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829557 No. 829557 ID: d36af7

An angel, a coward, a demon, a White Elf, a liar, a laborer, a saint, a siren, and a wizard walk into a bar. The barkeep says "Why the l̨̗̖͎̜͖̙̻͛̿͆̎͋ͯo̍̓ͭn̩͉͎̼͆g͚̦̙ͥ̎ͨͥ̎ face?" The demon replies "I can provide you with more than a hundred barrels of ale, sixty gallons each, over the course of the next week, if you, in return, stop asking such stupid questions." Soon enough they come to an agreement.

From Zelkor's Ferry, you can head upriver about 25 miles to Passholdt's border fort. If you're going by land, most people wait for good weather and a large group, then march the whole way to the fort in one day, so as to avoid the red bear. Dirt road turns to mud when it rains. Follow that tributary river (the channel which the ferry actually crosses) to the south and there's a lake, on the far side of the lake is Rook's Vineyard. We don't go there anymore. Downriver, it's about fifty miles to the old coast road, which continues as far north or south as anyone's ever cared to check.

North bank of the river and dozens of miles beyond, from here to the coast road, is marshy lowlands. Swamp trolls live there, and stilt-walker elves, and green-robed monks in decrepit cloisters atop the few rocky outcroppings. There are rumors of some ancient beast sleeping under the mire, able to swallow elephants whole.

Any other direction, forest. All kinds of monsters in the forest, but only three kinds of men. First kind is outlaws, meaning pathetic types on the run from their own mistakes, Most are decent enough, if you give 'em a bit of charity and remember to keep a hand over your purse. Not many survive more than a few weeks. Second is bandits, meaning hardened thieves and murderers who've made the forest their home. They'll take everything you have and afterward, if you're lucky, ransom you back to civilized folk naked and bereft but in the right number of pieces. Third type is those hunting the first two. Adventurers, bounty hunters, questing knights, whatever.

Wiki: http://tgchan.org/wiki/Please_do_not_Take_these_Organs
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4587981[/spoiler]
579 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 909668 ID: add037

rolled 4, 3, 5 = 12

>Root-like tentacle grabs your ankle, then starts to squeeze.
Technically I suppose it did reveal itself. Need to be more careful about my wording...

>Pog quickly grabs Nistamatsin and pulls him away...
Nin will reach down and grip the tentacle in his hands before it can let go so that the stump monster gets yanked toward us instead of the other way around.
>>
No. 911772 ID: 2007b6

>>909655
>Azure overwatches for an ambush!
Rook's Vineyard continues to be a ghost town, quietly reclaimed by the wilderness an inch at a time. Only ambush in evidence is the one coming from under the ground.
>>909668
>Nin will reach down and grip the tentacle in his hands before it can let go so that the stump monster gets yanked toward us instead of the other way around.
The stump monster is bigger than both of you put together, and securely attached to the ground. Accordingly, Nin has become caught in the middle of a tug-of-war, playing the role of "rope under a thousand pounds of tension." Pick which limb gets dislocated first, then everybody present should proceed with your next combat actions.
>>
No. 912395 ID: 094652

rolled 4, 5, 4 = 13

Azure assumes second-in-command duties and rallies the party to spread out, flank, and decimate the hidden stump monster from all sides!

Pog decides to try pulling the roots until he can uplift the stump.
>>
No. 912425 ID: 9646f1

rolled 2, 1, 3 = 6

>>911772
While it's preoccupied, Kent will leap into action, winding up for a super powered stomp at the base of the tree, trying to sever the root entangling NIN.
>>
No. 912427 ID: 67f3bb

rolled 6, 1, 3 = 10

>Pick which limb gets dislocated first
A wealth of choices! Nin will try to maneuver so that both legs get dislocated simultaneously. He will also try to call forth his flame spear to stab at the grasping root.
>>
No. 912500 ID: 2007b6

>>912425
Resultant ripple spreads through much of the town, and releases a significant quantity of bubbles from something just offshore.
>>912427
Stump-monster is reduced to charcoal, revealing both the missing gold, and partially-digested corpses of the two former gravediggers.

Half an hour later, Kent comes straight back down and lands safely.
>>
No. 912513 ID: 9646f1

rolled 5, 2, 6 = 13

>>912500
>Half an hour later, Kent comes straight back down and lands safely.

Their masked face turns side to side for a bit while they rub the back of their neck. All's well that ends well I suppose!

Taking Azure asside Kent signs about the bubbles released when they jumped- you know a bit about stonework, right? Any ideas what might be going on there? Bad air trapped under the shore? Also, that pull looked pretty nasty, is NIN okay?
>>
No. 912682 ID: 2007b6

>>912513
>is NIN okay?
Can't stand up, knees bending the wrong way, so... no. Lt. Cmdr. Jalkaren Blessed-Is-The-Light could fix that pretty quickly, but wants to hear somebody's explanation of how this side trip was relevant to the larger mission, first.
>>
No. 912698 ID: 9646f1

rolled 4, 3, 5 = 12

>>912682
Well, Kent thinks the primary goal was money retrieval, since that helps procure labor and tools for the project at hand. Loyalty and follow through is important too- other folks might take advantage of them if they don't think there's any consequences for doing so. Probably other ramifications, but this is mostly damage control after the most recent recruitment efforts backfired a bit. Still, there's an overall net increase of contributors, which should prove beneficial. On that subject, how would you feel about offering healing as an incentive for dungeon clearing? Obviously for folks not already on the team- Kent was thinking other folks might want to join the project if they could get ailments cured and had a solid benefits plans. Of course, that depends on how much you're willing to commit to getting this place fixed up- obviously our crew is living here for the foreseeable future, on the job so to sign, but it's clear you've got lots of responsibilities. Not sure how high up on the priority list this pet project of ours is for you.

A small respectful bow and hand sign of honorific is applied a moment after the fact, tacked on like a plesantry forgotten by someone who doesn't put much stock in them, but knows other people care enough it might be worth it to include them.
>>
No. 912714 ID: 094652

>Why is this relevant, sayth Jalkaren
Because the majority of our funding was going to be used on two worthless pardons. And since Jalkaren loves to overcharge her wares, much of it will be going to her anyway, so...

Azure has a funny idea: give the grave robbers a proper burial inside the base with all the gold they have on them, then rob THEIR graves when they need the gold.

... But no seriously she'll petition Jalkaren to resurrect these two (FOR FREE) with a warning. It's only respectable to forgive the ignorant.

Maybe purchase some expensive bomb collars as well.
>>
No. 912736 ID: afdebc

rolled 2, 2, 5 = 9

>>901178
>Rhea will stay at camp, with Isaiah. She'll work on[...]
>>902355
Any follow up on how things went at camp while the others were out and about?

>>912714
>Azure has a funny idea: give the grave robbers a proper burial inside the base with all the gold they have on them, then rob THEIR graves when they need the gold.
Rhea seriously informs Azure there is nothing funny about proper funeral rites, or grave-robbing.

If the price paid for their breach of hospitality and theft was their lives, then so be it. Further punishment or hope for redemption is a matter for the afterlife.

The gold returns to the group (thieves, dead or not, do not have a claim) and the dead should receive rites as it is the right thing to do.

Unless Jalkaren revives them, of course, but as they didn't die helping the mission, she has little reason to do so, and their betrayal gives the group little incentive to pay for it.

Unless someone is familiar with the preferred religious practices of the dead, Rhea will perform the rites of her own faith, appropriate for an outsider of unknown faith, and for those who died without atoning for a serious sin (may they find forgiveness and repentance). By default, such rites involve immolation rather than burial, but she's willing to accommodate other practices if they're more appropriate for the circumstances.
>>
No. 912740 ID: e4aa95

rolled 6, 5, 6 = 17

>revealing both the missing gold, and partially-digested corpses of the two former gravediggers.
Anything left for Nin to eat?

>Lt. Cmdr. Jalkaren Blessed-Is-The-Light
Nin bristles at the angel's mention. He says he'd rather let Rhea take a look, or perhaps simply amputate the legs, before anybody goes to Jalkaren.

We have a way to get all this money back to camp?
>>
No. 912779 ID: 9646f1

rolled 2, 2, 2 = 6

>>912736

>No incentive for the angel to raise the dead
Kent points out that evenif they betrayed us and died running away, they can still be helpful. Resurrection gives us two more bodies to throw at the current dungeon project, and who knows, maybe things'll be different this time.

>Rhea suggest she perform the funeral rites
Isaiah makes a small polite coughing noise, and says
"The other outlaws may know something of the regional customs, if not personal faiths. Just a thought of course."
The way he hovers behind Rhea and clacks around like a someone who doesn't want you to know they were starting at you indicates he might have more he wants to say.
>>
No. 912821 ID: 094652

rolled 3, 3, 2 = 8

>>912714
Oh we're at camp now, I thought we needed to wait for the party to make their way back. Rolling to talk to Jalkaren about these two technically being in her service (albeit on the verge of permanent termination) and the possibility of the health insurance policy still being in effect. If this fails then she'll say a quick prayer to the grave robbers and an "I tried".

>>912736
Azure quickly apologizes to Rhea and Jalkaren for her chide remark.
>>
No. 913153 ID: 2007b6

>>912736
>Any follow up on how things went at camp while the others were out and about?
You've got a prototype mockup for a bakery oven with a high-efficiency flue built. The flames involved are under strict instructions to treat wooden blocks as stone, mossy mud as hardened mortar, sheets of starched felt as cast iron, and to give regular reports on airflow with particular emphasis on any unintended leakages. Without constant supervision, it would probably destroy itself in seconds. First round of cake attempts were disappointing, but edible.

Building the oven properly will probably take at least a week, once you've got the parts. Big Morgan can fabricate metal parts no problem, but for the main structural ceramics you'll need to either pay for bricks from Passholdt (and have someone haul tons of stuff overland, through an area with a random encounter table that includes unfriendly things) or owe Jalkaren a favor.
>>
No. 913166 ID: 2007b6

rolled 4, 2, 5, 2 - 3 = 10

>>912740
>We have a way to get all this money back to camp?
Scoop it into a bag and Pog can carry it one-handed, no sweat.

>Anything left for Nin to eat?
Skin and extremities are a total loss, but the internal organs basically got marinated, roasted, and infused with hickory smoke, on top of the almost syrupy-thick unrepentant wickedness already present. Not quite as delicious as that cornered ninja, but more than makes up for it on quantity.

