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For aeons, your lineage ruled the surface world. Your reign was so long that none can say when it started, or how many phases of mystical and technological advancement rose and fell, laying geological strata one over another in layers upon layers of glorious history. Slit pupils watched as gods and kings rose and fell, and the world was shaped to your will. It was not an age of reptiles, but rather multiple ages, such as to make the briefness of the current mammalian reign look like a single flicker of your nictating membrane.

And in that era, that bygone Age of Scales, even kings had kings… The Dragons.

A dragon is no mere overgrown lizard, no treasure-hoarding kidnapper of princesses, as the surface-filth slander them. They were titanic, almost divine—demigodly philosopher kings who blacked out stars with their wingspans and rose over mountains in their majesties. They were wise beyond wisdom, powerful beyond comprehension, totally complete in their dominance. They were kings of the world not by some genealogical dictate, or even by the whims of fate or the weight of pooling battle-blood. They ruled as by default, by self-evident right, by their very nature. To be Dragon IS to be a lord of creation itself.

But the Age of Scales, the Age of Dragons, has passed into myth, legend, and nightmare, and beyond even that remembrance and into the simple, toothless fable which mammals tell their whelps to bring comfort instead of righteous fear. They have forgotten the sight and sound of the ones who once towered over their tallest citadels, shaming their wisest mages and extracting tribute from their fiercest warlords. They no longer remember the Fearsome Presence…

But you will remind them. You are their scion, their legacy made flesh!

Deep beneath the earth, you were hatched: a reptilian champion born from the Fleshweavers’ best efforts to bring forth those lingering dragons of dragonfire in the blood of the Reptilian Nobility, and to thus revive the great kings of old. In many ways, they succeeded—though you are yet young, you loom over most adult males. Your recessive traits have been brought to the fore, granting you a noble and draconic visage and wicked talons meant to crush the morale of foes and rip their tattered pride from their bleeding backs. Your skin is armour, your breath the primordial eruption of a volcano. Even those in the Serpent Priesthood, highest-honoured of your noble Master Race, struggle to hold your gaze.

You were trained from birth for a purpose: to rally the faithful, the loyal, the scattered nations of scalykind; to remind the mammals of the past which shall be future; to carry the banner of the Dark Gods Below and Beyond! Where the hairy, degenerate races of the surface put their faith in their weak and puny ‘Gods of Light’ and their pathetic ‘Paladins’, the Master Race puts its faith in you!

You are a DRAGONBORN ANTIPALADIN!
>>
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>>5265023
You awake as you always do from your deep torpor, emerging from the blackness of rest into the blackness of the World Below. Here, you have spent your entire life. Reptilian Infiltrators are deployed from such places, glimpse the stolen world above or inhabit it in false guises… But Amulets of Disguise can only do so much, and your prestigious birth has made it so that there is no inconspicuous way to hide your draconic glory, and very places you can infiltrate. It is a wondrous, enviable thing… Or so you are told.

In truth, if you dreamed, you suspect you would dream on sunlight, and the breeze, and of food beyond greyish meet and brackish mushrooms harvested from underground bogs.

Well, all things in due time, when the stars are right and the Great Design provides for them. For now, you do as you always do:

>You attend the chapel, and say your prayers to the Dark Gods [Specialization: Dark Templar]
+1 Religion, +1 Willpower, a skill tree involving smiting infidels and demons and healing
>You head to the fighting pits, to hone your skills in private before the rabble enter [Specialization: Black Knight]
+1 Melee, +1 Intimidation, a skill tree involving brutal oppression and resilience to rebellion
>You get some food and drink, and pass by the breeding pits to ogle the flesh therein [Specialization: Blackguard]
+1 Stealth, +1 Persuasion, a skill tree involving underhanded diplomacy and backstabbing
>You study the old tomes of past glory, in history and tactics, and dream of your first battle [Specialization: Warlord]
+1 Leadership, +1 History, a skill-tree involving rallying forces and commanding battles
>You pay a visit to your oldest friend, and perhaps the only being here who understands you [Specialization: Dragon Shaman]
+1 Spellcraft, +1 Reptilian Empathy, a skill-tree involving connecting with your roots and becoming the dragon you were meant to be
>Write-in [may veto if implausible]
???
[Keep in mind: your heritage has already granted you a bonus to melee combat, athleticism, intimidation, and fire-breath]
>>
>>5265024
>You get some food and drink, and pass by the breeding pits to ogle the flesh therein [Specialization: Blackguard]

I'd find it really funny if we were a dragonborn who was devoted to intrigue rather than bashing people's face in.
>>
>>5265024
>You pay a visit to your oldest friend, and perhaps the only being here who understands you [Specialization: Dragon Shaman]
I'd go in for Black Knight if others like that better, though.
>>
>>5265024
>You get some food and drink, and pass by the breeding pits to ogle the flesh therein [Specialization: Blackguard]
An empire ruled by the fist is an empire made of glass!!!
>>
>>5265024
>You get some food and drink, and pass by the breeding pit to oggle at the flesh there[Specialization: Blackguard]
rallying all the reptiles in secret before taking over the world sounds fun
>>
>>5265024
>>You attend the chapel, and say your prayers to the Dark Gods [Specialization: Dark Templar]
>>
>>5265024
>You attend the chapel, and say your prayers to the Dark Gods [Specialization: Dark Templar]

Rally the faithful, smite the infidels, soothe the wounded zealots, bring forth the Great Design!
>>
>>5265024
>You attend the chapel, and say your prayers to the Dark Gods [Specialization: Dark Templar]
>>
>>5265038
>You attend the chapel, and say your prayers to the Dark Gods [Specialization: Dark Templar]
Swapping my vote to counteract the diplomancer menace.
>>
>>5265024
>>You pay a visit to your oldest friend, and perhaps the only being here who understands you [Specialization: Dragon Shaman]
>>
>>5265071
Come back to Shaman, you know you want to.
>>
I would switch to Shaman if it means dark Templar doesn't win. Templar's my least favorite option to be honest. I'll change my vote to both.

>You get some food and drink, and pass by the breeding pits to ogle the flesh therein [Specialization: Blackguard]

>You pay a visit to your oldest friend, and perhaps the only being here who understands you [Specialization: Dragon Shaman]
>>
>>5265081
I mean, I do want to...

>>5265071
>You pay a visit to your oldest friend, and perhaps the only being here who understands you [Specialization: Dragon Shaman]
>>
>>5265024
Actually, I'll change my vote to Dragon Shaman, I had a change of heart. Though I may change back since I don't want blackguard to win as it seems too similar to the previous quest.

>You pay a visit to your oldest friend, and perhaps the only being here who understands you [Specialization: Dragon Shaman]
>>
>>5265024
>>You study the old tomes of past glory, in history and tactics, and dream of your first battle [Specialization: Warlord]
>>
>>5265024
>You pay a visit to your oldest friend, and perhaps the only being here who understands you [Specialization: Dragon Shaman
>>
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Blackguard
>>5265035
>>5265039
>>5265041
>>5265084 (multiclass)

Dragon Shaman
>>5265080
>>5265084 (multiclass)
>>5265113
>>5265118
>>5265157

Dark Templar
>>5265043
>>5265052
>>5265070

Warlord
>>5265126

[Locking for Dragon Shaman, but you may multiclass someday.]
>>
>>5265024
>You pay a visit to your oldest friend, and perhaps the only being here who understands you [Specialization: Dragon Shaman]
>>
>>5265190
Dragon Shaman chads stay winning!
>>
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>>5265190

You pay a visit to your oldest friend, and perhaps the only being here who understands you: the OTHER Dragonborn, the first of your number.

In truth, there are thus far only the two of you, and (to your knowledge) no other true dragons. Some Reptilian clans claim descent from the Red Dragon of old, sovereign of the Bloodrise Mountains—it is from such a lineage that you derive your own claim to draconic greatness—but most have little to show for it but red scales, bony scutes, and a massive ego worthy of being second only to the Serpent Priests. However, the other Dragonborn is something else… Something greater, something indeed OTHER. As Reptilians are to kobolds, and lizardmen, this Dragonborn is to them! Perhaps, for now, even to you.

“Frrrriend…”

The voice rumbles through the corridors like an earthquake, shaking the very stones as your old friend—almost a big brother—senses your approach. You feel the usual swell of pride at being called such, for no other bears such an honour. But then, you are kin to the Great One in a way none of them are, for though you descend from different draconic lineages—he is scion to The Great Green Dragon who once rules forests and plains—you are unique specimens of true, natural royalty.

“FRIEND! I KNNNEW! ISSS YOU!”

The declaration is such a powerful boom that the sound—and the accompanying waft of acidic, forge-hot breath—nearly knocks you off your feet. You plant them, braving the welcome which always accompanies your visits to The Great One’s chamber. There, The Great Green Dragon’s sole living heir reclines in a natural repose on a well-worn outcropping carved into the stone, replete with finely-detailed carvings depicted conquests past and victories yet to come. Silkscale females, the most sinuous and subtle of the sex and species, attend to their glorious guest’s every need, bringing him fresh flesh-on-the-bone.

>Blackguard second-place finish has gifted (and cursed) you with Appetite

You eye the harem and the ham-hocks alike with great hunger, catching a few intrigued glances back but far more flickers of fear and hastily-averted eyes. These females are, of course, all the sole possession of The Great One… For all the good it will do him. You look up and up his body, to the gleaming grin and shining yellow eyes of The Green Dragonborn—that which some would call the only TRUE Dragonborn, until such time as his clutch of younger siblings hatch until the careful ministrations of the Fleshweavers who created you all. You may be a mighty marvel, but the Green Dragonborn is a mountainous miracle, easily three times your height and at least six or seven times your weight, with massive, powerful wings and a true aura of Fearsome Presence that once shook even your bones.

Which is to say, he couldn’t mate with one of the females here even if both he and they were in season—not without utterly destroying her in the process. A pitiable waste.
>>
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>>5265228
>>5265194
>>5265198

“Yes,” you reply to your elder brother, “it is me. Your friend, Great One.”

“Hrrrr,” the Great One purrs happily, partly in reply to you and partly in response to one of his ‘mates’ wielding a great, bristly implement to clean his back. “You come to com-mune?”

The simplistic, stuttering speech of The Great One troubles some, you know, who see it as a sign of some mental deformity—something to eliminate in successive generations of The Dragonborn Project…

>Reptilian Empathy

But you and he, you understand each other on a deeper level, beyond the need for the medium of speech. In body language, in his aura. You have the gift of a king’s deep understanding of his real’s subjects, and a king’s command. Like The Great One, you can commune with reptiles great and small to varying degrees, taming or influencing them with your will, without the need for language. In your meditations with one another, you strengthen this aura, such that you are able to, with a grunt and a turn of your head, beckon one of the females to you. She brings you a glass of still-warm mammal-blood to warm your gullet, and settles upon your lap to warm you otherwise while you and The Great One discuss without discussing.

In these communion with your older brother, it is not just your Reptilian Empathy which you strengthen, but your command of the elements. Over the last few months, you have found your souls settling upon a deep commonality between the two of you—a hidden truth at the heart of what it is to be Dragon, hidden in your blood.

It is…
>Tooth & Scale: A dragon is strong, inside and out, and resilient against all things, and when you wield your magecraft you can give yourself (or a touched ally) that same resilience against physical and elemental forces for a short time; hardened claws and teeth can penetrate weak defences more easily, also
>Fire: A dragon’s flame is its essence, the core of what it is to be Dragon, even more than the body; your firebreath is always at your disposal, so long as you are fed and rested, but you can wield flames as more than just a huff and puff, instead hurling long-distance fireballs or setting a weapon (yours or an ally’s) ablaze for a brief period
>Wings: You are without wings, but you can feel the potential for them within you… Waiting to take you high, to view the world from the pinnacle of a creation as a true Dragon king must; you can grant yourself the ability to leap, soar, and maybe one day even to truly fly high above everything that is on natural wings
>Write-in [Must be reasonable, may be modified]
>>
>>5265233
>Fire: A dragon’s flame is its essence, the core of what it is to be Dragon, even more than the body; your firebreath is always at your disposal, so long as you are fed and rested, but you can wield flames as more than just a huff and puff, instead hurling long-distance fireballs or setting a weapon (yours or an ally’s) ablaze for a brief period
>>
>>5265190
>just saw this pop up
>already locked on Dragon Shaman
Welcome back RQM, I see you’re already blitzing though this vote.

>>5265024
>You get some food and drink, and pass by the breeding pits to ogle the flesh therein [Specialization: Blackguard]
If it even matters. This is mainly for the persuasion, though becoming a Dragonborn Robin Hood would be quite amusing. Shame anons almost universally ignored Warlord, Dragonborn Hannibal would’ve been fucking balling to play as.

Guess I just got to embrace the Cheeselife then…
>>
>>5265233
>Wings: You are without wings, but you can feel the potential for them within you… Waiting to take you high, to view the world from the pinnacle of a creation as a true Dragon king must; you can grant yourself the ability to leap, soar, and maybe one day even to truly fly high above everything that is on natural wings

All true dragon-kin must fly!
>>
>>5265237
>Welcome back RQM, I see you’re already blitzing though this vote.
[Needed the distraction. That said, while I wanted to get a speedy start to the action, don't expect every vote to be this fast. One or two a day is probably all I have in me, and unlike last quest, one may be the norm.]

>If it even matters
[Blackguard's second place and the multiclass possibility may be a boon to you, then. We'll see!]
>>
>>5265233
>updates in the middle of me writing my post
Lol
>Fire: A dragon’s flame is its essence, the core of what it is to be Dragon, even more than the body; your firebreath is always at your disposal, so long as you are fed and rested, but you can wield flames as more than just a huff and puff, instead hurling long-distance fireballs or setting a weapon (yours or an ally’s) ablaze for a brief period
Become Dragonborn Zuko, eventually learn how to redirect lightning. Having a latent flying ability would be kino, but naturally controlling fire sounds more awesome.

>>5265244
Itching to get to the action already? This will certainly be interesting.
>>
>>5265233
>Fire: A dragon’s flame is its essence, the core of what it is to be Dragon, even more than the body; your firebreath is always at your disposal, so long as you are fed and rested, but you can wield flames as more than just a huff and puff, instead hurling long-distance fireballs or setting a weapon (yours or an ally’s) ablaze for a brief period


Should I check out reptilian infiltrator? I kinda gave up on it after the whole becoming a prostitute thing.
>>
>>5265274
Do it. Focus on the quest though, avoid the autism.
>>
>>5265233
>Wings: You are without wings, but you can feel the potential for them within you… Waiting to take you high, to view the world from the pinnacle of a creation as a true Dragon king must; you can grant yourself the ability to leap, soar, and maybe one day even to truly fly high above everything that is on natural wings
>>
>>5265233
>>Wings: You are without wings, but you can feel the potential for them within you… Waiting to take you high, to view the world from the pinnacle of a creation as a true Dragon king must; you can grant yourself the ability to leap, soar, and maybe one day even to truly fly high above everything that is on natural wings
>>
>>5265233
>>Wings: You are without wings, but you can feel the potential for them within you… Waiting to take you high, to view the world from the pinnacle of a creation as a true Dragon king must; you can grant yourself the ability to leap, soar, and maybe one day even to truly fly high above everything that is on natural wings
>>
>>5265233
>Fire: A dragon’s flame is its essence, the core of what it is to be Dragon, even more than the body; your firebreath is always at your disposal, so long as you are fed and rested, but you can wield flames as more than just a huff and puff, instead hurling long-distance fireballs or setting a weapon (yours or an ally’s) ablaze for a brief period
>>
>>5265233
>>Fire: A dragon’s flame is its essence, the core of what it is to be Dragon, even more than the body; your firebreath is always at your disposal, so long as you are fed and rested, but you can wield flames as more than just a huff and puff, instead hurling long-distance fireballs or setting a weapon (yours or an ally’s) ablaze for a brief period
>>
>>5265233
>>Wings: You are without wings, but you can feel the potential for them within you… Waiting to take you high, to view the world from the pinnacle of a creation as a true Dragon king must; you can grant yourself the ability to leap, soar, and maybe one day even to truly fly high above everything that is on natural wings
>>
[We have a tie game! I'll hold the vote open until tonight, when I'll for it if we're still tied.]
>>
>>5265233
>>Wings: You are without wings, but you can feel the potential for them within you… Waiting to take you high, to view the world from the pinnacle of a creation as a true Dragon king must; you can grant yourself the ability to leap, soar, and maybe one day even to truly fly high above everything that is on natural wings
We're destined to stand at the top, let's make it literal
>>
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DRAGON SHAMAN CHADS TAKE THE DUB
>Wings
mfw ppl saw picrel, (maybe) read the quest & thought "yes, this is a rogue build"
>>
>>5265236
>>5265238
>>5265250
>>5265274
>>5265346
>>5265388
>>5265452
>>5265554
>>5265561
>>5265649
>>5265676
>>5265690
You slide your nictitating membrane shut, clench your jaw, and focus—FOCUS. You can just about make out the shape of them, of wings, YOUR wings, your ancestors’ wings, the platonic IDEAL of wings. They are tremendous, majestic, the mark of true Royalty! If you could only master and manifest them, they would truly be the the one mark of nobility which no mere Reptilian could match, nor deny…

“Somehow I knew that I would find you here, False Dragonborn.”

…Not even a Reptilian like this one.

You exhale slowly, standing up and sending the Silkscale female tumbling from your lap with nary a thought. It hardly matters anyway—she is not in heat, nor are you, so the exercise in dominance was hardly going to go any further. You even attempt to explain as much, but this newest female to enter the chamber is having none of it… And, as a daughter of a Serpent Priest, she has no obligation to defer to you.
>>
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>>5265752
“A likely story, but who knows what perversion your mammalian blood enables,” she mocks you, “oh Dragonborn Degenerate.”

When you were younger, smaller, such jibes were not uncommon. As with all creations of the Fleshweavers’ Dragonborn Project, your Reptilian and Draconic bloodlines were enmeshed together with the curiously-plastic materials harvested from surface-mammals, such as the ‘humans’. This technically makes you, and perhaps even The Green Dragonborn, what your people term ‘Degenerates’: Reptilian-human hybrids. There are still elders (and even those of your generation) who view the creation of such beings as heretical, unnatural, and affront to the Dark Gods Below and Beyond. As the Green Dragonborn grew in magnificence, it became difficult for those voices of protest to be heard over the veneration of the hopeful and worshipful, and they turns their scorn upon you instead—smaller, weaker, wingless, and with the stigmatic mane of hair which shamefully sprouts from your scalp behind a crown of thorny, horn-like scutes.

You look down at one such bully now. This female, with her lithe and snake-like form, her long neck, bluish skin, and dark black eyes, bears all the marks of that highest caste among the Reptilian Master Race: a Serpent Priest. To them, even you and the Great One must defer. And yet… She is female, and thus (naturally) inferior to a male of her subrace. Despite this, she has never been shy about her harassment of you—not even when you hit your growth spurt and began to put the Fearsome Presence into your other youthful tormentors. She seems fearless in many ways, you note, even to the point of wearing the red-and-red hooded cloak of a Fleshweaver’s novice apprentice—a venerated, all-MALE profession among the Serpent Priests—despite her youth and sex. You have heard that

“What do you want?” you ask.

“I am merely observing you as you overcompensate,” the Novice says smoothly, “so I may determine how to avoid such deviance and deformity when I am part of the Dragonborn Project myself, oh False One.”

How do you reply?
>“Please do not call me that, Serpent Priestess. You know I do not like it.” [deference]
>“Bold words from a crossdresser with delusions of grandeur.” [vitriol]
>“Perhaps you are merely waiting for me to call YOU to sit upon my lap instead?” [flirtation]
>Say nothing, and return to your meditations—you won’t let her goad you again [stoicism]
>>
>>5265760
>“Perhaps you are merely waiting for me to call YOU to sit upon my lap instead?” [flirtation]
>>
>>5265760
>Say nothing, and return to your meditations—you won’t let her goad you again [stoicism]

Based Shaman chad.
>>
>>5265760
>“Perhaps you are merely waiting for me to call YOU to sit upon my lap instead?” [flirtation]
>>
>>5265760
will support either
>“Bold words from a crossdresser with delusions of grandeur.” [vitriol]
or
>Say nothing, and return to your meditations—you won’t let her goad you again [stoicism]
>>
>>5265760

>>“Please do not call me that, Serpent Priestess. You know I do not like it.” [deference]
>>
>>5265760
>“Please do not call me that, Serpent Priestess. You know I do not like it.” [deference]
>>
>>5265760
I'll switch to this stoicism is for pussies

>“Perhaps you are merely waiting for me to call YOU to sit upon my lap instead?” [flirtation]

>“Please do not call me that, Serpent Priestess. You know I do not like it.” [deference]
>>
>>5265760
>>Say nothing, and return to your meditations—you won’t let her goad you again [stoicism]
begone
>>
>>5265760
>“Perhaps you are merely waiting for me to call YOU to sit upon my lap instead?” [flirtation]
>>
>>5265760
>“Perhaps you are merely waiting for me to call YOU to sit upon my lap instead?” [flirtation]

Can’t really phantom why you would still have a keen interest with me after all these years, Serpent Priestess, other than desire. How quite… mammalian.
>>
>>5265848
+1
Coomers begone.

>>5265914
>I'll switch to this stoicism is for pussies
>Chooses the cucked option
???
>>
>>5265760
>“Bold words from a crossdresser with delusions of grandeur.” [vitriol]
>>
>>5265975
It's easier to fool someone than to convince them they have been fooled. Such is the life of a cuck.
>>
>>5265975
Hey, I just switched to deference because it looked like it was going to be in second place. I just don’t want stoicism to win. Every stoic character I’ve seen has always turned out to be a mute pussy that’s not fun to play. I’d be fine if vitriol won too.
>>
>>5265760
>She seems fearless in many ways, you note, even to the point of wearing the red-and-red hooded cloak of a Fleshweaver’s novice apprentice—a venerated, all-MALE profession among the Serpent Priests—despite her youth and sex. You have heard that

What is it we've heard?

>“Bold words from a crossdresser with delusions of grandeur.” [vitriol]
>>
>>5265989
>deference, humiliating yourself in front of an egotistical bitch
>not mute pussy
KEK
Besides, RQM would find a way to make even someone like (You) fun to play as, delusional cuck or not.
>>
>>Say nothing, and return to your meditations—you won’t let her goad you again [stoicism].

Ignore delusional thots obtain spiritual gains.
>>
I’ll change my vote to this

>Vitriol
>Flirtation
>>
>>5266087
>What is it we've heard?
[Oops]

>>5265760
You have heard that she, through a combination of her father's prestige and her own ambition and unconventional theorizing, she has made quite the impression among the other initiates.
>>
>>5266184
She’s a nepotism baby?
>>
>>5265760
>>5265768

>“Bold words from a crossdresser with delusions of grandeur.” [vitriol]

Since RepQM is here I guess they want to update so in the interest of that I’ll break the tie.
>>
>>5265760
>“Perhaps you are merely waiting for me to call YOU to sit upon my lap instead?” [flirtation]
lol, look at all these incels thinking flirting with the bitch means cooming. This will clearly infuriate her instead of seducing her.
>>
>>5265760
>Say nothing, and return to your meditations—you won’t let her goad you again [stoicism]
or
>“Bold words from a crossdresser with delusions of grandeur.” [vitriol]
>>
>>5266197
In a caste system, everyone is. It's just a matter of if that nepotism is genetically justifiable.
>>
>>5266203
[I'm still at work. I was just checking in.]
>>
>>5265760
>“Perhaps you are merely waiting for me to call YOU to sit upon my lap instead?” [flirtation]
>>
>>5266232
Nevermind then. Back to flirting.
>“Perhaps you are merely waiting for me to call YOU to sit upon my lap instead?” [flirtation]
>>
>>5266203
Bold of you believe that anons aren't looking forward to getting their tails inside whatever lizard equivalent of her glory hole.
>>
>>5266319
>>5266313
>>5266228
>>5266211
>>5266167
>>5266163
>>5266087
>>5265979
>>5265948
>>5265930
>>5265928
>>5265909
>>5265875
>>5265848
>>5265768
>>5265764
>>5265762
"Bold words," you say, "from a crossdresser with delusions of grandeur."

The Novice stares for a moment, surprised at the quick retort and at your calm demeanour. Then, her tail whips the ground with a crack and thump, as if bracing for battle, and she lifts her elegant head high above her shoulders in regal posture, eyes narrowed imperiously.

"Oh?" The Novice shoots back. "Are these the fabled flames of the Dragonborn which now sear me? They are tepid at best."

You shrug, unbothered, and say: "You seem a touch deviant yourself. You are almost mammalian yourself, in your obsession, oh Superior One. After all, I truly cannot fathom why you still trouble me after all these years if you AREN'T interested in me in some 'perverse' fashion. Why do you linger here?”

“A professional curiosity for the morbid and deformed,” she sneers.

“Or perhaps you’re simply hoping I will invite YOU into my lap next?”

You sit back down, and the Novice rears back, shocked and affronted at the implication.

“Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?’ she taunts, though you sense a degree of admiration for how well you have conducted yourself in this exchange.

“I live to serve the Serpent Priesthood,” you reply, as stoic as ever, the blade of your irony hidden in a sheathe of deadpan delivery and obviously-insincere deference.

The Green Dragonborn chortles, delighted by the exchange, while the Novice quietly seethes, unable to summon a snappy rejoinder.

“Now, if there is nothing else I can help with…”

You close your eyes, preparing to resume your meditations.

“Actually…”

You sigh in annoyance as your childhood ‘companion’ speaks up once more. You are about ready to risk her father’s displeasure by outright telling her to begone, when her next words stop you short.

“…My father has issued a summons for you, oh Witty One.”

“The Chaplain summons me?” you ask, startled. You can’t imagine what you’d have done to warrant either reprimand or commendation—you have been keeping to yourself in your elder brother’s sanctum, for the most part. Did he hear of your peeking-in at the breeding pits last week?

“It’s about a mission,” The Novice whispers, drawing close so as not to be overheard. “A mission on the surface.

[Flirtation had only a slight lead over stoicism and vitriol, so I endeavoured to reflect them all in the exchange. More to come when I get home!]
>>
>Everything but deference
Alpha as fuck. Take that, cuck "roleplayers"
>>
>>5266474
Your imagination is aflame during the entirety of your journey to the place where the Chaplain and other high-ranking Serpent Priests hold their dark rites. A mission! The surface! You have only ever known the World Below, the half-hollow husk of your ancestors’ proud legacy, muted in colour for lack of light and the monochrome nature of your Darkvision. You have heard whispered tales of the sights and sounds, delights and delicacies, which await those who travel upwards to the Stolen Lands…

But what could you have been called upon to do up there? It cannot be infiltration, can it?

“Kobolds?” you repeat.

“Yes,” the Chaplain replies, “kobolds.”

You half-kneel, head bowed slightly, before the Serpent Priest called Chaplain here, in your people’s most northerly forward base. He wears the stone-black, white-embroidered robes and golden, cobra-like headdress which befits his station. The Novice, his daughter kneels beside you and mirrors your posture, though the Chaplain addresses only you. You are within the Star Chamber, so-called for the gem-studded ceiling, faintly illuminated by ensconced torches to glow in replica of the stars above. Ingenious engineering once allowed them to be rotated, you are told, moving with the night sky above; centuries of entropy and neglect have relegated the Priesthood to simply cross-referencing with seasonal charts to determine when the stars are right.

