>Previously on A Knight in the Zodiac Court Quest…
You found a potential clue – a tattoo of a flaming spear on a conspirator’s side.
You made friends with Isabella and reminisced about your past.
You returned to Valencia to meet with the Heirs of Pisces and Cancer.
Both houses jockeyed for your help, but you turned them both down.
Now, you await the next step…
It’s been a day since the meeting between Isabella, Lucas, Jana and Hakim, and so far you’ve been sitting tight while Isabella talks to people about putting the next phase of your investigation into action. You’ve thought a lot about how you turned down two Heirs (technically three) and while you’re a bit worried that you might’ve insulted someone who could really make your life difficult, you’re glad you stuck to your priorities. Ultimately, you feel you made the right move – only time will tell.
Until Isabella decides to reveal her plan to you however, you’ve got some free time.
>Train attributes (pick one)
>Train skills (pick one)
>Train Isabella (She will accept guns or unarmed training)
>Explore the city
>Train Isabella (unarmed)
“I was thinking,” you mention to Isabella, when neither of you are busy, “you don’t have any self-defense training, do you?”
Isabella arches an eyebrow at you. “I have magic,” she says. She waves her hand in the air, her fingers leaving a rainbow trail that quickly fades into nothingness. “See? Magic.”
“Yeah, but magic can only get you so far,” you point out. “There are ways to lock down spellcasting, or times when your opponent can shrug off sorcery. It’s never a bad idea to have options.”
“Okay, Mr. Knight, what would you suggest then?” Isabella asks, giving you a smug look.
You shrug. “I was thinking I could teach you how to fight.”
Apparently, this wasn’t something Isabella had anticipated. “You would do that?”
“Sure. It would make you safer, which would make my job easier.”
Isabella nods to herself. “I guess…I’ll meet you at the gym in twenty minutes?”
Twenty minutes later you’re both in the gym, dressed in more comfortable clothes. You run Isabella through some basic stretches – she’s athletic but untrained, unsure of herself.
“Okay, let’s get into some basic holds.”
Roll 1d20+5 (DC 10)
That depends on what you mean by weird, anon...
But no. It's not. Also, since you seem to be the only one here and your role succeeded, if I don't get three rolls within the next 5-10 minutes I'll just take yours.
I just rolled, someone else voted. If it was up to me we would be training our Knife skills.
>15 (10+5) (DC 10)
You set to work teach Isabella the basics – footwork, common holds and counters. She’s enthusiastic, especially once she realizes that she gets to throw you around, and she progresses at a good pace, but you doubt she’ll ever be a master at this kind of thing.
The two of you settle into a routine, putting aside an hour or so every day to work on her hand-to-hand. She's starting to get a handle on it, and you’re almost beginning to get used to the routine when it stops at suddenly as it began. You’re eating breakfast (a flavorless but highly nutritious shake) in one of the estate’s smaller guest kitchens when Isabella bursts in, waving her phone around excitedly.
“Guess who I just got in touch with,” she asks, a wild grin on her face.
“I have no idea.” How would you? Isabella’s been keeping you in the dark for days now.
“One of my father’s old friends, Connor Walsh,” Isabella says. “He’s a mercenary, a pretty big deal in an organization called Gungnir. Guess what their symbol looks like?” She shows you her phone, which bears the flaming spear you remember from the fire-spitting woman back in Atlanta. “Our first real lead.”
“So what’s the plan?” You ask, guzzling the rest of your shake.
“Connor is running a job in Canada’s Northwest Territories, so we’re going out to meet him,” Isabella says. “It’s a long flight, I know, but he absolutely insists on seeing me face to face. I have a picture of our target and we’ll see if he knows anything.” She pauses for a moment. “Of course, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to. We’re partners, right? You’ve gotta make your own decision.”
>Go with Isabella.
>Stay in Valencia.
>Go with Isabella
“Oh, sure. You can go meet the superb mercenary killing machine without a bodyguard,” you say. “Of course I’m coming.”
