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File: SEQalt.jpg (173 KB, 1264x632)
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You were drawn to Tarnished Glory Online by the premise: perpetual, unrestricted conflict between players where one side - the subscription players - would be the "good guys", the heroes, the Champions as the game termed them, while the other - the free to play accounts - would be cast into the role traditionally occupied by the "E" of the PvE equation: the monsters. That alone promised an experience on a whole different level from your usual fare of theme park VRMMOs with PvP as side content, at best.

Making a f2p account came with a set of restrictions: you didn't even get to pick what monster you got to play and were cast into the body of a kobold: a race disdained by other players for its overall weakness and for its spawns being seeded in starter zones, where they were ran roughshod over by the surge of much stronger Champions over the week since TGO's launch. You yourself were killed by one such Champion - Lord Supreme - despite ambushing him while he was wounded, and, arguably, having the upper hand through most of the fight.

With a rematch in mind, you've since decided to improve your chances by raising you skills, but also by making use of all the options at your disposal - which is why you now find yourself in the midst of an instanced event that was nominally supposed to be about teaching you Warband mechanics, but has also seen fit to provide a side order of plot. Which is how you now find yourself on the way to rescue a kobold village from a raid by beings called the Hidden Kings and their Misshapen servants - and why your journey has been interrupted by a sudden "moral choice."

Quest Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=Solo+Experience+Quest
Also, I apologize for making the thread two days after I said I would. Life got unexpectedly busy. Hopefully we'll be back on schedule now.


>(cont).
>>
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"I say Banished comes with us."

The three NPCs turn toward you. Banished grins, while Koriat and Targun's expressions arrange themselves into various degrees of shock. The latter's mouth actually drops open.

"Tribe needs more warriors - is what you told me," you address Koriat first. "And there's a warrior standing right there. I don't know why he was banished from your tribe," you turn to Targun. "But if the Hidden Kings are as powerful as you say, then can you afford to reject help? Especially help that's freely offered?"

Both Muckrakers look down, making a show of considering your words, even though you're almost certain that they'll accept your argument. After all, they are NPCs working off a script that in almost every case will give a player's words undue weight and importance. To the point where a brief appeal to reason from a stranger can resolve an issue wrapped in seemingly impenetrable layers of emotion and tradition.

"Truth," Koriat looks at you after a moment.

"Truth," Targun echoes, though he follows that by glaring at Banished. "Will behave. Will follow orders. Or else!"

The third kobold merely shrugs and grins. And just like that, your Warband now has a third member.

If only it was this easy with real people.

Though the Warband's Cohesion did drop to Poor, reducing the number of charges for the "Remember Your Orders!" ability down to one. As you set out along the gully again, you see Koriat and Targun throw the occasional glare Banished's way - which is a nice visual touch - but also notice the warband's movements are less coordinated, with NPCs no longer maintaining pace with you, often regularly pulling too far ahead or falling behind.

You spend most of the trip through the gully reviewing Banished's skill tree, finding that he is by far the most experienced of the three NPCs, and though none of his skills are above Rank 2, he has a fairly wide selection of movement, survival, and combat abilities that would make sense for an exile living on his own.

Unsurprisingly, his primary weapon skill is daggers, though his Rank 2 ability with the weapon has little to do with combat: Tool of the Wild is a passive that allows him to use a dagger as a substitute for a number of harvesting and crafting tools, albeit with increased chance of the task going poorly or outright failing.

What draws most of your attention, however, is a skill that you haven't even seen on your own skill tree: Foe Climber. It offers a slew of stability, stamina cost reduction, and damage bonuses to fighting enemies while, well... climbing or leaping onto them. You feel a brief surge of excitement at the game actually recognizing and even having a skill for the exact thing you were trying to do - only to have it come crashing down once you see the prerequisites:

Athletics 2, Acrobatics 2, Climbing 2, Weapon Skill (Daggers) 2. Many, many hours of dedicated grinding, based on your experience with raising skills so far.

>(cont.)
>>
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The gully eventually begins to descend noticeably, the ground underfoot once again turning muddy and damp.

"So what's your story?" you ask Banished, slowing your pace to match his. "Why were you exiled?"

You did note that while his appearance matched that of the others: blue scales and stained arms, the stains themselves looked less prominent, even faded - a nice visual touch to distinguish him from the Muckrakers.

"Madness," Targun is the one who answers, his tone carrying a surprising amount of venom. "Turned against tribe."

You turn back to Banished, who nods in agreement.

"Went mad," he gives you a lopsided grin. "Stayed mad. Shaman say: whole tribe soon go mad. Chieftain say: leave or die," he shrugs. "Leaving helped. Less mad now."

"Lies," Targun growls. "Will watch. If Banished turn on tribe again, will kill."

Banished turns toward the other kobold and pointedly looks him up and down. his grin widening slowly.

"Doubt," he says finally.

"What made you go mad?" you interject.

"Muckrakers find many things in stream," he says, examining his stained hands, his expression turning pensive. "Valuable. Powerful. Dangerous. Sometimes, get sick, die. Sometimes, disappear, never found. Sometimes... change," he smiles again. "Or go mad."

"Only unworthy," Targun says. "Only bad servants."

"Chieftain say so, yes," Banished nods.

"Chieftain speak true," Targun fires back.

But before the argument could progress any further, the gully ends and the game decides to go full tutorial on you.

The final approach to the village involves a succession of clearings, piers, and even an underground passage occupied by Misshapen. Each discrete area serves as what amounts to a puzzle that requires using either a specific NPC's ability or a specific feature of the Gesture Command Interface to defeat. It's fairly basic stuff designed for the kind of people who never played a VR game at all and clearing all the challenges takes you no more than fifteen minutes, with only the final area presenting any sort of difficulty, and even then largely because it requires three Brutes to be taken out simultaneously. Which, with your low Cohesion creating a significant delay between you issuing an order and the NPCs following it - and said delay being, to a degree, randomized - makes the entire affair something of a gamble.

However, you overcome the challenge without casualties, with your reward being Cohesion moving up from Poor to Shaky which you think is one step below Average.

"Tribeless fights well... and leads well," Koriat comments on the advancement.

"Good fights," Banished grins.

"Respect," Targun bows his head before you.

Then you reach the village, where all is lost.

>(cont.)
>>
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The Muckraker village is one of those treehouse affairs strewn across a stretch of bog and connected with a network of rickety catwalks and rope bridges, with the houses themselves looking semi-organic - as if grown into the trees rather than built.

Completely ruining what would otherwise be a pleasant ambiance is an unhealthy amount of kobold corpses, Misshapen and fire.

"No," Targun says, looking aghast at the carnage. "Too late."

"No, look!" Koriat points. "Tribe fights!"

Indeed, off in the distance, you see a small hill rise from the bog, crested by some sort of monolith. A ring of kobolds is formed around it, fending off Misshapen attacks.

Koriat and Targun dash off in that direction and you have little choice to follow as you realize they've stopped responding to both verbal and GCI orders. However, as you run, Banished suddenly overtakes you, catches up to the others, and tackles both of them just as they're about to run into the open.

"No fun," you hear him repeating forcefully as you catch up. "No fun. No fun at all. Death comes."

You follow his gaze and you see it: your HUD marks it as a Hidden King Envoy.

And it's a goddamn naga.

Large too - the upright part of its body towers above the Brutes as it makes its way through their line. It then looks at the fallen Misshapen around the defenders. It looks at the kobolds - who, in comparison to the Envoy, look positively tiny.

"Your crime: theft," it speaks in a sibilant that nevertheless somehow carries well enough for you to hear perfectly. "Your punishment: death. How dare you resist?"

"Muckraker Tribe not thieves!" a kobold speaks out from among the throng. "Always obedient. Always loyal!"

"It has been decreed otherwise," the Envoy hisses.

And then the killing begins.

It can't even be called a fight. The naga is fast - surprisingly so, given its bulk. You watch a few kobolds attempt Banished's tactic of leaping at it from the catwalks above, only for the Envoy to either sway its body out of the way or even bisect the would-be attacker in mid air.

You watch kobolds with spears brace for its charge, only to die to a weapon exceeding their reach by several lengths.

You watch archers attempt to pepper the Envoy with arrows from above only to have their platforms smashed apart and fall to their death.

You watch and do nothing because you haven't the faintest clue of what you could do against a monster this powerful - even if you could somehow get through the twenty or so Brutes between where you stand and where it is wiping out the Muckraker Tribe. Also, with the way Banished keeps holding down the other two kobolds as they curse and struggle against him and with simply the whole setup... you can tell a cutscene when you're watching one.

>(cont.)
>>
Soon, all the kobold defenders are dead or dying. The Envoy motions at one of the Brutes, who follows as it slithers up to the monolith.

"To steal from the Hidden Kings once is folly," the naga declares to no one in particular and holds out its hand, into which the Brute places a satchel. "To steal twice - by taking the lives of other servants - is madness. To steal thrice - by being punished and thus denying the Hidden Kings one's labor - is unforgivable."

With that, the Envoy pulls a large, black crystal out of the satchel and places it down on a small altar in front of the monolith.

"But poor servants can yet make good slaves."

With those words, the crystal pulses. There is a brief feeling of pressure in your ears and the air begins to feel... oily. Both Koriat and Targun let out a sharp gasp, shudder, and go limp. In the warband window, a debuff icon shows up next to both their names.

"What's happening?" you wheel on Banished, who seems unaffected. "What's going on?"

"Tribe's Heart under attack," despite lacking any debuffs, the kobold looks positively ill. "Is end. End of Muckraker Tribe."

"What about Koriat and Targun? Are they going to die?" you demand.

Banished looks down and remains silent for long enough that you begin expecting an "I don't understand."

"Away," he says instead. "Carry away. Carry far. Maybe, if far enough from Tribe's Heart, they survive."

As he speaks, a new objective pops up on your HUD, instructing you to flee the village - along with a timer that begins counting down from 10 minutes.

However, a moment later, another objective appears:

>Optional: Defeat the Hidden King Envoy and save Muckraker Tribe's Heart (Impossible)

"Uh... what?" you blink and turn toward the Envoy, who is waving its arms above the crystal and hissing unintelligible words. Around him, the Brutes have closed ranks.

What kind of game just tosses an "impossible" objective at you? Is this a trick? A trap? Some dev's idea of a joke?

A tooltip appears on your HUD. It reads: "Sometimes, there is no victory: only degrees of loss."

The countdown reaches 9:45.

>Lesson understood. Complete the tutorial with your warband intact.
>Lesson rejected. Begin planning how to defeat the Envoy.
>>
Whew, okay. Even if we reject the lesson, I don't think we can save the Heart.

What I DO think we can do, if we're crazy enough to try, is steal the black crystal and run the hell away. But I don't expect anyone from the Warband to survive that of-

Oh gods, I have an idea. Here's the plan, would like some discussion before actually pushing on it as a vote:
>Hide Koriat and Targun somewhere
>Have Banished sneak up on the platforms and rafts above that still remain.
>Shoot a Traceless Shot at the black crystal. Aggro the army to chase us.
>Banished takes the Crystal while they're distracted
This pretty much depends on how well Banished can execute and if the Naga has ranged moves.
>>
>>3504634
>Lesson rejected. Begin planning how to defeat the Envoy.
>>
>>3504634
>>Lesson rejected. Begin planning how to defeat the Envoy.
>>
>>3504634
>Lesson understood. Complete the tutorial with your warband intact
>>
>>3504634
>Lesson rejected. Begin planning how to defeat the Envoy.
>>
>>3504647
“You died in the tutorial, congratulations! Your performance was lower than: 99.98% of players!”

