“…The territory consists of three separate parts; one is inhabited by savages, another by Strangers and Witches, and the third by the people we call Cimmaroons, though in their own languages they have other names for themselves. The savages live in the deep mountainous interior of Outremer, which is poorly known. This red-skinned race is the revenant of a primitive civilization that once ruled over the entire landmass and its outlying islands, before they were violently displaced by the arrival of the Cimmaroons, who began migrating to Outremer more than six hundred years ago. If it were not for a few loan-words that were adopted by the Cimmaroons, and the ruins of several of their ancient megalithic sites, there would be no evidence of any civilization that preceded the arrival of the Cimmaroons in Outremer. The Strangers and the Witches live in the Great Gloom, a primeval forest that covers almost all of Outremer, save for the coastal regions, the river basins and valleys in the interior, and the mountains in the deep interior. The Strangeness is endemic in the Great Gloom – the flora and fauna from there are Strange from germination or birth, and in some cases, generations of exposure has twisted them into new species. Interestingly however, specimens taken from the Great Gloom – and to a lesser extent, the rest of Outremer – are more resistant to the acute affects of the Strangeness then comparable specimens from across the Ocean. This resilience, or in the parlance of magicians, this stability, helps explains the Cimmaroons seemingly heedless attitude towards Strangers and Witches, who are allowed to live and breed unchecked in the Great Gloom. Witches are even allowed to organize into Covens, the allegiances of which are courted by the tribal potentates. The Cimmaroons themselves live in the verdant river basins that run into the heart of Outremer. Portions of some of the basins are forested, but those forests are not part of the Great Gloom. The rest of the basins are farmland, enough to support large towns, and along the river, small walled cities. While Cimmaroons do not have anything approaching the industry that the Empire has, they should not be considered primitives in matters of the instrumental sciences. Cimmaroon artisans can compete in quality with the best that the Principalities has to offer, and arguably their Glassers are superior to ours. Additionally, they are also a fairly martial people, as small wars between the tribal nations are common enough for them to develop a disciplined professional soldiery. These armies do field muskets and cannons, though nowhere near the quality or quantity of our own, and they fight beside conscripts and auxiliaries that are still armed with longbows and spears. However, with nearly all of the Inquisitions Mitigators stationed with our tributaries across the Ocean, we have no answer for their Witches …”- Prince-Governor Heydrich II Boiohaemum's In Outremer
>>5120915Your name is Chlotsuintha, and you are in the process of a particularly messy spot of Life-Weaving. At this stage of the spell, both the piglet – which is dying – and the smuggler – who has been dead for a day – are violently spasming. Unfortunately, at this point, all you can do is trust that your needles are deep enough to stay in place, as your hands are needed elsewhere at the moment. Your right hand is occupied with manipulating the spine as the magic courses through everything. Your left hand is gripping the shuttle, which connects you to the Loom. Beyond a dull and distant pain that throbs in time with your heartbeat, no feeling remains in it. In fact, at this point in the spell, you are probably no longer physically able to loosen your grip on the shuttle. That is one of the things that makes working alone on Life-Looms dangerous. If anything ever goes wrong once the spell is fully active, you are just as strapped in as whatever you are working on. The spell – and with it, the Strangeness – will flow down the path of least resistance, which in theory, should be either the fuel or the raw material, depending on how close the spell is to completion. In practice, the Many Mysteries are often inscrutable. Even if everything is done flawlessly, things can just … go wrong. Really wrong. Blessedly, this is not one of those times. The spell is progressing at a comfortable rate, and when you snuck a quick look down at the cadaver a moment ago, more illuminated by the glowing light of your eyes than the olive oil lamp you have nearby, you were surprised to see that the pork you stuffed into the skull had already started to turn into something akin to brain. The color was noticeably pinker than it should have been, and the consistency was closer to muscle than the fat – discrepancies no doubt caused by your choice of raw material. You doubt that it would ever properly attach to the rest of the brain or get the look right – and you know that at your skill level, you would never be able to produce working gray matter. But you do not need to get it perfect, you just need to get it good enough so that when you drop the cadaver off of the top of the palisade tonight, the guards that find him splatted do not have any reason to think that he died a day or so ago, so they have no reason to think twice about rolling back the upgraded curfew. Time passes. Maybe ten minutes, maybe fifteen – you are not sure. If the spell was going to fail, it would have by now. You allow yourself a shaky sigh of relief, as you glace over at the piglet. Here and there, patches of its flesh have begun to turn necrotic, caused by the backwash of the spell. Additionally, it is bleeding from all of its orifices, both of its eyes have distended and the right one, the one you stuck the needle next too have started to smolder. Despite all of this the piglet is still breathing, though you are certain it is being kept alive by the spell.
>>5120918More time passes. You do not bother looking at the piglet anymore – it is a distraction. When you do glace down from the spine, it is to look at the body. The skull has closed itself up now, and the cracks around the hole are knitting themselves together. Once the knitting is complete, the spell will focus on the smaller cosmetic issues – such as reversing the decay and redistributing the blood throughout the body. This will be the easiest part of the work, as the changes will not be as dramatic as reversing the damage to the skull, nor will they require you to alter the Forms to the extent that you had to do to create the brain replacement. When the skull was shattered, the Form of the skull became the Form of a ruined skull and some fragments of a skull. Reverting the skull to the original Form was relatively straightforward, as the fragments of bone were still recognizably skull fragments, and all you had to do was simply reverse a relatively recent change in the Form. But just because the idealization process was straightforward, that does not mean that it was easy to perform. There was quite a bit of damage to undo, and it takes time. And if the process takes longer, then that means that not only do you have to draw deeper into your magic, but there are also more opportunities for things to go wrong – for your concentration to slip at a crucial moment, for spontaneous fuel or material rejection, or even for something to happen around you that means you could no longer safely be using magic. Working with the brain was even harder, because not only were you replacing instead of repairing, but the material you were working with was further removed from your target. The Form of muscle is closer to the Form of bone, and the Form of pork is closer to the Form of a man’s bone than a man’s brain. You could have tried to pull from the piglet’s brain instead, but that would have almost certainly have killed the piglet, which would have made it harder in the end, not easier. Probably another twenty or twenty-five minutes. With a final push, the spell reaches completion then as the body heals the last injury – the holes made by the needles. When the last of the needles is forced out, the spell sputters then quietly dies, as you release your death grip on the shuttle. You finally allow yourself to take a good, long look at the prone body of the smuggler. All traces of the injury on the back of his head is gone – though the skull is noticeably flatter in the portion where you repaired it compared to the rest of it, and the skin and the hair that grew over the wound site just look a little bit more … porcine than the bits around it. You unsuppress Strange-Staining and breathe a sigh of relief when it does not activate as you give the cadaver a complete inspection. That feeling of relief is a little soured when you look over at the absolutely mangled remains of the piglet.
>>5120921From snout to tail, the beast is completely necrotic – or rather, where the snout and tail were, as they have rotted off. The piglet’s gut and chest cavity both look like they imploded – with enough force that ribs were broken in the process. The pork that you cut from the piglet’s mother has not fared much better – most of it has turned to some really foul looking sludge, though it is transparent enough that you can still see …. something solid in there. Disturbingly enough it is twitching, though when you pull the needles out, it slows, and then stops. You guess that it was just some sort of residual energy … but you really do not know for sure. As much as you would like to take a break – or even just clean up. But you cannot afford to take the time. You want the body to be as fresh as possible when it is found, but before you can dump it, you are going to need to go out and steal a Spotted Cloak for it. To that end, you spend a minute or so fiddling with the needle in the crook of your left arm, until you are satisfied that it should be able to operate as a temporary socket for your new Wand of Head Knocking. Before you leave the workbench, you grab some salt for the catalyst and the fuel-nodules that you found with the wand, as well as the improvised poke, which you cut the clean … well, the clearer of portions of into binds and a gag.You hook one of the fuel nodules into the wand, you head into your room to retrieve the stub-club that you took off of the smuggler’s corpse. Your reasoning is that it might not be possible to use the wand at some point … or you might have already knocked someone out, and instead of using the wand again, you could use the club. Options. You want as many options as you can give yourself. There are also the pin-stilettoes … but … you do not think that they would be much help against a guard, and you doubt you have the stomach to use one on a fellow Leper.
