You have always wanted to be an emperor. That ambition has burned dimly in the past, tempered by reality. Now the opportunity to realise your ambition has arrived and you are determined not to let it slip. Now is the time to build your empire and become an emperor.
Last Thread: You are the mercenary spellblade Saul Waise, in command of a mercenary company that is currently forming an empire and fighting off a vampire-controlled city-state. Last thread you began to march on Darlesia and met your dragon.
Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Aspirational%2C+Aspiring+Emperor+Quest+Re
Email: [email protected]
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Next thread on Friday 15th January at 5:30pm EST.
Rolls are d100 and the best of the first three posters. I may sometimes ask for more dice to be rolled by each player, but same rules apply otherwise. Please quote the post you are voting for or rolling against. Note there are hard-to-replace points that can be used to offset failures in rolls. Additional dice mechanics will be given a GDocs later.
>Now, without further ado
Deciding that you might as well get it over with, you strip off your top. You weren’t wearing your armour so you didn’t need to deal with all the straps and buckles that held it in place but it wasn’t as simple as just taking your shirt off – it was winter after all. Once free from your clothing you find yourself with a little too much female attention for your comfort.
For reasons beyond your understanding Gnome is staring at you with a deep frown etched on her face. She doesn’t appear to be ogling you but the attention is uncomfortable enough as is. You hadn’t done anything too special and you would have thought that somebody such as Gnome would be more than familiar with the naked torso of a man.
Lyria’s attention is as expected however, if still disconcerting. “Hmm, I can’t quite tell at this distance,” she says in what you suspect would be a mutter if her voice weren’t set at maximum volume all the time.
A moment after speaking there’s a shimmer of light in front of you and the human form of Lyria replaces her draconic form. She’s dressed rather simply in red and black fabric one-piece dress that goes to her knees and no armour. Given the size of her form she needs to jog for a little bit to reach you, leaving you under the gaze of an all-too-interested Gnome. Finally reaching you, she bends down and inspects the mark she left on your chest back when you were just seventeen. The complicated symbol etched into your skin is about the size of your fist and sits above where you heart would be – what Lyria is looking for in it you don’t know.
“Well, you’re nearly there,” she tells you, looking a little dispirited even as her voice is now her usual tone instead of the magically enhanced timbre of a dragon. “I’d hoped from what you’d told me that the blessing might be ready for the next level but I’d be rushing things if I advanced it.”
“What does that mean?” you ask her. “I thought you could do it whenever you like?”
“I can but I’d prefer to wait for when the blessing sigil is full,” Lyria says, straightening up and shrugging. “I don’t know exactly how it works but once it’s full of magic then you’ll work better with the next level of the blessing. If you get it earlier then you might have some teething issues. From what little I’ve read of the old blessings they somehow register your acclimatisation to my magic.”
“Old blessings?” Gnome says suddenly. “I’ve never even heard of a human receiving power from a dragon, let alone binding one as a familiar.”
“I’m not his familiar yet,” Lyria says. “And blessings were rare – there were only a couple formed after Kushan. I stumbled upon an old book from the days of the ancient draconic kingdom where Guelburg stands today.”
“And so you bound a talented mage with an ancient magic you don’t understand,” Gnome says, her voice growing heated. “What if it didn’t work?”
“It did and he’s all the better for it,” Lyria says simply. “Besides, he asked for it. There’s no other path to binding a dragon as a familiar – even I hold more raw power than any mage save perhaps the archmage herself could bind or pact with. If he acclimatises to my power then he’ll accomplish something not seen since the Cataclysm.”
“Or he’ll die.”
“He won’t,” Lyria says with confidence, glancing at you with a smile.
That doesn’t exactly calm Gnome down but before she says anything more you…
>1. Change the topic, asking Lyria if there’s anything she can do while you’re here.
>2. Tell Gnome that you’re willing to take the risks necessary to achieve your goals.
>3. Tell Lyria that she hadn’t exactly been that honest about the dangers when she first gave you the blessing.
. Tell Gnome that you’re willing to take the risks necessary to achieve your goals.
Hey, I'm out to form an empire of my own. What difference does it make if I die from this or in battle?
I have no idea what series that is supposed to be. The idea of a sigil granting power or being the symbol of a connection isn't exactly a new idea, mind you. I think even Drakengard has marks on the human-side of a pact (though they're also symbolic).
“Gnome, it’s fine,” you say. “All paths to power have danger. I spent years as a travelling spellblade – the dangers of the blessing aren’t anything special.”
Your Champion doesn’t take your intervention as well as you’d hoped. “There’s a difference between the dangers you face directly and can overcome and those of magic gone wrong. What would you do if the blessing was slowly poisoning you with its magic? Or are you going to tell me you considered all the risks and still took this approach.”
“I can’t say that,” you say, though Gnome doesn’t look happy to see you admit it. “I wanted power and I’ve got it, plus a dragon and friend who I can trust.”
“Only a friend?” Lyria mutters with a dark look at you.
Clicking her tongue, Gnome drops the topic with an annoyed wave of her hand. You turn back to Lyria, wondering about the blessing. The way she talked about it sounded as though she could grant you early access to additional powers from the blessing, at the risk of them not working correctly. It could be a risk worth taking at this stage to deal with the vampires.
>1. Push Lyria about granting you the next level of Draconic Blessling
>2. Let Lyria use her own judgement of when you’re ready
>. I think even Drakengard has marks on the human-side of a pact (though they're also symbolic).
I love you Aspirational. You brought up exactly what I was thinking about when I hear dragons plus marks. Now we just need to meet our own personal Caim.
>2. Let Lyria use her own judgement of when you’re ready
>2. Let Lyria use her own judgement of when you’re ready
Danmachi is a dogshit fantasy series that's apparently the popular Chinese cartoon of the moment? Substitutes video game tropes in place of actually explaining ability/skill mechanics or any sort of legitimate world building , kind if the epitome of lazy hack writing. Also syeals generic tropes and ideas (like pacts) left right and center. Popular because predictable and harem and waifushit.
