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File: Luscinia.png (163 KB, 1500x1400)
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Last time on The Good Necromancer:
>The three of you wake up and head off to explore the nearby Keyian ruins. After a bit of exploring you find a basement in an old building and head down.
>In the basement you find a Dukh, a mass of souls that attack people. It attacks all of you and you kill it.
>After this the three of you meet back up with Copper and hit the road north to Labrivir and eventually Lalundzhik. The four of you find camp and you reveal yourself to be a Necromancer to Tanssija who takes it well.
>You and Tanssija find a pond nearby and bond a bit there, talking about how Tanssija had gotten her scars and burns. When the two of you get out of the pond you're attacked by a group of Deer who take Tanssija over the border to Alln Lenora.
>You go back to Smoke and after a bit of discussion you gallop over the border and get yourself killed, reviving a bit later inside the borders.
>You disguise yourself as a Deer and end up at a Deer city, getting allowed in by the guards.
You can also catch up there: https://www.anonpone.com/quest/thegoodnecro/38698860#navbar
>Lore Pastebin:
https://pastebin.com/M0kTrrNc
>Inventory Pastebin:
https://pastebin.com/aKksRQdc
>Spell Pastebin:
https://pastebin.com/LuG8YptA
>Information Pastebin:
https://pastebin.com/egCQWBJA
>Crafting Pastebin:
https://pastebin.com/5cZEf2bh
>Curse Pastebin:
https://pastebin.com/PULLiqFK
>>
'It could be a hotel, possibly if Deer and Pony tongue are derived from the same tongue, or if the idea of a hotel was invented in one kingdom and brought here. Or... I could be completely wrong and he may be leading me to a jail or someplace else. A hotel might be a good source of information... written in a language I don't understand, but there should at least be a map. Or he might try to hook me up with a guide that knows sign languages, which would be easier to lose compared to a guard.'
You put your book and quill away in your bag and give the buck an appreciative smile as you follow him. The doe's gaze does follow your movement for a moment, but the other two don't make any move to stop either of you. You get through the gate without incident and head into a city with a similar white and blue brick to the walls surrounding it. A lot of the buildings had round turrets built into them, or the buildings were just trees that had been hollowed out to be used as buildings.
'How do I find Tanssija in this place? Wandering around will do nothing but get me lost.'
The buck looks back at you to make sure you were following him before continuing, leading you down several streets away from the wall. After a few minutes of trotting the two of you come to a building made out of a hollowed out tree, through the tree for this building was instead two that had fused together shortly after coming out of the ground and then kept growing like that resulting in it being a lot wider and bigger. The two of you head inside through a set of double doors into a cozy lobby and dinning area, though it was pretty empty at this time. The buck trots up to a counter with another buck behind it who looks over at him and speaks.
"Tuo toinen kylmästä, Iisakki?" The buck asks him; sounding sarcastic.
"Todella hauskaa," The guard who you guess is named Iisakki responds back in an equally sarcastic manner before speaking normally, "Tämä on ensimmäinen kerta täällä Al'Nor. Hän on myös kuuro ja mykkä, joten hän tarvitsee huoneen."
The buck glances over at you for a moment before looking back at Iisakki.
"Onko hänellä Markka huoneeseen?"
Iisakki blinks at this and then back at the buck.
"En... ajatellut kysyä," He admits, "Minä maksan siitä."
He pulls out several silver coins that look similar to Grivna and gives them to the buck. The buck nods as he takes a key out from behind him and steps out from the counter.
"Pidän häntä nyt silmällä. Voit palata työhösi."
"Kiitos."
Iisakki looks at you for a moment before giving you a nod goodbye and trotting off. The buck with the key trots over to some stairs and looks back at you, waving for you to follow.

What do you do?
>>
>>38903234
Not wanting to arouse suspicion, we trot after the new deer with the key, Iisakki.
'Seems like a normal enough hotel to me, but i should be cautious. I hate to take advantage of that buck's kindness, but lives are at stake. Is this, Iisakki, going to leave me alone long enough for me to slip away? I could ask for the bathroom, since he wouldn't follow me there.'
>>
>>38903234
Return the curtsy and copy the gesture to the leaving buck who had just let us into the city and paid for a room for us, and showed us what they use for currency.
'It's the least I can do really. Iisakki? I'm not going to pick up the language but the right names might prove imperative to this venture.'
Turn and follow the other buck up the stairs.
'Hm. Hotel seems likely the correct interpretation. I may be able to use this place as a place to prepare for lack of a more secluded location.'
Look around a little glancing back and forth as we climb the stairs, taking quick peeks out any windows while still following our guide.
'Seems I was right about the guards too, with the intense boarder security they're quite lax. Or perhaps I just pulled the right heartstrings.'
>>
>>38903275
>>38903294
You return the nod back to Iisakki as he goes.
'It's the least I can do really. Iisakki? I'm not going to pick up the language but the right names might prove imperative for this venture.'
Not wanting to arouse suspicion, you follow the buck up the stairs.
'Seems like a normal enough hotel to me, but I should be cautious. I hate to take advantage of Iisakki's kindness, but lives are at stake. Is this buck going to leave me along long enough for me to slip away? I could ask for the bathroom, since he wouldn't follow me there.'
You get up to the second floor where he opens up a door and leads you into a hall. Lining the hall was the occasional door and lamps with faintly dark blue glowing crystals acting as lights instead of torches. He leads you to one of the doors and unlocks it with the key. Once he unlocks it and opens the door he hoofs you the key and lets you trot inside. Inside was a pretty cozy little room with a bed and a window to look outside. Also in the room was another door, likely to the bathroom.
"Täällä sinä olet," He says; making sure you could see his lips moving, "Jos tarvitset jotain, mene alakertaan ja kysy minulta, Yrjänä."
With that, and making sure that you had the keys, he leaves and closes the door behind him.

What do you do?
>>
>>38903397
'Well, seems I've got a room for the night, not that I anticipate myself using it. Though, it could be a good place to lay low for a moment, once I have Tanssija and she's disguised, or if I need a private space to prepare something. Question is, can I go without being stopped by Yrjänä? If I had a map, things might be easier, but I already know my destination, just not how to get in. Perhaps a disguise, or some magic to hide my entry?'
Check the window, see what we can see from here with soul sight on. Our goal is the palace, aka the giant tree at the center.
>>
>>38903397
Trot over to the window and look out of it over what we can see of the city, our first elevated look at the layout of the deer capital.
'... I'm going to need a map. I won't be able to read any sign posts and getting lost is a time sink Tanssija can't afford.'
We take in a deep breath through our nose and our snout scrunches.
Ugh...
'Grave dirt and so many other wonderful aromas.'
Walk over to what is presumably the bathroom door and open it up. Take a quick shower or bath if we're correct and either is available.
>>
>>38903486
>>38903508
'Well, seems I've got a room for the night, not that I anticipate myself using it. Though, it could be a good place to lay low for a moment, once I have Tanssija and she's disguised, or if I need a private space to prepare something.'
You trot over to the window and look out of it. You were only on the second floor of the hotel, but you could still get a nice, elevated look at the surrounding city. It was circular in design and split off into equally sized sections by major roads. Of course, in the middle of it all was the giant tree which was now towering over everything, it's branches hundreds of feet in the air covering the entire length of the city. As you look around you use your soul sight, finding an enumerable amount of souls around you.
'...I'm going to need a map. I won't be able to read any sign posts and getting lost is a time sink Tanssija can't afford.'
You take a deep breath through your nose, your snout scrunching a second later as the smell of blood, death, and dirt finally hit you. You were surprised that no one else noticed it.
"Ugh..."
'Grave dirt and so many other wonderful aromas. Even when you work with the dead it's hard to get used to.'
You trot over to the bathroom door and head inside, taking a quick shower and then trotting out smelling a lot better than before.

What do you do?
>>
>>38903634
'Now that I don't smell like death, perhaps I could go see if Yrjänä has a map I can follow. Though, the lay out seems simple enough. Hmm...'
Retrieve our diary from our bag, open to a blank page, and draw a wandering dashed line leading to an X, and then go show that to him.
>>
>>38903634
Double check that the doe illusion is still on after the shower, a hint of paranoia starting to build up from the stresses.

>>38903662
Seconding.
>>
>>38903662
>>38903712
You quickly check that your doe disguise was still on after the shower. It wasn't so you quickly put it back on and let out a sigh, paranoia starting to build up from the stresses you were experiencing.
'Now that I don't smell like death, perhaps I could go see if Yrjänä has a map I can follow. Though, the layout seems simple enough. Hmm...'
You take out your diary from your bag and open it to a blank page, drawing a wandering dashed line leading to an X before leaving the room and showing it to him downstairs. He takes the diary from you and studies it for a minute, eventually getting what you were asking.
"Voi kartta. Tässä."
He leans down, rummaging through something behind the counter and then pulling out a small piece of paper for you.
"Al'nor on iso kaupunki, mutta sen ulkoasu on melko yksinkertainen," He explains to you, "Jos eksyt, seuraa yhtä pääteistä Paavola."
As he speaks you look down at the map to find a fairly simple though helpful map of the city. It was indeed a large circle with the tree in the center of it all. There were several places labeled on the map, though it was all in the Deer language so you couldn't understand it, except for the label of the tree: Paavola.

What do you do?
>>
>>38903805
Give him a smile to show gratitude.
>>
>>38903805
Give the stallion a solid smile then pause for a moment and draw in our book a quick illustration of some coins next to our crude but effective depiction of a map and draw an arrow to the map and the coins. Tilting our head to the side as we look at the buck questioningly.
>>
>>38903811
>>38903851
You give the buck a smile to show him gratitude. You then pause for a moment and start drawing again, creating a quick illustration of some coins next to your crude but effective depiction of a map and then draw an arrow to the map and the coins. Once it was done you show it to him while tilting your head to the side questioningly.
"Ei tarvitse maksaa minulle," He shakes his head, "Se on vain kartta."

What do you do?
>>
>>38903912
Interpreting his words based on his actions, we once again smile and nod, taking the map and setting out towards the "Paavola."
>>
>>38903912
Nod our head and smile a little wider.
'I'm going to have to attempt to learn as least the basics of some languages when I find the time. Or a translation spell.'
To test if we've understood the bucks meaning correctly that the map is pro Bono, take our book and drawing implement and put them away before picking up the map itself slowly watching the bucks face for any signs of disapproval.
Assuming there is none take the map or stop if we get a hint of disapproval.
>>
>>38903912
Oh god! They're speaking Finnish!
>>
>>38904013
>>38904017
>>38904064
You smile a little wider and nod again.
'I'm going to have to attempt to learn at least the basics of some languages when I have the time. Or a translation spell.'
You take your book and drawing implement and put them away before picking up the map, slowly watching the buck's face for any signs of disapproval as you take it. His face doesn't change though. He does notice your worry about it and speaks again.
"Voit ottaa sen, se on hyvä." He tells you; moving his hoof in a shooing motion.
You give him another smile before leaving, setting off towards the 'Paavola'. You trot around a bit until you find a major street and start trotting down it to the tree, finding a lot more Deer about along the major road though still not a lot. As you get closer to the tree it gets bigger until you were looking up at it completely, the tree becoming a bit imposing in it's size.
You eventually reach the end of the major road which turns into a large plaza surrounding the base of the tree with all of the major roads and many minor ones connected to it. Also at the base of the tree and one hundred feet from it was another white and blue wall similar to the one surrounding the city, but a lot smaller, easily climbable with some rope and climbing equipment. Scattered around the wall were several small gates with two guards on each, the guards wearing some white and green armor that was decorated with images of vines, flowers, and suns, and each guard wielding a longsword and a longbow. In total there were about six gates leading through the wall and to the Paavola.

What do you do?
>>
>>38904127
Lets continue to walk around and get the lay of the land. Anything drawing the attention of the locals?
>>
>>38904127
'Perhaps I could make use of a curse here? Though, the only ones that are immediately useful and aren't particularly cruel or require things I don't have, are the Curse of Panic (maybe, entry is a little vague), Clumsiness, and Heat. Maybe Curse of Flies on a rock as a distraction.'
Are there any sort of blindspots where we could climb the wall? Perhaps we could use an illusion spell on the wall itself to cover us as we try to climb. If there were two does, or two clearly inexperienced soldiers, perhaps we could make use of those curses, but we should check the area a bit more.
>>
>>38904127
'Ceremonial guards? Well armed ones of so. Chances are security to get past them is tighter then the gate entrance. Not something I really want to test.'
Wander around a little bit but keep the gates in sight watching to see if anyone is really going through those gates.
'It's feasible to scale the walls, a significantly more survivable measure then attempting to bust through the gates. Doing so unnoticed is the troublesome part. But... A big enough distraction may give me an opportunity. I wonder...'
Check our map and look for any large plots that don't seem to be developed or has an absences of buildings.
'If they bury their dead inside the walls, the inner most ring likely wouldn't have the space unless they made catacombs inside the roots... If they did that I might be able to sneak in through them. But if there is a graveyard out here then I may be able to use it.'
>>
>>38904144
>>38904201
>>38904225
'Ceremonial guards? Well armed ones as well. Chances are security to get past them is tighter then the gate entrance. Not something I really want to test. Perhaps I could try some curses here? Though, the only ones that are immediately useful and aren't particularly cruel or require things I don't have, are the Curse of Panic, clumsiness, and heat. Maybe Curse of Flies on a rock as a distraction.'
You start to wander around the walls keeping the gates in sight while watching to see if anything draws the attention of the locals or if anyone goes through the gates. You see neither, though you notice that the locals were starting to thin out to only a few Deer. Through your circling around the small wall you do eventually find a blind spot towards the back of the wall, though the guards were still kinda in sight.
'It's feasible to scale the walls, a significantly more survival measure then attempting to bust through the gates and I could put an illusion up to cover me as I try to climb. A big enough distraction may give me an opportunity. I wonder...'
You pull out your map again and start to look around for any large plots that haven't been developed or with an absence of buildings. The city seemed pretty filled, but there was what appeared to be an empty spot down to the south of your current location.
'If they bury their dead inside the walls, the inner most ring likely wouldn't have the space unless they made catacombs inside the roots... If they did that I might be able to sneak in through them.'
You think a bit more. The empty space was close by, though you didn't know where the roots were or how deep they could go. You could find one pretty quick or spend all night trying to find one.

What do you do?
>>
>>38904278
The roots idea would only work if the roots are actually hollowed out and we have no way of knowing about that. A wild idea though, what if we curse the tree for a distraction?
>>
>>38904278
'I'm going to be rolling the dice either way, but I'm losing cover with the crowd thinning out. Though, that is fewer witnesses. I might be able to locate the catacombs by the density of souls underground, but digging through several hooves of dirt, and who knows how much root, might take me too long. Plus, deer tend to preserve their deceased's souls (pretty sure they do something, can't recall), so I don't know how that will effect things. On the other hoof, I do have ropes, hooks, and pitons at my disposal... perhaps i could curse the hook to be silent?'

Check the other side of the blindspot wall, to make sure we won't be dropping into a hornets nest.
>>
>>38904338
Are you talking about using soul sight to check or climbing over to check?
>>
>>38904338(me)
>>38904349
Using soul sight. Typed that last part half way through, and I guess I forgot to specify that.
>>
>>38904336
The thought of cursing the tree came to mind too. While it'll evacuate everyone, Tanssija can be at risk of the bug's swarm.
>>
>>38904551
Something else to consider with that plan: the tree is likely divine in nature. Even if there were enough bugs to do some damage, the curse could either be dispelled, and/or we could suffer some divine retribution.
>>
>>38904336
>>38904338
>>38904349
>>38904354
>>38904551
>>38904581
'I'm going to be rolling the dice either way, but I'm losing cover with the crowd thinning out. Though, that is fewer witnesses. I might be able to locate the catacombs by the density of souls underground, but digging through several hooves of dirt, and who knows how much root, might take me too long. Plus, Deer tend to preserve their deceased's souls. On the other hoof, I do have ropes, hooks, and pitons at my disposal... Perhaps I could curse the hook to be silent?'
Turning on your soul sight you check at the other side of the wall to make sure you weren't dropping down into a hornet's nest. You do see a few souls on the other side, but they were moving around like they were on patrol with only four of them.

What do you do?
>>
>>38904774
If they're on patrol, they probably have regular routes. Is there anywhere in the area where it looks like civilians can rest loiter without looking suspicious?
>>
>>38904774
'Four guards can became an infinite number of I'm not careful enough. Scaling the wall could be my best option... Would it be bad to get caught though? It could take me straight to Tanssija, assuming they don't shoot their own kind on sight.'

(I'm starting to think getting caught is our best option here. No one wants to risk making ourself look like a guard, or even that black ops doe. I think that'll get us in without question.)
>>
Stopping for the night.
Have a good night or day!
>>
>>38904887
Night, Pluto!
>>
>>38904774
'The numbers are low but plenty enough to end with me in another grave if I'm not careful. Hmm... I best move on, I have nothing to gain here.'
Start leaving in the general direction of our hotel.
'I should lay out my options. I have the materials to create a ghost, presumably. But not the know-how. I have the zombies in that mass grave, they're a fair distance from here but with it getting later it may give them the chance to sneak closer. I have a variety of curses, if I just started putting doe's into heat or silencing their voices suspicions may be raised rather quickly. I could attempt the hypnosis spell but that's risky, I could also start a controlled fire there should be a lot of leaves around to make plenty of smoke without much fire... Living in a forest, I can't imagine a possible fire wouldn't be treated with the utmost urgency.'
>>
2
>>
>>38904774
'Once I'm on the inside, I'll probably only have time to react, so I need a plan in place before hoof. I could disguise my attire as a maid or a guard, but that would only avoid alerting them visually, and might get me caught if I'm stopped, so I can't afford to wander... A Spirit would be quite useful right about now, but I'd need to learn the spell. Perhaps I could make an illusion to hide myself while I read?'

Can we make out Tanssija's soul from here? If we head back to the hotel, plot a path that takes us through the empty lot/any identifiable cemetery and check what the soul activity is like.

>>38904868
If we let ourself get caught at the gate, they may detain us to a different jail than the dungeon (unlikely, but inconvenient), take our things (annoying, but potentially workable), or knock us out (disastrous since we'd lose time and possibly our disguise, thus our life). Surrendering once we're inside and caught might make for a decent backup plan though, if we can avoid getting knocked out.

>>38905294
Suggest spell can be resisted easily on its own. A pair of does in heat might be persuaded to leave their post briefly (one to alert their SO of the strange occurrence, and the other with a Suggest spell potentially, but it's a bit too much of a gamble)
A Spirit could really help with locating Tanssija, plus if we find and use a deer soul, we could translate stuff, and potentially gain information.
>>
>>38905294
>Hypnosis
There's an idea there. We've only looked at one spell, it's night time, so a sleep spell is bound to be there.
>>38904774
We look through the hypnosis spell book for a sleep spell.
>>
Online D&D tonight. Excited to see what Xeris comes up with for a new character, hopefully not one that tries to steal from bank carts.

>>38904862
>>38904868
>>38905294
>>38906129
>>38906397
'The numbers are low, but four guards can become an infinite number if I'm not careful enough. Scaling the wall could be my best option... Would it be bad to get caught though? It could take me straight to Tanssija, assuming they don't shoot their own kind on sight. I would probably only have a little bit of time to react, so I could disguise myself as a maid or a guard, but that would only avoid alerting them visually, and might get me caught if I'm stopped, so I can't afford to wander... A Spirit could be quite useful right about now, but I'd need to learn the spell.'
You step away from the wall and move over to the corner of one of the minor streets to think and not look suspicious.
'I should lay out my options. I have the materials to create a ghost, but not the knowhow. I have the Zombies in that mass grave, they're a fair distance from here but with it getting later it may give them the chance to sneak closer. I have a variety of curses, if I just started putting does into heat or silencing their voices suspicions may be raised rather quickly though. Could attempt the hypnosis spell, but that's a bit risky. Actually...'
You take out your hypnosis book and flip through it, stopping when you come to a sleep spell.
"Sleep: an area of effect spell that can put several Ponies into a deep sleep. The spell effects the weakest target first and then goes up to the stronger. Once it has a hold the Pony falls asleep for eight hours, though if they can be nudged awake and hurting them will also wake them up. A pony with a strong willpower can resist the effects and stay awake, so be warn!"
You then look up from the spell and use your soul sight to look around. You could seen a bunch beneath the tree stretching throughout the city, likely the roots underground. There were also plenty of souls inside of the tree heading up it's entire length, but with so many souls you couldn't make out Tanssija's soul among them.

What do you do?
>>
>>38906696
'Would ceremonial guards count as weak willed? No way to know without trying. I might be able to take out one, but two might be too much for it, so I should probably have a back up in place, in case things go wrong. I really do need someone to guide me... wait, Curse of Somniloquy and Sleepwalking, combined with the Suggest spell could get me a guide or directions to the dungeons, while also making it seem like one or both of them are still awake. That still relys on them being susceptible to the Sleep spell though... perhaps if I'm quick with the one and the Sleepwalking Curse, I could take care of the other with another Sleep spell.'
We briefly nibble on our mane before quickly letting it go, as not to break our illusion.

Good luck with D&D, Pluto!
>>
>>38906696
Hmm...
'I'm already missing Smoke and his penchant for ideas. I wish I had more time to develop a greater pool of resources to pull from.'
The urge to nibble on our mane taunts us as we think unable to accomplish our usual tick without likely looking odd.
'Most things I could do would almost guarantee an increase in security. Anything but the most lax scrutiny will get me caught.'
Under our breath murmur.
I wonder...
'Perhaps I'm over thinking things, high ranking ceremonial guards or not they'll have to switch shifts at some point. And that might be my opening.'
>>
>>38906748
>>38906802
>Sleep added to your spells
'Would ceremonial guards count as weak willed? No way to know without trying. I might be able to take one out, but two might be too much for it, so I should probably have a backup in place, in case things go wrong.'
"Hmm..."
'I'm already missing Smoke and his penchant for ideas. I really do need someone to guide me... wait, Curse of Somniloquy and Sleepwalking, combined with the Suggest spell could get me a guide or directions to the dungeons, while also making it seem like one or both of them are still awake. Still relies on them being susceptible to the Sleep spell though.'
You resist the urge to nibble on your mane, taunting you as you think about accomplishing your task without your usual tick.
'Most things I could do would almost guarantee an increase in security. Anything but the most lax scrutiny will get me caught.'
You then realize something that makes you mumble under your breath.
"I wonder..."
'Perhaps I'm overthinking things, high ranking ceremonial guards or not they'll have to switch shifts at some point. And that might be my opening.'
For the next ten minutes you just stand there and think, watching the gate with the two guards in front of you. After ten minutes go by the gate cracks open a bit as a Deer in a helmet poke their head out causing the two guards to turn towards them. The new Deer says something to them which makes their posture relax slightly, the gate opening more as the two trot through.

What do you do?
>>
>>38906851
Do these two look like easier targets?
>>
>>38906851
'Now or never, I suppose.'
Can we see other souls standing on the other side of the gate, and is there enough room to slip in behind them?
Head for the blindspot, toss a rope over, and get to climbing, since we probably won't be able to go the front entrance.

If we can, disguise ourself as see-through/wall colored, or cast Illusion around the rope to make a structure appear in its place/around us.
>>
>>38906851
One of our brows raises.
'A guard change? Or something else, supper break perhaps? Either way...'
Activate our soul sight and take a glance at how many deer are behind that door.
'If they're changing out guards now I need to act before the fresh guards get the time to settle.'
Start making our way a little closer while taking a glance around checking if anyone else is focused on this particular gate, if no one is currently watching it and the only souls we see behind the door she the two that just left and the third that summoned them wait for a few moments then use minor image twice in quick succession to create two deer guards in the same armor in the place the last two were.

If there are more deer behind the door, or if we can't be sure our manifestation of the illusions wouldn't go unnoticed.
Make our way closer straying within earshot so we can pick up what is said next time. Choosing the next gate in line to the left or right whichever at a cursory glance from our soul sight has the most tired deer and wait for their shift change.
>>
>>38906940
>>38906943
>>38906955
One of your brows raise.
'A guard change? Or something else, supper break perhaps? Either way...'
You glance behind the gate with your soul sight and find only three behind the gate who were moving to the tree now.
'Now or never, I suppose.'
You make your way a little closer, glancing around only to find a few Deer around who were doing their own thing at the moment. Once you reach the blind spot you cast minor image twice in quick succession to create two Deer guards as you toss a rope over and try to get to climbing, disguising yourself to be colored like the wall as you climb.

Roll a d20. DC of 12.
>>
Rolled 9 (1d20)

>>38907020
This shall go poorly.
>>
>>38907066
You grip the rope in two hooves and start to climb. You manage to get up a few feet before you start to run into some problems as your hind hooves start to scrape against the stone wall, the stone being a lot smoother than it looks.
After a minute of this your forelegs give out, causing you to slide down the rope from the few feet you got and onto the butt. Panting a bit you look up at the rope in front of you with a pout.
Your struggles didn't seem to alert anyone at least.

What do you do?
>>
>>38907083
'I need to work on my climbing, though I guess I do have a lot of odd weight to deal with.'
Is the gate still open? If so, pull down the rope, change our disguise back, and just slip in through there.
If not (and there isn't a better idea), try once again, making sure to twist the rope around our limbs to get better grip.
>>
>>38907083
Can we pull the rope back down and put knots in it to make it easier to grip?
>>
>>38907083
'Not enough grip, maybe some knots in the rope or a full rope ladder next time I try something like this... Or maybe I just need more experience climbing ropes?'
For lack of a better option tie a length of rope to our barrel ending on a rather morbid slip knot attached to the rope.
'At least if I get tired I should be able to put some weight on this so I don't slip all the way back down.'

>>38907104
Other ideas, we could tie part of the rope to ourselves and hoist ourselves up but that'd be real difficult to do.
>>
>>38907083
Swivel our head around and make a second quick check that no-one had seen that, mostly out of a rising sense of tension and fear but a small part of us burning with embarrassment.
>>
>>38907181
Another idea: we can conjurer a claws/knife to make the climb a bit easier. We just stab the wall to add traction.
>>
>>38907083
>>38907618 (me)
I actually like this idea, but I don't know what's exactly allowed...

We conjure a pare of bagh nakh/claws and equip them on our back hooves to give us leverage as we climb up the wall.
(We could also just climb using them too.)
Alt:
We conjure a pare of combat (horse) shoes and put them on our back hooves to stab the wall for leverage as we climb up the wall.
Alt:
We conjure a knife to stab into the wall for leverage as we climb up the wall.
>>
>>38907104
>>38907119
>>38907181
>>38907196
>>38907618
>>38907892
'I need to work on my climbing, though I guess I do have a lot of odd weight to deal with. Maybe I could tie some knots in the rope or a full rope ladder next time I try something like this.'
You pull the rope back down and quickly tie different parts of it into knots to make climbing easier. As you tie the last knot you get another idea and act on it, conjuring a knife and stabbing the wall to find that it sinks into it and stays there.
'At least if I get tired I should be able to put some weight on this so I don't slip all the way back down.'
You throw the rope back up and start climbing again.

Roll another d20 with advantage this time. Just means you can roll twice and take the highest number out of the two. Same DC.
>>
Rolled 6, 14 = 20 (2d20)

>>38907989
Yet another attempt doomed to land us on our ass.
>>
>>38908026
You struggle a bit with your climb, your hooves scraping against the wall and nearly losing your grip again, but you manage to hold on with the help of the conjured knife and get over the top of the wall, landing with a soft 'oof'.
When you recover a moment later you look around to find yourself in a large garden that surrounded the base of the tree, thankfully landing behind a bush that hid you. You get up and poke up from behind the bush to find the four Deer still patrolling, but you don't see anything else. You do see the entrance, a large set of wooden double doors about one hundred feet from where you currently were.

What do you do?
>>
>>38908043
Drink one of our mana potions putting the bottle back in our bag afterwards.
'I won't be attempting that again for a while... At least until I need to get back out again, damn it. Now what disguise do I take so I remain unbothered? One of those soldiers might be my best choice, but if their numbers are few most deer might have a general idea of who works were, and if someone tries to order me to do something I'd be in a great deal of trouble. Perhaps as an ordinary deer would be better, but that would be putting a touch too much faith in deer thinking since I got through all the security that I'm meant to be here.'
Wait for a bit just watching the guards trying to recover a bit more of our stamina and we think and make note of the guards route.
'Whatever I go with I should get a backup plan ready.'
Send out a signal to our zombies and have them start approaching the city while attempting to avoid detection.

After everything is done, change our disguise. Taking on the form of one of these ceremonial guards mostly their armor and gear hiding our own.
If the patrol makes its way around the whole tree wait for them to get out of sight around the other side before emerging from our hiding spot and marching confidently yet swiftly over to the double doors.
>>
>>38908152
Better not to disguise ourself as a guard since a guard being out of place actually draws a lot of attention. If we could get a good look at a maid or something, that would be a MUCH better disguise.
>>
>>38908170
Sure I agree to some extent, I thought about that but we have no idea what a maid would wear here. At best we might end up looking like a council members calldoe or a civilian who doesn't know what they're doing.
Even thought of maybe going in as a kid, or straight up copying Tanssija's armor design to pretend to be a noble. But since we're going for the dungeons or perhaps Tanssija's old room? I figured it would probably be best to keep it simple and make it look like we had important orders or something.
>>
Stopping for the night. Here's tonight's D&D summary: Giants and Strange Fires.
The party of currently five wake up in their campsite and head off on the road again up to reach the Orcs. Dusk, being the one with the map and leading the group, ends up getting lost for a moment but we still find our way and come to a bend with an overturned cart in the middle of it. Dusk and Faber sneak up to it while the rest of the party hangs back, finding only broken bottles of ale that turn into a trail that ends in a drunk, sleeping Giant. It's a Hill Giant though and not the Stone Giant we were warned about.
The two of us immediately retreat and get the rest of the party to sneak past which we are barely able to do. We travel for two more hours before stopping for the day at a different campsite. Not wanting to use rations Dusk decides to try and hunt with Verna and Faber going along with her. They don't find any big game, though they come back with birds for everyone to eat which would have been one more but Faber's bird got taken by a hawk. We cook the birds and eat though notice a strange fire a ways off which uses magic to attract attention to it. Both Savi and Faber get attracted to it on their watch.
As Faber does his watch Xeris' new character comes in to join the party: Reyzana, an Elven Oath of Ancients Paladin. We let him in and wake up to find the mysterious fire that had been next to us the entire night is now gone.
And that was it. Not much happened besides sneaking past a giant and Reyzana getting introduced. I was expecting to fight the Giant, but we managed to just barely sneak by.
>>
>>38908152
I don't think it's time to use the zombies yet. Wait until we find Tanssija. Our clumsy kidnapper may have alerted them.
A guard is our best option. We could be running the clock, enjoying some 'herbs' or making out with a hunk.
>>
>>38908310
Oh that's kinda nice, ups the intensity but allows a bit of role play. Hope you had a good time.


