[Burichan] [Futaba] [Nice] [Pony]  -  [WT]  [Home] [Manage]

Report completed threads!

[Catalog View] :: [Archive] :: [Graveyard] :: [Rules] :: [Discussions] :: [Wiki] :: [Discord]

[Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [Last 100 posts]
Posting mode: Reply
Name (optional)
Email (optional, will be displayed)
Subject    (optional, usually best left blank)
File []
Embed (advanced)   Help
Password  (for deleting posts, automatically generated)
  • How to format text
  • Supported file types are: GIF, JPG, MP3, MP4, PNG, SWF, WEBM
  • Maximum file size allowed is 25600 KB.
  • Images greater than 250x250 pixels will be thumbnailed.

File 170787409543.png - (20.42KB , 500x500 , p0.png )
1083314 No. 1083314 ID: 9ea24b

Previous thread: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1077945.html
Short VN game in this setting: https://tippler.itch.io/march-time
Discussion: https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/135483.html

Gore and violence warning. No onscreen sex. No chance based events.
277 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
No. 1088871 ID: 5ebd37

Ask Jam how the army's treating him. Is he getting enough to eat? Making friends?
No. 1088877 ID: eb0a9c

There's going to be tensions from this haphazard armistice... but that's what we need to feed Jam.
Isn't arbitrage fun?

Warn Jam that the adventurers are your allies, not your minions. They might do something bad if Jam pushes them too far.
No. 1088898 ID: f3171e

I think it's been hours since he came into existence. I think we could try proposing the idea of coliseums to train soldiers, entertain citizens to reduce unrest, and feed Jam with combat and competition.

George certainly won't be happy, but hopefully we've built enough good will with him to accept it.

I'm interested to hear what Telarin has to say. It sounds like she wasn't just a turncoat, but high up enough to have a known disagreement with their leadership.
No. 1088995 ID: 9ea24b
File 171332043435.png - (17.26KB , 500x500 , p89.png )

“How has existing been in the few hours since we last met?” I ask Jam.

“Quite agreeable. There were many tender organs to eat around my hole. After your warning I made it clear I was not to be the commander’s obedient servant and he promised to respect me. I was told about my predecessor. I listened to your doings with your minions.”

I decide to speak more positively of the adventurers. “Perhaps minions is the wrong term for them. They are quite formidable and it would be wise not to anger them.”

“Apart from the commander’s sister they hold no value. I will respond to resistance.”
No. 1088996 ID: 9ea24b
File 171332045060.png - (15.10KB , 500x500 , p90.png )

I begin to grow more concerned as we approach the camp. I do not think any of my current allies will be happy with this agreement, and the lord in Pliny will be outraged that I have effectively usurped him. I do not think there is enough good will in the world for George to be content living under his family’s killers.

When I stretch my head over the grass I spot the glow of the fire as it wavers against the side of the wagon. I go ahead of Jam and the orc and make myself known to Flint, who yawns and scratches her beard.

I explain the deal, briefly.

“I don’t want any part of this.” she says. “Once we’re back to Pliny, I’m going to quit the group and go home. I’ll get everyone up and you can tell them what you’ve done.”

How do I approach this delicate situation?
No. 1089003 ID: f3171e

To start with, we should learn more from Telarin about why she left. We should be able to speak more openly about it, this time, with Jam here and not listening in from afar.

We brought Jam here alone, and they still have the box. Right now, she has no reason not to be entirely transparent with you about the full truth of what's going on, and from there we can decide once and for all if we want to trap him or ally with him.
No. 1089083 ID: 9ea24b
File 171340946291.png - (19.08KB , 500x500 , p91.png )

A good first step is clear communication. Telarin needs to explain her history to everyone and we can decide where to go from there.

I am startled when Jam runs his fingers down my slimy back. He must have grown tired of waiting and approached the camp. The orc coughs in the grass behind me to make his presence known.

There’s a bit of groaning as the party is roused from their slumber. Flint warns them to stay calm and they assemble around the fire clutching their weapons.

I explain the deal again, adding that Telarin has blood relations to the army commander and that she should explain herself.
No. 1089084 ID: 9ea24b
File 171340947844.png - (19.44KB , 500x500 , p92.png )

Cornered, Telarin goes quiet.

“Well, if you left then that’s a good sign. ” Erogalf says, in what seems to be an attempt to reassure her.

“I’m not a good person.” she mumbles. “I convinced my mentor to tell my brother how to raise a spirit, which is how we ended up with this mess.”

“The ogre shaman?” I ask.

“Yeah. I left because it got to be too much being a healer and dealing with dying soldiers all the time, but I would have gone back if Erogalf hadn’t found me. I put the idea in his head about capturing Icher, which was stupid. I don’t know, we should have stayed far away from the army.”
No. 1089115 ID: f3171e

Agree with her that trying to be a good person is difficult. The church mortals make it sound so easy like the way it is supposed to be and helping people feels good and righteous, but helping everyone is impossible because helping some sometimes requires hurting others. The church hurts others for their all-loving god too so hurting must mean love sometimes, but where do you draw the line between the good of helping and the good of hurting?

We want to prevent the people of Pliny from dying and the army will kill them again if they remain part of Geoun or the king of Geoun will kill them for god because of having a spirit, but a treaty with Vishelt will also hurt George's emotions and it makes Flint look horrified even though it means less people will die right now.

Who does her brother think he is helping by hurting to make Icher and Jam?
No. 1089227 ID: 9ea24b
File 171356620780.png - (15.16KB , 500x500 , p93.png )

As a known expert on being good, I try to console Telarin. “We are all trying to do what we think is best. In these complicated situations, helping some will cause the harm of others. What matters now is how we move forward with the current circumstances. I have chosen this path because it will protect my people.”

It occurs to me this rationale would apply to the commander as well. He likely thinks he is doing the right thing despite hurting so many.

Telarin rubs her face and sniffs a bit. “Has Jolir agreed to this?”

“Yes. Marcose was skeptical since Pliny has broken their word before in their deal with Icher, but I think everyone would like a break and Jam will be paying close attention to any schemes.” the orc replies.

I am surprised when Telarin stands and begins collecting her spare things from the wagon. Erogalf seems alarmed as well.
No. 1089229 ID: 9ea24b
File 171356622151.png - (18.59KB , 500x500 , p94.png )

“You’re leaving?” he says, voice cracking.

“I don’t want to use you anymore, Erogalf. I’ve taught you a lot and you can find other party members. Go back to Pliny and get everything sorted before the army arrives to deal with the lord.”

“I didn’t feel like you were using me.” Erogalf mutters.

Smit stays silent and watchful, as is usual for him. Jam wraps his hands around my clitellum, which I tolerate. He squeezes a few times, then follows the orc and Telarin as they walk into the darkness.
No. 1089253 ID: 5ebd37

Remembering that Jam will hear anything you say, time to head back to Pliny. Everyone's had their feelings hurt and they probably want to yell at you, but they'll have to wait till you're all out of earshot.
No. 1089254 ID: f3171e

I think you technically just got your first hug.