>>5120936You do not like it one bit, but with a needle in your left arm, you are not going to be doing any climbing. So with no other option, you are going to have to use the winch platform as an elevator. If anyone were to come into the belltower, they would obviously see it – and given the upgraded curfew, they would probably have some questions, but there is nothing for it. You make your way down on the platform, which seems to be creaking loud enough to wake the dead, and then you head out into the Midden, eyes and ears peeled for patrols. As you put some distance between yourself and the Belfry, your stomach feels sicker and sicker. Part of it is nerves, no doubt, but most of it is prospect in front of you. Tonight, not only are you going to rob a Leper, but you are also going to hurt one. Actually … now that you think about it, would it hurt? It’s dangerous –Hell, it is potential lethal – but you remember from your lessons that the brain is unusual in that it cannot feel pain from injuries inflicted on itself. Perhaps this wand will not hurt anyone after all? Feeling marginally better about your purpose here, you look around to get your bearings and hopefully spot a mark. After having to duck and hide from an approaching patrol, you eventually find one who meets all of your criteria. Living alone, far enough away from everyone else, with multiple ways in and out of the residence, and adequately screened from the paths of the patrols by other buildings. As you move in and consider your options, you wonder if this is the best that you could do. This one is still wearing the Spotted Cloak – but if you were to look a bit longer, maybe you would find one who undressed for bed. If you could find such a mark, you might not even need to use the wand – you could sneak on in and swipe it. No magic, no question of hurting anyone, and most importantly, no chance of killing anyone … so long as it all went according to plan. Well … hmm. Your plans have not had the best track record recently, but still … stealing a pile of clothes would be much easier and quicker than stripping someone naked. And if something did go wrong while you were robbing an already undressed Leper, then you would have the wand and the club anyway.
>>5120937>Please Choose ONE of the following: >Save the wand for absolute emergencies and look for an already undressed Leper. Requires three more Stealth Tests [One to find the pre-peeled Leper, one to rob him, one to make it back to the Belfry]. >This is an absolute emergency! You are in range. Use the damned thing right now. Requires one more Stealth Test [One to make it back to the Belfry]. >This is an absolute emergency … but you are worried about the wand. Get right next to him before using it, so if something goes wrong, you can use the Stub-Club instead. Requires two more Stealth Tests [One to break into his place, one make it back to the Belfry].>This is an absolute emergency … but you are really worried about the wand. This is the first time you have ever used something like this. Maybe it would be a better idea to rely on the stub-club instead? Requires two more Stealth Tests [One to break into his place, one make it back to the Belfry].Well, it took a little longer than I had hoped, but I am back and ready to run! Here are the previous threads - though idiot that I am dropped the 'The' on the title of the last thread. Thankfully, it still comes up just searching by title for 'Graverobber': http://thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=Graverobber
Wand of Head Knocking, Second Degree. Kinesiology. Stable. Silent. Targets known living organisms with brains, causing the brain of the target to vibrate violently, causing concussions, disorientation, nausea, and potentially unconsciousness or even death. Can be blocked by lead. LIMITATION: The tip of the wand must be in an unobstructed line to head of the target. Range is up to six yards with casting, up to twelve with overcasting. Catalyzed with eighth-charge of salt with casting, or a fourth-charge with overcasting. Fueled with eighth-charge of an ounce-nodule with casting, or a forth of an ounce-nodule with overcasting. Some Strangeness produced on caster and on fuel source with casting, Strangeness in the Second Degree produced on both with overcasting. One-in-one-hundred chance for some Strangeness produced on target with casting, one-in-five chance for some Strangeness with overcasting. Base DC 5 for hammer cast. Base DC 10 for hammer overcast. Base DC (2+1pC) for each standard cast of a chained casting. Base DC (4+2pC) for each overcast of a chained casting. LIMITATION: Chained casts of Head Knocking, Second Degree do not have cheaper casting costs. LIMITATION: Chained casts of Head-Knocking can target up to three separate targets with seven total separate casts – any more than this requires a second action. Hammer casts and overcasts of Head Knocking has a nineteen-in-twenty chance to completely knock the target out cold for thirty seconds or so, and each chained cast or overcast of Head knocking has a thirteen-in-twenty chance to completely knock the target out cold for twenty seconds. The duration of unconsciousness stacks with subsequent successful casts of Head Knocking that also manage to fully knock out the target. Each successful cast of Head Knocking has a one-in-two-hundred-and-fifty-six chance to kill the target, determined independently from the target getting completely knocked out. For every subsequent successful cast of Head Knocking on a target that is currently concussed, the odds of outright killing the target are doubled, and then run again. Example: Chlotsuintha performs seven standard casts of Head Knocking, in a chained cast, all at one target, with no bonuses or maluses effecting her cast. She rolls seven d100 dice each with a DC of 9. She succeeds at six of them, meaning that the spell reached completion six times, and that the target has become concussed. She rolls six d100 dice with a DC of 2 to determine if any Strangeness is produced on the target. She succeeds at all of them, meaning that no Strangeness is produced on the target, though Strangeness is produced on herself and on the wand’s fuel nodule. She rolls six d20 dice with a DC of 8. She succeeds four times, meaning that the target is out cold for eighty seconds. Then the QM rolls one d256 die, one d128 die, one d64 die, one d32 die, one d16 die, one d8 die and one d4 die, all with DCs of 2. Two of the tests fail, target dies.
>>5120946Save the wand for absolute emergencies and look for an already undressed Leper. Requires three more Stealth Tests [One to find the pre-peeled Leper, one to rob him, one to make it back to the Belfry].Remember>With the right arm socketed, she will get a bonus to casting with the wand, but a malus for any combat.
>>5120946>>This is an absolute emergency! You are in range. Use the damned thing right now. Requires one more Stealth Test [One to make it back to the Belfry].Fewer rolls, fewer chance of rolling a critfail which we cannot afford at all now.
>>5120946>Save the wand for absolute emergencies and look for an already undressed Leper. Requires three more Stealth Tests [One to find the pre-peeled Leper, one to rob him, one to make it back to the Belfry].its the one item everyone im the Midden owns, it should not be too difficult to steal one without assaulting someone. welcome back Trash!
>>5120946>This is an absolute emergency! You are in range. Use the damned thing right now. Requires one more Stealth Test [One to make it back to the Belfry].I’m done with tests. Get it done quick and clean.
>but with a needle in your left armI thought we socketed our right arm? I mean, I voted for the left arm, but the right arm won.Weren't we also supposed to begin this session with a flashback to our mother?Anyways, I'm glad this is back.>>5120946>This is an absolute emergency! You are in range. Use the damned thing right now. Requires one more Stealth Test [One to make it back to the Belfry]. Assuming some catastrophe doesn't occur, nothing happening is acceptable. And if it does work but the time he/she is stunned is low it should still be enough time for us to run up and hit them with the club.
Plus, the wand is silent, so I'm not sure what could go wrong aside from magical mishaps, it isn't like failing will alert the Leper. Also, if we are already within range, and the range is 6 yards, then we are basically already close enough to get the jump on this Leper with the stub club should the wand fail anyways, 6 yards is nothing. You can't really draw a weapon or even react all that much if someone charges you from that close and you were unaware of them until that point
>>5121332>I thought we socketed our right arm?Uh ... whoops? You are right. We did. Don't know how I missed that. >Weren't we also supposed to begin this session with a flashback to our mother?We were, and I wrote the entire thing up, but then I decided against posting it. I had to give away too much information on her past in her internal monologue - and after some careful thought, I want her to remain a mysterious figure. For now, I think it would be best if the only alternate POV was Odovacar. We will still see her, but for the immediate future, it will just be through his eyes.>>5121336On a successful hammer cast, the wand only has a 95% chance [DC 1] of knocking someone out completely cold. On a successful chained cast, the wand only has a 65% chance [DC 7] Otherwise they will just be concussed - and could possibly shout out if they saw you, though if you attacked or tried to sneak by them in that state, you would definitely get bonuses to those rolls.>>5120990 Three More 1>>5121022 Three More 1 One More 1>>5121066 Three More 2 One More 1>>5121100 Three More 2 One More 2>>5121332 Three More 2 One More 3
>>5121429Another mistake. I got the DC wrong there. It should be DC 2 (fails on a roll of 1 on a d20 for odds of 95%) for the hammer cast and DC 8 (fails on rolls of 1-7 on a d20for odds of 65%) for the chained cast. Anyway, now that we are using the wand, we need to make the decision on what kind of cast we are going to do. Currently, you have eight ounce-nodules of fuel with you for the wand, as well as more than enough salt to cast them all. You are within 6 yards of the Leper, and as overcasting this spell is only done to increase the range, there is no need to vote for that. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Hammer Cast [1/8 salt and 1/8 ounce-nodule]>Chained Cast [1/8 salt per cast and 1/8 ounce-nodule per cast]
>>5121447>Hammer Cast [1/8 salt and 1/8 ounce-nodule]Ah, I skipped over the post with the description of the wand's properties in this thread because we already saw it in the previous thread, I didn't realise there were additions to it, nor did I think we'd be using d20's. I thought it'd be a unified d100 system for everything.
>>5121511Yeah, the system is pretty complicated. Probably to the point of being a fault. That being said, there weren't any additions to the description of the wand from last thread to this thread, only a correction, where I switched 'halved' to 'doubled'.
>>5121447>Hammer Cast [1/8 salt and 1/8 ounce-nodule]
>>5121447>Hammer Cast [1/8 salt and 1/8 ounce-nodule]what was the downside to hammer casting again? More straining or dangerous or something right?
