PREVIOUS THREAD: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/45169879/
CHARACTERS AND PLACES: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19gNVgtevar647l4ZumUaVH6GlJzvxLlDNKaH8DrQMWE/edit?usp=sharing
WEBCOMIC 'CAUSE Y'ALL ASKED: http://wildwestscifi.net/gallows-humor/13683-gallows-humor-prologue
You are Brianna la Croix, journeyman necromancer, and you like telling stories.
Even, surprisingly, your own story.
Scribbles had been so eager to start the interview that she almost got murdered by the medics for attempting to bribe you with coffee for it. The author is surprisingly respectful in her eagerness; she asks you about your childhood and your family, and is solemn when you reach the bad parts, as you knew you were going to.
You leave nothing out, though you do sometimes have to stop to rest and/or sleep. She uses those times to interview others that have been involved; somehow she's brought almost as many blank books as she brought crossbow bolts, which you're pretty sure involved violating the laws of nature to get them all to fit.
Eventually, the medics proclaim you fit to live your life normally, though they caution you to still take it easy.
"I need to compile these anyway," Scribbles tells you. "...Ran out of notebooks. I'll be back for more of this! Sometime!"
You need to have that talk with Nathan and Amy.
> Have it in the Mine
> Go back home first
> Have it somewhere else (where?)
Alright folks, I just barely managed to get this up before I had to go to work. I will, again, be somewhat late getting back - after 1 AM EST, if not later. Votes will remain open in the meantime.
As always questions, comments, feedback, critique & theories are welcome and appreciated. I realize I left out stuff with Diving Shadow here, for which I apologize, but be assured that something will be happening there before Bri leaves the level.
Thank you all for reading and participating!
>traitor is anxious about how Nate will react to hearing she's alive
>looks ahead to she his reaction to the news
That's actually a good idea. We can check on our other patient AND get one crazy (don't worry, she's the good kind) mom's advice on how to deal with the /other/ crazy mom.
I hope Brianna can reshape the bone and muscle to fix Diving Shadow's wing. Take it from Amy; not being able to fly is like losing a bit of your soul.
For sure, Baron. Pistols, traps, and an angel of death?
I am reminded of that spongebob episode where the guy liked the burger so much he spat it out because he wanted to eat it again.
Baron was pretty awesome.
Moneychanger was alright.
Vintner was kinda fun.
Brigette was pretty eh.
I will say my favorite piece of writing by you Vox was when the Moneychanger sent us back that scout of ours as an undead creature for a warning. It hit me in just the right way to both wig me out and piss me off.
Vintner: The first boss. No time to investigate much, just flank murder him. Which was fine enough for a tutorial boss, but also means he was the flattest. Did we even find out his real name or ambition, beyond being a dick and wanting an army of necromantic abominations? Add to that, he got put down fairly easy. Axe to the head and all that.
Moneylender: Better. The spear was likely a genuine threat if any of the actual bits hit us. It was also the first 'live' use of a chain, and the literal gold tide was pretty cool. She also laid a trap for us, and handled it pretty well. Characterwise, again she was kind of flat, but that was fine. You don't want to spend too much time on your starter bosses.
Poet: The lead up was weak in places, and arguably the 'battle' was over with pretty quick and was fairly one-sided. But /goddamn/ it had /style/. We played a card game for our soul, and wagered getting sliced up to break each other's will. It also gave us our first 'human' Chain Holder, and gave us a complex question about whether or not we should spare her. The confrontation with Lora capping it off was great too.
Baron. Long ass build up here. But in the end, it makes sense. I'd put the Baron down as, if this were a multi-disc game, the boss you fight at the end of the first disc. He had a huge zone, lots of minions and fighting going on, and just getting to him involved a small war. The battle with him involved planning ahead, and doing it from his POV revealed that he hadn't been sitting idle either. Taylor was a person, just as much as Brig was, for all that he'd given his loyalty to terrible people, and he was loyal to the end.
My favorite still has to be Brig, because she's felt the most relatable so far, followed by the Baron. But Natalia's tragic clusterfuck is shaping up to be pretty interesting, so once her arc is through she'll either be tied with Brig or just below.
wraithsteel was a non-option. No specialized healer to work with a material that has a mind of its own, applied to someone barely alive?
Sacrifice doesn't mean good, especially when it isn't responsible.
Somebody give this man a fucking medal!
And more coffee. Because I am an enabler and a terrible person.
So whatever happened to this waif wraith?
>>The little ghost is barely there; she has a sad air about her, of a life cut short before its time, but her features are so blurred and indistinct that it's hard to say how old she was or even what species she was. She sits with her legs in the water, looking up at you with curious eyes.
>>"You alright, little ghost?" you ask, sympathetically. In answer, she smiles faintly and lifts herself up on her hands, revealing ravaged stumps where her legs were.
Also why the fuck did she smile before the reveal? Did the Vintner set her up as a trap?
The girl was killed by something (perhaps the croc) a long time ago and her ghost (the rusalka) was haunting the place of her death. And she probably smiled because Bri, Friend of Ghosts, talked nicely to her. Like children smile at people who are nice to them.
Or this, in that case it would be a trap.
Right, so, a question posed during the Baron fight that Vox just laughed at:
What happens to Fetch (a piece of our soul, still tied to us) and Kat (literally our goddamn shadow) when we die?
She's currently staying with the deceased of the La Croix, back at the family shrine compound. It's important that she comes to grips with being dead, and being around other ghosts and spirits is helping with that. Plus, she's also had Auntie River and Brianna's living cousins to talk to, if she felt like it.
