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File 169886952456.png - (15.11KB , 800x600 , 1799.png )
1076106 No. 1076106 ID: 46e818

>"Master... I mean this with all due respect, but..."
Expand all images
No. 1076107 ID: 46e818
File 169886957213.png - (12.91KB , 800x600 , 1800.png )

>"...are you absolutely sure it's over?
>All we have to go on is your dream."
No. 1076109 ID: 46e818
File 169886964125.png - (9.86KB , 800x600 , 1801.png )

>"Yeah! One time, this one time, I had a dream that everything turned into candy.
>That doesn't mean I went outside trying to bite all the trees to see if they were really candy."
No. 1076110 ID: 46e818
File 169886966040.png - (9.29KB , 800x600 , 1802.png )

>"I only did that to like two or three."
No. 1076111 ID: e2e655

That’s why Ona is here and not resting, she’ll be able to tell if the possession of Pendle is over.
No. 1076112 ID: 9b8930

Ona: cast detect malignant spirit on buggo boi pendle
No. 1076113 ID: dc13c4

Well, I am glad that this all thing has been dealt with so is it up for some food?
No. 1076114 ID: ce619a

Have Tislomer and Ona(and maybe Erisol, too) taken a look at the black goop you barfed up?
Could be important for any lasting effects to your health.

That aside, talk to "Pendle" and have him formally introduce who he really is. Then tell him about the dream events with the demon and ask if it's truly gone or not.

Additionally, inform Ona about the nature of the mountain as a giant magic amplifier and how her sigil and magic should be greatly enhanced in here. She might be able to cure herself now.
No. 1076115 ID: 273c18

Defer to Ona's expertise. If she doesn't know how to check with accuracy, does she know someone who does?
No. 1076116 ID: eb7ce4

you think we should tell ona about that weird dream you had where blue floating mage hands saved young her, its probably related
No. 1076118 ID: a7a180

We have our dream and a big ol’ pile of demon puke to go off.
…Could somebody please clean that up, by the way. Burn your clothes afterward.
No. 1076119 ID: 05fc82

I wonder how close the demon was replicating Pendle? Will this be like meeting a new person?
No. 1076120 ID: ae064f

We can, at the very least, untie Pendle and let him move around his cell. And give him some better medical treatment. Under Dompag's supervision.

As for finding out what's true... Pendle showed that he had knowledge of the demon that it didn't want being shared, before, giving us the antidote. If he can tell us more things the demon wouldn't want people to know, and we can confirm them, that should demonstrate that he's free.
No. 1076121 ID: f14228

If that was a trick, it was a really good one. Had you horking black goop 'n all.

Has that been looked at, by the way?
No. 1076123 ID: 7daa6a

I still think we should have the bile that Muschio threw up tested to really see if it is. If that is dead demon essence that will prove it.
No. 1076124 ID: c6a62c

If there is a way to check, might as well check everyone. Then it's just a question of if the one checking is possessed.

We could also try the orb, but that seems unreliable. The demon could just trick us.
No. 1076126 ID: b1805a

If the demon IS gone, then we should be able to figure out how our dear Pendle really is.

And whether or not he's the individual we were sent to find by our friend Mondegreen, one "Leonid Travask."
No. 1076127 ID: 93d066

We need to be sure. So rituals, sigils, the works.
No. 1076128 ID: 3f3d5c

I mean, other than some discomfort on the part of Pendle, there's nothing wrong with keeping him tied up for right now. We should be absolutely sure before we free him.

Maybe take another shard of us and stick it in him? I'm pretty sure at this point we've proven we can take whatever that demon wants to dish out.
No. 1076138 ID: ce619a

Oh yeah, also, if you haven't already, apologize to Ona for making her have to get up so soon and, you know, for letting her get attacked in the first place from not properly vetting new personnel.
No. 1076149 ID: 8f9bc4

Regardless of if Leonid's possessed or not, tying him up like that did not stop the demon from wreaking havoc in your head. The only concern might be he'd attempt to take his own life, to free the demon. But FLAYED DEMON: the SPIDER handily revealed to you that he doesn't need to kill his shell to be free.

Set him free, but keep him under watch. He knows more about demons than any of you, and it won't help to try to figure out how to navigate such being on your own assumptions about how they work.

And please get him some medical attention. Wes is a beast when he's bringing down the hammer.
No. 1076150 ID: dc4bad

It certainly seemed conclusive from our perspective, but we're aware it's not infallible.

No rash decisions, some precautions and testing are still in order, but we might just be on the other side of this particular ordeal.
No. 1076153 ID: e5709d

Agreed. You need a professional to confirm all of this.

But we need to weave that into more pressing matters. Inzare Citta isn't going to 'cit' on their hands for very long. And their champion might not be their only agent.

We need more alliances. We need more officers. We need a horde ready to march on the Czar and the know-how to stop him.
No. 1076161 ID: 8f9bc4

Also WTF is up with that sprite? She was acting way sketchy, jerking your infinite psyche around like that, right before this happened.
No. 1076169 ID: 0fbdcd

Not sure at all, no.

Does he still have a demonic sigil scratched into his chest? What else can we check? Pendle, how you feelin'?
No. 1076171 ID: 7e654e

Shard testing? Just to add to the extensive tests Ona will do. Like additional tests will be bad.
No. 1076210 ID: d54bf6

"No, everyone. You see, after the spooky dream, I did a big barf, and it was ominous-looking. Therefore there is no explanation but that the demon is dead for real, and we can all go about our business."
No. 1076231 ID: 46e818
File 169896285136.png - (14.79KB , 800x600 , 1803.png )

"No, I'm not sure it's over. I feel fairly confident I've defeated the demon, but the stakes are too high for us to assume with anything but perfect certainty.

Have we learned anything from, uh, the vomit?"

>"Well, only so much testing we can do on that."
>"Yeah I don't really have a demon barf test"
>"I'm not sure what sort of magic signature this demon gives off in the first place, but what little Erisol and I could do didn't yield anything."
>"Yeah it just looks like plain ol' barf to me."
No. 1076232 ID: dc13c4

Why are there so many alive people here?
No. 1076233 ID: 2d9601

Well what tests do we have available for testing for demonic presence? I'm assuming we would need to find a cleric who specializes in exorcism for that but I don't know if we really want to send to the sun church paladins who tried to raid us. Let's analyze our options.
No. 1076234 ID: 273c18

Alright so how do we test a potentially-possessed person to see if they've got a demon in them? Do we just try an exorcism to see if there's a reaction?

...check the bug dude's chest to see if the symbol is still there. Then check Muschio too, and everyone in the base for that matter.
No. 1076239 ID: 219959

What we felt had to be real. We don't usually get trapped in people's dreams, do we? Surely that must count for something. We were totally unable to reach out to anyone, and you weren't even aware you had fallen asleep until we failed to do so.
No. 1076241 ID: ce619a

Ok, next order of business: Can anyone detect demons in Pendle or you anymore? Can they do a sweep of the base to make sure it's lurking around in someone else?
I suppose we should first ask if anyone has the ability to detect demons to begin with.

After that, check with Ona and Erisol if they can put up any wards, protective spells or the like to prevent demon incursions in the future.
No. 1076251 ID: eb0a9c

Start by warding the place up. Create some artifacts with shards of us at their core, then have them installed in the walls.
No. 1076258 ID: e8bbe8

Witch doctor rituals use some piece of the target. Perhaps the vomit or something else can be used to target the demon. Even if not, the demon seemed convinced that Ona was the only one present that could do something about it, for whatever the demon's word is worth.

If you really think Pendle could still be possessed, you should be moving him out of the magic enhancing base.
No. 1076286 ID: 93d066

Finnie witnessed the events with the child in the Kobold village with similar outcomes.
Can we have her input on this?

Yes, I do wanna see more Finesse
No. 1076305 ID: afbb81

Looked pretty dark and spoopy for regular ol barf to me
No. 1076345 ID: 46e818
File 169904162256.png - (11.25KB , 800x600 , 1804.png )

>"Master Muschio, do remember we still have the excursion to the Timore Woodlands planned this morning.
>We should figure out who'll be going."
No. 1076346 ID: 46e818
File 169904178294.png - (10.43KB , 800x600 , 1805.png )

"Ona, can you set up some wards to help control the demon?"
>"I'll try. I don't have a ton of experience with demons, but I'll lay down anything I can think of that even might be relevant."

>"This guy's not able to just jump brains while we're awake, right? He would'a done that by now.
>Well, either way, if he tries anything I can just kick his ass. You know you can trust me to be your muscle while you're away."
No. 1076347 ID: dc13c4

Can we please just go and eat somthing I am so starving
No. 1076348 ID: eb0a9c

Let's take Donpag, Geppa, and Finesse. Tislomer, Babrakus, and Erisol will do some extra prep (bombs, artillery, and some magic to tie it all together) and then follow us as a reinforcement party. Ashedel can take charge of the vault.
No. 1076349 ID: ce619a

Has "Pendle" said anything? He doesn't look possessed anymore and he's a lot more distressed looking.

Try talking to him. If nothing else finally ask him about that damn pendant the czar wants. If he's in too much pain to talk, have Ona heal him or Tislomer give him some painkillers.

Anyways, on the topic of the expedition, leave Ona here. She's still recovering and she can work on this demon business while we're gone.
We're after a scared forest animal, so Dompag's out, too. He's too big to be sneaking and tracking game.
Erisol's a wildcard, but I wouldn't trust her for this mission. We don't know how the locals view sprites, what with the Czar now fielding an army of them. Her magic might be helpful, but it and her demeanor are too random. She might wind up killing/maiming the animal we're after.

I'd say take Finesse and both kobolds since we're going to have diplomatic dealings with with kobold and goblin tribes. Having them along will help reassure our intentions with them are benevolent. Also, some translators for local languages will be helpful.
No. 1076351 ID: 8f9bc4

Oh right, Verity. Yes we must rescue Verity it is top #1 priority.
No. 1076352 ID: ce619a

>We're after a sacred* forest animal
No. 1076354 ID: 46e818
File 169904514931.png - (7.86KB , 800x600 , 1806.png )

"Where's Wes, by the way?"
>"He's Westing."
No. 1076355 ID: 46e818
File 169904515690.png - (8.04KB , 800x600 , 1807.png )

No. 1076356 ID: ce619a

Pour butter directly on her head
No. 1076357 ID: 7b65e9

Pat her head.
Everyone needs a bit of relief.
She tried.
No. 1076358 ID: 8a2d6a

Give her a very tired look. It's the least that pun deserves.
No. 1076359 ID: e87a15

Pat her on her cute head you know you want to
No. 1076361 ID: 8f9bc4

That was a demonically good pun.
No. 1076365 ID: de3fb3

i still think it's a good idea to have wes around when you're interrogating pendle/leonid, he'll probably be more comfortable with a more familiar face around even if him and wes were just acquaintances. we should probably let wes west for now, though.

plus ona will probably be a bit uncomfortable around pendle, too, considering the spider just puppeted his body to try and kill her. she'll probably appreciate having wes around, too.
No. 1076366 ID: 006510

i agree, it’s probably a good idea to at least have wes and pendle catch up about everything that’s happened, both for their sake and ours.

also pat finnie on the head
No. 1076368 ID: a6bd4d

So he's still asleep. Which is a state the demon can use. Wake him NOW.
No. 1076370 ID: 975503

Well done... Well done indeed.

Alright, have Emmy check in with him every so often. Until we know if the demon is truly gone, I recommend everyone sleep in shifts to minimize chances of possession.
No. 1076373 ID: 3f3d5c

Let's take Finesse for brainy consult, Tislomer for kobold diplomacy, annnnd... I really don't care who we take for muscle.
It's a tossup between Dompag, Geppa, and Ashe. They're all good, someone else pick.

oh no

my heart
No. 1076392 ID: 93d066

Balance the parties, muscle and smarts in the missions and in the vault.

Pat her head and give her butter a gold star.

The diabitus
No. 1076393 ID: 93d066


Protect that smile!
No. 1076399 ID: ae064f

You could have made that joke with a bit more Finesse. But that's understandable when came up with it Ona the spot. Get some practice and you'll be Muschio better at landing them dePendlebly.
No. 1076405 ID: dc13c4

This was delicious but it is more of a desert, I am hungry for some bloody meat.
No. 1076406 ID: dc13c4

The last opponent was an appetizer at the beast
No. 1076427 ID: b1805a


Glad he's not easting.
No. 1076432 ID: ce619a

Voting for Ashedel. Geppa is way too unhinged for catching animals or diplomacy.
No. 1076454 ID: 46e818
File 169913994054.png - (7.96KB , 800x600 , 1808.png )

No. 1076455 ID: 46e818
File 169913997391.png - (8.71KB , 800x600 , 1809.png )

>"No, I'm-- I'm here."
No. 1076456 ID: 46e818
File 169913998572.png - (10.45KB , 800x600 , 1810.png )

No. 1076457 ID: 46e818
File 169913999850.png - (10.66KB , 800x600 , 1811.png )

>"Hey b-buddy."
No. 1076459 ID: 6776d9

Let them talk for a bit. Not to watch for discrepancies in the persona or anything because the demon clearly had Pendle perfectly imitated but because last time the demon had to listen to the stutter it had a freakout.
No. 1076462 ID: 3891b2

That face expressión was uncalled for prince.

At least be gacefull in your dealings.
No. 1076463 ID: ae064f

Oh, his mouth isn't still covered. I though it was. Nothing to say, Pendle? That idea about telling stuff the demon wouldn't want known to help prove things still stands, if there's anything that could be independently confirmed. Or was the demon able to leave some sort of standing compulsion to not talk? Or steal his voice when it left or something, is that possible?
No. 1076465 ID: ce619a

Dude's probably got heavy ptsd from getting possessed. Who knows what kind of mental damage has been done. Both from the demon being there and (supposedly) leaving.

Maybe Wes can help him through it. Either way, we should still see to it that he gets healed since even if he tries something we have all our muscle currently in the base now.
No. 1076466 ID: eb0a9c

"Pendle, I want you to understand that I don't give more than two @#$%s about justice. I get that you were rigged, but we have to make sure that you don't develop an addiction to serial killing, or if there's a backup engram of that asshole in your amygdala."

Okay, just a few more items on our checklist:
* Relocate Vittima to a secure room
* Review 'Amongus' self-defense measures (in case the demon comes back); everyone works in threes, regroup at the main hall periodically, always prepare as if the colleague next to you has been possessed, and set up locked rooms.
* Write up an estimated timetable and loose quotas on minor stuff to make
* Major Project: Construct an animal containment unit in case we manage to capture the unicorn or other beasts.
No. 1076468 ID: e6cd62

You never knew Pendle. Wes may never have even known Pendle. I doubt we'll notice anything. Let's just let this play out.

I don't think the demon is coming back any time soon, but a cautious approach isn't unfounded.
No. 1076469 ID: 273c18

That's true. All we know is the demon's "perfect imitation" of Pendle.
No. 1076477 ID: a3fe2e

What good are restraints if he attacks mentally anyway?
No. 1076480 ID: d049be

Tell finesse that she's lucky you don't have any butter on hand
No. 1076484 ID: dc13c4

What is up with that face long nose green guy are you trying to hide a smile or are you angry with what she said?
No. 1076485 ID: 0fbdcd

Hey hey wait hold on. Sorry to break up the flow but alarm bell going off.

The sprite said she talked to Dompag while he was miles away, right? I see he's here now, but something just feels off.
Is Greta also here? His gnoll sister person. Did they arrive from traveling overnight? IS that Dompag?
No. 1076528 ID: 46e818

I am officially ignoring all suggestions from now on that can't be bothered to get the character names right
No. 1076532 ID: 46e818
File 169922274298.png - (12.11KB , 800x600 , 1812.png )

>I... owe you my thanks. And an apology."
No. 1076533 ID: 46e818
File 169922276974.png - (9.72KB , 800x600 , 1813.png )

>"Y-you... want to ap-p-pologize to me."
No. 1076534 ID: 46e818
File 169922290724.png - (11.62KB , 800x600 , 1814.png )

>"Well. Yes.
>You stopped something horrible from happening.

>You did what you had to. What I asked you to.
>I can't imagine it was pleasant for you. I'm sorry that it fell to you to go through that -- to stop me, because I could not stop myself."
No. 1076537 ID: eb0a9c

Ugggh, too saaappy
Throw a pear at Pendle just to be sure and let's get questing
No. 1076538 ID: 8a2d6a

Hey Pendle, my man. Don't put all the blame on yourself. If you weren't in control of your body and will, you can't be fully accountable for the misery your actions brought. You can be held accountable for letting the demon possess you in the first place, but not what it did using your body.
I'm just going to assume some lessons have been learned. The price you paid was way too high not to learn any.
No. 1076539 ID: 315b2a

dude you literally have the perfect excuse for doing anything, it's fine.
No. 1076540 ID: 273c18

Ask him how the fight with the demon went, in his mind. Why did he lose?
No. 1076542 ID: 2ce572

Good questions, and there are many more.

I just don't want to interrupt yet.

Maybe we should redo introductions. Let Pendle know he isn't bound by any decisions the demon made for him.
No. 1076545 ID: ce619a

Assuming we're not just going to sit idly by and watch them sweet talk each other, ask "Pendle" to formally introduce who he really is and now that he is free from demon control inquire if he would like to work for you.
No. 1076547 ID: dc13c4

Uhhh I am just wondering how is your body feeling. Can you move your limbs, as for your apology you should feel guilt for what your body did. You should never be alone in a room with a girl.
No. 1076626 ID: 5c1847

It would be in our best interest to really know how was his own inner battle against the demon went.

Boss we need to compare notes.
No. 1076640 ID: 46e818
File 169930637924.png - (8.63KB , 800x600 , 1815.png )

>"Y-yeah, but... being on the r-r-r-rr-receiving end m-must have been worse. II-I mean."

>"You kept me alive. You kept Ona alive.
>It was a necessary sacrifice."
No. 1076642 ID: 46e818
File 169930676999.png - (9.72KB , 800x600 , 1816.png )

>"H-hey, sh-s-s-ss-shouldn't you b-bbe apologizing to her t-too?"

>"Oh, trust me, he already did. He went on and on about how he was glad I didn't die. And I didn't even remember it!"


>"And it was like, a waaaayyyy nicer apology than he gave you, too. Like a hundred times. A lot more groveling."

>"Y-y-you're awful. I-I'll b-bite you myself."

>"Ha ha ha"
No. 1076645 ID: 46e818
File 169930712657.png - (6.37KB , 800x600 , 1817.png )

Yes, yes, I'm glad they're all feeling a bit more at ease, but I still don't know how to move forward.

I feel deep in my soul that the demon is truly gone. But none of us were able to recognize when it was right here, walking among our ranks, so I cannot trust my instincts.

Still, I suppose further interrogation couldn't hurt. There's much to learn.
No. 1076647 ID: 3f3d5c

I mean, as far as I'm aware, an exorcism of some sort shouldn't hurt Pendle even if he's completely cured. It'll just mean a bunch of wasted energy on our part. But frankly I'd rather waste the time being thorough as opposed to letting him go now and regretting it later.
Besides, it's not like we've got anything Pendle really needs to do right this second! He's fine where he's at! Probably just bored out of his mind.
Maybe we can give him a book or something.

I don't really have any questions for the guy, other than a general report of what was going on while he was possessed, what he was doing before the possession, that kindof stuff.
Ask if anything happened on his end last night. Look for any naked inconsistencies.
No. 1076648 ID: eb0a9c

We do not know if the demon had an accomplice.
Worst Case Scenario: We get infected, and then your operating system drives you off a cliff.

