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File 155168466916.gif - (8.02KB , 512x512 , cover.gif )
924317 No. 924317 ID: 6fb3de

Wind howls.
Expand all images
>>
No. 924318 ID: 6fb3de
File 155168468587.gif - (36.62KB , 724x512 , i.gif )
924318

Wind howls and snow blows.
>>
No. 924320 ID: 6fb3de
File 155168471870.gif - (7.87KB , 724x512 , ii.gif )
924320

You're torn, violently, out of your bad dream.
It takes a moment to collect yourself.

What is your name?
>>
No. 924321 ID: 080aaf

Ophelia.
>>
No. 924322 ID: aacaac

Isa
>>
No. 924323 ID: 57f319

Is Ash taken? Or Wynn?
>>
No. 924324 ID: 094652

Scent (cēn)

Your mother thought spring would always come to this town for all the little children to sniff around.

She was dead wrong.
>>
No. 924326 ID: 6fb3de
File 155168605297.gif - (7.50KB , 724x512 , iii.gif )
924326

>>924324
Scendh, of course. You're getting old.
At least you didn't wake the baby.
>>
No. 924327 ID: c1212a

Is that lantern somehow familiar? What troubles your dreams?
>>
No. 924328 ID: 57f319

Should we check on the baby? It's at least something to do while you're awake.
>>
No. 924329 ID: b1b4f3

>>924326
Maybe go get a drink of water and check on the baby.
>>
No. 924330 ID: 080aaf

Wake the baby.
>>
No. 924333 ID: 6fb3de
File 155168774924.gif - (6.58KB , 724x512 , iv.gif )
924333

>>924327
Your dream was the same as always: Something bad happened to your girl, Isa. You can't recall exactly what it was.

The lantern was a gift to your husband. Funny, that. He won't be needing it now.
>>
No. 924334 ID: b1b4f3

>>924333
Well, try to get back to sleep then.
>>
No. 924335 ID: c1212a

Poke around to make sure it wasn't something real that woke you.
>>
No. 924336 ID: aacaac

>>924334
Not before you kiss her on the forehead.
>>
No. 924337 ID: 57f319

>>924335
Yeah, hopefully it's nothing but looking through all the windows couldn't hurt.
>>
No. 924338 ID: 6fb3de
File 155168960537.gif - (14.34KB , 724x512 , v.gif )
924338

>>924335
You get up properly. There's no point in going back to sleep, you'll need to cook Wynn breakfast in an hour or two anyway. She's a little ill. You worry about her.

You survey your little hut.
>>
No. 924339 ID: 57f319

>>924338
I guess get the fire started before doing breakfast?

Well, maybe you could also reminisce about the area you live in.
>>
No. 924340 ID: 080aaf

Is that a dagger on the floor? Isa should know to put away her toys when she's done playing.
>>
No. 924341 ID: aacaac

>>924340
That's my girl.
>>
No. 924345 ID: 6fb3de
File 155169730024.gif - (109.54KB , 724x512 , vi.gif )
924345

>>924339
You decide to get the fire going.

...

There you go.

You live in a tiny little village called Hohentaun. It's in the far north of the kingdom, bordering Frostforst. It used to be bigger, but the longer winters and harsher storms have driven out much of the population. It's getting hard to live here. You have some money saved, but not a ton.
You work as a labourer; mostly you repair or wash clothes, or help repair buildings and chop wood. You do your best to spend every moment you can with Isa. She deserves better than this.
Her father was drafted into battle with lizards in the far south. Never came back. They sent you his sword, but buried the body in the sand. Too expensive to bring it all the way up here.

There's... not much else to it. You like gin.
>>
No. 924346 ID: 57f319

Take in the warmth while you pick up the toys. An hour is a long time to be idle. What is Isa's illness? Fever, cough?
>>
No. 924347 ID: aacaac

You can't keep up like this. You'll have to plan moving down South once your kid is better. Perhaps you should ask for the healer, surely there's some sort of work you can do for him.

It's not like there's another in your life to help now...
>>
No. 924348 ID: 6fb3de
File 155169892783.gif - (5.87KB , 724x512 , vii.gif )
924348

>>924346
She's not ill, not exactly. She's very brave and active, but... frail. You're scared of what might happen if she DOES get sick. You don't think she'd survive, and there's no help in this hamlet, not until the storms clear.

There's a knock on the window.
>>
No. 924349 ID: aacaac

>>924348
Barring anyone you're expecting... I don't think tax collectors get their due during snowstorms. Maybe it is a lost traveller?
>>
No. 924350 ID: 57f319

Ah. I'm sure she'll be fine, then. Just needs to be careful until she can be somewhere warmer. Easier said than done, of course.

Speaking of being careful, maybe we ought to take that sword, or even a fire poker, before approaching the window. Who'd be out there in this weather?
>>
No. 924352 ID: ad51b8

who the hell knocks on a window?
>>
No. 924353 ID: 6fb3de
File 155170008226.gif - (9.17KB , 724x512 , iix.gif )
924353

>>924350
You take the poker. It's still glowing.

You get up to the window, and look out into the cold. The snow's stopped.
>>
No. 924355 ID: 080aaf

Out of curiosity, do you have a sister or cousin at the capital who was in the royal guard?
>>
No. 924356 ID: aacaac

>>924353
That symbol... Is it holy?
>>
No. 924357 ID: bcc41d

Think about 'Eth', 'Reno' or 'Thorne'. Does either mean anything to you?

>>924353
A priestess and her entourage? Crack the door open, let out as little heat as you can. Ask quietly - to not wake the child - what the matter is that brings them here at this ungodly hour. If it's shelter, your home is humble and you have no stable for their steeds.
>>
No. 924358 ID: 57f319

Exit your house to meet them. Stab the poker into the snow when you do, for dramatic effect.
>>
No. 924360 ID: ad51b8

recognize the symbol at all?
>>
No. 924361 ID: 6fb3de
File 155170230510.gif - (14.88KB , 724x512 , ix.gif )
924361

>>924356
It's the royal family's mark. Your heart sinks.

>>924357
Eth is a name for your race of wolf, as well as a given name for servants of the throne. Thorne is the same, but usually refers to direwolves, if you recall correctly. Reno means absolutely nothing to you. You crack the door open.

"Who are you? What do you want?"

The... priest? Bows his head.

?: "Lady, we come baring news from your lord the King, and the Lady Queen. We ask for shelter from the cold for his very own bodyguard, Sir Yogh of Pridemour, Spireblade to the Throne."
>>
No. 924362 ID: 57f319

Poor news, that they want shelter. You'd think it would be more important, to come all this way.
>>
No. 924363 ID: adb07a

>>924361
Well,you don't get to refuse that one...Despite your feelings about the king and his wars.
>>
No. 924364 ID: 6fb3de
File 155170313544.gif - (18.56KB , 724x512 , x.gif )
924364

>>924363
You open the door. One of the figures steps out of the gloom and bows in front of the door.

?: "Good evening, Lady. Or is it morning already? We rode through the night."

The stranger grins, and you let him step inside.

?: "Yogh. Spireblade, like Threnod said. My, it's been too long since I've been up north; the rustic wooden logs, the smell of herbs... The Spire simply does not compare."

Isa stirs and begins to wake.

Ȝ: "Can you guess why I'm here, Lady?"
>>
No. 924365 ID: adb07a

>>924364
...Giving the King's charity to the poor folk! How kind! Thank you, Sir Yogh!
>>
No. 924366 ID: adb07a

No, but seriously.

He's come all this way bearing news, but they're saying that to you. And he's making small talk.

He's come for you... Or something you have... Or someone.
>>
No. 924368 ID: 57f319

There's very few reasons why a spireblade and someone bearing royal markings would be here. And really, only one makes sense. Of course, you knew the second you saw them. You might even be angry if this wasn't what was needed. What she wanted, for that matter. Not what you want, you'd never think that, but you'd do anything to make her happy and keep her safe.
>>
No. 924369 ID: adb07a

Your family has already paid the blood price. She's all that's left to you.
>>
No. 924370 ID: 91ee5f

>>924364
>"Can you guess why I'm here, Lady?"
“Shelter, like Threnod said? Or recruitment to serve the King?”
>>
No. 924371 ID: 080aaf

Finally got that widow's pension we're owed?
>>
No. 924373 ID: 6fb3de
File 155170708999.gif - (16.10KB , 724x512 , xi.gif )
924373

>>924369
"...She's all I have."

