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File 150440630917.png - (50.15KB , 1000x800 , 845.png )
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!"
Expand all images
>>
No. 827265 ID: bfb318
File 150440634441.png - (33.72KB , 800x800 , 846.png )
827265

The grass is tall enough that I only see how many people are here once we enter the mausoleum's courtyard.

Orjin turns. I can tell he's already going to yell at me specifically.

"What're you gawking at now, barbarian?"
"There are many more people here than I was expecting. I thought pawns weren't coming. Are these all knights?"
"Yeah, and it'd be impressive, too, cept these knights are probably as worthy of the title as you overglorified pawns!"

We've painted Sir Orjin's emblem onto our armor, or in my case, I had a tailor attach a patch to my leather shirt underneath my cloak. I also have metal armor, but it is being transported in a wagon for us, with Holly inside. Underneath the main emblem, there's another smaller, simpler emblem that signifies we're under Sir Zall.

Some have it openly displayed, some don't. I hear it's mostly just to identify dead bodies anyway. When I see an emblem, I don't recognize it. There are other knights from the main dragon army, assassin's branch like us, gladiatorial branches which I didn't know existed, and various other factions. Aside from knights, there are a collection of other titles I hear. I heard he northern empire was organized, but more often then not, I have no idea whether a rank is high or low, or even who it belongs to in the overall hierarchy.
>>
No. 827268 ID: bfb318
File 150440646188.png - (20.74KB , 800x800 , 847.png )
827268

We settle inside while we check to make sure all of our belongings made it safely. It's several hours until Zall climbs onto a center platform and makes a speech.

>"I am Grand Knight Zall. I am not going to insult anyone's bravery with an offer to leave, or memory as to what it is we're doing here. Your superiors should have scared off any weak willed children who are not excited to fight to the death. But understand this. You are entering a quarantine. This is a matter of necessity, as even our wizards are not entirely confident that they can detect bodies that have turned to the necromancer's side. We have a garrison that will remain topside. Anyone that attempts to leave will be treated as a breach of necromantic will. In other words, until the necromantic disease is eradicated, the garrison has orders to kill anyone on sight who comes back to the top. Despite this, we have fortifications in place to exchange items and goods between topside and underside. There will be merchants, supply lines, mailing services, and makeshift towns. Your coins are not dead weight. Hold them dearly, as you may still need to pay for food."
>"Lastly, I would like to address rumors claiming that I am sending people on a suicide mission. I am going down myself in 30 minutes. You may watch me enter and join after me. As a helm knight, you will not often see me fighting in the front lines, but you will seldom see me farther away from the front line than the closest camp. Anyone not of the garrison who has not entered by midnight will be deemed a deserter and slain by the garrison as well. We have updated maps of the campaign's progress thus far. Familiarize yourself with it and decide where you would like to serve. So long as your commander approves it, you may work alone or with anyone of your choosing. That is all."
>>
No. 827269 ID: bfb318
File 150440649260.png - (18.12KB , 800x800 , 848.png )
827269

Most of my peers rest after the long walk, while I find a board with a drawn map.

Most mithril nobles started their reign by sealing off the tombs of the nobles before and below them. For the first 7,000 feet, or nearly 100 years of sinking, this is how it was, and it wasn't until the necromancers had defiled and ransacked nearly all the way to the surface before being found. When mausoleum caretakers heard pounding and scratching from underneath the current mithril's tomb under construction, they reported it and the empire descended down upon it to contain it. Since then, the empire has been pushing downwards with little to no resistance, but nearly all bodies from previous tombs are missing, including the noble mithrils themselves.

The bulletin board mostly lists two kinds of jobs.

1. Gain access to the next floor. Initially, with so many empire soldiers searching, this hardly took an hour or two. Now, the undead have started resealing the exits from where they dug through, and it's more difficult to find. Therefore, another job is simply to mine monitored holes into the next tomb down and create a straight passage into what's below.
2. Scout existing tombs, typically near the bottom of the explored parts, to clear them out of any lingering animated dead that have remained. Once a floor is fully cleared under a floor master's descretion, non-combatants such as merchants and skilled laborers are allowed to set up their goods. Hence, lower levels are only traversed by non-pawn soldiers.

There are only about 1000 feet left before the history of the mausoleum gets older than when mithril nobles made their tombs here, in a place that I'm told is called the Necromile.
>>
No. 827272 ID: 3ce125

>>827269
> and it wasn't until the necromancers had defiled and ransacked nearly all the way to the surface before being found.
Wait, that implies they came from underground, rather than tunneling down from the surface. Do necromancers just sortof... rise up from the ancient dead?

Should we be worried about undead tunneling up around the sides of the crypt, and attacking our position from behind?

Anyway, take job 2. You need as much combat experience as you can get. Refresh yourself on how to kill undead.
>>
No. 827276 ID: b88e47

2
Sweep and kill with our partner in arms.

Use single piece of metal front chest armor with no other metal parts so it won't make noise. It will add weight and will weight you forward so watch out for that.
>>
No. 827277 ID: 3abd97

>>827265
Stylin, Aira.

>>827269
So... how far down till we hit the water table?

Worse, how far down is the soul table?

>what do
What kind of prep can we get done before we descend?
>>
No. 827278 ID: bb78f2

>>827269
Ok, what's the best way to dispatch undead? Do we need to destroy the brain or have to burn dismembered body parts, maybe even UNDEAD FINGERBONES?
>>
No. 827290 ID: fc33ea

I want to see what would happen if you piped explosives down the entire shaft. That'd show those overbuilt landmarks a thing or two.

Breaching new ground probably has your best chance of getting first crack at sweet loot, but is also more dangerous. I say clear rooms for a bit to get the hang of zombie killing before you go any deeper.

Get a good look at the sky or horizon or whatever, 'cause it may be a while until you see it again.
>>
No. 827295 ID: 015058

Go for 2 to get some experience in this environment with your team. Once you get your footing can start doing some more impressive jobs.
>>
No. 827300 ID: 91ee5f

How is Aira doing? Is her injury still hindering some of her movements or has she improved to the point that her injury isn't hindering her at all?
>>
No. 827301 ID: 830fb7

If you have the spare time, practice with your sword. You promised the mountain kobold guard you would keep practicing.
>>
No. 827302 ID: eb25cd

Go see Zall enter and see if you can stick by him for whatever battle he's going to. Might be interesting to see how well the top guy around fights.
>>
No. 827309 ID: 830fb7

>>827302
by studying his moves you could improve your skills too.
>>
No. 827331 ID: e36c7f

Go with Zall for sure. After he finishes up... well, I'd say take a 2 job to warm up, but everyone else might be thinking the same thing, so you might end up having to go for 1.

Are they sure there are no side entrances to the tombs? Where's the nearest town/sunken town? The building of these massive tombs must have at least have caused some temporary buildings to be put up around them while under construction, too. And were all the tombs the same area? Did any of these ancient nobles try making wider, more sprawling tombs for themselves than what's on the surface now?
>>
No. 827372 ID: bfb318
File 150446387044.png - (26.72KB , 800x800 , 849.png )
827372

"I would like to get into combat, so we aren't rusty when we need it. Let's do job 2 and try to find some undead." I say. Most of the rest seem to agree.
"Then hurry up and get in there, otherwise you'll be waiting in line hours to get in!" says Orjin.
"What if we wait until Zall enters? I would like to see him fight."
"The only battle he's going to be in is shaking off moochers! Upper level knights are going to be managing you foot workers for awhile, and I'll be stuck doing the same crap for awhile. Gotta write letters on your behalf Fen, since you got in some shit with a lot of people that want to be sure you're trapped in this craphole with the rest of us!"
"Okay."

The only prep we can think of is to eat and familiarize ourselves with more detailed layouts of the maps, but Orjin has us get into the mausoleum and do that while we walk. Even so, many people were closer to the entrance, and even entered before Zall gave his speech. The maps are nearly pointless. The newer tombs are well recorded, but also already cleared. I ask questions while we walk, and look at the overland map.

There is a nearby town, and no one knows for sure, but it is likely that it has a sunken history as well. It could feasibly be linked, but unlike the mausoleum, the sunken town is probably filled in aside from little pockets here and there.
>>
No. 827373 ID: bfb318
File 150446402127.png - (44.38KB , 1200x800 , 850.png )
827373

For the most part, the noble's tombs stayed on the mesa in which the mausoleum lies. Sometimes it expanded farther outward, and those are reflected on some maps and as the scouts locate them.

Despite how many people are behind us, there's still a long line to get into the mausoleum, and a long line as we march down. There are several guards that I learn are tomb keepers, and are here to make sure that no soldiers defile anything. We're told that despite it's now a battleground, this is still sacred territory, and any damage dealt to the structures here should be treated as dealing damage to the mithril noble themselves.

"How far down until we hit water?" I ask.
>"It must be a long time." says Valsano from ahead of me. "If we walked the other way, we'd have reached the continental beach. It's not like the shroomleaf forest. It's just a cliff down for ages. You can't only see the water on clear days. At Dragon's Fall, it just looks like sky. We're not going to hit water, unless the drainage here sucks and the bottom is just a lake. I think if we find that, then we've... oh, shit, no, undead, then we can't do anything, can we?."
"Then we get buckets, you idiot!" Orjin says.
"What about the souls?"
>"Is that even tangible? I don't know." says Aira. "I doubt we'd see anything specific."
"Also, we have never really learned how to properly dispose of undead."
"I hope you mean what to do after you beat them with your swords until they stop moving, cause that's how." Orjin continues. "After that, burn the bodies. If it's an ally, take their emblem off, then burn their body."
>"Can we pick up oil or torches, then?" asks Valsano.
"I sure goddamn hope so!"
"What's stopping the undead from digging to the side and around the crypt?"
"Time, and wizards." says Orjin. "We've got land wizards that'll find anyone digging in the land. If they get 100 feet away from the surface, the wizard'll bring hell down on that area."
>"I have heard that many wizards will be down here, both to detect pockets in the land, and also to help infuse people's equipment with the necessary anti-rot measure." Bolk explains.
>>
No. 827374 ID: bfb318
File 150446409548.png - (49.25KB , 800x800 , 851.png )
827374

It's a long walk, and Orjin already hired helpers to carry our supply cart down each level. Even Mithrils that didn't seal off previous tombs didn't construct any ramps or ladders down to the previous, so most things have to be hand lifted to the lower levels while proper ramps are approved and created.

Once we get to the bottom, there's so many newcomers that the camp looks less like a settlement and more like a lot of people milling around. We settle down off to the side, and start a camp fire while Orjin goes off to find an official to coordinate with. It's gotten somewhat chilly this far down. He comes back after a wait.

"While we were busy being late, they've already found the next two levels down. Upper level exploration is done carefully like we did in our own little catacomb exercise, in which we gotta clear it step by step to make sure nothing can sneak in from behind and un-clear the area. Down there? Just run around till you find crap, scouts'll do a real clear later. Gear up, head out, don't come back till you've burned a corpse. I'll make sure all your gear gets here, too."

We're ahead of our supply wagon, so I can't put on armor yet.
>>
No. 827375 ID: bfb318
File 150446414941.png - (56.09KB , 1100x800 , 852.png )
827375

The bulk of us head down another couple of levels together, but despite my misgivings, the group decides to split off. Aira, Firzel, Volsano and myself stick together. We keep running into other soldier groups that act disappointed when we show we are living beings with emblems. We continue to hear tomb guards yelling to behave ourselves, but it's clear that they can't keep an eye out on all the other groups that most likely also had greater knights tell them now to come back until they've killed some undead.

>"Are there even any veterans around?" asks Firzel, as we keep walking farther and farther away from the central shafts. "Everyone looks like they're ready to go parade marching."
>"At least we don't have to act like pawns and kill people just to get fed." Aira says. Her wound seems to be doing better in the week since she received it. If it's still bothering her, she's been doing a good job of hiding it. "We'd see a lot of missing people and unrecognizable corpses, then."
>"Wait." Firzel says again. "I hear something."

There's some shuffling noises, and something with muted, guttural hiccups. We walk ahead down a long hall.
>>
No. 827377 ID: bfb318
File 150446424467.png - (90.90KB , 800x800 , 853.png )
827377

An unhealthy and probably undead kobold staggers ahead as our torchlight reaches it. Aira gets relatively close, but remains cautious. We can't see any other kobolds around. The ragged one doesn't move. It only gawks at Aira.

>"You alive in there, creepy bastard?" asks Valsano. I don't believe any of us expect a good answer.

It shakes its head no.
>>
No. 827378 ID: eb25cd
827378

If it can answer maybe it can point you in the direction of other undead pockets?

Otherwise let Aira kill it
>>
No. 827379 ID: 3ce125

>>827377
Circle around until you can see if it's carrying anything in the hand behind its leg. If it's totally unarmed then just go for some safe strikes against center mass to see what happens. This one might be a lesser undead that poses no challenge but we should at least see how it reacts to injury.
>>
No. 827380 ID: bb78f2

>>827377
Uhh so do undead lose the ability to lie and respond to all questions in a manner that they can? Or is that like their actual self speaking to us through the puppet corpse, and he basically just asked us to mercy destroy him so he can be free?

But lets go ahead and kill this guy before we ask that question, or in the middle of the action if it gets drawn out.
>>
No. 827382 ID: 13fded

Why aren't you attacking us? Are you alone?
>>
No. 827383 ID: 50bf10

Ask him if he wants to die... again
>>
No. 827384 ID: 3abd97

>>827377
"I didn't expect them to be able to answer questions."

Also seems silly to send unarmed undead against armed knights. Unless its got unnatural speed or strength, the only hope these things have is numbers.

...might want to look around quick, make sure this guy isn't distracting you while others ambush you from another direction.

Not terribly decayed looking. Recent dead? In the absence of other wounds, I'd guess cause of death was exsanguination after the tail got cut in half. You'd think that would have been preventable with a tourniquet, though.
>>
No. 827385 ID: 91ee5f

>>827377
Look around and make sure this guy isn't distracting you so you can be ambushed from a different direction.
>>
No. 827386 ID: e36c7f

Awfully helpful. I wonder if necromancers can make unliving bomb undead who explode when they get destroyed, or anything like that. See if you can circle around a bit and inspect him a little more closely. Any strange protrustions or bulges in his body? Is the blood on him fresh? You won't get many chances to examine a "live" undead.

Ask him if he'd like to be even less alive. And if there are any more undead nearby. Be ready for him to suddenly flip out and attack.
>>
No. 827387 ID: 015058

Ask it if it knows if there are any other undead nearby.

See if it is actually responding or just shaking its head at any questions. Keep a eye out and maybe experiment a little before finishing it off.
>>
No. 827388 ID: e420b6

>>827377
Well fellow, you shouldn't be up and walking around.

(unless the deadling actually is useful, and I wouldn't trust anything you learn from it regardless, just put it down)
>>
No. 827389 ID: 3ce125

I'd like to caution against asking the enemy for information. Can't trust anything it tells us.
>>
No. 827391 ID: 91ee5f

>>827388
>>827389
These.

We're not here to sit down and have a tea party with it while asking a bunch of questions. We're here to make sure the dead stay dead. So let's just do our job and kill this thing.
>>
No. 827398 ID: 22d3a4

I'm guessing you know what happens next, then?
>>
No. 827407 ID: 094652

This undead might be a traitor, but I doubt it. Most likely, he's just here to kill you.

Shout at him to stand down and move where you order him to. If he seems to follow orders, have him move to a secure kennel with blast-resistant countermeasures, to be questioned and interrogated later.

If he attacks, just kill him.
>>
No. 827414 ID: 830fb7

Ask "what do you and the necromancer want" if their is no response say "do you want to die" then if it nods, does nothing or attacks just kill it and burn the body
>>
No. 827417 ID: a363ac

>>827377
just kill it and move on a single undead shouldn't prove an issue for any of you at this point.
>>
No. 827420 ID: a363ac

while killing it also tell you team that "Someday I am going to hug Orjin"
>>
No. 827421 ID: d36af7

Ask for directions to the next level down.
>>827389
True, but it's not like we've got any better leads.
>>
No. 827422 ID: 3abd97

Not talking further to the undead seems prudent. There's not much point in it.
>>
No. 827423 ID: 7fad5d

>>827420
Sounds good. Then practice hugging on the undead. With swords in lieu of meat arms.
>>
No. 827439 ID: bfb318
File 150449141945.png - (133.18KB , 1000x800 , 854.png )
827439

I step forward, taking out my sword. I confirm the kobold is completely unarmed. There are no odd bulges or anything on him. This body has more magic within it than the average kobold, but if it was set to explode or anything so phenomenal, it would need much, much more internal mana.

"Are you alone?" I ask. It shakes its head, while I get closer. "Do you want to die, again?" I then ask.

Again, it shakes its head. I raise my sword.

>Say 'someday I am going to hug Orjin'
I have no intention of doing any such thing.

"Can you do anything but shake yo- " It starts rushing me.

Or that's what my reflexes think, as I slash it to make a long but shallow cut across its torso. As I make the slash, it was more of a sudden yet slow stagger forward. Its arms then move as though to block my slash by the time I've already made the cut.

It then crumples to the ground. It does not scream or writhe, but it does bleed, although not as much as a real living being should. The blood is a bit chunky, and smells terrible. Once on the ground, it stays still and its hiccups stop. I keep an eye on it, but Firzel snickers behind me.

>"Pfff, what was that?" asks Firzel. "This can't be what we're up against."

Valsano shrugs.

>"If it is, Orjin's going to be furious. Might want to punch each other just so it looks like we were in a fight." he jokes. I think he's joking, anyway.
>>
No. 827441 ID: a363ac

>>827439
stab it a couple more times.
>>
No. 827442 ID: 7fad5d

"This could be a trap. Get back." As you retreat to a safe distance.
>>
No. 827444 ID: bb78f2

Burn the corpse.
The fact this was easy was probably meant to let our guard down. Be alert for ambushes. And try to avoid smelling it as much as possible, we don't know what diseases these things might carry, whether airborne or sent through blood or saliva contact.
>>
No. 827449 ID: 486e87

Working off the assumption that undead don't need any bodily functions other than structure for the magic. So, chop it up, being wary for any sudden movements, then burn it. Check for emblems also.
>>
No. 827451 ID: 015058

This might not be the best the zombie horde has to offer. Lets not underestimate them just yet.

Even if this is how they all act imagine fighting a hundred. Or a thousand. Eventually your arm would tire and they could overwhelm you.

And who knows if there are other varieties of zombie that have more tricks up there sleaves. Toxic blood or who knows what.

Carefully dispose of the body.
>>
No. 827452 ID: b88e47

Decapitate, loot, burn.
>>
No. 827453 ID: 830fb7

I wonder what Orjin would say if you told him you where going to hug him.
>>
No. 827454 ID: 3abd97

Make sure its dead. It might be a bluff.

Then burn it. Trust your allies to watch your back from other threats.

>"This can't be what we're up against."
It's a pawn. There will be worse than pawns down here.
>>
No. 827455 ID: 3cc68c

Fen since when can you see how much magic something has inside it? Is that new ability?

Treat everything down here as a proper threat. Dismember and burn while watching for traps.
>>
No. 827459 ID: 22d3a4

Sir Orjin is never happy. It's better he have credible Intel as well.

It might be a botched or very old revival, perhaps so we let our guard down.

Well let's put this one to the pyre and keep moving.
>>
No. 827461 ID: 3ce125

>>827439
There's probably much stronger undead further in. Don't let down your guard. Also, it seemed to indicate it wasn't alone. Fighting 50 of these things at once could be troublesome.
>>
No. 827463 ID: 91ee5f

>>827439
"These things are quiet enough that they could sneak up on someone and, I don't know, bite their throat or something. Of course, this is only one undead by itself. In greater numbers, undead just as slow as this one could possibly overwhelm us. Which is entirely possible, considering undead won't get tired from a long drawn out battle."
>>
No. 827489 ID: 094652

>>827439
"Don't get cocky, this is just an experimental zombie. Necromancers are smart, they'll leave their rejects out in the open to get us riled and overconfident."
>>
No. 827509 ID: f80e2a

>>827439
Don't be hasty, we've heard that even wizards don't know how to put the undead down quickly. Either this wasn't an undead or its not finished yet.
>>
No. 827512 ID: e36c7f

It was staring at Aira, and she's been quiet. Check on her. Does she have any idea why it seemed so interested in her?
>>
No. 827529 ID: 91ee5f

>>827512
It might've been able to detect her injury, even though it should be healed by now, and saw her as an easier target.

Or it could've been that guy still had some memories of when he was alive lingering around in his head and Aira just happened to look like someone he knew, even though Aira has never seen this guy until now.
>>
No. 827530 ID: 0cf890

And we are sure it's undead and not an illusion? I recommend further examination
>>
No. 827531 ID: 0cf890

>>827530
I mean it seems like it bleeds. Maybe that is enough. Does it seem to react way to quickly though?
>>
No. 827588 ID: a9a6d9

>>827439
It was scrawny, but the fact it seemed to have any awareness is worrisome. If it can think, it can plan. And if it can plan, we would need to think of them as and active force instead of generic undead.
But we don't know anything at the moment. You cannot judge everything on one meeting.
>>
No. 827623 ID: d36af7

>>827439
Burn the body, continue onward.
>I think he's joking, anyway.
Instruct teammates not to injure each other. If it was a joke, saying that completely deadpan plays into your 'socially oblivious barbarian' image, which is handy for getting people to underestimate you in political intrigue. If it wasn't a joke, you're avoiding pointless fraud (the way Sir Orjin was sizing up everybody's scars, he'd definitely be able to tell if all the bruises you got were from each other rather than undead, whereas you guys don't even know what undead-inflicted injuries look like yet) and conserving valuable medical supplies inside a quarantine zone.
>>
No. 827629 ID: bfb318
File 150456827936.png - (86.31KB , 800x800 , 855.png )
827629

Over the last week, one of our bigger training goals was to be able to sense mana. We were able to practice doing so with the help of a wizard. My ability to detect is only more than nothing, but I have only learned to reliably sense in the last week.

There are many limitations. I still can't detect average amounts in most kobolds, so I could only use my normal senses to detect if Aira or the others were around. Even with above average kobolds like this one, I could only sense it at close range. It's also difficult to sense spatially. It's simply like something in the air, and I could only assume that the dead kobold was the source simply because there was nothing else around to charge the air. I've said it was like a smell, but the wizard got angry when I said that. I still don't know why, since it seems to work like a different kind of smell.

Ultimately, this sensing is only good to tell if there is either a magically charged person or item nearby, or if there is high wizard activity in the general area. So, it will help avoid ambushes from magically charged kobolds, undead or otherwise. Our wizard teacher still warned us that there are ways to mask mana detection from mundane fighters like us, so it should only be treated as a bonus sense, not a reliable one. Even non-wizards though are able to hone their sensing ability to impressive levels, because wizards or not, we are all considered magical creatures. However, it is a high level talent to be able to be able to sense the location and mana levels of any nearby kobolds.

"Sir Orjin is never happy. Let's not underestimate them too much too early. This was one, but it was probably their version of a pawn. And what if there was a hundred? Either way, we will not injure ourselves."
>"I was joking." Valsano snaps at me.

The fact that the mana has dissipated from the corpse is a good sign it's dead, but I still stab the corpse a couple more times and then hack off its head. Valsano watches our backs. I notice half of the corpse's waist has been stitched together. That may have been its original death.

Valsano stomps on its head to snap off a horn, and puts it in his bag. Even if we don't need proof to get food, he probably thinks it would still be good to prove that we did something. Aira pulls out a bottle of oil that she brought along, douses the corpse, and sets it on fire. We start moving away so that we don't have to smell the burnt flesh.
>>
No. 827630 ID: bfb318
File 150456829045.png - (28.29KB , 800x800 , 856.png )
827630

>"Once the supply wagons catch up, we'll have more flammable wood to make proper pyres." she explains. "Valsano, you look unnerved."
>"Nah. Undead just creep me out, but I wouldn't be here if I couldn't stand it."
>"I hope so, because speaking of fighting more..."

We hear shambling behind us. Another ragged looking kobold comes down the hall, but it stops at the burning corpse and looks around confusedly. The sounds of multiple dragging claws is also starting to approach us from ahead, as well.

>"Attracted to either fire, or burning flesh." Firzel says.
>"Or just corpses." says Valsano.
>"If it was like that, camp would've been stocked up with corpses so no one would have to go anywhere."
>>
No. 827631 ID: 3abd97

>>827630
Whatever they're attracted to, we save on oil if we can chop up these new ones and throw them on an already burning fire.
>>
No. 827632 ID: bb78f2

>>827629
Keep an eye on that horn Valsino. If its undead, I don't trust it. I wouldn't even trust a fingerbone. Don't want it piercing your gut when you least expect it. Keep it in an armored pouch.

>>827630
Not just fire, it could be light, like a fly. Good to know for distraction purposes. Someone keep an eye on that undead and study it a bit, see what it does, we're going to dispatch the ones ahead.
>>
No. 827634 ID: e36c7f

Hmm. In death, all kobold souls kinda merge together mostly, right? Perhaps there's a way of making undead that maintains some sort of common link or joint soul. So undead within a particular... pack? Batch?... Can sense what each other sense? Some types, anyway?

You'd better be ready to fight, in any case. You're continuing in the way you were going, right? So the multiple claws sounds are from somewhere you haven't been, while this one behind you somehow came from where you came from yourselves? That's ominous.

If undead are made by someone, they're made for a purpose. Maybe some undead are like menial worker undead, not intended for combat but to just perform labour - like retrieving corpses for use by the necromancer. Those ones would be less aggressive and inclined to obedience, maybe given a little more intelligence than the straightforward assault undead, enough to receive further instructions and give very basic feedback. Did your training thus far say anything about something like that, or about "types" among the undead, or typical necromancer behavior patterns, et cetera? Was anything mentioned about undead just acting weird sometimes, due to have a mishmash of soulstuff jammed into them that sometimes contains some odd spark of will or strong memory?
>>
No. 827635 ID: a9a6d9

>>827630
Depending on how many footsteps you are hearing and in which direction, Y'all should set up a form of defense perimeter near the fire. Just go up, stab the undead in the head, and kick it on the fire.
If the sounds are mainly coming from your front, form a line so you don't get in each other's way and let them come to you. Set the two people with the longer ranged weapons on the edges, and the two with shorter ranged weapons in the center so there is maximum coverage.
If there are some coming from the other direction, split into long n' short range pairs for each direction.
You use a sword with a fairly decent range. What do the others use? One or two-handed Swords? Daggers?
In any case, standing your ground seems like the best option in this case.
>>
No. 827644 ID: 015058

Looks like this variety of zombie has only the basic senses. And with no one around to direct them they just follow what they see and hear.

Lure them to the fire and kill them there. Then make a corpse bonfire to save on oil. Just don't block up the tunnel with a giant pile.

As for your new extra sense train the crap out of it at every free moment. If its trainable that means there might be other senses you can learn to use if you pay attention to what your body is telling you.

Any hunches or odd things you have felt before could just be your species innate magical sensitivity. Is another thing to work on alongside of your standard knight training. Could save your life one day so work on improving it whenever you have a free moment.
>>
No. 827645 ID: a363ac

>>827630
make sure that your back is clear. If it sounds like there is more then 10 kobolds koming then send someone to scout a retreat.
>>
No. 827646 ID: f66698

Secure the way back by taking that one out and add him to the fire.

And then if there's more let them come and add them too.
>>
No. 827652 ID: f1a8bf

>>827630
Make a mental note to ask someone more informed/experienced back at camp if what you've seen is normal undead behaviour.
>>
No. 827664 ID: b88e47

Make a fighting retreat to main force or other safe area. Communicate that you think their senses are linked in some way.
>>
No. 827668 ID: eb25cd

Check that your exit is secure and then kill those zombies.
>>
No. 827669 ID: 22d3a4

Remember what we said about getting overconfident. Hang back for a bit.
>>
No. 827670 ID: 91ee5f

>>827630
If the necromancer controlling these undead was smart, they would know that we're going to be burning any undead we slay. So the necromancer would make the undead attracted to burning corpses, so that it would guarantee we would get swarmed every time we burn a corpse.
>>
No. 827845 ID: 3ce125

>>827630
Let's get to work. Next one try hitting it in a non-lethal area to see if it still falls down. It's possible the necromantic magic is disrupted by injury in general, not attached to vital areas.
>>
No. 827856 ID: 094652

Once again, attempt to communicate with the zombie kobold, then push him into the fire if he's hostile. Douse the floor with oil (with a long trail) and prepare to light it up.
>>
No. 828008 ID: bfb318
File 150466068195.png - (25.17KB , 800x800 , 857.png )
828008

"Be careful about that horn, Valsano. I don't trust it."
>"Be careful about that ceiling or floor, it could fall, Fen!" Valsano replies.

Firzel chortles at that.
>"And watch out for the sarcophagi, could have zombies all come out at once!"
>"The fire could materialize into a person and attack us!" jokes Valsano.

I believe they are mocking me. I stop sharing my possible thoughts, and simply try to get a reaction out of the zombie, but there's no response. There must be people down here experienced with the undead, but from our training, we were told not to assume anything. The empire apparently has lots of knowledge on necromancy, but we don't know what kind applies down here. I got the impression that part of why we were told so little is out of a fear that we would make incorrect assumptions, and a little knowledge would be more harmful than none.

"Fine. Let's save oil by throwing more undead onto the already burning fire, and let them come to us."

We all use swords of similar length, so there isn't much point in organizing ourselves based on our reach. As a test, I stab the undead in the arm. It falls over. Valsano looks incredulous, but I kick it onto the flaming corpse without issue. From there, we wait for the undead to walk towards us.

>"Valsano, Aira." I say, noting their movements. "Why are you so far ahead, still?"
>"The smell." says Aira. "I can't stand it."
"If you will, safely scout behind us to make sure our exits are clear."
>"Okay."
>>
No. 828009 ID: bfb318
File 150466071577.png - (52.20KB , 800x800 , 858.png )
828009

It isn't too far ahead, so I don't fight that. The undead come at us one or two at a time from farther ahead. Some undead don't fall when they're slashed so lightly, so there's still some weight put into our slashes. Aira comes back, saying that she didn't see any undead at the next intersection, so we're not trapped.

By the 5th one, Aira stops putting thought into her slash, as though chopping a vegetable. Firzel slashes another, looking like he'd rather be anywhere else. A few kills later, Valsano just points his sword outwards towards 2 zombies approaching us.

>"Fight me, bastards! Throw a punch already! I'll wait!"

One stumbles at Valsano, then falls forward to impale itself on Valsano's sword.
>>
No. 828010 ID: bfb318
File 150466074262.png - (60.98KB , 800x800 , 859.png )
828010

Valsano loses it at that, drops his sword onto the impaled zombie, and grabs the other.

>"Hit me! You aren't even worth spending my sword's edge!"

