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The Drow—so-called ‘dark elves’, the jet-black underground outcast of their race—call this place, their capital city, ‘Wevenore’. According to Jazkarmel, one of the many nobleborn elf-maids to bear the title of ‘Princess’ in this realm, it is also called ‘The Oasis of Crystal and Silk’. In spite of her evident pride in her race, in their survival of the harsh and impoverished isolation of the underdark, Jazkarmel warned you to lower your expectation of this place, even as she guided you here to meet with her people’s highest authorities.

Now, you see why.

This place IS a relative oasis, it must be said. You recognize, intellectually, that it is a wonder: a city built around the shores of deeply-buried lake, expansive in its sprawl and home to more elves than you have ever personally laid eyes on. So, too, do you bear witness to the namesake crystals and silk. The crystals, mostly quartz but also several more precious varieties, blaze with the dim light of magecraft, scattered like beacons through the dark, JUST bright enough to lend colour to the natives’ monochromatic darkvision in the public plazas and to the distantly-glimpsed courtyards of what you take to be powerful households. The silk—threads of corded, treated spider-thread—connect these places-of-power, and you see eight-legged messengers carrying messages and packages in bundles from one home to another in scurrying silence.

“It is as the worms of Glowie’s race,” the Novice Fleshweaver—one f your companions on this pilgrimage—notes.

You nod, but you recognize the limitations at the same time as you recognize the sophistication.
>>
>>5410693
You see the cracks in the crystals, the dimming of the lights.

You see how their network, while obviously refined and purposefully built and maintained in a way your multi-ethnic Dark Empire’s glow-worm based supply chain is not, is rigid and small in scope, inefficient for the limited size and understanding of the spiders.

So too do you see silk garments, with whitest silk worn by the tallest, healthiest elves—Drow nobility, who wear crystals as well, in jewelry or speckled across their garb… But the gems are small, roughly-sculpted. Even the cleanest and whitest silk is a dingy grey. The average Drow in this, their greatest city, dwells in a hovel carved into a stone wall, or a roughshod brick shanty held together with a bug-derived paste, hardly insulated from the cool underwater wind-currents which rise from the darkly-sparkling oasis-lake. The wealthy have larger, more ornately-carved homes, and they have their glowing crystal lamps to lend it depth of colour… But still, their homes are just as roughly constructed, their size limited in both height and majesty by simple building methods and substandard materials.

Even here, in this place of glory and among the social elite, you see paucity of circumstance.
>>
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>>5410699
“It is… Impressive,” Olu the Archer agrees, less enthusiastically, as he offers light support to your injured frame during your first foray into Wevenore.

Olu, a half-human Degenerate Reptilian, has been to the great cities of the Southlands—the warmest and richest lands of the surface, by some accounts. He, like you, sees this place not in the light of the Master Race, who has long suffered in darkness since the bastard surface-mammals drove your once-glorious empire into hiding… But as another bygone empire, a race in decline, suffering scarcity unknown in all but the most forsaken realms of the realms above.

It hurts your heart to see it.

You are the Dragonborn Antipaladin, Champion of the Master Race, self-appointed but thus-far undisputed Copper King of the Bloodrise Mountains. You have allied with these outcast elves against the forces of the Gods of Light, which forsook their race and all but destroyed yours. Together, your peoples have befriend bugbears and worked with worm-folk to dominate dwarves and annihilate adventurers. You have reclaimed ancient secrets of your race—and of the late, once-great Red Dragon King who ruled the Bloodrise Mountain Range before you. Like the Drow, your own people were driven into darkness below, but with the help of the Dark Gods, you will rise again!
>>
>>5410703

You have come here on a diplomatic mission to earn the full support and loyalty of the Drow, on invitation of their ‘Queen-for-the-Season’, Myrymma of House Yvonlace. Through her subordinate Jazkarmel, she has been a distant ally-by-proxy. Now, in the peculiar manner of these elves, she is soon to cede power to a masculine counterpart—a King-for-the-Season, who may or may not prove as willing to treat with you and advance your agenda. You are here to assess these elven leaders, and to secure the friendship (and perhaps faith) of this elven subrace on behalf of the Dark Gods and their Serpent Priesthood.

This alliance is made especially important by two swiftly-approaching threats: that of The Green Knight, the emerald-armoured nightmare-fiend who slew your mother and now haunts your sleep with his inexorable approach; and that of the Kobold Necromancer Hapo, an embittered rival claimant to Bloodrise who stole ancient tomes and has seemingly worked in the shadows to assail your bugbear allies and make deadly, diseased thralls of their war-dead.
>>
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>>5410706
Accompanying you, in addition to Jazkarmel’s retinue of elves, you have brought allies of your own. The Novice Fleshweaver is one of your oldest ‘friends’, though you began as youthful rivals—she, very much your belligerent bully; these days, the tension between you is somewhat… Charged, and a hint more respectful. Olu the Archer—a Degenerate half-breed and former Reptilian Infiltrator—is a stalwart ally an a zealot to your cause, with romantic inroads with Princess Jazkarmel herself. Ivno the Kobold is a former follower of Hapo, long-since subjugated and made loyal, and a cautious (maybe overcautious) attendant. Karz Throat-singer is your dwarven slave, a young and beardless male of his race with a bitter and sullen disposition and a gift for bardic magic, who you have taken as an apprentice of sorts. Then, there is the ‘Junior Novice’, the mockingly-named and long-suffering kobold-like dog-creature who you purchased as chattel and then subjected to the Novice’s tender fleshweaving ‘mercies’ until he became a half-dragon war-beast.

You’ve also accumulated a quite impressive array of weaponized relics, honed an array of aptitudes, and mastered (somewhat) a short-list of sorcerous spells.

[See https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=reptoidqm for previous threads, and the attached image for stats.]
>>
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>>5410707
“We should greet Queen Myrymma’s court, first,” Jazkarmel asserts—and well she might, as a relation or acolyte of this royal house.

“It risks showing favouritism, before we decide on an ally for certain in this mammal power-struggle,” the Novice notes, when he princess is seemingly out-of-earshot.

“It secures a known ally,” Olu the Archer contests, though he hastily averts his eyes and mutters and apology when the Novice—a Serpent Priestess by blood-glowers at him.

What will you do?
>Follow Jazkarmel’s advice, and Olu’s, and pay a visit to House Yvonlace
>Pay a visit to her rival—the soon-to-be-King of Elves, at HIS house
>You are weary (and don’t wish to pick sides yet), and would retire to somewhere comfortably neutral
>It pains you to see the state of the dark elves, and you would visit their poor places and people before attending any kingly welcome
>As Dragon King in perpetuity of the Dark Empire of Bloodrise, you think these SEASONAL monarchs probably ought to come to YOU, actually
>Write-in
>>
>>5410708
>You are weary (and don’t wish to pick sides yet), and would retire to somewhere comfortably neutral
>It pains you to see the state of the dark elves, and you would visit their poor places and people before attending any kingly welcome
>>
>>5410708
>Follow Jazkarmel’s advice, and Olu’s, and pay a visit to House Yvonlace

What's a visit going to do that us walking in here with Jaz hasn't done already?
>>
>>5410708
>It pains you to see the state of the dark elves, and you would visit their poor places and people before attending any kingly welcome
>As Dragon King in perpetuity of the Dark Empire of Bloodrise, you think these SEASONAL monarchs probably ought to come to YOU, actually.

Ultimately our main long term purpose in this visit, is religious conversion. And visiting and conversing the lower class could possibly gain us said converts, and possible our own independent pool of political power in dark elf society.

It is also currently unknown to us what kind of temperament either Nobel faction has towards us. So we should see who comes to us first and what they say, before involving ourselves in any byzantine political pacts.
>>
>>5410708
>Follow Jazkarmel’s advice, and Olu’s, and pay a visit to House Yvonlace

Yvonlace is the house that most needs our support, we can get the most out of them and have the most rapport with them currently. The future kings house has much less incentive to give us anything because they’re in an advantageous position with the seasons changing.

We are also a stranger in these lands it is not yet time to play politics when we don’t even know the complete picture of what’s going on. Hopefully the Queen can inform us of her (biased) picture.
>>
>>5410708
>Follow Jazkarmel’s advice, and Olu’s, and pay a visit to House Yvonlace
>>
>>5410915
>Yvonlace is the house that most needs our support, we can get the most out of them and have the most rapport with them currently. The future kings house has much less incentive to give us anything because they’re in an advantageous position with the seasons changing.

Snubbing the future king, and being summoned by queen smilingly dance to her tune, may make future faction outright hostile.

A lack of at least the appearance of neutrality could create unknown enemies even before we accomplish anything.
>>
>>5410987
We’re not neutral though?? We already made a deal and are tacitly showing support to Yvonlace just by showing up with Jaz.
>>
>>5410693
uhh, is there a link to the archives so that i can cacht up with the quest?
>>
>>5410693
>It pains you to see the state of the dark elves, and you would visit their poor places and people before attending any kingly welcome
>As Dragon King in perpetuity of the Dark Empire of Bloodrise, you think these SEASONAL monarchs probably ought to come to YOU, actually

Im liking this plan, our mom also built her own political network in hawksong, by first gaining loyalty of outcasts. Networking with the poor will also give us a less biased view of the political landscape.

Also i feel that if we go with Myrymma we may become completely dependant on house Yvonlace's faction, to handle drow diplomacy/influence in the future.

Also novice seems to dislike the idea of it.

>“It risks showing favouritism, before we decide on an ally for certain in this mammal power-struggle,” the Novice notes, when he princess is seemingly out-of-earshot

And she has the most political experience amongst us being the Chaplin's daughter. And we will probably end up relying on novice and the drow shape changing infiltrator amulet she built for spy craft.
>>
>>5410708
>You are weary (and don’t wish to pick sides yet), and would retire to somewhere comfortably neutral
Do pushups until someone calls us.
>>
>>5411016
[Yep, https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=reptoidqm. Reptilian Infiltrator is backstory you don't really need to know; you can safely start at Dragonborn Antipaladin Volume 1.]
>>
>>5410726
Supporting this

As another anon said, the religious conversation of the lower classes is vital

Not that I think we should start preaching immediately after arriving - but checking out the city is a good idea
>>
>>5410708
>It pains you to see the state of the dark elves, and you would visit their poor places and people before attending any kingly welcome
>As Dragon King in perpetuity of the Dark Empire of Bloodrise, you think these SEASONAL monarchs probably ought to come to YOU, actually
>>
>>5410708
>You are weary (and don’t wish to pick sides yet), and would retire to somewhere comfortably neutral
>It pains you to see the state of the dark elves, and you would visit their poor places and people before attending any kingly welcome

Good to see ya back, RQM. ALWAYS a blast.
>>
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>>5411194
>>5411102
>>5411022
>>5411017
>>5410977
>>5410915
>>5410904
>>5410801
>>5410726
[Vote locked. Writing!]
>>
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>>5411396
Having recently resolved to follow your heart even to tenderness, you find that it now goes out to those who suffer in this society… Just as, you suppose, it did to those such as Olu in your own, or to trusted lieutenants back in the Bloodrise, like the Thief and the Bastard—their titles tell the tale of their ostracism. Though you yourself have been privileged in many ways, you remember well a childhood of ambivalent acceptance, where abuse but more conventional elites (such as the Novice Fleshweaver) was a commonplace occurrence.

“Before we visit House Yvonlace, I would meet with the people of Wevenore.”

Jazkarmel looks at you strangely, replying: “House Yvonlace is entirely composed of people.”

You realzie that the dark elven tongue uses the same word for ‘people’ in a populist sense as their generic word for ‘elves’, and try again.

“The commoners, the… The basic and poor elves, I mean.”

Jazkarmel’s expression changes subtly, to surprise then a smug smirk of understanding.

“You wish to still hold yourself apart, Copper King? I understand.”

