> [[ Broken Sky Online ]]
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> [[ Unique Identifier: Ascheritte ]]
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> Vyx, Tatsumaki, and Smith are online.
> Vision, Donnel, Nel, Liza, Ayla, and Aelriss are offline.
> [[ Underground: Averron Observatory: Test Chamber // Neutral Territory // PVP Disabled ]]
“It’s happening!” Someone shouts, and the crowd draws closer to the barricade to get a better look at the test chamber floor. You begin shuffling away, maneuvering around people to try to find enough space to stand comfortably. “The officers of the Crimson Guardians are going to duel!”
“Ascheritte!” A heavy hand pats you on the shoulder. “I never took you for a gambler. Enjoying the spectacle?”
“Cardus?” It’s the Explorer from the Writ Keepers. You turn around, and when you see his waist, you recall you added one another to your Contacts when you met. He didn’t show up, when you looked at your List a moment ago. It’s because he’s no longer Identified. “What happened to your UI?”
“Oh, that? I got rid of it. On my own terms, of course! This world is so immersive, having such a thing was almost sickening.” He smiles, patting the backpack slung over his shoulder. “The sense of adventure is so much greater this way—anyone seeking a true challenge would do the same.”
“You’re Nameless now, though.” You sigh. “Immersion or not, no one is going to trust you.”
“Do you trust everyone you meet, axiomatically?” He asks, folding his arms. “Nameless or Identified, we are all people. As such, we are all equally untrustworthy.”
“People will try to kill you, assuming there won’t be consequences.” You respond. “Or worse, they’ll think they’re doing everyone else a favor.”
“Yes, this is quite a dangerous world!” He laughs. “I prefer to travel in groups for that reason. Such brigands are no problem for a seasoned adventurer.”
“Are you still in contact with Ayla?” Cardus asks. “I’ve been meaning to find her so that I can rejoin the Writ Keepers.”
“She’s not online at the moment,” You say, “But I’ll let her know you’re looking for her.”
You sigh. You still need an Explorer for your trip to the lower branches. You suppose you’ve found one, now, but didn’t quite expect such circumstances.
"Most excellent!" Cardus says. "So, what say you about this new facility, then? I envy whoever dreamed it up; to think this world is so dynamic..."
[[ 1 ]]
> Ask Cardus to join you on an expedition.
> You can find another Explorer. No Nameless can be trusted.
[[ 2 ]]
> Try to get a better look at what’s going on.
> Head toward the city proper, to meet Tatsumaki or find more party members.
> Head to one of the Observatory’s other facilities.
>> Ask Cardus to join you on an expedition.
I actually played a hand in clearing and securing it. It was supposedly dreamed up by the first artificer.
> Try to get a better look at what’s going on.
I want to see what happens before we go, I think I could learn something.
> [[ Fan Works: Artifact Ideas ]]
> [[ Disclaimer ]]
I'm going to run tonight until I get tired, which will optimistically be a while, but I'm also going to have to take two breaks for important things which will be about an hour each, the first of which is happening in, like, now. Hopefully, it'll be more an opportunity for people to realize I'm here and show up rather than one for me to just fuck off somewhere but
jesus christ i have a class to go to just fuck my shit up senpai
>> Ask Cardus to join you on an expedition
Holy shit i like this guy. Now i want to know what happena to your artifacts if you get rid of your UI on your own terms.
>head out, 3 is plenty
Although i would support totem right now
“I actually played a hand in clearing and securing it.” You nod. “Ayla’s name will be on the Altar too, if you check.”
“Oh? That’s thoroughly impressive, Ascheritte!” He grins. “If you were a part of whatever party defeated this region’s Precursor, then you’re as skilled as she made you out to be.”
“She said I was good?” You ask. “Is that all?”
He laughs. You were sort of expecting an answer.