The wolf draws his sword.
>>
No. 924374 ID: 6fb3de
File 155170722328.gif - (24.20KB , 724x512 , xii.gif )
924374

You panic, but he's only... showing off? He poses dramatically.

Ȝ: "Oh, don't be silly! You'll be compensated, naturally. You'll be able to afford ten more cubs and a palace to raise them in. And your son will literally grow up in the royal palace!"

"Daughter."

Ȝ: "Funny. Last one was a girl, too. Big bad direwolf. In any case, you don't really have a choice in this, Lady."
>>
No. 924375 ID: 080aaf

Well, her health is sure to be well looked after in the palace.
Go get her so you can give a proper goodbye.
>>
No. 924376 ID: 57f319

>>924374
He's awfully jovial for someone who doesn't know what children mean to people. Could at least act stern, make this easy. And so adamant, for a choice made randomly.

You don't want his money, but you shouldn't fight him. Someday you could see your daughter again, if you live through today. And your daughter would be as brave as strong as you could imagine. You need to let her go, for both your sakes.
>>
No. 924377 ID: 094652

"I don't have a choice. Do you hear yourself speak?

There's always something wrong with the world, no matter how 'perfect' you nobles think it is. You ignore what's right in front of your faces. That's why we're never grateful.

So I'll go... and I want a home in the south. Ruddy nomads don't realize how good they've got it."
>>
No. 924378 ID: fd2d31

"you've come here to uproot my life as I know it, and that's even after claiming the life of my husband in a war I find pointless, and to top it off you give me no choice nor any say in the matter."

"So tell me why shouldn't I see you as nothing but a petty villain hiding behind grandeur and wealth, because that's all I currently see your holy pompousness as"
>>
No. 924379 ID: adb07a

Why her...Take someone else.

Beg him if you have to. Try to repress that thought about drawing your late husband's sword on him... It's very tempting but Isa needs you alive.
>>
No. 924380 ID: a9af05

>>924374
Explain that your daughter is very frail and she shouldn't be drafted. Then hope that'll stop him from trying to take your child.
>>
No. 924384 ID: d04931

>>924374
why would they come all the way oit here for a frail child? that makes no sense.
are birth rates so low they have no one left to take? is she special somehow? i don't understand.
>>
No. 924386 ID: adb07a

...Look, it's hard to swallow, and so sudden too... But you need to keep your head straight right now.

It's very likely that he'll take what he's come for.

However it goes, think about what happens when she leaves. She'll be raised entirely without you... She won't even know her old name. Nothing to trace her back to you... To her father...I don't think that she'll be allowed to keep or be given anything either from here.

But... If somehow you managed to leav her a sign, something... Even a brand on her body. Anything that could be a clue, that could be used one day to recognize her, or let her recognize her origins. You need to do it before she's taken away from you. Lie, find any sort of excuse you have to, play it on the feelings to get alone time. Do anything you have to for it. Otherwise it's likely you will never see her again.
>>
No. 924387 ID: 6fb3de
File 155171485999.gif - (18.53KB , 724x512 , xiv.gif )
924387

>>924380
You say that she's sickly.

Ȝ: "We can cure that."

>>924384
You ask why they won't just use someone else instead.

Ȝ: "Royal decree. I will leave here with that child."

You explain that you don't want his money.

Ȝ: "Listen, I'll be perfectly honest; There's nothing stopping me from running you through with this here sword. Nothing but the good and charitable nature of my heart. We both know how this ends. It's your choice how we get there."

Isa is looking up at the stranger with wide eyes. She can't talk yet.
>>
No. 924388 ID: bcc41d

Is your child's name Wynn or Isa? Are they sick or not? You seem confused.

>>924374
Give Sir Yogh a long, level glare for giving you such a scare. He really doesn't get your feelings, either. ...but you cannot fight him. He's a spireblade, a well-trained elite soldier, and he has backup to boot. You are just one common laborer. At best, you might be able to delay the inevitable by appealing to reason.

"You may be a Spireblade in his prime, but my daughter is still young and frail. She might get sick if you drag her out into the cold right now. At least wait until morning, after a warm breakfast. If she's going on the adventure of her lifetime, let's send her off well."

Pause, and visibly unclench your fist. Smile, bitterly, at Sir Yogh.

"And come in out of the cold for however long. I'm surprised you lot didn't turn into icicles getting here. Why you rode through a snowstorm at night to do this is beyond me."

You seem aware of why they're coming for your child. Is recruiting the children of dead soldiers to train into elite bodyguard positions some kind of common practice?
>>
No. 924389 ID: a64e88

I mean, we do know how this ends, and all things considered it will probably end a lot better than if Wynn stays here.

That said, go for his throat. He ain't taking our daughter without a fight.
>>
No. 924390 ID: c4c64c

Getting yourself killed by arguing with this man who seemingly has no conscience will not help your child. Is this the second time they have come, or more?
>>
No. 924391 ID: adb07a

>>924387
Then you have no choice. Try to ask for alone time with her first and find a way to brand her with a symbol that will lead her back to you one day... Somewhere he won't notice, hopefully. Make it look like a weird scar. Assuming he's letting you, of course.

And take his money. If he's paying you as much as he says, perhaps one day you can use that to find her again. Maybe go live closer to the Spire itself.
>>
No. 924392 ID: d04931

>>924387
....they'll cure her too. you might need to let her go. without a cure you know she might not last in this cold.

ask to at least say goodbye. maybe give her a keepsake?

then you'll have to survive long enough for her to one day visit.
>>
No. 924393 ID: 6fb3de

>>924388
i spelled it as Wynn accidentally once. oops
>>
No. 924394 ID: bcc41d

>>924387
>>924388
Gah, too late.

Relent, gritting your teeth. Appeal to his reason for a proper send-off. If he's such a generous soul, he can at least allow that.

Prepare a meal. Coddle your child at every available opportunity. Slip her something of her father's. Question the whole 'rode through the night and a snowstorm' thing to keep Sir Yogh distracted.
>>
No. 924395 ID: e9d41b

instead of money ask him to help you make a new child :3c
>>
No. 924396 ID: fd2d31

Apply firepoker to his remaining eye, while muttering something like "well justice is blind"
>>
No. 924397 ID: fd2d31

"You already took my husband, you will NEVER take my daughter, she's the only thing holy in my life"
>>
No. 924398 ID: adb07a

>>924395
I don't think he's interested...



(...But that would be fun to see)

>But you're a widow loyal to your dead husband dammit
>>
No. 924399 ID: 094652

"... What the hell did my husband do? Torch a lizard orphanage? Activate an old enchantment with his blood? Did he sleep with the king's sister?! Oh god, he did, didn't he.

If you were a good man, you would fight for a world where 'murdering a civilian so you could abduct her daughter' wouldn't BE a legal option. You're a patriotic man, and for all your courage you would serve the devil if he married into the royal line.

So I'll let her protect the bluebloods, if only to prevent that. But get me out of this frozen dump. Money is worthless here when half the village is starving, and the other half will kill their neighbors to steal their gold just to feel financially secure."
>>
No. 924400 ID: 3ed3c3

>>924387
Kill your kid.
He's planning on taking her away from you, so fuck him over sideways and take her away from him.
>>
No. 924404 ID: 3ed3c3

I just looked back at chapter 1, and this Yogh guy dies getting shanked by a bunch of pissed off lizards, and the king gets killed on his watch. Reading this exchange here makes it clear that the fucker deserved worse, but I'm glad his end is appropriately bloody and awful.
>>
No. 924405 ID: adb07a

>>924404
>>924400
Calm your bloodlust, guys...
>>
No. 924406 ID: bcc41d

>>924405
Same guy.

I get being sharp with a man who is arrogant in his duty to conscript your child into lifetime bodyguard service, but killing the child is not somehow better, it's insane. Calm down.
>>
No. 924407 ID: 6fb3de
File 155171796114.gif - (61.67KB , 724x512 , xv.gif )
924407

>>924395
>>924400
>>924389
aLL THESE STRAY THOUGHTS WTF

You need a single concise response. Now.
>>
No. 924409 ID: adb07a

>>924407
"...I need time with my daughter. Please. And I'll let her go..."
>>
No. 924410 ID: bcc41d

>>924409
This. Ask for time for a proper send-off.
>>
No. 924416 ID: fd2d31

>>924410
Time that could be used to pick up daughter and bail through a back window.
Or picking up sword and pay retribution to your dead husband with the life of the man here to steal your only child.
>>
No. 924417 ID: a6405f

>>924405
Seriously.