Okay, we despite all of the gobbledygook underneath, all I need right now is just ONE roll of 1d100. >Critical Success: DC 99 and higher. Target receives the concussed malus and is knocked unconscious for 180 seconds. WITH lethal intent target is killed. WITHOUT lethal intent target cannot be killed. >Success: DC 23 and higher. Target receives the concussed malus and is knocked unconscious for 30 seconds. 50% chance of First-Degree Strangeness being produced on fuel, rendering fuel unusable until the Strangeness is dealt with, or it dissipates. WITH lethal intent 12.5% (1/8) chance that the target is killed by the spell. WITHOUT lethal intent 0.098% (1/1024) chance that the target is killed by the spell. Subsequent casts of Head Knocking on the target double the odds of the initial lethality. >Partial Success: DC 3 and higher. Target receives the concussed malus. 95% chance of the target being knocked unconscious for 30 seconds. First-Degree Strangeness is produced on the caster and the fuel, rendering the fuel unusable until the Strangeness is dealt with, or it dissipates. 1% chance that Strangeness is produced on the target. ~0.4% (1/256) chance that the target is killed by the spell. Subsequent casts of Head Knocking on the target double the odds of the initial lethality. >Partial failure: DC 2 and lower. 75% chance of the target receiving the concussed malus. IF concussed, 25% chance of the target being knocked unconscious for 20 seconds. First-Degree Strangeness is produced on the caster, fuel source and the wand, rendering the fuel source and wand unusable until the Strangeness is deal with, or it dissipates. 15% chance that Strangeness is produced on target. WITH lethal intent, 0.19% (1/512) chance that the target is killed by the spell. WITHOUT lethal intent, ~1.6% (1/64) chance that the target is killed by the spell. Subsequent casts of Head Knocking on the target double the odds of the initial lethality. >Complete failure: DC 1 and lower. 50% chance of the caster receiving the concussed malus. IF concussed, 15% chance of the target being knocked unconscious for 20 seconds. First-Degree Strangeness is produced on the caster, fuel source and wand, rendering the fuel source and wand unusable until the Strangeness is dealt with, or it dissipates. Two separate 15% chances that Second-Degree Strangeness is produced on the fuel source and wand. ~0.4% (1/256) chance that the caster inflicts a permanent brain injury on themselves. Subsequent casts of Head Knocking on the target double the odds of the initial lethality.
Rolled 39 (1d100)>>5122263Patternmaker bless my die!
>>5121946 As described in the spell, using any version of Head Knocking produces Strangeness on the caster and on the fuel. If there is Strangeness present in a fuel-nodule, then even if it still has charges left, it cannot be used until the Strangeness has been dealt with, or it dissipates away (at Chlotsuintha's current level at least - once she gets better, she will be able to cast with Strangeness-addled fuel sources). But the presence of Strangeness only becomes an issue after the spell is completed, which is the downside of hammer casting - even if it is more effective, its use of fuel is nowhere near as efficient as chained casting, at least for now.Currently, Chlotsuintha has eight fuel nodules (and six more that she should be able to revive at some point on the Life-Loom). If she were to hammer cast Head Knocking as many times as she could at the moment, that would be a total of 8 casts, as after every cast, Strangeness would enter into the fuel, temporarily rendering it unusable. However, if she were to chain cast Head Knocking as many times as she could at the moment, that would be a total of 56 casts (assuming that she was in range, and the tip of her wand had an unobstructed line to the head of the target(s)). Of course, there are going to be times where it is not possible, necessary or desirable to use chain casting. This is one of them.
Rolled 1 (1d2)If this roll is a 1, then there is Strangeness present in the fuel nodule, and it must be swapped out before you can use the wand again.
Rolled 117 (1d1024)If this roll is a 1, then the target dies.
So far, so good! Now we just need to get back to the Belfry. > DC 33: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is a Born and Bred Sneakthief, making a basic Stealth Test like this [Easy]> + DC 7 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is Hard to Miss, given her size> + DC 10 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is attempting Stealth during dusk > + DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is Known in the Midden> + DC 3 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is now Tired, and is not thinking as quickly as she should> + DC 2 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is now Drained, and is not moving as quickly as she should> + DC 2 Witchlet Chlotsuintha has a temporary socket, and it makes her entire right side stiffer than normal> - DC 15 Witchlet Chlotsuintha has Complete Knowledge of the Midden> - DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is attempting Stealth in an area with some concealment> - DC 10 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is attempting Stealth in a very poorly trafficked area> - DC 1 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is currently wearing underwear> - DC 10 Witchlet Chlotsuintha has knocked unconscious the person most likely to notice her> DC 21: Anything lower is a failure. [One re-roll available. Guards are on high alert; they have one hostile re-roll available]>No Passes: Taking a swing at the Bat! One of the patrols recognizes you and gives chase! >One Pass: A Strange Shadow. One of the patrols sees something, and gives chase!>Two Passes: A Strange Sound. One of the patrols hears something, and the guards focus in on this area. Next roll in the Midden has two hostile re-rolls.>Three Passes: A Quiet Night. No one sees or hears anything. You slip right through. >Three rolls of 1d100 please!
Rolled 89 (1d100)>>5122306
Rolled 58 (1d100)>>5122306
Rolled 20 (1d100)>>5122306
Rolled 1 (1d100)>>5122310Using the guards hostile re-roll to potential counter this pass ...
>>5122401Well thank god crits don't get counted in rerolls. I think we should use our reroll here to counter this nonetheless.
>>5122401Jesus Christ. Okay, well, thankfully, there is no criticals on re-rolls otherwise you would have been in trouble. Would you guys like to use your last remaining lucky coin?Also, here is the missing text from the roll prompt that I have forgotten two times in a row now: >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, and you manage to trip during the chase, spilling the bag and losing the piglet.>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 in the process, you find an old tenth-talent lying in the gutter by the toll gate.>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.Please choose ONE of the following:>Use the remaining lucky coin for a re-roll.>Do not use the remaining lucky coin for a re-roll.
>>5122411>>Use the remaining lucky coin for a re-roll.
>>5122411>Use the remaining lucky coin for a re-roll.
>>5122593>>5122458>>5122419>>5122417Alright. Now we just need someone to roll for it. 1d100, please.
Rolled 79 (1d100)Here goes nothing.
Rolled 90 (1d100)>>5122665
>>5122411Wait, why are we giving up our final reroll by giving the guards two later ones? I know this vote already passed, but if rerolls don't count as crits, would it be better to attempt a chase? I honestly haven't experienced the chase mechanics, so I am asking from a point of ignorance here.
>>5122686Well, you are not alone. We have not been chased get in this quest but for the few anons who have stuck with me for a while, they might recognize the mechanic from my previous quest, Collapsing (though it has been reworked).Basically, Chlotsuintha and the guards would have taken turns making rolls. If over the course of these rolls, the collective value of Chlotsuintha's rolls was high enough, she would manage to escape. If the collective value of the guards rolls got high enough, they would have chances to corner her, which if successful, could initiate a fight. Also, if either the guards or Chlotsuintha rolled poorly on one particularly roll, they would suffer some sort of consequence - like being injured or receiving some temporary malus for chase rolls, losing a weapon or an important possession, and in the case of Chlotsuintha, potentially being recognized. Suffice to say, chases are dangerous - especially for Chlotsuintha, with her innate risk of being identified by her unusual height. Anyway, I've got four more questions for you guys. First - the original plan tonight was to drop the now fully dressed cadaver off of the palisade - but sneaking up the thing while carrying a body is going to be noticeably harder, and you have just used up your last re-roll. Do you guys want to still go through with it, despite the increased difficulty to that stealth test, or would you rather find a rock and crush the back of the smuggler's skull before you head out, even if it might not look as convincing as the real McCoy? Second - when it becomes apparent that the 'smuggler' has stolen and is wearing someone else's clothes, and does not have his original clothes in his possession, it might raise questions. Should you burn some of the remaining rags somewhere where they will be found to make a red herring? Third - possessions. When you found the smuggler's body, he had the remains of two vials of laudanum in his pockets, and the stub-club. Should you put them back? Should you leave something else? Fourth - where to next? There are two big tasks on the table tonight - stealing the Lifting Oil and investigating the late Aldoin's house, but there are other places that you could check in on too.
>>5122738>Please choose ONE of the following: >Carry the cadaver up the palisade before dropping it off, as planned. >Find a rock, or use the bastards own stub-club to bash his brains in instead. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Burn the clothes>Do not burn the clothes>Please choose SOME of the following [choosing nothing is also an option]:>Return the shards of glass and the corks from the vials>Return the Stub-Club>Plant 150 eighth-talents on the smuggler - the going price for one vial of laudanum. >Plant two silver twenty-talents on the smuggler >Please choose ONE of the following:>After leaving the Midden, head to the late Aldoin's house.>After leaving the Midden, head to the Refineries to steal Lifting Oil>After leaving the Midden, head to the South Burying Ground and the remains of the house that the Inquisition burned down.>After leaving the Midden, head to the [write-in, subject to QM approval]
>>5122758>Carry the cadaver up the palisade before dropping it off, as planned.>Burn the clothes>Return the shards of glass and the corks from the vials&the "silvered snuff box" that we took (Thread #1 4949228 & >>4979957) as well seems like a better way to tie the body to a crime so that might also be something else to leave behind, also I would fell better if it was returned before we left since we probably aren't going to be able to "fence" it in time and it would probably considered valuable.>After leaving the Midden, head to the Refineries to steal Lifting OilIt's the next step and 2nd last thing we will need, if we have any time left after we have everything then we can go investigate.
