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768858 No. 768858 ID: bfb318

Previous Threads/Wiki: http://tgchan.org/wiki/Fen_Quest
Inventory and Other Info: http://tgchan.org/wiki/Fen_Quest_Statistics
Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/Lagotrope

There wasn't much time to spare, but I've made it to a giant circle made of chalk in the dirt making out the warping limits. The wagons, mostly bearing mundane supplies and an enormous amount of food, are being arranged in an orderly fashion. The bulk of people are simply told to stay within the circle where they aren't in the way, and that's where I've found myself under a tarp, where I hope to remain more or less invisible.

I don't know if it's because the merchant rings must be in turmoil now, but there are a vast number of guards around the wagons.

Apparently, my reputation as the brother of a legendary warrior is starting to escape my own feet, but I should be able to move freely without the continued nuisance of being identified.
1341 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 799250 ID: bfb318
File 149369334081.png - (50.49KB , 800x800 , 822.png )
799250

"I have never used a healing cloth on myself. I have also not been to the goldyard, and I do not know why my eyes are like this. For the noble, I asked Lord Rasyan directly for directions, back when he was still alive."

"Hahaha, I thought you barbarians were supposed to be good storytellers, not jokers! Yours is the worst of all so far! You're hiding more details, and maybe you can join the rest of the lineup with some lashes if you don't give me a good tale!"
"I do not believe my stories are that interesting."

Orjin laughs.

"Are you shitting me? 'Oh I just asked Lord Rasyan himself for some directions and got out of it with a scrape on my arm, but it's not that interesting a story?!' What kind of legendary stories pass your bar of interest, barbarian?! What the hell were you doing around Lord Rasyan? Who the hell goes past a dozen bodyguards, up some steps, opens a curtain to reveal a gold noble, and asks, 'good sir upon which road would I set upon to reach Zin's outpost?' Lord Rasyan? You either had a damned good reason for getting up close to him, in which case he wouldn't give your arm a scrape, or you had no good reason for getting up close to him, in which case he sure as hell wouldn't let you off with a scraped arm! Out with it, or would you prefer lashes to better fit in with your teammates? What're you more afraid of - letting details out of your mouth, or blood out your back?"
>>
No. 799252 ID: a363ac

>>799250
I killed Rasyan
>>
No. 799253 ID: 595d54

>>799250
Ah fuck.
"I met him on the road, while he was attempting to keep his identity hidden. I assume he was smuggling something."
Here's hoping that's enough.
>>
No. 799255 ID: a43366

Just tell the truth at this point, either he won't believe you and whip you or you don't tell him and get whipped.

You met Raysen while looking for a gift that a merchant stole from you. The gift was from the same person who lent you a healing clothe months ago. He was incognito with only two guards as part of a smuggling plan or whatever he was doing. You met him on the road while chasing the merchant and he attacked you so you killed him. Then you found the merchant and were attacked by her guards so you killed them. Then other stuff happened where you didn't get injured.
>>
No. 799256 ID: 595d54

He's asking about Rasyan, not the cloth, stop offering more details than are requested.
>>
No. 799258 ID: 2120ee

>>799250
Fine. Fen was chasing a thief. Rasyan knew where they'd gone but wouldn't say. They fought, Rasyan died.

I'm tempted to make it a proper story by mentioning the dragon cloth, but that's probably dumb. On the other hand, it'd be a damn good reason. Meh.
>>
No. 799259 ID: 83b227

He probably knows your history. You were technically sent to the army as "punishment", remember? And there were witnesses when that wizard said your sword had killed Vackles and Rasyan (even though your sword wasn't technically what killed him, it just bloodied him). It was all out in court, too. Remember, Orjin is in the assassin branch, and assassins like to be informed. I'd bet that Orjin already knows about you, or will check up on you as soon as he gets to somewhere that he can. Anyone with the power to look at some records can find out about you if they search, most likely. Orjin has a look on his face that makes me think he knows something, anyway.

Say "He was traveling, at the time, I believe on secret business of his own. He had only two guards with him. I approached him on the road, and he thought I was an assassin, which is how I got the injury. I believe he regretted his mistake."

It may actually be an idea to take a lash or two. A member of the assassin branch should prefer spilling blood to spilling sensitive details, shouldn't they? And it might build your camaraderie with your fellow pawns.
>>
No. 799260 ID: 3abd97

>>799250
He was traveling with only two guards, there were no gold steps or curtains, and it was only my second day out of the forest.

I can't explain why he made the decisions he did.
>>
No. 799261 ID: 70983e

I would rather die before I tell you where I hid the body!
>>
No. 799263 ID: 3ce125

>>799250
OKAY! Let's give him a good tale. Tell him Rasyan was in disguise when you met him down at (town's name I don't remember) and only had a few bodyguards because he didn't want to call attention to himself, so you got off easy. You pestered him too much about how he possibly might have known where a thief you were tracking went. At the time you knew he was involved in some shady dealings, and you were and still are near-suicidally brave about nobles.

If he wants more of a story you can tell him about how you were hired as a bodyguard (instead of dragoncloth and Cheese) during the fighting in The Fence. But warn him it'll be a long story.

Either of these will make a good story while leaving out crucial details that would implicate you.
>>
No. 799265 ID: bb78f2

>>799250
I had asked Lord Raysan where a thief might have went off to with my Dragoncloth, which I procured legitimately as a gift from Lord Shup's fiancee Lily, who was visiting my tribe to learn about them. It is for her that I decided to join this army. He expressed disinterest in the dragon cloth at first, but later had the two mountain block the route he took to chase after the thief himself. I killed them, and then he decided to fight me with his enchanted sword. I managed to escape the encounter with my life, and this scratch on my horn.

The Dragon cloth eventually made its way to the Fence, where it then caused a bunch of chaos, the death of a few stone nobles, which then EVENTUALLY led to the death of Lord Vackles, who I believe is the accused murderer of Raysan thanks to having his swords. Not sure where the investigation stands on that, considering all the dead parties. There was a trial afterward, which resulted in the execution of the Gold Nobles Bardo and Cati over lying about trying to purchase said Dragoncloth from the thief, Cheese, who became my ally in the mess that became The Fence.

Warlord Krix is trying to find the dragoncloth now. It was lost in that confusing mess. Whether that means I still own it, or he does, I don't know, I forget. Most of this is actually a part of court record if you care to prove it down the line.
>>
No. 799266 ID: 8b682d

>>799260
This is good. Don't volunteer information we don't have to, but answer all questions.
>>
No. 799267 ID: 094652

Welp, it seems Sir Orjin's motto is "If you can't say anything abusive, racist, and belittling, don't say anything at all".

Not sure if him knowing how to stop being impolite makes this situation better or "you're dead".

Do something funny. Tell the whole story, but sing it in falsetto and end with a Tarzan Yell.
>>
No. 799268 ID: 3abd97

You know what? Fuck it.