Shame, because the idea of the gods coming down into the world and having vested human interests is somewhat original and worth exploring
He made like a yolk and got broke in the backstory.
Also, it's York and this has been answered at https://ask.fm/AspirationalQM/answers/134346437386 and elsewhere in the quest.
Eh, bad writing is bad writing. It comes from the LN market which is aimed at younger teens anyways. More often than not, a lot of published LNs are just edited versions of amature webnovels. I have a sneaking suspicion that that's why so many light novels are basically power fantasy wish fulfillment garbage and any sort of human interaction or relationship building that happened is ludicrously implausible and cringe inducing when read. (Which makes it fantastic for the weaboo neckbeard foreign market, ironically.)
There're plenty of equivalently bad western novels that do the same thing, and they don't even come from promoted fanfiction.
>There're plenty of equivalently bad western novels that do the same thing, and they don't even come from promoted fanfiction.
What about Fifty Shades of Grey? That's literally promoted fanfiction. Twilight fanfiction, to be precise.
Lyria’s the centuries old dragon so you decide to leave it to her to decide when you’re ready to move forward with her power. That and Gnome would probably cave your face in if you took on any more risk from the blessing right now.
“So was there something else you were going to do or was this just catch-up time, meaning I can put my shirt on and not be ogled,” you say.
“I don’t see why you’d need to put your shirt on in either case,” Lyria says, running a finger across your chest in a way that is analytical in no way whatsoever. “But there is one possibility that came to mind. The thralling abilities of daywalkers are probably the greatest threat to you right now, particularly as a quick flyover I did sensed at least one powerful daywalker in Darlesia.”
“Wait, you did a flyover?” you say, surprised and a little panicky.
“Yes, dragons can fly, Saul,” Lyria says, giving you a peck on the cheek. “We’re not as obvious as you’d think given how high up we can fly compared to you humans. Either way, there’s a rather powerful daywalker in the city and I worry that you’ll get thralled. Not all of them have such straightforward methods of thralling people.”
You fail to ignore the fact that Lyria’s openly pawing at you in front of Gnome. Mostly because it’s a hard thing to ignore, even if Gnome mostly looks amused. Still, you’re a little troubled by Lyria raising the vampire topic now – hadn’t she just told you to open a link with her?
“Opening a link with me works if you remember to do so,” she says. “Which won’t always occur. I was thinking we set-up a permanent link, at least for the time-being. It means I’ll have access to your surface thoughts at all times and can interrupt your thoughts but I’ll also be able to monitor you and intervene if you’re being thralled. There’s also a little bit more to it, but that shouldn’t be important.”
Gnome looks thoughtful at the proposal, which mostly speaks to the dangers of being thralled.
>Any questions for Lyria on this or other things? Or for Gnome on anything at all? Afterwards I’ll do a vote on the permanent link.
But I meant more along the lines of "fat greasy autistic social outcast despised by everyone who is somehow loved by the prettiest girl in the class, is backstabbed and comes back stronger, good looking, invincible, and oh hey his pre-death obsession with guns means he can now create assault rifles in generic fantasy world #4532 while catgirls and vampire girls and all of the girls inexplicably want his dick while he "y-you too's" back to them"
Granted, haven't read 50 shades so I can't really compare
What else is there to it? I would hardly like to walk into this even partially blind.\
Wouldn't that make things very awkward for you?
I assume we can close it down at some point.
To Gnome: Would you be in danger of being thralled, or what?
>Wouldn't that cause you to have a massive headache? Reading my thoughts at all time would get confusing.
“That’s why I have to do this a little differently. The idea is that the permanent link doesn’t force your thoughts into my head – I’ll have to actively access them. I’ll check in on you relatively often, particularly while you’re at threat. We can undo the permanency later if you’d like.”
>Does that link go both ways? or is it still one-way like before?
“I read your thoughts, little one, not the other way around.”
>To Gnome: Would you be in danger of being thralled, or what?
Gnome says, “Thralldom doesn’t exactly work on us correctly. Perhaps a weaker non-earth pure elemental would be at threat, but I simply have too much magic in my body and am connected too strongly to the world to be controlled by another like that.”
You know, she tried to thrall Talon last time but failed because...forget why (astral?) and surprise over that + not wanting to get killed was enough to make her switch over (plus I guess she was in a disadvantageous position since all the other daywalker besides Blackwater were dead)
It might be possible to set up similar conditions again to get her to defect. (Though iirc her thrall conditions were like... 100% guarantee to thrall anyone inside her "home" which is why she was so shocked when she failed with Talon)
I liked her powers but didn't think she had enough screentime to make her interesting as a character though. Feels like she'd still play second fiddle to gnome if we picked her up again.
I actually remember one webnovel I really liked for playing with this. The main character was basically a NEET who reincarnated into a demon lord. Only he is a fucking NEET with major depression issues.
So he can't even feed himself most of the time and fully admits that without support from his allies he would have died due to being too slothful to defend himself from attack.
50 shades is more "Middle age house wives read about a rich man wanting into this random bitches pants."
Shadow teleportation, shadow magic, very good regen as Dalrec was her sire. Basically both blood and shadow fuckery, with the added bonus of being able to raise her strength by consuming powerful enemies, which nobody besides Felix) who she created) could do
We're going to have to kill Aladria this time, probably. Either that or she is going to run the fuck away if she can't deal with us. I can't see a reasonable scenario in which she would actually join up with us rather than just avoid us.
The amount of people screaming "BLACKWATER I KNEW IT WAS YOU!" would be outrageous if we got to that part.
>because...forget why (astral?)
Talon being a astral being I'm pretty sure can't have his mental world played with at all unless it is a trick on himself. Making thralling attempts worthless
>she had enough screentime to make her interesting as a character
She was honestly one of my favorites. Just because of how bizarre her thought trains could fly off.
