------------------------------------------------------Archive of previous thread:https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2022/5377769/Recap:You finally caught up to Ogg, and killed her. The victory was rather hard-won, as you were forced to curse Snikt with the same curse as you to stop her from aging into dust, using the scroll Anna was intending to use, along with forcing Paracelsus to overdo it on the magic to keep her alive long enough.The Grey Dragon, the Grey Knight that went ahead, was cursed like you, and then got obscene amounts of magic pumped into her, managed to fly you up along with Chad and William after Ogg started teleporting her way up the mountain. You had fought past her retinue already, and finally, you found her, already dying from the many wounds you inflicted upon her. You decapitated her, and were then stopped by a dragon.Not just A dragon, but something more akin to The dragon. A primordial dragon, titanic in size.It had just offered you a boon.—-------------------------------------------------“...I want to leave this place, unharmed and peacefully, with this corpse and my squires.”The dragon laughed. It was a deep, unsettling rumble, and eventually the dragon spoke once more.“I see… You expected me to betray you.Twist your words into something else. Very well. I had expected you to ask me to end your curse.”It leans in closer, still, and then it speaks as quietly as a creature of that size can manage. It’s still enough to make you feel like you’re dealing with an earthquake, and it’s making your injuries hurt a little more from the vibration…And the cold.“Climb upon my back, then. I shall bring you to the base of the mountain, where your mate and hoard is waiting.”You clench your teeth… The Grey Knight.“I… appreciate the offer, of course.” You say, looking for an escape… but the creature is using its wings to block off the cave entirely.“But I… already have transportation.”“Indeed you do… I spoke with her already. Such self-loathing she carries. But I shall make it right. She will be a dragon, as she deserves. A new breed, even. She will be free to do as she sees fit, once her transformation is permitted to finish.”….Ohhh hell.You…You might not be able to help the Grey Knight. Unless, of course, you walk back the boon somehow. Alternatively, you don’t doubt the Grey Knight will fight this creature every step of the way, perhaps enough to be killed by it rather than suffer the fate of being something so inhuman.But… What does he intend to do with her? Keep her around?You’re not sure if you should ask questions.>Don't get into it, you need to escape.The Grey Knight is quite likely to try and kill this dragon. This should... fulfill her request.>Walk the boon back. You need to help her... somehow.>Something else.This is... horrid.
>>5426219>Something else.See if we can speak to her for a moment. We probably can't get away with killing her in this moment anymore, but we should find out how she's doing. Especially if it turns out that she's got Greygaun in her head now. But if she is lucid, we can let her know to meet back up with us so she can get everything taken care of.
>>5426232support, Last time I was in this quest we just got the kobolds the hell happened
>>5426219>Tom-8-oooo's in the backgroundmade my fucking dayWhere are my kobolts Spine? Where are the kobolts we liberated from Ogg?
>>5426219Talk to William and Chad real quick. Are they alright?
>>5426465Based on the last post they should be fine. there wasn't a whole lot of fighting in the final showdown. Biggest issue right now is that they're kobolts and Reynauld is getting absolutely mogged by an ancient dragon, so honestly the sooner we leave the better.
>>5426232Supporting.>>5426219Welcome back, SJ!
>>5426534Didn't intend to be gone for so long, just never found the time to make the new thread picture and write out the update========="I... May I... May I speak to her?"The dragon looks at you, obviously amused, and then asks:"Did you think me blind? Assumed I would not know of another upon my territory? Or had you truly forgotten her? A tool to be used and tossed away?"You remain silent... Though Chad talks for you:"We did not know you were here!" The dragon raises an eyebrow. It's not dissimilar to watching a mountain move."Do you let your kobolts speak for you?"You don't hesitate."Of course. They're my friends."The dragon chuckles. You groan a bit from the noise."Typical youngling. You will grow out of caring for mayflies. But very well. You wish to speak to my... apprentice?""Apprentice?" You repeat, shocked, and the dragon remains amused:"She has not accepted me yet... But she will. She has the drive and power to be something... very interesting. You, I will permit to continue. This... race of dragonborn. Bound to be amusing."You grind your teeth... and then the dragon finally answers."I will permit you to speak to her. Then, I shall carry you down."...As good as it gets.You walk outside, the dragon guiding you by walking over you, it's body shielding you somewhat from the cold. William still remains in a state of rapture, forcing Chad to pull him along. The Grey Dragon is standing upright, looking defiantly at Onyx... and then at you."...KKhhhg." She tries to speak, but her mouth does not work with her. "Rrr... Rey... nauld... I.... Please..." She says, through gritted teeth. Onyx, instead, laughs."I've read both your mind, and that of his. He shan't slay you, apprentice.""N-nnOT! YOUR! APPRENTICE!"She falls to the ground, here, unable to keep standing. She still seems so... exhausted.Then, she drags her head over to you, tilting her head up...Revealing the weak spot of most dragons. "Try to kill her... and you will have to make your own way down." The dragon states....It's a long god damned climb down. And you don't have much protection against the elements.The Grey Dragon... sadly closes her eyes."...Do... as you must. Save... yourself. I shall... f-find. A way."...>Stab her in the throat.You'll make it down this mountain. You'll just have to manage.>Don't try to kill her.At least, she understands your reasoning.>Say or do something else.Is there a way to have both?
>>5426997>>Don't try to kill her.>At least, she understands your reasoning.I am sticking with my previous plan of telling her to meet with us once we're off the mountain.With that said, it is very much worth noting that "I won't fly you off the mountain" and "I'm going to kill you" are not the same thing.
>>5426997>>Stab her in the throat.>You'll make it down this mountain. You'll just have to manage.I would rather die on this mountain taken by the cold, with an unburdened Heart. Then leave her behind and fail her for a second time. Anon's plan is bust it is clear the dark dragon has some influence over her and will not allow her to leave just look how her body resists her desires. We have achieved our mission the world is just a little safer. So I can say if we die here then I am at peace with it. Don't leave her to a fate worse than death anons, our failures have finally caught up with us, and I for one and ready to pay them in full, whatever the cost.
>>5427013having been on mountains like this myself, no. fuck that. maybe if we had a rope, flukes and runners. we don't get anything accomplished by dying and we still have a whole raft of responsibilities that we need to take care of.
>>5426997>>Stab her in the throat.This seems very much like a now or never moment.
>>5426997>Didn't intend to be gone for so longWhere were you! You said you were going out for cigarettes. Its been years!>*sobbing noises*>Stab her in the throatWe have dragon fire. Too cold? Self immolate, or just super heat a plot of ground and allow Chad and William to warm up a bit before we continue traveling.To make traveling faster and safer, we can conjure our kobolt skull.Is Reynauld capable of gliding? If yes then perhaps he can glide down with his two squires.
>>5427069>>5427045We technically still have to immolate Ogg's corpse, plus there's Snikt and Celsie to worry about. Them, we have to somehow deal with the remaining dragonborn, purge the wicked among them, and find a place to settle the innocent where they won't eventually destroy the world. Alternatively, see if Grey can still fly us down as we planned.
>>5426997>>Stab her in the throat.You came back!
>>5427013But Chad and William might die. They don't deserve to suffer a slow and ignoble death, one that they could easily escape and haven't consented to, for the sake of someone who we KNOW would rather prioritize the innocent over herself. It betrays our squire, our girlfriend, the dragonborn below who need our guidance, the innocents we could protect... And even Grey herself.>>5426997>Apologize>Don't try to kill her
>>5426997>>Don't try to kill her.We'll kill her. Just not right now.
>>5427443anon that's copium man, this is clearly a now or never moment. Even if we next see her it won't be as an ally this dragon is sure that in time he will turn her. Our lives and the lives of even our squires are nothing compared to the lives she will take and ruin if we allow her to be turned by the black dragon. This is a branch point anon, either we kill her and roll the dice on getting down or we don't and all the hell that comes from it we will have to live with.
>>5427442We will never get another chance to free her, even if we meet her again after the black dragon allows her to go out into the world she will now allow us to put her down she will be another monster that we need to put down one we could have stopped before she fell so far. walking away damned infinitely more innocent lives that we save by taking the safe path down.
>>5426997>Don't try to kill her.You guys do realize Onyx won't let Reynauld kill Grey, right? He's much bigger, more magically potent AND a mindreader. Look at the phrasing.>"TRY to kill her... and you will have to make your own way down." The dragon states.Trying now won't solve anything and put us in a much worse position than we're already in. Remember, we have a time limit to get back to the group and descending the mountain by ourselves is bound to take longer than that.
Right now, it's an equal vote, and I don't have access to my computer for the rest of the day. I'll come in an update tomorrow. I was hoping to update daily for at least a bit, to make up for the atrociously slow update rate.>>5427176Never meant to leave, hun.>>5427069I went out for milk, the line was long.Reynauld is not capable of gliding, at most he can get a little extra height from a jump.
>>5427696How tall and steep is the mountain? How cold is it? What kind of gamberson are our friends wearing? If its cotton then it will help with the cold.
>>5427690I think we can get the kill-off, and we owe it to gray to try.
>>5427696Still think we should kill her. Can we know her name before we do the deed, assuming everyone is cool with mercy killing her?
>>5428345We should obviously kill her but we should do it when we're off the mountain. I think asking Gray to let us ride her down, or accompany us, is a better call than forcing the issue here.
While it's hard to say that you didn't hesitate, you still elected to go for it. You take out your sword, and in one quick plunge, you slam the blade deep within her throat. There is a short, choked gasp... but she remains quiet after that. Instead, she gives you a look. A sad, yet somehow grateful look. It's as much as she can manage as she begins to bleed out, but then you hear a rumble from above you. It's laughter. Big, boisterous laughter."SO YOU PREFER DEATH, ON MY MOUNTAIN!? VERY INTERESTING INDEED, KNIGHT!" He yells, a mix of anger and amusement making his disposition... hard to tell. Then,laughing still, he says:"Are you aware I could have simply healed her? But fine... Let this be your boon! But know this, Knight! WHEN your transformation completes, you will be MINE. I will come to you, and I shall teach you all what it means to be a true dragon!"He flaps his wings back, making you feel as though the very air seeks to crush you, as he makes distance."So says Onyx. Now, go. I shall be patient, Reynauld. You, and your mate, will be mine. I shall guide all of you to your true potential, but enjoy your time as humanoids."It turns around... and then turns back."Assuming you survive. But I shall have your mate, even if you perish. Enjoy the consequences."Then, it walks away a bit more, before spreading its wings and then flying off. That went... better than initially expected, you have to admit. You were expecting to get eaten, to be entirely frank, and instead you're at the top of a mountain with no protection against the cold, with only about 3000 meters to climb down....Oh, and it's completely infested with magic, so you're going to be fighting monsters at best and dealing with physical manifestations of humanity's sins at worst. Likely both!Fantastic....the Grey Dragon remains here, appearing to be almost strangely at peace. She kept her head up, to permit herself to bleed out faster, and she never lasted very...Then she appears before you. What.She appears ghostly, even see-through, but she looks paradoxically healthier than you have ever seen her. She speaks, her voice slow and emotionless."Ser knight... I am a wisp created to help you find you way down the mountain. It was the final bit of magic my creator had left... She would like to apologize for my appearance, she understood it may have been upsetting for you."You just stare at her. Shivering in the cold."We must hurry. The road down will be difficult. There is a cave not too far from here where you will be able to rest and supply yourself. Kobolts once lived there, they will have left scraps. And, of course... You may gather what you wish from my creator's corpse. She will not be needing it anymore. Dragon hide, bones, even blood may be useful in some regard. The blood, for instance, is quite warm. It may serve as a way to heat yourself."You don't know what to think.But you need to move.>Gather something from the corpseBut what?>Move out now. No time.
>>5429140>>Gather something from the corpse>But what?we probably need the dragon blood to stay warm, and we should grab some of the smaller teeth to use as pitons, not that we have a decent rope.Also groady as it is we might as well grab some meat off her body.I'm not looking at looking her corpse for things to sell, just for things to use to get off the mountain.
>>5429140>gather somethingBlood for warmthAnd like the other anon said, some teeth to use as icepicks/crampons
>>5429140Yeah, teeth, body spikes, and claws can be used for icepicks/crampons and those boot spikes to help scale ice cliffs.I don't know how we can do anything with the blood given it's highly caustic and will melt through anything we put in it. If we can try to retrieve her eyes, and skin the dragon hide to later fashion a coat for yourself and your squires.The bones could probably be made into handles for tools.>>5429146>>5429160eyes too. They sell for a lot. More so than bones, blood, and hide. Dragon meat is useless though since QM described it as tasting like....gasoline or rubber or something?
>>5429164>Dragon meat is useless though since QM described it as tasting like....gasoline or rubber or something?it doesn't have to taste good it has to replace the calories we expend getting down the hill and staying warm.dragontooth crampons would be hella cool.wing membranes can be used as a tarp. we still need a rope. braided strips of skin?
>>5429168Good shit I forgot about the wings. Wings could be cut up to make tents, cloaks, or clothes to weather the storm.Oh shit we also need to make some weapons and armor to fight against all the monsters while climbing our way down.>>5429140Can we drag the dragon corpse with the help of our squires to the cave to try any make some Monster Hunter like weapons, armor, clothes, and tools? Now that I think about it, the skin or hide of the Grey Knight (god rest her soul) is probably resistant to the acidity of the blood, so we can make pouches full of dragon blood to either throw at enemies, or aid in crafting things.
>>5429140>dragon corpse to abandoned kobolt, cave>summon ghost kobolt and see if we can command it to relay a message for us: we're okay, but we need to climb down a mountain. Will see you later, you should get out of the Sierra Madre. Don't forget to loot the place.>Love, Renauld>begin harvesting corpse for the wing membranes, hide, scales, bones, teeth, claws, spines, and eyes>harvest the wings quickly and use them to harvest the blood leaking from her neck. The blood will keep the cave warm.>after harvesting all the blood, or as much as the wings can hold, use your spare hatchet or a sword to de-hide her>use some spare hide or wing to make a small pouch for the eyes>pull out the teeth, claws, and spikes to determine which would be useful for climbing with>find the longest tooth/spine/claw and see if you can sharpening it into a sort of spear sword. Use a rock or another bone to sharpen, or your claws. Failing that, go full on UNNGGA BUNGA and grab the longest bone in the dragon to use as a club>try to twist some skin into string to tie hides together to make a primitive armored shirt, or rope. Tendons work too. If you can do better make a new set of armor using hide and scales. Go full Monster Hunter World.>if the blood stays perpetually warm and the wings or skin dont burn away, tie up a pouch of blood for yourself, William, and Chad so we all dont freeze to death as we travel>determine who has weapons. Make additional weapons or needed.>contemplate moral issue of cannibalism
>>5429140>summon ghost kobolt and see if we can command it to relay a message for us: we're okay, but we need to climb down a mountain. Will see you later, you should get out of the Sierra Madre. Don't forget to loot the place. Love, Renauld>Gather blood for warmth and some teeth to use as icepicks/crampons
>>5429594But what are you going to do with the blood? How are you going to gather it?
