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File: girl.jpg (483 KB, 800x1200)
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIEBjcVdpi4

"H...ey....he...y....hey! HEY! Wake up!"

Your eyes shoot open, only to instinctively close as the intense light of the sun above forces you to close them.

"Oh, great. You're alive. I was worried for a second there..."

You prop yourself up, slowly opening your eyes this time. As your eyes adjust to the light, you see that you are in the middle of a vast field of flowers, surrounded by forests and mountains. A single small town is visible in the distance.

"Are you all right?"

You finally look towards the source of the voice that you have been hearing, it seems to be a girl in her late teens. You nod absentmindedly, eliciting a pleased giggle from the girl.

"Good! I'm glad that you aren't too screwed up from your journey over here. A lot of people that end up in our world tend to lose a lot of themselves on their way over."

Confused, you inquire as to what she means by "our world." The girl seems to realize something, and then hurries to explain herself.

"Oh! Right! Well, you see, you have ended up in another world. I'm not sure exactly how, but this area exists on a plane that seems to attract those from other places, whether they want it to or not."

Ok, so it seems as though you've woken up in another universe or whatever. You ask her if there's any way to return back to your world.

"Oh, well, uh...I suppose that there might be a way...Uhm, okay. Well, there is only one way out of this particular place, and it's through a big hole in the ground."

A...hole in the ground? Not exactly what you expected to hear, but it doesn't sound too bad. You ask where to find this hole and how to get to your world with it.

"Well, you see, that's kind of the problem. The hole is only rumored to be able to get people back to their own worlds. Though unfortunately, it's the only potential way to get out of this place, so it really is your only way home."

Well shit. You're not sure if you want to exist in another universe for the rest of your life, especially one as bare-bones as this one seems to be. The girl speaks up again:

"Er...sorry, I'm sure that this must be really strange for you. Unfortunately, traveling through that hole might be your best choice. People from other universes tend to die really early here, since we don't have a lot of resources and there isn't much housing space. I could help you gather some supplies for your journey, and maybe also meet some other travelers that would be interested in joining you, if you'd like!"

Well, it seems as though your best option is to go through this hole to get back home. You have a few choices right now:

>Ask the girl about herself.

>Ask for more information on the hole.

>Go with the girl to gather supplies for your journey.

>Let the girl take you to meet other travelers that could aid you in your journey.
>>
>>4539304
>Let the girl take you to meet other travelers that could aid you in your journey.
Well at least we aren’t trapped in an infinite ikea
>>
>>4539304
>Let the girl take you to meet other travelers that could aid you in your journey.
>>
>>4539313
support
>>
>>4539304
>How common is it for people from other worlds to end up here? How many visitors last month/year?
>>
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>>4539335
"Not too common, fortunately. We get about four to five travelers yearly, most of which end up disappearing into the hole. We've only ever had one explorer return from a journey there."

>>4539312
>>4539313
>>4539331
Deciding that meeting some other individuals unfortunate enough to get stuck here would be the best choice, you ask the girl to introduce you to a few.

"That sounds like a good idea! There's an inn in town that usually houses travelers, and most of the others that get trapped down here tend to hang around the inn's bar, waiting for someone to team up with. Come on!"

The girl begins leading you to the town, before turning back and adding.

"By the way, my name is Vera. I know that you probably won't see me after you've left for your own world, but I thought that you should know just in case."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kzLBNWEQ6Y

Like Vera mentioned earlier, housing in the town was sparse. You could easily tell, based on the size of the town, and the few people wandering about. Upon entering the inn, Vera pointed you to the innkeeper, a burly man by the name of Johann.

"I'll be outside if you need me, Johann will help you with picking companions."

You approach Johann, asking him about other travelers looking to return to their homes. Johann nods, and hands you a pamphlet. On the pamphlet is a list of names and descriptions of others who share your goal...in English. Strange, you'd think that another universe would have its own language. Anyway, you now have a list of names, pick two team members from those available (one vote per ID).
>>
>>4539410
>Jack
>>
>>4539410
>Jack
>>
>>4539410
carmen
>>
>>4539410
Carmen
>>
>>4539416
this
>>
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>>4539416
>>4539453
You ask for Jack, and Johann nods, pointing you to a table in the corner of the room. Jack is sitting there with a lit cigar in his mouth, looking up at the ceiling. As you approach, he looks over at you and pulls the cig out of his mouth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTKKI8xXXdM

"Hnn? You looking for some help with that hole?"

You nod, and sit down at the table. Jack chuckles.

"All right, kid. I'm in. Just let me know when you want to head out."

You let him know that you will, and then head back over to Johann.

>>4539459
>>4539469
When asked about Carmen, Johann motions to the back door. You head out and find her feeding a stray cat outside. She glances over at you when you arrive, only to turn her attention back to the cat. You mention that you'd like her help with getting back to your world, to which she replies:

"Fine. Just let me know when we're going."

With that, she wanders away.

After meeting your teammates, you head out to the front of the inn, where Vera meets you.

"So, how did it go?"

You tell her how your interactions went.

"Great! We should probably go get supplies now."

>Ask Vera about herself.

>Ask for more information on the hole.

>Go with Vera to gather supplies for your journey.

>Ask Vera to get supplies for you so that you can rest before your journey or bond with your new teammates.
>>
>>4539542
>ask about vera herself
>>
>>4539542
>Ask Vera about herself.
>Ask for more information on the hole
Don’t see why we can’t do both
>>
>>4539542
>Ask Vera about herself.
>Ask for more information on the hole.
>>
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>>4539555
>>4539558
>>4539568
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyeOooJAEgk

You ask Vera about herself. She seems surprised for a second, and then smiles.

"Oh! Well, I didn't expect you to take any interest in me, considering you probably won't see me again after you leave, but I'm more than willing to share some things about myself."

She looks up for a moment, obviously thinking about what to say, and then looks back at you.

"Well, I was born and raised here in this town...I'm around 19 years old now. The man that you met in the tavern, Johann, is actually my father. His side of the family has been running the inn for generations now. Er...I suppose that there isn't much else to talk about. I don't live a particularly interesting life, sorry about that!"

She laughs nervously. Obviously, there's something that she doesn't want to share. You shrug and ask her about the hole, Vera suddenly regains her composure and begins talking in a more serious tone.

"Oh, the hole, yes. Well, it is said that the hole is a portal to several interconnected dimensions that lead to some sort of multidimensional nexus. The idea is that travelers can find their way back home from that nexus, though nobody is sure how far one must travel to get there, since the only person to come back from a journey down there only made it a few levels in..."

You ask Vera what the levels are like.

"They are apparently like their own little worlds, though they all kind of lead into one another. It's a bit difficult to explain, but you will see what I mean when you start traveling down there. Oh right, uh, remember to take anything that seems useful, because you may need more supplies for lower levels, but watch out for traps and curses. That's important!"

>Go with Vera to gather supplies for your journey.

>Ask Vera to get supplies for you so that you can rest before your journey or bond with your new teammates.

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4539591
>Write-in.
Go with Vera to gather supplies, and ask her how she knows so much about this strange interdimensional pit.
>>
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>>4539608
You decide to go with Vera to get supplies, asking her how she knows so much about the pit on the way.

"O-oh, right...well, I guess that I did mention that one person made it back from that hole, right? Well, that person was my mother. She reported on what she found down there before she...passed away, I guess. Just like you, my mom was from another world. She decided to stay here for a while, that's when she met my dad and had me, but she couldn't take it after a while and got a team together to try to get back home..."

Vera wipes away a tear before continuing.

"A-anyway, she made it a few levels in before encountering something...I'm not sure what it was exactly, but it killed her companions and cursed her. Shortly after she got back and gave a report on what had happened down there, she died."

The rest of your time picking up supplies for your journey was uneventful. Vera didn't speak much more after that, beyond sometimes asking for your opinion on small survival-related things. Eventually, the sun began to set, and Vera brought you back to the inn.

"All right, I think that we have everything that you'll need for your journey. My dad has a temporary room available for you, so you can stay the night here. Good luck tomorrow..."

>Go to bed.

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4539626
>go to bed
>>
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>>4539719
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsoLYWTzqSY

You and Vera say your goodbyes, the weight of your upcoming journey weighing heavily on you as you proceed into the inn. Johann directs you to your room, and you immediately hop onto the bed.

You notice a note and a combat knife on your bed's end table, seems as though Jack wanted you to have the knife for self-defense.

"Hey kid,
I guess that we're going to be heading down into that hole thing tomorrow. Just know that I've got your back. I can train you a bit while we descend, so you won't have to rely on me too much, just let me know if you're interested."

Seems like Jack has confidence in the mission, maybe things won't be too bad. You keep thinking about to what Vera mentioned about the thing that cursed her mother, and whether or not you'd be able to take it on with your current team...you eventually drift off to sleep...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Old4sMkLIkA

That night, you have a dream. You appear to be by a lake at night, the moon is full and illuminates everything around you, making it easy to make out a bench by the lake. A humanoid figure appears on the bench as you blink, it looks back at you, face obscured by shadows, and motions for you to join it.

>Join the figure on the bench.

>Run.

>Call out to the figure.

>You are aware that this is a dream. Try to wake up.

>Other
>>
>>4539729
>Join the figure on the bench.
>>
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>>4539816
Something compels you to move over to the bench. As you approach, you realize that the figure's body is impossible to make out, no matter how hard you try to make sense of it. Upon sitting down next to it, the figure speaks in a voice, though you cannot tell whether or not the voice belongs to a man or a woman. In fact, it's hard to tell if the voice belongs to a human at all.

"Thank you for sitting with me. I am...no, you do not need to know my name just yet. Simply know that I am a fan of yours, and that I exist within another dimension which the hole passes through. I have high hopes for your journey, and am looking forward to meeting you. Our time together grows shorter by the second, meaning that I have time to answer one question. Please, ask me one simple question, and I will answer to the best of my abilities."

>Ask who it is.

>Ask where it is.

>Ask what it is.

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4539850
>Ask where it is.
Seems like a chill guy
>>
>>4539850
>Ask where it is.
>>
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>>4539866
>>4539870
You ask it where it is exactly. Before it answers, it makes a sound that almost sounds like laughing.

"I am here, in your dreams. Though, if you were asking where you can find me, I cannot say for sure. I believe that I am somewhere past the fifth layer, though exactly where is unknown to me. Look for me by a lake similar to this one..."

And with that, you opened your eyes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w2LW9MTT5k

You exit your room, only to be met by Carmen leaning against a wall across from your room.

"Meet us over by the hole in an hour or less. Jack is already there."

With that, she wanders off, right past an anxious-looking Vera. Vera gives you an awkward wave and a weak smile.

"Well, hopefully you're ready to go, because today's the day. Sorry you didn't have more time to prepare, but the sooner you get in that hole, the sooner you'll be able to get home."

She hands you a backpack, which you put on.

"Everything that we collected yesterday is in there. You should have enough rations and water to last a month, at least. Now come with me, I can take you over to the hole."

With nothing else to do, you follow Vera. Eventually, you reach to north end of the town, where you see a large hole. Carmen and Jack are already there. Jack notices you first.

"Glad you could make it, kid. Think you're ready to tackle this thing?"

Carmen looks over at Jack and rolls her eyes. You notice that, in addition to her backpack, she has a rifle slung over her shoulder.

>Enter the hole!

>Ask Jack something (write-in)

>Ask Vera something (write-in)

>Ask Carmen something (write-in)

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4539882
>Ask Vera something (write-in)
Anything else we need to know before going into ?
>>
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Last one for now, I'll be back in 8-10 hours.

>>4539886
You ask Vera if there's anything else that you need to know before entering the hole. She thinks for a few seconds and then shrugs.

"I've told you everything that I know about the hole, so I think that you're good there. Though, I do think that you should be wary of Carmen."

You ask why, and Vera shrugs again.

"Just a feeling that I get from her."

>Enter the hole!

>Ask Jack something (write-in)

>Ask Carmen something (write-in)

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4539892
>Enter the hole!
>>
>>4539892
>Enter the hole!
Let us not dally further! Tally ho lads!
>>
>>4539892
holeeeee
>>
>>4539892
>Enter the hole!
>>
>>4539892
>Look out to this world even though we haven't spent much time here this world is the start of our journey engrave it into our memory
>Hole time!
>>
once we enter the hole we should ask what kind of place there world is like
>>
>>4539892
Ask Vera if she wants to come with us
>>
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>>4540120
Before leaving, you turn to Vera and ask if she'd like to come with you. She looks confused for a second and then giggles.

"As much as I'd like to see other worlds, I think that I'll pass. Thank you though."

You shrug and head over to your traveling companions.

>>4540034
>>4539956
>>4539931
>>4539919
>>4539894
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UUlE-n_AFU

You stand at the edge of the hole, fully prepared to jump in. Closing your eyes, you take a deep breath, then Carmen speaks up.

"Let's just go already."

Before you have time to react, she dashes past you and hops into the hole. Jack chuckles and follows suit, hopping into the abyss. You sigh and throw caution to the wind, hopping into the hole.

...

...

...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP7D7naWRAo

You land on a soft patch of dirt. Getting up, you dust yourself off and look around. It seems as though you've landed in some sort of cave, though everything seems fairly well-lit. Looking up above, you see some sort of light shining down on you, though not exactly from the direction from which you came in. You're brought back to reality by Jack's voice.

"That went smoother than expected, huh?"

Jack is sitting down on a ruined column of some sort, smoking (as usual). Looking around a bit more, you can see Carmen wandering around in order to survey the area. Jack clears his throat before mentioning one more thing to you:

"By the way, your friend mentioned something about stuffing a travel guide in your backpack. Something about it being from a previous trip down here."

>Examine/explore the cave.

>Check out the guide that Jack mentioned.

>Talk with Jack more (write-in)

>Attempt to talk to Carmen (write-in)

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540241
>Check out the guide that Jack mentioned.
>Talk with Jack more (write-in)
"So we're from the same world, huh? How did you end up here?"
>>
>>4540273
+1
>>
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>>4540273
You rummage through your backpack, and eventually find an old journal. Inside, you find information on the first few areas. It seems as though this could come in handy when making decisions.

Turning your attention back to Jack, you ask him about how he got into this situation. He releases some smoke from his nose, before sighing.

"Honestly, I barely remember how I got into this situation. One minute, I was on the road, and then next I was lying down in a field of flowers."

He frowns as he tosses his cigar to the side.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGf2b1H91JA

"Hell, I barely even remember who I was before all of this. I haven't even been gone that long, I'm just having trouble remembering who I was. All I can remember is my military training, and all of the people that I've killed..."

Everything suddenly got very quiet. It might be a good idea to leave Jack alone for a while.

Carmen's voice breaks the silence, it sounds as though she's found something of interest. Jack lights up another cigar.

"I'll catch up in a bit."

You head on over to where Carmen is, hopping over a couple of large, collapsed pillars. She seems to be standing by a strange shrine, surrounded by...human bones.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am1xalkhhjg

Carmen looks over at you, and motions for you to come closer. As you do, she speaks:

"These bones...most of them have been here for a long time, but there are a few that look more recent than others. From what I learned back in town, expeditions down the hole are not common, so it is strange that so many of these look newer..."

You feel a slight pain in the back of your head, as if something is trying to get in, though rubbing your head shows that there is nothing physically there. Carmen winces in pain, it seems as though she feels it, too. This place isn't safe.

>Run.

>Consult with Carmen.

>Search the ruins a bit more

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540338
>Consult with Carmen.
>>
>>4540338
>Consult with Carmen.
>>
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>>4540371
>>4540389
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr8ZgF4Dc0E

You look over at Carmen and ask her what she thinks you should do.

"Just stay cl-"

Carmen's eyes go wide before she falls to her knee and vomits all over the floor. With no time to wonder what happened, you hear a voice in the back of your head. Every word stings, and causes your stomach to churn.