There's nothing we can say, honestly, that won't just cause us problems with the rest of the squad, and leave us having to watch our back against people after the bounty or think we deserve to be shanked.

And lying to Sir Orjin will go badly, since he either already knows or can easily look up the crime we confessed to.

"I'm not afraid of either, but I'm sick of talking, and I'm bad at it."

Take the lashes if he's not done questioning you.
>>
No. 799269 ID: bb78f2

>>799265
Oh, I looked back, don't lie about it being Vackles as top suspect. It's court record you killed Raysan, so yeah say it.
You can admit it.
>>
No. 799270 ID: 83b227

Now that I look back, Lady Apanya did actually say directly "You will be known in the army as the barbarian who slew Rasyan by means of ripping his throat out like a wild animal, the brother of the kingslayer who managed to defeat a Dragon Knight, and the once-owner of dragoncloth."

I don't know if she'd have bothered specifically sending a message telling your superiors about all that, but it's possible.
>>
No. 799271 ID: 3ce125

>>799270
Oh. If that's true then Fen should just outright admit it. Heck, he could say that he just remembered the details of his court sentencing.
>>
No. 799272 ID: 211d83

Just tell him the story of what happened on the road.
>>
No. 799273 ID: 91ee5f

"Even if I told you the truth, you wouldn't believe me. Especially since the truth sounds far too fake to be real."

Sir Orjin: "I want the truth!"
Fen: "You can't handle the truth!"
That's basically what's happening right now.
>>
No. 799274 ID: b412df

Screw it. Just answer his questions. The rest of the squad is going to start making the connection between you and Rasyan, and concluding that you're the Red Maw, even if you haven't explicitly said you killed Rasyan. So might as well just get this thing over with.
>>
No. 799281 ID: 6dc8e5

>>799270
oh, uh, fair point.

"There was no gold curtain, only a dirt road. Rasyan was traveling incognito with only a small guard, for reasons he did not deign to share with me. It was only after approaching him that I became aware of what I was dealing with. He did not let me off with only a minor wound, he was trying to kill me, but I got out of the way, and kept getting out of the way, until he stopped. This scar is also not the only consequence of my ignorance. My ultimate punishment for that encounter was to be sent to serve in the military."

If pressed, admit that he stopped because you bit his throat out. Express your dissatisfaction with this being common knowledge. Your intention here is to prove yourself by your actions, not have people judge you based on stories of what you have done before.
>>
No. 799288 ID: f0f32d

No matter how much you say, do not disclose Lily and Shup's identities.
>>
No. 799297 ID: d1d5f9

"It was right before he ceased to be among the living, Sir."
>>
No. 799314 ID: f66698

I like Sir Orjin, and he really doesn't strike me as someone who is going to betray us for an 80 gold bounty, so maybe we should just come clean. He noticed the fact a nice healing cloth was used, so there's really no getting out of this. It's less about avoiding lashes and more that he's not gonna treat you like just another pawn if you let him know you killed a gold noble in straight up combat after he robbed you of a priceless artifact.

Seriously, tell him the story. About the original visit to your tribe, training with their guards, getting the healed by lily, coming to empire lands, getting robbed by Raysan and then personally killing him in single combat. Leave out things that happened after that, you were pardoned of these crimes but they didn't really know the extent of the shit that happened there, so just talk it up to the point of Raysan.
>>
No. 799315 ID: 83b227

>>799314

Remember that we're announcing this to our fellow pawns and a bunch of lesser knights, too, many of whom we don't know at all.
>>
No. 799317 ID: b3cdda

Sir Orjin's eyes have always struck me as something special. Never seen a kobold with such glinting, shining eyes, including that purple-gem colored iris. He may have a kind of vision in addition to the mundane, perhaps?

He wants a tale, he's amused, smiling, and even laughing and absolutely knows you're bullshitting. Hell with it, you may as well settle down with it since you got a small amount of time, and legally it is what it is, no point in hiding it. A solemn and straightfaced tale.
"Details. But if you wish for the truth there is no point in hiding it, when I am legally the killer of Lord Rasyan by court of law. The short version is I was once the owner of dragoncloth, gifted to me a long time ago, traveling from the barbarian lands, and it was stolen by an Erja Nokol mutant I had stayed with overnight in a break town, She decided to steal it overnight and had plans with it, I assume to sell. I had encountered the Gold Noble Rasyan who was secretly in this breaktown, and whom I approached for info if he had any about it, letting him know of my stolen possession. He left before I, and I ran the same road in pursuit of this informant in order to get my dragoncloth, but my travels were beseiged. I had soon caught up with Rasyan and his two bodyguards up ahead, whom attempted to assasinate me from afar, but I closed the distance with some large field dogs, killed the guards, engaged Rasyan for info of what was mine and stolen, and impaled him on my sword and ripped out his throat with my teeth in the end of a short intense fight. I cleaned up, looted him, and continued on to arrive at the Fence. That is where I had recieved a chip of my horn in combat with a mountain kobold, in the mix of a far greater and longer tale spanning 3 days with many fights and assassinations, one whose bookend was the demotion of one Gold Noble to a Wood Noble, the death of two Gold Nobles by court of law and the hand of a Dragon Knight, my legal account and status as the killer of Rasyan and of what happened in the Fence, the sentence of mandatory military service for the power vaccum created in the killing of Rasyan, and a small handful of powerful allies and enemies met and made. This all happened because I let loose details, so naturally I do not wish to tell much. I am however recognized as the once-owner of dragoncloth and I do wish to recover my keepsake; if I survive my campaign, I am honored by Lady Apanya to be recognized as a legitimate potential owner of dragoncloth."
>>
No. 799339 ID: a43366

Did the healing cloth give you back that yooth you lost?
>>
No. 799345 ID: 0b99d7

>>799317
>Sir Orjin's eyes have always struck me as something special
god dammit you're right, I bet this is some sorcery at play

Anyway: might as well be out with it Fen, in detail, just finish by saying you were aware your story sounded absurd and were trying to make it more believable.
>>
No. 799347 ID: 83b227

Thinking even further, it may be possible that, since we're joining the assassin's branch, we're being tested on how well we can conceal information under investigation. Answering questions in a way that doesn't prompt more questions, that sort of thing.

Really, it's to Orjin's advantage as well, if he has an underling that can bust out some surprise effectiveness beyond what's expected.