It sounds like Telarin is going to try and reconcile with her brother. We should check on her sometime. For now, we return to Pliny, see if the kobolds made it there, and break the awkward news to George.
No. 1089269 ID: 9ea24b
File 171364406180.png - (14.48KB , 500x500 , p95.png )

The remaining members of the party seem stunned for a moment, but soon go back to bed. It is late and none seem in the mood to start an argument.

“We’ll begin the journey to Pliny tomorrow morning.” Flint tells me, as she seats herself back in front of the fire.

The thought of returning to my well and regaining my powers is very appealing. I will have to be careful about what I say since Jam will always be listening, but I do not have intentions of breaking this deal so I doubt I will be exchanging much sensitive information.

I wonder how the kobold refugees are adjusting to their new home. I hope they are eating lots of rats.
No. 1089270 ID: 9ea24b
File 171364407312.png - (14.73KB , 500x500 , p96.png )

I dig some more holes for entertainment as the camp cycles through its watch. Flint heats some water for breakfast tea and then I crawl up onto the wagon and we are off.

There are fewer refugees on the return journey, which is a good sign. The horses kick up a good deal of dust on the dry road, which sticks to Flint’s beard and eyelashes.

“Pliny.” Smit pokes his head out from the front of the wagon sometime around noon. “Don’t worry about paying me back for this mission. Give some gold to Wulfa, if you must.”

“Okay Smit. You’re not going to leave Pliny, are you?”

“No. I don’t want trouble though, so don’t seek me out.”
No. 1089271 ID: 5ebd37

Thank him for his help and if he ever needs you he knows where to find you.
No. 1089275 ID: f3171e

Maybe he was trying to get out of the rogue life. Don't mention the chest or his former partner, but apologize for dragging him into this if this is not the sort of thing he wants to do.

Agreed, he knows where to find us if he ever needs help.
No. 1089314 ID: 9ea24b
File 171370594423.png - (11.95KB , 500x500 , p97.png )

“Thank you for your help Smit. Find me if you ever need aid.”

The goblin nods.

“I am sorry if you did not want to do this kind of work anymore. I did not mean to drag you into it.” I add.

“It’s not that. I don’t want to get between you and your new…partner. Seems like the jealous type.”

He lets the canvas flap fall shut, ending our conversation. I notice that the sick soldier is not anywhere in sight. I did not see him go with Telarin last night which means he is most likely dead.

“What happened to our prisoner?” I ask at large. No one answers.
No. 1089315 ID: 9ea24b
File 171370596867.png - (13.34KB , 500x500 , p98.png )

I am heartened when we cross the boundary of Pliny’s fields in the afternoon and my magical hearing returns. I pick out the sounds of George, Wulfa, and Jor. They all seem to be well. The kobolds are scattered to the fringes of the intact buildings, and as we approach I see their temporary shelters and smell their waste.

The ground is familiar, but I am not getting much passive mana. My absence was probably not good for the new offering system since I was not around to collect.

Flint stops the wagon in front of their house, which has been taken over by the lord and his servants. Smit slips away while Flint makes her preparations to leave. Erogalf seems dazed and stands in the middle of the street clutching his staff and swaying slightly.

What should I do?
No. 1089325 ID: f2320a

Is smit drained of magic or is he having a nervouse breakdown?
No. 1089338 ID: f3171e

I think Erogalf had feelings for Telarin. He must feel terrible after losing her like that. There's not much we can say to make it better, but we can ask if he needs anything.

Then, George should be the first person we tell. He may want to join Flint when she leaves after he learns what happened, so we should ensure he has time to prepare for that.
No. 1089401 ID: 9ea24b
File 171380710078.png - (13.69KB , 500x500 , p99.png )

Erogalf seems quite distraught. I nudge his boot to get his attention.

“What’s wrong? Do you miss Telarin? I know this is a stressful time but we are home now and it is okay.”

The wizard sniffles. “My whole party left me. I’m supposed to be the cool old wizard traveling the land fighting evil. That was my dream when I set out from home last year.”

I gaze up at Erogalf. I suppose when he is not wearing a fake beard he looks quite young, though it is difficult to tell with elves.

“Would some mana help?” I offer.

“Yeah.” Erogalf admits. “I’d just use it for a vitality spell and to wash up though.”

If I give Erogalf a boost I will be too small to carry my lonely friend. Should I do it? After this I will go warn George about the Vishelt takeover.
No. 1089416 ID: f3171e

Just ask him to let you stash your lonely friend in the well first, so you don't puke up a corpse in the street.
No. 1089420 ID: 5ebd37

Yeah, plus being small might be good if the lord hears about your deal and you need to lay low.
No. 1089556 ID: 9ea24b
File 171392360568.png - (15.65KB , 500x500 , p100.png )

“Walk with me to my well. I will deposit my lonely friend so that I do not create a disturbance when I shrink.” I tell Erogalf.

“Thanks Pliny.”

We pass through the alleys that lead to the burnt section of town. I am pleased to see some of the kobolds have made camp around my sophisticated rat habitat. They hold out their hands when I pass and I hurry to retrieve the last of my treasure to distribute among them.

With my lonely friend safely tucked next to Smit’s partner in the depths of my tunnel network, I let Erogalf pull mana from me, then set my path toward George.
No. 1089557 ID: 9ea24b
File 171392361784.png - (14.38KB , 500x500 , p101.png )

I find him with the same woman as before, cooking dinner in the kitchen of an unfamiliar house. I call for him to come outside and he joins me on the street. His gaze sweeps over my body but he does not comment on my reduced size.

I explain my deal with the army and how they will likely arrive within a few days to depose the lord.

“They are not coming here to raze Pliny, but there will be bloodshed. I do not want you to be harmed. If you wish to avoid the risk you should travel east and then return once it is all settled.” I add.

“But their spirit will stay here because of you. It will never be safe in Pliny.” George stares at me. He reaches for his knife.
No. 1089560 ID: 5ebd37

Possibly, Jam is still new. They might grow to be well adjusted, but just as easily might not. Plus it would be just as unsafe after the army conquered the country.

If he's going to stab you let him, I guess. Not like he can really hurt you, maybe it will make him feel better.
No. 1089562 ID: f3171e

"Jam has only just begun to exist. We will be careful of his nature, but we do not think we should hate him for being born. Geoun believes that we spirits should never be born."

Maybe if we depose the lord before they arrive, that will reduce any bloodshed. Or the wilderness shelters can be used for non-combatants.
No. 1089648 ID: 9ea24b
File 171401291202.png - (18.59KB , 500x500 , p102.png )

I do not make any effort to defend myself when George grips me with one hand and begins shaving me with long strokes of his knife. He moves with purpose, stripping away my flesh and flicking it away so I cannot easily reincorporate the mass.

