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662096 No. 662096 ID: dd338c

Ah, right where I left it! It is nice how soft the dirt becomes in area where feet do not constantly tread upon it.
1084 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 826920 ID: bfb318
File 150432708840.png - (83.78KB , 800x800 , 9-441.png )

I take Tulip to a nearby bench to sit at, and that seems to wake her up.

>"Ah. Story Seeker?"
"It is I! How are you?"
>"I'm okay. I still do not know what happened to me. One moment I'm serving priests, then smoke and..."
"Just potions of odd effects. Temporary things! You need only rest."
No. 826921 ID: 7fad5d

Let's not cockblock Kexluk, then. Be prepared to deflect anyone inbound to cause trouble, but otherwise let's just chill with Tulip.

"Caught up with the latest news yet?"
No. 826922 ID: a363ac

come lay thine head upon mine lap and rest my dearest desert flower~
No. 826925 ID: 015058

Give her a update on what happened when she was out. The Kobold uprising and how the order god is pissed with the lizard's being jerks. How Tom is going to sweep in and get society leveled out a bit.

Then say that you will be traveling with Reilqin to your home cavern with Kexluk and some friends. She is of course welcome to join you or can stay in town to witness what happens here if she likes.

The choice is of course hers.
No. 826934 ID: 91ee5f

Let's ask her what she's been doing in between the last time we saw her and now!
No. 826935 ID: 3ce125

Take a couple minutes to catch up with her before you bring some food to that kobold.
No. 826960 ID: bfb318
File 150433108330.png - (102.38KB , 800x800 , 9-442.png )

I begin to get Tulip up to date as I sit next to her, but she merely puts her head on my lap. She is not asleep, but she does not seem to be listening. I will still presume that she plans on coming with us, so I will carry her as needed and fill her in when she is more lucid, as well as ask what had gone on with her while we were seperated. Nece stops by, and I manage to get her assistance in watching Tulip for a mere 10 minutes while I run outwards in order to feed the kobold, who thanks me profusely before I return to Tulip's side.

A herald runs by, shouting into the building.

>"Come outdoors, Goddess Reilqin is atop the wall to shout her message across town!"
No. 826961 ID: bfb318
File 150433109297.png - (69.96KB , 800x800 , 9-443.png )

Everyone leaves, and though Reilqin is barely visible atop the wall facing Enlu's estate, her voice booms across town. Despite the volume, it is calm and almost monotone.

>"Hello, I am the goddess, Reilqin, and I am disappointed. So I am leaving this town. I will return if I am satisfied with future performance, and in how you do on the trials to come. Tom, the God of Chaos, will not be blocked from making his advances, and he will be the one testing you all. Succeed in this trial, and I will return to block him out. Your goal, your trial, is not maintain order at any cost. Your goal is to maintain internal order, as individuals, townfolk, and neighbors. Behave rationally in the face of chaos. Behave in such a way that if people told your story and removed gender, races, and position from all details, you would be the hero. Commit no pro-active violence. Leave no area of town in such terrible condition as the slums. Quit treating kobolds like trash, as they are to be respected, even as slaves. I will come back for the worthy who do these things. Mosxa, the current warlord, and various priests that I will post in town center are now put under exile. Other priests and lords may remain in their positions, but the church will answer to the palace in all regards. The new warchief is Enlu. Funds will be transferred to her for the betterment of town. Enlu will cover further details. That is all. Goodbye. Remain civil, and this goodbye will be temporary."

With that, she begins to turn her back on a stunned silence.
No. 826963 ID: 015058

Quietly slip out from under Tulip and go warn Kexluk that his goddess will be here soon. But only if he has disappeared with Enlu.

He might not want his new god to wander in and find him banging her.
No. 826964 ID: 3ce125

Congratulations, Enlu!
No. 826972 ID: 137d21

Welp. That was quick and blunt. Yeah, see if you can warn Kexluk if he's not busy. Come to think of it, we might have to interrupt soon anyway; I don't think Reilqin will want to wait for him to finish coitus so they can leave. Also, Enlu might want to make a speech or something as the new warchief?
No. 826977 ID: 3ce125

I wonder if Reilqin plans to leave right this instant. It's a bit dark... maybe we can get onto a caravan.

Also I half-expect the town to erupt into chaos near immediately.
No. 826978 ID: 91ee5f

Her voice was loud, so if Kexluk and Enlu just so happen to be in Enlu's bed, then maybe they heard everything.