And like you said, we still don't know who Pendle really is. While we've got him tied up...
No. 1076652 ID: ce619a

Tell him we know his real name is Leonid Travask and to come clean about his past, his former mentor's death and how he came to be possessed in the first place.
If nothing else ask for some more in-depth information on the demon so we can determine if it's gone and what kind of counter-measures we might need against future demonic incursions.
No. 1076655 ID: dc13c4

Can we use the spa girl who came here to do her job and help with this whole demon thing? I mean isn't that her specialty?
No. 1076656 ID: 8e9604

Good place to start as any.
No. 1076660 ID: 8f9bc4


You've lost trust in your companion's abilities, understandable. But consider that the situation has changed now. It was a minor vice for Pendle to entertain so many female companions, and now it's a warning sign. The demon, whatever it is, must find and isolate females to carve up for its rituals. Now you can have people stick together in pairs, both to avoid being caught alone, and to avoid being left alone. Ona doesn't "have a ton of experience with demons" well now she will have good reason to change that.

Plus you know more about how your orb works now, or rather how it doesn't work. If your head voices start getting shunted into strange places, or minions they speak with act erratically, it might be some form of psychic attack. You will know exactly what's going on if ever you find yourself in bed at night, unable to send us to anyone else.

That being said, don't trust your instincts. Learn more. Pendle, or Leonid is probably the best way for you to do that. Be aware he could be lying to make you vulnerable to the demon, but please do get his help with this.

Also don't forget about the Palidans and all those other forces threatening to batter down your door. And thank the lady dragon for getting you here posthaste.
No. 1076662 ID: eb7ce4

yeah knowing about what the hell he and his mentor did to end up like this would be nice (and also have him identify the bloody artifact we've been holding on for AGES)
No. 1076676 ID: ce619a

>all this scowling
Also, try to be a bit tactful about any inquiries.
Remember, he's as much of a victim in this ordeal as the others that were hurt. Maybe more so depending on how this possession originally happened.
No. 1076683 ID: c8e6c6

We can only live in fear for so long. Take what precautions are reasonable, but a demon hardly needs to invade your mind when it already lives there rent free.
No. 1076691 ID: 273c18

Ask him about the magic thing.
No. 1076719 ID: 46e818
File 169938985702.png - (13.67KB , 800x600 , 1818.png )

"You'll have plenty of time to rebuild your bridges when we've cleared the state of your mind. For now, we return to the facts."

>"Ah yes.
>I must say I feel... unburdened, as I've not felt in a year. But consequences of misjudgement as they are now, and even being unsure if I can trust myself, I agree that it's best to take anything I tell you with the utmost prudence. Treat my words as though I were still an enemy.
>As for my condition, lacking better indicators, I agree it is wisest to go through with the exorcism still, just to be sure. Better to waste the effort than live with the risk and uncertainty."

"Tell me about Kivas Sun and your first encounter with the demon."
No. 1076720 ID: 46e818
File 169939024075.png - (13.71KB , 800x600 , 1819.png )

>"Yes... Kivas was my mentor for a time. A master of the unseen world. From her I learned of long-abandoned religions and the cults of the woods.
>But she was... ambitious. It was not enough to simply know, as a scholar. She wished to tap into the power of the Old Gods, and the Hosts of the Wild. She began a ritual to bind a demon to her service. Invited it to this world through a doorway she opened.
>But... it sought a living vessel.

>To make gruesome events brief, it killed Kivas when she resisted it, and took control of my body. I have been under its thrall for the past year, moved as a puppet and forced to witness my own hand commit unspeakable evils."
No. 1076721 ID: b617a9

Ask him about the amulet. We can always discard what he says later if he turns out to be affected by the exorcism.
No. 1076722 ID: 8f9bc4

> cults of the woods

No. 1076723 ID: 273c18

Alright while we're on this subject, ask why he failed the mental battle. The demon said his mind was disciplined, was that a lie?
No. 1076727 ID: ce619a

Tell him all the details of your dream/battle with the demon. Particularly the voices in the darkness and the demon's apparent destruction.
Ask him what those voices could've been and if he knows what it takes to truly kill a demon.

More pertinent to matters at hand, did any of these "cults of the woods" happen to be located in any of the local forests?

It'd also be a good time to ask Ona if his broken limbs can be healed by her magic and if keeping him wrapped up any longer without healing might deny her the ability to fully heal him. We don't want to permanently hobble the guy, after all.
No. 1076731 ID: 746766

What is the connection between tapping into those powers and summoning a demon? What exactly did Kivas hope to gain?

How did the demon kill Kivas?
No. 1076739 ID: eb0a9c

Ask if the demon targeted flaws that were meant to empower but could rip his defenses apart from the outside. Traumas that inspired him to work harder, for instance.
No. 1076749 ID: 1ab976

How much of the events we have seen have actually been you and how much was the demon?
No. 1076755 ID: 93d066

Was this the reason why he was asking for courtesans, to feed the demon?

Or it was it doing the talking at the time?
No. 1076784 ID: 831c0e

What does a knoll nurse have to do with this?
No. 1076785 ID: 4d8b77

There's no point in badgering him about why he didn't manage to resist the demon. Get try to get him to explain what it was doing.
No. 1076871 ID: 46e818
File 169957016786.png - (13.59KB , 800x600 , 1820.png )

"Can you describe how it happened? How it came to take over your mind?"
>"It was an intense... a pressure. I was myself, then all at once my head felt it was about to burst. There was -- it was some kind of sudden crack and my body wouldn't respond. I was trapped in my head, staring out my own eyes, but paralyzed. And then it moved, but not by my will."
"You never saw the demon in your head? Never confronted it?"
>"In my...? I saw through my eyes, by then it was too late to confront it. It was inside me."
"I see."

"Did we know you at all? Has it been only the demon speaking?"
>"Since we have met, more or less. I am ashamed to say it has learned to mimic me quite effectively, to slip into society unseen. The mannerisms you knew were very much mine."
No. 1076872 ID: 46e818
File 169957028577.png - (10.91KB , 800x600 , 1821.png )

>"From time to time, it would loosen its grip, as if to taunt me with the possibility of control. But never was I able to rebel. The few times I tried, my punishment was... severe, and swift."
"Until the fight."
>"Such an outburst would have resulted in unspeakable torment. But it was distracted, unfocused. I saw my chance.
>Better this pain than another minute under its thrall."

"Only one more question, then.
Well-- many more, I'm sure, when we're more able to trust you.
But for now, just the one, for its urgency:"
No. 1076873 ID: 46e818
File 169957044916.png - (13.37KB , 800x600 , 1822.png )

"Does this amulet mean anything to you?"
>"Ah... is this what you needed me to identify? I half expected a grander artifact. I relish a chance to flex my freed mind, but without my reading glasses I won't be able to study it very closely. What can you tell me about it? Is that bone?"
No. 1076874 ID: ae064f

Have whoever has the best skills draw it for him at a larger scale.
No. 1076878 ID: 8f9bc4

dangle it right in front of his nose, so that he can grab it in his teeth, and start bellowing what fools you were to trust him.
No. 1076879 ID: eb7ce4

are you sure about that man? this artifact is something that others literally tried to steal, maim, and even kill others for. It's got to be important for SOME REASON
No. 1076882 ID: 273c18

Hold it closer but for crap's sake do not allow him to reach it.
No. 1076884 ID: eb0a9c

"You're the one who was possessed because your master said 'nothing can go wrong'. Everything has been going wrong with this trinket. Tell me if I can destroy it."
No. 1076885 ID: 93d066

Hes not asking for the trinket to be placed closer but for a better, more comprehensive, description of it.

We can indulge for now, describe as much as you can boss, even taste if possible. But avoid placing it within his reach.
No. 1076900 ID: ce619a

For the sake of security I wouldn't hold it any closer to him until a full exorcism can confirm he's free of possession.
Go get him some glasses to wear.
No. 1076903 ID: 3f3d5c

In all fairness, we thought it was nothing but a trinket ourselves. It wasn't until we were damn near assassinated that we started to think it was anything else. That's why we're asking about it now.
Apparently it's very important to some people.

Much as I'd like to learn about this thing before any more ne'er-do-wells make a grab at our life, I agree that we still can't really trust him at this stage. Hold it as close as you dare, and no farther.

So, uh.
Does he prefer to go by ‘Pendle’ still? Or ‘Leonid’? I quite like ‘Leo’, myself.
I'm probably going to call him Leo regardless.
No. 1076907 ID: 53560f

“Someone fetch this man his glasses please.”
No. 1076961 ID: 93d066

Something doesn't add up Boss.

In the past when he had the shard, we could interact with him well enough, when the demon took possession we could Visually tell.

How come he now says that he was a demon's puppet 100% of the interactions?

We could understand if he was "absent" in the events the demon took over, but this doesn't seem to be the case.
No. 1076963 ID: 8f9bc4


The only reason we could tell was that he risked unspeakable torment to fight his possession. He only did it because he thought we might be able to save Ona, and uh, disable himself. Normally he remained passive to avoid said unspeakable torment.
No. 1076966 ID: eb0a9c

Well, according to Pendle, the demon studied Pendle's mind until they could mimic him, then spent every waking moment pretending to be Pendle even after they migrated to an area that nobody knew Pendle or Leonid or whatever from, just to be extra sure that anyone who knew Pendle and was passing by wouldn't suspect much.

Maybe Erisol's hijinks unlocked some new passive skills.

But yes this requires multiple assumptions and your suspicion is more likely. Let's get multiple exorcists.
No. 1076969 ID: 46e818
File 169965629036.png - (11.38KB , 800x600 , 1823.png )

"Would someone please get this man his glasses?"

>"They got smashed."

"In the fight?"

>"I dunno why are you asking me"

"I'm asking anyone who might know."

>"Okay but you're looking at me"
No. 1076970 ID: 46e818
File 169965650970.png - (9.01KB , 800x600 , 1824.png )

"Fine, I'll just describe it:
It's a small, hand-carved trinket with a loop of twine to make it a necklace. By feel, yes, I assume it's bone. Feels quite old. Smoothed but still coarse, like weather-worn bone gets.

It's shaped like a... I'm not sure. A bat, maybe. Or a beast's skull. Three prongs on top, maybe horns, and three more on the bottom, maybe teeth. Hard to say how much is symbol and how much is literal. Two holes near the top, which I can say more confidently are eyes."

>"Hm. Check the back and edges of the trinket. Do you see carved notches? Tally marks maybe?"

"Let me see. A series of parallel grooves cut into the back. I count... nine."
No. 1076971 ID: 46e818
File 169965695317.png - (8.73KB , 800x600 , 1825.png )

>"What you have there is likely a religious heirloom, passed down nine generations. Or at least nine deaths.
>By shape, it could be a ceremonial arrowhead, but it probably represents a deity. I've seen things like this before, and the bone is likely carved from an ancestor, not an animal. I'm not familiar, offhand, with the shape. It might be someplace in one of my reference tomes, but... well, that will wait until I'm cleared.

>My first instinct, then? It's a guardian token, meant to honor and receive protection from a god. A local Totem God, I would presume."

"Erisol couldn't detect any magic from it, and it's not a monster mannekin. Why would the Czar want some crudely made heirloom?"
>"There, I'm afraid your guess is as good as mine."
No. 1076972 ID: 3b45d0

It could be a piece of something larger. Perhaps it a part of something greater? For example if it doesn't have all the pieces of... Whatever the Czar is putting together there's no magic associated with it, but together there is?

Alternatively, if it's an heirloom then perhaps its part of whatever religion the Czar represents, perhaps this is the actual holy symbol for it?
No. 1076973 ID: ce619a

If you put a blade to my throat and made me guess I'd say the Czar intends to use it as an empty template or vessel for some manner of enchantment that only such an artifact as this could hold.
Judging by what Pendle said, most likely a favor from a god or perhaps a focus to become the avatar of a god.

But really, without further clues, who knows? He could want to resurrect the original owner of the bone it's made of for all we know. Once Pendle's cleared he can begin researching it and try to get a better idea what the thing's purpose could be.

Anyways, before we leave to handle the missing sacred animal nonsense, ask Pendle about his real name and how he wishes to be referred.
No. 1076974 ID: 3f3d5c

Perhaps it was to be used in a ritual to contact the related god? Even if it's small, a point of contact is a point of contact.
No. 1076975 ID: 3cebb9

Now we know the bone was taken from a person, perhaps there's some significance to whoever it was taken from. Perhaps some magic could be done to affect those with a connection to them, or it could conjure up their ghost. Or perhaps it's not for a magical purpose - if the bone was from someone of particular significance, perhaps presenting it to the right people would be a significant diplomatic overture. Or perhaps someone has tied some oath of honor to it in some way. Something like that. There are many possibilities.
No. 1076976 ID: 8f9bc4

The Czar might have something which Erisol could detect ALL the magic from, that has a little bat/bone/dragon skull shaped recess that you need to slip something into to activate it.

Erisol could also be lying, since she's been working for the Czar this whole time.
No. 1076984 ID: c43a6d

We could see if our witch doctor can use the bone to target something, but a necromancer might be better for that job.

Maybe Dompag has some reading glasses.
No. 1076985 ID: bed263

there is an off chance it's simply sentimental. not the likeliest reason, but still a potential answer.
No. 1077012 ID: 273c18

Either it has sentimental value, or the Totem God involved is important somehow. Perhaps we should find out which God it is?
...hmm, I wonder if this is related to the mission we're about to send people on.
No. 1077019 ID: 03840c

I really doubt it’s sentimental. The way he acted, and given how power hungry the czar is, it has to be something with power, or some kind of important component. Maybe there’s something hidden in it? Is it possible that the item has some kind of “anti-magic” magic that makes it hard or impossible to detect magic with?
No. 1077028 ID: 4d8b77

Maybe it's not important, but the person it's made from is. Not that we know any more about necromancy than demonology, but that's probably not enough to animate or anything, but maybe he has a ghost he needs to answer a question?
No. 1077037 ID: dc4bad

We should note, this trinket alone is not the only time we've seen this symbol: it has a larger twin within the Czar's throne room, in a prominent position no less.

There it seemed like a banner or device to rally around, though it wasn't evident anywhere else in the city. The charm you have if not magical, might be instead ritualistically significant, a necessary component to some process relating to this Totem God. A sign of allegiance, or other evidence of a pact.

Might be worth explaining both that and the fact the small one was here in the possession of Red Fang, so it might be local to here but also might originate more closely to Tela Cruz (or, it's from a figure who's worship was widespread enough to be present in both locations)
No. 1077040 ID: 23f48a

"the bone is likely carved from an ancestor, not an animal"

This could be the key to why the Czar wants the amulet. Perhaps the bone the amulet it's made out of is one of the following:

1) An actual ancestor of the Czar. This could mean something 9 generations old in the Czars past is important to them.
2) A creature of some importance, prominence or power that the Czar wants a bodypart of (dragon?), presumably to improve his power.

We mustn't forget the symbol's shape either - it's adorning the Czar's throne. That symbol means something important to the Czar (or the history of the place he inhabits).
No. 1077042 ID: 23f48a

If the symbol might be somewhere in his reference tomes, maybe we could check those notes out ourselves (or have the best reader minion check it out). Where are those tomes?
No. 1077043 ID: 23f48a

Pendle's comment about glasses - have we ever had an occasion where Pendle wasn't wearing his glasses? Would or did the demon possessing him suffer the same bodily issues he did (in case demon vision is somehow different).
No. 1077044 ID: 23f48a

I'm curious about the demon's killing spree. Why was it doing it? Pure malice? Ritualistic need/devotion? Can Pendle share some insight there? In case the killing spree was trying to achieve something with a bigger scope (like a summoning, or empowering itself).
No. 1077054 ID: 8f9bc4

Yes, that might be useful information. Could we gain power of our own, by carving up the bodies of luscious female—wait, no. No. Just no.
No. 1077062 ID: 46e818
File 169975498697.png - (15.38KB , 800x600 , 1826.png )

"There are many reasons I can imagine, but none that seem to immediately fit into place. I suppose we'll have to continue looking into it and research further."

>"I'll gladly give you an in depth lesson on Totem Gods when all this has passed. They are fascinating concepts, though their age has rather passed.
>If I were to put emphasis on any aspect of it, know this: Totem Gods are, essentially, grown from small cults. The unfamiliarity of that symbol and the density of lesser races in the area leads me to believe this is a local deity. You might find answers in the nearby woods. As you are already headed there for today's business, you may yet find worshippers who can give you better insight."
No. 1077068 ID: 1ab976

So in essence we are dealing with a minor deity or spirit. Intriguing but it doesn’t give us an answer why the Czar wants it. Seems like we are going to have to make an expedition out to the woods to see if any locals can tell us more.
No. 1077069 ID: ce619a

That advice is good enough reason to take it with you on our mission out to the woods, but be wary of the Czar's minions trying to take it or just thieves in general.
Show it off as little as possible. Keep a drawing of it with you to show to the woodland denizens first instead of the amulet itself. Or better yet, have someone quickly carve a replica to use for this purpose. Only show the real thing if you find someone trustworthy and knowledgeable enough.
No. 1077079 ID: eb0a9c

My guess is this 'minor' deity gives specific boons that, in the right hands, are actually overpowered. The Czar accidentally discovered this synergetic utility, conquered a city with it, and now he's convinced that restoring the deity to 'major' status by collecting all the deity's scattered artifacts will make him emperor of the planet.
No. 1077098 ID: 8a2d6a

This is the vibe I'm getting too. Working theory is, the Czar is looking to become close friends with one of the smaller, forgotten gods.
No. 1077099 ID: bed263

carved replica, excellent idea +1 to that.
No. 1077108 ID: 8e4f60

The local woods, eh? Don't Finesse and Tislomer come from there? They probably know a few of the local cults/deities/traditions, that could be a good starting point to figure out where to search and who to ask.
No. 1077111 ID: c6a62c

Red Fang had it, so we could try asking Terva. But Red Fang didn't have it in a place of importance, so he probably didn't know or care much about it.

Local to where? We found it here, but Red Fang could have gotten it anywhere.
No. 1077120 ID: eb7ce4

that is... that is a good idea. We need to ask if these totem gods can provide minor boons and any examples that he might know off the top of his head.
No. 1077126 ID: 23f48a

It's possible that the Czar is trying to turn this 'minor deity', formed from a 'minor' cult, into a major one. Us having the idol might be 'diluting power' so to speak. If every worshipper of this deity is exclusively in his city or aware of it there, it would no doubt be completely under his control or possibly ascend to greater power.
No. 1077127 ID: 23f48a

We should be careful about the 'replica' idea, as the mere symbol or creation of it might be important. We can't replicate the ancestry of the material but we can imitate everything else, and maybe it's the symbol and it's spiritual usage that's important - i.e. it's use as a 'holy symbol' for a cleric in D&D.
No. 1077129 ID: 46e818
File 169983167602.png - (10.52KB , 800x600 , 1827.png )

Very well, we've spent enough time with an interrogation we can't necessarily trust. I'm sure more details will be forthcoming once Pendle's cleared to return to duty.

For now, I must return to planning today's journey to the nearby woodlands, to meet with the goblin and kobold factions about their holy horse or what have you.

I've got more or less my entire force home and at the ready for a change. Pendle's out of the question and Ona's probably best left to rest another day at least, but for the others, I'm free to pick my ideal adventuring team.
I should leave some to guard the base, especially with everything going on lately, though.

So, who's coming with me to find this sacred equine of the woods?
No. 1077130 ID: 3f3d5c

I mean, again, I'm going to say we bring Tislomer for kobold diplomacy. Babrakus isn't as social as she is, so she's the better option.

I'd also like to bring Finnie just so that we have someone to throw ideas around and plan with, although that's pretty optional.
And we should definitely have one person who's good at fighting, too, probably Dompag or Ashe.
No. 1077131 ID: 1ab976

Tislomer or Babrakus would be a good choice for the Kobolds, and always helps to bring Finesse for the goblins.

