Welcome to The Lost Island Quest. Last thread our hero, Alan Rodain, got himself laid. Nice!
http://pastebin.com/W5vqnRBU (Character Sheet)
Your eyes flutter open in the darkness of the very early morning. You breathe in the intoxicating scent of Rowe's curls and listen to her restful breathing as she remains asleep. Well, this is one unforeseeable drawback of your shortened sleep cycle. You slowly extricate yourself from her body trying not to wake her. You think you fail as you hear her angered groans while slipping your arm out from around her. She quickly readjusts herself and settles back into sleep without anymore complaining.
You gingerly sneak out of bed and sit down at the central table to begin your communion. You and Rowe are unofficially roommates now, seeing as she has an extra bed which you two never use. No offense to Ed. He's been a pretty stellar person to live with, but he's a lot less fun to cuddle. Of course, with Rowe you've had to put up with the OTHER roommate.
You open your eyes to look over at Sif, curled up on the floor, staring at you with an intense focus. He seems to generally regard you with a basic amount of courtesy and respect. You quietly stride over to him and pet the wolf as he raises his head to study your approach. Hard to believe Rowe managed to domesticate a wild animal in such a short time frame. He's barely different from a dog at this point. . . .
Oh shit. Puppies. Five of them. Different breeds. You've had other things on your mouth – MIND – recently that have distracted you from that arrangement you made with Gabby.
>Go search the market for puppies now, get back by breakfast
>Wait for Rowe to wake up, buy puppies together
>Fuck puppies! Go about your day. Gabby has probably forgot by now
Better to get that out of the way sooner rather than later. Market opens pretty early in the day and it shouldn't take you long to find a few different pups. You recall there was an animal shop of sorts along the street of vendors in Seaside.
Rowe will get up at around eight and spend an hour herself preparing her own 'contemplation' of sorts. It's around half past six when you're ready to leave. That's an ample amount of time to buy Gabby her gift and return to break your fast together with Rowe.
You weave your way through the streets, enjoying the crisp, cold climate of the misty morning. Other than the occasional patrolman and the daily routines of early-bird shopkeepers you are afforded a great deal of privacy in your stroll to Gabby's shack.
It is quite a ramshackle abode, but it's better than spending her nights in the nearby hostel, you imagine. You rap your knuckles on her door and are greeted by a loud groan, muffled through the door. The sound of moment and quiet swears follows before the door opens a crack and Gabby peers through to look at you.
She's probably naked, judging by her bare shoulders and the fact that other than her head she's content to hide herself from any passersby on the street.
“Fuck do you want, Al?” she asks annoyed. In retrospect, Gabby's probably not a morning person.
“I was wondering if you'd like to get those puppies I promised you.” you state as apologetically and upbeat as you can manage. Her eyes come alive with a dawning realization before she shakes her head.
“Oh, yeah. Forgot about that. Let me just throw on some clothes and we'll head out.” She closes the door and you wait a minute or two more before she reappears wearing her white robe. She must go through a lot of those.
She follows you down the street, eating an apple as you make your way to the animal salesman. The comfortable silence, broken only by her particularly crunchy bites lasts for a good few seconds.
“So.” She begins, wiping her mouth with her sleeve. “I hear you and Rowe are fucking.”
Blunt as always. “Um, yeah.” You laugh nervously.
“Finally lost the big V, huh? I'm proud of you, Al. Scared you were going down the path of the Dolah there for a while.” She finishes her apple and chucks the core.
>What type of puppies do you want?
>I don't think Dolah's celibate, Gabby.
>Bought anything new recently?
>Any new abilities you've mastered recently?
>Something else? (write-in)
>What type of puppies do you want?
"You ready to be the owner of 5 pets? It's a lot of responsibility and work."
>I don't think Dolah's celibate, Gabby.
>Any new abilities you've mastered recently?
“I don't think Dolah's celibate, Gabby.” You tell her honestly.
She quirks an eyebrow at you. “This conjecture or are you speaking from experience?”
You shake your head. “Conjecture. Dolah gave me an explanation on the duties of all the different positions. Priests like Calloway need to remain celibate because of man's desire to pass property on to his offspring. It's considered a practical matter of keeping land in the hands of the Church and the faithful. Paladins like Dolah are not expected to run a place of worship. So there aren't any formal restrictions on them getting married and having kids.”
“Huh.” Gabby nods her head in appreciation of the fun fact.
Switching subjects, “What type of puppies do you want?” you ask her.
“Definitely a Cerilian retriever. A Roscoli bloodhound! Maybe a Muller shepherd if they have one . . .” Gabby excitedly lists off a number of breeds. She seems enthusiastic, but Gabby isn't exactly someone you'd call responsible.
