|Oblitus by ChildOfAB|
A betentacled eldritch man-eating monster and a fungus-based druid learn the meaning of love and also kill a whole lot of stuff. Vaguely D&D-related, but does not follow the rules strictly.
|This article contains spoilers! You were warned.|
The quest begins by introducing Viktor, an emaciated creature who has been locked in a small room with several coins, gems, and a sword for many years, possibly centuries. He has gone without food or entertainment this entire time, and has gone so mad with hunger he no longer remembers who or what he is or why he is there. He is roused from his catatonia by people outside: an elf rogue and a human barbarian, looking for treasure, who unlock his door. Viktor promptly eats them. He realizes that he digests organic materials extremely fast, and when he does so, he restores a bit of his mind (he has a vision of a floating city made of coral) and gains new abilities. He also discovers a vast system of underground caverns inhabited by mole-like humanoids called talpids.
Viktor hears a scream and goes to investigate. He discovers Ivet, a mushroom-like female creature, being attacked by several talpids, with whom she communicates using a language Viktor does not understand. Viktor promptly devours all the Talpids, but spares Ivet because he does not find her fungus-based body appetizing. Ivet is initially shocked by Viktor, but warms up to him when he learns he isn't a mindless killer. She tells him that she came from a society of Fey creatures, which had recently entered hostilities with the talpids after they began following a man espousing gods that allegedly existed before the current pantheon. She says that she was tagging along with her friend Avara, who she described as an important diplomat charged with something to do with ending the hostilities. The talpids, she says, collapsed the tunnels connecting her society with theirs, and killed Avara, leaving her to barely escape with her life. Viktor agrees to help her return to her homeland, but she needs to rest for the journey, because the outside area is a desert and she is out of spells and unprepared to endure it.
Viktor leads her (with a new staff from one of the talpids) back to the room he had been sleeping in, where she is shocked to see the immense wealth he had been sleeping with, and identifies the sword (bearing an image of a horned birdlike creature) as cursed, as it hurts both of them when they touch it. She also identifies the gold coins as belonging to the Ungolan empire, which has not existed for centuries, making the coins worth even more than normal gold.
While Ivet sleeps, Viktor goes off to investigate another living creature he heard deeper in the ruins. He approaches to find a vast hall with a throne in the center bearing a sundered crown, as well as a large bird-like creature called the Ash Crow.
The Ash Crow explains that the ruins once belonged to an ancient being known as the Bone Lord, a necromancer of considerable power, whom the Ash crow served, or who served the Ash Crow (it claims not to recall which). Long ago, according to the Ash Crow, the Bone Lord was struck down by heroes, who "would strike down even the gods with their ignorance." However, the Ash Crow continues, the right "voice" could make them walk again.
The Ash Crow and Viktor then do battle, and Viktor prevails by using his new camouflage ability to deliver a devastating sneak-attack, then finishing it off with a pillar and devouring it. While eating, he has a vision of a bird-like creature bearing gold-plated warriors through the sky, and the bone lord raising one of the birds as a zombie.
Viktor returns to Ivet and sleeps in the room with her. After they both wake and she prepares her spells for the day, they experiment with his new shapeshifting abilities to create a passable human form for him, which can discreetly carry all the coins and gems, as viktor determines that the bird on the sword matches the one in his vision but seems less like the Ash Crow (lacking a third eye and tentacles). They then find their way out of the ruin, which comes out atop a mesa in a vast desert. She identifies her homeland as a giant cloud sitting at ground level in the distance.
The chapter begins with the readers in control of a deer-like fey named Cerin, who is near the border of the city. The city is identified as being essentially a massive crater in the desert, covered with plant life and enormous trees. A pillar of energy in the center rises out of the crater, passes through the palace of the local sovereign, Mother Oasis, and then branches out and turns into a cloud that covers the entire area, protecting it from the sun.
Cerin sees Viktor and Ivet entering the city and recognizes Ivet, but he can't recall from where. He tries to use mind-altering magic on Viktor to convince him to leave so he can seduce Ivet, but it fails to work. Ivet then uses the same magic to convince Cerin to follow them into a secluded spot in a nearby nymph pond, where Viktor can eat him without attracting attention.
