[a / b / c / d / e / f / g / gif / h / hr / k / m / o / p / r / s / t / u / v / vg / vm / vmg / vr / vrpg / vst / w / wg] [i / ic] [r9k / s4s / vip / qa] [cm / hm / lgbt / y] [3 / aco / adv / an / bant / biz / cgl / ck / co / diy / fa / fit / gd / hc / his / int / jp / lit / mlp / mu / n / news / out / po / pol / pw / qst / sci / soc / sp / tg / toy / trv / tv / vp / vt / wsg / wsr / x / xs] [Settings] [Search] [Mobile] [Home]
Board
Settings Mobile Home
/qst/ - Quests


Thread archived.
You cannot reply anymore.




File: calliope2.png (5 MB, 3024x4032)
5 MB
5 MB PNG
Piora: a world of technology and magic.
This world has a mountain of setting detail that would be a pain to compile, but questions are welcome (i have run dnd games in this world for years now).
The gist is, there exists certain advanced technology, like FTL travel and body enhancements, but with certain retrofuturist elements (computers are pretty slow and clunky, and guns/lasers are almost nonexistent.) Certain planets are completely isolated from the greater galaxy, and the people live pre-industrial lives. Planets orbiting the same star are called "Clusters". Magic exists, but is quite rare since technology has come to dominate most elements of life. There are several factions, including the Legion, who hoard magic for their own ends, and the Rats, who are sort of a mechanics' union.

You are Calliope Shortsong: part of a species called 'Unhumans', who are largely thought to have deviated from humans due to magical influence. You have red skin and large horns like trees growing out of your head. You have just left behind your second in command, and only friend, Warren. You are heading to his home, an isolationist floating island called Anima, in search for the final secret that will allow him to awaken his magical potential. You both (tentatively) serve a god you do not yet know the name of, who is the source of Warren's magic power. You are, as far as you know, the only person in this hot and sweaty galaxy who has a gun. It's only an advantage if it's used with the element of surprise; any magic user worth their salt could deflect bullets, easy. You have just arrived on the planet Exka, where Anima resides. What do you do?

>Go to the library to research
>See if you have any underworld contacts who might help
>Meditate in your room to see if your god will offer advice
>>
>>5320193
>See if you have any underworld contacts who might help

Cool lore.
>>
>>5320196
You have a few contacts who might help, but your best bet is calling Molly, a member of the rats, and the person you paid to fix your crappy ship before you met Warren.

etherealDeer: hey i'm hoping you're not in transit right now cos i have some questions
undueShoulders: i'm on station right now, what's up?
etherealDeer: dope. do you have any information on exka, or anima? i know anima is completely closed off but i'm looking for a way to get in, legally or illegally
undueShoulders: last i heard they still allow academics in, for research purposes, but you can't take anything in or out. so no stealing or even smuggling out legally acquired materials. why do you even need to be there anyway?
etherealDeer: i'm looking for information. hopefully i don't need a whole book on the subject but i fear that's the case
undueShoulders: well, first step would be forging academic credentials. say you're from some no name university on tritus, since last i heard, they have a good diplomatic relationship, and any small research institute wouldn't be able to send word ahead about your arrival
etherealDeer: sounds good. anyone you could point to that'd help with the forgery?
undueShoulders: nope, it's not a rat specialty, and i don't personally know of anyone on exka
etherealDeer: worth a shot. also warren is riding with another crew for a while, since this mission is a bit too dangerous for them.
undueShoulders: good call, but i hope you left them in good hands. my favorite assistant can't die just yet!
etherealDeer: they'll be fine. thanks for the info molly
undueShoulders: no problem. don't die.


That was at least a little helpful. But you have no leads on where to find someone who could do a forgery like this. What do you do?


>See if your One (1) remaining Legion contact could put you in contact with a local chapter
>Study forgery to create your own diploma
>Wander the city streets to see if you can luck upon some people with connections to less savory practitioners
>>
>>5320207
>>See if your One (1) remaining Legion contact could put you in contact with a local chapter
>>
>>5320207
>See if your One (1) remaining Legion contact could put you in contact with a local chapter
>>
>>5320210
>>5320216

You message the only person who will still talk to you from the Legion.

etherealDeer: hey i need some help
etherealDeer: could you put me in contact with a local legion chapter
etherealDeer: preferably one who has beef with the mason/whitby alliance
terminalCaster: LOL
etherealDeer: not funny, jj
terminalCaster: it kinda is tho
terminalCaster: imagine pissing off the largest subfaction of the legion and crawling to me for help
etherealDeer: we have established previous that it was not my fault
terminalCaster: sure sure
terminalCaster: i can prolly hook you up, just a mo
etherealDeer: course.
terminalCaster: mm yeah there's some folks i can send you to
terminalCaster: i'm assuming you're in the capital, right?
terminalCaster: the carnavas chapter will open their doors to you
etherealDeer: do you know if they have anybody who knows a lot about forgery?
terminalCaster: nah sorry
terminalCaster: but since you're technically not a member, you'll have to pay a little
terminalCaster: if they do have someone who can do the job, ofc
etherealDeer: wonderful. i owe you one, jay
terminalCaster: i will make sure to call in your favour in my hour of darkest need, my liege
etherealDeer: shut up.

Now you have a destination. You lock the ship and stub out your cigarette on the stone tiles. The Carnavas chapter is closer to the center of town, but it's not far of a walk. The paved paths and towering buildings remind you a bit of home, but this city is mostly stone and brass compared to the bleached white marble you grew up in. The dress is different, too. More practical clothes, and more variation, which is something you're still getting used to. Sure, you broke the dress code all the time back home, but it was in minor ways like going barefaced above ground, or pulling your sun hood down when you didn't need it. You still had to wear the stark plain robes, but breaking that was unheard of. Dark fabrics were just nonexistent, since they would absorb the sun and cook you alive. When you first discovered your favorite coat in a thrift shop on Arosa, you fell in love in a heartbeat.
>>
>>5320222
Before long, you stand in front of an unassuming door tucked into a side alley. Two knocks, and the slat opens up, two eyes peering at you from inside. "State your purpose."

"I'm Calliope, I'm here on the recommendation of JJ Atropos-"

They cut you off. "We know who you are. What services do you require?"

"Forgery. I need a fake diploma from a university on Tritus."

"What for?"

"To get into Anima."

The eyes narrow, and the door creaks open to reveal a ragged looking elf, in plainclothes. "I'll get you Hartley, wait here."

Peering around the main room, it reminds you a good bit of your old chapter on Samya. A dark room, hazy with smoke and lit by an artificial light in the center of the table. The chairs aren't comfortable, but you shouldn't have to be here long.

Hartley is apparently a short unhuman. On first glance, she's a dwarf, but the tail means she's probably a miscellaneous type, who doesn't fit into any pre existing category. She wears a tank top and thick gloves, with small glasses, the kind you'd see on a jewler, or someone else who needs to see very small things in very fine detail. She hops into the seat opposite and clears her throat. "I heard you need a diploma. Those are pretty hard, so my pay will be a bit more than usual. It'll probably come out to about 10 Rai."

Not a bad price. Rai is this world's primary currency, along with the fuel used for FTL travel. It takes the form of small black spheres, roughly the diameter of a dime. You have about a half tank at the moment, and 50 Rai in your pack. You expected in the range of 15, so 10 is a good deal. Do you pay her?

>Yes
>No
>Haggle like an asshole
>>
>>5320224
>>Yes
>>
>>5320224
>>Yes
>>
>>5320253
>>5320269

"Yeah," you say. "Sounds good."

