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File 132614388785.jpg - (83.90KB , 800x508 , RedSands2.jpg )
378739 No. 378739 ID: d14d3e

((First thread can be found here: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/374699.html ))
((Discussion is in #redsands at Rizon on IRC.))

For the first time in my life, I feel at home.

It's a strange feeling, a strange, inexplicable emotion. Just knowing that these people can look past your past, they can see you for who you are. A comfortable, gentle feeling of being welcome. A few days have passed since me and Rose had that night together, and since then, I've not left the town for long. I work cleaning the bar, with Buster. He's shown me some interesting ways to move and act in combat to keep from being such an obvious target, and he's told me some tales of his own adventures.

One thing keeps bothering me.

My memories have a gap in them. I remember emerging from the Vault, and finding the White book - but between those events, there's a fog. A lack of memory. An emptiness. Part of me wants to find out what happened. But another part of me wants to leave that behind. I'm scared of what I can't remember, and what I can. Blood. Lots of blood.

What if I'm no better than the Jesters? The average bandits that attack once in a while, only to be beaten back by the Claws?

What if...

I'm a monster?

I shake my head and return to work. As I sweep under Denmark's feet, he lifts them helpfully while remaining seated. He's not a bad fellow, once you get to know him. He's just scary. Apparently he's an Ice magic user. Really quiet, too. Says he doesn't much like talking.

And then there's Scarlet. Scarlet Kisses, she calls herself. A beautiful - really, beautiful woman. Wears a lot of leather, services men and women. I've though a lot about buying a few hours, but...

Eh.

The place is friendly, though, and I meet a lot of interesting characters who happen to drop by.

The bar door bursts open and a young woman walks in. She has horns that stick from the top of her head, ridged ones that poke straight up. Her eyes glow like hot embers from a fire. Her figure isn't very feminine, dcovered in rough leather that is pocked with scortch marks. She wears no boots, clearly because of the lizard-like talons on her feet.

"Gimme a fireball, Utah!" she calls as she strides inside. It strikes me I've never seen someone so... Confident? Sure? She smirks as she sits on a barstool grasping the shot glass and knocking it back with an ease I've seen often before, snapping it back down. "Where's mah bunny-boi at?"

"Buster's asleep at the moment, Ayda." Utah informs her, "Though with you around, I doubt it's for very long." and indeed, as if summoned, Buster emerges, wearing a soft-looking bathrobe that comes down to his thighs. I look away and continue my cleaning. To this day, he drives me to distraction.

"There he is~!" Ayda says, laughing. They quickly descend into the banter of old friends, full of inside jokes and memories. It makes me smile, but it also makes me miss Rose.

She wanted to leave town, I didn't. She said she'd be back, but not when. Or for how long. Said she had to visit someone important. A sigh hits my body before I realize it as I finish my sweeping and toss it out.

In my spare time I've been looking through the White book more. Reading deeper. No new spells, but what I understand of them and the theory behind it all is much deeper now. Still...

I can't escape this rough feeling of being a little... stuck.

"Hey, you work here?" Rises a question from Ayda. The tone is one of curiousity and interest. I'm not sure how to respond, and a blush rises from my cheeks. I look to Utah, who only smiles, holding a blue shot glass.

Uhm...
Expand all images
>>
No. 378743 ID: 3d19dd

"For now?"

Also D: Rose.
>>
No. 378745 ID: bd2a40

State that you do at this time, though obviously it is just temporary.

Not much else to add, since we can not get to muddling the ear mutation until we get something demonically decent until we are away from most other people.
>>
No. 378747 ID: f70e5e

might want to point out that you don't offer "special services".
>>
No. 378748 ID: bd2a40

>>378747
Yes, this as well, thank you!
>>
No. 378749 ID: 32e092

>>378745
Why temporarily? Sure, we can do other jobs, but this is a nice place to spend our downtime and make friends, and if we can get a salary for it on the side...

>>378747
Good point. Tell her you just help clean. Unless you want to do more.

Also, at some point you should practice some with that pistol of yours. It might not be your main "thing," but you should know it well enough to defend yourself effectively with it when it comes down to the metal.
>>
No. 378827 ID: d14d3e

"Yes, I - oh." I laugh nervously. "No, not like that." I manage. "Though, I'm, ah, flattered."

Ayda laughs. It sounds nice - a laugh without any restraint, one I almost never hear. Rose had a laugh like - why can't I stop thinking about her. Argh. "I haven't met you - I'm Sera."

"Ayda." she replies. "You new in town?"

"Been here a few days."

"Mmmn. Glad to meet you. How'd you come to work here, like that? Utah usually uses everyone for... everything."

"She ain' quite ready. I can respect that." Utah cuts in. "An' even if she's never ready, that's fine." he adds.

Ayda raises an eyebrow at this - but questions no further.
"So, Sera - where you from?"

"I'm, ah, from a Vault." I say sheepishly. "Just nearby."

Ayda smirks, looking over at Utah.

"Well, how do you feel about a little travel, Sera? The train to Tinsel could use a few more guards."

"To...?"

"Tinsel."

Well, I do have a lot of money to burn. Other than food or water, I've simply been amassing chip and taking it home. Home being a metal shack outside of town. Not enough to buy space in the station, but enough to be a small fortune.

About a thousand or so chip. Plus my ammo and gun (Both on me in satchels and holsters) and the like, and that's my entire holdings. I've heard stories about Tinsel - It's a bustling city of merchants and tradesman.

Suddenly Utah cuts in, looking me in the eye.
"You can go as a passenger, too - I need to arrange a shipment of whiskey, but I can't really leave town tonight. And I hear they have manuals and scrolls on magic - the trip could benefit us both. I'll even pay your way. I could hire someone else, but I trust you most, Sera." he adds.

Ayda nods.
"It's where I learned my stuff - Pyromancer's Manual." she says.

Should I go? And if I do, with what purpose?
>>
No. 378828 ID: 3d19dd

Doo eet!

And you may as well hire on as a guard, since if it's getting attacked you'll likely have to get fight-y anyway.
>>
No. 378830 ID: f70e5e

yeah, if you sigh on as a guard your basically getting paid to go to a major market place. you could use better gear, and more chips can't hurt.
>>
No. 378852 ID: ac6c03

Guard duty sounds excellent, we would be obligated to defend ourselves on the trip anyway.
>>
No. 378861 ID: 3947e9

Tell them you would do both, getting paid to guard it on the way there, and arrange a shipment of booze for him.

PS. We feel something is missing, something was left in the vault of us and Sara. We really need to check it out some time. But later, now we got a pair of missions to do and some new magic to acquire.
>>
No. 378865 ID: 32e092

Do 'em both, if you can. It's time to branch out our magic!
>>
No. 378867 ID: d14d3e
File 132617465248.jpg - (276.72KB , 570x1000 , Dreanin.jpg )
378867

"Sure - I'll do both." I say with a smile. Ayda grins as Utah nods, walking out from behind the counter - a limp I never noticed in his stride. He returns and hands me the order.

"Bring this to Jimmy Schure." he said. "You'll know him when you meet him." he adds, looking to Ayda, who produces a set of papers.

"Just sign these~!"

Utah cocks an eyebrow.
"They let you carry paper?"

She sticks out her tongue at him playfully, talons gripping the stool as she leans down and grabs the same edge with both hands, perching there as I sign the paper - this time in my real name. She takes it happily.
"Dreanin'll be happy to have some company."

"Dreanin?"

And that's when the doors swing open, and in walks the biggest storm of cliches I've ever seen. Wide-brimmed hat. Leather duster. Jeans. Revolver. Spurred boots. Stubble. Peircing eyes, and a simple aura of masculinity.

"Someone ask for me?" he asks, looking around the bar. Ayda laughs.

"Who'd ask for someone like you?" she jokes, and the tall man rolls his eyes. "Dreanin, this is Sera. She'll be joining up this trip. Both for us and Utah."

The man smiles and shakes my hand, confident, reassuring.
"Nice to meet ya. Yer doin' the work of... Well, Finagle and Utah, but you're protectin' and servin'." he says, smiling. "Care to tell me where yer skills lay?"

"I, uhm. I have good hands with simple constructions and machines - gears and the like. And I know good magic, er, not that it's 'good' but that I'm good at it." I clarify.

"You'll do just fine." Dreanin says. "You know how to use that?" he asks, nodding at the small pistol at my hip.

"I'm... not the best." I admit.

"Well, don't worry too much. Me and Ayda can handle a lot of stuff - with your help, we should be able to make the trip just fine."

"What about you guys? What are you good at?"

"I am a master of thermal-projection Red class magic." Ayda says. At my confusion, she laughs. "I light things on fire. And I make fire."

"I'm a damn fine shooter, and I know a little magic to help that along." Dreanin says. "Me and Big Iron 'ere can kill just about anything." he says, patting his holster.

"The train leaves in about five hours. If you want to do anything, get it done before then." Ayda says. "Or you can hang with us and listen to Dreanin tell his silly stories."

"They ain' silly. They actually happened."

"Mmmhm."
>>
No. 378878 ID: bd2a40

Go to your shack and muddle your ears until you either get working leather wings or succubus traits.

It should take some time, but I figure five hours is enough. Also, you need to go there anyway to collect your shit. Five hours on the other hand is not enough to visit the vault again.
>>
No. 378884 ID: 0adc60

smoke a cigar and hang out.
>>
No. 378887 ID: 3947e9

You know what, lets pick up white magic first before messing with our mutations.
Then we can get a few other awesome things too.

Pick up your stuff, take your chips with you (you need it to buy magic tomes). And then listen to stories.
>>
No. 378889 ID: bd2a40

>>378887
I agree with the notion of getting magic tomes, if there are any available in this town.

Sera should acquire some history books as well, if at all possible. A little background knowledge could go a long way.
>>
No. 378890 ID: 32e092

I'm all in favor of brute-forcing mutations until we can fly (that is why we got that speciality, after all) but I don't think now is the time, and waiting till we pick up some white magic will certainly help too. Make friends with these people, they sound fun. Just be sure to get your chips before heading out.
>>
No. 378894 ID: bd2a40

>>378890
Well, I am just worried about the fact that we will probably mutate during the train ride, which will cause problems.
Better rack up enough taint for the next mutation before we head out, so it wont happen in combat, which it will if we do not.
>>
No. 378899 ID: d14d3e

>Worry over mutation during the ride
>Want to wait until getting white magic to muddle about

I think... I can compromise.

"I'll be right back. I need to retrieve my funds." I smile and exit, making my way to my place. I pick up the satchel containing my chips, strapping it on over my shoulder. I'd need to remove it to use the techniques Buster showed me about being a hard target in combat, but for now I sit on the ground, and take a deep breath.

And, without a spell in mind, I reach out and touch the Taint. An eerie sensation fills me - no sense in particular is attacked, instead, a feeling of dread rises in my belly. A deep, fearful dread. I can feel it growing - a fear that grips me almost physically. But I continue. I hold the taint, the feeling of dread and hate and malice, within my heart and belly...

And release it. Oh god. I feel it, like spikes lancing through my flesh. Great iron nails slammed deep within my thighs, my lower back, my tail, molten and filled with acid. It feels horrific, like someone has torn open my back and pulled out my spine, like someone is tearing off my skin.

I want to let go. I want to make it stop. I want to pull away from the pain, separate from it, become something else - I want it to stop, to go away! I want to leave!

No.
I can't.
She's going to be back. And I'll be waiting.

I come down from the terrible feeling, the pain leaves me like a tide going low. I take a deep breath, undress, and examine myself in the mirror.

Nothing has changed, it seems - except my tail. It is now a solid black, covered in scales, and ends with a wicked barb. A small sac at the base of the barb pulses slightly, ad intuitively, I know it to be a paralytic poison.

The tail is thicker - I widen the holes I need to widen. I get dressed again. The tail is longer than before - long enough to wrap around mt waist comfortably, long enough for the tip to rest against my head.

I'll never get used to this... I shake my head.

I return to the pub, and Ayda blinks at the new tail. Nothing is said about the transformation - a simple nod. And then I see Dreanin - and the little girl from before, who is riding on his back, wearing his hat. It's too big for her, so she has to hold it up to look around. She waves at me. I wave back as I sit next to Ayda.

"That close, huh?" she asks quietly.

I nod.

Any questions I should ask or conversation to strike up?
>>
No. 378901 ID: bd2a40

>>378899
That sort of compromise was, umm, rather stupid. But what is done is done, I guess.

Anyway, no idea what to talk about. Either ask about what is expected to happen on the trip or ask about the current political climate of the world.
>>
No. 378903 ID: f70e5e

well at least you can hide your tail by wrapping it around your waist now, though you might want to be very careful if your not immune to your own poison. before you leave you might want to leave a message with buster in case rose comes back while your gone.
>>
No. 378910 ID: 32e092

>>378901
Yeah, probably should've let it happen in combat; it's not that disorienting, especially if we plan for it. Oh well, it's a pretty awesome/useful/aesthetically neutral one anyway.

>>378903
Definitely don't want to leave Rose wondering where we went. It'd be sufficient to just ask him to tell her, though a note might be a nice touch, especially as it lets us say something more personal.

>>378905
>If this venom is not painful or have long term sideeffects it can be used by the doc as anesthesia which will supplement your income.
GENIUS. Talk to the doctor about this as soon as you get back.

> Furthermore, it will make catching live victors for sacrifices much easier. And be useful in close combat.
To that effect, we should practice hitting targets with it. Get a feel for how much venom we have to work with, how long it takes to regenerate, and, most importantly, get good at aiming while in close combat maneuvers.

>>378899
>No. I can't. She's going to be back. And I'll be waiting.
Well this is interesting. Who is "she"? What was the nature of your past experience with her? How does exposing yourself to the taint prepare you?
>>
No. 378913 ID: 3947e9

Lets listen to some stories.

If this venom is not painful or have long term sideeffects it can be used by the doc as anesthesia which will supplement your income. (edit: It also needs to deaden the pain of the patient otherwise it wouldn't be an anesthesia; but if they don't have anything better it will do, or can be supplemented with booze)

This new poison will make catching live victims for sacrifices much easier. And be useful in close combat.

Finally, you forgot to check what books the store has.
>>
No. 378914 ID: bd2a40

>>378910
I would presume that the "she" in question is Rose.
>>
No. 378916 ID: 3947e9

>>378910
>GENIUS. Talk to the doctor about this as soon as you get back.
Better to provide him with a sample right now for him to research and test out on animals (and maybe volunteers later) and let you know if he thinks its useful. This kind of research takes time and the sooner he gets a sample the sooner he will complete the research.
>>
No. 378943 ID: 057cd0

If we want to use the stinger tail in close combat, we need to get over the the perk Cowardly. I don't think that will be any way easy to accomplish. But we might be able to use it to enhance the effects of Frightful Presence by appropriately threatening and unnerving movements.

>Black Magic: The magic of Demons. Harm, ailment-causing, and darkness-based spells.
Black Magic is the suffer domain and the stinger tail is a Black Magic mutation. The chances for deadening pain are pretty low. But lets offer the paralytic to the Doc anyway. Low doses or extracts might be helpful for other things than anesthetics.

>>378899
>No. I can't. She's going to be back. And I'll be waiting.
I think that's more connected with >>378145
>I still can't remember properly what happened in that vault. It feels strongly like I lost something important - but I can't place my finger on it.
>You, too, feel something was lost there - though you can feel it more like a missing limb.
I am not sure if Legion, Sera's first summoned demon, is really us. I think we are her book more than anything else. It could be that Legion is the she in >>378899.

I am also not quite sure what people think white magic will add to muddling our mutations. AFAIK Muddle can get us one randomly selected mutation out of the mutations of every discipline.

>Any questions I should ask or conversation to strike up?
What does Ayda know about improving the spells you have?
Suggestions for equipment as train guard.
Likely situations on the train, i.e. what/who could attack. Maybe in form of asking Dreanin for stories about train guard duty.
>>
No. 378944 ID: 7c31d2

Ask if shes ever seen someone with bound demons and if so, did they seem sane?
>>
No. 378977 ID: d14d3e

>>378943

>I am also not quite sure what people think white magic will add to muddling our mutations. AFAIK Muddle can get us one randomly selected mutation out of the mutations of every discipline.
Unfortunately, this was changed - Muddle only rolls between magic tables that have been used.


"So what about these stories?" I ask, to start as I sit down. Dreanin chuckles as he does the same, gently getting the little girl down from his shoulders. She sits in a nearby chair, kicking her legs back and forth.