In any case, while he's asking for more I don't think Orjin's the type to put up with a particularly long story, so keep that in mind, along with the general inadvisability of spilling everything to everyone here. If we do talk about killing Rasyan, Fen should emphasize that he had only two guards, was a mage and merchant before being a warrior, and was really, really stupidly overconfident to the point that he didn't seem to believe what he'd gotten into even as he died.
>>
No. 799368 ID: 0ba6f6

I like the idea of full and honest disclosure. Orjin is someone we want on our side. He probably won't murder us for the reward and if he's impressed he probably won't let anyone else murder us for the reward either. I think the big long exposition a few posts up is the right idea, maybe a lil less flowery for Fen though.
>>
No. 799373 ID: 1e7aa8

>>799368
It's not Orjin killing us for a mere 80G bounty we have to worry about. It's the pawns selling us out for a cut of it to Rasyan's merchant ring.
>>
No. 799380 ID: f66698

It's not just about letting the truth out either. Fen has been pretty straightforward with everyone he's actually liked. Orjin is a rare opportunity at an ally with real power, and I don't think Fen will be able to properly keep secrets from him. The second Raysan came up Orjin knew Fen is the infamous Red Maw. So either we come up with a seriously convincing lie, or we cop to it out and out. Fen is the worst goddamn liar in the world, so copping time.
>>
No. 799395 ID: bfb318
File 149377662666.png - (56.31KB , 800x800 , 823.png )
799395

"I killed him."
"Killed who?"
"I killed Rasyan."
>>
No. 799396 ID: bfb318
File 149377668127.png - (58.86KB , 800x800 , 824.png )
799396

Orjin bursts out laughing.

>Did the healing cloth give you back that tooth you lost?
It did.

"If that were true, you shoulda started with that, not danced around it like you were afraid! Make up the rest of the story, then!"
"Rasyan was on business that he did not want others knowing about. I do not know what, but he was only with two mundane looking bodyguards. I was looking for someone who he met, it doesn't matter, because as I chased him down on the road after he left the town I was in, he attempted to kill me. I killed him, and his bodyguards."
"That's a little better! What friend of yours were you - "

Dame Frais, who's been around in the back this time, runs up to Sir Orjin and starts whispering.

"Huh?"

...

"The fuck's 'Red Maw'?"

...

"Lady Apanya? Why the hell am I just hearing about this?"

...

"That question was for you, bitey!" he yells at me.
"I was not told that I had to say this myself. Furthermore, it was not clear if I had to send word back to Lady Apanya that I did join the military as ordered."
"Well why the hell not?"
"I don't know, but I also don't think it's a problem if you do."
"Well I may as fuckin' well send word back before someone thinks you got cold feet! Oh, and the rest of you! If you hear Red Maw has a bounty - don't fuckin' bother, I'll have you killed and take your coin for myself. So, Red Maw! What's with the name 'Fen'?"
"Fen is my name. I never agreed on Red Maw. Nor do I like this information being public."
"Hah, so why'd you share that info? You afraid of the lash that much?"
"No. If I were afraid of lashes, I would have taken as few as I could have gotten, instead of admitting that I killed a gold noble."
"You think I fuckin' liked Rasyan? No one liked that shithead, and 'cause of you, I can call him for what he is! A shithead! A cushiony one too if you managed to kill 'im! I'm going to send a runner off to the turtle to learn about you, because at this rate that'll be faster than pulling the details out of you! Land help you if you're lying! Next! Name!"
>>
No. 799397 ID: bfb318
File 149377669584.png - (17.84KB , 800x800 , 825.png )
799397

He moves on to the next.

>"Aira. I stood guard at the eastern exit. Everything leading up to that was as everyone before me said, and one of the runners went for me. He bit and struck me, but he couldn't handle his head hitting a boulder."
"And here you were graced with a healing cloth from a gold killer himself, who apparently just pulls them out from under his horns at will! Still never got the story to that, but at the rate he shares details, we'll be here all night! So how come you got hurt by those weaklings?"
>"I have no excuse, sir."
"No excuse? No excuse?! No excuse is not an excuse you shaking infant! It is not even an answer! Why did you let him hurt you?!"
>"... the healing cloth I got may have saved my life, but that's about it. Moving my abdomen quick feels like I'm getting punched."
"Oh, apparently feeling like you got punched is enough to let a bandit get a drop on you? What if you were fighting the next Red Maw? He'd snap your twig neck in half! Well?"
>"You answered your own question, sir. My twig neck would be snapped in half."
"And you'd fail to prevent that bandit from running around, murdering and looting the even weaker populace!"
>"But I didn't. I got him, injuries or not."
"And what would have happened if you were in that guy's position?" Orjin says, gesturing to Padli. What was stopping them from going to you, and not him?"
>"... what was stopping all of them from working together and swarming us one at a time?"
"Not a goddamn thing, which tells me the only difference between you and Padli is that you got lucky! Now cause you're a giant cushion of fuzz, you get to explain every wound you have on your own volition!"

She starts telling stories, but she sounds like she'd like to do anything else. Attention is diverted more towards me than Aira's stories, as well. A common theme for her is that she's regularly saved by other people, and she attempts to pull her weight, but people have gotten killed. Sir Orjin does not go easy on her, but Aira still defends herself that she still pulled her weight, and without her, they likely would have been killed anyway.

On the topic of getting flogged, Aira explains she was as a conscripted child for not training, and talking back to her instructors. As she grew up, the land still affected her body, and she healed over. After Aira explains everything, Sir Orjin runs a claw over parts of her to spot check for any other wounds she might be hiding, threatening harm if she's hiding anything. She lets him, and seems to relax after she's shared her stories, even as he inspects her.
>>
No. 799398 ID: bfb318
File 149377672944.png - (30.89KB , 800x800 , 826.png )
799398

"Next!" Orjin says.

>"Firzel. I covered the northwest. I insured no one would get out there, and I ended up doing nothing at all."
"Nothing?"
>"Well, prevented runners from trying for my exit at least. I'd say I was luckiest of all that I didn't need to fight, but I wanted to. I would've taken one from Padli if we could choose."
"And why didn't you?"
>"Options were weighed. I figured Padli would have a tough time with two, sure, but there was a chance. And deep down in me, I knew, you know, everyone knows, that the moment that I left my exit, 5 fuckin' kobolds would've sprung up from behind rocks and all filed neatly right out of my exit. I mean, I guess we know that wouldn't have happened, but I was sure it would."
"So you left your teammate to fend for himself?!"
>"I did, yes. A real shame that I didn't know what I know now."
"A real shame you're an incompetent rockhead, yeah!"
>"Is it really because I'm a rockhead, or is it because we didn't have time to properly scout?"
"If you all ran a bit faster instead of stalling, we'd have gotten here before sunlight long enough for all the perusal you could muster!"

Firzel runs through his wounds again. There are only a few. A couple were from training, then a couple from what combat he's seen, and they are all minor. He swears on what gods exist that that is all the wounds he has.

"Next time you fight, you'd better fight relentlessly and get wounded from it, cause if I see you come out fresh out of your next battle, I will lash you myself!"
>"But, why?"
"So that when an abomination melts your fuckin' face off, your head doesn't explode from trying to cry rivers out of your sealed eyelids as you give in to your wounds!"
>>
No. 799399 ID: bfb318
File 149377676013.png - (24.71KB , 800x800 , 827.png )
799399

Finally, Orjin reaches the end of the line.

