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You are Paul Aleman: retired adventurer turned Tavernkeeper. This is your story.

Last thread you:
- hired some stablehands for your tavern
- caught a runaway princess
- hired a family down on their luck
- made a strange discovery in your well
- trained some peasants in dungeon delving
- dealt with some unusual squatters
- hired the alewife's daughter (the ugly one)
- confronted a lop-rustler seeking the runaway princess

Archive: https://lws.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Tavernkeeper

You'll go with him to ensure that everything goes smoothly as well as to satisfy your own curiosity as to the truth. Peter seems surprised by your decision but does not try to stop you. He knows you will not hold him back. You ride swiftly to Wnuk, toward the castle towers which loom in the pale moonlight like gigantic chessmen.

Peter has arranged everything in advance. An attendant waiting at the gate approaches to take the two of you (after some hissed arguments, for he had prepared himself for only one guest) to the garden. There the princess awaits, dressed in the finest gossamer and silk.

If she did not expect Peter, she expected you even less. It is quickly apparent, however, from the conversation and tears that follow, that she did not even know her husband was dead, let alone play a part in his untimely demise. With the princess now absolved, you think the whole matter settled--but Peter does not retreat. Instead, he offers his hand to the princess. He wants her to go with him. To go where? The princess wants to know. Anywhere. And then a look in Peter's eyes whose significance you know very well: secret and painful passion, long held in check but never conquered. The princess sees it also. She is afraid of it, at first, ashamed by its connotations, but perhaps also secretly thrilled and flattered by it. She reaches out to him, hesitatingly, when a figure emerges from the shadows, clad in gleaming steel. His helmet bears the image of a leaping warlop. It is Howell, one of the knights that accompanied the princess to your tavern. The other is here too, Fletcher, standing by the door, cutting off your escape.

"If I'm being honest: would greatly prefer it if you fought back," says Howell, brandishing his flanged mace. Peter feels likewise, but Fletcher, the wiser than them both, understands that when fighting a cornered beast one may not always come away unscathed.

"Peace, we've not come to--is that the innkeeper?" Fletcher has spotted you. "What on earth? Are you in cahoots?" He nods at Peter.

>Of course not, he forced you into coming. If anything you're a prisoner and are most grateful for their intervention.
>There is a certain honor among survivors that must be respected. Now that you've come this far, you cannot abandon him.
>You're acting on your own behalf and from your own interests as a tavernkeeper, nothing more.
>write-in
>>
>>5320254
Go back to being dead
>>
>>5320254
>You're acting on your own behalf, and from your own interests as a tavernkeeper, nothing more

Welcome back, QM! I never thought I'd say the day.
>>
>>5320254
>>You're acting on your own behalf and from your own interests as a tavernkeeper, nothing more.
>>
>>5320254
How long before op flakes again? Place your bets.
>>
>>5320254
>>You're acting on your own behalf and from your own interests as a tavernkeeper, nothing more.
>>
>>5320254
>There is a certain honor among survivors that must be respected. Now that you've come this far, you cannot abandon him.
>>
>>5320273
OP didn't flake. He let us he was stopping, and why.
>>
>>5320254
>There is a certain honor among survivors that must be respected. Now that you've come this far, you cannot abandon him.
>>
>>5320254
>>You're acting on your own behalf and from your own interests as a tavernkeeper, nothing more.
>>
>>5320254
>>>5320258 >>5320265 >>5320272 >>5320273 >>5320334 >>5320458 >>5320744 >>5321393
"I'm here for myself," you say. "For my tavern's interests."
"The more the merrier," says Howell, testing the weight of his mace-head on his open palm.
"Peace," says Fletcher. "We've not come for bloodshed."
"Bugger that," replies Howell, advancing toward Peter, who swiftly draws and nocks an arrow from his quiver and takes aim at Howell's unprotected throat.
"Come!" says Peter to the princess, still keeping his eyes on his target. The princess moves to his side.
"Tis not you alone who would suffer by this treachery, princess," says Fletcher. "Consider your son. Consider the war that could come of this. Do not be selfish."
"Nay, no more words!" says Peter.
But the princess, now resting her hand Peter's arm, gently pulls it down. Tears glitter in her eyes. "They're right, Peter," she says. She need not say more. She has gone forever beyond the reach of a common soldier, to where even her own heart cannot follow. But in exchange for that, she has obtained a measure of power. She negotiates Peter's freedom in exchange for her own. And she will not admit a second loss--if they harm Peter or her son, she is ready to reveal everything, to take her own life if necessary. For their freedom, she promises perfect obedience. Howell is sorely disappointed by the outcome, but Fletcher is more than ready to make the deal.