>>5429609the idea is to use the blood to stay warm, since we're like 3000m above sea level and shit is cold.
>>5429611How do you use blood to stay warm?
>>5429613It's dragon blood, it stays warm on its own
>>5429884Can you give and example?
>>5429907right here>>5429140>The blood, for instance, is quite warm. It may serve as a way to heat yourself."that's the premise we're operating on.
>>5429939So we bathe in the blood?
>>5429966You do what you can when the alternative is freezing to death.
>>5429966i think the idea would be to harvest some of it and use it as hot packs. You know, like glove warmers.
>>5429140I want to have hot homo sex with our squires
>>5429140While we're carving up Grey, converse with our squires about potential monsters that live here, how to fight them, strategies, weaknesses. We can't make bows, so try to make some slings for ranged weapons.
>>5430158That's one way to stay warm, I guess.
Cutting up somebody that you knew quite well and mercy killed is... not the most pleasant experience. All the same, you try to focus on survival above all else, to get through it. Somehow, the spirit left behind by the Grey Knight encouraging you only made things considerably more uncomfortable for you.At least the blood burn hot enough to keep you warm.By the end of it, you've made a sort of shirt out of the wing membranes, which won't help against the cold, but it keeps out the cutting wind at the very least. Other than that, mostly pouches of blood, made up of skin, tied together tendons, and further shut with teeth. This is... grisly, grisly work. Your kobolts also can't help, on account of them not being immune against this blood, though they keep close to the giant cavity in the body. The blood helps keep them warm, and the body itself shields them against this wind. By the time you're finished, you've got some teeth ready to be made into climbing tools, though you need to move to the tunnel, first and foremost. Following the spirit, you reach the cave in no time. It was quite close by, though the climb was still quite dangerous. Climbing down is easier than climbing up, at least... You fail to see where one could have gotten a grip to even start, but dropping down that distance isn't a problem. There's a snaking sort of road down, from here, though it's not one that looks particularly appealing. You can see charred corpses on the ground at one bend, and guessing from the tunnel, you suspect another dragon lives there. This is a prime mating ground for them, so you'd better be really, REALLY god-damned careful.So, the easy road will send you past dragons, but the spirit of the Grey Knight can offer some more nuggets of knowledge. For one, the cave she brought you to was once a cave belonging to a dragon, which you could have guessed yourself from... the bones.You can see tooth marks in said bones, big and small ones.There are some remnants of a kobolt klan, here. Mostly just sticks, stones, fireplace remnants... even a tent! All of it is quite old, unfortunately, but it's enough materials to turn the big teeth into makeshift climbing picks! You have enough teeth for you, William and Chad, and you're quite thankful that dragons have rows of teeth, for once.At the far end of the tunnel, you see a small hole that you could just barely squeeze though. It looks like it goes down, which might permit you to avoid the biting cold outside, and the potential dragons. The dragons could likely be avoided with some climbing, to be fair, as long as you don't pass by their caves themselves. It's a bloody dangerous climb sometimes, though, and nobody present is actually experienced in the matter....This is tough. The spirit will guide you regardless of which way you go.Ah, and you take the time to try and send a message to your friends at the bottom of the mountain... Though you don't know if it worked.You THINK something was sent, though.
>Take the easiest route, follow the path. You'll have to deal with passing by potential dragon caves, though...>Take the fastest route, climb straight down.You dodge the caves, but instead you deal with steep drops, ice, and even more exposure to the elements.>Take a risk, and plunge into the depth below.The cave goes down, and the spirit considers it an option... It won't be a dead end, at least.
>>5431197>>Take the easiest route, follow the path.the easiest route is the fastest route, usually. I feel that we are as likely to encounter dragons on both descents, but if we stick to the easier route, we'll have more warning and more options if we do meet somebody.(Also going down is way harder than going up.)
>>5431201>Take a risk, and plunge into the depth below.Fingers crossed for stumbling upon the holorifle or something
>>5431197>Take the easiest route, follow the path. SEDUCE THE DRAGONLAY THE DRAGON (don't sex it. Maybe try diplomacy)Did we take Grey's eyes?
>>5431201Option two is just not viable, we don't have the protective cold gear for it, nor do we have the experience with climbing to do this, and we are fucked if we meet dragons while climbing down as we would not be able to fight them.Option 1 gives us the best chance to fight a dragon if we meet one, but if we run into two? I don't like our odds at all.Now 3 might sound like the riskiest, but no dragons, we have our kobold spirits for light and the spirit, as well as all the gear we would have used to fight Ogg, we escape the cold, negate the dragon threat, and with our numbers and power/resources i think we can handle what we might meet in the darkness.>Take a risk and plunge into the depth below
>>5431201>Take a risk and plunge into the depth below
>>5431201>Take a risk, and plunge into the depth below.And now we go adopt us some dwarfs
>>5431201>Take the fastest route, climb straight down.The sooner we're out of here, the sooner we can start looking for another archmage.
You figure the caves should be safer than the alternative, though not by much. You move towards the small squeeze at the end of the cave, and give a quick look… before deciding to go headfirst into the nightmare hole. If need be, your kobolts can pull you free, or perhaps you can magic your way out. Either way, this is a bit scary. You're not claustrophobic, by any means, but your natural instincts are telling you this is a bad idea.You make your way through the stone, noting that the stone is remarkably smooth, and you have the faint smell of salt in the air. Salt caves? Interesting. Salt is something that actually keeps magic energy inside of it pretty well, though it can't hold a candle to some purpose-made alchemical concoctions or gold. Generally speaking, it's used as a makeshift ward against it, if there's truly no other option. You have to exhale to fit through the last bit, but you make it into a much larger cave. The stalagmites are quite pretty, your dragonfire torch reflecting off of some very minor gold ore deposits, you suppose. You lit said torch as fast as you could, using the remnants of the kobolt equipment to make said torch. The blue light works quite well here, and you'll use that as long as you can manage. It grants far more light Your squires make it through the squeeze a lot faster than you, owing to them being about half your size. They both remain quiet, apart from William occasionally whimpering.From here… no way to go but forward. The journey is nerve-wracking, you have to admit, though at least it's not nearly as cold. You notice moisture on the ground after some time, and distant dripping of water. Most likely, some moisture is gathering somewhere, and then evaporating over time. It explains the shape of some of these stalactites, actually. Though, that’s about as far as your geology knowledge goes.You keep walking for some time, the cave being surprisingly hospitable, all things considered, though after some time the moisture is getting kind of… distracting. The smell is the worst part.“Smells like… rotting meat!” Chad says, the smell getting to him, while William has elected to tie a handkerchief around his nose to try and keep the smell out of his nostrils. You just deal with it. You’ve gotten used to the smell of rotting corpses back in the crusades, and this doesn’t even really smell like that. If anything… it mostly smells of a fresh corpse, instead. Which is arguably worse. This continues on for a while, and you note that you’re soon wading in what seems to be an inch of water… When you bring the torch a bit closer, you… just sigh in defeat. Because of course.It’s blood. You’re walking in blood.
That would explain the smell. The cave walls are also changing, slowly, the rock turning smoother and smoother… and over time, slimy. The blood river isn’t getting much higher, though, though you do note that it seems to be moving in one direction.It moves in little waves, too, and eventually… you hear a faint heartbeat.“Oooookay. Sure. Why not. Big heart in the mountain.” You say, too tired to use anything other than weary sarcasm. You keep moving forward, the thumping slowly getting louder, and the blood river soon reaching your ankles. Your kobolts are both scared, and eventually, you decide to hand the torch to Chad sos you can… hold the hands of your squires. It seems to calm them down, at least a little bit. …You stop when you see a figure ahead of you.It looks to be a hauntingly beautiful women, dressed in very long noblewoman’s clothes, it looks like… though not in any style you’ve seen before. She has a sort of cap on, and looks upon you three with…Well.You can’t really fully gather what that expression is. Vague interest, perhaps?You stop walking, and the lady asks you:“Who… are you?”>Nnnnope ignore the lady, keep walking.>I am Ser Reynauld. I seek passage off this mountain.>Shoot the bitch.
>>5434062>BloodbornessshhhiiiieeeettttttWho and what are you. What is this place, and why is there a heart here?Be prepared to kill an eldritch bitch.
>>5434062>I am Ser Reynauld. I seek passage off this mountain
>>5434062>>I am Ser Reynauld. I seek passage off this mountain.No reason not to be polite about it
>>5434062>I am Ser Reynauld. I seek passage off this mountain.
>>5434062>Who am I? Who are YOU? What is this place and why are you here?"Some prissy bint wading through a river of blood" just screams "trustworthy", right?
>>5434062>>I am Ser Reynauld. I seek passage off this mountain.well, this entity hasn't gone hostile yet, and owing to the fact we are ankle-deep in blood let's not piss it off if we can. perhaps we really can talk our way out.
"I am Ser Reynauld... I seek passage off this mountain." You say, and the woman just stares at you for a moment longer. After some time, however, she clasps her hands together, and gives you a short, demure bow."Well met, Ser. I am..."There is a short pause, and while he face did not appear to change at first glance... somehow, you get a distinctly sad impression from it. It's hard to fully explain what it is that changed, and yet..."I... Suppose that does not matter. Not anymore. I am not she, but merely an echo of her."Curiosity gets the better of you, unfortunately, and you decide to ask:"And who is "she", exactly. If I may be so bold."You hope maintaining manners is enough to keep this woman docile, though it's hard to say in the mountains here."I represent The Skin... Though I was once given a name. This place... is not where I belong, yet it is where I am.""Why are you called The Skin?" William asks, unable to keep his mouth shut. You suppose it's nerves, which you can understand, but you hope this didn't offend. Mercifully, it doesn't look like it."I do not recall. My original was once part of a coven. I... suspect I was echoed more by chance than by purpose. Anything more powerful than me, would be powerful enough to remain dead. But I must ask something of you."The creature steps closer, ripples in the blood appearing as her dress slides through the liquid, floating faintly and leaving the garment stained... But no said stains go higher than her ankles."Does God remain dead?"You clench your teeth at the question."...The worship towards The Light continues... if you consider that to be God.""The Light? Tell of of it.""It's... a power. I suppose? A power that is granted to its staunch believers, dedicated to wiping out all it deems evil. There are books written about what it intends, but mostly there are priests that interpret what needs to be done, and a power that aids those wishes."There is a short pause... and The Skin shakes her head."Then God remains dead. But, I should ask... How long has it been since America was discovered?"You blink.You blink again."What is America?" Chad asks, clearly confused, and that makes the skin... sigh."The origin of Hell's Bayou. Do you not- No... No, I suppose it's been too long. I am merely an echo, myself."The thumping seems to speed up, suddenly... and you can hear rushing water. Though, more than likely, it's yet more blood."They come. Parasites, feasting upon the flesh. I am a part of them, Ser Reynauld."The woman, meanwhile steps towards you, slowly. Her gait is almost unnaturally graceful, as if the blood wasn't there at all.
Then, without warning, the woman tears open her blouse. You take a step back, for a moment, as you see the woman exposing herself... before you quickly look away."Please! There is... no need for that!" You say, looking elsewhere for the sake of the woman's modesty... Only looking back when William starts yelling.Oh.Her hands have dug deeper than her blouse, revealing a gaping, gnashing maw of teeth beneath the skin, while the woman begins to tear at her mouth, as well, revealing more and more rows of sharp, gnarled teeth."I hunger, Reynauld. WE have hungered." She says, speaking with both her chest and her mouth, while you hear more and more rushing water. Before long, you see them appear all around the woman. The parasites. Long, eel-like black worms, swimming towards you. Their skin is pitch-black, and they hop in and out of the blood, revealing a circular mouth with sharp teeth, biting at the air as they screech.Even with how low the blood is, these creatures aren't stopped for even a second. There are dozens of these fat, disgusting creatures! Some of them seem to stop swimming, on occasion, instead just sticking themselves to the cave's fleshy walls, taking a chunk out of it before they continue their trek towards you....>Boil them alive! Use your dragon's breath.>Run back! The blood is already shallow, you can get away from those creatures if you find dry enough land!>Prepare your blade and attack!
>>5436122>Prepare your blade and attack!Hold the line!
>>5436122>>Prepare your blade and attackDragons breath seems ill advised
>>5436121>"Then God remains dead. But, I should ask... How long has it been since America was discovered?"my beloved land name dropped nice, but also >oh fuck this things knows about America>Boil them alive! Use your dragon's breath.There are to many to attempt to stand and fight them, we don't understand what there powers are, and running isn't an option, make sure we are in front and let loose the flames of fury
>>5436122>Boil them alive! Use your dragon's breath.Provide cover for our squires as we walk backwards towards dry enough land. Summon our kobolt head to search for a path.>>5436127>>5436137Pretty sure our personally blade got busted against after stabbing both Ogg and Grey (dragon blood tends to fick up armor and weapon). We got, like, some teeth and spikes, but no swords.And remember this is dragon fire, specifically Reynaulds. This shit will burn if not boil everything in the blood, so it'll still kill even if still is still submerged.
>>5436122>that Fallout 3 Point Lookout eldritch horror shout outNice. Nicely done Spine. Thank you for that. God I love me some fallout. Shame some of the QM's here fucked off to who knows where. I miss Enclave and NV Civ quest.
>>5436186While the blade is damaged, it will still cut. It's just possible for it to break soon.
>>5436186>This shit will burn if not boil everything in the blood, so it'll still kill even if still is still submerged.Yes but that includes us
>>5436378Maybe a month ago, but you do realize that Retnauld is now covered in scales? And the fact he survived getting immolated in fire by that one dragonborn? Plus he's aiming his fire at other people, not at the ground directly beneath him.I mean I'm not seeing your point here. He's used dragons breath before in the past and didnt manage to hurt himself.
>>5436473"Us" also includes Billiam and Chaddicus
>>5436122>Boil them alive! Use your dragon's breath.>>5436584That does sound pretty bad for them. They should probably run behind us while we breath fire then.
>>5436122>Boil them alive! Use your dragon's breath.But tell Will and Chad to run first.
>>5437107Then they'll be alone on Nightmare Mountain here without our protection!Good timing for a spoiky chapter by the way, QM!
>>5436122>You don’t know why but a name comes to you “Klara, Stop!”
>>5437540Don’t be that guy. If it isn’t a valid option the QM will either tell us or ignore it altogether.
>>5437494-1you get a negative vote because I don't know who Klara is. You're welcome.