“You ready to be the owner of five pets? It's a lot of responsibility and work.” you tell her honestly.
“Oh? Really?! Thanks for the advice, Dad!” She proceeds to give you the most happy and wide open smile she can manage. The fact that Gabby has killed her father adds a slightly threatening undertone to her mocking of you. You punch her in the shoulder and then the two of you proceed to search through the animal salesman's puppies for dogs that Gabby wants. The seller has a wide variety of breeds which is quite surprising considering the remote nature of Seaside's location. Gabby is quickly picking out the puppies she wants. As she looks for her fifth and final pick, you mull over the idea of maybe getting a dog yourself.
>Dismiss the thought
>Buy a dog
What can you say? They're called man's best friend for a reason. And looking at how bubbly and affectionate Gabby is getting with the little pups she's buying fills you with your own sense of longing. Muffin and Tornado are awesome. But you can't really play with them or have them sit in your lap the way a dog can.
You check in with Muffin to make sure he's not upset with your decision or desire. He assures you that Tornado and himself realized you weren't a one-animal owner and moved past feeling jealous some time ago. They will both be fine with you adding another animal to your list of pets.
With their consent assured you decide to get yourself a young Muller shepherd. You spot her in one of the back kennels and let her sniff you before petting her. She seems to have a stable temperament and you admit you feel a connection to the dog almost immediately.
Once Gabby has gathered her animals together in a basket, you approach the seller and ask the price for the one you want.
All of them combined it costs you 150 gold. You let Pascala, as you've decided to name her, out of the kennel and play with her a bit. The understanding between the two of you develops quickly and you feel confident enough to not need a leash to get her to follow you back to the Circle.
You and your cadre of four-legged animals walk away from the store in silence. Before you make it to the point where yourself and Gabby would part ways to your respective homes you spot the obviously ominous robed figure following you. Of course somebody is following you. This has to keep happening doesn't it? Their features are completely disguised by the simple robe they wear, but they chose a shitty time to try and follow the two of you. There aren't enough people to adequately blend into the crowd, especially with that getup. They stick out like a sore thumb.
You sigh out. Well, time to – suddenly Muffin starts to freak out in his satchel. He bounds off the walls of his leather container and chatters wildly. Pascala, at your side, begins to growl low in her throat. Even Gabby's puppies begin to wail in some infant-like, animalistic terror.
Gabby stares at her basket of dogs in confusion, oblivious to the figure behind you. She stops moving and you momentarily pause along with her. The robed figure stops moving forward as well. He's roughly fifty feet behind you.
>What do you do?
“Can we help you buddy?” you ask the figure. Gabby finally perks her head up and looks behind herself, spotting the man standing there. Pascala begins to bark. He doesn't respond.
The awkward silence is only pierced by wailing animals. Gabby clears her throat and gingerly places her basket behind her before stepping forward a few feet.
“Alright. Listen up you creepy fuck. How about you tell us why you're following us. I swear if Deliria sent you I'm going to shove your head up her –”
Suddenly he disappears, save for the black robe he was wearing, which slowly crumples to the ground. Gabby stops talking and makes a grunt in confusion. The smell of rotten eggs assaults your nostrils. Pascala barks once more.
It reappears. The large glaive it carries flashes in the sunlight once before your reflexes kick in and you react. The swing catches Gabby in the gut and you watch as her crimson-splattered robe is torn. The end of the swing catches you along the cheek, your quick reaction time the only reason you have not been beheaded. As the blood pours from your face you feel the wound burn like hellfire.
>Heal Gabby, that wound looks nasty
>Try to heal both of you
>Draw your saber and attack
>Something else? (write-in)
Regardless, roll me 3d100.
How do you wish to retreat?
>Split up, he can only follow one of you
Where do you wish to retreat to?
>The nearest guard
>The Fighter's Guild
>Somewhere else? (write-in)
Almost on instinct, you fish the marble out of your pocket and grab onto Gabby's arm. You simultaneously channel healing energy into her flesh while pulling her away from the next swing of that monster's weapon.
It's odd, but it feels like Gabby's stomach wound is resisting your magical impulse. Like its eager to spread and persist, bleeding her to death. Whatever the feeling is, it is quickly overpowered by the force of your will. The wound on your face begins to itch horribly, reminding you of your own predicament. Blood drips down onto your shiny mythral shirt.
“Al, my puppies!” Gabby shouts at you as the two of you sprint away, Pascala padding along after you.
“They'll be fine.” you respond curtly. As you dash down the street you smell rotten eggs again.