>Nin bristles at the angel's mention. He says he'd rather let Rhea take a look, or perhaps simply amputate the legs, before anybody goes to Jalkaren.
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RightBehindMe
>rolled 6, 5, 6 = 17
Jalkaren's temperance may be divinely vast, but is still less than infinite. She overhears this rejection, misconstrues it as intent to fully withdraw support from the larger mission, and sheathes her sword through that solid silver statue in such a way as to create a small yet structurally critical hole among Nin's vital organs. However much I just rolled, take three times that many points of injury, and consider gurgling out an apology before going into shock.
>>
No. 913188 ID: 77c691

rolled 1, 1, 4 = 6

>apologize to the angel
Pffff right

"May you suck Orcus' cock in Hell, Jalkaren."
>>
No. 913200 ID: 77c691

rolled 1, 2, 2 = 5

>>913188
Cause I can't let a good roll go to waste, Nin will continue until he's silenced with lurid and grotesque description of Jalkaren's debasement before all the demon lords of Hell, intermittent with gargled cackling.
>>
No. 913239 ID: 094652

rolled 2, 4, 4 = 10

>>913166
Azure figured this would happen. It's for the best, Jalkaren should get her disgust out of her system before she lets herself get manipulated by the dungeon boss. Nistamatsin will make a hollow apology and that will be the-
>>913188
Azure begins shrieking in her head.
>>913200
Okay now she's doing mental jogging jacks and Pog is squealing in the real world.

"AAA HE DIDN'T MEAN IT POG HOLD HIM DOWN BY THE MOUTH HOLD HIM DOWN BY THE MOUTH!!!"

Azure quickly performs surgery on Nistamatsin while using any remaining magical healing to assist and urges Rhea and Isiah to pitch in.
>>
No. 916201 ID: 2007b6

rolled 9, 5 = 14

>>913188
>>913200
>>913239
Roughly a swimming pool worth of Nistamatain's blood has leaked out before you stabilize him. Every empty storefront facing the scene is at least cosmetically splattered, the hole where the stump-monster was incinerated has turned into a knee-deep muddy pond, and a thin crimson trail is trickling it's way downhill toward the lake. Worms and other burrowing vermin, twisted by the prodrome of what could have been a dying-breath curse, seethe up out of the ground to avoid drowning in blood. All that wood ash means the central pool is a mildly caustic alkali.

Nin's not going to be in any condition to walk before the sun goes down, and the smell attracts scavengers. Rolling for random encounters.
>>
No. 916253 ID: 4c489d

rolled 1, 4, 6 = 11

>>916201
Nin tenses up for the finishing blow, and when it doesn't come he lets out a wretched otherworldly rattle. "That treacherous wretch! She denies me my retribution on the final step!" The demon claws worms and bugs out of the bloodsoaked mud with his filthy bony fingers and crushes them in his palms, convulsing with rage despite his injuries.

He manages to tucker himself after several minutes. Lying limply, "Please help me into one of the buildings."
>>
No. 916270 ID: 094652

rolled 3, 3, 6 = 12

>>916253
"ENOUGH.

We made you our leader. We followed you through deathtraps and took casualties under your orders. We just saved your life when you were so blinded by hatred that you may as well have impaled yourself on her sword. We did all this because we owe you debts of money, blood, and friendship, but those debts are nearly resolved from your costly and suicidal behavior. I don't understand how you can derive such pleasure from the spite of an angel who is bending over in pain just to bring herself to even speak with you, or why you subsequently WANT her to kill you when that would just please her greatly, but this bickering has to end immediately. We owe her a debt. We have not paid that debt with anything but death and insults. Worst-case scenario, we are all judged by the gods themselves for dereliction of duty and divine assault.

I swore an oath to pay my debt to you but choosing to risk eternal damnation from the gods for everyone who works for you will pay that debt in SECONDS. We actually liked working for you when you weren't assaulting our client.

... You don't want to talk to Jalkaren anymore. Fine. I will. Every time you demand something from her, your message goes through me. I'll negotiate terms for you and her. From now on, whenever you two argue directly and you lose your higher infernal reasoning skills, I'm in charge of the party, and I will stay in charge until you regain enough clarity and temperament to order me back in line. Is that acceptable?"

Azure orders the party to group together. The buildings are dilapidated, they won't last very long so the party needs to prepare to move. The plan is to create a series of campfires to pass through the woods safely until they can get to the nearest safe zone; the camp, the inn, that guard post those two grave robbers were heading towards, as long as the party is guarded. Focus on survival, we need to re-establish our relationship with Jalkaren before we add more bodies to her workload or she might void our health insurance for good. Pog will carry Nistamatsin so he should be fine. Rhea and Jack's crew should make a fire from fallen branches to ward off any scavengers. Isiah has enough armor to survive a sneak attack, so he and the other professional survivor will scout ahead for the best path once they can move again, and pile nearby branches so Rhea can get a head start on building the next few campfires. Healers, concentrate on Nistamatsin and make sure his wounds don't re-open, get his hit points back up so he can be moved without taking damage. Azure used up all her healing magic so she'll rest up and try to get enough partial spell slots to continue healing, same goes for any other healers out of heals. Everyone else should stay on watch and use any light or fire spells they can to keep the beasts away. Throw your rations as a distraction if necessary, fight if you have the upper hand, and if you think your specialist skills can be used for a better plan, don't hesitate to tell Azure.
>>
No. 916297 ID: e4aa95

rolled 4, 6, 2 = 12

>>916270
"I do not know how to convey this to you, Azure. But...I died many years ago. What you see before you," Nin gestures to his broken body, "is an empty husk. Bereft of purpose and incapable of any sort of happiness or fulfillment. Do you understand? I care for all of you so much, but such feelings go against my nature. Is it any wonder I wish for death? I don't know why fate keeps conspiring to keep me alive.

But all I want is to help you, protect you, ease your suffering. For you, Kent, Pog, Rhea, everybody. And I have failed. A demon with a cracked soul does not make a good leader, but I will try to do better. I'll even ... apologize to Jalkaren, and try to stop provoking her. If she's not still trying to kill me."

>From now on, whenever you two argue directly and you lose your higher infernal reasoning skills, I'm in charge of the party, and I will stay in charge until you regain enough clarity and temperament to order me back in line. Is that acceptable?
"Yes."

>The buildings are dilapidated, they won't last very long so the party needs to prepare to move.
"The buildings have been standing for years. I'm more concerned about whatever drove the mortals out of this place."
>>
No. 916350 ID: 70903e

rolled 6, 3, 1 = 10

Kent looks as confused as someone who's face is completely covered can look. NIN bleeds everywhere, cursing the angel, Azure ranting about something or other, NIN seeming... repentant? Odd times indeed.

Regardless, gold has been retrieved, and there's the matter of getting everything back to camp. If they want to make good time it seems like Pog should carry the gold and NIN. Probably best to leave the corpses here, unless we can get a long distance resurrection going. Speaking of...

Kent turns to Azure, strategically positioning themselves so her body obscures his hands from Nistamatsin.

"Youre in charge of talking to the Angel now, right? I can't tell if she can see me sign, so could you send a message out asking about resurrections? I'd bring it up with her myself if I could be sure it wasn't falling on blind eyes, but I think two extra bodies would go a long way towards getting everyone and everything back to town in decent shape, especially if we don't have to pay anyone extra for a delivery fee."
>>
No. 920324 ID: 094652

Azure writes up a draft on what she's going to say to Jalkaren:

* I'd like to apologize on behalf of our leader
* He's actually suicidal (his wife is dead, crisis of identity, etc) and has agreed to an apology
* We have every intention of completing the tasks ahead of us, but we'd like to get all the bureaucracy and preparation done.
* Few are the projects which are completed without a stable budget, not to mention the thieves would spread rumors of their success which indicates a potential rise in enemies looking to raid what they believe is an easy target, destroying the forest and the hospital's reputation
* I hope we may remain cordial despite these incidents and I will be taking command the next time Nistamatsin has another stress attack
* Also, are the thieves still under your employment contract despite the breach of terms or have you considered them officially terminated?

Maybe they should rest up and recharge spell slots. It's been a long day.
>>
No. 921407 ID: 094652

rolled 6, 2, 6 = 14

Azure instructs the crew to build barricades and fires, and take sleep shifts until it seems safe to move. When the time is right, they'll head back to civilization, or stay in this abandoned village until daybreak.

Hopefully there will be no encounters...
>>
No. 932890 ID: f57349

rolled 1, 3, 6 = 10

Rolling for number of horse-sized web-spinning spiders encountered.
>>
No. 932891 ID: f57349

rolled 10, 1 = 11

Rolling for size of the pack of wolves encountered.
>>
No. 935198 ID: d9acdc

rolled 5, 6, 1 = 12

>>916350
>>920324
After the Lieutenant failed to grace them with divine assistance, Kent took some "souvenirs" off their dead grave robbers. Not particularly sure what needs to be done, but Rhea, Isaiah, and/or the Angel might appreciate having something left of the remains to do their business with. Getting Azures help, despite her insistence that Pog should be lifting NIN, the demon is more tactically transported into a house, as requested- out of sight from the original mess, in one of the less defunct structures. The gravediggers, or what was left at least, are then taken in other directions, on a hunch that such precautions (if they can even be labeled as such) might help? When the wolves arrive, Kent isn't quite as overjoyed as they were at the signs of arachnids nearby.
>>
No. 935205 ID: 094652

rolled 5, 1, 5 = 11

Azure attempts to charm one of the spiders into creating sticky webbing near the entrance of the ruin, and then attempts to charm the wolves into rolling around in the sticky goo and on each other. Pog blocks the entrance of the ruin with Azure and NIN inside, ready to knock the wolves out (or worse). With any luck, the plan will allow Azure and Pog to create a literal wolf wall.

They've done this before. It got weird.
>>
No. 938595 ID: d9acdc

rolled 1, 2, 4 = 7

>>935205
Kent tries to sign to Azure casually that they may want to take caution- if this is the work of Drusilla, we may not want to start any nonsense. Hard to imagine why she'd come out here to this blighted place though. Defectors? Of course, it could be totally unrelated.

Kent will adopt signs of deference for the wolves- after all, they can't exactly emulate arachnid body language all that well. With the mask on, it's harder to show the pack that eyes are averted, so they opt to turn their head down and to the side, to avoid the appearance of eye contact. They then "freeze", holding a position to show they recognize the wolves as a threat and are submitting.
>>
No. 941918 ID: f57349

>>932891
>>935198
>>935205
>>938595
After a lot of sniffing about and howling at each other, the largest of the eleven wolves steps forward into the ring of your camp's firelight and barks, "Meat!"