It is this guy's job whether he likes it or not. It is his head if it doesn't happen. Even if he does rebel and die instead of taking your kid, someone else will show up to do the same. If you really want to do something about it, you could join as well and maybe you can either change things gradually from the inside, or find likeminded individuals to rebel.
>>
No. 924418 ID: e9d41b

asking for time seems reasonable.
maybe explain to her that you'll see her again (perhaps on parade or public events)

considering I don't think they'll leave you alone with her offer the man to stay for dinner
>>
No. 924419 ID: adb07a

>>924416
Dude. No. Just no.

You can't do anything. You don't want to make it worse. His deal isn't even that bad. You're gonna get killed in front of your daughter, or freeze to death with her outside. What is it going to do?

Kill her only remaining family.

Live. One day you can find her again, and in the meantime, try to find a bit of happiness in the thought that she'll accomplish great things, even if you don't approve of these things.
>>
No. 924421 ID: fd2d31

>>924417
He's enjoying it a little too much since he's teasing with cutting her down instead of considering talking to his lordship that it is a dumb idea to fuck over a widow.

Cutting him down sends a message that the people vehemently disagree, and if the lordship wants those people dead over that, THEN it's time to rebel.
>>
No. 924422 ID: adb07a

>>924421
What don't you get about the fact that he's a Spireblade and you're just some peasant laborer widow that loves her child...
>>
No. 924424 ID: a9af05

>>924407
Explain that she's too frail. They wouldn't want a soldier that breaks her bones everytime she trips, right?
>>
No. 924425 ID: fd2d31

>>924419
>Kill her only remaining family.
Great idea, remind him that killing the mother of a child is a perfect way to create a future royalty assassin, while taking away a widows only child is a perfect way to create a vengeful rebel.

His only winning move is not to play.
>>
No. 924428 ID: c4c64c

The only sensible course of action is to ask for time to say goodbye.
>>
No. 924429 ID: 0ff48c
File 155172081691.gif - (16.40KB , 724x512 , xvi.gif )
924429

"Fine. But let me say goodbye to her."

Ȝ: "As you wish."

He doesn't move.

"Alone."

He smirks, and scratches his grey chin. You feel faint dread.

Ȝ: "Alright. A kiss for five minutes."
>>
No. 924431 ID: e9d41b

give kiss
>>
No. 924432 ID: fd2d31

>>924429
Give him the kiss of death as you plunge a knife into his heart during tongue wrestling
>>
No. 924433 ID: e2f5cc

>>924429
Give him a chaste kiss on the... side of the muzzle?
>>
No. 924434 ID: adb07a

>>924429
Forget the plans then...

Tell her not to die and ask the gods to protect her like her mother would. Promise her you'll try to find her again one day. I guess that's what I'd say.
>>
No. 924435 ID: c1212a

Tell him you hope to everything just in the world that she's the death of him.

Hold your little girl one last time.
>>
No. 924436 ID: 0ff48c
File 155172195812.gif - (10.75KB , 724x512 , xvii.gif )
924436

You grit your teeth, and go for a chaste kiss. When you feel a tongue push against your teeth, and a glove brush against your ass, you pull away quickly.

The wolf laughs.

Ȝ: "Hah. I'll be waiting outside, Lady."

He leaves, and snow whirls in.

The door snaps shut.

...


This will probably be your last interaction with your daughter. What do you do?
>>
No. 924437 ID: adb07a

>>924436
Well, if you have any way to... 'brand' her discreetly with something to connect her to her past, now is the time. Otherwise... Cry.

Cry a lot. You'll feel slightly better.
>>
No. 924438 ID: 094652

Five senses!
A crest to see (lantern)
A song to sing (your theme song)
The rose you saved when Isa was born
A mother's cooking (screw it use the abuela's leftovers she cooks for the entire village)
And a really long vibrating hug
>>
No. 924439 ID: e9d41b

be brave for baby, tell her it's the only way for either of you to survive the winter.

smile and be confident on the outside, even if you don't feel it.
>>
No. 924440 ID: 3ed3c3

>>924436
Tell your daughter that that man is going to hurt her and try to change her. You can't stop him. Your daughter has to be strong and smart. Tell her to learn from him and his ilk; to watch them and study them. Do as they say and appease them, but always remember that they committed this atrocity. Do not become like them. Then, one day, when they are at their most vulnerable, make them pay.
>>
No. 924441 ID: b1b4f3

>>924436
First, tell her she's being conscripted, and explain what that means. They will make her into a fine warrior, but neither of you have a choice in the matter.
You should tell her that you love her, and you'll miss her, and ask her to come visit if she ever has free time. This will always be her home.
Also, letters.

You will want to give her a hug, and a kiss.
>>
No. 924443 ID: c1212a

If there's anything she needs you can give her, do. Tell her she's going on an adventure, but not to forget where she came from. She might not be able to come home for a while, but she'll always be welcome when she returns.
>>
No. 924444 ID: fd2d31

Tell her that the first person she should kill is the man that's taking her away.
>>
No. 924445 ID: fd2d31

So how about that firepoker huh?
would be a real shame if it "accidentally" ended up pointy-end first in a certain heartless soldiers remaining eye.
>>
No. 924446 ID: c1212a

>>924443
...and you love her more than anything.
>>
No. 924447 ID: bcc41d

>>924446
... and that you'll miss her.
>>
No. 924448 ID: d04931

tell her you love her and will always love her.
tell her to stay a good person, to never abuse her power like that fucker outside.
>>
No. 924449 ID: c4c64c

Give her the most warm, loving hug you have ever given anything in your life. This is only goodbye for now, make sure she never forgets how you feel about her.
>>
No. 924451 ID: a9af05

>>924440
>>924444
>>924445
No, don't do these. They're all terrible ideas.

>>924441
Yes, do this.
>>
No. 924456 ID: eeb7d9

>>924441
This is the most reasonable one.
>>
No. 924457 ID: bb78f2

>>924436
Let her know she'll always have a home here, even under the heaviest of troubles. And to bash you on the skull if you ever dare forget her. You'll forgive her, and if you don't you won't like the person you became and are scum, so do what you want to that person.

Sing her a song.
>>
No. 924458 ID: 57f319

>>924443
>>924446
>>924447
These. And tell her never to stop caring about the people she's supposed to care for. To guard herself against the examples of her mentors. And to be brave.
>>
No. 924485 ID: fd2d31

>no murdering of Shady McSleazebag as vengeance for losing both husband and daughter.
aww...
>>
No. 924490 ID: 080aaf

Her father died serving his country. When you need guidance, act like he would, and not necessarily Yogh.
Becoming a Spireblade is a great honor. Always show behavior befitting the position.
>>
No. 924492 ID: cbdfa8

>>924436
Give her advice on how to grow up without her. tell her that she will always be in her memories. Tell her to Grow up strong and smart so others don't use her to their advantage.
>>
No. 924494 ID: ae8ec4

>>924457
>>924441
Both of these
>>
No. 924503 ID: 864e49

There's nothing left here for you now, maybe ask if you can accompany them back to the capital to live there?
>>
No. 924586 ID: adb07a

>>924438
>>924457
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI59MHZYj1Q
>>
No. 924815 ID: 8c46c9
File 155190946688.gif - (17.29KB , 724x512 , iixx.gif )
924815

You sit Isa down on your lap, and hold her tight.

You tell her that she's going to go away now, and she's going to learn to be a knight, a tough one, and she's going to help people. You tell her you're so, so proud of her, and she's welcome to come visit any time she likes. She watches you with big, intelligent eyes, but you're not sure she understands. She's so young.

I: "Mama?"

You try to think of a song to sing.

Nothing comes to mind.

You start to cry and hug her again.
>>
No. 924828 ID: 8c46c9
File 155191331024.gif - (21.63KB , 724x512 , ixx.gif )
924828

T: "It's been five minutes. Don't you want to get them? The Queen expects us to be there for the birth, the sooner we get back home the better."

Ȝ: "Let them be. We aren't lizards."

T: "Heh."

