Welcome to The Lost Island Quest. Last thread our hero, Alan Rodain, did diplomacy with two Island civilizations, earned enough money to afford his separation with Rowe, and swapped war stories with her as well. Now, he sits in stunned silence.
http://pastebin.com/W5vqnRBU (Character Sheet)
( . . .What?) the question leaks out of your brain.
(I burned down the Sfar forest.) she thinks at you instead of uttering the declaration out loud as she had previously.
(You said –)
(I lied. Empire's heartless, but they'd never burn down their own territory.)
(I had four months and I knew what I was doing. Took me a week to set it up properly, but my plans came to fruition. Trapped the whole army in a blazing inferno.)
You sit together in silence for a while longer, processing this new development. You can't help but ask, feeling anger, concern and morbid curiosity mingle in your breast.
(How many innocents died in the resulting fire?)
(A lot. I traded the economic stability of an entire region and the lives of hundreds to spare a friend from months of torture. And I'd do it again tomorrow.)
As that last sentence lands heavily upon your brow she looks you in the eyes. Her own hazel ones defiant and harsh.
>Go back to your room
>(I changed my mind. You should leave.)
>Something else? (write-in)
After all one of the reasons i became the "Red Rider" was of all the anger i had against the empire each imperial soldier i slayed was actually his murderers. This island is a second chance Rowe. For me and for you too,
TRICK!!! Welcome back.
Something wants me not to have us get all elaborate or preachy but, as someone who also went through the bloody path she walked on, just give her a hug and say that we understand.
That filename, it gave me a nice sensible chuckle. Thumbs up.
You sigh. You can't be mad at her. Not without being a giant hypocrite. Its not like you walked a much better path. Sure, you might have killed soldiers, but they were likely conscripts. A uniform doesn't magically make killing a person morally acceptable.
(Couldn't say I wouldn't do the same if Tobias was in Etriarch's place.) you offer. She chuckles humorlessly.
(Its funny. In that dark sort of way. It is so easy to let bad shit happen to people we don't know in the name of 'the greater good'. Suddenly its happening to you and you realize the greater good can go fuck itself. I'll admit, I'm surprised you . . .)
(Don't hate me. I lied to you. I've killed innocent people. And I don't exactly regret it. Figure'd with the whole moral imperative dictated by God thing you'd, I don't know, feel the urge to smite rising.)
You laugh. (I'm not exactly the most saintly believer, Rowe. And as someone a bit more experienced on these matters than me has said, acting superior pushes people away from the faith.)
(So you're just being nice to convert me then?)
(Of course.) The two of you laugh for a bit. It lasts until Rowe begins to sob.
You find yourself surprised once again. It takes you a moment to react, but soon you find yourself striding over to her bed to wrap your arm around her. She leans into you as she cries.
(It's all gone and it's all my fault.) bursts through the floodgates of her internal mental barrier.
You turn her to look at you. “I understand what you're going through. Hating yourself isn't going to help. This Island is a second chance. For me and for you.”
You can't tell if that helped, so you rub her shoulder and squeeze so the physical contact can accomplish what the words can't. It soon develops into a hug as she wraps her arms around you.
You stay there like that for a while longer until you feel she's gathered her wits about her. The two of you pull apart and end up staring into each others' eyes again. Understanding this time as opposed to conflict. She has beautiful, expressive eyes.
You press your lips to hers. She kisses back.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
And you pull apart. Quissonce's voice comes through the door, muffled by the wooden barrier.
“Rowe, are you awake still? The ring forger is up right now and the quicker I give him the money the quicker I can get you that ring.”
Rowe sighs out.
>Go get the door
>Let Rowe go get the door
>Something else? (write-in)
Well, looks like holy quad (Great Will is it you?) confirms the kiss.
> Say that Rowe's asleep and we're awake now (In a sleepy voice, I think when a person gets out of meditating they're still out of it a bit), toss our coin pouch through the flap and say that we are tired, and that you can take that to pay now and sort everything out in the morning.
