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448327 No. 448327 ID: 2ad11a

“Sabby!”

Mom’s calling me.

“Are you awake?”

I’ve been awake all night. I haven’t been able to sleep, like, for a week.

“Sabby?”

You see, my wedding’s in a few days.

“Sabhaxlia!”

And this might be my last morning with my parents.

“Sabhaxlia Tashikoxix! Are you still sleeping?”

Because I’m running away. I’m not going to get married to him. I don’t know what it will do to my family, but I just. Just. I am not spending the rest of forever stuck to a buttjerk.

“Do I have to come wake you up?”

Does she? This might be one of mom’s last memories of me. I’m not sure what kind of final impression to make. I could answer her. Maybe I can just pretend to sleep. I wish she’d just go away entirely.
Expand all images
>>
No. 448328 ID: 8be69f

Tell her to go away. Also show us your bewb.
>>
No. 448329 ID: d6c330

IF you're planning on running away, your odds of escape improve if no one knows anything is wrong until it's too late.

Is the running necessary though? Calling off the wedding, refusing to say "I do", telling your family how you feel, etc. aren't options? This is some kind of arranged marriage you aren't allowed to back out of?
>>
No. 448330 ID: a36e1d

No way, man. If you open that door she's gonna drag you down and it would be way harder to escape. Are there any windows in your room?
>>
No. 448332 ID: bf54a8

everything must seem normal until the last minute.
>>
No. 448334 ID: e2fe12

Oh man, you need to marry that goofy guy.

Quick - build a rope out of bedsheets and escape from the window.
>>
No. 448339 ID: e3f578

So divorce ISN'T an option here?
Why don't you run away after the wedding? At least then you get free food.
What happens if you just go to the alter and the priest asks "If you'll take his hand" and you just say, "No, I don't." or if you could have some people object to this marriage once the guy asks why this couple shouldn't be wed.
You could have someone yell out then, unless the dude your marrying has powerful crime connections and can kill everyone you love and care about.

I mean, there's a bunch of ways to throw off a forced wedding. Completely ruining the ceremony for one. No doubt you'll have children in the family there, from your side at least, pay them off with candy to completely fucking destroy everything. Better yet, if you can convince the groom's side of children to destroy shit too it should minimize consequences for your family, should the groom be dangerous. Then really what you have to do is avoiding signing the wedding certificate, which you then can destroy in front of everyone.

Girl, get creative here, running away is the BORING option to solve this, and then you'll have people looking for you and if the dude has some connections bad shit can go down. At least if we ruin the ceremony and destroy everything religious and legal about it, then you can't be wed.
>>
No. 448345 ID: 2ad11a
File 134608248255.png - (90.57KB , 750x750 , 2.png )
448345

>> Tell her to go away.
>> IF you're planning on running away, your odds of escape improve if no one knows anything is wrong until it's too late.

Well, those two match up just fine. If I tell mom to go away she’ll just think I’m being lazy old me.

“I’m awake mom, seriously, c’mon!” I hear her footsteps outside the door. Ugh.

“Breakfast is getting cold! You can lay in bed all day after you’re married!”

My mom seriously just said that. I think I’m gonna barf just a bit, okay.

>>Is the running necessary though? Calling off the wedding, refusing to say "I do", telling your family how you feel, etc. aren't options? This is some kind of arranged marriage you aren't allowed to back out of?

Of course it’s arranged, but it’s more than that. Like, five generations ago my family was THE family, okay. We owned basically everything. Today? We’ve got a manor full of empty rooms. That’s about it.

Oh, and I’m one of the two still-living members. Everyone else is ghosts. Basically, if I don’t get married? Poof, the family falls apart. My fiance’s part of House Geofahn, okay? If I marry him, then poof, again, my family is suddenly back in power.

And I just. Don’t. Care about that.

I don’t want to save a dying family, okay? I don’t want that weight on my back.

>>448339

That’s almost tempting, but House Geofahn is huge, and my fiancé isn’t really anyone of importance. Like, the most I could do is maybe make us both miserable. I think I can hope for a bit more in life than that.

>>Quick - build a rope out of bedsheets and escape from the window.

I don’t think running into the swamps naked is going to be a good start to that. When I run, people are going to come after me. I mean, look, I’m not going to lie, okay. They won’t be very happy people. This is going to be a Scandal.

My fiance’s family is gonna be angry, and they’ll probably want me killed, okay? This is a pity marriage they’re stooping to and they aren’t going to be okay with me throwing it back in their faces.

There’s a town nearby, and I have a friend there who can help me get supplies, but I need to get there first. I don’t think my parents will let me go there that easily.

“Sabhaxlia!”

And mom’s still outside the door. I can join her for breakfast, I guess, if I want her to think everything is normal. I’ll still need an excuse to go to town and pick up whatever it is I’m going to need. Or I guess I can start a fight with her and just storm out of the house. That’s normal enough. I mean, I could just leave, too, without having breakfast, and that’d be kind of normal enough, although mom will be more angry than usual.
>>
No. 448346 ID: 8be69f

You should eat breakfast and then storm out. You need food so you don't get all noodly. Also show us ur bewb.
>>
No. 448349 ID: a36e1d

Oh, well, sure, I guess. Before you go, though, do you have small pointy things in your room, or other things that may be useful for running away? 'Cause you could hide stuff under your clothes. You do have clothes around here, right?
>>
No. 448350 ID: fa9f7e

>>448346
We already saw her sidebewb

Show us ur nipples


So, got any allies you could stay with who wouldn't tell Mom?

And why is the buttjerk a buttjerk?
>>
No. 448352 ID: e2fe12

Say you'll be down in a minute, but actually get back into bed.
>>
No. 448353 ID: d6c330

Food seems a good idea. You're going to need the energy, especially if you haven't been sleeping. And food could become a problem in the future, so eat up now.
>>
No. 448357 ID: d94e2c

Clothes are important.
>>
No. 448369 ID: 2ad11a
File 134608856764.png - (154.66KB , 750x750 , 3.png )
448369

>>And why is the buttjerk a buttjerk?

Buttjerks are buttjerks. Why is the sky gray? Why are puddles wet?

>>Clothes are important.

Well, yeah. I’m not really going to go upstairs naked or anything dumb like that. I only have two pairs of clothes, and only one isn’t ripped and frayed, so I guess I’m going with that. I guess if I’d been born a couple generations earlier I’d have an outfit for every day of the year, but, well.

>>Oh, well, sure, I guess. Before you go, though, do you have small pointy things in your room, or other things that may be useful for running away?

Honestly, I’ve got basically nothing. I had a satchel for carrying stuff but I lost that in a pondbutt a while ago. I do have a walking spear, though! It’s out in the foyer. I can pick it up when I leave without any problem. Should I sneak some kitchen knives along with me? I could probably smuggle one out.

My family has been selling almost everything we have to survive, though. I'm not exaggerating, the house is almost completely empty.

>>You need food so you don't get all noodly.
>>Food seems a good idea. You're going to need the energy

That makes sense. I mean, I could always buy food in town, but mom’s food is free. Kind of. I guess I pay the price of having to talk to her. I can do this one more time, though, for sure. Probably.

I get dressed and head upstairs. Mom and dad’s ghost are already waiting. I guess mom already finished eating a while ago? She doesn’t even have any scraps out for herself. Of course. She just wants to use breakfast as an excuse to insult me, doesn’t she? Now I’m going to be trapped here eating listening to everything. Ugh.

I mean, at least it’s meat, and it’s good. It’ll last me for a while, so I won’t be getting hungry until the afternoon. I’ll just. Try to ignore mom while I eat.

“Are you excited?” She asks that every day. Every morning.

“I can’t think about anything else,” I say. I’m trying to keep things normal. That’s the plan, right?

“You look so tired! Are you staying up all night?”

“No, mom.”

“If you need something to help you sleep…”

“No, mom.”

Dad’s ghost butts in. He’s moody today, I guess. “If you are having trouble sleeping you should take some medicine.”

“No, dad.”

Yes, Sabhaxlia. You aren’t going to be falling asleep during your own wedding.”

“If I slept through it, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.”

Dad tries to slam his hands on the table but they don’t really make a noise or anything. “Your attitude—”

My mom stops him from going on a rant. Hurray. “Enough, dear. Sabby, I’m going to need your help today. As soon as you’re done eating let’s go to the family crypt, hmm? We can pick out some nice heirlooms you can wear for the wedding!”

Oh great, mom’s got plans. Great. Look, at the very least, I need to get into town. I have some money, but I have no supplies. I'm not sure what I even need. I don’t—I don’t know where I’m running away to. I might be out in the wilderness for a while. We live at the edge of House Geofahn land, and my fiancé’s family is going to be looking for me once they realize I’m gone. I don’t know anyone who’ll actually hide me, and hiding isn’t good enough.

I need to get myself to a point where no one’s after me, where I’m not in danger. I need to reach a happy-ever-after, okay? I have no idea how to do that yet.

But if I want to keep things normal, and suspicions down, I need an excuse leave, to get to town. Once I’m there—uhm. We can figure out the next steps there.
>>
No. 448370 ID: 8be69f

You need to throw a hissy fit and storm out. Talk about how SHE can pick out the heirlooms by herself because SHE'S the one who wants you to get married and YOU aren't going to watch her do it because it will just make you want to barf.
>>
No. 448371 ID: d6c330

>Buttjerks are buttjerks.
I think we were more interested in what he does that makes him a buttjerk. In what way he is a buttjerk.

>Dad's ghost
...that's not unsettling at all. Is it normal for that to happen? Is your whole extended family going back several generations hanging out in the big empty house?
>>
No. 448376 ID: a36e1d

>Mom’s got plans.
Of course she has plans. Duh.

Okay, how about you start shit with your father? Call him a buttjerk who's all up in arms only because he had to marry a buttjerk too.
>>
No. 448388 ID: e3f578

I'm hesitant on calling Mom a buttjerk. She's seems to have been cordial and tried to keep your father from insulting you, so maybe try not to instigate her. She's just being a regular pushy annoying Mom, this is going to be her last day with you... try and make it a little pleasant at first. Next time she'll see you it'll be at her death bed or you in the morgue.

Pissing off Bill Cosby, Professional Ghost Dad, is fine though. He has been a jerk. Also, buttjerk isn't fancy and it's lamely vulger. Either find a better word or just call them a jerk. Buttjerk is what five-year-olds use. The hell haven't they sold the manor, that should be worth like a million or so, buy a small home nearby and use the funds to start something actually profitable, not sell out your goddamn dignity by whoring off your daughter. Call your Dad nothing but a no-good pimp.
>>
No. 448406 ID: 2ad11a
File 134609484212.png - (180.80KB , 750x750 , 4.png )
448406

>>I think we were more interested in what he does that makes him a buttjerk. In what way he is a buttjerk

He has a doofer face, and he’s just. He’s just a dumbutt. He thinks life is a romance novel, and I mean, like, one of those bad ones. The ones they’re afraid to sell because they’re that stupid, okay. He wants to sweep me off my feet and just hits my head on stuff instead. He’s. A. Buttjerk.

>>...that's not unsettling at all. Is it normal for that to happen?

Well, we wanted to keep dad’s corpse animate, right? But that’s expensive, so we just cut his body up instead. We put a piece in every room of the house so he can be in whatever room he wants. A ghost can only go where its body is, you know? Well, I took his leg out of my room a few years ago. I just couldn’t be okay with the idea of his ghost popping up whenever he wanted.

>>Is your whole extended family going back several generations hanging out in the big empty house?

The ghosts are mostly in the family crypt across the stream, but that’s basically it. There are a few ancestral relics in the house, but it’s getting really hard to wake the ghosts up. See, that’s kind of the problem of the whole marriage deal. With just mom and me, it’s getting really hard to look after all our ancestor’s ghosts. The family’s been in decline for a while as it is, but in the past ten years, like, half our ghosts have died. We can’t take care of them well enough on our own. Marrying into a powerful political house means no more ghosts will die. It’ll save everyone.

And I want that, but not at the cost of my own life. When I die, I’d become a ghost, and I’d still be married to the buttjerk, okay? I mean, we are talking, like, maybe two or three-hundred years together. I can’t do that. I can’t.

I’ve asked mom and dad to find me someone better, but they’re so impressed he’s from House Geofahn they insist he’s the best I’ll ever do. I don’t care how powerful his family is. I just want to be married to someone who isn’t a dumbutt.

>>Okay, how about you start shit with your father?
>>Pissing off Bill Cosby, Professional Ghost Dad, is fine though. He has been a jerk.

This sounds like a good plan. Let’s do it.

I ignore my mom’s offer. “My attitude? What about your attitude, dad? Why is it my fault the family’s dying? You could have sold this manor and we’d be rich again! Why is it my fault you can’t do anything right?”

Dad’s ghost sputters. Mom’s looking away now. Whoops. I might have hit a bit too hard there.

“Seven generations of your ancestors lived and died in this manor, Sabhaxlia Tashikoxix. Should we be the generation that sells that history?”

Like dad’s getting away with that. And besides, this fight is a perfect excuse to leave.

>>Call your Dad nothing but a no-good pimp.
>>Call him a buttjerk who's all up in arms only because he had to marry a buttjerk too.

“You’ve already sold all the furniture! And everything else! Now you want to sell me! You’re just angry you married into a dead family!”

Mom gets in on it too. She’s up on her feet and shouting now. Great. “Sabhaxlia! We are giving you an opportunity for yourself and your entire family!”

Oh thanks mom. “Maybe you should have given me an opportunity to decide if I wanted to take that opportunity!”

This is good. Everyone is standing and shouting now. Our family’s so fragile. Just a little nudge and all the cracks appear. I stomp my way to the foyer with mom right behind me. Dad’s ghost appears in front of the door. I ignore them.

I get my boots on and take my walking spear. I have all my money hidden in my mantle. I walk through dad’s ghost and out into the sunlight.

Mom’s shouting something at me from the doorway but I don’t care. I just shout something back. This is normal. This isn’t suspicious. This is basically a normal day in my terrible life.

The town is about a two hour’s walk north. It’s really early morning, and I probably have until early evening before my parents start getting antsy about me being missing. There’s not much else to do, though.

I could visit the family crypt anyway. It’s about an hour’s walk to the east, across the stream. I mean, would it be entirely wrong to take some of the heirlooms and sell them in town? I don’t have that much money, and my father’s already sold off so much of our family’s “history” I can’t think a bit more would hurt.

But, I mean, maybe that’s being a bit too selfish. Maybe some of the family ghosts are awake, too, and they’d tell my parents what I did. Maybe I’m just really angry. I don’t know. Maybe I should just throw a rock through that window up there.
>>
No. 448411 ID: 762100

don't throw a rock at the window! just go stomping off like you usually might, to somewhere in town. You may not have much money but you shouldn't waste time by going to the crypt. The longer you idle the slimmer your chance for escape becomes, so go get some supplies and find your friend with all due haste, tashi cocksix!
>>
No. 448413 ID: 8be69f

Yeah, don't go to the crypt. Let's just go straight to town and get what we can with what we have.
>>
No. 448418 ID: d6c330

Okay, there's no reason to feel guilty about this. You can't ruin your life and beyond for the benefit of the dead. They have to move on at some point, and you can't keep them in perpetual limbo forever. Yes, it's sad they're moving on, but they're dead already. It's what always has to happen, in the end.

Let's just go. There's no need to desecrate the crypt. Refusing to sacrifice yourself for those dead and gone is one thing, actually defacing their place of rest another.
>>
No. 448423 ID: a36e1d

Okay, no, we got a head start. That's good, let's not waste it. To town! Actually, wait, what sorta people do you know there? Like, is there a chance Prince Charming himself or his buddies would be there? That's sorta a biggie.
>>
No. 448433 ID: 58e163

Head to town, we need as much of a head start as we can get.
>>
No. 448439 ID: 2ad11a
File 134610076575.png - (269.60KB , 750x750 , 5.png )
448439

I’ll skip the crypt, then. That doesn’t sound like a bad choice. I’m not sure if selling a bunch of Tashikoxix heirlooms will make things more suspicious, either. Maybe it’d be too spiteful. I don’t know.

I just head up the road towards town.

The sky is a gentle, flat gray. It’s nice. The humidity is smooshing up against my face all hot and close. It feels like it’s going to rain, but it always feels like that. My mantle isn’t rain-proofed or anything, but, I mean, if it does rain, it’ll be warm during and after. I’m not too worried.

The path takes me into the forest. It’s more elevated here, so the ground isn’t a wet field of moss like it is near the crypt. There’s a solid road to travel, although not many people go this way anymore. It just leads to our manor. No one needs to visit us.

It’s a nice walk to have. I get a lot of my anger out, and I’m too busy to dwell on anything. I’m almost happy!

>>Actually, wait, what sorta people do you know there? Like, is there a chance Prince Charming himself or his buddies would be there? That's sorta a biggie

Oh, oh dear, I hadn’t even thought. I mean, the town is absolutely House Geofahn territory. I don’t think I’m likely to see any of them there, though? I guess I should be a bit cautious maybe?

Oh, and there’s the crossroads already. There’s the beggar’s shrine! Back in life he was just a beggar no one cared about, but, like, when he died? People felt kind of guilty, so they put him up here in a little shrine. Now everyone leaves him some money on their way past.

I like to talk to his ghost sometimes. He’s kind of fun. He had a terrible life, but in death, he’s basically super happy. It’s sort of encouraging.

The road to the right leads up to town, to the main gate. The left road, uh, that leads to town too, but it’s longer and goes through some farms first, and up through a side entrance.

I mean, I still have a lot of time. I don’t think the beggar ghost will tell on me if I decide to wake him up and talk to him. We’re kind of friends. I mean, I could just head on anyway. Right to town or take the long way. I’m feeling in a good mood now.

This will probably be it for tonight! I am yawning forever! We will pick back up tomorrow for sure.
>>
No. 448440 ID: 8be69f

Leave him some dollas and tell him not to tell on you if he doesn't mind not telling on you. Don't tell him your plan or anything just that maybe other people don't need to know you went to town.

Also voting for longer road.
>>
No. 448443 ID: d6c330

Welcome to ghosts are people land.

If he's your friend, you should probably say goodbye. Heck, since they'll eventually question him when they come looking for you, you could even leave a message for your family with him, since you can't afford to say goodbye in person.
>>
No. 448447 ID: a36e1d

Yeah, sure, drop him some dosh and chat him up a little. Ask if he saw anyone coming this way today.

You know, it would be pretty bad if someone saw you in town. What are the chances you'd skip it altogether and go somewhere else? Where else could you go that isn't the town?
>>
No. 448450 ID: b85f8c

>>448439
How do ghosts die, anyway? I say talk to the beggar.

Go via the longer road. Less chance for people to see you that you don't want to see you.
>>
No. 448451 ID: 58e163

If we're on good terms with him, it might be a good idea to say our goodbyes. Leave some money and have a chat. He might be one of the few things we miss about this place.
>>
No. 448467 ID: 2b2d4e

I say chat up the ghost, tell him your story and how you're going out on your own.

I feel bad suggesting this, but he does have a lot of money there. Would he go all vengeful if you took a little?
I mean, it's probably a very bad idea, but it would be nice if you emphasized that you'll be on very hard times. He might take pity on you and offer you some to use, so you don't live as terrible a life as he did.
>>
No. 448589 ID: 6a1ec2

Compliment him on his haul. Then share a bit of your terrible life, not too much info just the upsetting stuff. That should make him amenable to you taking some of the donation, as you're in a spot of trouble, and it's clear he doesn't have much use for it anymore. Or ability to remove it. Beggar rule #1 is if there's too much in your bowl then nobody will leave any more. Rule #2 is always help out your friends.
>>
No. 448612 ID: 69fbf9

You should talk to this ex-beggar about your situation. He might have some solid advice.
Moreover, you should spend some time putting some thought into said situation.
How well do you know your groom to be? How much time have you spent with him? Is there really anything negative about him other than being a corny doofus?
Maybe you should go underground and stalk him a while before you make up your mind for certain. Spy on him. Get an idea of what he does when nobody but his friends are looking.
The alternative, what you're doing right now, will most likely only lead to a life of sorrow, misery, and victimization.
>>
No. 448757 ID: 593904
File 134617205771.png - (290.07KB , 750x750 , 6.png )
448757

>>How do ghosts die, anyway?

Pfft, I dunno. The more attention a ghost gets the healthier it is, I guess, right? But mom and I tried to keep all the family awake and talking and we still lost a bunch. I just know that, once a ghost is dead, that’s it, soul’s gone. It’s going to happen eventually, someday, to everyone, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck.

I’m basically dooming my whole family to oblivion, but, like, let’s get off that topic because seriously. It’s almost a decent day right now. Let’s go wake up the beggar and have a chat.

I don’t have very much money but I drop a Tashikoxix coin into one of his bowls. My family’s currency is basically worthless these days but I don’t think he’ll mind.

His ghost is already next to me. He’s might as well be naked for what nothing he’s wearing, but he’s a beggar so he gets away with it.

“Sabby! What brings you around?”

>>Don't tell him your plan or anything just that maybe other people don't need to know you went to town.

“Just heading up to town again, you know? Thought I’d stop by. Uh, keep it a secret, okay?”

He gives me a saucy wink. “Heehee, are we not supposed to be in town today?”

“Well, not really. I’m supposed to be helping mom but we got into another fight.”

He looks at my spear. “Oh, you didn’t kill her, did you?”

Pffft. He’s joking, and, like, look, I appreciate it. We laugh. It’s been a few days since I did that, I think?

>>If we're on good terms with him, it might be a good idea to say our goodbyes.
>>If he's your friend, you should probably say goodbye.

“Well, no, mom’s alive and fine as always. Uhm. Hey, so look, I might not be coming past here again for a while, okay? So this might be good-bye. Uh. You’ve always been fun to chat with, so, I wanted to say good-bye if I don’t get the chance to talk to you again.”

He doesn’t let any good-byes damper his spirit. “Marriage dragging you away?”

I’ve told him a bit about it before. “Well, yeah.”

He gives me A Look. “You don’t seem dressed for a marriage. Your parents aren’t here. And you’re saying good-bye now?”

Uhm. “Well, it might not be appropriate later and uh…”

He’s not buying it. He’s a beggar, of course he isn’t going to buy it. “Sabby, you’re running away, aren’t you?”

>>I say chat up the ghost, tell him your story and how you're going out on your own.
>>Then share a bit of your terrible life, not too much info just the upsetting stuff.
>>You should talk to this ex-beggar about your situation. He might have some solid advice.

“…yeah. I don’t even know if I’m going back home again or not. I’m headed to town to pick up… supplies.” Saying it out loud makes me realize how unprepared this all was.

The ghost beggar sits down in front of his corpse. It’s so weird to see him doing the same pose. “Running away! Is this really what you want?”

“I know the marriage is what I don’t want.”

“So what’s your plan?”

Ouch. Of all the questions to ask me. “I don’t have one yet. I’m going to!”

He spreads out his arms. “Heehee! You can stay here with me! We can be best-beggar-friends.”

I’m pretty sure he isn’t serious. Pretty sure. “I’m going to the town to buy some things. I have a merchant friend who can help me.”

“So what are you buying?”

“Uh…”

“Do you have enough money?”

“Uhm…”

If this were my dad or mom he’d get that disappointed look, but he just laughs. “You’re going to be rotting in a ditch tonight, aren’t you? Relax, hey.” He reaches over to a bowl of money and… tries to pass it to me. He can’t actually touch it, though. “Heehee, I don’t go shopping very much anymore. Fill yourself up.”

Oh my goodness. This is actually a lot that he’s offering me. I fill my mantel’s hidden pocket with House Geofahn coins. I’ll figure out how much money I have later.

“So you’re serious about this?” he asks.

I nod. I am. I am pretty sure I am, right?

>>… what you're doing right now, will most likely only lead to a life of sorrow, misery, and victimization.

I’m. I’m making the right decision. I know I am. This is my only option, I know it is. “I’m serious.”

“Heehee. Oh boy. Okay, sit down, and let’s talk.”

I kneel down and we talk.
>>
No. 448758 ID: 593904
File 134617209799.png - (226.69KB , 750x750 , 7.png )
448758

For the next, like, half-hour, he tells me all the advices. How to sleep in a forest without getting eaten by something. What to do if there’s a flood. What plants to not walk through. How to steal food from a farm without getting caught. It’s a bunch of unrelated, random advices, but I feel like they’re really helping. If I have to go off the road at some point, I think I’ll do a lot better now.

Eventually, I have to stop him. “I need to get going. If I’m not back by evening, my parents will know something’s up, so I’m on a time limit here.”

“So soon? Well, well.” He stretches. I don’t think ghosts actually need to stretch.

>>Heck, since they'll eventually question him when they come looking for you, you could even leave a message for your family with him

I’m going to ask him. “Hey, uh, if my parents come around looking for me sometime? And they talk to you? Can you tell them that I’m sorry? I’m not doing this because I want to hurt anyone. I just… want my own life.”

He nods. “If they even think of talking to me, I’ll pass it on, and tell them the wrong way to look. Gotcha. I have one more super-secret advice for you, too. It’s the biggest and best advice I can give to you. But it’s secret, okay? And I can’t give it for free.”

He’s got this look in his foggy ghost-face like I don’t know what. “For what, then?”

“We might not see one another again, right? And what I’ll tell you will save your life. Sooo I’ll tell you if you show me some bewb.”

Is he serious? I can’t tell. Is he ever not joking? Even if it’s a joke, I’m not sure I want to do this.

His advice has all been really useful, though. And he’s a ghost, it isn’t like he can do much more than look. Am I okay with him doing that, though?
>>
No. 448760 ID: c31f72

Well, its not like you'll be coming back and whatever he might have to say could be important.
Go ahead and show him some bewb.
>>
No. 448763 ID: d6c330

Okay, the ghost beggar is kind of awesome. And a little bit of a perv.

Give him an odd look, and then laugh. Because this is silly. Off with the shirt. He's been dead for years, might as well give him one last fun memory. And what the hell, it doesn't hurt you any.
>>
No. 448764 ID: 4a328b

If it was any other ghost, you would not show bewb. This guy, though? Do eet~
>>
No. 448765 ID: 907880

First, ask if he's joking, just to be sure. There's no point in going ahead if he's joking.

If he's serious... I honestly don't see what harm it can do, but we still don't know enough about ghosts. Can you think of any situations, or even any stories or legends, where doing this would be a bad idea? Could this give him some sort of control over you? Could he pull out a ghost camera (if you know what that is) and take a picture? Do you have any reason to believe he'd use this as blackmail material later - for your family, if not for you?

The request seems kind of weird... but if his advice has been good so far, this last piece might actually be as important as he says. And being a beggar, he might not have seen many naked women in life, much less in death, which could be kind of disappointing if he's into that sort of thing.

Is it normal for ghosts to be interested in sex, nudity, and so on, or does that usually stop when they die (for the first time)? What do all the dead married couples in your house do for all those centuries? Have you asked?

If you're comfortable doing this, or if you think the advice could be worth it, go ahead. If not, don't. I think this one's up to you.

If you do agree, though, check the woods first to make sure no one else is watching.
>>
No. 448767 ID: 762100

He's basically been the most helpful ghostbro, giving you advices and super monies and such. Showing some boob is demeaning, sure, but being a ghost as he is, the chance to see a good boob every now and again isn't a very oft-occuring event. You could probably grant him this boon in exchange for life-saving secret. Even if he is just yanking yer chain, it's not a very harmful thing. Show some bewb.
>>
No. 448768 ID: 907880

Wait, wait. I just realized something. This guy is dubiously sane but full of helpful advice, interested in the world but detached from it, incorporeal but talkative, and the only things he wants are to help the heroine and to see her naked.

He's one of us.
>>
No. 448769 ID: c31f72

... Can we bring the bro hobo with us?
>>
No. 448770 ID: fa9f7e

>>448763
Yep
>>
No. 448771 ID: 762100

>>448769

Yes YES take the ghost with you I mean you just need a part of his preserved body right? It doesn't have to be goodbye and he can keep helping you out like a true bro. Well, if he wants to.
>>
No. 448772 ID: dc4a44

bewbs...

we really are a predictable lot, eh?
>>
No. 448774 ID: 907880

>>448771
If you did want to bring him with you, how big a piece of his corpse would you need to take? Would a toe be enough? A flake of mummified skin?
>>
No. 448780 ID: 593904
File 134617675653.png - (183.42KB , 750x750 , 8.png )
448780

>>448765

Well, ghosts can do things, lots of things, but showing your chest to them isn’t, like, that isn’t a thing that gives them power, I don’t think.

>> Is it normal for ghosts to be interested in sex, nudity, and so on

I’m pretty sure mom and dad’s ghost have sex. Somehow. I. I’m not sure I want to know how. When some people die they also just keep their corpses together and animate, and you can have sex like that pretty easily.

Uhm. Sex and nudity are kind of big deals though. Normally, traditionally, the only person who should ever see you naked is your husband or wife. But, I mean, I’m already breaking tradition by running away, right? So what’s one more taboo to break? And for him, too, right? He’s a good guy.

I pull up my shirt.

He reacts like I just ruined a joke or something. He’s up on his feet and like, he isn’t even looking at my chest. “Stupid girl. Listen. You’re going to be a stranger, do you get that? No one will care about you. If you’re offered hospitality, it’s because someone will want something of you. No one’s going to pity you. At best they’ll give you a few scraps to feel better about themselves. This life you’re choosing for yourself, it’s too dangerous to be this gullible.”

I try to—I try to say something. He doesn’t let me.

“If you get sick, if you starve, they’ll throw you out of their town for bothering them. If you’re fortunate they’ll prop your corpse up in a shrine and make you a local attraction. They’ll pass by and throw you a coin because it’s funny. You’ll spend the next fifty years desiccating in a forest and maybe someone friendly will come by. Eventually they’ll be gone too.”

I don’t—I’m not sure what to—

“You’ll say good-bye, and then sit out the next hundred years alone, waiting for your ghost to die. You have the opportunity to have a better life than me. Don’t ruin it.

He steps back and sits down, his ghost resting against his corpse.

I always thought he was happy here. I guess he was just pretending? Is he jealous of me? I… feel so sorry for him now. His ghost is bound to his corpse. I mean, he… basically can’t get more than a few feet away from any part of his body.

I’m not sure what to say. What to do.

>> ... Can we bring the bro hobo with us?

I… could do that. I could cut off a finger or hand or so and bring him with me. He wouldn’t need to be trapped here. He could even help me, a whole bunch. Like, there are things a ghost can do to help you!

>> If you did want to bring him with you, how big a piece of his corpse would you need to take? Would a toe be enough? A flake of mummified skin?

Any solid body part would work, but the bigger piece I take the more powerful his ghost will be. The more difficult it’d be to carry, too, but I’m sure I could get something in town for that.

This is entirely possible. It’d be really easy.

The only question is, am I sure I want to bring him along with me?

His ghost can rest in the relic I take, so he wouldn’t need to be walking around with me all the time, and his ghost can still manifest at his corpse here, too, so he isn’t stuck with me. But, I mean. We’ve talked a bunch, but I don’t know him that well. It’s a big decision.

I’m pretty sure he’d come along if I asked him, though.
>>
No. 448781 ID: 8be69f

Goastbro bewbwatcher needs to be your travelfriend. 100% travelbro pal. Take like, something relatively inconspicuous. Like his thumb? Too much will be super suspicious. Is a thumb good enough for decent ghoastpower?
>>
No. 448782 ID: 886a4d

Ask if he wants to travel with you... it might not be something he wants to do.
>>
No. 448783 ID: 762100

ghostbro has thrown off his mask and shown us his Auron-tier bitterness! Well, now it is probably even more important to take him since he seems pretty lonely and bitter and also you literally have no idea what you are doing and he is the most pro. Also having some company when you are about to ostracize yourself from your family can't hurt.
>>
No. 448784 ID: d6c330

Man. Failing tests is so much fun, innit?

Sigh. Let your shirt drop back down.

I'm sorry. I guess I never really understood what you went through. And I am stupid and ignorant here. Maybe getting myself killed and rotting on a road for a hundred years isn't a great fate. ...but I know I can't spend a hundred with him.

...ask him if he'd like to come along. You could probably use the help, and maybe he'd like something else to do than be the local attraction.
>>
No. 448785 ID: 4a328b

Ask if he will come with you. You can probably take a whole arm--carry it in a sheath or something. Really, Beggar-bro seems way better to tote around than any of YOUR ancestors.
>>
No. 448786 ID: 907880

Well, I think he was right about that being the most important advice. Maybe we should have expected that.

This brings up another question, though: how much do people move around in your country? Is it possible to travel to another place where nobody knows you, find work, and eventually be accepted as part of the community - or do people just stay with their families, or their spouse's families, until the end of time? Do you know of anyone nearby who became a part of a community without being born there or marrying into it?

If it really is as impossible to find a new home as the ghost makes it sound... You might want to rethink running away. There's got to be a better way to escape this marriage than by becoming a homeless vagrant for the rest of eternity.
>>
No. 448787 ID: 533c7a

go across the sea, to a land with creatures different from you. they will find you exotic.
>>
No. 448791 ID: 735f4f

Hey we are young and stupid. There is no reasoning with us. Until we are starving in the woods or getting murder raped by murder hobos we wont learn our lesson. So onward to our demise.
>>
No. 448807 ID: 593904
File 134618247545.png - (204.09KB , 750x750 , 9.png )
448807

“Uhm.” I pull my shirt back down. “I’m sorry. I didn’t… do you want to come with me?”

His ghost looks up at me. It doesn’t look like he understands what I’m asking. “I can follow about as far as the crossroads! Then you’re on your own! Heehee.”

“I mean, look. I could. Take a finger, or something. From your corpse.”

His face lightens a bit. I mean, literally, his entire ghost-face just got brighter, okay. “You want to multilate my poor body?”

“No—yes, yes. Just a part, so you’ll still be here, at the crossroads, too, right? But you can come along.”

He starts laughing. I… think he’s laughing at me. “What lesson did I just try to teach you about being too trusting?”

Oh come on you jerk. “No! I. You seem so sad being stuck here. If you’re too much of a hassle I can feed your relic to some animals. Bit by bit.”

He slowly stops laughing at me. “You are serious about this? About bringing me along? Do you need my help that badly?”

I stutter. I thought he’d be more happy about this. “Look, I’m running away from everything. And I’m giving you the opportunity to do that too. To not be an attraction for all the people who insulted and—you’re laughing again.”