"And here we have the fuckest wit of all. Name."
>"Padli, sir."
"We should all get nicknames in honor of Red Maw. You can be 'Runnerby'."
>"Please, no."
"And in honor of Red Maw you do not get a choice in the matter! Why did you let one through?"
>"I got... I got punched. I got punched and I have as much excuse as - I mean I - it won't happen again."
"I fuckin' know you won't let that runner by again, because he's fuckin' dead! Killed by a knight that won't be there when you're off letting people run by to undefended encampments!"

The verbal offense continues for some time. Padli is moved onto describing his wounds, and is continually mocked throughout his stories. The most interesting was a duel he got into over the matter of a girl. He received a couple of cuts then.

"Like I believe you won a duel!" says Orjin. "From what I see, you'd keel over and die as soon as you got a scratch! Forget the rest of your scratches, tell us all about that scuff on the front of your snout!"
>"That was the first time I was punched like that. If I got punched again, I wouldn't fall over so - "
>>
No. 799400 ID: bfb318
File 149377682337.png - (38.40KB , 800x800 , 828.png )
799400

Orjin punches him before the sentence completes. Padli staggers back, but doesn't fall.

"Everyone grab a weapon! I don't care who gets what, as long as you're armed, then we run back! Padli, you get to carry surplus weapons! You will be punched periodically on the way back! If you fall, you will be kicked!"
>>
No. 799401 ID: 595d54

You've got your dagger, right? Part of me thinks we should make sure we bring the sword back just in case that's going to be part of some test or another.
>>
No. 799402 ID: b88e47

Pick up the big sword you came in with.
>>
No. 799406 ID: 211d83

Get the sword. Why? Because you came with it and we don't want to burden anyone else.
>>
No. 799408 ID: bfb318
File 149377968232.png - (91.54KB , 800x800 , 829.png )
799408

I go back into the cave to pick up my sword along with where Aira left the sheath, and as soon as I leave the cave, Orjin snaps his head at me.

"What in the hell is that?!"
"My sword?"
"Did you get punched in the eyes?! That is a heap of stone on top of the remnants of a pair of pants! I said weapons!"
"This is the same 'sword' that you - "
"Shut the fuck up unless you want to relive Aira's childhood, and grab a real fucking weapon!"
>>
No. 799409 ID: bfb318
File 149377974951.png - (179.73KB , 1100x800 , 830.png )
799409

Apparently I don't have a free choice, so I grab a club. We begin the run back.

"I am sure all but one of you are concerned about having a noble killer in the group, but that is because I am sure that every one of you is a damn moron! As far as I am concerned, every single one of you is a criminal whos crimes have caught up so hard to all of you that you all would rather go hide in a tower of death and horror than own up! If you think that noble killers are bad company, then you live in a land of denial! If you think that having wounds signifies a weak kobold, than you have never seen the Mithril Lord of Poluputus! If you think that getting whipped is the shame of a kobold, then you have never seen the back of the kingslayer!"

I did not expect to see a reference to Zizi, but I realize why I was taken aback. The scars that Bolk and Mowbow had were thin lines that I can hardly see normally. Zizi's back, by comparison, is mangled.

"As of now we are waiting on orders from Grand Helm Knight Zall so that we know where to report at Erja Nokol! Now who here has crap hidden in a bank before joining the army?"
>>
No. 799411 ID: 595d54

>>799409
Say that you did but as usual don't give details that he doesn't ask for.
>>
No. 799412 ID: 211d83

Just raise your hand.
>>
No. 799413 ID: 094652

"Me and my original team have a few gold coins in the bank, but basically my partner-in-crime has the first, last, and only say on their withdrawal. I'm just the guy she owes them to."
>>
No. 799414 ID: 91ee5f

>>799399
>We should all get nicknames in honor of Red Maw.
Well that's one way to get the other pawns pissed off at you and less likely to help you when you ask for help. Especially if Sir Orjin gives them a terrible nickname.

>You can be 'Runnerby'.
Yeah, like that one.
>>
No. 799415 ID: 91ee5f

>>799414
Holy shit, I'm slow! There's already an update!

>Now who here has crap hidden in a bank before joining the army?
Would saying "yes" still count as giving up our stuff, like Holly told us not to?

Ah, screw it, just tell him that we've got stuff.

Maybe he'll let us withdraw it and keep it?
>>
No. 799416 ID: 83b227

Since everyone knows you're a hardened criminal now, and you pulled that knife hiding trick, everyone's going to expect it from you anyway.

If you want to play some more avoidance, you could ask "how do you define a "bank", sir?". After which you could say you were just very generous to some people before you joined, and that you have some expectation of them being generous back to you in the future, when they can be.

I mean, Cheese knows your bank phrase, so in a very real way it's more her bank than yours, if you can't access it. So you just gifted your previous possessions to her, by way of lodging them in her bank account. That you set up for her.
>>
No. 799417 ID: 3abd97

Well, he sent a runner to turtle, so he'll find out we had more stuff. We can't effectively lie.

Raise hand. If pressed, you left your clothes and a sword in the dragon bank. Don't mention the Tomato poison.

Don't give him the code phrase, even if ordered to, either.

...Actually, the Tomato poison is potential valuable enough I'd be willing to strait up not admit to storing anything in the dragon bank and risk lashes for suspected lying.

Say absolutely fucking nothing about the crow bank. Or the stuff we left with Holly.

>>799413
Do not say this.
>>
No. 799418 ID: 3abd97

>>799416
...that's not a bad way of phrasing it. Giving our possessions away instead of banking them.

Asking the definition is kinda too cute for Fen, tho.
>>
No. 799419 ID: 4546ab

Wait to see if anyone else volunteers the info and see what happens when they do.

We do not have much in the bank in town so mentioning we have some travel clothes probably will not hurt. If you have to mention the antidote refer to it as "travel rations" or something. Or just a gift from a friend.
>>
No. 799422 ID: a6d7df

Say yes sir. There's nothing that important in it, just clothes, weapons and change; you've given the important stuff to Holly.
>>
No. 799424 ID: 3ce125

>>799409
Tell him that you have some equipment and funds in the bank. Will he allow you to retrieve them? You would be quite well supplied if so. It'd be a bit unfair to the other pawns though, you were expecting to only be able to retrieve your equipment when you became a lesser knight.
>>
No. 799427 ID: 3ce125

Oh and tell him you'll share more of your story in private if he wants. I'm sure he'd like to hear more about the fight. (we should leave out Cheese's name because we don't know if that's public or safe information to give out, but the dragoncloth is something he's supposed to know about, at least)
>>
No. 799431 ID: b412df

Just say yes, see what his follow up questions are. Don't admit you hid stuff with Holly unless he mentions it first; and don't mention the poison unless you think you can pass it off as barbarian superstition by saying "Tomato poison".
>>
No. 799447 ID: bfb318
File 149378858167.png - (28.30KB , 800x800 , 831.png )
799447

I raise my hand.

