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File: MirandaandPecker.gif (500 KB, 356x348)
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Being on a island like this is always kind of interesting, honestly. Not because of what you’re doing, specifically, just the whole wilderness aspect. Mind, you could do without spending a bunch of nights here, but getting out once in a while usually isn’t too bad. Especially since generally the wilderness is exactly that- no laws in particular you have to worry about tripping over, and anyone who goes ‘missing’ can easily be explained away by wild animals. Excellent for if you need a body disposed of.

It’s for this reason that you’re not at all mad when after about 20 minutes of treetop observation, you can see a number of flying creatures headed for the island. They’re just pinpricks on the horizon, but that’s likely your army right there. And considering there’s only one place to touch down at...well, it’s easy to guess where they’re landing. That is, if you don’t want to just try and snipe them out of the sky.

Or, honestly, you could let them land and pick them off or something. Less chance of one or two escaping that way if you wanted to be sure about it.

http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Magical%20Girl%20For%20Hire%20Quest
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>>
>>4725648
Your corrupted animals are plenty ready for this; you only need to call them back. And hopefully Gargles won’t be too far behind. He’s a fast fella; ideally he’ll be on you in the next few hours, so you don’t have to worry about getting out- and maybe even get a bit of help air to air if need be.

>Try to blast them out of the air.
>Trap the landing grounds and see if that works.
>Just hold off and wait for them to disembark and begin their trip.
>Other
>>
>>4725649
>Just hold off and wait for them to disembark and begin their trip.
It should be near evening. Plenty of time and shadow to abuse when the time comes, I know Gartoum will be delighted.
>>
>>4725649
>>Just hold off and wait for them to disembark and begin their trip.
>>
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>>4725649
>Trap the landing grounds and see if that works.
AHAHAHAHA!
Get Moleworm mines and C4! Prepare Operation Z1 and our new sniper coilgun!
>>
>>4725649
>Trap the landing grounds and see if that works.
>>
>>4725659
i feel its cooler to go predator on their asses.
>>
>>4725649
>Just hold off and wait for them to disembark and begin their trip.

We want to find oit if they can guide us to the source right? So better follow them and have their group be eaten by the wild. It alsi allow us to checl their capabilities and who is with them.
>>
>>4725649
>Just hold off and wait for them to disembark and begin their trip.
No witnesses, we need to recall our Pokemons to completely surround them for a clean sweep.
>>
>>4725656
Yeah, it's just getting into late evening.
>>
Also ambushing them in the forest sounds like a good way to let Gart have some fun.
>>
>>4725649
>>4725659
>Just hold off and wait for them to disembark and begin their trip.
Alright, let's wait until darkness comes.
>>
>>4725648
>Just hold off and wait for them to disembark and begin their trip.
Time to be the predator.
>>
Anyone got music for the occasion?
https://youtu.be/JMCpDBdJfSg
>>
>>4725691
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXxgV3_QPa0
>>
Writing!
>>
>>4725649
>>4725656
>>4725657
>>4725664
>>4725665
>>4725673
>>4725684
Hmm...well, maybe you can get some decent intel out of them- or at the very least, you can follow them to where your prize just might be…

...and once that’s done, well. Their job will be, too.

You keep a distance as you hear them disembark, the large birds stopping one by one to offload supplies and personnel. Seems like they’re planning for a serious excursion. Now, if you can get any closer, then maybe you can get an ear on them. You’re aware that the surrounding rockface doesn’t allow them a good look outside save for the single gateway. You can use that to your advantage, but if they have any sort of scrying, then...well, you’ll just move fast.

Fortunately, as with most military types, the commanders are loud and precise in their diction. It’s not too hard to scrabble up the wall and keep an enhanced ear out…

“...want this to be quick and clean! No gloryhounds! The only thing that will be glorified is our homeland! Understood?!” The commander, no doubt.

“YES, SIR!” come the unified responses.

“Hwang-Gi, all supplies accounted for?” Hm. Quartermaster?

“Yessir!” comes the response. Sounds older. “All firearms, blades, and protective measures are accounted for. We’re ready to deploy at your order.”

“Very well, then. You all know the plan. We have little light, and less time. Home guard, prepare the perimeter, as well as extraction measures. The rest of you, with me! We march for Yulin!” Cheers go up, as you quickly gain space and make sure your thralls do as well. You don’t want them to see you immediately. Besides...protective measures? Could be concerning…

It’s not long before you hear, rather than see, the gates open, then close, as well as the unmistakable sound of an army on the march. Nothing indicates they’ve detected you outright yet, so you can at least presume that if they have any detection measures, you’re beyond their range. May have to test that...

You stick to following the sounds until the sun is about to dip over the horizon at last. It’s been at least two or three hours of steady marching, although you occasionally hear barks of reports, and at times the occasional scuffle as some of the wildlife you didn’t mess with get too ornery. They’re notably going the opposite direction you did, as well...at least you know they’re not treading old ground. That’d would be annoying…

But now that light’s almost out, they’ll be making camp soon if they’re any smart. You’ve got to decide what to do in that case…

>Stake them out closer. You need to see what you’re working with.
>Stay aware, stay away. You’ll close in when you need to and no sooner.
>Other
>>
>>4725790
>Stake them out closer. You need to see what you’re working with.
>>
>>4725790
>>Stay aware, stay away. You’ll close in when you need to and no sooner.
i'm pretty sure they are used to detecting and warding off monsters that think of them as food. better to follow them at a distance
>>
>>4725790
>Stay aware, stay away. You’ll close in when you need to and no sooner.
>Other
Send in Gartoum. He has scouted them out before, let's promise him a party once it's time.
>>
Okay, so they've got firearms that could be strong enough to deal with local beasts, mighy have night vision and some other utility spells, what else can we expect?
>>
>>4725801
magic barriers in case a beast manages to ambush them?
>>
>>4725790
>Stake them out closer. You need to see what you’re working with.
>>
>>4725790
>Stay aware, stay away. You’ll close in when you need to and no sooner.
Not feeling it, we aren't in a position to turn things around if they go fubar.
>>
>>4725790
>>4725794
Alright, changing to
>Stay aware, stay away. You’ll close in when you need to and no sooner.
>Send in Gartoum.
>>
We want none of that right now. Writing!
>>
>>4725801
>>4725805
>firearms that could be strong enough to deal with local beasts
Gonna assume they have elephant and volley guns and early rifles instead of muskets and blunderbusses.
>>
>>4725790
>>4725799
>>4725800
>>4725819
>>4725825
No, no need to risk it personally. You’ll keep your distance for now.

It’s not much longer before you can hear them ordering to set up camp, and they immediately begin to do so, all the clanking and clattering noises and unfurling of fabrics for tents. You can also hear them begin to define watch systems; and what’s worse, scout patrols. You’re going to have to move carefully if you want to avoid them while still keeping in range of them at any reasonable distance. From the sounds of things, they’ll be moving in units of three. Not too hard to disable should the need arise, but still a bit worrisome. You don’t know what they’ll be packing aside from the fact that you’re pretty sure they’ll have some type of firearms.

In fact, it’s not much longer before you can hear footsteps coming in your direction- and you have to move quickly regardless of where or how you do it…

...although, the idea of sending a distraction is also appealing. You might have them thinking they've cleared out any hostile individuals, but that'll likely just put them on higher alert still if they DO have any sensory capabilities, and that'll make things harder in the LONG run.

>Make a wide circle, don’t let them push you back. This might get them on a bit of alert, but…
>Ease out, bit by bit, and when they return in for watch, follow them back in.
>Back out entirely for now; no sense in taking the risk. You’ll trance for a bit and be ready for them when they resume movement.
>Test and see if your minions can take their attention and have them retreat early.
>Other
>>
Last one for tonight. Will resume tomorrow.
>>
>>4725923
>Ease out, bit by bit, and when they return in for watch, follow them back in.
Let's go for the middle.
>>
>>4725923
>Ease out, bit by bit, and when they return in for watch, follow them back in.
>>
>>4725944
Also, this will keep us in range of the patrol to hear gossips. Remember the first/second stone? Same deal.
>>
>>4725923
>Ease out, bit by bit, and when they return in for watch, follow them back in.
>>
Run begins in a bit.
>>
>>4726904
Yey.
>>
>>4725923
>>4725944
>>4726054
>>4726354
You’re not going to let them scare you off entirely. You’ll have to back off a bit, but if you keep things careful, you can make sure that you can still hear them in the distance and keep an metaphorical eye on them (and a literal ear). It doesn’t take you long to start hearing talk clearer and clearer.

“...I’m not sure, that’s all,” comes a younger voice.

“It’s not about being sure, you just need to listen,” comes a second. “This place is damn deadly.”

“I’m not sure we oughta be chasing this either,” comes the third as you keep moving carefully, “But might as well make the most of it.” A pause. “Anything showing up?” Showing up?

“A few things,” the second voice comes. “Mostly keepin’ their distance from us. Got a few rough signatures ahead of us, some to the east.” Might be your beasts. “They’re keeping steady, though. Might be stalking, might just be scared, which makes me wonder. Somethin’ real big ahead of us, but it’s movin’ away.” Wait, is that…? You stop, and wait. “...aaand it stopped. I swear, gives me the heebies, this place. Probably looking to pick us off if we’re split up. Keep your eyes peeled. That includes you, rookie.”

“Yessir,” the first voice says. It’s soft, hard to hear now...

“Mmmm...let’s not provoke ‘em for now. We’ll keep an eye out,” the second voice concludes, “but we might wanna let the captain know that we’re being stalked, an’ that no one should go out of eyesight for even a piss. Can’t say I’m surprised. Damn glad he decided on three-man patrols. Two might’ve not been enough.”

You can hear them start to walk away, although their voices become too low to make out as you stay where you are. So, they most certainly have some way of detection, although it seems as though it's very vague if it couldn't detect you were human(ish). Absolutely something you're going to need to keep in mind...

The dark encroaches as they head back, and you have to decide on just how you intend to keep approaching. If you even want to, now...

>Get into a tree and stake it out for the night at range. You can wait.
>Gartoum might be ID'd...but if he's careful, he might be able to sniff something out.
>Start circling around. Maybe you can hear some other tidbits if you're lucky...
>Other

>Send in some of the
>>
Ignore that last bit. I don't know where that came from.
>>
>>4727155
>Get into a tree and stake it out for the night at range. You can wait.
>Use our FutureSight to spy on them
I remember it had a function to record sound at a distance - Lori found it back in MGR crossover
>>
>>4727155
>Start circling around. Maybe you can hear some other tidbits if you're lucky
also, stealing this from the other anon
>Use our FutureSight to spy on them
so they know we're there, but not who we are. maybe we can use that to our advantage? route them to a more ambushable position?
>>
>>4727176
Might even scan any weird mana signatures
>>
>>4727155
>Start circling around. Maybe you can hear some other tidbits if you're lucky...
>>
>>4727155
>Use our FutureSight to spy on them
>Start circling around. Maybe you can hear some other tidbits if you're lucky
They're already reporting our presence and we aren't in a position to stop them. Might as well cash in while we can.
>>
And now the big signature is gonna be stalking the camp. Whatever it's it seems that large number of people doesn't scare it.

You know sometimes it's scary to know that there is something actually stalking you specialy if it's something from this island.
>>
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>>4727196
You know what?
I think this is the perfect time to unleash our legendary.
>>
>>4727196
we could definitely make them be paranoid as fuck. maybe we should come closer to their camp, close enough for them to start firing in panic, depleting their resources and lose morale.
>>
>>4727201
They're a well organized group, there's no way for they're going to lose their shit over one signature.
>>
>>4727201
>>4727215
Indeed. If we want to get rid of them tonight I'd say wait until a number of them are asleep, then we find their weapon deposit/gunpowder stash and blow them up.
>>
>>4727215
you never know, plus, we have that fear aura. remember? we can definitely do some chaos if we play our cards well

>>4727222
fair enough, i guess.
>>
>>4727178
>>4727188
>>4727191
So we're looking around. Gonna need rolls for this one, then.

>Roll 3d20, best of three.
>>
Rolled 2, 16, 12 = 30 (3d20)

>>4727227
>>
Rolled 7, 5, 6 = 18 (3d20)

>>4727227
>>
Rolled 4, 15, 5 = 24 (3d20)

>>4727227
>>
>>4727226
>>4727215
Well... if they're stalked and slowly killed off one by one by a distant invisible creature, a'la Predator... I think they'll be scared.
>>
Pah, we tripped something.
>>
>>4727233
But they're not walking one by one, we're visible on their scanners and haven't started picking them off yet.
>>
>>4727233
>>4727237
>>4727226
If they were walking in pairs instead of threes then we could've started snatching them with our sticky mana/electric line, one shot from each hand.
>>
...!

Writing.
>>
>>4727240
Can always start stalking and than have us stop one of the days we are following them Than we use the plants and bugs to pester their numbers
>>
>>4727242
>Soldier 1: What was that?
>Soldier 2: What was what?
>Soldier 1: Didn't you hear it?
>>
>>4727250
We just got spotted didn't we?
>>
>>4727242
>Huh? What was that noise? Whose footprints are these?
>>
>>4727251
Probably. Let's see by what and who.
>>
>>4727251
>>4727252

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CEvzFcqKbXw
>>
>>4727259
Aaaand we didn't borrow a mana dampener from the girls too. Really, without that and the invisibility thingy we've been managing not so bad.
>>
>>4727252
A bold assumption that we leave footprints. Wes got clawrs
>>
>>4727155
>>4727227
>>4727228
>>4727230
>>4727232
Bah. No reason to not, you suppose. As long as you keep a wide line and make sure that you’re not going to do anything stupid, you could at least try to keep your ear to the ground and see what other information you might be able to pick up. Y’never know.

So instead of following them back, you begin to take off in a counter-clockwise direction, making a large loop around the perimeter as much as you dare. You’ve got a decent idea of what they’re camped out, but their sensory equipment is too good to allow you an easy peek at it to confirm your location- so that plus the dark means you’re going off of dead reckoning and danger sense for the most part. It shouldn’t be too much…

“Nothing here?” comes the voice of another of a trio.

“We’ve got some curious things out there, but we all should’ve expected that,” comes another. “You stay away from them, they’ll stay away from you, hopefully.”
“Just hope this stupid obsession of the king’s pays off…” a third grumbles. “Been sending us all around creation for this stuff…” That’s curious. So is that why they got it? There’s a brief quarrel about the insult, before you head off.

The second group takes a bit longer to shadow before you hear anything. “So, we’re for sure on the right trail?”

“According to the intel, yeah,” comes the response. “Nothing else, but all signs say it’s somewhere deep. Real deep. Deepest known cavern is thisaway, so…”

“Fine, as long as there’s a payoff.” Well, that’s ALSO good to know.

It’s the third group where trouble finds you. You were pretty sure you were out of their range by now, but they might’ve double-backed, or just had a wider range sensor...or maybe it was just a screwup on your part, thought you hate to admit it.