Also, silently wonder to yourself if Kexluk could even fit on Enlu's bed? And if he could, could the bed support his large frame or did it collapse under all of his massive muscles?
No. 826981 ID: bfb318
File 150433343071.png - (104.43KB , 800x800 , 9-444.png )

I think Tulip is gathering her senses, and it seems like people are choosing stunned silence over rampaging about, so it is safe enough, I feel, to leave her as is. I can hear many people scrambling to gain audience with Enlu as well as trying to chase down Reilqin. Since I cannot seem to find Enlu around the normal party area, I walk swiftly to her bedchambers. Nece stands guard, there, but allows me to walk in. I hear the sound of a tortured bed.

>"Wait. Who's there?" I hear Enlu say at the end of the hall, a bit out of breath.
"It is Story Seeker!"
>"Good. What is going on? Stay in the hall."
"Reilqin is done with her speech."
>"What? I just heard it was starting."
"It was short. Did you not hear?"
>".... No. Urgh, I'm beginning to see why the adults had so much trouble working with her... Okay. Kexluk will be out soon. As will I, to prepa- that is, make a speech. Think of some preparations you must organize for your journey back, so that Nece has something to buy time with in case Reilqin is already coming here to get Kexluk back."

Well, that is the first idea that springs to mind!
No. 826985 ID: 3ce125

Caravan, carriage fit for a demigod of order(doesn't have to be fancy, just very very well constructed and hopefully enchanted to have a smooth ride), and perhaps an honor guard.
No. 826989 ID: 7fad5d

Didn't those merchants who hustled you on that race say they had access to some teleportation thing? That'd be awfully convenient.
No. 826990 ID: 91ee5f

>I hear the sound of a tortured bed.
So Kexluk can fit on her bed and it can support him, if barely! I wouldn't be surprised if, as soon as you turned around to walk away, you hear a loud snap that signals the death of that bed as it breaks!

>"Wait. Who's there?" I hear Enlu say at the end of the hall, a bit out of breath.
She's out of breath?! You barely got her to work up a sweat! Are you sure Kexluk isn't somehow secretly a bard?

>Things to get?
Food and water for the journey back. And make sure you get enough for the extra passengers we're gonna get! Especially since one of them is a dragon!

I wonder how your village is gonna react to another dragon showing up in their cave? Happy for another guardian or upset because it means giving up more food for tributes or both?
No. 827003 ID: bfb318
File 150433608182.png - (179.11KB , 800x800 , 9-445.png )

>She's out of breath?! You barely got her to work up a sweat! Are you sure Kexluk isn't somehow secretly a bard?
It's a shame I doubt I'll get the chance to ask Enlu, and that it will most likely embarrass Kexluk to ask for his secrets!

>Didn't those merchants who hustled you on that race say they had access to some teleportation thing?
I believe the only teleportation they used was a teleporter to White Wind from our first town, which we completely missed and is how they hustled us in the first place! Once we reach White Wind, we should be able to teleport to Duststop, which is much closer to the caves. If, of course, my memory serves!

"Understood, Enlu, I shall get supplies! This may be the last time we speak until I can visit, so be well!"
>"Goodbye, Story Seeker. Thanks for coming by, and I don't just say that because I'm in charge now."

I rush off to the goblins.

>"Ah hey, little guy. Whattaya need? We were just thinking of heading out."
"How convenient! So were we."
>"Why the heck are you leaving?"
"We got what we came for. Why are all of you leaving?"
>"A chaos overhaul is a damn fun thing, but it's usually bad for business, not good. We want to get out before shit gets down. Want to ride with us?"
"We would, but we have more companions this time, and may need more supplies! If you are able to suit these needs, then we would gladly have your services."
>"Then lemme ask again, whattaya need?"
"First of all, food and water, lots of it!"
>"Define 'lots. Like enough to feed that big guy with you?"
"More, we'd need enough food and drink for a big dragon!"
>"Haha fine geez. Yeah we can stock up easy."
"Secondly, a carriage."
>"Wait seriously?"
"Yes! Preferably one without bumps."
>"It's the fuckin' desert, we can do without bumps but a carriage... you know what, we can fix up something real fast. Wait, how good of a carriage are we doing?"
"One suitable for the gods!"
>".... no problem. We'll get the best damn carriage in town."
"You can construct such a carriage on such short notice?"
>"We can construct a carriage, yeah!"
".... there are no other carriages in town, are there?"
>"Hell no there aren't!"
No. 827004 ID: 7fad5d

My guess is that Kexluk's secret involves him being many times SS's size, strength, and other things relevant to physical activity. Also probably getting to the point rather than having to seduce Enlu like SS did.