Ultimately, she's going to have to be exorcised and allowed to pass on. Brianna just wanted to take it slow and gentle for the poor little ghost girl.
MRW I'm on someone else's computer and have no images.
Tracking down Nathan and Amy is easy enough, since they're a bit distinctive.
"Nate, remember that talk we need to have about the Traitor?" you tell him.
"Yeah," the Hero murmurs. "Is it time?"
"Well, soon. I wanna go home to have it. Someplace familiar and safe. And, not to put too fine a point on it, near a forge."
Amy's eyes light up, though you can see her trying to restrain her eagerness at the idea.
"...Fair," Nathan agrees, thoughtfully. "We going to resolve some business along the way?"
"Probably," you agree. "First and foremost, I'm going to tend to Diving Shadow. I'm recovered enough for delicate bone shaping, and it seems like she might need some."
"Might" is an understatement; Diving Shadow's wing is shattered from the joint to the shoulder.
She doesn't make a single sound during the operation. The harpy woman clenches your little wooden bite cylinder between her teeth like it killed her family in front of her, but she doesn't make the slightest noise until you're done, at which point she flexes her wing, nods once, and passes out.
"...I'm beginning to understand why you chose to abandon certain aspect of harpy culture," Nathan says slowly.
"Yeah, some things weren't a fit for my life," Amy agrees. "We should let her rest. And also be far, far away when she wakes up."
"I'm guessing because she'll feel obligated to whip our ass for witnessing her moment of weakness?" you hazard.
"More or less, yeah."
You're on the lift up the Shaft in less than an hour. When Victoria hears you're heading back up, she asks to go with you, which you agree to readily.
Brigette is waiting for you at the top.
"I fucked up," the Poet says, by way of greeting.
"Lista said. How bad did you fuck up and why are you holding a bottle of rum?"
"Rum's for you. I haven't had a drink in six days."
Victoria frowns in worry as you take the rum and gives Brigette a quiet, brief hug.
"How bad did you fuck up?" you ask, carefully.
"You know the message I asked Lista to send?" she asks.
"It's worse than that."
You open the rum and kill a quarter of the bottle in one go. "Okay. Show me."
"Bri, was that wise?" Nathan asks as Brigette starts to lead the way deeper into the Atheneum.
"No," the Poet says frankly. "She shoulda killed the whole bottle. Which is what I'd like to be doing round about now but I tend to drink less when I'm panicking."
"...How?" Amy asks.
"Mom says I've got fairy blood from way back in the day but I'm pretty sure it's just because I'm a functional addict instead of a totally useless one," Brigette admits, with a shrug. "I need everyone to stay calm, okay? Don't reach for weapons, don't do anything sudden."
Brigette opens a door, just a little, and in the room you see the Caretaker playing cards with what appears to be a black-haired teenage girl - half-elven, if you're any guess - with a very recently broken and set nose and a keenly focused expression.
Brigette closes the door almost all the way, so as not to make noise. "That's Jewel," she explains. "A few days ago she was a middle-aged assassin attempting to kill me. I. Kinda panicked, trying to save her life, and used the Divine Tongue to stop her from dying. And now she's about fourteen."
"...How fourteen are we talking?" you ask.
"Her memories of adulthood are like an unhappy dream in which she was someone else," Brigette murmurs. "Except she seems to have kept all of the training, with none of the discipline...or murderous amorality."
> Take a deep breath. Count to ten. Finish the bottle
> YEAH BRIGE SEEMS LIKE YOU FUCKED UP
> I'm trying very hard to remain calm about this. Tell me. Exactly. What happened.
You remember how she stopped drinking when she thought she'd have to throw down to the death with Brianna?
Brigette tends to react to major crises by putting the bottle down hard. This is not great for her mood but it helps her think more clearly. It's also a direct contributor to how hard she crashes afterwards.
Well, on one hand, Jewel was an assassin who was going to kill her very dead. And I don't think anyone would disapprove of trying to save lives (Brianna just got done bring Lark back).
On the other? Brigette just totally erased a persons memory and became, basically, a foster-mom in the process.
Not that this isn't something we can work with. Brigette needs to redeem herself, and get over her depression. She and Victoria could just adopt Jewel.
Okay folks. I'm not gonna lie, I almost didn't update tonight 'cause fuck being up this late, but I didn't wanna go back on my promise to ya and, well, the thread needed an actual fucking update.
Vote will remain open until I wake up and update. Good news though: no morning shit to deal with. Bad news: I'm going to stare at some of my professional work until I either finish writing it or descend into alcoholism. This process has a word in English describing it, which is pronounced 'editing'.
Discussion, questions, comments, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated.
Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>sounds perfectly fine to me. I mean, she was trying to kill you, right?
>>Even if we DIDN'T take her in, 14 with training is actually relatively well equipped to live on her own
Really don't see this as that big a fuck up. Feel like the consequences of hiding Victoria from Lora will be more severe (though obviously "fault" does not apply there).
By the way, how the fuck do you do it vox, last time I tried ingesting caffine in quantities like you do I ended up obsessively binge reading HSQ, briefly becoming a seer on the weekend quest thread, told to stop drinking coffee, and then blacking out upon running out of caffine to keep me awake.
You've made your position clear, congratulations!
No one gives a flying fuck
Fair enough, mate.
>People can't handle the truth
>"I can't argue your point, so I'll just call it bait to feel better about myself."
>Waaaah people don't agree with me
>Better greentext to assert my non-existent dominance in a petty disagreement that doesn't matter.
