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You are Koopa the Cook, son of professional athlete Koopa the Quick. Thanks to your father’s connections, you managed to avoid the terrifying notion of hand-to-hand combat and are now King Bowser’s number one cook. It’s your first day on King Bowser’s very own airship, alone in your cushy private quarters. You’ve woken at dawn—not because of anyone telling you to, but out of habit. As a kid, you really liked tending to your garden just as the sun rose. Sitting on the edge of your bed, you look out the window to your left, wondering if you’ll ever manage to rediscover that childhood comfort thousands of feet above the air.

A loud bang at your bedroom door makes you nearly jump through the ceiling. A deep, somewhat goofy voice booms from behind the door. “Koopa the Cook!”

What next?

>> Ask “who’s there?”
>> Answer “come in!”
>> Get up and open the door

(Two votes to continue! If there’s no consensus, the third will be a tie breaker.)

(PS, attached image is a quick sketch I did of Koopa the Cook, obviously without any cook gear.)
>>
>>5320135
> Get up and open the door
>>
>>5320135

> Get up and open the door


My god he's adorable.
>>
>>5320135
> Get up and open the door

No offense but do you draw porn? This looks like how a porn drawer draws regular art.
>>
>>5320135
>> Ask “who’s there?”
>>
You get up and open the door, revealing a sledge bro. Clad in a black shell & helmet, you can’t help but be intimidated by his status. You slowly raise your hand to salute him, and he chortles. “You’re not a toad, I’m not gonna crush you.” You laugh and look away, but his next statement makes your blood run cold.

“Bowser wants to see you.”

No way. You barely held yourself together during the status recognition ceremony. You had to shake his big, scary hand and everything! You try to formulate an excuse, but the sledge bro is already walking away. You fumble after him and the two of you reach the airship’s internal hub.

You try not to focus on the cacophony of large, black, metal pipes that surround you. The seemingly bottomless nature of the ship makes your head spin, and the gallery of hammer bros, paratroopas, and goombas which fly through the black pipes isn’t helping you prepare to meet the King of Magic.

You manage to hesitantly follow the sledge bro and board a large thwomp covered in a soft tarp. The sledge bro casually hits the thwomp with his hammer and the thwomp begins to rise.

>> Talk to the sledge bro
>> Stay quiet
>> Look around
>> Custom

(Whew! I hope these paragraphs aren’t too long!)
>>
>>5320188
> Look around
>>
>>5320188
>Talk to the Thwomp
>If the Thwomp doesn't respond, engrave a graffiti'd mushroom or fire flower or mystery box tattoo on him while ascending
>>
>>5320188
>Talk to the sledge bro
>>
>>5320188
>Talk to the sledge bro

Holy shit I'm already in love with this quest. The idea of playing one of Bowser's more mundane minions has so much potential if done properly. Not to mention the art is really good, this is definitely one of the most stylized draw quests I've ever seen. I'm curious, how long do each of these drawings usually take?

Have you've played either paper Mario for N64 or Thousand Year door because I'm getting a lot of those vibes from this? Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga also has a lot of enemies that are more distinct versions of existing designs if you want any more inspiration.
>>
>>5320332
Based. Those paper mario games were some of my favorites while growing up (the ones for Wii disappointed me immensely)
>>
>>5320188
>>> Talk to the sledge bro
>>
>>5320188
>Talk to the sledge bro
>And the thwomp
>>
>>5320188
>> Look around
>>
Better to focus on the sledge bro than the thwomp’s severe lack of railings. “Why does Lord Bowser want to talk?”

“I wouldn’t read into it; Bowser does this with everyone who joins his fleet.” The sledge bro’s gaze flicks from pipe to pipe, and his stance unevens as a cascade of troops fly this way and that. He glances at you. “I don’t mean anything by this, but... is going barefoot a new part of cooking?” It’s only now you realize you didn’t get dressed.

The thwomp settles to a stop. Pale in the face, you stare down a long hallway decorated with a luxurious red carpet and archaic-looking torches. A large red double door adorned with spikes and golden knockers sits 50 feet off.

Suddenly, the ship rumbles. The sledge bro steadies himself and the smell of burning wood & metal fills your nostrils. A massive fireball the size of a banzai bill tears up through the air, scorching a number of troops. They fall through the newly made hole in the hub floor, bouncing off a small red & white ship with wings.

The fireball hurtles toward you.

>> Go to Lord Bowser
>> Stay on, use the thwomp as cover
>> Descend to the red & white ship
>> Custom

(Also, sorry for no drawing; I’ve been really busy today. Double also, votes are now derived from a consensus of 3 posts instead of 2. The fourth vote will now be the tiebreaker.)
>>
>>5320807
>Stay on, use the thwomp as cover
>>
>>5320807
>>> Stay on, use the thwomp as cover
>>
You retract into your shell and hide from the flames. Thankfully, the thwomp eliminates the bulk of the fire, and you peek your head out of your shell. The sledge bro is barking orders at a pair of apprehensive paratroopas.

“S-sir, we’re lightweight carriers; we can’t hope to carry—“
“It’ll be your head if he doesn’t get out of here! Get the lakitus if you need to!”

The paratroopa duo looks at you anxiously.

>> Allow the paratroopas to carry you
>> Deny the offer (elaborate)
>>
>>5321315
>>> Allow the paratroopas to carry you

We're not that prideful that we'll let ourselves get fugged.
>>
>>5321315
> Deny the offer (elaborate)
Is there anywhere we can, uh, climb down?
>>
>>5321315
>>> Allow the paratroopas to carry you
>>
>>5321437
+1
>>
>>5321315
> Deny the offer (elaborate)
>"I'm just a cook, I'm replaceable. You're better off sparing your own lives than putting yourselves in danger for my sake."

As much as I would like to accept the offer I feel as though our humble lad wouldn't be content with the idea of putting others in so much danger for his safety. Also way to go getting the drama going right off the back, this is off to a great start.

If this is some sort of test by Bowser we'll probably fail but it feels in line with our character.
>>
>>5321315
> Allow the paratroopas to carry you
>>
>>5321877
Seconding. Our dad is a star athlete. If the gods are kind, our playable character inherited a little of his dad's mojo, and can get there on his own.
>>
>>5321877
>>5321315

Switching my vote to this!
>>
>>5321315
>> Allow the paratroopas to carry you
We are not even slightly a fighter.
>>
Deny won!

You raise your hands gingerly. “I don’t want you guys to get hurt,” you say.

As much as heights frighten you, you look down past the thwomp. The red and white ship is beginning to ascend into Bowser’s airship! Now that it’s closer, there’s no mistaking who’s onboard. A dash of blue, red, brown & bright yellow makes your blood run cold.

If you’re deft, you could try to return to your room; the hallway leading to it seems free of danger. Alternatively, Lord Bowser’s room hasn’t been blocked off.

>> Descend to your room
>> Go to Lord Bowser
>> Stay on the thwomp
>> Custom

(By the way, I love it when you guys elaborate. Elaborate away!)
>>
>>5322146
>>> Descend to your room

Seems like the smart thing to do. I feel like we'll run into danger either way though.
>>
>>5322146
>> Descend to your room
Bowser's probably busy right now, so...
>>
>>5322146
Go Lord Bowser

take a shit into the hole and onto the rainbow ship first
>>
>>5322146
> Descend to your room
We'll hide out there until Mario's made his way partially through, then we'll try and get the wounded left in his wake to safety before the ship is inevitably crashed, assuming there's any survivors.
>>
Descend to your room wins! Writing the next step in the story now.
>>
You spy a pipe melted open from the massive fireball fired a few moments ago. Tracing the pipe’s path with your eyes, it ends some yards away from the hallway leading to your room.

The sledge bro barks after you as you gingerly jump into the pipe, retracting into your shell as you do so. You’re surrounded by blackness for several moments before spinning out on wood peppered with embers. Your head spins. You begin to stand up, but the sound of a fluttering cape makes you stay put. The sledge bro cries out & the paratroopas’ wing flapping falters.

