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A bit more than sixteen years ago, in the Empire’s Old Hinterlands:

Your name is Odovacar, and among other much more pressing things, you are trying your best to not feel self-conscious. When you had been told the cover that you were to use for this assignment was a journeyman Glasser, fresh from the road, you had not thought anything of it … until they brought out the damned disguise. Now, to be completely objective, it is not the most garish or ostentatious thing you have ever seen … it is just that it is much, much more … foppish than you were expecting. Especially the wide brimmed hat, which is really something, because typically, you are quite fond of wide brimmed hats. But this one has a preposterously ornate buckle – or at least preposterous to your eyes – as well as a comically oversized red plume. At least the leather and the craftsmanship looks to be quality, but who would ever notice? The rest of your outfit is similarly overstated (and presumably expensive) to the point that at the moment you are less concerned about the possibility that you are walking into a trap and more concerned about the possibility of running into someone you know in private life.

Not that you have much of a private life as a freshly grafted and socketed Dosimetrist, as just about every waking minute that is not on active duty like this investigation is spent either getting calibrated or under observation for signs of graft rejection … or Strangeness. It is not common, but under certain circumstances, like if the dosimeter was pushed too far for too long, or the construct was damaged and there was either a surge, or worse, a complete breach, and the shielding on your socket was not sufficient … it can happen. And when it does, you are basically pouring Strangeness straight into your brain, courtesy of the socket. It is not a pleasant thing to think about.

As you navigate a raised crosswalk, you take the time to pat yourself down as discreetly as you can to make sure that all of your secreted weapons are still in place. The leaded dueling knives up your sleeves are still secure in their magnetized sheathes, and in the right inside pocket of your jerkin, the leaded garroting chain clinks and clacks dully, sounding just enough like coins to avoid suspicion. In the left inside pocket of your jerkin, you have your grandfather’s old black pin-stiletto, though that is more of a sentimental token than a weapon that you would seriously consider using in a fight against a Stranger or a Witch … or anything more ferocious than parcel-twine, for that matter. You have two steel rings on both hands, polished to the point where they can pass as silver, to ensure that if it comes to throwing punches, yours have just a little extra weight behind them. Similarly, there is a small patch of steel plating integrated into your boots around your toes, so you may kick with the confidence of a mule.
>>
>>5061777
But your real concern is over the needle-dagger. This is one of the three anti-Witch weapons that the Moevia Chapterhouse owns, and while it is the smallest of the set, it is the one that gets taken out the most, considering its concealability. Currently, it is nestled inside the red sash that you are wearing around your waist, which is going to make it even harder than normal to draw. The issue is getting the blade free and clear without hitting the release on the inside of the basket hilt prematurely. Unless the needle that runs the length of the needle-dagger’s blade bites solidly into the flesh of a Stranger or some magical being, discharging would just be wasting Witchbane. Then again, as expensive as Witchbane might be to make, it at least still can be made. The same cannot be said for needle-blades. The hollow steel needle, with an orifice only a hairsbreadth or so wide is well beyond the capabilities of mundane metallurgy and milling. These weapons, designed specifically to fight magic users, ironically enough could only be made by magically augmented machines. And unfortunately enough, all of the known needle-mills that were built to make these needles were laid down before the first appearance of the Strangeness, which means that they were designed without any consideration for stability or shielding. So when the Strangeness appeared, the magical pieces of these forge-constructs started to dump obscene amounts of the Strangeness into the non-magical components of these constructs. By the time that someone had the idea to go looking for these machines to outfit some of the first pogroms, they had all been ruined – even the magical components had been adversely affected, which gives an idea of just how much Strangeness was running through those machines.

Supposedly an effort had been made to rebuild one, but clearly, nothing must have come from it because nearly two hundred years later, needle-blades are as dear as ever, and Abbots will send Brothers, Half and Full, to certain death or exposure with a wave of a hand, but they will agonize over equipping a Full Brother with a needle-blade. Chapterhouses that are lucky enough to possess these relic weapons have specialist Needle Armorers and Needle Master-at-Arms (informally called the Needlers-at-Arms). You have seen the impossibly delicate work that goes into maintaining this relic, and you have practiced with this very blade before, but you had not expected to be given it today. Partially because from what you had heard about this assignment, you did not think it to be warranted, and partially because, as much as the old goat seems to like you, you did not think that the Abbot would trust you with it. To be entirely honest, even after all of the training, you are not sure if you trust you with it. But you were not asked, and you are not going to throw a chance to prove yourself like this away, so you held your tongue. You hope that was wise.
>>
>>5061779
Continuing on your way, you recount the details of the assignment. A new arrival in the city had purchased three short tons of low-purity lead. While that is not illegal, as lead is not considered a ‘controlled substance’, you have to wonder just why someone without a manufactory would need so much. It is possible that this new arrival is a front for a Witch, maybe even a Coven, purchasing bulk lead to be used in magical constructs for shielding, or to contain and eliminate the Strangeness produce by their witchery. Many of the highest-ranked in the chapterhouse seemed to be convinced of it. You, on the other hand … you are not sure. You would be completely behind that theory if the man was a merchant passing through, on his way to parts unknown, but the fact that neither he nor the lead has left Moevia, that he is laying down roots and making no effort to hide, it makes you think that there possibly could be a legitimate explanation for all of this. As for what that would be, you have no idea.

Maybe you are just deluding yourself, because you do not want to face the prospect of knocking on the front door of a Coven. Ha! Honestly, you are not too worried. This is not the first time you have conducted an investigation in a potentially hostile setting. So far, they have all been false alarms. There are Strangers, yeah, and you deal with them, but Witches? Constructs? No. You were still a Half-Acolyte when the last magical object was found in the city, and you were not even born yet when the last Witch was taken by the Moevia Chapterhouse. The graybeards and the whitebeards are so starved for action that they are jumping at shadows. You have got this.

And you have a good team backing you up – actually, you have three of them. The nine men of ‘Alpha’ are stationed across the street from the target residence, spread across three rented rooms, ready to bullrush the front door. The six men of ‘Beta’ have snuck their way on top of the tenement building that shares a wall with the target residence, disguised as roofers, on standby to breach into the fourth floor and work their way down. ‘Omega’ is a score of Half Brothers located across the street – the other street, the target residence is on a street corner – just inside the perimeter wall of a graveyard. They are in place to establish a perimeter, and if necessary, reinforce ‘Alpha’. From the minute that you cross over the threshold of that house, you have two hours. If you do not come out or give an extension signal in those two hours, or if you give a distress signal, then they will move to extract you. And woe to anything and anyone that gets in their way, Strange or otherwise. Though, with any luck, the most difficult thing that the lot of them will have to do today is exfiltrate. That will be tricky, especially for the boys in ‘Omega’. But if they could not do it, then they never would have been assigned.
>>
>>5061780
Those three teams, as well as a number of Lamp-and-Flags keeping watch from a distance are all waiting on you … well, actually, they are all waiting on the Prime Lamp-and-Flag to start the count, but he is waiting on you. You widen your strides, and as you make your way down the street, pinching the brim of your hat between thumb and forefinger to prevent it from falling off, you get your first in-person look at the place. It looks nice … much nicer than you imagined actually. The corner lot that it was built on was noticeably smaller than the others around it, so the builders built up instead of out. It is four stories to the neighboring buildings three, and while the other houses and tenements up and down the street were build piecemeal – an addition here, a new floor overhanging the street there – this one was built deliberately, all in one go. Been taken care of too. As you draw closer, you can hear some members of ‘Beta’ intermittently working on the roof. You make a point of not looking at them, nor in the direction of ‘Alpha’, ‘Omega’ or where the Prime Lamp-and-Flag is situated. Your eyes are only on the door.

Mounting the front steps, you allow yourself time for one deep breath before using the knocker. You wait a moment or two, and are about to rap it again when you hear movement inside. The door opens, and the first thing you notice is that the vestibule within in not particularly well lit – the windows on the first floor all have their curtains drawn down. The second thing you notice is the maid. Wow. You take off your ridiculous hat to give yourself a second to gather your thoughts … but you just spend the time admiring her.

Her expression and frock are the epitome of demure, but there is something in her stance that keeps her from looking matronly. It has to be her height – she comes up to your chin, which is higher than a lot of men ever get – that, and her build. While she certainly has curves, there is a tightness, a leanness to her, and what little skin the dress she wears reveals around her neck is pretty well toned – for a woman, of course. That skin might be a pallid, almost sickly white in the dim light of the doorway, but it pairs well with her dark eyes and her straight black hair. In fact, the only thing about her that is not conventionally beautiful is her lips; they are thin, and almost bloodless. But the expectant smile she has them done up in as she waits for you introduce yourself seems warm and genuine enough that you know you could never bring yourself to consider them a flaw.

“Uh ... well met today. My name is Antono, I’m a Journeyman Glasser, and I have just received permission to work my trade here in Moevia from my Guild. But when I went to my approved lead supplier here, he told me your master had bought out all of the grade that I need. I was hoping that I could convince him to sell some to me, so I can get to work.”
>>
>>5061781
“I’ll see.”

She softly closes the door and retreats inside. Hopefully, her master lets you in, though the investigation would not necessarily be a complete bust if he did not. You would walk back to the chapterhouse, but the teams would simply remain in place and monitor the building, to see if you stirred anything up. If you did, then they would play it by ear as best they could. If you did not set anything into motion (or if you did, but they could not see it) then it would be up to the Abbot and his inner circle to figure out what to do next about this situation. Whatever it was, you probably would not be involved, considering that you would be known to these people as ‘Antono’. Oh well. If you get nothing else out of this, you met an absolute vision of a woman today. Of course, it is not like anything could ever come of it. You spend the next minute feeling sorry for yourself, but you perk up when you hear footsteps approaching once more. The door opens again, this time wide enough to pass through.

“The master is more than willing to work out some arrangement. Please, come in.”

You follow her in. The vestibule and the foyer that it opens into is still fairly devoid of furnishings, but presumably the master of the house will purchase more furniture after he is finished settling in. The maid, whose name you definitely should ask for soon, takes your cloak and that damned hat, and after seeing them stored away, explains that her master is in the sitting room up on the fourth floor, and leads you up the staircase, situated against one of the outer walls of the building. You follow behind her, eyes riveted on her swaying hips as she takes the steps. Whatever she is wearing underneath that dress of hers, it does not offer a lot of padding, leaving very little of her figure to the imagination. On the third and final flight of stairs, you notice that there are little windows running in tandem with the steps – and only because she mentioned that she would like the view better if it overlooked a plaza instead of a graveyard.