“Whatever.” You shake your head. “Cardus, as soon as I finish here, I’m heading down to the hunting grounds with a friend of mine. We were actually looking for an Explorer, so…”
“I’d be delighted to join!” He responds. He seems like he’ll be an asset, certainly, but communication will be difficult with someone that doesn’t carry a Unique Identifier—being Nameless seems like much more trouble than the additional immersion is worth, especially given that it seems in-game damage actually hurts them. “I suppose I’ll follow along. Were you leaving immediately?”
“I want to get a good look at what’s going on, first. Someone said officers from Crimson Guardians were dueling, and I’d like to learn more about them. Y’know, scope out my competition.” You say.
“Place your bets here, and get ready for the fight of your life!” An oversized, moustached player shouts, towering over the crowd. “We’re trustworthy and taking all bettors!”
“Are people actually betting on these fights?” You laugh, pushing your way to the front of the crowd to get a good look at the spectacle. That woman that enchanted your sword is on the floor—wait, she’s with the Guardians?—standing apart from her opponent, tall and honorable-looking, clothed in red.
“They have been for quite some time,” Cardus says, “Credits here and there. Though I imagine no one wise will touch this one, unless someone puts down a hefty price to goad them into it. They’ve set up a trade channel to handle the transactions—it’s actually quite trustworthy.”
“They know Florica’s going to kick his ass,” A girl next to you chimes in. “Odds will be a hundred to one.”
“I don’t see why we don’t just duel in the guild hall.” Mendicant asks, drawing his weapon—an eerily glowing long sword the color of onyx—with a reluctant sigh. “I’m guessing you want to show off?”
Florica gives a wicked grin, giggling maniacally. Her sabre is dangling loosely at her side, but under her arm, she holds a grimoire decorated with runes in the old Sylvetican script. For some reason, you don't like the look of it.
“Last call, for the battle between seasoned warriors!” The bet collector calls. “This is all, I’m assuming?”
“Hold it.” A woman calls out. Her imposing voice isn’t what stows the crowd’s cheering; rather, it’s the alluring glow that shines over them. She holds a Celestial Gem overhead. She’s dark-skinned, dressed in black, with white hair—and wears a Freakshow insignia around her neck. “I’d like to bet this on the swordsman.”
The crowd parts, allowing her to approach the collector. She takes deliberate steps, smiling all the way. The silence remains as the Gem disappears from her hand. You’re not sure what the game thinks they’re worth in credits, but it’ll definitely shift the pot in her favor assuming she wins. Which—does she know something you don’t?
> Don’t fucking touch it.
> Raise the stakes. Put a Gem down on Florica.
> Make your egress while it’s still quiet in here, and bring Cardus with you; there are still decisions to make.
>>> Raise the stakes. Put a Gem down on Florica.
>making fun of shitposting
>during a shitpost
“Yeah, not touching.” You say. “Looks like she knows what she’s doing.”
Looking content, the woman approaches the window, waiting quietly with the fingers of one hand pressed gently against the glass. You glimpse her waist; she’s Identified, of course, and would be unable to handle Gems to your knowledge.
“Ascheritte?” Cardus asks. “Something wrong?”
> Head out. Nothing to gain—fuck, you collect taxes on this place anyway.
> Might as well stay and watch.
“Something feels off.” You respond. “Care to watch with me?”
“I was keen on it.” Cardus says.
There’s only so much anyone in the crowd, barring the high roller, can lose. But they’re still transfixed; excited as ever, of course, but not nearly as loud about it as they were a moment ago.
“Well?” Mendicant brandishes his sword, as blue light briefly silhouettes both combatants. “Whenever you’re ready.”
There’s no direct acknowledgement from his opponent. Instead, she takes a fighting stance, holding the grimoire in front of her in one hand. She chooses a chapter, and the book navigates there, pages fluttering cover to cover without further input.
Florica mutters a syllable—disgusting, vulgar—under her breath in some alien language as the pages come to a stop. Behind her, a twisting, runic portal is torn open, a scar in the fabric of space that opens to an unknown, burning world. She steps aside, tossing her free hand upward majestically as if raising the curtain on a matinee, to make room for a pillar of flame to rip across the arena, scorching the floor beneath.