Staying mostly in your shell, you use your leg to kick yourself toward the hallway. You slide in quietly and slowly get up before hesitating to look back. You head to your room which, thankfully, seems untouched. You must have left the door ajar when the sledge bro got you.

Your room is small but dense, filled (predictably) with culinary books & small sampling canisters of ingredients from around the world—Delfino, Sarasaland, etc. You’re eager to try using these new ingredients, but it doesn’t seem like you’ll be rounding out your culinary toolkit any time soon.

In the far right of your room is a home-styled but excellently crafted wardrobe. It holds a few keepsakes, old cook uniforms, and the new uniform you accepted at the status recognition ceremony. It also holds an assembly of carefully crafted cooking tools, namely a butcher’s knife, ladle, spatula, mallet, & whisk.

The ship rumbles again.

What next?

>> Wait out the conflict
>> Look out your window
>> Custom

(Pictured is from the in-universe day before this quest began, showing Koopa trying on his new cook uniform.)
>>
i'm just here for the drawings lol
>>
>>5322365
>>> Wait out the conflict
>>> Look out your window
>>
>>5322365
Cook a meal to bribe Mario with in case you run into him
>>
>>5321315
I'm enjoying the art. Did you do this one all by yourself? Big fan of the foreshortening.
>>5322365
>> Custom
Bake a small cake or piece of candy to use as a bribe or for a snack for ourselves
>>
>>5322365
>>5322475
Supporting, you're a genius anon! We'll rip off that one scene in Bowser's inside story! It's less likely to work, but if there was a Boo around to do a similar act of force feeding than it just might incapacitate the plumber. At the very least we'll have a bribe to spare our lives. Maybe put a Poison Mushroom in it, there's got to be one of those around.
>>
Alright then! Next step: prepare some kind of culinary bribe for Mario.

There’s several options here, both in terms of delivery and preparation. First, though, you should iron out the nature of the bribe.

>> The food is safe; it’s just a method to keep your shell from being ripped off.
>> The food is poisoned, but not lethally so. It might give you more time, but it could also put you in danger, depending on how covertly you deliver it.
>> The food is lethal. That would immediately paint a target on your back, but it would make Lord Bowser proud—I mean, what is Mario even trying to win here? Peach is with him, right?
>>
>>5322654
>> The food is safe; it’s just a method to keep your shell from being ripped off.

Deep down, we are a nice guy.
>>
>>5322656

Support, no tarnishing this koopas soul
>>
>>5322656
>>5322697
+1
>>
>>5322475
>>5322622
Supporting this. Channel our fear into cookery and culinary subterfuge!

>>5322365
>>
>>5322654
> The food is poisoned, but not lethally so. It might give you more time, but it could also put you in danger, depending on how covertly you deliver it.
>>
Using the majority vote here, the food is safe; you just want Mario off your back. How should you deliver the food?

>> Covertly. Place it somewhere inconspicuous but enticing enough for The Mighty Plumber to take a break.
>> Overtly. Try to escape through direct presentation of the food.

Remember that Mario isn’t the only enemy here. There’s a whole Mushroom Kingdom vessel in Bowser’s airship! Regardless of how you deliver the food, you’ll really need to sell it.
>>
>>5322771
> Covertly. Place it somewhere inconspicuous but enticing enough for The Mighty Plumber to take a break.
>>
>>5322771
>>> Covertly. Place it somewhere inconspicuous but enticing enough for The Mighty Plumber to take a break.
>>
>>5322771
>>> Covertly. Place it somewhere inconspicuous but enticing enough for The Mighty Plumber to take a break.
The direct path means leaving our room and trying to confront him, which sounds like a fantastic way to get our shell kicked in. We want to stay as far away from any potential action as possible.
>>
Covertly it is. Writing the next step now.
>>
Oh! Before I do that—I haven’t responded to any questions/comments thus far, so I thought now’s a good a time as any. I hope this doesn’t come across as OP trying to make the thread about himself; I just wanted to respond.

>>5322507
Yep! I made that one solo, along with the other drawings I’ve posted. Thank you for the compliment!
>>5320332
I played a little bit of Paper Mario N64 recently and was thoroughly bored by the dialog. The most Paper Mario I’ve played is Super Paper Mario when I was a kid; it’s probably just nostalgia, but I remember it fondly.
>>5320144
Nope!
>>
You sit down on your bed and mull over what you could make. Mario likes cakes, right? You can make one of those—well, if you can get a reliable source of heat.

An oven is the obvious choice, and while there is one nearby, you might meet Mario or another villain on the way. You do have a fire flower, but you’re unfamiliar with harnessing their powers; plus, you feel a bit odd using something so often exploited by Lord Bowser’s nemesis.

The ship rumbles again. When did it stop ascending?... if you’re making a cake, it needs to be relatively small. Perhaps you should make something without so much prep time?

>> Cake (oven). Mario loves cakes, right? How could he resist a well crafted cake?
>> Cake (fire flower). Let’s not risk a run-in with Mario. So what if you get burnt?
>> Something else. Let’s take stock of our immediately accessible ingredients and devise something voluminous and distracting.
>>
Forgot the fire flower picture. I’m a fake & a fraud.
>>
>>5322867
>Something else. Let’s take stock of our immediately accessible ingredients and devise something voluminous and distracting.
Idea: It looks like a cake but there's a hammer bros' hammer inside, whoever eats this cake will be eating a hammer! If we can't find a hammer we can just throw our cooking mallet in
>>
>>5322867
>> Cake (oven). Mario loves cakes, right? How could he resist a well crafted cake?
I like to think Mario and pals aren't big enough jerks to kick a koopa thats making a delicious cake in the oven. We take pride in our meals, damnit! No halfassing, even for our enemies.
>>
>>5322867
>>> Cake (oven). Mario loves cakes, right? How could he resist a well crafted cake?
>>
Majority vote says oven. Writing now.
>>
That fire flower is giving you the creeps anyway. You don your new apron & tools & step out of your room. Judging by ear, it seems like Mario’s trying to find Lord Bowser—he’s pretty high up in the airship, anyway.

As you walk toward the ship’s kitchen, you think more of that fire flower. Sometimes you wish use of such materials wasn’t shunned; imagine how useful a mushroom could be for the goombas! Then again, those eyes of theirs... are they really spies? That’s the story you’ve always heard, anyway. Heaven knows Bowser isn’t the one planting the fire flowers and propeller shrooms.

You make it to the ship’s kitchen. You step inside and skim over the ingredients. Stepping over a bit of broken glass from an adjacent window, you take out sugar, flour, eggs, and milk; preparing the cake, you try desperately to ignore the omnipotent rumbling. Hopefully the oven still works...

To your surprise, it does! You prep the oven (should’ve done that earlier, hah) and put in the cake. Mario’s going to love this!... all we need is sixty minutes.

Somewhere far off, a small engine sputters.

What do you do?

>> Wait
>> Determine where to leave the cake
>> Look out your window
>>
>>5323280
>>> Determine where to leave the cake
>>> Look out your window
>>
>>5323303
+1, nothing much else to do besides wait. And waiting is pretty boring AND risky in an active siege.
>>
>>5323280
>>> Determine where to leave the cake
>>
You could put the cake in...

>> Hallway leading to Lord Bowser. From what you heard earlier, it sounds like Mario is up there. This would dramatically increase the chances of him finding the cake, but you’d risk being spotted by him and/or the Mushroom Kingdom airship.
>> Hallway connected to your room. Perhaps you could lure Mario down here? Best to hide in that case...
>> Your room.