He begins shaking the zombie back and forth while we put another corpse onto the fire pile.

>"You fuckers just cured my necrophobia! I'm just mad! Can you even hear me in there?! Are you capable of even pretending to be a threat?! Throw! A! Punch!"
>>
No. 828013 ID: bfb318
File 150466078846.png - (18.40KB , 800x800 , 860.png )
828013

Its neck snaps. The head is whipped back and comes clean off. Valsano keeps shaking it half heartedly before slowing down to a stop.

>"What is the matter, Valsano?" Aira asks. "Also, was that a halfbreed draconic oceanic?"
>"Who cares?! They made our training hell for this?! I don't care if they're the pawns! Any of my kids could beat the hell out of these husks without their arms! I want to either go down deeper than anyone, or go back to camp and do nothing. But this? Just insulting."

Despite that the flames are still going, and we have a well stacked pile of corpses, I see no other undead.
>>
No. 828015 ID: a363ac

>>828013
calm down don't assume that this is the best they have to throw at us. getting overconfident is how we over extend and someone dies.
>>
No. 828020 ID: 015058

These are rather pathetic. But am glad for the opportunity to learn more about weak undead instead of starting off on a giant bone horror.

Keep treating them like a proper threat. You lived in the wilds. You know that even a tiny threat can leave a tiny infected wound that could eventually kill you.

If a necromancer was in range who knows what they could make these guys do. So do not get cocky or let you team do the same. Lots of these guys just got out of training hell and think they are tough shit. That means they will be sloppy and dead soon enough.
>>
No. 828023 ID: f66698

This guy is going to be a liability. Not that that changes anything, pile on the rest of the corpses and then move on. No reason to stop yet.
>>
No. 828024 ID: 3ce125

>>828013
Okay, let's swap jobs. Do some digging instead of cleanup.

I'm serious. Fighting harmless zombies and having to endure the stench of burning bodies is obviously hurting morale. This is practically janitorial work! At least digging will be a good workout.
>>
No. 828025 ID: 3abd97

>"Be careful about that ceiling or floor, it could fall, Fen!" Valsano replies.
>"And watch out for the sarcophagi, could have zombies all come out at once!"
>"The fire could materialize into a person and attack us!" jokes Valsano.
100% chance Fen is going to end up dealing with all of these threats eventually.

>insulting
This is the army. If you let yourself get insulted by the drudge work, you're not going to last.

No, don't speak that out loud.

>pathetic zombies
Could be the quality of the undead depended on the quality of the body. These could have all been weak in life. In which case, they won't start getting tough still we start finding dead knights and nobles to fight.

Could be the necromancer has a range limit, and the things further away get weaker.

Maybe these are intended to purposely hurt morale? Get troops to underestimate what's coming, get complacent, or get frustrated.

Maybe they're plague carriers? Although you're burning the bodies, and they'd have a better chance of spreading disease if they could scratch you.

>I want to either go down deeper than anyone, or go back to camp and do nothing.
Well, if we finish clearing this floor camp will come down to us.
>>
No. 828026 ID: e420b6

>>828013
Yeah, it isn't exciting, but it needs to be done.

Where are this lot coming from anyway?
These shamblers might be pushovers, but them being here means there is likely much more uncleared area ahead.
>>
No. 828030 ID: a9a6d9

>>828013
Okay, these undead are such a non-threat it's rather creepy. Outside of the first rushing you, none have made any move to attack? They might as well have been made by an idiot!

Wait a minute. Just had a thought.
What if these things ARE made by an idiot? At least in terms of magical knowledge.
When somebody starts to learn something, they start small before going big. And animating a corpse seems rather complex in and of itself. Could these things be somebody's practice attempts? As in animating a corpse just enough to react to outside stimuli, since the necromancer didn't know much else?
We need to find out more about what kinds of undead have been encountered, because these are just raising questions whose answers are either horrifying or completely disappointing.
>>
No. 828034 ID: 91ee5f

>>828013
"If the undead we honestly this weak, the army wouldn't have bothered bringing us here. There are stronger undead here, we just haven't found them yet. And according to Sir Orjin, you'll be begging for these weaker undead after meeting one of the stronger ones."
>>
No. 828035 ID: a9a6d9

>>828013
>>828030
Say "I'm sure that in the future the insults these things inflict will be more physical in their nature." then guess in a deadpan snark how many "insults" he would take before crying for home.
Also, How are these even still around? They wander blindly toward fire, and aren't even hiding! Shouldn't the group who first cleared the place have gotten rid of them first?
In fact, how ARE these crypts cleared in the first round?
>>
No. 828040 ID: 094652

>>828013
"If you feel you are not getting the training, renown, or payment you deserve, I feel the same way. Shouting for more enemies when our escape options are low, however, is just plain STUPID.

These are the UNDEAD. They are weak, slow, and dumb. For now. But under NO circumstances are you to call them an inferior fight when we are outnumbered and prone to rot! Worse yet, these undead are controlled by people who could outsmart an entire legion and still manage to write an epic about the flesh being torn from our bones! Do NOT rush into the REAL danger, or we will leave you to die."
>>
No. 828049 ID: 22d3a4

The helm knight mentioned some kind of necromantic disease, maybe that's what's so dangerous? In the meantime, don't let anybody hear you get too cocky after one mop-up operation. The undead came from that way, we should look for more.

Don't start ribbing him. He's not entirely wrong and is probably in no mood to be corrected.
>>
No. 828115 ID: e36c7f

"Valsano, whatever necromancer is in this place probably abandoned their direct command over the undead on this floor, and the ones who were aggressive already got themselves killed. But the necromancer could possibly retake control of them at any time, and it could be when we're facing down towards some other, more deadly enemies. Tactically, this has to be done. It doesn't have to be done by us, and when we get back we can take better work, but for now we do the job in front of us."
>>
No. 828116 ID: 3ce125

Hey I think maybe we shouldn't lecture this guy since he's the same rank as Fen and half the group is already mocking us.
>>
No. 828125 ID: 91ee5f

>>828116
Well, Fen is the "dumb barbarian", so mocking is expected to happen.

Although, they know by now from Aira how many kills Fen got by himself while protecting her and he's earned the name "Red Maw" from killing a gold noble. So even though they're all the same rank, they probably know Fen is far more skilled than them.

.....huh, maybe they were hoping for a chance to one up Fen and they're not getting that chance here?

.....maybe I'm just over thinking this?
>>
No. 828140 ID: 3abd97

>>828116
I'd agree Fen doesn't really need to lecture anyone right now. Either he'll learn when things get worse, or he'll get dead.
>>
No. 828185 ID: bfb318
File 150472785310.png - (38.82KB , 800x800 , 861.png )
828185

>"Remember that we are the reinforcements." says Aira. "If the undead has been a pushover this entire time, then the first force here would have been more than enough. It's odd that we haven't been warned of threats. They've been down here long enough that if these weak zombies were all that existed, empire tactics would have us reach at least the necromile, set up barricades and other defenses, and then focus on clearing the divided undead. Now they want us to clear more or less room by room in a downward drilling maneuver. It doesn't add up with this at all." Aira said much of what I was thinking, so I add something else.
"This is drudge work, but we have been tasked with these boring tasks often before." I mention, trying not to talk down to him. Then again, although I am frequently the brunt of mockery, talking poorly of one another in their face seems to be a tradition in the north.
>"Yeah, and we were told that." says Valsano. "This, at least, looked like we were supposed to fight."
"They could be plague bearers."
>"Yeah, well, at least it's just me that'd..." Valsano stops talking, though he keeps collecting horns. From the experience of last week, I know he's about to say that it's just him that will suffer for his mistake. He said something like it once during our training week right at Orjin, who promptly beat him for it. Then he sprung an exercise on us that we needed Valsano for, but was unable to perform well enough for us. Orjin then lectured that Valsano that he is part of the team, and if he is hurt, the team suffers, alone or not. Valsano doesn't seem to have forgotten the lesson. "Fine, fine." says Valsano. "You both have a point. I was just looking forward to this. I'll get over it. If you want to keep up the boring stuff, then fine, just as long as we don't do so good of a job that they want to keep up at the top of the uncleared levels."
"I will also want more critical jobs. But since we are here, and we just saw ten undead, we should look around since there may be a bigger pocket of undead."

Still, the level of incompetence from these zombies does seem like almost too much. I remember the way that the ashes of the urns in the catacombs a week ago would weakly choke those who fell. Now it has things that shouldn't be moving at all, yet they seem less dangerous than ash. Aira spills some more oil on the pile to make sure it keeps going, since even though the bodies aren't fresh, they don't light easily.

One of the corpses falls off the pile before it gets properly lit. Aira barely begin muttering under her breath before she cuts herself off. I sense mana returning to the corpse, at least enough for me to detect.

It gets back up.
>>
No. 828186 ID: bfb318
File 150472786774.png - (100.69KB , 800x800 , 862.png )
828186

Valsano and Firzel turn to see what the pause is, but all four of us are silent. Underneath the sound of the flames, we hear the corpse whisper 'cold.'

Then it gets back onto the fire. All of the corpses with recognizable faces are smiling.
>>
No. 828188 ID: 3ce125

>>828186
Welp. Lesson learned. Even if the zombies fall down and lose mana, they're probably not dead. You have to completely destroy the body.
THANKFULLY these zombies are addled enough that they enjoy being on a burning corpse pile.
Say what's on everyone's minds. "This is fucked up."
>>
No. 828189 ID: c2051e

"Orjin is going to love this."
>>
No. 828191 ID: 7b6617

Check that the fire is *actually* consuming them. Fire-absorbing zombies would be very bad news.
>>
No. 828192 ID: 015058

I for one am glad we learned that lesson early. Dismember all future bodies before any cleanup. Also I am now wondering if a dismembered arm could try to choke someone. So be extra careful with body parts as well.

Also makes me angry. We need to find the bastard who is dragging souls back from there rest and teach them a lesson. Looking at those smiles makes me a bit sad as well.

This will make a excellent story for camp though.
>>
No. 828193 ID: e36c7f

That explains why that first one was staring at Aira. She's the warmest one. I wonder - have you seen many of your predecessors, here? The survivors of the force you're reinforcing? The survivors didn't happen to all be more reptilian, less warm kobolds, did they?

... The corpses themselves are burning, right? It's not just the oil burning, and the undead are all fireproof? Because if that's the case they won't be happy when the fire burns out. Also it means you don't have your dependable means of disposing of them permanently.

Hopefully, these guys just like fire and warm hugs and aren't going to want to rip open your guts and climb inside you, or rip open your throat and pour your warm blood all over themselves. But, "hopefully" and "necromancers" don't usually go together.
>>
No. 828195 ID: e36c7f

Oh and hey speaking of fire, how is your operation keeping the air circulating down here? Have they got some pump, bellows and fans operation set up to pipe air down from the surface and along the tunnels? Running out of good air is a common problem in mines and places like them, which this is, particularly if you're going to be using all these open flames and particularly if you're fighting things that don't need to breathe.
>>
No. 828196 ID: 91ee5f

".....why do I have a feeling that no one is going to believe us if we tell them about this?"

>>828189
This.

And it's Sir Orjin! It doesn't matter if he's here or not, you don't just casually call him by name like that!
>>
No. 828197 ID: 22d3a4

so, they actually want to die, or want heat so badly they'll self-immolate? I'm guessing they are somehow forced to obey a necromancer's order to resist, but don't actually want to and so they do it in the most ineffective way possible so they get whichever it is they want.
>>
No. 828198 ID: d36af7

>>828192
>all future bodies
Start by dismembering the bodies already in the burning pile. Knees first so they can't get up, then shoulders, then fingers so the disembodied arms can't grab stuff, and then if the torsos are still active start breaking jaws and cutting in half at the waist.

Don't use any more oil until you're sure it's actually causing damage.
>>
No. 828199 ID: bf04cf

>>828186
Somehow, that is more disturbing to me than seeing two gold nobles executed. The state of mind these things must have for burning to a crisp to be a pleasant is NOT a good revelation.
And somehow, this is strangely hilarious.
>>
No. 828233 ID: 3abd97

>>828186
Watch them burn. Carefully. Make sure the bodies are actually being consumed.

"New rule. They aren't dead until they're ash, or in pieces."
>>
No. 828292 ID: bb78f2

>>828186
Oh, they just feel really cold.

Oh god, what if these are free minded released undead, like non-allied with the necromancers and they just want to live their undead lives?
>>
No. 828294 ID: e36c7f

>>828292

If they're always so cold that they want to be set on fire, their undead lives probably suck and they'd prefer to be put back in the ground so they can reincarnate properly.
>>
No. 828296 ID: bb78f2

>>828294
Or their nerves are so deadened that fires is comfortable like a nice warm blanket.
>>
No. 828306 ID: 094652

>>828186
What have they been DOING to those poor zombies?!

Well, this confirms their sentience. And death wish.

What if they're still alive but tortured into suicide? Capture some alive, give them treatment and diagnostics. We might find something interesting if they still have a positive number of brains.
>>
No. 828307 ID: a9a6d9

>>828186
As strange as this is, are they actually burning away? From what I can see, it looks just as likely that the only things on fire are the oils and their clothes. But what about the bodies themselves? Cause that last one was suspiciously well-preserved for being on fire.
>>
No. 828492 ID: bfb318
File 150479262720.png - (24.55KB , 800x800 , 863.png )
828492

"Have any of us seen any veterans here?"
>"Some of the camp workers were here before us." says Firzel. "But I haven't seen a single fighter from before today. Do you think these undead... hm."

We wait a moment on my request to watch the fire. The zombies looked fresher than I was expecting, but it may have just been that the fire took awhile to start catching on the bodies. Once it goes for a little while, I see the fire destroying the bodies. Still, we may need to hack them up farther. I did not see any of the kobolds making movements that did not rely on muscles, so unless any further twists occur, Valsano's horns remain harmless.

After we travel farther down the hall, we enter more open areas. Firzel speaks.

>"The more I think about it... it might've been my imagination, but the way that the mana dispersed from those zombies seemed like it had a direction. Like the mana was going somewhere in this direction." Firzel's sense of mana is a bit better than the rest of us, even if it still isn't on par with a wizard. He seems to just have good senses, as it's his sense of direction that we're relying on to get us back to camp. "It's farther ahead, and down." he explains. "We can chase it by going straight through this area, but it's evening, and I don't think Orjin would throw a fit if we just poked around here first and then got back a little before bedtime."
>>
No. 828505 ID: 91ee5f

>>828492
>I don't think Orjin would throw a fit if we just poked around here first and then got back a little before bedtime.
I agree. Let's take a quick look around and then head back to camp.

If we find anything, great. If we don't find anything, then at least we cleared out a few undead.
>>
No. 828506 ID: 4c5423

>>828492
So it's pulled back to something, which much be something big if it can pull mana in the first place. I think we should clear more of the area before chasing it, it's better to face a lone boss than a boss and his horde of flunkies.
>>
No. 828509 ID: a363ac

>>828492
let's scout ahead and see where the mana is going but if we encounter any large groups of undead or any suspicious looking items lets head back and report in.
>>
No. 828516 ID: e420b6

>>828505
Solid plan, we've already got some re-kills, simple as they were.
Anything new we find other than this is a bonus.
>>
No. 828518 ID: 22d3a4

If the mana is 'feeding' something, should we avoid making further kills?
>>
No. 828538 ID: 42625c

I'd say to proceed, quietly. You have to be wary if they could sense mana too.
>>
No. 828550 ID: e36c7f

Ok, but there's getting back before bedtime and there's getting back before dinner time. We don't want to go hungry here. And we want to hear the news, both official and gossip, of what everyone else found out on their missions. So, do a bit of scouting but make it quick.
>>
No. 828568 ID: f66698

Hey, if he has a lead lets follow it. I know at least one of our companions wants to see more action and we have a lot to prove, and I think Aira is probably going to follow our lead so lets go.
>>
No. 828572 ID: 015058

That sounds like a good plan.

But we need to prepare in case there is a necromancer down there.

Say we run into a room following this trail and find a necromancer and a bunch of undead. It would take some time to cut down the undead to take out the necromancer. And he could use that time to call in undead from behind us. Next thing you know we are surrounded.

So we go in quietly and carefully. Blocking side doors if we can and making sure we can not get flanked or cut off from a retreat.

As for the undead themselves. We target joints instead of center mass or the head. Got to put them down so they can not stand back up.
>>
No. 828608 ID: bfb318
File 150481513439.png - (32.45KB , 800x800 , 864.png )
828608

"I would like to investigate where the mana is going, but if it's taking too long, or it seems like we're walking into a trap with a necromancer's minions, we leave."

Dinner is not at a specific time. If we go back late, we'll eat late. At worst, we'll just have colder food.

There aren't any side doors we can block, but the signs that undead have been here are from long time ago. We run into one, but it's unresponsive to any inquiries. We kill it, and Firzel is able to get an updated direction.

We end up going down a steep staircase, but it stays within the same tomb complex. Shortly after landing on the next floor, we stop.

Aira's torch flame is getting sucked into the hall. It's subtle, and we don't notice a breeze. The only reason why we noticed it is that the torchlight quickly disappears at a specific spot. Past that is pure darkness, except for a speck of light in the darkness. I shift left and right, and it moves with my vision, making it appear far away.

>"This." Firzel whispers. "This is the kind of nonsense I was expecting."
>>
No. 828611 ID: b88e47

Nope. Fuck this.

We are not walking into this obvious murder zone. We report back that we found an anomaly that eats visible light. This is wizard shit.
>>
No. 828616 ID: 094652

Is that a mirror? Shoot an arrow with a blunt tip, see what happens.
>>
No. 828618 ID: dfe9ac

>>828608
If you have any spare strips of cloth or sticks, light one on fire and toss it over the borderline. Do NOT cross the line.
If nothing obvious happens, go back and report it.
If something obvious happens, go back and report it.
Just do not enter the death place without knowing what it does.
>>
No. 828619 ID: 3ce125

>>828616
Oh that's a decent idea, we can poke at the trap to see what happens. Toss a rock into the darkness. See if it even makes a sound or if the darkness consumes it. Also poke it with a stick.

After some basic information gathering we can go back and report what we found. Get some orders from people more experienced with necromantic bullshit.
>>
No. 828625 ID: 6a1665

Check if it's dangerous by putting a stick inside.
>>
No. 828631 ID: fe7355

>>828611
Agreed. This is obvious magic bullshit that is above Fen and company's pay grade and capability to deal with. Nope the fuck out and report it, because for all they know that mana sucking was intentional to lead into a trap.
>>
No. 828634 ID: e36c7f

I agree with reporting this, but there'll be an expectation of some meat to any such report. Establish if it's moving, growing, fading or so on. Stuff a piece of cloth in a crack in the wall to see if the black area moves, that sort of thing. Anything else you can think of to get information.

Maybe even split up and send two people back to report while another two stay to keep an eye on it? That looks like a spiral staircase so it'll be pretty defensible.
>>
No. 828635 ID: 91ee5f

>>828618
This!
>>
No. 828673 ID: 22d3a4

Does this remind you of the warp or whatever it was called?
>>
No. 828684 ID: 015058

Learn as much as you can about this area so you have a detailed report to bring back to base.

Test out the extent of the magical darkness but very very carefully. Then retreat to base to let people know what you discovered.

Also assume that any poking you do will alert the creator of this darkness to your discovery of it.
>>
No. 828687 ID: 27762f

This is wizard shit, send two people to get a wizard and leave the other two to keep an eye on it. Don't touch it until you have a wizard.
>>
No. 828690 ID: 91ee5f

>>828687
Don't split up the group! Bad things usually happen immediately after splitting up!
>>
No. 828717 ID: f66698

of course we aren't going to turn tail and run. We also aren't going to rush in.


Deploy a torch each, toss a stone into the darkness, and then advance forward keeping an eye to how much illumination you have. Swords out of course, there's no telling what's hiding in the darkness.
>>
No. 828729 ID: bfb318
File 150482937857.png - (21.54KB , 800x800 , 865.png )
828729

It reminds me of the black wall while teleporting, but I never got this close while teleporting. It's just darkness, and the reason could be much different.

"I am not going to enter this hallway."
>"Yeah, nah." Valsano says.
>"We should at least test this border so we have something to report other than what we see." adds Firzel.
>"I agree." says Aira.
"... fine." I have hesitation, but I would be going against the group to fully deny anything, so I let them continue. "I want to throw something at that speck."
>"Here, I got a rock." says Valsano, stepping forward and throwing one far into the tunnel. We lose sight of it immediately. After a couple of seconds, we think we hear it land. It's extremely faint, and like the sound passed through water. It didn't sound right.
>"Firzel," Aira says, "light a second torch. This one is running low, anyway."
>>
No. 828730 ID: bfb318
File 150482938662.png - (18.78KB , 800x800 , 866.png )
828730

Aira waits for the second torch to get going before she steps forward and tosses it in gently. The light does illuminate its surroundings slightly, but still much less than it should. It's also fading quickly.
>>
No. 828731 ID: bfb318
File 150482939837.png - (23.41KB , 800x800 , 867.png )
828731

>>
No. 828732 ID: bfb318
File 150482940666.png - (14.92KB , 800x800 , 868.png )
828732

>>
No. 828733 ID: a363ac

>>828732
alright lets get the fuck otta here!
>>
No. 828735 ID: 015058

Can you still hear the torch burning?

Mostly want to figure out if this is just magical darkness or something way worse.
>>
No. 828737 ID: 22d3a4

That's enough experimentation for one day I say.
>>
No. 828739 ID: b88e47

Fuck that. It eats light. We are not going in there. Use something to write or indicate that further ahead is dangerous then head back and report findings and kills.
>>
No. 828740 ID: 830fb7

You really stand out with that green cloak amongst people wearing red and brown
>>
No. 828741 ID: 91ee5f

Whatever's going on in there prevents light from illuminating the darkness.
>>
No. 828742 ID: 3abd97

Even if the suppression of light, or fire, is the only effect, that will be frustrating to deal with.
>>
No. 828745 ID: 34fa40

Yeah, go back and report this, maybe they'll send a cave kobold to check it out. Even if you do go in you'll be blind.
>>
No. 828746 ID: e36c7f

Right, stuff a bit of cloth into a crack in the wall or something so you'll know for sure this is where you were (maybe do something similar at the top of the stairs?) and go report.

Just to be sure, that was the torch that was running low that got tossed, right? The new one you started, you kept?
>>
No. 828747 ID: e36c7f

Oh, if you had a long object you could poke in and pull out again, it might leave some sort of magical residue on it for the wizard to get a sense of?
>>
No. 828758 ID: aa9427

>>828731
That speck of light in the distance is gone
Get the fuck out of there, Fen
>>
No. 828759 ID: f66698

We have to make a name for ourselves, so I say testing isn't done here. Fen should light a torch of his own and then push his hand into the total darkness.

How many torches do we have? If we had a decent quantity of torches, maybe we could get just a few feet of visibility and use that to push forward. That's assuming you don't feel the life sucked out of you or like your freezing to death after you touch the clearly magically enchanted area.

Also, can you sense... anything magical in your immediate vicinity?
>>
No. 828760 ID: 3ce125

Alright let's get out of here.
>>
No. 828763 ID: bb78f2

Ok, cool, lets cast a magic missile at this darkness later.
>>
No. 828770 ID: a9a6d9

>>828732
While I'm all for taking risks for fame and victory, those risks should have an immediate end goal outside of those two things. Going into the dark tunnel of almost certain death does not have an end goal AT ALL.
Just mark down its location for later and report it to see if somebody else has ran into something similar.
>>
No. 828858 ID: 69fef8

>>828732
cool, well you get to report back with kills and info now.
That looks like a problem that might need a wizard to fix, be sure to take note of the exact path taken to get here.
>>
No. 828869 ID: 1e7aa8

Make sure to have someone watching the rear while we leave this creepy magic area.
>>
No. 828920 ID: bfb318
File 150489612767.png - (18.87KB , 800x800 , 869.png )
828920

The dark zone didn't just keep light from going far. It ate the flame, as we can't hear it burn anymore. I can sense magic, so it must be a wizard that has set this up.

"Alright, let's go." I hardly need to say it, as none of us want to be here any more. Firzel leads us back, and quickens the pace away.

It's not hard for us to watch our backs. Aira is designated as our rear guard, but Valsano frequently swings his head around in every direction. The newly lit torch only reaches so far, and the black depths of the tomb seem to surround us more. We relax, more, once we cross paths with scouts. We shout 'oy' to each other. I'm not sure when the trend started, but it caught on, and that's what we yell now to show we're living beings.

There is a small line to get back into a newly barricaded camp, though it's the size of a town. We're briefly inspected before we're allowed in.
>>
No. 828921 ID: bfb318
File 150489617303.png - (34.32KB , 800x800 , 870.png )
828921

The camp is nearly unrecognizeable. So many supplies have came in, that many rough structures have come up. Much of the camp is already asleep, but there are still a lot of campfires dotting the area. We silently make our way back to our spot. A tent is set up, but more conspicuously is countertop at the back of a wall. Holly is here, selling drinks to people. It's not too surprising, apparently Erja Nokol is the most effective region at creating fast structures, though not that sturdy. Even caves are no problem. Apparently the land is porous in some ways, and air floats freely through. Even a sealed tomb will still have air, if local materials are used to seal it.

>"Hey, welcome back!" she calls us over.
>"What's with the shop?" Valsano asks.
>"May as well make some money while we're here, right? Always kind of dreamed of running a tavern. I mentioned it was a pipe dream of mine to Orjin in passing, and he started yelling at me to start doing it, so here I am. It's just a counter, but maybe it'll be a real place once we pick up and move down to the necromile. The word is that that is going to be a good place to set up a more permanent camp, since it looks like it isn't too dangerous at the top. Anyways, drinks for you guys are free, for those that want them." Holly says, knowing that Aira, myself, and Firzel don't drink.
>"I'll have a drink." says Aira.
"You drink, now?"
>"Just now. Holly, give me something that warms the body, because that's what I need."
>"Sure. It's cold down here once you get away from all the campfires, isn't it?"
>"It's not that." Aira continues. "There's a weird area that blocked light. I tossed a torch in, and when I did, my arm got chilled. It's better, now, but something about it still makes me shiver. Where's Orjin?"
>"Talking in the tent." says Holly. "Bolk's team got back a little while ago. Apparently Mowbow found an emblem in a zombie's stomach. It turned out to be a wiped party that went missing after running into one of those weird areas you just mentioned. Orjin's busy right now trying to get the details out of them. Any drinks for the rest of you?"
>"Ale please." says Firzel.
>"Sure. You cold, too?" asks Holly.
>"... not cold, but the same area got to me. Something creeped me out, like we were being watched."
>"Yeah, give me a beer." says Valsano. "No justification, here. I just want a beer. You getting customers who don't mind one-legged drinks?"
>"Yup." Holly explains. Valsano has given her a verbally hard time about her leg, but he's been oddly defensive of her when an outsider points it out. "Some people don't like it, but Orjin's nearly bit their head off if they so much as point it out. Want anything, Fen?"
"I'll pass, thank you. People are aware of those dark areas?"
>"Yeah. They're not always dark, but they're not normal. Discovered ones are being put on bulletin boards around camp, so you can probably find yours on there and what's known about it. Did any of you actually go in?"
"No, it looked like a deathtrap."
>"Yeah, heh, if you went in past 10 feet, you'd be the first ones that did so and came back out to talk about it. Those zones are apparently the main threat, not the zombies that wander around freely. You know what would've been nice? If you were all told this before getting rushed off to scout first. All of you must have ran far, because for awhile, scouts were being sent out just to pull you guys back so you could be told what was going on. You should've been here, though. Zall completely lost his temper. He had to have his escort pull him back so that he didn't get into a fistfight with the previous general! He's going to have scouts probe those anomalies down in the lower tombs, then start sending in volunteer parties to see about learning how to clear them out, since apparently the source is something tangible at the center of each."

She lowers her voice to a whisper.

>"Most people know they're deathtraps. There might not be enough volunteers, and people around here are going to be 'volunteered', or at least draw lots to see who has to go. There will be wizards to help, but apparently no wizards we have are fully capable of nullifying the magical elements of these places. If you guys think it's that bad, you'd better make yourselves scarce in the morning."
>>
No. 828923 ID: a363ac

>>828921
If we actually have a wizard with some knowledge we can probably take out a zone. Go ahead and volunteer Fen.
>>
No. 828926 ID: 26c0a3

>>828921
Ask if anyone else wants to go in with you.
>>
No. 828930 ID: 486e87

Mention that mana coming from the slain zombies were going into the darkness areas.
>>
No. 828932 ID: 7b6617

>>828921
Let's check on the maps how big the zones are before making a decision.
>>
No. 828933 ID: 91ee5f

>>828921
Mention that there was a speck of light in the darkness. Maybe that is the source? Any skilled archers could probably shoot it if necessary.

Also mention that the undead your team ran into were attracted to a body you were burning and they pretty much threw themselves on the flames and smiled because they complained of being cold.

>Apparently Mowbow found an emblem in a zombie's stomach. It turned out to be a wiped party that went missing after running into one of those weird areas you just mentioned.
The undead ate the missing party?

So any undead in the dark areas are hostile, while the ones we've seen wandering around are harmless? That's odd.

>Volunteer or "volunteer"?
>If you guys think it's that bad, you'd better make yourselves scarce in the morning.
Well, maybe we can volunteer Fen? I'm not sure.

But if we do have Fen volunteer and no one else wants to come along with him, then don't try to force them to tag along with him. He'll just be put in another team with a wizard.

>>828930
This.
>>
No. 828935 ID: 015058

Give Holly the run down about what you discovered. How the energy or souls of slain undead appears to be drawn back into those areas.

Then track down your boss and make your report. As for volunteers to search one of those things that might be a impressive feather in your cap. Assuming they are not universally lethal.

I bet at the center of one of those is a necromatic focus the bad guys are using to extract and control the energy they need. And without some sort of protection from the power drain its probably fairly deadly.
>>
No. 828937 ID: e36c7f

I don't know about volunteering for this. If there are several of these areas, then they're probably made by some planted artifact rather than necromancers. They could be made by some special undead with the spell on them, but in that case they would move.

In other words, this job amounts to magical hazardous waste disposal. It's a ton of risk for not really any glory, and Fen, being someone who wants to build rep and climb ranks quick, should find something that lets him show off a bit more, and besides that, let this be handled by non-barbarians, who probably know just a little bit more about magic in general just by casual exposure to gossip about wizards, which he lacks. Every little could help.

Wake up early in the morning and go find some perilous combat job to do instead.