Embarrassed that you have been so derelict in your duties, you finally take your eyes off of her to look. The small square window does actually provide a pretty good vantage point over the burying ground, but thankfully you cannot see ‘Omega’. Even if she does not care for it, honestly, you do not mind it. What you like the most is …
>>
>>5061783
>Please choose ONE of the following:
> … how high you are. For as long as you can remember, you have always had vivid dreams about flying. Sometimes you were levitating. Sometimes you sprouted feathers or even full wings. But your favorites were the ones where you found a dragon, or a gryphon or a flying Herald and made it your mount. When you were younger and awoke from one of these dreams, you would go climb something tall, just to sit there and recapture the feeling. [Father’s Focus: Dragonbuilder]
> … how quiet everything looks down there. Despite prevailing opinions on the matter, you have always found graveyards to be quiet, serene places. In fact, there was that one time during your youth when you had run away from home that you actually slept in one, overnight. You had an odd waking dream, where under the stars, you felt as if you could feel as if your mind was reaching out, reaching into the ground … [Father’s Focus: Resurrection]
> … how perfect the statues that flank the main of the burying ground look. There are smaller ones scattered through the rest of the ground, and all together they sort of evoke the old stories that you have heard of automatons, servants and war machines knit together from flesh and steel and who knows what else. Immaculately obedient, something completely trustworthy. Considering your upbringing, is it any wonder why you admired them? [Father’s Focus: Puppeteer]

So, a little explanation of how this works. You, as in Chlotsuintha, have your father’s notes with you, though as they are in a cypher, you cannot read them at the moment. This vote determines what exactly your father is working on, which in turn determines what is in those notes. Later, when you have the time and ability to decipher them, you will be able to study the notes, and learn about one of these three specific area of focus; building pseudo-dragon constructs, resurrections, or large scale production of automatons. This is not to say that once you pick one, Chlotsuintha is not going to be able to learn about the others, it just means that if she wants to learn about one of the choices that does not get picked here, she is just going to have to find materials written about them, which is going to be difficult but not impossible.

Anyway, I hope to manage a post a day, and here is the link for the archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Graverobber%27s%20Daughter
>>
>>5061786
Welcome back! Our first glimpse of Chlot's parents. You may be pleased or distressed to know, Trash, that I am basing my most recent D&D character off of Chlotsuintha. I greatly enjoy your writing, your setting, and her as a character.
>> … how high you are. For as long as you can remember, you have always had vivid dreams about flying. Sometimes you were levitating. Sometimes you sprouted feathers or even full wings. But your favorites were the ones where you found a dragon, or a gryphon or a flying Herald and made it your mount. When you were younger and awoke from one of these dreams, you would go climb something tall, just to sit there and recapture the feeling. [Father’s Focus: Dragonbuilder]
Dragons are cool. Although they are probably quite loud.

I'm imagining that Resurrection notes would mean Chlot's inheritance would teach her more medical things and Puppeteer would teach her more material science, and such.
>>
>>5061786
>> … how high you are. For as long as you can remember, you have always had vivid dreams about flying. Sometimes you were levitating. Sometimes you sprouted feathers or even full wings. But your favorites were the ones where you found a dragon, or a gryphon or a flying Herald and made it your mount. When you were younger and awoke from one of these dreams, you would go climb something tall, just to sit there and recapture the feeling. [Father’s Focus: Dragonbuilder]
Most rad choice. Welcome back Trash!
>>
>>5061869
>You may be pleased or distressed to know, Trash, that I am basing my most recent D&D character off of Chlotsuintha. I greatly enjoy your writing, your setting, and her as a character.
Pleased, definitely pleased. Let me know how the campaign goes, alright?

>I'm imagining that Resurrection notes would mean Chlot's inheritance would teach her more medical things and Puppeteer would teach her more material science, and such.
I don't want to just come out and say what each would give exactly, but you are sort of on the right track. All three will teach 'medical' magic or Life-Weaving. Dragonbuilder has some high level Life-Weaving magic, specifically stuff that you would need to know to build a completely independent pseudo-dragon construct. Necromancer has some medium level Life-Weaving magic, and introductory level 'Mountaineering' magic, which allows you to resuscitate souls back into the bodies they left behind, and slave them to your will. (The fact that the school is called Mountaineering is a horrendously blasphemous joke in-setting, but I can't explain it completely without spoiling some future story beats). Puppeteer has some medium level Life-Weaving magic and a touch of medium level Fetish magic, but it is designed for batch production (instead of just making one, make a half a dozen or more at the same time)

>>5061907
Glad to be back!

Anyway, I need to get some sleep. I'll check on this first thing tomorrow.
>>
>>5061786
>> … how perfect the statues that flank the main of the burying ground look. There are smaller ones scattered through the rest of the ground, and all together they sort of evoke the old stories that you have heard of automatons, servants and war machines knit together from flesh and steel and who knows what else. Immaculately obedient, something completely trustworthy. Considering your upbringing, is it any wonder why you admired them? [Father’s Focus: Puppeteer]
Get in the robot Chlotsuintha
>>
>>5061786
>> … how perfect the statues that flank the main of the burying ground look. There are smaller ones scattered through the rest of the ground, and all together they sort of evoke the old stories that you have heard of automatons, servants and war machines knit together from flesh and steel and who knows what else. Immaculately obedient, something completely trustworthy. Considering your upbringing, is it any wonder why you admired them? [Father’s Focus: Puppeteer]
>>
>>5061786
>> … how perfect the statues that flank the main of the burying ground look. There are smaller ones scattered through the rest of the ground, and all together they sort of evoke the old stories that you have heard of automatons, servants and war machines knit together from flesh and steel and who knows what else. Immaculately obedient, something completely trustworthy. Considering your upbringing, is it any wonder why you admired them? [Father’s Focus: Puppeteer]
Welcome back
>>
Just think anons! imagine how cute and horriblea pseudo-dragon will act, like a firebreathing angry cat! How amazing would that be?
>>
>>5061786
I'm going to need a some time to decide, as all have their merits. Dragonbuilder sounds wicked, Puppeteer useful, and Resurrection more in tune with the theme and name of this quest. I'll think it over while I work.
>>
>>5061786
>> … how perfect the statues that flank the main of the burying ground look. There are smaller ones scattered through the rest of the ground, and all together they sort of evoke the old stories that you have heard of automatons, servants and war machines knit together from flesh and steel and who knows what else. Immaculately obedient, something completely trustworthy. Considering your upbringing, is it any wonder why you admired them? [Father’s Focus: Puppeteer]
>>
>>5061786
> … how high you are. For as long as you can remember, you have always had vivid dreams about flying. Sometimes you were levitating. Sometimes you sprouted feathers or even full wings. But your favorites were the ones where you found a dragon, or a gryphon or a flying Herald and made it your mount. When you were younger and awoke from one of these dreams, you would go climb something tall, just to sit there and recapture the feeling. [Father’s Focus: Dragonbuilder]
>>
>>5061777
Hey man you ever gonna run Collapsing again?
>>
>>5062375
Yes, I intend to. I just don't want to lose the momentum I have with going with The Graverobber's Daughter. Between classes and this Quest, I have not had the time that I would like to do some plotting for Collapsing, or actually deliver on all of the little things I have promised. Come Hell or high water, I intend to return to Debouche, just, I'm not sure when.

>>5061869 Dragonbuilder 1
>>5061907 Dragonbulider 2
>>5062063 Dragonbuilder 2 Puppeteer 1
>>5062083 Dragonbuilder 2 Puppeteer 2
>>5062093 Dragonbuilder 2 Puppeteer 3
>>5062341 Dragonbuilder 3 Puppeteer 3
>>5062369 Dragonbuilder 3 Puppeteer 4

>>5062230
Before I close the vote, I want to check, did you get a chance to vote anon? I'm not ready to write just yet, so I am going leave this up until 8pm Eastern Standard Time.
>>
>>5062430
I am extremely torn but I'll tie the vote and leave it to either the dice or that Anon.
> … how high you are. For as long as you can remember, you have always had vivid dreams about flying. Sometimes you were levitating. Sometimes you sprouted feathers or even full wings. But your favorites were the ones where you found a dragon, or a gryphon or a flying Herald and made it your mount. When you were younger and awoke from one of these dreams, you would go climb something tall, just to sit there and recapture the feeling. [Father’s Focus: Dragonbuilder]
>>
>>5062430
Ok man good to know, I'll keep an eye out
>>
Damn, just checked an hour too late. Glad to see this is back.
>>
>>5061786
Wait, actually, if the vote is tied and I can still vote, then I vote for...
> … how perfect the statues that flank the main of the burying ground look. There are smaller ones scattered through the rest of the ground, and all together they sort of evoke the old stories that you have heard of automatons, servants and war machines knit together from flesh and steel and who knows what else. Immaculately obedient, something completely trustworthy. Considering your upbringing, is it any wonder why you admired them? [Father’s Focus: Puppeteer]

While having eventually learning to have a very high Life-Weaving core skill sounds very useful and interesting, and being able to make a pseudo-dragon construct sounds amazing, I think we'd be constrained in actually using such a creature except in emergencies and it would honestly be more useful for if we fled into the deep woods than going into the countryside. Whereas automaton servants can help us in the safety of our home, making further magical process more smooth and faster and we can make more of them allowing them to be in more places at once and further speeding production, they may even be able to be disguised as normal creatures or statues, giving them some use in more normal situations possibly. A shame, I'm actually a bit more interested in the other two, but I personally think this is the best.
>>
>>5062430
Actually, I've been busy all day and hadn't the time to sit down and read. In all honesty, I think dragons are rad and having Father's work being something that has an element of his childhood wonder in it really won me over.

>Dragonbuilder

Sorry for creating another tie, this anon >>5062485 makes a good point on Puppeteering being more useful in general, and I was torn between the two.
>>
>>5062443 Dragonbuilder 4 Puppeteer 4
>>5062485 Dragonbuilder 4 Puppeteer 5
>>5062507 Dragonbuilder 5 Puppeteer 5

Well, I think this might be the most participation I have ever had in a vote. Rather then roll for something like this, I am going to make post in the general right now.
>>
>>5062517
> … how high you are. For as long as you can remember, you have always had vivid dreams about flying. Sometimes you were levitating. Sometimes you sprouted feathers or even full wings. But your favorites were the ones where you found a dragon, or a gryphon or a flying Herald and made it your mount. When you were younger and awoke from one of these dreams, you would go climb something tall, just to sit there and recapture the feeling. [Father’s Focus: Dragonbuilder]
>>
>>5062533
Alright, there we go. Consider this vote closed. I am writing right now.
>>
… how high up you are. While they are not as frequent as they once were, you have always had vivid dreams about flying. There were the ones where you would levitate as if you were some sort of Witch. Then there were the dreams where you were a young child once more, and you were trying to run away from home again, but this time there was this unseen pursuer chasing after you – you did not know who they were or why they were after you, you just knew that you were terrified of them – and just when your legs were about to give out from underneath you, you would suddenly sprout wings and take to the skies. Up there, in those dreams, you were able to run away. From the pursuer and from your home. The best flying dreams though were the ones where you would stumble across some creature; like a dragon, or a gryphon, or a Herald, and even though these were all fearsome beasts you would make friends with them and then take to the skies on their backs. Those dreams always ended much too soon.

When you were younger, and did not have the responsibilities you have now, whenever you would awake from a flying dream, you would always go and climb the tallest thing nearby, just so you could sit there up in the sky, and try to recapture the feeling. You cannot help but sigh, but it is a happy sigh. Feeling somewhat fortified by the memories, you return your focus to the task at hand – the investigation, but as the maid opens the door to the sitting room and gestures you inside, you cannot help but smile at her as you pass her by.

Back in the present, in Scrimshaw Mount:

Your name is Chlotsuintha, and as you make your back to the Midden, you are noticeably more sluggish. Everything you have done in the past twenty-four hours, especially the spellcasting, is starting to wear on you. You would like nothing more than to be able to go home and get a good night’s sleep. Of course, that is simply not possible. You have so much to do, and ever time you turn around it seems that there is something else that –

“Animal Control!”

