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The year is 1374 DR. Sixteen years have passed since the Time of Troubles, when the gods were made humble, and forced to wander the Realms as mortals. With the ascension of the mad god Cyric, Prince of Lies, and the recent return of the tyrant god Bane, Lord of Darkness, the future of Faerûn seems increasingly uncertain. It falls to bold individuals who possess an abundance of cunning, might, and determination to shape the future... should they be up to the challenge.

Stretching across the untamed wilderness of the North, a fledgling confederation of human cities, elven settlements, and dwarven strongholds, known collectively as the Silver Marches, shines brightly throughout the region. Centered around the resplendent metropolis of Silverymoon, this diverse alliance looks forward to a future of prosperity under the affectionate oversight of Lady Alustriel Silverhand. Still, it is often said that the brightest light casts the longest shadows.

Like moths to a flame, malign forces surround the Silver Marches, eager to see this growing regional power undone. Orc warlords with dreams of conquest sharpen their blades and muster their armies in the mountains, eager to win glory and plunder through bloodshed. The dark elves plot and scheme in their holdings deep within the earth, patiently awaiting the instructions of their evil goddess. Even the roads are not safe - gnolls and werebeasts stalk the savage wilds, preying on unwitting travelers who lack the means to protect themselves.
>>
This is where your story begins. The Realms are a vast place, filled with adventurers of all kinds. The origin of every legend begins with an identity. What is yours?

>Sam Shadowswift - Halfing, Rogue. Your hair is graying, your children are adults, and you thought you'd retired from your life of larceny to settle down as a greengrocer... but money is tight, and the business may not survive next winter. 'One last job.' That's what your old friend Willard proposed, and you'll be taking him up on his offer.
>Jezyrene Delyl - Dark Elf, Fighter. Entangled in a conspiracy woven by your sisters, you were forced to cut a bloody swathe through your homeland and made a desperate escape to the surface, a world that is both hostile and alien to you. If you are to survive, you must first find a way to defeat your scheming siblings.
>Lael Lathalas - Half-Elf, Wild Mage. Wild magic flows fast and free through your body. A Midsummer drinking spree turned supernatural disaster has led to your exile from your home in the High Forest. Left with nothing, you venture forth to uncover the mysteries behind your lineage and the calamity that has befallen you.
>>
>>5258208
"One last job" is a juicy hook, but Halfling? Look, I'm not racist, I just don't loike 'em. Simple as.

>Lael Lathalas - Half-Elf, Wild Mage
>>
>>5258208
>Lael Lathalas - Half-Elf, Wild Mage. Wild magic flows fast and free through your body. A Midsummer drinking spree turned supernatural disaster has led to your exile from your home in the High Forest. Left with nothing, you venture forth to uncover the mysteries behind your lineage and the calamity that has befallen you.
>>
>>5258208
>>Jezyrene Delyl - Dark Elf, Fighter. Entangled in a conspiracy woven by your sisters, you were forced to cut a bloody swathe through your homeland and made a desperate escape to the surface, a world that is both hostile and alien to you. If you are to survive, you must first find a way to defeat your scheming siblings.
>>
>>5258208
>Lael Lathalas - Half-Elf, Wild Mage. Wild magic flows fast and free through your body. A Midsummer drinking spree turned supernatural disaster has led to your exile from your home in the High Forest. Left with nothing, you venture forth to uncover the mysteries behind your lineage and the calamity that has befallen you.
>>
>>5258208
>Jezyrene Delyl - Dark Elf, Fighter. Entangled in a conspiracy woven by your sisters, you were forced to cut a bloody swathe through your homeland and made a desperate escape to the surface, a world that is both hostile and alien to you. If you are to survive, you must first find a way to defeat your scheming siblings.
>>
>>5258206
>Lael Lathalas - Half-Elf, Wild Mage. Wild magic flows fast and free through your body. A Midsummer drinking spree turned supernatural disaster has led to your exile from your home in the High Forest. Left with nothing, you venture forth to uncover the mysteries behind your lineage and the calamity that has befallen you.
>>
>>5258208
I'll switch to
>Jezyrene Delyl - Dark Elf, Fighter. Entangled in a conspiracy woven by your sisters, you were forced to cut a bloody swathe through your homeland and made a desperate escape to the surface, a world that is both hostile and alien to you. If you are to survive, you must first find a way to defeat your scheming siblings.
>>
>>5258208
>Jezyrene Delyl - Dark Elf, Fighter. Entangled in a conspiracy woven by your sisters, you were forced to cut a bloody swathe through your homeland and made a desperate escape to the surface, a world that is both hostile and alien to you. If you are to survive, you must first find a way to defeat your scheming siblings.
>>
It seems that a vote switch gave Jez a minor lead just before I cut off the votes. Writing.
>>
Shucks. Still better than a dirty halfling, though.

captcha: K2SRY
>>
>>5258214
>>5258265
>>5258297
>>5258298
>>5258321
>>5258336
>>5258341
You make a mad dash for the light, your acquired athleticism effortlessly carrying you up the cavern's steep incline. Cool wind brushes up against your exposed skin - not an uncommon phenomenon back home, but there is a fresh taste to this air that gives it a perplexing, fresh quality that you could never hope to experience underground. You take one final glance behind you to ensure that your pursuers have lost you before you relax your pace.

At last. Your boots press down on the most peculiar substance, like long strands of bladed moss sticking up from the floor that extends infinitely in every direction. Surrounding you are spires of brown and green, like mushrooms with odd protrusions that each carry hundreds of miniscule flat structures. These must be what the Rivvin call 'trees.' Above you is a spectacular sight; glimmering lights like crystals suspended in the night air. You had heard of, read of the sky and its stars, but nothing is so liberating as to finally behold it. An intoxicating revelation fills your thoughts.

There is no roof over this world.
>>
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These are your Attributes. Assign one value from 14, 12, 10, 8 to each, with 14 being the best, and 8, the worst. Note that all Attributes will be useful for every character in and out of combat.

>Strength - Brawn, constitution, physical power, and durability. Your Health is equal to your Strength score + 10.
>Agility - Quickness, poise, and reflexes. Your Defense is equal to your Agility score, modified or replaced by armor.
>Intellect - Cunning, wit, memory, and education. Your Perception is equal to your Intellect score. Add half your Intellect to Power.
>Will - Courage, discipline, and sense of self. Your Power is equal to your Will score plus half your Intellect score, which is used for various special abilities.

You are a dark elf, a race selectively bred to be agile and quick-witted. Choose one racial Attribute increase.
>+2 Agility
>+2 Intellect

Lastly, choose one Feat.
>Art of the Blade - You are remarkably deadly when holding a bladed weapon. +3 bonus when attempting to strike or kill with swords or knives. You learn three maneuvers, special abilities which cost Power to use: Power Attack, Sword Dance, and Commanding Presence.
>Remarkable Athlete - Even among the martially inclined, your physique is magnificent. +3 bonus when attempting to lift, push, pull, or grapple a creature or heavy object. You can effortlessly scale surfaces with handholds, jump long distances, and break certain doors or objects. At any time, you may choose to spend 3 Power and regain Health equal to half your Will.
>>
>>5258397
>Remarkable Athlete - Even among the martially inclined, your physique is magnificent. +3 bonus when attempting to lift, push, pull, or grapple a creature or heavy object. You can effortlessly scale surfaces with handholds, jump long distances, and break certain doors or objects. At any time, you may choose to spend 3 Power and regain Health equal to half your Will.

We should wrestle our sisters into the ground while wearing our half-naked elf armor. Maybe in the mud.
>>
>>5258397
Strength - 14
Agility - 12
Intellect - 8
Will - 10

>+2 Agility

>Art of the Blade - You are remarkably deadly when holding a bladed weapon. +3 bonus when attempting to strike or kill with swords or knives. You learn three maneuvers, special abilities which cost Power to use: Power Attack, Sword Dance, and Commanding Presence.
>>
>>5258397
Strength - 12
Agility - 14
Intellect - 8
Will - 10

>+2 Intellect

>Art of the Blade - You are remarkably deadly when holding a bladed weapon. +3 bonus when attempting to strike or kill with swords or knives. You learn three maneuvers, special abilities which cost Power to use: Power Attack, Sword Dance, and Commanding Presence.

Dark elves are bred for lewds!
>>
>>5258397
>Will 14
>Agility 12
>Strength 10
> Intellect 8

>+2 Intellect
>Art of the Blade - You are remarkably deadly when holding a bladed weapon. +3 bonus when attempting to strike or kill with swords or knives. You learn three maneuvers, special abilities which cost Power to use: Power Attack, Sword Dance, and Commanding Presence.
>>
>>5258397
Strength - 14
Agility - 12
Intellect - 8
Will - 10

>+2 Intellect

>Art of the Blade - You are remarkably deadly when holding a bladed weapon. +3 bonus when attempting to strike or kill with swords or knives. You learn three maneuvers, special abilities which cost Power to use: Power Attack, Sword Dance, and Commanding Presence.
>>
>>5258397

Since we're a Fighter...

Str 14
Agi 10 + 2
Int 8
Will 12

Remarkable Athlete
>>
>>5258397
Supporting >>5258435
>>
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The general consensus seems to be about:

Strength - 14
Agility - 12
Intellect - 8
Will - 10

+2 Intellect

Art of the Blade


>>5258402
>>5258404
>>5258411
>>5258428
>>5258435
>>5258442
>>5258449
You now have a character sheet. I believe I can squeeze in one more update later today.
>>
>>5258453
This post is for those who keep track of every stat. Do not be afraid - all number crunching will be handled by the QM.

-Your HEALTH, as you have likely deduced, represents your character's physical wellbeing and overall ability to continue fighting. If your Health is reduced to zero, you will fall unconscious. This does not necessarily mean that you have died.

-Your DEFENSE represents how difficult it is for enemies to hit you. A higher number means that you are harder to hit. Equipment, magic, circumstances, and Feats can modify your Defense.

-Your PERCEPTION represents how good your senses are. It is used for following tracks, spotting hidden creatures, and finding traps, among other things. A high Perception will also offer the opportunity to passively gather information about your environment.

-Your POWER is a measure of your character's reserves of magic, self-discipline, faith in the gods, or what have you. Power is used exclusively for special abilities, or to cast magic spells, and is fully replenished whenever a character can safely rest.


Attribute tests will be covered when they become relevant.
>>
Since it's Forgotten Realms I was kind of excited this was going to be a d&d quest like Barovian Legends, but homebrew is cool too.
>>
>>5258670
I thought about that, I really did. In the end I felt like it would be kind of cumbersome, so I went with something D&D adjacent.

>>5258402
>>5258404
>>5258411
>>5258428
>>5258435
>>5258442
>>5258449
Your starlit reverie is interrupted by the song of a creature singing into the night from atop the forest's canopy. A reminder that time moves ever forward regardless of your wishes. And if you were to continue eluding capture (or worse), you would have to do the same. A place to rest and a source of water would be a start. You could worry about the rest later. For lack of alternatives, you pick a direction at random and walk, thinking back on the life you left behind mere moments ago.

You were never the favorite sister. That distinction was given to Vierna, your eldest sibling. More than you, she is beautiful, determined, imperious, and a priestess of Lolth atop it. The archetypal 'Matron Mother-to-Be,' she was selected as the successor to the vaunted Delyl bloodline before you had even reached the cusp of adulthood, a privilege that your mother encouraged her to exploit to the fullest. She showered you with enough cruelty to drive you to close to your breaking point. The whip scars that mar your back serve as a harsh reminder of the fate that awaits you should the agents of House Delyl apprehend you, as well as a testament to your resilience.

Phaere, your younger sister, is no less malignant than Vierna, though far more insidious. At the fundament of her being, she is an intrigant, pretending coquettishness and innocence when it suits her while demonstrating a haughty perspicacity when tearing others down, another attitude which your mother rewarded. It was no secret that she harbored a desire to usurp Vierna's role as successor, and she saw you as an obstacle that needed to be removed if she was to fulfill her ambitions. In fact, you strongly suspect that she singlehandedly designed the plot that would have been your downfall, had you not been so diligent in your training.

As for yourself, you never did successfully integrate into the clergy. There was something about submission to a higher power that never sat well with you. Perhaps this headstrong attitude of yours is why you fell in love the first time you picked up a weapon for instruction. The idea that your life was dependent on your skill and willpower alone made so much more sense than placing everything in the hands of a distant, disinterested entity. At least, at the time it did. Was it not the fate of the weak to perish, and the mighty to prosper? As for the rest of your family...
>>
>>5258774
A passing breeze carries with it the fragrance of life and industry, returning you to the here and now. Over yonder, you spy a dull glow contained by well-maintained fortifications jutting out from the earth. Easily, you deduce that you are within walking distance of a community, an entire city of surfacers. Urban luxuries would be a welcome change of pace from the savagery of the uninhabited Underdark, though the fear of being hunted persisted at the back of your mind. Would it be better to remain in the wilderness just a while longer to guarantee that the trail goes cold?

>This city of surfacers shall be my next destination. I have money, I can afford sustenance and consider my course of action in comfort and safety.
>I must not let my guard down. Vierna's lapdogs could still be tailing me. For now, I shall take my chances in the wilderness.
>>
>>5258775
>This city of surfacers shall be my next destination. I have money, I can afford sustenance and consider my course of action in comfort and safety.

Man, I remember a certain Vierna. Still bummed I never got to see her put those maces to use.
>>
>>5258775
>>This city of surfacers shall be my next destination. I have money, I can afford sustenance and consider my course of action in comfort and safety.
>>
>>5258775
>This city of surfacers shall be my next destination. I have money, I can afford sustenance and consider my course of action in comfort and safety.
>>
>>5258775
>I must not let my guard down. Vierna's lapdogs could still be tailing me. For now, I shall take my chances in the wilderness.
>>
>>5258775
>I must not let my guard down. Vierna's lapdogs could still be tailing me. For now, I shall take my chances in the wilderness.

Our pursuers will come up, see the first sign of civilization, reach out their tendrils to determine if we came this way and then retreat back underground disappointed that they mistakenly thought we came to the surface this way. We are hardy enough to survive in the wilderness and it'd be good to familiarize ourselves with the nature of the surface. I'm certain if we wander into the city we'll end up blundering our introductions somewhere and outing ourselves as some super obvious foreigner which will make us easier to track.
>>
>>5258775
>I must not let my guard down. Vierna's lapdogs could still be tailing me. For now, I shall take my chances in the wilderness.
>>
>>5258775
>I must not let my guard down. Vierna's lapdogs could still be tailing me. For now, I shall take my chances in the wilderness.
Too fast, too soon. Let's keep living in the wild, find either a caravan or adventurer, join them, so it'll shuffle cards and mess up trailing us.
>>
>>5258775
>>This city of surfacers shall be my next destination. I have money, I can afford sustenance and consider my course of action in comfort and safety.
>>
>>5258775
>>This city of surfacers shall be my next destination. I have money, I can afford sustenance and consider my course of action in comfort and safety.
>>
It seems like everyone has voted and nobody plans on switching, so I will call the vote here. Writing.
>>
Rolled 16 (1d20)

(Perception 10)

But what does Jez see with her special eyes?

This is an Attribute test. The idea is fairly simple. When a test is required, a d20 will be rolled. If it is the same as or lower than the relevant Attribute, it is a success. Otherwise, it is a failure. Normally there would be a steep penalty for trying to see in the dark, but as a Drow elf, Jezyrene can see just fine.
>>
>>5258778
>>5258779
>>5258793
>>5258933
>>5258937
>>5259315
>>5259460
>>5259471
>>5259540
A furious internal debate takes place within your mind. Tempting as the prospect of a warm meal and soft blanket seemed, a healthy amount of fear forced you to give considerable thought to the matter. True, you were tired, but safety was preferable to comfort, and in your mind encountering the assassins that your sisters had deployed was a matter of 'when,' not 'if.' It was smarter to obfuscate your movements, and delay that conflict for as long as possible.

But you were not feeling smarter. You were feeling tired. Tired of running, tired of fighting spiders the same size as you, tired of subsisting on handfuls cave moss and the water that dripped from stalactites. You were liable to collapse from exhaustion before falling in battle, and the prospect did not appeal to you. You turn yourself in the direction of the city and press ever onward, happening upon a dirt road that leads to it - a welcome change of pace from the rugged terrain that you had been navigating up to this point.
"Noice noight fer a walk, innit?" A feminine voice with the texture of rust calls out to you from the shadows. A wretched, spindly specimen of a Rivvel - or in their language, 'human' - woman steps into your view. Her clothes are ragged, and the entirety of her being is caked in several layers of accumulated dirt that make it impossible to even tell what the color of her skin is. She flashes a smile filled from end-to-end with crooked teeth, and you briefly catch the metallic glint of a poorly concealed weapon in her hands. "Wo's a foine laydee loike yoo doin' out at this hour?"

Instinctively, you reach for your weapon, angling it in her general direction. Though you sincerely doubt the ability of this woman to match you in combat, you knew better than to underestimate her. "Sarn, streeaka Rivvel. Usstan uil natha bwael sargtlin," you threaten in your native tongue, yet your words simply confound her. You rack your brain, trying to recall what you managed to learn of the surface language in your years. "Get. Back."
>>
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>>5259861
"Ye fancy yerself a 'ard woman, then? I loikes 'em lean." The woman's jaw slowly extends until it portrudes to an unnatural degree. Strand by strand, her skin becomes covered with bristly hairs, and her eyes become a pair of beady orbs with a dull red glow to them. "Yer gonna make a good meal!" She exclaims, adopting a crooked hunch as she lunges at you with a speed that you conclude to be supernatural.

What will you do?
>[Agility, Attack] No time to think. I must land the first strike!
>[Intelligence] One must know they enemy if they are to attain victory. I only need a moment to think.
>Discretion is the better part of valor. The city is only a sprint away - I should be able to reach safety, so long as I run and do not look back!
>[Write-in]

You maneuvers can be found here:
https://pastebin.com/83qBqWK9
>>
>>5259864
>commanding presence
>also attack if you can do both in a round
>>
>>5259864
Supporting >>5259871

If we cannot do both then simply power attack.
>>
>>5259864
POWER STRIIIIIIKE!!!!!!
>>
>>5259864
>>5259871
This. If we can't do both,

>[Agility, Attack] No time to think. I must land the first strike!
>>
>>5259871
>>5259882
>>5259883
>>5259884
Maneuvers don't cost a turn, but you can only use one per turn.
>>
>>5259871
Supporting
>>
>>5259871
+1
>>
Votes locked. Rolls will be made.
>>
Are We Forced to Come to Earth or Do We All Plan Our Lives? - "It's like a virtual reality game. We volunteered an signed a contract to come here, no one is forced to come here because you could've chose to go to other planets even if you owed karma, if your here it's cause you wanted to come an we agree to forget everything when we are born. The astral realm is not "the other side" it's a gateway to the other side (ghost) but your spirit guide that is assigned to you will eventually come and show you the way to other side. We choose our life an plan them out over an over until we learn all our soul needs to learn then we become a guide. I thought I hated this life I would never choose to come here until I had an out of body experience and met my guide".
https://youtu.be/XmIEL5yqA4k
>>
>>5260366
Souv is that you?
>>
Rolled 7, 11, 8 = 26 (3d20)

(Willpower 6, x3) - Success on 6 or lower.

Jezyrene brandishes her weapon in a manner most frightening...
>>
>>5260387
(Agility 12, +3 Art of the Blade) vs (Agility 12) - Hit on 13 or lower.

... and moves to strike down her foe.

Attacks work a little bit differently than normal Attribute rolls. The targent number is always 10, plus the difference between the attacker's Attribute and the defender's Defense. For example, Jezyrene has an attack total of 15. The Wererat has a Defense of 12. 15-12=3, so Jezyrene will hit on a roll of 13 or higher.

However, I'll simply state the target number in each post so there's no confusion.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d20)

>>5260392
>>
Rolled 4, 1 = 5 (2d4)

>>5260396
And hits!
>>
Rolled 7 (1d20)

>>5260399
(Agility 12, -3 Intimidated) vs (Defense 16) - Hit on 3 or lower.

A new foe enters the fray! Last one before writing.
>>
>>5259871
>>5259882
>>5259883
>>5259884
>>5260144
>>5260271
You practiced practiced numerous combat styles as a girl to prepare you for the harsh reality of life in the Underdark. The one that suited you most naturally Orb Alur - 'Superior Spider.' A skilled practitioner gracefully weaves into combat, sweeping their weapon in wide arcs to strike at several foes at once. It is a technique that requires an appropriate blend of power, swiftness, and precision to use with any effectiveness, qualities which you possessed in abundance. Those of weak discipline are often confused or frightened by the showy display of combat talent, a sight which you happen to take great pleasure in.

In one sinuous motion, you close the distance between yourself and the hideous anthropomorphic rodent, relaxedly twirling your sword all the while. The bloodlust in her eyes immediately gives way to animal fear as the edge of your weapon is a split second from biting into her fleshy abdominal tissue. 'An easy kill,' you muse to yourself.

The creature's skin ruptures, its muscles tear, and a splatter of fetid black ichor is shot into the night. Yet, you find that your weapon did not deliver a killing blow. What should have been a fatal injury is instead a deep wound - dire, but not impossible to survive. From your perspective, it felt as though the beast's wiry body was made of a durable substance entirely different from mere flesh.
>>
>>5260440
Dropping her knife, she falls on her side and frantically begins to scramble for safety on all fours, hoping to retreat into the forest. Just then, you hear the sound of panicked footsteps from behind. Two more of the rodent-people appear. Silently, you admonish yourself - you should have noticed them preparing to ambush you earlier, but you were absorbed in your own thoughts. One clumsily tosses its blade at you, its hand shaking violently with fear, which you manage to deflect with minimal effort.

You are quite familiar with the rush of a pulse-quickening fight, and manage to assess your situation in a single second. Three beasts, one fleeing for its life, all mortally afraid of you. At present, you are the one controlling the pace of battle, which means you get to choose the course it will take.

>[Strength, Attack] I move in to cut down the one that meant to attack me whilst my back was turned. Without its weapon, it is easy prey.
>[Dexterity] Finish the injured beast-thing off before its compatriots can react.
>Get ye gone, creatures, and pray that I never see you again!
>[Will] I shall spare you all... after you have answered a few questions for me.
>[Write-in.]
>>
>>5260441
>[Dexterity] Finish the injured beast-thing off before its compatriots can react.
>>
>>5260441
>[Will] I shall spare you all... after you have answered a few questions for me.
>>
>>5260441
>>Get ye gone, creatures, and pray that I never see you again!
>>
>>5260441
>>[Will] I shall spare you all... after you have answered a few questions for me.
>>
>>5260441
>>[Strength, Attack] I move in to cut down the one that meant to attack me whilst my back was turned. Without its weapon, it is easy prey.
>>
>>5260441
>[Dexterity] Finish the injured beast-thing off before its compatriots can react.
Can't loot if we let them rout.
>>
>>5260441
>>[Will] I shall spare you all... after you have answered a few questions for me.
>>[Write-in.]
>and hand over the loot, while you're at it, curs.
>>
>>5260441
>[Dexterity] Finish the injured beast-thing off before its compatriots can react.
>>
>>5260441
>>[Dexterity] Finish the injured beast-thing off before its compatriots can react.
>>
(Dexterity 12, +3 Art of the Blade, +3 Melee vs Prone) Success on 18 or lower.

They won't know what hit them. Writing.
>>
Rolled 11 (1d20)

>>5261041
>>
>>5260455
>>5260481
>>5260511
>>5260558
>>5260636
>>5260650
>>5260785
>>5260956
>>5260966
Your weapon flies from one hand to the other as you run down your quarry, allowing the momentum to guide the sword's arc. This time you direct the killing stroke toward the creature's upper-back to ensure its swift end. The cut is once again far more shallow than it should be - but that matters little, as you still manage to sever the damn thing's spine, causing it to collapse into a heap. Unfortunately for her, the attempt to escape your wrath ended in her untimely demise.