Anything else we should have been told and weren't?
>>
No. 828938 ID: 3ce125

The zombies in the dark zones might not be any more aggressive than the ones we fought. It's more likely that just being in the dark zone drains your life, and the zombies eat the victims once they're dead or paralyzed. The right method for clearing an anomaly might be to rush straight in to get at the source before you die to the life drain.
>>
No. 828939 ID: 7b6617

>>828938
Pretty much my idea too. Which is why the size of the anomalies is important.
>>
No. 828947 ID: a363ac

>>828921
also ask about keeping trophies from the undead like a broken horn.
>>
No. 828951 ID: 830657

I say volunteer, for Fen only.
>>
No. 828953 ID: 21fd99

>>828921
We could check it out ourselves. We being Fen, that is.
If these zones make people cold, and the zombies are searching for warmth, could it be that all the undead are actually byproducts of whatever these zones do? Like, it takes away the warmth of living, but doesn't kill its victims.
Question, have any of the zones moved or spread? Cause if they do, then the zombies might spread out to areas of warmth for the zones to move to.
>>
No. 828957 ID: 21fd99

>>828921
I think the only way to know what exactly these zones can do and what we can do to them is to tie some poor shmuck to a long rope and have them walk forward, with the rest of the team ready to pull them back out at a moment's notice.
Making a suicide run for the point of light (if anybody else has seen one) would be the job for the second shmuck. Most likely us.
This is all depending on wither or not anybody knows what exactly kills people in the zones. And this suggestion is for the point that it is still a mystery.
>>
No. 828958 ID: bb78f2

>>828921
I think if we can snipe the light in the center, we should be able to clear a zone. We just need a method to hit it with.

Honestly, probably a mix of slingshot and a gunpowder pellet might do it. With a little extra momentum boost from a wizard, we could nail it.

It's obvious you can't go in without a method to fight the darkness. IF it snuffs out fire, it'll take some experimentation to figure out what light won't repel it. I bet that's the key. Judging from the watery sound, the darkness could be enchanted with water to fight fire, so we need like... glowsticks or electricity or something. Whatever people use to light dark waters.
>>
No. 828959 ID: 3abd97

I don't mind facing down danger, but I would much prefer it be a danger I can fight. There's less you can do about an environmental hazard. Especially magic.

>forcing people into the magic traps
Well, that seems the wrong strategy. We can't afford to solve problems by spending bodies recklessly. We're going to have to re-kill every soldier who gets cut down and zombified by rushing into magic traps.

Can we bypass the blacked out areas? We're digging down through sealed hatches and setting up stairs already, can't we just drop stairs to go around these things?

...or better yet, if the wizards can sense the "source" in the middle of the darkness, we come at it by breaking in from the floor above.
>>
No. 828960 ID: 91ee5f

>>828958
>Honestly, probably a mix of slingshot and a gunpowder pellet might do it.
A bow and an arrow are going to be more accurate than a slingshot and pellet.
>>
No. 828965 ID: 7b6617

We're not going down there without a wizard anyway. A wizard escort group sounds doable enough.
>>
No. 828994 ID: 69fef8

>>828921
>mention light in darkness
yeah that little dot might be worth following up on, as the only thing visible thing in a light-eating area it's notable.
>>
No. 829004 ID: 830fb7

Ask about getting a bow with special arrows you could use it against the source of the disturbance from outside the affected area. If you get the right type of arrows you could destroy the source effectively disabling the field of its effects.
>>
No. 829005 ID: 3ce125

Fen already has a bow.
>>
No. 829036 ID: a633c6

I'd recommend against volunteering. If you draw the short straw there's nothing to do, but clearing out multiple zones sounds like a good way to get hypothermia or some kind of lung disease.
>>
No. 829221 ID: bfb318
File 150498109261.png - (29.30KB , 800x800 , 871.png )
829221

"About Mowbow's find... does that mean that the undead ate the wiped party?"
>"Honestly, I'm not sure, but it sounded more like the undead was the wiped party. If so, then usually they would be stripped of valuable gear and emblems before being revived as zombies, but this person ate their emblem before dying." Holly explains.
"How big are these anomalies?"
>"There's no hard amount, you can check them out on the bulletin board. I hear the first one the old guard took care of took up an entire tomb. Which one did you guys get to?"

We start to tell her about the white speck and more details, but she stops us.

>"Which floor was this one?"
>"It was down a flight of stairs." says Firzel. "But it was on the same tomb."
>"There's no..." Holly turns her head to the tent. "Orjin! Fen's group found a new anomaly!"

Despite being busy, Orjin comes out violently enough to make the entire tent shudder.

"Talk to me! Go! Holly, write everything down!"

We explain in more detail, but Orjin covers questions and details we hadn't thought of. Things like if the walls outside of the zone were crawling, if we saw any small animals, or other things that sound either irrelevant or random. At some point, Valsano shows Orjin the horns he's collected. Orjin says he doesn't care about trophies from harmless zombies, but us finding a new anomaly is much bigger news.

"Sounds like a pain in the ass like the rest of them sound."
"I may be willing to volunteer, but I want it to be a danger I can fight."
>"I'll follow, if you do." Aira says.
"Yeah, sure, if the wizards do their jobs. Hell, you might just need some precautions. Like your white speck? We'll wrap up a scout in a nice blanket, give him a glowrock that doesn't give off heat, and see if that works. We'll sent in scouts till they can go in more than 10 feet without falling over before you so much as swing a sword. Then we send in some people are aren't shit."
"And if they die?"
"Do I look like a grand knight to you? I don't know the plan."
"If we can see the source, why don't we just shoot it with a bow and arrow or other projectile? Or drop in from a floor above? Or just bypass them altogether?"
"If that actually worked and the veterans here never thought of it, we'll never stop laughing at them! We'll be pointing and jeering at them all the way down the tower and then all the way back up! Not like many of 'em are alive, what with their solving anomalies by throwing people inside until it goes away."
"That sounds like the wrong strategy."
"I'd tell you you're a damn genius, but since the old guys didn't know that, you might not catch my sarcasm! Zall's willing to throw in a handful of people that are going to die, because it's a drop in the bucket compared to how many died before. Hear the rumors about what the mortality rate is for people who get close to an anomaly's source? Because they're true."
"I haven't heard."
"All of them. Not a single person that has gotten closer to an anomaly's source than the anomaly's edge has ever lived. Or maybe they have, we don't know, because no bodies that got that close have been found. If your anomaly is anything like the others, then it probably has some deadly shit inside, because it takes more than a chilly atmosphere and bad visibility to kill that many people, that fast! After enough people die in an anomaly, it just picks up and leaves. As far as Zall is concerned, the intelligent things down here have just been putting their little pet projects of inhospitable environments to the test, and picking off scouts that straggle or wander too far. Our enemies haven't even seriously fought us in a proper fight! And they don't need to, because these fuckers," Orjin says, waving to the rest of the camp, "have been feeding them freely for weeks. I'm going to report this white speck anomaly to Zall. I'll have your scouting bounty for you tomorrow morning. Go look at the bulletin board."
"Is there anything else we should be told, and haven't been?"
"Yeah, and because of these incompetent bastards, we barely even know what's true and what's not. I felt more knowledgeable back when I knew nothing!"

He starts to leave, then turns back.

"You idiots can't sense magic well enough to dodge punches with your eyes shut, can you?" he asks, in a tone so conversational for him that I might not have recognized his voice if I couldn't see him talk.
"That sounds implausible for us to do quickly."
"So are worms trying to eat a bird, but here you dirt fuckers are, wriggling deep into a bird's nest. Work on it. Dodge work if you have to, because you're all going to die down here if you can't see shapes from mana alone."
>>
No. 829223 ID: bfb318
File 150498124983.png - (14.30KB , 800x800 , 872.png )
829223

Orjin leaves us. My interest in volunteering is mixed. My teammates start wandering, and after some rest, Aira and I find one of the bulletin boards. By the time we got to it, they've already added our entry, and it looks like they've already gotten to the top of the necromile.

1. Black Trunk. Source is an unknown target at the tip of a tree that's grown off the side of the tomb, through dirt. The zone is inside of the trunk, at approximately 25' in diameter and 60' in height with an apparent entrance at the base of the trunk. It is consumed by dense vegetation, typically in the form of vines and moss. Fire has proven ineffective. Mining is difficult, but possible and may be used if casualties are too high. Dangers include sinking moss, poison clouds, possible carnivorous plants. This anomaly currently does not interrupt missions, but ignoring it may leave it to curve back into top levels of the mausoleum or out of the ground entirely, potential exposing our flanks or the surface. This is linked to the benign plants surrounding it.

2. False Space. Source is an unconfirmed, small living creature. The zone is the south middle of Maul's tomb. The area appears normal, but illusory effects occur here. Dangers: partial blindness. Both allies and enemies may appear invisible or as something else. This anomaly's source seeks food, and can be lured with some success away from camp, but it is slow moving and unpredictable. This area is linked to the blind zombies in the same tomb.

3. Sinkhole. Source: Unknown; possibly not an anomaly. It is a 35 foot diameter hole located on the outer rim of Fovnk's Tomb. The pit's walls have dropped any pegs, torches, or steps implanted into it. No undead seen in or around location. It is uncertain that the undead use this as a travel route. Bottom unseen - assumed to continue to drop down. Guard post under construction.

4. Exploration. Anomalies must be dealt with, but Grand Knight Zall has approved further delving until further notice. Note: Too many deep delvers in the past have led to wide range anomalies blocking off return routes. Low numbers of scouts that wander far away have gone missing, despite going to floors that would be later discovered to be harmless. Only the operating level minus 2 (Fovnk's) and above are considered safe, outside of anomalies.

4a. Necromile Seal. Not an anomaly. Mithril Aourga left the necromile to sink approximately 30 feet through the dirt before building his tomb over it. Scouts have begun to dug through it, but have reported a tar layer has blocked digging progress. Investigation is pending on if the lake can be drained. No current entrance known for the necromile. Note that many scouts within Aourga's tomb have been reported missing as of tonight.

5. White Speck. Verification pending. Source: Unknown source, likely made of of white light. This zone is at the northwest section of the operating level tomb (Pon's), with the space identified as a field that consumes fire and heat. This is linked to the warmth zombies. Attempts to break into this level above or below will most likely cause a leak and a reorientation of the zone's effects.

Bounties:
Reporting a new anomaly will earn 20 silver upon verification.
Finding a useable way into the necromile will earn 20 silver.
The first scout(s) who get 10 feet beyond visibility in an anomaly receive 20 silver upon their return.
Any scout that gives correct information to a truth wizard will receive between 10 and 50 silver depending on usefulness.
The first team that successfully clears any anomaly and survives will receive 200 gold pieces split within their team. Future successful clears will be decided later.
Those who have willingly volunteered and die during organized expeditions in an anomaly will receive 4 weeks of their wages upon their death, delivered to their person of choice.
>>
No. 829228 ID: 26c0a3

>>829223
They're having problems with a sinkhole? Why haven't they tried dropping a rope ladder down it by securing it on the floor?
>>
No. 829230 ID: 26c0a3
File 150498298569.png - (26.87KB , 800x600 , rope ladder.png )
829230

>>829228
Easiest solution ever.
>>
No. 829234 ID: 3abd97

>work on dodging punches with your eyes shut
Looks like Fen can add blindfolded samurai training to his routine. I'm sure you can convince your pals to take some swings at you, or throw some stuff at you.

>the brass has been throwing bodies at the anomalies, giving the enemy more corpses for necromancy, and the chance to experiment with magic traps safely
That's incompetence bordering on treason. Someone up the chain of command really deserves to die.

>missions
Plant one seems the most straightforward in terms of an enemy to fight, but it's also a good way to waste our one dose of universal antidote if everything in there uses poison.

Illusions sounds terrible. We're paranoid enough without the squad killing each other, thank you very much.

Sinkhole sounds like a problem for engineers, not soldiers, and climbing down (and trying to fight?) in an endless vertical shaft is terrible.

White speck sounds sort of the least terrible. I'd rather deal with the dark and cold than illusions.

Honestly, I feel like we'd be better off doing exploration or looking for a way through the seal than fighting either anomaly. Or trying to sneak as much training time as possible, so we're prepared to take the anomalies on better when we eventually have to.

>>829228
>>829230
They probably don't have a rope ladder long enough for that, if the pit goes down further than they can see, even when dropping a torch down it.
>>
No. 829235 ID: e36c7f

It sounds like there's a class of scouts who are considered more disposable than we are? I have to wonder who those poor schmucks are. Convicted criminals or something? We should know, just in case we have to interact with them later. On the subject of who's down here, I also wanted to ask: are the civilians who come down to the safe areas for business and such also quarantined, or can they enter and leave freely?

Anyway, I'd recommend going to Black Trunk, because Fen lived in a partly magical forest and may have some applicable skills to a place filled with plants.

I'd suggest White Speck on the simple basis of continuing what you started, but I think I might have noticed something: were any of the warmth zombies field kobolds? I don't think they were. In fact, they looked to be mostly draconics, with that one half-draconic half-oceanic. Maybe there's something to that? But, Fen is draconic himself, so it's not very applicable to him. He should mention it, but he probably can't follow up on it.
>>
No. 829236 ID: 26c0a3

>>829234
>Rope ladder isn't long enough
They can easily make it longer. They can also attach glowstone lanterns to the ladder, so darkness isn't an issue.
>>
No. 829237 ID: 91ee5f

>>829221
>"You idiots can't sense magic well enough to dodge punches with your eyes shut, can you?"
From the way he talks about it, I think it's safe to assume that he can easily do it!

>Work on it. Dodge work if you have to, because you're all going to die down here if you can't see shapes from mana alone.
I think we'd better listen to his advice and start training to do that! In a place like this, having a skill like that will be useful!

>>829223
>Reporting a new anomaly will earn 20 silver upon verification.
So that's what Sir Orjin meant by scouting bounty. Looks like your group has earned 20 silver!

>>829228
>>829230
That's not a good idea. The ground around the hole is fragile and could collapse when someone tries to hammer in the supports for the rope to connect to. And if the ground collapses, that'll just make the hole bigger.

>>829234
>That's incompetence bordering on treason. Someone up the chain of command really deserves to die.
Yes, but let's make sure we don't say that out loud. You never know who's gonna snitch on you.
>>
No. 829238 ID: 3abd97

>>829236
There's also going to be the problem if we can't anchor it to the walls as we go, there will only be a single anchor site at the top.

So if the ladder fails anywhere (attacked by climbing zombies, or flying monsters, or a simple tear, or a knot failing) everyone below that point falls to their deaths.

You'd also have to send small groups down, separately, since the supports can only support so much weight, and the super-long ladder is going to contribute a lot of weight in and of itself.
>>
No. 829239 ID: 91ee5f

>>829238
>There's also going to be the problem if we can't anchor it to the walls as we go, there will only be a single anchor site at the top.
Let's not forget how much the ladder is going to be swinging all over the place.

Sure, you can say you'll be able to hold on, but if you get swung around and end up hitting your head hard enough, you'll get knocked out and fall to death!
>>
No. 829240 ID: 3ce125

Mana sense seems like it would be incredibly useful for entering the False Zone and White Speck anomalies. False Zone especially, since the "small creature" is definitely an illusion. It's probably some huge beast. Start training that immediately.

...I wonder how fast the White Speck would put out burning tar or oil. Maybe send someone with tar-soaked rags wrapped around their armor and set them on fire so they can reach the anomaly before freezing to death?
Hmm, for the Trunk you'd probably want to put down planks or similar things to avoid sinking moss, and breathe through air bladders for short distances or a breathing tube with pumped in air from outside the anomaly. Or heck if there's some sort of magical scuba equipment that'd be the best option. If the poison clouds are visible and move around then bladders might be enough. Unless it's contact poison in which case nevermind don't even think about going in there.
False Zone could be dealt with by setting up a fortified chokepoint then luring the source there with food, destroying any threats that enter the chokepoint via mana sense. Anyone that attempts to help that doesn't have good enough mana sense would just be a friendly fire risk.

Anyway let's deal with something more mundane while training up mana sense. Head towards the Sinkhole to help with the guard post.
>>
No. 829242 ID: e36c7f

You could throw down a full-on net instead of a simple rope ladder.

Fen, I forgot to say: practice your blindfighting like Orjin suggests. Maybe take a swing at more unarmed fighting as well, at the same time, particularly evading/escaping unarmed strikes and grapples. I'm sure there's someone around who can tutor you in classical-era oiled-up naked wrestling, and doing it blindfolded will help you with the mana sensing.

In fact, given that this is a military camp, full of stressed soldiers who'll be craving a distraction from the undead horrors, I'll bet someone already has or soon will set up some betting on various "practice" fights. People put more effort in when there's something to win, and people might give a little something just to watch. Maybe you could even consider it yourself. Might as well turn a little profit from the training you're going to do anyway, hey? You'll need money to buy heat supplies for yourself and your team; I expect the market prices will be high down here. It'll raise morale, too, and physical activity will keep you warm. Think about it. You could even suggest it to Orjin! Not the betting and payment aspects but, you know, the rest.
>>
No. 829243 ID: 21fd99

>>829223
Does anybody have a map of the anomalies? Or in what order they were discovered? Cause I have a bit of an idea to compare the anomalies to their place and time of appearance, the camp sights, the seal, and the white speck we saw.
I would go with 2, since an anomaly as an actual living thing would be rather beneficial to use if we can get it alive. Then we can do the "tie a rope to them" plan with it instead.
>>
No. 829244 ID: e36c7f

>>829242

Maybe mention the possibility to Holly first, she's a businesswoman who knows what soldiers want from their free time and money.
>>
No. 829245 ID: 26c0a3

>>829238
Resources are not an issue. There's room to place at least a dozen ladders. If the ladder swings, put weights at the bottom. If the ground is unstable at the edge of the sinkhole, put the anchors farther back. If the rope is too weak, reinforce it. All of these problems are easily solved.
>>
No. 829246 ID: a633c6

We S.T.A.L.K.E.R. now. Quickly, get your green hood to channel your inner Strelok and gain wisdom of The Zone.

I say try and kill the False Space. Bait it somewhere specific with food, kill it at range or with a trap- just like you're back home hunting for food, except you've eaten the wrong kind of mushrooms. I'd recommend using explosives to get the job done but I'm willing to bet you'll have to make do instead. If you're worried about illusions resulting in blue-on-blue, equip everyone with sturdy helmets and agree to only slay undead through overhead strikes to the dome piece. No matter what you do, I recommend honing your magic sense first.

Make a mental note that Aourga, slayer of the undead will probably show up sooner or later for all your glory hounding needs.

>>>829240
I actually was going to recommend setting yourself on fire to resist the speck's effects, but looking back I think this suggestion might already be a little out there.
>>
No. 829248 ID: 3ce125

Oh, another possibility for the False Zone is leaving poisoned food for the creature to eat. Or boobytrapped food.
>>
No. 829250 ID: 015058

You should practice mana sense fighting with your group during any spare moments. Blindfold one person and have another attack them unarmed in very slow fashion. So would basically be having Aira lightly slapping at random parts of your body while you tried to sense where her slaps would come from. Each of you could pair up and practice this during free time until you got it down. Once you do pick it up tell the others any tricks you learned.

And you better hurry. You will run out of light down here at some point. So being able to sense your surroundings at all times will save your lives.


As for the anomalies it does appear that they are a grab bad of wizard experiments that have been let loose. Someone mutated a plant here and experimented on a lab rat there.

I would spend awhile training your sensing and then go for the illusion beast. Everyone blindfold up so they can avoid getting distracted and then sense your way to it. Then put it in a cage and drop it off with a wizard for a bonus.
>>
No. 829251 ID: 78a3e5

1. Maybe you could try to infect it with a plant disease to kill it?

2. Presumably you should be able to catch it and kill it, especially if it's slow-moving

3.You could explore it, but yeah, it seems like you would need to have the ladder held up by people or fastened a bit away from the sinkhole.

5. There are probably a few ways to investigate this one that you can do without entering it. Shoot the white light somehow, try to overload the anomaly by setting off an explosion or really big fire (which you would have to check the stability so you don't cause a cave-in, or set a big fire just outside to try and lure out all the zombies before trying to enter it. A fucked up way to check is to maybe set a small animal on fire and send them in, so you can see what happens to it as it runs inside however far.
>>
No. 829252 ID: 78a3e5

>>829251
Also for the plant you could try to choke it by depriving it of carbon dioxide or salting the ground it gets it's nutrients from.
>>
No. 829257 ID: 3cc68c

Some random ideas for dealing with each bounty

1: Check if poisoning or otherwise dealing with something in the surrounding vegetation will affect the anomaly. Removing its source of water or finding a way to burn the area could also be possible.

2: Would have to test things but sending in your team blindfolded with some tasty treats and a few animal trap cages might work well. Treat it like a forest animal you wanted to catch and put baited traps all over. Then check the traps blindfolded relying on your other senses. (unless its a dangerous small animal with lots of teeth)

3: Build a arch over the pit making sure none of the structure gets anywhere close to it. Then use a pully system and rope to lower people or a light down it. Probably test on a animal in a cage first. If you pull its exploded corpse back up then its a bad sign.

4: More scouting would be a good way of finding any other anomalies and practicing your mana senses before taking on something more dangerous. Plus it lets you get the lay of the land down here.

4a: Would be similar to the other scouting but would be tracking where the tunnel through the tar is. Probably has active zombies or worse guarding this area.(tar zombies?)

5: This one seems to absorb or redirect heat. Further tests are needed but could try insulating someone with heavy snow clothes. Building a huge fire outside and trying to overwhelm its draining powers. Or building a forge with blower next to it to try and get the heat hot enough to break it. Either way if you explore this you should have a strong fire outside of it so you can warm up quickly. Could possibly experiment with the zombies themselves as well. Shove one into the field and see what happens.


Also maybe you could use some anomalies against each other? Like #2 if capture could maybe be thrown into another area to confuse the stuff in there. Or say if area 5 has a core maybe you could use it to freeze area 1. Watch for creative uses of things you find.


That 200 gold reward is going to be a strong temptation for your team. You know lots of other teams will be trying for it as well. So go for it if you can put together a good plan. But don't take stupid risks.
>>
No. 829259 ID: 91ee5f

>>829245
You seem to think that no one has already thought of that. If it were that simple, it would've already been done.

It's on the bulletin board for a reason, so it might not just be a normal hole in the ground.

For all we know, it might actually be another anomaly that eats light and fire, like the anomaly that Fen's group ran into, only now it's in a hole instead of a hallway. Meaning climbing into the hole is going to have the same problems as walking into one of the dark areas.
>>
No. 829260 ID: 91ee5f

>>829257
>burn the area could also be possible.
It was already mentioned on the bulletin board that, "Fire has proven ineffective."
>>
No. 829263 ID: 26c0a3

>>829259
I do believe that nobody thought of that. Sir Orjin just told us that the previous strategy for removing anomalies was feeding them and hoping they go away. The board says that stuff falls out of the walls of the sinkhole, which implies that they've only tried scaling downwards without securing ropes on anchors in the floor.
>>
No. 829267 ID: e36c7f

>>829257
>>829260

RE: the tree area. If the tree is alive, and has typical tree anatomy, and apparently the bottom of the trunk is reachable, then you can kill the tree by stripping the bark and underbark in a circle around the base of the tree. That'll destroy the vascular tissues and the tree will die, or at least not be able to grow any further above that point. Even if you can't reach the whole trunk, cutting what you can will stunt the tree's growth in that direction.

It could be some sort of magic zombie tree, but a common feature of all undead is that they don't grow, so it should be some sort of evil but living plant and therefore need its tree organs.
>>
No. 829270 ID: 21fd99

>>829223
I say the false space would be useful if we can find a way to use it/nullify it.
>>
No. 829301 ID: 015058

Wait I have seen this puzzle before!

So the creature creating the illusions will turn out to be a beaver. We catch it and bring it to the tree. The beaver knocks the tree down and gets crushed by the falling trunk.

Then we find a angry parrot stuck under the top of the tree. We free it and take it down to the dark hallway. We throw it in and its power to make things grow blows up the darkness and it in the process.

Then we just need to haul the tree trunk downstairs and use it to plug up the hole!
>>
No. 829305 ID: 91ee5f

>>829301
Kome, is that you?
>>
No. 829314 ID: 21fd99

>>829301
That advice was so nonsensical that I am wanting to follow it just for the CHANCE it is true.
>>
No. 829318 ID: 78a3e5

You might want to go down to the warmth zombies since they are so weak and practice sensing mana with them. One person tries to sense while the other keeps watch and makes sure they don't die accidentally.

That or find something with a lot of mana you can focus on sensing clearly.

Also another way to maybe kill the False Space is by luring it to the tree or the cold place.
>>
No. 829322 ID: 830fb7

>>829223
Find out what the small living creature from section 2 likes to eat or is drawn to, get some and soak it in some of tomato's poison. Hopefully this will kill the source and destroy the field.
>>
No. 829358 ID: 3ce125

>>829322
The poison is most likely denatured by now... but it was originally incredibly potent so maybe it would still do something.
>>
No. 829392 ID: b88e47

Keep scouting for other anomalies and clearing combatants.

We have a party good enough to fight off mild combatants and a tracker and a guy good with directions. We can't solve anomalies. It's mystical magical bullshit.
>>
No. 829399 ID: 15a025

It sounds like exploration is probably our best bet. Let's see what other creepy necromatic magic we can't find?
>>
No. 829416 ID: 3abd97

>>829322
Poison might not work, if the "small living creature" is actually some kind of undead.

Also, I'm reluctant to use up a resource we can't replace. Or to use a poison we're not supposed to have on a target we'd be claiming the kill on.
>>
No. 829471 ID: 7b6617

>>829416
>Also, I'm reluctant to use up a resource we can't replace.
That part isn't a problem: It will use itself up on its own if we don't act fast.
>Or to use a poison we're not supposed to have on a target we'd be claiming the kill on.
Not a problem either: The quill knight saw the poison and was all "OK, but I doubt it will last."
>>
No. 829472 ID: 91ee5f

>>829471
>That part isn't a problem: It will use itself up on its own if we don't act fast.
Actually, the poison came from Tomato, right? And Tomato is from Erja Nokol, which is the same place the tomb we're currently in is located. Doesn't that mean that since the poison is with us in Erja Nokol, it shouldn't be effected by whatever degrades things not in their native land?
>>
No. 829473 ID: 3ce125

>>829472
Ah, you're right. The only time we had for it to rot was before we arrived.
>>
No. 829481 ID: 7b6617

>>829472
Lord Shup said in ITQ that nothing actually counts as being from Erja Nokol.
>>
No. 829496 ID: 27762f

Orjin basically just told you to skip work and practice blind fighting. You've already got something decent on your records by discovering an anomaly, so you and your team can probably just go out "exploring" again and practice somewhere, wandering around occasionally (maybe while walking have two people blindfolded and needing to find where to turn and such by finding the other two?) and then just come back going "oh man we didn't find anything this time guess we used up our luck already for now". So long as it's not blatant and you do something useful from time to time no-one should mind.

I'm not familiar with how disciplining works in your army but traditionally any disciplining is supposed to come from your superior and that's Orjin, so if you're doing what he's told you to do it should be pretty light so long as you don't make anyone mad enough that even higher officers pay attention.
>>
No. 829499 ID: f66698

I agree, Sir Orjin basically told you this is going to save your life, and knowing more about how magic works is only going to be useful anyway.
>>
No. 829500 ID: 91ee5f

>>829499
I agree. Let's listen to Sir Orjin's advice on how to not get killed and do some training so that we can see shapes from mana alone.
>>
No. 829588 ID: bfb318
File 150508455962.png - (37.96KB , 800x800 , 873.png )
829588

After hearing Orjin talk about feeding the necromancers, it makes me wonder if that fistfight Holly mentioned was when Zall started finding out about this.

I consider if there's a pattern for when anomalies show up. White Speck being shown last makes me think the board posts them in order of discovery, but if so, it's odd that exploration is number 4. Perhaps it just wasn't a formal job until after the 3rd site was found. is last. Even then, it may be awhile before an anomaly is discovered, so the discovery order may not be the same order in which the anomalies were formed. A result of posting information as fast as they are is that a lot of information is missing. The sinkhole, especially if it's not an anomaly, doesn't give any convincing reason why they can't drop a ladder down. I'm almost certain they've thought of something so obvious, but if not, then I'm sure they'll try it soon. I ask around, but no one I ask has been around the sinkhole.

Other information is gained while asking. While the assassin's branch of the army is the main force, there is the garrison branch, but also the criminal branch. The latter one is more expendable, with various scouts and other dangerous missions being given at the chance of regaining innocence. Civilians also cannot leave the quarantine either. They're just employees and hired shopkeepers. The truly rich merchants wouldn't come down here themselves. I'm not sure how they ensure that their hired shopkeepers aren't skimming money.

"Aira, I'd like to train my sense of mana first, before any anomalies."
>"That sounds safe." Aira's expression does not change much, but I can tell she's relieved about my decision.
"I can't even sense regular kobolds yet, so it may be best to train on a zombie. I want to go exploring tomorrow, and we can find one then."
>"That would work, if we can find one. Can you sense a lot of kobolds around at once?"
"Yes, but attempting to sort out a single one seems too tough for now."
>"Maybe, but zombies are difficult to find. I think we got a little lucky. We can try to find some while exploring, but if you want to do it tonight, I suggest we go where there's gradually less people, and we find out how many people you need around to sense mana. If it's 10 in 10 feet, go for 9 in 10 feet, or 10 in 12 feet, and so on."
"What if we had practice fights, hand to hand?"
>"That is above our level, Fen. Let's do Orjin's suggestion to punch each other once we can sense punches, because we both want our heads to maintain their shape."
>>
No. 829589 ID: bfb318
File 150508461185.png - (40.80KB , 800x800 , 874.png )
829589

After practicing Aira's suggestion to improve mana sensing around camp, we work our way back to Orjin's tent.

I sit down at Holly's counter to get some food before I sleep, while I try and continue focusing on nearby kobolds. I also consider my poison. Tomato's mana should be included in the poison, acting as a natural anti-rot measure. Still, even as an abomination, he isn't a forest kobold, and his poison will begin to rot after the mana is gone. If I can learn to sense mana, then I'll be able to tell when the poison loses its ability.

"Holly, where are the bodies of the mithril nobles kept?"
>"Presumably in the biggest, most elaborate, most treasure filled room in each tomb, with tomb guards posted there. Get this, though. They're so against desecrating the resting places that they haven't even checked to make sure the bodies are still there!"
"So..."
>"They're probably not there at all, no. There may be a whole party of raised mithril nobles."
"So the tomb guards are protecting... just, treasure?"
>"Probably not even that. Since each tomb was sealed, what was stopping people from digging through a mountain and into a low tomb, mining through the walls, and taking an enormous amount of treasure? There's even rumors that some mithril nobles hired people to do just that. And if the rumors are right, then the tunnels should have been filled back in by now. Oh, by the way, Orjin has me in charge of wages. Here's 4 copper for today. I can also exchange for silver at a slightly better rate than merchants will."