(Are you asleep Rowe?) you think cheekily. It takes her a moment, but she gives a slight giggle when she gets it.
(You know what. Yeah, I think I am.)
Her lips return to yours and you soon hear Quissonce's footsteps walking away.
The next day you manage to get your share of the costs to Quissonce who thankfully doesn't pester you much about why you weren't in your room last night. Surprisingly, neither does Ed. You are informed that it will take a little over a week of dedicated work from the ring forger before the artifact will be ready.
You decide it would be best to remain in Seaside for the time being and you aren't hurting for money so an expedition so soon isn't necessary. That leaves you with a lot of free time.
>Do romantic things with Rowe
>Finish reading a few books (pick two)
>Work out with Ed
>Have Rowe teach you elven
>Learn spells from Quissonce
>Meditate with Gabby
>Acquire channeling pointers from Father Calloway
>Something else? (write-in)
>Have Rowe teach you elven
>Finish reading a few books (pick two)
-The Ethics of Spellcasting by Essentia Nells
- The Art of Staring Death in the Face and Laughing
Would "Do romantic things with Rowe" include inviting her to a date?
Dam it was so close...
>Have Rowe teach you elven, romantically.
>Acquire channeling pointers from Father Calloway
>Learn how to sword things better at the fighters guild
Seems while all our other skills are very nice we end up stabbing things alot, yet haven't invested much time into learning such. And in my mind talking in elven at the beach at sunset is pretty romantic or something similar and such. Finally got that powah from the big GW.
Also like how he thinks.
You decide to spend your free time having Rowe instruct you in how to master the elven tongue. And learn the language as well.
It may just be the circumstances of your informal education, but Elven is an extremely romantic language. It flows from one word to the next. Entire sentences are like a soft, rolling wave. Paragraphs drizzle like syrup across the page. There is a oneness in how the words and sounds come together. As if the language was built upon some core central idea and all the syllables were merely parts to that one whole. There is a simple, but beautiful togetherness of the language. It lacks certain flairs for creativity in the words, but the trade-off is a much stronger commonality between speakers. Accents and regional dialects have less to alter and thus speakers of the language can understand each other much more easily than humans from two distant locations.
You admit, it takes you longer to get the hang of it than you think it should have, but you blame that thoroughly on your instructor. You give it to her straight, she has a tendency to distract you with her oral proficiency. Sure, she's amazing. But to learn you require hands-on training. She guides you through rigorous exercises that frankly leave you mentally and physically exhausted, but hard work pays off. And it isn't like she doesn't enjoy teaching you. You can tell from the way she sounds afterwards her charitable behavior has left her thoroughly fulfilled. The progress you make at your skills leaves her absolutely breathless. Frankly, you take to it naturally. And for someone who was a novice a mere week before, having absolutely zero experience, you'd say you both are very impressed with how you've developed.
Oh yeah. And you also managed to learn Elven.
You have one day left until the ring will be crafted.
>Read Staring Death in the Face and Laughing
>Read The Ethics of Spellcasting
>Something else (write-in)
>she has a tendency to distract you with her oral proficiency
God dammit Trick. This made me think in things i shouldn't have.
Well at least i got a nice get...
We can still dance with Kyra anon.
No real reason to keep it a secret imo. They won't be surprised, what with the mind melding and why Alan and Rowe were always together this past week.
I got your back.
I think you didn't understand. What i meant was that tg always go toward the "harem route" trying to bang everything that walks and talks.
Glad to have aboard with me brother!
Yes, yes, very degrading indeed.
>What i meant was that tg always go toward the "harem route" trying to bang everything that walks and talks.
I've seen it both ways. Depends on the community. And how the characters react.
That picture doesn't horribly suck for Rowe either. Here's the best one I could find to my basic imagination. Its not exactly it either, but eh, its close.