The plane ride takes hours – Isabella dozes and reads, some kind of trashy romance novel with roses and photoshopped muscles on the cover. You find yourself wrapped up in Netflix – television or movies were rare treasures back at camp, and you almost can’t believe the sheer amount of entertainment you have at your fingertips. Currently, you’re burning your way through…
>Something light and funny
>Something dark and dramatic
>A history documentary
>Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Of course, you don’t only watch Netflix. You also recheck your equipment – you’re not exactly sure what you need beyond warm clothing, so you went relatively light. You’ve got a few snacks, your brass knuckles, a pistol (on top of basic survival gear) and a tablet. You wonder if the Canadian wilderness gets Netflix?
When you touch down in Canada, you move from Isabella’s luxurious private jet to a small floatplane, which takes you to a particularly deserted region of the Great Bear Lake. “Your friends flew out here a few days ago,” the pilot explains as you begin to descend. “What are they, hunters?”
“Sort of,” Isabella says.
You land and disembark, the cold wind hitting you like a truck. Luckily, the small cabin the Gungnir mercs are staying at isn’t far off the lake, so it’s only a short trudge through the snow before you reach it. Isabella knocks on the door, and a moment later you’re face to face with an old friend.
You know the girl who opened the door. She’s a Knight, trained in your camp, only a few years older than you. Though the different years didn’t interact too much, the camp was small enough that you got to know her a fair amount. She’s tall, at 6’4, a few inches above you and a full foot above Isabella.
>Tell her its good to see her.
>Ask her what she’s doing out here.
>Introduce Sam and Isabella.
>A history documentary
You never knew mundane history could be so fascinating. You had learned about the Zodiac Court’s involvement in the American Civil War, of course, and the Werewolf tribes that fought over the westward territories, but you had never gotten a chance to learn the history behind the war itself, the battles, the tactics. It’s all fascinating stuff.
>Tell her its good to see her.
>Ask her what she’s doing out here.
>Introduce Sam and Isabella.
“It’s good to see you Sam,” you say, shaking her outstretched hand. Her grip is as crushing as ever, and the sensation takes you back years in an instant, back to early morning runs, long hours memorizing monster weaknesses, sparring in the brutal midday sun. You shake your head and drag yourself back to the present. “What are you doing out here?”
Sam grins. “Not all of us got cushy Court jobs, James. I bounced around a bit, ended up here at Gungnir. Loved it, I’m one job away from my tattoo.”
“That’s great,” you say. “Oh, Sam, this is Isabella, Princess of House Aries. Isabella, this is Sam Atwell. She and I trained together at the same camp.”
“You’re a Knight too?” Isabella asks, looking Sam up and down.
Sam ducks her head respectfully. “I am, Princess. My dad’s not as famous as James’, but I am. Please, let me get your bag.”
“Oh, that’s alright,” Isabella says, but Sam grabs it anyway, placing it carefully over near the fireplace. Now that you’re inside and can get a good look around, you can see that there are a few other people in the cabin. There’s a grizzled older man making coffee, a woman fiddling with a compass, a man checking a map, and another man lying on a cot. The rest of the Gungnir mercenaries, you presume.
“Princess Isabella,” the grizzled man says. “Hey! You lot! Royalty is in the room!” The rest of the men and women glance up in surprise before inclining their heads in Isabella’s direction.
“Mr. Walsh,” Isabella says with a slight curtsy. “It’s so good to see you again.”
“It’s been too long,” Walsh replies. “Last time I saw you, you were…” he trails off, “you were some kind of height.” He smiles. “I’m sorry to drag you all the way out here, but I got this feeling. In my bones.” He raps his knuckles on his head. “In my skull. Sometimes you just have to listen your bones are telling you.” He turns to face you, looking you up and down. “And now I think I know why. You were trained with Sam, eh? I could use another Knight on this hunt. Especially with Johnson hurt.” He motions towards the man lying in the cot, and now that he mentions it, you can smell blood and antiseptic.
You and Isabella exchange a glance. She shrugs. “What are you hunting?” You ask.
“Locals called us up two weeks ago. Claimed there was a Wendigo out here,” Walsh says. “Hand me the picture, will you Princess?”
“Oh. Of course!” Isabella says. She hands him a picture of the severed head of the fire-spitting woman – Walsh doesn’t even bat an eye.
“Well, there’s been no confirmed Wendigo sightings since the 70s, so we came to check it out if nothing else. We tracked it down last night, nearly cornered it, but it got away. Johnson broke his damn ankle chasing after the thing.”
