Options

[CYOA] Ardor & Obligation (Epilogue.)

1246789

Posts

  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited July 2021
    For the most part, guards will be relying on descriptions to identify criminals. Most of the party is pretty inconspicuous, but not Alexei. The eye patch is both distinctive and not something he can hide, at least not easily. Unless of course, he's only wearing an eye patch because it looks cool.

    Geth, roll 1d100 for Alexei's eye.
    1-10: Cool Guy Eyepatch
    11-20: Blind in one eye, but eye looks normal
    21-95: No vision, obvious scarring to eye
    96-100: Blessed/cursed/enchanted eye

    @discrider For your foresight, you have earned a random gift item from the PostToken Shop!

    Geth, roll 1d7 for a gift.
    1: Scarab Brooch
    2: Smoky Spices
    3: Violet Dye
    4: Heroic Poem
    5: Feline Carving
    6: Weird Leaf
    7: Strong Tea

    Edit: Alexei's eyepatch is there for a reason. Also, a scarab brooch! This metal pin is a fashion accessory made from a jewel beetle. Who will you give it to?

    Alexei's eye:
    1d100 92 [1d100=92]
    a gift:
    1d7 1 [1d7=1]

    Delzhand on
  • Options
    zekebeauzekebeau Registered User regular
    C,

    give them forewarning and ability to loudly and clearly undercut the causus bellius

    A grevit, or clown spider, is actually a type of fungus that grows in marshy areas. They breed with spores, creating a "nest" of sorts, sending out tendrils from the main growth outward to catch prey unaware. The tendrals have marking on them that look unnerveingly like the faces of human clowns.

  • Options
    see317see317 Registered User regular
    A: Trading hub would seem likely to be a highly trafficked area and will have open routes to numerous other cities. An ideal place to disappear, while also allowing us to start rumors about the complicity of Whitecloak to destroy them indirectly.

    A grevit is a breed of large, domesticated, spider known for living and hunting in large groups known as kills (IE "a kill of grevit"). Typically they are raised on farms for their silk which can be woven into both fashionable clothing and armor that is surprisingly resilient and lightweight as well as numerous other textile goods and rope. Grevit au Vin is also a traditional repast for the grevit farmers that has seen a considerable uptick in popularity amongst the nobility who like to pretend that they're "roughing it" by having their staff prepare upscale versions of traditional peasant dishes.
    On occasion, a more willful member of the species will rise and take charge of a kill (an "alpha" or "bull" grevit) and is driven to escape their captivity, the others in the kill will follow the pheromone trail into the wilderness where they will, eventually, return to a feral state, to the point of hunting larger prey animals, including inattentive humanoids, that enter their newly claimed territory. Generally speaking, the farmers raising them are not harmed by the escaping grevit, as they don't start hunting for around a week after escaping. If a farmer is attentive and acts quickly, they may recover their kill before the grevits grow overly dangerous.

  • Options
    discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Give the brooch to Hilda.

  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    h7d6gt5lqliu.png

    Every character has a loyalty ranking, this represents how willing they are to do things they don't want to do, or things that endanger them. While it's somewhat arbitrary, it will definitely be a consideration when I'm writing posts. It's also not restricted to party members, though I wouldn't waste PostTokens sending the Emperor or Count Aldove gifts. The only characters you can't give gifts to are Alexei and Tia, naturally.

    Every character also has a favorite item (multiple characters may have the same favorite item), and lucky you, Hilda loves the Scarab Brooch, doubling the loyalty increase!

  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    Since it's a 3-way tie, we'll have another interlude while voting and lore solicitation continue for the previous post.
    Adjin smashed the vine-wight with his maul, driving the shattered bones of its arm into the writhing mass of plant matter animating the ruined skeleton. No less dangerous for the loss of a limb, a fleshy tentacle shot out its chest cavity, snaking around Adjin's leg.

    His nostrils singed with a familiar scent of ozone as a streamer of lightning arced from Tyree's eyes to the monster's body. It exploded, showering Adjin with scorched plant matter.