Ivet and Viktor decide to unwind from their harrowing ordeals by going to a local party that the nymphs tell them about. While they walk back to Ivet's dwelling and get ready for the party, Ivet explains some of the particulars of her city. She explains that the desert was once an ocean, and that what are mesas now were once islands where the Fey's magical homeland overlapped with the world. Many years ago, the oceans dried up, and the Fey homeland collapsed. Mother Oasis, a powerful lamia-elemental hybrid built the city as a haven for the Fey, connecting it to the global teleport hub and enabling trade with the local desert races. Over time, her interest in the desert races and trade outweighed her interest in helping the Fey, and Ivet describes them as second-class citizens who have developed an independent social structure not involving money and living primarily on public property because of it. Ivet's home, for example, is a hollow inside of a tree, with a magical door that opens to her touch. She explains that her ex-friend Jen, who is a Wizard, helped her make the door, as well as set up several abjurations on her home. Because most Fey are essentially squatting on public property, Mother Oasis's enforcers, called Cloaks, can arrest nearly anyone with impunity. Meanwhile, the traders and merchants and other legal businesses and property owners live primarily in the buildings near the center. There is also a recently-built church to the god Lunaras, whom the desert races worship; the building of this church was seen as an affront by many of the Fey who worship the nature/fertility goddess, Utia. Additionally, several public functions are housed in four buildings around the rim of the crater, each of which has a portal to the elemental plane of water, and each of which is the source of a river that flows into the center of the area and fuels the cloud cover.
Viktor drops off his wealth in Ivet's house and they proceed to the party. Viktor meets Teak, a friend of Ivet's, who tries to play matchmaker between the two. Viktor also runs into Jen, who suggests that Viktor not become romantically involved with Ivet, because she doesn't share her boyfriends with other people (presumably an uncommon trait among the Fey).
Viktor does a decent job of socializing and fitting in, until he is stabbed by a man claiming to be trying to get into the thieves' guild. Confronting the man, he learns that he was magically compelled to stab him by the unknown apparently half-elf onstage with a huge earth elemental.
This man triggers several magical symbols that cause nearly everyone at the party to go insane and attack each other, then reveals himself to be a shapeshifter like Viktor. He begins eating the partygoers, while Viktor attempts to flee. He is stopped by the Earth elemental, as the unknown shapeshifter expresses incredulity at Viktor's ability to flee rather than attacking him in a hunger-crazed frenzy. Before he can force the fight, the Cloaks arrive and put a magical barrier between them. Viktor transforms into a Treant, then the cloaks teleport Viktor to prison just as he sees the Talpids digging a tunnel for the unknown shapeshifter to escape by.
The teleportation separates Viktor from both the elemental and Ivet. Viktor asks the warden to see Ivet, then waits in his cell while the rest of the partygoers are teleported in and taken away. He is then interrogated by another member of the organization, who seems more interested in finding Ivet for her part in the failed diplomatic mission than learning about the attack. The interrogator expresses disdain for the Fey population, claiming that they are piggybacking on Mother Oasis's taming of the desert and deserve to be eaten by predators for living in the wild. The interrogator then orders her bodyguards to kill Viktor, but to "leave a body to raise, just in case." Viktor proceeds to kill them all and smash the wall to the interrogation room, only to find several magic users milling outside.
This chapter starts with the readers controlling Padma, an undine working at the library where Viktor falls after his altercations in the interrogation chamber. She is attracted to him, being a fugitive and the only tentacled creature she's seen since being exiled from her homeland, and she offers him the assumed name "Grath", which he accepts. She tries to "help" him identify what he is by giving him a manual for interspecies mating. He is shocked to discover how sex with species similar to his works, and accepts Padma's invitation back to her place after her shift is over.
A kobold officer enters the library, looking for the escaped treant. He is shocked to see a dragonborn he hasn't met yet, and explains the circumstances of the treant-Viktor's escape to dragonborn-Viktor. Padma overhears, but thinks he is exaggerating.