>>38908321
Oh no, I don't mean to use the zombies yet. I need to make that clear. But they're like a good few hours away from us at this point, I would just want to start moving them closer at this point near to the edge of the clearing so we can use them in a pinch of need be.
>>
>>38908043
Did we take our rope and hook with us when we got to the top?
Use our wall hacks aka soul sight to see if anyone is waiting on the other side of the large doors.
'These Deer are fairly serious about presentation and security, to an unfortunately xenophobic degree. How different were things before the Boartrek? Because I can't imagine these walls being built in a day, and the force that could penetrate those walls...'
Our mind briefly goes back to the mass grave we woke up in. Our brows furrow as an unpleasant and somewhat paranoid thought comes to mind.
'... Tanssija was cursed from a young age, her parents both died tragically, her brother is an apathetic ruler where as she is strong willed, she was forcibly dragged back over the border to be executed at the furst opportunity, and she was previously specifically targeted by a Boartrek that happened to get inside, an attack that likely changed a large amount of doctrine and thoughts on the world beyond their borders. Was that tragedy truly an accident?'

If we go with the guard disguise, rip a page out of our journal and roll it up like s scroll. That way, we can wave the scroll to anyone that tries to stop us, and/or offer it, so they have to get close enough that we can strike them unexpectedly.

>>38908152
Seconding!

>>38908170
I agree that a maid would be better than a guard once we're inside, at least for wandering about, but a guard is better than our current disguise, consider we're wearing a worn cloak with the hood up, which probably screams rogue/thief in high class areas, and our lack of familiarity with deer noble clothing means that isn't an option.

>>38908310
Sounds like a chill session with some (sort of) slice of life and mystery to keep things interesting while introducing a new character.
And Morning, Pluto!
>>
>>38908152
We should also tell the zombies to scatter.
>>
>>38908321
>or making out with a hunk.
Inb4

>We scale up the tree via some stairs, (thank Morena for our bra. So. Many. Steps!) and find Tanssija, use the disguise spell to make her look like a buck because that's the last thing the guards would be looking for.
>Start sneaking her out, hear a bunch of guards coming and pull Tanssija into a small tight closet. Awkwardly close together.
>The guards rush past, wait for a minute then the door cracks open on its own and a maid pokes her head in before stopping in seeing the two of us.
>The maid nickers and says something with a big grin on their face, Tanssija's face practically explodes with a rosy red blush and the maid leaves shutting the door.
>Tanssija refuses to elaborate on what the maid said locking up completely and blushing whenever it's mentioned.


>>38909282
Seconding.
>>
>>38908152
>>38908170
>>38908236
>>38908321
>>38908352
>>38909282
>>38909742
>>38909910
Realizing you were out of magic from that you down one of your mana potions and put the bottle back in your bag after drinking it.
>One minor magic potion used.
You then pull your rope down and place it back into the bag as well before using your soul sight to see if there was anything on the other side of the door, though you don't see anything.
'I won't be attempting that again for a while... At least until I need to get back out again, damn it. Now what disguise do I take so I remain unbothered? One of those soldiers might be my best choice, but if their numbers are few most Deer might have a general idea of who works where, and if someone tries to order me to do something I'd be in a great deal of trouble. These Deer are fairly serious about presentation and security, to an unfortunately xenophobic degree. How different were things before the Boartrek? Because I can't imagine these walls being built in a day, and the force that could penetrate these walls...'
Your mind briefly goes back to the mass grave you woke up in. Your brows furrowing as an unpleasant and paranoid thought comes to mind.
'...Tanssija was cursed from a young age, her parents both died tragically, her brother is an apathetic ruler where as she is strong willed, she was forcibly dragged back over the border to be executed at the first opportunity, and she was previously targeted by a Boartrek that happened to get inside, an attack that likely changed a large amount of doctrine and thoughts on the world beyond their borders. Was that tragedy truly an accident?'
You shake your head and watch guards as you recover your stamina a bit.
'Whatever I go with I should get a backup plan ready.'
You change your disguise into one of the ceremonial guards you saw and rip out a page of your journal which you roll up like a scroll. You then get up and quickly march towards the double doors, heading inside without any issue.
Inside, you find yourself in a large foyer room which was a long hall decorated with rugs, statues, tables, plants, and so on along the side. Hanging from the roof were chandeliers with the same blue glowing crystals that you saw at the inn.
As you look around the foyer a thought comes to your mind. If this was just the first room this place must be massive. It could take hours to find her.

What do you do?
>>
>>38910216
Now, do they have tower dungeons of basement dungeons? Here's an idea, use our soul sight to look for stationary souls. Servants and guests would move around a lot more than a guard at their post.
>>
>>38910216
'I'm not sure she has hours. Chances are, the dungeons would be a central location, but I don't know if they have her locked up in a hole, or in a tower, so to speak. Though, the same could be said of the throne room. I'd need a flat out blueprint for this place, and that still wouldn't help with the language barrier. If this place had some spare souls, maybe I could sneakily learn a commune with the dead spell, or a temporary Spirit guide spell or something, but I'd need privacy for that. Probably best to go down, since the food cellar and servants quarters are probably that way, and I may be able to get some privacy to think there.'
Keep our soul sight on and look for souls going up or down stairs, or rooms that are empty, so we can think.

>>38909910
>Get stopped by a random patrol
>Being disguised as a guard, we have to stop, stand, and salute
>Tanssija, still disguised as a buck, has to cover for us
>She can only think of what the maid said
>She eventually convinces the guards to leave, blushing a little themselves
>When pressed about it later, she mumbles something about 'a personal guard granted by the king,' 'extremely professional,' and 'eager to serve.'
>>
Forgot to say online D&D tonight, the new one I got into.

>>38910238
>>38910338
'I'm not sure she had hours. Chances are, the dungeons would be a central location, but I don't know if they have her locked up in a hole, or in a tower so to speak. Though, the same could be said of the throne room. I'd need a flat out blueprint for this place, and that still wouldn't help with the language barrier. If this place had some spare souls, maybe I could sneakily learn a commune with the dead spell, or a temporary Spirit guide spell or something, but I'd need privacy for that. Probably best to go down, since the food cellar and servants quarters are probably that way, and I may be able to get some privacy there.'
You keep your soul sight on as you look for a way up or down through moving souls. You quickly find some going down which leads you to a large, spiraling staircase that goes both up and down with plenty of servants heading both directions. You head down several floors before stopping at the bottom of the stairs. The bottom of the tree palace was a massive wooden room held up with thick wooden pillars that appeared to have been carved from the tree. The room seemed to mostly be used for storage as it was filled with piles of boxes and other stuff, though there were a few smaller rooms scattered about along with some servants moving around.
As you step into the basement and over to one of the smaller rooms that were empty you notice scattered around the edge of the basement were iron doors, which were out of place as almost everything seemed to be made out of wood. You could see a lot of souls beyond each door that go off deep underground in a winding manner. In front of one of these doors you see two Deer guards wearing the same armor as you were standing on either side of it.

What do you do?
>>
>>38910437
Are any of the souls on the other side of the door cursed?

If not:
'This isn't my destination'
We flatten our ears and begin trotting back up to an empty room.
'I should "ask" someone for directions. Either seduce them to this room and threaten them, or find a room with one soul and threaten them.'

If there is:
We scrutinize the souls. One of them should have one curse Kidnapper, and the other should have two Tanssija

If Tanssija is in there, use curse of stuffiness on the guards and pull out our sword.
(Debated on that last part.)
>>
>>38910437
'The Deer at the border have no qualms with killing over border crossing, which means most of those souls are Deer, potentially political prisoners as well. Or a lot of them could be prisoners who died in their cells? Actually, these could be a mausoleum of sorts... but then why guard those doors specifically?'

Good luck with D&D, Pluto!

>>38910505
Seconding, though in place of seduce, maybe persuade? Feels like a dumb distinction to make when Luscinia could employ the tactic, but I think she wouldn't think of it as seduction, for some reason. Or at least give it a pause. Idk.
>>
>>38910505
Oh, good point about the curses.
>>
>>38910613
I considered "Lure" or "Allure" I also considered "suggest" or "pull in"
But I thought maybe do the direct approach. It can be as simple as swinging our bra through the door, or expose a "naked" leg.

I also considered the idea of "accidently" removing our disguise just as we walk in so they would look into the door.

Use suggest if they hesitate.
>>
>>38910505
>>38910613
>>38910621
'The Deer at the border have no qualms with killing over border crossings, which means most of those souls are Deer, potentially political prisoners as well. Or a lot of them could be prisoners who died in their cells? Actually, these could be a mausoleum of sorts... but then why guard those doors specifically?'
You look towards the door and at the others. None of the souls on the other side of the doors had curses as far as you could tell.
'This isn't my destination.'
You flatten your ears down and continue to trot up to one of the empty rooms.
'I should ask someone for directions. Either seduce them to this room and threaten them, or find a room with one soul and threaten them.'
You get to an empty room and open it only to pause as the iron door the two guards were standing at open. The two step away as two more guards steps out followed by another Deer. It was a young buck with a green coat similar to Tanssija's though looked younger than her by a few years at least. He wore a white coat with a bit of red clothing showing from underneath and black pants. Along with the clothing he wore a crown a crown made out of a silver material studded with rubies and emeralds.
"Miten katakombit menivät, Kuningas Hannu?" One of the guards asks.
"Hyvä," The buck named Hannu responds in a monotone voice similar to your own; dusting his coat off slightly with a hoof, "Onko jotain muuta mitä pitää tehdä tänä iltana vai voinko vihdoin mennä nukkumaan?"
"Ei." The guard shakes his head.
"Vihdoinkin!" Hannu groans; throwing his head back as he starts to trot away.
He doesn't get very far though as another buck comes briskly trotting down the stairs and stops him. As soon as this buck comes up to him any sort of happiness he had quickly turns back to exhaustion.
"Tämän on parempi olla hyvä." He tells the buck; his monotone voice returning.
"Voin vakuuttaa, että on," The buck nods enthusiastically, "Lähettämäsi vakoojat ovat palanneet muutama tunti sitten Tanssija kanssa!"
Hannu blinks at this, spending a moment processing before emotions return to him once again in the form of surprise and anger. To you, you do hear that the buck mentions Tanssija.
"...Häh- mitä- En tilannut sitä," Hannu shouts in anger at the buck, "Ja en todellakaan tiennyt siitä!"
"Sinun tulee muistaa se sellaisena kuin olet käskenyt sen toteuttaa." The buck responds; nonplussed by his response and to you it felt like he was... enjoying it very slightly.
Hannu glares at the buck and raises a hoof up only to set it down, shaking with barely contained anger.
"Missä hän on juuri nyt?" Hannu asks slowly.
"Ylös vankityrmässä-"
Before the buck could finish Hannu was already stomping upstairs with his guards quickly following behind.

What do you do?
>>
>>38910716
I get a feeling that we should follow him.
>>
>>38910716
We silently curse ourself for never getting Tanssija's brother's name.
'If that isn't her brother though, I'll eat my sword. Considering that was probably him finding out about Tanssija, he is probably going to be my best lead, and maybe even a ticket out of here, if I can figure out a way to get him on my side. One step at a time though, find Tanssija.'
Mentally making note of the informant buck in case we can curse or punch his face later, make our way after King Hannu, using the staircase to stay out of direct line of sight, but following within earshot and with Soul Sight.

>>38910713
Could head into a bedroom, set our bra on the doorknob, and make a bit of noise. Someone will come check, eventually, probably.

Also, dumb lewd thought;
Tanssija gets paranoid about Changelings/disguises when we find her, demands some proof that we are who we say we are, and her brother is there. So, the bra comes off.
>Hannu promptly passes out from blood 'loss'
>"... You could've just brought up Smoke, or what we saw in the Keyian ruins."
>"You know I'm not that good under both social and situational pressure."
>"... Those could also be fake. Who knows how many soldiers saw you."
>"..."
>>
>>38910946
Not this. Random curses would only raise suspicion. Though we do need to track him.
>>
>>38911030
Yeah, I decided to delete it for that reason.
Reading the guard was excited mentioning Tanssija's name, it makes me believe he's a part of it and is setting the king up in a trap.
But doing this to the guard would prompt the guard to call over the other two guards to chase after them. Then we would be in a worse situation.
>>
>>38911232
There's no reason to set up a trap for the king considering he's already on a leash. Also, the guy was referred to as a buck, not a guard. He's probably some kind of noble.
>>
>>38911336
Then that makes it more probable as a trap.
King is lured to dungeon, King is killed in dungeon, Tanssija is smeared in his blood, tried for murdering the king, Lord takes over.
>>
>>38911443
Why would somebody wipe out the nation's entire royal bloodline as well as their own puppet that allows them to control the entire nation without any risk to themself?
>>
>>38911464
Haven't weighted in yet, but the fact that Tanssija was exiled instead of executed at Hannu's behest could have shown that their control is not so ironclad, plus our most up to date source of info on that stuff is Tanssija herself, who would really know what had happened in her absence (he might be growing a spine). Not that I think there is necessarily a trap, but we can assume things aren't all that stable either.
>>
>>38911481
Fine, I translated what they said to each other and the reason Hannu almost smacked the guy was because he ORDERED him to claim that he was the one that ordered Tanssija's capture. It's painfully obvious which of the two were actually in charge.
>>
Killed a lot of rats.

>>38910863
>>38910927
'If that isn't her brother though, I'll eat my sword. Considering that was probably him finding out about Tanssija, he is probably going to be my best lead, and maybe even a ticket out of here, if I can figure out a way to get him on my side. One step at a time though, find Tanssija.'
You mentally make a note of the information buck to either curse or punch in the face later as you make your way after King Hannu, using the spiraling of the staircase to stay out of sight as they head up. After many floors of climbing he turns off onto a floor that leads into a hallway with you still following close behind. They go down a few more halls before ending up at a wooden door that has an opening with bars carved into it. He heads inside followed by two of his guards, the other two staying outside.

What do you do?
>>
>>38911588
Go in, with him, of course!

>>38911464
It's what the trial is for.
When I was thinking he was a guard, I considered the 'promotion' that was promised to the spies was to be a scapegoat. The individual would kill Tanssija in front of Hannu and unleash the King's wrath upon them. Then it'll make him completely broken, maybe even have him commit suicide soon after. >>38911481 has the right idea. Killing Hannu in front of Tanssija would cause emotional tramma and make the 'exiled revolutionary' sound more hysterical, while the Lord would plead he just lost his 'best friend' to that monster.
If Tanssija is asleep, it would be easy to forge evidence against her. If a berserk spell exists, they can actually make her do the deed.

Tl;Dr, theatrics to better the Lord's approval around Aln Lenora.
>>
>>38911588
'I probably wouldn't have found this on my own in a timely manner, but now how do I deal with these two? Or the two inside? I don't even know if Hannu's guard can be trusted, let alone the buck himself.'
How active is this floor? Are there rooms nearby that we could slip in to listen in on the conversation? Probably work best if there is an 'open' window.

Dumb question, how big is Hannu's rack?

>>38911493
I had interpreted that as more someone relaying a 'message' (order) to Hannu, given the relative insignificance of the buck in question, but that would imply the king has virtually no control (at least with respect to specific messengers)
Though, one exchange and some background info doesn't give us a shadow council's entire motive and immediate plans. It's not like they couldn't get spooked/want to justify war/major change or simply make a tactical mistake and decide to off both royals in one fell swoop while they have the chance. It probably won't happen, but it's not a certainty.

>>38911638
Should we really be following right on in? The four (two with, two at the door) are either his honor guard or 'assigned' guard, and they probably wouldn't let a random ceremonial guard approach. Their body language might tell us whether we're allowed in if we were to approach though.
>>
>>38911638
>>38911668
Once again. The king is already their puppet. Breaking him further, killing him, or convincing him to kill himself would ruin them. They need him as both a tool and a shield. By ruling from the shadows, they can do whatever they want and have Hannu take ALL of the blame. Without him, they will lose their best scapegoat and all legitimacy. They'd have to deal with peasant revolts, assassination attempts, coups, and other's trying to take their slice of the pie away from them. your ideas are tantamount to suicide for them.
>>
Stopping for the night. Here is tonight's D&D summary: Rats, Rats, We're the Rats!
So we return to the new party of four having just killed some rats in the basement of an inn and having found a giant hole in the wall of the basement leading into a cave. At the end of the tunnel we go down is a gorge that is just wide enough that jumping to the other side wouldn't end well and about twenty feet deep. The bottom of the gorge is pretty narrow with a little stream going through it and two ways to go on both ends of it with the other side of the gorge leading deeper.
We use some ropes to get down and explore the two paths a bit. One dead ends, but the other goes down a winding tunnel before stopping underneath two ledges where we can hear some crazed voices talking about stealing coming from one side. We decide to explore this later and head back to climb the ledge of the main path. Down the main path we find a little cove with a pile of bones covered in scratches and gnaw marks, a mix of animals and goblinoids.
After that we come to a large opening in the tunnel with a pitfall trap that we avoid and a winding, thin tunnel at the end. As we prepare to go down this tunnel we hear a bunch of chittering coming from it and quickly hide, the chittering being from a giant swarm of rats.
We get the jump on them with lots of fire from Ferrovax and Kroann though even with that it's a challenge fight and we all come out of it with wounds.
We heal up a bit and head down the tunnel to find what was causing the voices we heard earlier: two Wererats and a few giant rats with a pile of things they've stolen from the inn and Aden, the innkeeper we're trying to find. We surprise them again and the battle is pretty hard with two of us nearly getting knocked out and the other two pretty low in HP. Doli, my character, spends the fight attacking the Wererats and she ends up getting bitten by them a few times. The first time she's fine, but the second time she gets Wererat Lycanthropy.
We kill everything but one Wererat, free Aden, and interrogate it, finding out that there is still a Broodmother down there somewhere that will cause problems if left alone. We end up killing the Wererat anyway and head back up with Aden for a short rest, preparing to go back down there soon.
And that was that session, an ungodly amount of rats and fighting what were essentially Skaven. Probably shouldn't have sent Doli in to fight two Wererats and get lycanthropy, but there's plenty of time until a full moon and we're heading to a nearby town after this so hopefully we can find a priest and get a cure that isn't too expensive.
>>
>>38911677
He went against their will in regards to Tanssija when they were in control before, so it stands to reason they'd make a point, or at least expect him to do something again. Not a very reliable puppet when she is involved, and we know they plan to execute her based on the soldier's words (assuming they don't decide to fake it and lock her in a room for leverage or something)
If they were actually completely reliant on him as a tool (a scapegoat doesn't need power obviously), I believe there would be ways to get a message out that shit is fucked. Assuming they've been at this a while, they'd likely have been undermining his family for a while too, cause basing that kind of control on the life and lineage of one buck (whom I believe was implied to have been suicidal) is effectively a jenga tower.
The thing is we can assume a lot, but it still comes back to one thing: the fuck do we actually know about them? There really isn't a point to arguing about this, I don't think.

>>38911766
I had that title in my head when I read you killed a lot of rats.
Night, Pluto!
>>
>>38911886
Going against their will would've been fully pardoning her. As for the amount of effort put in, they probably murdered the former king and queen and made an agreement with the Boartrek to try to kill Tanssija. Them suddenly breaching the wall at just the right place and time to catch her was awfully convenient. They probably are also the reason she's cursed in the first place. As for him "getting a message out", That's prevented by not doing anything significant enough to incentivize it. The exact opposite of EVERYTHING you're suggesting. Did Jafar (from Aladdin), at the beginning of the story, throw jasmine in chains and threaten to brutally murder her to get his way or did he use his position of influence and trust to manipulate the sultan to do what he want? And before you get nitpicky, yes, he mainly relied on magic and yes he got extremely blatant at at the end, but that was mostly after he got exposed and received immense enough magical power to just take control without any worries. Thesis is that you don't seem to have the slightest clue about how shadow governments work.
>>
>>38911886
On a side note, the full translation so you have a better idea of their relationship:

'The Deer at the border have no qualms with Killing over border crossings, which means most of those Souls are Deer, potentially political prisoners as well. Or a lot of them could be prisoners who died in their cells? Actually, these could be a mausoleum of sorts... but then why guard those doors specifically?'

You look towards the door and at the others. None of the Souls on the other side of the doors had curses as far as you could tell.

'This isn't my destination.'

You flatten your ears down and continue to trot up to one of the empty rooms.

'I should ask someone for directions. Either seduce them to this room and threaten them, or find a room with one soul and threaten them.'

You get to an empty room and open it only to pause as the iron door the two guards were standing at open. The two step away as two more guards step out followed by another Deer. It was a young buck with a green coat similar to Tanssija's though looked Younger than her by a few years at least. They wore a white coat with a bit of red clothing showing from underneath and black pants. Along with the clothing he wore a crown a crown made out of a silver material studded with rubies and emeralds.

"How did the catacombs go, King Hannu?" One of the guards asks.

"Good," The buck named Hannu responds in a monotone voice similar to your own; dusting his coat off slightly with a hoof, "Is there anything else to do tonight or can I finally go to bed?"

"No." The guard shakes his head.

"Finally!" Hannu groans; throwing his head back as he starts to trot away.

He doesn't get very far though as another buck comes briskly trotting down the stairs and stops him. As soon as this buck comes up to him any sort of happiness he quickly turns back to exhaustion.

"This better be good." He tells the buck; his monotone voice returning.

"I can assure you it is," The buck Nods enthusiastically, "The spies you sent out a few hours ago have returned with the Dancer!"

Hannu blinks at this, spending a moment processing before emotions return to him once again in the form of surprise and anger. To you, you do hear that the buck Mentions Dancer.

"...Hah- what- I didn't order it," Hannu shouts in anger at the buck, "And I really didn't know about it!"

"You shall remember it as you have commanded it to be done." The buck responds; nonplussed by his response and to you it felt like he was... enjoying it very slightly.

Hannu glares at the buck and raises a hoof up only to set it down, shaking with barely contained anger.

"Where is he right now?" Hannu asks slowly.

"Up in the dungeon-"

Before the buck could finish Hannu was already stomping upstairs with his guards quickly following behind.
>>
>>38911677
>By ruling from the shadows, they can do whatever they want and have Hannu take ALL of the blame.
The problem with that IS because they're running in the shadows. They have to be cautious and manipulative. If they can replace them with a megalomaniac that supports the council, they can run a dictatorship without being opposed. The trial will help them succeed in that.
But, you do have a good argument. If they want to continue using this puppet with a heart, then killing Tanssija is absolutely necessary.
With her out of the picture, their puppet has no reason to keep their borders as they are, since he would have no reason to keep the world outside of Aln Lenora safe.

Also, if something on the lines of using his sister as a hostage or bait, there would be absolutely no reason to inform the king about what his spies have done.

This all talk about using Hannu as a puppet just reminds me of this scene.
https://youtu.be/NR6z26QwjnI
>>
>>38911668
Fine then...
>>38911588
>>38911638(me)
We cast curse of panic on both of the guards and then conjure an axe. If they try to stop as we give them a glare and threaten them with the axe. If the door is closed, we chop it down mercilessly and barge right in.

If things go as I feared, we're not just going to curse or punch him, we will kill that fucking bastard and burn his soul! He does not deserve an afterlife!
>>
>>38912388
>If they can replace them
Sorry, but that would mean a war to place somebody completely unrelated to the royal bloodline on the throne. The only option that doesn't lead to chaos and the loss of a great deal of wealth as well as possibly weakening the nation and making it vulnerable to conquest by an outside party is to maintain the status quo with Hannu "in charge".
>>
>>38912396
A bit too noisy for my taste especially considering that there are still two armed guards inside the room with a defenseless Tanssija. Personally I think we should put a sleepwalking curse on both of the outside guards and then follow it up with a sleep curse. The sleepwalk is to prevent the guards from noisily dropping to the floor and possibly alerting somebody. Also, it's Hannu that is talking with Tanssija, not the buck.
>>
>>38912396
I wasn't flat out against trying to approach and follow in, I just expected it would probably fail, and was wondering what your plan beyond that might have been.

>>38912435
This does seem like a more subtle approach. Luscinia might not be enthused about Hannu, but charging in to danger ready to chop a bitch doesn't suit her. Not in this situation, at least.
>>
>>38911588
'This is likely where Tanssija is held, better hang back though there is a possibility the king is confronting a council member? Even if Tanssija is in there marching in there willy nilly accomplishes little. Better to let the king leave or do what he's going to do, two guards are easier to manage then four and a king. Either way I can't stay here, if we king or someone else comes by I'll look too suspicious.'
Walk up the stairs keeping our head forwards, however as we pass sneak a glance at the insides of the room. Using our soul sight if the door has since shut after the king and his guards have gone inside.
Assuming the stairway continues up proceed upwards, if not turn and stand at guard watching both the stairway and the door to the the mystery room which may or may not contain a princess.
>>
>>38912421
We're going to be finding out soon enough, but I would like to write one more thing:
https://www.anonpone.com/quest/thegoodnecro/38745589#navbar
>"K-King Eetu exiled her, b-but the c-council d-decided she was t-too dangerous to b-be left a-alive. T-They want her b-back at t-the palace to b-be jailed, t-tried, a-and e-executed."
From what you're arguing, there is a solid following to the king, but these are also the same deer who would sacrifice the king's sister for a promotion from the council without a second thought. The council wants to progress without any opposition and/or the same goals as then. Military serves the crown, not Hannu ,so there's no problem there. And the people will be too oppressed to do much of anything. The council will make sure of that.
There will be more power in the government, and less power of the people.

Also, uhhhh....
Eetu is the king? Oorrr... Eetu is the Lord with Hannu? So that builds the idea that Eetu is already a false king and is now claiming his dominance.
>>
>>38913745
If we're the one's in the trap, and is following the wrong crown, let's hope 'digestion of sword' is covered in our resurrection bill.
>>
>>38913745
Felt like I gave him a name previously. I tried to find it and couldn't.

>>38911638
>>38911668
>>38912396
>>38912435
>>38913225
>>38913487
'I probably wouldn't have found this on my own in a timely manner. This is likely where Tanssija is being held, but how to deal with these two? Or the two inside? I don't even know if Hannu's guard can be trusted, let alone the buck himself. Even if Tanssija is in there marching in willy nilly accomplishes little.'
You look around the floor for a moment. It wasn't too active right now, but you would still be suspicious looking just standing there. There was a room next to you, so you just open the door and slip into an empty workroom. Once inside you look over with our soul sight and manage to pick out Hannu's soul among the few souls in there. His soul bobs along for a bit and then stops in front of a soul at the end of the room he was in, a soul that looked a bit familiar.
If they were talking right now you couldn't hear anything.

What do you do?
>>
>>38914012
'That confirms it. Why did I hesitate?'
We recall what the guards look like and disguise ourself as a different deer but with their armor. We then rush out of the room and run into the dungeon with the best astonished face we can make.
>>
>>38914012
'That could be Tanssija? Fantastic. Now just to draw the guards and kind away. Minor image is probably my best bet... I could conjure the image of a boar coming up the stairwell but that would likely lead to too much of a reaction. Maybe a little dark smoke or incomprehensible loud sounds?'
Take a second glance around the workroom to see what it contains just in case.

>>38914077
Not this.
That's quite frankly a terrible plan? I hesitate to call it a plan even. Assuming that got us in there without being stopped it'd lead to us immediately being questioned in a language we can't speak, blowing our cover and stripping us of the element of surprise we've been taking advantage of since we got here.
I'm as eager to go rescue the princess and everyone else but rushing in there won't get us anywhere good. In addition Luscinia definitely leans more on the planning side of things... Outside of combat anyway.
>>
>>38914012
Based on the number, is it just Tanssija, Hannu, and his two guards?
Based on position, if there are extra, can we determine if they're also prisoners or not?
'Hearing what they're saying wouldn't help me much, but it would be nice... I wish I had taken the time to study my illusion book a little more, I'm walking a tight rope just being here.'
If it wouldn't take long, maybe check our illusion book?

If we're certain it's just the four of them, and their souls indicate that there isn't shocking information or major conflict being revealed, use Curse of Cluminess on Tanssija, and then undo it.
'Come on, Tanssija, you're clever. I'm here.'

Not entirely sure on this post, but we need to make contact somehow.

>>38914077
A) They saw us enter an empty room, and would see another, unexpected/unscheduled and astonished looking honor guard walk out. A fawn would see through our disguise. They would have questions.
B) We literally can't answer those questions.
I'd like to be doing more than sitting back and watching as well, but this is really not a well thought out course of action.
>>
>>38913745
Nice catch, but you're misinterpreting it. The crown is on Hannu's brow and the only one allowed to wear the crown in the palace of the nation's capital is the king. Further, the order for him to claim to be the one who ordered her capture wouldn't make any sense if he wasn't the king. Honestly, I have no clue how to resolve this conflicting information other than Eetu being a family name or Pluto screwing up and using the wrong name.
>>
>>38914175
From what was said, it sounded like they walked down a hall to reach Tanssija, so there are probably other rooms with other captives here.
>>
>>38914077
We're already disguised as a guard.

>>38914175
Why the curse on Tanssija?
>>
>>38914012
I still like my sleepwalk then sleep idea to get into the dungeon without drawing attention.
>>
So we just broke in here for some elaborate cutscenes? That's what it sounds like since everyone has no desire to save it friend.
>>
>>38914227
Tanssija knows what her soul feels like, roughly, and that we can do Curses. I'm sort of hoping she might recognize the sensation as us trying to tell us we're watching her.

>>38914229
It's might be our best course for a direct approach on the front, to be honest. If the minor image plan or the room doesn't bare fruit, I'm down for slowly 'picking them off' from behind the wall.

>>38914260
We're a lone spellcaster in the center of the palace of the capital of a Necromancer loathing populace, whose border guard generally kills anyone who toes the line with one shot to the head. Luscinia is not a God, a barbarian, or a murder hobo. Pluto might be willing to use kiddy gloves at times for the sake of story, but a hornets nest is too gentle for what we're standing in. We CAN'T fight our way out.
>>
>>38914077
>>38914138
>>38914175
>>38914218
Yeah, I just misremembered what I had used for his name before.

From where you were you could see the souls of Hannu, the two guards that went in with him, and the souls of seven others. The seven souls were all spread out from each other, like they are in different rooms from each other.
'That could be Tanssija? Hearing what they're saying wouldn't help me much, but it would be nice... I wish I had taken the time to study my illusion book a little more, I'm walking a tight rope just being here. Maybe minor image could get the two guards to leave... could conjure the image of a Boar coming up the stairwell but that would likely have too much of a reaction. Maybe a little dark smoke or incomprehensible loud sounds?'
You take out your illusion book and start flipping through it trying to find a spell that could help in this situation. As you do you look around the room. The room had several chairs sitting in the middle with a table on the far side from you with tools such has hammers, various chisels, and saws. Also on the table were several blocks of wood and stone, most untouched but two looked to have been in the process of being carved. There was also a larger block of stone that had been chiseled as well into a tree though it wasn't done yet.
It was a sculpting room.
As you continue to flip through your book you get an idea as you look back at Hannu's and the other soul. Hannu's soul was a mix of disbelief, sadness, and a tiny bit of anger while the other soul was most anger with a bit of sadness. Targeting the other soul you cast Curse of Clumsiness on it and then quickly undo it.
'Come on, Tanssija, you're clever. I'm here.'
As soon as the curse is put on the soul and then goes away, the soul brightens with realization before it quickly returns to it's previous emotions several seconds later.