It is an auspicious amphitheatre to be allocated such an inauspicious assignment.

A band of kobolds has begun to cause trouble, you are told, in the northwesternmost foothills of the Bloodrise Mountain range, which skirts the coast and sweeps down into the hot southern climes. Normally, such trouble is ignored, or even subtly encouraged and directed to weaken the filthy mammal-men, but apparently the trouble these kobolds are causing is less pleasing than the usual sort. They dig deep and plumb ruins which belong to the Master Race alone, you are told, and not to slaves. They draw attention from the mammals to these sacred sepulchres with their rapacious raids, and they grow strong and proud in a manner ill-befitting them.

“Forward scouts speak of heresy,” The Chaplain tells you. “Of these whelps turning their back on the Dark Gods, and proclaiming that a new power gives them greater strength. It is insult.”

“Yes,” you acknowledge. “They must be punished.”

Still… It’s KOBOLDS. They are pitiful little creatures, barely worthy of being called Reptilian at all—essentially serving as the lowliest and most expendable labourers to the sovereigns of old. Is this really worthy of a Dragonborn?
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>>5266565
“Am I to travel alone?” you ask, instead.

“No,” the Chaplain replies. “You will be allotted a small retinue. You are a valuable asset, to be preserved.”

That buoys your ego a little. Then, the female beside you speaks up, surprising you both.

“My Chaplain,” she says, deferring even more than is proper by acknowledging his title before his familiar relationship to her, “may I number among them?”

“I think not,” The Chaplain says, after a pause.

The Novice surprises you again, by speaking out of turn and without any deference at all, saying “But such a mission all but requires a Serpent Priest!”

“You are NOT a Priest, but a Sister—not even Priestess yet, in truth,” The Chaplain reprimands her. “You have studies to attend to here, and an inexperienced female offers little that a more seasoned male does not.”

“I have excelled at the mending of wouns, the neutralizing of poisons and venoms, and the study of—”

“ENOUGH.” The Chaplain slams down his snake-headed staff with finality, silencing even this overly-ambitious daughter of his…

But even so, she looks to you, with a tinge of desperation. It occurs to you that she, too, has surely never seen the sky.

What do you do?
>Accept the assignment with gratitude and, despite the pathetic quarry, excitement to see the surface
>Ask further questions about the assignment ahead [such as?]
>Express your discontent with the nature of this mission
>Request material aid [such as?]

Do you speak up on behalf of The Novice?
>Yes, out of empathy
>Yes, out of a desire for her skills and knowledge
>Yes, because you wish to flex your authority and to have her indebted to you
>Yes, because bantering with her was actually quite fun
>No, because you want a more experienced Serpent Priest
>No, to spite her
>>
[Oh, and unless states otherwise, write-ins are allowed by default]
>>
>>5266566
>Ask further questions about the assignment ahead- what mammals are in the area to be concerned about? If you could marshal the Kobolds to proper deference, what "bonus objectives" are in the area?

>Request material aid- a worthy weapon beyond your claws and a token of the Serpent Priests, to cow the Kobolds into submission

>Yes, because you wish to flex your authority and to have her indebted to you, and her ambition could prove useful should she be properly made to serve you
>>
>>5266566
>>Accept the assignment with gratitude and, despite the pathetic quarry, excitement to see the surface
This is just the first step towards greatness. Speaking up against it wouldn't be bold, it would be stupid.

>>5266570
Also supporting these add-ons.

>No, to spite her
BEGONE
THOT
>>
>>5266566
>Accept the assignment with gratitude and, despite the pathetic quarry, excitement to see the surface
>Yes, because bantering with her was actually quite fun
>>
>>5266566
>Accept the assignment with gratitude and, despite the pathetic quarry, excitement to see the surface

>Yes, because you wish to flex your authority and to have her indebted to you
>Yes, because bantering with her was actually quite fun
Both
>>
>>5266566
>Ask further questions about the assignment ahead [such as?]
How long would you expect the mission to take?

>Request material aid [such as?]
A tome to learn a new spell.

>Yes, out of empathy
>>
>>5266566
>Accept the assignment with gratitude and, despite the pathetic quarry, excitement to see the surface

>Yes, out of empathy and because you wish to flex your authority and to have her indebted to you.
It’s smart to start making political favors with the priesthood, and that’ll be our official reason. I mainly added empathy out of curiosity what the +1 Reptilian Empathy actually means as a skill.
>Secretly because bantering with her was actually quite fun
>>
>>5266674
+1
>>
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>>5266581
+1
Let's just nip the waifufag problem right in the bud now, I'd rather not deal with this shit later. It all leads into shitflinging and samefagging.
>>
>>5266690
>>5266674
>>5266617
>>5266590
>>5266585
>>5266581
>>5266570
>>5266695

You feel a spark of mirth at this turnabout—your childhood antagonist, the princess of this tiny fiefdom, looking to you for salvation from the very father whose high status she once lorded over you. Still… You have to admit, over the years your tête-à-têtes have slowly shifted from one-sided hostility to a proper skirmish of intellects and attitudes… And even one you’ve come to enjoy. Seeing a familiar yearning in her dark eyes, you cannot leave her to this sad fate.

“Holy One,” you address the Chaplain, “I believe that this novice may actually prove useful, after all. These ARE only kobolds that we face.”

The Chaplain glowers a little at your contradiction of his order, just as his spawn regards you with a gratitude that you internally glory in. Oh, certainly, your PRIMARY motivation was a peculiar camaraderie with your fellow young reptilian… But you can’t deny that it will ALSO be nice to have such a well-placed patsy indebted to you. Thus, you press on—and with a little twist of the knife, to remind her of her place.

“Perhaps the experience will teach her the value of tradition female virtues, such as obedience to a masculine authority.”

The Novice’s eyes widen, the narrow abruptly. You get the feeling she would be lambasting you with a whole series of searing insults, but you revel quietly in the knowledge that’s he cannot… Not without undermining the half-truth that will secure her participation in the adventure ahead.

“Very well,” her father complies, grudgingly. “I have other hatchlings, younger and with great potential as well—including a male, more suitable to be an heir. She should expect no more special privileges, however, should she fail in this.”

“I will not fail you, Fa—”

“I was speaking,” the Chaplain hisses, “to the Dragonborn.”

She goes quiet, and you stifle a laugh at her expense. Instead, you decide it prudent to ask some follow-up questions about what awaits you on the surface, and what is expected of you.

[More coming, but locking vote. A close one again, so I melded intentions as best I could.]
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>>5266700
>What mammals are in the area to be concerned about?
“None—the self-satisfied slaves have, for all their whimpering weakness, managed to drive the mammals from their territory. However, the journey there poses risks. You will be traveling territory outside of our control, be it through old tunnels or lands above.”

“What dangers lie along each path?” you asked, excited at the chance to think strategically, and the prospect of proving yourself.

“Beneath the earth, the tunnels have become home to some sort of outcast elf,” the Chaplain answered vaguely. “They are magical little monkey-creatures, though these ones seems scrawnier and weaker than most. Our operatives who have spied them say that they are canny, though, with keen senses and a knack for hunting in darkness which exceeds what we know of their surface kin. They are said to have some sort of affinity for spiders and centipedes, and other crawling things.”

“Appropriate to a scrounging scavenger,” quips the Novice, quietly so as not to draw her father’s ire again, “to consort with like beings.”

“The surface world in this area is less known to us,” The Chaplain continues. “It will make for easier travel, but you will need to maintain secrecy. NO mammal-man of the surface may see you and live. It is NOT yet the time for open war, and to see an obvious dragon-spawn… It would rouse the very sort of attention we seek to avoid.”

“Woodlands are known to play host to bandits, where surfacer society INEVITABLY falls short and creates want,” the Novice adds quietly. “Goblinoids—a fast-breeding and aggressively unmagical variety of monkey-creature—are especially common in the area, I have read.”
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>>5266710
>How long would you expect the mission to take?
“The journey may take as long as a week or two in each direction,” the Chaplain answers. “It will be faster overland, slower beneath.”

“The darkness offers safety,” the Novice says, “but the road aboveground is the choice of one who is bold, confident, and who does not cling to familiarity like a security-blanket.”

You can tell what option she hopes to goad you towards… But damned if it doesn’t sound like the more thrilling. Then again, those underground-elves could make for good sport as well, and you ARE more used to cave-fighting (insofar as you have ever actually fought at all).

>If you could marshal the Kobolds to proper deference, what "bonus objectives" are in the area?
“If you can rally the kobolds back to the cause,” the Chaplain notes, “they could prove useful agents in rea-appropriating the ill-gotten gains of the surface-dwelling, warm-blooded vermin who stole our ancestor’s riches. Useful scouts, pawns, and labourers…”

“They have plumbed our ancestors’ tombs, too,” the Novice notes eagerly. “Imagine what they might have found… What we might learn!”

She fails to maintain her quiet whisper for the sudden surge of scientific excitement, and her father’s withering gaze falls upon her again. She turns her eyes downward, though she yet grumbles in a most undeferential fashion.

>Request material aid- a worthy weapon beyond your claws and a token of the Serpent Priests, to cow the Kobolds into submission
>Request material aid, such as a tome to learn a new spell.

“You wish to study the mystic arts?” the Chaplain asks, seemingly surprised. “Are not your own natural weapons—your breath, your might—sufficient display of your favour?”

“These heretics may require a more obvious sign to cow them swiftly and regain compliance,” you suggest, “and anyway, knowledge is power—and so, to, are arms and armour.”

“Very well,” the Serpent Priest acquiesces readily enough. “You may choose a weapon, some armour, and requisition some tomes—but nothing of great value, lest it be lost to the enemy.”

The lack of faith in your victory stings a little, but you do not allow your resentment or greed to flare up, lest you lose the privilege.
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>>5266717
You and the Novice leave the room a short while later. The discussion of what lies ahead has you excited, despite yourself—and you can see that the female feels likewise.

“Imagine it!” she cries, as soon as you are out of earshot of her father. “We will see the stars—the stars beyond which dwell the furthest Dark Gods! We will taste the breeze through trees—TREES! We will see sights so few see, explore and discover ruins untouched in perhaps millenia…”

“WE will only do so,” you point out, “because -I- deigned to offer you my protection.”

“You expect gratitude?” she scoffs.

“I expect repayment,” you correct her, “or I will tell your father I have reconsidered, and found a better candidate for my field-medic after all.”

The Novice hisses furiously, but does not contradict you.

“Fine,” she mutters quietly. “You have my GRUDGING thanks, Fal—”

She draws a laboured breath, forcing herself to feign politeness.

“You have my debt, DRAGONBORN,” she says. “For now. Once. ONE time, only, and nothing beyond that.”

You wave away her poor attempt at diplomacy and tell her to begone. Her wounded pride is almost payment enough—almost. You will enjoy lording this favour over her during the trip. For now, though, you must plan, and the Novice is… Distracting.

You return to finish your meditations with The Green Dragonborn, who laments the news that you shall soon be departing. You know you cannot bring him with you, with his great size and greater value to the Dragonborn Project than even yourself. Underground, he would be hard-pressed to squeeze through small spaces or to fight in close confines; aboveground, the titanic terror would stand above many trees and surely inspire a crusade by overzealous Paladin-types by his very existence.

You are woefully distracted form your spiritual pursuits by the exhilarating considerations of who you will bring, what you will wield, and what else you might bring to bare in this, your FIRST journey on behalf of the Dark Gods. Before you can plan out a party to accompany you, though, you must plan your route. After all, a commander’s army—or a shaman’s following—must be selected, trained, and equipped for the specific challenges they will face…

You eventually retire for the evening, deciding to sleep on the matter. However, even as you drift off, you already know where your heart lies. You will…
>Follow the path below-ground
>Take the surface-route
>Go rogue, and take a long route
>>
>>5266720
Green Dragonborn a bro, looking forward to future interactions with him.
>Follow the path below-ground
Better safe then sorry.
>>
>>5266720
>>Follow the path below-ground
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>5266720
>>Follow the path below-ground
>>Take the surface-route
Rolling for it.
>>
>>5266720
>Follow the path below-ground
>>
>>5266720
>Take the surface-route
>>
>>5266720
>Take the surface-route

We did decide on Wings for a reason. Would’ve been neat to burn out dat elf though.
>>
>>5266720
>>Take the surface-route
>>
>>5266720
>Follow the path below-ground
>Emerge to see the surface a few times, when it's safe
Don't want Dragonborn sightings in the area.

>>5266581
>>5266695
I hate waifufaggotry as much as the next guy, but it never goes away, because the *special* anons will eventually get thirsty for romance. Better make it be the bratty full-blooded reptilian that we can humiliate and keep at distance, than a kobold, dwarf, orc or a christian h*man girl.
>>
>>5266720
>Take the surface-route
>>
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>>5266802
>>5266767
>>5266747
>>5266746
>>5266744
>>5266738
>>5266728
>>5266727
Though the high places call to your spirit, you decide to take the low road. The decision is formally finalized when you awake from your torpor. The Novice may have mocked such a choice as cowardly, but you see her fearlessness and eagerness for what it is: short-sighted impulsivity, hallmark of youth. Well, you may be the same age as her, but you are Dragon. Your soul is of old stock. You will play the long game.

The choice will guide your selection of allies, certainly… But first and foremost, it will guide your choice of equipment. You will be fighting in closer quarters than if you were aboveground, and moving through tighter spaces. Your affinity for air—your soul’s desire to soar—will be less useful outside of the largest caverns. A keen intellect, though, can find advantage anywhere. A thoughtful selection of arms and armaments will be a fine start to that.

You regretfully abstain from your usual meditations in the Great One’s chamber to instead travel into what sad and sorry storerooms pass for a merchant quarter among your much-depleted people. It’s the only marketplace you’ve ever known, but you have read reports of the surface—of the great human metropolises, of the elven citadels of trees and glass, of the high technology of dwarven halls, of trade caravans and bazaars as far as the eye can see and harbours full of ships bearing global goods. A world of wonderment and plenty for all, STOLEN by hairy hordes of warmblooded savages! Meanwhile, your people dine on insectoid scrap-meat and fungus-recycled waste. Outrage!
>>
>>5267064
Still, recent years have brought SOME wealth back to your people, including through this forward base. There are weapons of a wider variety than what once there was, taken from the carts and carcasses of mammals. You see glaives and polearms to extend your already-impressive reach and to plumb crevices and prod about for traps; daggers for dealing death swiftly and in tightest confines, and balanced to throw; cudgels and hammers, maces and morningstars, spiked and studded to make best use of your prodigious strength; shortbows and longbows, for executing enemies from distant egress; and swords, of every make ad manufacturer, meant to slice and stab and most of all to shine and gleam with the authority of Nobility.

There are materials for your superior, coldblooded craftsmen to craft, as well. No armour reclaimed from some pathetic surface-creature could fit your mighty and massive frame, with its admittedly-unconventional dimensions and proportions. You will need something bespoke and tailored. The only question is what to wear. Shall you adorn yourself in heavy armour, augmenting your scales and bony scutes at the cost of mobility? Stay light and agile, but somewhat vulnerable? Or shall you prize majesty and impression above all else, given that you represent your Master Race and all things Dragon?

Choose one main armament and one secondary weapon; the primary shall be masterwork, the secondary of fine enough craftsmanship but without any special bonus. Options include:
>Polearm [range, bad in close quarters, can be used to check for traps]
>Dagger [melee or ranged, concealable, good up close, weaker]
>Sword [adds to impressiveness and authority, versatile]
>Mace [crushes armoured foes, deals massive damage, slow and clumsy]
>Longbow [excellent range and piercng power, but difficult to use in narrower areas or up-close]
>Shortbow [easier to use in mid-range, but less peircing-power]

Choose heavy, light, or ceremonial armour
>Heavy [maximizes resilience to damage on failed rolls and allows you to tank blows]
>Light [will best enable you to chase, evade, and outmanoeuvre foes while offering less protection]
>Ceremonial [will strike fear and awe more readily]

>If you have any special requests for accessories and the like (non-magical, nothing over-the-top) which a weaponsmith or

[Pictures are cool, too, if you submit them with your vote; it may influence commissioned art someday in the not-so-distant future]
>>
>>5267071
>Sword [adds to impressiveness and authority, versatile]
>Ceremonial [will strike fear and awe more readily]

FULL AUTHORITY. THE KOBOLDS WILL BOW BENEATH OUR REPTILIAN FIGURE
>>
>>5267071
*Correction for post cut off by accident
>If you have any special requests for accessories and the like (non-magical, nothing over-the-top) which a weaponsmith or armourer might have, feel free to pitch it as well
>>
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>>5267071
>Longbow [excellent range and piercng power, but difficult to use in narrower areas or up-close]
Fuck it. Let's get something made of metal, that even Steeltalons' serpentine muscles can't draw, able to pierce walls /with/ kobolds if necessary. The medieval equivalent of a sniper rifle, if you will.
>Sword [adds to impressiveness and authority, versatile]
For close quarters and worthy representation of the Master Race.
>Ceremonial [will strike fear and awe more readily]
See above.
>Special
See if we can get a sword sheathe or blades and handguard (or just handguard) put on the bow for close quarters compatibility. Additionally, get full-metal arrows that will break less and we can recover more easily. I'm sure our proud female apprentice will happily carry them!
>>
>>5267071
>Longbow [excellent range and piercng power, but difficult to use in narrower areas or up-close]
>Dagger [melee or ranged, concealable, good up close, weaker]

>Ceremonial [will strike fear and awe more readily]
>>
>>5267071
>Sword [adds to impressiveness and authority, versatile]
>Longbow [excellent range and piercng power, but difficult to use in narrower areas or up-close]

>Light [will best enable you to chase, evade, and outmanoeuvre foes while offering less protection]
>>
>>5267071
>Mace [crushes armoured foes, deals massive damage, slow and clumsy]
>Shortbow [easier to use in mid-range, but less peircing-power]


>Light [will best enable you to chase, evade, and outmanoeuvre foes while offering less protection]
>>
>>5267071
>Sword [adds to impressiveness and authority, versatile]

>Ceremonial [will strike fear and awe more readily]
>>
>>5267071
>Polearm [range, bad in close quarters, can be used to check for traps]
>Shortbow [easier to use in mid-range, but less piercing-power]
>Ceremonial [will strike fear and awe more readily]
Just go for the full Dragoon aesthetic, complete with dropping on people with Jump
>>
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Rolled 3, 10, 11, 9 = 33 (4d20)

>>5267300
>>5267231
>>5267224
>>5267179
>>5267177
>>5267109
>>5267075


[Rolling for haggling and negotiations, using Reptilian Empathy with a bonus die for Intimidation applying as well.

In this quest, as with its predecessor, I will roll 1d20 for each rank in a relevant skill when I feel that a conclusion is not foregone or inconsequential to the story, or that to make it such would be too railroad-y. The DC is generally 15, though circumstances may lower or raise it at times (as may equipment, hint hint)]
>>
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>>5267316
Please tell me that armory roll was in our favor (10).
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>>5267316
The surface world truly is a marvelous place, for all its infestation. You see evidence of the innovations which the fat and happy denizens of the Stolen Lands have developed, with their ill-gotten gains and over-ample free time. Sturdy and utilitarian weapons with intricate gylphs and ever-honed edges attest to the techniques of the dwarves, an especially hirsute and squat mole-ape you have heard tell of. All manner of gadgetry and gizmos comes form their lands, too. Both are replicated, with more experimental materials and techniques if less evident skill, by the humans—most populous of the surface races. You eye them, test the balance of various blades and polearms, and the heft of one very impressive-looking hammer. But no, no, too slow, and it does not carry the same SIGNIFICANCE.

The Silkscale merchants regard you in quiet awe and proper deference as you peruse their wares. They sense what your coming means: a Dragonborn deployed is the beginning of a new Age of Scales, surely! However, the cunning masters of subterfuge and manipulation that they are, they each try to press upon you their wares, and at a premium that they know the Priesthood can afford irrespective of the actual quality or utility of their goods. They spin false narratives of armies slaughtered with each butterknife and practice-bow.

“ENOUGH.”

You speak the word loudly but calmly, and will your Fearsome Presence into being. Heads bow, eyes turn away and downward. You take a deep breath, appreciative of the space the throng now give to you. Since growing into your legacy, and your seven-and-a-half foot stature, you have never known such consolidated and shameless attention. Though it is perhaps an ignoble thing to admit, it… Overwhelmed you.

>11

However, your imposition of your will backfires. The merchants now are fearful to speak up, to boast their wares, to even proffer anything they are not certain will meet your requirements. They provide no information which you do not specifically request, terrified to anger you. In frustration, you rummage through one stall yourself, where the fine and smooth lines of the craftsmanship and the gold-and-silver filigree catches your eye and appeals to a deep-seated instinct to hoard.
>>
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>>5267366
“What make is this?” you demand. “Where were they crafted, and by what race?”

“Elfin lands, Oh Dragonborn,” the submissive male provides quickly, not looking up.

You admire the haft of the longbow, a peculiar design with a shield-like hand-guard and reinforcements along the bow itself. It is fine, gracile, yet as you flex it you can feel the bow test you in kind. IT will require strength to wield, for it is strong… And it LOOKS magnificent.

“I will take it,” you declare, and the seller-of-goods seems to delight, while you hear others hiss and croak in quiet annoyance at your choice of his wares over theirs.

“I will also take your finest blade,” you say, “by these same elves, if possible.

The smaller male skitters away with the tip-tapping of tiny talons, and returns bearing a fine, wide-bladed sword that’s seems styled after some sort of… Feather? Leaf? You have precious little experience with either, but the blade is a fine silver—almost white—and its hilt is gold. It is regal, you decide. A you slice and stab at the air, narrowly missing the merchant, you find its weight and size also appropriate to you, though in your great hand it is almost a short-sword; to anyone smaller, it would be a two-handed blade.

“This will do,” you say, and leave. The bill will be presented to the Chaplain or his subordinates—you do not trouble yourself with coins, ration-cards, or other such nonsense.

Your next stop is a proper Reptilian smith—a Dragonblooded One, distant and less-auspicious cousin to your own noble self. From him, you requisition armour worthy of a Lord of Lizards, a marching Prince on a holy mission to reassert True Royalty upon rebellious slaves who have forgotten their place.

“It will weigh you down, designed as you have requested,” he says, a bit bolder than those lesser Reptilians you cowed. “The projections will catch on cave-walls.”

“It will be the weight of AUTHORITY,” you say with confidence that you increasingly feel in your heart, as you imagine the figure you will cut. “It will project DOMINION.”

“As you say, oh Dragonborn,” he acknowledges, and sets to work, taking your measurements and then beginning the processes of modifying existing amour to meet your specific requirements; even for such a project, nothing goes to waste.

You lean against a wall, admiring your blade, and even the new sheathe—made from some sort of plant-based quasi-leather, you are told. It is a true work of art. How did grimy mammals make such a thing?! You wonder if you should expect commensurate mastery in the art of war, from the outcast elves who you have been told dwell between here and the heretic kobolds…

“Don’t you think you’re being a little over-the-top?”
>>
>>5267367

You sigh. You recognize that voice—the Novice, Chaplain’s daughter, has found you again.

“I do not recall asking a NON-COMBATANT’S opinion on arms and armaments, Child of Nepotism,” you reply, not bothering to look at her.

“You’re one to talk, swaggering about and casting the Presence like a shield against your fragile ego, while dressing yourself up like some princeling of old,” she shoots back, settling in beside you and appraising your new weaponry. “Why wooden-shafted arrows? Steel shafts are less likely to break, and easier to retrieve.”

“As with the sheath of the sword, I am told that the arrows are specially grown and treated by the surface-elves, to be strong as iron.”

She croaks a low rattle of appreciation, and you feel some smugness… Untils he speaks again.

“Did the seller also tell you that the sheath and arrows must be alchemically-treated with specific compounds to maintain their shape and strength, and even watered as if a living plant?”

You glare at the Novice, who looks altogether too pleased with herself.

“Most of the price for these exotic weapons will be the gold and silver PLATING—useless adornment. Just like your ostentatious armour, False Emperor.”

“So much for your debt of gratitude,” you mutter.

“I am simply trying to spare you father’s wrath,” the Novice Fleshweaver says by way of apology, without ACTUALLY apologizing in word or in tone or expression.

“So you have sought me out and interrupted my preparations for the purpose of altruism? How… Unlike you.”

“Altruism is weakness,” she scoffs. “I am here out of enlightened self-interest, as is proper. I don’t wish to die on this sojourn because an untested egotist outfitted our expedition with a bunch of gaudy and impractical accoutrements.”

“I will consider your words,” you say with obvious dismissal in your voice. “Begone, female.”
>>
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>>5267369
The Novice tuts and hisses lowly.

“Such sass, now that you have been acknowledged by authority as more than a medical curiosity,” she notes. “You are on your way to the Library of the Clerics next, are you not?”

“I am,” you acknowledge.

It was your next stop-off: to find manuals, tomes, and scrolls which you can study from, keeping up your meditations and your spell-studies as you travel, so as to grow your mind and strengthen your dragon-soul.

“Then,” the Novice says brightly, daring to meet your steely gaze, “you will benefit from a scholar with actual training, tutelage, and experience, will you not? This is actual STUDY, oh Degenerateborn. If you wish to make progress—to ever learn more than a single spell—you cannot simply sit silently thinking about Silkscale tail while your ‘elder brother’ gorges himself. You will need a TEACHER.”

The female’s dark eyes catch the light of the forge and the sparks of the hammer and anvil which even now work on your commission. Her eyes shine with excitement and an eagerness to prove herself—to you? To her father? To herself, maybe?

Do you accept her offer?
>No—you will select your own spellbooks, and teach YOURSELF, as you always have
>Yes—you will allow the Novice to choose the tomes and manuals, and perhaps even accept her tutelage
>You will take her advice… And seek a DIFFERENT tutor to accompany you, and to teach you his discipline
>Write-in
>>
>>5267376
>You will take her advice… And seek a DIFFERENT tutor to accompany you, and to teach you his discipline
This is the biggest own and also a smart idea.
>>
>>5267376
>Not quite- you will allow her to select what she thinks is right, but you will also take tomes you believe are best. That way, you can measure the results of both methods.
>>
>You will take her advice… And seek a DIFFERENT tutor to accompany you, and to teach you his discipline.