Aira, Bolk, and Valsano also confirm they have items in the bank.

"Anyone else? Good! We'll all stop by the bank and collect your shit to move to headquarters so it can be moved to a bank in Erja Nokol! The other three without anything won't mind, then, if they never get a chance to stop off at a bank before we go to Erja!"

Firzel looks surprised, and deeply uncomfortable. He says nothing. Orjin yells at Padli if he has anything in the bank. Padli starts to speak, but Orjin punches him.
>>
No. 799449 ID: bfb318
File 149378864735.png - (72.49KB , 800x800 , 832.png )
799449

Once we finally make it back into town, as ragged as we're ran, we immediately go to the banks. Each of us has our own bank, and one of us goes in with Sir Mopp at a time, where he brings a back to get our belongings, and the rest of us wait outside.

Upon my turn, we go inside.

>"Hello. I am Quill Knight Mopp." he explains to the bank clerk. "I am withdrawing one of our unit's items for transfer."
>"Password and number, please."

I give them the number, the recognize my face, and within moments, bring out everything. Sir Mopp begins putting items into my backpack for more efficient storage.

>"You have good gear. That's good, it'll let you immediately start paying me back for the healing cloth once you reach knighthood." He stops at the vial. "What's this? If it's food, it'll have gone bad by the time it reaches Erja Nokol."
>>
No. 799451 ID: a363ac

>>799449
It is a deadly poison with a no cure within hundreds of miles.
>>
No. 799452 ID: a6d7df

It's not.
>>
No. 799453 ID: 3ce125

>>799449
Tell him it's an incredibly deadly poison. Very much not food. The antidote is... uh... yeah, gonna have to tell him Holly is carrying it for you. Tell him he might want to put that in a more secure place than your backpack.
>>
No. 799454 ID: 3abd97

>>799449
"It's already gone bad, that's poison."
>>
No. 799455 ID: 3abd97

>>799453
No, we don't have to say diddly squat about the antidote.
>>
No. 799456 ID: 91ee5f

>>799447
>Firzel looks surprised, and deeply uncomfortable.
Something tells me he has stuff in the bank, but because he didn't say anything thinking it'll be taken from him, he's not going to be allowed to go get his stuff. Or he came here with nothing but the clothes on his back and he's just now finding out that he could've brought stuff with him to put in the bank.

>>799449
>He stops at the vial. "What's this? If it's food, it'll have gone bad by the time it reaches Erja Nokol."
"It's not food, it's a deadly poison. I don't have the antidote with me."

Should we mention that it's poison from an Erja Nokol mutant kobold? As long as we don't tell him Tomato's name or what he looks like it should be fine, right?
>>
No. 799457 ID: 595d54

Just say it's not food, holy shit.
>>
No. 799459 ID: 6f910b

>>799449
It's lube.
>>
No. 799461 ID: 315280

It's poison, not for eating
>>
No. 799462 ID: bfb318
File 149379100699.png - (42.36KB , 800x800 , 833.png )
799462

"It's poison."
>"That'll probably go bad too. Should I just throw it out?"
"No."
>"... your choice."
>>
No. 799463 ID: bfb318
File 149379107283.png - (28.97KB , 800x800 , 834.png )
799463

We move on. Firzel stares hard at a bank that none of us claim to have anything in, and we pass it. I suspect he was afraid that admitting he had things inside of the bank would be detrimental, but now he feels it would be worse to admit he had things in a bank after the fact.

Once we get everything, we head back to headquarters. Mopp takes our bags to a store room, but Sir Orjin yells again.

"Line up on the wall!"

We do so, and a field kobold in what I think is faux dragoncloth comes in.

>"This is them?"
"This is them! Worms, this is Grand Helm Knight Zall!"
>"Just Sir Zall, or Knight Zall, is fine. Sir Orjin, they've attained your respect enough to attain lesser knighthood?"
"Let's not get carried away with 'respect'! They just have my approval!"
>"Dame Frais, was it?" Zall says to Frais.
>"Yes?"
>"What is Sir Orjin's opinion of Lesser Knights?
>"Shit, sir. Better equipped pawns playing at being a knight."
>"Then we'd better let these pawns get dressed so that they can be called knights. They are all at least close to knighthood through normal procedures, right, Dame Frais?"
>"Yes, sir, at least by blood knight standards."
>"Alright. We are in need of full fledged knights who aren't being tested by the hindering system we have in place, with holding privileges and all that. Sir Orjin, you have notoriously high standards, so I know that you would not create knights that were not battle tested. So I will waive the kill count. I will also supply my recommendation echoing Sir Orjin's, so each pawn here will receive both recommendations needed. As for the test, well, that involves two things. First, the ideals of a knight as outlined by our standards book. Thoroughly studying and reciting important passages is expected for greater knights, but for lesser knights, the test is simplified and is nearly a formality. Almost a joke, it is so easy. Sir Orjin, just be sure they've skimmed the book and can cover the key points. The second part of the test, well..."
>>
No. 799464 ID: bfb318
File 149379110111.png - (15.42KB , 800x800 , 835.png )
799464

>"Sir Orjin, how is their kimankara?"
"No one gives a shit about board games in the mausoleum!"
>"Haha, not unless they want to be a helm or spear knight, I suppose not."

Aira lets out more relief than I've seen her visibly show before, before Zall continues.

>"Very well, I don't have time for this, so I'll fully trust Sir Orjin's judgement. By the powers granted to me by the Dragon Knights, you are all lesser knights from this day forward. You will earn wages and be expected to fight with valour. Depending on your performance, you may wish to become proper assassins, but as blood knights of the assassin branch, you are expected to be offensive monsters. Spend the next week - perhaps two, depending on how soon we need Sir Orjin - preparing. Make sure you are in the best fitness of your life. Find the coldest cavern you can at this time of year - the mausoleum is known to be cold. Meditate and sleep on burial grounds until you are comfortable in such places. Until then, we will send Sir Orjin more information on what the mausoleum campaign will entail. Needless to say, this is an unusual campaign, as our dead are used by the enemy. We have many troops entering, but only the elite troops will be seen at the front lines. There, you will be expected to do catastropic damage, and should you die, you should only die after making them pay dearly for your life. Sir Orjin, I entrust these knights back to you."
"Congratulations, worms, you're all knights and in my eyes you're still shit! There's not even a ceremony for this! We don't even have your emblems ready to be picked up, that's how little of a shit we give about your rank! Rest up, because you're going to work even harder tonight! The only difference is now you're paid! I lied about moving your bank stuff to Erja Nokol! You'll move it your own selves, because right now Sir Mopp is dumping it with all your gear you had as pawns, and you will all get it back as of right now! Buy some armor if you don't have any, because you'll need it! Either way, get outta my sight!"
>>
No. 799465 ID: bfb318
File 149379111128.png - (20.81KB , 800x800 , 836.png )
799465

We're starving, so the first thing most of us do is get something to eat in the kitchen. Holly is already making a batch of food for everyone, so we're able to eat, but Holly pulls me to the side.