What do you do?
>>
>>38914260
>>38914229 (me)
My full plan is to incapacitate the guards in the hall so we can get into the dungeon and then either incapacitate the last two guard so we can capture Hannu or capture Hannu so we can force the guards to not act while we incapacitate them. After than, we free Tanssija and disguise her as a guard and then force/convince Hannu to let us escort him to the garden. He clears the garden of guards and then we leave the same way we came.
>>
>>38914327
My backup plan is to wait for them all to leave and get into the dungeon to free Tannsija. Than we disguse her as a guard and use a combination of her knowledge of the palace, language and our soul sense to not draw attention to ourselves while we linger in the palace. We could also switch to staff at some point since they're supposed to be ignored. Than, once they realize she escaped, we take advantage of the chaos to join the search parties and wait for the net to spread wide enough for us to reach the forest. After that we head towards a distant part of the border since they are likely to reinforce the closer part and use our curses to make a hole.
>>
>>38914304
'And there she goes proving me right... Assuming that is in fact Tanssija and not some other deer adept at noticing their soul is being messed with. But that would be too much of a coincidence hopefully.'
Walk over and brush our hooves over the various chisels, before taking the one that looks the sturdiest and putting it in our bag.
'This might prove useful, if Tanssija is chained to something or if there is a lock that needs busting open it may just suffice.'

>>38914327
I don't think taking the king hostage, in his very castle, would go as smoothly as you are thinking.

>>38914260
We DIED to be here. We're going to save her, but dying again won't accomplish anything we'll just lose progress. We're watching her soul, should we absolutely have to if we think she might step in we have the option to bust in but that is a last resort. And worst comes to worst comes to worst, we do have the option of resurrecting her.
>>
>>38914304
'Using the Curse of Sleepwalking and the Sleep spell could take out a guard or two covertly, but I've only got enough mana to cast it twice, and then I'll be tapped out. Though, if ever there were a time to use my potions, now would be it. Question is, are they strong enough to resist it? If it fails, I'll need to act fast. I need a plan B. Cursing them all with Cluminess would turn things in my favor if a fight did break out... perhaps a Dragon's roar sounding off from the upper levels with Minor Image? That would light a fire under their hooves, but might cost me a talk with Hannu.'
Get a mana potion ready to chug, in case we need need to case the spell twice to knock them both out, and need more mana.

(Current thought being Curse of Sleepwalking and Cluminess both external guards in rapid succession, try for a Sleep spell on both, two casts if we can get one and then the other, and casting Minor Image to draw them away if they shake off the first cast.)

A bit busy, gotta post what I have, though incomplete. Think we should be somewhat in agreement on things before we act.

>>38914327
Effectively what I had, but I mostly had a string of "ideas."
>>
>>38914372
Hey, at least it's a plan. It can be improved on or changed a bit if needed.
>>
>>38914378
We should hold off on clumsiness unless it looks like we need it. Also, depending on how well trained they are, they might be more likely to call reinforcements than leave their post for the image idea. Lastly, so much weirdness in quick succession could tip them off that something is wrong.
>>
>>38914396
Fair on the Cluminess.
I'm banking on the absolute terror and confusion of a Dragon attacking their beloved tree to keep them from doing their job as effectively (leaving the king to the two guards rather than the four of them escorting him to safety), but I wanted to get the basework of a larger plan out while I'm juggling things.

We don't have to act just yet, though.

>>38914372
Seconding!
If we can avoid hostage taking of the king (without a more thought out plan and Hannu helping), that would be great, but I anticipate there will probably be some aggressive negotiations.
>>
>>38914428
Well, it sounds like the dragon would be appearing inside the tree without anybody seeing or hearing it reach wherever you plan on putting it. Yes, it would initially cause chaos when everybody goes "WTF!?!", but after they have a few moments to think or converse, they'll realize it was just an illusion and that there is an intruder. I can't say for certain, but the window of time feels like it would be measured in seconds and we'd probably end up cornered in the dungeon having to fight our way out.
>>
>>38914372
>>38914378
>>38914379
>>38914396
>>38914428
>>38914446
'And there she goes proving me right... Assuming that is in fact Tanssija and not some other Deer adept at noticing their soul is being messed with.'
You walk over to the chisels and brush a hoof over them, your hoof getting a slight dusting of wood and stone dust that you wipe away. You take a chisel with a broad, flat tip and place it in your bag.
'This might prove useful, if Tanssija is chained to something or if there is a lock that needs busting open it may just suffice.'
You turn back towards the door and study it for a moment.
'Using the Curse of Sleepwalking and the Sleep spell could take out a guard or two covertly, but I've only got enough mana to cast it twice and then I'll be all tapped out. Though, if ever there was a time to use my potions, now would be it. Question is, are they strong enough to resist it? If it fails, I'll need to act fast. I need a plan B just in case. Perhaps a Dragon's roar from the upper levels with Minor Image?'
You take a deep breath and crack the door open slightly as you focus on the two guards at the door. In quick succession you cast Curse of Sleepwalking on both of them and then cast the Sleep. Both of the guards drop halfway to the floor and then spring back up suddenly, standing there for a moment before trotting off in different directions as the curse and spell work on both of them.

What do you do?
>>
>>38914658
Oh, forgot the sleepwalking actually caused them to wander. Well, as long as nothing wakes them up it'll still work. Too the dungeon!
>>
>>38914658
We let out a quiet puff of air, relieved that they fell asleep, but annoyed that they had so quickly left their post.
Leaving the cover of our sculpting room, we gently grab them by the armor and try to guide them back into the room, humming a quiet lullaby as we do. Once we're inside, we help them lay down and take off the Sleepwalking curse.
Checking them quickly for keys and orders, we head off towards Tanssija.
>>
>>38914658
Wipe our brow with a fetlock.
'Okay... Standing inside all day and staring at a wall takes a lot of discipline but it seems to sap your force of will. Hopefully neither of them ends up tripping down the stairs.'
Let out a small sigh.
'What's done can't be undone. Before their abandoned post is noticed I need to go.'
Slip out from our side room and over to the door, grab the handle and pause for a moment before quietly opening the door and slipping inside taking up a post guarding the inner side of the door if we aren't immediately noticed.
>>
>>38914699
Risky, I do want to pull them into the sculpting room (and probably have them snuggle up with each other.) but grabbing and jostling them may wake them up.
Might be better to try lead them into the room with a nice smell? We have some moon flowers, maybe we could try use those?
>>
>>38914714
Those flowers might work. I just figured the armor would be well fitted enough that we could gently guide and steer them, especially if they're already walking on their own.
My brain being the gutter trash that it is thought you were going to suggest a different direction.
>>
>>38914682
>>38914699
>>38914702
>>38914714
>>38914723
You wipe your brow with a fetlock and let out a quiet puff of air, relieved that they fell asleep though slightly annoyed that they left their posts so quickly.
'Okay... Standing inside all day and staring at a wall takes a lot of discipline but it seems to sap your force of will. Hopefully neither of them ends up tripping down the stairs. Actually...'
You leave the cover of your sculpting room and gently grab the two of them without waking either of them up, carefully guiding them into the sculpting room while humming a quiet lullaby. You get them in without any trouble and take off the sleepwalking curse on them to keep them from moving around, placing a few of the moon flowers you got to give the room a nice smell.
'There!'
You check them over for any keys or orders, finding a few keys on them. You store them away for now and trot off to the dungeon, grabbing the handle and quietly opening the door, slipping inside and taking up a post on the inner side of the door.
It was indeed a dungeon though one that was a lot more cozy than what you've read about them. Rather than cold cobblestone it was made out of wood in a log cabin style with jail cells placed occasionally along the length of it with the bars made out of metal. At the end of the dungeon you could see Hannu and his two guards and your angle allows you to see that he was indeed talking to Tanssija. One of the guards glances over at you for a moment, but none of the others notice your entrance.
"Et siis ollut se, joka määräsi vangitsemiseni?" Tanssija asks Hannu.
"Ei," Hannu shakes his head, "Jos olisin, olisin lopettanut sen, vaikka he eivät todennäköisesti olisi kuunnelleet."
"Se oli silloin valtuusto."
"Varmasti. Ja minulla on tunne, miksi he haluavat sinut."

What do you do?
>>
>>38914803
Seeing as we can't understand what is being said, we instead focus on the souls of those present, watching their emotions and confirming that Tanssija isn't some sort of illusion.
'The guards are unlikely to wake up soon, but that doesn't mean they won't be discovered before then. The real time crunch though is when these three try to leave, my presence will be noted, as will the two guards absence. So, I need to come up with a way to convince them before... I have enough mana for another Sleep spell. His guards will drop at least, I'll have time to plan with Tanssija, and it's as simple as shaking him awake.'
Let the two talk for a little longer, to let our MP go up again, and maybe try to subtly lock the door? (Probably should've done that when we came in)
>>
>>38914803
lets take a look at the other cells. Can any of their occupants see what's going on in the hall?
>>
>>38914803
'No shouting. That's good at least. But where did the other deer that was with him go?'
We look around with our soul sense for any sign of him.
>>
>>38914902
If you mean the buck that told Hannu about Tanssija, Hannu left with his guards and he didn't follow. This is confirmed in the post immediately following when just Hannu and two guards enter the dungeon, with two guards standing at the door.
Unless you mean the other prisoners?
>>
>>38914803
Look at Tanssija and try to meet her eyes, she is busy at the moment but if she does look over at us give her a wink.

>>38914723
Hah!
Luscinia thinks for a few moments, an entire day of intense stress and lack of sleep catching up to her as she struggles to come up with a solution for the sleepwalking deer she doomed to likely tumble down some stairs without further intervention. She acts on impulse jumping on the first idea that comes to mind before thinking more deeply in it.
It's a rather simple thing isn't it? With the eyes closed focus on the other senses, if she knew the language she'd lean in close till her lips brushed against the fur on their ears and whisper sweetly worded instructions to follow the sound of her voice...
Ah but that wasn't an option, Luscinia's thoughts flew to drawing them in another way, a fragrance something pleasant and welcoming something like...
Her cheeks burn bright red as the idea forms in her head, her gaze darting between the two wandering guards.
>... They won't remember anything, besides possibly a fleeting dream.
A flower was what she needed, and she just happened to have one, she parted her lips and whispered her body trembling as she focused on her own soul that flickering bundle of light inside her rib cage.
>'syha'h gotha'bthnk'
The effects were hardly noticeable, at first. But soon an unmistakable smell, that of lilac with a twinge of blackberry starts to fill the room.
Taking big steps she marches to the first guard making a pass by them with a little flick of the tail to make sure even in their slumber her everything catches their attention.
The second guard is no different, being so tall Luscinia's targets have near no chance as such an assault is launched on their baser instincts.
Luscinia's grits her teeth, everything feels too much hotter and now sensitive her partially split slit spilling out fertile feminine fumes and she pied pipers the two guards back to the other room before removing their sleepwalking curse. Her curiosity and something else beckons Luscinia to take a glance at what she had caused be she quickly leaves the room and slips into Tanssija's cell. She freezes mid step and flushes up to her eartips as she realizes what she had just done. As one after another we watch as deer nostrils flare then after a few moments all eyes turn to us in order.
>'Ah... And now I'm in heat in that same room as Tanssija and her brother... This might not have been such a great idea. I'm never going to hear the end of this.'
>>
>>38914868
>>38914877
>>38914902
>>38914933
'No shouting. That's good at least. The guards are unlikely to wake up soon, but that doesn't mean they won't be discovered before then. The real time crunch though is when these three try to leave, my presence will be noted, as will the two guards absence. So, I need to come up with a way to convince them before... I have enough magic for another Sleep spell. His guards will drop at least, I'll have time to plan with Tanssija, and it's as simple as shaking him awake.'
You focus around on the souls that were present, confirming that since Tanssija had a soul that she wasn't an illusion in some elaborate trap. As you look at her you try to meet her eyes which eventually glance your way, giving her a wink once she does. She looks a tiny bit confused before turning back to the conversation.
As she does you look over at the other cells. There were ten in total with six of them occupied by a Deer, most of them bucks with one doe among them. They could very much see what was going on, but seemed very uninterested in it and just moping around.
"Tiedätkö mitä he aikovat tehdä minulle?" Tanssija asks.
"He saavat sinut oikeudenkäyntiin, todennäköisesti kenguruoikeuteen, ja teloittavat sinut." Hannu responds.
"Etkö voi lopettaa sitä? Sinä olet kuningas, etkö olekin?"
At this Hannu places his forehead against the bars of Tanssija cell, a pained look crossing his face.
"Tuskin," He sighs, "Kun sinut karkotettiin, he alkoivat riistää voimani. Olen nyt melkoinen hahmo."
"Ja sinä vain istuit siellä ja annoit heidän tehdä sen?!"
His ears flatten against his head in response. At this, Tanssija, who was sitting with chains around her hooves, stands up with an angry look.
"Mitä vittua, Hannu," Tanssija shouts, "Annatko heidän ottaa sen, minkä vanhempamme antoivat meille? Mitä esi-isämme rakensivat!"
Hannu doesn't move from his position, simply taking the shouting from his sister. Tanssija's soul was pure anger now. If it weren't for the chains she probably would've hit him at this point.
"...Olen pahoillani-"
"Jos aiot mennä makuulle ja kuolla, voit yhtä hyvin antaa heille valtakunnan hopealautasella," She continues to shout, "Tee siitä vähemmän työtä heille! Ehkä olin oikeassa kapinoin."
Hannu continues to not move. As they argue you turn around and subtly lock the door with one of the keys you got, fiddling with them for a moment before finding the right one to lock it.
*click*
A soft click echoes around the room causing one of the guards with Hannu to look your way.
"Mitä sinä teet?" The guard asks you.

What do you do?
>>
>>38915146
Looks like it's sleepy time.
>>
>>38915146
'Well, I might not know the question, but I can try to answer. Maybe he'll believe me, or it could give me a good opportunity to strike. Probably ahould steike when i have the chance.'
Raising an eyebrow and looking the slightest bit incredulous, we gesture towards King Hannu, as if it's the most obvious thing in the world.
'Wish I knew the word guard or security right about now.'
Watching for him to look away, and monitoring his emotions, we cast the Sleep spell on him and his buddy (since he probably won't buy it, and we can't dawdle forever)

>>38914933
Hot. Had a random quick thought that built off it:
>Hearing the tink of something hitting metal once, and then again, we watch the guards grimace and shuffle in place
>Hannu manages to tear his eyes away and tries to continue the conversation with Tanssija, the subtle cracks forming in his expression familiar to us, the twitches in his tail drawing our eye more than once
>Tanssija, familiar enough with our natural scent, and having spent a season among mares, picks on the distinction and sees through our disguise with ease
>Even without soul sight, we pick up on her embarrassment, mortification, and awkward amusement
>Clearing his throat, the cute buck passively addresses us in Deer, his muzzle and ears a bright red that matches Tanssija's
>"Could you... ah, the scent is going to linger. Never mind. You two, with me, I need a brief recess, to get some air. "
>We stare at the wall, decisively ignore the tight trio of buck booty that passes in front of us, only meeting Tanssija's gaze once the door closes.
>"..."
>"... mission accomplished? I managed get us a private conversation at least."
>"..."
>"... I can see the family resemblance. You're not that far from identical, obviously aside from his-"
>"If you finish that, I'll die of secondhoof embarrassment, haunt you until you bring me back, and then strangle you myself."
>>
>>38915160
>>38915190
'Well, I might not know the question, but I can try to answer. Maybe he'll believe me, or it could give me a good opportunity to strike. Probably should strike when I have the chance.'
You raise an eyebrow and look the slightest bit incredulous, gesturing towards King Hannu like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
'Wish I knew the word guard or security right about now.'
The guard looks back at you slightly confused. You just shake your head a bit and cast the Sleep spell again on the two guards, the two of them immediately falling over in a deep sleep. The sound of the guards armor crashing against the ground causes the two to look over at you. Hannu stares for a moment before backing away slightly as Tanssija does the same thing in her cell, both looking worried.

What do you do?
>>
>>38915277
Were they close enough to Hannu for him to be hit by the spell?
>>
Stopping for the night.
Have a good night or day!
>>
>>38915277
It'll probably get rejected like with every post I made today, but this is what I would do.
We nibble on our mane, a bit surprised on just how effective the spell is.
'... "Strong Willed"? Are the guards here really that weak? ...Well, I'd better explain myself.'
"My apologies for startling you. They're just asleep. If you're guards found out who I am, they would execute me on the spot."
We undo our disguise and watch the two nobles carefully.
"I'm Luscinia, a friend of Tanssija's. I'm sure you have a lot of questions, but just know that I'm in your side, your highness."
>>
>>38915277
Smile a tiny bit tilting our head ever so slightly let out a long near silent sigh. Then in the pony tongue we speak, any cover near meaningless at this point, our usual monotone having just the slightest biting edge of sarcasm courtesy of what we've learnt from Tanssija.
You overwork your guards too much 'my' king, falling asleep standing up... How many long nights have you had them waiting on you?
Hmm... I don't even know if you can understand me, but regardless thank you for leading me right to where I wanted to be.
Give him a little bow of our head. Before looking past him to Tanssija.
Purely for your benefit let me tell you something, I truly never expected to be playing out a scene of rescuing a princess just like something from my old books.
Take out a mana potion and sip it, savouring it like the taste of victory.
...But here we are, though usually it's the king or other royalty rescuing the princess from the ne- the wizard not the other way around.
But now is no time to waste time as much as I'd like to continue my speech.
It's good to see you again. The sleepwalking bother you much?

If he goes to scream or call out for guards ready ourselves to use our silence curse on him.

>>38915333
I mean, showing him what we really look like could probably backfire. But the gig is up at this point, things will play out as they're going to play out.
A pony in his very castle is going to scare the shit out of him though. We're putting out some serious assassin vibes right now and that will likely exasperate it.
All that said its not a bad idea, should confirm our identity for Tanssija.
>>
>>38915277
We grimace at the loud noise.
"My apologies for incapacitating your guard, but I couldn't talk my way out of that, nor could I be certain they wouldn't pass information along to the council. They are unharmed. Now, I intend to take Tanssija away from this palace, and with what I've been through to get here, I'll be doing so with or without your help, Hannu... He does know Equish, doesn't he?"
We ask Tanssija, a bit embarrassed that the thought he wouldn't understand didn't cross our mind until after our speech.

>>38915333
My only grievance with this post is revealing ourself and our true name to the other prisoners, but I suspect those will be revealed one way or another. Our name will be exposed, at least, and we're mostly covered up anyway.
Seconding!

>>38916125
Not entirely sure Luscinia would make a verbal slip. And I think it's somewhat appropriate: we might not be a Dragon, but princesses get kidnapped all the time, the fact that we're doing so after she has been kidnapped into her own kingdom is ironic.
Took me a second to remember the Sleepwalking curse we cast on her.
Seconding!

>>38915327
Morning, Pluto!
>>
>>38915333
>>38916125
>>38916229
You grimace at the loud noise, nibbling a tiny bit on your mane at how effective the spell is.
'...Strong willed? Are the guards here really that weak? Well, I better explain myself.'
You then smile a tiny bit as you tilt your head slightly, letting out a near silent sight. You then speak in the Unicorn tongue that you were raised on, any cover meaningless at this point, your usual monotone having just the slightest bit of sarcasm.
"My apologies for incapacitating your guards, but I couldn't talk my way out of that, nor could I be certain they wouldn't pass information along to the council. They are unharmed," You start, "You overwork your guards too much 'my' king, falling asleep standing up... How many long nights have you had them waiting on you?"
Hannu doesn't respond as he takes another step back. Tanssija's fear disappears as she realizes who you were, slowly returning to the bars.
"And my apologies for startling you. If your guards found out who I am, they would execute me on the spot."
You undo your disguise to reveal yourself fully. Tanssija smiles at this while Hannu's eyes widen with a look of disbelief. As he stares you bow your head at him, then looking over at Tanssija.
"Purely for your benefit let me tell you something; I truly never expected to be playing out a scene of rescuing a princess just like something from my old books."
"Hey, we both get to experience it then." Tanssija giggles.
You take out another magic potion and take a sip of it, savoring it like you were literally getting a taste of victory.
"Now, I intend to take Tanssija away from this place, and with what I've been through to get here, I'll be doing so with or without your help, Hannu..."
"Y-You know this mare?" Hannu asks Tanssija; speaking the Unicorn language in an accent similar to Tanssija's.
"Yep, I've been traveling with her during my exile."
Hannu looks back at you with the same expression.
"H-How did you get in? Outsiders aren't allowed in."
"Actually, yeah, how did you manage to-" Tanssija starts to ask as well only to stop as she seems to realize how you got in; placing her head in her hooves and muttering in a way that was just barely loud enough for you to hear, "Please don't tell me you got in how I think you got in..."

What do you do?
>>
>>38917900
"The same way everypony else have: shot through the head and escorted to that pit you call a mass grave."
We say that last part with a bit of spite.
Alt:
We respect here request by ignoring their question and address something else that might be bothering her.

"If you're worried about Smoke, he's fine. I made him stay behind."
We pull out the keys from the door and make our way to the cell.
"I'm not sure what you two were talking about, nor do I know how much you know, but the black armored deer brought you here to be tried and executed. Their reward is a promotion from the council."
We look at Hannu.
"That's how little they care about you and your bloodline, a life isn't a heroe's reward, but a bump in the ranks. You let the council have too much power, so much so your sister is jailed and a pony managed to get inside your kingdom."
>>
>>38917900
We frown lightly, stopping ourself from rubbing our eye at the memory.
"It wasn't my idea, and suffice to say, I don't anticipate leaving the same way. I'm somewhat surprised you made that connection; the element of surprise and uncommon tactics are important to my livelihood. Once inside the border, it was easy enough to get around. Now, are there any imminent threats we should be worried about? Me being here puts all three of us at risk, so I'd prefer to leave sooner than latter."

Feel like there is more to be addressed, but nothing is springing to mind.
>>
>>38917900
>>38918002 (me)
>That's how little they care about you and your bloodline,
Your sister, who was deemed too dangerous to be left alive, the reward is simply a rise in rank. No heroe's reward, just another star to add on their uniform. It's obvious they need to be stopped.
>>
>>38918002
In my opinion, we don't need to explain how we got in right now, Hannu (and the prisoners) have enough to process as is, and they can make the Necromancy connection on their own time. Smoke's name doesn't need to be brought up, but it doesn't matter all that much.
Seconding otherwise.
>>
>>38917900
Well now that all depends on how you think I got in doesn't it? But to ease your minds I didn't murder any deer to get here, well besides most of that group sent to kidnap you. As it turns out deer are quite friendly assuming you have the right face and are among the right race.
Give her a harder look.
I will say this, it well and truly solidified my will to make sure you didn't go through something similar. Also good and bad news, found out why magic is so difficult for you but we can go over the details later.

Also look over at Hannu and smile curtly.
I appreciate you deigning to use my tongue your highness, I do wish I had a better knowledge of the language but alas it's not something I've had time to pick up as of yet. The accent is... Rather exotic though so its not all bad I suppose.
Wink at him not really meaning anything by it but more to embarrass Tanssija. In fact looking back to the doe in question.

Well Tanssija? I know this is a particularly... Unusual situation but introductions if you please.
And king Hannu if you would kindly free Tanssija from her unjust imprisonment?

>>38918002
I would say the first bit gives a little too much up but we already told that doe we were a necromancer. And really it's not like being a necromancer carries a heavier sentence then just being a pony in the deer lands.
But... Probably best to try not to make him outright panic. Which is what he's going to do if we say that first bit.
>>
>>38918002
>>38918003
>>38918025
>>38918056
>>38918098
You frown slightly at this, stopping yourself from raising a hoof and rubbing your eye at the memory of the arrow.
"It wasn't my idea, and suffice to say, I don't anticipate leaving the same way. I'm somewhat surprised you made that connection; the element of surprise and uncommon tactics are important to my livelihood. To ease your minds I didn't murder any Deer to get here, well besides most of that group sent to kidnap you. As it turns out Deer are quite friendly assuming you have the right face and are among the right race.
You give her a harder look as Hannu sits down and rubs his face with a hoof.
"I will say this, it well and truly solidified my will to make sure you didn't go through something similar. Also good and bad news, found out why magic is so difficult for you but we can go over the details later."
You then look over at Hannu and smile curtly.
"I appreciate you deigning to use my tongue your highness, I do wish I had a better knowledge of the language but alas it's not something I've had time to pick up as of yet. The accent is... rather exotic though so it's not all bad I suppose."
You then wink at him, not really meaning anything about it though more to embarrass Tanssija. You look away from the exhausted look that Hannu was giving you and back over at Tanssija, who was giving you a very pointed look. You just smile and pull out the keys you got.
"Now, are there any imminent threats we should be worried about? Me being here puts all three of us at risk, so I'd prefer to leave sooner than later."
"Just the guards and council." Hannu mumbles quietly.

Cont.
>>
>>38918565
"I know this is a particularly... unusual situation but introductions if you please." You say to Tanssija as you unlock the door.
"That is Hannu, my younger brother."
You nod a little as you open up the door and trot inside to start unlocking her chains.
"I'm not sure what you two were talking about, nor do I know how much you know, but the black armored Deer brought you here to be tried and executed. Their reward is a promotion from the council."
"I knew the first bit, not the part about my life being worth a promotion."
You get her chains off and look over at Hannu who hasn't moved from his sitting position.
"That's how little they care about you and your bloodline, a life isn't a hero's reward, but a bump in the ranks. You let the council have too much power, so much so your sister is jailed and a pony managed to get inside your kingdom.
"I KNOW! I know how much of a fuckup I am, you don't need to remind me when my sister already has," Hannu suddenly shouts; standing up with his eyes looking wet, "I'm a shitty king who just sat there letting the council get more power and my sister kidnapped!"
He sits back down, tears starting to form in his eyes.
"I should just jump from the window, save everyone the trouble."
Tanssija trots out from the cell and over to her brother, sitting down in front of him and giving him a hug.
"Fight them then."
"...I don't know what I can do against them." He sniffs.

What do you do?
>>
>>38918569
"You have back up. Me, you, Tanssija, and any guard who's willing to jail or kill them... I even know a, spell, to make them never speak again if you desire it."
>>
>>38918569
Well, considering how convenient all of the suffering in your lives was for them, it's possible that they were in league with both the boars that attacked the city way back when, and the necromancer that cursed Tanssija. They're probably even the reason your parents' are dead.
>>
>>38918569
"How many are on the council? How well protected are they? How do they maintain control of you? Bloodshed would mar your rule, but allowing them to rule your people unhindered would be a greater injustice where you would take the blame for their 'failures.' Besides, their hooves are definitely not clean; conspiracy against the throne, sending armed deer across the borders when unarmed ponies are simply cut down for much the same daily, and regicide, attempted or otherwise."

>>38918596
We don't necessarily need to specify that it was a necromancer; there are other schools of magic that would touch upon curses, and we don't know it was a necromancer specifically.
Then again, playing on that fear and hate could be useful.
>>
>>38918619
>Curse of Weakened Soul
Yes, technically it could be somebody of another discipline, but this particular monstrosity screams necromancy

Also:
>only that it was someone with great magical prowess
>>
>>38918569
"You don't know? As a king, you have absolute power. Gather you guards, surround them and arrest them all. The council can only control so much in the shadows, and killing yourself will only give them what they want. That buck that was with you in the basement. What's his name?"
"I believe he might be in on it too. There was a moment where he took joy in your reaction. I wouldn't trust him."
>>
>>38918644
You obviously know nothing about how governments work. Arresting somebody without provable justification is an act of tyranny. Also, as the spies proved, there's no way of knowing who's actually loyal to the crown rather than the council.
>>
>>38918588
>>38918596
>>38918619
>>38918629
>>38918644
"You have back up. Me, you, Tanssija, and any guard who's willing to jail or kill them... I even know a, spell, to make them never speak again if you desire it. Considering how convenient all of the suffering in your lives was for them, it's possible that they were in league with the Boars that attacked the city and whoever cursed Tanssija. They're probably even the reason your parents are dead."
You trot over and sit down next to them.
"As a king, you have absolute power. Gather your guards, surround them and arrest them. The council can only control so much in the shadows, and killing yourself will only give them what they want."
"You think I wouldn't have done that already if it was that simple," Hannu says, "They have eyes and ears everywhere. I don't know if my army or guards or actually loyal to me or not, and the people love them. Even if I did round them all up the people would be rioting over it and that wouldn't be good at all."
"How many are on the council? And what was that buck's name that was with you in the basement? How well protected are they? How do they maintain control of you? Bloodshed would mar your rule, but allowing them to rule your people unhindered would be a greater injustice where you would take the blame for their 'failures'. Besides, their hooves are definitely not clean."
"Seven: Baroness Aamu, Count Henrikki, Knight Vilhelmiina, Mage Mikko, Chancellor Nooa, Count Osku, and Magister Ransu, the head of the council," He starts, "They protect themselves by winning the hearts and minds of the people and getting others like guards and other high ranking Deer to their side, so at this point they are very well protected. Ever since my rule started they've been slowly chipping away at my power as the king and giving it to themselves. At this point the only thing that makes me king is the crown on my head."
Tanssija looks down for a moment in thought.
"...What we need to do then is figure out a way to make them hated, reveal what they've done against you and the kingdom. Without the support of the people they have nothing."

What do you do?
>>
>>38918777
If there are does on the council, than we have a fairly easy way to cause them to ruin their own reputation. The Curse of Heat only requires the phrase after all. If we had frogs' eyes, than we could also make some of them extremely unlucky. I'd imagine the knight and mage could accidentally kill themselves under it's influence. Another option is the Curse of Somniloquy to make them spill their secrets while they're asleep.
>>
>>38918777
We nibble on our mane considering things.
"Would they all gather up for court, or can you summon them? I can make them all fear you or utilize hypnosis to suggest them to gloat their influences."

(A bit of a half-baked plan, but all I can think of non-lethaly.)
>>
>>38918892
Hypnosis isn't a strong spell and can be overpowered. Also, we can't make somebody fear something specific. We can only make them panic in general. Though, that could put one of them in a state where they can no longer serve as a council member.
>>
>>38918777
"... They don't amass that kind of power and control without making a few enemies, a few mistakes, and a lot of secrets. We need proof, an ill timed confession, testimony, anything that would undermine them as a whole. Mage Mikko, would they have been your personal tutor on magic? And how many of them are magically inclined? Are there any among them you would consider the weakest link? With their cohesion as a council, tearing one down would shake their whole image, if we can't get sufficient dirt from one to take them all down. And we only have so long before they try something drastic or try to move forward with the 'trial'."