You pick up where Hildebrandt left off. The ship had run ashore and the surviving crew was stuck. After the crash site was secured and repairs began, Hildebrandt made the brave decision to investigate the nearby area. Despite Blackburn's outright refusal of the idea and the cowardice of the others, Hildebrandt would not let himself be unmanned by fear. He stormed forward and explored. The only true man among them. He was accompanied by Gilda. They ended up recording many local plants, trees, bugs and rocks that day.
Hildebrandt returned that night proudly. The repairs were rather simple and they could leave in the morning. That night however, goblins attacked. They were weak, but numerous. A few men died in the raid, but many more goblins perished as well. In the morning, Captain Faraday was able to guide the ship away from the Island and back to Ceril. Our tails were between our legs, but Hildebrandt was not afraid to return again.
The next attempt was much more successful. Three ships were brought and the beginnings of Seaside were soon established. It started off as little more than an army outpost. All soldiers and only Gilda as the one civilian. Setting up basic farming to makes sure the soil was fertile enough to support an incumbent population was an arduous task . . .
The rest of the tale is very bland and lengthy, with a few minor points that stick out to you.
For the first year no horses were allowed to be brought on the Island. Whenever they were, some monster or other would quickly find, kill and devour it, usually along with the rider. The risks were too great until the town was much more secure.
As the settlement grew, a nasty plague suddenly swept through. Half the population of Seaside died.
And then some time later a dragon attacked. It flew in and breathed fire onto Seaside, burning down most of the constructed buildings and setting back months of progress.
Around the end of the first year, the first individuals with magical potential were brought to the Island. They were code-named Mage, Sorcerer and Wizard. Along with them were brought individuals of great martial and intellectual skill. Wizard, along with these more mundane recruits, formed the first delving party of Seaside. They quickly rose to become great warriors, explorers and heroes. They brought hope to the civilians and guards of Seaside alike. They made it seem like Ceril could utilize the place to defeat The Empire. And then, near the end of the second year of Seaside, they disappeared without a trace. Blackburn waited three months for their return before officially writing them off as dead.
Hildebrandt ends the book speaking of how through all these hardships he has survived by never fearing the day would be his last and never giving up hope. Even now as he writes this book, he hears word of a new group of potential recruits being gathered.
You close the book and go to sleep. The next morning you go wake up Rowe and the two of you walk towards Quissonce's room . . .
Unfortunately, you've spent one on one time of a lengthy amount with Kyra, Gabby, Dolah and Quissonce. Only Eve and Rowe are the ones you haven't spent a week straight training with. Your learning schtick gets you a judgment free pass.
You grab hold of Rowe's hand as you walk to Quissonce's room. Rowe looks down at where the two of you are connected and then back up to your face, a smirk on her countenance. She squeezes your hand.
(So you don't want to keep this private then?)
(Eh, let them know. I've got no reason to hide it.)
You knock on Quissonce's door. She opens it and smiles. “Come in, the ring just . . .” she trails off as she sees your hands. You stride into the room. You let go after you've entered, before Eve gets a chance to see you two.
But, one look at Quissonce's smug mug and the satisfied looks on your own faces and she's aware.
“I. Fucking. Called. It.” Quissonce mocks.
Eve goes to the window and opens it. “Yeah, that's it. I'm jumping out the window.” She then dives out the window! You're about to rush after her futilely before Quissonce holds her hand up to stop you, like Eve is having a tantrum rather than committing suicide by falling four stories.
Seconds later Eve's face reappears outside the window. She looks angry and points at the two of you. “WOAH WOAH WOAH! Wait one fucking second. Didn't you assholes just drop 800 platinum on a ring to stop yourselves from being mind-melded?”
“Yeah. Eve, how are you –” Rowe is quickly cut off.
“I can fly. Don't change the subject. So let me get this straight. You two are now engaging in your weird, slightly inter-species fuckfest, but you can't handle hearing what the other one is thinking. Don't you think that spells bad news for the relationship?”
Quissonce sighs in exasperation. “Eve, people like privacy.”