I think he’s crying, too. I think I just made a ghost cry. “Carve me up, then! Yes. If you die along the way, our ghosts can keep one another company.”

He’s trying to laugh it off but I can see it in his ghostface. I think I might have just given him the best day of his, uh, of his life. Death. Whatever. I kneel at his corpse and get my spear. It’s kind of a hassle, with the long handle and everything, but I manage to get his right thumb off pretty clean. This seems like a good size to have.

I put it into my pocket for now. His ghost disappears and reappears. I think he just realigned himself with the finger. He can follow along within a few feet of me now, return to his corpse at the crossroads, or just go to sleep.

“Shall we take some more money?” he asks, kicking at a bowl of coins. It doesn’t do anything.

“More money would be good, but, like, I am literally out of carry-room right now. You did sort of give me a lot.”

“Heehee! Fair enough. So what is your plan?”

“I know a merchant in town. Maexiks. I was… planning on buying stuff from her. And then… I don’t know.”

>>448786

He gives me a look. “You’re going to need a better plan than that.”

>>go across the sea, to a land with creatures different from you. they will find you exotic.

Well, that’s an idea, but I don’t want to leave my remnant. I mean, it… just sounds too terrifying, okay? I at least know the animals and cultures of this one. I don’t need to sail to some alien land, okay? I… don’t think I want to go that far. That sounds like a last resort.

The beggar watches my thoughts. “Do you have friends to hide you?”

“Only Maexiks…”

“And she lives in a town that your fiancé's family collects taxes from?”

“Yeah.”

“Heehee! You’ve planned this out well.”

I flick his finger through the fabric of my mantle. He doesn’t feel it, though. “We can think of something when we get to town, all right? We… need to worry about what we want to buy before we get there. If there’s anyone from House Geofahn in town we might not want to spend too much time there?”

The beggar nods, at least. Okay. He isn’t terrified by my lack of planning.

“Uhm.” I feel really weird asking this now, but. I mean. I should, right? “So, uh. What’s your name?”

He laughs again. I think taking him along has made him a little bit too happy. “I’ve told you it before.”

“Uhm…” I don’t remember that?

“You were six years old.”

“Oh.”

“Just call me Beggar.”

“Uhm. Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Well… okay.”

I’m taking the long path, left, up to town, to avoid anyone seeing me at the front gate. That was the plan, right? When I get there, I’m going to check up with my merchant friend, and see what I can buy. Before I get there, I need something like a wish list for sure.

I’m not sure where I’m going to be running to, but I’m probably going to be out on my own for a while. I might be out in the wildnerness, no matter where I decide to go. At the very least, I’ll need something to carry things with. A satchel? Maybe? I’m not sure what else. What do I need to survive on my own? What can I carry with me?

This will be it for tonight! I am yawning forever again.
>>
No. 448810 ID: 593904

If we want to talk about running away some more, there is a discussion thread too!

http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/59466.html

It just happened!
>>
No. 448811 ID: 8be69f

You need a tarp, rope, a backpack, a sleeping thing of some kind, a blanket, a knife/hatchet, food and water as very basics. You don't want to carry too much because it will be painful. Water is the biggest deal, and should be the heaviest stuff you have.
>>
No. 448822 ID: e3f578

>>448807
Can I call you Bee? Or BB?
Begger doesn't seem right at all, unless he prefers it. But, well, this will kinda be a new start for him as well. A new name might fit.

Girl, let me tell you of a plan. Change names, look different. You look like you live in a primitive society, blending in will be easy. No one will tell the difference, the longer you're away, the more people will forget your face, the safer you'll be. You may even be able to set up shop somewhere, setting up a business or make a legacy of your own.

One day, very long from now, you'll return. Your parents may be dead but their ghosts around. You can make up then, and show them your new legacy, and teach them that a legacy should be reborn every few generations. That the physical possession of their manor is naught but a weak legacy. All things end, and so must your family. They must accept this. This marriage is a sham, it's life support for a terminal disease. It wasn't going to do anything for their family but rob their dignity. The legacy is not their house, but their stories. A legacy, a legend, that doesn't die, that doesn't end so easily. It can last longer than ghosts. This is mercy killing your family's own weak legacy, it can't stand on its feet anymore. Survival of the fittest. But yet it lives on and can be reborn through you. And it will not be through the graces of House Geofahn, no your House will rise like the Phoenix, of its own accord.

And then we will take our revenge on House Geofahn for trying to kill us, for making us keep one eye open as we sleep. They will burn to the ground in our wake. Now, you may think, how are we going to rise up, make a legacy? Simple, not through plans. No, instinct and adaptation. Plans will come and go, but those are the greatest strengths.
>>
No. 449125 ID: 5d96ed
File 134624799590.png - (252.51KB , 750x750 , 10.png )
449125

>>448811

Okay, then that’s my shopping list.

>>Girl, let me tell you of a plan. Change names, look different. You look like you live in a primitive society, blending in will be easy.

Look, that actually sounds really good. I’m not sure I want to go on some big revenge fantasy against House Geofahn, but just getting some clothes that don’t have my family’s colors on them seems like a good idea. I mean, most of House Geofahn probably doesn’t know my face, but they certainly know my family colors. I’ll put “new clothes” on the shopping list.

Let’s hold off on any long-term escape plans until I’m actually, like, ready to sit down and think about that, though.

>>Can I call you Bee? Or BB? Begger doesn't seem right at all, unless he prefers it. But, well, this will kinda be a new start for him as well. A new name might fit.

I agree. “C’mon, I’m not gonna call you ~Beggar~. I’m sorry I don’t remember your name, but if we’re going to be traveling together…”

He gets another Look. I’m going to have to start figuring out what all these looks mean, aren’t I? I’m only used to seeing angry or disappointed faces. “Well! If you don’t remember it, I don’t remember it either.”

“I'm sorry--”

“I forgot it.”

“Oh.”

“When you’re a ghost, and you’re not being a ghost, you dream. You dream through all your memories. I don’t have many memories I want to dream so I forgot a lot of them.”

“Including your name?”

“I remember telling you my name. The moment's very clear! I have no idea what I said.”

“Oh boy.”

“I think when a ghost dies it’s just forgotten all of its memories.”

“Can you get the memories back?”

“We’ll find out!”

We should really get going. I take the left path, the long road around into town. If there’s any House Geofahn presence in town—and, I mean, the marriage is coming up soon, so I guess it would make sense they’d have some people around—I might avoid being seen.

Beggar’s ghost walks alongside me and we chat. He seems so happy being able to just walk. The forest finally opens up to the flat, wet plains. There are little farms and barns everywhere, and fields of, uhm, what are those. Flower cabbage? Yeah. The farms don’t look too active right now, so I don’t think anyone’s going to notice us.

I can see the town in the distance, over to the right—it sits on an artificial hill, rising up out of the fields. On the road we’re on it’s still maybe an hour away, but I can make out the rise of its wooden walls. I can see colored dots of people walking around, too.

Fortunately, most the colored dots are wearing the town’s gray-blue and green colors. Like, that’s the town’s pattern. I don’t see any dots wearing House Geofahn colors yet. Uhm, that’s strong blue over emerald green, by the way. We want to avoid people dressed like that, okay? We can worry about that later.

The colors I’m worried about are the sky’s. It’s getting a real heavy gray, like, angry. I wasn’t worried about normal day-rain, but this looks like a storm-burst building up. I can feel the tingle on all my fur. Beggar-Ghost notices it too.

We’re out in the farm fields right now. There’s a barn right here, and no one inside, so I think we can duck in for a bit if we want to wait out the storm. These usually don’t last more than an hour; I’ll probably be held up until around shortly after noon if we wait. I could just brave the storm and get to town drenched, though.
>>
No. 449134 ID: 7701ef

>strong blue over emerald green
So like the sign on the barn there? It isn't storming yet, and it's not like there aren't any more farms along the way. Keep going until the storm starts and then find shelter so you would be only a little moist when you reach town.
>>
No. 449140 ID: d6c330

...if you get to town drenched, that's a reasonable excuse to buy a cheap change of dry clothes. You might need an excuse- if the clan colors are important in your culture, it might otherwise stand out that you're buying the wrong ones.

Of course, sabotaging your outfit is easy to do (some tears, falling in a puddle or some mud will do!). You don't need to catch cold in an hour of rain to do it.

Is it normal for people to travel with ghosts? If it's something that will stand out to any great extend, Beggar might want to depoof when we get to town. Especially if the local people know him, and will wonder what the heck he's doing away from his shrine.
>>
No. 449197 ID: 5d96ed
File 134626508510.png - (462.15KB , 750x750 , 11.png )
449197

>>So like the sign on the barn there?

Oh! Oh, no, no, that’s the town colors and symbol. The town’s colors are dark green over dark blue, and House Geofahn is blue over light green! Don’t worry, it’s super easy to keep track of for sure.

>>You might need an excuse- if the clan colors are important in your culture, it might otherwise stand out that you're buying the wrong ones.

That's a good point. But if we buy this all through my merchant friend, I think we can get away with it!

>>Beggar might want to depoof when we get to town. Especially if the local people know him, and will wonder what the heck he's doing away from his shrine.

Whoa! That is actually super smart. I tell him to go back to his body at the crossroads, or go back to sleep for a bit. He agrees it’s probably safer and vanishes. It feels weird being alone again, but if I need him it isn’t really a big deal to call him back.

>>Keep going until the storm starts and then find shelter so you would be only a little moist when you reach town.

That… turns out to not work.

The storm doesn’t give me any warning. The air just turns to water while I’m mid-step. I can’t even see the town anymore. Everything is a blinding screen of hot rain. In a few moments I’m as soaked as I’ll ever be. There’s nothing for it but to keep shuffling along the road.

The rain relaxes to a drizzle by the time I’m climbing the hill into town. The path up is all stone paved, so it isn’t as bad as if it were mud, right? There’s a bunch of soaked dogs hanging around, but all of them are from the town. Nothing to worry about. I get a few odd looks but that’s normal for me.

A lot of the ghosts in this town still remember paying taxes to my family.

I go through a few back alleys until I get near the main part of town. Lots of dogs are soaking wet, too, but my clothes are basically made of water. It’s a warm drenched, but I still feel kind of terrible right now. I hope Beggar’s finger isn’t damaged from all the water.

The market is up ahead. My friend Maexiks has a stall there, so that’s sort of our main destination. There are also a few outdoor food-stands, but I’m still full from breakfast. There’s a big stranger’s inn with a fireplace and all that, but I’m not sure how much more time to waste. Even with the clouds, I’d guess it’s about noon.
>>
No. 449207 ID: 4a328b

First you want to see about getting a waterproof container for Beggar, and get yourself some new clothes, too
>>
No. 449208 ID: 762100

is that a couple of geofahn members coming down the way? Slow down and make sure they aren't heading your way, because you don't want to be seen by them especially buying suspicious amounts of preparatory materials. If they actually notice/hail you and try to talk you up, well, the rain is a pretty good excuse to not want to linger talking to people, so there's that. Why didn't you bring a rain hat? Silly wet, soppy dog pile.
>>
No. 449212 ID: d6c330

>I hope Beggar’s finger isn’t damaged from all the water.
Even with the partial cover of his shrine, his corpse has been exposed to the elements for years, and it rains all the time here. I doubt it will be harmed by water at this point, unless you leave it submerged long enough to come apart. Wrap it in up in a cloth or handkerchief later if you're concerned for the relic's safety.

Merchant's shop seems like a good next stop.
>>
No. 449395 ID: 6e44d2

House Geofahn members rounding the corner right now. They're too close for you to have time to duck out of the way, so just walk with purpose right past them. They're in conversation, so, hopefully, they won't notice you.
>>
No. 449446 ID: 6a1ec2

All you painted dogs look alike anyway so they don't stand a chance at recognizing you.
>>
No. 449499 ID: b33427

Don't look now, but there's two House Geofahn members coming in from your left. Too late to evade them without being super obvious. They're focused on each other, so if you keep moving at the same pace, and make no movements that'd draw their attention, that'll be the best chance to get past without being noticed.

When you get to Maexiks' shop, remember to peek inside to check for more members of House Geofahn before entering. Actually, before then, find someplace to hide that you can scope out the marketplace for members of House Geofahn. With the wedding tomorrow there's bound to be one or two around.

When you get to Maexiks' shop, look into getting a map of the territory, and possibly a compass, if they aren't prohibitively expensive. When you get the water, get two smaller waterskins, with straps, instead of one big one; They'll be easier to handle, and you'll have a backup in case one gets a hole. As for a container for Beggar's thumb, you'll have to see what Maexiks has in stock. A small latched waterproof box, with coarse salt added in to draw out moisture, would work.

Will you have to worry about the town ghosts tattling on you, just to be spiteful towards their old taxers, if someone from House Geofahn asks?

Oh, and are ghosts used to relay messages over long distances, by chopping their corpse up and leaving pieces in either towns or carried? If so, that means House Geofahn will immediately send word out to all their holdings as soon as they realize you've run off. So you won't be able to keep ahead of the news by moving fast.
>>
No. 449525 ID: 266824
File 134632107741.png - (232.49KB , 750x750 , 12.png )
449525

>>Oh, and are ghosts used to relay messages over long distances, by chopping their corpse up and leaving pieces in either towns or carried? If so, that means House Geofahn will immediately send word out to all their holdings as soon as they realize you've run off. So you won't be able to keep ahead of the news by moving fast.

That’s exactly how it works. I mean, that’s why it’s been important to not let on that I’m running away, right? Every House Geofahn member carries at least a dozen corpse relics on them, all day every day.

The moment someone knows I’m running away, everyone knows.

My family doesn’t have any House Geofahn relics, though. If I don’t show up home tonight, my mom will have to wait until morning before coming to town and sending out the alert.

>>Even with the partial cover of his shrine, his corpse has been exposed to the elements for years, and it rains all the time here. I doubt it will be harmed by water at this point, unless you leave it submerged long enough to come apart.

Okay, okay. That’s right. I mean, our culture’s basically built on how well we can preserve our corpses, a little water shouldn’t hurt, right? Even if the skin comes off, the bone will work fine, anyway! I’ll still need to get something safer to carry him around with, though, for sure.

>>Merchant's shop seems like a good next stop.

Yeah, let’s just get it over with—

>>is that a couple of geofahn members coming down the way?
>>House Geofahn members rounding the corner right now.

--whoa wait what?

Oh no oh no that is absolutely a couple of House Geofahn members. Yes, okay, the people in those colors, yes, those are the ones we don’t want to be seen by. I mean, by this point, no one should think I’m running away, but I don’t need unwanted attention either.

>>They're too close for you to have time to duck out of the way, so just walk with purpose right past them.
>>They're focused on each other, so if you keep moving at the same pace, and make no movements that'd draw their attention, that'll be the best chance to get past without being noticed.

With my clothes this wet, my mantle is almost as dark a green as the town’s color. If I don’t make a big deal about passing them, they probably won’t even notice me! They walk right into the open and I just step around behind them. They’re too busy talking to even care! I keep on my way to the market.

>>Actually, before then, find someplace to hide that you can scope out the marketplace for members of House Geofahn. With the wedding tomorrow there's bound to be one or two around.

Good idea. Maexiks only runs an outdoor stall, so I take an extra good luck before going to her.

Maexiks’ stand isn’t hard to find because she’s the only merchant here who isn’t a dog.

She’s a bug person. They don’t have a remnant of their own—their kind just sort of find what homes they can. She can speak our language pretty well, but she’s a merchant, so that isn’t, like, a surprise. When my family still had some money I had a tutor and I learned some of the bug language. I can’t speak it very well, but I can understand it okay.

I’m about the only dog here who can actually talk to Maexiks in her own language, so she and I are friends. Well, acquaintances. Like the Beggar and I. I guess I don’t know anyone well enough to outright call them a friend.

In any case, it’ll let us plan in complete secrecy.

Maexiks greets me as I come up to her. “Sabhaxlia! You actually came.”

I absolutely cannot read Maexiks’ emotions. Even her voice is a sharp, unnatural slurry of noise. I told her I might be coming by, though. I told her I might be running away. I don’t think she actually believed me until now. “Hi Maexiks.”

She twists her head a bit. The spots on her eyes follow me no matter where I stand. “You will need many things.”

Right to it. That’s okay. “I have, uhm, some ideas. A tarp, rope, a backpack, a sleeping thing of some kind, a blanket, a knife/hatchet, food and water as very basics. Uh, two smaller waterskins, with straps, if you can? I’ll need new clothes, too. Probably not in Tashikoxix colors. Can you even do that?”

“All of it can be done.”

“Today?”

“I had a dozen dreams for you last night. I wasn’t sure which to believe, so I held all of them. I have made many preparations already.”

“Thank you so much. Oh, uhm, maybe a rain hat? I need a finger reliquary too. And a compass.”

Maexiks and I work out the plan. She’ll need about three hours to go around the other merchants and get all my things together. I spend all the money Beggar gave me, but not much more than that. I have almost as much as I woke up with. The compass was pretty pricey, but Maexiks isn’t making any profit on this at all.

There’s a few outstanding issues.

First, if I’m getting new clothes, what colors should I get them in? I obviously don’t want to be walking around in House Tashikoxix colors. Maexiks can get me clothes in this town’s pattern without any problem. She says she can scrounge up dyes in any color I might, want, also. I’ve only ever worn my family’s colors my whole life. If I want to decide what I wear, now’s the time. I’d need to pick out a dominant and submissive color for the pattern. I’m basically making up a family.

Second, if there’s anything else I want Maexiks to procure for me, this is my last chance. This is a small town, but she’s resourceful.

Third, while Maexiks is busy, I’ll need a safe spot to wait for the next three hours. There’s still a light rain, and I’m starting to think House Geofahn has a bunch of people here for the wedding. Being out on the streets might be a dumb idea. I think I want to talk to Beggar, too, to plan our next step. I could hang out at the stranger’s inn, find a secluded tree, go out in some alley, I dunno. I just want to sit down.
>>
No. 449527 ID: 266824
File 134632117051.png - (12.20KB , 500x500 , dressup sabhaxlia.png )
449527

If I want to go into hiding, I need a made-up color pattern. Maexiks can get me clothes in almost any color I want; she’s really good like that! She’s the best.

If I want to pick a particular set of colors, I can just borrow some clayons from Maexiks and color it in on some paper! Otherwise I’ll just go with something neutral.

The dominant color goes on the mantle and the skirt, and the submissive color is for the shirt.

I probably shouldn’t use House Geofahn’s color pattern, though. I shouldn’t use gold or silver, either; there are some big political houses that use those, and I don’t want to be mistaken for one of them!

I mean, unless I want to disguise myself as a member of a house. I guess I could wear House Geofahn colors, or another big house’s pattern, but it seems like a stupid idea that’s going to get me in troublebutts.

Maexiks won’t be back with the clothes for a while, so you can color in Sabhaxlia right up until she’s back! You can draw on moustaches!
>>
No. 449529 ID: 6e44d2
File 134632173548.png - (18.54KB , 500x500 , House Shaolin.png )
449529

Eh? Eh? Yeah?
>>
No. 449547 ID: d6c330

Okay, if it isn't obvious, you need to thank Maexiks profusely before you leave.

>Color pattern
Let's avoid trying to impersonate any other house, that's just asking for trouble.

Colors should be low key enough to be plausible- you don't want to look outlandish and draw attention. You're going for something muted, darker, restrained, so in your travels people while people will see you as an outsider, they won't care. It needs to be class appropriate as well- you're going to be a common traveler, not a noble (not even a low class noble fallen on hard times).

Bright flamboyant colors are usually a show of wealth and prosperity, and are harder to keep clean. Plus they're eye-catching, and we want to be nondescript- able to blend into many towns.

Low key greys, blues, greens, browns are probably where you want to be.
>>
No. 449556 ID: bbee3d
File 134633810660.png - (13.89KB , 500x500 , dressup_greenbrown.png )
449556

How about this? Light enough that it won't absorb tons of heat on sunny days, muted enough to hide dirt and stains, lots of green to act as camouflage if you have to run from law enforcement or angry in-laws. Also, this is basically a desaturated version of your family colors, which look good on you.

I assume Maexiks is going to be discreet with the other merchants? It would be bad if someone noticed that an unwilling fiance's only friend is going around buying traveling supplies.

Speaking of which, if you're going to be traveling a lot in these clothes, a more water-resistant fabric would be good.

As for a hiding spot... You haven't exactly had good luck with secluded trees before. How good a hiding place is the Strangers' Inn? Could you hide in a room or under a table or something? If not, I'd suggest an alley, if there's one secluded enough.
>>
No. 449565 ID: 0c2247

>>449527
Disguising yourself with the colors of your fiancee's house seems like a brilliant idea.
>>
No. 449566 ID: d6c330

>>449565
Is that even a disguise? Wouldn't she be expected to wear his colors after marrying into his house anyways? (Note her parents wear the same colors, despite the logical assumption only one of them was born to the house).

Besides, if we wear colors of his or her house, anyone who follows has an easier job tracking us (why yes! I saw someone wearing those same colors just yesterday. She's a runaway, you say?).
>>
No. 449583 ID: 4a328b

>>449556
Shouldn't stick out much, this is a good idea
>>
No. 449587 ID: d6ae01
File 134634787472.png - (15.36KB , 500x500 , sleepdeprivation.png )
449587

Have you had Lunch? I think it's time to go Beyond that.

You're a bright person! Show that with these painfully bright colors!

A weapon is always a good idea, too. Probably.

what am i doing nobody's going to get this
>>
No. 449598 ID: 762100
File 134634964531.png - (176.66KB , 500x500 , sabbababbabbobo.png )
449598

>>449527

nobody will suspect a person made of moustaches. Also, I would avoid the inn. I'm sure Geofahn has plenty of room wherever they live, but maybe some decided to stay at the inn or whatever? Also an innkeeper or patron's eyes and memory can be bought. I'd say possibly try a tree, it seems less dangerous than an alleyway
>>
No. 449635 ID: 6e44d2

>>449556
Yeah, okay, this.

>>449587
You forgot to put the less-than sign on her chest.
>>
No. 449639 ID: ef0404

Give her smooches (with tongue)
>>
No. 449649 ID: ef0404

>>449529
Also this is best colors
>>
No. 449650 ID: ef0404

Also hide out in travely inn.
>>
No. 449653 ID: ef0404
File 134635652902.jpg - (48.02KB , 500x500 , awesome paperdoll.jpg )
449653

Also here is some colors. Nobody will be able to figure you out, and it will blend in with other dogs, and it won't accidentally another house.
>>
No. 449658 ID: b0d1a8
File 134635735579.png - (15.48KB , 500x500 , 134632117051.png )
449658

not sure if work
>>
No. 449659 ID: b0d1a8
File 134635737795.png - (12.23KB , 500x500 , 134632117052.png )
449659

without gold trim
>>
No. 449670 ID: ee21e2
File 134635938972.png - (15.90KB , 500x500 , dog1.png )
449670

Well, we're going to want something that will help us to blend in with the forest or countryside if we have to hide, right? And bright colors attract attention no matter the situation.

... is there any way we could dye our fur to be unrecognizable?
>>
No. 449709 ID: 266824
File 134636480979.png - (283.60KB , 700x700 , 13.png )
449709

>>Wouldn't she be expected to wear his colors after marrying into his house anyways? (Note her parents wear the same colors, despite the logical assumption only one of them was born to the house).

The arrangement for my marriage was additive-adjoinment. My ancestors would retain their colors, I’d wear Geofahn colors with a Tashkixox-pattern on the left side of my mantle, my children would wear full Geofahn colors.

My dad married through singular absorption. He cut ties with all his ancestors and became entirely Tashikoxix. There’s uh. There’s a lot of ritual and protocol in color-wearing.

Maexiks is wearing stripes because she isn’t a full member of the town’s crypt, so she’s still technically an outsider-under-license. Uh.

Let’s not worry about all of that right now. A simple two-color pattern is all I really need. People can still do color patterns if they want up until Maexiks is back with the clothes! No need to rush!

>>Okay, if it isn't obvious, you need to thank Maexiks profusely before you leave.

“Maexiks, you’re basically the best there is, okay?”

Maexiks shushes me. “We’re both strangers here. Neither of us have found our home yet; I’m happy to help you find one.”

>>Give her smooches (with tongue)

What? I mean, like, we’re outside, anyway, there’s people looking. That’s stupid. It wouldn't be appropriate.

I can’t really stay and bug Maexiks much more. She has to get to work.

>>Also hide out in travely inn.

I’d want to wait for her out of the rain, but…

>>Also, I would avoid the inn. I'm sure Geofahn has plenty of room wherever they live, but maybe some decided to stay at the inn or whatever?
>>How good a hiding place is the Strangers' Inn? Could you hide in a room or under a table or something? If not, I'd suggest an alley, if there's one secluded enough.

… it might be too risky. I’m soaked, it’s still drizzling, but that also means there’s less dogs outside to see me. I find an alley off the market that’s out of the rain and just sit down. It feels so, so good to sit down, even if it’s in a puddle.

I fumble around with Beggar’s finger until his ghost shows up. He’s already sitting.

“So! How are we doing?”

“My friend’s buying supplies for me.”

“And we’re waiting in an alley.”

“… yeah.”

“Well! I’m happy I got to leave the shrine and finally do my favorite things again. Can we sleep in a ditch next?”

I try not to laugh too much. I don’t want to draw attention. “We might. I’m… I have no idea what we’re doing next.”

“Running away.”

“Yes.”

“To where?”
>>
No. 449710 ID: 266824
File 134636487382.png - (118.85KB , 700x700 , map.png )
449710

Beggar’s ghost gets serious again. “Being a stranger in a small town like this is terrible. You aren’t related to anyone, no one cares about you. If you had a trade you were bringing along with you it would be different…”

“… but I basically can’t do anything,” I finish. It’s true. My family didn’t raise me to learn any craft. They raised me to be a House Dog. I know all the protocols, all the customs, laws and rules and old histories. I am literally useless as anything but a wife.

“I would suggest we don’t try to settle down in a town like this,” Beggar’s ghost says. He splashes at a puddle. The water actually ripples, a little.

“We could try one of the big cities.”

“I’ve never been to one.”

“Me neither, but, like, they’d have the best chance of me finding something, right? A real big city, full of families, strangers, everything! It wouldn’t be hard to fit in somewhere like there, right?”

Beggar’s ghost shrugs. I do too. I don’t really know. I’m not surprised he isn’t more help in this. If he had any ideas, he wouldn’t have starved to death here, right?

“I mean… I could go north. To the coastal cities.”

Beggar gives me a look. “To the House Geofahn cities?”

“Well, uh, the coastal cities all have House Geofahn presence, yeah. But look, I mean, this is the coast! All the other remnants trade there! All of this remnant trades there! There’s so many people up there how could they find me in the crowd? I put on different colors no jerkbutt’s gonna know it’s me.”

Beggar’s ghost doesn’t look convinced.

“All right, we can go deep south. Follow the rivers to the Fauhredn city.”

Beggar doesn’t look convinced with that, either.

House Geofahn is powerful, okay? But, like, they’re really young, and their powerbase is scattered along the north coast. They control a lot of the sea trade with the other remnants. But, like, they’re young. House Fauhredn isn’t.

They’re much further south, and I don’t know much about them, but they’re huge. And ancient. Like, stupid-ancient. I mean, we’re talking about five-hundred-year-old ghosts ancient. It’s away from the coast, so they have less contact with other remnants, so, I mean, I guess they’re more traditionalist. I hear they’re not as friendly with outsiders, but, like.

They hate House Geofahn.

A lot.

And up north, a lot of the culture is a mish-mosh of other remnants. In House Fauhredn territory it’ll just be traditional dog culture, and, I mean, that’s the one thing I’m good at. But it’s very traditionalist. I can’t be sure anyone will even want to talk to me.

I basically explain this to Beggar’s ghost.

“So you can think of two choices. We can go into your fiancé’s lands and hope we can get lost in the crowd; or we can go south, where he can’t follow, and hope we can find a crowd that will let us in.”

“Yes.”

Beggar’s ghost shrugs. “Well, if things go terrible I can just go back to my shrine.”

It isn’t time to go yet, but, I mean, if I’m running away? This could be the last chance in a while I’ll have to sit down and think. I need to come to a decision now, so I can make plans.

This might be the biggest decision I make in my entire life.

I really hope I don’t butt it up.

Whoa, this is super important! If you want Sabby to expand on or explain anything about her destinations now is a good time for sure! You have enough to make a decision but maybe you want a little more? That is fine! Neither option is a secret game-over!
>>
No. 449717 ID: e3f578

Fauhredn territory seems like it'd be the place with the least risk possible in getting killed by Geofahn.
Even if you can't blend in or get anyone to talk to you, would they ever push you out? A higher population has a good chance of having someone train you, even in an xenophobic territory such as theirs, they need some form of foreign policy to survive in the world for this long, and so you'll find a few different decent families. You need to ask beggar how his own attempts at gaining skills have went. Did he just have some bad luck finding anyone that would apprentice him, or did he just not live long enough past going beggar to try and change his life? He has able hands, how did he end up as a beggar? Maybe he does have skills of his own too, he just couldn't market them yet or something went wrong. The dude sounds like he has lots of wisdom. Just ask!

And what the hell, your family is dying with your generation and they seriously ONLY train you to be a wife? That's fucking suicide. If no one married you, that would be a waste of a life. They couldn't count on anyone taking you, even if Geofahn DID want to at first, there's plenty that could have gone wrong in the first place. Damn, you really should have spoken up growing up you didn't want to be no one's bitch. Not in those exact terms, but goddamn, someone should have saw this fucking coming if your family got this bad. If you weren't ever gonna get put into another family, you would have been homeless anyway! Not only did you not have a plan on how to run away, but neither did your parents raising you in this dying family. They're goddamn idiots.
>>
No. 449719 ID: d6c330

>If you want Sabby to expand on or explain anything
What's a remnant?

Also, is the enduring ghost thing species specific? You mentioned Maexiks and a deal with the local crypt?
>>
No. 449720 ID: 4a328b

SOUTH!
>>
No. 449721 ID: ef0404

South south south!

Also, maybe you should think about kissing with tongue. Kissing mantis with tongue. Maybe you should think about that a lot, and care a little less about what these people you are leaving forever would think in the first place.

She did all this for you, okay, a kiss with tongue is almost exactly the least you could do without being super super goddamn rude.

But that's beside the point. The real point is go south for sure.
>>
No. 449731 ID: 762100

>>449710

I am really leaning towards fauredn lands right now, but firstly, since we know how they feel about your prospective fiance's family, how do they feel about yours? How does House Tashikoxix find the Fauredns?
>>
No. 449733 ID: 762100

>>449731

Also possibly maybe see if a mantisfriend could join you ? ? After all, if you are found missing, they might suspect her. You don't want her to be in trouble do you?
>>
No. 449757 ID: 6a1ec2

Psst. Here's a secret. Almost everyone can do almost everything, whether trained or not. Weaving cloth? Using a loom is easy. Building buildings? Carpentry is laborous, but easy. Aqueduct maintenance? Ditch digging. Simple. The only thing training gets you that you cannot get by yourself is trust and friendship. And there are other ways to establish those.

Never think you're less than a skilled laborer. You are simply unpracticed. The reason you cannot weave cloth is not because you need training to use a loom, but because you need something so the other people there don't chase you away from the loom with sticks because they believe you are not allowed. Convince people you can help them, and 90% of your obstacles are overcome. The rest is just figuring out how to do it, and that's vastly easier. Especially for one of your intellect and drive.
>>
No. 449759 ID: b6b1a9

Is there any way we could pass ourselves off as an abandoned child, now grown up, or some kind of final-surviving member of a very small (but now very dead) family?
>>
No. 449762 ID: 266824
File 134637196830.png - (280.46KB , 700x700 , 14.png )
449762

Sabhaxlia is going to answer All The Questions now! Not much here is terribly Plot Critical so you can totally just skim answers! I’m just waiting to see if anyone doesn’t want to go south before we settle on that direction!

>>What's a remnant?

Oh, boy. We’re getting into, like, ancient history here. As in, “There are three ghosts in the world that remember this” ancient.

It’s not very important, so, like, you can stop paying attention for this part if you don’t care.

This whole continent we’re on used to be part of another world, right? It was ours. Just ours. Something Bad happened and destroyed most of it. And that happened to a whole bunch of other worlds at the same time, too. The surviving chunks drifted together and made a new world. The remnants are the big landmasses that survived to make the new world. That’s about it!

This is the dog remnant we’re on now. To the east is the bird archipelago; to the west is the reptile continent. Up north, way across the sea, is the human continent. Those are the only landmasses that made it through whole!

People like Maexiks, their entire worlds were ruined. Only the people escaped. But, like, this happened at least a few thousand years ago. We’re all happy with our world like it is.

I don’t think I want to leave our remnant, still, though. I mean, they’re literally chunks of different worlds, okay? I’m… I’m not desperate enough to travel to a different world.

>>Also, is the enduring ghost thing species specific? You mentioned Maexiks and a deal with the local crypt?

Aaand that remnant thing is why only dogs become ghosts when we die. People from different remnants do different things when they die. I don’t know what happens to bugs.

So, like, look, the whole world-destroying thing was thousands of years ago, okay? But this is still our remnant. People like Maexiks don’t have enough numbers or land to have their own civilization, so the best they can do is try and fit in with one of the four remnants.

Maexiks can’t marry into a family, though, and she won’t leave a ghost behind, so she can’t become part of a crypt. That means the most she can ever be in our society is an outsider-under-license. I guess it kind of sucks, huh?

>> You need to ask beggar how his own attempts at gaining skills have went. Did he just have some bad luck finding anyone that would apprentice him, or did he just not live long enough past going beggar to try and change his life?

That’s a good question.

I turn to the Beggar’s ghost. “Hey, uh. Why did you get stuck as a beggar?”

“It was the trade I was raised in.”

“Uhm. Huh.”

“I don’t know who my father was.”

Oh. Oh ouch. Okay I’m not going to press him any more on that. It’s… really really hard to get past the stigma of being a bastard. Even near the coast, being born out of marriage means you are completely screwing up someone’s line of succession.

Since our afterlife depends entirely on coherent lines of succession to keep ghosts alive?

Yeah. Yeah. Oh I feel so bad for him.

>>Is there any way we could pass ourselves off as an abandoned child, now grown up, or some kind of final-surviving member of a very small (but now very dead) family?