“Hey, what’s that noise?” You pause. What?

“Got something on the sensor,” a second voice rings out. “Big, but I can’t see anything- too dark.” Damnit. That was a light scent, but…

“Can’t hear anything big, either. Be careful. Let’s move, try to get eyes on it before we report.” That sucks. You’re going to have to be exceptionally quiet to escape them- that or take them out somehow without alerting everyone- which is pretty much impossible.

>You’ve gotta try and sneak out. Quick and careful like...
>Maybe one of your possessed creatures can cause a distraction?
>Perhaps if you play it careful, you can ambush them in plain sight…
>Other
>>
>>4727314
>Perhaps if you play it careful, you can ambush them in plain sight…
>>
>>4727314
>Maybe one of your possessed creatures can cause a distraction?
Question is, do we go straight for this cavern? Or do we raze this excursion and take their key first?
>>
>>4727319
we need to raze the excursion so that people don't know we have all the keys. or at least kill them once they're no longer useful

>>4727314
>Maybe one of your possessed creatures can cause a distraction?
>>
>>4727314
>Perhaps if you play it careful, you can ambush them in plain sight…
>Keep Gartoum ready
>>
>>4727319
I'm a fan of brute forcing or subverting the door/entryway, but it's still nice to not have a small army breathing down our neck.
>>
>>4727314
>>4727323
+
We can take them. We can get Gartoum to kill one while we snipe one with a blast and sling one over with sticky mana.
>>
>>4727328
Blast would be too loud, we'll need to melee incapacitate them, or shock'm
>>
>>4727328
Blasts are loud, we can shoot sticky mana/electric line out of each hand to get two at once and let Gartoum take out the third one.
>>
>>4727330
I think magi-wave is silent, it's like a energy blade projectile.
>>
>>4727330
>shoot sticky mana
Meant as 'shoot it like a lasso and pull them towards us'.
>>
>>4727314
>>4727323
Sure, let's do this.
I think Gartoum can slither in shadows pretty fast without a passenger, so they won't be able to pick him up until it's too late.
>>
Will post tomorrow!
>>
They should have mages in their ranks. Magic users, clustered in groups in a camp.
I think it's time to finally use the Z1. If it malfunctions, the target rich environment will make sure that it will go after other poor fools instead of us. Not to mention the absolute pandemonium.
>>
>>4727594
Depending on how long it takes to set up we might have to wait for another encounter. Hopefully it goes well enough that we can use it again this job, would be fun to test it on a hero/fairy/boss type
>>
>>4727683
Thread #95 (http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4362744/)
>Ultimately, you figure it’s probably a decent opportunity to try some of her new and improved stuff out- along with some of the old. Operation Z1 in particular gets her excited, when you express intent to use it. “Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Okay, now, be SURE to pop the button on the side here, you’re gonna see it split a little bit, then just pulse like, a smidge of mana into it. Once it glows, THEN throw them like, at LEAST 4 meters in front of you when you let go of the button- s’like a grenade! Remember to get the HECK outta dodge, though, just to be safe. Or at least ten meters, I’ve set up a passive scan- agh, nevermind. Point is DON’T BE CLOSE. It SHOULDN’T tag you but I don’t wanna risk that it WILL. Yet.”

I assume that it should already have a recorder packed in, would be too impractical for field testing otherwise. That, and it works like a grenade. Our throw strength is great, we can basically lob it like mortar shell if we know where the hotspots are.

The old X4 from thread #23 (http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/1180616/)
>Meanwhile, the Commodore grunts. “It was meant to be a deterrent for abnormally powerful crystal mages! Operation X4 is a combination of crystal tech and common engineering; it was intended to be a series of artificial gems that seek out high concentrations of magical energies, and is capable of immobilizing any moving being, to allow for swift capture. For self-defense purposes, it’s also capable of breaking down most of said energies to their base forms, and dispersing it, or dispersing kinetic force!”
>“Yes. They can be rather indiscriminate when they don't detect any; which is why we have been reluctant to use them. They don’t injure, but they use a magic to freeze your personal ‘time’."
> “Destroy them? Not sure. They were designed to be able to handle any sort of magical output most normal crystal mages can put out.”
X4 could tank Magiblasts, and inflicts stasis status on whatever it touches. Basically instant death. The Z1 we borrowed was described as not as sturdy as the X4 though, so we should be able to lure the thing to our beasts and gang up on it, it helps that we have plenty of options for long-ranged non-magical weapons. I think it only works at touch range or close to, and we're much faster.
>>
>>4727702
Huh, thought it was more like a mine for some reason. Wonder what the targetting priority is like, and whether Owlia can evetually refine it into a smart bomb.
>>
>>4727784
And by smart bomb I mean something we plant rather than throw e.g attune it to our mana signature, place markers on locations/people and remote detonate when we are far off
>>
>>4727338
Man, I just want to try the new akimbo taser technique.
>>
>>4727338
>>4728525
Even if the energy wave itself is silent, it's more bright and visible, and the things that it'd break on its path are gonna create noise as well.
>>
>>4727314
>>4727316
>>4727323
>>4727328
>>4727347
You’re not positive on your chances of a clean escape- and if you try it and fail, you’re up shit creek since they’ll obviously know there’s an active opposing force. If you manage to down them now, they’ll still be suspicious and more wary, but there’s a much better chance they’ll mark it off as misfortune in a hostile land. Still...you’d rather not bet too hard on that. Fortunately, you have a bit of an assurance- also a workhorse.

You try your best to make your profile as low as possible- they know where you are, so no use in trying to hide. You’ve just got to catch them off guard. ‘Gartoum,’ you mentally whisper. ‘Get ready to jump ‘em.’

‘Why are you whispering in your head?’ is the retort, and you have to force yourself to ignore him as they approach. You’re not going to get more than one shot at this most likely…

Fortunately, Gartoum gives a small hum of assurance as you can hear the footsteps grow closer. “Seriously, I’m not seeing a damn thing and we’re near on top of it. The hell is this, some sort of fault with the fool thing?”

Only then do the three come into view. You can barely make them out- they’re near uniform considering the metal plate armor. One of them’s holding what looks to be an old-style rifle as best you can tell, scanning the trees, and a second similarly has a sword out, though you also note...something on his hip, can’t tell at this angle. The middle one has some sort of stone tablet that’s glowing softly, the only way you can tell it’s stone at all. “Anyone see anything?” He asks in annoyance as the other two peer around- and the gunner’s eyes just about fall on you…

>Roll 2d20, best of three.
>>
Rolled 1, 10 = 11 (2d20)

>>4731976
>>
Rolled 5, 3 = 8 (2d20)

>>4731976
>>
Rolled 18, 5 = 23 (2d20)

>>4731976
Aw fuck
>>
Rolled 7, 14 = 21 (2d20)

>>4731976
>>
>>4732004
Wew, close call.
>>
>>4731984
18 and a 10. I guess we predator one of the soldiers and the other starts either shouting or shooting around the forest.
>>
>>4732053
It's more like we spiderman 2 of them and Gartoum plays around with his a little too much.
>>
>>4732053
Early rifles were muzzleloaders, in the world info tech level it said that the standard are flintlocks - doubt anyone can get more than 1 shot at a time.
>>
>>4725840
Actually, blunderbusses could be a good pick for them too. And muskets packed more energy than early rifles.
>>
>>4731976
>>4731984
>>4731985
>>4732004
The man’s eyes slip over you briefly, and for a moment you don’t believe you can be that lucky, even hidden in the underbrush as you are.

But all the same, you’re not going to question it, and your legs are already pumping, your hand’s already moving. The man with the sword’s your target- he’s closer, he has less range. The two of them were searching in a cross pattern. Smart, but not quick enough on the reaction.Gets you out of the line of fire for the gunner, too.

You barely hear a shout from the lead fellow as you land on the unfortunate’s shoulders, grab his compatriot’s head, twist and squeeze. There’s a distorted, distinct *crack* as his head spins nearly 180 degrees. You for CERTAIN here a sharp retort of gunfire; but you feel no sting of any sort- whatever it was, it didn’t hit you. Still, that’s alert enough for anyone that’s in range to hear. As the man falls dead, you leap off, aiming for the center man. You’re on borrowed time, now- especially as you see the man take out a small...stave? A wooden cylinder of some sort- but he begins to chant something, and you’d rather not find out what it is as you target him.

>Roll 1d20, best of three.
>>
Rolled 5 (1d20)

>>4732132
>>
Rolled 5 (1d20)

>>4732132
>>
Rolled 6 (1d20)

>>4732132
>>
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>>4732159
>>4732144
>>4732138
>>
The first direct hit of the job. We've had a good run, let's hope it's not a long term spell.
>>
>>4732168
well, i bet we could use out healing gauntlets to revert the curse, or whatever damage it can do to us.
>>
>>4732132
>>4732138
>>4732144
>>4732159

Whatever the hell he was chanting, it was fuckin’ SHORT. Maybe two words. You wind up slamming into...SOMETHING, and a cold numbness shoots through your body, forcing a strangled gasp in surprise as you spasm uncontrollably for a second or two, falling limp against whatever the hell body barrier he’d managed to throw up. Your vision swims, and your mind follows- you’re not sure where Gartoum is, and the blurriness in your eyes and mental state aren’t exactly the best state to ask...the fact that he’s not assisting you, to you limited senses, is worrying. Wonder where your ‘partner’ is, for that matter...you’d had him stay well behind you, but would he even try to rescue you?

...where’s Pecker, for that matter, too? Probably flew off all the same.

But that’s less worrying than the man who shoves you off, and even impacting the ground doesn’t give you any feeling; you can barely hear him step up to your prone body, and you can feel...something on your back. Not sure what. Some muttering you hear, but it’s hard to make out…

>...got to...fight back. Can’t go down that...quickly!
>That...didn’t end well... Shouldn’t he have tried to kill you already…what’s going on?
>...where’s Gargles…? Could...really use...his help right now…
>Other
>>
>>4732238
>...where’s Gargles…? Could...really use...his help right now…
>Other
Activate Overchannel and Shock Touch. We can channel electricity on any part of our body, and the burning aura helps too.
>>
>>4732238
>...where’s Gargles…? Could...really use...his help right now…
>Other
Activate Overchannel and Shock Touch.

this would be a really good moment for the kid to start exploding people too
>>
>>4732238
>...got to...fight back. Can’t go down that...quickly!
>Activate Mental Barrier
>>
>>4732238
>>4732247
>>4732250
+ helps that we don't need hand signs or invocations to trigger our spells.
>>
>>4732238
>>4732250
Let's do this FIRST too if our addled mind can cast it.
>>
We can also cast out magiwaves to disrupt everyone around us. After raising our mental barriers, of course
>>
>>4732261
And this goes to show that high level endomagic is scary and we must find ways to defend against them after this.
>>
>>4732250
>>4732238
Do this too.
>>
>>4732238
...so, we're casting Mental Barrier first, then trying our offensive auras and then calling for help, right?
>>4732249
Right, where was he all this time? He doesn't fit into the bag of holding anymore, so..?
>>
That's all for today. Will post tomorrow. Think about your next actions carefully.

Like >>4732273 says, that's endomagic for you. Can pack a wallop.

The spell is called Numbblood Guard. Touch range, it is.
>>
>>4732279
Forgot the bit about fighting back
>>
>>4732279
>Wonder where your ‘partner’ is, for that matter...you’d had him stay well behind you, but would he even try to rescue you?
Gartoum and Gargles are both coming and there's also the boy who's behind us at a distance. This is just a minor setback but a good wakeup call - we can't just be like a melee gorilla anymore, we need to engage at range. Thankfully we have a lot of options for that.
>>
>>4732279
I wouldnt be surprised (and would expect desu) if he's hiding. He just needs to rise to the challenge.

>>4732273
We could try to use flux wave on everyone, including us to force a spell purge? Because from what i remember, you need to focus to keep the spells going, and us getting hit by random wavelenghts of magic could help us regain some of our senses
>>
>>4732291
We could but our concentration is affected right now, hence we're setting up a Mind Barrier. A Flux's feedback can work I think?
>>
>Meanwhile:

>Alright, ladies! And gentlebot.

>Haw! Gentle.

>I don't think you've eeeever been to the Pavilion before...

>I have.

>'Zumi you don't count so be quiet. ANYWAY! I'm sure you all have seen the place in the distance, but I think none of you have ever gone because it's hard to appreciate just how ABSO-GIGANTIC-NORMOUS it is. There's a reason we call it its own district! It's because it's THAT big.

>...that...isn't even a word-

>Focus please! ANYWAY AGAIN, this is why I've decided to bring alll of you along on this little shopping trip! Now, first rule- don't be afraid of getting lost, the place is entirely safe, but there's also people who's whole job is to find lost people and escort them to wherever they need to go. Heck, it's got its own taxi service. It's cheap, it helps, abuse it, there's no shame in it!

>Wait...like, th' big domed place in the center? That place? An' what's a taxi.

>Indeed, my wolfy friend, and don't worry about it! Moving on, there is literally EVERYTHING for sale there. Or close to everything! However, warning numero dos- do NOT expect anything there to be as advertised. You all got the Welcome To speech and brochure, so you've been told this, but just as a reminder- nothing there's vetted for quality since it's where all the newbies start, so if you get swindled, that's your own fault! Buyer Beware!

>Naturally. It seems that's practically universal. So it's a massive bazaar, then?

>Like the bazaar of bazaars. You're not even getting how massive it is. Again- entire DISTRICT that is JUST the Pavilion. They have inns and sleeping houses there specifically for shoppers because you WILL spend more than a full day there if you don't know what you're looking for. There are people that live JUST in the Pavilion. We don't because we're awesome, but yeah.

>So then what brings ya? I doubt I'm just gonna find a random zero-point carbon geo-sequencer lying around...

>You might! And why? Duh! The prices are rock freakin' bottom! I can trick out my entire apartment for practically small change!

>...And how long do those accessories last, hm?

>...eh, y'get what you pay for. So, hope you all have something in mind!

>I do not think this is a prudent usage of money, Ms. Lorelei...

>Bah, s'fine! We kin have a looksee 'round, who knows? You might fine onna them...the things them people-looking bots were wearin' at the- oy!

>CEASE.

>Fine fine fine shuttin' up!

>Relax, this is gonna be great! Remember, just flash your Outgoer IDs so we can skip the annoying stuff. Now, last check- everyone has their backpacks, water bottles, snacks...
>>
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>>4732291
>>4732295
Don't need to pop a Flux.

http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4399412/
>Endomagic isn’t always necessarily an actual ‘forced’ change in the body’s activity/structure; it more commonly leads the body to ‘rebel’ against itself by fooling both mind and body into reacting into something happening that isn’t. It can make the body believe it’s under a specific effect and then react to it. Hence the myriad of backlashes and side effects Endomagic tends to have. That said, there ARE effects that can ‘adjust’ the body temporarily, pretty much just as advertised. They’re never permanent, though, and always cause some strain when actively used. However, that seems to be the keyword- actively used. It’s not mind control, so if you don’t use the afflicted physical feature, then obviously nothing is affected. Furthermore, it seems that it’s possible to 'cycle your mana' in order to ‘flush’ the effect out of your body should you have enough mana to spare, and use it to ‘remember’ how your body was before the effect went into play. Kind of like arranging a backup of a data drive or maybe more forcing normality in it or something. They DO note that it’s not as easy to do as it sounds, however, and so far, the book doesn’t go into detail on exactly HOW to do it, either. Damn.
It's not mind control, but it's a branch of mind-affecting spells so Mind Barrier can help quite decently.