We tried conditional commands earlier that were much simpler than what you’re asking and they did not work. Why do you think this sort of plan will?

This was an option for powergamers who didn’t do the tutorial mission until they were Infamy 5.
>>
>>3505027
Technically we could time the shot to happen just as Banished gets into position.

But yeah the odds are pretty sketchy. Don't know why everyone is voting to go ahead with it without changing anything.
>>
>>3504634
>Lesson understood
>>
>>3504634
>Lesson understood. Complete the tutorial with your warband intact.

Guys this isn't a shounen, sometimes shit happens, and to be honest they're only going to be disposable minions
against lord lame.
>>
>>3504647
Why don't we have Banished carry the other two far away to save them, while we try to steal/destroy the black crystal and run in a different direction. Give them a place to meet us at, maybe the tower we met them? Could be worth a shot.

Probably best to just leave, but man I don't want to ignore the impossible quest after it appeared.
>>
>>3504634
In case it wasn’t clear: Lesson learned
>>
>>3504634

>Lesson understood. Complete the tutorial with your warband intact.
>>
>>3504634
Just found this and it definitely caught my interest.
This is a choice between risking nothing and losing less or risking everything with everything to gain.
Personally I'm more inclined to be a bit risky but trying to take the naga on directly is suicide.
I vote for dragging our comrades away for about 7.1/2 or 8 minutes then sprinting back and shooting an arrow or throwing a dagger at the envoy, finally booking it out of there afterwards.
>>
>>3504634
>Lesson rejected. Begin planning how to defeat the Envoy.
>>
>>3504687
>>3504938
>>3505009
>>3505444
>>3505532
Reject the lesson.

>>3504953
>>3505055
>>3505105
>>3505158
>>3505382
Accept the lesson.

>>3504647
>>3505027
>>3505131
Unclear/non-committal.

Welp.
>>
>>3505131
>>3506355
I'll switch to accept the lesson. Could very well be the only reason slaying the Naga exists as a quest is to dissuade players from trying it and doing something stupid. Between the impossible tag and the tooltip, it doesn't really feel like there's anything we can do, even if I still wanna try.

Gotta resist the impulse and focus on trying to save these guys.
>>
>>3506380
I'll take that. There is no shounen to be had here.
>>
>>3506355
Was the Supreme Jerk still on our tracking hud? Maybe we could have kited the Naga to him, or vice versa...
>>
>>3507533
Heh, that'd get rid of one of our problems for sure, two even if we're lucky. But I kind of doubt it, tutorial missions like this are normally run separate just as a general rule of thumb.
>>
Rolled 56 (1d100)

>>3507533
It was stated to be in an instance, so no.

>>3504634
>Lesson understood
>>
>>3507533
Definitely instanced. If we could do that, then a dummy account/champion partnership could potentially grind Nagas over and over.
>>
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It's so very, very tempting to ignore the tooltip. To choose to believe that "impossible" stands for merely "very difficult" and that if you accept the challenge and come up with something clever, you're going to win and receive some amazing reward.

Except that, even though you've only been playing TGO for a couple of hours, you've already seen enough to know this is wishful thinking. The game doesn't pull punches. If you fuck up, you fuck up, and you usually don't get a chance to recover. And when you die, it causes quantifiable loss - even after factoring in your 3-day newbie shield.

So you accept the lesson and accept what you've seen and what your instincts are telling you: that the Envoy is this game's equivalent of an elite, or even a boss monster. And that you have nowhere near the skills or equipment to even approach him without being turned into fine red mist.

"Alright," you turn to Banished again. "Let's leave."

He picks up Targun, slinging the Muckraker over his shoulder. You do the same with Koriat, grunting under the weight.

"This way," Banished motions with his head.

Carrying the two unconscious kobolds slows you down significantly, as anything faster than a walk starts drains your stamina quickly while also causing your fatigue gain to spike. There is also the problem of Misshapen wandering the village, though the path Banished chooses conveniently lets you avoid most of them.

Most being the operative word. You are two thirds of the way out of the village with six minutes remaining on the countdown and, as you're crossing a mossy jetty, there is a sharp growl behind you and you turn to see a Misshapen Hound some thirty meters away staring right at you.

And there are two more Hounds standing right behind it.

"Here!" Banished yells and you turn just in time to see him unceremoniously dump Targun's unconscious body into a rough-looking canoe that you... well, you mostly took it for a prop, to be honest - realistic water physics have remained a significant enough challenge for modern processors that most games used simplified models, which inevitably led to weirdness, glitches, and exploits, to the point where many devs would simply give up on implementing watercraft entirely.

There's that saying about assumptions - how did it go again?

>(cont.)
>>
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As the Hounds charge, you follow suit, throwing Koriat into the boat and stepping in yourself while Banished cuts the rope tying it to the jetty, pushes you off, jumps in, grabs an oar, and yells "Row!" while pointing at another one.

You grab it, sit down, and row - or rather, your body does, since you yourself wouldn't know where to start. The next half a minute or so gets rather frantic: the Hounds skid to a halt on the jetty - one falls into the water while the other two begin barking and howling up a storm, which in turn draws the attention of other Misshapen, who run toward the shore, throwing javelins and axes toward your retreating backs.

None hit and you're soon out of range and heading toward a fog bank that you're not entirely even was there five minutes ago. Looking back toward the village, there is a dark pall hanging over it, as if night was falling, but only in that particular area. The last thing you see before the fog swallows the canoe is something like a storm cloud forming above the treetops.

Then it's just the boat gliding across the water, surrounded by fog on all sides.

Banished stops rowing and sets down his oar and you take that as cue to do likewise.

"What now?" you ask him and then realize it's probably too open ended a question. "Where are we going?"

"Fog decide," he replies cryptically.

Huh. Some kind of fast travel system? Or just a "spooky" instance exit?

"Are we far enough?" you say, noticing that the countdown is still active: at 3 minutes now. "Will Koriat and Targun survive?"

"Maybe."

"And then what?" you demand, your own voice surprisingly loud and harsh to your ears.

"You're angry."

"Just frustrated, I guess. I know running away was the smart choice, but still, is this it? It just feels so unsatisfactory to... to just walk away without any real resolution, you know?"

There is a small chime and an "Event Complete!" pops up in the center of your HUD, followed by a bunch of tooltips and a list of rewards, which you prioritize. In addition to the loot picked up within the instance, you obtain a small amount of Unbound XP, a worn leather backpack imbued with a slight weight reduction bonus to anything carried inside, and a small bone warhorn - a Bound Item with a once per 24h "Scrapper's Call" ability, whose description states that, while out of combat, it instantly fills out the user's personal warband slots without any Cohesion penalties. All the items appear under a woven tarp at the front of the boat and you're busy rearranging your belongings, when you frown and look at Banished.

>{{You are leaving an instance}}

"What did you say?" you ask.

The kobold stares back at you blankly. The fog around the canoe begins to thin.

Just then, both Targun and Koriat cry out loudly and sit up, eyes snapping open. They look around - then at one another.

"Tribe gone," Targun says quietly.

"Tribe gone," Koriat echoes.

They both look... lost.

You also notice a debuff icon under each of their names.

>(cont.)
>>
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The emotional turmoil in their faces looks convincing enough that, even knowing these are just NPCs acting out a script, you still hesitate to intrude on their grief - if only for a moment.

"That Envoy was too strong for any of us to do anything," you pick one of the gentler prompts. "We barely managed to escape. But we're alive and we need to decide what's next."

"Vengeance," Targun replies instantly.

"Vengeance for Muckraker Tribe," Koriat nods.

"Stupid," Banished snorts, and the other two turn on him with cries of anger but he continues. "What vengeance? What tribe? Tribe gone, ey? None here of tribe. But all here of kobold. And what do kobold do? What kobold's one job?"

Targun mutters something you're sure is supposed to be a curse. Koriat simply glares at Banished sullenly.

"One job: survive," Banished says, undeterred. "If no tribe. If no purpose. One purpose: survive."

"Kobold small. Weak," Koriat counters. "Tribe is how kobold survive."

Banished just gives him a long look. Which is where the game prompts you to interject.

"But you didn't really survive on your own, Banished," you say. "You lived close to the Muckrakers - took advantage of the tribe keeping away large predators and other threats."

"But Tribeless did," Targun speaks up unexpectedly. "When meet, Tribeless alone. And alive."

You find yourself the source of scrutiny by three pairs of eyes.

"Is true?" Banished asks.

"Is magic?" Koriat pipes up with unexpected energy and points at your dagger - which still has the augment slotted into it. "Is how Tribeless survive alone?"

Hm. The ability to respawn would count as magic in a certain sense, wouldn't it?

"It's tough," you opt for an indirect answer - and one that leads into the entire purpose of this exchange. "Sometimes, too tough. But there are four of us now. We fought together. We protected one another. So how about we now try and survive together?"

The other kobolds make a show of considering your words.

"Agreement," Targun is the first to speak up. "Tribeless show: can fight. Can lead. Will follow."

"Tribeless have magic, can protect kobolds," Koriat nods with an almost embarrassing amount of earnestness. "Will follow."

Then they both turn toward Banished, who shrugs.

"Why not," he says with an overtly dismissive tone. "But if so, Banished not Banished, ey? And Tribeless," he looks at you. "Not Tribeless. Tribeless... Chief."

And with that, your HUD informs you that the three kobolds are no longer temporary warband members, followed by half a dozen tooltips informing you about unlocked features and abilities. But what really draws your attention is the handful of lines that pop up in the active quest window:

>Path of Vengeance
>-- Koriat, Targun, and Banished are alive (3/3)
>--Revisit the Muckraker village site

Huh. Then you do a double take as you notice that the marker associated with the quest shows it to be nearly ten kilometers away.

"The hell... where did this fog take us?"

>(cont.)
>>
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Just then, the canoe clears the last few strands of fog, there is a shout somewhere off to the side and an arrow whizzes between you and Koriat.

"Enemy!" Koriat yells, pointing.

Archer. Huma- no, elf. HUD designation: Leggy Lass.

A Champion. Shit.

Area around you: still swamp. Bit of a bayou. Open. Small island ahead, to the right: twenty meters. Archer off to the left: forty meters.

>Tell everyone to lie low. Try and redirect canoe toward the island to regroup on dry land
>Capsize the boat. Everyone's going swimming. Ideally, away from the archer.
>Other
>>
>>3508389
>Capsize the boat. Everyone's going swimming. Ideally, away from the archer.
>>
>>3508389
>Capsize the boat
>Stay inside the boat, using it as shelter
>Ask the party if there are any monsters in the water
>Drift towards the trees

Spearbold can still use the boat when we split off. The archer will still be busy with 2 counter archers once we get height advantage
>>
>>3508389
Well the current dragged us down stream ten kilometers in however long, chances are the current was fairly strong at one point on the surface, and the water is always stronger under the surface.
Then again the water physics were just described as wonky at best, if we tip the boat we might all die. Leggy lass has already demonstrated his bad aim.
Honestly do we even know if the other kobolds can swim?
Ugh, this just seems like a bad Idea to me.