Coughs, pauses. "Meat in... hole, near water. Is it yours? Or of the forest, for anyone?"
>>
No. 941921 ID: 094652

rolled 3, 2, 2 = 7

>>941918
"Oh, hello! Such a fluffy voice! The meat once listened to us, but then it stole one hundred of our shiny rocks and ran away. And then a monster turned the talking meat into not-talking meat and buried it.

... Would you like us to cook it for you?"

Meanwhile, Pog has to keep Azure from flapping over to the fluffy talking wolf so she can pet it.

(Roll to befriend the wolves)
>>
No. 942032 ID: f57349

>>941921
You successfully befriend the wolves. After they've sated themselves (and incidentally wreaked a grisly sort of karmic justice on the grave-robbers) the spokeswolf observes that some giant spiders seem to have encircled the area, and proposes a cooperative approach to escaping. Rumor has it humans and birds can see a "third color," but that's not enough to reliably notice webs before you stumble into them, especially not at night. Scent can find the sticky traps, then fingers or fire clear a path to the shore of the lake, where there aren't enough buildings or trees to string webs from. Sound good?
>>
No. 942248 ID: d9acdc

rolled 6, 6, 3 = 15

>>942032
Kent doubts the Man-Wise Wolves know white ell sign language (WESL), given their lack of dexterous digits required to make hand signs, and turns rather helplessly towards Azure and NIN. Seems decent enough plan, right? Maybe they can even charm a spider into coming home with them!
>>
No. 942262 ID: 094652

rolled 2, 5, 2 = 9

>Escape from the spiders
"Very well, it will be nice to run alongside you."

>Strategy
"Alright, everyone, find any junk items in your bags and be sure to wave them in deep arcs! Torches, arrows, sticks you find on the ground! If it sticks, is low-priced, and it's not attached to your skin, leave it behind! I want a secondary team ready to cut or burn off any webs that get stuck on skin! Nistamatsin and anyone exhausted, I want you to try to regain a second wind while we carry you, but if you can't, then at least wave some sticks or ribbons in the air so we aren't ambushed from web traps above! Wolves, stay on the inside of our pack and lunge at any spider that attacks for more than two seconds! Warriors, form a defensive wall; if you use shields, use your primary hand to wave a torch and have your primary weapon ready to be drawn! Archers, hold your fire until you see someone injured or losing a skirmish, then focus fire on the spider that is attacking them and switch to regular defensive fire until the defensive wall is back up! Conserve your energy, make it back to base or town, and let's focus on making it out of this alive! Do not worry about 'spider loot', we have our own beef to worry about!"
>>
No. 942317 ID: f57349

What's your marching order? In particular, once you get to the lake, who's closest to the water?
>>
No. 942369 ID: 5139d2

rolled 3, 2, 5 = 10

>>942317
Nin thanks Azure for taking charge in his moment of crisis and starts drawing out a formation in the bloodsoaked dirt with his finger.

Nin will go first with spear in hand, as he has the best chance of spotting the webs aside from the wolves. And if he holds the spear out in front of himself, it may demolish any traps before he can even walk into them. Wolves will all move together behind Nin, with Azure and Kent and Pog in the rear. Nin tells the wolves it may be best to stay back if he's attacked, as his spear is very dangerous and he doesn't want to accidentally stab any of them.

>Who will be closest to the water?
Nin
>>
No. 942385 ID: 17c0bf

rolled 6, 1, 1 = 8

>>942369
Upon NIN offering to take point, Kent points at the rather generous opportunity NIN has been afforded to share his blood with the abandoned town, and gives a quizzical gesture: You okay?
Seems unlikely that NIN would be stable enough to take point, given the massive hemorrhaging and hemorrhaging-related wounds he's currently suffering. Pog would normally be a good front man, but he's likely to blunder ahead without watching his step, and would be significantly more difficult for anyone to recover. Azure can't take the spear, for risk of her immolating or otherwise getting distracted and fluttering off into some webbing. Instead, why don't we have the big man carry the chest of gold, and see if we can't gather some webbing to staunch the scarlet flow, as it were. Azure can get help from one of the Wolves to support NIN, they seem to like her after all, so she can keep one hand on the crossbow trigger. Probably can't share that flaming spear with anyone else actually, come to think of it- technically a curse, right? If there's any way you *can* get it off, I think I might be the best front guard we have currently, Kent suggests.
>>
No. 942542 ID: f57349

>>942369
Webs are evaded or chopped through successfully; various roaming scavengers, including fist-sized mosquitos, are less fortunate. A few miles later, walking along the thin strip of sand between grass and water, some sort of tentacle lashes out and grabs Nistamatsin by the legs. Nin proves unable to ingest the lake faster than he's being dragged under, but it's a near thing.
>>/questdis/93988
>>
No. 942570 ID: 094652

rolled 4, 2, 6 = 12

Azure quickly casts Dancing Lights at where she approximates the owner of the tentacle is lurking, and orders all ranged allies to fire if they know they can hit the light. Azure also takes aim and fires.

Pog grabs onto Nistamatsin's leg and holds it in place for the other warriors to slice the tentacle off.
>>
No. 942576 ID: de48bd

rolled 6, 5, 4 = 15

>>942542
Nothing fancy this time, Nin just tries to stab the tentacles. And continues vacuuming up lake water
>>
No. 942654 ID: f57349

>>942576
>>942570
Nin is not successfully rescued, and when you make it back to the main camp, the Fire Hawks are there.
>>
No. 942659 ID: f57349

Since there was a bit of a long hiatus, during which I was juggling a lot of other characters in an unrelated quest, and it's been brought to my attention various adventurers haven't been gaining levels as much as they ought, and two groups are meeting for the first time... let's have a bit of a recap.

Everybody re-introduce yourselves. Appearance, personal equipment (armor in particular), any notably grand sensual indulgences or terrifying ordeals since the last time you gained a level, and whatever else you think might be relevant.
>>
No. 942676 ID: 094652

A:"- and remember not to exert yourself during exercise, all your nerves are on vacation and not doing their jobs. And finally: you need to divorce yourself from your racism of Angels. We've seen Jalkaren isn't some forged-from-a-mold glob of divine spit, she's a real person, with individual quirks, and she managed to scam us. I'm sure that if you look past your nebulous experience with angels who you don't even remember-"
H:"Azure?"
A:"-you can hate each other like-"
Azure freezes in place. Then her head turns to the Fire Hawks.
A:"...normal... frenemies?"
Azure stares at Hore for three seconds. Then she quickly glomps her.
A:"HORE!!!"
H:"Hey, lil' sis! So, how was Pontypridd?"
A:"Oh, it was SO not worth it! There was another of those strange incidents where Pog found a murder scene and we totally got blamed for it!"
H:"Cost of being infamous, right? The hounded-by-serial-killers part, not the... well, you know."
A:"Right?! And then they had all the evidence they needed, so then we had to run from the lynch mob, in the rain, and I had to follow this expedition into Bloodmist-"
H:"Wait, you followed us?! WE were the expedition into BM Labyrinth!"
A:"SERIOUSLY?!"
H:"Yeah! It all went to ^&*(! I've fought in warzones that had less murdermachines trying to kill you! I am so glad you weren't zapped to permadeath like I almost was!"
*Extra hug*

After the reunion's over, Hore introduces herself to Magic Sword while Azure reintroduces herself to the Fire Hawks and Maru.
Hore is a half-gnoll with cyborg technology that was plane-shifted along with her elvenoid mother. Her combat class is Kineticist, a strange variant of sorcery that pushes the limits of her body to severe exertion every time she casts 1st and above and/or modifies her spells with augments, but gives her a powerful version of elemental magic missile as a 0-th circle somatic-only spell. In her spare time, Hore tinkers with new inventions and seeks forbidden technological knowledge. Hore's past can be summed up as 'daughter of former tribal goddess, turned war mercenary / Azure's on-off bodyguard'. Her weapon proficiency is the halberd, and she wears leather armor. Hore has many horrible habits from her upbringing that turn people away, but she likes making friends, and the Fire Hawks secured her loyalty by mostly not ignoring her all the time. After 4th level, Hore managed to take a close look at a magic scroll she was planning on researching for funsies, helped Vos save Azarthraine from burning half to death, and got stuck in that giant mud ball with Agatha and Bulgruf, which was a fun experience.
Azure appears to be a harpy, with phoenix blood that sets her on fire every time she takes damage and a major weakness to fire, but gives her the conditional power to resurrect herself after 24 hours if a large portion of her body turns to ashes - which it usually does when she explodes at 0 hit points. She is a bard who has three focuses: beauty, healing, and dominationpersuasion. Likewise, her main dreams in life are to become a famous idol, to become worthy of inheriting her father's merchant company, and to experience exotic sexual fetishes throughout the world. Azure carries around a crossbow and wears skimpy clothing, relying on her flying abilities to dodge attacks at long range. Azure is arrogant and pampered, but recent events have caused her to mellow out and try to contribute more to her friends. After 3rd level, Azure has been the team's diplomat and secondary leader, as she carried the team while Nistamatsin suffered PTSD and injuries, and made friends with a talking wolf and his pack to help them and her team escape from a pack of spiders.
Pog is Azure's slave bodyguard, twisted by years of magical experimentation into a caricature of orcish stereotypes; big, fat, pig-like. He lived most of his life with plate armor grafted to his skin, granting him the Armored Hulk class, a heavy-armor barbarian specialization. Pog was born a slave of Azure's father, conditioned to have the mind of a hyperactive manchild, but brain damage from Jenk freed him from his conditioning, though not his loyalty to Azure. Pog wields a pickaxe and a hammer chained to his plate armor. Pog has been silent for a while, but he'll still show his stunted understanding of the world every now and then. After 4th level, Pog has generally been rescuing Nistamatsin from being pulled to his doom by monsters, including a tree monster and that lake monster.
>>
No. 942694 ID: 12be1e

rolled 2, 2, 1 = 5

Decaro Vos, eel-man paladin of the flesh goddess! Looking like a monstrous mockery of a medieval crusader, he sports a long, coiling naga tail which he slithers around on, a snappy moray face, and a crab claw replacing his right hand. Wearing a well-worn chain shirt with a tattered tabard over top and nothing else. He has a calm and peaceful demeanor.
>>
No. 943617 ID: 094652