>Seven
>777
It's a sign, Morena has given us our new task


>>38918854
Decent thoughts, so perhaps we have a start on some things. Curse of Heat alone might not be enough to actually taint their reputation, just sully their names a bit, but it would addle them enough that we could make a more decisive strike against them.

>>38918892
We'll want to look for a better hypnosis spell if we plan to hypnotize them, as ours is mediocre (though the guards failed against the Sleep spell), and only works one at a time.
>>
Is channeling spirits something we can do? Or is that more gypsy magic?
>>
Not an option we can bring up casually, but if we know of any co conspirators or victims, we could get a spirit or two on our side, learn some info, and get some revenge for them and those the council killed.
Or, if there is a death that is really recent, we resurrect them fully, and have them testify for the sake of their own life. Not a perfect plan, but definitely fitting the theme of Good Necromancer.

>>38918948
Channeling Spirits and Communing with the Dead are things we should absolutely learn in the short term. Like, the Catacombs is teeming with souls we could talk with about all this.
Also, was trying to think of how to covertly explain us doing this sort of thing to Hannu, and all I can think now is some variant "I have access to many abilities that some would consider, unnatural."
>>
>>38918956
I'd like to point out that the other dear locked up in here can hear everything we say. Though the language barrier might be to our advantage in this case.
>>
>>38918854
>>38918892
>>38918910
>>38918915
>>38918956
>>38918963
You nibble on your mane as you consider some options. A few curses could work to ruin their reputation, but it could also just inconvenience them.
"...They don't amass that kind of power and control without making a few enemies, a few mistakes, and a lot of secrets. We need proof, an ill timed confession, testimony, anything that would undermine them as a whole. Mage Mikko, would they have been your personal tutor on magic? And how many of them are magically inclined? Are there any among them you would consider the weakest link? With their cohesion as a council, tearing one down would shake their whole image."
"Probably Nooa," He says, "Arrogant fucking bastard."
"Would they all gather up for court, or can you summon them? I can make them all fear you or utilize hypnosis to suggest them to gloat their influences."
"Some of them would. I know Ransu will definitely be there as he'll be the one arguing for her execution. Don't know if they'll listen to a summon."
He falls silent as he starts to think, the gears in his head slowly turning.
"Testimony..."
He then gets an idea.
"We could use the trial to expose them..."

What do you do?
>>
>>38919213
"How do you figure? They will all be together, but they would cover for each other... Unless we could get them to provide conflicting testimonies? It will be a sham trial, but from the sounds of it, they make a bit of a spectacle of the whole thing. They had Tanssija smuggled into your nation when they could've avoided the whole thing by claiming she was slain by bandits. Though, they may be trying to show their power, their 'justice,' is better than your own. We will need leverage, and to cause stress in indirect ways, so that their carefully maintain personas crack."

Preemptive Night, Pluto!
>>
>>38919213
Turn our eyes to meet his with a piercing glare.
I would sooner allow my own capture so I might be tried in Tanssija's place before I'd allow her to be rechained and dragged off to what is bound to be a trial in name only. I'm walking out of this room with the doe I invaded an isolationist state for.
I need a tour guide for the city.
If you have details on where they live there are simpler solutions.

Your a king in name only it would seem, if that's true you'd best figure out how to use that name to your advantage. If you can't trust those on your payroll... Perhaps those more desperate might be willing to help you out for certain rewards.
Flick our head to the side gesturing to Tanssija's seven cellmates.
There are after all, certain benefits only a king can provide. Among status and fame I hear pardons or leniency are amongst your powers as the head of the nation to provide.
If you're having trouble with your friends in high places it might be time to make some friends in low places... Or more precisely the time for that would have been years ago, luckily as it would turn out its far from too late.

Finish sipping our bottle of mana potion. Stare into them empty bottle for a little while.
Tanssija... Enlighten me if you would, I don't have any real stake in this besides not letting such a rotten thing happen to you again. I was... Rather upset at this happening. But he is your brother and this your kingdom, being exiled notwithstanding.
What do you want to do? We can just leave, could even take your brother with us. And there are other harder solutions I defer to your judgement because ultimately this effects you more then me.
Though I would like to do something so you're not fearing for your life any time you come near the boarder.
>>
>>38919213
We should look around with our soul sense before we continue, see if any of the other deer are paying attention to our conversation. They could try to warn the council to get lighter sentences or even freedom.
>>
>>38919321
The council might notice random pardons as odd behavior and get suspicious. Also, from the sound of it, the council would most likely also have a fair few friends in low places as well.
>>
Stopping for the night.
Have a good night or day!
>>
>>38919213
"Hmm..."
Within our bag, we open the Book of the Grave to the curse section. Any "curse of modesty" or "curse of truth"?
"That would be our best option, though I have no doubt there will be lies and deception... Will you be for Tanssija's defense, or be the judge? I would defend Tanssija, but the language barrier would be impossible to penetrate."
"By chance do you have an alchemist lab? I might need to grab a few things."
After we say that, we remember about Smoke.
"Also, are ponies allowed to testify or be summoned into court? It's not too important, but we have another companion... He's probably worried sick about us."
>>
>>38919329
Definitely likely they have some underbelly dealings themselves, however some of his own can't hurt. In fact if they do have any under the table deals getting some informants on that can only be helpful.
And perhaps, it'd probably be best to make it look like a shitfit. Being 'unable' to free his sister again and make it look like just an little act of defiance rather than a calculated move.
It'd look like an emotional outburst they could take advantage of.

But it's just one possible option amount many.
>>
>>38919346
Pulling out our book of necromancy around a bunch of witnesses that are very unlikely to like necromancy, isn't a smart idea.
>>
>>38919400
>Within our bag, we open the Book of the Grave to the curse section.

>Within our bag

We're not taking it out, just opening the book from WITHIN our bag. No one will see it.
>>
>>38919647
Not even us considering that it's inside a lockbox in our bag. Also, have you ever tried to read a book inside a dark bag?
>>
>>38919702
Then we open the book while it's still in the box, using the lid to cover the front cover. Still, the soul jars should provide enough light in the bag... Speaking of which, if push comes to shove, we could let that Shishiga soul possess Ransu.
Something else I have considered is to frame Ransu of necromancy. That would be difficult without some way to force him laugh manically.
Rise the catacombs' bodies
Have Tanssija accuse him of Necromancy.
Guard comes in.
"UNDEAD!"
Cast Curse of Laughter/Tickling
Kill the bastard.
Release claim of undead.
>>
>>38919765
That is VERY convoluted and the rest of the council will intervene. There are other problems with this idea, but I don't feel like writing an essay over this. As for your book reading idea, is there a reason we can't just relocate to somewhere we'd have some privacy so we can read the book in a normal manner?
>>
>>38919213
One slight issue with that. I glossed over it earlier but the team sent to get Tanssija were wearing full outfits a couple got away and it would be near impossible to tell who they were unless there is some sort of paper trail. Perhaps recent promotions however I'm not sure they'd be willing to turn on their benefactors. There is one I'd recognize however after... Certain events I'm not sure she'd be fit for duty let alone to stand as a witness.
The rest won't be saying anything to anybody short of your gods.
I could switch places with Tanssija and make her look like one of these agents, I can walk the walk but she can talk the talk literally.
But even with a few creative liberties with the truth this is all circumstantial evidence. Without hard proof all this would do is discredit you further and end with my neck in the chopping block.
Walk over to them flicking our mane out of our eyes as we avoid stepping on Hannu's guards. Moving up we put a hoof on Tanssija's shoulder a little grin slowly pulling the corners of our lips up. With a warm tone, one that surprises us as it comes naturally and unforced. Even as we stumble over our words a little trying to come up with the right think to say.
Hey, I- Uh... It hasn't really been that long but... Well I'm glad you're okay and I made it in time. I don't really... Look I'm not good at this so I'll end it off with a joke so we can get back to trying to screw up decades of planning.
We pause and think for a moment looking up at the roof before something comes to us and we bring our eyes back to meet Tanssija's.
If we're going to do this trial in some part at least then I best know some deer law, I know just where to start. What's the deer stance on royal bastards?
Whisper loudly.
Your brother has potential, a good nights rest and eyeshadow to replace the bags under his eyes... Could give Smoke a run for his money.
(Not sure about this joke so here's a backup)

Might need to keep those chains though, who knows but I'm sure you and Smoke could find better uses for them.

Start giggling then shake our head and look over at Hannu.
There is one piece of hard evidence I think might help, mage Mikko... Presumably they're good with magic? How good? Knowledge that won't be surpassed in their lifetime with power to match? If they are strong, truly strong and not just a court magician for making pretty lights they could be responsible for the curse on Tanssija's soul. It is an incredibly nasty one, not easily detectable or removed. I think this plan to take over the kingdom may have been in motion before you two were even born and it definitely was ever since Tanssija started having trouble with magic.

King Hannu, remind me to check if you've been cursed as well at some point.
>>
>>38919790
The buck Hannu left behind, who I'm assuming is the counselor, will catch up and see the shenanigans that we've went through. The Dungeon is the safest place at the moment since we have the only keys. If the counselor comes in we throw him in the cell (for property damage, conspiracies against the king, and 'assault'.)
If you're worried about The prisoners snitching on us, then we just curse them with silence. Another alternative would be loyalty to the crown in exchange for freedom. (Something that just crossed my mind is to ask some of these prisoners why they got in here. If they have beef with the council, we could gain more allies.)
Of course doing this will cause problems later, but so will leaving everything as it is now with an unguarded dungeon and sleeping guards on the dungeon floor.
Going somewhere like the king's chamber, or the alchemy lab like I suggested would make us vulnerable.
>>
>>38919955
That incest joke is in bad taste, then again, Endless Sands and Oakfarm are siblings, though I don't think we're that far in the book.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm a bit confused on this post.
Well, after writing this post, I think I may have an idea of what you're going for: You're showing Hannu how far we're willing to protect his sister, and is hoping to transfer that willpower to him, right? Well, I've already written everything, and don't feel like deleting it, and if I'm wrong, then my argument stands.
Taking place of the execution makes a lot of sense until our actual death. Our spell will dispel upon our death most likely. We can test that out on a prisoner if you like, but that in bad taste for Luscinia. Having Tanssija disguised as an agent is... Unnecessary? If the thought was to use it as a means to be a witness, wouldn't it be odd for one of the witnesses to be like 'Yeah, she's no threat.' despite everyone else?
I'm assuming you mean the literal term for bastard? Luscinia doesn't swear. I'm assuming this whole scene is Luscinia saying goodbye for when she forfeits her life again?
Inspecting Mikko if she's some sort of Soul Mage or equivalent is a good idea though. We have mentioned Tanssija's condition, but to outright claim it as a curse, we might as well let the cat out of the bag and tell Hannu we're a necromancer.
>>
>>38919979
What makes you think he'd come here in the first place? Also, we have absolutely no authority to arrest him and no evidence to back up any of those claims. One problem at a time please, the guards won't wake up for 8 hours.
>>
>>38920050
Wow. I don't think you could be much further off of the mark. That said for the most part I can somewhat see where I went wrong in making what I meant clear.
I'm going try clear things up in order.

It's really about proving anything to Hannu or anyone else. But if you want to look at it that way it's not a bad way of doing so.

I was struggling to see how I had even implied incest, but I read back the first joke again and yeah I sort of see it now. That was only supposed to be a joke about calling her brother cute in the most provocative way possible. To stir up a reaction like when we complemented his accent. Lighten moods and such.
The comparison to Smoke was only because both Tanssija and Luscinia have admitted to each other that Smoke was hot, and comparing her brother to him was a tease on our part.

I had no intent on letting the execution play out with Luscinia in Tanssija's place. Dying hurt a hell of a lot last time and our Goth girl likely isn't eager to repeat it.
It was meant as a way of measuring options as he seems to be thinking of having the trial go through, the court likely isn't going to listen to Tanssija if they know it's her talking and she would be more useful as a fake witness not saying that 'Tanssija' is no threat but saying that she was coerced into leaving the border to drag the exile over the border by force. However you can't really have a trial without the defendant which would be our roll in this scenario.
I do think that doing the trail could be pretty interesting so I wanted to offer potential ideas for it in the case we went with that option.
However the trial goes letting it go to execution isn't something we'd allow.

Yes, the literal meaning of bastard, it was for an extra layer of comedy not one to swear but with a vocabulary leaning on the older style of words. It might actually be important too beyond a lewd joke so it can be played completely seriously. If there are any illegitimate children of past rulers amongst the seven council members once Tanssija is out of the way and Hannu is disgraced their claim on the throne might look a lot stronger to those in the middling and lower classes who want a new ruler.
Also no, it wasn't a goodbye or anything. I just wanted to have a legitimately sweet moment with Tanssija after Luscinia had just recently grown closer to her. The joke was because Luscinia doesn't really know how to handle such a moment and rushed to end it of with a joke because she was worried she'd cry if she didn't. Which is something I really should have included if I'd thought of it at the time.
Not tears of sadness mind you, but happy or relieved ones something like that anyway.

Probably more then one way to detect a curse. That necromancer bit is something we can keep close to our chest for now. We can play it off as pony magic or something.
It was more about bringing him up to speed as much as it would be safe for us to do.
>>
>>38920064
I'm just saying it's a possibility is all. Besides, who needs evidence? Just do it just because. Let Hannu finally assert some fucking dominance!
Oh, WE don't have authority. Who's honestly gonna stop us? The king? Pffff!
The gaurds don't wake up for 8 hours. that's fine. The guards stationed in front don't know who did this to them. The guards in the dungeon know a doe made them fall asleep. If Honda is willing to have a spine for a change, the Chancellor can be blamed for this. We can also hit his neck and curse him from speaking.

>>38920159
It was the mentioning of bastards that made me think of incest. Basically saying that Tanssija can continue the bloodline if the two were to fuck right now and we can let Hannu die, or something on those lines. As a necromancer, Luscinia would know how tragic an inbread child is.
If we're not going to let the execution go through I can now see the appeal of taking Tanssija's place in court. The thought of... 'Snipers' crossed my mind. If they decide to take her down on the witness stand. There is still the language barrier to worry about, but I suppose we can remain silent.
>>
Got D&D tonight with my Tuesday group. None of us have anything tonight so we decided on a quick session tonight to try and finish the current rat quest. Shouldn't go for too long, but we'll see.

>>38919252
>>38919321
>>38919322
>>38919329
>>38919346
>>38919375
>>38919400
>>38919955
>>38920050
>>38920159
"How do you figure? They will all be together, but they would cover for each other... Unless we could get them to provide conflicting testimonies? It will be a sham trial, but from the sounds of it, they'll make a bit of a spectacle of the whole thing."
"A sham trial yes, but a very public one. I'm sure they'll announce it to the high heavens, get as many eyes as possible to watch them dispense their 'justice'. Though it would also be perfect to expose their crimes and reveal them for who they are."
"That sounds like our best option, though I have no doubt there will be lies and deception... Will you be for Tanssija's defense, or be the judge?"
"I'll be the judge."
"I do see a slight issue though. I glossed over it earlier, but the team sent to get Tanssija were wearing full outfits and a couple got away, it would be near impossible to tell who they were unless there is some sort of paper trail. Perhaps some recent promotions?"
"I can look into it." Hannu nods.
"I could switch places with Tanssija and make her look like one of those agents, I can walk and walk but she can talk the talk literally."
"Absolutely not, you're not switching with me," Tanssija shakes her head, "And since you're the judge we'll need a perfect defense and absolutely hard evidence of their crimes. If you just let me go they'll know that it's bias and raise up a shitstorm about it."
You nod in agreement as you flick your mane out of your eyes and trot over, avoiding stepping on Hannu's guards. You place a hoof on Tanssija's shoulder making her look up at you as a little grin slowly forms on your face.

Cont.
>>
>>38921635
With a warm tone you say to her:
"Hey, I- uh... It hasn't really been that long but... Well I'm glad you're okay and I made it in time. I don't really... Look, I'm not good at this so I'll end it off with a joke so we can get back to trying to screw up decades of planning."
She gives you a slightly confused look as you look up at the roof and think, bringing your eyes back to Tanssija's a moment later.
"If we're going to do this trial in some part at least then I best know some Deer law, I know just where to start. What's the Deer stance on royal bastards?"
"Why are you asking...?" Tanssija slowly asks.
You lean in a bit and whisper loudly.
"Your brother has potential, a good nights rest and eyeshadow to replace the bags under his eyes... Could give Smoke a run for his money."
"If you touch my brother like that I will die from embarrassment and then come back to strangle you!"
She glares up at you, though her slight smile betraying that she found it a little funny. Hannu was just looking at you with a confused and unsure look.
Giggling slightly, your expression returns to it's normal state as you lean back.
"You're a king in name only it would seem, if that's true you'd best figure out how to use that name to your advantage. If you can't trust those on your payroll... Perhaps those more desperate might be willing to help you out for certain rewards."
You flick your head to the side to Tanssija's seven cellmates. Most of them were seemingly uninterested in the conversation, though the one doe among them was watching things.
"There are after all, certain benefits only a king could provide. Among status and fame I hear pardons or leniency are amongst your powers as the head of the nation to provide."
You finish sipping from your magic potion, staring into the now empty bottle for a moment.
"Tanssija... enlighten me if you would, I don't have any real stake in this besides not letting such a rotten thing happen to you again. I was... rather upset at this happening, but he is your brother and this your kingdom. What do you want to do? We can just leave, could even take your brother with us. And there are other harder solutions I defer to your judgement because ultimately this effects you more then me."
Tanssija looks over at Hannu and thinks for a moment.
"...I think you got yourself into this situation. However, I'm not going to just leave the last family I have behind. I would like to help."
Hannu smiles a little at this.

Cont.
>>
>>38921671
"Then there is one piece of hard evidence I think might help, Mage Mikko... Presumably good with magic? How good?"
"He's the Court Wizard of Alln Lenora, the best magic user in the kingdom. He was even our tutor for magic." Hannu replies.
"Knowledge that won't be surpassed in their lifetime with power to match?"
He nods.
"If he is that strong and not just a court magician for making pretty lights he could be responsible for the curse on Tanssija's soul. It is an incredibly nasty one, not easily detectable or removed. I think this plan to take over the kingdom may have been in motion before you two were born."
"That... could explain a lot," Hannu mutters, "We should start there then. I know he keeps extensive records of everything, so if he did that and has been planning this with the rest of the council for a long time he'll have likely wrote it down."

What do you do?
>>
>>38921674
"Then we'll start there, but first..."
We gesture to the doe.
"It seems someone is interested in our conversation. Care to help me figure out why that is?"
With Tanssija/Hannu, we walk up to the doe.
"Hello cutie. Did you understand what we're talking about?"
We watch her soul closely.
>>
>>38921674
"A chronic note keeper then. Useful for us, but if he is responsible for Tanssija, his documents will be kept under some rather serious and immoral security. I may need to learn some new tricks. Though, if he could be tricked, his security would mean nothing when he unlocks the door himself. He is also the most likely to actually see through my basic illusions though."

Good luck with D&D, Pluto! Go slay some rat asses!

>>38921729
Cutie feels out of place on Luscinia's lips, particularly to a stranger. Seconding otherwise
>>
>>38921674
I'm not convinced he would have written down a confession for this, however a thing that might help is looking at his old shopping list. A spell like this... It's far from standard and the components are that to match. It'd be quite telling if he acquired the ingredients around the time of Tanssija's birth.
Er... That said, Tanssija I hope I'm not underselling the seriousness of this curse if this buck if sufficiently powerful with magic, should he so much as sneeze in your directs you could... Well the trial wouldn't be necessary anymore.
It's not so much that it's hard for you to cast magic it's more like you're allergic to magic itself which isn't... Good? I hope you've been using your spare time to practice magic.
>>
>>38921729
>>38921749
>>38921818
Hopefully I don't get double cursed with rat lycanthropy.

"A chronic note keeper then. Useful for us, but if he is responsible for Tanssija, his documents will be kept under some rather serious and immoral security. I may need to learn some new tricks. Though, if he could be tricked his security would mean nothing when he unlocks the door himself," You say, "Er... That said, Tanssija I hope I'm not underselling the seriousness of this curse if this buck is sufficiently powerful with magic, should he so much as sneeze in your direction you could... Well, the trial wouldn't be necessary anymore."
"You're not," She shakes her head, "We have more important things right now, so just give me the short version at the moment."
"It's not so much that it's hard for you to cast magic it's more like you're allergic to magic itself which isn't... good," You start, "I hope you've been using your spare time to practice magic."
Tanssija's eyes widen slightly, taking a moment to try and process what you told her. Changing topics, you continue.
"First though..."
You gesture over at the doe.
"It seems someone is interested in our conversation. Care to help me figure out why that is?"
Hannu and Tanssija look over as the doe tries to move out of sight. The three of you get up and walk over to the bars keeping you away from the doe. The doe was wearing fairly simple rags for a dress and was mostly brown, but had large white spots across her body, the biggest being a white spot centered around her left eye that took up a quarter of her face.
"Hello. Did you understand what we're talking about?"
"V- A luttel." She admits with a nod.
Doesn't seem to speak Unicorn very well.

What do you do?
>>
>>38921838
Hmm...
Slow down our words a little to attempt to make our words a touch easier to understand.
It's better then knowing none. I suppose a conversation like ours is bound to attract the attention of those who can understand it. But you have us all at a disadvantage. Who are you and how did you end up here?
>>
>>38921838
'A homeless doe? Why would she be locked up here?'
Check her soul, look for anything unusual. Glance at the other inmates, speaking up a little.
"Does anyone else here know the Unicorn tongue?"

"Why are you in here? Do you know of the council? I expect the royal dungeons of a corrupt kingdom would focus more on political prisoners than a, petty thief?"

>double cursed with rat lycanthropy.
Would that make you a were-were, or a rat-rat?
>>
>>38921838
"I suppose... What's your stance on this? Do you think the council needs to be stopped? Why are you jailed?"
We watch her soul closely.
>>
Bump
>>
Killed a big magic rat.

>>38921898
>>38921907
>>38921909
'A homeless doe? Why would she be locked up here?'
"Hmm..."
You slow down your words a little to make your words a bit easier to understand for her, watching her soul carefully. You don't find anything with her soul other than confidence.
"Does anyone else here know the Unicorn tongue?" You ask; glancing around at the other inmates.
You get no response from them.
"It's better then knowing none. I suppose a conversation like ours is bound to attract the attention of those who can understand it. What's your stance on this? Do you think the council needs to be stopped?"
"Y-Yes, uh, better king than... n-nue... Daer."
She didn't seem to be lying as far as you could tell.
"Who are you and how did you end up here?"
"Her name is Eerika," Hannu explains, "She broke into the palace a week ago trying to steal some things. Broke in without getting seen or heard, but was caught on the way out."

What do you do?
>>
>>38922702
Did you use the garden blindspot as well?
>>
>>38922702
Our interest is pipped.
"In that case King Hannu, what do you say to her helping us steal Mage Nikko's notes in exchange for amnesty? Perhaps even make her your inside doe to help restore your power in the future?"
>>
>>38922702
Your guards are... Shockingly poor at their jobs. I had magic but really one break in should have illicited some reform to increase security. And if this is the security after some such reforms... I don't mean to be rude but Hannu if I was anyone else you'd be held for ransom or something
>>
>>38922768
>>38922792
>>38922864
"Did you use the garden blind spot as well?"
Eerika just gives you a confused look. You turn to Hannu.
"Your guards are... shockingly poor at their jobs. I had magic but really one break in should have elicited some reform to increase security. And if this is the security after such reforms... I don't mean to be rude but Hannu if I was anyone else you'd be held for ransom or something."
"We're in the process of it." Hannu insists.
"Still, what do you say to her helping us to steal Mage Mikko's notes in exchange for amnesty? Perhaps even make her your inside doe to help restore your power in the future?"
He rubs his chin for a moment before looking over at her.
"You promise to come back with it?"
"...Y-Yes."
"You promise to stay here in the Paavola?"
"...Yes."
"Congratulations, you got a job then."

What do you do?
>>
>>38922913
We stare into her soul, studying it before nodding.
"Are you good with any magic?"
"Alright, I'll let you free, but just incase..."
We take a deep breath and say some random gibberish.
"d'sslmreftalekka"
After a small pause of nothing happening, we speak up again.
"I'll be able to keep track of you. Try something to double cross us, and I'll make your life very miserable."
With that, we free her from the cell.
"So now, how do you want to set up disguises?"
With disguises set up, we tip out hourglass to keep track of our disguises and let Hannu lead the way.
>>
>>38922913
Check her soul. Might not tell us if she's lying, but it might indicate if she's having any doubts.
"As skilled a rogue as she may be, I'd rather not send her entirely on her own against defenses prepared by one as allegedly ruthless and powerful as Mikko. And before we act, what are we to do with your guards? They will be out for several hours, and this might not be something trusted to them, but can we really leave them laying here to be discovered?"
>>
Stopping for the night. Here is tonight's D&D summary: Lair of the Rat Queen.
An hour later we finish our short rest and head back down into the basement with the cave connected to it. After a tiny bit of exploring we arrive at the Broodmother's layer and she's intelligent enough to speak. We try to sneak over, but the Broodmother and some of her rat swarms spot us and combat begin. The Broodmother apparently has levels in both Warlock and Sorcerer, or at least something that gives her Eldritch Blast, because that's what she has along with Metamagic, so she's a giant rat that can sling spells at us.
Kroann, Duluk, and Ferrovax have some troubles with the rat swarms, especially Ferrovax who is nearly downed by a crit from one in the first round. My character Doli has incredible luck in this fight though as she rushes past everything to deal with the Broodmother and every single attempt from the Broodmother, and eventually a rat swarm, from attacking to slinging spells doesn't hit her. She eventually gets fed up and tries to hit the rest of the party, though Doli finishes her off. The rat swarms scurry off as soon as she dies, so we loot a chest there and inspect the Broodmother's body.
As the party inspects the body, a check reminds us that she started to plead with a patron before she died, we also come to the realization that they were completely Wererats when it wasn't even a full moon, not even hybrids just actual Wererats. A connection to demons can make it permanent and guess who got bit by one of them.
That means when Doli changes into a Wererat it could possibly be permanent. She has sixteen days at least to remove the curse.
We take some of the blood from the Broodmother and then head back up to get our reward from the innkeeper and his wife. They do also tell us that Triel, the town that we're currently heading towards, does have priests that can possibly help with the curse though we might find that back the way we came at Elturel, which isn't too far thankfully. We also get a level up and take a well deserved rest.
And that was the end of our rat extermination tutorial. I had a lot of fun with it and the giant rat with magic was an interesting twist. I feel pretty happy that I feel like I used a Monk correctly in that battle: tie down the caster/boss while the rest of the party does their thing. In the end though, I do feel like I was punished slightly with possibly permanent lycanthropy if Doli isn't able to get a priest to lift the curse as it's something I don't want for her, but that's probably just my Asperger's brain worrying for no reason and I did rush her into melee with Wererats without thinking.
>>
>>38923032
Night, Pluto!
Pretty sure you did that fight splendidly, from the sounds of things. Want to make a joke about curing lycanthropy by praying at an alter of Talos or something, but I think that was vampirism.
>>
Bunp
>>
>>38922913
'No matter how sincere she might seem it's still putting far too much faith in someone I've just met, even if that dot looks adorable on her. However levying threats or curses might drive her straight into the hooves of the mage. I should learn that spirit spell before we send her off and make one to back her up in case she fumbles the escape a second time or for if she switches sides...'
To be clear, you understand what you could possibly gain? A full pardon and having the reigning king owe you a rather sizable favor is quite the deal.
>>
>>38922961
>>38922968
>>38924095
You stare at her soul intently. Not finding anything you nod.
'No matter how sincere she might seem it's still putting far too much faith in someone I've just met, even if that dot looks adorable on her. However, levying threats or curses might drive her straight into the hooves of the mage. I should learn that spirit spell before we send her off and make one to back her up in case she fumbles the escape.'
"To be clear, you understand what you could possibly gain? A full pardon and having the reigning king owe you a rather sizable favor is quite the deal."
She nods enthusiastically. You turn to the other two.
"As skilled a rogue as she may be, I'd rather not send her entirely on her own against defenses prepared by one as allegedly ruthless and powerful as Mikko."
"Some backup might be good." Tanssija nods in agreement.
"Are you good with any magic?"
"Guud wit, uh... i-elus..."
She turns to Hannu.
"Illuusio taikuutta."
"Illusion magic." He translates for you.
"Alright, I'll let you free, but just in case..."
You take a deep breath and say some random gibberish.
"D'sslmreftalekka."
"...Eh?" She asks after nothing happens.
"I'll be able to keep track of you. Try something to double cross us, and I'll make your life very miserable."
She blinks as you free her from the cell. Once she was out you look around at the sleeping guards.
"What are we to do with your guards? They will be out for several hours, and this might not be something trusted to them, but can we really leave them lying here to be discovered?"
"...No, that won't do," Hannu shakes his head; thinking for a moment, "They can stay here for now, but they'll have to be moved. I'll deal with that once I get you all situated."
"And how do you want to set up disguises?" You ask.
"Just disguise yourselves as guards for now. I can lead you to a guest room and have you stay there for a while."
"What are you going to say then when it's found out that I'm not here anymore?" Tanssija asks.
"That you were moved to house arrest...?" Hannu suggests; unsure of his suggestion.
"I feel like that's a bad idea."

What do you do?
>>
>>38925260
"You could feign ignorance and get angry at the council for moving her from the cell. Tanssija can collaborate a 'whom'... Who was that buck that was with you downstairs again?"
>>
>>38925260
"If their power is truly as you say, the moment they discover she is even remotely moved from their grasp, they will lash out at you or undermine you. Under different circumstances, perhaps you could seek out the buck who sought you out and yell at him for lying or claim that she is missing, but that would place you under some suspicion and place the three of us in danger. What we need is a stand in, or a good excuse for them to actively not see you..."
'Perhaps a faked suicide? Let them discover it on their own time, though it would be rather suspect, and would circumvent the trial.'
"... Perhaps sickness and failing health? We could 'show' them Tanssija has a highly contagious malady from outside the nation, take advantage of their xenophobia and require her to be in quarantine, perhaps even making it magical in nature to stress them over the curse... though, she would undoubtedly be placed under surveillance."
>>
Forgot to say in person D&D tonight.