What? You turn around to see some well-fed housewife lumbering towards you. You wonder just why on earth she is thinking, until you realize with a start that you are still wearing the red scarf that Ossavian gave to you – she must think that it is the sash that Animal Control Lepers are required to wear. You are about to explain her mistake, but before you can get a word out, she just starts talking over you.

“There’s some damned gull that’s stuck in my chimney – it sounds sick, and I just had the thing swept a week ago. You come and take care of it.”

A gull? A Hook Gull? From what you read of Ossavian’s note, whatever the Inquisition recovered from the investigation was affecting gulls. Now, maybe the bird in the chimney here is just sick, but … maybe it has gone Strange, or is still under some sort of spell, though you cannot imagine what kind of spell causes birds to fly themselves into chimneys.
>>
File: Hook Gulls.webm (2.95 MB, 960x540)
2.95 MB
2.95 MB WEBM
>>5062685
Wait a minute. Should you even be thinking about this? It is already only a matter of time before the Inquisition exhumes the coffin of Aldoin. When they do not find the magical graven ball that presumably killed him, it is going to be obvious that you were the one that has it, as you were the only one alone with the coffin after it left the Morgue. And because the body is not as Strange as it once was, and the coffin is not Strange at all anymore, it is also going to be obvious that you are a Witchlet who magically mitigated and remediated them. As it is, you already have one foot inside of a Lead Maiden. If you get caught up in this, who knows what will happen.

On the other hand, after receiving some information from the Master Abbot, you feel almost certain that that whatever was happening in that apartment was somehow related to your father. It is certainly possible that this bird could provide some clue – and not to mention, if the damned thing is Strange, then you could be saving this family from a painful, potentially crippling or even fatal ‘curative custody’ in the local chapterhouse.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>You simply cannot afford to get involved here. Besides, if you did, you would be risking missing out on placing an order at the dressmakers today. Hopefully they will be alright on their own.
>You simply cannot afford to overlook this. Besides, if the damned thing was Strange, and the Inquisition came for her and her family, you would … well, you would not like that. Especially because you could have prevented it.
>>
>>5062687
>You simply cannot afford to overlook this. Besides, if the damned thing was Strange, and the Inquisition came for her and her family, you would … well, you would not like that. Especially because you could have prevented it.

To be blunt, I would not choose this without the OOC knowledge that because we just chose the Dragonbuilder choice, this may have something to do with it. Though it may be entirely unrelated.

On the other hand, there was some talk in the previous thread about how we were getting sidetracked over and over again, perhaps it is best to ignore this. Or perhaps we could bait a conversation with one of the Inquisition folks about "some damn woman kept pestering me about Hook Gulls on the way home" so they can take care of it before the Strangeness spreads. I dunno.

We should have time, if I remember correctly on our first evening we had time to talk to some people, still get dinner, and pick up food and supplies for the following days despite doing multiple things or wasting some time, though I may not be recalling correctly.
>>
>>5062687
>>You simply cannot afford to get involved here. Besides, if you did, you would be risking missing out on placing an order at the dressmakers today. Hopefully they will be alright on their own.
Get Chlot some clothes! Information is all well and good but she does still have to escape.
>>
>>5062687
>You simply cannot afford to get involved here. Besides, if you did, you would be risking missing out on placing an order at the dressmakers today. Hopefully they will be alright on their own.
>>
>>5062687
>You simply cannot afford to get involved here. Besides, if you did, you would be risking missing out on placing an order at the dressmakers today. Hopefully they will be alright on their own.
no more distractions
>>
>>5062687
>>You simply cannot afford to get involved here. Besides, if you did, you would be risking missing out on placing an order at the dressmakers today. Hopefully they will be alright on their own.
>>
>>5062687
>You simply cannot afford to overlook this. Besides, if the damned thing was Strange, and the Inquisition came for her and her family, you would … well, you would not like that. Especially because you could have prevented it.

The more the Inquisition is focused on the Hook Gulls, the less attention they'll pay to other Strange sources, with any luck mistaking the Gulls as the source of the Strangeness instead whoever shot the corpse. Plus, I'd rather we play Chlot as a bleeding heart instead of cold and callous.

>>5062696
We should still be able to get to the dressmakers in time. Besides, I was hoping to visit Smil's home soon so we ain't blindsided by his friends and associates when they start investigating his disappearance.
>>
>>5062687
>You simply cannot afford to overlook this. Besides, if the damned thing was Strange, and the Inquisition came for her and her family, you would … well, you would not like that. Especially because you could have prevented it.
>>
>>5062687
>>You simply cannot afford to get involved here. Besides, if you did, you would be risking missing out on placing an order at the dressmakers today. Hopefully they will be alright on their own.
>>
>>5062687
>>You simply cannot afford to get involved here. Besides, if you did, you would be risking missing out on placing an order at the dressmakers today. Hopefully they will be alright on their own.
>>
>>5062696 Check out 1
>>5062706 Check out 1 Clock out 1
>>5062751 Check out 1 Clock out 2
>>5062772 Check out 1 Clock out 3
>>5062815 Check out 1 Clock out 4
>>5062824 Check out 2 Clock out 4
>>5062858 Check out 3 Clock out 4
>>5062926 Check out 3 Clock out 5
>>5062994 Check out 3 Clock out 6

Alright, closed and writing. Also, my ID will have changed.
>>
Just caught up on this, compelling stuff Trash!
>>
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Perhaps you should … no. No, you simply cannot afford to get involved here. If this gull does happen to be one of the Hook Gulls that was exposed to just whatever was going on up in that apartment, and this somehow got back to the Inquisition, how the Hell would that look, especially after just weaseling your way out of suspicion? It is a big, a huge risk – all for a baseless hope that there would be a clue on the bird itself. And unless that clue was a forwarding address, you doubt that you would be able to make anything of it with the time you have left in the city anyway. You do feel more than a little guilty turning your back on this woman and her family, but at this point … well, it is possible that the Hook Gull is only Strange in the first degree, unable to spread the Strangeness, and if that was the case, even if the Inquisition found them, then even they would probably have a hard time justifying throwing them into curative custody. As long as they do not touch the poor damned bird, they should be alright. And you are going to tell her as much. In fact, that gives you an idea on how to extricate yourself from this …

“As you say, ma’am. But I will need to go get my equipment. If you would wait for me on your front steps to let me in, I should be back ten minutes or so. Just, stay away from the bird – and the chimney too. Foul humors.”

Without another word, you turn around, and head back the way you came. The housewife, perhaps a little miffed that a Leper was giving her terms, and not the other way around, remains rooted for a moment or two, but soon you can hear her plodding even over the bustle of the street. Once you are convinced that you are lost to her sight, you duck down a desolate side alley, and detour around the woman. As you hustle along, you undo Ossavian’s neckerchief, to make sure this misunderstanding does not happen again. Knowing that even with his seemingly casual disregard for spiritual cleanliness, he would never want the thing back, you actually consider tossing it, but before you can come to a decision, the sound of approaching footsteps ahead makes up your mind for you, at least for now. You quickly but not carelessly stuff the cloth in the pocket opposite to the one that holds the mitigated remains of the graven ball.

Now – on the to the Midden, and then to find a dressmaker. You have never been to a dressmaker before, but you have a general idea of what to expect. Undressing for measurements, which means you are going to have to activate Hide-Eyes, you are not going to be able to bring weapons … and you are going to have to pray that they have a measuring thread on hand long enough for you. Beyond that, you really are not sure how exactly this is going to work. Would the payment be up front, or just half up front? Well, you could bring enough that it would not matter, but then that introduces another issue.
>>
>>5064174
Your current dress is a bit rough around the edges, figuratively, and physically for the sleeves that you had to extend and the hood you made yourself. Walking in and trying to commission something dressed like that would raise a lot of eyebrows, and that is not even considering that there is a description of the pirate who robbed the captain of the Euthyphro – what was it, an uncommonly tall cross-dresser, or an unnaturally tall and strong woman? Wearing a ‘ragged dress’? Who has a reward on their head equivalent to at least six years’ worth of wages for a common laborer? Now, if anything came up, you might be able to lie your way out of this. But, if you were willing to take a little bit more time, and buy a pen and paper and ink, you could write down your lies, which now would make them a lot more believable – you could say you were a maid, and your mistress realized that this was the only dress you owned beside your uniform, and she was so overcome with noblesse oblige that she sent you to get something custom made. You even have the money on your right now – the four-talent that the Master Abbot gave you (which you were planning on giving to Vaclav, but no matter, you have a pillowcase full of bullion, you will just give him another coin). The only reason why you are still thinking about it is that hardware stores, like the one you went to yesterday do not sell pens and paper and ink. That would be the purview of a specialty store, which you would need to find, and even then, there would be no guarantee that they would sell you anything. And worst of all – you would be remembered. Now, hardware stores must have accounting books, so perhaps you could try to convince a proprietor to sell you one, but then they would remember you too – and if they named a preposterous price, and you met it, then they would remember you even more. Maybe … maybe you could steal writing supplies from somewhere? But then that is another pot of worms entirely.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>You will go to the dressmakers without a note.
>You will attempt to buy writing supplies from a specialty store.
>You will attempt to steal writing supplies from a specialty store, dressed as a Leper.
>You will attempt to steal writing supplies from a specialty store, dressed in your street clothes.
>You will attempt to buy writing supplies from a hardware.
>You will attempt to steal writing supplies from a hardware, dressed as a Leper.
>You will attempt to steal writing supplies from a hardware, dressed in your street clothes.

Sorry it took so long to get this one out, but if we get enough votes in quick enough, I should be able to get a second update in today.
>>
>>5064178
> You will attempt to steal writing supplies from a specialty store, dressed as a Leper.
>>
>>5064178
>You will attempt to steal writing supplies from a specialty store, dressed in your street clothes.
>>
>>5064178
>You will go to the dressmakers without a note.
>>
>>5064178
really nothing sufficient at home, huh? I guess any notes would be on scraps and rough bark-paper, rather than fine smooth white nice stuff
>>5064178
>>You will go to the dressmakers without a note.
I think a written lie just complicates things. if there's a mistress then that mistress will have a name, and she'll need to live somewhere, and the dressmaker might want to talk to her...no, better not. and Chlot has few of the graces of a maid, domestics are expected to act and look a certain way and she is quite too noticeable for that.
>>
>>5064438
>>5064244
>>5064193
>>5064189
Okay, closed and writing.
>>
>>5064438
I think a written lie would lead them in the wrong direction, and there wouldn't be any issues in regards to our height, tattered dress, and the amount of money that we have. You just put a big bullseye on our back, and we'll be walking into a trap just to get our damned dress, assuming they even make one and don't sell us out. A written lie is way better than waltzing in without a note under suspicious circumstances.
>>
Unable to immediately make up your mind, you keep walking. Without realizing, you shorten your stride for a few blocks, though once you finally realize, you pick up again. However, you are going to have to make up your mind soon, because right now, you are on the second lowest of the terraces in the Chip. If you keep going, you will find yourself in Stickport, with the hardwares there fewer and further between than in the Chip – and there are not any stores that sell writing supplies, at least that you know of. Pattern’s Perdition, you are wasting time! Are you going to use a false note, or are you not?