You worry she will take offence, but instead she claps her hands softly together, and two of the largest and most overtly-masculine of her mixed-gender retinue attend to you. Elves are notoriously androgynous creatures by mammalian standards, with none of the obvious chest-and-hip dimorphism which usually sets them apart, nor the tells of scent, throat, and colouration which delineate the sexes in the Master Race, but you feel comfortable assuming these two are ‘elf-men’ and not ‘elf-maids’, or any of the odder subsets and half-genders which the Drow seem to accept as natural.

“These two will attend to you, as guards.”

You shake your head, and gesture to the cadre of loyalist Drow which you brought as part of your own retinue. They have been spending much of their time with the other dark elves—Jazkarmel’s dark elves. This is because they ARE of Jazkarmel’s forces, her subordinates from her military encampment. However, they are converts as well: true followers of the Dark Gods Below and Beyond, turned away from the atheism characteristic of these elven outcasts, forsaken by their ancestral deities. Jazkarmel is as well, but in this place you truly see how divided her loyalties are, and how much they lean towards her flesh-and-blood noble house in lieu of your fresh and foreign dogma.

“I have my own guides,” you counter.
>>
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>>5411407
Jazkarmel frown a little, a cute sort of pout that reminds you of the attraction you once felt towards this elf, though she be thinner and more muscular than you normally like your females. Alas, she is Olu’s claim now… Well, for now. It’s not as if your race believes in lasting couplings, or in monogamy… Right?

“You really ought to take some more highly-ranked elves,” she warns. “These are all good elves, including those you choose, but in Wevenore, birth MATTERS.”

Jazkarmel says these words with seriousness, not with the pride of the high-born but the matter-of-factness of a native daughter of a world she understands in all its highs and lows. She speaks also with concern. You are ignorant of the many elven eyes upon you, staring in horror or fascination... or hunger, seeing the opportunity presented by your obvious wealth and alien status.

You are acceptable targets, loaded with treasure. Only the protection of your noble hosts precludes depredation... Well, and perhaps your imposing size.

Do you accept her offer?
>Yes, take Jazkarmel’s guards with you—though they will no doubt report back to her, and perhaps to the Queen
>No, refuse these meddlers and spies

Do you still have romantic or sexual interest in Jazkarmel?
>Yes—she is beautiful, highborn, and skilled in magic, warfare, and statecraft
>No—she is Olu’s favoured mate, and you would never risk so upsetting a friend just to sate your <appetite> with a comely female
>No… No, you think you might have some interest in a more monogamous course than you have previously followed, and it is not Jazkarmel that you favour for this role

[Write-ins are allowed for both votes, and for any vote where I don’t otherwise specify]
>>
>>5411409
>Yes, take Jazkarmel’s guards with you—though they will no doubt report back to her, and perhaps to the Queen
until we get a better understanding of the area or our own high born allies

>No—she is Olu’s favoured mate, and you would never risk so upsetting a friend just to sate your <appetite> with a comely female
>>
>>5411409
>Yes, take Jazkarmel’s guards with you—though they will no doubt report back to her, and perhaps to the Queen
>No—she is Olu’s favoured mate, and you would never risk so upsetting a friend just to sate your <appetite> with a comely female
>>
>>5411407
>the odder subsets and half-genders which the Drow seem to accept as natural
Huh? What are those oddities and half-genders?
>>5411409
>No, refuse these meddlers and spies
>Take some of your forces as guards
If QM says they are spies, they ARE spies. And we're the fucking DRAGONBORN who gutted the Devourer and scorched a cosmic horror in 1v1.
>No—she is Olu’s favoured mate, and you would never risk so upsetting a friend just to sate your <appetite> with a comely female
>>
>>5411529
>Huh? What are those oddities and half-genders?
[Drow embrace a degree of gender fluidity, transgenderism, and intersexuality which is considered abnormal by the standards of the Reptilian Master Race. I have mentioned before, and some anons even made jokes about whether or nor Jazkarmel had a dick.]
>>
>>5411409
>Yes, take Jazkarmel’s guards with you—though they will no doubt report back to her, and perhaps to the Queen

>No… No, you think you might have some interest in a more monogamous course than you have previously followed, and it is not Jazkarmel that you favour for this role
>Favour Novice
>>
>>5411409
>Yes, take Jazkarmel’s guards with you—though they will no doubt report back to her, and perhaps to the Queen

No harm them coming - but our devoted flock shall join us

>No—she is Olu’s favoured mate, and you would never risk so upsetting a friend just to sate your <appetite> with a comely female

We’re not going to cuck him

We’re in that Novice route…but a concubine will likely be required as she won’t always be in heat
>>
>>5411568
>Novice will self-fleshweave into dragon
>We will fleshweave in our horniness
>Great profit
>>
>>5411409
>Yes, take Jazkarmel’s guards with you—though they will no doubt report back to her, and perhaps to the Queen
>Yes—she is beautiful, highborn, and skilled in magic, warfare, and statecraft
But I think it’s safe to say that we wouldn’t intrude on their relationship unless they break up or Olu is fine with it. No sense going behind his back over a woman, if if she’s a fine one.
>>
>>5411409
>No, refuse these meddlers and spies
I’d rather we not have handlers.
>Yes—she is beautiful, highborn, and skilled in magic, warfare, and statecraft
The better elf died, and romancing her would lock down a high up ally to eventually cement the Drow under our rule. It would be the ‘Dragon’ (i.e. ruthless) thing to do, according to the Master Race.
>>
>>5411409
>Yes, take Jazkarmel’s guards with you—though they will no doubt report back to her, and perhaps to the Queen
>Yes—she is beautiful, highborn, and skilled in magic, warfare, and statecraft…. but not as Olu’s favoured mate.
If it’s attraction, I definitely am, but I’m not about to start pursuing it without Olu’s blessing.
>>
>>5411409
>Yes, take Jazkarmel’s guards with you—though they will no doubt report back to her, and perhaps to the Queen

>No—she is Olu’s favoured mate, and you would never risk so upsetting a friend just to sate your <appetite> with a comely female

What the fuck? No. Don’t cuck him. What is wrong with this playbase.
>>
>>5411529 here, changing my vote to:
>No
>Yes
>>
>>5411409
>Yes, take Jazkarmel’s guards with you—though they will no doubt report back to her, and perhaps to the Queen
>No—she is Olu’s favoured mate, and you would never risk so upsetting a friend just to sate your <appetite> with a comely female
>>
>>5411409
>Yes, take Jazkarmel’s guards with you—though they will no doubt report back to her, and perhaps to the Queen
>No—she is Olu’s favoured mate, and you would never risk so upsetting a friend just to sate your <appetite> with a comely female
>>
>>5411409
>Yes, take Jazkarmel’s guards with you—though they will no doubt report back to her, and perhaps to the Queen
>Yes, but no
I like her, and probably would’ve voted to pursue her had Olu not gotten injured and thus claimed her in our absence. I’m not about to simp for a taken girl, the Devora situation left a bad taste in my mouth as is.
>>
>>5412249
>>5412202
>>5412178
>>5412021
>>5411733
>>5411716
>>5411673
>>5411613
>>5411568
>>5411556
>>5411488
>>5411426
[Vote locked, post incoming!]
>>
>>5412292
You meet Jazkarmel’s garnet eyes and wistfully recall your earlier flirtation, now almost a year ago. Of course, she is still touchy and feely to a degree unheard of in your race’s society, even among mates—her glances, brushes, gentle squeezes of your hand or arm would be considered positively LEWD in Reptilian culture… But that is just elves being elves. It is has never been quite the same since you first departed her camp, bested the massive rust-monster known as ‘The Devourer’, and sent injured Oluwadamilare back to her waiting embrace in your steady.

Even now, you listen as he rationalizes aloud about the usefulness of the Princess’ proposed protective detail. You see how closely they stand, how she nods approvingly, how he glances back at her. Any other Reptilian who picked up on this back-and-forth would think him compromised. You, with your heart open, see something of the love that you desire for yourself, and the happiness of an ally—no, a friend.

“Very well,” you sigh, shaking your head to clear it of these unproductive musings. “We will bring the guards. Your care and guidance in this foreign realm is much appreciated, Princess Jazkarmel.”

She laughs again, but good-naturedly (you think).

“So formal!” she scoffs, patting your bare chest and trailing her fingernails in a way that sends a tingle across your skin even with the sensation-limiting thickness of your ever-bronzier scales.

“I am here on diplomacy,” you note. “It is best to behave as a diplomat would.”

She nods, but still smirks a little.

“Maybe among dwarves, or lizardmen. This is an elf town. We are… Not like that. Especially not where you are going.”

You quickly learn what Jazkarmel means. You and your retinue—bolstered by Jazkarmel’s finest nobleborn fighters, draw stares and skulking followers as you stride through the wide pathways between the coagulated shanties in the poor area of Wevenore. The elves here are wary, curious, occasionally outright hostile… But you are under the protection of Drow nobility, and even those that would most wish to prey upon your naivety or confusion do not dare to linger long when your protectors draw steel. That doesn’t mean they are silently respectful, though—you learn many Drow tunes, sung with the inherent musical skill of the elven race, with many offensive lyrics that they no doubt believe you cannot understand.
>>
>>5412314
“Look at the knight/more like the newt/strapped with a warty blade/and a strange sword to boot!”

“Lizardman, lizardman, have you any gold? It doesn’t much matter when your head’s lopped off and sold!”

“Say the word and me and Jaz’s men will end their insolence,” Olu says, hand on his dagger even as his polite, ‘uncomprehending’ smile remains in place.

The Throat-singer at least seems interested to hear their singing, muttering to himself: “Even these silly rhymes have a tingle of magic. Are all elves like this?”

The steel your own company carries, and which your defenders draw to warn off the boldest among the civilians, is the only metal you see here. That is striking to you—just how stone-age this place is. The Drow have the elven touch of magic, and they have proven lithe, agile, stealthy, sharp-sighted, and deceptively strong for their small and wiry frames… But you see none of the fabled craft of the elves, the beautiful things made with uncanny elegance. The material culture of these people is utterly primitive. IN this slum, you do not even see evidence of their arthropod husbandry—these poorest of the dark elf people keep no large beetles, spiders, or centipedes, but only dried mushroom-cap baskets of crab-like wall-crawlers and tiny, squirming food-bugs which they snack upon while they still live, or casually crush in their palms before consuming.

“Pathetic,” the Novice laughs. “Like the kobolds.”

Ivno says nothing, glancing at her and then looking away.

Your assigned guardians lead you to a Drow domicile on the outskirts of this seedy section, where you are to stay. At first you assume it to be a sort of hotel or barracks—temporary lodging, humble but suitable for a short stay. Then, you see the male (?) female (??) and small collection of children-of-indeterminate-sex which stand to the side and stare with resigned melancholy from across the way.

“This is their home?” you ask one of the nobleborn elves.

“There are no empty lodgings in Wevenore,” you are answered. “Empty lodgings invite dark visitors to lurk, and are wasteful.”

What will you do?
>Stay in this family’s home for the night, in what privacy you can manage, so you can consult among your allies and ask questions of the nobles
>Invite the family back, to share in these (somewhat cramped) lodging with you, and lavish them with gifts, rations, and a sermon of the Dark Gods
>Ask your elven retinue if they have somewhere else where you can stay—and if perhaps they can help guide you to the local cultural hotspot
>Let the others rest, and ditch your security detail to roam the streets and meet with the Drow underclass, unfiltered
>Write-in
>>
>>5412315
>Chastise the Novice for her insult against Ivno's people- they were uplifted, and now live better than many at the forward base

>Let the others rest, and ditch your security detail to roam the streets and meet with the Drow underclass, unfiltered, accompanied only by Ivno

We haven't gotten a good look at our kobold retinue in awhile, and I'm sure he might have something insightful to say. The Drow seem to respect strength; hiding behind our host's skirts will not do us well.
>>
>>5412315
>Invite the family back, to share in these (somewhat cramped) lodging with you, and lavish them with gifts, rations, and a sermon of the Dark Gods.
>>
>>5412315
>Invite the family back, to share in these (somewhat cramped) lodging with you, and lavish them with gifts, rations, and a sermon of the Dark Gods
where would the family have stayed? communal house or barracks or something?