Well, I sort of AM the final-surviving member of a very small, very dead family. And Beggar was the abandoned child thing, apparently.

We are going to need to come up with a fake background, at some point, though. Something close to the truth isn’t a bad start.

>> And what the hell, your family is dying with your generation and they seriously ONLY train you to be a wife?

Well, I mean. I don’t really try to sound it, okay, but I’m smart. I’m at least educated. I know lots of history and custom. Ancestral rites. Calligraphy. If I actually married into a political house I’d be prepared.

I’m not going to defend my parents at all, though. They’re just. Selfish butts, farting at me.

>> since we know how they feel about your prospective fiance's family, how do they feel about yours? How does House Tashikoxix find the Fauredns?

Our family’s been mostly dead for three generations. But House Fauhredn’s memory is ageless. Anything my ancestors did to anger them, they’d remember it. But, like, I am pretty sure we never came into any kind of conflict?

I’m more worried about their reaction to what we’ve become. We’re exactly what they’re afraid of. A political house that got too old and died. On top of that? I’m supposed to be saving my house through marriage.

I’m running away instead.

Personally, House Fauhredn is probably not going to be impressed with me. I’ll be in disguise, though. It shouldn’t matter.

>>Also possibly maybe see if a mantisfriend could join you ? ? After all, if you are found missing, they might suspect her. You don't want her to be in trouble do you?

Look, I’m worried about her too, but Maexiks is a mantis, okay?

There are slang names for all the different people. Since we’re all about the ghost, people like to call us tombdogs. Mantises are dreambugs. I don’t know much about it, but I’m pretty sure Maexiks can dream the future.

I think she’ll be fine.

>> Also, maybe you should think about kissing with tongue. Kissing mantis with tongue. Maybe you should think about that a lot, and care a little less about what these people you are leaving forever would think in the first place.

I mean, maybe I can ask if she wants to come along, though. I mean, as a friendship thing.

>> Convince people you can help them, and 90% of your obstacles are overcome.

This is all… pretty encouraging thoughts to have. I think I can do this. This is going to work.

>> I am really leaning towards fauredn lands right now
>> South south south!
>> SOUTH!
>> Fauhredn territory seems like it'd be the place with the least risk possible in getting killed by Geofahn.

Going to House Fauhredn lands seems the best idea… but Maexiks isn’t going to be done shopping right this second. This is a big decision.

I’ll give it a bit more thought, and then go and find her.
>>
No. 449777 ID: e3f578

There a thieve's guild anywhere? That might be pretty fun!
Thieving and shit. They probably got good at hiding people that don't want to be found. Probably MADE of people that don't want to be found.
You even got a ghost scoutdog! One that might've always wanted to be a thief.
Of course, our first real friend for this adventure is a merchant and might really hate thieves. Hmm.
Assassin's Guild?
>>
No. 449813 ID: b6b1a9

>>449777
I doubt she'd want murder on her hands on top of being a runaway
>>
No. 449814 ID: ef0404

I am going to reaffirm south, and also interspecies makeouts. No seriously, think about it in detail. She'd always be looking at you when you kissed. She can't blink. It's really romantic, OK?

Also, are the remnants abutting one another? you said they're parts of different worlds that sort of glommed together. Is it one continent? What's between them? Oceans? Are there more worlds out there if you said far enough?

Also, what are the nicknames for the other species?
>>
No. 449848 ID: b33427

To add to your disguise, could you dye your fur? At least, just the fur on your head and neck, and possibly your tail? Patterns would be too hard to make natural looking, so dying them solid black or brown could work. How common are dogs with solid black or brown fur on their head and neck?

Oh, and add something to start a fire to the list of things to get before heading out. A steel and flint, tinderbox, or whatever is available for cheap.

>Personally, House Fauhredn is probably not going to be impressed with me.
What about the sub-families under House Fauhredn? Are they all as bad as House Fauhredn about outsiders, especially ones that draw attention to their house's inevitable mortality?

>supposed to be saving my house through marriage
From what you said about any children you would have had being full House Geofahn, it sounds like your house would have died in a generation anyway. Marriage just would have had it and its holdings absorbed into House Geofahn directly, instead of sold off and likely bought up by them. That was probably House Geofahn's plan anyway: Marry off one of their annoying idiot princes to snap up the last of a dying house without having to pay nearly as much.
>>
No. 449862 ID: b6b1a9

>>449848
You know what would be cool? If we found ourselves a not-buttface Fauhredn housemember to marry instead, one that would let your children actually be in your house rather than absorbing them entirely.

That way, you save your house, dont marry a buttface, and Fauhredn gets to feel better about how houses don't die as easily as they seem to.
>>
No. 449884 ID: dc4a44
File 134638914123.png - (19.65KB , 500x500 , sabby.png )
449884

Tada!
>>
No. 449916 ID: c6ec33

>>449762
How does this whole afterlife thing work, anyways? I mean, it's not much of an afterlife if it has a finite timespan where you ghost can die.

Also, you keep talking about these houses that have been around hundreds of years. How does a house form? Could you form a new house if you actually found a guy you liked? Why do people keep perpetuating the same houses?
>>
No. 449918 ID: 032042

>>449848 Dye fur
Yes, this. You can use some soot to become a black doggie. Even if you don't go for the solid color, you can at least change your markings a little bit so people get confused.
>>
No. 449968 ID: b5e3b7
File 134642073822.png - (169.54KB , 500x500 , 15.png )
449968

Sabhaxlia is going to finish the question-game! If you don’t want to read all of these you can skip ahead to the actual update after this one!

>>Also, are the remnants abutting one another?

They’re all isolated from one another by water. There’s a big sea that we all face.

>>Also, what are the nicknames for the other species?

Tombdogs; birddemons; lifelizards; prayermen. We turn into ghosts; birds have a frillion little spirits they worship; the lizards just get born again the moment they die; humans are basically always praying to some god or another.

Religions don’t have much cross-over. The human gods don’t really care about tombdog worship; tombdogs can’t include a human in the family crypt what with the not-becoming-a-ghost thing. It’s why Maexiks is always going to be an outsider here. It’s why I don’t want to leave this remnant.

There’s also dreambugs and walkplants and who-knows-what-else that don’t have a physical remnant of their own.

>>To add to your disguise, could you dye your fur?

Well, if I’m going south, it won’t be too long until House Geofahn can’t hunt for me. I think it’d raise more suspicion than not if I tried to change my fur. I mean, I could try to dye my neck black and look like a guy, but, I mean. That sounds more dangerous than anything else. I don’t even know if I could do it convincingly.

>>There a thieve's guild anywhere? That might be pretty fun!

Sometimes orphans and bastards and stuff, people no one wants, they’ll get together and do things like that. They last about 10 years before they all get rounded up, executed, and have their corpses burned until their ghosts are destroyed.

I think I can do better for myself than that. I hope.

>>What about the sub-families under House Fauhredn?

Fauhredn has their teeth in all of their daughter-houses’ necks. I don’t know much more about them than that.

>>Marry off one of their annoying idiot princes to snap up the last of a dying house without having to pay nearly as much.

That was explicitly the plan. House Geofahn is powerful because of their shipping trade, but they’re young. If they bring in the ancient Tashikoxix crypt they can boast about being related-by-marriage to all these really old ghosts and they’ll look a bit more legitimate. My family’s ghosts get to not die and be important again. Everyone’s happy except me.

>>You know what would be cool? If we found ourselves a not-buttface Fauhredn housemember to marry instead

House Fauhredn marriages are planned out generations in advance. They set the standard on marriage that everyone else wants to copy. When you’re born, you already know the name of the person you’re marrying, how many kids you’ll have, what their names will be, and who they’ll be marrying.

It’s basically completely terrifying, but that’s only House Fauhredn itself. The other tombdogs living in their lands don’t have to do that.

>>How does this whole afterlife thing work, anyways? I mean, it's not much of an afterlife if it has a finite timespan where you ghost can die.

It’s just the next part of life, really. I mean, dad’s dead, but his ghost is still hanging around fussing at me to get married. It’s the same as if he had been alive. If we had the money to prepare his corpse better? It could still be walking around doing things. Walking corpses aren’t super-common but, like, if you’re a really good baker? And you die? Just keep your corpse animate and you can keep on baking.

The owner of the stranger’s inn is a forty-year-dead corpse who makes some really good pastries.

Ghosts can do things living dogs can’t, either, also. I mean, they can do that messenger thing, right? You can also bind ghost to yourself and uhm. Benefit from their experience.

I could hook Beggar’s ghost up to me, but he doesn’t really have very many skills he could help me with. I mean, I could hook him up, and I’d be better at begging? I could do that. That’d be a real help.

Mom used to bind great-great-grandma’s ghost to herself so she could knit better.

>>Also, you keep talking about these houses that have been around hundreds of years. How does a house form?

Oh boy. Well, House Geofahn started as one family that ran a good shipping business. They got some decent marriages with other shipping families and then whammo! They all put on the same colors and declared themselves a house.

House Fauhredn been around for at least five-hundred years. I hear they have ghosts as old as a thousand. I have no clue how they started.

>>Why do people keep perpetuating the same houses?

If you’re powerful, it’s profitable. Also, a strong house ensures all the ancestors ghosts will be taken care of. When a house dies, uh, well. I’ve already told you how many of my ancestors’ ghosts are disappearing.

>>I am going to reaffirm south, and also interspecies makeouts. No seriously, think about it in detail. She'd always be looking at you when you kissed. She can't blink. It's really romantic, OK?

I. Look, I mean. It’s been like, almost three hours. I should probably get back to Maexiks and tell her my plans. We’re going south.
>>
No. 449969 ID: b5e3b7
File 134642080793.png - (318.34KB , 750x750 , 16.png )
449969

I head on over to Maexiks’ house. She’s just carrying the things in now, actually, so, like. Super-best timing. I help her bring the purchases in.

“You were outside this whole time?” she asks me.

“Well, I didn’t want to risk going into the stranger’s inn…”

“Why didn’t you ask to stay in my house?”

Uhm. That is a really really good question.

“Do you want to put on your new clothes?”

I don’t know if I should walk around in town wearing some made-up color pattern. It might draw attention. On the other hand, the stuff I’m wearing now is more water than anything else. The new clothes have a water-slick outer-layer so the rain will basically just roll off it. The boots are real durable looking, too!

I had considered a subdued or darker color scheme, but if this is my first chance to decide my own outfit, the temptation to do something bright was too much! I went with an orange-red dominant and a faded burgundy submissive. I made sure the burgundy wasn’t too similar to House Fauhredn’s color, although it’s impossible to get their exact dye anyway.

Maexiks shows me all the things she got. She had to dip into her own money a bit to help out. It’s a lot of stuff. I feel really prepared and super-smart now. This isn’t just some stupid childish plan at all!

She got me a pack that can be worn over a shoulder or across the back; a sleeping roll, and a slickened tarp to help keep me dry; two little things for water, and a tight package of travel-meats; a short hook-blade for basically everything; a little metal compass; a reliquary for Beggar’s finger.

… this is as far as any of my planning had gone, though. It’s the afternoon. I have a few more hours before my parents get worried. What’s my next step? Do I go back home and spend the night there? Do I just try to go south now? Stay here a bit longer? Something else? I’m already feeling pretty awful from how long I’ve been in the rain; at the very least, I don’t think I want to sleep outside tonight. Everyone’s looking at me.
>>
No. 449973 ID: ef0404

Look. She had to dip into her own money for this stuff. You should stay at her house tonight, OK? It's seriously the best idea. You are soaking, identifiable and miserable right now. Going home with all your loot is so super suspicious and also a terrible idea. You can put on your new clothes and slip out bright and early tomorrow and your chance of being recognized drops off substantially.

But look. You need to thank her. Like, properly thank her. You need to give her a full-face kisses with tongue. You need to lick every part of her carapace she wants you to.

maybe start out by like, saying you want to make sure the clothes fit so you slip out of the wet ones, and then maybe, I dunno, ask her if there is anything you can do to thank her for all the help she's been and kind of lean over towards her, you know?

I'm just throwing that out there.
>>
No. 449996 ID: d6c330

Well, if you're feeling weak, we shouldn't set out for the forest yet.

The disadvantage of staying the night is of course by morning people will be looking for you. It'll be your wedding day, after all.

>properly thank her
...appropriate thanks would be appropriate. Ignore your weird mental impulses for dog on bug romance.

Actually, if she dreams of possible futures, you shouldn't even consider it, or else she's going to be subjected to it even if you don't act on it.
>>
No. 449998 ID: b5e3b7
File 134642791756.png - (329.26KB , 750x750 , 17.png )
449998

>> Look. She had to dip into her own money for this stuff. You should stay at her house tonight, OK?

She’s done so much already for me, but, like. Returning home would mean, if I run away in the early morning, my parents are going to find that out quick. If I don’t come back tonight, they have to wait until morning, and then take two hours to get to town. It’s better this way, right?

I… hadn’t actually thought, this morning, that I was running away for good. I mean, I thought I would be back before it happened. I guess my last memory of home is going to be mom yelling at me from the door. At least it’s appropriate.

>>The disadvantage of staying the night is of course by morning people will be looking for you. It'll be your wedding day, after all.

It’s actually in a few days. I still have time.

“Uh, so. Maexiks. We’re going to head south to the Fauhredn city, uhm, tomorrow I guess. Tonight, could we… uhm…”

“You are sleeping here tonight, yes,” Maexiks agrees. Oh! Well then.

>> You need to thank her. Like, properly thank her. You need to give her a full-face kisses with tongue.

And for some reason I literally cannot stop thinking about this. I mean, she’s been really super nice to me. We’ve been sort-of-friends for a while but she’s going so out of her way to help. But, I mean.

>> maybe start out by like, saying you want to make sure the clothes fit so you slip out of the wet ones, and th--

Look, touching is kind of weird at all between tombdogs, okay? I don’t know how it works at all for dreambugs. I definitely don’t know what’s okay between the two of them, all right?

If it isn’t weird, I’ll just hug her, is that enough? That seems like a mantisy thing to do with those arms anyway.

I go for it.

She pulls back for a moment before she returns the gesture. Her huge arms unfold from beneath her mantle and press at my sides. It’s kind of nice. I don’t feel the spikes at all.

>> You need to lick every part of her carapace she wants you to.

Her face is right there, like. Her eyes are massive and finely textured and hard. The shadowspots on her eyes follow mine wherever I look. I can’t even feel any breath coming from her mouth. I mean.

“Look, Maexiks, I. I couldn’t be doing any of this without your help, okay? You’ve been the best.”

I just give her a single lick, okay? All the parts of her face meet together in a point and I just drag my tongue along the side of that. The parts on the side move under the pressure of my tongue. Her carapace is warm and smooth.

The Beggar’s ghost is ogling us so we stop.

“I need to return to the market,” Maexiks says. She unhooks her arms from around me.

She goes out and I just give Beggar a Look so he doesn’t say anything. I’m just. I’m not sure.

>>Ignore your weird mental impulses for dog on bug romance.

It wasn’t romance, I. She’s saving my life.

I think I can just sleep right now, up until morning. Maybe have dinner when Maexiks is back. I don’t know if there’s anything else worth doing. Worth the RISK of doing?

I’m so tired. And I don’t think sitting out in the rain for three hours was a good idea.
>>
No. 450000 ID: ef0404

You should stay in and wait for her and eat dinner with her. Keeping full up on food is super important, because you'll probably starve a bit once you're out there.

You should ask if you can sleep in the bed with her for warmth. Just for warmth though.

I mean, what if you never see her again?!?!?!?!

Would she want to come with you? It is worth bringing up at dinner for sure.
>>
No. 450004 ID: 5d5628

Two things, in case haven't done them yet:

1. Shake yourself dry like a good Wildehond.
2. Wear the reliquary around your neck. You don't want to leave your ghost buddy behind in case you have to flee unexpectedly.

Now, find a warm spot and go rest a little.
>>
No. 450014 ID: c6ec33

>>449998
Oh Bite, you scamp.

Might as well explore the house while you have the chance. Be a polite guest of course; look but don't touch. And ask Beggar if he thinks you're forgetting anything essential.

Oh, also! Since she's being so nice, ask Beggar if he would be willing to give her some more of his dosh, assuming she can take the time to visit his shrine after you're gone.
>>
No. 450116 ID: b5e3b7
File 134644654249.png - (234.89KB , 750x750 , 18.png )
450116

>>450004

You know, I think I’m just going to put on my new clothes now. I put Beggar’s finger into the reliquary and change.

It’s… the first time I’ve ever worn anything other than my family colors. It’s almost terrifying. Like, I was afraid it’d feel wrong but. But these are my colors. I picked them.

>>Might as well explore the house while you have the chance. Be a polite guest of course; look but don't touch.

Her house is tiny. It’s got three rooms, and I don’t want to bother her bedroom. It’s also really bare, too. She doesn’t have anything decorative. She also doesn’t have hands, so, I mean. I guess it’d be a hassle to actually decorate?

I pack my stuff and wait for Maexiks to get back.

She returns with some warm meat, and we take our meal at the table. She doesn’t actually have chairs, what with her four-legs-having, but that’s fine. I can’t hear the rain outside anymore, and the dry warmth is making me feel so cozy. I think this is the first dinner I’ve had with other people that isn’t turning into a fight.

I mean, look, just maybe this is the best night of my life.

>>Would she want to come with you? It is worth bringing up at dinner for sure.
>>Also possibly maybe see if a mantisfriend could join you ? ?

“Uh, Maexiks.” I might as well ask. What if she’s going to be in trouble for helping me? “House Geofahn is going to be really angry once I’m gone. If you think it’s gonna get too dangerous to stay, you can come with me.”

Maexiks considers it for a moment. I guess. I mean, like, I cannot even guess what is going on in her head. “You’ll dream of me.”

Uhm. Huh.

>>Since she's being so nice, ask Beggar if he would be willing to give her some more of his dosh, assuming she can take the time to visit his shrine after you're gone.

“So, uh, Beggar.” It’s such a dumb name. “Do you think we can go back to your corpse and take the rest of your money?”

He laughs. “Yes. Let’s all rob the beggar. Well, my finger will be coming along with you, so I’ll still be with all my money either way.”

I’m going to stay the night, and sleep here, for sure. When should I leave, though? Morning? Pre-morning? Are we going to go for beggar’s money, first, or just start wandering south straight away? I mean, the beggar is south anyway, but it’s south on the way to my parent’s manor. There are other roads south.
>>
No. 450121 ID: ef0404

Just leave the dosh. It's too freaking dangerous. You need to take another road south. Sleep for a while, but wake up as early as you can, right before sunrise if possible, and creep away. That's the best plan.

Also don't forget that kiss, OK. You'll be dreaming about her mandibles gently caressing your most sensitive and private of places, OK? That is probably what you'll dream.

Because she's The One.
>>
No. 450124 ID: 5d5628

No time Toulouse, Sabby. Leave town as soon as the gates open (or before sunrise if they're kept open all night) and take the road less likely to produce an awkward encounter with your mother.
>>
No. 450142 ID: f5832c

As much fun as giant insect love sounds, be cautious, she's a mantis and while im not sure how things work over there, here on earth female manti eat the males during sex.

this would of course put a damper on your Grand plans..
>>
No. 450145 ID: f453e3

>>450142
Without even addressing the bit where Maexiks, as an entity considered a person, almost certainly wouldn't do this, it's currently a matter of scholarly debate as to whether mantids actually do that in the wild or it's just an artifact of intrusive laboratory observation. In one study in which the mantids were fed as much as they cared to eat, and only observed passively (with a video camera), they actually engaged in elaborate courtship rituals, and all of them survived copulation.
>>
No. 450157 ID: b5e3b7
File 134645291397.png - (78.16KB , 500x500 , 19.png )
450157

>>As much fun as giant insect love sounds, be cautious, she's a mantis and while im not sure how things work over there, here on earth female manti eat the males during sex.

What. I mean.

I'm almost positive that's not true. That's the sort of thing your great-great-great-grandad's ghost says when he goes on some rant about how this-or-that race is ruining the whole remnant.

The birddemons eat babies, lifelizards eat their dead, dreambugs eat their mates. I mean, c'mon. These are the kind of things my dad should be thinking, not me.

>>Without even addressing the bit where Maexiks, as an entity considered a person, almost certainly wouldn't do this, it's currently a matter of scholarly debate as to whether mantids actually do that in the wild or it's just an artifact of intrusive laboratory observation. In one study in which the mantids were fed as much as they cared to eat, and only observed passively (with a video camera), they actually engaged in elaborate courtship rituals, and all of them survived copulation.

Yeah, mantises eat their mates almost solely under the stress of laboratory conditions. It can happen, sometimes, in the wild, but it is so very much not the norm at all.

Actual update tomorrow :V

>>
No. 450161 ID: ef0404

>>450157
holy shit you just dunked that nerd hard
>>
No. 450165 ID: 6a1ec2

Your own colors, huh. Have you considered starting your own house? Wow, that is just the best idea isn't it?
>>
No. 450171 ID: c525ad

>>450157
>>As much fun as giant insect love sounds, be cautious, she's a mantis and while im not sure how things work over there, here on earth female manti eat the males during sex.

No, they don't. They do when being observed in captivity, but not in the wild.
>>
No. 450173 ID: a83bdf

>>450165

Alternatively, we could subvert the whole house-color system, and people (dogs?) might start wearing whatever they like. But these are rather long-term plans.
>>
No. 450183 ID: f5832c

i Wasnt aware that it was a induced behaviour, as it comes up in alot of the nature documentary's i saw.
of course assuming she wont eat you because she is a person is foolish, as serial killer's, cannibal's and other killers are also people, hell killing a mate may be a great gesture of love in their culture.

this is of curse meaningless conjecture, because even if you wanted to hit that so hard who ever pulled you out is crowned king of England, you cant escape the fackt that as a insectoid she's going to have radically different genitalia then your's, so unless youve studied insect sexy-times you wont know what the hell you are doing and will probably offend/hurt her, if your going to go for it go slow and be ready to run... just in case..
>>
No. 450185 ID: e3f578

I just realized you could be a tutor for other aspiring wives growing up.
You have the knowledge they teach you right? That's your only sellable skill right now.
>>
No. 450186 ID: b5e3b7
File 134645973420.png - (198.87KB , 750x750 , 20.png )
450186

>>Just leave the dosh. It's too freaking dangerous.
>>No time Toulouse, Sabby. Leave town as soon as the gates open

“Well, let’s be serious, if my mom’s coming to town in the morning, she’ll walk right past your shrine. She’ll see us.”

Beggar agrees.

Maexiks gets a pack of wooden cards out, and we spend the rest of the night playing card-games. I have to do Beggar’s cards for him; Maexiks somehow manages on her own! I didn’t really know she could be that delicate with those big claw-arms of hers.

Maexiks and I have been on friendly terms for a long while, but this is the first she and I have done anything like this. I wish I had started hanging out with her sooner. This is, like, a frillion times better than home.

>>You should ask if you can sleep in the bed with her for warmth. Just for warmth though.

Uhm. I just curl up under the table and sleep. Beggar sleeps, too. This is the first real sleep I’ve gotten in a long while. It’s on a hard, dirty floor but I cannot remember the last time I fell asleep this fast.

Maexiks wakes me up before the sun rises. We have some left-over meat, and she helps me get my things together. She makes sure I don’t forget my rainhat, either. I don’t bother waking Beggar’s ghost up. Maexiks and I step out, alone, into the purple morning.

There are still a lot of dogs out. There are colored lanterns glowing in the fog and drunken voices laughing. That’s normal. Lots of dogs party late, or get up real early. Leaving before the sun is up is still the safest plan.

“Quiet,” she warns. “Go through the back alleys. Take the east exit. Go south.”

I want to say something, have some kind of good-bye with her, anything, but she won’t let me.

“We can talk tonight. Be away from people by sunrise. Go.” She actually pushes me out and closes the door. Uhmmmmokay. I guess I better get going.

The town isn’t very big, and it’s not hard to navigate in the dim light.

It’s so easy this drunk guy can stumble around the corner and right up to me with no. Problem. Ugh. I pull my rain-hat down so he can’t make out my markings.

“Whoa! Hey, hey friend!” He stumbles forward. He’s really drunk. Friendly-drunk but, like. I can smell it it’s so bad. “Don’t know your colors! Where are you from? C’mere, lemme—lemme buy you a drink! Let’s go find where we’re common, yeah?”

He’s literally blocking my way forward, and he’s way too chatty. I need to get past him, without his drunk generosity feeling spurned, without doing anything to make me memorable to him.
>>
No. 450190 ID: f5832c

He's drunk and therefore momentarily Very stupid, point behind him and say "What the *local expletive* is THAT!" when he turns around, walk off, by the time her realises what just happaned youll be long gone.
>>
No. 450191 ID: ef0404

Maybe something like "Sorry, why don't you have one on me?" and maybe hand him a few coins. "I've got to get back," and maybe pat him on the shoulder in a way that also pushes him gently out of the way?
>>
No. 450193 ID: 6a1ec2

KISS HIM YOU FOOL
>>
No. 450202 ID: e3f578

>>450186
"Fairly west of here, small village. No real notable families there. Not surprised you haven't seen my colors. Umm, I appreciate the offer, but I have an appointment for a job too soon and don't want to make a bad second impression with my new boss. I already made a bad first one, I may get fired and have to leave soon, so I shouldn't try my luck."
>>
No. 450227 ID: b33427

Keep it simple; No specifics. No point in trying to craft a life story on the spot, only to end up tripping over it.

"Oh, I'm from nowhere, hopefully heading somewhere better. Got a long walk ahead of me, but..." Glance up at the sky, as if you're judging the sunrise and thinking a bit. "I've got time to amble and drink on the way out of town." Look back to the drunkard. "Go get a couple bottles of somethin' for us from over there," thumb over to the colored lights, "and I'd be glad to talk your ears off... and maybe more than that." Say that last bit in slightly suggestive tones.

When he staggers off to get the booze, idly walk out of view of the street he's on. Then keep on walking, picking up the pace, to the gate, and out of the town. By the time he gets back you'll be long gone, and he'll only think he was stood up.
>>
No. 450236 ID: 762100

>>450191

best idea, easily dissuade any unnecessary banter with just a few coins for him to sate his own throat. Then get going. Remember, be away from people by sunrise.
>>
No. 450294 ID: 2f4b71

>>450186
Jabber at him briefly in the mantis tongue. He'll likely have at least heard it before, and in his drunken state anyone who he talks to about you will assume "the weirdly dressed dog talking like an mantis" was actually just Maexiks.
>>
No. 450300 ID: 9718f3

Be like, "Hey sure, I'm going to meet some friends now but why don't you go wait for me at [insert name of drinking establishment] and I'll catch you up."

Then just leave because seriously you have things to do.
>>
No. 450310 ID: 8042f4

> I spend all the money Beggar gave me, but not much more than that. I have almost as much as I woke up with.
(this was a few updates back) I think all she has left is her houses' currency and those should not be given out. (considering that he may be able to identify her in her new clothes when he's sober)
>>
No. 450324 ID: 2df450
File 134650921071.png - (268.71KB , 750x750 , 21_11.png )
450324

´>>KISS HIM YOU FOOL

I’m pretty sure my face would melt off before I could get anywhere near the smell of his mouth.

>>450202

“I’m from a town west of here. Uh,” I make up the most incomprehensible gibberish of sounds I can, “Saxiophaklaidiahlopediamvillebergtown. Look, I appreciate the offer, but I have an appointment for a job soon and don't want to make a bad second impression with my new boss. I already made a bad first one, so—”

He. Grabs. Me. By the shoulders. “What! Nonsense! Don’t worry about it! I know everyone in town, I’ll just tell ‘em you were with me!”

I don’t know if it’s drunk talk or not, but I really don’t want someone who “knows everyone in town” to remember me. Ugh.

>>450227
>>450300
>>I think all she has left is her houses' currency and those should not be given out. (considering that he may be able to identify her in her new clothes when he's sober)

Yeah, I have some Geofahn coins, too, but I’d rather not waste what respectable money I have on this buttjerk. Let’s try to get out of this without going broke. (If anyone wants to keep count, I have 7 Geofahn coins, 6 Tashikoxix coins, and 3 Fauhredn pennies left. If we hadn’t gotten so much from Beggar we probably would have had to choose what to pay with, but, well. Okay. Drunk guy.)

“Well, that’s just great, then,” I say. I also twist myself out of his grip. “Lead me on!”

He stumbles into one alley and I go into the other. By the time he notices I gave him the slip, he’ll probably forgot he had been talking to me at all. I get to the east exit without any more trouble. It’s, like, a small opening in the palisade, and there’s no one around, so I just go through.

And start walking.

The farm fields are all blanketed in the purple morning fog. It’s pretty wet out here. It feels like I’m wading through a lake or something. But, I mean, I did it. I’m escaping. I try to keep my mind on that and nothing else. I have to just, like. Not butt off or the realization that I’m actually running away this very moment is probably gonna kill me.

In half an hour I’m out of the fields and the town is off in the distance. I’m at the edge of the forest, on a neglected dirt road. Over the trees, I can see the blur of sunrise making the fog glow. The town is still a dark rise off in the distance. I guess I’m far away enough.

I get a single step into the forest before Beggar’s ghost appears next to me.

“Sabby Sabby Sabby!”

He’s sure excited! “Hey, quiet! I mean we’re basically out of everyone’s ears but like, let’s not butt up our luck.”

“No!” He tries to grab me. I. I can actually feel it. “Your mother’s here!”

What! “What? Where? No! I don’t see—”

“At my shrine. She’s coming up the road to town! She looks a tad upset.”

“Like, angry upset or sad upset?”

“Both?”

“Great.”

“Do you still want me to give her any message?”

Oh bluhhh mom is up early. Do I have a message for her? This might be my last chance to talk to mom, like, even if it’s indirectly. Maybe I can give her a last impression of me that isn’t a shouting fight? I mean. I don’t… actually hate her. I don’t want to be ruining her life as much as I already am.
>>
No. 450325 ID: ec2129

Look, I mean, she has to know at this point. I guess just be like "I didn't want to butt you up, but I just can't do this." I mean, what you should actually do is tell her how you really feel. Even though they'll probably hate you hard now, you need to tell her that you aren't just being spiteful.

Just have the beggarghost tell her that you left the message with him earlier though, not that you have his finger.
>>
No. 450328 ID: a498ce

Oh, man, no way. If moms finds out you're with Beggar she's gonna conduct a man hunt for HIM. He can't hide in new clothes and stuff. He was so happy when you offered to let him tag along with you, and it would be so terrible if he couldn't show himself in public any more. Awful! It would just be selfish to risk that sorta thing just because you didn't tell mom she's a buttjerk more poetically.
>>
No. 450330 ID: e3f578

>>450324
Fine but pretend you gave him the message a lot earlier instead of now, so it doesn't seem like you're with his ghost somewhere else.
Say your sorry, but this is the only thing you really can do. This is your life you're dealing with, not your families. You will not whore yourself off so the family can live a tiny bit longer. This wouldn't have saved the family at all, in a way, she knows this. It would have been eaten up by Geofahn and all it's real dignity gone. You will not have the last Tashikoxix's dignity die with this wedding. Sorry, but this marriage is shameful not only to you, but the name. All things end, and if the family should die, it will die with its honor intact and. You will not prolong the inevitable. You refuse to.
>>
No. 450374 ID: c6ec33

>>450324
Oh man, you can feel his touch now? You should give him a hug later, if you can do it again. I mean, it's not like you haven't broken enough taboos already. I bet he hasn't had a hug in like 50 years.

But for now, yeah, just leave a message for you mom that basically says that arranged marriage is totally not for you, and that if you're going to marry *anyone*, you'd like to figure it out on your own. Apologize for putting the family in a bad spot, but promise that you haven't forgotten about them, but you're not willing to sacrifice your happiness in both your life AND your afterlife in order to save a house that other people let get into this state in the first place. If you can save your house as part of living your own life, you will, but if you can't, then the house will eventually die naturally, just like everything else that lives.
>>
No. 450389 ID: 2df450
File 134652858163.png - (182.74KB , 750x750 , 22.png )
450389

“Yes, let’s give her a message. I… I think she deserves to know that I’m running away. That, like, that this is what she basically forced me to do. Tell her that. Tell her I didn’t want to hurt her or the rest of the family, but that I’m not giving up my life just so they can be House Geofahn’s trophies. But, like, look.”

>>Just have the beggarghost tell her that you left the message with him earlier though, not that you have his finger.
>>Fine but pretend you gave him the message a lot earlier instead of now, so it doesn't seem like you're with his ghost somewhere else
>>If moms finds out you're with Beggar she's gonna conduct a man hunt for HIM.

“Pretend like I told you that when I was passing by, okay? She’s probably going to be angry. If she finds out your finger is with me, I mean…”

Beggar’s ghost nods. “Then my corpse is in danger.”

“I mean, maybe…”

Beggar disappears and leaves me alone.

I can hear insects and birds chittering away in the trees and the fields. The occasional voice wafts over from the nearby farms. I don’t like being out here alone, but, like, I have to—wait, no, I don’t have to wait at all.

I get a bit further into the forest, out of view of the fields, and wait there for Beggar’s ghost to return.

He shows up a few minutes later. He looks… less than composed.

“How did it go?”

“Well! Your mother is very charming, first, I must say.”

“Mhm.”

“I gave her your message. She threatened me and accused me of helping you escape. I told her I merely wished you good-bye, good luck, and good day. It took a bit of fast-talk but I don’t think she suspects I’m escaping with you.”

“Well! That’s good.”

“She is very angry and is now headed up to the town. She said," Beggar puts on a good imitation of mom here, "She is NOT running from her responsibilities!" He puts out a really nervous laugh. "She asked me where you were going but I just said you went up to town and that was it. I think this is when our “running away” becomes literal.”

Oh great. Oh great. Mom could be in town in thirty minutes, have whatever Geofahn goons in there signal basically everyone. And uhm, I guess they might come looking for me now. Thanks mom.

You’re the best.