BUT I think I know the definitive answer to combat them now.
>Furthermore, it seems that it’s possible to 'cycle your mana' in order to ‘flush’ the effect out of your body should you have enough mana to spare, and use it to ‘remember’ how your body was before the effect went into play.
What technique do we have that "cycles" our mana, or at least its' frequency? Flux Wave.
The spell requires Miranda to cycle through a large amount of frequencies really fast. While the book state that it isn't the case, we can BRUTEFORCE it. Miranda can, she did so to break Owlia's barriers before.
TLDR: We need to cycle our mana frequency so fast that the foreign spell/mana can't keep a lock on and lose steam. We'll obviously be with a headache afterward but it beats other options. We also don't need to fire the Flux.
>>
>>4732238
>>4732322
Keep this in mind. We need to erect the Mind Barrier first either way.
>>
>>4732322
We also have an unfinished directed version, so we can avoid hitting Gartoum or the fairy boy.
>>
>>4732286
I'm kinda annoyed that we didn't use mana tethers/taser>>4728525. Since most Endomagic techniques are touch-based we must keep our distance.
>>
>>4732352
I think we shouldn't fire a Flux on ourselves.

What I meant to say was we should internally cycle through our mana wavelengths/frequencies in increasing speed to try to see if the symptoms can be reduced, because according to the book that might be the first step of the correct way to purge Endomagic.
>>
>>4732322
Also I think we've stopped having headaches from Flux Wave. And the last time we've used Overchannel (undead dragon) and Low Quickenning(last thread) there were no drawbacks.
>>
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>>4732663
Indeed, we're familiar with that process enough now that the cast time and the feedback have been minimalized. Which is why I suggested bruteforcing by cycling mana at breakneck speed, we are capable of that now without getting too stunned afterward.
My theory is that since "cycling mana" is a correct defense against Endomagic, this type of magic either targets a specific range of mana frequency (easy enough, just switch until we get a "healthy" one).

Or it latches on even when we switch, which is the theory that I'm leaning toward. The book noted that it's not as easy to do as it sounds because not everyone can cycle fast enough to loose the hold, rather fortunate that we're a complete natural at this. We cycle in accelerating speed until the spell can't keep up anymore and is unattached (leaving the foreign spell/mana somewhere inside our body?). We can then flush/discharge them out to the environment.

>and use it to ‘remember’ how your body was before the effect went into play. Kind of like arranging a backup of a data drive or maybe more forcing normality in it or something.
This is still a complete mystery to me, but it might just be an extra "fast recovery" step since we've already purged the spell by then. Very important in combat situations but if we're not in such, or we have someone to cover for us we don't need this step.
>>
>>4732314
Well, good to know that Izumi has already finished the mission offered by the Knights Resplendent. I wonder if our teammates are going to get something worth updating their character sheets.
Also, has Nura never been to the Pavilion before?
>>
>>4732872
Probably-definitely. For starters, she's not a newbie like 3/4s of our workforce.
>>
>>4733937
Didn't she say she's only been in the Intersection only for a year or so?
>>
>>4733950
that's more or less 6 months more than O&C who are our oldest newbies.
>>
>>4732238
>...got to...fight back. Can’t go down that...quickly!
>>
If we're able to call Gargles to our aid, then I guess this expedition could call their own air support in as well. I didn't quite catch how big their birds are supposed to be, the size of a cavalry mount or of a flying weapons platform?
We still have our shadow bugs, and back when we've encountered the hero party we were able to summon medium and big ones, so we're not stuck with a swarm of gnats. I assume the small bugs are able to go under their radar, wonder if they could crawl under the plate armor of these soldiers and start chewing them from the
inside. If not, then they at least are good at detecting stuff, they could help in a fight by snatching and damaging the equipment of our enemies and there was also something special about their loud buzzing. And since our bugs can fly, then I think they could be effective against their birds.
>>
And back.

>>4732238

>>4732247
>>4732249
>>4732250
>>4732251
>>4732261
>>4736144

It’s...hard to concentrate. You feel chilled inside and out. It doesn’t hurt, but that’s almost worse- nothing to focus on…

Still...instinct. You still have that, right…?

‘Hey...Gargle...come help, please?’ You can almost hear the feedback as a mental screech, and you try to force your body to do...something. Anything.

Him, and… ‘Gartoum...where…?’

‘...nnngh...’ it’s the equivalent of a mental groan- he’s still around, but...oh. Might’ve gotten shot himself.

And the others...? Damnit, have to focus somehow...have to fight back! So damn cold, though...

>Roll 3d100, best of three.
>>
Rolled 48, 82, 56 = 186 (3d100)

>>4736205
>>
Rolled 89, 46, 72 = 207 (3d100)

>>4736205
>>
Rolled 37, 90, 29 = 156 (3d100)

>>4736205
>>
Writing.
>>
89, 90 and a 72

Not bad.
>>
>>4736266
Frankly needed after the previous blowout.
>>
>>4736205
>>4736207
>>4736209
>>4736219
You have to almost fight yourself in order to mentally straighten yourself out- you HAVE a technique to avoid this sort of...lag...in your head. You just need to remember how to do it…

...and as you continue to, it’s almost like layering up in warm clothes- the more you wrap your mind in protective magics, the more the haze clears. It’s not doing much of anything for your body, no, but now you’re beginning to perceive and remember better. Not only are you fairly certain you have a method to solve your body problem, you can actually understand what they’re saying, now. “...not dead like Kija, and I expect you don’t want to join him.”

“Don’t know what it was that hit me, but...agh...I got it,” is the response. “Hurts like all hells, though…”

“You just focus on wrapping that up. Damn shame our medic got hit first,” he grunts. “I don’t know why this one tried to ambush us, but I suspect the Captain will be eager to find out. All we have to do is hold position and keep them chilled until the escorts get here.”

“Who IS that, anyway?” the second voice comes. You can’t turn your head to see who’s who.

“Again, no clue. I thought they might be native, but I’m suspecting not, now that I think of it…” he mutters briefly, before speaking back up. “Now that I think of it, though, perhaps- hm?” A pause, and a sound of ruffling. “...damnit. I think this thing broke. Keeps flashing hotspots on and off.”

“You sure?” the other asks.

“Yeah. If it were real it’d stay steady. Something else to repair when we can,” the one covering you says with a grunt. So he believes, anyway. In the meantime, however...you’re trying to flush this coldness from your system. It’s taking some time, and a lot of mana cycling, but you’re pretty sure you can do it in juuust another minute…so long as they keep their focus off you.

However, that’s when he hauls you up, spinning you around to look you in the eye. “Don’t take your eyes off...her? Hm…” Next thing you know, you’re being spun around and bound by some type of wire- not that it’ll affect you too much, you think. You doubt he’s noticed how you’re feeling much warmer, judging by his …

>Go for a full Flux Wave. It might cause some issues with the others, but you’re pretty sure you can get free now. And Gargles should be here soon enough.
>Keep yourself appearing weak. You wonder if you might not be able to wheedle any information out of this Captain before backup comes.
>Other
>>
>>4736312
>Keep yourself appearing weak. You wonder if you might not be able to wheedle any information out of this Captain before backup comes.
Guess we're still in our cloak.
>>
>>4736312
>Keep yourself appearing weak. You wonder if you might not be able to wheedle any information out of this Captain before backup comes.
>Signal Gartoum and Gargles to standby.
Keep the Flux until the escorts/Captain arrive, then we bonk them.
And holy smokes the theories in >>4732712 >>4732322 are right. We know how to purge Endomagic now.
>>
>>4736312
>Keep yourself appearing weak. You wonder if you might not be able to wheedle any information out of this Captain before backup comes.
>>
>>4736312
>Keep yourself appearing weak. You wonder if you might not be able to wheedle any information out of this Captain before backup comes.
>>
When strong, appear weak.

Writing!
>>
>>4736312
>>4736321
>>4736326
>>4736326
>>4736339
>>4736353
>>4736353
Hmmm...for now...you might be best off leaning into this opportunity. See where it might go. Your mind feels clearer already, and you can from there send a mental suggestion to both Gargles and Gartoum to standby, out of sight and hopefully out of mind when they get there. You don’t want to give them cause for alarm- and Gartoum needs to heal anyway, it seems. The boy and the bird are hopefully at least on their way, but you wouldn’t be surprised if they’re too afraid otherwise.

Still, you keep yourself lax and shivering a bit to sell the illusion. “We’ll figure out your purpose here sooner than later, girl.” With that, he spins you around, and he begins to tie your hands up with some sort of wire. It’s not particularly thin wire, and you suspect you could snap it with some effort, but it’ll work out for now.

It’s not much longer before you hear more tromping in the gloom, and you’re spun over again to see the Captain, dressed in full armor, red and silver, and backed by several other soldiers. “This the captive?” His voice is low and harsh, as expected. He’s, as far as you can tell, possessed of a thin countenance, with a small soul patch of a beard and cold eyes.

“Yes, sir. She ambushed us. Snapped Kija’s neck in an instant, would’ve done the same to me if it weren’t for the Numbblood spell.” He turns to his ally. “Some...thing, was with her. Shadowy, never seen anything like it. It got a good shot in at Rijou as well, but he was able to deal his own strike in turn. The beast is likely bleeding out; I saw it flee into the underbrush.

The captain nods. “Understood. We’ll send men to keep an eye out, make sure it’s finished off or no longer a threat. As for its mistress…” And he turns his eyes back to you, and they thin harshly, glaring at you. “We have many questions for you. You will answer them.”

You’re brought with them, under close and constant guard, and a gun at your back at all times. Eventually, you find yourself back in the campgrounds, where the military party is still waiting; many tents are about, and even then, you can tell that the dozen or so forces waiting aren’t by any means all of them there. “Come. She sits away from the rest.”

Before long, they have you sat, and the Captain sits in front of the fire, allowing it to cast an ominous glow against him as a silhouette, and also denying you of immediate warmth. Not bad. “Now. You will tell us your reason for being here, and why you assaulted and murdered one of my men.” Huh. You’re pretty sure his language changed. Not that it matters much to you, but something to note.

> “You were in my way. That’s all.” They don’t need any more reason to want you dead.
> “Tell me why you’re here, then.” You already know, but it’s a good lead it...
> Remain silent. They can come up with their own conclusions- and then you kick their teeth in.
> Other
>>
>>4736442
> Remain silent. They can come up with their own conclusions- and then you kick their teeth in.
Probably should keep pretending that we're still feeling weak.
>>
>>4736442
> Remain silent. They can come up with their own conclusions- and then you kick their teeth in.
They brought us into their camp. Wonder what will happen if we unleash a zombie dragon in it.

Gartoum got repelled by a single army soldier? That's hard to believe.
>>
maaan, i feel there is another way to answer this, but i can't really figure it out, because if we don't answer something, i feel they will bring out the torture devices to bring out some answers
>>
>>4736448
>Gartoum got repelled by a single army soldier? That's hard to believe.
i mean, we got knocked into the ground by one mage. plus this is a hard mission. it makes sense
>>
>>4736442
>>4736448
Hmm, yeah let's change to to something like.
>"You're trespassing. Why?"
Short, and we can mutter it out in a way that we look like we're still addled.
We aren't going to get something outta them just by being silent.
>>
>>4736448
This island is notorious for extremely dangerous wildlife, so they came prepared. Although I'll agree, it does seem how one dude was able to mess Gartoum up, he's managed to deal with a team of corporate security team that had an experimental weapon with them all by himself back in mecha mission.
>>
>>4736442
>>4736445
Sure, changing to this>>4736460
>>
>>4736442
>"You're trespassing. Why?"
>>
>>4736442
>>4736460
+
I'm surprised too, Gartoum got the jump on him and was aiming to kill. If it's a team sure, but it's a lone man with a gun.
>>
>>4736470
Thats the power of rolling a 6
>>
>>4736474
Thought that roll was for us and he got a 10 in the previous pair.
An embarrassing fumble. If anything we can grill him later.
>>
>>4736442
>Huh. You’re pretty sure his language changed. Not that it matters much to you, but something to note.
Interesting tidbits. This confirms that Miranda and friends have minor omnilingualism.
>>
>>4736494
...we already knew that. or what's different this time?
>>
>>4736442
>>4736460
>>4736464
>>4736469
>>4736470
Hmm...how to get anything out of this? Maybe spin it around on them. See if they’re willing to gloat or at least be ‘respectable’ about it. But how would be a good way to phrase it...maybe...hm… “You’re trespassing. Why?” The voice you give is slurry, ground down. Better to make the act work. And the idea of ‘native people protecting their land’ seems workable...well, at least it would be workable in most other situations, but in this one it’s a bit more of a crapshoot.

Not too surprisingly, he chuckles. “Trespassing? I think you’ll find that we paid honest money to be here, and we’ve received all due permissions. Not even the local government is fond of this island, so we can be here all we wish, no matter the reason so long as it’s nothing directly against them. As can you, really!” and then his voice turns to a growl. “...save for your offenses against my men. The death of one of mine is a crime I take most seriously.” Clearly. “So I will ask you again. What possessed you to perform such an offense?”

‘Ughhh…’ Gartoum? ‘My, my, my, that was a nasty trick...’

‘What happened?’ you mentally respond as you scowl at the man- who delivers a backhanded slap and barks out.

“Speak! Are you merely some random savage, or-” it’s here, however, he grabs for your chest clasp, and tries to tear it away, as though to confirm your identity. You’re not really focused on the shocked look he gives you as your self is revealed, but you do notice it.

‘I’m just a bit shaken up, is all. Seems he had a rather nasty slug in that gun of his- something to scramble magics a touch. Left me a bit discombobulated, it did…and are you in their company by now, I wager?’

‘Yup. Be careful, though, they’re looking out for you and have more scanning systems. I’m trying to get some information out of them right now.’ Gartoum will be a great help if you can get him doing anything remotely important.

‘Fiiine by me.’ Huh. He really does sound a bit out of it, now that you think about it. But he’s not the only one.

Judging by the reactions, the soldiers...aren’t certain WHAT you are. Guessing they’ve never heard about the dragons. But there’s a lot of ‘where is she from?’ and the sort, that’s for certain. Except for the Captain, who’s just seemed as stone-faced as ever. And now you have an old gun pointed at you. “You will be coming with us regardless. We can either make your stay painless or very uncomfortable.”