>moving right along
“So, are you okay with expanding the link and having me in your head a little more often, Saul?” Lyria asks you, playing with your hair now. “It’ll take a few hours and you might want to have Gnome leave during it.”
“Why does it take a few hours?” you ask.
“It’s a multi-stage process with a need to break them up,” Lyria says.
“Why would I want to have Gnome leave?”
“Because I’ll get bored during the breaks and you’re stuck here with me,” she says, giving you a wicked smile.
Oh. So no Gnome to watch the two of you, err, ‘enjoy’ your breaks. You…
>1. Agree to expand the link to be permanent
>2. Don’t agree. You’d rather keep your thoughts to yourself as much as you can. You’ll work around the thraldom in other ways.
She doesn't really care much about the vampires from what I remember so it wouldn't be too hard. She also hates Dalrec and has a few other openings that I could see would let an alliance happen.
She also had those shadow blades. Her biggest advantage really though was her almost limitless growth potential.
She more than likely wouldn't want to serve a human in any regard, and killing someone she hates doesn't mean she is going to think favorably of us in that way. She's a haughty vampire who thinks she's top bitch, she doesn't bow of her own volition to someone she considers less than her.
Same reason why a princess yells at a peasant, even if that peasant proved he was hot shit.
Even if we can eliminate her as a direct threat, it likely won't last long since we can't have a guarantee of her loyalty this time around. And the fact that her power can grow exponentially through combat.
Yeah there's definitely some diamonds in the rough that intentionally turn animu tropes upside down, or deconstruct them but they're in the minority
I feel kinda bad for the people who like reading translated wns because most "translators" only go for the popular shonen tier wish fulfillment shit (and most of them are dogshit machine translators too)
Trawling syosetu for decent stories can be a pain in the ass though, especially when a lot of stories get abandoned and you have to read at least a few chapters before you can figure out if it's worth reading or not
Find someone to keep them in line. If they step out of line, they are dealt with internally. If they aren't dealt with internally, quite a few more of them are dealt with from the outside.
.>She was honestly one of my favorites. Just because of how bizarre her thought trains could fly off.
This I don't get.
Also, next post will end the thread and leave Darlesia ready to begin in earnest next week. The post is almost ready.
Yeah I think the best novels are ones that play around with the genre a bit. Like the demon lord one while the guy was overpowered he also could barely function and only got off his ass twice. So most of the story was told by the lieutenants and mooks which made the how and the why of things more mysterious.
I think a lot of the problems is lack of other perspectives in the stories which leads to this kind of one note feeling and really dodgy translations which tends to jumble up what is going on.
This is one of the few times I want to replicate Talon here. While it may cause a backlash I want to see my damn daywalker knights. And Saul isn't one for full blown genocide anyway.
In the end it takes more than just a ‘few’ hours to make the link permanent, due in no small part to the lengthy breaks that Lyria like to take. At least you now knew she would do more than eat and sleep if she joined you more permanently. Not that she would, just yet.
“You still have a ways to go to claim your prize,” Lyria says as she curls up next to you atop the blanket she’d conjured afterwards. “I need to give you something to aim for, after all.”
You make the descent and trek west to Darlesia to join up with your army. On the way there Lyria makes good use of the new permanency of the link – despite what she’d told you it was noticeable every time she was actively peeking into your mind. Training yourself to ignore was your task for your travels, so that you wouldn’t get yourself killed by Lyria poking in on a regular basis to keep you from being thralled. Or just because she was curious as to what you were doing – the fact that she didn’t stop checking your thoughts even as you were lying in bed made it pretty clear she was interested in other things.
Finally, you join the main army. They’re encamped just east of the city but out of sight. The Taourans no doubt know you’re here but being this distant means they won’t get too antsy. Malaine had sent some men in to scout the city – being natives to the city meant they would hopefully blend in well enough.
Or not, you thought when Lieutenant Illon interrupted you minutes after arriving in camp.
“One of my men made contact. Not bad news, but not good either,” he says, looking grim.
You follow him into one of the communications tents where a sending device is set-up to allow contact to be made with the scouts. Somebody is speaking lowly over it to Cormann as you enter. He holds a finger to his lips as you enter and you nod and stay silent, listening closely to the voice coming through the device.
>This I don't get.
Aladria was a QT3.14 who tended feel like she had a lot going on but that Talon never really had the time to work out what it was. Which caused a lot of what she said to feel kind of off sometimes.
“-aren’t good. The resistance has lost all trust from most of the citizens with this nonsense about the Seraphs arriving to install a rightful king. Apparently they seized the ruined palace that the Taourans left to rot after they took the city and just went mad. Not everybody, though – I met a couple of kids who were doing food runs who said their boss was still doing preparations for our arrival as was originally planned after you made contact weeks ago.”
“General Waise is here, soldier. Heard the meat of the report. Why don’t you go over your unexpected guests?” Cormann says, looking grim.
Suddenly you hear distant voices over the device, as if some people near the device have suddenly kicked up a fuss. One of the voices comes through clearly enough, “Oh, the pipsqueak’s there? Let me closer.”
“So are you there, Waise? This is Rayza Staarn of the Tower of Stars,” says a female voice after a short period of time.
You try to keep your surprise out of your voice as you say, “Aren’t you security for the tower?”
“Us spellblades need to be multi-talented. Anyway, you being here is an interesting surprise – I was told you would be busy over in Vitria killing vampires,” Rayza says.
“Well, I’m going to soon be busy here in Darlesia killing vampires,” you say, your heart sinking as this conversation continues. “If I’m guessing correctly you would be here to secure the League’s supply lines?”
“Got it in one. Maybe that’s why Merce speaks well of you,” Rayza says. “Bad news for you, though – no vampires here. Just a bunch of brainwashed idiots in purple armour and lunatics who think Ol’ King Fenix isn’t going to annex their city if he ever comes here.”