“DUCK!” Gabby yells, picking up on the sign as well. The thing appears in front of you and swings once more, but the two of you manage to dodge it. Gabby prepares herself to box the red monster, but you dissuade her of that idea by grabbing her hand and dragging her down a side street.
“Al, a fucking alley cat or something could kill them.” she berates you as the two of you leap and scramble over barrels.
You huff and turn to Pascala, giving her a whistle and gesturing back towards where you left the puppies. The animal seems to understand your meaning and bounds off back to the basket. You simultaneously uncork your familiar satchel and let Gabby chuck Muffin into the air, allowing him to glide towards somebody who can help. Your cheek has gone numb at this point. You smell rotten eggs once more.
Gabby kicks the haft of the creature's glaive as it poofs into being in front of you two, halting the tailed creature's swing. It screeches at you. And you flee away from it.
Gabby keeps up with you very easily and after two more encounters with Mr. Rotten Eggs you make it to your destination.
FONT OF THE GREAT WILL'S MERCY
Boy do you fucking need it. You practically kick down the doors. The few parishioners there in the chapel stare at you in shock. Calloway looks up from where he is reading and his jaw drops upon seeing your face. Dolah walks out from her room in the back, looking at you perplexed. You are breathing heavily.
“Dolah!” Gabby shouts.
“What's the matter?” Dolah asks, concern plain on your face.
“This is really important. Can you or can you not fuck?” Gabby inquires earnestly.
Before Dolah's face can settle into a grim mask of disapproval you butt in. “We're being chased by a monster that can teleport.” All the parishioners in the chapel gasp, but Calloway quickly calms them down. Dolah, thankfully wearing her plate mail, walks back to her room and comes out with her shield and lucerne hammer. She mutters a quick prayer and her hammer begins to glow with a magical light you can see without even using Detect Magic.
>Head out with Dolah and Gabby to face the monster
>Get your face healed
Dolah exits the chapel and Gabby follows. You turn to Calloway. He strides to your side and places his hand upon your cheek, before recoiling briefly.
“That wound . . .” he trails off. “I've never seen something like that before.” He puts his hand back on your face and soothes the healing magic into your skin. The pain in your cheek burns hotter than it was when you were first wounded. “. . .Like some outside force is working to make you bleed to death.” Whatever resistance Calloway is facing nevertheless yields to his touch. You find your cheek stitching itself back together. As you fully recover, you hear that creature outside screech at the top of its lungs. It sounds like it is very angry right now.
“The fuck are those things?” you hear Gabby shout herself. As you start to rush out to help whatever new hell your allies are facing, The Father grabs you by your wrist and stops you.
“I can sense something is . . . wrong about that monster. It is one of The Great Will's enemies, I'm sure of it. Spare a moment, allow me to aid you."
>Let Calloway do his thing.
>No. You've got to get out there now.
“Alright Calloway. Do whatever you think is necessary.” He nods before gripping his crescent moon necklace and simultaneously laying his other hand upon your shoulder.
He chants steadily for a few moments, calmer than a man hearing the loud grunts and clashes outside of combat should be. Despite your own antsy desire to get going, you wait for him to finish. You feel an invisible veil of defense wash over you, as if The Great Will himself was protecting you.
Next Calloway asks to see one of your weapons. You hurriedly hand him your shortbow. Calloway walks to the fountain in the back of his chapel. He bends down and dips it into the water, chanting. When he pulls it out, a quick Detect Magic tells you a faint trace of The Great Will himself lingers in the well-crafted wood. He hands it to your reverently and as you turn to head outside, he gently pours some more of the fountain's waters into your quiver using a simple, clay bowl. The water trickles off into the extra-dimensional space of it.
You exit the chapel to spot six new horrific figures on the battlefield. They look like humanoid puddles of grey goo. Gabby is currently dodging and weaving away from their clumsy strikes, looking too disgusted to attempt hitting them for fear of touching them.
Dolah is locked in a fierce battle with the bearded monstrosity. Her whole being seems to glow with divine strength. Both the creature and Dolah seem to have taken multiple wounds.
Regardless, roll 1d100 + 21, best of 3.
Dolah's fight may be against a stronger enemy, but she seems suited for it. Gabby, on the other hand. has no access to divine powers as far as you are aware. You quickly loose three arrows at the grey goopy people things. You assumed their roiling flesh would make putting them down harder, since you can't detect any vital organs that these things may not even have. But whatever Calloway did to your bow works amazingly. The arrow sticks itself into a half-formed limb and the creature starts to melt and steam, disintegrating from the origin of where your arrow struck, emitting a high-pitched whine until it finally disappears. It evaporates into nothing as do the other two you aimed for with that volley.