    ADJIN: Don't worry about me! Find the root bulb!

    Tyree's hands crackled with harsh blue energy, and Adjin had to look away. Tyree didn't need his eyes to see, but Adjin did, and now he was probably fucked until they readjusted to the darkness of the woods.

    CHATTER: Just our luck, huh? Nasty pieces of work, vine-wights. If they could be tamed they might be useful, but they're mindless, and that's what makes them dangerous, and-

    Chatter droned on like she was delivering a lecture. But she danced effortlessly through the creature's groping tentacles, lopping off the rot-slick appendages one by one.

    ADJIN: Dover! Be my eyes for a moment.

    Dover, never one for combat, was in the branches of a tree, watching the battle unfold from relative safety.

    DOVER: There's a human-shaped pod a few yards to your left, and a knee high, uh... composite ahead just off center.

    Vine-wights were a nuisance plant. Extreme sarcotropes, they seemed to seek out flesh like some plants sought water. They would lay dormant for years, accumulating nutrients below the soil, and then undergo frankly absurd growth, snatching up any living creature unfortunate enough to be in range. The above-ground vines would often twist and grow through the skeletons of their victims, making it seem as if they were puppeting the bones.

    Adjin swung with both hands and felt his weapon connect with something pliant and wet. Ichor spattered his armor, and he was grateful for his silver faceplate. He didn't need to know what vine-wight tasted like.

    DOVER: Hard left!

    He spun around, starting to see shapes again. He spotted the writhing mass that had once been a man, and brought his maul up in an arc, knocking the groteque puppet off the ground, except where a think serpent of a vine tethered it to the main mass. In one smooth motion, he smashed through its base, severing it from any animating force.

    There was a painful flash of light and a thunderclap that flattened Adjin and Chatter, and knocked Dover out of his tree.

    ----
    Adjin's ears were ringing. He opened his eyes to find someone standing over him.

    ADJIN: Tyree?
    TYREE: Found the roots.
    ADJIN: I'd... I figured, actually.
    CHATTER: Felathas, Tyree. Some warning would have been nice. I know lightning is your thing, but godsdamn.

    Tyree pulled Adjin to his feet. Chatter sat up and looked around.

    CHATTER: Where's Dover?
    DOVER: Just... resting.

    He lay several yards away, face up.

    DOVER: How much are we getting paid for this job? Because I signed on for tracking down outlaws, not getting assaulted by the local flora.

    ADJIN: Count Aldove is being very generous. Come on, get up. Moldaba's only two days away. We need to find out where they're going and close the gap.

  • Options
    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Did I not post? I can’t recall.

    C!

  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited July 2021
    Grevits were normally docile, but these were clearly feral, Hilda thought. In captivity, grevits had no need to hunt for their own food, and so rarely made webs, instead growing fat and heavy with silk, which was harvested by farmers. By comparison, these grevits were lean and fast, and the trees were curtained with criss-crossing heavy strands of the stuff.

    The party had found the three guards tangled in the webs, hungry and scared but otherwise unharmed. They'd freed them and sent them back to Moldaba before venturing further into the nest. Smaller spiders (relatively speaking, still the size of a human hand) watched with glittering eyes.

    The danger in an untended grevit nest wasn't necessarily the grevits alone, they were generally fine feeding only on what prey came to them. But the feral grevit pheromones tended to agitate the domestically kept herds.

    One of the arachnids dropped onto Tia's hat, which she flung to the ground and incinerated with a wave. She'd buy another hat later, she thought. Unimaginably foul smoke curled from the burned-up husk. She dry-heaved. Probably better to let the others handle this unless things got dire.

    Alexei and Stafford swung their swords like machetes, cutting a path through the webs. The bull grevit would be where the nest was thickest.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZu47D9OdEQ

    Let's try something out! It's not a JRPG without random encounters, so it's time for some combat!