Any one else we bring should match the tribes or people living out there. Anyone we should know about that you have knowledge of boss?
No. 1077132 ID: ce619a

-Finesse: Having a goblin along for diplomacy with the goblin tribes is essential
-Tislomer: Likewise For the kobold natives
-Ashedel: Of our "muscle" she's the one best suited to tracking and capturing a sacred animal alive while also being stable enough to not strain any diplomatic actions

And if we can afford taking a fourth:
-Babrakus: More kobolds in party equals more trust from the kobold tribes, as well as being a backup in case Tislomer isn't up to the task. Pairing our two kobolds in the party will also improve their moral.

Everyone else needs to recover or is unsuited for the stealth and/or diplomacy this mission requires.
No. 1077158 ID: ae86fc

Strongly agree with this one.

I would only add that everyone gear up properly for a track/hunt mission and a possible fight.
No. 1077160 ID: ae86fc

Don't know if Wes is ready for action, but we could also take him. After all he seem to be our best runner.
No. 1077174 ID: 968f5f

If it possible, we could also take our denling?
No. 1077184 ID: 8a2d6a

Finesse and Tislomer are no-brainers for extra dialogue options diplomatic insight.

For muscle let's take Dompag. Also doubles as a gentle giant in case some of the locals can be swayed by his charms.
No. 1077191 ID: 6776d9

Send Tislomer and Finesse.
No need for muscle if all we're trying to do is locate the horse.
They're both locals and it'd cover both goblin and kobold communications.
The party would have a small profile and remain inconspicuous. Tislomer's skills as a seasoned huntress and forager would be able to to keep then fed on the go so they can travel light, not to mention actually tracking any lead they might get.

Have Babrakus carve an image of the amulet on a small wood shingle as well for them to carry along so they can ask around about that as well.
No. 1077196 ID: 93d066


> Have Babrakus carve an image of the amulet on a small wood shingle as well for them to carry along so they can ask around about that as well.

This is a Capital idea, that way we got the people multitasking.
No. 1077200 ID: 46e818
File 169991789559.png - (13.86KB , 800x600 , 1828.png )

Very well. We'll have Babrakus make a representative replica so we're not caught out with the amulet itself.
Tislomer and Finesse will accompany me to the woods. An enforcer isn't strictly necessary, but should I run into any sort of threat, it would be good to have.

No. 1077201 ID: 46e818
File 169991802206.png - (13.56KB , 800x600 , 1829.png )

>"I will wait for your judgement patiently, but...
>I hope I am not out of line in requesting some kind of an anodyne in the meantime. My body is broken and the pain is truly incredible."
No. 1077203 ID: 273c18

Huh? Has noone given him medical attention? Well, take care of that. Just be sure you've got someone tough watching over him while any drugs are administered.
No. 1077204 ID: ce619a

Yeah, you uh, might want to have Ona or Tislomer heal him or at least give him some pain killers.

Ona should be able to heal him quickly what with the mountain being a giant magic amplifier and all.
No. 1077205 ID: 8f9bc4

Oy vey...
No. 1077207 ID: d5839f

God damnit. Someone get him some numbing serum or at the least some strong spirits to drink before we leave.
No. 1077210 ID: 3f3d5c

I... yeah, that should be fine.
However, I'm gonna have to say there should always be another person in the room while they're wound tending. Like, if Ona is tending the wounds, Wes or maybe Geppa needs to be on standby.
Geppa can probably do that, right.
No. 1077213 ID: 006510

If we’re going with the third person idea, I think Wes would be a far better fit than Geppa. He’s close with both parties and the three need to reconcile after the whole situation, anyways.
Not to mention if Pendle and Geppa were left alone in a room together someone would end up dead, and it’s not really fair to put Ona in the middle of that.
No. 1077214 ID: 006510

If we’re going with the third person idea, I think Wes would be a far better fit than Geppa. He’s close with both parties and the three need to reconcile after the whole situation, anyways.
Not to mention if Pendle and Geppa were left alone in a room together someone would end up dead, and it’s not really fair to put Ona in the middle of that.
No. 1077231 ID: 3c690f

whoever was supposed to be in charge of his care is going to get a verbal trouncing, oh my god
No. 1077233 ID: 8f9bc4


"We wrapped him in bandages! Isn't that how you treat injuries?"
No. 1077234 ID: 93d066

I'll be more worried as to how he is going to relive himself.
No. 1077235 ID: e87a15

Oh sweet god I thought he was already medicated, have Tislomer make enough to keep him well until we get back
No. 1077251 ID: 4d8b77

Maybe don't force Ona to treat him right now. We have something like a slug of whiskey around? Wait, can he bite himself and knock himself out? I mean, probably not, but I'd love to know.
No. 1077252 ID: e95c1d

consider loading him up with a bunch of hallucinogens with the painkillers- he might accidentally divulge incriminating info if he's still possessed
No. 1077254 ID: 3cebb9

Hm. Ok, it's possible that someone did give him something and he's STILL in pain despite it. If that's the case you'll need to give him as much more as possible and, if that's still not enough, arrange for whoever keeps guard over him to chat and keep him diverted.
No. 1077257 ID: b1805a


In addition, we might want to strongly consider proper medical procedure for exoskeleton breakage, since uh ... since Wes kinda had to ...

Look, there was a hammer involved and I'm pretty sure Pendle here is probably extremely messed up right now.
No. 1077280 ID: 46e818
File 169999730023.png - (11.27KB , 800x600 , 1830.png )

>"Oh, God."
No. 1077282 ID: 46e818
File 169999894517.png - (11.75KB , 800x600 , 1831.png )

"Pardon me, but am I meant to understand this man has been hanging here since yesterday evening with broken limbs and no analgesic?"

>"He didn't complain until now! I didn't think he could even feel pain! We just assumed it was a demon thing!"

"Get this man some kind of pain medicament immediately. Dompag, stand watch!
I don't care if you have to put him unconscious to do it, if that is our man in there we need to spare him any further suffering."

>"Yes, sir."

"I'm going to make final preparations to leave. Finesse, Tislomer. With me."
No. 1077283 ID: de3fb3

wouldn't it be better to have wes stand watch? he's the one who hammered the shit out of pendle, so he probably has some good insight into pendle's injuries that might make it easier for ona to deal with, like which limbs did wes hit first. with pendle's current state it'd probably be smart to have an order of most broken to least broken or something lol
No. 1077284 ID: af12fa

It probably *was* a demon thing up until we turned it into puke. Or rather it felt the pain of Pendle's body but just didn't give a shit. But, if this truly is Pendle, then ever since we came in here he's been holding a conversation with us and maintaining remarkable lucidity through some almost unimaginable pain.

Remember to commend him for his fortitude and dedication to making things right straight out the gates, when we're sure it's him.
No. 1077297 ID: 527ee6

Alrighty, we'll head out with you boss. We should also maintain communications with Dompag since he is gonna be watching over Pendle.

Honestly if we get Dompag to watch over him that means Geppa will also watch over him, she is MORE than enough.
No. 1077299 ID: 93d066

Again, hes wrapped in bandages and hanging from the ceiling.

How is he supposed to go potty?
No. 1077302 ID: 4d8b77

Wow, Real Pendle is kind of adorably tough. Ona needs some rest badly too, clearly. Or maybe she's just still a little resentful despite... mitigating circumstances.
No. 1077354 ID: 46e818
File 170007986817.png - (16.61KB , 800x600 , 1832.png )

"All right. Listen up -- today we're making an outing to the Timore Woods, an area you're both familiar with and spent many years in. I will be relying on you both as pathfinders, interpreters, and envoys.
We are leaving to endear ourselves to the locals and convince them to join under our banner. Remember the intel we've received: some manner of sacred horse needs our intervention, a symbol to restore the Woods from encroaching forces.

Are either of you familiar with this animal?"

>"No, Master."
>"Nuh uh."

"Unfortunate. Any words before we leave?"

>"Master, I recommend we bring some kind of muscle. We are the three of us capable of dealing with peaceful encounters, but if we run into these human and elf forces who've been threatening the woods we would be glad to have a strong backup. I recommend Ashedel at the least -- she came along last time."
>"I think Babrakus should come too 'cause he also lived here and also we could both talk to them and also, and uh, and also we could both get that mint soup. It's really good. He told me he never had it and I think he should."

Very well, this is the final role call.
I should be very considerate about who I bring and who I leave to defend the base in my absence.
Other than myself, Finesse, and Tislomer, who should I bring for this mission, if anyone?
No. 1077355 ID: e87a15

Well, I was gonna say "we might unfortunately have to leave Babrakus here..."

... until I remembered the platoon stationed outside the Vault, ready to fend off any incursion. Much as I don't like their leader since he seems scummy, I doubt he'll disobey direct orders from his prince to defend this place.

So yeah fuck it, why not bring Babrakus and Ashedel? I hate to separate the kobolds, and we definitely need the muscle in case we get jumped. Dompag and Geppa are kind of a strike squad in their own right, so just having them here with the platoon should be alright, defense-wise?
No. 1077356 ID: d85e98

Ashedel is a good plan, let's grab her. As for Babrakus, we should only bring him if he is not needed here for anything.
No. 1077357 ID: 8a2d6a

As important as bonding over soup is, it can wait until later. Not to belittle Babs or anything, but if worse comes to worst, I'd like us to have more muscle than a kobold.

I'll agree to heed Finesse's advice and go with Ashedel.
No. 1077358 ID: 3f3d5c

I mean, I think we've got the most important two right here. If they both want to bring along some extras, I don't have a problem it.
No. 1077359 ID: 6776d9

I still think that if the elfs or humans are properly equipped you're getting outmatched in any given fight anyway so a team that can avoid detection is a much better choice.
Dompag's natural armour would make him a good pick but he's much more valuable as a defender.
It might be a good idea to humor Tislomer's request though. She'd probably get really antsy and unfocused if she was forced to be away from him.
No. 1077361 ID: ce619a

Definitely Ashedel, she's skilled, strong and can keep a low profile if sneaking and evasion are the goal.
Babrakus is also a good pick if we can afford a fourth. He can be backup for both fighting and kobold diplomacy.

Between Dompag, Geppa and Erisol we have the base totally covered on might and magic.

That said, it's very odd that Tislomer and Finesse have heard nothing of this supposedly "sacred" beast. Being long time natives they should've heard at least myths or campfire stories of it if it's so important to their people.
Pry a bit further with them and ask how they haven't heard of it before if it's so sacred to their people. Ask Babrakus, too. He might know something. Also, check with Ashedel about how she came to know of this animal.
If the natives of the land are somehow ignorant of this thing's existence while people spying on the place can pick up on it, then this information she gathered might be some kind of ruse or trap.
No. 1077364 ID: 46e818

Babrakus still has work to do constructing the outside barracks, right? I think he'd be best left to his work here, and Ashedel would be the best "muscle" to take along. She did the footwork here anyway.
No. 1077370 ID: dc4bad

I see no harm in either person coming along, Ashedel is useful all-around and I even see there being an additional benefit in having Babrakus come along, beyond just being another local kobold and making Tislomer happy.

The two being visibly together in your employ would probably be an encouraging sight for some of the forest's residents.
No. 1077373 ID: c8e6c6

Erisol is the only one that can protect from heavy magical attacks if the Pretender shows up.
No. 1077374 ID: 93d066

I'll say

Ashedel: Equally strong and dexterous.
Babrakus: More kobolds equals more 'bolds cred, and we need the extra muscle.
Wes: (If hes ready for action) Our best runner and a good melee fighter.

Properly geared up for a track/hunt mission and a possible fight. And you have a balanced party of diplomacy and strength.


Dom' & Geps: Power duo that can take down a big boss plus the henchmen.

A strength oriented party that we could really use more interactions with.



We embrace chaos
No. 1077389 ID: e87a15

I completely forgot my favorite character existed for a second there, what the fuck. You raise a great point though, and it seems like The Pretender can't actually use his magic inside The Vault because of the pereghast fucking with it; he had to get outside to teleport.

Might be wise to bring her along no matter what the party configuration looks like.
No. 1077436 ID: 4d8b77

The thought suddenly occurs to me that it isn't that he couldn't use his magic, but that it would be a bad idea to use magic in the Vault. I mean, Muschio normally conjures up a candle flame and it was magnified to being almost volcanic in here. So maybe if the Pretender tried anything this whole place would have just exploded.

Which means that having Erisol around here is like having a chain smoker checking for gas leaks. So, we should absolutely take her anywhere that isn't here, right now.
No. 1077439 ID: c8e6c6

I think the presumption was that the ore caused interference, not just enhancement, and teleportation/portal requires a lot of precision. We shouldn't count on anyone being unable or unwilling to use magic in the base.
No. 1077517 ID: 46e818
File 170027519785.png - (9.61KB , 800x600 , 1833.png )

"One other question -- if this sacred beast is so important to the villages in the region, enough that its absence can cause local upset, how is it neither of you, as locals, have any knowledge of it?"

>"The truth is, Master, I lived quite separately from my settlement. You may remember when you first recruited me I was occupying a small shed at the very edge of the village. I had not lived my whole life there and was not particularly social, so I suppose I just never engaged with the local superstitions."
No. 1077518 ID: 46e818
File 170027521603.png - (9.29KB , 800x600 , 1834.png )

"And you, Tislomer?"

>"I'm five."

No. 1077520 ID: 273c18

How long do kobolds live, anyway?
No. 1077526 ID: 8b50f8

They don't even teach you about the sacred beast? Damn, what are they teaching you kids these days?
I swear, all these kids want to do these days is mix herb and shoot bow. Back in MY day they made damn well sure you got yourself some good religious learnin'. None of this willy-nilly oral tradition nonsense either! You got sat down and read to with some proper written dogma!
Oh, you kids got it so easy nowadays, when we was young we had to prayed five miles through snow! Uphill! Going both ways! EVERY SUNDAY!
And we LIKED IT! We loved it! We couldn't get enough of it!
No. 1077527 ID: 1ab976

It might behoove us to ask any elders or shamans we can find then.
No. 1077532 ID: 33f5ad

Are Logos and Pathos busy?
No. 1077533 ID: e87a15

Hadn't even considered that little episode of his as being caused by the pereghast but that makes a lot of sense. I do think there's something more there though, even without the ore, as seen when he dove at The Pretender to save Finesse.

our boy has anime powers that activate when he's emotional about saving his loved ones and I think that's fucking awesome :V
No. 1077541 ID: 93d066


It's hard to believe in Finnie's case, since she's like 100+ years old. She being a little kid in the days of the Malto's Barony and all.

I mean, by virtue of just being part of the tribe, you get to know what's important to them.
No. 1077552 ID: ce619a

Finesse is known to lie about things to cover her ass. She was probably an outcast or seen as an outsider to the other goblins and therefore not privy to tribal lore.

...which calls into question how useful she'll be for diplomacy. We might want to rethink having her along.

For the sake of this mission's success we might want to press her harder and make her to tell us exactly what her relationship to the goblin tribes was. More specifically, if her presence would jeopardize our goals with the tribes.
No. 1077554 ID: 3f3d5c

They're usually pretty long-lived, barring ‘accidents’. Said accidents being pretty frequent among kobolds. Rapid maturation was developed as a defense mechanism, since few kobolds actually live to a ripe old age.

Uh. I presume. It's entirely possible I'm projecting knowledge from less relevant sources. Maybe that's something we can ask during the negotiations, y'know, just casually ask an elder or something as a matter of cultural curiosity.
Honestly this might be a fascinating opportunity to learn more about both goblins and kobolds.
No. 1077583 ID: 46e818
File 170035299673.png - (15.86KB , 800x600 , 1835.png )

"Very well. Ladies, while the rest keep the Vault safe, we'll be setting out in just a few moments for the troubled forest. Familiar territory to all four of us, to be sure, but do not let your guard down.

The trek to the denser forest will take an hour or two at a good clip, and who knows what we may run into along the way.

So prepare yourselves for a challenge and an adventure! We're off to the Timore Woodlands."
No. 1077584 ID: 46e818
File 170035300760.gif - (277.48KB , 800x600 , 1836.gif )

No. 1077586 ID: 46e818
File 170035306682.png - (20.77KB , 800x600 , 1837.png )

"Well, here we are in the Timore Woodlands!"
No. 1077587 ID: 8f9bc4

No. 1077589 ID: ce619a

And nobody even died on the way to their home planet
No. 1077590 ID: 945bea

Every true overlord knows how to travel by map
No. 1077595 ID: 64faaa

Fast-travel, the best videogame superpower (for a ruler).
An inventory or quest system is probably better for individual adventurers.
... Being the administrator of a quest system would be pretty dang good for a ruler though.

Anyway, keep an eye out. Do you see anything out of place between entering the woods, & getting to the village?
I assume nothing was out of the ordinary on the way to the woods.
No. 1077608 ID: fba277

Great! ... Now what?

Which village is the closest?
No. 1077610 ID: 8f9bc4

Check for Verity tracks!
No. 1077618 ID: 3771c5

We had a plan, right? That's why we chose we chose?

We should start gathering information. Where the horse usually is, who's seen it recently, did it look or act different, has this happened before?
No. 1077622 ID: ce619a

Check with the kobold tribes first. They're a lot more forthcoming and easier to please judging by our first expedition here.
No. 1077631 ID: dc13c4

No. 1077651 ID: 46e818
File 170042801157.png - (16.98KB , 800x600 , 1838.png )

Very well. We should immediately head to the nearby kobold village and speak to the elders, the priests... anyone who might have knowledge of the sacred beast, and what's become of it.

"Tislomer, I never asked -- what is the name of your village?"

>"It's called Blue Trees!"
No. 1077653 ID: 46e818
File 170042808965.png - (15.91KB , 800x600 , 1839.png )

"And why's that?"

>"B-... because... the trees are blue??"

"I must not have seen them. Which ones are blue?"

>"All of them??? All the village's trees?"
No. 1077654 ID: 1ab976

… Mental note, Kobolds may be colorblind.

Onwards to the village.
No. 1077655 ID: 93d066

Also be sure to inquire about the becomings of the lil' 'bold girl that you cure of her possession/poisoning.

Last we saw her, Rider's party bumped into her and shenanigans ensued.
No. 1077656 ID: ce619a

Isn't Muschio's face/skin green and his hair blue? Ask her what color she sees your face and hair as. That'll find out if they're colorblind real fast.
No. 1077657 ID: 6bd1fc

A degree of colour blindness is common in creatures with good night vision. I'd bet Ashedel knows if any trees are blue in this forest, though! And likely has a good idea of settlement locations from seeing smoke and such! Surely she's been stretching her wings in the general area.
No. 1077664 ID: b3eab7

Don't question it until you've actually seen the village.
No. 1077665 ID: 64faaa

Yeah. Could be that that kobolds are colorblind.
Could also be that the trees specifically around the village are a different color.

It's not important, so guessing risks putting your foot in your mouth for no reason. Just wait to see.
No. 1077670 ID: 43b5e5

Guys, our "white" is her "blue", you saw it when we switched
No. 1077671 ID: 273c18

Ask the other two what colors they see.
No. 1077675 ID: 4d8b77

Ridiculous, everyone knows trees are white, just like everything else.
No. 1077677 ID: eb0a9c

Did I mention we're partially colorblind? It takes something intense, like furnace fires or freshly-spilled blood, for us to see anything that isn't shades of grey. Maybe the kobolds have something like that.
No. 1077680 ID: 8b1abb

It's possible she sees more colours, rather than less. If only some of the trees are blue to her and some aren't, but they all look green to us that implies she's seeing something we're not.
No. 1077692 ID: dc13c4

Just be careful while in the woods not to bump into the Slur Slinging Slasher
No. 1077702 ID: b1805a


Note to self: look up, when we arrive. Clearly we were too engaged with the proceedings last time we were there.

Or maybe our dear 'bold just has an inherited case of ... oh, I forget the name. Something dreadful, I'm sure.
No. 1077703 ID: 58dd24

Remember kids, not all languages, cultures, or species groups have the same understanding of color that you do.

Homer called it the wine dark sea, because it was a good metaphor for the rich tones in a world where there were few words for understanding color. Some languages get by with just two or three words, and people in them are notably worse at differentiating hues without the benefit of language to mentally sort the information.