“Do not condemn the war spirit so soon, he is young and can be taught to be well-adjusted in mortal society.” I say. “George, please stop this, I do not mean you any harm, this arrangement will ultimately benefit our people.”

He doesn’t respond.

“I could even defeat the lord now so that there is less violence when the army arrives!” I plead.

I wiggle and George tightens his grip. “Go quietly, Pliny.” he growls.

I begin to struggle with more vigor, but given my reduced size I cannot break free. George pins me between his knees and hacks a deep gash in my middle. He is trying to cut me in half!

I still have my shortsword. Should I stab George to force him to let me go or accept my fate? It is hard for me to accept harming George, since he is my valued citizen.
No. 1089656 ID: 5ebd37

Oh, George. Spit in his face and wriggle away.

What is this reaction, George? Did Pliny not help you get revenge on Icher, when your other companions would have denied and used you? Are you really so much of a coward that you'll slaughter someone who trusted you because you know they won't fight back? Will you feel like you accomplished something? You couldn't take down Icher, and you couldn't take down the army, but at least you killed something huh? Complete the army's work and snuff out the spirits of Pliny's citizens for good, but it's easier than going after the actual villains, right?
No. 1089660 ID: f3171e

If you die here, Jam will surely be enraged, and at worst he may generalize that rage at all mortals.
George was given the chance to stop, and he made his choice clear. You need to defend you now. George isn't the type to give up easily, so non-lethal strikes or disarming probably won't cut it. He'd keep going with his fingernails if he had to. If you curve and aim up now, you can go for the throat.
No. 1089663 ID: eb0a9c

Scream. Make sure everyone can see you. If George murders you, everyone will know what he did.
No. 1089716 ID: 9ea24b
File 171409947941.png - (18.51KB , 500x500 , p103.png )

I do not have time to ponder the finer philosophical points of George targeting me when his real ire is with people and spirits outside of his control, though it takes several valuable seconds to come to this conclusion.

I spit mud in his face. As expected, the smell and inconvenience does not deter him, George merely wipes his cheek on his shoulder. I follow up with a strike that breaks his nose.

George snarls and gets a better grip on my head to hold me still, digging his nails into my empty eyeholes. Warm blood drips onto my back.

There are several people close by, and I attempt to scream to get their attention. Surely they will come save me from being murdered.

“Ah. AH. Eeyeeehh.” I say. It is hard to change my pitch and tone since I do not have vocal chords. The mortals walking along the street avert their eyes from me.

At this point I decide it would be best to stab George, as displeasing as that may be. I try to maneuver myself to point my blade at his throat, but I have become too small and weak. I am going to die and I do not think Jam will appreciate it.
No. 1089717 ID: 9ea24b
File 171409949542.png - (13.63KB , 500x500 , p104.png )

I still do my best to struggle and make George’s task difficult, if only to give myself more time to listen to the sounds of the city. The squeak of the rats, the crackling fires as people cook their evening meals, the clink of coins and the sharp voices of children.

And the sound of wet feet slapping the ground. Erogalf skids onto the street, hair wet and entirely naked. He’s holding his staff, and he shoots a spell that knocks George over. The human is still holding me, and it takes a harsh blow to the arm for him to finally let go. I flop into a puddle of my own mud and cough up the sword, which has become too large for me to comfortably carry.

“You fucking idiot!” Erogalf shrieks. “They’re going to kill you and anyone you care about in the most horrible, painful way, because you couldn’t fucking keep a low profile!”

I notice he has a communication circle buzzing next to his ear and I distantly hear Telarin telling Jam to be calm.
No. 1089723 ID: df60a9

>The mortals walking along the street avert their eyes from me.
Do your best to remember their faces. In a town of refugees from the war, the choice to turn coats for peace will not be a popular one, however sound the reason. They are not as dangerous as a broken man, but they can still be a danger.

Begin recollecting as many of your materials as you can. If best boy Jam goes on the warpath to avenge this, we will need to assemble anyone still loyal to us to get them into shelters.

The sentiment in me wants to tell George to take his woman and run. A furious George on the loose is a threat, Icher made that mistake already, but if he has something to lose he has something to keep him from coming back.
No. 1089745 ID: f2320a

To avert there eyes to someone beimg murdered in the streets one who has toiled and killed for them someone who has feed them is horrible
No. 1089749 ID: df60a9

You forget that George has also planted, hunted and killed for them, fed them and lived among them. They know him, they trust him, those who live near him likely know his story. And most of all, he is like them, he is one of them.

Pliny is a strange, alien thing, that the church and state have taught them is evil, malevolent, an ill omen. To uneducated peasants, that is the only truth of spirits that they have ever known, and Icher and the army have done nothing to divest them of that notion.

From their perspective, if George decided that Pliny was dangerous, he must have a good reason. Particularly if they overheard any of our surrender to the army that destroyed their lives.

It is okay to recognize that the uneducated mob cannot be trusted, that they may be dangerous, and also not hate them for acting on the flawed information they have.
No. 1089774 ID: 9ea24b
File 171417517036.png - (15.93KB , 500x500 , p105.png )

I lie still and try to recover as much mass as possible. I am hurt that the passing citizens did not help me, but I understand that they have been taught by the church and superstition that I am something wicked. Also, with their suffering and loss still fresh, they would want to avoid any danger from interfering.

George drops his knife when Erogalf buffets him with another spell. Despite his attempt to kill me, I do not want George to be tortured to death.

“You must leave Pliny as soon as possible.” I tell the human. George holds his sleeve to his bloody face and looks at me with hatred. I am dismayed. It seems I have few willing allies left in Pliny.

Erogalf shivers as a breeze dries the water off his bare body. “Don’t give him a chance to tell the lord about this. I’m going to stay near you until you get somewhere safe, though I’d like to get my clothes.”

I am gaining mass quite slowly. What should I do about the lord?
No. 1089797 ID: df60a9

We lack the strength to defeat the lord and his guards personally, and our known allies are few, which places us in a difficult spot. Erogalf has a point about George being a risk to warn the lord. Sparing George and keeping the lord in the dark are probably mutually exclusive.

Get Erogalf's clothes and try to get into contact with Jor. She's been the one developing the connections here, already skeptical about the church doctrine, and savvy enough to tell who can be trusted. Hopefully Jor, Wolfa (and Tytus) and Smit are still our allies. Maybe the kobolds will be more sympathetic than the humans, as well? They seem to be treated as second class citizens and disliked by the lords.

Smit doesn't want to associate with us too directly in case Jam gets jealous (he has a point, we should be careful who we tell we love them right now since Jam is listening and could see them as competition. His understanding is still very limited and skewed by his nature), so Smit might not want to shelter with us, but we should still extend the invitation through Jor and warn him about the coming unrest.