WELCOME

WHO ARE YOU?

MY NAME IS

You can't make out exactly what it says here.

I HAVE BEEN WAITING

FOR MORE

FRIENDS

You are unable to stay on your feet, and fall down on your side. You are acutely aware of a figure in the corner of your eye, it seems to be approaching you. As it approaches, you notice that it is vaguely humanoid, though something in your gut tells you that it is anything but human.

PLEASE

WON'T YOU TELL ME

YOUR NAME?

Your...name? You realize that you haven't thought about your name for a while. What IS your name? Who are you? What are you doing here?

>Scream

>Cry

>Try to get up

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540419
>Tell him you don’t remember your name
There is absolutely no reason to be rude to the kind man introducing himself even if he looks weird I mean he was just born that way
>>
>>4540419
>Try to get up
>>
>>4540429
support
>>
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>>4540433
You attempt to push at the floor. You manage to prop yourself up into a sitting position, though this causes your head to ache more than before.

>>4540429
You open your mouth to tell the presence that you've forgotten, but no sound comes out.

YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN?

STRANGE

WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO GIVE YOU A NAME?

It kneels down by you, giving you a better view of its body. You see all sorts of bizarre limbs covered in mouths and eyeballs, they all begin merging together until...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DG9s6Wqtdw

You pass out. Your dreams are pleasant, albeit a bit strange. You watch your life from the moment of your birth to the moment before you ended up in another world.

When you wake up, you find that you are lying down on the floor. The bones are gone, the presence has left, and Carmen is passed out on the floor. As you sit up, you feel a sharp pain in your head, as if you were punched in the back of the head.

"It's probably not a good idea to just sit up like that, my friend."

A voice is coming from the shrine. Looking over, you see a well-dressed man sitting down on a typical chair that you'd find in any office building. For some reason, you can't seem to get a good grasp of how his face looks.

"Sorry for alarming you, buddy. I don't find many people down here, so I tend to forget that being around people in my true form can drive them insane. Whoops! Haha..."

You assume that this man is the thing that knocked you and Carmen unconscious.

>Ask him for his name again.

>Ask him something else (write-in)

>Tell him something (write-in)

>Get up and check on Carmen

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540467
>ask him how’s he doing
>ask him who/what is he
They always ask who is the cosmic horror in a suit but never how is the cosmic horror in a suit
>>
>>4540479
+1
>>
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Sorry for the wait on this one, I had to pick up some food.

>>4540479
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ablxil7my34

You begin by asking him how he's doing, which causes the man to laugh a bit.

"Oh, just fine, pal! Nothing to really complain about beyond some stuff that'd just go over your head. Uh, no offense, of course."

You roll your eyes, and follow up by asking him who (or what) he is.

"Hmm...well, I have many names. I guess that you can just call me Mr. Blackman for now. It rolls off the tongue much better than Mr. Crawling Chaos or Mr. God of a Thousand Forms. Heheh...oh, and as for what I am...hmmm...I guess that you could say that I'm a friendly, helpful dude from the darkest corner of reality."

That doesn't really help, but it explains a bit.

>Ask him what he's doing here.

>Ask him something else (write-in)

>Tell him something (write-in)

>Get up and check on Carmen

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540529
>Ask him what he's doing here.
While also
>Get up and check on Carmen
I mean it looked like she was having a pretty rough time we should make sure she’s alright
>>
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>>4540541
You shakily get back on your feet, taking care not to collapse. Once you've decided that you're physically stable enough to move, you make your way to Carmen. While walking over to her, you ask Mr. Blackman what he's doing in this place.

"That's an interesting question, my guy. This dimension is kind of my 'summer home' for when I'm not feeling like doing my usual stuff. It's usually pretty barren, since every civilization that's existed here has kind of wiped itself out. And to answer your next question: no, it wasn't me fault that they killed each other."

You didn't really ask, but ok. Carmen seems to be in stable condition, she's just kind of sleeping on the ground right now. Mr. Blackman claps his hands together.

"All good over there? Great! Awesome! So, listen, I have an appointment to get to, so I'm going to have to leave now. But before I go, would you like anything from me? I feel bad for potentially causing you and your friend brain damage, and I want to make it up to you guys."

He sounds really insincere, but if he's offering...

>Refuse his offer

>Ask him to show you the way to the next area

>Ask for power

>Ask for a weapon

>Ask for something useful

>Other/Ask for something else (write-in)
>>
>>4540558
>Refuse his offer
>”nah man I’m good see you around?”
>>
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>>4540575
Mr. Blackman is visibly surprised when you refuse his offer.

"Well, that was unexpected! Humans tend to jump right on that kind of thing. Hmm...well, it'd feel wrong to just leave you here with nothing but a headache and a temporarily out-of-commission companion..."

He strokes his chin(?), and quickly seems to decide on something. Blackman reaches into his pocket and produces a simple black ring with strange markings all over it, he then hands it to you.

"This isn't much, but it'll protect you from the effects of most mentally-based magic as long as you're wearing it. I'm sure that it'll come in handy further down the line."

You take the ring, and Blackman begins walking away. You say goodbye and ask if you'll see him around, causing Blackman to pause.

"Hmm...maybe, my friend. We'll just have to see what happens. Until then, stay safe. You and your friends are the only living beings in this area, so you should be fine for now. See ya'."

And with that, Mr. Blackman disappeared into the shadows, just in time for Jack to walk in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7VzPGmrWUc

"Kept you waiting, huh? Sorry about that."

As soon as he came in, Carmen began to stir. She sat up and looked around before groggily asking:

"Whu-what happened to that thing?"

Confusion passed over Jack's face.

>Explain what happened to Jack, then help Carmen up

>Help Carmen up, but don't explain anything to Jack

>Let Carmen get up and explain things to Jack

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540618
>Explain what happened to Jack, then help Carmen up
We’re a team and there is absolutely no reason to hide things so let catch everyone up to speed on our encounter
>>
>>4540618
>Help Carmen up and explain what happened to Jack
>>
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>>4540656
>>4540658
While helping Carmen up, you explain your encounter with the eldritch being to Jack. Jack leans against a wall, listening intently to your report.

"Hnn. A weird guy with strange powers, huh? Sound familiar..."

Carmen nods, obviously not entirely with it just yet, and steadies herself on the shrine. After taking a deep breath, she finally speaks.

"I think...that I know where to go now."

Jack raises an eyebrow, and you ask her what she means.

"I saw another hole...while I was passed out. It's just down that way."

She points towards an arch that leads into a deeper part of the caves.

>Head down that way.

>Rest for a bit first.

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540682
>Head down that way.
>>
>>4540682
>Head down that way.
>>
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>>4540708
>>4540717
Deciding not to spend too much more time here, you all mutually decide to go down the way that Carmen had pointed out. It took about an hour of walking, but you eventually found a large hole in a wall of the cave, similar to the one from the town above. Carmen immediately jumped into the hole, probably not wanting to spend another minute in this awful place, Jack shrugged and followed suit. You were the last one to jump...

...

...

...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mukj_9Wgqww&t=22s

You find yourself in a dense forest. Sunlight streams through the trees above, and a light breeze blows through the area. Carmen and Jack waited for you to land before doing anything this time. Jack speaks up first:

"A forest? I guess that it isn't too weird, considering that this is another dimension, but still..."

Carmen nods and looks around.

"It seems as though there is no definite way forwards. Nor is there a way back."

She glances behind you, causing you to look that way as well. The hole which you and your companions had jumped through was gone, and in its place was a large tree. Jack sighs, and scratches his head.

"A tree? Hnn...no point in worrying about where our way back went for now, I guess. Let's start wandering around, maybe we'll be able to find something to eat."

>Agree with Jack, and attempt to procure some food in the forest

>Eat some of your rations

>Skip food for now and search for the next hole

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540735
>Agree with Jack, and attempt to procure some food in the forest
Finding fresh food is a better idea than wasting rations especially if we don’t need to.
>>
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>>4540747
You decide that Jack has the right idea, and agree that finding food is probably the best idea. Jack gives you an excited smirk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hULJu2mcU6s

"Great. By the time we get to the end of this, you two'll be able to catch and eat practically anything."

You and Carmen give each other a slightly worried glance as you follow Jack through the forest. Eventually, you come across a rather large snake, easily several feet long. Jack quickly whips out a knife, and jumps the reptile, stabbing it through the head before it had a chance to retaliate.

"Hnn, not bad, but we might need to find a few more if we want to have a full meal."

You and Carmen follow Jack around the forest, while he assaults various snakes of similar size to the first one that he had caught. After the fifth snake, Jack stops and looks over at the two of you with a confused look on his face.

"There are a lot of snakes in this forest."

Carmen nods.

"Yes, there are. What is your point?"

"Have we seen any other animals while looking around here?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KzFe50RQkQ

...now that he mentions it, you haven't seen or heard any animals other than snakes during the few hours you've spent in this area. Carmen speaks up:

"All right, so we have stumbled upon a universe filled with snakes. It's not a particularly big deal. Let's just find somewhere to camp for the night, so that we can eat these stupid snakes."

Jack is obviously suspicious of the area, but he agrees with Carmen, and the three of you leave to find a good place to set up camp. Eventually, you find a river, and Jack begins to set up some simple tents that he had stuffed in his backpack.

>Help Carmen start a fire

>Help Jack with the tents

>Search the area to make sure that there isn't anything dangerous around

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540782
>Help Carmen start a fire
Any options fine but fire starting is a good skill if we don’t already know how
>>
>>4540782
>Help Carmen start a fire
>>
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>>4540789
>>4540794
You wander over to Carmen, who just finished clearing an area of leaves and twigs in order to set up a fire without burning down the forest. You offer your assistance with starting the fire, stating that you'd like to know how to do it as well. She shrugs and starts setting up firewood.

Eventually, you have a fire ready, and Jack has finished with the tents; good timing, considering that the sun had almost finished setting at this point. After preparing them for consumption, Jack set up the snakes' corpses on sticks around the fire to cook. The three of you decided to sit down around the fire and chat while waiting for the food to be ready.

>Ask Carmen something (write-in)

>Ask Jack something (write-in)

>Let them talk

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540796
>Ask Carmen about what her world is like
Then
>Casual small talk
Just some team bonding
>>
>>4540798
+1
>>
>>4540796
>Ask Carmen about what her world is like
>Casual small talk
>>
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>>4540798
>>4540801
>>4540820
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsOUv9EzKsg

Carmen's expression becomes grim as soon as you ask how her world is.

"My world is cold and unpleasant. There has been a war raging in it since I was a child, and I missed out on a fair portion of my childhood due to almost everybody I love being killed or drafted into the military. The only reason for me to go back is to protect my sister, who might already be dead..."

Well, that was heavy. The three of you eat your snakes in silence until Jack finally speaks.

"War is an awful thing, I've lost a lot because of it...my world may not be a hellhole like yours, but I can say that I can relate to that kind of loss."

Carmen seems to open up a bit more after that, possibly because she's glad that she has someone that can relate to her. You learn that Carmen is half Spanish and half Russian, and that her world was very similar to yours and Jack's in terms of geography. Her rifle apparently belonged to her father, before he was killed for treason (she wouldn't elaborate on that).

Jack shared a bit more of what he remembered about his past as well, it seems as though he could recall a bit more than he did in the last area. He was apparently a soldier who had abandoned his country after being essentially forced to kill someone that he loved.

Eventually, the three of you became too tired to talk much more, and you all went to sleep...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2fEhHQHugg

Another dream, huh? This time around, you find yourself on a couch in the living room of a typical-looking house. All you can see out the windows are stars and some distant planets.

>Search the house

>Stay put

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540822
>Search the house
Take a nice stroll through the house
>>
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>>4540827
You get up from the couch and begin to wander around the house. The house seems to have a first and second floor, both of which are filled with rooms with nothing in them beyond basic furnishings. Electronics seem to work, despite the fact that the house is obviously in space. With a bit more searching, you find that there is a trap door leading to a basement, and a door connected to the ceiling on the second floor that leads to an attic.

>Enter the attic

>Go down to the basement

>Chill on the couch in the living room

>Call out for someone

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540836
>Call out for someone
Let them know we’re gonna
>Chill on the couch in the living room
>>
>>4540838
+1
>>
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>>4540838
You call out, yelling that you'll be on the couch in the living room...no answer. You shrug and head over to the couch, which you promptly hop on to. Despite this being a dream, the couch feels extremely comfortable. You pick up a remote on the coffee table in front of the couch and turn on the television, though nothing but static plays.

You wait for a while longer, before noticing something out of the corner of your eye. You turn around to see what it is, but when you do, nothing is there.

"Hi there, mister."

A voice suddenly comes from the other side of the couch and nearly makes you piss yourself. You flip around to see a young-looking girl sitting on the couch next to you. She giggles and grins, before waving at you.

"Hi!"

This...isn't really what you expected. So far, the eldritch beings that had been visiting you looked strange and otherworldly. All that you see next to you in this strange place is a little girl.

>Let her talk more (basically don't say anything back)

>Say "hi" back, and also maybe something else (write-in)

>Other
>>
>>4540846
>Say "hi" back, and also maybe something else (write-in)
Do you live here ?
>>
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>>4540849
You manage to reply with a hello, and then follow that up by asking the girl if she lives there. She giggles and gives you a menacing grin.

"Are you going to ask if my parents are home next? It should be obvious that I live here, dummy."

She hops off of the couch, but her feet never touch the ground, floating in the air next to you. Her smile disappears as her face becomes serious.

"Thank whatever god you pray to that I decided to meet you in this form, dipshit. My true form can melt the eyes of mortals, even if they see it in a dream. Anyway, I have a proposition for you."

She floats over to the other side of the coffee table, taking a sitting position in the air.

"There's a catch to this proposition: You can refuse to listen to it if you want, but nothing will come of it, and I might even try fucking with you and your pals at some point out of spite...or, you can choose to listen to it; but if you end up taking this deal, you HAVE to accept the conditions. Of course, if you manage to fulfill your end of the bargain, I will reward you handsomely. Even if you try and fail, I'll still give you a small reward, but that's ONLY if you fail while trying your hardest to do this. If I feel like you aren't taking this seriously enough, the deal is off and I might still end up fucking with you and your friends. So, what do you want to do?"

She's not giving you too much of a choice, but at least it doesn't seem like she'll outright kill you if you say no.

>Ask her to elaborate on the potential rewards

>Ask her to explain what she means by "fucking with you and your pals"

>Accept her deal

>Reject her deal

>Ask her more about herself before you decide

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540862
>Ask her to explain what she means by "fucking with you and your pals"
>>
>>4540862
>Ask her to elaborate on the potential rewards
>Ask her to explain what she means by "fucking with you and your pals"
>>
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>>4540869
>>4540884
You ask her to explain what she meant by "fucking with you and your pals." Her mouth becomes impossibly long as she grins at hearing that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLQdFLxRDP8

"Oh, you know, the usual. Sending a couple of scary monsters after you, sometimes screwing with your sense of direction, maybe causing some of your supplies to disappear..."

Her eyes begin glowing red, and everything around you begins to decay. You jump off of the couch as it becomes moldy and disgusting.

"...maybe cause one of your friends to gut themselves while you watch, give you nightmares where everybody you love DIES, force you to kill your friends and then grant you immortality so that you can't finish yourself off..."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krUFWOAbBNk

Suddenly, everything goes back to normal, and you're sitting on the couch again. The girl gives you a friendly smile.

"Any other questions?"

You ask her to elaborate on the potential rewards.

"Hmm...well, to be honest, I love watching humans struggle through this gauntlet, so I won't just take you home or anything, but I could provide you with food, maybe a pocket dimension containing a house similar to this one, so that you and your pals don't have to worry about being killed in your sleep. I could even have the fridge restock itself every time you visit, so you won't even have to worry about eating."