We can't be letting this novice priestess get too cocky.
>>
>>5267376
>Not quite- you will allow her to select what she thinks is right, but you will also take tomes you believe are best. That way, you can measure the results of both methods.
>and perhaps even accept her tutelage.
Choosing her just to keep our team compact. It could lead to some interesting character developments as well.
Are we sure Ismena didn't secretly bang that Chaplain? This Silkscale acts awfully like her.
>>
>>5267376
>Not quite- you will allow her to select what she thinks is right, but you will also take tomes you believe are best. That way, you can measure the results of both methods.
>>
>>5267445
>Are we sure Ismena didn't secretly bang that Chaplain? This Silkscale acts awfully like her.
Except she has no sex drive, so don't get excited.
>>
>>5267451
>did not answer the question
>we can not procreate with her
Hmmmmmmmm, duly noted. The only thing I'm getting excited for is terrorizing kobolds with our massive charisma and nailing the enemies of Grand Design to walls!
>>
>>5267481
>we can not procreate with her
I didn't say that. But she's pureblooded Serpent Priest, which both means she can't be the daughter of the last MC AND that she only has sex for purposes of procreation and at a specific time of year, every few years.
>>
>>5267376
>Yes—you will allow the Novice to choose the tomes and manuals, and perhaps even accept her tutelage
>>
>>5267487
Oh okay. I just immediately thought of Henzler when no sex drive was mentioned. Sorry for overthinking, RQM. It's a bit late now, but I hope you enjoy your fresh new quest!
>>
>>5267376
>Yes—you will allow the Novice to choose the tomes and manuals, and perhaps even accept her tutelage

We have to throw her a bone once in a while, and isn't she supposed to be something of a prodigy? We really shouldn't let "owning" her get in the way of getting the best tutor we can at this point.
>>
>>5267497
[I appreciate theorizing, and there WILL be callbacks and easter eggs, never fear. The Novice just isn't one of them. She just acts similarly in some regards because, like the Infiltrator, she is a gifted qn ambitious young woman struggling against social forces which work against her and also because I have a limited number of distinctive character voices in my repertoire and 'playfully smug bully' is one of them.
>>
>>5267445
>support
>>
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>>5267506
I was so slow on this that I missed the actual Reptilian Infiltrator thread, but I wanted to congratulate you on completing a quest and drop this little tribute to my comrades in arms/QMs of patrician taste. (Sorry about making this a big public thing, would've sent it to you in Twitter DMs but you don't seem to have a Twitter.)
>>
>>5267555
Hey, look, it's the Dragonborn's mom and those weird strangers she lost a beauty pageant to/with!

That's awesome and I love it, thanks!
>>
>>5267445
+1
>Yes—you will allow the Novice to choose the tomes and manuals, and perhaps even accept her tutelage
>>
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>>5267376
>You will take her advice… And seek a DIFFERENT tutor to accompany you, and to teach you his discipline
It begins.
>>
>>5267376
>No—you will select your own spellbooks, and teach YOURSELF, as you always have
>>
>>5267827
>>5267794
>>5267776
>>5267538
>>5267499
>>5267493
>>5267487
>>5267446
>>5267445
>>5267408
>>5267382
>>5267381
You consider carefully the words of this Little Sister, this would-be Serpent Priestess. Despite her obvious angling for personal gain and glory, it’s not as if she DOESN’T have a point. Formal tutelage would speed the process immensely, especially if you are to study a discipline outside of your inborn draconic aptitudes.

“Very well,” you say after a moment.

“Excellent!” she exclaims. “Then you will allow my SUPERIOR self to properly instruct you, oh Meatheaded One? You will not regret this, wisest of all your decisions! We will begin with—”

“Not quite,” you interrupt, and the Novice hisses in annoyance. “I will allow her to select what you think is right, but I will also take tomes which I believe to be best. That way, we can measure the results of both methods.”

“How… Scientific-minded of you…” the Novice complements through gnashing teeth and quiet fury.

“Not such a Meatheaded One, this Degenerateborn,” you say cheerfully. “Now, attend to me, and let us be on our way, oh Prodigal Prodigy.”

You continue to make sport of each other all the way there, toeing the line between banter and actual insults—as you always have, you suppose. Reptilians are without any silly sentimentality, without the frivolities of romance or even friendship, which are all mammalian fantasies without any bearing on reality. Camaraderie and courtship are just games of one-upmanship and brinksmanship, of obligation and alliance or dominance and defeat. You could even say that the experience is a bonding one.

You break it up when you enter the inner sanctum of the Library of the Clerics, which is after all a holy place given to silence and contemplation. This circular room, rising high up to into a mountain above, is a veritable silo of insight through the ages. It holds every scroll which could be recovered from the fallen empires of old, or half-remembered transcriptions of those where the original has rumbled to dust or been lost to ravening hordes of lesser, younger races. Schematics, blueprints, sketches and artworks abound. There are bound books of the enemy, too, and their own scrolls before that, seized in infiltration or those rare, dangerous acts of direct war between the Reptilian Races and those mammalian peoples which even their kin have forgotten.

Among all of these, the most coveted are, of course the spellbooks, magic manuals, and single-spell scrolls.
>>
>>5268128
“I MUST forbid it,” the Serpent Priest who serves as Cleric of Written Record says. “I FORBID the taking of any full spellbook. That knowledge is too valuable to our future generations o lose, too dangerous in the hands of our enemies. And anyway…”

She draws short of saying it, but you know: you and the Novice are not even nineteen years of age, not quite. And you… You are Dragonborn, but no Serpent Priest, and while DRAGONS are capable of virtually any feat of mind and spirit, among the Reptilian Master Race only the Serpent Priests have been gifted by the Dark Gods with the gift of spellcraft, with even Dragonblooded Ones only managing a simpler, weaker form of your own firebreath and nothing more. Who is to say that you will even be able to make use of the scrolls and manuals you take?

“This order comes from my father,” the Novice presses, hissing the word with as much menace as she can manage and assuming the extended posture of a Serpent priest issuing a proclamation, long neck fully extended. “You must—”

“—Do my duty to our people,” finishes the Cleric of Written Record finishes, “and ask for EXPLICIT permission of a Secret-Keeper of Deepest Dark, in excess of even your father’s Operational Chaplain authority, before offering up any such resource for a surface expedition helmed by veritable HATCHLINGS.”

The Novice hisses in displeasure, and exchanges a look with you.

“It will be fine,” you say, sighing. “Take what you can get. I will rely on your ‘expert tutelage’ to fill in gaps where your subjects are concerned.”

“And what of your own reading list, oh Stubborn One?” the Novice asks.

You tap at your jutting chin-spikes as you consider this very subject. Impatient, the Novice stomps off to go begin her own search of the archive for what instructional aides she may be permitted to take.

What subjects will the Novice focus on teaching you? Pick two:
>Healing and Inflicting of Wounds
>Biological Manipulation (Superficial)
>Biological Manipulation (Inner Workings)
>Use and Neutralization of Poisons
>Herbalism and Mycological Alchemy

What scrolls and manuals will you attempt to teach yourself using? Pick one:
>Elementalism
>Mentalism
>Enchantment
>Divination
>Demonology
>Conjuration
>Necromancy
>Transmutation
>Write-in [may modify or veto if unreasonable]
>>
>>5268129
>Biological Manipulation (Superficial)
>Biological Manipulation (Inner Workings)

>Transmutation

Let's go full fucked up body horror boys, we'll make ourselves a true dragon yet
>>
>>5268129
>Biological Manipulation (Superficial)
>Biological Manipulation (Inner Workings)

>Divination

I'd agree that pursuing greater Dragon-ness is good, but this character is forging his own path. Having some divination magic can probably help.
>>
>>5268129
>Biological Manipulation (Inner Workings)
>Biological Manipulation (Superficial)

>Divination
>>
>>5268129
>Biological Manipulation (Superficial)
>Biological Manipulation (Inner Workings)

>Enchantment
>>
>>5268129
>>Biological Manipulation (Superficial)
>>Biological Manipulation (Inner Workings)

>Elementalism
>>
>>5268129
>Healing and Inflicting of Wounds
>Biological Manipulation (Superficial)

>Enchantment
>>
>>5268129
>Biological Manipulation (Superficial)
>Biological Manipulation (Inner Workings)

>Mentalism or Demonology

It’d be rad lads.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VjQ2t_yNHQs
>>
>>5268134
I'll support Divination as a backup if nobody else goes in for Transmutation fwiw.
>>
>>5268129
>>Divination
>Biological Manipulation (Inner Workings)
>Healing and Inflicting of Wounds
>>
what does divination do again?
>>
>>5268134
>>5268159
>>5268163
>>5268244
>>5268248
>>5268253
>>5268274
>>5268322
>>5268276
You roam the circumference of the great, round room, roving the shelves with eyes and mind ever moving. You could teach yourself Transmutation, mastering matter and maybe even modifying YOURSELF into something yet more draconic… Or, with Elementalism, perhaps you could modify your breath weapon to facilitate means of attack beyond ‘mere’ dragonfire? Enchantment is a VERY strong contender—the blasted Novice could never criticize your equipment again, if you were to imbue them with arcane durability and added effects, after all! And Mentalism and Demonology, considered lowly arts in some quarters, nevertheless speak to you on some deep level that you can’t quite understand…

But then you catch a glimpse of shining, silvery scroll-seal, and you feel a flicker of some second sense—almost like the Fearsome Presence of another dragon, like your brother when his servants are too slow to serve him. You squint, trying to see it more closely, and you are able to recognize the symbol: the arrangement of stars which is known to the Serpent Priests as Draco Stellaris, the Star Dragon! You’ve never seen it before, but in their predictive divinations, it is said to align with the ideal time to crown a king, to sire an heir, or to select a successor or lieutenant.

Divination… Yes, to forge your own path in a way optimal with the Great Design set in place before your birth! To know, unfailingly, when the Stars are Right for your ascent! To commune directly with the will of those Below and Beyond!

The scroll is too high for you to reach by normal means, even with your remarkable height… But luckily, you already have a LITTLE magic of your own. You squeeze shut your eyes, take in a deep breath, and think of wings. You remember—REMEMBER—the racial memory of flight, of freedom and sovereignty and rushing air, or land far below and the sky’s starry firmament close enough to ouch with draconic talons… Close enough to reach out and grab one!

You <JUMP>, and grab the silver-sealed divination scroll as you pass its high-up shelf. Rebounding off of the ceiling above, you stick the three-point landing, rattling a nearby cart of books and scrolls and nearly upending it. The library’s keeper glowers at you in a mix of confusion and annoyance, but you hold your prize: a scroll of Divination!

“Show off,” scoffs the Novice, once more at your side and with two thin, hidebound manuals tucked under her arm and propped on one hip. “They HAVE a rolling ladder which you can use to get up there.”

“You were using it,” you point out.

“Impatient and arrogant in equal measures,” she comments.

“’Efficient' is a better descriptor,” you reply. “I would also accept ‘victorious’.”

“May you triumph so well in EVERY battle as in this meaningless errand,” the Novice says, voice dripping irony like a cockatrice drips venom.
>>
>>5268556
You two young worthies register your borrowed volumes with the Cleric, and depart this place with your prizes. The Novice, for her part, decides to focus on teaching you the single, most-fundamental aspect of her Fleshweaver discipline in two parts: Biological Manipulation, in its superficial and inner dimensions.

“That counts as two separate fields?” you ask, skeptical. Is she just trying to mask a lack of breadth to her own knowledge.

“Obviously, Dimwittedborn,” she says smugly, with the air of an expert given the chance to display her mastery to a layman. “The ‘superficial’ dimension affects not the inner workings of a subject, but rather modifies appearance and other externalities. The most famous example is the Amulet of Disguise, which allows a Reptilian agent to modify their outward appearance and even temporarily absorb certain limbs and alter skin-temperature to blend in among mammals.”

“I am no Reptilian Infiltrator,” you point out. “Such an amulet can reduce height by six inches at most, I am told, and they do not even seem fully ‘compatible’ with my nature.”

“Yes!” the Novice says eagerly, looking you up and down with a strange hunger that, by her scent and lack of throat-pouch inflammation, you KNOW cannot indicate she is aroused and in-season. No, this is the hunger of her boundless, unfeminine ambition. “Nobody has YET been able to make an Amulet of that nature which can properly cloak your strangeness, oh Unusual One… But then, who else has studied the discipline WITH you, has studied you in CLOSENESS and in DPETH?”

“My creators,” you point out drolly, “ for literally the entirety of my childhood.”

The Novice scoffs, rattling with dismissiveness and irritation., and says: “They were not ME.”

“It seems I am not the only show-off, then,” you quip. “And of the inner workings?”

“The inner dimension of my most noble discilipline deals with the modification fo organs, of muscles and skeleton, or ligaments and humours…”

That catches your attention immediately, and you cannot help but interrupt: “Could these disciplines be used to grow wings?”

The Novice looks at you wryly, and with great amusement. “Does the little cave-bat wish to fly? What a childish fantasy.”

“Dragons have wings,” you point out. “The Green Dragonborn has wings.”

“Is that why you dedicated YEARS of your life to learning a single spell, and for SOME reason decided that should be a means to improve your vertical leap?” she asks, perceptive to a fault. “IT would be adorable if it was not so embarrassing.”

You just stare at her, until she sighs and looks away, seeing that she will not get a rise out of you.

“Yes,” she says, “in time, we could perhaps grow you a pair of wings.”

You will be a true Dragonborn yet!
>>
>>5268559
Thrilled at the prospect, and fantasizing about the future, you conclude your business with the Novice and set about your next course of business. It has been a long and full day, but before you return to torpor, you must…
>Grab a bite to eat at the commissary
>Begin your studies of the divination scroll—no time like the present!
>Speak with the Chaplain about something [what do you ask, or request?]
>Go pay the breeding pit a visit—this excitement has gotten you worked up
>Go tell the Green Dragonborn all about your day—who else would you share your triumph with??
>Write-in
>>
>>5268560
>Go tell the Green Dragonborn all about your day—who else would you share your triumph with??

He's a good guy
>>
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>>5268560
>Go tell the Green Dragonborn all about your day—who else would you share your triumph with??
The only person who really gets us around here. Ask him if he likes our ceremonial gear. Does he happen to know any good arrow vendors? Glad to see the dragonborn is doing good.

>>5268559
>“They were not ME.”
Yes, it was "just" our crazy ol' Henzler. I'll enjoy seeing this silkscale try to outperform Hawksong's greatest fleshweaver, who created Dragonborn all by herself, in her own field. Goood fucking luck with that.
>>
>>5268560
>Go tell the Green Dragonborn all about your day—who else would you share your triumph with??
>>
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>>5268559
>You just stare at her, until she sighs and looks away, seeing that she will not get a rise out of you.
>>
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>>5268589
>this silkscale

[Point of order, and a clarification for those who did not read the last quest, but the Novice is a pure-blooded descedant of Serpent Priests. Young, uninitiated ones are called Little Sisters or Little Brotehrs, while initiated clergy are called Serpent Priests or Priestesses; when speaking colloquially or in generalities, the demonym 'Serpent priest' describes their entire subrace/caste.

SIlkscales, Steeltalons, and the Dragonblooded are each their own separate caste, distinct from those ones. Interbreeding is discouraged, to maintain the very distinct appearance and abilities of each subrace, and to maintain the social order. All of these races are considered, more broadly, part of the "Reptilian Master Race", whose ancestors once reigned over 'lesser' races of scaly-folk like Lizardmen, Kobolds, Nagas, etcetera, and under the Dragons.]
>>
>>5268560
>Go tell the Green Dragonborn all about your day—who else would you share your triumph with??
>>
>>5268560
>Go pay the breeding pit a visit—this excitement has gotten you worked up
>>
>>5268622
I forgot to ask, do we know her name or not?
>>
>>5268650
[Yes, but it all buy impossible to spell using a Latin alphabet (think "Ssskiszki!lisz!k") and unpronounceable using human vocal chords without a great deal of practice. Plus, Reptilians don't address one another by name, usually, as you have probably noticed -- outside of specific need, it is considered taboo as being almost unthinkable intimate.]
>>
>>5268560
>Begin your studies of the divination scroll—no time like the present!
>>
>>5268560
>Go tell the Green Dragonborn all about your day—who else would you share your triumph with??
>>
>>5268681
Ok, but it makes mentioning this Lischicc a little bit harder.
>>
>>5268692
[She is the Novice, or the Novice Fleashweaver or, if you were to encounter other Novice Fleshweavers, 'Chaplain's Daughter'. That's how Reptoids would go about speaking of her, anyway. And she may well get a pseudonym when you go on the mission]
>>
>>5268694
Oh right, makes sense.
>>
>>5268576
>>5268589
>>5268611
>>5268628
>>5268647
>>5268689
>>5268691
The Green Dragonborn turns the blade of your new sword over and over between his massive, claw-tipped fingers, purring and humming appreciatively.

“Shi-neee,” he says. “Ap-prove.”

“Elven craftsmanship,” you boast, “by the longest-lived and most artistically-inclined of the lesser, ape-born races. The bow, also. Did you see the handguard?”

The Green Dragonborn chuckles, and nods, returning the sword. You sheath it, glaring for only a moment at the sheath. You will have to see about commandeering some alchemical ingredients to treat it and to keep it fresh, lest its elaborate leaflike texture wilt.

“Just wait until you see the armour,” you boast. “It will be fit for a king—a Lizard King!”

“Not dragon, though,” the Great One rumbles.

You look up, surprised and confused.

“Dragon has… Own armour. Scales.”

You nod, and sigh ruefully. It’s true. What did the old poems say of the Red Dragon of Bloodrise, your most noble of all ancestors? ‘Armor is like tenfold shields, teeth are swords, claws like spears, tail like a crashing thunderbolt, wings like a hurricane, breath like Death Himself’, if you recall…

You look back to the Great One and grin toothily. “Well, I may just be able to do something about that as well.”

“Hrrrm?” he rumbles, questioningly.

In whispers, so the few females of the harem not otherwise occupied at this hour do not overhear, you tell your elder brother of your ambitions—of your intention to learn the art of Fleshweaving, and to apply it to your own ‘condition’. However, to your surprise, the Green Dragonborn shows visible discomfort at the subject.
>>
>>5268782

“What is the matter?” you ask.

The Great One grumbles and shudders. “Ba-ad memories… Of early times. Of… Cree-ay-tor.”

You are confused. The Fleshweavers have left bad memories with your brother? You inquire as to the nature of these memories, but eh will not speak of them in detail. He shakes his head and pushes you away with a tiny fraction of his strength when you ask additional questions.

“Not Fle-eshweaver,” he says grimly. “They fix… It hurt, but they fix. Like your mah-ther fix you.”

You aren’t certain which of the Fleshweavers who crafted you from raw materials the Great One might believe to be your mother, nor is he inclined to elaborate. You wonder if she is the one he fears—FEAR! from a True Dragonborn! Who could have imagined it?—but the recollections are clearly painful for him.

“Take care… Go slow… Changes can hu-urt… Can make hard to breath, to move. Hard to live.”

You’ve never seen your elder and mentor like this before—contemplative, sad, unsettled, even ashamed. It reminds you, admittedly, of times in your youth, when you would claw at your growing mane of hair and wish that you were more completely Dragon. But why would this Great One, first and greatest among your kind, ever have cause for such inner turmoil?

Do you press?
>Yes [Reptilian Empathy check, may damage relationship if you fail]
>No, let sleeping serpents lie; maybe sleep here tonight, to keep the big guy company
>No, but you will ask the Chaplain about this
>No, but you will pester the Novice about this
>>
>>5268784
>Yes [Reptilian Empathy check, may damage relationship if you fail]

It's worth the risk, I think.
>>
>>5268784
>Yes [Reptilian Empathy check, may damage relationship if you fail]
>>
>>5268784
>Yes [Reptilian Empathy check, may damage relationship if you fail]
>>
>>5268784
>No, let sleeping serpents lie; maybe sleep here tonight, to keep the big guy company
I'll also support asking Novice or Chaplain if anons want it instead.
>>5268785
>>5268794
>>5268830
I'd prefer we not press him to reveal the details this humiliating and personal for him, because it's like asking a rape victim for details. Worse, actually. We can totally go bug Chaplain about it instead, tho.
Since it's all from infiltrator quest, here's TL;DR on what happened: He was Henzler's first and only(?) attempt at incubating and growing a dragon/dragon hybrid with Great Green Dragon's blood, but since she had no proper reptilian genetic material to work with, he turned out imperfect, disfigured and has this speech impairment. Her psychopathic behavior and obsession with work made her treat him like an object, just another piece of meat she grew in a vat. Henzler performed many surgeries on him, never showed empathy and kept him under strict control like a dog. It's so bad, that he was scared of just being in her presence and would obey her mindlessly.
>>
>>5268784
>>No, let sleeping serpents lie; maybe sleep here tonight, to keep the big guy company
because we don't roll and it's not best of three.
>>
>>5268784
>No, but you will ask the Chaplain about this
We can sate our curiosity and not bother the dude. Win-win.
>>
>>5268784
>Yes [Reptilian Empathy check, may damage relationship if you fail]
>>
Rolled 5, 2, 20 = 27 (3d20)

>>5268925
>>5268922
>>5268901
>>5268872
>>5268830
>>5268785
>>5268794
>>
>>5268929
damn
>>
>>5268929
Thank Dark Gods. Also, is the vote locked now?
Hope I don't miss a post overnight, with how fast these are coming out.
>>
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>>5268929
You can tell your elder brother is troubled, and deeply, but the little tidbits of information are mere appetizers to your curiosity. You must know more!

“Great One,” you say, “what are you talking about? We are both creations of the Fleshweavers. We are, the both of us, motherless by nature. Perfect, purpose-built creations.”

The Green Dragonborn says nothing, simply fidgeting like a hatchling caught in an uncomfortable lie. He will say nothing…

>20

…And so, as you have throughout your life, you commune without speaking.

Almost immediately, you regret having done so—the floodgates of the other Dragonborn’s emotions are strong, holding back over a CENTURY of emotions. A century?! You never knew he was that old. The Dragonborn Project is, you know, only a few years older that you yourself are. Or, well… So you thought. Your presence in the elder’s mind brings him comfort, stemming the tide of old sorrows and acting as a controlled release for what has long been bottled up. You are a salve for his soul, and whatever else comes from this empathic connection, you are glad at least that you can make him feel less alone—after all, he has always done so for you.

Over the next hour, you come to understand the root of the Dragonborn’s pain, his true origins… And yours. He was created not by Reptilian Fleshweavers, but a human equivalent, long before coming here. He was malformed at first, poorly patched together with incomplete knowledge, and raised not like Royalty but like an abhorrent animal. Only a little over a decade-and-a-half ago was he freed from this unspeakable, ignoble fate by a Reptilian Infiltrator—a lowly Degenerate, with knowledge of magic beyond her station.

Your mother.
>>
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>>5268942
That revelation makes you reel even more than the other, for its personal nature—for how it shatters your personal mythology. You had believed—ben TOOLD, all your life—that you were created in a ritual-room, a holy laboratory, from extracted tissued and incubated in an artificial egg. You were told that your human component was minor, merely a sort of biological adhesive or putty to help bind and meld Dragon bloodlines to those of Reptilians and great, scaly beasts. To learn that your draconic component is negligible at best, your human ancestry nearly a quarter of your genome… It is a shock, to say the least.

And the Novice, your childhood bully and current tutor and ally in the upcoming expedition… She ahs always called you ‘Degenerateborn’, ‘False Dargonborn’, and more besides. Did she know how right she was? Did she KNOW? The Chaplain surely did—surely instructed your caregivers and instructors to perpetuate the falsehoods which formed the basis for your self-understanding.

You stare down at your body, and your hands, and will your unexpected shuddering to cease. In its wake, you feel only…
>Righteous fury! You will storm up to the Chaplain and demand an explanation for all of this, NOW!
>Shame and self-loathing; you are no Dragonborn, but a fraud and a failure, born from the lowliest and most disgusting sort of Reptilian that exists
>Embarrassment and determination; you will hide this, and you will CORRECT it by means of magic or otherwise
>Acceptance and understanding; this really does explain a great deal, and you plan to re-evaluate your self-conception and your goals in light of it
>Write-in
>>
>>5268943
>>Embarrassment and determination; you will hide this, and you will CORRECT it by means of magic or otherwise
YEAHHHHHH
>>
>>5268943
>ben TOOLD
When you're so shocked your inner monologue becomes an outraged Scotsman

>>5268932
It'll slow down after the weekend, and next weekend I have company, so never fear. I'm just on a roll and desperately trying to distract myself from some personal woes.
>>
>>5268943
>UNDERSTANDING and DETERMINATION; this really does explain a great deal, and you plan to correct it by means of magic or otherwise.
Real dragonborn wouldn't freak out or try to hide the unpleasant truths under a pile of lies or emotions. We can yet overcome the weakness of our flesh, mold ourselves into what we always aspired to be and show to everyone that we're dragon first and foremost.
>and demand an explanation for all of this, from the Novice.
Did she actually know?
>>
>>5268943
>Acceptance and understanding; this really does explain a great deal, and you plan to re-evaluate your self-conception and your goals in light of it
>>
>>5268949
Well I'm not complaining about extra content! Just don't like waking up to 20 posts and wondering what juicy votes I missed, lol. I hope things get better for you soon, RQM. Please take care of yourself when not compulsively writing.
>>
>>5268943
>Embarrassment and determination; you will hide this, and you will CORRECT it by means of magic or otherwise
>Acceptance and understanding; this really does explain a great deal, and you plan to re-evaluate your self-conception and your goals in light of it

Dragonheart
>>
>>5268959
>supporting
>>
>>5268943
>Shame and self-loathing; you are no Dragonborn, but a fraud and a failure, born from the lowliest and most disgusting sort of Reptilian that exists
>>
>>5268945
>>5268959
>>5268960
>>5268960
>>5269054
>>5269067
>just b urself
Cucks.
>>
>>5268943
>Acceptance and understanding; this really does explain a great deal, and you plan to re-evaluate your self-conception and your goals in light of it

We are great because we are great. There is no need for improvement really, it is only adding onto our excellence. Our mother is great because she birthed us too. Accept it.
>>
>>5269072
Lol, I just don’t want us to sperg out or develop self-loathing. Besides, there is a way to make us and the Great One brothers yet… for another time though.
>>
>>5268872
Catanon, I would appreciate it if you can keep the TL;DRs to yourself if you could. I know you’re trying to be helpful, but that is metaknowledge that hasn’t been earned (via reading), and keeping some revelations hidden may actually improve the experience for the others or force them to read Reptilian Infiltrator Quest to get those juicy TL;DR spoilers.
>>
>>5268943
>Righteous fury! You will storm up to the Chaplain and demand an explanation for all of this, NOW!
>>
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It's shit.
>>
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>>5268945
>>5268959
>>5268960
>>5269054
>>5269067
>>5269070
>>5269082
>>5269095
Your initial instinct is embarrassment, that you believed a fabrication for so long and built your own legend up in your mind. The Novice, whatever she knew or did not know, was right about one thing: your ego has outgrown your actual self. You envisioned yourself some Champion to the Dark Gods, because of the dragon’s blood coursing through your veins in your imaginings… But that river is but a trickling stream. The noble blood is but a few droplets in an ocean.

But then, it seems such was true of your ignoble mother as well, wasn’t it? And yet… She rescued the Green Dragonborn, your brother. By the way you understand it, she was instrumental in repairing the errors of his human creator, and jumpstarting the Dragonborn Project. Is that why they allowed a tainted bloodline like hers to continue—to produce you? Why raise you in such a lie rather than simply telling you the truth, and treating you the same as other Degenerates?

“Well then,” you wryly muse aloud, “the Dark Gods must have an important purpose for me after all. I shall have to make myself worthy of it.”

The revelations have clearly exhausted your older brother, but you sense a peace in him, and you find your own soul mirroring it. No angst or inner tumult for you—it does not befit a Dragonborn, and by birth or by right of dark knowledge and glorious conquest, you WILL become worthy of that title!

Worthiness must wait until after a spell of torpor, however. You, too, find yourself tired. You return to your chamber, where you lay down upon your spartan cot. You toss, you turn… But eventually, sleep comes, and it is as untroubled as every other such slumber.

When morning comes, it brings you acceptance of your circumstances, understanding that the past is immutable… And a determination to change your future. It is within your grasp, if you will but seize it!