We will want to get our remaining allies into the woods of Pliny and prepare for potential guerilla warfare against the lord's hunting parties until Jam arrives to take control.
No. 1089805 ID: 5ebd37

Whatever you do you should get below ground as soon as possible. Try to coordinate with others at the well or other entrances if you can, but remaining above will leave you too vulnerable until you regain mass and mana.
No. 1089810 ID: df60a9

On second thought, you're right, don't go to the woods. George knows them too well, and he will probably help the lord hunt you instead of flee like we hope. But you are in no condition to finish him off right now, and I would not ask Erogalf to execute the last of his former party in cold blood.

Gather everyone at your well and the surrounding buildings. There are buildings for cover and choke points, and you already have a series of tunnels that you and the kobolds are capable of using. It's also a distinct area we can convey to Telarin and Jam so that the army knows where friendlies are.

And get Erogalf to grab your shortsword and bring it with.
No. 1090208 ID: 9ea24b
File 171475977046.png - (14.08KB , 500x500 , p106.png )

I am too weak to fight the lord and his servants and must retreat. I can wait in my hole until sufficiently recovered to gather my allies.

“Take me to my well, please. I assume you do not want to kill George?” I ask Erogalf.

“I’d rather not murder my former party member, no.” Erogalf gingerly picks me up and holds me dangling like an overripe sausage above the ground. “George, if the lord resists most of the town will be wiped out again. There is no world where you win.”

“We would have a chance if you and Pliny weren’t filthy traitors.” George spits a gob of snot and blood on the elf’s hairless leg.
No. 1090209 ID: 9ea24b
File 171475982289.png - (14.82KB , 500x500 , p107.png )

Erogalf gives a watery sigh. “It’s been kind of a rough day, George. I’m going to go now.”

I nudge Erogalf to pick up my sword and afterwards he jogs to my well. Once we’re there and surrounded only by kobolds, he places me on the lip of the stone.

“Telarin says they can’t come for another two days at least. I’m not sure what I should do before then.”

“Seek shelter with Jor and see if Wulfa will help you.” Ah, I recall that Wulfa vowed to protect Pliny. “Perhaps be cautious with Wulfa since she does not care for the army.” I add.

Erogalf drops my sword into the well and I tip myself over the edge to enter the murky water with a splash. What should I do while I regain my strength?
No. 1090219 ID: df60a9

There is much to consider. This isn't how we initially expected things to go when we set out to interfere with the spirit's summoning, and it is very messy. We lost the trust of George, who you trusted. Flint is leaving, but at least she will be okay. This will not be an easy thing to swallow for any of those who choose to remain with us.

However, the lord and the king of Geoun were always going to become a threat once the army was no longer there to distract them. We know where we stand with them. The worldview that places them in power names you a monster. Under Geoun, it was always going to be an existence of secrecy. A hidden cult organized through Jor just to try and keep yourself from fading away, always with the fear of when inquisitors would come and raze those you care for.

I still do not fully trust the army. We know too little about them, and what little we know is that they have turned on their allies in the past. We need more information about who leads them and what their long term aims are. From Telarin, preferably. Maybe from Jam. Probably both, so we can see what they are and are not telling Jam.

And Jam is still a wild card, but it is nice to hear that someone was ready to come to your defense at the drop of a hat, after the townsfolk turned away. Does it at least feel nice to have another spirit? Someone who is willing to touch and caress you, who doesn't find your natural beauty gross, who wants to be nearby? Even George at his happiest couldn't bring himself to return your expression of affection in full.

Jealousy could be dangerous. Bird form means he may have hoarding instincts. It is important that he comes to see your citizens as extensions of you rather than as competition for your attention.
No. 1090220 ID: df60a9

As for things you could physically do while not in slumber, we should prepare the tunnels in the well area, strengthen them, and teach the kobolds how to use them.
No. 1090252 ID: 5ebd37

When you are feeling a little stronger travel the tunnels, see what you can hear. Has anyone left you anything? What do the people need?
No. 1090301 ID: 9ea24b
File 171485248925.png - (12.31KB , 500x500 , p108.png )

I soak in my lovely well. With some time to think, I deduce that Jam must have heard my struggle with George and rushed to have Telarin call Erogalf while the wizard was in the bath so he could help me. I very much appreciate the intervention, otherwise I would have perished. While I am sure coexistence with Jam will bring its own troubles, I am glad I have someone who cares about my well-being unconditionally.

I extend my hearing to the surroundings. It seems the kobolds have indeed learned how to use the widest of my tunnels and are catching rats for their evening meal. I am startled when a bucket is lowered into the depths next to my head, though it makes sense that they would be using my well as a water source.

Once night falls, I travel to my offering sites. I find more nice stones and objects of minor value, but most seem to be from a few days ago. Some homes are beginning to use the holes as latrines, which I do not mind.

I return to my well in the morning after patching some of my tunnel walls and listen intently for George. He is still within Pliny, which is a bad sign. Is he literate and thus can pass on messages to the lord without speaking?

I have grown enough to swallow my sword, but am still small otherwise. Should I wait and recover more or venture out?
No. 1090309 ID: 34acdf

We should speak with the kobolds and hear their thoughts on what's going on, see if we can sway them soundly to our side. They won't like the army sure, but their kind seemed to have a rough go of it even before things were turned sideways. Maybe they're pragmatic enough to see the reward in the risk, that the downtrodden could found a better system in the aftermath. Seize the means of production, redistribute wealth, eat the rich, all that good stuff.

And they're not far, so we won't need to venture out very much into more dangerous territory.

>Is George literate?
On the one hand, he seems more like a peasant and a wildman, certainly took to working in the fields without a blink. On the other hand, the adventurers may have taught him something while traveling with him. We're definitely not strong enough to tangle with George yet.

We should pay attention to his location. He might be stalking and targeting some of our allies, in which case we or a kobold runner if they're on board would need to warn them.
No. 1090312 ID: c5529d

wait a bit more. You've done a lot lately. recover a bit more of your strength.
No. 1090335 ID: 5ebd37

There is little you can do while diminished. Stick to the tunnels, you should still be able to coordinate with your allies from there. Maybe start organizing the kobolds, since they can travel the tunnels as well.
No. 1090380 ID: f2320a

Hmmm have we made the muck in the well settle at thr bottom? Our bath water
No. 1090401 ID: 9ea24b
File 171496032869.png - (14.53KB , 500x500 , p109.png )

I stay underground. I doubt George, as a ranger in a small town, knew how to read and write before joining the adventurers, and it is unlikely he had much time to study while they pursued the army. I keep my awareness on him so that I know if he goes to the lord or tries to attack Erogalf.

I would like to make contact with the kobolds, and I wait for one to send a bucket down to skim the cleaner water off the top of the layers of scum in my well to wrap myself around the rope. I am lifted into the light and dismount on the stone to face the startled kobold who pulled me up.

“Greetings kobold. I am Pliny the spirit and led your kind here after you fled from Jamuk.” I say.

“Do you have any more money?” the kobold asks hopefully.

“I do not. How have you fared since coming here?”

The kobold explains that the lord was upset at first but agreed to let the refugees stay as long as they give him a portion of the wheat they harvest from the northern fields. The situation is stable, though the kobolds aren’t living in good conditions and quite a few are ill.