>Tell everyone to lie low. Try and redirect canoe toward the island to regroup on dry land
Flip knife ears off as we go past. Best we can hope for is he's stupid and will come into the water after us to the island, maybe waterlog and mess up his bow string in the process.

>>3508410
If we tip the boat everyone should absolutely still hang onto it.
>>
>>3508389
>>Tell everyone to lie low. Try and redirect canoe toward the island to regroup on dry land
>>
>>3508389
>Tell everyone to lie low. Try and redirect canoe toward the island to regroup on dry land
>>
>>3508389
>>Tell everyone to lie low. Try and redirect canoe toward the island to regroup on dry land
>>
>>3508463
Supporting.
>>
>>3508463
Supporting only as long as we channel Urist the dwarf in some way.
>>
>>3508387
Capsize the boat. Everyone's going swimming. Ideally, away from the archer.
>>
>>3508876
What about capsizing the boat, holding onto it from below, and swimming with it as cover against the arrows to the other shore?

Although honestly I’d be down for trying to take this MF down too.
>>
>>3509256
We captn jack noe?
Il be down for that if we are able to do it
>>
>>3508393
>>3508410
>>3508876
>>3509256
>>3509403
Capsizing.

>>3508463
>>3508539
>>3508656
>>3508667
>>3508810
>>3508860
Lying low.
>>
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"Down!" you order, dropping below the lip of the canoe. The kobolds simply stare at you.

"I don't und-"

"Go prone!" you yell frantically, but it's too late - an arrow strikes Targun in the shoulder, his body twisting with the force of the impact as he drops to the bottom of the boat.

Koriat and Banished follow suit, though they, at least, do so to follow your order.

"Targun," you call out, noticing his name turning orange in the warband window. "You alive? Uh... status?"

"Wounded," your hear in return to your relief. "Bleeding."

There is a thud and the whole boat vibrates slightly - you realize an arrow must've struck the side of the hull.

"Banished!" you address the dagger user, recalling you saw something medicine related on his skill tree. "Remain prone. Assist- no, apply first aid to Targun."

"No curatives," Banished says, reminding you that you haven't even had a chance to sort out everyone's inventories yet.

You spend a few seconds furiously digging through your backpack in search of a poultice. In the time, another arrow glances off the lip of the canoe and tumbles through the air just overhead.

"Come out and die, you pussy!"

The distant voice is female, but that doesn't mean much these days. Your hand finally closes around a poultice and you toss it to Banished, repeating the order. Then you sit up.

And immediately lie down again. A second later, an arrow whizzes overhead.

You quickly sit back up again and plunge the oar into the water, giving it a couple good strokes before dropping down again to the tune of another arrow flying past.

"Coward! Pussy! Bitch!" the abuse begins immediately. "You won't get away!"

Timing... You sit up again to see that the Champion is still nocking an arrow onto the string. You give the oar another push, finally aligning the canoe's nose with where you want to go. Then you drop, just as the elf looses an arrow.

Two and a half seconds to grab another arrow, nock, draw, loose. One second of travel before the projectile passes overhead. Consistently. Almost certainly relying on move-assist.

You rise and drop and this time no arrow comes flying. You grin and begin rising, only to drop the moment even a part of you shows over the canoe's lip.

Sure enough, an arrow flies past a second later. You rise, push the oar into the water two times, fall, let another arrow pass, rise again.

Move-assist is great. It lets one easily perform tasks that would take months to learn and years to master. Or to effectively move in bodies that are not one's own.

But it's false. There's no true skill being gained. It's all a program - a piece of software dictating motions. Ensuring they're precise. Mechanical. Predictable.

A single canoe rowing cycle, you've noticed, takes approximately two thirds of a second. Three strokes would be possible, but risky. Two is safe - gives you a margin of error when teasing shots from the elf, who's getting increasingly desperate with her own attempts to psych you out.

>(cont.)
>>
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"Fuck you!" she begins swearing as it's clear you're going to reach the island within a handful more strokes. "Fuck you! Bitch! Coward! I'll kill you anyway!"

"Nine," you mutter to yourself when another arrow flies over the boat.

"What do you even care?" the elf screams shrilly as the canoe's bottom scrapes across the ground. "You can just get new ones afterward!"

"Done," Banished informs you. Targun's arm is bandaged and his Bleeding status has disappeared, though his name remains orange in the warband window. Do NPCs even get health regeneration outside of combat? Something to test - if you all make it out alive.

You don't trust the NPCs' ability to grasp the concept of rolling over the lip of the canoe, so instead you rise and throw yourself against its side, causing the entire craft to tip sideways, spilling its occupants out into muddy, ankle-deep water.

"Remain prone, remain prone," you repeat the order, unsure how the kobolds would otherwise react. "Crawl there," you use GIS to set up a waypoint - then another, which should put the handful of trees growing on the island between them and the archer.

"Fine! Let's make a deal! I'll let you go, but only if you let me kill the blue ones! Huh? Huh? Answer me, you bitch!"

As the NPCs crawl away - Targun moving slower than the rest and visibly favoring his wounded arm - you remain behind, keeping the canoe tipped as a barrier between your warband and the archer. You hear one arrow, then another, thump into the underside.

"Eleven," you mutter. How much capacity would her quiver have? Surely, she's running out by now. There's no way they'd give Champions infinite ammunition... right?

Either they didn't, or the elf has realized shooting isn't getting her anywhere, because as you throw a quick glance over the top of the canoe, you see her putting away her bow, then fiddling with her belt and holding something up.

"Have it your way!" Leggy Lass shouts. "I'm coming for you, you scaly turd!"

This something then springs forth, unfolding into a... parasail? Kite? A contraption of wood and white cloth rises into the air - pulling the elf behind it - and begins rapidly approaching the island in a parabolic arc.

Just like that, you have incoming. What even is this bullshit.

>Targun's injured and your whole warband is out of position. And do you lose access to that quest if one of your NPCs dies? The risk's not worth it. Call a retreat.
>An archer spec won't be all that good in melee, right? Right? You can probably take her. Time to fight.
>Other
>>
>>3511418
>An archer spec won't be all that good in melee, right? Right? You can probably take her. Time to fight.

Having them disappear entirely and lose access to the plot would be super annoying, and I'd like to believe the creators wouldn't do such a thing, but we are just free-to-players. Regardless, we gotta learn how the game handles our warband dying, and we gotta keep trying to learn more about champions. We still have our death penalty protection, so let's do this!
>>
>>3511418
>An archer spec won’t be that good in melee (right?)
Banished, climb nearby tree.
Archerbold, climb other nearby tree.
Spearbold maintain hidden position (he’s the injured one right?)
If injured is archerbold, he should just mAintain position as well.

Champions don’t really seem to be very good players, relying on their considerable automatic strength instead. We should be able to disorient the elf with as many of us as there are.
>>
>>3511418
>>An archer spec won't be all that good in melee, right? Right? You can probably take her. Time to fight.

Have Banished climb up a tree and hide there, then bait Leggy Lass right below it and have him jumpstab the bitch while she's distracted melee fighting us, Koriat and Targun. Or if Targun has any ranged weapons have him behind us so she can't attack him.
>>
>>3511418
>Targun's injured and your whole warband is out of position. And do you lose access to that quest if one of your NPCs dies? The risk's not worth it. Call a retreat.
Yelling about "Irreplaceable Quest NPCs."
>>
Man, and I thought elves were shit before. What a fucking tool.
>>
>>3511418
Well if we have a bow (we have plenty of arrows, thank you leggy lass.) between us I'd say shoot her out of the sky. Aiming for her kite and watching how cocky she is after a hard landing hopefully onto a rock.

We're on an island so the only way to retreat would be to get back on the boat and she'd probably keep chasing us after that.

It takes time for her to get that thing out, it'll probably take time for her to put it away and get out a weapon.
I don't really want to risk losing our warband but it doesn't seem like we'd be going for retreat based on everyone else's answers, so I'll come up with a decent plan of attack.
If we have a bow have the locals who's best at shooting try knock her out of the sky, whether that's successful or not we shouldn't give this bitch a clear landing zone to pull out a weapon make sure that everyone that's not injured is close enough to her when she lands that within half a second we can swarm her but we're not right under her so nobody gets goomba stomped.

With how desperate she is for low level kills and her easily tilted nature I assume she's both bad and fairly new as well.
I wouldn't be surprised if she put points into melee as well but if she just followed some guide to make a mini max archer she's about to be in a world of hurt.
>>
>>3511510
Man I agree with you, if there's enough support I'd like to retreat to at least a better position but I'm just trying to make sure we have the highest chance of survival if we do fight her.
The other option really just sounds like underestimating her and that's really dangerous.
If there's enough support to retreat though then I'm supporting it as well and saying to ignore my post >>3511530
>>
>>3511418
>An archer spec won't be all that good in melee, right? Right? You can probably take her. Time to fight
Can we blow that horn we got first?
>>
>>3511418

>Targun's injured and your whole warband is out of position. And do you lose access to that quest if one of your NPCs dies? The risk's not worth it. Call a retreat.
Get our bow out and shoot in her kite hopefully itl drop her into the water
>>
>>3511646
Holes
>>
>>3511510
+1
>>
>>3511418
>Have Banished and Koriat climb the trees
>Order Targun to stay under the canoe. Let's just wait until the champion walks past the canoe for an easy surround
>Shoot the sail, order Koriat to shoot the champion
Hopefully she's weaker than Lord Fool. Delay the poison so she sticks around longer.
>>
>>3511530
+1
>>
>>3511560
Think we can still yell? She might pause at least. Killing some random is normal, but fucking up a questline is just rude.
>>
>>3512642
She likely doesn't give a fuck, I've kinda been assuming that she was camping this spot because she knows low level kobolds come out here almost completely defenceless and she's just trying to grind us for exp or gold.
>>
>>3511418
>Targun's injured and your whole warband is out of position. And do you lose access to that quest if one of your NPCs dies? The risk's not worth it. Call a retreat.

We've already tried fighting a champion, our chances of defeating this guy are pretty low
>>
>>3511450
>>3511453
>>3511454
>>3511581
>>3512322
Let's have a fight.

>>3511510
>>3511646
>>3512667
Let's not.

>>3511530
>>3512621
"Add my vote to the winning option"

>>3511581
Unfortunately, the horn only works outside combat.
>>
>>3513444
>"Add my vote to the winning option"
That's not exactly what I meant but I suppose it's pretty close.
I was more going for damage control if we were going to fight which is what it looked like everyone was voting for.
>>
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For a moment, you hesitate. Do you really want to risk losing access to what seems like a unique, one-off quest for the sake of a random fight?

But it's only for a moment.

