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File 151598241197.png - (697.95KB , 657x858 , PentacleKing3.png )
858442 No. 858442 ID: b93a7b

This is a NSFW clothing damage adventure!
the quest will contain nudity and violence and possibly some sexual content
Lewd suggestions are encouraged but not required.

all innocence dies, the question is only ever "how?"

This quest is funded by Patreon,
if you'd like to see more consider sending a few coins!
https://www.patreon.com/KingOfPentacles

Previous Thread
https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questarch/res/780786.html

Discussion
https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/111417.html
399 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 909852 ID: daa216

Ask the bounty hunter if her work has been done and if she has the proof to back it up.
>>
No. 910197 ID: 2755f5
File 154187557604.png - (372.54KB , 657x858 , Pentacle060.png )
910197

The Duchess attempts flattery, not her best talent but this woman seems an easy mark 'If there was more time I'd stand here and have a scribe write down your exploits, however I came here for proof of slain monsters. Not stories of slain monsters. Show me the heads and . . .' Kalez makes hand gesture that most would recognize as money, 'You can tell stories about wealth.'

'my favorite kind!' the fox laughs back, she takes a bundle from her standard bearer and tosses it at the duchess' feet

dry voices emanate from the mass
'please help us . . .',
'HELP US',
'feed us',
'help . . .'
'feed!'


N'Thar gasps in shock 'They're still animate!?'

'of course!' Vivian Hearth replies casually 'didn't want it to look like I'd just dug up some graves . . . oh and watch yourself, they bite.'

a quick glance frustrates Duchess Kalez, Z'theno's head is not among those collected
>>
No. 910202 ID: daa216

Point out the lack of the main goal's head and ask if she thinks she will be getting half pay for half a job done. If she did, she was sadly mistaken.
>>
No. 910207 ID: 7efe6b

Time to lose it onto them.

"What buffoonery is this? You dare enter this castle and dirty my throne room without even completing your mission? And then showing off how you've been wasting time to bring back these worthless peons alive all while being too dim to ask them who their leader was? Are you an adventuring company or a band of jesters?! Or perhaps you already know this and you've simply been trying to trick me? Is this what this show is for?"

I feel that casting some spell would be in place here, before or after this speech, to assert our dominance :P
>>
No. 910208 ID: 91ee5f

>>910197
Question: Was Z'theno living or undead? Because if he was living, then all these undead heads could’ve just eaten Z’theno’s head.

But if he was undead and you don’t see his head, then you could ask her what happened to him. After all, if she really is chosen by the gods, then she did indeed kill him, but he was killed in a way that prevented her from recovering his head or his head was destroyed in a way that it is unrecognizable as Z'theno.
>>
No. 910209 ID: 91ee5f

>>910207
>I feel that casting some spell would be in place here, before or after this speech, to assert our dominance :P
Let’s not do that. We don’t want it to be reflected back at us again.
>>
No. 910210 ID: 99f1a3

An impressive feat, but not the one i agreed to pay you for.
>>
No. 910211 ID: 7efe6b

>>910209
>reflected back
Unless... we aim at her companions.
>>
No. 910212 ID: 91ee5f

>>910211
Does she have any? Because from what we’ve heard of the stories she’s been telling, her companions always end up killed and she’s the only person that survives whatever killed her companions.

.....which now that I think about it, that’s pretty weird. Shouldn’t a hero like her be able to keep her companions alive? She must not be a very good hero if she can’t keep her companions alive.
>>
No. 910216 ID: 7efe6b

>>910212
>Does she have any?
I'm pretty sure that the two on the left of her >>909831 are her companions.

>her companions always end up killed
I can't find any hints where this would be implied.
>>
No. 910220 ID: 094652

"... These had better have started out as undead before you turned them into your giant screaming paperweight. I'm paying you to vanquish the tides of death, not add to them! And put them out of their misery before they infest this place with passive hexes, you daft ditz!"
>>
No. 910237 ID: 9876c4

A truly spectacular act of charity you have done this day.
And here I thought adventurers were only in it for the money.