One enterprising soldier moves to get his superior’s attention. “Sir! Maybe it’s related to what she said earlier. She called it ‘trespassing.’”

There’s a pause in the camp at those words. “True…” the Captain mutters. Seems HE knows a few details as to why they’re here, at least. “Then tell me, precisely who or what are you?” Hm. He’s pretty rigid. Doesn’t spill too easily…

(cont.)
>>
>>4736521
“Got some more movements,” one of them far to the side says suddenly, as they peer into some kind of crystal ball. “First team is reporting they’ve made contact with a...traveler. Doesn’t sound quite in his right mind. He’s requesting shelter.” Huh. Is that yours?

“Appearance?” the Captain asks.

After a moment, the man shrugs. “Seems a bit of a wastrel, by their reckoning, sir.” What, they can’t sense the oodles of mana coming off him? “They reckon some sort of poet looking for a romantic death or something. I’m less inclined to think so, but…”

“Give me a moment,” he commands as he turns his attention back to you. The gun's still point blank. "As for you...speak quickly. I'm in little mood to have more than one useless guess."

>You might have to try some leading questions- but which ones?
>Maybe just try to ‘confirm’ whatever assumptions he has and work backwards...
>Forget it. You’re just going to have to break out.
>Other
>>
oooh, i think the kid is formulating a plan. i guess we should let him try it out while we try to get as much info from them. and if the kid plan's fail, we bail all of us out.
>>
>>4736524
>Maybe just try to ‘confirm’ whatever assumptions he has and work backwards...
unless some anon has a good leading question, i'm picking this.
>>
>>4736524
>You might have to try some leading questions- but which ones?
>"Your trek will be fruitless, the treasure within the deep will not be revealed without the lost key."
>"What makes you think you're worthy of such?"

The captain is a pro, but let's see if we can trip and bait him in his confidence.
>>
>>4736524
>Maybe just try to ‘confirm’ whatever assumptions he has and work backwards...
>"Your trek will be fruitless, the treasure within the deep will not be revealed without the lost key."
>"What makes you think you're worthy of such?"
Why not both.
>>
>>4736524
>>4736538
Adding in.
>Maybe just try to ‘confirm’ whatever assumptions he has and work backwards...
>>
>>4736524
>>4736553
>>
>>4736538
>“You will be coming with us regardless. We can either make your stay painless or very uncomfortable.”
We're leading them into believing that we're in a group that's protecting the treasure. They're taking us straight to that location if we're not breaking out. These lines will further cement it, they'll know that we're "valuable".
>>
>>4736574
>Judging by the reactions, the soldiers...aren’t certain WHAT you are. Guessing they’ve never heard about the dragons. But there’s a lot of ‘where is she from?’ and the sort, that’s for certain. Except for the Captain, who’s just seemed as stone-faced as ever. And now you have an old gun pointed at you. “You will be coming with us regardless. We can either make your stay painless or very uncomfortable.”

>One enterprising soldier moves to get his superior’s attention. “Sir! Maybe it’s related to what she said earlier. She called it ‘trespassing.’”

>There’s a pause in the camp at those words. “True…” the Captain mutters. Seems HE knows a few details as to why they’re here, at least. “Then tell me, precisely who or what are you?” Hm. He’s pretty rigid. Doesn’t spill too easily…

I'm fine with either options after this, breaking out or using this cab they're so graciously offering us.
>>
Rolled 62 (1d100)

Well, let's see how we work this out...

Writing!
>>
>>4736524
>>4736538
>>4736553
>>4736566
>>4736573
Maybe if you can try working from the back, so to speak...he wants answers, so do you, but he’s being cagey. He doesn’t quite know what answers YOU want, but you know what he wants...so maybe there’s a way by that...worth a shot. "Your trek will be fruitless,” you mention.

THAT gets the attention of the Captain, for certain. “Oho? So you’re aware of the treasure that lies within this island? And you’re certain it exists?”

You shake your head. “The treasure within the deep will not be revealed without the lost key." And not the one they have, you think.

Not that he’s aware. “I think you’ll find yourself quite surprised. We indeed have a key. You, on the other hand, have death on your hands.” Still on that, huh? Persistent. “However, it appears as though you may be aware of the location of what we seek.” He motions with his gun, a clear threat. “You will guide us there, and show us past to our goal.”

You scoff- mostly because honestly, you’re trying to think about how to maneuver out of this. There’s options, but they’re messy. "What makes you think you're worthy of such?"

“The fact that our forces are numerous. That we walk under the Emperor’s radiant guidance. That we are sure of mind and skilled of arms. That we are men who serve the greatest country and greatest lords this world has seen.” Dedicated, too. “And now, we shall-”

Suddenly, a loud *screech* - and a familiar one - comes from the distance. There’s a moment of tense silence as they wait, arms taken up as they scan the treeline and their devices. But, after nothing comes, they begin to settle down. The Captain looks back at you, his fire doused a bit by the call of Gargles’ arrival- not that he knows just what that means. “As you can see, this place is most dangerous. So you will be our guide regardless of your opinion on the matter. Should we determine you aren’t doing such a job properly, then we’ll dispose of you.” Ooh, scary. Well, would be if you weren’t you. “So you should do so properly.”

“Sir!” Ah, new people, coming from beyond the firelight. You’re not allowed to turn around, though- you attempt to look, but the Captain quickly straightens you out via the gun. “I’ve brought the, uh...wanderer.”

“And so I find myself in this den of pain deliverance and grand beasts enwrapped in metal…” Yup. That dour tone can only be one person.

(cont.)
>>
>>4736690
And judging from the expression on those around you, they aren’t thinking too highly of him. “...right. Then wanderer, you’ll be sat and fed tonight. Tomorrow, we shall escort you to our base camp. There you shall remain until we contact a flyer to bring you off this island.” He seems reluctant to give this, but if you have any read on his thoughts at all, he likely sees it as getting rid of a potential witness in a kind manner.

Silence for a moment, but you can see the Captain’s eyes stray to you again. “...You have with you a wayward youth- lost, unknowing of what her future holds. Desperate to hold on to a past she does not truly know and forgets. Forgotten memories and muddled understanding. No one of past or future importance. Only present, ever changing, important as the wind that blows across a young babe’s cheek but an instant.”

...well. That stung a bit. The Captain seems non-plussed. "And your point?"

"Do you not feel pity for such a being? ...Perhaps not. You know her little. As do I. Perhaps not my place." He's talking more than you expected, but you kinda want him to stop.

"We intend to use this one, as she might well be more important than you figure, wanderer. And I'd thank you to not question your saviors," he barks.

"As you say," he shrugs. Great. No, really, wonderful job.

>Roll 2d100, best of three for events.
>>
Rolled 93, 9 = 102 (2d100)

>>4736692
Luv' me some random events.
>>
Rolled 75 (1d100)

>>4736692
JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL
>>
Rolled 85, 11 = 96 (2d100)

>>4736692
Here we go!
>>
>>4736697
You forgot to roll one dice mate. It's 2d100.
>>
Rolled 11, 65 = 76 (2d100)

>>4736692
>>4736697
You dropped this
>>
Rolled 31, 44 = 75 (2d100)

>>4736692
JESUS DRIVE BETTER THIS TIME
fuck, i forgot its a 2d100
>>
...

...

...

*chirp*

Writing.
>>
93 and a 65.
>>
>>4736704
Can we keep him after this?
Pleeeeeaaaase?
>>
>>4736702
hell yeah, its better than my roll
>>
>>4736704
Pecker to the rescue?
>>
>>4736703
i think Jesus is trying to tell you something.
>>
>>4736714
probably yes
>>
>What, they can’t sense the oodles of mana coming off him?
Their sensor devices don't detect via mana. They aren't magic-sensitive like us, even their mages can't see that they're standing right next to two magical nuclear reactor.
>>
>>4736692
>>4736695
>>4736702

>>4736704
For a while, you’re not even certain what’s going to happen with this. He doesn’t seem to be in any particular hurry to free you, but then again, he’s under guard, same as you. You’re not even sure he HAD a plan, and was just trying to get back near you. You might have to- wait.

Where’s Pecker? Where’s the bird?

Almost as in answer, you hear an idle *chirp*. And suddenly, moving almost like a hummingbird, the little thing comes- but now you notice that it’s colored a subdued yellow- at least in the firelight. You’re not sure what it got, but...there’s a commotion as it suddenly darts into the campgrounds.

To their credit, they take it seriously, and several draw blades and seek to strike Pecker down.

That doesn’t last long when he opens his beak and a sphere of ball lightning comes out of his mouth. That plus metal armor doesn’t exactly bode well for the unlucky asshole who gets fried.

And THAT starts a panic. Including the bird, who’s darting between swipes like...well, like its life depends on it. Several more spheres come out, shocking up their people. A gunshot barely misses, but misses it does. That’s enough for it to really freak. How?

Why, it flies up. And starts sparking up a storm.

The next thing you know, there’s a localized lightning storm in your vicinity. And yet none of the bolts are touching you. It’s almost mesmerizing, really. Your ‘friend’ hardly seems affected, either, and you’re pretty sure upon seeing that that Pecker is either affectionate towards you two or it’s smarter than it looks and acts.

'Well. That certainly lit up the place.' Ah. Glad to see you're feeling better, Gartoum.

Regardless, the cacophony of light and sound doesn't last very long before the smell of charred flesh and various and sundry other burnt things fills the area. Everyone’s not dead- you can hear some groans for certain, and you saw several people flee in the chaos, but there’s sure to be at least some interest form the local wildlife- meat’s on the menu and there for the taking. Enough to brave any unnatural light, no doubt. Whoever isn’t dead, leaving them will be enough to finish the job, you’re pretty certain.

Time to escape, find that key, and get right the hell out of here.

>Roll 1d20, best of three.
>>
File: peccking.gif (500 KB, 356x348)
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Rolled 5 (1d20)

>>4736846
Birdy just stole an entire camp worth of XP.

Meh, expedition is taken care of now at least.
>>
Rolled 18 (1d20)

>>4736846
>>
Rolled 3 (1d20)

>>4736846
How come he gets the thunderdome before us?
>>
>>4736861
YES, REDEMPTION
>>
>>4736846
Boss can we keep our plant controlled monsters and the bugs at the ready?
>>
I want to keep Pecker now. But i take it likes the kid maybe it would be better to leave it with him?
>>
>>4736932
given that pecker seems to infuse itself with the mana it absorbs and then has skills related to that mana...could pecker throw mini nebula busters?
>>
>>4737197
Wasn't Pecker unable to eat our mana? Something about us being to neutral?
>>
>>4736846
>>4736860
>>4736861
>>4736866
The search, fortunately, doesn’t take that long; it’s all of about 5 minutes or so before you find it stowed away in a now scorched and half burnt tent; it’s just sitting on a desk, which frankly makes you thankful that it wasn’t melted accidentally by the bolts. It’s a fancy thing, with a diamond-shaped tipped head and onyx in coloration. Also about as big as your forearm, so there’s that, too.

In general, this seems like it would’ve been the command tent, which explains it, honestly. Likely whatever’s remotely important would be in here. You’d rather not take TOO much of a risk here, but it’s likely at least worth a quick look around.

Pecker comes in and lands on your head, as per usual. However, it doesn’t start pecking- in fact, judging by the jostling up there, it might be trying to nest. Not to mention, you can’t help but notice it’s back to its normal color. Huh. Well, guess it’s used up all its juice for now. It’s a nice bird, you suppose. It can rest up for a bit.

You give what’s left a search through, but nothing else seems to come up at- wait. There’s a small pouch in the corner, near the bed. Seems like there’s something else after all...and what it looks like is a piece of parchment. Unfurling it and checking outside in the remaining firelight, you notice it’s some kind of map. It seems like it’s more a general ‘locations’ thing, however, nothing exacting or the sort. Still, could be useful. You’ll take it. This place will be enough of a graveyard and feeding ground in short order when the beasts catch the smell.

As for you? Seems like you'll be walking through the night. Hopefully, those monsters will stay away...at least until you can find a safe-ish place to sleep. There has to be some other rockfaces and whatnot here somewhere...

Looking at your halfbreed friend, you make a motion to get a move on.

The beasts can enjoy their delivered meal, as far as you’re concerned.

Fortunately, you managed to find SOMETHING decent. It's not quite a cavern hideaway, but it's higher than ground floor, and leads into a small system that doesn't really go anywhere, but has a pretty high ceiling. It'll do for now- after clearing out the current occupant, some big fuzzy/scaled bear thing. Thinking about it, you call Gargles over as well- he'll appreciate having a place like this to rest- especially considering it looks like rain is coming in, judging by the drizzles.

Just a set up of a Zone Scanner or two, and you can at least trance for a bit...

Although all things considered, you're starting to wondering if it's worth it or not.

>You might want to get out as you can come morning and clearer skies.
>No, you've done this much. Might as well go the whole distance.
>Other
>>
Done for tonight. I'll try to be back early tomorrow as well. Probably around 8 AM PST or so. Give or take an hour or so.
>>
>>4737329
>You might want to get out as you can come morning and clearer skies.

We still need to get the stones and we can always sell the key to our boss for extra pay.
>>
>>4737329
>No, you've done this much. Might as well go the whole distance.
Nope. Pretty sure we can afford another day to search for this treasure, just another day or so.
>>
>>4737329
>Other: Send the bugs and the plants do deal with the stragglers from the camp.
>>
>>4737329
>>No, you've done this much. Might as well go the whole distance.
Are we still going after the Dragon King after this? The soldiers didn't realized what we're supposed to be, so there's a big chance that the treasure is not related to him at all.
>>
>>4737329
>No, you've done this much. Might as well go the whole distance.
The amount of loot we're getting this mission is staggering.
Not that I mind. Can just give away to the girls.
>>
>>4737586
And gentlebot.
>>
Writing now.
>>
>>4738106
Yey.
>>
>>4737329
>>4737367
>>4737447
>>4737586

You shake your head as you consider it. You’ve done this much to get the extra, and frankly, you’re ahead of the game when it comes to Lockstones. There’s only 2 to get, and while it might be a bit more trouble TO get them, you’ll have enough backup at this rate to force the issue if need be. Hopefully not, but you never know.

The morning comes with the remnants of the rain’s assault; you step out into a jungle bright and still just as dangerous, dripping and damp and muggy. Not the best morning to start in, but it’ll have to do. Gargles is bedding down for the day, understandable considering his emergency flight the other night. Pecker and your halfbreed friend are still sleeping. You’re going to need to wake the kid, but the bird can sleep.

The journey for now is pretty lax, thank goodness- seems everything is still sleeping or covering up from last night. You’re not a big fan of walking through mud, either, but you have a goal to get to...hopefully. According to the map, there should be a basin here, that’s supposed to have an unnatural shape to it. If you can find it, there should be some sort of dip and that’s supposed to either be the entrance or near it...