>Chastise the Novice for her insult against the elves- they could never be as lowly as kobolds
>>
>>5412451
>where would the family have stayed?
[There is little harsh weather to worry about down here, nor much threat of animals this close to a sizeable settlement of hunters. So... The street.]
>>
>>5412315
>Invite the family back, to share in these (somewhat cramped) lodging with you, and lavish them with gifts, rations, and a sermon of the Dark Gods
>Chastise the Novice
>>
>>5412315
>Invite the family back, to share in these (somewhat cramped) lodging with you, and lavish them with gifts, rations, and a sermon of the Dark Gods
>>
>>5412315
>Invite the family back, to share in these (somewhat cramped) lodging with you, and lavish them with gifts, rations, and a sermon of the Dark Gods
>Wack the Novice’s ass with our tail as punishment
>>
[Next post may be delayed -- pubbing with a friend after work, so it depends how late I get back.]
>>
>>5412315
>Ask your elven retinue if they have somewhere else where you can stay—and if perhaps they can help guide you to the local cultural hotspot
>Let the others rest, and ditch your security detail to roam the streets and meet with the Drow underclass, unfiltered
Like, getting in touch with the People without kicking them out of their shacks? The sermonizing potential alone makes it worthwhile.
>>
>>5412451
Supporting this
>>
>>5412451
Lmao please don't do this
>>
>>5412315
>Ask your elven retinue if they have somewhere else where you can stay—and if perhaps they can help guide you to the local cultural hotspot
>Don’t chastise the Novice
Like, come on! Just wack her on the ass for the inappropriate comment, don’t actively make our kobold relations worse.
>>
>>5413194
Changing this vote - didn’t read it properly

>Invite the family back, to share in these (somewhat cramped) lodging with you, and lavish them with gifts, rations, and a sermon of the Dark Gods

>Chastise the Novice for her insult against the kobolds - they are part of our empire and deserve respect, especially if they are around
>>
Rolled 8, 18, 18, 9, 20, 3, 18 = 94 (7d20)

>>5412342
>>5412370
>>5412451
>>5412508
>>5412545
>>5412600
>>5412786
>>5413413
>>5413515
Taking a page from her book, you swat the Novice’s thick rear with your tail. With your tail’s girthiness, spiked back, and flattened spade-tip, it has perhaps a bit more impact than her usual chastisements. It certainly elicits quite the yelp, drawing all eyes and an embarrassed look from your companion.

“What?” she demands in a low hiss.

“Do not be so quick to belittle our allies,” you admonish her.

“I suppose youa re correct,” the Novice sneers. “The elves are filthy mammals, but they still have more autonomy and strength as a race than the kob—OW!”

The Novice Fleshweaver rubs her rear at this second, harder swat. Ivno the Kobold stares bug-eyed at this defence… Then, catching you and the Novice both look back, he hurriedly looks away and busies himself checking his pouch and unwrapping some trail rations to eat.

“Really!’ the Novice sighs, speaking more quietly. “You trouble yourself so much with the feelings of those who simply do NOT matter, Dragonborn. Is it ape-sickness, or a pathology unique to the loser-turned-hero?”

“You think me heroic?” you ask.

“I know YOU do,” she scoffs, crossing her arms and turning her face from you.

Well, if THAT bothered her, you KNOw what comes next will. You do it anyway.

“Guards,” you address Jazkarmel’s honour-guard, “you drive these elves from their home. Where will they go?”

The answer which comes—the streets, or wo whichever extended family will offer them space and succor, IF they have any—is troubling.

“Then where will you stay, Dragonborn?” asks one of your loyal elf-acolytes.

“I amy be able to find space…” another muses.

“This place is fine,” you announce, “but we can share it. A Reptilian of good breeding and sound mind is not a creature which craves comfort. I do not need their bed.

This draws murmurs from all quarters, and an incensed flare of the Novice’s nostrils. No doubt she views it as you giving lowborn mammals ideas above their station, while the elves view it as foreign peculiarity. The Throat-singer and Ivno are the first to accept your judgment for what it is; Olu falls in soon after, and inevitably each of your converted elf-disciples awkward takes a place, squatting or cross-legged, against a wall. The princess-assigned guards hesitatingly lead the evicted family back into their all-to-humble (and by now quite cramped domicile), where they stare at you and your entourage in confusion and horror.

“Be not afraid,” you tell them.

[4d20 diplomacy, 3d20 religion]
>>
>>5413672
You smile. It only seems to make them more afraid. You think you haven’t figured out the matter of the eyes yet—smiling, as humans and elves do, is not a natural thing to you. At least you TRY—the Novice certainly doesn’t, and with her lashing tail and agitated body-language, they seem to fear her almost as much as you despite her being two-thirds your height and a third your weight. You attempt a new diplomatic entreaty to make up for this first impression and the Novice Fleshweaver’s lasting malignance: a gift of shiny (and not invaluable) trinkets from your conquests, food from your stores, and kind words.

“I am a friend,” you say, in careful dark elven, limiting your accent; luckily, elf-speak is easier for you than the surfacer’s Norther Common-tongue.

>18

Gradually, the father—taller than the mother by a head, though just as lean and nearly as wide of hip—seems to warm to you. He sees his children playing with your bangles and coins, his wife marveling at the small gems you afford her, his whole family eating well. He partakes of your food.

“What is your price for this?” he asks, direct and suspicious, but polite. “We cannot pay it, unless it is labour, and we cannot weave, or bug-herd, or chitin-smith. We have no metal, no mushroom-farm, no war-skill.”

>20, 18

“I feed your children because the Mother-Goddess bids that young ones should grow strong, so that THEY can have such wealth one day,” you answer, drawing upon your earlier, almost syncretistic approach to introducing the Drow to your pantheon. “The God-King, who values ambition, would see you and your spaw—your CHILDREN—reach your full potential, if you have the will to do so.”

The father and mother listen intently, even patting the ground so that their children come to join them. As a family, they listen eagerly to your preaching. Even the Novice and guards, those most skeptical members of your audience, grow rapt as you elaborate upon your theological underpinnings. You tell these Drow of the Serpent Ascendant, the Sun-Eater who once swallowed the solar realm of the elf-affiliated God of Light, Oberon; the elves cheer and cheer the defeated golden god, who long abandoned their ilk. You speak of the Mother of Dragons, who embraces all creatures big and small, reptile and mammal (and insect) if they but serve, and who offers fecundity and opportunity; The Novice, Ivno, Olu, and Throat-singer all seem to regard the implicit compassion in this sermon with varying stages of disbelief, but also with growing, fascinated understanding.
>>
>>5413677
“So…” one of the Drow sprog asks you during a lull. “Do these Evil Ones not even care that me and my sibling are dirt-elves?”

You tilt your head at the final term, unfamiliar. One of your retinue, native to this place, enlightens you:

“Elves of a family without noble ancestors, or a familial trade, who can offer little fo value.”

“But… But we COULD, right? The ‘Mother of Dragons’ will give us food and shelter, until me and my sibling are strong? The ‘Serpent Ascendant’ will help us if we work really hard?”

The bigger of these two runty elf-children holds the hand of the other, who stares in rapt quiet, mouth slightly agape. Their parents look between each other, as concerned as hopeful, and then turn to wait for your answer. Your guards, though much less guarded, wait also… As does the Novice, and your other Reptilian followers (and slave Throat-singer).

You know this answer will be reported, amongst the Drow underclass and to their upper crust. So too do you know that the Novice and your other longstanding allies will draw conclusions from it. It could build a fellowship of faith, and provide a path to proselytization. It could cause friction, contradiction, even revolution. You are attempting to introduce the True Faith to these people, but yours is a culture of rigid hierarchy and subjugation… And so, in different but familiar ways, is that of the Drow. Will you risk upending this?
>Encourage the underclasses to stay in their place, and do their duty, to earn lesser honours
>Inspire social lessers to strive above their station, for the same glory as the noblest of nobles and most highborn of peoples
>Make it clear that while RARE individuals can transcend their birth, this is VERY much the exception—most are bound to their starting station, and this is right and good
>Dodge the question with waffling answers and unclear innuendo, then flim-flam to a different subject before you are called out
>Write-in
>>
>>5413679
>Inspire social lessers to strive above their station, for the same glory as the noblest of nobles and most highborn of peoples

To be a dragon is to struggle, to covet, to take, to hoard, and to rule. Above all else, however, it is to strive. Strive towards greater and greater heights until no one else is above you, and then to strive even higher because that is the nature of a dragon. Ambition is a must for every worshiper.
>>
>>5413679
Our refusal to off, glowies hybrid kids caused the prosecutor of the weak/ The law giver to break off regular communication with the other dark gods.

As seen by how he refused to show up at our religious performance two chapters ago.

So at this point i doubt social hierarchy matters at all to the remaining 4 dark gods. So we might as well do what gives our missionary efforts the most traction.

>Inspire social lessers to strive above their station, for the same glory as the noblest of nobles and most highborn of peoples
>>
>>5413679
>>Inspire social lessers to strive above their station, for the same glory as the noblest of nobles and most highborn of peoples

This will please serpent daddy. Do we get paladinship now?
>>
>>5413679
>Inspire social lessers to strive above their station, for the same glory as the noblest of nobles and most highborn of peoples
>>
>>5413679
>Encourage the underclasses to stay in their place, and do their duty, to earn lesser honours
Just like in India.
>>
>>5413679
>Make it clear that while RARE individuals can transcend their birth, this is VERY much the exception—most are bound to their starting station, and this is right and good

Not all can be like a dragon…
>>
>>5413679
>Make it clear that while RARE individuals can transcend their birth, this is VERY much the exception—most are bound to their starting station, and this is right and good
>>
>>5413679
>Inspire social lessers to strive above their station, for the same glory as the noblest of nobles and most highborn of peoples

Our entire thing is upending the current social structure and creating a new one. While it might come to be more solidified, this dark crusade is still in progress, so we need our own zealots and boot-strappers.
>>
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>>5413689
>>5413712
>>5413741
>>5413810
>>5413845
>>5413894
>>5413900
>>5413906
It flies in the face of what you’ve been taught, raised to believe… Even the pragmatic prejudice which you have exercised and enforced back in the Bloodrise. With your heart newly-opened, though, and so many hopefully faced turned to yours, you find it difficult to deny these aspirants their ambition. After all, you have less dragon-blood now than the Junior Novice, crouched in a corner and licking himself. Whatever you were RAISED to believe, you have since learned the truth: your power came from the convention-defying meddling of a Degenerate mother, augmented with your own strength of spirit. Is there any reason a dwarf, kobold, or dark elf cannot do likewise?

“A noble bloodline is established by a founder with a noble spirit,” you proclaim, with absolute certainty.

You wonder if the Serpent Ascendant is watching. Does he approve?

“The original elven nobility were the children of gods,” one of Princess Jazkarmel’s assigned attendants says, a little uncertainly.

“Gods who abandoned you?” you ask pointedly. “Gods you reject? Gods who your nobles, souls aflame with righteous fury, turned against and now scorn?”

That silences him. Now those two guards, and all those in your impromptu congregation, listen as you explain the philosophy which you understand to be at the heart of your campaign—your own burgeoning Dragon Kingdom.

“Monsters, mutants, hybrids, the lowborn… They may be born worse, but this simply means they have to work harder to climb. Rise, and take glory for yourselves! Prove your worth! If you have the spirit of a dragon, you can BE a dragon.”
>>
>>5414810
The Novice scoffs quietly, and though she does not interrupt, you can hear her rejoinder as clearly as if she said it aloud: ‘If that is so, why are you wearing that amulet, filled with the blood of dead dragons, to make yourself more like them?’