Surely, if you wanted money, you'd have actually done the job ...
>>
No. 910766 ID: ac6625

>>910197
Well at least she shows some train of thought. Unfortunate that the one we are looking for isn't here. Before we jump to conclusions lets try to ask if she encountered an undead by the name of Z'theno.

Make it rather clear that we're not obligated to pay unless this particular undead is slain. Do show/or fake being impressed that she brought these undead back alive, keep her feeling like she's got a deal so long as she gets what we really need done.
>>
No. 910776 ID: b1b4f3

Tell her if the leader isn't dead she hasn't solved your problem. If she needs extra funding to kill the leader you can give her SOME of the reward ahead of time.
>>
No. 911306 ID: 2755f5
File 154273796581.png - (557.36KB , 657x858 , Pentacle061.png )
911306

Kalez clenches her chelicerae in frustration, as much as she would like to chastise the vulpine for failing to nab Z'Theno she knows better.
The Duchess never asked for specific heads as it would raise too many questions, questions that look unfortunately upon the scorpion's plans.
it would be worse now, for there'd be questions regarding her initial reluctance.

'Are you sure this is all of them?'Duchess Kalez cautiously questions.

'Nope!' Vivian's smile stretches wider as her quick answer catches both the scorpion and the jackal off guard.'actually I'm pretty sure I missed a lot'

What!? how dare- before he can finish N'Thar is interrupted

'What I've shown you is just proof that I can do the job' the mercenary's words ooze with overblown self importance'buuuuut if you want this job done, you're gonna have to pay more than a measly thirty silver . . . a LOT more . . . I think "60" in gold should be enough' the vixen's hands shape the numbers.

'sixty gold? you're mad!' N'Thar exclaims in fury 'I could two dozen trained guards a years wages to hunt those monsters down for that price '
a young laborer makes about 1 gold a year, 100 silver or 10,000 copper

Kalez understand why the vagrant returned so quickly . . .

'you mean those kobolds you have prancing about? HAH! you'd just come crawling back to me, and have to pay my price as well . . . plus an added fee for the two dozen mini-zombies' Vivian pauses as if to think 'oh! and I'll need it all in advance'

'Outrageous!' the Jackal snarls

Lady Hearth Shrugs 'it's not that I don't trust you, it's that you lot have a real bad reputation . . . and that I don't trust you'

Does Duchess Kalez Accept Lady Vivian's demand? reject it? something else?
>>
No. 911308 ID: 298905

I think she's more than willing to walk away, unfortunately. Better pay it. Maybe make some grudging speech about how you're only willing to give up money from the kingdom's coffers to protect the people from the undead threat or something, just to make sure she doesn't leap to asking for more.

However, tell her that though you're willing to pay up front, you will insist on some other way to ensure she comes back when the job is done. If she's not willing to trust you, then purely on principle, you will not act as if you trust her.

I don't know what exactly you'd do, though. I don't suppose there's some sort of magical method, is there? A tracker you could place on her, or something that would allow you to scry on her, and/or some latent curse you can cast on her and activate when you will it so? Some application of the Trap Maker spell, perhaps? Something that can be done with the Magic Circle's ritual magic? Probably any magical method is vulnerable to being removed by other magic. Perhaps you'll need to take one of her companions as a "guest", as well. She was saying how easy it was for her to accomplish this, right? Surely such a might hero doesn't need ALL her helpers, then.
>>
No. 911309 ID: eeb7d9

Sixty gold seems a little bit too much. Is the head of that Z'theno worth that much?
I doubt that she would run with the money without finishing the job, i don't mind paying upfront, but the amount of gold she is requesting is just plain ridiculous.
For that much mony we can put more resourses insted of using her. Ask her to be more reasonable.
>>
No. 911311 ID: 91ee5f

>>911306
Tell her that she’s broken your trust in her. You sent her out, only for her to return, having barely done anything, and demanding more money. The only thing she’s proven is that she’ll attempt to do this a second time, asking for even more money. And if you did give her 60 gold right now, there’s no guarantee that she won’t run off with it.