>Roll 1d20, best of three.
>>
Rolled 8 (1d20)

>>4738282
>>
Rolled 10 (1d20)

>>4738282
>>
Rolled 15 (1d20)

>>4738282
>>
Writing!
>>
>>4738282
>>4738284
>4738284
>>4738317
>>4738325
It takes some looking around, but it’s not until you come across a gully that’s...well, if you’re being honest, it looks strange. Basin, gully, whatever. Point is, it looks like it’s some sort of star shape. The distance between the points, in particular, is too exact to be organic. Clearly was made intentionally. That plus the strange protrusion in the dead center? Easily the right place...hopefully.

Now, there’s supposed to be a dip that’s indicative of an entrance...ah, must be that. It’s near one of the points, a bit of a further dip in that leads into a cavern system...at least, that’s what you deduce after noticing what seems to be signs of older civilization- sticks in odd places, ancient scorch marks, old bloodstains and footprints. Not a lot, but enough to convince you, at least. Now, you just need to find your way down. He’s supposed to be pretty deep under, which means you’ve got some spelunking to do…

“Down into the mouth of the abyss we go, much as we walk in life so blind…” yeah, kid, that’s not inaccurate.

As you drop down, you find that it’s...oddly organized, might be the term? Although there’s few things there, it mostly seems like a straight path. But as the light grows dimmer and you’re forced to light things up yourself courtesy of a magi-blast and a makeshift torch, you notice that there’s little in the way of life, unlike the other areas...really, the silence is more concerning than signs of life.

After roughly a half-hour’s quiet journey, however, you notice that there’s...glowing organisms that are starting to show up. Moss and floating spores and whatnot. It’s eerie. And still quiet. It levels out not long after that happens, and...there’s definitely something here. The glowing looks stronger, more unnatural.

You notice that the tunnels widen out ahead, and you can already see lines of power, and so you pick up your pace. When you reach the opening, you’re gratified and a bit impressed to see a massive door- all the lines of power leading to a point on the door that...well, looks enough like a keyhole to you. It’s all not quite like Ah-Rul’s, but similar enough, interestingly. A bright blue glow suffuses the area, and you’re pretty sure whatever power is here is still plenty active. You take out the key, and-

-it seemingly floats itself out of your pocket. Into the hole it goes. Interesting how automatic that is.

Inside...jackpot.

(cont.)
>>
>>4738593
Atop a massive, ice-blue and gold, metal throne, easily the size of a house itself, sits a massive, humanoid being. Two massive, spiraling horns- if chipped and broken- erupt from its forehead, and its face is something of a scaled human’s, though there’s a clear snout there, and wicked teeth. His feet are similarly scaled and taloned on the end. His hands by themselves could swallow you whole easily, and his armor helps as well- a giant, serrated...wait, no, that’s just his body. Scaled and naturally armored, you think. For a so called scaredy-cat, he looks properly fierce...if he didn’t have such an emancipated look, on the whole. While not skin and bones in any respect, it’s clear he’s much thinner than he should be. His eyes are sunken, staring at nothing and bloodshot. The claws on his hands are similarly shattered and have dried blood even now on them. He has a massive sword in hand, as well, something thick and sharp and you don’t think you’d ever be able to properly hold it- although it’s rusted and broken. Weakened, like everything else about him.

What’s more, it’s clear he’s stone still. Not a bit of movement. Not even a twitch.

Although...you notice the hands. They're thin. Exceedingly so. That ring was pretty large, too. Big enough to be a bracelet on your frame. On his? It might fit better...

You decide it best to take a sniff of him- and let out a few coughs as intense spice and landfill fills your senses. Geez. That strong and completely insensate, huh? Might want to think about this.

If this does wake him up, you're going to have to be cautious. He might be cranky, to say the least.


>Place the ring on his finger. Let's see what happens.
>On second though, no. Not worth it.
>Other
>>
>>4738650
>On second though, no. Not worth it.
>>
(I should've put this in the post itself, but no, you won't leave with nothing if you choose not to put the ring on. I'm not heartless.)
>>
>>4738650
>Place the ring on his finger. Let's see what happens.
>>
>>4738650
>Other
>Report to Ah-Rul
He told us to inform him if anything relevant happens, since he's busy preparing his hordes. Our boss wasn't interested in recovering the Dragon King, quite the opposite.
>>
>>4738650
>>4738806
Let's do this first then.
>>
>>4738650
>>4738806
+
>>
>>4738806
So instead, maybe we can earn something from our boss if we put the old guy out of his misery. Even if it's just brownie points.
>>
Writing, then.
>>
>>4738650
>>4738806
>>4738810
>>4738819
Thinking about it, didn’t your client tell you to let him know if anything in particular happened? Might be a good idea to do that. ‘Excuse me, sir? Are you available?’

‘Blast those- ah?’ Sounds like he was busy. ‘What is the situatio- ahhh…’

‘Right. As you can see...here he is.’ It’s still too quiet, despite how he’s practically a living statue.

‘Yessss...the fool still lives. If perhaps in a state of...suspension.’ He practically sounds amused. ‘I wonder what passed through his foolish mind at the moment he committed to such an idiotic course of action…’

You’re not sure what was happening, either, but looking at him, he kinda looks like he regrets it. “So, what should I do with him?”

‘A pertinent question indeed…’ your client rumbles. ‘While I’d love nothing more than to snuff out his last hopes once and for all, and force him back into my servitude whether he likes it or not...it may be of better mind, considering most recent events, to simply be done with the traitor. However, I suspect it will take you some effort to destroy this idiot- had he any good sense, he’d have placed some sort of preservation spell on his person. And judging from his less than worm-weary state, I believe he has.’ True, that makes sense. He DOES still look alive, for certain. ‘I would say that I would prefer were he done with it...however.’ Hm? ‘I am also aware that he had a number of artifacts sequestered away that would be of use to me- and I may see fit to grant you a portion of the take as a reward. However, his mind is as still as his body. He would needs be reanimated were we to obtain several of them.’

“Several? Not all?” you notice.

‘I can sense several of them, infused in my darkness, in this cavern. It seems he attempted to hide them close for easy access. The fool. They lay in the back of the cavern, beyond a false wall. You are welcome to take those and end that pathetic fool’s life, but I will have all but one.’

Hmm...do you take the risk or no, then…?

It would still be smart to be very careful, as he wouldn't appreciate his mind being tampered with, coward or no.

>Destroy him as is, take the loot, and be done with this.
>Reanimate him to attempt to pry his mind open for further wealth.
>>
Can we set up some traps in front of this guy ala Baldur's Gate?
>>
>>4739099
Not sure what you mean by ala Baldur's Gate, but yes.
>>
if we plan this carefully (and scout any traps) we can definitely pry open this dude's mind.
>>
>>4739085
>Destroy him as is, take the loot, and be done with this.
Too much effort to convert this guy, he'll most likely to try and betray the client regardless of mind control. Also destroying and taking the advantages that can help our enemies would be more beneficial to us in the long run.
>>
>>4739085
>>4739099
Counter-initiative. Me like.
We can do this.

>Setup the Turret somewhere that can target him.
>Drop ALL the Moleworm mines next to him, along with a few sticky blasts (be careful though, he might wake up).

A last step, if doable.
>PRY the blade off his hands and stash it inside our bag.
If we succeed, he won't have a weapon.

>Reanimate him to attempt to pry his mind open for further wealth.
>>
File: LoreleiGrinning.png (168 KB, 1370x1045)
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Shorter run than expected, but I'll post tomorrow.

Thanks for sticking with me all this time, folks. It's seriously appreciated.
>>
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>>4739157
Oh and.
>Ready the Golden Crossbow
It packs quite a punch and the Faemetal Bolts should be able to scramble magic like the soldier's rounds. At this distance we can't miss.

>>4739174
No, thank you!
>>
>>4739085
>Destroy him as is, take the loot, and be done with this.
There's no immediate gain from the 'risky' option since these treasures are not even on this island, and the bonus pay would likely go into restocking our items.
That's way too much effort, the loot is already free for the taking.
>>
>>4739223
>‘I am also aware that he had a number of artifacts sequestered away that would be of use to me- and I may see fit to grant you a portion of the take as a reward. However, his mind is as still as his body. He would needs be reanimated were we to obtain several of them.’
From what I can understand, you're saying that this "further wealth" might not be on this very island/cave and the ones nearby at the moment are ripe for the taking?
>>
>>4739174
awww, what a cute sociopath!
>>
>>4739239
Yes.

>“Several? Not all?” you notice.

>‘I can sense several of them, infused in my darkness, in this cavern. It seems he attempted to hide them close for easy access. The fool. They lay in the back of the cavern, beyond a false wall.
>>
>>4739270
Huh.
Cashing out early rather is tempting, we don't need to use the bolts then.
>>
>>4739085
>Destroy him as is, take the loot, and be done with this.
I want to get off this island ASAP, after those soldiers got zapped we probably don't have much until people realize something's not right. heck, they might have even reported back to their superiors during our moment of capture, if they had equipment. other anons raise a good point as well, the artifacts may not be worth it.
the spooky red text sure as hell is a biiiiig red flag. I don't recall seeing something like that ever before regarding enemies.
>>
>>4739085
>Destroy him as is, take the loot, and be done with this.
as much as i hate it, we just don't have the time to get the extra information outta him
>>
File: One-Inch Shotgun Punch.jpg (21 KB, 1577x103)
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>>4739085
>'However, I suspect it will take you some effort to destroy this idiot- had he any good sense, he’d have placed some sort of preservation spell on his person. And judging from his less than worm-weary state, I believe he has.'
Well, since he's sitting still, then we can try out the new technique that we got after the hiatus. Might need some boost from the hybrid boy to be sure we get through all the defensive spells that've ben cast on him.
>>
>>4739382
He's also giving off far too rancid a smell for someone under stasis. Waking him up would be a bad idea.
>>
>>4740011
No, if anything >>4739199 is right. We're not waking him up, but we can use the crossbow to finish him off. He's under a stasis spell remember?
>>
>>4739085
>>Destroy him as is, take the loot, and be done with this.
>>
Writing.
>>
>>4739085
>>4739141
>>4739223
>>4739382
>>4739416
>>4741311
It’s a hard consideration, but...ultimately, you don’t think you can justify the risk well enough. He’s there, it’ll lose you some extra goodies, but they’re just that- extras. He already smells like a risk as is- waking him properly is bound to be a hassle and a half. You just need to end him and be done with it. You’re losing time anyway, really, and just one extra thing will be enough to call it all good.

Now...how to actually do the deed, is the question. You toss a magiblast at him out of curiosity.

The blast careens upwards, impacting flush against his face in a flash of light and explosive power.

When the dust clears, it’s like absolutely nothing happened. Figures. You’re going to have to put some elbow grease into this, then...hopefully it won't take too much time to do.

>Roll 1d20, best of three for effect.
>>
Rolled 18 (1d20)

>>4741786
>>
Rolled 2 (1d20)

>>4741786
>>
Rolled 13 (1d20)

>>4741786
>>
>>4740322
At first I was thinking of using the draining knife, but it's blade is just 6" long, no way to reach any vitals of this big dude.
>>
>>4743785
Its' draining enchantment is miniscule anyway, there's no way it can do the job. Worse, the deed might just break the knife.

I wonder if we can "graph" it with some Faemetal when we come home. Having that kind of blade at beck and call is handy.
>>
>>4743817
if the sharpnel is small enough, i don't see why not. but we can also use the bigger pieces of the cage as shivs too. we just need to find a decent piece.
>>
>>4741786
>>4741798
>>4741802
>>4741806
much to your annoyance. Whatever spell he’s got on him is heavy-duty. You’re going to have to try the bigger guns, like a Buster. It’ll bring most of this place down around with him, but then again, you were always more force than precision…

...although wait. That brings to mind something else. That crossbow thing that had anti-magic bolts. Couldn’t that, theoretically…?

Well, only one way to find out.

It doesn’t take long to load, but as you aim for the square center of his forehead, you can’t help but hope that it works. You ready it up with the bolts, take aim, and…

...your first shot flies true, and what’s more stricks true, hitting him square between the eyes. However, it’s stuck there. Though you can vaguely feel the room heat up a bit…

The next several bolts put a stop to that, however, and you land them in his eyes and against around the brain just to be safe. Those that hit around the skull the followup times, you noticed, had a much higher depth of penetration than the first one, allowing them to sink in easier and damage him much more.

It’s not much longer before you can swear you see his color fade a bit; his magically sustained life force dying out and proof of your kill at last when he FINALLY stops smelling of anything. It’s good to know he won’t be a threat or anything now...and as for your prizes…

‘Very well. Now CLAIM WHAT IS MINE!’ Ah-Rul roars in your head, much to your annoyance.

(cont.)
>>
>>4744352

The fake wall in the back goes down with a singular punch, and you can see a quartet of artifacts and objects that lay in wait in this room, all on pedestals and shielded from the elements as well as possible. Other shiny things rest in this room, but it’s the four that have your biggest interests…

>A large ornate spear of a polearm, with onyx shaft crafted like it’s a spiral, and a similarly black tip at the end of its blade. According to Ah-Rul, this is marked to be extra light to users, but with all the durability. It’s also said to be able to ‘strike beyond reach, but only so far.’ Obvious direct usage, you think.

>A large mirror. Ah-Rul claims that this was more of a spymaster’s tool, to have his generals keep an eye on subordinates without worry and whenever he liked, provided they paid the blood tithe- which was not cheap. It also only lasted for 10 or so seconds at a time. You might be able to use it yourself for easy recon if you could do the same.

>A black and silver circlet with an empty area in the center that Ah-Rul claims was for the King’s ‘foolish lover’ who ended up dying, supposedly to a foolish mistake he made. Allegedly she’d been destroyed to the point of no body being left, only the circlet. It’s empty area had a gem, but it was torn out ages ago. ‘Likely because of what it reminded him of’ claims Ah-Rul. You could likely use it as impressive clothing or...something else, maybe?

>A strange flute. You can’t play, but it’s there if you want it. Even Ah-Rul isn’t sure what it’s actually FOR- but it’s clearly got some magic in it since it’s been tainted, so it presumably has some type of power. Whatever it is, however, he’s been no witness to it.
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>>4744354
Wait, we can pick only one?
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>>4744354
>>A large ornate spear of a polearm, with onyx shaft crafted like it’s a spiral, and a similarly black tip at the end of its blade. According to Ah-Rul, this is marked to be extra light to users, but with all the durability. It’s also said to be able to ‘strike beyond reach, but only so far.’ Obvious direct usage, you think.
>>
>>4744354
>A large mirror. Ah-Rul claims that this was more of a spymaster’s tool, to have his generals keep an eye on subordinates without worry and whenever he liked, provided they paid the blood tithe- which was not cheap. It also only lasted for 10 or so seconds at a time. You might be able to use it yourself for easy recon if you could do the same.

This is great! We don't have a long-ranged recon option, this is the first of it's kind. Gartoum doesn't really count.
We heal fast anyway, unless the blood price comes from the target, in which case it's less useful. The other loots are much more specialized and we already have a lot of melee weapons.