Also, looking out the kitchen window, you see several airships. The first one that catches your eye lies in the distance; it’s painted white & orange with floral decals. You’ve never seen that ship before. Closer to the vessel you’re on are several small, friendly vessels. Besides trailing your vessel, it doesn’t seem like they’re doing anything...
>>
>>5323457
>>> Hallway leading to Lord Bowser. From what you heard earlier, it sounds like Mario is up there. This would dramatically increase the chances of him finding the cake, but you’d risk being spotted by him and/or the Mushroom Kingdom airship.

If we're anything sneeki beeki we can totally pull this off.
>>
>>5323457
>>> Hallway connected to your room. Perhaps you could lure Mario down here? Best to hide in that case...
>>
>>5323457
>> Hallway leading to Lord Bowser. From what you heard earlier, it sounds like Mario is up there. This would dramatically increase the chances of him finding the cake, but you’d risk being spotted by him and/or the Mushroom Kingdom airship.
A good guy would NEVER attack the dude with the cake.
>>
>>5323457
I thought the point was to use it as a bribe if he found us to not do terrible things to us? That only leaves one choice:
>> Hallway connected to your room.

A cake has to be a healing item, right? Leaving it in the hall leading to bowser seems like a great way to accidentally buff the villain.
>>
>>5323785
Huh. You're right. Switching >>5323635 to this
>>
>>5323785
This. Also I'm pretty sure if Bowser finds out about this we're gonna get fired. At best.
>>
Alright, hallway to your room it is! As said before, the cake will take a while to cook, so...

>> Prepare toppings for cake. Let’s get this thing done ASAP.
>> Try to find other followers of Bowser. You haven’t seen any in a while...
>>
>>5323931
>>> Prepare toppings for cake. Let’s get this thing done ASAP.
>>
>>5323931
psst, you dropped your name.

>> Prepare toppings for cake. Let’s get this thing done ASAP.
We're already here and working on it. Let's get it done before getting distracted.
>>
>>5323931
>> Prepare toppings for cake. Let’s get this thing done ASAP.
>>
Understood! Thanks to your brief, covert study of Mushroom Kingdom recipes, you have a vague idea of how such cakes should look... white exterior, red fruit, simple, elegant frosting patterns. Perhaps a lemon could replace the power star? No matter—you look through the kitchen and find suitable ingredients for the job. All that’s left is to wait...

Any questions while the cake is baking?
>>
>>5324212
Not really, I just hope this quest can take off. The protag seems nice and I enjoy the drawings.
>>
>>5324212
What's the worst that can happen if we encounter Mario? He's Mario, he's not gonna KILL us, is he? Like... Those troops that fell out of the ship are... Probably fine, right?
>>
>>5324434
Seconding this. We dealing with regular Mario shenanigans, QM, or is this a grimmer take on the setting? What lore should we be aware of, in-character, that may differ from what we know of the franchise OOC?
>>
>>5324434
Maybe. But our little Koopa, he doesn't know that.
And let's be honest, much of mario's "non-lethality" is questionable in the same way batman's is. "Sure you're bleeding in your brain, have a severe concussion, and there's no medical facilities anywhere nearby, but at least you're not dead!"
>>
Here's what sets this world apart from the official stuff—sorry, I should have said this earlier. This information isn’t exhaustive by any means, but it’s enough for now, methinks.

Except for NSMB, the entirety of each 2D and 3D Mario game are canon. Yes, that includes the levels! Mario did go from plain to plain, taking out tons of goombas, kooaps, paratroopas--you name it, there was a funeral. Probably closed casket, thanks to the orders of Lord Bowser; see, the Bowser of this world really despises inequity, and thinks all men should be utterly, absolutely equal. (You might find this a contradiction with Bowser's dark royalty aesthetic, but you've gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelette, y'know?) The Mushroom Kingdom sharply disagrees with such a notion, believing that objective, idillic hierarchy is and should be a constant. The clash between these two kingdoms can be seen in their infrastructure; the Mushroom Kingdom depends on magical plants they revere, while Bowser & co. depend on machines released from any metaphysic. As a result, it is effectively illegal for you to cook with magical plants under Bowser's rule. This puts Koopa the Cook in an awkward spot; he knows how far Bowser's cause could go if they used magical plants, but Bowser's stepping on rakes here!.. don't tell anyone he said that.

The cake's done!.. is the ship starting to descend? Best to get that cake to the hallway. You take the cake from the oven and set it on the table in the center of the kitchen. You turn around to fetch some fruit, but a thought occurs to you--should you use magical plants? It's not as though you're making it for the troops, and you have that fire flower in your room...

>> No magical plants. What are you, insane? What if someone finds us? He's not gonna believe us!
>> Magical plants! Mario will totally buy this cake if it has plants. You’ll be safe.
>>
>>5324561
>>> Magical plants! Mario will totally buy this cake if it has plants. You’ll be safe.
>>
>>5324561
>> Magical plants! Mario will totally buy this cake if it has plants. You’ll be safe.
>>
>>5324561
> Magical plants! Mario will totally buy this cake if it has plants. You’ll be safe.

Good time to reveal this detail of your setting, honestly. Makes this decision feel all the more pivotal
>>
You quietly return to your room & get the fire flower. You go to the kitchen, add a layer of white frosting, and place the fire flower on top before setting it in the hallway leading to your room.

A loud crash emits from high up in the airship. The voice of arguing Toads fills you with anxiety.

>> Hide in the kitchen
>> Hide in your room
>> Custom
>>
>>5324622
>>> Hide in your room
>>
>>5324622
>> Hide in the kitchen
>>
>>5324622
>>> Hide in your room
>>
Cake drawing, by the way. Y’know, for the kids.
>>
>>5324882
Mirin' your madd skillz
>>
>>5324882
What a delicious cake that is.
QM you motherfucker now you have me pondering the political environment of the Mario world. Are the kingdoms at legitimate war, or is it just a military dispute? Is Mario and his allies war criminals? Do the other kingdoms, like Sarasaland and BeanBean get involved in the Mushroom-Koopa conflict, or just stay out of it? Is there a geneva convention?
>>
>>5324882
You drew three penises. What the heck, dawg?
>>
>>5324932
>Are the kingdoms at legitimate war, or is it just a military dispute?
Legitimate war.
>Is Mario and his allies war criminals?
Yes... well, kind of. The Mushroom Kingdom is the only side with anything approaching a Geneva convention. Bowser leaves the ethical mumbo jumbo to his troops. For Bowser, the ideal is ultimate equality, and the ends justify the means. You can’t just have some unapproachable idyllic lady like Princess Peach causing trouble.
>>
>>5324956
I see. I like how in spite of Bowser still looking and acting like a callous big bad, there still isn't a single side thats completely right and the other wrong. I hope to see more of the Mushroom Kingdom's side, the good and the bad that comes with a hierarchal society. But I'm probably getting a bit ahead of myself, there's a room that a koopa needs to hide in right now.
>>5324622
>> Hide in your room
>>
You return to your room. The ships outside are still just... hanging there. The orange-and-white cruiser is still trailing your vessel.

You’re definitely descending, but it’s slow. It sounds like Mario ran out of engines to explode.

What now?

>> Wait for the ship to finish descending
>> Try to move the cake to a better spot to raise the chances of someone seeing it
>>
>>5324987

>> Wait for the ship to finish descending
>>
>>5324987
>>> Wait for the ship to finish descending

Is there anywhere we could watch in secret though?
>>
>>5324987
>>> Try to move the cake to a better spot to raise the chances of someone seeing it
>>
>>5325032
You could try going back to the airship’s internal hub and hide in one of the pipes. Remember that there’s a Mushroom Kingdom vessel currently sieging(?) the vessel you’re in. Maybe you could get some info there?
>>
>>5325039

Idk about anyone else but I wanna watch the cake (secretly of course). Worse comes to worse, we pretend we’re an empty shell.
>>
>>5324987
>Put a note asking for whoever finds it not to kill us
>>
>>5324987
>>> Wait for the ship to finish descending
>>5325044
This. Might as well; it beats quivering in our room. We can watch under the door or through a grate or whatever.
The cake is our backup plan; making it more visible is counter to that.

