>4983554>You massage your temples as you lean over your drink a small pouch of ten silver coins.alas our two swindled coins
>>4983559>>"What are the two of you doing in this city?"
>>4984447>>4983565>>4983586>>4983664You nod a quick thanks to the server that brought you a fresh drink. Your eyes fix on the two young Elins as you think of what to ask, and without breaking eye contact you take a quick sip. >You sigh in satisfaction. "Well, how did you two come to adventure together? It's rare for us to stay with someone for a long time..."Spoken from experience.>"And I get the impression you've been together for a while, given how you act." You're quick to add. "You get along more like human sisters rather than two of our kind.">You seem to strike an unexpected nerve, and Rynna lets out a loud "Hmph" in indignation. "I always got stuck with her because she'd lose her own head without me." She crosses her arms yet again, and leans back, eyes closed in thought. "Who knows if she appeared in the Lake first or not, but she probably followed my lead out of there. Not like there was hardly anyone else....Then to the academy where she'd follow me around wherever I went. Training at least I got a break because she had no skill with the bow, didn't stop her from trying... Heck, the only reason she ever felt the need to leave Pora Elinu was because I wanted to!" Her eyes open now, chest heaving with emotion, and she scolds more than she says these words. Alys has since stopped eating her soup, and instead stares wordlessly into its clouded depths.Rynna stares at you now, clearly letting herself getting carried away. "No one asked what I wanted!" She shakes her head in emphasis, and then points right at you. "And you know what they say."Too many roots will get you'll be ever lost in the woods.[1/3]
>>4984575Both Alys and Rynna recited those old words in unison. >"Ah." Rynna utters in shame, suddenly remembering that Alys was there. She sighs. "There's your answer."You pause to observe how Alys is handling Rynna's outburst. "Almost 600, if I had to guess. There was a long time that I stopped bothering to count, so I really can't say an exact number.">"What?" Rynna furrows her brow in clear confusion.>"There's your answer." You answer flatly before taking a deep, long drink.>"What?" Rynna repeats. "What?">"Her age..." Alys explains, staring at you as if you just grew another head. >"What!?" Rynna stands now, staring. "Do we even get that old?" Rynna turns to her companion for answers.>"I never thought about it... How long we live. Or when we would...d-die." Alys turns away before saying the last part.>"You're lying." Rynna settles back into her chair, trying to assure herself.>"I'm not, nor do I have any reason to." You shake your head.>"That's very...i-impressive." Alys states uncomfortably. "It makes sense, though" She fidgets and reddens. "With how capable you are.">"Enough about that." You interject before Rynna can add any more of her commentary. You instead point to Alys' bandaged arm. "I'm sure you saw my note, but be sure to get that to an apothecary as soon as possible unless you want a scar.">"That would be bad, but..." Alys agrees, then shakes her head as she begins reaching into her side pocket to fetch the two coins you shoved in there to pay for that treatment. "It wouldn't be right for me to take your reward." She reaches to hand them back to you.>"You didn't take anything. I gave them to you." You push her hand back, and then smile. "You can pay me back the next time we go on a request."It takes a moment, but her eyes light up. She returns your smile and nods in agreement.>A open hand reaches out to you. "I'll take some coin to replace that set of clothes you ruined." Rynna insists.>"Not happening." You shut her down.[2/3]
>>4984579~~~After some more idle chatter, a new figure leans on the edge of the table near Alys. You sigh quietly in annoyance.>"I'm happy to see you're up, little one." The guild attendant from this morning caresses Alys' head with gentle pats. "Allow me to apologize on behalf of the guild, and myself. I would've never allowed you to embark on such a dangerous request had we known what lurked down there.">"Lylia!" Alys beams under the hand atop her head. "It's okay! Elewyn saved us.">"Isn't that great..." Lylia smiles sweetly at Alys. "Oh! I almost forgot. I sent a special request ahead to the apothecary. She said that she'd be willing to see you tonight if you'd like. But you should hurry if so. In her old age, she get cranky late at night.">"That's a good idea!" Alys nods. "That way it won't scar.">The guild attendant finally removes her hand. "Smart little girl. You have a good head on your shoulders.">Alys blushes at the compliment, and then stands and bows to you and then the guild attendant. "Thank you Elewyn, Lylia. I'll be off then!">Rynna stands immediately and sighs. "Ugh, fine lets go get it over with so we can head to bed.">Without looking at her companion Alys takes a few steps away from the table. "I'll be fine on my own. I don't need you to take care of me all of the time." >"Knowing you, you'll get lost, and then I'll have to spend half the night just to find you crying." Rynna laughs to herself as she replies. "Cmon le-">Alys turns to face Rynna. "Leave. Me. Alone." Stunning quiet anger in her voice.Even the rowdy patrons around you seem to quiet down from her voice.>Rynna glances around, embarrassed. "Fine, you idiot. Do what you like!" She hardly finishes her words before she goes stomping off upstairs.Alys pauses for moment, as if thinking if she should go after her, but resolves herself to her task.Seeing that the guild attendant has got the idea to settle down into one of the vacated seats, you begin to quickly finish your drink.>"You like taking care of them." A smile you don't care for appears on her face. "Not just those two.">You don't bother responding. You're all talked out for the night. >She hardly pays any heed to your lack of response. "Aldo says that you've been here for several years now. Isn't that a bit strange for your kind." Her words sing-song like a gentle hum. "Strange indeed, strange...Wouldn't it be more natural for you to move along?"A bit faster than you'd like to finish the drink, but it's done, and you can finally leave. She smiles as you stand.>Return to your room for the night.>"Do you think I'm new to this song and dance?">Write in
>>4984582>Return to your room for the night.Best not give her the satisfaction.