One thing at a time, though. Your armour will not be complete for approximately another 36 hours, and there are yet preparations to be made for the journey ahead, a little over 100 hours after that. You…
>Go to see the Chaplain—now that you know the truth, you have questions for him [specify if you have anything in mind]
>Intend to master the art of Biological Manipulation as soon as possible, which means finding the Novice [specify if you confront her about your discovery or not]
>Read and meditate upon the Scroll of Divination, attempting to understand and master the spell within
>Take up your sword and head for the sparring grounds, to train your swordsmanship for battles to come
>Need a distraction, and the breeding pits are perfectly suited to such purposes
>Begin recruiting for the retinue which will accompany you on your journey
>Study the maps of the route and learn of elven culture
>Write-in

>>5269126
Sorry it's not to your liking.
>>
>>5269153
>Study the maps of the route and learn of elven culture
Let's be practical.
>>
>>5269153
>Intend to master the art of Biological Manipulation as soon as possible, which means finding the Novice [specify if you confront her about your discovery or not]
>>
>>5269166
No, now is not the time to confront the novice. Let her remain ignorant for the time being.
>>
>>5269153
>Begin recruiting for the retinue which will accompany you on your journey
>Study the maps of the route and learn of elven culture

I guess we take after our mother - burying emotional trauma through work
>>
>>5269153
>Go to see the Chaplain—now that you know the truth, you have questions for him [specify if you have anything in mind]
Why mislead us about the circumstances of our birth?
How much big stacy energy would he rate our mom as having from 1-100?
>>
>>5269153
>Need a distraction, and the breeding pits are perfectly suited to such purposes

I’m just curious if it’s something like a reptilian night club or just a couple of pits with a writhing mass of sneks in it.
>>
>>5269153
Could just be his interpretation of the MC’s reaction mate.
>>
>>5269153
>Read and meditate upon the Scroll of Divination, attempting to understand and master the spell within

>Intend to master the art of Biological Manipulation as soon as possible, which means finding the Novice (Don't confront)
>>
>>5269259
>>5269212
>>5269183
>>5269172
>>5269166
>>5269162
[Quite the spread! Was I overgenerous with options? Should I limit them or present them more sequentially next time? I will probably post once more before bed, or tomorrow, and will try to incorporate at least a couple front-runners.]
>>
>>5269261
the options were too balanced
you need one that's clearly better than the others
>>
>>5269153
>Take up your sword and head for the sparring grounds, to train your swordsmanship for battles to come
>>
>>5269261
Bedsides the flesh pits, all these option's could be argued to have practical use.
>>
>>5269153
>Need a distraction, and the breeding pits are perfectly suited to such purposes

There MUST be a practical application.
>>
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>>5269162
>>5269172
Two for ethno-geographical studies

>>5269166
>>5269259
Two for Biological Manipulations studies

>>5269212
>>5269294
Two for a visit to the breeding pits

[Alright, I can work with this. Locking vote, post incoming.]
>>
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>>5269294
>>5269289
>>5269282
>>5269259
>>5269212
>>5269183
>>5269172
>>5269166
>>5269162
You cave to the <APPETITE>, your need for a distraction from recent and (if you’re being honest) still somewhat troubling overruling your drives towards practicality and propriety. Before anything else, you decide to pay a visit to the breeding pits.

The pits are deeper into the earth than most of the forward base, close to the well-guarded rookery which houses the resultant eggs. Reptilians are not like mammals, and certainly not like humans and goblinoids who breed profligately and year-round. Rather, the breeding cycles of Reptilians are more sporadic even than the beastmen of the eastern surface-lands; where they experience arousing and develop the ability to breed seasonally during each year, a Reptilian goes years—sometimes decades, in older ages—between feeling the urge for sexual congress and reproduction. This is for the best, as with your diminished numbers and the requirement to maintain a diversity of uniquely-specialized subraces for the sake of the Grand Design, breeding must be coordinated carefully among those Reptilians not already bound as chattel to a higher-ranked male. The breeding pits are where such un-committed pairings occur, between Reptilians closely-related enough to reliably produce a useful offspring of like type—Silkscale clan with Silkscale, for instance—but distantly-related enough to avoid deleterious effects to the bloodline.

Of course, this has always been the rationale for forbidding your entry: a Dragonborn must be bred selectively, if at all, following the Fleshweavers’ dictates. This proved especially frustrating in your early adolescence, when a powerful and perpetual such urge swelled within you every few months and carried you here to spy upon the couples in Priest-approved coitus. Now, you see the rationale in a new light… For, of course, Degenerates are forbidden to ever breed.

Hm. A lot of things really ARE beginning to lend themselves to fresh interpretation in light of last night’s empathic communion.

You watch the action for a time, taking in sights, sounds, and smells which set your blood ablaze, before your obvious and untoward interest draws the attention of Steeltalon placed to bar the spawn of shamed and genetically-inferior bloodlines, or to pry apart forbidden couplings
>>
>>5269310
“Dragonborn,” the pit-guardian acknowledges you as he approaches, swaggering with self-importance from this (frankly fairly lowly) post. “You should not be here. You are barred entry, barring a writ from the Fleshweavers. You know this well, from our LAST encounter, when you were young.”

The male is almost freakish in his size. Steeltalons are large Reptilians by default, muscular and ectomorphic, with long claws which earn them their namesake and a coiled body which can extend outwards. This one, already assuming a combative posture, is actually an equal to you in height and almost half again your wight and musculature—a rarity indeed. He has also been chasing you away from this place since before your growth spurt.

“Leave me be,” you growl, your back up from the hormones addled by the activities within the pit he protects. “I leave the forward base in a few days, and I simply desire to take what relief I will before I lead our people to victory against heresy.”

This seems to set the Steeltalon Pit-Guard off, however.

“You, a mere whelp a quarter of my age, is leading a mission to the surface?” the Pit-Guard demands. “By what right?! Size? Tainted dragon-blood?”

You narrow your eyes and hiss. The rival male goes too far, without knowing it—you are not inclined to appreciate a slight against your heritage right now.

How do you respond?
>Take the opportunity to hone your unarmed combat skills
>Test your new blade, if he will dare—take it to the sparring grounds
>Stare him down, and dare him to make something of it [Intimidation]
>Shake it off, and leave for more important matters, such as your studies
>Offer this robust male a place on your retinue
>Write-in

After this is resolved, the studies will come next
>>
>>5269312
>Take the opportunity to hone your unarmed combat skills
>Offer this robust male a place on your retinue

Fist fights make friends...
>>
>>5269312
>>5269314
+1
Let's settle it like men.
>>
>>5269312
>Take the opportunity to hone your unarmed combat skills
>Offer this robust male a place on your retinue
Having a arousal-fueled fight pounding another man with our fists isn’t gay at all, no sir!
>>
>>5269312
First
>Stare him down, and dare him to make something of it [Intimidation]
Then
>Take the opportunity to hone your unarmed combat skills
>Offer this robust male a place on your retinue
Gotta make sure he ain’t a pussy with all the bark he’s giving us. Captcha be like N4RPG.
>>
>>Test your new blade, if he will dare—take it to the sparring grounds.

This dude is larger than us, and our wing option gave increased agility not strength or durability. We might lose a fist fight.
>>
>>5269341
We can also jump really high we just have to do a vertical leaping uppercut and we'll knock his head off.
>>
>>5269341
The point of this isn’t to win, but to test his mettle and train our unarmed combat skills. We won’t get a level up in specific skills if we don use or train in them regularly.
>>
>>5269312
>Shake it off, and leave for more important matters, such as your studies
>>
>>5269339
+1
>>
>>5269312
>Shake it off, and leave for more important matters, such as your studies
>>
Rolled 9, 9 = 18 (2d20)

>>5269314
>>5269321
>>5269324
>>5269339
>>5269341
>>5269401
>>5269395
>>5269381

You tilt your head, maintaining defiant eye contact—a gesture of challenge.

“You think yourself better-suited to leading an expedition?” you ask, voice full of skepticism. “Why—because you were able to frighten and beat me when I was half the size and age I am now, Aged One?”

“Aged?!” the Steeltalon Pit-Guard cries. “Hatchling! Brat! Favoured child of no lineage, mage-grown golem!”

“Is it true,” you ask levelly, “that they assign eunuchs and those given to reproductive dysfunction the position of pit-guard? Did this come with age, or was the previous guard remiss in his duties when you were conceived?”

The pit shocked for a moment at your impudence and overt disrespect…

[Intimidate check]
>>
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Rolled 16, 15 = 31 (2d20)

>>5269407
>9
…And then he grins mirthlessly and mercilessly.

“So it is to be a fight,” he recognizes.

You crack your neck and spread arms and legs wide in a grappling stance, looking up at him with your own carnivorous ‘smile’ exposed.

“If you wish you see the surface,” you say, “then prove that you deserve the privilege.”

“You will live to regret the offer, Inexperienced One,” the Pit-Guard says.

“Or you will regret accepting the challenge,” you reply, “if you live.”

He hisses, and lunges, locking arms like coiled springs with your own and leaning weigh in excess even of your three hundred pounds. Against you, to push you back and bowl your over.
>>
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>>5269415
>15
This direct manoeuvre is a foolish one. The Steeltalon would have realized that, if he was experienced with more than handling lowborn, libidinous ruffians. A taller foe, apply top-heavy force to you in a direct charge? It’s almost laughable how easily youd riect his force, falling backwards and kicking up your hind legs and tail to flip him over you and into the opposite wall.

The fornication within the breeding-pit ceased at the sound of falling stone, as the impact dislodges and ancient and much-weathered edifice. You briefly regret the damage to ancestral architecture, and consider calling the fight… But then, the Pit-Guard rises, dazed and disoriented but unrelenting.

“Luck!” he declares of your skillful countermeasure. “Luck and trickery! Show me your fabled strength, Spawn of Dragons, not your ability to EVADE a real challenger!”

The Pit-Guard spits out a tooth, wiping blood from his mouth; he must have collided with the stone carvings of ancestral champions face-first. Still, he braces and readies for your counter-attack with respectable resilience. Well, who are you to refuse?

Frankly, with your building and unaddressed sexual frustration, the aggression is a useful good outlet.

“Well,” you say, “you asked for it, Steeltalon.”

You take a breath, filling your chest-cavity with air, and think of the surface—of the sky. You bend at the knee and, before he can registered what is happening, you are up, up, and away. The Steeltalon Pit-Guard, strong and hardy but evidently none-to-bright, stares blankly at where youw ere, and only belatedly turns his head upward to the ceiling just in time to meet your closed hand, your knuckles impacting his eye socket and slamming him to the ground.

You land astride him, and rotate your shoulder once to pop your arm back into its socket. A Steeltalon is a sturdy adversary indeed, and this one more than most! Despite this, a single blow of such magnitude was enough to level him. You’re almost disappointed.
>>
>>5269430
Well, you needn’t have been, as it turns out. He was faking unconsciousness, long enough to coil a tail around your ankle and to pull you off-balance. The Pit-Guard roars as he rises, into an uppercut which you narrowly dodge. The next strike, a frantic-but-powerful haymaker to the gut, knocks the held breath from your lungs. Still, you evade the next knock-out punch aimed at your head, staggering back as you dodge blow after blow.

“Magic!” the Steeltalon spits. “I thought I asked for an end to trickery, Dragonborn?!”

“Yes,” you acknowledge, “but then you swept the leg.”

“It is entirely different!” he protests, thrusting a leg forward to catch your knee. You buckle, falling to the other, still-good knee. “I am using martial merit, honest and hard-won strength! Where is yours? Am I sparing the females here the shallow thrusts of a weakling?!”

A crowd has gathered, chuckling their croaking chuckles at the exchange of blows and banter. The thought of losing both galls you, even as you are impressed by your adversary…

>16

…But the attention, unfamiliar to your enemy, distracts the pit-Guard more than you. He turns to survey them, and it is his undoing. You tackle him at the waist as you rise and, ignoring the pain in your knee, you rush him into the opposite wall. He roars in pain and frustration as you bowl him over, and then the blow to the face begin.

You do not stop until he relents.

The both of you draw ragged breaths, regaining your strength. He is worse for wear than you, but your knee still cries out for vengeance and retribution, even as your heart feels strangely gladdened at the victory over a worthy opponents.

“So,” the pit-Guard gasps, averting his eyes and bowing his head, “the glory is yours, after all… And the surface.”

The appreciative murmurs and favourable commentary of those in attendance is audible to you both, as are the critiques of the Pit-Guard’s failings. The area is rank with the raunchy odour of females in heat—females who, while you are barred to breed with them, now regard you with the instinctive attraction due a male who has won such a contest. Your own lust rises to meet them, as your ego swells anew, and something else swells also.

What do you do?
>Take breeding rights with the highest-status female here as your prize, Serpent Priests and Dragonborn project be damned
>Take your leave, before you do something rash—you have what you wanted, by way of a release and a test f your mettle
>Help the Pit-Guard up, and offer the formidable rival male a place in your retinue regardless of his loss
>Humiliate and mutilate the Pit-Guard before the crowd—none shall challenge your right to rule ever again
>Write-in
>>
>>5269431
>Help the Pit-Guard up, and offer the formidable rival male a place in your retinue regardless of his loss
>Take breeding rights with the highest-status female here as your prize, Serpent Priests and Dragonborn project be damned

We are dragon, we devour, we take, we rule.
>>
>>5269431
>Help the Pit-Guard up, and offer the formidable rival male a place in your retinue regardless of his loss

Calm down little guy we’ll fuck some elves later, okay?! Calm down!
>>
>>5269431
>Help the Pit-Guard up
Do not get greedy just yet, we are still only a dragon in name.
>>
>>5269431
>Help the Pit-Guard up, and offer the formidable rival male a place in your retinue regardless of his loss
>>
>>5269431
>Take breeding rights with the highest-status female here as your prize, Serpent Priests and Dragonborn project be damned
>Help the Pit-Guard up, and offer the formidable rival male a place in your retinue regardless of his loss

Now that we’ve clearly established our rights and authority as Dragonborn, we’ll take what is ours. Don’t fail us on the job, you old steel bastard.
>>
>>5269431
>Help the Pit-Guard up, and offer the formidable rival male a place in your retinue regardless of his loss
>Take a leave
I thought anons left previous quest because Ismena was a whore? ;^)
>>
>>5269527
To be fair, being a Paladin would’ve been way more engaging.
>>
>>5269431
>>Humiliate and mutilate the Pit-Guard before the crowd—none shall challenge your right to rule ever again
>>
>>5269431

>Take breeding rights with the highest-status female here as your prize, Serpent Priests and Dragonborn project be damned
Yolo
>>
>>5269431
>Take breeding rights with the highest-status female here as your prize, Serpent Priests and Dragonborn project be damned
>Humiliate and mutilate the Pit-Guard before the crowd—none shall challenge your right to rule ever again
Taking his dick as a wall mount has some twisted poetic justice to it, no?
>>
If this results in a 1/8 human bastard, I hope we get castrated.
>>
>>5269686
Have faith, catanon. They’ll break the egg before that ever happens.
>>
>>5269431
>>Help the Pit-Guard up, and offer the formidable rival male a place in your retinue regardless of his loss
>>
>>5269431
>Help the Pit-Guard up
>>
I fucking called it, first fucking chance you waifufaggots get to coom, 3 new 1 post ids show up.
>>
Rolled 4, 16 = 20 (2d20)

>>5269433
>>5269455
>>5269658
>>5269667
>>5269442
>>5269448
>>5269450
>>5269527
>>5269725
>>5269727
>>5269571

You stand tall, taking your turn to look over the desirable mates which fill out the roster. Wide, egg-bearing hips… Smooth, svelte feminine forms,… Long, smooth tails, perfect to sling under an arm or over a shoulder for leverage… And their eyes on you, their desire resting with YOU… Their dragon. A dragon conquers. A dragon TAKES. DEVOURS. RULES.

You shake your head to clear it of the untoward ambition. You are still a dragon in name only… And you already have plans in your itinerary, for which you are already late.

You offer a hand to the fallen Pit-Guard, who stares at it and then, grudgingly, accepts it.

“You were a worthy and mighty foe,” you say. It’s the truth, but you say it loudly, for the benefit of those watching. “I am going to the surface, to subjugate slaves who have dared to rise above their station. You, an enforcer of such force and skill, deserve to join me in this most noble cause. Will you do so?”

The Pit-Guard’s one eye is beginning to swell shut, but he stares lidlessly at you with the other, confused at this mercy.

“I would think you soft,” he says after a moment, “were your fists not like adamantine.”

He bows his head low again, and submits to your authority… As his new field-commander.
>>
>>5269777
Not long after, you arrive at your second appointment of the day—a more formal one, with the Novice, to study up on the mission ahead and to learn something of her discipline.

“Why are you limping?” she asks, then extends her tongue to sample the air and scrunches her face. “And why do you reek of pheromones?”

You shrug, maintaining your cool as you settle into a seat across from her at the small table—darkwood, an exotic surface-substance—for your first lesson with your new tutor.

“You know you are forbidden to breed,” she murmurs.

“More jealousy?” you taunt, to mask to pain you feel when you bend your knee and your continued virginity.

“Quiet yourself, Warmblooded One,” she snipes back. “If you injure yourself in your pitiful self-pleasure sessions, you cannot handle a Serpent Priestess.”

“A Little Sister and Novice at best,” you correct her, eliciting an irritated hiss.

“Hold still while I mend that knee,” she says. “I have no time to teach a distracted student.”

You lookdown at the Novice as she kneels before you, waving hands in arcane patterns over your injured knee. The posture is… Suggestive. In your current, frustrated state, it’s almost more than you can bare. You feel a fiery need building inside you, and begin to reach out.

“Down, boy,” she says, giving your hemipenes a hard flick with a clawed digit, and thus painfully putting an end to that line of thought. “This, too, is distraction.”

The Novice completes her healing—a minor curing of wounds, but impressive in its speed and efficacy. It is almost as if you never battled that brute of a Pit-Guard at all. Her skills are more than mere bluster, after all, it seems. Good—that’s why you’re here!

“The bruising on your torso,” the Novice says, standing up and smoothing her cloak, “is a reminder not to be a fool in the future.”

“You should see the other male,” you say, a touch boastfully.

“Even after a beating, he cannot be any more hideous than you,” she shoots back. “Are you ready to begin the lesson, Dragondick?”
>>
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>>5269814

>16

Once your ‘distraction’ dies down, your studies begin. The Novice is, as it turns out, actually as good as her reputation suggested and her father’s bloodline should warrant. She begins with the principles of exterior transformation and superficial modification first and foremost.

“Less chance of serious and fatal organ failure or permanent disability, if a Most Noble and Heroic Dragonborn fails miserably at it,” she mocks.

You narrow your eyes at the predictable jab, not in offence but as it reminds you on the persistent, nagging question in the back of your mind. Despite her warnings to avoid distraction, you cannot help but wonder… Has her father told her of your genesis? Is that why she so undermines you? You consider confronting her directly…

“When we met with the Chaplain, you seemed knowledgeable somewhat of the savage mammal-races we would encounter along either route,” you say. “I have chosen the subterranean passage.”

The Novice pauses in her readings and explanations of the manuals, and the accompanying arcane gestures. You see her tail lash, a sign of irritation masked in her expression, hidden behind mockery.

“Is the Lesser Dragonborn afraid of the big bad sun and moon?” she goads you. “Of men and of goblins?”

“Of needless glory-seeking exposing our people’s conspiracies, maybe,” you counter dryly. “We will see the surface soon enough.”

The disappointment is palpable—this female wants to explore that realm of rumor and legend even more than you, it seems!

“Fine,” she hisses. “Then you wish to learn of the outcast elves, and the path through their so-called ‘hunting grounds’?”

It seems that ‘hunting grounds’ is, indeed, a more apt term than ‘nation’ or ‘kingdom’ or even ‘territory’. These subterranean elves have been scarcely-seen by your people, their ethnography a matter of little consideration, for they are few in number and impermanent in residence.

“Or,” the Novice correct conspiratorially, “at least no such permanent settlement of size has been detected. The journey will take us by a deep lake and a series of spiderwebbing caverns, like cracks and fissure sin the deep earth. I have personally wondered if the others of their race—females, immature offspring—might dwell deeper, hidden below that maze… Maybe nearly so deep as our own race!”

“I didn’t know you liked frivolous fantasy literature,” you ridicule, drawing another rattling hiss—half annoyance, half amusement.

Regardless of whether they be nomadic troglodytes or some scouting party from a hidden kingdom, the elves are dangerous. They seem to be quite stealthy, as a Silkscale, using small units, poisons harvested from cave-arthorpods, and hit-and-run tactics against interlopers.
>>
“And we cannot simply infiltrate them, to learn more or to subvert them?” you ask. This is a frustrating lack of knowledge, from a female you are grudgingly coming to view as aknwoledgeable.
>>5269816

“Ah, it is here that our lessons converge!” the Novice says, gesturing to her manual and producing an amulet from her robes—an Amulet of Disguise.

“As even you MUST know, I would HOPE,” she begins with usual condescension, “an Amulet of Disguise is a Fleshweaver creation. That is to say, it is not mere illusion alone, but it is actually made through ancient rites, utilizing the blood taken from the targeted race. In fact, multiple INDIVIDUALS of the targeted race, so as to create a new false identity; taking from only one tends to produce an imperfect and uncanny mimicry of the blood’s original owner, which fails to convince even as it raises questions.”

“We lack sufficient samples of these elusive outcast elves’ blood,” you surmise, already seeing where she is going.

“Yes,” the Novice says excitedly, “but we have witness descriptions! They are small, dark of skin, fair of hair—all relative to their surface cousins, I mean.”

You blink. Surely she cannot mean that she has created a working disguise from descriptions alone? It beggars belief. How would one even do such a thing?

“Not from description,” she corrects you, “but from HYBRIDS. Half-elven blood, taken from the surface, and mixed with HUMAN samples… Well, and others. In the Southlands, the humans are dark; in the Northlands, there are strange little kobold-like humanoids called ‘halflings’. By mixing these together…”

The Novice stands shedding her cloak to reveal her nudity with a startling abruptness that startles you too much even to arouse you. Then, with dramatic flourish, she dons the Amulet of Disguise and…

“Behold!” she says, speaking true of the new form which she assumes: “A short, dark elf!”
>>
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>>5269818
You stare at the naked, unfamiliar form before you: female in ways that your own race’s females are not. Wide of hips, yes, but also of chest, and with soft, dark skin devoid of obvious scales or protrusions… And with a long mane of silky, golden hair.

“Well?” the Novice demands, doing a twirl to show off the entirety of this false form. “What say you? Is it not amazing work?”

You acknowledge the craft, levelly and with neutral tone, and the female… Pouts?

“I am underappreciated in my own era,” she laments, crossing her arms beneath her mammalian chest-glands. “I am surrounded by fools who lack the knowledge to even appreciate their own ignorance.”

Still, the tutelage was no waste this day. You have a better idea of what to expect in the caverns of these ‘dark elves’, and while you will not be making any Amulets of Disguise yourself anytime soon, you think you understand the underlying principles. With a couple more lessons, you might even be able to make small cosmetic changes—such as the Novice demonstrates by shifting her false body’s proportions and colouration ever so slightly.

“Perhaps we can even get rid of your ape-fluff,” she teases, swatting at your hair with a laugh.

“Perhaps,” you say, not yet committed to the idea.

“Well, that concludes the lesson plan,” she says. “You may take your leave and give me some peace from your sex-stench, if that is all?”

You hesitate. She raises an eyebrow. Why is she still in that form? Why is she still nude?!

What do you do?
>Ask the Novice about your history and heritage—did she know?
>Ask the Novice about her relationship with her father—what knowledge has he shared, which perhaps he has kept from you, about your destiny?
>Ask something else about Fleshweaving or about elves [what?]
>Ask the Novice about her opinions on party composition for your retinue
>Proposition the Novice Fleshweaver—something about that elfin-form DOES something for you, and you are still as-yet unsatisfied
>Leave to practice your own scroll’s magic, and to commune with the Dragonborn
>Write-in
>>
>>5269819
>Ask the Novice about her relationship with her father—what knowledge has he shared, which perhaps he has kept from you, about your destiny?
>Proposition the Novice Fleshweaver—something about that elfin-form DOES something for you, and you are still as-yet unsatisfied
>>
>>5269819
>Ask the Novice about your history and heritage—did she know?
>Mock her for enjoying looking like a titted monkey this much
>Leave to practice your own scroll’s magic, and to commune with the Dragonborn
Bros before apelike-hoes.

>picrel
You're gonna make our resident coomers get brain aneurysm.
>>
>>5269847
>implying that wasn’t the point

lol
>>
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>>5269861
>claiming QM was fondling his balls on purpose
while
>being so coombrained he forgot QM repeatedly saying "she's not interested, not in breeding season and dragonborn isn't supposed to put dick in silkscale"
and
>voted to fuck Novice while she looks like a gross ape anyway
right after
>Novice literally CLAWED his dick away this update
all because of
>bait choice
LOL
>reddit spacing
LMAO
>>
>>5269884
Actually, my reasons are less coomerbrained and more to confirm some suspicions I have… but yes, the QM is clearly teasing you incels at this point. Besides, we’re going to lose our virginity to an ape at this rate (and it will happen while on the job, mark my words), so losing it to a proper high status reptilian in proper reptilian fashion (i.e. meaningless rando sex) would’ve been the best and proper way to do it.
>>
>>5269819
>Ask the Novice about her relationship with her father—what knowledge has he shared, which perhaps he has kept from you, about your destiny?
>Leave to practice your own scroll’s magic, and to commune with the Dragonborn
>>
>>5269819
>Ask the Novice about her relationship with her father—what knowledge has he shared, which perhaps he has kept from you, about your destiny?

>Proposition the Novice Fleshweaver—something about that elfin-form DOES something for you, and you are still as-yet unsatisfied

She’ll say no but it will be funny to see her reaction to us liking titty apes!
>>
>>5269884
It was a playful claw! A playful claw I swear!
>>
>>5269932
More likely happy to get some appreciation for her work… until she realizes the hidden roast that she looks better as an ape than a proper lizard.
>>
>>5269819
>Leave to practice your own scroll’s magic, and to commune with the Dragonborn
>>
>>5269819
>Proposition the Novice Fleshweaver—something about that elfin-form DOES something for you, and you are still as-yet unsatisfied
>>
>>5269819
>Throw a piece of cloth at her, you will not be distracted any longer when there is a mission to organize and prepare for. Glory and renown will be soon yours, and with it this kind of mocking will be silenced.
>Ask the Novice about your history and heritage—did she know?
>Ask something else. How they fight and what kind of weapons or magic they have. If we are going to fight them is best to know it
>Leave to practice your own scroll’s magic, and to commune with the Dragonborn
If we have spare time
>Recruit your retinue with the Steeltalon aid
If not just sleep, we can prepare further tomorrow
>>
>>5269978
Know what. If you're going to vote for 15 different things I should be able to vote for 3 things. I also hate the attitude of your first action. Let's proposition the Novice. Changing my vote.