>Find a rock, or use the bastards own stub-club to bash his brains in instead. (crouch when doing so to leave the impression of a shorter assailant)>Please choose ONE of the following:>Do not burn the clothes>Please choose SOME of the following [choosing nothing is also an option]:>Return the shards of glass and the corks from the vials>Return the Stub-Club (stash nearby)>Plant 150 eighth-talents on the smuggler - the going price for one vial of laudanum. >The Silver Snuff Box>Please choose ONE of the following:>After leaving the Midden, head to the Refineries to steal Lifting Oil
>>5122758>Carry the cadaver up the palisade before dropping it off, as planned.>Return the shards of glass and the corks from the vials>Plant 150 eighth-talents on the smuggler - the going price for one vial of laudanum.>After leaving the Midden, head to the Refineries to steal Lifting Oilwe are not going to fix the bashed skull of a corpse only to then re-bash it with a rock goddammit!
>>5122758>Carry the cadaver up the palisade before dropping it off, as planned.>Burn the clothes>Return the shards of glass and the corks from the vials>Plant 150 eighth-talents on the smuggler - the going price for one vial of laudanum.>The Silver Snuff Box>After leaving the Midden, head to the Refineries to steal Lifting Oil
>>5122758>Carry the cadaver up the palisade before dropping it off, as planned. >Burn the clothes>Return the shards of glass and the corks from the vials>After leaving the Midden, head to the Refineries to steal Lifting Oil
>>5122758>>5123294Eh, I'll also include the silver snuff box and 150 eighth-talents in my vote as well.
>>5122758>>Please choose ONE of the following: >>Carry the cadaver up the palisade before dropping it off, as planned. >>Please choose ONE of the following:>Do not burn the clothesBurning is too much mess and smoke and noise. Let the question go unanswered>>Please choose SOME of the following [choosing nothing is also an option]:>>Return the shards of glass and the corks from the vials>>Return the Stub-Club>>Please choose ONE of the following:>>After leaving the Midden, head to the Refineries to steal Lifting Oil
>>5122758>Carry the cadaver up the palisade before dropping it off, as planned.>Burn the clothes>Return the shards of glass and the corks from the vials>After leaving the Midden, head to the late Aldoin's house.Patternmaker, I hate the risks that we're taking. Also, want to explain the reasoning behind investigating the South Burial Grounds and the burnt down house? I'm curious as to why Chlot would want to go there.
>>5122823I oppose giving the body the Snuff Box, and not just because we don't know what's in it. If we plant the Snuff Box on the noticeably smaller Leaper smuggler, all we'll be doing is painting a target on our backs for the Thief-takers to take interest in us, which is the absolute last thing we need. We don't need to connect our foreign ship heist to the Leaper smuggler's murder and illicit dealings, especially since our height problem is a dead giveaway that we committed these illegal acts instead of our framed small smuggler. I'm not about to let y'all increase the risks of us getting caught and punished as uncloaked Leaped thief over some asinine plan to frame our large crossdressing crimes on the smaller Leaper smuggler, which will cause more heat to focus on us and Midden by the authorities, not lessen it as is our intention.
>>5123881The thing is that we know that the box has "value" to someone who doesn't match up with our description and didn't steal it since it could be turned in and have the money turned back over like an "IOU".The Crier (Thread #1 >>4979957)> – and the honorable captain will pay another one hundred twenty-talents for the safe return of his late father’s silvered snuff box, no questions asked.So it has a known value, which would mean that it "could" be used by someone to purchase something in place of coin, so could have been traded in by someone who bought, or was used to purchase the laudanum the smuggler "had" on him which would explain multiple vials since they would be needed to decant doses appropriately.This may do two things, bring interest onto the body which we want, tie things in circles that don't make sense, and indicate that the "Crossdresser" will have already fenced the goods and so have likely already managed to move on, or even that they use / want laudanum for whatever reason, which we don't which is one more thing that won't add up and could draw resources further into a wild goose chase, that the guard doesn't have.
>>5123934You're ignoring the obvious point, which is the height of the thief matches our height. Even if drawing more attention to the dead smuggler is what we want (and we don't want more attention, we want less), all you'll end up doing is painting a bullseye on our large back for not only the thief-takers, but the Midden guards as well, and I'd be surprised if the Inquisition was left in the dark about all this. It's like you're trying to put out a fire by pouring gasoline on it, it's just gonna make the scrutiny worse on us, not better. They'll need to investigate this large Crossdresser, and our family holds the reputation of being large and eccentric in Midden. It's a bad idea to plant this Snuff Box so close to where we live, operate, and are very well known.
Heads up, my ID will have changed.>>5123864>Also, want to explain the reasoning behind investigating the South Burial Grounds and the burnt down house? I'm curious as to why Chlot would want to go there.Chlotsuintha is understandably curious about the mysterious university student and his machine that appearentally exists only to attract Hook Gulls. It is possible that even after the Inquisition is done with the site, there might be some sort of clue that only a Witchlet could find. As for what Chlotsuintha could do in the South Burying Ground ... well, all I will say is that the Inquisition still has not discovered the Strangeness in the Morgue, and that Chlotsuintha has options right now that she wont have when the Inquisition starts to do their due diligence.
>>5124102>Chlotsuintha has options right now that she wont have when the Inquisition starts to do their due diligenceOptions like what? I genuinely all for taking this opportunity, but I know from experience how hard it is the change anons' vote after they've voted. I personally think that this would merit more discussion on what should be our next move.
>>5124114I don't want to just come out and say what to do, but since you asked, I guess I could explain what I am getting at a little more directly. Eventually, the Inquisition is going to realize that there is all this Strangeness around the Mount. Once they find some, they are going to try to track down all of it - and those breadcrumbs are going to eventually lead them to to the coffin, a coffin that should be Stranger than it currently is, as Chlotsuintha magically remediated it. (The Inquisition will have seen the effects of the Strangeness in the Morgue, so the will be able to approximate how Strange the coffin should be, based on level and length of exposure.) There is also the fact that they are going to be able to tell that the coffin was magically remediated, as mundane remediation requires the application of pressure and dramatic changes in temperature, which leaves evidence in the form of crush and burn marks, neither of which are present on the coffin at the moment. As soon as they exhume the coffin, they are going to realize that at some point, it was in the possession of a magic user. From there, they will look at whoever could have been alone with the coffin as a suspect - and it is no secret that Chlotsuintha was alone with the coffin. So pretty quickly, Chlotsuintha is going to become their primary suspect. If she manages to pack up and leave the Mount before the Inquisition realizes all of this and tries to take her in to perform a much more through and invasive test to see if she is a magic user, they are going to correctly assume that she is a Witch(let). They will also assume that she is responsible for all of the Strangeness that they are dealing with, possibly even Aldion's death, so they will definitely be coming after her. To avoid this, Chlotsuintha would need to come up with a plan to obfuscate her role in all of this, so even after she left, she was not a suspect. She would also need to implement that plan as soon as possible, as it is only a matter of time before the Inquisition finds the Strangeness and starts an investigation that will lead them to the coffin.
>>5123881this anon is right, snuff box write in does more harm than good.
>>5122758I'm willing to change my travel vote >>5123864 to >After leaving the Midden, head to the South Burying Ground and the remains of the house that the Inquisition burned down.>>5124231I'm definitely up for that. What are our options for obfuscation, if you don't mind me asking?
>>5124375Well, speaking generally, there are two points of concern here: the condition of the coffin and Chlotsuintha herself. To obfuscate this mess away, a plan would need to either address the condition of the coffin (make it look like the Strangeness was dealt with mundanely instead of magically, or alternatively, hide the coffin elsewhere) or to address Chlotsuintha (make it look like she died or was killed)
Couldn't we just drop him off the opposite side of the wall? Or wouldn't the place where he was coming from be the real object of any investigation if he had the snuff box?
>>5124626You can drop him off of either side of the palisade, but either way, the smuggler is going to be tied to the Midden.Anyway, I am going to go get something to eat, and then I'll be back to close the vote and get to writing. I'll also need some rolls at some point, but I'm not ready for them yet.