Well … you know for an absolute fact that stealing the supplies for the note carries the risk that you are caught, or at least spotted red handed. Just as buying the supplies for the note carries a smaller risk, that you are recognized as someone with a bounty on your head, or ‘made’ as a man of the Thief-Taker’s Guild might say. Of course, there is also a risk that you are ‘made’ in the dressmakers, but the description the criers are giving of the pirate that cleaned out the Euthyphro’s strong box focuses on two things – their height, which you are not going to be able to do anything about, obviously, and their dress. So, you have no choice here, you absolutely must go to a dressmaker. But you do not absolutely need to take the risk of buying or stealing the writing supplies, do you? And how much risk are you avoiding by going to the dressmakers as a maid with a note from her mistress anyway? What if they start asking you questions? Specific questions? What if people like your fictitious mistress are expected to have accounts at dressmakers, instead of paying up front, and they make a stink about it?

Your mind is far from being made up, but your gut is leaning towards doing it without a note. No props, no sob story. Just show up with the money – in small denomination coins, of course – and if they press you, just say that you have been saving up. You lengthen your stride once more and make good time on your way back to the Midden. The palisade gates are open, and as you approach the main entrance from the perimeter road, you can hear dinner being served in the main plaza on the other side of the wall. Intermittently you can hear grocers calling out their wares, though you know that there will not be as many as there were yesterday for payday, so the prices will not be as competitive. But as you draw within six feet of the gate, to your shock, Strange-Staining actives.

Four sets of shifting monochrome stains. All of them lead straight into the Midden, but only two of them are still recognizable as footprints. The other two are slowly growing amorphous blobs vaguely in the shape of footprints. The fact that the stains are still growing means that the two amorphous sets of footprints could be Strange in the second degree, meaning that if you were to step on it, you would turn your own boots Strange.
>>
>>5065019
If that was the case, then that would mean that the boots that made those two sets of prints would have to be Strange in the third degree. And you do not even want to think what that means for the two damned souls who were wearing those boots. But wh – oh, those fraying Coroners! Those absolutely frayed Coroners! If they, or anything they are wearing is Strange in the third degree, or higher, then if they were left unchecked, they could contaminate the whole Midden, and everyone in it. But only if they or their clothes were Strange in the third degree, or higher. If they were just – just! – Strange in the second degree, then their doom would be their own.

Is it possible that the footprints are Strange in the second degree – or higher? The only surefire way to find out is to step on one. But if you were to do that, and it was, then what? If you wanted to stop this, then you would have to track down at least two Coroners, maybe all four, and then steal their clothes to remediate them. And if any of them where Strange in the third degree or higher themselves, then all of that would be wasted effort because the minute they put the clothes back on they would recontaminate them, and then the clothes would go back to contaminating everything they came into contact with. So why would you even think of wasting time like this?



Because even if you are about to leave and never return, this is your home, dammit. And even though you have been keeping them all at arm’s length, you do not want to see your fellow Lepers hurt like this if you could help it. And there is a chance that you could. It will mean not going to the dressmakers tonight, and unlike the rest of the Mount, everyone here knows who you are, so sneaking around will be much harder. But if you do not, and Strangeness spreads unchecked, then … well, being held by the Inquisition in curative custody can be fatal even to those with sound bodies. You do not want to think how many Lepers will succumb.

So, just how selfless are you going to be tonight?

>Please choose ONE of the following.
>Continue with your plans to go to the dressmaker, and hope for the best.
>Abandon the plans to go to the dressmaker tonight, and try to track down the Strange Coroners.
>>
>>5065020
From the previous thread, an explanation of 'degrees of Strangeness'.
>A rough (and dangerous) way to quantify the Strangeness is by communicability. The more communicable the Strangeness is, the Stranger something is. If something is Strange, but it is not Strange enough to be able to spread the Strangeness, then by this methodology, it is referred to as being Strange ‘in the first degree’. If something is Strange enough to spread the Strangeness, it is referred to as being Strange ‘in the second degree’. If something is Strange enough to spread the Strangeness – and the things that it spreads the Strangeness to are Strange enough to spread the Strangeness on their own, then the original object is referred to as being Strange ‘in the third’ degree.

So, this is a big character vote. When Chlotsuintha decided to let the captain of the Euthyphro live, even though it would seriously complicate her escape, and mean that she would have a bounty hanging over her for the rest of her natural life, I took that to mean that she has an strong inclination towards selflessness, even under duress. Which is why I am even offering this as a choice. Had she murked the captain, she would have seen the footprints, realized what it meant, felt bad about it, but then gone on with her plan.

Now this vote will determine just how strong that inclination is, and will also determine what choices are available when faced future dilemmas.
>>
oh no
morals...my first enemy
>>5065020
>>Continue with your plans to go to the dressmaker, and hope for the best.
I am seriously conflicted on this vote, but given that Chlot's plan to fix this on her own is to steal the CLOTHES off of MULTIPLE people's backs, perform risky and difficult magic that puts herself at further risk of Strangeness and of damaging the items in question, and then put them BACK and hope that she gets away with it, it is just absolutely absurd for her to try her plan.
>>
>>5065048
For clarification, all she would be doing right now is finding them in the crowd, and make sure that she can deal with the level of Strangeness and that they are not so far gone that they present an immediate threat to the rest of the Midden. If an opportunity presented itself to steal some of their clothes, she would certainly be able to take it, but she is planning on doing most of the stealing once they head to bed, and change out of their clothes. They could be doing that right now, they could be doing that in several hours. With everything else she needs to do tonight, she just has to do it as soon as possible to make sure she can fit in everything else, which is why this choice is between trying to save the Midden and going to the dressmakers tonight.
>>
>>5065020
>Continue with your plans to go to the dressmaker, and hope for the best.

No, no, no, NO! We already knew this would be an issue, of all the ones to ignore this would be it. It will take too much time, be complicated as hell, will tire us out and will require us to act suspiciously, throwing copious amounts of salt everywhere, may require us stealing their clothes, and not-even-finally they themselves are probably strange.

We tried to be good by sparing that Captain's life, but not murdering someone in cold-blood for money is one thing, not going through hell to fix every little thing and help everyone we know is another. We were already exhausted from remediating things, our Strangeness is probably still high even if it didn't show up on the Dosimeter, and we've just got so much to do and not much time to do it in. Many more things will probably pop up, lets not get bogged down.

Besides, if anyone deserved to fucking suffer some consequences it is those damn coroners, even if the people they are harming by not turning themselves in don't.

We'll just have to accept that while this WAS our home, it'll soon be just one transient stop in a long line of places we happen to stay in our life. Don't get sentimental. I'm not saying we ought never do selfless things again, but we cannot do this.
>>
Don't get me wrong, this is a pretty compelling choice. I just think that is a step too far, losing out on being on schedule and seeing the dressmaker. I've typically been one to follow these digressions much to the chagrin of other anons, but I've come to agree that we need to be more focused at the moment, we've got a lot on our plate.

I also don't really want to lock Chlot's character into being selfless all the time, I want the option to be selfish when the going gets tough. Being pulled between doing what's right and the convenience that selfishness offers is very compelling, and has been for the entire quest for me, but I personally want a balance between doing whats right despite the consequences and being selfish in order to make a game over less likely.
>>
>>5065020
>Continue with your plans to go to the dressmaker, and hope for the best.
>>
>>5065020
> Continue with your plans to go to the dressmaker, and hope for the best.

I'm sad we are corrupting the poor girl over time but the pragmatist in me wins out.
>>
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Okay, that is four votes.You are going to head to your room in the Not-Temple, scarf something down quick to eat, grab enough money to afford a dress or two and sneak out of the Midden going through the dried up well, as usual. For sneaking out, I am going to need some rolls. 3x1d100, to be precise. As I should have mentioned in the opening post, this quest uses a slightly modified version of Forgotten's 3x1d100 system for rolls, except for spells, which are 1x1d100, as we usually cast a bunch of them in one sitting, and waiting for three rolls for each of them would be a horrendous slog.

>DC 33: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is a Born and Bred Sneakthief, making a basic Stealth Test like this [Easy]
> + DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is Known in the Midden
> + DC 7 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is Hard to Miss, given her size
> + DC 2 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is carrying a purse full of clinky coins
> + DC 15 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is attempting Stealth in broad daylight.
> - DC 15 Witchlet Chlotsuintha has Complete Knowledge of the Midden
> - DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is attempting Stealth in an area with some concealment
> - DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is attempting Stealth in a poorly trafficked area
> - DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is attempting Stealth while potential onlookers have an active distraction (dinner in main plaza)
> - DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha has successfully manged this stealth test recently

>DC 27: Anything lower is a failure. [No re-rolls. No hostile re-rolls]

>No Passes: Someone sees you climbing into the well, and the have a lot of questions for you. You will have a choice, to try to talk yourself out of it, or to run away.
>One Pass: Someone sees you sneaking towards the well, and they have some questions for you. You will have a choice, to try to talk yourself out of it, or to run away.
>Two Passes: Someone hears something big moving down the well, but they cannot see you. Depending on how crazy things get tonight, they might mention this to someone - or not.
>Three Passes: If anyone is even there, they are oblivious to your creeping. No matter how the night goes, no one will have any suspicions about this random, dried up well...

>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2), then you automatically fail this test by being seen and identified as you climb into the well. You will have a choice, to try to talk yourself out of it, or to run away.
>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Success (Roll of 100 or 99), then you automatically pass this test, and you find a lucky tenth-talent down here, which gives you a single-use re roll.
>A Critical Failure overrides a Critical Success and a Near-Critical Success, but a Critical Success overrides a Near-Critical Failure.
>You are STRONGLY encouraged to roll again after fifteen minutes if more rolls are needed, to keep the quest moving.

May your luck run white!
>>
Rolled 17 (1d100)

>>5065157

May fate see me through.
>>
>>5065163
If you are still here, and you feel up to it, you may roll again.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d100)

>>5065193
Do it shall be
>>
>>5065196
* Sorry, should be "so", Thanksgiving and quarts of grey goose involved.
>>
Rolled 8 (1d100)

>>5065157
Still need dice boss?
>>
The patternmaker is punishing us for abandoning the lepers.
>>
Rolled 7 (1d100)

>>5065157
>>
Rolled 53 (1d100)