“Your coins have helped us buy goods from the other townspeople. We heard that you defeated the army’s spirit and slew hundreds of their soldiers!” The kobold’s eyes sparkle. “Is there something you need?”
No. 1090407 ID: ca8543

We're going to need to spin this carefully. And we're going to need to be double careful not to use phrases that would upset Jam. A bit of a juggling act.

"I am sad to hear that your conditions are not good, and that the lord has kept better aid from those who need it. I think it would be very good if we could distribute the resources to those who need it, but the lord has forbidden me from interfering in governance. It seems that he dislikes those who are different." Prime them with the fact that the lord is in the way of getting their people the help they need, because he is racist.

"I went behind his back, however, because despite my power I cannot protect everyone forever. I was able to leverage my prowess to negotiate a treaty to stop the war from harming Pliny again after the fall of Jamuk. However, the lord will not simply leave Pliny under the guidance of a spirit, and I fear he will lead the citizens into more bloodshed. What do you think I should do?" Gauge what the kobold thinks is best, while probing to see if any of their ideas match what you already want to do. If they do, it will seem like the kobold's idea, and be more easily accepted.
No. 1090469 ID: 9ea24b
File 171504585728.png - (8.86KB , 500x500 , p110.png )

I need to assess how the kobolds feel about their current situation. I do not want them to decide I am a traitor like George did after I told him about the peace deal. “I hope your conditions improve. Would you say the lord has been fair in his treatment of you? He has forbidden me from interfering in matters of state, which I find impertinent.”

The kobold balances the mostly empty bucket on her hip. “I’d say he’s alright. We were impressed that the king sent anyone here, Jamuk didn’t get many reinforcements during the siege.”

Not promising. “What would you do if the Vishelt army decided to return here?”

The kobold looks haunted. “I-I do not know. We are so weak now…They would surely slaughter us.”

I perk up. “Ah, but what if I told you that I had brokered a peace treaty? The side effect is that Pliny would be considered Vishelt territory instead of Geoun’s.”

The kobold looks around, uncomfortable. “But the lord didn’t say anything about a treaty. Should you be telling me this? I was just here to fetch some water and I don’t know anything about any secret plans.”

I sigh. It does not seem like the kobolds are comfortable with treason. “Do not worry about it. I will keep you safe.”

I slip back into the well. Sometime in the early afternoon I hear George speak to his woman friend.
No. 1090470 ID: 9ea24b
File 171504601935.png - (8.50KB , 500x500 , p111.png )

“–don’t know what to do Beatrice. I don’t want to take you from your home but it might not be safe soon.”

“Is this about what happened to your nose yesterday? You’ve been quiet…”

“I didn’t feel safe speaking because of the spirit, but I’ve made the decision to leave. You don’t have to come with me, it will be a hard life away from town.”

There’s a lull as Beatrice thinks.

“I’ll go with you. We can find other refugees and small farmers. I trust you.”

It sounds like George has made the correct choice and is leaving Pliny soon without informing the lord of my deal. I credit Erogalf and I’s good relationship with him up until he attempted to kill me.

Should I assassinate the lord tonight to ease the transition or wait in my well until the army arrives?
No. 1090471 ID: ded463

Their hesitation is understandable, but at least they don't sound angry or hostile, and the kobolds know to lay low and stay safe now. I think you did well.

It would be perfectly clear who assassinated the lord, but it will also be perfectly clear who brokered the treaty, and his death should break the morale of the Geoun guards he has here in town and leave them without a commander.

It would be better for our image to allow the lord the chance to leave knowing he is well outclassed, but doing so without backup would risk being overpowered and killed again.

Tonight, let us see how Erogalf has fared and what Jor and the others think, then decide how to handle the lord before the army arrives tomorrow. Erogalf has spoken with the lord before and may know more of his character, and Jor seems like the type to stay informed.
No. 1090472 ID: eb0a9c

No, the townsfolk are already enthralled to anti-spirit propaganda, don't give them evidence to that theory.

However, you can slowly poison the lord, weaken him just enough that he doesn't show any severe symptoms. Something else can kill the bastard if you nudge the odds in their favor.
No. 1090572 ID: 394dad

I’m sure that’s what every evil vizier thinks, and look how well their plans go.
You should wait in your well, and hope the lord continues to be reasonable and surrender. Better than being branded both a traitor and murderer.
No. 1090602 ID: 9ea24b
File 171521290270.png - (9.30KB , 500x500 , p112.png )

I do not think I can kill the lord without being discovered, and I do not want to harm my reputation with my citizens. Hopefully the army will send mortals to negotiate when they arrive instead of storming through Pliny, and that means the lord will have a chance to surrender. Instead of assassination I decide to take the tunnels to visit Jor and Erogalf right before dusk.

I can hear the other orcs Jor lives with laughing with each other as they settle down for the night. Quite a few burly bodies in a small house, and Erogalf’s voice is a nervous tenor trying to play along with their in-jokes and references.

I wait for someone to come use the latrine to show myself and ask for Jor and Erogalf. The orc pads out naked in sandals with the wizard trailing behind.

I tell them of my utmost restraint in sparing the lord, and ask what they think of him.

“Geoun politics aside, he’s a reasonable man.” Jor grumbles.

“Yeah, he’s a smart guy. Smart enough to take us hostage if we tell him what we did.” Erogalf adds. “I’m almost out of mana and you still look pretty small so I won’t take anything. I can call Telarin and tell her who to send with the negotiating party when they arrive tomorrow. Jam will want to see you so he’ll be there no matter what.”

Erogalf gets Telarin on the blue glowing circle and holds it out so we can all hear. Which mortal should the army send with Jam? The options are the commander, who is also apparently the blond elf I saw in the field, the dwarf mage who I have never spoken with, or the young orc mage.
No. 1090608 ID: d322f0

Take this moment to pass along sincere thanks to Jam for his timely intervention when you were being killed. Give Erogalf a non-verbal nod of respect and thanks as well.

Don't share aloud the fact George is leaving peacefully. It would put Erogalf at ease, but Jam would very reasonably want to hunt him down. If we share the fact with Erogalf after our meeting, it will need to be in writing somehow.

The commander and the dwarf mage are unknowns. I want to meet Telarin's brother and learn what his deal is, but not under such stressful and unpredictable conditions.

We know the young orc mage, that he is reasonable and well-spoken. I suggest we request him.
No. 1090692 ID: 9ea24b
File 171537144778.png - (20.54KB , 500x500 , p113.png )

“What is the name of that young orc mage? I think he is well-spoken and calm, he should be the negotiator.” I say.

“Yonnie? He’s pretty young…” Telarin says.

“I think he is perfect for the job. I will expect to see him with Jam tomorrow evening.” I decide. “Is Jam there? I must thank him for his timely invention when I thought I was about to perish.”

There’s a shuffling noise. “Pliny. You are not permitted to let others touch you. It is most disagreeable. I will make sure that George man does not hurt you again and the loud male elf leaves you alone.”