Well, shit. The League was here. That made things nice and dandy – and if a spellblade as famous as Rayza Staarn was here, from Alyce’s tower itself, then that meant that there was bound to be a bigger presence of them.
Why then did the resistance think the RSK was coming?
Too many questions, not enough answers. Let alone why Rayza thinks there’s no vampire here but Lyria is certain there is one.
>That’s the thread
Next thread on Friday 15th January at 5:30pm EST. I might do two threads that weekend, depending on whether I catch up with a friend over drinks or not that weekend.
Just a reminder that we still need empires names. For the flag, at this point I’m just going to stick with the colours at >>44655223 unless there’s anything radical to change or some really strong movement to change the tones.
Yoooo, where the daywalker at
Lyria, you ain't goin' senile is ya?
Rayza, you knife some niggas 'fore we got here? sheeeiiiiiit someone ran the fuck away and we didn't even get to see em.
Thanks for the thread!
Seems like we've got a real mystery on our hands here. Rayza says there's no vampire, but Lyria thinks there is. Or at least, WAS.
The main resistance went full retard and is ready to welcome the RSK despite it not being anywhere close to happening...
Yeah, that's the obvious thing. But what daywalker could hide to the level necessary and how would they do it? If I had to guess, Aladria. She took over the palace and made it her own. This could be a little messy.
Other options- The vampire has already fled. This would be interesting to say the least.
The original idea as I remember giving it out was basically finding orphans and indoctrinating them into being a secret police that would basically keep the nobles and merchants in line though disappearance and assassination.
The second branch was basically the IRS and would find people avoiding their taxes or people that showed hints of rebellion and report them to branch one.
Eventually though it got toned down a lot from a secret police to taxmen. At least that's how I remember the conversations going.
Rayza talks a lot of shit.
Saul doesn't give any fucks.
It'll be her yelling a bunch as they fight and she'll yield because she's out of breath.
Otherwise, stalemate, unless the dice are kind.
The dice fucking hate AEQ though.
>Wait how does Merce know us again?
Saul has no idea. He never met her, though he was technically under her command (insofar as the fact that she was often in overall command of tens of thousands of soldiers at once).
>Oh man, I want to see us go up against Rayza
Saul against Rayza would be interesting, as the two have a lot of similarities in terms of fighting styles.
Though that does remind me that I'm interested in whether you guys would want Finn back as part of the empire or a different squire figure?
Anyway, still happy to answer questions etc but will be ducking off now to grab some dinner and do some shopping so a reply will take a little while.
SERIOUS TALK GUYS:
Time for planning. What steps do we need to take to get Shropham on our side? Don't care who we have to fight, but the loredoc doesn't really give info in modern politics.
I feel like Finn should stay wandering the world and being a badass on his own, slowly becoming a hardened and jaded veteran on his last leg and we save him and shit.
But really I just want to see who you could make to "replace" him. We probably need more support types around rather than offense types.
>Eventually though it got toned down a lot from a secret police to taxmen
- Shropham is probably the best defensive bastion on Gauron short of upgraded Harromont.
- the seat of magical power and research, and we'd get lots of support from them if we chose to go up against the Magi League
- Larrya is the earth elemental there, second only to Gnome, so we'd get a huge boost to any architectural projects
- WE NEED MAGISTER SMITH ON OUR COUNCIL
the man deserves to shine because aspie gave him a name
- Hallim's crew would probably secede with him, which means we'd gain five combat magisters
- a combat magister team would allow us to headshot enemy heroes without being directly involved
- Magister Smith
I would like to see a slightly older, more deranged from the tattoos Finn seeking out Mal for help. I'm assuming he was the protege that was briefly mentioned, and he's on a bloody warpath after Talon's death.
But yeah I'd much rather have a different 'squire' character if we could even call it that this go about.
I want Finn to be bumming around under someone else
He was suuuuper creepy and his borderline fanatical, regenerating glass cannon nature would make him an awesome antagonist/miniboss
Not sure I see Saul as the mentoring type who needs a squire, but I have faith you can write it well if that option wins.
It was my feeling exactly. Just because I was hoping for some badass secret agent stuff like three or four agents trying to kidnap a powerful son of a merchant or noble using anti-magic, Their wits and the arts of disguise and other secret agent storylines.
Be kind of interesting to see a non-dragon, Non-elf squire.
Actually I think we were the protege. You're talking about one of Dalrec's lines, right?
Presumably he thought we were the protege because we took command after Talon was killed and we're a solid fighter.
I don't think Finn ever met Talon in this timeline, and even if he had, I can't see him surviving the battle Talon died in, given his personality.
The funny part is I only got the idea because I really liked the assassin sent after Talon in the first boss battle of the quest and thought it would be cool to have our own crew of people like that.
For real, just request a secret meeting, plop down the head of a n important vampire and make some shit real clear.
We can save them from the political hell storm they'd endure if word of their actions got out.
Well, Pharos is being introduced earlier, so we'll have a chance to get something like that I think. We prob missed an opportunity when we chose the spear samurai mercs
I dunno, we've kept our dragon connection pretty secret. Last time they didn't start joining til Lynn outed herself to the world in that tournament, and it became known that we had her and Rayza was banging out squire.
(And then we started banging Sylvian after mindfucking her but we don't talk about that anymore)
I think we might get more dragon recruits after Lynn and Lyria come out, but they've got no reason to join atm
It would be so cool to visit Shropham without the whole war backdrop. It's an awesome city that didn't get near as much screen time as it should have. Meeting the upper level mages would be really neat. And with the extra power they have?
The whole idea seems like the kind of back room bullshit a no name would do to get a serious leg up.
Speaking of which, I'd like to brainwash kids with magic potential and use them to keep tabs on the mage towers they'd inevitably get to later in their lives. It's a long term goal, but it's a pretty good payout.
I reread the siege yesterday and it had such a cool description. Plus architectanon put a lot of effort into the blueprints for Shropham as well.
