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File: magic.png (1.83 MB, 1024x1024)
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The magic of the world is fading. Can people survive this abrupt change?
>>
You are Kyl, a denizen of the Flying City of Kerl. You were busily working at the local market when all of a sudden the city starts falling from the sky.

You see people running towards the teleportation pad, which is widely used to descend from the city, and you even consider doing it yourself as well but then you notice the access to the teleportation pad become full of people.

The uncommon mob in there sparks in your mind the idea that if the city can't float anymore, the teleportation circle is also not working anymore - something must have disrupted the magical energies that keep the city afloat.

The fall doesn't take too long. As the city hits the ground, it tilts and ridiculous amounts of items from the market spill all over the place.

As you witness the fallen city still crumbling after the first impact, you fear the debris will bury all the stuff forever.

The local guards are running around trying to save people that got caught in the debris.

You could help the guards, run through what is left of the marketing area and loot some stuff, or you could run away to safety as fast as you can.

> Help the guards saving people then run
> Grab some magical looking trinket and run
> Grab a weapon of some kind and run
> Grab some books and run
> Just run for your life
> Write in
>>
>>5277468
> Grab a weapon of some kind and run

The world is turning upside down it’s every man for themselves.
>>
>>5277471

The chaos and commotion all around you requires that you be pragmatic. The flying city might have been floating above a no-man's land full of savages for all you know. You don't wanna be caught unprepared if you have to survive in the wilderness.

Therefore, your first thought is finding yourself a weapon. You look around the shops and remember that there is an armory nearby. You remember quite well that the salesman is a young wizard apprentice, and that he keeps the best stuff behind the counter.

You run there an the place isn't as empty as you would have thought. Seems like lots of people had the same idea, and were closer so they grabbed the best stuff.

As you enter the armory you notice it has been wrecked badly. You see the young apprentice unconscious on the ground, blood pouring from his head. Whether the blood was from a boulder or from getting beat up trying to protect the shop you have no idea.

Still, there is a longbow behind the counter, and lots of daggers and swords scattered around. There is no sign of arrows anywhere though.

> Grab the longbow
> Grab a long sword
> Grab a short sword
> Grab a dagger
> Carry the young aprentice to safety
> Write in
>>
> Grab a short sword
> Gran the longbow
>>
>>5277478
>> Grab a long sword
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>5277483

1. short sword and longbow
2. long sword
>>
>>5277483
>>5277489
>>5277491

You grab a longsword and get the hell out of the shop; moments after you leave a wave of rock and dirt crashes upon it, burying the place and the unfortunate apprentice forever.

You run as the debris tsunami wreaks havoc on the entire city.

A cloud of dust forms and it is hard to see, but the path is more downwards than anything.

As you manage to find level ground and run far away enough from the dust cloud, you manage to see some scattered survivors around the area, every bit as surprised as you.

The surviving guards are still trying to take people out of the debris.

From afar, there is a certain beauty in destruction. The flying city crumbles under its own weight. Most of the destruction is done, but escavations might make more of it fall down.

The city seems to have fallen with its pointed bottom first, as as it was unable to withstand its weight, tilted to the side and broke apart, causing massive destruction on the surface.

Nobody seems to be worried about our whereabots.

That is, until the THING attacked.

It was all a big blur, and you'd be not too sure if you just imagined it or if it really occurred if it wasn't for the blood trail. Something barely visible attacked and killed one of the survivors. The guy struggled but it seemed rather pointless, as his screaming self was dragged deeper into the nearby woods.

Then the screams abruptly ceased and only the persistant sounds of birds could be heard.

> There is safety in numbers, gather the survivors
> You're out of here, go in the opposite direction the thing showed up from
> This thing didn't look too tough, it was just invisible, see if someone wants to go kill it with you
> Go kill the invisible thing by yourself
> Write in
>>
>>5277498
> You're out of here, go in the opposite direction the thing showed up from
>>
Although the beast looked defeatable, you realize that it could be a costly combat and you are unwilling to do the required sacrifices. If you just go on the opposite direction the thing showed up from, all the other survivors will be inbetween you and the dangerous creature, so next time it is hungry it will look for nearby prey and so you'll be safe from it for long enough to leave its territory.

As night falls, you realize that not having someone to watch your back makes you the easiest prey around. Sleeping therefore is a hard decision, for you know not whether you will be attacked at night. One of these lonely nights might be your last.

Too tense and nervous to sleep, you choose to keep wandering in the dark. You try to go on a straight line but the woods don't help much. You only hope you're not walking in circles.

The dawn finds you alive but extremely tired. Perhaps sleeping during the day would be a better idea than sleeping at night.

You just don't like the idea of being surprised in your sleep much, but eventually you have to sleep.

You find a small water source. Where there is water there is life, is the saying isn't it?

You could go upstream or downstream. It is more likely that you'll find people if you go downstream.

> Sleep right here
> Find a secluded spot to sleep
> Forced march upstream
> Forced march downstream
> Write in
>>
>>5277504
> Forced march upstream
>>
>>5277504
>> Forced march upstream
>>
>>5277509
>>5277511

Marching upstream, after a few hours you start listening to some weird sounds, like a big cat roaring. You get spooked but realize the sound is coming from not so far away.

Your curiosity gets the best of you and you wander towards the sound. You see a cougar writhing in pain. At first you think it might be pregnant, but it proves not to be so. The being starts to phase on and of view, becoming a blinking blur which is almost invisible.

You don't have the slightest idea why is it happening but you don't want to stick around when the damn thing is hungry.

You realize that now would be a good moment to kill the thing while it is vulnerable. You grab your sword, run towards it and sink the blade deeply into the creature's flesh.

It makes noises signalling its pain and then runs away, leaving a trail of blood as it flees.

"You saw that as well?", you hear a voice coming from the woods.

"Who is there?"

"Oh, I'm still hiding. Excuse me, it is habit. Here I am."

An elf jumps into a tree branch where you can see. She is carrying a longbow and have a sheathed sword.

"These things are changing shape everywhere around the forest. It is not only the big cats, many other critters are becoming strange monsters."

"What do you think is causing this?"

"Well the shaman of our tribe has an explanation. Something about living beings accumulating magical energies throughout their lives. It didn't do anything before because the environment was more magical than the individuals. But once the individual creatures get more magical than the environment, then they start manifesting magic. In animals seems it is causing these weird mutations."

"I see. Where is your tribe?"

"Well you just wandered into our territory now. It is upstream, by the water source. But if you wander there by yourself the soldiers might kill you."

"Well, then could you tell me what is downstream?"

"Ther is a human village not too far away. If you skip the village and keep travelling eventually you'll find the port city of Mayfal. The place is full of bandits and the authorities are unable to enforce law and order in such a crowded city. They just built a wall to keep the bandits out, so the city has a road to enter the walled city which is patrolled day and night, the inner city which is also heavily patrolled, and an ever expanding slum around it choke full of thieves."

> "I'm kinda hungry, do you think it is a good idea to hunt that invisible thing and eat its meat?"
> "I'm tired, could you watch my back as I sleep?"
> "Could you take me to your tribe for some rest? I'm exhausted."
> "Thanks for being so helpful, I'm going downstream now."
> Write in
>>
>>5277518
>> "Could you take me to your tribe for some rest? I'm exhausted."
Envoy to the elves route
>>
>>5277521
+1
>>
>>5277518
>> "I'm kinda hungry, do you think it is a good idea to hunt that invisible thing and eat its meat?"
>>
>>5277521
>>5277523
>>5277528

"Could you take me to your tribe for some rest? I'm exhausted."

"Sure. I'll talk to the guards, they'll let you in."

The two of you start following the river upstream.

At some point the elf raises her arm and pull you closer to her.

"Stay behind me."

She makes an owl noise, which is answered by another owl noise.

Two elves show themselves on top of the tree and start talking to her in elvish. She parlays with them. They look angry but get down from the trees.

"Don't worry, they won't do anything against you."

The four of you keep moving upstream.

You finally arrive at the water source, but you can't see any village. One of the guards grab some water in his hand and toss it into the air.

Rather than falling, it forms some sort of portal, a very thin blade of water.

"Go through it.", the elf says.

You pass through the water with your eyes closed. Once you open your eyes, you're in the middle of a bustling village. Everyone stops what they are doing and look at you.

Out of nowhere the other three elves show up. The four of you walk under the puzzled looks of the whole tribe. The elf you met says something in elvish and everyone goes back to doing what they were previously doing.

Arriving at the local temple, you meet the shaman.

After a heated argument, the shaman sigh and adress you in human language.

"Well stranger, seems like you found your way into the elvish tribe of Korzon. I must say that I am every bit as puzzled as you about the strange monsters which are transformed normal woodland critters. I wish I knew the source of this abnormality but I don't. But tell me more about yourself. What brings you here."

"I used to work as a merchant apprentice, running a shop in the flying city. It crashed yesterday, there were countless deaths, if was horrifying. Then I saw one of those monsters eating one of the survivors. I didn't believe they would be able to protect me so I wandered away in the opposite direction the beast came from."

"I see. Well, we need more information on these creatures. Also we need to report immediately to the capital about the fall of the flying city. A number of elvish assets now lie buried in its crash site."

"Can't you just use magic to contact them?"

"I wish. The long distance communication magic is not working either. We will have to resort to sending couriers."

"I'll go!", volunteers the elf you just met.

"Princess, that is unnacceptable."