"STAND BACK!" You yell to your squires, before taking in a deep, powerful breath. William and Chad are both more than experienced enough to know what this means, and they quickly hop back, though not far enough to actually be out of the light. Then, you unleash hell. Your fire lights up the cave more than before, and it becomes more and more obvious that you have long left the realm of stone, and entered a place entirely made up of flesh. You are inside a titanic artery, an almost literal vein in the earth.Your fire scorches the woman, who does not even scream as it engulfs her, while the myriad number of parasites are simply... swept away by your flame. Any that leave the blood are basically evaporated, little black shapes before your torrent of fire, quickly dissapating into nothinness as their bodies boil and disappear. The blood beneath you heat up, quickly, and before long, where-ever your flames touched, you can see a dark, ugly steam rise up. The blood bubbles, and any parasite that made the mistake of avoiding a direct touch with your flames quickly screeches... and begins to float, rather than swim.You cease, taking in a deep breath, almost choking on the smoke. The smell alone...Then, you look around.The woman that thought to attack you is a horrifically burnt mess, kneeling in the water. Her flesh has been turned an ugly dark brown, with her facial features turned entirely unrecognizable. You're almost surprised that she's as intact as she is, considering, but as you look at her burnt body... you look around.The cave has been affected just as much as she has, the already bloody and red flesh seemingly blistering and scarring. Chad and William quickly return to your torch, while you look around, trying to ignore the smell of burnt flesh. William hisses a little from the hot blood he's standing in, but it doesn't seem to be bad enough to burn, rapidly cooling even in these damp caves."Is she... dead?" Chad asks, looking carefully at the body ahead of them. Considering where you are, you decide not to leave it up to chance, taking out your sword and giving it a wide berth... You barely made it halfway past her when you suddenly hear creaking, faint snapping noises... all coming from the corpse.All at once, the head snaps back, sending a small splash of blood flying forward as the fused, charred flesh cracks apart."...You have burned the artery." She says, her voice still clear, despite her doubtlessly smoke-filled lungs and ruined throat."You have done far worse than mere parasites."She coughs, as she begins to crawl towards you with quick, jerky movements, as if pulling herself free from... something, each time. You keep moving, ensuring that you do not come close to the undying creature."The body will kill you... or you, will kill it."She snaps her head to the side, in the direction of the heartbeat."...End. This. Nightmare."
She falls to the ground once more, snapping herself to the side in a grotesque, puppet-like imitation of dying throes.Her mouth is still barely above the blood pool, and faintly, you hear her whisper one last word."Please."Then, despite the blood being no more than ankle-deep, she sinks away, swallowed by the flesh."I think... I'm gonna be sick." William says, the smell getting to the poor lad. "We should keep moving." You say, whlie you hear the heartbeat up ahead beating faster than before. Before long, you end up at a crossroads, or sorts. There are two much smaller tunnels to the right and to the left of you, with the left side sloping down, and the right side sloping up. Straight ahead, you still hear the heartbeat.The blood has reached up to your waist, by this point, with your kobolds being up to their chest. Both of them tilt their head up, to ensure nothing gets in their mouth, but if this keeps up you'll have to carry them.The downward artery seems to start higher than the floor you're on, however, only a small stream of crimson leaking down... Conversely, the upwards slope would see you fighting a stream. While the choice seems obvious, you also hear... chittering, from the left side.Not to mention.The heart is straight ahead. Perhaps you should take the Skin's advice, and kill it. Though you doubt anything will be that easy.>Head forward. Look upon the heart.>Head left, slide down the passage in the unknown depths below>Head right, fight the stream in the hopes of finding an exit. You'll have to tie the kobolds to yourself.
>>5438678>While the choice seems obvious, you also hear... chittering, from the left side.First breath a healthy amount of fire to kill everything in the left side.Then, summon our ghost kobolt to search right up the stream to scout ahead for us. No reason to pick now and endanger everyone. After it's done scouting, heave it go to the heart in search of any amush.After the killing and scouting, we can decide if we want to go to the left where the parasites "were" (past tense the fire will kill), fight up the stream going right, or go down the middle to the heart.
>>5438698Seems sensible!>>5438678>Use kobold-sprite to scout>Attempt to burn away any obstacles
>>5438698Do it bitch
>>5438678I N E E D to know if there is any loot to be gained here. The fucking dragon pretty much made it so we couldn't loot the altar. Do we still have Ogg's corpse?
>>5440480He ded.Or updating his quest on akun. 4chan isnt his main hustle. He's got that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. hustle going on. Wish he'd update the spooder quest tho.
getting the chance to hold Pink's hand is the only thing keeping me going guys.>>5440517pure unfiltered autism. Mostly the good kind. And horny.
>>5440517Nickname for the site fiction.live
You decide to play it carefully. You send out the kobold sprite to explore the different areas. The first thing you do is send it upwards, and after a bit more time, you find out that this leads to more fleshy caves, but with a lot less blood. It's certainly the easiest route, once you get past the stream, and if you were to keep going, there was even a breeze. You doubt it would bring you much further down on the mountain, but it's an escape route... if need be. Getting through the current is going to be a problem for your kobolts, however, but you might be able to figure something out....Come to think of it, if you follow the light,and it does lead to the outside, you'd be outside on a frigid mountaintop covered in blood. Not great for temperature management.Next up, the center passage. The sprite floats for quite some time, and the stream only goes higher, until you would likely be forced to swim the last stretch. The heartbeats would be loud and powerful enough to be almost painful, and it takes some effort to even keep the sprite going. But, there is, indeed, a heart there. About the size of a cow, it's hanging there on a sort of platform. Blood rushes out from the sides, and there are two more women there, seemingly worshipping it. More concerningly, though, there are far more monsters present than just the two women. All along the walls, you see a great deal of bodies, still squirming and struggling, but their clothes indicate some of them to be almost centuries old! Every heartbeat seems to make them swell up, their body distending in a horrific, almost bloody display as their skin begins to stretch, turning almost see-through, before the blood is pumped further, and the process begins anew. Beneath them, there are... things. Somewhat akin to people, but far too long, too gaunt. Their gait is animalistic, as they crawl around on all fours, and their hands are long and distended. Their heads seem to carry some hint of human traits, with a human chin still visible under what is overwise a skull. All the skulls have antlers, yet there are no deer in the world that would have ever had upper teeth like that.All creatures there stare at the intruding kobold wisp, but do not act. It would be a hell of a fight.So, instead, you look to the left tunnel, unsummoning and re-summoning your sprite. The left tunnel slopes own for quite a ways, so steep that you suspect you would end up sliding down. It's a one-way trip, and at the bottom, you spot a pool of blood... Filled to the brim with those worms.Some of them attempt to leap up the bloodfall, as well, but none get too far. Heading down there looks to be dangerous, unless you would find a way to anchor yourself on the slide. The flesh you would be slipping down is soft... perhaps a blade could stop you?All the same, none of these options seems great.>Head straight.Kill a heart. Why not? Your namesake did the same, after all.>Head left.Down the slide.>Head rightOut of here.
>>5441545>>Head left.Burn it out as we drop into the pool of bloodworms, then call down the squires. Should be quick-ish.
>>5441545>Head left.The dragontooth climbing picks should easily hold in the cavern's fleshy walls, but we should test them up here in the tunnel first, just to see if they can reliably hold Reynauld's weight. They are rather crude, after all.
>>5441545>Head left.>>Descend while breathing fire>Leave pitons with squires, so they may follow down when all is clear (or if one of the other horrors finds them)
>>5441545Does the center passage have platforms we can stand on? If not then fighting things in waist deep water is a no go.
>>5441545Is it possible to just, back track to the cross roads where the dragon cave was? Id take a dragon any day over this flesh horror
>>5441545>>Head straight.>Kill a heart. Why not? Your namesake did the same, after all.it would make escaping easier
"Alright." you say, before you let Ogg's corpse drop like a sack of potatoes. She floats, fortunately, and William quickly grabs it to stop it from floating away. The corpse has been easy to drop anytime anything happened, of course... Though, perhaps burning it would be a better option.Or...You pick the corpse back up, and then hand over the picks to your squires, one each. You made sure to test them out, and it's clear that they won't be able to hold your weight. Mercifully, it's only because of how poorly they were tied to their stick. A large dragon tooth by itself CAN hold you, though you have to slam it into the flesh yourself."I'm heading down this slide, stopping before it gets troublesome, and I'll boil those monsters out. Then, we wait for it to cool so you can follow."You're leaving us alone!?" William says, clearly concerned about that one, but..."Well, I'm not about to let you slide down into a pool of boiling blood!" You say back, as you hand Chad your torch.Chad has remained quiet, in the meantime, but the way he looks at you reminds you of a puppy. You sigh..."I'll be back as soon as I can, okay? I'll call the sprite. If... need be, you slide down to escape, and stop yourself with the picks. Got it?"Both squires nod, and you take a deep breath as you hop up on the elevated tunnel, and begin sliding. The blood flies into your face as you keep on sliding, going faster and faster, though you occasionally stop yourself by slamming your dragon's tooth into the soft, flesh cave wall. The chittering grows increasingly loud, as well, and you use the kobold sprite to light your way, letting you stop a small distance away...You see a veritable sea of movement. Leeches, eels, blood... It's more akin to a frothing maelstrom of teeth and flesh.The smell matches.You take in a deep breath, and release hell, the awkward position forcing you to breathe over your chest. You groan a bit as you feel the flesh you're lying on sizzle, but that's nothing compared to the red steam that rises as you boil the blood in only two seconds of uninterrupted dragonfire. The steam itself is... horrific. You would have been scalded alive if you were still human, and even now, what little of you that wasn't scaled, mercifully just small points, is almost certainly finished. It stings... in that way boiling hot liquid sting. Your breath is stolen from you from the heat, but mercifully, it doesn't last long.What was once a fleshy maelstrom, is not merely a gaping pit of death and blood.You're not excited to enter it, but at least you don't have to swim far to reach the edge.You release yourself, and enter the still hot blood. You go under for a short moment, and into the slippery mass of dead eels. It's... easily one of the worst experiences of your life. It's disgusting beyond reproach, and trying to swim in this mass of almost-solid slippery death is immensely difficult. You only barely reach the edge, before pulling yourself upright once more.
...Ogg's corpse is lost in that muck. Better this way. You send up your sprite, and find yourself in a pitch black darkness. You try to light something up, but... everything here is too moist to remain on fire for long. The wait for your squires isn't long, but...Here, in the pitch black darkness, you hear singing in the dark. It moves around you, and you make sure to keep track of it for some time. The singing is deep and bassy, almost inhumanly so. It reminds you of the croaking of a frog, in some sense, but it lasts for far too long. A sort of mix of humming and singing, you suppose.You breathe a sigh of relief when you see light appear once more! Your torch! The slide, now illuminated, looks even more hideous, and the singing disappears almost instantly...Your squires are screaming in terror, both of them, and it occurs to you that the slide took longer for you... They land in the bloody muck, and the torch goes out instantly, though you quickly use the kobold to bring in more light. Their smaller size seems to make it easier to swim out of the muck, though they're both almost in a complete panic. William uses the sprite as a waypoint, but...Chad isn't coming up.You don't waste any time. You take a breath, and hop into the mire, digging past the long dead worms, and using the sprite to guide your way down there... Mercifully, once you go deep enough, you get out of the worm layer, as they all began floating to the top.Chad is visible, here, just barely through the blood. Something has him, and he is doing what he can to fight it off!The creature looks to be some horrifying mix of worm and woman, with a long black tail where one would expect legs, and a long, rubbery hose where the head would be, wrapping over William's shoulder and gripping and tearing at his armor! The centre piece of the creature looks like that of a woman, though the arms are too long, too clawed, and too ridden with spikes to truly appear human.You swim towards the pair, unsheathing your sword, and send it forward, using the sharp tip of the sword to pierce the creature's head!It doesn't even seem to notice, only adjusting its grip, but you grab Chad by his reaching arm, and use your foot to kick him free from the abomination! The creature swims back, faster than you can even keep track of, but you keep your sword pointed at it. The creature, either too blind or too stupid to think, ends up slamming its full body upon your blade! Even under the surface, you can hear its screeching... And in its wild twitching and flailing... your sword snaps off....Damn it.You see the blade sink deeper, and sheathe the handle. Barely enough to constitute a dagger.Air.Hells, you need air.
With Chad free, you quickly swim your way up, your lungs burning and your body as well, though Chad helps by kicking his feet. You see the giant pit of worms up above, the layer of death, and... some kind of splashing?You go there. as long as it's a direction... And as soon as you get close, you feel two small, clawed hands grip yours.Noise returns to you, you gasp for air, coughing as you force Chad up on the edge as well. William... has been tossing eels and worms onto dryer land, to try and make sure you make it back. Chad vomits up blood, though mercifully not his own. He almost drowned...His armor saved his life, looks like, though it took some damage, and you're down a sword. You still have the handle and a small bit of actual blade, but this isn't much of a weapon.You look forward, using the sprite for light, but then Chad and William talk:"We need to... keep moving. There were monsters coming after us, we... we jumped in early.""What kind of monsters?""Those... tall men, with antler skulls."Right. Seems they came to you. You'd better keep moving. There's only one way forward, though, and it brings you into an even more fleshy tunnel. Before, you were dealing with mostly smooth flesh covering the walls... Here, there are organs, On occasion, people that are stuck in the walls, though they are long-dead. Many of them are kobolds, but there's people of all types.In the distance, you see light, and you feel a cold breeze. Unfortunately, there’s something standing in front of that light. You send your sprite ahead to get a better look at it, and the news is not good.Its a dragon. Great fleshy tendrils have attached themselves to the sides of the creature, but it still seems to be moving, smoke billowing from its maw. Despite that fact that its’ moving, however, it’s more akin to a puppet on strings than anything still truly aware, and it needed a few seconds before it noticed your sprite… after which the dragon burns it in green fire. It’s quickly disspelled, but you make it reappear just as fast.For all you know, it’s already dead, but this place is just keeping it “alive”.All the same… Big tunnel, and a dragon. No sideroutes.…this is a pickle.>Charge in with your squires, try to get past it.Its’ stuck, so it won’t be able to chase. As long as you’re past it, you’ll be fine>Find a way to kill it.Approaching it from the front is not ideal, especially without a blade. Maybe those tentdrils are the key?>Find another wayYou only see one tunnel, but… it’s flesh.You’ll dig if you must.
>>5442857>Charge in with your squires, try to get past it.>Use the sprite as distraction.See if it can generate a bigger burst of light, maybe?
>>5442959supportI hope chat isn't infected with something now because of the blood
>>5442857As a precaution, breath more fire in the pool of dead eels to 100% kill any and everything still in there before we do as anything else.First up, do a body check on everyone to ensure no one had any puncture wounds, have been injured, or recieved an infection. This whole area could possible cause diseased or cursed. Like that one curse that turns you into a giant mosquito monster. Like the first creature Chad killed (make a mental not for everyone to get a health inspection from our GF).Secondly do a pep talk for our squires. All that shit was pretty bad, but we're pretty close to the exit. That dragon over there? Hardly a problem. I mean these two helped us fight Ogg and that one forest dragon. What's one more? We got this guys.>Find a way to kill it.We could try breathing fire on it. Exactly where were the tendrils located on the dragon? If none were located on the mouth, chest, and throat, that might mean the tendrils arent fire proof, which would be fortunate for us. We could use a strong fire breath to immolate the whole thing. Either that would kill it if it's already dead, or free the dragons which has its own mixed bag. Hopefully the dragon might feel grateful enough to help us fly up the river of blood to kill everything.But, if the tendrils are fireproof, then we're a little fucked. At the very least, it's "puppet" like motor skills will make it less maneuverable than a normal functional dragon.