Upon Peter she forces a crueller promise, that he live on and forget her. She is ready to take the blame for his brother's death, but would not have another on her conscious. Yet, she has killed him all the same. His heart is broken. And having obtained neither revenge nor love, there remains for him only a hollow, aimless existence.

He stays at the tavern till the night of the wedding. The yobshiremen have gone into town to enjoy the festivities, but he has remained behind to numb himself with drink. You can hardly refuse him the courtesy, given how well he has paid. But his funds, carefully accumulated through a lifetime of mercenarism, are nearly exhausted. When you finally cut him off, he attempts to pick a fight, going so far as to brandish a table knife at you, hoping to perish at your hands and thereby absolve himself of his promise by a technicality. You disarm him, refusing to play his game. He curses you, then, hearing the distant toll of bells from the town, he begins to weep, and then finally to beg. He offers you the rest of his money--a not insubstantial sum--urging you to do it before he loses his nerve. If he leaves today, he may fall into worser vice: to piracy and brigandism.

>Put the man out of his misery; none but you can do it. The money doesn't hurt either.
>You've been in this situation before and having known the burden of such a sin, you cannot suffer it a second time. Refuse.
>Surely one of your contacts has need for a man of his skills. Get them in touch and take a few coins for your trouble.
>Write-in
>>
>>5321430
>Surely one of your contacts has need for a man of his skills. Get them in touch and take a few coins for your trouble.
>>
>>5321430
>Surely one of your contacts has need for a man of his skills. Get them in touch and take his money for your trouble.
>>
>>5321430
>Surely one of your contacts has need for a man of his skills. Get them in touch and take a few coins for your trouble.
Let's get this guy a job to keep him from falling farther
>>
>>5321430
>Surely one of your contacts has need for a man of his skills. Get them in touch and take a few coins for your trouble.

maybe townsfolk can hire him for security?
>>
>>5321430
>Surely one of your contacts has need for a man of his skills. Get them in touch and take a few coins for your trouble.
>>
>>5321430
>>Surely one of your contacts has need for a man of his skills. Get them in touch and take a few coins for your trouble.
>>
>>5322716
>Hire the court physician from Wnuk, he'll charge an exorbitant fee but the sooner you can free up the room, the better
>>
>>5322716
>Hire the court physician from Wnuk, he'll charge an exorbitant fee but the sooner you can free up the room, the better

This quest is the best. What good balance of wacky magic hijinks and down-to-earth slice-of-life.
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>>5322716
>Hire the court physician from Wnuk, he'll charge an exorbitant fee but the sooner you can free up the room, the better

He better find some way to repay us for helping with his Magical STD
>>
>>5322716
>Hire the court physician from Wnuk, he'll charge an exorbitant fee but the sooner you can free up the room, the better
>>
>>5322716
>Hire the court physician from Wnuk, he'll charge an exorbitant fee but the sooner you can free up the room, the better
>Hire the court physician from Wnuk, he'll charge an exorbitant fee but the sooner you can free up the room, the better
>>
>>5322716
>Hire the court physician from Wnuk, he'll charge an exorbitant fee but the sooner you can free up the room, the better
>>
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>>5322716
>>5322729 >>5322761 >>5322763 >>5322773 >>5322798 >>5322922
Feeling that the sick merchant has somewhat overstayed his welcome (more than once you've had to turn away a potential customer for lack of rooms), you decide to call in the court physician from Wnuk, a man named Vorstein. He asks an exorbitant fee for any services rendered outside of the court and has consequently made himself fat off the riches of Wnuk's tradesmen and merchants. Driven by popular demand to specialize in cosmetics--the wives of the aforementioned merchants are his biggest customers and perhaps the prettiest in the region (barring the fabled women of Walzer-Yost)--his knowledge is nevertheless encompasses the common diseases and their cures. Upon sighting his newest patient he wastes no time in applying increasingly complex instruments from his gladstone bag to the patient's body.