This act of death-dealing, however, provided the other two the brief window of time needed to coordinate. Communicating via some form of infernal squeaking, both the armed and unarmed rat-beasts break into a sprint, fleeing in opposite directions that lead to the woodland on either side of the road. It seems that you'll only be able to pursue one of them now.

>[Intellect]... or can I? Could I think up a way to somehow catch both of them?
>Let them flee. They are no longer a threat, and my path is free of obstacles.
>[Strength, Attack]It is not the best outcome, but I can settle for finishing one more of them. (Which?)
>[Write-in]
>>
>>5261094
>[Strength, Attack]It is not the best outcome, but I can settle for finishing one more of them. (The one that threw its blade at us)

We'll capture this one and interrogate it.
>>
>>5261094
>>[Intellect]... or can I? Could I think up a way to somehow catch both of them?
>>
>>5261094
>>[Intellect]... or can I? Could I think up a way to somehow catch both of them?
>>
>>5261094
>[Intellect]... or can I? Could I think up a way to somehow catch both of them?
Try to track them. They're bound to meet up again somewhere.
>>
>>5261094
>[Intellect]... or can I? Could I think up a way to somehow catch both of them?
>>
>>5261094
>[Intellect]... or can I? Could I think up a way to somehow catch both of them?
time to put our completely average intelligence to use
>>
>>5261094
>[Intellect]... or can I? Could I think up a way to somehow catch both of them?
>>
Rolled 10 (1d20)

(Intelligence 10, +3 ???) Success on 13 or lower.

Jezyrene tries to think up a bold strategy. Let's see if it works out for her.
>>
>>5261966
looks like we have wits.
>>
>>5261966
Any particular reason as to why success is below and not above the DC?
>>
>>5261975
It's either that or the stats have to be lower to be better or you have to add a bunch of inelegant nonsense to the system to make both rolls and stats better when higher
>>
>>5261142
>>5261154
>>5261160
>>5261213
>>5261249
>>5261394
>>5261442
You'll admit that you were never the studious sort. It was Phaere who demonstrated that a sharp mind can conquer any matter when properly applied, always playing allies against one another or employing some new arcane secret that she borrowed from House Delyl's mages to her advantage. Such things were, regretfully, far beyond your ken, though learning to apply your wits to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat was nevertheless a valuable lesson.

And right now, your mental acuity was to be put to the test. You had a second, perhaps two or three, to prevent both of the belligerent rodents from disappearing into the night. Your eyes scan the environment, working diligently to pick out something - anything that you can use, before settling on the putrid black sludge coating your weapon. Every successful warrior builds up a strong resistance to the stench of carnage, but even you could barely tolerate the putrid odor wafting from whatever terrible substance flows through the veins of these creatures.

It truly is impossible to ignore.

You give chase, momentarily lowering your frame to retrieve the knife that was thrown at you mere moments ago from the dirt road to turn the weapon on its former master. Elegantly, you pitch the tool with a measured combination of strength and care, sending it soaring through the air. With a satisfying 'thwap,' the edged implement digs its way into the unarmed beast's left thigh, hobbling it. The stream of inky fluid leaking from its body informs you that the monster's fate is sealed - between the blood loss and its now diminished mobility, any attempt at a clean escape is hopeless, while the trail of acrid stench that it will leave behind shall lead you directly to it.
>>
>>5262129
This allowed you to take your time with its cohort. Truth be told, you were mentally prepared to engage in a desperate struggle against a cornered animal, only for the encounter conclude in an anticlimax. The pitiful thing would gamble on its speed rather than turn to face you, leaving you free to do as you pleased with its exposed back. Cut by cut, you inflicted naught but superficial wounds until finally managing to pierce one of its lungs - an agonizing and messy death, necessitated by whatever unnatural force that was working to blunt your weapon against these beings.

https://vocaroo.com/1dLNruWJs0Fj

Once the killing blow is struck, the battle quickly winds down. Opting to walk at a leisurely pace as you track the last of your prey, you find yourself whistling a melodic tune that you were quite fond of as a girl. True, it could give away your position - but the taste of victory was sweet enough that you felt it would be a waste not to enjoy it fully. The haunting reverb afforded by the vastness of the surface world provided an experience that would not be possible in even the greatest caverns of the Underdark.

The adrenaline rush subsides, and with so too does the chemical augmentation of your thoughts. You are once again very aware of how fatigued you are. Your body is covered in a dark, adhesive substance, and you reek like a mound of day-old rothé excrement. Had you not known any better, you would swear that following the bloody path left by the rat-person would take you an eternity.
>>
>>5262132
There he is. Sat up against a tree is a humanoid man - probably in his early thirties, by their years - covered in layer after layer of filth, his breathing labored. He must have shed his beast form and reverted to whatever he was prior, you think. Stepping up to him, you take note of the knife lodged in his leg, which he has thus far failed to remove, and clear your throat. You have him exactly where you want him.

Choose no more than three questions.

>What ARE you, creature?
>Just where in the world am I?
>Tell me about that city over there.
>Have you seen others of my kind skulking about recently?
>Suppose I want to pass as a surfacer. What do I need to do?
>[Write-in.]

And what do you intend to do with the man-rat once you've finished interrogating him?
>Kill him. The world is better for the absence of such a monster.
>I pity the miserable wretch. He may live another day, for all I care.
>>
>>5262134
>Tell me about that city over there.
>Have you seen others of my kind skulking about recently?
>Suppose I want to pass as a surfacer. What do I need to do?

The local situation and locale will allow us to determine where in the world we are later with further digging, knowledge of the passage of our kind, and help blending in.

>Offer to bandage his leg and save his life in return for honest and helpful answers. He can keep his coin and belongings too, but we are taking the stuff of his compatriots.
>>
>>5262134
>Just where in the world am I?
>Tell me about that city over there.
>Have you seen others of my kind skulking about recently?

>Kill him. The world is better for the absence of such a monster.

Fuck witnesses, and fuck chaotic good drow.
>>
>>5262134
>>5262140 +1
>>
>>5262134
>>Just where in the world am I?
>>Tell me about that city over there.
>>Have you seen others of my kind skulking about recently?

>Kill him. The world is better for the absence of such a monster.
>>
One thing to keep in mind is that leaving him alive may let our sisters track us down slightly more easily.

I'm more interested in getting info so we can be less of a wish out of water and am hoping he'll sense our honesty. We probably aren't the best at deception despite being a drow given our stat build. I doubt he'll give us useful answers unless incentivized.
>>
>>5262148
fish out of water*
>>
>>5262142
Supporting
>>
>>5262134
>What ARE you, creature?
>Just where in the world am I?
>Suppose I want to pass as a surfacer. What do I need to do?

>Kill him. The world is better for the absence of such a monster.
>>
>>5262142
Support
>>
>>5262134
>Just where in the world am I?
>Have you seen others of my kind skulking about recently?
>Suppose I want to pass as a surfacer. What do I need to do?

>Kill him. The world is better for the absence of such a monster.
>>
>>5262148
Since this might become relevant if we reach a level up, I think I should clarify now.

Spinning convincing lies or trying to make an argument using logic fall under Intellect. Making credible threats or appealing to emotion fall under fall under Will, though the former can sometimes be Strength.

Next update is probably in five or six hours.
>>
>>5262134
>>5262140
+1
I like the implication that Jez neither knows nor cares why the guy turns into a rat thing.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

It seems we have a tossup between

>Tell me about that city
and
>Suppose I want to pass as a surfacer
>>
>>5262140
>>5262142
>>5262144
>>5262147
>>5262170
>>5262200
>>5262249
>>5262259
>>5262734
"Vel'klar zhah nindol k'lar, rivvil?" You ask, casually tracing the tip of your sword against his chest to add some weight to your inquiry and prevent him from getting any foolish ideas. "Usstan knan inalarn." He looks to you defiantly, answering with a voice that is equal parts determined and weak. "How's about you stop speakin' that demon language an' say somethin' in common, Drow?"

'Dhaerow.' You hated that word. It meant 'traitor' in the tongue of the surface elves, as though your people had consigned their ilk to over ten millennia of life in the Underdark. Applying pressure to the hilt of your weapon, you thrust it forward just enough to dig into his flesh while you try to construct a sentence. This is bad; you'd need to strengthen your command of their language if you were to have any success up her. Clicking your tongue, you try again. "Where. Am I?"

His rebellious smirk gives way to a grimance. Gritting his teeth, he begins. "You're in the Silverwood, Drow. But askin' that means you're probably fresh off the boat, aren'tcha?" A skeptical glance is all that he receives for his inquiry, though he seems to find that sufficient. "You're in the Silver Marches. Lands ruled by Alustriel Silverhand herself - daughter of a goddess, an' such." He chuckles bitterly. "Load of crap, that is. The People of the Black Blood rule these woods, an' more 'n' more orcs keep comin' down from up north every day. 's only a matter of time before--"

You jiggle the hilt of your weapon, causing him to groan in agony. He could stand to skip the exposition. You are in the surface nation of 'Silver Marches,' 'Alustriel' is Matron Mother (or some rivvil equivalent), and claims to the land are contested by orcs and other such beasts. That told you plenty enough of what to expect. The revelation that a woman is the most prominent figure in the region comes as a welcome relief to you - if nothing else, it was good to know that the natural order of things applied even here.
>>
File: Spoiler Image (1.17 MB, 708x1000)
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>>5263386
Next question. "That city," you gesture vaguely in its direction. "Tell me more." Glancing nervously at the object lodged in his chest, he obliges. "Everlund? Nice place, or so I've heard. 's a trade city. Lots of folks from all over come this way. We've been tryin' to crack their defenses for years now. No dice." Dice? What are dice? Not important. "Gotta have a good cover to get in at this hour, when our kind like to go about our business."

Resting the index finger of your free hand on your chin, you pondered the information that you had been given in silence. A city filled with a diverse variety of travelers, nigh-impossible to infiltrate during the hours which your sisters could feasibly attack. You've never seen the sun, but you knew about as well as any that your people would never send a raiding party to the surface during the day. This 'Everlund' would make an excellent place to lay low for a tenday - the trouble would be getting in at this hour, if you are still committed to the idea.

Speaking of diverse travelers, another pertinent line of questioning came to mind. "My people. You have seen any? In Silver Marches." He looked to you quizzically, coughing twice. A smattering of black blood lands on your boots. "Yeh, I have. Adventurin' types, mostly. Folks 'round here don't hate 'em or nothin'. 'cept us - we've been fightin' the cult of that damn naked goddess of yours for real long time."

He's talking about Eilistraee, the dark elf goddess of dance, swordwork, and the hunt, among other things. Where you are from, speaking of her is strictly forbidden, and material pertaining to the subject is heavily censored. No matter how drastic the measures employed by Lolth's clergy, however, there was always idle gossip of dark elves freely embracing worship of Eilistraee on the surface.

You sincerely doubted their existence as a matter of principle until seconds ago, but this world evidently did not operate on the same truths as the one you emerged from. Supposing you could find these Eilistraeans, then mayhaps they would offer you refuge? They were still your people, if incredibly unorthodox in their ways, and certainly not aligned with your enemies. Something to consider later.
>>
>>5263389
This man-rat has given you a lot of valuable information. It was high time you decided his fate. Looking him up and down once more, you were struck by an odd whim; this pitiable man-thing had assisted you, despite everything. You could stand to let him go as a reward for his obedience. It was not as though he knew anything about you...

... but why should you? He ambushed you in the hope that he and his fellows could dine on your flesh. The man before you did not deserve your pathetic sentimentality, but instead a bloody end. In fact, a good deed was about to be done here today. Exterminating vermin was a thankless task, but a necessary one. Dexterously, you puncture the fibrous thews of his chest, and split open his heart in doing so. The surprise on his face is palpable. "B-but I told you everythin'...!"

"Oloth plynn dos," you offer in return, setting off once more for Everlund.
>>
>>5263391
Before you is a fortification wide enough to allow two wagons passage - entry and exit at the same time, most likely. There are two gates - one of fortified wood which remains open, likely only to be shut in the event of a siege, and another made from a grid of iron bars, which prohibits entry. Through it you can see two men in mail shirts, both carrying spears, standing at attention. Their bearing suggests that they are trained professional soldiers.

One of them momentarily wanders off, returning with a lantern. He directs its light toward you, appraising you with a wary eye before speaking at you with a practiced, authoritative tone. "Hold, friend. We don't usually let folks in at this time of night. Why don't you identify yourself, and if we think everything checks out, then maybe we'll open up the gate for you. And if we don't, you'll have to wait till morning."

They wanted something convincing. Thankfully, the knowledge that you extracted earlier was already paying dividends, and you now knew enough to fabricate a convincing identity for yourself.

My name is...
>Veldrin Duskryn. An abnormally normal, remarkably unremarkable androgynous dark elf name.
>Sindiira Torani. The name of one of my erstwhile comrades that went missing a decade ago. Nobody from my past will suspect that I am not her unless they see me in person.
>[Intellect] Try to think of a believable surfacer name.
>Who I am is not important. I refuse to answer.

As for why I am here...
>My business is my own and no other's, male.
>I am a refugee, a worshiper of Eilistraee seeking asylum here in Everlund. I am told that your people tolerate those such as myself in these lands.
>I am a mercenary. Rumors of orcs and monsters abound have brought me to the Silver Marches to seek my fortune.
>[Blade Dance, Power 4] I am a humble performer come from distant lands to entertain you.
>[Write-in.]
>>
>>5263394
>Sindiira Torani. The name of one of my erstwhile comrades that went missing a decade ago. Nobody from my past will suspect that I am not her unless they see me in person.

Sounds like a plot hook for later when someone who knows Sindiira meets us and knows we aren't her.

>[Blade Dance, Power 4] I am a humble performer come from distant lands to entertain you.

We should have 8 Power left after this, enough to get in another fight or do another dance in order to earn money.
>>
>>5263394
>[Intellect] Try to think of a believable surfacer name.
>I am a mercenary. Rumors of orcs and monsters abound have brought me to the Silver Marches to seek my fortune.
>>
>>5263394
>>[Intellect] Try to think of a believable surfacer name

>[Blade Dance, Power 4] I am a humble performer come from distant lands to entertain you.
>>
>>5263394
>[Intellect] Try to think of a believable surfacer name.
>I am a mercenary. Rumors of orcs and monsters abound have brought me to the Silver Marches to seek my fortune.
>>
>>5263394
>[Intellect] Try to think of a believable surfacer name.
>I am a refugee, a worshiper of Eilistraee seeking asylum here in Everlund. I am told that your people tolerate those such as myself in these lands.
>>
>>5263394
>[Intellect] Try to think of a believable surfacer name.
>I am a mercenary. Rumors of orcs and monsters abound have brought me to the Silver Marches to seek my fortune.
>>
>>5263394
>Sindiira Torani. The name of one of my erstwhile comrades that went missing a decade ago. Nobody from my past will suspect that I am not her unless they see me in person.
>[Blade Dance, Power 4] I am a humble performer come from distant lands to entertain you.
>>
>>5263394
>Sindiira Torani. The name of one of my erstwhile comrades that went missing a decade ago. Nobody from my past will suspect that I am not her unless they see me in person.
Now this is a plot-hook if I've seen one.
going with a surfacer name seems a bad idea since MC knows next to nothing about the surface - it'll be suspect.

>I am a mercenary. Rumors of orcs and monsters abound have brought me to the Silver Marches to seek my fortune.
Coin is always good to have
>>
>>5263394
>>Sindiira Torani. The name of one of my erstwhile comrades that went missing a decade ago. Nobody from my past will suspect that I am not her unless they see me in person.
>>[Blade Dance, Power 4] I am a humble performer come from distant lands to entertain you.
>>
>>5263394
>Sindiira Torani. The name of one of my erstwhile comrades that went missing a decade ago. Nobody from my past will suspect that I am not her unless they see me in person.
>I am a refugee, a worshiper of Eilistraee seeking asylum here in Everlund. I am told that your people tolerate those such as myself in these lands.

given that she was the only goddess of the drow i can see the mc worshipping her
>>
The thing I worry about with the refugee story is that while Eilistraee may be tolerated here and it may be a good cover story for us, I'm not sure refugees would be appreciated. They may just deny us entry.

Whereas either being a performer or mercenary fits with our appearance given our 'armour' in our character pic could either function as genuine albeit scant armour or as ornamental bits meant to titillate, plus we'd be demonstrating that we actually have in demand skills and aren't just some wanderer down on their luck looking for charity.

Though, admitting to being a worshipper of Eilistraee may go better with using an obvious dark elf name since it would fit and we wouldn't have to worry about explaining our foreignness, whereas faking a surfacer name may be better for throwing our sisters off our scent or being less suspicious to the guards.
>>
>>5263394
>Sindiira Torani. The name of one of my erstwhile comrades that went missing a decade ago. Nobody from my past will suspect that I am not her unless they see me in person.
>I am a mercenary. Rumors of orcs and monsters abound have brought me to the Silver Marches to seek my fortune.
>>
>>5263394
>Sindiira Torani. The name of one of my erstwhile comrades that went missing a decade ago. Nobody from my past will suspect that I am not her unless they see me in person.
>I am a mercenary. Rumors of orcs and monsters abound have brought me to the Silver Marches to seek my fortune.
This one is honest enough if we don't spend all our time fighting our sisters.
>>
>>5264006
Thing about this Siindra character is that it feels like she might have escaped to the surface and pretending to be her will blow up in our face if she's around and we pretend to be her.
>>
>>5263394
>Veldrin Duskryn. An abnormally normal, remarkably unremarkable androgynous dark elf name.
>I am a refugee, a worshiper of Eilistraee seeking asylum here in Everlund. I am told that your people tolerate those such as myself in these lands.
>>
>>5263394
>[Intellect] Try to think of a believable surfacer name
>[Blade Dance, Power 4] I am a humble performer come from distant lands to entertain you.
>>
>>5263394
>Sindiira Torani. The name of one of my erstwhile comrades that went missing a decade ago. Nobody from my past will suspect that I am not her unless they see me in person.
>I am a mercenary. Rumors of orcs and monsters abound have brought me to the Silver Marches to seek my fortune.
>>
>>5263394
>Sindiira Torani. The name of one of my erstwhile comrades that went missing a decade ago. Nobody from my past will suspect that I am not her unless they see me in person.
>I am a mercenary. Rumors of orcs and monsters abound have brought me to the Silver Marches to seek my fortune.
>>
More votes than usual, though I did let it go on for longer so I'll let it slide.

You are Sindiira Torani, professional monster masher. Update later today.
>>
>>5263681
>>5264113
wdhmbt
>>
>>5264401
fucking kek
>>
>>5264100
I know, hence my comment regarding plot hooks.
>>
>>5263399
>>5263413
>>5263472
>>5263494
>>5263511
>>5263528
>>5263572
>>5263602
>>5263681
>>5263987
>>5264062
>>5264064
>>5264116
>>5264128
>>5264155
>>5264230
"I..." you hesitate. It may have been wiser to create an identity for yourself before seeking to enter Everlund. Too late. You briefly weigh the possibility of making up an appropriate surfacer name, but the prospect is far too risky. You settle on the name of an acquaintance that you once knew who vanished under mysterious circumstances several years ago. A lengthy story, which you did not have the luxury of harking back to right this moment. Another time, maybe.

"Sindiira Torani," you state confidently, boldly stepping closer to the soldier's light source. You took a deep breath and gathered your thoughts - getting this next sentence right was imperative. "A mercenary. I heard that you need people like me in Everlund, and Silver Marches." Was that good? You seem to have gotten it right. No strange reactions from them... "I kill orcs and black-bloods," you add, referring to the peculiar monsters you sent to the afterlife mere minutes ago.

Something you say catches their attention. They both study you quietly for a moment, this time noting the fine coat of drying gore that you now wear. In low voices they speak between themselves until one of them departs in a hurry. Over the next quarter of an hour, you grow more famished, more exhausted, in total silence. What in the Nine Hells was taking them so long to-

The iron grid slowly ascends, affording you the space necessary to enter. At long last, civilization. As you take your first steps forward, one of the soldiers positions himself in front of you, albeit in a nonaggressive fashion, and addresses you. "I was told to inform you that the Keeper of the Bridges decided to approve of your entry, Drow. We could use someone like you around here, and our scouts said that you came alone." You didn't detect anyone on your way here. An sign of reliable security, you hope.
>>
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>>5264931
"If you're as good a werebeast slayer as you claim to be, visit the Evergreen Hall. That's the temple of Mielikki here. They can point you in the right direction." That must be a surface deity that you know nothing about. He continues. "However... if you're interested in helping us with more practical matters, you should come see the Keeper of the Bridges at the armory in the morning. Enjoy your night."

And enjoy it you shall. A tenday of fighting for your life had worn you thin, and you needed the chance to decompress. Taking a moment to inquire about nearby locales available to a wanderer such as yourself to unwind, you decide to ask for directions to...

>The Stag at Bay. A tavern catering to adventurers and hunters. Apparently it is the go-to place for surfacers that like to share stories of their bravado and brag about the creatures they've slain whilst glutting themselves with whatever swill qualifies as food and drink in these lands.
>The Phantom Knight. An inn that is allegedly known for its quality meals, quiet atmosphere, and the hot baths available in each room. There are rumors that an apparition of a warrior appears to those in immediate danger to offer warnings and pertinent advice.
>The Dreaming Dragon. A tavern with a whimsical mood where elves and halflings congregate to enjoy song and dance. Its elven wine is supposedly of the finest quality. Visiting performers are welcome and encouraged to display their talents.

And how is everyone enjoying the quest so far? Are things moving too slow, or too quickly?
>>
>>5264932
>The Phantom Knight. An inn that is allegedly known for its quality meals, quiet atmosphere, and the hot baths available in each room. There are rumors that an apparition of a warrior appears to those in immediate danger to offer warnings and pertinent advice.

It's going great so far. All the choices are hard to choose from because of the trajectory the story may take, the world-building is fantastic, and the little descriptors really make the story come to life.
>>
>>5264932
>The Dreaming Dragon. A tavern with a whimsical mood where elves and halflings congregate to enjoy song and dance. Its elven wine is supposedly of the finest quality. Visiting performers are welcome and encouraged to display their talents.

Kept the peepee just for this.
>>
>>5264932
>The Stag at Bay. A tavern catering to adventurers and hunters. Apparently it is the go-to place for surfacers that like to share stories of their bravado and brag about the creatures they've slain whilst glutting themselves with whatever swill qualifies as food and drink in these lands.

These are all useful.The Phantom Knight seems like the perfect place to decompress like Jez wants to, with the possible added benefit of a ghost buddy to help us out.

The Dreaming Dragon seems like a good place to make money through performing and enjoy some nice wine, good if we are worried about money and don't think mercenary work will follow quickly enough.