"Koriat, climb, Banished, climb, Targun, hide!" you fire off orders while setting markers on the island's trees and bushes. You roll away from the canoe and onto your feet, equipping the bow as you do so.

The Champion will be here long before you get a prediction line - you realize. So you hold your shot until she's close enough to hit reliably: some 10 meters from the island and already descending to land somewhere behind you - with virtually no transversal to account for. Not for lack of trying on her part: she sees you taking aim and the way she starts swaying her body suggests she's attempting to - unsuccessfully - alter the path of her flight.

You loose the arrow, aimed not at the elf, but at the contraption she's flying. You're not hoping for much: maybe just enough structural damage to foul up her landing somewhat. Which is why you grimace when the arrow passes clear through the cloth of a wing with minimal damage.

And then gape as, an instant later, half the wing simply shreds, as if hit with an explosive charge.

The contraption instantly enters a wild corkscrew, the elf screaming shrilly as she's flung about with centrifugal force far in excess of what the thing should be able to generate. She loses her grip right at the apex of a swing, just as the flyer dives toward the water - and she's flung toward the island, cartwheeling through the air, still screaming.

The force with which she slams head-first into the ground would likely kill her in the real world. In the game, it takes off nearly half of her HP bar and inflicts the Dazed condition - if only for the next two seconds.

>Rush her with the dagger to inflict as much damage as possible before getting clear once she recovers
>Start pinging her with arrows while retreating to put the canoe between the two of you - keeping her attention away from the others as they get in position
>Her bow is nowhere to be seen - probably in whatever hyperdimensional storage Champions get. But there is a large dagger on her belt - would the game let you steal it?
>Other
>>
>>3513599
>Rush her with the dagger to inflict as much damage as possible before getting clear once she recovers
Try to get her into an ambush
>>
>>3513599
>Start pinging her with arrows while retreating to put the canoe between the two of you - keeping her attention away from the others as they get in position
>>
>>3513599
>Her bow is nowhere to be seen - probably in whatever hyperdimensional storage Champions get. But there is a large dagger on her belt - would the game let you steal it?
If not then oh well.
>>
>Rush her with the dagger to inflict damage
>>
>>3513599
>Her bow is nowhere to be seen - probably in whatever hyperdimensional storage Champions get. But there is a large dagger on her belt - would the game let you steal it?

If we can take her dagger and stab her with it it'd help a lot with our chance of winning, though if it doesn't work, we need to immediately distance ourselves.

Our main advantage is being able to have two of our warband aid us, Banished by dropping ontop of her and stabbing her, and Koriat with his bow. If we try to rush her ourselves we likely lose that advantage.

Disarming her melee option is worth the risk, I think, but there's no way we'll be able to take out her remaining health before she retaliates, and if we haven't disarmed her trying to stab her to death before she kills us isn't going to work.
>>
>>3513599
>Her bow is nowhere to be seen - probably in whatever hyperdimensional storage Champions get. But there is a large dagger on her belt - would the game let you steal it?
>>
>>3513599
>Rush her with the dagger to inflict as much damage as possible before getting clear once she recovers
The risk of the dagger being bound is too high. Better to just end her as fast as possible.
>>
>>3513599
>>Rush her with the dagger to inflict as much damage as possible before getting clear once she recovers

Use our Spot Weakness ability.
>>
>>3513883
True dat
Also have we put the unbound exp we have into anything yet?
>>
>>3513599
>>Rush her with the dagger to inflict as much damage as possible before getting clear once she recovers
We should poison her and then back off immediately
>>
>>3513842
She probably doesn't have unarmed combat skills as well, but it looks like we're rushing her. I'm doubtful we'll get to loot her if we kill her though.
As a side note, we'd better poison her if we do rush her.
>>
>>3513959
No poison yet, if we do that we might not get a chance to repair the stone later.
But otherwise, yes rush her and try to grab her dagger as well
>>
>>3513599
Well further disabling her ability to fight would be a great idea by steal her knife we don't know if she has any other weapons in her hammerspace pocket or whatever.

Voting for
>Her bow is nowhere to be seen - probably in whatever hyperdimensional storage Champions get. But there is a large dagger on her belt - would the game let you steal it?
Then retreat having our warband cover us with bows pinging her as long as she's chasing us or is trying to pull out her bow, if she starts to head towards them they are to retreat and we turn around and start stabbing her, if she starts to pull out her bow we turn around and start stabbing as well.

If we go with doing at much damage as we can most of these orders would still work but if she pulls out her dagger we'd obviously not get within range rather we'd ping at her with ranged weapons retreating when she'd be chasing us our warband doing the same when she's after them.
>>
>>3514013
Stealing*

Also could we try stabbing her in the neck and spine while simultaneously trying to steal her dagger with our tail?
If we can the door that, we have a long dexterous tail we should use it.
>>
>>3514040
>the door
Do*
All these auto corrects are incredibly frustrating.
>>
It's always possible the knife is just cosmetic. Part of the outfit.
>>
>>3514046
Eh, Lord Supreme wore his sword in a scabbard as well as I recall.

>>3513599
>Go for blood, steal her dagger and murderize her with it.
>>
>>3513905
Then swap to spear keep her at arns reach but too short for her to which to bow
>>
>>3514121
I mostly want the poison because I expect her to try and chug a potion right now. The poison will at least help, and I think killing a champion ups our infamy which I consider if higher priority than saving our poison charges. The spear cannot cause poison.
>>
>>3513599
>Start pinging her with arrows while retreating to put the canoe between the two of you - keeping her attention away from the others as they get in position
We don't want her to run away by trying tricksy stuff. Taunt her and piss her off
>>
>>3514122
The dagger will posin her when it makes a hit.
After we posisened her swap to spear.
We can turnt her all we want
>>
>>3513599
>Start pinging her with arrows while retreating to put the canoe between the two of you - keeping her attention away from the others as they get in position
>>
>>3513612
>>3513723
>>3513873
>>3513883
>>3513893
>>3513905
Damage is best.

>>3513669
>>3513842
>>3513859
>>3513981
>>3514013
>>3514075
Stealing is best.

>>3513649
>>3514169
>>3514169
>>3514373
Distraction is best.

Looks like we have a tie. Going to wait for a bit and if it doesn't swing either way, I'll see about combining the two options the way some anons want to try (mind you, there is a reason they're distinct votes).
>>
>>3515308
>Rush her with the dagger to inflict as much damage as possible before getting clear once she recovers
>>
>>3515308
>Steal dagger AND use your own dagger to dual-wield daggers and fuck her day up.
>>
>>3515308
where is Targun hiding?
>>
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>>3515308
we'll steal her dagger alright, AFTER WE KILL HER MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA >Rush her with the dagger to inflict as much damage as possible before getting clear once she recovers
>>
>>3515315
>>3515427
Do damage.

>>3515348
Do both.

I'll take that as a majority for just stabbing the shit out of her.

>>3515389
In some bushes toward the middle of the island.
>>
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Fractions of a second count - you don't bother holstering your bow, dropping it to the ground as you dash toward the champion, drawing your dagger and activating Spot Weakness.

Despite Leggy Lass wearing a lesser grade of armor than Lord Supreme, the weak spots are still clustered around the head and face - daggers really do have a junk armor penetration stat.

You reach the Champion with 0.8s left on the Dazed duration, sink your blade into her neck at 0.6s. At 0.3s you plunge it into her right eye and, as the debuff expires, make a fast swing that slices open her cheek - you activate Earth's Venom for it too.

Then you leap away - just in time to avoid her fist.

"Cheater!" she cries, rolling to her feet and drawing the dagger from her belt. "Asshole! Do you have any idea how much those things cost?"

Once again, you get a stark reminder of the power gap between Champions and f2p players - your attacks, which left her face a gory ruin, have shaved off maybe 15% of the elf's remaining HP.

Then poison damage ticks and she loses another 5%.

"What the fuck! Poison?" she shrills. "You shit, you were supposed to use that up in your instance!"

She looks off to the side, her eyes seeming to lose focus. A moment later, a vial materializes in her free hand.

But you're already moving, taking advantage of this momentary lapse in concentration. You anticipated her using a healing potion after the amount of damage she took in the fall. Or perhaps it's actually an antidote - you wonder, ducking under the elf's wild swing and shoving one hand up, into the elbow of the arm she brought up to drink the vial - causing her to mash it into her nose instead.

There is a crunch of crushed glass and Leggy Lass stumbles away, her face and hand coated in an iridescent liquid.

"You're not supposed to do that!" she blinks, flabbergasted as you dodge away - after stabbing your dagger into her thigh. "What the fuck? Cheater! Hax!"

Did she really expect you to just stand there and let her recover? Does she think this is a turn based game? Regardless, you take a moment to check on the position of your warband. Banished, being the far better climber, is already in position in his tree - though Leggy Lass is nowhere near enough to let him leap at her. Koriat is still only two thirds of the way up his.

Poison damage ticks, taking another chunk out of her HP and you rush forward again, knowing you need to maintain pressure.

But then Leggy Lass kicks dirt in your face.

It's quite unexpected, especially given that you're both fighting on muddy grass. Still, you're engulfed in a cloud of dirt, small, sharp stones peppering your nose and eyes - and your vision goes dark.

You're Blinded for 1.5 seconds.

>Rush forward, aiming for where you know Leggy Lass is - try and knock her over. Risky, but you can't give her a chance to use a recovery item.
>Back off - her wounds may not matter, but yours do. You can't risk a potentially crippling blow.
>Other
>>
>>3515587
>Back off - her wounds may not matter, but yours do. You can't risk a potentially crippling blow.
I wonder if pocket sand is a skill or if it's just a Champion only thing... Oh and try rapidly blinking as we back off, it might count as an action to clear our vision.
>>
>>3515587
>>Other
Back off, but towards the tree our warband is in.
Actually, if the tree is behind Leggy Lass, we should knock her backwards... where's the tree?
>>
>>3515616
>>3515628
Fairly important detail, I just assumed we would be going towards the ambush point.
>>
>>3515587
>Back off - her wounds may not matter, but yours do. You can't risk a potentially crippling blow.
>>
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>>3515666
I'm about to leave for work, so here's a very quick and dirty situational map. If people want, I can explain how everyone ended up in these positions when I'm back.
>>
Rolled 39 (1d100)

>>3515587
>Rush forward and tackle her
If we don't make contact we can always just keep going past her.
>>
Dive for the ambush spot! Also:

>you were supposed to use that up in your instance!

Holy hell I thought it was just random bad luck but she was camping to take us and other players out. If we really can permanently lose our warband Imma be so pissed off that she'd do such a thing.
>>
>>3515712
It'll feel good to loot her goddamn corpse.
>>
>>3515712
We can lose our current people permanently. They're quest NPC's, and our objective is to keep them alive.
>>
>>3515587
>Back off - her wounds may not matter, but yours do. You can't risk a potentially crippling blow
>>
>>3515587
>>Back off - her wounds may not matter, but yours do. You can't risk a potentially crippling blow.