Padma checks out several books for Viktor, and they proceed to her apartment, where they have sex and Viktor promptly starts reading again. From all the books, Viktor learns about the various gods and suspects he might be related to Teyu, a god of secrets and the ocean worshiped before the Ungolan Empire collapsed, now apparently missing. The other six old gods seem to be present in altered form in the current pantheon of up to 23 gods.
Viktor leaves Padma's apartment while she is sleeping, leaving behind a note telling her that he has to look for his friend and revealing his name as Viktor. He takes the form of a raven and flies to Ivet's dwelling, but no one responds to his knock on the door. He then travels to a crowd of rebellious fey he saw earlier.
The fey are being attacked by cloaks and summoned creatures. Viktor arrives and searches for Ivet, but a member of the crowd suspects him of being a wizard's familiar. He finds the caster, who is invisible, and knocks her mask off, revealing her to be Jen under mind control. Viktor transforms into his treant form and captures Jen. The rebels cure her and make her visible again, and the rebel leader, Davin, confronts Viktor about his presence here. He agrees to help Viktor find Ivet, but only if he proves himself not to be a spy by participating in battle.
Viktor meets Lothar, the head of his strike group, who is a half-demon warlock who recognizes energy similar to his radiating from Viktor. He teaches Viktor to use this power to create a blast of magical energy from his hands, and mentions that he should have other abilities as well. They agree to try to keep the rebellion safe and ensure there is always an exit, but the lack of resistance as they enter the city makes them think it's a trap. Viktor and Lothar talk Davin into putting the rest of Lothar's team in charge of repurposing the rebellion to spread word of Jen's mind control to the populace, while the three of them search for Ivet. On the way, Lothar explains that Warlocks' souls are forfeit to the god who gave them their powers, and that his is owed to Kestephon (whom Viktor previously read about as the god of Creation and Chaos, one of the six current gods which share aspects with old gods) upon his death.
The trio go to the tree where the party was to find the start of the scent trail, only to find that it was blocked off by vines and Ivet's scent can't be found leaving the area. Viktor enters to find a strange, very large dryad necromancer, who makes cryptic references to the singer and indicates that she has reanimated the corpses of those that died at the party. She then reveals that Ivet turned into a vulture and flew away, and gives Viktor a scroll of Symbol of Insanity (the spell the singer's minions used to drive the partygoers insane) that was left behind at the party. Davin finds the scent trail of a vulture headed back towards Ivet's house, and they return there to find Ivet at her house. She says that she stayed up all night waiting for Viktor to return but fell asleep at some point in the early morning, which must have been when Viktor came by. At this point, Davin prods Viktor for details about his whereabouts last night, and Viktor tells them both about what happened after he got arrested, including the sex with Padma. Ivet goes inside after hinting that Viktor should eat Davin and Lothar, and Viktor and Davin butt heads, resulting in Viktor learning how to use his first invocation. Davin and Lothar part ways, and Viktor and Ivet travel to the inner city to sell the treasure from the ruin and have an awkward conversation about Viktor's sexual transgressions.
This chapter, the readers begin in control of Yarla as she learns her new assignment to deal with the rebellion, soon after it reaches the inner city gates. She is assigned an apprentice named Geof by Viirik, a Kobold working in the Department of Intelligence, and the one responsible for mind-controlling Jen. Through the course of their investigations they release Teak and seem to be hampered in their efforts by shadepriests. Ultimately, Yarla discovers that Geof was Ivet under the effects of an illusion the whole time, and Ivet manages to escape with a map of the premises, a staff, and some files on employees and prisoners. Yarla goes down to the now-peaceful protest and debates whether she should release the remaining files to the public or try to save her job. Before she decides, she scries on the real Geof, who is revealed to be under the effects of hallucinogenic mushrooms somewhere in the outer city.
Ivet returns home before Viktor, Davin, and Lothar arrive, puts the staff with the other, identical-looking one she retrieved from the Talpids in Chapter 1, and reads one of the files she stole. It concerns her dead friend, Avara, who according to the document worked for the Department of Intelligence.