She nods, and whips out a notebook and pen. "Any specific requests?"

"Any university that's small. Smallest one where you can find an actual diploma to copy from."

"Makes sense. I'll do the requisite research, and it'll be done by end of tomorrow at the latest. I need half the payment now, and the other half upon completion. Can I get your contact info?"

You rummage through your pack and grab 5 Rai for her, and exchange usernames.

You head back to your ship in a daze, with about 24 hours and change to kill. Life without Warren is... boring. Chainsmoking on top of the ship just isn't as appealing without someone to talk to. What do you do?

>Sleep for the rest of the day
>Chainsmoke on the ship anyway
>Watch pirate shows in your room

<!-- i'm going to bed for now. not sure how much I'll do tomorrow since I have a dnd session to dm, but i'll try to do one or two commands at least. hope you all enjoyed and comment/critique is welcome-->
>>
>>5320284
shit, forgot to add this, but the 4th option is just a blank, you can suggest anything you want for this one
>>
>>5320284
>Call Warren?
>>
>>5320324
Support but if not possible then
>Sleep for the rest of the day
>>
>>5320324
+1
>>
>>5320193
based paper and pen drawing
>>5320324
sounds cute, plus I want to know more about why the two are separated now
>>
File: callie.png (8 KB, 346x309)
8 KB
8 KB PNG
>>5320708
>based pen and paper drawing
thanks lol, it's actually by one of my dnd players, since i can't really draw myself. tho here's my edit of a meme (i forget the source but the original isn't by me)
i'm gonna start writing now tho :>
>>
>>5320324
>>5320385
>>5320689
>>5320708
>Call Warren [4]

You decide to message Warren, just to check in, make sure they didn't get caught in the engines or anything.

etherealDeer: hey warren, are you doing ok?
etherealDeer: how's terra treating you?

ecelcticEngineer: holy shit
ecelcticEngineer: hey
ecelcticEngineer: Terra has been very nice and i've been going with them around, oh and we also went to this tea shop and i have some things i'd think you'd like :P
ecelcticEngineer: i've been doing good - working on the engine has been a fun challenge and theres plenty of duct tape if i need it- so overall, pretty alright but it's quiet without you
ecelcticEngineer: how have things been on Anima?

etherealDeer: well, i'm stuck on exka for the time being
etherealDeer: still trying to get my hands on some... less than legal documents so they'll let me in
etherealDeer: the person who i paid says it'll take a day or so
etherealDeer: and i guess i had some free time
etherealDeer: you lived here for like, six months, right?
etherealDeer: any cool places i should visit?

ecelcticEngineer: nothing wrong with less than legal! just be careful
ecelcticEngineer: and yeah- i really only hung out around all the mechanics shops but there's this dive bar around the area- only mechanics and other such people came around
ecelcticEngineer: it was... the tin can? or something like that - the sign never has all of its lights lit up so its a bit hard to read but it has comfy chairs and some pretty alright people and cheap drinks that taste good
ecelcticEngineer: if they ask who you are, just say you're warrens friend, i got pretty chummy with some of the bar folk even though i couldn't hold my beer for shit also- if they ask where i am, just say you havent seen me since i left
ecelcticEngineer: theres also some decent ship shows if you're into that kind of thing
ecelcticEngineer: older pristine ships and modded ships that look cool and run like shit
ecelcticEngineer: just dont start any fights and you'll be fine wherever you go in the mechanics district
etherealDeer: sounds cool
etherealDeer: definitely stopping at the bar sometime tonight
etherealDeer: not sure about the shows, but if this whole business takes longer than projected, i may dabble
etherealDeer: ...
etherealDeer: i'd like to be prepared when i get to anima, and i don't know when i'll be able to reach you next, so
etherealDeer: any general tips i should know?
etherealDeer: places i should look for the information we need?
etherealDeer: they obviously don't let outsiders look at the books that contain all their magical secrets

ecelcticEngineer: the people there are real sticklers for proper tradition and being proper and shit
ecelcticEngineer: just keep your head low and be respectful and polite to people and try not to stand out to much- swearing is a bit taboo so keep it to a minimum
(cont.)
>>
>>5320817
ecelcticEngineer: they'll give you these robes to wear and they signify that you're an outsider so if you want to get anywhere that's general access to citizens, you'll have to somehow get the regular robes to not stand out like a sore thumb in areas a visitor shouldn't be
ecelcticEngineer: dual robes are fine, but ideally, you get the golden robes of a caster, since they have the most access around the island
ecelcticEngineer: there's the library for info but if you want the real secret stuff you'll have to go to the torrent which is under the library through some elaborate maze of hallways (or the sewers) and they have all sorts of banned books and shit - only been there once but it's a literal mountain of books and scrolls
ecelcticEngineer: carrying a book out is hard to sneak by so if you can somehow digitally get it down- that would be easier to get by probably
ecelcticEngineer: properly identify yourself when asked (in visitor robes) and speak when spoken to- they arent the friendliest to outsiders obviously

etherealDeer: thanks
etherealDeer: i was feeling a little directionless, so at least i have a place to start looking
etherealDeer: stealing the robes will definitely be fun...
etherealDeer: but
etherealDeer: it sounds like a fucking nightmare desu
etherealDeer: how did you grow up in this place and not just.
etherealDeer: lose it
etherealDeer: or whatever
>>
>>5320832
ecelcticEngineer: it,,,does stay with you really
ecelcticEngineer: it's a hell hole based in class and proper relationships on tradition
ecelcticEngineer: everything has to be perfect and im...
ecelcticEngineer: clearly not that.
ecelcticEngineer: don't worry about me - i'm not stuck there anymore and hanging with the mechanics on exka helped me integrate into actual society
ecelcticEngineer: i only ever cared about two people in that damn place and-
ecelcticEngineer: i just want you to be okay
ecelcticEngineer: ...
ecelcticEngineer: and if you get stuck there i'll come and kick your butt!

etherealDeer: butt kicking is welcome
etherealDeer: if i'm stupid enough to get trapped, then you're welcome to come and retrieve my dumb ass
etherealDeer: but
etherealDeer: i know what it's like to live on a hell hole where some phony idea of "tradition" dictates every aspect of your life.
etherealDeer: idk how much i told you of my point prime, but there's a reason i left there.
etherealDeer: alone.

ecelcticEngineer: and... i know this is probably definitely going to be hard on you but you're not there forever and even if we can't talk, i think of you always
ecelcticEngineer: no way in hell am i reconnecting with anima folk but you better count on it that i'd retrieve you
ecelcticEngineer: we may have left our home places alone but we're a team (a really cool team) and i'm going to do anything to make sure you're okay

etherealDeer: a little much, but i get the picture
etherealDeer: have fun with terra's crew, and stay safe
etherealDeer: i'll try to do the same.

ecelcticEngineer: wilco
ecelcticEngineer: have fun with the folks at the tin can
ecelcticEngineer: and send word if you're able once you get to anima


That was... emotional. But you're done with that. There's still a couple hours left in the day, and still a few things you could fill those hours with.

>Try to find The Tin Can
>Look for the ship shows Warren mentioned
>Smoke on the roof
>Other
>>
>>5320836
>Try to find The Tin Can
>>
>>5320881
>Try to find The Tin Can [1]

After researching online, it's called the Rusty Can, but whatever. You set out again, smoking a cigarette along the way. The sun has mostly set by now, and the wonderful night air has cooled down significantly. The sky twinkles with nearby clusters, and you wonder how far away your home is, right now. You wonder what happened to the people you left behind.