Azure and Hore are sitting at the campfire, talking things over. Azure occasionally moves over to Hore and tries to dress her hair.
H:"So... how bad was Bloodmist for you?"
A:"Well, I got split up from Pog and killed like half an hour in, and something happened to Pog but he won't tell me what."
H:"He's been staring at us for fifteen minutes without asking about the size of his head. Is he okay?"
A:"I don't know. He's still there, he still knows who we are and what to do, but it's like his speech has been replaced with a little extra intelligence. I'm worried something else might be driving his body."
H:"I'll see what I can do, but I'm not a brain healer."
A:"Okay, as long as you can still do something. But on the plus side, I feel... different! Like there was this fog from all the sex and vapors, keeping me from being smart, and the trek through the labyrinth somehow cleared some of the fog and I can do song magic again!"
Azure casts Resistance on Hore to show she's back and barding.
H:"Well, look at you! All leveled up and raring to go onstage! Still planning on researching that 'Eagle' we mentioned?"
A:"Not for a while. Haha, don't worry Hore, when it's ready, I'll share! Haha, yeah... when it's... ready... Anyways, then I met with Rhea here, and she just started a quest for her mother so she could learn cuisine, and I followed her out but we got arrested in Passholdt for accidentally setting a factory on fire, and then they found out about the Pontypridd incident..."
H: "So you songstressed them into letting-"
A: "Hore, there was a dragon in the courtroom. I only got two minutes before they cast something to compulse me to talk about Pog."
H: "I... Azure, I've heard that being convicted does more to a celebrity career than actual imprisonment. Are you sure-"
A: "Relax, I got something similar to community service. Some prisoner-of-war thing. So like jail, but I was technically a war criminal? I don't know, they just wanted more excuses to continue their stupid civil war with some underground gureilla troopers."
H: "So I'm guessing you couldn't bribe the guards because without Pog to threaten them, they'd just snatch any money you took out of your bags. Did your dad buy you out of jail?"
A:"No, that's when the weird happened. One moment I was talking to this nice couple who were house-arrested for some political border nonsense, and the next I found myself with this... enthusiastic... demon guy, Nistamatsin, and he's the one who used divine magic, some kind of pseudo-time-travel, and crazy-powerful luck to get me and Pog to safety!"
H:"Cool. And slightly concerning. How'd he do that?"
A:"You know how I told you about that one time those commoners were gambling with a Deck of Many Cards-"
H:"-and one of them drew a Reaper and his family tried so save him and then the Reaper multiplied?"
A:"Like that but with really good luck. And some unambitious choices from what I heard."
H:"So you're sticking to him because he's like twenty more poker matches away from a jackpot, right?"
A:"Actually, we're cleaning up a hospital for an angel!"
H:"... You've been stuck in an endless flame war haven't-"
A:"Worse, Hore. Worse."
H:"... Well, I'm here now. You know, to help you get this nightmare over with. And-"
Azure is strangely quiet for a while. So is Hore.
H:"Azure, I... I signed up for a contract with the Fire Hawks. A permanent one. But, you know, when your volunteer job is over, you can stick with us. We-"
A:"Listen, Hore."

Hore is slightly unnerved at Azure's sudden change in tone, but Azure loosens somberly, and takes a deep breath.
A:"... I'm in debt."
H:"What."
A:"I... I am in monetary debt to someone. I lost all my possessions when I exploded. Well, except for my panties."
H:"But you found some treasure, right? I found a water boiler rock, it's fun to play with, I'm sure you found-"
A:"Not enough. Wouldn't even be enough. I took an oath, a real oath, to help Nistamatsin for saving me from prison. Then I took some language lessons from his employer on credit. She's not as honest as she would have you believe."
H:"Azure, I... I can't believe-"
A:"S-so, so I... I can't... I can't p-pay you, I-I-I-"
H:"Azure!"
Hore puts a hand on her shoulder.
H:"It's okay. You don't have to pay me. I'll pay you."
A:"W-wha...
H:"Look, Azure, yes, it was always partly about the money. You kept me afloat when I would have wandered aimlessly looking for a job I didn't have the talent to find. But it was never about how much. You're good with money, and you're better with... with LIFE. Anyone else in your talons, they would have been scammed in a week with a knife in their back."
A:"uhhh..."
H:"Well, permanently. And more to the point, you're one of the few people who paid me so I would live. Not just to stay close to me, but because you wanted to see me again. Point is, I always trusted you would always be there for me. You and Pog are the closest I've ever had to a family since my mom died. So you're broke? Then let's earn you some money! You'll hold on to it better than I ever did."
A:"... Hore..."
*Tender hug*
A:"I'll make sure you get your full share. No matter what! Also, I'm not fully broke, I saved the crossbow-"
H:"Oh thank Tittivila I spent like seven months designing that thing and lost the blueprints."
A:"...Titty-villa? What? Aaand I even found one of my previous bodies' severed heads in preservative! Over here, see the green jar?"
H:"Whaaat? How is it not a pile of ash right now?"
A:"I don't know, I thought it exploded along with the guy who liked decapitating his victims over a vat of flammable oil. Somehow it found its way to the local town with my crossbow."
H:"Hm... this should be an interesting study. You think it would... you know... act as a respawn point?"
A:"Maybe. I doubt it. A one-time use wouldn't be that precious even if it could, but I guess every extra safety net counts. So! So far, I've made friends with Nistamatsin, his crew, Tall Jack Rat, his crew, and a sentient wolf. And his crew. Oh, and mustn't forget Miss Jalkaren, our employer!"
H: "Yeah, about that. You said your employer was an angel, an actual angel. If that was true, how are you not getting your asses fried by holy lightning or whatever when Nissie-mattie flips Heaven off?"
A: "She focuses on hurtin him, but generally? I don't know. Maybe the deck just has those kinds of side-effects. But now we're down 25 pieces of gold and he almost died."
H: "You have things under control, right?"
A: "Yeah, I guess. I put myself into second in command, so I get to do his job when he's too mad trying to heckle Jalkaren, and I'm also going to mediate between them."
H: "Hm... And how's the budget right now?"
A: "We have some serious money here and there, maybe 100 to 250 gold coins, but spread into wages it isn't that much."
H: "Wow, sounds like you shouldn't care about a 25-dip in your budget."
A: "That's just it, we don't have a handle on the budget. So we can't just pay everything in advance and expect our employees to stick around a dungeon filled with giant centipedes, but at the same time, we're vulnerable to thieves. Couple of morons we hired tried to steal most of the funding, from people hired by an angel, and tried to run through monster-infested woods to the nearest guard station, just so they could pay their previous bounties for some minor gravedigging, to a regiment of underpaid guards in the middle of nowhere while carrying two barrels of stolen gold. And not much else to say beyond-they're wolf nutrients now."
Azure makes the nutrients part quite deadpan.
H:"... Oh I get it this is a riddle. Ha! Hm... Maybe... Nope, too confusing. Okay I give up, what really killed them?"
A:"Death by tree monster. Hore, do not shoot the trees, apparently there's a powerful eco-terrorist druid doing this."
H:"Noted."

A:"So, how about you?"
H:"Well for starters, I got a boyfriend and a girlfriend-"
Azure looks miffed.
H:"Hey, hey! You're my sister first, and I thought you'd like them!"
A:"I thought you prefer women?"
H:"Vos likes it up the butt. It's where he keeps his bee eggs."
A:"Ewwwwwww that is so gross-hot tell me more later."
H:"Well, he's a priest of this goddess of mutation-"
A:"Wait, isn't 'mutation' a chaos thing?"
H:"Yeah."
A:"Oh... I thought you weren't into that, though."
H:"In retrospect, I need to be. If I want to develop my cybernetics further, I need body parts that can interface with them. There's also some benefits."
A:"You mean-"
H:"The plan was, I was going to let him 'bless you', but in retrospect, from what I've seen, I think his mutation magic could permanently kill you. Might cause permanent organ failure without directly damaging your body. Point is I don't know what it will do."
A:"Aww. Really?"
H:"Well, maybe if Vos gets a handle on controlling the effects in the future. Maybe. Besides, you're the one we're going to test our new mutations on. Any way you want~"
A:"I can live with that. For a while. Well, I'll just have to work on getting 'Eagle'."
H:"Right. We can still have fun together, his appendages are very 'exotic'. More importantly, this is Esmeraude."
Esmeraude, still unnerved from Captain's death, gives a faint smile to Azure and goes back to staring at her bracelet.
A:"She seems... empty. You're not taking advantage of her are you?"
H:"No, at least I think not. See, she was travelling with 'her Pog', we called him Cap, but then she tried to steal our loot while Cap threatened to kill me for accidentally headbutting her unconscious, and our senior lead Azarthraine thought he really was going to kill me and plasma-me-ha-me-ha'd the Cap to disintegration, no ashes. She's been near catatonic and suggestive ever since."
A:"That's horrible!"
H:"Yeah. We're trying to help her be a better person, and then the others consider resurrecting her bodyguard back from hell. See, she's a former noble with light blood ties to dragons, and we decimated the army she used to invade a small village, so she's been travelling with us in hopes of eventually regaining her former fortunes and summoning demons!"
A:"... You just invalidated any trace of honor I thought she had."
H:"Yeah, she's not exactly a paragon of virtue."
A:"Or an angel of love and mercy."
H:"She is enthusiastic in bed, though. Well, was. Might be again if she recovers. I thought you'd get to know each other, she could be helpful working for you, get your family some further connections, and I thought Pog might like a mentor in Cap, back when he was still alive and stuff."
A:"Well, my family doesn't usually work with nobles beyond basic bartering, they just trade their goods for our inventions, so if her assets are around the same as mine there isn't much I can do with her. But you said she had blood ties with dragons? I guess that might be worth something..."
H:"Right."
A:"Is she enthusiastic - I'm sorry, was she enthusiastic."
H:"Yes, but-"
A:"I guess I'll put her on my schedule, then."
H:"Well, just - be careful. She has a nasty acid ball spell."
A:"Hm. Well, we'll just have to wait and see. So what about your adventures?"
H:"Beyond that, there's not much to tell. Back in Passholdt, I won a championship. See?"
A:"Ooh, right below the breasts! Good thing too, I honestly worry you're going to ruin your chest nerves one day."
H:"Meh, I'll settle for better crotch armor. After that, Fire Hawks took a pirate adventure job!"
A:"Aw, and I missed being a red cockatoo on your shoulder! 'Polly want a hug in bed!'"
H:"Haha! But seriously, it was just an escort mission on a boat for three months. My arm was in a cast from the tournament, so I figured, stay inside most of the time, spend the first month letting my teammates do the work, and get paid one gold a week? Totally the job I needed."
A:"So how was your first time on the open seas? Did you get enough 'attention' like I said you would?"
H:"No. Not very much at all. I just slept with Vos and Esmeraude, some magic flying intercourses here and there. There was that magical exploding forest, and some idiot prince underpaid two construction companies in a bidding war, and there were mermaids riding on a giant turtle going to some kind of sports tournament, and our racist friend here didn't like being resurrected in an ageless, slender, elven body but is eager to explore his new feminine side."
A:"Heh. You always underplay your best achievements."
H:"Oh don't you start."
A:"So how about your other teammates?"
H:"Well, Ji's a nigh-suicidal daredevil but he's about as lucky as you claim Nista is. Maria hates my guts for messing with her brother, and after the way she took sick pleasure at praising her god for getting to watch Esmeraude lose her last family member, the feeling's mutual. Daniel is afraid of me but he's alright. Technically Maru is the owner of our company, she's like a rowdy version of you, but Davina/Viste (make sure you figure out which persona is which, we use them for business disguises)) pretty much runs the show similar to those CEOs you talked about. Azarthraine's a badass veteran, the kind I worked behind in the civil wars, he's weakened but he can use superplasma that I'm working on replicating, so with him around we'll kick ass. Oldaric is the racist I was talking about, he's currently smoking hallucinogenic drugs to keep his mind off the elven body."
A:"And how did Maru buy the company?"
H:"Oh, there was this stupid loophole in the company that said bringing back the remains of former members meant getting a share of the company or something, and since every other adventurer in the company was either dead or missing, Maru got every share for Azarthraine's bones. And its debts. And we're the ones literally bringing them back from the dead, so now they work for us anyway."
A:"Right, but you still haven't told me why you're here."
H:"Well, there's this place called Talon North we were planning on raiding next, except we need an army and training to assault it. So, I'm hoping we can do some work for Nis, get this hospital thing up and running, get paid, stock up and train for a while with medical attention, and hire some of your employees to help us take out a massive complex of war soldiers, college-aced wizards, and possibly a few demons or whatever."
A:"Sure. I'll convince Nistamatsin, he'll probably love the idea. I'm glad things are always so simple to work out with you around."
>>
No. 943777 ID: f57349