I choose The Stag at Bay because it seems like the best place to learn about our professed trade, though once we gain some basic necessities in regards to knowledge we should probably trade up to a nicer inn for the sake of our mental health.
>>
>>5264932
Oh, and the quest is going at just the right pace for me so far, good world-building, quality updates.
>>
>>5264932
>>The Stag at Bay. A tavern catering to adventurers and hunters. Apparently it is the go-to place for surfacers that like to share stories of their bravado and brag about the creatures they've slain whilst glutting themselves with whatever swill qualifies as food and drink in these lands.
>>
>>5264932
>The Phantom Knight. An inn that is allegedly known for its quality meals, quiet atmosphere, and the hot baths available in each room. There are rumors that an apparition of a warrior appears to those in immediate danger to offer warnings and pertinent advice.
We are covered in wererat gore.
Do we have any money on us?
>>
>>5265116
We have 12 gold pieces according to our character sheet.
>>
>>5264932
>The Dreaming Dragon. A tavern with a whimsical mood where elves and halflings congregate to enjoy song and dance. Its elven wine is supposedly of the finest quality. Visiting performers are welcome and encouraged to display their talents.
It's been great. Enjoying the lore and how you write Jez.
>>
>>5264932
>The Dreaming Dragon. A tavern with a whimsical mood where elves and halflings congregate to enjoy song and dance. Its elven wine is supposedly of the finest quality. Visiting performers are welcome and encouraged to display their talents.
>>
>>5264932
>The Stag at Bay.
>>
>>5264932
>The Phantom Knight. An inn that is allegedly known for its quality meals, quiet atmosphere, and the hot baths available in each room. There are rumors that an apparition of a warrior appears to those in immediate danger to offer warnings and pertinent advice.

Tons of fun, pacing is ok for me.
>>
>>5264932
>>The Dreaming Dragon. A tavern with a whimsical mood where elves and halflings congregate to enjoy song and dance. Its elven wine is supposedly of the finest quality. Visiting performers are welcome and encouraged to display their talents.
Everything is good so far. Maybe add more of Jez's thoughts on it?
>>
>>5264932
>>The Stag at Bay. A tavern catering to adventurers and hunters. Apparently it is the go-to place for surfacers that like to share stories of their bravado and brag about the creatures they've slain whilst glutting themselves with whatever swill qualifies as food and drink in these lands.
>>
>>5264932
>The Phantom Knight. An inn that is allegedly known for its quality meals, quiet atmosphere, and the hot baths available in each room. There are rumors that an apparition of a warrior appears to those in immediate danger to offer warnings and pertinent advice.
Food.
>>
>>5264932
>The Phantom Knight. An inn that is allegedly known for its quality meals, quiet atmosphere, and the hot baths available in each room. There are rumors that an apparition of a warrior appears to those in immediate danger to offer warnings and pertinent advice.
Let's get clean, Jez must absolutely REEK from the werebeast gore.


>"If you're as good a werebeast slayer as you claim to be, visit the Evergreen Hall."
>"However... if you're interested in helping us with more practical matters-"
I wonder what this guy is talking about. what would be more "practical" than werebeast slaying?
>>
>>5264932
>>The Dreaming Dragon. A tavern with a whimsical mood where elves and halflings congregate to enjoy song and dance. Its elven wine is supposedly of the finest quality. Visiting performers are welcome and encouraged to display their talents.
>>
>>5264932
>The Dreaming Dragon. A tavern with a whimsical mood where elves and halflings congregate to enjoy song and dance. Its elven wine is supposedly of the finest quality. Visiting performers are welcome and encouraged to display their talents.
>>
>>5264932
>The Phantom Knight.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

There seems to be a tossup between

>The Phantom Knight
and
>The Dreaming Dragon
>>
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>>5264959
>>5264963
>>5264964
>>5264995
>>5265116
>>5265124
>>5265218
>>5265231
>>5265235
>>5265399
>>5265453
>>5265521
>>5265556
>>5265559
>>5265863
>>5266020
'Whimsy' was a word with no equivalent in the language of the Ilythiiri, the demonym which your people used to refer to themselves. Moreover, the society which you had been brought up in enforced a 'kill on sight' policy for Darthiir - your word for the surface elves, which translates to 'traitors.' So when the soldier casually recommended that you pay visit to 'a whimsical place where elves congragate,' your initial impression was that it was some sort of jest that failed to land.

When it was explained to you that you would neither be barred from entry nor murdered the instant you set foot inside, you were shocked, and demanded that he elaborate. None of the doctrines that you had adhered to throughout your life up to this point seemed to apply here. It was as though reality itself had suddenly, inexplicably become inverted.

The interior prominently features white stone, meticulously carved into thin pillars and fine arches decorated by local flora. For illumination, there are only the sparsely placed luminescent crystals emitting gentle light and whatever trickles through the large windows with a full view of the night sky. The scent of summer fruit drifts throughout the air, complemented by the dulcet tones of skilled harping.
>>
>>5266207
Around you are elves of all sorts, barring your own, and a halfling family enjoying a spirited late-night dinner. You earn a few odd glances now and again, and there are assuredly conversations taking place that feature you as the subject, but no hostility whatsoever. What shall you do?

>[1 GP] Enjoy some wine and a light meal while listening to the music. I think this is a good time to reflect on my journey so far, and think about the future.
>[Sword Dance, 4 Power] I still have the stamina to put on a performance and earn money doing it. Let's see if the people of Everlund can appreciate some real culture.
>[6 GP] To the Hells with restraint! I deserve a good meal more than any right this instant. I'll have one of everything on the menu and gorge myself until I am content!
>[1 GP] I'll have a few drinks and chat with the tavern keep about the situation in the city, the latest gossip, the local authority figures, and other such things.
>I would like to take in the atmosphere for a while. Relax, and... try to... remain awake...
>>
>>5266210
>>[Sword Dance, 4 Power] I still have the stamina to put on a performance and earn money doing it. Let's see if the people of Everlund can appreciate some real culture.

Earn more money so we can get a proper meal and rest at the Phantom Knight.
>>
>>5266210
>[Sword Dance, 4 Power] I still have the stamina to put on a performance and earn money doing it. Let's see if the people of Everlund can appreciate some real culture.

Then...

>[1 GP] Enjoy some wine and a light meal while listening to the music. I think this is a good time to reflect on my journey so far, and think about the future.
>>
>>5266234
This sounds good.
>>
>>5266210
>[1 GP] I'll have a few drinks and chat with the tavern keep about the situation in the city, the latest gossip, the local authority figures, and other such things.
>>
>>5266210
>[1 GP] I'll have a few drinks and chat with the tavern keep about the situation in the city, the latest gossip, the local authority figures, and other such things.
Maybe get some idea on who this Keeper of Bridges is before me meet them
>>
>>5266210
>[1 GP] I'll have a few drinks and chat with the tavern keep about the situation in the city, the latest gossip, the local authority figures, and other such things.
>>
>>5266234
+1
>>
>>5266207
>>5266234 +1
>>
>>5266210
>[1 GP] I'll have a few drinks and chat with the tavern keep about the situation in the city, the latest gossip, the local authority figures, and other such things.
This but also food.
>>
>>5266207
>[Sword Dance, 4 Power] I still have the stamina to put on a performance and earn money doing it. Let's see if the people of Everlund can appreciate some real culture.
>>
>>5266207
>>[1 GP] Enjoy some wine and a light meal while listening to the music. I think this is a good time to reflect on my journey so far, and think about the future.
>>
>>5266225
Changing to this >>5266234
>>
>>5266210
>[1 GP] I'll have a few drinks and chat with the tavern keep about the situation in the city, the latest gossip, the local authority figures, and other such things.
Especially what the deal is with the Keeper of Bridges, that weird surface god, and werebeasts/blackbloods.
>>
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>>5267091
>>
>>5266234
Support
>>
So you think you can dance? Another close one. Update later today.
>>
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>>5266225
>>5266234
>>5266260
>>5266265
>>5266280
>>5266633
>>5266729
>>5266749
>>5266807
>>5266829
>>5266972
>>5267091
>>5267165
"Fair be our meeting, for our hearts are light and our swords sheathed, we hold peace in our hands and its light guides us." A vivacious young woman offers a traditional Elven greeting from the other side of the bar. A quaint historical artifact to the Ilythiiri, though the sentiment was in the right place. If you had to estimate, you'd say that you're at least eighty years older than her, perhaps ninety. Still a girl, by your metric. You give your hair a quick inspection to confirm that there are no yellow strands - the last thing you needed right now was evidence that you were aging.

Smiling coolly, she beckons for you to approach. "I haven't seen your face around here before, sister. I'm Ilanis, and you're at the Dreaming Dragon! Can I get you something?" Your eyes wander over to the harp across the room, implanting the strangest idea in your mind. You nod firmly before responding. "Vendui'usstan, dalninil. I can dance. I want to dance here."

Excitedly, the girl claps her hands and rubs her palms together, studying you up and down to judge whether you'd be up to the task before agreeing. "Well! We've never had a, uh... unique person like you, dance for us, before! But..." She bites the bottom of her lip, searching for the right way to phrase her next sentence. "Want me to douse you with a bucket of river water first?"
>>
>>5267456
It is no substitute for a proper bath, but Ilanis saw fit to make you look presentable before you stepped onto the stage. The friendly conversations of the Dreaming Dragon give way to curious whispers as you draw the masterwork blade that has been your constant companion all throughout your quest thus far. Working together with the harpist, you meticulously weave together an impromptu show, alternating between steady, dramatic arcs paired with graceful footwork and explosive displays of muscular power combined with acrobatic deftness.

Memories of laborious hours spent learning precise, rhythmic movements bubble to the surface of your mind. It was a prerequisite to learning your preferred fighting style, and as such you gave it your all. Yet even after you first saw battle and developed the skill at arms you now possess, never did you give up on practicing the performance arts. To this day, it has been a staple of your training regimen.

Why is it that you invest so much effort into dancing? If you could only pick one reason...
>It is purely practical. I need to manage my physical health and exercise regularly to maintain the martial art that suits me best. The dance is merely a facet of my training that helps fulfill these conditions.
>For me, it is skill. Pushing my mind and body to the limit, climbing higher and higher toward the apex of mortal ability. Nothing can compare to the delayed gratification of pursuing true mastery.
>Dance is art, a way to free my spirit, and a means to express myself in a way that I cannot with words. Contrary to what many would assume, I possess a sensitive and cultured soul beneath my lethal exterior.
>I loathe to admit it, but I relish the attention. The covetous and lustful gazes of the audience, the way that the crowd marvels at my excellent physique and superior talent, and the praises offered to my noble name. Glory is a rush, an addiction even.
>>
>>5267460
>Dance is art, a way to free my spirit, and a means to express myself in a way that I cannot with words. Contrary to what many would assume, I possess a sensitive and cultured soul beneath my lethal exterior.
>>
>>5267460
>I loathe to admit it, but I relish the attention. The covetous and lustful gazes of the audience, the way that the crowd marvels at my excellent physique and superior talent, and the praises offered to my noble name. Glory is a rush, an addiction even.
>>
>>5267460
>I loathe to admit it, but I relish the attention.
>>
>>5267460
>>>For me, it is skill. Pushing my mind and body to the limit, climbing higher and higher toward the apex of mortal ability. Nothing can compare to the delayed gratification of pursuing true mastery.
SIGMA GRINDSET GO
>>
>>5267460
>Dance is art, a way to free my spirit, and a means to express myself in a way that I cannot with words. Contrary to what many would assume, I possess a sensitive and cultured soul beneath my lethal exterior.
>>
>>5267460
>Dance is art, a way to free my spirit, and a means to express myself in a way that I cannot with words. Contrary to what many would assume, I possess a sensitive and cultured soul beneath my lethal exterior.
>>
>>5267460
>>Dance is art, a way to free my spirit, and a means to express myself in a way that I cannot with words. Contrary to what many would assume, I possess a sensitive and cultured soul beneath my lethal exterior

Get cultured, loser.
>>
>>5267460
>>Dance is art, a way to free my spirit, and a means to express myself in a way that I cannot with words. Contrary to what many would assume, I possess a sensitive and cultured soul beneath my lethal exterior.
>>
>>5267460
>>I loathe to admit it, but I relish the attention. The covetous and lustful gazes of the audience, the way that the crowd marvels at my excellent physique and superior talent, and the praises offered to my noble name. Glory is a rush, an addiction even.
>>
>>5267460
>I loathe to admit it, but I relish the attention. The covetous and lustful gazes of the audience, the way that the crowd marvels at my excellent physique and superior talent, and the praises offered to my noble name. Glory is a rush, an addiction even.
>>
I'll eat my hat if this isn't being samefagged to hell and back right now.
>>
>>5267627
If it helps ease your paranoia, I’m >>5266020. I’m just stuck on cat-sitting duty tonight.
>>
>>5267627
can't speak for the rest but I'm >>5263494 . Was replacing my modem and it changed my IP
>>
>>5267627
I also can't speak for the rest, but I'm >>5266234

My ID just changed due to a power outage.
>>
>>5267460
>>For me, it is skill. Pushing my mind and body to the limit, climbing higher and higher toward the apex of mortal ability. Nothing can compare to the delayed gratification of pursuing true mastery.
>>
>>5267460
>It is purely practical. I need to manage my physical health and exercise regularly to maintain the martial art that suits me best. The dance is merely a facet of my training that helps fulfill these conditions.
>>
>>5267460
>Dance is art, a way to free my spirit, and a means to express myself in a way that I cannot with words. Contrary to what many would assume, I possess a sensitive and cultured soul beneath my lethal exterior.
>>
>>5267460
>It is purely practical. I need to manage my physical health and exercise regularly to maintain the martial art that suits me best. The dance is merely a facet of my training that helps fulfill these conditions.

>>5267627
Dunno about others but I'm >>5265556
my IP tends to change on it's own sometime and I really wish it didn't change for this post
>>
>>5267460
>I loathe to admit it, but I relish the attention. The covetous and lustful gazes of the audience, the way that the crowd marvels at my excellent physique and superior talent, and the praises offered to my noble name. Glory is a rush, an addiction even.
>>
>>5267460
>>I loathe to admit it, but I relish the attention. The covetous and lustful gazes of the audience, the way that the crowd marvels at my excellent physique and superior talent, and the praises offered to my noble name. Glory is a rush, an addiction even.
>>
>>5267460
>>Dance is art, a way to free my spirit, and a means to express myself in a way that I cannot with words. Contrary to what many would assume, I possess a sensitive and cultured soul beneath my lethal exterior
>>
>>5267460
>Dance is art, a way to free my spirit, and a means to express myself in a way that I cannot with words. Contrary to what many would assume, I possess a sensitive and cultured soul beneath my lethal exterior.
>>
>>5267627
It's a popular quest. Previous votes have gotten almost 20 players.
>>
>>5267460
>>Dance is art, a way to free my spirit, and a means to express myself in a way that I cannot with words. Contrary to what many would assume, I possess a sensitive and cultured soul beneath my lethal exterior.
>>
I'm going to go ahead and call the vote here so I can plan while I handle a few errands today. Now that we're getting a look into her mind, it turns out that Jez is actually something of a refined warrior-poet. I'm surprised.

>>5267627
If it makes you feel better, I try to look at the popularity of each option overall. If an otherwise unpopular choice has a disproportionate number of 1-post IDs backing it, I might choose to disregard them, but there seems to be a decent number recurring voters that support the current lead.
>>
>sus votes
This (>>5267484) is my (phone)vote. I can start backlinking if qm wants it.
>>
>>5268512
I don't vote all the time but i did vote for the this one but i forgotten which one was my vote i think it this >>5267526
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>>5267470
>>5267484
>>5267488
>>5267507
>>5267510
>>5267517
>>5267522
>>5267526
>>5267528
>>5267575
>>5267737
>>5267837
>>5268164
>>5268214
>>5268217
>>5268228
>>5268247
>>5268287
>>5268417
Discipline, prestige, perfection. All worthy in and of themselves, and you thoroughly delighted in attaining all of them. Nevertheless, you have always had an introspective inclination, often ruminating during the fleeting periods of calm in the perpetual turmoil and strife typical of dark elf life. What is your heart's desire? How do you always manage to survive when those around you die in droves? Why is it that you fight?

Every battle, every life that you have taken, every indignity that you have weathered, you carry with you. The memories of Mother whipping you until your skin broke and salting your wounds, of fighting off four assassins simultaneously, of your first look at the crystals inexplicably suspended above the exotic world that you now inhabit, are all yours. There exists no language with a vocabulary expansive enough to properly convey the array of emotions that inhabit your heart.

That is why you dance. You can meld deadly and beauty into a single, fantastical spectacle, all at once demonstrating the highest highs and lowest lows of the mortal experience. When others look upon your art, they too can feel fear, and passion, and victory, and suffering. There are other practitioners of Orb Alur, and countless performers in the Realms, many of whom are unquestionably better than you - but there exists no one else that can dance your dance.

This is the final movement of your act. The tip of your sword rests perpendicular atop your little finger. It took you twenty years of effort before you could perform this technique without nicking yourself. Masterfully, you withdraw your hands and execute a pirouette, allowing gravity to pull your blade into its sheath, bowing deeply as the spectators erupt into applause.
>>
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>>5268987
Now seated in a cushioned chair, you drink deeply from the chalice in your hand. Contained within is a chilled red beverage that tastes like the fabled ambrosia of the gods, or perchance it simply seems as such because you have subsisted on an all-moss diet for a tenday. Ilanis sets a... something edible on the table before you, together with a modest sum of local currency. "Say, that was really great! Can I get you back here in a few days? The Master of Guilds is visiting and-"

She isn't given the chance to finish. Another patron, a male elf with handsome features and striking white hair flags her down, smiling mischievously at you as he does so. "Oh! Hello, I'll be right with you!" As suddenly as the girl arrived, she is gone. The youthful energy about her was something you hadn't possessed in over a century.

The Dreaming Dragon grows calmer after your show. Now, you feel, is a fine time to reflect on the past and present. Exhaling deeply, you clear your mind and allow your thoughts to wander. What do they find? You may only choose one.
>Mother, late matriarch and omnipotent tyrant of House Delyl.
>Phaere, my younger sister.
>Tatherin, my twin brother.
>The circumstances that drove me to flee the Underdark.
>>
>>5268989
>The circumstances that drove me to flee the Underdark.
>>
>>5268989
>The circumstances that drove me to flee the Underdark.
>>
>>5268989
>>Tatherin, my twin brother.
>>
>>5268989
>>Tatherin, my twin brother.
>>
>>5268989
>Tatherin, my twin brother.

Nice quest, Ed.
>>
>>5268989
>>Mother, late matriarch and omnipotent tyrant of House Delyl.
>>
>>5268989
>>The circumstances that drove me to flee the Underdark.
>>
>>5268989
>The circumstances that drove me to flee the Underdark.
>>
>>5268989
>Tatherin, my twin brother.
>>
>>5268989
>Father
>>
>>5268989
>>The circumstances that drove me to flee the Underdark.
>>
>>5268989
>The circumstances that drove me to flee the Underdark.
>>
>>5268989
>>Tatherin, my twin brother.
>>
>>5268989
>The circumstances that drove me to flee the Underdark.
I hoped for omnipotent tyrant, but it seems the votes are samelocked already.
>>
>>5269535
>People are not voting for what I want, this must be the job of samefags
BTW i'm >>5268217 workposting.
>>
>>5268989
>>Tatherin, my twin brother.

>>5269535
1 post id decrying samefriends? The irony.
>>
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>>5269550
>>5269567
Wow you really saw through me, anons. I kneel before you as I seethe about my choice of choice not being supported. In all seriousness it was just an innocent joke since samefag paranoia (>>5267627) happened.
t. >>5268513
>>
>>5268989
>Mother, late matriarch and omnipotent tyrant of House Delyl.
>>
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>>5269277
Thoughtful write-ins are encouraged and I will be trying to avoid singling out any votes, but the story that could be spun from this is so minimal that I think that it falls into the category of "things worth answering that don't deserve an entire story update," so an exception will be made this time.

Mainstream Drow society is matrilineal, so much so that the identity of a male has no influence on the legitimacy of a child at all, while the concept of a 'parental bond' usually does not extend past basic survival and 'how hard my mom kicks my ass.' Jez (and many like her) do not know who their fathers are, and those who do often do not care. To her, 'father' is not even a sperm donor, just some total stranger that coincidentally shares her genetics.

As usual, the notable exception is a certain dark elf that is famous both in-character and in real life, who will inevitably become a topic of discussion at some point.

>>5269535
Luckily, there will be a chance to circle back around to these subjects later. My intent is to offer backstory and characterization piecemeal during rests to avoid meandering through exposition, so we can explore all of these ideas and more provided Jezyrene does not die a sudden and horrible death.
>>
>>5269766
>As usual, the notable exception is a certain dark elf that is famous both in-character and in real life, who will inevitably become a topic of discussion at some point.

So, is he going to be the only Forgotten Realms Drow character in this, or are we mentioning any others from other series, like Starlight and Shadows or the Lady Penitent trilogy?
>>
Today's update will arrive after I've gotten some work done.

>>5270022
There may be references here and there, if I think I can fit them in.
>>
>>5268993
>>5268996
>>5269004
>>5269013
>>5269021
>>5269022
>>5269076
>>5269228
>>5269250
>>5269277
>>5269318
>>5269421
>>5269482
>>5269535
>>5269550
>>5269567
>>5269740
You voraciously take in the edible-something. Silently, you pledge to yourself that you will never partake of cave moss again. Your digestive tract thanked you profusely. The act brings to mind the incident which incited the miserable ordeal that you have only just put behind you.

"Jezyrene of House Delyl, you are being detained for-"

There was no need for the House Captain that accosted you during your exercises to say the rest. A list of accusations, every one more false than the last, were brought before you. The poisoning of a pregnant woman, the theft and sale of valuable Sorcere artifacts, fraternizing with the clergy of some surfacer god that you cannot recall the name of. By the time he had finished, you were surrounded on all sides. There were half a dozen of them, give or take, and more awaiting you should you somehow manage to escape.

Any casual observer would be able to piece together the truth of what was happening at that very moment. Vierna was Matron Mother of House Delyl in all but name, a mighty priestess and already expecting her second child. As the second daughter, a failed priestess, and worse, unable to conceive in all your years, those around you assumed that you would naturally become envious. And what better time to make your play for the title of Matron Mother than Vierna's brief period of vulnerability? You were framed as a threat, an unknown element that needed to be put down before you could become a problem.

It was a sublime display of duplicity, a meticulously spun lie. None but Phaere could have accomplished the feat - your elder sister was arrogant to a fault, and susceptible to the youngest's venomous suggestions. The scheme would have been a rousing success, had she not severely underestimated your lethality. Having never fought on the front lines of a conflict together with you, her knowledge of your capabilities was strictly secondhand, which proved to be the undoing of her insidious plot.

That day, you fled into the subterranean wilderness with naught but what you could carry in your hands, leaving behind you a trail of the dead and dying. Ahead of you is the void, a darkness limitless depth without end. Your pulse quickens as you urge the muscles in your legs to give more and more of themselves, lest your hunters arrest you. Again and again, you kill them one by one, but there are ever more. The rivers run red, and you will surely drown in them.
>>
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>>5270596
"... omethin... ith you...?" A force beyond your comprehension shakes your body violentlly as a disembodied voice shouts into your skull. "Hey!" You are shaken again. A chilled fluid collides with your face, and the world instantaneously floods with color.

You are laid against a soft surface, draped in sheets. Around you is a humble room furnished with wood amenities, a luxury where you are from. Your eyes wander over to the doorway, where Ilanis stands, holding a half-full glass of water. "You were screaming. A lot. The 'mortal peril' kind of screaming. I tried shaking you, but..." She throws her hands up, accidentally emptying the glass' remaining contents onto the floor.

The girl goes on to explain that you slipped into unconsciousness not long after your performance. Fatigue must have finally won out against you in the end. Having been quite taken with your display, Ilanis allowed you to rest your head in her home on the second floor of the Dreaming Dragon. You are grateful that she did not throw you out onto the street, if a bit puzzled by the gesture. Conducting a quick inspection of yourself, you are currently wearing a simple dress that makes you seem more helpmeet than warrior. How shameful.

The day is young, and you will soon see the fabled sun for the first time. What will you do?