"Well, don't you think I'll be safer in the capital? I wanna know what mother thinks about all this."

The shaman and the guards start talking amongst themselves in elvish.

"Yeah, yeah, I will need an escort, I wasnt planning to go alone anyway. Just give me a couple guards and some horses."

"As you wish princess."

> "Err... where can I sleep?"
> "May I go with you to the elvish capital princess."
> "I need to warn my fellow humans about it."
> "Could you provide some aid for me to take back to the crash site?"
> Write in
>>
>>5277535
> "May I go with you to the elvish capital princess."
Spending time with an elvish princess and going to a place that has the best quality of living? Yeah you know what option I'm choosing.
>>
>>5277550

"May I go with you to the elvish capital princess?"

"That would be a breach of protoc...", was about to say the shaman.

"Sure, why not."

"Princess, taking a human to the capital is..."

"I know. It's been decades since the last human set foot there. But I feel I met this human for a reason. Prepare horses for us all."

"As you wish princess."

"But tomorrow. Its late today. We'll depart first thing in the morning to make the most of sunlight."

The elves arrange for you quarters with the guards. Turns out elves only sleep four hours a day. As for you, even it being about noon, you're still going to sleep all the way to dawn.

The guards then take you to get a horse and prepare yourself to leave.

They give you a brown mare and tell you she is very docile.

The princess and the guards are riding on white horses. The princess changed attire to a green adventuring suit with details in gold. She is wearing a circlet that you're pretty sure is full of tiny diamonds. You have no idea how much a thing like that would even cost.

The guards are wearing a plain green uniform with oddly shaped helmets. They are carrying longbows and sheathed longswords. Those are not the same guards you saw on patrol when you arrived.

The princess address you.

"Here have this potion. If we get in too much trouble drink it and flee."

"What does that do?"

"It makes you and your equipment invisible. I'm pretty sure horses count as equipment for the potion. I only hope it still works, with the magic faultering and all."

You all gallop away from the village, which outright disappears as soon as you set foot outside its limits.
Riding very fast, you stop to rest at a cave.

"All the resting spots have been mapped in advance years ago. This route passes through no roads but is the safest there is.", says the princess.

The guards say something to the princess in elvish.

"They are worried some monster is living within the cave. I want to go explore it but they say it is too dangerous."

"I'm sure we can deal with it if it shows up."

"Perhaps. But whether or not it shows up, just made the safest route a little bit less safe."

You go to sleep. After only a couple hours you wake up hearing some distant sounds coming from the back of the cave. What do you do?

> The guards can take care of it, keep sleeping
> Get up grab your sword and go check
> Look for the princess make sure she's safe
> Flee from the cave it is probably a monster
> Write in
>>
>>5277595
> Look for the princess make sure she's safe
>>
>>5277618

Startled, you decide to look for the princess and make sure she is safe. Quickly you peer outside the cave and then you dwell inside. The farther you go the darker it gets. At the very last you find a room with the princess and her two bodyguards.

You can barely see what is going on in the cave.

The princess attempt to cast a spell; the magical energies she conjured fizzle out and disperse, giving you only a fast glimpse on the battlefield.

They are fighting some sort of giant beast. It seems to be blind.

You position yourself between the princess and the beast. Apparently noticing strange movement, the beast tries to smash you and the princes both with its massive arm.

You end up having to push the princess away. You try to dodge yourself as well but the darkness makes it very difficult; you end up being tossed into the air by a particularly powerful blow.

Checking if you have anything broken, you get up and try to find your sword. One of the guards seem to locate it and toss it to you.

It is dark so you are unable to catch it, it falls making a loud noise against the stony cave.

An idea comes to your mind - the beast is blind and seems to locate things by sound. What if you make lots of noise?

"Stay still everyone!", you scream, as you start hitting the walls of the cave with your sword.

The beast starts following you towards the cave entrance.

But the tunnel outside is too small for it to go into.

At a point you are level with the creatures head inside a tunnel it can't enter because it is smaller than its head.

You then pierce the monsters through one of its blind eyes directly into its skull, killing it instantly, its huge limp body falling making a loud noise.

From the faint light that comes from outside you can see the monster keeps on twitching.

"What the hell is that?"

"Seems to be some kind of cave troll."

"Won't it just get back up later if we just leave it here?"

"Yeah probably. Do you really want to bring enough firewood to make a bonfire large enough for this huge thing? I mean, it can't get outside the cave anyway."

"We don't have time for that princess. Human, if you want to dispose of the troll do it yourself."

> It is not right to let this monster live, I will burn it to ashes
> Well lets just keep going, hopefully the troll will not leave the cave
> Lets at least collapse the cave so nobody else can get ambushed by this thing
> If we don't have time then lets go since everyone is awake
> Write in
>>
>>5277648
> If we don't have time then lets go since everyone is awake
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
>>
>>5277652

"It is time we leave this place."

"Agreed. Let's get out of here."

The four of you get on your horses and ride through the dense darkness in your path. The cold of the wee hours can be sent in your bones. It is so chilling in fact that you start to ponder if it isn't supernatural.

"Are you all feeling as much cold as I am?"

"Shadows. They come at night. We have to keep moving."

"Is there a cemetery nearby?"

"Yes. We could have stopped there during the day, but at night it is too dangerous."

"Where is the next stop then?"

"A sacred glade near Gosher village."

The four of you ride in cold and silence for awhile.

Then the cold is gone, you even feel a warmth inside.

The forest becomes dense and you can't go as fast as in the more open fields. One of the guards go ahead cutting branches to make a path.

You did not knew elves did that.

Once you arrive at the mentioned glade, everybody dismounts.

Its dawn by now, the morning dew greeting you along the colorful skies.

"So, we're stopping here for what exactly?"

"If we're lucky we can meet a druid. Maybe they have a good explanation for what is going on, or at least a different perspective, since they're on the wilderness all the time."

The princess grabs a sounding horn from her stash and sounds it three times.

After awhile, she hears a response.

"There is one druid within earshot. He or she will be here soon."

After making a meal and waiting a few hours, an enormous bear shows up followed by a small girl.

"Sup, why you called? Oh, princess. What do I owe the pleasure.", says the little girl.

"Oh, miss Delwar. I didn't knew you were living in these woods. I would have come to visit more often if I was aware."

"Yeah, this place is a lot of work, that is why they sent me here. Keeping the undead away used to be easier though."

"How so?"

"Strange mutated undead creatures are found everywhere. The people that live in the woods told me they find animals mutating into monsters everywhere. And it is even shameful to say this but my spells to talk to animals don't work anymore. Hard to make new friends when you can't talk to them."

"Do you think something in that graveyard is responsible for this?"

"I don't know. Maybe. With necromancers you never know."

> Let's go investigate the graveyard
> Would you care coming with us miss druid
> Tell us more about these necromancers
> Thanks for the information we'll be leaving now
> Write in
>>
>>5277672
> Let's go investigate the graveyard
>>
>>5277679

"It is daylight, I think we should investigate that graveyard."

"This is a good idea, lets go."

"Princess, this is a terrible idea, lets not."

"It's day! DAY! Ghosts only show up at night."

"I strongly advise we just go on our way."

"Well, I won't leave before investigating that cemetery."

The guards seem angry, but at the end of the day they do what the princess say.

"Fine. We have to be careful though."

We gallop towards the cemetery and within a few hours we arrive there. The weather is pleasant enough, only memories remain of the night's cold.

Approaching an old rusty gate which lies half opened, we enter the cemetery and start wandering around the graves. After much wandering we locate a mausoleum. We can hear sounds of wailing coming from inside.

The princes just strolls into the mausoleum.

"Princess, be careful it could be a trap!"

"It's okay, it's okay. We are friends. Why are you crying?", you hear she say within the mausoleum.

You then hear a piercing shriek.

The princess falls to the ground in front of the mausoleum.

"Princess!", the guards scream as they run towards her.

The doors of the mausoleum fling open.

Inside there is a casket and hovering on top of the casket there is a girl in a dress. However there is something strange going on with her. She seems to be blinking back and forth between a corporeal form and a ghost form.

"Go away! GO AWAY!", she screams.

"We only want to help.", you say.

"Help? I am DEAD. I'm beyond help."

"You mean... this casket... is it yours?"

"I... I don't know... I don't remember..."

She bursts into crying again. Then the sun touches her.

She pulls herself away from the sun like it has burnt her.

And maybe it did.

"You... can't be in the sun right?"

She looks at you, pausing her crying. She just shakes her head meaning yes and resumes crying.

Under the worried gaze of the guards, the princess gets back up.

"Goddamnit that was a strong screech little banshee."

The girl-ghost laughs a nervous laughter, still amidst tears.

"I wish I could help you but I don't know what to do."

"Then just leave. Even if the sun destroys me I just wake up back here again every night."

"But why are you blinking between material and incorporeal?"

"I... I don't know. It started recently."

"What about the rest of the undead, where are they?"

"They stopped rising awhile ago. Only the shadows come out of the grave at night. No zombies."

"It must be very lonely to live surrounded by zombies."

"Bad with them, worse without them."

"We heard rumours about necromancers."

"Yes, they come here now and then. Haven't showed up in a week though. I miss them."

"What do they do exactly?"

"Oh, they teach each other dark magic and raise weird undead. They also bring me news of the world outside the graveyard."

