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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.





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