Sometimes for people that retarded to get it through their head no one gives a fuck about their opinion, you have to communicate like they do. So to communicate my point to a gibbering retard, I emulated his preferred response.
No, as a completely different poster, congratulating a man at wasting the longest chunk of his life possible in a row moreso than any other man has wasted his life on this site is not a thing to be proud of.
Remember, second place is the dude who ran Blatant Fetish Quest.
Vox is a sad individual. Like most QMs.
It's weird. We all know a troll by now, but we respond anyway. Even I'm doing it. Right now as I type. Hmm...
You stare at Brigette for a long moment, then sigh and shake your head.
"I'm honestly not sure whether to laugh at you or hit you," you tell her. "So I'm going to finish this bottle, and then I want you to explain /exactly/ what happened, in detail."
"That sounds fair," Brigette agrees. Nathan and Amy /stare/ as you start working your way through the bottle.
"...Brigette, how did you know she can drink like you do?" Victoria asks quietly.
"Educated guess," the Poet says, with a bit of a shrug.
You pass the emptied bottle to Victoria. "Okay, what the fuck."
"Lora's...begun teaching me," Brigette admits, looking a little vaguely puzzled. "I. I still don't know what to think of it, Bri. She's been walking me through the Divine Tongue slowly, teaching me how to say and /mean/ words the way I want to mean them, to shape them with my will and restrain the ripple effects they have on the world. When she started talking to me about the first lesson I thought she was going to punish me. I begged her to take the knowledge away if it would make things better between us."
Victoria looks away, guiltily.
"She taught me about the consequences of trying to use the Tongue," Brigette explains, carefully. "That the world will make way for the Word even if it shouldn't. And then she told me I'd need it immediately, and I woke up to fucking assassins. Jewel was trying to knife me so I broke a bottle across her head and then slit her throat with it - yes Amy, thank you for your approval - and then spoke a Word at the other four. And it...sort of...killed them in agony. So I tried to use a Word that Lora'd used to undo what she'd done to me."
"I'm with you so far," you say slowly.
"I wasn't ready for it. I couldn't get my head around the meaning or restrain it with my will. Instead of reverting her to a state where her throat wasn't slit it just...kept reverting her." Brigette takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly.
"I tried asking Lora what I should do," Brigette continues. "She told me this was a learning experience and that I was on my own for it. And. Fuck, do I have to /say/ the enormity of what I just did to another living person?"
"Admittedly, what you just did to them is complicated," you tell her. "It sounds like you might have given her a second chance."
"...Maybe. But I also destroyed the person she was. And Jewel remembers, vaguely, that she was an adult at one point. I'm pretty sure she's an adolescent in every meaningful way right now but try telling /her/ that. Bri, I don't know what to /do/."
> What do you advise?
> A teenager that thinks they're a functioning adult.
Sounds pretty normal to me.
> What do you advise?
Start by asking Jewel what she wants to do? I'll be honest, I have no idea what the right call is when a 14yo trained assassin is suddenly your responsibility. I feel like asking her to continue her previous work isn't a very responsible call here.
Have you listened to literally anything that Vox has written about his personal life?
He relies on caffeine to function, making him an addict.
He self-inserts his idea of being selfless to the point of detriment in his MC.
He has kids, probably with an ex-wife or baby momma who hates him.
His family life was shit.
He watched carnies murder people?
He often talks about being very fucking angry.
He works fucking retail.
Like, if you even pay one iota of attention to the man you see a guy who is suffering.
But please, hugbox the shit out of him because that's going to make up for the crippling problems in his life.
My advice, start that patreon and milk the money out of these people ASAP Vox, because money won't fix all your problems but it definitely will help.
I ain't even hating. I love this quest. But let's not kid ourselves here.
Well, it was mentioned that her memories of adulthood were like a 'bad dream' and that she's not murderously amoral anymore...
Honestly, the Rose cult seems like the best bet for her. They're assholes but they're /moral/ assholes, and they can teach her the discipline she's lost.
We should also probably ask her whether she remembers anything about who hired her.
Just saying, a Patreon could go a long way or a little way or whatever but holy fuck has he/she been prolific about this goddamn quest.
I mean, normally I would be against doing that sort of thing but fuck this kind of run is anything but normal.
I would be completely willing to drop some coin on it just for what's been done already nevermind keeping Vox alive and connected to the internet for future stuff.
Seconding the Rose Cult, where she won't be treated like a kid because she is one, but instead because she's the newbie. Which might be more palatable to her since it's more understandable from an adults point of view.
Also, maybe we should talk to her about how she gets to go have any experiences she might have missed out on the first time. Kissing a boy, breaking a lesbians heart, losing her virginity etc.
>try telling her that
"You were transformed into a teenager through magic words of the gods bullshit."
Is that really so difficult? Especially given her memories of adulthood are foggy.
There we go. With breakfast made I'm finally not on my phone again.
It's more easily undone.
I'm still...not...entirely comfortable with this.
> He self-inserts his idea of being selfless to the point of detriment in his MC.
> He has kids, probably with an ex-wife or baby momma who hates him.
Eh, our current relationship is fine. I'm still bitter about the former one.
> He watched carnies murder people?
I was told to prevent the murder, but that shit was still...bad.
>It's more easily undone.
Wouldn't that be [Revert] too, i.e. something Bridge isn't trained in?
Or does using it for literally same thing Lora did make it easier?
>I'm still...not...entirely comfortable with this.