Maybe this was a dumb idea? Okay, uhm, escape plans. I’m headed south, right? Do I just keep going on the road as fast as I can? Get off the road? Find a place to hide? Anything else? Oh boy.
>>
No. 450393 ID: ec2129

If the underbrush and such doesn't slow you down too much, it might be better to travel off the road. You have a compass, so you know which direction south is. If they have people who will be mounted or people who can track you, you might be totally fucked though. You need to move as quickly as you can.
>>
No. 450410 ID: 762100

>>450389

If the path you are going down is the same one your mother will be going up, I'd stay off the path, enough to be out of sight of anyone coming through the path, and hoof it south. Otherwise, stay on the path and hoof it south, since going off the path will take you longer, and time is not a commodity to be spent carelessly right now.
>>
No. 450474 ID: dc4a44

There's no mount equivalent that could expedite their search is there?
>>
No. 450478 ID: cfca24

Well, that 'corpse in danger' comment got my attention. Do you really think your mom would hurt Begger like that, or the Geofahns?

In fact, what would happen to Begger if they burned (or otherwise destroyed) his corpse, while you had his finger? Would he just badly weaken or would his ghost die?
>>
No. 450485 ID: 6a1ec2

He would be the ghost of a finger! Isn't that basically the worst thing?

OK depending on where the finger is.

OK I don't like where this conversation is going.

Since you don't want to skip town due to metaphysical shenanigans, you need to find a safe place to hide until this blows over enough for you to risk resupplying. It's best to go off the road at this time, but try to stay within sight of it so that you don't get lost and you can see if anyone's coming. If you can find a run down location that's been abandoned or condemned you can hide in there, though they will be trying to pay off beggars to leak your location so be careful who you associate with.

Once you have a hiding spot, then you can whore yourself out for coin. You don't have the greatest body but you have the right mindset for it, and plus if you could have sex a few times then even if they catch you, if that fiance of yours sounds as corny as he is he probably won't be willing to have anything to do with you. Maybe you can even get him to run away. That'd show him.
>>
No. 450540 ID: b33427

Best take advantage of them underestimating you. As far as they know, you're some dumb girl that's been groomed her whole life to be married off. They don't know you have Beggar and his advice, or got aid from Maexiks to purchase gear, or that you're wearing a made-up mantle. They're going to search the town, then the major roads first, which means you likely have the rest of the day free on this minor road before you have to head into the bush.

Continue along at a brisk pace for the rest of the day, taking rests off-road and out of sight. When the day is nearing its close, while there's still enough light, head into the bush to hide and bed down for the night. Avoid crossing farms or farm fields when you do, so no farmers are likely to see you.

Just so we know, for if you have to go fully off-road, how treacherous is crossing the land here? We know it's swampy, which would slow you down, but what about dangerous critters, or other terrain hazards?
>>
No. 450675 ID: 3d91e8
File 134659471020.png - (324.21KB , 750x750 , 23.png )
450675

>>Once you have a hiding spot, then you can whore yourself out for coin.

Like. What. I mean, if I had to be a whore, I’d probably just be House Geofahn’s whore. Like, what. Seriously?

>>There's no mount equivalent that could expedite their search is there?

House Geofahn sometimes imports horses from the human remnant, but any native mounts here are, like, slow as butt. I mean I guess they could stuff thirty ghosts onto someone and have him fly around looking for me but that’s a bit overkill. I don't think they have the ghosts to spare for that.

>>If the underbrush and such doesn't slow you down too much, it might be better to travel off the road.

This sounds good, but…

>>They're going to search the town, then the major roads first, which means you likely have the rest of the day free on this minor road before you have to head into the bush.
>>Otherwise, stay on the path and hoof it south, since going off the path will take you longer, and time is not a commodity to be spent carelessly right now.

Getting too far off the road is gonna suck when it starts getting marshy. I’ll get wet, again, and carrying this big pack is more of a pain than I was really ready for.

Beggar keeps me company, though! I don’t know if I could have kept up this pace without him to talk to the whole while. He can’t actually carry the thing, but he distracts me enough. Pretty soon the road starts going downhill, and we’re in the wetter part of the forest. The side of the road is packed up high with stone, about three feet up. It dips off to the sides into wet, mossy ground. I know from experience the moment you step into it, your boots sink in and water oozes up. It’s pretty gross.

>>In fact, what would happen to Begger if they burned (or otherwise destroyed) his corpse, while you had his finger?

His ghost would be fine. He’d still be with me. I… don’t think it would be pleasant, though. I think it might hurt him. Destroying corpses is kind of, like, the Worst Thing a tombdog can do.

>>Well, that 'corpse in danger' comment got my attention. Do you really think your mom would hurt Begger like that, or the Geofahns?

“I mean, it isn’t like my mom would actually do anything disrespectful to your corpse,” I say.

Beggar gives me another Look. “Show me your tits.”

“What? No!”

“Then don’t be so trusting. We told your mother you were running away. Well, I told it to her, to her face. She was more than a little angry at that.”

“Yeah, but like—”

“House Geofahn is going to be very unhappy.”

“Well. Yeah. I mean, they’re kind of being really generous, offering the marriage and all. I should be super happy about it. This is basically the biggest insult you can give to a young house that can’t really afford to let insults go.”

Beggar nods.

“Well, that’s fine! We made sure they didn’t know you were with me so that you’d be safe. That was the plan, right?”

“And I will be fine. They’ll have to find someone in town you know to be angry at.”

He lets the comment hang, but, like. I don’t. “… you could have warned me that telling my mom I was running away was a bad idea.”

“Well, she’s your mother. I was assuming you knew what you were doing. Do you want me to make all the decisions from now on?”

I stop walking and just. Start shouting. “Hey! This is all really hard for me, okay? And I’m doing a lot better than you ever did it looks like!”

Beggar’s ears perk up and he tries to shush me. I’m not stupid enough to not listen.

Oh.

House Geofahn coming up the road from the south. Towards town. I don’t know if he’s seen me yet, he isn’t really paying attention, but uh. Uh.

Uhhhhh.

I have lost all track of time. I have no idea if mom could have reached town or not by now.

Uhhhhhhhhhhhh
>>
No. 450680 ID: 7461d3

Make beggar disappear, keep your head down, and walk past him without saying anything. Calm down and act natural.
>>
No. 450688 ID: e3f578

>>450675
Just stroll on through casually and nod when he passes. Or don't, it doesn't really matter.
It's not like he has your fucking face on file or anything if your Mom made it already. And... even then, maybe your Mom would look around herself without telling anybody. She knows if she can't find you that they'll kill you.
Even if she's angry at for for avoiding your responsibilities, would she sentence you to death like that? I mean, maybe for the first few days they'd capture you and lock you up to marry you, but this house still might kill you for the insult of trying. And then, if Geofahn doesn't find you in those first few days, THEN they'll most certainly kill you.
Will your Mom take that chance that you'll be found? Personally, if she thought it through enough, which she probably has on the long trek on the road, fuck no.

She's going to try and do this completely on her own, and then try and contact EVERYONE that isn't Geofahn she knows that's trustworthy. Geofahn is a last resort. And then after the few days, they might say you committed suicide by fire rather than just ran away simply to avoid the shame on the family.
>>
No. 450765 ID: d3f29d

Keep your distance. But don't look like you're trying to keep your distance. Walk casual.
>>
No. 450777 ID: c6ec33

You know all the protocols here. What are you SUPPOSED to do when passing a stranger from a powerful house on the road?

I'm pretty sure hiding beggar is a good idea though.
>>
No. 450814 ID: bc8527

Two points of order here. First, apologize to Beggar. Heat of the moment, uncalled for, etc.

Full apology will have to wait for later, though, because you don't want to be noticed by this guy. Being noticed isn't the same as being seen, though, and diving off into the bushes is potentially worse than just walking by and not making eye contact. He probably has no idea who you are or why he'd be looking for you, but if he gets to town and is asked "did you see anyone suspicious on the road," you don't want yourself to come to mind.
>>
No. 450856 ID: 3d91e8
File 134662454710.png - (204.75KB , 750x750 , 24.png )
450856

>>Just stroll on through casually and nod when he passes. Or don't, it doesn't really matter. It's not like he has your fucking face on file or anything if your Mom made it already.
>> He probably has no idea who you are or why he'd be looking for you, but if he gets to town and is asked "did you see anyone suspicious on the road," you don't want yourself to come to mind.

… oh! I mean. Oh! Right.

>>Make beggar disappear

I tell Beggar’s ghost to poof. It’s just in time, too. My new colors are so bright the guy doesn’t take much longer to notice me. I give him a distant nod and he returns it. When we get closer he calls out to me.

“Good morning, stranger!”

“Morning, of-Geofahn!”

And we walk past one another.

I can hear his bootsteps grind into the dirt behind me as I just keep walking. Uhm. Huh. Barring any extreme measures on House Geofahn’s, I think I’m in the clear for now. I think I’m doing this!

>>Continue along at a brisk pace for the rest of the day, taking rests off-road and out of sight.

This is the plan. This is what we do. I apologize for shouting, and, well, Beggar apologizes too. I try to keep from thinking about if Maexiks is in trouble or not.

For lunch we go off road and sit on some thick roots, and I eat some of the packaged meats Maexiks got me. Other than that, it isn’t a very eventful journey! By mid-afternoon the next town suddenly appears. Oh! I had forgotten it was this way.

Their town colors are yellow over faded red. The Geofahn guy we passed was probably born here and married into the house. Uhm, there were a bunch of tombdogs in the other town that had yellow on their left mantle too. It’s a friendly enough place? I’m pretty sure House Geofahn doesn’t even collect taxes here.

I don’t know anyone in town, but that means no one knows me. I know it has a stranger’s inn and a decent butchery. It’s only got a tiny market, though.

Look, I’m gonna be honest, I haven’t gone much farther than this, especially on my own. I’m not sure where the road leads past here.

Beggar’s ghost nudges me. I can still kind of feel it. I think it’s because I have his finger in a reliquary now? Maybe his ghost is just getting stronger again? If I knew how to take care of ghosts half the family crypt wouldn’t be dead.

But, like, he’s getting my attention. “This place used to have a decent gambling community, if we want to be stupid with our money.”

“You used to gamble?”

“I used to have clothes at some point in my life.”

“Pfffft.”

“I was joking! I was pretty good at it. That was my one talent.”

I mean, I can see in his eyes he kind of just wants to play around gambling again. He’s been good to me so far, though, maybe I can indulge him? Or just hit up the stranger’s inn for directions? Skip the town entirely?

Uh, and if it helps, gambling doesn’t have any kind of bad connotations, okay. Pretty much everyone plays gambling games now and then. You make jokes about people going broke gambling but I’m pretty sure that never happens in real life.
>>
No. 450858 ID: 42cfca

If you must say anything, try to disguise your voice if only slightly.
If we did ever bind Begger's ghost to us for some reason, would it effect our voice? It might be a good way to disguise ourselves further if we ever have to speak to people.
>>
No. 450859 ID: 762100

>>450856

A little gambling probably won't hurt, but do try not to lose everything. As for asking for directions, would it be risky to specifically ask for directions to fauredn lands? Isn't there any kind of cartography in practice that allows you to just consult a map to align yourself?
>>
No. 450860 ID: d3f29d

“I was joking!"

So... he never had clothes?

Gambling sounds like a butt idea with limited funds.

Go to the inn. Buy something cheap and eat/drink it slowly. Keep an ear out for any gossip that might be helpful.
>>
No. 450861 ID: 886a4d

I say we avoid gambling. Even if he IS talented at it when you have no income its a stupid idea.

And yes people have lost everything by gambling, it can be an addiction and like most addictions people don't know how to stop even when its harmful.
>>
No. 450862 ID: e3f578

>>450856
How do clothes work for ghosts anyway?
Can he take his on and off at his leisure? Can he get more ghost clothes?
>>
No. 450903 ID: bc8527

>>450856
Well, a little gambling couldn't hurt, as long as you're careful to put a hard limit on it. Even ignoring the off chance that you could profit, it'd be nice to indulge Beggar a little. After all, he's going to be your only companion for quite some time, and he's already helped a lot.

If you're going to be asking for directions, though, it wouldn't be a bad idea to come up with an answer for the inevitable 'so, why are you heading out that way?' ahead of time. Would it be plausible to say you've got family there?
>>
No. 450928 ID: 343bce

You do not want to be stupid with your money. If this town has a gambling community, there are going to be a lot of experienced gamblers here, and games are always weighted in the favor of whoever's running them (i.e. not you). Even if the beggar used to be a good gambler, he's years out of practice by now.

Ask if there's any other work you can do for money, but keep away from the gambling until you've got coins to waste.
>>
No. 450929 ID: 997ce7

>>450903
Sounds good. Not very much, mind. A little.
>>
No. 450996 ID: a83bdf

Have you told Mr. Beggar McGhost that you can feel his touch now? 'cos, even if he doesn't have an explanation for it either, knowing that he's stronger may cheer him up a little bit.
>>
No. 451036 ID: 7461d3

Surely you can gamble with some of your more worthless money. Bind him to you, but pull out the coins you want to use beforehand, and only spend that much. Then stranger's inn.
>>
No. 451044 ID: b33427

Avoid gambling for money, but if there's a game for just chips or something, that wouldn't be a bad way to pass the time. That'd give you a chance to see if Beggar's gambling skills are actually good or not without risking your meager funds. If those games pan out, then go for a real low-stakes game. Can you break those Geofahn and Fauhredn coins down into even smaller denominations?

Now would be the time to get your cover story hammered out. Think about what kinds of situations would send the member of a small house out on their own. Would being thrown out and told not to come back until you learn a useful trade be a valid reason?

...Actually, thinking about it, why did you choose to run off before getting married, instead of immediately afterwards? If you'd have done it afterwards, then you'd still have your freedom, and House Geofahn would get what's left of your house's holdings. They'd keep your family's ghosts going, since they wanted them as trophies or something. Don't know if their idiot prince would get to remarry after you'd been declared missing, presumed dead, ghost irrecoverable. However, I don't know what the laws and customs are surrounding marriage and the passage of names, titles and property through it in your society. Would the marriage not "stick" if the wife runs off immediately after and can't be found?
>>
No. 451052 ID: 6a1ec2

>>450675

Let's be realistic here. House Geofahn isn't talking about some simple prostitution. This is marriage they're demanding, which is quite a lot worse than simply turning a few tricks on the corner. They're not just telling you to have sex; they're telling you to devote your entire life to some buttjerk, and to have sex. Think of marriage like payment for services rendered, but unlike coin it adheres itself to your flesh and drains your sustenance forever more.

Anyway you don't have to whore yourself out either way. Didn't realize you were averse to that sort of thing. You can probably pick up a trade or two, certainly handiwork and carpentry. It'll just be harder than if you took the prostitution option, especially at first. Plus the house will still be after you, as long as they think you're still marriagable material.
>>
No. 451074 ID: dc4a44

No gambling!

we can risk our property when we actually have property and are safely out of Geofahn territory.
>>
No. 451174 ID: 2f4b71

If Begger can at least break even, gambling would be a good way to launder the remaining Tashikoxix coins. This town is near your town, so they will probably still be accepted (and not viewed as unusual enough to be noted). Buy any extra supplies needed first though.
>>
No. 451187 ID: 76a8f3
File 134668336747.png - (207.82KB , 750x750 , 25.png )
451187

>>If we did ever bind Begger's ghost to us for some reason, would it effect our voice?

Oh, uh, it’s like, super-blatant. When mom did it with great-x-grandma’s ghost, it looked like mom was wearing grandma’s ghost as a mantle. It isn’t subtle at all, but like, if I wanted to borrow some of Beggar’s skills at uhm. Begging. I could do it. Maybe binding him could make me hide better? I dunno.

>>Now would be the time to get your cover story hammered out.
>>If you're going to be asking for directions, though, it wouldn't be a bad idea to come up with an answer for the inevitable 'so, why are you heading out that way?' ahead of time. Would it be plausible to say you've got family there?

Oh, uh, huh. Yeah okay. We can work out the details when it really comes up, but for now let’s go with a general “My family up here fell apart so I’m going back to where we came from” kind of thing?

>>How do clothes work for ghosts anyway?

I think it has to be something you wore in life? If Beggar’s memory is going, maybe he can’t remember anything else? Iunno. I’m getting used to him being naked but I guess other people might be weirded out. We’ll have to find something.

My thoughts are split perfectly down the middle on gambling or not. I can think of a lot of good reasons to do it, and a lot of good reasons not to. I look at Beggar.

“Well… let’s at least get into town and see what things are like, right?”

We walk across the bridge. There’s a skull set into the side of the wall that we pass, but there’s no ghost to greet us or anything. I think it might be there to ward off mosquitos. I think you can prepare relics so they do that. I really should have paid more attention to mom.

Beggar shows me around the town real quick. None of it has changed since he was here last. The stranger’s inn doubles as an eatery with a long window to order food from outside. We get a few looks, but we’re strangers in a little farming town. Of course we’re going to.

Beggar asks again if we can go gamble, and, I mean. It isn’t like, culturally, gambling is a thing people lose serious money on. It’s the most common pastime. But… we also don’t have much money to lose before we’re broke. But we also have Tashikoxix coins we need to get rid of. Ugggghh I can’t decide.

He steers me over to the gambling place anyway. It’s a clearing behind the stranger’s inn with a bunch of stone tables set up for play. There are a few tombdogs in the town’s colors rolling dice or fiddling with wooden and ivory cards.

“I can turn your family’s money into stuff we can use down south,” he presses. Uggggh.

I can’t decide. The tombdogs that are gambling look like decent people, at least. It isn’t shady. One of them is a corpsebound, too. He’s like, the opposite kind of dead as Beggar. He can still walk and stuff. He looks up at us and I give him a polite head-nod.

He nods his skull back and, uh. Huh. I mean, he has no skin, okay? I can’t really tell what his expression would be. But uhm, he’s walking over to us. Quickly.

“Iaxio?”

That’s a name. He’s looking at us and calling out a name.

Uhhhhhhhhhhh.

“Iaxio!”

I think someone just recognized Beggar’s ghost.
>>
No. 451188 ID: e3f578

>>451187
"Yo, Begs, I think that's you."
>>
No. 451200 ID: 8042f4

Since it's a tie-breaker, go gambling.
>>
No. 451208 ID: 76a8f3
File 134669168356.png - (210.88KB , 750x750 , 26.png )
451208

>>Since it's a tie-breaker, go gambling.

I’d love to gamble right now actually if it meant I could get out of the piss-grave we just tripped into.

>>"Yo, Begs, I think that's you."

“I… guess we know what your name is. Do you know him?”

Beggar gives me a bunch of Looks. “His face is a skull.”

“So… do we run?”

“A little late for that now.”

I guess I should have expected someone might recognize his ghost what with him having gambled here before. Uhm. This could be really bad. The corpsebound walks right up to us. He’s smiling, but he doesn’t have any lips. Also smiles are uh, kind of threatening among dogs, you know?

“You’re out of your shrine!” the corpsebound says. His mouth doesn’t move when he talks, and he sounds just like a normal tombdog talking. I still can’t tell what kind of tone he’s using. Surprised? Angry?

“Most of me is still there,” Beggar says. His voice is wavering. He seems really confused. No, like. He seems upset. I don’t know what’s up.

The corspebound waves a bone-hand at me. “Who’s she?”

Beggar’s tongue just fumbles around in his ghost mouth. The corpsebound looks at me.

Uh.

Whatever I’m gonna say, I really gotta not butt this up.
>>
No. 451210 ID: c6ec33

>>451208
You're not going to be able to pass him off as not-beggar at this point. Just roll with it.

Introduce yourself using some common tombdog name (the equivalent of elizabeth, mary, linda, etc.). Say that you were staying up near [town you came from] for a while, and got to know him while you were wandering around. He hasn't really had a friend in like forever, so you offered to take him on a little road-trip.

Unless it's considered embarrassing, point out that he's got a shoddy memory right now, and couldn't even remember his name. But he remembers gambling, hahah.
>>
No. 451212 ID: e3f578

>>451208
"Just a traveler, noticed this guy's shrine on the road. Heard his story, realized he was a little depressed at the idea of being stuck in one place to just be an attraction for locals to balk at and donate money to the shrine just because it's funny. Asked him if he wanted to join me since travling the road is a little lonely, he agreed and here we are. Told me he was good at gambling so we stopped here."
But keep it consistent with your made-up backstory.
"His memory ain't so good anymore he says. Couldn't even remember his name. Now we know, I guess. THanks."
>>
No. 451215 ID: 5d5628

You're Iaxio's great-great-grand niece. You're in a sacred mission to collect relics from all your distant stray relatives and lay them to rest in their ancestral crypt, where the ghost of Iaxio's father awaits his return. But, before that, you must explore the South in search of more dead members of your family. Ask Skullface if he can provide you with cartographic information so that you can finish your holy task.
>>
No. 451216 ID: c6ec33

>>451215
Let's stay away from any attempts to pass him off as a relative *with people who know him*, since he was a bastard that has no family ties. :)
>>
No. 451218 ID: 7461d3

>>451215
Not this.

>>451210
This sounds really plausible though.
>>
No. 451266 ID: 762100

>>451208

Don't let yourself get pressured into questions first. Instead, press him for questions, asking who he is, and who Iaxio is. You haven't sold yourself out as knowing that beggar came from a shrine YET so you could possibly pass off that you found or were sold a piece of him that was probably taken from his shrine by a mischievous kid or something. And hope that Iaxio (if that is his name) plays along. If nothing else, you could say that he's just confused and memory-addled to explain the response to the corpse-bound question about his sanctuary.
>>
No. 451290 ID: 76a8f3
File 134670260070.png - (141.96KB , 750x750 , 27.png )
451290

>>451210

Let’s do this.

“I’m Taliaxix of—” town name town name town name “—Iaxkholfrehdn-em. Do you know him? When I found him at the crossroads he didn’t seem to remember much of anything. He wanted to come along, so I didn’t think there’d be any harm in it…”

The corpsebound clicks his teeth together. “He’s Iaxio No-Town. Iaxio, do you not remember me?”

Beggar’s ghost—Iaxio—shakes his head. “Should I?”

The corpsebound sounds worried. “How much have you forgotten? I built your shrine. I was there a few years ago. We spoke.”

Beggar’s ghost holds up his hands. It’s like he’s trying to keep his shoulders from sinking any further. “All I remember from my life is starving and dying. All I remember from my death is—is the Tashikoxix girl talking to me sometimes.” Beggar does a good job of not looking at me when he says that. I don’t think the corpsebound catches anything.

I do see his whole body shift when the word “Tashikoxix” comes up, though. “Well she’s being married this week, so that’ll be the end of that. Miss Taliaxix, where do you plan on taking Iaxio’s ghost?”

Stick to the plan stick to the plan. “I’m heading far south. I’m the last of my family up north. We’re going back to my ancestral lands.”

The corpsebound sighs. No air comes out of his mouth but his ghost is making the noise. “If you’ve been wasting away that quickly at the crossroads, a journey of some kind might not hurt. I promise I’ll visit your shrine more frequently.”

Beggar’s ghost seems really uncomfortable. Maybe his memories are coming back? … maybe he’s trying to remember things and he just can’t?

I’m not sure if he’s in the mood for gambling right now, but if we want to ask any questions about Iaxio’s past—try to help him get any of his memories back—this might be our last chance before we’re out of this place for good.

Otherwise… directions? Food? Stay for the night? Leave?
>>
No. 451295 ID: 762100

>>451290

So ask him who he is, and, if Iaxio even wants to, ask him about Iaxio's life? That might be a bit of a painful thing for Iaxio, though. But how is Iaxio related to this corpsebound? And why did the corpsebound make a shrine for him?
>>
No. 451299 ID: 7461d3

>>451293
This contradicts our earlier story, so don't say it.

Seriously, just ask Iaxio if he wants to chat with this guy some. Ask the guy what he knows about Iaxio, then ask for directions. If we have a lot of daylight, let's just keep going, otherwise, stranger's inn.
>>
No. 451306 ID: f2c20c

>>451290
I think we should gamble away the money types we would have a hard time using. That'll likely help Iaxio remember things, too.
>>
No. 451310 ID: 762100

>>451306

this is a nice and clean incentive to foster idle gambling and gives something to do in the city while talking to corpsebound duders. Totes.
>>
No. 451316 ID: e3f578

>>451290
Using Beggar's name might make him uncomfortable now.
We should mix his names into a nickname.
Bax. There we go, less awkwardness.
>>
No. 451339 ID: 797a5a

Ghosts die when they forget everything or something, right?
I say we ask Beggar what he wants to do, but it would be a good idea for him to learn more about himself.
>>
No. 451362 ID: 76a8f3
File 134670653019.png - (146.09KB , 750x750 , 28.png )
451362

>>Ask all the questions

Gotcha.

“Uhm, Iaxio?” Beggar looks at me when I use his name. Yeah, okay. That’s his name. “Do you wanna talk this out a bit more?”

He shakes his head and shrugs. “I don’t know.”

I suggest, “How about we go over to a gambling table and play a bit, instead of standing around here just talking?”

The corpsebound agrees and we go over to an empty table. Beggar—Iaxio—perks up a bit as the skeleton takes some dice out from the table’s cubby. “You know the rules around here for three-dice, yes?”

I nod, and Beggar—jeez, Iaxio—does, too. The corpsebound slides two little Geofahn pennies out onto the table.

>>I think we should gamble away the money types we would have a hard time using.

“Since I’m going south, mind if I use some local coins?” I ask. I put two Tashikoxix coins on the table. Against the Geofahn pennies it’s still just barely an even bet.

The corpsebound dips his head. “Someone tricked you into taking some Tashikoxix coins?”

My ears tug back further than the hat’s already pressing them. “Yeah. I didn’t know they were uh, that declined.”

The corpsebound picks up one of the Tashikoxix coins and holds it up in the air. Like, is he making sure it’s genuine? Who would counterfeit one of those? No, it’s like—like he’s holding the colors over me. Like he’s.

I’m so incredibly stupid.

“Their last daughter is marrying into House Geofahn soon,” he says. “Maybe these coins will be worth more then.” He drops it back down onto the table. “Unless their last daughter runs away.”

I. Am. So. Stupid. I am just gonna pull my rain hat down over my eyes, okay?

“I wasn’t sure it was you until just now. You have your great-grandfather’s eyes, Sabhaxlia.”

Of course of course of course. The corpsebound’s clearly like a hundred years old his mantle shows he used to live in the other town too of course he knows all about my family of course he could recognize me of course of course.

He just keeps talking. “You’re running off to leave your family to sink? Abandoning it and taking my grand-son with you?” He starts laughing. “Smart girl. Come on, we can’t be talking about this in the open. There’s still too many souls that remember the old scandals. This way.”

He wants us to follow him. He’s. He’s clearly heading out to the back wall of the town, where it leads into the marshy forest. Beggar—Iaxio—seems as confused and scared as I am.
>>
No. 451369 ID: e3f578

>>451362
Oh fuck it, we're had if he isn't an ally anyway, and if he is, running away from this would be insulting him and turning down a well needed ally.
Screw it.
Go on.
No going backsies, final destination.

He has no alligence to Geofahn if he's as old as you says he is. He's probably a bored old man gambling his days away, helping you out would be a change for once. And, well, to be honest your great-grandfather's ghost is probably dead now, so if he's friends with this guy then it's not like he's saving his old ghost friend from dying by convincing you to return home.
>>
No. 451370 ID: 061a93

Welp, if he were gonna turn us in he would have done it the moment he figured it out. Follow him, I guess, but not trustingly. Keep your eyes open and your hand on your weapon-- do you even have a weapon? Note to future Sabhaxlia: Get a weapon.
>>
No. 451380 ID: dc4a44

seems like he won't squeal. let's follow
>>
No. 451381 ID: 762100

>>451362

note for the future, avoid talking to anything that is old, forever. They might know you because reasons. Also what da heck, grandad, what is that, make sure you ask him about him being Iaxio's grandad and if so why he was a beggar I mean that's not how tombdog family dynamics work right also maybe you should just toss those tashicocksix coins out jeeeeez
>>
No. 451383 ID: f2c20c

>Abandoning it and taking my grand-son with you?
Wait, Iaxio's his grandson?

Hell yes follow him.
>>
No. 451385 ID: 797a5a

I say follow the guy, but don't be too terribly trusting. He might be the only other ally we have.

Though, you're apparently traveling with his fading grandson. He's saving his own blood and giving Iaxio a chance to travel if he helps you out.
>>
No. 451391 ID: 061a93

>>451381
Yeah seriously do they have any value at all where we're going? Because up here they are worth 1 unmasking each. Fuck those coins. Dump 'em.
>>
No. 451398 ID: a83bdf

> weapons
We got a walking spear and a hookblade.

So, follow him but keep a safe distance and quietly ask Iaxie to tell you anything he might remember about the way you're going before you fall into some sort of trap.
>>
No. 451401 ID: b33427

Sabby, you must have all the fool's luck, 'cause that could have gone so, so much worse. Follow the corpsebound, at a bit of a distance, just in case. Ask the corpsebound's name on the way. That might jog Iaxio's memory.

You've gotta get rid of those Tashiknoxix coins. Either dump them in the bony hand of this corpsebound, drop them in a random midden, or chuck them into the swamp. Just get rid of them ASAP, along with any other items of Tashiknoxix design or mark on you.

>There’s still too many souls that remember the old scandals.
Ooooo! Bet mommy dearest didn't tell you those stories. Get all the history on the fall of House Tashiknoxix you can from this corpsebound.
>>
No. 451402 ID: 797a5a

We ought to find a (living) beggar and give them the Tashikoxix coins. Then they'd at least get a little good use.
Unless that's insulting or something.
>>
No. 451425 ID: 6a1ec2

The fact he's leading you away from town instead of toward a Geofahn stronghold in town makes me trust him more. Your life is sort of upside down now Sabhaxlia, so never take something at its face value. Expect the creepy to be trustworthy and the trusting to betray you. Also show him your boobs.
>>
No. 451433 ID: 76a8f3
File 134671680985.png - (331.15KB , 750x750 , 29.png )
451433

>> Sabby, you must have all the fool's luck, 'cause that could have gone so, so much worse. Follow the corpsebound, at a bit of a distance, just in case.
>>The fact he's leading you away from town instead of toward a Geofahn stronghold in town makes me trust him more.

I mean, he said he’s Iaxio’s grandfather, right…?

>>Follow him, I guess, but not trustingly. Keep your eyes open and your hand on your weapon-- do you even have a weapon?

Well…

>> We got a walking spear and a hookblade.

I have my walking spear right here, and I have the little blade in my backpack. I. I have no idea if I can even hurt a corpsebound.

>>No going backsies, final destination.

Let’s do it, though. I’m so deep in the piss-grave I might as well start swimming!

Iaxio and I follow the corpsebound out of town. He takes all the back alleys. I’m not sure anyone sees us leave. I fish my hook blade out from my backpack while I’m at it. Honestly, I am. So skeeved off right now. This is so not legit.

The corpsebound takes us out the back, past the animal pens outside the walls, and into the mossy forest. My boots sink into the ground. They make a sucking noise against the wet, green earth when I try to step. It’s hard. Iaxio’s ghost doesn’t have a problem with it, and the corpsebound is getting along just fine too. Great. I’m going to die with my boots full of water, aren’t I?

I lean over to Iaxio as we walk. “Grandson? Do… you remember him?”

“No. Yes, I mean. No!”

“Do you think he’s tricking us?”

“I’m going to assume so.”

“Are we going to die?”

“You might!”

Great.

>>Yeah seriously do they have any value at all where we're going? Because up here they are worth 1 unmasking each. Fuck those coins. Dump 'em.

You know what, that’s right. This is the last point anyone will recognize these coins anyway, and they’re just gonna drag on more questions than anything else. I let them scatter onto the forest floor. They sink against the wet moss.

I have 7 Geofahn coins and 3 Fauhredn pennies left.

We… we spend maybe twenty minutes walking through the forest. It’s starting to get darker, but nightfall’s still several hours away. I’m just slightly hungry is all. Finally the corpsebound stops leading us on. I tighten the grip on my spear.

We’re in front of a tree. He turns around here.

“I had to keep her hidden,” he says. He looks at me. “Your great-grandfather outlived her by a decade, and his ghost remained powerful for a while more. Neither town would have her. By the time you died, Iaxio, his ghost was diminishing, but you were still tainted.”

The corpsebound pulls away the bark. It’s a solid chunk. There’s a huge hole in the trunk. There’s a dead body in there. It’s… pretty old.

“Saexix, wake up.” The corpsebound nudges his hand against the body’s face. “Your son’s here.”

Oh what. A ghost appears. She’s a woman, and, like, young. A few years older than me. She’s dressed in the yellow and red colors of the town we just left.

I think that’s Beggar’s mom. Right there. That’s totally her ghost. Iaxio seems to realize it, too. His whole ghost-body just shivers. Oh. Boy.
>>
No. 451435 ID: 76a8f3
File 134671691434.png - (237.35KB , 750x750 , 30.png )
451435

Iaxio stumbles forward and his mom catches him. Their ghosts are touching. I guess they’re solid enough for one another. Iaxio looks up at the corpsebound. At his grandfather? “I… can’t remember her.”

“You shouldn’t. She died when you were three years old, and circumstances forced me to hide her from everyone. I tried to raise you, but you had no father. No one could stomach you. You left here when you were sixteen. You didn’t want to bring any more slander on my own head.”

I’m. Just gonna lean on my walking-spear here and watch, okay? I don’t think this moment’s about me.

“I got news a few years later you had died. Neither town would accept your body into their crypt, so I built the shrine for you.”

Iaxio looks at his mom. “So why do you get this excellent tree-house and I’m stuck out in the streets?”

His mom is crying, though. This is kind of awkward. Okay? This is awkward for me. “Your father wasn’t happy when I became pregnant, Iaxio.”

“Because you weren’t married?” he asks.

“Because he was married. He threatened me if I ever revealed him. He threatened you. I couldn’t produce a father, so when I produced a son… people said the most disgusting things about me. About us. I’m so sorry, my baby. I’m so sorry.”

And then they just hug. Aaaand I’m just kind of standing here. I’m happy beggar’s catching up on his family history, I mean, for sure. But this is kind of awkward for me to be here watching it. I don’t really belong here for this. Should I leave?

The corpsebound looks over at me. “At the time, House Tashikoxix wasn’t entirely impotent. Clearly.”

Uhmmm.

“Your great-grandfather couldn’t allow his infidelities to come out. My daughter and grandson have to suffer because of your great-grandfather’s need to avoid scandalizing himself.”

UHMMM.

“… but now it looks like you’re fleeing the corpse of your family, and taking my grandson with you. My grandson inherited the punishment of his mother, but I can’t lay your great-grandfather’s crimes on you.”

Now everyone’s looking at me.

Uhm. Uhm.