>Ask the Novice about her relationship with her father—what knowledge has he shared, which perhaps he has kept from you, about your destiny?
>Proposition the Novice Fleshweaver—something about that elfin-form DOES something for you, and you are still as-yet unsatisfied
>Leave to practice your own scroll’s magic, and to commune with the Dragonborn
>>
>>5269818
*grudgingly coming to view as knowledgeable
>>
>>5269903
>Anyone who doesn’t vote my for waifufagging and coomershit is a incel.
I hope to God, for your sake, that you are merely pretending.
>>
>>5269819
>Ask the Novice about her relationship with her father—what knowledge has he shared, which perhaps he has kept from you, about your destiny?

no proposition please people
>>
>>5269847
+1
>>
>>5270034
If you want to take away that misrepresentation of what I said, you’re free to.
>>
>>5269978
+1
Also voting against prepositioning.
>>
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>>5269903
>takes a potshot at coomers
>but wants to force dick into literally the first female we've met, who hard-rejected him (in-game + meta commentary), ooga-booga style
>gets called out for it
>makes up bullshit excuses that contradict themselves on many levels
>calls the noncoombrained anons incels
What in Dark Gods' names did he mean by this?

>>5270037
>>5270049
based anons
>>
>>5269847
>>5269978
>>5270050
Roaming ID?
>>
>>5270055
I’m not accusing anyone of anything I’m only asking. You all format the same way and have the same writing quirks with at most 2 posts on the ID.
>>
>>5270050
>thinking the propositioning will actually work
Lol. To actually explain, I was referring to the breeding pits in my example, as I don’t really waifu as much as you seem to think I do. I see the proposition as more of a cheeky insult than anything substantive.

But whatever floats your boat anon.

>>5270055
I’d usually assume samefagging after the initial couple of updates, but I know of at least one autist who does have Roaming ID, so it’s alright to be charitable in these sorts of things.
>>
>>5269819
>Proposition the Novice Fleshweaver—something about that elfin-form DOES something for you, and you are still as-yet unsatisfied
The anti-proposition reactions are funny to read.
>>
>>5269819
>Leave to practice your own scroll’s magic, and to commune with the Dragonborn
Do I have to read the last quest, skimmed the first thread and didn’t really like it
>>
>>5270158
>>5269978
>Ask something else. How they fight and what kind of weapons or magic they have. If we are going to fight them is best to know it
Add this to my vote
>>
>>5270055
>>5270079
Yes, I'm your local phonefag. Apogogies.
>>5270097
>I see the proposition as more of a cheeky insult than anything substantive.
Oh, so now
>>something about that elfin-form DOES something for you, and you are still as-yet unsatisfied
was just a "cheeky insult", and you simply didn't think to mention, that you meant it as a "cheeky insult". You also didn't specify to leave. You also argued in defense of actually fucking her.
Must've been a fluke.
>autism
Could be, but it's better than being so delusional you start believing your own lies.
>>5270146
>2 posts by this id
>secind one was "YOLO" for using breeding pits
>>
>>5270158
Nah. You'll just miss some lore, not recognize old characters (Dragonborn, Chaplain, etc), but RQM is great at providing context to all situations, so you won't find yourself confused or anything lile that. He also answers all player questions OOC.
>>
>>5269819
>Ask the Novice about her opinions on party composition for your retinue
>Ask the Novice about your history and heritage—did she know?
>>
>>5269819
>Leave to practice your own scroll’s magic, and to commune with the Dragonborn
Let them remain ignorant of our knowledge of the truth for the time being, the best time I feel is when we’ve built our power to the point that they can not use the truth of our birth against us.
>>
>>5269819
>>Leave to practice your own scroll’s magic, and to commune with the Dragonborn
Please I don't want to play an incel dragonborn
>>
>>5270270
This is your first vote. Relax.
>>
>>5269819
>>Ask the Novice about her relationship with her father—what knowledge has he shared, which perhaps he has kept from you, about your destiny?
>>
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>>5270495
>>5270270
>>5270204
>>5270185
>>5270171
>>5270158
>>5270146
>>5270049
>>5270037
>>5270036
>>5270034
>>5269982
>>5269978
>>5269965
>>5269946
>>5269932
>>5269847
>>5269837
>TABULATING
>TABULATING
>VOTES TABULATED
>POST CREATION INITIATED
>>
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>>5270608
“Why are you still in that form?” you ask, exasperated and unable to ignore it any longer.

“Hmmm?” she muses, tapping her full, elven lips. “Why? Is there some sort of… PROBLEM, Dragonborn?”

You lift your own lip in a frustrated snarl, and snatch her robes up, throwing them into her face. She flails to remove them from her vision.

“Whatever bizarre enjoyment you derive from masquerading as some chesty ape-woman, I will not be distracted like this. There is a mission to organize and prepare for, or have you forgotten? Glory and renown will be soon mine, and with it this kind of mockery will END.”

The Novice stares at you, blinking a few times, and then a wide and mischievous grin spreads across her face and she begins to titter.

“Ah, so this form’s chest provides a ‘distraction’ for you, does it? Stirs the mammalian breeding instinct? Unexpected! But I suppose it only makes sense… Given your ignoble ancestry, oh Noble One. I will take it as a compliment to my skill in crafting this guise!”

She presses the chest-mounds together, and you turn away in what you pretend is disgust, though you and she both know better. She laughs openly, and the familiar-yet-alien sound of her derision filtered through a mammalian maw makes your skin crawl and your blood-pressure rise.

“Just how much DO you know of my heritage?!” you snap, losing your cool for just an instant as your own strange instincts and stifled sexual urges disrupt your usual calm.

The Novice Fleshweaver tilts her head in apparent confusion, and asks: “What do you mean?”

“I mean what did your father, the Chaplain, tell you? About me? About my… Creation?”

She narrows her eyes, and says nothing. Her expression, veiled behind her natural cunning and the unusual and alien visage she still wears, makes her impossible to read.

“I know the entirety of it,” she says, “OBVIOUSLY.”

“Then why?” you ask her, your emotionality exploding out in a sudden burst. “Why did you—did HE—lie to me all these years? Why did you all even PRETEND I was a real Dragonborn?”

She stares, eyes wide. Immediately, you realize you have made a mistake. Damn these pubescent hormones! Damn your half-mammal mother for bequeathing you with—

No. No. You take a breath. You steady yourself. You are Dragon. You are Sovereign. You are BETTER than this.

“What do you mean?” the Novice asks quietly, donning her now ill-fitting robes and elaning in with serious expression.

You sigh. Well, if the human sacrifice is out of the bag, as it were, it’s best not to leave her to speculate. You spill the sordid story of your conception and your tainted bloodline, as you now understand it. To your surprise, the Novice seems truly ignorant of the whole affair.
>>
Rolled 20, 13 = 33 (2d20)

>>5270636
“I thought you a failed experiment in dragon-hybridization,” she mutters, looking at you with renewed interest, “but THIS…”

You wait for the usual verbal abuse.

“…This is FAR more fascinating,” she says.

“Wait,” you say, “what?”

“Think about it!” she exclaims. “Your phenotype is… Draconic! The fur is an aberration, the body imperfect, the mind obviously somewhat polluted by mammalian thoughts and instincts…”

You grimace inwardly. THERE she is, your childhood tormenter.

“…But all these years, I genuinely thought you Dragonborn! A poorly-constructed one, but a TRUE Dragonborn!”

You meet her eyes, surprised to hear the admission. She shows no remorse, nor disgust, just… Excitement. What she says next shocks you even more.

“Fleshweaving can make a being like you, a SUPERIOR being transcendent of its component parts, out of… Genetic GARBAGE. You are proof-of-concept for my own theories—that the spirit and the will have nearly as much effect in how a being develops as the bloodline! You think you are a Dragonborn, and so you ARE a Dragonborn!”

“…I am?” you ask. It wasn’t necessarily in doubt, but you hardly expected THIS female, of all Reptilians, to agree.

She nods eagerly, eyeing you like you were a living God... Or perhaps an especially-impressive monster.

“Why do you think the Chalain kept such a secret?” you ask again. “What did he intend?”

“Perhaps Father wishes to preserve the traditional hierarchy?” she suggests, clearly uncertain herself. “If Reptilians of lesser stripe realized that they could be everything you are… Or I am… Or HE is… With a few sessions with a suitably-skilled Fleshweaver… Well, why deny ANYONE access to the breeding pits? Why afford ANY caste special privilege?”

You mull over this notion yourself. It seems… Heretical. Fundamentally WRONG.

“Go,” the Novice Fleshweaver commands (how dare she!), waving you away (outrage!). “I have much to thin about.”

“Fine,” you say, standing. “I have OTHER studies to attend to, anyway.”

DC 18, because: you aren't a Serpent Priest; you have no teacher in Divination; you are sexually-frustrated and emotionally-compromised
>>
>>5270640
yes
we finally shall reform reptilian society to something more sensible
>>
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>>5270640
You return to your room—NOT to your brother’s chamber with his nubile young harem, not in your current state—and focus your energies upon your education. Study, the enlightenment of mind and the ascension of your ascetic spirit, THESE will be your path to inner peace and glorious victory!

Unable to calm the raging fire within your chest, your stomach, your loins, you focus your inner flame to an intensity like dragon-fire, and turn it upon the scroll which you spread out before you. It is a single page, almost more a poster than a scroll, but the single great sigil it bears in intricate in the extreme—a pattern of overlayed star-signs, incomprehensible angles, and interwoven patterns. Words weave through it—Reptilian True-Script and otherwise, woven into the pattern, forming shapes-within-shapes. You try to read them one way, then another, left-to-right and bottom-to-top and then in reverse or in circling patterns.

Your mind is awash in seemingly unaffiliated information and nonsensical ramblings, but you do not allow yourself to get distracted. You REFUSE to think of the Novice, or the breeding-pits, or of your unorthodox origins. You think only of MASTERY, not of your et past but of your uncertain future—of seeing it, and of molding it…

>20

And by the Dark Gods Below and Beyond, it WORKS! At the eleventh hour (literally, for all you know) you have a breakthrough. Your eyes grow foggy and vision hazy and duplicated with the intensity of your scrutiny, and it is in THAT moment of wavering consciousness that the interlocking phrases, patterns, shapes, and sigils coalesce into a single, concrete whole!

>+1 rank in Divination

You feel your mind and soul open up, like a third eye beholding sights your other two have been blind to all your life.

What do you see?
>GAME OF DISTORTION (courtesy of “I’m a demon?”):
>Each player may post one picture, with or without a short phrase to accompany it. It can be anything, anything at all. I will roll if a huge abundance arrive and I don’t feel I can incorporate them all; those thus chosen will be incorporated into the quest… Though maybe not exactly literally, or as you expect.
>>
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>>5270636
And once again.
Shit.
>>
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>>5270646
Silkworm Physiology.
>>
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>>5270646

>>5269978
>>5269847
Didn't these guys admit to being the same person so mocking didn't win? Not that it matter since it was woven well into our current relationship with the novice anyways and with the other options.
>>
>>5270654
Obviously this doesn't count as a phrase by the way.
>>
>>5270646
Money
>>
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>>5270646
Genesis
>>
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>>5270646
HAUGHTY NOVICE CLOACA
>>
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>>5270646
And the world shall burn.

>>5270172
>ignores the three 1posters that agree with him
The copieum is strong with this samefag.
>>
>>5270647
[I try my best. Please feel free to offer criticism in the QTG. I promise to check it out and to consider it.]
>>
>>5270688
Noted
>>
>>5270646
>>
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>>5270646
I love you. Egg inclusion would be rad.
>>
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>>5270646
Congratulations
>>
You see visions of… What? Past? Present places, far away/ Future events yet to come? Is this… A warning rom the Gods? A promise? The Grand Design itself, such as your mortal mind can conceive it?!

“What is this?” you gasp.

>>5270653
>>5270654
You see swathes of silken strands, wrapping around and around, binding figures whose feature you cannot make out… An adhesive trap, woven by bugs? The outcast elves, maybe?

And… Kobolds… Kobolds pretending to be something they are not. Pretenders. The heretics? What do they pretend to be? You see only the artifice, not the objective. Is it simply that they seek to rise above their individual weakness through collective action? No, no… There is more. Their aspirations are more sinister… More heinous…

The vision is lost. Another replaces it. So many! So fast!

“I… Do not… Understand,” you groan, falling from your cot and gripping your head.

>>5270658
>>5270709
>>5270672
You see riches—a veritable hoard! A cache worthy of a true dragon! Enough wealth to banish all doubts to your righteous claim to the title Dragonborn… Enough to tell even the Serpent priesthood to fuck off! Accolades shower you, even as your detractors fall away.

“H-heresy,” you grumble, though half-heartedly.

Yes… Heresy. You see a vision of your world burning around you—smell the scent of roasting flesh and hear screams… Even as you look down and see the haughty, yet pleasure-wracked face of…

“The Novice?” you groan.

No… Yes? Maybe… You see Reptilian features, and humanoid ones, all feminine, all desirable, all enmeshed incomprehensibly with one another. All… Familiar. A shamefully unseasonable arousal swells your flesh again as you claw at the floor, struggling to regain control of your senses.

“There is no control,” you hear a voice whisper, and at once roar, from the space between spaces whence these visions erupt. “The ride is beginning. This is a new genesis!”
>>
>>5270798

>>5270665

‘Genesis.’ The word is a trigger for another change of scene. You stand at the foot of a mountain, and the mountain is…

“Me?” you ask aloud.

Yes, you… But not you. Towering, titanic, terrific, and utterly draconic… Taller than the Green Dragonborn, and winged, and magnificent in your glory, standing sentinel with a sword that could fell the greatest stalagmites of the most ancient caverns—which could cut down mountains at the knee! Behind you… An entire ARMY of Dragonborns, green and red and otherwise, with you’re their copper-coloured king!

“But… I am not Dragon,” you admit, you lament. “Not yet.”

“I… Do not understand,” you repeat.

>>5270700


“You do,” The Chaplain asserts.

You stare at him from where you are seated now, in the small private quarters adjunct to the Star Chamber. You have been there only once, and yet… You sense that this is not a memory fo that instance.

“Fleshweaving modifies,” he says, an answer to an unasked question, spoke by… Soemone else. “It adds genes, suppresses phenotypes, modifies capabilities. It is additive. It does not SUBTRACT. We can build upon a base with it, adding strength to cover or offset underlying weaknesses… But we cannot REMOVE that weakness if it is at the core of a being.”

You feel a creeping dread, as if… As if you HAVE been here before. But how? When? He has never said such to you—never acknowledged your humanity as more than an unforntunate and minor ingredient in your ‘genesis’.

“Your brain,” he continues now, speaking to you, through you, past you, “your very SELF, is in fundamental aspect a mammalian one—a HUMAN one.”

“Then why?” you demand of this phantom-Chaplain. “Why was I permitted to live, to hold status as I do?”

“Because…” speaks another voice, softly and sadly…

>>5270702

“…Because I love you.”
>>
>>5270799

You turn around, to see who the Chaplain was speaking to, and you see… Yellow eyes. Tawny-brown skin and copper-red hair. A human countenance, and yet… Not. And she speaks your race’s noble tongue, the True Speech.

“Mother.”

The sad face smiles, and the sadness dissipates a little.

“Grow strong,” she says. “I saved my <DIVINE FAVOUR>, a gift from the Dark Gods, so that you would grow strong.”

“I do not require your aid…” you begin, too proud to accept a Degenerate’s donation, however divine the scum purports it to be.

“You will,” she asserts. “You are my <LEGACY>. I was a <LOYAL VASSAL>, and when I…”

She looks away, into a darkness, where a creeping presence lurks just beyond the periphery of senses—a creeping shadow which you instinctively avert your eyes from.

“When my story ended,” your mysterious mother’s spectre continues, “I passed it onto you. You are our Champion, my offspring. My champion. The champion of the Dark Gods themselves.”

You feel a surge of unearned pride, despite the utter enigma of this entire experience. But… What do the Dark Gods require of you? To what end will you champion their cause?

“A reckoning is coming,” the Degenerate-Ghost warns. “Something with all the terrible fury of a dragon, but in service to our utter destruction. In such times, our human ancestors turned to their ‘Paladins.’ But we, the Reptilian Master Race… We have no such equivalent. Not until you… My Dragonborn Antipaladin.”

A skeletal hand reaches out from the darkness, resting upon your mother’s shoulder. She reaches up to lay her own hand upon it…

And then, she is gone. You are alone in your chamber. You are yourself again, your senses once more your own. You look frantically about, but there is… Nothing. No ghosts, or demons, or lovers, or foes. No gods. No apparition of death. Only… You.

You mediate, steadying yourself with your old practices. You force yourself to let the visions exit your mind… And you rest, as best you can. Then, sensing that too much time has passed to remain much longer in your quarters, you rise, and return to the business of the present, though the visions are never far from your mind.

What do you do first?
>Go to the old temple to pray to the Dark Gods, and to seek their guidance
>Speak with the Chaplain about your mother
>Begin planning and mustering your retinue [specify if you consult with the Pit-Guard, Novice, both, or neither]
>Practice your swordplay and archery in the sparring-grounds
>Write-in

[Choose one, please.]
>>
>>5270800
>Write-in
Ouroboros
>>
>>5270800
>Speak with the Chaplain about your mother

The time for secrets is over. We must know more about our mother.
>>
>>5270806
Eh?
>>
>>5270800
M-m-m-mommy
>Speak with the Chaplain about your mother
>>
>>5270810
I think he has a vore fetish and wants us to devour our own tail in an act of self-pleasure.
>>
>>5270806
Ouroboros
>>
>Go to the old temple to pray to the Dark Gods, and to seek their guidance.

The dark gods may know what the Kobolds are up to.
>>
>>5270800
>Go to the old temple to pray to the Dark Gods, and to seek their guidance
>>
Oh, and speaking of dream sequences, I believe I promised something special in my last thread.

NSFW: https ibb co TPGfb11
>>
>>5270800
>Speak with the Chaplain about your mother
>>
>>5270800
>Go to the old temple to pray to the Dark Gods, and to seek their guidance
It is time to reaffirm our commitment and loyalty to the Dark Gods.
>>
>>5270800
>Go to the old temple to pray to the Dark Gods, and to seek their guidance
>>
>>5270828
Thanks for the art commission btw RQM!
>>
>>5270800
>>Go to the old temple to pray to the Dark Gods, and to seek their guidance
>>
>>5270800
>Go to the old temple to pray to the Dark Gods, and to seek their guidance
>>
>>5270800
>Practice your swordplay and archery in the sparring-grounds
>>
>>5270800
>>Speak with the Chaplain about your mother
>>
>>5270800
>>Speak with the Chaplain about your mother
>>
>>5270806
>>5270809
>>5270812
>>5270813
>>5270815
>>5270827
>>5270839
>>5270829
>>5270865
>>5270874
>>5270911
>>5270919
>>5271049
>>5271144
[Locking for the Temple! Post to come soon.]

>>5270873
No prob, there's a non-lewd coming soon, too.
>>
>>5270873
Couldn't find anything; am i retarded?
>>
>>5271172
It's in hex.
>>
>>5271177
Soo...I need to convert it someway? Ascii to hex will do the job?
>>
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>>5271172
>>
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Rolled 6, 6 = 12 (2d20)

Though the Star Chamber is reserves for grandest and most pivotal ceremonies, and locked against non-Serpent Priests in-between such events, there are other chapels in the Forward Base. In your more troubled and tumultuous youth, you would sometimes go to such places, praying for help and guidance. Well… You have had guidance, now after a fashion, but it has only raised further questions. What on the Gods’ Own Earth did all that nonsense MEAN?!

“A reckoning is coming,” you mutter, recalling your apparent mother’s words.

Whatever this is about, it sounds important, and like you are at the centre of it. You need to understand, and plan. Preparation is nine-tenths of the conquest, as they say! You do not wish to be interrupted, either. Thus, you descend into a most abandoned and forgotten quarter just outside of the forward-base proper, where you once went to be alone with your thoughts and prayers: the Abandoned Chapel.

Half-collapsed statues to gods and demigods are erected here. You follow a coiled, lovingly-detailed tail which encircles the space: that of Ouroboros, the Dark God who it I said set the cycles of the world in motion, and to who the future is already past, and to who the present shall come again… Whatever all that means. You were always more interested in matters draconic than theological.

You stake out your usual preferred altar to kneel, and to begin your chanting. As is Glorious Tradition, they rise in volume, increase in speed, until you are making ululating supplications. You beseech the aid of a god, calling out for <Guidance>
>>
>>5271158
>>5271186
>6
…But no guidance comes. Just as in your childhood—as every day until a few hours ago—the gods are silent. You are alone, with no company but your own echoes and your own emotions. You exhale a held breath, and loo up at the shrines, one by one, taking in the dispassionate faces and staring eyes of the dozen-or-so Dark Gods whose <DIVINE FAVOUR> your mother alleged earned and passed on. You feel no different… You have no idea what this <FAVOUR> could even mean. You certainly don’t feel more ‘favoured’. You head is still pounding from your dream. What do they want from you? What are you meant to do, to BE?

Perhaps you need to be more specific. You seek explanations, in terms you can understand… SI there not a God for that? And in your vision… You sensed another presence, with your mother. You know it, though you feared to acknowledge it: Death. Your eyes settle upon a bloodstained stone altar at the cavern's centre; if you don't wish to risk your own life, you will need to offer up another, when reaching out to such an entity unbidden.

Or maybe, just maybe, the Gods will not help those who cannot help themselves. Worse, maybe they will offer the likes of YOU no help at all—they certainly never did in your childhood.

What do you do?
>Call out to the God of Reason and Logic, Master of the Insightful Eye
>Find a sacrifice and attempt to contact Death
>Leave this place, to go prove yourself the worthy beneficiary of this so-called ‘Divine Favour’
>Smash the altar in a fit of rage—you need no distant deities, for you are to be Dragon! They will see, if they have eyes to do so!
>Write-in
>>
>>5271194
>>Call out to the God of Reason and Logic, Master of the Insightful Eye
Here it comes, autistic dragon
>>
>>5270800
>Call out to the God of Reason and Logic, Master of the Insightful Eye
Insightful eye, divination? sounds good
>>
>>5271194
>Leave this place, to go prove yourself the worthy beneficiary of this so-called ‘Divine Favour’
We’ll prove ourselves worthy of our own Divine Favor.
>>
>>5271194
> Leave this place, to go prove yourself the worthy beneficiary of this so-called ‘Divine Favour’
Dark Crusade inbound!
>>
>>5271194
>Leave this place, to go prove yourself the worthy beneficiary of this so-called ‘Divine Favour’
>>
>>Call out to the God of Reason and Logic, Master of the Insightful Eye.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>5271194
>Call out to the God of Reason and Logic, Master of the Insightful Eye
>Find a sacrifice and attempt to contact Death
And I'm summoning Dark God RNG to decide which one.
>>
>>5271194
> Leave this place, to go prove yourself the worthy beneficiary of this so-called ‘Divine Favour’
Fer Valurrrr
>>
>>5270658
This is me I’m phoneposting from work
>5271194
>Leave this place, to go prove yourself the worthy beneficiary of this so-called ‘Divine Favour’
>>
>>5271183
Thx
>>
>>5271194
>Call out to the God of Reason and Logic, Master of the Insightful Eye
>>
>>5271194
>Leave this place, to go prove yourself the worthy beneficiary of this so-called ‘Divine Favour’
>>
>>5271194
>Leave this place, to go prove yourself the worthy beneficiary of this so-called ‘Divine Favour’
Witness me.
>>
>>5271194
>Call out to the God of Reason and Logic, Master of the Insightful Eye
>>
>>5271194
>>Call out to the God of Reason and Logic, Master of the Insightful Eye
>>
[Welp, we have an exact tie, if I counted right, between petitioning a divinity and setting out to prove the Dragonborn's mettle. Does any enterprising non 1-post ID voter wish to break the stalemate, or shall I roll for it?

Calling it in 50 minutes.]
>>
>>5271704
>>Call out to the God of Reason and Logic, Master of the Insightful Eye
>>
>>5271704
You want a non-1 post? Then you get the next best thing! A 2 post!
>>
>>5271724
[It'll do in a pinch.]
>>
>>5271194
>Leave this place, to go prove yourself the worthy beneficiary of this so-called ‘Divine Favour’
One more God rejected
>>
>>5271739
29 second from the 50 minute lock lmao poor QM
>>
>>5271741
Oh fuck did I restart the lock?, In the name of moving this show along I'll change sides
>>
>>5271744
I don't think it restarts, I think they'll just roll since it tied right at the end.
>>
Rolled 11 (1d20)

>>5271204
>>5271225
>>5271261
>>5271275
>>5271321
>>5271335
>>5271343
>>5271344
>>5271345
>>5271408
>>5271422
>>5271461
>>5271465
>>5271501
>>5271717
>>5271739
>>
>>5271751
>>5271751
>odd number
>Leave this place, to go prove yourself the worthy beneficiary of this so-called ‘Divine Favour’
You take a moment to carefully consider your option. The Master of the Insightful Eye is a bringer of clarity… But at a price. ALL the Dark Gods demand repayment, and favours for favours. Why wouldn’t they? They are mightier, better… And they, unlike the weak false gods of the surface-vermin, they do not pretend at any silly slave-morality of altruism or noblisse oblige. They admit what is plainly true of the universe: the strong make the rules, and the weak follow.

And right now… You are The Weak.

You nervously meet the stony glare of the Insightful Eye’s altar-effigy, and remember his other name: The Baleful Beholder. No, you will not draw his ever-watchful gaze upon you… Not until you have something to show for yourself. Certainly, you will not risk troubling Death, dreaded even by his other siblings. You bow once more, whisper a quick prayer, and hurry away from this place. It has brought you no peace… But doing great works, THAT will settle your restless spirit.

How will you prove your worth?

>Practice your swordplay and archery at the sparring arena—you will not be alone, as you would have been earlier, but this will simply give you more chances to build your reputation and prove your worth
>Summon the Pit-Guard to aid you in recruiting a fearsome band of killers—you will rout the elves and kobolds in a terrifying fashion, and offer up their most heinous criminals as an offering to earn the Favour
>Return to the Dragonborn’s chamber, to immerse yourself in meditation and strengthen your connection to your draconic ancestry—what is closer to godliness than dragon-ness?
>Proceed further into the Abandoned Regions, known to play host to the occasional monstrosity or abberation, and use your <Guidance> to seek out a worthy foe to slay
>Write-in
>>
>>5271765
>>Return to the Dragonborn’s chamber, to immerse yourself in meditation and strengthen your connection to your draconic ancestry—what is closer to godliness than dragon-ness?
>>
>>5271765
>Return to the Dragonborn’s chamber, to immerse yourself in meditation and strengthen your connection to your draconic ancestry—what is closer to godliness than dragon-ness?
>>
>>5271765
>Proceed further into the Abandoned Regions, known to play host to the occasional monstrosity or abberation, and use your <Guidance> to seek out a worthy foe to slay

To earn deaths favor we must stare down deaths black maw with no fear, no hesitation. Our first mistake was averting our gaze from them when we saw them in our divination.