This small girl has some issues.

>Accept her deal

>Reject her deal

>Ask her more about herself before you decide

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540890
>Ask her more about herself before you decide
>>
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>>4540898
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zlPtpUZ8uQ

You ask her to tell you a bit about herself, to which she giggles.

"Me? I'm nobody too important, just one of many powerful beings that inhabit this little slice of reality. I've taken this particular form for a few reasons, the main one being that I just like how I look."

She does a little twirl.

"If you want a name, you can call me Darkness. I know, I know, it's not a super creative name, but it's the closest word to my true name. We can't all be Nyarlathoteps and Cthulus."

She shrugs.

>Accept her deal

>Reject her deal

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540910
>Accept her deal
>>
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>>4540960
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pZV3UPmXI4

You decide to accept her deal, since watching your friends gut themselves doesn't sound like an entirely pleasant experience. Darkness(?) claps her hands together and smiles.

"Great! I won't beat around the bush, I want you to kill my sibling. I'll be giving you a weapon that can get the job done, be sure to use it the second that you get close to them."

You ask why she needs you to do this, and not one of your companions.

"Because you're the most agreeable one in your team. And if you're wondering why I won't do this myself, it's because they'd expect it. This sibling of mine sorta kinda hates my guts, so they'll never let me in close. Remember when you met my other sibling in the cave earlier? Both he and the other one (your target) enjoy interacting with humans, so you'll definitely have a chance."

She summons a ring with a green gem embedded in it onto your left hand's middle finger.

"Just tap them with that, and they'll get sucked in. The pocket dimension in the ring will crush them once they're inside. I'll also strengthen the ring that my brother gave you earlier, so that you'll be able to think clearly when you're around them."

Darkness lets out a relieved sigh.

"Well then, that's enough exposition for one night. Feel free to hang around until you're feeling ready to continue your journey, just leave out the front door when you want to wake up. Oh, and the next hole is to the east...watch out for snakes!"

And with that, she disappears. That was a lot to take in, though you feel like you got the gist of it: tap her sibling with the ring that she gave you. She didn't really tell you who her other sibling was or how they looked, but you can probably figure it out.

>Leave

>Check out the attic

>Check out the basement

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4540973
>Check out the attic
>>
>>4540973
How will I recognize your sibling?
>>
>>4540973
>Check out the attic
>>
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>>4541000
You call out, asking how you'll recognize her sibling...no answer. You notice a sticky note on the fridge, and wander over to check what it says.

"HE'S REALLY BIG AND SCARY"

Helpful.

>>4540998
>>4541021
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD4E_YsZ2-A

Seems as though you have time to explore, so you decide to check out the attic. The hatch leading up had a small string attached to it, which you pulled to reveal a small set of stairs. The attic is surprisingly clean, though it is full of several different magical-looking items. The most noticeable thing in the room is a mannequin at the other side of the room...it has a disturbingly human-looking face...is it looking at you?

>Examine the mannequin closer

>Check out the other things in the attic, maybe there's something useful

>Leave the attic and check out the basement

>Leave the attic and leave the house/wake up

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541329
>wave and give a polite greeting to the mannequin, even if it’s not alive that’s no reason to be rude
>>
>>4541332
this and
>Check out the other things in the attic, maybe there's something useful
>>
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>>4541332
>>4541336
You wave at the mannequin and say "good evening." Of course, the mannequin doesn't reply, but at least you were polite. You glance around the room to see if anything else of note was stored in the room, though all you find are several locked chests, and a dresser with some old clothing in it. Looking around one more time, you notice that the mannequin had disappeared.

>Search the room for the mannequin

>Search the room, but not for the mannequin

>Leave the attic and check out the basement

>Leave the attic and leave the house/wake up

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541338
>Leave the attic and check out the basement
>>
>>4541338
>Leave the attic and check out the basement
They are probably just shy and will come out when they feel like it
>>
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>>4541339
>>4541341
With nothing else to investigate up top, you make your way down to the basement. On the way down, you feel as though you're being watched, though you can't find anyone or anything around you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uJxP_xNFnM

The basement area seems to be a large bar, complete with bottles of booze lining the walls, and a bartender. Upon noticing you, the bartender gives you a smile.

"Greetings! Welcome to the basement. I am a servant of darkness, you can either call me Mask or Trevor. The first is a name that my master gave me, and the second is the original name of this body. Feel free to take a seat."

Motions to the bar stools.

>Take a seat, maybe get a drink (write-in)

>Chat with Trevor(?) from afar, you can never be too careful

>Take your leave, and head out of the house

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541355
>Take a seat, maybe get a drink
>ask for nonalcoholic, maybe a soda. Woudn’t be good to get drunk during our quest at least not without our other party members.
>have some nice small talk with the bartender
>>
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>>4541361
Might as well get a drink while you're here, having a drink in an alternate dimension could be an interesting experience. You sit on the stool closest to Trevor and ask for a soda. Not changing his facial expression once, he gives you a thumbs up.

"Wonderful choice, sir! I will have that out in a moment."

Instead of just grabbing a glass and pouring soda into it, Trevor grabs several different drinks and begins pouring and mixing them into a glass. You can swear that you saw him grow an extra arm or two for a second there, though you get no time to ruminate on that, as Trevor plops a glass full of some blood-red soda in it onto the counter.

"Will that be all, sir?"

You nod, and examine the drink that you had just been served; it smells really nice and doesn't seem dangerous. Shrugging, you take a sip. Not bad. You chat with Trevor for a while, taking swigs of your drink from time to time. You learn that Trevor was once human, but he was given eldritch abilities by Darkness. Apparently, he can steal people's bodies, though he promises that he would never do that to someone that didn't deserve it. You also learn that you are, in fact, in another dimension that can normally only be accessed through dreams. You finish your drink, and Trevor takes the glass, washing it out in a nearby sink.

"Will that be all, sir?"

>Maybe one more drink...

>Take your leave, and exit the house

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541382
>Thank him for talking with you and that you hope he has a nice day
>Take your leave, and exit the house
>>
>>4541382
>Take your leave, and exit the house
Let's not get drunk here
>>
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>>4541403
>>4541394
You confirm that that will be all and tell him to have a nice day.

"Have a wonderful day as well, sir. I hope to see you again."

Nice guy. A little weird, but nice. You make your way to the front door of the house, and before you know it, you're awake in your tent.

https://youtu.be/aBkTkxKDduc

Both of the rings that you had been gifted are on your fingers, proving that you hadn't just imagined everything that has happened to you. You walk outside to find everything the way it was before, though Carmen has obviously left to do something. You can hear Jack snoring inside of his tent.

>Go out and look for Carmen

>Wait by the burnt-out fire for Carmen to show up and/or for Jack to wake up

>Wake Jack up

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541427
>Wake Jack up
leaving the guy alone and asleep isn't wise
>>
>>4541427
>Wake Jack up
This is a perfect time to get some training in
>>
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>>4541435
>>4541438
As much as you'd like your partners to be comfortable, you realize that leaving Jack alone while he sleeps isn't a particularly great idea. You yell over at Jack's tent, which causes his snoring to stop. Shortly after, a groggy-looking Jack exits his tent.

"Hrnnng..."

You greet him, and he mumbles a response before sitting down on a log and yawning.

"Where's Carmen?"

You tell him that you don't know, and that she was gone by the time that you woke up.

"Mm. All right. She's *yawn* probably fine."

You ask Jack if he'd be willing to teach you a bit of his fighting style, which causes him to smirk.

"Sure, kid. I'll show you some moves before Carm gets back."

You spend the next hour or so learning Jack's signature fighting technique, though it's not particularly easy to get the hang of. Eventually, you hear some rustling bushes, and Carmen appears with several dead snakes over her shoulder. She seems exhausted.

"The snakes are getting more aggressive. We need to find a way out of here today, I have a very bad feeling about what will happen if we stick around for too lo - "

CRASH!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=optZkNx16dY

You hear something smash through several trees in another part of the forest. Carmen tosses the snakes aside.

"Grab your things, we need to run. I found out where all of the smaller snakes are coming from, and I don't want to face it in a fight."

Wait, SMALLER snakes??? Jack was already gathering up the tents, you grab your things, making sure that everything is still in your backpack.

Remembering the guide that was mentioned earlier, you whip out the old journal and flip through it until you find a page talking about this particular area...oh boy. The white snakes that you had been seeing are the offspring of -

SMASH!!!

...that. A giant, white snake slithers towards your group, hissing loudly. The three of you begin to run, while Carmen updates you on her findings.

"So, *huff* I think that I found the next hole, but it is surrounded by smaller snakes. *phew* I am pretty sure that we *huff* can make it, but we will have to cut through a lot of snakes really quickly."

Jack nods, and you follow suit, the two of you running behind Carmen while the crashing and slithering noises behind you follow your team.

Finally, you make it to a pit filled with white snakes. Jack sighs.

"Well, I guess that this is as good of a time as any..."

He pulls a grenade out of his backpack.

"Stand back! These particular grenades could take out a tank."

You and Carmen stand a ways away while Jack pulls the pin in the grenade and tosses it into the hole. Jack jumps back right before the explosive detonates.

BOOM!!!!!!!!

Blood and pieces of snakes fly up along with smoke from the blast. Jack turns to the two of you and yells at both of you to hurry up.

>Ask Jack if he has any more grenades, and suggest using one on the snake

>Just jump in

>Other

(This choice is really only here because this post is too long)
>>
>>4541467
>Just jump in
no need to stay
>>
>>4541467
>Just jump in
Lets make sure to update our friends on our dream once we’re safe
>>
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Sorry for the delay on this one, I had to pick up food.
>>4541485
>>4541490
With no reason to stick around, you jump into the hole right after Carmen, and...everything goes dark...

...

...

...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zIJ2IfjWJk

You awaken in an old, dusty room. You're lying on top of a bed, and your companions aren't in the room with you. Looking out the window, you see that you are fairly high up, and that you are inside of a large mansion situated on top of a high mountain.

The room isn't anything special. It contains a bed, a dresser with a mirror, and a desk with a chair. Everything in the room looks old, as if it hasn't been used in a very long time. You hear occasional creaking coming from above, below, and around you.

>Leave the room and explore the mansion/search for your friends

>Call out to someone, anyone

>Knock on the door (for some reason)

>Stay put for now

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541605
>Leave the room and explore the mansion/search for your friends
>>
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>>4541627
Well, nothing to do besides search for your pals. However, the second you open the door to leave your room, you're startled a pale woman in a maid outfit standing right in front of you. She speaks before you can process anything.

"Good evening, sir. Please follow me, my master wishes to see you."

That was straightforward.

>Go with her

>Ask her a question

>Refuse to go with her and go off to explore

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541650
>Ask her a question
Who are and who is your master ?
>>
>>4541650
>great her politely
>Go with her
>>4541653
We will find out soon enough anon be patient
>>
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>>4541653
>>4541663
You greet the woman politely and ask the woman who her master is, she cocks her head to the side.

"Do you not recall, sir? My master invited you specifically to attend a feast with him and some business partners. He sent for you in particular, because the two of you are such good friends."

She gives you a small smile. What is this lady talking about? Did her eyes just g - huh? Weird. You shake your head and blink a few times.

You are in a beautiful, extravagant mansion owned by a longtime friend of yours. You look back towards the maid as she leads you through the mansion's great, colorful halls and into the dining room, where a portly bearded man sits at the head of a large table. There are various men and women in fancy attire sitting at the table as well, as well as maids standing around, ready to attend to the needs of the guests. The feast laid out on the table looks wonderful and makes your mouth water a bit. The portly man at the table calls out to you:

"Ah, my friend! Welcome! I hope that the headache that you were recovering from has gotten better."

Your headache? Right, your headache. You reply that it's fine now before sitting down at the table. The man invites you to partake in the feast.

>Eat and have a good time

>Mention that you're having trouble remembering things

>Speak with the man

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541664
>politely great the host, even if he is evil and mind controlling you that is no reason to be rude.
>excuse yourself to go to the bathroom to try and think up a plan and find our teammates
>>
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>>4541680
Remembering your manners, you greet your friend politely. To which he laughs loudly.

"And hello to you, my friend! I am glad to hear that, despite your headache, you are still as friendly and polite as ever."

Polite...right...you begin to ask if you could be excused for a moment, but you feel your friend's eyes on you. Thinking about leaving them hurts your soul.

"Come now, my friend! Eat! Consume! Devour! You won't be able to recover from that headache without some food in your belly!"

The food does look pretty good...

>You're being controlled, try to break free

>Eat. Might as well, since you're here

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541699
>You're being controlled, try to break free
Okay now mind control is just plain rude he could have just asked nicely if he wanted to eat with us
>>
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>>4541725
Closing your eyes and focusing on the ring that you received from Mr. Blackman, you try to break free from whatever spell or curse that's affecting you. Suddenly, all of the music and noise from before stops and you hear a sigh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FloCTHYVPX8

"You're no fun. If you had just eaten, then you would've been fine. Now I'm just grumpy."

The voice is masculine, but young. Opening your eyes and looking over to where the large man was sitting, you see a much younger, much shorter man; the maid from earlier is standing by him, complete unchanged. The entire room is dusty and run down, and on the table...are bits and pieces of other humans. You throw up a bit in your mouth.

>Run

>Collect yourself and ask him something (write-in)

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541746
>reprimand him on his behavior as it was unnecessarily rude, then politely greet him again since this is technically the first time you’re meeting him, even if he eats humans that’s no reason to be rude.
>discreetly make sure the ring darkness gave you is on in case this is ‘that’ sibling
>>
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>>4541776
Both rings are still on your fingers, so you will be fine if this is the sibling that Darkness mentioned. You begin to tell him that it's rude and unnecessary to hypnotize people, but are cut off halfway through your lecture.

"Oh, shut UP! I've had enough of you."

With that, the man hops up onto his chair and jumps at you, revealing fangs. You try to jump out of your chair, but are distracted when you hear a "BANG!" from behind you. The main misses you and crashes, lying down on the floor. Looking around, you finally see the source of the sound: Carmen's rifle. Carmen slings her rifle back over her shoulder and approaches you.

"Where *huff* were you? I couldn't find *huff* you or Jack anywhere..."

It seems like she had been running from something, though she doesn't seem to be in any sort of hurry at the moment. Before you have a chance to answer her, the man's body begins to stand up, and then looks behind it. His eyes are glowing red, and the bullet wound in his forehead is spurting blood everywhere.

"Y-you...urk....I hate you..."

His maid runs over and catches him before he collapses again, and calmly walks out of the room with his arm over her shoulder. Carmen is visibly shaken by this, and it's difficult to know what to think about all of this. Leaving the room is probably a good idea, since there are still human entrails on the table.

>Chase after the maid

>Stay and make sure that Carmen is ok, maybe also ask her about what she went through

>Immediately leave the room to search for Jack with Carmen

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541837
>Immediately leave the room to search for Jack with Carmen
I can’t believe we got a seemingly apathetic vampire to go into a rage because we gave him a stern talking to. Best thing I read all day.
>>
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>>4541869
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5zmJevt-h4

You ask Carmen if she's all right, she nods after a couple of deep breaths. You tell her that you want to find Jack as soon as possible, because he could potentially be in a dangerous situation as well.

"R-right, I will be right behind you."

You exit the dining room into the foyer. Now that you think of it, you really don't know where anything in this house is. You barely even remember the route you took down to the dining room, since you weren't entirely there at the time.

"Pardon me, but do you require any assistance?"

The voice causes you and Carmen to jump. Looking behind you, you spot the strange man's maid walking out of the dining room. She gives a slight bow.

"I apologize if I startled you. I tend to forget that outsiders are not used to places like this."