Erogalf gulps audibly.

“But Erogalf had to help me to my well and he always asks before I give him any mana.” I reply.

“I will be the only one to handle you. We will be together soon.”

Erogalf ends the call. “I’d really prefer if Jam didn’t torture me to death, Pliny.”

“Of course I will not let that happen. Go to sleep now.”

I return to my well to recover through the night and most of the next day. How should I greet Yonnie and Jam tomorrow? Should I go with them to the negotiations?
No. 1090704 ID: df60a9

Definitely going to take some work coexisting with the handsy bird. At least people aren't exactly lining up to pet you.

We should accompany them to negotiations. Being seen with Jam won't earn you any favor, but it's going to happen one way or another. Better to be there so you have a voice in what happens.

Jam will want contact and to hold you, but he will need his wing-hands free in case fighting happens. You should request to coil around his torso for ease of carrying.

Yonnie is capable, but he's young. Best to give him a chance to organize his thoughts and plan. We should establish what terms the army is willing to offer and what terms they are willing to accept.
No. 1090709 ID: 5ebd37

You should be there to keep Jam in check. Maybe people won't resent your association if they think you're protecting them from him.
No. 1090758 ID: 9ea24b
File 171548062035.png - (18.21KB , 500x500 , p114.png )

I stay in my well until I hear hooves pounding into my territory the following afternoon. I can hear Jam speaking with Yonnie and roughly 200 soldiers with them. Is Jam riding on a horse? That would be an odd sight.

I take my tunnels as far as I can go in their direction, then rise to the surface and begin squirming towards them. I am about a third of my maximum size and have my lonely friend with me.

I listen to the fraction of the army pitch their tents near the river and their old campsite. I cannot help but be displeased at the sound.

I enter the camp and call for Jam, who comes loping to greet me. He has grown and easily picks me up in a familiar, firm grip. I rest myself around his shoulders so that he may keep his hands free in case of combat.

Jam takes me to Yonnie, who is shuffling through a stack of parchment. His face reminds me of Erogalf when the elf is struggling to stay patient through one of my ponderous moments.

“I’ve informed lord Vorad that we’re here and seek a peaceful negotiation. He asked us to come to the western city wall. I’m not sure how to phrase our terms.”

“Easier to kill him.” Jam states.

“Yes, but I’m trying to do things…ethically?” Yonnie sighs. “We all know he’s doomed unless he leaves or steps down, but some people would just rather die fighting. We need to offer him something good in return.”

“Much easier to kill him.” Jam argues.
No. 1090763 ID: eb0a9c

"I just lost George by doing things the 'easy' way.
Doing things the easy way saves you energy you might need. Doing things the hard way means you don't end up accidentally triggering a chain reaction that leads to unforeseen consequences.
Time and place, Jam. Life's a fluctuating challenge."
No. 1090764 ID: 53560f

Killing someone makes most people upset. When you’re taking over a town, you want to make sure the citizens don’t completely hate you. That just leads to problems down the line that can’t easily be fixed, so it’s worth it to try being nice even if it doesn’t work at first.
Who’s going to be in charge of the town of Pliny once the lord is gone? I’d like to suggest myself if you haven’t got the position filled already.
No. 1090785 ID: df60a9

George is really an argument for violence, not against it, since it was trust and peaceful negotiation that placed us in a bad spot. Won't do much to sway Jam.

Lord Vorad is an intelligent and reasonable man. He also seems unusually tolerant of spirits compared to most of Geoun's nobility, as he did not attempt to have you exterminated.

"Death makes the lord a martyr. It would serve as fuel for Geoun's anti-spirit propaganda machine, and their citizens would gladly join the army to exterminate us. The church is powerful, but there are those who question its doctrine. If a war spirit were to be seen negotiating and allowing surrender, that information could be used to sow doubt among the free-minded. Vishelt is consolidating its power now, but is its ambition against Geoun sated? We should engender sympathizers now. Let them see that Vishelt's way can be a better way to live, and you will have your own agents gestating inside of the future enemy, Jam."

When we negotiate with Vorad, we should explain to him that you hold no ill will towards him.
Under his rule, both a new invasion by Vishelt and from the inquisitions of Geoun were a danger to you and your citizens.
The only way to ensure the safety of you and your citizens was to alter the course through a treaty with Vishelt.
If the Lord can be made to view you as a shrewd leader, he may see you more like a peer and respect your offer of surrender. More importantly, it is a good image for the citizens to see.

The Lord should be guaranteed safe passage out of Vishelt territory for himself and his soldiers if he surrenders, rather than being taken as POWs. This is the best case scenario for him. He and his men live to fight another day, and do not face imprisonment or torture.
No. 1090848 ID: 9ea24b
File 171562563902.png - (13.05KB , 500x500 , p115.png )

Now is the perfect opportunity to teach Jam about delayed gratification and the mortal psyche. I tap him on the cheek with my snout.

“Jam, if we kill Vorad in front of his followers, that will not inspire confidence in our ability to govern Pliny afterwards. Wouldn’t you like to rule Pliny?”


“Well there you are then. We can offer the lord and his servants safe passage back to the kingdom in exchange for his official abdication. You can tell him what you would do to him if he doesn’t agree to frighten him into compliance.”

“I would peck out his eyes. Then I would eat his kidneys.”

“That’s right, Jam. You are doing a good job.”

I am pleased that Jam is the peak of rationality. I look to Yonnie for approval and he nods.

“I’ll draft it in writing. When we’re ready I’ll bring a small force with us.”
No. 1090849 ID: 9ea24b
File 171562567911.png - (13.90KB , 500x500 , p116.png )

Jam and I stay and watch while Yonnie scratches a message in ink with a broken feather quill. The orc makes quite a few mistakes and mumbles to himself while scratching out the words for corrections. Jam shows me my gold coins, which he keeps under his tongue.

“What is the commander like?” I ask Jam, as we walk toward the west wall with Yonnie and a handful of soldiers. A few kobolds are cutting wheat with small knives and yell to each other in alarm. I call to them that this is a diplomatic mission and there is nothing to worry about.

Jam thinks about my question for some time. “He preferred Icher.”

I do not have long to ponder this before the lord emerges with his entourage, and Erogalf. Vorad frowns deeply when he sees me.

Yonnie approaches the lord and they begin the negotiation. It does not seem Vorad respects the young mage, and brings up the various horrid crimes the army has committed, leaving Yonnie stammering and apologetic. Jam begins edging towards Erogalf.
No. 1090873 ID: ded463

"When a mortal acts as your agent, their hands are like your own hands. So it was really you who was handling me all along when you commanded Erogalf to help."

Request Jam bring you closer to the negotiations, so that you may speak to Vorad.
No. 1091019 ID: df60a9

Oh, and lay on some worm praise for Jam to soften up his mood. Thank him for his intervention and curl around him affectionately to distract him from Erogalf.
No. 1091020 ID: 9ea24b
File 171582084803.png - (15.52KB , 500x500 , p117.png )

“Erogalf is my minion.” I remind Jam. “He knows that I am yours now, he will not touch me.”