>>4984582>>Return to your room for the night.Hopefully we think about the other answer when we're alone. I want to know more.
>>4984582>Return to your room for the night.
>>4984617>>4984870>>4984946To most these days, you are practically invisible given your stature. No thought ever put toward who you are, let alone what you're trying to accomplish.She's trying to get a rise out of you, trying to let you know that someone is watching, someone is paying attention. As indirect and politely dressed as it is, you know a threat when you hear one, it's certainly not the first.Best not to give her the satisfaction. With coin secured for this weeks lodging, come morning you can devote yourself to looking more into who this guild attendant really is.>"Good night." You state curtly.>She smiles without missing a beat. "Have a good night, Elewyn. We look forward to seeing you again"~~~From there you went to settle your tab for the night as always, exchanged a few words of polite banter with a patron that was impressed with your group's work, and then headed out to walk home. The night's air was still warm from the day as the guild hall dully roared behind you. Your footfalls echoed slightly on the stony path as you started to depart. You briefly stopped as you heard a familiar voice call out into the night. Just as quickly as you recognized that it was Rynna's voice, you recognized you were catching a very intimate, albeit aggressive sounding moment of hers with a human male, leaking from the open window of her bedroom upstairs.You paused only long enough to confirm that she was safe before you headed off again. You didn't think she had it in her yet, but everyone deals with issues differently. After making sure to drop off the eight silver coins for the week in your landlords delivery box, the door to your room creaked loudly as it always did when you shut it behind you. A dull room with too many things haphazardly strewn about. Old books, clothes, and bedding piled on the floor of the small room that you mainly used for sleep. After a quick wash, you faded into that unusually quiet night with restless dreams of those long gone.The light of morning was already streaming into your room when you were woken abruptly by the commotion outside. Panicked and rowdy voices shouted at one another as you heard them run by your window. >..a body!?" You caught a woman's voice shriek, and then immediately decided to get out of bed and toss on some clothes to investigateThose few minutes between when your door slammed shut behind you to when you approached the throng of humans encircled around some sight blurs now into forgotten memory. However,You remember pushing you way forward through the waists of so many onlookers. You remember a mother wrenching away her son from the sight despite his protests. You remember the city guard shouting for everyone to stand clear. You remember the elderly hand on your shoulder urging you not to look. You remember seeing the blood on the floor before anything else.[1/2]
>>4985042You will never forget what you saw next.The dismembered and brutalized body of one of your kind tossed against the wall of a back alley. The uncanny sight of two small legs, completely covered in dried blood, just a few feet away the torso. The one remaining attached arm holding the hand of the other separated with fingers interwoven gently. The white bandages that you carefully wrapped the day before dyed a sickening deep crimson.Worst of all, with hardly a drop a blood on her shoulders or chest from its departure, a gaping stump, where a head should be.Rynna's horrified screams, still echoing in your head.~~~Prologue End.
>>4985044...Oh.Somebody hurt the little one.Somebody is going to die. Painfully.My other ideas regarding finding another income source have become mostly irrelevant. There will now be blood.(Also, when can we expect the next part, and will it be in this thread ?)
>>4985171Your ideas for income may still be relevant, though perhaps on a different scale. Thank you everyone that participated in this prologue run! The next part will be up on Friday/Saturday as that will give me the most amount of time to post a decent amount of continuous updates. It will be in its own numbered thread, separate from this one.In the meantime, I would like to use this thread to get feedback, worldbuild, and answer questions with people who participated/who would like to participate.One idea that I've had in my head is allowing posters to manage their own character that could participate in the story (probably an Elin, as that would allow for absences to be easily explained away by their floaty nature.) Of course, by participating in the story, they are not immune from its events, but nothing completely unexpected would happen to them. The logistics definitely would need to be sorted out thoroughly, of course, but I'm curious to know if people have any interest in such a quest. Otherwise, I'm more than fine with a traditional format, as I've had plenty of experience with that.