>I'll talk with the girl for a time. What I want is the perspective of a local, who can tell me what I need to know about Everlund and these Silver Marches.
>Nothing helps relieve stress like a good hunt. I think I'll take it upon myself to exterminate these werebeasts after all. Where is that temple that I am meant to visit?
>Knowledge is power, and I know precious little about this world. I will begin by doing research. There must be a library or a merchant that deals in books here.
>What task could this Keeper of the Bridges possibly have for someone such as myself? I suppose it could not hurt to hear them out.
>>
>>5270599
>>Knowledge is power, and I know precious little about this world. I will begin by doing research. There must be a library or a merchant that deals in books here.
>>
>>5270599
>What task could this Keeper of the Bridges possibly have for someone such as myself? I suppose it could not hurt to hear them out.
...oh hi, Sindiira! Fancy meeting you here!
>>
>>5270599
>Nothing helps relieve stress like a good hunt. I think I'll take it upon myself to exterminate these werebeasts after all. Where is that temple that I am meant to visit?
>>
>>5270599
>What task could this Keeper of the Bridges possibly have for someone such as myself? I suppose it could not hurt to hear them out.
>>
>>5270599
>>What task could this Keeper of the Bridges possibly have for someone such as myself? I suppose it could not hurt to hear them out.

i may want to talk to the girl but my quest habit will be my doom
>>
>>5270599
>Knowledge is power, and I know precious little about this world. I will begin by doing research. There must be a library or a merchant that deals in books here.
>>
>>5270599
>I'll talk with the girl for a time. What I want is the perspective of a local, who can tell me what I need to know about Everlund and these Silver Marches.
>>
>>5270599

You know what? Changing >>5270599 to
>I'll talk with the girl for a time. What I want is the perspective of a local, who can tell me what I need to know about Everlund and these Silver Marches.

and THEN

>What task could this Keeper of the Bridges possibly have for someone such as myself? I suppose it could not hurt to hear them out.

Maybe she can give us an idea what to expect, and what the Bridgekeeper is even like.
>>
>>5270599
>I'll talk with the girl for a time. What I want is the perspective of a local, who can tell me what I need to know about Everlund and these Silver Marches.
>>
>>5270599
I'll switch to this >>5270840
>>
>>5270599
>I'll talk with the girl for a time. What I want is the perspective of a local, who can tell me what I need to know about Everlund and these Silver Marches.
>>
>>5270599
>>Knowledge is power, and I know precious little about this world. I will begin by doing research. There must be a library or a merchant that deals in books here.
>>
>>5270599
>I'll talk with the girl for a time. What I want is the perspective of a local, who can tell me what I need to know about Everlund and these Silver Marches.
Just to get a feel for how people do people 'round these parts.
>>
>>5270599
>>I'll talk with the girl for a time. What I want is the perspective of a local, who can tell me what I need to know about Everlund and these Silver Marches.
>>
>>5270599
>Nothing helps relieve stress like a good hunt. I think I'll take it upon myself to exterminate these werebeasts after all. Where is that temple that I am meant to visit?
>>
>>5270599
>>Knowledge is power, and I know precious little about this world. I will begin by doing research. There must be a library or a merchant that deals in books here
>>
Update as soon as I get through some work.
>>
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>>5270616
>>5270644
>>5270706
>>5270723
>>5270754
>>5270786
>>5270837
>>5270840
>>5270856
>>5270927
>>5270943
>>5270961
>>5270990
>>5271043
>>5271187
>>5271497
"I know!" Ilanis rubs her palms together. It must be a favorite gesture of hers. "Why don't you stay for breakfast?" To act lackadaisical when you are only just finding your feet seemed foolish. Not that your body agreed with your level-headed assessment. The prospect of 'real' food was so alluring as to dominate your throughts. At the least, you reason, it would be good to chat with a local. You are a fish out of water, and your cover will not last if you failed to integrate into this entirely foreign society.

"All right. I think-" Before you can offer a proper answer, the girl hurries off, calling out to you from down the hall as she does so. "Great! I'll get everything ready. It should only take a few minutes!" If you understood the situation correctly, asking you to have a meal with her was merely a formality. She had intended to feed you either way.

Conducting a quick inspection of your equipment, you note that your sword is becoming a bit dull. Each individual piece of Ilythiiri equipment is a masterpiece, but even the most masterfully crafted weapon cannot last forever. Not without magic, that is. It should suffice for a time, but you'll have to maintain or replace it eventually. Now armed and armored, you join Ilanis in her homely kitchen, seating yourself at a round table at its center. Fanciful as the Dreaming Dragon may appear, her personal quarters are rather modest by comparison.

She sets two bowls of... more something down, one for each of you, and pulls up a chair. There is an anxious silence as the two of you look at one another. Nearly a minute goes by before she points a wooden spoon at you in an accusatory fashion. "You don't talk much, do you?" So Direct.

"No," you offer curtly. It was partially true. Despite being capable of surprising eloquence in your first language, the best you could manage in the Rivvil tongue was to hold a transactionary conversation. Scooping your first sample of another new experience into your mouth, the best descriptor you can assign to it is 'warm and sweet, but also tart.' "How about we introduce ourselves first? My name's Ilanis Lathalas. What's yours?" That, you could answer with ease.

Jezyrene-
>>
>>5271818
You gulp. Hard. And cough up a few of the squishy flecks that you had swallowed seconds ago. Ilanis is sent into a panic, but you reassure her with a dismissive wave. That's right. You are Jezyrene Delyl no longer. Not here. "Sindiira Torani." You are Sindiira now, and nobody must know otherwise, lest you be found out. "I don't talk about myself."

The girl smiles warmly, her focus returning to her meal. She didn't seem to suspect you of anything. Or if she did, she was an expert at misdirection. If anything, she seemed soo vulnerable, completely unguarded in your presence. She would not last long where you are from... an odd thought crosses your mind; was everyone like this here? Is the world you hail from simply that different?

Such questions are best saved for another time. Right now, you should be submitting inquiries to her. It was, after all, a fine opportunity to extract knowledge from a surfacer.

You may ask no more than three.
>Tell me about the powers that are worshiped here in Everlund. I've heard the name 'Mielikki' mentioned, but I know nothing beyond that.
>What I want to know is, who is the Keeper of the Bridges, and what are they like?
>Who are the local leaders, and what can you tell me about them?
>Suppose I wanted to fit in with everyone. Is there any advice you can offer on how to get others to accept me?
>Where is your mother, girl?
>You did not expel me into the streets, and instead took me in as your guest. Why?
>[Write-in.]

The vote on what to do next seem split, so we'll see what happens where everybody is in a few updates when it becomes relevant again.
>>
>>5271819
>You did not expel me into the streets, and instead took me in as your guest. Why?

Personal curiosity, learn about the different attitudes here.

>Who are the local leaders, and what can you tell me about them?
>Suppose I wanted to fit in with everyone. Is there any advice you can offer on how to get others to accept me?

Useful info, know the power structures, fit in better.
>>
>>5271819
>Where is your mother, girl?
>You did not expel me into the streets, and instead took me in as your guest. Why?
>What I want to know is, who is the Keeper of the Bridges, and what are they like?
>Have you heard of any others like me pass through here? Ones who mentioned an "Eilistraee", who likes dancing and swordplay?
>>
>>5271822
The QM literally says to not choose more than 3 right above the prompts anon.
>>
>>5271822
Lemme revise this...
>You did not expel me into the streets, and instead took me in as your guest. Why?
>What I want to know is, who is the Keeper of the Bridges, and what are they like?
>Have you heard of any others like me pass through here? Ones who mentioned an "Eilistraee", who likes dancing and swordplay?
>>
>>5271819
>What I want to know is, who is the Keeper of the Bridges, and what are they like?
>Who are the local leaders, and what can you tell me about them?
>You did not expel me into the streets, and instead took me in as your guest. Why?
>>
>>5271819
>Tell me about the powers that are worshiped here in Everlund. I've heard the name 'Mielikki' mentioned, but I know nothing beyond that.
>What I want to know is, who is the Keeper of the Bridges, and what are they like?
>Suppose I wanted to fit in with everyone. Is there any advice you can offer on how to get others to accept me?
>>
>>5271819
>>Tell me about the powers that are worshiped here in Everlund. I've heard the name 'Mielikki' mentioned, but I know nothing beyond that.
>>What I want to know is, who is the Keeper of the Bridges, and what are they like?
>>Suppose I wanted to fit in with everyone. Is there any advice you can offer on how to get others to accept me?
>>
>>5271819
>>You did not expel me into the streets, and instead took me in as your guest. Why?
>>What I want to know is, who is the Keeper of the Bridges, and what are they like?
>>Have you heard of any others like me pass through here? Ones who mentioned an "Eilistraee", who likes dancing and swordplay?

i like this
>>
>>5271819
>>What I want to know is, who is the Keeper of the Bridges, and what are they like?
>>Who are the local leaders, and what can you tell me about them?
>>Suppose I wanted to fit in with everyone. Is there any advice you can offer on how to get others to accept me?
>>You did not expel me into the streets, and instead took me in as your guest. Why?
>>
>>5271819
>>Tell me about the powers that are worshiped here in Everlund. I've heard the name 'Mielikki' mentioned, but I know nothing beyond that.
>>Who are the local leaders, and what can you tell me about them?
>>Suppose I wanted to fit in with everyone. Is there any advice you can offer on how to get others to accept me?
>>
>>5271819
>Tell me about the powers that are worshiped here in Everlund. I've heard the name 'Mielikki' mentioned, but I know nothing beyond that.
>Where is your mother, girl?
>Who are the local leaders, and what can you tell me about them?
>>
Voting closed. As usual, post after I get through work.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d3)

Someone snuck a fourth choice in and caused a three-way tie between for two questions, please stand by while I cull one at random.
>>
>>5271821
>>5271829
>>5271837
>>5271851
>>5271945
>>5271988
>>5271993
>>5272025
>>5272154
>>5272460
The girl's devil-may-care attitude challenged everything you understood about etiquette. A person should be charming and urbane, always suspecting the motives of others while ever ready to take another being for all they're worth the moment they let their guard down. Not only did Ilanis lack these key values, all of her actions thus far have run counter to them. Curiosity builds within you, until you suddenly find yourself questioning her out loud.

"Why?"

She looks up from her meal, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. "Hmm?" You consider withdrawing your inquiry, but go through with it against your better judgement. "You could have taken all I have and thrown me out, or chained me up and made me dance every day against my will. I was at your mercy - and now, I am your guest. At least, you have a dangerous task that I must do to repay you."

There is something about your completely reasonable perplexity that horrifies the girl. Gasping, she reflexively cups her hand over her mouth, eyes wide. "Why would I do something like that?!"

"Why wouldn't you?"

The two of you stare at one another.

And stare at one another.

And stare at one another.

The subject needs to change. Now. An appropriate topic comes to mind; your apparent social deficiencies. Sighing deeply, you relax your posture, shaking your head. Life in the Underdark was dangerous at the best of times, and kowtowing before others had saved your life on multiple occasions, but there was something humbling about having to entreat a helpless child for aid. "I... am not from here. Can you help me act like everyone else?"

The request does not register immediately. Her smile takes its sweet time in returning, transmogrifying into a mischievous sneer as it does so. "You forgot to say please~." Your mirthless glare is enough to telegraph that you will do no such thing. Puffing her cheeks, she proceeds. "You should try being more friendly. This is a good place, with good people, and they like being treated good back. I think if you were a bit nicer, everyone here would love you. And smile more. You're so pretty!"

Objectively speaking, the girl had just vomited forth far too much insipid drivel for you to process. Her words were fluff, not information. Most probably, the true information dwelt beneath the surface. It would take hours, perhaps days of quiet contemplation to work through this and derive any real wisdom from it. Something best saved for later, assuredly. You rest your hand against your temple in a futile attempt to ward away the oncoming headache.

"What's wrong?" She asks innocently, bringing you back to reality. There was another matter that was of immediate concern to you. "I am to meet with the 'Keeper of the Bridges' or some such person. Tell me about them."
>>
Rolled 14 (1d20)

>>5273101
(Perception 10) Success on 10 or less.
>>
>>5273105
"Hum... The Keeper is the person in charge of the city watch, and they also keep an eye on trade and collect taxes. Right now, the Keeper is Brandt Greycastle. I've only heard about what he's like - sorry." There is something abnormal about the way she speaks, but you can't quite put your finger on what. Shifting your weight, you try for more information. "All right. So what have you heard?"

"Master Greycastle is supposed to be a powerful man, but he doesn't talk with us regular folk much. His closest followers go on and on about him like he's royalty, though! I only spoke with him once. He's... different," she says, waving vaguely. It was clear that she did not wish to dwell on the subject.

By the look of things, you were both finished with your meals. Armed with this new information, it was time to decide on what to do with your day.
>I have a better picture of what this Keeper fellow is like. Now is the time to meet with Greycastle.
>You know what? I've changed my mind. I think I'll be going on that hunt after all.
>This is a lot to take in. Going for a stroll through the city to clear my mind and purchasing a few books sounds like a fine idea.
>>
>>5273124
>I have a better picture of what this Keeper fellow is like. Now is the time to meet with Greycastle
Take the long route, though. Get some light strolling in en route if we can.
>>
>>5273124
>This is a lot to take in. Going for a stroll through the city to clear my mind and purchasing a few books sounds like a fine idea.
Or, more specifically, to get more information regarding this "Greycastle". As momma always said, "When checking a pool for quippers, push a slave in first."
>>
>>5273147
Replace quippers with pyrimo, close enough.
>>
>>5273124
>I have a better picture of what this Keeper fellow is like. Now is the time to meet with Greycastle.
>>
>>5273124
>This is a lot to take in. Going for a stroll through the city to clear my mind and purchasing a few books sounds like a fine idea.
>>
>>5273124
>I have a better picture of what this Keeper fellow is like. Now is the time to meet with Greycastle.
>>
>>5273124
>>I have a better picture of what this Keeper fellow is like. Now is the time to meet with Greycastle.
>>
>>5273124
>>This is a lot to take in. Going for a stroll through the city to clear my mind and purchasing a few books sounds like a fine idea.
>>
>>5273124
>This is a lot to take in. Going for a stroll through the city to clear my mind and purchasing a few books sounds like a fine idea.
>>
>>5273124
>>You know what? I've changed my mind. I think I'll be going on that hunt after all.
>>
>>5273124
>>This is a lot to take in. Going for a stroll through the city to clear my mind and purchasing a few books sounds like a fine idea.
>>
>>5273124
>This is a lot to take in. Going for a stroll through the city to clear my mind and purchasing a few books sounds like a fine idea.
>>
>>5273124
>I have a better picture of what this Keeper fellow is like. Now is the time to meet with Greycastle.
>>
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>>5273768
>>5274065
>>
Post in a few hours.
>>
>>5273131
>>5273147
>>5273245
>>5273265
>>5273318
>>5273332
>>5273430
>>5273432
>>5273508
>>5273520
>>5273768
>>5273845
"I need to go. Farewell." You could agonize over surface etiquette and minutiae another time. The Keeper's offer intrigued you, and work would do wonders to help you assimilate into the community. You decided, then, to take a look around the city and meet with this 'Greycastle' character soon after. Before you even manage to stand, Ilanis thrusts her open hand toward you, nearly tumbling over in doing so. "W-wait Sindi! Uhm, well, see..." Less than twenty-four hours have elapsed since the two of your first met, and she has already given you an annoying pet name. Lovely.

She clears her throat, inhaling deeply. "So, remember when I said that the Master of Guilds was going to visit the Dreaming Dragon in a few days? I really, really, really need to make a good impression, and I was hoping that you could, uh, come dance again, and stuff?" The girl's teal-colored eyes are fixed on you, like those of a stray animal pitifully begging for a single table scrap.

"Maybe," you answer in the most noncommittal fashion imaginable. Ilanis is clearly not listening. Eagerly, she rubs her palms together. "Great! Okay, see you then! Ooh, this is so exciting! First, I need to hire a better harpist..." without a care in the world, she goes on and on about the preparations she intends to make.

Taking it upon herself to walk you out, Ilanis leads you to the entrance. As this happens, you behold the pillars of brilliance filtering in through the Dreaming Dragon's windows and avert your gaze accordingly. Whatever they were, it was an affront to the senses, but the girl did not seem particularly bothered by them. "Here we are. Bye, Sindi!" Carelessly, she throws the door open.

The world becomes light.

A litany of curses pours through your mouth. You scream every swear word you can think of, and even a few that you have only just invented, at the top of your lungs as your eyes adjust to the oppressive radiance of the unholy phenomenon known as sunlight. Five minutes elapse until you can see once again. Across from you, Ilanis stares in awe, struck dumb by the vulgar concert that she had the pleasure of listening to firsthand.

"I'm fine," you state plainly as you depart.
>>
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>>5274462
Everlund is not what you expected. True, you anticipated that it would be different from cities such as Menzoberranzan or Ched Nasad, but the atmosphere is completely divergent from what you would consider normal. For one, there are no slaves performing drudgery throughout the streets. Not only that, other than curious looks and a whispered word now and again, nobody seems to pay you much mind as you go about your day.

Cutting through the center of the city a sizable river, large enough for ships to pass both ways. Connecting both halves of Everlund are two large bridges suitable for both foot traffic and wagons, from which the title 'Keeper of the Bridges' is likely derived. Crossing over, you find yourself in a market square with an oversized bell at its center. Colors and sensations that you had only the foggiest idea of up to this point surround you, everyday experiences to all but yourself. What little of this land reaches your home in the Underdark comes from night raids and the merchant houses.

Is this what has been kept from you all this time?

Inadvertently, you find yourself in front of a stall stocked with books, old and new, boasting fancy titles and exotic covers. Behind it is a nondescript human man, who gives you an award-winning smile and spreads his arms. "Haven't seen you around here, stranger. Got somethin' for everybody here. Any of these books could be yours, for a pittance, I say!" Were this a story, you would describe him as some sort 'background character.'
>>
>>5274467
The utility of books is not lost on you. They could prove to be a vital tool, both to expand your lexicon and to make you seem less a foreigner. Regretfully, you'll be relegated to material appropriate for your reading level until you get some practice. Keeping this in mind, you scan the stall for works that you are currently capable of handling...

Purchase as many as you'd like.
>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor - 3GP
>Light of the Morninglord (Ages 5 & Up) - 2GP
>One Foot, Two Feet, Well Met, We'll Meet! - 3GP
>The Syl-pasha's Nubile Slave - 4GP
>My Wife Is a Yuan-ti Spy!? - 4GP

And if you feel the need to...
>Gossip about... [Write-in.]

But don't go overboard.
>>
>>5274468
>My Wife Is a Yuan-ti Spy!? - 4GP
Political intrigue! Even without speaking the surface-language, we speak THIS language.

>Gossip about... [Write-in.]
The Keeper of Bridges, obviously. Maybe the weather. How about this sunlight, fellow normal humanoid??
>>
>>5274468
>The Syl-pasha's Nubile Slave - 4GP
>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor - 3GP
>>
>>5274468
>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor - 3GP
Mainly because of the frilly dress the lady’s wearing on the cover. Not that we’d want to wear one, Lolth forbid…
>My Wife Is a Yuan-ti Spy!? - 4GP
Because references.

>Gossip about... [Write-in.]
The Keeper of Bridges to start. That hesitation Ilanis had when we asked about him was… suspicious. After that, move onto dancing drow women that aren’t us who might have passed through here, one’s talking about someone called Elistraee.
>>
>>5274477
Oh, also buy either a cloak with a big hood or a big shady hat, because SUNLIGHT OW.
>>
>>5274468
>My Wife Is a Yuan-ti Spy!? - 4GP
Something something, lizard people wanting to dominate the world
>>
>>5274477
>>5274481
Actually, y’know what, change mine to
>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor
>The Syl-pasha's Nubile Slave
Along with the cloak or hat. I’m not THAT big into references.
>>
>>5274468
>Light of the Morninglord (Ages 5 & Up) - 2GP

Something religious or something? Could be useful.

>My Wife Is a Yuan-ti Spy!? - 4GP

Perfect for all ages of drow readership!

>Gossip about... [The Keeper of Bridges. How's business? Any interesting rumours?]
>>
>>5274468
>>The Syl-pasha's Nubile Slave - 4GP
>>My Wife Is a Yuan-ti Spy!? - 4GP
>>
>>5274468
>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor - 3GP
>The Syl-pasha's Nubile Slave - 4GP
>My Wife Is a Yuan-ti Spy!? - 4GP

>Gossip about... [Write-in.]
Latest rumors, the Keeper and who was the last drow saw
>>
>>5274468
>>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor - 3GP
>>The Syl-pasha's Nubile Slave - 4GP

>Gossip about [Just general small talk and shooting the breeze]
>>
>>5274468
>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor - 3GP
>The Syl-pasha's Nubile Slave - 4GP
>My Wife Is a Yuan-ti Spy!? - 4GP

>Gossip about... [Write-in.]
Keeper of the Bridges and Eilistraee
>>
The update will be much later than usual, as I will be playing D&D today, but it is still on its way.
>>
>>5275414
Thanks for your dedication! We appreciate it.
>>
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>>5274470
>>5274476
>>5274504
>>5274510
>>5274544
>>5274627
>>5274660
>>5274843
>>5274936
"How do you do, fellow sunlight enjoyer? Have you seen any other dark elves traveling through Everlund?" At once, you both attempt small talk and probe for information on potential allies... or enemies, depending on their allegiance. Picking a book with a colorful exterior at random, you look over the title and skim its pages to confirm that you can understand most of the words. Apparently the setting is a real place, the far-off nation of Calimshan. What does 'nubile' mean? At any rate, you felt confident that you could figure it out.

"Matter of fact, I did, ma'am. Came and bought a few of my wares, even." That piqued your interest. You raise an eyebrow and shift your focus to him, prompting him to go on. "One of them bounty hunting types. He picked up some manuals on mountain climbing, I think." A male, then. Ilythiiri men were more often involved in mercantile and mercenary endeavors than women, and consequently had more exposure cultures outside of the Underdark. It made some sense, then, that at least one of them would strike out on their own to ply their trade up here.

Grabbing another book, you examine its contents. It is a simplistic work, presumably for young Rivvin, depicting the adventures of an elf princess and her forest friends. Perfect for learning from. The book peddler perks up. "Is that one for your daughter? 'Cause I've got a few more that she'll-"

"No," you bark coldly, shutting the conversation down with a single harsh word. No daughters. Not even a single son to pass your skills to. Motherhood is sacred in your culture, and females that birth several daughters are lauded as the exemplars of your race. Those such as yourself, meanwhile... no, this was not the time to be pensive. What was it that you wanted to ask? "Did he happen to mention a..." you glance over your shoulder. The word 'Eilistraee' still felt dangerous, but you would never get anywhere by meekly circling around the subject. "... a goddess? Eilistraee."

"'fraid not. Didn't seem like the type that prays a lot, either. Neither do you- uh, no offense or nothing." A dead end. You'll have to look elsewhere if you want to find followers of Dark Dancer. You decide to pick out one last book. 'My Wife is a Yuan-ti Spy!?' The prose seems odd at first, until you deduce that it is not a novel, but a collection of skits for two people. Was there a chance that you could find someone who would... ha! As if.
>>
Rolled 6 (1d20)

(Intelligence 10) Success on 10 or lower.

>>5275881
Currency is exchanged. The nondescript gentleman provides you with leather bag for your purchase, free of charge. That's right - you meant to gather information on the Keeper of the Bridges before heading off to meet with him. Securing your new goods, you lean in toward the merchant. "I have business with the Keeper of the Bridges. What can you tell me about him?"