>>943617
Nice recap.
>I'll convince Nistamatsin
Nistamatsin was last seen wrapped in slimy tentacles near as thick as tree trunks, which were dragging him beneath the surface of the nearby lake. That silver statue of him seems to have departed the Black Boar Inn for parts unknown around the same time.

Lt. Cmdr. Jalkaren Blessed-Is-The-Light said you should all continue to explore, cleanse, and reclaim the ruined hospital, as that's still a worthy and needful task, but her personal time and energy has been "reprioritized." Recalibrate your haste and careless risk-taking accordingly.

The Deck turns up soon after she leaves, a superficially unremarkable pack of cards somehow seeming far more ominous than the castle-sized stone demon face upon whose lower lip it rests.

Esmeraude stares at Kamil for a while, the way someone looks at a keyhole when they're trying to see something miles away on the far side of the door. Kazimierz asks if she's hungry, and holds up a roast turkey leg in front of her. Without looking aside or speaking a word, her mouth almost seems to extend for a blink into a crocodilian snout, and she bites off, chews and swallows the meatier half of the drumstick, bone and all, drawing a drop of blood from the orc's thumb in the process. As one, the five brothers blush beet red and scramble to provide anything else the sorceress seems to need, responding to the slightest gesture or monosyllabic mumble more eagerly than literal angelic proclamations.

Soon enough she's curled up on top of Lucjan, snoring like a cat, smiling - not much, but more than she has in weeks. Tall Jack Rat, having watched all this, quietly asks Karol what the deal was around Nerys and who the five of them even work for now.
"Nerys was a leatherworker," says Karol.
Tall Jack, knowing that Nerys had no skill with leather whatsoever but not wishing to speak ill of the dead without clear cause, simply stares incredulously, awaiting further explanation.
"I mean, of course Nerys didn't actually work with leather, they just... WAS one." Karol puts a hand over his own heart. "Like how people can be born with winestains, or curses, or duchies, only not quite as visible. You're twice my age, Jack Rat, don't tell me I've got to teach you all about the cacti and the bees."
"Ah. So this is all just a Yrthakite sex thing? You'll still follow my orders in a fight?"
"It's... not quite that simple but, yessir we will. Any of the five of us would sooner cut our own feet off than betray the other four. You've always been the best platoon leader we could hope for anywhere in moulderlands. Finally having enough women together for them to build a real strategic plan shouldn't change that."

Azarthraine figures that fountain down on the third floor might be the focal point for the corruption - it's the obvious place to check, anyway - and mainly wants to know where you've all been keeping your maps.
>>
No. 943779 ID: 094652

rolled 3, 4, 3 = 10

Azure calls a meeting.

"Here's the game plan for today: We'll start by completely exploring the first floor. I want everyone operating at once; fighting, mining, researching, guarding, whatever makes you useful.

Rhea, Maria, Yisheng, and Malkov will make up our scouting party. See these flags and maps? Your job is to have these flags placed in the first floor as according to the maps at the appropriate times; these blue flags are to be placed in two hours, these yellow ones are placed in four, etc. And Miss Maria, fair warning: Rhea has the power to 'talk' to fire; it's a form of pyromancy-telekinesis. I want you to practice together and see if you can come up with some high-intensity light shows for your audience of vicious angry cave-dwellers. Yisheng, I'm hoping you'll work in tandem with a fellow monk. Oh, and make sure you drill these suckers in. And if anyone is colorblind, you'll notice that I had these markers cut into specific shapes, so memorize them now, they're in the order that they will be placed.

Hore, Helen, Kent and I will research the Subterrene and see what we need to get it moving. We might lose a large paycheck if we drive it through the hospital, but I want a backup plan in case the end boss kicks our mental asses. Even if we can't get it moving, there should be some outsider techscrap that Hore can re-engineer as a weapon or an emergency bomb.

Tall Jack Rat, divide your men into their optimal parties and have them patrol the first floor. Their orders are to patrol areas with markers, observe for ambushes and retreat if they locate a badass threat; hold any chokepoints or regroup with other parties to gain a combat advantage. Make sure you only patrol areas with a marker, and if you hear Azarthraine yelling, duck and cover. Each of your parties will have Davina, Daniel, Wendy, Geoffrey, or Valeno as squad leaders. Yes I know, they're not optimal captain material, but their job is to use their adventuring senses to scan for more death threats. Remember to occasionally check your maps and compare your location with the marker points. If any marker is out of place, fall back and group up with the assault squad.

Azarthraine, since you're the one with the plasma launcher, you'll lead the main assault team. You're on central patrol duty, so the moment you hear a peep you need to rush in and kill anything that doesn't duck. Take Maru and Pog with you. Pog, keep an eye on Azarthraine. I want you to know that... honestly I am very proud of you for keeping our suicidally spiteful leader alive until recently. That tentacle was just really bad luck, I think Nistamatsin was trying to drown himself. You protect Azarthraine, and he'll be untouchable until he ages to death. Yes, let him piggyback.

Esmeraude and... you should probably know they're trying to marry you. Like, I know you're hurting from losing your uncle, but you really need to think about what you're doing right now for a few minutes. But while you have their attention, I want them to escort you to do a magic search for Nistamatsin's body, at the lake; you're our best expert at you-know-what, and you can fly, so you have the best chance of recovering him or at least finding out what happened. Look everyone, we're not giving up on him. Even if we didn't owe him our freedom from Bloodmist and/or this lucrative job, I'm worried that the contract will develop even more loopholes for the client's higher-ups to exploit if we complete it while its main contractor is Dead.

Wolves, I'll need an answer immediately on whether you wish to work with us or not. I'll be blunt: your skill levels are 'low' so you won't be paid very much. The thing is, we can pay you in meat and water to sleep next to that giant cave mouth. You'll get even more if you help us when we call, but it won't be required. And yes, you will get some gold if you stay until we're done with this mess, I'll put it in a satchel and you can buy some wares from travelling merchants.

Mister Oldaric? You're in charge of the fort; you probably need it. Anyone else who is too tired from running last night, stay inside today; just remember you're helping us with the second floor tomorrow. You should rest up, but make sure you show some public activity. Strike training dummies, cook soup, sleep in the open. Make sure people hiking around can see that the base is occupied.

Hore, we're starting research immediately. Scouting team, I want you prepped in fifteen minutes, everyone else in thirty. If you have any questions, I'll be outside of the Subterrene. One last thing: as for succession to Nistamatsin, I'll need more information about how you all work to judge that. Alright, good talk, let's get today over with!"
>>
No. 943790 ID: 5e6f34

>The Deck turns up
Vos draws ten cards
>>
No. 943792 ID: 5e6f34

rolled 3, 7, 4, 23, 7, 17, 10, 11, 18, 22 = 122

Whoops!
>>
No. 943797 ID: f57349

>>943792
First card, assuming Vos doesn't have any significant pre-existing mental illnesses, presents a choice between permanent http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/i/insanity and http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/l/life-of-crime
Second card puts Vos into a coma.
Third card flips out of the deck, a black-robed figure with a scythe appears, pokes at Vos's unconscious body with a bony foot, shrugs, and departs.
Fourth and fifth cards don't have any visible effect.
Sixth card makes a life-sized solid silver statue of Vos appear, tail coiled, sword upraised in a classic inspiring heroic pose.
Seventh and eighth provide magic items, details negotiable.
Ninth... could be used to more or less directly and infallibly counter the effect of the second card, but you might want to save it instead.
And the last card gets you a sandwich: whatever you want, provided it's small and flat enough to fit between bread, soft and safe enough for a dragon to chew, and not magical.
>>
No. 943819 ID: f57349

>>943779
Wolves are willing to do some casual perimeter scouting in exchange for food, but don't care to go in the dungeon.

Given what you know about how unstable the ceilings are down there, and how long it's been since we've heard from Tunic, Yisheng Ji may have cashed out his shares in the Fire Hawks and left with Jalkaren to find his father.

Esmeraude is aware she's being formally courted, and doesn't mind. Even if she accepts it's only a three-year commitment anyway. She can't send a Whispering Wind to somebody under a lake, or through any other airtight barrier. Deliberately inviting the attention of whatever fish-people turned Rook's Vineyard into a ghost town sounds like a bad plan to her.