But seriously, gigantic skyscraper columns that people lived within, holding up a massive platform that housed another entire city in top of it
And the interconnected lifts that had to be switched at different stages multiple times just to get to the top
I started out wanting to push recruiting punchwizard bro, but now I'm more interested in the city hahah
I'm down for any plan that involves Aspir having to flesh out the Magister Smith character. The ridiculous off handed joke becoming someone we regularly get advice from and deal with sounds hysterical.
I wouldn't mind having the basic ideas I gave out then. We would need to make sure to try and keep any true extremism low though.
Not really wanting crusaders so much as a hidden police that watches and waits for something to go wrong.
Issue there is mages being powerful will tend to break out of that. The secret police idea works mostly because it targets people early on their life and builds a family situation where each person feels loyalty to each other and instills a lot of empire love.
A mage tower on the other hand leads to the opposite course where all the guys friends aren't like that. Which breaks social conditioning down pretty fast over the scales we are talking about.
I honestly kind of imagine he would like give the most generic advice possible in all situations. Advice that is so wide ranging it's basically a fortune cookie and so basically useless.
Can you imagine Magister Smith as a counterpart to Mal? Like Mal has taken this mentorly role towards us as he deals with his grief at the loss of Talon, but he's also a genius mage with a gift for enchanting and summoning, with a disdain for the Magi League towers. It's obvious that his genius manifests itself in the way he deals in fairly unconventional magic use/research
I see Smith as someone who (if he were on our council) tries to take the same role as Mal as mentor, but he's bog standard in everything he does, and just happens to be very VERY good at using what's inside the box in contrast to Mal who works outside the box.
And they can't agree on anything and constantly take shots at each other and the only place they're the same is their disdain for the Magi League
So it's just a constant stream of Mal and Smith all "fuck you"
"no fuck YOU"
"Well actually conventional wisdom states FUCK YOU"
"That's why you're second rate, fuck youuuuii"
"As a matter of fact fuck you"
I NEED THIS
"Okay guys, we're surrounded by God knights. We're outgunned, outmanned, and we're running out of supplies. Wat do"
Hallim: "Lemme duel em. I'm the best flow reader"
Blackwater: "put on your best clothes. We'll surrender with grace and beauty. I'll go naked"
Smith: "This life is nothing short of an unveiling current of non-dual life."
Smith: "To follow the vision quest is to become one with it. By unveiling, we believe."
I just used the new age bullshit generator for Smith
This begs the question of Smith's combat style. The most bog standard evocation, measured, precise attacks, coordination with other mages that is devastatingly powerful. That's my guess.
I imagine him just talk mad trash to Mal everytime he comes to The Tower of Harrowmont. But in a weird passive aggressive way.
>Oh you call that a tower? Seems a little... Short. Maybe a bunker at best. But that's cute. How many mages? Oh 100, that sure is a number.
>closed door to a tower
>Lynn shoulder charges it and bounces off. Attacking it with her draconic strength does nothing.
>Mal bullrushes the door with summons, breaking it down with sheer force of numbers and the weight of all the bodies
>Smith uses a bunch of fireballs to blow it open.
>Saul tries the doorknob first. It's already unlocked. He pulls it open.
He completely mastered it though. Like the whole reason for his obsession with Talon was because he couldn't understand how some peasant ass dudebro knight beat him and Gnome was shocked that Talon survived
Plus we only beat him because we went full offense and rolled a 19 on a d20
Like I don't think Hallim would have a chance vs full powered Gnome 1v1 but dude was a serious beast who probably would have given 2/4 gnome a run for her money
Hey aspir, is Alyce and Lairos' kid a mage, a knight or a spellblade?
>Best flow reader
She has centuries of experience using that ability on the dude.
If it came down to both at their best, Gnome is simply better, because she is.
The fight was honestly mostly even then near the end we got a string of a few good rolls which was the final push needed for Talon to deck him out cold. He was probably one of the toughest fights we had though.
>Mal the following day
>GNOME I NEED THE BIGGEST TOWER YOU CAN BUILD
A dick measuring contest between Smith and Mal would be amusing.
Speaking of, does anyone have any ideas for Harrowmont this go about? The whole star fort hyper defense thing seemed more Talon's deal. But I'm not sure what kind of direction Saul would prefer.
>tfw you were the anon whose offhand "no star fort?" remark is what made architectanon redo everything to incorporate a star fort design
It seems like a pretty solid build either way regardless of Saul having a different attitude to Talon though. I mean there're only so many defensive fortress structures that have been proven to work, and really, it's all about hiding the bullshit inner powers of the source inside than anything else.
No wait, if old Harromont was super defensive let's go for something more offensive
Not really building related but I would like to be more proactive in our building of mage Towers and Knight orders.
Establish the Black Dragons as our field knights, and build another Order that's purpose is mostly at home and the local areas. Order of the Golden Phoenix for a generic name.
Establish a network of towers, first by building up The Tower of Harrowmont, and then a feeder sister tower to take from the local populace. Building sister towers for Pax Vitria and maybe one in Farun to further solidify an alliance. Definitely one for Shropham if we go that route.
I feel like we majorly gimped ourselves last time because of some weird diswant to build more orders and towers in the city itself. When in reality the more we have that are directly connected to the empires seat of power the more political clout and likelihood to recruit elites from them we have.
Lyria probably has an inch or two on Saul (she'd be around 5'7 or 5'8). The only female characters that Saul is taller than are Aladria, Taira, Lynn, Sarah, Annette and Neir (and Finn, but he's not female). Sala and Sylph are similar height. The other dozen-plus named female characters are all taller (including Rayza, Mercenie and Alyce).
>Blackwater: "put on your best clothes. We'll surrender with grace and beauty. I'll go naked"
I've always loved this, because the only reason Blackwater was naked was because Talon blew his clothes up, right?
>Hey aspir, is Alyce and Lairos' kid a mage, a knight or a spellblade?