    Instead of voting, each of you will be responsible for a round of combat. Select any three of the following actions, in whatever order you choose:

    plcvrufle7yn.png

    Each action may be selected only once. I'll do some dice rolling to determine combat order and enemy actions. If there are more rounds of combat than posters, I'll keep running the combat with the existing posts, the goal isn't to have encounters than last any longer than a normal round of voting.

    After combat, the party will continue south, towards the border with Valta!

    Delzhand on
  • Options
    see317see317 Registered User regular
    Defend
    Tech
    Move

  • Options
    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Tech
    Tech
    Tech
    BOOM

  • Options
    zekebeauzekebeau Registered User regular
    Attack
    Tech
    Move

  • Options
    Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    Tech
    Tech
    Tech
    BOOM

    (Pump it up prince)

    +1

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    Tech
    Tech
    Tech
    BOOM
    Each action may be selected only once

  • Options
    zekebeauzekebeau Registered User regular
    Oh, I thought they were referring to this:

    https://youtu.be/YfjTZLxekig

    But that's only two techs.

  • Options
    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Delzhand wrote: »
    Tech
    Tech
    Tech
    BOOM
    Each action may be selected only once

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIXIvj-pAvk

  • Options
    discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Defend
    Move
    Attack

  • Options
    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Tech
    Attack
    Move

  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited July 2021
    Alexei was the first to sight the bull grevit, indolently hugging a fat tree trunk. He approached it warily, careful not to be ensnared by the thick ropes of webbing strung between the trees. The bull took notice and skittered up into the tree, as if seeking to drop onto him from above.

    ALEXEI: Hilda! Up here!

    Hilda dropped to one knee and sighted the lord of spiders along an arrowshaft, only for one of the smaller grevits to scuttle down from a tree and leap onto her bow arm. She twisted in a panic, flinging off the creature, but not before it scattered the fine, irritating hairs of its underbelly onto her forearm. It burned like acid, and her arrow flew inelegantly into the treetops.

    Tia had had enough of spiders. She launched a streamer of fire at the bull, smell be damned. The lower branches of the tree caught ablaze, and there was a pained chittering as the bull fled higher into the branches.

    HILDA: I see it!

    The bull clambered from branch to branch, trying to escape. Hilda nocked another arrow, wincing through the pain. The creature's erratic, jerky movements were difficult to track. If this shot didn't kill it, its pain pheromones would likely incite the other grevits. There'd be no fighting the swarm, they'd have to flee.

    She felt a measure of sympathy for the city guards sent to deal with this problem. Their spears would have been worthless against this sort of foe.

    She took the shot, and the bull grevit shuddered as the arrow pinned it to the tree, like a specimen in a collection.

    ----
    Without the aggression scent of the bull, it was a trivial matter to dispatch the few grevits with potential to mature into bulls. The smaller spiders would be of no consequence, and short of burning down the forest (which Tia helpfully proposed), it'd be impossible to get rid of them anyway.

    Stafford examined Hilda's arm, careful not to touch it. The skin had already turned a vivid red. It would require attention sooner rather than later, but circumstances demanded that they not risk returning to Moldaba.

    What should be scavenged before we move on?
    A. Grevit meat fetches a fair price, and if properly prepared is quite tasty.
    B. Grevit silk can be refined and turned into excellent arms and armor.
    C. There's no time. We need to move as soon as possible.

    Use the Heal in the inventory on Hilda?
    1. Yes, let's keep our HP topped up.
    2. No, we might need it more later...

    vf6qdwbot0ri.png


    Combat Log
    Party HP: 6 / Power: 4
    Enemy HP: 3 / Power: 3

    === discrider's round ===
    Party defend vs Enemy move
    Enemy failed to gain an advantage.
    The party recovered 2 damage. HP increased to 6.
    Party move vs Enemy attack
    Party failed to gain an advantage.
    The party took 2 damage. HP reduced to 4.
    Party attack vs Enemy tech
    Enemy tech interrupted!
    The enemy's HP remained the same.