“Beggar and I are freaking related?”

Iaxio seems to realize it too. He steps away from his mom. His ghost seems a lot more full. I mean, look, I’d take the guess that maybe he’s getting some memories back, you know, like. It’d seem like an appropriate time for that.

He kind of confirms it when clothes appear on his body.

They’re in my made-up color pattern for. Some. Reason. I really should’ve paid more attention to mom when she told me how ghosts worked.

The corpsebound talks again. “I can spare some money to help your escape. I can spare you some advice, too. Never follow a stranger out into the woods like this again.”

I nod. I nod really hard. “Well you said Iaxio was your grandson, so, uh, I kind of hoped it would be safe…”

“I don’t think you should return to town. If you have run off, House Geofahn will be looking for you. Do you know where you’re headed?”

Okay. If there was ever a time to come up with The Plans, now is a good one. What questions do I need to ask? What do I need to know? Because I know basically nothing heading down south.
>>
No. 451438 ID: 061a93

"Wasn't planning on it."

Awesome, now we don't have to hide him, and he can help our cover story. This is a boon!

Ask them what trade might be the easiest for you to get training in down south, or the easiest for you to pick up without training. Being an unmarried woman is like being a man, Sabhaxlia. You're gonna have to work.
>>
No. 451444 ID: 7461d3

We need a freaking map, and as clear a picture of the south as we can possibly get. Also thank him profusely.

I mean, really any advice at all about what is down the road is good.
>>
No. 451445 ID: 1b5014

Well, now would probably be a great time to ask some questions about heading south.

As for why he picked those colors... I don't know if that just means he likes you, or your made-up not-family is now legitimized for the purposes of however the hell this ghost system works, or what. He is your, uh, ... half-great-uncle? I think that's what he'd be.

But for the purposes of traveling if he's wearing your weird made-up colors it definitely adds some legitimacy to your cover story of "my whole family is gone."
>>
No. 451448 ID: e3f578

>>451435
You don't know that Geofahn's looking for you yet . You know your Mom is, but you can't pinpoint what her own plans for locating you are. Again, I think having the Geofahn's look for you are a last resort for her.
Say what you will about how your family is, but well, what do they have to gain if they tell the Geofahn's and they DON'T find you? Is telling the groom's family required protocol for this kind of thing? Are you so sure she would tell?
Whatever, seriously fuck Tashikoxix completely if your Mom does tell Geofahn first thing, if she'd have you die than abandon your responsibility to the family than fuck her straight up the ass and fuck your whole family. They're terrible people, the family deserves to die.

Might want to ask advice about how ghosts work now, and how to start a new House up legally, and how to prosper in southern territory.
>>
No. 451457 ID: 7461d3

>>451448
Look, seriously, our best bet is to assume the worst. If we assume the worst and it didn't happen, we're fine. We still get away. If we don't assume the worst, then if the worst happens, we are fucked.

So we should assume they totally told on us. We might want to try out our rad survival skills for as long as we can and maybe avoid towns for a while.
>>
No. 451463 ID: b33427

Top priority, before anything else, you're going to need proper footwear and gear to move off-road. Probably something similar to snow-shoes, and a couple poles with wide planks on the ends to grip to keep from planting your nose in the mud. Tying into this, you're also going to need a way to set up camp for the night. A wide folding platform to put your sleeping bag on without sinking into the muck, or to string up from the trees is a must.

Second, you're going to need more food, since you can't stop at any place all the way to House Fauhredn lands. No inns, no markets, not even a bleedin' farm to steal a bit of jerky. House Geofahn deals with so many, anyone could have caught wind of you running away, and anyone could turn you in, even some poor-ass dirt farmer in the middle of nowhere. You should also get a way to create a fire, in case you have to resort to hunting or trapping, and have to cook the meat.

Thirdly, and I hate to say this, but you have to consider that House Fauhredn might be looking for you as well. While they hate House Geofahn, they aren't looking for a fight, and they still do business with them. Fauhredn would try to capture and turn you over to Geofahn merely to avoid the possibility of looking like they're harboring you, and possibly as a bargining chip in a deal with Geofahn, such as a prisoner trade or something. Anyway, the long and short of it is: You need a contingency plan for where to go. Geofahn in the north, Fauhredn in the south, so what's to the east and west?
>>
No. 451468 ID: a83bdf

Then, you two are related after all? This is superb, Sabby. You should all celebrate it with a group hug, weren't Iax and his mom so immaterial at this point.

However, remember to tell Iaxio not to appear to your family dressed like that. It'd raise suspicions. Also, after asking the basic questions of how to survive down south, see if gramps knows a dry place nearby where you can rest for this night.
>>
No. 451471 ID: e3f578

>>451457
Oh, yeah, I'm totally fine with assuming the worst for extra precaution. But we should collect more information about what's going on with the search later, then we might be able to afford to relax a little in the future. On top of that, we might be able to pin how much of an asshole the mother is. Which I believe is pretty important for Sabhaxlia's sound of mind.

Or is really only important for curiosities sake. But I still find curiosity pretty important if we can go about it without killing the cat, tombdog in this case.
>>
No. 451489 ID: f2c20c

>>451463
I really doubt that House Fauhredn would lift a finger to look for us. They might turn us over for a big sack of money if we like, confessed who we are, but we're not going to do that.

How we're going to survive and get work down there is something we need to look into. I expect our choices are manual labor, begging, and crime, but we MIGHT luck out and find a job that uses our already-learned skills.

Thinking about it... well, if our story right now is that we're heading south towards our ancestral lands... what will our story be once we get there? We can't claim that our colors are legitimate down there; we'd be found out eventually. I guess we could reverse the story and say we're from the north, and just want to live somewhere different for a change.
>>
No. 451526 ID: 797a5a

Okay, first thing's first.

I have no fucking clue where you should go. South sounds like an alright choice.I doubt Fauhredn will want to turn you in, since they hate the Geofahn. You marrying into the Geofahn House would strengthen them, you not marrying in keeps them weak.

Next, we need to come up with new names. Unless Sabhaxlia is a super common name (it would be stupid to use, regardless) I'd pick a different name. There any names out there that you like better, maybe one that lets you continue to be called Sabby? Iaxio should be fine when it comes to his name.
Also, we need to make up a house name for ourselves. We can't just continue to say really jumbled almost-house-sounding words whenever someone asks. We need a name that actually fits. Hell, maybe you can even start your own house. How does making one's own house work, anyway? Might be cool to be a founding member, since we're trained to be a higher up anyway.
Oh, and a place we're from. We need a made up town name, too, to come from or whatever, unless houses live in their own mannors. And a reason why we dont carry our own (made up) house's currency.
>>
No. 451530 ID: 797a5a

>>451526
Adding onto this, maybe say you're traveling to find new blood for your house (meaning, for someone to marry into your house, rather than the other way around). You're the last surviving member of your house and all the other ghosts died due to your parents' negligence. Now its just you and Iaxio.

That way, it seems like you've got a reason to travel and leave your homeland.
>>
No. 451537 ID: 762100

>>451435

figure out how ghosts work and totally all those things about having a useful trade in fauhredn lands, but also see if he knows anything about the goings on down there, what the climate is like politically and socially. Also a map. Get a map. a map a map a map
>>
No. 451543 ID: 6a1ec2

Hey! You only followed the stranger out into the woods because he could have turned you in! You didn't have any choice! You wouldn't be that dumb if he was just some corpse dude.
>>
No. 451628 ID: c6ec33

Just explain that you were planning to go south, and hopefully find some kind of job that you could do there.

However... you don't exactly have any good skills. Your best knowledge is basically limited to protocol, and you don't even have a good idea of ghost care.

If... great-grandfather dude has any relatives or friends down south who would be willing to help out, that would be super awesome.

Also, offer to take a relic from Iaxio's mom and/or grandfather, if they'd like it. You don't have another reliquary handy yet, but you figure you should at least offer, since you'll be leaving again immediately, and this hasn't exactly been a lot of time for Iaxio to catch up on things. You should point out that you're very sorry for the past transgressions of your family, and sincerely appreciate the fact that they are not being butts to you for it. Iaxio is a total bro.
>>
No. 451645 ID: 551a12
File 134677516023.png - (278.77KB , 750x750 , 31.png )
451645

>>Might want to ask advice about how ghosts work now

“So, okay, do we know why Iaxio is wearing this color pattern I basically made up out of my butt?”

Corpsedad laughs. “A ghost displays his family’s colors. You’re united in your running away.”

“Also I never felt him before, but now I can feel it when he touches me…”

“He’s getting stronger. He’s recovering more of himself. I imagine he’s also growing more familiar with you; it’s easier for ghosts to affect people they know.”

Iaxio butts in. “I had no idea I had lost this much memory, either. I had completely forgotten my grandfather’s cheerful skull-face.”

>>Also, offer to take a relic from Iaxio's mom and/or grandfather, if they'd like it.

I offer, and grandcorpsedad says he’ll just knick a finger off of Iaxio and put it in the stump with his mom. Eternal family reunion! That’s fine enough for me. I guess that means I can keep in touch with them through Iaxio too.

>>How we're going to survive and get work down there is something we need to look into. I expect our choices are manual labor, begging, and crime, but we MIGHT luck out and find a job that uses our already-learned skills.
>>However... you don't exactly have any good skills. Your best knowledge is basically limited to protocol, and you don't even have a good idea of ghost care.

Deadgranddad looks over at me. “What are you planning to do when you get further south?”

“Pffffffffffft.”

“Excellent.”

>>Hell, maybe you can even start your own house.
>>how to start a new House up legally

I mean, it’s a cute idea, but most houses are born when a big, powerful, wealthy family starts getting super-influential. Unless ghost-butt and I have a bunch of successful merchant-children I don’t think I’m gonna be supplanting House Fauhredn anytime soon.

>>I doubt Fauhredn will want to turn you in, since they hate the Geofahn.

They’ve literally been in a permanent state of declared war for like, eighty years. They do send trade at one another, but, like, I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine there.

>>You don't know that Geofahn's looking for you yet.

Iaxio seizes up for a moment and kind of stares off into space. After a minute he claps his hands and smiles at me. “So! That was two Geofahn guys going past my corpse just now. I think they realized you aren’t in the town anymore.”

Well! That answers that. “Okay, then we’re definitely not staying in the stranger’s inn tonight.”

>>see if gramps knows a dry place nearby where you can rest for this night.

“And if we’re not staying at a stranger’s inn, where can we stay?

Iaxio’s mom makes the offer. “You can stay here. My ghost will keep the cold and insects off of you tonight.”

You know what, that doesn’t sound like a bad plan. The ground is wet, but I guess I can throw the tarp down under me?

>>You should also get a way to create a fire, in case you have to resort to hunting or trapping, and have to cook the meat.

“So uh, would you happen to uhm, have anything I could use to make a fire. If I’m gonna be avoiding inns for a while?”

Granddad gives me a Look and he doesn’t even have eyes. “You have a pack that big and no firestarter? Goodness.”

“Goodness,” I agree.

He gives me his firebox. It’s a water-sealed box with some flint and steel built in it. The sparks come out a sliding grate at one end. I can start every fire with this. Excellent.

He also gives me ten Geofahn coins. That puts me up to 17 Geofahn coins and 3 Fauhredn pennies. We’re not rich, but we’re honestly pretty darn well set for now.

>>We need a freaking map, and as clear a picture of the south as we can possibly get

“Well, I doubt you have a map on you, but…”

Grandad doesn’t, but he has the advices. “If you go along the south-west road you’ll reach a large town. You might be able to secure passage along the river-road through there. It’s a large town, and out of Geofahn influence, so even if they’re there you might avoid them. Other than that, you can bear south-east to a little hamlet that can steer you on further.”

Welp! We got Destinations for tomorrow to choose from. I should probably decide now which one I’m heading to. Large, independent town with river-road, or small, secluded hamlet?

It’s heading into evening and I’m getting kind of hungry. I have enough packaged meat to last me for like, a week, so I don’t think we need to try and go hunting tonight or nothing. Uhm. Are we just gonna camp here? I can’t think of a better idea.

Maexiks said she’d talk to us tonight, though. It’s getting to be tonight and I don’t know how she was planning on meeting up with us. I’m not sure what to do about that.
>>
No. 451647 ID: 7461d3

I hope she's all right! Big town seems like a better destination because you're more likely to be able to pass through unnoticed, although it's more likely that Geofahn will think to send people that way, although nobody knows you went south yet, so maybe you still have time.

Other than that, camping here seems reasonable.
>>
No. 451660 ID: 5d5628

Head for Big Town. Strangers in foreign colors are less likely to call attention amongst the throngs of the cosmopolitan environment.

I wouldn't worry about Maexy so soon. Mantisfolk may very well be capable of communicating through dreams. Just enjoy the evening in the company of your new family (remember to thank them for the help, by the way) and camp here for the night. Leave early in the morning, but not too early. Crossing the boggy forest while it's still dark may be dangerous.
>>
No. 451673 ID: c69043

Okay.
A) Come to terms that your weird ghost-uncle has been flirting with you
B) Come to terms with the fact that you showed your weird ghost uncle your titties
C) Warn grandcorpsedad that your worried for Iaxio's corpse's safety, since your mom already threatened him and you're worried the Geofahrbablarba might actually do something.
>>
No. 451674 ID: e3f578

>>451645
>Geofahn has started looking now
Well, straight up fuck your mother for condemning us to death then. She's not your mother anymore. Tashikoxix is basically officially dead at this point and is no longer your name.
The bug lady gave you no idea of a meeting place at all, and it would be stupid to go back and lose your progress that you've made today. She said you'll meet up in dreams.
Let's rest now, maybe stay up a bit of the night with your great-uncle coming up with a proper family name and keep your story consistent, so you don't have to speak for him.
>>
No. 451705 ID: d6c330

Hey, you know, ghost-bud wearing your new colors is a good thing. Gives you an air of legitimacy- you're someone traveling with a family ghost, not a runaway in made up colors. Most people aren't going to figure out the "united in running away" thing.

...is he going to show up in those clothes if and when he appears at the crossroads though? That'll raise questions.
>>
No. 451718 ID: f2c20c

I think if the Geofahn were going to blame Iaxio, they'd have at least spoken to him while passing. Besides, there's nothing to be done about it.

Camping here seems about right... but making a fire creates smoke. I wonder if they will be looking for smoke plumes at this point? Probably.
>>
No. 451722 ID: a83bdf

> coming up with a proper family name
I humbly suggest Slartibartifax.
>>
No. 451723 ID: d3f29d

We tried the small town route and ended up with a family reunion. Big town sounds like a better bet for interesting plot developments-- er, safe, unnoticed travel to the south.

Also, if you go to the hamlet, your father's ghost might show up and tell you to avenge his murder by killing your uncle, and right now your uncle is your best ally.
>>
No. 451738 ID: c69043

>>451674
Dude. You DO realize that Sabby's mom is the only other surviving member of her house and the only one keeping it alive now that Sabby's run away?

The Geosdfhsfhs could easily have threatened her life in exchange for getting info on Sabby. They wont kill Sabby, that'll just lose their claim on her family's powerful ghosts. Her life isn't in danger, per se, though she'll likely be watched very, very closely if she gets forced into that marriage and likely wont be able to run off again.

It's simple crazy dog-politics.
>>
No. 451740 ID: 522afb

Unless you're absolutely positive you won't have trouble getting fed on the road, I actually suggest you at least start trapping tonight if you can. It's hard to get the nooses correct, and it's pretty much all down to luck whether you get anything. Right NOW you're not hurting for food, but that just means you should practice it now instead of trying your hardest when you really need that juicy squirrel in your gullet. And you really should get into a habit of doing so whenever you set up camp. Might as well put those sleeping hours into use as well.

So, yeah. Ask ghoul grandad for something you can use to set up traps.
>>
No. 451742 ID: 6a1ec2

>>451738

Yeah I'm sure Geofahn tortured her so much when they didn't even know Sabhaxlia had run away. It truly must have broken her heart to tell them to go after the girl.
>>
No. 451748 ID: c69043

>>451742
Did I say torture?
And whose to say that her groom didn't come by for another visit? She's been gone almost two days now and her wedding is literally either tomorrow or the next. They'd notice she's either not around.

And even then, they still probably won't kill her. That's the point I was trying to make there.
>>
No. 451753 ID: 6a1ec2

>>451748

And I'm just saying that considering who she is, it didn't take a lot of persuasion to get Mom to spill the beans. In fact she probably hurled the beans at them at high velocities.

Oh, new idea: find descendents of all the girls your great grandfather knocked up and revive the glory of house Tashikoxix with an army of bastard grandchildren!
>>
No. 451757 ID: e3f578

>>451738
>>451748
>my argument
>>/questdis/60365

Oh and Sabbs, when was the last time you had a bath, you must stink like a wet dog! Also, how many days till the wedding now, so we can get exacts.
>>
No. 451792 ID: dc4a44

>“Also I never felt him before, but now I can feel it when he touches me…”

And now you know how Mom and Ghost Dad do the nasty.
>>
No. 451899 ID: b33427

Before he leaves, ask Corpsedad about footwear for crossing the swamplands, and if he has a pair he doesn't need he could let you have. You're going to need it when (not if) you have to go really off-road.

Maexiks said she'd meet you in a dream, which since she's a dreambug, means she'll literally meet you there, somehow. You'll find out when you go to sleep. And when you do meet, ask her if she knew how much risk she was putting herself in by helping you, and thank her once again.

Oh, and don't forget to pull of your boots to let them, and your feet, dry out overnight. No sense in getting fungus-foot by leaving them on.

The big independent down sounds like a better choice. A traveling stranger wouldn't be going through a hamlet unless they were trying to avoid the main routes, or their final destination was close by. That raises questions, and you don't want to raise questions. While the big independent town will have a Geofahn presence, it offers the fastest way south. Avoid them, and you'll be good, and if there are too many, you can always leave town, skirt the edge, and continue south.
>>
No. 451904 ID: f2c20c

When we've got some free time, ask Iaxio why the scar on his face is red instead of ghostly blue.
>>
No. 451911 ID: dc4a44

And what is Iaxio going to do about his new found finery when he haunts his shrine?
>>
No. 451927 ID: 79108c
File 134685362108.png - (332.16KB , 750x750 , 32.png )
451927

>>Big town seems like a better destination
>>Head for Big Town
>>Big town sounds like a better bet
>>The big independent down sounds like a better choice

Enough of these little butt-towns, let’s go somewhere excellent where everyone doesn’t know me already!

>> Also, if you go to the hamlet, your father's ghost might show up and tell you to avenge his murder by killing your uncle, and right now your uncle is your best ally.

Damn.

>>A) Come to terms that your weird ghost-uncle has been flirting with you

Well, neither of us knew at the time, I guess, so it’s not that creepy.

>>B) Come to terms with the fact that you showed your weird ghost uncle your titties

I’d rather just forget that entirely though, okay? I’m just gonna go ahead and forget that.

>>Mantisfolk may very well be capable of communicating through dreams.

Oh. Oh, duh. Right! That makes sense?

>>Just enjoy the evening in the company of your new family (remember to thank them for the help, by the way) and camp here for the night. Leave early in the morning, but not too early.

We do! I settle in with Iaxio and his mom Saexix. Corpsegramps has to get back to town, though. He promises he’ll keep Geofahn off my trail for a bit! Excellent! After he’s gone I spread out my tarp. Although I can feel the wet, mossy ground beneath me squish and ooze, the tarp stays dry. Neato. I hang my boots up off a low branch to dry off, and I let my mantle off, too. It feels a bit weird having my shoulders exposed like this, but it’s probably better not to be sleeping in my clothes forever?

>> Oh and Sabbs, when was the last time you had a bath, you must stink like a wet dog!

My room had a bath in it. I wish I could sneak back and slip in there for an hour.

>> And now you know how Mom and Ghost Dad do the nasty.

What no what no look Iaxio and Saexix and I are busy talking about my family history.

It’s slightly awkward what with my great-grandad apparently uh, banging Saexix here and then threatening her if she ever revealed it, but hey! I think my family’s a hole full of piss sometimes too. It’s a good bonding experience.

>> Oh, new idea: find descendents of all the girls your great grandfather knocked up and revive the glory of house Tashikoxix with an army of bastard grandchildren!

I totally say it. We laugh. I never actually spoke to my great-grandad’s ghost, he was gone before I was really born. I bet he was a jerk, though. My… family is kind of a whole lot of jerks, aren’t they?

>> And what is Iaxio going to do about his new found finery when he haunts his shrine?

“Hey, uh, can you go back to your beggar-outfit if you need to appear at your shrine?”

“You just want to see me naked, don’t you?”

Ugh. I’m going to assume he can.

>> Unless you're absolutely positive you won't have trouble getting fed on the road, I actually suggest you at least start trapping tonight if you can.

I mean, I’ll try. I still have the rope. I completely forgot to mention it because I’m kind of an idiot but Maexiks totally bought me a rope. I spend about twenty minutes playing around with it before realizing I have no idea how to make traps, but I can make a knot that kind of looks like a moth!

Saexix gets in on it too and she tells me how to make a knot that looks like a landstar! Look, I don’t care, this is fun.

>> Camping here seems about right... but making a fire creates smoke. I wonder if they will be looking for smoke plumes at this point? Probably.

As it gets dark I do try to start a fire, but, I mean, look, I don’t think I’ve stressed how wet things are here. I collect some wood and some rocks, but all of it has a slippery feeling of wet on it. It’s fine. It’s a warm night. Saexix’s ghost actually is powerful enough to keep any insects from buzzing near, and Iaxio picks up the trick too.

Eventually it’s too dark to make out much more than the ghosts, so I go to sleep.

Maexiks is a dreambug, right? I don’t really know the deets, but, uh, let’s sleep and see how it goes.
>>
No. 451928 ID: 79108c
File 134685366729.png - (149.19KB , 750x750 , 33.png )
451928

Butts butts butts I’m still in the green town? I thought we got out of here a day ago? Uhm. Uhm.

What the heck is wrong with the sky.
>>
No. 451929 ID: 886a4d

I believe this is a dream, look around for your friend.
>>
No. 451930 ID: 1b5014

You're, like, dreaming, and stuff. Things always go weird in dreams.
>>
No. 451940 ID: 79108c
File 134685716301.png - (181.77KB , 750x750 , 34.png )
451940

>>You're, like, dreaming, and stuff. Things always go weird in dreams.

Oh, yeah, I mean, I guess I did just go to sleep, right?

>>I believe this is a dream, look around for your friend.

If I’m in her town maybe she’s at her house? I let my steps bring me over there. The entire town is empty, and that’s kind of a weird feeling, okay? Also there are like, giant planets floating around just overhead. I mean, uhm, our remnant has one moon, okay? This is weird. I just wanna make that clear here.

I find Maexiks out front of her house. Uhm. Well then. She’s got her wings all spread out and they’re sort of glowing. And her eyespots are kind of bleeding light. Look, maybe I can wake up and come back later?

“Sabhaxlia?” Oh, she can talk just fine though. Okay. I guess this is uhm. Dreambug stuff. Let’s roll with it?

“Hi?”

“This was much harder to do than I had expected. I’ve never been a tombdog’s dream before.”

“Well, that’s fine. I’ve uhm, never had a dreambug dream before.”

Maexiks finally relaxes. Her wings stop, uhm, glowing, and go back into their case. Her eyes calm down too. “Hello!”

“So uhm.” I have to be honest, I was kind of expecting this, but I clearly wasn’t ready. “What’s with the sky?”

“This is our remnant.”

“Oh. What?”

“The dreambug remnant survives as our dream. It was never really destroyed.”

“So… this is what the sky looked like in your world? Uh. Looks like?”

“Yes.”

“Well then.”

“We are in the town I live in, though. I think that’s because I’m your dream, and not the other way around. I did need to bring my sky with me, in case I need to see the planets.”

“Oh. That makes sense.” I have no idea what is going on. “So are you, uhm. Really Maexiks? Or am I just dreaming this?”

“Yes.”

Great.

I can’t read her very well still, but I think she has things she wants to tell me. But, I mean, I can ask specific things, first, if there’s stuff on my mind I really want to know above everything else.
>>
No. 451942 ID: 374204

Tell her that helping you might have put her in terrible danger, and she might need to scarper. Also ask her what has been going on in town since she left, and if she overheard where people might be going to look for her, if people are going to go look for her and all. and what. And what kind of dreamstuff can she do. Like, what this whole dreamthing is about.
>>
No. 451945 ID: 374204

Also ask if you lick her eye here, is that like licking her eye in real life? Also if you make out here? Or maybe MORE than make out? Despite the answer, do these things.
>>
No. 451946 ID: bf54a8

just say she seems to have something on her mind and to spill it.
>>
No. 451959 ID: c6ec33

Thank her for all the help before, and let her know that your journey has been going well so far. But you've learned that Geofahn is on your trail now, and you worry that they're going to question anyone who might have helped you, including her. You worry about her, and hope she's prepared a cover story for when she's undoubtedly going to be questioned, assuming she hasn't been already.

And, if she has any advice or wisdom to give you now that you're on the road, it would be greatly appreciated.

You also realize that you may never see her again in person, which makes you sad. You hope that you'll be able to talk with her in dreams every so often in the future.
>>
No. 451971 ID: e3f578

>>451940
So is this the real her and the one we see when we're awake was an avatar or what?
We'd like to know if she's in danger for one, unless you can't really kill a dreambug because of this... whole thing.
Maybe dream bugs are world surfers? I dunno. If they can see all the planets and stuff I mean.
>>
No. 451981 ID: 79108c
File 134687377448.png - (169.91KB , 750x750 , 35.png )
451981

>But you've learned that Geofahn is on your trail now, and you worry that they're going to question anyone who might have helped you, including her.
>Tell her that helping you might have put her in terrible danger, and she might need to scarper.

“So uh, House Geofahn is probably kinda annoyed at my running away, you know? Maybe you should uh, leave town for a bit?”

Maexiks starts walking and I keep alongside her. She uses her arms as legs, too. Her body is so weird in motion. “Your mother came to town this morning looking for you.”

“Oh. Yeah, I guess, uh, I guess I had beggar’s ghost tell her I was running away.”

“Yes. She thought you might be hiding with me, and so she came to my house.”

Oops. “Uhm, sorry.”

“You were not there, of course. She had to alert Geofahn that you were running away. I don’t think she wanted to, but she believed you were serious.”

Oops. “Uhm. Sorry.”

“Some Geofahn dogs came to my house and accused me of helping you escape.”

Oops. “Uhm. Sorry.”

“They were all very angry, and had no one else to blame except me.”

Uhm. I stop walking. “Are you uh. Are you okay right now?”

Maexiks stops too. Her entire head swivels around to look at me. “You did so well, Sabhaxlia. They went through town looking for proof of your being there. Only one dog remembered seeing you come into town. They knew nothing else.”

“Well, I kind of avoided the front gate for that reason!”

“Because I did the shopping, and was discrete, and the other merchants are my friends, they could not find any history of you having bought anything.”

“Well, uhm, thanks for that. Really.”

“Waiting out in the alley was… silly, but no one had seen you. Geofahn could not be sure you had even been in town longer than to say goodbye to me.”

“Well I’m glad some good came from sitting in a puddle for three hours.”

“No one saw you in your new colors. They do not know what you look like now. They do not know when you left, or in what direction. The House Geofahn dogs were clueless. Very angry, but clueless.”

Maexiks starts walking again, and I follow. We stop out in front of the stranger’s inn. With the lights gone, with no dogs around, it feels… creepy. The dozens of planets overhead are slowly drifting across the sky in all sorts of directions.

“They were frustrated they couldn’t find any proof of you,” she continues. “Your mother felt the blame fall on her, and so she tried to move it over to me.”

“But, like…”

“But they had no proof. You did so well. The Geofahn dogs took me out into the street and made their accusations, but their accusations were hollow. They wanted to kill me to relieve their shame, but none of the dogs in town believed their reasoning. They were ridiculed. The town has turned against them.”

“Oh. Oh boy.”

Maexiks and I continue our nighttime stroll. I just realized now how completely silent it is. Except for the scrape of my boots and the delicate, noiseless steps of Maexiks’ feet, there’s no sound at all. It makes my chest feel tight. It's like there's no air here.

“But the blame fell on your mother alone, then. House Geofahn is insulted. I’m not sure what will happen to her. Without someone else to direct their anger at, it will fall entirely upon her.”

“I… mean, my mom is kind of a jerk, right? But. I still hope nothing bad happens to her because of me.”

“If House Geofahn finds you, they will be angry. If they find you much later, they will be much more angry. You cannot let yourself be found.”

“Not planning on it!”

We keep walking for a bit.

“I had so many dreams the night you slept in my house,” she continues. “I saw my death a dozen times. I was sure it was going to happen. It’s disorienting to still be alive.”

Whoa. Uhm. “I didn’t really uh, mean for you to put your life at risk, okay? Don’t go that far like that.”

“Would it have mattered? You are already traveling with a ghost. Would you be so upset to have another along with you?”

“But uh, I mean. You’re not a tombdog.”

“If I died, you would have still dreamed of me.”

Wow that is basically the exact opposite of comforting.

>You also realize that you may never see her again in person, which makes you sad. You hope that you'll be able to talk with her in dreams every so often in the future.

“Yeah, so, about this dream thing. I mean, it’s great to see you again, but like. I feel pretty bad putting you through all that danger and never seeing you again. How real is this?”

“This is my remnant. This is the dreambug remnant. This is where we all live. It is real. Touch the wall, the ground. You can feel it?”

I stomp my boot on the dirt. I can feel the vibrations run through the earth. I put my hand along the rough, painted clay of a nearby house. It feels so terribly real. But, I mean, all dreams do, right? That doesn’t mean they’re real.

> Also ask if you lick her eye here, is that like licking her eye in real life? Also if you make out here? Or maybe MORE than make out? Despite the answer, do these things.

I mean, those questions are basically the same questions I’m having, but it isn’t like I was thinking about licking her or anything though. I mean. I do touch her rigid back-shield. I never actually touched her there before, okay? She usually has her mantle on.

I just realized she doesn’t have her mantle on.

I just. Slowly. Take my hand away.

> And what kind of dreamstuff can she do. Like, what this whole dreamthing is about.

“So what does this whole dreamthing mean? What can you do with dreams?”

“Well, we can talk.”

> licking her eye

“Talking is good!” I say. “Can we do this more? Is this a one-time thing?”

“I can leave the dream of myself here. If you want to speak to me again, just go to sleep. I will always be here.”

“Oh, so that’s super neat, then.”

“While my dream is inside you, I can protect you. I cannot do much, but I will be looking after you. I hope you will never need the sort of protection I can give.”

Well, that’s not terrifying. “So uhm. You basically saved my life and I guess I almost got you killed, huh? I’m really sorry.”

“I did not do this without knowing the consequences.”

“Right. Future thing. So! I’m going to a big town tomorrow, I guess. Can you tell me my future there?”

Maexiks looks up at the frillions of planets that are floating around up there. “I cannot see that. Your actions tomorrow are in the black space between stars.”

I look up too. Huh. I guess she uses the sky to tell the future? I guess? “So what can you see?”

“I can see only one thing.”

“What is that?”

> lick her eye

She looks over at me.



Her eye is hard and almost glass-like against the wet curve of my tongue.

Sabby is headed to the town next! I might not update tomorrow, but we’ll catch up with her on Friday for sure!
>>
No. 451985 ID: 374204

Kiss her you fool!
>>
No. 451989 ID: 374204

>>451985
With tongue.

She let you lick her eye. She saw it in the starts. That means she wants you to give her full mouth kisses with tongue.

She knows what you want better than you do, and she wants you do to it, otherwise you never would have gotten this close to begin with. She needs you, just like you want her to need you.

You want to feel those mandibles move all across your face as your tongue explores the inside of her alien mantis mouth.

Don't lie to yourself sabby.
>>
No. 451993 ID: 5b0012

Express your desire for full mouth kisses with tongue. Make sure she's ok with it!
>>
No. 451996 ID: 7c17be

>>451989
You know you want to. Make sure to rub her a bit too.
>>
No. 452004 ID: e3f578

That might be a cultural taboo. I don't think we should overstep the first person to help us and our best friend's boundaries.
How about a dance?
>>
No. 452005 ID: 2b5f70

>>451981
VICTORY
I mean

We better start planning for the morning, when we wake up. Also, I guess we can ask what she means by her protection?
>>
No. 452010 ID: f2c20c

Oh JEEZ.

Try not to do anything inappropriate. Maybe ask worriedly if licking her makes her uncomfortable. Considering she let you do it though despite seeing it ahead of time, I kindof wonder.
>>
No. 452030 ID: 2b5f70

>>452010
yeah, this might be a good idea.
If she doesn't like it, apologize and say licking is some kind of doggie show of affection and she's done such awesome things that it was appropriate for you. Lies can't hurt.
>>
No. 452054 ID: bc8527

>>452030
Also, for those of us playing along at home, please verify whether or not that actually would be a lie.
>>
No. 452064 ID: b33427

How about not thinking about anything more than licking her eye, 'k.

You've already given her a tombdog show of affection, so how about asking her what dreambugs do to show their thanks.

Man, looking up, and thinking that each one of those worlds is a part of the dreambug remnant, you've gotta realize that, in a way, they have the biggest remnant of them all.
>>
No. 452094 ID: 6a1ec2

Her fortune telling abilities could prove useful, but it's a good analogy to say that the moments of clarity are like stars in the night sky. So she can plot you a good course through the stars, but at any given point on your journey you'll likely be in that black dark place and not much can be said.

Anyway back on topic butts butts butts...
>>
No. 452100 ID: 7c17be

>>452094
Bug butts?
>>
No. 452396 ID: 1df197
File 134701968184.png - (237.06KB , 750x750 , 36.png )
452396

I don’t remember everything from my dream. I remember most of my talk with Maexiks. I uh, I remember licking her eye. I’m not sure where these feelings are coming from. It’s probably best to keep moving, and I do.

Iaxio and I travel for almost half a day, south, keeping along the road. I’m still good on food. Not very much happens. I pass a few houses but nothing that even counts as a hamlet. There’s not many people on the road.

It rains a few times in a light drizzle, but between the trees, my rain-hat, and my water-slicked mantle and skirt, I don’t even get wet.

Soon the river-road appears on my right. It’s a huge, wide river that I can see past the trees. I can see a coracle or two floating along sometimes.

Soon the forest clears back a bit and my road merges with a few more. The path is paved with pink tiles here. I can see the town up ahead.