There is no favor to earn when our life is not at risk, when death is not shadowing our every moment.
>>
>>5271765
>Practice your swordplay and archery at the sparring arena—you will not be alone, as you would have been earlier, but this will simply give you more chances to build your reputation and prove your worth
>>
>>5271765
>>Proceed further into the Abandoned Regions, known to play host to the occasional monstrosity or abberation, and use your <Guidance> to seek out a worthy foe to slay

Let's go exploring. After all, what could possibly go wrong?
>>
>>5271765
>Return to the Dragonborn’s chamber, to immerse yourself in meditation and strengthen your connection to your draconic ancestry—what is closer to godliness than dragon-ness?
>Proceed further into the Abandoned Regions, known to play host to the occasional monstrosity or abberation, and use your <Guidance> to seek out a worthy foe to slay

Wait i don’t see a chose one prompt
>>
>>5271793
It makes sense for it to be a pick one, though. You can't really go meditate and adventure at the same time.
>>
>>5271794
Bring the freebie dragon along for an adventure
>>
>>5271765
>Summon the Pit-Guard to aid you in recruiting a fearsome band of killers—you will rout the elves and kobolds in a terrifying fashion, and offer up their most heinous criminals as an offering to earn the Favour
The Dirty Dozen play is a good idea (and a great movie). If anons aren’t hot on the idea, then I’d support >>5271793 instead, because nothing beats slaying monsters and hanging out with your bros.
>>
>>5271765
>Return to the Dragonborn’s chamber, to immerse yourself in meditation and strengthen your connection to your draconic ancestry—what is closer to godliness than dragon-ness?
>>
Rolled 16, 16, 3, 8 = 43 (4d20)

>>5271767
>>5271768
>>5271793
>>5271839
>>5271828
>>5271789
>>5271774
>>5271781
The next best thing to a Dark God, you rationalize, is a Dragon King—their champions, their emissaries in aeons past. As such, the correct course of action is exactly what you would have been doing anyway—hanging out with your elder brother, the Green Dragonborn!

You return to his chamber, excitement overflowing almost immediately as soon a you see your oldest friend and confidante. You blurt out the entire incident—the studying of the scroll, the resultant vision, the visit to the shrine… The feeling, even now, that history has its eyes on you. It’s uncanny—you shudder with dread as much as anticipation.

“Hrm,” he notes, nodding along.

You’re… Not entirely certain how much the Great One understands of it. He’s never demonstrated any religiosity but, then, he is scarcely even incorporated into Reptilian society. He spends almost all his time in this room, or being examined by Fleshweavers, or demonstrating his capabilities in controlled conditions. As the two of you shuffle in back-to-back and shut your eyes, allowing your spiritual communion to commence, you reflect on how… SAD it is, for a winged behemoth like your brother—a natural KING of scalykind—to be trapped in a few small-for-him spaces and consigned to the shameful role of non-combatant curiosity...
>>
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>>5271882
>16
The longer you reflect on it, the more antithetical it seems. A dragon does not rest on its laurels—well, it DOES, but only after a conquest is complete and a hoard accumulated! The other Dragonborn has his trophy-wives, his mates-with-whom-he-cannot-mate, but nothing else—no other servants, no property, no FREEDOM.

“Not allowed,” the Great One rumbles, when you open your eyes and confront him with this truth… But you both instinctively sense the absurd incongruity of the statement. A dragon is never ‘allowed’ anything. A dragon TAKES. A dragon DICTATES.

“Troub-bul,” the Green Dragonborn warns. “You will suff-fur for lie-ying,, Litt-tul Bro-thur. If found out… Bad, bad thing.”

You meet his eyes, and turn away, faltering briefly as your thoughts turn towards the Chaplain, and the upcoming mission. It’s true—as the Great One sensed, a part of you had been considering taking off on some whirlwind adventure into the caves below, and bringing him in tow. There is not a beat or fiend in all these time-lost tunnels who could stand against the two of you together!

…But the Great One has trouble fitting through narrow spaces. If you were to end up ambushed or otherwise engaged in close quarters, he would be at a disadvantage… And you, you have never actually FOUGHT, outside of childish brawls and sparring matches. And if you were discovered… What would become of your privileged status? Of your place at the head of your first mission?

What do you do?
>Your dragon-brother comes first—you two noble males shall descend into the unknown and slaughter, rising up to renown as conquering kings!
>Journey into the caverns below in search of glory… But leave the other Dragonborn, sparing him the possible consequences and keeping any credit for yourself
>Forget it, for this notion of an expedition was foolhardy at best, and absolutely foolish at worst; focus on your mediation [no adventures before the expedition, but you will earn another dragon-spell]
>Ask the Novice to cover for you while the two of you sneak down below [will owe her a favour]
>Write-in
>>
>>5271904
>Ask the Novice to cover for you while the two of you sneak down below [will owe her a favour]

WE. ARE. DRAGON.

Part of his stupidity has to be because of how sheltered he is, right? Some actual freedom should do him well, and the Novice already owes us a favor so we can exchange it if she asks for something too crazy.
>>
>>5271904
>Ask the Novice to cover for you while the two of you sneak down below [will owe her a favour]
I love big brother
>>
>>5271904
>Ask the Novice to cover for you while the two of you sneak down below [will owe her a favour]
bros 5ever
>>
>>5271904
>>Forget it, for this notion of an expedition was foolhardy at best, and absolutely foolish at worst; focus on your mediation [no adventures before the expedition, but you will earn another dragon-spell]
>>
>>5271904
>Forget it, for this notion of an expedition was foolhardy at best, and absolutely foolish at worst; focus on your mediation [no adventures before the expedition, but you will earn another dragon-spell]
>>
>>5271904
>>Forget it, for this notion of an expedition was foolhardy at best, and absolutely foolish at worst; focus on your mediation [no adventures before the expedition, but you will earn another dragon-spell]
>>
>>5271904
>Forget it, for this notion of an expedition was foolhardy at best, and absolutely foolish at worst; focus on your mediation [no adventures before the expedition, but you will earn another dragon-spell]
>>
>>5271904
>Your dragon-brother comes first—you two noble males shall descend into the unknown and slaughter, rising up to renown as conquering kings!

Fuck it, I’m down for it.
>>
>>5271904
>>Your dragon-brother comes first—you two noble males shall descend into the unknown and slaughter, rising up to renown as conquering kings!
>>
[Locking for adventure -- post forthcoming]
>>
>>5271915
>>5271926
>>5271934
>>5271944
>>5271995
>>5271998
>>5272026
>>5272060
>>5272166
Your brother’s… Difficulties. Surely some of them stem not from his origins, but from the conditions in which he lived? And now, well… The quality of his cage has improved, but a gilded cage is still suited for a drake at best, and never for a dragon.

You rumbles uncertainly, but you reassure him, saying: “Fear not, Elder Brother. I have a solution to the problem of the Chaplain’s permissions.”

That solution is, of course, the Novice. After all, she already owes you a favour.

“Do I now, So-Called Dragonborn?” she asks rhetorically. You get the feeling that she, at least, feels that she does not.

“You do,” you assert. “If it were not for me, you would not be on the mission, you may recall.”

The Novice once more wears her own scales, and cloth atop it, and yet you find yourself struggling to look directly at her without distraction. The vision lingers in your mind, of her face n the throes of ecstasy and her body—WAS it her body? Her face, even?—beneath you. Her cloaca…

The Novice waves a hand before your face, snapping you out of your reverie.

“Is your oh-so-HUMAN mind misfiring, Degenerateborn? Did you not hear what I just said?”

You shake off the strange and confusing imagery you saw, and listen more carefully as the Novice explains her rationale:

“I am keeping your secret,” she says, with obvious annoyance at repeating herself but VERY obvious delight at the power she now wields over you, at least in her mind. “You have no retinue yet, no victory, no glory… Only the reputation of your ALLEGED draconic bloodline to command respect and grant status more than that of a Degenrate.”

“The Serpent Priests—” you begin to protest.

“They have given you command,” she acknowledges, “but do you REALLY want the complications which come with the truth being revealed before the expedition, or during it? The disrespect, second-guessing, jockeying for leadership…”

“You do not know that this is what will happen,” you say calmly.

“I do,” she asserts, and with a knowing look in her eye.

You stall for time to think, asking sardonically: “And I suppose that, if keeping my secret is a favour performed, then to earn your cooperation in hiding mine and my… And the Great One’s… Brief visit to the ruined and abandoned places will incur another?”

The Novice simply smiles in confirmation, tail swishing back and forth and her whole body fidgeting with sadistic glee.

“What sort of favour?” you demand.

Her smile only grows, dark eyes shining with sinister mirth.

You sigh.

Do you accept the bargain?
>Yes—you will owe the Novice a favour
>No—you will NOT be indebted to this precocious female, and will instead take your chances
>No—and you will attempt to bargain with her to accept another deal [specify your proposal]
>Write-in
>>
>>5272278
>Yes. Here's the favour we'll give : grant her a slot for the snake of her choice in the team
>>
>>5272284
Support
>>
>>5272278
>No—you will NOT be indebted to this precocious female, and will instead take your chances
If only we knew the sacred spell of masturbation...
>>
>>5272278
>No - she may reveal our heritage as she wishes. This is the favor we're requesting.
>>
>>5272278
>Yes—you will owe the Novice a favour
>>
>>5272278
>If you reveal us you will not see the surface
Her coming to the surface is predicated on us if she reveals our heritage the expedition is gone and her chance to see the surface gone
>>
>>5272284
Support, I ain’t giving her a free conditional favor here. She’ll accept it, because if she undermines our authority, she also undermines her biggest reason for coming along- us- and it won’t be just us jockeying for position in the hierarchy after that, if you get what I’m saying.
>>
>>5272492
It's original vote anon with IP switch.
That, and we can rub in her lack of nose the fact she doesn't hav any friend nor contact except us
>>
>>5272278
>No—you will NOT be indebted to this precocious female, and will instead take your chances
Freedom is ours. Even if she maliciously goes spreading rumours, we are Dragon, and social tricks will not undermine our destiny. We go forth w the green dragonbro.
>>
>>5272284
Support

It’s a minor thing to grant

We can I’ll afford rumours spreading before our first victory
>>
>>5272278
>No—you will NOT be indebted to this precocious female, and will instead take your chances
I'm particularly fatigued with this woman. At this point I'd gladly let her run amok and spread whatever petty rumors she wishes, see if that'll stop us from fulfilling our destiny.
>>
>>5272284
+1
I’ll support this since it’s basically my first vote but narrower
>>
Rolled 12, 8, 3 = 23 (3d20)

>>5272690
>>5272676
>>5272674
>>5272608
>>5272492
>>5272453
>>5272441
>>5272409
>>5272311
>>5272298
>>5272284
[Locking for "yes, but the favour is choosing a member of the retinue." Reptilian Empathy roll determines how well it goes. Posting within the hour, most likely!]
>>
>>5272946
“Female,” you address her with great derision, without proper title, “you cause me a particular sort of fatigue.”

“A weak constitution, is it?” she chides, tutting. “Another defect in our Defective Dragonborn?”

You glower, but she is nonplussed. You sigh. You can ill afford to lose face before you have built up a reputation with a victory, and she well knows this. Even so…

“If you reveal my secret, your own chance to see the surface will be lost along with my own future,” you point out.

“Nonsense!” The Novice says cheerily. “The Chaplain assigned you this task, and he already knows what you are.”

“If another males ousts me, do you think he will be as permissive of your childish attempts at subterfuge and psychological warfare?”

“I suppose we’ll see!” she says, seemingly unbothered.

You meet her gaze levelly, attempting to stare her down… But damnit, the Novice will not break, even to your Presence!

>12

“Fine,” you spit, “you may choose a member of your choice for our retinue, if you keep the secret of my birth and prevent your father from learning of my departure with the Green Dragonborn.”

“W-what?” she stammers. “No! That isn’t how this works – you don’t get to choose the favour! I do, OBVIOUSLY!”

“Take it or leave it,” you day sternly, crossing your arms. “I will not give the likes of you the opportunity to lord an unconditional debt over my head indefinitely, you exasperating creature. Besides, surely one as highborn and well-connected as you has many allies who might fill the slot?”

“But I don’t have…” she trails off, averting her eyes for the first time. She is still now, no longer fidgeting happily… And when she moves again, it is a discomfited squirming. Her smarmy expression gains an odd edge to it when she meets your eyes once more.

“I will choose an entire research staff,” she says. “Four more experts in fields of my choosing. This will leave you the freedom to select another eight meat-shields to keep us safe as we attend to our REAL work.”

You groan, and roll your shoulders in a shrug. That’s seven more worthy males, after the Pit-Guard is accounted for: a party of 14, all said and done. Respectable.

“Yes, alright,” you relent. “Trouble me no longer. I have more important things to attend to.”

“Like gallivanting around, playing with your ‘brother’? Ha! Have fuu~uun! Your secret waste-of-time is safe with me!”

You pointedly ignore her as you leave.
>>
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Of course the Novice Fleshweaver would not understand you brotherly quest, spoiled intellectual that she is. At least she lives up to her end of the bargain, arriving later in the Great One’s chamber on an ‘rescheduled physical examination’, and thus dismissing guards and Silkscale harem-wenches alike.

“More privacy,” she says, “to plan my entourage, and to plan how next to best you!”

Your elder brother grumbles mightily, eliciting a moment’s hesitation from the Novice, and a quick step back, but you call him off. Leave her to move her pieces about an arduous game of strategy against nobody in particular. You will be troubled no longer by thoughts of her—you will be chasing GLORY!

It is no easy thing to sneak the Green Dragonborn out of his chamber, even with the Novice’s assistance. He must hunch, even crawl, to make it through many of the tunnels, and you must remain several yards ahead to scout for witnesses and to run interference. It is slow going, but once you are out of the occupied areas of the ancient ruins, the process expedites considerably. You register his discomfort in the undersized spaces and, eager to give the Great One a taste of well-deserved freedom, you choose passages which you know from past experience will lead to a more open expanse as swiftly as possible.

When you arrive in the first of the great subterranean caverns, the other Dragonborn practically hurls you from the tunnel in his rush to reach the open space and to stretch his wings. With a roar of triumph and relief, he stands tall, ducking his head only slightly to avoid smacking it on an especially tremendous stalactite. His delight at the unfamiliar and open area becomes your own delight. You are happy to see him happy.

You both take in the space: a trickling stream which must once have been a rushing river to have carved out the smooth-floored space; mosses and lichens, and a few fungi with fruiting bodies nearly the size of a Silkscale male; luminous strands of glowworm goo hanging rom the high ceiling among the rocky outcroppings; a few flitting cave-bats, eyeless and keening at the edge of your hearing, chased by amphibious newts. It’s… Actually sort of cozy, an underground space like a private and hidden grove-in-grotto.

“Pretty,” the Great One acknowledges, swatting at a cave bat in an attempt to snatch it up and crush it; a narrow miss.

“Yes,” you agree, frowning. It’s pretty… But not exactly EPIC or HEROIC.
>>
>>5273002
You look around, seeing three avenues out of this place, besides the way by which you entered:
>a series of stony shelves, which (with a <Jump>) you could reach, leading to a highly-placed hole; it’s small, and you would need to enter alone
>the path of the stream, down which you (and even the Green Dragonborn!) could slide, down into deep places unknown… Though a return trip could prove difficult, depending where it leads
>A fissure in the earth, narrow but tall, into which the two of you could squeeze… But, if it grows narrower still, you may be forced to travel alone as you get further in, and the Great One will certainly be unable to use his reach and size to full advantage if you are ambushed
Or, of course you could…
>Camp out here, and use some rations in an attempt to lure and entrap a beastie here in the main cavern, close to the exit and with full range-of-motion for your brother
>Relax, chill out, and leave when you grow bored
>Meditate and use <Guidance> to seek out a monster
>>
>>5273003
>Meditate and use <Guidance> to seek out a monster
If that fails, resort to
>a series of stony shelves, which (with a <Jump>) you could reach, leading to a highly-placed hole; it’s small, and you would need to enter alone
>>
>>5273003
>Meditate and use <Guidance> to seek out a monster
>the path of the stream, down which you (and even the Green Dragonborn!) could slide, down into deep places unknown… Though a return trip could prove difficult, depending where it leads
>>
>>5273002
>Meditate and use <Guidance> to seek out a monster
>>
>>5273003
>Meditate and use <Guidance> to seek out a monster
>the path of the stream, down which you (and even the Green Dragonborn!) could slide, down into deep places unknown… Though a return trip could prove difficult, depending where it leads
>>
>>5273003
>Meditate and use <Guidance> to seek out a monster
>the path of the stream, down which you (and even the Green Dragonborn!) could slide, down into deep places unknown… Though a return trip could prove difficult, depending where it leads
>>
>>5273003
>Relax, chill out, and leave when you grow bored
>>
Rolled 17, 10 = 27 (2d20)

>>5273012
>>5273015
>>5273026
>>5273027
>>5273038
>>5273042
Well, you didn’t bring the Great One all this way just to leave him here in this admittedly-enchanting little patch of mossy rocks and mushrooms. Besides, where is the glory in that?? No, you will brave the sliding slop down into the deep darkness below, and bring him with you.

“…Deep,” he rumbles, reticent but not fearful. “Not ee-nuff roo-um to fly.”

You both peer down into the abyss, following the trickle of water until even your Darkvision fails to penetrate the inkiness of the unknown. You begin to wish you’d waited for your armour to be complete. What you’re wearing now—a simple tunic and leggings, with light greaves and chestplate over-op—offer scant protection against an endless tumble.

“It will be fine,” you assure you elder brother, who looks at you with grave uncertainty.

You puff out your chest, steel yourself, and bring in your elbows and knees. You step forward, coiling your tail tight around you for hydrodynamic purposes, and you enter the stream. With surprising force, it sweep your downward, leading the charge. After allowing safe following distance to avoid crushing in the event of a sudden stop—not so unwise after all!—the Green Dragonborn follows you.

As gravity and the current take you down into the earth’s rocky womb, you shut your eyes, draw a deep breath, and seek some <Guidance> on how to proceed…
>>
>>5273162
>17
>Silkworm Physiology
>You see swathes of silken strands, wrapping around and around, binding figures whose features you cannot make out… An adhesive trap, woven by bugs? The outcast elves, maybe?

Your eyes snap open, as the day-old vision recurs with sudden clarity, and a strange… Distortion. This is sooner than you expected. The notion of a trap laid by bugs seemed like a warning about those ‘dark elves’ the Novice spoke of, a distant danger, but now you feel its presence—immediate, emergent, dire.

You roll over and over in the water, holding your breath so as not to breath any in, until you are sitting upright, braced and ready. Knowing what to look for, you see that the glowworm goo above the water is in thicker, goopier strands than the thin bands of slime which trailed in criss-crossing streamers above the little grotto by which you entered. With every few yards the current carries you, they grow thicker still, closer together, more intricate in their patterns, and they hang lower, closer to the water. You duck one, then dodge another, but it becomes more and more difficult. Moreover, the decline into the depths is growing steeper, the passage widening and water-flow accelerating even as it disperses outward, and you somehow KNOW what awaits you at the bottom: a net of this slime-coated silk, like a great sieve, allowing water to asps but captured bodied to be bundled and bound. There, a captured Reptilian would be trapped, doomed to entangle themselves in panicked flailing until they eventually served as a gruesome repast for the worms which have made this bizarre obstacle course.

What do you do?
>Shout a warning to the Great One to stop his own descent; with his size and strength, he can easily wedge himself and climb back up or stay in place
>Grab one of the low-hanging strands overhead and hold on for dear-life, drawing your blade to defend yourself against anything which creeps too close
>Exhale a gout of Firebreath to blast away the sieve, and anyone or anything upon or within it, to clear your path to the chamber below
>Use a <Jump>, coupled with your natural athleticism, to attempt to ump over the chasm and land on the outcroppings on the opposite side; there, you will be in perfect position to take careful aim with your bow
>Write-in
>>
>>5273182
>Shout a warning to the Great One to stop his own descent; with his size and strength, he can easily wedge himself and climb back up or stay in place
>Use a <Jump>, coupled with your natural athleticism, to attempt to ump over the chasm and land on the outcroppings on the opposite side; there, you will be in perfect position to take careful aim with your bow
>>
>>5273182
>Use a <Jump>, coupled with your natural athleticism, to attempt to ump over the chasm and land on the outcroppings on the opposite side; there, you will be in perfect position to take careful aim with your bow
>Shout a warning to the Great One to stop his own descent; with his size and strength, he can easily wedge himself and climb back up or stay in place
>>
>>5273182
>Shout a warning to the Great One to stop his own descent; with his size and strength, he can easily wedge himself and climb back up or stay in place
>Use a <Jump>, coupled with your natural athleticism, to attempt to ump over the chasm and land on the outcroppings on the opposite side; there, you will be in perfect position to take careful aim with your bow
Autistic devotion to wings pays off
>>
>>5273182
>Shout a warning to the Great One to stop his own descent; with his size and strength, he can easily wedge himself and climb back up or stay in place
>Use a <Jump>, coupled with your natural athleticism, to attempt to ump over the chasm and land on the outcroppings on the opposite side; there, you will be in perfect position to take careful aim with your bow
If that fails
>Firebreath
>>
>>5273198
>if that fails
[Gonna' humbly request that people stick to their initial course of action for now.]
>>
>>5273216
I meant if the jumping fails to get us out of the trap. And if you’re still up and willing to update, I think you got a unanimous vote here RQM.
>>
>>5273182
>>Shout a warning to the Great One to stop his own descent; with his size and strength, he can easily wedge himself and climb back up or stay in place
>>
>>5273182
>>5273183 +1
>>
>Exhale a gout of Firebreath to blast away the sieve, and anyone or anything upon or within it, to clear your path to the chamber below.

Firebreath just seems like the simplest way to get rid of webbing. It will also provide us more light to fight in if the webs catch fire.
>>
>>5273182
>Shout a warning to the Great One to stop his own descent; with his size and strength, he can easily wedge himself and climb back up or stay in place
>Exhale a gout of Firebreath to blast away the sieve, and anyone or anything upon or within it, to clear your path to the chamber below
>>
>>5273182
>>Use a <Jump>, coupled with your natural athleticism, to attempt to ump over the chasm and land on the outcroppings on the opposite side; there, you will be in perfect position to take careful aim with your bow
>>
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Rolled 12, 2 = 14 (2d20)

>>5273433
>>5273426
>>5273303
>>5273261
>>5273256
>>5273198
>>5273186
>>5273184
>>5273183
“Brother!” you cry out.

He needs no more words, not with your empathic understanding of one another. He is far enough up the tunnel behind you that, even rotating around and craning your neck, you cannot see him, but you hear the crunch of the Green Dragonborn sinking his talons into the smooth stone, the scrape of scales as he slows his descent behind you, and the questioning rumble he emits as he draws to a halt.

You have no time to respond, though. The stream looked shallow—WAS shallow—up above, but other waters must feed into it—it is no rushing river, but it is deep enough and slick enough to give trouble. Underground slime-cultures make the rocks slick as you grasp and claw at them, unable to gain purchase. The chasm—the great fishing-net which these worms have formed—draws ever nearer.

“Looks like I am going to have to <Jump>…” you mutter to yourself.

You pull your knees up under you, wishing (not for the first or second or even hundredth time) that you had wings. You lean forward, sticking out your proud chin, and wait for just the right moment. When the drop into the great chasm below is finally in view, THAT is when you…
>>
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>>5273605
…Slip.

“No!” you roar, fumbling the execution. Your legs were tensed, full of power natural and magical, but when you went to kick off, it sent you sprawling and tumbling sidelong, at an imperfect angle. You do not sail gloriously, like a soaring dragon of old, to alight upon a high-up ledge; rather, you rock at a diagonal into the centre of the cavern, flailing with outstretched outcropping beyond your reach.

Firebreath. Yes, okay. Firebreath, then. You try to correct your descent, to turn over and ignite the net of enslimed silk-strands below… But it is a surprisingly difficult thing to force yourself to tumble over in mid-air. By the time you think you have the angle right, and a breath drawn into the organ responsible for the concentration and egenration of the mystic heat…

You are already too late.

The worms’ sieve has you now. The entire massive net-complex bounces and flexes with your impact, and for a moment you fear (hope?) it may give way… But it does not. Your <Guidance> and intelligence prevent the automatic and instinctive struggle which would normally result, binding you up like the sorry sods around you, whose well-wrapped corpses speckle the spectacular trap.

“Humiliating,” you grumble. “Emnarassing.”

Potentially deadly. The net is hundreds of feet long, nobody save the other Dragonborn knows exactly what has befallen you, and he is at least a hundred feet up above. You catch a glimpse of his eyes, reflecting the luminescence below, and a hint of his green-scaled bulk.

You look around you, getting your bearings. You are indeed supported upon an interconnected net of the glowworm goo… And there are the glowworms. There are hundreds, maybe as many as a thousand, each individual nor longer than a finger and about twice as thick, with many tiny little spike-legs ferrying their fat little grub-bodies back and forth across this great work of theirs. None presents an immediate threat to you… Though, if you were to die, you suppose that your decaying body would nourish them in time.

“Not a noble death by any means,” you grumble to yourself.

Not immediate, though… But then, why do you still feel the thrill of danger in your mystic senses, rumbling deep within near where you empathic sense lies? Is there something else here?

What do you do?
>Call out for the Great One to go get help; it means swallowing your pride, but you will stay put and await rescue
>Cry out for the Green Dragonborn to use his firebreath to free you; you aren’t wholly fireproof, and it risks injury in the fall, but it is most expedient
>Attempt to pull the strands to haul yourself slowly-but-surely to a cave wall, where hopefully you can find purchase and climb back up
>Draw you blade and attempt to cut yourself free, clinging to the strand as if a rope to lower yourself down to solid ground
>Investigate the silk-wrapped corpses around you
>Write-in
>>
>>5273617
>Investigate the silk-wrapped corpses around you
>Attempt to pull the strands to haul yourself slowly-but-surely to a cave wall, where hopefully you can find purchase and climb back up
>>
>>5273617
>Investigate the silk-wrapped corpses around you
>>
>>5273617
>Investigate the silk-wrapped corpses around you
>Attempt to pull the strands to haul yourself slowly-but-surely to a cave wall, where hopefully you can find purchase and climb back up
>>
>>5273617
>>Investigate the silk-wrapped corpses around you
>Attempt to pull the strands to haul yourself slowly-but-surely to a cave wall, where hopefully you can find purchase and climb back up
>>
>>5273617
How well are the sword and bow secured to our body?
>>
>>5273650
[Well enough for now but, once drawn, a critical fumble could easily drop them.]
>>
>>5273617
>Investigate the silk-wrapped corpses around you
>Attempt to pull the strands to haul yourself slowly-but-surely to a cave wall, where hopefully you can find purchase and climb back up
>>
>>5273617
>Draw you blade and attempt to cut yourself free, clinging to the strand as if a rope to lower yourself down to solid ground
>>
>>5273617
>Draw you blade and attempt to cut yourself free, clinging to the strand as if a rope to lower yourself down to solid ground
But also spew firebreath on the blade to make it hot and lower the chance of it getting stuck.
>>
Rolled 43 (1d100)

>>5274025
>>5273826
>>5273765
>>5273630
>>5273626
>>5273622
>>5273620
You begin to slowly, methodically haul yourself towards the wall, grabbing and pulling the strands towards you and thus yourself towards the wall. Your hands get stuck repeatedly and, despite your best efforts, you find yourself partly entangling in this web. Worse, there are glowworms crawling all over you now, wriggling excitedly at the jostling of their home. Luckily, their tiny mouthparts prove insufficient to penetrate your rudimentary training armour, or even your tough scales.

You are nearly at the wall when curiosity (or greed) strikes. You eye one of the cocooned corpses, and begin adjusting your course so as to intersect with it. When you are close enough, you struggle against the gunk coating your abdomen to rip your sword from its leafweave scabbard. Using the blade, you saw at the cocoon, periodically cleaning it of the build-up with a puff of your fiery breath so that it does not get stuck.