“Bullshit. People like being able to lie.” Eve flies away, shooting straight up past the window. You don't see any wings so maybe it's a spell of some sort.
Quissonce sighs before bringing out a nicely-manufactured velvet box, which she opens. It has a single ring. “My apologies if this doesn't work.”
>Let Rowe take the ring
>Take the ring for yourself
I was thinking do they moan inside their heads or does it make a echo? This could make great for some private time imagine Alan and Rowe talking dirty with each other of making a 'silent cuddle' inside their tent.
Remember, laughter, moaning, yawning, laughing and sneezing are all natural bodily reactions to stimuli. So you both still do all of those things, just communication is a lot easier without having to mouth your mouth. It also means you can talk to someone even if your mouth is full . . .
Or i, at least, haven't notice it.
You raise your finger to Quissonce, asking her to hold for one moment, before moving towards the window.
(What are you doing?) Rowe wonders.
(Just poking the gnome a bit.) you respond.
You stick your head out and shout up to where Eve has perched herself.
“Wow, Eve. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you sounded jealous.”
You hear her scoff and look down at you from the 5th floor balcony. “As if I'd be jealous of you!”
It takes you a second to register that before responding, confused. “Don't you mean 'as if I'd be jealous of Rowe,' Eve?”
You see her eyes grow wide and she starts to stutter. “U-u-u-m yeah, totally! That, um, yeah, as if I'd be jealous of Rowe, Alan. Sorry, sounds different in Gnomish, when I thought of that phrase. Goodbye, have fun!” She flies straight up to the top of the tower away from you.
That was weird. You pull your head back in and turn back to the two elf-eared women giving you annoyed looks. You come back and tell Rowe to take the ring.
Rowe picks up the golden thing and slips it onto her finger. Well, time to see if it works.
(Can you hear me Rowe?)
Rowe sighs, looking distraught. But you don't hear anything back. She turns to Quissonce.
“It doesn't work.” she says defeated.
“Wait, did you try to think something at me just then Rowe?” you ask her. She looks at you puzzled. You then see an idea bloom on her face. She looks at you intently and then pulls the ring off.
( and my SECOND favorite part was when you used your fingers to . . .) her thoughts trail off as she recognizes the change in your facial features.
(Well. Continue. And could you tell me what your favorite part was again? I didn't quite catch that.)
(Damn. So it sorta works.)
Rowe turns to Quissonce. “So when I wear the ring, I can hear Alan, but he can't hear me.”
Quissonce sighs out. “That was something I was afraid of. If it was the same mental channel you were communicating over it would block both. But if you're merely mutually mind-reading it's technically two different paths. Like two separate rivers, one flowing from Rowe to Alan and another flowing from Alan to Rowe. And the ring only dams one of them. So we'd need a second ring to make it perfect.”
Rowe shout. “Which means we need another 8000 gold!”
Quissonce shrugs. “You could also stick with just the one you have. The rings are useful. They also block out any attempts to magically read your mind or determine if you're lying.”
>Lets go earn money to buy a second ring!
>We'll stick with one ring, I'll take the mental protection
>We'll stick with one ring, I'll take the peace and quiet
>Seriously Rowe, I want to hear about your favorite part
“We'll stick with one ring. I'll take the mental protection.”
(And I get the peace and quiet.) Rowe slips the ring off her finger and hands it to you.
As you put it on you can't help but notice Quissonce giggling. You and Rowe both quirk eyebrows at her.
“Don't you think it's a little early in the relationship to be exchanging rings?” Quissonce asks not-so-innocently.
You feel a blush creep up your cheeks and see the same happening to Rowe. She ends up throwing a pillow at Quissonce before the two of you exit, Quissonce giggling ominously the whole time.
You're standing outside room 8 of the fourth floor of The Circle of Mages in Seaside, the only Cerilian settlement on the Island, next to Rowe, your party member and lover.
Alright, time to see if I've entered the big leagues.