>>38925318
>>38925437
"You could feign ignorance and get angry at the council for moving her from her cell and Tanssija can collaborate a 'whom', but if their power is truly as you say, the moment they discover she is even remotely moved from their grasp, they will lash out at you or undermine you. Under different circumstances, perhaps you could seek out the buck who sought you out and yell at him for lying or claim that she is missing, but that would place you under some suspicion and place the three of us in danger. What we need is a stand in, or a good excuse for them to actively not see you..."
'Perhaps a faked suicide? Let them discover it on their own time, though it would be rather suspect.'
"...Perhaps sickness and failing health? We could 'show' them Tanssija has a highly contagious disease from outside the nation and require her to be in quarantine. By the way, who was that buck that was with you downstairs again?"
"That was Chancellor Nooa himself." Hannu replies.
As the two of you talk Tanssija seems to get an idea.
"How about someone has been threatening my life," She suggests, "Either a guard or a prisoner. They want me executed, so they'll likely hate anyone that tries to steal their kill."

What do you do?
>>
>>38925514
We blink as process the idea.
"You tried to lead a coup, against both the 'beloved' council and the rightful heir. Some probably would want you dead, whether for trying or for failing. They may try and place their own loyal guard on you. I could remain disguised as a guard, to dissuade that, but I won't be able to understand the language. There are missing elements, such as a perpetrator, but we've already got something of a struggle as is."
We gesture around us to the sleeping guard.
"There still remains two problems though: the other prisoners know some part of the truth, and it might be more believable if Tanssija is injured."

Good luck with D&D, Pluto!
>>
>>38925514
"...I did startle you all when I made those guards fall asleep. We can use the idea of a phantom assassin, And you manage to rescue your sister in time. It'll cause a stir searching for the 'assassin' and the council won't like you taking action. Still, you can tell them that only trial will determine her life. After taking the notes, I can be her assigned guard."
>>
>>38925563
>>38925610
You blink as you process this idea.
"You tried to lead a coup, against both the 'beloved' council and the rightful heir. Some probably would want you dead, whether for trying or for failing. We can use the idea of a phantom assassin, and you managed to rescue your sister in time. It'll cause a stir searching for the 'assassin' and the council won't like you taking action. Still, you can tell them that only trial will determine her life. After taking the notes, I can be her assigned guard."
"Yeah, that could work." Hannu nods.
"Though there still remains two problems though: the other prisoners know some part of the truth, and it might be more believable if Tanssija is injured."
Tanssija looks down at the ground and then back at the three of you with a determined look.
"I can't believe I'm about to ask this, but can one of you stab me."
"We are not stabbing you for that!" Hannu shouts.
"If it needs to be believable, that'll be as believable as it can get!"

What do you do?
>>
>>38925661
We look towards Eerika.
"How strong are your illusions? Can you make them last for days?"
"We're not going to stab you, especially since I don't know how well you'll react to healing magic. Remember that healing spell I cast on Smoke? It's meant to reverse wounds, but ironically can kill you instead."
>>
>>38925661
"As much as I'd rather not stab Tanssija, I know how to stab her such that it will look worse than it is, and I can heal most of the wound magically. Still, we could a surface level cut for some real blood, healing it up, and then an illusion

>>38925674
My understanding was that a large blast of magical force could snuff out her soul, and drawing mana from her own body/soul hurt her, but that average spells interacting with her wouldn't do damage. Otherwise, we literally can't magically heal/support/buff/protect/disguise her, which I doubt would be Pluto's intention. Hell, if we can't heal her, why would we be able to resurrect her?
>>
>>38925682(me)
Lost my train of thought:
and then an illusion over the wound to make it look more serious, all while avoiding some serious pain. Besides, shouldn't we be ready to act before your cry of pain can draw in any passersby?"
>>
>>38925661
Give her a hard look.
If we were going to go that far I could at least make it so you don't feel it. I would need a few things, Lavender, Peppermint, Verna, and Amazonite.
Aside from that if someone is going to stab you it'll be me. I have a good idea on your biology, unless the deer body is stranger then I thought I should be able to give you a wound or two that looks serious but doesn't damage anything critical.
If I do it right the scaring will be minimal and not noticeable after they're healed.
That said, this plan is getting more insane by the minute.

Instead how about we just give you a little cut and us some of that snake venom near the wound. Make it look like someone attempted to poison you rather then risking accidentally severing an artery.
>>
>>38925696
That's a really good idea! I was just about to suggest we just rough her up instead, but poison is very treatable.
>>
>>38925696
Seconding this as well. I think we should avoid using the Unfeeling Curse at this time (though having the materials would be good) as we don't know how it's cured.
A little make up plus some illusion work, and we could make Tanssija look like she's more ill than she actually is.
>>
>>38925737
Oh yeah! We're skilled in make-up too!
Undoing the curse of unfeeling should be as simple as speaking the curse. Something answered a while back, but can't find it right now.
>>38925661
"There's no need for a real scar, you have enough already. Have you forgotten I'm quite the makeup artist? We can shag and cut a bit of your fur and I can make a scar look very real."
>>
>>38925845
I believe the respeaking the curse only works if it's one of the simple ones without ingredients.
Regardless that wouldn't work for curse of the unfeeling as it has no spoken components.

I did suggest using this curse, but it should be clear that it wouldn't be so simple to remove.

Also, no bringing up her other scars and throwing them back in her face like that. We made progress on them when we talked to her about them but they are still a sensitive subject.
Luscinia has more tact then that.
>>
Bum
>>
8
>>
>>38926849
>>
>>38925661
Look bewildered at Tanssija our face completely expressing our total shock. Our brows slight raised and lips parted and ever so slightly agape combines with our ears twisting just a little as if they were going to fold backwards giving of the impression of our unease.
But after a moment we recover and look between the two of them as they argue over minor body mutilation. Quietly we say to ourself we say.
... So, this is the other potential side of having family, disagreements and debates? Interesting.

Turning our head and focus on Tanssija the overeager stabé.
I get the feeling I'm not suppose to interject at this point, however you're both highly stressed as am I. However I don't believe arguing about this is going to make and headway and we don't have the luxury to waste time.
The time in the cell must have driven you insane Tanssija. Not only does that risk seriously injuring you, potentially critically, but Smoke would... He probably wouldn't do anything, but I think he'd be very disappointed in me.
Unfortunately... You're also right. Who knows what sort of tests they'll subject you to.
Pull out our tanning knife.
More unfortunately this is the only knife I have, unless Hannu feels like framing one of his guards and using one of their weapons.
After Hannu stayed your last execution no one would believe for a second he had any hoof in this.
Close our eyes whilst lowering our head slightly.
This will hurt, a lot. Someone will likely hear. It'll be done after we finished our discussion. If you wiggle or shift this might turn from minor cosmetic damage to major exploratory organ surgery. Two upsides, you get to pick where you want it, other then your head... I hope I done have to explain why. Also I don't think half a missing ear or lip would suit you and losing an eye would really screw with you bow aim.
The neck is the riskiest, lot of arteries and veins. And it'll be visible with most sorts of clothes. But you won't have trouble convincing anyone that someone tried to kill you.
The chest is tricky, but there are a few goods spots, one or two where it'd even be virtually impossible to do yourself, no trouble again convincing anyone if your attempted murder. Minor issue, if deer insides are significantly different then a ponies I could get something important.
The gut is... Bad, it's easy but if I nick your digestive track you might get some serious infections.
Your legs are thinner then a ponies, I don't know what's going on in there, it'd rest limiting your use of the limb and might not even that convincing of a wound.
The flank has a lot of fat, I can almost guarantee you'd be fine short of deer secretly keep their kidneys in there or something. Might take some story of you getting stabbed there while you were trying to buck your attacker or some other such excuse for it to be believed however.

I'll admit, this whole bit is mostly for the joke of calling Tanssija's ass fat as the end there. Thought of that first.
>>
I will say that any curse can be removed by the one who casted it without needing any components. And healing magic can be used on Tanssija just fine.

>>38925674
>>38925682
>>38925685
>>38925696
>>38925721
>>38925737
>>38925845
>>38925905
>>38927597
You look at Tanssija with a hard, though bewildered look. Brows slightly raised and lips parted combined with your ears twisting just a little as if they were going to fold backwards. You recover after a moment and look between the two as they continue to argue over minor bodily mutilation with Hannu still being against it.
"...So, this is the other potential side of having family, disagreements and debates? Interesting," You say quietly to yourself before looking over at Eerika, "How strong are your illusions? Can you make them last for days?"
"A f-fuew ours."
"I get the feeling I'm not suppose to interject at this point, however you're both highly stressed as I am. I don't believe arguing about this is going to make any headway and we don't have the luxury to waste time," You say; interrupting the two in their argument, "The time in the cell must have driven you insane Tanssija. Not only does that risk seriously injuring you, potentially critically, but Smoke would... He probably wouldn't do anything, but I think he'd be very disappointed in me."
"Well, being kidnapped and thrown in a cell does that."
"Unfortunately... You're also right. Who knows what sort of tests they'll subject you to.," You admit, "As much as I don't want to stab you, I know how to stab her such that it will look worse than it is, and I can heal most of the wound magically, and I can make it so you don't feel it."
You pull out your tanning knife.
"More unfortunately this is the only knife I have, unless Hannu feels like framing one of his guards and using one of their weapons."
"I'm not doing that either." He shakes his head.
You close your eyes and bow your head slightly.
"This will hurt, a lot. Someone will likely hear. It'll be done after we finish our discussion. If you wiggle or shift this might turn from minor cosmetic damage to major organ surgery. Two upsides, you get to pick where you want it, other then your head... I hope I don't have to explain why."
"Yeah, I'm not that crazy."
"The neck is the riskiest, lot of arteries and veins. And it'll be visible with most sorts of clothes, but you won't have trouble convincing anyone that someone tried to kill you," You start, "The chest is tricky, but there are a few good spots, one or two where it'd even be virtually impossible to do yourself, no trouble again convincing anyone. If Deer insides are significantly different then a Pony's I could get something important. The gut is... bad, it's easy but if I nick your digestive track you might get some serious infections. Your legs are thinner than a Pony's. The flank though has a lot of fat, I can almost guarantee you'd be fine short of Deer secretly keeping their kidneys in there or something."

Cont.
>>
>>38928732
As you list all of this off Hannu thinks of something.
"You said you could make it so she doesn't feel anything... how?"
"I would need a few things: lavender, peppermint, verna, and amazonite."
>rolled a d20 to see if recognizes this. He got a nat 20.
Hannu lifts up a hoof and rubs his face.
"I'm not going to ask how you know a curse like that, but I can get those things and a knife as long as you promise to remove it as soon as you're done."

What do you do?
>>
>>38928746
A quip about the curse being a mercy compared to the other curse on Tanssija's soul crosses our mind, but we keep it to ourself. Still, we raise an eyebrow.
"You must have an interesting choice in literature if you can recognize it from the ingredients. And yes, the intent was that i remove it when we're done... Perhaps a mild numbing agent would be useful as well? Even when it's healed and the effect removed, it would reduce the pain, while making the location a little more credible; the assassin missed the major arteries in the struggle, managed to do enough damage to cause a limp and make her an easier target, but had to flee to avoid being caught. And we can make you look pale and tired to reflect the blood loss."
>>
>You said you could make it so she doesn't feel anything... how?"
Where do we say that in the post?
Also, I thought >>38927597 was meant to be a deterrent.

>>38928746
We're a bit surprised he's willing to go through with this.
"... I, only said those things in the hope Tanssija would interject. Are you really going to go through with this? I have some skill in makeup. I can make it look real."

ALT: In case this wasn't a misunderstanding.

We look at him with a bit of surprise that he was able to understand it was a curse.
"Tanssija's my friend. I won't do anything to make her suffer. You have my word."
>>
>>38928746
I vote he read about it in a hardcore detective crime novel where the killer used it to fatally wound deer without them noticing.

Frown at him.
Leaving the room without your guards might look strange to anyone you come across.
Also Tanssija makes good choices on her friends, and that's all I'll say on the subject of the smattering of magics I have picked up.
Also do you mean the knife or the curse? Because I'm going to have to remove the knife and take it with me if you get it as it could tie you back to doing this. As for the curse no, I'll remove that only after the wound is healed. The wound still hurts after its made.
I'm not going to leave any curse on her permanently, including that nasty one. Speaking of which, Tanssija practice more with your magic please. I know it's difficult but your soul hangs in the balance.
>>
>>38928746
>>38928819(me)
It looks like I fell for the trick too. Redact this post.

We look at Hannu unscrupulously.
"Really, Hannu? I only said this to invoke some form of protest, which you were, but are now for it. This kind of weakmindedness is how you're being manipulated."
We put up the knife and grab our makeup kit.
"I can make you scars that looks real. We don't have to inflict real injuries."
We look back at Hannu.
"And you really need to stop being so meek. Otherwise the trial will go in their favor regardless of the evidence we find."
>>
>>38928809
>>38928819
>>38928850
>>38928881
A quip about the curse being a mercy compared to the other curse on Tanssija's soul crosses your mind, but you keep it to yourself. Still, you raise an eyebrow and look at him unscrupulously.
"Really, Hannu? I only said this to invoke some form of protest, which you were, but are now for it. This kind of weakmindedness is how you're being manipulated."
"I'm still very much against it, but if Tanssija is dead set on it we'll just be arguing for hours."
You just shake your head a bit.
"You must have an interesting choice in literature if you can recognize it from the ingredients. Tanssija makes good choices on her friends, so let's just leave it at that," You say, "Leaving the room without your guards might look strange to anyone you come across. Also do you mean the knife or the curse? Because I'm going to have to remove the knife and take it with me if you get it as it could tie you back to doing this."
"Yes, I can get both the knife and the ingredients. We should have lavender and peppermint at least."
"Perhaps a mild numbing agent would be useful as well? Even when it's healed and the effect removed, it would reduce the pain, while making the location a little more credible; the assassin missed the major arteries in the struggle, managed to do enough damage to cause a limp and make her an easier target, but had to flee to avoid being caught. And we can make you look pale and tired to reflect the blood loss. Also-"
You take out your makeup kit.
"I can make the wound and scars look real. We don't have to inflict real injuries," You then turn to Hannu again, "And you really need to stop being so meek. Otherwise the trial will go in their favor regardless of the evidence we find."
He takes a deep breath at this and nods.
"Tanssija, I am begging you not to stab yourself. I don't want to watch you get hurt just for this. We can do the makeup and make it look just as real."
Tanssija looks between the two of you a few times as she thinks.
"...Yeah, we can do the makeup then." She nods.

What do you do?
>>
>>38928931
We'd still probably need some real blood since makeup doesn't smell, spill, or run like blood
>>
>>38928931
Get started on the makeup I guess since we're doing this now.
You never did answer me. Where do you want it. Probably shouldn't do more then one. The more wounds the less credible it seems you'd survive.

>>38928819
>>38928881
We were going to go through with it, because you know... It'll take all of five seconds for the doctor that comes to examine her after the 'stabbing' discovers the patient just has paint on their chest not blood.

Before you pulled that cop-out. This is the equivalent of the asspull we just did.
"Just kidding it was a prank bro! Haha, I can't believe you were about to go through with that you dumbass!"
>>
>>38928931
The hell kind of makeup kit are we carrying around with us!?! Making a convincing stab wound would take a special effects makeup kit! Also, the wound and surrounding skin would be bone dry without a pouch of artificial blood to go with it. The only way makeup could be of any use here is to make the wound look worse than it actually is. Also, what about spilt blood?
>>
Honestly, I've just confused myself at this point.
>>
>>38928980
>>38928986
>>38929017
With a nod you open up your makeup kit and start looking through everything.
"You never did answer me. Where do you want it. Probably shouldn't do more than one."
"Let's... do the flank."
You nod and start getting ready only to stop before you could start. You could make a pretty good stab wound, but you might need some blood, or at least something that runs like it. Without it a doctor could realize what's happening right away.
"...Is there a problem?" Tanssija asks.

What do you do?
>>
>>38928986
I don't think she will get checked. Healing spells won't work on makeup, but we can just claim it's because she's cursed.
The trial must happen first thing in the morning, and who cares, honestly? This can be addressed as hannu panicking and making a rash decision. It doesn't change anything in the long run.

But alright. I see hurting her is what you guys really want. I'm just gonna stay quiet as you guys mutilate our friend.
>>
>>38928986
>>38929122
Unless you're suggesting King hanu is that weak that it won't push for a speedy trial or something
>>
>>38929105
"... Makeup and visual illusions will make the injury able to pass a visual inspection, but the blood would give it away, I wager. I know there is a way to make fake blood, but the ingredient elude me. Fortunately, we only need a small amount of blood to trick the senses and make it seem like it's all real, and it doesn't have to be Deer blood. We will need a container however."

I don't think we have to take the knife, since the assassin could've dropped it.
>>
>>38929171
"...Makeup and visual illusions will make the injury able to pass a visual inspection, but the blood would give it away, I wager. I know there is a way to make fake blood, but the ingredient eludes me," You say, "Fortunately, we only need a small amount of blood to trick the senses and make it seem like it's all real, and it doesn't have to be Deer blood. We will need a container however."
"I... I..."
Eerika opens her mouth to say something, but she seems to be struggling to put it in Unicorn, so she simply turns to Hannu and speaks Deer.
"Tiedän kuinka tehdä väärennettyä verta," She says to him, "Tarvitsemme maissitärkkelystä, vettä, maissisiirappia, sipulihiutaleita ja punaista väriainetta."
"...She says we can make some fake blood with corn starch, water, corn syrup, onion flakes, and red dye," Hannu explains, "Tarvitseeko sitä sekoittaa?"
"Kyllä, ja seos saa sen näyttämään myös rupilta."
"It'll need to be mixed, but the end product will look like bloody scabs."
"Feel like it'll just be easier to stab me." Tanssija mutters.

What do you do?
>>
>>38929273
Opening our mouth, we close it again, biting our lip for a moment.
"It's ultimately your choice on how we do this. It's the smell of real blood that will sell it if they're expecting blood and a wound, we just need to add it to some to whatever 'paint' we're using. As for the injury, having to not injure you is preferable, as is the time required for preparing the, painkiller, but I can heal the wound itself in under a minute."

Set aside a jar, in case we need to collect blood for cosmetic use, whether from Tanssija or ourself.

Place is boiling, head is spaced the fuck out, so i really can't think of a decent post rn.
>>
>>38929273
We shake our head.
"This court is a farce anyway, unless you're saying your brother won't push for the trial to start. Alternatively, we can slice through your armor/clothes, and stab the wall with a knife. Make it a near miss."
(The fake blood idea is good. In makeup, we need to shave some of her fur,rub a bit of venom on the exposed skin, Ave dab red and brown together. Matting her fur is as simple as using sap from the tree. The smell won't be there, but it won't matter in my opinion.)
>>
>>38929273
>>38929426 (me, I want to drive this home since it got redacted last time.)
> your brother won't push for the trial to start.
"Then again, I just described many different ways to injure you, and his protests became ones of agreement... I'm starting to think your innocence won't be acquitted regardless of the outcome."

(This is how weak everyone thinks Hannu is from my understanding.)
>>
>>38929273
"A ritual is needed so you won't feel pain. It'll be just as fast to go to a kitchen and mix up fake blood."
>>
>>38929273
Yeah, trying to fake an injury is a lot harder when somebody is under a lot of scrutiny. Plus we'd need to head out and get stuff which could lead to leaving behind evidence of the plot.
>>
>>38929344
>>38929426
>>38929448
>>38929458
>>38929532
"It's ultimately your choice on how we do this. A ritual is needed so you won't feel pain. It'll be just as fast to go to a kitchen and mix up fake blood. It's the smell of real blood that will sell it if they're expecting blood and a wound, we just need to add it to some whatever 'paint' we're using," You tell her, "This court is a farce anyway, unless you're saying your brother won't push for the trial to start. Then again, I just described many different ways to injure you, and his protests became ones of agreement... I'm starting to think your innocence won't be acquitted regardless of the outcome."
Hannu glares at you at this while Tanssija just gives you a short, pointed look. Hannu takes a deep breath and slowly lets it out.
"I can go get the ingredients for the fake blood then if you don't want me around," He says; turning to Eerika, "Since you know how to make it you can come with me disguised as a guard."
Eerika nods at this.

What do you do?
>>
>>38929567
We let out a sigh.
"Hannu?"
We trot up to him and punch him across the face.
"This is my issue with you,Hannu. Instead of stepping up you decide to clam up. Let's be honest: if I didn't show up you would have let the trial proceed without any intervention. Now let's say she is acquitted. Will you let them find another way to take Tanssija's life? I'm not saying you should not have a heart, but you have to know when to fight back."
>>
>>38929567
Taking a breath and exhaling through our nostrils slowly, we try to relax a little, feeling the stress of our situation and frustration on Tanssija's behalf weighing on us a fair bit.
"It would be appreciated. And Hannu?... This is Tanssija's and your people's hour of need, but when we succeed, you will need to be firm, stronger than you think you can be, but not wholly unfeeling nor unkind. Now might not be the best time to be assertive, when we're in the middle of conspiring against the council, but when the truth of their manipulation gets out, there will be others who chase the power they had, and will try to manipulate you much the same, worse even, because you won't know your enemies. What we're doing, I suspect it's the first step in a long journey for yourself. Not one to be made without support, or unprepared, but still necessary."

Not sure on my post.
Also, can we not keep kicking Hannu quite so much? It's not helping the situation, Tanssija doesn't appreciate it, and it's getting OOC, imo.
>>
>>38929777
>>38929828
You take a deep breath and slowly let it out, trying to relax a little as you feel the stress of your situation and frustration on Tanssija's behalf weighing on you.
"Hannu?"
"What?"
You trot up to him. It was tempting to lift a hoof up and punch him, though you stop yourself from doing that.
"This is my issue with you, Hannu. Instead of stepping up you decide to clam up. Let's be honest: if I didn't show up you would have let the trial proceed without any intervention. Let's say she's acquitted, will you let them find another way to take Tanssija's life? This is Tanssija's and your people's hour of need, but when we succeed, you will need to be firm, stronger than you think can be, but not wholly unfeeling nor unkind. Now might not be the best time to be assertive, when we're in the middle of conspiring against the council, but when the truth of their manipulation gets out there, there will be others who chase the power they had, and will try to manipulate you much the same, worse even, because you won't know your enemies. What we're doing, I suspect it's the first step in a long journey for yourself. I'm not saying you should not have a heart, but you have to know when to fight back."
For several long moments he stands there with his back facing you. Through his soul you could see hundreds of emotions fighting with each other in a swirling maelstrom of colors before settling on a vivid anger. As he turns around though his anger fades a bit as he gets control of it, calming down a bit as he fully faces you and takes in a deep breath.
"You think I don't know about it? You think I just go through my life blissfully unaware of it," He breathes, "It's been a problem for a long fucking time and I am more than aware of it. I've been trying to fix it for a long time as well, but it's a lot harder than it looks, you know."
He lifts up his hoof and jabs it against your chest as he continues.
"And even if you never showed up there was no way in fucking hell that I would've just sat back and let them execute the only family I have left! Tanssija and I may not always see eye-to-eye, but I'm not letting those assholes in the fucking council cut her fucking head off! If I could switch places and be killed in her stead I would take it in a heartbeat!"
Realizing that he was almost shouting the last part, he takes another deep breath and steps away from you.
"You don't need to keep reminding me of how much of a fuckup I am," He sighs, "Now, can you disguise Eerika for me?"
You do as he says and watch the two leave through the door.
"...You know, you don't have to keep beating it into the head of my brother." Tanssija tells you.

What do you do?
>>
Stopping for the night. I meant to post the in-person D&D session from last this morning, but I was still a bit tired as the session finished at around midnight because two people were close to an hour late. Anyway, here it is: What the hell happened?
In the session that I missed last week the party finally left the ruins of Baldur's Gate behind with Balasar scouting the path ahead to Candlekeep to explain his absence, leaving behind little notes on things to avoid along the way except for a group of bandits that they fought apparently. Tansi got knocked out, I believe it was to something completely unrelated to the bandits, and Lizzie made drugs that she proceeded to get high off of.
Balasar gets to Candlekeep first and ends up getting roped up into doing something for one of the magic colleges there. The college has been having a problem with expensive material components for spells that have been going missing and assign him to go looking. By the time I got back he had apparently narrowed it down to one culprit: a Dwarven groundskeeper named Turun, so he's currently staking out his house for anything suspicious by laying in a tree.
The rest of the party arrives, rests for the night, and gets roped into the investigation as well. Before they do though Thokk and NPC Lizzie go around to find a Bag of Holding and end up getting one off of a student for an extremely low price. We quickly find out why it was sold so low is because that there is a talking orb in the bag, extremely similar to the talking ruby from the last in-person campaign we were in. It contains the soul of a Gnome named fucking Jeb who likes to say fuck a lot and insult people. So, we're stuck with a talking orb.
After that they go to find me though they can't after a nat 20 roll from me. They do eventually find me hanging out in a tree and end up in a hilarious comedy of errors as Tansi attempts to get up to me and failing repeatedly, even with Athena helping and me offering to just come down from the tree. (She took 15 damage total in trying to climb up the tree). Thokk just throws her and we come up with a plan after seeing a student interacting with the Dwarf and a mysterious magic cellar.
We split into three with Tansi and I following the student, Thokk and Athena following the Dwarf, and Zanros and Lizzie breaking into the house to get into the cellar. The student leave and Tansi and I follow him to a marketplace. Of the people to spot us we end up getting spotted by Boris, the apparently teleporting merchant Dwarf because we didn't see him on our way to Candlekeep. He talks with Tansi while Balasar continues to tail the student.

Cont.
>>
>>38929976
The Dwarf in the house leaves with Thokk and Athena following while Zanros and Lizzie get in. The cellar is locked though Lizzie opens it with the Knock spell. The Knock spell can open locks, but it is also extremely fucking loud, loud enough that Thokk, Athena, the Dwarf, and even Tansi manage to hear it. The Dwarf doesn't think anything of it though while Tansi rushes back to the house.
The two get into the cellar and indeed find a bunch of expensive spell components, though there is an alarm system in there as the Dwarf teleports back. At this point the other three rush back and get there just in time for the Dwarf to teleport them into what I can only describe as the backrooms to fight in a thin hallway. All except for Balasar, who is too far away to know that any of this is happening and is unaffected by any of these events.
I can't really say what happened in the fight as since I wasn't involved with it I just kinda checked out of it. I know they fought two elementals and the Dwarf. And apparently, the battlefield they were in was designed for my character to have a bit of a hard time as he would have to shoot through everyone, but through sheer luck or bad luck I wasn't involved at all!
After the Dwarf is killed the party comes back and Balasar returns just in time to see them all singed by fire and drenched in water.
And that was the session. I had fun despite not doing much at all.
>>
>>38929987
Night, Pluto!
Also, for some reason while reading that, all I could think was Begone, Thokk! I think I'm tired.
>>
>>38929910
Watch the door for a moment more without responding to Tanssija before letting our posture slump slightly. Walk over to the door and relock it then sit down and press our back to it. Our flanks and other assets resting against the floor.
...I know. I believe it's my own issues regarding family that is driving me to air my grivences, I didn't realise it be I think I may have held the idea of a family on a pedestal and the both of you are functionally tearing it down.
You'd likely be getting your own share of the verbal breakdown, but... I don't know. You both failed each other, I don't know enough about both of your relationship other then what is likely the worst part of it. And it is crushing to watch, and I literally can't imagine what it's like for either of you since I have no comparison*.
And I suppose it's easier to take out the faultout from my crumbling dreams on your brother despite him too being just a victim of circumstance. Maybe the horns act as a lightning rod.
It's because your actions are in the past, fairly selfless as they were. However his actions or lack of them are why you're here today, and they have the biggest effect on how this turns out.
I don't like being so critical of someone, it's so... I can't know every part of their situation and kicking someone while they're down just makes me feel like a horrible pony.

Enough of the woe is me though, this is the first chance we've had to talk mostly alone since I got here. On that note, deer archers are really really good. I need some better way to protect my eyes, I don't want another arrow to the head.
Also... Do you want me to just try, kill the council members? Trying to discredit them is fine and all but I feel in the power vacuum of their absence your brother might be able to become an actual king rather then the mascot for the kingdom. That... And I'm still rather angry at them for what they did to you.

*No comparison to having an argument with family like this.
>>
>>38929910
"... This must be how Master felt whenever I was that stubborn."
We let out another sigh and walk back towards Tanssija.
"I won't say anything I said was just. Hearing him be ok with not only giving you another curse, but to cut you up without protest bothered me. While it was your suggestion, he just gave up when a random pony jumped on the idea. oh, and before I forget."
We undo the curse of sleepwalking and grab our knife and makeup tools again.
"Then there's the way he describes himself. The self doubt he has is just pushing himself deeper into the depths of despair... In a way, I was reminded of my Master and how he says he has to be a bad pony because it's what's expected from him, like how Hannu is expected to be a bad king from day to day. I've never liked that aspect of Master."
We shave off a line of fur, exposing her flesh. We then mix red and brown and start applying a thin line to the flesh.
"I know it's an unfair comparison, but experiencing the afterlife gave me some clarity to push on forward. Dying is one of the most painful things I've ever felt. Even with my injuries gone I can still feel that arrow through my head. The last thing I want you to experience the same thing. Even if I were to resurrect you, you'll feel a sharp pain around your neck. Not to mention your soul would be tethered to mine, so you will feel what I feel and if I die you die as well. Smoke Tree won't be happy with that."
We continue to work on her "scar" until it looks like a cleaned up wound.
>>
>>38929910
"... I do know. And I know he doesn't need the stress, or deserve my ire quite so much, not when he is a victim who has felt trapped for years. He needs support and guidance, perhaps now more than ever."
Rubbing our eye gently, we stare at the ground, forcing ourself to relax as much as we can.
"It's unfair to him... but life has been unfair to many ponies and deer. I briefly died, which was somewhat a boon for what I have learned, but I still awoke in a fresh mass grave, one of potentially hundreds that line the border, surrounded by corpses with an arrow in my head. I'd ask what is fair to those idiotic but potentially innocent ponies, who may have yet lived if not for your brother's inaction, but we both know it's not that simple. It doesn't stop the outrage... or the fear of being discovered for who I am, in this place. So, to face all that, and find you and Hannu, the last of your family, potentially hours before your execution, not crying together, not lamenting the situation, not planning your escape, but seemingly squabbling like fawns... it was upsetting to me, to see you both 'throwing away' that time. It shouldn't be, as it's not my place to judge, but I'm not as callous and unfeeling as I might try to act at times... Of course, what we're doing here? It's bigger than me, or any if us individually, so perhaps I should work on holding my tongue..."

Iffy on my post, but limited time to write.
>>
>>38929910
Just for the record, I dislike how this turned out its my fault for falling asleep I know but I feel like I have to say something.
Either doing a makeup wound or a real stab is fine. Having Luscinia pretending to go along with Tanssija stabbing plan just to turn around and throw it back in Hannu's face like he's a piece of shit after agreeing to both our and Tanssija's arguments for it is so fucking hideously manipulative and awful.
Straight out of mean girls or something.