Dude you write books. The idea of getting money for your words shouldn't be unfamiliar, right?
Yes you provide this for free out of your own reasons.
But hey, dropping a little money for entertainment is also a very prevalent idea in the current age. But not like we'll drop you our last meal buck.
You get a nice bonus; we get to help you out even a little; everybody's happy.
It's not like people expect anything out of a patreon beyond what you would do already.
It's Patronage. Charity for the arts, just crowdsourced, kind of like e-busking.
Nobody would give you money they wouldn't want to give anyways.
If you had a twitter or something, you could even keep it separate from 4chan so that people casually dropping in wouldn't even see it.
"I should probably talk to her first," you admit, "but it sounds like my family in the Lichyard might be a good fit. They'll respect her skill, give her worthy work, and keep her away from...well, whatever ended up with her life being that way. Who sent her?"
"Based on her descriptions, the Daughter," Brigette tells you. "Probably on the Master's orders. Which fits her MO, really. The Daughter's a professional, through and through."
"...Whose daughter is she?" Amy asks.
"I'm not sure," Brigette admits. "Not the Master's. She's not from around here. Jewel was a professional retained in her service - a soldier, not a mercenary. Though not so much now. She was supposed to silence me and cut you off from vital allies above in the Dungeon."
"What, was she not betting on you being competent?" you ask.
"...The Daughter always felt I was weak," Brigette says in a small, shameful voice.
You give Victoria a look, and she puts her hand on Brigette's shoulder and suggests that you have the chance to talk to Jewel. The two of them go off to the next room, and you take a deep breath before opening the door and stepping inside.
Jewel looks up, sees you, and rests her hand on a knife that lies on the table.
"She's a friend, little one," the Caretaker says warmly. Her hand doesn't move.
> "Could Jewel and I have some privacy?"
> "Hey Jewel. I'm Brianna."
> "If you're gonna do something with that knife I suggest you do it while I'm still feeling amused."
>> "If you're gonna do something with that knife I suggest you do it while I'm still feeling amused."
If we want to build any sort of rapport with the 14-year-old, snark is going to be key.
Sorry about the extended vote(s) here today; as I said before, chilling with a friend and getting some professional-grade writing done, so things are being a bit slow on the quest end.
I'ma go get food and then call the vote.
Y'know, if it comes down to it, we can just tell her that Brigette/Lora gave her a second chance at life, rather than just killing her outright.
Also, does making with the friendliness mean that Jewel might end up our fourth (not counting Sir Fetch or the minions) party member? I mean, she could come in handy during a fight, but she's still effectively a kid.
You're right, anon. We do still have a fourth slot to fill.
>the hero trio take the teen rogue as an adopted daughter
Silly, possibly stupid, maybe a little suicidally insane. Wait, am I describing the idea or our group?
The problem therein, is that Brigette is like a child first learning their alphabet. Except this alphabet rewrites reality.
We /really/ don't want to push our luck. And if Brigette started using the god-language for selfish purposes, that'd be taking a step backward rather than forward.
Can we not agree to mess with the fuck you ruin everything language more than need be?
Theres a reason its considered forbidden knowledge!
You fuck up once and suddenly oops your grandmother was never born and neither were you!
Sure, but Victoria's not going to be aging out in the near future. She'll have decades of practice by then. And I get that shit's super-hard to learn, but maybe controlled use of one word would be possible.
On the other hand, wiping away the decades they had together each time is... still pretty fucking depressing. So only works if her control is good enough to avoid that.
Bridgette is being trained in its use. Lora intends for her to use it at some point. Whether or not she'll be able to do something for Victoria in time is unclear (whether or not Lora will allow that usage of the language is too), but no matter what, Bridgette will be putting the language to use someday.
Like I said: you're not saying anything that hasn't already been said.
She can try. Lora won't stop her. If it fails, that is her punishment and her hubris. Nowhere in that requires that she try NOW.
"Hey Jewel," you greet, warmly. "I'm Brianna la Croix. I'm a friend of Brigette's, and the Caretaker's."
Jewel scowls. "That bitch broke my nose."
"Would've been nice of her to tell me that, yes," you agree, unruffled. "Were you trying to kill her at the time?"
"I..." Jewel trails off, confused. "I think I was? Or I did then? I'm not...I'm not sure." She winces, a pained look crossing her face. "It's hard to think about that."
"Do you understand what's happened to you?" you ask, gently.
"I was...changed? Reverted, she said. Reverted to an earlier state. Which is bullshit, I'm not some stupid kid she can just /boss around/."
"That response was not very mature, dear," the Caretaker chides, gently.
"/You're/ not very mature," Jewel sulks. She folds her arms and looks up at you. "What do you want? Huh?"
You tilt your head. "What do /you/ want?"
"And I'm the immature one?" Jewel asks.
"That wasn't sarcasm, Jewel. What is it you'd like to do from here? You've got /some/ memories of being an adult, yes? Of the shape of your life before? Do you want it to look like that again?"
Jewel looks down at the table. She stares, silently - and then starts to cry.
> Hug her
> Let it happen
> Quietly signal the Caretaker to leave and take a seat
So we get stabbed.
We've dealt with worse, and if we die we come back.
Hell, this might be one of the better times/places /to/ die, considering our loved ones aren't in immediate danger beyond the fourteen year old who'll be struggling under the weight of our corpse for the half-second it would take them to kill her.
Also she got shafted, but she got shafted in a way she gets to ultimately profit from. She now gets to keep half the skills she already had with a rough idea of how she fucked up last time, so she can avoid doing it again.