Can we get a clarification on the blood price Handler?
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>>4744358

>>4739085
>You are welcome to take those and end that pathetic fool’s life, but I will have all but one.’
I guess we could've gotten all of them if we didn't call our boss. From a meta perspective, you could consider it as his fee for clarifying the situation with the Dragon King so we could weight our options, revealing the location of the fake wall that hid all these treasures and explaining their properties (otherwise we'd have to bother with writing-in and spending time on scanning these items).
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>>4744390
So that's what, like potential 2-3 rolls avoided? I'll take that deal.

>>4744354
ALSO remember to recover the bolts! We can't resupply them, the metal is unique.
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>>4744374
I think the spear is a better choice. Plain and simple, could use it together with our new spiky shield.
The mirror's blood tithe is NOT cheap, this shouldn't be dismissed even if we can heal ourselves - self-harm is fucked up from both meta and narrative perspective. We could use someone else's blood, but this makes this item even more situational. But my real concern is that we'll probably just forget that we have it in our inventory, happens all the time with our cool items.
We could ask Nura to do something cool with the circlet as a base, but we already have a couple of circlets from the Shadow War mission.
Do we even know anyone who could play a flute?
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>>4744438
Circlet's at the bottom of my list, takes way too long to get something usable out of it.

The flute, Lorelei and Mono ? Lorelei dabbles in music and dancing a lot and she was a music theme MG iirc. Mono's a diva, I bet she at least knows how a flute works. There's another concern that she won't be able to both sing and use it at the same time, but the flute should give her something that her warping can't.

>Mirror
Sorry anon, but I'll have to disagree there. Miranda's no stranger to drawing blood, we have heals out the wazoo and it will be mostly used outside of combat anyway. I strongly feel it is much more useful than the spear since we scout in basically in all of our jobs, AND we need to be on site - total nono for when threats have good detection and when Miranda can't cheese with Gartoum (let's face it she sucks at sneaking). Imagine if we had the mirror back when we were still looking around the camp.

>Ah-Rul claims that this was more of a spymaster’s tool, to have his generals keep an eye on subordinates without worry and whenever he liked, provided they paid the blood tithe.
Reading back again, I think this mirror should use only the user's blood. Requiring the victim's blood mostly defeats the purposes of this "spymaster's tool" no? The "without worry and whenever he liked" implies that you don't need consents or blood from others for this.
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>>4744563
>Imagine if we had the mirror back when we were still looking around the camp.
We'd be attracting local beast with the smell of our blood, and the blood loss would've tired us - we had a long day travelling, looking for Lockstone and hunting beasts.
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>>4744663
Ok, maybe I took a bad example. Imagine the same scenario without beasts or other things that can smell our blood. I can count a few from our past jobs.
And no, I don't think the blood loss will affect us that much. We didn't have any serious activities - the training doesn't count, the beasts are cakewalk, we didn't expend much mana or any at all. But I do agree that if we had the mirror back then, using it would be a bad idea.
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>>4744686
If this was a videogame then I'd have picked the mirror too. But it's not, so the wound, blood loss and pain would affect our options and actions. You are greatly overestimating it's usefulness and underselling it's drawbacks.
>Imagine the same scenario without beasts or other things that can smell our blood. I can count a few from our past jobs.
It's an item with a very specific use. Like I've said, my real concern is that everyone would just forget that we have it in our inventory, including Handler himself. Example: at the end of the very first mission we got a box of potions of invisibility from the goblin alchemist. We use a couple in the next mission, but after that everyone forgot that there were more of them left. Years later this was pointed out but they were written of as 'expired'. I can count a few moments from our past jobs where these invisibility potions could've helped a lot.
The scenario with the camp was a perfect opportunity to use the night-vision spell, yet no one has suggested to use it. The new anti-magic coilgun could've been used instead of the crossbow to kill the Dragon King. The only chance to use the Divine Respirator showed up only years after we bought it, and we never used the rocket launcher. The list goes on.
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>>4744811
Wait, so your primary reason for not taking the mirror is that we'll just forget about using it?
What? That doesn't make sense to me, you can apply that to basically everything new we've picked up this job. In fact I can apply that same argument to the spear too. It's about having the option available in the first place, then we'll worry about actually remembering, and then deciding on how to use it.
Let's assume the blood price is THAT bad then, bad enough that it'd render us incapable of doing any hard acts for a few hours or so (unrealistic). I'd still take it over the spear. We don't have any options for long-ranged, hard-to-detect spying/scouting and this gives just that. I'm just not seeing any niche that the spear can provide but our current melee arsenal can't.
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>>4744354
>A large mirror. Ah-Rul claims that this was more of a spymaster’s tool, to have his generals keep an eye on subordinates without worry and whenever he liked, provided they paid the blood tithe- which was not cheap. It also only lasted for 10 or so seconds at a time. You might be able to use it yourself for easy recon if you could do the same.
i'll take the peeping tom mirror ty
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>>4744834
...I guess I'm just salty about these missed opportunites that I don't even want to bother with the mirror. At least we all agreed to share the weapons we're not using with the rest of our team once we're back from the Intersection, so at least someone else could use the spear. Or we could bring it to the blacksmith to improve it somehow.
>I'm just not seeing any niche that the spear can provide but our current melee arsenal can't.
It has an impressive reach even without the enchantment, outranging other melee weapons in our arsenal. It is also the best option to use while mounted, although with the speed and strength we posess we don't even need a mount to perform a devastating charge attack.
But yeah, my main concern is pretty weird.
>>
Im tempted to take the mirror because im sure we can buy blood bags in the intersection, BUT i feel we should try to see whats the other power the last two items have. Maybe we can scan them with the futuresight and find out more information about them?
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>>4744834
>>4744940
ngl running someone down with a spear while riding Gargles would be pretty metal. pic unrealted
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>>4744940
>...I guess I'm just salty about these missed opportunites that I don't even want to bother with the mirror
What missed opportunities? We've always used the right tool for the right moment
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>>4744940
See, if you said that the spear's real rad for jousting I'd pitch my support too. Fliers are my fav classes in FE.
And it's fine. If you pay attention that much you should be there to remind anons of anything that was missed. And don't worry about not remembering stuffs, unlike before we have a friggin' spreadsheet now! Because of it we remembered to use the respirator for example, that saved us a roll or two against those sentient fungi.
>>4744954
I think he was mostly talking about back then when anons weren't using most of the loot and skills to their potential. I think it's because we didn't have a competent spreadsheet back then, leading to anons not remembering at all. Even Handler forgot some of them!
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>>4744354
>A large mirror. Ah-Rul claims that this was more of a spymaster’s tool, to have his generals keep an eye on subordinates without worry and whenever he liked, provided they paid the blood tithe- which was not cheap. It also only lasted for 10 or so seconds at a time. You might be able to use it yourself for easy recon if you could do the same.
The most useful treasure/tool here. We need more stuff that can cover our stealth/recon disadvantages.
I don't want the lance since we have lots of weapons that we don't use most of the time. Our fists, magiblasts or flamesword does most of the job and we can get a decent lance back at the Intersection anyway.
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>>4744354
>A large mirror. Ah-Rul claims that this was more of a spymaster’s tool, to have his generals keep an eye on subordinates without worry and whenever he liked, provided they paid the blood tithe- which was not cheap. It also only lasted for 10 or so seconds at a time. You might be able to use it yourself for easy recon if you could do the same.

we do lack magical scrying objects.
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>>4744354
>A large mirror. Ah-Rul claims that this was more of a spymaster’s tool, to have his generals keep an eye on subordinates without worry and whenever he liked, provided they paid the blood tithe- which was not cheap. It also only lasted for 10 or so seconds at a time. You might be able to use it yourself for easy recon if you could do the same.

>>4744400
Yes grab the bolts!

Just a reminder that if he betrays us we can keep all of the items and anything else we find.
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>>4744354
>>4744376
>>4744563
>>4744929
>>4744979
>>4745157
>>4745178
The mirror, upon recollection, seems the most useful. It’s big, but not quite out of the width for your bag...although it DOES takes some stuffing- seems like it just BARELY gets in. At the very least, the rest are easier to stash. ‘You will be certain to bring those back to me, else we shall have words,’ he proclaims ominously. Not like you’re going to keep them, no. Deal’s a deal.

Still, with that little side issue taken care of-

And that’s when you hear a rumbling in the cavern, and mental alarms immediately start going off. When rocks start falling, you’re already booking it for the exit.

Of COURSE the stupid cavern would’ve been held up via magic.

It’s a mad dash to the exit, and frankly, you have to believe it’d be nearly impossible if not so outright to make it for anyone normal- but you’re not so, plus you have wings. Very handy.

It DOESN’T help that Pecker woke up halfway through and has been chirping up a storm, tangling itself in your hair. Your halfling friend is, to your surprise, keeping up well enough, his strides helping him along to a great degree. Where was THIS hustle before, you wonder...although his expression seems to have hardly changed regardless. Still, at least you don’t have to carry him...

You’re already calling for Gargles by the time you can begin to see light in the distance, and it’s not long before you can hear the bat chirping as well, although it’s more in your head due to the massive amounts of rocks tumbling down behind you as the cavern continues to collapse in on itself and you’re practically flying out rather than running due to the ground’s instability.

“Fly, fly, FLY!” you yell at Gargles as you grab the kid’s hand and LEAP, making it onto the lower back of the bat as he takes off, rocketing up into the sky as the tunnel caves in wholesale behind you.

At this point, you’re grateful for the massive bat’s size- it’s enough to lie down on with room for your cargo easily. His fur helps things, too. “Well...that’s a thing that happened,” you mutter. But, at least you DID get something out of the whole situation, even if it’s not what you wanted. Although, that does leave you with an issue.

You’re down two Lockstones. Three is good, but certainly not enough.

You’ve got to figure out what to do next, before your client starts getting particularly ornery…or people start getting curious as to what happened to the military force that's supposed to be on the island.

>Might as well follow the only lead you’ve got- onwards to Yulin, on the double!
>The Yulin trail will most likely be cold by the time you get there. Perhaps it’s best to head elsewhere and hunt for information…
>Other
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>>4749059
>Might as well follow the only lead you’ve got- onwards to Yulin, on the double!
It was just a day, and Gargles is here. We can make it.
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>>4749059
>Might as well follow the only lead you’ve got- onwards to Yulin, on the double!
the trail shouldn't be that cold.....
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>>4749059
>Might as well follow the only lead you’ve got- onwards to Yulin, on the double!
That old lady will surely be pissed if we ever meet again.
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>>4749059
>Might as well follow the only lead you’ve got- onwards to Yulin, on the double!
Weirdly I've always imagined the boy's face as being like an unchanging emoticon, pic related.
I think he's also the one who supercharged birdy, so he has lightning mana available.
>>
Writing. I can get another one out tonight.
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>>4749059
>>4749067
>>4749069
>>4749071
>>4749091
Hmmm...no, you’ve got a lead, it’d be remiss to not at least attempt to look into it. “Let’s get moving to Yulin,” you say as you begin to hit the clouds. You just hope the trail doesn’t go cold by the time you get there. You’re not sure how fast these others are moving- although obviously if they’d decided to take a night there or something, that’d be ideal. From the look of things according to your map, it’ll be a few hours to get to the arid plains that Yulin is located in.

You don’t really have much else to do at the moment, however...you know that if Gargles keeps it steady, he can fly for quite some time- though he’s already been going at high speed getting to you at first. Regardless, you should be there by nightfall at the latest.

“A fortunate escape,” you hear behind you. “Alas, such fortune to be spent means that none shall remain when it is most desired.” Right. That. Honestly, you’ve kind of been putting off what you want to do with the kid, but...you’re going to need to make a decision sooner than later. Not like you can (or want to) keep him permanently. Getting him away from the church that would just parade him around is one thing, but this is another, you think…still, not much you can say towards it for now, so you’ll just ignore him.

In due time, as the sun moves through the sky, you notice that the clouds are getting thinner and thinner. Eventually, the sky is pure blue...and you can see dry, dry land far below, with dusty, rolling hills, dead trees, and not much else.. This...might not end well if you’re just planning on flying in like before. No cloud cover, no trees to mask your landing from any prying eyes… and speaking of that, you can see what you're pretty sure is a road far below. And what looks like tiny, tiny dots going along it...if you had to guess. No idea what makes them up, but they ARE visible from this height...

>Roll 1d20, best of three.
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Rolled 19 (1d20)

>>4749113
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>>4749116
Sick drive-by obtained.
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>>4749091
I think the the bird got lightning element from some monster and then they boy overcharged it with his mana. There were no elemental effects when he charged us during the encounter with the kraken.
And I still think he resembles Pierrot the clown.
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Rolled 15 (1d20)

>>4749113
>>
Rolled 8 (1d20)

>>4749113
>Not like you can (or want to) keep him permanently.
Eh, miranda has said the same about the daycare kids and now our appartments has beds for each of them
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>>4749113
>>4749116
>>4749124
>>4749131
From what you can see coming up behind them, they’re headed towards Yulin, not away. Meaning that you’re coming up behind them. And if that’s the case… “Get lower,” you whisper. It’s a risk, but you at least need to make sure that they aren’t armed or capable of anti-air magic or anything wild like that. You’d rather not have to take Gargles into such a risky situation so soon after he’s healed up.

He seems to agree, at least, dropping lower, but cutting back on the speed for now. As you drop altitude, you can see that it seems to be some sort of guarded caravan. There’s at least a dozen soldiers on horseback, several with rifles, and at least a pair of other folks on horseback dressed in a way that suggests mages along with them. In general it seems like there’s at least three wagons. Riding in the front is an outlandishly dressed man at the head of it all, as best you can see. Feather in his cap, pauldrons, but cloth clothes, all in garish yellow and orange colors.

It's surprising you managed to get close enough to identify that. Gargles can be surprisingly quiet when he wants to be, it seems...

Though aside from that, there's some rather ostentatiously dressed people alongside him, so maybe it's not a caravan?

You can’t get close enough to tell what’s in there, mind- quiet though he may be, flapping wings can only be muted for so long, and gliding is less effective when there’s so little wind. Still, it’s enough to notice there are other civilians as well, though they’re sleeping in the back, fortunately for you- and well dressed, too...at least, you THINK. Regardless, you think the heat might’ve made the guards complacent. They’re not checking anything around them- simply marching forwards, likely trying to get out of the environments and to their destination as quickly as possible.

In which case...