Inside the faintly-glowing cocoon, you find… Well, very much what one might expect: a partially rotten and mostly worm-eaten Reptilian corpse of uncertain age and origin. It is one of perhaps a half-dozen here. Given the Master Race’s slow population growth, even a lowly-born members would surely have been missed and recorded, leading you to believe that these bodies must be the accumulation of years, if not decades; the cocooning process, then, must slow decay. You inspect the body more closely, and find…
>>
>>5274248
…A bottled potion of some sort. You suspect it magic, for when you narrow your eyes and shield it against the glow surrounding you, it still has a faint luminescence. You have no idea what it does, but by the way the corpse of its former owner was contorting, the male Steeltalon had hoped to reach for it. The poor unfortunate instead merely tangled himself into immobility and doom.

You take the potion, for now simply squishing it into the bundle of adhesive impediment attached you’re your chest; placing the small vial in pack or pocket would require too much imprudent movement, and risk entangling you as utterly as it did this dead Reptilian.

You continue along your course, now close enough to the wall to touch it. You grasp at the stone, pulling yourself along towards a ledge where you can take stable footing and clean yourself, but as you draw near to this spot of salvation, two things catch your attention at once:

First, to your great surprise, one of the closest cocoons is moving—wiggling and bobbing, as if in response to your nearness. At first you think it a trick of the mind, brought about by your own vibrations of the silken web… But then, straining your ears, you make out muffled cries. One of the other victims of this place is a recent capture, and also yet lives!

The second thing which captures your attention is as likely as you are to be the reason for the other captive’s renewed struggling, and a source of more immediate concern.

“Ah,” you whisper to yourself, “so that’s why I still sensed danger.”

Approaching you with a rolling, rippling gait is a glowworm of considerable size. Well, that might be an understatement—whereas those clinging to your person and the surrounding webbing are inches, these behemoth’s width can be measured more easily in feet, and its length in yards.

You freeze, not in fear but in deliberate stillness. The great-worm slows, lifting its eye-spotted head and spreading its mouth-parts as if tasting the air. It plucks at the silk beneath it with two dozen limbs like jutting spikes, and emits a quiet rasping sound… And then, for lack of your movement, begins to crawl towards the other survivor, struggling in their coffin of glowworm goo.

What do you do?
>Use the poor sod as a distraction—leave them to their death, and let the worm’s feast distract it while you flee this place with your prize
>Hurry to the ledge and draw your bow; you will shoot this beast down with your arrows, hopefully before it consumes the other survivor
>Exhale a gout of flame, igniting great-worm and survivor alike—it will surely kill them both!
>Begin shouting and flailing, to draw the great-worm away from the helpless would-be meal and to you and your ready blade
>Write-in
>>
>>5274281
>Begin shouting and flailing, to draw the great-worm away from the helpless would-be meal and to you and your ready blade

We can afford to take risks since worst comes to worst we still have our fire breath.
>>
>>5274281
>Begin shouting and flailing, to draw the great-worm away from the helpless would-be meal and to you and your ready blade
BIG BOI
>>
>>5274281
>Hurry to the ledge and draw your bow; you will shoot this beast down with your arrows, hopefully before it consumes the other survivor
worms don't eat fast
but if we get tangled up big green is gonna have to roast us both
>>
>>5274281
>Hurry to the ledge and draw your bow; you will shoot this beast down with your arrows, hopefully before it consumes the other survivor

Actually the bow is probably the better idea. We don't need to risk our ass for a random person.
>>
>>5274281
I would prefer the sword, but since that would tie this up with the bow I’ll step aside for expediency’s sake.
>>
>>5274393
[We have three votes, four counting yours for sword, and I don't plan to post until we have at least 7, a clear majority of 5 or 6 votes for one option, or it is morning, considering our usual vote tally.]
>>
>>5274402
I can switch to bow. Doesn’t matter much to me options are almost same level of good.
>Hurry to the ledge and draw your bow; you will shoot this beast down with your arrows, hopefully before it consumes the other survivor
>>
>>5274281
>Hurry to the ledge and draw your bow; you will shoot this beast down with your arrows, hopefully before it consumes the other survivor
>>
>>5274402
You can consider me apart of the majority of it expedites things.
>>
Rolled 10, 5, 3 = 18 (3d20)

>>5274406
>>5274407
>>5274414
>>5274317
>>5274315

[Well, alright, if you insist! Rolling 2d20 for athleticism, 1d20 for ranged combat (remember, you have no ranks in it)]
>>
>>5274427
Well that guy is dead.
>>
>>5274429
And so are we.
>>
>>5274427
>>5274429
>>5274434
A sword-kill would be more glorious, and better protect the bound captive of this creature… But then, what sort of Reptilian risks himself unnecessarily for a stranger, even a fellow member of the Master Race? No, you will do what you can to protect and rescue this unfortunate soul, but not at the expense of your own safety—not even in the pursuit of glory. You continue to pull yourself along through the morass, not hurrying at all. After all, how swiftly can a worm eat?

Well, not swiftly, as it turns out, but by the way the cocooned figure’s thrashing and crying-out slows and stops as the great-worm reaches out and sinks its mouthparts in, you would wager that paralytic venom of some sort is within its retinue. Maybe even preservative? Is that what slows the decay of the other victims of this terrible place?

>10

If you’d been a bit faster, perhaps the captive Reptilian would have avoided this terrible fate, but their sacrifice (unwilling though it was) buys you vital time to reach the safety of the ledge, and to fumble your bow free of its straps on your back and the hardening sludge which encases it. While the creature sets about beginning to feed, you draw back the bowstring and launch an arrow. Perhaps, you reckon, you can skewer the damned depth-crawler and end its meal before too much damage is done… Or, at least, before it notices you.

>3

…Or, perhaps, you have never actually practiced with a bow before, and these are less-than-ideal conditions under which to begin. Luckily, though, your shot was so shamefully far-from-the-mark that the great-worm hasn’t even noticed the attempt on its life… Even as it definitely, for SURE ends the life of the luckless Reptilian you left to die.

Well, altruism is for the weak and foolish. VICTORY, though, is for the glorious…

(And life, you consider, is for the wise and pragmatic)

What do you do?
>Draw back the bow again, take careful aim, and fire one more shot with <Guidance> [3d20, but a failure will expend the last of your mana]
>Fuck it—you have a treasure, you are too late to save the wretch in the goo-net, and you are running low on mana, so you might as well burn this place out with cleansing dragonfire
>Ranged combat was never your forte, but between your blade and your MIGHTY FISTS, you stand a chance; draw its attention and ready for BATTLE
>Is butchering or burning a big caterpillar even GLORIOUS to begin with? Use the last of your mana to <jump> to safety, and get out of here while the getting is good
>Brave the trap-web once more, to loot another body or two while the big bug is busy
>Write-in

I will try to post tomorrow morning, but I have company this weekend, so expect one or MAYBE two posts a day tops for the next few days
>>
>>5274442
>>Fuck it—you have a treasure, you are too late to save the wretch in the goo-net, and you are running low on mana, so you might as well burn this place out with cleansing dragonfire
Nothing to lose anymore.
>>
>>5274442
>Draw back the bow again, take careful aim, and fire one more shot with <Guidance> [3d20, but a failure will expend the last of your mana]
>>
>>5274442
fucc dat worm
>Draw back the bow again, take careful aim, and fire one more shot with <Guidance> [3d20, but a failure will expend the last of your mana]
>>
>>5274442
>Draw back the bow again, take careful aim, and fire one more shot with <Guidance> [3d20, but a failure will expend the last of your mana]
>>
>>5274442
>Brave the trap-web once more, to loot another body or two while the big bug is busy
If we can’t save the captive, we might as well take the opportunity to loot. Still, what a shame. This was why I wanted to use the sword btw.
>>
>>5274442
>Draw back the bow again, take careful aim, and fire one more shot with <Guidance> [3d20, but a failure will expend the last of your mana]
>>
>>5274442
>Draw back the bow again, take careful aim, and fire one more shot with <Guidance> [3d20, but a failure will expend the last of your mana]
>>
>>5274442
>Brave the trap-web once more, to loot another body or two while the big bug is busy
>Fuck it—you have a treasure, you are too late to save the wretch in the goo-net, and you are running low on mana, so you might as well burn this place out with cleansing dragonfire
Anons want to waste the last of our mana trying to slay a shitty grub while we have bigger monsters to deal with? This is almost Shakespeare levels of retardation, I hope the QM pulls a MacBeth to punish us for fucking around so hard.
>>
>>5274442
>Draw back the bow again, take careful aim, and fire one more shot with <Guidance> [3d20, but a failure will expend the last of your mana]
We NEED the experience before we set off on our mission.
>>
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>>5274443
>>5274444
>>5274447
>>5274452
>>5274469
>>5274501
>>5274509
>>5274536
>>5274580
You take a deep breath, and force it not to surge forth as fire. While dragonfire is inherent to you in a way your other is not, in such a way that it does not even deplete your body’s reserves of mystical energy, it would still scorch the entire mesh of silk and worm-spit… And all the treasure-bearing bodies therein.

Instead, you steady yourself, quiet your heart, and open your mind. You draw back to bowstring, and close your nictitating membranes; you aim not with your two physical eyes, but your mystic third—the even by which you divined your future, and saw this very moment. The glow of the great-worm is different here, in this realm of understanding. You reach out with your mana and tether yourself to its possibilities—where it is, where it may be, how the wind currents move around it and affect the hypothetical course of incoming projectiles. In this form of vision, this state of might, the glow of your objective is even brighter, more intense and distinct from that of its nest and smaller compatriots.

You release your breath, and let the arrow fly.
>>
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Rolled 8, 17, 16 = 41 (3d20)

>>5274812
>>
Rolled 22, 2, 70, 13, 29 = 136 (5d100)

>>5274814
>16
Your shot strikes true, eliciting another soft hiss and a violent contraction of the big bug’s muscles where your ironwood arrow impacts… In the creature’s side. The tremendous arthropod rears up its front half, resembling a centaur of some despicable mutant breed for a moment in its proportions. Its abominable visage turns to face you, feet tapping and strumming at the string below as it uses vibrations to ping your location. Then, with a terrible resolve and a shocking speed, it rolls towards you, hundreds of pounds of squishy carapace and toxic flesh tumbling and rolling at you like a living rockslide come down upon your stone shelf.

“Just as I foresaw,” you say, a titch smug.

You leap back as the great-worm crashes down upon the rock shelf, shaking it. The impact makes you briefly fearful that the entire ledge with break away and tumble down into the drink—and onto whatever hard stone lies beneath it… But it holds, even as the weight of your adversary and the force of its landing catapults you up a few feet into the air. There, you take aim again as you rise…

>17

…And let the next arrow loose at the crest of your arc. This one pierces the bug’s brain, such as it is. It thrashes violently, without coordination. You land, narrowly dodging one roll of its massive girth, and swing of its spike-studded torso. With a triumphant roar, you charge forward to shoulder-check it, adding just enough weight and force to its own flailing to send it tumbling off the ledge.

The great-worm lands upon its own great work—its net-trap—and for a moment it seems to have been saved… But then, still unable to stop its horrid wriggling, it thrashes a portion of the sieve apart and is send spiraling down into the deep darkness. You do not hear a splash—just a thump. It is quiet, distant. You are glad you did not brave that drop, let alone without magic.

>+1 Range Combat

You stand victorious… if, admittedly, a little depleted of your energy arcane. You have slain a threat you your people—one which has claimed the lives of (by your counts) at least 5 other Reptilians. You’ve even acquired a magical item! And, speaking of those unlucky fellow-travelers, it is now time to claim the rest of your prize.
>>
Seems we have obtained a Flask of Dopamine.
>>
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>>5274851
>>5274826
You haul in the worm-silk, crush and flicking away any of the great-worm’s lesser ilk as you do so. It takes time and a great deal of exertion, but you are able to haul in four of the five bodies, losing only one to the chasm in the process. Once they are on the ledge with you, you take out your sword and slice open the cocoons, revealing…
>13: A Steeltalon enforcer, likely sent to investigate a disappearance in the area if you were to guess… Maybe even one of the other bodies. His badge and blade are mundane, but their return will fetch some repute for having bested the beast that slew him
>22: A clan officiant – Dragonblooded, but the colour of his blotched and rotting skin – tangled up in his ceremonial robes, and carrying a ritual symbol and still clutching his staff of office; both are tarnished with age, and you get the feeling that he has been here for some time
>29: A Silkscale male, the one whom you failed to save, wearing leather armour and a thick hooded cloak, and carrying a pouch of coin and several trade-goods, as well as a dagger. Merchant, or thief? You will never know, now.
>70: A… Serpent Priestess?? What was one of these Holy Ones doing, traveling alone? By the robes and the ritual icon she carries (that of a Dark Goddess of home defence and hatchling-rearing), you take her to be a mid-ranked member of a lesser cult, but still one with existing members who will praise you for returning her holy symbols… And likely the scroll-cqse on her hip, still unopened.

You look up, and where your elder brother awaits, and down into the chasm below. You have had some success, even fulfilled some small prophecy but the depeer you delve, the greater the risk that you will be missed before you return.

What will do you?
>Dedicate your victory to the Dark Gods, and beseech their aid – surely you have earned their favour now?
>Strip the corpses of valuables and climb up from whence you came, to return to the forward base before the Novice’s cover stories fail you
>Press on, summoning the Great One to join you in exploring the true depths of this great pit – maybe you will find even more treasure, and an even greater and more glorious quarry!
>Rest here—climbing is a precarious endevaour, but given some time to recoup, you can just <Jump> out
>Write-in

Next update will likely be tomorrow or the next day. Enjoy this commissioned art of the MC in the meantime!
>>
>>5274857
>Rest here—climbing is a precarious endeavor, but given some time to recoup, you can just <Jump> out

>If the scroll case is unsealed and just pops open and close, open it and investigate. If it has a wax seal or similar, leave it for now.
>>
>>5274857
>>Strip the corpses of valuables
>>Rest here—climbing is a precarious endevaour, but given some time to recoup, you can just <Jump> out
We expanded almost every resources we have. Time to get out, while still training <Jump> to hopefully evolve it into <Wings>
>>
>>5274857
>Press on, summoning the Great One to join you in exploring the true depths of this great pit – maybe you will find even more treasure, and an even greater and more glorious quarry!

Greedy for more EXP
>>
>>5274857
>Press on, summoning the Great One to join you in exploring the true depths of this great pit – maybe you will find even more treasure, and an even greater and more glorious quarry!

All we lost from this fight was some of our mana, we didn't even get hurt from anything. I really want the Great One to get into some kind of fight or adventure, here. It'll be good for his development, and I also would like to level some more of our combat stats before the expedition.
>>
>>5274857
>Strip the corpses of valuables and climb up from whence you came, to return to the forward base before the Novice’s cover stories fail you
>>
>>5274857
>Press on, summoning the Great One to join you in exploring the true depths of this great pit – maybe you will find even more treasure, and an even greater and more glorious quarry!

I feel bad that so far he's just hung to a wall
>>
>>5274857
>Dedicate your victory to the Dark Gods, and beseech their aid – surely you have earned their favour now?
>>
>>5274857
>Dedicate your victory to the Dark Gods, strip the corpses of valuables
Frankly I think continuing on into this dark pit will delay us enough to cause us trouble, but if anons can devise a way that won’t fuck us over just before we leave, I’d be up for it.
>>
>>5274857
>>5275165
If you’re here RQM, you can ignore my hesitations for continuing one. I just wanted to make sure that dedicated this victory to the Dark Gods and that we took the loot before we moved on. I don’t want to hold up the quest if that’s the issue.
>>
>>5275556
[As mentioned, I have company this weekend and, being drunk and enjoying arthouse films and slasher flicks, do not plan to post until tomorrow or the next day. We'll begin again then!]
>>
>>5275569
Completely forgot, my mistake. Hope you enjoy your night out though mate!
>>
Test
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>>5272676
>>5275654
This is me.
>>
>>5274857
>Press on, summoning the Great One to join you in exploring the true depths of this great pit – maybe you will find even more treasure, and an even greater and more glorious quarry!
>>
>>5272676
>>5275654
>>5275655
All me, btw.
>>
>>5275908
Why are you doing this?
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>>5274859
>>5274862
>>5274957
>>5274973
>>5275024
>>5275780
>>5275165
>>5275154
>>5274978
To rest here long enough to recoup your mana would take time… And, if you are spending time down here anyway, risking discovery of your little jaunt down into the deeper underground, you might as well get the most out of it.

‘Besides,’ you think, glancing upwards at the peer eyes of the Green Dragonborn, ‘it would be a shame for the Great One to not see any adventure, aside from wedging himself in a corridor while I shot arrows into a bug.’

You loot the corpses here of anything valuable, shuck yourself of the glow-worm gunk as best you can, and then summon your elder brother. He allows himself to drop, sliding free from the passage and spreading his magnificent wings to slow and control his descent. His impact still shakes your stone shelf once more, and you think you hear it crack a little under the weight of the two of you and the bodies.

“Quickly,” you say, “let us descend.”

He chuckles happily at the decision, seemingly relieved to not be turning back yet. You clamber aboard his back—to the MOST dignified situation, but faster than climbing down, and without the ability to <Jump> just yet, this is your only other safe alternative.

Your natural affinity for such lightless conditions parts the veil of the unknown to reveal the contents of that deeper darkness: a wide basin pockmarked by eroded pits and mineral-rich stalagmites which jut up like punji sticks; one such deadly stone spike impales the great-worm which you earlier slew, while its guts and insectoid fluids pour forth and puddle beneath it. The Great One carefully avoids a similar fate, and you hop down from his back to collect your arrows from your deceased adversary.

Casting your eyes about, you see a few more cocoons scattered about. Your hoarding-instinct summon you to each of them, but their contents have been dashed upon the rocks and scattered, and any valuables are broken or washed away by the slow-moving water.

Two passages lead from this place which are large enough to accommodate you—well, three, but only two large enough to accommodate your big brother, also. The first is a passage with a slight upward incline, which seems surprisingly well-worn; a closer inspect reveals evidence of hit having been carved, intelligently and with stonecunning, but Reptilians (or some other race, but who else would dwell down here in the depth, and so close to your own settlements?). The second is level, but wreathed in the faint and eerie glow of more glowworm goo—implying more beastly bug-beings like that which inhabited the realm above your head and feasted on your fellows.

Which passage do you take?
>The carved path, upward
>The level path, aglow and infested
>The small path, your brother and you need not adventure TOGETHER
>The path from whence you came; you changed your mind about progressing further
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>>5275918
>>5275655
>>5275654
[Please do not clog up the thread with mysterious tests. People will become nervous you are cheating the vote. If my own suspicions are roused, I'll start locking votes to established IDs.]
>>
>>5276078
>>5276084
>The level path, aglow and infested
Let's clean it up a bit
Hey QM i'm IP-hopping and sometime phoneposting, wants me to start namefaggiing?
>>
>>5276078
>The carved path, upward
Fuck the giant insects, let's just hunt elves.
>>5276102
>wants to namefag instead of backlinking/tripcode
>>
>>5276110
Never understood this board's fear of namefagging contained in a thread for coherence and player's debate
>>
>>5276078
>The carved path, upward
>>
>>5276078
>The carved path, upward
>>
>>5276115
Using a name among anonymous users makes you stand out in the thread and can look like you're seeking validation/recognition. If you have multiple namefags occupying a quest, it just starts to look like a circlejerk and might discourage new anons from voting.
So yeah, I'm against it while there are other means to prevent samefagging.
>>
>>5276084
My apologies, I have recently had some problems with my isp.
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>>5276078
>The carved path, upward
Please no namefaggotry.
>>
>>5276078
>The small path, your brother and you need not adventure TOGETHER
>>
>>5276078
>The carved path, upward
>>
>>5276078
>The carved path, upward
>>
>>5265023
>500 posts in 9 days
Fantastic start, ReptiloidQM!
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>>5276671
he's based like that
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>>5276078
>The level path, aglow and infested
The bugs have proven themselves capable of killing Reptilians, and the Reptilian agents assigned to investigate the initial deaths. They're worthy.
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>>5276078
>The level path, aglow and infested
Bug murder with the bro
>>
>The carved path, upward.

How much renown could we possibly gain by killing insect's?
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>>5277283
>>5277134
>>5276835
>>5276652
>>5276647
>>5276501
>>5276490
>>5276164
>>5276128
>>5276110
>>5276102

There is something inherently ignoble about squashing bugs, even the tremendous examples of such. While there is a case to be made for destroying the infestation… Well, how dangerous is even the great-worm, which can slay only a handful of Reptilians over decades or centuries, and even then seemingly indirectly, by their literally falling into its clutches? No, if more squirming menaces exist, someone else can clear them out. Your interests lie with higher matters—literally, in this case.

You follow the carved passage instead, counting on its upward trajectory to bring you closer to your home while also hopefully revealing more hidden treasures of this neglected Reptilian habitation. You beckon the Green Dragonborn, and he follows behind you, though he must sometimes hunch and occasionally drop to all fours to do so. The floor’s divots hind at time-eroded steps; the walls are carved with strangely-misshapen reliefs, their faces and fine details eaten away by aeons. More of the familiar faded glory which has characterized your experiences since hatching…

Eventually , you reach a rather peculiar series of chambers. They most resemble a monastic complex, like the series of studies, personal quarters, and library and archival spaces which characterize the area of the forward base where the Novice and her fellow Priestly Ones dwell. The books, scrolls, and other writings are long since rotted away, and whoever lived here left this place many lifetimes ago.

The Great One groans, disappointed at the lack of opportunities for combat an destruction. You reassure him, even as you own curiosity drives you forward. Eventually, you are rewarded: in a personal quarter, its entrance too small for your elder brother to enter, you find a robed skeleton, a dagger seemingly plunged between its ribs by the dead Reptilian’s own hands. On the stone work bench before it are carved cryptic words:

“First, but not only.”

The figure wears the same robes and holy symbols as the Serpent Priestess whose body you recovered. What was their order doing here? What do the words carved into the bench MEAN? Why did you scrawl them, with great effort, as she contemplated and perpetrated her suicide?

What do you do?

>Pray to the Master of the Insightful Eye for understanding
>Beseech the Keeper of Clutches, goddess of home defense and of children, to explain what happened here
>Offer up the life of the great-worm and the bones of the long-dead and call upon Death's recollection of these long-lost lives
>Forget it—this is scholarly shit, and you are here to find battle and glory! Searcg for foes to fight.
>Scour these rooms for further clues as to what was done here and why... And maybe treasure
>Carry on upwards, to your home—you have tarried long enough
>Write-in
>>
>>5276352
>>5276102
[No need for names and/or trips yet. I just want to jead off the imevitable arguments and suspicions at the pass.]

>>5276671
>>5276716
[Thanks for the kind words! Sorry if this above post isn't my usual quality -- passing out about now, but I didn't want to leave you folks hanging. Tomorrow and the enzt day should see a return to form and my more routine posting schedule.]
>>
>>5277404
>Use divination to find the meaning.

The Dark Gods are fickle. To call upon them is a risk, one I loathe to take for this small matter. I’m totally not voting to use divination to get that sweet sweet XP
>>
>>5277410
[You lack the mana to cast Guidance at this time.]
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>>5277404
>Offer up the life of the great-worm and the bones of the long-dead and call upon Death's recollection of these long-lost lives

Ok I choose death then.
>>
>>5277404
>Offer up the life of the great-worm and the bones of the long-dead and call upon Death's recollection of these long-lost lives
>Let Great One explore on own nearby
Big Brother can give us a roar if we’re needed.
>>
>>5277404
>Offer up the life of the great-worm and the bones of the long-dead and call upon Death's recollection of these long-lost lives
Between the Eye and Death, but Death is my favorite Dark God so far.

>>5277408
Ok, I'll admit the joker shit was just me shitposting at another phoneposter, had nothing to do with samefagging. Won't happen again.
>>
>>5277404
>Pray to the Master of the Insightful Eye for understanding
Not up to date with Infiltrator Quest (discovered this with this thread; currently at Vol 6) so I don't know much about dark gods, but I want to go with the Math Autism Dragonborn.
>>
>>5277452
Dark Gods explanation/spoilers(?): They are ancient, bullshit-powerful entities that look after Reptilians (and possibly other "bad" races) and claim to be the only real Gods (which isn't true). IIrc, at least some of their power comes from active followers' belief, similarly to greater demons. Death used to be a Dark God like an eternity ago, but dropped out of politics and just supervises hell now, not even zoomer Light Gods bother it.

Ismena talked to Death directly in here, if anyone's interested: https://archived.moe/qst/thread/5125865#5159293
>>
>>5277404
>Pray to the Master of the Insightful Eye for understanding
>Scour these rooms for further clues as to what was done here and why... And maybe treasure
>>
>>5277404
>Offer up the life of the great-worm and the bones of the long-dead and call upon Death's recollection of these long-lost lives
>>
>>5277404
>Pray to the Master of the Insightful Eye for understanding
>>
>>5277894
>>5277531
>>5277452
>>5277419
>>5277423
>>5277425
>>5277563
You scan the rooms once more, looking for further clues as to the nature of the work done here (or wealth to seize for yourself) but find little but arcane alchemical implements well past their useful lifespan. Your bored elder brother leaves for the more spacious room outside while you do so, amusing himself by frying and squashing the remaining glowworms and their sticky silken enterprise.

Eventually, you relent. There is naught here but ash, dust, and mystery… And among the former two categories, you can find no answer to the third. Maybe, had you brought the Novice or one of her ilk, it would be different; likewise, if you could cast a spell of Guidance once again, and if you could this time find a way to interpret the messages encoded in the onslaught of imagery…

But, then, perhaps there is another answer in the last such vision?

You kneel before the skeleton of the suicidal Serpent Priestess, and speak haltingly dark rites which you have heard only once before, but never forgotten; where memory fails, you improvise.

“Oh Lord of Endings, of doorways and crossroads, Dark God of Sleep Eternal… Who witnesses our deaths and ferries our souls… Please accept my deadly works and mortal deeds in honour of your role I all things, and my acceptance of my own inevitable embrace by your unfailing hands. Please, Death, Lord of All, hear me and answer me.”

You closed your eyes as you spoke, but when you open them… You still see nothing. No room, no desk, no scrawled words, no skeleton. You force yourself not to panic, instead taking a deep breath, and in time the blackness parts like curtains—like robes of ink or smoke—and reveals…

“Death.”

You recognize the Dark God immediately, for how could you not? He walks not in a form you have ever heard of, and yet in a form somehow intimately familiar: a dragons’ skeleton, towering over you and filling all space, with great claws and massive body wing-struts… And with a human skull, albeit proportional to his great size, like that of some giant great ape.

“You slay a worm,” he says, dryly and without obvious intonation, “and think to summon a god in exchange? Such arrogance…”

You bow your head low, whispering an apology. And yet…

“And yet, you came, My Lord?” you ask.

Oh Gods, is he here to claim your own soul for your impudence? Perhaps this was an unwise decision. The Dark Gods are not known for charity or mercy…

“I did,” Death acknowledges. “You are entitled some special consideration. The Feathered One, Serpent Ascendant, granted your mother a <Favour>… And despite ample reason to do so, she never used it, save to bequeath upon your brow a crown of consideration.”
>>
>>5278081
You struggle to understand the meaning, but you infer the practical application just now: it is your mother’s so-called ‘Divine Favour’ for which Death deigned to appear before you, and it is for that reason that you still draw breath.