I was saying we could deal with it if hugging her lead to being stabbed.
Which isn't a guarantee, though I can imagine her doing it reflexively rather than the malice the poster I was responding to seemed to be suggesting.
> Quietly signal the Caretaker to leave and take a seat
>sit beside her, but let it happen.
Backing this. We can't be her friend yet. She's too confused and rebellious to accept it. We can be an adviser, though. We're *good* at that shit.
You catch the Caretaker's attention and nod your head towards the door. He takes the signal for what it is and slips out; Amy gives you a small nod before she closes the door to give you and Jewel some privacy.
You take a seat and touch the back of her hand. She grips yours with a sort of desperate gratitude, squeezing it and crying quietly.
It was also the hand near the knife but, you know, details.
"I do a lot of things as part of my job," you tell Jewel gently. "One of them is help people with complicated problems. Like this one. If you want my advice, I'm here."
"...Aren't you that heritor person?" the teen asks, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. She's made no move to let go of you.
"I am," you agree, calmly. "But that's not why I help people. I help people because when people are in trouble, and they say 'someone should do something', it's an awful thing when no one thinks they're 'someone'. So I'm 'someone'."
"I'm supposed to kill you. I think. I remember this...this voice. Orders. I...I have orders..." Jewel winces and makes a pained sound. "Why does it hurt to remember?"
"I'm not sure," you admit softly. "And given that I just drank a whole bottle of rum and am starting to feel it, I'm not the best source of theories either. Do you particularly /want/ to kill me?"
"My...my friend said I should," Jewel walks through the sentence slowly.
"Would it change your mind any to know that I'd just get back up later?" you ask.
"...I guess," Jewel tells you. "It's all so far away."
"Brigette says you used to be a soldier. I know some people who are always looking for recruits, and they'd treat you accordingly. Good work, good people, pay. No suicide missions."
"What's the catch?" Jewel asks, suspiciously.
"Zombies. Zombies fucking everywhere."
"Ah." The teen looks up at you, her eyes still distant. "You're not mad that I tried to kill your friend?"
"Sometimes people do bad things for reasons that seem good at the time, Jewel. Somehow I'm guessing you don't like the things you /can/ remember."
"Not really," Jewel agrees. "...But I still did those things. Didn't I?"
"There's a story I should tell you sometime, about a soldier who leaves war and goes searching for peace. Years later, when his enemies find him, he's a grandfather and a priest. Angrily, one of the men asks if they're just going to let him go, and his commanding officer gestures to the old man and asks if his subordinate sees the great enemy they came to hunt."
"I - I think I get it," Jewel hazards. "...Could I come visit the Caretaker sometimes?"
"That's on him," you say, with a shrug. "But if you're going to, maybe visit Brigette too. Deal?"
Jewel thinks it over, then nods. "Deal."
> "Would you like to meet my friends?"
> "I need to keep moving. Would you like to come up to the Lichyard with me?"
> "I probably need to sleep this off. Should I send someone back in?"
>"Would you like to meet my friends?"
I feel like if we give any more girls to the Rose clan, they'll think we've got a thing. Like, we've alreafy dumped two on them already. If this keeps up, it's gonna end up like the one pokemon box full of the level 10s and 20s you never use.
That seemed to be the plan favored by anon thus far. That in mind, there's time to get to know her further and/or talk about it. Would you folks prefer the chance to get to know Jewel more before you make a final suggestion as to her immediate future?
She suspects more than she knows. Her body remembers what her mind is somewhat hazy on; she has the reflexes and to an extent the training of a killer & soldier. At the same time she's missing out on some aspects of it, like the years of routine & discipline, and the emotional bonds she made to literally anyone after age 14. Her adult life is like a bad dream for her right now, and trying to focus on it gives her splitting headaches and more often than not brings something awful into perspective.
Jewel suspects that the person she became is not the one she set out to be when she left home. And without resuming actual training more-or-less immediately her skills will atrophy and eventually be a set of good habits and leftover quirks rather than anything communicable or useful.
That in mind you can always suggest a different career path. It's not like there's a shortage of options available - Harry needs an apprentice, Meadows would likely take one, Slaughter might teach sorcery, the Mine just lost a shitload of workers, the Atheneum needs staff...
I'd like to get to know her, WITH Brigette and Victoria
Encourage them to step in as moms
I'd ask her personally what she wants to do with her life. Given the choice to do ANYTHING.
Just because she was a soldier doesn't mean she has to be one again
> MRW I realize I had my flash drive with me the whole time.
Alright folks, I am both too drunk and too tired to update further tonight. I'ma leave this open for vote and discussion, noting that 'would you like to meet my friends' is the most immediate opportunity for character development.
I'd also like to know anon's thoughts and feelings on taking someone on as the final permanent party member. Thus far we've avoided that, but there's been some feelings expressed about taking on Silence or Scribbles.
>I'd also like to know anon's thoughts and feelings on taking someone on as the final permanent party member.
I think we're doing fine without so far.
We have a good core group to which we add allies based on level. Said group also has very serious bonds with each other, that the fourth won't have.
Soo I think we'll be fine with temporary allies, either on current level or inviting from the previous ones.
Silence is extremely cool though, so I'd love to see more of her in action; however as far as I figure she'd be having difficulties outside of the Mine.
Scribbles is kinda nobody yet. We didn't get to know her except at the surface. Having her along for the next stretch could be good for that, but too early to say "permanent member".
What are you talking about? We already /do/ have a fourth party member!
And he's ENVENOMED WITH JUSTICE!