    === see317's round ===
    Party defend vs Enemy defend
    The party's HP remained the same.
    The enemy's HP remained the same.
    Party tech vs Enemy move
    The enemy took 2 damage. HP reduced to 1.
    Enemy gains advantage!
    Party move vs Enemy attack
    Party failed to gain an advantage.
    The party's HP remained the same.

    === endless_serpents's round ===
    Party tech vs Enemy move
    The enemy took 1 damage. HP reduced to 0.
    The enemy was defeated!

    The killing blow belonged to @endless_serpents!

    Geth, roll 1d7 for a reward!

    Edit: It's a Heroic Poem! This fragment of a larger story details the deeds of a blessed warrior. Someone's sure to love this! Gift it to someone now, or hold onto it for later?

    a reward!:
    1d7 4 [1d7=4]

    Delzhand on
  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited July 2021
    It took me about 4 hours to write that combat engine, if anyone is curious. It's actually a stripped down, automated version of the Mouse Guard RPG's conflict system. All I have to do is plug in your turns and provide a few simple combat parameters, and it'll randomize everything it needs to generate a complete combat log.

    Here's the values plugged in for this battle!
        let playerTurns = [
          {p: "see317", a: ['defend', 'tech', 'move']},
          {p: "zekebeau", a: ['attack', 'tech', 'move']},
          {p: "discrider", a: ['defend', 'move', 'attack']},
          {p: "endless_serpents", a: ['tech', 'attack', 'move']},
        ];
        let partyDisposition = 6;
        let enemyDisposition = 3;
        let partyPower = 4;
        let enemyPower = 3;
    

    Delzhand on
  • Options
    see317see317 Registered User regular
    A: We've got a long journey ahead, it wouldn't hurt to be a little better provisioned.
    2: Save the heal item for later, in the mean time Stafford should see to Hilda's wounds. Any healer with the title should be able to handle grevit rash.

  • Options
    TipharethTiphareth Registered User regular
    B - gotta get that tradegood cash flowing.
    2 - gotta save that healing potion for when it is no longer useful.

  • Options
    Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    A 2

    Meat for the meat god

    And everybody knows items are not to be used

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • Options
    discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    B 1
    Probably a bunch of heals before the boss fight anyway

  • Options
    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    A 2

    Save items! You think heals grow on trees?

    They don’t, right?

  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    I could put 4 megalixers in the inventory and y'all would still have them at the end of this

  • Options
    see317see317 Registered User regular
    Delzhand wrote: »
    I could put 4 megalixers in the inventory and y'all would still have them at the end of this
    Remember, JRPGs are the order of the day.

  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited July 2021
    The road south rose steadily over the miles. The foothills of the Yaldroth mountains were visible in the distance as they entered the town of Dooreyt.

    Geth, roll 3d6 for mail delivery
    Dooreyt was larger than Moldaba. It was a river city, with the Stera running straight through the middle of it. Long ago the river had been the border between two contentious territories, but the first emperor's military campaign into the region had mooted the issue entirely by putting both rival kings to the sword.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEcb0hoRf-Q
    The city that had sprung up since then saw no small amount of trade, with the Stera offering a more or less straight path to the capital, with calm waters all the way. Row after row of densely packed multi-story buildings formed a maze of streets and alleys. The abundance of river clay had found a purpose as terracotta roof tiles, giving the city a sense of uniformity that most others its size lacked.

    Alexei had chosen an inn located in a sophisiticated-looking neighborhood. It was a step up in quality from what a mercenary could normally expect for lodgings. They'd done a good deed by clearing the grevit nest, and he was certain everyone would appreciate a soft bed and a hot bath. Especially Hilda.

    Hilda had been uncharacteristically taciturn on the road. Stafford had helped her wash off the irritant venom and tightly wrap her arm, but there was little to do but wait for it to heal on its own. She'd tried to be cheerful about it at first, but the past three days had seen her patience dry up.