>>5442959I support the distraction with the kobolt Sprite, but I say we try to kill it. What we lack in blade, we could instead try to use our claws to rip and tear into its vulnerable flesh.
>>5442857>Charge in with your squires, try to get past it.>Use the sprite as distraction.Love the dark water references femur-liquid
>>5442857>>Charge in with your squires, try to get past itSounds life a terrible idea, but I can't think of anything better
>>5442857Fuck, did we lose Ogg's corpse in the water? We really need her corpse to prove that we killed her, or else that shitty Govenor dude will brand us a criminal. Is there no way for us to get it back? Will the corpse float to the surface or sink? Please oh god say it will float up so we can retrieve it.Oh fuck oh god oh shit.
>>5444067We can just tell him to fuck off. If we get branded a criminal, we crash with our new dragonborn civilization and our loyal kobolds somewhere out-of-the-way.
>>5444067You still have her head on you, assume you tied that on yourself to make sure.
>>5444113We would be hunted. That would be very bad.>>5444141Thank fuck! But, could we still get the body, or is that long gone? At least we have the head I suppose.Exactly how durable are Reynauld's scalez?
>>5444141Can we romance the dragon if we free it of its parasites?
>>5444523What about friends?
>>5445320What about.....hand holding?
Before you do anything else, though, you do take the time to confirm Chad really is fine, but it doesn't take long. As you thought (and hoped) before, the armor took the brunt of the attacks, and apart from some bruises, Chad is getting through this just fine, unless swallowing that blood has adverse effects.Which it might.The tendrils on the dragon are all around the body, though the head is only attached along the neck, leaving the throat free, but these tendrils generally only work from top to bottom, with a few on the side more to keep the dragon in place. The dragon itself, though... You really doubt they can be saved, as they're just hanging there, tongue hanging out. Either the dragon is sleeping in a very ungraceful manner, or it's dead and being puppeted.Considering its tongue is bloated and purple, you're suspecting the latter.Alright, you need to get past this thing, and you think you know just the way to do it. You summon your kobolt sprite, and send it close to the dragon... it wastes no time shuddering to life, making a disgusting squelching noise as it moves, revealing its neck to be broken halfway... and then it releases a torrent of bright red fire towards the sprite, instantly desummoning it and giving you a faint headache... then, it slowly moves back to its original position.You summon the sprite again, this time a bit to the side of the dragon, which makes it essentially snap its head back, as it cakes its back and the side you summoned the sprite on in yet more fire... Seems the fleshy tendrils are fireproof. Damn.You'll just have to make a run for it.The sprite is summoned once more, and this time, you move in, your squires right behind you, though you made sure to hold them by the hand. You're a lot faster than them, after all, especially now that the armor is not weighing you down. You've got half a mind to hoist them over your shoulder, but that way, you wouldn't be able to shield them if worst comes to worst.The sprite, like before succeeds in distracting the beast, the fire being hot enough to make your squires cringe even when they're on the other side of the corpse-dragon...It's during your run past it you realize something very disturbing.The belly of the creature is squirming, and you can see many, many things crawling just underneath the creature's softer belly.No scales to hold them back, it took but one particularly sharp-toothed worm before the deluge spills out, covered in nigh-acidic dragon blood.Instantly, you pull your squires close, and lift them up in the air, away from the boiling worms, while you use your full might to wade through the biting horde. Your scales and what remains of your armor offer you some protection, thankfully, and you managed to run past the dragon husk.You keep running, past the cave, and put your squires in front of you when you feel the heat approaching you from the back.The fire of the dragonborn was painful, but not overly so. A fully fledged dragon, however.
Your breath is stolen from you when the heat and force of the fire still strikes you in the back, your legs almost turning to jelly as you keep your smaller squires safe. They both scream your name as you stumble, but you don't waver.The light is just up ahead! You force your body to keep moving, despite the fact you are currently on fire. Then, you reach the light, back into the snow and cold. For once, though, you don't mind. You flop backwards into the snow, rapidly melting it as the fire is doused from the water and cold.You take the time to breathe a few moments.That.Really hurt.You then hear Chad and William yelling, after which you feel things being pulled off of you. You look away from the sky, and see that your squires are pulling worms free from your chest. Mercifully, there aren’t that many.Sighing, you feel something akin to relief just being able to see the sky again, but the cold is already creeping in on you, despite your burns. Your scales did most of the work protecting you, and your squires are fine. You pull yourself up, coughing, and look back into the fleshy cave.It looks normal, now. Like a regular stone cave.Horrible little hellscape, isn’t it?You look around, and see that it’s just more mountain, though you can tell you’re in slightly warmer locations now, compared to the top of the mountain. You will still freeze to death if you don’t get into cover soon, but you have some time, at least.The burns on your back don’t feel… too bad.Second degree, is your best guess. It could be worse. You’ve been through worse in the crusades.You force yourself to stand up, and look around. Looks like it’s a fairly steep drop from here, so climbing down is now officially a hazard. Last time, you could just slide down onto a pathway, here it’s nothing but down. Looking around, though, you spot two alternatives. One is a cave with smoke coming out of it, and a kobold that is wrapped up in furs and holding a spear is staring at you in a way that makes you suspect it thinks you can’t see it.To the other side, you see a short path leading into a meadow. An entire god damned flat meadow, apparently just… floating off the side of the mountain? Something tells you that might be more dangerous. It looks too nice and sunny, meaning it has its own sun, considering you’re pretty sure it’s night.…Alright.>Head to the cave with a kobold peeking out of it>Head into the 100% cursed meadow.
>>5445504>>Head to the cave with a kobold peeking out of itWe can at least ask the kobolt what is going on with that meadow, and maybe trie to get directions down the mountain
>>5445504>Head to the cave with a kobold peeking out of it
>>5445504>Head to the cave with a kobold peeking out of itNew friend get! Double check yourself and everyone to ensure you dont have any suprise leeches on your butt or something.I'm pretty sure at this point Reynauld is 100% nude due to being immolated. His dick hanging out?
>>5445615Does that make him a bad dragon?
>>5445504>Head to the cave with a kobold peeking out of itBut be cautious about it - where there's a kobolt, there's bound to be a dragon. Or a "dragon", at least. I'd consider having Chad go on ahead to make first contact with the other kobolt, since he's done a great job last time.
>>5445617Anon please that's funny but no. Bad. Go in the corner.
>>5445624Plus, depending on how long the kobolt(s) have been living here with their "dragon", they might know a lot about this place, and might know the weaknesses of the many monsters here. Like that fireproof tendril covered, worm infested dragon corpse.It would also be very useful to know what kind of ailments and diseases one can expect from this place. William and Chad probably both got blood in their mouths, and we got bit by works which might have diseases. My fear for diseases is strong, like contracting that vampire mosquito disease thing.
>>5445504>Head to the cave with a kobold peeking out of itNah fuck that magic meadow, it's probably worse than the flesh pit. Kobold means Dragon, Dragon means hoard so lets hope this dragon likes to collect warm clothes and plate armor. Maybe we can find some cosmic knives in their hoard as well since our sword's fucked.
>>5446060And if their dragon is an asshole, we can always try and kill it. You'd think us not having our plate armor means we're defenseless. Nah. It just means we can cut you faster, you know?
>>5446068Dragons are all prideful assholes so we'll probably have to fight it or use stealth. But then again it's only been like a day and we've found the Sierra Madre, that kalameet looking prick, the meat cave and a suspiciously pleasant meadow casually floating next to a mountain so lets not just assume there's something as mundane as a dragon in that cave.
>>5446097Dragons don't have to be literal dragons. They could be a very powerful wizard like the one our last three kobolts used to worship, then there was the ogre they worshipped after they killed their wizard "dragon." Dragon to kobolts is more a title or honorification than literal dragon, though I think kobolts gravitate to dragons more often than not.Regardless if this is another dragon, and it's not that giant super old dragon, I think we could take em.>>5445504please please please tell me Ogg's camp had a shit ton of loot.
>>5445504How many penises does Reynauld have?
>>5448096SOMEbody didn't read the smut Spine wrote us.
You head towards the cave where a kobold was peeking out of. You also try to hurry, as you can feel yourself freezing alive as you stand here. It was cold before, and even if the general temperature is still higher here, the wind and the blood you're covered in makes this a downright hellish experience. Your kobolds aren't much better off, even if they wear armor. A few time, you have to physically force yourself to keep moving, as the blood upon your skin rapidly solidifies in a dark red ice, and you feel your face almost splitting open from the harsh winds. The rest of your body feels much the same way, and your burns only make things worse.You don't make it to the cave. Your legs gave out, just meters away. You feel your body curling up, and... Something akin to peace begins to wash over you as you lie there. Undoubtedly dying, but... you're too cold to care. You can't think of anything else.When you feel two pairs of arms grip you around the shoulder, however, you suppose you're obligated to keep moving. The cave feels strange to enter. The heat that washes over you is almost surreal, and you keep stumbling forward, your body on autopilot to get to more of the precious heat.Then, you reach a campfire, and are promptly surrounded by spears."INTRUDER!""What is it?""Edible? Not edible?""Dragon will know.""It smell like dragon, but isn't shaped like dragon."You take a deep breath, and force yourself up.It's about two dozen kobolts, surrounding you. Your squires remained close to you as well, and they're too cold to even attempt to fight back. That, and they're plain outnumbered, no matter how well equipped or trained they are. Then, you hear footsteps. Loud ones. A voice echoes through the cave, distinctly female. It has a lovely contralto to it, and you suspect it would make for a lovely singing voice."Who dares disturb me!? Are they after my eggs!?" It demands to know.Oh come ON.The kobolts step aside, and you force yourself to look up.Green scales, brilliant as emerald. And her size is... considerable. It puts into context how young most dragons you have slain were. The dragon comes in close, heat coming off of her in waves as her mouth billows out smoke."What say you, hmm? You malformed little thing. Have you come for my eggs?"Dragon broodmothers are generally known for being a bit... one-directional on their priorities. It also makes them some of the most vicious fighters in the world, as one would expect from just about any mother, of course.You'd better pick your words carefully.>Carefully say somethingBetter think of something>Elect to just pass outSilence is an option, and this is probably a polite way to do it.>Pretend to be a particularly large kobolt.
>>5448724>Carefully say something"No, thanks."Manners are important.Then:>Elect to just pass out
>>5448724>Elect to just pass outBetter do the sack'o'taters maneuver BEFORE something punches holes in the ol' ribcage this time.
>>5448724>Carefully say something>"No ma'am, I have not come for your eggs. Apologies for the rude introduction and lack of attire, I lost it after a fight with abominations within the mountain. I am Reynauld, this one is Chadeus, and this one is William. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.>as we are guest u would hate to ask much of you, but I am currently on my way down the mountains. Could one of your kobolts guide us down after we've recovered? We will pay once we reach or destination. I would ask if you could, but I would hate to keep you from your children."It's good to be polite, and Dragons love gold. Also, shouldnt Reynauld just breath fire on himself to stay warm?
>>5448724"...No. Just want to leave this mountain. It been a bit of a chore. I beg your pardon...">Pass Out.
>>5449465I support. Nice and simple.
>>5448724I hope our daughteru is okay.
"No ma'am, I have not come for your eggs..." You say, your head buzzing as the temperature shock begins to affect you... and the exhaustion. Little bit of blood loss, also the burns on your back. Low oxygen environment...Yeah, there's a lot of factors for why you're about ready to pass out."I... apologize for the rude introduction." You say, swallowing as you try to force yourself upright... But you just don't have the energy. "Fought a lot of abominations on the way here. I am... Ser Reynauld. These are my squires, Chadeus and William."You essentially force yourself upright by punching the floor with enough force to sit on your knees."Pleasure to... make your acquaintance." You say, instinctively offering a handshake, before remembering this is not a good option. The dragon begins to laugh."Such manners! Yes... You do not seek my eggs. I can tell. I would advise you cast off your human shell... It is clearly affecting you.""Not a shell... this is what I am, unfortunately." You say, that "unfortunately" sneaking its way out of there. You didn't mean to say it, but there it is."Hm. You smell of a dragon, so you are a dragon. Makes no difference to me what you call yourself."It sounds bemused... which is good."May... I stay here? For some time?""Hm. My kobolts will let you stay by the fire. You are granted this. Then, I wish to see you gone!""Very well... just want to... Oohhhhh, there I go."Stars begin to appear in your vision, and very soon, they begin to overtake your eyesight, as you suffer an increasingly intense case of vertigo. When you go blind entirely, and feel the warm rock of the cave against your chest, you figure it's best to just let it happen, at this point."DRAGON!" Is the last thing you hear, said in unison by Chad and William.============When you wake up again, you're somewhat surprised to see that you have been bandaged up. There is a jet-black kobolt looking over you, and it seems to be smearing some kind of glowing blue slime on you. When it notices you waking up, it just sniffs."No move. Still working."You follow its command, and see that Chad and William are both around the fire, carefully looking around... and maintaining their weapons. Good.Seems the dragon isn't here, and it's just you and the klan.Looking outside, you see that there is a storm going on. Hail is clattering against the rock, meaning you're stuck here for a bit.You should probably ask some questions, anyhow.>Remain quiet and sleep.Nothing to say to these kobolts.>Ask questions about the mountainThey live here, they should know something.>Ask if there's anybody here who would be willing to be a guide.Asking doesn't hurt, right?
>>5451312>>Ask questions about the mountainwe need info on the horrors to come
>>5451312>>Ask questions about the mountainAsking for a guide is probably too far but we should see if they know a good way off the mountain.
>>5451312>Ask if the broodmother would be willing to conjure a guide wisp to lead us off the mountain.Hopefully one of her kobolts can relay the request. She wants us gone, and this is the easiest way to get us going. Plus, we do have a "brood" of our own to return to. Surely she can sympathize with that.
>>5451312>Ask questions about the mountain-What kind of monsters live on this mountain, and what are their weaknesses?-Do you know the way down? Are there any caves, cliff sides, and burrows we can make use of to make our way down?-What are the magical and mundane hazards we should avoid, or failing that what is the best way to handle them?While we wait out the storm, ask them if they have any loincloths to spare? We're but ass naked, and I don't expect them to give us a full set of clothes.In addition to the request and waiting, continue practicing your magic by summoning the kobolt head to explore the outside during the storm and see if it can map out the terrain for you.>>5451475If we had something to pay her with? Probably. Right now we don't so she's unlikely to go out of her way to help us.
>>5451312>Ask questions about the mountainAsk about their dragon. Who is she? What is her name? Is she... Nice? A danger to humans? And do they, or she, know anything about the black dragon above?