Dumping the body: >>5122823 Drop 1>>5122886 Drop 1 Bash 1>>5123102 Drop 2 Bash 1>>5123275 Drop 3 Bash 1>>5123294 Drop 4 Bash 1>>5123456 Drop 5 Bash 1>>5123864 Drop 6 Bash 1Burning clothes:>>5122823 Yes 1>>5122886 Yes 1 No 1>>5123275 Yes 2 No 1>>5123294 Yes 3 No 1>>5123456 Yes 3 No 2>>5123864 Yes 4 No 2Placed with the body: >>5122823 Shards and Corks, Snuff Box>>5122886 Shards and Corks, Eighth-talents, Snuff Box, Stub-Club (nearby),>>5123102 Shards and Corks, Eighth-talents>>5123275 Shards and Corks, Eighth-talents, Snuff Box>>5123294 Shards and Corks, Eighth-talents, Snuff Box>>5123864 Shards and CorksAs per the votes, the shards and corks, eighth-talents and the snuff box will be placed with the body. Afterwards: >>5122823 Lifting Oil 1>>5122886 Lifting Oil 2>>5123102 Lifting Oil 3>>5123275 Lifting Oil 4>>5123294 Lifting Oil 5>>5123456 Lifting Oil 6>>5124375 Lifting Oil 6 South Burying Ground 1
> DC 33: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is a Born and Bred Sneakthief, making a basic Stealth Test like this [Easy]> + DC 7 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is Hard to Miss, given her size> + DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is Known in the Midden> + DC 3 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is now Tired, and is not thinking as quickly as she should> + DC 2 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is now Drained, and is not moving as quickly as she should> + DC 25 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is carrying a stiffened, dead body up a wall. > - DC 15 Witchlet Chlotsuintha has Complete Knowledge of the Midden> - DC 10 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is attempting Stealth in unlit area at night> - 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 1 Witchlet Chlotsuintha is currently wearing underwear> - DC 5 Witchlet Chlotsuintha has successfully manged a similar stealth test recently > DC 34: Anything lower is a failure. [No re-rolls. Guards are on high alert; they have two hostile re-rolls]>No Passes: Caught Dead to Rights! The guards see you dumping the body, so the deception fails. To make matters worse, they recognize you and give chase! >One Pass: Just Dead Weight. The guards see you dumping the body, so the deception fails. To make matters worse, they give chase!>Two Passes: Deadlifts. The guards hear you dumping the body, and one of them swears they hear something on the other side of the palisade after they find the body. The deception works, but anything sufficiently suspicious will ruin it. >Three Passes: You're Clean, and He's the Jerk. By the time that the guards find the body, you are already on way. >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, and you sprain your ankle as you flee the guards, complicating your escape.>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 in the process, stumble across a new way in and out of the Midden. >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.If there ever was a time for your luck to run white, this was it! Three rolls of 1d100, please!
Rolled 23 (1d100)>>5124920
Rolled 26 (1d100)>>5124920
fuck...gg no reIf we get 0 we'll just have to take the coins and our father's notes and run.
Rolled 85 (1d100)>>5124920Patternmaker fuck my arse
>>5124978Bless you! Now lets hope the hostile rerolls don't fuck us.
Rolled 78 (1d100)>>5124978First re-roll
Rolled 25 (1d100)>>5124978Here we go. Second re-roll.
>>5124977Burn everything down, take the clothes we ordered and gtfo as far as possible.
>>5124984Fuck. Well, so much for all that. I actually don't think we can even get our father's notes, but I'd like to try. We may be on the lamb but we can still hide in the city. If we get the notes we still can learn more magick with time, and if we take a significant quantity of money then our immediate future will be secure assuming we can escape.
>>5124984Would killing the guards at least prevent immediate detection of our identity?
>>5124985Yeah, we'll have to use that hiding spot we found earlier. Take some essentials, food, water, enough to let us survive a day, get the notes, if we have time and carrying capacity get some money, if not we can just steal some or mug people. Hide in places like the well or other hiding spots or that one busted building. Get our dresses, escape town.If we can't get the notes then we must not go crazy and go for the most insane choices like anons often do, we can try and escape with our life to the Great Gloom and find a teacher there, we won't be independent, but we'll have our life, hopefully.
>>5124991You wanna fight professional fighters? I mean, I can't remember but I think our fuel nodule on our wand is strange now, I guess we could take the strangeness into ourselves(?) to spam chain-cast it and then stab everyone to death.
>>5124998It could still be worse if only slightly.
>>5124996It counts as an emergency and would buy us valuable time to retrieve our stuff.
>>5124984Fucking black luck. Now there is nothing left to do but run. Not to worry, she can climb much better than the guards can, so she should be able to avoid them - but she will have to leave tonight, with nothing more than she can carry on her back. There is nothing else for it.Or ...We still have the Head Knocking wand with us (the plan was to unsocket it at the last possible second, right before the climb) and the pin-stilettoes and stub-club. We could try to stand our ground and fight - get them downed and unconscious ... then slit their throats, or bash their heads in. It is not guaranteed to work, but there is a chance - if she kills these men. Men that she could just as easily run away from.>Please choose ONE of the following:>The Last Night. Chlotsuintha will run away, initiating a chase. >The First Blood. Chlotsuintha will stand and fight and kill.
>>5125011>The First Blood. Chlotsuintha will stand and fight and kill.
>>5125011>>The First Blood. Chlotsuintha will stand and fight and kill.We need the dresses. We stick out like a fucking pimple in the forehead with our rags, the only way to get it is by buying as much time as possible.
Wait...fuck...argh...this directly increases our chances of being followed very quickly by the inquisition and killed if we don't kill them, so our life is in danger in a sense if we don't commit these murders, and this is our father's and our legacy we are talking about. But, we also established that we were willing to risk pretty severe consequences if our life wasn't in immediate danger, we don't have to kill these men and we can easily escape. This is giving me anxiety. I also thought that we'd have to kill eventually, and I even wanted to just to get Chlot the experience she'd need to live alone in the world as a witch, but I wanted to kill fucking scum bags or people we had absolutely no choice but to kill lest our life be taken from us.I need some time to think.
>The First Blood. Chlotsuintha will stand and fight and kill.
>>5125011>The First Blood. Chlotsuintha will stand and fight and kill.If the alarm doesn't go up, and we manage to contain things somewhat we could blame things on the body if we wound it before we let it fall.
I guess I'm fine with this, we really need the time to get our affairs in order. I'd at least want enough time to get some essentials and a few more coins and the dresses, and I doubt we'll have that time if we don't kill these men.
>The First Blood. Chlotsuintha will stand and fight and kill.It is time.
>>5125011>The First Blood. Chlotsuintha will stand and fight and kill.Kill the guards with the stub club and plant it on the body later. We have no other choice. It should delay their investigation somewhat.
>>5125090Also we should probably take the snuff box since leaving it here doesn’t give a benefit now.
>>5125011>The Last Night. Chlotsuintha will run away, initiating a chase.Also, I want a referendum on the snuff box shit again, because that was clearly a stupid idea that shouldn't have been entertained to begin with, especially since we're about to commit serial murder to compound our crimes that will be connected to us via height autism.
>>5125028>This is giving me anxiety.Welcome to my entire quest experience. For a couple months there's been nothing but increasing anxiety on my end as the bullshit keeps piling without any break or release. I don't want to die, but I'm being blackmailed by our Father's legacy into staying here when our luck is clearly as black as coal and all these plates that we're spinning will inevitably fall on our head, potentially killing us in the process. I just want something to go right for once without something else happening to render our efforts insignificant, or worse, retroactively fucking us over. We're just grasping at sand, struggling in quicksand, and I'm getting tired of struggling.
>>5125011>The First Blood. Chlotsuintha will stand and fight and kill.Here goes nothing
Okay. Before I let the next update balloon any further, I am going to write everything up to the start of the fight.
>>5125280I'm serious about the Snuff Box referendum, it was a bad idea before this turned into a shitshow, I'm not about to let this slide as we get fucked over into oblivion by our Black Luck.
No, you need to stop messing around here. The patrols could change, or someone could wake up and see you. You need to strike while the iron is hot. This Le – this mark sleeps in a crude hovel, built leaning against the walls of a larger stone ruin. Pulling off and then pocketing your gloves, you get yourself into a position where you can see right into it, to where he is sleeping on a pad that from here looks identical to the one that you were issued, down to the stains and patches. Right now, he is snoring just loud enough that you can hear him from where you stand. The wand is already socketed in your right arm, and the fuel is already hooked in. All there is left to do is measure out the salt necessary to catalyze the spell … and take out the wand. The streets of the Midden are dark and standing outside of your mark’s hovel and inside a larger ruin, it is darker still. But even so, the yellow-white of the bone seems to gleam. The salt is coarse on your hands, and you are careful not to grip the wand too tightly, lest you risk damaging some of the inscriptions.As you bring the tip of the wand to bear on the greasy brown mop of your mark, you swallow in a dry throat. You are acutely aware that your knowledge of wands is strictly theoretical, though you try to convince yourself that it should be exactly just like using the Life-Loom. There is a sudden noise behind you that scares you so much that you are only just able to keep yourself from crying out. Panicking, you look over your shoulder – but you see nothing. You strain your ears – but you hear nothing – aside from the regular breathing of the mark. You stand and stare and strain for what seems like a full minute, but when the noise does not repeat itself, you force yourself to turn around. Once more, you point your wand, and before you can lose your nerve, you reach into the wand, feel the power there, and call to it.And just like that, the wand casts its spell. Immediately, you can tell that it worked flawlessly when your target shudders and his breathing becomes noticeably more shallow. Besides that, the only evidence that you just cast a spell is the slight heat in the wand that matches the cool numbness in your arm, the wisps of smoke from the salt that was consumed … and the fact that your eyes are gleaming like stars, enough to throw light in the near total darkness. At first, you are worried about the light as you pocket the wand approach the now completely unconscious target, but once you get to work gagging and blindfolding him you are thankful for the illumination. You start to tie his arms up, but then you realize that if you do that, then you will not be able to undress him. Swearing under your breath, you start to strip him instead. You get the Spotted Cloak off of him and are in the process of unbuttoning his jerkin when he starts to regain consciousness. You strike him hard in the head with your elbows, just as your father taught you to do.