And I'm regaled of tales across the wastes, of fighting bandits, of saving people. Of manifold injuries that he works through. Of the many people who have helped him fight, have helped him live and who have lived or died beside him.

But most interesting is his tale of a place called the Salt Flats.

"Once, there was an ocean there. But during the Calamity, it all boiled up - what's left is a huge expanse of white. Angels love the salt. Don't ask me why, they just do. Place is more dangerous than Jamestown is now."

"but I thought angels..."

"Were nice?" Dreanin asks. He shakes his head. "Angels are - or were - good. But they see the evil in all of us. An' they can't fuckin' stand it. Had to kill quite a few just to survive out there. And then I met Alisa."

There's... an odd tone to his voice, as he describes an armored Husky. "I was just trying to get back to camp, when this massive golden beast attacked me. I thought I was dead. When out of nowhere, this giant of a woman steps in its way. Now, this beast, it was the size of a bus. She caught the claw swung at her and parried it, with this massive blue blade. She tole me to run."

He sighs.

"So I did. Left the Sands."

"Why were you there?" I ask.

"Some people say there might be a vault there, or some sort of treasure left in one of the great ships. But all that's there now is Blue Shield."

"Blue Shield?"

"Closest thing to the 'good guys' you'll find on the wastes." Dreanin explains. "They're remnants of the old world, as far as I know - they're trained in the tech and magic of the time, and even the squires are pretty good to have on your side." he says. "If you see someone wearing blue armor, more likely than not, they are there to help. Though, some outposts run low on supplies, and... things happen." he shrugs. "Just the way things are. Oh, one thing - If you run into guys in white armor, run the fuck away." he adds. "Whitewash isn't anyone's pal but Whitewash."

He looks at his watch.
"Well, shit. I damn well ate up those hours... Did you have anything you needed to do? I can hold the train for a few."

"No, that's fine." I say. "None of it's time-intensive... OH! Utah, if Rose drops by..."

"I'll tel her to stick around." he says with a chuckle. "Mind, you can't really tie a girl like that down."

I nod, and follow Ayda and Dreanin to the train. It's... big. We all clamber on and take seats - I find myself next to Ayda again.

"So... what can I expect?"

"Well, most times we don't carry much leaving Transit. So Bandits don't risk it. But we do pass a salt mine..."

Angels... my grip on the book tightens as the train lurches into motion and pulls out of the gate. "Piece of advice - don't go on the roof, if you can help it. It's easy to fall off."

She fixes Dreanin with an odd look, who averts his gaze and mumbles something about ice.
>>
No. 378979 ID: 3d19dd

Had a feeling about angels in this setting.

I have a bad feeling about this salt mine...
>>
No. 378981 ID: f70e5e

do we know anything about the calamity? also how long ago was it?

oh and pice of advice, when we go quite for a while and then come back its more or less a guarantee that something "interesting" is going to happen soon. so i'd be surprised if we weren't attacked by angels as we passed the salt mine. so try and know when your approaching it and get ready for an attack when you do.
>>
No. 379006 ID: bd2a40

Ask if angels are more prone to going after people with demonic mutations, for obvious reasons, of course.

Otherwise, if this trip is as frequent as it seems, inquire how the angels usually attack and where you should go inside the train if it happens this time around.
>>
No. 379017 ID: d14d3e
File 132623949912.jpg - (623.82KB , 900x900 , WhiteLegionCometh.jpg )
379017

The train chugs along, clacking along the rails steadily.

"So... How does an attack usually go?"

"Depends." Ayda says, thinking. "Sometimes it's flyers, sometimes beasts - there's as many angels in the heavens as there are beasts on the earth and demons in the Bowels." she says. "Or... at least that's the saying. They usually attack as we approach or near the mines - rarely do they chase. No, the real danger is the White Cult."

"?"

"The White cult..." she searches for the appropriate term. "A group that idolizes white magic and the like. Think themselves holy, and they want to clean things up. They tend to hang around wherever there's angels. Sometimes the smarter Angels ally with them, but not often - most times they are 'purified' like anyone else. It's unnerving to see." she mutters, looking away from me, those glowing eyes downcast in rare dourness. "Anyway. We should be approaching soon..."


Dreanin stiffens up, then runs to the connector between cars. "EVERYONE IN THE STEEL CAR! NOW!" he roars, stomping back in. Ayda looks up at him curiously.

"It's him." he says, loading the long-barreled weapon in his hands, then snapping the chamber in and letting it spin for a bit. "Sera, you can sit this one out - "

"No, this is my job." I say, standing with the book clutched close.

"Attagirl." he says with a smile. "Now, you'll see him approaching if you look out the window.

I look.

A man in armor, old-fasioned armor, rides a horse in shining barding. Sword drawn, feld parralel to the ground as he rides forth at an angle to the train. An aura decorates the air behind him. "Shan! Throw it up now!" he calls.

"Shan?"

"He practically lives on the train - I'll introduce you later." Dreanin says as the prongs of the aura point forth with the sword being pointed at us - and launch, slamming into what looks like a soap bubble that erects itself around the train car. The prongs explode into long crosses, the points slamming through the bubble and into the car - though it bought us enough time to duck down as the energies flow through. As I get up, I expect smoke, or the smell of ozone. But...

Nothing. Where the crosspoints struck, things simply don't exist anymore. The glass that survived isn't even cracked. Somehow, that's even more frightening. The man rides up beside us, then leaps from the horse onto the car. We all back up as he slices through the roof, dropping down - and throwing a beheaded man before us in silvery robes, a book skidding to my feet from his arms.

"YOU WILL SURRENDER THE DEMONIC ARTEFACT, OR YOU WILL BE PURGED."
>>
No. 379018 ID: 3d19dd

Time to get Bayonetta up in this bitch.

Shoot this motherfucker.
>>
No. 379021 ID: 3d19dd

... Okay, just thought about that.

Uh.

Pain?
>>
No. 379024 ID: 7c31d2

Summon demon maybe?
>>
No. 379025 ID: 3d19dd

>>379024
In the middle of a populated train, as a first resort?
>>
No. 379027 ID: 7c31d2

>>379025
Well when you phrase it like that it sounds bad,
I just really want to know what'll happen when Sera casts summon demon.
>>
No. 379034 ID: e74c30

Demon might not be the worst it could be, there IS and angel nearby, it will likely target it first.... likely. On the other hand that makes Sera a target. More than anything else.

Plus, the book seems important. Take a quick look.
>>
No. 379038 ID: 3d19dd

Well, it might be a good idea not to overshoot ourselves. As much as it might seem counterproductive to be restrained about summoning a demon, if we DO, let's try not to call something like a Balor. Just being caught in that kind of fight would probably destroy everything around it, if this guy's as strong as he looks - and if he isn't, we'll be next.

So yeah, if we DO summon a demon, shoot for something that's support at best, and that the entire gang can kill together when it's over.

NOT casting my vote for summoning a demon, just... Hoping Sera takes the advice if that's what she does.
>>
No. 379041 ID: 627b9f

>>379027
A hell-beast rampaging out of control after it has slaughtered everyone in the cabin it is in, of course.

Slip the book behind you with your feet, we can worry about that later.
Anyway, draw your gun, MAKING SURE NO PEOPLE ARE BEHIND HIM, and start shooting him, then cast Inflict Pain on him.
>>
No. 379050 ID: f70e5e

use Cause sickness, this guy seems to be the sort to be able to shrug off pain.
>>
No. 379059 ID: d14d3e

All three of us pull out our guns, and open fire.

Dreanin is the fastest - The man lifts his free hand, but the mass and speed of the bullets slam it, and the spell he was preparing is extinguished. Undaunted, Ayda's weapon (a short-barreled shotgun) roars out - A lance of heat and fire I wasn't expecting and evidently, he wasn't either. It washes over him, lighting him up. And Ayda grins, lifting her own hand. The fire brightens, and the man screams as the fire... tightens. I can't really say it any other way - as if the fire was being pushed in from all sides.

And then I fire.

Stance is good shoulders square round is chambered arms are set squeeeeeeze the trigger...

My first shot pings off his shoulder, my second, against his cheek, but the third, assisted by a sudden jolt to the train, knocks the aim into the centre of his chest, slamming through softened, heated armor, blood spraying out. He falls to his knees, supported by his blade.

I... What?!

"NO."

He roars, slamming his fist down as his helmet rolls off.

"HE'S TURNING!" Dreanin roars, grabbing my hand as he turns to run.

"Turning?"

"I'LL EXPLAIN IN A MINUTE! JUST MOVE!"

One. Two. Three cars. We stop, and then...

An earthshattering roar rocks the train as there is the scream of tortured metal.

"Finagle's gonna have our heads." he says softly as I look out the window, and see the roof of the car we exited moments before slam into the terrain beside the train. "Nice shot, though." he says. "Listen, there's a secure car, made f steel and the like, two cars down. Me and Ayda, we got this." he says as his partner runs in, pushing the book into my arms.

"Just go! You can't-"

And then a huge clawed arm tears off the roof of the train car we're in.

Looking up...

Wings. Wings, everywhere, white and feathery and beautiful, arrayed on a massive, muscular bulk of a titan. Where the wings are not hiding the flesh of the creature are eyes and maws.

[COWARD]

My body can't move. I can't move. I feel so incredibly small, so impotent. I turn to move to the armored car...

And see a man standing atop it. Dressed in a tan, flowing coat, a closed helmet with a gas mask, and loost clothing that flaps in the wind, he almost seems a spectre. He nods imperceptibly to me and takes aim with oh god that is the biggest rifle I've ever seen. And then he fires, the whole rifle and his body bucking under the recoil as the creature, barely balanced on the train, is actually knocked back, rearing. I can see its heart, pulsing and thumping, and the wound I dealt before - only now it's big enough to crawl into - as it is hit, blood spraying from the exposed organ.

And another shot rings out, the creature falling a few steps back, and a third - final - shot choruses through the wasteland, and it loses grip of the cars and falls off, rolling away, disintegrating into feathers.

We all fall to out knees in relief.

"Never a dull moment." Dreanin manages with a wry chuckle. I turn to thank our aid - and he's gone.

"Don't bother." Ayda says as I look around. "He doesn't stick around."

"What... Was that." I manage.

Dreanin sighs. "He turned. Crossed over. When someone touches the Taint enough - when they feel too much mutation, and the pain is too much and their emotions can't take it anymore..." he sighs. "He who makes a beast of himself... Gets rid of the pain of being a man." he says, as though quoting something.
>>
No. 379068 ID: f70e5e

that can happen?!

this is something we must look into, what makes it more likely, what makes it less likely, if you can tell how close you are and if all mages eventually end up that way. at least we learned about it relatively early in our career though.
>>
No. 379076 ID: 3947e9

Is he dead?
Who was it?
So, any mage can turn into a giant mutated monster at any moment by losing to the taint?
So he doesn't always turn into a giant monster but this is the first time?
>>
No. 379080 ID: 3d19dd

That was a HOLY SHIT moment if there ever was one.

First off, ask more... Questions about... THAT.

Secondly, ask about the guy with the rifle that disappeared before we could say hi. Who the fuck was THAT douchebag?
>>
No. 379086 ID: 3947e9

btw: Good work just shooting him, he was obviously INSANE... do not mention the demonic artifact.
The worse possible things to have done would have been to summon a demon (brand us demon summoner, death sentence, go on run). Or to talk to him (have people figure out he is coherent this time and there is a demonic artifact, us, on board).

Oh yea and they obviously have met the guy before.

Wait a minute... could they have their own demonic artifact that it was after?

Oh yes, and ask about the obviously magical fire shooting shotgun, did she enchant it herself?
>>
No. 379097 ID: d14d3e

>>379076
He... He's dead. At the very least, he's not coming back. I allow my heart to slow before I begin to ask more.

"Who was that?"

"They called him the White Legion." he says gently, reloading his gun and holstering it. "So named because he could stand in for an entire Cult legion." he adds. "We only killed him by sheer god damned luck. Don't count on that, Sera."

I nod numbly. "Don't worry. That sorta thing only happens to those with a weak will. The stronger your will, the longer it takes - and that's if the sands don't take you first. Best not to think too hard on it too much, eh?"

"... Ayda, did you enchant that gun?"

"Enchant... No, these are special rounds. Dragonbreath." she says. "Not really meant for setting people on fire, but I can harness the fire and utilize it myself. Enchanting's difficult, out of my league. Maybe you or..." she pauses.

"We'll bury him at Tinsel, Ayda."

"Yeah." she says quietly, then looks at me. "Keep his tome - he would have wanted it in good hands."

I nod again. Everything is so strange...

"Who... with the Rifle?"

"Like I said." Dreanin said. "Don't look for him, don't ask about him. People that look too deeply into things that should stay secrets, well." he shrugs. "They tend to have runs of bad luck."

I stand up, and follow the rest to check on the safe car. It seems everyone's okay.

I take the time to sit down, and look through the book... There's five spells in here. I could memorize one on the way to Tinsel, or talk more with Ayda and Dreanin...
>>
No. 379099 ID: 3d19dd

Memorizing a new spell sounds like a priority right now. What do we have available? Preferably something that can actually directly cause damage.

The guy was wearing silver. Is this a book of White Magic?
>>
No. 379100 ID: f70e5e

that spell that ate through the glass sounds handy. we could use a magical way to kill things.
>>
No. 379101 ID: 3d19dd

>>379100
I think that one was White Legion, not the guy we took the book from.
>>
No. 379122 ID: 3947e9

Can you manually transcribe his tome into us? We hold infinte pages and I have a feeling that adding knowledge to us in such a manner would do interesting things. Maybe expand our ability to grant spells to new schools, maybe allow creation of hybrid school spells... who knows. You could memorize all the spells in it at leisure later.

Plus if you transcribe his tome into us you can probably trade his tome for another in the town we are going towards for double the magic gain.
>>
No. 379129 ID: bd2a40

>>379122
This is a good idea. It would also be better to have them on hand, just not in a second book you have to carry around. One is enough.

Otherwise, if you can still learn a spell, if there is one that would allow you to get your finger back, get that. Otherwise, some sort of healing spell, even if it is not as strong.
>>
No. 379140 ID: d14d3e

>>379122
I don't have a utensil, and that would take a very long time! There's at least 300 pages! So no. No transcription!

Nevertheless, I look through the tome and read - finding five distinct spells.
Vote on a spell in Questdis thread here: tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/357788

>>379099
Definitely white magic - and a decent start. If I take time, I could memorize another spell when I get home, or on the way!

I immerse myself in the book, learning.

White magic usually has an inherently lower cost, due to being highly efficient and studied. White spells are more regimented in purpose and application than many other schools, for the same reason. It's not a magic I like, looking through the book. Too... constricting. But I can respect the values inside. With some further work, I could apply similar magical theory to black magic - though it might not be the best idea. Magical experimentation isn't... the best of ideas.

The margins seem to have been used as a journal for the young man. But I'm not paying attention to them, at the moment. This looks like a real find: Pre-cataclysm magical theory!

I hear a gentle, quiet sob, and looking into the next car, I can see Ayda there, in Dreanin's arms. He's gently stroking her hair, his hat obscuring his face in shadow.

I... Don't want to sell this book. I really don't want to.
>>
No. 379142 ID: bd2a40

>>379140
Go over there and find out what the problem is. If it is about money and the fact that they need it, ask how much the pay for this thing would have been.
You have enough funds to possibly compensate if they require it, since you rarely have had a use for chips. Also, you got a tome and they end up broke, not very fair and you are obviously feeling a bit guilty.

That being said, later, when you get back, you can argue with the train dude about not paying, if he does not.
>>
No. 379145 ID: bd2a40

>>379144
The suggestion was more of a step by step plan. If at any point, the chain of assumptions and steps does not meet up with reality, the plan is scratched.

1st Go over and inquire what is wrong.
2nd If the first assumption is correct and it is about money, see how much money the problem is about.
3rd If the sum is small enough to be within our capabilities, provide what assistance we can(since chances are, it really is our fault, no matter the other possibility).

Since Sera thinks she might need to sell the book, I am pretty sure she also thinks it is about money.
>>
No. 379147 ID: bd2a40

>>379146
Ah yes, right you are that it is not truly our fault(if it really was our artifact he was after, which is very likely), but I never said anything about revealing that Sera has a demonic artifact. Really, can easily be played as a kind young woman seeing what the problem is and trying to fix it via available means.
>>
No. 379150 ID: bd2a40

>>379147
On a side note, due to revelations in IRC, most of my suggestions can be ignored quite thoroughly.
>>
No. 379151 ID: 3947e9

>Crying
>>379017
>Shan casts shield, attacker breaks shield, attacker throws the beheaded corpse of a man in white robes who had a book on white magic we currently hold.
Give them some space, they just lost a friend. Or if you must say something, say "I am sorry for your loss".