>>5324561
Maybe we should grab a kitchen knife or roller pin or something to defend ourselves with. Juuuust in case.
>>
>>5324561
I just realized:
>mushroom kingdom is monarchist
>bowser is communist
We're in a 1919 russian's fever dream, aren't we?

>As a result, it is effectively illegal for you to cook with magical plants under Bowser's rule.
It's not clear to me how this follows. While Bowser's aesthetic is industrial, machines have to get their raw material from somewhere. And heavy exploitation of one of the things his nemesis holds dear seems a much sweeter revenge.
But then, Bowser tends to be the impulse type, so I can't say this is terribly surprising.
>>
>>5325128
https://open.spotify.com/track/08n3qEGMFr9lUlCbYY0oLE?si=NVetaDboRhufMsTjNk3r4g
The mushrooms have eyes.
>>
Player feedback has been pretty diverse for this next step, so I’m going to use a combination of your inputs. Writing now!
>>
Though detestable under any other circumstance, you use your butcher’s knife to form a small, crude peephole in your bedroom door. Eventually, the sound of footsteps draws you to look through and—

It’s him. Mr. L. The Green Thunder. Boo’s bane. The left brain. And he’s just... he’s staring at the cake! Hey—HEY! Look at him, judging your handiwork. He looks your work up and down before puffing a bit of ice onto it from that rectangular thing he’s holding. He reaches for the fire flower but stops and stands up. He walks back toward the airship.

You let out an anxious sigh and nearly roll onto your shell. Why aren’t the ships from outside helping? Who’s driving the orange-and-white ship? Could Sarasaland really be getting involved? You thought they were taking the Dinosaur Island approach...

Perhaps that ship has gotten closer. You get up to walk towards the window and oh my stars the menace is back. You hold perfectly still as you hear him walk through the hallway. There’s a few more puffs of air, shuffling of fabric, the clack of porcelain... then he’s off. Did he...?

You hold still until the footsteps are faded away. You creep over to the door and look through the peephole.

The cake is gone!

>> Wait
>> Scope out the airship
>> Look out the window
>>
>>5325308
Dick.
But it worked, I guess.
>> Look out the window
What the hell IS happening out there?
>>
>>5325308
> Look out the window
>>
>>5325308
>>> Look out the window
>>
>>5325308
>> Look out the window
Just, uh, try to avoid being too visible while you look. Wouldn't want some nasty out there it see us through the window and decide to come say hello.
>>
>>5325308
>> Look out the window
We'd better see friggin WARIO eventually or I'm gonna FREAK
>>
>>5325308
> Look out the window
Really digging this quest, and your take on the setting. Also, you drew a badass steampunk Luigi, QM!
>>
>>5325308
>>> Look out the window
>>
You take a good look outside. Details are hard to make out, but you can surmise the following:
1. The orange-and-white ship is getting closer.
2. Bowser’s vessels are barren. You’d (hesitantly) guess that Mario killed all those onboard, but the ship’s still trailing the one you’re on. Maybe there’s some troops hiding inside?

The roar of Lord Bowser makes you jump. He’s definitely in the internal hub. Does that mean..?

>> Sneak toward the nearby Mushroom Kingdom airship
>> Wait for the ship to stop
>>
>>5325732
>>> Sneak toward the nearby Mushroom Kingdom airship
>>
>>5325732
>>> Wait for the ship to stop
We went to a lot of effort to hide ourselves away. Let's not immediately go wandering off again.
>>
>>5325732
>>> Wait for the ship to stop

Let's not die today
>>
>>5325732
>> Wait for the ship to stop
As thrilling as it would be to take a peek at our enemies, Koopa the Cook is a Big Boy, I don't think we'll be sneaking anywhere while Big M and Little L are on the prowl.
>>
>>5325732
> Sneak toward the nearby Mushroom Kingdom airship
>>
>>5326564
>>5326285
>>5326274

Waiting? Understood. Developing the next step now.
>>
As Bowser’s vessel slowly approaches the ground, the Mushroom Kingdom’s vessel slides out from under it.

Your window reveals a massive crowd surrounding the landing site: mostly Mushroom Kingdom aligned civilians, with militant toads lining the crowd perimeter. The crowd is silent.

After a short while, a feminine voice beings the crowd to a focus. The voice is stiff, clear, and indifferent. She demeans Lord Bowser to the crowd, twisting his words and defying his authority. Before long, you stop listening to her; the dissonance is too much to bear.

When you were descending, you saw Toads of various shapes and sizes enter the other smaller airships that were trailing the one you occupy. You can’t be certain, but you think they eliminated the rest of Bowser’s troops. You think some Toads entered your vessel as well, but none of them came to your room. Maybe it was an accident? Who knows—the changing air pressure has given you a migraine... you think. You’re not a scientist.

Someone knocks on your door.

>> Ask “who’s there?”
>> Open the door
>> Don’t answer
>>
Bonus drawing of Lord Bowser. I hope the design isn’t excessively edgy.
>>
>>5326618
>> Open the door
NEW FRIEND!?
>>
>>5326639
He's a big guy
>>
>>5326618
> Ask “who’s there?”
>>
>>5326618
>> Open the door if Mario, Luigi, or a Toad are on the other side, then calmly and slowly, close the door and say "No one's here!" with fear clear in your voice.
>>
>>5326618
>>> Ask “who’s there?”
>>
>>5326618
>Your window reveals a massive crowd surrounding the landing site: mostly Mushroom Kingdom aligned civilians, with militant toads lining the crowd perimeter.
That's not good.

>?
We cut that peephole, didn't we? Go take a look through it.
>>
>>5326829
oops, I forgot about the peephole
>>5326618
I'd like to change my vote here >>5326770
to backing just looking out the peephole
>>
>>5326618
>Peak through the peephole
>>
Creeping as quiet as you can, the peephole reveals Luigi, accompanied by a few toads of variable shape.

>> Open the door
>> Do not
>>
>>5326920
>>> Open the door
>"I... I'm all out of cakes, sorry."
>>
>>5326927
Supporting.

>>5326920
>>> Open the door
>"I... I'm all out of cakes, sorry."
>>
>>5326920
this
>>5326927
I'd like to just not answer at all, but I don't think that's going to work in the slightest. Hopefully the cake made him less hostile.
>>
>>5326681
For you.
>>
Open the door & apologize. Writing now
>>
You gingerly open the door. "I... I'm all out of cakes, sorry."
Luigi takes little note of your statement. The lanky toad behind him shuffles around a bit, and Luigi starts walking toward the massive hole in the airship made earlier. “Let’s go,” he says dutifully.

>> Follow Luigi
>> Follow Luigi, looking for a spot to hide
>> Run away

(Current Track: Luigi’s Theme - https://yewtu.be/watch?v=atMs_zOPW6w)
>>
Also, the change in wardrobe for Luigi was intentional.
>>
>>5327298
> Follow Luigi
Hopefully, cooperation is treated with leniency.
>>
>>5327298
>> Follow Luigi, looking for a spot to hide
He hasn't killed us yet, so let's be smart about this?
>>
>>5327298
>> Follow Luigi
neat toad designs btw
>>
>>5327307
Bit confused by the shift in Luigi's design, though...

>>5327298
>>5325308
>>
>>5327298
>>> Follow Luigi
>>
>>5327309
Some kind of robot perhaps?
>>
>>> Follow Luigi
>>
>>5327311
>magical surveillance state with an absolute monarch who plies the people with pretty words to disguise their tyranny
>uses robot doppelgangers to round up dissidents and enemies of the state

...Is the Mushroom Kingdom just Latveria?
>>
>>5327298
Luigi is a stud follow Luigi
>>
You follow Luigi & the Toads, noting the latters’ germane walking pattern. You almost consider copying the pattern–wait, would that be disrespectful? Oh, bother, as if it matters now...