>>5065241
Should we just see how many rolls below 20 we can do?
>>
>>5065241
>>5065227
>>5065196
>>5065163
there's like a 6% chance for this shit. That's divine retribution if I've ever seen it.
>>
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Well, well well. Aren't we in a pickle now? Considering this is an extension of the roll, you get the choices right now instead of after I write up the narrative.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>Even if this nosy bastard recognizes you as one of the 'two bats', you just need to hope that you and your father's reputation for bizarre behavior is enough to explain this. So long as no one investigates the well and finds your exit, then you should be safe enough using this one. Just run off, and hope for the best.
>You are going to need to explain yourself. And you are going to need to explain yourself in someway that does not make this whobody Leper consider investigating the well. That is probably going to be difficult.
>You are going to need to explain yourself. Make up some story that involves someone acting suspicious around the well. That means someone will investigate the well eventually, possibly tonight, and find the exit. Once it it has been found, it will be sealed off, and guards - and Lepers - will be paying much closer attention to exits (and you). That said, having a sensible excuse for climbing into a well means that you will have an easier time selling the lie.
>You have never done something like this before, but maybe you could try to pay him off. You have the four-talent, that works out to be a weeks worth of wages. Just tell him it is worth his while to keep his mouth shut. Tell him you can pay him more. Don't offer any explanation.
>You have never done something like this before, but maybe you could try to pay him off. 'Come clean' about the tunnel down the well, say that you are using it to smuggle stuff into the Midden for sale. Offer the four-talent, a weeks worth of wages. Make sure he understands that it is worth his while to keep his mouth shut. Offering an explanation like this might make it easier for him to swallow and go along with it. Or it could raise additional questions.
>This is not like the thing with the Euthyphro's captain. This luckless soul can identify you, he can point guards directly to the belfry, which has a dead body lying in your room, and some magically hidden magical equipment upstairs. Father frequently said that a witness that can call the authorities is just as dangerous as the authorities themselves ... and that they should be dealt with in the same way. You never liked hearing that, and you would always tell yourself that it was wrong and that you would never ... but everything has been slipping out of your control. If things get anymore complicated, you might not be able to escape with the clothes on your back, let alone with father's equipment. This is ... not a risk you are going to take. There are two pin-stiletteos in your boots. And there are loose rocks around the well itself, that would fit comfortably in your hand. For that matter, there is the well itself.
>>
>>5065261
>>This is not like the thing with the Euthyphro's captain. This luckless soul can identify you, he can point guards directly to the belfry, which has a dead body lying in your room, and some magically hidden magical equipment upstairs. Father frequently said that a witness that can call the authorities is just as dangerous as the authorities themselves ... and that they should be dealt with in the same way. You never liked hearing that, and you would always tell yourself that it was wrong and that you would never ... but everything has been slipping out of your control. If things get anymore complicated, you might not be able to escape with the clothes on your back, let alone with father's equipment. This is ... not a risk you are going to take. There are two pin-stiletteos in your boots. And there are loose rocks around the well itself, that would fit comfortably in your hand. For that matter, there is the well itself.
Pray no one will miss this guy
>>
>>5065261
you kinda lost me trash. What is happening? What are we voting for?
>>
>>5065261
>This is not like the thing with the Euthyphro's captain. This luckless soul can identify you, he can point guards directly to the belfry, which has a dead body lying in your room, and some magically hidden magical equipment upstairs. Father frequently said that a witness that can call the authorities is just as dangerous as the authorities themselves ... and that they should be dealt with in the same way. You never liked hearing that, and you would always tell yourself that it was wrong and that you would never ... but everything has been slipping out of your control. If things get anymore complicated, you might not be able to escape with the clothes on your back, let alone with father's equipment. This is ... not a risk you are going to take. There are two pin-stiletteos in your boots. And there are loose rocks around the well itself, that would fit comfortably in your hand. For that matter, there is the well itself.

>>5065287
Someone saw us. Decide how you want to deal with him.
>>
>>5065296
Got it, thank you.
>>5065261
>You have never done something like this before, but maybe you could try to pay him off. 'Come clean' about the tunnel down the well, say that you are using it to smuggle stuff into the Midden for sale. Offer the four-talent, a weeks worth of wages. Make sure he understands that it is worth his while to keep his mouth shut. Offering an explanation like this might make it easier for him to swallow and go along with it. Or it could raise additional questions.

we can at least try to bribe the guy can still off him if that fails.
>>
Wait, wait, wait. Catching up.
>>
>>5065261
>Even if this nosy bastard recognizes you as one of the 'two bats', you just need to hope that you and your father's reputation for bizarre behavior is enough to explain this. So long as no one investigates the well and finds your exit, then you should be safe enough using this one. Just run off, and hope for the best.

I am absolutely against killing this guy even if this guy is more dangerous to us than the captain. The point of not killing the captain despite the danger to us is that we are willing to bear the burden of inconvenience or even pursuit by the law or injury or death by bounty hunters in order to do the right thing. We may steal and we may kill in "self defense" but we should be willing to risk severe risk in order to take the high road when lives are on the line like this. It is better than staining our immortal soul.

I am also against bribery, after all, if this guy is motivated by money, then claiming our bounty which we fit the description of will be worth a lot more than us paying this guy the mere convenience of a weeks wages with more to come. For all this guy knows he may never have the chance to claim his additional bribes if he comes to the belief that we are the ship-thief because we'd obviously leave the city with the heat on us and a load of valuables. It is also just more suspicious.

Lying is possible, and there are probably other sneaky thoroughfares we could use if it is closed, but I'd rather not risk the hard lie with our luck even if we are a good liar. The easier lie is fine, but inconvenient. And considering that we seem to require a full 3 successes to fully succeed versus Forgotten's more forgiving "2 successes is a full success, 3 is usually something even better" I'd rather avoid having to roll at all.

Just being recognized and sneaking off anyways doesn't reveal anything an attentive watcher of this well wouldn't already know, we are a weirdo and that is good enough explanation, this guy gains no additional information that prompts him to fetch other interested persons.
>>
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sometimes we fail even the most simple routine tasks
>>5065261
Chlot has never murdered before and has gone to quite a lot of trouble to avoid doing so or to avoid inflicting danger on others, so the simplest option is not available IMO
I agree that bribery is not feasible as motivation, and raises the additional question of 'where did a Leper get so much money as to casually toss it around?' so this guy will just get more interested in Chlot. I also don't really trust Chlot to pull off the acting
>>Even if this nosy bastard recognizes you as one of the 'two bats', you just need to hope that you and your father's reputation for bizarre behavior is enough to explain this. So long as no one investigates the well and finds your exit, then you should be safe enough using this one. Just run off, and hope for the best.
Nothing good ever comes of attempting a roll and all the other complications are not worth it. The most likely scenario in this case in my mind is that the drug smugglers that are around also realize that the well is an exit, and our pathway gains just a bit more traffic. It's not like the Lepers WANT to snitch to the guards about everything unusual they see
>>
>>5065261
The two anons before me make a convincing case.
>Even if this nosy bastard recognizes you as one of the 'two bats', you just need to hope that you and your father's reputation for bizarre behavior is enough to explain this. So long as no one investigates the well and finds your exit, then you should be safe enough using this one. Just run off, and hope for the best.
>>
>You are going to need to explain yourself. And you are going to need to explain yourself in someway that does not make this whobody Leper consider investigating the well. That is probably going to be difficult.

>"I can't believe he did that. Just because he's jealous. I've known him for years and just because another boy gave it to me to wear he went and snatched it off of me and threw it in.

>What? A red hankerchief. Oh Maker, I've already said too much. If my Father finds out there's a boy, he'll kill me! Please don't tell anybody. PLEASE?"
>>
Okay, lets see the score.

>>5065269 Lethal 1
>>5065296 Lethal 2
>>5065350 Lethal 2 Bribe w/burn 1
>>5065417 Lethal 2 Bribe w/burn 1 Run 1
>>5065427 Lethal 2 Bribe w/burn 1 Run 2
>>5065442 Lethal 2 Bribe w/burn 1 Run 3
>>5065462 Lethal 2 Bribe w/burn 1 Run 3 Excuse w/o burn 1

I will let this sit for another hour or so while I get something to eat, then I will close the vote. I'm also going to post this in the general.
>>
>>5065261
>You are going to need to explain yourself. And you are going to need to explain yourself in someway that does not make this whobody Leper consider investigating the well. That is probably going to be difficult.

I don’t buy anon’s optimism that nothing’s going to happen. The well will be investigated and one of our exits closed. We must find try however unlikely it may be to find some excuse to throw off the scent. And if it still doesn’t work extreme measures might have to be taken.
>>
So, with everything tallied, running away carries the vote.

Closed and writing.
>>
>>5065516
We can just use another exit if this one is closed. Taking "extreme measures" may end up with us losing a fight and being injured or killed, or force us to deal with a dead body. While we could throw the body down the well, that just ties any sightings of us to this dead body if the well is ever compromised later down the line. Plus, y'know, we'd be killing a man just for seeing us sneaking around, are we gonna do this every time someone sees us acting suspicious?
>>
You notice that the guard at the palisade gate is looking at your somewhat oddly, and you realize with a little bit of a start that you stopped dead in your tracks without even realizing it. Not wanting to draw anymore attention to yourself today, you force yourself to move, staying clear of the Strangeness and making a point to offer the guard a deferential nod of the head. Breathing deep, you follow the shifting stains for a while, unsure of what to do – unsure of what you should do. There is a small flicker of relief when you see that the amorphous stains have not created any new stains, meaning that they are definitively second degree or lower, but when you see those footprints lead straight into the packed crowd around the serving tables, once again you are stopped dead in your tracks without realizing it.

Standing there, grasping at straws, you recall a saying that father was – fraying firmament! IS. Father IS fond of! You … you …

A half-strangled sob escapes your lips.

You cannot do this. Not in the sense that this is an impossible task, but in the sense that you cannot bring yourself to do it. You just … you call your self a woman, you tell yourself that you think like a man, but at the end of the day, you are just a girl. A girl who barely remembers her own mother, who might have lost her father forever, who is forced to regularly commit capital crimes just to survive. No matter how tall or strong you will grow or how much magic you master, deep down, that is all you will ever be. Small. Small and scared and weak.

There never was a good knife made of bad steel. That is the saying, father’s favorite saying, and you were going to ask yourself – just how good is your steel? But before you could, you already had your answer. Your steel is shit. You are shit. You are too scared to lift a finger to help these people – your people, even if have been held at arm’s length. You are going to condemn them to those zealots. You try to offer up a silent prayer for the denizens of the Midden, but after abandoning them as you have, it feels insincere, and you stop. Besides, if prayer alone was enough to protect them, they never would have been forced into the Spotted Cloak in the first place. You advert your eyes – easy enough to do under the mask – and you flee to the belfry. The way up is noticeably more difficult with that deep cut on your left arm, but you force your way through, making sure to stop at the half-way point and then the three-quarters mark to rest.

As has become custom, upon your arrival in the belfry, you check to see if your father had been in. Once you determined that he had not, you return to your room, to unload your pockets. You carefully place the mitigated graven ball on to your bedroll as you chuck the soiled gauze on top of the bloating corpse in the corner of the room. The small purses of salt, Ossavian’s scarf, and the two stilettos join the flakey steel ball on the bedroll.
>>
>>5065703
You decide to hold on to your flask of water – it is pretty solidly built, so in a pinch, you could use it as a weapon. Besides that, after thinking it over, you return both of the stilettos to your boots. Taking several deep pulls from the flask, you head back into the kitchen where you left the pillowcase and the pocket-jerkin, and you withdraw more than enough small denomination bullion to buy a dozen dresses. Before you leave, you refill the flask. You are just about to start your decent, when you realize that after all of this, you almost forgot your street clothes. Collecting them up off of the floor where you dropped them earlier this morning, you tuck and fold the ragged thing into your cloak.

As you are marginally more encumbered on your way down, your arm hurts all the more, and you actually need to take three stops instead of the usual two. Thankfully, you know this tower like the back of your hand, as your are on the inside, you are shielded from the elements, and you are able to choose your own pace, so in the end, you could not consider this climb a challenge – just more inconvenient than usual. That being said, if you had to climb something new, under more adverse conditions, that probably would constitute a challenge for you, at least until your arm healed up.

Back on the ground, you immediately head to the shell of the old villa by the palisade wall, where the well that connects to the buried basements is located. After checking to make sure that the few Lepers that live in this area are still all at dinner, you begin your circuitous approach around the interior plaza of the villa, moving in concealment as much as you possibly can. Once you are as close to the well as you can get, you break cover and make a beeline for it. You reach it, and you put your right arm down on the crumbling lip, vaulting yourself inside –

“Just what in the Heights of Hell are ya doing?”