Her voice is so emotionless that it almost sounds disingenuous when she speaks. Can this woman be trusted?

>Ask for assistance with finding Jack (decide whether or not you want her to physically come with you, or if you just want directions)

>Ask her about the mansion

>Ask her about the strange man

>Ask her about herself

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541891
>politely greet her, even if she possibly works for an evil vampire that is no reason to be rude.
>Ask for assistance with finding Jack (if she just gives directions follow them, if she offers to take you to him follow her but be ready for combat in either scenario)
>>
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>>4541898
You politely greet the maid, and for a brief moment, it looks as though she is smiling. You follow up your greeting with a request to assist you and Carmen with locating Jack. After giving a brief description of Jack, the maid replies.

"Ah, yes. I do believe that there is a gentleman matching that description somewhere around here. Hmm...at the moment, he may be somewhere in the gardens behind the house, perhaps near the graveyard?"

Carmen speaks up.

"I saw an exit to that area earlier, just follow me. Thank you for your assistance..."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnO4rSFl1eI

The maid bows again. In the blink of an eye, Carmen rushes over to the maid and stabs her in the throat with a long knife.

"I recommend looking away. Whether or not this woman is human, she is still a monster. I will explain a bit more once we find Jack."

You turn away as you hear two "THUD" sounds.

"Come on, let's get going."

Making sure not to look at the decapitated body, you follow closely behind Carmen. There was blood all over the front of her jacket, but she didn't seem to mind much.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atMs_zOPW6w

You arrive at the garden, it seems as though it is night time. The garden has a very Shining-esque feeling to it. A large hedge maze stands in the center, and further down the way, you can see a graveyard. The moon, unnaturally large in this dimension, illuminates everything quite nicely, making up for the lack of lights in the garden.

>Investigate the graveyard

>Investigate the hedge maze

>Ask Carmen what she thinks you should do

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541923
>Ask Carmen what she thinks you should do
Seems she got some info about this place while we were being mind controlled let’s have her take the lead.
>>
>>4541923
>Ask Carmen what she thinks you should do
>>
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>>4541926
>>4541937
You inquire with Carmen as to what your next course of action should be. She sighs as she scratches the back of her head.

"That woman said that he might be near the graveyard, let's go there first."

Fair enough. You and Carmen make your way over to the graveyard, only to be stopped by a voice coming from behind you.

"Please be wary, as the graveyard can be quite dangerous around this time of night."

You and Carmen stay completely still, stunned into silence for a few seconds. You slowly turn around, and...she was there. Completely unharmed and clean. Carmen's eyes go wide as she struggles to find words. The maid bows.

"I am a bit exhausted. If you require further assistance, I will be sitting on a bench by the entrance to the garden. I would be more than happy to help."

She wanders away, leaving both you and Carmen stunned and confused. After a few minutes, the two of you regain your composure and continue over to the graveyard...

...which was much larger than you expected. Old, decrepit graves could be seen in between intimidating-looking trees. It was more of a grim-looking forest than a graveyard. Suddenly, you hear a child's voice.

"Hey hey, are you two planning on going into the graveyard? Can I come? I know my way around really well!"

Perched on top of the large, iron bars of the fence surrounding the graveyard sat a little girl. There was no doubt that she was a vampire, as she made no effort to hide her fangs, and a pair of bat-like wings coming from her back.

>Let her come with you

>Don't let her come with you

>Don't let her come with you, but still ask for information on the graveyard

>Ask her something (write-in)

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541949
>Don't let her come with you, but still ask for information on the graveyard
>>
>>4541949
>politely introduce yourself, even if she is a vampire that’s no reason to be rude or racist.
>Let her come with you
I mean she asked nicely
>>
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>>4541951
>>4541956
You initially decide not to let her come with you, telling her as much and asking if there's anything that you would have to look out for in the area (after introducing yourself, of course). The girl pouts and crosses her arms.

"That's mean! You're mean! If you don't let me come with you, then I'm not gonna tell you anything!"

Oh, for the love of...fine. You tell the girl that she can come along if she gives you information on the area. Carmen gives you an annoyed look, but doesn't object. After a "yay!," the girl hops down from the fence, and looks up at you. She's quite short.

"Ok, so you hafta look out for zombies! They pop up sometimes and aren't very friendly, because they're dead, and dead people don't have the capacity for empathy!"

...okay? Not exactly what you were expecting, but you guess that it makes sense.

"Oh, and you have to watch out for the trees, there are weird bug things in them that might jump at you from them. But that's okay! You have me helping you, so I can just smoosh them before they touch either of you!"

So the graveyard is full of bugs and zombies, lovely.

>Ask her something else (write-in)

>Proceed to the graveyard

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4541971
>Proceed to the graveyard
>Don’t let her out of sight
>Engage casual small talk until something happens
Bet she is super old
>>
>>4541971
>Proceed to the graveyard
>>
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>>4541978
>>4541989
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DNoXUnaQ9k

You follow the girl into the graveyard, keeping her within your line of vision at all times. Carmen seems to have the same idea. While you wander around the forest, you are assaulted by the occasional zombie or strange, monstrous insect, which your new companion dispatches with relative ease. She is significantly more dangerous than she lets on, considering her claws can just tear through obstacles.

"This is the place."

The girl stops in front of an old mausoleum and gives you a toothy grin. The doors of the structure had been completely torn off and thrown to either side by something...or someone. Carmen, obviously suspicious of the girl, crosses her arms.

"Do you really expect us to just walk in there? How do we know that this isn't a trap?"

The girl puts a fingers on her chin and looks up, as if thinking.

"That's a good question, lady..."

Carmen audibly growls a bit at being called "lady." The girl continues, ignoring Carmen.

"...hmm...well, I could go in myself and get your friend out if you want, though you'll be unprotected while I do that. Alternatively, one or both of you could come down with me to make sure that I don't pull anything weird!"

She gives the two of you a pleased smile...but something seems off. You can't exactly put your finger on what it is though.

>Call the girl out

>Decide to go down with her (pick just you, you and Carmen, or just Carmen)

>Wait for her up top

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4542003
>Call the girl out
Hold up
>>
>>4542003

>Call the girl out
"Don't screw with me. I asked you to tell me why we should trust you."
>>
>>4542003
>Call the girl out
>prepare to give her a stern talking to about trust and politeness
>>
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>>4542138
>>4542254
>>4542259
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcMDlgdnZPI

That's right, you never told her why you were going into the graveyard in the first place.You figured that she would just follow you, but you ended up following her without realizing it. Holding off on calling her out right away, you demand to know why you should trust her. She gives you a smirk.

"I never said that you had to, mister. I'd say that I'm worth trusting though, considering I could have easily killed the two of you this entire time. You saw how quickly I dispatched most of the things that attacked us."

That's...true, but she's still being extremely suspicious. You finally bring up the fact that she knew about your friend, despite never being told about him. She suddenly looks shocked.

"Oh! Whoops! Looks like I wasn't supposed to know that yet, huh?"

She laughs nervously while scratching the back of her head. You see Carmen reaching for her rifle.

>Stop Carmen from doing anything rash and question the girl further (write-in if you want to ask her something specific)

>Accept that she probably won't end up killing you and move on

>Let Carmen do what she wants to

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4542614
>Stop Carmen from doing anything rash and question the girl further
>reprimand her on her behavior of keeping needless secrets
>ask her why she brought us here or why would/did she help us

If she was going to kill us I don’t doubt she would have already tried and not lead us to a random place.
>>
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>>4542629
You put your arm out in front of Carmen. Despite giving an annoyed grumble, Carmen stood down, leaning against a nearby tree with her arms crossed. You begin to reprimand the girl, telling her the importance of trust and how it relates to being truthful, before she raises a hand to tell you to stop. Frowning, she sighs and rolls her eyes.

"You're no fun. Fine, the truth is that I've been following you for a while now. I didn't originally want to assist you, but you basically won me over when your friend blasted a hole into my cousin's forehead. That was hilarious! I had never seen him get caught off guard like that."

So she hasn't been planning on killing or betraying you. That's good. You follow up with asking why she decided to help you.

"Oh, that's easy! I want to go wherever you guys are going. Things are so BORING over here at the mansion! All my cousin wants to do is bully and feed on humans, and that gets incredibly dull after a century or two."

...a century? This girl is a lot older than she looks. At least she seems like she genuinely wants to help.

>Accept her as a party member and move on (you can decide whether or not you want her to be temporary)

>Question her further

>Let Carmen do what she had originally planned

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4542649
>Accept her as a party member and move on (until she decides to leave it’s her choice after all)
>Ask her if she can eat things that aren’t human
Called it! After dealing with quarantine I can sympathize with someone being super bored after staying in one place for a long period of time.
>>
>>4542649
>Accept her as a party member and move on (you can decide whether or not you want her to be temporary)
let's decide at the end of our quest
>>
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>>4542654
>>4542679
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uSCo69Sj0A

You shrug and tell her that she's welcome to come with you for as long as she'd like, so long as she can eat things that aren't human. You hear Carmen mutter something, but you can't make anything out beyond the word "mosquitoes." The vampire smiles.

"Yeah, no problem! I can drink the blood of basically anything, and I have a stash back in my room that I can pick up once we've found your friend. I don't even have to feed often, I just need to consume a bit every week. Even then, I won't just disappear if I don't eat anything. I can last a while without feeding, but I will grow much, much weaker."

Good to know. With that out of the way, you suggest continuing into the mausoleum, to which Carmen grunts in agreement. Before heading in, the vampire pulls yours sleeve.

"By the way, my name is Remilia. Feel free to call me 'Rem' or 'Remi' if that's easier!"

Good to know. With that, the three of you head inside. The main room is small and empty, all that is really there is a spiral staircase heading down. The three of you walk down, making small talk on the way...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cUHflBUJEU

Eventually, you arrive at a long, dark tunnel illuminated by torches. Remilia walks ahead a bit.

"Stay close to me, okay? There are really weird things that live down here, and a lot of them aren't really friendly."

You and Carmen nod, following closely. Along the way, you occasionally see something vaguely humanoid out of the corner of your eye, but actually looking that way reveals that it's nothing. Still, you feel like something is watching you...

...

"Haha..."

Huh? You stop and look around, finally noticing that all of the torches behind the three of you had been going out once you were far away enough not to notice. Remilia and Carmen notice you stopping, and look back to see the same thing. You ask if either of them laughed, to which both silently shake their heads.

"Heheheh..."

Remilia looks a bit perturbed.

"W-we should continue. I don't know what's going on, but we don't have too much further to go before we get to where I think your friend is."

Continuing on, you hear laughter from time to time, though you can't quite tell where it's coming from. The thing hiding in the corner of your eye has gotten bolder, sticking around for a second longer when you turn to look in its direction. It seems to be a shadowy humanoid figure with glowing, white eyes.

>Confront the strange shadow being

>Hurry on

>Ask Remilia if there's anything that she can do about it and/or if she knows anything about it

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4542680
>wave and give a polite smile and greeting, even if it is a shadow monster that is no reason to be rude.
Then
>Hurry on
>>
>>4542687
+1
>>
>>4542680

>Ask Remilia if there's anything that she can do about it and/or if she knows anything about it
>>
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>>4542687
You nervously look behind you and wave, bidding whatever is following you good evening.

...the laughter stops.

...

"Hello to you, too."

The voice emanates from directly by your ear, causing you to jump back. Looking over, you see that there was nothing there. The laughing starts back up, and you finally see something in the darkness behind you...a glowing white smile with a pair of circles right above it. You barely have time to process any of this before tendrils shoot out of the shadows towards you. Fortunately, Remi is fast enough to slice them with her claws, but even more appear in their place, shooting at her this time. After stopping the second wave, Remilia picks you up over her shoulder and begins to run, with Carmen following suit.

>>4542717
While being carried by her, you ask Remilia if she can deal with or knows anything about the thing in the shadows.

"N-no! This is the first time that I've ever encountered it! I wasn't expecting something like that to be hiding down here!"

The laughing grows louder, and torches begin to go out closer to you. After a bit more running, you finally see a wall with a door in front of you. Remilia slams it open, and immediately shuts it once Carmen gets inside. The three of you collapse to the ground, catching your breath. When suddenly...

"You really kept me waiting, huh?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlw9ao9XSEE

Finally taking a look around the room, you realize that it's fairly well-lit by...a lamp? Strange, there wasn't really any sort of technology like that in or around the mansion. Ignoring that for the time being, you look for the source of the voice to find Jack sitting against a wall, smoking a cigar. Having recovered from almost being dragged into the shadows by that thing, you ask Remilia again if she knows anything at all about that thing.

"*huff* W-well, I *oof* remember my f-father mentioning something like that once, *huff* but I thought that it was just a fairy tale!"

Jack tosses his cigar to the ground and puts it out by stepping on it before walking over to the three of you.

"Fairy tale?"

Remi nods, too out of breath to respond for now. Weird, you figured that vampires wouldn't really need to breathe. Carmen pulls herself up, finally composing herself.

"I wonder why *huff* it did not follow us in here..."

Jack nods, when you suddenly hear another man's voice come from somewhere else in the room.

"It abhors light. That thing is a demon created by the darkness in the hearts of men, it is far too dangerous for anybody to challenge on their own."

An extremely tall, pale man wanders over to your group. Remilia gasps.

"Daddy!"

Uh...cool.

>Ask the big man some questions (write-in)

>Ask Remilia some questions (write-in)

>Ask Jack some questions (write-in)

>Ask Carmen some questions (write-in)

>Move on without asking anything

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4542739
>politely greet the new man
>ask him to elaborate on the situation
>fill your team in on your dream and the ring
>>
>>4542745
Using new wifi this is still uW7
>>
>>4542745
+1
ask him who created the demon ?
>>
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>>4542745
>>4542770
You politely greet the new man, to which you receive a surprised (but pleased):

"Ah, well, hello to you too. My name is Vlad, and I am Remilia's father."

Oh boy, it's fucking Dracula. You follow up by asking him to elaborate a bit on why Jack and him are in this place, and why the shadow demon is here/why they haven't killed it yet.

"Your friend Sna - er, Jack actually fell right into my study, which is connected to both this room and the mansion. We have spent much of this time speaking with one another. As for the demon, I do not know why it is here. That thing tends to keep to itself, slaughtering innocents in a nearby city. I have not yet dealt with it because, until you ran in here and explained the situation, I was unaware of its presence in the catacombs."

You follow up by asking about the origin of the demon.

"That...I am not sure of. While I am aware that it is a construct made of pure evil and dark energy, I do not know where it was born or who (if anyone) brought about its birth."

That all makes sense. You thank him for the information, and then turn to Jack and Carmen. Since the three of you are finally together again, you decide to explain the dream that you had, and the ring that you were given. Vlad speaks up:

"Pardon me, but I believe that you may have had a run-in with a being that I am familiar with. The Darkness, also known as Magnum Tenebrosum, is a being from another plane of existence. Admittedly, I know very little about it compared to its siblings, one of which I have personally met. I believe that you may have to just do what it desires of you, though that should be a non-issue if all it needs is for you, as Magnum Innominandum is fairly amicable. You will have several opportunities to imprison it."

He goes on to tell you that it is also known as "The Nameless Mist," and (after being told about him) the being that you had met in the caves was known as Nyarlathotep, a sibling of the other two.

>Ask Remilia some questions (write-in)

>Ask Jack some questions (write-in)

>Ask Carmen some questions (write-in)

>Move on

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4542784
>Ask Jack some questions (write-in)
was he born a vampire or did he become one ? is rem mother around ?
>>
>>4542798
>Ask Remilia some questions (write-in)
meant to ask Remilia, sorry
>>
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>>4542799
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c55RF62YZgI

You ask Remilia if she was born a vampire or if she became one.

"I was obviously born a vampire. How else are vampires ma - "

Vlad cuts her off.