Whatever mirth he had moments ago slowly dies, a grimace taking the place once occupied by a friendly smirk, yet unlike Ilanis, he seems willing to talk. "Let me give you some friendly advice. Greycastle's the law here in Everlund. If you want to work with him, do what he says. Don't get on his bad side. People that get on his bad side get fined, and those who can't pay their fines end up in jail a real long time, if you catch my meaning. Now, I don't want any trouble, so unless you've got your eye on more merchandise, I think we're done here."

A harsh taskmaster, from the sound of it. You part ways with the memorably forgettable book seller and leave the market behind for the armory that you were directed to last night, purchasing a long hooded cloak colored deep blue to shield your skin and eyes from the sun as you do so. Whatever work Greycastle had in mind for you, it would suit your talents. And, if you were fortunate, it would earn you a generous reward for your efforts.

The armory is not a singular building, but instead a compound of several structures and fields, each serving a distinct purpose. Archery ranges, warehouses, barracks... hundreds of fighters of all backgrounds busy themselves with all activities pertaining to the art of war. Coming from a martial background yourself, you estimate that Everlund could support a standing army of a little over a thousand soldiers. But the Keeper of the Bridges is responsible only for the city watch and overseeing commerce, meaning that these are not his men. Curious.

You mean to pull someone aside and request directions, but there is no need - a stately man who stands at least two heads taller than you approaches, flanked by two men that step with him in unison. In his eyes, there is the glimmer of cold intelligence more common to the people from 'your world' than this one. "Miss Torani, I presume?" The question must have been rhetorical, because he does not await your reply. "Allow me to introduce myself. Brandt Greycastle, current Keeper of the Bridges, at your service." He extends his right hand.
>>
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>>5275884
The meaning of the act is not immediately clear to you, but you manage to pick up on it before it is too late and give his hand a firm shake, a customary gesture among humans. That manages to earn a smile from him, a good sign. Brandt's voice sounds of a wisp of smoke - smooth and warm, if mildly poisonous. "My subordinates informed me that you would be paying us a visit prior to your arrival. Does the day treat you well?"

"It has been good," you remark, selectively forgetting your fit of temporary blindness. "You said you have work for me?" He nods, gesturing for you to follow after him. "Quite right. Come, let us speak in my office. The task I have in mind involves working with... delicate information." The four of your commence your walk, Brandt leading the way. With obviously feigned surprise, the Keeper snaps his fingers and turns to you, his pace remaining constant all the while.

"Ah! My men tell me that you claim to be quite a good fighter, but in their negligence, they seem to have forgotten to make any further inquiries into your background. I've no doubt about your abilities, but as a formality, please enlighten me... how was it that you accumulated your experience?"

>I served with a company of elite mercenaries before cutting ties with them over a dispute with a comrade
>There was a time when I used to guard merchants traveling dangerous routes in Underdark. The work was stressful and unrewarding.
>You could say that I'm something of an adventurer. I travel from city to city and make my living by clearing out local threats.
>I was enslaved by surfacers from the land of Calimshan and forced to fight for their amusement until I won my freedom.

Yes this choice is important.
>>
>>5275901
>I was enslaved by surfacers from the land of Calimshan and forced to fight for their amusement until I won my freedom.
>>
>>5275901
>>You could say that I'm something of an adventurer. I travel from city to city and make my living by clearing out local threats.
>>
>>5275901
>There was a time when I used to guard merchants traveling dangerous routes in Underdark. The work was stressful and unrewarding.

Lets not lie too much. If we say we have surface experience we don't have and then he prods further we'll be revealed for having lied, possibly he may even suspect us as a spy. I assume the intelligence roll was for catching on to the hand shake, so we can at least pass for having acclimated to the surface a bit and not being hostile but if we do choose to go with a surface backstory then we should at least choose something he can't investigate too easily.

I think either saying we were enslaved in Calimshan or that we are from the Underdark is best. Otherwise he could investigate any supposed elite mercenary band we were apart of or question us about our travels from city to city should we proclaim familiarity with other lands.
>>
>>5275901
>There was a time when I used to guard merchants traveling dangerous routes in Underdark. The work was stressful and unrewarding.
>>
>>5275952
Well the adventuring bit is 100% true.
We're just starting that's all
>>
>>5275901
>There was a time when I used to guard merchants traveling dangerous routes in Underdark. The work was stressful and unrewarding.

The best lies are closest to the truth.
>>
>>5275901
>There was a time when I used to guard merchants traveling dangerous routes in Underdark. The work was stressful and unrewarding.
>>
>>5275901
>There was a time when I used to guard merchants traveling dangerous routes in Underdark. The work was stressful and unrewarding.
>>
>>5275901
>>I was enslaved by surfacers from the land of Calimshan and forced to fight for their amusement until I won my freedom.
>>
>>5275901
>>There was a time when I used to guard merchants traveling dangerous routes in Underdark. The work was stressful and unrewarding.
>>
>>5275901
>You could say that I'm something of an adventurer. I travel from city to city and make my living by clearing out local threats.

It's not a lie if this is our first time.
>>
>>5275914
>>5275920
>>5275952
>>5275958
>>5275962
>>5276004
>>5276121
>>5276216
>>5276390
>>5276733
>>5276853
"Fascinating," he says, though his tone is phlegmatic, absent of any genuine enthusiasm. "Usually commercial endeavors are the responsibility of the men. How does the saying go? 'Ulu z'hin maglust dal quellar leuth valsharess zhah ulu z'hin wund lil phalar.' Trouble at home, I take it?"

A shiver runs down your spine. 'To walk apart from House and Queen is to walk into the grave.' It is a common phrase in your language, a reminder that those who deviate from the norm do not live long and prosperous lives. His pronunciation is atrocious, yet it demonstrates that he possesses a certain familiarity with your culture. Better to go along with it, you think. "That's right. War."

A solid half-truth. It was during a war that Sindiira vanished all those years ago. She could have reasonably found herself desperate enough to brave the wild Underdark for the Merchant Houses to eke out a living, and decided to come to the surface for better prospects when the opportunity presented itself. With this, your story is complete. This is who you are now.

Brandt produces a notepad and furiously drags a pen across its surface. "One final question for the record, Miss Torani: why was it that you left?" That was easy. You answer at once. "The pay was bad. Long roads, always fighting duergar and quaggoths, and sometimes orcs."
>>
>>5277241
You're led through a spartan structure of hewn stone with all of its windows barred by vertical iron rods, Everlund's prison by your reckoning, until your reach a set of oaken double doors that contrast sharply with the rest of the interior. Gently, Brandt pushes them open, revealing a lavishly furnished office featuring a comically large mahogany desk resting atop an exotic carpet. At the end of the room is the head of a giant bear mounted above a fireplace, silently keeping watch over all that transpires within its sight.

As befitting someone with a title as prestigious as 'Keeper of the Bridges,' your host sits himself in a silk-cushioned chair at least three times his size. With a wave, he encourages you to seat yourself on a chair at least three times as modest as his, and you oblige. He sets his notepad down and reclines. His entourage salutes, and leave with practiced haste, shutting the doors behind them.

"You may have had poor experiences in the past, Miss Torani, but I can guarantee with absolute certainty that I am not at all like your previous employers. It just so happens that I was searching for an enterprising individual with a skill set such as yours prior to your arrival." He folds his hands and allows you a moment to internalize his words.

"A gang of criminals, six or so, has been accosting defenseless travelers as of late. Under normal circumstances, such an issue would be dealt with in due time. Yet, less than a tenday ago, the nephew of the Master of Guilds was waylaid and robbed while he and friends were having a drunken revel in the hills, and his uncle has been pressuring the rest of the council to retaliate swiftly and discreetly by threatening to withdraw his monetary support. Unfortunately, the responsibility for resolving this incident falls squarely on me."
>>
>>5277243
Politics. Somehow, it invariably managed to bleed into every other facet of life. You furrow your brow and affirm your interest. "I think I understand. Where do I fit into this?" One needn't be a mage to see where this is going, but you have been surprised enough times in one day to know better than to make assumptions.

"Between fulfilling their regularly assigned duties and dealing with the recent uptick in werebeast activity, I have no subordinates to delegate this task to. What I require is talented adventurer who will pay these bandits a visit tonight and make them disappear. The reward is a hundred gold pieces, and the Master of Guilds wants to minimize the spread of information pertaining to this debacle. What say you?"

Well?
>It sounds easy. Yes, I'll take the job.
>No, I don't think I will.
>[Will] I know the real value of my skills. I'm worth at least twice that.
>Talk about... [Write-in.]
>>
>>5277245
>[Will] I know the real value of my skills. I'm worth at least twice that.
>>
>>5277245
>It sounds easy. Any idea if these thieves are the werebeasts the Temple of Mielikki have been worried about?
>I’ll do it for the coin offered, as well as some information on people I’m looking for, provided I do a decent enough job.
No need to get too specific on which group we’re looking for just yet. Gotta knight if we can… “trust” him.
>>
>>5277254
Gotta *know if we can… “trust” him.

The hell did “knight” come from?
>>
>>5277245
>>It sounds easy. Any idea if these thieves are the werebeasts the Temple of Mielikki have been worried about?
>>I’ll do it for the coin offered, as well as some information on people I’m looking for, provided I do a decent enough job.
>>
>>5277245
>>5277254 +1
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>>5277254
+1
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>>5277254
+1
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>>5277245
>>>It sounds easy. Yes, I'll take the job.
>>
>>5277245
>>[Will] I know the real value of my skills. I'm worth at least twice that.
>>
>>5277245
Supporting >>5277254
>>
>>5277254
Support

I'm honestly a little leery that this bandit group is to be dealt discreetly. They're bandits, why the secrecy?
...then again, it might just be the Master of Guilds wanting to save face as much as possible, I don't see any reason for Brandt to be subtle about cleaning up criminals like this.
>>
>>5277245
>Yes, I'll take the job
>Talk about the werebeast problem, its origins, and how they've ben dealing with it
We could even tell him about our being accosted
>>
Update in a few hours.
>>
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>>5277253
>>5277254
>>5277281
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>>5277920
"That's easy. If it's just bandits, I can fight that many." Overconfidence has been the downfall of many among your people, but you would not sell yourself short either. The woman known as 'Jezyrene Delyl' is a physical instrument that is demonstrably superior to the average sellsword in terms of both experience and raw talent, and you know it. Charging more for your services would not be unreasonable, but in the end you decide against making that demand. There was something else you wanted, in any case. "But if I do this right, I want to ask you about someone I'm looking for."

The Keeper narrows his eyes, looking you up and down in an attempt to gauge your intent. He seems quite familiar with these sorts negotiations. "Excellent. My men will give you directions shortly before you depart, and if it is within my means, then I fail to see why I couldn't reward you with information. Who, might I ask, is it that you intend to find?" You stand, readjusting the belt from which the hilt of your weapon hangs before answering coolly. "We can talk about that after I get back. There's something else I want to know about. The werebeasts."

Greycastle clicks his tongue. "The same story as always. The cult of Malar spreads like a rash through the wilds, they infect yokels with their curse, and cause an epidemic of moon howlers." You blink. It was astounding, how many gods the people of this world had. He picks up on your confusion and clarifies. "God of beasts, bloodlust, savagery. A cancer to all civilized beings. Malarites believe that it is sacred to stalk and kill."
>>
>>5278716
This is enough information to conclude that your quarry are not werebeasts. At least, not the ones that the followers of Mielikki need dealt with. Otherwise, the Master of Guilds' nephew would not have returned alive. "What are you doing about them?"

For the first time, Brandt's expression is one of open vexation. He huffs. "I often ask myself that same question. We've doubled patrols and sent rangers into the Silverwood, and have nothing to show for it. The rest of the council voted against my proposal to use fire to smoke them out - my hands are tied."

"Farewell." The proper procedure for excusing yourself was still a mystery to you, but neither Greycastle nor Ilanis have admonished you for your behavior, so you are assuredly doing something right. Or are you? Brandt is stunned by your sudden goodbye, and taps his index finger against the surface of his desk.

"One moment, Miss Torani. The criminals absconded with a family heirloom handed down from the Master of Guilds to his nephew, a sapphire necklace. I have been instructed to inform you that he will have an additional reward for you, should you manage to find and retrieve the stolen article."

"We'll see."
>>
>>5278720
The deal is made, and you have your objectives. One of the Keeper's men takes the time to explain that the bandits have been operating near the road about an hour's walk north of Everlund, and even points out the cardinal directions for you just in-case. Whether he is simply being courteous or is under the impression that you are slow is impossible to discern.

How will you go about this?
>The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can come back to a warm meal and a hot bath. I will depart now.
>I'll stop by the market again to prepare for my quest. My money purse is light right now, but I should make it all back if this goes well.
>There's something else I want to do before I go... [Write-in.]
>>
>>5278722
>The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can come back to a warm meal and a hot bath. I will depart now.
>>
>>5278722
>The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can come back to a warm meal and a hot bath. I will depart now.
>>
>>5278722
>I'll stop by the market again to prepare for my quest. My money purse is light right now, but I should make it all back if this goes well.
All I can think to get is a map of the area. Should help us locate where the bandits are, as well as where we escaped the Underdark from.
>>
>>5278716
Hmm, given his familiarity with such negotiations I think we should watch out in case our pursuers come to him looking for us. He probably hands out info on runaway scions like us all the time.

Maybe for the person we are supposedly looking for we could describe the real Sindiira Torani, either find and kill her so no one can wreck our secret or maybe rekindle our old friendship and get a back-up refuge or an ally.

>>5278722
>The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can come back to a warm meal and a hot bath. I will depart now.

The assumption is that they will attempt to ambush us and that we will overcome them. Even should some escape we should be able to incapacitate one and interrogate them. If they are wary due to us being armed and don't spring an ambush then hopefully we at least spot one.

Should it be revealed that the desired necklace is in their home-base or that they have more numbers than expected back home, say in the hills, then we may have to return to the city to procure some rations, rope, and a map.
>>
>>5278722
>>The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can come back to a warm meal and a hot bath. I will depart now.
>>
>>5278722
>The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can come back to a warm meal and a hot bath. I will depart now.
>>
>>5278722
>The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can come back to a warm meal and a hot bath. I will depart now.
>>
>>5278722
>>I'll stop by the market again to prepare for my quest. My money purse is light right now, but I should make it all back if this goes well.
>>
>>5278722
>>The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can come back to a warm meal and a hot bath. I will depart now.
>>
>>5278722
>The sooner I get this over with, the sooner I can come back to a warm meal and a hot bath. I will depart now.
>>
Enough dawdling. The adventure continues! Post soon.
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>>5278724
>>5278728
>>5278730
>>5278788
>>5278900
>>5279006
>>5279027
>>5279263
>>5279313
>>5279744
Only an hour walk along the road leading north of the city. You should be able to see this elementary task done before your second meal of the day, and so you shall. The comforts of city await your return, and the reward should afford you some small luxuries for a time.

In your haste, you did not consider the possibility that you would still be unable to leave right away. Even at this hour, Everlund's gates restrict entry, providing shelter to those thriving behind its twice-fortified walls, and at this moment, they bar the passage of a portly older human male and a horse-drawn cart filled with trade goods, accompanied by five well-equipped mercenary guards. He bickers with a member of the city watch stationed on the opposite side if the iron grid.

"Tariffs?! There were no tariffs the when I came this way Midsummer of last year, and the rate you are enforcing is borderline extortion!" Protests the merchant, waggling his finger vigorously. Sighing wearily, the watchman delivers a practiced statement that he has no doubt uttered time and time again. "I understand, sir. I didn't make the law. Now, for the third time, I'm going to have to ask you to please pay the tax so we can let you and your goods into the city."

Stamping his foot, the merchant grudgingly fishes through the pocket of his coat and counts up a hefty sum of money, passing it over to the watchman, who then signals for their compatriots to open the way. "By Tymora's dice! It's about time! You people can't appreciate good business when you see it, you hear me?" Fortunately, you are no peddler, or rather, a peddler of death instead of goods, and no such restriction is imposed on you, allowing you to leave without incident.
>>
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>>5279935
The shroud of deep night draped over the land when you first emerged into this world concealed the natural beauty of the Silver Marches. With the sun's radiance now lording over creation, you are treated to a breathtaking view of pristine splendor unlike anything you have ever laid eyes on. Around you are forests teeming with wildlife and uneven terrain blanketed by more of that peculiar bladed moss that seems to grow everywhere. And far, far to the north is a range of frosty mountain peaks, like the sturdy spine of some ancient creature jutting out from the earth.

Precious minutes slip by as you wordlessly admire your surroundings. So enamored are you by the environment that your thoughts return to your objective only when you reach a fork in the road, with one path leading west to a bridge that in turn leads deep into the Silverwood, and another that continues north into the hills. How long has it been, again...? Just barely, you can see the remnants of a crumbling structure nestled in the hills a few minutes walk from the road, and from it rises a miniscule trail of smoke. Could that be where-

Ow!

Something rigid strikes your left temple, ricocheting off the side before planting itself in the dirt beneath you. You draw your weapon, and lower your profile, allowing your finely-honed instincts to guide you to a less vulnerable position. Once your thoughts synchronize with the movements of your body, you find yourself taking cover behind a sturdy tree. Cautiously, you peek out from behind your wooden bulwark to determine what it was that hit you. Tracing the prints of your boots that lead back to the road, you see...
>>
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Two gold says it’s picrel.
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>>5279943
An acorn?

"Hehehehehe. Gotcha good, didn't I?" It's the voice of a man, cocky and gruff, coming from directly behind you. Near instantaneously, you spin in place and slash at the sound's origin, yet your sword catches naught but air. "Just missed me." From your right this time, just outside of your peripheral vision. Readjusting your stance, you once again find nothing. "Up here, luv."

Following his words, you find yourself looking upward. There in the tree branches, removed from your reach, stands a humanoid with a small frame, half the height of most men, draped in a cloak that conceals his features much the same as yours. A sakphul, you think - or in the words of the surface folk, a 'halfling.' "Dos zud'dar ussta zaalel, sakphul," you snarl, angling your weapon toward him.

"You're the slow-witted fighter-type, aint'cha, Darkie?" The shameless derision was practically dripping from every word of that sentence. "Quit givin' me the killin' look, luv. You an' I can scratch each others' backs, probly. We are on two sides of the same job. So how 'bout this - you distract the lowlifes you were gonna chop up anyway for a quick sec, I do my business, and we both profit, simple as.. Tell me that ain't a deal."

You may choose no more than three.
>Maybe you can start by telling me who you are, half-man.
>And why should I believe you?
>Let's say I did go along with this. What's in it for you?
>I've been wondering if there's more to this than I've been told. Am I right?
>[Will] Let's change the subject. I want YOU to tell me everything about YOUR mission.
>Actually, I can handle everything without your help.
>You seem to know a lot. I want you to tell me about... [Write-in.]
>>
Called it.

>>5279956
>Maybe you can start by telling me who you are, half-man.
>I've been wondering if there's more to this than I've been told. Am I right?
>Let's say I did go along with this. What's in it for you?
>>
>>5279956
>Maybe you can start by telling me who you are, half-man.
>I've been wondering if there's more to this than I've been told. Am I right?
>You seem to know a lot. I want you to tell me about...
Why Greycastle is hiring mercs he barely knows to perform such a sensitive mission, with a condition of secrecy he can scarcely expect to enforce
>>
>>5279952
I would give some kind of reward for this, but I'm not entirely sure what I could do.
>>
>>5279962
Magic acorn. It's only right.
>>
>>5279962
+1 to attack and damage, but only when throwing or slinging acorns.

Magic acorn that, when placed on the tongue and uttering the command phrase (nutterbutters) allows you to cast Speak with Animals, but only to squirrels and chipmunks.
>>
>>5279956
>Maybe you can start by telling me who you are, half-man.
>Let's say I did go along with this. What's in it for you?
>I've been wondering if there's more to this than I've been told. Am I right?

If he is resistant...
>[Will] Let's change the subject. I want YOU to tell me everything about YOUR mission.

I'm guessing he wants to steal the necklace, if so then I say no deal. In fact, we should just kill him here.
>>
>>5279956
>Actually, I can handle everything without your help.
>>
>>5279956
>Maybe you can start by telling me who you are, half-man.
>I've been wondering if there's more to this than I've been told. Am I right?
>[Will] Let's change the subject. I want YOU to tell me everything about YOUR mission.
>>
>>5279956
>Maybe you can start by telling me who you are, half-man.
>Let's say I did go along with this. What's in it for you?

And, above all
>How do I profit from losing the surprise factor?
>>
>>5279956
>>Maybe you can start by telling me who you are, half-man.
>>I've been wondering if there's more to this than I've been told. Am I right?
>>[Will] Let's change the subject. I want YOU to tell me everything about YOUR mission.
>>
>>5280002
+1
>>
Votes will be counted as soon as I get the chance. Post soon-ish.
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>>5279959
>>5279961
>>5280002
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>>5280433
"Tell me who you are, half-man." You keep an eye trained on him, weapon at the ready. He is perched on a branch that could not support the weight of a larger creature. Far from striking distance, but that was no excuse to let relax your guard. "Not just your name."

He snorts. "First: I ain't 'half' anythin'. My folk are called 'Hin,' an' it be your kind that's all lanky 'n' deformed, Darkie," he teases, raising his index finger instructively as he elaborates. "Second: you're in the business of makin' problems go away. I'm in the business of findin' professional solutions, an' I ain't gonna ruin my good name by droppin' it. You can call me Friend, 'cos I'm tryin' to pull your sorry rump outta the fire right now."

Basically, a roundabout way of admitting that he's a career criminal, and a burglar at that.

'To pull someone out of the fire.' The idiom was not one that you were familiar with, but the meaning seemed easy to grasp. "Fire? You're saying that I'm in danger." He nods enthusiastically, although it could just as well be sarcasm. "I can kill the bandits with no trouble, sakphul. I am the danger." You emphasize that sentence for good measure.

"An' you just believe the codswallop that Greycastle and that fat bastard Tenpenny fed you? Well, the part about 'em givin' Tenpenny's nephew the what-for is true. C'mon, luv, they're both Zhents, black as can be. You're a vamp without a clue, that's what." That last sentence made absolutely no sense to you, but it was most definitely not a praise. 'Tenpenny' must refer to the Master of Guilds.
>>
>>5281275
"So why don't you tell me what's going on?" Friend seemed open to cooperating. He has yet to strike you with anything other than an acorn, either. The flat of your blade comes to rest on your shoulder. Comfortable, yet ready to be used at a moment's notice. "And what is a Zhent?"

Friend smacks his lips. "You born under a rock, Darkie?" The question seems rhetorical at first. It is only after an uncomfortable silence that he realizes that you have, in fact, lived your entire life underground. "Zhent. Zhentarim. Zhen-ta-rim. Get that word stuck in your head, luv. Then ask somebody you can trust to when it's you two alone, an' don't say that word to nobody else if you enjoy havin' your head on your shoulders."

"Here's the real deal. Greycastle, Tenpenny, lot of the people under 'em are secret Zhents keepin' a low profile. Not a crime or nothin', least not by itself, but not a good look, neither. Few of 'em' break off an' start worshipin' the Mad God. Evil bastard, if you care about that. Greycastle needs 'em dead, 'coz they might squeal if the watch arrests 'em."

"So they want to hire outside help to silence these people to protect their names." That was the simplest version, one which Friend did not contest. That meant the story about bandits was just a cover that capitalized on your ignorance. "Then what do you gain from this?"
>>
>>5281282
Friend extends his right hand and rubs the index and middle fingers together, palm facing upwards. "Money? Wouldn't be much of a burglar if I weren't holdin' out for my payday. They gots a mage with 'em that gots somethin' my client wants. I figure you get 'em to look your way for a second', I grab the magic doohickey, and take 'er down so she can't roast you before I go on my merry way. How 'bout it?"'