It’s not much bigger than Maexiks’ town but they really went all out. Its walls have big guard-forts and the river runs right through the center of it, right through the town wall.

This is House Aifix’s town. They’re a tiny little house that only controls this one town, and they’re not even powerful enough to get away with taxing river-passage. Their colors are white over pale red. House Tashikoxix never had much problem with them.

The town dogs have different color patterns, because not everyone here belongs to the house. They have uhm, white over ocean blue and ocean blue over white. Either or?

From what little else I know? I know they aren’t under Geofahn’s shadow but they aren’t strong enough to risk angering them either.

There’s a tombdog in full armor outside the entrance, here, though. His colors show he’s a House Aifix dog. I mean, I’m headed here, so I’m gonna walk up to him, okay?

“Good afternoon,” he calls out.

“’noon,” I say back. We tap spears together. It’s just a thing you do.

“Well, where are you coming from?” It isn’t a challenge or anything. I mean, it doesn’t sound like he’s trying to interrogate me. But I mean, I’m here in colors he’s probably never seen before. I’m going to stir his curiosity just a bit.

If House Geofahn is looking for me, they might send someone to this town. I can’t guarantee House Aifix wouldn’t sell me out if House Geofahn asked them to. What do I say? Do I just use my made-up town? How friendly or cold should I treat him? Should I ask him anything about what’s going on in town?
>>
No. 452398 ID: e3f578

>>452396
Ehh, I'd just say that you're a wanderer and have been for some time. Like a beggar, but not, more like a pilgrim really, but not being about religion.
Life's too exciting to shackle yourself to the same dumb job or town!
Maybe one day you'll settle down, but you've got too much world to travel!
>>
No. 452399 ID: 374204

The whole point of coming up with the story is so that you have a story to tell when people ask you.

Tell him that you're coming from whatever town it was you just left (not the place you're originally from) and ask him if anything is going on in town. Don't volunteer any more information than you're asked about.
>>
No. 452400 ID: 374204

>>452398
Also don't say any of this because it seems suspicious and not really how your culture works.
>>
No. 452401 ID: 1df197
File 134702213719.png - (128.84KB , 750x750 , 37.png )
452401

>>Also don't say any of this because it seems suspicious and not really how your culture works.

It’s temping to paint myself as some kind of awesome wandering hero or whatever, but yeah, usually homeless tombdogs wandering around aimlessly are just bad news, so like. Yeah.

I tell him, “I’m coming out of Yaihahlrefdn-em.” That’s the yellow and red town we met Iaxio’s granddad in. You uh, you little thoughts of mine don’t need to keep track of stupid town names, ok? Don’t worry about that. “I’m heading down south back to my ancestral lands, so…”

“Oh, exciting,” he says. “Where are those?”

“Near House Fauhredn.”

“Neat!”

We stand there awkwardly for a moment or two. I guess I can’t think of anything worth asking him, so he just waves me on through.

The town isn’t that hard to figure out. I get a sketchy idea of it in my head after a few minutes. The east side of town is ocean blue over white, and has mostly houses. There are a few small foodstands and a stranger’s inn that’s more of a hang-out than an actual inn.

The west side of town is white over ocean blue and has an entire part of it just given over to a market. There’s a stranger’s inn there. There rest is just richer houses. Further to the west is an artificial hill with a big manor on it.

That’s House Aifix’s manor, I’m guessing. It looks like the town crypt is built into that hill.

In the center of town, along the river, are docks and lots of little watercraft. There is a lot of action going around. It’s a small town, just a little stop along one of the many river-roads, but you always get a lot of business going on around places like this anyhow.

I guess I’m here to catch a ride on the river-road and get away from House Geofahn? Am I in a rush? Is there somewhere I want to explore first? It’s afternoon, so I have lots of hours before daylight’s over, and I don’t see any Geofahn colors in town.
>>
No. 452402 ID: 374204

We really don't need to waste time. The sooner we can get away from where Geofahn has real influence, the better off we are. We might as well just straight up hitch a ride and get moving while we still have plenty of both food and money. Asking around about what Geofahn is doing or if they're around just makes us suspicious. So, let's get a boat south.

OH, WE SHOULD CHECK THE MARKET FOR A FUCKING MAP FIRST THOUGH.
>>
No. 452405 ID: 17e844

You should at least be prepared to leave on short notice. The last thing you want is to find yourself stuck here if news from Geofahn reach this town.

So, check the docks to see if there are any boats going south and if you can afford the ride.
>>
No. 452419 ID: 58e163

We'll attract less attention if we don't inquire about House Geofahn. We've got a lead, and we need to build on it. The longer we remain undetected, the better our odds of evading the brunt of Buttjerk's minions.
>>
No. 452423 ID: 6cbd89

If we don't need to be here long then let's RIDE THEM TURTLES!
>>
No. 452444 ID: 1df197
File 134704241388.png - (148.06KB , 750x750 , 38.png )
452444

>>OH, WE SHOULD CHECK THE MARKET FOR A FUCKING MAP FIRST THOUGH.

Well, I certainly don’t wanna end up NOT knowing where I’m going. I head over to the market. It’s busy, and there’s lots of dogs in foreign and familiar colors shopping here. I see someone in the yellow and red of the town we just left, among the others.

>>Asking around about what Geofahn is doing or if they're around just makes us suspicious.
>>We'll attract less attention if we don't inquire about House Geofahn.

I really shouldn’t just start asking random people if they’ve heard anything about House Geofahn, but I don’t need to. I hear lots of chat between the vendors and their regular customers and House Geofahn is on a lot of tongues.

Apparently words’ been getting around by ghost about, uh, about my escape. And about how Maexiks’ town basically turned on House Geofahn when they wanted to execute her. House Geofahn is basically a joke right now. I don’t think this town ever really appreciated them, so they’re having a lot of fun with it.

Because House Geofahn is a joke right now, my map costs freaking four Geofahn coins. I currently have 13 Geofahn coins and 3 Fauhredn pennies. It’s a good map though. It covers the general area and some of the waterways. I know the next few places I might hit up.

Map acquired, I head down to the docks.

>>let's RIDE THEM TURTLES!

There are two turtle-drawn coracles tied up here, and the turtles are basking, but, like, they are just so full of cargo. I don’t think they’re more than one-dog rides.

There are a lot of empty spaces in the docks, and it takes me about fifteen minutes to walk along the whole thing and see what’s there. I can think of a few things I can try to get passage with. The boats tied up to the roadside are probably leaving soon? Unfortunately this is basically all commercial transport. There doesn’t seem to be any water-taxis or anything just for riding in.

There’s an oblong boat with a birddemon resting in it. Uhm, I mean, it’s just a name, like tombdog, right? I don’t live in an actual tomb, I don’t think birddemons are actually demons. It’s just what they call the spirits they worship? I don’t know much about them but I can see if he’ll have me along. She? I have no idea.

There’s a tombdog with a coracle full of knick-knacks and I’ve seen him selling stuff to passers-by. He looks really southern. Maybe I can pay him to take me along when he leaves?

Most other transports are all cargo things with not much more space and pilots who look all business. I could try to see if one of them will have me along, but, like… I’m not sure. I should probably keep the amount of inquiries down or I’m going to start looking desperate to leave.
>>
No. 452445 ID: 374204

Ask southdog mctrinkets about passage south. That seems like the most best idea. You can even offer to help him sell trinkets down along the way to help pay passage and all.
>>
No. 452447 ID: 17e844

Now that you have a map, can you tell us how far south does this river-road go? Can you estimate the duration of the boat trip?
>>
No. 452448 ID: 808891

Make sure both boats are going in your direction, then compare the prices they ask. You have little enough money that the cheaper boat is probably the better option.
>>
No. 452460 ID: f2c20c

>>452444
It occurs to me that once we get down south, our Geofahn coins will be completely worthless because they hate Geofahn down there. Is there a currency exchange place we can use?
>>
No. 452465 ID: 1df197
File 134705589371.png - (168.41KB , 750x750 , 39.png )
452465

>>Now that you have a map, can you tell us how far south does this river-road go? Can you estimate the duration of the boat trip?

I mean, I don’t even need the map for that. All the river-roads lead to the House Fauhredn city, which is where we’re headed. It’s more of a question how far anyone would actually be willing to take me.

>>Ask southdog mctrinkets about passage south. That seems like the most best idea.

I might as well start with him and see!

I walk up over to him. I catch his eye pretty instantly. His voice has the dusty, gray accent of the south. It’s kind of cute. “Lady! I have all sorts of fine wares for you!” He gestures at the few odd bits he’s got laid out. It’s mostly junk.

“Uhm, no, I actually had another offer,” I say.

McTrinkets nods quickly. “You want what’s in the boat?”

“I want in the boat. Uh, if you’re headed south, that is. I’m getting tired of walking and I wouldn’t mind buying my way a bit closer to the Fauhredn city.”

“Oh. Oh! And you choose me?”

“I’m just… seeing what’s available. At all. Everything else is weighed-down merchant shipments, so…”

McTrinkets rubs his chin. “Look at the merchant’s eye on you! I wouldn’t mind some company or a bit more money. What are you offering?”

“How much would make up for my weight?”

McTrinkets runs his fingers under his lips, along his teeth. I can hear the squeak of his saliva. “How much do you weigh?”

Ugh. This guy. “How far would you even take me?”

McTrinkets stares at me. “I like your haggle. Indirect, challenging. You make me feel like I’m missing out by not taking your money. Not bad. I’m floating down near the Fauhredn city myself, so I could take you.”

>>It occurs to me that once we get down south, our Geofahn coins will be completely worthless because they hate Geofahn down there. Is there a currency exchange place we can use?

“I mostly only have Geofahn money right now, but, uhm. I have three Fauhredn pennies.”

“Let’s have a deal then. Give me the Fauhredn pieces and I’ll take you as far as you want. You provide your own food, and we travel on my schedule. If you want to get rid of the Geofahn money before we get too south, you can try the west stranger’s inn. They do exchanges. Oh, warning, if you haven’t noticed, there’s some bad rumors about Geofahn making the rounds today. You might not get much for those coins.”

“Yeah, I know. So uhm. If we do go together, when are you leaving?”

“Tonight!”

“Tonight?”

“I like to travel by lantern-light. I love the ripple of light on the water. Besides, I’m still doing business today.”

Oh boy.

So! I can travel with McTrinkets and basically get right up to the Fauhredn city, but it means I’m waiting over here until nightfall. On the other hand, it is already the afternoon. I still do need time to trade out the coins and maybe pick up a bit more food? I guess I could see what the birddemon says about taking me, too, I guess.
>>
No. 452466 ID: 374204

Fuck birdguy. McTrinkets is our man. Let's change our money before we forget and yeah, get some more food. Also maybe a knife to put in our boot.
>>
No. 452470 ID: 6cc859

>>452465
This seems like a pretty good arrangement, honestly. Were you hoping to just happen upon somebody planning to leave the very moment you asked them? The coming night is pretty timely as it is, and he sounds decent enough.
>>
No. 452471 ID: f2c20c

>>452465
Yeah, let's tell him we're considering his offer, but you want to consider all your options.
>>
No. 452476 ID: 2f4b71

A literal fly-by-night merchantman? Do his wares look... odd... in any way?
>>
No. 452477 ID: 1329b9

Tell him youll consider the offer, but dont completely dismiss him just yet. Sound hopeful and say you're going to go exchange your money.

And, y'know, he's probably going to chat you up during the ride. Asking about your house name and all.
Im tempted to suggest talking to the birddemon, unless they're known for being total buttfaces.
>>
No. 452478 ID: e3f578

>>452465
Yes, ask him.
We really should be trying to get to southern territory in a hurry. If the Geofahn's have any intelligence, they'll know that you can effectively disappear down south, so they'll search harder in the roads heading to Faudhren territory and the rivers. And they'll be extra desperate to catch you. You've single handedly devalued their house's net worth now, which could have far reaching consequences for their trade business. Not only is it about reputation, but they'll be able to buy less goods to trade since their own main currency just got weakened. Unless they got that covered and trade explicitly only in foreign and local currency that remains consistent.

IS there any local currency that's stays consistent in tombdog lands? When house-based currency value can fluctuate on reputation, the rich can become poor with a single big scandal if they use mainly that house's money, which can quickly cause much chaos.
I wonder if Geofahn's can spiral all the way into house-death from this incident. That would up your house kill count to 2, which would make you pretty badass Sabbs
>>
No. 452487 ID: d3f29d

What do you have to lose by talking to Feathers? Worst case scenario, s/he wants more than you're willing to spend, gets offended by your refusal, and knifes you in the back. That's probably unlikely.

McTrinket sounds like he's flirting with you. Make sure Iaxio can back you up if he tries anything uncouth.
>>
No. 452494 ID: dc4a44

speak to our feathered ferryman.
>>
No. 452508 ID: 16ce15

i am in favor of feathers McBeaksley. knowing our options is always good
>>
No. 452509 ID: 16ce15

>>452478
there can be only one!
which reminds me, we still need a name for our house.
>>
No. 452515 ID: dc4a44

>>452509
I vote Sabhaxio
or Iaxlia. Yeah, Iaxlia.
Portmanteaus everywhere.
>>
No. 452523 ID: 1329b9

>>452515
Nonnono, we need to distance ourselves from the name 'Sabhaxlia' as far as possible right now. No need in accidentally getting figured out then turned in for some quick coin.

And naming it after Iaxio would just be weird when (or if) we ever introduced anyone to him.
>>
No. 452528 ID: d3f29d

>>452476

No, /row/-by-night. The bird is the fly-by-night.
>>
No. 452534 ID: e3f578

House Bittitchis
Make it a pun sort of
I dunno
Have fun with it
House Dickins House Babaro
House Mickeyje House DYNAMITE
House Barlomite House Smith
House Tittykaka House Meowwow
House Chipindale House Gnarleycorn

If Dynamite is not a thing in your world, fucking call your house DYNAMITE! That's the one I want the most (and if it's a completely alien concept no one will know it's a joke name at all). House Chipendale is also an acceptable pun name on that alienish concept Sabhaxia or here people would never understand is a pun.
>>
No. 452537 ID: 886a4d

.... House Stark. not
>>
No. 452546 ID: 1329b9

House Lupus
get it?
>>
No. 452553 ID: 91c1b3

>>452509
Fedotov; a nice Russian surname(I think, I don't speak Russian)
>>
No. 452557 ID: bbee3d

You should definitely talk to the birddemon as well, for comparison if nothing else. The trinket-seller seems like a nice guy... But remember what Iaxio said about being too trusting. There's nothing inherently suspicious about traveling by night, I assume, but it does sound somewhat unusual. Keep your wits about you.

It's a shame that your escape indirectly devalued the money you need for your escape. Nothing to be done about it now. Is there any place on your route that's far enough from House Fauhredn to value Geofahn coin, but far enough from here to not hear or not care about Geofahn making fools of themselves? If so, that would be a good place to exchange the majority of your coins. If not, it sounds like they're going to be equally low-value wherever you go, so you might as well exchange them all now.

As for a house name, how about Xamanek? (An abbreviation of the Mayan god of travelers and merchants.)
>>
No. 452614 ID: 6a1ec2

House Dolomite
>>
No. 452618 ID: 9c8e90

>>452557
Seconding the mayan house.
>>
No. 452659 ID: 374204

I would think nothing could possibly give us away faster than having a fake-sounding house name, and not using the right sounds and constructions would be a dead giveaway. So, Sabby should probably give us a few things that sound OK or something, and we shouldn't pick something stupid and obviously fake.
>>
No. 452662 ID: d5fbd3
File 134710951368.png - (114.47KB , 750x750 , 40.png )
452662

>>House Dolomite

I mean, I thought we were just gonna say I was from some made-up town? If we want to say I’m escaping some dying house (I mean, sometimes telling the truth is the best lie you can do, right?) then House Xamanek might work. It at least sounds like a name you’d hear somewhere in the remnant.

>>Sabby should probably give us a few things that sound OK or something, and we shouldn't pick something stupid and obviously fake.

Well, the name I used last time was Taliaxix of Iaxholfrehdn-em. We can use something different, I guess, but I don’t think we need to go overboard here.

>>You've single handedly devalued their house's net worth now, which could have far reaching consequences for their trade business… I wonder if Geofahn's can spiral all the way into house-death from this incident.

Well, I wouldn’t get carried away here, okay? I think the town here is just too busy laughing at House Geofahn today to take the currency seriously. Although Maexiks’ town apparently kicked them out? Maybe? Huh.

>>That would up your house kill count to 2, which would make you pretty badass Sabbs

I’m… not sure that’s really what I want.

>>What do you have to lose by talking to Feathers?

I mean, I guess. I tell McTrinkets I’m going to see what the bird has to say just in case, and he praises my merchant’s instincts. Weirdo.

I have to cough a few times to get the bird’s attention. He barely peeks up at me past his hat. His voice is… weird. I don’t think I’ve ever actually heard one of them talk before. He clearly doesn’t know our language that well. “Oh? What you want?”

“Uhm, hi. Are you going south?”

“South? Yes, we go south.”

“I’m looking to go south, too. I was wondering if I could ride along for a bit if I… paid…?”

I’m not sure the birddemon is actually understanding me. “You want move? I uh!” He looks around sort of awkwardly. “I have trouble. I am not here long.”

“Me. Ride with you. For money?”

“Oh! Oh. I can’t deal that. Boss is back soon. He come back, talk with him?” He looks kind of scared. I think he was hoping that, by pretending to sleep, no dog would try to talk to him. I can’t imagine how weird it must feel to be in a remnant whose language you don’t really know.

“There is someone else with you? Uhm, okay. I can check back later.”

I guess I don’t need to commit to either-or right now, especially if the birddemon is working for someone who isn’t even here right now. To be fair it’s basically mealtime.

I head on over to the west stranger’s inn, to exchange currency, but there’s a big crowd there right now. Like, a huge crowd. Huh. They all seem to be surrounding and watching something. Should I check this out?
>>
No. 452663 ID: 374204

We're going with mctrinkets so don't even bother with dumb beak buttface buttfeathers. Go do your currency shit first while nobody's paying attention, then maybe have a peek and see what the ruckus is about.
>>
No. 452664 ID: e3f578

>>452662
With your colors you're going to stick out like a sore thumb in this crowd. If you can get a view from inside a public building without being seen easy from the front, that seems like the most secure way to investigate.

I mean, hell, if it's the Geofahn's trying to get you using a public announcement, they could use a lot of money to start witch hunt mentality. Anyone especially different is going to get outed. So let's stay far away from the potentially dangerous mob, or at least put a barrier between us and them so we can flee.
>>
No. 452669 ID: 3f919d

>>452664

While true, this could also entail useful information (like, say, them arriving in force).

How about we skirt the edge of the crowd, look like we're very busy getting somewhere but try to get a peek between the other dog's heads? It's not unusual for someone to take a look-see while still going about their business and all, so we won't even attract attention if it turns out we don't want to stick around.
>>
No. 452675 ID: d5fbd3
File 134711488778.png - (163.10KB , 750x750 , 41.png )
452675

>Go do your currency shit first while nobody's paying attention, then maybe have a peek and see what the ruckus is about.
>If you can get a view from inside a public building without being seen easy from the front, that seems like the most secure way to investigate.

Well, it is all just outside the stranger’s inn. I head around the distracted crowd and go inside. I can probably see out the windows at what’s going on.

The stranger’s inn is wide and open, with spread-out seating so no one has to sit too terribly near one another. It’s mostly empty right now. There’s another birddemon in here. He actually has a mantle on. It’s a three-color one, which means no affiliation. It’s the kind of pattern foreigners wear to fit in without offending anyone. It means this birddemon knows our culture well, at least.

There are two corpse-shrines up above the bar. One of the ghosts is chatting with the birddemon. The other greets me. She’s a short, plump little woman.

“Hello sweetie, out of town are you? What can we get for you?”

“Well uh, I’m headed south soon, so mostly I’d like to change out money? But what’s with the big crowd outside?”

“Oh that! Well, you’ve heard how House Geofahn is after some runaway bride, yes?”

“Oh, yeah, people in the market…”

“Well, House Geofahn strolled into town a little bit ago and started making demands of us. They want to search all water and land traffic leaving town to make sure their bride isn’t escaping on them!”

Oh damn.

I guess she sees the look on my face because the plump ghost is quick to be comforting. “Oh don’t worry! House Aifix isn’t going to let Geofahn start harassing strangers in their own town. Maifhrex is out there right now making the Geofahn dogs leave. He’s the living heir of House Aifix you know. He’ll sort it out.”

Well! I guess maybe it isn’t that bad, then. “So uhm. Well then. Can we do some currency change?”

The plump ghost introduces herself but I mean, I can’t stop calling her “the plump ghost” in my head, okay? She’s like a big fruit.

I lay out my 13 Geofahn coins and we talk over what they could be worth. She says it isn’t fair I lose out just because everyone’s making jokes at Geofahn today. We agree I can trade it all for 5 Fauhredn coins—I mean, Fauhredn money is worth more, generally, than Geofahn anyway, so this is a good deal; that, or 9 Doxedn coins. Doxedn is the next big city I’ll be near, so they’ll be worth more than the Fauhredn coins early on, but the Fauhredn coins will be worth more on a longer scale?

I guess?

I can take either deal I like. I guess I could talk to the birddemon, too, and see what his offer would be for taking me along? I could try to get up against a window and take peep at what’s going on with the crowd, too.
>>
No. 452678 ID: 374204

With them just talking about wanting to search watercraft for you, I think it would be a bad idea to talk to birddemon, who might decide to sell you out like, just right then.

Let's take the Fauhredn coins and see about maybe getting a room or something and just going up there. No sense in going outside, that's a fuckbad idea. We can rendezvous with McTrinkets closer to evening, and they serve food here too, right? Have some food.

Even though they're kicking Geofahn out, that doesn't mean people wouldn't try to turn you in if they knew who you were. They will sell you out like, immediately more likely than not.
>>
No. 452679 ID: 374204

>>452678
Just to be clear, the reason to rent a room that we aren't going to use is so 1) we don't have to be out on the street answering questions, and 2) it looks like we're staying here.

I don't plan on Sabby to sleep there. We can rendezvous with McTrinkets, who is also leaving at a good time for us (dark).
>>
No. 452683 ID: d3f29d

Well, I guess it might depend on which cover story we're going with. Fauhredn coins might make more sense if you're returning to your southern ancestral lands, and seem to be more universally accepted as a stable currency. Doxedn works if you're a vagrant who doesn't mind changing coins at every other town, but if for some reason you can't go ashore in Doxedn then you'll be stuck with worthless coins. Take the Fauhredn money.

Buy a drink and sidle over to the window for a looksee.

P.S. How many Fauhredn pennies in one Fauhredn coin?
>>
No. 452690 ID: e3f578

>>452675
Can't you exchange Doxedn coins for Fauhredn coins at their city? Just get whatever you need their for Doxedn coins, then when you leave there get the Fauhredn coins.
That really seems simple. Why NOT do that?
>>
No. 452696 ID: dc4a44

>>452690
Money-changers will take a small fee each time you exchange coins. This is how they pay the bills.
>>
No. 452699 ID: 16ce15

>>452690
because every exchange has an exchange fee probably. keep them to a minimum for maximum value.

actually, for maximum value we should have traded all our Geofahn coins before they dropped in value since we had insider info, but we're runaways, not traders.
>>
No. 452724 ID: d5fbd3
File 134713155565.png - (277.95KB , 750x750 , 42.png )
452724

> Can't you exchange Doxedn coins for Fauhredn coins at their city? Just get whatever you need their for Doxedn coins, then when you leave there get the Fauhredn coins.

Well, because…

> Money-changers will take a small fee each time you exchange coins. This is how they pay the bills.

Plump ghost isn’t doing this just for kindness, basically. Exchange rates are crazy-complicated in our remnant, okay? And like, I’m not an economist. Taking the Fauhredn coins is kind of a closer 1:1 exchange? I guess? I really wish I could make this decision better, but I’m not a merchant.

If I could ask Maexiks or McTrinkets, they’d probably be really good at this. But for right now?

> if for some reason you can't go ashore in Doxedn then you'll be stuck with worthless coins.

Doxedn is a decent sized house, but as soon as we hit Fauhredn lands the value of their coins goes down a bit. Let’s just get Fauhredn?

> getting a room or something and just going up there. No sense in going outside, that's a fuckbad idea. We can rendezvous with McTrinkets closer to evening, and they serve food here too, right? Have some food.

I ask about if there’s any free rooms, and plump-ghost tells me there are. She takes the night’s fee from the exchange; like, she doesn’t bill me any extra for it. She’s really nice! Also I have to actually exchange the money, physically, for her. She’s a ghost. She can’t do it.

Apparently their grandson would normally be working here, but he’s looking at the racket that’s going on outside. And uh. It’s actually becoming a serious racket.

> sidle over to the window for a looksee.

I can order food and a drink later. The plump-ghost wants to see what’s going on too. We head up to the window and look out at the crowd. Although the window’s glass is marbled and hard to see through, we can hear a lot of, like, noise. It’s just noise. I can see people moving around and uh.

Whoa. Whoa those are ghost towers out there. Someone just stacked, like, two-dozen ancestor ghosts on their body. There’s another tower. This is really not a good thing. I think House Aifix and House Geofahn are about to have a fight. This is too many ghosts. It’s like, stupid to—

THOOM

FUCK.

There’s just this deafening, hollow noise. It feels like all my guts are missing. I’m on the floor. The plump-ghost is knocked down too. Jeez. What? Jeez. No.

I think I know what direction is up. I think I get up and go over to the window. I think I can see outside. I might be imagining all of it. I can’t tell. My whole body feels hard to find. I think I can see out the window, though.

I think the House Geofahn guy blew the House Aifix guy across the marketplace.

Everyone’s quiet outside now.
>>
No. 452728 ID: d3f29d

Well... uh... /shit/. Um... GET OUT NOW.
>>
No. 452729 ID: e3f578

Oh god did we just start a war? Aifix will be out for Geofahn blood now, and so will their allies. The Geofahn's allies will side with them and all hell will break loose. Beware going to your room, if Geofahn's just got a handle on this situation, they'll ransack the stranger's inn at this rate.

Get out the back door, but beware, they may already be anticipating that. Check before running outside that way.
>>
No. 452731 ID: f2c20c

>>452724
Ohhhhh fuck.

I think it's time we skipped town. Also it is a VERY good thing we just got rid of those coins. Nothing lessens the value of someone else's currency like being at war with them.
>>
No. 452732 ID: 37aa84

Leaving town at this moment may be problematic, if they were going to go this far and attack house Aifix members then they probably have people already surrounding the town watching the exits. Leaving the inn and losing yourself in a crowd would be a good idea for now.
>>
No. 452737 ID: 5885e5

Uh, ask if we could get that money back. We should leave now.
Ask birdie when he's leaving and if it's now. If not, go talk to McTrinkets.
GO OUT THE BACK WAY.

Damn, I wish we could trust this plump lady, it'd be nice if she could hide us somewhere...
>>
No. 452739 ID: dc4a44

How good is Iaxio at stacking GTFO!?
>>
No. 452762 ID: d5fbd3
File 134713924062.png - (178.90KB , 750x750 , 43.png )
452762

>I think it's time we skipped town.
>they'll ransack the stranger's inn at this rate.
>GO OUT THE BACK WAY.
>Well... uh... /shit/. Um... GET OUT NOW.

No no no no no they know I’m here they’re going to destroy the entire town to find me I need to leave now!

I yell at plump-ghost if she has a back door. She doesn’t understand me so I yell again! Louder! She points me through a corridor and I just book it! I barely remember to keep my pack and spear with me! I almost leave them there because run!

I have enough sense to look out the back door before charging out and there’s no one there so I go I go I almost stumble a few times but I run and and and

Where am I running to? Where am I RUNNING? Where am I supposed to go?

>go talk to McTrinkets.

That’s an idea! I book it for the docks. There are a bunch of town-dogs milling around awkwardly and nervously but no time for them I just run right past! I knock into one or two of them but I just can’t afford to slow down! I can see the docks! The bird is looking around and McTrinkets just looks bored! Yes! I run up to McTrinkets!

“McTrinkets!” I actually call him that outloud. I don’t really care. “House Geofahn is attacking the town! We need to leave now before they get us!”

McTrinkets blinks up at me. “Is that what that commotion is about? They’re attacking?”

“Yes! Yes! I saw! One of the House Aifix dogs was telling the Geofahn to leave and the Geofahn just ghost-stacked and blew him up! They’re going to kill everyone!”

“Everyone.”

“Y-yes!”

“I did hear a rumor they wanted to check all outgoing river-traffic for that runaway bride. To go from that to razing the town?”

“They’re at war now!”

McTrinkets looks up, past me, at the rest of the town. It’s. It’s quiet. Dogs are still milling around. I don’t see any Geofahn. There’s no fires or warcries or screams or anything. Everyone looks really tense and unnerved but like. Like. Like. It’s still very quiet.

McTrinkets rubs his thumb against his teeth. “Maybe the Geofahn dog did kill an Aifix dog, but…”

I swallow. My throat is completely dry. The Geofahn dog did kill an Aifix dog but. But House Aifix doesn’t seem to be rallying in defense. House Geofahn doesn’t seem to be attacking. It. It was just a fight. It was a super dangerous, way-excessive fight, but.

McTrinkets giggles. “It feels like House Geofahn is just interested in that runaway, not in starting a war.”

“But… he killed that other dog…”

McTrinkets sighs. “And I guess House Aifix will now submit to have every boat and traveler searched before they leave town. It’s troubling, but I don’t think we’re in any danger.”

“But…” My heart is still pounding. They’re. They’re coming for me. They’re about to kill me. I know it.

McTrinkets looks at me. Like. Really looks at me. He has merchant’s eyes, and they’re appraising me. “You’re really frightened. You’re their runaway bride, aren’t you?”

Oh no. Oh no I just. I might have. I might have just really messed up.
>>
No. 452765 ID: dc4a44

"get me out of here."
>>
No. 452775 ID: 762100

>>452762

shit has gone south, and you are panicked, and things just aren't going fast enough for your comfort level, and then there is THIS guy who just calmly assessed the situation and immediately knows who you are, and he's a merchant right merchants work with more than just physical goods his words can be bought or forced out of him, and he doesn't seem frantic enough oh no oh no you have to get rid of him and take his boat and get out of here you can't stay here any longer your cover's already blown anyway so there's no point in being subtle
>>
No. 452781 ID: 061a93

Okay this guy isn't terribly trustworthy. I'm not recommending it but I'm just keeping it open as an option, you may have to stab him. With your spear.

But before we do that consider other options. Maybe you could confess that you're a criminal on the run from House Geofahn from some appropriately petty crime. Are there any crimes that are dumb to be illegal but they punish inappropriately harshly? Those would be ideal.
>>
No. 452782 ID: 061a93

Keep in mind if you kill him they can totally just raise his ghost and he is guaranteed to spill the beans. We are trying to be a shadow here. We want to try and maintain our cover. Maybe say you did something to offend them and were trying to flee before they came down on you harshly.
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No. 452785 ID: 9c8e90

You done fucked up Girl. Pull out Iaxio to show him that you have your DEFINITELY NOT TASHIKOX ancestor with you and are just panicky.
>>
No. 452787 ID: 061a93

I mean I won't lie the situation is far less than ideal but he is a Southerner and thus has no real allegiance to Geofahn. If we come up with a convincing cover story about being on the run for some other reason and offer to pay him (it might take most of our money but I would advise against giving him all of it, offer 3 or 4 Fauhredn coins, although obviously we don't really have much of a choice if he wants more. Just be firm and don't keep admitting that you're lying about how much you have or he'll press you repeatedly) then he shouldn't have any reason to sell us out unless he is really just a scumbag.
>>
No. 452788 ID: 061a93

>>452785
Yeah and using Iaxio to back up your cover story is a good idea also. That is basically what he is for now.
>>
No. 452793 ID: f2c20c

>>452762
Say no. You just... you never saw anything like that before, I mean the guy had a huge TOWER of ghosts. You heard they were going to cut off all transport out of town, too, so it seemed like they wanted to just take over entirely.

Unfortunately we ran like crazy through a crowd of tombdogs so there are eye witnesses now of someone acting suspicious, so we can't stay in town. We need to get out before they close our escape route.

I'll support the criminal story. If he doubts us, summon up Iaxio and say (before he can say anything and blow your cover) "Would I have an ancestor wearing these colors if I was from that house?"
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No. 452794 ID: 6a1ec2

You are not house Tashikoxix, you are not their runaway bride. You are just going to get a hollow reed to breathe through and swim out of town, then meet up with him once he has been inspected. There is nothing suspicious going on. Inspections just make you really anxious!
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No. 452797 ID: 374204

Dogdamnit. Running out in the street was basically the stupidest thing you could have possibly done. This is exactly why you rented the room. To stay in the room and not draw attention to yourself.

In the future, keep a cool fucking head and stay where it is safe. This is the kind of shit that is going to get you killed if you can't keep it under control.

Now we are in a worse situation by far than we were before. We have to, and I cant stress this enough, not be stupid and not panick to get what we want and not die, or worse.

For now, we'll have to see what McTrinkets says. We're basically at his mercy.
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No. 452805 ID: d89f20

No don't do anything bad to tbhe merchant and don't confirm or deny anything. Just ask for a way out of here. Offer to pay or whatever just do it. Don't bring so much attention to yourself that » geofarbabalrba will learn what colors you're wearing now. Be smart about this.. maybe you can hide in a box.
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No. 452815 ID: 061a93

>>452805
Not denying it will probably just convince him he's right, and we can't trust him to keep that kind of secret to himself.
>>
No. 452817 ID: e3f578

>>452762
"No, it's just that I'm a strange, lone girl in these parts! These are irrational people out for blood! Any young woman within the next few miles bearing colors from a small obscure family colors is bound to get interrogated or worse! The only claim I even have to my family and its colors right now is my great-uncle's ghost in my reliquary. And I don't know if that's even enough evidence to prove I'm not her! Like I said, these people are out for blood and are pushing people around, I can't take the chance they won't suspect me."
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No. 452822 ID: bdb3f8

"I told you why I am going south, right? Last heir of a dying house... Didn't I? Well my house is dying because of Geofahn, and now they are here too. You don't know what they are like. I just want to get away. Please."
>>
No. 452832 ID: 374204

There is no reason not to trust him for now. He obviously has us figured out. If he was really going to sell us out, he wouldn't tell us he knew who we were. He's not stupid, unlike us.
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No. 452835 ID: 006627

>>452797
I'm not sure the situation wasn't this bad to begin with.
It seems the Geofahn are up to bigger political shenanigans than was readily apparent up to this point. Doubly so if they're willing to risk hostilities with another major house.
Something about this whole mess stinks.
>>
No. 452842 ID: 061a93

>>452832
Sure he would. That way he could extort us for money to keep quiet, and then sell us out anyway.
>>
No. 452843 ID: 061a93

>>452835
I'm pretty sure the guy they killed was the living heir of the House, to top it off.
>>
No. 452853 ID: 9718f3

Say you were spooked by the whole murder in public thing.
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No. 452867 ID: b81dd7

>>452853
Say we were spooked by just how insanely sudden it was and the fact that they had flippin towers of ghosts on them.

