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827264 No. 827264 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

"What're you gawking at, barbarian?!"

Orjin marches ahead of me along a path, and doesn't even look at me. I feel like cave kobolds might have eyes on their back. On the occasional time that we reach the peak of a hill, I see grave markers poking out of the grass as far as the horizon will let me.

"It's bigger than I expected. Is every major landmark excessively built?" I ask.
"You sleep in a hole in the ground! The answer will always be yes for you!"
1964 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 847697 ID: bfb318
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"We're just getting warm and washing. I don't think there's much of a mood."
>"Mhm. Okay. Let me start with the bad news. Our army barely knows what they're doing, or how to deal with this whole fight. The good news is that the necromancers aren't much better. A lot of details are missing, but supposedly there was evidence of necromancers miscommunicating, stepping on each others toes, and maybe even infighting. This kind of undead army has never been fought before, but it's also never been used before, so no one knows what they're doing.
>"The necromancers knew the anomalies, at least the way they were set up, were a temporary thing and they would eventually need to deal with the us more directly. Once you all started neutralizing the anomaly, and the rest of the army started hacking at the canals, well, that was when they decided to respond with overwhelming force. Or that's what it looked like their goal was, as there was a lot of magic. Everyone down here, Zall and any wizard, says they used more magic than all the 7 archwizards of the empire could generate in a whole year. Maybe even a decade. There's simply no evidence that they can regenerate what they used anytime soon, so it's a good sign they went all out using experimental magic with mixed results. The supply route has been getting broken up, so we're constantly fighting, and we're afraid that their goal now is to break it up constantly enough to siege us. Sir Zall is ordering a big push of supplies to stockpile down here in case it happens.
>"We also have wizards making countermeasures. Items that will help confirm people's identities. Anti-magic wards that will prevent cave-ins, and so on."
"Why didn't they cave in this area?"
>"They did. The whole northern gate is completely trashed, so a lot of our soldiers are occupied guarding and rebuilding that area. This is a big area, though, and caving in this whole place isn't something they can do. Chances are, the necromancers will still use their big mana shots defensively, so it's still a big issue for expeditions going outward.
>"That brings up the mana batteries, though. There's at least 4, but 2 were killed. They didn't have much for brains, because if they were smart, they probably wouldn't have ran into danger like they did with you and Aira. The antlers, worm, and battery flesh gave us a big idea of where the big mana zones are, because the necromancers can't use their mana if they're too far away. That way we can send in people towards or away from magic heavy areas, depending on what we want done. Zall definitely wants to focus on killing their mana storage anyway, because he doesn't want to wage a magic heavy war. It just gives way too many options for the enemy, and we can't defend against everything.
>"For other stuff, well, frogs are considered to be an enemy now. There's reason to think the frogs are sending the enemy information. Oh, and news about Lily was given to us specifically. They've sent runners to check in on the real one. The 'fake' Lily is doing alright. They think that they used some kind of base brain, but then used your expectations of her to give her her personality. That would explain why she knows things no one else did, but when pushed, we realized she actually knew very little about Lord Shup, her family, and so on.
>"Moving on, there's four major identities we've found. Garlic Soup, Momo, Death Carrot, and someone we don't have a name for. Several monsters have intelligence too, but they act like rank and file beasts. For the most part, their forces are moved in big groups at a time, and we're not even sure if they have much capability to micromanage much.
>"I think that's the general overview of the report. Anything else can be learned depending on what you do next. Anything else you want to know, or I can get for you? Everyone else is turning in for the night."
No. 847698 ID: a363ac

"A sleeping partner would be nice?"
No. 847701 ID: a363ac

Fen is used to sleeping with his family after all. I am sure some "friends" could help with making his rest easier.
No. 847702 ID: 9e4723

Then it is just as i thought, the are prety powerful, but they don't know how tu use thier resourses. They actually show their incompetence by not being able to kill us when they could, specialy Momo, that woman is stupid. I think Fen should rest, and prepear himself to go and do some assassin work, start hiting big objetives. But that depens on what our superiors whant.
No. 847703 ID: 9e4723

Also, we are going to tell Fen's friends about his thing for Lily eventually, they might get the wrong idea with Aria.
Also also, Aria MIGHT have something for Fen to. So yeah, awkward.
No. 847704 ID: 91ee5f

>Anything else you want to know?
Ask about Lady Cassa. Everyone saw her get shot in the head. Is it possible that she survived thanks to all the healing cloths that her guards put on her or could that not really be Lady Cassa?
No. 847705 ID: 54d6ca

Aside from asking about Lady Casss, I can't think of anything. Rest up Fen, sounds like there's gonna be more assassin work in the future.
No. 847706 ID: 17c2ee

Hug her too. It's time to be sappy. And awkward.
No. 847708 ID: b1b4f3

I bet the base brain is Momo's.