>>5451692That's why I'd ask for a wisp and not a kobolt. It would cost her nothing, help us do the one thing she wants from us and it's (hopefully) less likely to offend her than asking for something material, even if the answer will probably still be no.Also, I would recommend being extremely careful about slinging magic inside another dragon's lair, especially one as protective as this one.
>>5451828She would probably ask for payment, even if it cost her nothing. Dragons like money, and money keeps the world spinning. Plus it would be unhealthy for us to go out of our way to find and bother a dragon brood mother that is very protective or her eggs, less she sits on us (not a bad way to die imo). So the task of Q&A should be deligated to her kobolts.
>>5451884She might ask for something in return. She might not. You'll never know unless you ask. It is entirely possible that she'll deem getting rid of the intruders worth granting such a favor. Second worst case scenario, she names a price too large to pay, we back off and have to handle the trek ourselves.And considering Reynauld's currently stuck here, with no idea where the broodmother is or if she's even here right now, the request would have to be relayed to her by one of her kobolts, anyway.
>>5451312Dont forget to ask questions about the heart in the mountain, and the fuck all super huge super old dragon we encountered.
"Would... you permit me to ask some questions?" You say, turning towards the klan on a whole. They all seem to be collectively confused, until one of them steps forward. You note he must be particularly important, considering he wears what looks to be scavenged plate armor, compared to the goat skins that most other kobolts are wearing. "Rest don't speak your language good. I... understand, but speaking is hard." The plate-wearing kobolt says, as he sits down across from you. You note that he has a shortsword in a scabbard, as well.You are as polite as can be."That's fine with me, sir." He seems to be a little surprised when you call him "sir", and you see his tail wag just for a moment."Then speak... and thank you.""Then... for starters. I wish to ask about this mountain. What other monsters am I going to meet on the way down?"The kobolt stares at you for a moment, as if you asked where babies come from or some other similar seemingly obvious question. It thinks for a moment, and then eventually says this:"Many monsters. Hard to say which you meet. Mountain changes every once in a while. Did you saw meadow to Lovetown when you left meatcave?""Lovetown?""Bad place. Horrible place. Place with big metal coffin. Filled with moving meat. They started leaving coffin, walking in meadow. Some try killing selves, then others. Always killing. Never dying. Once human, now just... meat. And one of them. One of them bigger. Two people still people in there, keeping the "peace". Lovetown bad place... But moves the most. Time no move in there, but does outside. Will be gone in... A day. At most."The kobolt shudders a moment."Fought some of them once. Cut them apart so they not hurt anybody. But still move. Still... speak."You are... very glad you didn't head that way."Alright... thank you. Anything else that you know might stop us?"It thinks for a moment, and then says:"Rubber men. Also undying... have to cut them apart. They always at bottom. But you are not close to bottom."The Sierra Madre. At least they know of that place. You should ask about the meatcave, too."That meatcave... There was a heart, deep down. Something asked me to kill it. What would that do?"The kobold seems surprised... And then shrugs."Might... kill meatcave. Make it disappear from mountain. Would be good, sometimes dragon tries to conquer place. But it too small. Worms keep coming. Once you die, you are part of meatcave. Bad place."Another question, the most important one:"Then... Would you know the way down? Some kind of caves, burrows... anything that might let us head down?""...Hm. Many ways down. Some faster than others. Why not use wings? You are dragon. You can fly.""I can't fly. Is there... a guide of sorts?""Follow the corpses. Many people climb mountain. None make it. Magic makes them crazy. Kobolt and dragon fine, but humans die."
The kobolts around you start laughing. Seems they know enough common to understand that. The plated kobolt doesn't find it funny, at least.You shudder a bit, and look to the cave entrance. The fire is warm, to be sure, but you're still naked the waist up."...Would you be willing to spare some clothes?"The kobolt thinks for a moment... but not for long. His eyes go downwards, to the last bit of armor you still own."Hm. Yes. I want your greaves. In exchange, we give goat skin. Keep you warm. Even comfy."Your pants. Great.At least you get pants in return. You think it might be best to agree to that, even if the comparative monetary value is kind of absurd.You also realize that you didn't get an answer to your guide question."And... a guide?""Ask Tamun'dra. Great dragon. Might send one of us, might offer nothing.""I would... really rather not bother your great dragon.""Smart wyrmling you are. Yes. Follow the corpses. You have wisp, yes? Ask wisp for way.""About your dragon... Is she... would she threaten humans?""No. She live on mountain for long time. She has us for mining gold. Much gold here. Other shiny bits. No need for stupid monkeys.""And... What of the black dragon above?"The kobolts all go quiet, shaking. Some of them even speak enough English for you to understand."Onyx!?""Destroyer!""Greatest most terrible dragon!""Inheritor of world!"The plated kobold takes a step back."How... How wyrmling know of Onyx!? He live at top, where-""I came from there.""But you no fly!? How would wyrmling get up there!? I... nevermind! Onyx is biggest, strongest, most terrifying beast. Could eat other dragon. HAS eaten other dragons! D-does it to "prove point". Is very strong. Much powerful magic! Its brood even stronger... Once..."The kobolt looks shaken as he speaks."Once Onyx chose Tamun'dra. Defiled her. The brood ate eachother, only leaving one alive. Much more normal wyrmling after, but... They come out terrible."So, even dragons fear this thing. Probably best you didn't attack it.You don't ask anything else. The storm will take some time to clear.Some things should be decided. Two things, in fact.Firstly:>Trade your greaves for goat skin.>Don't trade your greaves for goat skin.And second:>Try to find something to trade in exchange for a guide.>Just leave and "follow the corpses".
>>5453948>Library of ruina/lobotomy corp involvementoh shit oh fuckOH SHIT OH FUCK
>>5453949>Trade your greaves for goat skin.>Try to flatter a kobolt into wanting to be your guide by showing knightly courtesyGet that tail a-wagging, then offer him or her a chance to join our horde/family of mutual respect and affection.
>>5453949>>Trade your greaves for goat skin.>>Just leave and "follow the corpses
>>5454013That's a terrible idea. Do you really want to steal from a dragoness while we're weakened? >Trade your greaves for goat skin.>Mention that we encountered Onyx and that he gave us a green light to descend this mountain without any harm from him.That could possibly make the kobolds more willing to cooperate, right?
>>5453949>Trade your greaves for goat skin.But see if we can get as much goat skin as we can. Pants, shirt, maybe double layered to remain warm. Sleeves.>Try to find something to trade in exchange for a guide.We have some dragon pieces that could be useful for spears, but what we have in bulk are weapons, armor, and GUNS back at our temporary base at the base of the mountain. If they can supply us a guide and another person to help carry their reward back up the mountain, we would be very thankful.So the potential rewards we can get them once our group is delivered to the base of the mountain would be: shields, guns, gamberson, armor, swords, and some other things. Not too much though as carrying too much would probably be not worth the effort if they tire and get caught by a monster. Is this a fair transaction?>>5453978I'm sorry what?>>5454013That sounds like a good way for us to die.>>5454080No? Why not give them something?
>>5454094>That sounds like a good way for us to die.In my opinion, so does trying to trade bits of a dead dragon to dragon-worshipers. Remember how ambivalent even Chad was to the idea of chopping up a dead enemy dragon and making use of its components?We're leaving, and this dragon doesn't' come down from her mountain much at all. Let's steal a guide and GTFO before she can notice or get pissy about it! She can always make more kobolds, after all.
>>5454145Stolen guide would for sure try to lure us into danger. These kobolds don't seem to be mistreated, so it's fair to assume that they would be fiercely loyal to their dragon. They wouldn't help a thief, even if their own life was on the line.
>>5454094>I'm sorry what?It means we have SCP Foundation with asian bullshit^2look here for more info: https://youtu.be/1DJaLy13eqA
>>5453949>Trade your greaves for goat skin.Are you capable of bartering for more than just pants? shirt? cloak? We got some stuff back at camp.
>>5453949seduce a kobolts into cumming with you down the hill.
>>5455760>cheating on SarahparacelsieNever. Not even once.Unless it's part of some group situation like in the smut, and Pink obviously still gets dibs.
>>5455822Pink is for E G G I N G
"I'll trade you my greaves for the goat skin. I need protection from cold a lot more than I need protection from blades... at least right now."You sigh. You really do like your armor, but there goes the last little bit of it, you suppose. Taking it off, you do note that even the greaves have suffered a degree of warping, likely from the heat or just plain age. All the same, perhaps it was high time for a replacement anyhow. Your smallclothes are all that remain, now, though you can quickly cover up with the goat furs. You need quite a bit to cover yourself, but by the time you're done, you feel downright toasty. Enough for you to take a bit of a distance from the fire. In the meantime, your squires are just drying their clothes, and after some requests, they were at least offered a loincloth by the klan...Though you do note, with considerably amusement, that both your squires are getting a lot of looks from the female kobolts. Compared to most other kobolts, you suppose they're a bit more muscular or, in William's case, taller than the average. You kept their training fairly rigorous, after all. The smell of the blood being dried out of the clothing is awful, however, to the point that they were even offered a basin to scrub their clothing off in, which was certainly for the best. William and Chad are no stranger to scrubbing, mercifully, so they get through quickly, and then get back to drying... while Chad keeps up conversation pretty well. After all that he's been though, you suppose it makes sense he'd like a bit of downtime, to relax.William isn't quite so lucky, mostly just trying to look away from the prying eyes. He's not exactly comfortable with his body, considering the circumstances.You remain quiet entirely. You've nothing to say to any of them, really, your questions have been answered, and you don't want to push your luck either way. Unfortunately...Guessing from the rumbling steps, you won't be able to remain quiet. You turn, and see the terrible beast that lords over the cave, leaning down towards you."I can also smell it on you. It stains you. You are a dragonslayer, are you not?"You look up at her... and stand your ground."I have been forced, on occasion, to slay your kind. I will not stand idly by while they slaughter my people, just as you would not tolerate the opposite."The dragon's eyes lock with yours, and you wonder how you're going to kill a dragon without a proper blade. The shotgun is your only hope, here. However, the dragon just sighs, smoke billowing out her nostrils."...Very well. I wish to see you gone from my home. I can sense Onyx' mark on you... I want you out of here.""I don't suppose-""I will not help you. You have your own guiding wisp, even if your control of magic is that of a wyrmling. As soon as the storm ends... You go."Surprisingly reasonable...She remains here a while longer.Do you speak with her?>No. Leave ASAP>Yes. This is an opportunityFor genuine research.
>>5457398>Yes. This is an opportunity>"What possible use could Onyx have for a wizard's corpse?"While I understand that he might want to continue where Ogg left off, I don't see how her body would help him. I'd expect the ritual site to be of much more use to him.>"What exactly is the deal with Onyx, anyway?"I can just tell he's going to be trouble. Might as well try to get as much info about him as we can.>"Ever heard the name 'Krazinkos'?"Absolutely no need to go into detail about this one, of course.
>>5457416I support these EXCEPT the bit about Krazinkos. We know that was Onyx's kid now; worst case scenario, he was HER kid, too, and she is not as calm about his demise.>>5457398>ask about Onyx and his sinister objectives
>>5457398>No. Leave ASAP>Thank you madam for your generosity. We got more than enough benefit by coming here. Let's not push our luck and focus on getting off the mountain first. After that we can start figuring out if Magic Mountain and Onyx truly are threat to the world.
>>5457398>Yes. This is an opportunity>We got time until the storm ends. Ask her how to kill Onyx. She's been burned by him. Maybe she might have some creative ideas on how to kill the asshole.>"What possible use could Onyx have for a wizard's corpse?">"What exactly is the deal with Onyx, anyway?">would she be willing to teach us more about dragons and how to use magic, in exchange for some stuff? Her kobolts look like they're lacking in equipment, and might have some rations to spare.>continue practicing your wisps and magic while waiting out the storm.>>5457511>this stupidIt's still storming outside. That's a hazard, and she did say we can leave when the storm is gone, implying that we can wait it out.
>>5457525Ey dummyLeave ASAP means leave as soon as the storm is goneI bet you look like jerma too
>>5457584Fuck. No! THIS CANNOT BE!>dies of faggotryDidn't know you meant like that man, but I figured we might as well make the most of our time here while we wait. We have a lot of training and learning to do if we ever hope to kill Oxyn.
>>5457453If Krazinkos is indeed her kid, I figure we should know. It's not like we have to admit knowing anything about him, all we need to say is that Onyx mentioned the name. It's not even a lie.
>>5457511support I don't want her to turn on us we have gained all we can from this place
>>5457398>>Yes. This is an opportunity>>5457525Support.If we do talk to her about Krazinos, maybe point out we were never a "full time" dragon slayer."If it makes you feel better, I've slain dragons, but I'm not really a dragon slayer. I'm a knight errant who would take most quests if i thought it was a noble cause. I killed a dragon and he cursed me to become a dragon in turn with his last dying breath as a sort of poetic justice or irony or something, but that was just a misunderstanding on his part. I was just getting some alchemical supplies back that he took from a college."And maybe talk about how, "the curse drove Ogg crazy and we had to track her down and ultimately kill her, but we didn't really want to kill her, she was just too dangerous to leave alive and she attacked us and hurt my friends when we did give her the chance to stand down. She wasn't really a bad person, just batshit crazy. I think her heart was ultimately in the right place, or sort of heading in that direction."
>>5457398>No. Leave ASAPPresuming this means after the storm. I don't think it's a good idea to push our luck. She might presume that we are just fishing for info to kill more dragons. It seems a high crime to her.
Uh, is Spine okay?
Considering the amount of time it will likely take for the storm to end... you'd better keep busy in a useful manner. You start to practice your wisps, mostly to see if you can give it more of a body, at least, considering it's intended purpose of guiding you seems to go without any trouble.The dragon seems to disagree, however."You handle magic like a savage wields a club. Even a wyrmling would have better control... That said. You have very little magic runoff."She tilts her head, slightly, and then muses to herself while you look up at her. "Perhaps you are simply too focused on being careful? I suppose you have made friends with the apes below, no?"You don't speak, as the dragon seems content to continue a monologue... though she remains silent after that, laying down her head. The kobolts seem to take this as a sign to run in and start leaning against her, with some of them even climbing on top of the colossal creature. You... think it's a massage, actually."May I ask a few questions, my lady?" You say, and the dragon doesn't even turn to look at you... Though after some time, amusement tinging her voice, she says:"You may."Well, this is an interesting opportunity. You decide to start with a particularly interesting question."What... IS Onyx, exactly?""Our... all-father, I suppose. The first of us. It is likely that we are all descendants from him, though his blood has been diluted in most of us. His direct brood has a similar black colour, and has... something wrong with it. Children born from him will eat their siblings, until only one remains."She sounds pained as she describes that, before puffing out a cloud of smoke."Fortunately, they leave the next quicker as well. Their talent for magic is unrivaled, as well... My guess is that whatever was done to you was performed by one of his.""...Krazinkos. That was his name. Does it... ring a bell?""No. You brought a brighter tomorrow if it was one of those things you killed."It snorts, disdainfully, and you think you found a good moment to ask:"Do you know how one would kill Onyx?""No." She says, plainly. "We're stuck with him forever, I fear. Bigger and stronger than us have tried, but if there is a physical god on this world, it would be him. How I wish I could tear his throat out. Feast on his eyes. But alas."Well, that's discouraging indeed. You sigh, and then ask:"What possible use could Onyx have for a wizard's corpse?""Likely, it was going to pluck a spell from it and apply it himself. Our main luck is that he is quite lazy... despite boredom being the primary reason he does anything. Or, perhaps, he believes it to be more interesting if he wasn't directly involved. Who knows."Another puff of smoke. You note that the kobolds relax very openly against her, and you suspect it's because of how incredibly warm she feels. Even from where you're standing, you can tell she's heating up the cave just by being in it.It's pleasant.