“You should come, James,” Sam says. “It’ll be like old times.”
“And you’re going to have to wait for the information you want anyway,” Walsh says. “I sent the picture in to headquarters, they’ll get back to us within a day or so.”
“Oh,” Isabella says. “A day or so.”
>Go on the hunt.
>Stay in the cabin.
>Invite Isabella on the hunt.
>Ask Isabella if we can go, we being the two of us.
>Ask if Isabella will be safe if she comes.
“Well, I haven’t been on a hunt in a long time,” you admit. The mere thought of how long you’ve spent cooped up indoors, overseeing meetings, or flying on planes makes your bones ache for some proper exertion. “But I’m not here alone.” You turn to Isabella. “Isabella, what would you say about coming with us?”
“Now there’s a suggestion,” Walsh says, his grin showing yellowed teeth. “A Princess on a hunt. Your father and I used to hunt together, your mother too. He stopped when she…” he trails off. “It would be my honor to escort you.”
“You think she’ll be safe?” You ask Walsh.
“Well have me, Simms, Parker, Sam, and you out there,” Walsh says. “I don’t know where she could be that’s safer.”
“I can take care of myself as well,” Isabella says. “I think…I think tracking a Wendigo would be exciting.”
“Then it’s settled!” Walsh roars, stomping his foot. “Simms, finish up that tracking spell. Parker, make sure our supplies are ready. Sam, I want our weapons hot.”
“How will we be hunting it?” Isabella asks you as the Gungnir crew explodes into motion.
“Fire, mostly,” you say. “Look.” Sam pulls a large flamethrower from a trunk in the corner of the room and straps it across her back. “That’ll kill it, but they probably have silver to weaken it first.”
“Right you are, Mr. Hart,” Walsh says, handing you a pistol and two clips. “For yourself and the Princess. Silver bullets. Expensive, so aim your shots, will you?”
“Do you have anything a little heavier?” You ask, replacing your standard bullets with the silver ones and handing the extra gun to Isabella. She holds it with trepidation, but manages to load it and put the safety on.”
“Sam’s got a light machine gun she won’t let anyone else touch,” Walsh says. “Silver flecked bullets. Not as effective, but’ll hurt the thing like hell. I’ve got a rifle you can have my spare if you want.”
“Never hurt to have more firepower,” you say, grabbing the gun as Walsh hands it to you. It feels good in your hands, solid, powerful. You prefer getting up close and personal, but that’s not exactly the best idea when a Wendigo is involved.
>Roll 1d20+3 for a Wits check. (DC variable)
>11 (8+3) (DC variable)
A wendigo. Right. The monstrous remains of a man (or woman) forced to resort to cannibalism in the coldest, harshest regions of the North. Strong, fast, incredibly dangerous up close. Can even control the animals of the forest, especially the predators. Vulnerable to silver and fire.
“We’re moving,” Walsh says, and so you recheck your weapons, adjust your coat, and step back out into the cold. It’s just as brutal as the last time, but now your blood is filled with a newfound vigor. This is what you were raised to do, born to do, bred to do. In the ages long past, when Sorcerers first created Knights, they created them just for this purpose – to hunt the monsters nobody else could hunt.
“Stay close to me,” you tell Isabella as the six of you set out towards the forest. “How’s your fire magic?”
“It’s not my best, but I’m pretty good with combat magic in general,” she says. “How are we tracking the Wendigo?”
Sam comes up behind you, a Heckler and Koch MG4 in her hands. “We got a tuft of its fur last time, so Simms has got a basic tracking spell tied to a compass. We know it’s North, no more than a few miles.”
“Why so close?” Isabella asks. “These things are fast, right? And they don’t really get tired.”
“We were afraid we might’ve driven it off,” Sam admits, “we don’t know why it’s still here. A stroke of luck though, huh?”
You hike mostly in silence from then on. Simms, the woman, leads the group, her compass pointing you mostly North. Walsh follows up behind her, surprisingly spry for his age. Parker is next, bouncing a ball of magical fire between his hands to keep him warm, followed closely by Isabella. You and Sam bring up the rear, keeping your noses trained for any telltale scents.