The only money she’ll be getting up front is the silver you agreed to pay her earlier (if she hasn’t already been paid). However, you’ll be willing to give her the 60 gold, but only if she actually completes the job you hired her for. If she returns without fully completing the job again, then she’ll receive no payment at all.

If that doesn’t work, then either increase the money to 80 gold for completing her job or give her 15 gold now and tell her she can have the remaining 45 gold upon completing her job.
>>
No. 911312 ID: c1212a

Imply that this proves she can't do the job at all, and that she ought to be ashamed to face you with such a pitiful display. Some hero. Get her pride to work for you. If she leaves, let her.
>>
No. 911313 ID: 094652

"Do you realize how thoroughly I have tarnished my reputation by gathering resources for the upcoming wars? If I just GIVE away the training money to ONE arrogant hero... well, all I'd have to do is tell everyone, and at the very least your living costs would go up.

Here's how this is going to work. You go away. You come back, with an adventuring party of people who are marginally as talented as yourself, and with a leader who is actually competent enough not to get their whole party killed. I pay you 30 gold. Each. As half up front. You save the world from the dead. Everyone is happy again.

Also, there's a group of upstart rebels killing my tax collectors. The ones stealing YOUR pay. For each one you bring in, ALIVE, as in, NOT RIPE FOR ZOMBIFICATION, I'll pay you three gold."
>>
No. 911325 ID: daa216

Fine. We need this done. Tell her she gets 30 now though and 30 when the job is done. If she resists give a second offer of 40 20 and do not budge. A half finished job shows that she too isn't as trustworthy as she claims.
>>
No. 911334 ID: 86eb65

Reject her.

Wave her off and say that because she has failed in this simple task she is not worth any more time or effort.

Get out of my castle and go back to cheating peasants out of there silvers. I will find a proper "hero" to save my subjects from the undead horde.

Then turn your back on her and walk away. See how she responds but be prepared to keep walking.
>>
No. 911337 ID: 055cbc

She is asking for more because there are supposedly a lot more of these. So pay her by the head. No possible negotiation of a flat fee guarantees the job gets done properly before she comes to collect. Incentivizing every head is the only way to encourage her to find them all, and therefor the one you are actually concerned about.

Maybe 60 silver for each bag of this size. There's like 10 there right?
>>
No. 911361 ID: 864e49

She comes into your house, shows you and your servants nothing but disrespect, returns having not doing her job properly only to demand a ludicrous sum of money UP FRONT while again disrespecting us and mocking our guards.
It's clear she's not the person for the job (she's as subtle as an army of exploding orangutans), you need an unmatched warrior not a showboating con-artist.

If you can play to her pride then do it but if not don't bother with her.
>>
No. 911362 ID: 9675a4

Now she's being amusing. Not sure what she plans to accomplish by doing this though. Cheating the cheater? Giving you your own medicine? What if the rumors she heard are all false?

Treating any employer like that is deplorable, even if she thinks she's the "hero" dealing with a "villain". Reject her and remove her for what in anyone's eyes would be an purposefully offending move.
>>
No. 911420 ID: ac6625

The nerve to leave a job unfinished, to come back and demand an absurd amount more. How do we know she's not conning us?

Look to N'Thar and remark about the vagrant something like: "And just when I thought we truly found someone who might be able to save my subjects." Request some servants to fetch a 100 silver coins, and get one single gold coin. Cast the tracker coin spell on the gold coin in secret so Vivian doesn't know. Then give it all in a pouch. "This is the only payment in advance you will receive, Vivian. Trust goes both ways. As you can see, this is a fraction of the payment up front you asked, which also represents the amount of trust I now have in you as of right now to get the job done. You've proven your skill but you haven't proven your reliability." Turn away, "Take that as payment for your little demonstration here. Do the job I asked you to do and you will be rewarded the remaining 58 gold coins you asked for. Kill every undead, none must escape. If you can't do that. I will find someone else who can save my subjects, not some adventurer who extorts an entire kingdom for salvation." Walk away, but listen for her response. Perhaps start considering alternatives now.
>>
No. 911426 ID: 7efe6b

As written here >>911313, explain to her that your bad reputation is the cost you had to pay to keep the lands safe.