Also like 95% of the world is in black and white, so we are in that category.
No. 1077704 ID: dc4bad

Oh right, I don't know if it was ever mentioned but it's quite possible that some of the other races literally see the world differently from us.

Sometimes even our perspective through your companions is altered, Ashedel being onesuch example in fact. If I recall correctly, her perspective was one of high contrast, and a vivid differentiation between the subject of her focus and everything that was not.
No. 1077705 ID: 46e818
File 170051198853.png - (14.68KB , 800x600 , 1840.png )

"Tislomer, what color is my skin?"

>"Oh my gosh I know what COLORS are, the trees were blue! Most trees are green, that's what made them special!"

"Tislomer... I've been to your village, remember?"

>"And so have I. The trees were green, just like every other tree here."

>"NUH UH, they were blue! That's why they CALLED it that! Why else would they call it that??"
No. 1077706 ID: 46e818
File 170051202749.png - (19.59KB , 800x600 , 1841.png )

>"If EVERY tree was blue they wouldn't call it Blue Trees, that would be a dumb name for--

No. 1077707 ID: e44a74

Note for later: perhaps Kobolds can see magic, and these trees exude a blue aura?

For now though, we seem to have stumbled upon a hunt. Looks like a deer though, so not our sacred horse, but we still might want to have a chat and see if they’ve seen the horse.
No. 1077708 ID: ce619a

Oh... she might have UV vision and can see ultraviolet as "blue," so the trees in her tribe's area are a color you can't see.

Just to check, the sacred beast we're after is indeed a horse, right? And horse don't have horns, correct?
Either way take a good look at these guys and ascertain if they're common hunters or military scouts. Also take note of their demeanor, both towards us and in general.
No. 1077709 ID: 003778

No. 1077710 ID: 4b26c9

Or it might be a language thing, and in her culture "blue" and "green" are the same word. In any case, there's no reason to press this until we arrive at the village. Clearly it's just making Tislomer frustrated.
No. 1077711 ID: b1805a


... don't those elves an orgy to attend? What are they doing away from their very sparkly woods?

Also what kind of horse is that?
No. 1077712 ID: 273c18

Are these elves not supposed to be here? Is this poaching?
No. 1077714 ID: dc13c4

Well I hope there are no deer people in this world because then this would be murder
No. 1077718 ID: 53560f

Wave politely before continuing into the woods and continuing the argument. No reason to worry about some hunters doing their jobs.
No. 1077720 ID: 6bd1fc

What's the word, woodsmen?
No. 1077766 ID: 8f9bc4

OH NO VERITY wait no, no that's just a deer.
No. 1077770 ID: 46e818

Who the fuck is Verity, why do you keep posting this
No. 1077772 ID: 46e818
File 170059879659.png - (17.70KB , 800x600 , 1842.png )

A pair of elves stand around a freshly killed deer of some sort.

>"Ah! Hello!"
Skinning knife in hand, the left elf waves to us.
>"I'm sorry to make you go around, but this one didn't ask our opinion on the most convenient spot to finish the hunt!"
No. 1077773 ID: 46e818
File 170059886764.png - (15.54KB , 800x600 , 1843.png )


>This is our forest! Why are there elves here?? They're not supposed to be here!!"
No. 1077774 ID: 3f3d5c

They're obviously hunting. Probably with the "hostile encroachment from nearby humans and elves" we came here to put a stop to. Our tactics here might colour our interactions later. We should be tactful.
My advice: Keep our distance and attempt to diplomatically pump them for info. Don't make yourself out to be a threat just yet.

Unless... you want to do that, in which case charge in and beat them up, and then pump them for info.
These guys look like dorks. You and Ashe could probably take them.
No. 1077775 ID: ce619a

Politely inquire why they've ventured so deep into the kobold's territory while offhandedly mentioning the ongoing tensions between their peoples.

We're here on just diplomacy for now, so no threats or violence until the tribes give us information and permission to represent them.
We don't want to be stepping on toes, putting a foot in our mouths or prematurely starting wars here. Let Tislomer know this if she becomes too incensed.
No. 1077779 ID: 53cc8f

I am conflicted on if we should mention the horse.

On one hand, as trackers they might know something. Even if they haven't, it could be good to warn them off doing anything to the horse if they do see it.

On the other hand, if they don't know about the horse, we don't want to make it a target.
No. 1077780 ID: b3eab7

> Politely inquire why they've ventured so deep into the kobold's territory while offhandedly mentioning the ongoing tensions between their peoples.
Sounds like the best course of action.
No. 1077781 ID: dc13c4

Well, that settles it kill them all!
No. 1077784 ID: 24ce25

No. 1077787 ID: 1034ad

Channel the power of beardbeard
No. 1077795 ID: c2e38a

Deforestation is contrary to our goals.
No. 1077796 ID: 273c18

So yes. They are poaching. Tell them to fuck off or die.
No. 1077797 ID: c2e38a

Remember that any question we ask of them they might ask of us, and we have no official capacity.

This is the best we can do.
No. 1077807 ID: 93d066

This seems to be our best option so far.
No. 1077808 ID: eb0a9c

Ask them if they got permission to hunt in these woods.
Take their stuff if they didn't, buy their meat if they did.
No. 1077809 ID: 8f9bc4

you gotta poymit for that?
No. 1077817 ID: eb7ce4

ask them why they hunting here, lets see their excuse
No. 1077818 ID: 4d8b77

God, poaching is a little below our pay grade isn't it? Besides, they make a good point. They may have started this hunt way outside of this territory and crossed an invisible line without knowing it. It's not like we passed any territory markers, right?
No. 1077819 ID: d46777

This reaction is very unlike what we have come to expect from Tislomer.
Let's ask her what she means exactly and maybe try to calm her down a little before things heated beyond our capacity to manage. The elves can wait.
No. 1077820 ID: 0fbdcd

Fairly normal. I'm betting the elves and humans aren't even aware they've encroached.

Be friendly, give no indication you're anything except a weirdly diverse friend group. Casually pump them for info. What're they doing here? How's the hunting?
No. 1077828 ID: debc82


Well, if they ARE poaching, no sense leaving the kill behind and attracting nastier things.

Ask if these woods belong to them, as the kobolds seem to have staked their claim to this region. Then politely, but firmly, inform them that, as vassals to your budding empire, the kobolds (and their forests) are under your protection, so you must ask that the elves leave with their kill and hunt elsewhere.

Surely they will understand the gravity of offending your lordship.
No. 1077830 ID: 46e818
File 170067713854.png - (10.22KB , 800x600 , 1844.png )

I lower my voice to a whisper so Tislomer and I can confer privately.

"I'm not used to seeing you this agitated. What's got you so angry?"

>"This is our woods!! The elves and humans keep coming in more and more! They cut down all the trees on the edges so the forest gets smaller, and they kill more and more animals, and uh, and, and they keep getting closer to Blue Trees!
>And sometimes, they even hurt us! Or they take some of us away and we never see them again!
>Every year they get closer to the villages and they're mean to us and we don't even want them here!
>And you know what happens in other places! They tell us we have to stay in the forest but then they don't stay OUT of the forest?? That's not fair!!"
No. 1077831 ID: 46e818
File 170067737924.png - (18.35KB , 800x600 , 1845.png )

I suppose I should get information from these strangers before proceeding.

"Good morning! What's brought you to hunt so deep into kobold territory?"

They glance at each other, curiously.
>"'Kobold territory'...?"
>"Well, yes, surely we are on all kinds of territories. I suppose this land is the territory of wolves, and stags, and any number of other animals too, all drawing their lines. No harm in that, though."
The shorter one nods in agreement.
>"It's good hunting in these woods. The kobolds don't bother us much."
>"But we appreciate your concern! We'll be quite all right."
No. 1077834 ID: 51565b

... They think of them as animals. Revolting.

We need to remain calm. Best not sour things straight away.
No. 1077837 ID: ce619a

Welp, there it is. They do not see kobolds as a people nor do they respect their independence.
We didn't come here to debate morality and ethics with common hunters nor would the venture be fruitful under these circumstances. We also don't currently represent the local tribes, so our words are our own, for now.

Sternly tell them their encroachment on the tribal lands of the local peoples is driving the them to the brink of war with the hunters' people. Firmly recommend that they withdraw. The locals will scarcely tolerate much more and violent actions are probable if they stay.

If they start asking questions about why we're here, tell them diplomacy to prevent a war.
If they get too impudent, well... again, we've been given no authority by the locals, so-
Take no action, begin to leave and most importantly: tell them to watch their backs, bad things happen to unwelcome visitors in the woods.
No. 1077839 ID: 51565b

Authoritative, ominous, excellent. No notes lol
No. 1077840 ID: 270f66

Cool, racism! Is it typical for people to not think of bolds as people?

Don't react yet. We don't want these people to know we're about to come down on them. Make polite conversation and get directions to their camp. We may do some hunting ourselves, and we'd appreciate experienced woodsmen to help us dress our kill.
No. 1077841 ID: d4d22b

Ask them if they're aware that kobolds can speak and have intelligent conversation. Or just otherwise ask if they're aware kobolds are generally sapient.
No. 1077845 ID: 273c18

Poor things. Their society is so warped they have no proper definition of what an animal is.
Best clear things up. Tell them you misspoke. It's YOUR terrritory. They can't be here.
No. 1077846 ID: eb0a9c

Tell the elves that the cutebolds and goblins are under your jurisdiction, as you claimed these lands by conquest from The Fangs.
Which means they're poaching in front of the owner. Please take the meat and leave.
No. 1077852 ID: 4d8b77

It's important to not react to this like a child and fly off the handle because your friends are getting bullied. We are on the cusp of being a political force in the world; that's what we are on the way to do right this moment, cement our alliance with the local powers. Culture and bigotry aren't non-factors, but the real issue in this case is that the kobolds aren't influential enough for their neighbors to recognize their borders. So if this is really upsetting to you, then you should focus on our original task and not get distracted dealing with these yokels.
No. 1077857 ID: dc13c4

What is up with people calling these things racist, they clearly aren't they just know the pecking order. That and poor knowledge of geological territories, or maybe just maybe this kingdom is so small that they don't even know it even exists.
No. 1077860 ID: e87a15

They phrased it as kobolds being animals. They didn't even acknowledge them as a tribe, let alone a kingdom. They thought we were warning them in the same way you might tell someone "hey be careful there's bobcats in these woods," rather than saying "hey wtf are you doing poaching on someone else's land."
No. 1077865 ID: eb7ce4

obviously we must hunt THEM
No. 1077866 ID: a3fe2e

Murdering random hunters who don't know any better doesn't seem like the smart choice. They're not openly hostile so for all we know they could just not know any better. Still it's in our best interest to educate them on the matter and if we MUST engage in a little "gentle persuasion" so be it.
No. 1077872 ID: b3eab7

Death would be both going too far and counterproductive (they wouldn't be able to carry the message). Sending them both with a warning (of nature to determine, up to and including a missing finger -- a powerful warning for hunters) would work better.
No. 1077873 ID: 273c18

We can just kill ONE of them, the other one can carry the message.
No. 1077874 ID: 53560f

“You seem to misunderstand. When I say you have encroached upon kobold territory, I do not refer to it as an insignificant detail, I mean that the kobolds have sought the aid of local powers to assist them in preserving their rarely respected borders and that you may be in quite real danger being here without invitation. I myself am here on a diplomatic mission to speak with the local tribes on behalf on one such power.”
No. 1077877 ID: 55b381

Borders don't mean anything if nobody knows about them and unknowable laws can't be fairly enforced. If the kobolds want this recognized as their land, they'll have to be proactive. Or start attacking people that enter, but that's liable to get them wiped out.
No. 1077883 ID: 6bd1fc

The kobolds don't bother you much, I see. Do you bother the kobolds? Tislomer, could you tell these gentlemen whether they bother you? Do you think the kobolds are likely to begin bothering them more than they are currently?
No. 1077885 ID: 8e4f60

Careful about starting a fight with them now. They have bows, you don't; the only real muscle you have is Ashedel, and I'm not sure she'd be that useful if the elves retreat and snipe at you from cover.
No. 1077893 ID: f9d687

Best do a preemptive scan of your surroundings, more hunters could be hiding for ambushes and I feel like the elves have just made their views on your allies pretty clear.
No. 1077906 ID: 46e818
File 170085360813.png - (15.72KB , 800x600 , 1846.png )

"Let me be more clear, then: your presence here is unwanted. Humans and elves have pressed too far into these protected woods, and its local population will no longer stand by to be harassed, encroached, and attacked.
Unless you wish to contribute to rising hostilities or help provoke an armed conflict, I would advise you stay out of these woods until such time as these matters are settled.
I expect you to be long gone by the time I return this way."

>"'Local population'-- what, these creatures?"
No. 1077907 ID: 46e818
File 170085373074.png - (13.48KB , 800x600 , 1847.png )

>"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend your traveling monster harem. But we've the right to take whatever we can hunt, and these woods aren't 'protected' any more than a--
No. 1077908 ID: 46e818
File 170085395863.png - (18.43KB , 800x600 , 1848.png )

>"Sir, my apologies. Please forgive my impetuous brother. He's no sense when it comes to matters of civility."
>"We meant no trespass. And if it's causing offense or violence, we'll keep away. But we're just hunting to keep our family fed. And these woods... we're just hunting, not poaching -- they're wildwoods, sir, not under any royal protection."
No. 1077909 ID: ebae20

They are now. You are a prince, after all.
No. 1077910 ID: 1ab976

“I appreciate your sentiment and understanding, but perhaps educating your younger brother on polite behavior might save him a world trouble later on in life. Now take your deer and get you gone.”
No. 1077911 ID: 4b26c9

>they're wildwoods, sir, not under any royal protection

They will be soon enough. The two of you got an early notice because our paths happened to cross. I appreciate that one of you knows civility, and I'm glad we didn't have to escalate. Feel free to pass the word along in your community.
No. 1077912 ID: 9cf8d5

Oh before you go. Would Tislomer like to share her feelings about that creature remark of his?
No. 1077913 ID: 3f3d5c

See, this guy's polite. His little brother could learn a thing or two from him.
Now, I'm willing to let that harem crack slide, but on the basis of all that rudeness they need to get out of here immediately. We're gonna be doing some diplomancy over the next few however much time, and we don't need people running around getting into trouble while we're doing that.

This. Tell him it's under your royal protection now. They can get however they're prepping the deer done with, and then they need to shove off as soon as possible.
No. 1077914 ID: 0fbdcd

We're Prince Malto and they are newly under royal protection. Hence why we're here to hash things out with all relevant parties- the nearby humans and elves AND the peoples of the woods.

Technically we can't be mad about that monster harem wisecrack because we're fucking Ash so he's not wrong.
No. 1077915 ID: 6be8c9

The details will have to be worked out much later. Disallowing all outside hunting may not end up being the right thing to do.

Don't make promises you can't keep. Don't say this place is under your protection unless you want to police it.

Just warn them to expect things to change. Let them keep the meat. Say you don't intend to let their families go hungry, either. (We'll have to work out a way to at least avoid making enemies here)
And let the slight go. You want to be an inclusive ruler? Expect worse than that.
No. 1077916 ID: ce619a

>traveling monster harem

"I can assure you, sir, that only two of the three ladies here desire that and I've only had sex with one of them."
No. 1077920 ID: 8f9bc4

It's possible they pursued this deer all the way from outside the Wildwood, and it merely passed away in a most inconvenient spot. Regardless, they are only hunting for food, and they probably don't even know there are kobolds here. Inform them that the woods are under your protection, and there are families here that need to eat too. The elves can have their deer, but not the antlers, which as not-poachers they wouldn't even want. Things might be changing around here, so they should know to be more careful of hunting here in the future.

Then strap the antlers to your head and announce yourself to the kobold village as their new Deer King
No. 1077923 ID: 7b65e9

This one seems reasonable.
Ask him to come with you, so the forest dwellers could hear his version and hopefully sort things out. I'm sure they could still hunt there if they give a part of their catch to the local village, and everyone would be happy.

Hell, they seem like competent hunters, maybe they could help YOU locating the horse? eh?
No. 1077925 ID: 8e4f60

Huh, looks like older brother at least has a sense of self-preservation.

What I'm wondering is - where did Finesse slip off to? Did she slip out of sight as soon as the Elves were in sight? Did she know the elves would shoot her on sight? Is she just hiding behind Ashedel? Is she sneaking around the elves to take them from behind? (that would be surprising as I seem to recall she's not much of a fighter) Or did she just happen to be out of frame?
No. 1077926 ID: 273c18

Just tell them to keep clear of the kobold areas for now, you'll contact the elves later when you have something more official to work out.
No. 1077931 ID: dc13c4

Fuck it, just cut off one of their fingers and let them go on their merry way. To be honest, what will stop them from doing something like this again, this sends them a message that we are not to be messed with and that we are ruthless.
No. 1077937 ID: 6be8c9

Should elves not also be welcome in our kingdom? More immediately, do we want them as enemies? These aren't governments, they're hungry people. And there are sure to be more of them than us.
No. 1077939 ID: 93d066

At this point, it would be good to set the authority of the project that is in the making. After all, we have several allies in the region and our influence will only expand.
No. 1077942 ID: 4b26c9

What would their motivation be? Help us locate the sacred animal, so that we could unite local "animals" under our banner and make this forest off-limits for future hunting?
No. 1077944 ID: df147e

He sounds jealous that he DOESN'T have a monster harem.
No. 1077951 ID: 9cb46c

mercy will serve us far better than retribution. Don't do that finger cutting thing, that is crazy and useless. Enforcement of these new boundaries must be a gradual scale of reaction.
No. 1077969 ID: 46e818
File 170094935396.png - (14.77KB , 800x600 , 1849.png )

Yes, it's best to approach this slowly, especially as I've not even spoken to the local elders. And there's no reason to reprimand them too harshly for violating an order that doesn't even exist yet, let alone for trying to feed their family.

"Very well. Finish your kill and be on your way. But you would do well to learn respect for your betters."
>"Thank you. Good day, sir."

"When you get back to your village, tell your elders that change is on the wind. These woods will have much to say in short order."
No. 1077970 ID: 46e818
File 170094938594.png - (10.30KB , 800x600 , 1850.png )

"There. They're leaving, and we'll be making these woods a protected land soon enough.
Satisfied, Tislomer?"
No. 1077972 ID: 46e818
File 170094940650.png - (10.42KB , 800x600 , 1851.png )

>"They're lying."
No. 1077974 ID: 273c18

About hunting for food? Does she know for sure? If so, we can kill them.
No. 1077975 ID: 8463d1

Exactly what are they lying about because that might be fine or very bad. Should they keep hunting, we can handle that without fuss. Should they be planning an offensive... we may have an issue.
No. 1077976 ID: 3f3d5c

'bout what, Tis? What do your kobold eyes see?
No. 1077977 ID: d939b3

Yes, they may have been lying. We're not here to investigate a single poached deer and them lying wouldn't give us any extra authority.