Run to Banished tree, hopefully Leggy Lass will follow and Banished can jumpstab the bitch.
>>
Hopefully she doesn't actually have any antidotes since she was banking on people coming out of the instance having used their poison in it. If she doesn't then she's kind of SOL since we can play poke and run until it runs its course.
>>
>>3515587
>Back off - her wounds may not matter, but yours do. You can't risk a potentially crippling blow.
Run to the tree.
>>
>>3515587
Yep, she was camping the exit to our instance. Congratulations, you're a terrible player. We'll have to be really careful of that from now on if we do any more of our quests, we'll need to get some way of escaping from someone who's better then this.
Smoke bombs or pocket sand or something.
Also she's just made the case of getting glasses or something to protect our eyes pretty strong.

Without being able to see the chance we'll miss or just hit her armor is much higher but we can't let her heal if she's smart enough to try use this opportunity to heal, which granted she might not be.

Try to shoulder charge her and hit one of her legs, if we hit at least we might knock her of balance or at most we might cause her to fall over or shatter her knee cap.
If we miss then we get out of her range pretty quickly and leave it up to our warband to keep her from healing.
She hadn't even drawn her dagger yet so we're probably alright to try and attack and if she's trying to draw it then we might interrupt her action again.
>>
>>3515817
+1
>>
>>3515911
Wait, yes she has drawn her dagger, my mistake. Maybe retreating isn't a bad idea.
She's at at least twenty five percent health, probably lower because we stabbed her in the thigh but we have no information on how much that did.

The important thing is trying to predict what her next move would be. If she'd try to use this opening to attack us or down a potion.
The latter relies on her having another (presumably) expensive potion and she's desperate enough to try use it without backing up.
Or if she's going to try end this quickly to heal later.
I think the former is more likely but they are about equal chance.

But while I was rereading the last post something came to me, it's a bad idea but who knows maybe someone will like it.

>It's quite unexpected, especially given that you're both fighting on muddy grass.
We're on muddy grass, presumably it's pretty slippery.
We could attempt to aqua plane across it along our scaly body, either to get away or to slam into her shins and knock her over.
Now I'm under no illusions, this is a stupid plan but the imagery and possible reactions to this from Leggy made me chuckle a little bit so I decided to share.

I don't mind going with the safer route of backing off and heading for the ambush point, there is some wisdom in it. But if we do we should absolutely taunt her and try our best to get her to chase us by throwing out all sorts of insults.
For example.

"You were camping here waiting for us and yours still getting your ass handed to you by something half your size!"

"I'm sorry that you need to spend a ton of money on items because you're terrible at the game!"

"I'm not cheating, you're just stupid."
>>
>>3516178
We will be her Lord Supreme
>>
>>3515587
Do we still have that woolen tarp? If we do:
>Swing it out in a wide sweep, trying to catch her arm and twirl her around
safer than tackling, anyway.

If not:
>Back off - her wounds may not matter, but yours do. You can't risk a potentially crippling blow.
>>
>>3515587
>Back off - her wounds may not matter, but yours do. You can't risk a potentially crippling blow.
>>
>>3515587
>Rush forward, aiming for where you know Leggy Lass is - try and knock her over. Risky, but you can't give her a chance to use a recovery item.
>>
>>3515616
>>3515628
>>3515680
>>3515712
>>3515796
>>3515817
>>3515868
>>3516074
>>3516482
>>3517060
Back off (toward the ambush spot)

>>3515705
>>3515911
>>3517254
Rush her,
>>
>>3517517
We should goad her into anger. She may not heal or swap to her bow (both really bad for us) and she may hopefully act stupid. Our success is contingent on her making mistakes
>>
>>3517675
Agreed.
>>
>>3517675
+1
>>
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You jump, anticipating a follow-up attack. But as you hit the ground and roll, back to your feet, you hear a triumphant "Ha! Gotcha!" and your blindness clears to show you Leggy Lass already downing a potion - which instantly restores half her missing health.

Some of your dismay must be showing in your expression, because the elf then brings her hand up to her mouth in faux shock.

"Oh, I'm sorry - did you think you were winning for a second?" she says with mock pity. "Just cause you cheat and fight dirty, you thought you could stand up to a real player?"

The poison ticks again, shaving a few - now seemingly insignificant - percent off her refilled health bar.

And you chuckle and shake your head.

"I'm not cheating - you're just stupid," you reply. "And terrible at the game. That's what, two potions you've wasted so far? On top of that kite thing. You think anything you loot off me will come even close to covering their cost? And on top of that," you continue as the Champion stares at you, the triumph in her expression rapidly draining away to be replaced with anger, "you were lying in ambush and you still managed to miss your first shot. And now you're getting your ass kicked by something half your size! Shoot!"

It would've been nice for Koriat to shoot her right there and then, but as it is, the elf spends a good second standing there dumbfounded until an arrow whizzes high above your head and buries itself in the elf's chest. The damage isn't great, even with Koriat's Plunging Shots - but at least it's noticeable.

"You were distracting me!" Leggy Lass shakes off her surprise to state the blindingly obvious. "You cheater! I'll kill you!" she launches herself at you with a yell of rage.

Exactly the reaction you were hoping for.

You may have been blinded but your dodge was anything but - the island's trees are now behind you - and so you dance backward, avoiding the pursuing Champion's swings.

To make your goal less obvious, you do put up the pretense of a fight, performing a few feints and even darting in to score a couple shallow cuts, which means that by the time you're back is against the tree trunk, Leggy Lass has another arrow sprouting from her shoulder and has taken three more ticks of poison damage, once again bringing her health below half.

"Stop dodging, you little fuck!!" she yells with growing exasperation as you duck yet another uninspired, horizontal slice.

"How about you stop sucking instead?" you pant out - you do not have the stamina for this kind of prolonged exchange. At the same time, you dash past the elf before she can recover and she wheels on you - turning her back on the tree.

"If you think-" but whatever taunt :Leggy Lass was about to utter is lost in Banished's whooping battlecry as the kobold drops down on her, digs his feet into her shoulders, grabs her hair with one hand for support, and begins stabbing her around the head and neck.

>(cont.)
>>
"Fuck!" Leggy Lass panics momentarily, stumbling under this unexpected weight, but you know it won't lass - which is why you once again dash forward - and grab onto her dagger arm.

"What the- Ow! Shit! Let go! Cheater! Turd!" the Champion twists, tugs, and spins trying to shake you off, but you hold on with all your scrawny might - between the poison and Banished's barrage of attacks, her HP is basically melting now.

It can't last, however - this contest of strength is draining your stamina even faster and even should it last, the other player will eventually remember she has a second hand.

"Banished! Go!" mindful of what happened the last time you ordered a kobold to disengage, you've set up a waypoint you now ping, a few moments before you yourself will be forced to let go. Which is where things go wrong.

Banished ignores your order - or so it seems - as he continues stabbing Leggy Lass for a few more seconds before finally acknowledging you and leaping off her back.

Must be the low Cohesion, you belatedly realize as your stamina runs out and - just as the elf is swinging you around in an angry pirouette. Your grip loosens and you briefly become airborne before hitting the ground with a thud. You try to rise - but can't.

All you can do is rise to your knees weakly as your stamina bar flashes red and begins slowly - oh so slowly - filling back up.

Leggy Lass - looking like something out of a horror movie, her face a gory, unrecognizable mess, straightens up, transfixing you with her single surviving, hate-filled eye. Her HP bar, you note, is at a mere 15%.

Then the poison ticks again and Koriat shoots another arrow into her, and it's 8%. So close...

And then the dagger is gone from, her hand, the bow appearing in its place. Her ruined face splits in a grotesque smile.

"You lose," she declares, reaching for an arrow.

You're all but helpless and your warband's reaction time leaves something to be desired. And you have two seconds to come up with some brilliant plan.

>Have Koriat fall on her. He might react just in time to foul up her shot
>You still have the ability to fall over. Which might cause her to miss, assuming she'll be aiming for your head or chest. And assuming you can get the timing just right
>Other
>>
>>3519024
>You still have the ability to fall over. Which might cause her to miss, assuming she'll be aiming for your head or chest. And assuming you can get the timing just right
>>
>>3519024
>Bluff
>Ohoh? Not gonna down a third potion? You remember how big a kobold's warband is, right?
>Targun, attack!
>>
>>3519024
Fall over, say >>3519089 To make sure she's not looking and can't correct her shot.
Also order Banished to start coming back so we can make sure she dies before she can shoot another shot.


>>3519089
That would probably work, at least for a moment. It'd get her to look around at least.
Seconded.
>>
>>3519024
Well, this is bad...
>Throw knife at her in desperation
>Order warband to engage in melee

I don't think we can distract her again. She doesn't seem the brightest, but surely she wouldn't fall for it twice?

I think food can restore stamina but I'm not sure we can eat it quick enough.
>>
>>3519300
food restores fatigue, not stamina. We definitely don't have time to eat, too.

Throwing the knife is an option, but I think we need to dodge the first arrow SOMEHOW, first.
>>
>>3519307
Ah, right. That's a good point, I'm just kind of at a loss of options here. We could try to use our bag as a shield but I don't think we got anything in there that would block the arrow
>>
>>3519089
>>3519179
>>3519300
Sure. Psych her out while ordering our warband to attack. If she doesn't flinch then try to dodge out of the way of her first arrowand then throw our knife at her (bonus if we can re-poison her with it too, just to be sure). If she does flinch then throw our knife at her then.
>>
>>3519024
>>3519409
All of this.
>>
>>3519179
Supporting.
>>
>>3519300
She's at really low health and we've already ambushed her twice, I expect her to panic upon realising she hasn't seen our final kobold yet.
>>
>>3519077
>>3519179
>>3519521
Fall over

>>3519089
>>3519409
>>3519480
>>3519521
>>3519543
Bluff

>>3519300
>>3519307
Throw dagger for which MC lacks stamina at the moment. It's something he could do if he dodges/prevents/survives the shot, just not right this instant
>>
>>3520065
figured as much, that's fair.

I wonder how terrible the throw would even be. Technically we just need to nick bare flesh for poison to reproc, but even that is doubtful.
>>
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As the elf takes aim, you confidently look her straight in the eye and grin.

"How many kobolds were on the boat?" you ask and your gaze jumps sideways. "Attack!"

The Champion's eye widens slightly. Either she turns to face the perceived threat, or-

You're already falling as the arrow leaves the bow - though it still clips your shoulder as it flies past.

Then a lot of things start happening very quickly.

Leggy Lass wheels to face the - completely nonexistent - attacker and utters a loud "Fuck!" realizing she's been duped. Your stamina bar hits max and your strength returns - in an instant you're up and dashing toward her, yelling orders for your warband to attack as well.

The elf turns toward you, both you both know that you'll reach her long before she can draw and loose another arrow. Her leg rises slightly-

You make a sharp angle turn, far sharper than she (or even you) anticipated and the cloud of dust passes harmlessly by your side. You make another turn and then you're on her as she stumbles back, the bow only now dematerializing as she tries to switch back to a melee weapon. Which, for a brief moment, leaves her completely open.

You leap - pounce, really, striking her square in the chest, your weight and momentum turning her backward movement into a topple. You latch on, foot claws hooking into clothing and your free hand grabbing one of Koriat's arrows still stuck in her.