Mendicant moves aside at nearly imperceptible speed, from a standing position to a running dive roll. His opponent turns, circling with the portal to pursue her opponent with the flamethrower like some demonic siege weapon. The inferno strikes the glass wall in front of the arena, the fire rising to incredible height; even up here, you can feel the oppressive heat, as blinding light and a wall of fire obscures the battle for a mere moment.
He’s in attack range, when you can see next, and she’s forced to retreat, the portal closing as she abandons her position. She’s no match for him in melee combat, weakly parrying the first of his swings with her sabre before turning and running with her sword extended. Another foreign word, different somehow from the last, and a gust of air carries her upward to a height just a few times higher than she’d be able to jump. Her dress flutters, and she falls slowly, the book’s pages turning in the opposite direction. You already recognize the red glow and distant heat of a fire spell—and she’s left her opponent in the dust, vulnerable on the ground below.
Three orbs of flame take form around her, rushing toward her opponent—and with rallying battle shouts, he cuts through each of them, taking slow steps backward as he does. Another strikes the ground in front of him, and the explosion sends him stumbling backwards.
Florica lands apart from him, and with a familiar word in the forgotten tongue, opens the portal to hell—this time, striking head-on, engulfing him in flames. The blast is shorter, and she rushes forward, sabre ready, into the wall of obscuring smoke, eager to deliver a finishing blow.
You’re shocked to hear swords clash, and see her sent flying a distance away, with her grimoire clutched tight against her chest, sabre sliding across the arena floor in a different direction.
“What!?” She shouts, and can barely gain her footing before Mendicant is upon her, standing with his blade at her throat. “How?”
“I decided on my Artifact last time I lost to you.” He responds nonchalantly, pulling his collar down with his free hand to reveal a gilded pendant around his neck. “Basically, fuck magic.”
“That’s not balanced!” She responds.
“It is.” He says. “I waited until I knew your guard was down; it only lasts a limited time.”
“Really?” She smiles, gaze narrowing. “Then you’ve still lost.”
She pushes herself into a backward somersault—ungraceful, but functional, as Mendicant’s sword thrust falls short, and his upper body tilts forward, off balance. There’s frost creeping up his legs, as if his feet are frozen to the floor.
“Oh, what?” He asks. “This is some shit.”
“I’ve your arrogance to thank for the extra time.” Florica laughs. “You see, I’ve learned to read more of this book since we last fought. I’m afraid this battle is over. I remain undefeated! I hope you’re ready to be… utterly humiliated.”
She turns, leans over to pick up her sword, and is hit in the back of the neck by a thrown knife. It embeds itself to the handle, and she falls flat onto the ground, twitching a bit before a flash of blue light washes over the two of them. The knife vanishes as the duel comes to an end.
The crowd erupts into equal parts laughter, cheering, and booing.
“What an upset!” The bet collector shouts. “Mendicant’s won, against the odds! The awards are being handled—please check your Unique Identifiers, or line up here if you don’t have one…”
You catch the white-haired woman, still smiling, check a few things in a holographic UI menu. Appearing satisfied, she ducks back into the crowd, heading for the test chamber exit.
“Hah!” Cardus says. “Was that everything you expected?”
[[ 1 ]]
>”Yeah, they don’t mess around.”
>”Eh, I’ve seen better.”
[[ 2 ]]
> Stay and listen to the chatter.
> Embark on your expedition.
> Head up to Averron City.
>”Yeah, they don’t mess around.”
I have a long way to go.
>Go pick up Tats and whoever she wanted to bring
in the meantime ask Cardus what he did with his Ui, he give it to an altar?
“Yeah, they don’t mess around.” You say. “Glad I got to see that. Shows me where I’m going. Gives me some ideas.”