Our purpose here remains unchanged.
No. 1077978 ID: f4133a

About what? Care to elaborate?
No. 1077979 ID: 93d066

Their "groveling" was one not born from true regret, so it's indeed insincere and dishonest. But if she has a deeper insight, we're all ears.
No. 1077980 ID: de3fb3

hey where'd finesse go?
No. 1077982 ID: 8f9bc4

Of course they're lying. The question is how to make them stop, no matter what they say? Attack them, and there will be more elves, many more elves, angrier and crueler ones. The village is how to do it. The other kobolds, and other creatures of the forest, such as a certain sacred horse who will remain unnamedVERITY HER NAME IS VERITY YEEEE
No. 1077984 ID: dc13c4

Hey, now I might give the suggestion of murdering them, mutilating them, but calling them liyers is where I draw the line! Now what I suggest is for us to decapitate them and impale their heads on the spears, their heads will send a message louder than any threat that we can tell them.
No. 1077994 ID: eb7ce4

are you... alright? you seem to be a bit obsessed with the name "Verity"
No. 1077995 ID: ce619a

I really hope she's not about to shank these guys.
No. 1077996 ID: 8f9bc4


Whaaat nooo me, obsessed?
No. 1078004 ID: 0fbdcd


Not our problem to personally correct two schmucks, though. Unless they've specifically wronged us in some way I see no reason to escalate. We'll be going over their heads in one way or another soon anyway.
No. 1078011 ID: dc4bad

Quite likely, though you seem to have honed in on something specific.
They were rather upfront about their ignorance, in all manners of the word, so it must be something else. If it's about leaving, should they cross us a second time they will be in for more severe, and literal, wrist strikery.
No. 1078012 ID: eb0a9c

I think this headvoice is infected! Check for demonic spoofing!
No. 1078013 ID: 53560f

Maybe they’e lying, maybe not. Either way we should continue lest we waste more time.
No. 1078042 ID: 9cb46c

listen, don't guide what she says with our own thoughts.

what are they lying about, tislomer?
No. 1078044 ID: 46e818
File 170102630193.png - (19.54KB , 800x600 , 1852.png )

>"How are you going to bring all that meat home to your family? And you don't even have ropes or buckets or packs for it, so what, are you gonna just take the whole thing home and butcher it there??
>Who's gonna carry it?? You're both too small!
>Where's your cart?? Your donkey?? Your sled???"
No. 1078045 ID: 1ab976

Watch and observe, maybe one is going to hoist it over their shoulders? It’s a possibility but unlikely…

Actually what am I saying, Tislomer is a hunter herself she would know better than anyone about hunting. So if they don’t have any of this then what the hells are they actually doing?
No. 1078046 ID: 15209a

They already said it was a bad place to finish the hunt, so it could make sense they don't have those things on them.

The incriminating part is that the elf was about to start skinning without retrieving them. They are here for fur, not meat.

You can call them out on it, but it doesn't change the facts. We can't punish them for violating a law that doesn't exist in a land we don't control.
No. 1078047 ID: 4b26c9

We are allying with the forest dwellers, but this is an investigation and we must not assume malice and aggression as the primary motivation. Let's give th elves an opportunity to answer Tislomer's questions.
No. 1078048 ID: ce619a

Most likely trophy hunters. Just here for the antlers and/or pelts.
Which is very strange, I've never known elves to be this disrespectful of nature to hunt only for sport or profit.

After all their implications that kobolds are animals we could rub their racist noses in it by pointing out Tislomer's deductive skills outsmarting them here. However, chiding rarely every changes a bigot's demeanor, so we might want present it in a way that extols Tislomer and kobolds rather than denigrate these hunters.
No. 1078049 ID: eb0a9c

I wanna see them carry that whole carcass. If they can't, then we can help carve it up and both parties leave with what they can carry.
No. 1078053 ID: dc13c4

They do need to hear this they are trained professionals, and it is clear that they will put the deer in their pocket. Honestly, it is like amateur hovers with you.
No. 1078058 ID: d46777

Calm down, Tislomer. You make excellent observations but they might just be the ones who were left behind by or ran in advance of a group with all the proper gear so that they could get started faster.
There might even be more of them hiding around at this very moment.
Anger won't help anyone.
No. 1078059 ID: 28fe46

Yeah, I like that.
"Excellent deductions, Tislomer. I knew it was wise to bring a kobold along; nothing escapes your keen senses." Something like that.

I absolutely love the energy of going "go ahead, carry your kill back home :)." Maybe we can actually angle that so it's not antagonistic; offering to carve it up with them like you suggested, saying that "no matter your true purpose here, it would be wasteful to not make proper use of your kill." To share food with someone is a universal sign of good will; to help prepare food is much the same, if we can muster up the will to continue acting friendly.
No. 1078062 ID: f14228

Basic sleds can be made from rope and local materials with some know-how. They could also make several trips if it's not too far.

But... if it can be established they were not intending to take it all, that does make it even more curious why elves of all people would waste nature's bounty. Especially when there are those nearby who could also benefit from it, whether through trade or, more appropriately, as part of their natural cut for allowing others to hunt within their home grounds. A right that local rulers - nobles, kings and chiefs - have insisted on having for themselves through history. Laws have been laid down, harsh ones for the breaking of, hence a hunter's natural fear of being perceived as a poacher.

Which makes it pertinent to establish how they intend to transport their kill and from where they are based.

Further, Tislomer did say that sometimes her people disappear. Could hunters like they be part of the problem? Does 'the kobolds don't trouble us' mean 'they're no trouble to take care of', is that it?

If they answer your questions true and swear to that they have not - and will not - trouble or harm the local tribe, you can still let them leave with the warning you gave before, but mention that they should hold off on hunting in this part of the forest until you've discussed matters with the tribe and others living nearby. It seems past time to establish something formal.

And if they did not even intend to take all the meat, you will bring the rest to the kobolds and say that diplomatically it's best if this'll be considered as a tribute for hunting on kobold lands and that their wasteful actions here will be... considered in any upcoming discussions regarding hunting rights that you intend to have. For you see little good reason for it.

If no convincing reason for these circumstances can be proffered, it may be that they are - to voice a paranoid thought - deliberately overhunting game in the vicinity to make meat more scarce for the local 'monstrous' tribe. Which is a very passive-agressive sort of thing to do, and perhaps more in line with a sort of longterm thinking of not forcing direction confrontation while still managing to make a problem disappear - eventually. If there's not enough food in the area, if their lone hunters and gatherers disappear here and there, the kobolds of Blue Trees would diminish and be driven to ever more desperate straits, perhaps even leaving, eventually.

But that's a dark train of thought. One to put a pin on, and keep in mind, but maybe not presume. There could be a simpler reason.

They could be feeding a group far closer to here. If the elves live (or a larger group of them are secretly camped) nearby after all, that's a somewhat different matter. A matter of encroachment, which should be addressed with haste, before further acts of overreach and neighborly conflict occurs. Territories are serious things to address, especially when there is so little respect for one of the parties to begin with. It is clearly something you would want to get ahead of if elves have moved in close to Blue Trees.

One thing seems for sure. The shorter one does not consider kobolds to be on his level at all.

Yet you doubt he'd be happy if humans or dwarves came close to his home and overtaxed his family's local game without permission. So why should he expect Tislomer and her kin to be any less upset? There's zero difference in how he or a kobold would feel regarding territorial intrusion and food safety. You both have families to feed - or so they say.
No. 1078063 ID: 15209a

Putting these two on trial or lecturing them is a waste of our time. They're just two people out of many. Until we can back up what we say, the messages we send would only hurt our position. Unless you somehow manage to convince them and start a bottom up movement, but what are the odds of that?
No. 1078064 ID: d4d22b

They hunt and skin animals. They consider kobolds animals. I'm not saying we should jump to any conclusions here but...
No. 1078065 ID: 46e818

And yet it's clearly important to Tislomer, and how our liaison feels about our mission will probably affect how the mission goes.
Hard to get her to tell her clan that we're here to protect the woods if we've proved, to her own eyes, we don't really care.

We're not just managing cold diplomacy, we're handling people.
No. 1078066 ID: 8f9bc4

I'm sure they can demonstrate their skilled handling of the deer, and get all the meat back to their families. Just give them a moment to remove their shirts and reveal their RIPPED ELVEN PECS.
No. 1078067 ID: 0fbdcd

Elves: reveal that you're fuckin YOKED and hoist that deer.
No. 1078079 ID: 93d066

Its a good point. But they could simply have all that and more just down the road or in some clearance.

After all, you don't go deer hunting in the back of an ox or a donkey and the deer seems to be just freshly killed.
No. 1078111 ID: 42caf0

It is diplomacy and people. It's respecting their autonomy. People don't like it when you show up and try to solve their problems on their behalf without asking. What if we bring retribution on the kobolds for something they had no part in?
No. 1078116 ID: 46e818

Being a leader also means keeping your people happy, not just telling them what to do. Tislomer's got opinions here, this is her homeland, and to her this is emblematic of what's wrong in the area. Do you think it'll turn out well if we just tell her she's wrong? Especially since we need her for this mission?
No. 1078145 ID: 46e818
File 170111564672.png - (15.17KB , 800x600 , 1853.png )

>"Okay, okay, yes. We're just here for the pelt, the antlers, and the heart.
>I lied because you already seemed angry and we weren't looking to start a fight."

"So, you were going to leave the carcass here?"

>"The forest is full of animals that would be happy to pick it down to bones. They have to eat, too."
>"Look, I don't think this changes anything. We'll take our cut and we'll all be on our way."
No. 1078147 ID: 46e818
File 170111594409.png - (10.88KB , 800x600 , 1854.png )

Hm. On the one hand, she's right -- I don't think this information necessarily changes my above conclusion. This was still done before any kind of rule or decree was made, it's a single incident, and they are just lowly hunters.

On the other hand, they hold no regard for the locals I'm here to help in the first place, and Tislomer is clearly upset about this act not just as itself but as symbolic of ongoing elven incursions into the region. Seems she expects some sort of action to be taken.

Plus, they've lied to their betters. To me. Shows a lack of respect and propriety, and a personal insult.

I'm not quite sure how to react to this, but I think I'll have to consider factors larger than myself for this one.
No. 1078149 ID: 8f9bc4

Deer king. Deeeeer king.
No. 1078152 ID: 7bcf1e

Hmm. They seem young, perhaps this is some test of manhood within their clan or family? Regardless, opportunity knocks.

"Gentlemen, you have an opportunity to make reparations to the folk of the forest. The antlers and heart are yours, but the meat will go to the people of these woods. I ask that you hold off on taking the pelt for now until such time that the carcass can be delivered without risk of it spoiling. After such a time, you may take your prizes."
No. 1078155 ID: 1dc54c

First of all: no violence. If we have to punish them somehow, I don't know, deny them the spoils, send them back empty-handed.
Do not escalate into something until we know what we're escalating into.
No. 1078157 ID: d4d22b

It seems like they didn't want to start trouble and were very well unaware they were causing trouble to begin with. Well, at least the smarter of the two seems that way. Surely it would be enough for them to simply spread the word? I'm sure Tislomer, upset as she is, wouldn't want them to face serious punishment if they at the very least apologized and tried to make up for it.
No. 1078158 ID: eb0a9c

Yeah, no. I expect this kind of disrespect for natural resources from humans, but elves? These brats need to learn how valuable hunting is and how scarce they're making game for the rest of the inhabitants.
"You want choice parts? Fine... but you're going to carve up the rest of the deer, and carry the meat to my storage area. Now."
No. 1078160 ID: e68aaa

Why not ask the hunters to haul their kill to the kobolds with you and ask for forgiveness, if they didn't ask permission? They can offer the kobolds the meat they don't want to take - they're planning to leave it anyway, and the kobolds may appreciate the food and bones and sinews enough to let it pass, since it'll save them some time and risk with their usual hunting. The hunters get what they came for and for the low cost of the time and effort in hauling the thing around, they buy off some of the kobolds' anger and help promote peace in the area a little longer. You can explain that diplomatic reasoning to them, and even offer to act as diplomat to help cool the kobolds down. Perhaps you can even get Tislomer to agree to help a little with the hauling, so the first thing the local kobolds see is another kobold being part of this... team. That would cool things. And it could lure the elves close enough to interact with the kobolds as people, and shift their attitudes a little, particularly if you can persuade the kobolds to be friendly to them.

If you and, more importantly, your companions could stomach a little deception, you could even try make it seem like this was all planned. You heard about tensions, you got some hunters to get a deer, here's the deer as a gift to the kobolds, and the hunters are taking some traditional elf animal-honoring payment or something in the form of the antlers, skin and heart. Very reasonable. Or perhaps you could say some hunters wanted to hunt, asked you how they could do that while respecting the kobolds, and you proposed they take their small share and offer the kobolds the rest as payment. Both could be effective, and you may be able to phrase the explanations in terms that aren't even technically lies, but Tislomer will probably be uncomfortable at least with it and may not be capable of going along with it. Honesty may be better.

If the hunters refuse, even after all of that is explained... why, if they think the kobolds could perhaps understand this as part of a pattern of bad behaviour and be angry about it, then they DON'T think of them as animals after all, do they? In which case they can't even excuse themselves as ignorant to the moral principles of their actions. If they turn down the diplomatic compromise path you've offered, then that has the secondary benefit of giving you much more reasonable justification for being... harsh.
No. 1078162 ID: 273c18

Make them apologize. To you, and to Tislomer.
No. 1078165 ID: 973d0f

All shall be forgiven if they pay the tax for their hunting and racism, yes there is going to be a tax for rasizam. It will work like the N-word pass.
No. 1078166 ID: 13039e

What's with all this talk of betters and lowly hunters, anyway? You don't know them and they don't know you. You may regard them better than they regard kobolds, but it still stinks of hypocrisy.
No. 1078174 ID: ce619a

Let's be honest here, you're a deposed prince who no longer holds any practical station beyond what little land and servants you've personally secured. This is also no courtly venue, they have no idea who you are or were.
Most importantly, neither party here has even introduced themselves, let alone formally.
The basic standards of propriety have not been established for this meeting, so holding them accountable for slights against your name or station is absurd under these circumstances. We should probably introduce ourselves first next time.

The only slight that holds merit is the one against Tislomer's people and land.
For this the only justifiable recourse against these elves would be to deny them their trophies. As they said, the beasts of the forest can make a meal of it and so they shall- without the hunters partaking in the feast.
No. 1078176 ID: d038f1

Tell them to find stones to build a cairne over the deer. Its already implied a deer creature is sacred to the kobolds of the region, elf invasion is regular, they lied to you, and as is common with fucking knife-ears they see others as lesser. They cant have the corpse. Dont even let them try to dress it. I would say have them dig a grave for it, but they dont have shovels. So stone cairne it is. You arent killing them but they dont get the fruits of their poaching.
No. 1078177 ID: d038f1

The fuck do they need the heart for anyway? Thats sus to me.
No. 1078178 ID: 46e818

Muschio is a noble. Hunters are peasants.
No. 1078179 ID: d46777

Just let them have their meager trophies. They've been dismissive and small minded assholes but it's hardly a shock to hear it. The Maltos were the outliers when it came to their view.
We really shouldn't be punishing them harshly, either. The worse we treat them here and now the worse the story they'll tell their fellows back home which will not only make them treat the inhabitants of this forest even worse but be out to get revenge on us specifically and we are in no position to deal with organized hostility yet.

Let Tislomer oversee their work so that they don't damage too much of the meat then have it quartered so you and your group can carry it. The meat will make for a great gift to the first village you come across.
No. 1078182 ID: debc82


So they're poaching, plain and simple, in land that isn't their's against people they don't even respect.

... yeah, that's not good. Let Tislomer decide their fates.
No. 1078185 ID: dc13c4

Muschio this is one huge waste of time, this is practically listening to the complaints of your trash collector that there are some hobos littering all over your street. Just walk past them, if your trash collector is so butthurt about all of this let her deal with them, just continue on this is pointless. Seriously why are we still here listening to their stupid explanations this is so dumb so fucking dumb. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKKKKKK!!!

Ok, I got that out of my system just kill them and continue on your merry way and if this leads to the family dying well sucks for them never put all your eggs in one basket.
No. 1078188 ID: 3f3d5c

First of all, that's incredibly wasteful. While I'm sure the animals won't mind the free meal, it's not like they need help. That is a lot of meat that they're poaching just to throw to the wilderness, when we just said that this is kobold territory. And no, kobolds don't count as wildlife.
Second, I agree with >>1078177. There's no reason to take the heart over everything else on the body barring some kind of ritual; practical or symbolic. That's incredibly suspicious. You should ask them why they want it.

> Seems she expects some sort of action to be taken.
Okay. You want an action?
We should take the deer. If you want to give them any of the parts as a gesture of goodwill, that's up to you. Antlers, pelt, or heart.
But I personally wouldn't leave them squat.
No. 1078192 ID: 93d066

Second this, It can be a golden "N" in a parchment or a carved "R" out of Iron wood.

And this, they get to go home but empty-handed.
No. 1078207 ID: d46777

The heart is one of the best pieces of meat on an animal.
No. 1078210 ID: 0fbdcd

Oh! You just want the valuable parts and you'll let the local animals have the meat? That sounds like a grand idea.
Pick it up and follow us, we were headed to the local "animals" just now. You can have the pelt in exchange for delivering a fresh meal.
No. 1078211 ID: b3eab7

Capture them and take them to the kobold leaders since your own authority here isn't formally established. Let them plead their case!
No. 1078212 ID: 273c18

How about, as punishment for lying to you, they get whatever Tislomer says they can have.
No. 1078213 ID: 831c0e

I mean food, ritual sacrifices to the god of the green throne, their pretty much the same thing
No. 1078228 ID: 4d8b77

Wait, what exactly are they doing? Is this sport hunting? They implied that they were still doing this to eat, but then why didn't they come equipped to hunt? I had assumed that we just couldn't see their gear before, but that doesn't make a lick of sense. If you were hunting miles and miles away from home you'd come with more kit, not less. Camping supplies, at least. I mean, we've barely left home and food and defense are still concerns for us.

In addition, the way the older one admitted to his 'lie' is the exact way someone refreshes a lie that isn't serving them anymore. I'm starting to think that they might be looking for the same thing we are, that sacred horse. The strange story and the timing are too suspect. We need to surprise, restrain and interrogate them. There might be more parties searching for the horse as well. Worse comes to worse and we're wrong, well, it's not like this encounter was that much of diplomatic win anyway.
No. 1078233 ID: eb7ce4

You make a good point, a strikingly good one. I think this man just hit the nail on the head for this one.
No. 1078239 ID: 7ba4c9

We caught the elf about to start skinning the deer. And wouldn't they need that equipment for the horse, too? It would be more concerning if the horse wasn't already missing.

Might as well send for the denlings now if we're going to get paranoid. They'll take some time to get here.
No. 1078287 ID: 46e818
File 170129895908.png - (12.14KB , 800x600 , 1855.png )

Very well, I think we have a plan.

I confer with Tislomer to make sure she accepts.
No. 1078288 ID: 46e818
File 170129912717.png - (14.16KB , 800x600 , 1856.png )

"Well, my elven friends!

It's very mindful of you to offer to bring this kill as offering to the local kobold tribe. In fact, my entourage will help you carry it there.
I'll be sure to put in a good word for you on delivery of this gift. No doubt it will be a lasting gesture towards amelioration of the division between your two peoples.
And I'll even ask that you be granted the pelt and antlers in exchange for your part in the deal.

Now, grab a sturdy branch and some lashings. We have a tribute to deliver."
No. 1078291 ID: ad0909

Tally-ho, lads! Away to the village we go!
No. 1078292 ID: dc13c4

Ah come on can't we just satb them, just one little satb. I mean they are racist so that makes it okay, that is how it works, right?
No. 1078294 ID: eb7ce4

wait, does tislomer know the animal? quietly ask her when they kill the animal, what do they usually take? i know its usually everything, but if they couldn't, whats the most important parts?
No. 1078295 ID: e68aaa

Sounds good, boss! So how awkwardly are they glancing at each other after that proposal?
No. 1078303 ID: 93d066

Put blindfolds on them, no need to reveal the location of the village to them. Just be sure to lead them properly while they carry the load.
No. 1078316 ID: aebd26

Now now, let's not make this look like we're escorting hostages, shall we?
It might be better that their elven eyes see the culture and civilization of those they call animals.
No. 1078317 ID: 8f9bc4

This is a bad idea...
No. 1078325 ID: 46e818
File 170137842699.png - (13.46KB , 800x600 , 1857.png )

>"Hey, here's a fun question: why the hell would we want to do that?"
No. 1078326 ID: 46e818
File 170137849384.png - (13.99KB , 800x600 , 1858.png )

>"Because if you come limping empty-handed back to your village and tell your elders you got whipped bloody for disrespecting a traveling noble, every last one of them is going to say you deserved it and go on with their lives."
No. 1078327 ID: 17f024

.... Damn! Sassy! I approve. Stand up straight Muschio, you're a noble after all.
No. 1078328 ID: a01236

Is Muschio still a noble? What was he doing between getting deposed and taking over the base, again?