Later, Viktor and Ivet make it to the museum to sell their coins. They discover that their items are worth significantly more than they thought, and the museum proprietor seems interested in their origins. After selling the collections and the information for over 500,000 gold, they go to the local magic shop to see about purchasing useful magic items. The shopowner has an unusual magical forge which allows her to copy the effects of anything she finds, and is involved in a feud with another magic shop who she believes stole a relic she was trying to copy, in order to profit from its uniqueness. Viktor agrees to buy a piece of the set from their shop and return it to her, since they were heading that way anyway. He also purchases a magic ring for Ivet which prevents her from being grabbed.
At the other shop, Viktor and Ivet purchase items that allow them to communicate 25 words mentally once a day, plus some extradimensional storage space. They learn that the shop seems loath to sell the set in pieces, and that the entire set is almost half of their total funds.
The shop also offers two unique items: a gold mask shaped like a horned bird which increases divine fire powers, and a gauntlet that creates shadow copies of itself on the wearer's other hand, from which it drains life to channel into the real gauntlet. Viktor tries on the latter, only to have it create black hands all over his body due to not understanding what counts as a hand on him. Viktor pretends that the effect is a curse, panicking the woman from the shop, and not removing it until they bring someone in to cast a curse-removing spell on him.
Viktor pretends to make a scene and storms out, and Ivet buys the gauntlet, the mask, and the stormdancer pants, circumventing the markup as the shop's apology for the cursed gauntlet. However, when she leaves the shop, Viktor notices that Ivet is being followed by some sort of invisible floating shapeless thing. They make their way to the town's teleporter to leave, only to have it be struck by lightning and malfunction. The guards there direct the duo to a nearby church of Lesuel to escape the escalating storm and dispel the divinations on Ivet, which now include a second one brought on by a rune-marked leaf that blew to her on the winds.
They enter the church and pay the cleric to dispel magic on Ivet against the protestations of a paladin of Harak, who recognizes them as evil. The cleric dispels the divination caused by the leaf, but as soon as she does so, a large green man with a ball and chain enters with another leaf that seeks out Ivet as well. He immediately attacks Ivet, which enrages Viktor. The cleric tries to break the fight up, but the green man says that he was sent by Jijhib on a holy mission and his church would pay for damages. The cleric accepts this and, seeing Viktor gaining an upper hand in the fight, joins in to ensure payment. Ivet in raptor form mauls and nearly kills the cleric in one attack, and the paladin flings his spear at her, killing Ivet.
Viktor loses control and starts transforming into his true form and putting on the gauntlet. He uses the extra claws to drain the paladin, the cleric, the green man, and himself in an attempt to heal Ivet. Somehow, it works, causing a massive explosion that destroys most of the temple, kills the cleric, and badly wounds Viktor, the paladin, and the green man. The latter two flee, while Ivet tends to Viktor and feeds him the cleric's corpse.
A man from the mage's academy appears to investigate a disturbance in the planar membranes, and Ivet and Viktor pretend to be a visiting interspecies couple who were hiding from the fight. The man teleports them to another nearby city, where they take the teleporter back to Oasis. They make their way back to Ivet's house, where they confess their feelings for one another and kiss.
The chapter begins with an interlude inside Ivet's dream. In the dream, there is an arch with three keyholes in the desert. She already has two keys, attributed to earth and sky, but is missing the third, attributed to sea. She receives a clue as to its whereabouts. There is a tree with the key in its branches, but then it is taken by a snake. The book "Xenophile", the one Viktor read when he learned about sexuality, is also present by the arch. Additionally, nearby there is a crack in the wall with a smiling face mask. The crack is dripping water. She removes the mask, causing a torrent of spraying water from the crack, and puts it on. It bends her over backwards and becomes an upside-down mask with three eyes.
Later the next day, Ivet and Viktor leave Ivet's house to run errands. They purchase a cow and Viktor eats it, which heals him but doesn't give him any upgrades.