Better me doing it then you. I'll make it up to him later, he needs a friend as badly as he needs a sister.
He has been broken down again and again in his job, by the loss of his father and mother, and the exilation of his sister. He needs to change and fast. To build himself up and to gain confidence along with direction and willpower.
Unfortunately, I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm mostly guessing and I'm frustrated with the situation.

Raising up a front hoof we pinch the bridge of our snout with our fetlock.

I don't think a lot of deer talk to him honestly. Not even you. He's important to you.
I don't know how to best help him. But it's clear enough he has figurative mountains of self doubt. He admits he's made mistakes, but not in a good way. It's like he sees every failure as irreversible, or every flaw he has an unchangeable immutable trait. This needs change the most.
If he truly believes he can't do anything then like a prophecy it'll come to pass.

We need to do something. If we don't get him on the right path then even after the council is gone the next time someone comes around with ill intentions he'll fold like a house of cards.
>>
>>38931441
For me, it was this post. >>38927597
There was less severe alternatives we mentioned, but this one was considered the driving force for Pluto's next prompt.
Then everyone agreed that hurting Tanssija is the way to go?
Further more, it felt like everyone is ignoring that Hannu can have some power in how to proceed with things, so fuck it. Just get it out of the open because everyone agrees he's so weak he can't make decisions of his own.

In hindsight, I should have suggested that Tanssija was taken out of jail to spend the last day with family instead of mentioning a phantom assassin and we could have avoided this mess.
>>
>>38931615
There was nothing wrong with either option. The stabbing or not. Even changing our mind was not inherently a bad thing. We could have taken the knife gone to carefully stab Tanssija but have been completely unable to go through with plunging a knife into our friend. Or that we simply can't handle the stress of all but operating on a living subject. That or something similar could have been an interesting but nice development.

But playing it off as a trick we pulled on Hannu? Just why? That does nothing regress our own character while ripping into our friends brother, I suppose we don't need to be flawless but it was so out of left field.
>>
If you guys want I am fine with going back a few posts and redoing it. Or we can just keep going and try to move on.
Reading it back, I'm not a fan of it myself.
>>
>>38931708
I think I'd be for it. Having a bit of a heart to heart with Tanssija here would be nice, but that stuff really is out of place for Luscinia.
That said, for the past several posts, my head has been doing itself in (not headache, just fuzzy, probably sick) so I've been struggling to follow along as is. So, my judgement probably isn't great.
>>
>>38931686
When I read that post, I was thinking it was a means for Tanssija to second guess herself, then Hannu jumped in, and it sounded like we were actually going to do it. So to adapt to the story, Hannu is to blame instead, then everyone else is basically saying Hannu is too weak to cover for a fake injury.
Concerns of Hannu being manipulated in the future because of how weak he is arose, so he needed to be mentally beaten down.
>>
>>38931708
I'm ok with it as long as you give Hannu at least just ONE bone that goes into a spine.
>>
>>38931708
I'm too biased to answer this fairly.

I'm not much of a fan of taking redo's. I don't want to ask for one here, if it is felt is necessary or wanted that is fine though.
Maybe a soft retcon where that whole part of this is just not mentioned again or something.

>>38931738
I understand the angle, in come cases a similar approach might have positive outcomes. But here... Basically all we know about the guy is that he has been on the constant receiving end of a mental beatdown since his mom and dad died.

The menu at you put it is definitely off-putting enough for it to function as a deterrent.
But I guess a situation like this is bound to happen with assumptions and such. It really should have been explained to Hannu that we were attempting to get the point across how poor the idea of self mutilation, not devoting every word to taking a go at his character. It's just confusing and hard to follow the string of logic.
>>
Yeah, I'm redoing. Sorry to the ones that didn't want it. You can ignore the last several posts.

The three of you turn to look at Tanssija after she says her suggestion. You and Eerika had a look of surprise along with Hannu though his quickly turns into anger.
"No, we are not doing that Tanssija!" He exclaims.
"If we want it to be believable that's as believable as we can get," She insists; turning to face her brother, "What do you suggest then?"
"I don't fucking know, at least something that doesn't involve self mutilation! We can make fake blood with some red dye and make it look just as realistic without stabbing you!"
"It takes them sending for one doctor for the whole thing to fall apart, a doctor will be able to tell that it's just some paint on me and whatever else is in it!"
The argument continues to devolve with you and Eerika on the sidelines. Eerika gives you a quick, worried glance before looking back at the argument.

What do you do?
>>
>>38931894
We've dealt with A LOT of bodies throughout our life. I'm fairly certain we can make a grievous looking stab wound that will neither put her in any real danger, damage anything important, nor impair her ability to defense herself or run if the need arises. On top of that, we have healing spells on the off chance something goes wrong and we do more damage than we intended.
>>
>>38931894
"Enough." We exclaim, but fail to reach their ears. Changing tactic, we extend our sword in front of the two.
"Hannu, can you push for the trial to begin without an examination?"
"Tanssija, you gamble, right? From what little I do know about gambling, it involves bluffing, right? How easy is it to take an injury for you?"
"In that case, there's no need to fret over this. I'm skilled at makeup, so it'll be easy to make something to look real. Fake blood is an excellent idea. Do you know how to make it?"
"Of course, I will still have to shave off some of your fur, but unlike with a real cut, it'll grow back. Is this all acceptable?"
>>
>>38931943(me)
>Changing tactic, we extend our sword in front of the two.
"Sorry, I had to cut the tension somehow."
> to take an injury for you?"
to fake an injury for you?"
>>
>>38931894
Rubbing our temple with a hoof, we approach the cervine royal siblings, getting close enough and towering over them so they can't simple ignore us, shoving between them if we have to.
"Enough. Arguing will draw just attention and it is making everyone more tense. Hannu, your concern for your sister is admirable, but she has been through a lot, and has lead the life of an adventurer for a while now; a precise cut made to look worse than it is would be minor compared to the other injuries and broken bones one attains in that life style..."
Biting our lip for a moment, we turn to look at Tanssija.
"That said, he has a point, Tanssija. I know how to make a minor wound look serious but, I've been trying to picture inflicting it on you, and it's disquieting. Under different circumstances, perhaps, but... it has been a long day, for all of us. I do know just as well how to fake a wound, blood would just be the outlier. We would need more than just red dye, some green and blue would be needed to darken it, and it would be too runny on its own. And we can ensure the injury is covered quickly by bandages."

Want to encourage them to hug, like fawns, as Luscinia's idea on family conflict resolution would probably be simple, but idk.
>>
>>38931894
Quietly to the doe next to us say.
Do... Do you think they are always like this?
Shake our head and loudly click our hoof against the floor between them to direct their attention to us. Our eyes and head are looking ahead at the floor a little bit from us not at either of them.
Enough. Just stop, if you would both be so kind. Tanssija is right, any doctor could tell it was a fake no matter how good the makeup was.
Look at Hannu and give him a hard look for a few seconds before saying anything.
That means it would be exclusively up to you to turn away anyone that was sent. For fear of them being the assassin in disguise or having been coerced by the assassin to finish the job.
If you failed in any capacity it would mean your discreditmeant and Tanssija's death. Are you sure you can do it? If not we need another plan.
Look over at Tanssija frowning.
Because I'm pretty sure putting a hole in you is antithetical to the reason I came here. Having you accidentally bleed out or get permanent nerve damage really isn't something I desire risking.
>>
>>38931921
>>38931943
>>38931946
>>38931964
>>38932006
>>38932010
"Do... Do you think they are always like this?"
"Don't know," She shrugs, "S-Sebling argue toegh."
You shake your head and loudly click your hoof against the floor, though this doesn't stop their argument. You raise a hoof and rub your temple as you approach the royal siblings, getting close enough and towering over both of them to get them to stop as they look over at you.
"Enough, just stop! Arguing will draw attention and it is making everyone more tense. Hannu, your concern for your sister is admirable, but she has been through a lot, and has led the life of an adventurer for a while now; a precise cut made to look worse than it is would be minor compared to the other injuries and broken bones one attains in that life style..."
You then turn to Tanssija, biting your lip for a moment.
"You are right that any doctor could tell it was fake no matter how good the makeup was, but he has a point. I know how to make a minor wound look serious but, I've been trying to picture inflicting it on you, and it's disgusting. Under different circumstances perhaps, but... it has been a long day, for all of us. I do know just as well how to fake a wound, blood would just be the outlier."
You then turn back to Hannu.
"Stabbing her would mean it would be exclusively up to you to turn away anyone that was sent. For fear of them being the assassin in disguise or having been coerced by the assassin to finish the job. Could you also push the trial to begin without an examination?"
"I could," He nods, "Though it also depends on the council listening and not just trying to do it from underneath me."
"In that case, there's no need to fret over this. I'm skilled at makeup, so it'll be easy to make something to look real," You say, "Fake blood is an excellent idea. Do you know how to make it?"
"I've heard of it, but I don't know how." He shakes his head.
"I Nowh." Eerika says.
She quickly explains it to Hannu in his own language.
"...It can be made with some stuff from the kitchen," He explains after hearing her, "And the recipe she knows will also make it look like it's covered in scabs."
"I will still have to shave off some of your fur, but unlike a real cut, it'll grow back. Is this all acceptable?" You ask Tanssija.
"...Yes, it's fine," She nods after a moment, "I think we'll have to be quick about it though."

What do you do?
>>
>>38932084
"Alright then. I'm glad we've come to an agreement."
We take out an empty jar and give it to Hannu then disguise Eerika into one of his snoozing guards.
"I'll get to work on Tanssija if you can get the blood. If anyone asks about the other guard, you stationed him/her to guard Tanssija."
With that, we unlock the door for them.
>>
>>38932121
Seconding!
>>
>>38932084
>I'm skilled at makeup
AGAIN WITH THIS MAKEUP BULLSHITT!?! We are not a special effects artist! Even an amateur can tell a fake wound from a real one! Fake blood can be identified by smell alone! There's also the question of if she can convincingly act like she's in pain. Tears? Limp? Strained voice? Responding to unexpected stimuli? Also, it's impossible for her not to be checked out. What if the assassin used a poisoned blade? What if the wound gets infected? What if she bleeds out? Those last two would be reasons for them to insist on her being checked BTW. Not to mention that Hannu trying to prevent anybody from checking her would be extremely suspicious. Anybody trying to make fake blood will also leave evidence of it being made. What about witnesses? lastly, pushing the trial up to cover for how weak this ruse is will rob us of valuable time to prepare for said trial.
>>
>>38932084
Squint our eyes at Hannu.
I think you've misunderstood me. When I asked if you could do it I wasn't asking if it was within your power, I resent the fact you'd think me that daft to not know the king could set out basic orders to be followed. I mean can you-
Lift a hoof and poke him in the chest.
As a deer actively follow through with this and prevent any attempts to have someone to see Tanssija? Locking her in a room where you had the only key, putting ten guards in front of the door so no one could get in, or if you can trust either of those to work, standing guard yourself.
No excuses of the council subverting your power as a king, is this something you can manage as a deer, as a buck, as Tanssija's brother.
If you can't, if it's unmanageable then we need to pick something else. Because you can have your guards bring whatever you need to work on to you, but you can't guard Tanssija if you're wandering around doing whatever the latest asinine 'request' from the council is.

We can work with it if you can't, I could guard Tanssija's room myself or we can pick another plan. But you have to focus and build some confidence and not let yourself fold.
>>
>>38932181 #
I know. It's slightly ridiculous. But not stabbing our friend seems to be the winning sentiment even if doing a little cosmetic surgery is the logical and technically correct option.
Even if that's true though, it's a highly emotionally charge situation with a character who despite her often analytical demeanor is rather emotionally driven.

Speaking of witnesses we are going to need to deal with the rest of those bucks now that I think about it.
>>
Forgot to say that online D&D is soon for me.

>>38932121
>>38932198
>>38932221
You squint your eyes at Hannu.
"I think you've misunderstood me. When I asked if you could do it I wasn't asking if it was within your power, I resent the face you'd think me that daft to not know the king could set our basic orders to be followed. I mean can you-"
You lift up a hoof and jab him in the chest with the tip of it.
"As a Deer, actively follow through with this and prevent any attempts to have someone to see Tanssija? Locking her in a room where you have the only key, putting ten guards in front of the door so no one can get in, of if you can't trust either of those to work, standing guard yourself. No excuses of the council subverting your power as a king, is this something you can manage as a Deer, as a buck, as Tanssija's brother."
"...I promise as king and as Tanssija's brother that I will protect her at all costs," He promises, "Even if I have to lay down my life for her, I will protect her!"
"Glad we've come to an agreement."
You step back slightly and pull out one of your empty jars that you give to Hannu, then disguising Eerika as one of his knocked out guards.
"I'll get to work on Tanssija if you can get the blood. If anyone asks about the other guards, you stationed them to guard Tanssija."
"That's what I was going to say," He nods, "Come on, Eerika."
You unlock the door for them and watch the two leave. As soon as they exit you close the door behind them and lock it again.
"So, where are we going to do the makeup," Tanssija asks, "Since it's makeup we can put it anywhere though it needs to be in a realistic place."

What do you do?
>>
>>38932221
Making four guards disappear without raising suspicions even further would be a greater feat than making a convincing looking would with our deus ex machina level makeup kit. I was more referring to staff or guards seeing Hannu walking around, making the fake blood, or carrying the fake blood bake here. Honestly, this plan has so many points of failure that the council might just declare her retarded.
>>
>>38932243
The less it's seen during court the better, but it would also be better if it doesn't have your clothes constantly rubbing against it and smudging it.
I'd say on the underside of your barrel, just under your rib cage. It's were I'd stab at least on someone who is unsuspecting, no protection from the bone but still within reach of quite a few important things. That said there is a few gaps and cavities or even just a cut to the liver, it wouldn't kill you even if you had to make it look like it really hurt.
Might want to pull up your clothes a bit.

>>38932247
I more meant the six other prisoners, the guards passed out. The two in the room area really the only ones that could completely contradict any story.
>>
>>38932243
Pulling our makeup kit out, we begin puzzling over different possibilities.
"It needs to be non critical enough that they won't surveil you, yet bad enough that it's clearly not unintentional. Placing it on one of your limbs would require a limp, though you could be carried. You belly, side, and neck would be the targets, but the wound would have to be shallow there. Perhaps a slash where you side and flank meet? You can kick and hide you face if someone tries to get close."
Blinking, we facehoof as we realize something.
"... I can use my Disguise spell to make it an even more believable injury, at least for any initial inspection, with the makeup lending to the texture and for quick glances."

Good luck with D&D, Pluto!

>>38932247
As much as realism 'matters' to players, it's still an RPG setting, and a Quest. Dollars to donuts we're overthinking this shit as usual and it doesn't matter nearly as much to Pluto as the Rule of Cool/spirit of things. Need I point out climbing rope with hooves?
Also, not technically relevant, but Disguise Kits basically have basically jack shit in them and rogues/bards still do unrealistic shit with that stuff.
>>
>>38932243
The back of the neck could be a good place. Or I can make it look like I try to stab my sword through the bars and I grazed your head.
>>
>>38932322
Stab wounds are 3-D, makeup is 2-D. Unless we have makeup skill on par with Peeta from The Hunger Games, an untrained eye could tell that something's fishy about the wound. There's also the fact that an unplugged wound would be a bloody mess leaving a trail wherever she goes, so it suddenly going dry as soon as anybody arrives will also raise suspicions. Also, there's no way to keep her isolated from the council. Even if Hannu by some miracle has the only key to a room, a lock can just be picked. Guards can't be relied upon to prevent entry. Hell, there's even a simpler version of this plot! Have the thief released because she knows how to bandage the "wound". It'll get rid of the ability to see the wound itself. It'll give Hannu and her a reason to be out of the dungeon while his sister is bleeding out (getting medical supplies). And it gives a perfect excuse for her to be pardoned, saving the life of a member of the royal bloodline.
>>
>>38932247
So hiding it in his crown isn't an option?
Need I also remind you that we once carried a boar's armor in our bag and it didn't hinder us?
Also, we have a lot of clothes, an extra sword, a box of chocolates, and three literal jars with souls. A jar that contains the very accumulation of one's being. And yet, we carry everything around like it's nothing.
3D make up is feasible, else movie makeup would be so fake. It's also why we shave her fur. The fake blood can resemble scabs too, so it'll be fine.
>>
>>38932473
Not to mention all that whisky we have on hoof.
>>
>>38932359
Decent idea with the bandages, had a similar thought. Was iffy about bringing it up though, considering if doctors get involved, they'd likely still gonna insist they see it.
>>
>>38932473
Yes, the stuff to make it 3-D is called scar putty. If you have any access to a woman's makeup kit, I dare you to look for it. What does hiding a key (I assume) under his crown matter if there's more than one key for the door in question? Also, lockpicking bypasses the need for a key in the first place.

>>38932493
That's why I'm saying Eerika will be the doctor to care for her. No worries of an assassin posing as a doctor then. There's also a different way we can play the ruse, let the council find out and believe it's just an attempt to provide his sister some comfort in her final days. Finding out THAT secret would prevent them from putting the whole mess under any further scrutiny. Also, it could convince them to humor a demand to delay the trial by a couple of days.

Honestly though, a second or two to make a real stab wound would've been infinitely easier and more reliable.
>>
That session was fucking insane!

>>38932307
>>38932322
>>38932353
Taking your makeup kit out, you start to go over your options.
"The less it's seen during court the better, but it would also be better if it doesn't have your clothes constantly rubbing against it and smudging it. It also needs to be not critical enough that they wont' survey you, yet bad enough that it's clearly not unintentional. Placing it on one of your limbs would require a limp, though you could be carried. Your belly, side, and neck would be the targets, but the wound would have to be shallow there. Perhaps a slash where your side and flank meet or the underside of your barrel, just under your rib cage. It's where I'd stab at least someone who is unsuspecting, no protection from the bone but still within reach of a few important things. The back of the neck could also be a good place."
You stop and blink, then facehoofing as you realize something.
"...I can use my Disguise spell to make it an even more believable injury, at least for any initial inspection with the makeup leading to the texture and for quick glances."
"I think the underbelly or back of the neck could be good," She replies, "Realistically, an assassin would go for my neck. I could've kicked them away at the last second, but they still managed to cut me on the back of the neck."

What do you do?
>>
>>38933080
"The back of the neck it is then."
We pull out our tanning knife.
"If you could look down."
Once she does, we push the knife's side against the thick part of her neck and graze the blade against her fur.
"You didn't get too roughed up by your captures, did you? I uh, made them drop you a few times, and the one that crossed the border kept bumping into trees. Oh, that reminds me."
We undo the curse of sleepwalking.
"I... Also made you sleepwalk to buy me some more time and make their job harder. Sorry about that."
>>
Stopping for the night. Here's the summary of tonight's D&D session: Going Up in Smoke, Literally.
The party, now with Reyzana, continue down the road to the Orcs, taking another night of rest before finally getting to the halfway point to the Orcs and heading off road to Wyvern Tor. As the party travels with Dusk and Faber in front the two notice a column of smoke coming from the top of a nearby hill. We assume it's either a party of Orcs or the Stone Giant we were warned about. Considering Heksa's obsession with killing the Stone Giant we are a bit weary about it.
The group splits into two with Dusk, Reyzana, and Savi heading going on the path up the hill to the column of smoke to see what's up while Heska, Verna, and Faber wait at the base of the hill and to act as backup if things go badly.
And because D&D plans are always destined to fail in someway it does.
Dusk fails her stealth up the hill which attracts the attention of the thing at the top of the hill. It turns out not to be Orcs or a Giant, but two Hobgoblins who immediately start throwing shit down at us.
So combat starts with with Reyzana getting up the hill first to fight the Hobgoblins: one heavily armored sword boy and an archer. The archer gets beaten up pretty quick, so the two call for reinforcements.
Out from one of the tents that were set up by them at the top of the hill another Hobgoblin comes shooting out: a priestess that can levitate. A very powerful one at that because she immediately casts a spell that throws rocks at everyone in the party for 21 damage on a failed check. The half of the party at the bottom of the hill deal quite a bit of damage to her, which makes her angry enough to cast Fireball on an already wounded group of level 4's.
All three of them are on death saving throws and just barely survived it, especially Faber who if the Fireball did just one more point of damage would've just been straight up dead. Dusk quickly rushes back down the hill and kills the priestess before she can do anything else while she heals the down party members. The two Hobgoblins at the top of the hill fighting Savi and Reyzana seeing their priestess die decide to dip with the archer assumingly escaping and the heavily armored Hobgoblin unceremoniously dying by falling from the hill.

Cont.
>>
>>38933209
And the plans we had have literally gone up in smoke. We can't exactly fight Orcs or do all the other things we had planned when half of the party now has debilitating conditions that effect their ability to fight: Faber is covered in blisters that don't let him move as far, Verna's nerves got burnt to a crisp so she has to make con saves each time she tries to hit something with anything, and Heksa is completely covered in third degree burns after getting directly hit by the Fireball. Faber needs a week to heal with each of those days needing successive saves for the blisters to heal, Verna needs twenty in game days of doing nothing to heal, and Heksa needs a doctor to completely heal.
I'm not sure what possessed the DM to throw a high level caster at the party, but I think it was a bit excessive.
>>
>>38933212
Seems things really didn't go according to plan, based on the amount of time you'll have to spend recovering. Sounds like it was pretty clutch though.
Night, Pluto!
>>
>>38933080
Hmm... I'll put it on the back of your neck then, less then half an inch from your spine.
You'll have to keep in mind to twist and turn your neck as little as possible. Both because it'll preserve the makeup and because it will help maintain the believability of our claim if you keep a stiff neck.
I do need to make it a vertical cut though, a horizontal slash would too easily be lethal.
Get to work on her new cut starting the shave off the fur in the area we need with our tanning knife.
Would... Would you mind if we talked about something other than this whole situation for a little while? I feel like I'm focusing on it too much and it's overwhelming me.
Take a deep breath and let out a slow sigh. If she says no say nothing, if she says yes continue with.
Smoke said he'd be waiting for us at our caravans last destination. Or the next stopping point? I forget. Either way after this is all sorted, is there anything you'd want to do in the deerlands? ... Assuming you'll still want to come with me once you're no longer in exile...
>>
>>38933080
"Then we'll do the back of the neck, then work on the underbelly if we have still have some time left."
We pull out our sword, using the back of it to measure where we need to cut.
"... It's ironic. Usually I'm covering up the scars of the dead, but now I'm making scars for the living."
>>
Online D&D tonight as well.

>>38933208
>>38933606
>>38934520
"Hmm... I'll put it on the back of your neck then, less then half an inch from your spine. You'll have to keep in mind to twist and turn your neck as little as possible. Both because it'll preserve the makeup and because it will help maintain the believability of your claim if you keep a stiff neck."
She nods as she turns around for you to get a better look. You pull out your sword to measure where you needed to cut, nodding once you get it and pulling out your tanning knife.
"If you could look down."
She looks down and you get to work, pushing the knife's side against the thick part of her neck to graze the blade against her fur.
"You didn't get too roughed up by your captors, did you," You ask, "I uh, made them drop you a few times, and the one that cross the border kept bumping into trees."
"I was wondering how I got those bruises." She says with an amused smile.
"That reminds me."
You undo the curse of sleepwalking on her.
"I also made you sleepwalk to buy me some more time and make their job harder," You say; trailing off, "Would... Would you mind if we talked about something other than this whole situation for a little while?"
"Yeah, that's fine," She nods, "What did you want to talk about?"
"Smoke said he'd be waiting for us at our caravan's last destination, or the next stopping point? I forgot. Either way after all this is sorted, is there anything you'd want to do in the Deerlands?"
"All I want to do is get out as quick as possible." She replies.
You nod slightly and fall silent, focusing on getting a good cut out of her fur.
"It's ironic. Usually I'm covering up the scars of the dead, but now I'm making scars for the living."
"Another scar to add to my collection." She jokes; though to you it sounded incredibly dry, like she wasn't attempting to make a joke.

What do you do?
>>
>>38935446
Our ears flatten. That was clearly the wrong thing to say.
"... Sorry, that was wrong of me."
After an awkward silence continuing our work and struggling to find another topic, we continue.
"When I got here, I visited the afterlife. I got to see Morena and I learned my friend Kost, my Master's assistant, survived the burning. I don't know how, but we might see him some day. Morena said he's looking for me right now."
>>
>>38935567
Your ears flatten against your head.
"...Sorry, that was wrong of me."
"No, it's fine." Tanssija reassures you.
The two of you then fall into an awkward silence as you continue your work, eventually finding another topic to talk about.
"When I got here, I visited the afterlife. I got to see Morena and I learned my friend Kost, my Master's assistant, survived the burning," You say, "I don't know how, but we might see him someday. Morena said he's looking for me right now."
"Oh, that's good," She smiles, "Do you know where he is or just that he's finding you?"
As she speaks you finish slicing her fur off, having made a sizable cut that looked pretty convincing for a stab wound.

What do you do?
>>
>>38935697
We put up our knife and grab some red lipstick in our eyeliner stencil. We then rub the lipstick onto the stencil and begin marking the edge of her for that's raised the highest then blend it into her exposed flesh.
"I don't, but I think we may have passed each other in Solimysk. The Kami jerky tastes too similar to his own to be a coincidence. Actually-"
We pause our progress for a moment and pull out a piece of each jerky.
"I'll let you decide."
As she tastes, we continue our work.
"I did ask Morena to tell him where we'll be staying to remove your curse. Well, that's assuming we don't find Giant's blood first... Apparently that's the cure for it."
>>
>>38935697
We ruffle the fur a little in that area, so that it looks a little more disturbed.
"I asked Morena to pass along a message, so we may meet, but I know he won't stop searching when he can. Nor will he be taken down easily. He will find me at some point, no bones about it... He is a large Skeleton Monster. Somewhat ironically, he is typically the warmer between him and my Master, though my metrics might be skewed."
Taking our make up, we begin carefully dressing up the 'wound.'
"What do you think Griffon territory will be like? I can't say I've ever met one (I'm assuming we haven't, anyway)"

"... I could use the Suggest spell on you, make you believe it's a real cut, for the sake of acting. I don't know if you would experience phantom pain or not though."

Kinda want to bring up saying good bye to Master, or Morena mentioning our mother, but those may be sore spots.
Good luck with D&D, Pluto!
>>
>>38935697
>>38935776 (me) sorry, too many typos. I had to use Voice text. Didn't catch them sooner. I'll also add a few things to make a double post worth it.

> red lipstick in our eyeliner stencil
red lipstick and our eyeliner stencil
>begin marking the edge of her for that's raised the highest then blend it into her exposed flesh.
Change this to:
Begin making underneath the uncut portion of her fur and the side of the tapered edge of the stencil to mark and blend into the exposed part of her flesh.
>"I did ask Morena to tell him where we'll be staying to remove your curse.
He's a lot more experienced than I am, so he'll also be of great help.
>>
>>38935776
>>38935791
Being isolated in a Necromancer tower deep in Saraska, I would say that you've never seen a Griffon before, alive or dead.

>>38935796
You ruffle her fur around the area a little and then pull out some of your red lipstick and your eyeliner stencil. You rub the lipstick onto the stencil and begin making underneath the uncut portion of her fur and the side of the tapered edge of the stencil to mark and blend into her exposed flesh.
"I asked Morena to pass along a message, so we may meet, but I know he won't stop searching when he can. I do think we may have passed each other in Solimyssk. That Kami jerky tastes too similar to the one he made. He will find me at some point, no bones about it... He is a large Skeleton Monster, typically the warmer between him and my Master, though my metrics might be skewed."
You take a few more things and continue to dress the 'wound'.
"What do you think Griffon territory will be like? I can't say I've ever met one."
"I've never met one either," She shakes her head a bit, "I've read plenty about them, but I've never seen one in person."
"...I did ask Morena to tell him where we'll be staying to remove your curse. Well, that's assuming we don't find Giant's blood... Apparently that's the cure for it."
She blinks at this.
"...I see a lot of problems with that," She starts, "One, we have to find one and there isn't exactly that many left. Two, we'd have to convince it to give up it's blood or attack it for it's blood."

What do you do?
>>
>>38936484
The other options are convincing the one who cursed you to remove it, train in magic until you adapt to the curse, or preform surgery on your soul to try to remove it.
>>
Giants are still alive today. Interesting.
>>38936484
"It never hurts to ask. I agree though. A giant won't be so willing to help a stranger, ignoring the idea you'll have to drink it too."
>>
Stopping for the night. Here's tonight's summary: An Interesting Trip to Triel!
The party of four wakes up at the inn and heads out after getting breakfasts from the inn owners on the house after killing the Wererats and Broodmother. Along the way to Triel the party runs into a group of twelve people covered in red robes and strange markings. They are members of the Cult of the Dragon, very evil cult in Faerun lore, who are suppose to be at Mount Drakkor Rouge and have gotten lost. Mount Drakkor Rogue is very far to the east while we're in the middle of the west so how they got this lost we'll never know.
They do figure out where they're supposed to be heading and we all continue on our way without incident. The second incident was the party getting attacked by a group of tribal warriors and a Druid. I was expecting it to be a hard fight since the DM advertised the campaign as being hard, but we killed all of them except the Druid in two grounds. The druid surrenders, she explains that her tribe were driven off their land and are attacking people for food out of desperation, so we give her some gold and move along.
And after all that we make it to Triel, a little farming town known for it's wheat. We arrive just in time to see something like a helicopter fly in and land outside of the town. A bunch of Humans come out of it with pure blue eyes and call themselves the Netheril who are here to collect taxes even though they don't own the town. We head inside after Kroann tries and fails to get a better look at the helicopter, dropping off our mule at the stables and getting a quest from the stable lady there after she mistakes Duluk for being a member of the Emerald Enclave.
Our first priority is finding a temple to try and get Doli cured. We do find one and the priest is nice and even gives us a quest to clear out some undead in the catacombs, but removing Doli's lycanthropy is beyond his power currently. He does point us to a priest in Elturel, back the way we came, though he doesn't exactly recommend this priest as he's known for snake oil miracles, a priest of Tyr south in Scournubel though he might be a bit busy at the moment, and there is an apothecary who might be able to do something with the Wererat blood we got.
The session ends with us heading to the market to find this apothecary. I'm really hoping we find something to help Doli as I really like her and her becoming a Wererat is something I definitely don't want to happen to her.
>>
Bump
>>
>>38936484
"The amount of blood required wouldn't be noticed by a Giant, but they probably wouldn't be willing to part with it easily either. It's a matter of finding a Giant actually willing to barter, or somewhere to buy an invaluable, rare, and likely illegal alchemical resource... The Twisted Woods may be a good place to start. The alternatives being practice and..."
We pause as we remember something else Morena said.
"When Morena clarified what curse it was, she said it was cast by a very powerful caster, and would be extremely difficult to remove. I'm not at the skill level of my Master, so I believe I may not be able to remove the curse outright, but I can still weaken it's effect, undo the damage that has been done by it, and give us all some peace of mind in regards to you being around stronger magic. It remains your choice on whether we go forward with it, but practice would still be required to achieve your true magic potential."