More seriously, >>45226787 has the right of it. We have a core trio that sorks really well, and a permanent addition would just be a third wheel (for lack of a better term). Leaving the fourth slot open ala Final Fantasy II is probably the best bet, and it's worked well when you've done it already (with River, Silence, and Diving Shadow).
Thread archived, incidentally. Now I'm gonna pass the fuck out and sleep this off.
Questions, comments, discussion, and criticisms are welcome and appreciated!
Thank you all for reading and participating.
Does Silence know any ways of manipulating elemental iron and wraithsteel? If she's up to it (we still haven't heard anything else about her condition, which worries me a little), she could help make Amy's new wings and Nathan's leg, and maybe even meet the Duchess with us.
>(we still haven't heard anything else about her condition, which worries me a little)
She was potioned, stabilized and sleeping off the iron poisoning.
She's had a rough week but she'll live.
Vox, you said that the group Natalia thought she was called the Traitor for were all dead, but that the ones who are the reason she's called Traitor are still alive.
Are we going to find these people during the Traitor Arc, or are we going to be just learning about them? Because if we can find somebody alive who she thinks she killed, then that'd probably be pretty useful for the next stage.
My guess? She thinks she's a traitor because of the people she didn't save, or the people the sacrificed for her visions. She's actually a traitor because she abandoned her son to follow said visions.
Guys, a problem with the whole "Prove the Traitor wrong / get her reconciled with Nathan" track we seem to be heading on;
If we do that, do any of you really think Nathan'll just let Lora take Natalia when we break the chain? I REALLY doubt Lora's gonna be willing to pull another Brigette here. Which means Natalia IS going to die. And Nathan, being a big-H Hero, will more likely than not try to save her from Lora.
Which will not be a good thing for anybody.
>do any of you really think Nathan'll just let Lora take Natalia when we break the chain?
Natalia might be Nate's mother, but Nathan has literally never seen her in his life. All he knows about her is that, at some point, she fucked up hard enough to break her children's /shadows/ and that she's earned the epithet "The Traitor." I can't really see much of a bond of filial affection forming there.
Yeah, agreed. Plus, we aren't likely to cure her madness; even if we convince her that her visions were false, that will probably just crack her more. Even in the case of success, I expect pity more than anything else.
So Lora can put her out of her misery; I don't think she'd object there.
Hey Vox, would it be possible to enchant Amy's wings to have other purposes besides flight and awesome three-dimensional aerial combat? Can the same be done for Nathan's leg?
>Amy could use her wings to amplify and direct her song or screech.
>Nathan gets a kickass rocket foot. Or maybe he can leap tall buildings in a single bound?
The thing about rocket boots is that they're rocket bootS. There's not a lot on the enhanced mobility front that you can do with just the one.
The opposite however, an iron foot that can't be dislodged, is very useful. If we could hind a way to leverage the "rootedness" of iron as ore in the ground, we could end up giving him unshakeable footing, which is useful even if it's just the one foot.
If that's too much of a conceptual stretch, we could try using magnetism or just stabbing it into the ground instead, although those methods would obviously only work at their best on metal/earth surfaces respectively.
I'm here! Just ending night-shift!
I think you underestimate how hard it is to balance on one foot on top of a rocket that's launching. Hell, we can't even get a handle on Jetpacks because they're crazy dangerous.
I wonder if Lora would let us kill her and then bring her back to life so that her mad prophecy is met and Nate gets to keep his mom and not live with the guilt of killing her his whole life.
Just tossing that out there.
Can Lora broker deals, binding pacts of a sort between us and the Chain holders like Nate's Mom?
I mean, maybe we could go with Nate to witness and help him but swear to take no direct action against Natalia so as to not fuck her prophecy?
You nod your head towards the door. "Would you like to meet my friends for a bit? I need some coffee to cut this rum with, and I think you might like 'em. Amy, the one with the odd hair? She likes knives too."
Jewel looks down at her knife and smiles a little guiltily. "I whittle."
"You'll really like Amy," you note, with a grin. "She does scrimshaw."
"Oooh! With the bones and all? I knew an old sailor who did that, it was /beautiful/ work."
"Pretty much exactly like that. Shall we?"
Jewel gets up, and then helps you get up because /damn/ Brigette doesn't fuck around with her rum. The world tilts and lurches gently while the two of you join the others in a study-like room.
"Brigette," you accuse, "you need weaker booze."
"She /needs/ to drink less in general," Victoria accuses.
Brigette ducks her head with an ashamed expression.
"No, now is not sad time. Now is time of shankbird." You look at Amy. "Ames, Jewel here likes to whittle."
Amy perks up immediately with bright-eyed interest. "You do?"
> Let Jewel meet the others on her own (talk to Victoria & Brigette about Lora)
You take a seat at a small table on the other side of the room and gesture with a lot less subtlety than you'd intended for Brigette to sit. She takes a seat, sparing a glance for Jewel, and is soon joined by Victoria.
"You," you say to Victoria, "are a dumbass. And you, Brigette, got off fucking lucky."
Brigette looks at you, then up to Victoria. "Vic, what'd you do?"
"...I asked Brianna a favor," she says softly.
"And I asked Lora about it," you continue.
"/Lora knows/?" Brigette asks, her whisper harsh. "Ten years of hiding Victoria from her and you just -"
"You hid me?" Victoria asks, surprised.
"Successfully, I might add," you tell the young woman. "But Lora's promised that you're safe from her. There will be no retribution."