People come and go through Holly's counter. Most of the soldiers don't seem to enjoy merchants trying to sell things in areas where soldiers sleep, so Holly, who runs a business through a soldier's camping spot, seems to have gotten lucky with a good location. I'm sure other soldiers will get the idea now too.

I have talks with a variety of other people, mostly other assassin branch people under other greater knights.

Since I do not plan on going to these anomalies, at least not now, I share some of my ideas with removing them. I also hear ideas about just throwing a lot of glowrocks into the dark zone, and thoroughly clearing plants constantly from the outside in for the tree. Despite that I'm not the only one who has thought of various ideas, it seems like the plan is still to throw people in.

There aren't many people that seem willing to volunteer for what's seen as a suicide mission, but Zall is only willing to sacrifice so many people anyway. The more information that's found out from sacrifices, the higher the number will go up. However, the starting number, the max that will be sacrificed for no gain, will be 10 scouts and 20 soldiers. Lots will be drawn to decide who gets to go, as well as in what order. Depending on how that goes, other options will be explored, which I take it will be the ideas to kill off the sources without having to charge in like a gladiator.
>>
No. 829591 ID: bfb318
File 150508462254.png - (13.00KB , 800x800 , 875.png )
829591

I don't see Sir Orjin again before going to bed, and I wake up early. There are 5 silver pieces dropped in front of me. Apparently Orjin had good faith I would find them. There may not be much of a rush to leave, and it sounds extremely unlikely that I will be forcibly volunteered into an anomaly even if I choose to stay, but since I've decided to go exploring, I should choose my destination.

The main goals are to search for more anomalies, or search for a way into the necropolis. I could also just forego exploration in favor of focusing on meditation to increase my sense of mana.

I may also want to ask for help from at least one ally, but maybe more. Aira has come with me, I think, because of the healing cloth I bought for her. I did it in the hopes that she would be a trustworthy ally, but I don't want her to feel like she owes me her life. Firzel's senses are also what led to us finding the anomaly.
>>
No. 829595 ID: c2051e

I think training with Firzel would be a good idea. We already know Aira is reliable, but I'd like to see how Firzel reacts to danger before shit really hits the fan. I somewhat doubt that training is going to go perfectly smoothly, after all.
>>
No. 829601 ID: 015058

I would ask Aira and Firzel. Make a scouting team of 3 and go searching a random unexplored area.

While out there you can take turns practicing your mana senses and help each other with any tricks you learn.

As for the hand to hand training? It does not have to be actual combat Fen. All you have to do is take turns closing your eyes and then have one of the others slowly try to touch you in a random place. While you focus on trying to figure out where they are trying to touch.
>>
No. 829602 ID: 78a3e5

Ask anyone who will join you to train sensing mana, maybe see if anyone else has better ideas on how to do it or if someone more advanced than you outside your little group is willing to help. If you can boost your senses you'll probably be able to find more anomalies like Firzel did. Either way he's why you found the first one and you would probably need him to reliably find another.

Also is that alternate Springfoot? No, I just checked and Springfoot has ridges for eyebrows. Nevermind.
>>
No. 829605 ID: e36c7f

Well, when you were talking to Aira about training your senses, you were saying "I want to go exploring tomorrow, and we can find one then" and she was reacting "That would work, if we can find one", so I think you've basically already asked her to go. Just ask her if she still wants to. It's to her benefit too, so I don't think you're stepping on her debt to you or anything. Firzel's the one you'll be bothering more, I think, since you're asking for his help at something he's already better than you at.

In any case, I think three is the bare minimum for wandering around in this place. You could still trip over some danger by chance. Check around to see if anyone else from Orjin's squad is already up. Maybe poke them awake for just a moment so they can take their coins and put them away, for anyone else who's had some dropped in front of them.

For the unarmed training, you don't need to start off with full-on fighting. Before advancing to sparring, some martial arts teachers have their students begin with just touching knees and shoulders, pairing them off to try touching those spots while trying to block or dodge being touched in those spots. Sometimes the top of the head is added as a target. It's open-hand, so the most that can happen is you'll get slapped.
>>
No. 829606 ID: b88e47

Meet up with Firzel and Aira and kill more zombies to find more anomalies.

Head to the furthest area from known anomalies and start killing around and see where the mana goes and if it lines up with known anomalies.
>>
No. 829609 ID: 3abd97

>Let's do Orjin's suggestion to punch each other once we can sense punches, because we both want our heads to maintain their shape.
Fen: totally willing to learn by being punched in the head till he gets it.

Aira: work smarter, not harder.

>>829591
>dropped (or placed) coin right in front of you
Damn, Fen. Gotta be better. What if that silver had been an assassin's knife? You can't be sleeping through that kind of thing.

>I may also want to ask for help from at least one ally, but maybe more.
Is there reason to not keep working with the same squad? You guys came up together, and it's a decent number for a real fight, if you find one.

Can we go exploring, and take a break somewhere to train?

>>829602
>Also is that alternate Springfoot?
If you mean the gal at the end of the bar in 2/3, that's Dame Frais. The poofy cheeks are kind of distinctive.
>>
No. 829612 ID: 78a3e5

>>829609
I checked but her head seemed more 'spiky' than 'frilly'. i.e. >>799396

Then I checked >>790776 So I dunno, it might be her.

Either way, you might be able to kill 2 birds with one stone if you go exploring and try to redo what Firzel did, sensing the direction of mana.
>>
No. 829616 ID: 3cc68c

Fen remind me how much of a bounty is on your head? Because if someone can wander over and drop some heavy silver coins next to your face without you noticing? Well I don't think you will be long for this world.

Shape up Mr elite assassin in training.

Get your team of at least Aira and Firzel and anyone else who wants to train/explore. Then spend all day sensing stuff. Maybe you will even get lucky and find something neat out there.
>>
No. 829624 ID: 91ee5f

>>829588
>"That is above our level, Fen. Let's do Orjin's suggestion to punch each other once we can sense punches, because we both want our heads to maintain their shape."
I agree with Aira, you should make sure you can sense shapes with mana before you try punching each other with your eyes closed!

>>829609
>Fen: totally willing to learn by being punched in the head till he gets it.
>Aira: work smarter, not harder.
Wow, that's a pretty accurate translation of that conversation! XD
>>
No. 829628 ID: 91ee5f

>>829616
>Fen remind me how much of a bounty is on your head? Because if someone can wander over and drop some heavy silver coins next to your face without you noticing? Well I don't think you will be long for this world.
Sir Orjin already said he'd kill anyone that tried to claim Fen's bounty. So I think under the threat of Sir Orjin killing them, no one is going o be stupid enough to try and claim Fen's bounty!

However, you're right, Fen should also practice being aware of his surroundings, even while he's asleep! It'll prevent him from getting killed in his sleep when he's out of the army.
>>
No. 829631 ID: e36c7f

>>829616

I wouldn't put it past Orjin to have put the coins there that way just to teach a lesson about sleeping too heavily to anyone who gets theirs stolen.

You could train yourself to sleep lightly by having a friend/friends randomly try sneak up on you and smack you in the head while you're asleep, but then you'd need friends who aren't sleeping at the same time as you. I think that sort of thing is done to train a general sense of constant awareness of danger, as well, if you spread random smacks to possibly any time. Speaking of, is everyone down here still working on a day/night based setup? You're in a lightless tomb, you might as well adopt even shifts, particularly since the undead surely aren't obeying any sun-based cycle.

Actually, if you stay down here too long you'll all probably get that extra bad cabin fever that comes from being in the dark all the time. Is any part of the quarantined area open to the sky? You'll need to come up with something to stave off the crazies, anyway. And do kobolds get vitamin D deficiency? I don't know how that works for things with scales, but it might happen for the field kobolds. I think I also heard something about dim lighting being able to create a sense of illusory anonymity which promotes dishonest/unethical/criminal behaviour.
>>
No. 829635 ID: 78a3e5

Also you should see if the supplies arrived and go shopping. If you don't see anything super useful you should pay off your debt, as I think you have the ~30 silver to pay it off now, minus whatever was paid off by your wages being garnished.
>>
No. 829879 ID: bfb318
File 150516458075.png - (19.18KB , 800x800 , 876.png )
829879

I realize I've already asked Aira to come with me, by including 'we' in my conversation in her about exploring. I also realize how concerning it is that someone was able to drop 5 silver coins in front of me. Either way, I can use this for shopping. Aira is still working on paying me to return the favor, as I've paid off the debt already so that interest wouldn't pile up.

Later on I will try hand to hand fighting, sparring, or simply lightly tapping each other, but Aira had a good point that right now I can't sense a single average kobold at all. I wouldn't be able to sense anything at all, let alone with any precision.

Aira and Firzel are easily awoken, and I whisper my mention of wanting to set out. Firzel whispers back that Valsano will probably be disappointed that it will be the same party minus him. The statement is made so matter of factly that I don't bother replying.

Holly is already up, making breakfast.

"Did you sleep?"
>"Yep. I don't need much. Besides, you did say you wanted to leave early. Did you get your scouting bounty?"
"I did."
>"Good. If you're all going to go down more than a few flights of stairs, I'd suggest getting any supplies you can think of. We might have some things ourselves, to avoid the inflated prices of the shops around here. Here's some rations that will carry you through today, at least. Be careful, there's been a decent number of people that have gone missing who have gone low. The worst part is that there's been no failed attempts to kidnap or make people disappear. Either people return and didn't see anything, or they're just missing."

Aira, Firzel and I share what we have, although they don't bother mentioning things like their emblem, or how much money they have on them. I may not need anything else before I go down, as I feel well supplied as-is.

https://tgchan.org/wiki/Fen_Quest_Statistics#On_Hand
>>
No. 829885 ID: e36c7f

Well geez go wake Valsano as well and ask him if he wants to come too. You were thinking like you wanted to keep it to as few people as possible, but really is there any reason not to? Heck if it comes to not attracting attention to yourselves skipping work to train, it'd probably be better to go out as the same gang again, he might attract attention to you guys if he has to wander around here talking about how you ditched him.

I mean if he did feel bad about it you could say "well we figured after yesterday you wanted to go somewhere there'd be more action", but then again, Orjin did address all four of you with his recommendation so maybe he's in on that as well. Just go poke him half awake, say "hey man we're going to do what orjin recommended you want with or to go try get some of that real combat you wanted", he can say yes or no himself he's a big boy.

Anyway, get yourself a medium oil and a firestarter set, and a torch, and an extra day's rations. Don't forget water. Someone should bring another fire's worth of firewood, too.
>>
No. 829886 ID: e36c7f

Did you ever get that kimankara set, by the way? And the other stuff you ordered before coming here?
>>
No. 829887 ID: bfb318

>>829886
Orjin's wagon of supplies is updated to reflect Fen's requested order of additional funds, and a kimankara set.
>>
No. 829888 ID: a43366

Grab a torch and store your extra cash in the storage box.

You also might want to try out the plate mail in battle.
>>
No. 829892 ID: 3abd97

>Valsano will probably be disappointed that it will be the same party minus him
Well, there's no real reason to exclude him, is there? You have enough enemies, without making more by snubbing someone for no good reason.

>I feel well supplied as-is
Maybe a metal stake in case we need to anchor the rope? But yeah, that looks pretty good.
>>
No. 829893 ID: 015058

Yeah grab Valsano if he wants to come.
>>
No. 829894 ID: a633c6

More rope, and more food so if worst comes to worst you won't starve if you get stuck behind an anomaly or something. Can you stick rags into oil bottles and make firebombs?
>>
No. 829899 ID: 65dabf

Wait, is the stuff in the crow zone still Fen's? How can we check that those are still there? Someone please remind me.
>>
No. 829900 ID: 3abd97

>>829899
We've had no contact with the crows in a while, so we have no idea if our stuff is still there.

After the trial, though, the nobles took our mithril coins back from the crows. They could have potentially messed with the rest of our stuff out of spite, or let it be.
>>
No. 829938 ID: f66698

Buy an extra days worth of food and several torches and as much oil as you can afford.

I have a feeling fire is going to be pretty useful.
>>
No. 830061 ID: 830fb7

Ask Holly if you can send a message out to cheese. You could inform her that you have arrived in her home country Erja Nokol, she did after all suggest you come here to this campaign.
>>
No. 830608 ID: 34bb20

>>829879
Food and fire. Need to eat, and need to burn the dead.
>>
No. 830867 ID: d4684b
830867

I suggest you stay and train yourself with mana, if your reinforcement then all the average troops got killed not being able to sense stuff so go make yourself above average. Im willing to bet Orjin doesn't want his hard work getting kill for no reason, so get to training.
>>
No. 830946 ID: 15a025

Take Valsano with, sounds like they'd want to come with.

As for supplies, see if you can't get some more oil or other flammable substances.
>>
No. 830963 ID: bfb318
File 150561876693.png - (19.56KB , 800x800 , 877.png )
830963

I wake Valsano up to bring him along too, after all.

>"You guys are already ready?" he asks.
>"Fen wasn't sure about bringing you along." says Firzel.
"I was thinking I'd bring as few people as possible."

Valsano gives me a look.

>"And I was the odd one out, huh?"
"I'm inviting you now. Do you want to come?"
>"Yeah, I do."

While Valsano gets his things, I do some quick shopping. Aira and Firzel do the same. I buy a metal stake for use with rope, along with more rope. Once I stock up on food, water, and fire, I'm already packing heavily. Still, I want to try to use my armor in a real setting, so I'll pull it out of the supply wagon after everything else.

The armor was bought by Holly after taking my measurements. It fits just okay, and the helmet is more of a frontal mask. Some of the joints and leg lengths aren't perfect, and leave some more exposure than I'd like. Due to the wide varience of horns and ears, it's difficult to find an existing helmet that fits well. Custom items are possible, even down here, but they are expensive.

"Holly, I'm about to head out. You'd be able to send letters to Cheese to request more money from her, right?" I ask her alone before I go get my current armor.
>"That's right."
"I may want more funds."
>"Sure. How much?"

A custom fit full armor that includes a helmet will take awhile to make, and would cost around 400 silver. Right now, I have 90. I have also heard that some wizards will enchant weapons with various costs for similarly expensive tolls. I don't know what those might be, but considering how long it may take for the money to come back, I may want to order more money in advance.
>>
No. 830968 ID: 015058

I think we should not abuse our money to much. A bit here and there should be ok. But if we get a rep as buying our way that will not be good.

We want to prove ourselves through our actions. So if we do buy anything big it might be best that the money comes from loot.
>>
No. 830970 ID: 65dabf

>>830968
I agree with this, in addition, we are going to need that money later, at the moment we do not know that we are facing down here, not counting the zombies, so once we are informed more, MAYBE we could see if we need to buy something else, but for now we have to work with what we have and prove that we are able to deal with whatever it is that we find here on our own. Also, I like challenges, so fuck that, I'm not a sissy.
>>
No. 830971 ID: 65dabf

Inglish is hard...
>>
No. 830972 ID: 91ee5f

>>830963
Don't only ask for money from Cheese! At least tell her how you're doing and ask if anything has happened since your last meeting!

Keeping up with what's happening outside of the Mausoleum is probably a good thing to do.

>>830968
The most we're ever gonna get from loot is mainly going to be copper, unless we find something special.

Any big money we earn here is going to be from finding anomalies and/or finding ways to get rid of them, which isn't gonna happen anytime soon.

And it's a little late to try and be subtle with how we spend our money, considering how quickly Fen paid off his and Aira's debt. Meaning everyone already knows that Fen is well connected for a barbarian such as himself to get that kinda money, that quickly.

And like Fen said, it'll take a while to get here, and by the time it does get here, we might have another debt to pay off! Or we'll be down to only a few coppers!

I just don't know how much money we should ask for.
>>
No. 830973 ID: 830fb7

>>830963
I say don't go calling money or spending it until you have an estimate, even then wait till you can at least afford most of its price for loot down here before spending. P.S. find out how much it would cost to get one of the mages to teach you the basics of magic use so you can practice in your spare off time, if we learn to use basic magic (eg. for enchanting our weapons/armour) it would mean our job trying to become a noble is that much easier.
>>
No. 830975 ID: 830fb7

>>830963
if your going to send a message to her just say you have arrived at Erja Nokol and are doing ok.
>>
No. 830976 ID: 3ce125

Okay let's plan ahead a bit here. Eventually you're gonna fight in the arena, and they won't let you take in enchanted gear. So let's not buy any for any purpose other than killing undead with. Once you're a noble you can get some for multi-purpose fighting. What are some enchantments that would work best for killing undead? Putting something on a sword wouldn't be a bad idea.

For armor, you've already got a set on the way. It'd be a waste to blow gold on an armor upgrade before you've even used the first set. How about some powerful accessories? Or something that would benefit the group? I don't suppose there are any items that would help you focus on sensing mana?
You should also keep in mind you're still considered a rookie and anything you bring into the field could be taken off your lifeless corpse and used by the enemy. Spend money on things that would not be overly useful to the necromancers!

I'm going to start out with a 15 gold request. That's enough to blow 400 silver on a good anti-undead enchant and we'll have 200 left over to make lesser purchases like medical care or outlandish solutions to anomaly problems.
>>
No. 830980 ID: 91ee5f

>>830976
>15 gold request
Woah! Maybe not that much! Can Cheese even send us that much?!

We've gotta take into consideration that our letter could be intercepted and the money stolen!

I think we should ask for an amount that's big enough to help, but also small enough that it won't be a big deal if it gets stolen before it arrives to Fen.
>>
No. 830982 ID: 3ce125

>>830980
400 silver is 10 gold. If we want to buy a custom fit armor set or an enchantment on a sword or something, we need at least 10 gold.
>>
No. 830983 ID: a633c6

Have you considered wearing only some of the armor you've got, such as just the Cuirass, so you're reasonably protected without sacrificing too much mobility? The undead apparently aren't the major threat anyway, I think somebody already said the Anomalies are the real danger, and they can't be blocked conventionally.
>>
No. 830984 ID: e972d4

You also have to remember not to lean too hard on this crutch. You may not get any respect and move up in the ranks if you don't seem somewhat self-sufficient.
>>
No. 830986 ID: 91ee5f

>>830982
I'm just saying, don't get your hopes up for an amount that big.

Cheese might not be able to send that amount, but she might still send a smaller amount.

And when the mail arrives, our package might not even be in there because someone could've intercepted it and stole it before it got to Fen.
>>
No. 831033 ID: a363ac

>>830976
15 gold is a pretty good amount, and Cheese could almost certainly afford it; with her connections it is almost certainly a pittance to them.
make sure to put in the post-script "how are you doing Cheese?"
>>
No. 831058 ID: 3abd97

>>830963
>Asking for money from Cheese.
There are a few complications.

We have to assume our mail is being intercepted and read if we use the Empire's postal service. So you have to be careful what you say, and not ask for more money than you could reasonably have access to.

Transporting money to you also depends on reliable, trusted couriers, which might be in short supply.

Getting the letter to Cheese, and the funds back to you, will take time. Will you still need the money by the time it gets here?

We don't actually know how much of your crow zone reserve survived. You know the crows had the surrender your 3 mithril coins. We don't know if the rest of your account was ransacked or left be.

We don't know what Cheese is up to (well, we do in general, but not in any detail), and if the money is currently tied up in some kind of scheme or investment.

Denomination is a problem. Gold will stand out / might be hard to break, but at the same time, you can't carry pounds of silver around all the time.

You probably want to disguise the request inside a more normal update letter telling her how you're doing (without saying anything that betrays secrets or would put you at a disadvantage). Both because it'll look more normal that way, and cause Cheese will appreciate you actually talking writing to her like a person and not just a coin dispenser.
>>
No. 831063 ID: 65dabf

>>831058
This is true, we have to consider all this, and be a good friend to Cheese, no become and noble asshole.
>>
No. 831065 ID: 3cc68c

Write a letter to Cheese outlining the events so far.

You fought some idiots in a tomb and made it up to lesser blood knight. You have made several friends in the army and now you are going after the necromancers.

Tell her that there is magic bullshit all over and you are going to train hard to be able to deal with it. You would like a little bit of spending money but will leave it to her discretion as to how much she sends.

Ask how she is doing. And how the new job is treating her.
>>
No. 831155 ID: 33b7e7

Better to have money and not need it than the other way around. Just remember to stay disciplined and not spend it on anything you don't need. Getting custom armour is one of those things, I think - everyone will be able to tell you have money to burn if you have that on. Just get some use out of what you already have. You could probably get something from a wizard more subtly, but who guarantees the wizard will keep quiet? These are army wizards, and they'll at least let their fellows and superiors know. What the undead will be vulnerable to has been stated to be very unpredictable, already, so there's little use to be had out of anything but the most broad-purpose enchantments. Just get a bit of surprise money, not too much, just enough to cover a few unexpected costs.

Didn't you already send Cheese a letter before you came in here, anyway? The one asking for more information on Erja Nikol, et cetera? After you finished up your last business, before you got here? I feel like I remember that.
>>
No. 831190 ID: f690f0

>>831058
I agree with this. Especially with asking how Cheese has been lately and if shes heard from the crows at all.
>>
No. 831191 ID: 3ce125

Um, should we even ask Cheese about the crows so blatantly in a letter? I remember it being bad for the both of them to imply that they were friends or working together.
>>
No. 831193 ID: 91ee5f

>>831191
You're right. In the eyes of many, it is considered bad to associate yourself with the crows. So it's probably best if we don't mention them.
>>
No. 831194 ID: 830fb7

At this point I wonder what would happen if we asked if Dame Frais's first name is actually Dame or if is a title/nickname. Because Dame Frais's being a Dame (female) seems like her perents couldn't think of anything else(sorry if that sounds a little bad to ask).
>>
No. 831198 ID: 4d790d

>>831194
Remember, we haven't seen any last names in this setting. Frais is her name, first and only. Dame is just the title for female knights.
>>
No. 831878 ID: bfb318
File 150595646346.png - (84.57KB , 1332x884 , 878.png )
831878

>Dame Frais' name?
It is just Frais, but for her, we use 'Dame' as we do Sir for someone else. I am uncertain what significance there is in Dame, as I have seen other female knights be referred to as Sir.

I have Holly help write me a letter, since I'm only moderately literate and would make a lot of spelling errors.

I don't mention the crows or how much money I could use. Since I don't know how much Cheese can deal out, I only mention that some more spending money would be nice. I only ask about this after I ask how she is, since I never got a letter from her after sending one a week ago, letting her know that I made it into the army and was on my way to Erja Nokol. Now, I have Holly write that I am here, and request that she send a letter back, especially if she does not currently have one in transit at this time of writing.

Supposedly, large sums of money are sent in here frequently. Typically it's the money to be distributed through merchants, but also knight's wages. For a cost, secure packages can be sent.

We let Holly know our plan, then leave to go deeper into the tombs. The main path to the necromile by this point is populated by people who want to set up camp outside of the main operating base. Even merchants are here selling supplies, though most are sold out of anything useful.

We travel about halfway down to the top of the necromile, where the trail is still bright but the population density starts lowering.
>>
No. 831879 ID: bfb318
File 150595659641.png - (26.93KB , 800x800 , 879.png )
831879

Aira lights one of her torches and we move into the darkness.

Several hours pass. We would mostly move in silence, but without Orjin to beat him, Valsano has much a lesser barrier against telling us a wide assortment of stories. Mostly about his army life, which would have interested me more if it was active, but it was stories about his life as a garrison soldier. It's mostly a lesson in a hundred ways to deal with boredom. Apparently my armored mask reminds him of the supply runs where people had a small selection of gear to choose from, and they had to take it or leave it, so my mismatched look is not uncommon to him.

>"Shut up a second, would you, Valsano?" Firzel asks. "I hear something."
>"Fine, but I'm telling you about a one fingered innkeeper later."

Valsano is quiet, and we hear music. I'm not sure if it's an instrument or a voice, but if it's from someone's body, then it's not in any kind of voice I've heard before.
>>
No. 831880 ID: 015058

Listen for a bit but be wary of siren songs entrancing you.

Slowly attempt to get closer to the source of the song. But remember many of you are armored now and not nearly as stealthy.

Let the group know to be on high alert in case this is some magical anomaly crap. If they start feeling funny to let the others know.
>>
No. 831883 ID: a363ac

>>831879
send the least jingly person to investigate
>>
No. 831885 ID: 33b7e7

What kind of music is it? Sad? Peppy? Haunting? Could you dance to it? Slow or fast?

Is magic music known to be a thing? If it is, maybe two or three of you should stop up your ears before you investigate.
>>
No. 831886 ID: 3abd97

Can you tell what direction its coming from?

It's possible you guys just stumbled across a new anomaly. At the very least, you should try to figure out where it is before retreating to report it.

For now, the plan of action should be cautiously approaching the source of the singing. See what's going on.
>>
No. 831888 ID: 3ce125

>>831879
We either found a very bored group of soldiers, or another anomaly. Weapons out, approach quietly. Might want to spread out a little just in case.
>>
No. 831890 ID: 91ee5f

>>831879
Well, if this is an anomaly, then let's see if we can sense what direction it's coming from.
>>
No. 831893 ID: 3ce125

...actually wait, if it's an anomaly, we need to tie a rope to whoever's in front so they can be pulled back by those further away from it-- remember, anomalies are incredibly dangerous once you get past a certain threshold.
>>
No. 831904 ID: 5d2db0

This sounds like a anomaly, using a song to lure people into it. Proceed with caution, might want to be able to pull the person at the front back with rope or something.

Sounds like the tales of sirens, using there music to lure in solders or sailors to there death.
>>
No. 831920 ID: 65dabf

Say Fen, you are starting to sound more excited about being a soldier, are you liking the taste of it yet?
About the sound, it is quite suspicious; use the rope and check it out, and volunteer yourself, of course, show how badass and brave you are!
>>
No. 831927 ID: a633c6

Alright, let's not do the stupid thing and walk right into it and end up missing like the others.

Cover your ears if you think it's some kind of psychic lure or whatever it'd be called.
>>
No. 831956 ID: f66698

That metal mask both looks dumb, and would do little to protect you from a shot to the crown.
>>
No. 831976 ID: bfb318
File 150600800335.png - (68.67KB , 1445x862 , 880.png )
831976

>Metal mask isn't good
I may opt to purchase something like what Valsano has, as there should be a bucket helmet that will adequately fit over my horns and offer better protection. I have been told by a couple of my peers that my mask doesn't look good on me, but being fashionable is the lowest priority. Another option is to purchase a customized helmet. While a full set of plate armor may be out of reach, I may be able to get a good helm.

We take our weapons out. Although we're in danger, it's nice to pull out our weapons in a meaningful environment instead of training exercises.

The humming is slightly upbeat, but is more of a happy tune than an energetic one. None of us can tell which direction it's coming from. Nor does it get louder, or more quiet. We can either hear it, or we cannot. If we leave the area, then it fades to nothing quickly. We're able to find what we guess is a border to another anomaly, as Firzel and I can hear the humming just fine, while Aira and Valsano cannot hear it at all despite being no more than 4 feet away. When we exchange places, the people who can hear it also reverses.

The humming doesn't seem to fit any legends of a siren's song, but we notice that the air is chillier where we can hear it. It isn't anywhere near as bad as the first anomaly we found, and isn't even intolerable, but it does seem to be getting worse the more we wait. It's a slow change, so it's difficult to say how long it will take to get worse, or if it will get much worse.

"I have an idea of the direction to go in." Firzel says. "Big question is, do we even want to?"
>"Forgot to mention." says Valsano, putting his weapon away while he digs through his bag. "I've packed a bunch of rope like Fen did. So we can send in a rope scout if we want to do it like that, if there's a volunteer. I'm sure as hell not going in alone."
>>
No. 831979 ID: a363ac

>>831976
this might be a good time for Fen to take the lead and scout ahead.
>>
No. 831980 ID: 1cbf7c

>>831976
No reason to split up here, I'd say to go in as a group.
>>
No. 831981 ID: 015058

You be the scout and have your team at the end of the rope to start.

Set up some tug signals and such.

I am guessing the rope is not crazy long so might have to take it one area at a time. Search to the end of the rope and if nothing odd happens while you are in there for awhile then you can relocate your base station farther in.
>>
No. 831982 ID: 91ee5f

>>831976
Can anyone mana sense anything specific? Something other than just the direction?

I think only one person should go, that way if something happens, then the 3 remaining teammates should be more than enough to pull out the 1 person.

>I'm sure as hell not going in alone.
Then again, maybe sending only 2 people is a good idea.

Obviously, we're going to send in Fen. But should we send him in alone or should we bring someone? And if we're bringing someone, then who will we bring?
>>
No. 831983 ID: 67478b

This could be one of those things that slowly messes with you the longer you hear the music.

So start by having them tie the rope to you while you explore for awhile. Have them start dragging you back after 10-15 minutes in case you have been hypnotized or something. If you feel fine you can come back on your own and tell them.

Then continue from there depending on what happens.
>>
No. 831984 ID: bfdaf0

>>831980
Yet I'd rather make sure there's someone to warn our superiors about it. If nothing else, leave a message on the ground, kept in place with whatever heavy object is available.
>>
No. 831986 ID: 65dabf

Say, do we have something to cover our ears, just in case? I'm worried that it might be some kind of magic that affects your perception by hearing. And i think is better to go in pairs, but it will be dificult to pull two people isted of just one. Also, live some of your stuff to be lighter.
>>
No. 831987 ID: 3ce125

>>831976
Alright, Fen shall volunteer. We don't know what the effects are so someone needs to be a guinea pig.

I say probe the anomaly with varying distances of approach to get a feeling for how lethal it is. Go in 10 feet (a dangerous distance based on previous anomalies) then return and see if the chill fades. Then go in 20 feet. Then 40.
>>
No. 832002 ID: 33b7e7

Sending in 2 people means the people left behind might not be able to drag them back if need be. It has to be one person and three on the rope if the rope is to be useful at all.

Try a set of increasing approaches. Like, first walk in that direction 30 seconds, then come back. Then a minute, then come back, then one and thirty, et cetera. Or whatever time increments make sense for making a moderate amount of progress each time. The rope feeds each time, and at the turnaround the person tugs twice then comes back, coiling the rope as they go so it stays taut-ish. If ever someone doesn't tug twice and start coming back at the turnaround time, plus five or ten seconds to account for distractions or different counting timing, the three who are outside pull them back. If the rope goes completely slack, pull the rope until there's some hint of resistance, and if it stays slack (like it's been cut or dropped) then two of the remainders run in to try help. One stays back so that if no-one returns they can go report this.

Obviously, the scout reports anything they notice in between trips and you make judgements based on those. The first hint of some danger, you leave. It's still your job to report anomalies instead of exploring/clearing them.

Do you notice anything with your magic senses?
>>
No. 832019 ID: 91ee5f

>>832002
All of this sounds like a solid plan!

Let's have Fen volunteer to go in and do this!
>>
No. 832031 ID: bfb318
File 150602639455.png - (28.88KB , 800x800 , 881.png )
832031

"I will volunteer."