The mechanic's district is a bit far, but you relish the opportunity to stretch your legs. You never enjoyed organised sports, but you've always been a great runner. Your mind casts back to your antics back home. Picking pockets in the town square, dashing away, and using your cloak to disguise yourself as an inanimate object. You and the friend you left behind, racing to get to the underground market before it closed for the day. Exploring the tunnels, running from a collapsing ceiling or floor. You don't get to walk around much, nowadays.

You eventually find the Rusty Can, and it's like someone plucked a bar straight from Samya. The low ceiling, the stark neon lights, the air of poverty. The only thing that's different is the photos of ships, and engine parts hung on the walls. Right at home.

>Talk to the bartender
>Scan the room for interesting patrons
>Order a drink
>>
>>5321322
>Talk to the bartender
>>
>>5321329
>Talk to the bartender [1]

You stroll over to the bar, and take a seat, waving the bartender over.

He finishes pouring a drink for one of the other patrons, and walks over. "You're new. Anything I can help you with?"

"Yeah, I came here on the recommendation of a friend. What drinks do you have?"

He nods. "I know everyone who comes through here. Does this friend have a name?"

"Warren Loveday. Said he came here often."

"Ah yes, a good lad. Couldn't hold his alcohol, but he was a regular for a few months. What's been up with him?"

"He's off planet, unfortunately. That's all I know."

His eyes narrow a bit, obviously sensing you weren't truthful, but he lets sleeping secrets lie. "We have a fine selection here. Aquelarre is a wonderful pale ale with a citrus-y taste. Josefa Musica is a great crisp pilsner, while Fuentodos is more on the darker side. Gracia is probably my favourite, and i'd recommend it if you like stouts." Another patron waves him over and he smiles at you as he heads over. "Let me know if there's anything you'd like."

Good selection, probably. You don't recognise any of the names, though. Do you buy one?

>Buy a beer
>Ask the bartender for info on Anima
>Other
>>
>>5321365
>Buy Aquelarre
let's taste it
>>
>>5321373
>Buy Aquelarre

You motion to the bartender, and he walks over. "Decided yet?" He pours it and adds it to your tab.

The beer isn't bad, light and crisp, very dry. A bit of sweetness in the aftertaste. You pull out a small notebook from an inside pocket of your jacket that you had Warren custom make for you. Your memory is poor, so you keep track of tons of places and people you might return to. You'll travel far for a decent meal when you can afford it, so your notebook comes in handy.

Your tab is: 1R
You currently have: 40R


>Ask the bartender about Anima
>Talk to the patron next to you
>Peer in the notebook
>Other
>>
>>5321411
>>Talk to the patron next to you
>>
>>5321411
>Talk to the patron next to you
>>
>>5321561
>>5321603
>Talk to the patron next to you [2]

A human sits two seats to your left. They have thick brown hair down to the shoulders, and are dressed in a button up shirt and thick work pants, with a pair of gloves pinned to their belt.

"Hey," you say. "It's nice to meet you. I'm Calliope." You proffer your hand, fully aware of your accent.

They grab your hand and give it a firm shake, which is not at all how it's done back home. Exka customs are weird. Sure, you've been here before, but if you've only been in the spaceport, have you really visited the planet? "I'm Niea, it's nice to meet you as well." You can tell they speak with a bit of an accent as well. It's a bit hard to discern, but you guess they're from somewhere near the San Isidro cluster.

What do you say?

>Ask about Anima
>Ask about their drink
>Ask about something else
>>
>>5321646
>>Ask about Anima
>>
>>5321646
>Ask about Anima
>>
>>5321646
>Ask about Anima
>>
>>5321646
>Ask about Anima
>>
>>5321646
>>Ask about their drink
>>
>>5321711
>>5321761
>>5322126
>>5322142
>>5323155
>Ask about Anima [4]
>Ask about their drink [1]


"I'm kinda new around here. What's the deal with the floating island?"

They nod seriously. "That's Anima. Politics with them is... complicated. They're not fully autonomous - so we send them food, supplies, things they can't manufacture. In return, we get help from them in magic related issues. Regions of this planet have an old superstition about magic use. People don't really believe anymore, but there's still a severe lack of casters here because. Anima trades with other places, too, since they own their own airspace. Our two governments have a treaty since before the breaking, but their relationship is getting strained."

"Why is that?" You can tell because of their word choice that they're from the third planet of San Isidro, called Navidson. You once worked with a good woman from there.

"Well, Exka has been recruiting casters from other planets, paying a large amount. We don't have to rely as much on Anima."

Interesting.

>Ask about their drink
>Ask about the breaking
>Other
>Exit conversation

<!--Sorry about the delay, been busy with irl matters-->
>>
>>5324142
>>Ask about their drink
>>
>>5324142
>but there's still a severe lack of casters here because.
something missing here ?

>Ask about their drink
no problem OP, as long as you come back
>>
>>5324161
>>5324165
<!--That's what I meant by word choice, because this character isn't a native speaker of this language (Universal, or Uni). We would say
>because of it
-->

>Ask about their drink [2]

You gesture with your mug. "So what are you drinking?"

They're holding a small glass with ice and some golden brown liquid, which they swirl around for you to see. "It's called Achard. A fine bourbon, wonderfully aged. Would you care for a sip?"

>Accept
>Refuse
>Other
>>
>>5324171
>Accept
>>
>>5324171
>>Accept
>>
>>5324179
>>5324181
>Accept [2]

"Sure," you say, and they push the glass toward you. You pick it up, and the smell is quite strong; vanilla, with bits of clove. The taste is nice and sweet and dips you down low like a lover. As you push the glass back, the rich and creamy after notes linger. You have another alcohol to get your hands on at some point. Someday, your sweet tooth will kill you.

"So?" They ask, playing at hints of a smile.

"Phenomenal. Sublime. Wonderous. And in every sense of the word, full of awe. Turned me into a thesaurus, somehow."

They laugh. "A good bourbon will do that to you, eh? Glad you enjoyed it."

>Ask about the breaking
>Other
>Leave conversation
>>
>>5324190
>Ask about the breaking
>>
>>5324198
>Ask about the breaking

"So, you mentioned something about the breaking. What is that?"

They frown a bit, studying you. "It's... the year 1742, right?"

"Yeah. And?"

"The breaking was year zero. Whatever happened that started the actual calendar. Tons of places, institutions, predate year zero. So there must have been things that happened before then, no? Well, we know nothing. I could be predicting the future for all the things I could tell. Baseless speculation."

>Ask something else
>Exit conversation
>>
>>5324211
>Exit conversation
thank the guy for sparing his time
>>
>>5324211
>>Exit conversation
>>
OP
>>
>>5324219
>>5324310
>Exit conversation [2]

You say, "Hey man, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, you were a big help."

They wave away your thanks. "Thanks for listening to me ramble, I enjoy talking to people. And you said you're a friend of Warren? That kid did me a favour. Consider it repaid."

You don't know what to say, so you say nothing; giving a small nod and finishing your mug.

>Peer into your notebook
>Buy another drink
>Other
>>
I'm giving you all a character sheet for Calliope. It's mostly for skill checks, since I don't find combat particularly interesting. But from now on, I'll be including certain dialogue/interaction options that require certain skills. I'll do my best to keep track of money and items in your inventory, along with out of damage combat if I ever do that. There's also some basic bonds/flaws/etc that dnd beyond lets you pick. You can also use the items in her pack for things if you find a use for em (same with the spells).