Well. You're out of questions. She didn't know quite as much as you would have liked about Onyx, but at least she told you most of what you would need to know."Then... Would you be willing to teach me about magic? So I would not embarrass the art?" You ask, hoping to use flattery to get what you want. The dragon twists her head around, finally looking at you, and she stares at you for a moment...Then, she just shakes her head."No. I would want something in return, and I can tell the price is too high.""What would-""Your kobolt. The one missing a piece of his tail."Yeah.You are not giving up Chad for some better twinklies.After that, you just practice alone in silence... And after what felt like hours, you notice the storm had died down. A quick check outside reveals the meadow is gone as well, replaced with a far more logical collection of harsh cliffs instead of a flat plain hanging on to nothing. ...Looks like it's time to go, and in much warmer clothes.You give your thanks to the dragon, and then... follow the corpses. It doesn't take long to figure out what they meant by this, as there are many frozen corpses along what seems to be a halfway decent climbing route. There are pathways, almost... Meaning it's a bit easier to head down than before. In fact... you think you can see the bottom. The cold is intense, but your goat skin is keeping you warm enough, at least. Chad and William are shivering, but they manage... mostly. Sometimes, you do take a break to share heat with them, and once they're ready to go, you keep climbing. The makeshift picks do their job... well enough, though mostly it's quite a bit of falling and sheer finger strength. In a sense, you're glad you don't have your armor any longer. And then... You feel the cold receding....It was a long trip, but you think you're reaching the bottom of the mountain!You see the dark, rust-coloured clouds right ahead. The cold is finally manageable once more, but...The Sierra Madre stands between you and your friends. And what a barrier it is...Going in from the back leaves you with no directions, so you just have to pick your poison when it comes to threats.>Salida Del SolThere's a constant gonging of a church bell there, and even from here, you can tell the rubbery abominations stalk those alleyways. Without a sword, you're not too keen on going there... but your fire breath might be enough. Perhaps the church may also have supplies of sorts?>MediodíaLooks to have been a residential district. Seems empty of life... but full of the toxic cloud. Navigating through that is tricky, but at least there won't be much combat.>Peusta Del SolContrary to the other places, you mostly see the strange gas that permeates the streets... and a bright blue glow, seemingly patrolling past those clouds. There are ways around the clouds, visible even from here, but you don't like the look of those lights. Seems like magical deterrence to you.
>>5462476>Sometimes, you do take a break to share heat with them>skin ship with two shortletsn-no homo bros.>>5462476So it's a choice between fighting ghost people, walking through gas, or the invincible holograms.>Salida Del SolThis is more manageable and direct, plus it gives us a chance to loot some weapons off the corpses of any of the ghosts people we kill. Gasbombs, Beartrap fists, (throwing) spears, cosmic knives. A good chance for us to reequip.
>>5462476Is there a chance we can peal the suits off of the ghost people and fashion some kind of armor for Reynauld out of their parts?As far as strategy goes, could we summon our kobolt head to distract the ghost people, and lure them into ambushes?Would the ghost people have miscellaneous items on their corpses like caps, bullets, food, junk, stimpaks, and so on?Would we be able to find vending machines or casino chips in fountains?What are the odds of us finding any Vault-Tec Bobble Heads?Can we find any skill books or magazines?
>>5462476>Peusta Del SolColour me curious.
>>5462639It's gonna be the hologram security guards, can't be anything else but those>bright blue glow>seemingly patrolling past those cloudsBig hints here, can't be any more obvious.
>>5462476>Peusta Del SolSneaking past a couple holograms seems easier than fighting a horde of ghost people or surviving the cloud.>>5462591>>5462604We'll have to go through the Villa anyways, we can try to find some weapons and maybe even armor in the police station.>Would the ghost people have miscellaneous items on their corpses like caps, bullets, food, junk, stimpaks, and so on?No, why would they? And why would we need caps and junk?
>>5462647I'm curious if it will be easier to get past, or what rewards may last that way. Maybe we can even negotiate?
>>5462476>>Peusta Del SolYeah sure
>>5462476>Salida Del SolI died too often to the holograms in dead money. i'll take my chances with the imortal gimps.
>>5462476>Peusta Del Sol
"...There. We'll take the magical defenses over the immortal monsters. I don't have my sword available, after all.""I'm not so sure if the magical defences would be better, per sé." William says...though he also adds: "At least it's not as cold down here. Sheesh."Well, with no other options available, you enter the Sierra Madre once more. Hopefully for the last time. The first few steps were easy enough, as you could just head inside a building to dodge the first toxic cloud. Inside, you think you see the remains of a store. It's your very best guess, at any rate, due to how it looks like it was set up to show things off. There's nothing of note here, though, apart from some tin cans containing "Pork & Beans" and what appears to be something called a "Fancy Lad Snack Cake"?You don't want to eat any cake that was made out of people, even if they were, apparently, dandies or nobility. You leave the likely toxic items where they lie.Now, while the back entrance was clear of the toxic clouds, the front entrance is blanketed in the stuff. There’s no way forward from there… but there is a staircase to follow. While you don’t expect much, you decide to check it out all the same. Up above, it’s just as bad as below, and you’re a little surprised the staircase was even able to hold your weight. The place looks ransacked, with only the remains of a bed remaining here, and mattress with a deep, dark stain on it.The fact the stain looks to be in the shape of a man is not something you’re going to think about very hard. However, there is good news, of a sort. The wall is missing. Under almost any other circumstance, that’d be a bad thing, but the design of this place means that, from here, you can access a rooftop. The shingles look dangerous to traverse, to be sure, but you can follow the walls for some time, and looking ahead, you even spot some planks that were put down to make access another rooftop easier. Said rooftop is completely blank, not really offering a way down, but there’s more planks on the other side… permitting you to head into some kind of church.You go along the rooftops, and looking down, you can see the source of the blue lights. Ghosts, seems like. Ghosts wearing peculiar clothes and armor of all sorts. You spot one of them walking around in a suit of armor very similar to yours, while another is walking around in a very risqué dress, showing off a whole lot of leg. Then, some others, wearing plain leather armors, and some of them even wearing… something akin to what the immortal creatures around here wear. Similar masks, with a very long coat at the back. They patrol steadily through the streets, and you make it a point not to call attention to yourself up here.
“Come on.” You tell your squires, as you walk along the rooftops and send them across the planks. With the age of the wood, however, you decide against even risking it, and elect to jump across. It’s not much of a jump, mercifully, and your squires are there to pull you on the roof when one of the shingles lets loose. The shingle flies down, and goes right through one of the ghosts below, which instantly makes them turn red and start firing bright red lines that just seem to slice right through the shingle, making it bounce as it falls apart… and then it’s pieces.The holograms stare at it a little longer, and then they just continue their patrol.“Yeah… Don’t mess with those.” You say, before you move on into the church. There is a broken window you can clamber through, into a dusty and mercifully cloud-free space. Notably, you see several beds here, and some skeletons.One fresh corpse of a dragonborn. From the looks of it, he bled out after taking a gut wound. You walk over to him, and you do note that he has an axe on him. A simple woodcutter’s axe, not exactly balanced for combat, but it’s better than nothing. On a hunch, however, you start looking around the church for a little while, and you peek up when you hear a voice.“Bloody tourists, even after all this time. Let’s hope this one doesn’t start yelling about wizards… Say! Partner! How about you go into the direction of my voice, hmm? I’ve a proposition for you that I think you’d rather like.” The voice is rich, though there is a faint rasp behind it. It sounds as though it’s talking to a child, though, and you can feel the condescension from here. All the same…You follow the voice for a moment, and find a little metal box,with some kind of grill at the front. It fits easily in your hand. The voice is coming through it.“Are you… communicating through this thing?”“Yes. It’s called a radio. Good job. The last idiot tried to shake it around to get me to talk, convinced I was in there… Listen. You still have a fine head on your shoulders, so that makes you eligible to help me. Do this for me… and I’ll give you a cut of the spoils. You’ve come here for riches, didn’t you? Most of what’s here is beyond your understanding, but I’ve no doubt some of the tools here would be useful even to a lug like you. If you want to be rich, just head up the church, and ring the bell for me. That’ll prove to me you can follow instructions.”…Right.“And if I don’t want to do that?”“Well… Then you’re free to die on your own, clawing at the Madre’s secrets, knowing you’re the one that tossed it all away over a momentary bout of paranoia.”“I just want to get out of here.” You say, candidly. You don’t expect charity, but…“Well! Great! I’m offering an escape, as well. Just… go up there, and prove to me you can perform a simple task.”…right.>Do as the voice says, ring the bell.>Forget that. You can probably find a gap in the patrols from here.>Keep talking to the radio.About what, though?
>>5466236>Keep talking to the radio.Why ring the bell and what's their long term game? Why should we trust you?
>>5466236Tell us what your plan is first and we might consider helping you. What's in it for us if we help you, and how much of our help do you need?
>>5466236>>Forget that. You can probably find a gap in the patrols from here.fuck all of that noise the last time we did someone a favor we had to kill her after she went mad. I am not helping anyone on this mountain.
>>5466657>>5466593I would like to find out more as well. Ringing the bell sounds like a great way to make sure every ghost thing knows where we are.
>>5466593>>5466657Supporting these. Hope we don't bruise his fragile ego somehow.
>>5466964The trick is that we should sound slightly apologetic and make it clear that we would *love* to ring a church bell in the middle of a town full of horrors beyond our comprehension, BUT we just have a few concerns we need to clear up, first.
>>5468160Should also pretend to be a bit dumber than we are, he feels threatened and insulted when someone else is actually competent.
>>5468526I have a feeling Dean will get offended no matter what.
“I’m sorry, sir, but I need to know why I have to ring this bell. It’s… It’s going to summon a huge horde of those things, won’t it?”“Oh, please… You’ve seen those ghosts outside, right? The holograms?” He speaks with a natural tone of condescension. You don’t think he’s even heard of the word “humble” or “peer” before.“The ghost people would sooner tapdance on a minefield that come near those things. Like I said, I need to confirm that you’re able to perform simple instructions!”You let that hang in the air for a moment longer, and then you decide to ask it again:“Sure. Its something you can hear from… wherever it is you are. No doubt. But I’m already answering questions, aren’t I? So I’m responsive.”“And willing to go against my orders, I suppose.” He says, with some level of resignation, though it can’t be denied that he’s disgusted, besides. There is a distorted sigh from the box, and you decide to act apologetically, hoping to get back on his good side… or, at least, a side that has enough pity to help.“Listen, sir, it’s just… It’s been a long time. I came from a rough way, and listening to mysterious little boxes in a church dedicated to… What, some man on cross?It’s disturbing, once you noticed, how many symbols there are of a crucified man. What a terrible way to go, so… Did they sacrifice people by crucifixion, back then?“Oh, Christ… I suppose you wouldn’t know. Fine, Ser Lancelot. I want you to head up the bloody ladder to ring the bell, because up there, there are more instructions. Flip a switch, set off the opening ceremony again… Security systems go down, holograms disappear… and that bloody gate to the Madre opens at last.”That leaves you confused:“Then… why ring the bell?”William answers it for you, surprisingly:“Because that would summon the ghost people… We do that, then whatever else he needs. No holografs, no ghost people. He could go to the casino in one go!”There is silence on the other line, but then he speaks again. His voice sounds almost apologetic.“To be fair, I’ve done this song and dance a few times, now. Anybody that can’t read clear instructions, would be a hindrance in that damned casino. So I’d rather do the run myself. If you CAN read… well, I’ve been dodging these ghost people for close to a few centuries, at this point. I can make do, and you’ll have the easiest route.”…Hmm. And an easier way to the exit of this place.“It’ll be up to you. Turn your blind stumble into a run, enter the Madre with me, and we’ll both be walking out with all the riches you’d be able to carry! I just need what I deserve… Nothing a lug like you would have much use for, I assure you!”Chad speaks for you, though:“You wouldn’t even tell us your name.”“Names are cute, but not particularly useful. I’ll tell you if we see eachother, how about that?”Chad then speaks for you.
“I’m Chad. The other voice you hear was William…and the main person you talked to is called Reynauld.”The voice on the other end suddenly sounds… well, cheerful isn’t the right word.Predatory, more like.“Well… Chad. If you’re hoping to dredge up some pity from my black old heart, I’m afraid you’re trying a little too hard. I’ve heard many names of the centuries, and most of you don’t even make it to the church! You lizardly lot are a bit more hardy than the usual amateurs, at least. Now, make your choice. Either way, the best way through is to disable security. Then, head to the fountain at the entrance to the madre, and head for the casino. This time… You’ll make it in.The little box goes quiet.….Hm.>Go up the tower, and cause that overload to turn off the holograms. Then, leave.>Go up the tower, and cause that overload to turn off the holograms. Then… Find out what there is to find in the Madre>Forget this, find a gap in those patrols, instead.
>>5472257>>Go up the tower, and cause that overload to turn off the holograms. Then, leave.The sooner we leave this accursed place, the better.
>>5472257>>Go up the tower, and cause that overload to turn off the holograms. Then, leave.he seemed to explain it well enough. I don't think we can rely on making it through the gaps in the patrols so we might as well do what he wants
>>5472257>Go up the tower, and cause that overload to turn off the holograms. Then… Find out what there is to find in the MadreFuck it why not. I wanna know what happened to Dog/God. I just hope we can find some weapons and armor before fucking off.
Thing about putting established stuff people might know in a game QM is that they're gonna be prone to meta, and personally I find throwing Dean Domino in the mix to be jumping the shark. I don't trust Domino far as I could throw him so I'm gonna go with>Forget this
>>5472257>>5472257>>Go up the tower, and cause that overload to turn off the holograms. Then, leave.we have our own crisis to manage, and a BBEG tier dragon to prepare to kill as well as finding another mage to stop the dragonification process since we know the BBEG dragon wants to force us to be his apprentice once we go full dragon.though devil advocate who knows what weapons or super science fixes we might find in the madre, we might even find something to stop the dragonification
>>5472257>Go up the tower, and cause that overload to turn off the holograms. Then, leave.