>>5125649Between your blows and the gag, you are able to keep your mark quiet as you pull off the rest of his clothes. You take everything off of him, though you leave his boots, as you will reuse the ones that you took off of the smuggler. Before you get up and leave, you take a second to switch out the ounce-nodule attached to your wand - and while Strange Staining does activate as you look at the temporarily compromised fuel source, you are pleased to note that nodule is not smothered in the white and gray and black splotches caused by the spell, indicating that this nodule is not as far gone as you thought it would be after use. With any luck, you will be able to use it again within the day. For a moment, the unpleasant work you have done here is forgotten, and all you are thinking of is the six nodules that you left behind in the Life-Loom’s workbench, the ones that were deformed or depleted, and you wonder if you will really be able to repair – and more importantly – recharge them. If you can, you should save one of the working nodules, you know, keep it as a template. Underneath you, the Leper moans piteously, drawing you back into the moment, and you kick yourself for getting distracted all because you are a little queasy about this. As you bind his feet and his hands, however, you notice that he is bleeding from underneath the gag, and you find yourself hoping that you just split his lip. Anything more than that – like getting a tooth knocked out, or Pattern’s Perdition, something internal – could be really serious for a Leper. Feeling kind of woozy yourself, you get to your feet and check the bonds in what remains of the dimming illumination from your eyes. The bonds are sound, though you cannot say the same for the body they are tied on. This Leper is rail thin, and there are these painful looking pockmark scars around his neck, armpits, and crotch. Whatever is wrong with him, it seems to either originate from or attack his lymph nodes. You can also tell that he is having a hard time breathing under the gag, even though his nose is clear. Oh, wait, was he snoring because he is congested? Is he sick? Or rather, sicker than usual? You did not think it was possible, but you feel even worse about what you have just done. You resolve to pray for this man – hopefully when the guards announce that they found the body, they will mention this Leper by name, so you know who exactly to pray for. If you get a chance, maybe you could even leave him a coin, like you are going to do at some point for Vaclav. As you leave the poor man shivering on his pad, now that your eyes have finally stopped glowing, a worrisome new thought comes to you. The smuggler – who you are pretending to be right now – killed Smil and is the subject of a substantial manhunt. He would be looking to make a clean getaway. Would the guards wonder why he took the time and the risk to leave this Leper alive?
>>5125937You think about it for about a second. You think about it as he lies there, trussed up, just like the piglet was before you muster what resolve you have left and put your foot down. It does not matter what the damned smuggler would have done – his Red Thread has run its course. This is you and your soul you are talking about here, and you know that you cannot just kill some completely defenseless Leper … not because of some needless and heedless fear that slipped into your head. Plotinus and the rest of the guards here in the Midden will want to make an end of this, not to escalate it. Besides, they cannot expect to get clear answers for all possible questions in an investigation like this. You bundle up the stolen clothes, turn and stalk away into the night, but instead of taking a weight off of your shoulders, all it does is press down harder. You are worried that all of the work you have done tonight is going to be for naught because you left him alive while at the same time, you are sick to your stomach that you seriously thought about killing him. You clutch the bundle tight to your chest, and you try to focus on the delicate matter of sneaking through the Midden. In the narrow streets between hovels and ruins, there is very little light – so little light that you almost wish your eyes were still beaming white, just a little. Obviously, you are glad that they are not, but you certainly wish you could see better. You make your way back to the Not-Temple without incident and you use the winch platform to get you and your purloined clothes back into the Belfry, to spare your socketed right arm. Once inside, you immediately head over to the workbench, where you left the cadaver, and get to work dressing him. Even though he is not stiffening yet, he is cool to the touch, so you have to move fast. Once you have dressed him – and checked to make sure that you dressed him correctly – you hustle into your room to retrieve the shards of glass and corks that you found on him, the ones that almost certainly came from one of the vials of laudanum that he was peddling. You carefully scoop them up and slide them into a pocket of your pocket jerkin, then you go over to where you dropped the swag you purloined from the Euthyphro. You fish out a little more than 150 eighth-talents, which based on the conversation that you overheard is the going price of one vial. Unfortunately, the monies from the haul are almost all in the largest denominations, so it takes some doing, finding enough the eighth-talents. You kick yourself for not doing this before reversing the decay on the Life-Loom, and you kick yourself even harder when you realize just how much time you are spending on this. Racing against the clock as you are, you decide to include some larger denomination coins. Not that large, mind you, just fourth and half-talents, but large for a Leper.
>>5126028For a moment, you consider giving him some serious money, twenty-talents. Narcotics are supposed to be a profitable trade, after all – but you decide against it, partly because this is your money, and partially because you do not want raise any more questions – such as why this smuggler was selling laudanum in Midden to Lepers at great personal risk to himself for a fraction of what he could sell it for to some “distraught” widow or something. No doubt that guards would be asking themselves that anyway, but there is no need for you to draw attention to it. It is a fair question though, and the answer that you have come to – that the smuggler was here because of your father, just leads to a lot more questions. Was this smuggler one of father’s ‘professional friends’, or … well, suffice to say that none of the other obvious answers are appealing, though you feel really conflicted about hoping that a confederate of father’s died. Not to mention that he sold drugs and murdered a Leper. After some thought, you decide to hold on to the stub-club. It is a well-made weapon, and you would feel much more comfortable about going into a fight with it than the pin-stilettoes. It will just have to be another mystery for the guards. There is something else though … the snuff box that apparently belonged to the late father of the captain of the Euthyphro. You swiped the thing just on a whim as you left the cabin with your swag, but the crier that you passed earlier specifically mentioned this thing in his spiel, with a reward for its return equal to the price on you head – one hundred twenty fraying talents, equal to a decade and three months’ worth of wages for a gravedigger. That is a life changing sum for any Imperial Subject, and even an Imperial Citizen would not scoff at that kind of money. A reward that large makes this thing dangerous, dangerous enough that you are seriously considering just giving it back – in a way that would hopefully tie the knock-over of the Euthyphro to the smuggler. Now that would definitely raise some questions too, but that crop of questions would have to lead any investigation away from the Midden. Before you make any decision though, you decide that you should investigate the thing first, to make sure that there is no other reason beyond sentimentality that it is so valuable to the captain. You unlatch the lid and take a look inside. You have no experience with tobacco, and you have never even seen snuff before, but the dark brown, finely ground powder matches the description you have in your head. It is dryer than you imagined, however. You poke around inside, looking for something, anything … but there is nothing. There is nothing in the snuff, no hidden compartment, no secrets. What etching there is on the box is not particularly ornate, and there is not even any inscription on the inside. He really must want the thing just because it reminds him of his father.
>>5126327So, then should you leave it with the Smuggler? If it would mean that no one would be looking for a piratical crossdresser after tonight, then it would be an obvious ‘yes’. Your issue is that you are not convinced that it is going to work that way – in fact, the only thing you are convinced of is that you are dawdling here. Unable to come to a decision at the moment, and acutely aware that the body is presumably stiffening up again right now, you decide instead to decide later, at the scene. Hopefully, once you get everything in position, the right answer will come to you. You snap the snuff box shut, latch it up, and then slide it into an empty pocket in your pocket jerkin. You then shovel the coins you are going to plant on him before you return to the body and drag it down the stairs to the winch-platform. Carrying the body is a real pain, especially with the needle in your right arm, but you have already decided to leave the needle in until the last possible second, so you just grimace through the pain as you move slowly and steadily through the Midden. As you do, you blink your eyes bit – which have long since adjusted back for the near darkness of the narrow streets, lit only by the moon and stars overhead. As you make your way to the palisade piecemeal, going from concealment to concealment, you find yourself reflecting on how different your experience with the wand was from your experience much earlier in the day, casting Salt-Remediation and Salt-Mitigation spells. Really, it was a complete night and day difference. With the wand, you barely felt anything – to the point that the first indication that the spell was finished was that the target spasmed when it hit. Compare that to the spells that you cast without assistance. The strain on those hit you hard, really hard. to the point that one of them made your damned nose run blood like a pump.The black boon of magical implements is the white curse of unassisted casting. You can push yourself much, much further when you are working with implements, but not only is it more dangerous because you are calling upon more magic, it is dangerous because during operation, the implement itself is the one that is being strained, not the caster – and the feedback from strain is crucial safety net. Not only does strain indicate when you are approaching, at and past your limits, when your body is under enough of it, you will just go into shock, and the spell will end. To get to a point where a fatal or even just a debilitating incident is possible with unassisted, you have to take yourself there deliberately – baring some freak cases, of course. But with implements, the painful safety of strain is not present. You can comfortably draw and draw and draw and draw no problem, then when you disconnect from the implement, you receive a fraction of the strain the device experienced, but it that fraction is still enough to be fatal.