The four of you step out of the airship through the hole made by that massive fireball fired prior. The Mushroom Kingdom airship, the MAS Rainbow Cruise, now sits a short ways northeast. A massive crowd of toads surrounds Lord Bowser, bound by... something; it’s hard to see from this distance. Toadstool finishes her speech & flicks down her arms.

Lord Bowser isn’t making any loud noises... he’s just... standing there.

Luigi looks morose.

>> Ask Luigi what’s happening
>> Ask Luigi why he got you
>> Ask Luigi where Mario is
>> Try talking to the Toads
>>
Agh! Sorry that I keep double posting!! I just keep forgetting important stuff!

Current Track: Infection - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RCRpMK1RNJPtuN1ZX2R1dtKmj71mMXuR/view (sorry for big tech link :/)
>>
>>5327462
> Ask Luigi what’s happening
> Ask Luigi why he got you
"W-what is this? Why did you bring me here?"

Ah fuck, Mario's dead and Peach is executing our benevolent dictator.
>>
>>5327462
>>> Ask Luigi what’s happening
>>> Ask Luigi why he got you
>>
>>5327462
>> Ask Luigi what’s happening
>> Ask Luigi why he got you

I can't tell if we're about to get war crime'd or not...
>>
>>5327462
>>> Ask Luigi what’s happening
>>
“W-what is this?” You manage. Luigi speaks, but there’s a voluntary numbness in his voice.

“Peach’s orders.”

You look away from the horror show. You hear Lord Bowser emit a few whimpering roars before his mouth is gagged by—you don’t dare to speculate.

Your blood begins to boil. “Why did you bring me out here?” You yell recklessly before protecting yourself from an oncoming attack. Instead, Luigi breathes uneasily. “Peach’s orders.”
>>
>> Press Luigi. “Peach’s orders“ isn’t an answer.
>> Stay put.
>>
>>5327501
>>> Press Luigi. “Peach’s orders“ isn’t an answer.

That's our ruler, dammit!
>>
>>5327462

Mirin' the artwork btw. what tablet do you use, homie?
>>
>>5327501
> Stay put.
Don't make her angry. She might overhear.

>W-where's Mario?
>>
>>5327499
>> Press Luigi. “Peach’s orders“ isn’t an answer.
>>
>>5327499
This is an intentional humiliation, or it's an execution.
There's a decent chance Mario was gravely wounded or died entirely during the combat.

>>5327501
>> Stay put.
May be that he doesn't actually know. May be that he does know and is disinclined to give info away to enemy agents.
But even if he does know, angering him and making a scene will only make things harder for us going forward. If we're going to have any chance of slipping away later, we can't be preemptively seen as a 'problem' case.
>>
This is like one of those "What if Mario was edgy" concepts but done very well reminds me of "There will be Brawl"
>>
Flawed as the Lord might be, you can’t just sit and watch him be tortured. You turn to Luigi, making a point to penetrate his personal bubble. He steps back and grips his vacuum, flicking a switch which makes the canister on his back shudder. You don’t flinch; he isn’t the brother who decimated Dinosaur Land.

You’ve grabbed flour bags heavier than him. You grip him by his left hand (the one holding his vacuum) and yank it behind you. Your voice is unfamiliar. “What’s happening here?”

“T-they’re claiming him,” Luigi sputters. He tries breaking free, eyes not on you but what’s b—

CRASH.

>> Run away

(Current Track: “Mario Minor” - https://yewtu.be/watch?v=j9Zj4chxeCM)
>>
Rolled 72 (1d100)

>>5327614
>>> Run away

I know there are no dice rolls in this but rolling anyways.
>>
>>5327614
> Run away
HE LIVES
>>
>>5327614
>>Run away
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
>>
It’s no use. A swift kick to your shell knocks any remaining wind out of you. Another kick sends you airborne. A blur slams you into the ground, toward the crowd of toads. Cold envelops your body as you’re sent airborne once more.

RRRRRIP.

You land violently on your back; the novel sensation drives you mad, but your body’s too weak to get up. A mass of red, blue, yellow, and a darker, faded red fill your vision. Roots quiver beneath you.

You pass out.

(Thanks for playing! This isn’t the end—more tomorrow. Oh, and happy fourth!)

(BONUS: meta answers
>>5327504
I use an iPad Air(?) and gen 1 Apple Pencil. Tangentially, I use the app Procreate.)
>>
>>5327614
>>5327671
dang, this party's gettin crazy
hopefully mario didn't come over here to finish us off, I'm thinking there's a chance he just showed up and didn't know exactly what was happening
but then again our protag seems to fear him, so maybe the ass-kicking isn't over yet
poor Koopa the Cook, that must have really shell-shocked him
>>
>>5327671
>RRRRRIP
SHIT, did we break our shell? Mario isn't a fucking joke, he must be the super soldier of the mushroom kingdom.
>>
>>5327614
Cry really, really hard.
>>
>>5327614
Are we dealing with dopplegangers?
I have a suspicion we're going to be seeing a "resistance" mario vs an absolutist mushroom kingdom.

>>5327671
Thanks for running!
>>
You rouse with a sick stomach & numbing pain. Your surroundings are hazy tints of tan & light splashes of orange & blue. A pair of small, wet, & cold *somethings* slowly & repeatedly run along your back. The pain is disrupted by two voices.

The first is male, with a familiar waver. “We’ve already deserted; keeping him here won’t make a difference.”
The second is female, with an unfamiliar rowdiness. “What’s our plan then? Stay airborne ‘til we crash & burn? There’s no way we‘ll get to Dinosaur Island at this rate.”

>> Speak
>> Try to get up
>>
>>5328484
>>> Speak
>>> Try to get up
>>
>>5328484
Did Luigi go awol!?

Speak and try to get up
>>
>>5328484
>> Speak
We definitely got our shell broken, shite. I'd rather not try to get up and make it worse on ourselves, speaking seems like the less taxing option.

I do have to wonder, is this Luigi and Daisy we're about to wake up to?
>>
>>5328484
>>> Speak
>>
>>5328484
> Speak
"Where am I? Who's there? Am I... Dead?"
>>
> Luigi and Daisy might have gone awol from Mario and Peach

Holy shit
>>
It’s not happening. You try to get up, but torrents of disorienting pain slam you back into the wood panel floor.

“Where am I?” You manage, struggling through blurry vision to look at the source of a female voice. “Welcome to the Daisy Cruiser,” she says half-triumphantly. She leans over to look you in the eyes. “Hi, I’m Daisy.”

Cold water drips from her hands.

>> “I’m Koopa the Cook.”
>> “What are you doing to me?”
>> “Sorry about earlier, Mr. Luigi...”

(Current Track: “Daisy Cruiser” - https://yewtu.be/watch?v=-OXjMxy0HuU) (Ideally played at 0.75x speed)
>>
>>5328603
> “What are you doing to me?”
>>
>>5328603
I’m Koopa the Cook.”
>> “What are you doing to me?”
>> “Sorry about earlier, Mr. Luigi...

Looks like they turned us into a Trionychidae
>>
>>5328603
>our shell is GONE
FUUUUUCK.
>> “What are you doing to me?”
I know we don't have the time to play 20 questions, but this seems like a good segway into asking WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON. Why are we apparently so important that Lord Bowser calls for us specifically, and then for Luigi to drag us out to watch said Lord get crucified on behalf of "Peach's orders"? What the hell even happened today?
>>
>>5328612
I don't think we're important. I think Luigi spared us for our gift, and then Peach demanded a witness to Bowser's humiliation/execution, and he grudgingly went and got us because almost everyone else was dead or fled. Not sure what the deal was with Mario, though... Using our shell as a weapon to kill Bowser, maybe?
>>
“What are you doing to me?” You ask.

Daisy’s voice is somewhat strained. “Just trying to cool your back. Y’know, so you don’t pass out again.”