>>379140
Of course you are not gonna sell it. I said to sell it only AFTER you made a complete copy. As long as you haven't you should keep it, as it is invaluable. And in retrospect selling it might seem disrespectful to the friend they just lost.

And I am aware it will take a long time to transcribe but if it works it will be worth. This is a long term project though, not something we can do in a day naturally.

>Our fault
No it isn't. An insane guy attacked.
We might not be the only demonic item on board, there are passengers and there is cargo. If demonic artifacts are shunned and hunted suggesting it is our fault is admitting we have one and will get us killed. If it isn't then they might have others and even if not so what. Plus he was going around murdering people before he even asked the surrendering of any items.

The person at fault is the attacker (that guy) not his victims (us, poor shan, train owner & other passengers)
>>
No. 379152 ID: d292f2

>>379145
Sera mentioned selling the book because one of us suggested it. Not because she believes raising funds is a desperate need of hers.

Ayda is obviously upset because she knew the guy who owned the tome. Who is now dead. With his head cut off.

I suggest the study of the spell be completed. After that maybe we can ask who the guy was, he sounds like he was pretty good at magic, if Ayda feels comfortable talking about it. Sera can assure Ayda that she'll take good care of the book.
>>
No. 379153 ID: 3947e9

>>379152
>Sera mentioned selling the book because one of us suggested it. Not because she believes raising funds is a desperate need of hers.
I am the only one who mentioned selling it and I explicitly said to do so only after we made a copy. A process which can take weeks
>>
No. 379161 ID: 0adc60

be sad. if you aren't, pretend to be. offer your condolences. hell, offer revenge.

don't sell the book. keep it forever. read the journals. memorize every single spell in it. and eventually, do experiment, because it's worth the risk.
>>
No. 379228 ID: 6f9bad

You know since the White Book isn't quite just a book, how about an experiment. Get an old broadsheet, news paper page or wanted notice from one of the passengers or the waste baskets of the train. Then you open the White Book at an empty page and lay the found bit of paper on the empty White Book page in such a way that the text of the paper is covered by the White Book. Then say and think copy, read, learn and such very hard at the White Book.

Otherwise, perhaps you should look for Shan's head and put his corpse in order. Lay him out and cover him with a sheet, say a prayer. He will get buried or burned properly later, but thats no reason to let him just lay there. It will also help Ayda and Deinan if you do this and they don't have to.
>>
No. 379266 ID: d14d3e

Shan...

I stay where I am, watching them. Neither seems to spot me, and I return to learning the new spell.

Smite.

White magic is not necessarily known for powerful offensive spells. Most white magic heals or protects the caster. However, offensive white magic is incredibly effective against humans and humanoids. It isn't homing, but I can 'aim' it far better than any gun. As the train slows, I snap the book shut, confident I could cast the spell, even in a combat situation.

[Smite learned.]
[Smite has a New Spell School penalty, making it slightly less likely to work in combat.]

As for experimentation with you and transcription, I'll start that when I get back to Transit.

As we step off the bus, Finagle walks up to the three of us, Ayda looking much better than before, Dreanin's arm around her shoulders.

Finagle is round. Short and stout, with a great beard, he surveys the damage to the train with a sigh.

"Not good at all." he mutters. "I realized that y'ain't at fault - but payment may be delayed until I fix this shit." he says. "It may take a few weeks. Even then, I'm hesitant to run until I properly armor this thing."

Dreanin sighs.
"That's understandable. Can we get some writin' fer the deferred pay?"

"Coit'nly." the man says. "Let me go get my forms." he says.

Wait...

"You aren't running until this is repaired?"

"No ma'am. Not if I can help it."

I... oh.

Dreanin steps up and pats me on the back.
"Don't worry. I know a great place you can stay at while you're here." he says. "An' I can tell you a few more stories."

I nod.
"Hey, do you know where..." I look at my paper from Utah, "Jimmy Schure is?"

"Oh, the guy with the still and the hops and whatnot? Yeah. Hell, let me show you -"

Ayda looks up at him.

"Er, after the burial. Sorry, respects to pay an' all day. Shan was a good kid."

I nod, and watch as they bury the body outside. Dreanin pays a chip for a coffin and marker, and Ayda scorches his name onto the marker with care.
"Ain' no real religion anymore." Dreanin tells me as we watch her mourn from a distance. "People have faith in simple things, now. Friends. Guns. Magic." he sighs. "He was a fine kid. A bit of a perv, but hell, he was little more'n a teenager. Saved our hides more times than I care to count. Like a little brother to Ayda here. I bet you two woulda gotten along swell. Then again, I'm not sure if joinin' such forces woulda been wise - judgin' by the way yer look at Ayda, some times."

I blush, but shake my head.
"No, I... I'm pretty sure I'm committed."

"Mmm. Dangerous thing, committing to one person. What with how the world is."

"She's strong." I say.

"You'd best hope so." he says with a smile. "Oh! Reminds me. They run a bath'ouse here. I was thinkin' you an' Ayda might want to relax a spell, my treat. Whatcha say?"
>>
No. 379272 ID: bd2a40

>>379266
Ask Dreanin where the place you can stay at is first. Never know if you will suddenly require the information before another chance to find out arises.
Otherwise, if you think you can keep your hands to yourself, agree to the bathhouse thing.
>>
No. 379273 ID: 3947e9

sure, why not... accept it. But before that deliver the booze requisition list.

If the train is not running for a few weeks so getting the booze back is an issue. You could get a pack-beast but that would be slower and dangerous and extra expense... And that assumes you can grab one around here. We will have to think about it further but so far it seems like you are basically stuck here, you will need to arrange some living quarters and get to studying.

>>379272
>Keep hands to self
He knows we swing that way... he is setting up to go alone with his grieving friend... maybe he is hoping that we don't keep our hands to ourselves and that it will make her feel better.
>>
No. 379275 ID: bd2a40

>>379273
Kinda figured that, hence why this is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate self-control and restraint. You're not a nymphomaniac, are you Sera?
>>
No. 379276 ID: 3947e9

>>379275
well, we could probably cheer her up WITHOUT sex.
>>
No. 379296 ID: 627b9f

I suppose we should find out if there are any caravans going back to Transit Town, and the average time it takes for them to get there before we seek out Jimmy Schure, no use travelling alone with such a valuable supply item.
>>
No. 379312 ID: d14d3e
File 132633728830.png - (103.52KB , 790x550 , closecontact.png )
379312

"Later tonight." I say simply.

"Sure. We got stuff to handle." he says with a smile.

"First thing, where we staying?"

"The Golden Rod." he says with a laugh. "Come on, I'll show you." he takes me through the town, which lives up to its name - the place is built well, and almost every surface is embossed or filigreed with a shiny metal - which makes the Golden Rod stand out as the single wooden building in town. We enter, and a woman looks up from the counter. Not an old woman, either - I estimate her to be about Rose's age. Though, she's not touched by mutation, and...

Well, she's stunning. Her face is sharp, but soft in places, a hint of smile wrinkles on her cheeks. Bright blue eyes fix on me, but only briefly. She has... quite the bosom. I tear my eyes away from it as Dreanin brings me forth.

"We'd like to order a few rooms for a coupla days."

"How many?"

"Two." he says. "For three days."

"Three? But..."

"Don't worry. I got a plan." he says.

"And, uh, only two rooms?"

"Ayda sleeps... well, we keep seperate tents, let's keep it at that, when we travel." he says. "So girls in one room, boy in the other."

I nod.

"Sally Carta." the woman introduces herself.

"Sera." I say with a smile. "It's nice to meet you."

"Likewise. Would you like a drink?"

"N-not right now, no. I have some things to attend to."

Next stop: Jimmy.

Utah was right. As soon as we enter the brewery (apparently a pre-cata one fixed up by the townsfolk) it's obvious that the enourmous bear that approaches is he. I mean literal bear, by the way. More beastly than Rose, he smiles.

"Another order by way of friend Utah, yes?" he asks, and I give him the paper. "Yes, yes. Good. I will send it out when it can go out - the unfortunate problem with train. I am sure he understand, he smart man." he says, nodding. "Here is promised courier pay." he hands me a small sack. "Fifty chip for message relayed." he nods. "Good day, fare the well."

We nod and leave - the sun is starting to set, slowly.

We stop by an open-air bar in the center of town, and pick up Ayda - who oddly had not been drinking. Something about vapors and her magic? and make our way to a small building.

"Here we are." he says, pulling out two black chips. He flips one to each of us. "Play nice, ladies. Have fun."

And then he's gone.

Ayda smiles at me and leads me inside, where a young woman looks up.

"Rate is fifty a person. You get it the whole night." she says, and we hand in out chips. "Changing room is behind me, past that is the stairs in."

We enter the changing room.

Okay, it's just like last time. Except last time someone saw me naked I was drunk. Well, buzzed. I fidget with the zipper uncertainly, staring at the lockers, when Ayda hugs me from behind - and I feel small breasts press into my back, making me blush.

"What's the matter?" she asks. "Bashful?" she asks, her hands resting gently on my belly, fingering the zipper.

"I... yes."

She giggles, pressing a little closer.
"You're adorable. Allow me, then." she says gently, unzipping the suit. Down my neck... Over my collarbone... Between my breasts... over my belly, to rest just beneath my navel. Gently, she peels away my suit, gathering it up with care and placing it in a locker. I feel my bra come undone, and she slips it off, down my arms, then, my underwear. She stuffs it in the locker with my boots and socks, locking it with a provided key. "And there we are."

We make out way out - it feels so strange to walk like this - down the stairs, into a cavern of pools. We're... alone. Before I can get a good look at her, she slides into one of the pools, and I follow, covering myself. Her eyes close, and her face reminds me of a relaxed cat.

...

N-now wh-what?
>>
No. 379322 ID: 3d19dd

Heyyyy~

Remember you said you were committed to Rose, now.
>>
No. 379348 ID: e74c30

Do what you came here for. Close your eyes and relax.
Don't try to start a conversation right away. Wait for the right time.
>>
No. 379409 ID: bd2a40

If you are committed to Rose as you said earlier, now is your chance to prove it.

On a side note, the bath is a great place to think. What was living in the vault like before, umm, leaving? Also, are you ready to muddle your ears to hell and back again once you get back to the place you are staying at? Chances are you will be pretty different once that is done.

That being said, do your eyes have slit pupils? Hmm, I thought you were completely human, other than the mutations.
>>
No. 379411 ID: 3947e9

>>379409
>do your eyes have slit pupils?
That must be our missing fifth mutation. 500 taint = 5 mutations.
Mutations are: Tail, Tail stinger, horns, extra ears, cat eyes.
>>
No. 379416 ID: d14d3e
File 132635794664.jpg - (18.98KB , 504x299 , Smile_in_the_darkness.jpg )
379416

I relax - or try to. The water is clear, and has stilled. Ayda's body is less voluptuous than Rose's, but... She has a sort of bearing about her. A feeling of simply not even caring. Her legs are scaly from the thighs down, shiny gossamer red, clean white talons stretching under the water. Her hips are narrow - yet wider than mine - and...

I never thought of shaving there...

"M'face is up here." says Ayda softly, a joke in her voice, and I quickly look up at her.

"So you and Rose, huh?"

"Huh?"

"The Lioness of Avalon. You and her. A couple?"

I blink. Well...

"N-no. Not... not yet, anyway."

"Mmmn." she turns to face me. Her breasts are only slightly larger than mine. "Up here..." she chuckles as I look up at her again. "Anyway. I know the looks you gave me. I know the thoughts you probably had." she moves closer.

"... But... me and Rose..."

"Hun, I don't love you 'cept as a friend. And your heart ain' gonna turn away from Rose, right? So what's a little... no, a lot of pleasure between friends?"

Mmmf... I...

"I'm sorry. I can't." I mumble. She blinks, then smiles, kissing my forehead and going back to her original position. "If I didn't know better, I'd think Dreanin's rotten luck had rubbed off on me."

"N-no... you're... pretty. In your way. The scales are shiny."

She laughs aloud, then rustles my hair. "Don't worry your cute little head. You'd have to try real hard to hurt my feelings. Still, the door's open, if you ever reconsider anytime. And I do mean, anytime, so long as we can get some privacy."

The thought makes me blush even harder, which amuses Ayda to no end.

I sink into the water, closing my eyes and relaxing.

---[DISCONTINUITY]---

I am in a cage, in a room of darkness and marble and onyx, in my bloody vault suit.

You stand apart, or rather, sit, at a table.

I look out and see a man of darkness with a grin and a golden suit sitting with a humanoid cluster of eyes.

Sera looks at you, frightened, for once, within the realm she normally controls.

"I must say." the guest says softly. "Her mental defenses were impeccable! It is no wonder she bound you so effortlessly, comrade. Since then, I've been trying to peirce the most meticulously crafted bounded space since the Cataclysm that I have ever personally encountered, to get to you."

The monster talks, holding a cigar of burning money. He takes a puff, and blows out. "We can talk, or you can dismiss me now and have a few hours of complete control over her. Majority rules, of course, but she'll do anything you like. Or we can discuss this offer between us that I'm about to present you."

Previously nascent voices whisper forth:
"What offer?"


"An offer of information - of restoration. Something is missing from you. I can put it back."

"No! Please, don't!" I scream.

Your master beckons you not to take the offer.

"Either way, a gift - control for a few hours, or my offer of completeness and information for a meager price. All I ask is that you find a specific book - and burn it for me. That's all. No other stings attached!"

The man smiles, teeth of gold glittering in the darkness. "After all. Mammon never goes back on his word. And this is between brothers, cousins, comrades."
>>
No. 379417 ID: 32e092

We will not deal with you. We accept none of your offers, implicit or explicit.
>>
No. 379418 ID: 3d19dd

My vote goes towards telling this douchebag to GTFO.

Not in the "take his deal for control" way, mind you. I just want him to GTFO our headspace.

I dun like the cut of his jib. Or his teeth.

Also he's probably gonna ask us to burn Shan's book.

Or maybe what we left behind in the vault is a book and it'll turn out he wants us to burn that? D:

...

Man fuck this guy.
>>
No. 379419 ID: bd2a40

Obviously, we shall not accept any offer from you.

Now, if at all possible, we need to relinquish control of Sera's body back to her. It should be possible, I figure, since I doubt Sera wants us to have control and it would not be prudent for us to keep it.

If it is not possible, we need to quickly leave the bath, get dressed, grab her stuff and head to the Golden Rod where we should stay until control reverts itself back to as it should be. It would not be wise for us to do anything while in her body. Such actions could reveal to others that she is not in control or has a demonic artifact. It would probably be pretty back if Ayda or Dreanin found out that we might have been the reason the ball of feathers attacked the train, even if it was not our fault. There is no way of knowing what their reaction might be.
>>
No. 379422 ID: 7c31d2

No deal, Sera is adorable and she might get rid of us if we do and I don't want her getting rid of us until I find out if Rose licks herself clean like a cat does.
>>
No. 379425 ID: d14d3e

The creature of eyes seems to delegate amongst itself, until it rises.

"Mammon, prince of Greed. I have made my decision, and it is thus. I renounce you from this place."

"Certainly you can't be serious. This woman nearly destroyed you! And you're going to let her get away from that?"

"Perhaps you did not hear me, the first time. Mammon, Prince of Greed. I renounce you from this place. I renounce your deals, I renounce your presence."

"SHE TORE YOU IN HALF!"

The eyeball creature steps forth and - in a gesture I can barely see, pulls an obsidian key from the man's pocket.

"Clearly, I misspoke..."

And with that, the monster of eyes throws the the key into the lock of my cage, where it turns, the cage falling apart. I stand.

"We renounce you!"

Mammon's hand dives into his golden coat, but he draws the scroll out too slowly as I and Legion raise our arms and a blast throws Mammon against - and through the wall, shattering the space which is instantly repaired - and the rest reverts, to a single room with iron walls and a single bed.

Your master looks upon you with gentle adoration.

"Thank you." I say to my first friend.

[DISCONTINUITY]

And then I wake up. I'm back in the bath.

"Morning, sunshine." Ayda murmurs. "Pleasant dreams?"

"It... started bad. But then it became much nicer."