She's clearly just trying to bargain. Then tell her that, since she only has money in mind, and doesn't care about anyone but her own hide, she may leave. You're rejecting her offer.

And as written here >>911420, talk about trust and reliability. Don't give her more than a little bit of gold up front. And let her know that the kingdom would be safer if your money would be spent on training guards and hiring someone else. She's no one special. Besides, the 60 gold is clearly a number that reflects her ego, rather than the job's difficulty. I'd offer 10-20 max.
>>
No. 911488 ID: ed503a

Reject this outrageous demand.
>>
No. 911558 ID: 4fd0a3

To simply outright reject the offer would be foolish. Vivian does know what she is doing and is playing us like a fiddle at the moment.
She is currently aiming very high at the moment. For something so high you would demand a bit more from her.
Perhaps bring it down to 30 or maybe a half now half when the job is done.

Let's not just throw her out the door right away.
>>
No. 912759 ID: 2755f5
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912759

Kalez feels her ire grow, she'll not cave to this arrogance. but restraint has always been a strength of hers, she'll practice it now
I have tarnished my reputation preparing for the hardships of the future, the people of the new generation, your generation, cannot understand the perils we face from the enemy across the sea.'it is a speech Kalez has used many times one the pious, she adjusts it to fit her needs here.'You'd be robbing in the name of protection, as an adventurer and a monster hunter you have a duty to protect the people, not exploit their desperation.'

'this isn't MY kingdom, these aren't MY people, they aren't MY responsibility, I'M just a foreign exterminator that hasn't been paid'Vivian's smug smiles remains ever plastered on her face.'and if YOU don't pay me and YOUR people suffer from vermin infesting YOUR land it's YOUR fault not mine'
it is the grin of an idiot, one who has given up on any pursuit of higher truths. this is not someone the golden scorpion can tolerate let alone respect.

Kalez finally understands the wretched person standing before her, no more practiced words, the Duchess speaks from the heart.
'my guidance has protected this kingdom longer than you've been alive you insolent whelp!'Kalez' voice cracks and squeals as she raises it far above her comfortable mutterings 'I'm done humoring you, I'll not suffer to be criticized and insulted in my own castle by some bloated self-important dilettante who couldn't manage anything as large as a farm house, GET OUT!'

Lady Vivian is stunned to silence
>>
No. 912760 ID: 2755f5
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912760

The effect does not last, the vulpine turns on her heels and laughs 'fine, I'll simply find someone else to foot the bill'

Kalez seethes with hate, this Vivian Hearth character . . . few have gotten so far under her chitin.the duchess vows to one day destroy her.

The Vixen seems completely untroubled as she walks towards the main gates.
'the king I suppose has more money to spend, and I'm sure he'd love to hear about how his brother's estate is letting the undead run rampant'

the goad is obvious, but the threat isn't idle.The duchess however refuses to be manipulated in such a way and remains silent.

The adventurer strides out of the room. her companions in tow
'Ladis, have I ever told you about king flagrion? a strange fellow for a king, not one for speeches or public shows of prestige, lets all his courtiers handle that sort of thing . . .'

The Vizier N'Thar looks ill, he seems itching to speak his mind but chooses to hold his tongue.
>>
No. 912761 ID: 2755f5
File 154378530850.png - (353.03KB , 657x858 , Pentacle064.png )
912761

when he is certain the outsiders are out of earshot, N'Thar blurts out 'this is a disaster!, The White Wolf was bad enough, if the king hears word of undead we'll have dozens of harbingers knocking on our door.'

'the king would expect us to welcome their presence' Kalez' words are leveled and belie a calm she doesn't feel it will be a small matter to keep their attention elsewhere

'you under estimate the harbingers at all of our peril'the jackal exhales and regains a measure of his composure 'There is no doubt those healers will insist on seeing our "sickly" Arch-Duke'

Unfortunately the jackal has a good point, but it serves no purpose to encourage his panic let's not speculate on the action of people not even dispatched, we'll deal with whatever comes our way when we need to, the king will likely refuse audience with this vagrant.'