(Is there anything you have left to say to Isa?)
>>
No. 924829 ID: 094652

"They'll tell you stories of how wolves owe their civilization to the leadership of the cats. They'll show you halls of kings and knights and proudly boast of your obedient fate as their next shield. But always remember, Isa: those knights were Lord Protectors of kings because they CHOSE to stay Lord Protectors of kings.

No matter how strong you are and how much training they force upon you, you will always have the power to choose who you wish to protect. If you find the princess is kind and sweet and you believe she is worth saving, I will be proud of your sacrifice. If she is rotten to the core, and you release your honor to better protect an innocent you found one day, I will be proud of that as well.

Never forget that."
>>
No. 924832 ID: 62e76a

This isn't a suggestion but... how can they tell the time that passed without a clock with such precision?
>>
No. 924833 ID: 8c46c9
File 155191549773.gif - (14.44KB , 724x512 , xx.gif )
924833

>>924832
Stick to matters that concern you, furless cretin.
>>
No. 924835 ID: b1b4f3

>>924828
Tell her to stay alive, and stay strong.
>>
No. 924837 ID: 57f319

>>924829
Hey that's really nice. A little long for such a little child, but nice.

Make sure to end by saying she's going on a little trip, and that you have to stay home to make sure it's taken care of.
>>
No. 924838 ID: bcc41d

>>924828
It's a cold world out there so stay warm. Make friends. Find love. Become the best and... please take care of yourself. Don't get hurt. Don't die. You can do it. You can do anything you set your mind to. Mother believes in you, Isa.

>>924832
Tiny hourglasses. Threnod's exactly the kind of ass who'd pull one out to measure the minutes.

(they guesstimate)

>>924833
Oh, wizards.
>>
No. 924839 ID: eeb7d9

Tell her that she has to be the BEST spireblade. But that doesn't mean she has to be alone. Is sad and cold to be alone, so she has to look for people who makes them feel warm. Friends, a lover, but never alone. A spireblade is never alone. If they are alone, then they can't trully be one. Make sure she remembers that.

I can't think of anything else. Do you have something you would like to give her, so she remembers you, or to give her strength?
Maybe her father's sword?
>>
No. 924849 ID: b1b4f3

Also tell her to wake up and stop drowning.
>>
No. 924856 ID: a9af05

>>924828
Yeah, what he said! Just give the milf as long as she needs to say goodbye to her child!
>>
No. 924861 ID: cbdfa8

I would send her with her fathers sword to remember her and have something to strive forward as make her future something for her to craft herself.
>>
No. 924916 ID: 132a50

tell her you love her. and that you'll miss her.
>>
No. 924973 ID: c1212a

>>924916
This.

Tell her you want what's best for her, but that's going to involve her leaving home for bigger opportunities elsewhere.
>>
No. 925003 ID: 6e7032

Give her your ring, to remember where you came from.
>>
No. 925055 ID: 2202fb

>>924833
Nani?
>>
No. 925062 ID: c1212a

>>924916
this

Explain you always want what's best for her, but that's going to involve leaving home for a long time.
>>
No. 925136 ID: c72efa
File 155215411024.gif - (486.39KB , 724x512 , 0.gif )
925136

You tell her...

You... tell her...

You...

You t...

Y-





Your name is ETH.
Your lungs are filling with water.
>>
No. 925137 ID: 132a50

>>925136
finally.
do you have time to look around for thorne? she might sink if you can't get her armor off of her.
if not, swim up - that's where the bubbles are headed.
>>
No. 925138 ID: eeb7d9

Wakey wakey, sleepyhead, this is no place for sleeping. Did you fall to the water?
Snap out of it Eth, go up, take some air. You need to find the princesses and your friend, who is probably drowning. You will have time to thing about your dreams later.
>>
No. 925139 ID: bfa316

>>925136
SWIM.
>>
No. 925140 ID: e9d41b

swim up!
>>
No. 925141 ID: c72efa
File 155215688650.gif - (34.73KB , 512x512 , 1.gif )
925141

>>925137
Your mind moves slow, like mud dripping out of a cup, like... slugs crawling, out of...

You can barely think. Your gorget is choking you.

A huge shape is drifting below you, immobile.
>>
No. 925142 ID: b1b4f3

>>925141
Ok first you need to save yourself. Swim up, get a breath, then swim back down to grab Thorne.
>>
No. 925143 ID: bcc41d

>>925141
It's Thorne. Swim up, get a breath, then down again, follow the bubbles. She's prone, must be stuck by weight, bodies are buyant - you have to remove her armor. Draw sword, cut straps, scratch skin, give no shits. Swim up again, help her if you can, pray she held her breath and stayed conscious, haul her towards ANYWHERE DRY.

You can still do this.
>>
No. 925144 ID: eeb7d9

>>925142
This. Take air, take out some clothes/armor off you need too, and go back down to help her. You are going to need time, and she is going to need some air, so you are going to have to give her some. While you go back and forth for air, she has to take out her armor, she won't be able to go up with all that weight. That is the only way to help her, i think.
>>
No. 925145 ID: bfa316

>>925141
Ditch the gorget, then get some air. You'll need to be quick to get to Thorne.
>>
No. 925146 ID: bcc41d

>>925144
>Kiss of breath
Not a bad idea - if Thorne is conscious and won't just let out the air again. Depending on how cold the water is, they'll still want to get out of it ASAP.
>>
No. 925147 ID: c72efa
File 155215849364.gif - (7.84KB , 512x512 , 2.gif )
925147

>>925146
The water's burning against your snout and eyes, so you think it's probably very VERY cold.

>>925142
You break the surface, and fill your lungs with icy air. You manage to fumble open the latch on your gorget, and it drops into the depths.
Your clothes are soaked, and the chain is suddenly very heavy. You keep getting dragged down by your own weight.
Your splashing echoes.
>>
No. 925148 ID: bfa316

>>925147
86 the chainmail, it won't do you any good if you're dead.
>>
No. 925149 ID: b1b4f3

>>925147
Remove chainmail while swimming back down to grab Thorne.
>>
No. 925150 ID: 132a50

>>925147
thorne is still down there, held down by her armor! swim down, cut her out!
>>
No. 925151 ID: eeb7d9

Forget about the chainmal! You can get new armor later, you need to hurry and go help Thorn!
>>
No. 925152 ID: cbdfa8

>>925147
Urgently throw off your chainmail!
then take a moment to get some breaths of air, then go down and rescue Thorne! Remove her armor so she wont be anchored to the floor.
>>
No. 925153 ID: c72efa
File 155215980106.gif - (7.64KB , 512x512 , 3.gif )
925153

>>925148
You ditch the tunic and lamellar, and the chain coif. Even through your autumn coat, the water is frigid.
>>
No. 925154 ID: c72efa
File 155215982595.gif - (6.31KB , 512x512 , 4.gif )
925154

You dive down. It's difficult; your muscles are going numb.
>>
No. 925155 ID: c72efa
File 155215985092.gif - (7.69KB , 512x512 , 5.gif )
925155

You grab hold of Thorne, but she's too heavy to move!
>>
No. 925156 ID: eeb7d9

Come on, just a little more! Keep moving to gain some heat.
>>
No. 925157 ID: bfa316

>>925155
Cut/gnaw the straps holding her armor on.
>>
No. 925158 ID: eeb7d9

Give her some air, and remove her armor.
>>
No. 925159 ID: 132a50

>>925155
it's the armor! cut it off!
>>
No. 925160 ID: c72efa
File 155216082849.gif - (7.52KB , 512x512 , 6.gif )
925160

>>925157
You viciously attack the straps keeping her armour on, and the knots come undone very easily. her chest and backplates drift off, and her cape floats into the gloom. Her cloak flutters off dramatically in the invisible current. She stirs a little!
>>
No. 925168 ID: b1b4f3

>>925160
See if you can lift her now. Maybe smack her face a little to wake her up so she can move herself too.
>>
No. 925169 ID: eeb7d9

>>925160

Good, she is still conscious! If the cape is being dragged by a current, i could mean that there is a way out off the water. But first things first, take Thorne out for some air.
>>
No. 925171 ID: c1212a

>>925160
Hold her mouth and nose so she doesn't inhale water as she awakes. Start hauling her upwards.
>>
No. 925172 ID: cbdfa8

>>925171
seconding
>>
No. 925174 ID: bfa316

>>925172
>>925171
ENCLOSE SNOUT IN FIST
>>
No. 925175 ID: c72efa
File 155216199740.gif - (3.63KB , 512x512 , 7.gif )
925175

>>925174
You hold her snout shut, and start kicking.