We've anticipated that rope scouting would be done while down here, so we've already practiced with communications through tugging rope. We change it slightly for this. I will go in for half a minute, tug twice, then turn around and confirm my safety. Then head in for a full minute. Then two minutes, then 5 minutes, then however long I feel is necessary.

If the rope remains too slack and Valsano and the others feel too long has passed, then he says he will give a long tug to let me know it's time to go back. If I do not tug twice, then he will begin pulling me back, and if the rope is slack, Valsano and Aira will run in to help. Firzel will remain in the back in case we do not return, so that he can report the anomaly.

I loop the rope around a portion of my backpack. Valsano lights up one of his torches, and I move in. I can sense magic once I'm inside, but just that it's around. The amount is increasing extremely slowly, much like how it's getting colder. I cover my ears for just a moment, which does block out the sound effectively. It still does not seem to have any effect one way or the other, though.

The 30 second trip goes by without seeing anything. Then the full minute, then two minutes. Valsano's rope is long, and I am slow and careful in my movements, so I have not yet ran out of rope. I begin to go in deeper, still deciding on 5 minutes.

Due to the layout of these pillars, I can only look all the way down a hall to my left and my right, then diagonally. Otherwise, my vision is blocked, and it would be easy to hide by staying between two pillars. I notice that each pillar has a different name inscribed at the bottom. I believe these may have been old soldiers. It's gotten cold.
>>
No. 832032 ID: bfb318
File 150602642496.png - (55.67KB , 1311x869 , 882.png )
832032

The humming continues to sound directionless. But as I enter another corridor and see whatever it is I'm looking at now, the humming stops.

>"Fiiiiire."

It's humming the word more than saying it.

>"It's waaaaaarm, and I aaaam coooold."

>"Giiiiive?"
>>
No. 832033 ID: 015058

Use your torch to light a spare. Then politely place it on the ground and back up a bit.

Be very careful but polite.
>>
No. 832034 ID: a363ac

>>832032
carefully lead it back towards the others and speak to it saying you will give it warmth once you reach your destination. MAKE SURE NOT TO LEAVE THE ROPE BEHIND when moving backwards.
>>
No. 832035 ID: 67478b

Is that some sort of lightning snake? With a little blanket?

Well its worth a shot to be nice to it. This might be some sad escaped experiment from a necromancer lab.

But that does not mean its not horribly dangerous. And even if its not openly hostile does not mean it could not hurt us by accident. Or just be trying to trick us.

Maybe lure it with some fire if we have any spare wood. Then get a feel for the thing by how it responds. Could slowly lure it back to the party maybe.
>>
No. 832036 ID: 91ee5f

>>832032
That looks like its got multiple eyes all over its body. And the rest of it's body is hidden behind the pillars, so you can't tell how big it is.

I'm not even sure it's safe to get any closer to that. Sure, it seems friendly now but it might not be friendly if you get any closer.

Fen, how good are your drawing skills? Because I think when you get back to camp, you might need to draw a picture of this thing to show to everyone what you saw.
>>
No. 832037 ID: 3ce125

Do not lead it back towards the others. That is not what you do with an anomaly.

Though, this one doesn't seem very dangerous at all. Maybe it's not like the others? An escapee, rather than a trap set for soldiers? I agree with giving it a spare torch- most soldiers would just immediately attack this thing, which may be why they are disappearing.
>>
No. 832039 ID: 87547f

Are those protrusions moving? Or are they still?

You know unless there is some species of intelligent snake monsters around I bet you that this is a experimented on mutated local. One of Cheese's cousins that the necromancers messed with.

Try giving it warmth but be ready to run and don't get to close.

If the lights go out grab the rope and start pulling yourself back to the team.
>>
No. 832040 ID: a633c6

Check your corners before going past those columns, if it's bigger than it looks it could be hiding something dangerous. I'd say walk down the center of the hall to keep your distance and to get better vantage. Tell it you will approach slowly, and then toss/roll it to the thing when at a reasonable but still safe distance.

Ask who or what it is.
>>
No. 832041 ID: 65dabf

I say we try to comunicate with it, but form afar, lit somhing on fire, lave it on the ground and back off, if it comes to the fire, try to talk to it, if not, retrete, and inform your companions, always looking in the direction of that thing.
>>
No. 832042 ID: 3abd97

Do you sense mana from that thing, Fen? It would be nice to know for sure if that was some kind of undead, and not a more normal abomination.

Although I guess it could be an abomination that was subsequently raised to undeath.

Any idea on structure? I can't tell if that's supposed to be bone, or flesh... or maybe slime or ooze? It's kind of drippy.

That thing is a lot bigger than you, and if it moves like a snake, it effectively has a lot more reach.

>what do
Leave the torch, and start backing up. If there's a rope tug code for "contact" or "coming back", give it.
>>
No. 832044 ID: bfb318
File 150603101770.png - (21.41KB , 800x800 , 883.png )
832044

I'm still not sure what I'm looking at, but the shapes coming out of it don't change shape. They may just be antlers. I study it for a moment longer while I get another torch, as I want to be able to draw it accurately if need be.

I light a second torch. It is approaching me, and using my firestarting kit on firewood may take longer. I set the torch down, and roll it towards the snake. It has some odd limbs that it uses to carry a blanket with it. Aside from the blanket and its eyes, I can't tell what its body is made out of. It seems solid, like skin or scales, but it's a painfully bright white despite the darkness of my surroundings.

I back away. It hovers over the torch, then bends over, picks it up, and holds it right under its neck. It does not flinch, or catch on fire even when it puts the torch right up against itself. I do sense additional mana as it gets closer, though I don't let it get too close, so I take a few steps back. It is certainly a magical creature.

"Who and what are you?"
>"I ammmmm. Meeeeee. Thaaank youuu."

I look on the other side of the column. Its body doesn't extend there, so I don't think there's much more to its body than what I can see. It's about time for me to leave, so I send a couple of tugs back. Right after that, the rope wobbles slightly.

>"Stayyyyy." the creature says, before it begins humming its song again.

The rope is completely slack.
>>
No. 832045 ID: 4d790d

Plug ears, try tugging again.
>>
No. 832046 ID: a363ac

>>832044
alright recon over use the pull the rope and go back or staby stab time
>>
No. 832047 ID: 33b7e7

Tell it you're going to find your friends. They might have what you need to build a bigger fire.
>>
No. 832049 ID: 91ee5f

>>832044
>"Stayyyyy." the creature says, before it begins humming its song again.
No, thanks.

>The rope is completely slack.
Something tells me that your rope just got cut!

I think it's time to leave! Head back in the direction you came from! Follow the rope until you get to the spot it was cut!
>>
No. 832050 ID: 3abd97

Either you've been cut off (the rope was cut? A stasis field? Pocket dimension? Accelerated time?), or your allies were affected (maybe the torch extended its range?).

>Stayyyyy
Nope.

Continue backing away. Let's see if we can, or if we have to fight it.
>>
No. 832051 ID: 65dabf

I am paniking now.... ok, i got the feeling that this thing knew we weren't alone and that we were going to head back, go "Nope" mode and get back to your companions!
>>
No. 832052 ID: a633c6

My friends will be worried if I am gone too long, I need to go see them. Enjoy your fire!
>>
No. 832054 ID: 3ce125

>>832044
I think this is a prototype of the White Speck anomaly. It leeches warmth from people and fire, but not as strongly, and has no aura of darkness.
...it may even BE the White Speck, just not under orders to act like a death trap. In that case attacking might be suicide since it would immediately encase you in darkness and suck the life out of you.

>rope is slack
Someone cut the rope behind you, or chased off your allies. You're gonna have to fight your way out.
Tell the creature you cannot stay, your friends are waiting. Then leave and attempt to follow the rope back. Stay alert for any ambush.
>>
No. 832059 ID: 015058

Tell it you want to leave to get it more wood to keep its warm going. That torch will not last forever and you don't want it to be cold.

Pull on the rope and figure out just how slack. Like cut slack?
>>
No. 832063 ID: 87547f

>>832054

What if these things are weapons? Like they found a way to attach a heat/light eating spell to a undead that wants to be warm? Might explain the other cold zombies. Like they made a few of them and sent them loose and once they absorb enough energy they get stronger and stronger until they have a shell of darkness around them.

Look behind you and see if your rope ends in a wall of black. Maybe you are in the eye of the storm as it were.

It might be best to mercy kill this poor thing unless you can figure out a way to neutralize its powers. But try to learn as much as you can before stabbing. If you can learn more from it you might get hints on how to deal with its brethren.

Maybe you can even get it to help you deal with the other anomaly. But that might be a stretch.
>>
No. 832064 ID: b88e47

leave
>>
No. 832076 ID: a43366

Go check on them and if they are okay return to try and learn about this thing.
>>
No. 832090 ID: f690f0

>rope is completely slack

oooook either your rope was cut, your friends dropped the rope due to stuff happening or (worst situation) the anomaly has decided to move the space you currently occupy to a different space in the mausoleum. Only one way to find out... actually there may be two ways.
either:
A) nope the hell out and go back the way you came.
B) ask the stange creature if the room was moved.
i honestly vote for NOPEING OUT!
>>
No. 832152 ID: bfb318
File 150609914337.png - (23.93KB , 800x800 , 884.png )
832152

"I have to see my friends. Are we in the same area?"

>"You aare."

I begin to leave.

>"Myy friennd."

A mere 2 halls down, maybe 15 feet, is where I see the end of my rope. There is no sign of the other end, despite that I can still see decently far. I hear flopping noises with an occasional thud of somthing solid against stone. It must have been the creature moving, because it peers out from behind a pillar. It is keeping its distance from me, at least.

I know which direction I came from. I see nothing that could have cut the rope.
>>
No. 832157 ID: d36af7

Head back to base. Report the anomaly. If it follows you the whole way there, get some experts to help with neutralizing it.
>>
No. 832160 ID: 91ee5f

>>832152
>I know which direction I came from. I see nothing that could have cut the rope.
Does the rope look like it's been cleanly cut or not? If it hasn't been cleanly cut, then something might've chewed on it.

Hey, am I the only one that's noticed that the pillars that Fen is standing between are the only ones that look like they've been scratched up? The same thing with the floor in between these pillars, it's all scratched up, while the rest of the floor doesn't have any marks on them.

Oh shit, I think there's a trap in between these pillars and that's what cut the rope! And I think the trap is that a part of the ceiling is going to drop onto the spot where Fen is standing!

Fen, move outta the way!
>>
No. 832161 ID: a43366

Maybe you got teleported by moving too close the Anomaly? If they move people to different spaces that might explain why no one returns.
>>
No. 832162 ID: 91ee5f

>>832160
>Oh shit, I think there's a trap in between these pillars and that's what cut the rope! And I think the trap is that a part of the ceiling is going to drop onto the spot where Fen is standing!
Or maybe the two pillars will move sideways to smash into each other and crush whatever's in between them?

Either way, I still think Fen should move outta the way!
>>
No. 832163 ID: 3ce125

>>832152
Are you still getting progressively colder? See if you can just retrace your steps to find them, or where they were at least.

Also there's a problem. If the creature is following you, then the anomaly is moving with it. Your allies would have noticed this, and tried to stay at the edge. If you can persuade the creature to stop the anomalous effects(it is at least in control of the humming), your allies would not feel any need to keep their distance and you could effectively sneak up on them with it.

Hmmmmm... I think if you brought the creature back to base you'd be suspected of being undead and it would be attacked. The best thing you could do is somehow find another soldier to send a message back to camp informing them of the situation and that they could designate an area off to the side in an unused floor for the creature to live in, and be given sources of warmth in exchange for information.
>>
No. 832164 ID: f4bda2

The rope wiggled a bit before it went slack. That normally happens when rope is cut with a sawing motion. This implies sabotage.
>>
No. 832166 ID: 015058

Watch for a trap that could have cut it. Also see if there are any footprints in the dust other than yours.

Check the end of the rope. Is it cut so clean only magic could have done it? Or does it look like a knife? Or maybe crushed?

You had not walked horribly far so should be close to your team. Motion for your new friend to follow you. As long as it does not pose a danger I see no point in killing it. It might be useful even.

The rope might be cut but no need to panic. Just keep a close eye on your surroundings and slowly try to retrace your steps.
>>
No. 832168 ID: a633c6

Shout 'Oy' see if you get a response. Otherwise go back to where you know you were.
>>
No. 832169 ID: c2051e

"Why am I your friend?"
>>
No. 832172 ID: fff296

Does he have any other friends?
>>
No. 832175 ID: 65dabf

Well, i mean, we are good making friends... wierd friends, so i see no problem taging along with it, they don't seem agresive touards us, but they are most likely the anomaly, what ever it does, so what do we do with them?
>>
No. 832179 ID: 91ee5f

>>832160
Wow, I really am the only one that's noticed the pillars Fen is standing in between and floor he's standing on are all covered in various markings, while the other pillars and the rest of the floor are in pristine condition!

I honestly think there is a trap of some kind right there and I think Fen needs to move out of the way!
>>
No. 832187 ID: 094652

Capture the creature alive, they might be useful in the future.

Just get back to camp, and ask for a large bonfire. You won't even need a fence.
>>
No. 832193 ID: 33b7e7

You know, this guy could just be a REALLY weird erja mutant, like Cheese's siblings. Or, at least, one of them might have been used to make him?... her? It?

Ask if they have any family. Say yours are very far away.
>>
No. 832207 ID: 9ce1e7

>>832152
This is actually very bad. If the rope was cut because of some trap, the other half would still be in sight. The fact that the rope is just laying about means that something either moved the rope out of sight, or caused the group to pull it back. Whatever the reason, this was a deliberate action.
>>
No. 832216 ID: 69fef8

>>832152
If your new admirer is going to stick around, you might as well ask some questions while you move:
Do you know why people would disappear?
What's going on?
Do you associate with the undead at all?
Where did you come from? ect.
>>
No. 832217 ID: 3ce125

Fen sent a couple tugs back on the rope as a signal that he was about to leave, which means the group would then pull on the rope. Would they have pulled it that much though?
>>
No. 832219 ID: 91ee5f

>>832217
If they pulled at the same moment the rope got cut, then yeah, they would've pulled it and then immediately stopped when they didn't feel any kinda resistance from Fen's body.

But that one pull was all it took for them to accidentally pull the rope out of Fen's sight.
>>
No. 832240 ID: 3abd97

>"You aare."
>"Myy friennd."
Cute. The monster likes you.

I suppose its preferable to it trying to rip you apart, but this thing is going to be a nuisance.

>I see nothing that could have cut the rope.
Then whatever cut it is moving around.

Looks like your friends reeled the rope in, too.

You're less than 5 minutes away from your team, and I'd prefer not to solo this thing if you don't have to. Keep retreating towards your allies. Keep an eye on the creature tailing you, but keep a look out for other threats. There's something mobile down here to have cut that rope.
>>
No. 832316 ID: f690f0

>>832152
well crap, i think something has happened to the group. The plan was if anything were to happen on Fen's side and the rope went slack, two kobolds from the group would go in after Fen and one would stay back incase anything happened and report it. Listen for a second and try to hear anyone calling or making noise nearby.

>>832160
it might not be a trap, since Fen passed this area already the first time. But if this is a freshly laid trap then yes Fen should prolly take a step or two back.
>>
No. 832329 ID: bfb318
File 150619579128.png - (46.58KB , 1175x800 , 885.png )
832329

I step back, and move around the column in case there was a trap in the middle. I still circle around to get back onto the path to my allies, and during this, I confirm that the white antlerd snake cannot move like an actual snake, and seems to move by flopping like a worm to get around. It balances upright by its two diminutive arms.

"Why am I your friend?" I ask it, while it's still in earshot.
>"Waaaaarm."
"Why do people disappear?" I ask, but it looks confused.
>"Ooonly killled... Oh."
"Do you have any other friends?"
>"Helllooooo."

It lags behind with its slow movements, but I hear it flop aggressively. It moves backwards, but it looks like it's getting pulled back.

>"Stooooop."

There is still no sign of the rope. I've coiled my end and put it away, and it looks like it was cut by a knife or other sharp object. I yell 'oy' to my allies. There's no response. It's gotten chilly, and so unnaturally quiet that they may not have been able to hear me.

>"Fen!" I hear Valsano, several seconds after I shouted. It sounds like he's screaming from a great distance. "You just standing there holding the rope or something?!"
>>
No. 832331 ID: 094652

>>832329
"Yeah! I found a mutant, he's harmless, but his master cut the knife! Tell everyone there's assassins in this area, don't kill the giant pale"

Prepare for backstab. Counter.
>>
No. 832332 ID: 91ee5f

>>832329
>"Fen!" I hear Valsano, several seconds after I shouted. It sounds like he's screaming from a great distance. "You just standing there holding the rope or something?!"
Shout back, "No! Something cut the rope! I can't find my way back!"

Use your mana sense. I'm sure everyone feels different, so even if you can't detect shapes, I'm sure you can detect what your teammates' mana feels like. So start heading towards the mana that feels like your teammates!
>>
No. 832335 ID: 3740b1

>>832331
Wat?

Tell him when you followed the rope it had been cut and was laying slack. Head towards the direction the rope was heading and keep shouting to your allies to make sure you're heading towards them.

Do not follow the worm. Have you ever gone fishing before?
>>
No. 832337 ID: 90f3c0

If the rope isn't slack on the other end, someone else must be holding it. Probably whoever cut it. Yell back a warning that you're not holding the rope.

Head back toward the others. Whatever cut the rope is probably in the area, and there seems to be a lot of corners to hide around, so be wary of an ambush.
>>
No. 832339 ID: a633c6

Keep your head on a swivel- 'i am me' just said people are getting killed.

Shout that the rope was cut, you aren't holding anything. Then rush after their voices.
>>
No. 832343 ID: 33b7e7

Ask it what's pulling it, and tell it you're going to get your friends and you hope to see it again. Then get out of here.

If you're closer to a sound-sucking anomaly your friends probably won't hear you from here. Whatever other power is yanking that snake thing around is not likely to be friendly to you, and I don't like how much the local effects are increasing. I wonder if this anomaly might not work the same as the previous cold anomaly, only it absorbs heat AND sound, with the effect lessened because it's splitting its effort - the snake likes warmth and seems to like sound (it was humming to itself) but doesn't seem uncontrollably driven to them. Or it might be straight upgrade of the old warmth anomaly but be weaker because it's a new one. I think it's been suggested that these anomalies get stronger as they get fed.

Anyway yeah run back.
>>
No. 832344 ID: 3abd97

>"You just standing there holding the rope or something?!"
Yell back. "Something cut the rope! You are not pulling me!"

Can you tell which direction the yelling came from?

It's possible the anomaly messed with the directions. For instance, if the creature has the other end of the rope, and its being pulled backwards, it's moving towards your unit, and you're moving away.
>>
No. 832347 ID: a43366

IF you can hear them they can hear you.

You should be careful. It's likely this situation has occurred before and since most people would try to return to their group, that may be what got them killed. That and attacking the snake monster. Staying in it's orbit and being aggressive may be safer.
>>
No. 832354 ID: 3ce125

>>832329
Yell that you found the source of the anomaly and it's not hostile.

>creature seems pulled, your team thinks you're just standing there holding the rope
Yeah I think the creature is linked to the rope somehow. Go back and get another look at it. Outright ask it if it's holding the rope. Maybe you can offer a trade: your freedom and safe return to your allies for the promise of more fire. Or heck, you might have fire to give it right now, do you have more torches?
I feel like it might be a good idea to ask it other things, like if any soldiers have attacked it and it defended itself, what it can do to defend itself, and if it can stop making you cold.
>>
No. 832357 ID: 91ee5f

You might have to temporarily uncover your mouth so that you can shout more clearly!
>>
No. 832359 ID: 015058

Did someone cut the rope and then attach it to the worm? Or has it been magically stuck in one area?

Yell back to be careful reeling you in because someone cut the rope and there might be a surprise at the end of it.

Go back to the worm and check it out. It might have some clues if you talk to it more.

And be using your mana senses to watch for other undead. There could be a companion to this guy that kills the stuff that the worm innocently lures in. (or not so innocently)
>>
No. 832372 ID: 3ce125

You know, we can test to see if the creature is attached to the rope somehow. Ask them to tug real hard.

OH also since the creature is the source of the anomaly you could ask them to tell you when they can feel the anomaly's effects. If your sense of direction got screwed up (or space is twisted in here) you use the fact that the creature (and thus the anomaly) is following you to can tell if you're going the right direction. If the creature keeps following you though they're just going to get in the same heap of trouble you're in now though.

Maybe the right decision is to truly befriend the creature so that it lets you go? Talk to it, keep it company until you start getting too cold, then tell it you have to leave or else you're going to die. It wouldn't let a friend die, would it?
>>
No. 832373 ID: b2db3f

Ok I can think of two big possibilities here.

This worm was sent out by the necromancers for a reason. While he might be cute and friendly he is probably the center of a anomaly.(or a mistake and just bait) I am guessing the anomaly is spacial in nature and him being in the center of a hall of arched columns is not a mistake. A spacial anomaly in a straight passage would not work nearly as well.

1. They threw him here and locked him to the center of this area. People wander in searching for the humming. They get lost in the spacial magic nonsense and starve/get there heat eaten.

2. The worm is bait and there is a fisherman nearby. Someone who hides and waits until someone arrives and then sneak assassins them. They cut your rope and are stalking you. There still might be spacial magic involved but people die due to actively being hunted down.


So you might have been teleported or moved in some fashion. You had a rope to guide you and did not leave markings so anything you remember about your old path is probably incorrect. Next time use the rope and chalk markings. If the chalk is missing you know you got zapped. (or someone is rubbing it out while following you)

The rope your team has is probably tied to a archway or something else. Yell to your team that you might have got magicked. Do not openly mention the possibility of a assassin cutting the rope as it would alert said assassin to you knowing about him.

Get a conversation going back and forth. Pretend to be distracted and lure the assassin into attacking you while you look helpless. Then take him out.
>>
No. 832384 ID: a37ca0

Shout out "I think I found the centre of the anomoly has it been moving at all" ask if they cut the rope or if it just went slack for them.
>>
No. 832398 ID: 91ee5f

Can you tell which direction his voice came from? If his voice isn't coming from the direction you originally came from, then you might be going the wrong way!

Is it getting colder and quieter further away from the creature? If so, you might have to stay close to it. But not too close!
>>
No. 832419 ID: 91ee5f

Hey, I just noticed something. Weren't there little purplish lights above the arches we were passing through? >>831976 , >>832032

Because it doesn't look like they're there anymore. >>832152 , >>832329

Maybe Fen is somehow going the wrong way?
>>
No. 832428 ID: 15a025

Tell Valsano the ropes been cut, and to be careful if they're coming in to get you.
>>
No. 832430 ID: 792907

Throw a rock towards Valsano's position and listen for where it lands.
>>
No. 832432 ID: 9ce1e7

>>832329
Okay, this may seem weird, but trying to bring that white thing with you might be a good idea. If it is being pulled back, something else wants it here instead of it being trapped for being dangerous. And if it asking that force to stop, and not you, it is being held against its will. And that means it is likely something of importance.

So far it has been the only interactable part of the anomaly, so I say we should and see what happens when we remove it. Will it be like removing the axial of a wheel, or just a single spoke?
>>
No. 832439 ID: 91ee5f

>>832430
It'll be really funny if Fen accidentally hits Valsano in the face with the rock! XD
>>
No. 832455 ID: 45b653

If its being pulled back towards something we could try and find what it is, because it could be that this creature is just an abomination that came down here as part of the initial scouting party (could have not been an abomination when it came down here it could have mutated over time due to this areas effects) and is now bound to something in this area so it cant leave.
>>
No. 832528 ID: bfb318
File 150629073208.png - (24.22KB , 800x800 , 886.png )
832528

How cold and dark it is getting seems independent of how far away from the wormsnake I am. I don't run as fast as I can to my friends, as this must have happened many times before when people have scouted anomalies, and apparently no one made it out alive. I focus on my task, if just to keep the fear away.

Still, I don't stay where I'm at or where the worm is, and instead cautiously make my way to my allies with my head on a swivel. All of the lights have gone off. I want to call out to my allies, but I realize that my helmet might have muffled my voice, so I take it off since it doesn't supply great protection anyway. I'll need to factor this into any custom helmet designs, in case deafening anomalies are as commonplace as they seem. I don't have a rock I can throw to test the effect on the noise.

"Something cut the rope! Give it a pull!" I yell.
>"Then it's stuck, because it won't budge!" I hear Valsano yell back from the direction I expect. He must be in the same place where I left them. If I was teleported to a different location, I should have sensed a burst in mana.

I hear the creature behind me resume its humming. It was getting pulled back in the other direction, so my rope shouldn't be connected to the worm.

I take another step forward.

There's a gigantic surge in mana. It's much more than I've ever sensed before, including from the wizard that taught us the basics. It's far more than I experienced when in the presence of Lord Shup, who I could detect mana out of when I had otherwise never detected it before in my life. I can't tell how far away it is, since I still cannot spatially sense mana, even this much. I move side to side to see if I just entered detection range to the sides, but I can only sense it moving forward, meaning that whatever the source is, it's between me and my allies.
>>
No. 832529 ID: c2051e

Well, it seems clear that it's messing with space, then. Something about opposing forces? The worm got pulled the other way when they yanked the rope. As for what to do, we won't get any more information just standing here if you can't detect like this, so might as well approach.
>>
No. 832535 ID: 015058

Ok did the mana surge happen when the humming starting up or when you took a step forward? Does it feel at all like the teleports you took?

Yell to your team to stay put for the moment and say it looks like a spacial anomaly. Ask if they can feel the mana spike where they are.

You need to continue experimenting with this. I would go back to the worm and politely chat with it for awhile. The magic stuff is probably linked to it. Maybe activated when it starts humming?

While there might be someone or something else that cut the rope it might just have been a side effect of the space around here shifting. Your team might be stuck holding a rope that now ends in solid rock.
>>
No. 832536 ID: 65dabf

Wait, hold on, there is something en the distance, like a line, behind the flame, is that a rope or some light efect? If you pay atencion you can actually see that line through the flame.
>>
No. 832538 ID: 91ee5f

>>832528
It's barely noticeable, but if you look carefully, there's what looks like a rope straight ahead of you in the distance! It looks like it's stretched across an archway. That might be the rope your allies are pulling!

>There's a gigantic surge in mana.
>whatever the source is, it's between me and my allies.
You should tell them that you can sense something with a lot of mana is in between you and them and it's blocking your path back to them!

>>832529
>They're pulling the worm.
That doesn't sound right. If they were pulling the worm, then Valsano wouldn't have said that the rope is stuck and isn't moving, he would've said that it felt like they're slowly pulling something heavy towards them.
>>
No. 832541 ID: 91ee5f

>>832538
Actually, if we tell them to relax the rope and then pull on it and we visibly see that rope in the distance also relax and then pull tight, then we'll know that's them!

>>832535
>I would go back to the worm and politely chat with it for awhile.
I think getting out alive with a little bit of information is more important than trying to get more information and risking getting killed and losing it all!
>>
No. 832542 ID: 3ce125

>>832528
...the creature may have been warning you. Back up! Take cover behind a pillar! If the creature knew this would happen you should ask it what the hell is using all that mana.
>>
No. 832546 ID: b60dfa

>>832528
Ugh this is annoying, there's a bunch of clues but we don't quite know the proper context.
Is that a faint light coming from behind a pillar ahead? it looks a bit like there is a light source in another row from you up ahead.

Okay so what we know seems to be:
-There is a huge source of magic between you and your allies, to whom you were connected by rope.
-On your end of the rope, the rope is slack, the light and temperature are dropping and the humming worm is there.
-On Valsano's end, the rope is taught and not moving, his voice sounds far away.
-The worm seems physically unable to follow you in this direction.

This might be some kind of spacial distortion, maybe messing with distance?
I think it might be the case that the worm is being repelled away from the magic rather than pulled back towards something else. Could be that the anomaly was in the process of forming when you went to investigate the humming and it only just fully manifested now, essentially cutting you off from your friends.

Incidentally, is it still audible and visible in the current darkness and quiet? does it sound further way than it should?
Either way, I think you should tentatively head back towards the worm and ask if it knows what going on, if only to see if maybe the anomaly's effects lessen in it's direction rather than back towards Valsano.
>>
No. 832576 ID: 3abd97

Okay, Fen's options fundamentally come down to trying to find a way out, or turning around and trying to kill the worm.

In the interests of not completely showing up the rest of the team / not getting killed, I favor trying to get out, first.

>Big mana build up
You might want to ask your allies if they can feel that.

>what do
Push onwards. If the source of the mana is in front of you, we want to find out what it is.
>>
No. 832588 ID: 91ee5f

>>832576
Agreed.
>>
No. 832595 ID: d3b950

>>832576
im all for this plan, theres not much you can do since we dont have much to go on so onward.

>>832528
please take note of what looks like rope up ahead and tell your ally holding the rope to sort of "jingle" his side of the rope, that way you know it the right rope and can know wheither to follow left or right.
>>
No. 832597 ID: a633c6

Get AWAY from the mana buildup.
>>
No. 832601 ID: a363ac

>>832576
pushing forwards is a good plan but we also don't want to be seen before we see what the build up is try and lure the mana buildup into the light before you get seen weather that means laying the torch down away from you as a distraction or waiting behind a corner to catch it close up if you can;t get away.
>>
No. 832603 ID: 015058

While getting closer to the mana surge may lead to clues about it remember it also could be fatal.

If this is a space magic thing we do not want to end up cut in half or stuck in a pillar.

So be careful.
>>
No. 832651 ID: bfb318
File 150634231272.png - (21.01KB , 800x800 , 887.png )
832651

I see a faint line ahead. I think it's my rope. It's above the ground.

"Let go of the rope for a moment, and then pull on it!" I scream to my allies. The rope drops to the ground.

I don't go straight ahead. I circle around, skirting on the outside of the mana spike. If nothing else, it'll tell me about how far away I can sense a mana of this level. Plus, it will give me practice in spatial mana awareness, which would be extremely useful, especially now.

My head remains constantly turning, though I look in the direction of where the rope would be each hall I cross. My torch keeps flickering on various archways around me, which constantly makes it look like there's something in my peripherals.

Something smells. It hits me suddenly, and every step I take, it gets worse. It reeks of a rotten carcass.
>>
No. 832652 ID: bfb318
File 150634235514.png - (46.25KB , 1251x845 , 888.png )
832652

I walk into the next hall.

I am certain that whatever it is I'm looking at is the source of both the mana and the smell. The most intact face turns in my general direction, and its jaw opens with a sickening squelch.

>"You."