Erogalf glances at us over his shoulder. He is clearly afraid.

“He could impede the negotiations.“ Jam replies. “I do not want him to strike Yonnie unexpectedly.”

“He is low on mana and outnumbered. We can ensure Yonnie is safe by going closer to him and speaking on his behalf.”

Jam seems to like this idea and hops toward Vorad at high speeds, making the lord step back in alarm.

“Do not disturb Yonnie or I will peck out your eyes and eat your kidneys. Do as we say.”

“Sorry, he wouldn’t actually do that.” Yonnie squeaks.

“I believe he would. Spirits are violent, wicked creatures.” the lord says flatly.

Jam’s neck muscles tense and I believe he is close to proving the lord correct. What should I say to the lord and Jam to keep things peaceful and resolve the negotiation?
No. 1091025 ID: df60a9

"Oh mighty Jam, and Lord Vorad, an old soldier would like to speak. In me are the voices of Pliny's fallen, the soldier among them. To seek treaty with those who ravaged us was no small decision."

"To be part of Geoun would be to be marked by zealots and slain the moment we were no longer useful, and all who benefited from our aid would be seen as tainted. The old soldier would not cast his comrades into the battle against Vishelt for a kingdom that cares not. He has done so once already."

"You now face the same decision, Lord Vorad. Will you walk away with the offer the spirits have negotiated for you and allow your loyal soldiers to live? Or do you care less for their lives than a wicked, rotten spirit?"
No. 1091047 ID: 53560f

We are more like mortals than many care to admit. Our births define much but the rest is decided by our words and deeds.
Regardless, I would like this to be a peaceful transfer of power. No blood needs to be spilt today and someone of your prestige is sure to recognise that Pliny in its current state is not worth further bloodshed.
No. 1091090 ID: 9ea24b
File 171590807542.png - (7.91KB , 500x500 , p118.png )

I address Vorad. “I know you do not like or trust me but I am speaking with the experience of the collective veterans of Pliny. There is no need for blood to be spilt today and it would be foolish to waste the lives of your servants by refusing to leave. I have helped negotiate this fair and generous offer despite my own feelings about the army that ravaged my city. Please understand that you have no other options.”

The lord furrows his brow and stands in silence, perhaps to give the impression to his followers that he is resisting my sinister words.

“Fine.” he says. “We will leave tomorrow morning. Erogalf, we would be lucky to have you join us.”

“What? Er, no thank you my lord, I wish to stay and protect this town.” Erogalf says, in his stuffy wizard voice.

“Very well. I doubt Pliny will last long with these two at the helm.”
No. 1091091 ID: 9ea24b
File 171590809436.png - (13.89KB , 500x500 , p119.png )

The lord retreats with his men into the city. Erogalf trails after them. The sun is quite low and Yonnie muffles a yawn.

“Are you coming to camp?” he asks Jam and I.

“We will stay here tonight.” Jam says.

Yonnie and the soldiers begin to walk away. I am glad Jam did not go with them.

“We must decide how to govern.” Jam tells me. “I find violence agreeable and will need some amount of it to sustain me if we are to live here.”

“I have an offering system that I set up to gain affinity. Won’t some soldiers stay in Pliny? Are they not enough to provide affinity via worship?”

Jam scratches the ground with a large index finger. “No.”
No. 1091092 ID: 5ebd37

How about an arena? Regular fights for prizes, or as a way to settle disputes. Rough sports might even be enough to generate a low mana flow.
No. 1091093 ID: 53560f

An organised fight pit solves this and adds entertainment value if we make it operate on a regular schedule. Eventually we can expand it into a full on arena to allow betting and more grandiose fights and even build Jam’s nest into it, similar to how your well nourishes you, a nest close to the fight pit might do the same for Jam.
Deaths will happen however, accidentally or otherwise, so we should implement simple rules like no armour, weapons or magic to lessen its likelihood and stop fights ending too early. Ask Jam if he would like to be the referee.
No. 1091096 ID: d9b49f

I'm surprised Erogalf decided to stay. I'm not sure how much he'll be able to get mana from us with Jam's rules in place, and getting it from Jam...
Well, he's an adult, he can decide how to live his life. Just keep an eye on him to make sure he stays safe from Jam's intrusive thoughts.

I was thinking along the same lines, taking volunteers and setting up prizes. This could also be a way to train those who could contribute to Pliny's defense force, and teach them tactics.

Tell Jam that we should avoid deliberate duels to the death between the fighters, since forcing these would strain loyalty, get fewer volunteers and waste trained warriors. We'll need some trained doctors or healers for the arena eventually, so fights can get more intense without sacrificing fighters.

The army will probably call on Jam to aid in border skirmishes, which will provide some exercise and entertainment. The army could set up a less public arena for prisoners of war to duel in, too.

Maybe Jam would like to go hunting in the forest as well, and see if slaying beasts sates his bloodier urges. Small animals would probably bore him, but something like a bear could put up a fight, and it would double as gathering food.

This is all about Jam's preferences for governance, of course. He asked about your thoughts too. As a judicial system, any disagreements or legal matters can be settled by a tribunal of Jam, Pliny and an elected citizen representing their democratic will.
No. 1091097 ID: a7a180

Time to add ritual sacrifice to the list. How about a hunt for animals?
No. 1091142 ID: 9ea24b
File 171596697239.png - (22.45KB , 500x500 , p120.png )

“Perhaps we could build an arena for sports and organized fights? Jor is an athlete and could help us. It will take some time to build and grow a population large enough to support frequent bouts.” I suggest.

“Fights to the death.” Jam clarifies.

“I suppose it could happen but we should not require it. Mortals will come in conflict and it will happen. Speaking of which we can arbitrate crimes or legal matters along with an elected mortal.”

“Why would we want a mortal?”

“To raise the citizens’ morale! If they have a small say in our rule they will be much happier and give better offerings.” I explain.


I cast around for other ideas. “Do you have any interest in killing animals?”

“Some. The army needs to eat.”

“You can help slaughter livestock and hunt when you have a free moment to travel outside the city. The army may call on you sometimes to help defend the new border.”

“Yes. You will come with me then.”

“Only if I am not needed here. There will have to be some flexibility in our relationship.”

Jam pinches my head between his fingers. “No. You must always stay with me. That was our agreement.”

This is my final major decision. Should I always stay with Jam and give up my independence or set boundaries?
No. 1091143 ID: 5cc7cc

"My coins will always be with you. Tbey are a token of your fair lady. A soldier should have a fair lady and a home to return to. I am both."

Jam can hear you from afar. I wonder if the coins would work both ways and let you both talk from afar.
No. 1091149 ID: 3d94a9

You should also let Jam know how happy you were he decided to stay. That you enjoy being close to him. I think we will usually want to join him on the campaign just to know he's safe, especially now that we know the Commander isn't as fond of him as we are.