But, either way, he's probably convinced you're the bride anyway. It's Corpsedad all over again, but maybe less friendly.
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No. 452899 ID: b33427

Well, the jig's up. Your fate is now in the hands of this coracle pilot you don't even know the real name of. Don't bother saying you're on the run for anything else, 'cause if you did something bad enough to run, then House Geofahn would be offering a reward for your capture, same as for what you actually did. He'll turn you in either way. All you can hope for is that his dislike of House Geofahn is greater than his love of their coin.

Remember, if McTrinkets is going to turn you in, he's going to have to get out of his coracle and find a person from House Geofahn. So you'll know if he's going to do so, so long as you stay here and watch him.

Don't make any more of a scene, sit down on the dock, and catch your breath. Tell him that, no, you aren't the runaway. See if you can play it off as mishearing rumors and such. Say that you thought you heard that House Geofahn was going to close all land and water routes out of town real soon, not that they were just going to search everyone heading out of town. Thinking they were locking the town down for a door-to-door search put you on edge, what with being a stranger here and all. But then you saw the fight between those ghost towers, and who you assumed was the living heir of House Aifix laying bisected on the ground ('cause who else here in Aifix colors would have a ghost tower,) and you panicked. Say that now that you've calmed down, and heard what he said about the traffic search, you feel like an idiot.

Oh, and if he does get up to give your description to the Geofahn representives, let him. When his back is turned, and he's far enough away, discreetly untie his coracle from its mooring, and gently shove it out into the river. Then get up, run up to him, and tell him his boat is floating away. That'll keep him busy recovering it, while you slip away.
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No. 452900 ID: 6a1ec2

>>452899

Man, if you were a real slick operator you could totally pull this off.
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No. 452903 ID: 061a93

>>452899
This is an intelligent post.
>>
No. 452920 ID: 2f4b71

>>452762
Best way to lie is just omit some of the truth:
"I know her. I helped her! Geofan just killed a guy for not letting them run over their town, imaging what they'll do if they find me!"
A legitimate danger, but turning you in would be less valuable to Geofan (so less likely to get a reward), and it's still technically the truth.
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No. 452922 ID: bdec1e
File 134720055920.png - (203.61KB , 750x750 , 44.png )
452922

>Dogdamnit. Running out in the street was basically the stupidest thing you could have possibly done.

Yeah, but I thought that…

>This is exactly why you rented the room. To stay in the room and not draw attention to yourself.

I know, but…

>In the future, keep a cool fucking head and stay where it is safe.

But maybe they were going to come inside…

>This is the kind of shit that is going to get you killed if you can't keep it under control.

… I really screwed up, didn’t I? Even if I was scared I shouldn’t have just assumed they’d attack the stranger’s inn. It was a duel between the House Aifix heir and one of the few Geofahn dogs that came to town.

They don’t know I’m here. They just want to inspect the river-road to make sure I’m not coming through here. Things might have blown up bigger than they should, and there might be a huge political incident happening now, but.

Running outside in a panic like that? If I hadn’t run to McTrinkets, where would I have gone? Run around like an idiot? Catch all of Geofahn’s attention?

I’m so incredibly lucky the worst that happened is McTrinkets figured me out. I could have blown it, completely, and my little stupid adventure would be over already. I can’t be this careless again.

And McTrinkets is smiling at me in a way I can’t even figure out. He knows, but…

>get rid of him and take his boat

That’s the dumbest thing I could possibly do. Everyone’s looking at me. I… made a big scene running over here shouting like I did.

>>452899

Of everything I can think of, this is the best, I guess. I let Iaxio stay out of this for now. I don’t think it’ll help my case if I look that incredibly desperate to prove I’m not the runaway.

I sit down, take a deep breath, and feel some of the eyes on my back fall away.

“I’m not this bride, okay? I was just scared. Houses don’t bring out ghost-towers to fight over a runaway bride. This… it feels like they’re trying to take over the town, and I got scared. I’ve never actually seen anything like that before, okay? And I think that was House Aifix’s living heir that got killed, too. I thought… I thought they were about to have a war.”

McTrinkets is some kind of merchant. He probably made his life on knowing how to deal with people. I can’t get a thing for free from his expression. I have no idea if he believes me. He’s still just smiling that seller’s smile.

“Fair enough. You don’t have a problem riding with me this evening then?”

“No. No I mean. No. I guess that’s still fine.”

“And when House Geofahn stops my coracle to search it, will we have any problems?”

Uhm.
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No. 452924 ID: e3f578

>>452922
"As long as I have my uncle here to prove I'm from my family, I should be all right. Young girls from small or otherwise not well-known families aren't going to be able to travel easy without a relative with them until the bride is found. I don't know how they're gonna find her in the first place if they even actually physically do, every tombdog blends together so much that sometimes the only way to tell each other apart is your outfit."
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No. 452925 ID: 374204

I can't think of a way to answer without totally giving us away, but I suspect he already strongly suspects. I mean, we have to ask somehow.

Well, if we leave a bit later, maybe they won't be checking the river traffic, if he doesn't mind waiting.

The plan is to go back to the inn. STAY INSIDE THE ROOM, and wait to see how the town reacts to Geofahn's street murder.

Maybe the town will be extremely displeased and try to kick these goobers out for you, which would be very nice. Wait there for a while, for the crowd to disperse, then go somewhere where you can see the river checkers.

When you see them changing shifts, or if there is just one guy when you see him walking away, go up to boat and say time to leave.

I know this is not a perfect plan, but it seems at least marginally reasonable.
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No. 452926 ID: 374204

>>452924
They all have distinctive markings on their faces and bodies. :C
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No. 452927 ID: bdec1e

>I don't know how they're gonna find her in the first place if they even actually physically do, every tombdog blends together so much that sometimes the only way to tell each other apart is your outfit."

Look, I may not be the best artist, but I've been trying to give tombdogs at least vaguely unique markings. Iaxio and his mom shared markings, Sabby and her mom shared markings pretty closely. It's safe to assume that tombdogs recognize one another in a large degree based on their facial markings, and probably have specifics words to describe different kinds of markings. It's also safe to assume Geofahn has enough of a physical description of Sabby's markings, eye-color, and muzzle-shape they could be suspicious if they were looking right in her face.
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No. 452930 ID: e3f578

>>452927
>>/questdis/60603
It had nothing to do with your art quality at all. I was talking about the reality of this kind of situation with this technology level.
Facial features blend together. They really can't confirm anything with just a physical description.
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No. 452955 ID: 374204

>>452925
I'm not saying we should tell him, but we have to say we'd rather not be searched.

So, we shouldn't just come out and admit it, but we need to tell him the basics of our plan (that we'll wait for the guy to leave, and then come up, and that's when he should go)
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No. 452957 ID: b33427

"Hope not. Last thing I need a bunch of hassle from a case of mistaken identity." No sense in giving yourself up, even if he does suspect you.

Confirm what time you should be here, say your goodbyes, and head back to the stranger's inn. Apologize to the nice plump ghost lady proprietor for making a scene; You'd never seen a ghost tower fight before, and you panicked. Head to your room, wake Iaxio up, fill him in on what's happened, and ask how much activity has passed by his shrine since those first two Geofahn members he saw. Don't forget to tell him the made up house and town names you came up with.

How much of a possibility is it that House Geofahn had your dad's remains cut up and distributated to their search parties, so as to call his ghost up to make a positive ID? Is this town close enough to your former home that they could have gotten a piece of him down here by now?
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No. 452984 ID: 6cc859

>>452930
You think Geofahn will decide "Oh, you match the description, but we can't really be sure so we'll let you go?"
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No. 452997 ID: c6ec33

>>452930
>>452984

I'm pretty sure the result here would be:
- Hold for background check
- Discover that no one here's ever heard of us
- Discover that we come from a made-up town and family
- Discover that we have no real knowledge about the south, which is where we claim to come from
- Discover that we freaked out when the Geofahn guy blasted apart the other dude

That's enough to hold on to us until they could get a positive ID. Which is easily possible if, for example, you had a Geofahn ghost that could go back and forth between Sab and Sab's mom (for facial feature check).

Basically, our only option is for Sab to NOT get caught. Let's play our "not actually the bride" card a little longer, at least for the benefit of anyone within earshot. Odds are McTrinket's sure we're the bride anyways, so maybe he'll respect our "merchant sense" here.

Tell him that you probably WILL have problems. Why? Because you're a girl, travelling alone, from a small faraway town which, for all most of Geofan knows, is made up. You came in alone, with only your great-uncle's ghost with you. No one here's ever seen you before, because this is your first visit to the town. You stand out like a sore thumb, and the odds are that they'll at least detain you long enough to make sure you're not the stupid bride. And considering they just blew away that other guy, you're kinda terrified of them right now and would rather not rely on their hospitality.

You also don't have the money to stay in town until this all blows over, so you can't afford to stick around and wait it out, either.

So, yeah, if he has any suggestions, you're all ears.
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No. 452998 ID: 58e163

We're in a bind here. If they stop us, odds are solid that our cover's blown. If we bail, McTrinkets will probably put two and two together.

We should tell him there won't be a problem, promise to see him in the morning, and disappear in the night. We need distance between us and them before they catch wind that we were here. Which will happen, whether we take his boat or let him talk. The only thing we can control is whether we're here when the news gets out.
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No. 452999 ID: 061a93

>>452997
Like literally all ears. They're huge. Look at them.
>>
No. 453023 ID: 4affc7

Well, let's stay in the inn.

And, uhh, if Plump Ghost there asks why we ran off?
Say you were traveling with an Aifax member and you had to go warn them what was going on and you were worried for their safety. Say you didn't know him personally, just met him on the road there and that he left when you told him.
Also say you're sensitive.
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No. 453024 ID: bdec1e
File 134722490786.png - (150.05KB , 750x750 , 45.png )
453024

>Tell him that you probably WILL have problems. Why? Because you're a girl, travelling alone, from a small faraway town which, for all most of Geofan knows, is made up.
>I'm not saying we should tell him, but we have to say we'd rather not be searched.
>"Hope not. Last thing I need a bunch of hassle from a case of mistaken identity."
> Basically, our only option is for Sab to NOT get caught.

I’m not sure what to say to him. I don’t want to be searched. I can’t be sure that, if they see my face, they won’t at least suspect it’s me. I’d love to just tell McTrinkets being searched isn’t a problem, but… it is. It’d be lying to say it is, and if we are searched, and I don’t have a plan to deal with it? I’m in trouble.

And at the moment, I don’t have a plan to deal with being searched.

“I don’t want to be searched. We… might have problems?”

McTrinkets is just. Doing that same stupid smile. “Oh, no?”

>No one here's ever seen you before, because this is your first visit to the town. You stand out like a sore thumb, and the odds are that they'll at least detain you long enough to make sure you're not the stupid bride.

“I mean, I’m kind of suspicious, right? I come from a small town they probably haven’t heard of, and I only have one ghost with me to back my story. We’re two strangers in a coracle leaving at night, and Geofahn looks really angry and they’re going to want someone to blame…”

McTrinkets holds up a hand and cuts me off. “You don’t want to be mistaken for their runaway bride.”

My stomach sinks. “I don’t want to be mistaken for their runaway bride.” He isn’t buying it.

“That’s all you need to say. Meet up with me here when it gets gloamy. After sunset, before dark. You have about three hours. We’ll leave then. Don’t let anyone from House Geofahn see your face before you get to me.”

“Right.” I feel numb.

>head back to the stranger's inn.

My walk back to the stranger’s inn is uneventful. No one’s paying any more attention to me. The streets are mostly empty.

The plump-ghost is right on me as soon as I come back into the inn, though.

“You okay dear?”

> Apologize to the nice plump ghost lady proprietor for making a scene; You'd never seen a ghost tower fight before, and you panicked.

“I’m so sorry,” I say. “I thought House Geofahn was invading… when the shock hit I thought the entire inn was under attack. I was—I was really scared.”

Plump-ghost doesn’t doubt the story for a moment. I’d feel worse about lying to her, but that was basically the truth I just told her. “It’s okay, it’s okay. House Geofahn seems to be settling into town and House Aifix hasn’t come down from their manor since bringing Maifhrex’s body up, but… I don’t know what will happen next.”

I mean, this is her town, she seems pretty frightened by it all too. All the same I sort of need some kind of information. “So are they actually letting House Geofahn check all outbound traffic?”

“Well, they aren’t trying to stop them, so I suppose so. I’m so sorry you came to us at a time like this.”

“It’s fine. I think I need to go to my room, though.”

I go around the back into my room. My tiny window looks out at the space behind the inn. I can’t see anything good out there, but no one can see in. I coax Iaxio’s ghost out.

“Hey Taliaxix,” he says.

He already knows to use my fake name until it’s okay, and it is, so I tell him. “Iaxio, we’re clear. We’re in a stranger’s inn.”

“Oh, are we in town already? How are we doing?”

I tell him all the things. He. He isn’t very happy.

“Stupid girl!” He’s smart enough to keep his voice down, but. “Your first thought was to run out in the open? How many Geofahn are in the town?”

“I don’t know. No one seems to be sure? Maybe three? Four? It isn’t an invasion.”

“And this McTrinkets knows who you are?”

“He might not…”

“So he does.”

“Well—”

“We have to assume he does. He told you he did, at least. And he’s still willing to help you escape. It sounds like he has some plan he’s not telling you about. Why? What does he get out of it? You didn’t offer him very much. Why is he risking it? Is he turning you in?”

“If he’s doing that… he’s doing that right now.”

“But then he shouldn’t have told you he knew. That would give you time to leave. Does he know where you are?”

“I… I think he might know I’m at a stranger’s inn.”

“Did he ask you?”

“No. He didn’t ask.”

“McTrinkets feels suspicious, but I can’t decide what kind of suspicious. Unless we want to spend days going back up north and around, in the place Geofahn has their eyes the most focused on, McTrinkets might be our only chance out of here.

I realize something. “And… if Geofahn is dealing with the aftermath of killing Aifix’s heir, they can’t really extend themselves to any more southern towns. They’re going to have to deal with this at some point. We… we might be clear if we can get south of here.”

I have no idea what to do or think. I have about three hours before it’s time to meet McTrinkets. I could peek around outside and maybe try to see how Geofahn is investigating outbound traffic? Maybe I should just stay inside and let no one see me like McTrinkets said? I could take a nap and see if I can talk to Maexiks. I don’t know.

Now that I’ve stopped moving, I kind of want to start crying.
>>
No. 453025 ID: 061a93

I dunno it seems like more risk than it's worth. Keep an eye on the window. Maybe block the door so that people can't barge in on you.
>>
No. 453032 ID: 4affc7

Block/lock the door, keep an eye on the window. It's not safe to nap, since things can happen while you're sleeping or you might sleep in.

Stay up. Ask Iaxio if it's ok you just cry for a bit. You're a stressed, young girl. We can't expect you to bottle all your emotions and risk them bubbling out in public.
>>
No. 453033 ID: e3f578

>>453024
Tell Iaxio to lighten up on the stupid girl comments. You've done it enough to yourself in your head.
We might need to get some different clothing soon. I really don't think we can afford to trust McTrinkets, even if we bail on him. And say he IS trustworthy and you bail, well, hey, he'd say that you were smart enough not to trust another merchant. I don't suppose we could improvise some new clothing? You probably don't know how to sew, but it's a skillset we're going to have to learn.

Ahh, yes, a good cover might be an aspiring seamstress, traveling to other shop stands to better understand how to put together clothing. Maybe a little suspicious considering recent events, but better than nothing and you can develop a skill under the cover of a story and you're not just some traveling vagrant, just a naive ambitious young one. Can you afford enough material to create a new outfit within a single Fauhredn coin?
>>
No. 453035 ID: 4a328b

Kill'em and hide the body, then take a relic. :D
>>
No. 453037 ID: 6a1ec2

Schlick furiously.
>>
No. 453053 ID: 374204

We might as well go out at dusk. When it's time for dinner, we can go into the common room and listen for gossip. Sit next to the window that looks out onto the front of the inn. If you see any Geofahn coming, then leave the inn immediately.

We can walk to the docks around evening and check it out, to see if they are still even there. I am inclined to trust McTrinkets, just because it would have been supremely easy for him to sell us out at any point before now and he chose not to. I'm not saying he doesn't have something planned, but whatever he has planned doesn't involve Geofahn, and if we're alone on the river with him, he will only be one guy, once we're out of the town. For now, I say we go with his plan.
>>
No. 453055 ID: 26a7c1

>>453024
Right now, there's only one thing you CAN do.

Schlick furiously.
>>
No. 453086 ID: 4affc7

>>453053
I wouldn't mess around at dinner like that, what's to say a Geofahn won't be in there and spot you?

Just stay in your room until the needed time, then sneak out the back without being seen.
>>
No. 453091 ID: f2c20c

>>453024
Hmmm... What house was he in? Perhaps he is not overly fond of Geofahn. Or perhaps he plans to turn you over to Fauhredn for a cash reward, since you're politically important. Whatever the case, he didn't think it was important to try to stop you from escaping the city.

He mentioned not letting anyone from Geofahn seeing your face. I think he plans to disguise your markings. Makeup or something. Didn't we have that idea before, but discarded it?
>>
No. 453148 ID: 4affc7

>>453091
Yeah, what house is he?
His colors were similar to your own house's though I doubt there's a relation. Just pointing that out.
>>
No. 453269 ID: c6ec33

>>453053
Look. This is a pretty good plan. OK? Except the gossip part. We have Iaxio for that. No one will suspect that a ghost with non-Tash colors is actually working with the Tash bride.

I'm guessing that McTrinkets either has connections to House Fauhredn, or realizes that he can sell you out to Fauhredn for wayyyyyy more than what Geofahn will give him. They're basically hate each other, so if Fauhredn took you in and paraded you around, that'd be a huge blow to Geofahn.
>>
No. 453304 ID: f80ba3

>>453269
Fauhredn being as traditionalist as it is probably would want nothing to do with us. Even if they don't like the Geofahn I find it unlikely they would overlook how badly we skipped out on our duty to our house by running from our marriage and they would probably not want us anywhere near them. At the same time if he's planning to sell us out to Geofahn it would probably be hard once we're on our way out and they stop us to convince them that he was indeed planning to hand us over rather than run off with us. I would guess he would tell them before hand that he found us if he wanted a reward and they would either be asking the inn owner about us soon or maybe right now or that they would be waiting at the docks when we arrive to leave.
>>
No. 453340 ID: a4f774
File 134730837402.png - (116.61KB , 750x750 , 46.png )
453340

I can hear some quiet chat in the main room of the inn. Lots of hushed, gossipy whispers. I consider going out there and getting some information, but it seems better to stay put for now and keep out of trouble. I’ve already raised enough of a hassle.

But even still? I don’t let Iaxio insult me for making mistakes. This is hard. This is dangerous, and… I’m probably more scared than I’m letting myself admit. I tell him to ease off me. He does.

I don’t want to risk sleeping to talk to Maexiks, so I just…

>Schlick furiously.

… so I just wait patiently. Nervously. I wait in a worried wreck, ok.

I wait. Iaxio waits too. We watch the colors of the day grow darker through the stained, pink of the window. Waiting around bored with Iaxio while being super-worried is starting to become Our Thing.

>Can you afford enough material to create a new outfit within a single Fauhredn coin?

Maexiks had to really work her connections to get dye at all. I might be able to get un-dyed clothes, but that’d make me stand out even more than anything else.

>Yeah, what house is he?

Southdog McTrinkets is from the south. There’s a thousand towns and a hundred houses I’ve never heard of whose colors he could be wearing. At the very least, I know it’s no major power or anything, or I’d have recognized it.

We wait until it’s finally time.

>sneak out the back without being seen.
>We can walk to the docks around evening and check it out, to see if they are still even there.
>…they would either be asking the inn owner about us soon or maybe right now or that they would be waiting at the docks when we arrive to leave.

I’m not sure if I can trust McTrinkets, but I don’t really have any better plans right now. Iaxio and I sneak out the back door. The streets are mostly empty, but there are enough dogs walking around that Iaxio and I won’t seem suspicious for being outside. The atmosphere is really subdued and broken. It feels like the town's spirit's been crushed by what happened earlier this afternoon.

It’s a few minutes’ walk to the spot where McTrinket’s coracle is docked. I can take a position behind a house and get a good peep on what’s up. I can see McTrinkets in his coracle, packing up his stuff. He has a ghost in his colors there, now, too, standing on the sidewalk and just being casual. I don’t see any Geofahn around.

I’m not sure what to do.

Do I trust him?

… even if I don't trust him… am I going with him?
>>
No. 453341 ID: 1b5014

>>453340
Dude is still pretty much an unknown. As far as we know he hasn't sold you out, at least, so that much can probably be said for him.

If nothing else, though, it's a lot easier to know that he might be up to if you're hanging around him, and since he basically knows your secret it seems like it's probably prudent to keep tabs on him somehow.

Also this town does not seem like a happy place to be anymore. I don't think you want to be here tomorrow.
>>
No. 453342 ID: 374204

Go up and casually talk to him. I don't think you should trust him, but I think going with him is the best bet still.

Glance around to see if you can't see where any checking, if any, is going on.
>>
No. 453345 ID: f2c20c

>>453340
They look a bit pissed off. Or determined... but if you say they're basically being 'casual', go talk to them.

Ask what his name is, too. Leave Iaxio hidden for now; if they cause trouble for us it would be best if he was a surprise.
>>
No. 453349 ID: 5d5628

Go there, even though you don't trust him. It's not like you got a contingency plan, anyway. Just be sure that the birdie who saw you acting strange at the inn is not on the next boat watching you sneaking out suspiciously in the middle of the night.

On another note, maybe this is a good point to ask if you can swim.
>>
No. 453353 ID: e3f578

I can't help but feel that if we don't go, we're fucked anyway if he does end up selling us out. We wouldn't last for long if he gave out our information to the Geofahns, we'd just have a slightly smaller advantage until we're eventually caught by them on or off the roads.

And if he doesn't, well, we have our best chance of getting out of here right in front of us. Traveling alone with just Iaxio on the roads is not a good idea even if they don't know our outfit and if we're caught by them OFF the roads it's even more suspicious behavior they're going to question, not to mention the danger of traveling alone off the roads even if your not a fugitive bride.
You DO still have a weapon on you though, right?
You might be able to kill them all if they aren't prepared for it.
Hey, if they do get their hands on you and kill you, are they gonna burn your corpse too? Or do they leave it at the first death for this kind of scandal? Not that you would last long without anybody taking care of you, but that's slightly better than a complete death.
>>
No. 453376 ID: d3f29d

Trust no one. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. McTrinkets's coracle boat is better than no plan at all.

>>453345

Would you be able to keep Iaxio hidden? Can ghosts sense other ghosts? Do they have, like, ectosensory perception?
>>
No. 453380 ID: f2c20c

Oh, hang on a second. Before we commit to anything, you should AT LEAST find out why he's helping you, and what his plan is. Then consider how dangerous it might be to go along with it.
>>
No. 453417 ID: 58e163

We should approach McTrinkets, keep our ears open for trouble, and have a quiet chat. Be ready to defend yourself.
>>
No. 453447 ID: 061a93

Take a good look around. Scan for possible approach points, and have an escape route ready if things go south (har). Then approach as casually as possible.
>>
No. 453511 ID: b33427

Watch them, but have Iaxio do it; They know you have a ghost with you, but they won't know that Iaxio's with you. If they do spot him, as long as Iaxio's mantle is out of sight, they might think it's a House Geofahn ghost watching the docks from a hiding spot. Tell Iaxio to not look directly at them, and act as if he was a Geofahn ghost watching this dock section by glancing back and forth along it. (Do ghosts cast a pale light of their own, or do they need to be "backlit" to show up?)

As a plus, if they do spook if they spot Iaxio, and move to leave immediately, that means they don't want to be watched by any House Geofahn agent, and is good evidence they haven't sold you out. Just make sure to step out and get to them before they leave.

While you're waiting, pick up some dirt and dust from the road and sprinkle and pat it on your mantle, especially the lower part. That'll make it not quite as bright, harder to pick out at a distance, and look more road worn. If there's a mud puddle in the alley, flop into it right before heading out. Getting your clothes muddy and wet will make the colors really hard to make out in the dusk light. If anyone asks, you can say you slipped and fell on the way to the dock.

Watch them until the very last minute, when they're untying the mooring rope to leave, then step out with Iaxio in tow and walk over as casually as you can.
>>
No. 453553 ID: 6a1ec2

I would like to second operation Iaxio Periscope
>>
No. 453592 ID: 2f4b71

Geofan haven't exactly been patient and subtle about finding you. They'd be more likely to have barged into the inn to look for you than wait in ambush.
>>
No. 453870 ID: 8e8c6b
File 134745691031.png - (152.84KB , 750x750 , 47.png )
453870

>>453511

While that’s tempting, I don’t think they’d mistake Iaxio for a House Geofahn ghost. We’re a good distance away, so watching them a bit longer doesn’t really need much effort. They finish packing and McTrinkets leans back and waits. A dog or two walk by and he greets them and that’s about it. I think they’re just waiting for me.

>Take a good look around. Scan for possible approach points, and have an escape route ready if things go south (har). Then approach as casually as possible.
>We should approach McTrinkets, keep our ears open for trouble, and have a quiet chat. Be ready to defend yourself.

It’s time.

>Leave Iaxio hidden for now; if they cause trouble for us it would be best if he was a surprise.

“Iaxio, you wanna… go hide, for now? You can pop out if there’s trouble and…”

“There’s already been enough trouble. I’m going to stick around and make sure you don’t pull your shirt up for that ghost over there.”

“Ugh. All right, fine.”

>You DO still have a weapon on you though, right?

I didn’t have time to actually buy a knife to stick in my boot, or a thing to hold my hook-blade anywhere other than inside my sack, but I do have my spear. Uhm. I fumble around and try to find a place to hold the hook-blade without it being obvious I’m wearing it, but I can’t.

I just keep it at the top of the bag. I won’t be wearing it over my back in the coracle, anyway, so I’ll be able to grab it quick when I need it. Okay. Here we go.

I walk on over to McTrinkets, Iaxio right behind me. There are a few dogs walking along the water-side street but none of them pay us any attention. McTrinket’s ears perk up when he sees me and he waves me on over openly. He isn’t trying to hide this meeting, at least.

Looking down the river, I can see a big coracle floating near the middle of the river-road, near the exit of the town. I think it’s anchored at the bottom of the river? The shape moving around in it wearing Geofahn colors. It looks like he has a real long pole, but he doesn’t seem to have any ghosts on him. Okay. I guess that’s what we have to sneak past?

I kneel down next to McTrinkets. “So. How are we doing this?”

“We agreed that you would prefer not to be searched?”

“… yeah.”

“Neither would I. Two hours ago several more House Geofahn dogs arrived in town and set themselves up on every exit. I think there may be some in the forests, too? We will have to be searched.”

“If we don’t want to be searched, what do we do?”

“Well, I can give you a tip. If you want to sell someone something that is broken, only show them the parts that don’t look broken. Yes?”

“What?”

“Get down into the coracle. Quiet now.”

I do it. I might as well. Iaxio and McTrinkets’ ghost-friend stay up on the street and make some non-talk with one another. I think Iaxio’s caught on to something, though. He and the ghost are there to block McTrinkets and I from the town’s view. What are we doing in here?

McTrinkets opens up one of his boxes and lifts the junk out of it. There’s a secret compartment at the bottom, and a little box inside that.

“So why are you helping me?”

“I’m making an investment. Lift your neck up, pull your mantle down some more.”

I just realized McTrinkets’ plan.

>I think he plans to disguise your markings. Makeup or something. Didn't we have that idea before, but discarded it?

We did, and we didn’t do it because it wouldn’t work. “This is—this is it? You’re going to rub ash in my neck or something so I look like a guy?”

McTrinkets nods.

“I thought of doing that before, just, like, rubbing soot into my face. People won’t think I’m a guy, they’ll think I’m just dirty. I wouldn’t even look like a guy except for my neck! It’ll look more suspicious than anything! It’s not going to fool anyone.”

McTrinkets rubs his thumb on his teeth. “Well. You haven’t noticed yet.”

I haven’t noticed wha—oh. Oh come on McTrinkets is a girl. I can see a hint of white at the rim of her neckline. “No, wait, why—”

“There aren’t many southern dogs up here and I don’t want to be “mistaken” for someone who looks exactly like me, either. This isn’t soot, this is something I made myself; you won’t find this in a market anywhere. It actually works! I’ve been watching the watercraft leave, the Geofahn dogs don’t check them very long. They’ll see two men in a boat and won’t think twice of sending us forward.”

This uh. This is apparently the plan. I’m not really comfortable going face-to-face with some Geofahn dog, especially after… seeing how desperate they are. I haven’t really explored any other escape options, but maybe it’s too late for that? And, I mean, it fooled me, right? Uhm.
>>
No. 453872 ID: a41c23

This sounds entirely legit and there's no way this would go wrong at all. So hey, why's he, uh, she being so nice to us? What's this business investment? Are we talking about licking boots clean here? Not that there's anything wrong with licking boots or anything.
>>
No. 453875 ID: 17472b

WELP! Yeah I think it's too late to change plans. The most important thing is to keep freaking calm. No eye contact.

Also maybe if she can obscure some of your upper face markings too? Just to be safe? Safer?

Look. Just stay collected. I mean, also, you know her secret now too, so there is a risk she took to smuggle you. You can sell her out as well.

You may want to pretend to have a nap when you get up to the guys also.
>>
No. 453876 ID: 17472b

Also... don't you think she's really cute? I mean. She is really cute. Just look at her cute little face, it's basically adorable.
>>
No. 453878 ID: e3f578

>>453870
I think she might actually have believed your lies now.
At least she personally follows the lie's logic herself, she's somebody, for real, trying to avoid being mistaken you, just like you were saying you were doing. That and she's probably got some secrets of her own that she doesn't want Geofahn searching.
If this is an invention is unheard of in your society, maybe she's got some good personal contacts underground. This stuff is great for hiding your identity if no one knows to look for it, which provides good cover for illicit activities such as thievery, assassination, trafficking, smuggling etc.
This might be very concerning, moreso than when we thought she'd turn you in to the Geofahns.
>>
No. 453880 ID: fc5d95

This seems like an okay thing. Might wanna disrupt some of the rest of your facial markings too - widen some of the other spots too, that sort of thing. Does Ms. McTrinkets have some, yanno, not-dark colours too?
>>
No. 453882 ID: 5d5628

I wonder if that cut in her right ear is part of the disguise. Such distinct, large ears ought to be recognizable, no matter how much black powder she rubs on her throat.
>>
No. 453904 ID: 58e163

Sounds like you're not the only wanted woman!

Go with her. Ms. Trinkets has got this down pat.
>>
No. 453953 ID: 8e8c6b
File 134748522636.png - (256.92KB , 750x750 , 48.png )
453953

>Go with her. Ms. Trinkets has got this down pat.

She clearly knows what she’s doing.

>This seems like an okay thing. Might wanna disrupt some of the rest of your facial markings too - widen some of the other spots too, that sort of thing.

“Do you wanna get some on my face, too, so it’s harder to go by my markings?”

“We probably shouldn’t. It works really well on white fur—not so well on any other colored fur. Let’s just go with this. Chin up!”

She has a comb and a rag in her hands. She gets the rag wet and blots it on the… stuff, and just mooshes it into my throat. It's gooey at first, but it dries in the evening air almost instantly. She uses the wooden comb to brush my fur out until it’s smooth and clean again. It… feels weird, letting her drag it across my throat like that. It makes me shiver. The coracle bonks against the street as it lists.

“Don’t squirm so much!”

>I wonder if that cut in her right ear is part of the disguise. Such distinct, large ears ought to be recognizable, no matter how much black powder she rubs on her throat.

“So what’s with the cut in your ear? I mean, it seems like it’d give you away more than anything else…”

“That’s the trick. I made it myself; I glue it together sometimes. If people are looking for a dog with a cut in the ear, they look over me if it’s not there.”

“Huh. Ow!” McTrinkets kind of mashed the comb into my throat.

“Sorry, sorry! Keep quiet okay? All right, you look fine. Try to hunch yourself up more. Space your arms, hide your chest with your mantle. I think we’re ready. Kekahkik?” McTrinkets calls up to her ghost. “Let’s cast off!”

Iaxio and the other ghost get down into the coracle. Like, they don’t really have any weight, so they just sit on the rim of the boat. McTrinkets unties us and sets a lantern at the boat’s center. It makes a cute orange glow. She gets out her paddle and pushes us off. Here we go. Okay. Right up to the Geofahn guy.

Any moment now. Uhm. Okay.

Okay, this is actually a really slow trip.

I try to make some small talk. “So uhm.”

McTrinkets hushes me. “We can talk when we’re safe. Just be relaxed.”

It’s hard to be relaxed. My back is towards the Geofahn guy, and all I can see is McTrinkets rowing us closer and closer and I’m seriously feeling sick to my stomach because I did not ever want to get this close to one of them like this.

I have to duck now and then when McTrinkets swings the oar around to paddle the other side. The ghosts duck, too. It’s kind of silly looking. The evening is really quiet. I can hear the quiet, sloshing noises of the water, and some distant birds, and that’s really it. The drag of McTrinket’s paddle through the river’s surface. More birds. I sneeze.

I can feel us getting closer, though. The Geofahn dog calls out to us.

“Stay your oar! We’re inspecting all out-bound from this town.”

“I know!” McTrinkets calls back. She keeps steering us right towards the Geofahn. My legs are shaking, okay? I’m trying not to let them shake. Iaxio gives me a Look and I take a deep breath, but I think they’re still shaking.