It spoke, and its jaw closes again with another wet crack. The voice itself sounds like it went through a grinder, and it sounds far away despite the unnaturally clear hums of the white snake. I believe there is still sound dampening, but if so, then the white creature's voice is not affected by it. The monster, on the other hand, shifts its jaw around, grinding flesh and bone together, before it speaks again.

>"Why do you speak as though you are from the shroomleaf forest?"

I hear Aira screaming into the anomaly.

>"Talk to us, Fen! What's the rope stuck on?!"

They're pulling the rope. The hand that grips the rope is not moving at all.
>>
No. 832654 ID: b88e47

Do not fight it.
>>
No. 832655 ID: c2051e

>>832652
"Some giant two-headed guy is holding the other end."

As for why you speak like it, isn't the answer obvious? You are from there.
>>
No. 832656 ID: 3d2d5f

>"Why do you speak as though you are from the shroomleaf forest?"
Because I am.

Ever should the barbarian favor simple answers.

>>"Talk to us, Fen! What's the rope stuck on?!"
It's being held! Something large, and dead, and full of mana!
>>
No. 832660 ID: a363ac

>>832652
something with enough mana to rival a Mithril wizard is holding it.
"Cause I am."
>>
No. 832661 ID: a43366

I'd put your kit on. Tell it that is where you are from though.
>>
No. 832663 ID: 015058

A giant two headed undead is holding the other end in one hand.

I was born in Shroomleaf forest.
>>
No. 832669 ID: 65dabf

YAY, moar friends! Say Fen, do you, by any chance, know of a two-headed giant from the Shroomleaf forest that lived there a long time a go? Maybe a tale, or legend or an actual guy how lived there before you? Becose thats a very spesific place to mention to someone, and more to even recognise the "lingo" from such a remote place.
>>
No. 832670 ID: 91ee5f

>>832652
>"Why do you speak as though you are from the shroomleaf forest?"
"Because I am."

>"Talk to us, Fen! What's the rope stuck on?!"
"A giant undead with two heads and two tails is holding the other end of the rope!"

Wait, both of the tails also have eyes on them, would that make it an undead with four heads?

Anyways, just in case your allies come running in to try and save you and/or try to fight it, you should also warn them that it has eyes on its tails, so they can't sneak up behind it because it'll see them!
>>
No. 832675 ID: bfb318
File 150634777627.png - (29.70KB , 800x800 , 889.png )
832675

"Because I am." I tell the monster, before yelling back to my group. "A large monster full of mana is holding it!"

The creature stays as still as a statue for a long moment. I put my torch out in the open to get a better look at it. Although it reeks of decay, the damaged parts of flesh do not look like the decay of skin, but rather like wounds from various slashes, stabs, and bashes. It has two tails, and what might be two more heads at the end of each.

>"You are not Zizi. But you are from his tribe, are you not, with your white eyes?"
"I am." The white eyes are still an oddity amongst people with my accent, which explains why this thing is interested in my place of origin. Still, it's somewhat odd to know that something like this is aware of what a shroomleaf accent is like.
>"What medical supplies do you carry? What is your rank? Why are you here? I want to hear you answer for your team as well, to the best of your knowledge."
"Why would I answer you?"
>"Even with your most recent shout to them, they know little enough that we would let them leave, if they do not enter the anomaly. You, however, can not make it back to your campsite. What that means, exactly, depends on your cooperation. We have use for the living, after all, and good reason to treat them well."

>"You coming back?!" Valsano yells.
>>
No. 832679 ID: 3d2d5f

>"What medical supplies do you carry? What is your rank? Why are you here? I want to hear you answer for your team as well, to the best of your knowledge."
Quick and succinct answers.

Bandages. (Don't admit to the vial of antidote).

Lesser blood knight.

To earn as much prestige as I can, via military advancement, before I take nobility by force in the arena.

My team is scouting for anomalies, which we have found.

I think we're pretty much stalling to see what we can learn by what else it says or offers us, or for our allies to decide to back us up. Letting ourself be captured, or changing sides, is a non-option.

>"You coming back?!" Valsano yells.
It bars my path! And speaks.
>>
No. 832680 ID: a43366

Warn your team not to come after you, regardless of what you do.
>>
No. 832682 ID: 1e7aa8

It can spatially interdict sound?? That's messed up.

Stall, while giving away as little information as possible. But be prepared to run back to the friendly white humming abomination.
>>
No. 832684 ID: 45b653

>>832679
Also tell them not to come any closer or enter the field and for them to be on their guard for anything that may be a danger to them.
>>
No. 832687 ID: 3d2d5f

>>832680
Is that meant to be sincere, or a bluff to make the creature think we're complying while they close?

Because I think we're going to have to kill this thing, and I'd prefer to do that with allies.

(Did Fen and co establish duress codes? Would be helpful now. And something to consider in the future if we didn't).
>>
No. 832688 ID: 91ee5f

>"You are not Zizi. But you are from his tribe, are you not, with your white eyes?"
Ask how it knows Zizi? But don't mention that you are Zizi's brother!

>We have use for the living, after all, and good reason to treat them well.
Do not let this thing capture you! It's just going to take you back to the necromancer that made it and then turn you into another undead and/or monster like this thing!

>"You coming back?!" Valsano yells.
"The monster is blocking my path! Let go of the rope before it pulls any of you in!"
>>
No. 832690 ID: c2051e

Tell them to let go of the rope and leave. What is this, a dragon knight?

>It can spatially interdict sound?? That's messed up.
We have no reason to think that.

>It's just going to take you back to the necromancer that made it and then turn you into another undead and/or monster like this thing!
We have no particular reason to think it's lying yet, since it could just overpower Fen if it wanted to.
>>
No. 832694 ID: bfb318
File 150635254583.png - (25.48KB , 800x800 , 890.png )
832694

Part of me wants to get my mask back on, but it's difficult to do so while maintaining my grip on my shield and sword.

"Do not come into the anomaly!" I yell to Valsano. "Just stay on your guard for now!"

I turn to face the monster, taking my time. I'm just trying to stall for, well, something, anything. It seems easy, because it doesn't appear to be impatient.

"You know Zizi?"
>"Of course. He is popular. Now, my questions?"
"I have bandages. That's all."
>"No sutures, for stitching?"
"No."
>"That's too bad."
"... I am a lesser blood knight."
>"I understand. And the rest of your team?"
"Also, the same ranks. All around. My team is scouting for anomalies, which we have found."
>"Yes, at awkward timing, too. But I am more interested in why you came to this mausoleum to begin with."
"To earn prestige by advancing in the military."
>"That is unfortunate, but common."
"How so?"
>"Many die before getting anywhere close to their dreams. I assume you wished for more than lesser blood knight."

>Duress codes
We did set up some duress phrases that I can yell, but bringing in allies might just lead to multiple casualties.

>"You are not willing to surrender, are you?"

....

>"Few are, and I am tired of all the waste. What do I need to do to convince you that you will be treated well? We have time. Have a seat. There is firewood in my pack, if you are getting cold."
>>
No. 832695 ID: c2051e

"Let the others go and explain."
>>
No. 832697 ID: a363ac

>>832694
I assume Fen himself doesn't really give a crap what it has to say but I assume Orjin and his superiors would so sit and have a chat for now but try to keep an eye out for a moment it becomes distracted to kill it.
>>
No. 832699 ID: 33b7e7

Ok, the ultimate answer is "unless you can get me the hand in marriage and more importantly the love of a specific noble lady then nothing can convince me" but you do have the opportunity to get some information. Things like "I've heard of creatures here who seemed living, but lacked their souls. How could I be sure you won't do such a thing to me?" could get you some info.

On the other hand, while you're trying to stall it, IT might be trying to stall YOU. It just mentioned that you found an anomaly with "awkward timing". Which means there could be better timing - and I doubt it was thinking of your needs or wants when it said that.

This creature is big, and full of mana. But that amount of mana might be necessary just to maintain it with its full intellect, which it seems to have. Previous creatures, even the worm, seemed to be less mentally functional. We don't yet have any evidence this creature can move quickly. It apparently had to rearrange its mouth to be able to speak, and that plus the signs of injury it has (and it wants to fix those injuries, which means those injuries are a detriment to it somehow) tells me that it probably can't move that well at short notice.

This may be your only chance to run.
>>
No. 832700 ID: 1e7aa8

We can't afford to let it stall us any longer. Throw your torch at it and run away, loudly. THEN double back with a different route as quietly as possible.
>>
No. 832701 ID: b60dfa

>>832694
'Treated well' still implies a loss of freedom, I still have much to do outside this tomb.

Explain yourself, I am willing to listen but you can understand my suspicion.
>>
No. 832705 ID: 91ee5f

>>832694
>What do I need to do to convince you that you will be treated well?
Nothing he says or does should even come close to convincing you that it's telling the truth about treating you well!

>We have time.
Ask whatever questions you can think of! Try to get as much info from it as possible! Stall until something happens that gives you a chance to escape!

>Have a seat.
Don't sit down! It's harder to avoid a surprise attack from a sitting position! And if you see an opening to run for it, it'll be harder to run from a sitting position!

Fen, did you happen to bring any oil with you? Maybe you could throw oil on it and then throw your torch at it to light it on fire? But don't do it now! Wait for an opening when it lets its guard down!

And if you do try to run, don't underestimate its size, it could be faster than it looks!

>>832697
>try to keep an eye out for a moment it becomes distracted to kill it.
I think running might be safer than Fen trying to kill it by himself!
>>
No. 832708 ID: 3d2d5f

Don't sit down or relax, Fen.

>What do I need to do to convince you that you will be treated well?
I am not interested in how I am treated. If I sought comfort, I would have stayed home.

I care about advancing my goals. Surrending to you prevents or delays me from pursuing them. Perhaps permanently.

>run
He's blocking our exit, and he's got a longer stride, and undead are usually tireless.

Unless there's a small tunnel he can't follow us, that's not an option.
>>
No. 832709 ID: 91ee5f

>>832699
>the signs of injury it has (and it wants to fix those injuries, which means those injuries are a detriment to it somehow)
Maybe it's just like the smaller undead we keep seeing in the hallways? A tiny cut on the hallway undead, makes the mana leave it and the corpse falls over and stops moving.

So maybe the same thing is happening to this thing? It needs to seal up its injuries to prevent its mana from leaving it.

Only difference is because of the amount of mana it has, it's going to take more than a tiny cut to make it fall over and stop moving!

>>832700
>as quietly as possible.
Good luck doing that. Fen's got his metal armor on, so quiet movements are going to be hard!

Then again, if we get hit by that thing while trying to run, having the metal armor on might be what prevents Fen from getting an injury that prevents him from moving and we'll be lucky that we didn't have him keep his leather armor on!

>>832705
And an obvious question to ask is: "What are you?"
>>
No. 832710 ID: a633c6

>>"Many die before getting anywhere close to their dreams. I assume you wished for more than lesser blood knight."
My ambition is worthy. If you've got something to say I'll listen, but if you want to fight a student of the kingslayer with one broken neck I can do that too.
>>
No. 832712 ID: 015058

My goals are worth risking death.

If you want me to join you then you have to offer me a faster way of getting what I want than my current path. Surrendering to a undead to become a lackey to some unknown power seems counterproductive.

So if you want me to stand down give me a better reason than just because you are asking me.

Keep it talking. The more info you can get from this thing the better the reward will be. It wanted a needle and thread to fix itself. I might be a nasty opponent but is surely not unbeatable.
>>
No. 832713 ID: 7c216c

>>832694
You are obviously not a kobold in any physical sense, so your idea of being treated well may not be the same as my idea. I do not know if you are a commander or a footsoldier, so your promises mean nothing if those you work for command otherwise.
It is foolish to trust a new person you know nothing about immediately. I have been given neither reason to surrender nor reason to fight yet. So to me, you are yet another strange being I have met in these tombs.
So tell me, outside of death, what reasons do I have to surrender to an unknown?
>>
No. 832717 ID: 91ee5f

Oh! And we should also ask about the humming worm thing behind us.
>>
No. 832719 ID: bfb318
File 150635881358.png - (18.34KB , 800x800 , 891.png )
832719

"Are you able to get me a certain girl's hand in marriage?" I do not sit down. It makes some kind of wheezing sputter.
>"I am sorry for the noise. This throat cannot laugh, but I laugh because it is unexpected, not because of disrespect. I have heard of worse ambition, but the answer depends on why you do not already have her hand. If you need rank, then will the girl love you, or will she love your social status? Tell me, as I must know more."
"What did you mean when you said I found this anomaly at an awkward timing?" I ignore its question.
>"The worm of ice has just been released. It takes many minutes, or hours, for its field to come into full effect. You are familiar with a full powered field that we can defend in easier, since our bodies require no heat or light. In approximately one hour, this will eat fire as quickly as the torch you threw in to the first anomaly I saw you at."
"You were there?"
>"I looked through the eyes of another monster. I don't believe you saw it, but its mind was not controlled. You were wise to not enter the anomaly."
"I've heard of creatures here who appeared living, but lacked souls. How would I know you wouldn't do such a thing to me?" I hope to get additional information with these questions. The answers do not concern me, much, but I intend on returning to camp and reporting to those who are interested in these answers.
>"I could bring a living being up here if you wanted to see, but can you sense souls? If so, it will prove that we leave our prisoners intact, with body, mind and soul in place."
"Your idea of 'treated well' may still be different than my own." It does its dysfunctional laugh again.
>"I can say it is better than how the empire treats its citizens."
"I know nothing of you and have as much reason to trust you, even if you brought a living prisoner here. Death aside, I cannot think of a reason to surrender to the unknown."
>"Yes, since death seems so inconsequential to northerners, that is why we have so few prisoners."
"What if the anomaly moves? I assume the white worm is the source of it."
>"Correct. If it moves, then the affected area outside of its new radius will return to normality. The normal areas will raise to full field force. The overlapping areas will maintain strength and, if not already at full force, will get there. Do you understand, both that concept, and I tell you this in absolute confidence at your inability to escape here?"
"Yes. What are you?"
>"I am many things. To my cause, I am a weapon. To you, I am a monster in multiple senses of the word. More is explained, to prisoners. My name is unimportant, as it signifies I am a person. But as an entity, I am known as Garlic Soup."

Valsano would have a laugh at that name. The thought of running comes back to me again. I have half a mind to do that, since this might be my best chance, even if this undead monstrosity is far, far more talkative than I would ever have thought.

It must have seen me glance away or change my body posture.

>"Don't run." it says. "There are things, between here and your comrades, that hunger for meat like the worm of ice hungers for warmth. Things that are left to their own devices. You never told me of this girl you want to be with. If being in the same tribe as the kingslayer is not enough, she must not be easily impressed. Tell me of her, unless you insist on running back to your abusive army before talking to me."
"And if I intend on fighting you?"
>"Then I will let you stab this body with your mundane sword, and you will learn just how much you have to learn about the monsters you have come to slay."
>>
No. 832725 ID: a43366

Unless you think you can break stone somehow fighting is the wrong decision. Even if you ran and got through the monsters that I doubt he's lying about (You can ask him how you passed through the first time without alerting them) you would definitely get injured. That and they may try and harry you as you run with your teammates.
>>
No. 832726 ID: 3d2d5f

>But as an entity, I am known as Garlic Soup.
You were a mutant in life, then. Only Cheese and her kin name themselves so. (Let's see if name dropping a mutant does anything, if it has split loyalties).

>You never told me of this girl you want to be with. If being in the same tribe as the kingslayer is not enough, she must not be easily impressed.
It's because of who my rival for her attentions is.

I mean you no offense, but as a monster, are you truly a match for the highest nobles of the empire? I know what I must match.
>>
No. 832727 ID: a633c6

She's nobility, and she has to financially support her extended family, so she's engaged to a mithril noble, Shup, out of duty. If I'm to be in a position to win her hand I have no time to be prisoner.
>>
No. 832728 ID: 33b7e7

You might as well tell him, in vague terms. "She is already engaged to a high noble, for the sake of supporting her family. She came with him, when he visited us to collect from the forest, and learned of it when we became fond of each other. He told me that if I can become a noble before a certain time, to support her family myself, he would permit the engagement to be broken off so that she and I could be together. Since I left, there are other things I would become a noble for, since I have seen mistreatment and injustice, but I will not lie and say my dearest goal is not a selfish one."

You can engage him from there, too. "What of your goals? Are you and yours here just to spit on the mithril nobles buried here? To make the army waste lives? To run experiments? I will not submit to anyone whose only aim is to cause further torment, if for no other reason than to be worthy of my lady's affections."

Maybe causally drop that you're Zizi's brother in there, see how he reacts. Something like "she was impressed with my brother's reputation, but" et cetera et cetera.

At least he's kind of implicitly admitted to not being able to run after you himself. And he said the creatures are between you and your comrades. Do you have a good mental map in your head? Could you meet up with any base camps if you ran in a different direction? You might be surrounded, though. I think this guy, and the creatures he mentions, were suddenly moved in here to protect the anomaly, when they realized you had found it. That's why it was dragged away, as well, probably. However, as this guy demonstrated by being here, the reinforcements/protection were probably moved in to cover the direction you came from, first. They might be weaker in other directions. You could shout to your friends to run, and that you'll try meet up again. Beating reinforcements is a time-critical thing too, though.

Or... it's possible these flesh-hungering creatures are better capable of being fought. If your friends wedged into them and you ran to meet them, then to run together, you might make it. Maybe. You'd have to shout that plan to them, though, and this guy would know what you're doing.
>>
No. 832729 ID: 65dabf

What does he get by talking to us, aboute her?

If we try to figth it, wich i don't thing it would be wise, we REALY have to hope for a Dark Souls boss figth, at least, if you are god enough, your lvl doesn't really mater, but we don't have the woepon for the job. On the other hand, we migth lern somthing from it, with a high chanse of deing.
>>
No. 832730 ID: 91ee5f

>>832719
You could threaten to go to the white worm to kill it. Then you fake them out by acting like you're going to go towards the worm, but you're actually not going to the worm, you're just doubling back to get to where your allies are!

Although, I'm not sure if it would be wise to say this out loud. It might be a bad idea actually.
>>
No. 832731 ID: d3b950

>There are things, between here and your comrades, that hunger for meat
you came through here a first time. If thats true then how did you get past them the first time.

>You never told me of this girl you want to be with. If being in the same tribe as the kingslayer is not enough, she must not be easily impressed.
>>832727
yup go with this

>I am known as Garlic Soup
ask it if it was a mutant when it was alive, and if so, mention the names Cheese, Tomato, and Cabbage to get a reaction.

All in all, i really dont want to surrender to this thing but if its not joking about those other entities lurking around (with our heavy armor on) we may not be able to out run any of them.
>>
No. 832732 ID: 3d2d5f

>>832727
I'm not sure we should specify who she is like that. If the necromancer survives this, it gives him a way to target Fen, or take revenge.
>>
No. 832733 ID: 91ee5f

>>832731
>you came through here a first time. If thats true then how did you get past them the first time.
Hey, you're right. If that was true then Fen wouldn't be standing here and talking to it right now. It might be bluffing to try and scare Fen into not running!

Then again, it might be telling the truth. There's really only one way to find out and none of us are going to like it!

Also, I think we should tell our allies to let go of the rope before the monster pulls them in here!
>>
No. 832734 ID: e8418a

Garlic soup?

Keeping in mind Tomato, Cheese, and... was it Basil?

You are clearly dealing with a mutant. Mention this possibility.
>>
No. 832735 ID: 3ce125

If it was bluffing it would not have given us any information. We're definitely trapped.

Tell him she's going to marry a noble if you don't become one yourself within a year. You plan on entering the arena to fight for the title, so you joined the army for experience.
>>
No. 832737 ID: bfb318
File 150636459962.png - (22.56KB , 1000x800 , 892.png )
832737

>Do you have a good mental map in your head, to get back to camp from a different direction?
Yes. If I run, it may be best to not go directly back to my team. I do not know the exact layout to my sides or in the opposite direction, but my sense of direction is good enough that I will be able to find my way back around provided the hallways allow the paths.

Plus, I've noticed pillars at the top of these archways, indicating there may be a walkway I can run on. It would be difficult to do with all of my gear, but if worst comes to worst, I can climb upwards.

"Hold on. Where were those 'things' that are now between me and my allies, when I first came through here?"
>"On standby, to be put out either when the field was at full strength, or when someone like you came and found the field before it was ready."
"It is because of who my rival for her attention is. Are you a match for the highest nobles of the empire?"
>"That depends on who. There is no need to hide so many details. The empire would not listen to me even if I knew dirty soldier secrets."
"Fine. She is the fiance of a high noble. I must have the money to support her family."
>"Hmmmm... Lily, was it? Yes, by your change in expression, I think I'm right."
"... how did you know?"
>"She is currently the only fiance in a mithril house, and it was worth a guess. So, you must become a noble, or at least have a sufficient income."
"Why does it matter to you?"
>"The deadland campaign to the northwest seems more lucrative to soldiers than here. I must know the enemy, which is why I know the current events of the mithril houses, and many golds. I am curious why so many soldiers would willingly walk down into terrible conditions against monsters that slay kobolds like a sheep would eat grass."
"I have a contact who came from Erja Nokol. With a name like Garlic Soup, you may know her. Her name is Cheese."
>"Know her? We were siblings. Speaking of siblings, are you more than just of Zizi's tribe? Brothers?"
"I am Zizi's brother, yes."
>"What a coincidence."
"What is your goal? To waste army lives? To run experiments?"
>"The experiments are necessary to field test our magic for later combat. Lives will be wasted, and while unfortunate, we have killed less people down here in the last several months than the amount of lives wasted by the empire every single day through neglect and avoidable combat. We want to end the empire. We do not like the means we are taking to the end, but the empire will throw punches sooner than talk. Our options have boiled down to either doing nothing, or stooping down to their level to make them change. Fen, brother of Zizi, I will not tell you more, because I do not want to tell you so much while making the risk that you will be the first person in the empire's rank to make it out of an anomaly."

It's getting colder. If I stick around and keep talking, I may want to start a fire. At least if I run, it will warm me up.

I hear some ambient noise, too. I think it's Aira. I can't make out what she's saying, and the rope in the monster's hand is being pulled hard. The hand doesn't budge any more than usual, until I hear a faint snap, and the rope goes slack. It's been broken.
>>
No. 832740 ID: b0044f

For a battle plan I would yell to your friends to run as fast as they can.

And then go kill or disable the worm first. Otherwise you will be stuck fighting this thing in a frost zone.


Ask it what happens if you join it. Not just giving up and being its prisoner but actually joining the necromancers. You have no real ties to the empire. Only to your friends. If they can offer you the training you want to get the power you desire while keeping your identity hidden you will consider it. (But probably not really. We don't care much about the empire but it getting overthrown by necromancers is probably not any better than the current management)
>>
No. 832741 ID: e8418a

Yell at your allies to stay out and get back to camp, then apologize for the inconvenience to your host.

Stay a while and listen.

If we stay, What are the purpose of prisoners - avoiding the loss of life? Hostages? Resources and willing spies?
>>
No. 832742 ID: f66698

Well, this at least wins us a plan of action. Firstly, the thing that's going to kill us is the worm, and the only thing stopping it from killing us is that it's just powering up it's cold aura, because it's just been created or placed or something.

So we made a point of bringing a fire kit, extra torches, and as much oil as we could manage. The oil is the thing that matters here. Now we go back to the worm, and we give it the heat that it wants. We create a fire, we make it big, and we keep adding oil. The worm wants warmth, and what we know suggests to some degree that after it's absorbed some amount of heat the anomaly is going to disappear (though that might just be the source moving/leaving. Regardless, our first plan of action is to set a big ass fire for the worm and hope it cooks itself on it. Our second plan of action is to murder the worm with our sword and then throw it on the fire.

This thing will likely try to stop us, once it figures out what we are trying to do. It says, and the evidence points to it not being vulnerable to your sword, but take a look at it... one of it's heads is hanging limp and has empty eyes, instead of magic blood red pupils... it's likely because it was struck with a magic sword, but it may be that this thing is indeed vulnerable to physical damage, just not in the way living creatures with vitals do. A swing to the head may kill that... head. Maybe disable it's ability to see. Maybe even if it can't be killed, disabling and leaving it burning might be our method of destroying it.

But we are on the clock to stop our own death, and that means it's time to go handle the worm. Diplomacy may still be possible, it calls you friend, maybe you can ask it to wait deeper inside, allowing you area without the anomaly effect but short of this creatures blockade, but it seems likely that it's time to murder the worm.
>>
No. 832743 ID: 3d2d5f

Well, Cheese will be disappointed to hear her sibling died.

It's cold enough for the rope to shatter. We've stayed too long. The longer we stall, the better the environment will work against us.

It's time to make a break for it.

Priority is escaping to report, not killing him. A long fight chopping him to pieces would probably take more time than we have. Hit and run tactics.

Lethal wounds won't kill the dead. What hits we make should be aimed at reducing it to pieces, or hampering mobility. Chopping off bits, connective tissue, muscles, etc.
>>
No. 832744 ID: a43366

He said 'were' past tense so he is probably some kind of undead/non-kobold being right now, maybe transmuted from a kobold.

Warn them about the dangers inside and tell them not to come in, or else Aira or Valsano may rush in and that would be a huge ruckus and likely end with some corpses.
>>
No. 832745 ID: 015058

You might not even have to kill the frost worm. Just find the spell focus that locks it in place and destroy it. (But get ready to chop its cute little head right off sadly)

While the empire is a mess joining a bunch of necromancers to overthrow it does not help us impress Lily. We need money and status yes but also to still be someone she can love. Riding in at the head of a army of undead might mess that up a bit.

While this guy might believe in his speech 100% we don't know his bosses. People talk about wanting to get rid of those in charge and how bad the current nobles are but there would be countless dead in a full on war.

So make him a offer. Cheese works for you now. If he is family you will make the same offer to him. If not we had better get to running and or fighting.
>>
No. 832746 ID: 3d2d5f

>Kill the worm
Might be hard, guys, as that would require doubling back and fighting it and Garlic Soup at the same time. And neither is likely an easy kill.
>>
No. 832747 ID: b60dfa

>>832737
"Your reasons don't seem ignoble, but I can't stay."

Run.
>>
No. 832748 ID: 91ee5f

>>832737
>We want to end the empire.
Sadly, that would mean that Fen's chances of being with Lily would not exist. And he wouldn't be able to look her in the eyes if he helped the necromancers. So now I think it's safe to say that Fen has been given even more reasons to be the first soldier to get out of an anomaly and make his report!

>It's getting colder. If I stick around and keep talking, I may want to start a fire. At least if I run, it will warm me up.
Yeah, the time for talk is over. It's time to leave in a strategic way that'll allow Fen to leave alive with little to no damage to his body!

And we'd better do it fast, before our allies try to rush in and help! Actually, I think Aira might be the only one that'll try to rush in because of that debt she feels she owes Fen when he saved her life!
>>
No. 832749 ID: 91ee5f

>>832748
Is it possible to trick him and make him think that Fen wasn't the only one in here? Make him think Fen is a distraction so that the other scout in here with us sneaks over to the worm to kill it?

If it works, he'll rush off to save the worm and we'd only have to worry about the other creatures in here!

Or maybe that's not a good plan? I don't know.
>>
No. 832751 ID: 3ce125

>>832737
Okay so they have spies everywhere and are building an undead/magical army to invade the world of the living and usurp the throne. They claim it's because the empire mistreats its citizens, and we know that's true. Unfortunately the resulting war will make things very unpleasant for a long time, and I expect the vast majority of the citizens of the empire will be unhappy with an undead ruler. Lily wouldn't like it.

Let's be smart here. Can't run right through the monsters, so ask for a campfire while taking off your gear, and yell at your allies to just go back to base, you've been captured. Once you've lightened your load enough, run for a pillar and climb up it so that you can take the high road. Eventually you can catch up to your allies.
>>
No. 832752 ID: deec6e

"I'm sorry Garlic. I can't be taken prisoner. Anything else? Words for Cheese? It looks like time is running out."

Raise your blade, like you intend to fight him.

Make the raised blade a pure feint and toss one - or both if you can - of your medium bottles of oil bottles straight at him and light him on fire with your torch. Living down here this body should be pretty bone dry.

Then maintain distance and lead him towards the ice snake, or yell for the ice snake to attract it. Seeing something covered in burning oil - and with a little encouragement from you - it may decide to give it all of its bestest hugs.

While Garlic is being distracted by a snuggling snake, you run like hell, trying to avoid any of these other more mindless beasts Garlic suggested was out there. Heck, you may want to run in the other direction entirely, considering they specifically moved to cut off your escape.
>>
No. 832753 ID: bfb318
File 150636743358.png - (16.43KB , 800x800 , 893.png )
832753

"Cheese works for me. If you are family, we might be able to talk about offers."
>"It would be presumptuous of me to call her a sibling, still. My offer to take you as a prisoner is my offer."
"Would you want me to say anything to Cheese on your behalf?"
>"... no. Thank you."
"What is the point of taking me as a prisoner?"
>"Moderate labor, and light experimentation. That does not sound ideal, I know, but you will be well fed and cared for, and our experiments will not be dangerous."
"And if I joined you not as a prisoner, but joining your cause? I do not have many ties to the empire, just my friends."
>"We can't trust you either right away, but in time, you may rise through our ranks starting as a prisoner. From there, not just will you have riches, but you will be partipating in a better place. There are some that say life under necromancers does not sound any better, but necromancy is just a tool. The empire is so incompetent, that it will not be hard to improve it."

I only asked for information. I have no intention of joining like this.

I am going to run, after I tell my allies to do the same.

The question is what my escape route is. I will fight Garlic Soup if I have to, but it seems like a needless risk.

A) Back to the worm, and try to kill it.
B) To the side, to avoid anything between me and my allies in the hopes that the reinforcements to occupy this anomaly are sparse in a random direction.
C) To my allies

And regardless of my decision, my backpack is full of gear and as a result is weighing me down, so I may wish to drop it. My belt buckles are made so that I can drop my backpack at a second's notice for reasons like this. My oil vials are kept on my belt, so I would still have those even if I drop the backpack.

Previous votes detailing options will carry over to the next update.
>>
No. 832754 ID: 015058

While I hate saying it you should probably kill the cute worm.

That will pull reinforcements away from your allies as they try and stop you from taking out the anomaly. Also will give us valuable data on if they can be killed normally.

And finally if its alive you might not be able to leave. I don't want to test you running into the rapidly increasing anomaly outer wall.
>>
No. 832755 ID: a363ac

>>832753
A.
"I might have been interested in working with you in the future, but I already have a goal and if you stand between me and Lily you won't for long."
>>
No. 832756 ID: 015058

Oh yeah you can always come back for your pack. So drop it in the middle of a intersection so you can find it after this is all over.
>>
No. 832757 ID: 3d2d5f

>backpack
If you won't lose the vials, ditch it. Everything inside is replaceable and this is going to be a hard rush.

>plan
B and C? To your allies, but not in a straight line. Yell out at the start, so they know you're coming.