> Do you know where the necromancers live
> Do you know of any treasure in the graveyard
> Do you want to come with us
> Kill the banshee and destroy mausoleum
> Write in
>>
>>5277697
> Do you know where the necromancers live
and
> Do you want to come with us
>>
>>5277742

"Do you know where the necromancers live?"

"I thought you'd ask me that. They live in nearby villages, the rest of the peasants dont know they practice the dark arts. There are tunnels underneath the mausoleum that crisscross the region. I usually hide there during the day, its just that I got destroyed yesterday and appeared back here, haven't had the energy to go into the tunnels."

"What destroyed you yesterday?"

"Some kind of gigantic shadow. It drank my essence so it is probably more powerful now. I fear it might be waiting for me in the tunnels, but I'm not sure. I think the shadows just take the shape of a giant combined entity when they are afraid or facing an enemy that is too powerful."

"Do you want to come with us?"

"I can't go very far from the cemetery, I would just die and appear back here again. Believe me, I tried."

> Explore the underground tunnels
> Leave cemetery and continue on your way
> Destroy the banshee and loot the mausoleum
> Stay there chatting until necromancers show up
> Write in
>>
>>5277930
>Explore the underground tunnels
>>
>>5277930
> Stay there chatting until necromancers show up
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>5277968
>>5277972

1 - explore
2 - stay chatting
>>
>>5277968
>>5277972
>>5277977


"Lets explore the tunnels.", you say.

"This is unnacceptable.", says the bodyguards.

"Oh c'mon, it is just a bunch of unmapped tunnels infested with undead, what could possibly go wrong?", says the princess.

"Did you heard the phrase you just said your highness?"

"Well, it sounded better in my head. Still, I think we can deal with it."

The four of you descend into the tunnels.

But rapidly it becomes clear that we are outmatched - once we get into the tunnels deep enough that there is barely any light anymore we start hearing wails and feeling unnatural chills. The shadows begin their vicious attacks seeking to drink our very souls!

Try as we might, we are unable to damage any of the shadows.

"Its no use, retreat, RETREAT!"

We run back to the protecting rays of sunlight.

"We will need some kind of weapon that can damage shadows."

"What sort of weapon can do that?"

"I don't know. Probably magical weapons. But I'm not sure if they will keep working since the rest of the magical stuff is not operating normally."

"Sages in the capital probably know what can we use to damage these beings, princess."

"Ah, I'm not about to go to the capital to ask that. Undeads in general are hurt by magic, holy water and silver. It is probably no different for shadows."

"I don't know. They are surviving without magic somehow. They might have different properties altogether."

"Only one way to discover. Let's find a city where we can gear up."

"My map shows a city about three days travel from here."

"Three days? I bet there is a small village nearby. So long as they have a smith and a priest we could get properly equipped there."

> Ask banshee where is the nearest village
> Follow the water, it is bound to lead us somewhere inhabited
> Give up the whole affair, we have nothing to gain and too much to lose
> We are severely outnumbered in those tunnels, it is better to go to the capital and report it so that they send more people properly equipped.
> Write in
>>
>>5277986
> Ask banshee where is the nearest village
>>
>>5277986
> Ask banshee where is the nearest village
>>
>>5277988
>>5277993

"Do you know where is the nearest village?"

"The nearest village? Well, there are two that are rather close by in different directions. One village is smaller and has a wooden wall, the other one is larger and have lots of farmland. They are this way and that way.", says the banshee, waving her ghostly little arms in the direction of the villages.

"Are you all leaving me forever?"

"Er..."

"Will you come back?"

"I don't know. We'll see."

"It's been a long time since I spoke to anyone. Like, a week."

"I see. It must be very lonely to live in a graveyard."

"Yes. Ever since the zombies stopped coming out of the grave I don't even have anyone to play with. The shadows don't like playing much."

"What sort of thing a ghost girl does for fun?"

"Well, it is not like I'm alone all the time. I stun things by screaming at them. Look."

She gives out a piercing shriek. A big black bird falls off from the sky.

"See? Fun. Kezilyah also shows up now and then and we compete to see who can stun more things faster. She then eats everything."

"Who is Kezilyah?"

"Oh, it is a baby dragon. I mean, it is a bit too old to be called a baby by now, but when we met it was so small. Like, I could carry it with my own cold dead arms. Now it is the size of... the size of a horse. Almost."

"Where this thing lives?"

"Don't call Kezilyah a thing, it hurts its feelings. I know, I know, she is not even here, but it is the thought that counts. I don't think she has a lair properly, she just flies around eating things. Now and then she shows up in here. I don't think she has enough gold that she would need a cave to hide and stash it. Not yet at least."

"We'll, we're going on our way..."

> To the small village
> To the big village
> To look for the dragon
> To the capital
> Write in
>>
>>5278824
> To the capital
>>
>>5278838

You decide to continue on the path towards the capital. the cold pursues you through the night, as if the shadows themselves are draining all the heat. You notice even plants have a hard time surviving this chilling effect and the world all around seems to be dying. This omnous frost causes you to ponder what will people do against the spread of the shadows if they leave their region and spread all around.

Yet you're not too worried about it. After a couple chilly nights, the climate aways from the graveyard is in accordance to the proper season and you don't even think about the cold darkness anymore.

In one of your night shifts you could have sworn you saw a flying lizard, its shape visible against the bright moon for a moment. Yet you chose not to wake up your companions - under the cover of the local trees it would have been hard for any predator to see us from above, unless it was looking specifically for us or had some special form of vision.

On the dawn of the fourth day you arrive at a small village.

"Let's stop here, I wanna talk to these people.", says the princess.

The guards go find a stable to stash the horses for now, and the princess heads directly into the tavern. For some reason you feel like going to the local temple, to thank the gods for all the good things going on in your life these past few days.

You kneel in the dark abode, the natural light coming through the decorated glass, and you pray fervorously to the gods for allowing you to survive the crash and to find friends amidst the chaos. Seeing you praying for a long time, the priest address you after you are done with your prayers.

"I see you are a devout."

"The world just got upside down these past few days. I have much to thank the gods for even being alive."

"I see. Yet, you seem worried. What troubles you?"

"Magic is disappearing, priest. I just passed through an abandoned cemetery full of undead shadows. They don't seem to be affected by the death of magic. I fear they might expand and destroy all that we hold dear."

"Free your mind from such thoughts. I will have to find someone to deliver these news to the church elders. In any case, I'm thankful you decided to share these news with me. Have a bottle of holy water."

"Thank you."

You leave the temple and head towards the tavern. When you enter you are met by the princess telling tales to everyone in there. Even the bard playing the lute started accompanying her tale with song. She puts quite a show, telling an embellished version of our mishaps around the area.

"...and we fought the shadows, it was gruesome, the chilly fingers of death gripping our very souls. But in the end we had to flee because our weapons did nothing against the shadows. Oh! Hey there! I was just telling them about our adventures."

> Embelishing the tales of your adventures
> Ask locals for information about the region
> Ask locals for information on necromancy
> Check if there's paid work for adventurers
> Write in
>>
>>5278848
> Check if there's paid work for adventurers
>>
>>5278873

You ask an old man at the tavern whether he knows if there is paid work for adventurers.

"Hey grampa! Is there something to do for coin in this village? Like killing some monsters or whatever."

"I see you're a brave young man. We have had problems with a goblin gang which constantly harasses our village. We think they hide somewhere around the region, but nobody has been able to figure out where. Talk to the mayor about rewards, he will probably give you a figure of how much money the village is willing to part with to get rid of the goblin menace."

"Thanks old timer."

By asking around, you are directed to the mayor's residence and knock on his door. You are greeted by one of his employees.

"Yes, what do you want?"

"I'm here for adventure work, I heard you have a problem with goblins."

"Oh yes, the mayor will receive you soon. Please enter and wait here."

There are a bunch of other people in the waiting room.

"Hey what you all here for?"

"One of my cows disappeared yesterday. It simply was gone. I came to demand an explanation."

"We have been building those goddamn tunnels for months and our pay has been docked. This is outrageous, we are going to stop digging if they don't start paying."

"Tunnels? What tunnels?"

"A few months ago the mayor decided to build some sewer tunnels for the village. We've been digging and digging and no pay has come so far. I bet he only wants to pay us when it is done, but nobody knows when we'll be done, we keep hitting hard rock, could be years."

After the other two guys go into the mayor's office and then leave, it comes your turn.

"The mayor will meet you now."

You enter the mayor's room. The walls are lined with old paintings, and a big desk dominates the room. There are some chairs, and behind the desk the mayor sits smoking right in front of a big bookcase filled with dozens of books.

"What is your name young fellow?"

"The name is Kyl."

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Kyl. I'm Sedarus the mayor of the town of Hyruskan. What do I owe your visit?"

"I heard there is work getting rid of some goblins. I came here to know if the pay is worth my while."

"So you are up to go get our village rid of the goblins huh? That's a tall order. Do you think you are prepared to take on such an adventure?"

"Absolutely."

"I see you are confident at the very least. Very well, if you bring proof of getting rid of the goblins the town will pay you 200 gold."

> Seems appropriate
> Maybe a little more
> Scoff, not worth my while
> Write in
>>
>>5278884
> Seems appropriate
>>
>>5278885

You go back to the tavern and tell the princess about the work you got from the mayor.

"Oh, nice. Do you have a plan?"

"We go there and kill all the goblins."