You want to ask more, but your vision is suddenly filled by a small man with big glasses & an odd, curved tuft of hair.

“Good news and bad news!” He chirps.

“What’s the bad news?” Luigi asks.

“Bad news: I am not an MD!” He announces proudly. “Good news: We might be able to reattach your shell. These things don’t break easy, after all...”

“Can we do it now?” You exclaim. The small man raises his hand to you in a juvenile way, making you pause with frustration.

“Given your appetite, I think you’ve got a few tricks up your sleeve.” Apparently, his manners were lost along with his height. “That shell of yours... it can do much more when it’s off your back. Koopa shells seem to give Yoshis special powers and, given we’re already heading their way, I think you’ll be surprised by how much your shell might improve our cooking.”

He really wants to use your shell as a magical wok?

>> “I suppose...”
>> “I’m not sure about that. Magic and koopas don’t mix.”
>> “Shells are more than tools... I just feel wrong using it like that.”

(Sorry for no proper drawing; I can post the finished version of what I’m working on later, if you guys would like. In the meantime, here’s my rendition of Daisy. I tried to make her look like a member of royalty from the desert rather than a color swap of Peach. I also tried to infuse some of her DIY attitude into her appearance, cutting her hair short and giving her a sword.)
>>
>>5328687
Shells are more than tools... I just feel wrong using it like that.”


Also like your take on daisy
>>
>>5328687
> “Shells are more than tools... I just feel wrong using it like that.”

So are Magikoopas not canon here, then?
>>
>>5328687
>> “Shells are more than tools... I just feel wrong using it like that.”

Is that my boy E. Gadd up in here!?
>>
>>5328713
They‘re canon. Currently, however, they’re quite taboo. The power of the Mushroom Kingdom’s magical plants (fire flowers, mushrooms, etc.) has made Bowser weary of magic. Typically he’d try to learn a bit from his nemeses, but the persistence of the Toads has... driven him away.
>>
>>5328687
the koopa shell things gives me horror vibes when thinking about it as our people would be harvested for our shells for magic items
>>
>>5328687
>>> “I suppose...”
>>
>>5328687
>> “Shells are more than tools... I just feel wrong using it like that.”
This is too much. We get beaten half to death and have our shell ripped off our back, and then he suggests it's harvested? No way, that's a horrible rabbit hole I don't want to get into.
>>
>>5328687
>>> “Shells are more than tools... I just feel wrong using it like that.”
>>
>>5328687
>> “Shells are more than tools... I just feel wrong using it like that.”
I'm also kinda getting horror vibes here, seeing as they're going "well, your kidney is already out and we can do some neat stuff with it, so can we keep it?"

Also, while things have changed very quickly, last we checked these people were our enemies. What is going on!?
>>
>>5328956
Uhh, according to >>5328620's guess, Luigi was flattered by the cake, but had to take us to see Lord Bowser get crucified on behalf of Peach's orders. He didnt like it, and it led to him deserting and taking us with him. I think that Mario saw us being slightly mean to Luigi and did what all good big brothers do, which was beating us within an inch of our life.

Plus, if we're still enemies, theres not much we can do besides heal. We're not getting back up for a while after The Mighty Plumber's asswhooping we were just handed to.
>>
“Shells are more than tools... I just feel wrong using it like that. I mean, look, you guys saved me and all—I really appreciate it—but...”

“Why don’t we talk to the Yoshis first?” Daisy asks. “Surely, someone’s done this before.”

The small man frowns. “A little peer review never hurt,” he mutters. “It’s a plan, then.” He waddles off, mumbling something only half coherent.

A moment passes.

“S-sorry about earlier,” you say to Luigi. “Seeing the Lord, I...”

“It was expected,” Luigi says sadly. “I’ve been in your shoes.”

>> “What do you mean?”
>> “What did you mean earlier by ‘claiming’? Will the Lord be OK?”
>> “What’s Dinosaur Island like?”

(Current Track: “Daisy Cruiser” - https://yewtu.be/watch?v=-OXjMxy0HuU) (Ideally played at 0.75x speed)
>>
>>5328990
>>> “What did you mean earlier by ‘claiming’? Will the Lord be OK?”
>>
>>5328990
>>> “What did you mean earlier by ‘claiming’? Will the Lord be OK?”
>>
>>5328990
> “What did you mean earlier by ‘claiming’? Will the Lord be OK?”
>>
>>5328990
>>> “What do you mean?”
>>
“What did you mean earlier by ‘claiming’? Will the Lord be OK?”

Luigi takes his hands off your back. A moment of silence passes.

“The monarchy stood for everything I wanted to be. Mario—“ his voice wavers “—didn’t quite love them as I did, but he still helped me do odd jobs for the crown.

“One night, when we were up late plumbing, we were attacked by some of Bowser’s spies. Eventually, word got to Peach that ‘The Mario Bros’ single-handedly prevented her assassination.

“My brother deserved every bit of glory he got. Peach loved him and that was OK. But the t-...”

Luigi stifles a sob. Daisy speaks up.

“Toads...”
“They took him!”
“Mario isn’t...”
“He’s no brother of mine.”

Daisy helps Luigi stand.

“They took him away!”

>> “Is there any way to change him back?”
>> “Will Bowser survive the Toads?”
>>
>>5329033
>> “Will Bowser survive the Toads?”
I'd rather not press on Mario further, seems to be a very sore subject. Still don't get it though, is the real Mario locked up and replaced by a clone? I just want to know if Bowser is getting murdered or not.
>>
>>5329033
>>> “Will Bowser survive the Toads?”
>>
>>5329033
>>> “Is there any way to change him back?”
>>
>>5329033
>> “Will Bowser survive the Toads?”
This is clearly a sore subject. Let's drop it for now.

>>5329098
I think there's some sort of mind control thing going on with the toad's spores maybe?
>>
>>5329157
>toad spores are being used to control the kingdom's super soldier Mario directly
>Bowser got publicly spored
>probably going to spread to the weakened koopa kingdom
I hope we can crack this political case soon because shit is getting real and we have no idea how real its getting.
>>
>>5328972
> the mighty plumber
Looks like we to find lieutenant flips, simple
>>
>>5329033
>“Will Bowser survive the Toads?”
>>
“Will Bowser survive the Toads?”

Luigi sniffles and steadies himself, muttering an apology. Daisy pipes up. “Maybe. Toads are slow acting. Peach is the only person that can grapple with the Toads—y’know, as far as we can tell.” She pauses and then lets out an amused exhale. “Bowser’s skull is pretty thick, though...”

>> “You said we’re going to Dinosaur Island?”
>> “How do you think Peach survives the Toads?”
>> “How long do you plan on keeping me?”

(Bonus scrap of Mario for this one.)
>>
>>5329247
How do you think Peach survives the Toads?”
>>
>>5329247
>>> “You said we’re going to Dinosaur Island?”
>>
>>5329247
>You said we're going to Dinosaur Island?
>>
>>5329247
>> “You said we’re going to Dinosaur Island?”
I'd ask why they (mostly Luigi) saved us instead of leaving us for dead and going about their business, but I don't think write-ins are allowed in this quest. I think it was the cake but I'm not 100% sure, we're just a cook after all and could easily be replaced.
>>
>>5329278
Write-ins are allowed!
>>
>>5329296
Oh neat, thanks. Usually there's an ">> Other (Write-In)" option I see on other quests, so I got confused for a sec. Switching >>5329278 to
>> "Why did you save me back there? I'm just a cook after all..."
>>
>>5329247
hate to make it hard tally votes, but I'd like to switch >>5329251 to
>> "Why did you save me back there? I'm just a cook after all..."
as well
>>
>>5329247
I also wish to ask why we were saved, in addition to
>>5329253
>>
>>5329247
>>5329278

Support! I'm guessing our cakes were more than just delicious-- did our cooking talent imbue magic in them?
>>
“Why did you save me? I’m just a cook.”