Post an image of the map of the local dungeon as you currently understand it.
>>
No. 943826 ID: 756ba2

Magic Item 1 - Graft for Vos' chest eye that improves it in some way
Magic Item 2 - Only two stipulations. One is that it proactively provides healing to living creatures. Two, it is fundamentally good-aligned and cannot be used to aid or further any evil cause.
Sandwich - Heartfelt farewell note from Vos to each of his companions telling them how much he loves them and will miss them (there's an extra long note for Daniel), as well as detailed maps to the source of corruption under the Mouth of Doom and also Talon North (if possible)
Seeds for some sort of superfood plant, and other seeds which can be cultivated in mirrored soil to grow food that Davina can eat (as discussed in the discord), and a note saying that he wants to cash out all his shares in the Fire Hawks to be used for the care of his eel-bee children and the preservation of his body.
>>
No. 943827 ID: 756ba2

Also, a short note saying that Orcus and his followers are temporarily weakened and the time to strike is now!
>>
No. 943830 ID: f57349
File 156714099991.png - (387.67KB , 589x462 , Map of the Corruption.png )
943830

>>943826
The two slices holding Vos's sandwich together have viable seeds embedded in them. It's easy to tell by smell which is which, and the bread can probably double as potting soil if you get it nice and soggy.
"Corruption under Talon North" would be Orcus himself, and the charcoal sketch of an empty throne flanked by dismayed demonic handmaidens manages to clearly convey a sense of that negative space - anyone looking at it can see that, at least for the next few weeks, the Church of Orcus will be a hollow shell.
Vos's eye can now resolve microscopic details, and glow brighter than a torch. Glow appears clear as daylight to him, but reveals to everyone else the same colors across creatures and objects as his aura sight.
Utilitarian item is s superb portable shrine to Tittivila, weighing about 300 pounds (convenient attachment points for wooden poles are included) and projecting the appropriate sort of sanctity in a thirteen yard radius. It proactively grants healing by summoning Vos back into his own body as soon as he's done compiling the sandwich order, then promptly shuts off it's own higher thought processes to avoid committing evil.
>>
No. 943831 ID: e4aa95

rolled 1, 2, 6 = 9

>promptly shuts off it's own higher thought processes to avoid committing evil.
Haha fair enough. Vos will ask Azarthraine if he can disintegrate us a tunnel down into the important room on the map.
>>
No. 943833 ID: f57349

>>943831
Supreme Disintegration could blast holes in the ground easily enough, but it's not completely clear how this map connects to the features you've already explored, so there's no sure way to aim at the right spot. Also, if the goal is to purify and repair this place, any sort of major structural damage is counterproductive.

From a geomantic/hazmat-containment standpoint, poking a hole straight into the heart of the pestilence might be a lot like lancing a boil, producing a pressurized jet of infectious pus.
>>
No. 943835 ID: e4aa95

rolled 1, 3, 4 = 8

>>943833
Vos doesn't wait for Azarthraine to finish his explanation. Instead, Vos nods sharply and turns to slither down into the Mouth of Doom with spear in hand, tossing the Deck of Many Things over his shoulder.
>>
No. 943836 ID: d9acdc

>>942659
>Everybody re-introduce yourselves. Appearance, personal equipment (armor in particular), any notably grand sensual indulgences or terrifying ordeals since the last time you gained a level, and whatever else you think might be relevant.

Character Description:

Maru Red is a young dark skinned woman with a thick cockney accent, and a short afro which she's been growning out since her prison escape before the expedition first embarked. ~5'8, probably 160lbs or so, with a build more accurately described as scrappy and wirey, rather than bulky or muscular. She has as much of a beer pouch and she can build up, but her adventures with the Fire Hawks haven't given her much of a chance to drink in excess or lounge around aimlessly. Even with the down time during travel, she tends to struggle to pack weight on, despite her best efforts. Her nose has obviously been broken more than once, and the multitude of white-ish scars running across her face/body show either a lack of regard for her own well being, or an intimate home life with a loving brier patch. Possibly both. Her tendency for crudeness is rivaled only by her seeming lack of an inside voice, and she attempts to inebriate herself whenever possible. Quick to action, slower to regret, and thinks most problems can be solved with a tussle and a round of drinks, maybe a really expensive round of drinks if you fucked up big time. In short, she's a raucous girl with an appetite for grog and action, driven by the dream that some day, her name alone will inspire countless imitators, epic tales, and have the tavern girls fighting over who gets to help warm her bed in the cold winter nights. |

Character Sheet:

Tiefling Townie

Specialization: Skald

High/Low Ambitions: Fame, glory, and the perks that come with it / Craving for pipeweed

Phobia: Being forgotten from this world/dying without becoming famous

Mutation: Filed down horns protruding from her forehead

Vulnerability: Much like a reptile, gets sluggish in the cold, and will become comatose if she is in extreme cold for extended periods of time.

Current inventory includes:

Lead bullets & sling
Clean cloth, hooked needles, & thread
Feathers, penknife, lots of parchment & ink
Pipeweed
Lantern
Blanket
Coin purse (empty save a smattering of unspent silver and copper)
Walking stick / tent pole
Elbow length fingerless gloves with mage armor and stylized brass knuckles built in, designed to form a bruise honoring Calistra. (~30g)
8-scream devil powder (1 dose) (10g)
Fashionable headgear designed to disguise her horns and give her headbutts and extra oomfp (~5g)

I believe Maru hit level 3 sometime around us storming Ecton/surviving the dungeon. Since then, notable events include:
-Arguing with the Mayors apprentice in an attempt to reunite the kiddnapped villagers with their families and homes.
-Gets headbutt by "Cap" and corners him in the sewers with Viste, stopping Vos from charging him with a crit. Proceeded to get in a shouting match with Viste about something which probably wasn't worth fighting over, no actual violence.
-Snuck into Overmire to avoid a medical exam.
-Indulging in barfights, drugs, gambling, and other rancorous partying in town, converting ~5gp to XP. Probably not worth much actual XP, but a $2000 weekend of partying sounds pretty indulgent to me.
-"Cap" is slain during an altercation with pirates that maru only nominally participated in, described by JamesLeng as spreading fire with MSgt Oldaric.
-The Wheel of bone is confronted, Goris is captured, and after some arguing Maru arrives on scene.

Other character updates may take some time, Maru took a solid 2.5 hours to catch up on. If XP earnings are not actually being tallied, I would happily volunteer to take charge on accounting for that stuff from this point forward, if given some sort of rules or formula which I could adhere to, like with exalted.
>>
No. 943838 ID: 094652

rolled 5, 5, 1 = 11

Hore worriedly and quickly follows Vos, which somewhat derails Azure's plans a bit, but she quickly rewrites the plan down to 'mostly what she just said, except anyone do whatever they want and hope this doesn't break down', and follows in with Hore, while Pog stays topside, glaring at everyone else until they at least patrol the first floor.
>>
No. 943839 ID: f57349

>>943835
So, went for Life Of Crime rather than Insanity?
>rolled 1, 3, 4 = 8
Vos finds his way across the first floor of the dungeon to the room with the giant leeches, then down the long spiraling stairs, previously traversed (and subsequently described to Team Magic Sword) by Valeno Nahesa. At the bottom there's a room 30' east-west by 50' north-south, stairs connecting to the middle of the east wall. Broken furniture and cockroaches scattered across the floor. Archway to the north is engraved with the words "Healing and Recovery," archway to the south similarly says "Forbidden" with a sloppy subscript "until now."

Ten feet past the 'forbidden' archway, there's a long east-west hallway. Valeno's account says the eastward section has a series of traps and a teleporter leading to some administrative area, while the westward is unknown territory.
>>
No. 943844 ID: d9acdc

Isaiah, son of Elohim and prophet of Hanspur
Tesseract Squid? Hedge Witch

Specialization: Death Domain

High/Low Ambitions: Become a "real boy" / Spread the message of Hanspur

Phobia: Angry mobs.

Mutation: Isaiah is a necrolithograph/tesseract squid with a body of plate mail and a core made of abalone. His body requires no food or water, but cannot heal naturally. In addition, Isaiah is sustained by prayers, which can be stored in clay tablets impressed with cuneiform symbols.

Supernatural Vulnerability: Because his body is made of plate mail, damage from rust and other effects that corrode or degrade metal are a serious threat. Regular weekly maintenance is required to keep away mundane corrosion, but magic can make this task easier.

Innate Power: Isaiah instinctively knows where the closest rivers and roads are, how far away they are, and what direction they lead. In addition, when touching a river, road, or path someone has traveled, he can channel his senses through it and into it, allowing him to learn the history of the route, and everything it "knows". This helps with determining things like the name of the route, towns it passes through, the volume of traffic currently and in the past, is there rain or snow on the path up ahead, how old is it, etc etc.

Current Inventory:
A week's worth of nonrechargeable waterproof ration-tablets
Jug of Oil
Big Hammer
Canvas
Deluxe Lantern
Iron Statuette, depicting a rat standing on water
Rope, in pack
Basic Supplies, tucked in armor
Pack
Marbles, 1.5 pounds, pack
Canvas, pack
Rope + silk rope, pack
Rations, pack
Dried Fruit, pack
Torches, pack
Crowbar, pack
Signal Whistle and Hand Mirror, pack
10 Pitons, pack
Healers kit, pack
Water, pack
Bear trap, pack
Grappling hook, pack
Blanket, pack

Isaiah hit level three around the time we made it into and out of the bad air room in the dungeon, I think, and has not done anything of note since.
>>
No. 943846 ID: d9acdc

Kent Vogner
White Elf Townie

Specialization: Artificing

High/Low Ambitions: To level the playing field between the oppressed and those in charge via the acquisition and redistribution of knowledge from the elite into the hands of those in need. / An adoration of arachnids

Phobia: Public speaking

Mutation: Kent has abnormally dark skin, bone ridges at major joints, and touching stone or hard ceramics with their bare skin makes the surface ripple and warp like the surface of a still pond, amplitude dependent on how forceful the contact is. Upside is they've got an excellent sense of touch, including bonuses for fiddly mechanical tasks and some degree of tremorsense.

Supernatural Vulnerability: Eyes that are sensitive to sudden/unexpected increases light, causing vertigo and nausea, which are more/less severe depending on how drastic the change was, and the level of exposure.