"Excuse me.", says one of the guards, "We cannot allow the princess safety to be jeopardized like that. If you want to go on this silly quest you'll have to go alone."

"I'll go with you.", says the bard, "I can hold my ground with a weapon, and I just love to see battle that I can later tell to the peasants in the many villages I travel around. You have had very interesting stories to tell so far, I'm hopeful you will have more, and it will be a pleasure to recount your tales... our tales... for the world to know.", says the bard, a tall half elf female with light brown skin and an eyepatch, carrying a lute and a sheathed short sword.

"We cannot wait for the two of you to complete your little adventure, we must take the princess to safety at once."

"Do you think she is in danger in this town?"

"We won't rest until she is back at the capital."

"It is okay.", says the princess,"I think we might need to part ways now friends. I will oblige with my duties toward my people and resume the trip to the capital. Come visit me someday. Here, have this insignias."

The princess gives you a brooch with a leaf.

"Hopefully nobody will think you killed an elf and stole it. If you show it to any elves they will know you are a friend of the crown and will let you into the hidden villages."

"Thank you princess."

> Accept the bard's company and go on your adventure
> Tell the bard we still need to recruit more people
> Decline the bard's company and go alone
> Write in
>>
>>5278888
> Accept the bard's company and go on your adventure

Didn't mean to split us up but oh well we'll go there later.
>>
Rolled 42 (1d100)

>>5278891

You gather your supplies and prepare to depart from the village in search of the goblins. You could bring your horse, but you think you'll probably have to explore some caves where the horse would be more of a burden than an asset. Your companion is also adept of travelling light.

"So, you've been adventuring for a long time?"

"I literally fell from the sky into a life of adventure."

The bard chuckles.

"I studied music most of my life, then I started travelling. Trouble sprung up everywhere I went so I had to learn how to defend myself. Do you think the two of us can take on a gang of goblins."

"We are about to find out."

After travelling for a couple days, she spots some tiny footprints.

"Look here! It must be the goblins."

"Do you think they are tracking us?"

"Well, now we are tracking them."

Following the tracks for another full day leads into a cave. Upon entering the cave, you notice a hill giant sleeping inside. It wakes up even with the little noise you make snooping in.

"hhHmm..? You are not goblins. Go away before I eat you."

"Do you work for the goblins?"

"Bah! Goblins give me food so I don't smash them. They work for me the way I see it."

"Would you let us pass if we gave you some food?"

"That depends. How much food exactly."

"Here, look. All our food."

"Oh!", the giant says, and then devours all your food.

While the giant is busy eating your food you go past him into the caves.

The bard lights a torch and we wander the complex. There's nothing in particular to be found around as far as you are concerned, until you find a water source underground, a small river flowing. Then you hear some screeches coming from the other side. The water level is low enough that you can cross barely wetting your shoes.
Still, a couple goblins take on spears against you and some others run further into the complex.

Since parlaying with the goblins don't look like it is an option right now, you will have to fight.

Roll 1d100, DC 30 for success (-10 weak enemy -10 no numerical advantage)

I'm rolling for the bard, same DC.
>>
Rolled 50 (1d100)

>>5278899
>>
Rolled 65 (1d100)

>>5278903

You rush towards the neares goblin and shank it with your sword. The bard does the same with the other goblin and you're soon on the clear.

As you advance through the tunnels, you hear footsteps running away. The goblins certainly have some kind of trap prepared to deal with invaders.

You eventually arrive at a bifurcation on the tunnels. One tunnel leads downwards and another leads upwards. You assume the tunnel leading upwards ends at a different entrance for the tunnels so you just follow the one going downwards.

After traversing quite some distance, you end up in a wide chamber of the cave, full of stalactites and stalagmites. The goblins seem to have prepared this room for ambush, as there is a large number of goblins armed with short spears in here.

"Well, there's no turning back now.", says the bard unsheathing her sword.

"Let's give them hell!"

Roll 1d100 DC 60 for success (-10 weak enemy +10 ambush +10 large numbers)

I'm rolling for the bard, same DC.
>>
Rolled 66 (1d100)

>>5278905
>>
>>5278909

Traversing the chamber filled with goblin all the while carving a path through their opposing flesh is not only difficult but strenuous. With every further step you feel yourself drained and ever more tired.

Still, you manage to cover the distance and wreak havoc in the lines of opposing monsters with minimal harm to yourself and your companion. As you traverse the next section of tunnels, you hear a lot of goblin noises, their language already imprinting itself as detestable to your ears even though you don't recognize a single word of it.

You finally arrive at a chamber populated by the female and the young. A shaman steps forth from amidst the goblin ranks and speaks in a language you can understand.

"Spare us! Here, that tunnel leads to our treasure chamber. Take whatever you want but leave us alive."

> Kill all the goblins
> Kill all the goblins but the shaman, take him as prisoner
> Take the offer of the shaman and go check their treasure chamber
> Go check their treasure chamber then come back and kill them anyway
> Write in
>>
>>5278911
> Kill all the goblins but the shaman, take him as prisoner
>>
>>5278913

You decide to kill all the goblins. They put up very little defense as you shank all of them - a few young males put up a fight, but for the most part slaughtering all the female and children is rather easy.

You spare the shaman, but after witnessing such carnage he fall in tears.

"I failed my tribe. Take my life."

"Not so fast. Are there more goblin tribes in the area?"

"The goblins live in the abyss. Once in awhile the population gets too big and they send a shaman and some young to make a new home.", says the shaman, still crying.

"Can you lead us to this abyss?"

"It is unmissable, just walk east. Goblins at the bottom."

You then check the goblin's treasure room. There is a lot of preserved meat and coins scattered all around. You think amidst copper and silver coins you got about 40 gold worth of loot. There are also lots of short spears of poor quality scattered around that you are sure the goblins themselves fashioned out of flint or whatever metal they managed to mine.

To avoid the hill giant, you take the tunnel going up this time when you're back at the bifurcation. It does indeed leads outside, after changing directions a few times. You manage to avoid a pit trap that was dug in there.

You decide to take the shaman back to town as proof you killed all the goblins. The shaman cries all the way there.

The townsfolk look at you surprised when you arrive dragging a crying elderly goblin. The mayor even comes out of his office.

"Here, I killed all the goblins nearby. Here is their shaman to prove it."

"They killed everyone... all the women... all the children..."

The mayor makes a proclamation.

"The heroes of our town will receive their reward. Accept these 200 gold as a token of our gratitude."

> Tell the mayor about the hill giant and the goblins in the abyss publicly
> Tell the mayor about the hill giant and the goblins in the abyss privately
> Don't tell the mayor about the hill giant and the goblins in the abyss and just travel to the next village with the bard
> Write in
>>
>>5278919
> Tell the mayor about the hill giant and the goblins in the abyss privately

I would feel bad but I don’t want a repeat of what happened with the fucking gnolls in the last quest
>>
>>5278922

After receiving congratulations from the general population and your money, you head to the mayor's office to tell him the news privately.

"The goblin shaman told me that there are far more goblins not too far from here in a place he called the abyss. We also became aware of a hill giant which was protecting the tunnel entrance to the goblin lair in exchange for food. We bribed him with food for him to let us pass, but if he is not fed we believe he will in turn start attacking the village."

The mayor gives a big frown and clasp his hands in front of his face, speaking in a somber tone.

"Now that is bad news. I was aware about the abyss, it is just that the place is far away enough that we don't need to care about it for years until the goblins send another smaller tribe our way. It is cheaper to pay adventurers to get rid of some goblins every five years or so than to go after their source. We would need a real army to go down that abyss and defeat however many goblins are down there, and this is not something to be done lightly. There is some kind of fungus food down there, and if it isn't the goblins cultivating it certainly some other race of monsters would take their place. To get rid of them all for good we would need to collapse the tunnels on top of their fungus farms after getting rid of them all."

"As for the hill giant it is a more pressing matter. Unfortunately the treasury is not in its most healthy state at this moment so I can't really give you a large enough bounty to justify the danger of killing a giant. I could, however, give you a letter of recommendation. You go to the next village between here and the abyss, give the mayor there the sealed letter I'm sending with you and he will give you something to do. Who knows, he might even pay to get rid of the hill giant."

"Show up here tomorrow first thing in the morning and I will have the letter sealed for you to take there, if you're interested."

The bard hits the tavern to recount the tale of our glorious combat against the goblins and get some coin out of the peasants.

You go to the tavern and drink all night with the peasants, spending a little coin buying cheap booze for everyone.
You get ready to depart next morning with a heroic reputation, one that may even carry on to the next town since you're getting a letter from the mayor.

Waking up with a horrible headache the next morning, you go get the letter from the mayor.

Now as you are deciding whether you actually want to go to the next village towards the abyss or not, a young woman approaches you.

"Someone asked me to give you this."

She hands you another letter and a small slip of papyrus.

"It will be worth your while delivering this letter instead."

> Take the fake letter to the mayor
> Go deliver the real letter
> Go deliver the fake letter
> Write in
>>
>>5278963
>> Go deliver the real letter
>>
Rolled 68 (1d100)

>>5279052

The trip towards the next village is rather uneventful, the wilderness sparing you from danger. Yet a day's travel away from your destination, you chance upon a centaur coming the opposite way.

"Hail!"

"Hail."

"I have news from the nearby village."

"Was it razed?"

"Not exactly. It was attacked by shadows. Many people died and now they have a curfew at night."

"Where did the shadows come from?"