Whatever, it's not like they need to know. But I think we would do well not to overestimate our power and worth to others.

Regardless, if this is the route we're going, reemphasize and keep the tone of >>1078288
suggest that they'll be glad they made this decision when things change
No. 1078329 ID: debc82


I believe this is what they call getting ... gob-smacked.
No. 1078333 ID: 46e818

stop posting anytime
No. 1078334 ID: dc13c4

Oh, don't mind me I just wanted to see how long I could make the word.
No. 1078335 ID: eb7ce4

arent you a quest author? how would you like if other people started posting braindead posts on *your* threads?
No. 1078336 ID: dc13c4

that would be fun
No. 1078345 ID: 0fbdcd

Subtly high-five her when the opportunity arises, and back up her position. Our tone should be that going along with our bullshit will be better for them and bold/elf relations.

It might not even be a lie! It's hard to pretend Kobolds aren't people if you share a meal with them.
No. 1078347 ID: 4d8b77

Being deposed means you aren't landed, not that you are no longer of noble birth, There are generally plenty of unlanded nobles regardless of the specifics how nobility is treated. More importantly, everybody probably already thinks he is of high birth just because of the way that he talks, that is as a very well educated man.

Finnie's little flourish on there, referring to Muschio as a 'traveling' noble is very clever. It implies that he is from abroad, as opposed to having travelled probably half the distance or less that the elves have, but technically he is travelling at this very moment so it's hardly a lie.

All Muschio has to do is follow the lead of his smarter, funnier and better looking second in command and not immediately trip over his own dick. I give it about five minutes.
No. 1078349 ID: 273c18

No. 1078353 ID: 93d066

Finnie telling it like it is.
Maybe she could give them pointers on how to tie the branches to better carry the carcass.
No. 1078390 ID: 7b65e9

And as proof of concept: Ashedel, care to make a demonstration of skills? I'm sure they'll be more receptive once you do....
No. 1078395 ID: dc13c4

I been thinking and violence is not the answer, nor is making them carry the body of the prey. Who are we to tell them who they can live, hunt, or think? They are wasteful hunters, more meat for us, they think that kobolds are an inferior race that is their stupid opinion. We wasted so much time talking around in circles, it is clear that the younger one doesn't want to change his mind.
No. 1078413 ID: 46e818
File 170145740223.png - (22.27KB , 800x600 , 1859.png )

And with that, we're on our way.

Perhaps there is wisdom to be gained here. As you say, maybe there is no changing their opinion directly, not with mere discussion, at least.
Even if not every last elf believes in peace, in their heart of hearts, it can still be brokered if the right actions are enforced.

And speaking of actions, I should assess my intent once I arrive at the kobold village. Obviously gathering information on the sacred beast is my priority, but what else should I focus on while I'm there? The locals will surely have much for me, and I will have much for them.
Best to hatch my plan of action on the way.
No. 1078416 ID: 8a8a6e

I think it will be most advantageous in the long run to give more to the kobolds then they give to us. We won't be able to get much from them without it being seen as encroaching. We should help them establish themselves and set ourselves up as their ally.
No. 1078417 ID: ce619a

Definitely don't talk about the sacred animal until these elves are long gone, first off.
As your kobold diplomat, let Tislomer announce your party to the village. Then let her mingle a bit to calm both her and the locals before getting down to business. A positive disposition will do wonders for info gathering and negotiation.
No. 1078426 ID: aebd26

We can build ties through shared information or through shared action. The former is easier, the latter is more effective long-term.

We can start by setting up an agreement to keep each other up to date. The village is in danger from an outside threat. If we can spare a part of our platoon on regular patrols on the forest borders, we can keep the village appraised of what humans or elves are up to.
In exchange... I don't actually know if the locals have any valuable information for us - except the sacred animal, of course.

The end-goal is to foster loyalty. The first step is helping them feel secure. If that pans out, we can work on economic and cultural ties.
No. 1078428 ID: 93d066

Be sure to check on the lil' 'bold girl we save way back in the day.
No. 1078430 ID: 53560f

Priority should be to meet with local leaders to learn about local issues and to ingratiate ourselves a bit.
No. 1078432 ID: e68aaa

I think the local kobolds and other forest inhabitants have an issue in not being recognized as legitimate by more... 'civilized' peoples. Most such folk rely on having a designated lord or lady to act as their defender and representative to the rest of the world. If they don't have one, they're free game. Perhaps you should begin to consider laying the groundwork for eventually extending your domain as a protectorate over these lands? You are not longer in a position of being protected by secrecy and anonymity, so you should start moving to secure some more open power,resource and reputation. Of course, you'll have to continue to build their respect first, but then you are here for that among other things. It'll be a long project. You have to see to other responsibilities, that sort of thing... but a long road has to have its first steps taken. At least you could plot how it should go. You were educated to administer to a considerable domain, and it would be a shame not to put those skills to work.
No. 1078433 ID: eb0a9c

Meanwhile, In The Future:
"Nyan Nyaaa~ Higher! Higher!"
No. 1078469 ID: 831c0e

Rudy Mann is this close to becoming canon
No. 1078487 ID: 46e818
File 170155251956.png - (22.08KB , 800x600 , 1860.png )

After a short hike, we arrive, at last, at the kobold village. I've not been here myself since I recruited Tislomer and Babrakus. It feels like a lifetime ago.

The oldest trees of the woods grow here, dizzyingly tall and grand, carved to warrenhomes for the locals, but somehow still living. Their needled canopies stretch across the sky, leaving only filtered sunlight streaming through.

There are only a few kobolds out and about right now, tending to crafts or chores, but lights in the trees belie the population's sparse appearance, and the earthy, nostalgic smell of multiple cooking fires fills the air.
No. 1078488 ID: 46e818
File 170155254675.png - (12.19KB , 800x600 , 1861.png )

>"What the heck??? Who painted all the trees green?!"
No. 1078496 ID: eb0a9c

Maybe they're not supposed to be blue every single year? Or maybe they were filtering out centuries of toxic chemicals and finally finished.

Time to present the feast.
No. 1078497 ID: 8b1abb

is the village actually called Blue Trees? Does anyone else call it that?
No. 1078499 ID: d46777

Maybe they're green because they're candy for real this time.
Go try a tree. Try three, just to make sure.
No. 1078501 ID: ce619a

I wonder if it's Tislomer that changed. She did get her face half-blown off and then magically reformed, after all.
We shouldn't jump to conclusions though. Once she starts mingling with her people we should quickly find out what developments have occurred since we were here last.
No. 1078502 ID: 93d066

When talking to the locals, please confirm that indeed the village is called "Blue trees".
No. 1078526 ID: 4d8b77

Tislomer is very silly.
No. 1078541 ID: 273c18

True. Maybe she lost that part of her vision.
No. 1078542 ID: 831c0e

Are those just kobold flags or has someone else claimed the territory?
No. 1078555 ID: aebd26

Do not, I repeat, do not mock Tislomer's ability to perceive color.

Instead, approach the nearest kobold and ask for directions to their elder / bold-in-charge.
No. 1078596 ID: 46e818
File 170165389131.png - (19.43KB , 800x600 , 1862.png )

While Ashedel and the elves begin unloading the kill, I should make contact with the local leadership.

"Excuse me."
>"Oh. Hullo, I know you. You're the nice pointy face."
"Ah, that's... so glad to see I'm a known entity here. This is the village of Blue Trees, is it not?"
>"Uh. Yuh."
"And where might I find your elder, or elder council?"
>"Um. Go in that big tree right there. But they're pretty busy so they might not wanna talk to you."
No. 1078599 ID: 273c18

Ask if the trees are blue.
No. 1078601 ID: eb0a9c

Ask if anything changed while you were away.
No. 1078602 ID: 4d8b77

I was starting to wonder if this village even had any kind of leadership at all. Good thing they remember you too. This might actually not be too hard, which would be nice for a change of pace.
No. 1078604 ID: ce619a

If we're still talking to this guy, tell him that Tislomer can't see the blue trees anymore and ask if something's happened to the area since you were last here or if it's just her eyesight that's changed.
Also tell him about the elves offering the deer to their settlement, but don't tell them about your involvement in the offering until we know it's a positive thing to offer them that deer. You know, just in case it's sacred or special.
No. 1078609 ID: 1ab976

Busy with what? This could be a further attempt to get in good graces as a mediator.
No. 1078626 ID: 0fbdcd

Immediately bust in like you're some sort of cool important guy.
No. 1078631 ID: b3eab7

Tell this bold you came bearing a gift, it might interest the council.
No. 1078637 ID: a66bd2

Ask him why tree blue?
No. 1078643 ID: debc82


Thank the nice 'bold and go enquire with the local leadership.
No. 1078651 ID: 46e818
File 170174005192.png - (10.17KB , 800x600 , 1863.png )

"Can you tell me if there have been any significant events here recently?"

>"Uh? Oh, you mean what's news? Um, more elves and humans comin' in and causing trouble I guess. Everyone's pretty worried. Also the Red One is missing."

"I've escorted two elves here with a fresh kill as a gift for the village, I hope this gesture is not taken badly."

>"I dunno. I don't really do that. I just dye stuff."

Well, at least it doesn't provoke an immediate negative response.
No. 1078653 ID: 46e818
File 170174016803.png - (15.36KB , 800x600 , 1864.png )

Finesse and I approach the place the elders are gathered. An immense, ancient tree, still budding and sprouting despite being so deeply carved into. A large kobold stands at the door.

"Hello. I would seek an audience with the elders of Blue Trees."
>"Okay. I can go ask. What do you want to talk about, and who are you?"
No. 1078654 ID: 3f3d5c

We are Muschio Malto, the nice pointy face, along with our traveling monster harem.
No. 1078655 ID: 06cca8

What is the overall cause of men and elves encroaching on your woodland? I would like to broker a peace if possible. As a sign of good will some elves are willing to share their fresh kill of deer with you. I also seek information regarding a sacred horse.
No. 1078656 ID: ce619a

Uhh... where's Tislomer?
Being our diplomat for the kobold tribe is kind of why we brought her along. Better collect her first before we gain our audience.
No. 1078669 ID: 8f9bc4

Pff... she really is tasting the trees isn't she.

Wait you fool! You've allowed the villain to slip out of your grasp! He practically just confessed right there in front of you! Clearly the dyer has dyed all the blue trees green!
No. 1078670 ID: eb0a9c

"I'm the guy that slew Red Fang. And I have news; the Fangs are fully dismantled. The least insane two are working for me and my ally, the rest are dead.

We're here because of your sacred beast. We heard they were sick or something."
No. 1078675 ID: 53560f

“I am Muschio Malto, I visited this village some time ago where I cured a young bold of a strange affliction and hired two others. I am here to discuss securing the allegiance of your village well as local issues I may be able to assist with.”
No. 1078681 ID: 93d066

"I'm Muschio Malto, healer of mysterious ailments, slayer of the scourge Red Fang and overall pointy face nice guy friendly next door overlord."
No. 1078699 ID: 2e77d7

We're Mushy Malto, that guy who cured that one little girl and killed the Fang Clan raiders. Here for a few reasons. To follow up on rumors of a sacred beast in need of help, to present a gift from the nearby elves, and if things go well on those two fronts to propose some formal alliances/maybe we be your local Lord type things.
No. 1078808 ID: 4cdce9

Wait did Ridder tell him about the fangs being dismantled?
No. 1078819 ID: 46e818
File 170190799494.png - (10.97KB , 800x600 , 1865.png )

I call for Tislomer to make sure my liaison doesn't miss the meeting I brought her along for.

"My name is Muschio Malto. I'm the man who cured the sick kobold girl here. I killed Red Fang, and I rule the nearby mountain fortress.
I've come to offer my help to the village."

>"Okay. That sounds good. I'll tell them."
No. 1078821 ID: 46e818
File 170190803213.png - (9.17KB , 800x600 , 1866.png )

"This is it, the moment of truth. Any last minute advice, Tislomer?"

>"Oh, yeah!
>You should try the mint soup. It's SOOO good. Also we have candy made from those white berries and it's really good too you can just plop those in the bowl too and it's like eating candy soup."
No. 1078822 ID: 1ab976

… We’ll be sure to do that. Moving right along then.
No. 1078823 ID: eb7ce4

wait im not trying to be paranoid or anything but i wouldnt go eagerly eating everything you saw. we dont know how different is tislomer's diet from yours or the others, and it may or may not be poisonous to you if it isnt actually edible for you.
consult with Finesse and then try some of it, otherwise they might think you are insulting them if you refuse it
No. 1078824 ID: ce619a

If there's time, clarify you mean advice talking to her elders. Ask her if there's anything that will make them mad that he should avoid doing or talking about.
Damn, we really should've asked her about this sooner. Let's remember not make this mistake when we go to the goblin's settlement.
No. 1078828 ID: d4d22b

Muse on the fact that putting candy in soup isn't like candy soup, it is candy soup.
No. 1078833 ID: 0fbdcd

Maybe we should've brought Babs instead of Tislomer. She is five years old, after all.

Oh well! Just go stick your nose in their business at full steam.
No. 1078835 ID: dc4bad

y'know boss, 'mint candy soup' sounds like it'd be an interesting experience. and who knows, partaking in the local cuisine/hospitality could be a nice show of commonality with the rest of the Blue Trees kobolds, they've not seen you since your brief stop last time.
Might be less whimsical advice than it first appears.
No. 1078837 ID: 93d066

We really should get a bowl of that mint soup, or maybe ask Ash or Finnie how it was when they had it back then.
No. 1078838 ID: 3f3d5c

Note to self: See if we can bring some of that mint soup back for Babrakus. We didn't bring him along and Tislomer wanted him to try some.
No. 1078861 ID: eb0a9c

Careful, some 'mints' cause brain damage!
I think we should roast that deer.
No. 1078865 ID: 273c18

Don't forget to tell the elder about the elves.
No. 1078896 ID: 46e818
File 170199475760.png - (20.35KB , 800x600 , 1867.png )

Ashedel has opted to stay at the door, keeping watch on the elves we escorted while being near enough to respond to any call.

The guard returns and ushers Tislomer, Finesse, and myself into the chamber of the elders, which is up a couple flights of winding stairs.
No. 1078898 ID: 945bea

really hope that this "sacred horse" doesn't wind up being the deer we just offered as a peace offering
No. 1078899 ID: 46e818
File 170199507514.png - (15.83KB , 800x600 , 1868.png )

>"Be welcomed in this place, Son of Pari.
>It is an honor to receive you."
No. 1078900 ID: b0292a

Bow respectfully, not so low you look subservient, but more as equals. Greet them and present your gift to them and see what can be done to broker a peace between kobolds and elves.

We also need to show them the medallion and gather what knowledge we can on the sacred horse
No. 1078901 ID: 46e818
File 170199510743.png - (12.02KB , 800x600 , 1869.png )

I don't know the last time I heard my father's first name spoken aloud.
No. 1078902 ID: b0292a

Okay, aside from what I already said to do, ask how he knew your father.
No. 1078908 ID: eb0a9c

No small talk yet. Ask about the sacred beast and what they want done.
No. 1078909 ID: 8f9bc4

Tislomer don't forget to ask about the blue trees! Were the green ones candy?
No. 1078911 ID: ce619a

While we introduce ourselves and our intentions let's refresh our memory and think about the policies the Malto family had for non-humans and perhaps any specific deeds or events concerning interactions with the kobolds you might recall.
You know, for reference
No. 1078918 ID: debc82


They ... knew your father?
No. 1078935 ID: 53560f

“And I am truely honoured you would have me. As i’ve told your guard, I’m here for two reasons. Firstly to aid in local Issues as I’ve heard there has been issues regarding a sacred equine of sorts and secondly to humbly request you pledge yourself to me and my claim to the throne my father once sat upon.
I must of course clarify that my assistance in the first matter is not at all dependent on your chosen allegiance and I will help you regardless of your answer if you would allow me.”
No. 1078946 ID: 4d8b77

Oh my god... these old people are really hot.
No. 1078949 ID: 0fbdcd

"Honored to be here. Tell me, did you know my father?"
No. 1078973 ID: 46e818
File 170208100118.png - (20.26KB , 800x600 , 1870.png )

"You knew my father?"

>"Oh yes. I spoke to him myself when he would visit. I was elder then, too.
>Are you surprised? I am older still than I look, respected Malto. Though I keep spry, this is my 15th year already!"
No. 1078976 ID: 46e818
File 170208173411.png - (14.73KB , 800x600 , 1871.png )

>"He was a great man. The world is poorer for his absence."

"Thank you. I am honored to be here in his stead."

>"When we learned that your kingdom had fallen, the village held a week of mourning. It brings warmth to my old heart to see you live.
>Our alliance with your people gave us prosperity and protection, things we now miss. Outsiders violate these woods further every day. Even the Red One has abandoned us.
>And now I hear you have brought us a gift by elves? It is a good gesture. I hope -- I wish to believe -- that you are truly your father's son."
No. 1078977 ID: 7b65e9

There's something not right there...
Ask them what year they think it is.
Ask them about the last historical event they remember.
No. 1078984 ID: 3f3d5c

>>1078973 >>1077554
15? Dang, I was way off. Either that or mortality rates are way higher than I was thinking. Either way, that's crazy.
Anyway, if our dad helped these guys out, we can only hope to live up to his reputation. That is exactly why we're here, anyway. Well, that, and to acquire a bit of manpower. Koboldpower? I don't know anymore.

Go ahead and tell him that's why we're here. We're here to reforge the alliance, and investigate this whole business with the ‘Red One’. Also stop the humans from encroaching on their land. All that good stuff. All we're looking for in exchange is some help rebuilding our own forces. It's an amicable relationship, and we'll help however we're able.
No. 1078994 ID: 8f9bc4

the Red One... Red Fang? Do they have some history with the old dragon? They parted on unhappy terms? They don't seem perturbed about his death, if that is the Red One of whom they speak.
No. 1078999 ID: f18aa4

If only we met last time we were here. Or maybe it's better we hadn't.

Anyway, if they were already part of the kingdom, that makes things easier. There's precedent. Since it's such a short timescale, we can even try to reestablish old borders. Enforcement is another issue.

Encroachment is one thing, but it's weird that their former place in the kingdom would seemingly be forgotten. What do you remember of it, Muschio? What did the usurper do?
No. 1079002 ID: eb0a9c

>Red one
So we're looking for a Clydesdale. Wonderful.
The narcissistic horses run really fast.

Yyyeah... this doesn't add up.
If what he's saying is true, he'd be six years old when he was an elder. Which would mean Tislomer is only one year away from elderhood despite not knowing common traditions. That... requires multiple mental gymnastics.
Ask for a rundown of typical cutebold aging because all of this is weird.
No. 1079004 ID: dc4bad

Oh that's an expectation, you are your own man Boss, but in this matter at least you hold similar values.

You're building a new kingdom rather than directly reclaiming the one taken from you, and it's appropriate it starts in this forest where you gathered your first companions. It's only fitting that it's where, hopefully, you gather your first peoples.

These infringements by outsiders are something to be helped with on principle alone, but it would go without saying that if the region were to be under your influence it would likewise have your protection.

...Juuust need to get the ball rolling on an army to lend more than symbolic weight to the notion.
No. 1079005 ID: ce619a

Ask him to tell us more of the Red One and outsiders.
Particularly what kind of outsiders are showing up and their goals/actions. We've encountered some clueless sport hunters, but have any encroachments of a military or noble nature occurred?
No. 1079008 ID: 05fc82

I think Red One is what they call their sacred horse.
No. 1079016 ID: 93d066

Actually it makes sense, the coup could have taken place 5 years ago. The boss being 19 years old, means that he was 14 at the time and making the assumption that the late king came to visit in the last year of his life then it's plausible.
No. 1079066 ID: 1034ad

Actually, how long has it been since we got our base and min-friends? Feels like it’s been a decade.
No. 1079075 ID: 46e818
File 170224063970.png - (14.56KB , 800x600 , 1872.png )

"If I may ask, when did you last meet with King Malto?"