Equal parts alarmed by the unexpected intruder, you accidentally let your right arm go limp, and not all of your body clears the upright remains of the well. You basically trip into it, face first – and hard enough that it knocked stones loose on the inside. The wind is knocked out of you, but thankfully, you are simply too tall to just fall into this well – instead, you end up awkwardly lying across the mouth of it at an oblique angle for a moment. Scrambling to get up, you knock more stones down, and as you roll off of the well, you can hear those stones clattering as they fall down.

You cannot believe this. The coast was clear. Completely clear! There is no way anyone could have just made their way into this plaza without you noticing … right? Oh – oh no. Is it possible that you were being Tried, and this is Retribution?
>>
>>5065705
Magic is a blessing from the Patternmaker, one that magic and non-magic users were expected to be humble and wary of. The Strangeness was brought into this world because this blessing was being taken too lightly, and those who employed it were not offering up sufficient obeisance. Strangeness is the Great Trial of the Third Age, and nearly all faithful assume that it means that the Patternmaker wants magic curtailed almost into oblivion, if not completely destroyed. You, on the other hand, believe that this means that your Trials – extreme tests of character, ability, and faith that you will face throughout your life – are all directly tied to the Great Trial. And what did you do? You failed! No, even worse, you did not even try! This Leper has to have been moved here as some sort of Retribution for your miserable performance … but at least your Red Thread is still winding. This Retribution is not total – you are still alive, so you can still atone! And surely there will be other Trials – you must have another chance to prove yourself, you must! Just … just stay alive long enough to atone, and maybe to pass a Trial, and it will be like this never happened.

But should you go back to remediate the clothes of the Coroners? No, no, you have already failed. Going back and doing it after being punished for not doing it would be pointless at best or insulting at worst. You will have to think of something else. For so now, get the Hell out of here!

You scamper off, ignoring genuinely concerned sounding questions of the Leper, leaving the shell of the villa well behind you. The weight Pattern falls heavy around that well – returning there immediately after Retribution was sent there would be unwise. So if you want to leave the Midden, that leaves you two – no, three other options. There is the tunnel that ends up in the storage room of the guardhouse just outside the palisade, which is obviously going to be trickier than the well would have been, and there is the route through the sewer. That way is about as difficult as the well, but it comes with the additional complication of smelling really bad, which might keep you out of dressmakers, unless you could get to a public bath. Then there is simply climbing over the palisade, which depending on where the guards are in their rotation could be the safest option, or it could be hardest.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>Try the guardhouse route (DC is +3 to +7 to the DC for the well)
>Try the sewer route (DC is -3 to +3 to the DC for the well), introduces new issue
>Try going over the damned fence (DC is -22 to +13 to the DC for the well)
>>
>>5065706
>Try going over the damned fence (DC is -22 to +13 to the DC for the well)
>>
>>5065706
>>5065716
Oh, and to be clear, the difference in DC will be rolled for.
>>
>>5065718
By you or us?
>>
>>5065721
You or another player can, once the vote is closed.
>>
>>5065706
>>Try going over the damned fence (DC is -22 to +13 to the DC for the well)
Assuming the difficulty relative to the well is distributed evenly, this is on average easier than the well
but it is just kind of...visible lol
>>
>>5065706
>Try the guardhouse route (DC is +3 to +7 to the DC for the well)

Our arm is injured from the dosimeter or something else, remember? Hell, the QM's story post literally points out that we are gonna have trouble climbing something new.

The guardhouse route is probably easier taking that into consideration. Plus, the variance in the difficulty is high enough that it could end up being a pretty severe penalty, climbing the fence that is.
>>
>>5065706
>Try going over the damned fence (DC is -22 to +13 to the DC for the well)
>>
>>5065706
>Try going over the damned fence (DC is -22 to +13 to the DC for the well)
>>
Okay, over the fence it is. Can I get someone to roll 1d36? A roll of 36 is -22, and a roll of 1 is +13.

May your luck start running white once again!
>>
>>5065974
Please be better than the last two.
>>
Rolled 30 (1d36)

>>5065998
>>
>>5065999
Okay, so that is the bonus. Here we go again!

>DC 33: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is a Born and Bred Sneakthief, making a basic Stealth Test like this [Easy]
> + DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is Known in the Midden
> + DC 7 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is Hard to Miss, given her size
> + DC 2 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is carrying a purse full of clinky coins
> + DC 15 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is attempting Stealth in broad daylight.
> - DC 15 Witchlet Chlotsuintha has Complete Knowledge of the Midden
> - DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is attempting Stealth in an area with some concealment
> - DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is attempting Stealth in a poorly trafficked area
> - DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is attempting Stealth while potential onlookers have an active distraction (dinner in main plaza)
> - DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha has successfully manged this stealth test recently
> - DC 16 Witchlet Chlotsuintha has found a much safer alternate route by trial and error [BUT AT WHAT COST?]

> DC 11: Anything lower is a failure. [No re-rolls. No hostile re-rolls]

>No Passes: A guard sees you physically climbing on the palisade, and the have a lot of serious questions for you. You will have a choice, to try to talk yourself out of it, or to run away.
>One Pass: A Leper sees you physically climbing on the palisade, and they have some questions for you. You will have a choice, to try to talk yourself out of it, or to run away.
>Two Passes: A Leper sees you on the other side of the palisade, and they think you might have just climbed over it. Depending on how crazy things get tonight, they might mention this to someone - or not.
>Three Passes: If anyone is even there, they are oblivious to your creeping. No matter how the night goes, no one will have any suspicions about this random spot of fence...

>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2), then you automatically fail this test by being seen and identified as you climb into the well. You will have a choice, to try to talk yourself out of it, or to run away.
>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Success (Roll of 100 or 99), then you automatically pass this test, and you find a lucky tenth-talent down here, which gives you a single-use re roll.
>A Critical Failure overrides a Critical Success and a Near-Critical Success, but a Critical Success overrides a Near-Critical Failure.
>You are STRONGLY encouraged to roll again after fifteen minutes if more rolls are needed, to keep the quest moving.
>>
Rolled 43 (1d100)

>>5066004
Live by the dice, die by the dice
>>
Rolled 13 (1d100)

>>5066004
>leave for Thanksgiving
>come back to anons not trying to help out and fucking us over

I'm not a happy camper with our previous choice lads.
>>
Rolled 55 (1d100)

>>5066004
Rolling once more to finish this
>>
>>5066012
>>5066015
>>5066034
Ignoring the confused but well-intentioned Leper who sort of saw you attempting to jump into the well, you have managed to leave the Midden without incident. After finding a secluded spot to switch out of the Spotted Cloak and into your ragged street clothes, it is time to go shopping! Dressmakers, as well as most shops in general, will start to close around the eighteenth hour - and because you were left out early today, you might have time to stand for two different fittings, if you wanted to place orders at two different stores. Otherwise, you could use the remaining daylight to case the Refineries off of the Lower Boardwalk, and maybe find something that you did not see this morning.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>You will place two rush orders at two different dressmakers. One that makes hard-wearing work outfits, and one that makes understated domestic clothes (something a laborer's housewife or a common servant would wear)
>You will place two rush orders at two different dressmakers. One that makes hard-wearing work outfits, and one that makes sophisticated domestic clothes (something a skilled laborer's housewife or a lady-in-waiting would wear)
>You will place two rush orders at two different dressmakers. One that makes understated domestic clothes, and one that makes sophisticated domestic clothes
>You will place one rush order at a dressmaker. One that makes hard-wearing work outfits, and spend the remaining daylight casing the Refineries.
>You will place one rush order at a dressmaker. One that makes understated domestic clothes, and spend the remaining daylight casing the Refineries.
>You will place one rush order at a dressmaker. One that makes sophisticated domestic clothes. and spend the remaining daylight casing the Refineries.
>>
>>5066046
>You will place one rush order at a dressmaker. One that makes understated domestic clothes, and spend the remaining daylight casing the Refineries.
>>
>>5066046
>>You will place two rush orders at two different dressmakers. One that makes understated domestic clothes, and one that makes sophisticated domestic clothes
>>
>>5066046
>>You will place two rush orders at two different dressmakers. One that makes hard-wearing work outfits, and one that makes understated domestic clothes (something a laborer's housewife or a common servant would wear)
>>
>>5066046
>You will place one rush order at a dressmaker. One that makes sophisticated domestic clothes. and spend the remaining daylight casing the Refineries.

I think we wanted clothing suitable for someone in possession in the amount of wealth we possess. It'd ease any suspicions some store owner might have once we leave the city if we look the part of someone who would have the amount of money we have. We can order more clothes almost anywhere once we leave the city, clothing is a necessity everywhere, literally every village is going to have men and women making clothing of varying qualities and that won't change until factories come along and even then it won't change for a while.

I also think anything we can do to ease future rolls is worth doing.

I do understand the desire to place orders at two different dressmakers in case there are complications with the rush order or one dressmaker gets suspicious or something, but I simply think the oil and being able to move our magical equipment is more important than the clothing or worrying about not being able to pick up said clothing.
>>
>>5066349
Counter argument 1: rich people in general stand out of a crowd, more sophisticated clothing is more memorable. Also it will be harder to explain why we need it and have the coin for it, with us literally wearing rags.

Counter argument 2: Clot has spend all her life either on the run with her crazy dad or amongst the literal dregs of society so she would not know how to behave like a proper lady, which in turn would attract suspicion.

So I really think farmer's brown "old reliable" gown is the way to go here.
>>
>>5066046
>You will place two rush orders at two different dressmakers. One that makes understated domestic clothes, and one that makes sophisticated domestic clothes
>>
>>5066367
We aren't obligated to wear it all the time, nor are we required to wear it to the next dressmaker we happen to stop by to buy more dresses. At the end of the day, money is money, the dressmaker isn't going to refuse us service, though there is the potential problem of them trying to go after our bounty.

Furthermore, getting the fancy dress is supposed to mitigate the problem of us showing up at any particular shop and purchasing expensive items or a large volume of stuff, because it'd be odd for a lowly domestic or person in rags to have a lot of money.

Chlot is natural liar, and I doubt the culture or airs of a lady are so different that merely ordering a dress or saying a sentence or two to ward off people we don't want to talk to would drive anyone into being ultra suspicious. That is not to say that over the course of a brief conversation we COULDN'T come off as suspicious, but we only really need it to explain us making large purchases or to make us having a large amount of wealth tolerable. Again, we don't have to wear it constantly, we have our old dress and can purchase other ones later, we don't have to wear it everytime we go out into the streets.
>>
>You will place one rush order at a dressmaker. One that makes hard-wearing work outfits, and spend the remaining daylight casing the Refineries.

The nice dress would be good for escaping BUT in our current garb would look super wierd to order.
>>
Okay, the vote has been open for more than twelve hours now, lets do the tally.

>>5066094 UD and R 1
>>5066109 UD and R 1 UD and SD 1
>>5066295 UD and R 1 UD and SD 1 HW and UD 1
>>5066349 UD and R 1 UD and SD 1 HW and UD 1 SD and R 1
>>5066403 UD and R 1 UD and SD 2 HW and UD 1 SD and R 1
>>5066472 UD and R 1 UD and SD 2 HW and UD 1 SD and R 1 HW and R 1

So you will be placing two orders, for both understated and sophisticated dresses. I will get to writing.
>>
You still have plenty of time before shops start to close at the eighteenth hour, even after the Retribution at the well, but with everything on your plate at the moment, you just want to finish something – to be done with it, and as soon as possible. So you decide to climb over the palisade, as it is the quickest and simplest of the options available. However, it is not necessarily the safest. Building within ten feet of the fence has been prohibited outside of the Midden, and inside, any ruin that was within ten feet of the fence was torn down. And while there are ways to screen yourself as you get into position, the fact remains is that you are going to be completely exposed on the final approach and during the actual climb. Worse than that, you are not just going to be dealing with Lepers milling around – once you are on the other side of the wooden wall, you are going to be dealing with Guards on patrol around the perimeter, as well as Lepers on their way to dinner in the Midden. If you get caught on the wall by a guard, you might not be able to talk your way out of that.