“A truly draconic spirit matters more than a draconic body,” you assert. “The Mother of Dragons is mother to MANY beings… Not all of them beautiful, or titanic. To be a True Dragon is to struggle, and to strive. Struggle against the limitations of one’s birth, and strive towards greater and greater heights until no one else is above you, and then to strive even higher because that is the nature of a Dragon!”

By the time your sermon is concluded, the Throat-singer and Ivno stare at you with wide eyes, as do the Drow youth. Their parents regard you with a quiet respect and admiration, like… Well, like a Dark Prophet. When you lead a prayer to the Dark Gods Beyond and Below, they all join you—even the Novice, even Jazkarmel’s hand-selected elf-men!

You do not invoke the Lawgiver by name. The King of the Pyramid, Persecutor of the Weak, Lord of Chains and Slaves… If you hadn’t lost him before, you are lost to him now, most certainly.

As you settle in to rest your weary mind, spirit, and body, your fellowship follows your example: you sleep simply upon the floor, back against a rough-cut stone slab of a wall, and even the home’s owners do likewise (though the children settle into their parents’ laps).

Do you dream?
>Yes, of the Serpent Ascendant [Official paladinhood? It’s possible…]
>Yes, of the Baleful Beholder [Learn more of shoggoths and/or elven secrets?]
>Yes, of the Mother of Dragons [A blessing for your converts? A gift for you?]
>Yes, of Davora [Learn the fate of your lost lover? Gain an opportunity unknown from Death Himself?]
>Yes, of the Persecutor of the Weak [A parting gift, a dire warning]
>No [skip the dream sequence, gain a single stat-boost for a good night’s rest]
>>
>>5414812
>Yes, of the Serpent Ascendant [Official paladinhood? It’s possible…]

It's time.
>>
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>>5414812
[Oh, and sorry, I should specify: please only choose one, and no write-ins unless it's a really good one.]
>>
>>5414812
>Yes, of the Mother of Dragons [A blessing for your converts? A gift for you?]
A gift would be nice.
>>
>>5414812
>Yes, of the Baleful Beholder [Learn more of shoggoths and/or elven secrets?]

mah boi
also shog sord
>>
>>5414812
>Yes, of the Mother of Dragons [A blessing for your converts? A gift for you?]
GIFT!
>>
>>5414812
>Yes, of the Mother of Dragons [A blessing for your converts? A gift for you?]

She’s giving our converts shit? That’s a new one and a great sign for our efforts of bringing her back to our people.
>>
>>5414812
>Yes, of Davora [Learn the fate of your lost lover? Gain an opportunity unknown from Death Himself?]
Devora! A chance to get Devora back would be worthwhile.

I am curious at what gift MoD would give us and our converts though, so if Devora doesn’t get any support consider my vote going to MoD. I do hope to get the chance of returning Devora to the living later.
>>
>>5414812
>Yes, of the Mother of Dragons [A blessing for your converts? A gift for you?]
>>
>>5414812
>Yes, of the Persecutor of the Weak [A parting gift, a dire warning]
;_;
I never wanted to push him away, I just wanted a united Pantheon. I’m sorry Prosecutor.
>>
>>5414812
We getting back to the regular weekend updates soon or are you still busy RQM?
>>
>>5414917
[OT shift today, bu tomorrow you'll probably get two updates. Today's shift aside, it's less that I'm busy and more that I'm depressed, and it's worsened when the sunlight is reduced throughout the day. I'm half jungle-person and I live in Canada, and my sad-lamp can only do so much.]
>>
>>5414812
>Yes, of the Serpent Ascendant [Official paladinhood? It’s possible…
>>
>>5414812
>Yes, of the Mother of Dragons [A blessing for your converts? A gift for you?]
>>
>>5414812
>Yes, of the Serpent Ascendant [Official paladinhood? It’s possible…]

It’s time - he’s a bro and we do much in his name
>>
>>5414929
I can relate, I’m practically a sunflower going into winter. Take some Vitamin D and try not to be hard on yourself, alright?
>>
>>5414812
>Yes, of the Serpent Ascendant [Official paladinhood? It’s possible…]
>>
Can't believe all of you are not voting for serpent, aligning most with all our meaningful choices, just for a mystery box gift
>>
>>5415015
I’ve always preferred BB tho
>>
>>5415074
Iniially, I was eye daddy team. But our constent recklessness and action are way more aligned toward pleasing the god of self-made-reptile...
>>
>>5415074
The Baleful beholder turned down our request to become his champion previously. And He mostly just offers information anyway.
>>
>>5415011
>>5414989
>>5414979
>>5414977
>>5414903
>>5414896
>>5414891
>>5414885
>>5414883
>>5414843
>>5414833
>>5414825
In your sleep, you are not alone. Of late, you have dreamed often—too often, for a member of the Master Race, who do not typically dream at all. Worse, you have had not pleasant dreams, but nightmares. You have dreamt of green armour, of a sword engraved with images of dying dragons, of the Green Knight Yosef, the human champion you know you are fated to fight… But this sleep, this dream, is not one of those.

“It is because you are not dreaming, young one.”

The voice is booming without echo, intimate in proximity without tenderness of tone. You open your eyes and perceive a rolling hill, drifting past your vision as if you were astride a basilisk, or carried in a litter by supplicants; it moves, though you don’t. Then, you recognize the voice—The Mother of Dragons—and understand what you are seeing: not rolling hills, but mountainous coils of her tangled and snaking mass, spilling out over a distant horizon, shifting around you as she circles ever closer. You look up, to find her face…

No, not face—FACES.

In previous visions, you have sometimes perceived this dark deity (who is preserver of your people’s fertility and creator of Glowie’s strange race of great glow-worms) with two heads: a reptilian one and an insectoid one. Now, you see a third. At first you think it a twisted mockery of your own, with a mammalian shock of hair atop it and trailing behind, yet stretched and elongated into an almost Reptilian shape; but no, the skin is different, porous and without scales, softer in features and darker in hue.

“You have brought me new mothers, new children,” the Lady of the Rookery notes. “You have encouraged their masses to multiply, and to do so in my name…”

She pauses, her heads looking at one another and expressions scrunching in distaste.

“…And in HIS name, it is true.”

You drop to one knee and bow your head.

“I am but a servant of the Dark Gods, Below and Beyond,” you say.

“A good servant,” she enthuses. “A worthy and worthwhile one… A loyal son of a dutiful daughter-of-daughters.”

You keep your head bowed, avoiding the eye of the trio of terrible and tremendous faces which now approach you.

“You who returned my kobolds to me, who donated your seed to my priestess, and who now work so hard to bring me these pretty little elves… You deserve a reward, I think.”

You bow your head lower in thanks, though your mind whirls as you try to imagine what gift the Dark Goddess might offer you.

“You are generous and good, Mother-Goddess,” you say to her.
>>
>>5415305
The goddess rears up, her head now towering high in the bleak and empty blackness which serves as ‘sky’ to this mysterious place.

“From now on,” she announces, with the weight of history and of destiny, like a commandment or a verdict, “your followers will be most fertile, and their children shall be as YOUR children, as MY children. These elves who you convert shall sire offspring touched by greatness, bearing your mark—the mark of miracle! Generous goddess that I am, I will even grace those elf-children who heeded your words with this gift, though they were born outside of my loving embrace.”

You narrow your eyes.

“Thank you,” you say.

What does that MEAN, you wonder?

“You will see,” the Mother of Dragons chortles, as if hearing or otherwise sensing your speculation.

“…Yes, Great Goddess.”

“There is one more thing,” she coos. “A gift just for you…”

The horrifying maws of the Divine Mother’s three heads are again close—close enough for you to feel the gale-like wind of her hot breath from three directions, like a hurricane. Close enough to whisper, to kiss… To devour you utterly.

“What do you desire, Dragonborn?”

>Her name
To summon her power in the waking world would be a great boon in impressing her might, and your divine right, upon the elf-queen tomorrow …

>Her mark
What commandments does she make of an Antipaladin? Maybe it’s time to find out… And to receive her power in turn.

>Her guidance
You would have the heat of your childhood rival-turned-advisor and aid. Can the Goddess of Fertility induce estrus and desire in a haughty Serpent Priestess? Can she guide you to woo The Novice?

>Her priestess
Glowie the Greatworm, mother of your sons, has become great and terrible as with this ‘Grandmother’ of hers, but you wish to hold her again—to allow her to travel with you, as she did, freed from the trappings of her new queenly mass.

>Her
You would breed a Queen of Queens, the Mother-Goddess herself, and sire a true LEGEND... Even if whispered stories of the Mother Goddess' other mortal lovers do have notoriously dark conclusions.

>Write-in
>>
>>5415309
>Her
Dragon Demi-God Quest is a go. I do wonder what her commandments would be btw.
>>
>>5415309
I'm tied between a perpetual in-heat Novice and Dragon Demi-god Quest.
>>
>>5415309
>Her priestess

We'll need a good representative for the buggos on the Council; Glowie is incredibly loyal and an asset.
>>
>>5415309
>Her name

I see fucking her blowing up in our face massively
>>
>>5415309
>Her name.

We need to covert the bulk of this city for
Our long term alliance plans to work.

And while inspiring words might be enough for the lower classes, the upper classes will require more.
>>
>missed a vote
>yuckiest shit happens
every fucking timeee
>>5415309
>Her guidance
Fuck it, might as well fuck a reptile for once, ye?
>>
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>>5415485
>reptile
>>
>>5415309
>Her
we fugged a god!!!!
>>
>>5415309
>Her
>>
>>5415309
>Write-in

>Eliminate the staggered breeding cycle for the Master Race. Make it so that there is a low-level perpetual heat and desire to mate (just like humans)

Anons, one of the biggest weaknesses of our Race is our low birthrate compared to other races

With the Mother granting our followers more fertility, if we were to change our breeding cycle - this would help ensure that the Master Race is not supplanted by others…
>>
>>5415657
I feel like that goes beyond the scope of our little favor here, though.
>>
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>>5415593
What's wrong? I'm not versed in dragon taxonomy, RQM.
Also changing my vote (>>5415485) to
>Eliminate the staggered breeding cycle
seems it's the only smart choice here
>>5415664
Cry about it
>>
>>5415674
Not crying about it, just don't want to get our godly favor yanked for being a greedy lil guy.
>>
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>>5415674
[Oh, my bad, I totally misread and thought you meant the MoD.]

[We don't have a clear majority yet, and given the implications, I'm going to leave this open a liiiittle longer.]
>>
>>5415690
I'll change my vote to
>Her
to speed things along. A godly son or daughter would be cool, even if it will lead to inevitable complications.
>>
>>5415657
If this doesn’t get support then I’ll vote for:
>Her Name

Breeding her is stupid
>>
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>>5415826
>>5415749
>>5415674
>>5415652
>>5415607
>>5415477
>>5415348
>>5415338
>>5415315
“Maybe…” you pause, musing for a moment. “Maybe a blessing for my own race—something similar to what you offer the elves? Our heat cycles limit us, and our birth-rate declines.”

The Mother Goddess sniffs, and in her chorus of three voices, she tells you “My gifts are what keeps your people fecund at all, little one. I have done all that I can for them. But yes, those who follow you and take my sacrament, they shall bear healthy and strong young as well.”

“And many of them?” you ask, pressing your luck just a little by intruding upon divine mystery for clarity’s sake. “More young than normal? Perhaps an extended season?”

“Oh? I thought you and the so-called ‘Sun-Eater’ values quality over quantity?”

You nod slowly, but then her words spark an idea—a risky, dangerous notion, but one you cannot shake.

“Then perhaps,” you say, lifting your eyes to meet those of the least-terrifying, Reptilian visage of the three-headed Goddess, “I should be mating with he Mother of Might?”