It's here: https://ddb.ac/characters/64778620/VFILPo
>>
>>5324923
>Peer into your notebook
>>
>>5325119
>Peer into your notebook

You slip the notebook out of your inside pocket, flicking through some of the pages.

First is a page from Samya. You lived there for a few months, doing Legion business. Nasty old place, but the people were fascinating. Your favorite coffee shop, Beldroth's Beans, is listed at the top, circled, along with the address. Another is the Neon Demon, a wonderful place with decent alcohol, and great live music - and a bartender you were sweet on.

Then, your Clavis page catches your eye. Another place where you wouldn't visit again soon, at least not the deserts. The poles, you heard, are colder and more hospitable. There's some minor locations listed, but the only one that matters isn't written down: Sola's home. It's secret, tucked into the desert in the millions of years old chambers of a volcano. Some bits were renovated to be a bit more livable, but much of the caverns and tunnels remained untouched. Cool place, home to someone you'd trust with your life.

Another page, one from when you were doing constant deliveries for the Legion. The places are all scattered:
-A wonderful cat cafe on Tritus
-An impeccable noodle cart on Arosa
-A mysterious lodge/kitchen(?) on Ouhgi
-Another Tritus restaurant, in a converted spacecraft called the Peacerunner
-And a fantastic yogurt place on Citranova

Finally, you come to the opening pages of your notebook, all chronicling recipes and restaurants from your home planet. Your point prime was a... fun place. But the food was good, if nothing else. It's hard to look at anything on these pages. Most were places that you and Twig frequented. Or places you and Twig discovered, with a hilarious story about how you did so. But he betrayed you, so fuck him, right? He pussied out the night before you left, and you took the Northumbria and ran. And you never looked back.

>Buy another drink
>buy another drink
>buy another Drink
>Other (Con save)
>>
>>5325154
>>buy another drink
>>
>>5325154
>buy another Drink
>>
>>5325179
>>5325192
>buy another drink
What will you order?
>>
>>5325193
Gracia
>>
>>5325199
>Gracia
You wave the bartender over and order a mug of Gracia. It's nice and dark, which of course means it's going to be sweet. Wonderfully tasting, it's a lot like coffee, and a bit more bitter and hoppy than expected. However, just like coffee, the two opposing tastes create a wonderful paradox in your mind, as you sip happily. Maybe this was a good choice. Warren was such a dear in recommending this place. You really hope he's safe...

Your tab is: 2R
You have: 40R


>Finish drink
>Other
>Leave
>>
>>5325214
>Finish drink
Then
>Leave
>>
>>5325236
>+1
this, we had our fun here
>>
>>5325236
>>5325242
>Finish drink [2]
>Leave [2]

You chug the rest of your Gracia and pay the bartender. Normally, you'd be tempted to slip out unnoticed, but these people have been nice to you. You wave the bar behind and stroll into the nominally cooler outside, though it still has that warm summer-at-night feeling your home never had - it was a desert, so either burning hot or dreadfully cold. The alcohol keeps you warm, along with your favorite coat, and you stumble (a smidge intoxicated) back to your safe haven.

The ship is as perfectly climate controlled and comfortable as ever. It's quite small on the inside, about 350 square feet total, though the manufacturer certainly didn't skimp out on features. There's three main rooms - the bedroom, the kitchen, and the combination shower/toilet/laundry machine. Oh, and the cockpit, but it's more of a closet at the front of the ship. The bedroom (and the whole ship, really) was only built for one, but you made it work. You slipped off shoes, coat, and replaced your thick work pants with shorts. And you laid down in bed. What to do?

>Sleep
>Watch pirate shows
>Inspect room
>Other
>>
>>5325255
>>Inspect room
>>
>>5325255
>Inspect room
>>
File: The Northumbria.png (9 KB, 800x600)
9 KB
9 KB PNG
>>5325257
>>5325257
>Inspect room [2]

Your room's pretty small, but it's unimaginably cozy - the exact opposite of your rooms back home. Rooms, plural. Yeesh. In 100 sq. feet, you lived the last year and eight months. About a third of the room is the bed and nightstand, with posters and photos lining the walls above. There's a monitor with the stand removed hanging above the door, and a small desk and computer terminal next to the closet.

<!--I realise that I am bad at describing things in relation to each other, so i've included a rough map.-->

>Inspect nightstand
>Inspect posters
>Inspect photos
>Inspect terminal
>Inspect closet
>Other
>>
>>5325281
>>Inspect photos
>>
>>5325281
>Inspect nightstand
gotta sleep now, see you guys soon
>>
>>5325287
>>5325288
>Inspect photos
>Inspect nightstand
<!--Good night, anon!-->

The photos are old fashioned, just like you like it. You understand on some level that digital photos exist, but to you, they're just as abstract as, say, digital food. Plus, the physicality of the photos is nice. You can hold them, sort them, hang them, stack them, do anything. They're mostly photos of you and warren; a few timed ones of you both, and places you've been. You mostly take landscapes, and they usually take more abstract, close up photos. They're all spread out, so from even a small group, you get a couple different trips, by you both, with a wide variety of dark and light compositions. You like to keep them carefully curated but shuffled, instead of chronological order like Warren suggested. They are a microcosm, a synecdoche, of your past two years.

The nightstand is host to... not much actually. There's a few cups and drinks, along with easy things you need to access like meds, cigarettes, notebooks, etc. There's some clothes in the drawers, and in the last drawer, beneath the clothes, in the far corner, a stack of photos of you and Twig.

>Inspect posters
>Inspect terminal
>Inspect closet
>Other
>>
>>5325296
>>Inspect posters
>>
>>5325298
>Inspect posters

The posters are mostly yours, and the only reason you even had them was because your parents seriously respected the private bedroom rule. It was forbidden to have the posters, sure, but it was also forbidden to see inside someone else's room, unless you were the emperor. There's three posters for Infinite Ocean, your favourite show to exist. The whole premise is a group of pirates slip into a dimension where, forever and ever, an infinite ocean full of islands exists, and the further they sail, the weirder and more supernatural things get. The story by season four was convoluted at best, and insane by season ten. In total, the show had sixty-four seasons. Of course, it had its ups and downs, but the ending actually sold you. Of course, there are trash seasons, like 17, and especially 41, but it's still quite good overall. It's pretty old too, finishing somewhere in the 1590s, but people are still divided on whether it's a masterpiece or lowest common denominator trash.

There are a few more, one for a science fiction book series, one for an audio drama, and one from an independent comic you loved. And of course, some music data chips on display. It's nice being surrounded by what you love. Without all your physical merchandise purchased in the underground market, you don't know you would have made it as long as you did.

>Inspect terminal
>Inspect closet
>Other
>>
>>5325306
>>Inspect terminal
>>
>>5325306
>Inspect terminal
What's your timezone, OP ?
>>
>>5325306
>>Inspect terminal
>>
>>5325309
>>5325625
>>5325774
>Inspect terminal [3]
<!--I'm in GMT-7, however I do my best work past dark, ideally past midnight (I've always been a night owl ;-.-). Not sure how much I can write today, though, since I'm hanging out with a friend-->

It's an old computer that came built into the ship when you got it. It's still functional, but you only use it when you need the convenience of a full keyboard, or to store files. You could, of course, buy a new one, or at least some new parts, but it's not really necessary to your work, and kind of a waste of money.

>Inspect closet
>Other
>>
>>5325848
>Inspect closet
>>
>>5325848
>>Inspect closet
>>
>>5326006
>>5326550
>Inspect closet

You slide open the closet door and flick on the lights. It's a small, triangular room lined with clothes and books. The clothes are about 50% disguises and 50% casual wear (mostly coats, tank tops, shorts, and pants). The books are around 2/3 research and reference materials, and the remaining third is books you read for entertainment. Not much else here, though, besides some camping and survival gear tucked into a back corner.