    Tia had gone to deposit the credit note, opening up four new trust accounts. The funds would be available to draw on in any city, a convenience borne of necessity, since carrying a surfeit of ord was both cumbersome and an invitation to misfortune. Credit notes were rarely used anymore, but they were still legal tender.

    ---
    Alexei spread the map of the region across the tavern table and studied it intently. Tia savored a local brew with a savory twist she couldn't place, but quite enjoyed.

    ALEXEI: It looks like we can make it into the foothills by tomorrow, and probably up into the mountains the day after. We'll follow the Stera until we find the spring that feeds it. From there it'll be a quick descent into the marshlands.
    TIA: We should buy some warmer clothing, then. I'll tell Hilda and Stafford.

    Alexei looked up.

    ALEXEI: I'm not sure if Stafford is coming with.
    TIA: I think he will.

    She didn't elaborate. Alexei returned his attention to the map.

    Tia watched him. She knew his expressions well. Something weighed on him, some question he wanted to ask. There was no rushing it. If she pressed him, he'd claim she was imagining thing. So she let him be and finished her drink.

    TIA: I'm going to visit our old acquaintance. Do you want to come with?
    ALEXEI: No, I'm going to finish plotting our course. Have fun.

    Who is the siblings' acquaintance in Dooreyt?
    A. Dhara, a Valtan blacksmith with a love of trouble who can improve our weapons for a price.
    B. Hamish, a bookish naturalist who can tell us about any local dangers.
    C. Opta, a priest of the Ardors with a deep knowledge about the curse that afflicts mages.
    D. Darnato, a former assassin who knows the trade and might be convinced to spill some secrets.
    E. Folcerius Unthar II, vicount of Gultra, a bit of a ponce, but he knows everyone's business.

    Also, because I'm tired of dealing with screenshots, I'll be attaching the Status window as a link to a webpage instead of inlining it as an image.

    Status

    Edit: That's one PostToken earned!

    mail delivery:
    3d6 9 [3d6=6, 2, 1]

    Delzhand on
  • Options
    zekebeauzekebeau Registered User regular
    C

    We want mages that are able to cast without burning up.

  • Options
    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    A.

    Plus give him the heroic poem. He loves heroic poems.

  • Options
    see317see317 Registered User regular
    zekebeau wrote: »
    C

    We want mages that are able to cast without burning up.

    Well, we want our mage to be able to cast without burning up or spending our hard earned loot on burn cream.

  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    A.

    Plus give him the heroic poem. He loves heroic poems.

    Dhara's actually a woman! And since the gift is yours to give, A will be chosen in addition to the vote winner!

  • Options
    discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    C

  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited July 2021
    The rythmic ringing in from behind the shop told Tia that Dhara was hard at work. She decided not to interrupt, instead perusing the wares on display. Dhara had access to good mountain steel, and while Tia had never been proficient with swords, she had to admire the artistry involved. She picked up a rapier and examined it. It was light enough to hold in one hand, nothing like Alexei's giant blade.

    There was a lull in the ringing, and Tia ventured into the forgeyard. Dhara was gripping a curved blade of some sort with tongs, and she lowered it quickly into a narrow vat, which hissed and spat, shooting up a gout of flame.

    TIA: It's been a while, Dhara.

    Dhara didn't look up.

    DHARA: Hold on.

    Tia watched, and after a few moments Dhara pulled the blade from the quenching vat, peering at it from several angles. Apparently satisfied, she rested it against a rack filled with several others just like it.

    Dhara was broad and strong, with a close cut hairstyle and heat-browned skin. Sweat ran down her arms, lean and muscular, and she put a hand out. Tia shook it.

    DHARA: You here to stoke the flames? It'd save me from having to work the bellows.
    TIA: No, actually. I brought you a gift.
    DHARA: Oh?
    TIA: It's an excerpt from The Legend of Burnhardt. There's a passage in there about the joy of craftsmanship. I thought you'd like it.