Anyway, tell them it has to be kept as perfectly clean and symmetrical as possible. Ask if the word "suspension" means anything to them in the context of a carriage.
No. 827005 ID: 3ce125

Maybe they should just skip it then. A hastily constructed carriage would just irritate her. Do they have something very orderly that said god would ride on? Evenly spaced everything, clean construction.

Alternatively... do they have any well-crafted chests? Big enough to hold an object the size of your torso? Reilqin might prefer to travel in her relic form if it comes down to it.
No. 827008 ID: 91ee5f

We don't need to ask any of this. Because if Reilqin doesn't like it, then she'll fix it herself!
No. 827015 ID: bfb318
File 150434207602.png - (93.70KB , 800x800 , 9-446.png )

"Say, will the word 'suspension' mean anything to this carriage?"
>"I dunno, does the phrase 'let's fucking get the hell out of here some time this week' mean anything?"
"I understand! In that case, let us skip it entirely. Perhaps I could hire you to clean up your caravan's cart? Perhaps help make it perfectly symmetrical, and smooth the wood. Oh, if you have any particularly well crafted chests, perhaps I could see that as an option?"
>"Wait you're coming onto me aren't you."
"Not right now, no!"
"Haha okay, but god damn, who the hell's gonna ride with us, Reilqin?"
>"Oh fuck me we got a customer you guys, clean that fuckin' shit and if it isn't the first thing to make that girl grin then I will beat the shit out of you myself! Except not in front of her. I'm assuming you guys can pay a crapton of coins."
"We can!"
>"Okay then!"

In the brief time this takes, I fetch Tulip.
No. 827019 ID: bfb318
File 150434219345.png - (84.42KB , 800x800 , 9-447.png )

Shortly thereafter, on the outskirts of town...

>"Absolutely revolting." says Reilqin. "I would rather somersault across the desert than step on this crude, rotten plank on what I refuse to acknowledge as 'wheels'."
"Hm, perhaps we can think of something else... say, do you know where Kexluk is? I was expecting him with you.
>"Yes, he is fetching the dragon."
>"What." says the goblin.
>"Wait." Reilqin pauses, looking over the horizon. "What is that?"
No. 827020 ID: bfb318
File 150434221023.png - (53.24KB , 800x800 , 9-448.png )

Oh, is that...
No. 827021 ID: bfb318
File 150434224781.png - (171.91KB , 800x800 , 9-449.png )

It is! I did not expect to see her here. Also some kind of gnollish monstrosity!
No. 827023 ID: bfb318
File 150434227196.png - (160.04KB , 800x800 , 9-450.png )

Ah, she notices us, too.

Reilqin power walks up to the cart, empties out a chest, climbs into it, and shuts the chest over herself.

>"I am going to sleep. Do not wake me up until we are at our destination. Thank you."
No. 827031 ID: 3ce125

Tell Reilqin goodnight.

Wave to Muo. Don't delay the caravan but I guess you could go say hi and catch up later.
No. 827041 ID: bfb318
File 150434755025.png - (187.96KB , 800x800 , 9-451.png )

"Goodnight, Reilqin!"

I run over to Muo and share some hello's, but we both seem to be in a hurry, so I rush back before that gnoll decides to do anything to me that Reilqin would disapprove of.

A while later, as stated, Kexluk and Luzona catch up. The dragon is breathing pretty hard, and every step shakes a bag he has on his back that rattles. Judging by the goblin's gawking, I think that might be the part of his hoard that did not go towards spearstone reparations and general charity!

>"Where..." the dragon huffs out. "Is the next break...?"
>"In about 10 hours!" says the goblin.
>"Hohhh... oh god."
>"Hello, everyone." Kexluk says. "This is Luzona, the Spearstone dragon menace."
>"Don't mock meee!" Luzona whines.

>"That's the most harmless dragon I've seen in my life, to put it nicely." whispers the goblin girl.
No. 827046 ID: 3ce125

Introduce yourself! You haven't met him yet. Heh, we're gonna have a dragon living in the same general area as a drake posing as a dragon. Ask him if he's territorial, because there's already one dragon in the caverns.
He's too big for the cart, isn't he? I did not realize he was so out of shape. Does Kexluk have any endurance-granting spells he could use to help Luzona? Do the goblins have any potions or enchanted items that would either make the dragon lighter on his feet or otherwise more easily able to make the trip?