The protagonist of the quest, and the main playable character. His natural form is about 18 feet tall, bipedal, with two main tentacle arms ending in four claws arranged in a star-like pattern. His body is covered in spined armor plates and a thick coat of smaller tentacles, like slimy, shaggy fur. He had two long, curved horns atop his head, six eyes on his face, and several more all over his body. His voice is naturally very deep and guttural, but he has displayed marked eloquence and intelligence at times, when not overcome by hunger. He is able to reshape his body at will, able to change its shape, composition, color, density, and mass, and is currently exploring other new magical abilities. A full listing of his current abilities can be found below.
Ivet is Viktor's love and sidekick, and is a mushroom-based creature created from the union of a myconid and a dryad. She is about 5 feet tall, humanoid, with reddish skin mottled with white dots. Her body shape is overall that of a thin, athletic human girl, with the exception of her shins, which end in large flat stumps like a mushroom stalk, rather than feet. She can selectively alter various parts of her body to resemble parts of mushrooms or plants, but can't deviate very far from her natural form with this ability. Ivet is generally fairly excitable, and has a tendency to ramble when she is nervous or excited. She is very good at social things, especially lying. She has an interest in nature and magic, and is a level 6 druid.
A deer-like Fey. Whether he's as big a ladies' and dudes' man as he claims to be is unclear. What is clear is that he's edible. Briefly a playable character at the beginning of chapter 2.
Another deer-like fey who is the leader of the rebellion group, the Hunters. Ex-boyfriend of Ivet. Has a pet ape and a grouchy demeanor. Last seen leaving Ivet's house.
Oh sweet Geof, we hardly knew ye, because you were someone else the whole time.
A harpy wizard who was a former friend of Ivet. Kinda bitchy when drunk. Taken by the cloaks during the party, mind-controlled to attack Davin's rebellion, cured, and returned home, but then asked to help aid the rebellion.
A tiefling (half-demon) granted powers by his demonic heritage. Pale, with horns, fangs, and a tail. Soul is forfeit to Kestephon upon his death. Laughs a lot. Last seen leaving Ivet's house after an argument with Davin.
An elven artificer who runs a magic shop in Oasis. Has access to a unique magical forge that can duplicate most magical effects. Makes stylish but overpriced clothing. Asked Viktor and Ivet to retrieve a piece of the Stormdancer's garb from another shop so she could duplicate and mass-produce it.
An Undine librarian from the elemental plane of water. Looks like a bluish human woman with a segmented shell on her back and six tentacles for legs. Likes books, pretending to be adventurous, and sex with tentacled creatures. Viktor last left her at her apartment while she slept. Briefly a playable character at the beginning of chapter 3.
An elven friend of Ivet's. Runs an ale stand, and knows lots of gossip. Taken by the cloaks during the party, current status unknown.
A half-giant who works public relations for Mother Oasis's government. Powers include psionic metacreativity and ability to reach the top shelf. Briefly a playable character at the beginning of chapter 4.
A large bird-like creature whose wings continually rain ashes. It has three eyes and horns, like Viktor, as well as four tentacles protruding from its beak. It claimed to be either the servant or master of an ancient necromancer. Was killed and eaten by Viktor.
We don't know his name or much about his church, but we do know he's a human with a hearty distrust of evil nonhumans. He wields a returning shocking holy silvered spear and seems willing to stand around waiting for any less-staunchly-good combatants to wear themselves out before flinging it, if they'll let him. Managed to kill Ivet. Last seen fleeing on his horse after being constricted and energy drained by Viktor.
Another nameless combatant, a barrel-shaped green giant. Wields a huge adamantium ball and chain, but is savvy with his fists as well. Uses few words, prefers to strike first, and cares little about collateral damage. Last seen fleeing after being heavily damaged and energy drained by Viktor.
A human follower of Lesuel who is primarily driven by want of gold. Unfortunate tendency to underestimate the leaping distance of dinosaurs. Critically wounded by Ivet, finished off by Viktor's energy drain, and summarily stripped of valuables and eaten.