"Vampires in this world are generally born from other vampires, and stop aging sometime in their young adult years."

Remilia sticks her tongue out at Vlad and continues.

"I didn't know my parents, and my father actually adopted me, so I don't know if both or just one of my parents were vampires."

Vlad nods solemnly.

"Indeed. The two of us actually come from separate universes, though I believe that she stumbled upon this one, while I deliberately came here, as it is eternally nighttime within this part of the world."

Makes sense. Carmen crosses her arms and taps her foot impatiently.


>Ask Jack some questions (write-in)

>Ask Carmen some questions (write-in)

>Move on

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4542812
>Move on
>>
>>4542812

>Other (write-in)
Ask Remilia, "Do you like Rem or Emilia more? Choose wisely."

>Ask Carmen some questions (write-in)
*Whispers in her ear* What was going on earlier? Why couldn't you trust Remilia? What was all that about 'mosquitoes?'
>>
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>>4542822
You ask Remilia whether she prefers to be called Rem or Emilia.

"Er...Rem, I suppose."

Good to know. You then confront Carmen about her distrust of Remilia, she takes you aside, out of earshot of the others.

"In my world, vampires are creatures that exist. They are untrustworthy parasites that took advantage of the humans' war to capture stray humans and effectively reduce them to cattle."

That explains quite a bit. You ask her what she thinks about Remilia now (and also Vlad).

"I...do not think that they are evil. I am unaware as to whether or not they are controlling my mind to make me believe this or not, but I feel like we can trust them for the time being."

You thank her for sharing with you and let her know that you'll keep what she told you a secret.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOgvKQ38XKw

With that out of the way, you tell the others that you feel like it's time to move on. Everybody seems to be agree with you, and Vlad leads your group through his study (warning you not to touch anything) and into the foyer of the mansion. The maid is standing in the middle of the room, and then turns to your group.

"Welcome back, Master. Your presence in the mansion is uncommon, have you perhaps come to lead your guests to their next destination?"

Vlad nods.

"Yes indeed, though we do not require an escort. Feel free to tend to my nephew."

The woman smiles a bit and nods, before leaving with an "as you wish." Vlad leads your group through the dining room, incinerating the gore on the table with a snap, and into a back room. There, on the floor, lies a glowing portal. Vlad turns to your group and sighs.

"Well, here we are. I am aware that Remilia wishes to accompany you on your journey, and am more than willing to allow it."

You hear a knock at the door before the maid enters with a backpack. Remilia runs over and takes it from her before tossing it on and thanking her. Well, it seems like it's time to move on. You thank Vlad for his hospitality.

>Ask Vlad something before moving on (write-in)

>Ask someone else something before moving on (write-in)

>Jump into the portal

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4542838
>Jump into the portal
>>
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>>4542838
QM likes Rem more confirmed.

>Ask someone else something before moving on (write-in)
"Sna?"


>Ask Vlad something before moving on (write-in)
Do you know anything about what's on the other side of the portal, or anything about a girl named Vera?

Then...

>Jump into the portal
>>
>>4542838
>>4542866
"Sna?" was directed at Jack, by the way.
>>
>>4539304
So if the Blackman is Nyarlathotep, is Darkness actually Shub Niggurath? That just occured to me
>>
OP here. I've changed locations for a little while, so I might have a different ID.
>>4542898
You're close. Shub Niggurath is actually the offspring of The Darkness. The Darkness (AKA Magnum Tenebrosum), The Nameless Mist (AKA Magnum Innominandum or N'yog-Sothep), and Nyarlathotep are all siblings birthed by Azathoth.

I'll type up the next part in a moment, sorry for the wait.
>>
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>>4542849
>>4542866
>>4542868
Before hopping into the portal, you ask Jack about what Vlad had almost called him earlier.

"Uh...it's a long story, I'll tell you some other time, kid."

You shrug, and look over at Vlad. You're not sure why exactly, but you suddenly thought about Vera. You ask Vlad if he knows a girl named Vera. He raises an eyebrow.

"No, I cannot say that I do."

Oh well. You thank Vlad and his maid for their assistance, and jump through the portal...

...

...

...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkRWICmxcPE

It's cold! You land in the middle of a large, snowy field. Huge, snow-covered mountains can be seen in the distance, and snow is calmly falling from the sky. You're entranced by the wintery wonderland for a second or two before you hear a loud sneeze.

"A-choo!!! Ugh, I can't stand the cold."

Jack and the others had landed right behind you, and Jack was already shivering. Remilia and Carmen seem to be fine though, you assume that it is because Remilia is a vampire and because Carmen is wearing a large coat (and she's apparently used to the snow, judging by how calmly she's looking around). Jack fishes a coat out of his backpack and tosses it in, while Carmen wanders around, surveying the area. Remilia turns to you with an inquisitive look on her face.

"Are you bothered by the cold? I assume that most humans are, but you and the lady over there don't seem to be taking this so badly."

>Suddenly realize that it's cold, and you actually can't handle it

>Tell her that you're from a cold place, so this is nothing to you

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4543030
>Tell her that you're from a cold place, so this is fine to you
With all the elderich horrors bet MC is from New England
>>
>>4543030

>Other (write-in)
Adjust to the cold because you're a badass
>>
>>4543030
>>Tell her that you're from a cold place, so this is nothing to you
>>
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>>4543075
>>4543050
>>4543042
You shrug and give Remi a smirk, telling her that you're used to this kind of weather. Remilia almost looks impressed and starts to say something, before she's cut off by an extremely loud rumbling. Carmen begins looking around, frantically trying to find the source of the rumbling before you all notice that the ground is beginning to rise. Remilia begins flying away as quickly as she can, while the rest of you run after her. Looking back, you see a gargantuan creature rise from the snow. It looks like a turtle, with claws that look like they'd fit better on a more dangerous reptile, and tusks coming from its bottom jaw. As soon as it breaks free of the snow, it roars. The sound of the roar is deafening, enough to force everyone in your party to cover their ears in pain.

>RUN!!!

>Stick around and observe it, maybe it didn't see you

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4543127
>Stick around and observe it, maybe it didn't see you

Maybe it's a fren
>>
>>4543127
>Stick around and observe it, maybe it didn't see you
Running away because of how something looks is rather rude
>>
>>4543135
+1
why not ?
>>
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>>4543135
>>4543141
>>4543142
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjHYIT4JctE

You and your team hide behind some stones, just in case the turtle thing is unfriendly. The monster looks around for a bit before noticing something...a hawk flying above it. It stares at the bird for a few seconds before opening its mouth and blasting it with a beam of energy, vaporizing it completely. Remilia tugs on your sleeve.

"I think that we should go before we meet the same fate as that bird."

The turtle monster begins walking out, further into the snowy wastes. Its steps cause small earthquakes.

>Follow the thing for some reason or other (write-in if you want)

>Head in the opposite direction, towards some nearby mountains

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4543150
>Head in the opposite direction, towards some nearby mountains
>>
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>>4543171
You quickly agree with Remilia, and the four of you begin making your way to the mountain, making small talk along the way once you feel like you're out of earshot of the turtle monster.

...

Eventually, you make it to the mountains. You see a road, the kind that cars drive on, though much of it is destroyed and/or covered with snow. You also notice a few telephone poles in various states of disrepair. It seems as though you may be in a slightly more advanced universe than the three from before. Jack, who had been surveying the area (and shivering like crazy), finally speaks up.

"Looks like this road leads into a cave, maybe that'll lead us to civilization."

Looks like you have a few choices for getting around the mountain.

>Take the long way around the mountain

>Go through the tunnel to the other side of the mountain

>Take the VERY long way and climb the mountain

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4543193
>Take the long way around the mountain
I don’t really want to be going into another tunnel anytime soon
>>
>>4543193
>Take the long way around the mountain
>>
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>>4543198
>>4543232
You convince the group to take the long way around the mountain, rather than a slightly riskier path...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAUQvP_U5ww

...and before you know it, the sky has gone dark. Things have also gotten much colder, so the group mutually agrees that now would be a good time to set up camp. Jack manages to capture and prepare a few rabbits, letting Remilia drain them of their blood to sustain her. You and Carmen have a hard time collecting firewood, as there aren't really any trees in the area. You end up having to scrounge around broken telephone poles for small enough chunks of wood, good thing these weren't made of metal. Eventually, you have a camp set up, and the original three members of your group (this includes you) are eating cooked rabbit while chatting amongst yourselves. Looks like you have time to ask some questions before bed.

>Chat with Jack (write-in)

>Chat with Carmen (write-in)

>Chat with Remilia (write-in)

>Go to bed

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4543259
>Chat with Remilia (write-in)
did you manage to see something else besides that giant turtle ?
>>
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>>4543271
You ask Remilia whether or not she managed to see something other than the giant turtle. She shakes her head.

"I think that I may have been a little too afraid of it. Vampires can take a lot punishment, but getting vaporized like that will even kill my dad!"

Duly noted. You check with Carmen and Jack as well: the former hadn't seen anything else, and the latter was too cold to worry about that at the time.

>Chat with Jack (write-in)

>Chat with Carmen (write-in)

>Chat with Remilia (write-in)

>Go to bed

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4543300
>Go to bed
>>
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>>4543316
Deciding not to really ask any other big-ish questions tonight, you tell the others that you want to sleep. Exhausted from everything that had happened since they woke up, Jack and Carmen also decided that they would sleep. You realize that Remilia doesn't have a tent and ask if she would like to share with someone, to which she shakes her head.

"I don't really need to sleep as often as you, so I can just stand guard tonight. I'll wake you up if we have to move."

Good idea. With that, you enter your tent, bundle up, and go to sleep...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeEBVtsqej0

...and you find yourself sitting at a bar. This dream is a bit stranger than the last couple of dreams, considering that the bar has several patrons, all of which have some sort of robotic enhancements, and you seem to be wearing a three-piece suit.

"We meet again. Nice to see you in good health, my friend."

A voice causes you to look to your side, and you're surprised when you see a fairly normal-looking woman in a suit addressing you. She takes a sip of her drink before speaking to you again.

"I almost forgot that I'm in a different form than the one from when we first met! Sorry about that, pal! I guess that I should reintroduce myself, since Mr. Blackwell isn't really a woman's name."

Ah, it's him...or uh, her now.

"The name by which humans tend to refer to me is Nyarlathotep. If that's a bit of a mouthful, you are more than free to shorten it any way that you would like, my friend."

As she takes another sip of her drink, you ask why you're here...and in a suit.

"Oh right, I wanted to talk to you about something important. So, there is a particular magical item that I need (you'll know what it is when you see it), but it is blocked off by a magical barrier erected by the inhabitants of the particular dimension in which it is stored. That barrier prevents beings like me from accessing the item within, but humans are completely unaffected by it. You see where I'm going with this, right? I want you to nab that item for me. It is located in the area after the one that you're currently in. Once you have it, take it to this bar (which is a couple of layers past the one containing the item), and find me. I will reward you with a different magical item that could prove helpful to you, and I will answer three questions completely one-hundred percent honestly. I'm pretty smart, you know."

After chuckling to herself, and taking another sip, she continues.

"In fact, if you accept the deal, I'll answer one of the three questions right now. Oh, right, I almost forgot to mention that, despite being obtainable, the magical item that I want is in kind of a dangerous place. I have faith that you can get it, though! Don't worry too much about denying my request, I'm not as cruel as my sibling; I'll just find someone else to help me out if you don't want to."

Looks like you have another deal to make.

>Accept the deal and ask a question

>Deny the deal

>Other
>>
>>4543370
>>Accept the deal and ask a question
How are you and your siblings connected to this hole?
>>
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>>4543380
You accept the deal and ask about how this hole/alternate dimension tunnel is related to them.

"Well, first off, thank you for accepting. Second, that's a good question. This collection of alternate realities is actually pretty closely intertwined with our own. In fact, the borders between the two tend to clash from time to time, causing problems in other dimensions, one of which is dragging people from those dimensions into this collection of worlds. Beyond that, a few of our relatives have taken up residence within these alternate realities; for example, the layer that you are currently in is run by my niece, Shub-Niggurath. She has a habit of just casually spawning giant, city-destroying monsters, so that area is full of them as well as some smaller monsters and demons. How's that for an answer?"

Nyarlathotep seems to really enjoy talking, maybe you could trick her into sharing a bit more information.

>Attempt to get her to explain something else (write-in)

>Thank her for the information, and spend whatever time you have left here at the bar

>Ask her if it's ok to walk out of the bar, since this is a dream

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4543389
>Attempt to get her to explain something else (write-in)
What about Vera? Is she related to you guys at all, or do you know anything about her?
>>
>>4543446
+1
>>
>>4543389
Isn't this the guy we are supposed to use the ring on?
>>
>>4543771
No this is the guy we met earlier
>>
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>>4543446
You ask Nyarlathotep about Vera, and if she knows anything about her. She gives you a slightly confused look.

"Vera? I don't think that I've heard the name. Where did you meet her?"

You mention that you met her in the first place that you woke up, causing Nyar to cock her head to the side.

"Are you sure that Vera's her name? I know the name of everybody in the first few layers, since I've wandered through there disguised as a human for a bit."

You give her a description, and she just shrugs and shakes her head.

"I know absolutely nobody like that. Contrary to popular opinion, we interdimensional beings have the capacity to remember humans' faces."

Strange. So maybe Vera wasn't entirely what she seemed to be...

"Anyway, that answer will be a freebie from me. For now, feel free to order whatever and I will put it on my tab. Remember to meet me here when you get down to this layer, regardless of whether or not you find the item."

You nod.

>Order something

>Talk to the bartender

>Ask Nyarlathotep something else (write-in)

>Leave/Wake up

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4543861
>Talk to the bartender
>>
>>4543861
>politely introduce ourself
Then
>Talk to the bartender
>>
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>>4543904
>>4543896
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69sfcClRGgI

You turn your attention to the bartender, who seems to be attempting to avoid eye contact. You attempt to get her attention by politely introducing yourself, to which you get an annoyed sigh.

"Need something?"

...you didn't think this far ahead. Picking up on the awkward introduction, Nyarlathotep quickly joins in the conversation and orders you a cobalt velvet. The bartender hands you a blue drink, taking a sip burns your throat a bit, seems like you aren't entirely asleep. Maybe Nyarlathotep just teleported your entire body here?

>Attempt to continue to engage the bartender (write-in)

>Finish your drink and leave/wake up

>Don't finish your drink and leave/wake up

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4543912
>Have some small talk
While also
>Finish your drink and leave/wake up
>>
>>4543922
With Nylar I mean
>>
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>>4543922
>>4543924
You and Nyarlathotep make small talk as you finish your drink. You learned that Shub-Niggurath cannot be reasoned with and is incredibly dangerous, and that The Nameless Mist (the being that Darkness wants you to kill) is located within the layer after the next one.

You finally finish your drink, and ask Nyarlathotep to wake you up.

"No problem, friend. I look forward to seeing you again soon."

...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTDRUbzzaAw

You open your eyes. It still seems dark outside, though that might just be because the sun is constantly covered up by the clouds in this snowy world. Exiting your tent, you see Remilia slowly tearing up the remains a car. She notices you and smiles.

"Good morning! I decided to look around the camp, and I found this! It was already pretty badly broken by the time that I came across it, so I decided to see if there was anything of use inside."

Uh-huh...you hear rustling coming from Jack's tent, and eventually see him pop out, still fairly groggy.

"Hrnnmgn...g'mornin'."

You greet him and wander over to the remains of the fire. Remilia seems to have set a few chairs from the car around the fire, so you plop down on one to wait for Carmen. She eventually exits her tent as well, looking significantly less groggy than Jack.