The Lady of the Rookeries coils cease their slithering… And then, like a crashing tidal wave of flesh and bone, then sweep inward to encircle and lift you, trapped and confining you. You feel the urge to struggle, to free yourself and to flee, but you resist it. You hold fast.

“Oooh ho ho?” the Dark Goddess asks through her dragon-face, while the insectoid countenance chitters and the stretched-and-warped mammal one chuckles darkly, sniffing at you with deep whiffs. “You have come to think yourself quite the seductor, haven’t you, mortal?”

In truth, the experience is terrifying beyond words: being wrapped up in the immeasurable power of a God, her divine perception focused on you with a tangible intensity. The pressure exerted by her examination is as if the stars descended from the heavens to meet you… Blinding, burning… Or something still greater and more terrible emerged from Beyond The Stars, to destroy you even more utterly. Her manifestation is hardly a thing of sensuality, either—this dream-vision is, I truth, nightmarish.

“I have heard that great heroes in days of lore… Have been graced with such honours,” you say, keeping the tremor from your voice.

“Dragon Kings and Serpent Priests,” she softly whispers. “All of them came to me seeking my blessing of protection. My price was their seed, to raise up champion children… Vandria, An-Ur, Gorgon, Scylla… Servants and founders of new races. I deemed them suitable for such a trade by right of their accomplishments. And yet you come here, young and yet fresh to the worlds of war and mystic knowledge, and ask for the same bargain?”

“I offer… Request… The mating, nothing more.”

The laughter which rings out is like thundering storm, like roaring flame.

“Very well, bold little boy,” the Dark Goddess says. “I promised you a gift…”
>>
Rolled 8, 18, 13, 13, 3, 5, 2 = 62 (7d20)

>>5415830
Her coils slide over you, but even as they do, her terrible magnificence shrinks, diminishes to something more comprehensible to your limited senses… And much more comely and comfortable. She is like the nagas of the ancient Eastlands, largely snake-like in form but with a limbed torso astride it where a serpent might have a head. She is many armed—arms which now pry and peel away your clothing with simple touches, faster than seems possible, while her tail-torso keeps you bound and all-but-immobile, sliding over your new nudity short-snouted draconic head crowned with scintillating slowness. Her face is… Elven, or dwarven, perhaps, however, though finely scaled and with a crest of horns like a crown; beneath her chin, upon her chest, sits a weighty and distinctly-mammalian chest. This is not the only touch of the non-reptilian races about her: as her slithering mass (still many times your own) glides over you, and her sex finds yours, she locks centipede-like legs around you.

“Enjoy your reward, ‘Dragon-King’,” she whispers, sliding arms around you and pressing her chest to yours. “Let us see if you are equal to the those who have held such title, and made such entreaties, in the past.”

She sinks down upon you with an indescribable sensation—something which transcends conventional, physical sexual pleasure, and for the next few minutes (hours? days? years? AEONS?) you are milked of everything you are: not seed, or not ONLY seed, but your very soul-self is sucked out of you by increments, until you are empty, nothing: dry, dead, a husk, a shell. You—all that you are or have ben or will be, all that your ancestors are, all your future descendant sight be—are drained drop by drop from you, to be contained inside the Goddess.

It is wondrous. It is horrifying. You never want it to end. You want to get away right now, and never return. You understand as you never have before. Your senses, overwhelmed and shattered, can conceive of nothing.

You fear you will perish, or go mad.

[4d20 athleticism 3d20 religion.]
>>
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>>5415832
>18 athleticism

You manage to struggle free from the coils of the Mother of Dragons, to wrestle your limbs free… But not for long.

>3 religion

You meet her eyes—so many eyes! Were there always so many eyes? How many faces does she have? How many eyes, how many teeth, how many laughing mouths full of sharp teeth or gnashing mandibles or rasping tongues, how many damned EYES?! It’s not unlike fighting the shoggoth again…

If ONLY you were fighting!

Horror fills you, and you scream. You cannot hear the scream over the Dark Goddess’ laughter. Unable to look away from the true face of your dark and divine paramour, you are pulled back into her many arms, to her motherly bosom, and back into the depths of her world of pleasure and pain.

“Oh no,” she moans. “You are GOOD for one so young. You are not permitted to leave until I am ENTIRELY through with you, little boy.”

It seems like an eternity—now an eternity of terror without name, rather than of erotic delight—before you wake. Wake you DO though, to find Olu the Archer leaning over you, shaking you. It takes you a moment to realize who he is, who YOU are, and where you are.

“How long has it been?” you ask, voice hoarse.

“Since we arrived?” Oluwadamilare asks, confused. “A few hours, perhaps. You have been in torpor for some time… But we have been trying to wake you. You were thrashing, crying out… We feared poison, or magic.”

“Something like that,” you murmur. “I am fine.”

You aren’t sure you are. The lingering images and sensations sit with you still. The waking world seems an unreal, distant place even as you rise to stand. Your body feels... Foreign. You flex your hands and kick your feet, lash your tail and take a deep breath. Yes, you’re real, and alive, and awake. The eyes, mouths… That soul-consuming warmth and suction-pressure is gone. You shiver.


“The Novice Fleshweaver said as much,” Olu says, with a wry half-smile.

“Is that why my principal physician is not attending to me in such distress?” you sigh.

“There is something else, also-too,” says Ivno the Kobold, and you look to him taking a moment to comprehend the words.

“Fleshweaver is helping,” Ivno says, “but little elf-spawn… They have changed.”
>>
>>5415869

You follow his gaze to the other side of the room. There, the worried-looking Drow parents whose hovel you occupy stand back from where the Novice has clinically stripped their offspring of their ratty robes to reveal bodies which are, indeed, changed. They seem fearful, withing under the Novice Fleshweaver’s attentions, but otherwise unharmed and in no medical distress… But their pitch-black elven skin is now flecked with patches of scale, spreading across their torso and dotting them, like a Degenerate.

Copper scales, like yours. And their eyes, fearful and confused, are the same green as your own.

“What is this?” their father asks of you, interrupting your conversation (spoke in the True Speech) with his elven words.

“A miracle,” you answer.

You guide the Novice away, though she parts from the magical-medical oddity with considerable reluctance, and tell her (some of) what transpired in your vision. When her flummoxed disbelief is addressed, you offer explanation to the dark elves. Perhaps it is because you primed them to embrace your True Faith the night prior, but all those present accept this ‘gift’ for what it is, rather than reacting to the magical mutations with continued horror. You even lead them all in a prayer of thanks to the Divine Mother—they seem a little shaken still, and this can put them at ease AND avoid the Lady of the rookery’s wrath at perceived ingratitude.

“What do we tell Princess Jazkarmel, though?” one of her guards asks.

He seeks your advice? Your permission? Your speechmaking last night, coupled with this demonstration of divine favour, seems to have made a pretty major impression.

>Spread the word of what happened here—of your generosity, and of your deity’s blessing made manifest
>Tell Jazkarmel (and the other nobles) nothing, and keep this secret… At least for now, until you know how they will react
>Let the Novice continue to study them, and delay reporting this (or meeting with the nobles) at all, just for now
>Write-in
>>
>>5415878
>Tell Jazkarmel (and the other nobles) nothing, and keep this secret… At least for now, until you know how they will react
>Offer to take the family with you to our holdings in bloodrise once we leave. Their children are blessed and will be given a role in our kingdom should they grow worthy.

I'd say keep it a secret for now, for non-believers it'd be pretty horrifying for this to happen to children.
>>
>>5415690
>Tell Jazkarmel (and the other nobles) nothing, and keep this secret… At least for now, until you know how they will react
We should at least know what is happening. Getting accused of witchcraft/experimentation/brainwashing of the drow is the last thing we need right now.
>Thank the guards for understanding
>>
>>5415878
>Tell Jazkarmel (and the other nobles) nothing, and keep this secret… At least for now, until you know how they will react
>Let the Novice continue to study them
>Thank the guards for understanding
>>
>>5415878
>Spread the word of what happened here—of your generosity, and of your deity’s blessing made manifest
>>
>>5415878
>Tell Jazkarmel (and the other nobles) nothing, and keep this secret… At least for now, until you know how they will react
>>
>>5416169
Supporting + offer to take them with us when we return home
>>
>>5416169
+1
>>
>>5416169
+1 to this, seems wise.
>>
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>>5416974
>>5416970
>>5416773
>>5416538
>>5416402
>>5416169
>>5416013
>>5415892
[My buddy's birthday was tonight. Sorry for the late update! Vote locked, writing.]
>>
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>>5417092
You thank the guards for their understanding and loyalty to your cause. This seems to fill both the elf-men with ambivalence, as if you have forced them to recognize the new duality of their loyalty…. But the evidence of divine guidance and attention stares them in the face, with two pairs of wide and youthful, lizard-green eyes.

You are not naïve, though. You recognize that this unnatural event could be viewed… Poorly… By those not already swayed to the True Faith. They might see it as some vile, foreign infiltration—something not exactly far-off from your race’s usual modus operandi. To be frank, even YOU aren’t entirely sure what has happened, and that makes you… Uneasy. Your vision of the Mother of Dragons is already fading, suppressed by your subconscious so as to not break your nerve and leave you a shuddering mess. You are aware that this is her doing… And that, in addition to this, she gave you another gift… Something great and terrible.

You instruct all present to keep the secret. Form the guards, and from your packs, you gather cloth; with her medical supplies, the Novice Felshweaver and Ivno work together to sew cloaks for the elf-children, to bundle them and hide their scales.

“What shall we tell the others who see them?” their mother asks, worried. “This is not typical Drow dress.”

It’s certainly a lot more modest than what even the children wear here, which is a confabulation of leather and cloth not unlike your own attire or that of Jazkarmel’s guards; such ample fabric, even low-quality fabric, seems to be reserved for a noble or priestly class.

“Tell your neighbours that your children suffer from a scabrous pox,” Oluwadamilare suggests, without much pause. “This will explain any scales they spy, and encourage people to keep their distance.”

He speaks with the authority of a Degenerate nfiltrator—of a Reptilian who, going amongst his mammalian forebears in the surface’s Southlands, ahs no doubt used the excuse himself. You nod yoru thanks to him, as well.

“Study them,” you whisper to the Novice. “Remain here to render medical aid… But tell me what you learn, what this IS, and how far the mutation goes.”

The Novice tries, and fails, to hide a rattling cackle that draws concerned looks from your elf companions. You grimace and hastily place a hand over her mouth, drawing and indignant-but-muffled hiss.

“Do not touch me, Filthy and Impure One,” she snaps, quietly enough not to be overheard, in order to cover her obvious embarrassment at your familiarity.

“I don’t recall you minding, in private,” you note.

The Novice fumes, but says nothing. As she leaves, you watch the lash of her tail, the way of her rear… But then, unbidden, a half-remembered glimpse of a cavernous and toothy cave appears, filled with staring eyes and dark laughter, swallowing you whole, waist first. Your libidinous interest wanes.
>>
>>5417115
The Novice sets up one of her impromptu field labs, with a hastily-erected curtain to serve as a screen for comfort and modesty, but most of all for secrecy. The elven retinue prays with you again, but then many of them filter back into these slums, or to the relatively-wealthier areas beyond them. They are sworn to secrecy… An oath that, you pray, they will keep. Only the noble guardsmen and a smattering of those who arrived with you remain by your side, as well as (of course) your Reptilian fellows and your dwarven slave.

You partake in a meal—foodbug meal, ground into a mushroom bread and served in a thin and oily broth. It is spartan, and not terribly appetizing. The spices the elves employ are altogether too strong, overpowering the savoury flavour of the meat. The mushroom-earthiness is digestible, but unappetizing to your carnivorous palette. It is, all and all, not THAT unlike the foodstuffs of your youth.