You plunge your dagger into her face almost before she hits the ground. Then you just keep stabbing and, moments later, you're joined by Banished and Targun, the three of you descending on her in a flurry of blows as she writhes, curses, and flails under you.

Annoyingly, it's still the poison damage that ultimately kills her. Nevertheless, kills her it does. The Champion is dead.

And you are alive.

Your fatigue is at just over 50%. There is blood all over you - largely hers, though when you try and rise, your left leg collapses under you, bleeding from a dagger wound you didn't even notice you've received.

You roll aside and begin applying the poultice - most similar games treat status effects as the player still being in combat, which could prevent the automatic health regen.

When you're done, you look at the corpse of Leggy Lass.

"You lose."

>(cont.)
>>
Half a minute later, regeneration kicks in, both for yourself and for your warband, Targun's name once again turning white in the Warband window. You also hear the rank-up chime.

Leadership Acquired: Rank 1

Huh. That was fast. You've been keeping an eye on the skill while in the instance, but it was increasing very slowly - you've only made 20% progress by the time the quest was over. Is there some sort of hidden bonus for fights against Champions, maybe?

Your Cohesion also jumps to "Average." But, perhaps most importantly, your maximum number of Warband members goes up from 5 to 6.

But you leave that aside for the moment, moving on to the most important part instead: the looting.

Or at least you try to. As you reach for the corpse, a small window appears over it, asking whether you'd like to take a trophy. A helpful tooltip then informs you that taking a trophy from a fallen Champion grants an increase to the rate of all your XP and Cohesion gains for as long as you keep it on your person, but that you will also be marked as a "Deadly" monster, marking you as a target for nearby Champions in a radius and for a duration that are both determined by your Infamy rating and the total number of trophies you're carrying.

>Take the trophy
>Decline

And for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON AT ALL, could I have two rolls of 4d4 and two rolls of 5d2?
>>
Rolled 4, 2, 2, 4 = 12 (4d4)

>>3520147
Why not
>take the trophy
>>
Rolled 2, 2, 1, 1, 2 = 8 (5d2)

>>3520147
I'll leave the other set for later anons.
>>
Rolled 4, 2, 2, 3 = 11 (4d4)

>>3520147
>Take the trophy
>>
Rolled 1, 2, 1, 2, 1 = 7 (5d2)

>>3520147
>>
Rolled 2, 1, 1, 1, 1 = 6 (5d2)

>>3520147
>Take the trophy

Well it wears off. This might be our 1 shot to get the bonus while our Infamy is 0. Get ready to run far and fast, though. I don't trust the warband's stealth quite yet.
>>
Rolled 2, 1, 2, 2, 1 = 8 (5d2)

>>3520147
Rolling just in case OP would like more different people rolling, otherwise ignore that.

This does raise a ton of questions about how this works but only two are immediately pressing.
One, can we pick what trophy we get?
And two, can we put off taking said trophy until we're all fully healed and rested.

If the answer to the latter is yes then we should probably do that.

Personally I think it's way too risky to put a target like that on our back so early into the game but I'm kind of on the fence about it.
>>
I dont think we should do this, but im wondering if we can have banished take the trophy. Does the Deadly modifier affect his AI?
>>
>>3520205
An NPC taking it is not an option. Trophies are player only.
>>
>>3520147
>in a radius and for a duration that are both determined by your Infamy rating and the total number of trophies you're carrying.
>>Take the trophy

Because our Infamy rating is still low and it's only one trophy the radius and duration will be low, so I think the risk is worth it.
>>
>>3520147
>Take the trophy
>>
>>3520147
>Decline

We still need to finish the quest while our warband is still alive. There's no good reason to have a target on our back until it's done.
>>
>>3520147
>Take the trophy

I 100% believe we're gonna get memed by the game but death is cheap now and getting more exp for skills sets us to snowball quicker.
>>
>>3520147
>Take the trophy
>>
>>3520147
>Take the trophy
I think the extra XP is worth the risk
>>
>>3520168
If we wait here too long Leggy Lass will be back. Probably with friends.
>>
>>3520149
>>3520155
>>3520167
>>3520247
>>3520322
>>3520409
>>3520434
>>3520446
Take the trophy

>>3520379
Decline

>>3520168
Take, but only on the following conditions...
>>
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The way you see it, you're unranked and this is your first kill. So whatever penalty taking a trophy entails, right now it's going to be as minimal as it gets.

You accept and are treated to a chopping sound, and one of the corpse's ears simply disappears, leaving behind a cleanly severed stump. A moment later, you realize the ear ishanging from a thin leather strap you now have running across your chest. Focusing on it tells you that it belonged to "Leggy Lass, Renown 1 Champion, slain by Nameless Tree Kobold in Fetid Bayou" followed by a time and date.

Neat. A bit grisly, but neat. The buff the trophy grants is only a few percentage points, but you assume these can scale indefinitely, as long as you can keep collecting more trophies.

Then you take a look at your newly acquired "Deadly" status and wince slightly. For the next hour and a half, Champions will become aware of your presence once within 50 meters and will be able to pinpoint you from 10 meters away. A tooltip also explicitly warns you that the timer will only count down while you remain logged in - which does make sense as a measure to prevent abuse.

You then move on to the actual looting part. And feel your eyebrows rise as you open the corpse's inventory:

Steel Dagger
Tarnished Ancient Steel Axe
Tarnished Ancient Oak Shield
Cured Leather Armor
Steel Skinning Knife
Rusting Steel Harvesting Sickle
Rusting Steel Mining Pick
Rusting Steel Logging Axe
Field Rations x4
Bandages x3
Murk Lurker Leg Spike x2
Tallbird Feather x4
Elmwood Log x32
Trash x48


You don't see the bow, unless it became one of the trash items, but you consider it far more likely that it was Leggy Lass's Bound Item. But the rest of the haul is considerable, forcing you to jump back as it spills out from the corpse.

The dagger is certainly at least a grade above your own and also has a free augment slot, though unlike your own blade, it has a durability - a third of which is already gone. Examining it through the crafting menu brings up a repair option, albeit disabled and stating that it requires access to a weapon repair kit and the blacksmithing skill - neither of which you possess. So the upgrade would be a temporary one. Though, struck by a thought, you open Banished's inventory manager and notice that even all the abuse it was put through in the fight, his own Primitive Dagger has not dropped in durability at all. A bug? An oversight? Or a deliberately implemented feature? Either way, handing it over to an NPC would certainly be an option.

>(cont.)
>>
Comparing the stat differences between the Primitive Axe from the crafting menu and the Ancient Axe show that axes as a class tend to be on the heavy side, with mid to high stamina requirements, and have very good stats both for raw damage and soft armor penetration values. Their basic ability is "Shieldbreaker", which, as can be guessed, is an active skill providing a damage multiplier against shields. Lastly, even though you note that the axe, similarly to the dagger, scales down in size slightly as you pick it up, its description also notes that it's considered a two-handed weapon for creatures of small stature and poor physique. It also lacks an augment slot.

The shield, which is stylistically similar to the axe, is classed both as a protective item and a weapon. It has a resistance factor against various types of damage, with piercing being by far the highest, along with a large durability pool. Its basic ability is simply called "Shield Bash," dealing nominal physical damage but also taking a chunk out of the target's stamina pool and increasing the stamina regeneration delay by a significant amount for several seconds. It also hardly seems to scale in size at all, resulting in a still fairly light, but somewhat awkward hunk of wood that you could nevertheless easily hide behind in your entirety. However, moving quickly, climbing, or swimming with it would be a different matter. Like the axe, the shield lacks an augment slot.

The armor, surprisingly undamaged all things considered, provides far superior protection compared to what you could craft - mostly against bludgeoning and cold damage. It also comes with two augment slots. Unfortunately, you can't wear it: it does not resize at all and examining it shows "Item Too Large" and "Wrong Body Shape" warnings. Examining it through the crafting menu does show that you could adjust it, while losing some of the protection it provides - if you had a bunch of Cured Leather Squares, at least one rank in Leathercrafting, or two ranks in Primitive Crafting.

Cured Leather can be made from any form of "Creature Leather" it seems. But the skill requirement is a far bigger hurdle. Until you remember that Banished has the prerequisite ranks.

"Could you adjust this armor for a kobold to wear?" you ask him.

"Yes," he nods and then rattles off the list of required materials.

Neat. Annoying that the game's making you jump through hoops like that, but neat.

>(cont.)
>>
The set of gathering tools is also neat, even though all but the mining pick are well below half durability. The skinning knife also provides a small chance of harvesting a rarer resource when used - the rusted tools do not, but they still have a higher success rate when compared to their Primitive counterparts. Into the backpack they go, along with the field rations (superior to your fish meals in terms of fatigue recovery), bandages (take only half the time to apply compared to poultices), and the monster bits.

With the dagger strapped to your belt for now, this leaves the axe (heavy), the shield (bulky) and the pile of logs (considerable) as loot that you're not sure how to carry comfortably while maintaining a decent pace.

Although - you glance toward the canoe - this could fit all of you along with the rest of the loot. You were considering taking it anyway, as this zone seems to involve a lot more water to traverse.

On the other hand, you do currently have something of a target on your back and the next archer you run into may not be as terrible as Leggy Lass was. And you also have a lumber axe for if and when you'll need logs as crafting materials. Perhaps you should just leave them behind?

Speaking of which, you're getting the distinct feeling you shouldn't be sticking around here for much longer. Not only is Leggy Lass likely to be heading back to get revenge and retrieve her belongings, but if this is a known camping spot for the instance exit, you're likely to see even more company before long. And you'd rather not push your luck any further when it comes to keeping the three Muckraker kobolds alive.

>Take the boat. It's riskier, but you'll travel a lot faster and will hopefully be able to outrun or outmaneuver any trouble that comes your way. And you'll be able to carry all the logs you got from Leggy Lass.
>Leave the boat and swim. Slower but, hopefully, at least a bit safer. You wanted to rank up Swimming anyway for that stamina pool boost.
>Since you have all that wood lying anyway... Risk sticking around for a bit longer and see if you can craft some additional protection onto the canoe. Higher hull, maybe? Or a row of shields on either side: like a Viking boat! A... Viking canoe?
>Other
>>
>>3520642
>Take the boat. It's riskier, but you'll travel a lot faster and will hopefully be able to outrun or outmaneuver any trouble that comes your way. And you'll be able to carry all the logs you got from Leggy Lass.

Leggy Lass (and maybe some friends) is probably running back here with all due haste to get her stuff. Time to skedaddle.
>>
>>3520642
>>Take the boat. It's riskier, but you'll travel a lot faster and will hopefully be able to outrun or outmaneuver any trouble that comes your way. And you'll be able to carry all the logs you got from Leggy Lass.
Can Torgun (spearbold) use the shield?
>>
>>3520642
>Take the boat. It's riskier, but you'll travel a lot faster and will hopefully be able to outrun or outmaneuver any trouble that comes your way. And you'll be able to carry all the logs you got from Leggy Lass.

Can we leave a message for her?Something derogatory and insulting preferably.
>>
>>3520642
Leave the boat and swim. Slower but, hopefully, at least a bit safer. You wanted to rank up Swimming anyway for that stamina pool boost.
Im down for just hiding in the woods crafting and skilling up till the timer is up
>>
>>3520642
>>Leave the boat and swim. Slower but, hopefully, at least a bit safer. You wanted to rank up Swimming anyway for that stamina pool boost.