>Talk to everybody, maybe tell them about your "dream" (write-in)

>Keep moving on, you can tell them later

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4543939
>inform everyone about your dream and all the information you learned
>Continue to move on if no one has any questions or comments on it
I would like to train with Jack but he doesn’t seem to handle the cold environment well.
>>
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>>4543952
You tell everybody about what you figured out, seems like everybody seems to agree that getting that item would be helpful, so everybody agrees to keep an eye out for it. Jack chuckles.

"These demon space things don't really like to do the heavy lifting themselves, huh?"

Guess not. Anyway, your group packs up the tents and continues moving...and then you see it: a city in ruins, filled with all sorts of bizarre monsters; the monsters' sizes range from human-sized to absolutely enormous, like the turtle monster from earlier. At the center is a large, fleshy, black growth covered in mouths and tentacles. Something tells you that the black fleshy thing may be Shub-Niggurath.

Bzz...

The ring that Nyarlathotep gave you starts to vibrate intensely, almost making the finger on which you placed it numb. Strange, it's never done that before. Maybe Nyar messed with something while you were asleep. You mention this to the group, and none of them have any idea as to what it could mean. Carmen suggests that it might be sensing the next hole.

>Venture into the city by walking down the path that you've been following

>Enter the city through a different way, considering that the path that you're on seems like a major road, and that might mean more trouble

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4544001
>have Jack take point and let him lead us into the city stealthily
>>
>>4544001
>>4544012
+1
>>
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>>4544012
You ask Jack if he could lead you in without being noticed, which causes him to chuckle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38OrYAAYISk

"Stealth is my specialty. Just stick behind me, kid."

With that, he quickly looks around before leading your group to a manhole.

"Let's get in through here...it shouldn't smell too bad."

He hops in after everybody else has made their way into the sewers. Fortunately, it really doesn't smell all that bad, maybe because the city has been abandoned for a very long time. Regardless, the four of you begin wandering down into the heart of the city, following the vibration of your ring due to it being the only real lead that you have for finding the hole...

...suddenly, you hear a noise. It sounds like scuttling. Jack puts a finger over his mouth in an attempt to tell the group to stay silent, as he peeks around a corner. He turns back, sighing silently.

"Rem, I need you to take care of some things for me. There are about five bug-like creatures hanging out around the corner. They don't seem terribly dangerous, but I feel like you'd be able to take care of them faster and easier than we could."

Remilia nods silently and sneaks over next to Jack, before quickly assaulting the monsters. You hear some slicing and squishing noises. Eventually, Remilia comes back, completely unharmed.

"They were pushovers. Who's next?"

SMASH!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrS9EyWYzxA

As if to answer Remilia's question, the ceiling near where you are caves in, a rather large monster had been knocked through it by something. As it gets up, it notices your group and begins growling. Remilia summons a red magical spear out of thin air.

"Leave this to me...er, though I would appreciate some backup."

Carmen nods and aims her rifle at the thing before it charges straight at your group, only to be stopped by Remilia's lance. It slices into the beast as it screams loudly in pain, retreating just a bit while keeping up an aggressive stance and forcing Carmen, Jack, and you to cover your ears in pain. Carmen looks back at you and Jack.

"Go look for the exit! This thing might have friends, and we will need an escape route if they overwhelm us!"

You look behind you and see that the sewers lead in two directions from here.

>Left

>Right

>Offer to help fight the monster

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4544076
>point our ring at each entrance and follow the one where it shakes the most
>>
>>4544093
+1
>>
>>4544076
>>4544093
+1
This anon is a genius.
>>
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Sorry for the slow updates, today's been pretty busy for me.
>>4544093
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZKWx6JcDII

Attempting to figure out which way to go, you point your ring in both directions. Pointing to the left path seems to make the ring shake much more violently, so you yell at the girls that you and Jack are going left before running down that way. The path gets more narrow as you go on, but it eventually empties out into a large, circular room with electronic lighting that seems to be fully functional.

"Lights that work? But that can't be..."

Jack seems perplexed by this, and you can't blame him, electricity working in this area is strange, considering the total lack of humans in this universe.

TAP TAP TAP

Tapping sounds, as if someone is walking towards you, are immediately discernible. Where they are coming from isn't entirely apparent, as you can't see anyone anywhere in the room, and the only other ways into the room are three other exits leading to (you assume) different parts of the sewers.

TAP TAP TAP

They're getting closer. Jack pulls out a knife and tells you to stay close...and then you see it: a large humanoid, somewhere around eight feet tall, crouches down to fit through the door across from the one that you entered through before stepping in. Its presence is overwhelming, and the smell emanating from it is awful. It seems to be making a sound that is somewhere in between a moan and a hiss.

>Run back the way you came

>Call out for help

>Let Jack handle it

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4544344
>see if the ring darkness gave you has any effect
>let Jack take the lead but be ready to assist him
>>
>>4544366
+1
>>
>>4544344
>Supporting >>4544366
>>
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>>4544366
You point your ring at the creature, hoping for something to happen...nothing. Shit. You get behind Jack, ready to assist him however you can.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C3bVALdpj8

"OOuuuOUoOOOoooooOOOOooUuuUOoUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!"

The creature screams! Not only does the volume force you and Jack to cover your ears, but the force of the scream somehow knocks you on your ass and forces Jack to take a knee. Still screaming, the monster begins to charge at the two of you, looks like this is the e -

SMASH!

A robed figure lands in between Jack and the monster, and, with only the palm of its hand, knocks the monster into a wall, leaving a bit of a crater before the monster falls onto the ground. Without a word, the cloaked stranger runs at the creature as it begins recovering from the massive hit that it took and, with barely any movement, smashes it through the ground with the palm of its hand. Suddenly, writhing tentacles appear from inside of the stranger's cloak and all begins generating large balls of some sort of energy, before tossing them into the hole created by the monster. The explosions caused the energy balls are deafeningly loud, and cause you to vomit all over the floor. You hear the creature's screams and moans among the explosions, but they disappear entirely once everything ends.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMu3kMxXXVw

The stranger turns, revealing a bandaged face. You also notice that the being lacks legs of any sort, as the tentacles beneath its yellow cloak seem to be what is causing it to move. The strange things makes a sound that sounds like something between a hiss and a sigh before vanishing into thin air...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHau1opn9q0

Despite everything, you managed not to pass out this time, though your strength is basically gone after that bizarre encounter, so you and Jack lean against a wall in the room to catch your breath.

"*huff* *huff* Whew...what do you think that was? *phew*"

Uhhh...

>Tell him you have no clue

>Tell him that you think that you have an idea (write-in)

>Don't answer, you're exhausted!

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4544405
>Tell him you have no clue
>>
>>4544417
You shrug and tell him that you have no clue.

"Figured as much...by the way, he was going to say Snake."

Snake? What? Huh?

"You asked earlier what Dracula was going to call me, right? He was going to call me Snake."

Snake?

"Yeah, it's a long story that I don't feel like telling right now. Let's just say that it's part of a codename."

Fair enough. You decide not to pry further for the time being, since you hear a set of footsteps coming from where you entered. Remilia and Carmen entered the large room, both looking to be in decent condition. Remi looks around the room, and immediately notices the pit in the ground and the large crater on the wall.

"What happened here?"

You and Jack take turns explaining what happened. Carmen sighs.

"I am sorry that we took so long. It is fortunate that whoever you saw seemed to merely want to kill the demon in the room."

Having enough energy to stand, both Jack and you get up. Now, you have another choice.

>Forwards

>Left

>Right

>Back (where you came from)

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4544405
>Tell him you have no clue
>>
>>4544433
>Forwards
>>
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>>4544436
You and your group head straight forwards, the same way that the monster from earlier came in. Along the way, Remilia and Carmen explain what had happened on their end:

Remilia managed to dispatch the monster with relative ease, though she was immediately attacked by a small army of above-average sized insects (which may have been related to the insect monsters that they had killed earlier). Those held them up for a little while, but they destroyed them all in the end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP-IEziP5bo

Finally, you arrive at...the center of town, judging by the giant flesh pillar in the center of the large room that you had just entered. Mouths as long as you are tall open and close noiselessly, and large tentacles move erratically with no regard for the environment around them. You can occasionally see a monstruous arm, leg, head, or other body part push out of the pillar, only to be sucked in...

...this is most definitely Shub-Niggurath, the All-Mother.

>Attempt to move around the flesh pillar, towards wherever your ring leads you

>Attempt to engage Shub-Niggurath in conversation

>Go back and try a different direction

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4544458
>Attempt to move around the flesh pillar, towards wherever your ring leads you
she can't be reasoned with so let's go around
>>
>>4544458
>Attempt to move around the flesh pillar, towards wherever your ring leads you
>>
>>4544458

>Attempt to move around the flesh pillar, towards wherever your ring leads you
>>
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>>4544512
>>4544521
>>4544699
You remember what Nyarlathotep said earlier, and remind your group while also letting them know that forging ahead would probably be the best idea. Carmen sighs and scratches her head.

"Whatever you say, I suppose. Just keep in mind that I do not plan on saving anybody if they are trapped or grabbed by that...thing."

Duly noted. You and your group begin sneaking around Shub, while following the vibrations of your ring. You sometimes have to stop or move out of the way to avoid a stray tendril, or monstrous appendage, but are relatively fine overall. You finally make it to the other side of the room, which is where your ring has led you. You stop walking when you hear a smash and a scream, it seems as though a tentacled destroyed the floor underneath Carmen, and she is now hanging on the a ledge for her life. Saving her would mean risking a similar fate, as the tentacles are unpredictable, but there is absolutely no way to survive a fall into the darkness, where more of the eldritch abomination's body resides.

>Save Carmen yourself, maybe the other two will help

>Command one of your teammates to save Carmen (pick Jack or Remilia)

>Continue ahead. She did say that she wasn't planning on helping you, after all.

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4544938
>ask Jack to stay on guard and ask Rem to save Carmen with your help as she is the strongest in the team
>>
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>>4544943
Asking Jack to keep an eye out, and shout in case anything flies at you or the girls, you and Remilia run over to Carmen and begin helping her out of the hole. Halfway through extracting Carmen, you hear Jack yell "DUCK!" which you promptly do, narrowly missing being smashed against the wall by a tentacle. You finally pull Carmen out of the hole (well, Remilia did most of the work), and begin making your way to the exit, dodging tentacles along the way. You look back at the monster before leaving, only to watch one of its mouths open and reveal an eyeball! It seems to be looking right at you...Jack pulls you back, knocking you out of your mildly entranced state. Finally, you make it to a room with holes in the ceiling, letting in some light from the world outside. The hole seems to be at the end of the room, but it's guarded by a disgusting, fleshy beast with two heads. It seems as though the beast cannot see any of you, so it seems to simply be pacing around the room.

>Try to sneak past it

>Attempt to test what it reacts to by tossing a pebble near it

>Maybe get Remilia to individually carry you over to the portal?

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4544967
>Attempt to test what it reacts to by tossing a pebble near it
>>
>>4544967
>Get Jack to lead Carmen past it because of his stealth abilities
>have Rem carry us across and carry pebbles to throw to the other side of the room if it gets too close to Jack and Carmen
>>
>>4544979
>>4544967
Changing my vote to this
>>
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>>4544979
>>4544981
You ask Jack to lead Carmen past the thing, since stealth is kind of his thing, and you ask Remilia to carry you. Remi gives you a silent thumbs-up as she picks you up, and Jack and Carmen begin sneaking around...

SMASH!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POs1VHw2zQk

A figure breaks in through the ceiling, landing hard next to the creature. As the dust from its entrance clears, you see that it is the yellow-cloaked individual from earlier. The two-headed beast roars and charges at the being, only to be stopped by several tentacles lifting it off of the ground. The monster begins thrashing around, tearing several of the tentacles apart, and effectively breaking free. You might be able to use this as a chance to just run past the thing.

>Run past the fight and into the hole

>Watch the battle play out, you're sure that the cloaked thing will win, and hopefully it might stick around this time

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4544989
>rush directly to the portal so all of you can go in immediately if things go south but don’t go in just yet
>wait for the battle to conclude and see who wins if the beast wins go through the portal if the cloaked man wins and stays wave and politely introduce yourself and see what he has to say
>if the cloaked man turns out to be hostile after introducing yourself go through the portal
>>
>>4544993
>>4544989
+1
>>
>>4544989
>Run past the fight and into the hole
>>
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>>4544993
You make your way to the portal, with occasional defensive assistance from Remilia. Finally making it to the hole, Carmen tells you to hurry up and hop in, as she does so herself. Jack, obviously done with this shit, follows her. Remilia and you stand by each other, watching the fight play out.

The masked figure's tentacles finally seem to have a firm grasp on the monster. You wince as they begin to tear the monster apart limb-from-limb, causing blood to splatter everywhere. Good thing you and Remilia are far away enough to avoid the blood. After tearing the beast up, the cloaked being retracts its tentacles. After standing still for a moment, the figure turns its attention to you and Remi before dashing right at you. It stops right in front of you, and you finally notice that it is an entire head above yours. You stutter a "hello," and Remilia seems stunned into silence by the thing's speed, as it moves its face right in front of yours. After a few seconds of silence, the creature stands back up straight, and enters the hole. You and Remilia run after it...

...

...

...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg0LT7mk1Rg

The dry air immediately hits your face, as you find yourself in the middle of a large desert. Very nearby mountains tower around you, ancient ruins seem to litter the area, and desert flora is plentiful here, though much of it is alien and seems to exist without the need for water (judging by how dry everything looks). Remilia lands next to you, and immediately squeals as she frantically fishes a parasol out of her backpack.

"The last place was so nice, because of the lack of direct sunlight..."

Looking behind you, you notice Carmen and Jack observing the area.

>Talk with Remi (write-in)

>Approach your other friends with Remi and speak with them (write-in)

>Begin walking through the desert

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4545015
>Talk with Remi (ask how the sun will affect her)
>Approach your other friends with Remi and speak with them (tell them the cloaked man went down the hole)
>Begin walking through the desert
Looks like we’re gonna be sweating our ass off as a northerner
>>
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>>4545026
Before approaching your allies, you ask Remi how the sun will affect her.

"O-oh, I suppose that you want to know if it'll make me turn to dust or something, right? Well, don't worry about that! The sun just really hurts my skin, and I burn easily, but I won't die if I lose my parasol."

Good to know. You greet your other friends and run over to them, asking if they saw the cloaked figure. Snake shrugs.

"Nope. We didn't see anybody else come down here."

Weird. Maybe you'll see him again. Anyway, your first priority should probably be either finding that thing for Nyarlathotep, or getting to the next area...alternatively, finding an oasis of some kind. You still have plenty of water to spare, but a place where you can refill your bottles would be helpful. And so, your group wanders through the de -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8boa2GCF7xY

"Hey there, amigos! Do you need help with navigating the Great Desert?"

Turning around, you see...uh....a cactus with a face and a sombrero.

>Greet the strange cactus man, maybe ask him some stuff (write-in)

>Tell the cactus man that you'll be fine, and wander off without him

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4545061
>politely introduce yourself to the cactus man, he seems like a nice fellow.
>ask him about the general area and directions to an oasis (if there is one), the thing nylar wants, and the hole if he knows where it is
>>
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>>4545078
You introduce yourself to the cactus man, and ask him if it would be ok to ask him some questions about the Great Desert.

"Nice to meet you too, amigo! My name is Cactonio, of the Cactus Tribe. Feel free to ask me anything! I can very easily guide you around the area."

First off, you ask for details on the area that you're in.

"This is the Great Desert! It's a vast, expansive desert full of treasure, fun, and danger...but mostly fun! Several dangerous beasts roam these parts, though many of them only ever come out at night, and several don't even bother things smaller than me!"

He's a pretty big guy, so you feel a bit more safe, knowing that some of the large monsters won't even bother with you. You follow up by asking about where you can find an oasis.