It is not long after that when a contingent of silk-swaddled, dark-elves arrives. They bear no easily-stolen gems, and they watch the skulking sneakthieves of this impoverished area with watchful eyes, hands on their rare surface-steel blades (or, in one elf’s case, upon a witch-stone, iridescent in an arcane way with the subtle magelight visible mainly to your sixth-sense). At first, their coverings are so loose and so complete, their faces so androgynous, that you know not if they are elf-man or elf-maid, but their witchling speaks with a shocking-deep voice, to put yours or even Olu’s deep baritone to shame.

“I come bearing the sigil of Prince-Ascending Corandiirn, of House Sambra,” the elf-mage speaks, tracing that sigil in the air with the gem, and leaving a faintly-glowing symbol for a moment in its wake. “He who is favoured as King-of-Elves by the wise and learned, the cunning and the clever, who wields strength well-born and well-earned.”
“…Greetings.”

Your reply is wary. You shift subtly to block the entrance to the home, automatically, to prevent anyone spying the blessed (or, depending upon perspective, afflicted) youths. You note these elves haven’t yet stated a purpose.

“The King-to-Come would have words,” the mage says. It has the air of command.

How do you reply?
>Accompany the powerful prince’s envoy, and perhaps learn his nature and test the waters of alliance
>Decline, as you owe the Queen-of-Elves a visit first before the MAYBE, SOMEDAY king
>Ask him politely but firmly to speak, and tell you these words, if he knows them—you are content to remain here, until then
>Scoff at this insulting posturing, and reject this indignity in no uncertain terms—you are here as an equal, or better, and will NOT be summoned!
>Write-in
>>
>>5417117
>Feign ignorance and ask them if he’s the Queen’s son if he’s king-to-be. We’re already plan to meet with his mother so we don’t need to see him.
>Decline, as you owe the Queen-of-Elves a visit first before the MAYBE, SOMEDAY king

When you play politics with elves you don’t let your emotions show. Their jab and posturing deserves a response, but not an emotional one. Insult him indirectly and with reasonable doubt as to whether we even meant to insult him. Politics is a game and not a war.
>>
>>5417117
>Accompany the powerful prince’s envoy, and perhaps learn his nature and test the waters of alliance
Bros before hoes. Especially after fucking a literal cosmic horror.
>>
>>5417136
+1

>>5417171
Compare cocks with him to rebound from god mommy??
>>
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>>5417180
>Compare cocks with him
We'd win 2:1
>>
>>5417136
Supportin'
>>
>>5417193
>In b4 elf tournament is giant cock measuring contest
>>
>>5417117
>Ask him politely but firmly to speak, and tell you these words, if he knows them—you are content to remain here, until then
>>
>>5417261
I wouldn’t even be surprised if that’s a real thing, given their weird gender dynamics.
>>
>>5417136
Supporting
>>
>>5417171
+1
>>
>>5417117
>Accompany the powerful prince’s envoy, and perhaps learn his nature and test the waters of alliance
damn i hope godess sex hasn't ruined us for normal women
>>
>>5417261
>>5417318
It would take 2 of them just to be able to compete with our shotgun, lmao.
>>
>>5417117
>Accompany the powerful prince’s envoy, and perhaps learn his nature and test the waters of alliance
>>
>>5417117
>Decline, as you owe the Queen-of-Elves a visit first before the MAYBE, SOMEDAY king
>>
>>5417136
+1
>>
>>5417957
>>5414883
Last vote if that matter fuck university wifi
>>
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>>5417957
>>5417863
>>5417757
>>5417516
>>5417428
>>5417317
>>5417252
>>5417180
>>5417171
>>5417136
[Formulating response...]
>>
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>>5418167
>>
>>5417507
>>
>>5418167
>>5418170
“Your master… This princeling… He is the queen’s son, then, yes?”

Your long-time allies are unable to understand the subtle retort, the insulting ‘misunderstanding’ veiled in false ignorance. He who can, Oluwadamilare, must stifle a laugh; however, with his skilled Infiltrator expertise, you doubt anyone else familiar with him would notice the incredibly momentary slip-up. To the elves in your retinue, though, it is a grave heresy—their eyes widen, mouths part slightly as they stare agape. None correct you, though any who have tarveled logn with you know well enough that Princess Jazkarmel must have explained something of their politics before your arrival.

But the Elf-Mage, emissary of the King-to-maybe-be, does not.

“That is not… Quite how it works.”

“Oh?” you ask innocently. “You do not follow primogeniture, then? He is one son among many? Then… Forgive me, but would it not be more prudent to pay my visit to your crown’s current holder, rather than an aspirant?”

“Her time will soon be at an end,” the androgynous sorcerer with the booming voice says, eyes flashing with the willpower needed to hold back harsher words and explosive power. “The season of women and weakness ends. Elf-men stand tall again.”

“But… You are an elf-man, then?” you ask, with feigned shock. “I am sorry, I… I did not realize. Your race’s stature… Your slimness… It is hard for me to tell.”

The mage looks up at you, poorly hiding fury. He must look QUIET a ways up, with your current stature and his own stunted height—though he is tall for an elf, he is still shy of six feet in height, where you have grown to tower at ten, with a broad and muscular frame covered in glistening copper scales which put his drab grey-white silks and mottled grey-black, mammal-sweaty skin to shame.

(Not to mention that, with your hemipenes, you’d win any contest of manhood by a ration of two-to-one…)

“I am,” he says, through a gritted-tooth ‘smile’.

“Well, I am sure you are much beloved by elf-maids,” you say, with casual disinterest. “I seem to be as well, though… In a different way, of course! Ha!”

His eyes narrow.

“I am sorry,” you say, with a low bow of your horned head. “I was summoned by the Queen-of-Elves. I feel… Obligated… To make an appearance at your people’s royal house, first and foremost.”

“I understand,” he snarls toothily, “of course.”

With that, the elf-wizard turns on heel. His swordsmen follow him—if, indeed, they are not swordswomen, or sword-neuters, or whatever-in-the-hells else elves see fit to field in battle.
>>
>>5418213
Then again, perhaps you should not be SO swift to judge, seeing as how you now travel to greet a sultanate of women—MAMMAL women. This, among your won people, would be seek as an illogical and plainly awful arrangement, and your visit to them might well be seen as indignity. Yet together with Olu, Karz, and Ivno, plus Jazkarmel’s two guards (their names are apparently Jhamrius and Sengar), this is where you now go; you leave the Novice to attend to her experiments, and the Junior Novice to keep her company and serve as a guard.

When you arrive at House Yvonlace, you are… Underwhelmed., admittedly. They have the usual luminous crystals ensconced in their walls or suspended atop fungal growths cultivated to lamplike scepters, and they have draped silks about, some dyed with patterns of reddish-brown iconography of some intricacy. You have seen surface-elf art, though, and this is—sadly—pale imitation from their darker, deeper cousins. Even when a pageant of beautiful, black-skinned and pointy-eared young mammals comes to meet you in a strange, symmetrically-choreographed tiptoeing dance, you cannot help but feel they are a mockery of the elven finery you have read of, heard tell of…

Until they pull out their blades, hidden from within their flowing fabric, and begin what you are told by one of Jazkarmels men is called ‘The Dance of Silk and Steel’.

“A good elf-maid, like a good elf-man, must be ready to kill and die,” Sengar tells you.

“But with greater grace, unflinching face,” says Jhamrius.

Indeed, the cold-but-beautiful expressions of the Drow who perform this dance is striking. These women are no soft creatures, but warriors; even in your own race’s harsh conditions, a female of high birth like the Novice can afford to be out-of-shape physically, with her soft body and thick rump; she gets by on charisma, intellect, and magical ability. Here, no elf in these impoverish under-lands dares lose his (or her) athleticism, even among their upper echelons.

But the time that the Queen-for-the-Season arrived, led by a gem-bespeckled Jazkarmel and the e other young and berobed noblewomen, you are unsurprised to find ‘Myrymma’ looks no older than her daughters and nieces, and moves with the precision and strength of an athlete beneath her relative royal finer—a tall and towering trifle of folded-and-stacked silk and string-like lace, dangling star-like gems to frame a beautiful and noble visage, and icy-silver eyes. No elf like these dancers, you sense, would long tolerate any bloated or lethargic queen.
>>
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>>5418216

“Queen Myrmma,” you greet here.

“Copper Dragon, King of Bloodrise,” she acknowledges, smiling only slightly, and speaking with deep dignity.

She stands still before you. Her daughters bow.

She, notably, does not.

Do you?
>Bow—you are a visitor, and not even paramount among your race
>Do not bow—you are racially superior, and a conquering king
>Incline your head but slightly, and ask to speak in private—king to queen, equal-to-equal
>Flirt, complimenting her in faintly-admiring terms [must make a religion roll, or find the words choked in your throat as grimly-erotic memories of the Queen of Dragons return]
>Write-in
>>
>>5418218
>Bow—you are a visitor, and not even paramount among your race
dang we gotta up our religion now
>>
>>5418218
>Incline your head but slightly, and ask to speak in private—king to queen, equal-to-equal
>>
>>5418218
>Do not bow—you are racially superior, and a conquering king.

She is going to stop being the ruler amd be demoted to a mere noble in like half a year. By comparison we are an accomplished warlord and a favored prophet of the dark gods. We can't be kneeling.

And she was the one who asked Jazkarmel to get us an audience with us, not the other way around.
>>
>>5418218
>Do not bow—you are racially superior, and a conquering king.
>>[must make a religion roll, or find the words choked in your throat as grimly-erotic memories of the Queen of Dragons return]
...fucking coomers
>>5418170
what are the red ones for, again..?
>>5418289
>She is going to stop being the ruler and be demoted to a mere noble in like half a year.
Ye and we just roasted prince's men like a retard. It'll come around to bite us in the ass like shagging mommy shoggoth.
>>
>>5418218
>>Incline your head but slightly, and ask to speak in private—king to queen, equal-to-equal
>>
>>5418218
>Incline your head but slightly, and ask to speak in private—king to queen, equal-to-equal

Getting weird kids is a side quest at this point
>>
>>5418218
>Flirt, complimenting her in faintly-admiring terms [must make a religion roll, or find the words choked in your throat as grimly-erotic memories of the Queen of Dragons return]

Does that pussy stank?
>>
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>>5418218
>Incline your head but slightly, and ask to speak in private—king to queen, equal-to-equal
>>
>>5418218
>Flirt, complimenting her in faintly-admiring terms [must make a religion roll, or find the words choked in your throat as grimly-erotic memories of the Queen of Dragons return]
>Incline your head but slightly, and ask to speak in private—king to queen, equal-to-equal
I mainly just want to start unpacking the trauma.
>>
>>5418445
Support
>>
You guys do realize if we fail the religion roll we’re going to spazz out in the middle of an important negotiation, right?
>>
>>5418603
They don't.
>>
>>5418218
>anons vote for Dark Alliance
>anons then spaz out in a dick measuring contest with the future Drow ruler
Why am I not surprised?
>Incline your head but slightly, and ask to speak in private—king to queen, equal-to-equal
Can we not sabotage our diplomacy guys?
>>
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>>5419104
>>5418557
>>5418445
>>5418413
>>5418402
>>5418401
>>5418389
>>5418388
>>5418289
>>5418231
>>5418229
[Votes locked, post incoming!]

what are the red ones for, again..?

1post ID votes without backlinks are tracked, also, and notable swings of the vote are accounted for to head off accusations of widespread fraud
>>
>>5419185
You nod your head in slightest incline-a gesture of an equal, respectful of their host but not deferential nor supplicant to them.

The elves—and their Queen Myrymma—seem to approve. The queen stares at you unblinkingly for some time with those moon-pale eyes, expression impassive, then nods likewise.

“Thank you for accepting my summons,” she offers, an acknowledgement that you are worthy-enough to be shown gratitude, and not to be called up like a subject, nor beckoned like a beast.

“Of course,” you reply in kind. “It was a generous offer.”

“Your Elven is quite good,” she compliments you, only a little condescending.

“I am used to Slithhhsskaah,” you say, “and new to your tongue. Pardon any… Lapses.”