>"It was... let me see, almost five years ago now. Just a short few months before he was killed.
>Ah, you know, it was in honor of your father that I began wearing this blue mane! It became a symbol among our people. In our mourning, we even wreathed the village's tallest trees in blue.
>I have heard you are trying to reclaim the throne. I cannot speak for all my people on this matter -- not yet. There is more to be said, first. But to speak only for myself, my heart is with you. And I hope yours is with us."
No. 1079076 ID: 46e818
File 170224070590.png - (10.50KB , 800x600 , 1873.png )

>I knew the trees used to be blue!"

>"Yes, when the time of mourn--"

>"See, I wasn't crazy! I know what colors are!"
No. 1079081 ID: 3f3d5c

Huh. Yeah, she said she's five years old, so she must've been born around the time of mourning, so to her the trees were always blue. Interesting. Checks out.
Yes, yes, Tislomer, you were right. Sorry for doubting you. At least we solved the mystery.
No. 1079082 ID: 273c18

So, they changed the village's name for the time of mourning too?
No. 1079086 ID: 3743c7

>hope yours is with us.
Hah unless you are hiding massive skeletons in your closet then without a doubt at all. While the races of men did not lift a finger (barring Hookdon perhaps) your people have been nothing but helpful.
No. 1079107 ID: 1034ad

Ask about that cutebold we saved forever ago. They might be a valuable contact with the village.
No. 1079117 ID: ce619a

Tell him you intend to reform the alliance your family originally had with them.
Also, ask him more about the "Red One." If it's indeed the sacred beast we are to locate, then inquire about it's significance to the kobold people. Showing interest in the history and lore of their people will go a long way in gaining their trust.
No. 1079118 ID: 5fdb32

I hope this is the case and its not Red Fang

I would like this clarified.
No. 1079119 ID: 46e818
File 170232599427.png - (9.96KB , 800x600 , 1874.png )

>"Anyway that means I'm right and it was called Blue Trees for the blue trees."

>"Oh, no, actually, the name comes from an old story about the hero Blue Ears."
No. 1079120 ID: 46e818
File 170232602084.png - (10.69KB , 800x600 , 1875.png )

>"They say when he found this forest--"

>"Oh that's okay I don't care anymore."
No. 1079121 ID: 46e818
File 170232651704.png - (11.99KB , 800x600 , 1876.png )

"Well, on the topic of local custom, what can you tell me about this 'Red One'? I understand the disappearance has caused great trouble in these woods."

>"Yes. All tribes of the wood revere the Red One, Scfarr-Uuragg. He is a divine beast. Powerful as the oaks, graceful as the rivers.
>He stands towering like an ancient tree, but when stirred, He moves with the quickness of the wind.
>The blood in His glassy veins glisters like waterpearl. His mournful lows are the music of the world itself. Stardust follows in the wake of his mighty hoof-falls, and his mane is a fiery sunburst against the blanket of night.
>It is said he guards the woods from threats innumerable. But there has been no sighting of the Red One since last moon. We fear he has abandoned us -- or worse still, that the strangers of the wood have-- no, I cannot even speak it."
No. 1079122 ID: ce619a

definitely should've taken babrakus

Also, let's not forget to show them the replica amulet when we get the chance.
No. 1079126 ID: eb0a9c

"...We have a dragon."
Ask where the Red One was last spotted.
No. 1079128 ID: 1fccb7

This may be a good time to ask about the bone medallion we have to see if there is any connection between the two.
No. 1079141 ID: 8f9bc4

Let them know your task, foolish though it may be for a mere mortal, is to free Scfarr-Uuragg from whatever trouble is keeping him from protecting these woods. You refuse to believe he's abandoned these people, unless something changed drastically in their tribe, coinciding with the beast's disappearance. Even then, there might be another underlying cause!
No. 1079156 ID: 93d066

This will be a good time to inquire about the bone trinket. And it would be really useful if we could get a picture/drawing of the creature, or a detailed enough description, so we can make one ourselves.
No. 1079157 ID: 406c46

Once again:

We should start gathering information. Where the horse usually is, who's seen it recently, did it look or act different, has this happened before?

Get a better description of physical appearance and behavior. Does he talk?

If all tribes worship him we can also ask them.
No. 1079198 ID: 46e818
File 170241038924.png - (19.11KB , 800x600 , 1877.png )

"Know this, great elder:
On this day, I embrace my birthright.
For I have come to aid you in this matter and others, and in my power and wisdom, I will set right your land and unite our people once more. My kingdom is in need of citizens, of loyal souls and proud warriors, to carry a banner under which we all may prosper.

My father is gone, but you have in me a champion worthy of his patrimony.

Let the trees be wreathed once more, not in mourning, but in celebration."
No. 1079199 ID: 46e818
File 170241044665.png - (16.68KB , 800x600 , 1878.png )

"I know these claims cannot be taken in faith by all your people; not all have witnessed that which the grace of the Malto name can bring.

So direct then your holiest men to attend me, and with their guidance I shall find what has become of your divine patron.
Bring me your strongest generals, and with their guidance I will put the Blue Trees on every map in this land to be revered and protected.

And when I have delivered your people, there will be none among us who would doubt our united providence!"
No. 1079202 ID: ce619a

Man, I hope you know what you're doing with all this bluster. These seem like a simple and humble people that wouldn't respond well to boasts and lofty promises.

The burrito on the right doesn't seem too impressed at the very least.
No. 1079203 ID: f3f2fa

You mean the Elder?
No. 1079204 ID: 0a3525

Finesse sure does though...

Maybe this is the part where we start to actually show HOW we intend to do this? Start with the gift offering of the deer.
No. 1079205 ID: 421554

That face from Finny miiight just imply she's super embarrassed and/or mortified at you proclaiming that. Maybe try and walk it back a little? Ask to do something that will honor their traditions; it's never a bad idea to try and be respectful of their culture, after all.
No. 1079217 ID: d54bf6

>poachers killed a deer-like beast
>kobolds are worried about the loss of a guardian creature with hooves

We should do a very, very thorough inspection before doing any-goddamn-thing with that "deer."
No. 1079236 ID: 93d066

Again, ask for a detailed description, possibly a drawing.
No. 1079247 ID: 4d8b77

I can only imagine that the elders are looking back and forth between you and Tislomer, trying to see a difference between the two of you right now. Let's hope they remember that you are in fact very nearly acting your age right now. I mean, assuming that 19 isn't middle aged for Voltos.
No. 1079253 ID: 8f9bc4

Orrr they coullld... not do any of that, and bid you good day, sir.
No. 1079255 ID: 46e818
File 170249035536.png - (11.31KB , 800x600 , 1879.png )

>"Now that brings cheer to my weary old heart! I admire your drive, young Malto. If you are as good as your word, I am sure the Blue Trees will be proud to be a part of your new kingdom, just as we were proud of the old.

>You two -- will you please escort our esteemed guest to the ceremony master's dwelling. Give him anything he needs."
No. 1079257 ID: 46e818
File 170249055501.png - (13.25KB , 800x600 , 1880.png )

"I shall return soon with news. Good news, I pray, but one way or another this mystery shall be resolved."

>"This way, Highness."
She beckons me to the door, and the veiled kobold follows as well.

"Tell me, on the way -- just what sort of animal is this divine creature? I have heard it likened to a horse? Not an elk, or a deer?"
>"Not a deer, or an elk, or even a horse."
"Then what?"
No. 1079258 ID: 46e818
File 170249056352.png - (10.53KB , 800x600 , 1881.png )

No. 1079259 ID: ce619a

I suppose we could wait to ask them questions about the amulet until after we secure their allegiance. It would make them a lot more forthcoming with any info on it they might have.

Still, big reminder to actually do that when the time's right.
No. 1079260 ID: 8f9bc4

No. 1079261 ID: 93d066


No. 1079278 ID: eb0a9c

Island 2 was just announced.
Are we going to build a colony there?

Okay but seriously what is the Red One?
Let me guess: a unicorn made of j- [ERROR CONNECTION FAILED]
No. 1079314 ID: 46e818
File 170259869557.png - (18.01KB , 800x600 , 1882.png )

>"Some say Scfarr-Uuragg is as old as the woods. A protector of the downtrodden and unfortunate. Many of the old ones have gone on, but this one still remains to protect His woods.
>As generations pass, we have seen less and less of Him. One day, he too may go the way of all mortal things. And I fear there will be few left to watch over us, though our need be dire."
No. 1079315 ID: 46e818
File 170259905740.png - (10.12KB , 800x600 , 1883.png )

>"Know this, Highness: the people of this village do not care for the convolutions of man's politics, nor the arrogance of the court.
>We take fulfillment in the world as it is given to us, through simple pleasure and honest work. It is not our nature to contrive and deceive.

>Therefore, if it is your wish to see us pledge alliance to your kingdom, give us safety in our homes, sovereignty in our lands, and food on our tables. Offer this, and for a chance at peaceful lives for our children, we will fight under your banner."
No. 1079319 ID: ce619a

Yep, burrito is not impressed by regality.

>give us safety in our homes, sovereignty in our lands, and food on our tables
Assure them that this is indeed your intention and bringing back their scared beast will act as the oath to uphold this pledge.
Then ask them what their relationship with the goblin tribes is like and if there will be any hurdles in uniting both peoples.
No. 1079320 ID: 5b567f

No. 1079322 ID: eb0a9c

"We live in a world where the gods gave power to those willing to use it on the weak. I can't stop the nature of the court - but I can choose to protect you with what I've got."
No. 1079325 ID: 0fbdcd

Prosperity and safety are the simple minimum responsibilities of a noble to his subjects. We hope to give you this and more- and the return of this magical hors is a symbol of our dedication to going above and beyond.

Where was your little pony last seen?
No. 1079350 ID: fe12b4

"These politics are, in part, how these qualities of life are ensured. Even if just a token appearance, participation in their systems makes you real to them. It reminds them you are not just people, but A People, posessive of value.

Though I do plan to insulate you from it, I will not be forever. There may come a day you must personally involve yourselves in it to prevent a backslide in your peace and dignities.

As it is how they maintain their illusion of superiority, these courts are rather small-minded towards any that would spurn them."
No. 1079356 ID: fab270

Make no promises you aren't confident you can keep. There are other villages here, kobold and goblin, that may want different things. And we can prioritize their needs over our own to establish the kingdom, but eventually the kingdom may ask something in return.
No. 1079360 ID: 93d066

There's something Tislomer said:
"And sometimes, they even hurt us! Or they take some of us away and we never see them again!"

We really need to inquire more about this, 'cause if there is a slave trade going, then we really need to put a stop to it ASAP.
No. 1079364 ID: 8f9bc4

You cannot give them something you do not have. If you can take measures to increase their safety or sovereignty, you certainly will, but you're both under threat from these encroaching forces. What you can give them is your support, because safety and sovereignty is more achievable if you work toward it together, but you don't have an immense unstoppable army with which to effortlessly destroy their attackers. And hopefully you can give them Scfarr-Uuragg or at least shed some light on reasons for His absence.
No. 1079369 ID: 4d8b77

Muschio, you definitely can't let anything bad happen to these people. That 'my tits are down there' look is a treasure that needs to be protected.
No. 1079375 ID: 46e818
File 170278041120.png - (16.75KB , 800x600 , 1884.png )

I understand the point being made. These kobolds are simple folk who prefer to live in the moment. And I further understand why they would want to leave the finer details to me, to offload management to a trained noble while they focus on what they excel at.

I would have thought, once, to say they 'don't have the mind' for the politics of the court, but I see now there's more to it than mere ability. So much posturing, backstabbing, negotiating, compromising. So much emphasis on the subtlety, the near-inscrutable savoir-faire.
Perhaps it is a wisdom is to reject it.

But it is not a mindset I can adopt, myself. I have been too embroiled for too many years to imagine a life without politicking.
I wonder, had I been born to a simple life, would I have found my way? Would I have made such a humble existence work, to satisfy my mind and soul?

Would I be happy?
No. 1079376 ID: 3f3d5c

I'm sure you would have been successful enough, found a nice girl, found that version of yourselves' own version of happiness.
But you wouldn't be able to change the world as you can now. That's both your gift and duty: To make this world better for the people like them, who cannot through choice or circumstance do the things you are able.
And, y'know, get a little happiness of your own on the side.

Now let's go find that magic pony!
No. 1079378 ID: 273c18

Your ambition would never let you be happy with a simple life. It is a blessing and a curse.
No. 1079379 ID: e87a15

Boss, don't look now but that weird rabbit stoner lady from Salamander Tower is watching you. She's been showing up in the same places you're at for a while now, just barely out of your way. Something's up with her.
No. 1079380 ID: dc4bad

Perhaps, Boss, though I suspect you'd have found a lofty ambition to pursue or perilous cause to champion no matter your beginnings.

That said I- wait... that rabbit is back, and watching you specifically by the looks of it. Wonder what her deal is, though she'll probably vanish before anyone else claps eyes on her.
No. 1079381 ID: 421554

Perhaps, but would that be... well, you? How much of you is nature versus nurture? Perhaps we should think about this in regards to oh hey it's the taxi rabbit over there behind you and to your left.
No. 1079384 ID: 8f9bc4

No. 1079386 ID: 1ab976

I suppose so, but one must kill their ego and ambition for that. I believe we are too far along the path we are on to change now.

Also, you may want to turn around, a familiar face from Corriander's tower appears to be watching.
No. 1079387 ID: eb0a9c

I think that depends on your answer to this question:
"Do you believe little people have the right to do big things?"
And I don't mean mobs making revolutions or populations choosing their ruler, I mean the occasional farm girl, who doesn't want to be some big hero or rich mogul or whatever, accidentally changing the course of history for an entire nation by saying one sentence to a passing emperor. That one person's existence, unendorsed by help or will, can affect more than anyone would ever expect of them.

It's an inevitability, however improbable. But do you believe that is a part of nature, or a serious flaw of society?
No. 1079388 ID: 424e8a

No. 1079391 ID: 8e1da9

Uh I don’t think now is the best time to be all philosophical, especially when you are staying in front of the kobold elders, who are probably wondering why suddenly became very quiet
No. 1079393 ID: cbe5b1

I mean you probably wouldn't have gotten the chance to get closely acquainted with a dragon, now would you?
No. 1079397 ID: b15601

Quite impossible to say - perhaps you would still have a happy family or perhaps they would be murdered by bandits instead of noble politics. Perhaps desire for vengeance would push you to politics as a General. Or perhaps you would die too slaughtered by the bandits as well. What is sure is that you have power to better your fate - and that of these simple yet skilled people. So win for both their sake and yours.
No. 1079398 ID: 4d8b77

I mean, if you were a common person, you would still be a uncommon common person, since you'd still have the orb and the problem it's struggling to compensate for. It's probably a more interesting question as to what your life would be like without having to rely on it, because if you were some villager somewhere with no purpose given to them in life, being burdened with such a disability would almost certainly leave you drowning in despair for the whole of your life.

Still, nice to see you feeling introspective without having to become all mopey first.
No. 1079400 ID: debc82


Muschiobold would be an interesting daydream, but perhaps for another time.

When we're back and we can bust out the little dolls that Tislomer made us (which Geppa totally hasn't filched, of course), and pretend to have magical adventures in the woods about ... I dunno, kobold things. Probably shiny rocks and weird mushrooms.
No. 1079401 ID: 46e818
File 170285031206.png - (33.43KB , 800x600 , 1885.png )

The two kobolds lead me into the ceremony master's hut.

The air is thick and hazy. The overwhelming scent of spiced incense burns my throat.
The entire dwelling is spiderwebbed with strings, each festooned with unrecognizable religious symbols, dried animal remains, bags of salt and aromatic spice.

The kobold before us, clearly the religious leader of the community, bows respectfully.
No. 1079402 ID: 8f9bc4

That's a lot of hanging things...
No. 1079403 ID: 421554

Well? Bow in return! It's only polite. And try not to stare at the topless council member's form too much, if you would.
No. 1079404 ID: 1034ad

Memories those symbols for later, a certain witch doctor may be interested in them
No. 1079415 ID: ce619a

>And try not to stare at the topless council member's form too much
Her snoot's pretty mid, should be easy.
No. 1079417 ID: 3f3d5c

Bow in return. But, like, a smaller bow. It's respectful, but you're still the one in charge. Or at least, you're going to be.

While we're here, don't forget to ask about exorcisms. We're still doing that for Pendle, finally be able to get him out of that cell.

> Her snoot's pretty mid,
It's okay. Nowhere near Ashe's, though.
No. 1079438 ID: 7b65e9

The "fang" symbol on the top right, right of the "fried egg" seems familiar for some reason.
Does it reminds you of something?
No. 1079441 ID: 46e818
File 170292579685.png - (13.50KB , 800x600 , 1886.png )

I bow in return.

>"Welcome, honored guest.
>I am supposed to tell you about the Red One. Is that it?
>I have a map I can mark that will bring you to its sacred glade, that will be the best place to begin your search. Perhaps there will be signs there for you to follow.
>If you have anything more to ask, please do."
No. 1079442 ID: 46e818
File 170292606433.png - (13.97KB , 800x600 , 1887.png )

He glances between my companions, and I notice his attention falling to one in particular.
>"It's been a while, Tislomer. I hope this man is treating you well."
No. 1079443 ID: 072401

Oh? Some former connection between the two?
No. 1079444 ID: ce619a

>I hope this man is treating you well
Indeed we have, we were able to reattach her face quite well after it was blown off.
No. 1079445 ID: eb0a9c

"Tislomer's made some friends. They're... eccentric."
No. 1079446 ID: 46e818
File 170294361891.png - (15.27KB , 800x600 , 1888.png )

No. 1079447 ID: 46e818
File 170294368525.png - (15.48KB , 800x600 , 1889.png )

>"Yes, dad, everything is good, okay? You don't need to always worry about me."
No. 1079449 ID: ce619a

Tell Tislomer's dad about how she's got a boyfriend now
Embarrass the hell out of this cutebold
No. 1079450 ID: e9b066

Ain't that just like a father to worry about his daughter. Very cute.
No. 1079451 ID: 9bf7f9

Let him know that she's been an excellent member of your crew and that you treat the safety of all your subjects with the utmost importance.
No. 1079459 ID: 4d8b77

There is absolutely no way he knows that she got her face blown off, right? No one is that chill.
No. 1079463 ID: 0fbdcd

Pinch her little cheeks and tell her dad about her boyfriend. It's basically mandatory.
No. 1079477 ID: 93d066

Time to talk about her boyfriend and the possibility of grandkids.
No. 1079496 ID: 46e818
File 170301817878.png - (18.28KB , 800x600 , 1890.png )

"I assure you, your daughter has been an invaluable and irreplaceable component of our regal machine. For my part, I do everything I can to assure she is given the proper respect and consideration she is due.
And may I just say, she is flourishing. Why, she's even taken a boyfriend. Oh, the folly of youth, yes?"
No. 1079497 ID: 46e818
File 170301819485.png - (10.83KB , 800x600 , 1891.png )

wait .
No. 1079498 ID: 46e818
File 170301824546.png - (20.11KB , 800x600 , 1892.png )

"Your FATHER is the ceremony master of the Blue Trees, and you've NEVER heard of your own village's sacred guardian?"
No. 1079499 ID: 8f9bc4


That means the guardian has been absent for at least five years!
No. 1079500 ID: eb0a9c

Ever heard the phrase "the cobbler's children have no shoes"?
No. 1079501 ID: ce619a

Welp, water under the bridge now, regardless of how she didn't know
BTW: we should really show the amulet replica to Dadlomer. Judging by his digs he might know something about it.
No. 1079502 ID: d01d94

Crossing a line tbh
No. 1079503 ID: dc4bad

She is obviously on a different path through life than her father, there might be some amount of wilful ignorance at play.
It's not uncommon for someone to be determined not to end up like one or both parents, usually because they are 'lame' and 'square'.
No. 1079509 ID: cb31fa

To be fair I don't think we've asked about the parentage of ANY of our minions.
No. 1079511 ID: 9a1743

We really need a family dinner with all of them and their families
No. 1079514 ID: 1034ad

I think the amulet is just the emblem of tsar bomba
No. 1079541 ID: 421554

That honestly is kind of impressive. Did she just intentionally ignore her dad's job for years, or...?
No. 1079560 ID: 46e818
File 170309534764.png - (15.10KB , 800x600 , 1893.png )

Tislomer fumbles for an explanation.