"Don't fucking argue with me, Victoria," you tell her firmly. "You got what you wanted. You also got left off the hook."
Brigette's gaze flicks from you to Victoria, then back. "She was worried about me?"
"As if I have nothing to worry about?" Victoria shoots back. "You won't take care of yourself, Brigette. I - I'm trying to help."
You look over at where Nathan and Amy are talking with bright faces to Jewel. She's demonstrating a wrist lock on Nathan ("Relax; if you fight it you'll break your wrist, really painfully.") and looking pleased at being able to show off her skills.
"What'd Lora say about it?"
"That's between you and her," you tell Brigette.
"Bri, please. I'm trying to make this right but I don't know how to talk to her, how she thinks or feels or...anything. I don't know how she sees me or how she even wants me to act. Bri, a hint, something."
> You know that thing where you treated her like a friend? Keep doing that.
> No, Brigette. This is on you.
> Brigette, Lora wants to like you. Now she just got reminded that you were her enemy for a decade. How do you /think/ that feels?
>> Brigette, Lora wants to like you. Now she just got reminded that you were her enemy for a decade. How do you /think/ that feels?
I like this. The precise nature of Lora's feelings are not ours to reveal, but I do think Brigette should know what she did wrong.
Eh, it's worth it.
Vote's gonna be extended again while I do two things in the following order: 1. Get drunk 2. Play Fallout 4 (no spoilers please). I'll be back in a bit.
Again, heading home tomorrow morning, at which point more typical update speeds will resume.
> Brigette, Lora wants to like you. Now she just got reminded that you were her enemy for a decade. How do you /think/ that feels?
Pound into her what she did for Lora to make her life easier. Brigette isn't a *bad* person. Weak, maybe. Cowardly, yes. But she is good. And if she holds on to that, she can fix things for however long it takes. She'll have the time to make herself a better person.
Essentially, pull this away from a discussion about Lora to a discussion on The Poet finding out how she can finally make amends like she always wanted to.
We could. Shouldn't get too far into the details, since we still haven't briefed Amy and Nate, but it should be enough t o tell him that they're in New Hell, and the Traitor has said she'll kill them if we set foot there.
We'd be mighty appreciative if the Caretaker could help fill in our normal contributions of necromancy for the party while we assault New Hell, even if it's limited to charms and talismans. Maybe help boost Fetch or our shadow, so Kat could travel with Nathan instead of us?
> You know that thing where you treated her like a friend? Keep doing that.
Found this looking for something earlier, seems an apt summary of cuddle time
One: politeness. Why SHOULDN'T we at least make sure he knows? He is Bri's TEACHER.
Two: just as likely that they're in a lower level. We didn't even know what they were taken for.
> You know that thing where you treated her like a friend? Keep doing that.
Hey if you don't know how she feels about you, then maybe you should ask her about it or something fuck I dunno
> No, Brigette. This is on you.
You two are going to be colleages or acquaintances for a longer time than I am; have a conversation with her, because this is only going to be one of many.
You look at Brigette's face and see the guilt and earnestness in her eyes, and you sigh.
"Brigette, if it were possible I'd tell you to spend a few months on the surface and remember how to people properly again," you tell her. "You want to know what's up? You really want to know?"
"I asked, didn't I?" the Poet answers, miffed.
"Okay. Lora likes you. More importantly, she /wants/ to like you. She wants to see you as her friend and student, as someone interesting and worthy of respect, and she just got slapped in the face with the fact that you've been her enemy for the last ten years."
Brigette looks almost like you hit her. You reach for your cigarettes, remember that you can't light up in the Atheneum, and sigh.
"Brigette, has she treated you...differently, these last few days?"
"Not really," the Poet murmurs. "We've been doing lessons. And...well, chess, sometimes. Talking."
"If you think this needs resolving, then resolve it. You're a grown-ass adult, and so is she. Lay your cards on the table and if you're sitting on any more, lay those down too. Tell her what /you/ want. Listen to what she wants. See what happens from there."
"And that's /it/? Act like the last ten years just haven't happened?"
"Love," Victoria murmurs. "If she's willing to give you another chance, that means not throwing your fuckup in your face over and over. That's sort of what forgiveness entails. There's still things to address, between you and Lora, but they need /addressing/, not salt in the wounds. All you'll do by racking yourself about it is throw her suffering back at her."
Brigette looks down at the table, takes a deep breath, and nods. "I...have possibly spent too long at the bottom of this hole with mostly demons for company."
"I can imagine that leaving you some kind of way," you agree. "I don't think I'll get much in the way of practical information out of Jewel. Got any thoughts on her plight, now that you're calmer?"
Brigette looks, thoughtfully, at the freshly teenaged assassin. "I think she feels obligated to re-learn the skills she sort of remembers, but I'm not sure that's what she wants. It's...not to put too fine a point on it but it's a little like what made me fight you? She feels like she's already bought in and now she's got to play her hand through."
You nod. "I could see that. But if we do encourage her another direction, we need to be careful not to make her feel like we don't trust her to handle those skills. That's not exactly okay either."
"There's lots of folks that need help," Victoria interjects quietly. "But I think she'd find a new use for some of her skills as a healer. I remember reading some /stories/ about your family and healers, Brianna."
You grin. "Yeah. La Croix doctors don't take your shit or anyone else's. I did sort of suggest the Roses to her earlier, but maybe I can spin that out another way."
"Maybe," Brigette agrees. "You were heading someplace else when I got you drunk, weren't you?"
"Somewhere else /entirely/," you agree.
"Sorry to interrupt. If you wanna stick around until you're less drunk..."