Innate Power: Super jump plus clinging. Given sufficient time to 'charge up,' firm footing, and unrestricted limbs, they can launch themself into arbitrary ballistic trajectories, and whatever they hit, they'll stick to until they decides to let go (or until peeled away by something strong enough to lift them off the ground).

Description: Kent Vogner was plagued by a mysterious change in physique from a young age, causing a drastic change in skin color, the growth of bony protrusions, and strange anomalies when interacting with stone and earthenware. Omeyocantli, a relic of the great race of Serpentfolk who were a highly advanced society that befriended the antehuman Haon-Dor, was interested in Kent's condition, and decided to study them. An exchange of knowledge occurred as Kent began to learn the ancient secrets of the serpentfolk, and Omeyocantli found a curiosity to muse upon for a short time. However, Kent's tutelage under the serpentfolk scientist was relatively short lived, as the creature quickly became bored after it learned all of interest regarding Kent's physiology. After separation from their former master, the amateur artificer delved into burglary, relieving those in a position to abuse power of valuable knowledge that might help give the poor and underprivileged the tools to further themselves, and move up in the world.

Current Inventory:
Books
-Fatigue Study: A First Step in Motion Study (Sub currently)
A work from before the fall of the Old Empire, written by Evelyn Moller, formerly a leading authority on the workings of mortal minds as well as industrial engineering. The tome details how to eliminate fatigue as a limiting factor of industry via the creation of an automated workforce and tools.
-The Several Known Languages: a Written Primer on the Nuances of Civilized Communications
-Kent’s Guide to Artificing
A compendium of learned and found notes/knowledge on engineering and artificing, compiled by Kent Vogner, with over half the information being sourced from Kent's former mentor, the Serpentfolk Omeyocantli of Valusia
-Dried fruit (Pack Currently)
-Water jug (Pack Currently)
-Platemail helmet
Modified to include a removable face plate with dark goggles, to help protect against changes in light, and make them more difficult to identify.
-Tools for Field Surgery
-A silver wire bracelet with six tiny symbolic items.
Each charm will do something magical when removed, and will regenerate over time as long as the bracelet itself is intact.
Steel knife (or possibly sword)
Rope of fine quality but otherwise entirely ordinary.
Ceramic mug
Will turn into a mug of frosty cold beer, unless Nistamatsin personally is the one to remove it, in which case it will turn into two dozen wooden barrels of beer. Each of the barrels is just under two feet in diameter at the ends, a few inches wider in the middle, and three feet long, so you could stack 'em up on their sides and block a 10' square corridor floor to ceiling while leaving triangular holes that could almost function as arrow slits.
Brass birdcage
Turns into a wind-resistant lantern, already loaded with a pint of oil and lit.
Narrow ivory cylinder with fluted ends and a single line scored down it's length
Turns into a parchment scroll, pen, and small flask of ink.
Dun-colored spiral with knurled texture
Rope and a small knife, respectively, both of fine quality but otherwise entirely ordinary.
A pair of parallel black rods with three crossbars connecting
Turns into a wooden ladder. Dimensions vary depending on the number you think of (1 to 12), formula not yet known.
8: wooden ladder, 24 feet long, weighing 160 pounds
-First aid supplies
-Wooden Crossbow
Ten +1 Broadhead Bolts
Five +1 Bodkin Bolts
5 Meteorite bolts
-Lock Picking tools
-Delver’s Webbing
-Bandolier
1 Empty half pint glass vial
4 Half pint vials of centipede anti-venom
2 Half pint vials of alchemical healing potions, 1d6 healing, harmful to kidneys if consumed too regularly
1 Half pint glass vial of paut, heals 4 magic fatigue points
-Big Knife

Kent hit level 3 around the same time that Isaiah did, when they cleared the bad air room. Since then, notable event has been the trip to Rooks Vineyard.
>>
No. 943847 ID: d9acdc

Name: Bulgruf Many-Woman
Class: Soldier
Specialty: Mounted Archery
Higher Ambition: To create art that inspires others to emulate the noble and virtuosic nature of Blink Dogs
Low Ambition: To find peace from the animals hounding her
Mutation: Being the descendant of a Huraka, her breath carries a similar power to ward off illusions and deceit; accordingly, she sneezes involuntarily in the presence of deception.
Phobia: Past sins and impossible obligations will come back to haunt her.
Vulnerability: Random normally-nonsapient critters frequently petition her for minor but inconvenient favors, which she need not outright accept, but cannot outright refuse.
Innate Power: She can harness the power of storms with a grizzly roar.

Current Inventory:
Right Hip: rope
Left Hip: arrows
Left Shoulder: bow
Right Shoulder: shovel
Neck/Chest: jug of water
Head: canvas
Somewhere Uncomfortable: -----

Bulgruf is currently level 0. Notable events since her introduction include:
-Chasing down Agatha, and subsequently getting into a fight. Hitting an archmage with a lightning bolt and surviving probably counts for something, right?
-Negotiating with pirates offscreen, involving some unelaborated monster clean up.
>>
No. 943848 ID: e4aa95

rolled 4, 2, 4 = 10

>So, went for Life Of Crime rather than Insanity?
Yes indeed.

Seems like the teleporter is the way to go, judging by that map.
>>
No. 943851 ID: f57349

>>943848
>>943838
What's the plan for getting past the traps?
>>
No. 943872 ID: 8d924c

>New character?

Daedalus
Minotaur Townie
Specialization: Mazes/Labyrinths
High/Low Ambitions : Build a labyrinth greater than any existing./ Mean Spirited Pranks
Phobia: Sunlight. Will never travel aboveground during the day, given a choice.
Mutation: As a minotaur, he has a sturdy head and neck as well as two horns. Bigger and stronger than a human, and better nightvision.
Also hooves. That isn't really a benefit. This would be difficult to conceal.
Vulnerability: Complete incompetence at stealth. Despite being perfectly capable of complex and nimble movements, somehow none of this translates into ability to move quietly or unseen. Or unsmelled, for that matter.
Innate Power: Maze mastery. Limited control over the walls and structures within a labyrinth or maze.

Head: Paralytic toxin. Usually applied to his horns.
Chest/neck: Chain armor
Right shoulder: The Trapmaker's Art- A book detailing the construction and engineering of traps, written in Dwarven.
Left shoulder: Architect's Almanac- A reference work for architecture, focusing on the construction of dungeons and associated features, but usable for less ambitious projects.
Right hip: Big hammer
Left hip: Lead bullets & sling
Hidden: The Book of the Maze- A text promising the reader power over the walls around them. It's suggested that these walls are in fact the walls between worlds. Unverified effectiveness, as Daedalus has only begun to read it.

Miscellaneous:Travel clothes, boots, gloves, hooded cloak, knife, flint for sparking, food and water for a day.
>>
No. 943876 ID: e4aa95

>What's the plan for getting past the traps?
Just a light source, an eye that can make out microscopic details, and Valeno's description of how they got past everything. Vos will just try avoid triggering the portcullises, and failing that he'll try to slither under them, and failing THAT he'll try to lift them.
>>
No. 943890 ID: f57349

>>943876
You can spot the seams around the edges of the first pressure plate, but that safe path along the wall is too narrow to effectively slither across. Also, you're briefly overcome by an urge to commit petty vandalism. After it's complete, the portcullis has slammed down in front of you.
>>
No. 943891 ID: ebe46b

rolled 6, 5, 6 = 17

Rolling to lift the portcullis.
>>
No. 943892 ID: f57349

>>943891
The portcullis doesn't budge, and you've sprained a muscle in your back.
>>
No. 943894 ID: f57349

>>943872
You're one of Mad King Kazleth's many children, and your innate power can't actually rearrange the physical structure of a maze, just ease your travel through it while baffling intruders. It can also be used to help dodge nonmagical weapons, even without enough space to maneuver.
>>
No. 943896 ID: ebe46b

rolled 5, 5, 5 = 15

Vos grumbles in frustration and slithers down the opposite, unexplored path.
>>
No. 943900 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 4, 6 = 11

"-mnit, why does anyone important have an obsession with poking clearly Artifact-Of-Doom objects?!"
"I blame fanaticism."
"Didn't you tell Mister Decaro about the Deck?"
"Vos worships a literal goddess of mutation. Frankly, I'm surprised he managed to overhear me on the boat one floor up."
"Oh right."

Hore and Azure chased after Vos, but have lost sight of him and are desperately trying to track (diceroll) the slithering pattern his naga tail makes. Hore has been placing Azure's markers haphazardly like breadcrumbs, hoping the others will catch up soon and detect traps for them before it's too dangerous to venture forth. Azure, on her end, considers rallying the team, but decides they're still technically under life insurance policy and should follow any time now.
Any time now.
>>
No. 943904 ID: f57349

>>943896
From the portcullis, it's about ten yards back to the foyer and stairs up, then twenty yards to a corner right, ten yards, corner left, ten yards, corner right, then a hallway straight on to the limit of your light. After the second corner there's a door in the middle of the right-hand wall. Behind the door there's a 20' x 40' room heaped with broken wood, crockery, and moldy grain. No other obvious exits. Do a thorough search, or continue down the hall?
>>
No. 943905 ID: ebe46b

rolled 1, 1, 6 = 8

>Do a thorough search, or continue down the hall?
A quick once over with Vos' glowing super eye should suffice. He is letting it illuminate at full brightness at all times, taking note of the aura of everything he sees but not dwelling too long. Continuing down the hall.
>>
No. 943909 ID: f57349

>>943905
There are a few bits of potentially valuable metal mixed in with the debris, but nothing that stands out as magical or threatening.

Twenty yards down the hallway there's a door on the left leading to a kitchen, and a short hallway on the right leading to a small room with a broken table and half a dozen doors leading away - probably to bedrooms, going by the aura traces.

Ten yards past that there's a short passage on the left leading to what may once have been the dining hall, but is now home to a couple of dead elvenoids in monastic robes and a nest of giant diseased rats, none of whom seem to enjoy bright lights. Time for a fight.
>>
No. 943921 ID: ebe46b

rolled 6, 5, 2 = 13

>Time for a fight.
Alright! I'll get ready to stab the first rat that comes into stabbing distance. Any tables or anything I can quickly knock over to create a quick funnel or barricade?
>>
No. 943939 ID: 094652

rolled 3, 3, 4 = 10

Hore hears the sound of a thousand rats and the clanging of metal against stone. She and Azure find Vos stabbing sacks of pus with strings for tails.