>1d20+8 Knight’s Nose roll (DC 15)
>22 (14+8) (DC 15)
>Try to remember if these things have the tendency to hunt in packs
Thankfully to all the Gods that might and do exist, Wendigos are solitary creatures.
You’re about a mile and a half into your hike when something catches your nose – magic that smells different from anything you’ve smelled in a long time, the careful, precise sorcery of the Court. It’s difficult to explain, but that sorcery is much like a meal cooked by a skilled chef, each flavor blending in with its fellows to create something new, carefully measured and applied. This magic smells rough, wild, like someone threw ingredients into a pot at random and lit a blaze underneath. You can smell barrier magic, at least, and others you can’t identify.
“Hold up,” you say, holding hand up so others can see. “Hold up. I smell something.”
“I don’t smell anything,” Sam says, giving the air a few sniffs.
“I’ve been working on my tracking,” you say, tapping your nose. The other mercenaries slow and stop, then begin to follow you as you pick your way through the woods. You follow the trail of magic to a deep gouge in a frozen tree.
“Too big to be a bear,” Walsh murmurs. “The Wendigo must’ve been through here.”
“But we’re off the tracking trail,” Isabella says. “What does that mean?”
Simms glances down at her compass. “My tracking is fine,” she says. “It points to where the thing is, not where it’s been. Otherwise we’d be running in circles for hours trying to chase this thing down.”
The trail keeps going, so you keep following. Eventually you reach a small, shallow cave. You can hear quiet whimpers from within, but they’re not human whimpers – they’re wolf.
You peer into the cave to see a dead wolf, at least one and a half times larger than any wolf you’ve ever seen before. Its muzzle and claws are stained with blood, and most of its side is missing, gouged out by something large and sharp. Curled up in front of it is a smaller wolf, just a puppy – the source of the whimpers you heard earlier. The trail of magic ends here.
>Get back on the Wendigo’s trail.
>Approach the wolf.
>Shoot the wolf.
>As Isabella to approach the wolf.
>Approach the wolf slowly, keeping an eye on the surrounding area
You hold up a hand, to signal to the others to stay at the mouth of the cave, and begin moving towards the wolf. It notices your presence and growls a bit, but you get the sense that it’s more afraid and confused than angry. You draw a bit closer and extend your hand, doing your best to radiate kindness.
>Roll 1d20+2 for charm (DC variable)
>Remember that actions you take can affect your modifiers. Hint: Review what you’ve packed.
>Show it the Lion King on Netflix
While this would surely endear the wolf to you for life, the Canadian Wilderness does not get Netflix. This is the gravest of injustices.
>Offer some snacks
>24 (12+2+10) (DC variable)
You remove your pack and slowly dig some beef jerky out, offering it to the wolf. It grabs it greedily out of your hand, scarfing it down, which affords you the opportunity to get a closer look at its dead friend – most likely its mother. The wounds on her side match the claw marks you saw on the tree…the work of the Wendigo.
“Why,” you whisper to yourself, “if the Wendigo can control animals…did it fight you?”
You take another, longer sniff. The air around the wolf buzzes with leftover magic, magic to shield, to strengthen, to reinforce. You don’t know what this thing is, but it’s not just a wolf.
The wolf pup begins whining again, so you feed it another handful of beef jerky. It devours this too, as if it hasn’t eaten for a week, and then pushes itself to its feet. With surprising purpose for a wild animal, it buries its face in the bloodstained fur around its mother’s mouth, then trots out the cave. Isabella and the mercenaries back away to give it room, and it begins to walk in the direction of the cabin before looking back at you. You get the distinct impression it’s waiting.
>Follow the wolf.
>Get back on the trail.
>If the vote is still tied in 5 minutes I'll go with this option, since it doesn't commit to either path yet.
Whoops, missed those 2 recent votes. We can still ask this while/before we walk, since I doubt anyone would have an objection
>Follow the wolf.
>Ask Simms why a wolf would have magic cast on it.
You lumber out of the cave, blinking at the light bouncing off the snow, and begin following the wolf back towards the cabin.
“Uh, where’s he going?” Simms asks through a thick British accent. You’re not familiar enough with the dialect to narrow it down any more than that, but it doesn’t sound high class.
“I’m following the wolf,” you say, even though it seems relatively obvious.