Luigi chuckles softly. “Given your sense of decor, maybe E-Gadd’s map really was wrong.”

Daisy is beside herself. “Wh—so apparently being his *top cook* just doesn’t matter? You get that Peach ambushed you guys early, right? Like, before anyone ate?”

“... oh.”

You’re starting to question your father’s motives.

“W-well, um... you were saying about Dinosaur Land?*” You manage, flinching as Luigi begins to cool your wound again. Daisy nods and follows Luigi’s lead.

“Right. They’re our best bet right now in terms of... well... not dying. We’re hoping we can find this one Yoshi that helped Mario when Bowser infiltrated Dinosaur Land.”

All this questioning is making you tired.

>> “Okay... I think I’m gonna rest. I know this isn’t much, but thank you for the help.”
>> Write-in**

*I was writing the wrong name before. Sorry.
**Until/unless I end up making a second thread for this campaign, I’ll manually add “Write-in” as an option for newcomers.
>>
>>5329278
Most quests allow write-ins by default, though it's still good practice for QMs to include an explicit >write-in option.

>>5329367
your name fell off.
>*top cook*
As the thread OP, you get some extra formatting tools:
>To facilitate the author-driven nature of quests, /qst/ differs significantly from other boards in that the OP of a thread is considered the quest's author, and has some basic text formatting abilities: [b], [i], and color tags [red], [green], and [blue].

>>2


>You get that Peach ambushed you guys early, right? Like, before anyone ate?”
What?
I'm not seeing the implication here?

>You’re starting to question your father’s motives.
Who?
I thought Bowser was just our boss?

>> “Okay... I think I’m gonna rest. I know this isn’t much, but thank you for the help.”
>>
>>5329391
>>5329367

SUpport!
>>
>>5329391

Thanks for the formatting reminder. My bad! Also, about your two questions:

>I’m not seeing the implication here?
During the ambush, Bowser’s troops were fighting on empty stomachs. Daisy makes this point to emphasize the importance of Koopa the Cook’s role as Bowser’s top cook.

>I thought Bowser was just our boss?
Correct!... well, more or less. He’s not Koopa the Cook’s dad, that’s for sure. Check the OP for details.
>>
>>5329367
>> “Okay... I think I’m gonna rest. I know this isn’t much, but thank you for the help.”
Huh. An army DOES march on its stomach, so the saying goes. Hopefully we can get our shell back on our body before we touch down on Dinosaur Island, feels very weird to just be "naked" like this. I just hope the Yoshis aren't hostile.
>>
>>5329367
>"Did anyone else... Escape the ship I was on?"

Did they all die?
>>
Wait, if Bowser doesn't like magic, why is one of his titles King of Magic? Or is it supposed to be an ironic appellation?
>>
>>5329735
Maybe he is the King of Magic in the sense that he dominates and subjugates it?
>>
>>5329747
he has alot of raw magical power but not alot of control he in the games atleast only uses magic to do physical stuff like he grows larger or doing punch attacks and stuff
>>
“Okay... I think I’m gonna rest. I know this isn’t much, but thank you for the help.”

Luigi emits an affirmative grunt. You rest your head on the wood floor, close your eyes, and drift off...
(Current Track: “Avalanche” by The Midnight: https://yewtu.be/watch?v=mg0RAEZ-Md0) (Specifically from 0:00 to 0:45)

Your eyes open to reveal a lush green field, your shell wet with dew. You look around and see two structures. On the left stands a proud, unmarked red and white castle. On the right a cacophony of steel towers send glints of light this way and that with their chaotic dance.

The mess of towers try to level the castle, using all manner of machinery—saw blades, bullet bills, etc. The castle stays strong, occasionally spooking the towers through some unseen force paired by bunches of magical implements. The towers retaliate with similar implements, but eventually, black-capped mushrooms begin spewing out of the white castle. The twisting towers recoil in fear, and a few are dragged away by the mushrooms. The twisting towers abandon their magical implements and more mushrooms grow, expanding to the distant mountain range.

The earth rattles as a massive black-capped mushroom grows. The rattling grows unbearable, and you close your eyes.

You wake with a start, looking around frantically... you’re still on the Daisy Cruiser; in fact, you haven’t moved an inch. Judging by the light streaming through the window behind you, it’s either early morning or late evening.

The smell of amateur cooking disturbs your nostrils.

>> Try to get up. Your back is killing you, but being immobile isn’t very ideal...
>> “Hello?” Let’s not make our injury worse.
>> Write-in

(Current Track: “It’s-a-who?” https://yewtu.be/watch?v=mHWCDG07wLs)
>>
Image depiction of the dream.
>>
>>5331170
Try to get up. Your back is killing you, but being immobile isn’t very ideal...
>>
>>5331170
>> Try to get up. Your back is killing you, but being immobile isn’t very ideal...
Finally, we can strech our legs.
>>
>>5331170
>>> Try to get up. Your back is killing you, but being immobile isn’t very ideal...
I mean, we weren't checked over by a medical doctor or anything, but koopas are built tough, let's give it a try.
>>
>>5331170
>>> Try to get up. Your back is killing you, but being immobile isn’t very ideal...
>>
>>5331170
> Try to get up. Your back is killing you, but being immobile isn’t very ideal...
> Help with the meal, if you can
>>
>>5331170
>Try to get up. Your back is killing you, but being immobile isn't very ideal.
>>
>>5331170
>> Try to get up. Your back is killing you, but being immobile isn’t very ideal...
Take it carefully, but give it a go.

>>5331173
Interesting interpretation of the war so far.
...I don't like seeing toadstools so close to us. Dream logic, or something more sinister?
>>
>>5331539
We might be looking at an end of the world scenario in this dream. Maybe its just a subconscious fear that those mushrooms will get us like they got Lord Bowser. I want to know what made the Mushroom Kingdom escalate things so drastically, those damn power mushrooms are definitely spies in disguise. The only solution for such a fungi fix? An army of giant, ravenous snails.
>>
>>5331827
>I want to know what made the Mushroom Kingdom escalate things so drastically
I'm thinking there's a connection between Princess *Toadstool* and the 'shrooms. Maybe she's actually a Toad? Or is herself a tool of the toad collective?
>>
>>5331995
>Princess Toadstool
>Toadstool
>Toad's Tool
Dear god...
>>
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>>5332021
Mother of God...
>>
You push against the floor. Your back wants nothing to do with it, but lying down isn’t an option. If Luigi & Daisy have ulterior motives, you might as well show some level of strength; and if they’re true, the last thing they need is to play babysitter for a fat koopa.

With much struggle, you get on your fours. You crawl towards the window behind you and press gently—heavily—on it. Thankfully, it’s firm, and you get to your feet. Whew. You better not fall over.

Looking out the window, you can see a sprawling landmass—Dinosaur Land. You’ve seen pictures of it before, but you never truly believed in it... the region just seemed unbelievable. Magical blocks suspended in the air? Neon pipes? Flying dinosaurs? Much of it tasted like distractive propaganda, but there it is...

You stumble out of the room and toward the smell of crudely prepared meat & herbs. The Daisy Cruiser is far less cluttered than Bowser’s airship; no chutes sending troops here and there... it feels like a vacation ship given air sails.

You reach the source of the scent, using the preceding doorway as support. Inside stands Luigi, preparing... spaghetti? Something like that. Judging by his clothes, it’s probably early morning.

You let out a halfhearted, tired greeting, and he flicks his head toward you. “Oh! You‘re recovering quickly!” He exclaims.

“I wouldn’t be so certain,” you chuckle, letting out a quiet moan and leaning against the doorframe.

>> “How long until we land?”
>> “Where’s Daisy?”
>> Write-in
>>
>>5332057
>Examine Luigi's cooking technique, but don't offer advice unprompted.

No sense in being rude.
>>
>>5332057
>Examine Luigi's cooking technique, but don't offer advice unprompted.
Supporting >>5332061, because PRIORITIES. We're Koopa the Cook.