The Geofahn dog hooks his pole on our coracle and pulls us towards him. I can feel the pole’s vibration through the wood. I think it’s tipped with a metal hook? I uhm. Can’t stop thinking about the guy I saw kind of get blown apart earlier today right now.

Our boats are like right next to one another now. I can feel the water moving between us.

There’s a light held over our heads.

“Who are you?”

“Ofrehkik of Tahlekmehrdn-em-a,” McTrinkets answers. She’s keeping up her fake guy-voice real well, but, like. Her southern accent is so dusty and weird I don’t think it’d matter. I have no idea if that’s her real name she’s using. Most tombdog names work with either gender, so, like.

“What were you doing in town?”

“Selling stuff. Do you want a look? My wares don’t mind what time of day it is if someone has an interest in buying them—”

“That’s fine,” The Geofahn cuts her off. It’s impressive. McTrinkets made it sound like she was actually just eager to sell the dude stuff. The Geofahn dog doesn’t seem suspicious or anything, at least.

I feel a tap on my hat.

“Show me your face. Who’re you?”

I tilt myself around so he can see me. I make sure he can see the black dyed into my neck. I hope it looks natural. And oh, oh jeez. This Geofahn guy. He’s wearing a bunch of reliquaries on him, and he’s got a big butt-sized sword on his hip. He looks me right in the face.

“I don’t know your colors either. Who are you?”

“Taliaxix of Iaxholfrehdn-em.” I try to keep my voice meatier but it’s hard. I’ve never tried to sound like a guy before. I just pretend I’m tired so I’m talking weird. I yawn, too. Try to look bored. My stomach feels like it has a billion holes in it right now.

I see a weird look cross over this Geofahn guy’s face. His eyes are on my face-markings. He moves his lantern to the side so its light catches more of my fur. He—he thinks I’m a guy, right? But he’s really looking at me. What do I say?
>>
No. 453956 ID: f2c20c

>>453953
Squint and look away from the lantern to mess up his concentration. Act like you don't care. Don't even bother saying anything. Maybe grunt.

Tiny bits of your white fur are visible... I wonder how you can adjust your clothes to cover that better without drawing attention to it or your chest? Keep your posture correct.

Basically, don't fuck up or try anything creative.
>>
No. 453957 ID: 6a1ec2

Start coughing? Maybe he'll back off if he thinks you're sick.
>>
No. 453959 ID: 2f4b71

>What do I say?

Don't say anything. Just tilt your hat back down as if you're trying to go back to sleep.
>>
No. 453974 ID: e3f578

>>453957
Yes cough. This will get them away from your face for one.
Maybe a bad one, complain of a headache and make grunts at most.
If you must answer the question one the chick did, dry your throat. Tell them you're just traveling to find a good doctor that you can trust. You don't like northern doctors. They're just so fucking shitty at their jobs. Unless this is very untrue, then don't say it. Maybe your family is just familiar with a southern doctor. That you're getting directions from your uncle's ghost. Unless this is also suspect in your culture. Then I don't know what to say. If they question why you're taking a boat in cramped quarters, just say your tired of walking and just want some quiet travel you can sleep to. But again, talk only if they question, and keep the answers short and simple, appear tired and drowsy.
Another question they may ask why the merchant took you onto their boat, simply answer that you paid. That's it. That's all that needs to be said. If they question that, question them why a merchant wouldn't take money if they can?
>>
No. 454005 ID: bdb3f8

Nah, don't pretend to be sick. The whole point here is to NOT leave an impression, and complicated stories about illness and doctors leave impressions, and give more opportunity for bad voice acting. Just grunt and shield your eyes from the light a bit. If necessary, mumble something along the lines of "just going home."
>>
No. 454032 ID: 17472b

>>453974
Don't do this.

Cough, yawn, scrunch down further in the boat so the collar of your mantle covers the bit of white visible around your neck.

Make an eye at Beggar and McTrinkets from under the rim of your hat.

Also keep freaking calm. The most important thing is seriously to not freak out right now.

Don't say anything else if you can help it.
>>
No. 454047 ID: bf51c4

>>454032
this and say "Is something wrong with my face?"
>>
No. 454060 ID: 58e163

Squint at the light and turn away, seconding that thought.
>>
No. 454067 ID: b33427

Let him look at your face for a few moments longer, then raise an eyebrow slightly, and make a questioning "hmm" sound if he's still looking.

Don't try to slouch down to obscure the white fur spots at your collar; That'll just draw attention. All you really can do is not draw any more attention to yourself, and hope he doesn't start asking you anything more.

If he does start asking questions, say as little as possible, so this guy doesn't have more of a chance to notice it sounds odd. Only respond if he asks questions, and keep the replies short and to the point.
>>
No. 454069 ID: 061a93

>>454047
Avoid speaking. Could give you away.
>>
No. 454071 ID: 061a93

>>454060
Yeah, I agree, squint at the light, lower your head again, and look like you're just tired.
>>
No. 454158 ID: d3f29d

Say nothing and give him a withering glare, like even looking at him is waste of your time - I bet you have a whole library of those glares.
>>
No. 454300 ID: 3e4690
File 134756929894.png - (133.47KB , 750x750 , 49.png )
454300

>Yeah, I agree, squint at the light, lower your head again, and look like you're just tired.
>Say nothing and give him a withering glare, like even looking at him is waste of your time - I bet you have a whole library of those glares.
>If he does start asking questions, say as little as possible, so this guy doesn't have more of a chance to notice it sounds odd.

I just stare up at him. Those colors. Those colors should terrify me but being this close, looking up at his face, I’m just. It isn’t. It’s just annoyance. I didn’t want to have to go through all this, okay? I’m still scared of the moment when I finally can really relax and realize what I’ve done. I mean, I don’t think I’ve really stopped to appreciate just. Just how much of my life is ruined because I was supposed to marry one of these guys.

I just stare at him.

“All right, move on. Keep your lantern up, watch out for boats coming up-river.”

And just like that, we’re clear.

The glow of the city grows faint, and the orange lantern soon becomes the only light around. It only fills the coracle. The water and trees outside are just dark shapes, moving past us in a blur. It's uh. Unsettling.

“I can’t believe that worked,” I say.

“I was a bit nervous myself,” McTrinkets agrees. “Kekahkik, I think we’re clear. You can go rest now.”

McTrinkets’ ghost just kind of disappears.

“Who is he?” I ask.

McTrinkets looks over at Iaxio. “Who is he?”

“Fair enough.” I might as well be honest about this, right? I don’t think it’s going to hurt. “He’s my uh, great-uncle. Great-grand-uncle? Apparently my grand-dad fooled around with his mom.”

“Oh. Kekahkik is my father’s friend. He helps me out with things.”

“Neat.” And we’re back to the only sound being McTrinkets’ slow paddling. Honestly the river has a gentle enough current we can coast along it without her having to do much more than steer it. “So what is your real name?”

“What’s your real name?” McTrinkets laughs.

I guess if I tell McTrinkets more about myself she’ll tell me more about her. Should I do it?

>So hey, why's he, uh, she being so nice to us? What's this business investment? Are we talking about licking boots clean here?

“So why did you help me? You said it was an investment?”

McTrinkets nods. “You don’t have to tell me why you didn’t want to be found, but it was clear you didn’t. You needed to escape, so I helped you out. I saved you, so now you owe me.”

My stomach churns a bit. I mean, it isn’t wrong to say that I am indebted to her, but, like. To put it that plainly? “Am I going to have to lick your boots or something now?”

McTrinkets’ ears flitter. “Would you do that?”

I. What? “I was uh—”

“Would you?” She pushes her boot over to my side of the coracle.

> Not that there's anything wrong with licking boots or anything.

I look over at Iaxio and he gives me a Look back. I think he wants to say something about how I’m being too trusting again, but he doesn’t want to say it now. He rolls his eyes. “I think I’m going to go back to sleep. Wake me up when something happens. I mean that, this time. Don’t leave me out of the big decisions.”

“I won’t.” Iaxio disappears.

But now we’re just kind of. Drifting along awkwardly. What do I say? What do I do?
>>
No. 454303 ID: 4ac965

Look. Maybe you should just take off her boot and massage her feet a little. Licking a toe wouldn't be all that bad would it?

Also, look, maybe the real reason you're running is because you don't want to be married to a man, like, at all. You wanted to lick Maexis's eye (and more) and you didn't even think about how cute McTrinkets was until you knew she was a girl. I think you're seriously into girls.

I don't think you should tell her you're the runaway just yet. Maybe just take off her boot and start playing with her feet, and maybe ask what kind of thing she is thinking about for you to repay her.
>>
No. 454304 ID: bdb3f8

"If I lick your boots, then the debt is repaid, and I don't owe you anything any more. I mean it doesn't sound to ME like a good business investment, but if that's your thing, whatever."
>>
No. 454305 ID: 6cc859

>>454300
You could lick more than her boot~
>>
No. 454309 ID: f2c20c

>>454300
Don't lick her boot. Or her foot. Jeez. You might like, joke about possibly doing it, but don't actually do it.

After any possible joking around is over, ask her if she just wants a favor or something in the future, or if money will be fine.

Since she isn't insisting that you tell her who you are, don't. Not until you KNOW you can trust her. Right now she's just a merchant who decided she wanted to get something in exchange for helping someone escape from Geofahn, and since they don't like Geofahn ANYWAY, it doesn't matter who that person was.

Maybe you could ask her if she had any dealings with that demonbird or whatever. We were contemplating asking them to take us but then shit happened.
>>
No. 454318 ID: 6a1ec2

You know, actually, that's a very good question. You gave him/her the name McTrinkets because you didn't know of any other name to use. But your parents gave you the name Sabhaxlia for the exact same reason. So wouldn't that make Sabhaxlia just as fake a name as McTrinkets?
>>
No. 454321 ID: e3f578

>>454300
Say you wouldn't do anything undignified, but you do owe her a favor.
>>
No. 454332 ID: f2c20c

>>454318
Not at all. Someone's first name is what they were given by their parents. That's how people are named.

We can't just call her McTrinkets though. Ask for her FAKE name.
>>
No. 454333 ID: d3f29d

"the river has a gentle enough current we can coast along it without her having to do much more than steer it"

>>449710

Isn't south upstream? Is the river still tidally influenced this far inland? /end pedant mode

Hold off on the real names for now. You clearly both have something to hide.

Don't lick her boot. Seriously. Play it up like a joke. Stick out your tongue. Call her a butt, playfully. Say you'd sooner lick a dreambug's eye.
>>
No. 454348 ID: b0ef59

It's undignified and is not an adequate repayment in any event. Know, you won't lick the boot. You owe her but that does not make you an indentured servant.
>>
No. 454354 ID: ba5b18

You should definitely lick her foot. Seducing her is only advantageous for you.
>>
No. 454364 ID: b3dd38

You should remain faithful to your one true love, Maexiks. Also, tell McTrinkets that licking a boot would be terribly undignified, but of course you are willing to repay her in some way.
>>
No. 454379 ID: 26d11e

you owe one favor.
>>
No. 454380 ID: 1d7721

don't. she's testing the waters, seeing how far she can push you. don't do it, have some morale backbone.
>>
No. 454387 ID: 9c8e90

Remember Iaxio and the Shirt.
Don't lick her boots. She's just testing you.
>>
No. 454410 ID: 6e44d2

>>454387
Yeah. Don't be easily manipulated, girl.
>>
No. 454411 ID: bdb3f8

>>454304
The point of this sentiment is not to lick boots, but that it will cause McTrinkets to drop the boot licking topic without Sabhaxlia getting all flustered and stuttering and losing face AGAIN. Because there is no way a reasonable person wants to waste a favor on that. And if she does, we know to find a new traveling companion at the earliest opportunity.
>>
No. 454454 ID: b33427

Really, don't tell McTrinkets any more about yourself. You'll need loads more trust to do that with anyone, from here on out.

Drop the subject of boot licking, and ask her what name you should call her. You don't want to use "McTrinkets" anymore, since it sounds silly.

As long as you have time, you may as well practice talking in a male voice. You're going to need it if you're going to be wearing that black neck for awhile, so may as well do it when you've got someone to critique you.
>>
No. 454493 ID: 22020b

>>454454
What the fuck? McTrinkets is an awesome name. Also, trying at least a little to seduce her is very reasonable. If she doesnt respond to it, she'll only underestimate us, and if she does, then we avoid a potentially bad/dangerous "favor."
>>
No. 454507 ID: 58e163

Yeah, ix-nay on the ootlicking-bay. I'd ask her for a name we can call her and what kind of task she'd like us to perform, though.
>>
No. 454627 ID: 16d223
File 134766383497.png - (147.10KB , 750x750 , 50.png )
454627

>Yeah, ix-nay on the ootlicking-bay.

Yeah, exactly.

>Remember Iaxio and the Shirt. Don't lick her boots. She's just testing you.

Seriously, exactly. I’m not that dumb.

>You should definitely lick her foot. Seducing her is only advantageous for you.

I mean, on the other hand, if I do, she’ll probably be so shocked she’ll let her guard down.

>Also, trying at least a little to seduce her is very reasonable.

Yeah, it isn’t that weird, right? And Iaxio isn’t around, he can stop telling me how to act. It’s not like licking her boot would be a bad thing, right?

>Don't be easily manipulated, girl.

But what if she only meant it as a joke, and if I really do it I’ll, like, gain the advantage?

>don't. she's testing the waters, seeing how far she can push you.

Right, she’s probably trying to trick me, though. The smart thing is to not be stupid.

>Look. Maybe you should just take off her boot and massage her feet a little. Licking a toe wouldn't be all that bad would it?

But it wouldn’t do any harm to me, and I mean, I do owe her, right?

>You could lick more than her boot~

Yeah like—

>Also, look, maybe the real reason you're running is because you don't want to be married to a man, like, at all. You wanted to lick Maexis's eye (and more) and you didn't even think about how cute McTrinkets was until you knew she was a girl. I think you're seriously into girls.

“I’m not actually going to lick your boot.” I say it out-loud.

McTrinkets stops her paddling and looks up at me. “What? I was joking.”

“… oh, yeah.”

“That was almost an hour ago. Did you fall asleep?”

What oh uhm uh “Oh, I guess I did.” That was probably the worst-told lie in my entire life. McTrinkets just laughs. I need something to talk about or the rest of this boat-ride is going to be uh. It’s going to be real weird.

>I don't think you should tell her you're the runaway just yet.
>We can't just call her McTrinkets though. Ask for her FAKE name.

Since I probably shouldn’t give her my real name, she probably isn’t going to give me hers. But, I mean, while she’s already McTrinkets in my head, I’ll need to know what fake name to call her so no one else gets suspicious. “So what should I be calling you? Are you going to keep using the name you told the Geofahn dog?”

“Ofrehkik of Tahlekmehrdn-em-a,” McTrinket says. “Let’s keep using that name for a bit longer.”

“Then I’ll be Taliaxix of Iaxholfrehdn-em.”

> Maybe just take off her boot and start playing with her feet, and maybe ask what kind of thing she is thinking about for you to repay her.

“Uhm, so other than licking your boot, what kind of investment are we talking about here for serious?”

“We’ll get to it later. I’m really sorry, but after such an adventurous day I’m too tired to talk business.”

“Well… okay. So long as it isn’t anything dumb, like, I do owe you, okay?” I guess I can let the details go, for now. I’ll make sure to not let her force me into anything super-stupid, for sure. And honestly, I’m tired. I don’t think I could say much more without putting my foot in my mouth. I. I really didn’t mean to use that phrase. I really should sleep. “I really should sleep, I think.”

“You probably should! I’ll mind the coracle.”
>>
No. 454629 ID: 16d223
File 134766387358.png - (126.17KB , 750x750 , 51.png )
454629

I guess I’m asleep, because I’m back in the House Aifix town. Maexiks or dream-Maexiks or whatever it works must be around too, because the sky is completely weird again, too.

I’m also in Tashikoxix colors again.

Also there’s sort of a House Geofahn dog walking around over there. I mean. This is a dream, right? So it shouldn’t matter? But like. Like.

I don’t want to dream about being murdered, okay.
>>
No. 454632 ID: fa20db

Can you sneak around to the hut with the red windows? Keep under the windows and stay low. Maybe he won't spot you.
>>
No. 454637 ID: f2c20c

>>454629
I'd like to point out that last time you dreamt, NOBODY was around. That may be an actual person invading your dream somehow. If that's the case, and Maexiks shows up, then she'll look extra suspicious! Also, I can't help but wonder if her species can be harmed outside the dream by being hurt inside the dream. It's possible that he's a threat.

I think we should try to use lucid dreaming to banish him. Can you focus on creating a suit of armor for yourself? Or summoning a house Fauhredn soldier to help?
>>
No. 454645 ID: 16d223
File 134766627123.png - (84.86KB , 700x700 , 52.png )
454645

>I'd like to point out that last time you dreamt, NOBODY was around. That may be an actual person invading your dream somehow.

Oh, but like. He’s a tombdog, they can’t… we can’t do that… right?

>I think we should try to use lucid dreaming to banish him. Can you focus on creating a suit of armor for yourself? Or summoning a house Fauhredn soldier to help?

Okay, I’m going to try it. I close my eyes real hard and focus on Fauhredn colors. Some big Fauhredn soldier. Or armor for me. Anything. That the Geofahn guy is gone. I open my eyes and uh. It’s all the same. He’s still there, too. Ugh.

>Can you sneak around to the hut with the red windows? Keep under the windows and stay low. Maybe he won't spot you.

Right, let’s go. I just kinda crawl-walk-hobble forward across the distance and keep to the far side of the houses.

I think it’s a good thing I stay below the windows, because, like, I think I can hear people moving around inside. I head over to the building with the red lights because. Uhm. Because!

The Geofahn guy isn’t doing a very good job of looking for me, and I mean, it isn’t even a challenge to get across.

Maexiks is standing in the door of the red house. Uhm, it was her wings making the light, I guess.

“Hi!” I whisper.

“Come inside. You have a nightmare following you around.”

Maexiks backs into the house and I go in after her. We close the door and I hope that’s that. “So like, are nightmares uhm. Dream-things?”

“They are bad dreams,” Maexiks says. “It is good it didn’t find you.”

“Oh, yeah. So uhm. Hi!” The building looks… a lot like Maexiks’ house, actually. I settle into a chair and relax.

“You are safe, now?” she asks.

“I mean, the Geofahn guy didn’t see me come in. Oh! Oh you meant like for real? Look I don’t know. I’m sort of in a coracle with some person that I can’t. Figure out. Look.” I just. I just explain the whole stupid day to Maexiks; looking for a boat south, the Geofahn guy killing the Aifix one, me freaking out, McTrinkets figuring out who I was, kind of… getting stuck escaping with her. “And now, like. I don’t know.”

Maexiks stands there, her big, spindly body swaying lightly. She’s listening to everything super-patiently. She’s really so nice to me. She waits until I’m done before saying, “If there is anything else you want to speak about, please do so. Afterwards, I have something important to show you.”

So uh. If I wanna see if Maexiks has any advice or help or anything, now is a good time.
>>
No. 454647 ID: fa20db

Tell her absolutely everything that happened including your budding lesbian feelings. Ask her for any good futures she saw, and ask her if it' s okay if you practice kissing with her.
>>
No. 454655 ID: f2c20c

>>454645
Well now that we found her, perhaps it would be a good idea to like, ask if we're making her uncomfortable with the licking.
>>
No. 454663 ID: ffa210

Hey, uh, wait.

Hold on.

This tower-of-ghosts guy, the same one who had remorselessly blown a guy in half just some hour ago. Don't you find it a little bitty bit suspicious that he passed Maexiks' town without doing anything to her? What more, this guy was apparently LAUGHED out of that town.

Ask her what's up with that.
>>
No. 454664 ID: dc4a44

Cut the lesbian shit out.
>>
No. 454665 ID: 886a4d

Never!

Wait you probably weren't talking to me.
>>
No. 454675 ID: a8e783

>>454663
Uhm, they wanted to do more to her.
The entire town turned on them, though, and prevented it.
>>
No. 454686 ID: 9c8e90

Has she heard news of your mother?
>>
No. 454691 ID: 4a328b

We've probably covered most of what's on our mind, for now. What'cha got for us, Maex?
>>
No. 454730 ID: b33427

There is one question rattling around in your head: Why did Maexiks help you so much? She used all her contacts, and her own money, to kit you out for your trip. She put herself at grave personal risk; She said so in the last dream. You were only a good acquaintance, not really a friend. Did she dream that you were important, somehow? Ask her about all of that.

Ask what House Geofahn has been doing back in the town, since they were thrown out. Have they done anything to your family; Not that you care, 'cause they're all massive butt-heads, but you'd still like to know.

Oh, and how about asking if she could bring another who is dreaming into your dreamworld, or if that's beyond Maexiks' ability. 'Cause if ghosts dream while they sleep, you could bring Iaxio in.
>>
No. 454960 ID: 6cc859

>>454675
Kinda like how this town tried to turn on them?
>>
No. 454963 ID: 56e719
File 134774600581.png - (117.26KB , 700x700 , 53.png )
454963

>Ask her for any good futures she saw

“Have any good dreams about me?”

“I saw you escape the town. I had several dreams of it. Right now, too much of your future is open for me to give you good advice.”

Butts. “Oh well. Guess it’s too much to hope that I can know the future too.”

“Try taking a nap during the day. A decent-timed one. The closer the future is, the more clear dreams I can have of it.”

“What if you’re not asleep?”

“You will still dream of me.”

Huh. I’m not sure if I’m ever gonna figure this dreambug stuff out. I guess if I ever want to see what Maexiks’ future-advice is, I can take a nap when I have time.

>There is one question rattling around in your head: Why did Maexiks help you so much? She used all her contacts, and her own money, to kit you out for your trip. She put herself at grave personal risk; She said so in the last dream. You were only a good acquaintance, not really a friend. Did she dream that you were important, somehow? Ask her about all of that.

“So uh, like I said, I’m kinda stuck with owing McTrinkets something. What do I owe you? Why are you like, risking your life just to help me escape? You said you were expecting to die. And like, you’re a merchant too, right? So what are you getting out of this whole deal?”

Maexiks remains about as readable as ever. “I do enjoy being a merchant. I enjoy this town and this land—the tombdog land, I mean. All the other merchants, and the townsdogs, they defended me when House Geofahn wanted to kill me. Here, though, under the sky of my remnant, I still cannot bear the town's colors on my shoulders.”

“Oh.”

“Neither of us are at home here. I dreamed you could have found an actual home, and so I helped you. If I was killed helping you, when you found a home, I could persist there, with you, as a dream.”

I’m not entirely sure what she’s going on about right now, but like, I think Maexiks is uh. Is she upset that she didn’t get killed? What the flapping butts.

>ask her if it' s okay if you practice kissing with her.

I mean, look, I do feel like it’s appropriate to comfort her right now, okay? But I’m just going to pick up one of those tarsus things that come out of her arms and pat it a bit.

>Well now that we found her, perhaps it would be a good idea to like, ask if we're making her uncomfortable with the licking.

I try to say it, but like, I can’t phrase it, okay? I mean, she didn’t seem to mind, and she’s been a good friend. Let’s just. Let what happened have happened and what will happen happen? Right?

>Ask what House Geofahn has been doing back in the town, since they were thrown out. Have they done anything to your family; Not that you care, 'cause they're all massive butt-heads, but you'd still like to know.

“So uhh, any word of my family? Is there anything going on with them?”

“We have heard the rumors. Your mother and father’s ghost have a House Geofahn visitor in their manor. He is keeping watch over them. House Geofahn is… very angry at you.”

>This tower-of-ghosts guy, the same one who had remorselessly blown a guy in half just some hour ago. Don't you find it a little bitty bit suspicious that he passed Maexiks' town without doing anything to her? What more, this guy was apparently LAUGHED out of that town.

“Yeah, about that. So like, in the House Aifix town, the House Geofahn guy pulled out a ghost-tower and blew the Aifix dog’s butt across the ground. But they just let themselves be laughed out of your town? What’s up with that?”

“Now I have to show you something.”
>>
No. 454965 ID: 56e719
File 134774610823.png - (184.98KB , 700x700 , 54.png )
454965

Maexiks leads me out of the town. It just. Ends. And I think the actual dreambug remnant begins. The trees are all thin and tall, and evenly spaced. The ground is like, it’s hay, dried leaves and twigs and stuff, but really soft and fluffy. The air is warm, but way dryer than anything I’m used to. But, like, our remnant is pretty wet all the time, so this is maybe just not-wet air.

Maexiks leads me for a while—I sort of lose track of the time and what I’ve seen, okay?—and we get to this edge of a cliff. It slopes down a little bit to a clearing, and there’s a dreambug sitting there. It’s pink, though, and white, and looks kind of spiky.

He’s wearing a House Geofahn mantle.

“He has been here for some time,” Maexiks whispers. “Since at least early last morning. He’s been watching the same movements I’ve been. He’s trying to dream of you. He doesn’t know you personally, so I do not think his dreams are very clear or accurate.”

An entire reliquary filled with swamp-piss. And it’s left open and it leaks onto your fur. That’s what this butt is. “Are you serious? House Geofhan has a dreambug stalking me?”

“I think House Geofahn knew where you were. At some point during the day, at least. They knew you would be escaping the House Aifix town.”

Well! That. That might help explain why Geofahn was so insistent on getting Aifix to let them search the water traffic. A bit. It… still feels like the whole ghost-tower thing was a bit overkill. “So, like. Does House Geofahn know where I am right now? That I escaped?”

“He cannot see your present. He can only dream of the possibilities of your futures.”

“… which means they can work backwards and figure out where I am. Butts. So are they still going to go after me? I… hoped that Geofahn would be too busy dealing with Aifix to look for me anymore.”

Maexiks looks at me. “I’m sorry.”

Damnit.
>>
No. 454966 ID: 56e719

And I'm sick, and school is starting back up again so I might. Take a break for a day or two to get my stuff in order before continuing? We are kind of at the end of a cutscene or so anyway!
>>
No. 454968 ID: 254090

Could you.... could you kill this dreambug?
>>
No. 454972 ID: e3f578

>>454965
Ask her if they will stop at least once we get into Fauhredn territory, or if that's at least in one of the futures.

Then ask her if the bugs feel more real here than they do on the other remnants, like, it's them dreaming of us there instead of the other way around? Bugs dream of dogs, men and birds, while the birds, dogs and men dream of bugs.

And why are you so obsessed with the word butt. Doesn't ass roll of the tongue better? Or buttocks? Rump, fanny, derrière, fanny, posterior, rear, rump, tail, or tush.
>>
No. 454979 ID: dc4a44

Because butts are butts.

Is there any way to counter this scrying, or counter-scry Geofahn's movements.
>>
No. 454982 ID: f2c20c

>>454968
If we CAN kill the dreambug, that would throw them off our trail. They would surely have proof Maexiks is involved, then, but she seems to WANT to be dead.

On the other hand, that would mean killing someone. That is not something to be done lightly.

After you decide what to do, ask Maexiks if she wants a hug. Try not to lick her again.
>>
No. 454987 ID: 5605fe

So, Maexiks wanted to die and live forever in your dreams? I think she might be into you, OK. And you ahve had thoughts about her too, so don't pretend like the interest isn't mutual.

You know you liked the kiss, and look, it seems very likely she liked the lick too. If she was creeped out by it, she wouldn't be going all out of her way to help you like she is. She legitimately wants to help you, and you said you don't even know her that well, really.

So, just think about that.

As far as dreambug, ask Maexiks if there's anything we can do about it.
>>
No. 454989 ID: 6a1ec2

Go kick that bug's ass. Also make note to apologize to Maexis because she may have to endure a dual existence for a little longer before she manages to off her waking self.
>>
No. 455003 ID: dc4a44

>>454989
Let's not make our presence known to the person tracking us.
>>
No. 455024 ID: 6e44d2

Yeah, is there any way we can off this bug?
>>
No. 455030 ID: d3f29d

Clearly, the answer is to do something totally unpredictable. Something that wouldn't happen in even the wildest dreams.

How quickly can you get a jacuzzi full of oatmeal and thirty yards of leopard-print satin?
>>
No. 455041 ID: 061a93

>>454987
Stop that. No lesbian bug stuff.

Ask Maexiks if it would be possible to kill the dreambug in here, though. Maybe not now, but perhaps later we could come back prepared to do the job.
>>
No. 455097 ID: 4a328b

We don't have to go so far as OFFING 'im, but is there a way to get him off our trail?
>>
No. 455102 ID: 6e44d2

>>455030
Obviously the best plan.

Also, if we do anything too obvious to this bug, it'll implicate our bugfriend here. We need to find a subtler way to obfuscate our trail. How can you disrupt a dreambug's visions? If you can't, could we cause a calamity for their house even more disruptive than us?
>>
No. 455170 ID: b33427

No trying to kill this Geofahn dreambug. Leaving aside that it might not even be possible from in the dream, it'd be blatantly obvious Maexiks helped, and get her in trouble. And while she might not mind dying in the waking world, Geofahn could have more dreambugs on their side, and they could do bad things to her in the dream.

Back away from the Geofahn dreambug, then start asking Maexiks about how to "muddy the waters" in this dreambug's predictions. Is it a matter of either creating too many possibilities of roughly equal probability that none stand out, choosing actions that are erratic and unpredictable, or something else?

Huh. I wonder if House Geofahn's meteoric rise in power is 'cause they have some dreambugs on their side. The power of prediction would be quite a boon to a trading house. Though, they didn't predict you running off, so there's that.
>>
No. 455206 ID: c6ec33

>>454965
Ask her if there's such a thing as an "unpredictable" future for a dream bug; something that you can take advantage of. Or at least some way to confuse him.

Logically speaking, if they can track you easily, then you have only one choice: Go beyond their reach. Deep into territory they wouldn't dare go to, even to retrieve you.

Go to the lands of the F-dudes, like, ASAP.
>>
No. 455598 ID: d293c8
File 134790179961.png - (137.64KB , 700x700 , 55.png )
455598

>Could you.... could you kill this dreambug?
>Go kick that bug's ass.
>Ask Maexiks if it would be possible to kill the dreambug in here, though.

“So… can we uh. Can we kill him?” Actually saying it out-loud sounds a bit weird. I guess I’m ready to kill if I have to, though.

Maexiks shuts it down hard though. “You are only here as my dream. And then, I am a merchant. You are young runaway. This dreambug was hired by House Geofahn specifically to be a dreambug. I do not think attacking him could possibly go in our favor.”

“Oh.”

>We need to find a subtler way to obfuscate our trail. How can you disrupt a dreambug's visions?
>is there a way to get him off our trail?
>Or at least some way to confuse him.
>start asking Maexiks about how to "muddy the waters" in this dreambug's predictions.

“So we have to do something to throw him off, right? Maybe you can confuse him or…”

“If a house as powerful as Geofahn finds merit in his skill, I do not think there is much a merchant and a runaway can do. He does not know you and can not see you. His dreams of you will be indistinct and confusing.”

“There has to be something?”

“We can not choose which futures we see. If you want to confuse his dreams more, do more than run away. If you are focused on escape, he will dream only of your escape. If you have more problems than escaping Geofahn’s notice, his dreams may become worthless.”

“Like. Look, I’m not following.”

“I can tell you what dreams I had of you last morning. I had dreams of you leaving town, in many ways. With a tombdog; with birddemons; alone. I had dreams of you dying, dreams of you hiding in town. During my evening nap I only had dreams of you leaving with a tombdog. But these dreams were… less about your escape. They were of you and the tombdog.”

“Oh. Huh?”

“I very clearly saw a dream of you licking her boots.”

“Oh. Great. Just. Great.”

“I am only a dream of Maexiks. Maexiks is asleep now, and also dreaming separate dreams from you. It has been long enough I have had some dreams of your future. Your tombdog will offer you a box. Most of the dreams right now have been you accepting or rejecting it. It is hard to push any dreams past this choice. She will be very unhappy if you do not.”

An awkward silence kind of floats around us now. I’m not sure what to say. I’m not really sure I understand dreambug stuff very well.

>Also make note to apologize to Maexis because she may have to endure a dual existence for a little longer before she manages to off her waking self.

Because apparently Maexiks wanted to die and become my dream? Look, I’m not really sure how to feel about that. It’s almost sweet, and it’s almost creepy, and it’s this weird flavor between the two.

>I think she might be into you, OK. And you ahve had thoughts about her too, so don't pretend like the interest isn't mutual.

I have no idea what to think about any of that stuff, okay? I obviously did enjoy licking Maexiks. I mean, I can’t lie to myself about that much, at least.

>Stop that. No lesbian bug stuff.

I mean, yeah, but it isn’t that appropriate, is it? But like.

>You know you liked the kiss, and look, it seems very likely she liked the lick too.

“So, uhm. Look, thanks, Maexiks. Maexiks’ dream. Whatever you are and whatever I am when I’m here. I really am super-thankful for all of this.”

Maexiks looks over at me. It looks like she’s trying to say something but she doesn’t.

Instead she grabs me in her spiked arms and shoves her face against mine.

Her faceplates push against my nose and the little finglets on the side of her face pull into my fur. I can feel the smooth outside of her mandibles squish into my lips. Her parts, all her parts, they move and tug at my skin for a moment before letting go.

I think she just kissed me.

“Your dream is ending soon. I have more dreaming to do. I think tomorrow will be difficult.”

Tomorrow. Ugh. Yesterday I got to the Aifix town and dealt with all that mess. The day before… the day before, I had escaped from Maexiks’ town and ran into Iaxio’s granddad. The day before that, I ran away from home. It’s. It’s really been so short a time?
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No. 455599 ID: d293c8
File 134790188604.png - (133.36KB , 700x700 , 56.png )
455599

This thread has gotten a big butt, so we'll probably be picking up with a new thread this weekend!
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No. 455667 ID: 6e44d2

Hooray! Threads with small butts!
>>
No. 455669 ID: e3f578
 

awwwww
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No. 455748 ID: 6a1ec2

Oh I get it. You have to fill your life with frustrated sexual drama so that they'll dream about that instead of your plotted course.
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No. 455751 ID: 061a93

>>455748
I laughed pretty hard.
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No. 455781 ID: 821a01

>>455599

"Father, I cannot tell a lie. I like big butts." -George "Mysterio" Washington
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No. 455785 ID: 6480d5

A+ bug kissing will read again.
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