Abin N'Thar ponders this for a moment and the pales upon a realization.
If Hearth wants to reach the king quickly she'll have to take the coast road north, that will have her cross paths with the white wolf. The adventurer will boast no doubt and Inquisitor Sabria will see this as proof to her mad delusions.

'Herocea will have dealt with the inquisitor and her aids by now, we need not worry about the "white wolf" any further I think' Privately Kalez wonders if that will be enough. if even a broken wagon wheel remains, it may be enough to spark an adventurer's curiosity. Hearth might likely be able to find and defeat the stone giant.

Vizier Abin N'thar seems to have doubts of his own, but he chooses not to voice them.

Is there more to be done regarding this issue?
>>
No. 912764 ID: 094652

Yes.

Check up on your minions and make sure they DID their job.
>>
No. 912766 ID: eeb7d9

If the giant fail to deal with the Withe Wolf, and somehow manages to meet this arrogant fool, we'll have troble. Just to be sure that that doesn't happen and win some more time, we need to make her take another route. Can that be done?
>>
No. 912771 ID: c1212a

Oh look, a bridge. it would be such a shame if something were to happen to it.

Oh, and could you imagine if either of these idiots were on it at the time?

Travesty.
>>
No. 912785 ID: ac6625

Check on your minions to see if the job is done. Right now.

Maybe check on that bridge, what is it made of/how easily can it be destroyed with magic or something else.
>>
No. 912811 ID: 9876c4

That bridge has got to go, with that bitch right on top of it.
>>
No. 912819 ID: daa216

Something tells me the destruction of that bridge would not only bring more attention and workers of the king to the area but it might also hurt our area in commerce. Leave it be and see if the giant did their job right.
>>
No. 912894 ID: 7efe6b

We should inform Garrin that he may be crossing paths with Vivian soon.
>>
No. 912918 ID: 2a7417

We'll burn that bridge when we come to it.
Will Herocea recover in time to be of use again? This job may fall to our spy first.
>>
No. 913352 ID: 2755f5
File 154421180682.png - (278.27KB , 657x858 , Pentacle065.png )
913352

The Golden Scorpion reaches out to her second acolyte, Tapping into the link provided by the tracking coin he carries.
Duchess Kalez pulls out her crystal it fogs, and clears moments later to reveal the face of her servant.

'Garrin, report the status of your mission' Kalez quickly clips

the magpie seems stunned by the sudden contact 'your grace, I was not expecting word so soon'

I don't like to repeat myself Garrin, tell me of the mission Kalez responds annoyance creeping into her tone.

Garrin's silence is telling, after a few moments of silence he gives his report 'your giant has failed you, she was no match for the Inquisitor and her harbingers, I however was able to use the distraction to escape with the Princess and all of the steeds, they'll not have an easy time proceeding on foot.'

The Duchess hisses her displeasure, she had expected more the from the giant and despite his tailored words Garrin too is to be blamed and punished . . . at a more convenient time. Abin N'Thar makes some panicked muttering in response to the avians words this adds to the Duchess' irritation but she remains focused 'both of your failures are well noted ' Garrin does not object so she continues 'your next objective is clear, I want you to make sure Inquisitor Sabria does not cross the Bellegates Bridge in Herron town, destroy the bridge if you have to . . . preferable with the women on it'

'It will be done' Garrin nods, his mind already working quickly to figure the best way to achieve this task.

'There's more' Kalez continues 'a mercenary and scoundrel by the name of Vivian Hearth will also be travelling through Herron.'

'the famed monster hunter, I'm familiar with the woman.' the spy confirms.

'Good.' Kalez is pleased to be spared having to provide a lengthy description 'she is not to cross Bellegates Bridge either'

'It will be done' Garrin Reaffirms ' is there anything else I should know?'
>>
No. 913353 ID: eeb7d9

Hmmm, if the princess is with him, it might make things dificult, specially if she ask questions about the havoc with the bridge. We have to either make an excuse for its destruction or hide her somewhere safe to keep her and out of trouble. Use what ever means you have to your disposal to make sure she stays put and quiet, she is a fool, but that doesn't make her less dangerous.
If posible, make it look like an accident, or it will make things more complicated later. Do it quicly or the hunter will catch on that something is off.
>>
No. 913354 ID: 6c5a99

I'm pretty sure most of these people will be able to swim, they just might have to take off their armor and leave some of their stuff behind.
>>
No. 913358 ID: ac6625

>>913352
>>913353

Perhaps making it look like rebels blew the bridge. Certainly would hurt support for their cause.