She hesitates, her expression lightly vexed for a moment.

“My race’s language,” you explain, with lightest smugness, “which we call ‘The True Speech.’”

“Ah.”

A moment passes between you two, as you eye her up. This queen is tall for her race, but her physical and magical might and beyond your ken. Her mastery of this dance of subtle, lightly-barbed pleasantries is not unimpressive, though. You feel passingly grateful for the ‘practice’ which the Novice Fleshweaver gave you growing up, with far sharper and more piercing tongue.

“I have prepared wine,” she tells you, “and the flesh of hunted beasts—non-insects. My cousin, Princess Jazkarmel, tells me your people do not much care for mushrooms, and I am certain you have all had your fill of bugs.”

Though you have eaten, you gladly accept the food, though…

>You will not drink the wine here—you have too little constitution for the stuff, and this is an important meeting
>You must drink sparingly, to avoid offending your hosts or becoming too intoxicated
>You will match these tiny elves drink-for-drink, relying on your enlarged body and enhanced constitution
>You will feign a religious aversion to wine, and hope Jazkarmel plays along

Over the meal, there will be little privacy… But, of course, ample opportunity to probe, cajole, size-up and strategize. What subjects (maximum three) will be your focus?
>The Queen’s house, Yvonlace, and its peculiarities and place in society
>The male she thinks is most likely to be the next King-for-the-Season
>The male she would most LIKE to be King-for-the-Season, if she had her way
>Jazkarmel’s place in House Yvonlace
>The alliance in Bloodrise, above and below, and the relative positions of your peoples
>The True Faith and your Dark Pantheon, as a worthy replacement for the Drow’s godlessness
>The Shoggoth and Devourer, who you destroyed
>The ancient Drow monarchs (and their lost moon-sword)
>The relative merits of matriarchy and patriarchy
>Write-in
>>
>>5419197
I think we should use this meal to really emphasize that she needs us to extend her rule and maybe even keep her house in charge with a king. Proper talks of alliance and conversion can be done behind closed doors.

>The relative merits of matriarchy and patriarchy
Then
>The male she thinks is most likely to be the next King-for-the-Season
Then
>The male she would most LIKE to be King-for-the-Season, if she had her way
>>
>>5419212
+1
>>
>>5419197
>You will not drink the wine here—you have too little constitution for the stuff, and this is an important meeting

We have no need to drink, it’s a serious meeting.

Topics:
>The Shoggoth and Devourer, who you destroyed

We need to showcase our individual power first, then..

>The ancient Drow monarchs (and their lost moon-sword)
It’s polite table conversation and brings the list blade to focus m, without suggesting we have it

>The relative merits of matriarchy and patriarchy
Safe topic to discuss in public

>>5419212
Anon, your second and third topics are 100% not things we should be discussing in a public forum. That’s best left to a private conversation
>>
>>5419197
>The male she thinks is most likely to be the next King-for-the-Season
>The male she would most LIKE to be King-for-the-Season, if she had her way

When need to get a rough idea at least, of the current and potential order of succession. If we are to maintain the alliance.


>The True Faith and your Dark Pantheon, as a worthy replacement for the Drow’s godlessness

We also need to find the reason why Jazkarmel, said the queen was hesitant to convert. She claimed it would be a show of "weakness" but i feel like she was being deliberately vague.
>>
>>5419197
>The Queen’s house, Yvonlace, and its peculiarities and place in society
>The male she thinks is most likely to be the next King-for-the-Season
>The male she would most LIKE to be King-for-the-Season, if she had her way
>>
>>5419185
Are you saying my votes are not counted because you're paranoid after Bug Sex Wars? How are phonefags even supposed to know when to backlink?
>>5419197
>You will not drink the wine here—you have too little constitution for the stuff, and this is an important meeting
Issmena momento.
>The Queen’s house, Yvonlace, and its peculiarities and place in society
>The male she thinks is most likely to be the next King-for-the-Season
>The male she would most LIKE to be King-for-the-Season, if she had her way
>>had your fill of bugs
If she only knew...
>>
>>5419197
>You must drink sparingly, to avoid offending your hosts or becoming too intoxicated
One of these days we really gotta build up a tolerance to alcohol, it’d be such a boon for diplomacy.
>The True Faith and your Dark Pantheon, as a worthy replacement for the Drow’s godlessness
>The Shoggoth and Devourer, who you destroyed
>The ancient Drow monarchs (and their lost moon-sword)
Since this is a public meal (with alcohol), we should go on the offensive, really make us (and our Gods) seem indispensable for her realm’s survival and prosperity.
>>
>>5419359
Get a computer and move to a real country
>>
>>5419359
>Are you saying my votes are not counted because you're paranoid after Bug Sex Wars?
[Only if I see activity I deem suspicious, or need to break a tie.]
>>
>>5419197
>You must drink sparingly, to avoid offending your hosts or becoming too intoxicated

>The alliance in Bloodrise, above and below, and the relative positions of your peoples
>The True Faith and your Dark Pantheon, as a worthy replacement for the Drow’s godlessness
>The relative merits of matriarchy and patriarchy
>>
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>>5419425
>No.
>>5419523
Give heads up then, it's unfair.
>>
>>5419781
No like you 1Pbtid shitters, you vote and banwagon brainlessly and add nothing to discussions but cringe.
>>
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>>5419814
Don't care, didn't ask, ESL-kun.
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>>5419781
>it's unfair
[Just backlink if you're worried, friend anon. I'm a phoneposter myself, and I often try to do so if the outcome of a vote matters deeply to me.]


>>5419560
>>5419409
>>5419359
>>5419279
>>5419243
>>5419240
>>5419228
>>5419212

[Votes locked, writing up ASAP!]
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>>5419992
The meat prepared for you is indeed not insectoid, nor crustacean or arachnid. There are bones in amongst the meat, attesting to a skeletal structure—a vertebrate. In spit of this, you have trouble identifying what sort of skeleton they could be assembled into. It is like no reptile, mammal, amphibian, or even fish that you have ever supped upon. Further, the flesh is greyish, and strangely lumpy and tumorous. It tastes good enough—in fact, better-tasting than many things you’ve been served in your own birthplace—and yet the texture is… Off-putting. It is like fresh meat that has the texture of rotten flesh.

“Is it to your liking?”

“Yes,” you lie to the Elf Queen, glad mammal-folk are so bad at reading Reptilian expressions. “What is it? It isn’t like anything I have eaten before.”

“A scampering sort of thing,” she says, with a wave of her hand. “We call them ‘ghouls’, but they resemble… Little goblins, or monkeys, but pale and with big heads and fat bellies. They root through our dead, and we then catch them.”

“Ah,” you say, again reminded of the poverty of these people in spite of their attempts to retain their famed, ancestral sophistication, that even their nobles eat such things.

You had not planned to drink, better to keep your wits about you, but you do so now in order to wash away their slimy grease-jelly which coats your tongue. You see Olu follow your lead, though Ivno declines to do so. The Throat-singer quaffs the elven alcohol with dwarven enthusiasm, reminding you of his race’s reputation in spite of his virtual beardlessness.

You decide that, if you are to eat and drink sparingly, you will busy your mouth with matters of important conversation instead. You skip the usual mammalian small-talk, accustomed as you are to the directness of the Drow soldier-class.

“I understand I was summoned here for a reason,” you say. “your people are going through a transition. Your matriarchy is coming to an end, in some… Cycle. Soon, your race will have a king once more.”

The Elf Queen looks to Jazkarmel, who shrinks and laughs nervously under the look—not a glare, nor glower, yet clearly a form of attention she is uncomfortable with. A subtle expression of the elves, foreign to you? Or is Jazkarmel, confident frontierswoman and military commander, frightened by the silver-eyed matriarch by default?

“This is true,” the Queen says, looking back to you.

“My race holds the males to be the more warlike and purely-logical sex,” you say.

“I had heard you were a race dominated by priests, and not priestesses,” the Queen replies.

A silence passes.
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>>5420011
“I’ve also heard that your court wizard, in the Bloodrise Mountains, is a lizardwoman… A sort of witch who manipulates shapes, and can heal injuries?”

“Yes,” you acknowledge. “The Novice Fleshweaver… She is a skilled mage, and the daughter of an important male.”

“Do you think you would be better served by a male?” the Queen-of-Elves asks. “Do you feel she is overemotional, illogical, overly sentimental?

Suddenly, those silver eyes are fixed on you with new intensity, and you feel your thick, scaled skin crawl with an anxiety you cannot place. Is this what Jazkarmel felt? Is it magic… Or some pseudo-magic, something akin to your Fearsome Presence? Can a mere ELF wield such a thing? HOW, and how over a superior being like yourself?

“How does she compare to her father? To her brothers?” the Queen asks, not sharp of defensive, but probing in a quiet, roguelike fashion which cannot help but raise your own guard.

How do you answer?
>The Novice is a better advisor than any male you know,
>The Novice is well-suited to her role, and appreciated, but you value the council of males like Olu and Ivno over hers
>The Novice is fine for a female, but you’d take even Karz Throat-singer’s advice over hers on matters of state
>The Novice is… Special, and unlike other females ruthless and cunning
>Write-in

[Discussions of possible Elf-Kings will happen next update.]
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>>5420014
>The Novice is by far the most capable advisor in her area of expertise that you've had available.
Our Novice is excellent!
nevermind that we have no other fleshweavers
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>>5420014
>The Novice is a better advisor than any male you know,
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>>5420037
[I will point out you had ample opportunity to reject her and/or hire a male in her discipline, but if this is how you think the Dragonborn would interpret and/or rationalize his decisions, that's entirely fair.]
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>>5420014
> The Novice is well-suited to her role, and appreciated, but you value the council of others over hers
> Refrain from mentioning your race's gender roles to elven females ever again
Yikes, tensions between elves must be at all time high.
>>5419992
You can't expect us to know which vote you will find important and you used to give heads up before lol
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>>5420014
>The Novice is well-suited to her role, and appreciated
>The gender have no real significance in your eyes for the purpose of advice. Advice is advice
>Although, you are more prone to get... distracted... by young pretty female, once again this is not linked with the quality or lack of quality of advice, but to keep being rationale it's better for a young male to avoid an harem of advisor
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>>5420014
>The Novice is… Special, and unlike other females ruthless and cunning

That’s the truth - no other females of our race compare to her. She is unique
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>>5420014
>The Novice is a better advisor than any male you know,
>The Novice is… Special, and unlike other females ruthless and cunning
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>>5420172
>You can't expect us to know which vote you will find important and you used to give heads up before lol

[You misunderstand me. I'm saying if a vote is super important to YOU, backlink or otherwise identify yourself. If I think a vote is LIKELY to stir up accusations of vote fraud, I'll mention it and require backlinking. If I see suspicious activity or need to break a tie on a less-major vote, I may disregard 1post votes without identifiers... But, so far, that's never really come up and I haven't had to do that, despite travking this for many threads, so you probably don't need to worry about having your vote ignored anyway.]
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>>5420014
>The Novice is… Special, and unlike other females ruthless and cunning
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>>5420325
Thanks for explanation. At this point no choice is really that important to me, just didn't want my votes to get zero'd.
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>>5420245
Support
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>>5420995
>>5420424
>>5420325
>>5420245
>>5420216
>>5420177
>>5420172
>>5420104
>>5420037
[Vote locked, writing ASAP (but also having dinner and some brandy to grease the wheels a little.]
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>>5421012
It is a difficult thing for you to answer this line of inquiry, fully and truthfully.

“The NOVICE Fleshweaver who serves me is… Not, by any means, regarded as the pinnacle of her profession,” you begin. “However, yes… She is exceptional at her role. I would not replace her with another.”

It is true: you have had opportunities to seek out a replacement, but why would you? If she is technically a novice, the Chaplain’s Daughter is nevertheless a very capable healer, potionmaster, and EXCEPTIONAL in her experimental manipulations of hybridized blood.