Ayda chuckles.
"Reconsider any? Remember what I said, before you dozed off."

"Ummm..."
>>
No. 379426 ID: 32e092

She's coming on a bit hard there. Tell here there'll be plenty of time in the future for that when you're more comfortable with and sure of various things.
>>
No. 379427 ID: bd2a40

Tore us in half, eh? Perhaps the piece that was discarded was some really evil and vile shit. Do you perhaps remember something that happened in the vault relating to that?

Otherwise, go wander the town, check out their market or shops. See if you can acquire better light armour, I think. Also, find some books on history and find out what the hell happened during the Cataclysm and afterwards. My curiosity must be sated!
>>
No. 379428 ID: 3947e9

how would she separate the "Good" half from "bad" half? And why do you even consider us good? We are neither good nor evil, we are legion... Also it could have been an accident rather then accidental tearing, or mammon could have lied.
>>
No. 379429 ID: 3d19dd

>>379427
>See if you can acquire better light armour

SOMETHING WITH A TRENCHCOAT.
>>
No. 379430 ID: bd2a40

>>379428
Neither of us are familiar with the workings of demonic books, so it is all just guesswork. I was thinking more along the lines of it being the pages or what ever that compels us to do evil things, as opposed to choosing what we want.


>>379429
Trench coat or robes! I still say mages need robes..
>>
No. 379434 ID: 32e092

>>379430
But we do want to branch out from magery, so we can defend ourselves effectively when the time comes that we must save our remaining margin of safe taint for powering regen. A trenchcoat is multiclass!
>>
No. 379441 ID: 0adc60

the next time, we will command Sera to remember. we must know. but yes, it is wise to do so with our own means, and without indebting ourself to shady infernals.

>>379429

we are too small and fragile to rock a trenchcoat.

>>379430

robes are too confining to let us Dance properly.

I say we get some rocking black leather suit or something along those lines. or even better, explore our options of spending money for supplies other than weapons and armor.
>>
No. 379448 ID: bd2a40

>>379441
To be fair, I figure robes do not qualify as armour, so by the stats, they would not affect our ability to Dance at all. Though, I guess it would be better to just ask Shot in IRC.
>>
No. 379458 ID: 3947e9

I say avoid robes and tenchcoats (something for an enemy to grab) and stick to real light armor. Something you buy.
>>
No. 379467 ID: 6f9bad

It's still late evening, early night and we have the whole night in the bath paid for. So lets stay in here before we go around town some more. Perhaps wash her back, but don't take her up on her sexual offers. Instead try to get her to talk about herself. Where she is from, her history, where she wants to be, her relationship with Deinan. A little talk about Tinsel and what there is to this town wouldn't hurt either.

When we leave the baths, first find what there is in this town. We know about the breewery, the Golden Rod and the baths, but Tinsel has a rep as a trading town. There should be more, especially more traders. So before we go buying, find the people who sell and get info about their reputations, preferable in a bar and from Ayda and Deinan.

>>379411
We have double horns. Given the pictures they probably stacked for larger horns. So our mutations are: Tail, Tail stinger, horns, horns, extra ears
>>
No. 379468 ID: 3947e9

>>379467
We had 4 mutations with 500 taint, shot miscounted. When I pointed it he said I was right and he is thinking on how to resolve this discrepancy. When I later suggested we make the slitted eyes a fifth mutation he said something to the extent of "sure why not, cat eyes it is"
>>
No. 379470 ID: 6f9bad


>>tg/317809
Starting taint: 400+1d?
>>tg/317808
Rolling mutations: 10,10,6,3
First three are Black Magic, last is Mutation. Starting with one count from the top of the respective list, you get 10 = horns, 10 = horns, 6 = tail, 3 = extra row of teeth. Those are the starting mutations we've got.

>>
No. 379471 ID: 6f9bad


>>tg/317809
Starting taint: 400+1d?
>>tg/317808
Rolling mutations: 10,10,6,3
First three are Black Magic, last is Mutation. Starting with one count from the top of the respective list, you get 10 = horns, 10 = horns, 6 = tail, 3 = extra row of teeth. Those are the starting mutations we've got.
I think you managed to muddle Shot.

>>
No. 379472 ID: d292f2

The real issue is that you don't know what Rose's stance on open relationships is. She may have no problem with you sleeping around, or she may feel completely betrayed by it. More broadly, the state of your relationship with her is ill-defined.

Just say that you need to talk to Rose about your relationship before you'll feel comfortable making decisions about that sort of thing.

Which unfortunately means a couple of weeks, at least. Unless she shows up in this town all of a sudden.
>>
No. 379479 ID: f70e5e

now that was interesting, i'm really starting to wonder what happened in that vault. you flipping out and killing everyone doesn't add up, your good but not nearly that good(also you don't strike me as the mass murdering type). it also seems like whatever happened down there altered us on a fundamental level. if the prince of greed considers us at least a peer, changing us like that would be nearly impossible. this is starting to have "we are a pawn in a bigger game" all over it. but until we know more all we can really do is improve ourselves, and make allies. so for now lets get some good light armor. its all moot if some lucky asshole puts a bullet in you.
>>
No. 379483 ID: 3d19dd

>>379472
This.
>>
No. 379485 ID: d14d3e

"Before... I do anything, I need to talk to Rose." I hear myself mumble. "I need to know things."

Ayda eyes me oddly, then nods, kissing my cheek.
"No matter what she says, Rose's a lucky lady." she says gently.

We wash. Not much happens - Ayda seems more thoughtful now, less in the mood to horse around. She compliments my smooth skin, but other than that... Things finish up uneventfully and we make our way back up.

Ayda yawns and stretches in the changing room, and it's hard for me to resist staring. She reaches up atop the lockers to find the key she hid there.

And then swears.

She ducks to look into the main lobby, and swears again.

"Uhm, Ayda?"

"The key for our locker. It's gone, and so are the attendants - they lock up the spares when they leave."
>>
No. 379490 ID: 3d19dd

BWAHAHAHA.

The only thing you can do is look for where they lock up the spares, bust it open, and offer to pay the damages if they care.
>>
No. 379491 ID: f70e5e

you could just force the lock, in fact we did just learn a spell that makes holes in things. though we might want to find out how much they will ask us to pay for damaging there property first.
>>
No. 379492 ID: 0adc60

ask Ayda to melt the lock. or you can try to smelt it. or just have Ayda use those muscles to pry or punch the locker open- they usually aren't too sturdy.
>>
No. 379493 ID: bd2a40

Pretty much what the others have said. Force the lock either with your own strength(Ayda's), since lockers usually suck or use your spell. Hell Ayda can probably melt it open..

Once you are done, leave some money for the damages.
>>
No. 379495 ID: 3d19dd

... We're, like, the nicest demon ever.
>>
No. 379501 ID: 7c31d2

Didn't demons used to be angels? Doesn't make sense to me for something living in a paradise to be good at being evil.
>>
No. 379502 ID: 3d19dd

>>379501
We don't know that that applies in this setting, though. And demons are like one of the most malleable types of fantasy creature out there.
>>
No. 379549 ID: b93ddd

The lock is mechanical, right? Is there a chance Sera's mechanical skills would help in picking it?
>>
No. 379559 ID: d14d3e

"Uhm... we could break the lock?"

Ayda stares at it, pondering.
"Melting is too dangerous to what's inside..." she says. "And, uh... We don't exactly have anything to pick the lock with. I'd like to avoid permanent damages." she goes into thought. "It's pretty late, and I have some bobby pins that Dreanin was keeping..."

"No."

"No?"

"Only two people have seen me naked and I'd really like to keep it that way and letting you go would just embarrass me so let's just figure this out in here okay?"

Ayda chuckles.
"Okay. Well, we could break it open."

"I know, but..."

I think for a moment.

"Ayda, break it down."

She raises an eyebrow.

"Look, we can fix it. There's spare sheet metal all over and you can superheat metal."

She nods, giving it a sharp kick. The metal falls away... and everything inside is perfectly fine.

Except our underwear, which is missing entirely.

Augh! I put my suit back on - it feels strange, honestly - and look through my things. Nothing else was taken. All of my chip is still here.

Ayda sighs.
"Damn perverts..." she mutters.
>>
No. 379560 ID: 3d19dd

Hah, fucking thieving bastards...

Ah well. What was next on the agenda again?

After fixing that door of course.
>>
No. 379587 ID: d14d3e

It's not that hard to fix the door, especially with a living welding torch at hand. In fact I think we left it better than before, before we left.

Ayda leads me back to the Golden Rod, and we move to our rooms for the night. She locks the door behind her, then turns and laughs.

I'm inclined to laugh with her - there's only one bed. Ayda looks up and points a finger at the ceiling.
"No lesbians for you tonight!" she says, turning to me. "You can have the bed. I can sleep on the floor."

"No, I'm fine with the floor myself..."

Ayda sighs.
"Or we can agree to be adults, and both use the bed? Mind, I sleep in the altogether."

Gyaaaa. I shake my head and slap my cheeks, and turn to find Ayda in the bed already. I remove the armored parts of the suit - shins, knees, thighs, chest, shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and slide in beside her.

It isn't long before I fall asleep.

Step into her dreams and interact with her directly?
Or let her sleep?

>>
No. 379588 ID: 32e092

Sure, let's have a chat. I'd like to hear Sera's side of this whole "tore us in half" thing, maybe poke at those missing and/or repressed memories together.
>>
No. 379589 ID: 3fd4fb

>>379587
Dream chats are cool.
>>
No. 379590 ID: 3d19dd

>>379588
Would be nice to hear what happened in there.
>>
No. 379591 ID: f70e5e

lets see what she's dreaming about.
>>
No. 379598 ID: d14d3e

This world is old to you. The ways of a mortal mind at first seem wild and unpredictable, but you have mastered them. Over a hundred thousand men and woman have been your playthings - your entertainment. Bereft of body, full of mind, you experience through them, more than viscerally. You ride their minds at their most passionate and most dour. You have watched men and women fall in and out of love, into and out of hate, through vengeance, through betrayal. You have stood beside them at their most triumphant, and at the depths of their despair. Your memory fades with each passing 'host', and you cannot recall them exactly, but perhaps it is this bond that allows for what passes for Sera as...

friendship.

She is dancing, in her dreams. Without mutation, without fear, she dances with a beautiful, red-haired woman. It takes a moment, since the features are not furred, or catlike, but you recognize her as Rose. They move slowly across a dance hall, wearing wispy, half-transparent gowns, and she rests her head on Rose's shoulder as they move.

The song ceases, and you take a different form - a man with eye tattoos, and a gentleman's bearing and outfit. You hold out a single gloved hand, and smile.

Knowingly, she takes your hand - and with you, her gown is a sheer white, spattered with red. Her horns emerge again, and her tail tips up the stained hem of the gown ever so slightly.

"Legion. Why have you entered my dreams?" she asks, her voice familiar, warm, gentle.

"Master. I was curious."

She smiles in that way she only smiles with you, here, in her own mind.
"You have a habit of poking your nose where it does not belong, but I'll humour you this once. What would you like to know, Legion?"

>>
No. 379603 ID: 3d19dd

And now we should ask her if there's anything to that whole Torn in Two business.

Gently, though. We're not trying to scare her.

... We're not, right?
>>
No. 379605 ID: 0adc60

>>379598

we need her to remember what happened at the Vault.
>>
No. 379607 ID: 3fd4fb

>>379598
We'd like to know everything, of course. Doesn't seem likely we'll get it, but wants are rarely limited by such things.

Failing that, knowing what we've lost once more would be nice. Forgotten memories are vexing. But there's a lot that we've lost... more than we are even aware of, at a guess, and perhaps more than she is as well.

A poor third choice is the context of what Mammon was talking about, but we'll settle if it's all we can get.
>>
No. 379608 ID: bd2a40

>>379598
I thought we were a friend, not servant to her. Unless we are physically incapable of doing so, stop this "Master" shit right now..

Also, sticking our nose where we do not belong? Such arrogance, even jokingly, from somebody we have been helping even when given ways to mess with her daily..
>>
No. 379610 ID: 32e092

You trust us. You value our advice. You allow us to guide your very life. Us, Legion; a demon, an evil, reputation as black as can be. All this, even before we acted with you against Mammon. All this, even before we led you to friendship, to perhaps a home.

Surely you would not be so incautious with a mere summoned evil. Surely you value your life more than that.

To you we are different. Why?
>>
No. 379613 ID: f70e5e

we are.... different than we were before we met you. we wish to understand how we are different, what it means, and how it came to be.
>>
No. 379632 ID: 3947e9

Lets be honest here, we are here because we just figured out we can enter dreams.

>>379608
Where we don't belong being her brain. Personal space and all that. We are perfectly capable of talking to her while awake.
>>
No. 379633 ID: 7c31d2

Hey Sera, does Rose have any cat-like mannerisms?
>>
No. 379645 ID: 0adc60

>>379632

...are we?
>>
No. 379648 ID: 0b1389

Not sure what the official Legion is beyond that "we are Legion for we are many." The one interpretation I know about is more or less eating individuals. It goes kind of like this:
Legion finds an individual in need and offers assistance in form of a pact. It offers the skills and knowledge of all that are Legion into the hands of the pactee. They will offer unsolicited advice and can provide their skills to the pactee, while running the body. The pactee becomes Legions front person in return and at death gets absorbed and added to Legion as one of the many. The absorbed also diminish with time and presence in Legion.

So far that meshes with what we've seen yet. If that interpretation is close, Legion calls Sera Master because that is the deal Legion and Sera made. But apparently Legion isn't complete. For one I think we lack a number of the more recent pactees before Sera and a lot of knowledge. For another I would agree with >>379645. What we say seems to reach Sera more as ideas coming up from her subconscious than actual talk between us. Also running Sera's body might be something we should be able to do ourselves, for sure with permission from Sera.

What we'd like to know, well what can Sera recall about the vault and our Summoning. Especially how we made the first contact. Another thing is what Sera wants from life.
>>
No. 379649 ID: 338c67

"I am broken and lost. I need information. What happened in the Vault?"

She considers this question somewhat before answering.
"You approached me when I was but a child." she says. "I was alone, then. My mother had died, and no one knew, or cared to find out, who my father was. People treated me as little more than an annoyance. They fed me to keep me quiet. I slept where I could not be found. But there was a gentle voice that spoke to me, even then. A companion. But you were different, then. More aggressive. Less caring. But a friend you were - warning me of danger, guiding me where my eyes failed. One day, you lead me to a pair of tomes."

She frowns. "All I can remember is a black one and a white one. Between that day and leaving the vault, I do not remember anything."

"What did you do to me, then?" you ask. "Why am I so diminished?"

"I do not know. I just know it had to be done. If there was any other way, I would have taken it."

"... You called us friend. But we are your servant now..."

"... You are bound to me in this way because it is the only way to keep you alive."

Her voice drops slightly, her face saddened.

>>
No. 379657 ID: ac6c03

>>379649
The other book.. perhaps we could return and find it once more some day? It may hold the key to what we have lost.
>>
No. 379661 ID: 0adc60

uh. elaborate?
>>
No. 379662 ID: 3d19dd

>>379657
I have a feeling that that would be a bad idea.

Maybe what we lost isn't such a bad thing.

Think about this in terms of amnesiac protagonists in videogames everywhere:

Half of them turn out to have been the prequel's big bad, and turn out all the better for having forgotten their past and having had the chance to develop without whatever influence made them evil in the first place.
>>
No. 379666 ID: 32e092

>>379649
Then we owe you greatly, and must thank you for not abusing the position it has placed us in. Can you elaborate on how this came to be?
>>
No. 379668 ID: 338c67

>>379661

"Can you tell me more?"

She shakes her head.
"You have to trust me - even I am not certain. But I know this much, in the two years of memory we lost, if I could have done things differently, I would have."

She looks up at you pleadingly. "You have to understand, Legion. There are risks I can and cannot take with a bound demon. For now... goodbye."

She releases your hand, and walks away, the blood draining from her dress as she takes Rose's hand and kisses her lovingly - and you fall through the floor into the darkness of her unused mind.


Perk gained: [For we are Many]. You may now ask Sera questions directly, and recieve answers in the email field of the responding post. In combat, Sera can more reliably perceive enemies and threats with Legion's help.

--[DISCONTINUITY]--

I blink awake, and try to breathe in - only to find myself nestled in warmth. Soft warmth. I pull my face out of Ayda's chest, and turn to look outside. It's still night. I try to return to sleep, but find I can't, rising out of bed and quietly replacing my armor upon my suit. That dream... I shake my head and walk outside, into the chill night air.