>Opt me in.
>Count me out.
>>
>>5281283
>Opt me in.
If this doohickey he’s talking about is the necklace, perhaps we could plan on us giving it to the Master of Guilds first and getting our bonus, then when he comes over to watch our performance at the Dreaming Dragon, have Friendo here steal it while he’s distracted.
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>>5281339
Supporting
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>>5281283
>>5281339 +1
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>>5281283
>>Opt me in.
>>
>>5281283
>Opt me in.
"So long as it is not a necklace you seek."
Watch his expression carefully.
>>
>>5281283
>Opt me in.

I'm tentatively okay with going for this. I think if we don't agree that he'll simply use us as a distraction when we attack to get what he wants anyways without us getting the benefit of him going after the mage.

Remember, he is a thief that we just met. We have no reason to trust him over Greycastle, even if what he says about them serving some crazy god is true. It could be that none of this is true and he could've made this stuff up on the spot to take advantage of our ignorance.

The thing that makes me think this is worthwhile is that regardless of Greycastle's affiliation or if this "Friend" is lying or not is that there is money to be gained from kill/robbing these bandits, and that is easier done with two instead of one. If the item he is after turns out to be the necklace then we'll have to decide whether it is better to have someone we are familiar with and have worked with still around and amicable or whether it is better to have the money the necklace/magic item would've earned us. Or if it would be better to just keep the necklace/other magic item if it turns out there is a separate magic item he is after or that the necklace is what is magical.
>>
>>5281283
>>Count me out.
Sounds too good to be true
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>>5281282
>>Opt me in.
>>
>>5281283
>Count me out.
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>>5281283
>Opt me in.
>>
Update in a few hours.
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>>5281339
>>5281425
>>5281448
>>5281450
>>5281488
>>5281506
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>>5281856
>>5282090
"All right." It wasn't as though you trusted a thief, much less one you've only just met. Yes, his proposal did warrant scrutiny, but you were convinced that the apparent benefits outweighed the potential drawbacks. After all, there was profit to be had from completing your task regardless of whether you returned with the stolen jewelry or not, and the assistance would be welcome. "But I keep the necklace."

"Capital. Won't be needin' that no way." You study his features carefully for any subtle changes in his demeanor. He possesses a certain daring pluck that has remained constant since the moment he first approached you. His plan hasn't deviated far from his expectations, whatever that means. "Now listen here. Keep goin' north till you're up close with that ruin over there." He points toward the fortification that you took note of earlier. "Small trail leads up to it. They got an alarm there, so stay off it and go 'round. Should be a gap in the back you can squeeze through. After that, it's your show."

"How do you know all of this?" You ask, squinting at Friend. He seems to have accounted for your concerns, however, and answers plainly. "Scoped the place out in the small hours this morning. Same ol' same ol' for any caper. Haif those guys ain't worth nothin', but they gots a priest with 'em, so watch your self." The average priestess of Lolth lacked the combat talent you did, but made up for this deficiency with the blessings given to them by the Spider Queen. Up here, it was likely no different.

"I'm ready," you affirm. Friend hops down from his position and steps behind the tree, seemingly vanishing into thin air. You were going to have hope that he would uphold his end of the bargain - and prepare for what would happen should he choose not to.
>>
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>>5282478
The advice you were given was genuine. Ascending the steep hills leading to the ruin is more a chore than taking the overgrown path, but you are not harassed by anyone during your hike. Indeed, circling around the dilapidated remnants of what must have once been an outpost the size of a small home, you spy an aperture in the collapsing wall just large enough to serve as an entry point into the structure.

Taking care to advance without making a sound, you discreetly look into the gap to gauge the opposition. The interior is cleanly, surprisingly so, with five makeshift straw beds laid out in the corner and light furnishings. There is a woman in a fine lavender dress with a shaven head and dusky skin seated on her knees, writing in a thick leather bound tome. This must be the mage, as everything about her screams 'is not a bandit.'

Scanning the rest of the area, you spot the second individual of note. An albino human equipped with battered half plate, his nappy hair overgrown and wild. Attached to his hip is a longsword that emits a menacing aura that is doubtless some degree of supernatural, though any magic properties it may possess are impossible to ascertain while it remains in its sheath. On his chest is the symbol of his god, proudly on display.

He looks over the rest - four men in chain with an array of salvaged armaments gathered around a small chest, currently counting up what you suspect must be ill-gotten gains from their latest escapades. You can spot the slight resemblance between these men and the watchmen of Everlund, though the former are visibly quite disheveled.

The time to decide how you want to initiate this has arrived.
>I have the element of surprise right now. I can slip through the gap and attack that priest without warning.
>[Will] I will make an audacious entrance and frighten my enemies half to death with a menacing demonstration of my swordwork.
>Here's an idea. I can attract their attention by making a noise, then I will cleave whoever steps out to investigate in twain.
>[Strength] You know what? I'm just going to bring this wall down on their heads.
>>
>>5282485
>I have the element of surprise right now. I can slip through the gap and attack that priest without warning.
As fun as it would be to bring down a wall onto these assholes, it probably would be better to go for the squishy magic ones first. See if we can Far Cry 3 body drag the cleric away from the others, though.
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>>5282485
>[Will] I will make an audacious entrance and frighten my enemies half to death with a menacing demonstration of my swordwork.
>>
>>5282485
>I have the element of surprise right now. I can slip through the gap and attack that priest without warning.
>>
>>5282485
>>I have the element of surprise right now. I can slip through the gap and attack that priest without warning.
>>
>>5282485
>I have the element of surprise right now. I can slip through the gap and attack that priest without warning.
>>
>>5282485
>>[Will] I will make an audacious entrance and frighten my enemies half to death with a menacing demonstration of my swordwork.
>>
>>5282485
>>Here's an idea. I can attract their attention by making a noise, then I will cleave whoever steps out to investigate in twain.
>>
>>5282485
>I have the element of surprise right now. I can slip through the gap and attack that priest without warning.
>>
>>5282485
>[Strength] You know what? I'm just going to bring this wall down on their heads.

This is our best stat if I recall correctly. We may debilitate all of them, a stone wall falling on you is no joke. I doubt a slash or two would be that much more damaging then a bunch of stone falling on you.
>>
>>5282786
Changing to
>[Strength] You know what? I'm just going to bring this wall down on their heads.
>>
Regular update in a few hours.
>>
Rolled 15 (1d20)

(Perception 10, -3 Hide in the Shadows) Success on 7 or lower.

But before I forget, is Jezyrene good in the dark?
>>
Rolled 2, 2 = 4 (2d4)

Let the battle commence.
>>
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>>5282493
>>5282498
>>5282611
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>>5282786
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>>5283035
In your imagination is a clear image; you, valiantly bringing the wall down upon your enemies, snuffing them from existence in one fell swoop like the protagonist of a heroic couplet. Alas, such things must be relegated to the world of daytime reverie when there are matters of reality to which one must attend. You set your sights on the priest of the Mad God, Cyric, and leave the magician woman to the so-called 'Friend' whom you've hesitantly aligned yourself with.

Like a serpent, you insinuate yourself through the ruin's breach, resting a hand on the hilt of your weapon. The distance between yourself and your opponent diminishes faster than you can think, memory directing the muscles in your arm to draw steel with cold intent as they have so many times before. How fortunate it is that they have not yet taken notice of you.

Mortals are not the only ones invested in the fates of those who live in the Realms, however. For you strike at a man who is under the scrutiny of a god, one who does not intend to see his pawn felled so easily. Appearing in your peripheral vision is a skull suspended in midair, wearing not one, but three pristine crowns upon its head, stacked one atop the other. It attracts the albino's attention as well, revealing you to him as he turns his head to witness the small act of divine intervention.

He draws his weapon, an elegant longsword of dark metal with unfamiliar runes etched into the blade that emits a gloomy aura of malice. But he is not quick enough - your strike finds a gap in his armor and bites into his flesh, drawing blood. By the will of the powers that be, he remains standing despite the wound that you have inflicted. Nimbly, you evade his retaliatory swing, positioning yourself just out of the priest's melee range.
>>
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>>5283640
"Thralls, to me!" He calls out, prompting his followers to stumble over themselves in their eagerness to protect the albino, demonstrating an almost slavish obedience to their master. Up close you notice that all four of them share a vacant stare, as though these men simply lack a will of their own.

"Incertus, Pulcher, Imperio- ngh?!" Flames dance along the mage's fingertips as she prepares to rain hell down upon you, but it never comes to pass. She collapses face-first, two bloody gashes in her flesh where the kidneys are located. There is nary a halfling to be found, but it seems that your partner of convenience came through in the end.

Aware of the threat you pose, the thralls advance in an attempt to encircle you as the priest raises his weapon and mutters a prayer in some horrid language, gathering power all the while. How do you wish to proceed?
>[Strength, Attack] I should cut down these thralls quickly, before they can surround me.
>I'll reposition myself just outside of the gap that I entered from to bottleneck them. Not glamorous, but tactically sound.
>[Agility] I don't know what that priest is doing, but I need to sidestep his bodyguards and stop him somehow.
>[Write-in.]

https://pastebin.com/83qBqWK9
>>
>>5283641
>>[Strength, Attack] I should cut down these thralls quickly, before they can surround me.

Would be funny if we were to fail on our first real fight. I surely hope not
>>
>>5283641
>I'll reposition myself just outside of the gap that I entered from to bottleneck them. Not glamorous, but tactically sound.

Damn, I think if we were going to go with the sneak attack we should've power attacked. Good thing we didn't use commanding presence, it doesn't seem like they would've been affected.

It'll be awkward to reach the priest now, and if we fail we may get stuck in the middle of the goons, surrounded, when the priest's spell hits. Repositioning seems like the best option to me, we limit how many can attack us at once, and we should probably be more skilled than any individual mook hopefully. This is useful even if the priest casts some spell like a debuff or hold person spell or something.
>>
>>5283641
>I'll reposition myself just outside of the gap that I entered from to bottleneck them. Not glamorous, but tactically sound.
>>
>>5283672
>It'll be awkward to reach the priest now, and if we fail we may get stuck in the middle of the goons, surrounded, when the priest's spell hits.

I disagree, a cleric even a shoddy one, would have too many options to throw at us. From blinding spells, to summons, to cripples. But none of those spells matter if he can't concentrate due to being attacked.

By comparison these mind thralls seem weak and disposable. Who knows they might not even be able to keep fighting if their commander goes down.


>[Agility] I don't know what that priest is doing, but I need to sidestep his bodyguards and stop him somehow.
>>
>>5283641
>>5283685
Y'know I was gonna respond in the negative but quickly rereading and seeing the bit about "lacking a will of their own" makes me think they aren't merely cultists with low morale or something and that you may have a point. That, and getting in the spellcaster's face to prevent them from fucking you up is a time honoured tradition which we are suited for given our high defense and large HP pool.

I do think that if we simply fight the thralls or fall back that our "Friend" may follow up and stab the cleric in the back. Or he may just fuck off and look for his objective given that he only said he'd kill the mage.

All said I'm convinced and will switch my vote.

Switching to...
>[Agility] I don't know what that priest is doing, but I need to sidestep his bodyguards and stop him somehow.
>Power Attack the cleric if we successfully evade his thralls.
>>
>>5283641
>[Strength, Attack] I should cut down these thralls quickly, before they can surround me.
>>
>>5283641
>[Agility] I don't know what that priest is doing, but I need to sidestep his bodyguards and stop him somehow.
>>
>>5283641
>[Agility] I don't know what that priest is doing, but I need to sidestep his bodyguards and stop him somehow.
Sounds like a perfect time for... Sword dance?
Set up is hella strong, doubline our attack could allow to wallbreak Corviknight
>>
>>5283641
>>[Strength, Attack] I should cut down these thralls quickly, before they can surround me.
>>
>>5283641
>>[Agility] I don't know what that priest is doing, but I need to sidestep his bodyguards and stop him somehow.
>>
>>5283641

>I'll reposition myself just outside of the gap that I entered from to bottleneck them. Not glamorous, but tactically sound.
>>
Rolled 13 (1d20)

(Agility 12, +3 Art of the Blade) Success on 15 or lower.
>>
Rolled 20 (1d20)

>>5284397
(Strength 14, +3 Favor of the Dark Sun) vs (Defense 16) Hit on 11 or lower.

The priest fights back with the wrath of Cyric himself!
>>
>>5284406
(Strength 10, +3 Favor of the Dark Sun) vs (16 Defense) Hit on 7 or lower.

But do his minions fare any better?
>>
Rolled 10 (1d20)

>>5284412
>>
>>5284406
>>5284415
Absolutely pathetic, truly surfacers are the dimmest of all monkeys.
>>
Jez is a lucky lady.

>>5283655
>>5283672
>>5283683
>>5283685
>>5283705
>>5283708
>>5283736
>>5283796
>>5283960
>>5284135
>>5284345
The distinct possibilities play out in your mind. With only a split second to react, you allow your instincts to take command. You have struck the first blow; it was time to press the advantage before the opportunity slipped from your grasp. Effortlessly working your way past the albino's thralls and their weapons with a meandering stride, your weapon twirls in your hand and traces a winding pattern through the air as you cross blades with the priest.

Frantically, he continues his prayers, bringing irrational fears to the surface of your thoughts with his spell. So intense is your assault, however, that the Cyricist's magic fizzles as his focus is required to deflect your attacks. Believing that he has found an opportunity to cut you down, his weapon arcs toward your neck. Skillfully, you duck under the edge as it passes over your head, and continue your onslaught without relent, forcing the priest into a defense on the back foot.

"You idiots! Protect me!" He cries, urging the thralls into action. At once, they bring their weapons down upon you. Fighting off five opponents at once is no small feat, but you are up to the task. Adjusting your position to provide you a better view of the arena, you fend off an incoming spear and avoid the head of a mace sailing toward your abdomen, drawing a wide semicircle through the air with your sword that momentarily discourages further attacks.
>>
>>5284519
The timely assistance of his servants affords the priest the reprieve he needs to again work his magic, this time on himself. Where he once stood, there are now four flawless mirror images of him, all advancing on you in unison. At your flank, the thralls coordinate their attacks and commence a charge with reckless abandon, intent on running you down.

What's next?
>[Intellect, Attack] Make peace with your god, priest. I will pick you out from your illusions and cut you down!
>[Strength, Attack] The illusions can wait a moment. I must fight off his minions before they can overwhelm me.
>This is a risky position to be in. I shall prudently maneuver around the charge, so that I may continue to battle from a less dangerous location.
>[Write-in.]
>>
>>5284523
>[Strength, Attack] The illusions can wait a moment. I must fight off his minions before they can overwhelm me.
>>
>>5284523
>[Strength, Attack] The illusions can wait a moment. I must fight off his minions before they can overwhelm me.

Enough, now that he has mirror images we should get to work putting down some of our opponents. We don't have good odds of hitting the real priest in all likelihood and repositioning might just waste time that would allow him to get off a more dangerous spell.

>Power Attack, we'll make short work of these thralls!
>>
>>5284523
>>[Strength, Attack] The illusions can wait a moment. I must fight off his minions before they can overwhelm me.
I don't trust our Intellect at this moment
>>
>>5284535
Supporting
>>
>>5284523
>Intellect, Attack
A worthwhile gamble. Slay the priest, and we will liberate (or at least disorient) his minions.
>>
>>5284523
>>[Intellect, Attack] Make peace with your god, priest. I will pick you out from your illusions and cut you down!
>>
>>5284535
Seconding
>>
Rolled 2 (1d20)

(14 Strength, +3 Art of the Blade) vs (12 Defense, -3 Charge) Hit on 18 or lower.

Knock them dead, Jezyrene.
>>
Rolled 1, 4 + 7 = 12 (2d4 + 7)

>>5285279
But is that a lot of damage?
>>
>>5285280
That's a lot of damage!
>>
Rolled 5 (1d20)

>>5285280
(Strength 14, +3 Favor of the Dark Sun) vs (Defense 16) Hit on 11 or lower.

The priest fights back.
>>
Rolled 4, 1 + 2 = 7 (2d4 + 2)

>>5285284
And he shall claim his pound of flesh!
>>
>>5285285
'Tis but a scratch
>>
File: jez character sheet.png (357 KB, 973x731)
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The current state of (You). Update as soon as I get the chance to.
>>
>>5285296
Silly little half man better come aid us
>>
>>5284525
>>5284535
>>5284536
>>5284605
>>5284634
>>5284735
>>5285106
Right there: neatly arrayed before you are four dead men walking, bounding toward you with no regard for their own lives. Alas, their ignorance is to be their doom, for the Orb Alur style that you have spent many onerous decades perfecting is designed to defeat multiple opponents in the chaos of melee. Where any other opponent would be overwhelmed, you are in your element.

Dauntless, you dive toward the Cyricist's slaves, splitting the abdomen of one and rending the throat of another in the same fluid motion, arcing your weapon in a circle overhead to maintain the momentum as you bring it down on a third, driving the edge partways through his skull. Wrenching it free, you drive it through the abdomen of the last just as he raises his arm to bring his mace down upon you. The effort demanded by the exertion causes you to break out in a sweat.

"Dark Sun, witness me!" Now alone with the priest and his reflections, he duels you with the fury of a man possessed. Taking advantage of the strain you accumulated while cutting down his thralls, he finds a gap in your defense as you frantically try to recover, driving the unnaturally brumal metal through your armor and into your hip. You are fortunate - the wound is shallow, and you have sustained worse, yet there is an implacable quality to the weapon that you find terribly unnerving.

Now on the offensive, the priest chants feverishly, weaving together a spell. The familiar sensation of instinctual fear begins to arise within your mind once more. What will you do?
>[Intellect, Attack] This is the decisive moment. I must see past these phantasms and bring this battle to a swift end.
>[Agility] Whatever magic is at his disposal, I will simply have to endure it. I must focus on destroying these illusions before the final blow can be dealt.
>[Will] If I frighten him well enough, then he won't be able to complete his spell and duel me at the same time. I must create the opening I need to strike him down!

https://pastebin.com/83qBqWK9
>>
>>5285548
>[Will] If I frighten him well enough, then he won't be able to complete his spell and duel me at the same time. I must create the opening I need to strike him down!
>>
>>5285548
>[Will] If I frighten him well enough, then he won't be able to complete his spell and duel me at the same time. I must create the opening I need to strike him down!

>If the above choice isn't commanding presence then do that as well.

He may well hamper our ability to harm him, but we can weaken his resolve as well, all things being equal we should come out ahead if it comes to a battle of attrition.

We can essentially do the agility choice afterwards if we successfully frighten him before finishing him off.
>>
>>5285548
>[Will] If I frighten him well enough, then he won't be able to complete his spell and duel me at the same time. I must create the opening I need to strike him down!
>>
>>5285548
>[Intellect, Attack] This is the decisive moment. I must see past these phantasms and bring this battle to a swift end.
>>
>>5285548
>>[Agility] Whatever magic is at his disposal, I will simply have to endure it. I must focus on destroying these illusions before the final blow can be dealt.
>>
>>5285548
>5285548
>[Intellect, Attack] This is the decisive moment. I must see past these phantasms and bring this battle to a swift end.
>>
>>5285548
>[Intellect, Attack] This is the decisive moment. I must see past these phantasms and bring this battle to a swift end.
>>
>>5285548
>>[Intellect, Attack] This is the decisive moment. I must see past these phantasms and bring this battle to a swift end.
>>
>>5285548
>[Intellect, Attack] This is the decisive moment. I must see past these phantasms and bring this battle to a swift end.
>>
Rolled 20 (1d20)

(Intellect 10, +3 Art of the Blade) vs (Defense 14) Hit on 9 or lower.

Luck be a lady...
>>
Rolled 17 (1d20)

>>5286418
(Will 10) Success on 10 or lower.

The tables turn...
>>
Rolled 6 (1d20)

>>5286420
(Intellect 10, +3 Art of the Blade, -3 ???) vs (Defense 14) Hit on 6 or lower.

The battle continues.
>>
Rolled 1, 1 = 2 (2d4)

>>5286428
And Jezyrene's fortune suddenly reverses yet again!
>>
>>5286432
(Will 13) Success on 13 or lower.

Last roll, then I write.
>>
>>5286432
>Double 1 on damage
Fission mailed i guess
>>
Rolled 5 (1d20)

>>5286434
>>
>>5286436
Hmmmmmmmm
>>
>>5286435
If it makes you feel better, I tailored health to specifically avoid shonen fights that last a whole month, so dealing any damage will almost always be "good enough" with a few exceptions.
>>
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>>5285587
>>5285612
>>5285717
>>5285732
>>5285857
>>5285924
>>5285964
>>5286138
>>5286249
Emboldened by your recent success, you continue your offensive, eager to repay the debt of pain that the priest inflicted on you. You draw your weapon back as his spell nears completion. Faced with a split-second decision, you pick out an image that appears to be out of synch with the others and bring your weapon down...

The mirage winks out from existence as your steel makes contact with it.

Twisting and contorting into shapes the likes of which are not meant for mortal eyes, the priest's visage becomes the face of horror. Dread seeps its way into the farthest depths of your heart, and you find yourself crying out like a panicked child against your will. Reverting to your most base of biological tendencies, you lash out at him like a cornered beast yearning to live another day.

"Agh!" The clatter of steel colliding against steel resounds throughout the ruin, punctuated by a meaty THWACK. With trembling hands, you uneasily draw your weapon back and notice a steady flow of blood running from his abdomen underneath his armor, identifying this one as your real opponent. By dumb luck, you must have punctured an organ. He shuffles toward you with labored breath, pointing his sword at you in a manner that is so melodramatic that it would be comical were his face not filling every fiber of your being with mortal terror. "Stupid-" he rasps. "Elf bitch! I'm gonna enjoy breaking you real slowly, you hear?!"

Ambivalence, that is what you feel. Rationally, you were in the superior position. You are the more capable fighter, and his wounds were observably worse than yours. Logic did nothing to assuage your fears, however, and you find it impossible to stymie the waves of doubt that now invade your thoughts.
>[Strength] As shameful as it is to debase myself in such a fashion... I shut my eyes and swing my weapon at him with wild abandon, hoping to hit... something.
>I just... need to retreat for a moment, to catch my breath and regain my cool. Then I can properly send him to his grave.
>[Agility, Attack] My hands shake, my breathing is uneven, but he will not be able to best me so long as I do not relent!
>[Write-in?]
>>
>>5286578
You may have noticed that sometimes rolls are made with a +3 bonus or -3 penalty in some situations. These are known as Boons and Banes respectively, and can come from feats, magic, and circumstances that would logically grant an advantage or disadvantage. These can stack and cancel each other out.

Right now, Jezyrene has a Bane. She is Frightened, so any roll that would require her to face up against the source of her fears will be made with a -3 penalty until she can regain her composure.
>>
>>5286578
>>I just... need to retreat for a moment, to catch my breath and regain my cool. Then I can properly send him to his grave.
>>
>>5286578
>[Strength] As shameful as it is to debase myself in such a fashion... I shut my eyes and swing my weapon at him with wild abandon, hoping to hit... something.
>>
>>5286439
It's fine, we already injured him earlier and big fights against "bosses" should probably last at least 2 or 3 updates assuming you can afford to update the quest at least once or twice daily.