“Mhm.” Cardus responds. “Now, then. You said you were bringing someone along on our expedition?”
“I am,” You respond. “Talked to her a bit ago. She said she’d wait for us at the Observatory entrance. She’s probably here by now.”
“Alright.” He says. “Where is it we’re going exactly?”
> To the underground lake. You're looking for minerals, ores, and a change of scenery.
> To the magma chamber. You're looking for minerals, ores, and a tough battle.
> To the araneids’ nest. You're looking for exotic items, crafting materials, and uncharted territory.
> Nowhere, until we find more party members. Know anyone?
“Probably nowhere, unless we can find more party members. Do you know anyone?” You ask.
“There’s a few people from the Writ Keepers I’d think to ask, were I in contact with them.” Cardus says.
“I could reach out. Got names?”
“Well, Dorian is quite—“
“Oh, well.” Cardus says. “Sulya was one of my good friends. I’ve never seen her fight, but she’s the only other person you’d probably want to have along, considering...”
“Considering I know her? Yeah, she seemed nice.” You say. “I’ll keep her in mind.”
> See if Sulya is online and wants to join.
> Ask Smith to accompany you; it’s been a while since you’ve talked.
> See if anyone around here is looking for a group.
> Three’s fine for gathering materials. You’re not looking for a big fight, and more people means more splitting loot.
> [[ Contact Request Sent – Sulya ]]
> [[ UI Messenger – Sulya ]]
> [[ Sulya ]]: ( Hi, who’s this? )
> [[ Ascheritte ]]: Hi.
> [[ Ascheritte ]]: I was at your guild hall with Ayla earlier.
> [[ Sulya ]]: ( Oh, I was wondering who you were! )
> [[ Sulya ]]: ( What’s up? )
> [[ Ascheritte ]]: Well, I’m down here with Cardus and I wanted to ask if you wanted to come on an expedition.
> [[ Ascheritte ]]: We’re headed to the lower branches for materials and experience.
> [[ Sulya ]]: ( I’ve been looking for Cardus for ages! )
> [[ Sulya ]]: ( I think he deleted everyone from his contacts. )
> [[ Ascheritte ]]: I thought he deleted me.
> [[ Ascheritte ]]: Good guess, but no.
> [[ Sulya ]]: ( What do you mean? What did he do? )
> [[ Ascheritte ]]: He killed himself!
> [[ Sulya ]]: ( WHAT? )
> [[ Sulya ]]: ( How is that a good guess? )
> [[ Ascheritte ]]: Because it’s like social suicide, except it’s actual suicide!
> [[ Ascheritte ]]: Actual, virtual suicide!
> [[ Sulya ]]: ( Ugh, dammit. I can't believe it. Where are you? )
> [[ Ascheritte ]]: Observatory! Meet me at the entrance. I’m sending party invites out now.
> [[ Ascheritte ]]: Oh, and Tatsumaki doesn’t speak much English, jsyk.
> [[ Sulya accepted your contact request. ]]
> [[ Sulya joined party. ]]
> [[ Tatsumaki joined party. ]]
> [[ UI Messenger – Group Chat ]]
> [[ Ascheritte ]]: Welcome aboard, team!
> [[ Tatsumaki ]]: hi :)
> [[ Sulya ]]: ( Where are you even planning on going? )
> Settle on the underground lake. You're looking for minerals, ores, and a change of scenery.
> Settle on the magma chamber. You're looking for minerals, ores, and a tough battle.
> Settle on the araneids’ nest. You're looking for exotic items, crafting materials, and uncharted territory.
(( According to the Ethereal Forgemaster, aethersteel can be created by melting magically corrupted crystals such as Fractallines into any light metal with a particular technique; it can also be found in "areas of high magical corruption", but you're not sure where to look for that.
It stands to reason that you could go gathering anywhere rich in ores and minerals and find what you need. ))
As an aside, my second break is actually not going to be quite as long as I thought it was. But I don't want to put it off so I'm going to go ahead and get it out of the way. Updating when I return.