"Oh, don't worry much about that, amigo! Oases are located all around the area! And if there isn't one for a while, the jar on my back contains water as well, so you'll never die of thirst around me!"

You thank him for the offer, and then follow up with explaining why you're in the area and what your goals are.

"Hmmm...an ancient artifact? I believe that there may be one or two still locked in some of the nearby ruins. If you need help with those, I'd be glad to assist, though the dungeons around here can be a bit small for me, so I may not be able to help you much with certain ones. As for a large hole......I believe that I know where one is! It's back in my home village, well, the remains of my home village..."

Oof. That might've touched a nerve(?). You apologize if you made him remember anything painful. He gives you a casual wave.

"No problem, amigo! Anyway, where did you want me to take you first?"

Seems like he's decided to lead your group through the desert, whether you want it or not.

>Oasis

>Ruins/Dungeon

>Hole

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4545096
>Ruins/Dungeon
Lets go get the artifact for nylar first. Also I like this guy already his outwardly cheerful attitude will probably mesh well with our overly polite and friendly MC.
>>
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>>4545099
You ask Cactonio if there are any ruins in particular that prevent strong magical beings from entering, and he immediately perks up.

"Si, señor! I can take you there, if you'd like. I believe that your winged friend may not be able to enter though."

Remilia shrugs.

"As long as there's somewhere for me to hide under..."

Your group begins its journey through the desert, which is surprisingly not terribly hot. Along the way, Cactonio gives your group some information on edible animals and plants in the Great Desert until...

"Hey, amigos. I think that we should hide."

You're about to ask why before a rumbling sound is heard in the distance. Your group runs under a large rock and waits. In the distance, you see a massive, flying figure which, as it gets closer, reveals itself to be a barn owl the size of a passenger airplane! Jack smirks.

"I wonder how that'd taste..."

Remi and Carmen sigh with annoyance, while Cactonio stays silent. He's probably making sure that the coast is clear at this point, since the huge bird has seemingly passed by. Once it's gone for sure, your group continues to follow Cactonio until you reach a large slab of rock with an opening that leads to some stone stairs. Right above the opening is a strange symbol of unknown origin.

"Welcome to the Stone of the Black Pharaoh, amigos!"

Black Pharaoh, huh? Kind of a strange thing to hear in a desert without pyramids.

>Ask Cactonio some questions before entering the rock (write-in)

>Venture inside!

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4545132
>ask him if he knows anything about the ruins or what’s inside
>have Rem find a nice spot to hide/rest from the sun
>Venture inside!
>>
>>4545137
+1
>>
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>>4545136
>>4545137
You turn your attention to Remilia and ask if she needs help finding a shady place away from the sun, which causes her to roll her eyes.

"Just go on your expedition. Remember that I'm much older than I look, so I don't need to be babied!"

You shrug and turn to Cactonio to ask if he knows anything about these particular ruins.

"Nope! Sorry, amigo, but we'll have to go in blind. I don't really explore the ruins very much."

That sucks. Whatever, it probably won't be too bad. You, Jack, Carmen, and Cactonio all enter the opening in the rock and proceed down the stairs into the ruins...

SLAM!

Everything goes black, as the entrance to the ruins closes behind you. Jack sighs and lights a cigar.

"It's not much, but it's a source of light. Follow me."

Guided by the faint glow of Jack's cigar, your group heads down further until you find yourself on more even footing. It seems as though you have entered a hallwa - .....why does this seem familiar? Carmen taps your shoulder.

"You are strangely quiet, what's wrong?"

You're not entirely sure, but you feel like something is amiss here. After a few seconds of silence, Cactonio speaks up.

"Let's just hurry along, amigos. I don't wanna be down here longer than I have to!"

Your group agrees and moves on, using the walls to keep together...you still feel like something is wrong here. Suddenly, you hear a slight voice in the distance, but you can't make out what it's saying. Judging by how nobody traveling with you stopped or spoke up, you suppose that you were the only one to hear it.

>Tell the others to stop for a moment and inform them of the voice

>Tell the others about the voice and that you should all hurry up

>Attempt to find the source of the voice

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4545259
>Tell the others about the voice and that you should all hurry up
Really hope it’s a friendly and well mannered voice in the distance and not shadow guy again
>>
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>>4545281
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jymqCp4RNPw

You mention the voice and that you should all hurry up. You get a grunt of approval from Jack, and an "Understood" from Carmen. Cactonio seems confused.

"Are you sure that you heard something, amigo? I don't know if we should risk splitting up just because of something that you may have heard."

You explain to Cactonio that, with all of the things that you've seen on your journey thus far, a disembodied voice choosing to speak to only one person isn't super far-fetched. He seems to understand, and agrees that you should all hurry. Jack puts out his cigar.

"Can't really smoke and run too well. Just follow the sounds of my feet."

And with that, you were all off running down the corridor...and then you bumped into a wall, badly damaging your nose. As you cry out in pain, Cactonio runs over to you.

"Are you all right, amigo? Need some help?"

You assure Cactonio that you're fine, and get up off of the floor...silence. Wait, silence?! You call out for Jack and Carmen, but get no replies. Cactonio sounds frightened at this point.

"M-maybe they got lost behind us?"

That couldn't have happened, they were in front of the two of you the entire time. As you ponder what could have happened to your allies, you hear the voice again.....oh shit. It's not speaking, it's laughing in an all too familiar voice.

"I hear it now, amigo! Ay dios mio! We need to run for it!"

While you can get behind that idea, you're not sure where to run. For one thing, it's pitch black, and you don't know which way leads where. In addition to that, the voice sounds like it's coming from every direction.

>Go forward

>Go left

>Go right

>Go back and bump into the wall again

>Yell for help and/or your missing friends

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4545333

>Go back and bump into the wall again
I actually think the wall bump is what caused him to be separated from his friends. He probably slid between dimensions
>>
>>4545333
>check both rings and see if they are doing anything
>wave at where you think the voice is coming from and try to give a polite smile
>Go back and bump into the wall again
This was an option so I had to pick it
>>
>>4545333
>Go back and bump into the wall again
>>
>>4545333
>Go back and bump into the wall again
>>
>>4545399
>>4545400
>>4545444
>>4545639
You take a step back...maybe your rings can do something? You point them in every direction, but nothing really happens. You instead try to give the entity a polite smile, this causes its typical white, glowing face to appear and smile back...right in front of your face. You turn and run the other way, smashing into the wall again, and potentially breaking your nose. Cactonio sounds confused, since he can't really see what's going on.

"What happened, amigo? Are you ok?"

You tell him that, yes, you are fine for now. You steady yourself against a wall, and feel your entire body being grabbed by hundreds of shadowy tentacles. The laughter of the thing in the dark feels like it's inside of your brain at this point. It begins to speak into your head. Its voice sounds like hundreds of thousand of voices speaking at the same time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJxy_2X9j9Y

"Sssssooooo nice to see you again...I knew that I picked a fffffun potential host..."

Host? You ask it what the hell it means.

"Ah yesssss, I want yourrrrr body......hehehehh, that sssssounded a bit strrrrrrange. I ssssspecifically want you to allow me to merrrrge with yourrrrr ssssoul..."

The cacophony of voices keeps gaining more voices, making it sound like the thing is slurring heavily. This thing is causing your brain to hurt quite a bit.

"Let usssssss iiiiin...we prrrrromissssssse that we won't hurrrrrt you...we lovvvvvvvvve yyyyoouuuuu......haha....hhahhhahahaahhahaaaaaaa!!!"

The laughter is deafening. It sounds like the laughter of people that are losing their minds, as if it's somewhere between genuine laughter and hopeless, crazed chuckling.

>Accept its deal, anything to stop this

>Decline

>Call out for your friends

>Call out for...someone else (write-in maybe?)

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4545643
>Call out for your friends
This is our nono square
>>
>>4545643
>Call out for your friends
Bad touch
>>
>>4545643
>Call out for...someone else
Our Eldritch "allies"might be able to help here
>>
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>>4545822
>>4545850
You attempt to call out to your friends, but no noise escapes your mouth. You don't even feel Cactonio's presence anymore. All you can hear are laughing voices and whispers in your head, driving you insane.

>>4545879
Giving up on talking, you instead focus on your rings. You're not sure what this could accomplish, but you're kind of out of options at this point...

...

...And to your surprise, something happens. The ring given to you by Darkness begins to vibrate intensely, and you can see its green gem glowing out of the corner of your eye. Suddenly, you feel something on your right; the feeling is something akin to having a piece of cold plastic shoved into your ear, and you feel whatever it is pulling on the shadows in your head. It hurts really badly, and you can't help but utter a yelp...oh cool, you can make sounds again. You hear something being smashed into a wall, and the room suddenly lights up, revealing a passed-out Cactonio and some erratic shadows retreating into a crack in the wall, and...the mannequin! Well, not exactly the mannequin, but a person that looks kind of like it. She looks over at you, and you notice her sigh wordlessly as if to say "You're welcome, now don't bother me anymore."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9q736S2NAI

She wanders over to Cactonio and begins violently kicking him...is she trying to wake him up? If Cactonio was a human being, he'd have several broken ribs at this point.

>Ask the mannequin to point you in the direction of your friends (and maybe also ask her to stop kicking your newest friend)

>Ask the mute mannequin something else (write-in)

>Ignore the mannequin and Cactonio to search for your other friends.

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4546288
>Ask the mannequin to point you in the direction of your friends (and maybe also ask her to stop kicking your newest friend)
>>
>>4546288
>Politely thank the mannequin for getting you out of that pickle
>Ask the mannequin to point you in the direction of your friends (and maybe also ask her to stop kicking your newest friend)
>>
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>>4546324
>>4546341
You finally speak up and, after thinking the mannequin, you ask if it knows where your friends are. She stops kicking the rather large cactus man for a moment before pointing down a hallway to your right, then goes back to pummeling Cactonio. You then ask her to quit kicking your friend, eliciting another soundless sigh. The mannequin then bows and just kind of fades out of existence. Cactonio wakes up shortly after the mannequin leaves.

"Oof. What happened, amigo? One second it was dark, and now there's light!"

You explain the general idea of what had happened to Cactonio, and the two of you began running down the path that the mannequin pointed at. Fortunately, it's a single, long hallway with some stairs that lead downwards at the end. At the bottom of the stairs, you find a huge, grey chamber with an unknown purpose. Just like in the sewers earlier, you have 3 paths to choose from whose paths lead into unknown territory.

>Left

>Right

>Forwards

>Consult with Cactonio

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4546351
>Consult with Cactonio
>Call out to your friends
If neither of those work or give info
>Forwards
>>
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Sorry for the lack of updates. A lot has been going on this week, so I haven't been home to do this much. It should smooth out after Thursday, and I'll be around for a few more tonight.
>>4546354
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_SosS9S8bw

You ask Cactonio what he thinks about the situation and if he has any recommendations. He thinks for a moment before answering.

"I'm not sure what to think about all of this, amigo. The monsters outside are pretty scary, but the thing from earlier was scarier than all of them! I don't think that it is native to this world...oh, and as to what to do next, I have no idea. Sorry, amigo. I'll be trusting your judgement on all of this."

You thank Cactonio for his input and call out for your friends...

"...a..."

A distant voice coming from the door directly in front of you can be heard, you and Cactonio run in that direction. After running down a dimly lit hallway for a bit, you make it to what seems like a dungeon, where Jack can be seen trapped in a cell. He notices the two of you and waves casually, as if nothing was wrong.

"Hey, nice to see you again. Mind getting me out of here? I don't know where the key is or who put me in here, but I remember hearing the cell door get locked while the lights were still out."

He lights up a cigar, and sighs as he breathes out smoke. The dungeon seems rather small, so you don't think that the key is in there. Cactonio and you head back to the main room, promising Jack that you'll find a way out. Upon re-entering the larger room, you almost crash right into Carmen. You land on the floor hard enough to hurt your butt a bit, and Carmen offers you her hand to get up (which you take). She explains that she had been in a room full of lava, and that she just managed to find a way to exit the room. You inform her of Jack's situation, and ask if she's seen Remilia.

"No, not yet. I have yet to search that area..."

She points at the left door.

"...so it is a good thing that the two of you are here as well. We can all go together."

You agree that finding her was a good thing, and the three of you make your way into the unexplored area. The hallway that the entrance led to was wide, and seemed rather clean. As you made your way through the hall, you heard something in the distance. Getting closer to the source of the sound, you realized that it was something moaning. Before you had time to guess what was making the sound, several zombies ran towards your group from around a corner. Cactonio and Carmen made quick work of them, but more begin to appear from around the same corner. There are now two directions in which you can go.

>Keep going forwards, towards the area without zombies

>Fight through the zombies and try to find where they're coming from

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4547850
>Keep going forwards, towards the area without zombies
I would bet Rem would be in the area that zombies are not coming from as they would all need to focus on her.
>>
>>4547910
If Rem is here at all I’m pretty sure she stayed outside but weird eldrich fuckery might have brought her into the dungeon.
>>
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>>4547910
You and Carmen run ahead while Cactonio fends off any zombies that choose to run at the three of you until you reach a large, wooden door. You notice a rather large padlock keeping you from entering the room. Carmen gives an annoyed sigh and tells you to cover your ears before whipping out her rifle and shooting the lock, the sound alerting several zombies from the other hallway to your location. Cactonio continues fending off the zombies while you and Carmen head inside, and...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytGDgxqIm3w

GOLD! Gold and valuables are strewn all over the room. You see a slight twinkle in Carmen's eyes, as she stares wide-eyed at the treasure. Scanning the room, you eventually see a key that seems like it could unlock the door to Jack's cell positioned atop a small mountain of gold coins. Attempting to climb the coins causes you to slip and fall, seems like you need someone to hold you up to get to the key.

>Ask for help from [pick either Carmen or Cactonio]

>Lift Carmen up to get the key

>Explore/examine the room further

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4547925
Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap
>Explore/examine the room further
Look for ANY indication that this is a trap
>be ready to bolt at any moment
>Ask for help from Cactonio
He’s a big fellow
>>
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>>4547928
You decide that this room is most definitely trapped in some way, and ask Carmen to help you examine it. She gives a half-hearted nod while staring into the room before snapping back to reality.

"R-right...i-if the treasure itself is not trapped, then do you think that I could take some? I would not take more than I could carry, I promise."

You shrug and tell her to do whatever she wants for now. Cactonio wanders in, seemingly finished with fending off the zombies, and you tell him to help as well.

"Sure thing, amigo! Boy, this room is really pretty! If I had room for one, I would take one of the pretty gems with me."

The three of you wander around, examining the room, though you find no traps during your search. You do, however, find a glass case with a fancy knife in it...and the ring Nyarlathotep gave you begins vibrating intensely, enough to make your finger numb. Seems as though you've found what you were looking for. You find nothing while trying to find a way around the glass, so it seems as though you'll have to break it to get in there. For now, you ask Cactonio to help you up to grab the key, and he agrees to do so.

Grabbing the key was easy enough, and didn't activate any sort of traps, so it seems like the only thing here that _could_ be trapped is the glass case.

>Break the glass and take the knife

>Ask one of your allies to break the glass and take the knife for you

>Help Jack first, and then get the knife (pick one of the two former options after this one)

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4547958
>Help Jack first, and then get the knife
>grab some coins and a gem or two if you are 100% certain they are not trapped like the Aladdin gold room
>Break the glass and take the knife
>Be ready to book it
>>
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>>4547966
You decide that Jack is your number one priority, and bail for the time being, with Carmen and Cactonio following closely behind. You eventually make it to Jack's cell (after fighting off one or two more zombies) and unlock it, finally letting him out. He stretches and cracks his neck.

"Nice. You really kept me waiting."

You apologize and then update him on the situation. After that, the four of you head back to the treasure room. Jack doesn't seem super hyped about it, though you do see him pocket one or two gold coins. Carmen and you some loot for yourselves as well before you get Carmen to break the glass...