Random thought, perhaps we could draw what a soul looks like for Smoke and Tanssija.

>>38936501
>preform surgery on your soul to try to remove it.
I'm mildly confused, i thought Morena said that would only alleviate the symptoms, or make it easier, not remove the curse itself?
Had time to look back:
https://www.anonpone.com/quest/thegoodnecro/38752879
>It sounds like I can't eliminate the curse, but would my tools be able to at least make things less difficult for her, or undo some damage?"
>"Yes, though you'll have to be extremely careful with it."
We asked, and seeing as she earlier stated it is extremely hard to remove, and that she didn't correct us, I have to assume it's not as simple we had first thought.

Also, we may be able to eliminate the possibility that the Mage is a straight up Necromancer, given Morena couldn't identify the caster.

>>38936632
Morning, Pluto!
>>
>>38937834
"Try" being the key word. There's already enough tension. Give her some hope. Also, assuming Morena is true to her word, Kost can help us out. We may not be able to remove "all" of the curse, but there's also no need to be a Debby Downer about it.
>>
>>38936484
Attacking ancient or rare creatures is what adventurers do, right? But no, it's likely best to not to attempt such a thing without a lot of planning and preparation.
I don't want to find out what being crushed feels like.
With such ingredients to remove the curse putting it on you in the first place mustn't have been easy or cheap.
>>
>>38937971
I believe we know we can't completely remove it, not flat out. I like the framing of Try, but the framing of "remove A curse" still implies all or nothing, and that feels dishonest when we're probably not going to. We're going to be performing an 'optional' and dangerous surgery on her soul; she deserves to know it's not as "simple" as we had hoped, but will still be beneficial, and have the choice to go forward with it.

We don't have to being it up now, but we're literally on the subject of Morena and her curse as is.
Another thing though: we have a suspect for the original caster. Want to suggest using him to fix Tanssija, but we can't trust him, even with leverage, and if he is responsible, he may cast a large spell just to kill her.
>>
>>38936605
Yes, though there aren't many left. Somewhere in the double digits.

>>38936501
>>38937834
>>38937971
>>38938026
>>38938038
"Attacking ancient or rare creatures is what adventurers do, right? But no, it's likely best to not attempt such a thing. Still, it never hurts to ask," You say, "The amount of blood required wouldn't be noticed by a Giant, but they probably wouldn't be willing to part with it easily either. It's a matter of actually finding a Giant willing to barter, or buy an invaluable, rare, and likely illegal alchemical resource. The other options are convincing the one who cursed you to remove it, train in magic until you adapt to the curse, or preform surgery on your soul to try to remove it."
"Could you possibly remove it?" She asks.
"When Morena clarified what curse it was, she said it was cast by a very powerful caster, and would be extremely difficult to remove. I'm not at the skill of my Master, so I believe I may not be able to remove the curse outright, but I can still weaken it's effect, undo the damage that has been done by it, and give us all some peace of mind in regards to you being around stronger magic. It remains your choice on whether we go forward with it, but practice would still be required to achieve your true magic potential."
"...I think I have to go through with trying to lessen it," She says, "If we run into a magic caster they could just start casting and I'll just die, assuming what you said about that is true."

What do you do?
>>
>>38938538
We were about to make a joke about how she hasn't died around us, but she actually has a point.
"If the spell is powerful enough, you're right. I'll have to be careful if I ever use dark magic around you... Now I wonder if you'll be on around undead or other abstract creatures of magic."
>>
>>38938538
"I hold out hope that it's less serious than it seems, but I also won't take a Goddess's words lightly. Moving on though, I know you're a gambler, but I can't say I'm familiar with many games of skill or chance. What are your preferred games? Is there a meta strategy to who you would play with, like a preferred partner or opponent?"
>>
>>38938618
>>38938634
You go to joke about how she hasn't died around you, but realize she actually has a point.
"If the spell is powerful enough, you're right. I'll have to be careful if I ever use dark magic around you," You say, "I hold out hope that it's less serious than it seems, but I also won't take a Goddess's words lightly. Moving on though, I know you're a gambler, but I can't say I'm familiar with many games of skill or chance. What are your preferred games?"
"Luck based ones," She replies, "Have you heard of Läpi kymmenen?"
You shake your head.
"It's one of my favorites. You have three six sided dice that you roll with the goal of getting ten or above. It's pretty simple, but I like it."
"Is there a meta strategy to who you would play with, like a preferred partner or opponent?" You ask.
"For Läpi kymmenen it's luck based, so you can play with a lot of different people."

What do you do?
>>
>>38938715
"It's sounds a bit like Stavka but with a fixed goal. Is your luck better playing La, Läpi... Kym-men-en over Stavka?" We tease, remembering her losing streak.
"Do you also play for bits in that game?"
>>
>>38938715
"Sounds quick and fun. Do you get lucky often?" (Not sure on that line)

"Seems like we need to buy some dice then. Cards too, while we're at it. Not sure what we'd gamble with, aside from a small pot of Grivna... I've read of cards and dice that have been used to tell the future, in fiction mostly. What is your take on such things, given your love of games of luck?"

Not sure on my post.
Also, I assume if Morena saw a curse of unluckiness cast on Tanssija, she would've brought it up.
>>
>>38938715
>>38938759 (me)
With the scar looking good we take a step back and inspect it. From our knowledge, something feels off...
"A bruise would make this more convincing."
We grab some blue foundation and mix it with brown and continue our work.
>>
>>38938759
>>38938811
>>38938824
"Sounds a bit like Stavka but with a fixed goal. Is your luck better playing La, Läpi... Kym-men-en over Stavka? You tease remembering her losing streak.
"I can assure you that it's definitely better." She insists.
"Seems like we need to buy some dice then. Cards too, while we're at it," You comment, "Not sure what we'd gamble with, aside from a few Grivna."
You finish your work on the scar and step back a bit to inspect it. It looked good, though something felt a bit off to you.
"A bruise would make this more convincing."
You take some blue foundation and mix it with some brown to continue your work.
"I've read of cards and dice that have been used to tell the future, in fiction mostly. What is your take on such things, given your love of games of luck?"
"Despite what I like, I don't think using cards is a good way to tell your future," She shakes her head, "Maybe with some magic, but no."

What do you do?
>>
>>38938841
"Most augury, fortune telling, and portent type spells would probably either try to forgo the middle mare, or imbue some medium for a while. It's not my school though, a bit too much dedication for significant pay off, from what I understand, and not enough genuine material for most... What sort of magic would you learn? No limitations on time, skill, or materials."
>>
>>38938917
"Most augury, fortune telling, and portent type spells would probably either try to forgo the middle mare, or imbue some medium for a while. It's not my school though, a bit too much dedication for significant pay off, from what I understand, and not enough genuine material for most... What sort of magic would you learn? No limitations on time, skill, or materials."
"Probably enchants mostly," She replies, "Stuff to make my arrows stronger."
After she says this the door opens up against as Hannu and Eerika trot back in, Eerika holding the bottle you gave her though now with a red liquid.
"We got the blood made." Hannu announces after closing and locking the door.

What do you do?
>>
>>38939022
"Good, I'm just about done with the makeup. With some blood, an illusion to really help sell the wound and Tanssija's state, and some disguises, we should be ready to go. Shall we go over the story and the plan from there? I won't be able to understand when you're talking in your tongue, after all."
>>
>>38939022
We take the jar from her and gently tilt it side to side, seeing the viscosity and color very close to real blood. We smoke at this.
"This is very convincing. I'm almost done here, just adding a bruise, then I'll mat her fur and make a few clots with this."
>>38939067
Getting our facts straight now is a good idea.
>>
>>38939067
>>38939130
You take the jar from her and gently tilt it from side to the side, the liquid sliding around like actual blood and the color very close to it.
"This is very convincing. I'm just about done with the makeup, just adding a bruise, then I'll mat her fur and make a few clots with this," You nod, "An illusion could also really help to sell the wound and Tanssija's state. Some disguises and we should be good to go. Shall we go over the story and the plan from there?"
"Sure," Hannu nods, "The story so far is that an assassin broke in and tried to kill her. She fought him a bit and the commotion was loud enough for me and my guards to hear. We head inside and fight with the assassin who knocks out the guards and escapes before he could finish the job, so we are now taking Tanssija to a safer location."

What do you do?
>>
>>38939240
We nod.
"That should hopefully keep Tanssija out of their hooves, and potentially get them to be suspicious of each other, wondering who ordered the hit. It will place suspicion on yourself as well though, so be careful. I can disguise myself and Eerika as slightly battered guards, as it would be more credible than the two of you fending off an assassin on your own. Or, seem less like a ploy. My, 'muteness' may prove unhelpful, but I can cover for that in part with an illusory scar. Once we're out, Eerika and I can look for Mage Mikko's notes, to incriminate the council. Do you know where his study or library would be?"
>>
>>38939240
"Simple and to the point. However, do you often rotate guards, or are those two always by your side? If the latter, we'll have to adapt to what actually happened."
If the latter:
"The assassin took out your guards during your visit, then attempt to take Tanssija's life. You manage to knock out the assassin then move Tanssija."
>>
>>38939309
>>38939336
You nod in agreement.
"Simple and to the point. That should hopefully keep Tanssija out of their hooves, and potentially get them to be suspicious of each other, wondering who ordered the hit. It will place suspicion on yourself as well though, so be careful."
He nods back at this.
"I can disguise myself and Eerika as slightly battered guards, as it would be more credible than the two of you fending off an assassin on your own. Or, seem less like a ploy. However, do you often rotate guards, or are those two always by your side? If the latter, we'll have to adapt to what actually happened."
"They rotate a few times a day actually."
"Alright. Once we're out, Eerika and I can look for Mage Mikko's notes, to incriminate the council. Do you know where this study or library would be?"
"Towards the top of the tree. I can show you where it is," He says, "I don't know if we'll be able to do that in one night as the trial is scheduled for tomorrow. If we need more time I can see if I can move it to a different date."

What do you do?
>>
>>38939490
"They're unlikely to allow it, but it's better to have tried and failed than not tried at all, plus there is no way that pushing it to be this soon is legal; Tanssija would have to be assigned a defense and be allowed to build a case at the very least."

"Going beyond a day poses a few problems though: eating and sleeping for myself and Eerika, coordinating plans and information, and two fugitives spending several hours disguised as guards or servants wandering the halls will be noticed after a while. So, if we're going to spend the time, we need something foolproof for the trial, and perhaps something easier in an emergency, ie if they simply don't move it back."
>>
>>38939528
"They're unlikely to allow it, but it's better to have tried and failed than not tried at all, plus there is no way that pushing it to be this soon is legal; Tanssija would have to be assigned a defense and be allowed to build a case at the very least."
"Well, it isn't exactly a fair trial to her to begin with."
"Going beyond a day poses a few problems though: eating and sleeping for myself and Eerika, coordinating plans and information, and two fugitives spending several hours disguised as guards or servants wandering the halls will be noticed after a while. So, if we're going to spend the time, we need something foolproof for the trial, and perhaps something easier in an emergency."
"We can discuss all that when it comes up. We've spent too much time here, I think," Hannu says, "Are we ready to go?"

What do you do?
>>
Stopping for the night.
Have a good night or day!
>>
>>38939727
Night, Pluto!
>>
>>38939631
I was late to disagree to this. There's a big disadvantage for this, also Smoke is waiting for us. But it seems we're going to have to stay for a few days, Unless I'm misinterpreting something. I'll make a post for both instances.
We're staying a few days:
"Actually, if it's alright with you, do you think we can have Eerika deliver a message to our friend outside of the border? If we're staying a few days, I don't want him to worry as much. I'll make it as inconspicuous as possible."
If given the go ahead:
We pull out a quill and paper for both Tanssija and ourself.
"Dear Smoke;
We're both doing fine and are under the protection of the King. We'll be here for a few days to make sure there's no problems in the future. Continue the journey without us, we'll catch up.
Sincerely, LW."

If we're just calling it a night:
"Yes, we have. I'm almost done, I just have to apply the blood."
We take out our mascara brush and dip it into the "blood". We push her unshaven fur back and apply the tips of the blood. After that, we push the fur down onto the "scar" and add clots to look like it dried up.
"There. What do you two think?"

(Thinking on it, both can be used, just swapped the order of the two, and replace "a few days" to "another day" if I'm misinterpreting how long we'll be here.)
>>
>>38940096
>>
>>38939631
Nodding, we wrap up with the make up and fake blood, layering a Disguise on Tanssija to make her appear more disheveled and pale and add depth to the wound.
"So, the assassin fled back out the dungeon door then? Unless there is a way to get around via the window."
If we can, wait the time to regen MP and cast Disguise on ourself and Eerika. If we can't wait, sip on a mana potion.

>>38939741
Seconding!
I agree that staying poses a disadvantage, though I feel my post didn't 'agree' to anything. Hannu (or Pluto through Hannu) said trying for Mikko's notes (definitive evidence if we get it) would probably be more than just a few hours/a single day. My post was supposed to be somewhat along the lines of 'yeah, we should do this right, but staying is risky, so we should think of alternatives as well.' Also, Hannu put a pin in things, so we're not committed to anything yet.
Also, tying up Eerika with delivering a message would cost time, but I'm also not sure we could chance sending an actual messenger, and Smoke should know what is up.
>>
>>38939631
Of course it isn't a fair trial, if it was a fair trial a trial wouldn't be taking place.
But even should you fail and the trial proceed tomorrow you should be able to delay it for some time if nothing else, by hours or minutes the more time we have can only help. Most likely anyway.
Take a deep breath and sigh.
I'll be ready to go in but a moment. A little bit of cation is called for even if your prisoners don't usually see visitors.
Spend a little while applying curse of silence to the six buck prisoners.
>>
>>38939741
>>38940540
>>38941306
"Of course it isn't a fair trial, if it was fair a trail wouldn't be taking place. Even if you should fail and the trial proceeds tomorrow you should be able to delay it for some time if nothing else, by hours or minutes."
You take out a mascara brush and dip it into the 'blood'. You push her unshaven fur back and apply the tips with the blood. You then push her fur down onto the scar and add clots to look like it had dried up. You apply the rest of the blood to her scar and finish up, putting a disguise on her to make her appear more disheveled and pale and add depth to the wound.
"There. What do you two think?"
"It looks good." Tanssija approves; looking back at it while Hannu nods in agreement.
"So, the assassin fled back out the dungeon door then? Unless there is a way to get around via the window?"
"They could have gone out the window, though it's pretty much just a straight drop from up here."
You get a curse of silence on the six buck prisoners and then disguise yourself as a guard, adding a little scar to try and explain why you wouldn't be talking. With that, the four of you get into position and head out of the dungeon.

What do you do?
>>
>>38941614
In a hushed whisper:
"The assassin could have had wings then. I remember seeing a deer with them... Are they common?"
After that, we look straight ahead and keeping pace, keeping an eye out for any should as of we really were escorting royalty.
>>
>>38941614
Ropes or possible accomplices? It is late, I doubt many would be looking directly at the prison window.
>>
>>38941668
>>38941748
In a hushed whisper you continue:
"Rope or possible accomplices? It is late, I doubt many would be looking directly at the prison window."
"Maybe," Hannu whispers back, "That would have to be a lot of rope though."
You think for a moment and then suddenly remember something from when you came into the city: there was a Deer with wings.
"The assassin could have had wings then," You suggest, "I remember seeing a Deer with them... Are they common?"
"Peryton. Yeah, that could work."
After that you simply look straight ahead and keep pace with the three, keeping an eye for anything. The four of you head back to the stairs and up a few flights until you again stop off at a different floor. This floor looked to mostly be residential, filled with rooms of various sizes. As you turn down one of the halls you see another Deer that turns down the same hall from a different end. The Deer was a buck with a pair curving, blue colored horns and blue hooves wearing a suit that was the same as the one you saw in the basement. After a bit of thinking you realize that it was the same Deer from below that gave Hannu the news of Tanssija's capture; Nooa, as he called him. Nooa looks over at all of you in slight confusion which then mixes into a bit of anger as he approaches.
"Hannu, mitä sinä teet," Nooa asks as he approaches and then stops in front of Hannu, "Miksi siirrät vankia? Hänen pitäisi olla vankityrmässä."
"Tiedän," Hannu responds, "Vartijani ja minä kävelimme ohi, kun kuulimme hänen huutavan, joten menimme sisään ja huomasimme, että salamurhaaja hyökkäsi hänen kimppuunsa. Häntä puukotettiin, joten siirrän hänet turvallisempaan paikkaan."
"Salamurhaaja," Nooa says in disbelief, "Missä häntä puukotettiin?"
"Kaulan takaosa."
Nooa trots over to Tanssija and looks over at the back of her neck where the makeup and illusion was holding up well. He stares at it for a moment before getting a look of surprise and looking back at Hannu.
"M-Miten he pääsivät sisään? Keitä he olivat?"
"En tiedä," Hannu shrugs, "Siksi viemme hänet jonnekin turvallisempaan paikkaan. Heillä oli siivet, joten he olivat Peryton."
As the two talk, Tanssija sways a bit and then stumbles a bit in an act. Hannu catches this and quickly moves on.
"Haluaisin todella jäädä juttelemaan, mutta meidän on todella saatava hänet jonnekin," He says; trotting off, "Nähdään, Nooa."
The three of you follow after him, leaving Nooa behind in the hall.

What do you do?
>>
>>38941838
Keep an eye out as we follow along, watching where we're going and taking a general note of anyone not in guard garb taking too big a interest in our group.
>>
>>38941838
'Okay, things seem to be progressing well enough. We still need to get somewhere private though.'
Turning on our soul sight, we passively monitor everyone we can see, focusing mostly on staying in character.
>>
>>38941925
>>38941933
'Okay, things seem to be progressing well enough. We still need to get somewhere private though.'
You keep an eye out as you follow along, watching where you were going and take note of those not wearing guard armor that seems to be taking an interest, also turning on your soul sight to monitor everyone as you go.
After a few minutes of walking the four of you come to a large set of white double doors that Hannu opens up to reveal a luxury guest room complete with a large double bed. He hurries all of you inside before closing and then locking the door.
"Alright, we got through that fine," He breathes; straightening himself out, "This is where you'll be staying for the night."

What do you do?
>>
>>38942081
Hearing that, we slump slightly, relaxing from the rigid pose we held as a guard, but mostly from the exhaustion as the past several hours weigh on us.
"... Is the bed going to be large enough?"
Is there an adjoining bathroom? How much room is there on the floor for sleeping?
>>
>>38942081
That's fine, I'm not sure how much sleeping any of us be doing exactly.
That said, hard as it might be we should all try to get some sleep at some point.
>>
>>38942081
'The perks of royalty. This is beautiful.'
"This should do fine, thank you."
>>
>>38942133
>>38942159
>>38942271
Hearing this, you slump down slightly as you relax from the rigid pose you held as a guard, though mostly from the exhaustion as the past several hours start to weigh on you. It was very tempting to just crawl into the bed in front of you.
'The perks of royalty. This is beautiful.'
You look around at the room for a moment. The bed could fit two people and the room was wide enough that you could probably have a small gathering in there if you wanted to, meaning that there was plenty of room for one person to sleep on the floor. There was also a nice adjoining bathroom through a door.
"This should do fine, thank you," You say, "I'm not sure how much sleeping any of us will be doing exactly. That said, hard as it might be we should all try to get some sleep at some point."
"Yeah, that would be wise," Hannu nods in agreement, "Do you and Eerika want to head to Mikko's place now or wait for that?"
As Hannu speaks Tanssija trots over to the bed and slides herself on top of it, taking a deep breath and letting it out as her head hits the pillow and she clutches it tightly with her forehooves.

What do you do?
>>
>>38942371
"I think I may need a moment, but the cover of night might be the best time to strike. Nooa will likely be letting the others know there was an attack on Tanssija, so there may be an emergency council meeting called. If that is the case, than all the better for us to act soon."
>>
>>38942371
Is there a way to lock the double doors?

"Now would be our best time to strike. Nooa seemed genuinely concerned after looking at her neck..."
We use disguise to wrap a bandage around Tanssija's neck that was bleeding through slightly.
"You may have to keep her location a secret... incase the assassin is listening."

(A little unsure about the post.)
>>
>>38942423
>>38942522
"I think I may need a moment, but the cover of night might be the best time to strike," You say, "Nooa seemed genuinely concerned after looking at her neck, so he will likely be telling the others that there was an attack on Tanssija. If that is the case, than all the better for us to act soon."
You use your disguise spell again to wrap a bandage around Tanssija's neck, making it so that it's bleeding through slightly. She just curls in on herself slightly in response.
"You may have to keep her location a secret... in case the assassin is listening."
"Yeah, that's what I was going to do," He nods, "I can show you two to Mikko's room then."

What do you do?
>>
>>38942589
"Lead the way."
We look back at Tanssija.
"Sweet dreams."
We close the doors for her and follow Hannu like guards, keeping our soul senses open along the way.
>>
>>38942618
Seconding!
>>
>>38942618
>>38942640
"Lead the way."
Hannu unlocks the door and opens it. As you move to trot out you turn back to look at Tanssija.
"Sweet dreams."
Tanssija responds by lifting up a hoof and weakly waving the three of you off. You smile a tiny bit at this and close the door behind you to follow Hannu like the guards you currently were.
The three of you climb proceed to climb up many, many steps. By the time the three of you reach the destination floor you and Eerika were panting slightly while Hannu seemed unaffected.
'Probably climbs up and down these stairs every day...'
Hannu lets the two of you catch your breaths before continuing along, heading down a few wooden halls. As you do you pass by a few windows where you are able to see that you are near the top of the Paavola, the canopy only a hundred feet or so up. It gave you a pretty nice view, showing you the whole of Alln Lenora and a bit beyond that. The three of you move down several wooden halls until you come to an atrium of some kind, though unlike the light brown colors of the rest of the tree the atrium was made out of a dark brown wood decorated with green vines that hung from the walls and ceiling and a few little tables with little decorations like glowing crystals and potted plants. At the end of the atrium was a large set of dark wood double doors with golden vines carved into the wood. As the three of you approach one of the doors open as a buck steps out, closing the door behind him and locking it with a silver key he produces. The buck was quite old with a sand colored coat that has whitened considerably and a long white beard that hung from his chin, the beard starting thick and puffy at the start though it becomes thin and string-like the further it grew. Similar to Nooa the buck had colored hooves with little veins crossing their surface though his hooves were red along with his horns, which curved similar to Nooa's as well. The buck turns around and jumps a bit when he realizes he isn't alone.
"Teidän korkeutenne," He breathes; clutching his chest covered in a green cloak with a hoof, "Hämmästit minut!"
"Anteeksi Mikko, en halunnut pelotella sinua." Hannu apologizes.
"Eräänä näistä päivistä saat minulle sydänkohtauksen," Mikko says; sounding like he was joking a bit, "J-Joka tapauksessa, mitä sinä tarvitset minusta?"
"Mietin, olisiko sinulla hetki aikaa," Hannu tells him, "Minulla on tärkeä kysymys."
"Nyt on huono aika, Hannu," Mikko tells him, "Minulla on yllätys valtuuston kokous. Palaan noin tunnin kuluttua, mutta odota minua vapaasti."
As he speaks you notice that he takes the key and puts it in a pocket underneath his cloak. Eerika notices this as well and turns to look at you. She motions to the key with her head before lifting up her hoof and making a quick snatching motion with it.

What do you do?
>>
Stopping for the night.
Have a good night or day!
>>
>>38942954
Night, Pluto!
>>
>>38942928
Keep our soul sight on him. It'd be nice if we can identify him at a distance. Also, knowing his emotional state might be nice.
>>
>lives in a tower through our whole life.
>Gets exhausted by climbing stairs.
>>38942928
We nod our head once, and tilt it to give her the go ahead.

If she responds with a look:
We raise an eyebrow.
'You mean me? Aren't you the thief, Eerika?'
'here goes nothing...'

I'm assuming a roll is going to be needed here.
>>
>>38943301
She's asking if we think she should try it, not telling us to do it.
>>
>>38943086
>>38943301
>>38943649
Keeping your sight on him, you nod your head once at her to give her the go ahead. As you look at this soul all you find is tiredness.
Eerika starts to very slowly lean in slightly, slowly raising her hoof and reach forward. Once she was close enough she grabs the key with a hoof and snatches it with Mikko not noticing.
>She rolled a 19.
"Annan sinun sitten olla poissa," Hannu tells him, "Hyvää kokousta."
"Yritän."
Mikko then trots off. Once he disappears the two of you look at Eerika, who raises up the key she got with a slight smirk.

What do you do?
>>
>>38944974
"Good work. Silver usually means there's some sort of enchantment on it, so picking the door could have been dangerous."
We use object and visibility on the door to see if there's any further traps.
"Do you see anything inside that may look like a trap, Hannu?"
>>
>>38944974
We relax a little, seeing how she handled the key, nodding subtly.
"That's step one. We should be quick though. And we'll have to find a place to leave them that isn't suspicious."
>>
>>38945031
>>38945047
You relax a bit, nodding subtly.
"Good work. Silver usually means there's some sort of enchantment on it, so picking the door could have been dangerous," You say, "We should be quick though. And we'll have to find a place to leave them that isn't suspicious."
You trot up to the door and use object invisibility to see behind it, though all you see is a small antechamber decorated with shelves that hold various little items like dried parts of small creatures, crystals, and plants. You step aside and let Hannu look.
"Do you see anything inside that may look like a trap, Hannu?"
>Rolled a 14.
He trots up to the invisible door and scans around for a moment before looking back at you.
"Not here," He shakes his head, "I would still be careful. No telling what he has set up."

What do you do?
>>
>>38945204
"Alright, stand clear of the doorway when we open it just in case. Physical traps are unlikely but not impossible. Watch for tripwires and such. Magic traps... watch for symbols hidden in plain sight, and be careful. Actually, perhaps I should go first."
Check the room for anything out of place with our soul sense. If it's clear, cast Minor Shield on ourself, and carefully unlock and open the door, hiding behind it as we open it before stepping inside.
>>
>>38945245
"Alright, stand clear of this doorway when we open it just in case," You warn the two, "Physical traps are unlikely but not impossible. Watch for tripwires and such. Magic traps... watch for symbols hidden in plain sight, and be careful. Actually, perhaps I should go first."
You use your soul sense to try and pick anything out though you don't see anything that jumps out at you. You then cast minor shield and very carefully open the door with the key, hiding behind the shield as it swings open and you step inside.
...Nothing happens. All you hear is the quiet ticking of a little antique clock sitting on one of the shelves.

What do you do?
>>
>>38945401
Step carefully into the room, watching our step as we glance around the room. Maybe take a Grivna and roll it across the floor. Should let us know if there is anything motion activated, any residue to worry about, or if the floor is uneven (hidden trap doors or pressure plates).

Probably too paranoid, since it's the first room, but better paranoid than injured.
>>
>>38945401
Be carefully walk in and look at the clock for any runes or the like.
"... Should be clear."
We continue to look around inside. Any desk that may have a lock, some odd bookshelves, any door anywhere that would lead to a bedroom?
"The invisibility spell is a bit costly. If you find anything suspicious, I might have teach you how to use it if you want to look inside."
If there is another door, we use another invisibility spell on it.
>>
>>38945455
Honestly, for stuff like this paranoia is good.

>>38945523
You step very carefully into the antechamber, watching your step as you glance around the room and at the clock though it appeared completely normal. After taking one step you take out a Grivna and roll it across the floor, the Grivna hitting the doors on the other side without anything happening.
"...Should be clear."
The two follow you into the antechamber as you start to rummage around through the few desks that the room had, only finding a bunch of quills and paper inside of them.
"The invisibility spell is a bit costly. If you find anything suspicious, I might have to teach you how to use it if you want to look inside."
"Yeah, I've already seen you down a few magic potions." Hannu agrees.
You trot up to the next doors and lift up a hoof to cast the invisibility spell again. The spell does work, but you stumble a bit as you use the last of your current magic once more. It doesn't last very long as the other side of the door is revealed, causing you to open your mouth slightly in surprise.
On the other side of the door you could see a massive library with tall bookshelves that went at least twenty feet up. You follow them up to find a second floor with bookshelves as well and even a third floor with even more bookshelves. Each shelf filled to the brim with books.
And that is only the bookshelves that you could see. There must be thousands of books!

What do you do?
>>
>>38945640
'This is... How can anyone read all these books in one lifetime? There must be millennia of effort, experiences, and stories on those wall.'
The wonder in our eyes as a slight but serious thought makes our eyebrow furrow.
"Do you know if the books in there are protected by enchantments? Because there is no way a mage would risk damaging that many books, so either we have to worry about silent alarms or there are still traps here or in a following rooms... or he is counting on the destructibility of the medium."
Before we proceed any further, lock the door to the antechamber behind us. Also, what time is it on the clock?
>>
>>38945640
Well, I think we've found where he'd keep his notes.
>>
Reminds me of this room from the visual novel 999. Pic related.
https://youtu.be/grQ2iE9LxFY
>>38945640
We can't help but to be mesmerized by that impressive wall of books.
"So much knowledge in one room... Imagine the amount of spells i can take from these..."
As soon as we say this, realization hits, causing us to frown and ears to flatten.
"... But I won't be able to read a single one." We sigh. Then looking around for any obvious traps.
If there's nothing, we open the door.
"I don't think he would put his diary within those books. Somebody could stumble upon it by accident."
We look for a bed, desk, loose floorboards, skids in surfaces, ect.
>>
>>38945640
>>38945734 (me)
Before heading in, we look around for any magic potions. We take it and give it a sniff. If it's the familiar smell of magic potion, we drink it.
>>
>>38945711
>>38945722
>>38945734
>>38945763
You can't help but be mesmerized by the impressive wall of books before you. Eerika looks similarly awed while Hannu just had a small smile on his face.
'This is... How can anyone read all these books in one lifetime? There must be millennia of effort, experiences, and stories on those walls."
"So much knowledge in one room... Imagine the amount of spells I can take from these..."
And as soon as you say this, the realization hits you, causing you to frown and your ears to flatten.
"But I don't be able to read a single one." You sigh.
"Well... a lot of these books are from all over, so I think you'll be able to read a lot of them," Hannu tells you, "I'm sure he won't notice a few going missing..."
You look around for any obvious traps though you don't see any.
"I don't think he would put his diary within those books. Somebody could stumble upon it by accident," You say, "Do you know if the books in here are protected by enchantments? Because there is no way a mage would risk damaging that many books, so either we have to worry about silent alarms or there are still traps here."
"I don't see any, but I wouldn't doubt for a second that he hasn't placed any wards or traps up."
You quickly turn around and lock the door, quickly looking over at the clock to find that it was 10:00 PM. The three of you then start by looking at the desks scattered around the first room of the massive library. As you move to a desk you find that there is a potion sitting on it, a potion with a light blue liquid similar to a magic potion. You pick it up and give it a sniff.