He's going to be closer to a combat magister - lots of physical talent backed up by powerful magic.
He doesn't really think much about any of those topics. They're a little far from his realm of interest beyond a 'these things exist'.
Nobody is really sure why Shropham is backing them but the city is infamous for its support of forbidden magic.
>Actually I think we were the protege. You're talking about one of Dalrec's lines, right?
Yeah, Dalrec meant this. Finn never met Talon before he died.
>He was suuuuper creepy
Oh, and as I'm here I'll elaborate a little more on what I'm thinking about for purchasing subskills.
Currently each skill school has a number of subskill slots and as you purchase new subskills they go into those slots (and not before then). What I'm considering is to have separate votes on what subskill to put into a slot but then actually levelling it is done separately (so the slot would get populated before any xp is spent on the subskill).
The main benefit of this would be to avoid people buying subskills that just happen to be affordable at the time, as the slot gets populated. It also will simplify voting a little bit.
The downsides are that new subskills become available later down the track (there will even be a few that become available because you have a certain combination of skill and magic schools) and slots might get populated sooner than otherwise (or people might not populate slots, waiting to see later subskills).
I don't think I have an Ahegao face hard enough for Gnome when Saul tell her to build that
>I want a castle, made of other castles and tower.
>And I want it to be mobile, I don't care if it has to walk or fly, I just want to bring my castle to that other guy castle and breach his door from my front door.
>He was suuuuper creepy
Well I dunno if it was just me, but he came off as super uncanny valley. Like a disturbing mix of cultist fanatic (for Talon) and shonen protagonist density. A kind of "haha that's adorable oh my sweet fucking christ he has no idea how to be a normally functioning person if he doesn't frame it as 'what would Talon do/want'"
I think you wrote him really really well, and a lot of people just went with the awkward spaghetti interpretation and you rolled with it, but the fanatical "I MUST SUCCEED FOR TALON" obsession, combined with the absolute lack of regard for self preservation, made him come off quite disturbing. Plus his passive acceptance of everything (random spasms of pain that were bad enough to make him seize up despite not straining himself, acceptance of future death unless the tattoo issue was solved etc)
Seemed like a psychopath in the making, with no actual emotional connection to anyone but Talon, even while he was banging all those other girls.
Haven't read him in a while and I liked other characters more so take this with a grain of salt though
>the height stuff
Also, looking over height stats now I'm probably going to revise that statement a little and revisit my height comparison list. I never realised how absolutely massive the difference between the genders was in height - 95% of women are shorter than 50% of men, according to CDC height stats for 2007-10.
Also, Talon was pretty damned big - at 6'1 he's taller than 90% of all men and at least 95% of all women (using modern stats). When he got taller he towered over pretty much everybody. On the other hand, that means in a group of 30 randomly selected men you have two other men as tall or taller than Talon.
>random spasms of pain that were bad enough to make him seize up despite not straining himself
That one was partly modelled on my experiences - if you don't talk to other people about how their experiences compare with yours, then you naturally assume it's normal. It took me a long time to realise that the headaches, migraines and other random bouts of pain I experience are very foreign to the vast majority of people. I blow through hundreds of painkillers a year but know people who don't keep any in stock at home or work. Finn's acceptance of it is just an extreme case of that - more an attempt to show innocence and youth than creepiness (mind you, his willingness to ignore it could be considered creepy).
Tbqh I think my perception of Saul has been slanted by how I interpreted Finn as well
They sorta seem like foils to one another, in that both were raised from childhood as tools to effect outcomes and political agendas with no thought to who they were as people;
Saul escaped and despite his taciturn nature, developed more or less normally; he has ambition and goals and feelings, even if he plays his cards close to his chest. Looking forward to finding out how meeting Lyria changed him, especially since his ambition seems to be partially fueled by "to be worthy of Lyria"
Whereas Finn sorta wandered aimlessly, joined some mercenaries, joined Talon and found a purpose in life as his right hand. But doesn't seem to have matured emotionally in any way.
Granted, Saul isn't innocent or a youth, and I think a lot of readers keep getting thrown off by "inexperienced" even though he's a grown ass man
Nobody is really sure why Shropham is backing them but the city is infamous for its support of forbidden magic.
Oh cool. We can still salvage relations with them if we wipe the vampires then. We follow through with elite NHMKs and elite specialized daywalkers, let Shropham in on our research (hell, maybe they'll even collaborate) and justify it as doing the research and !SCIENCE¡ in a more controlled environment and they'll probably like us for not being afraid to push the boundaries of socially acceptable research. Plus when it comes out we've bonded a dragon using ancient, poorly understood magic, it'll probably endear us to them even more
Talk with the League, make them realize they'd rather we control Darlesia since we can't just thrall whole armies of theirs, then talk to Schophram and make them realize supporting the eventual winner before Taour falls is better than trying to do so after we're right at their doorstep.
I was going to have Gnome comment about how loud it was but didn't for whatever reason.
Well, Saul's inexperienced insofar as he doesn't have a huge history of commanding troops, dealing with politics, dealing with the darker side of war and people. He's otherwise extremely competent, as you'd expect from a protagonist character. You've more or less captured how I view him: taciturn, a little cold, but otherwise relatively normal - no less competent than Talon and both were cunning and calculating but expressed themselves very differently (and approach things differently - Saul has none of Talon's posturing arrogance).
As for the comparisons with Finn, well, Saul was never subject to the level of torture, experimentation and abuse that Finn was. Saul was only dehumanised insofar as he was trained to be a soldier far too early. Finn was outright stripped of any semblence of normality and turned into something that the elves consider more a monster than a person, then nearly put to death because some elves were stupid enough to repeatedly hit the wardog with their heads within reach of its jaws.
>put on your best clothes. We'll surrender with grace and beauty. I'll go naked
That reminds me of an Unsounded character who can teleport but can't take his clothes with him, so after he arrives he just conjures up some illusion to use as clothing because although he'd be perfectly willing to go around naked, it makes handling business harder and his "friends" don't like it.