Simms points northwards. “The Wendigo’s that way.”
“The Wendigo could’ve run halfway across the country by now,” you say. “It didn’t. Either it can’t, or it won’t, and no matter which it is, we have time for a detour. Something here doesn’t add up.” You pause for a moment while a thought hits you. “Why would a wolf smell like magic?”
“The wolf smells like magic?” Sam asks. “I don’t smell anything.”
“It’s cause he’s bloody insane!” Simms says.
“He’s not insane!” Isabella protests.
Sam shakes her head. “James was never insane,” she says. “If he smells magic, I trust him. If he thinks this is a good idea, I trust him.”
“His logic is sound,” Walsh admits. “Answer his question, Simms.”
Simms rolls her eyes. “What kind of magic?”
“Strengthening. Reinforcing. Could it be left over from its encounter with the Wendigo.”
“Wendigos don’t do that kind of magic,” Simms says. “They tear stuff down, they don’t build it up. I don’t know why the fuckin wolf smells like magic.”
“Well, I’m following it,” you say. “Isabella?”
She shrugs. “I’m only out her because you are.”
“I’m coming too,” Sam says.
Simms groans, but when Walsh and Parker pick up after you without a word, she follows too. The wolf leads you back the way you came, moving through the snow with a natural, fluid grace despite its size. Occasionally it sniffs the air, or the ground, or a tree, but you can’t quite hone in on whatever scent it’s following.
Until you reach the edge of the forest. You can see the cabin now, off in the distance, and the smell of death fills your nostrils, overwhelming in its potency.
“You smell that?” Sam asks, tightening her grip on her gun.
“Wendigo,” Walsh whispers.
“Not possible,” Simms says. “The compass hasn’t moved.”
“Don’t you think that’s just a little bit weird?” You ask.
>All the Gungnir crew are hardened combat veterans.
>Sam is good with weapons and incredibly strong.
>Walsh is the best shot.
>Parker is a pyro-focused battle Sorcerer.
>Simms is mostly support but can use fire magic.
>In terms of raw firepower, Isabella outstrips the rest of the squad combined, but her range is limited.
>Who do you send in?
>Who hangs back?
“Okay, Sam and Parker with me,” you whisper, shouldering your rifle. “Walsh, Simms, Isabella, cover the back.”
The rest of the squad nods. You’re not exactly sure when you became the leader of this hunt, but it feels good to be issuing orders after taking them for so long.
Sam takes your right, Parker your left, and the three of you begin moving slowly towards the cabin. The wolf stays behind with Isabella, which is probably for the best. As you approach the cabin, Parker pulls a solid metal wand from his belt, engraved with runes.
“Maybe we can hurt it while it’s trapped itself in there,” you whisper. “Parker, can you whip something up?”
“Johnson’s in there,” Parker protests.
“If the Wendigo’s in there, Johnson isn’t anymore.”
Parker looks like he’s about to argue back but doesn’t. He waves his wand in the air back and forth, slowly building a quarter-sized spark of fire. While he does that, you and Sam approach the door as silently as you can, bracing yourselves against it.
With his spell finally complete, Parker jabs his wand towards the cabin, sending the spark careening into the window. It crashes through the glass like a small rock, and then there’s a moment of breathless silence.
Fire bursts from every window, and an inhuman scream of pain can be heard from inside. A moment later you feel the door buckle as the Wendigo throws itself at it, you and Sam straining to keep the monster trapped while the fire rages.
>roll 1d20+2 strength check (DC 20)
>21 (19+2) (DC 20)
“Come on!” You shout, half to Sam and half to yourself. The Wendigo screeches again, and the door shakes against its assault, but you and Sam hold firm. Again it hits the door and /again/ you two endure, muscles screaming, until the door literally splinters from the force. You and Sam are thrown clear, and you hit the snow and roll hard.
The Wendigo leaps over you, landing in the snow and letting out another shriek. It’s clearly burning but still going relatively strong, and as Parker turns more fire against it, it raises an arm. Its fingers bend backwards and twist into elongated, unnatural shapes, and its mouth rasps a word from a language long dead, and the snow and ice beneath it bursts to life, swirling around it, shielding it from the blaze.