>Time for a fly-by assault. Whatever they have going on or inside might be important.
>They've got a rather hilly area to climb, and for a bit they'll lose sight of the horizon.
>Bah, just climb higher- you'll ignore them. You need to figure out how to get into the capital city without getting shot down...
>Other

(Okay, NOW I'm done for the night.)
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>>4749146
In case if we do a fly-by - don't forget that we can summon bugs, and not just small ones.
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>>4749154
Okay, we have a levitation crystal - so riding Gargles is not necessary. And since our legs will be free during flight we can try the magi-bomber + low quickening combo. Can we shoot magiblasts from our arms and legs at the same time?
On the other hand, this is a good chance to test Operation Z1.
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>>4749170
>>4749146
Why not? I'm not wasting an initiative win.
>Time for a fly-by assault. Whatever they have going on or inside might be important.
This SHOULD be the party that was responsible for the lockstone thievery but Ah-Rul's not sensing the thing, I think the caravans can block the feel? They're rushing hard too, pushing me further into the former.
Use a levitation crystal and carpet bomb them with magi-bomber + low quickening. Weird time for an experiment but suitable enough.
Or use the Gaia to make it like an Apache.
We're not in a position to summon bugs at the moment, at least not our turned ones. Pretty sure the ones formed purely from Ah-Rul's power can fly.

And no, I don't want to use the Z1. We'll want to minimalize witnesses here and the Z1's risk of malfunctioning introduces too much improbability, and chaos.

We can take Pecker however. I assume he'll protest though, after that show at the camp and us giving him a scare in the cave. He'll take care of those mages while we'll sweep the soldiers. Gartoum can join in once we land as well.
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>>4749146
>Time for a fly-by assault. Whatever they have going on or inside might be important.
>Use a levitation crystal and carpet bomb them with magi-bomber + low quickening
>Summon beetles
>>4749279
The ability to fly was one of their main selling points. I don't see how we're not in a position to summon a swarm of pig-sized creepy beetles to divert their focus from us and Gargles.
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>>4749302
I meant our captured and turned bugs, of course our beetles and such can fly.
Yeah sure, let's preload some bugs and send them to their mages, or VIPs.
Let's not assume that the nicely dressed ones can't fight too. In fact let's keep at distance and only moving in melee when we're sure they won't pull a quick one like back in the camp.
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>>4749308
you mean the beast we've capture on the island? they're not bugs though.
>Thus it is about an hour later that you’re squaring off against a number of creatures; you’d bagged a few of them already, one of them being a plant-like quadruped that reminds you of a mobile venus flytrap, another that struck you as a flying squirrel with far, FAR too big paws and teeth, and the last, some kind of...wispy skittering ball thing that seemed to both float and scuttle along the ground.
I'm pretty sure we left them on the island, no mention of picking them up with us or stashing them back into our bag >>4737329 >>4749059
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>>4749313
The beasts, yes. And since we could just stash the undead dragon away like a Pokemon I assume we picked them up that way too, just not on screen. Needs clarifications nonetheless.
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>>4749279
Supporting.
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>>4749318
>stash the undead dragon away like a Pokemon
What are you talking about? It obviously can't fit into our bag, there's a size limit. The dragon is under our client's control, we left it inside its cave.
>>4749146
can we get a clarification for the corrupted dragon and beasts?
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>>4749331
Damn it, checking again I guess we can't just woosh them away to a magical hammerspace, I was assuming that we could just summon the dragon/corrupted beasts out like we summon bugs if we had them. Oh well, at least we can use the dragon for the climax battle at the desert.
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>>4749146
>>4749279
>>4749302
+
DON't send the bugs to them mages. Send them to bug(hehe) the others.
Because WE will bomb the mages first
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>>4749146
>>4749398
Agree, they're all open so we need to take out their casters first.

And don't summon Gartoum just yet. I want a Flux as an insurance to curb their attempts at resisting.
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>>4749146
>Time for a fly-by assault. Whatever they have going on or inside might be important.
i have three words for this:
MAGICAL. UNQUENCHABLE. FIRE.
lets use the new magical fire trick that we learned in the intersection and rain literal hell on them
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPQYK5ZMbWY
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>>4749872
It's extremely shortrange atm, cuz we haven't practiced it. Wisp Lighter is touch-range, the only way to extend its range is via channeling it through ropes of Sticky Mana - the Fireline technique. We've got a long way to go before we can create a rain of fire.
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>>4749872
>>4750198
You know what, nevermind - if we end up dropping our altitude low enough then let's shot some firelines as well.
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>>4750198
>the only way to extend its range is via channeling it through ropes of Sticky Mana - the Fireline technique
well, in theory that's napalm. we just need to launch it fast enough to surprise everyone
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>>4750236
I'm still sticking to carpet bombing. I doubt we have the concentration to both slinging out firelines and that.
Better to stick to a single thing and spare our attention to something else, like juking and dodging retaliations. The soldiers back then had magic scrambling bullets so it's not too farfetched to assume the ones here have them too.
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>>4750780
to be honest i don't really care how we do the bombing run, but there is always the demoralizing effect of seeing your brother at arms being turned into a piece of well done steak
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>>4750796
Oh sure, I don't mind some war crimes. Hell we haven't burned a single forest or city down this mission! It's just not the right time at the moment methinks.
Maybe we can burn someone else to to force info out of a VIP in an impromptu interrogation?
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>>4750804
being fair, i just wanna see how people react when they try to put down flames that refuse to die.
>>
Writing shortly.
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>>4749146
>>4749279
>>4749302
>>4749308
>>4749398
>>4749460
>>4749872
...time for a little fly-by. Well, alright. Not a ‘little’ one. More like ‘bring forth a horde of insects that’ll swarm and cause enough chaos for you to decide what you want to do as a whole. It seems like the procession is an important one, and while part of you had hoped for the Lockstone being there, your client hasn’t spoken up about that fact, so you’re pretty sure you can rule that out. Still, it’s likely there for some reason, and it’s just a hunch, but you’d want to say that you might be a subject of discussion, whoever and whatever reason that is.

It’s good enough of a plan, you think. Which is why you muster your will, and from your cloak flows shadows, and from those shadows...insects. A swarm of them, all fliers, and all commanded to immediately harass the people below you. You’re going to have to make sure to vary it up, too- bigger and smaller bugs, just to be sure about it. Small tiny gnats, and bugs as big as your fists. That should be enough to deal with everyone- or at least provide a good distraction.

It’s as though a living blanket covers the length of their caravan from the air- it doesn’t take very long for them to notice THAT, however. There’s loud yelling and shouting as the mass of bugs rushes to envelope them- and almost immediately they start fighting back- particularly magically, and even you have to pull back a little as gunshots go off and spells begin to fly.

Not that you don't have your own, mind. It's hard to see through the aforementioned cloud of insects, but you can at least target where the magic's flying from, and send more than a little of your own in return...

>Roll 3d20, best of three for effects.
>>
Rolled 9, 12, 6 = 27 (3d20)

>>4751176
>>
Rolled 14, 13, 13 = 40 (3d20)

>>4751176
>>
Rolled 12, 11, 15 = 38 (3d20)

>>4751176
>>
Rolled 19, 2, 10 = 31 (3d20)

>>4751176
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>>4751187
Looks like this experimental technique is a success?
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>>4751195
I really wanna see how effective this is
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>>4751176
>>4751180
>>4751185
>>4751187

You’re not blind enough to not sense them, however; that aside, you’d been hoping for a decent opportunity to try a new trick of yours...well, sort of. You don’t think you’re getting close enough for THAT without getting hit, though; forcing you to stick to your initial gameplan of simply raining down magiblasts as fire, ice, and swirls of other magic do their damndest to avoid the horde. You can hear shouts of pain and panic as you make sure to strafe back and forth to keep them from an easy shot.

Suddenly there’s a shout, a glow, and you have to jerk back more out of instinct than anything else as a lance of energy pierces the cloud of insects, scattering them for a moment; and almost at the same time you see one of the horses glow a blue, and RACE off, rocketing down the trail. Several try to follow, but they’re only so fast, and whatever magical boosting they’re giving that animal is doing wonders. You’re about to pursue- but that’s when you see another light go off briefly- and then a sphere of light shoots straight up into the sky- clearly up to your level, but not even close to you...

>Try to intercept the light.
>Focus on pursuing the fleeing carriage.
>Take down what you can, ignore everything else for now.
>Other
>>
>>4752486
>Focus on pursuing the fleeing carriage.
>Summon Gartoum to snuff out the light.
At first I wanted to take down everything else since we already know its' destination, but leaving loose ends like that is how most baddies get their downfalls.
The sphere of light might be a SIGNAL FLARE, we're still high yet it's closing in our levels and not targeting us or the insects. Safe to direct Gartoum to it I think, but remind him to bail at a notice.
>>
>>4752486
>>4752546
Voting for this, sounds plausible enough.
>>
>>4752486
>>4752546
yeah, this as well
>>
>>4752486
>Focus on pursuing the fleeing carriage.
>Try to stop them with Directed Flux Wave
>Summon Gartoum to snuff out the light.
The flux wave will certainly mess up the Endomagic boosts they've cast on their animals.
>>
>>4752613
We are certainly not in range for that atm, but in theory the Flux Bubble only needs to clip the horses for a bit right? Same principle as the OG Flux but weaker.
>>
>>4752613
i mean, we can also shoot the horses with magiblasts and i think that will be faster than using flux wave, plus it will fuck up the riders real good.
>>
>>4752630
Yup, I think just clipping them is enough. I think if we're going for the intercept then we'd have to get close enough to get into the casting rege of Flux Bubble
>>
>>4752665
*range
>>
>>4752486
>>4752546
>>4752601
>>4752610
Shit. You can’t split your own attention- but you fortunately don’t have to. ‘Gartoum, the light!’ you’re already saying while you’re racing off after the sped up carriage.

‘Onnn it!’ he half yells as he bursts out of the ring, in a thick, black, dragonflyesque form.

“Just make sure to get back as soon as they notice you!” you yell both mentally and physically. You just hope they didn’t hear you.

You hardly pay attention to his response; you’re busy trying to push Gargles to get after the fleeing carriage, already pursued by a cloud of insects, but they’re too far behind. You wind up blowing past them in short order and racing to catch up, which, fortunately, you are.

It doesn’t help, however, that you can see at least two youths peeking out the back of the carriage- one boy, one girl. You don’t think they’re any familiar, but nonetheless, as you catch up, they BOTH point weapons at you- the girl has a staff, and the boy has what looks to be an early pistol. That’s going to be annoying. Especially considering you don’t know how much damage Gargles can take.

>Current Mana 11,000/11,000

>Go for aggression- try to shoot them down before they shoot you down!
>Stay defensive- you don’t want your ride to get taken out with a lucky shot.
>Other
>>
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>>4752859
I was right, of course the escaping carriage houses protags

>Go for aggression- try to shoot them down before they shoot you down!
It's time to use something we've never touched before, the Highball AV Rocket Launcher.
Perfect for situations like this. It's very good vs high-speed targets due to it's lock-on.
>>
>>4752874
For clarifications, I don't think we can get close enough to use the Flux Bubble without endangering Gargles. That's why I opted for a safer option instead, blowing up their horses serves just as well.
>>
>>4752859
>>Go for aggression- try to shoot them down before they shoot you down!
...okay, let's use the rocket launcher
>>
>>4752859
>>4752874
+
RIP horsies.
>>
Writing!
>>
hahahaha fuck you kids. eat high velocity rockets!
>>
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>>4752924
The chance of us missing is impossible. The horses are in no way capable of dodging guided rockets and they're lugging around a carriage to boot - strafing isn't enough for these.
>>
>>4752943
or fast enough to react against a rocket. this also gives me an excuse to post this
>>
>>4752859
>>4752874
>>4752894
>>4752900
You don’t want to give them too much of a chance, you’re all alone on a dusty highway...well, frankly, there’s no reason to not cheat a bit, you feel. You just need to get a little time…

Before you can pull it out, however, you hear the report of a gun, as Gargles screeches and suddenly jerks HARD to the side, nearly causing you and all aboard to take a tumble off as the suddenly movement throws you all off balance. Although it was more you grabbing onto the kid, mind…

Another bolt of fire screams past you, and you realize that it’s going to be a touch difficult to get the launcher out, load,aim, and fire without them shooting down your throat. And if you give them too much space, they may be able to shoot the thing down…

Still, it’s what you’re going for, and your hand’s already in the bag; you’re just going to have to hope for the best!

>Roll 2d20, best of three.
>>
Rolled 6, 17 = 23 (2d20)

>>4753127
>>
Rolled 7, 4 = 11 (2d20)

>>4753127
>>
Rolled 4, 1 = 5 (2d20)

>>4753127
>>
Welp, looks like Gargles got hit. Good thing we can heal.
But THEY got hit too, and that's more important.
>>
Rolled 16, 15 = 31 (2d20)

>>4753127
>>
Ouch. But also blooey. Mostly.

Writing!
>>
>>4753146
nothing that the guantlets can't fix
>>
>>4753151
We need to prep for a crash landing then.>>4753153
>>
>>4753157
depending on how things happen, we can cast a barrier directly under gargles and heal him mid air
>>
If we get all the horses, I suppose we can stop a bit to heal. We can catch them on foot but I don't want to take any chances. >>4753161
>>
>>4753161
>>4753165
we can just show the fairy boy how to use the Revitalization Barrier so we could do our own things while he heals Gargles. It's already been tested, the result is guaranteed.
>>
>>4753169
You're forgetting that the healed beast was wobbly after the healing was done, indicating that its' stamina might be affected. It also took 2 entire hours.
>>
>>4753169
...we can also lend him the gauntlets. that's way easier and faster than teaching him a new spell. i mean, we reattached a whole lower torso within seconds. you can't really get faster than that.
>>
>>4753173
>>4753172
yeah, giving him gauntlets would be a faster way to do it.
also revitalization barrier is not a spell, it's the experimental crystal.
>>
>>4753127
>>4753131
>>4753139
>>4753139
>>4753141
You have to lean back a bit to pull it out, but you’re practically yanking it, and you can see a cry of shot as another heated bolt flies past you- it seems like it’s just those two, at least. Thank goodness. With that, you still need to load the damn thing, however. Glad you can one-hand the rockets…

Another *pow* and you can hear the unique, mosquito like buzz of air that’s a bullet whizzing past you, telling you that that one was a bit too close to home- and Gargles dipping a bit lower just confirms it. Great. You’re going to have to be quick…!

As you raise the thing to your shoulder and take aim below, you can see the girl warn the boy of you, pointing at you and likely the ‘strange device’ on your shoulder. He’s busy trying to reload, and her…

She at least has the sense to realize what’s likely to happen, as she fires off what’s basically a panic spell- a last lance of heat that’s, unfortunately a bit too obvious with the sparkling startup. Gargles only has to move a little bit to dodge it, and that’ll do it! You fire, making sure to aim ahead-

-but then a gunshot, a sharp *crack*, and a screech from Gargles makes your stomach drop...right before the sudden tilt and plummet does the same.

It’s not nearly as long as you’d thought, the fall. You’d righted yourself within a second of freefall, and thank goodness for wings of your own. The kid seemed to just kind of...slip off, himself, and it took you a bit to grab him as well, though the strain on your own wings to keep everything up is...unpleasant, to say the least.

You barely even have time to recognize the fireball that erupts as well as the screams. But you can tell at the least that you hit something...doesn’t help you or Gargles, however. Nor Pecker, who’s chirping up a storm and you’re pretty confident he’s rather peeved right now.