Testing, testing. One, two, three...

I blink, looking around suddenly. This is Warrior Harumda, calling to all my demon comrades. My summoner has died, and left me in a bounded field. I'm due south of Tinsel. Three favors to whomever helps a brother out, here.

... I guess he got through because of Legion's... er, your location in relation to my mental defenses.

You remember this demon, vaguely. An honourable knight in Wrath's armies. He has trouble telling lies or setting traps - he is straightforward.

This is typical of his luck.

>>
No. 379671 ID: 32e092

Well, normally I'd suspect a trap, but I guess this guy's a special case. For the same reasons, I expect his favors are uniquely valuable.

That said, something killed his summoner, and we are most likely not the only ones to have received this message. Let's try to reply to him directly ourselves and inquire about what happened to his summoner and what his surroundings are like. If we go, we should go cautiously, alone, and leave a note so nobody comes charging after us only to endanger both us and themselves—but we aren't very stealthy in the first place, so we might as well be quick as well. I say we go for it.
>>
No. 379672 ID: 3d19dd

Uh, hrm.

...

Not sure what to say to this one.
>>
No. 379674 ID: 7c31d2

I say go find the demon, help it and have it bodyguard you when you try summon demon. See if you can summon a horse demon or something.
>>
No. 379680 ID: 338c67

>>379671
You attempt a sending back.
What is the area like? What happened to the summoner?


"First of all, I didn't kill him. Fucker fell down a goddamn hole in the floor. Secondly, I'm in a largish building - I think it's large, anyway. Warehouse? I'm not sure."

O-kay, then. I leave a note for the others - Got something I have to take care of quick - be back soonish. and leave it on the door outbefore picking up my gun and ammo - only to stop in the doorway out.

The full moon, red and high in the sky, casts the world into a blood-like haze. So much blood. I take a step ba-

"Get it together. You are stronger than that, master."

I shake my head and step outside. Cold! Really cold. I'm glad I didn't go out without the suit earlier. Still, it's easy to grow accustomed to, and I begin to trek south. I make my way over a hill that drops into a rocky cliff, and see the place where the man had fallen. Interestingly, I don't think anyone would notice this place or blunder upon it. It looks like some sort of hangar or warehouse of some sort. Looking around, I see nothing but the wispy yellow fireballs of fireflies dancing in the night, and creep a little closer. I don't see anything near the place, so I clamber down with care along the cliff, landing on the even cooler sands softly. I step forward in the redness, carefully, until I'm near the door.

"Watch your step." a voice inside warns. "The floor isn't incredibly stable. Might want to look for struts." the voice is rough, seemingly on the edge of anger at all times. Something about it sends shivers up my spine. There is real threat within that tone. I gather myself and move closer, slowly, along the places where it would be most structually sound.

"Hold it." mutters the voice, and a flame lights the darkness - a red fire.

In the hands of a demon, bound within a circle of black magic.

The demon has an avian head, though its beak is serrated with long spikes, hooked slightly like a bird of prey. Its skin shines black, like polished onyx or marble, layered on a heavily muscular body. The skin moves and stretches despite the look of stone about it. Horns curl on the sides of the beast's head, and two glowing hemispheres appear to be its eyes. And...

I sharply bring my eyes to that strange face.

"H-uh. Well, then, are you here to release me, or bargain with me, or shall we draw up a contract?" he asks. "I ain' goin' anywhere, but, ah... I'm obli... ob... supposed to tell you that this circle's only gonna last a day and a half and once it's toast, so is..." he chuckles. "Well, anyone that can't match me in combat. So, probably a few towns."
>>
No. 379683 ID: 3947e9

You would really offer up three favors just to avoid a day and a half of waiting?

If we do get some favors here... A bodyguard for X time could be one. And he knows magic so maybe a teacher too.

How does one distinguish between a demon and a mutated human?

Also holy shit the summoner is here and fell through a hole? Loot the corpse, maybe s/he has magic book, maybe money and equipment... maybe identification.
>>
No. 379688 ID: 32e092

Well damn. Good thing we got here quickly. Might as well tell him the word he's looking for is "obligated."

Now, as I see it, we have two options: Contract this guy to do things other than random murder (murder of people who are trying to kill us instead, for example) for us for the indefinite future, or banish him. Banishment should fulfill the conditions to get his three favors, since we're still freeing him from his circle. The problem is, we don't know the spell. However, given that his summoner summoned him in the first place, I bet he did. Since we have plenty of time our absolute first order of business should be to loot the shit out of that corpse, find that spell, and if it's there, learn it.

Failing that, we should have enough time to make it to town, purchase a spellbook containing Banish, return, study, and apply the spell. However, this runs a much greater risk of another demon showing up and freeing him in the meantime, so we should seriously consider a contract that precludes mass murder in the event that his summoner's corpse lacks the requisite information. Should that become necessary, I propose the following:
"Kill anyone or anything who would, without your interference, have succeeded in killing or with hostile intent grievously wounding Sera. Do no harm other than this. Remain hidden from others to the best of your ability except as required to fulfill the other requirements of this contract."
Simple, straightforward, and hard to abuse even by a demon who's good at that sort of thing. It's not the most use we could get out of him, but it's probably about as safe as demonic contracts get, and it prevents him from committing random and/or mass murder.

If he's unwilling to accept that as-is, this clause should make it much more attractive without putting us or anyone else at greater risk:
"This contract may be terminated by your voluntary banishment at any time later than one month from now, only at such an time that both you and Sera judge Sera to be secure from foreseeable harm, or your Banishment by Sera at any time."
>>
No. 379689 ID: 3947e9

>>379688
I think discussing contracting him is jumping the gun a bit. We need some answers first before committing to such a thing. Besides which, how big a favor are we talking about here? "Will not try to betray us" big? "Will server us for a year and a day" big? "will investigate what other demons know of the taint in the demon world and then send us information" big? (the last one is my favorite)
>>
No. 379691 ID: 3d19dd

Agreeing with looting the dead Black Mage's stuff, assuming we can get to it without jumping down the same hole and dying.

And yeah, asking questions about the world can't hurt. We're REALLY ignorant, here.
>>
No. 379708 ID: 338c67

>>379683
"You would really offer up three blank checks, just to get moving?"

The demon laughs.
"Mortals - and I'm not saying that just to be condescending, there's so many kinds of you these days - have interesting requests, most times. Besides, you help me out, I get to do something new and exciting, and I can stretch these legs of mine again. Everyone wins."

"How big are these favours?"

"Nothing that would take a year or more to complete. Nothing that would kill me outright, though there's not much of that, these days. And nothing that would force me to betray a Harbringer. I really doubt you'd've the balls anyway. As for contracts, we can factor'n those favours, or we can come to some other deal once they're said and done."

I look around.
"This the hole?"

"Yep. Like I said, be careful. Place is fallin' apart. And it's dark as Hell."

He gives me a wry smile.

"So, then. Whatcha plannin'? What favours you want to ask?"

I contemplate...

>>379688
While the contract outlined sounds fairly solid, I'd stipulate that he must gain assent before attacking anyone 'threatening', somehow, and then add in another clause that states anyone who actually draws blood from me without permission is to be attacked.

>>379691
...
Looking around, it's too dark to go in there. I don't really have a way of making light.

...Unless I ask Harumda to go with me. He's eyeing me quietly.

"Oh, yeah, one more thing - I'm no incubus, but if you ask, heheh, I can try. I won;t even hurt yeh, at least not on purpose."

I don't dignify that with an answer.

What am I going to do here?
>>
No. 379710 ID: 32e092

facepalm

Note to selves: Acquire a flashlight/lamp and carry it and spare batteries/fuel with us at all times.

The demon can obviously create light. Perhaps we should simply convert the favors directly into 3 years of servitude wherein he will obey our commands in our interest to the best of his ability?
>>
No. 379711 ID: 3d19dd

I still think that looting that dead mage is worth it. That'll probably cost us a favor, though.
>>
No. 379712 ID: 3d19dd

>>379710
Good call.

Maybe.
>>
No. 379725 ID: 0adc60

>>379710

and rope.

>>379708

>Harbringer

it's spelled 'Harbinger'.


get them three favors to be used at a later time.

so your cat eyes aren't functional, huh? damn shame.
>>
No. 379726 ID: 32e092

>>379711
We don't get the favors until we get him out of that circle, at which point we can just wait until daylight anyway.
>>
No. 379747 ID: af5184

>and rope
Sera got 100ft rope in >>questarch/374901. I haven't seen her selling or otherwise getting rid of them. She should still have them.

Perhaps we can get Hamruda's help to get to the corpse without using a favor. Does it smell like oil or gasoline here? If not, ask for a demonstration of his abilities, how he can be useful. Try to get him to set some debris you can reach on fire. You could then use that fire to light a branch or board.

>Perhaps we should simply convert the favors directly into 3 years of servitude wherein he will obey our commands in our interest to the best of his ability?
That sounds good if the above doesn't work. But we need to be careful with phrases like in our best interest. We need to stress we are the judge of what is in our best interest. Remember we are dealing with an unrepentant demon here, we never should allow him to decide what is in Sera's best interest. We should also include penalties. I have the feeling Hamruda's current situation is result of a penalty. He probably failed the task to protect his master's body or something similar.
>>
No. 379752 ID: beb6d7

ooh, I got this. ask to free him if he agrees to retrieve the dead dfude and his stuff without giving away his favor rights, and also only if he agrees to never tell anyone it was you who freed him.
>>
No. 379753 ID: beb6d7

*without Sera spending any of her three favors
>>
No. 379754 ID: 3947e9

The dead mage is DEAD! His corpse is not going anywhere. We can go back to town for a flashlight (we have rope). And if we do get service out of this guy, we can just order him to retrieve the corpse and all it carried without using up a favor.

Also, to get the favors we need to actually release him or banish him. The only way releasing is acceptable is if we contract him first (else he kills us before we use the favors), and banishment is something we don't know how to do.

So realistically our options are:
1. Make a contract with him
2. Go back to town (either to tell the locals and see if THEY have someone who can banish him, or to get the supplies needed to acquire tome).

>>379710
>3 years of service to best of his abilities
I like it, here are some refinements to the idea

Make a contract, we MUST stipulate that at the end of the contract he goes back to hell rather then immediately rampage.
Furthermore, why would we stipulate who he attacks in the contract and LIMIT it to attacking only? We should get a contract wherein he serves us in any way we tell him to, it is silly to limit it to JUST killing things for us?

The contract should be that in exchange for releasing him, he shall serve and obey us for 1 year and grant us 2 favors. He is to never restrain/harm/attack Sera (important!). He is to refuse orders to harm himself, suicide, or attacking a harbinger; but giving such orders do not break the contract (no verbal trickery please). Each favor could be used to extend the service by an additional year. We may banish him at any time which ends his service, but does not forfeit the other favors. At the end of his service to us or our death he is to return to hell without killing anyone save for self defense or killing those who killed Sera, if she is dead.

Then we order him to protect us with the orders/stipulations from >>379708 and >>379688
Also we order him to retrieve the person who tried to summon him and his belonging, teach us more magic, and tell us what he knows of the cataclysm and the taint and demon's involvement in it.
And some orders to prevent him from randomly picking fights with people.

>>379747
>Trick him into providing light
No need for trickery, we could just say that if he wants us to banish him we need to recover the corpse's belonging and that if he would shine a light we would use our rope to retrieve it...
And that is of course only if we don't actually get him to serve us.
>>
No. 379786 ID: 338c67

"Very well, demon. I have a contract for you."

"Great! Lay it out for me." he says, genuinely interested.

"In return for being freed, you are to grant me a full year of service and two favors of my choosing. You are not to harm me, restrain me, or cause me grief. You are to refuse orders to harm himself, suicide, or attacking a harbinger; but giving such orders will not break the contract forged between us. Each 'favour' can extend thy service for an additional year."

"A'right. What sorta service is non-favour? Seein' as yer only have the two."

"Protecting me from harm, martial or mundane."

"Bodyguard work, hokeydokey."

"Can you change your shape, at all? I need you disguised in town."

"Nawp, sorry. This is what I'll look like, take it or leave it."

I frown. "A suggestion: One master I had used a great iron chain aroun' mah neck, like a leash. Easy way of quicklah sayin', 'this here's mah demon'."

I frown.
"Well, nothing to be done about that. Do you agree to these terms?"

"Let's jus' be clear here: Anyone harms you, by drawin' blood or pain enough to make yer cry out, I can kill'em."

"Yes."

"Excellent. I agree to the bindings inherent in this contract, to not harm you or yours, to not betray you or yours, to not bring foul law upon your head, to not disgrace you or yours."

"I agree to this contract, and its payment: To free you from your bindings."

I reach down and mar the circle. It drops instantly, and Harumda rises to his full height and stretches. Ten feet tall, five feet wide, with arms as long as I am tall and... I keep my eyes on his face as he leans down and chuckles.

"I'll even carry yeh on mah shoulder, if yer like. I'm a smooth ride."

I sigh.
"Make a light, Harumda, and guide me to the summoner's body as best you can."

"Naturally, milady." he says, holding up a red fire that is brighter than the moonlight. We navigate to the bottom of the building, finding the summoner. His neck's at an odd angle - he died on impact. Let's take a look...

I don't take his robes, which are red and black with a red symbol of a bleeding eye. He has a black magic book and forty caps, as well as...

I blink at the massive blade impaled near his body into the concrete. It's barely even a sword - more like a slab of iron with a handle, taller than I. Harumda emits an impressed whistle.

"What an excellent bondan' gift." he says with a chuckle. "He probably meant to give it to me while I was in his service."

"Bring that light here." I ask, sitting down and flipping through the book. I groan. "No Banishment?"

Harumda laughs.
"You'd be surprised how many demonologists forget to learn dat one." he says with a chuckle.

Still... There's at least four other spells in here. I could really advance my repertoire. Without sacrifice. I pick up my second new book, looking up at the pit he fell through. "Can I have the blade?" Harumda asks.

"Take it. The body, too."

"Yes'm." he says, and we make our way back out, much swifter than going in. Stepping into the cool air, he breathes deep. "Ah, so sweet and fresh." he says. "So wotcher gonna do with Dumbass?"

"Bury him."

Harumda laughs, and bows to the task, quickly and efficiently burying the body.

"So now what? Back to town an' friends?"

I'm still uncertain about civilization and him...
>>
No. 379818 ID: ac6c03

>>379786
Might want to grab a jacket or something to mask him so that we don't walk around advertising "owner of a demon is here".
>>
No. 379822 ID: d292f2

>>379786
Might want to get him some pants. Won't do to constantly be distracted by "him".

You should see if you can communicate with him remotely using us as a relay. If so, you can have him hide out while you enter towns, but wont have to go out of your way to retrieve him.

We really aren't expecting trouble inside towns anyway. And even if we did, having a demon killing people inside a town, even in self defence, is likely to get the whole town after you.
>>
No. 379824 ID: 3d19dd

...

Is there such a thing as an Elemental in this setting?

Guy's hewn from marble, appearance-wise. Maybe we can pass him off as an Earth-y...

...

No, we look too demon-y for that to work.
>>
No. 379850 ID: 3947e9

Actually, I think you should bring the summoner's corpse to town, they might identify him or at least his clothes.

And you shouldn't HIDE the demon but do a PR spin... go with him and the corpse to the tavern, get a WEAK drink (only 1, and don't finish it, take sips), and start telling the bartender, loudly enough for everyone to hear...

"So here I was relaxing in town when I detected a demon was summoned nearby, and that he was somehow stuck. Had to investigate. So I go up there and what do I find? This moron *point at summoner* went and summoned a warrior demon in a rotting warehouse. Then the floorboards gave and the fall broke his neck.

Now here I am trying to figure out how to get rid of the demon, what with him promising to slaughter every living being in the nearby towns and his temporary summon binding growing weaker by the moment and what do I find? The fool of a summoner had a book about summon and binding demons but nothing about actually banishing demons!

Well I could hardly let the towns be destroyed, had to bind it as a bodyguard for now just to prevent him from going on a rampage; At least that fool of a summoner did one thing right and brought a suitable offering, this giant sword here. Now I only got 1 year to fix this; say, you all know where I can find a banishment spell?"

Go over it with the demon prior to getting to town and explain to him you are just spinning the tale and am not gonna banish him right away... as long he behaves.
The nice thing is that all of the above is true; not a single lie... just the story from YOUR side.