>>5286578
Are his mirror images gone? If so, I think it is worth fighting through our fear to attack him since -3 is a fairly hefty penalty but not unbearable given our skill

>[Agility, Attack] My hands shake, my breathing is uneven, but he will not be able to best me so long as I do not relent!
>Power Attack!
>>
>>5286578
>[Agility, Attack] My hands shake, my breathing is uneven, but he will not be able to best me so long as I do not relent!
>>
>>5286578
>>[Strength] As shameful as it is to debase myself in such a fashion... I shut my eyes and swing my weapon at him with wild abandon, hoping to hit... something.
>>
>>5286578
>I just... need to retreat for a moment, to catch my breath and regain my cool. Then I can properly send him to his grave.
>>
>>5286578
>[Agility, Attack] My hands shake, my breathing is uneven, but he will not be able to best me so long as I do not relent!
>>
>>5286578
>[Strength] As shameful as it is to debase myself in such a fashion... I shut my eyes and swing my weapon at him with wild abandon, hoping to hit... something.
>>
>>5286578
>>[Agility, Attack] My hands shake, my breathing is uneven, but he will not be able to best me so long as I do not relent!
>>
>>5286578
>I just... need to retreat for a moment, to catch my breath and regain my cool. Then I can properly send him to his grave.


Don't forget to Archive the thread, it's beginning the slow ride down to the final page
>>
File: cup noodle.jpg (75 KB, 1200x630)
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Update as soon as I can. Then we finish this... maybe.

>>5287445
We still have a ways to go, so I'm not worried about that quite yet.
>>
>>5287539
Fair enough, just thought I'd give a headsup just in case, seen a few sad cases of archive mishappenings over the years.
Anyway, no rush, looking forward to the good stuffs.
As a total side note, I hope we get to run in the other potential starting character, especially Lael, at some point. In this story or some other quest.
>>
Rolled 8 (1d20)

(Agility 12, +3 Art of the Blade, -3 Frightened) vs (Defense 12) Hit on 8 or lower.

Even when afraid, Jezyrene finds the resolve to fight on.
>>
Rolled 1, 1 + 7 = 9 (2d4 + 7)

>>5287929
And victory belongs to the most persevering.
>>
Update in a few hours.
>>
>>5287933
Is it ded tho?
>>
>>5286671
>>5286674
>>5286679
>>5286817
>>5286945
>>5287188
>>5287215
>>5287237
>>5287327
>>5287445
Your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. Swallowing spit, you resolve to hold your ground and duel the Cyricist until one of you is bloodied and broken at the other's feet. Leveraging the hold his magic has over your mind, the priest sets upon you with profane fury, sending a flurry of attacks your way. Unable to think clearly, you now find yourself mounting an uneasy defensive as he forces you to retreat one pace at a time.

A cool, jagged texture presses up against your back, notifying you that you have been driven against a wall. Now, there is no way out but forward, and the path is obstructed by a madman. Bringing his arm in and angling the tip of his weapon at your chest, you at last see your opportunity to strike back. With all of his weight behind him, he thrusts his sword at you. This is to be his fatal mistake; delicately, you shift your weight and pivot, allowing his weapon to miss its target by a narrow margin, lodging it in the loose stonework behind you.

Precision, grace, intensity. Though debilitated, you are no less deadly, a truth that the priest will not live to discover. A single gesture of your arm directs your blade along a smooth trail that belies the magnitude of the force driving it, separating the priest's head from his body while sending it sailing through the air into the ruin's deepest shadows.

At once, the pall which darkened your thoughts subsides. Caution urges you to search the ruin for hidden foes, an ultimately fruitless endeavor. You are alone here, together with what remains of those slain by your hand. All that remains is to collect the victor's spoils and return to Everlund.

Highest among your priorities is recovering the necklace of Tenpenny's nephew. You scour the place up and down, sifting through rubble and patting down corpses. Nothing. Turning over the remains of the mage, you espy the absence of her spellbook. In its place is a neatly folded note of linen paper, on which a single word is inscribed in black ink.

WILLARD
>>
>>5288068
Your prize eludes you. Still, there are other gains to be had. For one, the sinister tool that once belonged to the devotee of the Mad God is now yours. It would be prudent to have its magic properties identified by a mage before putting it to use, however. The chest of valuables that were no doubt pilfered by the priest and his thralls is compact enough for you to carry in one arm, and you sincerely doubted that anyone could reasonably demand that you return currency won by slaying bandits. There is nothing left for you here - your work is done.

Securing your loot, you set off for the city and begin to consider matters of the near future. You will have to report to Graycastle if you are to receive the reward that you have earned. What do you intend to tell him?
>That I did exactly as he asked, nothing more, nothing less. As for what befell the necklace, I haven't the slightest clue.
>I will mention that someone unaligned with the bandits was skulking about, but withhold further details.
>Tell him about the burglar and give him the note, carefully omitting the fact that I happened to make an agreement with the thief.
>[Write-in.]
>>
>>5288070
>That I did exactly as he asked, nothing more, nothing less. As for what befell the necklace, I haven't the slightest clue.
Thief probably has it. Let's not mention that to Greycastle, but ask him about this thief as if he's the one we're looking for. We can probably get information on Eilistraeans from the Church of Mielikki, anyway.
>>
Rolled 3 (1d3)

>>5288070
Well, I'm not pleased the necklace is missing. I'm not sure if the thief tricked us and took the necklace or if it just wasn't here and he was really after the spellbook. Or perhaps he was after the necklace but decided to also take the spellbook because of its value or because he has a spellcaster friend.

On the other hand I'm guessing the thief giving us his name is meant as a sign of trust despite him fuck off without helping us further or honouring his agreement not to take the necklace. (if he did indeed steal it) Plus if he wasn't lying then Greycastle is bad news, but working with evil people isn't necessarily bad for us, they are just less trustworthy.

I'm honestly ambivalent what we choose here.

Rolling to decide. Top to bottom, one to three.
>>
>>5288070
>I will mention that someone unaligned with the bandits was skulking about, but withhold further details.
>>
>>5288070
>>That I did exactly as he asked, nothing more, nothing less. As for what befell the necklace, I haven't the slightest clue
>>
>>5288070
>That I did exactly as he asked, nothing more, nothing less. As for what befell the necklace, I haven't the slightest clue.
>>
>>5288070
>That I did exactly as he asked, nothing more, nothing less. As for what befell the necklace, I haven't the slightest clue.
>>
>>5288070
>I will mention that someone unaligned with the bandits was skulking about, but withhold further details.
>>
>>5288070
>That I did exactly as he asked, nothing more, nothing less. As for what befell the necklace, I haven't the slightest clue.
Without Willard, we would had died dead. No regrets.
>>
>>5288070
>>I will mention that someone unaligned with the bandits was skulking about, but withhold further details.
>>
>>5288070
>>That I did exactly as he asked, nothing more, nothing less. As for what befell the necklace, I haven't the slightest clue.
>>
>>5288070
>>That I did exactly as he asked, nothing more, nothing less. As for what befell the necklace, I haven't the slightest clue.
>>
Regularly scheduled update in x hours.
>>
>>5288118
>>5288120
>>5288139
>>5288141
>>5288200
>>5288226
>>5288244
>>5288288
>>5288342
>>5288345
>>5288638
The task is done, and you carried it out exactly as you were meant to. There were a few complications, and you may have enlisted the aid of another party, but those details are superfluous. True, you did not have the necklace. You never even laid eyes upon the blasted thing. For all anyone knew, it may have been long gone prior to your arrival. Your story will remain uncomplicated, and it is for the better.

Absorbed in your ruminations, time seems to slip by as you triumphantly stride into Greycastle's office, placing the crude emblem of the albino's dark god on his desk as proof of your deeds, recounting how dispatched all of your targets with no incident. A deep satisfaction seems to wash over him as he studies it with a crooked smirk, before pitching it into the fireplace as though it were worth less than old refuse.

"No necklace. I looked all over," you tack on toward the end. The Keeper's eerie mirth remains perfectly level. He claps his hands together, looking you in the eye. "Oh, Miss Torani... That is not my problem. The Master of Guilds can kick sand for all I care. The matter is concluded, and the rest of the council will not tolerate any more of his bellyaching."

Brandt, evidently, did not seem to mind that you returned emptyhanded. On the contrary, he seems very pleased with the outcome. You get the distinct impression that there is little love lost between the Keeper of the Bridges and the Master of Guilds. From his desk he procures a weighty pouch and offers it up to you, jingling merrily as it dangles tantalizingly in front of you. Indeed, what can compare to the temptation of money?

Doing your best to accept your payment with grace, you open the pouch to confirm its contents before storing it in your newly acquired chest. "I believe that concludes our business, Miss Torani. Regretfully, I am not in the habit of enlisting the aid of outsiders regularly, but I will recommend you to the High Sorcerer. That is, provided you can stomach working under that priggish moralist." 'High Sorcerer.' That must be another member of Everlund's council. You have no idea what a 'moralist' is, or how one can be 'priggish,' but you gather that it is not exactly high praise.
>>
File: jez character sheet.png (221 KB, 771x575)
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>>5289263
"Maybe I can. But first I want to ask about-"

THLAM THLAM THLAM. A knuckle raps against the door of Brandt's office. Without permission, an overbearing figure equipped with full harness polished to a mirror sheen barges in, saluting the Keeper, who sighs wearily and reclines in his chair. "Master Greycastle, the Council of Elders is to convene at once for-" the man blares with a voice that sounds like iron. Despite this, the Keeper still manages to cut him off with a single snide remark.

"Yes, important meeting, my presence is required, et cetera. It wouldn't kill you to wait until I invite you in before opening the door." Unenthused, he rises to his feet, clasping his hands behind his back as he regards you. "Do forgive me. We will have to postpone this discussion for the time being." His good mood turned sour, Brandt starts for the exit, practically spitting words at the messenger. "Come along, then. I want to get this over with as soon as humanly possible."

Your inquiry was, apparently, to be delayed indefinitely. The Keeper's men see you out, and you find yourself with nothing in particular to do right this moment. Where to?
>Pay visit to the Phantom Knight Inn. At last, I can enjoy the comforts of the city and catch up on some reading all the while.
>I wonder what that insipidly cheerful girl at the Dreaming Dragon is doing. There is much about this city that I want to ask her as well.
>I'll need to find a mage that can identify this ominous sword that's come into my possession.
>Perchance I shall go to the Stag at Bay, to mingle with other so-called adventurers and boast about my most recent victory.
>>
>>5289268
>I wonder what that insipidly cheerful girl at the Dreaming Dragon is doing. There is much about this city that I want to ask her as well.
Let’s get some lunch first, then ask if she knows a halfling named Willard, if she’s seen any other dark elves, and if she knows anything about this so-called “priggish moralist” mage.
>>
>>5289268
>I'll need to find a mage that can identify this ominous sword that's come into my possession.
Loot first. Job ain't done 'til someone casts "identify".
>>
>>5289268
>>I'll need to find a mage that can identify this ominous sword that's come into my possession.
>>
>>5289268
>>Pay visit to the Phantom Knight Inn. At last, I can enjoy the comforts of the city and catch up on some reading all the while.
>>
>>5289268
>I'll need to find a mage that can identify this ominous sword that's come into my possession.
>>
>>5289268
>I'll need to find a mage that can identify this ominous sword that's come into my possession.
You know what's better than loot? Uncursed loot.
>>
>>5289268
>>Pay visit to the Phantom Knight Inn. At last, I can enjoy the comforts of the city and catch up on some reading all the while.
>>
>>5289268
>Perchance I shall go to the Stag at Bay, to mingle with other so-called adventurers and boast about my most recent victory.
Find more work
>>
>>5289268
>I'll need to find a mage that can identify this ominous sword that's come into my possession.
>>
>>5289268
>>I'll need to find a mage that can identify this ominous sword that's come into my possession.
>>
>>5289268
>Pay visit to the Phantom Knight Inn. At last, I can enjoy the comforts of the city and catch up on some reading all the while.
>>
>>5289268
>>I'll need to find a mage that can identify this ominous sword that's come into my possession.
One we have identified this weapon we can use it or sell it for coin. Then we can seek out more work, information or allies.
>>
>>5289268
>I'll need to find a mage that can identify this ominous sword that's come into my possession.
>>
>>5289268
>I wonder what that insipidly cheerful girl at the Dreaming Dragon is doing. There is much about this city that I want to ask her as well.
>>
>>5289268
>I'll need to find a mage that can identify this ominous sword that's come into my possession.
>>
Votes will be counted as soon as I can get around to it. Post when I get through work.
>>
>>5289268
>>I'll need to find a mage that can identify this ominous sword that's come into my possession.
>>
>>5289272
>>5289273
>>5289297
>>5289298
>>5289308
>>5289341
>>5289374
>>5289440
>>5289734
>>5289777
>>5289920
>>5289948
>>5289965
>>5289991
>>5290210
With time to spare, you hold your newly acquired sword aloft and give it a proper inspection for the first time. The hilt is a hunk of ivory, carved into a cylinder with a spiral pattern winding around its circumference. No matter how you try to grip the infernal thing, it always causes your hand discomfort, albeit not through any fault in its construction. The blade itself sits heavy in your hand, but a practice swing reveals that it does not weigh more than your elven steel - indeed, the alien black metal from which this object was forged is lighter than its size would suggest. More than likely, its previous master lacked the talent to employ the full potential of such a curious item.

Looking it up and down sends a chill down your spine. Without a doubt, it was worked with odd magics, and there is more to it than meets the eye. Returning it to its sheath, you decide that your day's labors are not complete until you have had it appraised by a mage. Your next destination, then, is the Bell Market at the heart of the city.

At this hour, activity in Everlund has spiked. Peoples of all backgrounds exchange gossip and browse the wares of hucksters, who peddle common amenities and colorful ingredients that still astound you with their variety. Many a pedestrian cast inquiring looks your way, some intrigued, others cautious. You respond by readjusting your cloak as to better conceal your features, scanning the crowds for someone, anyone that might offer the services that you require.

"Need something?" Following the origin of the sound, you spot the familiarly forgettable face of the book merchant at his stall, now displaying an array of baubles and curios. You step toward him, glancing once over your shoulder before speaking. "I need a mage. I found a magic sword, and I want to know more." That sounded correct. You are becoming accustomed to this, assuredly.

"Well, look no further!" He extends his arms, motioning for you to approach. "Let's have a look." Folding your arms, you wordlessly study him for a long moment. "I thought you sold books," you remark, holding out the baleful blade toward him.
>>
>>5290597
The merchant chuckles deeply, slapping a palm against his thigh. "You must be thinking of my cousin. People do tend to get us confused. Now let's see here..." 'All rivvin look the same,' is what you muse to yourself, but that simply was not the case. You were able to pick out Greycastle just fine, and the albino whom you sent to the afterlife was distinct enough that you can still picture his face. This individual is uniquely unremarkable, then.

Muttering an incantation, the book merchant's cousin works to draw out the the relic's frightful magic. The power contained within the ebon metal reaches out from its steely shell to caresses your mind, whispering its true name and purpose to you. "I am..."
>"... the Gentle Touch, a cognoscente of the ways of delicate agony and abstruse misdirection."
>"... the Dark Fantasy, scholar, aesthete, and virtuoso in the art of tenebrous phantasmagoria."

These are two different items.
>>
>>5290602
>"... the Dark Fantasy, scholar, aesthete, and virtuoso in the art of tenebrous phantasmagoria."
>>
>>5290602
>"... the Dark Fantasy, scholar, aesthete, and virtuoso in the art of tenebrous phantasmagoria."
>>
>>5290602
>"... the Gentle Touch, a cognoscente of the ways of delicate agony and abstruse misdirection."
>>
>>5290602
>"... the Dark Fantasy, scholar, aesthete, and virtuoso in the art of tenebrous phantasmagoria."
>>
>>5290602
>>"... the Gentle Touch, a cognoscente of the ways of delicate agony and abstruse misdirection."
>>
>>5290602
>>"... the Dark Fantasy, scholar, aesthete, and virtuoso in the art of tenebrous phantasmagoria."
>>
>>5290602
>"... the Gentle Touch, a cognoscente of the ways of delicate agony and abstruse misdirection."
>>
>>5290602
>"... the Gentle Touch, a cognoscente of the ways of delicate agony and abstruse misdirection."
>>
>>5290602
>"... the Dark Fantasy, scholar, aesthete, and virtuoso in the art of tenebrous phantasmagoria."

deep dark fantasy
>>
>>5290602
>"... the Dark Fantasy, scholar, aesthete, and virtuoso in the art of tenebrous phantasmagoria."
>>
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Vote's closed. Update whenever I can.

>>5291169
>>
>>5290603
>>5290615
>>5290628
>>5290646
>>5290781
>>5290790
>>5290969
>>5290982
>>5291169
>>5291244
A vivacious scene plays out before your eyes. You are in Everlund no longer, but instead alone in an empty world entirely submerged in pitch dark. No, there is a single object here... a full length mirror. It casts a perfectly accurate image of your form, disrobed and vulnerable, so exact that you cannot help but hang your head in shame. The web of scars that trace along the surface of your body, accumulated across more than a century of regular hardship, the calluses on the ridge of your skin right beneath your fingers that formed as a consequence of the your near-constant struggling over the last tenday, the miniscule flecks of blonde in your hair that you've yet to notice until just now - yellowing hair is a sign of aging in female Ilythiiri. You are not young anymore.

You take the weapon, the Dark Fantasy in hand, and focus. Tearing at the world around you, it masterfully weaves shadow into a thin veil, draping it over your body to conceal it from sight. The mirror reflects a featureless silhouette back at you, a pale facsimile of Jezyrene Delyl that protects her from prying eyes. This is its purpose, and it will dutifully serve you so long as you will have it.

>The Dark Fantasy: When wielded, gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls. You may spend 2 Power to drape yourself in silky shadows which obscure your appearance and grant a +3 bonus to attempts to avoid being seen for 1 hour or until you dismiss it.
>>
>>5291613
Your senses return to the waking world. The book merchant's cousin returns the Dark Fantasy to its sheath and passes it to you, and you award him twenty gold pieces for his service. A pittance, given what you have gained, and you had coin to spare at this time. "Can I offer you anything else?" He says, extending his arms wide. "While you're here, why not buy one of these?" Brandishing a technicolor ring, he slips it onto his finger and segues into a sales pitch. "It's called a 'mood ring,' and kids love it. You see-"

An icy scowl is all that you require to shut him up. The day was treating you quite well, and you had no intention of allowing some stranger to drudge up unpleasant thoughts whilst you were still resting comfortably on your laurels. Speaking of which, it was about time that you moved on. You bid farewell to the huckster and depart.

Where to next?
>The Phantom Knight Inn.
>The Dreaming Dragon.
>The Stag at Bay.
>>
>>5291614
>>The Dreaming Dragon.
Let's see if we can find out about Willard and get another free meal.
>>
>>5291614
>>The Phantom Knight Inn.
>>
>>5291614
>The Phantom Knight Inn.

We have money now, no need to be stingy. This place has hot baths, we are probably even more bloody than before, lets at least clean ourselves off once a week. We can always go back to the Dreaming Dragon to help Ilanis with the master of guilds some other time in a couple days.
>>
>>5291614
>>The Dreaming Dragon.
>>
>>5291614
>The Dreaming Dragon.

I mean props to him for getting his hand on or creating a liquid crystal thermometer, that's pretty impressive considering the sketchy technology level of Faerun..... unless it's just a silly magic mood ring.
>>
>>5291664
>>5291624
Supporting these. A bath and some intel-gathering on 'Friend' is a smart move.

>>5291614
>The Dreaming Dragon.
>>
>>5291614
>>The Phantom Knight Inn
We could a real pleasurable bath now
>>
>>5291614
>The Phantom Knight Inn.
>>
>>5291614
>The Phantom Knight Inn.
>>
>>5291614
>The Phantom Knight Inn.
>>
Voting closed. Update may be late today.
>>
>>5291624
>>5291651
>>5291664
>>5291681
>>5291724
>>5291767
>>5291787
>>5291853
>>5292067
>>5292134
From beneath your cloak, you glance up at the damnable flame blazing in the sky. At this moment, it hangs lower than it did some time ago, positioned slightly to the west. If the rumors that you had heard about the sun contained any truth, this indicated that it is late in the afternoon right now. Ilanis threw a bucket of water on you and even allowed you to sleep in her home, but you've yet to have a proper rest since you first fled the Underdark.

None could fault you for wanting to turn in early given all you've endured, and what you've been told of the Phantom Knight Inn has sold you on its appeal. True, you could not rule out the possibility that its reputation has been artificially inflated through aggressive shilling, but you felt as though you wouldn't complain about amenities in your state, provided there was a place to rest your feet without fear for a time.

A brisk stroll across the bridge is all that you require to reach the Phantom Knight's oaken doors and gently push them open. Wafting out is the stress-alleviating aroma of lavender incense, coaxing you into a gently lit lobby prominently featuring a granite statue that depicts a figure clad in armor standing at attention. There, behind the reception desk positioned directly in front of it, is a girl- or a halfling woman, more likely - sporting a spiffy uniform which contrasts drastically with the mess of red hair hanging from her scalp.

She waves at you, her childish features and disarming smile inviting you to enter. "Welcome to the Phantom Knight! My name's Blossom. How long will you be staying with us, ma'am?" You don't recall ever saying that you meant to rent a room here, let alone for more than one night. Inching toward the desk, you take in the scenery. The checkered tiles and smoothed stone walls tell of opulence uncharacteristic of a small, family run business. "Do you own this place?" You wonder aloud to yourself.

"Wahahahaha! No, no. All of this belongs to my father's second cousin, Rupert Tenpenny, Master of Guilds for six consecutive years and, with the support of citizens like you, many more!" She exclaims, delivering a well-practiced endorsement before bringing the topic of conversation back around to business. "Rooms are ten gold pieces per day, and meals will be brought up to you twice, once in the morning and again in the evening."
>>
>>5292977
That rate is practically robbery. The only way anyone could reasonably afford to stay here for any meaningful period is to be a talented artisan, a popular performer, a hardened mercenary, or plain wealthy. Thankfully, you could feasibly manage to be two of those, allowing you to absorb the cost without depleting your funds. Counting up the currency, you put it forward and face your greatest challenge yet: writing your new name in the the guestbook. Five minutes elapse before you successfully put down a signature and collect your key.

Initially, you were cautiously optimistic about the lodgings that would be provided to you. As luck would have it, all of your worries were completely unfounded. You are to be staying in a lavishly furnished accommodations, complete with a fine view of the outside. Situated in the corner is a copper tub with a hand pump adjacent to it, the fabled warm bath that you have sought out. Typically, boiled water must be hauled from elsewhere to fill a tub, but through some mystifying artifice, the liquid that flows out from the pump somehow runs hot.

With jaw-dropping alacrity, you lock the door behind you and furiously tear at the buckles and straps of your armor, stripping down and wading into the steamy waters of the bath. A tenday of stress melts away in an instant as your body acclimates to the temperature. Idly, you fantasize about spending the remainder of your day submerged warmth. In fact, you'll do just that - now is the ideal time to catch up on some reading, you think.

Which book shall Jezyrene consume today?
>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor,
>The Syl-pasha's Nubile Slave.
>My Wife Is a Yuan-ti Spy!?
>>
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>>5292977
I almost forgot.
>>
>>5292982
>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor
Because you're never too old to wear a frilly dress.
>>
>>5292982
>The Syl-pasha's Nubile Slave.
>>
>>5292982
>My Wife Is a Yuan-ti Spy!?
>>
>>5292982
>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor,
I believe a drow would be aware of the most legendary elven city/surface city of all time, and would find that most interesting/familiar to start with.
>>
>>5292982
>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor,
What is pretty? How is that important for a princess to be labelled as such?
>>
>>5292982
>>The Syl-pasha's Nubile Slave.
>>
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>>5292982
>The Syl-pasha's Nubile Slave.
Jez is just curious and not all dreaming of this scenario.
>>
>>5292982
>>The Syl-pasha's Nubile Slave.
>>
>>5292982
Changing vote from >>5293003
to
>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor
>>
>>5292982
>>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor,
>>
>>5292982
>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor
Probably written by some elf fetishist.