>What do you want to do now, Alan?
Uh oh. Freeform write in we are all fucked!
>Have the two of us go to the Fighter's Guild and learn some new tricks. What those tricks are I don't have a clue but learn em! Also show off Flurry of Bows to Rowe.
Shit i'm terrible with write ins. I will support this anon then.
You lean over and whisper in Rowe's ear. “So, you going to tell me what your favorite part was?”
(I think I'll just show you tonight.) She gives you a sideways glance filled with all the sexual desire she can muster.
“Ooh.” Just as you're about to enjoy that thought, you realize something. Eve likes women, doesn't she? That's why she said that. Of course!
>Keep this information top secret!
>Spread it like wildfire
>Something else? (write-in)
I'm gonna continue writing while you vote, so don't worry. I'm not just wasting your time with this tiny post.
Well, it's not your place to judge and it's not your secret to spread. So you think you'll just move on with your life. And you know where that's headed.
You think it's time to get some practice in at The Fighter's Guild. You ask Rowe to tag along and she happily obliges your request. You make your way over to Seaside's east side and enter The Center for Martial Mastery. You wave a quick hello to Gale and then make your way out back to the archery range.
You and Rowe unsling your bows.
“Hey, remember Zar'kov's lightning fast shooting skills.” You smirk at her.
(Ugh, I don't like where this is going.)
“Exactly. Watch and learn. Maybe you'll catch up.” You ready your self and then focus on one of the farther back targets. You psych yourself up and then strike with all you're worth. The first arrow flies and before it's even hit the target you've launched the second one. Hmm, not as proficient or as many as the orc archer, but still that's two shots in around five seconds. Pretty fast. You look over at Rowe smug. “I call it flurry of bows.”
(Shouldn't it be something like, flurry of arrows. I mean you only have one bow.)
(Well, I guess it's my turn then.) Rowe readies her own weapon. She steadies herself. And then she draws three arrows from her quiver quickly. You look over puzzled. She holds the arrows she isn't firing in her draw hand. One. Two. Three. She quickly shifts each next arrow into the bow string after firing the previous one. By the time she's done she's fired all three in roughly the same time it took you to fire two. She sticks her tongue out at you.
>You are so hot right now
>Do something else (write-in)
I know which option you're going to choose. Roll 1d100, +39, best of 3.
Rolled 46 + 39 (1d100 + 39)
>>You are so hot right now
Alan needs more Ki pool.
“You are so hot right now.” you tell her honestly
“You know I must now learn this.” Honest communication is important when it comes to these types of matters in a relationship.
(Wouldn't be you Alan if you weren't trying to mimic my style. I'll trade you your entire day's worth of touches for it.)
“Alright, and I'll throw all my touches of destiny in as a bonus.” You look at her grinning. She bumps you with her hip before beginning to teach you about holding the arrows in your draw hand. It requires an extreme amount of fine motor control and dexterity to pull off, but the result is you're able to fire much faster and with greater skill at the slight cost of some accuracy and power. Still, as long as chewing through ammunition isn't a big concern, then it's worth it to get more arrows down range faster.
With Rowe's constant mental reminders as you go about trying to pull off firing while holding arrows in the draw hand you quickly catch on. It take you hours to get a hang of the idea, but by the end you're putting three shots down range in the same time frame as Rowe. Afterwards, as the two of you grab dinner, you touch Rowe as many times as she requires. She thinks she finally has an idea of how to cast Expeditious Retreat if she needed to. A handy spell, to be sure. As night rolls around she's casting it like she's known how to do it for years. You congratulate her. It's the most powerful spell she's managed to cast so far.
(Well, I think I better retire for the evening.) She nonchalantly thinks at you, playing the coquette.
You laugh. “So then, I believe it's time for you to show me what your favorite part was.”
And she does.
>End of Thread
I will most likely run this next time on Friday. https://twitter.com/TrickQM
As always, it was a pleasure. Thanks for running!