>"So, Red Maw, huh?" she whispers.
"Word is travelling fast around here."
>"Sir Orjin seems to trust me. I'm not actually that surprised, you know. I mean, I find Zizi's brother wandering the turtle, Rasyan dies, well, I didn't think it was you, but the thought certainly crossed my mind in a daydream. Anyway, you're a knight now, so you can have certain liberties. You can go shopping if you like, or send some letters to people freely. Or, you know, sleep, while I run some errands for you."
>>
No. 799466 ID: 3abd97

>"No one gives a shit about board games in the mausoleum!"
Hahaha, I'm glad we didn't skip sleep to practice the game now.

>already a knight
That was fast.

>>799465
Sending a letter to Cheese (or home? Do letters go there?) might not be the worst idea, but we don't actually have new information to pass to Cheese, and we can't put sensitive information in the Empire's mail system (assume they have spies reading mail).

We might want to look into an armor upgrade. Or a new weapon- swords aren't very good verus skellies and zombies. You want a good blunt weapon to smash bone instead of one to cut flesh.

...sleep is probably smart, in the immediate short term.
>>
No. 799467 ID: a363ac

>>799465
If you can write a letter to Cheese to let her know you lived to lesser knighthood already.
Take Holly and let her pick out appropriate armor pieces for you she would know good leather more than you.
Try to play the game with Aira some more and keep her warm for the next couple of days while she sleeps to help her heal faster.
Make sure to work out when ever possible and scout the catacombs for a cold spot to sleep and work out in.
also talk with Sir Orjin for working out at least once to push yourself as far as possible.
>>
No. 799468 ID: 3ce125

>>799465
Let's send a letter back to Cheese and uh, your guard friend whose name escapes me, telling them everything's going well.

Get your nice outfit back on. Get your stuff you left with Holly, so that your belongings are in one place again. Then ask her to go out and get a sturdy carrying case for the vials so you don't have to worry about them breaking. Also, a kimankara board and a strategy book for it if there is such a thing.

Wait, actually, is she sure she wants to go walking around town? She got assaulted before.
>>
No. 799471 ID: 595d54

"You're asking me to take liberties? Hm." You probably should go shopping for some better armor and a kimankara board. Could get some metal plates riveted to the leather for brigandine, get a breastplate to protect your vitals without slowing down much, or get suit of chain. Both of the latter could and probably should be worn over the leather, I think.
>>
No. 799472 ID: 595d54

>>799468
>your guard friend whose name escapes me
Moss.
>>
No. 799473 ID: 91ee5f

Looks like Firzel got lucky! Now he can go get his stuff from the bank.

>>799465
>"So, Red Maw, huh?"
>I didn't think it was you
"Well, to be fair, you told me that you didn't want to know I was the Red Maw, so I didn't tell you."
>>
No. 799476 ID: a6d7df

Look into some extreme cold weather gear, additional training, and a plan for paying off that debt. Make sure Aira pulls her weight in the last regard.

And make damn sure you don't screw up the ceremony. The fact that it's simple will only make it more embarrassing if something goes wrong.
>>
No. 799477 ID: 1e7aa8

Ask Aira if she wants to spar at some point.

Hell, ask Bolk/Frais if there's any regulations involving sparring matches.
>>
No. 799479 ID: 3ce125

>>799476
>plan for paying off that debt
You mean, for instance, paying it off immediately because we have the funds right now to do so?
>>
No. 799490 ID: 83b227

>>799479

No we don't, most of our money is still with the crows. Or Cheese, if she retrieved it since then.

>>799463

Hmm. Interesting purple eyes on both our upper knights. Did we ever see other knights equaling their rank or above? We know that magical enhancement is a thing, so I wonder if the empire invests in it for knights above a certain rank. At least for the assassin branch, who need the most power compacted into as few people as possible?

>>799465

Ask how quickly it would be possible to get a letter to the Fence and back. If you had time to get a letter to Cheese and receive a package back within a week, it'd be a good investment.

Points to cover in such a letter:
- news that you're a lesser knight now (include the date you're writing), and your new privileges (describe it as if it's something she has an curiosity for, rather than you just blatantly saying "here's what I'm allowed to have now, give pls").
- asking her any advice about working in and around Erja Nokol, including anything that would be good to inform your fellow knights about. (I think Cheese was supposed to have already taken a moment to fill you in on things like that, since she knew you were going in advance, but I'm not sure if she actually got around to it?) She might have already arranged for a pile of info to be left for you somewhere in Erja, though, if she's smart (which she is).
- asking her "a good place to relax and pick up news, like that diner in the Fence you introduced me to" (hopefully she'll pick up that you mean "a place where I can securely pick up/send messages to you and your contacts from")
- asking her to send or transfer to you a decent amount of money, perhaps reminding her that "our friends in the black uniforms" (the crows) should be willing to provide.
- asking her if she'd like you to drop by her family, and if she'd recommend any gifts they'd like.

As for right now, get out your old gear and use it while you practice. It's out of its home zone now, so it'll be decaying and you'll have to get more later (you could probably do with something a little different for the purpose of undead-fighting, anyway), but you can get use out of it for conditioning yourself.

A lot of your shopping will have to wait until you have more money, so for now get to training, both training yourself and helping your companions train. Maybe see if you can still get tutelage/training from your elder knights (especially Orjin, though it's probably risky to ask him for anything). In the evenings when you're resting up, study on being a knight and playing that board game, since you're still aiming to reach higher (I also wouldn't be surprised if being passed without the tests might bite you later, in terms of the esteem other knights show you or similar, so it'd be good to catch up on what you're supposed to be able to do so you can do it if you get challenged later; suggest this to your fellow former pawns as well.)

Do as suggested and get comfortable with the cold and dead things. Maybe find a local butcher and/or undertaker and see if you can do a little volunteer work?

Also take some time to talk to Aira soon. You should apologize for not giving her the knife like you originally planned to do, the sword being more useful for covering a wide area and the dagger for stealth, et cetera. Maybe discuss with her how you want to handle her debt. Offering to pay off the debt entirely might hurt her pride, or perhaps not (you should wait until you know you'll have money). A middle solution might be to just offer to pay off her interest on the debt if she accrues any, or to give her interest free loans to buy anything her reduced pay is insufficient for.

You don't want to get a reputation as a guy who's too free with his money - if Cheese sends you a roll of gold coins don't let on that you have them. Obviously you'll reveal you have some money and it'd pay to be a bit generous (maybe take your pack of fresh knights out for their own celebration, since they're not getting one? Just a good meal or something, once you have your seals and such?), but don't try to solve everything with money. People like money but coins are cold, especially if people think you have lots, so if you want to build a relationship doing some non-monetary things is essential. Share in chores and so on.
>>
No. 799494 ID: 440bb8

Send a letter to Cheese explaining whats going on. Give her the basics and see if she knows a source of gear for you back in her homeland.