It's around 20:00 right now. You often stay awake late into the night because your profession requires it, but you could sleep now if you really wanted. Though, you'd probably wake at 6:00 tomorrow, which gives you a couple hours to kill before picking up your documents.

>Sleep
>Explore the ship some more
>Other
>>
>>5327371
>Sleep
>>
>>5327389
>Sleep

You decide to just get it over with, and get your rest now. You lay your head on the pillow, and within just a minute, you sleep; and you dream.

You are back home, stuck in your room. Noises resound from outside, probably your parents. Your window is open, letting in the frigid air, and you're paralysed in your bed, the sensations just washing over you, until you calcify; a statue between your sheets.

You are in a tower on Hera. The home of the senator. He casts spells at you, trying to kill you. Twig manages to stun him for a few seconds, and you both dash upstairs, to the observatory. You yank your axe out of the plastic casing it was stuck in, and swing again, cleaving a corner off. You snatch a long blue staff from the pedestal, and the senator rushes in, casting lightning at you both. He misses, and the glass walls and ceiling fall in a brilliant cascade. You tackle Twig off the top, and you both fall and fall. You try to use the staff to fly, or even float a little, but nothing. Dozens of stories you tumble, holding one another, then hundreds, far more than you remember climbing. The paved stones have given way to bleached desert sands, down and down for an eternity.

You are making a delivery for the legion, when the view outside your window shifts from the bright, shimmering hues of lightspeed, to the white on black pinpricks of stars. You dash to your bedroom, and are seized by unknown means. Your chest is gripped and held in place, and mysterious words are burned into your mind, the words that would lead you to Warren. And a gun beneath your pillow.

And finally, it's the day you met Twig. Watching the alleys and streets from above, you catch sight of a young child with fluffy ears and a tail being chased by some older kids. You watch as he unknowingly takes a dead end, and you decide to save him. You glide down with the cloak your mother bequeathed upon you, and transform into a dresser, which you deemed ordinary enough. Once Twig passes, you shift into a realistic puppet of a dragon, and do something you never have before: make noise through the power of the cloak. The bullies are scared off, but when you turn around, he's missing. A dead end, and he vanished through completely unknown means. This is followed by a performance, at the underground bar you frequented. Twig's violin can be heard, but he's nowhere, as you sing along to a ballad, and dance with nobody; a spotlight trailing where he would be. The patrons give a standing ovation.

You wake in the morning, with a little memory of what you dreamt that night. You make for the kitchen for some coffee, and sit on the table as the machine commences its rumbling.

>Inspect kitchen
>Go to laundry room
>Go to cockpit
>Other
>>
>>5327580
>Inspect kitchen
>>
>>5327598
>Inspect kitchen

The kitchen's a bit barebones, but it's all you need, really. An oven, a fridge and freezer, pantries, a microwave, and a small central table you pulled out of the dumpster on Samya. And on both outer walls, there are windows showing the buildings surrounding you. It's quite cozy.

Your coffee finishes bubblings, and you pour a cup, adding sugar, milk, and ice, and giving the bottle a good shake. Ready to take on the day.

>Go to laundry room
>Go to cockpit
>Other
>>
>>5327603
>Go to laundry room
>>
>>5327603
>Go to laundry room
>>
>>5327603
>>Go to laundry room
>>
>>5327606
>>5327646
>>5327664
>Go to laundry room

You open the door to the combination laundry room/shower/toilet. It's pretty cramped, but still liveable. The toilet and shower are tucked in the far corner behind a screen, and the laundry machine on the corner on your left. Between them is an external dehumidifier, hooked up to the water recycler and the ship's overall life support systems. It's only blown out once, before you met Warren, and it was torture whenever you were traveling at sublight speeds; since that resulted in the entire ship being gross and humid any time you took a shower, until you landed on a new place with a breathable atmosphere. You sometimes sit on the laundry machine when you don't wanna waste electricity on heating. And the motion is comfortable.

>Go to cockpit
>Other
>>
>>5327700
>Go to cockpit
>>
>>5327700
>>Go to cockpit
>>
>>5327708
>>5327710
>Go to cockpit

The cockpit, is, as mentioned, basically just a closet. The nose is mostly clear, but you don't need the sight to navigate. In the center, there's the most comfortable chair you could find; since lightspeed requires you sit there for hours, desperately trying not to come in contact with any substantial debris. Small particles will only really scratch the hull at worst, but anything bigger than a pill might dent the ship, or just vent you into space through a quarter inch. Such small bits of matter are of course, difficult to see, so you mostly fly by monitoring the readouts from the computer systems. Lay in a small container next to the chair, is a refrigerated compartment for liquids, and food, if you needed any. Sitting in one place for 12 hours is definitely a bitch, but against your better nature, you enjoy the exertion. It's just you, the controls, the ship, and the little tiny rocks that threaten your life, with no extraneous complications, or room for other thoughts. Sometimes Warren kept you company, but you worked best listening to music, or audio dramas, since there was no visual component to distract. It's tempting to go for a little spin right now, but you decide to hold off until you're a little more awake.

You plop back down onto the kitchen table, and sip at your coffee. A couple hours to kill, yet nothing comes to mind immediately. What do you do?
>>
>>5328587
Let's watch something, then. What do we have ?
>>
>>5328587
Look at our wardrobe. What clothes do we have
>>
>>5328599
>Watch something

You boot up the old terminal. It makes sort of a click noise, then a whirring, with more audible noises. It's still so alien to you, that technology would be designed to produce noise when it was entirely unnecessary. But the computer and monitor both hum, which is conversely... calming. It is an artificial substitute for the background noise of living on a planet, or anywhere with dense population. Even Samya, home to at most 10 thousand people, still never really slipped into the velvet nothing of space. Sure the engine roared when you were in flight, but the ship itself is soundproofed. And no way in hell are you ever sleeping outside your ship, in case it got stolen. Plus it's expensive.

After logging into the terminal, you navigate to your media folder. The computer is also connected to the screen on top of your door, so you can watch something in bed.

Of course, the entirety of Infinite Ocean is at the top of the list. It takes up a good 2/3 of your first drive, but it's completely worth it.

There's also Goodfell, which is a... contemporary political drama? It's about a bunch of gods who rule over a planet together. They all have complex and unique abilities that make the fights and drama interesting. The drama is what really sells it for you though. The gods are all quite deep in their own right, but their opinions on the very nature of reality create morally and intellectually deep conflicts. Season 1 was just a really short exploration of mostly two characters, two sisters who are gods.

Season 2 was massive; now expanding to an entire cast of gods we only caught glimpses of in the first season. It also has a primary villain, one of the gods who is ideologically opposed to our main god. It explores the malleability of identity and the moral ambiguity of being able to change the past at will. It's also without doubt the funniest show you've ever seen.

Season 3 finished its first batch of episodes a couple months back, and they were jaw dropping. This new storyline is absolutely massive, including tons of new characters, concepts, locations, and ideas. It's not done yet, as there's going to be at least one more part likely sometime in the next year, so it'd be hard to form a complete opinion; but this season is far darker, and the scope is cavernous. The special effects must have been created by master illusion magicians, because they managed to sell "A massive circus tent that somehow contains the entire population of a planet, where our main character is possessed by an aspect of her own self, using her time and space manipulation to create a puppet show airing all of the other gods' dirty laundry in front of all of the people they rule over", as an actual scene. It was glorious.
But enough about that one.
>>
>>5331158

You also have all of Monstory, which is quite a strange property. The books are quite good in their own right, but as someone who didn't natively speak Adonijah, you didn't quite grasp the nuances of the original writing. The show though, is directed in style that is incomparable to anything, even a lot of the director's own material; making it something that is impossible to tear your eyes from.