Slowly, you think you make progress. The water gets colder and colder. You can't see any sort of surface. You don't even know which way is up!
>>
No. 925176 ID: 132a50

>>925175
up is where the bubbles are going
>>
No. 925177 ID: bcc41d

>>925175
Bubbles go up. Follow any bubbles still leaving your clothes and fur.

If she was stirring, she might be close to coming back, but has lost too much air to do much. You could try the kiss of breath. Hold her mouth closed, 'bite' over her nose and breathe in. It's weird, but it will probably work better than trying snout-to-snout, you'd practically have to french kiss her otherwise and that takes practice and cooperation.
>>
No. 925178 ID: bfa316

>>925176
This. Blow some bubbles, and watch/feel the direction they go. Not too much though, you need air.

And if its getting colder, you may be going in the wrong direction - go where its warmer.
>>
No. 925179 ID: cbdfa8

>>925175
Blow some bubbles. then follow them up.
>>
No. 925180 ID: eeb7d9

The bubbles, follow th bubbles!
>>
No. 925182 ID: c72efa
File 155216308431.gif - (9.55KB , 512x512 , 8.gif )
925182

>>925177
You enclose her muzzle in your own as best you can, and start exhaling. For once, you're not even slightly aroused. Her fur is clammy, and it tastes of copper.

Darkness encroaches.

She seems to inhale most of it. The rest of the bubbles go what you now think of as upwards.
Follow them?
>>
No. 925183 ID: cbdfa8

>>925182
YES!

(unless this is some sort of messed up current doing loop-de-loops.)
>>
No. 925184 ID: bcc41d

>>925182
Thorne's got a gorget, too. Any chance you can remove it? If it's too complicated, just keep trying to haul her upwards. If she regains consciousness properly, she'll be very disoriented, so do your best to point her up.
>>
No. 925185 ID: bfa316

>>925182
Yes, but make sure the water gets warmer as you go. If it's getting colder, you're going deeper.
>>
No. 925186 ID: eeb7d9

Follow them bubbles!
>>
No. 925187 ID: bfa316

>>925184
And if you can remove it, watch where it falls and go in the opposite direction.
>>
No. 925188 ID: c72efa
File 155216372674.gif - (6.06KB , 512x512 , 9.gif )
925188

You follow the bubbles, your brain fizzling out slowly. The water's stopped feeling so cold. Stars blink into life in the darkness, promising a better world, a comfortable end.
>>
No. 925189 ID: c1212a

Keep going. You didn't survive the fall to die now.
>>
No. 925190 ID: 132a50

>>925188
reno is up there alone with dana. are you gonna die and leave them there with the lizards?
>>
No. 925191 ID: eeb7d9

Stop that! Remember, you are not alone, there is people waiting for you, and they will keep you warm.
>>
No. 925192 ID: c72efa
File 155216431330.gif - (5.83KB , 512x512 , 10.gif )
925192

You turn your gaze upwards, and think of your loved ones. Your duty. You keep swimming.
A hand appears.

Accept the matronly woman's help?
>>
No. 925195 ID: cbdfa8

>>925192
Grasp that hand with your death grip, and hold on for dear life.
>>
No. 925196 ID: bfa316

>>925192
Grab on and hold on.
>>
No. 925197 ID: c1212a

I doubt you're in a position to refuse.
>>
No. 925198 ID: e9d41b

grab hand!
>>
No. 925199 ID: c72efa
File 155216515525.gif - (123.29KB , 512x512 , 11.gif )
925199

Your vision clears... For a moment the face seemed familiar.
>>
No. 925200 ID: 132a50

>>925192
that's one of the shapeshifting fucks, isn't it?
oh fuck it, if it's hostile you're dead, if it's not you get help.
>>
No. 925201 ID: c72efa
File 155216520020.gif - (7.51KB , 512x512 , 12.gif )
925201

The stranger helps you up! You fill your lungs again and strength floods into you!
>>
No. 925202 ID: 132a50

>>925201
get thorne to land, make sure she's breathing.
then greet your new shapeshifting friend. apologize for killing its friend, say you were trying to be non-lethal.
>>
No. 925204 ID: b1b4f3

>>925201
Get thorne to land, check her life signs. Heartbeat, breathing, etc.
>>
No. 925205 ID: cbdfa8

>>925201
Get Thorne on solid ground.
watch the person just in case of deceitful intent
>>
No. 925206 ID: eeb7d9

Ok, before anything, make sure Thorn is ok, then you thank this individual. Ask him who he is and what is it doing here.
>>
No. 925207 ID: bfa316

>>925201
Drag Fatty McFluffbutt to shore and make sure she's breathing - make a mental note that she needs to go on a diet.

Be thankful but wary with your new pal. Are they a shapeshifter, or just a deer? Do they look at all familiar?
>>
No. 925208 ID: c72efa
File 155216594457.gif - (10.52KB , 512x512 , 13.gif )
925208

>>925204
With the stranger's help, you drag Thorne on land. She coughs up water, and starts spluttering. You're about to say something, but you collapse onto the soft dirt. It smells like alchemical waste; chloride and dead fish. Mould and fungi. You feel like vomiting.

You realize you may have failed your only purpose in life. You have trouble concentrating on the thoughts telling you what's right and wrong.
>>
No. 925209 ID: bcc41d

>>925202
Don't start babbling about that now, gift horse, etc. Thank them, breathlessly, and focus on keeping warm, on keeping Thorne alive. You need to hack out the water in your lungs, make sure Thorne is breathing properly, to wring out your clothes, get as dry as you can, and to keep moving to retain heat. Ask the stranger if they know where there's fire and heat.

If anything, consider your primary charge - look out into the cavern, hear if there is shouting from Reno and Dana.
>>
No. 925210 ID: 132a50

greet your new shapeshifting friend. apologize for killing its friend, say you were trying to be non-lethal.
>>
No. 925211 ID: e9d41b

doggy shake to get the water off you
>>
No. 925212 ID: cbdfa8

>>925208
All in good time. foucus on the situation at hand.
>>
No. 925213 ID: eeb7d9

You can't save Reno and Dana if you are dead. Keep yourself and Thorne alive, then you can worry about completing your mission. Reno is a smart girl, she will keep herself out of trouble.
>>
No. 925214 ID: bcc41d

>>925208
Failure is relative. Reno and Dana were alive when last you saw, and you've only been seperated from them for minutes at worst. Reno should be capable of finding the other end of the secret exit, presuming nothing else bars her path. At the very least, she's still out of the lizards' claws - they'll have a hell of a time figuring out the same set of instructions you did, especially if they don't get any ghost-help or can't see the fancy secret lights.

Flop over and ask the stranger where you are. The natural exit to the secret path may even be close nearby, if the natural underground cave carved out by the stream was any indication.

Heck, if you're still in a cave, it may even be the same cave, just a bit further downstream. You might be able to yell out and Reno could hear you.
>>
No. 925215 ID: bfa316

>>925208
You haven't failed until either she or you are dead. You're still alive, and she probably is too. You're only purpose now is to get back to her.

>>925211
Also this.
>>
No. 925216 ID: c1212a

Breathe, maybe not through your nose if the smell is so bad. You haven't failed yet, neither Royal was in the bridge collapse and nothing can chase after them because of it- but you won't be able to do anything else if you can't get out of here. Can your voice carry back up the hole well enough to let them know you're okay?
>>
No. 925217 ID: b1b4f3

>>925208
No you didn't. You got her to the evacuation route, out of the crypt. The lizards can't get to her now.

Also she might still be in earshot. Call up to her.
>>
No. 925218 ID: 094652

They weren't dead when you fell. Don't treat them as dead until you SEE them dead.

Besides, they had such a nice and populated burial chamber waiting for them. If they ARE dead you should at least get their bodies to the crypt so they can haunt with their families.

Get up, thank the goat, and perform further CPR on Thorne. Start a fire.
>>
No. 925219 ID: c72efa
File 155216833194.gif - (115.16KB , 512x512 , 15.gif )
925219

>>925211
Instinct takes over.

...

That's better. Your fur has become floofed.
>>
No. 925220 ID: c72efa
File 155216851259.gif - (11.75KB , 512x512 , 14.gif )
925220

You look up at the stranger, then promptly decide to mentally redact some his appearance to protect your fragile psyche.