>>5127325To your surprise, you manage to get to the palisade without running into any patrols. As you cut through the shell of a villa you do not recognize, picking your way through the debris and detritus, you reflect that while you would like to just chalk this up to white luck, you are worried that the patrols that should have been in this portion of the Midden have already discovered the Leper that you robbed … though perhaps not, as they would probably signal to the other guards with a whistle or horn, and you have not heard anything. Maybe you missed it? Oh, what if they signaled while you were in the Belfry, or fumbling on the winch platform? Would you have heard it then? You are not sure. Well, either way, you must remain on guard.Encumbered as you are making you way to wall takes a little bit of doing, as the ground around here is just the basalt bedrock ubiquitous to the Mount– it is rough and uneven under your feet. Not to mention that there is even debris and the remains of walls in the belt that the guards typically keep clear on both side of the palisade. But shortly, you manage to make it to the fence, and after checking to make sure that you are hidden from the distant street by the unexpected cover, you put the body of the smuggler down, leaning him up against the wall. You are going to give yourself just a moment to recover and plan your way up. And now that you think about it, you should make a decision about the snuff box now, because if you are going to plant it on him, then it should be on him when he falls. There is also the question of just how high you will need to take up the –From behind you, there is a roar, and less than a foot from your head, a portion of the wall explodes into splinters. As the small shards fly, you just stare at the divet in the wood dumbly, not comprehending until you hear the horn – and the shouting. Making up for lost time, you shift into a crouch and fling yourself back towards the dubious cover of the walls. Your heart pounds and your mind races as you peek out towards your assailants and your stomach drops straight into your ass when you count three guards – one with a musket, presumably the one who shot you, one with a lantern on his pike, and an officer, with the horn in one hand while the other digs at his belt for a pistol. How the Hell did this happen? You … you were so careful! Panic is setting in as the guards begin to pick their way through the ruins towards you, and you shoot a quick glance over to where the body of the smuggler is hidden. Even if they did not see it, the fact remains that you are not going to be able run away with him on your back – you will have to leave him here. Which means all of your work tonight is going to be for naught – if anything, this will bring in even more guards. As you get ready to bolt from cover before the guards get too close, you finally are able to understand what the guards are shouting. “Sty, stop!”
>>5127856Your heart skips a beat, and you actually feel as if you are going to faint for a moment before fear brings you back into the moment. It is over – it is all over. Even if you escape, even if they are not sure it is actually you – the first thing they are going to do afterwards is check on the Belfry. Maybe you could beat them back there, but you are not going to be able to hide all of the magical equipment and paraphernalia. And even if somehow you were able to hide or explain everything away, it still would not matter, because your father is missing! You are already known to the Inquisition – in fact, they might be coming for you this morning to take a statement about South Sexton. There is no way out of it now, not only are you going to have to abandon most of your father’s equipment, if you do not want to get yourself mitigated and harvested for material, you are going to have start running. Right now. And not stop for the rest of your life. The guards are going to be on top of you soon, but at the moment, the ruin of the villa is between you and them. You shift into a position to run … but as you do, the needle in your right arm tweaks you a bit, and with a dull, sick feeling, you realize that there is actually a way out of spending the rest of your life running. A way to buy you precious time to save your father’s legacy. You would still have a chance – for everything you have ever wanted or hoped or dreamed of. And all you need to do for that chance is to kill these men. Down them with Head Knocking, then slit their throats of bash their skulls in. For a split second, the face of the piglet flashes in front of your eyes – twisted in pain and terror, then twisted even further in death – and you feel yourself relenting, but you stop yourself. Instead, you force yourself to think like father, to think a man would, and not some soft, weepy woman. If you let them live, these men will be the death of you. They will not be the ones to kill you of course, unless they got preposterously lucky, but they will be the death of you all the same – unless you kill them. That is it. That is all there is to it. You need to kill them, and you need to kill them now. You feel numb and cold as you reach for your salt. You do not bother measuring out the charge, you just coat the palm of your hand and then grip the wand. It is not good for the engraving, but you have more important concerns at the moment. Specifically, your range. Casting will only work up to six yards – beyond that, you will need to overcast your spell.
>>5127897>Please choose ONE of the following:>Take this opportunity to press in as close as you can (while still remaining in cover) before line of sight is established. You will have the most opportunities to use your wand, but if anything goes wrong, the guards will be right on top of you. >Stay where you are and engage them at the overcast range of 12 yards. This option is the best for personal safety, but it presents issues with fuel – as overcast spells require 1/4 of a fuel nodule, meaning that you will only have a maximum of four casts instead of seven to spread across your three targets (as per chain casting rules) before having to reload, giving any still combat capable guards the opportunity to counter attack, and it means that if they disengage without drawing any closer, they will be out of range, and you will have to chase after them. >Stay where you are and engage them at the casting range of 6 yards. While this provides a mixture of benefits from the first two choices, it also means that the guards will have the opportunity to attack you first.
>>5127901>>Take this opportunity to press in as close as you can (while still remaining in cover) before line of sight is established. You will have the most opportunities to use your wand, but if anything goes wrong, the guards will be right on top of you.Wand success probabilities are large enough that we want to achieve the most hits possible with least fuel required
>>5127901>Take this opportunity to press in as close as you can (while still remaining in cover) before line of sight is established. You will have the most opportunities to use your wand, but if anything goes wrong, the guards will be right on top of you. ...I think this is best, less chance of them getting away, no second degree strangeness, we initiate, high chance of success, have spare casts for a second turn though they will basically be on top of us. Though I may be misunderstanding the way the wand of headknocking works.
>>5127901>Take this opportunity to press in as close as you can (while still remaining in cover) before line of sight is established. You will have the most opportunities to use your wand, but if anything goes wrong, the guards will be right on top of you.
>>5127901>>Take this opportunity to press in as close as you can (while still remaining in cover) before line of sight is established. You will have the most opportunities to use your wand, but if anything goes wrong, the guards will be right on top of you.The Patternmaker sees fit that once Chlot is given the power to fight that she must fight
>>5127901>>Stay where you are and engage them at the casting range of 6 yards. While this provides a mixture of benefits from the first two choices, it also means that the guards will have the opportunity to attack you first.
>>5127901>Take this opportunity to press in as close as you can (while still remaining in cover) before line of sight is established. You will have the most opportunities to use your wand, but if anything goes wrong, the guards will be right on top of you. Welp. Here we go
Alright, almost unanimous for getting in close. Now, everyone hold on, cause things are going to get Strange.
You need to move - get as close as you can while still remaining in cover, to give you the chance to get multiple casts off without resorting to overcasting. As you break cover, fearing a musket ball, you instinctively bring an arm up in front of your face and close your eyes, but as soon as you realize what you are doing, you force your eyes open and arm down. As terrifying as it might be, you have to look – and you cannot let whatever you may see break your nerve. Blessedly, all you see for the moment is wall, as the guardsmen are blocked from sight by the shell of the villa. Your feet fly over the basalt as your eyes settle on your destination – a free-standing portion of the outermost wall of the villa. Between the wall and raised foundation, you are certain that it will provide the most possible protection out of all of the available cover. You are moving so quickly that you actually run straight into the wall, but you are able to keep your feet – and more importantly, keep the wand in your hand. Taking this last opportunity to prepare, you pull the stub-club out of your Spotted Cloak. If the guards do manage to close on you, you will want the weapon at hand, ready to go. Luckily, the piece of wall you are hunkered behind was built on top of a raised foundation, which juts out a little bit underneath the wall – forming a crude shelf. You rest the club there as you also reach into your pockets to withdraw two more fuel-nodules to hold in your left hand at the ready. You peek out of your new cover and suck your breath in as you get a good look at the trio of guards clanking and clattering their way through the empty interior of the stone shell. By your best guess, they going to cross the outer limit of the overcast range any second now. But when you realize that they are running towards the piece of wall that you originally dove for after first being shot at, you realize that you have enough of the advantage here that you should actually be able to pull this off. Considering your purpose here, you have conflicting feelings about that thought, but before you even start to articulate them, much less tell yourself to pull your head out of your ass and get ready, you are distracted by the stub-club starting to slowly roll towards the edge of its improvised shelf. As you glance down while you push it back into place, you realize that you are moving slowly as well, and when you look out at the guards, somehow … they are running slowly.Before you are able to even try to make sense of this, you are hit with this inexplicable feeling of vertigo as you look out at the incomprehensible scene, then instantaneously every strand of hair on your body tries to stand on its end and there is this undeniable feeling that you are being watched from above.Reflexively, you look up. Understanding dawns, while your heart skips another beat as you can feel your face slowly and steadily twists in terror under your lead-lined mask.