But even so, going over the palisade is your best bet to avoid guards, at least without subjecting yourself to raw sewage and possible even industrial waste. Having committed yourself, you spend several minutes to find a stretch of fence in a desolate corner of the Midden that you are comfortable that you can climb. After you find one, you spend another minute or so, straining your ears, trying to listen for the sound of approaching guards on the other side. Once you are satisfied on that front, and you are as certain as you possibly can be that there are no Lepers to see you on this side of the wall, you finally make your move.

The climb up the palisade was everything that you expected it to be – namely, easy, to the point where you probably did not need to take off your gloves, though you did, out of habit. Climbing down proved to be a bit trickier than you expected. With your mask on, your vision is limited to the point where you were not able to actually look for footholds, you had to search for them blindly. Thankfully, you are so tall that you only needed to find two before your feet were close enough to the ground that you could just let yourself drop. Outside of the Midden once more, you find to your relief that the clearing around the palisade and the adjoining streets, though that relief is short lived, when you realize that you are probably not going to be able to climb the palisade carrying gallons of Lifting Oil in a massive glass jug. Trying not to get too frustrated at this latest complication, you make yourself look as unassuming as possible, and head off along the Upper Boardwalk, looking for a secluded spot somewhere to change out of the Spotted Cloak.
>>
>>5067019
It probably takes you ten minutes before you find somewhere suitable; a completely derelict three-story residence, well off of the main streets of the Upper Boardwalk. Even though there are signs of fire-damage throughout the building, surprisingly, most of it appears to be structurally sound – though you would not be a good judge of that. Once you make your way inside through a half boarded up hole, you notice that there are signs that vagrants have been here recently – you can see rubbish and cast offs, as well as an area that looks like it was cleared for sleeping, and while you cannot see it from here, you can also smell stale shit somewhere on the first floor, presumably human. You draw the fancier of your two pin-stilettoes and keep it at the ready as you look around, checking upstairs and then in the basement, you wonder why the house was left like this. If it could be rebuilt, it should have been. If it could not have, then it should have been torn down. Perhaps there was some legal issue – maybe the deed had been destroyed in the fire and ownership of the land underneath the house was now being contested, or perhaps it had something to do with the building’s binder-holder not paying out – well, whatever it was, it is certainly fortunate for you right now. In fact, so long as the resident defecator does not show up again, this place could make for a pretty good hiding spot, if you needed one for the remaining two days that you are going to spend in the Mount.

Comfortable as you possibly could be under your current circumstances, you start to undress, starting with your mask. Once you get it off, you notice that your face feels a little funny, and you realize that it must be because it was in direct contact with the lead-lining of your mask. Typically, you have gauze between your face and the mask, but after a particularly abortive attempt at a spell earlier, most of your gauze was ruined by a magically induced nosebleed. You unwrap the remaining gauze around your eyes, and as you do, you also activate your Hide-Eyes glyph. Immediately, your sight gets blurry, just like it does with Strange-Staining, but with this spell the blurriness last noticeably longer. Not to mention that there is actual eyestrain too – something about how your vision needs to adjust to seeing through the glamor as it is constructed. While all of this is happening, you can feel the scarification glyph warm up, just a little bit, and the muscle around the subcutaneously etched spell gets noticeably tender. By the time you have changed into your ragged dress, the strain in your eyes, as well as the blurriness has faded. You check your reflection in a stiletto blade, and confirm that you have two normal brown eyes. After taking a minute or so to tuck your flask and coin purse into the belt of your dress, and stash your Spotted Cloak, you depart from the burnt building, and make your way to Spinster’s Street all the way over in Cleanport.
>>
>>5067020
You have decided that you are going to go to look for two different kinds of dressmakers. One that makes clothes that a maid might wear, and one that makes clothes that a lady in waiting might wear. Nothing too fancy, expensive, or attention grabbing – though considering just how tall you are dressing plainly is not going to do you much good in that regard. When you get to Spinster’s Street, the sun is hanging low in the horizon. You probably could have made better time, but you took a lot of side streets and alleys on your way here; after all there is a description of you wearing this dress. Looking to get out of the street, you scan up and down the storefronts before settling on an establishment with several rather neat but plain looking dresses painted on hanging shingles. The door is open, and after a second of hesitation, you walk through it, into a small lobby. The wooden floor underneath groans and creaks loudly, and from down a dark hallway, someone calls out to you, to tell you that they will be with you in a moment. You awkwardly stand in the middle of the room, fighting an urge to fidget as you listen to the distant sounds of what you assume to be dressmaking. Nearly half a minute later, you hear movement, and a fussy looking middle-aged woman comes wandering in. She sort of stops short when she sees you, and for a second, her mouth gapes ever so slightly as she cranes her head up to look at you. To her credit, she recovers quickly.

“Can I help you, dear?”

“Aye, I’d like to know if you do one-day rush orders.”

“We do, but you should know that it trebles the cost.”

“That shouldn’t be an issue.”

You cannot help but notice that she glances at your ragged dress as you say that. You suppose you could not blame her. If you were in her position, and someone dressed as you are told you that money was no object, you probably would have a hard time believing them too. Trying to sound undaunted, you continue.

“I’d like to place an order for three dresses. One in gray and one black. Just … standard dresses for a domestic servant.”

“Hmm …”

Hmm? What in the Heights of Hell is there hmm about, woman? Oh, Pattern’s Perdition, this was supposed to be the easy one –

“Well, we can do that, it is just that the household typically provides uniforms for their maids.”

You are about to say something, you are not even sure what, but the dressmaker keeps talking.

“Do you know your measurements?”

“Six feet, four inches. But I don’t know any specifics beyond that.”

“Six feet, four inches.”
>>
>>5067022
There was more than a hint of incredulity at that. She just stares at you for a moment, before snapping out of it again, and instructing you to follow her. She introduces herself as Hortingea, and leads you out of the lobby, down the hallway and into a private room, where before departing, she instructs you to undress. You do, though you leave your boots on, as they are where you are hiding your stilettos. She returns quickly with a slip of paper and a pen. This time she is in the company of another middle-aged woman, carrying a wooden box of measuring threads, and who does not say a single word to you, but is quite plainly looking at you as if you were some sort of freak in a menagerie. Between your nudity and her thoroughly unwelcome attention, you are already blushing, but when Hortingea asks if you were not wearing any underwear, you can physically feel the heat radiating off of your face.

The rest of the fitting or the sizing or whatever the Hell it is called passes in silence, save for Hortingea jotting down the measurements that the other woman takes. But as you stand there, you notice that your face is not the only thing that is uncomfortably warm. Hide-Eyes scarification glyph is really heating up, to the point where you are worried that if either of these two were to brush up against it, they might notice. The glyph is old – almost as old as you are – and you have not used it recently, so some additional strain is expected … but something feels off. Is it possible the glyph has degraded? Things like that can happen. It might just be a situational performance issue – you are under a lot of stress after all, you have eaten almost nothing, and you barely slept last night.

I am still working on the rest of the update, but I wanted to post what I have at the moment.
>>
uh oh
>>
>>5067023
By the time the two dressmakers are done fussing over you, the strain from Hide-Eyes has gotten marginally better, possibly because you have gotten marginally more comfortable. Even so, the prospect of glyph degradation and failure is now on your mind. Degraded glyphs can be dangerous, and failed glyphs almost always are. It is possible to repair or resuscitate glyphs, but scrivening has never been a strong suit of yours. That being said, you can take an educated guess as to what language father etched the glyph in, and if you are right, you think you might have the vocabulary and a strong enough grasp of the syntax and grammar to touch up the glyph, if it does turn out to be failing. The issue is the fact that this is a scarification glyph, so you would need to flay about an half-inch square of skin off of your back, etch whatever new clauses the glyph needed, and then patch yourself up on the Life-Loom, which is not something that should be done lightly. In fact, you really –

“Is this your first time buying clothes for yourself?”

You are startled by the sudden rejoinder of conversation, and even more startled that the question was not from Hortingea, but rather the other dressmaker, the one who has been starting at you as if you were in a festival sideshow.

“I … yes, I suppose it is.”

Once the words are out of your mouth, you immediately start to worry that they were unwise. They probably think you are older than you actually are, eighteen or maybe even twenty – and would it not be suspicious for someone that old to have never purchased clothes for themselves before? As you fret, Hortingea leaves the room with your measurements in hand, and you wonder if you should ask for a copy of the slip before you realize that doing so would be tacitly admitting that you can read. Between the lack of food, the lack of sleep, and that Retribution, you are off of your game here, and you are worried that it is only going to get worse.

“And is this your first time working as a maid?”

What the Hell is with all these questions all of a sudden? You give yourself a moment or two to think by taking this time to retrieve your dress and pull it over your head. By the time you get it lying smooth on you – or at least as smoothed as it can – you have decided on an answer.

“Yes.”

“Does this family have other servants?”

Okay, now you are starting to get worried. Where is this woman going with all of this? Is … is this a trap? Is she just buying time for Hortingea to go call a Thief-Taker? Oh, Pattern’s Perdition, it would explain why she was staring at you like that – she knew! She –

“The only reason I ask, is that it is common practice for the family to provide the clothes the servants wear. If this family hasn’t had any servants before, they might not know how things are done.”
>>
>>5068072
… Maybe you were jumping to conclusions. But either way, you should give this dressmaker an answer. Hoping that the South Sexton’s household is fairly typical, you decide that your fictious employers should also have a cook.

“No, there is a – I mean, yes, they have a cook.”

“Oh good. I wasn’t sure if I should say anything that could impugn your new master and mistress, but whenever you hear horror stories about servants being mistreated or criminally overworked, it is usually a newly monied, newly patented family that has never had a servant before. Or the family only had slaves. My second cousin married the Cod Factor for Deadlight Port, and they had two or three Cimmaroonies looking after them. And they weren’t the least bit idle, or insolent or tricksy like most of the imports you get from the interior, because he knew how to handle them! But when he retired and moved to the Mount, he had to sell them, because there is some law against having slaves here –

“The Codes of Coffle and Chain.”

“Yes, that’s the one! Anyway, he had to sell them and hire servants, but at the start, he was treating them like they were slaves. These weren’t wild women, these were good Imperial girls, so they didn’t need that kind of firm, civilizing hand – and they resented it! A lot of them quit on him – like a half a dozen of them – until he realized that unless he wanted to do his own laundry, he would have to change his ways before he developed a reputation.”

Sainted Spool, you cannot tell any more. Is she just idly chatting, or is she actually trying to stall with this nonsense? Meanwhile, your eyes are starting to get a little dry – and while it most likely has nothing to do with Hide-Eyes, you have to consciously keep yourself from rubbing them, as that would dispel the glamor.