>can't argue with Banished Quest being a perfectly good example of crunch use by a QM
>dismisses it as shitposting quest in full-out damage control
Shaper's is useless without knowing how much PP we need to spend for altering terrain. it seems like it'd be too OP for a guy with our limited PP pool to be able to make good use of.
and Totem is already being done by another quest.
I'd rather go for something more practical, like healing or airwalking.
In terms of combat, I'm only relying on it to make a improvised wall/height diff.
I mainly want it because we can slowly upgrade infrastructure or help collect mats instead of sitting around.
>Totem is already being done by another quest.
It would be done totally differently in this quest I'm sure. Also don't let OOC stuff like that influence your decisions in the quest, that's just lame.
Cardus?” Sulya says, as she comes within proximity of the three of you; you met Tatsumaki outside the Observatory just moments ago.
“Hello, again!” Cardus says. “I trust you’re well, Sulya?”
“You killed yourself, you moron!” She shouts.
“I’ve already explained this to Ascheritte.” The Explorer nods, balancing himself on his walking stick. “The thrill of adventure has only been magnified by the small sacrifice of my Identifier.”
“You don’t even have a name anymore!” Sulya folds her arms. “You’re nobody as far as the game is concerned!”
“I’d argue that it’s folly to assume that any one of us is more than a cog in the machine, Sulya.” Cardus says. He looks to Tatsumaki for approval, but she gives a disaffected shrug. “But I’d rather not make this a discussion of ideology! We’re united once more, and we’ve an expedition to embark on. You are eager to join us, are you not?”
“Sulya,” You pat her on the shoulder. She’s positively fuming. “Let it go.”
“…Yeah.” She says, given a long pause. “I’ll come with you.”
that's pretty fucking autistic of you desu. you're voting for what you personally want out there, anon. there is nothing indicating Ascheritte would, if left to his own devices, pick totem out of all the stuff that's been suggested. not to mention that's a retarded way to make decisions for a character.
we did ask Sylvetica about this I think and he did say whether or not it would resemble Totemist quest, but I didn't pay attention because I wasn't going to vote either way. some anon can probably say for sure.
You follow indicators in the environment and maps made evident by the message boards, until the cavern walls grow hot around you. The magma chamber appears more dangerous than you’d even imagined. A great swath of outcroppings and plateaus is visible stretching into the distance, where solo players and parties battle skinless, long-legged insectoids: lava striders.
“Keep an eye out for mineral veins.” You say. You’re not sure what would happen if you touched the lava, nor do you want to find out… not least for anything that would be lurking below its surface.
“You’re lucky to have me in your company, Ascheritte.” Cardus grins. “I’m quite the accomplished miner.”
“I can see crystals up there.” Sulya points to a plateau high above. “We could try to climb it, or find a long way around. I’m sure Cardus has exploring gear, too…”
“Wouldn’t leave town without it.” He responds.
Tatsumaki makes a sound of protest, and points off the edge of the platform you’re standing on. There’s an oversized lava strider living up to its name below you, taking careful steps across a large pool of molten rock; she’s probably worried it would climb up and attack if you tried to go upward from here.
> Climb upward.
> Find a safe path upward.
> Attack the lava strider.
> Head lower and search for mineral veins.
Killed him off, found an altar, made a Comm relay base for our city, we get paid for people using the facilities cause we're one of the 4 people with our name on it. Going to collect materials with a friend and 2 acquaintances.
“We’ll find a safe way up.” You nod. “Let’s try this way?”
“Looks fine to me.” Sulya says.
Quickly, you discover that there’s no easy path in this place; even those free of monsters are still jagged and unbeaten. The air shimmers with oppressive heat. You wonder how that Excavator thing is going along—if it’s going along at all. You wonder if they’re going to make it fireproof.
You stop a few times for Cardus to check the terrain adjacent for minerals, managing to collect meager amounts of iron ore and ruby gems, which the four of you are quite thankful to see. You suppose if anything, you won’t be leaving empty handed.