>>5130319The clouds that darkened this night are gone. As is the moon. As is the night sky itself – replaced with something closer to shiny, shifting oil. There are no stars anymore either, save for one – the Lodestar. At least three times larger than the sun and sitting much higher in the sky, though it does nothing to illuminate the world below as it gleams angrily down at you, with long undulating tendrils of light emanating from it.The Lodestar is not just the Keystone of the Firmament – which you suddenly realize is what appears to be the oil that has replaced the night sky – it is the lens from which the Patternmaker scries into the Realms of Flesh. Right now, He is using it to look directly at you. Perhaps at the guards as well, but all you know for a fact is that He is looking at you.And where His gaze falls, Judgement comes.Earlier, after that Leper appeared from nowhere to witness you attempting to enter the tunnel out of the Midden hidden in the dried up well, you were worried that he had been sent there as a form of Retribution for you refusing to even attempt a Trial that had been laid out for you – saving the Coroners and whoever else they came in contact with from the ravages of the Strangeness … and the Inquisition. And after that, when the Dressmaker Hortingea, in a bid to get you to accept charity, spoke kind and gentle words about the responsibility of those with lighter burdens to help the deserving with heavier burdens – in effect castigating you for your dereliction, you feared even the idea that perhaps the Patternmaker was directly eying your Red Thread for Judgement through Trials. Or that he was directly implementing Retribution on you for daring to ignore His challenge.But by its inherent nature, the Great Pattern is subtle enough that the appearance of the Leper and the words of Hortingea could have just been black luck and coincidence. Without even articulating it, you let yourself believe that – doing everything you could to push the thought of a failed Trial and Retribution from your head. Things have been so hard, and you have been so deep over your head, but surely, all your problems were just … problems of this world. But now, you can plainly see that this is not the case – and that is putting it mildly. Still, more terrifying than the thought of having your Red Thread examined by the Maker right after having failed Him, is that by throwing back the curtain like this, He wants you to know that He is watching you, and that at least some of what has happened to you is caused by His direct intervention.Wondering how you could have ever attracted His attention in the first place, you are just about to try to fling yourself to the ground and start praying, guards or no guards, when you notice that one of the tendrils of light from the Lodestar is stretching longer and glowing much brighter than others.
>>5130322As you watch, the tip of the tendril pushes through a spot in the Firmament, and the shifting and swirling in that portion begins to get noticeably more agitated. Soon you can actually feel the immeasurable power of the Patternmaker flow through the Firmament, similar to how you can feel father’s casting if you are close enough and the spells were of a sufficient intensity. He is changing something in the Pattern – and for you to feel it, then that means whatever the change is, it is either a radical divergence from the existing Forms around you, or it is a change directly on your Form. It is even possible that it could be both, a small change to you and everything around you. That would be preferable, because if all of this power was just used on your Form, then that would mean that it was some massive, life-changing alteration – and you intuitively know that any Transformation that you put through here is not going to be an improvement, it will be an act of Retribution. A punishment.As suddenly as it started, the tendril withdraws – His work, whatever exactly it was, completed. You do not feel any different, but the change might be so subtle that you it will not be immediately obvious. You instinctively move to pat yourself down, and even though you stop yourself before you risk dropping the wand of the nodules, you notice that you are able to move a hair faster than before – presumably whatever effect the Revelation of the Patternmaker has had on the flow of time is coming to an end.As you do, you inadvertently glance out of cover, and your heart skips its third beat tonight. Like the previous Retributions you have faced, this one has a distinctly mocking quality to it – but this one has teeth as well.There are now four guards. And you have gotten in as close as you can … with a wand that can cast on a maximum of three targets at a time. You are completely numb – for all intents and purposes, you are in a state of shock. There is no way that you managed to overlook him, none. More than that, you intuitively know that this is not some guard that was running behind the original three, that the Patternmaker moved up with the rest of them. No … no. The Patternmaker made a fourth man, dressed and armored him, put a pike in his hand, and filled his head with memories of a guard’s life that he did not live – that no one lived. He must have given the other guards false memories too because the new guard is in front of two of them, and they are not reacting in any way. With the way the Forms work, it is possible that hundreds of people have memories of this man now. In fact, that could have been why you could feel the Patternmaker’s power. Not because he was changing you, but because he was holding you constant as he changed the rest of the Firmament. If you did not remember that there were originally just three guards before you ran in, then this would not be Retribution, it would just be a terrible decision.
>>5130325But whether this was a mistake or retribution, or whether you have true memories or not, either way, what can you possibly do now? Even if you were to try to hide from them instead of fight, the moment they pass the wall, they will see you, and you will have lost both all of the advantage offered by surprise and cover, and probably the initiative as well. So that’s no good. You get a full body chill as you realize that you still are going to have to fight – and with more targets than your wand can deal with in one chained cast, that means you are going to have to accept that even in the best-case scenario, where all of the casts land, and you knock all three of them out, one of the guards is going to have an opportunity to counterattack. It suddenly occurs to you that this must be part of a new Trial you are facing here. You need to figure out which three of the four guards are the biggest threat, and hit them with the wand first, then overcome the remaining guard, as well as any of the first three that were not completely downed with your wand, if you can, and your weapons, if you must. But which three do you hit first?>Write-in your three targets. Indicate the one that you think is the most dangerous; they will receive three casts of Head Knocking, while the others will just receive two.
>>5130322It is scenes like this that make me want to become a god-fearing person...Well, perhaps not, I'm not sure how to convey how I feel.>>5130325What in the f->>5130326I swear that if we get out of this alive I will vote in every capacity to pursue goodness no matter the cost, not from the moment we hypothetically escape with all the workbenches intact and our father's notes, our misbegotten wealth, and our life, but from the very next moment after we maybe escape this encounter, in fact I don't think we should steal at all, I think we should just work to restrict the spread of Strangeness from the coroners and whatever else is going on in this city.I'm sorry anons, I'll vote how to kill these men, but after that if you want to be pragmatic you'll be doing it without me. It was a mistake to go against god.>The new Fourth guard that is armoured and has a pike, the guard with a lantern on his pike, and the officer with a horn in one hand and a pistol in the other. The officer is most dangerous.My reasoning is the fourth new guard is specifically called out as being armoured, the officer is likely a better fighter, more disciplined and can coordinate his men to be more effective and has a ranged weapon that can be maneuvered in close-quarters and can call more guards, the lantern-pike guard because I'm hoping if he falls the lantern will sputter out - it is a thin hope but perhaps possible - but also I am targeting those with polearms because they have good ranged and are versatile and deadly weapons and most importantly to me, they have a higher rate of attack than firearms of this era. The musket guy may still be reloading and doesn't seem to have a melee weapon in his hand. I think going after what I perceive to be the most vulnerable guard is the most efficient so as to be able to finished off the hopefully stunned remaining guards quicker afterwards. Going after say, the armoured pike guard as the only unstunned one may take so long as to allow the other guards to get back in the fight, hence going "weakest" to strongest is best in my opinion.
>>5130354Supporting this well reasoned plan.Also. WTFLOLGOD pic related.
>>5130354Point of clarification about the armor - all guards are issued singular cuirasses* and helmets. The 'new arrival' is not any more or any less armored then the others. *which replaced segmented curasses - Lorica Segmentata - from the early history of the Empire. Pic related.
>>5130326The Officer is the most dangerous, then the two guys with a pike. The guard with a musket has to reload so leave him for the last.
>>5130326>when you realize there is a God, and that he hates youI knew we should've tried to mitigate the Corners when offered the choice. I'll vote to pursue mitigating the Corners of it isn't Patternmaker TM (autisticly hard).>Armored lad was created specifically to fuck us over, it stand to reason that he's the most dangerous. Officer and Pike dude get secondary priority, leave the musketeer for us to deal with personally.
>>5130354Support. We should aim to incapacitate. Tie them up or whatever. God is fucking watching!!
>>5130496Does that not beat the point of fighting these men? We’re here to kill anon, not run.
>>5130605the point is to buy us time to grab daddies stuff before running. After the musket ball fuckup we'll soon have the inquisition on our heels and there are some strong hints that the whole city will go to shit very soon. There is no fixing this, this was only ever about time.
>>5130496>>5130774same anon btw, don't want to appear to samefag.
>>5130774Dead guards can't tell people what they saw, and it would be pretty easy to adjust things to make it look like the Smuggler got caught by the guards, though I do think at this point is probably in the noise and we're planning on leaving ASAP.