“We do get a lot of maids through here, you know, and I tell all of them this: reputation is important. Your reputation, and your master’s reputation. Because if your master has a reputation, then people might start to wonder about you.”

“Wonder about me?”

“Oh yes. Men can have … lapses.”

Lapses?

“They will make … promises that they shouldn’t.”

Promises?

“And when it comes out, and the truth always comes out, the promises they’ve made with their wives will always win out over whatever they promised you. Then you will be out on the street, probably after being worked over by the wife, and you’ll have a reputation of your own. And you will not be able to find any honest work, nor marry any decent man.”
>>
>>5068140
Oh … that is what she is getting at. From your studies, you have a biological understanding of reproduction, but the language she was using was so damned vague that it actually took you a minute to put two and two together. Still, you suppose for anyone who did not have a father that killed two cats for noisily having relations, then cut them open to show them how the reproductive system works when they were six, this talk could have been worthwhile. Probably saved more than a few girls’ virtue with this spiel or hers.

“And you will need to be extra cautious. Even good men might have lapses around you.”

She has lost you again. But before you can puzzle that one out, Hortingea comes back into the room, carrying something white folded in her arms. She passes it to you, and you let it fall open.

“It is a chemise. The shoulders and arms are adjustable, so you should be able to wear it. Won’t be long enough, of course, but I will not let it be said that I let poor young girls go running off without underwear.”

“Oh … thanks. How –”

“No charge. And I am not letting you leave without them.”

Under normal circumstances, you know better than to question charity like this. But these are not normal circumstances. You are almost certain that you have just failed a Trial, and that a bunch of Lepers are probably going to go through the wringer of curative custody – which can be crippling or even lethal for those in good health. With everything weighing down on you, his might be the worst possible time to develop a sense of pride, but you just cannot bear to accept charity, not now. So, you try again.

“Please, at least let me pay something.”

“The Pattern Tries us all. Some of us harder than others. Within reason, it is the responsibility of those with lighter burdens to help those who are deserving of help. Someday, you will find yourself in a situation where you and only you can help some poor desperate soul. When you save them, that is when you will have paid me.”

The room around you spins. Another act of Retribution! This has to be! But it is so damned blatant! Is the Patternmaker Himself eyeing your Red Thread? It is as if He is taunting you for your failure. You feel sick to your stomach, to the point that suddenly you are glad that you have barely eaten anything. Your breathing, having gone raggedy makes it hard for you to choke out a scared sounding thanks to Hortingea. As you do, you start to cry.

And without thinking, you wipe your eyes.
>>
>>5068172
You recognize your mistake as soon as you can feel the glamor discharging across your fingers. Thankfully, you have the presence of mind to use the arm of the hand you broke the spell with to cover both of your eyes, as you lamely hold on to the chemise. For several moments, you are stuck at a horrendously dangerous impasse. You cannot move your arm to reveal your eyes, but you cannot activate Hide-Eyes again with your arm in the way. All you can do is just stand there, and raggedly sob. The sound of one of the women moving towards you – presumably to give you a hug, which had the circumstances been different you would have gladly accepted – snaps you out of it.

“T-the … uh – the privy? I – I need-d to …”

One of the women, you are not even sure who, gives you the directions and you flee, your arm still covering your eyes. When you arrive in front of the door, you push through without knocking, and once you work up the strength to lower your arm just a hair, you realize with a rush of dread that this is not the privy, this is another fraying fitting room. Choking down a shriek, you go one down, and repeat the process. Blessedly, this one is the privy, though the moment you look down at the chamber pot, you end up vomiting up the Emmerloaf from earlier. Once you are sure nothing else is coming up, and you have stopped crying, you undress to put the chemise on, and then once you have it and your ragged dress back on, you reactive Hide-Eyes. You wait a full two minutes before confirming the glamor is active once more by using the reflection off of one of your pin-stiletto blades. You were so close to being revealed as a Witchlet! You realize now, truly just how much of a blessing wearing that lead lined mask was. How did father manage to do this for years? You cannot even imagine – it has not even been a full day yet, and twice, you have almost blown it.

You compose yourself, and return to the fitting room where you were measured, to find it empty. Figuring that they must have gone to the front of the store, you make your way there, down the narrow hallways. Noticeably, you cannot hear the sound of dressmakers working anymore – clearly, it is beginning to get late. Hortingea and the other woman, whose name you still do not know, are waiting there.

“I’m sorry about that.”

“Oh, you have done nothing to be sorry about.”

Hearing that turns your insides to ice once more, but you force yourself to maintain some semblance of decorum this time. As you fully enter the room, the two women offer you the hugs that you ran out on, and you graciously accept them. They are so soft, and warm and sweet smelling – oh, you hope they cannot smell the vomit on you. Or the sweat or dirt.
>>
>>5068193
But if they do, they do not give any hint of it. With that done, you go to pay. The three dresses – two gray and one black – come to a little more than a third of the purse you have brought with you. Which is good, because you will probably need the rest to place a rush order at a more upscale dressmaker for just one dress. Of course, that is assuming you can find one that will even let you in, dressed as you are. And even if they do accept your custom, you doubt your reception will be so warm that you will be getting hugs and free underwear.

After accepting your coin, Hortingea passes you a slip. After all of the trouble you had with the Master Abbot on account of Ossavian’s note, you diligently refuse to turn the paper around, and simply fold it to stuff in your purse – all without looking at it. You wish the two of them well, and the other dressmaker reminds you in passing that if you do not get the dress by the eighteenth hour tomorrow, then you will have to wait another two days, as the store is not open on Titheday. Your business here concluded, you head out into the street, looking for your second dressmaker, hoping that you were wrong about your belief that this was going to be the easier of the two establishments to make a commission, praying that the Patternmaker will allow you to redeem yourself, and promising to yourself that not only would you do that good turn to repay Hortingea, if at all possible, someday you would do a good turn for Hortingea.

> 3x1d100, please!

> DC 10: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is a Born and Bred Liar, making an Easy Deception Test like this [Easy]
> + DC 2 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is dressed in rags
> + DC 2 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is odd looking, given her height.
> + DC 7 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is suspicious, as she is not the typical clientele of this shop
> + DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha matches a description of a wanted criminal (and for good reason)
> + DC 10 [RANK UNKNOWN] [NAME UNKNOWN] is on guard and performs his duties passably.
> - DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha looks to be gently bred
> - DC 1 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is currently wearing underwear
> - DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha has a bit of background having just been to a dressmaker

>DC 25: Anything lower is a failure. [No re-rolls. No hostile re-rolls]
>>
>>5068219
>No Passes: Where do you think you are going? [RANK UNKNOWN][NAME UNKNOWN] recognizes you from the bounty description and will attempt to hold you.
>One Pass: A dressmaker with a dress code. You are given the bum’s rush. Tonight or tomorrow, [RANK UNKNOWN][NAME UNKNOWN] will say something about your visit to a friend that happens to be a Thief-Taker.
>Two Passes: Just for you, we are closing early. You are given the bum’s rush. Thankfully, [RANK UNKNOWN][NAME UNKNOWN] will be too busy getting drunk to mention you to anyone for a while. In fact, if you are lucky, he might never tell his friend …
>Three Passes: Look what the cat dragged in. Inexplicably, you manage to talk your way in. [RANK UNKNOWN] [NAME UNKNOWN] would never believe that one of the store’s clients is a wanted criminal, even if they told him they were.

>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2), then you automatically fail this test, [Rank Unknown][Name Unknown] attempts to hold you, and as this is happening, a patrol of guards is walking by making an escape magnitudes more difficult.
>If ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Success (Roll of 100 or 99), then you automatically pass this test, and the proprietor mistakes you for someone else.
>A Critical Failure overrides a Critical Success and a Near-Critical Success, but a Critical Success overrides a Near-Critical Failure.
>You are STRONGLY encouraged to roll again after fifteen minutes if more rolls are needed, to keep the quest moving.

Once more, may your luck run white!

Also, a minor vote. Once you pick up the three dresses tomorrow, should you get rid of the ragged one you are wearing right now?

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>Burn or otherwise destroy your current dress
>Keep your current dress for work clothes
>>
Rolled 3 (1d100)

>>5068224
>Burn or otherwise destroy your current dress

This thing has connotations we are best severed from, I think

Also, that section was masterful. I really felt for the poor girl.
>>
Rolled 82 (1d100)

>>5068224
>Keep your current dress for work clothes
depending on where we go only having a single set of clothes is potentially a red flag.
>>
>>5068228
Well, one, that is great praise, thank you! And two, do you realize, that if you rolled any lower, we would have automatically failed this test?
>>
>>5068235
Yeah I do. Between this and forgotten's quests my rolling is cursed.
>>
Rolled 66 (1d100)

>>5068224
>>
>>5068224
>Burn or otherwise destroy your current dress
We will have 2 different sets. That’s more than enough.
>>
>>5068224
>Burn or otherwise destroy your current dress
Looks like we won’t get in. Can we still find another dressmaker of the same calibre?
>>
>>5068260
You can have one more chance, at DC 23 instead of DC 25, if you want it. I'll put it to a vote right now.

>Please choose ONE of the following:
>Try to find another dressmaker of the same caliber
>Call it for the day, and spend the remaining daylight poking around the Refineries before deciding on your next move
>Call it for the day, and return to the Midden, to get receive Ablution, get something to eat, and possibly take a nap
>>
>>5068260
As it is clear that there are some places we cannot go to in broad daylight without a more refined look.
>>
>>5068265
>Try to find another dressmaker of the same caliber
>>
>>5068265
And to be clear, the vote in >>5068224 over burning or keeping the dress is still open. Vote if you haven't.
>>
>>5068265
>>Try to find another dressmaker of the same caliber

I fancy our chances
>>
>>5068224
>Burn or otherwise destroy your current dress

We can buy new work clothes someplace else after we are out of this city.
>>
>>5068265
>Call it for the day, and spend the remaining daylight poking around the Refineries before deciding on your next move
>>
Really adore that scene. Chlot really is just a lost and confused girl without much place in the world.
>>5068224
>>Keep your current dress for work clothes
Fabric and textiles are some of the most valuable items in a pre-industrial society. This isn't quite pre-industrial, but we are on the fringes of that industry's reach and are only going to go further out.
Burning would be the worst option. Destroy it for bandages at the very least...
>>5068265
>>Call it for the day, and return to the Midden, to get receive Ablution, get something to eat, and possibly take a nap
I do not fancy our chances. The odds of rolling three successes at DC 25 are only 42%, anons, and at DC23 it's still only 45% (.75^3 and .77^3 respectively). Chlot needs rest, and she can't afford running on fumes in the last critical moments of her escape.
>>
>>5068224
>>5068265
Actually, I'll change my votes to...
>Destroy our dress for cloth scraps, strips and bandages.
>Call it for the day, and return to the Midden, to get receive Ablution, get something to eat, and possibly take a nap

I don't know why we would burn our old dress, my mind went to weird places with thinking things like "what if our place is searched and they find the dress we wore while committing a crime", forgetting in the moment that it was dark and there are probably thousands of women wearing similarly ratty dresses and that there are many far more incriminating things in our home.

And >>5068417 is right, cloths are valuable no matter what, the labour time spent on spinning yarn alone would take up literally every spare moment of time of a women's day for every day of her life just to make sure her family would have the minimum amount of cloths they would need. That, and we probably need the rest, there have been several references to us being tired and us being in adequate shape to perform is probably more important than reconnaissance.





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