Dr. Vorstein is a man of few words, silent but utterly thorough in his practice. After a slew of tests involving small incisions into the purplish boils, draining of various bodily fluids, clippings of armpit hair, nipple clamps, and even a brief interview with the cats (which he performed with the utmost seriousness), he concludes that the disease has progressed to a more serious stage than Alphonse had claimed, likely because of "repeated offense" (to which Alphonse sheepishly confesses). Settling his immense girth on the couch near the fireplace downstairs, Dr. Vorstein explains his diagnosis to a gathered crowd. His arrival has caused something of a stir in the tavern, not only among your patrons but even some of the other employees--particularly Agatha, your brewer, who is spying on you all from a distance, and Rordan, who seems endlessly fascinated by his trade.

The disease, Dr. Vorstein says, while fatal without medical intervention, is nevertheless well within his powers to heal. It will require a kind of arcane surgery ("a sorcerectomy") whose details are beyond your understanding, but which, the doctor assures you, should not take more than a few hours. As it is already near sunset, he decides to delay the procedure till first light tomorrow and, in the meantime, to take his dinner at your establishment.

1/2
>>
>>5324006
Being something of a gourmand, he does not have anything pleasant to say about your provisions, though he does seem keenly interested in your special brew, the blutlager, made from the strange red waters of your well. He asks increasingly penetrating questions about the drink throughout the meal, for which you must soon consult privately with Agatha to answer (for she cannot bring herself to suffer company with her disfigurement). In the end, none of your explanations are satisfactory and having sensed there is some secret behind the drink (you were careful not to mention the alchemist still investigating the water) he offers to waive his usual fee for its disclosure. It's clear his curiosity is not motivated by mere epicurism, but rather a professional interest.

>Divulge the alchemist's findings, not only do you waive a substantial fee but the doctor may provide novel insight--and who knows when (or if) the alchemist will return?
>Politely refuse. Dr. Vortstein has the ear of the court and casual interest can easily turn to exploitation and interference
>Perhaps you can negotiate a further reward: an apprenticeship for the boy, Rordan. It's what his father would have wanted.
>Write-in
>>
>>5324007
>Politely refuse. Dr. Vortstein has the ear of the court and casual interest can easily turn to exploitation and interference
>>
>>5324007
>Politely refuse. Dr. Vortstein has the ear of the court and casual interest can easily turn to exploitation and interference
>>
>>5324007
>Perhaps you can negotiate a further reward: an apprenticeship for the boy, Rordan. It's what his father would have wanted.
>>
>>5324007
>Politely refuse. Dr. Vortstein has the ear of the court and casual interest can easily turn to exploitation and interference
>>
>>5324007
>Politely refuse. Dr. Vortstein has the ear of the court and casual interest can easily turn to exploitation and interference
>>
>>5324007
>>Politely refuse. Dr. Vortstein has the ear of the court and casual interest can easily turn to exploitation and interference
>>
>>5324669
>Hire the artists to work on some new paintings instead for the Count and his family to inhabit
>>
>>5324669
Wait, if he's going to touch up the painting, won't that make it more comfortable for the Count? I mean, if I were a rich bastard who used a living painting as a conversation starter, I'd rather not risk the paintings cursing me or ruining their appearance to spite me.
>Take up the offer. Count Molostroi will probably be better off in the patron's hands.
But ask him first. He's nobility, he might have some perspective here, right?
>>
>>5324741
> Support
>>
>>5324669
>>Hire the artists to work on some new paintings instead for the Count and his family to inhabit
>>
>>5324669
>Have Alphonse cash every conceivable artistic favor to both touch up the Count's own painting, and provide several more scenes to the family's liking (consult them at night to determine what vistas they might like to explore.)
>>
>>5325081
>Experiment with realism

Two ideas here.
>A wizard's library/laboratory
What if the Count could study up on his side, and maybe look deeper into powerful enchantments?