Bullets whizz open your head as Sam recovers and opens fire, and you push yourself to your feet.
>Shoot the Wendigo (roll 1d20+2 ranged)
>Do something else
>Shoot the Wendigo
>19 (17+2) (DC 10)
You shoulder your rifle, aim, and fire rapidly at the obscured form of the Wendigo. Your bullets are joined by a volley fired from just beyond the forest’s tree line, as Walsh and Simms join in on the assault.
Between the bullets and Parker’s fire, you seem to have the Wendigo trapped, but at the same time your attack doesn’t look like it’s having any effect. Eventually, Sam is forced to reload, and the Wendigo uses the opening to charge you.
>Dodge the charge
>Stand your ground
>Call the backup team in
Yes, a 1 is a crit fail and if it occurs within the first 3 rolls, overrides everything except a 20 (crit success).
This isn't the way I handled it in the first thread, I admit, but I was still working out the kinks in the system.
>Stand your ground
The Wendigo charges you in a blur of motion, and you dig your heels in. You can see the monster weakening - if you can just get through whatever it's using as a defense...
>Roll 1d20+5 for Toughness
Guess daddy was born under the Taurus sign or something
>20 (Critical Success)
The Wendigo charges, and time seems to slow down. You can see its defense, a sickly green ripple in the air in front of it. You can see the blood that stains its teeth and lipless jaw, the bits of human flesh and bone still stuck to its face.
You can see it, and yet you stand your ground.
You can smell it, not just its physical stench but its magical one, raw and filthy and wrong. It fills your nostrils and threatens to overwhelm you.
You can smell it, and yet you stand your ground.
Wendigo are feared, and rightly. This one is old, older than you and the Gungnirs had anticipated, and it wields sorcerous might. Every bone in your body throbs, every drop of blood in your veins pounds, every animal instinct you have cries out.
You fear it, and yet you stand your ground.
You are James Hart. You a Knight. You will back down for nothing, for no one, for no monstrous creature. You dig your heels into the snow and ice and dirt and you dare it to charge you, to try and knock you from this place that you have claimed as yours and yours alone.
The Wendigo hits you full on and you stand. Your legs quiver, your body screams, but you stand, and suddenly the Wendigo does not. It falls to its back, slamming into the snow that it commands, and you draw your pistol, loaded with silver bullets, and fire into its unprotected neck.
You fire until the clip is empty.
The Wendigo lies still at your feet, the snow around you stained with blood. Isabella bursts from the tree line, tearing across the ground that separates you from her, as the Gungnir mercenaries stand in shock at what they’ve witnessed. Isabella hits you full on and it is only now that your body gives out, tumbling to ground in an exhausted heap.
“Jesus fucking Christ,” you hear Sam say. You can’t see her – Isabella’s hair has filled your vision – but you can hear the tone of her voice. It’s changed in a way you can’t quite identify. You’re not sure what to make of that.
>Stay down for a bit.
>Tell Isabella she’s clearly stronger than a Wendigo
The adrenaline in your system fades, and you grown as pain floods your body. You don’t think you’ve broken anything, but you’re not exactly going to be running a marathon anytime soon.
“Well,” you say, staring up at the sky, “clearly what we’ve learned here is that Isabella is much stronger than a Wendigo.”
Sam bursts out laughing, and Isabella shifts so that you’re looking at her face rather than her hair. “Jokes?” She asks, incredulous. “You’re joking about this?”
“My image is not a joke, Boss,” you insist. “And you’re really ruining it. All these hardened mercenaries just saw me get tackled by a teenage girl, I’m never gonna live this down.”
“Unbelievable,” Isabella murmurs.
“Ah, don’t give him too much trouble, Princess,” Walsh says. “He’s a Knight. They’re not wired like you and me.” He bends down next to you and pats you on the shoulder. “You going to get up?”
“I wasn’t really planning on it.”
Walsh nods. “Well, you’ve earned a bit of a rest, I guess. And trophy rights. Simms and I will see if we can’t recover anything from the cabin, though I suspect Parker burned everything.
“Not my fault!” Parker says. “It was James’ idea!”
Walsh grumbles to himself and walks off, but you stay lying down. Eventuall, Isabella picks herself up off of you, though she stays seated by your side. The wolf from earlier trots over to you, and after investigating to make sure you’re alive, promptly lies down on your chest for a nap.