Also if someone does provide you with a banishment spell, don't banish him right away... explain you have to take care of a few things first before the banishment (like having him kill some bandits) and that you are thankful for the banishment spell knowledge though as that is essential as a safety precaution if he finds a loophole and for preventing him from going on a murder spree when the time is up. Oh, and if someone offers to banish him for you, explain that would count as an attack and the demon will retaliate.

Now, you are probably gonna have to give this spiel to the guards too, and make sure you approach town using the demon as a cover in case they shoot first.

Once we got him back in town, well we put him to work. There are lots of high paying stuff we can use him for like taking out bandits (and if we order him to capture them as broken as he wants as long as they are alive and will remain alive for at least a day) we could sacrifice them as well. And then we can probably use him to capture and herd in some dangerous wild beasts and set up some sort of farm or some such (get someone else to run it, split profits, its a partnership). Oh and ask him what he knows about the cataclysm, the taint, demonic involvement in the above, harbingers, what type of demon he is, and demon in general
>>
No. 379864 ID: 338c67

First things first - I dash back into the warehouse, grab a tarp, and toss it at Harumda.
"Cover your shame."

"Aww, but it's such a big shame." he says with a laugh, wrapping it around his waist. It's about 4 AM before we get to town.

I frown. Most places still won't be open...

So I sit down.

"I have a question."

"Can't claim to know a whole lot - or remember it. But I will answer, milady."

"What do you know about the cataclysm, taint, and the harbringers?"

"Hm. Well, I can't say I know much about the Cataclysm. World was enveloped in hellfire, the Harbringers rose and rode until they got bored. It wasn't that different. Just a pattern, really, repeating itself. Mortals like to kill each other. That was just a bit of a spike, eh? As for the Taint, it just... happened. Even Pestilence ain' talkin' on that. And the Harbringers - Big boys downstairs. Powerful things - no demon or angel can touch them. 'Specially War." he pulls out his blade and points it towards the dusk light. "They say he rode out of the sunrise, as firey as the sun itself. Men in armor magical and technological fell before his burning blade, like paper. His horse's hooves beat down the weak, the proud, the cowardly, and he roars with the mightiest of warcries, that which splits men's hearts in TERROR! His only home is the blood of his foes, his only comfort, their dying screams. He makes no art but from the entrails of the dying and the dead, and finds no lovers but the wives of the fallen! Who he then kills, all the same!" he says, chest heaving. "What ho, the glorious splendour of his ride! What beauty, in the shining sword as it parts flesh! What song, as he reaps the hundreds of battlefields that folly and menace have sown! What power, as-"

"Okay, that's about enough. I think I understand now."

"You sure? I haven't reall cap-"

"I'm sure."

I sigh, watching the dusk. "So what kind of demon are you?"

"What kind of person are you?" he asks, in reply. "I can answer broadly - that I work to advance War's schemas - But beyond that, there's not much to say. I a big mean mother hubbard who likes to wreck shit. What more is there to say?"

Hrm.
"Did you know the name of the summoner?"

"William. But personally, I'll always call him Dumbass." he says dismissively. Despite myself, I find myself giggling. "Dumbass summoned a demon without banish spells. Dumbass did it in a dangerous place, near a civilization center. Dumbass made a weak, two-day binding. And finally, Dumbass fell in a hole in the ground and died. Damn, I wanted to go topside, but I wanted some resistance, fuck. 'So how'd you get up there, Harumda?' 'Oh, my summoner fell in a damn hole.'" he scoffs. "No glory."

I raise an eyebrow at him, but look at the town. People are starting to emerge.

"Welp. Let's head in."

Harumda stretches, and walks behind me as I wander back into town. People hide before our approach, and I come upon Dreanin and Ayda.

"h-hey guys."

Dreanin turns, and his eyes go wide. Meanwhile, Ayda shouts a curse and pulls out her shotgun, firing on him.

The fire washes over him like a stiff breeze, and Harumda leans in close to her.

"Demon. Hellfire. hey boss, she tried to kill me. Can I kill her?"

"No, Harumda! These are my friends."

"Righto, no-kill list for them..." he grumbles.

"You tamed a DEMON!?" Ayda shrieks.

"No, no! He's bound to my word. He won't hurt anyone! Honest. I just... don't have a banishment spell."

Ayda sighs.
"For how long."

"Three years, unless she gives me some damn fine battle. I might consider giving her free time if she shows me enough glory."

Dreanin and Ayda look at one another, then huddle.

After a few minutes, they return.

"You can keep him."

Harumda snickers.

"Oh for- He's not an abandoned puppy! He's dangerous!"

"I'll kick if you rub my tummy." Harumda chimes in.

"Augh."

"He's a useful tool in the right hands." Dreanin says simply. "Besides, he's just scary - not like we'll get kicked out of town for it."

"I still want to get a banishment scroll, just in case."

"Righto." Dreanin says, leading me to a dealer in scrolls and books. We buy one, and I'm a little shocked at the price.

"Ten chip?" I ask.

"Low as hell demand. Not that many demons around here, and most angelic prescence is Cult activity around Salt." he says.

I put it in my bags with my books.

"Anything we could use him for around here?"

Dreanin thinks for a moment.
"It's risky, but the first thing that comes to mind is riding to Jamestown's rescue."

"Are you fucking insane, Dreanin!?" Ayda says, apparently unable to converse calmly near Harumda. "That... could backfire so easily..."

"It is one of my own plans - but it's where he'd be needed most. Many bandit camps rise and fall within days - you hear about them, go take care of them, and it turns out one of the Seven done wiped it clean."

Ayda sighs.
"I need a drink." she mumbles. "I'll see you all at the Golden Rod. Lunatics."

Harumda crosses his arms.
"Wow. What a firey bitch." he comments.
>>
No. 379867 ID: 3947e9

>riding to Jamestown's rescue.
Ha, exactly what I had in mind... Well, one of the MANY plans I had for him.
Lets do it!
>>
No. 379883 ID: f70e5e

two questions, 1 whats up with Jamestown ? and 2, who/what are the seven? it sounds like Jamestown might be a settlement under siege by bandits or something, if it is something like that we may want to consider helping. not that i'm saying we would charge in guns blazing and smash the siege , i'm thinking more sneak in and poison the food of the invaders. or set fire to there tents. you'd be amazed at the problems you can solve with the proper application of fire.
>>
No. 379893 ID: 3947e9

>>379883
>whats up with Jamestown
>>/questarch/374970
Jamestown is under extended siege by the Nobles, which is a group of bandits.

Also, before we charge into a major war/seige. I would like to do a test run against a minor bandit encampment. Just you and harmuda... with order for him to capture the bandits alive, injured is fine. Then sacrifice them all. Oh, and not to hurt the bandit's prisoners and victims... Probably want to learn heal to make sure you can stabilize any of them that need it and then hit the first of nearby bandit locations.
>>
No. 379901 ID: beb6d7

RAIDER KILLFEST HO
>>
No. 379969 ID: 338c67

"So... we should ride out to Jamestown?" I ask. "But the train..."

Dreanin smiles.
"I can get us a cart, and... You have the beast."

Harumda raises an eyebrow.
"You can't be serious."

"Harumda, it's a siege. Once we deliver the supplies, I'll let you have all the fun you like with the bandits."

Harumda contemplates this exchange of services. "If you're a good demon I'll even let you chase them home~."

"Damnit, woman. Very well. Gather your supplies and cart."

Dreanin whoops.
"Finally, a chance to kick those damn Nobles in the fork!" he says with a grin. "I'll be back in a minute." he says, rushing off.

I look up at Harumda, who is grinning wide.
"Nobles, huh? This should be interesting." he looks down at me. "Before we go - I should tell you somethin'."

"?"

He draws his blade from his back - how it stays there, I have no idea, and he points it at the sky.

"Should I 'appen to die in battle. This sword of mine. Make sure it finds a child of battle proper. Make sure the blood on it don't stay dry long."

"Are you asking me a favour, demon?"

He chuckles, impaling the blade into the earth.
"Professional courtesy. Just keep it in mind."

"..."

Dreanin returns hauling a large cart, loaded with weapons and supplies - it's closed-top, heavily armored as well.
"Damn near broke my bank for this." Dreanin says with a grin. "But I'm sure Senior Splendid will be pleased."

"...Splendid?" I ask.

"Mayor of Jamestown." Dreanin says, slipping inside the cart and securing everything. "Nice guy, really, but not the sort you'd like to mess with." he says. "Let's hitch up that badass of yours and get rolling."

"The shipment of whiskey-"

"Will handle itself, it's on the next train." he says, almost giddy with anticipation. "Is there anything you want to take care of before we ride to the rescue?"
>>
No. 379980 ID: f70e5e

if we are planing on messing with the nobles we should try and get either some explosives or some incendiaries to wreck there camp. fairly certain one demon won't be able to kill all of them but if we can wreck there encampment and ruin there food/water/ammo we could do allot of damage to siege.
>>
No. 380004 ID: 3d19dd

>>379980
That's right, we should get to buying some equipment, shouldn't we?

Rose'll understand. I daresay she'd even be proud.
>>
No. 380008 ID: 32e092

>>379980
Good call. A hit and run on their logistics and infrastructure will break the siege. Dreanin may have already obtained the right stuff, though, so check first. Do let Harumda enjoy himself with the bad guys, though; him being happy benefits us so long as it doesn't cost much. Ask him to preserve some in sacrificable condition (but no need for them to be unharmed) for your own use, but if he really wants to kill some outright himself, allow that too. If they can besiege an entire town I'm sure there are plenty for both of you. Not to mention that limiting the number of sacrifices you do at once will help avoid creeping people out.
>>
No. 380042 ID: 338c67

Some thoughts enter my mind.

"I'll need to pick some stuff up, I'll be right back."

A quick trip around town affords me:

>-500 Chips

>A Pyromancer's Manual, which has four Red Magic Spells, which will be listed along with all other new spells for the trip.
I need fire if I'm going to light up their camp - magic is learned once and then can be used as much as I like. A worthy addition to my repertoire.

>Four (4) magic bombs.
I was told these could blow apart anything smaller than a pre-cataclysm tank, and they all share one detonator. They're roughly the size of my fist.

>One (1) new suit of Boiled Leather armor
The outside of the suit is tough leather plates made of layers of leather, with a more supple undersuit of hide that fits me pretty well. It's overall lighter than my Suit, which I trade in.

And finally...

>Three (3) molotov cocktails and a single lighter.

It's almost too much to carry altogether, the books, the bombs, the bottles, But I put them in the cart with the rest. I check my pistol and load the clips, now fully prepared.

Dreanin smiles, and I direct Harumda to get moving.

He dashes off as if the thousand pound cart wasn't even there, possibly moving faster than the train! I think I'll have time to learn two new spells on the way from my various books.

"Harumda, before we arrive, I want you to capture and disable any Nobles you don't kill!"

"You're the boss! Just don't expect a whole lot of them."

Dreanin leans close to me as I duck back inside.
"You'll have to get off out of sight. Me and Dreanin will provide you with a distraction so you can slip into the perimeter camp and set those charges onto their siege equipment - target the largest things you can. Once the charges are set, you'll want to find the infantry barracks, and light those on fire. After that, circle around to where we drop you off - I'll come by to pick you up. There won't be a signal, sorry."

I nod.
"Is there enough time to learn a few spells on the way?"

"Can you do it in six hours?"

"I can try."

Please go to the Discussion thread here to vote on new spells.
>>/questdis/357788

>>
No. 380245 ID: 338c67

>>380042
I snap the book on black magic shut. Two new spells under my belt, I'm ready now - or at least more ready than I was before. I take two of the molotovs, sliding them into my bag. Then I strap on the bomb bandolier, green spheres glowing softly.

"You realize this is the most dangerous part of the job, right?" he asks. "You could follow me in, be safe. Harumda and I would likely be enough help on our own."

I shake my head.

"I want to do something on my own for once." I hear myself saying.

He smiles, taking off his hat and gently sliding it on my head.
"Take care of this for me." he says, drawing his huge revolver. "next we see each other, we're heroes, or dead. This is your stop." he adds, as Harumda slows to a stop and I get out. The sun is already low in the sky.

He salutes, then smiles at Harumda. "Let's kill us some sonsabitches, eh?"

Harumda lets out a bloodcurdling roar and rushes forth as I crest the sand dune nearby.

Tents. Lots of tents. Purple is the dominating color. There's guards patrolling around the edges, men in serious-looking armor wielding powerful-looking rifles. Finally, looking over into the distance, I see Jamestown on the horizon.

It's like a concrete giant, squatted there. Tall and thick, domineering of the landscape. There must e at least five floors, and even with that much height, it still looks squat and stocky. I duck back behind the dune and think.


How should I approach this?
>>
No. 380247 ID: 7c31d2

Stay behind the dune and use wicked hands to deliver the explosives, use smite on enemies when the opportunity to shoot presents itself?
>>
No. 380264 ID: f70e5e

we could spend all day killing bandits and not make much a difference, however if we burn there supplies we could end the seige in a day. use wicked hands to get the explosives into supply dumps. try and stay behind cover and let Harumda draw most of the attention.
>>
No. 380363 ID: 32e092

No matter what, don't act until they've engaged Harumda. That way even if they do notice you you'll be a secondary or tertiary target; hopefully they won't realize you're there at all.

Definitely use Wicked Hands to place the explosives, but be sure to pick your targets carefully; we only have a few of these things, so let's make them count. Prioritize targets as was previously discussed (largest siege equipment), and take your time unless it looks like Dreanin is in desperate need of a distraction.

Once you've selected your targets, use wicked hands to set charges on them, but do so sneakily: run them along the ground to a point far away from you, then raise them up in the air as high as you can without losing track of them, and don't lower them down until they're directly above the equipment, at which point you should lower them straight down, gently set the charges on the equipment, and dispel the hands without any further movement once all three charges are set. During this operation, you should maintain as far under cover as possible, though of course you'll need line of sight to guide things properly. If you're about to get noticed, or are under fire, suspend the hands in place and take cover, then work around and finish the job from a different vantage.

Don't necessarily detonate them immediately, especially if we're going to sneak in and set fire to their tents next; you'll be wanting that distraction later.
>>
No. 380364 ID: 627b9f

Right, considering we have one demon in the field right now, why not summon some minor demons in areas away from Dreanin and Harumda? Focus on large tents, troops gatherings - where ever there is the possibility that one will do damage before it is overwhelmed.
>>
No. 380365 ID: 3947e9

>>380364
because our allies don't know we can summon demons and summoning demons is considered pretty fucking bad.
Also they will attack jamestown when done with the bandits.
>>
No. 380374 ID: 338c67

I wait, and I watch, and I listen. It takes a while, but...A commotion. Gunfire. Cries of 'Monster!' and 'Demon!' and...
Cultist?

I shake my head, peering over the dune. Guards are being drawn away from the area, so I begin to detach my bombs and arm them. It takes a scat moment of concentration to generate the hands, letting them hold three of the bombs. The last one stays with me. I hover the bombs far away, over the edge of the dune and into the sky, until three tiny green stars are all I can see as I move them out with care. I take my time as I place them atop a piece of equipment each - A tall, mobile tower festooned with cover and ladders, a small train-looking vehicle with a long spike at the front, and a catapult. There's two more - but this will severely hamper them. Making absolutely certain that the distraction has grown to suitable levels (a black/red fire has engulfed a significant portion of the tents), I slide down the dune with my gun drawn and approach from the opposite direction, moving through the tents as quickly and quietly as I can.

My nerves are on fire. I have never been quite so scared - the screaming, the feeling that I could be attacked at any moment. I move towards the core of the camp, surprised at the lack of enemies, to find one with a horse tied outside it. A beautiful one, too - with golden and silver branding and a purple skirt with gold trim. I slip close and stroke its head gently, and peek inside the tent.

A man wearing a long purple coat with golden epaulets sits at a desk. He's huge - at least seven feet tall and quite wide. And then I realize, that's the armor he's wearing. I raise my hand and let loose Smite, three crosses careening at him.

But they stop halfway there, slicing through the centerpole and collapsing the tent on him. In a panic, I light a molotov and toss it onto the lump in the tent, turning to run. There's a long and narrow tent I can see, it must be the supplies. I light another molotov and toss it high - it lands and lights up the canvas wonderfully. Now I just need to get out. I turn on my heel and

[Dance of Demons]

instinctively lean waaaay back, watching a sword pass over where my belly had been bare moments ago. I stumble back a little and see a man covered in flaming canvas that he tears away, the hiss of hydraulics and the whirr of mechanics hinting that his armor may be more than simple protection.