“You have your audience,” Death declares, a voiceless rasp in the back of your own mind that brings to imagination a stone sarcophagus lid being opened to reveal fearful possibility. “Make your requests and inquiries… But remember your lessons well, young one. Every word or action which a god provides comes with expectations of repayment, and the cost of impudence or imprudence is your very soul.”

In other words… Every question Death answers will result in a divine mandate or command in turn. And actions—you can request the Dark God to perform ACTIONS? Perhaps a boon… The destruction of an enemy?

“Do not,” Death says, as if hearing your racing thoughts, “grow greedy, though I know hat it is the nature of your kind, dragonling.”

What do you ask?
>What the scrawling on the desk means
>Why the Serpent Priestess here killed herself
>Why your mother did not use the favour, and what you may use it for
>Request power
>Request honour
>Request wealth
>Request a chance to serve Death, and to have Him as your patron
>Write-in
[Choose no more than 3 options, or be smote for impudence.]
>>
>>5278082
>Why the Serpent Priestess here killed herself
>Request a chance to serve Death, and to have Him as your patron
>Request him to be your brother’s patron

Great One needs a divine sponsor he is a glorified lab rat on his own.
>>
>>5278082
>Request wealth
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>>5278082
>Why the Serpent Priestess here killed herself\
>Request a chance to serve Death, and to have Him as your patron

think we know this one already
>Why your mother did not use the favour
OOC
>>
>>5278082
>Request a chance to serve Death, and to have Him as your patron
>Request him to be your brother’s patron
>Request intelligence for brother

If we go twin servants of death we go all in
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>>5278111
>>5278103
>>5278087
>>5278091
“My brother… the Great Green Dragonborn… He is not, uh, entirely ‘complete’.”

Death waits patiently, for you to say your piece.

“Hypothetically, if I were to become your servant and you my patron, could you do likewise for him? Could he be… Made whole?”

Death opens his skeletal maw, exhaling a long, breathless sigh.

“There are no hypotheticals,” the Lord of Ash and Dust answers. “Each answer comes with a price… But I do not wish to waste either of our time. No, I cannot grant the other mortal a mind, beyond that which he already has and that which he cultivates in the future. That is a purview for my sibling.”

“The Master of the Insightful Eye,” you guess.

Death ignores this, neither confirming nor denying the supposition. Instead, he continues thusly:

“I will accept you as a divine vassal—a ‘Paladin’, of sorts, as you might conceptualize it. However, you can be full champion to only one Patron. I am not bothered if it is myself, or one of my siblings, or even a God of Light. I am neutral, in all things, and passion is for the living and THEIR patrons. But if you seek wealth, or power, or knowledge, and if you proffer service…”

Death settles into a relaxed stance, half-crouched and with tail lowers and wing-bones folded into a complex interlocking posture.

“…I have tasks, which you might perform, yes." Death concludes.

[Not a full post or a vote-lock, but rather a clarification of a few points and a chance to modify your votes. I fear I may have been unclear on what was on offer, and what the cost and limitations might be.]
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>>5278166
>Why the Serpent Priestess here killed herself
>Request a chance to serve Death, and to have Him as your patron
I’ll change getting our brother help is a side quest for later with the other god
>>
>>5278166
>Why the Serpent Priestess here killed herself
>Request a chance to serve Death, and to have Him as your patron
>Request freedom for Great One
>>
>>5278082
>Why the Serpent Priestess here killed herself
>Request a chance to serve Death, and to have Him as your patron
I hope we get to actually keep our Divine Favor here. I'd rather not waste it so cheaply
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>>5278198
I actually feel bad for his circumstances and he’s going to be all by himself after leave. I’ll support. Hope it’s not a divine favor.
>Support
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>>5278184
+1
>>
>>5278217
>>5278211
>>5278205
>>5278198
>>5278184
>>5278091
>>5278103
You start with the most obvious question, the reason the you called upon The Lord of Endings to begin with: to inquire after the ending of the female at the desk.

>Why the Serpent Priestess here killed herself?
“Because her task for her mistress was done,” Death answers. “She was no longer needed… Never would be again. Her task here was one she could not live with having completed, and so she chose not to do so.”

“I do not understand,” you admit. “Does it have to do with the scrawling on the desk?”

“Yes,” Death answers. “But careful now, dragonling. You are asking more questions than you intend. Remember the price. There are only so many favours you can even do for me, to earn the answers. Death wants for little.”

You nod slowly. It is frustrating… But the opportunity you are being given is a rare one. Most mortals never get a chance to meet their gods in life, not even among the Master Race—not even among the Serpent Priesthood! You must make the most of it.

>Request freedom for Great One

Death stares at you, into you.

“Is it your humanity which drives your bloodline to this uncharacteristic altruism?” the Harvester of Life asks. “Your mother was motivated by legacy and loyalty… But what motivates you, to give of yourself to free another, to whom you have no relation?”

“He will be alone,” you say quietly. “It is thanks to him that I never felt that loneliness… But now, what will he have without me? How can I leave him without a kindred spirit?”

“Easily, and without a second thought,” Death says, “if you were more like your father.”

You say nothing. The implication stings, though the Dark God seems more curious than condemning in his assessment.

Eventually, Death speaks again.

“You do not think through what you ask,” he says. “Or perhaps, who you ask it of. What sort of freedom, do you suppose, can Death bring, but the freedom of the grave?”

Your heart skips a beat. No! You didn’t mean—!

“Calm yourself,” Death says. “I am no lesser darkness, no demon or djinn. Your ‘brother’ will live… And, I suppose, it could even be arranged for him to leave the confines of the caves, but that ‘imprisonment’ is also comfort and safety. The surface world is not all sunshine and plunder, little dragon. Death dwells in light as in darkness, and where life if replete… So too am I well-fed by the constancy of its antithesis.”

In other words: if you use Death’s divine authority to force the issue with the Chaplain, the Dragonborn will be at risk of death at the hands of surface threats.
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>>5278277
>Request a chance to serve Death, and to have Him as your patron

“Then let me serve you, My Lord Death,” you say boldly, without further hesitation. “Let me wear your glory and do as you will me to do!”

“You do not think your… Excitability and youth would better lend themselves to my siblings?” the skull-faced Dark God asks. “You seem to be enjoying your gift of prophecy, of knowledge. You would not prefer the Watchful One with his Insightful Eye as a patron?”

You hesitate, then shake your head.

“Nothing,” you say, “is mightier than Death.”

And no living being, you imagine, will be mightier than you as Death’s champion.

“Very well,” Death acknowledges your ambition. “As payment for answering your summons and responding to your questions, I will accept your soul into my service. However, this comes with a few caveats—a Paladin’s Code.”

You nod slowly.

<DEATH KNIGHT’S CODE>
>1. You must not show mercy—when an enemy is of no further use, they must perish
>2. You must not permit an undead to persist, nor a mortal to achieve immortality
>3. You must not keep souls from Death’s embrace by entrapping, absorbing, or waylaying them
>4. You must not sire offspring, and must destroy any offspring which you do sire
>5. You must never interfere to save the life of a stranger or unfamiliar beast, nor prolong their lives through magic
>6. You may not slay a god, of Dark or of Light
>7. You must do as Death dictates, forevermore, until you die

“Do you accept the terms?” Death asks. “Do so, and I will mark you with my authority, and as you perform my labours, you will grow into a true <Death Knight>--immune to physical ailment, to age, to many forms of my art… And capable of inflicting it with a touch, with a breath.You will be able to reach into the spaces where restless spirits dwell, and to sense disturbances in the flow of life.”

“I… Have a choice?” you ask, a little overwhelmed and surprised as you take it all in.

“Yes,” Death says simply. “You always have a choice, until that final moment when all choice is gone and there is only me… And what lies beyond.”

“What happens if I refuse?” you ask nervously.

“I will not be upset,” Death replies coolly, “but there will be consequences. There are ALWAYS consequences, and this is always true, though I am never upset.”

Do you…
>Accept Death’s offer, and begin down the path of a Death Knight
>Refuse the offer, and accept unknown consequences
>Refuse the offer, and propose a penance [write-in, no guarantee Death will accept it]
>Ask Death something else [any answer may incur additional obligations]
>Use the <Divine Favour> to get out of any obligations and commitments [single use]
>Write-in
>>
Guys I don't think I wanna be Death's knight here. Those rules 4 and 5 are big dealbreakers. What sort of penance should we do for him?
>>
>>5278293
Agreed... I think he's actually right, the knowledge guy might be a better fit for us. Is there a necromancer somewhere we can put down?
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>>5278284
RQM, would using the Favour allow us to be Death's knight without any of the code obligations, or am I misreading that option?
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>>5278284
>Refuse the offer, and propose a penance (Eternal enemy of undead. Must seek them out when death calls)
>Ask for Brothers freedom
>>
>>5278342
[You are misreading, or I was being unclear. You would get to leave this interaction without owing dead a favour or committing to becoming his knight. Even if you COULD try to scam Death jnto being an obligation-free knight, I would caution against trying to treat a deal with a Dark God like a demon pact or genie wish... As he stated, Death is neither, and not bound by technicalities as they are.]
>>
>>5278284
>Accept Death’s offer, and begin down the path of a Death Knight
>Great One freedom
>>
>>5278357
>>5278360
Why are we asking for bro's freedom again? Death said if he's out then he'll still be in danger to the outside. What, is the plan to meet up with him afterward? He's a super conspicuous giant dragon. People will spread the word he exists on sight. What's the idea here?
>>
>>5278284
>leave for a wedding
>get back to anons voting to enslave themselves to Death
What the fuck were you all thinking? I want to serve ALL the Dark Gods, not be beholden to only one forever straight off the bat!
>Refuse the offer, and accept unknown consequences
What da fuck is wrong with all of you!
>>
>>5278388
It’s about giving him the option. There is no future for him as of now. He needs some sort of freedom or he’ll wither away without us.
>>
>>5278396
The only way to free bro is to return Reptilian kind to the surface. This was the whole point of the Grand Conspiracy in the first place! Stop acting like a special snowflake thinking that these Darks Gods will solve all of your problems for you.

>>5278358
>using our inherited Divine Favor to get us out of a mess we brought upon ourselves
We did not save that fucking favor just so rando anons with no quest context can just use it to escape the consequences of their retarded actions. Why even bring Death into this, this is waaay too early for such an important decision as Patron Deity selection in the first place. It took Izzy five or so threads for the Dark Gods to show themselves to us originally, you shouldn’t be indulging anons requests for meeting with a God until we actually proves ourselves against a worthy foe, not some fucking bug that requires reptilian idiocy for it’s dinner.
>>
>>5278284
FUCK. This interaction with DEATH HIMSELF was taken way too lightly. Anons who didn't have context on what the Dark Gods are like should now take a note on how much of a big fucking deal they are. I'll vote to deny since choosing something this huge so early on is not my cup of tea. As for our bud's freedom... I'm ambivalent but I'll +1 it. It's not really logical in the grand scheme of things for the Reptilians but it's probably the best thing for HIM. What path is there for him now? Live in isolation until the reptilians come back (likely not within his lifetime) with no friends or family? I'd probably not vote for it if we were another character, but if we've done one thing over this quest it is caring for him. That's the one action we've consistently taken throughout it so I'll vote for it for the RP and consistency.

>Refuse the offer, and accept unknown consequences
>Freedom and it's consequences for the Great One....
>>
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>>5278434
>We did not save that fucking favor just so rando anons with no quest context can just use it to escape the consequences of their retarded actions
> you shouldn’t be indulging anons requests for meeting with a God

[I appreciate your opinion re: the gods, but this is Dragonborn ANTIPALADIN Quest, a story about an unholy champion who inherited the favour of the gods and the blood of dragons and is of special interest to the forces that be. The infiltrator pursued the Gods' interest, but the Dragonborn was BORN under their scrutiny.

Anyone playing this quest has all the context they need, even if they never played RIQ, because the Dragonborn is a teenager who never knew his mother and only learned the gods knew who he was about a day ago.

I mentioned that I was unsure if I wanted to run this quest because people would try to metagame it and use it to somehow 'fix' the ending of the last quest. It's too lake for me to flake out now -- I am committed to this for the next few months. However, while you're entitled to your opinion, I am not going to alter my options or try to steer newcomers to better satisfy RIQ's playerbase in ways that don't make sense for the new character or the basic character concept to me. I hope you understand: this quest is for everyone here, not just a select few.

I will, as always, request further meta-input at the end of the thread.]
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>>5278456
Based QM. Bad decisions are in character for a dumb fuck teenager.
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>>5278447
Ever figure that this might be the quest that returns the reptilians to the surface?

>>5278456
My autism has nothing directly to do with the Divine Favor, but the execution the Dark Gods. I expected a slow build up in importance and knowledge throughout the threads before meeting them directly, maybe on an intermittent individual basis dealing with problem solving or giving mission objectives, not getting baited into a becoming Death’s personal servant on Page 3 of the first thread. The option of using the Divine Favor to escape the first real consequences of our actions was just the cherry here.

I’ve said my piece, it was just such a shock to read after taking a bit of a break.
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>>5278533
[Expect a higher 'power-level' and more emphasis on divinity and major social consequences in this quest than the last.]
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>>5278533
Eh, I kind of doubt we're going to the surface with this character. Our divination pointed to a cataclysm happening at some point in the future that we'll have to deal with and so I think the reptilians are going to have their hands full with that unless it's something that can be dealt with individually. This is of course speculation, though.
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>>5278545
*Reptilians are going to the surface
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>>5278541
Noted. Also what is death’s definition of stranger? Would members of race we kno vaguely count?
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>>5278560
>deifne "stranger"
[A very fair inquiry!]

Okay NOW you're panicking a little. No offspring? That's... A big commitment. You've never been pemritted in the breeding pits, sure, but you always sort of hoped... No, no, you have other concerns besides 'that.'

"Oh Lord of Endings..." you say, speaking up heistantly; does this count as another question?

"Ask," Death says. "Your allegiance, or your indebtitude, will pay for a simple clarification.

How much of your mind does he have access to? How much of your intent is open to a Dark God?! It is... Unnerving. Still, you ask.

"What constitutes a 'stranger' in this arrangement?"

"A being to whom your have no personal connection, and no reason to preserve for the sake of your corporeal or spiritual masters."

The skeletal behemoth is calm, patient... if you didn't know better, you would think Death Himself was humouring you, granting you special treatment. You think bavk to your vision... To his words about your mother's favour and how she used it. Maybe he is? His empty eye-sockets threaten to absorb your very being into their impenetrable darkness, and you shudder at the thought even as you vibrate with excitement at the notion that you could hold such importance to such an entity.

...You're not sure you're rwady for sucg a responsibility, but you DID comr seeking glory and worthiness before the gods. Is this what you wanted?

[Continue the vote!]
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>>5278578
>Refuse the offer, and propose a penance [Anti necromancy]
>Release Big Brother

Terms are pretty good aside from offspring actually but need more experience before decision we can try again later if want
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>>5278284
>Refuse the offer, and propose a penance [Anti necromancy AND anti-undead]
>Release Big Brother
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>anons vote to free Big Brother in spite of the consequences
You all know that releasing him also puts the Reptilian Conspiracy and the Grand Design at risk, right? And this is including Big Bro’s death at the hands of the Paladins while we’re doing other missions.

>>5278541
Then I wish you the best in future executions RQM.
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>>5278284
>Accept Death’s offer, and begin down the path of a Death Knight
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>>5278357
>>5278360
>>5278393
>>5278447
>>5278456
>>5278584
>>5278587
You avert your eyes downwards respectfully.

“My Lord, I…”

You want power, status… But also freedom. This feels like the opposite—like you are selling yourself into slavery. Even in relation to a Dark God, doing so feels… Wrong. Antithetical. You are suddenly very aware of how young you are, how inexperienced—how impulsive. This was foolishness.

“I decline the offer,” you force yourself to say aloud.

“You are certain?” Death asks. “It was YOU who called upon ME, dragonling. YOU who proposed vassalage.”

“I know, but…”

But no children? No preservation of life—not even as an option? It seems a grim path into a barren future, in service to… To this terrible (albeit magnificent) THING before you. You can scarcely comprehend the scope of it—a LIFETIME of servitude to a single being, when you may live to be over ten times your current young age!

“Very well,” Death says, when you cannot finish the thought. “But there will be consequences. There are ALWAYS consequences. They are inevitable.”

“Is there not some necromancer I can slay?” you ask hopefully. “I am happy enough to pledge myself to the destruction of the undead.”

After all, how many such beings can there be?

“Oh, yes, the destructions of mages and other lesser entities who threaten the natural order by which souls form and flow… There is a great deal of work to be done to maintain that equilibrium. And you… You WILL play a part in that design.”

“And the Great One?” you ask. “What of my brother’s freedom?”

“A Death Knight bears status greater than a Chaplain,” Death answers, “but you are no Death Knight. I can offer nothing more.”

Death spreads his wings, which unfurl and unfurl and unfurl, until they are a hundred times the span they had been while folded. They are cloaked in scales and swirling smog, an odourless cloud of dark miasma which enshrouds you both. Gods Below and Beyond… THIS is what you were bartering with? It’s… Elemental.

“If you wish to learn what drove the Serpent Priestess to take her life, travel downwards,” Death suggests. “Remember, though, child: if you would call upon me again, you will not find me; if you call upon another God, you had best consider your decision carefully. My siblings are not as patient as I. They have spent long in isolation from the world. I am well-fed, but they… They hunger.”

With a single beat of the world-spanning wings, Death ascends like a shooting star, straight up. The dark fog goes with him, swirling behind him like fire behind a blazing arrow. As he strips away the bleak blackness with his passage, you find in the room once more… Alone, with the long-dead priestess whose fate remains almost as mysterious as it was before.
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>>5278671

You hear a loud snuffling outside of the room. You turn, and meet the concerned and confused gaze of your older brother, hunched over to extend his long neck into the room. While you were in negotiations with the God of Death, he must have finished torching and tormenting the worms in the spill-chamber.

“Suh-mells strange,” he rumbles. “What hap-punned?”

“Nothing,” you say, sighing. “I’ll tell you later. For now…”
>“Let’s go home. It’s been a long day, and they’ll be missing us soon.”
>“Let’s delve deeper. There’s something down there I need to see.”
>“Let’s rest here. I need time to think, and to meditate and regain my spells.”
>“Let’s talk about my upcoming journey… And what we’re going to do with you.” [propose a plan for how to convince the Chaplain to let you bring the Green Dragonborn with you]
>Write-in

>>5278657
Woops, missed your vote... But it still leaned heavily towards refusal
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>>5278675
>“Let’s delve deeper. There’s something down there I need to see.”

It happens.
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>>5278675
>“Let’s delve deeper. There’s something down there I need to see.”

can't wait to somehow dial up death again despite him hiding and say we actually do want to be his knight
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>>5278675
>>“Let’s delve deeper. There’s something down there I need to see.”
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>>5278675
>“Let’s delve deeper. There’s something down there I need to see.”
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>>5278675
>“Let’s delve deeper. There’s something down there I need to see.”

Wish could make plan to take big brother but no leverage
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>>5278675
>“Let’s delve deeper. There’s something down there I need to see.”

I wasn't there for that Death vote. Quite happy with the outcome though.
Can't wait to see what is the oath of the Autism Math God; I am leaning toward him as always
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>missed the most important encounter of the quest because it was written rapidly overnight
Are you fucking kidding me RQM?
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>>5278675
>“Let’s rest here. I need time to think, and to meditate and regain my spells.”
I suppose we won't have any more communes with fucking Death after this and our 19yo brain is still too fucking devoid of knowledge to make sense of puzzling things up ahead.
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kind of a waste of time calling up Death, isn't it?
>refused to be his knight
>he refuses to free the bro
>got no powerups or anything from him
>all we got is "go further down to find out why the priestess killed herself"
a mystery we could just ignore and move on from, but we fucking wasted this encounter and the answer is all we got from it
might as well go down further and follow the lead he gave us

what were you guys thinking?
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>>5278845
[Oh, you'll meet Death again... When he's ready to call in his favour.]

Or when you die.

[If you fine folks do not find a god you would prefer to be a personal Paladin for before then, you'll even have a seocnd shot to beocme a Death Knight. Believe me when I say that this is not even close to the most important choice of the quest.]
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>>5278707
>>5278732
>>5278734
>>5278743
>>5278747
>>5278828
>>5278845
You refuse to let your brush with an actual, elemental force of the universe amount to nothing. You had always deemed of such a grandiose and affirming experience—it CANNOT be just a footnote, leading to some divine debt and naught else to show for it!

“Let’s delve deeper. There’s something down there I need to see.”

The Great One follows you down, down, deeper into the lower darkness.

There are more glowworms here, too, which extends the range of your vision somewhat. The passage, big enough to mostly accommodate even your elder brother, is not meaningfully impeded by their silk and slime for the most part; where it is, a puff of firebreath or slash of your sword suffices to remove the obstacles. You keep a wary eye out for more of their gigantic relations, though…

But what you find is far, far more troubling.

After traveling for some time through widening and shrinking tunnels which bore into the depths of the earth, you find their penultimate destination: a brood chamber. It is not unlike that kept by your own kind, in some regards; a space suitable to the storage of rows upon rows of eggs, waiting for the right conditions to hatch, attended by those tasked to keep them healthy and to rear the hatchlings…

But these are no Reptilian eggs, nor hatchlings, nor keepers.

Instead, you find more of the ‘great-worms’—roughly a dozen of them, and hundreds or thousands of their tiny, squirming brethren. In their midst are clumps of bubbling goo, bloated with thousands or millions of tiny eggs; more troubling than these are the much LARGER equivalent, almost the size of a Reptilian’s egg, but with translucent iridescence, ovoid shape, and silky outer coating which belie their true parentage.

Many are laid amongst piles of fungus and fetid, half-eaten flesh. You see carapaces, and small bones, and larger ones hunting at man-sized beasts dragged up from the lower underdark… And some that cannot be mistaken for anything but fellow Reptilians.
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>>5279095
At the centre of it all is the greatest of great-worms, a disgusting and bloated creature whose size is enough even to rival your elder brother: a truly tremendous creature who fills the rear of the cavern with bloated, pulsating bug-flesh, by rhythmic contortions pumping out clumps and clusters of eggs even now. Where most glow-worms boast a dozen or so spike-legs, this creature must have a hundred of the little thorn-limbs, too small to possibly move it with any speed… But then, you get the sense that this creature has not left this cavern in some time. This dragon-sized brood-mother is likely to big to ever leave.

“We havvvve… Vizzzitorzz?”

You flinch and back up slightly at the voice. You automatically look to your brother, though you know the answer before he shakes his head: yes, he heard that too; no, it was not him.

You both slowly turn back to the bloated queen of this glow-worm ‘hive’, who begins to wriggle and jiggle with renewed purpose. The other glow-worms slowly begin to move in tandem, turning to face you as they do so. Not just the greatworms, but every single little glowworm in the huge chamber, begins to bob and wobble back and forth, to jiggle in some great, choreographed ‘dance’ of… Welcome? It feels more like a warning of their coordinated potential, with how they surround you.

“Welcome, zziblingzz.”

The greatest of these worm-creatures slows its movements and begins to rotate in place, unfurling into a longer and less spherical shape as rows of legs unroll and reveal a head and mouth-parts molded by terrible purpose into something ALMOST of a reptiloid shape, with grasping claws and an elongated head. Its many eyes stare, unblinking, beneath eye-spots that seem designed to mimic your own eyes’ placement.

What do you do?
>Run—flee this place, scramble back to the surface, and save yourselves
>Let loose dragonfire, and burn this awful panoply of monsters to cinder
>Demand to know what these creatures are, and what their purpose is so close to your people’s forward base
>Return the greeting, tentatively, and jiggle in tandem; no sudden moves, not yet
>Write-in
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>>5279097
>"What kin are you to us, creature?"
>Stay on guard near the entrance of the chamber, ready to flee fighting at the slightest sign of ambush
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>>5279097
>Let loose dragonfire, and burn this awful panoply of monsters to cinder
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>>5279168
+1
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>>5279097
>Demand to know what these creatures are, and what their purpose is so close to your people’s forward bas
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>>5279168
+1
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>>5279097
>>Demand to know what these creatures are, and what their purpose is so close to your people’s forward base
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>>5279097
>Return the greeting, tentatively, and jiggle in tandem; no sudden moves, not yet
>Sibilings? Da fuq?
I don’t think they’re hostile yet.
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>>5279308
>>5279264
>>5279262
>>5279195
>>5279180
>>5279168
>>5279337

You stay on guard near the entrance of the chamber, ready to flee or to fight at the slightest sign of ambush. Your brother picks up on your anxiety, uttering a guttural rumble that you know precedes the opening of the passages in his chest leading to the organ which concentrates vital energies into dragonfire. You motion to him to cease, and he obliges. No… There may be time for that later, but not yet.

Still, you decline to 'jiggle'. You have your dignity as a Dragonborn to consider.

"What kin are you to us, creature?" you demand, instead. “Why do you lurk in the shadows of the Master Race? How do you come to speak the True Speech?”

“We learned it from you, ovvv courzze,” this empress of insects hums, still jiggling but settling into more of a slow sway.

“By spying?” you ask, and then gesture to the remains scattered about the room. “Or from your victims, prior to consuming them?”

“From our mutual parentzzz,” the brood-mother replies. “From the Godzzzz, and their Zzzerpent Priezztzzzz.”

This shocks you into silence… But then you look upon the wall behind the worm-matron, and you see it: a symbol of an ovoid—an egg—wrapped up in the coils of a great glow-worm. You reach into your pack and extract its near-match: the holy symbol you took from the cocooned Serpent Priestess corpse. It is a Reptilian egg, identically-encircled by a coiling snake. It is the symbol of the Lady of the Rookery, the Mother of Dragons, the Dark Goddess of hatchlings, of birth, and of home defence.

“The Serpent Priestesses made you,” you infer, speaking the thoughts slowly as they assemble, “at the behest of their goddess.”

“Yezzzz!” the worm-ruler buzzes happily.

“But why?” you ask, dumfounded. This is… Disgusting. Abominable. Bizarre in the extreme! W

What use do the gods have for such insectoids?

“To replazze you,” it buzzes.
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>>5279343
You stare, and you hear your brother’s fire-starter rumble begin anew.

“What,” you say quietly, “do you mean?”

“Your razezz are in decline,” the greatest-of-worms. “They rot and die… Fewer born evvvery zzentury zzinze the mammalzzz came… The Age of Zzcalezzz izz ovvver. We wait until the Zztarzz are Right. When that time comezzz, the Godzzz will need zzervantzz who will not fail.”

No… No, that can’t be right. That’s not possible! You are the Master Race, a chosen people. YOU, in particular, are an emissary of a resurgent bloodline and a magnificent and terrible ideal: the Dragon-King!

“I do not believe you,” you snarl.

The jiggling increases again in rapidity and enthusiasm, and once more other glow-worms large and small joining the dance.

“You do not need to,” their mother says. “I havvve waited for one hundred yearzzz, two hundred yearzzz… I will wait many more, growing our numberzzz… Feeding my brood on foolzz. When you zznakezz fail again, and die, we will rize upeat what izz left to build our zztrength, and gush forth like a tide upon the zzurfaze to reclaim it for our mazzterzzz.”

You reflect on the other dead Priestess’ message, that of the suicidal one:

“We were the first,” you whisper, “but not the only race the Dark Gods created.