>Tormenghast's own atelier, with an emphasis on numerous painting supplies and colors.
What if the Count can paint from his side?
>>
>>5325157
>Support
>>
>>5325081
>Experiment with realism, what happens when a real place (such the tavern itself) is depicted in the painting?
>>
>>5325081
>>Experiment with realism, what happens when a real place (such the tavern itself) is depicted in the painting?
>>
>>5325081
>Experiment with realism, what happens when a real place (such the tavern itself) is depicted in the painting?
>>
>>5325157
I like this plan.

>>5325081
>Experiment with realism, what happens when a real place (such the tavern itself) is depicted in the painting?
>>
>>5325081
>What if the Count can paint from his side?
This >>5325157 is a great idea, supporting
>>
>>5325081
>Experiment with realism, what happens when a real place (such the tavern itself) is depicted in the painting?
>>
>>5325081
>Experiment with portraiture, what happens when more figures (real or imagined) are added to the painting?
>>
Two ideas are most tantalizing to the Count: first, to measure the extent to which the Dragoneater's enchantment can imitate the real world. Is it possible that by depicting a study, it can replicate the books within that study? The content of those books? And the second: what would happen if the Count could paint from the other side? Is it possible to traverse into a painting created within the painted world? The Count is restless to answer these questions, but there is now a newfound liveliness in his speech, no longer the old resigned despair. Perhaps he did not think you would keep your word, and perhaps now he entertains new hopes of salvation. Whether they will be answered, only time will tell.

As the summer months arrive, so too the delvers from the tomb. Van Keely and his band, having spent months exploring the enormous catacombs have successfully recovered the bodies of their fallen and even come away with a few treasures to boot. Van Keely himself sports an ancient helmet matching his cuirass, while his companions, Godfrey and Mordric carry a small chest of coins and jewels between them. It is more money than any of them have ever seen or know what to do with and it causes a great stir in the village. Everyone expects the adventurers to settle down with their spoils. Young, unmarried and rich, they quickly become the obsession of every matchmaker and tradesman in the region. But the delve has opened the party's eyes to the great wonders lurking beneath the superficial world and they can no longer be satisfied with the common provincial life.

As usual, they come to you for counsel. The villagers have already requested that you dissuade them from their newfound wanderlust, whereas the party wishes to know where they might go to receive more training as well as where else they might delve.

>Advise them to quit while they are ahead.
>Direct them to some contacts in the city of Walzer-Yost.
>Don't get involved one way or another, it's not really your business
>Write-in
>>
>>5326875
>Direct them to some contacts in the city of Walzer-Yost.
>>
>>5326875
>Direct them to some contacts in the city of Walzer-Yost.
>However, warn them that luck comes and go; and put half of their riches to the village notary for their next of kin to inherit; would they face cruel demise in the hard and unfair adventurer life
>>
>>5326875
>Direct them to some contacts in the city of Walzer-Yost.
>Also advise them to spend their wealth a little in the village, and any other towns you pass through. People often don't care for adventurers, and even less so stingy ones. A reputation for generosity can help soften hearts. Always save money away, don't go broke. But grease the local economies to sate their envy and greed.
>>
>>5326875
>Advise them to quit while they are ahead.
But if they insist...

>Warn them that luck comes and go; and put half of their riches to the village notary for their next of kin to inherit; would they face cruel demise in the hard and unfair adventurer life
>Also advise them to spend their wealth a little in the village, and any other towns you pass through. People often don't care for adventurers, and even less so stingy ones. A reputation for generosity can help soften hearts. Always save money away, don't go broke. But grease the local economies to sate their envy and greed.
>Direct them to some contacts in the city of Walzer-Yost

Those who do not heed our advice should still get the best chance at success we can offer. It's what we would have wanted, when we were like them.
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>>5326875
>>Direct them to some contacts in the city of Walzer-Yost.
>>
>>5326875
>>5327050 +1
>>
>>5326890
Change to
>Advise them to quit while they are ahead.
>>
No update today. Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday weekend.
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>>5327889
Holiday? What is such eldritch concept? A tale for children I guess
>>
>>5327889
Happy Independence Day!
>>
Dead again. Alas.
>>
>>5320273
And the answer to that question is one week. Once a flake always a flake. Fuck off.



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