We should definitely stop pushing our luck. Leggy Lass and/or her friends will be here any minute now.

I also have 2 ideas. First off, is it possible to dual wield daggers? If so we should wield our new steel dagger in our main hand and our old dagger in our off-hand. We'd deal more damage this way.

Secondly, there's no Champions in instances. If the Deadly status still counts down in an instance we should go to one, our current Warband quest might take us to another one. That way we'll be able to take advantage of the trophy buff without the risk of Champions hunting us down.
>>
>>3520642
Dump anything we're not taking with us into the river. Including the body or any trash it had on it.
>Take the boat. It's riskier, but you'll travel a lot faster and will hopefully be able to outrun or outmaneuver any trouble that comes your way. And you'll be able to carry all the logs you got from Leggy Lass.
Lay down in it so we can be in cover.
>>
>>3520849
Wait wrong one, I meant swim for it. Sorry I'm tired.
>>
>>3520642
>Take the boat. It's riskier, but you'll travel a lot faster and will hopefully be able to outrun or outmaneuver any trouble that comes your way. And you'll be able to carry all the logs you got from Leggy Lass.
>>
>>3520708
>Can we leave a message for her?Something derogatory and insulting preferably.

>"Dwarves are better than elves"
>>
>>3520808
That is a very clever idea. You have my full support.

>>3520998
As does this.
>>
>>3520808
I say take the boat but otherwise I like what you're saying.
>>
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>>3520642
The vikings had canoe-loving cousins.

Here's an idea: what if we fortify the island? Grab the wood and whatevers left of the sailboat and craft fortifications like crazy.

With the forest+island+water, random champions are well away from the 50 meter mark. If it's leggy lass and friends, we have plenty of range and cover to shoot her silly, and it seems even champions arent fans of swimming.

If its fortnite/minecraft tier, we could even build a skybridge/diveboard over to land, though we'll need to test if falling into water stops fall damage.

Not sure if the xp we grind out of this will be immediately helpful though
>>
>>3521538
I don't think waiting for a ranged specialist to come back with more people is a good idea. Especially since we can barely win 3v1 against a ranged focused character after heaping levels of savvy play in combat they don't excel at. Frankly I don't envy our chances at a more fair fight even not factoring in she'd be more prepared and probably bring a boat instead of a floating deathtrap.
>>
>>3521538
This relies on so many things just to make a totally impossible situation barely possible that it’s silly.

If Leggy Lass hasn’t had half her health taken out by getting thrown from her kite we could have tried plinking her with arrows all day and it wouldn’t have done us much good. Let alone if she brings friends.

The siege mentality is a losing one. Movement is always the better option.
>>
>>3521538
We'd need better weapons and maybe ten/twelve kobolds before we could even consider taking on multiple champions at once, and keep in mind leggy lass was only a rank one hero, her friends might not be.
We best be off to go train and recruit more kobolds while running story missions.
On that note we should be careful with these they also probably have designated end points that Hero's might know about.
>>
>>3520642
>Take the boat. It's riskier, but you'll travel a lot faster and will hopefully be able to outrun or outmaneuver any trouble that comes your way. And you'll be able to carry all the logs you got from Leggy Lass.
We should also max out our warband with the horn.
>>
>>3521760
I totally forgot about that, we need to do that.
>>
>>3520642
>Leave the boat and swim. Slower but, hopefully, at least a bit safer. You wanted to rank up Swimming anyway for that stamina pool boost.

>Before you leave, try to find a place to hide the remaining loot. Prioritize the axe and shield, since it's pretty easy to get more logs. Can you dig a hole, or pick a relatively deep section of water, or stash them in a random tree or bush so you can come back later to grab them?
>>
>>3521833
Items degrade over time. They'd be gone before we returned.
>>
>>3520998
Yes, maybe something like
"are you missing something other than your shots now?"
Or
"How much money did this cost your moms credit card?" (the mom part of that is probably too childish.)
"This is probably goodbye but I took a little something to remember you by ;)"

>>3521833
Not a bad plan, we shouldn't let her get anything back if we can help it.
I imagine the wood could possibly be a quest item for her so even if we can't take them all or hide them we should get rid of them just so she has to start gathering them all over again.
>>
>>3521908
Maybe so but at least leggy lass wouldn't get them.
>>
>>3521947
It's a good point.
>>
>>3520667
>>3520689
>>3520708
>>3520924
>>3521532
>>3521760
Take the boat

>>3520791
>>3520808
>>3520851
>>3521833
Swim

>>3521538
Fortify the island

>>3520998
>>3521076
>>3521942
Leave an insult on LL's corpse

>>3521833
The game doesn't allow freeform terrain deformation due to the "1000 bored assholes with shovels" problem mentioned in the first thread. Item stashes are a mechanic however - though one that the MC doesn't have access to yet
>>
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You're loading the third armload of logs into the canoe when you realize that the NPCs are simply standing around, watching you - and that there should really be an easier way to do this. A couple of minutes of fiddling with the GIS controls later and you have your warband doing the manual labor while you busy yourself with the critically important task of figuring out how to add insult to injury for when Leggy Lass inevitably comes to retrieve her corpse.

You find the answer in the crafting menu: specifically, in the ability to add custom descriptors to certain items. And though it costs you two of the four Tallbird Feathers you've looted off the elf, by the time the canoe is loaded, the corpse's inventory contains a decorative feathered wristband labeled: "Should've played a dwarf."

Next, you consider bolstering your strength and you fiddle with the warhorn at your belt, tempted by the prospect of doubling your warband's numbers. This, however, presents a logistical problem: the canoe, while fairly large, still only barely fits the four of you and the loot.

So you shelve the idea for now, while noting that you also have an option of spawning new kobolds one at a time through the Warband menu: though the ability's description warns that doing so more often than once per hour results in a Cohesion hit.

Then, unwilling to delay any longer - especially as you note that the sun seems to be setting - you order everyone into the canoe. You have Banished and Targun take up rowing positions, while setting Koriat to sentry mode, hoping this time he can warn you of enemies before you come under attack. You sit down just behind Targun at the front, with the pile of logs at your back and the shield wedged up against the hull within easy arm's reach. And then you finally set off.

From your position, you can easily direct the boat, setting waypoints for the rowers through the twisting canals of the bayou. You do your best to head toward the marker for the Path of Vengeance quest: not only do you want to access it while the named NPCs are still alive, but you have this idea that the inside of an instance would be just about the safest place to wait out your trophy timer.

>(cont.)
>>
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However, the bulk of your attention is occupied with studying the newly unlocked Warband options. A lot of it seems fairly standard: stances, behaviors, formations, etc. Warband members can also be ordered to gather materials, craft, explore, or even train skills on their own, though you have some serious doubts about the practical viability of any tasks that have them move out of your sight.

The Warband menu also turns out to be how you access the Raid menu, which, as far as you can tell, is how you can generate your own raid events against civilized settlements. It all seems fairly straightforward, though you note that initiating a raid requires something called an Empowered Raid Totem. Switching to the crafting menu, you locate the Small Raid Totem item, which requires some easily gathered crafting materials, though its description reads "Needs to be imbued at a place of dark power to forestall the punishment of Heavens."

So, more hoops to jump through. A problem for another time, then - for now, you're going to focus on:

>Reaching the instance, like you decided earlier. It's still nearly 8km to go and the more time you spend in the open world, the greater the chance you'll run into Champions. Though it will likely be nighttime long before you get there.
>Holing up somewhere before nightfall and wait out the timer while crafting and maybe asking for some tips in chat. Hopefully it won't be a Hollywood night and it gets dark enough that other players will have trouble moving around easily.
>Other
>>
>>3522101
>Holing up somewhere before nightfall and wait out the timer while crafting and maybe asking for some tips in chat. Hopefully it won't be a Hollywood night and it gets dark enough that other players will have trouble moving around easily.
As long as we're a pretty decent way away from where we were this should be fine, we're a huge sitting duck right now in broad daylight.
We're probably not ready for another instance right now anyway.

Find a good place to hide, preferably somewhere with trees and drag the canoe ashore and out of sight using logs of the woods to roll it inland more easily.
>>
>>3522101
>Reaching the instance

Holing up doesn't matter when champs can sense us within 50 meters. That status gimps kobolds hard.
>>
>>3522101
I’m a bit torn. On the one hand, it may be that the Champions know where the next instance starts and will be waiting there. On the other, I doubt that night will cause serious problems and the tracking skill exists.
>Reaching the instance
>>
>>3522101
>Reaching the instance, like you decided earlier. It's still nearly 8km to go and the more time you spend in the open world, the greater the chance you'll run into Champions. Though it will likely be nighttime long before you get there.
>>
>>3522101
>>Reaching the instance, like you decided earlier. It's still nearly 8km to go and the more time you spend in the open world, the greater the chance you'll run into Champions. Though it will likely be nighttime long before you get there.
>>
>>3522124
A champion doesn't have to know where the instances starts, there just has to be one slightly more competent champion somewhere along the 8km stretch of open river* that we're on then we're dead.

(*thats an assumption that the river takes us the whole way, it possibly might not.)

>>3522117
You're not wrong, it does. I have to assume that the mechanic is meant for stronger monsters or at least a much more set up group of kobolds, not a warband of four.
Do we even know how long the infamy lasts?
They only know where we are at ten meters, between that and fifty they only know that we're around. That means if we see them coming we can move around them and get them heading in the wrong way.
>>
>>3522157
The same chance of discovery by a more competent champion exists whether we’re moving in a boat or holed up somewhere, so the comparative value of that risk is null.
>>
>>3522101
>Reaching the instance, like you decided earlier. It's still nearly 8km to go and the more time you spend in the open world, the greater the chance you'll run into Champions. Though it will likely be nighttime long before you get there.
>>
>>3522179
What? That's just completely wrong. There is a chance to both yes but there is different percentages of that chance and it's certainly not equal, hiding with a disadvantage while gathering information is not just as likely for us to be discovered as being out in the open floating down a river that we were known to be travelling during broad daylight.
I honestly have no idea how you came to that conclusion, you've befuddled me.

This whole thing is confusing me, I don't know why everyone is so willing to do such a massive risk. We've been pushing our luck further and further it's going to give sooner or later if we keep going like that.
>>
>>3522222
We’re on a river with umpteen branches which (unless someone knows where the next instance entrance is) we’re navigating at speed and in essentially a random pattern. We can be more easily detected by actual line-of-sight in our canoe on the river, but our approximate location data is handed out to any hunters within 50 meters anyway and it’s somewhat doubtful line of sight is better than that in a sunken forest/swamp area. Should they detect us they still have to set up an ambush on a moving target, and if we get to the instance we (might be) safe.

Meanwhile, hiding makes us a stationary target with a 50m detection blob around us that people are searching for.