The remaining three living tumors decide you're a much bigger threat than Gabby and waddle towards you. Unfortunately they're particularly sluggish and putting them down merely takes a second volley of arrows.
Gabby has moved on to where Dolah is dueling the glaive-wielding monster. Both Dolah and the creature appear to be relying on their last remaining vestiges of strength. Gabby slips in behind the creature and launches herself forward in a quick dash before managing to lock the thing in a grapple from behind. It drops its weapon and Dolah charges forth, skewering the thing. It screeches once more in defiance, spitting on Dolah as it dies. As the body slumps in Gabby's arms, it slowly dissipates as if it was never there at all.
The three of you begin to relax as it appears the threat is over.
>So Dolah, Gabby had a question for you
>Was that a demon?
>Let's go get you puppies, Gabby
>I wonder where Muffin got to?
“Was that a demon?” you ask, slightly incredulous of the premise of your question.
Dolah sits down, huffing. You move over to her side and help heal her wounds. “I think so.”
Gabby chortles. “Are you guys kidding me? It was just a monster.”
Dolah sighs in exasperation. “It disappeared, Gabby.”
She shrugs. “Magic. It's going to take a lot more than a scary monster to make me believe there's an actual Hell.”
Dolah smirks. “Afraid?”
Gabby rolls her eyes. “I'm taking my dogs home. I'll tell yours to go meet up with her master.”.
Gabby leaves, leaving you and Dolah alone. Dolah wipes her face with a rag, before turning to you. “Gabby's antics aside, this is troublesome. Why would there be a demon inside the limits of Seaside and why would it seek to kill you? We should investigate this. I'm going to go through Calloway's library and look for any information that may prove useful. I suggest you do the same.”
>Demon hunting with Dolah
>Investigate The Circle's library instead
>Bond with your dog
>Have breakfast with Rowe
>Learn some of those magical rituals from Calloway
>Something else? (write-in)
Oh hi Alan!! Remenber me? I'm that voice that keeps telling yoh ti check your pocket every time you see your thief friend? Well i know you are kinda busy with this demon thing but just think this. When Seaside was being build dragon's existed. Like guant flying lizarda that exhale fire or whatever they want from their mouth. Realize that the Kobolts were expeled from the volcano because they got in trouble with their dragon boss. Do you think by any chance this incident might have to do because some noisy adventures entered a volcano angred a dragon and he did all that? So just if you didn't get it. There is a fucking giant lizard out there in that volcano pissed ti seaside. What do you think will happen with Seaside if that dragon wakes again? Okay just that. Good luck with your demon stuff or. whatever
“Alright, let's get to it.” Dolah gets up from her spot and follows you back into Calloway's chapel. The Father is trying his best to convince his parishioners to come back and that his chapel will not be the site of any more battles. From the looks on their faces, you think they don't believe him.
The two of you scan the shelves for any book that you think might be related to demonology, demons, hell or the underworld. After thirty minutes of going through Calloway's collection, you have before you some two dozen books that seem to deal with some aspect relating to demons.
While the two of you peruse and leaf through various tomes of various ages, Eve eventually arrives with Muffin and Pascala in tow. She claims she is here to help you defeat the evil attacker. Once informed that you already won and are now reading books, she quickly retreats lest you involve her in a task so boring.
Honestly, most of the tales and descriptions seem absolutely useless. Different priests and paladins imagined demons to be manifestations of different things. The conflicting nature of the reports and hypotheses reflect how in the dark your clergy were since the Ancient Times on the Mainland.
It is the oldest books that provide the greatest insight – those that are apparently translations of texts written in the Ancient Times or right afterwards. They seem to agree that demons generally spend all of their time on the other side of life making misery for dead evildoers. In fact, they have no concern nor care for our world. Except when called. A demon can be brought to the mortal realm if a dastardly enough person wished to summon one. A ritual can be undergone, which none of the books detail for fear of spreading such heinous knowledge, that will bring forth a demon. This demon, bound by the ritual, can be persuaded or commanded to do a task for the summoner. Any task, no matter how cruel. The books also mention how this is a stupid idea since the demon will always be cleverer than the summoner and find a way to manipulate and ruin the summoner's life, before eventually claiming their soul.
“So then.” Dolah reiterates. “That demon, if that is what it was, was merely the pawn of some summoner. And the task it was ordered to do was to kill either you, Gabby or the both of you. This begs the question. Who wanted you dead and saw that something as risky as summoning a demon was the best way to accomplish this task?”