It occurs to me that if the prophecy IS still active, Reilqin is in a vulnerable state right now. Someone could steal the chest, with her in it. Tell Kexluk that he may well need to defend the caravan at some point. Oh hey you can ask Kexluk how his duel went too!
No. 827049 ID: 830fb7

ummm... where is her pendant/necklace thing of tom.
could it be that the tom pendant is that "gnollish monstrosity" with her?
No. 827052 ID: e36c7f

Well, Story, you know what a bard's duty is on a long journey, right? To lift people's spirits with song!! Seriously if you have some sort of magical stamina boosting song I think our dragon friend will need it. But if not then a regular song will do. It should be easier going for him if he doesn't have to carry a bunch of gold. If it won't fit on the cart, maybe you could set up some sort of litter for him to pull over the sand?

Anyway, make sure you have a secure guard for Reilqin's chest at all times. Make your notes on when and who you'll come back to visit, but remember you have a bunch of friends at home who have only known you a little while from their perspective! You have a lot of catching up to do. You'll probably need to explain/apologize for whatever Reilqin's going to do in and around your home, anyway. You should compose the whole thing into a song, or saga. Make sure to emphasize Kexluk's part! A bard has to sing his knight's praises, you know, and the story of his receiving Reilqin's favor will be a good one.
No. 827079 ID: 137d21

Umm... We might have to reconsider the song thing, at least until Reilqin's out of earshot. I think I remember her disapproving the last time SS proposed a song, and we probably don't want to be too loud and possibly wake her up before we get to the caverns. We can still think up/write the song on the journey there though.

Come to think of it, when's the last time we actually slept? Ugh; too bad we probably can't leave Kexluk to guard Reilqin alone. He still seems just as vulnerable as before to females, and even though he might try harder for Reilqin, we shouldn't take that risk. We either need to sleep in shifts, or depending on how light of sleepers we are, sleep on top of or clutching the chest. I don't know if we can fully trust the goblins with the chest either.

Yeah, I second telling the dragon about the cavern's "dragon". We should also ask Zirkala where he can stay, since I doubt the cavern will welcome a second dragon, and he can't really wander around. Best case scenario is that Morgana lets him move in with her, which will probably require some convincing.

Also, if there's no room on the caravan, how tough are the dragon's scales? It'll be a bit degrading, but maybe he could be dragged behind the caravan, since we're traveling over sand for most of the journey. Otherwise, any potions/spells the goblins/Kexluk have is probably our best bet.
No. 827097 ID: 015058

Welcome the dragon and get things sorted for the journey. We do have a time limit on things so do your best to get the big guy moving. (God he is going to match Morgana now that she has been doing nothing but eating and lazing about. But keep those thoughts to yourself. Maybe we can get them both on a exercise program later)

Wrap Reilqin's box in a nice blanket so it does not rattle around and the sounds of your journey do not bother her. Tell her what you are doing and ask the box politely if she minds you singing along the journey. No response means approval.

Then pace the trip based on how long we have before the portal becomes unstable. Want to get there with plenty of time left over.
No. 827099 ID: e36c7f

Actually, rather than worrying Luzona with the idea of meeting another dragon (I imagine he'd be nervous about any such thing), I suggest delicately probing Luzona about how he'd like to be a drake instead of a dragon. Maybe hinting that we might know a drake who wants to be a dragon. There's probably some sort of mind/soul swap magic somewhere, right? Maybe Reilqin herself might even take a look at them and think their souls would match better in each other's bodies and transfer them using order mojo.

Anyway, singing. I'm sure Reilqin won't mind it any more than she'd mind people just talking, and I imagine the goblins at the very least will be chatting to each other, as well as the rest of the gang wanting to pass the time.
No. 827100 ID: 91ee5f

You might want to tell Kexluk where Reilqin is and pass along her message of, "Don't wake me up until we've reached our destination."

>Heh, we're gonna have a dragon living in the same general area as a drake posing as a dragon.
Shhh! Don't say that out loud!

Sure, Luzona is gonna find out eventually, but don't let the goblin and her buddies hear that!

>It occurs to me that if the prophecy IS still active, Reilqin is in a vulnerable state right now. Someone could steal the chest, with her in it. Tell Kexluk that he may well need to defend the caravan at some point.
Good point.

Although, the prophecy said a kobold with a 6 line Emblem would do that and since Story Seeker is currently holding an Emblem with the 6 lines on it, I think the prophecy is referring to him stealing Reilqin away from Spearstone.