    What a thoughtful gift! Dhara's loyalty increased from 2 to 3.
    DHARA: Oh, thank you! You didn't have to do that. Unless you're about to ask me for something...
    TIA: Two things, actually. Your professional services, which I will pay for, and... your personal input on our latest troubles.
    DHARA: Oh, I love hearing about your troubles. What is it this time?

    Tia explained the situation with Durandal, and the assassination plot.
    DHARA: It's a more noble cause that you typically take up for. What gives?
    TIA: Alexei wanted to involve Ophelia. I've brought that girl nothing but heartache, so I thought we could use a distraction from our worsening fortunes.

    Dhara sat on her anvil and crossed her ankles. It was a more girlish posture than one expected of a woman her size.

    DHARA: You're not asking me about this because I'm Valtan, are you? I've lived in the empire since I was a child.
    TIA: Come on, Dhara, you know me better than that. I'm asking because I know you'll give me a straight answer. Do you think it's pointless?

    Dhara looked at the rows of incomplete swords.

    DHARA: Tia, I make a living selling weapons. The empire pays me good money for my craft. It's reliable. I don't know what to tell you.
    TIA: But...
    DHARA: No, obviously. I don't want there to be a war. But it seems like you're picking between war now and war later. If you want to avoid war with Valta, you want the princess on the throne. Why not just wait for the emperor to die, and then assassinate the prince?
    TIA: But whoever is behind this isn't actually Valtan.
    DHARA: You assume.
    TIA: Why would the Valtans want war?
    DHARA: War is good business. You think there aren't any profiteers in Valta? Nobody who stands to gain? It's not the children of nobles and merchants who'll be dying on the frontlines.

    Silence stretched out between them.

    DHARA: You want my opinion? Find out who's behind the assassination plot.
    TIA: How?

    Dhara shrugged.

    DHARA: I'm just a blacksmith, darling. I hit metal with hammers until it's sharp and shiny.
    TIA: And you're damn good at it.

    Dhara grinned widely.

    DHARA: So let's talk about that instead. You like that rapier you've got there?
    TIA: It's beautiful, but no. Not for me, the blade. I'll bring Alexei's by later. Maybe Stafford, if he's inclined to stay with us.
    DHARA: That's fine, but don't let Alexei leave town without saying hello.
    TIA: I won't.

    Dhara hopped off the anvil and landed a peck on Tia's cheek.

    DHARA: Don't be a stranger.

    Dhara improved the party's weapons. Party ATK increased from 4 to 5!

    Voting will resume with the next post. Additionally, a unanimous vote for Option C has empowered the result! The party will gain secret knowledge in the next post!

    Status
    Party | Inventory | Allies | Key Items | Shop

    My apologies for mobile users, I'm in the process of converting some stuff on the status screen to a more responsive view and the player stats aren't quite there yet. There is, however, a new section for tracking the status of ally NPC loyalty, as well as some new items in the PostToken shop. Check it out!

    Delzhand on
  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited July 2021
    Tia found Opta leaving his home in the lower district of Dooreyt. He carried an empty bag in each hand, and she nearly collided with him as he exited his fenced-in garden.

    OPTA: Tia! To what do I own the pleasure?
    TIA: Just a friendly visit. Is this a bad time?
    OPTA: Not at all, child! I'm simply on the way to the grocer. I need squash for a dish I'm trying out.
    TIA: You're buying vegetables?
    OPTA: Bugs got into my squash plants this year, I'm afraid. Come, walk with me.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_N1mBZw10k
    Tia fell into step alongside him. Opta was a tall, handsome man in his late middle years, bespectacled with a head of shaggy gray hair. He was a priest of the Ardors, but there was little agreement between people on what that meant. It was a self-proclaimed position, as there was no "church" of the Ardors. If anything, he was an academic, a collector of knowledge.

    TIA: That's a shame. Is that a widespread problem?
    OPTA: No, just a bit of neglect, I'm ashamed to say. I've found a new all-consuming passion recently.
    TIA: You never finish a project, do you?
    OPTA: I'm being attacked.