A is a non starter. Escape while outnumbered will be hard. Fen can't fight everything here to kill the worm at once.
>>
No. 832761 ID: 91ee5f

>>832757
I agree!

Don't rush towards the worm to try and kill it! Everything in here will be chasing you, so when you try to run back, they'll all be blocking your escape!

And there's no guarantee that you'll deal a killing blow to the worm before Garlic Soup and the other creatures catch up to you!

So we should ditch the backpack and keep everything on our belt, while we run back to our allies in a way that isn't a straight line!
>>
No. 832762 ID: 3ce125

>>832753
>backpack
Yeah you gotta drop it.
>>
No. 832763 ID: b0044f

Leaning for A.

We have no proof there are any other undead than this guy hiding in the wings. He could just be lying to you about the hordes of monsters supposedly next to your team.

While it would be backtracking slightly to deal with the worm it might be the only chance to deal with it. And if there is a horde of undead they are the other direction.

And finally that rope just froze in mid air. Unless you dive out of it very soon you will be a mess after going through it. Better to take out the worm and then book it out another exit.
>>
No. 832764 ID: deec6e

Toss fire at Garlic, then head for A, like a feint, with the intention of doing B ---> C. If we really can make the snake wrap up or delay a burning Garlic, that's a win for us, since he's probably the closest enemy, and the only intelligent one (other than the snake).

Don't forget, Tomato's poison and antidote are still in your backpack. Losing the backpack would drop that, too, and Garlic might recognize it for what it is.
>>
No. 832765 ID: c2051e

Ditch the backpack as a whole, if it means your vials are fine. If you have spare attention and breath as you run, tell him that these are the wrong circumstances for surrender.
>>
No. 832766 ID: c2051e

>>832765
run to the side*
>>
No. 832776 ID: 33b7e7

"I think every noble in the empire justifies their misdeeds as the alternative to doing nothing. I find it hard to think you'll end up doing or being much more than any rebel with an army and some mages, except in terms of horror. From what I've seen, the Empire has built itself, its whole system and worldview, on the presumption of conflicts like this happening."

B.
>>
No. 832780 ID: 4546ab

Go for A unless its a really long run to get to him. Once the worm is down you will get plenty of practice with mana sight as you dodge undead on the way back to your team.

Dump the pack.
>>
No. 832782 ID: 78a3e5

Back to the worm, and then try and take a roundabout path back to the camp.

Instead of trying to outright kill it though I would suggest trying to cut off one of its horns to carry to the camps wizards.

If it's feasible and this dude isn't too fast I would say keep your bag until you hit the worm and throw it as a distraction then.
>>
No. 832785 ID: b88e47

B
Drop everything not related to combat. Try to get back to them eventually.
>>
No. 832795 ID: 65dabf

>>832764
I agree with this, but it would realy nice to grab a hold of Tomato's poison and antidote, those are valuable, and Garlic could use this on his advantage later.
I am 100% sure that, if we ascape this, we will be seeing him again.
>>
No. 832803 ID: a633c6

Your seal is in your bag, don't let him get that.

Take it off, tell him you have fire stuff in your bag. if he tells you not to, say you won't need it as a prisoner. Pull out the seal, toss the bag at him and book it to B.
>>
No. 832811 ID: 91ee5f

>>832753
>"Would you want me to say anything to Cheese on your behalf?"
>"... no. Thank you."
That's a shame. Cheese is going to be disappointed to hear that when Fen gets out of here.

Just out of curiosity, can anyone see anything hidden in the darkness in this picture? Because if there's something there, then we'd better not let Fen run to his left!

>Fen's Seal, Tomato's poison, and antidote are in bag.
Then I guess we'd better get those out before we ditch the bag!
>>
No. 832813 ID: bfb318
File 150638095870.png - (58.42KB , 1200x800 , 894.png )
832813

"I am going to get some more fire. Hold on."

Once I set my sword down, I pull my torches out of my backpack. I then pocket the 2 vials of poison and anti-poison, plus my emblem. These vial contents are nearly irreplaceable. The only other irreplaceable thing I'm leaving behind is my bow. As an item, it is replaceable, but it was the first real gift I received in empire borders.

"I don't care about breaking down an awful empire. I only want to live with Lily."

I turn towards my teammates.

"Run!" I scream as loud as I can, while the sound dampening isn't too much to get through. At least, I hope it isn't already to that point.

>"Goodbye." Garlic states the word with a tone of finality.

There's a large drop in mana, and the monster slumps for just a second. I light my second torch.
>>
No. 832814 ID: bfb318
File 150638097281.png - (91.41KB , 1200x800 , 895.png )
832814

The monster snaps to attention again, and the neck of the dead head whips to face me. Its jaw remains unhinged, but it seems focused. The whole thing lumbers forward at me with a new posture.

I unplug an oil vial and lob it as hard as I can at the monster. It's made of clay, and breaks even against flesh. By the time it strikes, I've swung my shield arm to throw my used torch at it. It sails through the air well, and is just a second behind the oil.

Without bothering to look to see if this worked, I pick up the last torch I left out, and run.
>>
No. 832815 ID: bfb318
File 150638098030.png - (54.59KB , 1529x722 , 896.png )
832815

My first destination is the humming worm. There's a hollow scream right behind me as the beast is illuminated, confirming that it has caught on fire.

Screams sound off throughout the anomaly. I think it's from 4 sources of unnatural sounding beings.

On fire or not, the four headed beast is following me, and it's catching up. The fire has illuminated something coming at me from my right side.
>>
No. 832816 ID: bfb318
File 150638099940.png - (25.20KB , 800x800 , 897.png )
832816

I still get to the worm, and it hums 'frieeeend' to me. I don't know how hard it will be to kill, but I also get the idea to just chop off a horn.
>>
No. 832817 ID: b88e47

Just fucking run.
>>
No. 832818 ID: c2051e

"Hi. Introduce me to your new friend?"
>>
No. 832819 ID: a363ac

>>832816
stab into eye an move sword up and through skull.
>>
No. 832820 ID: 12a89c

>>832753
Geez option A is a high-risk high-reward situation. This will be risky try throwing a vial of oil at them and then throw the torch at them that way they'll catch fire and then run to C
>>
No. 832822 ID: 0d45a9

Find something heavy and hit it with that, falling that, slice at it with your sword. I suspect heating it up will make it's aura grow or something, and if it's super cold then that might do bad things to Fen's sword.
>>
No. 832823 ID: 015058

Figure out who that guy stuck to it is. Is he a undead holding it in place? Or another army guy who just got here and grabbed it.

Also touching it directly is going to be tricky.

Ask it if it found a new friend and motion to the guy holding it. Also if it can stop freezing everything. Also can it kill itself.

As for killing it. Try to chop its head off with all your strength while its distracted. If that does not work chop a horn off.
>>
No. 832824 ID: c2051e

>>832818
To be clear, I want to try and stall until the monster arrives to distract it. I don't think we have a realistic chance of escape or killing it until then.
>>
No. 832826 ID: 5d2db0

A, that thing might still have the lit torch, making it easier to find. If we kill it, no more cold dark that we need to sprint though. It means we can at least see our way out, on top of the reward for killing a anomaly.

If we kill it, we can report back that throwing people at them is useless and a bad idea.
>>
No. 832827 ID: 3abd97

It feeds on fire, right? And we have a burning corpse chasing us?

So we have a very limited window to do anything, before it gets a power up. If we're lucky, they'll both be tied up when it jumps the monster to hug the fire to death and we'll be able to run.

Plus at least 4 other monsters coming this way.

>'frieeeend'
Poor naive bastard.

>take an antler
That requires touching an antler, which as we can see from the forming corpsicle over there, is a Bad Idea. You do not want to touch this thing with your bare hands.

I say since we were dumb enough to double back, attack it then dodge when the fire-monster catches up, and run as it sucks on the fire to heal. Two creatures tied up, 4 more after you. And maybe a dead frozen kobold.
>>
No. 832828 ID: 33b7e7

>They took away its fire and blanket

Aww.

If you wanted to kill this thing you should probably have told your friends to attack rather than telling them to run. Now you have a bunch of dudes after you, and even if you kill this they'll probably kill you right after. Killing one anomaly of many is less valuable than bringing back information that could bear on them all.

If you must, just chop off a bit of horn to take, and flee.
>>
No. 832829 ID: 015058

>>832827

Can sword the antler off instead of hand grabbing it.
>>
No. 832830 ID: 65dabf

Ok, first, who's that?
Second, it pains me to do this, but if we don't try now, we wont be able to do it later, so you'll have to try and kill now. Maybe is for the best, if it colpletes his transformation, he will most likely be alone for the rest of his "life", killing all living creatures that comes close to it. If you can´t kill it, then take a piece of it. Say goodye at least...
>>
No. 832832 ID: 65dabf

Say, i almost forgot, is Tomato's poison efective against it's oun kind? Maybe we can use it with this thing... again, don't want to, but we don't have much choises here.
>>
No. 832833 ID: a43366

Try to do one slash through its neck and horn at the same time, if possible.

Otherwise try a stab through its eye to skewer its brain and then hack off a horn.

Either way if it takes you longer than a few seconds bail.
>>
No. 832834 ID: 3abd97

>>832832
Poisons don't tend to work on undead constructs.

Although Fen doesn't know if the ice worm is an undead construct, or a living magical creature of some kind. (We also don't know if it has blood, or if the poison will just freeze and do nothing). It's too uncertain to be effective to burn a one-off trump card on.

But yes, Tomato's poison does work on other mutants that haven't built up an immunity.
>>
No. 832835 ID: 3cc68c

Apologize for being such a bad friend and ask how to kill it.

If it asks why say you don't want it to be trapped alone with no warmth forever once it runs out of heat nearby. Also that you will die if you do not and you want to live.

If you only have a moment ask who it's new friend is and point at that guy back there. When it turns to look say Sorry and chop its head off.

If it turns out to be undecapitateable then just chop a horn off instead. Then get behind it so the rapidly approaching guy on fire attracts its attention.

Oh and kill that guy touching it as well. Just in case he is important or needs a mercy killing. Either way is good.
>>
No. 832836 ID: 617d01

>>832816
Ask him if he can shed a horn first.
>>
No. 832839 ID: 3ce125

>>832816
Okay first off do not touch it. That looks like the corpse of a soldier who tried and was instantly killed and frozen.
Second off, it thinks you're its friend, and has quite the bulky body so it should be able to at least block enemies from getting to you. Ask it to help you fight off the incoming monsters. If it refuses, THEN you can attack it.

I still say you should climb upwards.
>>
No. 832840 ID: 33b7e7

You know it'd probably be easier to knock a horn off than cut it off. I'm still recommending just running, but if that's not how it goes, it's something to keep in mind.
>>
No. 832841 ID: b60dfa

>>832816
Probably best to leave it since it will probably grapple with our now burning pursuer.
Maybe they'll hurt each other, maybe it'll just be an annoyance, either way, it's a good distraction to give you time to escape.
>>
No. 832842 ID: 91ee5f

I don't think chopping off a horn and grabbing it is safe! Even if the horn is disconnected from its body, the horn could still drain the heat from Fen's body!
>>
No. 832843 ID: a633c6

If the other zombies are any indication, it will be open to the idea of self-immolating to keep warm.

I'm guessing that other dude was what was pulling it back, don't worry about him.
>>
No. 832844 ID: 78a3e5

>>832833
I'm just now seeing the dead soldier. I think my plan might work, but throwing the vial into it's mouth/asking it to eat it is safer. IF you do try to cut it and your sword gets stuck then you might want to try and flip over to that dude and take his before you continue to run.
>>
No. 832846 ID: 015058

Safe way to take a horn.

Chop the horn off that the guy is grabbing. Then chop his arm off and carry the horn with frozen on hand already attached via the stump!
>>
No. 832848 ID: 015058

Also what if that guy is the way they keep it from moving? He was not here before so maybe he came over and grabbed its horns and dragged it back here.

Maybe you can chop him up and get the worm to follow you with promises of fire.
>>
No. 832849 ID: 3ce125

I'll support chopping off a horn. Fen should not touch it with his bare hands but he may be able to put it in his belt.
>>
No. 832851 ID: bfb318
File 150638586071.png - (39.22KB , 800x1000 , 898.png )
832851

I don't recognize the kobold. It seems too vacant and stiff to be alive. It is moving, and its hands have frozen over. It seems to be trying to get away from me, but its hands are stuck to the antlers. If I take an antler, I should bundle it up into my cloak.

>"Biiig fiiiire." The creature hums, looking in the directon of the incoming four headed beast.
"Can you block the fire from reaching me?"
>"Yeeeeesssss!"

I don't want to kill it, after all. The beast is nearly on me. I may need all the help I can get to slow it down.

"I'd like an antler!"
>"Okay."

I swing at one of the antlers, and just barely hear a thock. My sword ends up embedded halfway into the antler. I can't get it back out.

>Climb up
I still can do it, but not while holding these torches. I need both hands to climb.

The worm is starting to flop towards the incoming beast. I can attempt to knock a horn loose, or take the other kobold's sword I see looped around it. I do not have time to do both unless I want to be in arm's reach of the four headed beast.
>>
No. 832852 ID: 015058

Go for the other guys sword. Need to deal with the big monster before snapping off a horn. Although you should be able to snap off a horn if you give the handle of your sword a strong kick.

Looks like the frost worm is probably made out of super dense magical ice stuff (or at least its horns are). Luckily you are its friend and it will help you fight the undead guy.

So use the worms help to kill the big guy. Then knock a horn loose and say goodbye for now unless you figure out something during the fight.
>>
No. 832854 ID: 33b7e7

The horn that you chopped into. Swing or punch your shield into it, as hard as you can, as much of the weight as you can, above where you chopped into it. Not in the opposite direction you swung your sword. I'd say in the same direction but that would send the horn flying off towards your enemy, so to the sides or diagonally away from you. You've chopped wood before, right? This thing is cold, which should make it brittle. Hopefully, it'll snap off. Then you'll have your sword back, and you can jump over the worm to go grab the antler and run/climb away.

Judging by your sword going into it, the shield bash should be strong enough to break it off now it's been weakened. If not, then you'll have to abandon swords and just get out of there.
>>
No. 832855 ID: 3ce125

>>832851
The horn is a lesser priority than re-arming yourself. Get that new sword. At some point you're going to want to kick your old sword so that it goes the rest of the way through. Maybe lure the four headed monster into breaking the antler the rest of the way?
>>
No. 832857 ID: 3abd97

Seems like this thing is made of ice. That's gonna make it hard to kill, since it apparently eats fire. If blades get stuck, you either need an enchanted blade, like Rasyan had, or to smash it to bits with maces or something.

Bug out. Leave your sword, grab the zombie's sword, and go up and out.
>>
No. 832858 ID: a633c6

Give the top of the horn a hard kick, that should crack it off and dislodge your sword.
>>
No. 832859 ID: a363ac

>>832851
take the sword use it for breaking the other half.
>>
No. 832860 ID: 91ee5f

>>832852
>Fight and kill the big guy.
NO! Are you crazy?! We can't do that! We're out numbered by the other creatures that are lurking in the shadows and as soon as the worn touches the big guy, things are going to get deadly cold very fast!

>>832854
>shield bash antler to get it and sword.
That could work, but we've only got enough time for one swing! If we can't get it after one swing, then we're gonna have to abandon it and our sword and keep running!
>>
No. 832861 ID: 78a3e5

Can you give the sword a twist in order to break the horn off?
>>
No. 832868 ID: b60dfa

>>832854
Yes, if you punch/chop your shield above the cut you made it should snap off.
If it works, bundle it up.
Either way, hightail it out of there when done.
>>
No. 832870 ID: 65dabf

>>832854
This! But be carefuol when grabing the ice horn, we don't want a frozen hand!
>>
No. 832872 ID: 1e7aa8

Get the other sword, flee while the big guy is tangled up with the ice worm.
>>
No. 832876 ID: b88e47

Run.
If you can grab other sword without slowing down, do it.
>>
No. 832879 ID: 4546ab

Leave your sword for now (unless you can kick it quickly enough). Grab the zombies sword and then chop its arms off so it can not drag the worm away from the big guy.

Then depending on how things go with the worm hugging the big guy kick your sword and grab a horn before absconding into the rafters.

Only fight the big guy solo if you have not other choice. Yell to the worm that if it follows you will get it more warmth. That should keep some undead distracted as they have to chase it and drag it back.
>>
No. 832888 ID: d3b950

Im glad we decided not to hurt the poor guy.

>>832854
Try this but only once, if it doesnt work then you dont have time for the other sword, get moving again. you still have a dagger with you right? better than nothing.
>>
No. 832940 ID: 45b653

Name the one your on 'Anomaly core White worm' or 'White worm' for short, while the other 'Undead guardian Garlic Soup' or 'Garlic Soup' for short in your report if you succeed.
>>
No. 833004 ID: f66698

Ok, little snag in the plan that is, and if this follows suit with what we Soup's fire is gonna go out because of the cold aura.

So the plan has changed, no more running, what we are going to do instead is kill garlic soup with more fire. Lots more fire.

Take the zombies sword first. It may be a piece of shit, we just need it between us and it, immediately.

Now, if the worm successfully grabs or blocks the thing from getting to you, that doesn't solve any of our problems. There's still ice aura, there's still undead waiting to block us, so escape has never been a real option here. We need to disarm the ice effect, then we need to make a controlled effort by luring undead out of position and selectively killing them when it's appropriate.

To get rid of the ice effect, we need to either kill this thing, or pull some magic out of our asses that will counter this. It likes warmth. Fire is warm. We need lots more fire to kill this thing (though it makes it more deadly at the same time). If it wraps around him, holding him in place and likes that because it's warm, then we just keep adding more oil to the fire. We spent a lot on these for this reason. I doubt this thing is immune to fire, if corpses burn this asshole is going to as well, and every minute spent with him burning is going to be a little slower and less effective at fighting.

If the worm can't block him, then grip that sword with both hands and try to chop off a leg or arm while staying out of reach. He's big, obviously it's not going to be easy to sever a limb. Both hands, full body weight behind every swing is the only real option. Getting grappled by it will pretty much mean death, it would normally be incredibly dangerous, being immune to anything but complete physical destruction.

As for the worm, it's time we consider using the poison on the worm. The worm is the source of the cold, the cold is the real threat to our life, and even if we spare it's life now, it's unlikely it will live long once we tell the empire. Nothing we can do will save our icy friend, so maybe death is the right answer. We could poison it and run away with zombies sword, as like stated before, it's on fire and every minute is real permanent damage to it.
>>
No. 833010 ID: 91ee5f

>>833004
The biggest thing Fen has ever successfully beaten in a fight is a mountain kobold.

Garlic Soup is twice as big and twice as strong as any mountain kobold! And you want Fen to try and kill him by himself?!

Are you purposefully trying to get Fen killed?!
>>
No. 833100 ID: f66698

Just to point out, the biggest thing Fen fought is a Raysan, and he killed him despite being clearly outmatched. In fact Fen has killed every enemy he's come up against. We don't know the limit of what Fen can manage at all.

And running off with sword number 2 isn't exactly a smart move. We are surrounded.
>>
No. 833104 ID: 91ee5f

>>833100
It's more like Raysan underestimated Fen because he was a barbarian that just barely crawled outta the woods into civilization and knew nothing about how things worked outside of the forest. I think Fen just got lucky that Raysan didn't use any magic on him. Then again, what'd you expect from the first boss fight of an adventure? They're usually supposed to be easy fights to win.

But, yeah, Fen can't fight Garlic Soup because if he focuses on him to try and kill him, the other things hiding in the shadows will sneak up on Fen.

Also, there has been no evidence showing that the worm is a living creature that can be affected by Tomato's poison. As far as we can tell, it's also an undead and the poison won't work on it.
>>
No. 833106 ID: bfb318

Go for a shield bash, but give up and go for the zombie's sword if one bash doesn't bash it off.
>>
No. 833138 ID: deec6e

>>832851

Stop thinking of your sword as a sword. It's now a lever.

Use the lever, heave and ho and set your weight and strength on the job, and hope that magic snake ice horn cracks faster than iron bends. If need be, beat at the horn with your shield to finish the job.

If that don't do it, yeah, you gotta run, climb, do whatever to avoid Formerly-Garlic monster.
>>
No. 833140 ID: d0bba6

>>833104
Raysana actually did use magic. He enchanted his sword to hurt more.
>>
No. 833141 ID: 91ee5f

>>833140
I meant something other than that.
>>
No. 833146 ID: c9fd48

I'd like to point out, each time Fen sparred against someone actually trained for war, he got his ass kicked and scored at best a double KO.
>>
No. 833148 ID: 33b7e7

>>833141
>>833104

The general impression I've gotten is that magic can't be used at short notice in this setting. It takes time and a certain amount of ritual, and often some esoteric requirements, to make magic happen. So far, all the examples we've been told of magic being used in combat is with equipment or troops that had been created/augmented beforehand, or traps. It seems mostly about collecting and concentrating soul/magic energy, which has a wind-up time.

Some sort of necromancer's undead warrior war machine is probably more deadly than anything Rasyan, travelling incognito, could have had on him. He wasn't going to be able to throw a fireball or make himself super strong or anything like that.
>>
No. 833164 ID: fff296

>>833148
I forgot that lagotrope rebooted the universe for this quest. I thought it was still chee quest universe/magic and it was just fen's story that was redone.
>>
No. 833205 ID: 194b2f

Maybe it would be possible to get Garlic Soup's puppet to freeze to the Ice worm by touching it like that zombie kobold. However, with that things strength it might either tear away from its frozen appendages or just drag the poor worm with it to bite you. Maybe ask the kind ice worm to give that flaming monster a hug for warmth. Might still spare you some time.
>>
No. 833237 ID: bfb318
File 150660660018.png - (36.07KB , 800x800 , 899.png )
833237

Since my shield is on my left arm, the worm is heading to my left, I am able to attempt a fast knock on the antler without giving it a large windup. It doesn't work. Even if I spent the time to wind up a harder bash, I have no way to know if it would have worked.

Without the antler breaking, I jump away from Garlic's monster and towards the zombie. At close range, this zombie stinks and it tries to bite me. It can't properly defend itself while its hands are stuck to the worm's antlers.

I pull its sword out of its scabbard, since I don't have time or position to try and chop its arm off with my spare dagger.

I couldn't tell until I touched it, but some of all of the magic I'm sensing around me is this sword. It's more than just a shoddy length of metal worn by a zombie. I still can't tell what it does from its mana alone, but I think I have a hunch. It's much lighter than a sword this size should be.
>>
No. 833238 ID: b88e47

run
>>
No. 833239 ID: a363ac

>>833237
cut the zombie in half to get a feel for the sword then get back to the horn with your sword in it.
>>
No. 833240 ID: b60dfa

>>833237
Time to run.
If nothing else, a magic sword is a decent acquisition, maybe this zombie was a knight or noble in life.
>>
No. 833241 ID: 78a3e5

Yeah run. Getting the antler would have been great but surviving is better.
>>
No. 833242 ID: 65dabf

A long sword enchanted to be lighter? Exelent, we should actualy save that for later, it might seem like nothing special, but it is a grate quirk for a weapon, power, speed and sturdiness.
We should disengage now, we've spend to much time and the enemy must be rigth at our back.
>>
No. 833246 ID: bfb318
File 150661306891.png - (28.46KB , 800x800 , 900.png )
833246

I run. I only look back just enough to see that the worm has gone onto Garlic Soup's monster, and nothing more. Since the zombie is nearly out of range by the time the sword is free, I don't even swing. The bright flash of white and fire will damage my ability to see in the darkness ahead, so I run forward without getting a good look at just how effective the white worm is doing.

Unless the anomaly is making fake noises, there are definitely other things in the darkness. I run fast before they have a chance to surround me, but I'm still unnerved that none of them are coming into the open. I still look up, but even with the lightness of the sword, I'd just have too much of an issue currently climbing up while holding my buckler and sword. I'd need to throw one up there first to be able to climb. For now, I run, since the worm is slowing down the monster enough for me to escape most of its light, even though I hear it still trying to chase me.

My friends are south and east. I head north, but start circling around east so that I can go more or less straight south depending on Garlic's movements. I don't get far before there's another mana spike. The source of mana is on the same level as Garlic Soup's monster. I take a few paces forward, carefully, then stop. There's a third spike.

Unless there's just some powerful item, I've now entered detection range of two additional monsters. I can still sense Garlic's monster behind me, trying to catch up. I think the white worm's antlers are getting caught between the archways.
>>
No. 833247 ID: 78a3e5

How fast was Garlic Soup? Do you think you could charge one, dodge it's attack, and get away from it?

Either way you can't let them box you in or herd you away from where you need to go.
>>
No. 833250 ID: b60dfa

>>833246
Well this is going to suck, Garlic seemed to imply they can sense living things. If we have any luck, they won't be particularly intelligent or at least be slow in dealing with problem solving.

Go for climbing.
Toss sword up, it's easier to let go of and pick back up than the buckler, just keep in mind that it's lighter when you toss it.
>>
No. 833253 ID: 33b7e7

I think climbing is your only option, Fen. Most undead tend to be less coordinated than the living, and besides that, if they're like Garlic Soup then they're big. They should be a bit slower at climbing than you, purely on the basis of not being able to grip so well.

I say throw your buckler up. The sword might be useful to climb with, since this is all stonework and there might be cracks to wedge it in as a handle. If it's magic, it's probably durable as well, right?
>>
No. 833256 ID: 91ee5f

>>833246
Everyone check the image carefully! There might be something hidden in the darkness straight ahead!

>I still look up, but even with the lightness of the sword, I'd just have too much of an issue currently climbing up while holding my buckler and sword. I'd need to throw one up there first to be able to climb.
Exactly how light is the sword? Could you possibly put the handle in your mouth and carry it like that? That way you can free up one of your hands without throwing away your weapon!
>>
No. 833258 ID: 3abd97

>magic sword
Great, I wonder how much that piece of loot will cost to keep.

>Unless there's just some powerful item, I've now entered detection range of two additional monsters
That, or two people like Garlic Soup decided to use magic to take control of monsters that were already here.

Monsters controlled by intelligent people have to be more dangerous than dumb monsters.

>climb
Toss the shield if you do, I think. If you're caught mid-climb, I'd rather have a sword to swing at things.
>>
No. 833261 ID: a633c6

I think that means head south.
>>
No. 833266 ID: 1f7d0f

>>833246
If there were ever a time to climb, its now. throw sword,the buckler is around your arm and will take time to remove.
>>
No. 833268 ID: 015058

That mana spike is probably greater undead or necromancers taking over the other simple undead they have in the area. So that they will be able to personally chase you down instead of having stupid undead lumbering after you.

Your ability to track mana will keep you alive so better learn quick. If a undead has a normal amount of mana then they are probably stupid yet still dangerous.

If they have a ton of mana then someone is puppeting them and they are much more dangerous. Possibly even able to cast spells.

So keep your position relative to the way out in your head and escape in a direction that will keep clear of those large mana signatures.

But be wary of them trying to herd you somewhere.
>>
No. 833271 ID: 3ce125

>>833246
Toss your shield up (if you can even throw that far) and climb.
>>
No. 833276 ID: 65dabf

Ok, time to climb, i say toss the shield, it´s the most inconvenient when climbing and it´s no for attacking. One of the walls on the left seems to be full of cracks, so it should be easyer for climbing.
If those mana spikes are form other necromancers, remember that they should be able to sense you to. Once you are on the top, keep going, don't stop.
>>
No. 833278 ID: f66698

Ok, we seem to be forced into a confrontation. Climbing doesn't seem like a good idea, it's not like were seeing any type of way out up there. We need to put distance between us and the worm if we want to live.

This means we are probably going to have to kill at least one of the monsters. Or rather, disable it. At least we have a magic weapon, maybe it will work on them. Keep running, trying to put distance between you and the worm, heading east I suppose. There'll likely be one of them between you and escape. When you engage it, go for limbs and try to dismember it. Don't bother going for the torso, and assume it can even survive having it's head cut open. That means lopping off arms and limbs in order to cripple it is our best bet. If you manage to completely disable one, douse it, light it, and back to running.
>>
No. 833279 ID: bfb318
File 150662474142.png - (22.27KB , 800x800 , 901.png )
833279

I keep running east for a short distance until I think I'm directly north to my allies, then I decide to climb once I cross an archway with satisfactory cracks.

With the garlic monster well behind me, I toss my shield up, balance the sword in my jaw, and climb.
>>
No. 833280 ID: bfb318
File 150662474801.png - (53.79KB , 1479x790 , 902.png )
833280

As soon as I'm up, re-equipped and facing south towards my allies, there are two figures already on the top. One is leaping across the halls towards me, and the other is just standing up.
>>
No. 833281 ID: b88e47

Keep running.
>>
No. 833282 ID: 015058

Instead of simply running I would attack once they come into range. Even though they are undead if you chop there hands off and kick them off the wall they will not be able to get back up here quickly.

And these two look like quick little guys made for chasing down people. If you do not deal with at least one of them you will get a sword in your back eventually.

Keep moving while fighting them. Otherwise you might get a big hand reaching up to grab you once the big guys catch up.
>>
No. 833285 ID: b60dfa

>>833280
Hmm, if they are able to leap across like that they can probably outrun you in a simple race.

They'd be most vulnerable mid-jump, I say you should try and attack the chasing one when it tries to jump to your row.

Just be careful of ranged attacks from the stationary one or getting grabbed from below.
>>
No. 833287 ID: c9fd48

>>833280
Right, whether you fight or run, you have to keep moving.
And if you ever have to actually abandon equipment, toss the shield: The enchanted sword might be one of those items they have a bounty on.
>>
No. 833289 ID: 78a3e5

If it leaps across close to you attack it and knock it down before it lands and gets it's footing.

Otherwise run sideways. Your goal is to either get to your allies or camp. It's fine if they chase you all the way there, as long as they don't catch you.
>>
No. 833292 ID: a363ac

>>833280
move zig zag like accross the ground in order to avoid the other one archer fire. try and trip the jumping one down into a pit then make a run for the exit of the zone ABSOLUTELY DO NOT LET THEM GET YOU IN A 2v1.
>>
No. 833297 ID: 33b7e7

I'm still pretty sure this is an upgrade on whatever you were in for down below. You'll need to keep moving, Garlic Soup or someone like might still be able to throw a hand up to grab your foot or something some time soon.

On first glance I thought the one on the right had a bow but on closer look I think they're both packing two long curved swords each. These guys look fast and hoppy and like they can balance well. I imagine they're going to try and surround you, one on each side. With those swords, even standing beside a pillar won't fully protect you on that side. But they probably don't have armor and they're dual-wielding instead of having shields of their own. Hopefully their swords aren't magic, or at least not strongly magic, and they aren't poisonous or freezing to touch or anything like that. Do these guys have a strong mana sense coming off them?