A: "Hore, their pupils! Set the table on fire!"
H: "Let's see if I can pull off a trickshot."

Azure casts Resistance on Hore and then flies up to find a chandelier or something to perch on (if she can't find anything she'll just keep flapping in the air where the rats can't bite her). Hore positions herself so she can hit the table and the Rat Nest at the same time without hitting Vos, then attempts that.
>>
No. 944005 ID: 8d924c

>>943894
Went and looked to see what I could find regarding Kazleth, is the innate power you're suggesting the ability to move through walls? And is everything else good, I didn't make any mistakes?
>>
No. 944037 ID: f57349

>>944005
Yeah, approved for play. You could even jump in to the current fight.

In mechanical terms you can basically teleport short distances, but only to places you'd eventually be able to reach by mundane means, so e.g. no skipping into a bank vault unless you have all the keys and know how to use them. There's more to it but I can explain the rest when it becomes relevant.
>>943939
>a thousand rats
More like a dozen, but they're the size of rottweilers. Vos, looking for a choke point, retreated to the kitchen and overturned a table to block the lower half of the door.
>chandelier
There's a rack of pans and ladles and so on over the central table in the kitchen which Azure can awkwardly crouch on top of, with her back against the ceiling.
>>943921
Rats are readily enough incapacitated by stabbing, or transformed into helpless quivering heaps of cartilaginous flesh by Tittivila's blessing. One of them did manage to bite you, though. The last few rats, including that one really big one, retreat back to the nest when Hore and Maria start throwing fire.

You've got a few moments free, after the rats are out of the way but before zombies arrive. If the chorus of groans echoing off the stone walls are anything to go by, more than the two you saw are coming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlr90NLDp-0
>>
No. 944075 ID: e4aa95

rolled 5, 5, 1 = 11

>You've got a few moments free, after the rats are out of the way but before zombies arrive.
Vos will try to further reinforce the barricade however he can. He'll keep his chest eye lit bright so Hore can see and take potshots at the zombies as they approach. He'll resume stabbing once they close in.

Anything interesting about the zombies' auras?
>>
No. 944076 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 5, 6 = 12

"Maria, finish burning that vermin nest! Hore, grab the table and push it against the doorway! If the incoming enemies are the suicidally-stupid kind, you and Maria set it on fire!"
"On it!" (mostly she kicks it into place though)
"Mister Decaro, you're hurt. I think I have one charge-"

Azure notes the crazed look in Decaro's eyes and realizes the deck did something to him, though she isn't sure what.

But she's trained for this moment. Bardic Performance of Suggestion go:
"Mister Decaro, that is a very serious wound from a bringer of plague and infestation. Perhaps you should close your eyes and pray to your goddess for restoration of purity and dismiss any physical intrusions as divine mutation and not react to alien touches with petty violence unfitting of a righteous cleric and let the sexy harpy nurse do her job."
>>
No. 944444 ID: d9acdc

rolled 1, 4, 3 = 8

>>943835
OOC I haven't followed along with any events transpiring since we jump cut to everyone meeting up. So, instead of delaying and hoping I get a full grasp on the action:

Seeing Vos slither in, Maru gives a look of "what can you do?" to Daviste, and stretches a bit as she waltzes in after him. Bulgruf sticks close to Azarthrine. It seems that Hore and Maria have both charged in as well- what about the other members of the firehawks? Are Daviste or either of the originals joining in?

Rolling to see how lost Maru gets trying to catch up to her eelman friend.
>>
No. 944451 ID: f57349

>>944075
The walking corpses themselves are bottom-of-the-line undead: slow, stupid, and fragile. They're wearing robes that used to be white, and missing their left hands. However, Vos's augmented aura sight can resolve the individual plague-organisms they're carrying, which are... something else. Each microbe is a miniscule vortex of horror, like Nistamatsin's true face, smaller than a human hair on the outside but maybe as large as a grape within. If they get inside someone, normal immune system function or conventional healing magic can't possibly shake the infection off the way it would a normal undead-raising plague; you'd need specialized antiparasite magic, like what Yisheng Ji used on Vos inside the Eckton Bloom.

Criminal compulsion from the Deck means Vos cannot voluntarily share this insight in any form he expects the recipient to be able to understand, except in response to a direct question backed by credible threat of violence. Excessively cryptic hints and circumlocution are acceptable. Thanks to a clash with his faith, he's not driven to actively mislead or otherwise prevent allies from figuring it out themselves.
>>
No. 944455 ID: e4aa95

rolled 5, 5, 2 = 12

>let the sexy harpy nurse do her job
Vos takes a warning snap at Azure.

>aura sight can resolve the individual plague-organisms
Doesn't change what I'm doing! Gonna stab some zombies.
>>
No. 944467 ID: 094652

rolled 3, 3, 3 = 9

>>944455
*Cheep*
Azure decides addressing this potentially brain-damaging infection in an hour is at least better than addressing it one day later with her leadership stripped.

>>944451
>bottom-of-the-line undead: slow, stupid, and fragile
Hore and Azure quickly get to work taking potshots at the zombies, counting their kills at long range for the challenge. And because zombie gore is a &!+(# to triple-clean for sanitary standards, especially on fuzz.
>>
No. 944917 ID: f57349

>>944444
>>944455
>>944467
Maru shows up just in time, zombies are caught between interlocking fields of fire and efficiently dispatched. Also there's an ox-man in the kitchen, nearly as large as Pog, who wasn't there a moment ago.
>>
No. 944927 ID: 094652

rolled 2, 1, 6 = 9

Hore takes one last check around before she walks up to Vos, looking for any signs of injury or rot.

"Vos, take a deep breath and count to fourteen. I think the deck managed to mess with your head. Can you tell me what it told you about your prizes and losses?"

Meanwhile, Azure notices the strange ox-man staring at the party. She quickly preens her feathers and tells Maru to stay on the lookout, then walks within a few yards of the newcomer.

"Well, hello there! Do you need some help? We have freshly salted meat at our campfire!"
>>
No. 945009 ID: d29a09

rolled 2, 6, 4 = 12

>Can you tell me what it told you about your prizes and losses?
Vos turns his beady eel eyes on Hore. "Why do you want to know? Hmm?"

>Suddenly ox man
Vos will wrestle him into submission
>>
No. 945047 ID: acef4a

rolled 3, 4, 1 = 8

>>945009
>>944927
An evil ox-man! Whatever is that thinkingb thinking, ordering her around and cavorting with enemies of tityvalla? Er, tittyvalla? You'd imagine more titty not less tity, like with dessert and desert, but maybe that's just wistful thinking.
Maru is momentarily distracted.
"Vos! 'ow'd you spell it? One "t" or two? Hore, you know the friendly one, right? I think her heads the one that's been messed with, if she's down here hanging out with wrong crowd. Maybe go get her checked out by big A, see if she's alright.
>>
No. 945115 ID: 094652

>>945009
"Uh, w-well I just, the, th-the magic brain healers, they need all the information they can get or they charge more, y'know?"
Hore actually respects Vos' personal space for once. Mostly because its radius is less than the biting range radius.

>>945047
>I think her heads the one that's been messed with, if she's down here hanging out with wrong crowd.
"Hey!"
"No, that's just weekdays for Azure."
"HEY!"
"Sorry. But seriously, I think everyone but Azure is acting abnormal. Did you sleep-draw-from-the-Deck or something?
>>
No. 945613 ID: 8d924c

rolled 1, 1, 6 = 8

>>945047
>>945009
The 'evil ox-man' is shocked by the sudden attempt to wrestle him into submission.

"What are you-augh, stop!" He bellows, shoving back, and if that doesn't work, falling back towards the wall to slip free from the slippery opponent.
>>
No. 945627 ID: 094652

rolled 2, 3, 2 = 7

"I'm so sorry! He touched an Artifact of Doom ten minutes ago! Hore, restrain him already!"

Hore responds by pinching Vos' thyroid nerve cluster. Hopefully all those times he went limp with purring weren't just him making a joke.
>>
No. 945667 ID: e4aa95

rolled 1, 4, 6 = 11

>>945613
>"What are you-augh, stop!"
Vos continues coiling his naga tail around the ox-man, trying to pull him to the ground. Vos seems baffled by Daedalus' question at first, then he looks at the entrance, with table and chairs stacked against the door frame. "When I barricade a door, it means I want to keep people out. Not have giant muscular ox-man suddenly appear behind me. So explain yourself!"

>Hore responds by pinching Vos' thyroid nerve cluster.
Vos catches Hore's wrist and yanks her into the coil pile.
>>
No. 945940 ID: 8d924c

rolled 1, 1, 3 = 5

>>945667
Daedalus continues to flail to free himself, still trying to reach the wall. Should he free an arm, he would indicate the wall.

"Going back the way I came! I yield!"
>>
No. 946315 ID: f57349

Hore and Vos are wrestling but the ox-man slips away, through the wall like a ghost. Back on the other side, in the trashed dining hall, Daedalus is confronted by a motherly rat larger than the average adult human and only slightly smaller than himself, who angrily vomits in his general direction.
> rolled 1, 1, 3 = 5
He successfully dodges that as well. Obvious exits, if trying to leave those folks in the kitchen alone, would be east down a 20' hallway and then north at the intersection, or returning to the malfunctioning teleportation device on the west wall which resembles a bas-relief hand.
>>
No. 946346 ID: 094652

Azure stares at the wall for a few seconds, then decides that the ghost-oxman situation can be salvaged if they get Mister Decaro under control.

Hore decides to get off Vos.

"Hore, how are you doing?"
"This would be more fun if the 'hospital' wasn't defined as 'where you go to get illnesses'."
"Noted. Maru, I have an idea, but it's a simple one. If you have any songs to sing, now would be a good time."
>>
No. 946943 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 5, 2 = 8

"... I'll take your silence for a no, then... [deep breath] Maru, please strike Mister Decaro's name from your accounts payable. Hore?"
"What did you-"
"We're leaving. Now. If Mister Decaro wishes to adventure in this completely unknown but otherwise OSHA (Occupational Sanity and Holiness Administration) compliant floor, that is his choice and his choice alone, and not influenced in any way by forces beyond our control. Meanwhile, we will make do without him on our completely legitimate and low-paying plans that will not concern him in any way whatsoever."
"... OH... Well, goodbye Vos, I hope Tittivila still shines on you even if you can no longer trust any change in others. I'll take good care of your shrine for you. I wonder if I should mark it before the wolves do..."

Rolling for reverse psychology (Bluff).
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