How about you spend some downtime playing that board game?
No. 847709 ID: 91ee5f

Asking to have someone sleep with us is appropriate in the army.

Fen may be a barbarian, but he knows that he can't sleep together with everyone here in the army the same way he did with his tribe back home.

Let's not try to hug her while we are both wet and naked.

>Play board game.
Yeah, we can do that for a little while before going to sleep.
No. 847711 ID: 54d6ca

Maybe not while we're naked and soaking wet.
No. 847712 ID: 66085d

Well I would love to know about the lady Cassa situation.

Other than that I would not mind having two cute girls to spend the night with. The ones in this room if they are interested.
No. 847714 ID: 015058

That sounds like a pretty good update. Maybe ask about Cassa being back from the dead. And then see if they want to spend the night with you.
No. 847716 ID: 54d6ca

I thought we only had eyes for Lily? I mean, I'd consider Aira and Holly to be close friends but I wouldn't go asking them to sleep with us.

Besides, we told Aira of our relationship with Lily, so asking that would send mixed signals.
No. 847717 ID: 3cc68c

Ask about Cassa.

Then awkwardly seduce some ladies. AKA just asking if they want to spend the night with you and not worrying if they say no.
No. 847718 ID: b9789a


We quest for Lily its true. But no reason we can not take other lovers that mean something to us. Fen only seems to dislike casual flings with girls he barely knows.

Get some company for the night if they are interested.
No. 847719 ID: fcd101

Getting some getting some fluffy bed warmers for the night or would not be a bad idea.

Also ask about the things.
No. 847720 ID: 62db95

Specifically while we're naked and soaking wet.

Lily is the end goal, but its alright to have smaller goals along the way. Both Holly and Aira are important to Fen by now, i'd say.
No. 847721 ID: fa8fda

I think that having company while he sleeps is a nice reminder of Fens old home habits. It's like he's unconciously replicating something to give a sense of familiarity and calming.
Everybody has their own way of coping with war. Some people drink, some people become less mature in their actions, and some people grip onto a small part of their past lives.
No. 847723 ID: fa8fda

Lily is the only object of our affections. Aira and Holly are just the only ones we really know down here, and their physical presence is comforting to Fen. I think it just adds a senamblance of normalacy to what's happening.
No. 847724 ID: a0e836

Enough with the awkward thoughts. Let's ask about Cassa, and play one or two rounds of kimankara if there's still time.
No. 847725 ID: c0641d

Agreed. Time for some perfectly platonic R&R.
No. 847726 ID: 9e4723

I second this, i totaly forgot about Cassa. It is really alarming that se survived after all that happened to her. The arrow shot and the falling to the hole would have being almost imposible to survive. What happened to her? Are they 100% sure that she is "the Cassa".
No. 847727 ID: 33d4be

Yeah ask about Cassa. It'd be nice to have some more details about Lily, too, is she an undead who was heavily modified with magic to become Lily, some living prisoner who was heavily modified, or made entirely out of magic? Any idea how long she's going to last?

After having your questions answered, get dried and dressed and go check on Lily physically yourself, just knowing you dropped by will probably nice for her. Then go get as much sleep as you can. I was under the impression Holly had shifted to a different sleeping shift than you, but if not you can ask her to join, and Aira, for warmth and security purposes. Not sex, that'd be awkward. Aira would know who you're really thinking of and Holly I'm not sure is into you that way, plus they probably wouldn't be into both being called in together like that.

Remember, Zall said that you'd be as safe sleeping in an anomaly as in your bed, and that it wasn't as much an exaggeration as he'd wish. Make sure you're safe when you go snooze.
No. 847730 ID: 9e4723

This is a good excuse to sleep together. We haven't heard nothing else about Krix bounty crew for a while.
Besides, both Holly and Aria are fluffy and warm.
No. 847731 ID: 3abd97

>Anything else you want to know
Has there been any new information on how Cassa survived, or if she's a construct or undead?

>or I can get for you
"I'll want to write more letters, later."

We need to tell Zizi, again, that he's the worst storyteller. And that we lit his ex on fire. We want to keep Cheese in the loop.

Was considering writing Shup earlier, but if he's already in the loop on not-Lily and we aren't even sure Cassa died that kind of messes up my earlier mental drafts a lot.