There are two more that are always quite connected in your mind: Battlefront, and Ascension. They're both odd stories about strange people who are reincarnated in a strange afterlife, and how they live their lives. They're very different in tone, but they're both quite special to you.

There's also the 9Tombs series, which is originally a book. When adapted into television they decided to animate it, which was a bit of a shame since the practical effects would've been cool to see. It's about nine different planets in the same cluster, all vying for power, and the affection of their god emperor. It's pretty funny in the first book, but the second and fourth are fucking heart shattering, and definitely remind you too much of your own life. You know all too well of god emperors.

You also have HFYD, which is about a line of saints with a special genetic ability; their strength and magic would pass on to their child, and it essentially allowed multiple of the same saint to exist. We follow a son of this lineage, who doesn't yet know anything about magic, as he journeys to meet his father for the first time. It was fantastic, but eventually slowed production because the creator had health issues. Eventually, though, the series came to a conclusion, and you were pretty satisfied.

There's also music and audio stuff you can play in your room's speakers, or anywhere on the ship, really.

>Watch a show
>Explore audio files
>Explore wardrobe
>Other
>>
>>5331159
bonus points if you can guess which piece of media inspired each show
>>
>>5331159
>>Explore wardrobe
>>
>>5331159
>>Explore wardrobe
>>
>>5331159
>Explore audio files
>>5331161
my guess would be Shumatsu Valkyrie for Goodfell
>>
>>5331182
>>5331273
>>5331689
>Explore wardrobe [2]
>Explore audio files [1]

<!--Goodfell is not based on Shumatsu Valkyrie, though I've heard it's good.-->

You decide to peek in your wardrobe. On your right is your normal clothes, which don't have much variation. You know what you like, and you stick to it. There's a couple tank tops with logos, but nothing you actually know; they were all second hand. The left is all your disguises, which vary wildly. There's robes and uniforms from many different places, all bought because you needed them at some point. There's also some of Warren's clothes, which you could borrow if you needed to disguise as a member of the rats, and an old jacket with legion patches.

>Explore audio files
>Watch something
>Other
>>
>>5331852
>Explore audio files
>>
>>5331891
>Explore audio files

You page around to your music first. There's a huge list of all the songs you have downloaded, along with individual playlists. They're mostly for different emotions, but you also have one for anybody you're close to. You have one for Warren, of course, along with an old one of Twig.

You also have a large repository of audio dramas. These are great for when you're piloting, as you can keep your eyes on your surroundings. Your favourite is Gliese 163, a story about astronauts who work in a space station orbiting the star Gliese 163. It's fantastic, possibly the best audio drama out there, even if season 4 wasn't as good as 2 & 3.

There's The Archives, a drama about gods made from human fear, and the people who serve those gods. Lots of people really don't like season 5, but in your opinion, it was fascinating. Sure, on the first pass, it's a little strange to see the direction the story takes, but on your second listen, you came to understand that the whole thing was based only on the characters' choices, and where those choices inevitably led. It's really slow, especially for the first two seasons, but definitely worth it.

You also love The Zone, a realplay podcast, where three brothers and their dad all play tabletop RPGs together. The first season is by far the best, but season 2 was also good. You stopped listening early into season 3, but you intended to pick it back up at some point, and you've heard that season 4 is almost finished now.

Scouts is a personal favourite of yours. It's very short, but emotionally devastating nonetheless. It's about a group of scouts, who are essentially the first settlers on a future colony, and live on their planet alone for years making the land habitable. It's also about the scouts' minder, who is a former scout themselves. You will never not cry by the end.

>Watch something
>Listen to something
>Open a playlist
>Other

<!--These are also based off of real podcasts/audio dramas.-->
>>
>>5331998
>Listen to something
let's go with The Zone
>>
>>5332043
>Listen to The Zone

You run The Zone through the loudspeakers as you move over to the kitchen to prepare some food. You pick up where you left off, which was during the third major arc of season one, where the characters have to break into a bank that is overgrown with magical foliage to confront a criminal. It's pretty nice, and this is early on, before the plot really kicks into gear, so it's mostly light listening with some good goofs. You make some french toast with scrambled egg on top, and throw about half the toast into the fridge in case you were hungry later. You down the toast and eggs quick, and fix yourself another cup of coffee.

You got through about two hours, and an episode and a half, so you still have a bit of time to kill.

>See if you can sleep more now that you've eaten
>Continue listening
>Watch something
>Open a playlist
>Other
>>
>>5332065
>Continue listening
>>
>>5332065
>>Continue listening
>>
>>5332086
>>5332352
>Continue listening

You just chill, alternating between doing chores and keeping yourself occupied. Playing a few rounds of a computer game, cleaning up the kitchen, tending to Warren's moss plants, doing laundry, and taking a shower. In The Zone, the boys attempt to fight the villain but fail, and are sent on a mission to infiltrate a rival gang. They get in pretty well, but kill a few people to do so, and eventually get saved by an ally.

You busy yourself until you eventually get a message from Hartley. You stop by the chapter and pick up your fake diploma in cybernetics from the Institute of Peace. Weird name for a university, but hey, you requested something obscure. You grab some groceries on the way back. So, contact Anima and try to get admitted for research purposes was what Warren suggested.

It wasn't that hard to get admission through the website, and you're getting a ride on a supply shuttle to Anima a little after nightfall. You decide to sleep the rest of the day, so you'll be wide awake once you get there. No weapons, which will be a shame. You'll have to leave your favourite axe behind, but you can probably smuggle two handaxes, and a backup knife if you're careful.

<!-- I'm back. I don't think the next stretch of the journey will be decision heavy so I'll just write and update whenever I get around to it. Thanks for reading, and once again, the only way I can improve is through comments and critique. Love y'all.-->
>>
>>5336021
well, what's your timezone ?
>>
>>5325848
see
>>5336045
>>
>>5336021

You load onto the cargo shuttle relatively easy. They hand you an ugly white robe that looks like an even uglier version of a cloak your mom wore sometimes. But whatever, you throw it on and sip coffee from your thermos while trying to not fall asleep. The shuttle has obviously seen better days, and it rattles as the old fashioned gravity propulsion gives the initial liftoff. It isn't comfortable, but it feels kinda like a massage, and it keeps you awake.

The night sky is quite pretty here, closer to the center of the galaxy, where stars are more concentrated. They almost form a moon, with their sheer number and brightness; although in your mind, nothing will ever top the sheer beauty of Tritus' night sky. You have a guess as to why the saint of time chose that planet to reform. There's very strict light pollution laws, as the view of the lights is considered a natural wonder, and a human right.

Time slips for a bit as you get used to the rumbling, and before you know it, you've landed. You're directed to a hotel you can stay at, and sent on your way. They really just let you wander around at night unsupervised. What a strange place.

>Find the hotel
>Find the library
>Wander aimlessly
>Other
>>
>>5336168
>Find the library
>>
>>5336168
>>Find the library
>>
>>5336198
>>5336266
>Find the library

You decide to see if you can scope out the library ahead of time. First best option is a map. Places like this always keep paper maps, since they like to restrict their citizen's connection to technology and especially internet. You steal one from a convenience store, and check it under a small flashlight. There's about a third the of the island which is missing, in pieces and chunks scattered about, but there's a giant building on one end labelled, "Library".