Brigette leaves the offer hanging in the air.
> Stick around
> Press on
I'm curious about what more the Caretaker can teach Brianna, or even Nathan and Amy. Also, these 'associates' of his are probably some very interesting folks, in and of themselves. Anybody who'd hang around an ancient lich is probably useful, and has seen some shit.
We know that we can combine fire magic and necromancy, but what about the other elements? If we could potentially enchant Nate's leg with a disguised necromantic spell for offense or defense.
Could we feasibly armor Nathan and Amy in death essence without harming them or their wraithsteel parts (wings and Verve, respectively). It'd be a neat way of getting around Natalia's demands, and we'd still be supporting them.
We know that Amy's awesome demon gear is already magical, but could we upgrade it somewhere down the line.
>"Blame is loud, Shame is quiet."
Make Blame anti-magic, and Shame grant brief invisibility or illusion copies?
As terrible an idea as it is, Necrofowl Inc. should;
Why? Because the Atheneum doesn't allow fire or heat, and Brianna is going to need some of that most /precious, precious fucking coffee/ to nurse her hangover in the morning.
That feel when I need to kill the thread and start a new one but I also need to be asleep within the next thirty minutes.
Votes called, writing. Question and/or discussion to help murder the thread are welcome at this point.
If he's not a cunt about Amy and/or her wings, we could probably prop him up as a leader of an anti-Chainholder confederation of murders in the Roost.
If he is and/or he's working with the chainholders, we go shankbird on his ass. Bonus points if he dismisses us as wingless weaklings.
Cause then we get to unleash Fetch on him.
>Oh, but you're wrong, Hunting Talon. I have wings of my own... right here!
>Suddenly flailing zombie chicken knight clawing up his face, shouting blandishments against his bigotry and cruelty and the thickness of his egg-shell
>So," Amy blinks, looking at you in something almost like awe, "you didn't /mean/ to say, 'In the name of my feathered forebears, lift their songs to the Gods, I will pluck the both of you and dash your eggs against the stone for the wingless ones to slurp at and rut upon while I force you to witness your disgrace'?"
"Honestly? You're not gonna be my only interruption. But by the time we get to the Staircase and then up into the Lichyard we're gonna have to camp out for a bit anyway, so we might as well press on and then I can visit Cherry on my way through the Lichyard. Seen my sister?"
"She said she was going to ascend with the folks from Split," Victoria tells you. "Probably for the best, really. They're still a little nervous around new people."
"Gee, I wonder why," you mutter. "Probably for the best at the moment, though. River'll keep the peace. Nate, Amy?"
Your lovers look over at you, Nathan's arm twisted slightly in a now-interrupted lock. "Yeah?"
"I'm wanting to get moving here soon. Jewel, would you like to come with us? Y'know, pack your things, see the Dungeon, maybe meet some interesting people?"
"I - sure! Let me just get my stuff." Jewel lets go of Nathan and slips into another room; you can hear her packing rapidly.
"Got an idea of what we're doing with her?" Amy asks.
"None at all, aside from walking up to the Lichyard and sleeping this off."
"Works," Nathan agrees.
Inside of twenty minutes, you're saying goodbye to Brigette and Victoria.
"Remember," you tell the Poet. "She's a person. Treat her like one and she'll tell you where the lines are. And /you/."
Victoria freezes, like a kid caught in the cookie jar. "Yes?"
"Going around behind Brigette's back to help her out isn't necessarily good either, you minx. She's a grown-ass woman and it's not your right to dictate what she does or doesn't do. Being there to help? Great. Being supportive and concerned? Also great. Treating her like she can't handle her own problems and needs a fucking babysitter? Less great. Next time I catch you doing that shit I'm going to dump you in Split with River and make you help her for a month so you can see what it looks like when the situation is /actually/ so fucked that only outside help will resolve it. We clear?"
"Crystal," Victoria squeaks.
"That's what I like to hear. You two be well, alright?"
"We'll try," Brigette promises. "Jewel? I'm sorry, again, that I broke your nose. I was still in fight mode."
"Eh. It's okay, I guess. I think I might have still been in fight mode too." The assassin offers her hand out, and she and Brigette shake firmly before you set off. You lead the way, swaying gently, and soon you're all off on your journey back to the Lichyard.
"I've been wondering," the half-elf mentions. "Why is one of your chickens a zombie when the other two are skeletons?"
"Because I have the honor of being my queen's familiar," Fetch answers, primly.
"...He /talks/?" Jewel asks.
"Oh yeah," you say with a grin over your shoulder.
> Camp out in the wilds of the Lichyard (visit Cherry sober)
> Sleep at the shrine (visit Cherry drunk)
Alright folks, it's getting to the point where I may just have to let the chain break because I need some sleep tonight and I've got a long drive in the morning. I'll write a new thread the moment I get home.
As always, questions, comments, discussion, & criticisms remain welcome and appreciated.
Thank you all for reading and participating!
Don't worry, we'll likely keep this thread running like some kind of digital zombie until you decide to raise a new one to serve.
So, who wants to bet that Cherry has learned some new tricks from the dead side of the family?
Doesn't really matter anyways, so long as we get more storytime from our favorite dead person. Also, what is the poison of choice for our beloved lich?
Double Coffee brewed with alcohol instead of water?
Vodka, moonshine, or Kraken. I'll also do mixed drinks. Beer does not often agree with me.
I tried putting booze in coffee once and honestly it kinda felt like I ruined an innocent cup of coffee, so I haven't done it again.