>"Uh... oh. No, I... doooo, I did, I ummmb."
No. 1079561 ID: e01d4e

No weaseling your way out of this one, Tis.
No. 1079562 ID: 3b45d0

Whoops. Perhaps this would be the time to ask her father to re-educate her as well as ourselves about the practice and customs associated with the sacred beast?
No. 1079565 ID: 46e818
File 170309909545.png - (15.85KB , 800x600 , 1894.png )

>"Come on sweetie! You remember! He was your favorite! You had the little wood doll of Him?
>Remember we had that little song you liked so much? You used to sing it in the bathtub!
>The Red One! Remember?"
No. 1079566 ID: 46e818
File 170309932266.png - (12.61KB , 800x600 , 1895.png )

No. 1079568 ID: eb7ce4

that is one head empty expression if ive ever seen one
No. 1079569 ID: 3b45d0

Whisper in her ear "Fake it till you make it."
No. 1079570 ID: 8f9bc4

Carry Tislomer's unresponsive body outside before she goes full doobie.
No. 1079571 ID: 421554

That's the expression of a man who desperately wants to believe his daughter just has her head in the clouds, not out of the stratosphere and orbiting the moon.
No. 1079573 ID: c1d3d1

this is... actually kind of concerning. does tislomer potentially have some kind of brain damage?
No. 1079575 ID: 8f9bc4

What's concerning is why everyone is pretending she's from this village. Because she is from this village. You know she is! Then why does it seem like they're all pretending?
No. 1079582 ID: 93d066


I blame the tree licking, one was bound to mess with her head.
No. 1079584 ID: 3f3d5c


No. 1079596 ID: d991ad

Tislomer? Charmedfrighted? Charm? Everything alright?
No. 1079620 ID: ce619a

Maybe she needs to hear the song again to jog her memory.

No. 1079621 ID: debc82


That is the face of someone taking a truly inconceivable amount of psychic damage.

Or just really, REALLY wishing they weren't here right now. One or the other.
No. 1079623 ID: 46e818
File 170319287573.png - (24.60KB , 800x600 , 1896.png )

>"You remember how it goes--"

>"Dad please don't sing"

The advisors lean in.
>"Ceremony Master, I don't think our honorable guests came here for this--"
Finesse sighs loudly.
>"I agree, Master Muschio. We're wasting time when we should be--"

"No no, this is valuable intelligence. Please proceed, sage."

>Come on, sweetie, you remember!
>♫ He's the best, He's my friend,
>I hope he brings me candy soup tomorrow ♪"
No. 1079624 ID: 46e818
File 170319288790.png - (12.84KB , 800x600 , 1897.png )

No. 1079625 ID: 46e818
File 170319291393.png - (16.50KB , 800x600 , 1898.png )

No. 1079626 ID: 42c79f

> Mister Lollipop

Slow clap. Brilliant. Our divine beast is named for candy. Brilliant.
No. 1079627 ID: 8f9bc4

That's Doctor Lollipop to you, young lady!
No. 1079628 ID: 273c18

Now, why is he called that, exactly? What is the association with candy?
No. 1079637 ID: 53560f

Did healing tislomer’s face cure an undiagnosed case of colourblindness? Ask her what colour the room is now and what colour she remembers it being in the past. That’ll give us all the confirmation we need.
No. 1079642 ID: 1034ad

‘Cause he’s red
No. 1079645 ID: 273c18

Lollipops come in many colors.
No. 1079650 ID: f14228

Smile, clap your hands once and state that with this the confusion appears to have been resolved. You see now how it occurred, and, frankly, it seems to the divine guardian's credit that it is on such good terms with the village and their children that they are afforded an affectionate nickname. Which makes its disappearance of late all the stranger, no?

Now, shall the due respect and considerationing continue, or has the formal air gone out of the meeting? You may be here in official capacity, but one need not at present stand on ceremony unless it is required. You would certainly love to learn some more of their missing guardian before you go to seek where they may have ended.

Is there any clues as to what they were doing recently, for example?
No. 1079653 ID: ce619a

Once we're done embarrassing the cutekold let's show the ceremony master the amulet replica
No. 1079655 ID: 46e818
File 170327633002.png - (14.96KB , 800x600 , 1899.png )

>"I remember hearing those words, when she turned to me. After everything I had worked for, after everything we had discussed, she stared straight into my eyes."
No. 1079656 ID: 46e818
File 170327636759.png - (9.96KB , 800x600 , 1900.png )

>"Then she called me by the wrong name, knocked the drink out of my hand, and threw up all over my shoes."
No. 1079657 ID: 46e818
File 170327669339.png - (10.70KB , 800x600 , 1901.png )

"Okay, but whose name did she call you?"

>"Her brother's."

"Oh. Yeah, okay. Whoof."
>"See? I told you!"
>"F--f-ff-ffrankly, you d-d-dodged a dark f-fate."
No. 1079658 ID: e87a15

Oh, hey Ona. How's Pendle holding up?
No. 1079659 ID: 3f3d5c

Hey, I think we got a wire crossed. It happens. How's the analgesic going?
No. 1079660 ID: 93d066

You can almost see the synapse activation of her neurons.
No. 1079661 ID: 8f9bc4

Might be a little uncouth to say that Pendle dodged a dark fate. Or whatever his name is.
No. 1079663 ID: ce619a

Testing testing... 1, 2, 3
Can any of you hear us or are we in listen-only observation mode again?
No. 1079665 ID: 14ce63

Dodged a dark fate indeed. How's everyone been holding up?
No. 1079668 ID: aebd26

Next time we're back at the Lair, let's float the idea of maybe upgrading Vittima's cell.

Not that we're rewarding her for any sort of behavior. It's just that, you know, as we gather allies and amass power, our status grows too. So our esteemed prisoners should spend their time in more comfort as a consequence.
No. 1079673 ID: 1ca098

Have we ever gotten any information out of Vittima? Maybe we should ask about the forest.
No. 1079683 ID: 4d8b77

Ona, you should probably let him know that painkillers only work on physical pain. I believe booze is the prescription of choice for emotional baggage...

Oh. You just liquored him up, didn't you?
No. 1079688 ID: 46e818
File 170336513750.png - (15.30KB , 800x600 , 1902.png )

Oh. Hey. Are you-- hold on let me put you on speaker mode.

"Hey, guys. Boss is checking in."
>"Hey b-boss."
>"Hello, Prince Muschio."
"So, I guess everything's going okay over there? Not an urgent call? That's a relief.
Hey, so, don't think we've just been slacking off okay? It's just our lunch break.
Pendle's on a proper suite of painkillers and I've been drawing up every rune I know to put something together for the exorcism. God, I really hope it's not still in there, because we've been shooting the shit and it would suuuuuck if this is just the demon fucking with us still."
>"T-tell them ab-bbout the s-sword."
"Oh yeah, Wes is workin' on a killer sword for you. Finnie left some plans so I guess we'll see what comes of that."
>"I'm also w-working on some ar--rr-armor for D-Dompag."

>"And I'm waiting patiently."
"Pendle is waiting patiently."
No. 1079690 ID: debc82


Man, Wes is the Bes(t).

I can't wait to see this sweet loot we're about to get from him.
No. 1079691 ID: 1c790e

Thank you for your patience, Pendle. We know this isn't easy. Your bravery in providing us the antidote and a solution for subduing the demon cannot be overstated. Please bear with us just a little longer.

It turns out the Kobold village's religious leader is Tislomer's father. Perhaps he can provide some insight for the exorcism.
No. 1079693 ID: ce619a

>"So, I guess everything's going okay over there? Not an urgent call? That's a relief.
We hope so???
We were kind of randomly shoved into you with no prompt. Nothing bad was going on and this has happened before, so I'm guessing everything's cool?

Anyways, ask Wes is he's making use of the magic ore/crystal we've been digging up. If not tell him Erisol might be able to help him work with the material.
Also, how's your recovery going?
No. 1079694 ID: aebd26

Not an urgent call, no. Tislomer is sort of going through an epiphany right now, so expect her to have a lot to share when she's back.
No. 1079695 ID: eb0a9c

Have you ever heard of a bloodline power that literally turns your blood into a sword?
No. 1079702 ID: 93d066

Hope we can add some fire runes to the sword or something that allow the Boss to take advantage of his fire magic.

Also how are the princesses doing?
No. 1079713 ID: 46e818
File 170344782149.png - (15.17KB , 800x600 , 1903.png )

"What about you, Wes? Any dates from hell?"
>"Oh, uh... I-I guess, uh... I haven't r-really had tt-t-t-too many b-bad exx-experiences. B-but I haven't been on too many dates, either."
"On the lookout for someone huh?"
>"I guess? I'm r-really here for my work more thh-than a-anything."
No. 1079714 ID: 46e818
File 170344798263.png - (13.35KB , 800x600 , 1904.png )

"Pendle? Now that you got your mind and body back, are you going to try to find someone? Or are you taking some time to get your life sorted?"
>"Oh... I... well, this is all so new to me. To have clarity, lucidity, for the first time in so long. I've not even had 24 hours to gather my thoughts yet.
>I suppose I've always been the type to seek companionship, but... after everything I saw..."
"I can't even imagine."
>"With such memories in my head, I'm... honestly not sure I'll ever be able to look at another woman in that way."
No. 1079715 ID: ce619a

I see the princess is not enjoying herself.
What time is it? Why is she even trying to sleep right now?
Poke her with a long stick and ask her why she's trying to sleep.
No. 1079719 ID: 273c18

What about men?
No. 1079721 ID: bf3749

now that you have your freedom, what do you really want to *do* pendle? theres a lot to catch up on were sure, now that its over everyone in here is eager to understand and help if & how we can.
No. 1079722 ID: 3a3ebd

Even though it would too quick with the situation we are currently in with Pendle, I shall ask the same question. What about men?
No. 1079723 ID: 3a3ebd

Would be* apologies
No. 1079724 ID: 8f9bc4

He's in mourning, not gay.
No. 1079725 ID: 46e818
File 170346435036.png - (10.35KB , 800x600 , 1905.png )

"Of course, of course. I understand.
Another woman."
No. 1079726 ID: 46e818
File 170346438453.png - (14.56KB , 800x600 , 1906.png )

No. 1079727 ID: ce619a

Yeah, Ona, he's not Wes' type.
Wes is more into beefcakes like Dompag. Why else would he be making some bikini armor for him first?
No. 1079728 ID: 0ba3af

Nonono, go on Ona...
No. 1079730 ID: db231e

Is the princess... Okay? She seems distressed. Last thing we need is her getting demon-possessed (or BEING demon possessed), or otherwise traumatized by all the demonic shenanigans.

We might need to consider more isolated cells for prisoners as well. For their privacy and to avoid them interacting with each other when it's not needed, or special case prisoners (magic users, anyone who needs to be muffled/noise-cancelled, suicidal prisoners, anyone who can shapeshift out of manacles or through prison bars...
No. 1079731 ID: db231e

Ona, I don't think traumatizing de-limbing of someone allows any chance of romance with them unless they're into extreme BDSM.

...Pendle isn't secretly a masochist, is he? And Wes seems like a 'top' kind of guy...
No. 1079732 ID: db231e

Check/ask if the princess needs anything. She seems a bit irritated and restless. Maybe talk quieter if she's trying to sleep.

Maybe we should relocate her cell away from a potential demon-possessed victim as well. Who knows if he might be able to use some kind of vocal-only magic on her.
No. 1079733 ID: 6df6b3

Ona, get your mind out of the gutter
No. 1079736 ID: 006510

hold on, let’s hear ona out on this one. i’m listening
No. 1079737 ID: eb0a9c

Okay but which girl gets to kiss the princess.
No. 1079758 ID: 3a3ebd

Do, Ona, do
No. 1079762 ID: 4d8b77

Oh wow, yeah Ona, I can practically already see it. The two of them meeting, in some dark secluded room maybe, just talking at first, then it gets more and more heated. Then suddenly Pendle's on the floor with Wes on top of him, and then Wes just... just hammers him 'til he can't even walk anymore.

Who knows, you might even walk in on one of them tied up in a dungeon or something, if things get really kinky.
No. 1079763 ID: 9ef3bc

No. 1079778 ID: 969209

HAH! So afraid of rape caves yet so unafraid to be lurid. Ona you are hilariously messed up.
No. 1079784 ID: 1034ad

Wes is meant for embraddeus and we all know it
No. 1079785 ID: 1034ad

She’s a drug dealer that paints barbed wheels in people bedrooms while they are away
No. 1079794 ID: 46e818
File 170362209666.png - (17.99KB , 800x600 , 1907.png )

"Pendle we'll b-be back s-ssh-shortly, a-all right? I just n-need to have a word with mmm-mm-mmy colleague in the other r-room for a mom--momm-moment a-about the dd-difference between being l-lovesick and t-traumatized. W-won't be long."

>"Hey okay look I'm sorry, all right? That was way out of line, I get it. I just thought it'd be--"
"Shhhh no okay shut up stop talking"
No. 1079808 ID: 312b20

I see Ona has the elusive schrodinger Booba, with the bra size that fluctuates according to the hilarity of the situation.
No. 1079854 ID: 3a3ebd

As I was prompted to do, I shall say:
Lovesickness and trauma don't really cancel each other out, do they? They can and will coexist, it's not like you can't be both at the same time
No. 1079864 ID: 1ab976

I’m sure there’s a joke about making one’s legs shake and being weak in the knees for a man in here somewhere. But that kinda cancels out when the trauma of the event is caused by the one who smashed up his legs to begin with.

Let’s just… move on.
No. 1079866 ID: 46e818
File 170371106165.png - (13.94KB , 800x600 , 1908.png )

>"You can be lovesick and traumatized at the same time! We're all traumatized. We're like -- trauma buddies! Isn't all of us talking it out together helping?"
"That ddoesn't mean you need to t-try hook-k-hooking us up!"
>"I'm sorry! I just thought-- well okay I thought you'd be cute together but I also thought it might help!"
"What mm--mm--m-m-mak--makes you think he's e-even mmy tt-type??"
No. 1079867 ID: 46e818
File 170371108823.png - (22.00KB , 800x600 , 1909.png )

>"Hold on, what's wrong with him? Is he ugly?"
"Uh--? Nn-n-no, he's actually kind of--
Ww-wait, th-that isn't the p-pp-point here!"
No. 1079868 ID: 46e818
File 170371124308.png - (15.45KB , 800x600 , 1910.png )

"Look, I didn't tt-t-tell you my i-interests so you c-could use them f-for your own p-pers-p-ppersonal entertainment!"
>"You're right, and I'm-- I guess I am sort of doing that. Sorry."
"It's f-fine.
I... T-to be honest I-I'm n-n-nn-not used to p-people playing mmm-mm-matchmaker ffor me. It's...
A-anyway, y-you need to gg-give this s-some space and t-ti-t-time. He's nnot even out of t-the c-cell!"

>"No, you're right, you're right. Poor guy needs a little breathing room."
No. 1079869 ID: 46e818
File 170371132220.png - (17.76KB , 800x600 , 1911.png )

>"Okay, I admit I haven't been keeping up with all this that well, but if you ask me, he's pretty tough. I mean, the way he ended it? That was hardcore.
>He seems like he's just happy to be himself again. I mean, assumin' that's him, which I think it is."
No. 1079871 ID: ce619a

Sooo.... Wes!
About that armor you've been making for Dompag:
You have been properly sizing it on him, yes? Making sure to get all~ his measurements, going over every nook and contour of his body, riiiight?
No. 1079872 ID: 3f3d5c

Yes, this is very important. Wes, we really need you to get in there and take proper notes.
Extensive & personal notes. Extensively personal, even. It's the only way to be sure.
No. 1079874 ID: 3a3ebd

Don't rush anything! Pendle needs some time to rest in general after all of... That
No. 1079897 ID: 734845

Do not the rat
No. 1079904 ID: a97f7c

Waste of efforts. Dompag is very straight so leave it be.
No. 1079921 ID: eb7ce4

hmm, how heavy will the armor be? i know dompag isnt like agile, but considering how tough he is (man took fire like a CHAMP!) how effective will the armor be, lest it restrict his movements? Is it meant mostly to protect vitals and such? Or is the armor made to give Dompag magical protection?
No. 1079926 ID: 2a1ac6

Does "speaker mode" mean the princess can hear us or everyone with a shard nearby? Everyone should be careful not to let her overhear sensitive information, regardless.

Armor for Dompag does sound a little redundant without more detail on what the goal is. What are his weaknesses?
No. 1079945 ID: 4d8b77

Oh boy, did Dompag's ladies man senses alert him that you were keeping the fair maiden the next cell over from sleeping? Party might be over folks.
No. 1079948 ID: a3fe2e

Getting stabbed, I imagine. I think, generally, the goal of armor is keeping pointy bits on the outside of your body.
No. 1079984 ID: 46e818
File 170380371390.png - (33.58KB , 800x600 , 1912.png )

Forgive me, but the details are wrapping up here and I thought I'd catch us all up to speed.

The divine beast is in fact a minor god, at least according to the natives, given flesh and walking among the living. Thus it is mortally vulnerable and could potentially be killed by those wishing to harm it and its chosen people.
It is generally well-tempered but seen only rarely by the living, tending to keep to itself and let its influence be known by gifts, boons, and guardianship of the forest, all of which have mysteriously dried up in the last few months.
We've been given a map to the glade where it is believed to make its sacred home. The locals have a conditional oath not to go there, so as we are currently free agents we have a unique opportunity to investigate, ourselves.

The beast goes by many names but is, I am told, well revered by all people of these woods. We will be heading to Finesse's old village before heading on to the glade, unless there are objections.
A few other details and fables which I can impart along the way if necessary, but that should be the most vital summary of our meeting.
No. 1079985 ID: 46e818
File 170380397119.png - (20.29KB , 800x600 , 1913.png )

"Pardon my asking, esteemed ceremony master, but Scfarr-Uuragg... He is a god, as you say. Does He have a particular domain? Is He the God of something?"

No. 1079988 ID: 46e818
File 170380416350.png - (14.87KB , 800x600 , 1914.png )

>"Why, my young dear, of course!"
No. 1079989 ID: 46e818
File 170380418884.png - (9.30KB , 800x600 , 1915.png )

>"He is the God of Love."
No. 1079990 ID: 82f77e

Hm. Finesse and you might be free as far as the religion is concerned but Tislomer is technically not. Being employed by you doesn't mean she's not of this village.
Is it still a good idea to have her tag along to the glade?
No. 1079994 ID: 7550f8

Good. Maybe this God of Love can help Muschio finally get laid and/or find a romantic partner.
No. 1079995 ID: db231e

Oohh boy. A god of love is something you should not underestimate. Since love can entail almost anything (love of violence, romantic love...), tends to turn people into fools and hideously reckless and single-minded/obsessed.
No. 1080000 ID: 273c18

He's gotten laid. Multiple times. Muschio fucks.
No. 1080021 ID: 831c0e

Muschio despises love though, and love almost got him killed before he was deus ab orbed to life
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