The guy hopping towards you will probably not hop right at you, because jumping attacks against someone who can see you coming are for idiots, but if he does just focus on blocking both his swords and shoving him off. Move to the left so you can delay them getting you between them. Be careful of being tripped or grabbed by those long tails. Are these forest kobolds, I wonder? Undead ones, presumably.

Do you think you can manage a jump across those gaps?

Preliminary tactical assessment: These guys can probably move faster up here than you, so you have to take them out. You'll still need to keep moving to avoid their allies being able to help. Since you can't escape by running, the standard tactic when outnumbered applies: either try make a situation where you fight one at at a time (I'm not sure any such option exists, though) or attack immediately and try to take out one before the other can get involved. Decapitation is probably surest, but those long swords can block that sort of swing easily. Long weapons aren't good in very close range, though, since it becomes harder to maneuver them and they leave more openings than short weapons. These guys seem more the hit and run type than engagers.

... If they are undead, they might ignore attacks that aim for areas that aren't critical on them. You could stab your sword into its belly, and when it thinks you're an idiot for that, you let go your sword to reach up and snap its neck, then grab your sword again and yank out while kicking it off. A snapped neck might not kill an undead or stop it functioning but their head flopping around should disrupt their balance and ability to see what they want to see.
>>
No. 833298 ID: 3ce125

>>833280
You're going to have to fight them... When one jumps towards you, it won't be able to alter its trajectory. Then you can strike. Soup said your mundane sword wouldn't do shit, well now you've got an enchanted one. Time to try it out.
>>
No. 833300 ID: 78a3e5

If you fight don't bother with heads hits or anything. Destroy their legs first, arms second so they can't chase you.
>>
No. 833307 ID: 3abd97

>>833280
Well, you still have to fight, but at least there are less of them up here. And I doubt all the creatures are capable of fitting up here, either.

Remember, this is a fighting retreat. You put down or slow down things in your way, and keep moving.

If you smack the one leaping at in mid air, or as it lands, you might be able to knock it below.
>>
No. 833322 ID: bfb318
File 150663028835.png - (35.35KB , 942x733 , 903.png )
833322

>Do these guys have a strong mana sense coming off them?
I can still sense the two strong mana sources I've entered recently. I can't say for certain, but these two are probably those sources.

I start running east to the side, and it's a good thing. They make it quickly apparent that they're trying to attack me from both sides at once.

The pillars are in the middle of the platform, but I'm still able to run quickly. My problem is that the halls run east-west. To go south to my allies, I have to run and jump across each hall top. The first jump will be difficult, but doable. If I can get momentum after the first jump, then I can jump through each hall, one after another.

These things chasing me are much better at jumping. Instead of trying to run through the pillars, they hop from one hall to the other. One hops from 1 hall away from me to 2 halls away. The other one hops from 2 halls away to 3 halls away, and the two of them make a cross x with each other in their coordination. They don't seem to be in a hurry to attack me, and they don't have any ranged weapons.

The closer hopper leaps alongside me. They don't look like they're having any difficulty keeping pace with me. If I leap to it as it's leaping to the hall next to me, I should be able to engage it one on one at the ends of our jumps. The only other option I can see is to keep running east, as they're keeping themselves between me and my allies.

If I jump, I should prepare how to attack and defend simultaneously, because they won't give me time to think while in midair.
>>
No. 833337 ID: 78a3e5

They are forcing you into a fight, so you need to take them by surprise and only fight one. Then see if you can lead the other one to the edge of the anomaly, kill it, and take its corpse back.
>>
No. 833340 ID: 015058

Your shield is on the wrong side for easy defending if you are going to jump into them.

Remember you do not have to kill/destroy them. Just take out a leg or foot and they will loose the ability to quickly bounce around.

I would keep your shield in front of you covering your sword arm side as best you can. Keep your sword back and when they attack you shove both there swords away with your shield and then while they are off balance you attack there legs.

If they only attack with one weapon at a time then let one slide along your shield and try to parry the other one with your sword.
>>
No. 833341 ID: 3ce125

>>833322
You're facing an opponent who's using two huge swords, and your priority is still escaping, not killing them.
Stay low to dodge an attack from the side, and guard against any attacks from above with your shield while you strike at its leg or foot. If you can cripple it, then you can get away.
>>
No. 833351 ID: deec6e

>>833322

I'd suggest you throw something at one as it jumps, but there's precious little left to throw that you won't need. Maybe you can knock loose or find a brick or piece of rock... oh, wait!

There's an oil bottle at your belt left still, right? Maybe you can soak one AND knock it down at the same time. If you have the time or need to during all of this, you can then light your extra torch and throw your old (used) torch at the enemy.

It's a bit weird, though. These undeads seem different in the flesh than they did as mana. Where are their tails? If it's not that we just can't see them, I guess those might be pure mana tails? Or, uh - utter speculation here - but maybe they're not actually mana tails, but some kind of mana projection thing and the tails being long and tapering off just means that the source of the projection is beyond your range of sense?

Judging by the shape of the swords appearing, though, those are definitely magical too. Beware, the undeads must've looted the tombs as expected.
>>
No. 833354 ID: b60dfa

>>833322
See if you can't make the jump across just as they leap away from each other in their X pattern.
This should give you a moment where you and the closest one are heading to the same row and the furthest one will be heading further away.

Try to keep as much of your body and weight behind your shield as you jump as possible and have your sword pointed towards the creature.

It is probably going to reach the platform first, but that's okay, with your weight behind your shield you should be able to batter through whatever attack it performs and make and attack of your own, they seem to keep only one leg up on the platform in order to free up both arms and have the other leg propel them between the walls. Ideally, you would sever the leg at the ankle, but injuring the leg sufficiently in any way should cause it to fall. It will probably recover, but it will have less mobility and be less of a threat.
>>
No. 833356 ID: 65dabf

Not sure if you should do this, but maybe a feint could be a nice choise, keep runing and pay atention to their jumps, specialy the one nearest to you, so when he jumps, jump at him at the same time and try to attack him, slash or shield bash him, then go for the other one, only if you want to engange them.
>>
No. 833358 ID: 33b7e7

Jumping directly at something to attack it is a bad idea. You can't change direction in mid-air and you'll either get stabbed/slashed, be prevented from landing (and therefore, fall off) or both.

However... those pillars are pretty slender. How about if you jumped just ahead of a pillar, hooked your sword and sword arm around it, and swung around to kick one off?
>>
No. 833359 ID: 91ee5f

>>833351
No, don't throw oil at smaller faster targets! Fen will just end up missing!

>Mana tail projections.
What the fuck are you even talking about?
>>
No. 833360 ID: 3abd97

>If I jump, I should prepare how to attack and defend simultaneously, because they won't give me time to think while in midair.
If you jump with a bit of a twist and a spin, there's a way to catch them off guard.

Suddenly extending or retracting your sword forces you to slow down or speed up your rotation, which would result in them mistiming when your strike would happen.
>>
No. 833362 ID: deec6e

>>833359

Even smaller faster targets that have a trajectory?

And no idea, really! I just thought it weird they'd have such large tails in the mana picture and then not have them in the chase picture. They're probably there, just not shown, and I'm just being paranoid.
>>
No. 833397 ID: 91ee5f

>>833362
>Even smaller faster targets that have a trajectory?
Yeah, but you expect them to fall for the same trick they just saw Fen use on Garlic Soup?

They're probably expecting Fen to try and do that, which would make it ineffective and Fen would just end up missing his throw!
>>
No. 833407 ID: 84381c
833407

>>833322
Well this is a sticky situation, by now im sure garlic is below you. What ever the plan is, my suggestion, DO NOT FALL!
>>
No. 833408 ID: 84381c
833408

>>833322
Well this is a sticky situation, by now im sure garlic is below you. What ever the plan is, my suggestion, DO NOT FALL!
>>
No. 833470 ID: 5ca8f3

Is it possible to break hard and go the other way?
>>
No. 833476 ID: 5ca8f3

>>833470
I take it back, that'll leave your back open to them.

Wait until the one is jumping from one hall away to two halls, then as it jumps back, use your momentum to continue past it while it's midair. If you're about to make contact with one, just tackle the bastard all the way to the ground floor and use his ribcage as a cushion. Alternatively, if you mess up their big, gangley legs even a little bit they won't be able to chase you very well at all.
>>
No. 833482 ID: 65dabf

Just to understand, isn't Garlic Soup the name of the necromancer and not the two headed beast?
I mean, that thing was just being controlled by him, wasn't it?
>>
No. 833485 ID: 91ee5f

>>833476
If Fen tries that, then he better hope the guy he tackles doesn't wrap his arms around Fen to hold him in place when they land! Because the other guy could immediately be right behind them and land on Fen with his swords to impale him!
>>
No. 833487 ID: 5ca8f3

>>833485
When they land the guy he tackles will be two-dimensional or liquid.
>>
No. 833492 ID: 91ee5f

>>833487
Yeah, but he's also undead. The best you can hope is that Fen ends up snapping the guy's spine and completely paralyzingly the body! Learned that from watching One Piece, when the Straw Hats broke Oars' spine and he couldn't fight anymore!
>>
No. 833493 ID: 1f7d0f

>>833482
nope that two headed undead IS Garlic Soup. It has sentience and is a mutant just like Cheese, Tomato, and Cabbage.
>>
No. 833494 ID: ae4497

>>833493
I think Garlic Soup was ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL of the two/four-headed monster, what happens when Fen screams "RUN!" is consistent with that (hadn't noticed at first, but other comments brought attention to it).
>>
No. 833753 ID: 15a025

Surprise them and fight one, one on one.
>>
No. 833759 ID: 3740b1

>>833494
This is obviously the case, according to numerous cues from the author.
>>
No. 833769 ID: 65dabf

AHA, i knew it! I knew i wasn't crazy! Well, enough of that, lets kill those beasts!
>>
No. 834308 ID: bfb318
File 150707910833.png - (54.44KB , 1200x800 , 904.png )
834308

>Is the two headed beast Garlic Soup?
No, unless I have been misled, it was only a monster that Garlic Soup controlled directly up until he released control so that it would attack me.

I leap to the next hall to attack, timing it so that we interesect at the hall at the same time. He pulls his swords back, telegraphing a move to run me through with both of his swords from either of my sides. It's an all in offensive move that requires me to either fully defend with sword and shield at both sides. I could easily run him through like this, but that will leave me open to get impaled by one of his swords.
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No. 834309 ID: bfb318
File 150707913703.png - (38.46KB , 800x800 , 905.png )
834309

I block both, and deflect his swords behind me. I don't stop my momentum at the hall. Instead, I tackle him. His arms are so limber that I need to stop them from moving, so I drop my sword and torch as we fall off over the edge so that I can grab his wrists. He kicks at me, but by hooking my legs underneath his tail, he isn't able to get any room to kick, and I'm able to stay on top of him.
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No. 834310 ID: bfb318
File 150707917049.png - (34.13KB , 800x850 , 906.png )
834310

We fall, and I twist at the last second to slam my back into his upper ribcage. I can hear several bones cracking, and am confident I've shattered his collar bone. Our swords and my torch falls to the sides.
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No. 834311 ID: b88e47

Roll off and grab your sword, torch when you can, I recon second guy is on his way down. You need sword and torch to continue onward.
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No. 834315 ID: 91ee5f

>>834310
Quickly grab your torch and your sword! Then start going to the exit again before the other guy drops down on top of you!
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No. 834316 ID: 3ce125

>>834310
Bite out his eye. Then go for the torch first since if he gets it, he'll extinguish it. After you pick up one of the swords in addition to the torch, you can use the busted eye as a blind spot to take advantage of and start taking him apart.

I'm tempted to let the other enemy try for a jump attack (since I expect they think of eachother as expendable) and make him only hit his friend, but it might not turn out that way and these monsters have big teeth too so you might get bit if you try to restrain this one for too long.
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No. 834317 ID: 015058

Is his body warm or cold?

A broken collarbone on a undead will probably only slightly hamper his ability to raise that arm above his head in the best of situations. It could not affect him at all in the worst. But a living person you just fucked up badly.

Assume its a undead and that you have not done any real damage to him. Pull your dagger and go for a vital area. Not a vital area for someone living. But a vital area that would destroy his ability to fight back. His shoulder joints or tendons or wrists. Or his legs so he can not jump or chase. Then get your sword back.

You don't have to take him all the way down and you don't want to waste the time doing so. You have a giant flaming undead that will be here soon and his partner who could be jumping at you swords drawn right now.

Honestly you might want to roll off him fast in case the other one is about to try and impale you both.
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No. 834318 ID: 094652

Claw straight through his giant eye and squeeze his brain. Then grab the torch and both swords. Be fast, you need to run now.
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No. 834319 ID: 33b7e7

I'm not sure how effective that might have been, and now you're back down where other undead can reach you more easily. The other one is probably going to come down on you, too. Whatever sword is closer, yours or his, grab it and roll off this guy and onto your feet, and either cut his head off or just stab into his throat. Try roll towards your torch, which seems pretty distant (though it seemed to be falling on the other side of you a moment ago - is that another torch?) so you can use it to set this guy on fire, or the other guy as he jumps down on you. Which you need to be ready for. Get your own (new) sword back if you grabbed his and you have a moment.
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No. 834320 ID: a633c6

Check and see what the other one is doing. If he's jumping down on to you, roll this one on top of you like an undead shield. Otherwise, stab this one through the eye socket -just like old times- roll off of him, grab your crap and book it, staying close to pillars.
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No. 834321 ID: f66698

Get away from it as best you can, you can't kill it but it's gonna have a hell of a time following you with broken bones and a crushed spine.

There's still one coming though, if you can't get free of it's grasp immediately you are in serious trouble.
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No. 834322 ID: 78a3e5

Rearm yourself and kill him and prepare for the next guy. Keep running if you can.
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No. 834323 ID: 3ce125

Oh RIGHT Fen has a dagger! Use it to stab him in the brain.
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No. 834324 ID: ca9f16

>>834323
this is a good idea, if it gets stuck or anything though don't bother fighting to keep it.
If that puts the thing down, Re-equip sword and prepare for the second leaper.
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No. 834328 ID: 27762f

Do you know if undead know everything from each other when they are controlled and focused like this? If they share info through their necromancer or whatever then there'd be no reason for you not to shout and make a lot of noise. Might attract allies for you. But if there's any chance of them not being able to know where you are then don't. Just keep running and thank Orjin for the training.
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No. 834341 ID: 78a3e5

>>834323
Using dagger to kill him while he's still reeling before rearming sounds good.
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No. 834365 ID: 1e5fc1

You need to grab your sword back and cut something. Make sure you cut at least a leg, as we're not fully certain he needs his head.
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No. 834599 ID: 6801d1

did some of you forget there is a giant two headed monstosity looking for Fen? If Fen lost it when the worm jumped in its way then it might have followed the mana from the two leapers to keep up.
>>834310
Cut it leg tendon, grab sword and torch then RUUUUUN!!!!
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No. 834603 ID: f66698

Hes an undead, and unless we are super lucky and he's the kind that dies when you mess up their brain, then a dagger is going to do squat.
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No. 834606 ID: 78a3e5

>>834603
Stab him through the eye, then even if it doesn't kill him he'll be partially blinded, assuming of course he uses his eyes to see.
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No. 834853 ID: 3abd97

>>834308
Heron Wading in the Rushes? Good form for the undead, I suppose.

>>834310
Good. Assuming it relies on the structural integrity of its body, that will slow it down a little.

Now get up. It had a partner, which is surely moving to attack you while you are down. First priority is getting your guard back up before you're killed, which means grabbing a weapon and getting up ASAP. If you can further disable this undead in the process (knock away other weapons, or damage it further), cool. Priority still remains rising to meet the attack that is surely coming.
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No. 835075 ID: 15a025

Stab an eye, roll to grab your stuff, and start running.
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No. 835230 ID: e19348

Bear in mind that this guy could be a zombie, in which case he will be much more resistant to injury than he should be.
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No. 835240 ID: 33b7e7

I wonder, if you're this close, could you sense concentrations of magic in an undead body? Like, is it focused more in the head, the heart, the stomach, et cetera? Perhaps undead have a sort of magical anatomy that has its own vulnerable spots. If it needs some gem implanted as a power source or a rune engraved on a particular bone or something, that's something that can be damaged, or at least knocked out of place.
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No. 836887 ID: bfb318
File 150809654161.png - (40.50KB , 800x800 , 907.png )
836887

I pull out my dagger to stab it through both eyes before it recovers from being stunned. It goes limp. The body seems like it had warmth, but not as much as a living person. It's as though it was something between living and dead.

I still can't sense any specific concentrations of magic, only that there is a lot around me.

There's no sign of the other undead, above or around me.
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No. 836888 ID: bfb318
File 150809655412.png - (51.73KB , 1200x800 , 908.png )
836888

I roll off the undead and pick up my torch and sword as I get running. It's a shame that I don't have a good way to carry the two long swords the enemy had. Garlic's monster was getting closer, but it can't move as quickly through the archways, so I at least run through some of those before thinking about my movements.

Behind me, I hear the garlic monster scream some horrid death cry. There's a brief flash of light from the fire, and everything gets darker, quieter, and colder. The cold is not yet a danger so long as I keep myself warm by moving around, and get out soon.

I want to run back to the exit. But, I have to recognize that running at full speed in this darkness may be as dangerous as taking the time to be cautious.

I cannot see beyond 10 feet. I did not realize there was ambient noise in this tomb until now, when it's gone. Now I only hear a few things. My own footsteps, my blood being pushed through my body, and myself when I grunt. All of it sounds like it's from a mile away. The worm's humming continues, and that is the only thing I hear clearly, like it's right behind me.
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No. 836889 ID: 3ce125

>>836888
Look behind you to see how far away the ice worm is. You could see the White Speck before from a distance, so this should both give you an indication of whether it caught up and how much further you have to go to get out. If it's not chasing you and keeping up, keep moving. You don't have much time. If it is literally right behind you then you will have to just kill it immediately, no remorse.

Also, scary scary that the ice worm managed to kill the garlic monster. Though maybe it was just that the garlic monster kept getting stuck to the worm and wrenched its own limbs off.
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No. 836891 ID: a633c6

Hold your shield over your head so you don't get death-from-aboved, and call out to your comrades as you move forward.
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No. 836892 ID: 33b7e7

If you hold out your sword in front of you, not directly straight out but at a bit of an angle and low down, maybe wave it side to side a little, it should be safe to move at least moderately fast.

Try blowing on your torch to feed it a bit? And maybe take a moment to pull up your hood. You were warned about your horns freezing from poor circulation. Remember to work your fingers a bit, and your toes when/if you stop for any length of time.
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No. 836893 ID: 015058

Focus entirely on mana sensing. Its the only thing that you can really rely on now. Close your eyes if that helps. You probably will not be able to see even the 10 feet soon.

Keep your sword out and stay calm. Feel the mana around you and use it to warn you of any undead movement. And keep moving away from the Worm.

A quick test. If you turn around does the worm humming come from behind still? If that noise always comes from the middle of the anomaly you will be able to orient yourself to always be moving away from it. Also remember that the white dot it appears as will be the only light you will be able to see if its not behind a pillar.
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No. 836895 ID: 91ee5f

>>836888
I think I see something to Fen's left! I thought it was one of the arches, but after looking closer, there's a faint outline of purple around the shadow and it's in such an odd shape that it can't he one of the arches! It looks like a shadow of something raising their arms up before they bring them crashing down onto Fen's head!

Look out Fen!

>>836889
>Also, scary that the ice worm managed to kill the garlic monster. Though maybe it was just that the garlic monster kept getting stuck to the worm and wrenched its own limbs off.
Actually, I think if the worm latched onto Garlic for the fire, then there was no way for it to avoid getting frozen like the other undead we got the sword from. The fire might've actually kept Garlic going until it ran out, so he just now got frozen solid.

>>836891
>call out to your comrades as you move forward.
They're not there, Fen told them to run.

Unless they didn't hear him or they refused to leave him behind. That's the only reason they'd still be here.

And even if they are here, the anomaly might prevent them from hearing Fen.
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No. 836903 ID: 3abd97

>>836888
Keep moving as quick as you dare. A breakneck speed could well, break your neck. Or leave you too unbalanced to respond to an ambush from the monsters still here.

>Focus entirely on mana sensing. Its the only thing that you can really rely on now.
That's really not going to help him with the terrain, which is still a danger in the dark.

>call out
Please do not give your position away to every monster in the dark hunting you.
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No. 836922 ID: 33b7e7

Actually, this is a long shot, but there's no chance you ever got taught or even just ever heard anything about magic resistance, is there? I mean, a lot of magic creates some unusual but mundane effect (a sharper sword that cuts better, an undead who stabs you with a regular knife, et cetera) but this seems like something that's more directly trying to manipulate you and your surroundings by sucking energy away from them. Is there any way you could sort of... deny that? Like, I dunno, try to grip on to yourself and your immediate surroundings with your will/soul and just try force them to stay the way they should be? Even the magical equivalent of awkwardly flailing could disrupt whatever's going on a little, maybe.
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No. 836923 ID: 33b7e7

I'm also worried that using your magic sense a lot might make you more magically "open" ad vulnerable to magic, but I would assume you'd have been warned about that when you were being taught it. Right?
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No. 836929 ID: c9d5aa

>>836888
This might not be a good idea but I actually suggest that you stop for a second and get your bearings.The only thing you can hear is yourself running then you need to stop for two reasons,
1. So you dont run into something else that goes bump in the dark.
2. To catch your breath, you been running and climbing for a bit now even if you were trained to run for quite some time.
Also wheither you decide to stop or not try to remember which direction the exit is. Since you seem to be going anywhere but there.
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No. 837022 ID: 9c2d0c

if going quickly is dangerous, and going slowly is equally dangerous, then you may as well go for the option that resolves the situation and gets you out of here. You're not getting out of here by walking unless you manage to kill everything here.
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No. 837027 ID: 90f3c0

The anomaly could become fully active at any moment and suck the life from your body. You need to get out now. Run away from the worm as fast as you can without slamming into any walls.
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No. 837040 ID: 3ce125

Hey aren't the arches evenly spaced and facing the same direction? All Fen would need to do is run straight under them.
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No. 837224 ID: bfb318
File 150819068762.png - (39.90KB , 800x800 , 909.png )
837224

>Is there a way to resist/remove the effects?
Only if I was a wizard.

>Magic sensing doesn't lead to vulnerability to it, does it?
No.

However, I have been warned that magic sense can be dangerous to rely on, when it's an underdeveloped sense. Many people get overconfident in their ability to sense magic, and make decisions that they would never have made if they were just looking and listening instead.

I don't have the nerve to completely shut my eyes to try to focus on it, even if it was better. Those 10 feet I can see through is still enough to defend myself against attackers. A non-magical person could sneak up on me easily if I shut them. Still, I can sense wild fluctuations in the amount of magic around me. It's too chaotic to tell much.

My sword is held out and I wave it left and right just above the ground. Its light-weight enchantment makes it easy and practical while I run forward. I don't see the worm behind me; it's most likely behind some of the archways even if it's following.

I'm almost to what should be the edge of the anomaly. About 6 archways away.

As I run under the first of the 6 remaining archs, I see something above. Its pose gets me to swing my shield up, and several arrows fly by me, from each direction in the hall and from above. I can only hear their whistle when it's too late.
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No. 837225 ID: bfb318
File 150819069602.png - (33.62KB , 800x800 , 910.png )
837225

I leap to cover in the next archway, and put my hood up before it gets too cold. Only now do I realize that I may need to modify this cloak, as the entire point of putting my hood up here is to keep my horn tips warm, but it has a hole for my top two pairs.

The figure at the top walkway can't be far. 5 more archs to go.
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No. 837229 ID: 015058

To bad we tossed that helmet. Is the rest of your armor arrow proof? If so you only need to protect your head with your shield.

If they are targeting you because of the torch then dropping it or throwing it might help. Or possibly tying it to the end of your sword and holding it way out to one side as you move forward so they shoot wide?

I would try that first. Jab your torch on the end of your sword and hold it out at arms length. Walk to one side so the torch is in the center of the arches as if you were walking right in the middle. Make sure to bob the torch as you walk.

And keep your shield up in front of your face in case it does not work at all.

Other options include chasing down the archers on the side passages. Or just running for it while rotating your shield to stay in between the guy up top.
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No. 837240 ID: 33b7e7

You have a cut on your face. Did you not notice? You may already be cold enough that you're going numb. Or the arrow may have been enchanted, though I would have assumed enchantment is expensive enough to not waste on things like arrows.

You need to move quickly, in either case, and hope the arrow wasn't poisoned. Use your shield to protect your head and hope your armor takes care of the rest.
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No. 837242 ID: 3abd97

Those were a lot of shots, very fast. Either there were multiple archers waiting for you in ambush, or one able to get many shots off in a hurry.

You're in a bad spot here. You basically have no choice but to leave cover, and quickly, and the archer likely knows it.

Best move is probably moving as quick as you dare, trying to use your shield to protect vital areas, and possibly some kind of feint with the torch to lead him off. (Just throwing it would probably be too obvious to actually work).

At the very least, since he's above you, your legs are the hardest thing to hit, which is handy for keeping moving if he does put one in you.

>Is the rest of your armor arrow proof?
Unlikely. Arrows are actually a pretty good way to punch through armor, as they provide a convenient way to concentrate a lot of penetrating force on a small area. (Luckily for Fen, he's not just wearing plate. Layers serve him well here).
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No. 837243 ID: a633c6

Ditch or snuff the torch since I think it's doing a better job of marking your location than illuminating your path. Is it possible to leave the torch where it is and sneak around an archway to another position where they won't expect or see you?

If you won't part with the torch, run as fast as you can in a serpentine fashion. Do it quickly, if you were attacked from all sides you're not really in cover now at all.
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No. 837281 ID: 78a3e5

probably should have kept the mouth guard on.

You have armor everywhere but your head, so keep that safe and if your armor isn't bad it should keep you reasonably protected from arrows.
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No. 837283 ID: 1e7aa8

Make sure you don't have any arrows in you that you don't remember acquiring.
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No. 837321 ID: 3d6a68

>>837225
You have been grazed, check yourself for any others. Since the arrows came ib multiple directions, its safe to say there are more than one archer. Are you willing to ditch the torch or do you need it to see where you're going? The light is telling them where you are so its gotta go.
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No. 837324 ID: 78a3e5

>>837243
if you do ditch the torch throw it to illuminate the archers or your path away, don't just drop it uselessly.
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No. 837365 ID: b88e47

Throw torch to cover under next archway. Run in darkness to where it is then pick it up.

If you can manage without any torch at all, do this twice, then keep running past the torch without picking it up. It will throw them off once they catch on.
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No. 837452 ID: bfb318
File 150828012593.png - (20.18KB , 800x800 , 911.png )
837452

Tossing the torch is a big risk, but I'm an open target to any archers. I toss it forward to the next arch, dive through the hall, and pick it up again at the 5th arch. More archers fire at me, and I dive with my shield over my head to cover my left and most of the area above me. I hold my sword over my right cheek. While awkward, it can make the difference between a cut and a broken skull.

The torch tossing slows me down, but I still would keep up with a jogging person. Arrows fly by. A few miss, and some either hit my shield or graze my armor and deflect off.

I repeat the process at the fourth arch, and inspect myself. The back of my head got grazed, along with the top of my snout. A couple of spots on the rest of me might get slightly bruised with the impact of arrows, but without any penetration, those injuries are negligible.

A colossal amount of mana appears as I run from the fourth arch to the third. Once there, beyond the next three halls, I see a faint light from a torch left on the ground by my allies.

I also hear a rapid noise, like someone tapping stone under a shallow puddle.
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No. 837456 ID: bfb318
File 150828018007.png - (29.72KB , 800x800 , 912.png )
837456

I pick up my torch and look behind me.

>"Hiiiii."

It's coming up to me fast, like a snake, not a worm. Its flesh, if it's even made of flesh, keeps protruding like bones are dancing underneath it.
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No. 837462 ID: 91ee5f

>>837452
>Once there, beyond the next three halls, I see a faint light from a torch left on the ground by my allies.
If they're not there, I guess that means that they did hear you when you told them to run.

At least they left a light for you so that you could find your way out.

>>837456
Is it bigger now?!

Also, you can barley see your old sword still stuck in that horn on it's back. But don't go for it.

I think it wants the torch you've got right now. Just give it the torch and run to the exit!
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No. 837463 ID: 015058

I am guessing its just like a snake. The warmer it gets the faster it can move.

If we are lucky that means its also not solid elemental ice anymore. Which means you might be able to get your sword/the antler off it. Or kill it.

If you can't convince it to go back to the middle then you might have to kill it or drag it out of the dark zone. Otherwise it will stay near you enjoying your company until you freeze and it looses another "friend". Am guessing that without a zombie to hold them in place these guys would swim all over looking for warmth and never get a chance to set up a dark field.
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No. 837465 ID: 3ce125

>>837456
Thank the ice worm for saving you from the giant that was chasing you, but that if you stay near it you will die. Offer to give it another torch in exchange for it moving back to where it was before, and quickly. ...actually wait, before that, why don't you try reaching the previous border of its effect? If the "layering" thing Garlic mentioned was accurate, you might be fine if you can get out of the layered area. In that case, the ice worm can follow you all it wants, and you can have an extended conversation. Maybe ask it what its boss (Garlic maybe) is like. Or what it's like below the necromile.

Considering you couldn't cut through the horn and it has a lot of bones under its flesh you probably won't be able to cut very deeply into it... unless that new sword has a sharpness enchant alongside its light weight. You could test it on your (now spare) torch.
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No. 837469 ID: 3abd97

>>837456
I really doubt you have the tools to kill it now.

Toss the torch to distract it for a little bit, and then start running for the edge, fast. You can't survive close to the wyrm for very long. Even less if it decides to wants to cuddle you for your warmth.
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No. 837487 ID: a633c6

Prepare for the off chance it's been possessed by Garlic Soup. Take the opportunity to get the horn piece and your sword back, while explaining you really have to go.
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No. 837496 ID: 33b7e7

So you've got two torches now, right? Ok, try this: First, ask it if it ate the person with two heads, and tell it you think there are other creatures like that over (point where arrows come from). If that doesn't work, then whichever torch is in worse condition, say "Hey, do you want some fire again? I have a spare." And throw it towards, but missing, the create. That might distract it enough to get distance.

If it still wants to follow you tell it sorry but you have to leave or you'll die.
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No. 837498 ID: 3ce125

...if the colossal amount of mana is centered on the ice worm then it IS pretty likely Garlic is in there, not the ice worm. Garlic is smart enough to imitate the ice worm's speech pattern, and knows you chose not to attack it. It may be time to do just that.

If you cut that thing, I expect it will bleed an extremely cold substance. Be ready to block any spray with your shield.
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No. 837503 ID: 33b7e7