“I’m debating whether to tell my father about this or not,” Isabella admits. “Or any of the other Heirs. Would they even believe it?”
>Grab your trophy.
>Ask Walsh about the fire-spitter.
>Ask to keep the wolf.
Can we ask if there's stuff we could use out of the corpse; to make artefacts and shits? also propose to share the corpse since it was their hunt in the 1st place, an old fucker like that should give enough for both parties, yes?
>Ask to keep the wolf.
>Grab your trophy.
“Honestly, I don’t care if they believe it or not,” you say. “I just want to know if I can keep this wolf.”
Isabella gives you a confused look. “You want to keep it?”
“No, I want to leave this awesome little guy out in a frozen wasteland,” you respond. “Of course I want to keep him.”
“Well James, having a wolf is a lot of responsibility. You have to feed him, and take him on walks, and…” Isabella trails off. “You’re not laughing.”
“Oh. Sorry. That was…funny?”
“It was a bit,” Isabella explains. “You need to watch more television.”
“Sure, sure. As long as I can keep the wolf.”
“Yes, you can keep the wolf,” Isabella says. “Now stand up.” She helps pull you to your feet, and you managed to walk over to the Wendigo’s carcass without collapsing or throwing up. The Gungnirs seem to have controlled the blaze, but you doubt much that was inside the cabin survived. You feel a pang of regret that you couldn’t save Johnson, but nobody got into the mercenary business because it was safe.
“Now, I don’t want to take too much,” you tell Isabella, examining the corpse. “This was Gungnir’s hunt at first, after all. I wouldn’t have been a part of it if they didn’t invite me. And an old Wendigo should have plenty of trophy to go around, right?”
“That’s fair. I don’t think Walsh was planning on giving you the whole corpse anyway.”
“So what could I take? People make artifacts out of monster bodies, right?” You ask.
Isabella taps her chin thoughtfully. “Um, it should be possible. You’ve got the heart, the hands, and the skull, the way I see it.”
>Take the heart (Once/week, double any attribute for one hour)
>Take the hands (Gain +5 to unarmed. Once/day, bypass any magical barrier.)
>Take the mask (Once/day, control nearby animals for one hour)
>>Take the hands (Gain +5 to unarmed. Once/day, bypass any magical barrier.)
I would have liked the "2x boost to one stat" artifact, but the "once a week only" limit's too bad.
Does the barrier bypass also work for swords and ranged, or is it only via unarmed?
You'll have to punch through the barrier, but then you're free to use a sword/gun. Unlike the brass knuckles, the Wendigo hands don't prevent you from using another weapon at the same time.
>Take the hands
“I’ll take the hands,” you decide, pulling out your knife. “The brass knuckles are nice, but there’s nothing quite like punching people with the bones of a undead monstrosity.” You go to work cutting the hands off – the bones are tough, but you borrow a silver knife from Sam and manage to cut through them eventually. They’ll always be a bit weak to silver, but you figure enchantments and caution can keep that from hindering you too much.
“I’ve called in two planes,” Walsh says once you finish. “One for us, one for you.” He turns to Isabella and bows. “I apologize for the…distress, I might’ve caused you, Princess. I’ll email you the information you’re looking for, it will be on your computer by the time you return home.”
“Thank you, Mr. Walsh,” Isabella says. “We really should go hunting again some time.”
“As long as your Knight is there to take care of me!” Walsh says with a laugh. He claps you on the shoulder. “You did good work here, kid,” he says. “You’ve got a bright future ahead of you. I feel it in my bones.”
Simms comes up to you next. “I’m sorry I called you bloody insane,” she says. “And a pig-fucker. And a filthy cunt.”
“You didn’t call me a pig fucker. Or a filthy cunt.”
Simms scratches the back of her neck. “I did, you just didn’t hear. Also, I think I figured out what was wrong with my spell. Since the Wendigo was /also/ a sorcerer, it must’ve ripped off some of its own fur and set up, like, a decoy beacon. Wanted to lure us away from Johnson. Very clever stuff. If it weren’t for you and your dog, we wouldn’t even have been able to avenge him. So…I appreciate it.”