Can we get a glimpse into Lyria's and/or Gnome's inner thoughts during their meeting? Wanna see that prideful top bitch mentality.
>Gnome boasting about her age
>Lyria boasting about getting in Saul's pants
>Gnome talking about recklessness and teasing wife-ness
>Lyria teasing about motherhood fetish
>Gnome being superior because of her big hands
Will Saul be able to open the link himself if he wants to now as well? Because contacting her to tell her when we're going near vampires would be good.
Well, level 5 gives you quite a few slots as is - you also need to maintain the level of the skills you do have. The slot system just represents the difficulty in spreading yourself too thin instead of concentrating on existing abilities. For magical ability schools you may get more slots as time passes. There are also specialisations and the like, too.
It's possible to ally with Shropham but you'd need a decent reason to try to do so (though this depends on their behaviour once you expand in power). The reason I ignored the 'befriend the vampires' comments earlier is because it doesn't make any sense for Saul to do so (in contrast to potentially doing some negotiation over Darlesia).
You can still open the link, yes.
Whatever the case, we should try to be subtle and get a good idea of the situation before doing anything. I say this because I won't make it here next week and I know anons like to jump to conclusions and make stupid decisions.
I was honestly hoping to see Gnome's reactions when Lyria started to act more sexual, after what Gnome said when we were talking about what she'd do if we brought a woman to our room and stuff.
It feels a bit like you've been skipping some good opportunities for character comedy/development, for some reason. We have had very little actual meaningful interaction with any of the named NPCs so far.
Every character has a multiplier for their Magic stat. Saul is x4, Gnome is x5 for reference.
>We have had very little actual meaningful interaction with any of the named NPCs so far.
That's a fair call as I have been trying to rush things so that the plots that people think up can potentially be used sooner rather than later. AEQ moved at a snail's pace because it used to get tons of nothing but character interaction which doesn't work as well at this stage.
With that said, I'd say that Lyria and Gnome have gotten plenty of meaningful interaction. Lynn a little less but nobody else all that much.
Also, the other thing I'll say is that the Lyria meeting scene had been running for ages (seven whole updates plus Q&A summing up to more than 2.5k words, not including the Gnome scene before it) as is and you could already tell I was straining to put in as much as I was (hence why there was so little 'blocking' and mostly just talking heads and some of Saul's thoughts). The time constraints on quests are always difficult to deal with, not to mention that there needs to be votes in between each update (which can be very annoying like today with lots of split votes and random write-ins that nobody looks at).
I understand that, it just feels like you're relying on the original AEQ too much for tiding over characters' importance.
For example, neither Gnome or Lyria feel really important to me. When have we really had important interactions with Gnome? We met her and did the tour, spied on her meditation once, talked before going for Terce, talked before the Volante deal a bit, talked before revealing our ring, and the campfire this thread, and some of those were more about tactics and politics as well.
For comparison, we're at the end of thread 9, I seem to remember several characters getting more focus and development within the first 15 threads of AEQ.
Characters are what drive good stories, in my opinion.
I won't even mention how distant Saul feels to me, not just from others but from the readers as well.
To be fair, NPCs have generally had much less to do/less impact as well.
We spent a lot of time trying to romance Gnome the first time around, but our hero units also had a major role in our battles. That said, I remember a lot more minor details about other characters as well (wasn't... Arail or someone our guinea pig with a lot of experiments? Named characters were a bit more interesting and had more to do. Would have been choked if Arail or Palas or Ilon or Moss died back then, but they're basically not any more important than nameless mooks from a narrative standpoint to me atm)
Do agree that more SoL and character building would be nice. But I'm biased since I enjoy the character interactions far more than the military stuff. Basically just skim the troop deployment and numbers and don't vote
like last timebecause I don't find it interesting. I get that a lot of anons really like the nation/empire building and RTS aspect, but I'm just here for the storytelling/RPG/character interaction. And to read the off the wall theories and R&D ideas.
I'd disagree, I wouldn't say Saul is distant, he just seems to lack the ticks that made Talon, Talon. Such as his rampant womanising, alcoholism, and arrogance. Not to mention the larger over arching network of friends and acquaintances to provide exposition. Saul in comparison is a much more subdued character, not participating in any particular vices and with an emotional check. I think that's where they differ the most and is the most jarring, even the way Talon 'leveled up' was due to emotional strains and his reactions were much the same, while Saul seems so by the numbers. I think Lyria has been the sole developmental point for Saul, and as such has received her own share, but we can't expect as much from her due to distance, the current tasks at hand, and her being an older dragon with her own preset mannerisms and behavior.
And while I would like to see more, I'm actually fine with bum rushing the opening sequence of events and putting off the SoL stuff until a later date, which in my opinion really bogged us down at points.
>our hero units also had a major role in our battles
Didn't Asp said that hero units were supposed to be even more important this time around?
No, the reason I say Saul is more distant isn't because I'm obsessed with making him Talon, I didn't even read half of the original AEQ.
>I'm actually fine with bum rushing the opening sequence of events and putting off the SoL stuff until a later date
And that, I believe, is the worst mindset you can have. You can't just "put off" developing the core characters until after you've went through so much hardship with them, it will feel unnatural as fuck. I think you also can't see things clearly because you clearly remember a lot about the original AEQ, which means you know a lot more about these characters than what has actually been shown in AEQR.
>because I'm obsessed with making him Talon
That wasn't what I was implying there. I was instead giving examples as to why Talon likely felt more real, I.e. ticks, friends, etc. And comparing them to Saul's seemingly lack there of, which may in fact make him feel a bit more distant as a MC.
I'm just going to restate that Gnome and Lyria are by far the most establish characters of AEQR so far. I'd say there's plenty to see in them having not read AEQ at all and leave it at that.
As for the Saul comments, that's way too bland a comment to get anything out of it (particularly when targeted at a protagonist).