>>5473267I'm aware. The Sierra Madre isn't a real casino, either. It's a gaping maw, luring people to death. Had you gone into the casino, you would have never reached it, and William would have been mutilated or killed, due to his particular weakness to greed. You weren’t talking to Dean, either. You were talking to Sysiphus, who is just as much of a Concept as the rest of the Sierra Madre==========================“Alright… Let’s at least try. We’re making our escape as soon as possible, but if it turns off the hologram things, we might as well try.” You tell your squires, as you grab the ladder and start climbing.The ladder is old, but the wood seems to have kept well. Once you reach the top of the tower, you see writing on the walls… Every bit of the wall seems to be covered in words, in fact, though you can’t understand much of it. A lot of different languages, it looks like, though there are a few that are still possible to read.“Don’t ring the bell. It brings the monsters.”Well, it was on the wall, you suppose. You see the switch, as well, put on the window and with a beautiful sight of that tantalising building in the distance. It’s such a little thing, but there are long wires coming out of it… You suppose you can believe it’ll affect the rest of this place. You put a finger on the little switch, and… flick it.The effect is immediate. Instantly, the lights at the casino go on, and you hear explosives in the distance… Fireworks. Beautiful, multi-coloured fireworks, sticking out against an unnaturally dark sky. For a moment, it occurs to you. Whatever is there… It must be worth a fortune, no, fortunes. Whoever goes there to gather what has been left behind, why, that’d be the hoard of a lifetime. You gaze at the fireworks, the lights, your claws digging into the windowsill. Deep breath in, deep breath out. It could all be yours, nobody as powerful as you had ever gone there. Weapons, armor… Gold. There up on that hill.It could be yours. There’s almost nothing you want more.Fortunately, seeing the klan again is more important. Seeing Paracelsus as well.It takes every single fibre of your being pulling in the same direction to look away, to not think of the treasure that you deserve to have after this hellish climb down. You wheeze, before you grab the sides of the ladder and slide down.“I need to get out of here.” you mumble, as you look outside. Sure enough, the holograms are gone, seems that the voice on the radio wasn’t lying. You start running, glad that there are arrows pointing towards the entrance of this hellhole. The end of this neighbourhood is capped off by a long flight of stairs, which you go up two to three steps at a time, while your smaller kobolt friends have to do it a bit slower. You wait for a bit, and there, you hear the raspy, horrific breathing of one of those rubber monsters.
Looking behind you, you only barely dodge the strange beartrap-enhanced fist, before you punch the creature in the stomach. It feels like… punching some kind of clay, with air pockets inside of it. The hissing and popping reminds you of that, and you use your foot to trip the damned thing down the stairs, wasting no further time. William and Chad run ahead, though you catch up in no time. Left, here, through winding streets… though you have to go through a ruined building to dodge a pocket of the rust-coloured clouds littering the street. You hear the beartrap just before you feel it, and you hiss in pain as it clamps shut… though the trap must have poor springs. It barely pierced the skin, and when you reach down to remove it, you just pull it apart. The force of those jaws slamming against your shinbone still hurt, but it won’t slow you down.William and Chad are more careful now, as well.Through the building, up a flight of stairs again… but at the top, you see more of those things. Two with spears, and one holding some kind of canister. Not wasting time, you breathe out a lethal torrent of dragonfire, incinerating the creatures… and detonating the canister, sending the limbs flying as you go up the stairs again, grabbing Chad and William by the hand as you get up higher and higher… and see the fountain.Somehow, the ghost on the fountain is back. The emitter Snikt damaged must have… fixed itself, somehow. You see a small horde of ghost people at the edges, fortunately not on your side, and the exit to your immediate right.…To the left. The Sierra Madre beckons. It’s beautiful, twinkling lights, the promise of a treasure that would outshine any of those runts on the mountain.You clench your teeth, and turn away. You run through the gate, and you start running through it. The run wasn’t that long, but it was fast… William is completely out of breath, and after some time, around the time the sky turned blue once more. When the reality altering power of the mountain is no longer enveloping you…That’s the point William permitted himself to flop on the ground, completely out of breath. Chad does almost the same thing, stopping to put his hands on his thighs and wheeze for air. You’re winded as well, though not as bad as the others. You’ve done a lot of running in your lifetime, after all.Anyway, You just need to follow the path for a while. Paracelsus and the klan wouldn’t have stuck around too close to the mountain, if they could help it, so after your squires managed to catch their breath, you start walking. Calmly.It feels like your first breath of fresh air in days.After that, you walk for a short bit. In silence, as you both try to come down from the events of the mountain, but… then you spot the cart in the distance, on the side of the road. There’s smoke coming from behind it, likely a campfire. You suppose it’s… about noon, guessing from the sun.
As you keep walking, you suddenly hear it. The earpiercing screech of the Klan seeing something that they really like. The combined squeal of close to a dozen kobolts.The twins were the first to come running down the road, closely tailed by Pink. Teensy, Collar and Esmeralda come next, with Teensy riding Collar almost as per usual. Dismas, Petrus and Alice also follow, though not quite as quickly as the others. With one using a crutch and the other carrying petrus, it’s understandable.The group hug was at high speeds and merciless, knocking you flat on your back as they all scream about their dragon being back. Chad also experiences a tackle-hug from Anna, and the twins use their tails to trip up William and, while they have to loosen up from you for a moment to do it, they also drag him into the hug.You return the hug, of course, feeling an immense sense of relief… Pink, especially, is nuzzling your chest repeatedly while blubbering inelegantly.But there is somebody missing from the pile, though you see her approach in the distance, being supported by Paracelsus. She’s… A lot taller.Snikt is walking towards you, wearing clumsily resized armor. She’s gone up almost twice her original height, and you can tell that she’s a lot more… human. Her torso is larger, her arms longer, and you can tell she has a full set of fingers, though they are still clawed. Her appearance is distinctly mammalian, now, if you’re going to be coy about describing it in full, and she walks like a newborn calf. Her legs are the biggest indication of her old shape, being large and digitigrade. Her lower legs are bowed back significantly, as a result, and you can tell her feet are more akin to that of a dragon than a kobold. Less dog-like. Dark scales can be seen along the sides of her new, undoubtedly human face. Her cheeks carry the biggest ones, though there are traces of them along her neck, as well. Strange that she’d have less, rather than more. She has freckles, close to her nose, and her eyes are still the same as when you last saw her. A cute little nose, and black hair done up in a messy ponytail gives her a distinctly cute look. It reminds you of this peasant girl you knew in your youth, simply cute in all she does.She walks the last few steps herself, wringing her hands together, and then she says“....H-hello. Dragon. Snikt… Looks very different. I’m sorry.”Paracelsus stands next to her. She… looks good, with white hair. She makes it work. Her transformation has sped up while you were gone, as well.You… should probably say or do something nice, now that you’re finally back. Especially to Snikt, who looks like she’s about to pass out.>I’m not giving you hints here. Think of something cute and agree on it
>>5474601I guess snikt really is going to be our adopted daughter, then.>tell her she looks adorable, head pat.>headpats for the rest of the clan, who will want them>find out if they have anything to eat, then eat it
>>5474601>Reassure Snikt that she's adorable, and hug her and Paracelsus>Give Paracelsus a long, longer kiss>Cuddles and food -- it's good to be back, but we're starving
>>5474791I did not mean to forget Para, she needs the Main Character x Heroine kiss
>>5474601No words, only hugs. We misted them both, everyone. That mountain is a death trap and lets all agree to never go there again.No need to foul the mood with word of Onyx so soon, not yet. Lets talk to everyone and get an understanding of what happened while we were away. Is everyone okay? What of the dragonborn and kobolts? Are they all dead, some flee, some surrendered? Any news?>“....H-hello. Dragon. Snikt… Looks very different. I’m sorry.”I'm just happy to see she's okay. It doesn't matter how she looks so long as she's alive. Thank god Anna had that scroll. We will get her as many scrolls as she wants.
>>5474601If the smut was canon, kiss both Pink and Para, hug Snikt, then lets all celebrate saving the world!
>>5474791support>after the wholesome we say, we need to talk, we learned things on the mountain and we must ensure they never come to pass.
>>5474601hey boss what were your favorite moments in your quest?
>>5477837I wouldn't really know. Almost killing Snikt got to me, though, so I figure I'm doing something right. If nothing else, I think revealing that Paracelsus was secretly ripped was fun.==============="Well, Snikt... You look adorable. Come here." You say, gesturing at her to come closer, which she does... with some effort. Then, a quick pat on the head. You stroke her hair, slowly, noting that it's surprisingly soft, more like the down of a baby bird than the hair you'd expect, though you suspect it will turn straighter and coarser with time. You also drag her into the group hug, obviously, and she seems to breathe a sigh of relief as you do so. Was she honestly afraid you wouldn't accept her? You suspect it says more about what she thinks of her new form than what she thinks of you. Anyway, after the hug finally runs its course, or at least enough that you merely have to deal with about two to three kobolts clinging to you, you walk over to Paracelsus... who looks exhausted. The most striking part about her is the sheer amount of golden scales you can spot, and the weird gait. As soon as you look down, she raises her robes to reveal legs very much like like Snikt's. They're not a human being's legs anymore, and they're covered completely in scales. Yet, despite that, there is an undeniable allure to them, still. Her thighs haven't lost any of their shapeliness, for instance, though you shake your head to focus."You look ridiculous." She says, smiling as she stares at your goat-skin clothing. "You look radiant." is your reply, which makes her blush for a moment... then you embrace, which the kobolts took as a cue to let go of you and instead let you hug your beloved.And kiss her, of course.Somehow, she tastes like grapefruit, which mostly just reminds you of how hungry you are."I'll be honest with you, we've been living off snow for the last few days... And do you taste like-""Grapefruit, yes. I... suppose that means my experiments worked. Also, we've managed to catch some goats a bit ago... I'm sure you'd appreciate that?""I'm going to eat that goat." You say, matter-of-factly, and your girl turns right around and sashays her way back to camp, shaking her hips as she walks. Clearly, she's been waiting to be appreciated, and you're more than glad to do it. The goat tastes heavenly, and your squires dig in happily as well. During the eating, you also take a short moment to profusely thank Anna for her sacrifice... but she just waves you off:"Think nothing of it. A pretty girl being alive is a lot more important than my ugly mug. I'm just glad you got my man back."Snikt giggles a little bit at being called pretty, and......Now you should think on what to do next.>Find another wizard. And be a lot more careful so this one doesn't go nutty;You think Paracelsus might know somebody...>...Perhaps it's better to give up.You've got time and a good rep sheet. Perhaps it'd be better to settle somewhere.>OtherBut What?
>>5479223>...Perhaps it's better to give up.We need to settle and deal with those Dragonborn, give Snikt time to get used to her legs, give our squires time to recover... Then, maybe,w e can go questing for a remedy for any who want it (and for Anna, to make up for having to use her scroll).
>>5479223>...Perhaps it's better to give up....for the time being. We've been going at 120 miles per hour for ages. We need to rest, build ourselves back up, and take stock of what we have and what we really really need to do. I honestly don't think anything we have left to deal with is super time critical. Maybe the Dragonborn, but all in all we need to pump the brakes for a bit and take care of us.
>>5479223>>...Perhaps it's better to give up.I wouldn't call it giving up, because we have a lot to before this quest is over. Getting to the top of the mountain meant we were halfway done.If we're really feeling ambitious we can return Ogg's Head to the local lord back in whereverthefuck we started for a reward or at least an exoneration. Or not. We do need to keep it around, though, if we get checked up on. But that aside we should probably just go to the base of the mountain and take a break until everyone is ready to hit the road again. I wouldn't say for sure but I suspect the vilagers would be willing to integrate Ogg's less offensive followers if we have any survivors.Also, I thought the anti-climax boss fight with Ogg was very well done, it made me feel bad about killing her and sad that she was not willing to talk to us the first time, when we gave her a chance to surrender. I still feel that she had her heart in the right place and she was good for wanting what she ultimately wanted, even if she was criminally insane and a threat to all that is good in the world.
>>5479223>...Perhaps it's better to give up.Fuck wizards. Better to just let the curse do it's thing than risk them going crazy and trying to turn everyone into dragons and kobolts.
>>5479223>Find another wizard. And be a lot more careful so this one doesn't go nutty;Mostly for William's and Anna's sake at this point, but for us>...Perhaps it's better to give up.If we want to ever consider taking on Onyx, we'll need to bulk up as a dragon. That mean's every day, every hour, every minute is leg day. Where as Onyx has been fucking around, we'll be studying the ways of the /gains/.We still have a few things to finish before then:>turn in the bounty for Ogg's head so we don't get a warrant for our arrest, in addition to claiming the bounty>see if William still wants to get fixed or something, the twins like him tho>get a scroll for Anna, specifically the one with the floating sexy lady>consilidate the loot from Ogg's forces>back track to the flesh fields place to untuck the place>backtrack to the dragon we killed to claim it's horde if there's still anything left for usWe're gonna need A LOT of money, and A LOT of favors to beat the fucker.
>>5479223>>Find another wizard. And be a lot more careful so this one doesn't go nutty;did NONE OF YOU, listen to what the BBEG level nightmare dragon said? if we let ourself go full dragon he will come for us and force us to become his apprentice, we need to find a wizard and stop the physical progression of the curse. If not for ourself then for William he does not want this, and our MC shouldn't as well but I know anons might be a lost cause on that point.
>>5479223>>Find another wizard. And be a lot more careful so this one doesn't go nutty;I was in thread 1 and I still believe in the ideals we had then humanity is not so easily casr off we need to carry on the search
>>5479490I kind of forgot about the flesh fields. We could probably use some of ogg's dragonborn to help out clearing that area if they have any survivors.
>>5479223>Find another wizard. And be a lot more careful so this one doesn't go nutty;That was literally the whole point of this entire journey. We can't back out now that we finally have the time to get it done.As for Onyx, if he ever turns out to be a threat, we should be building an army, not going after him on our own. Just "being a dragon" isn't going to help dealing with him - he eats those for breakfast.
>>5480099Turns out the REAL cure was the friends we made along the way. :)...Well, and the magic that stopped us from turning evil and inhuman.
>>5480099>>5479884We accomplished that when we got rid of dreygaun. At this point Reynauld has no pressing need to return to his original form. Plus he has Celsie now. And Snikt. Snikt will feel hurt if we abandon our firm and leave her in hers.>>5479877That's not going to be an issue for several hundred years.
>>5480099That goal was largely accomplished. Also, don't ignore what we said. We're not saying stop everything and never follow up on it. We're saying we need to slow down for a bit and restore ourselves mentally and gear wise. We've been pushing and pushing and pushing, and we're barely holding together as it is. We need a good, long break. The dragon issue won't BE one for a long, long time, which we can use to prepare at a HEALTHY pace.
>>5480179That isn't what the vote is for. Our QM is giving up a choice continue to try and stop the curse or give up the venture. Full stop. Look at the options again.
>>5480304No, there's also the >Other option, which is ultimately what most 'stop' suggestors are going for. The reason people haven't written it in is because the given option of 'give up' for now is easier to copy/paste and then add specifics rather than writing it all out. It's common for votes that offer Other options.