And ask Holly for help shopping for some cheap armor. Also for advice on army life and how to proceed.
>>
No. 799516 ID: 78a3e5

You can sell your useless pawn equipment for full price now right? Ask the Quill Knight if you own it now or if it's just still being rented. If it is yours you can exchange the worse stuff for 15-20 silver and pay off 2/3rds of the debt. You can probably scrounge up enough to pay off your debt if you stretch yourself but it's not a priority right now. That money could also be used to keep yourself going for the next week or two.

The thing you need to research is if you will be able to buy good gear in Erja Nokol since the stuff you'll buy here will start to rot eventually. If the quality is the same it might be better to wait.

Also get the lowdown on how to keep increasing your rank.

The letter will take a week to get to Cheese and a week to come back so if you ask for a gold or two through a letter you'll have to include instructions about where in Erja Nokol to send it too.

Your pay is 2 coppers a day, which I assume you can live off of, so you'll still pay off about 5.6 silver of the debt by the end of the two weeks anyway. The best reason to pay it off is to dodge the half-loot confiscation.
>>
No. 799522 ID: 91ee5f

>>799490
>No we don't, most of our money is still with the crows. Or Cheese, if she retrieved it since then.
Actually, >>799479 is right, we can immediately pay off the debt, since we're allowed to send letters to Cheese to send us the money we asked her to hold for us plus whatever we asked Holly to hold for us as well, not sure if we can get anything from the Crow Zone. And according to this: http://tgchan.org/wiki/Fen_Quest_Statistics , we have 30 silver, 46 copper, 305 gold, and 3 mithril.

So, yes we could pay off our 60 combined silver split evenly between Aira and Fen right now and not have to worry about 10 additional silver owed by both total for each season it takes to repay the debt.

However! I don't think it would be a good idea to pay it off all at once! Because it would look very suspicious if we got that much money at once! Also, the messenger could get robbed half way back to us with the money. Holly was beaten up while we were underground, which the stats page doesn't tell us if she was also robbed of everything we gave her or if she still has it. And the stats screen says whatever we have in the Crow Zone might be moved around while Fen's out of contact with them, so the amounts shown on the stats page might not be accurate.

So, I think we should go out and buy whatever we need for Erja Nokol and whatever money we have left that's with us and not with Cheese or the Crow Zone, should be put towards our debt.
>>
No. 799535 ID: 3ce125

>>799522
I REALLY don't think that mithril belongs to Fen. He probably still has claim to some gold, though. I thought we brought a few gold here, but I guess it was just silver. Seems unusually conservative.

We could send for a couple gold. That's probably small enough to transfer via mail. Another thing we'd want to find out is how long Tomato's poison will remain potent.
>>
No. 799544 ID: 91ee5f

>>799522
Also, eventually Sir Orjin is going to find out about Vackles, who is the 2nd noble we killed.

And if we kill 3 more nobles, we'll get our title upgraded from "noble killer" to "noble slayer"! .....let's not do that.

>>799535
Well, it must belong to either Fen or Cheese, otherwise it wouldn't be listed on the stats page!
>>
No. 799545 ID: 83b227

Actually, wouldn't it be better to buy things in Erja, so they don't decay? I assume it's a different zone. Maybe we won't be given time before being thrown into combat, though.

Or maybe Erja's such a terribadawful zone that it's got some sort of universal decay effect. That's sort of related to the question of whether Tomato's poison counts as an Erja-attuned item. It probably will go bad after a week here, though, and the antidote. Maybe the only use for it now would be to have a shot at building some resistance? That sort of thing. I think it takes longer than a week or two, though. It seems unlikely that we'll have to poison anyone in that time.
>>
No. 799553 ID: 3abd97

I don't think paying off Aira's debt for her would be a good thing. Not being able to pay people back or earn things on her own has been a thing for her. Let her prove herself to herself, and think she's earned something. Let her have her pride.

>why didn't we bring gold / more money?
Because we were led to believe we couldn't use it in the army, and we might lose everything we were carrying when we enlisted. So we brought silver- way more than enough for operating costs in town, but easily shrugged off if we lost it with gold stored elsewhere.

Still don't think it's worth having Cheese send us money. We want to raise in the army by our own merit and build an impressive reputation, not have people whispering it's only due to outside funding and expensive gear. We're already maybe getting too much attention with the Red Maw and White Eyes Barbarian things.

>mithril
It belongs to no one, since it was Cati's money, Apanya knew about it, and already appropriated it for rebuilding Fence. >>/questarch/733876

>Well, it must belong to either Fen or Cheese, otherwise it wouldn't be listed on the stats page!
There's a note right there on the page that says the list is not current since Fen is out of communication with the crows. That's what Fen remembers leaving at the crow bank, not what's still there.
>>
No. 799564 ID: bfb318
File 149384959778.png - (20.77KB , 800x800 , 837.png )
799564

"You also said you didn't want to know if I was Red Maw, didn't you?"
>"Oh, I did, huh! Well it is dangerous knowledge. Keep your sleep habits hidden and unpredictable, and around guards.
"Are there letters that would go back home, to my brother?"
>"Other than the extra cost, absolutely. You sometimes got runners to deliver mail, right?"
"Yes."
>"Yeah, they're just runners for hire. Not as trustworthy as the internal empire lines, but still fine."
"Is it possible to write letters anonymously?"
>"Sure, though you'll have no idea if it failed to reach its destination or not, but it's usually reliable. Any rush, or just want to have them delivered with the next teleportation?"
"The next teleportation is fine. Is it much more otherwise?"
>"Yeah, the empire's a big place, and non-teleportation means a runner has to run a whoooole lot of miles, and fast to make it even worth it."
"Alright. Is metal armor worth it?"
>"If you're in heavy combat, and you probably will be sometime, it'll save your life. Normal weapons can't even pierce plate anyway. It's tiresome and noisy, so if you need to sneak, your leather outfit is better. You don't have an abnormal body though, so maybe you don't need to get armor custom fit. It makes a big difference though in mobility. I'll get your measurements and see what your options are, later."
"I may want other weapons, too. Would a club do better than a sword against zombies or skeletons?"
>"Geez, I don't know. I mean, it would, but I don't know if you're going to be fighting those. You might be fighting living bodies that just don't have a soul, but still have a heartbeat. You can bet there's going to be abominations in there, too. Wouldn't hurt though, and a mace isn't too expensive."
"Kimankara board?"
>"Heh, sure. Yeah, actually, you might get a lot of downtime. Better get a pasttime."
"Hold on. Are you okay with going out to run errands? You got assaulted before."
>"Sir Orjin said I can grab a shield knight to be an escort."
"A carrying case, for vials."
>"Sure."
"I think that's it."
>"Okay. I'll pick up some stationary, too, and some cold weather clothing. Let me get your measurements, then get some sleep."
>>
No. 799565 ID: bfb318
File 149384961809.png - (12.67KB , 800x800 , 838.png )
799565

I apologize to Aira for not giving her the dagger as originally planned, but if anything, she seems confused by my apologizing.