Ask if he has a means to blow the bridge. Also check what kind of bridge it is, stone or wood. Where are the supports, etc.

Lastly, if it won't blow his cover he should check the remains of the bridge to make sure Vivian and the Inquisitors are dead. 'Heroes' have a nasty habit of coming back from the dead, usually more powerful than before. Ensure this isn't the case.
>>
No. 913359 ID: b70ae2

Princess Reefa should be fine with Garcio so there's no need for Garrin to worry about her.

As great as our ego is, we need to realize that Garrin cannot directly face Sabria, nor Vivian, so this mission, preventing them from passing the bridge, may be impossible for him no matter his resources. We need to give him some sort of support. What are our options?
The bridge is definitely a strategic point, so first knowing how robust it is, and how easy it is to bypass it, is important. But even if he had the means to blow it up, which is unlikely, it would only stop one of the two parties. Getting them both on the bridge at the same time seems like a good idea, but that would mean we need to find a way to delay one of them until they're both on it. How would we be able to delay them?
>>
No. 913360 ID: 91ee5f

>>913352
How exactly did Garrin fail you? You told him to make sure the princess didn’t get killed in the ambush and he did exactly as you told him. That doesn’t sound like failure.

There’s also no guarantee that both Inquisitor Sabria and Vivian Hearth will be on the bridge at the same time, so you may have to settle on only one of them being on the bridge when it’s destroyed, depending on who gets there first.

Also you may need to provide some sort of assistance to Garrin because it’s doubtful that he can sneak away from the princess to destroy the bridge without her noticing he’s missing. And it’s doubtful that Garrin has anything with him that actually can destroy the bridge. You may need to call in someone else to destroy it.

.....wait, how is Garrin talking to you without whoever he’s with noticing that he’s talking to you and blowing his cover?
>>
No. 913382 ID: daa216

He should know that if he fails you again, he will have much to fear. Few fail you once and live to talk about it so he should take this momentary pass with much gratitude.
>>
No. 913383 ID: 9876c4

Make sure They're on the right side of the bridge when it goes.
Ideally, the side without the inquisitors on it, too.
>>
No. 913530 ID: 094652

"If you fail me one last time... your mission will be to frame the flippant fox. Her arrogance and aggression is to be noted. Find a way to aggravate the gabby mercenary into attacking / insulting you, the inquisitor, or even the princess without drawing attention to yourself."
>>
No. 914356 ID: 2755f5
File 154510117754.png - (564.53KB , 657x858 , Pentacle066.png )
914356

only that if you fail me again there will be grave consequenceswith her final threat she dismisses the power of her spell

N'Thar seems less than satisfied. 'this is a lot of responsibility to be placed on Garrin, tasking him with guarding the sacrifice is dangerous enough as it is with out pitting him against an inquisitor and a wayward chosen.'

Kalez is used to her advisers dislike of Sir Garrin, he is jealous of the man, and perhaps rightly so. If the knight turned spy becomes too valuable the jackals position as first acolyte could be threatened, 'Garrin can handle the princess' Kalez likes to encourage this rivalry, it keeps both of them at their best.

N'Thar simply sneers, 'him "handling" her is what I am worried about, we're not ready for her part'

This irritates the Duchess, the vizier is too presumptuous 'if we need the girl at all. is her curt reply. The golden scorpion has so much in play already, the status of one girl no matter how royal cannot stop the momentum.

the jackal attempts to speak further but his mistress raises a hand ordering silence. Instead N'Thar follows the duchess as she leaves the room to handle other pressing issues.

Duchess Kalez mind drifts to the future, one of glory and power, one of recognition for her dark master, one where the King of Pentacles finally rewards her for a life time of sacrifice.

Chapter 2 End
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