>"A sleeping partner would be nice?"
I'm just going to say no to Fen propositioning either of them if that's the way this was meant.
No. 847733 ID: bfb318
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"I'd like to know what's going on with Lady Cassa."
>"I'd like to know, too!" Holly says. "But that's a bit hidden. She's not a construct like our Lily, though, she's been able to run through her life's memories more than Lily. That's about all I know. This was a quick report, after all. I think you'll be allowed to visit either one, tomorrow."
>"Where do we sleep?" asks Aira.
>"Behind the bar, you passed the door, it was on the first left. Don't worry, the acoustics here are surprisingly nice, so a rowdy crowd won't interrupt sleep. Plus, since it's indoors, it's much easier to guard against people looking for your bounty. The only downside is that it's still cramped, but no more cramped than the tent was. If you want, I know of a comfy, private spot where you two can sleep together without being disturbed." she says, making a weird face.
"As long as the room isn't too cramped, we will be fine. I would like to play some kimankara first, and I would like help writing some letters since I have more to tell Zizi. When we sleep, Aira, if you're still cold, we can sleep together again for warmth. You are welcome too, Holly."

Holly looks like she's laughing hysterically on the inside.

"Oh my goodness, I love you barbarians." Holly says.
"I am missing some kind of joke. I'm certain by now I've mentioned that it is common for us shroomleaf tribes to sleep together under the trees? It is a gesture of familiarity, nothing more or less. Aira and I have already slept together before."
>"I'd like to do it as barbarians, then." says Aira. "Just sleeping as awkward friends, nothing more."
>"I'll pass." says Holly. "But maybe I'll take the offer someday. I'll keep you both updated. Rest up, because Sir Zall's got plans for you."
No. 847737 ID: 91ee5f

>Plus, since it's indoors, it's much easier to guard against people looking for your bounty.
That takes care of that problem.

>Rest up, because Sir Zall's got plans for you.
I guess it's time to finish our bath, play a little kimankara, and then get to sleep. But don't rush Aira to finish her bath, she'll be done when she's ready to be done.

Tomorrow, since a few pieces of our armor were only 1 day from completion, we can go check on those after writing to Zizi. Then ask the blacksmith how long we'd have to wait for the rest of our armor, so we can have the complete set.
No. 847739 ID: b1b4f3

Finally! Some real action!
No. 847740 ID: c88e6d

The largest battle against undead there ever has been isn't enough action for ya?

Anyway, let's go sleep in the Kobold Pile!
No. 847741 ID: a0e836

I'm having a guess at this, but it sounds like with his conversations with Garlic Soup and Momo, Fen is becoming the "face" of the imperial army for the enemy. If they hate Fen more than they hate Zall, the latter will sure take advantage of this.

Speaking of, if Garlic Soup ever talks to Fen again, Fen should tell him that if the army ever flips Momo's allegiance, he'll know when he sees two of Fen approaching.

PS: In the letter to Zizi, On the one hand Fen should mention that he'd have appreciated more advance knowledge about Momo... but also mention that her reaction to his lack thereof was hilarious.
No. 847745 ID: 9e4723

Fen is ALL about special plans, tell her that you are excited. After all, you did pass a lot of time doing nothing back home, this is a good change of pace, even if it's ends up been dangerous. Got to look cool too.
Yeah, let's inform your brother about Momo, that was quite funny, but unexpected, we need more "reliable" information.
No. 847758 ID: 33d4be

Hmmm, could it be that someone might be in line for a promotion??? You guys should brush up on whatever the next rank up from you is expected to be able to do.

Anyway, even if the bar is secure, maybe you should like... prop a couple of metal objects on the inside of the door or something, so if someone opens it they'll fall and clang loudly. Keep your swords next to you.
No. 847759 ID: 91ee5f

Oh, yeah, we should get something to eat before we go to sleep! Fen only drank a glass of alcohol when he got here, so let's get a proper meal in him!
No. 847778 ID: d36af7

If you're up against four poorly-coordinated necromancers, and the highest serial number you've seen on a mana battery beast is four, there's a distinct possibility there were originally eight mana batteries, two per necromancer, and with two confirmed kills they're now down to six.
No. 847780 ID: a0e836

Can't argue with your logic, but there's also a possibility that there were only four, starting at 1. That may be wishful thinking on my part, though.
No. 847783 ID: 9e4723

Are we sure that there aren't any more necromancers, and by extent, more mana beasts that we haven't meet yet?
No. 847821 ID: a1ac61

So long as those plans include the word "almost" before "certain death" we should be able to handle it.
No. 847828 ID: 33d4be

Oh, how are Firzel and Bolk?
No. 847833 ID: 28cb85

Hope he's good at planning then!