Though she has yet to be encountered in the quest, we know a bit about her. She rules the city where Ivet lives, and has been alive so long Ivet considers the possibility that she might personally remember the Ungolan empire. She does not age, and at one point around twenty years ago a group tried to revere her as a goddess (which she refused). She is known to be a Lamia, with some connection to elementals as well, though not by blood (which elementals don't have, being non-living things). She was once more concerned with the needs of the fey, but now seems more interested in the needs of the various desert races and possibly the Lunaran church, which recently put its central church in her city.
Mysterious priests of the death god Lunaras. Many can turn into incorporeal shadows, and the more powerful of them appear mummified or skeletal.
Much larger and more powerful than Viktor, with a similar set of abilities. Also, either a spellcaster or with spellcaster minions. Affiliated with the Talpids. Appears to have returned underground following the events of the party.
Talpids (aka molemen)
The talpids bear much resemblance to bipedal star moles with large, white eyes. They have their own chittering language, which Ivet understands, but Viktor does not. They are advanced enough to at least forge metal weapons and armor, as well as having spellcasters in their midst.
One of the six gods that seem related to old gods. Portfolio relates to physical might and power.
One of the six gods that seem related to old gods. Portfolio includes will and the mind.
One of the six gods that seem related to old gods. Portfolio includes law and judgement. The old god he seems related to was called Strekarr. Strekarr was the chief deity of the Ungolan Empire.
One of the new gods, Ivet described as having to do with "introspection and discipline" and also "the most fun to say". Likely revered by ascetics.
One of the six gods that seem related to old gods. Portfolio includes Creation and Chaos. One of his servants is Lothar's mother, and as such Lothar's soul is owed to him upon his death. He is said to create artwork with the souls he collects.
A new god whom Ivet described as god of "mountains and beards". Likely related to the Dwarves.
A new god with something to do with bribery and gold. Viktor recently destroyed one of his churches and ate his cleric.
One of the six gods that seem related to old gods. Portfolio includes death and seemingly necromancy. His central church was recently installed in the domain of Mother Oasis, which was opposed by most of the Utia-worshiping Fey. Employs seemingly-undead agents who can transform into living shadows. Described as a white serpent. The old god he seems related to was called Diaban.
One of the seven old gods, seemingly without a modern counterpart. Portfolio included secrets, the ocean, and the night. Once worshiped by necromancers. Also known as The Abyss. Viktor, the Ash Crow, and The Singer may all be related to him somehow.
One of the six gods that seem related to old gods. Portfolio includes nature, lust, and predation. Most of the fey in the outer city of Mother Oasis's domain worship her. Described as not changing much from her old incarnation, which was called At'ya. At'ya was described as reincarnating repeatedly into the mortal world to retain ties to it, giving herself only a day between incarnations to exercise her full godly power.
One of the new gods, god of dragons. Described as having a portfolio most closely resembling that of Teyu, though it does not match exactly.
- Eating meat-based intelligent creatures. Eating enough of them grants him new abilities.
- Sticks to walls and ceilings
- Extremely strong and fast
- Stretch and shrink
- Change colors
- Change composition between many natural materials like muscle, bone, scales, bark, and hair
- Mimic other creatures or objects, including changing his voice
- Vary in size from about the size of a mouse to twice his natural size
- Alter mass (magical ability):
- Minimum mass is normal mass for a creature of his current size or his total mass, whichever is lower.
- Maximum mass is normal mass for a creature four times bigger than his current size or his total mass, whichever is lower.
- Change between two forms without reverting to normal form in between, as long as he has assumed the target form before.
- High sensory acuity, able to sense things by smell or vibrations and detect edible life through concealing objects (magical ability)
- Line of acid breath weapon (magical ability)
- Immune to mind-affecting effects and can see through illusions
- Poorly-understood magical powers:
- Shoot beams of energy from hands
- Knows a set of "invocations", magical abilities similar to spells but with less restrictions on their use (listed below)
Darktide - creates a solid globe of water around Viktor. When invoked, the rushing water pushes other entities outside its boundaries unless they brace themselves and are strong enough to withstand it. The water nullifies fire-based attacks and makes ranged weaponry less likely to hit, as well as forcing opponents wishing to engage him in melee to do so while swimming. It remains active for a few minutes or until he dismisses it.