>For comparison, we're at the end of thread 9, I seem to remember several characters getting more focus and development within the first 15 threads of AEQ.
I would say a lot of that took place when I started doing the off-hours SoL stuff. Thread 10 had the first of those. I think Undine had less interaction than Gnome did before then by comparison. The attention shown to Lyria in AEQR was probably split between Lynn and Sarah (the latter not being too developed before Vitria is taken).
>Named characters were a bit more interesting and had more to do. Would have been choked if Arail or Palas or Ilon or Moss died back then, but they're basically not any more important than nameless mooks from a narrative standpoint to me atm)
I think part of the issue there was that I skipped the really low-level stage where they were important.
Probably the main thing I'll try to do more of is characterise people by their actions - that's something I haven't been doing as much as I should. I'd say Saul has gained a lot of character through his actions and how he's written in combat and if you're missing that then I'm not sure how to characterise him - he's not Talon and he won't be as overt as Talon.
I'm still very hesitant to delay story development for SoL, particularly given SoL received shit participation for most of AEQ and I saw very little different when I did the Christmas one for AEQR, which tells me most players don't care for it. I might see if I can make one of the threads next week be character focused and I'll judge whether to focus more on it on that.
That's not what that anon is suggesting, if I'm understanding him right, it's instead "Well we'll handle all this war and nation stuff, and afterwards we'll start developing them" instead of doing it concurrently, which would also explain why they're there with us and matter during those hardships at all.
Actually a correction to this, there have been small bursts where I felt he was much more alive again, but the problem is that those were separate cases and didn't really bleed into the rest.
For good reason I'd submit. In uber beginning we had a lot more down time, where we introduced the cast and Saul got to act like a person. Past few have been very combat and war heavy, where we see the pragmatic, emotionless Saul come to play and act accordingly, Gnome even seemed to note that. While today's thread was more character-y it was still wrought with decisions that required Saul to be level headed.
And it might just be me, but Gnome taking chances to make dirty jokes or take lewd potshots, is not character development.
Still very bland comments, though it does give me some timeframe. Are you just talking about when I inject Saul's voice into the writing? Or are you talking about stuff like him getting covered in blood and reacting to it?
>And it might just be me, but Gnome taking chances to make dirty jokes or take lewd potshots, is not character development.
I'd say that you got a lot of character development out of Gnome this thread, and not just in the 'oh, so this is how she died' sense. Her attitude towards Alyce, her teasing of Saul (even if I left out the teasing regarding the sex) and her reaction to the risks of the blessing (and the fact she wasn't mollified at all by Saul saying he was fine with them) all tell you something about her and who she is.
In the end, unless I get some more specific advice that is backed up by a few anons the only changes I'll make are to slow down a little bit to squeeze in more character development and try to do more development as part of the action (which I feel has mostly been concentrated on Saul and a little on Lynn). I might break off a part of next weekend for SoL or I might not. I do appreciate actually getting feedback but I've learnt not to knee-jerk in reaction to it.
>I'm still very hesitant to delay story development for SoL, particularly given SoL received shit participation
I grew bored of it when it became the same formulaic thing over and over, with 90% of the focus going to an over exposed harem that was mostly centered around sex. Very rarely did we visit Mal, Vad, Finn, Felix or any of our large cast of male characters, mostly military that we lost a lot of connection with as time went on (to the quests detriment), with interesting characters. People voted for the lewd and pandering to their waifu. It was dreadfully boring and I'm glad you've dropped the FtB stuff.
If Saul can maintain a more interesting cast for yet SoL stuff, I'm all game. His treatment of Lynn thus far is much more interesting to me personally. But seeing him deal with a still coping Mal, a Gnome that seems far more reserved and stepped this time, and certain members of the military and Harrowmont like Gareth/Bartom rebuilding with Gnome would be far more to my interest.
Maybe it's better if I give examples of what parts I liked.
I liked one particular part of his talk with Lady Hawkins, when he smiled and just said something along the lines of "Well, because I can, duh."
I liked when you had him bring out his ring in his tent, but would've liked it more if you included a bit more detail to his interactions with it
like making him hum a bit while feeling along its surface, making him play with it by rolling it on a table a bit or something, or just making him flip it in the air when putting it away..
I kind of liked when Saul was talking to Lyria and Lynn came in, would've liked it more if Saul had been put a bit more on the spot and it was shown a bit more in his dialogue, like including a "Well, uh..." before he broached one of his more serious answer, or described him acting a bit awkward like messing with his hands a bit. Granted I may have misunderstood him and he was supposed to be entirely comfortable with and used to serious personal discussions of trust and backgrounds, but if I didn't then I feel it would've been appropriate.
I'm not exactly fully awake or sober right now, but still.
Alright, I'm off to bed. Thanks everybody for participating and the feedback and if anybody else has some (including specifics) then feel free to add your 2 cents.
Questions are better off going to my Ask instead of bumping the thread until I wake up.
;Ok. Do we have the self-control to limit ourselves to 1 woman this time around? A mind-blowing amount of time was spent on harem antics in OG AEQ. I'd prefer for that to not happen again.
There is literally no reason to limit ourselves to a single woman, the reason it got out of hand with Talon is because he had like 5 girls by thread 15. 2 or 3 girls are perfectly fine, and in fact it's fairly reasonable to expect an emperor to have a concubine or two, most of the time.
I haven't seen enough of her to want to.
Granted I'm not saying we should go fuck Gnome and Sarah as soon as we can, I'm fine with waiting a couple dozen threads before we decide whether we want more women or not.
>guy really pushing for Saul having a quickdraw attack in the ask page
It never provides any benefit unless you jump through several hoops of magibabble and retardation to make sure it does.
I can accept that due to it being thematically relevant in most Eastern themed parts of a setting the almost have to be some people who actually use that sort of thing, but expecting it to be even remotely useful outside of the very specific circumstances that were included by obligation is ridiculous.