I don’t understand how your calculus told you the latter was less likely to get us discovered.
>>
>>3522101
>Holing up somewhere before nightfall and wait out the timer while crafting and maybe asking for some tips in chat. Hopefully it won't be a Hollywood night and it gets dark enough that other players will have trouble moving around easily.
>>
>>3522101
>>Reaching the instance, like you decided earlier. It's still nearly 8km to go and the more time you spend in the open world, the greater the chance you'll run into Champions. Though it will likely be nighttime long before you get there.
>>
>>3522116
>>3522258
Hole up.

>>3522117
>>3522124
>>3522125
>>3522143
>>3522211
>>3522410
Stay on the move.
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>>3522157
It lasts an hour and a half. We can't get them headed the wrong way though, as soon as they leave 50 meters range they'll know, and they have the stamina to chase us down.

>>3522222
I actually think the river is less likely. Legs was camping here, so other champs won't be waiting downriver because Legs would have killed anything coming down it already. Champs don't grind in the same area because they'd take each other's kills.
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>>3522101
>Reaching the instance
>>
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The way you see it, you're on a river with an umpteen number of branches, moving at speed, and navigating in what is essentially a random pattern. And even if you ping on some Champion's HUD, they won't know what direction to search in unless you get close enough or they physically see the boat. And the latter, at least, will become far more difficult once darkness falls.

So you stay on the move.

Soon, the last vestiges of sunlight disappear behind the trees and a half moon climbs into the now starlit sky. The darkness that descends upon the bayou is far from total - you can still make out your warband's shapes against the canoe and river - but it seems sufficient to maintain stealth at a distance.

Which may be a good thing indeed, as a tooltip titled "First Night" informs you that night in Tellanor is when the truly dangerous creatures come out of their lairs and begin prowling the land. The wary and the unprepared are advised to seek shelter and wait until sunrise. Which will come in approximately two hours.

Huh. It's definitely been longer than two hours since you've started playing, but it's been day the whole time. TGO's days are longer than nights then?

Off in the distance, a hollow screech pierces the night air. It's followed by a chorus of whooping howls rising up everywhere around you.

"Danger time," you just barely hear Banished say over the cacophony.

Well, he would know, wouldn't he?

"Any tips on how to survive the night?" you ask as the noise recedes slowly.

"Find shelter. Wait for sun."

You resist the urge to roll your eyes. You should've guessed that's how the NPC would answer.

"Fine. Any tips on how to travel safely at night? How to travel the river safely?" you amend your question.

"Shining water bad," comes the answer. "Avoid."

"Shining water? What's that?"

"Bad things," the kobold says in a particularly grim tone. "Dead things."

Spooky.

"Any flying creatures to worry about?" you bring up another concern. Most VR games use flyers as high level content due to the enormous advantage unconstrained movement grants, but you never know.

"Fen bats," Banished answers.

"Fen bats? What do they do?"

"Steal kobolds away."

Wonderful.

>(cont.)
>>
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In light of these news, you abandon all menu browsinng and equip your bow, your full attention now on the environment.

Your pace drops, as you have to strain your eyes to make out riverways in the dark. Several times, you're also forced to reverse course after running into a dead end that you'd have had no trouble spotting in daylight.

There is a benefit to traveling at night, however. Several times you see torchlight or what you assume is magelight moving off in the distance and are able to divert course long before coming within fifty meters of it. Also...

Perception Acquired: Rank 1

...the night gets slightly, but noticeably brighter when you get the skill increase notification. And given that, up until night fell, the skill had advanced less than 10% and you've hit the advancement in less than 20 minutes, it seems like nighttime is the time to grind it. Another immediate effect is that now the roars and howls of various night creatures come with a small popup on your HUD indicating the creature's type (Large Predator, Medium Pack Hunter) along with approximate distance.

Your first reaction is: neat. Five minutes later, you're digging through filter settings for a way to reduce the number of popups while still retaining some semblance of functionality. You find it in the form of only displaying noise sources that are coming nearer: it immediately cuts out 90% of the visual noise being thrown at you.

You stay on the move and some time later, with five kilometers to the quest marker and approximately half an hour left on the Deadly status timer, you begin realizing that your idea to hide in the instance, while good in theory, may have to wait until another time to test out properly. It's also at this point that the terrain begins to change noticeably, the sprawling bayou narrowing into a single, wide waterway winding through a more traditional swamp. Noticing that your rowers are getting fatigued, you call a brief break and hand out the Fire-Cooked Fish - which results in a boost to Cohesion, though insufficient to advance it to the next rank.

You resume travel and five minutes later is when things start going wrong.

>(cont.)
>>
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First, you notice an unnaturally bright patch of water up ahead and, mindful of Banished's warning, guide the boat well clear of it. Soon, however, more of those patches begin appearing, increasing in size along with frequency. Your progress slows considerably, as you're forced to micromanage your rowers and, eventually, even grab an oar from Banished on the prow and begin rowing yourself when the delay between your orders and the change in course becomes too risky to tolerate.

Eventually, nearly the whole middle of the river is emitting a pale, blueish, unearthly glow: with faint, hollow wailing coming from it whenever the boat comes close, forcing the canoe uncomfortably close to shore. And the only reason you don't consider ditching the boat altogether is because your HUD is picking up something truly massive stomping around and roaring only a hundred or so meters away, in the trees.

And then you see Koriat stiffen noticeably, his head snapping in a particular direction, and he points, uttering the dreaded word:

"Enemies."

You cease rowing immediately, of course. But even with the aid of his outstretched arm guiding your gaze, it takes you a long moment before you see what the NPC did.

Some thirty meters ahead, the river performs something of a switchback, turning right and then immediately reversing left, resulting in a long and fairly thin sandbar extending out into the water. A sandbar upon which you can just barely make out three indistinct dark shapes, crouching or perhaps even lying down.

"What species are they?" you mutter to Koriat. He has Perception 2, while your HUD isn't picking up squat.

"Human. Koitlen. Elf."

Champions. Shit. Sitting around without lights, the assholes.

"What are they..." you pause, thinking on how to formulate the question. "Are they looking at us?"

"No."

"Which direction are they looking in?"

"South-west."

"Which direction is- Point in the direction they are looking."

Koriat points. Huh... toward the shore... roughly along the length of the sandbar. You turn to look yourself. Toward whatever monster is stomping around in the trees? Are they hiding from it out here on the shore?

And, given that they're well within your Deadly radius but haven't reacted or looked this way... are they confusing it for you, maybe?

>(cont.)
>>
As lucky a break as that is, you realize it puts you at a bit of an impasse. The shining water is forcing you within several meters of the shore on the side of the sandbar - there is no way you'll be able to drift past the Champions without entering pinpoint range. Retreating is...

You turn to look toward from where you came and your heart sinks into the pit of your stomach. The river behind you shines with solid pale blue, shore to shore. And as your head snaps to the side, you see the shining patches expanding and creeping closer to your boat.

"Oh for the love of..."

Looking back toward the Champions, you see them more clearly now and your HUD even begins picking up bits of info - and you realize that the current has carried the canoe closer. Twenty meters - ten meters before they know you're there.

>Bust through. Start rowing like mad to pick up speed. Then, once you're in pinpoint range, have one of the NPC's keep rowing while the other two lay down. In the meantime, you'll pick up the shield to protect both yourself and the rower as best you can
>Hide. Steer toward the shore, drag the boat into the bushes, and try to wait this mess out.
>Fuck everything. Hit the shore, but then only have the warband hide while you aggro train whatever is stomping around straight into the Champions.
>Other
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>>3522736
>Hide. Steer toward the shore, drag the boat into the bushes, and try to wait this mess out.
>>
>>3522736
>Hide. Steer toward the shore, drag the boat into the bushes, and try to wait this mess out.
>>
>>3522736
>>Hide. Steer toward the shore, drag the boat into the bushes, and try to wait this mess out.
>>
>>3522488
They'll know we got outside of fifty meters of them yes but they won't know in which direction we left. If we ran straight away from them that would be a hard to deal with but if we circled around them it would not be so hard.

Who said anything about waiting down river? There could be any number of reasons for a champion to be within sight ranging from traveling, there could be a town(fairly common along rivers), doing some more minor quests like crab hunting or fishing.

>>3522234
Rivers don't generally split up, once you're on them it's kind of easy for others to know where you're going, maps are useful like that.
It's simple, they need to search Two sides of an 8km stretch of river if they wanted to find us in case we've hidden while also having someone have gone down stream to catch us along the river.

And even then there's no reason that we'd have to park our butt anywhere close to the side of the river lowering the chances of us getting caught further.

But I'm obviously not convincing anyone so let's see how sticking to the river will work out.
>>
>>3522736

>Hide
>>
>>3522736

>Bust through. Start rowing like mad to pick up speed. Then, once you're in pinpoint range, have one of the NPC's keep rowing while the other two lay down. In the meantime, you'll pick up the shield to protect both yourself and the rower as best you can

I dont think they are going to try to come aftee us since theres a big boy near by that could come after them from the noise of fighting and tons of under water monsters about so full speed ahead.
They cant touch us in the boat.
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>>3522888
This.
It's better to not get stuck between this party and the search party.
>>
>>3522736
>>Bust through. Start rowing like mad to pick up speed. Then, once you're in pinpoint range, have one of the NPC's keep rowing while the other two lay down. In the meantime, you'll pick up the shield to protect both yourself and the rower as best you can
>>
>>3522736
>Hide. Steer toward the shore, drag the boat into the bushes, and try to wait this mess out.
>>
>>3522736
>Bust through. Start rowing like mad to pick up speed. Then, once you're in pinpoint range, have one of the NPC's keep rowing while the other two lay down. In the meantime, you'll pick up the shield to protect both yourself and the rower as best you can
If they try to attack us then we can whistle really loud to try and aggro the big thing to here.
>>
>>3523200
And ee has a shield we can get one of thr npc to hold to block any arrows that could come our way
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>>3522736
>Hide. Steer toward the shore, drag the boat into the bushes, and try to wait this mess out.
>>
>>3522736
>>Hide. Steer toward the shore, drag the boat into the bushes, and try to wait this mess out.
>>
>>3522736
>Bust through. Start rowing like mad to pick up speed. Then, once you're in pinpoint range, have one of the NPC's keep rowing while the other two lay down. In the meantime, you'll pick up the shield to protect both yourself and the rower as best you can
>>
>>3522748
>>3522750
>>3522751
>>3522838
>>3523118
>>3523576
>>3524054
Hide

>>3522757
>>3522888
>>3522931
>>3522959
>>3523200
>>3523339
>>3524059
Bust through.

We have ourselves another deadlock.
>>
>>3524153

Hide
>>
>>3524153
Bust through
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>>3524231
>evening the tie again, over 20 minutes after a tiebreaker was made
>>
>>3524304
Damnit wrong one meant to reply to >>3524283
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>>3524153
Bust through. Lets get where we're going.
>>
>>3524283
>>3524345
Calling it. Busting through it is.

Can't promise an update tonight though: due to the tie getting extended, I may not have enough time to finish before I have to leave for work. Will do my best though.
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>>3524357
Neat. I am the deciding vote.
>>
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Sorry, but no update tonight after all. Just letting everyone know so that you don't end up waiting needlessly.
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>>3524557
Thanks, itl be worth the wait regardless



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