You set off for a high point, hiking along the streets. Maybe you should try to get a cloak now? Though, with how few visitors this island probably gets, it wouldn't be long before they identified you. You gotta think up a way to steal one in the meantime. Currently, it's pretty late at night, but sunrises here are strange, since the island is floating above a planet. The sky gets light for at least two hours before the sun actually shows itself. (And the massive walls surrounding everything definitely don't help).

After walking a good way, you get to a decent vantage point. Far across, you catch sight of the giant ass building, its lights still streaming. It'll take a good hour or two to walk there.

>Find the hotel
>Go to the library
>Other
>>
>>5343125
>Go to the library
something happened, OP ?
>>
>>5343138
everything's fine, just been busy with life things and other writing projects. kept trying to write something for this thread but my brain wouldn't let me. hopefully writer's block has passed now...
>>
>>5343125
>>Go to the library
>>
>>5343125
>>Find the hotel
>>
>>5343138
>>5343593
>>5343729
>Go to the library [2]
>Find the hotel [1]

You decide to take a long hike all the way across the island. Since the lights are on, that means they're still open?

By the time you've made it there, the first rays of morning have started to break. The outside sky is a wonderful mosaic of golden red dawn, and the grand library is just as large in your field of vision. You slip in unnoticed, as there's nobody at the front desks. It seems you're on the ground floor, but you can't get the elevators to open. There's dim lighting throughout, so you can see well enough. What to do?

<!-- Just going to leave this one completely open. I have an intended solution that I'll hint to as you explore but if you manage to solve it some other way then feel free-->
>>
>>5344626
Use the stairs?
>>
>>5344626
go for the stairs
>>
>>5344737
>>5344997
>Use the stairs

The only stairs you can find lead further up, and Warren said that the torrent is below the library.
>>
>>5345259
alright, look for hidden passages in the floor, then. do we have a scanner or something ?
>>
>>5345274

You don't have a scanner, but after a bit of exploring and pulling books off their shelves, you notice a vent, high up on the ceiling. You're not sure if your horns would fit, but if you could get up there, you might as well try.
>>
>>5345318
Okay. Let's try the vent then.
>>
>>5345318
time to become the impostor
>>
>>5345804
>>5346227

After making sure nobody can see you, you climb on top of the shelves and yank off the vent covering. It's a bit of a tight squeeze, but you get in there good, and start crawling. The heat coming through the ducts is uncomfortable, especially contrasted the cold of the island; but before long you pop out in a cold, dimly lit stairwell. You listen again, but nobody seems to be here. Down you go.

30 flights of stairs later, you end up at big metal door with two handprints, and a strange sigil at the top. There are no apparent handles, and sticking your own hands in the indentations seems to do nothing.
>>
>>5346436
try the sigil
>>
>>5346449
<!-- A little bit more clarification would be nice, just letting me know exactly what you're doing-->

You touch the sigil, but nothing really happens. It's painted on the door itself, a white and black swirl that's cool to the touch.
>>
>>5346473
Can we work with the sigil like scanning it ? if not, let's find another route
>>
>>5346579

You stare intently at the symbol, and it kinda dings a bell in your head, but you're not sure why. It's a swirling of black and white, negative and positive, forming something in the center that's unclear...

After nothing really clicks, you decide to find another entrance; starting to head up the stairs, you catch quiet footsteps, and even quieter voices.

>Hide
>Fight
>Other
>>
>>5346681
>Hide
>>
>>5346767
>Hide

You duck in the crook of the staircase, hoping they won't turn around to see you wedged in the crevice betwixt. Two different people, in gold and navy robes. So, the gold was a caster. The caster had brown hair and round glasses, and seemed thin beneath the mountain of fabric. The one in navy had blond stubble prickling the skull, and moved like a fighter; always on edge and ready to move at a moment's notice.

The caster stood in front of the door and set hand to chin. "It's a bonded door?"

The fighter froze. "Why is that a question."

"There's that symbol there. I can't read it, so it isn't arcana. And this door wasn't here last time."

"Let's try it anyway. It's only a problem if it's gotta be, Kos." The caster was apparently named Kos. They took out a fat ink pen, the type for writing on plex, and used it to draw symbols on the hands of both of themself and the fighter. They pressed palm to steel, but nothing resulted.

The navy robe was chagrined. "Worth a shot."

Kos gave a look, and started tapping a foot. "What's the engraving mean? You'd know better than I."

The fighter tilted their head and got up close. "Not sure. Also not an engraving. It reminds me kind of... like the way Dualcasters are portrayed in really old books."

Dualcaster. Dualcaster. Warren mentioned that word. You rack your brain for everything it's worth.

"Why?" Kos asked.

The navy robe put hand to chin. "The whole, opposites merging thing. That Dualcasters are a union of magic and nonmagic, and how their bond creates like... sort of a new type of person. But that was superstition from the early days, to my knowledge, nobody really believes it to be more than just metaphor."

Oh yeah, that's what you're after, isn't it? You and Warren, magic and nonmagic. But he never used the word around you. You wonder why.

The navy robe shakes their head. "This was a bad idea. They added more security since last time we broke in. Cut our losses?"

The caster sits down on the staircase, somehow not glimpsing you. You duck behind the stairs again as the fighter starts to turn around.

You're pretty sure the navy robe didn't see you, by luck alone.

>Stay silent
>Attack
>Ask for help
>Other
>>
>>5346803
>Stay silent
>>
>>5346818
>Stay silent

You say nothing, just to gather more information.

Kos says, "There's gotta be some kind of solution. From what you said about the symbol, it makes me think you have to have your true name."
"Then we're fucked. Come up with a better solution," the fighter snaps.

"Iris, I'm trying." What a pretty name. Iris.

There's silence, and some shuffling you don't understand. Footsteps, very regular. More shuffling. Then a marker being uncapped. Kos says, "Remember that homebrewed memory arcana? I wanna give it a test run."

Iris sighs and then someone starts scribbling. It takes a minute, but you feel the telltale pressure change and flash of light that denotes magic. Iris asks, "Everything good?"

Kos' voice has changed in a way you can't describe. "It's definitely not pleasant. I don't remember anything new to help... but I do have an idea. What if the product of a dual and a caster is just, some kind of powerful magic?"

"Then draw some arcana. I want to be quick."

Scribbling noises. Kos says, "There's a disintegration field. Fuck."

Iris curses too. "How much money says Saturn designed this one?"

"What a bastard. They help us down here, and we have to deal with another one of their bullshit puzzles. I would like to study him in a lab."

"I know you do. So how do we produce a sufficient burst of magic without arcana?"

"Still thinking, Iris. Gimme a few." And they lapse into silence again.

You have something that can produce a sufficient burst of magic. Your gun.

>Offer help
>Stay silent
>Other
>>
>>5348868
>Offer help
let's bite it
>>
>>5348915
>Offer help

You suck up your pride and nerves. You hope they won't turn you in, right out of the gate, but hey, they're breaking in too.

You squeeze yourself back out. "I can help-" But before you finish, the caster spins around and freezes you instantly. You're completely incapacitated, unable to move a muscle. Iris stalks up and holds a shortsword to your throat.

"Wait!" Kos calls. "They're wearing a visitor cloak. They're probably not going to turn us in. They said they can help."

Iris frowns at you, but lets up. "You have one minute to make your case," he says, and nods to Kos, who lets go of the freeze charm.

Fuck, you couldn't even blink like that. God damn... you take a second to catch your breath.