>>5332057
>Why did you save me?
>Did anyone else survive the attack?
>>
>>5332067
Support
>>
>>5332057
>Examine Luigi's cooking technique, but don't offer advice unprompted.
>>
>>5332057
We're not fat, we just have big bones ;_;
>Examine Luigi's cooking technique, but don't offer advice unprompted.
Its relatively peaceful for now, we can ask questions later when its not the crack of dawn.
>>5332067
I believe we asked why they saved us already, and it was because of our position as #1 cook. An army runs on its stomach and Peach knew that.
>>
>>5332646
That'a why they considered us a person (well, turtle) of interest, and why they attavked when they did, but it doesn't explain why Luigi cared to save us from Peach's wrath. Did Peach, or Daisy, want us to become THEIR cook?
>>
>>5332679
I mean, probably? Luigi liked the cake and all. Maybe he felt bad after we made that presumably for him (it was for Mario) and then got our shell ripped off by his mind controlled(?) brother.
>>
Dead quest?
>>
>>5334437
I hope not. Uncommonly good art!
>>
>>5334437
It ain't dead until its page 7 without a new update. THAT is the point of no return. Its just artblock, maybe.
>>
>page 5
Oh dear.
>>
>>5337165
Alas.
>>
You examine Luigi’s cooking technique. While seemingly... unsophisticated, it’s clear there’s much love in the meal he’s making. The sauce is much sweeter than you’re used to, and while the mushrooms give you a bit of anxiety, these gray-brown variety sitting in the pan don’t seem dead-set on your “claiming”.

Luigi gives you a crooked smile, somewhere between generosity and lack of sleep.

“Are you hungry?”

>> “Oh! Uh... yeah.” You can’t lie, you haven’t eaten in a day—and then some. Let’s try to trust him.
>> “Is there enough?” Are you really going to let yourself be a burden?
>> “No, thank you.” What if this is one big ruse? They already got Bowser—what if this is some cruel mockery?
>>
>>5337392
>>> “Oh! Uh... yeah.” You can’t lie, you haven’t eaten in a day—and then some. Let’s try to trust him.
Plus, we're injured. The sooner we're back in shape the sooner we can start really pulling our weight.
>>
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>>5337392
>“Is there enough?” Are you really going to let yourself be a burden?

QM lives!
>>
>>5337392
>> “Oh! Uh... yeah.” You can’t lie, you haven’t eaten in a day—and then some. Let’s try to trust him.
Meh. We've had and MADE better, but we're also not in a position to choose.
QM you magnificient bastard you're back
>>
>>5337392
>Have some.
>>
>>5337400
Support
>>
>>5337392
>>> “Is there enough?” Are you really going to let yourself be a burden?
>>
>>5337392
>>> “Oh! Uh... yeah.” You can’t lie, you haven’t eaten in a day—and then some. Let’s try to trust him.
>>
Alright, we’re saying yes to the food, though we’re pretty apprehensive. Working on the next phase now.
>>
“Oh! Uh... yeah.” You say. Luigi smiles & nods before returning his focus to the stovetop.

Your attention is caught by the sound of bare feet against the ship floor. You look out of the kitchen to see Princess Daisy guiding a toad! Your pupils shrink and you abruptly slip from the doorway into the kitchen proper.

Daisy is amused. “Don’t worry,” she says, “he’s not connected to the rest.” As she enters the kitchen she lifts up its stalk, revealing roots that hang mindlessly in the air.

This stress isn’t helping your back. “Why do you have it—er... him?” Daisy frowns. “Well... we just... it feels wrong just leaving someone behind.” She smirks and looks at you, but her expression cracks a bit as you hold eye contact.

“The food’s ready!” You never thought the Green Thunder’s voice could bring relief. Luigi offers you a seat, but you decline; you’d probably crush the chair anyway. He gives each of you (including the Toad) a bowl of spaghetti, and you begin eating.

Eating is awkward. These small utensils don’t fit your hands, and you ultimately hold the bowl up to your snout and shyly slurp down the food. Typically you’d think more about the meal itself, but you’re in too much pain to give the Green Thunder a review.

>> Talk to Daisy
>> Talk to Luigi
>> Write-in

(Sorry for no proper pic; I‘be been working on a painting for this next step but it’s been holding me back from writing.)
>>
>>5340594
>>> Talk to Daisy
>>
>>5340594
> Talk to Daisy
What exactly is, uh, the objective here?
>>
>>5340594
>>> Talk to Luigi
>>
>>5340594
Talk to looie
>>
>>5340594
>>> Talk to Daisy
>>
>>5340731
Daisy, Luigi & company are trying to reach Dinosaur Land; they’re enemies of the Mushroom Kingdom, y’see, and Bowser isn’t going to accept them with open arms.
>>
>>5341105
I meant that question to be in-character. What do THEY hope to accomplish, ultimately? Are they going to return, free Mario? Are they willing to help us save Bowser, if he can be saved, or at least our Koopa brethren?
>>
You’re conflicted on who to talk to... ultimately, you speak to nobody in particular.

“I know I’ve been asking a lot of questions, but what’s your ultimate goal?”

Daisy plays with her utensil and frowns. “We’re gonna try toughing it out with the Yoshis for a while. They’re not gonna like it, but... we’re out of options.”

Before long, you finish your meal and the Daisy Cruiser descends. The ship is planted covertly within a cavalcade of lush foliage. Luigi & Daisy are going over their plan to reach the novel Dinosaur Kingdom, a monarchy ruled by a certain Yoshi & Birdo.

>> Offer to go with Luigi & Daisy. The notion of meeting a Yoshi frightens you, but you lack a shell to entice them. Maybe Bowser’s propaganda was wrong?
>> Stay aboard. No need to go risking your life; plus, you can try earning your share through cleaning up the kitchen and offering to cook lunch.
>>
>>5344477
> Stay aboard. No need to go risking your life; plus, you can try earning your share through cleaning up the kitchen and offering to cook lunch.
>>
>>5344477
>Stay aboard. No need to go risking your life; plus, you can try earning your share through cleaning up the kitchen and offering to cook lunch.
We would just get in the way of high-stakes diplomacy. Best stick to the kitchen, that's familiar territory.
>>
>>5344477
>> Stay aboard. No need to go risking your life; plus, you can try earning your share through cleaning up the kitchen and offering to cook lunch.
No need to step on any diplomatic toes here unless we're expressly needed. Maybe we can make food for the diplomatic envoys?
>>
>>5344477
>> Stay aboard. No need to go risking your life; plus, you can try earning your share through cleaning up the kitchen and offering to cook lunch.
We'd just be underfoot.
>>
>>5344477
>> Stay aboard. No need to go risking your life; plus, you can try earning your share through cleaning up the kitchen and offering to cook lunch.
>>
>>5344477
>Stay aboard.
We're a cook, not a diplomat. At the least, they might appreciate a good meal when they get back (and if we encounter a hostile dino... maybe a distraction will save our tail again).
>>
>>5345189
Between Big M, the fungus forces, and bloodthirsty dinosaurs, its tough being a Koopa in this world.
>>
>> Stay aboard. No need to go risking your life; plus, you can try earning your share through cleaning up the kitchen and offering to cook lunch.
We would be a distraction at best in a diplomatic situation. And a target at worst. Yoshi are pretty indiscriminate about eating things that don't seem to be humans.
Also I have been reading this at work all day and I finally got home so I can post. Great work Barely Mario QM. I plan to stick around for this ride.
>>
>Page 8
Damn, may need to archive in the middle of dinosaur island.
>>
Dead quest...
>>
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>>5349368
No no, drawing and writing just takes time...*sniff*
>>
>>5349842

Protip from drawquester:
If in a rush, use other peoples' fanart :-)
>>
Hello
>>
Thanks for running.
>>
>>5355204
Seconded, it was nice participating, and the take on the setting was really cool!



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