He wears thick, heavy armor painted purple. The helm is crested by a single golden blade pointed up, below that are blue glowing lenses. In his right hand, a long, sharp-looking blade. The other is a little larger, a bright blue gem shining on the back of the palm. A purple cape drapes from just below the shoulderblades, and purple cloth spills between the legs, front and back.

"You could have been my whore, had you not done that. Now you'll be my toy, until I break you." he says, disturbingly calm - the voice amplified slightly by his helmet.
>>
No. 380387 ID: beb6d7

shit, a power-armor swordsman- and with possible magical capabilities, what with the gem and all.

try giving him like ten mutations and see how he manages to fit inside that steambox of an armor with tail and wings and modified limbs and shit.
>>
No. 380393 ID: 6f9630

>>380374
I wonder if you can use your Wicked Hands to tangle the cloth and his cape between his legs?If you can then good, you've limited his mobility and now you're ready to run away and scream for Harumda. In fact screaming for Harumda is a good idea anyway and should be done.
>>
No. 380416 ID: f70e5e

it looks like he has some sort of magic protection, its a good thing you still have that bomb. see if you can use wicked hands to try and tangle the canvas around his legs, if the magic protection doesn't let the hands get that close you might be able to accomplish the same thing by circling him so he has to turn allot rather than go in a straight line. once you have distance(either by tangling his legs or just running like hell) throw the last bomb at him and detonate them.
>>
No. 380431 ID: 32e092

Try giving him mutations, as that armor's certainly closely fit, and if we can screw it up he'll have a hard time getting out, which will let us run away, find the infantry barracks, then GTFO.

Or just GTFO, if you can't lose him.
>>
No. 380437 ID: 3947e9

>>380416
Do that, but use black hands to carry the bomb to him rather then just tossing it.
I doubt we can outrun him and have serious misgivings about using grant mutation offensively (we should test it on an animal some time).

If he does have some magic protection, then use black hands to lift heavy large stuff and bludgeon him with it.
>>
No. 380455 ID: 6f424c

>>380437
I see no dificulty in mutating him until the armor is useles to him, as long as we recognise it wont make him less of a badass in the long run.

What it will do, is give him an assload of horrible pain during witch we can politely drop the third bomb at his feet and run.
>>
No. 380458 ID: 338c67

I flee. Well, sort of - I know for a fact I can't outrun him. I turn and let loose a torrent of mutational energies at him, having to briefly stop to gather myself. I don't even know if it worked - until he stops short and a scream erupts from the helmet's speakers. Emboldened, I start again.

But I fail to notice him moving. A metal foot slams into my belly, knocking me back. A horrible feeling washes over me.

DRAMATIC SPELL FAILURE. Penalty: MUTATION.

I scream in pain as the energies slide through me, ripping at my core. The man stops and laughs.

"You fool whore! Using magic now..." he says, holding the blade aloft as wings erupt from my back, tearing through my undersuit, new bones and muscles and tendons growing into place rapidly, a leathery skin growing over them as I stand and stumble away. I quickly gain my balance, my wings twitching behind me. I try to cast again, but the recent pain has yet to dull, and ruins the spell before it can even manifest.

I swear, and turn to run, but he keeps a solid pace barely twenty feet behind me.

"HARUMDA! HARUMDA I NEED YOU!" I scream, and the metal man laughs.

"Scream for your minions all you want, woman. They won't sa-"

He's cut off when Harumda lands between us with a solid thump.
"I am here, Mi-oooh." Harumda grins devilishly. "Don't you DARE run away." he says to the metal man, settling into a low stance with his massive weapon.

He immediately rushes forth, with speed that defies his massive size and equipment. The armored man holds up the jeweled gauntlet, a sphere of white flowing up around him. Harumda swings his blade into it, a flow of sparks rising from the striking point. Once, twice, three times he strikes, and the barrier shatters. Harumda swings again, blade barely knocked aside by the armored foe.

I cast Wicked Hands while the man is distracted. I roll the bomb around the fight, and secure it under the Noble's cloak.

"Harumda! Behind me, now!" I scream. "I'll smite him!"

The man laughs, erecting the barrier has Harumda dubiously leaps over me.

I smile, and detonate the bombs. Behind me, three of the siege weapons explode in wild fire that reaches for the heavens, burning bits landing among the tents. In front of me, the magical sheild shakes - but holds. Good. I turn away, averting my eyes from the horrible wreck that must remain.

"Harumda, is he dead?"

"Yeah, boss." he says, in reverence.

"Good. We're done here. Let's get into the town."

He picks me up, and I sit on his shoulder as he walks to the tangle of metal and flesh, picking up the misshapen saber.
"Proof." he explains, then he leaps into the air.

This feeling - Of soaring and falling at the same time - scares me, thrills me, sends strange motions through my gut. We land among a pile of the dead and dying, and Harumda lets me down.

"As you asked, boss. Thirty men I could, heh, save."

I hold the White Book aloft.

"To Legion, I gift these weary souls. To Legion, I gift this spilled and drying blood. To Legion, I gift this torn and rendered flesh. Gift me power! Gift me greatness!" I incant.

The bodies liquify instantly, and blood writes on the pages of the tome, floating there. More taint touches me. I shudder - with strange pleasure, and strange pain.

New spells: Void, Tentacle Pit, and Dark Armor. These will be posted in the Questdis.

"Inside the town, please, Harumda." I say, picking up the tome from the air. He nods, and I ride him again to the doors. The slot opens once, and the massive doors open.

Good, then. Good. I made it. I think... I think, yes, I'll take a nap.

[current Taint: 500 + Wicked hands (3*2 = 6) + Smite (1) + FAILURE (10) + Sacrifice (30) = 547]

---DISCONTINUITY---

Allow her to rest, or speak with her further? Or observe her dreams?
>>
No. 380460 ID: f70e5e

we should let her sleep, though if it looks like shes having a nightmare we should step into her dream. right now I think she needs rest and we can talk to her in the morning.
>>
No. 380461 ID: 7c31d2

Yeah, lets let her sleep
>>
No. 380472 ID: 3d19dd

Yeah, let's let the poor thing rest.
>>
No. 380484 ID: 32e092

Might as well observe her dreams so long as it won't interfere with her rest.
>>
No. 380538 ID: 338c67
File 132686982506.png - (115.20KB , 576x483 , ssplendid.png )
380538

You let her sleep, deciding not to peer into her dreams.

---[DISCONTINUITY]---

I wake up in another hospital bed. This one is nicer than the one back at Transit town. The bed is softer, the room warm and inviting - and my clothes are gone mostly, the gown back on. My wings twitch involuntarily with my tail as I wake.

Oh yeah, I have wings now.I blink awake... to find Rose kneeling beside the bed, head rested on her arms, again sans armor in a black shirt and jeans.

She's alive. And she's here.I reach out, and gently stroke that red hair from her face, smiling and holding back a laigh as she starts to purr quietly. And then she wakes up and smiles.

"We've got to stop meeting like this." she says, kissing my cheek. "What were you doing ut there?"

"I was helping."

She smiles, then laughs.
"I see. Found a demon and just rode to the rescue?" she nuzzles into my neck and shoulder, gently kissing my neck. I smile, kissing her cheek back.

"Mhm. uhm, I wanted to a-"

"WHAT HO, THE HERO AWAKENS!?" calls a deep, cheerful voice - and a man in a huge set of armor sidles into the room. The helmet is off - in its place a strange, rigid hat, and a single lens over one eye. A third arm sips him some tea and a large gun rests on his shoulders.

"Who..."

"SENIOR SPLENDID, MY LADY! And you are the hero, er, heroine, of the hour! Why, if those siege weapons had been marshalled along with the full brunt of their men, we may not have lasted the day! And poor Jeffery would have been out a home!"

A suited... lion... bows quietly, and I note it to be taller and wider than Rose by a fair margin, and even more bestial. "Theretofore, you are the man, er, woman of the hour! And as mayor of this fine town, I can grant you a single wish! What ho, think of me as a genie, my lady! Anything you like, within some reason."

"Sera, meet Senior Splendid, mayor of Jamestown."
>>
No. 380562 ID: f70e5e

I like this guy, he seems classy. as for the favor I recommend you hold onto it for now. we are still finding our feet in the wastes and we should probably save a favor like that for when we have some large goal we are working towards.
>>
No. 380590 ID: 431fa8

>>380538
Well, we need to politely introduce ourselves after that, and ask to hear what happened after we passed out, of course.

Take a rain check on the favor, if we can. We aren't really in a position of needing anything too badly at the moment.

If we can't get that, the only thing I'd consider asking for right now would be something like being put up and given access to the magical knowledge at their disposal for a while- based on our advancement thus far, a month or two or downtime and studying could help us a lot. All this combat is flooding us with Taint and not giving us the time we need to digest the potential for advancement that we've already secured.
>>
No. 380600 ID: 3947e9

Need some time to think of a favor.

Spend some time with Rose. Check up on harmuda and congratulate him on a job well done.

Have a day out relaxing with rose. And then muddle your nonworking wings until you get working wings or regeneration.
>>
No. 380632 ID: 6f9630

>>380600
Let's not muddle with our wings. Roll with it for a time. When we're close to the next mutation, then we'll muddle with it.
>>
No. 380641 ID: dfc57c

Thank him for the favor. Tell him you need more time to decide. Neither do you know what he can provide nor do you know what you would want at this time. I am also not quite sure if the siege is broken or just very much set back.


I want Sera to study the magic theory in Shan's Book for a few hours before she Muddles, but nowish isn't a bad time or place to Muddle.
For one we are in a save place so Sera can concentrate and try to influence the Muddle. For another Sera just damaged her new leather armor with the eruption of wings and needs it repaired or replaced anyway. It's better to Muddle before we reequip, because Muddle has a habit of adding demands/constraints for equipment.
>Muddle until you get working wings or regeneration.
I think we shouldn't just Muddle till we get a certain result. The number of possible results is too great and we risk getting a hundred taint or more till we get the right mutation. Lets just muddle the useless wings one time and see what we get.
When you are casting Muddle on the wings, try to keep in mind the image of yourself with large, strong, light and well-build feathered wings growing out of your back. Anchored with strong muscles on a strong but light ribcage and shoulder blades. Also remember the feeling when Hamruda jumped you both through the air.
>This feeling - Of soaring and falling at the same time - scares me, thrills me, sends strange motions through my gut.

>When we're close to the next mutation, then we'll muddle with it.
Is there something I am missing? Aren't muddling and taint based mutations two different, independent from each other things?
>>
No. 380651 ID: 3947e9

>>380641
>The number of possible results is too great
Actually its 1/10 chance to get regen or working wings. 1/30 to get just regen. 1/15 to get just working wings. look up the charts in tg, and you only roll on charts for which you have cast spells. So only black, white, and mutation for us
>>
No. 380662 ID: dfc57c

>>380651

Okay, a hundred was too high to be likely. I calculated it for out and probable are somewhere around 30 taint. But a really unlucky run can get up to a hundred.
You are right on the probabilities for one Muddle. But rolling for a specific result is a geometric distribution. Take the 1/10 chance for regen or wings. That makes the expected value 10 Muddles before a wanted mutation comes. That where the 30 taint above comes from.
The probability we don't get the wanted mutation in 15 tries is still 20%. The probability to need 33 Muddles is about 3%.

To add, I don't think regen is a desirable mutation at this time. Working wings is on the other hand are desirable.

>>
No. 380671 ID: beb6d7

compliment his fine armor. ask how the siege is going.
>>
No. 380679 ID: e74c30

Try and hold off on that favor for a while. If you are up to it, get up on your feet. Go with Rose and see the fortress a bit, after all, its what you just fought for.

Test out your wings a bit. If they are difficult to use and cumbersome it may be better to muddle them away, but don't muddle too much, just enough to get something generally positive. You can always try again later, when there is less stress.
>>
No. 380682 ID: 338c67

"Can I take a rain check on that, Mister Splendid?"

"Naturally, good lady. Don't fret too much over it. Have a pleasant stay in Jamestown." He makes a little bow, and departs with his upright lion. Then, finally, I relax, leaning into Rose and kissing her lips with slight hesitation. She kisses me back, warmly, holding me close, tail lashing a little.

"What was it you wanted to ask?" she asks.

"Uhm. I wanted to know, if... if we... we were more than, uhm, than f-friends. If there was something... More to... to us."

She smiles, kissing my neck. It sends a strange feeling down my body, as always.

"When you put it that way... I think so." she says softly, gently pushing hair from my face. "Let's get you on your feet." she adds, "Fun can happen later." she helps me out of the bed, and while I stumble slightly, I regain it just as fast. After I get dressed and get my things, She shows me around town. The feel here is much different from Transit. There's a sense of... adventure? It seems everyone here is like Rose, or Dreanin. Strong, independent. There's no bar - which feels odd - but there is an armory and the medical office. Rose tells me the siege is almost over - since I had slept, groups had been striking at the raider camp, chipping bits and pieces away.

Which brings us to a statue of Harumda.
"They work awful fast." I manage, and Rose laughs.

"No, it's-"

The statue crumbles, and soon Harumda stands before me with a bow.
"A most glorious battle, milady. You have my thanks! Should you wish it, I can go again!"

Rose raises an eyebrow at me, and I explain.

She nods thoughtfully.
"You've put him to good use. Better than I can say for a lot of summoners." She says gently. "Good work."

Butterflies flutter in my belly as I process the compliment.

"I actually have a place here - though I rarely use it, Splendid gifted it to me once when I did him a special favour. If you like, we can go there, or..."

"Well, I do need to do some study, and these wings..." I flap them a little. It feels like if I had a bit less weight, I could get some lift. But Rose is carrying my bags... So that leaves...

Yeah no. Not happening. "I'm not sure if I want to keep them. So I'd need to work with my mutation magics for a bit."

"Well, you can do that there. I had a spare key made - here you go." she says, placing it in my palm, my face flushing even deeper.

"I, uh, but, you, this..." I stammer, but she silences me with another kiss.

"When you're ready." she says. "I'll be there."

She walks away. Both me and Harumda watch her go.

"Goddamn, does she always do that thing with her hips and tail?"
I smack Harumda across the face, then shake the pain out of my hand.

That being said, should I go to Rose's abode? And for what purpose?
>>
No. 380683 ID: beb6d7

go to her abode for learning some majykks, researching some magyeickhss, and using some muddling meghyugkhfzsghkkk.
>>
No. 380687 ID: bd2a40

>>380683
What he said.
>>
No. 380688 ID: dfc57c

What time of day is it? Not sure how Rose thinks about you bringing her food, but drinks should be okay. The free drink Rose choose at Utah's was coffee with cream and alcohol. So look for someone selling coffee. Once at the flat great Rose and share a meal if it's close to a meal time. Catch up with Rose about what she and you did since you've last seen her.

Now to the magics. Let's start with muddling the useless wings using the imagery and feelings already mentioned in >>380641. Then curl up and cuddle up with Rose and study Shan's book for a few hours. After >>/questdis/358209 I prefer this order since Sera has some time to rest and anchor herself after the muddle and we can do a second muddle if necessary/wanted with little risk.
>>
No. 380725 ID: beb6d7

>>380688

you're right. I support leaving some time to chill out inbetween sessions of magiecgz so Sera's mind can cool off from all the rape.
>>
No. 380751 ID: f70e5e

whatever else we do we should check out the armory, see if they have better light armor than boiled leather.
>>
No. 380753 ID: 3d19dd

Maybe Senior Splendid can get us a deal on something.

Or maybe we can get our pick of the loot.

Those Noble guys had POWER ARMOR, they have to have some other, slightly lesser equipment we can ask for since we took such a big hand in breaking the siege.
>>
No. 380764 ID: 6f9630

>>380753
I gotta agree with this. We just have a pistol, a knife, and leather armor, which we probably ruined the back of with our wings emerging. An upgrade is probably easy to get considering we helped break the siege and all.
>>
No. 380770 ID: 338c67

Before I head there, I go to the armory. The man smiles at me with a chuckle.
"Hallo hallo young lady and..." he raises an eyebrow "...Friend. Welcome to Argyle Armor and Ammo. How c'n I help yer today?"

"Well, I was thinking of buying some armor? Something light but strong..."

"Welp, we got some excellent light protectives. Suit?"

"Yes, please."