"I can provide the burst of magic. I don't know what an arcana is, but I don't need one."

Iris keeps a hand on the sword, but defers to Kos, the caster. They frown. "What's your name?"

"Calliope."

"Strange name," they say. "Prove it."

You pull out your gun and display it to them. Iris asks, "Is this some kind of spell machine?"

"I assure you, it's not. I'm not going to demonstrate unless you force me, because it's quite loud. I assume you'd like to keep a low profile."

Kos shrugs to Iris. "I'm sold."

Iris shakes her head. "No. How do I know you won't use that on us when our backs are turned?"

You laugh. "If I wanted to, I would've. It's instant, and I could've gotten the drop on you."

Iris' frown only deepens, but you see Kos crack a bit of a smile. They put a hand on her shoulder. "Come on. You said yourself we should be quick."

He only makes a face at Kos, and sticks his hand in the indentation, and they mirror. You flick the switch on the side and aim up at the sigil, pulling the trigger.

It's loud, loud as hell. But the doors slowly swing open under the pressure, and the two wave you in. They push the doors back into place and take off.

You all run through the twisting maze of corridors for upwards of twenty minutes, trying to go further down as you run, until eventually you find a secluded little room, completely unfurnished. You sit up against the wall as Iris closes the door quietly, and slumps down along with you.

>Say nothing
>Talk
>Other
>>
>>5349013
>Talk
>>
>>5349013
>>Talk
>>
>>5349028
>>5349360
>Talk

You're still a little breathless, but nonetheless you still feel awkward with the almost-silence. "Hey. So... sorry about all that. But we got the door open, so, good times I guess?"

Kos is breathing too heavily to respond, so Iris sizes you up. "You did really good." He jerks a thumb at the caster. "This lug still needs some cardio, apparently."

You nod along, not knowing what to say. Kos flips her off, which she laughs at. "Come on," they say, "I'm not built for this, you know. All my training is in casting, not endurance. It's just an unequal playing field."

She waves them off. "Of course, of course. You have the potential for it, obviously, since I can do it. But I wasn't magical, so they shoved me into Dual training for the last fifteen years."

Kos looks away, apparently uncomfortable with something in this explanation, but doesn't say anything.

>Ask about Iris
>Ask about Kos
>Ask about something else
>>
>>5349754
>Ask about Iris
>>
>>5349754
>>Ask about Iris
>>
>>5349772
>>5350134
>Ask about Iris

"So, Iris, you're a fighter? What weapons do you have the most experience with?"

He answers without thinking, "Mostly broadsword, though I prefer ranged weapons. I'm still trying the shortsword, but I haven't spent enough time with it." Oh, so she must have used it earlier because you were already frozen; it was a nice play.

"I have a lot of experience hand to hand, but I really prefer my axe. Right now I only have my two handaxes and a knife."

Kos looked back and forth between you like you were certifiably crazy. "You know that's crazy, right? What's wrong with you? Iris - you know better than to reveal you're weak with the shortsword. And I hate that I have to say this Calliope, but why reveal that you don't have your main weapon? What's the deal here...?"

You gave Iris a look. Yeesh, how high strung. "The only reason Iris reveals she's weak with the shortsword is that implies she has other weapons on her, and she doesn't say which ones. And the only reason I revealed that I don't have my axe, is most of my training is hand to hand. Unless Iris has her ranged weapons, I don't need my axe to do some real damage. And if she does, I can throw both axes and the knife. Of course, you're her trump card, but she knows I could do some real damage before you both take me down. And I get the feeling you're not a healer." At this, they looked at each other. "It's a stalemate."

Iris nods approvingly. "Excellent assessment. Though obviously you have something hidden up your sleeve." He was right. Like all good pirates, you know both a good utility spell, and a good damage spell. Fire was always your favorite.

Kos just makes the most defeated face you've seen in your life. Fantastic.

>Ask about Kos
>Ask about something else
>>
>>5353245
>>Ask about Kos
>>
>>5353245
>Ask about Kos
>>
>>5353245
>>Ask about Kos
>>
>>5353306
>>5353455
>>5353918
>Ask about Kos

"Hey, so you're the magic dude, right?" You ask. "How's that uh... going for you?"

Kos shrugs. "Not bad, I guess."

You thumb your nose, a little sheepish. "Sorry, I guess I don't know that much about magic. What kind of caster are you? I know the three main branches of magic, so..." You trail off as they both transmute a hostile expression. "Did I say something wrong?"

Kos shakes their head. "I mean not really. But I can't divulge anything about my casting. Them's the rules."

"Why? Why is it that way?"

They look genuinely perplexed, and Iris gives them a strange look. "Well our casting is completely unique from any other form. The old fogies think that if the secret slips, we'll be uhh... y'know outsiders will use our secrets to... destroy the island? Usurp Anima's political power? I dunno, but there's a good reason for it."

You nod. It's basically what Warren told you, so you guess they're telling the truth. "But what about you?" Kos asks. "You must be from somewhere. Divulge some society destroying secrets of your own, and maybe we'll reciprocate."

You think it over. You have some stories of your own. Which to tell?

>Talk about your home planet
>Talk about the heist that got you off planet
>Talk about your legion history
>Talk about Warren
>Talk about something else
>>
>>5354355
>Talk about the heist that got you off planet
>>
>>5354460
>Say something
He went his own way after that
>>
What happened here?
>>
>>5355366
seems like OP deleted the last update post, but I don't get why ? only noticed because I saw the reply and thought it was a doot
>>
>>5355366
>>5355405

what do you mean? i didn't even know you could delete posts on 4chan
>>
oh yeah i see it's missing now, but i didn't remove it, and i don't think i was breaking any rules? didn't really have a text backup so it's gone forever i guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
>>
>>5356472
The lost post is here.
https://archived.moe/qst/thread/5320193/#q5354460
You can continue onwards I guess
>>
>>5356508
Neat, OP can repost it for good measure and them continue writing
>>
>>5356508
Thank you!!

>>5354472
>Say something

"He... went his own way, after that."

Iris scoots over and holds your hand in both hers. "We understand."

She looks over to Kos, but instead of a reply, they stand up and say, "I think we should get going. We've all caught our breath, let's focus on getting in and out. I don't know what exactly you're here for, or how an outsider even knows this place exists, but it's likely we have a common goal."

"I'm looking for the Torrent."

They reach down a hand to help you up. "I thought so. We've actually been once before, as I'm sure you eavesdropped."

Ha. "Yeah, I figured you guys knew stuff that I couldn't figure out, so I kinda had to. Sorry about the eavesdropping?"

Iris laughs from the floor. "Forgiven!"

After helping her up, all three of you start hiking through the corridors, with Kos using a detection spell to check for any interlopers.

Nothing results though, except for long twisting corridors and dim lights. Actually reminds you a lot of the corridors beneath the capitol back home, though seemingly a lot older, and with a lot less cave-ins.

It isn't long before you come across large heavy door blocking your path. The look Iris and Kos give one another leads you to believe this also wasn't here previously. The door is thick, and pnematic, judging by the look. Certain older ships have this kind of door, and it's quite common on the space station where Molly works.

>Open door
>Inspect door
>Talk to Iris and Kos
>Other
>>
>>5357759
>>Inspect door
>>
>>5357759
>>Inspect door
>>
>>5357941
>+1



Delete Post: [File Only] Style:
[Disable Mobile View / Use Desktop Site]

[Enable Mobile View / Use Mobile Site]

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective parties. Images uploaded are the responsibility of the Poster. Comments are owned by the Poster.