Roll a d20 and add 3 to the roll. To identify the potion.
>>
Rolled 15 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

>>38946064
Hopefully I wrote this right.
RRROOOLLLLLL
>>
>>38946080
You give the potion a few sniffs before pulling away from it slightly, the spicy smell putting you off a bit along with the slight coolness to the glass.
You swish it around a bit to find that were some chunks in it, cluing you in that it was a potion of rain ice. It wouldn't kill you to drink it, but it would be painful for a while.

What do you do?
>>
Well that's disappointing.
>>38946121
'I guess he may have been studying this. It would be too obvious if it just suddenly disappeared.'
We put it back onto the desk.
"Did Mage Mikko train you and Tanssija on magic? Did he carry his notes with him during those times? Do you remember what it looked like?"
>>
>>38946121
"This really is unsafe to leave as is, but the less we disturb, the better."

>>38946137
Seconding!
>>
Stopping a little early. I'm tired and don't have the motivation to post at the moment.
Have a good night or day!
>>
>>38946206
Night, Pluto!
>>
>>38946581
>>
(bump)
Luscinia: We need Giant's Blood to lift Tanssija's curse.
Smoke: Giant's Blood... You mean the cocktail?
Luscinia (bewildered): ...A male griffin's tail is called Giant's Blood?
Tanssija (giggling): No, a cocktail is a mix of alcohol.
Luscinia (even more bewildered): Wait, so there's a breed called "alcohol" and when mated with a griffin, it's a "cocktail"?
>>
>>38947700
"Just wait until you see a peacock."
"I know you pee through your cock, Smoke. What kind of Necromancer do you take me for?"
>>
>>38946137
>>38946150
>>38947700
>>38947822
'I guess he may have been studying this. It would be too obvious if it just suddenly disappeared.'
"This really is unsafe to leave as is, but the less we disturb, the better."
You put it back on the desk.
"Did Mage Mikko train you and Tanssija in magic," You ask Hannu, "Did he carry his notes with him during those times? Do you remember what it looked like?"
"Yeah, he was our tutor for magic when we were growing up," Hannu nods, "He did carry his notes around sometimes in a brown, leather book. Don't know where it'll be among all this, but if I had to guess it was probably be in his room on the second floor."

What do you do?
>>
>>38948426
"It at least narrows down our search. I'll head up there first to make sure it's safe."
We slowly tread up the stairs cautiously surveying for any traps.
>>
>>38948426
Personal notes probably wouldn't be mixed in with this gigantic library. Are there any other rooms off of this one? Also, do we see any books that might be the book of the grave?
>>
>>38948426
Is there any indication of a system behind the books? Knowing that should tell us what most of these books are, and give us some indication of what books he has in his room, and thus, which ones are put of place.
"It may have clues to the true location if nothing else, but it's more likely to be trapped than the library itself."
>>
>>38948455
>>38948479
>>38948503
You look around at the bookshelves. They appeared to be ordered in two ways: each individual shelf being ordered alphabetically from top to bottom and then each shelf or shelves were organized by genre.
"Personal notes probably wouldn't be mixed in with this gigantic library. It at least narrows down our search and have clues on the true location if nothing else, but it's more likely to be trapped than the library itself. Are there any other rooms off of this one?"
"A few, mostly for studying."
"I'll head up there first then to make sure it's safe."
You start trotting over to a wooden staircase coming down from the second floor when you happen to pass by a shelf that was organized by 'B's'. As you pass by it you sense something and look over at the shelf.
Towards the top of the shelf, out of reach for most, you see a small illusion being casted on a book. Most would go by the illusion without thinking about it, but you noticed it because of the book that it was trying to hide. As behind the illusion was a Book of the Grave.

What do you do?
>>
>>38948547
Are only necromancers allowed to have a book of the grave.
>>
>>38948547
Our ascend stops and our jaw drops.
'That's troubling... A potential necromancer. He might know of my cover.'

"Uh, no traps so far, but there's a book I think we may need to investigate."
We drink one of our magic potions and dispel the illusion covering the Book of the Grave, then giving it a glow.
We continue our ascent, a bit faster this time, if we can reach the book of the grave, we inspect the area for magic wards.
>>
>>38948547
Eyes wide and color draining from our face a bit, we glance around again for any signs of undead or souls floating around.
'That's... that is quite damning. Perhaps extreme and hidden enough that Mikko could play it off, though he'd have to know it was here if he is as powerful as they say. Is it really kept on display so simply? It could be a trick, or otherwise trapped. If I expose it, it would be destroyed, but Tanssija's life, and the lives of those that have and will suffer under the council, they're more important. And Mikko... I expected dark magic, but nothing had indicated Necromancy to me so far.'
Stopping, we point out the book.
"What do you two see?"

How hard is it to make a copy of the Book of the Grave?
>>
>>38948588
Necromancers usually get Books of the Grave, but people can get their hooves on the book through various different means, the most common being killing a Necromancer or stealing it.
It can be copied, though it doesn't have the same power as an original copy.

>>38948658
>>38948663
Your ascension stops as your jaw drops at the book. You glance around for any signs of undead or random floating souls though you don't see any.
'That's troubling... A potential Necromancer, though he may have gotten it from somewhere else. Perhaps extreme and hidden enough for Mikko to play it off, though he'd have to know it was here if he is as powerful as they say. Is it really kept on display so simply? If I expose it, it would be destroyed, but Tanssija's life, and the lives of those that have and will suffer under the council, they're more important.'
"What's wrong?" Hannu asks up at you.
"Uh, no traps so far, but there's a book I think we may need to investigate," You tell him; pointing at the book, "What do you two see?"
Hannu squints up at it.
"...Book on the Fey." He replies; Eerika nodding in agreement.
At this you drink a magic option and dispel the illusion to reveal the book. You continue up until you were close to the book, inspecting the area for any wards.

Roll a d20 and add 3 to it.
>>
Rolled 19 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

>>38948740
>>
>>38948750
Morena smiles upon us!
>>
>>38948750
>>38948752
As you reach for it you see something and very quickly pull your hoof away. A tiny, swirling rune with the symbol of fire glows red for a moment before fading as you take your hoof away.
It was a magical ward for Retaliatory Fire. If you had touched the book you would've gotten burned pretty bad and the book would've been destroyed by the fire as well.

What do you do?
>>
>>38948774
Well it's not. And this might be far far worse than I thought.
A thought hits us.
... How long exactly has the deerlands been stacking up the bodies of those that cross the border while not fortunate enough to posses cloven hooves?
Because first, that book is rigged to detonate quite violently upon being touched, and that is by far the least potentially sinister thing inscribed upon it.
If I can get the rune off of this book you'll need no further proof, it might be a good idea to just have thirty guards fill him with arrows because you've got a necromancer problem.
>>
>>38948774
"There is a ward here. In theory, it might burn down the whole library, being a fire rune, but it is intended to destroy the evidence and the one who discovers the book."
Any chance we can dispell the rune now that we see it? Do that if so. Touching the rune itself would set it off, right? If that isn't the case, perhaps break the rune by scratching it with a knife, or try smudging it with water and a rag.
If the rune isn't on the book itself, perhaps we could cover it with a small shield and a wet rag and trigger it 'safely.' If we're not reasonably sure we can handle it safely though, perhaps we shouldn't act yet.

>>38948809
>got a necromancer problem.
"may have a Necromancer problem." might be better. Seconding otherwise.
>>
>>38948774
"A Retaliatory Fire Ward. He's willing to burn the person and the book."

If asked:
We hesitate, unsure about how he'll react and how we know.
"... It's a Book of the Grave: a book given to Necromancers... The copy is authentic too."

Does it only react to person contact, or can we pick it up with a sword?
>>
>>38948774
So, he's actively hiding and protecting a forbidden book. Looks like we know who cursed Tanssija. I wonder if it's a copy or the original. Lets ask Hannu again about their training. If my guess is correct and he's responsible, than part of their training should've included being exposed to powerful magic.
>>
>>38948809
>>38948825
>>38948839
>>38948861
"Well it's not. And this might be worse than I thought," You say, "There is a ward here. In theory, it might burn down the whole library, being a fire rune, but it is intended to destroy the evidence and the one who discovered the book."
You take out a knife and lean over to the rune. The rune starts to light up again though you quickly give the rune one quick slash to create a cut across the rune. The rune lets out a few sparks as it attempts to cast the spell it contains, but it is unable to and the red simply fades away.
"Why is a book on the Fey guarded by a fire ward?" Hannu asks up.
"It might be a good idea to just have thirty guards fill him with arrows because you may have a Necromancer problem," You tell him, "It's a Book of the Grave."
His jaw hangs open a bit as he stares up at you, blinking a few times before shouting:
"WHAT?!"

What do you do?
>>
>>38948976
He's using an illusion to hide it from casual scrutiny and a rune to destroy the evidence under greater scrutiny. But it's a genuine forbidden text. Not sure if it's a copy or an original yet though. And it most likely has Tanssija's curse in it.
>>
>>38948976
"Shh. I know it's shocking, but please, we have to be careful."
We take the book out into our hooves.
"This means many things, but simply having it isn't going to prove much. The book contains dark magic from the necromantic to curses. He could simply argue that he has it for study and deny any involvement with using anything in the book... However if my fears are correct, he may have seen my soul and know I'm a pony that's helping you free your sister."
>>
>>38948976
Mhmm...
Nod our head slightly still watching the rune with a careful eye.
Leaves little question where that curse came from, if this buck is as old as you think he is surprising him is your best bet. But he is cautious, prepared just in case someone ever came in here.
Just how many more things could be set to explode is a mystery.
Attempt to peer in between the cracks between the book of the grave and the other books it's nestled between, then above and below looking for the same glow as from the first rune being especially cautious and cheeking to see is he doubled up on the same explosive spell.
It is... Theoretically possible this is from some necromancer he killed, but if that were the case, well given your culture I don't doubt such a feat about him would be common knowledge.
>>
>>38948976
Boop Hannu to get his attention, signal for him to be quiet, and listen for a moment for any sign that someone heard.
"I can't be certain he's actually read the book, as this book may have simply been hidden here, but he is unlikely to have missed it entirely. You may want to take a step back, in case there are back up runes. It might have a rune on the first page... or it could be cursed directly, so avoid touching it. And it's damning, but we still need to tie it directly to him, and then his actions to the council."
Do we have gloves/socks/armor on our hooves? Wear them if we do, and handle the book with a cloth/rag, standing on our hindlegs with a wide and stable stance.
>>
>>38949018
>>38949029
>>38949045
>>38949047
You quickly boop him to get his attention and signal him to be quiet, listening for a moment for any sign that someone may have heard his outburst. You don't hear anything though.
"Shh. I know it's shocking, but please, we have to be careful."
"Sorry." He apologizes quietly.
"He's using an illusion to hide it from casual scrutiny and a rune to destroy the evidence under greater scrutiny. I can't be certain he's actually read the book, as this book may have simply been hidden here, but he is unlikely to have missed it entirely. Still, it leaves little question on where the curse came from, if this buck is as old as you think he is. Surprising him with it is your best bet, but he could simply argue that he has it for study and deny any involvement with using anything in the book."
You look back at the book.
"You may want to step back, in case there are back up runes. It might have a rune on the first page... or it could be cursed directly."
Hannu backs up and motions Eerika to do the same. Once they were a good distance away you lean over and try to look between the cracks of the book and the other books it's nestled between though they were so tightly packed together that it was hard to see anything. You then look above and below the book, though you don't see anymore glowing runes.
With your hooves covered by the armor, you take a wide and stable stance on your hind legs and grab the book with your forehooves, gently pulling it out with one eye closed tightly. It slides out easily and nothing else happens.

What do you do?
>>
>>38949284
We flip through the book, looking for any creases or doggy-eard pages. If the book has a ribbon, we follow that too.
If nothing:
"If he has used this book, he was very discreet, or takes very good care of it. There's nothing signifying he's used it at all."
Despite knowing where the curses are, we still flip to the table of context, then flip to the curses. We then look for the Curse of Weakened Soul.
"Here's the curse Tanssija has. Does the performance (?) sound familiar to you?"
>>
>>38949284
Check the place where it was. Is there any dust on the other books and/or the one we're holding? If were lucky, that should indicate that someone has been reading it.
If we open it, open it pointed away from us at first.

>>38949302
Not sure he knows we know what curse Tanssija has (or that it is a curse), though he does know we know curses.
>>
>>38949399
What I meant is if he's seen Mikka or any other deer performed the ritual on Tanssija. (I'm assuming it's a ritual.)
Showing him the curse's instructions is to help jog his memory.
>>
>>38949302
>>38949399
>>38949424
You quickly check the place where it was. There was quite a bit of dust on the book and around the other books. The book and the others around didn't seemed to be used in a while.
You open the book and when nothing happens you start to flip through it. There were a few places where the page corners were creased in which were on raising undead, some Necromancy spells, and the first page on curses though nothing past that on curses. There, you flip through the curses trying to find the one Tanssija had, eventually moving to the table of contents to find it.
The curse you were looking for wasn't there though. It wasn't listed and you couldn't find it flipping through the book.

What do you do?
>>
Stopping for the night.
Have a good night or day!
>>
>>38949437
Can we tell if it's an original or a copy?
>>
>>38949437
"This book hasn't been touched for a while. I suspect if Mikko has read this book, he has moved on to a different school of magic, or a specific craft, not being able to or as interested in casting the spells for whatever reason."
Is there any common thread in the spells that were noted?
'And the curse section is mostly untouched. Morena would've probably known if a Necromancer had cursed Tanssija, so he must be something else that specializes in curses.'

>>38949495
Night, Pluto!
>>
>>38949437
"Hmm..."
'Tanssija mentioned a Necromancer earlier... A Var... Vardarianna Ort-Wilya? Could this have been their spell book?'
"There's a lot of creases around necromancy spells, but not much else. The curse Tanssija has isn't here either. Has Aln Lenora faced a necromancy threat before?"
"... I hate to say it, but this could be their book and this is here as an archive. Still, we should take it just in case. Let's keep looking for those notes."
'...Mikka knew necromancers can see the book hidden within the illusion and was willing to burn anyone who was going to take it, along with the book... Was he doing it for the better of the kingdom?'
>>
>>38949437
Hmm...
We furrow our brow slightly.
'A bit too specialized for the books nature? Or perhaps I'm going down the wrong line of thinking and confirmation bias is clouding my insight? Still this is worth investigating.'
Well, this is definitely cause for a more thorough search of any place this buck may spend extended periods of time in. If something this incriminating was only hidden beneath illusion and magic I can only imagine where he'd hide the stuff he really didn't want anyone finding.
>>
10
>>
>>38949501
>>38949502
>>38949602
>>38950081
"Hmm... This book hasn't been touched in a while. I suspect if Mikko has read this book, he has moved on to a different school of magic, or a specific craft." You say; sliding down to the first floor.
'A bit too specialized for the books nature? Or perhaps I'm going down the wrong line of thinking and confirmation bias is clouding my insight,' You think, 'Tanssija mentioned a Necromancer earlier... a Var... Vardarianna Ort-Wilya? Could this have been their spellbook?'
"Anything common that he noted in the book?" Hannu asks.
"There's a lot of creases around Necromancy spells, but not much else. The curse Tanssija has isn't here either," You say, "Has Alln Lenora faced a Necromancy threat before?"
"Not since it's been founded, no." He shakes his head.
You nod a little and look down at the book to study it a bit more. It was definitely an original copy. If it wasn't you wouldn't have noticed it as you were heading up.
"Well, this is definitely a cause for a more thorough search of any place this buck may spend extended periods of time in. If something this incriminating was only hidden beneath illusion and magic I can only imagine where he'd hide the stuff he really didn't want anyone finding."
"Yeah, we should see if there is anything else," Hannu nods, "...Can't believe he had this the entire time and I didn't notice."

What do you do?
>>
>>38951594
"It's alright. If I wasn't perusing through the books, I wouldn't have either. The illusion spell was very strong."
"...Eerika, can you check the shelves for more illusions and dispel them?"
We continue our ascent until we reach the top.
I can't help myself.
The first thing that catches our eye is a book half-hazardously placed under his bed. We pick it up and open it to see various illustration of naked does in seductive poses.
>>
>>38951594
"It was well hidden and set to destroy itself and its discoverer when touched; we're lucky that I found it as I did, considering what could have happened otherwise. Now, we should check his room. He'll probably have 'better' books in his personal collection."
Keep an eye on the tops of bookshelves, since those seem to be where the 'good' books are. Check his door before going in.

>>38951686
Come now, that is hardly realistic. He wouldn't keep it hidden so sloppily under his bed, he'd probably hide it under a pillow or mattress, and perhaps the does are wearing socks. Might be a deterent for the actual book.
Seconding, though we should probably check the door before heading in.
>>
>>38951686
>>38951836
"It's alright," You reassure him, "If I wasn't perusing through the books, I wouldn't have either. The illusion spell was very strong. Now, we should check is room. He'll probably have 'better' books in his personal collection."
He nods a little as you turn to Eerika.
"...Eerika, can you check the shelves for more illusions and dispel them?"
She nods as you head back up the stairs to the second floor with the other two following behind. Once you reach the second floor Hannu leads you along until you reach a door at the end that he opens for you. The door led into his bedroom which was actually quite small and modest compared to the library it was situated in, a bed and two nightstands taking up most of the room along with a large wardrobe.
The three of you cautiously head in and as you look around you spot a bit of a book poking out from a pillow on his bed. You take the book and flip it open, immediately blushing a moment later as you quickly stuff it back under the pillow.
"Find something?" Hannu asks you; looking over at you.

What do you do?
>>
File: Spoiler Image (106 KB, 1280x720)
106 KB
106 KB JPG
The game is Bahamut Lagoon if you're wondering. One of my favorites!
>>38951848
"Just something personal, but not what we're looking for."
'I wonder what other "treasures" are around here?'
We feel all around the bed, putting pressure on the mattress for anything hard. If nothing, we look underneath the bed. If there's nothing amidst besides a few tissues, we feel around for anything loose.
If nothing, we pull out our illusion book and look to Hannu.
"We should check these wardrobes, but I'm all tapped out. Do you learn better by reading, or observing?"
>>
>>38951848
Our expression is as stoic as usual, but our surprised blush is strong enough that our ears burn a little as well as we regard Hannu.
"Technically. A little uncouth perhaps, but if that book qualifies as nefarious, then I weep for your nation's culture. We're intruding as is, so read it yourself, if you feel inclined. Though I doubt that he reads it for the articles."
"... This place feels a little too sparse. Purely a place to sleep, or perhaps an antechamber itself to his true study."
Run a hoof over the walls and floor, to look for seams and illusions, peeking behind the wardrobe as well, since it might be hide a doorway.

>>38951929
There might be something hidden within the mattress itself, that poking the surface or searching the bottom won't reveal.
>>
>>38951929
>>38951969
You expression is as stoic as usual, but your surprise blush is strong enough for your ears to burn a little as well as you regard Hannu.
"Just something personal, but not what we're looking for," You say, "If that book qualifies as nefarious, then I weep for your nation's culture. We're intruding as is, so read it yourself, if you feel inclined.'
You start to feel around the bed, putting pressure on the mattress for anything hard underneath it. When that doesn't reveal anything you look underneath it, finding nothing other than some dust and a few tissues.
"...This place feels a little too sparse. Purely a place to sleep, or perhaps an antechamber to his true studies," You say; trotting over to Hannu with your illusion book out, "We should check these wardrobes, but I'm all tapped out. Do you learn better by reading, or observing?"
"Reading," He replies, "Give me the book and I'll look through it."
"Fund somting!"
The two of you look over at Eerika to find her already at the wardrobe, having opened it up. It was a fairly normal wardrobe filled with clothes and various other items, but at the very top of the inside of the wardrobe was a shelf that was strangely empty. Eerika lifts up a hoof and hangs it in front of the shelf as she casts the spell, the area of the shelf rippling like the surface of water before fading away to reveal a large, and heavy looking tome sitting there. She looks around the shelf for any wards or runes and when she doesn't find any she reaches up and grabs the book with her forehooves. As soon as she touches the book though-
"AAAAAH!"
She suddenly lets out a scream and scrambles over to the two of you, a terrified look on her face when she reaches the two of you.

What do you do?
>>
>>38952191
'It inflicts terror upon being touched? Or is it worse?'
Hold up a hoof to try and get Errika's attention and calm her down.
"Eerika, you're okay. Now, what did you see?"
Check her soul for anything out of place.
"Seems we may have found his notes, and potentially alerted him, because if that is a spelltome, it would probably contain more spells than one could reasonably learn... though his notes could contain some spells of his own making."
>>
>>38952191
'Whatever it is it didn't explode, so either whatever she found is more valuable to him in which case it's protected more tightly or this room contains at least something he doesn't want damaged or investigated?'
What's happened? Explain quickly so I can help.
>>
>>38952242
>>38952350
'Whatever it is it didn't explode, so either whatever she found is more valuable to him in which case it's protected more tightly or this room contains at least something he doesn't want damaged or investigated?"
You hold up a hoof to get Eerika's attention and calm her down. She does look over at the two of you, but she was still scared.
"Eerika, you're okay," You reassure her, "What happened. Explain quickly so I can help."
"T-Th- Näin varjoolennon, jolla oli vihreät silmät! Se katsoi minua!"
"...As soon as she touched the book she saw a shadowy creature that glared at her." Hannu translates.
As he translates you check her soul for anything that was out of place. There was a small dark spot on her soul, though it quickly disappears and returns to the soul's normal color.
"Seems we may have found his notes, and potentially alerted him, because if that is a spelltome, it would probably contain more spells than one could reasonably learn... though his notes could contain some spells of his own making."
"The problem now is getting a look at it," Hannu says, "I very much doubt whatever it did to Eerika is a one time thing."

What do you do?
>>
>>38952242
Seconding. Don't have much to add aside from giving her a healing potion if she needs it.
>>
>>38952383
"... That tracking spell I put on Eerika. I noticed it stopped for a moment... Eerika, can you cast a spell? Any light one will do."
We examine her soul if we see it doing something similar to Tanssija's. If so:
"... This might be how she got cursed."
If not: Ok... It's reason to suspect she may have been possessed for a brief moment. It didn't get a good claim on her soul though."
>>
>>38952383
'Perhaps it was less of an illusion and more of a ghost or spirit. Did he enchant his notes with a soul to keep anyone but himself from viewing them?'
Move over closer to the notes without touching them and use our soul sight to double check if there is any lingering essence attached to the notes.
>>
>>38952383
Is there any sign of a soul close to the book? Need to confirm if this is a Spirit, or if it's another school of magic entirely. Though, given we haven't seen anything, it is likely not Necromancy.
"Seems to be some form of dark or shadow magic. I'd say perhaps we could manipulate the book with implements, but if there is an actual entity guarding the book, it won't be so easily fooled. The shadow creature, did it look like a deer?"
"We might be able to destroy the entity or the enchantment by suffusing it in light or divine magic, though I don't know ant such spells. Is there someone or some place here that could create a lot of that type of magic, Hannu?"
>>
>>38952411
>>38952452
>>38952467
You look over with your soul sight at the book, not seeing a soul orbiting around or within the book.
'Perhaps it was less of an illusion and more of a ghost or spirit. Did he enchant his notes with a soul to keep anyone but himself from viewing them? I don't see any though, so maybe it's something else entirely...?'
"...That tracking spell I put on Eerika. I noticed it stopped for a moment... Eerika, can you cast a spell? Any light one will do."
She lifts up a hoof and a light appears from it as she casts a spell. The entire time her soul is absolutely normal.
"Okay... It's reason to suspect she may have been possessed for a brief moment. It didn't get a good claim on her soul though," You say, "Seems to be some form of dark magic."
"D-Dark magic?" Hannu stammers a bit.
"We could manipulate the book with implements, but if there is an actual entity guarding the book, it won't be so easily fooled. The shadow creature, did it look like a Deer?"
"E-Ei, se näytti joltain korkealta."
"She said it looked like something tall."
"We might be able to destroy the entity or the enchantment by suffusing it in light or divine magic, though I don't know such spells. Is there someone or some place here that could create a lot of that type of magic, Hannu?"
"I actually know a bit of it," He replies, "I don't know if my weak magic will work if we're dealing with dark magic though. We do have a priest that knows a lot about this stuff if it doesn't work."

What do you do?
>>
>>38952585
I wonder if we can look for Mikko with our soul sight. It might be nice to find out if he's storming bock up here.
>>
>>38952585
You probably shouldn't attempt it. Any backlash would likely be very harsh, I'd expect any magic laid on his notes would either need to be powerful enough or precise enough to unwind whatever magic it holds.
If your admittedly weak magic could do this, I'd suspect these notes would be just a ploy rather then the real deal.
>>
>>38952585
Not much time to write, but etherium told could prove helpful here.
>>
>>38952639
>>38952672
>>38952757
"You probably shouldn't attempt it. Any backlash would likely be very harsh, I'd expect any magic laid on his notes would either need to be powerful enough or precise enough to unwind whatever magic it holds," You say, "if your admittedly weak magic could do this, I'd suspect these notes would be just a ploy rather then the real deal."
You then look down to see if you could pick out Mikko's soul with your soul sight. Even if you could pick him out there were too many souls below to see what he was doing.
"...Might as well try." Hannu sighs; slowly trotting up to the book.

What do you do?
>>
>>38952879
Is there any way for us to bolster his spell? Do we have enough MP to cast Minor Shield on him?
"What sort of spell would you be casting anyway? Will you have to touch the book? Perhaps I should stand between yourself and the book, in case it tries to lash out at you. And is there anything notable about your family's bloodline in a magical sense?"
>>
>>38952879
Without turning to look at him.
Out of curiosity, when you die because you didn't listen to me does Tanssija become queen? Or is there going to be a succession crisis?
I'm unaware of if Tanssija being exiled renders her invalid in terms of royal lineage.
Either way I'm sure she'd rather have a living brother. And since you're under my watch I'd rather you not attempt suicide.
We'll devise some way to transport the papers to this priest, even if I have to do it myself.
Let's finish searching this place first then deal with them.
>>
>>38952879
"I'm sorry Hannu, but I simply can't allow this."
We pull out our last two magic potions.
"Out of the three of us, I'm the most expandable. In the trial, I'll only be able to watch as deer talk gibberish. Besides, I've been trained for this sort of thing. I'll regret this later, but I need you at your full strength for tomorrow."
We down our potions and make our way to the book.
>>
>>38952879
>>38952910
Taking inspiration from this.
>>38952940 (me)
"Remember, Hannu. He's dabbling in necromancy and dark magic. If he were to resurrect you, your soul will belong to him, which will make you his unyielding puppet. Ponies aren't even suppose to be here, so if anyone is dying from this, it's me."
>>
>>38952900
>>38952910
>>38952940
>>38953070
You respond without turning to look at him.
"I'm sorry Hannu, but I simply can't allow this. When you die because you didn't listen does Tanssija become queen? Or is there going to be a succession crisis? I'm unaware of if Tanssija being exiled renders her invalid in terms of royal lineage."
"She was exiled, but never disinherited, so she would be queen."
"Either way I'm sure she'd rather have a living brother. And since you're under my watch I'd rather you not attempt suicide."
You take out your last two minor magic potions. With the time that has passed you have about 45 MP.
"Out of the three of us, I'm the most expendable. In the trial, I'll only be able to watch as Deer talk gibberish. Besides, I've been trained for this sort of thing," You continue, "He's dabbling in Necromancy and Dark Magic. If he were to resurrect you, your soul will belong to him, which will make you his unyielding puppet. Ponies aren't even suppose to be here, so if anyone is dying from this, it's me."
He stops halfway to the book and turns back to look at you.
"...Alright," He sighs, "If you die though Tanssija won't be happy with me either."
He trots back as you down one of your magic potions.
"I'll regret this later, but I need you at your full strength for tomorrow," You tell him, "We'll devise some way to transport the papers to this priest, even if I have to do it myself."
"Maybe we could leave it alone for a while then," Hannu suggests, "Continuing searching while thinking about what to do with this."

What do you do?
>>
>>38953107
How long would it take him to get back up here if touching the book alerted him?
>>
>>38953107
We slowly inhale and exhale then turn around with a reassuring smile.
"It'll be ok. I don't intend to get possessed, and I'll fight it with all I have. If I do though, all I ask is that you don't use any fire spells on me."
We grab our Ethereum Tools, starting off with the wand to see if we can manipulate it in any way. If we can, we drag it out of the book and use the Knife to cut it off.
Otherwise, we look for a chair to stand on and scrutinize the book further.

(I'm very stuck on what to do. What's the FAQ guide for this?)
>>
>>38953107
"Not a bad idea. What other rooms are there to search here, aside from a bathroom? Clearly these are likely his notes, but we've yet to discover his spell book, which may have a clue to defeat the spell... If it isn't also set up with one of these or kept on his person at all times."

"We're in a library: are there any books on light magic? Or perhaps a book on levitation or teleportation. I may not be at his level, but I'm a quick study and have more magic stamina than yourself, so perhaps I could weaken it at least. Actually, is there anything notable about your bloodline or family history? Any ties to divinity? I've been wondering for a while if Tanssija's curse wasn't meant to solely kill her."

>>38953155
Seconding

>>38953190
No soul to manipulate, so Ethereum Tools won't help.
>>
>>38953107
Wait a minute... He always brings his notes around, right? What if we just let him bring the notes to court himself?
>>
>>38953155
If he doesn't just teleport back up, a few to several minutes.

>>38953190
>>38953207
>>38953329
You slowly inhale and then exhale as you turn around and give him a reassuring smile.
"It'll be okay. I don't intend on getting possessed and I'll fight it with all I have. If I do though, all I ask is that you don't use any fire spells on me," You say, "Still, that's not a bad idea. What other rooms are there to search here, aside from a bathroom? Clearly these are likely his notes, but we've yet to discover his spellbook, which may have a clue to defeat the spell."
"Several studies, a living room, kitchen, lounge." Hannu lists.
As he lists the rooms off you think of something.
"Are there any books on light magic here? Or perhaps a book on levitation or teleportation. I may not be at his level, but I'm a quick study and have more magic stamina than yourself, so I could perhaps weaken it a little."
"I would be surprised if there wasn't a book on divine magic." He replies.
"Actually, is there anything notable about your bloodline or family history? Any ties to divinity? I've been wondering if Tanssija's curse wasn't meant to solely kill her."
"We can trace our family back to when the Deer first came here," He replies, "If we have any ties to divinity it's been forgotten about since then."
"I culd luuk for book." Eerika suggests.

What do you do?
>>
Stopping for the night.
Have a good night or day!
>>
>>38953585
Night, Pluto!



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