    They both laughed.

    OPTA: I deserve that. I didn't completely abandon my search for a cure, though. I found a new decoction that helps dispel accreted astra. I'll give you the recipe. Ophelia should be able to procure the right reagents.

    Tia sighed.

    TIA: I can't go back to Runo.

    Tia explained the situation to Opta.
    OPTA: Oh, Tia. You've stepped in it this time. I warned you and Alexei both not to get involved with that man.
    TIA: Don't blame me, I agreed with you. But Alexei was hell-bent, and I couldn't let him do it alone.
    OPTA: Well, I suppose there's no helping it. I'll see if I can find someone to prepare the draught here in town. What's interesting about it is that it works for any of the elemental astras.
    TIA: That's amazing. Why is this not being sold in every shop in the empire?
    OPTA: It takes a rare plant. You and Alexei could probably obtain some cuttings, and I was thinking Ophelia could propagate them.
    TIA: Probably?
    OPTA: The wild cultivar only grows in the ruins of Bleda.

    The Bleda Ruins. Long ago Bleda had been yet another city fighting the empire. They had cursed the earth rather than submit to foreign rule, and the survivors had fled into neighboring lands. Nowadays fearsome beasts made their dens in the crumbled buildings of the fallen city.

    OPTA: It's a succulent called boda vurga. I'll give you a drawing.
    TIA: I'll consider it. Our current mission seems more pressing, though.
    OPTA: All I can do is give you the knowledge. I'm well past my fighting years.

    They arrived at the grocer's storefront, and Opta gave a friendly greeting to the owner before turning his attention to a collection of yellow and green squashes.

    TIA: So what's this other project of yours?
    OPTA: An Ardor little known on these shores! I recently purchased a journal of an explorer to the northern lands. I've been trying to get my hands on as much information as I can since then.

    Ardors. Beings of great and varied power. Venerated by ancient people, they had vanished from the world long ago. But while they themselves had vanished, many still prayed or made offerings to them.

    TIA: The northern lands, huh? What's this one called?
    OPTA: Her name is Hollos. She usually takes the form of a radiant orb, possibly with a face? It's all guesswork, really, trying to get at the truth behind primitive carving and explorer notes... Tia?

    She'd gone pale.

    TIA: We... we saw her... On the Martelba Plain...
    OPTA: I find that very unlikely.
    TIA: Opta, the caravan we attacked was carrying goods from the northlands. And after the chaos, we both saw a strange light following us at a distance. We lost it during a storm.

    Opta gaped, open mouthed.

    OPTA: Tia, what you're saying is that you're the first person to see an Ardor in centuries. It just doesn't seem plausible.
    TIA: What was Hollos' domain, Opta?

    What is the nature of Hollos?
    A. Hollos the Protector, Ardor of preservation of youth and life
    B. Hollos the Vengeful, Ardor of scornful destruction
    C. Hollos the Balanced, Ardor of calm and storm in careful measure
    D. Hollos the Legion, Ardor of manifold soul
    X1. Hollos the Shining, Ardor of judgment (mojo_jojo)
    X2. Hollos at Peace, Ardor of burial and rest (see317)
    X. _________

    Status
    Party | Inventory | Allies | Key Items | Shop

    Delzhand on
  • Options
    Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo We are only now beginning to understand the full power and ramifications of sexual intercourse Registered User regular
    X: Hollos the Shining, Ardor of judgement

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • Options
    see317see317 Registered User regular
    X: Hollos At Peace, Ardor of Burial and Rest

    (yeah, I play Grave clerics)

  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
  • Options
    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    D. Naturally.

  • Options
    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    C. Hollos the Balanced, Ardor of calm and storm in careful measure.

    wVEsyIc.png
  • Options
    mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    X. Hollos the Shining: Ardor of Judgement, Holder of the Scales, Righteous-Light-Eternal

    bppprcbgl9ew.png

Sign In or Register to comment.