"That is what I am investigating."

"We saw some shadows around an old cemetery with a banshee."

"Oh, really? Where did they gather during the night?"

"In underground tunnels below the graveyard."

"That is unfortunate. I would attack them but I cannot really enter underground tunnels. Anatomic reasons."

"They cannot be harmed by common weapons."

"I know, I have silvered weapons with me."

It is only then that you notice the centaur is packed full with weapons - several swords, spears, and a whole bunch of potions.

"Have you done this before?"

"I've been adventuring for a long time. I see you're new."

"How can you tell?"

"No adventurer goes around without extra weapons. Here, have a silver dagger."

He toss the dagger and it lands at your feet.

"Well, I'm going on my way. See you around."

"Wait, what's your name?"

"I'm Dravos, the centaur. You might hear of me yet."

The centaur then continues his path.

You arrive at the village in late afternoon. The people are busily barricading themselves.

"Expecting shadows?"

"Yes, they attacked a few days ago. They will probably attack again soon."

"Any deaths?"

"Unfortunately, yes. Two people who were caught outside were killed. They empty husks were found in the morning. Very gruesome stuff, they were frozen and drained, as if they had been left to dry in the sun for days and days."

"Where is the mayor's house?"

The peasants show you the way. You arrive there and ask to talk with the mayor.

"He's at the tavern helping with barricading the place."

You go to the tavern and find the mayor there.

"Any talk will have to wait, we must finish this barricade."

"Will it keep the shadows away?"

"They avoid places with too many people, specially if the people are armed and ready to defend themselves."

"They can't be harmed by normal weapons."

"We know, Dravos the centaur told us. We have collected our silver together and silvered our weapons."

"He gave me a silver dagger."

"Good. Get one for your bard friend as well."

The mayor hands her a silvered spear.

We all look at the twilight with apprehension in our hearts. It doesn't take long for the wailing to begin.

"Listen! They are coming. Stick together!"

Select effort level:

> No more than the next man (DC 10 to survive DC 90 to kill them)
> More than would reasonably be expected (DC 20 to survive DC 80 to kill them)
> Go all the way (DC 30 to survive DC 70 to kill them)
> Write in

Rolling for the bard. (DC 20 to survive DC 80 to kill them). Make your choice and roll 1d100.
>>
Rolled 5 (1d100)

>>5279120
>> More than would reasonably be expected (DC 20 to survive DC 80 to kill them)
>>
Rolled 27 (1d100)

>>5279120
>Go all the way (DC 30 to survive DC 70 to kill them)
>>
>>5279159
>>5279183

The shadows lurk around, some of them chance entering the barricaded space. The people keep them at bay by swinging their silvered weapons at them. They appear to be hurt and flee.

"The night has just begun."

The shadows keep at it all night. The worst moment was when a large number of shadows snuffed the lights all at once and entered the barricaded area.

"We need lights in here! Torches, fireplace, relight it, now!"

Before the lights can be back on however, you are hit by a combined attack by the bulk of the shadows. You fall to the ground and the relentless attack goes on.

You find your consciousness leaving you as everything you feel reduces to pure cold.

Is this... death?

Strangely enough you wake up. Everything is dark but somehow you can feel you are at a crossroads.

The path ahead leads towards the light. Behind you there is a mass of shadows. To the right you see a writhing mass of flesh. To the left you see a deep abyss.

Nothing much seems to happen while you stand still at the crossroads.

What do you want to do?

> Move towards the light
> Move towards the shadows
> Move towards the flesh
> Move towards the abyss
> Just wait until something happens
> Write in
>>
>>5279221
>Write in
Cry out, "I want to go home!"
>>
>>5279418

You cry out "I want to go home!"

You seem to draw some attention. A menagerie of shadows comes slithering semi discretly towards you, until it finally springs forth as a massive shadow serpetine beast; as it opens its maws, you scream, sure that you'll face your second death right then and there.

But all of a sudden a bright white angel shows up and with a flash of bright light disperses the shadows.

"Sorry, I'm a bit late. First time here huh?"

"What is this place?"

"This is afterlife. You showed up in a bad time, we have had a mana shortage and everything is operating with the spare power, but the basics remain the same."

"What basics?"

"Well, if you want out you just take this road towards the light. Nobody will stop you. Once you get there, they will ask you some questions and destroy your soul forever so that you stop reincarnating. We will use your soul to power this whole afterlife thing. This is your final destination, everybody goes back to the light eventually."

"If you are dissatisfied with it, there are some demons who can help you to keep going back to life. If you go towards that pulsating flesh over there they will give you whatever body is available and you can go back imediately. But the body will be deeply connected with the material world, meaning you will have to indulge in depravity in order to keep existing."

"Going clockwork there are the shadows over there. It is the souls of everyone who partakes in necromancy. They deliberately refuse to go back to the light. They think they can make their own afterlife, with blackjack and hookers. But the souls prefer to be destroyed for light than for darkness. Well, most of them."

"Finally, there is the abyss. The demons live there. They actually got a nice thing going on, they were the first to say no to final death. The place is a downwards spiral that reaches back into the material world. But only at the very bottom. In there, you may ask to use the portal of the lord of hell to go back to your own body, or any other place you want to go. However, you'd have to do some kind of bargain with the lord of hell, which probably will include destroying your soul for their sake once you're done."

"Well, now exercise your free will and pick a direction."

> Meet your final demise in the light
> Claim a new body with the fleshmancers
> Let the shadows envelop you
> Go into the abyss make a deal with the lord of hell
> Write in
>>
>>5280648
> Write in
My home was destroyed, I died, and now you want me to choose between going to hell, sacrificing my body, or kill myself?

NO

FUCK YOU. I'm human, the real deal, right down to the fuckin' marrow of my bones. Don't lump me together with you faggot-ass monsters.

I'm going to slaughter every last one of you here and finish the light off for last.
>>
>>5280652

"My home was destroyed, I died, and now you want me to choose between going to hell, sacrificing my body, or kill myself?"
"NO!!!""
"FUCK YOU. I'm human, the real deal, right down to the fuckin' marrow of my bones. Don't lump me together with you faggot-ass monsters."
"I'm going to slaughter every last one of you here and finish the light off for last."

"Well, that's a common reaction, sadly. We send priests to the material plane to ease people's passing, so they understand that they exist in order to fuel a higher order of beings. Your attempts will be as futile as grass attempting to kill a pack of wolves. But you're free to try."

"Because you're such a funny guy I'll offer you a good deal. If you give me half of your essence I'll give you an actual spiritual weapon so you can defend yourself in this wasteland. It can be anything, but basically you have to choose between a melee weapon or a long distance one. Melee weapons are stronger but of course they have the whole range limitation."

> Accept the deal, get a spiritual sword
> Accept the deal, get a spiritual gun
> You don't want no deal
> Write in
>>
>>5280658
>You don't want no deal
I will win my freedom with my own two hands.
>>
>>5280798
+1
>>
>>5280798
>>5280849

"No deal. I will win my freedom with my own two hands."

"Listen, this is no big deal. Just choose where you wanna go and go there. If you stay still too long the shadows will eat you, so you better start moving. I'm not forced to stay with you, just to tell you how it works, so my job here is done. Do whatever you want but remember, without a spiritual weapon there is not much you can do against the shadows. See ya never."

The angel then flies away towards the light.

What do you want to do next?

> Move towards the light
> Move towards the shadows
> Move towards the flesh
> Move towards the abyss
> Just wait until something happens
> Write in
>>
>>5281053
> Move towards the light

Welp. We don't seem like the type to compromise our humaness so game over it is.
>>
>>5281058

You go walking towards the light. As you walk you see some angels clad in armor that nod in approval as you move towards the light.

After walking for what seems a small eternity, you arrive at a big crater, pearl colored fragments scattered all over.

"Hello!", says one angel in a simple white robe, "The gates were damaged in a recent attack by the demons and the angel in charge of letting people in has been killed, we are awaiting until he is reborn. I'm afraid we can't let you in until he is back in shape, he is the only one who can let people in or out."

"Let people out?"

"Yeah, I mean, if your soul is too dirty we don't bother cleansing it, we just send you to another round of reincarnation until you are clean."

"The angel told me my soul would get destroyed!"

"Eh, well, technically at the end of the process you become part of the original deity that created the universe and lose all sense of identity as you become one with everything. In this sense, your individual soul is destroyed. But I like to think it more as a droplet of rain falling in the ocean sort of deal. The place is actually quite crowded today but you are not seeing anyone else because we have a thing called instantiated reality, its highly exclusive, the demons don't have it. It means your heaven is personalized. So I'd like to ask you some questions first. Have you ever prayed in your life?"

"Yes."

"Great! Do you remember what you prayed for?"

> I prayed for protection
> I prayed for health
> I prayed for my loved ones
> I prayed for money
> Write in
>>
>>5281069
> I prayed for health
>>
>>5281053
>Move towards the abyss
We'll find the lord of hell, come back, and tear everything asunder.
>>
>>5281069
>I prayed for thankfulness
>>
>>5281085
>>5281114

"I see... health and thankfulness. Hmmm..."

The angel looks pensive for a moment.

"Well, it is a bit irregular, but we are going through very weird times lately. If you really want to spread health and thankfulness, we can send you back with a mission. You wouldn't be exactly a cleric or a paladin because we are having difficulties with the whole channeling miracles thing lately. So we are going to try a new thing."