No, that's actually one of Tom's followers. We see him at the start of Thread 1 of the Work of Chaos quest, which is where Muo is from.
No. 827102 ID: 91ee5f

>(God he is going to match Morgana now that she has been doing nothing but eating and lazing about. But keep those thoughts to yourself. Maybe we can get them both on a exercise program later)
Make sure you get Clunker in that exercise program too!
No. 827106 ID: 3fa56a

Make sure to hit on the goblin when you've got a spare moment.
No. 827107 ID: 12aed4

>gnollish monstrosity
Oh good to see he's still around and he seems to be working for Tom now.
I'd really like to know how his story played out but that is for another time.

Oh MY GOD I forgot how adorably fat and useless he is, what is gonna go through Morgana s head when she meets him.
Maybe encourage him by telling him that at the end of this journey he ma get himself a girl.
No. 827109 ID: 3abd97

>I hear the sound of a tortured bed.
Score one for Kex.

>Reilqin locked herself in a chest
Called it. You might want to use your bardic magic to soundproof it (or at least to dampen incoming sound) to minimize how much she's bothered by antics outside.

>>"That's the most harmless dragon I've seen in my life, to put it nicely."
It does work out rather nicely, as we might not have enjoyed the company of a harmful dragon!

Go be nice and introduce yourself to the nice scourge of Spearstone. Cheering her up a little might make her less bothered by the work.
No. 827113 ID: 7fad5d

Give Luzona a noogie.
No. 827143 ID: 2797c9

>No, that's actually one of Tom's followers. We see him at the start of Thread 1 of the Work of Chaos quest, which is where Muo is from.
That was actually Sandfin. Tom probably hasn't taken such a direct form himself, though, so it's probably a new follower.
No. 827148 ID: 137d21


He does resemble >>354654 much more. Besides, he's too thin for Sandfin. Plus, Sandfin said he can't unretire.
No. 827149 ID: 137d21

Oops. I don't know how cross thread links works.


is what I meant
No. 827152 ID: 91ee5f

>That was actually Sandfin.
No, it wasn't. If it was, he'd already have tentacle arms. Plus, he's already in the city, he wouldn't be outside the city going towards it.

I'm telling you, it was this guy: >>/questarch/354593 from Thread 1 of the Work of Chaos quest. And then Tom did this: >>/questarch/354654 to him when he became a chaos follower.

Compare that to this guy: >>827021 and you'll see that's the guy I was talking about.
No. 827153 ID: 2797c9

I figured Sandfin just "got better" at some point, but you're right. Sandfin must have been a second follower himself, then.
No. 827166 ID: bfb318
File 150438512836.png - (119.67KB , 800x800 , 9-452.png )

>Kexluk still seems just as vulnerable as before to females
I'm uncertain about that! Although he seemed to get into bed with Enlu rather quickly, I would need to ask rather probing questions to find out if it was well controlled or if he simply couldn't resist. Other than that, he seems to have done an admirable job of resisting temptation.

>Where is Muo's Tom pendant/necklace?
A question I thought of too late, unfortunately.

"Hello, Luzona, it's nice to meet you!"

He wheezes something back.

"Say, are you territorial? We may have a place for you, but do you get along with others?"
>"Uuugh, like a dragon?"
"Possibly! I hear you had interactions with drakes, too."
>"I don't really caaare, I just want to stop. Kexluk took my protective artifact, toooo..."
>"It's for the best." Kexluk says.
>"Yeahhhh but I can't protect my own things! I'll take anywhere that's safe!"

I suppose I may sort out details later. It will still be a good while before we're at home.
No. 827167 ID: bfb318
File 150438518846.png - (165.57KB , 800x800 , 9-453.png )

Once Luzona's wheezing begins to get on people's nerves, even after he follows at a distance and Kexluk carries his hoard, I begin to play songs as we travel. The goblins happens to have a fine lute that I purchased to do so, since my first was broken. I'm sure to use magic to keep Reilqin's chest as quiet as possible, and I think I will sleep on top of it, as well, to guard it, since the goblins have shown themselves to not be entirely trustworthy! I still flirt, of course.

Although a lengthy trip, the return trips always seem to be much shorter, so I'll be home before I know it.
No. 827175 ID: e36c7f

Another successful adventure, Story. Well, successful for you, and the people you like, and not so bad for others except for people who deserved it. In other words, what any adventurer would call a happy ending!

You've been tossed around from time loops to crazy caravans to here and back, so take some time off with all your friends when you get back home. You've got a good few new stories to tell!
No. 827176 ID: 3abd97

>sitting and sleeping on a goddess' chest
No. 827180 ID: fcafc0

Congratulations on a successful end! It was so nice to see this quest again and participate in it.
Story Seeker is the most Bardly bard I have ever seen. May he go down into legend.
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