Nude Deer: "Gee, that s-sure was close, haha! Thought another one a' them shifters'd dropped down! But it's real people! G-gosh!"

He seems excitable. His voice is raspy, as though not in use very often.
>>
No. 925221 ID: 080aaf

First things first: which way leads up?
>>
No. 925222 ID: c1212a

Wait, you're telling me you're not the shifter we saw crawl down earlier? ...How long have you been down here?

Make sure Thorne is breathing properly. You didn't pull her off the lake-bed so she could choke on the shoreline.
>>
No. 925223 ID: 094652

"Where are your clothes and why is your crotch pulsating like that?

I'll stop asking stupid questions the sooner we get a campfire going."
>>
No. 925224 ID: bb78f2

Hey cool tell me about he shifters and a way to get up back from where we fell.

Log an excuse in your workbooks in case Thorne calls you out "I had only a moment to think and I reacted. I may have failed in my duty, but Reno still has a chance without us for a moment. If we can regroup quickly, this turn of events can work out for the best. Also, Reno would have felt like shit if she learned you drowned because I let you fall for the sake of duty. The Queen can't have that guilt on her shoulders so soon."

Ask the deer about the potential dangers if you shout up to your friends to let them know your both safe. Will Shifter's swarm us? Is there a good chance the lizards could be nearby and hear? If he thinks it's safe, then shout to Reno that you're both alive. She should still be there, it can only have been a few minutes since you fell, and it shouldn't have been too large a fall for her not to be able to hear you.
>>
No. 925225 ID: eeb7d9

I don't like random naked people. But he can be of use. Aske were we are, how to go back and what are the shifters.
>>
No. 925226 ID: c72efa
File 155217060496.gif - (9.59KB , 512x512 , 16.gif )
925226

>>925222
You help Thorne up. She's conscious, and coughs profusely.

Þ: "Th... Fuck... G-give me a m-m..."
She vomits water onto the soil.

You ask the Deer how to get back up.

?: "U-up? Why? No point in going up. Sh-shifters and, and."

He looks nervously over his shoulder, then back at you.

?: "Nothing but It down here. We should s-scamper, It'll be here soon, ha ha. R-r-risky."
>>
No. 925227 ID: 094652

>>925226
"Sir, what I am going to say will spoil your mood as thoroughly as adding poppies to your platter, but it must be said:

The Lizard terrorists have successfully usurped the throne, the king is dead, and his only children are right next to the shifters.

I am ordering you to risk your life in battle so that you and everyone you love don't have to live in a world ruled by psychopaths. Now come on we have princesses to @#$% I mean save."
>>
No. 925228 ID: b1b4f3

Tell the deer that there's someone still up there. You need to get back to them. If there's no way up then I guess we just have to work on getting out.

Shit, you both lost your weapons in the water didn't you?
>>
No. 925229 ID: c1212a

Look, we can protect you from the shifters and-

... What is 'It'.
>>
No. 925232 ID: b1b4f3

Hmm, here's a backup plan in case there's no way back up: Yell at Reno to jump. There's water, you will retrieve her and Dana after they fall.
>>
No. 925233 ID: c72efa
File 155217168843.gif - (7.20KB , 512x512 , 17.gif )
925233

>>925227
You politely inform the deer that the king has died, and the bloodline is in jeopardy, and you need to save the crown princess and her sister immediately.

?: "W-woah, haha. Calm down, l-l-lady. What king? S-swallow any of the water? It makes you dream odd, I don't d-drink it unless I h-h-have to, haha. I-I'm... S-spots. On account of my spots. It named me!"

He says 'it' with the utmost reverence.
>>
No. 925234 ID: eeb7d9

Ooooh, you're crazy. Ask him where we can go up again, even if we don't go there, we would like to know. Check your inventory.
>>
No. 925236 ID: bcc41d

>>925233
Simpler explanations then - you are Eth, that is Thorne and you got seperated from someone you were supposed to protect. You fell from a rickety bridge, near a ladder carved into stone, which you'd climbed down, after being chased by what you think might be 'shifters'. Does Spots know where that might be around here?

Also, if Spots think we should move, you are 100% with Spots on not getting into trouble. Are shifters dangerous? Is 'It' dangerous?

Jog in place. Keep your warmth up. Get some intel about this place from the crazy person. Lean into their crazy world, don't offend or demean the sad, sorry naked hermit-person who just saved your life.
>>
No. 925237 ID: 094652

"Army of bad guys. They're rampaging through shifter territory. How screwed are we."
>>
No. 925238 ID: bfa316

>>925233
So... how long has he been down here? Is he alone?
>>
No. 925239 ID: eeb7d9

Push ups are good for warm up too. Specially for your chest, you need to warm up that above all else first.
>>
No. 925240 ID: b1b4f3

>>925236
This should work.

Honestly it seems like this guy is trapped down here. He looks like he's been starving to death. We might be screwed. "It" can talk though? ...maybe It can put us back up on the platform somehow.
>>
No. 925241 ID: c1212a

But.. What is 'It'??
>>
No. 925245 ID: c72efa
File 155217569589.gif - (8.19KB , 512x512 , 18.gif )
925245

Thorne starts doing pushups to warm up.
You explain the situation to Spots in terms he can understand. He seems to get the gist of it.

S: "Sh-shifters? Dangerous? D-dunno, miss. Tasty though. Always happy when o-one falls down. Better than the f-f-fish! Hahaha! I-It's dangerous, though. It's her name, see? Sh-she told me she was named It. She's right b-behind me! We should m-m-move soon. I know a spot she only comes on t-t-tuesdays."
>>
No. 925247 ID: eeb7d9

Why is IT dangerous, what does it do? Where is this place to hide?

I still want to go and look for the royals. IT can be dangerous for them as well.
>>
No. 925248 ID: c1212a

Crap, you ditched your sword, didn't you. Any chance of retrieval?

Hold on, how did something so dangerous give you a name? Are are you on speaking terms or not?
>>
No. 925249 ID: bb78f2

>>925245
Is it tuesday? This guy sounds like he's been down here forever.

Ask him where he was born and what year he thinks it is. What was the name of the king then?
>>
No. 925250 ID: c72efa
File 155217678377.gif - (5.91KB , 512x512 , 19.gif )
925250

Yeah, your sword is gone. Thorne's too, by the looks of it.

You ask how he knows what it wants to be called.

S: "I-it tells me things, when I'm a-sleeping! Or e-eating, and I don't want to l-listen, but don't have much of a choice, haha. W-where did you come from, anyway? Is there water above, t-too? Are there fishies?"
>>
No. 925252 ID: eeb7d9

>>925250
You bet your ass there is, and they are ten times better than this shit hole. That is why i am telling you that we need to get out as soon as possible.
>>
No. 925253 ID: 9582af

Yeah, that's all technically true. And we'd like to go back.

That said we should follow him for now. I don't want to find out if It is real and if It is dangerous.
>>
No. 925254 ID: bcc41d

There is a non-zero chance 'it' is a crazy delusion of his... orr knowing how fucked-up this place is, some kind of ghost-thing that's preying on him. And he eats the shifters? The corpse-like things?

... holy shit.

Welp! Nothing to do but try to get information out of him. What places are there down here? Tease out the layout of the area from him, even if you have to ask silly questions like where it's safe to sleep at any given day. Tell him the topside has plenty of things, including fishies and water. But, rather unfortunately, right now it also has lizards, which want to eat us, which is why you were fleeing down here. How did he come to be down here?

Also, jog in place already. You should be freezin' and if you're not that's worse.
>>
No. 925255 ID: bcc41d

Thought. He might just be crazy, but given what he says there might be something in the water and the meat of the 'shifters' that give one, er, magical dreams? Think about it. You fell into the water, and then you both got instantly KO'd? That shouldn't have happened.

Ask Thorne if she entered some kind of flashback or dream while she was KO'd. Tell her you dreamt of... er, your mother. Disturbingly so, since you last met her when you were a tot.
>>
No. 925256 ID: b1b4f3

We should get moving. At the very least, exploration is a priority.
>>
No. 925258 ID: bb78f2

>>925250
I didn't think we would post at the same time, so the questions from >>925249 are still ones I'd like to ask.

Lets ask this on the move, if there's a threat, we will have to.

Are you and Thorne trained in unarmed combat even a little bit?