Makes sense considering you’re all about to friggen crash.

>Classic Agility Roll, 1d20.
>Other
>>
>Wait, no, it's Dexterity, not Agility.
>>
Rolled 15 (1d20)

>>4753285
>Other
Manifest a flat barrier mid-air, large enough to catch all of us.
>>
>>4753290
And another one to catch Gargles too.
>>
>>4753285
>>Other
>Use Levitation Crystal to mitigate the damage
I was suggesting using it earlier so we'd engage them by ourselves, without the risk of Gargles being hit.
>>
Rolled 9 (1d20)

>>4753285
>Other
create a barrier to handle our freefall, give the gauntlets to the kid and tell him what they do.

that should be enough for him to handle the healing of gargles
>>
>>4753285
do we roll either way or only if we vote for the Dex save?
>>
>>4753285
>>4753296
>>4753292
Changing things a bit.
>Freefall a bit to create a barrier to catch Gargles
>Then use Levitation Crystal to float and mitigate the damage
Gargles is falling faster than us.
>>
>>4753285
and>>4749279 was voting for using the crystal too, so I dunno why that write-in didn't pass
>>
>>4753304
Because we had to ride Gargles to catch up to the carriage I think. The Levitation Crystal's speed is simply not fast enough.
>>
Rolled 11 (1d20)

>>4753285
>>
anons

....we can create different barriers that move at a different speed, we don't really need to use the levitation crystal
>>
>>4753285
>>4753303
let's go with this then.
>>4753309
pastebin description said that it's speed is on par with Miranda's tuned out hoverbike, so I thought it'd not make a big difference
>- x3 Levitation Crystals
> -These are just like the one that’s in my armor! They’re not permanent, but they last a decent while! They only go at a set speed, though, there’s no fast or slow settings. About as fast as Miranda’s bike at an average pace.
>>
>>4753318
yeah, but it takes concentration to do that. Crystals are rechargeable, so it's not a big deal if it use it now.
>>
>>4753285
Dunno if it helps but yeah I voting for something like >>4753303.
Anon>>4753318 is right, but I still want the crystal because it stabilizes our flight.
>>
Ah, yeah, it was meant to be roll and if you had a write in, add that, too.

And yes, Gargles flies faster than you. He's quick. Still, you can use it now if you like.
>>
>>4753331
Why not, let's use the crystal now. We've never used them anyway, I think.
>>
Rolled 20 (1d20)

>>4753285
>>4753331
>Use levitation crystal
Alright we can go with this. We can heal with the gauntlet later.
>>
>>4753285
>>4753296
>>4753290
>>4753303
>>4753304
>>4753320
>>4753328
>>4753342
It’s less instinctual than you’d like if only because you’ve got so much happening around you, but still, you manage to twist properly and concentrate enough to place a barrier below you not too much further- something enough to catch Gargles on. It’s not perfect, but-

“Scree!” ...it’ll keep him from falling at terminal velocity. You and Gargles and everyone else. Instead, everyone will have bruises. Not you, thankfully, but most everyone else. Gargles had landed with a thump and a screech, but you could still see him weakly flapping about, so he’s still alive. Good. You don’t have much time, and you can clearly see now that it at least didn’t get him in the body- it was a wing shot, which explains why he tilted instead of just dead dropped.

As for you, however...you have something else. You still have the bag on your hip, and through it you snatch out a levitation crystal- while you can fly, you’re not fast. On the other hand, this’ll keep things quick; allows you to investigate the scene before flying back to take care of the bat. You take a bit to drop down with your passengers carefully on the barrier. “Stay here,” you inform. He doesn’t say anything this time, merely nods.

You’re going to have to keep the barrier’s formation steady in the back of your mind, but you’re pretty sure that’s not too much of an issue. At any rate, already you can see that there’s mostly rubble and mess; you can’t see any bodies, however- save for the horses. Charred, pulped, and little left of them, but you can at least tell that there WERE bodies there. You’re going to have to get closer to see the people- they’re being hindered by smoke- seems like something caught on fire thanks to the blast.

‘Oooh, dear.’ Gartoum’s voice comes. ‘Well, good news, I stopped whatever little flashing spell they were trying,’ he says as he slips back into your ring. ‘Bad news...I suspect that SOMEONE got SOMETHING out of it. Call it a hunch. A chill down my non-existent spine.’

Well, fantastic. That’ll ruin your schedule, for sure.

You use the crystal's speed to approach quickly; likely you'll have to forgo any in-depth check, especially if those kids survived to fight. That's fine, however; you just need to make sure those riders are in the same shape as the horses...

...

...what the shit? You have to extinguish the fire, and check under the canvas, but...you don't see any bodies. Nor any parts of bodies. You boot through the rubble, and...no. Nothing. Some bloodstains, for sure. But those could've been from the horses. Some clothes. A notebook full of drawings and notes about plants, half charred. A few other things, but...

No boy. No girl. How...? You check around. No footprints, either...so not invisibility...can't sniff them, either.

>Gah, forget it! You need to heal the bat and you don't have time for this.
>No, no...something isn't right here. You need to double-check.
>Other
>>
>>4753482
>No, no...something isn't right here. You need to double-check.
no bodies turned into chunky salsa? or trying to get away from the explosion? that sounds like invisibility fuckery to me
>>
>>4753482
>>Gah, forget it! You need to heal the bat and you don't have time for this.
>Give fairy boy our Gauntlets and show him how to use them so he could heal Gargles
we already got all the wagons + the guy in fancy clothes, no need to waste our time on those kids. the important thing is that they can't run for help anymore, we're done with them.
>>
I'll resume tomorrow around the same time. 12 PM PST.
>>
>>4753510
nah, the first rule of assaults like these is to not let survivors or they will bite us back in the future.
>>
>>4753482
>No, no...something isn't right here. You need to double-check.
>Other

SCAN SCAN SCAN everything suspicious using the FutureSight
>No footprints, either...so not invisibility...can't sniff them, either.
This is either a quick teleportation spell done under pressure (in which case there might be some residual signs left to trace), or they put themselves into some sort of hammerspace like the turtle in Jojo or our bottomless bag.
>>
>>4753518
if they teleported, i hope they got jammed inside a rock or something. that shit's always funny
>>
>>4753518
>>4753482
>‘Oooh, dear.’ Gartoum’s voice comes. ‘Well, good news, I stopped whatever little flashing spell they were trying,’ he says as he slips back into your ring. ‘Bad news...I suspect that SOMEONE got SOMETHING out of it. Call it a hunch. A chill down my non-existent spine.’
This is too convenient, I suspect that this might be related to our disappeared kids. But the spell's interrupted?
>>
>>4753482
>No, no...something isn't right here. You need to double-check
>Scan area with FutureSight
Yeah I agree with >>4753518, they could have used an emergency teleportation spell or something. How annoying.
We'll just investigate and get back to healing Gargles
>>
>>4753482
>>4753518
This. Prime for residual magic/mana and abnormal objects.
>>
>>4753494
>No boy. No girl. How...? You check around. No footprints, either...so not invisibility...can't sniff them, either.
It's not invisibility. So it's either teleportation, hammerspace or something else entirely different.

They dug.
Earthbending exists in this world so they could have escaped underground and left no traces or burrows for us to see.
>>
>>4753482
>>4753518
Adding in
>Scan the ground for thermal signatures and mana.
The FutureSight can penetrate pretty deep.
>>
>>4753482
>Gah, forget it! You need to heal the bat and you don't have time for this.

We should just heal the bat and bail.
>>
Gah, late, but writing. Something seems iffy...
>>
>>4753482
>>4753494
>>4753518
>>4753528
>>4753530
>>4753906
You’re not going to just let this lie, no. You need to see just WHAT happened...or at least sense it. And if you can’t, you’ve at least got a device that can.

...your FutureSight seems to be some sort of extremely rudimentary tablet in appearance, as far as you can tell. Well, doesn’t matter, you can control it all the same. Now, just what might’ve happened here…? Experience, unfortunately, is pointing towards at least two possibilities, and one of them is more annoying than the other. Let’s see here...mana scanning, set the sensitivity to high, distance wide-range...

...it takes a couple of minutes, but eventually there’s a return on your efforts; there’s high-level displacement artifacts consistent with teleportation within the local coordinates. In otherwords, someone was smart enough to pack an emergency teleport in one way or another.

...freaking annoying. On the plus side, at least, it’s an EMERGENCY teleport, and it seems as though it works via spacetime fold displacement; essentially, that means that it’s not too hard to backtrace. And according to that and estimated density...medium range. Meaning that at the worst, they have to be a couple of towns or so over, but not a whole continent or anything crazy. The direction isn’t parsable, however. The fact that you didn’t see any towns on the way here (although you’ll admit you weren’t actively scouting, so it’s entirely possible you missed one), possibly means further that they originally came from a different direction and circled around somehow, maybe…? It’s hard to determine. Drat.

Well, you know they’re more than likely not in the city...and you wouldn’t be surprised if they’re expecting company themselves, now. And you still have a bat to heal...

>You’ve been made too badly to try and get into Yulin outright, now. You’re going to need to abandon this plan of attack and try something a bit more subtle- starting with the outlying villages or towns.
>You might be able to interrogate some of the fallen back at the rest of the caravan- that is, if your insects haven’t devoured everyone.
>It’s a damn risky bet, but if you cause enough of a ruckus and cause enough destruction, you might just be able to force the matter and wring out where the stone is from the rulers yourself.
>Other
>>
>>4754796
>You might be able to interrogate some of the fallen back at the rest of the caravan- that is, if your insects haven’t devoured everyone.
The most sensible option here. We don't have enough info to justify the other two, not yet anyway.
>>
>>4754796
>You might be able to interrogate some of the fallen back at the rest of the caravan- that is, if your insects haven’t devoured everyone.
>>
>>4754796
>You might be able to interrogate some of the fallen back at the rest of the caravan- that is, if your insects haven’t devoured everyone.
>>
>>4754796
>You might be able to interrogate some of the fallen back at the rest of the caravan- that is, if your insects haven’t devoured everyone.
Damn it, they tp'd out like villains do.
>>
>>4754796
>You might be able to interrogate some of the fallen back at the rest of the caravan- that is, if your insects haven’t devoured everyone.
>Give Gauntlets to the kid in the meantime
>>
Fuck, sorry, but I'm not quite feeling it today. Expect scant updates throughout the week, trying to get something done that's pretty important.
>>
>>4754973
Tis fine, give a holler when you are up to running again. I'm enjoying this job.
>>
>>4754886
I think we should start fixing up our ride as soon as possible, since the caravan has managed to cast the emergency beacon. The boy should be able to heal our bat friend's wings with the gauntlets, this would give us more time to search through the caravan and bail out in case of trouble.
>>
>>4755136
We don't know what exactly that spell was yet. I intend to vote for asking the survivors about it, along with the identity of those two kids and other tidbits.

Also damn if our bugs BITE. I didn't expect them to actually kill some of those guards.
>>
>>4755414
>>4753482
>Gargles had landed with a thump and a screech, but you could still see him weakly flapping about, so he’s still alive. Good. You don’t have much time, and you can clearly see now that it at least didn’t get him in the body- it was a wing shot, which explains why he tilted instead of just dead dropped.
His wing got shot through, that's it.
>>4754796
Well, you know they’re more than likely not in the city...and you wouldn’t be surprised if they’re expecting company themselves, now. And you still have a bat to heal...
I don't get why do you want to delay.
>>
>>4755476
>>4755414
We must heal him ASAP, thought everyone was on board with that
>>
>>4755481
You're reading it wrong, of course we're healing him. I just want to go back to the survivors also for more intel.
>>
>>4755485
But no one's voting to heal him tho. And I wasn't against interrogating the survivors
>>
>>4755489
... because healing him is obviously packed with whatever option we picked? He's our only ride, his life is paramount.
If we vote for going back to the other carriages for example, we'll obviously heal him and then get back by flying.
Or are you saying if we do that we'd run back and leave the kid, the bird and Gargles stuck on a mid-air barrier that's unmaintained?
>>
>>4755506
That could happen, yeah. I just want to be certain.
>>
>>4755514
And it won't. I trust Handler to not leave such a bad oversight like that. Miranda herself wouldn't do so.
>>
>>4755524
Miranda (and Handler) occasionally do forget about the boy, I wouldn't be surprised if we she ends up leaving then all on the barrier and going straight to the caravan.
>>
yeah, we have to be very specific with the commands we give
>>
>>4754796
>>4754803
Adding in.
>You might be able to interrogate some of the fallen back at the rest of the caravan- that is, if your insects haven’t devoured everyone.
>Heal Gargles and fly back.
Just to be sure then. I don't think we need to teach the kid to use the gauntlets. It takes only a few seconds, pretty much so fast that teaching him will be slower than doing it ourselves.
>>
>>4755548
The reason why I want the boy to do it is because I don't think that teaching him how to use the gauntlets would take that much time - one just has to channel mana through them. Static barriers don't need to maintenance at all and the levitation crystal still has juice in it, so we could fly up to them, give the gauntlets and glide down. He'll be healing Gargles while we investigate the caravan.
desu I don't know how much time it takes to restore something with the gauntlets, so maybe doing it your way would be more efficient.
>>
>>4755787
>Static barriers don't need to maintenance at all
Then what about this? >>4753482
>You’re going to have to keep the barrier’s formation steady in the back of your mind, but you’re pretty sure that’s not too much of an issue

It's a wing shot, and we healed an entire lower torso in the Seither world in moments, seconds.

And I found a passage that implies we're going back to heal Gargles whatever option we pick.
>On the other hand, this’ll keep things quick; allows you to investigate the scene before flying back to take care of the bat
>>
>>4755918
I remember that we've trapped some spook back in the Seither world inside a barrier and I don't think there was any mention of upkeeping it.
>Nathaniel Black was only released from the bubble after the girl mysteriously disappeared. Feeling lucky to leave with his life, he retired from clandestine operations approximately three months thereafter. Approximately 3 months after that, he and his sister quit Aegis, and opened a small bar in one of the few free cities of the world, where they lived a modest life.
>>
>>4756158
I don't have a clue about that to be honest, just judging things by what was written at it's moment.
But that looks like a Great Barrier (they're sphere-shaped) to me, maybe a minor version of it. I assume those can sustain themselves to a degree since we boxed in a Shadow Queen clone with it before.
>>
>>4756174
it was a regular Light Barrier. We can change their shapes now, remember?
>Barrier Manipulation (Basic)
>Miranda can move Light and Great Barriers fairly freely now in a 3D space at will. She can also shape them simply for more personal effects...
>>
>>4756178
Then I have no clue. At the moment it is implied that if we get too far or forget to sustain it in our mind then the barrier will degrade.
Maybe because the current one's being constantly pressed by a lot of weight, composed of a giant bat and a fairy halfling (and a crystal bird)? The spook guy had given up at that point so he wasn't beating up his barrier. That's what I'm leaning to.





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