Eventually, you find yourself on a high set of natural bridges overlooking the magma chamber. Far ahead, you can see a rocky plateau where numerous crystal outcroppings—fiery red—look available to be mined. Far off to one side, an opening reminiscent of a doorway leads into a large, open-looking chamber, with lava pouring down along the outer walls into the abyss below, like a sort of decoration. A party of five, a few Nameless among them, appear to be leaving the area. It sounds like they’re celebrating, but they’re looking a bit scuffed up.
> Investigate the open chamber.
> Head out onto the crystal plateau.
“All quiet over here.” You say, as the four of you make your way onto the plateau. “You think this place would be mined out, right? These crystals can be used to make aethersteel.”
“There are other branches like this a little closer to the surface.” Sulya says.
“Not only is there a decent supply of crystals among the player market—they’re a little easier to find than proper ores—but I doubt that many players actually know about the aethersteel thing.” Cardus says. “Even the sheer volume of people occupying the Observatory currently is barely a small fraction of Averron City’s overall population.”
“Good point.” You respond.
> Sit around and shoot the shit while you watch Cardus dig for minerals.
> See if the crystals are soft enough for you to break them.
> Now that you’re above, look for adjacent branches that can be reached by climbing down.
> Try to damage the lava striders far below.
>>> Sit around and shoot the shit while you watch Cardus dig for minerals.
>> See if the crystals are soft enough for you to break them.
risking falling dangers are for
>after we get boots of airwalk
>after the explorer clears the way with his gear
>when the floor below isn't literally lava, I mean, holy shit guys, this isn't worth rolling dice over
“There’s probably a few places we can only get to from up here, come to think of it.” Making your way over to the furthest edge, you duck low against the rocks and peer over. You don’t feel the heat from below rushing upward as you’ve come to expect. Rather, there’s another, clearer plateau, angled slightly downward toward the cavern wall such that it’d be practically invisible from much further below.
“What do you see?” Sulya asks, standing at your side. You can hear Cardus still digging away, harvesting the plateau’s resources; Tatsumaki is with him. You can see a pair of lava striders down there, carefully walking along the edge of the platform. But opposite them, where the cavern meets the wall—you can see what looks to be a tiny home carved into the rock face, a doorway and window with darkness from within.
>inform them there's a fairly inconspicuous dwelling guarded by two mobs
>suggest we go check it out if nobody has a problem with it
It could be unexplored and there probably isn't a big threat inside if it's a small house.
“There’s something down there that looks like a house.” You say. “A few lava striders down there, though.”
“Doesn’t look like they’re guarding it. If we hug the cavern wall, we could probably get by without any trouble.” Sulya kneels next to you to get a closer look. She’s right; they are pretty far away from the point of interest.
“What do you think, Cardus?” You ask.
“I’m not sure,” He says. “If you like, I could stay up here and continue mining. I think there might be an elemental focus nearby.”
Lava striders are imposing, but don't have any special attacks to your knowledge. You don't think anyone here has ever fought one, but you wouldn't expect to have too much trouble against a single opponent, and you doubt Tatsumaki would be out of her element either.
Take them on, get it done with now incase we have to run away from the house
Cardus cas message us weakpoints from his POV while hes mining......except he has no UI. Nevermind, he can just mine
It looks like things are falling off a bit, unfortunately. I'm still awake, but I'm going to go ahead and call it a night now. I'll work on finding a better time to run, and should be able to keep things moving, if slowly, now that my Fridays are free; I'll probably spend tomorrow catching up with work, however. Thanks for sticking around!
So I think we should give the Aetherbinder's Cloak a bit of an upgrade, a mundane one. It's built for an Artificier, so we could stand to gear it to be heavier, having better head protection without needing a helmet.
So I propose we line it with an aethersteel mesh. Increase weight and defense while maintaining flexibility and aethersteel properties.