SMASH!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClvzNSejzXw

You hear a low rumbling sound, and coins suddenly go flying. A dragon was apparently underneath the small mountain of coins that you got the key from, though it doesn't seem entirely hostile. Suddenly, you hear a deep, booming voice in your head.

"HUMAN...I GIVE YOU A CHOICE...RETURN THE KNIFE, OR...RETURN ALL OF THE TREASURE THAT YOU HAVE COLLECTED, AND GIVE ME ONE OF YOUR ALLIES AS A SACRIFICE..."

Ah shit, this could end very poorly. The dragon is quite large, and you feel its body exuding a powerful heat that wasn't present while it was asleep.

>Return the knife, losing your reward from Nyar

>Return everything that you took from the room and give the dragon one of your allies

>Ask the dragon if you can have a moment to deliberate, and consult your allies

>Run!!!

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4547998
>Ask the dragon if you can have a moment to deliberate, and consult your allies
>>
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>>4548062
You ask the dragon if you can have a moment to deliberate with your allies.

"OF COURSE...TAKE ALL OF THE TIME YOU NEED...."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkdmOVejUlI

You turn to your allies and begin discussing your options. Cactonio speaks up first.

"I may not know any of you very well, but I don't want any of you to die. Let's just leave the knife here, amigo."

Carmen sighs.

"Do what you want, but if you need a sacrifice and you choose me, I will be putting a bullet in each of your brains before that thing kills me. And trust me, I can do that."

Jack sighs and lights a cigar.

"I honestly don't know what to do. On one hand, being rewarded by things from another dimension is pretty appealing. But you said that there's no downside to not bringing this back, right? If that's the case, then we should just leave the knife."

Seems like it's a 2 to 0 to 1 on leaving the knife here. But it seems as though the dragon wants you in particular to choose.

>Return the knife, losing your reward from Nyar

>Return everything that you took from the room and give the dragon one of your allies

>Ask the dragon what it thinks and/or something else

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4548090
>Ask the dragon why he wants a sacrifice, like is he hungry or is just the principle
>>
I should be back to updating more regularly tomorrow. For now, I need to get ready for a thing today, so this might end up being the only update until tomorrow.
>>4548228
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYVZJvKQ7SE

You ask the dragon why he requires some sort of sacrifice.

"MM...WHY INDEED...I WAS TASKED WITH GUARDING THAT TOOTHPICK THAT YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO TAKE...I DO NOT KNOW WHY EXACTLY...TRUTHFULLY, I WAS TOLD NOT TO LET ANYONE TAKE IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES...BUT, I AM GROWING INCREASINGLY MORE BORED WITH EVERY PASSING CENTURY...SO I HAVE DECIDED TO GIVE YOU THE CHANCE TO TAKE IT...THE SACRIFICE IS MORE FOR MY AMUSEMENT THAN ANYTHING...I COULD JUST BURN YOU ALL TO ASH NOW AND SAVE YOU THE TROUBLE IF YOU WISH..."

Both Carmen and Jack look a bit peeved, while Cactonio's expression is difficult to read. You turn to them, and Carmen spits on the ground.

"Let us let this thing stay bored. I hate its attitude and, if it were a human, I would have punched it by now."

Jack shrugs, and Cactonio gives you a nervous look. The dragon seems to sigh a bit, expelling smoke from its nostrils.

"I GROW BORED...IF YOU NEED MORE TIME, THEN YOU MAY STAY HERE...BUT IF YOU CANNOT DECIDE ON SOMETHING SOON...I WILL GO BACK TO SLEEP FOR A FEW DAYS...BLOCKING THE ENTRANCE, OF COURSE..."

This dragon's definition of what a day is might be a bit longer than yours, considering how long-lived it probably is. Looks like you have a serious decision to make.

>Return the knife, losing your reward from Nyar

>Return everything that you took from the room and give the dragon one of your allies

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4549746
>check to see how large the door is to the room and if the dragon can fit through it
>ask the dragon who told him to guard the knife
>have team members slowly back towards the door if he seems to not be paying attention to us
>ask him if he’s bored if there is anything else we can do that won’t cause the life of a team member? Like a couple games of chess or if Cactonio knows some tradition desert songs he could sing?
>>
>>4549909
I really don’t want to give up our reward from Nylar but I don’t really see many other options and we are definitely not going to sacrifice a member of our team
>>
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>>4549909
You try to look around the dragon to gauge how well he could block the door with his body...and it deliberately moves its tail in the way.

"YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO LEAVE...IF I BLOCK THE ENTIRETY OF THE DOOR...WITH MY BODY...IT IS FAR TOO LARGE..."

Judging by how easily its tail blocks the entirety of the door with a single movement, you're pretty sure that he isn't bluffing. You ask him if there's anything else that you could do that doesn't involve leaving the knife and/or losing a team member, he begins growling.

"NO...AND IF YOU PROVOKE ME FURTHER...THEN I WILL MAKE A CHOICE FOR YOU..."

You motion to your team members to slowly back towards the door if something creates an opening, when suddenly -

SLAM!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb8E8NQCErg

The dragon's growling has grown loud enough to cause the entirety of the room to shake.

"MAKE A DECISION...NOW...OR ELSE, I WILL MAKE ONE FOR YOU...YOU ANNOY ME..."

You attempt to ask him whether or not he's bored or if there's another way to get out and your eardrums are assaulted by an angry roar.

"NO...IN FACT, IF YOU CANNOT DECIDE...I WILL KILL TWO OF YOU...AND NOT YOU, ANNOYING ONE, BUT YOUR FRIENDS...I WANT YOU TO WATCH THEM BURN TO ASHES RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES..."

Looks like he's pissed. Maybe you asked too many questions? Looks like you need to make a decision now.

>Return the knife, losing your reward from Nyar

>Return everything that you took from the room and give the dragon one of your allies

>Ask one more question. Maybe he won't actually kill two of your companions? (write-in)

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4550835
>Return the knife, losing your reward from Nyar
Damn, well you can’t win them all
>>
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>>4550842
You sigh, returning the knife to the pedestal. The dragon seems to calm down a bit and lies back down.

"VERY GOOD...NOW LEAVE THIS PLACE AND NE - DID YOU HEAR THAT?"

...oh boy. The laughing starts again, and the room begins to grow dark. The dragon gets right back up, looking around angrily.

"GRRRRRR...IS YOUR DOING, HUMAN?"

You furiously shake your head, and your group quickly explains what they know of the thing.

"TCH...VERY WELL...I WILL SOLVE THIS PROBLEM FOR YOU, HUMANS...COME OUT, DEMO -"

Shadow tendrils wrap around the dragon's neck and body, digging into its flesh. The dragon begins thrashing around and blowing fire from its nose. Looks like you could use this situation to your advantage.

>Grab the knife and bail

>Don't grab the knife and bail

>Help the dragon (somehow?)

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4550850
>Grab the knife and bail
Okay looks like shadow demon is actually going to be of an advantage to us at least for now, if the dragon wasn’t being so rude earlier and threatening our friends then I would have tried to help him but his loss for his lack of politeness:
>>
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>>4550858
You grab the knife again and tell your friends to book it. Dodging the flailing dragon, the 4 of you make it through the door, and keep running until you make it to the entrance, whose opening is actually open now. Maybe the shadow thing from earlier was the reason that it seemed like it had closed on you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCsAIG3hHfs

"Oh hey, welcome back. You were gone for a while."

Panting, you look to the side and see Remilia sitting down and drinking from a thermos. Cactonio collapses on the floor, and you and Jack carry him over to the shade. Remilia asks about what happened inside, and the three of you relay your experiences to her. She giggles a bit when you mention the dragon's fate.

"Well well, it seems as though you three had a fun time. I'm almost jealous. Now then, where to next?"

...probably bed. It's starting to get darker, and everybody in your party is feeling tired. Remilia shrugs and offers to keep watch while you sleep again, which you thank her for. You all move to a slightly more sheltered position, far away from the dungeon that you had just braved, and set up camp. Your entire group went straight to bed, and you passed out almost immediately...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Old4sMkLIkA

...this is just going to be a regular thing at this point, huh? You seem to be by the same lake that you appeared by in your first dream...the bench is occupied by the same figure as before. Without waiting for it to motion to you, you walk over and take a seat by it.

"Congratulations on retrieving that artifact, I am very proud of you and your friends."

You thank him.

"So polite. I like that. Well, I believe that you deserve another question. Feel free to ask me any simple question, and I will answer to the best of my abilities."

>Ask who it is

>Ask EXACTLY where it is

>Ask what it is

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4550904
>Ask who it is
If the thing is going to be vague than it’s fine, he does have a right to privacy after all
>>
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>>4550911
You ask it who it is?

"Who, hm? Well, that's certainly a difficult question to answer...I can't tell you any specifics, but I can tell you that I am similar to the strange beings that you have encountered thus far, specifically Nyarlathotep and The Darkness. I am not, however, the being which The Darkness wishes for you to eliminate. If you need a name, I suppose that you could call me...Will? Yes, Will. That's a good name."

Looks like you at least have something to call this thing now.

"You are well on your way to where I reside, so this will be the last time that I contact you in your dreams; I look forward to seeing you in person. By the way, if you do not wish to do the task which Darkness wishes for you to do, I can stop them from doing harm to you or your friends. Would you like that, or is its reward too enticing? I will not judge either way."

>Yes, please stop the Darkness from bothering us, and take away this ring

>No, I want to see what will happen if I complete this task

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4550967
>If he allows another question, ask Will if completing the task would be morally right or wrong because we would be willing to complete the task if the eldrich being is evil and it’s elimination would be morally right but we would be reluctant to do so if eliminating the being is morally wrong. The reward does not factor into this.
>>
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>>4550980
You ask Will if you can ask him something first. He makes a sound that you assume is a chuckle before answering.

"I know what you're going to ask, and there's no correct answer to your question. These beings are neither good nor evil, they don't do things because they believe that they are the right or wrong thing to do, they simply do things because it is in their nature. Killing The Nameless Mist is an act of neither good nor evil, whether or not you choose to assist The Darkness is the same way. I suppose that, to put it simply, you must decide whether ending the existence of an immortal being for the benefit of another is right or wrong."

That sure was an answer.

>Yes, please stop the Darkness from bothering us, and take away this ring

>No, I want to see what will happen if I complete this task

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4550988
Well then I can definitely see how having multiple immortal beings can be bad for mortals but also I can see how having less can also be bad so
>I said I would complete the task and it would not be polite to go back on my word
>>
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>>4550997
You tell him that you've decided that you will complete the task.

"Very nice, I look forward to seeing what the result of that will be. Be wary around The Darkness, by the way. It's been known to go back on its word if it is unsatisfied with how someone does something."

You say that you'll keep that in mind, and thank him for his help.

"Of course. Goodbye for now, I look forward to meeting you in person..."

...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3YqNC6SDFM

Man, it's hot outside. Your camp is in a shady place, but you can still feel the intense heat from inside of your tent. Leaving the tent, you find Cactonio and Remilia casually chatting. Cactonio waves at you when he notices you leave your tent.

"Hey, amigo! Good morning! How are you feeling? Yesterday was a doozy, but at least we all survived it!"

Seems like he's not particularly traumatized by yesterday's experiences. Before you can answer his question, Jack pops out of tent and yawns loudly.

"Hrnnnnn.......g'mornin."

Carmen comes out of her tent soon after, looking a bit disheveled.

"We need to get out of here today. This heat is going to be the death of me if we do not."

You agree, and ask Cactonio to assist you in getting to that hole as soon as possible.

"Sure, amigo! Follow me!"

Your group packs things up quickly, and you all follow Cactonio through the desert...

...you hear a rumbling sound underneath your feet. Cactonio stops suddenly and looks over at the rest of you.

"Amigos, I need you all to stay completely still. There is a giant sand worm tunneling under us right now, and it will pop out and eat us all if it feels any more movement from us while it's around."

Jack, Carmen, and you all stay perfectly still while Remilia flies above the ground, yawning. The worm, a large tube-like creature, bursts from the ground before re-entering. Once it's gone, your group proceeds to move. Cactonio updates you on the worm.

"That was a sand worm, amigos. It's a species that eats practically anything that it can fit in its mouth. They've been around longer than almost any species in The Great Desert and have one or two natural predators. The good news is that they're going to go extinct relatively soon, as they don't mate often and there are very few left."

Good to know. Your group eventually comes across on oasis.

"We don't have much left to go, amigos. I just figured that you'd like a chance to refill on water before you leave."

Remilia lies under a tree to rest, while Carmen and Jack hang out around the water. You have a bit of time to ask some questions.

>Ask Jack some questions (write-in)

>Ask Carmen some questions (write-in)

>Ask Remilia some questions (write-in)

>Ask Cactonio some questions (write-in)

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4551032
Operation: getting to know each party member’s backstory is a go!

>Ask Cactonio some questions (ask him about himself specifically, such as how is life in the desert? What is his people’s culture like?)
>Ask Jack some questions(if he is willing to tell us more about his past)
>Ask Carmen some questions(What is her world like?)
>Ask Remilia some questions(What was her life like before staying at the mansion?)
>>
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>>4551054
All right, time to get to know people more. Cactonio seems to be busy doing...something, so you run over to the only person currently alone: Remilia. You ask her what her life was before she lived at the mansion.

"Life before then, hm? Well...er...I seem to have forgotten. The truth is that I forgot about most of my life before arriving in the mansion. I remember living in a mansion, and having a sister, but that's about as far as my memory goes."

Maybe she'll remember more as you proceed? Kind of like Jack did. Speaking of which, you thank her for telling you what little she remembered and walk over to Jack, asking him about his past again.

"Hnn...I guess I could tell you some more. Like I said a while ago, we probably come from the same world, or just pretty similar worlds. I was a government agent before all of this, and I had a mission to fulfill. Like I said before, my codename was "Naked Snake," because of my ability to perform well in missions, despite taking the bare minimum with me. On that mission, I...lost someone very dear to me, and decided to abandon my country to form my own group...and that's about where my memory ends right now. Sorry about that."

You thank him for his time. Seems like Jack was a big deal in his world. Next up: Carmen, because she's very close by. You ask her about her world, causing her to half-frown, half-glare at you.

"It was cold, violent, and unpleasant...did I not already tell you about this before?"

Oh yeah, back in the snake forest. She mentioned something about a sister, so you ask her about that.

"My sister is unwell, both mentally and physically, which is why I must return sooner rather than later. Our mother is probably taking care of her, but she cannot fend for herself if the war escalates. That is about all I wish to share at the moment."

She goes back to resting, and you decide to move over to Cactonio, who seems to simply be staring out into the desert. You greet him and begin asking him about himself.

"Well, amigo, life in the desert isn't too bad with friends. There was a time in my life where I was really alone, but I got through it with the help of an old friend of mine!"

You ask him about his people and what their culture is like, which causes him to cringe a bit.

"Er...well, I don't think that there's much culture left, amigo. I'm uh...I'm technically the only one left..I suppose that I should let you know the truth, amigo: I'm dead. I've been dead for a very long time now, and in that time, my tribe was wiped out and my people went extinct. I was revived by something that told me that it would let me live as long as I helped you guys out. As much as I would like to stick around longer, I know that you all have homes and families to get back to, so I'm doing my best to guide you through all of this as quickly as possible..."

It seems like one of the things that tasked you with completing a task for them may have revived Cactonio to assist you.

>Question Cactonio more
>>
>>4551088
Hit the character limit, but the other options are:

>Move on without asking more questions

>Other (write-in)
>>
>>4551088
>Question Cactonio more
That’s rough buddy, ask him if he is doing alright like mentally
>try and remember any of our past
Then
>Move on without asking more questions





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