>Five minutes elapse before you successfully put down a signature and collect your key.
Does Jezyrene not write all that often or something? Or did she just spend an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with some sort of fancy spelling.
>>
>>5293601
She may be used to a different alphabet. I work with a Bosnian Serb who moved my country years ago. She writes fine in Latin script, but if you ask her to write her Cyrillic signature from when she was young, she blanks. Apparently it's even common enough, despite that being their native language, that the Bosnian consulate has a cheat sheet/reminder for expats to refresh them on Cyrillic cursive.
>>
>>5293609
Right, not sure why I forgot that common isn't her native language, despite all of the unfamiliarity with the language repeatedly mentioned throughout the quest so far.
>>
>>5292982
>The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor,
>>
>>5293601
>>5293609
These are both correct. Not only is Jezyrene used to a completely different alphabet, but she uses a language that has existed mostly in isolation for millennia. She also comes from a supremacist warrior culture that depends on slaving and despoliation to sustain its economy, so societal pressures pushed her away from reading/writing and toward athletics/martial arts. I feel like I should be giving a reward again, but I don't know how I could do that.

>>5293094
If only you knew how bad things really are.
>>
>>5293758
Well this system isn't 5e, but you can't really go wrong with inspiration points
>>
Voting is closed. Update as soon as I can get to it.

>>5293802
Hmm, I think I can work something out.
>>
>>5292985
>>5292994
>>5293008
>>5293012
>>5293024
>>5293094
>>5293394
>>5293417
>>5293488
>>5293601
>>5293694
Briefly stepping out of the tub to go through the bag of books that you acquired just this morning, your fetch your copy of The Pretty Princess of Myth Drannor. Myth Drannor was an elven city renowned far and wide as the pinnacle of culture and civilization in the known world. So many centuries ago, it fell after being besieged during a demonic incursion, fading into the mists of time as it passed from history to myth. To this day, elvenkind fights to reclaim that which was lost, and you have heard rumors that even your people are engaged in the bitter struggle to occupy its ruins as to use the odd magics that permeate throughout the city for their own ends.

So why, oh, why did rivvil hands pen a novel about a princess from Myth Drannor? And 'pretty' what, exactly? 'Pretty good?' If the title was a misprint, calling it a significant mistake would be an understatement. Turning back the cover, you lick your finger and flip through the first few pages, eager to get to the exposition. If you were to be honest with yourself, you had absolutely no idea what to expect whatsoever, as the very fundament of your worldview had been shaken these last few days. Clearing your throat, you bring the book in close and read aloud under your breath, slowly sounding out words that are too difficult for you to pronounce otherwise.

Once upon a time, there was an elf princess named Thiala Summerbreeze. Thiala was very kind and beautiful, with long hair like spun gold, and skin like bronze that shined in the morning light. She lived in the far-away city called Myth Drannor, the City of Song, in the forest kingdom of Cormanthyr...

Before long, you find yourself immersed in the literature, draining the tub and refilling it with hot water whenever it cools. Every chapter details another one of Thiala's adventures with her forest friends, most of whom are talking fauna. In one, she helps a family of 'squirrels' gather enough sustenance to help them prepare for a long winter. In another, she makes the lonely dwarf Gimgen Grumpybeard smile for the first time in his life by singing him the Song of Friendship.
>>
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>>5294381
This goes on for three quarters of the book. Thiala frolics through the woodlands, meeting new characters and trying on frilly dresses, teaching others about the value of kindness along the way. She even meets a handsome prince, Eiravel Starshine, whom she forms a strong friendship with. On one night, Prince Starshine works up the courage to ask Thiala to be his wife, which ties into the central conflict of the remainder of the tale.

The final act departs from this formula by introducing a villain, a green dragon named Norixia. Having never had a friend herself, Norixia grows increasingly jealous as word spreads throughout the kingdom of Thiala's popularity. Blinded by envy, the dragon kidnaps Thiala, and locks the princess in a vault with the rest of their treasures, hoping to monopolize the friendship of Princess Summerbreeze all for herself.

In order to save his love, Prince Starshine rallies all of the friends that Thiala made over the course of the story, and together they sing the Song of Friendship to Norixia, causing her to break down in tears. So deeply moved is the dragon that she can bring herself to hold the princess captive no longer, and releases Thiala, who finds the strength to forgive Norixia despite everything. Eiravel asks Thiala to be his bride, and she gleefully accepts.
>>
>>5294382
... and they all lived happily ever after.

A plurality of new ideas stew in the depths of your mind. Seldom did the Ilythiiri consume literature, and even more rarely did they produce it. Fostering affection for another, romantic or otherwise, is among the greatest of taboos, and often tantamount to suicide. This was the first purely recreational story that you have ever read, and already you are vexed. Returning the novel to its bag, you close your eyes and submerge yourself up to your neck in water to collect your thoughts.

Your review, madame?
>I am not crying. I am... sweating, from my eyes, after exercising them so vigorously today. What is this warm feeling in my chest?
>What a quaint story. Charming, in its own way. Mayhaps, there is something worthwhile about life up here after all.
>Surfacer culture intrigues me with its exoticism, and I would dearly like to try wearing one of those 'frilly' dresses someday.
>I just don't understand any of this.
>It was an important lesson on surfacer psychology, albeit a dreadfully boring one. Here's to hoping that the next story amuses me more.
>What I really want to know is, what is that book peddler's refund policy?
>I am liable to vomit if I have to read another page of this saccharine rubbish. Every letter of this work is a health hazard, poison for the brain!
>>
>>5294383
>What a quaint story. Charming, in its own way. Mayhaps, there is something worthwhile about life up here after all.
>I wonder if I could try wearing one of those 'frilly' dresses someday...
I figure Jez is still to proud to admit she'd like to try surfaceworlder fashions just yet.
>>
>>5294383
>I am liable to vomit if I have to read another page of this saccharine rubbish. Every letter of this work is a health hazard, poison for the brain!
>>
>>5294383
>>5294387 +1
>>
>>5294383
>>What a quaint story. Charming, in its own way. Mayhaps, there is something worthwhile about life up here after all.
>>Surfacer culture intrigues me with its exoticism, and I would dearly like to try wearing one of those 'frilly' dresses someday.
>>
>>5292977
Isn't it odd for one person to be master of ALL the guilds?

>>5294383
>What a quaint story. Charming, in its own way. Mayhaps, there is something worthwhile about life up here after all.
>Surfacer culture intrigues me with its exoticism, and I would dearly like to try wearing one of those 'frilly' dresses someday.
>>
>>5294383
>What a quaint story. Charming, in its own way. Mayhaps, there is something worthwhile about life up here after all.
>Surfacer culture intrigues me with its exoticism, and I would dearly like to try wearing one of those 'frilly' dresses someday.
>>
>>5294383
>I am not crying. I am... sweating, from my eyes, after exercising them so vigorously today. What is this warm feeling in my chest?
>Surfacer culture intrigues me with its exoticism, and I would dearly like to try wearing one of those 'frilly' dresses someday.
>>
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>>5294524
>Isn't it odd for one person to be master of ALL the guilds?
>>
>>5294383
>I am not crying. I am... sweating, from my eyes, after exercising them so vigorously today. What is this warm feeling in my chest?
>What a quaint story. Charming, in its own way. Mayhaps, there is something worthwhile about life up here after all.
>>
>>5294383
>>What I really want to know is, what is that book peddler's refund policy?
>>
>>5294383
>>I am not crying. I am... sweating, from my eyes, after exercising them so vigorously today. What is this warm feeling in my chest?
>>Surfacer culture intrigues me with its exoticism, and I would dearly like to try wearing one of those 'frilly' dresses someday.
>>
>>5294382
>>I am not crying. I am... sweating, from my eyes, after exercising them so vigorously today. What is this warm feeling in my chest?
I like the way >>5294863
phrased it so I will add >>Surfacer culture intrigues me with its exoticism, and I would dearly like to try wearing one of those 'frilly' dresses someday.
Also, if I may
>Thoughtfully (perhaps a bit lateR): The song of friendship sounds like a powerful magic indeed. Perhaps I too could befriend a dragon, if I were to learn it? That would be something that would get me respect, above as below the ground.
>>
>>5294383
>I am not crying. I am... sweating, from my eyes, after exercising them so vigorously today. What is this warm feeling in my chest?
>Surfacer culture intrigues me with its exoticism, and I would dearly like to try wearing one of those 'frilly' dresses someday.

What a heartwarming story to read in the midst of a bath, surely there must be more like this from the bookseller.
>>
>>5294383
>>5294387
Y'know what, I'll switch from
>What a quaint story.
to
>I am not crying.
Keep the interest in wearing frilly dresses stuff, though.
>>
This is not the reaction I was expecting, but I embrace it. Update as soon as I can get around to writing.

>>5294396
You are a courageous individual.
>>
>>5295308
I'm only a man.
>>
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>>5294387
>>5294396
>>5294431
>>5294475
>>5294524
>>5294525
>>5294627
>>5294821
>>5294825
>>5294863
>>5294904
>>5294980
Searing droplets blaze trails down the sides of your face as a long-forgotten pang wells up in your chest. Having suffered over two hundred years of sustained agony, you had long wondered if you were capable of any emotion beyond loathing, yet for a brief moment, you did not resent the fate that had been foisted upon you. The perilous journey that you had undertaken against your will had at first been one of grim necessity, which now gives way to an amorphous desire that defies explanation.

There is a certain mystique, a je ne sais quoi to this foreign culture that you have been exposed to which you find attractive. What else is there to the Realms that you have been missing out on? In just one day, you have partaken of cuisine, amenities, art that had no equivalent in the Underdark, and explored a fantastical tale revolving around song and dragons and frilly dresses. Absentmindedly, you contemplate on what it would be like if you were to try wearing one someday, and imagine taming a dragon of your own...

The gentle tapping of a bare knuckle against the door is all that it takes for reality to seize you by the hair and drag you back into its pitiless embrace. Banishing the juvenile delusions that had taken hold of you for the slightest of moments, you cup your hands, throw warm water over your face, and step out, wrapping a towel around your torso. So quickly have you forgotten that you are a hunted woman, and the hunt shall continue until either you or your pursuers are sent to the afterlife.

You take the Dark Fantasy in hand and remove it from its sheath, maneuvering a hand behind your back as to cleverly conceal it behind your profile - a trick that you adopted after an assassin saw fit to pay you a surprise visit as you were combing your hair some forty years ago. Undoing the locks, you rest a hand on the doorknob and turn it, shifting away from the frame as you gradually pull it open as a precaution in case the party on the other side intends to launch a projectile at you. The relief is palpable when you discover that it is merely the staff come to deliver your evening meal.
>>
>>5295589
Shutting yourself in once more, you consume edibles that you cannot properly describe for the third time, lazing on the bed all the while. The best you can manage is 'sliced something inside of porous something.' If the rumors of the Phantom Knight's spirit were to be taken as truth, you've yet to spot even the barest hint of an apparition yet, indicating that your life is not in any immediate danger.

This meant that you could make plans for tomorrow's activities with a sound mind.
>Tomorrow, I shall embark on a werebeast hunt. Scouring the abominable creatures from the face of this world will be a challenge worthy of my skills.
>That annoying girl wants me to dance for her in a few days time, and I have questions to ask her besides. Once I am up and about, I will go to the Dreaming Dragon.
>Greycastle says that the High Sorcerer has need of someone such as I? Then I will meet with this person in the morning. It would be good to have a magician as my ally.
>>
>>5295592
>Greycastle says that the High Sorcerer has need of someone such as I? Then I will meet with this person in the morning. It would be good to have a magician as my ally.
>>
>>5295592
>That annoying girl wants me to dance for her in a few days time, and I have questions to ask her besides. Once I am up and about, I will go to the Dreaming Dragon.
>>
>>5295592
>>That annoying girl wants me to dance for her in a few days time, and I have questions to ask her besides. Once I am up and about, I will go to the Dreaming Dragon.
>>
>>5295592
>That annoying girl wants me to dance for her in a few days time, and I have questions to ask her besides. Once I am up and about, I will go to the Dreaming Dragon.
>>
>>5295592
>>Greycastle says that the High Sorcerer has need of someone such as I? Then I will meet with this person in the morning. It would be good to have a magician as my ally.
>>
>>5295592
>Greycastle says that the High Sorcerer has need of someone such as I? Then I will meet with this person in the morning. It would be good to have a magician as my ally.
>>
>>5295592
>Tomorrow, I shall embark on a werebeast hunt. Scouring the abominable creatures from the face of this world will be a challenge worthy of my skills.
>>
>>5295592
>That annoying girl wants me to dance for her in a few days time, and I have questions to ask her besides. Once I am up and about, I will go to the Dreaming Dragon.
>>
>>5295592
>That annoying girl wants me to dance for her in a few days time, and I have questions to ask her besides. Once I am up and about, I will go to the Dreaming Dragon.

We are financially secure for the moment. We can afford to make friends and do something less stressful for a few days. Plus we can follow up with the guildmaster
>>
>>5295964
Don't worry, the underdark assassins will kill her right in front of us for daring to have friends
>>
>>5295976
Classic dark elves.
>>
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Hello adventurers. This is the QM bringing you an emergency update. To make a long story short, my neighbor's washing machine broke and the plumber had to bust open the ceiling of the room that my computer is conveniently located in. I fully intend to have an update out today, but it might be delayed until tomorrow. That is all.
>>
>>5296038
Don't sweat it! (heh)
>>
>>5296038
Thanks for letting us know.

>>5295592
>>5295909
>Tomorrow, I shall embark on a werebeast hunt. Scouring the abominable creatures from the face of this world will be a challenge worthy of my skills.
Changing to
>Greycastle says that the High Sorcerer has need of someone such as I? Then I will meet with this person in the morning. It would be good to have a magician as my ally.
>>
>>5295592
>Greycastle says that the High Sorcerer has need of someone such as I? Then I will meet with this person in the morning. It would be good to have a magician as my ally.

>>5296038
May this trial pass you by swiftly, QM.
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>>5296038
Thanks for the heads up.
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>>5295592
>That annoying girl wants me to dance for her in a few days time, and I have questions to ask her besides. Once I am up and about, I will go to the Dreaming Dragon.
>>
There is a gaping hole in my ceiling, but some semblance of normalcy has been restored, so I will close the vote here. To those that wish to speak with the High Sorcerer, worry not, there will be time to meet with new people before anons vote to begin the next adventure proper.

Since there is no update right now, I will ask, what do you want to see more of in this quest in the future?
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>>5296513
Jez being able to enjoy herself and wear frilly dresses
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>>5296513
Other then lots of pictures of Drow women in princess dresses? Mainly visiting a few dungeons and looting what's inside. Perhaps a chance to visit some famous cities in Faerûn, Myth Drannor and Waterdeep among them. And, if you're willing to hear out a long term goal, Jez eventually leading a large group of renegade Drow out of Menzoberranzan and Lolth's clutches with the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of high fashion.
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>>5296513
Frilly dresses, new friends and a charming gentleman who can show Jez that men can be equal partners too
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>>5296513
Political maneuvering might be fun, when we have the surface-savvy.
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>>5296513
More determination of Jez's character and internal musings. Strange surface stuff that throws Jez out of her comfort zone. Some cool friends, rivals, party members to bounce off of. The fulfillment of the potential in our various plot hooks, stuff like our stolen name, escaping from or the return to fight our family, the cult stuff about the guildmaster and Greycastle, the guildmaster coming to the inn, the phantom knight, the unremarkable bookseller, the details about the local area mentioned by the wererat, etc, etc.
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>>5296513
I'm digging what I see so far, narratively I guess a buildup to forming (or joining) your own band of mercenaries/adventurers, and especially find out/discover the greater happenings in the world, preferably by heading to the larger metropole/city of the area. That's when you can do really great adventuring!
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>>5296513
Adventure! Thrills! Exploration! Romance! Action! Humor! Damsels in Distress (be it princesses or Jez herself)!
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>>5297139
Forgot the most important thing :
Drows in exotic armor/dresses showing off a lot of skin!
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>>5295595
>>5295657
>>5295675
>>5295682
>>5295870
>>5295898
>>5295909
>>5295947
>>5295964
>>5296050
>>5296428
Elsewhere...

"And you are absolutely certain that these impressions were left by the same boots that she was wearing on the day she fled?" You ask the ranger expectantly, glancing toward the horizon whilst shielding your eyes from the luminous rays of the setting sun. You had only ever ventured up here in the dead of night, to oversee raids, but even this much light was difficult to withstand. It was nigh impossible to imagine that its magnitude was indeed greater a handful of hours ago.

He nods. "Quite so, Matron Mother. The trail leads north, toward a city. Our charts are dated, but we believe this to be a settlement by the name of-" you raise your hand and extend your palm toward his mouth, silencing him. "Spare me the details, male." You turn to address the rest of the search party. "Don't just stand there, you imbeciles. If that daughterless whore believes that she can find succor among the vermin, then she is in for a rude awakening. We are going to drag her out from that cesspit by the hair this very night. Now get to securing a way into the city this very instant! I want her found! I want her..." you wring your hands until your knuckles pop. "Found!"

"Be reasonable, Vierna..." delicate fingers gently caress your cheek as the silky voice of a woman speaks at you in a measured tone. "We are only twenty strong, never mind that we could not hope to breach those fortifications even if we fielded all of our-" Tightening your grip on your staff, you bring it around and strike the right side of her skull with just enough force to leave a dent. With Herculean effort, she suppresses a cry of pain and bows obsequiously.

"Speak only when first spoken to, Phaere," you admonish, "but do continue." She forces a smile, clearing her throat. "Forgive me, sister. I only meant to suggest that we withdraw for the time being. It just so happens that I know of a way to obtain the means by which we may hunt down our errant sibling. It will take three tendays, but I promise that you needn't lift a finger."
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>>5297747
You polish your armor until the last of the dried blood is removed, washing out your new cloak and hanging it in front of the window to dry for an hour. Exhaustion had won out again, and you ended up falling asleep with a morsel of food clutched tightly in your hand. Had an assailant snuck up on you while you are unconscious, they would have no need to end your life, as you would immediately die of embarrassment. The torrent of emotions that you experienced last night did not help. What was that about? Vulnerability did not suit you. You are a proud Ilythiiri warrior, master of a martial art and practitioner of several more, a lifetaker that has left innumerable corpses in your wake. Tears are for the weak, the broken; not you.

Mulling over your deficiencies could be done some other day, you conclude. Making ready for your next adventure, you check your equipment twice and depart for the Dreaming Dragon, once more braving the terrible dawn. Ilanis was, for reasons that escape you, amiable and cooperative, and you were in desperate need of allies at this time. You knock against the tavern's door and wait. No response. Perhaps she didn't hear it?

Knock knock knock knock knock.

Your closed fist forcefully beats against the wood. Nothing. She must be asleep. This calls for drastic measures. Drawing back your arm, you pound against the door with all of your weight behind you.

THUNK THUNK THUNK THUNK THUNK.

The door flies open, and you are greeted by a familiar figure wearing a long yellow nightgown, her hair frizzy and in desperate need of a good brushing. "Uhm, can't you read the sign!? We're only open from- oh, it's Sindi! Come on in!" Lively as ever, Ilanis grabs you by the wrist before you can react, and sits you at the bar. "I'm just making coffee right now. So how have you been? Everyone's been talking about the strange dancer we had here the other day. Where were you last night, anyway?"

There was no mention of the task she had in mind for you. Unless you were mistaken, that meant that this was an opportunity to make small talk, and to slake your curiosity. You may choose no more than three.
>I keep hearing mention of a Council of Elders. Do tell me about them.
>I want to know about the Master of Guilds, specifically. Anything you can share would be welcome.
>I'll tell her all about my latest adventure. Children enjoy that sort of thing, do they not?
>Have you heard any rumors about thieves operating here in Everlund?
>Hold a moment. People have been talking about me? What have they been saying?
>Talk about... [Write-in.]
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>>5297747
>>5297754
In future, it may not be a bad idea to either only use "you" in the second-tense when referring to Jez, or to make it clearer when we change back to her perspective. Just a thought.

>>5297754
>Have you heard any rumors about thieves operating here in Everlund?
>Talk about the fabled "Song of Friendship" -- is it known to her?
>Hold a moment. People have been talking about me? What have they been saying?
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>>5297754
>I'll tell her all about my latest adventure. Children enjoy that sort of thing, do they not?
>Afterwards, ask her if she knows a halfling by the name of Willard, and if he comes here every so often.
>Do you know if any other elves like me came through this town? Ones who talked about a goddess, even?
>Talk about the fabled "Song of Friendship" -- is it known to her?
>>
>>5297754
>>I keep hearing mention of a Council of Elders. Do tell me about them.
>>I want to know about the Master of Guilds, specifically. Anything you can share would be welcome.
>>Hold a moment. People have been talking about me? What have they been saying?
>>
>>5297764
You may be right. I felt that separating the posts and changing the subject would be enough to infer it when I was reviewing it, but I see how it could get confusing. I'll keep that in mind for the future.
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>>5296513
We have read several times how Jez feels depressed from being unable to conceive daughters and how her sisters used it against her so I'd like to see Jez try to fix this using all her means.
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>>5297768
Damnit, I keep forgetting the 3 question rule.

Revised questions:
>Have you heard any rumors about thieves operating here in Everlund?
>Hold a moment. People have been talking about me? What have they been saying?
>Talk about the fabled "Song of Friendship" -- is it known to her?
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>>5297754
>I keep hearing mention of a Council of Elders. Do tell me about them.
>Hold a moment. People have been talking about me? What have they been saying?
>Do you know if any other elves like me came through this town? Ones who talked about a goddess, even?
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>>5297747
Hey, we may be getting old but we have the comfort of knowing that no matter how old we get we'll be way hotter than our sister.

>>5297754
>I want to know about the Master of Guilds, specifically. Anything you can share would be welcome.
>I'll tell her all about my latest adventure. Children enjoy that sort of thing, do they not?
>Talk about the fabled "Song of Friendship" -- is it known to her?

Some info gathering, something to amuse her with so we don't just spend the entire conversation pestering her with questions, and the comedy question for the lulz.

>>5297768
The QM said to pick only 3.
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>>5297789
...I already fixed the problem anon, nine minutes before you told me. Right here >>5297784.
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>>5297754
>I keep hearing mention of a Council of Elders. Do tell me about them.
>I want to know about the Master of Guilds, specifically. Anything you can share would be welcome.
>>
>>5297754
>I'll tell her all about my latest adventure. Children enjoy that sort of thing, do they not?
>Hold a moment. People have been talking about me? What have they been saying?
>I want to know about the Master of Guilds, specifically. Anything you can share would be welcome.
>>
>>5297754
>I want to know about the Master of Guilds, specifically. Anything you can share would be welcome.
>Have you heard any rumors about thieves operating here in Everlund?
>Hold a moment. People have been talking about me? What have they been saying?
>>
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>>5297754
>I keep hearing mention of a Council of Elders. Do tell me about them.
>I'll tell her all about my latest adventure. Children enjoy that sort of thing, do they not?
>Hold a moment. People have been talking about me? What have they been saying?
>>
>>5297796
Do it right the first time and you won't be told a second.

>>5297754
>Have you heard any rumors about thieves operating here in Everlund?
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>>5298109
Didn't know it wa spossible to be a teacher's pet on an anonymous imageboard quest.
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>>5298169
>t. lack of father-figure in life.
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>>5297796
I saw that, I just started typing before you posted and then went away to do some laundry before posting without looking.
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>>5297754
>I keep hearing mention of a Council of Elders. Do tell me about them.
>I want to know about the Master of Guilds, specifically. Anything you can share would be welcome.
>Hold a moment. People have been talking about me? What have they been saying?
>>