"You will be able to use Essence to cast magic. I know, I know, it sounds like necromancy, but hear me out. Everyone has a pool of essence that replenishes slowly until it reaches a point where it is unlikely it will go up. It is an abstraction but lets say the point where the essence of an average person stops growing is say 100%. Some beings have much higher essence values. So what you gonna do is collect people's essences without killing them. You can get to pray with you, to deliberately let themselves be drained of essence and other non violent things. Although you can siphon some essence from dying being it is our hope you wont drain them of their whole essence, condening them to go to the shadow realm."

"Besides draining people's essence, the best we can do for you is increase your maximum Essence to three times that of common people. We will have to drain your whole essence to do it, but when we send you back you will have a little bit of essence left."

"You will have to figure out by yourself what can you do with your new skill. The only thing you'll know right away how to do is Healing people. Healing a single person may take anything from 10% to 90% of your essence, depends how hard they have been hit."

"Well, that is it. Have fun in your new life."

> This is acceptable, send me back
> This is unnaceptable, I want to discuss terms
> Can I stay in the spirit world instead?
> Write in
>>
>>5282708
> This is acceptable, send me back
>>
>>5282708
> Can I stay in the spirit world instead?
>>
OP here, i wont be able to run for a few days
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>5282709
>>5283757
>>
>>5282709
>>5283757
>>5286351

"Can I stay in the spirit world instead?"

"Suit yourself, but bear in mind you won't be able to reincarnate by yourself, you will need help if you ever want to go back to the material world, and our offer has been an one time only thing. Since you are unwilling to go back to the material world and do not accept our terms, there is nothing much we can do for you. If you ever feel ready come back to be reabsorbed by the light. Farewell."

You turn your back on the angel and walk away.

When you set foot outside of the angel's territory you hear a weird sound, like that of a metal fork screeching against a metal pan. As you look behind you, you see a few angels with swords killing off an imense horde which is attempting to enter through a broken gate. The horde doesn't seem to have noticed you yet, as you are rather far away.

Looking down, you see that you are on top of some sort of summoning circle, perhaps a teleportation circle. Then you hear a female voice.

"Look, there is another one! Come with us if you wanna live!"

As you gaze to who said those things, you see two demon girls followed by dozens of weird looking spirits.

"Hurry, you don't have much time. Do you want to end like those folks at the gates?"

As they say that, a huge demon appears out of portal near the hates; a couple angels go fight him while the rest keep protecting the gates.

"Shit, he's back. Well, we're out of time. See ya never."

One of the demon girls push you aside and step on the summoning circle, saying some words. She and the spirits following her disappear.

"Last chance to tag along boy. All I need is a little of your essence."

> Give demon girl your essence
> Run towards the huge demon
> Run away from the huge demon
> Run towards the angels
> Write in
>>
>>5286360
> Run towards the huge demon
>>
>>5286530

Running towards the huge demon, you are quickly notice.

"A reject! You better pick a side quick, so I can know whether to destroy you or send you to die.", says the big demon.

"Get out of here, quick! This is not place for you.", says one of the angels.

The huge demon then casts a fire spell which looks like a pillar of fire coming from the ground that trails towards its target. He seems to control its direction with its hand.

It comes after you and an angel jumps front the front and pushes you aside, getting hit by the flames and slightly carbonized. The huge demon laughs in a guttural fashion as he gets ready to keep attacking the angels headquarters.

"Are you okay?", says the demon, very wounded.

"Y-yes..."

"Then get the hell out of here! NOW!"

You can't quite resist his command, it seems to have some supernatural effect. You just get up and start running away.

Once you ran far enough you see what looks like a huge forest, but looking more carefully instead of trees there are huge mushrooms.
You see some mushroom people gathering mushrooms in the mushroom forest.
One of them greets you.
"Greetings stranger. This is a place of peace. If you intend harm go away before the mighty fungus consumes you."

"What are you?"

"We are the fungus people. The rejects from the angels. Fungus is the only edible thing in this world. They do not accept us into their ranks because they claim we have no soul. Can you believe it? But we have a soul. A collective soul which protects itself by not allowing it to be drained when an individual dies. The Fungus Soul giveth and taketh, feeds and protects. You are welcome to live here with your singularity undisturbed, but if you wish to join the Fungus you are also welcome."

"Show me around."

"Gladly. Follow me."

The fungus person then shows you around the forest.

"This is the pond. It is made from tears of the wicked. I don't know where it comes from but probably from the abyss. We started our little forest around this place and now it spans a good chunk of this world."

"Can one drink it?"

"If you drink it you will feel the pain of the wicked. It is better to just eat the juicy fungus."

"Juicy fungus?"

"Yes. It takes the water out of the environment and process it into a juicy bag. Here, have one."

The fungus person then slices open one fungus tree and grabs a juicy bag and gives it to you.

"I must warn you though. Eating fungus food will slowly turn you into fungus."

> Drink the juicy fungus
> Don't drink the juicy fungus
> Leave the fungus forest
> Join the fungus people
> Write in
>>
>>5287344
> Don't drink the juicy fungus
>>
>>5287344
> Don't drink the juicy fungus
>>
>>5287414
>>5287514

"Eeh, I'll pass on that one."

"Suit yourself friend. I will show you to the others."

He leads you deeper into the fungus forest until you arrive at a settlement, with little fungus houses made of fungus wood from fungus trees. In there lots of tiny fungus people are running around playing and fungus adults busy with their jobs in the fungus industry.

"Hello stranger. Do you have a name?"

"When I was alive they called me..."

"That is in the past. You are now known as Dude."

"Dude?"

"Yeah. Dude. It is a great name isn't it?"

"Seems reasonable."

"Dude, you have to meet the others like you. Follow me into the boarding house."

A few fungus people lead you into the fungus boarding house. Once you enter you see a group of a few dozen humans and a handful of elves.

"All these people have fled from the angels and demons?"

"Yeah. They're all dudes like you Dude. They are asleep now."

"Asleep?"

"Yes, yes. If you taste the spore you can astral project. It is safer than wandering around in your own body, although it leaves your soul more vulnerable to ethereal attacks. Your residual self image protects your soul core, but if you astral project you don't need it, you can be whatever you want, if you can concentrate enough."

"Can this power be learned?"

"Sure, but it spends your essence very quickly. The most impressive the thing you want to manifest the faster your essence depletes. If you run out of essence you die. But don't worry, if you run out of essence in here we will assimilate you into the fungus and give you a new life as a fungus person."

> What is in it for you if you don't want essence
> Can we wake up some of these people I wanna chat with them
> Teach me this astral projection thing
> This seems nice I want to join the fungus people
> This is too creepy, I'm out of here
> Write in
>>
>>5287739
> Can we wake up some of these people I wanna chat with them
>>
>>5288176

"Can we wake up some of these people? I wanna chat with them."

"It is dangerous to wake them up, but I can call them forth and they will come back if they desire."

The fungus being says something unintelligible to another fungus being and it goes away and returns with something that looks like a flute.

The fungus being the blows the flute really strongly. You are rather surprised that a fungus being even can exhale air with such force.

A piercing sound involves you, and it seems to scratch even your soul.

"Some of them might come back soon, just sit here and wait."

You do as you were told and wait. After awhile one guy wakes up and get up.

"Aah. So they called me back because of a newcomer. What is it that you want to know?"

"I want to know more about how this whole astral projection thing works."

"It is very simple really. We are not alive anymore so we are not constrained by our physical bodies. All that remains is our residual self image, what we think we are. By astral projecting we escape this image and can create a new one. The fungus ask that we dispell the new image before entering the forest, for the fungus trees will attack anything in the ethereal plane that shows up without a strong residual self image. That is a defense against the angels and demons, who can manifest bizarre and very powerful abilities because they can use raw essence to produce those effects. In a sense, we are doing the same thing as they are. It is not safe to project a totally defenseless being, but projecting something powerful like a big monster consumes much essence. As for me, I settle for projecting an eagle so I can explore this weird spirit world."

"Fascinating."

"Indeed. The most interesting thing I learned is that people appear in not too random areas of this world depending on what they believed when they were alive. If one believed in the conflict between good and evil they will wake up in the angels versus demons battlefield. If they were necromancers in the shadow zone, if they were given to the pleasures of the flesh in the midst of one of the strangest areas I ever saw, the flesh lands."

"What is so strange about the flesh lands?"

"There the people are basically engulfed by some flesh monstrosities that cause them to experience endless pleasure while very slowly draining their essence to create more flesh monsters. But early on in the process the people there receive a hallucinogen that makes they believe they are interacting with whatever they find most pleasurable instead of a weird flesh monster. Most entities in this realm deal with perception."

> Could you elaborate?
> I want to become one with the fungus
> Can you teach me how to astral project
> I have learned enough I will leave the fungus forest now
> Write in
>>
>>5288510
>Could you elaborate?
>>
>>5288732

"Could you elaborate?"

"Well, the angels can create a pocket reality for every person individually. When they find a soul worth keeping for their standards, they will go to any lengths to keep this soul. When they don't care much about a soul they just send it to one of their clerks and let the soul decide its own fate."

"I think I experienced that. What about the other factions?"

"The demons use basically the same strategy as the flesh monsters but they are worse at it. They have demons which entrap the person to drain their essence, but opposed to the flesh monsters, these demons draw the essence very fast. Upon losing almost all essence, the souls are put to work on the abyssal quarry looking for crystalized fragments of lost souls. Seems like this place has existed for countless aeons being far older than the world itself. Creating a faction here requires that you figure out a way to acquire essence."