>>4985208Allowing for player characters like that has its risks, the least of which is having the story become background noise in the ensuing sandbox.I guess you could take a page out of Iron Sea and others who try.In the end, it depends on what you want out of this quest. It's your choice.Also, can I recommend /suptg/ archiving the prologue ?
>>4985431I can always shove things back onto course if the get too out of hand, but you do bring up a good point. Perhaps a static(ish) team of characters that players can have ancillary votes on their missions, training, loadout, etc. would be a better scale.Ultimately, what I want to accomplish is an opportunity for increased player interaction, something for them to think about/plan when story choice prompts may not be active. Hopefully this could add a little bit more player investment at the same time. Since you did participate a good bit, I'd be curious to hear your own thoughts, if you'd like to share.Also, thanks for reminding me. The thread has been archived.
>>4985441Dropped trip on accident because I'm out of the house.
>>4985441>I'd be curious to hear your own thoughts, if you'd like to share.I'm up for it, I have an hour before I have to go, but regarding what aspect specifically ?
>>4985456I'll start by asking what you enjoyed about the run and/or what you might like to see more of? Importantly, would you want increased input into the quest, such as what I suggested in the previous post?(These questions are free for anyone that may be floating around to answer as well.)Rest assured that I do have a plan for events to come. I just really enjoy seeing the player's perspective on what's unfolding, and adapt to that a bit.
>>4985469>what you might like to see more ofIf you'd asked me that yesterday, I would have laid out plans to get out of the adventuring business and improve our living conditions.Now I'm out for blood. Good job on that. Did not see it coming.I appreciate the potential plot points sprinkled throughout, and I'm hopeful for some flashbacks in the future, with or without player interaction. The team fight in the sewers looked good, even if I wasn't there for it. You gave plenty of options, that's good (and also one of the perks of having a support MC).Again, if you do decide to go for it, I would not be against having a character of my own, although I suppose that we would need to make sure that I don't drag off the story in another direction. I think I'm mostly wondering about what limits there should be to what auxiliaries can get up to when they're not with Elewyn or when there's an arc going on. I'm thinking about it as I'm writing. Maybe downtime/uptime ? Downtime has Elewyn and character do their own thing/ search for clues/ roll some personal dice for acivities.Uptime gathers those that want for a more plot-focused event driven by Elewyn, during which no one can do anything else ?My big concern with that model is how well it would work with both your vision of the quest and /qst/'s playerbase's habits, since at this point, it gets similar to how some ttrpgs work.
>>4985208>One idea that I've had in my head is allowing posters to manage their own character that could participate in the story (probably an Elin, as that would allow for absences to be easily explained away by their floaty nature.)Bad idea.Some questions about stuffAre all Elin female?Why don't we have permanent adventurer partners?How ancient is MC?Is she interested in romance?
>>4985488I've always enjoyed a good story twist, or two.I also quite like a flashback, so expect backstory to unfold in that manner as well as others. It just needs to strike the right balance of text length in comparison to the present time. Writing combat is not new for me, but writing a nearly pure support character is very new. But, like you said, it does come with a lot of options for choice when you're not the one having a hostile bearing directly down on you, so that's been quite fun.100% pure individual character control seems to have more issues than I initially had thought, so I probably won't be heading purely into that direction. That said, the downtime/uptime suggestion is very intriguing. The idea is still developing, but what's currently in mind at this point is: A static(ish) set of side characters that won't be linked to any individual player. During uptime, any involvement in the main story with Elewyn will come first and foremost, but during downtime their other motivations, more removed from the main plot, can be explored and developed in greater depth via some type of collaborative player choice. Luckily, I have a good amount of time to work this out. Thank you very very much for your extensive input. >>4985495Thank you for the honest input. There's always things to learn about being a QM. Giving yourself plenty of time to think about new major elements has served me well. I've since pulled away from the original form of that idea.>Are all Elin female?That's correct, here and in canon.>Why don't we have permanent adventurer partners?This gets into events to come, and backstory, but it has a good bit to do with your next question. (It will certainly be addressed at length in some future thread.)>How ancient is MC?Exact age is unknown, but between 500-600 years old, leaning toward 600. So, ancient for humans, a outright mystery for Elin, and technically young if we include immortal beings. >Is she interested in romance?Backstory plays a role once again, but to sum the current feeling: wary.
>>4991954New thread up !Posting for ID.