But you have different skillsets useful in different places. Being attached all the time could be a vulnerability for enemies to exploit.

I wonder if distance sense and communication would be more possible if you had a token of Jam as well. A part of him to always keep close, like a fingernail clipping.
No. 1091153 ID: a7a180

Towns have boundaries. These change over time, but not all at once. Gotta set them somewhere.
No. 1091205 ID: 53560f

Jam, we both have duties to attend to that we can’t possibly spend all our time together. I promise I will always be here in Pliny for you to visit so I want you to entertain an idea for me. I can’t always join you or be everywhere, so the solution is to make friends everywhere you go instead.
I know this seems mean but I wouldn’t suggest it to such a dear friend as you if I didn’t think it would be good for you to see the world and all the different people and spirits in it.
No. 1091213 ID: 443007

Jam needs to understand that he can't have all of you. Because if he does, then you won't be 'you' any more.
The mortals do not understand yet that life is made of patterns and codes. If you eat these things, it means breaking the patterns apart to recycle the matter. The matter exists but the pattern is gone.
He is very lonely because many of the things in the world are based on his patterns and so there aren't many things around him that are not him.
No. 1091222 ID: 9ea24b
File 171604626785.png - (18.27KB , 500x500 , p121.png )

“Jam, I am pleased with our friendship and how much progress you’ve made. I know you wish for me to always be by your side, but it is not realistic. You have important duties that will take you outside of Pliny, but you will always be able to hear me, won’t you?”

Jam puts his other hand on me and lifts my body over his shoulders to press into the ground. I am reminded of when George pinned me between his knees.

“You are mine. You will not leave.” he says.

“You cannot possess someone in their entirety. I will always have my own thoughts and desires. Is it not enough that we are best friends?” I protest.

Jam’s sharp beak flashes in the starlight as it dives into my stomach, slicing me in half and severing the decayed ligaments holding my lonely friend’s spine together. My back end melts into mud and I reconstitute.

I have my sword and the lower body of my lonely friend. I doubt I can beat Jam without armor and in my already weakened state. I do not think he will kill me, merely reduce me to a size easier to handle and control.

What should I do?
No. 1091223 ID: 4e090a

Attacking may change that, should you be unable to establish dominance and be seen as an enemy state instead of a rebellious conquered state. Icher was open to negotiate because you proved your power by decimating his forces with disease, but Jam has the power and has established that.

Best to accept Jam's argument and agree to his terms. Tell him that you will fight alongside him if he brings you to the war, so he should allow you to retain your size. Being too small will limit you.
No. 1091224 ID: 0f4f29

Is Jam any different from Icher by doing this? Stand up for yourself. This isn't how friendships work. Refuse this.
No. 1091252 ID: 4e090a

I wouldn't exactly call either side of this dynamic healthy, considering we injected Jam with these feelings for the sake of geopolitics and survival. He is the violent war spirit Vishelt made him to be, sure, but he is also the obsessive and insecure spirit with attachment issues that we made him to be. I'm not sure there's a high spirit horse to climb on here.

And for the record Pliny, coming clean about that part for the sake of a moral catharsis is definitely not a good idea, least of all in this moment.
No. 1091253 ID: 43f8c4

Encouraging this is going to lead to more problems down the road. If Jam wants to continue this childish behavior then fine, but if he's as lonely and obsessive as believed then punish this behavior by disregarding and shunning him.

I'd recommend finding a moment to escape and letting him ruminate for a time if possible, but if not, don't interact with him. Besides, being smaller might make it easier slip away.
No. 1091254 ID: 4e090a

If we were dealing with a human, I might agree. I'm not so sure that will work with a mind like a spirit's. But as the voice of the cockroach, escape definitely seems like a better option than escalating, if we really want to avoid capitulation.

Just be prepared for the citizens to suffer the meltdown instead.
No. 1091256 ID: d1fb8c

Yeah, you're right about the citizens. I retract my sentiment of escaping, that isn't right. But these constant compromises will lead down a dark path.

If you're confident he won't kill you Pliny, then refuse to be owned by him. Endure his abuse and appeal to what he wants. He obviously values you, something only you can provide. If he kills you, he won't have that anymore, and if continues to act like a brat then you won't give it to him.
No. 1091258 ID: 4e090a

I'd still place my vote on capitulation. We made this attachment a core part of Jam's consciousness. I don't think he's capable of backing down first on this, and the more we let him shave off the weaker Pliny becomes. Again.
No. 1091270 ID: a7a180

Fighting back will only further reduce your mass. I do not recommend fighting back at this moment.
No. 1091286 ID: 9ea24b
File 171613067161.png - (15.12KB , 500x500 , p122.png )

Fighting would only cause me to become weaker. I lie still as Jam looms over me.

“Why would you do this Jam? Why would you hurt me?” I ask.

Jam’s answer confirms my suspicions. “It is agreeable to hurt you. It would be most disagreeable if you perished, but I will be careful.”

“What if I refuse to work with you? This is a cruel thing to do, Jam.”

Jam tilts his head. “Cruelty is agreeable. Telarin told me you are easily swayed and I will torment the loud elf and the orc and the goblin if you continue to defy our agreement.”

None of the voices suggested it but I noted and immediately disregarded the idea to push myself upon my blade and end my existence. That would no doubt leave my citizens in a much worse situation and might even convince Jam to return to war to produce other spirits.

“I will comply with you but I will not forgive you. Friends do not do this.” I say.

“Agreeable.” Jam says. He scoops me up in his left hand and holds me close to his chest. We stay by the city wall for the rest of the warm summer night.

Thanks for reading.
No. 1091288 ID: 59a4d4

Jam is a war spirit, not a human. The same reason Pliny finds filth and decay comfortable and beautiful is why he finds violence and cruelty comfortable and beautiful. But Pliny has grown used to thinking more like a mortal.
I don't think Jam has mortal voices like you do, Pliny. Might be part of the ritual, to make him easier to control. He did say he felt empty when he first woke to existing. Or maybe you're the outlier, and other spirits just don't have what you have.
Pleas to a human mindset won't accomplish much with him, he needs to see you as competent, reliable and strong if you want him to listen. There was likely some respect early on, for having slain Icher, that's why he restrained himself during negotiations. But allowing George to manhandle us didn't help our image. He sees power, and now we look weak.

>None of the voices suggested it but I noted and immediately disregarded the idea to push myself upon my blade and end my existence.
Just remember, this is all about surviving in a world that's stacked against you. Jam was to be protection from that, and to some extent he still is. But swords are swords, play with swords and you'll get cut. We need to start thinking more like a worm again, and remember that swords will think like swords.
No. 1091302 ID: dae6e4

Stay strong Pliny
No. 1091305 ID: 2d4982

Hang in there little worm.
No. 1091315 ID: eb0a9c

Bad Cute End. Oh well.
277 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. [Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [Last 100 posts]

Delete post []
Report post