>Any thoughts? (write-in)
>What's the next step? (write-in)
That girlfriend of the mobster-healer?
Assuming that it's not that hobgoblin general wanting to eliminate a rising threat.
>What's the next step?
Check in with the Circle to see if their libraries have anything on demonology and what we should look for that could be the part of a demon summoning ritual.
“They might be targeting our whole party. We are pretty popular.”
Dolah nods. “True. Also, when that creature saw me it gave me a look like I had had my way with its mother. Its possible that, as servants of The Great Will, these demons may wish to see us dead and are thus more willing to accept contracts to kill us.”
“My prime suspect would be Deliria." You offer. "She already doesn't like us and as someone with access to the divine she may have intuitively stumbled on the proper way of summoning demons. Another guess might be this hobgoblin general whose handiwork Rowe and I saw on our excursion a little over a week ago. If he found out who we were, as someone from this Island, he may have some knowledge on how to summon one of these creatures.”
Dolah leans back in her chair. “I don't know about Deliria. I'll follow up on her, but she seems to have taken to her new job as a sunday school teacher rather well. I'd hate to think she was pulling some sort of trick on us. So, what next?”
You shrug. “Inform the rest of the crew and Blackburn. Maybe check in with The Circle to see if their library has anything on demonology or demon binding?”
Dolah grunts. “Alright, I'll handle the former. You deal with the latter, seeing as how you are actually allowed inside.”
With that decided the two of you break and head to your respective tasks.
You make your way back to the Circle at around 3 in the afternoon. You make your way to the library and begin searching through the stacks of books for anything relating to demonology.
You spend hours going through the shelves in the most methodical order you can manage. There are so many books on magic and magical theory in this place. Most of them look quite poor in terms of writing style, information given or just have bad, boring titles. And the worst part is it's unorganized. There is no catalog. There is no librarian. It's really more accurate to say this a a room filled with books than to call it a library. The disrespectful, shut-ins that make up Seaside's magical community haphazardly shove books back wherever they please. Someone should really organize this whole area.
It is 8 at night when you finally give up, having only gotten through checking about half of the library. You sit down in one of the plush lounge chairs and relax before deciding on your next course of action. While pondering on whether you want to engage in the insanity of The Circle's bullshit once more, you spot Ed out of the corner of your eye. Maybe he can make this go by faster. You flag Ed down and he comes over to you, cup of coffee in his hand.
“Well hello there lovebird. Far from the nest there, aren't we?” he chuckles as he sips his drink. Huh. Now that you think about it, this has been the first day since you and Rowe began your relationship that you've spent apart from one another. You wonder what she's been doing.
“Yeah. Hey Ed. Do you know anything about, I don't know, summoning creatures from other realms?”
Ed looks at you puzzled. “Yeah, like conjuring up monsters. Sure, I know some stuff about it. Why?”
You lean forward. “Well, I recently encountered what I think was a demon earlier today. From Hell.”
Ed laughs a bit, before sitting down. “Alright.”
You frown. “You don't believe me?”
Ed shrugs. “I believe you believe. There are obviously other planes of existence, that's for sure. And certain summoned outsiders can look gnarly or gruesome. But, if you're talking about things from Hell. . .” Ed takes a moment to gather his thoughts. “Look, all I'm saying is I doubt The Church of The Great Will is accurate with their preconceptions, especially since whatever their notions are on outsiders have been twisted since times of antiquity. I do believe you encountered some scary-looking creature though.”
“Well, were there any books in this library that might have anything to do with summoning demons?”
Ed looks up at the ceiling and thinks on that for a bit, searching his brain before finally snapping his fingers and pointing at you. “Yes. There was one. I checked it out once a long time ago and dropped it back off once I realized being seen reading the thing would make me look like a weirdo. Most of the rituals didn't even look like they would work and the drawings were terribly tacky. It was all about how to be a 'diabolist'.”
"Fancy word for a devil summoner."
“That's great. Could you help me look for it?” you ask. You might actually have a lead here.
Ed laughs. “Don't have to. I can tell you exactly where it is.”
You look at him puzzled. “I thought you said you checked it out a long time ago. How do you know exactly where it is? ”
Ed gives you a cocksure grin. “Because I ended up carrying it up to the room of a newbie wizard a while ago. Last time I noticed it, it was still in her room. One of the few books not collecting dust in a pile. She really needs to learn she should return some of those things if she's no longer reading them.”
Woah. That . . . changes things.
The Art of Seduction Enchantment is no longer the most questionable piece of literature Quissonce has been reading.
>End of Thread
I will most likely run this tomorrow later in the evening. https://twitter.com/TrickQM