"And how do you acquire essence?"

"In the astral form I catch flying jellyfishes. They are everywhere, and have a little essence. If I eat enough of them I will have plenty of essence to turn into whatever I want. There are other weird lifeforms that also have essence, but the flying jellyfishes are easy to catch once you figure out how. I learned from a more experienced guy who been astral projecting as a giant flying turtle for so long it became a residual self image. He is over there.", he says, pointing to a tiny turtle sleeping on a corner.

"So we can change our regular shape by astral projecting?"

"Yeah, it is possible. But takes a very long time."

"Is there a way out of this world through astral projection?"

"I'm afraid the only way out is down. Your soul can traverse the portal at the bottom of the abyss and leave to the material world. But if you don't take your residual self image with you, all sorts of crazy things might happen in the process."

"But the angels told me they could send me back."

"They can, they use the portal in the abyss for that as well. It is an agreement between them and the demons. They let the demons fester in there so they can guard the abyss. The angels could probably kill all the demons, they just don't want to."

"Also don't stay too long in the fungus forest if you don't intend to learn astral projection and collect essence. The fungus trees extract essence from the environment and you are their environment when you walk around with so much essence. It will not kill you, but will weaken you. The way to reverse it is by becoming one with the fungus, eating and drinking fungus until you are one of them."

> I want to become one with the fungus
> Can you teach me how to astral project
> I have learned enough I will leave the fungus forest now
> Write in
>>
>>5288830
>I have learned enough I will leave the fungus forest now
>>
Rolled 72 (1d100)

>>5288907

You decide to leave the fungus forest. Nobody stops you but you feel as if a part of you was lost there, left behind amidst the tall fungus trees. And perhaps it really was, if the story you read about the trees sucking essence slowly is true.

As you wander through what seems like a vast wasteland, you chance upon a coyote. The creature just looks at you at first, but when you move forward it moves closer to you. Dangerously close.

Then it bares its fangs and growls.

You start to retreat from it and then you slip and fall. Your hands chance upon a big stone. It seems to gleam in a purple color when you touch it.

However, you don't have much time to evaluate what this stone might or might not be. You need a fast decision.

> Punch the coyote
> Run from the coyote
> Hit the coyote with the shiny stone
> Toss shiny stone at the coyote
> Write in

In any case roll 1d100 for success, higher is better. Rolling for the coyote.
>>
Rolled 73 (1d100)

>>5288938
Jump on the coyote's back and start choking the shit out it.
>>
>>5288944

You jump on the coyote at the same time it jumps at you. He was aiming for your neck and you for his neck. A split second was enough to decide who would catch the other, and you managed to choke him in the nick of time before he delivered a critical blow on your throat region.

You position yourself to choke the coyote to death. It struggles and scratches you but in the end it is no match for you.

Much to your surprise the coyote dissipates into a mist after you kill it. The whole area starts smelling foul.

A group of jellyfishes comes flying from the sky. They start feeding on a gas like substance that is now permeating the area. The weird stone is also glowing purple.

What do you want to do?
> Leave the area
> Toss the stone at the flying jellyfish
> Inhale some of the gas it must be the good stuff
> Wait to see if other zany creatures show up
> Write in
>>
>>5289046
>Write in
Grab the stone and start swishing it around the gas.
>>
>>5289061

You grab the stone and start swishing it around the gas. The stone glows ever strongly until it burns out into a bright pulsating purple light. The light appears to have some level of sentience and starts circling you, leaving a rainbow colored trail, its dazzling colors makign you dizzy.

"Ha! Looks like someone just found a jellyfish eggsack.", you hear a voice.

"And who the hell are you?"

"The coyote you just killed. I'm still materializing again it will take awhile. Don't rush me."

"And how can you talk?"

"Well I materialized my mouth first, how else would I eat all this essence?"

"It is kinda like a gas you could snort it."

"I'd get real high if I did that."

"Can you get high on essence?"

"You can get high on anything if you are creative enough."

"Anyway what do I do with this dumb light circling me?"

"It thinks you are its mother. Once it eats enough essence it will explode and a bunch of jellyfish will come out of it and fly in all directions. The fragments will slowly collect essence and grow from a tiny pebble into maybe even a boulder, then once or if they collect enough essence they will start flying again. I heard it was a wizard who designed these jellyfish, as easy to reproduce beings capable of gathering large amounts of essence real fast. I have my doubts. Anyway, there are no jellyfish wizards no more. Just jellyfish. Flying jellyfish. Well, if you excuse me, I'm leaving now."

You then see a mouth with wings flying away.

> Tell the flying ball of light to catch the winged mouth
> Go on your merry way while the ball of light circles you
> Kill some jellyfishes for giggles
> Look for something else to kill
> Write in
>>
>>5289082
>Tell the flying ball of light to catch the winged mouth
Where do you think you're going?
>>
>>5289099


"Where do you think you're going?"

"Listen I lost too much essence here already, I need to feed and you don't look like easy food so I'm going somewhere else."

You try making the ball of light go after the flying mouth thing but it just keeps circling you.

"Well looks like something else disagrees. It goes after whatever has the most essence nearby. Guess I'm out. Good luck being drained to death."

"Wait, WAIT! How do I get rid of this thing?"

"Descend in the abyss. The flying jellyfish don't go down there, they are too afraid."

"That's preposterous, the demons will get me."

"Well just descend a little bit until the light go away, you don't need to go to the bottom of it."

"Why should I believe you?"

"You shouldn't, but maybe you have a better idea. I don't really care. See ya."

The flying mouth flies away and there is nothing much you can do to stop it.

> Take the flying mouth advice and head to the abyss
> Go check if the angels can get this thing off you
> Maybe the flesh monstrosities can eat this thing
> Surely the shadows can extract this from you
> The fungus people must know a way to get rid of it
> There must be some other way to get rid of it, look for someone who can help
> This thing is harmless no way I'm gonna die because of a flying ball of light
> Write in
>>
>>5290269
> Write in
Follow after him.
You seem to know what you're doing down here. Let's help each other out.
>>
>>5290431

You decide to follow after him.

"You seem to know what you're doing down here. Let's help each other out."

"Well I'm just a discontent soul you know. When the angels came with that story of being recycled to power their heaven I was like nope. I guess a lot of people accept it, but mostly people who have been waiting for it their whole lives. Waiting for their suffering to end. I heard it is blissful you know. When you are being drained. The perception of time stretches, you can exist for a thousand years in but a second. And their alternate reality isn't too shabby. I know a guy who escaped them in the last minute, but you probably wouldn't want to talk to him. He wanders around as bear. Well, not exactly. I think it is more an owlbear. This is proof of how tough he is. Most of us use flying forms, cause wandering the wasteland on foot is really dangerous. I'm not afraid of danger you see. Believe ye or not it is cheaper to become some predator and hunt unaware prey than to become a flying thing, even a harmless one. I'm really digging on my spiritual reserves right now to get these wings."

"How do you do this stuff?"

"Well, we learned astral projectiong with the fungus but we didn't like them so we left. We can find a few Puddles here and there. It recharges essence real good, but it is the worst trip you ever had. You relieve the most tortured moments of sometimes hundreds of souls when you so much as drink a little bit of it. And the stuff is sickeningly salty. But there is nothing that quench the thirst of a weary soul as much as the tears of the wicked."

"Can't you grow something that takes this horrible experience out of the nourishment?"

"We wish. We don't dare growing fungus here because they have their own hivemind or whatever. They are more dangerous than they seem. We are more about refilling our essence in the pond when we can't find a better way to fill it up. We stick together to protect the pond, the fungus and the shadows attack us now and then and we must defend ourselves. The demons and the angels don't bother, they have their own more efficient ways of getting essence. They just come offering shitty deals to get our essences. Sometimes we even acce... Oh, we are almost there. Hey guys, what's up!"

You see three eagles flying around.

"Who is that guy? And why is he bringing a jellyfish egg with him?"

"He just killed me and decided to tag along. He's chill. He doesn't know how to astral project though."

"We don't have time to teach, go back to the fungus, learn from them, then if you really want come back. We are the smallest faction around these parts of afterlife, so it is a tough life. Or, well, afterlife."

> Insist you want to tag along
> Go back to the fungus to learn from them
> You don't really care about this whole afterlife thing, head to the abyss
> Write in
>>
>>5291097
>Insist you want to tag along
I'm a fast learner. And I don't trust the fungus people.
>>
>>5291167

"I'm a fast learner. And I don't trust the fungus people."

"Well lets hope you are because we've been under attack by a different tribe, the jellybirds. They ride jellyfish like it is some kind of aerial cavalry. The just dangle some essence in front of the jellyfish and it flies where they want to."

"I don't have time to teach you how to astral project so I'll give you a quick and dirty replacement. Find something sharp and try to cut yourself. You're not matter anymore, so essence will leak. If you concentrate, and I mean, really concentrate, this leaking essence can become literally anything."

Another eagle comes flying.

"We have company!"

"Well, guess this is your baptism by fire. Here, have a broken talon. Should suffice to get some essence out of ya."

You see a big dark cloud in the horizon.

"Shadows. Again? Goddamnit, they must be after something in this area."

"Or someone..."

They look at you concerned.

"Have you made a pact with a necromancer when you were alive?"