“Thanks for not getting us all killed,” Parker says. “I think I’m getting out of Gungnir soon. But if you ever need something burned down, don’t hesitate to call.” He punches his number into your phone, bringing your total contacts up to three.
Sam is the last to say goodbye. “It was good seeing you again, James,” she says, not looking you in the eye. “You’ve…really grown up. I’m glad you’re my friend.” She looks like she wants to say more, but instead she just walks away.
“Well, that was…intense,” Isabella says. You’re both sitting on the porch, waiting for the plane to come and pick you up. The wolf naps in between you.
“It was good,” you say. “You shouldn’t worry about me so much. Takes more than that to kill me.”
Isabella looks up at the clouds. “I know,” she says. “I know. I just…maybe try not to put yourself in front of a monster like that again?”
>Tell her you’ll try.
>Tell her it’s an occupational hazard.
>Tell her only when it’s between a monster and her.
>"I'd only do it when it's between *dangerous* things and you."
Something about "it's his job" and "he was almost literally bred and raised for this sort of thing", but those sound too callous.
>Tell her only when it’s between a monster and her.
“Don’t worry,” you tell her. “I’ll only do it when it’s between a monster and you.”
Isabella gets a look on her face then, a look you can’t quite read. A multitude of emotions flicker across her face, and then they’re replaced with a sad smile. “I guess that’s the best I’m going to get,” she says softly.
“I’m sorry for freaking you out.”
“I know you are, James. But you don’t have to be.” She takes a deep breath, then looks down and scratches the wolf between the ears. “You just need to worry about this little guy. What do you think you’re going to name him?”
>Spot (The classic dog name.)
>Wolf (Elegant in its simplicity.)
>Ulysses (Badass Civil War General. Also a guy who sailed a lot.)
>Ghost (Because this doesn’t have enough unintentional Game of Thrones parallels)
(I have no idea what y'all would want to name your dog, so here are some random suggestions. I mostly expect a write-in to win.)
>yfw people goes "but this wolf isn't gray"
>yfw you punch them in the dick just after they say that.
“Sif,” you decide. You like the name. It’s short, it fits. Sif for his part, rolls over on his back and gnaws at your finger. It’s not terribly effective, but it is terribly cute. “Sif the great wolf. No, Sif the great grey wolf.”
Isabella frowns. “But he isn’t grey.”
“That’s what people will say. And that’s when I’ll punch them.”
Isabella laughs, her sad smile fading and being replaced by a more genuinely happy one “Sif,” Isabella says. “I like it.”
>END OF THREAD 3
Thanks a ton everyone for playing! I had a really great time with this one, and I hope you did too. Thread four will probably pick up Tuesday, but I can’t promise that. I’ll be around for a few minutes to answer any questions.
>Sif for his part, rolls over on his back and gnaws at your finger. It’s not terribly effective, but it is terribly cute.
Prepare to DAWWW
Will our actions shape how James deals with problems more in the future?
Like the "cast a fire spell and keep the door closed" thing we did to hurt the Wendigo, that doesn't seems much what a knight would do.
Will he be a "by the book" type of bodyguard or more of a "let's try the road less traveled" type?
I try to leave big decisions up to you guys, and that includes tactical stuff. So how James deals with threats specifically is up to all of you. That "hold the door" trick was suggested by an anon, and I thought it was clever/it didn't contradict a majority vote, so I put it in. At this point, I think James has two solid traits:
1. He's very dedicated to Isabella.
2. He likes using humor to diffuse situations.
Of course, these are traits I've picked up from decision trends, so they could easily change.
I do encourage you not to look at James so much as a "knight" however. If that's how you want to play him, then feel free, but don't feel the need to limit your role/actions because of his title. Knights (in general) in this setting are less "chivalrous protectors," and more "supersoldier commodities."
Cool, I guess. 'cause it would sucks to have at some point another knight giving us a ration of shit because we've decided to knee cap a room full of civs in order to blow the cover of a shapeshifter and that's not approved by the codex astartes or something
I think it was allright. Our mission was to kill the Wendigo, so we fought smartly, avoided it's trap, trapped it, and killed it.
James's job is to protect Isabella. It doesn't matter if he fights the attackers, or hide with her below the table, as long as she ends up unharmed.