Let him know we STILL need to go up, despite the dangers.
>>
No. 925259 ID: 91ee5f

Speaking of the Shifters, now that you guys have been separated, it’ll be much easier for the Shifters approach Reno and Dana and pretend to be you and Thorne in order to lead them into danger.

Same thing for Shifters approaching you and Thorne while pretending to be Reno and Dana.
>>
No. 925260 ID: 094652

There's a reason why this place was under lock and key even though it retains the only (semi)physical evidence of divine right the cats have: you've all been going crazy ever since you entered the underground. Question is, will it wear off over time or are you permanently demented?

We can answer that by leaving fast.
>>
No. 925266 ID: 422cea

Give back the poor man's penis before you leave.
>>
No. 925267 ID: 15a025

Whatever "It" is, I'm sure if we stick around we're going to find out.

Try and get Spots to come along with you and Throne for now. He might be useful for at least getting around. See if you can't convince him by sharing tales of the fish you can find up above.
>>
No. 925273 ID: e51896

Do you still feel like vomiting? might be best to get it out of your system before doing anything else.
>>
No. 925276 ID: 132a50

>>925245
well, now that you recovered, do you two feel like swimming to the bottom and getting your weapons back? maybe armour if you're good enough swimmers.
>>
No. 925419 ID: bad12e

>>925250

Getting back shouldn't be impossible. We survived the fall with all our bones intact, so it couldn't have been terribly far. The only question is how we get back up.

At least no one ELSE is getting to the princess any time soon, right?
>>
No. 926243 ID: b694bc
File 155295034010.gif - (25.93KB , 512x512 , 20.gif )
926243

Your fur remains floofed. Some last drops of water pearl off it.

>>925255
Flashback? You don't remember a dream. You certainly don't remember your mother. She's probably dead, whoever she was. You serve the realm.

>>925266
tHere is no penis shush

>>925276
You feel like you wouldn't survive that in your current condition. You feel rather drowsy and clumsy, and your breathing is a little shallower than usual. You have no idea how big this lake is, or how deep... And no idea of what might live inside it.

>>925273
Your mouth tastes of bile, but you feel mostly okay on that front.

You explain that you still need to go up, and Spots only giggles feebly, looking over his shoulders. His eyes gleam a pale sickly greenish colour when they're at the right angle to you.

Thorne has gotten to her feet, and is huffing slightly. She looks like she needs a blanket and a hug. She'd probably crush your skull with her jaw if she heard you think that.

Is there anything left to do here or discuss, or will you move out?
>>
No. 926244 ID: cbdfa8

>>926243
give her a back pat and lets GTFO
>>
No. 926245 ID: f99cdc

Formation-wise, Thorne, then Spots, then you. Get going.
>>
No. 926247 ID: e9d41b

suggest to Thorne that she get out of those wet clothes
>>
No. 926251 ID: bcc41d

>>926243
Don't forget to tell him that, yes, there are fishies topside.
>>
No. 926253 ID: b1b4f3

>>926243
I'm surprised there's any light to reflect off the deer's eyes. But anyway yeah I don't think there are questions left, let's go.
>>
No. 926297 ID: 2202fb

>>926243
There is no realm, you only just woke up. This is reality.
>>
No. 926327 ID: eeb7d9

Pat Thorne and start moving. Tell the deer to show you the way.
>>
No. 926350 ID: 32fd0c

>>926243
You should try to be careful around "that thing" you're talking to. As you see he's seen better days (or maybe he hasn't, I for one don't want to know), so you should keep your guard up for any traps or attacks he may have in store for you, he looks like someone in dire need of a good steak, and could possibly be willing to fuck you over to get his hands on it.
>>
No. 926368 ID: bb78f2

>>926243
>She looks like she needs a blanket and a hug. She'd probably crush your skull with her jaw if she heard you think that.

In the face of danger, do so anyway. We must show courage.

Move out
>>
No. 926396 ID: c8452a

>>926327
Shoulder squeeze pat, actually.
>>
No. 926398 ID: bad12e

>>926243

The longer we wait around down here, the longer our princess is without or sweet embrace.

Let's be off.
>>
No. 926500 ID: c7f906

Be on the lookout for anything you can use as a club or brickbat.
>>
No. 926841 ID: 94796c
File 155328522595.gif - (7.79KB , 512x512 , 21.gif )
926841

You tell spots that there is a very diverse range of fish on the surface. He giggles, nervously, and watches the lake behind you.

S: "H-h-hyeah. Pull the o-other one, lady. There aren't any surfaces. N-not in this hell. Come on, I know a shortcut."

You're about to tell Thorne to change out of her clothes, but she's already taken off everything except her bra and kilt. You're too focused to be aroused by this.
>>
No. 926842 ID: 94796c
File 155328526623.gif - (313.37KB , 512x512 , 22.gif )
926842

You head out.
>>
No. 926845 ID: 94796c
File 155328540862.gif - (8.83KB , 512x512 , 23.gif )
926845

You enter the LEFT COMMON CAROTID. There are holes in the walls. A slow, warm flow of air passes over you. It smells of wet garbage.

There are holes in the floor an walls, and the light is low; except for the deer's eyes, which seem to flash bright white at certain angles.
>>
No. 926846 ID: b1b4f3

>>926842
Huh, was that a shifter?

>>926845
Well, I guess you could ask him why his eyes are flashing but I doubt he's even aware of it.
I don't see anything interesting, so not much we can do but go forwards.
>>
No. 926847 ID: 080aaf

One of these tunnels may be Reno's hole. After some rest, you could climb your way out.
>>
No. 926849 ID: b1b4f3

>>926847
Well, maybe, but we'd be trapped in the tower then. We can't get through the door to the crypt without the royal family.
Also we couldn't cross the broken bridge past the ladder even if we could re-enter the crypt.
>>
No. 926852 ID: 094652

Carve out a "Eth went that way" sign; most monsters can't read, most mortals can't see in the dark, most people don't know your name. Reno will know what to do.
>>
No. 926857 ID: 045298

>LEFT COMMON CAROTID
Wait why are you in an artery? Did I miss something?
>>
No. 926858 ID: b1b4f3

...well, if this place is structured like a circulatory system there's probably something important in the heart. It's hard to tell what direction we're going at the moment, we need to see how the tunnel twists and turns and if there are any bigger openings.
>>
No. 926883 ID: bad12e

>>926857
>>926858

... oh, I think we were in the magical tower-stomach.

Awkward.
>>
No. 926886 ID: b1b4f3

Does that mean Reno's Hole is actually the tower's hole?
>>
No. 926899 ID: eeb7d9

If we are inside something like a body, it would explain the fleshy hole. Given all that is has happened, i wouldn't rule it out.
>>
No. 929093 ID: cd45ba
File 155475243620.gif - (11.18KB , 512x512 , 01.gif )
929093

You continue down the hallway.

S: "G-good to hear, ahaha. About the fish, I m-mean. Always good, to, hear. She feeds me sometimes, I think. She leaves bread out for me. Not that I've seen her do it. B-by the way, don't look behind you. If you look at the end of a corridor... I-it'll probably show up there. And be close, and you'll be lost. NINE ONE SIX, that's... It's name day."

How will you respond?
>>
No. 929096 ID: 4e9b87

Ask why you're not allowed to look behind you?
This very well might be an attempt to fuck you over and turn you into food, and both of you are fit but not exactly at your full fighting potential, be wary of any red lights.
>>
No. 929100 ID: bcc41d

Keep your eyes on Spots and up front. It's not like you have a great range of options right now and he seems to know his way around - he must, to have survived down here for so long. Try to pay attention to where you're going, so you can backtrack if need be. Make note of significant splits in the path, especially any that leads upwards. In between talking, listen. See if you can hear anything.

>wat ask
What does he mean by 'be lost'? Has he gotten lost before - or have others? Where are you currently headed and where would you have to go to get back up towards the shifters, where your companions were?

Also, try to study his weirdly reflective eyes more closely. If you can't figure out what's off about them, just ask him. Why does it seem like his eyes flash on occasion?
>>
No. 929102 ID: 1ed92d

>>929093
Ask if he'd like you to start sharing bread.
>>
No. 929104 ID: 094652

Tie him to the back of Thorne. Ask if '916' will get you to the princesses faster... somehow.
>>
No. 929128 ID: c1212a

Is what's happening to his eyes normal? or, like, a recognized or understood phenomena?
>>
No. 929130 ID: b1b4f3

>>929093
Ask him to describe It.
>>
No. 929748 ID: 1101e8
File 155528121257.gif - (9.37KB , 512x512 , 25.gif )
929748

>>929096
You ask him why you can't look behind you.