"Arightydighty. Yer in luck - the recent raid on the Noble camp brought in some excellent hide and leather craftmanship. For instance, Dualcroc hide." he slaps down a greenish, scaled suit of armor. "Stops most knives, blades and other things of that nature - hard as hell to cut, practically need sum'thing vorpal to slice it. Five-hunnerd chip fer a full suit - I'll even fit it for you. It's probably lighter and more manueverable than yer current suit - since it uses scales, not plates. Bullets, though, they just as handy."

I nod, and he folds it up and puts it away. "We also have reinforced leather armor, with a pocketed cape for storing things. The plates can turn small ballistics at most angles, and turn penetrations from wounds to bruises." he says. "It is reinfarced with metal plates on the chest and back, as well. A bit heavy - but grand in terms of prahtection. Six-hunnerd chip."

I nod.

"Anything else?"

"Not really, miss. Most of the rest is hard armors and even proipah heavy combat armor."

"Can... you reserve them for me?"

"Coitn'ly." he says with a smile. "For a week. Then they're back on th' market."

"Thank you~!"

"Not a problem." he says.

My next stop is the general store - which I find hidden away in a corner. I buy a bag of coffee beans, but there's no cream. Either way...

>-25 Chip

With that done, I make my way to the housing - which is mostly underground, long halls flanked by apartments. Reaching her door, I knock nervously.

She opens the door.

In her panties.

I open my mouth to say something, but I can't find the words, instead, I'm pulled inside.

"R-rose, I... I need to study. And. And muddle... m-m-muh-mutations." I manage. I'd forgotten those soft curves, and the softness of her fur as I'm pulled into a gentle embrace. In fact, everything is that much sharper and more clear, since I'm sober now.

"I know." she says, sticking out her tongue teasingly. "Thanks for the beans." she says, "I'd run out from last time I stayed here. Make yourself comfortable."

There's not much furniture - the whole place is two rooms, a merged bedroom, living space and kitchen, with a bathroom behind a door - with no privacy lock. There's just a bed and a dresser. The clothes I saw her in before sit folded on the dresser, and I seat myself, reading the white magic book and relaxing while I hear Rose work in the kitchen.

[Voting up in Questdis thread.]
>>
No. 380778 ID: 3d19dd

At some point, you should ask who she went off to visit, Sera.
>>
No. 380783 ID: 431fa8

>>380770
Is Harumda still around? It sounds like the siege isn't quite broken yet. He'd probably appreciate getting permission to go off and mop the raiders up.

This would also conveniently get him out of here for certain things which might be happening soon and he might make annoying comments on.
>>
No. 380822 ID: 338c67

Harumda is gaurding the door. I made sure to tell him not to enter, and to force anyone else to knock. I studied diligently, avoiding staring at Rose with great difficulty.

(Sera has made progress on mastering White Magic.)
(Sera has learned a new spell: Heal.)

Now then...

"Uhm, Rose. Can you help me out of this leather?" I ask quietly. I see the sparkle in her eyes and sigh. "I need out of it in case the new mutation pops out somewhere unexpected."

"Mmmhm." she purrs, sidling over to sit behind me. She unzips the back slowly, fingers gently touching the line of my spine.

"Rose..." I mumble.

"Sorry, sorry. I can't help myself." she says, peeling it away and off. And this time, the embarrassment of her eyes on my naked body is even worse from the lack of alcohol. I sigh.
"Wait, you're gonna ditch those wings?"

"er... Yeah, why?"

"Keep them. Please. They're cute."

"..." I chuckle. "Alright."

But I summon the power forth, and let it touch and warp me, my extra ears quivering and changing shape, reforming, shifting, growing... A dull pain touches me, and I whimper...

And then Rose giggles and hugs me tightly.

"It's adorable! It's so adorable!" she manages, and holds up a mirror.

I reach up and touch the miniature white wings on my head and sigh.
>>
No. 380823 ID: 7c31d2

Well, at least you have built in air conditioning now.
>>
No. 380824 ID: 3d19dd

...

Keep 'em.
>>
No. 380837 ID: f70e5e

they provide shade and can fan your head, that's nothing to sneeze at. might as well keep them for now, you can muddle them later.
>>
No. 380842 ID: 44766a

They also make you look slightly less demonic. Keep 'em.
>>
No. 380926 ID: 3947e9

At least swap the stunted back wings for functional large back wings... explain to rose that you want to fly and these wings are too small. And you know you can get bigger ones. Although if you do get regeneration while muddling back wings then KEEP IT as its better and rare then wings.

Also people don't care THAT much about demons, but DO about mutations in general... And angels are known to exterminate all humans because of their innate sinfulness.
>>
No. 380928 ID: 338c67

She nuzzles closer to me, oddly clingy.

And then the question occurs to me.

"Rose... Who did you visit?" I ask.

She backs away a little, ears turning on her head as she thinks. She avoids eye contact, and for the first time since I met her, even looks a little self-conscious, arms rising to cover her breasts.

"You'll meet them eventually, I promise." she says softly.

"..."

"I mean it." she adds. "I can't tell anyone about them. Not yet."

"When can you?"

"I... I don't know."

Suddenly there's a knock on the door.

"Dreanin here for a miss Sera." rumbles an amused voice. "All ladies make themselves decent in ten... nine..."

"oh for god's sake" Rose mutters, pulling on a robe.
"six... Five... four..."

I groan, wings reflexively wrapping around my shoulders, clasping in the front. It... Well, it's adequate.

"two... one..."

Rose opens the door, and I see a grinning Dreanin smiling at me. Rose looks at him for all of three seconds, then shuts the door.

"Aww, Rose, don't be like that..."

"I need to get dressed, bozo! And so does Sera!"

She looks over at me, raising an eyebrow. I nod, pulling on the suit - which I've modified again to have two more openings on the back that I can button more snugly shut. Rose, however, pulls on her tee, a heraldic image printed on the front, and her pants, sliding into her boots with ease before finally opening the door again as I'm pulling on my own footwear.

Dreanin smiles, lifting the hat from my head and placing it on his.
"Thanks." he says, tapping the top with a grin. "That was some right looney shit you pulled back there. Looney enough that I think a plan that's been rattling about in my skull fell out and wants some air."

I raise an eyebrow.

"Remember when I told you about the salt flats?" he asks. "I was thinking maybe I wasn't thorough enough."

"Oh, no. Dreanin, you're often stupid enough to damn near fall into the Bowels -"

"not my fault the wagon lost it's left wheel-"

"Damn near mad enough to nearly attack the ACE OF FUCKING SPADES-"

"look, I knew where he was going and I had a prime opportunity to drop a cliff on him-"

"And close enough to insane to go out to the Salt Flats in the first place, but I'll be damned if I let you take Sera there."

"Now hold on. The last time I went, I went alone." Dreanin clarifies. "But I think Sera's ready for some bigger league stuff, and she's got a nice friend looking out for her. Not to mention, you."

"Me?!" Rose's hair puffs out a little.

"Yes, you. Methinks you noticed how likely this young miss is to find trouble, and you're not gonna let her out of sight."

Rose growls, a real, deep sound from her throat, raising a finger to open a rebuttal...

But finds none.
"You're right."

"What do you say, Sera?" Dreanin asks. "We can leave whenever you like, I got nothing to really worry about."
>>
No. 380932 ID: 3947e9

1. What exactly do you want to go do?
2. If it can wait, can we take some days to relax, study spells, finish muddling mutations, etc.
>>
No. 380957 ID: beb6d7

if they don't mind letting you finish learning all of these spells and reading all of the non-spell stuff and experimenting around with 'em a wee bit, sure.
>>
No. 380964 ID: f70e5e

does he man he want to clear out the cultist around the salt flats? unless he has at least a rough idea of how strong they are I would advise against it, and if he does have an idea and there numbers are in the three figure range no way could we take them unsupported.
>>
No. 380967 ID: 18e515

It sounds like Dreinan's plans are stupidly ambitious and he got out there more due to luck in how they failed than anything else. What happened the last time Dreinan went into the Salt Flats?

But let's hear his newest plan for the Salt Flats. If it is too outrageous we can still say no. But a few questions I expect to have answers for are 'how to deal with angels', 'how to deal with angel worshipers', 'where and how we get supplies', and most important 'who's boss' and 'how do we get back'.
Additionally I want to spend some time in Jamestown. Learn what Jamestown has to offer and spend time with Rose. There should be a lot of fighters here. Sera should look around and find some mages to talk shop with.

Also what are our time constraints. A few weeks till the train runs again. The whiskey delivery goes with the next train, no work required from Sera. A week till we have decide on an armor. Have I forgotten anything?

Another thing the Jamestown job was worth 500 a week or so ago. Do we get the money even if we haven't officially taken the job?

I know Rose told you the back wings are cute, but you shouldn't keep them just because Rose thinks them cute. Is it really worth to look cute to Rose if it endangers yourself? Remember Rose liked you before the back wings just fine already.
Test the back wings out thoroughly. See if they are a hindrance when running, doubling(like rabbits), jumping and rolling on the ground. We know, they aren't good enough to fly, but do they allow gliding?
>>
No. 380968 ID: 7c31d2

You know, with the headwings and the backwings, you might be able to fly now if you wear light clothing! You should take some time to find out Sera.
>>
No. 380971 ID: 3d19dd

>>380967
>he got out there more due to luck in how they failed than anything else

I've had it explained to me that Dreanin is confirmed to have a literal luck stat of 0.

That said, I agree that we should hear this plan, but take it with a grain of salt. Dreanin has this weird John Constantine quality to him and I wouldn't be surprised if he has a track record of getting his friends killed.
>>
No. 381119 ID: 3e41eb

"A week."

"huh?"

Dreanin blinks.

"I need a week to prepare. To get ready, learn what I need to learn." I say. "Then I'll be ready to head out. What are we going there for, anyway?"

"Remember how I said you can find huge boats out there?"

"Yeah." I nod. "It was an ocean, before..."

"Well, look at this."

He hands me a small device - the screen no bigger than my palm. Dates, names of things - mostly munitions and guns if I'm reading it right. All pre-calamity.

"What is it?"

"A shipping manifest. A boat was heading out, carrying everything you see there."

"This... This is a fortune." Rose says quietly. "All that ammo and weapons... An army could run for years on it."

"And some magic weapons, too. Power armor. I have no idea where it was going or why. There's just one problem."

"What's that?" I ask.

"The last item."

I scroll all the way down and blink.

"What symbol is that, on the weight for that salt?"

"Tons." Dreanin supplies.

Rose stares at him quietly.
"You're planning to talk to Blue Shield about it."

He nods.
"I need a safe place for Fidget. They've the safest. They get the location, Fidget gets a home."

"They'll ask you to go with the exploratory party to verify."

"I'll do it." he says, without thinking. "I won't even ask for the weapons in the ship. I figure if anyone can handle those angels, it's them. And if they are properly supplied..."

Rose sits on the bed heavily.
"This is pretty big."

Dreanin chuckles.
"Well, then. You still up?"

I think for a moment.
"See me in a week as agreed." I say. "I'll answer you then."

"Alrighty. Sweet dreams." he says, waving and walking out.

Harumda watches us expectantly for a few minutes.

"You too. Guard the door." I add.

"Awww." he mutters, walking out and slowly closing the door behind him.

"That man... Rrrrgh! One of these days, he's going to kill someone I care about!"

"...What do you mean?" I ask.

"Don't you know?" she asks. "Anyone who pals around with him long enough dies. He's been through more'n ten, by my count."

I blink. "Anyway. Enough being a sourpuss bookworm~ It's been so long. Let's have some fun, Sera." she says, kissing my neck again and purring, tail lashing at the air impatiently.

I know, I know. There's a lot I need to do...

But the way she feels when she insistently pushes and kisses and touches... Nnnngh...
>>
No. 381121 ID: f70e5e

you do have an entire week ahead of you, just saying. by the way, you might want to wait till you leave to pick up the armor if your going to be messing with your mutations at all.
>>
No. 381123 ID: 1854db

>>381119
It's not like that fun will take all day... and she wants it. Be nice.
>>
No. 381126 ID: beb6d7

oh, go on then. you earned it. just don't spoil yourself too much, mkay?
>>
No. 381137 ID: ef9681

Yeah, it's only a problem if she does it constantly and you never get to your learning. But that seems unlikely.
>>
No. 381138 ID: 3d19dd

Damn felines and their heat.

DEW EET.
>>
No. 381139 ID: 3947e9

There is a lot to do... right now number 1 on that list is Rose.
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No. 381142 ID: cbf78a

Even if she wanted to say no, I'm not entirely confident she could. Also, do it!
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No. 381244 ID: c53845

I turn to Rose with a sheepish smile, kissing her lipss as my hands curl around her waist. She's a lot softer than I remember, warmer. She lets me push her back, onto the bed, with a grin.
"So, did you do any shopping~?" she asks, gently kissing my neck, fingers sliding along the leather undersuit around my thighs.

"I, uh. Yeah. There's a suit of dualcroc I was thinking of getting... But it'll probably take up most of my b-budget."

"Mmmm. It's worth getting." she says, fingers sliding up my waist. "Tell you what, I'll spot you for half of it. On one condition."

"Wh-what's that?"

"Let me dismantle this suit. While you're wearing it."

"I... Uh... o-okay. W-what will I wear?"

"I have some extra clothes." she says softly, and I notice, for the first time, that she has claws, slowly tracing the stitching that secures the plates of hard leather to the more supple undersuit. Then she gently pushes.

Pop-pop-pop-pop. The stitches part under her claw, and before long, the plate on mt shoulder is removed, followed by the other. her hands slide along the now bare-feeling shoulders, to remove the plates from my elbows and wrists with care. It feels so strange, to have it be carefully pulled apart while I'm wearing it. The chest plate comes off just as easily as the rest. My heart is beating faster and faster as the hip plates are slowly pulled away, then finally, the shins, leaving me in a leather bodysuit as she slowly traces the seams with her finger. "Good quality leather." she purrs, pulling off my boots and gently touching the curves of my foot. "You shop well. Or maybe you're lucky. Either way, I have a plan for this..." she says.

"A plan?"

She nods, fingers tracing the line of the seam up along my side, and down my arm. She smiles, popping the seam there and grasping the rough thread. Slowly, she pulls it from each hole, the sleeve opening wider and looser as she approaches my elbow.
"Yep. I'm gonna recycle this material for your wings. Some leather will help them turn knives, though with this much, it'll be barely better than nothing..." she mutters, the sleeve loose on my arm as she reaches my armpit and continues. "or, I could make it into a bag, or something..." she goes on, touching my bared side as the seam opens on the side of my chest. "Or maybe I'm just looking for excuses to strip you creatively." she adds, as the seam opens on my hips. Her touch on these places where it's so rare send little shocks through me. I don't know why I'm so sensitive, I just... can't help it. I manage a nod as the seam opens on my thigh, then knee, then finally ends on my ankle. Rose traces the line from the ankle to my wrist with slow, gentle kisses. "I have you all night~. I want it to last." she murmurs happily.

On the same side that has been opened on the lower side of my arm, she starts to pull apart the top seam on my sleeve, seperating it in halves, carefully and metiulously. When it finally opens at my neck, I start feeling pretty bare. "Shhh, stay still." she murmurs, taking her time in the other three seams, giggling happily as she finally finishes the inseam last. The suit rests in halves atop and under my body, as Rose pulls off her boots and clambers onto the bed, knees on either side of my hips. She peels away her shirt, breasts bouncing slightly. "You can move now." she purrs.

I sit up, feeling the suit fall away slowly, baring me to her as my hands slide over her breasts and she leans down to kiss me, one hand undoing her jeans and peeling them off hastily along with her panties. The feeling of her soft fur on my skin is so wonderful, I can't really begin to describe it - a moan, unbidden, issues from my lips as her hand caresses one of my breasts. She pulls the half-suit away from between us, and our wet places grind together briefly, making me whimper in anticipation. her lips find my neck, and again, we touch.

A steady rhythm emerges, and in the pleasure, things fade and come to crisp sharpness. The look on her face as our moans match one another's, mouth open, eyes closed, body arched against mine. The feeling of her weight atop me, both heavy and comforting. The warmth of her body. The sound of her roar as the climax touches her. The blankness of my own. Exhausted, we slump together, and I stroke her mane and back, slow and long touches that make her purr even as she looks half-asleep.

There's so much to do, so much to prepare for - but for now... I think I'll watch Rose sleep for a while, while I pull the blanket over us.

That sounds nice. Yeah. I'll just rest my eyes for a bit.

---[Discontinuity]---
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No. 381245 ID: c53845

>>381244
Thread completed!

Sera is now level 3.

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