>>5480335>>5480304I think continuing to worry about the curse is foolish and a misplacement of our priorities. There are still a ton of loose ends we have to tie up from the Ogg incident.I fundamentally disagree with certain posters about whether reversing the curse is even a good or worthwhile endeavor, but more importantly the Ogg incident demonstrates that anyone capable of reversing the curse is not someone we want to expose the curse to. We turned down Onyx's offer for precisely that reason; he isn't trustworthy. With that said, Onyx is, if anything, more trustworthy than most (if not all) other wizards and magic users because he is so powerful that we have very little to give him that he cannot take for himself.Our body is not our humanity. Our humanity is expressed through the nobility of our soul. Reynault cut a lot of corners in his haste to track down Ogg, and he did a number of questionable things. After we regroup, refit, and rest, we need to commit to acts of charity and penance in order to redress some of the more morally gray things we've done to get here.
I am not going to give up on this and do not believe in going full dragon, I was also in the first thread and I was pro-human then and I am pro-human now! even if you lot want to go dragon it's not fair to William to force him to remain a kobold by giving up on finding a wizard to reverse the curse.
>>5480563I was ALSO in the first thread. Hell, I was the one who wrote the Paracelesus Future Dragon shortfic.I'll be here, too.
>>5480570iirc that fic was top tier stuff, respect. Still even if we don't end up using the wizard to change ourself back, we still owe it to William to ensure he can and does. same goes for all those hurt by Ogg
>>5480574I suppose that's fair enough. But again, I really would recommend against setting off again immediately, if only for logistical purposes. We just barely survived hell on earth for a while, and while the matter might be morally significant to some folks, it's STILL not time-critical. We really DO need to rest for a while, maybe even build up a proper base of operations or some kind of settlement or SOMETHING where, even if we won't stay forever, we can at least hang out hat in between quests that we know will be there. We need to rest, rearm, rearmor, and emotionally decompress. We need to take care of ourselves, too, if we want to take care of others.
>>5480304The "You've got time" bit makes me think this is a temporary break from constant high-stakes questing. But since Paracelsus wants to be a dragon, our mind isn't being corrupted, and we have a little dragony daughteru to look after... Why go back to being human? This is a fine existence. We can look for a cure for William and a way to help make Anna more comfortable later.
>>Find another wizard. And be a lot more careful so this one doesn't go nutty;>after a month's rest and recovery you have things to attend to before you can in good consciousness go on.this is the compromise I will put forward since just complaining would be counter-productive.
>>5480583Pursuing ANY wizard is a bad idea unless it is to exterminate them with extreme prejudice. We can check in with William, but he's adjusting nicely especially now that he's getting some tail instead of growing one.Also, I am trying really hard to be polite about this but your entire concept of "humanity" is absurd and kind of offensive. The true essence of Humanity is found mastering your own will to power and transcending your limitations. It is found in cultivating a nobility of spirit that serves as an inspiration for others. It is not a matter of appearance. It is certainly not found in deliberately making yourself weak, for you are not just robbing yourself of strength, you are denying that strength to those people who you could potentially assist. With great power comes great responsibility, but willingly divesting yourself of that power is utterly contemptible.Did we want to become a dragon? No. But now that we are one, we have the responsibility to make the most of it, and only that can make us fully human.And before you say, "What about Cincinnatus" I will point out that there is a difference between retiring from a political office when your work is done, and actively divesting yourself of the physical strength and form with which you may one day again help those around you.
>>5480779>And before you say, "What about Cincinnatus"Do you really think someone was going to bring up Cincinnatus?
>>5480791Not specifically but name dropping Cincinnatus is just shorthand in for idea of renouncing power when it was no longer needed. The difference being giving up our own body versus simply retiring from public life.
>>5480779Ogg went wizard due to the unforeseen factor of Dreygaun doing something actually smart for once. Not only is his influence no longer a threat, the main mechanism, mana corruption, has workarounds, as long as you're aware of it and take care. Ogg wasn't and didn't, but we now have the benefit of hindsight.And all of that philosophical crap is one big cope. The true essence of humanity is being fucking human, plain and simple, and "I don't want to be a giant, flying, fire-breathing lizard" is just as valid a reason to have the curse reversed as any other. This whole martyr complex of having to accept one's misfortune in order to help others is supremely unhealthy Grey Knight mentality, and we've all seen where that mindset leads. The only thing that matters, to me, is the fact that Reynauld never chose to undergo the transformation, it was foisted upon him by a vindictive monster, and the notion that it's somehow shameful to want to be cured of it, to regain one's own agency, is absolutely disgusting. Your logic, that turning other people into something they don't want to be is somehow noble as long as the power it grants them holds the potential to do more good, and any opposition to it is contemptible, is something I will never get behind.
>>5480779You self-aggrandizing moralist fuck, we PROMISED William, we would seek out a wizard to restore his human form at the start of thread 7. It's what brought him back from the brink. and now you want to "touch base" and try to fuck with his head till you get the outcome you want? what is wrong with you?as for your concept of "humanity," that's great and all but a human is a human, and a Kobold is a Kobold, to use an old adage "a pig with lipstick is still a pig." You can kid yourself with your view, but if we decide that we should stay dragon and we probably will, given our GF is into it and we have a blood-bonded adopted daughter now, we will no longer be human, nor will we be a dragon-like those we fight we will be something completely new to both.your words are poison, and I reject them. I have made my points and view known above and I stand by the fact we owe it to William to see him regain his human form.
>>5480827>>5480779Both these perspectives seem pretty alien to me, even if I get parts of them. For me, the bigger question is still "What about our life with Celsie, Snikt, and the 'bolts? We'll have a longer, happier life with them (and they with us) if we go dragon."I don't want to be a giant, flying, fire-breathing lizard" is fine and dandy, and Reynauld would still find a way to help people I'm sure... But Paracelsus DOES want that, and do we want to be human-shaped more than we want to explore that life with her, and live a long, happy, productive life (with plenty of do-gooding!) alongside them?
>>5480828>You self-aggrandizing moralist fuck, we PROMISED William, we would seek out a wizard to restore his human form at the start of thread 7.Agreed. As long as William still wants to turn back, we should help. Anna deserved a scroll, too, since we asked her to use up her shot at a normal face and self-confidence.
>>5480827>>5480828If it wasn't obvious by what I wrote earlier, I disagree with both of those takes, but I don't think at least looking into the option to restore William is bad. My big issue is 'do we ignore what the characters themselves say/what for our own satisfaction?' I'd rather not. That INCLUDES if they change their mind, rather. If they want to turn back, pursue. If they change their mind and say 'nah, I'm good' don't patronize them and accept their decision. Explore the options, inform them of the options and give them all the information involved, good and bad, but let them choose themselves.
>>5480827>that turning other people into something they don't want to be is somehow noble as long as the power it grants them holds the potential to do more good, and any opposition to it is contemptible, is something I will never get behind.the dragon cursing Reynauld was evil and wrong. Not making full use of that curse now that we have it is also evil and wrong. Those things don't contradict and nowhere did I imply that being cursed was in and of itself a good thing. It has, however, created an opportunity that we would be derelict in our knightly duties to give up.The fundamental difference between Reynauld and the Gray Knight is that Reynauld has a family, and isn't trying to bear everything alone. He still has always had the responsibility as a knight errant to do everything he could to assist other people.>>5480828If you want to turn William back, it would be a better idea to figure out how to do it yourself than to trust anyone with the current knowledge to do so. But tracking down a wizard for any purpose other than elimination is incredibly foolish.
>>5480829I was mainly responding to that one specific post's points because, to be honest, all of that moralistic drivel justifying taking away one's agency and glorifying self-harm made my blood boil.As for living longer, fuller lives, I believe that we humans, even with our comparatively short lifespan that barely cracks a century in edge cases, have this shit figured out already. To me, the question should not be "How can we spend the rest of eternity with our family?" but rather "How can we take care for our family now and make sure they'll continue to thrive once we're gone?" I have no problem with Reynauld going full dragon if it's something he genuinely wants for himself, however I don't think that reason alone is something that shpuld trump all other considerations.
>>5480842What I'm saying is that, in the end, Reynauld more or less wants what WE say he wants, by majority vote. This vote is ABOUT what he wants. I personally think, based on what we've seen, done, and experienced, he'd want to at least try being a buff heroic dragon-knight with his girlfriend, adoptive daughter, and gaggle of lovable companions.
This is still running awesome, I can't believe I am just seeing this now!
I guess I will put my two cents in on this topic since we are at a pretty important moment.>>5480845I agree with anon, but also think we should look for a wizard for William, at the minimum. and who knows maybe in time our GF will decide she wants to stop at Dragonborn with working wings rather than going full feral form since you lose a lot of accessibility as a feral.
>>5479223>>Find another wizard. And be a lot more careful so this one doesn't go nutty;let's be more careful this time as well
>>5480840>Not making full use of that curse now that we have it is also evil and wrong.See, this right here is that stomach-turning shaming tactic I objected so strongly to. It is not "evil and wrong" to refuse an unwanted gift out of consideration for oneself. It is "evil and wrong", or as I'd say, fucking disgusting, to force someone to accept it for greater good. Like it or not, the curse's origin is a poison that taints all further consideration, and none of your moralistic posturing does anything to cure that.>>5480845I agree, what ultimately matters is which way the vote falls. I've cast mine and given my reasoning behind it, but in the end I'd have no problem with either choice, as long as it's done for the right reasons.Also, I just realized that option should probably say "find another arch-mage", not "wizard". Surprised nobody's pointed that out yet.
>>5480859>It is not "evil and wrong" to refuse an unwanted gift out of consideration for oneself. It is "evil and wrong", or as I'd say, fucking disgusting, to force someone to accept it for greater good.Except Reynauld is bound to the oaths and duties of a knight errant, not a civilian. Like, self-sacrifice is literally his thing. What makes it evil and wrong is that refusing the curse would negatively impact his ability to help other people.>Also, I just realized that option should probably say "find another arch-mage", not "wizard". Surprised nobody's pointed that out yet.I considered it but I thought people might actually be voting to knock down the door of a wizard instead of an arch mage. And I still think our best chance to find one is to look in the mirror. Between Celsie and Reynauld they can probably figure something out. It would also be more useful if you want to arrest the transformation or control it, since the biggest problem we have with transforming is that it seems to happen more or less randomly unless we force it by mutilating ourselves (which is probably bad, and a lot closer to my unacceptable standard of self harm).
>>5480870>refusing the curse would negatively impact his ability to help other peopleCitation needed. Reynauld was plenty capable long before the curse, going purely by his own account of his past achievements, and if anything, in the short term the curse has been actively harmful to his abilities. Also, I sincerely doubt that "gaining and keeping hold of any and all power available" is held by anybody to be part of a knight errant's duties. I reckon it's something more along the lines of "do good to the best of your abilities," which, well, see my first point.And just to answer the obvious reply of "dargon more powerful than human" in advance, not only do you have no way of knowing that going along with the transformation will not prevent us from achieving some even more powerful status at some point in the future, but that same logic would dictate that we seek a way to transform into something even more powerful, like, say, the Old One that caused the fall of House Numitor.>self-sacrifice is literally his thingThe nobility of self-sacrifice lies within its voluntary nature, choosing to benefit others at the cost to oneself. Reynauld may be automatically expected to partake in it whenever the need arises, but in the end it is still his choice to do so. But this case is more akin to somebody making that choice for him and then asking him to just be fine with it because "oath lol", which flies in the face of the very concept. The idea of forcing somebody into an unwanted position and then asking them to simply deal with it, because it would be wrong not to, is simply revolting to me, duty or not.>becoming a mageDo you have any idea of how much work and study goes into that, especially when starting from scratch? It takes much more than just throwing a few kobold-shaped cantrips. Ogg herself had to manipulate the flow of time just to be able to get to a level of understanding magic well enough to parse Krazinkos's "code". Maybe if Reynald fully devoted to studying the field, maybe he could some day eventually get to that level, but he ain't exactly one of them scholar types, and it would take him away from his oaths and duties. Sarah, on the other hand, I could see pursuing that goal. She's already a bit of an egghead, and she's already demonstrated a knack for magic. She's expressed disdain for magic, though, so I don't see her particularly inclined to engage in the field, but if she's willong to do it now, I see no reason to stop her. That said, it's likely to take her an excessive amount of time anyway, so I think the best course of action is still to track down another arch-mage and be extremely careful with exposure.
>>5481153>held by anybody to be part of a knight errant's dutiespower is pretty general; this is in the narrower realm of physical enhancements and some magical abilities that he can develop over time. And yes Celsie would probably be the brains of the operation, not Reynauld, and I think she'd be less disinclined to study magic if she were doing so towards specific ends. >The nobility of self-sacrifice lies within its voluntary nature, choosing to benefit others at the cost to oneself.It was not initially voluntary but at this point it is a lot more gray. Reynauld had the opportunity to reverse the curse with Onyx's boon, and chose not to. There's also the possibility of having a mage reverse it later, to which i am opposed.One of the reasons I am opposed to it is that unlike most types of power, we can't give what we have to anyone. We either keep it, or destroy it. As Ogg demonstrated, gifting the curse to people would not succeed in sharing what Reynauld has, because Reynauld's ability to use the curse is something that he has cultivated over his entire life. It is a result of a particular virtue in his character. Ogg's inability to appreciate that making people Dragonborn would not result in the same benefits that Reynauld had is one of the reasons her plan was doomed to failure and one of the reasons it had to be stopped.But over all, I think you guys are vastly overstating the drawbacks of the curse, and downplaying the benefits. Most of the drawbacks are second order effects like accidentally setting a wizard loose, not something inherent to the curse itself. Like, I genuinely do not understand why either one of you keeps going back to the meaningless tautology that "A human is a human" when a body, regardless of form, is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.
>>5481255>Onyx's boonwas an obvious "deal with the devil"-type situation, and the proper response in those is almost always to spit in the devil's face and walk away, not to sign on the dotted line. Reynauld's had nothing to do with accepting the curse, and everything with the specific circumstances at that moment.>we can't give what we have to anyoneReynauld being somehow a uniquely fitting recipient of the curse is not a good argument for why rejecting it is wrong and evil. That is not a standard I would hold anybody else to, and it definitely isn't one I'd hold myself to.>a body, regardless of form, is a means to an end, not an end in and of itselfI wholeheartedly disagree. A body can indeed be an end in and of itself, and in this case, it is.All in all, I fundamentally disagree with the very foundation of your argument, I think that your read of the situation as a whole is skewed, and that the standards you're applying would be, by their very nature, detrimental to both individuals and society as a whole. That said, seeing as we're starting to go in a circle, and our respective worldviews seem to be completely incompatible, I will be happy to just agree to disagree and let the vote play out. I applogize for the hostility with which I originally approached this discussion and appreciate that you chose to ignore it in favor of addressing my points, instead.