S: "You m-might see something."

>>929100
You haven't gone off in any wild directions so far; just a tunnel slanting gently upwards. You ask what Spots means by getting lost.

S: "F-funny. Join the fishies, of course. Drop-drop-dead. Drip drop, y-you know."

>>929128
The reflection in his eyes appears to be almost random. Almost, but not quite. It's hard to focus on.

S: "F-follow! Into here, quickly!"
He climbs into a large, disquietingly organic opening, and vanishes into the dark.
>>
No. 929749 ID: 1101e8
File 155528131403.gif - (7.83KB , 512x512 , 26.gif )
929749

Thorne shoots you an exasperated look.

Þ: "This mad fool is going to get us killed, Eth. We can follow him for a time, but if this takes too long, we need to find our own way. The Princess could be dying."

She climbs into the opening. You follow.
>>
No. 929753 ID: 1101e8
File 155528178313.gif - (10.66KB , 512x512 , 27.gif )
929753

You enter the Vena Cava.

The walls look like polished wood. There is a nice rug on the floor. Sickening colourless light streams through the Windows. The smell is one of decaying skin and dry, wet vomit.

...

The smell has shifted. The air tastes of bland, uninteresting fruits. watery pears, maybe.

There are no doors. Spots is on the ground, sniffing the carpet, crawling in a slightly off-putting manner.
>>
No. 929755 ID: b1b4f3

His eyes have stopped flashing. Is there some marking on the ceiling?
Ask him why he's crawling like that.
>>
No. 929757 ID: 3bb68c

i drip drip down the hall i drip drip drip drip little fish little fish i drip drip down down down
>>
No. 929758 ID: 080aaf

Look out the window.
>>
No. 929769 ID: 1101e8
File 155528289021.gif - (4.88KB , 512x512 , 28.gif )
929769

>>929758
Outside rests a vast, featureless field of snow. Nothing moves. You get the feeling that nothing has ever moved here. Melancholy makes your stomach churn.
>>
No. 929773 ID: bcc41d

Look above.
>>
No. 929774 ID: c1212a

How do you feel knowing you lived over a place like this?
>>
No. 929784 ID: b1b4f3

>>929769
Hmm, this is some serious magic shit.
Ask S what other rooms there are in this place. Maybe you can cajole a map out of him.
>>
No. 929785 ID: 80c195

If you're in the Vena Cava, that means you're getting very close to the heart. I don't know what's in the heart, but I feel it will be important.
>>
No. 929808 ID: bb78f2

Start doing squats to warm up.
You're gonna get cramps soon if you don't.
Your rival had the right idea earlier, is she gonna outshine you?
>>
No. 929819 ID: 094652

This is insane.

All this time and all the royalty-approved cannon fodder adventurers and nobody reported any of this?

... What if the deer never knew royalty existed because it didn't exist when he was still on the surface?

Hopefully you can make the best of a bad situation...

But first, look at that tower. Does it seem organic or synthetic?
>>
No. 929879 ID: 500a09

i do not like this place. something is fucking with your heads.
i no longer think this way is safe. my bet is that it's trying to turn you two into the female wolf version of spots
>>
No. 929892 ID: d5fbf4

>>929769
Have you considered the possibility that you're trapped in a magically shifting labyrinth that might possibly be a dream/nightmare. Never not a time to question the idea of being in matrix'd.
>>
No. 929898 ID: c8452a

Maybe your new friend can explain this area.

Keep aiming upwards. My best bet is to find a "pulmonary" tunnel. From there maybe you can get to a path out of here.
>>
No. 930329 ID: fe7123
File 155563081395.gif - (9.21KB , 512x512 , 29.gif )
930329

>>929774
It hurts to think about.

>>929819
You're in the tower!

>>929773
You look up.

Þ: "What are you looking at?"
>>
No. 930330 ID: fe7123
File 155563085348.gif - (17.96KB , 512x512 , 30.gif )
930330

...
>>
No. 930331 ID: b1b4f3

>>930330
Some kind of illusion? Maybe it's because you drank the water without puking it up.
It seems like when the window is visible, you're also still wearing armor. Which you aren't, so I don't think the window is there. Feel the wall where it was.

Tell Thorne you're having minor hallucinations. Let's just keep moving.
>>
No. 930332 ID: fe7123
File 155563191865.gif - (13.24KB , 512x512 , 31.gif )
930332

There are no more windows.
The room is dark.

Your sense of direction will not work here. Eth won't be able to draw a map in her head!

Before you lies a doorway, behind you lies the Left Common Carotid.
>>
No. 930333 ID: b1b4f3

Ignore madman, enter doorway.
>>
No. 930334 ID: 094652

Drag madman by the heels to the next doorway.
>>
No. 930336 ID: bcc41d

Magic don't stick well to Thorne, does it? Well, good on her.

Tell her you see bugger all now. Windows and shit before, and a gut-wrenching sadness. It might be the water, or more weird magic. Or both.

She's right, you should find the Princess pronto.

Right now you're going downwards. If the next room doesn't provide some way to double back and head upwards, you may want to snag Spots and ask him to guide you more properly. He may be crazy, but he's also the only one who really knows his way around here and all you really need from him is to get him to cough up how to get back up to the catacombs entrance.

For now cough and ask 'The shortcut?' to remind him what you came down here for.

>>930330
Looks more like she's hallucinating being her mother, what with the snow and the difference in ear shape and dress. Whatever shape was on the roof also transformed into a hand reaching through water. It looks a little odd, though. Like a kid's hand? A clawed lion's hand?
>>
No. 930348 ID: bad12e

>>930332

Clearly this place is messing with our mind and keeping us from our love. We must press onward and find her!
>>
No. 930351 ID: b1b4f3

>>930336
The shape on the roof looks like part of a heart.
>>
No. 930352 ID: eeb7d9

Ask Thorne if she sees something different from you.
>>
No. 930376 ID: 975dce
File 155566731388.gif - (11.47KB , 512x512 , 32.gif )
930376

>>930352
You ask Thorne what she sees; she says a simple, unfurnished room, with a plain carpet on the floor.

>>930333
You and the rest of the group head on. You enter a large room with seven doors and what looks like a large painting at the far end. Candelabras hang from the ceiling. It's very quiet.
>>
No. 930377 ID: bcc41d

Ask Spots which door leads up towards the shifters and the area you fell from.

Idly check out painting.
>>
No. 930393 ID: b1b4f3

Lit candles? Ask Thorne to give you a boost so you can grab one.
Then check out the painting.
>>
No. 930397 ID: eeb7d9

What is that at the end of the room?
>>
No. 930400 ID: a9af05

>>930376
Are the lit candles facing specific doors? Maybe that's a hint?
>>
No. 930413 ID: f9b5d6

Note the positions of the lit candles - actually, take a candle with you. It's dark as hell in here.
>>
No. 930423 ID: 975dce
File 155571711215.gif - (27.60KB , 1380x512 , 33.gif )
930423

The candles are too high to reach, even with Thorne's help.

You look at the painting, TODESTANZ.
>>
No. 930425 ID: b1b4f3

>>930423
Todestanz? Death dance. Yeah that seems about right for what's depicted.

Alright let's try one of the doors. If the candles are pointing towards them then pick uhh the first pointed-at one on the left side of the room. If there's no pattern there, just head into the first door on the left.
>>
No. 930464 ID: eeb7d9

I liked the idea of the lighted candles indicating the doors. Let's try that.
>>
No. 930471 ID: bad12e

>>930423

There is no penis.
>>
No. 930472 ID: c1212a

What species of skeleton is that? Can you read anything off the tapestry above it?

You know I don't think this painting respects your species very highly.
>>
No. 930514 ID: 527023

>>930423
Hate to be a downer but it seems like all three of you are totally fucked.


Now go ahead and interpret the meaning behind that title!
>>
No. 930522 ID: b1b4f3

>>930514
The title refers to "Danse Macabre" which is an allegory of the universal nature of death. No matter who you are, death comes eventually.
>>
No. 930536 ID: 094652

Open a random door. You need to keep moving.
>>
No. 930552 ID: 15a025

>>930464
Yeah, let's try opening one of the candle lit doors.
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