Despite that Sir Orjin seemed to say that becoming a lesser knight hardly changed anything, we are given private rooms, a slight bonus on top of our wages, and a better access to what the quill knight's shop has for us. Despite the individual quarters, I sleep with Aira, especially since the nights do get cold. It may not be necessary, as the blankets we receive are thick, but she appears receptive enough towards my staying with her. This gets some jokes from the other knights, but we don't share the brunt of it. Valsano and Mowbow share a room as well, and are mocked for the intimate positions they sleep with each other even if just to get used to sharing warmth. Aira, Firzel, and field kobolds in general start getting referred to as 'mobile heat blankets,' and there are jokes about how we're under orders to get fat for this campaign. Holly tries to laugh and joke back about being a half mobile heat blanket, but she seems more serious than I would expect about our situation. Still, people take a liking to her, and the stigma about her having only one leg seems to fade, at least inside of our area.

Aira and I sell some of our surplus pawn gear. Aira promises that after spending money needed to survive, which essentially amounts to food, she will spend half on the healing cloth debt, and half to save for a good set of equipment. She had some leather clothing and a sword in the bank, along with some private, sentimental items.
>>
No. 799566 ID: bfb318
File 149384965450.png - (87.74KB , 800x800 , 839.png )
799566

I ask Sir Orjin if he knows workout techniques. I thought I might have been disturbing him, as I asked him while he was in the middle of a conversation with some others knights, but he immediately dropped everything and ordered me to follow him.

The resulting exercise involves receiving more screaming than any single period up to this point, but he does push me. He either assumes I need, or heard I was interested in, wearing heavy armor, so he trains me in with that in mind, even if it still mostly amounts to picking up rocks and walking or running laps around the buildings.

Normally I would have thought this would have been some form of punishment, but the advice he yells at me regarding armor and form appears to come from a passion of the subject. Plus, it reminds me of how Tevliss trained me back home.
>>
No. 799567 ID: bfb318
File 149384967444.png - (27.83KB , 800x800 , 840.png )
799567

Once I get the chance, I write a letter to Cheese saying that I made it to knighthood. I also ask where her family lives, along with a request for various advice she can give while I'm in Erja Nokol. She did not give me as thorough of a lesson as we had hoped, she should have the time to give me a long written lesson. I also request some funds. Although Aira has insisted on paying back her debt fully by herself, she has accepted my temporary help so that she can avoid having interest build up.
>>
No. 799568 ID: bfb318
File 149384969694.png - (72.64KB , 800x800 , 841.png )
799568

I also write to Moss, after Holly helps me find out where I would deliver towards. He preferred quiet areas, to work as little as possible while still fulfilling his duties, and despised Krix. His new assignment turned everything upside down, so I'm hoping that my correspondence will help. Although I don't outright speak of pulling him out of his duty, I believe he understands that the farther up the ranks I get, the closer I will be towards pulling him back out. I also thank him for his helpfulness in the break town, and tell him how to contact me if he'd like to write a reply.
>>
No. 799569 ID: bfb318
File 149384974463.png - (25.40KB , 800x800 , 842.png )
799569

Lastly, I write a letter to my tribe and family back home. I tell Zizi he should have told me more. A lot more. I tell them that I am going to Erja Nokol soon, and would like advice. I can guess what the reply is going to be, but I still can expect, and would like, a reply.
>>
No. 799570 ID: bfb318
File 149384982911.png - (49.14KB , 800x800 , 843.png )
799570

I would have liked to have a little ceremony with the others that were promoted to knight along with me, but Sir Orjin keeps us busy. We are drilled as a team through much of the day. Supposedly, we have free time, but he hunts us down during then and yells at us and gives us unwanted work to do if we're not using our free time to studying or further training. Aira and I avoid this by hiding in parts of abandoned catacombs, where we spar and rest. Holly can confirm that we don't slack on our training. It does get to be freezing.

>"Aira, mind your toes. Buy some socks and a pair of good boots, it'll be even more important than armor, because you're only sometimes fighting, but the ground will always be freezing your feet. Fen, remember to massage the back of your horns periodically, or they will fall off. Sleeping is going to be more dangerous than normal."
"The shroom forest does get cold at winter. My tribe does often sleep together for warmth."
>"From what I'm hearing and what I know, that forest is a tropical sauna compared to the lower depths of Erja Nokol. When you two sleep, you'll want to keep your feet inside each other's thighs. Aira, you're going to have to look into good circulation while you sleep, because you wouldn't be the first field kobold to get warm, sweat, then have the sweet freeze your fur and then never wake up. Fen, your kit should include flint to start fires. I'll get you both a shopping list of gear, because there's more you'll want to go in with than weapons and food. Flint, medical supplies, equipment upkeep gear, so on."
>"Don't our wages cover equipment maintenance?" Aira asks.
>"Yeah, when you're in places where you can pay, but word has it that combat in there isn't just front line engagements, it's a lot of hunting and searching with a lot of hidden tunnels that the enemy can sneak around from. Hunting parties can last for days at a time and get lost. It's been mostly scouting parties, at least that's what I've been told, but Knight Zall didn't put me at ease by making you all knights so fast."
>"Better than sending us in as underequipped pawns."
>"For sure! But the assassin's branches don't care about bolstering their ranks, they care about elite troops. Grand Knights normally care a lot about going through the procedure of study, getting to know greater knights for recommendations, and so on. So, for him to just waive those requirements and make a bunch of new knights, it means that they feel a need to replace lost numbers, faster than they normally get knights. So, sorry, but I am nervous about what you guys are being sent in for."

It doesn't matter to me, I already decided I would go through anything just to meet Lily again.

>"Gah, and Fen, I need to teach you how to be wary about assassins and kidnappers, because people are probably in search of Red Maw while the trail is hot. Word about what happened with all those gold nobles at the turtle has spread all over the place." Holly explains.

Now that I've been reminded of Lily, I wonder if she's heard all of this, too.
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No. 799572 ID: bfb318
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799572

>"Ah, maybe I should have just given him a vase. Oh, a basket! That would have been nice, too."
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No. 799577 ID: 3ce125

>>799572
I wonder if we can send her a letter?
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No. 799578 ID: 91ee5f

>>799565
>there are jokes about how we're under orders to get fat for this campaign.
Well, getting fat will help them retain body heat and keep them warm.

Still doesn't change the fact that it's funny to actually be ordered to get fat! XD
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No. 799586 ID: 04f19e

>>799572
No ^&*(, Lily.
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No. 799589 ID: 3abd97

>>799572
Meanwhile, in an alternate universe, there's a bloody battle with everyone killing each other for the "dragon vase".
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