I'm guessing maybe the mana leaking from the mana beast interacted with all the healing bandages Cassa was wrapped in, causing her to be healed quickly, but that's just me hoping there aren't many more constructs running around.
No. 847860 ID: d36af7

Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
If mana beasts have serial numbers, the simplest assumption is that whichever ones you're looking at are from near the middle of the production run. Tricky statistical analysis becomes possible with larger sample sizes, but so long as the serial numbers are all single-digit there's almost certainly no more than ten total.
>That brings up the mana batteries, though. There's at least 4, but 2 were killed. They didn't have much for brains, because if they were smart, they probably wouldn't have ran into danger like they did with you and Aira
Pessimism says "at least four" means "more than four, but we haven't found the rest yet." Given that they're a support unit, and suicidally stupid when unsupervised, it would make sense to keep some in reserve, way behind the front lines, rather than committing them all at once on an untested plan.

As for the number of enemy commanders, they're not saying "at least four" there, it's three names-and-faces plus one unknown. If each necromancer has their own assets and they're tripping over each other, maybe even infighting, that makes it relatively easy to figure a count of enemy factions: just look at how many sets of disjointed enemy action you're facing at once.

I figure eight mana beasts because four active enemy factions with no apparent hierarchy among them means approximately equal resources for each, which means a multiple of four. Two sets of four mana beasts would be enough to have each necromancer deploy one and keep one in reserve. Makes sense to send out the first four produced so you can get field testing data for last-minute mods on the second batch, and tactical data on how to make best use of those, which would presumably be of higher quality just from increasing familiarity with the production process. Prototypes are always buggy.

It's a classic strategy: First, split your force into three groups. The cheap, defense-focused types (cold zombies, anomalies) press the enemy in front, then fast cavalry (flesh tube) circles around to outflank (cutting off supply lines), and finally the reserve force exploits an opening in the enemy's defenses, or patches a hole in your own, whichever becomes necessary as the situation develops.
No. 847869 ID: c0641d

This is such a good summation that I suggest that we propose this as a theory to Grand Knight Zall. We’re treating these guys too much like some supernatural, nebulous threat that’s completely alien to everything we stand for. They may have undead, expendable, renewable troops and magic, and may be able to do some janky stuff with them, but beyond that, they still have to play by the same general rules and strategies as us.
No. 847871 ID: 33d4be


I'm not entirely sure of these assumptions. The wizards with the army know more about magic than Fen (and us, thus far), and may be able to say something like "if there were many more than this we'd be able to tell" for some reason we're not aware of. For example, the way the kobold lands work suggests there's a (massive) upper limit on how much total magic there is in the world, and they might be able to make an educated guess on what could have been stored up without someone noticing that it was going missing.

On the other hand, splitting the mana beasts evenly among themselves seems unlikely because they must be very rare and therefore valuable, and it seems more likely that whoever provides them, either by making them or bringing them in from somewhere, would keep a majority for themselves and only give them to others as needed. "No apparent hierarchy" doesn't mean much because whoever creates the mana beasts is probably a specialist and too focused on that to be capable of otherwise running their forces, and would therefore seem to wield equal or lesser power or not be a commander at all.

In any case, "be prepared for things to be worse than they seem to be" is one of the fundamental rules of running an army and I'm sure Zall is the kind of man who'd have thought of it.
No. 847922 ID: 9e4723

This all possibilities. Let's just hope that Zall doesn't miss any of this lines of thought. Fen wouldn't be able to figure out so much of it, and he shouldn't, he is the one who is going to carry out the mission, not plan it.
if the chance presents itself, we can allways make some sugestions, or make some questions.
No. 847968 ID: 91ee5f

I agree.

Fen is just a soldier, it's not his job to make these plans. Leave the planning to Grand Knight Zall.
No. 848040 ID: c0641d

But we’re trying to rise above the rank of “just a soldier,” remember? Even if Zall deems us incorrect or redundant, we surely won’t hurt his perception of our intelligence; would an idiot come up with this kind of summation?
No. 848043 ID: 33d4be


There's a chain of command, though. Common soldiers (and I know we're one step up from the lowest rank at this point but so's everyone else here) can't just submit suggestions to the overseer of a whole operation. A better idea would be for Fen to suggest these things to Orjin and then Orjin could pass them up further if he sees fit.
No. 848045 ID: 91ee5f

>would an idiot come up with this kind of summation?

It's called a wild imagination based on theories instead of facts.
No. 848077 ID: 15a025

Ask about what's going to be going on tomorrow.
No. 848149 ID: a0e836

by the way, when you next write to Cheese, ask her about the name Death Carrot, because it sounds like this one should be ridiculous even by Erja Nokol standards.
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