"No, I..."

"Have you even befriended a practicioner of the dark arts or some undead?"

"Well, there was this ghost girl..."

"Goddamnit, they are coming to collect your soul. You don't need a written contract, if you just say to a ghost please dont kill me and the ghost obliges then you already sold your soul. Or, well, a piece of it."

"Is that how it works?"

"YES."

"What can I do? I don't wanna be eaten by shadows."

"Well, you get the hell away from us so you stop attracting shadows our way, that's what you do."

"Go away now or we will end you and drink your essence faster than the shadows can."

> Well, if you insist, I'm leaving
> I'll stand and fight against the shadows
> Please protect me I don't know how to fight shadows, they killed me in the first place
> Write in
>>
>>5291231
>I'll stand and fight against the shadows
I take what I want and give what I want.
I gave my word to help a sad ghost girl and gave my word to an angel to conquer the light.
I don't expect you to help or understand, so let's call it even for me not taking Ming there. (Point to the Mouth with Wings.)
>>
>>5291295

"I take what I want and give what I want."

"I gave my word to help a sad ghost girl and gave my word to an angel to conquer the light."

"I don't expect you to help or understand, so let's call it even for me not taking Ming there.", you say, pointing to the Mouth with Wings.

"Well, then you gonna need a lot of essence. Jump into the pond of tears if you are that tough."

"He will not be able to endure it, he will be a useless husk if he does that."

"Well, do you think he can do anything while being drained by that jellyfish egg?"

"I don't know, he talks like a tough guy. He really killed me also, so maybe he is a tough guy."

"You're the weakest guy around the compound."

"What did you just say? I'm gonna beat you up.", says the mouth with wings jumping into the pond of tears.

"Whatehell dude."

A majestic phoenix emerges from the pond, and it is on fire.

"Who is the weak guy now bitches!"

"Always a show off."

"Well maybe ya'll should jump into the pond as well."

"Nah. Those shadows aren't too great a foe, we can beat them. Unless they are bringing a..."

"I didn't forget you called me weak, I'll beat you up."

"Wait what, we have other things to worry ab... ChYYYYyyyi!!!", the eagle guy screeches as the phoenix guy tackles him.

"Stop it you two, we need to kill the shadows. And you're not weak, you're just too brash and act without thinking."

"Ya'll are indecisive as fuck, someone has to take charge and go on a charge. Talking about charge, the shadows loom. CHAAARGE!!!"

"Here he goes again..."

"What ya'll waiting for, lets save him.", says the guy that was just tackled.

"And you get lost or be useful.", says one of the eagles as they fly towards the shadows.


> Jump into the pond of essence
> Drink some tears from the pond of essence
> Your current essence is enough, just cut yourself
> Give up and run away from the shadows
> Write in
>>
>>5291332
> Jump into the pond of essence
Think of a long, slender, three-toed white dragon. Try to become the dragon.
>>
>>5291351

You jump into the pond of essence.

Countless images of the most absolute horror flood your mind, you can barely think straight. Long suffering that ends in nothing but tears, horrific torture and murder, disgrace and dishonor, all manners of evil afflicting the innocent, chaos engulfing the lives of perfectly good people chewing them up then spitting them in the gutter, sickness striking entire nations, unending horror of monstrosities practiced in large scale...

Through all this you try to picture into your mind the image of a long, slender, three-toed white dragon. Trying to become the dragon, you think to yourself.

Roll 1d100 to not be overwhelmed by the horrors, DC 30 to not go mad and DC 90 to become what you wanted.
>>
Rolled 62 (1d100)

>>5291387
>>
>>5291446
A little better than average.
>>
>>5291446
>>5291449

As the visions rush through your mind, you are unable to concentrate on the form you were wishing to take upon.

You feel the pain of your "body" reshaping, becoming something that was once but a shadow in your subsconscious, a beast that had infested your thoughts ever since you were a child, some kind of shadow demons which preys on unsuspecting victims when they are most vulnerable, asleep. The shadows says to you "come to us... COME TO US..."; it is a fierce battle to avoid being engulfed by your own nightmares turned real.


The last thoughts of a menacing form leave your head, more as a survival instinct. You try to think of something harmless to counter the wicked thoughts of mayhem that the shadows inflict upon your weaked psyche. For some reason the image of a pidgeon, bobbing its head back and forth, imprints itself into your mind with a strengthe only a desperate man has. To maintain your sanity you start to bob your head and try to imitate a pidgeon. The shadows fall apart as you quickly become that what you were mimicking withing the pool of tears of the wicked.

You are now a pidgeon.

Emerging from the waters in your glorious pidgeon form, you ready yourself for battle against the shadows!

"Aaw, a pidgeon, how cute.", says one of the eagle guys.

How will you proceed?

> Try the pool again
> Fly the hell away from here
> You're not backing down now, it is pidgeon time
> Write in
>>
>>5292341
>You're not backing down now, it is pidgeon time
Don't make me poop on you. Anyways, we all have to start somewhere. I now have newfound respect for Ming.
>>
>>5292646

You attempt to fight in your pidgeon form but your struggles are in vain. You are quickly overwhelmed by the enemy and destroyed, your essence disperses.

You wake up surrounded by angels. One of them reads from a scroll.

"You have suffered the final death. But you chose not to return to the light so we cannot bring you to it against your will. We will send you to the depths of the abyss to be reincarnated."

You feel yourself falling then in the end you wake up in a new body.

Are you a boy or a girl?
> Boy
> Girl
> Write in
>>
to be honest I totally forgot this quest existed until I checked the catalog today
>>
>>5302281
>>5302282
>Boy

It happens.
>>
>>5302524

Growing up felt like a blur. It was always as if you were still waiting for your life to start.

You had few friends for the other kids found you strange. The ones you had either were enlisted in the army to fight some war for their liege or travelled far away to pursue their chosen careers.

Mostly you remember some strange dreams about a world you never inhabitted.

Probably just dreams.

Yet they prompted you into a dangerous career. Which was it?

> Sword for hire
> Alchemist errant
> Assassin
> Warlock
> Write in
>>
>>5302723
>Sword for hire
>>
>>5302900

Your hear of a longstanding conflict between two nations. The agressing nation desires to pillage the magical items stash of the agressed nation in order to fuel their own magicians activities. You are not entirely sure how it works but apparently if you destroy a magical item you create some kind of resource which can be used to fuel magic.

Magic is such a foreign concept these days. You hear that before your time magic was abundant, every village practically had a magician or two. But nowadays the only magicians are those who figure out a way to exploit currently existing reserves of magical power in the world. And those wane real fast.

The war is an opportunity for men like you. You don't necessarily need to partake in the conflict - there will always be the bold merchant seeking to make ridiculous profits by supplying a warzone and those daredevils need someone mad enough to brave no man's land with them providing security.

So you start looking for the fabled merchant who will give you a cut for your services. Most of them don't seem to have realized that they can't find a escort to the warzone because they are just not paying enough. Maybe they too think it is too dangerous.

As you hang around merchant caravan inns looking for a good job, you find one certain Jacques who is willing and able to pay you a small fortune for the job. However, he requires a team of three to do the security of his two wagons and he just doesn't have the time to find more people. It is up to you to find a couple more people to provide security, that if you are willing to take this job

Contrary to most jobs, it is almost certain you'll be ambushed along the way, perhaps more than once. The chances of survival are slim. Yet you could buy yourself all kinds of things with the pay. You reckon Jacques is smuggling something forbidden into the warzone. He did not show you what lies in his crates, he only told that it is fragile. Maybe he is smuggling potions, maybe exotic booze. Maybe it is some kind of weapon. Maybe all of the above. All you know is he needs protection.
>>
>>5303827

So you start looking for other people. A few people in town look promising. Pick two people. You may only pick one person that charges two shares.

> Gurdon Fowls. A big muscular guy that fights with a huge axe. Doesn't look too smart but you wouldn't accept a fight against him. Is some sort of berserker. Will charge double.

> Pokor Sluff. A clever guy who fights with a scythe. You think he is in some kind of death cult, may even have some magic up his sleeve. You wouldn't sleep with him on guard duty though.

> Torak Mindor. A professional assassin, fights with poisoned daggers. You are pretty sure he has monster blood and can see at night.

> Tronkor Flitter. A circus artist made mercenary. He is exceptionally good at throwing objects at targets. Fights with daggers, and if he can get his hands into them, potions.

> Lila Nitrus. An alchemist fond of making combat potions. She will charge two shares of the bounty instead of one for she thinks she is too amazing to earn the same as random sword for hires.

> Scyl Nankov. She worked a bodyguard for some family in a distant kingdom. The noble girl she was supposed to protect died and she been fleeing from her family's wrath ever since. Extremely competent. Might attract assassins.

> Tina Herfel. A blood mage. She can use people's blood to write weird contracts with the other world. These contracts when read cause sudden bursts of magical effects. She will charge two shares of the bounty and will only use a limited amount of her magic on our behalf. You're very sure she saves some magical trinket to help her flee in a pinch.

Also pick a name for yourself.
>>
>>5303829
> Pokor Sluff. A clever guy who fights with a scythe. You think he is in some kind of death cult, may even have some magic up his sleeve. You wouldn't sleep with him on guard duty though.
> Torak Mindor. A professional assassin, fights with poisoned daggers. You are pretty sure he has monster blood and can see at night.
Urre Tagetes

Wow, these are all amazing choices.



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