“Unlike the stereotype of her sex, at least among MY race, she ruthless and cunning.”

It is the Novice’s willingness to subvert even your OWN society’s politics, to aid and abet you as you undermine conventions enforced by her own highly-placed father, that make her such a good fit for your retinue, in fact. Who else would have reacted to your alliance with a darkly-designed bug-woman by helping you to smuggle her into your expedition, or to your impregnation of her with already-Degenerate seed by infusing sacred dragonblood into the offspring? She values results, and the opportunity to try new and unusual technique in the advancement of her craft, more than convention and the pursuit of social status… Not at all the impression you had of her when you were both young, nor at all typical of a female of her birth.

“I don’t know that I would say I value females as much as males, in general,” you admit, “but I value the Novice Fleshweaver a great deal more than most of either sex, within her field.”

“It is strange,” the Elf Queen muses. “Among elves, it is said elf-maids are the MORE cunning and ruthless… That we are physically the lesser, perhaps, but undeniably the more dangerous. Those who feel a male should rule often say ‘a female’s blood-minded ambition is not suitable to stability, for she is as the she-spider.’ They feel we always hunger, always plot.”

“Well, that DOES sound something like the Novice,” you admit, with a small rattle of laughter at the mental image of her reaction, were she to hear you say so.

“It is a shame you did not bring this lizardwoman, who you speak so highly of,” the Queen says. “Where is she?”

“She is performing her role,” you say, “with her usual excellence.”

The Queen nods, and turns her gaze from you at last. You sense something approaching approval, and feel that curious pressure release your three-chambered heart.
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>>5421064
“Regardless of anyone’s feeling about matriarchy or patriarchy, it seems the season dictate a king WILL be taking control soon… Is this not so?”

All eyes are on you again as you speak these words, though the Queen takes her time for her next mushroom-cup of red-brown elf-wine to be poured. You sip your own, to steel yourself for that silver weight to settle once more upon your soul.

“In a time of crisis, when signs are right, a season can be longer, or shorter. Spring comes when it comes; some winters are long.”

She hopes to extend her rule for a time. You’d heard as much. So too do you know that this ‘spring’ and ‘winter’ she speaks of are not literal—they last years, maybe decades, not months.

“Corandiirn, of House Sambra, must home that his springtime is coming sooner rather than later.”

The Queen’s eyes widen only slightly, then narrow, as you name-drop the rival whose witch-servant approached you in the slums.

“I have heard some float the idea,” Queen Myrymma acknowledges.

“What are your feelings about him?” you ask. “What are his chances?”

“If you’d accepted his invitation, you could have judges them for yourself,” she notes softly.

You tilt your head. Has she been reported to by Jazkarmel’s spies? You suppose you gave them no instructions to hide THAT event from the princess, or their Queen.

“Prince Corandiirn has more supporters than some, maybe most,” the Queen acknowledges, when you remain silent. “He or Minothel of Tlintear. One is the better diplomat and rumoured to be a skilled assassin, with a mage’s touch. The other is a higher-born, better-connected, probably the smarter.”

“Which do you prefer?”

The banquet grows tense. The other elves, male and female and intermediate, remain still as they can, avert their eyes.

“Neither,” the Queen answers truthfully, with perhaps her first genuine smile—though she still shows no teeth.

“An elf of Yvonlace, then?” you ask with neutral tone.

“Nothing of the sort,” she says quickly. “We are a Queenly house. Our daughters here are wise, our sons strong and supple. It does not do to raise Kings and Queens together in the same household. A strong man produces, enforces, a weak woman… And vice versa.”
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>>5421067
“What of the…” you struggle. “The not-female, not-male, fluid sorts of elf?”

“Some days they are male, in some capacities, and female in other times and place. They are never a King nor a Queen, for to be such, one must be wholly Elf-Man or Elf-Maid, always, in one’s soul. It is the way… As it is the way of Yvonlace to raise Queens, not Kings.”

You suppose it makes sense. You’d wondered how every elven household did not fall into fractious fighting at times like these. Without such arrangements and understandings, the tension between the sexes would surely shake their race asunder!

“Then…?” you trail off, waiting.

“House Lahlabar has a Prince-Ascending, a quiet but thoughtful young man. He cares well for a brood of hunting bugs, which I think You would be fond of.”

You narrow your eyes. What does she mean? Is that a crack about Glowie? It couldn’t be—that matter isn’t known to any elves, not even Jazkarmel or Glowie’s attendants… Right?

She smiles again, clarifying: “Hunting dragonflies.”

…Ah. Because… Yes, the name. You smile back, causing several elves (but not Queen Myrymma) to flinch.

“He who can raise skilled killers of such difficult temperament, with love and discipline and an eye for quality… He can be a good king, I believe.”
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>>5421083
“Do you raise bugs, then?” you ask.

The Queen shakes her head, a slight back-and-forth twist.

“Too busy raising Queens,” she admits. “Though… Some of my sons keep and breed scout-beetles of impressive colouration and wonderful tracking skill.”

You wonder how old she is… How many daughters, and sons, she has birthed. As an expectant father yourself—twice over, you suppose, after… The dream-liaison… You wonder whether she might have advice for a newborn dynasty and first-time parent. But, no, what could a mammal-mother offer a Father of Dragons… Right?

Small-talk resumes after your rather intense and challenging conversational choices are concluded. You tune out, despite your best efforts—even among Drow, better than most mammals, much of this dialogue is chattering, monkey-like ‘social grooming’, meaningless to a cold-blooded and logical scion of the Master Race. Eventually, though, elves begin to filter away, to retire. This includes Queen Myrymma and Princess Jazkarmel.

“You are welcome to our hospitality,” the Queen offers, personally. “It will be much, MUCH more comfortable than that offered by the lowborn labourers, I assure you.”

Do you accept?
>Yes, for you wish to have words with the Queen more privately
>Yes, because you need to discuss some matters with Jazkarmel
>Yes, you’d like to snoop around a little bit
>Yes, you like the idea of some dragon-appropriate luxury
>No, you need to get back to the Novice and your new converts/experiments
>No, you don’t trust this House Yvonlace, and don’t wish to show favouritism
>No, you think you’d like to pay a visit to one of the Princes-Ascending
>No, you’d like to explore more of Wevenore
>Write-in

[“Yes” or “no” votes will be tallied, and the most popular rationale chosen… Maybe two, if they mesh well.]
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>>5421067
>“Prince Corandiirn has more supporters than some, maybe most,” the Queen acknowledges, when you remain silent. “He or Minothel of Tlintear. One is the better diplomat and rumoured to be a skilled assassin, with a mage’s touch. The other is a higher-born, better-connected, probably the smarter.”

which one of the two is the connected blue blood and which is the assassin mage?
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>>5421095
[I suppose you have no way to know... But I'd meant to imply that Corandiirn matched the first description, and Minothel the second; Corandiirn is that deadly diplomat, and Minothel the nobler-than-average.
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>>5421084
>Yes, for you wish to have words with the Queen more privately

I feel like her pussy has teeth. Best to throw our lot in with the thorn pussy.
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>>5421084
>Yes, because you need to discuss some matters with Jazkarmel
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>>5421084
>No, you need to get back to the Novice and your new converts/experiments
Fuck the politics
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>>5421084
>Yes, for you wish to have words with the Queen more privately
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>>5421084
>No, you need to get back to the Novice and your new converts/experiments.
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>>5421084
>Yes, for you wish to have words with the Queen more privately
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>>5421708
>>5421519
>>5421337
>>5421264
>>5421255
>>5421229
You opt to remain at this (admittedly humble and primitive) palatial estate. It’s not a matter of desiring the luxuries these noble-elves can offer; rather, you have not yet finished your politicking.

You are shown to your quarters, to be shared with your servants as you so choose. Any you do not wish to bed in the same room as you are offered a shared accommodation apart. You are wary of how to respond to the request, uncertain as to whether the implication of a servant remaining in your (spacious) quarters is loaded. Some elven nobles seem to take guards into their quarters, for instance, but some take what appear to be courtiers, or entertainers, of somewhat sensual attire and nature. The issue is muddled by what occurs with Jazkarmel’s personal quarters: the warrior-princess brings guards, male and female… But then, she also sends a messenger to request Oluwadailare’s presence. The half-human shrugs, with a sly grin and an excited gleam in his eye; you allow it, for the sake of goodwill. In the end, you allow all your other two attendants the run of your overlarge room, rather than sending them away, so you may have them close-at-hand if you need them.

You don’t intend to spend much of the night in your quarters, anyway. There are many things one can discuss in mixed company, but some which you cannot; as a leader with secrets worthy of social stigma, you know this well. You have matters to discuss with Queen Myrymma, and they demand discretion.

You send Ivno to serve as messenger. He does not speak the elf-tongue, but he has the kobolds’ gift for service, making him an ideal messenger. You give him the message, and he repeats it back; you correct him, and within three cycles of this, he has your message for the Queen memorized perfectly, even in spite of not knowing the meaning of the words. The kobold departs and, when he returns, it is with a short-but-straight-backed Drow servant in a mix of silks and leathers, who offers to lead you to a meeting-place. He has the Queen's silver eyes, and a hint of her facial features; though they look virtually the same age, you suspect this is one of her sons.

You follow the Drow, but bring Ivno with you; he cannot understand the words you will be exchanging, but has proven skilled with a blade, and so makes a perfect attendant in such matters. His cautious character is appreciated, too; he glances furtively into dark corners, moves with soft steps, and generally behaves as a scout, but without overt twitchiness.
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>>5421827
You arrive at a semi-open area, within the royal castle-complex: a sort of courtyard. Its central monument is a kind of fountain, though the dark elves seem to lack the magic or technical expertise to funnel water to it, and so the water which fills it is brackish; were it not perfumed, as it is, it would be foul. The central monument is a well-made one, depicting a nude Drow couple, male and female, engaged in a dance back-to-back; each holds two blades, one pointed outward and one held behind their back, clashing and wrestling with that of the other, even as their backsides rest against one another’s, and their legs intertwine.

At the lip of the fountain-well sits Queen Myrymma. Her headdress sits in her lap, revealing an incredibly long and flowing cascade of silver-white hair, to match her eyes, flowing around her; she carefully sweeps it to one side to avoid dipping it in the water, and lays it in her lap so it does not fall upon the dirty stone of the floor. A flittering of small moth-things flit about her, glimmering touches of green, settling upon the water periodically or fluttering through the spray of the fountain, drawn by the moisture.

“You wished to speak privately?” she asks.

“Yes.”

“Are you worried for your own honour, or for mine?” she asks—not accusing, perhaps teasing, but with careful and cultivated calm.

“It is a sensitive matter, Queen-of-Elves. I…”

The Queen holds up a hand, and you trail off. She smiles again, that subtle smile.

“I will not be calling you ‘Your Majesty’, and ‘Copper Dragon King of the Bloodrise Mountains’ is too long. You may call me Myrymma. What will I call you?”

You know without even attempting it that your name is unpronounceable to mammalian vocal chords; even Olu butchers it, with his hybrid larynx. Perhaps more importantly, a name is a… Private, intimate thing, in your culture. The Novice Fleshweaver is ‘The Novice Fleshweaver’, or ‘Chaplain’s Daughter’, even to you who knows her true-name and has nestled your body against hers and laid your head in her lap; she, in kind, refers to you exclusively by an array of belligerent insults or, in public, as ‘Dragonborn’, a title you share with one other and with more to come.
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>>5421829
What name will you adopt for dealing with mammals?
>The Bugbear’s leader—he who may or may not be alive—first called you ‘Copper’ as a name, in elven-tongue… ‘Theral’ has a good ring to it
>In your meditative meetings with your Dark Gods, you have heard whispers of the pseudonyms of your mother, and of your father; a patronym is more appropriate to a male, so you shall be the son of your father, ‘Rothschild’
>You keep what you kill, conqueror of kingdoms that you are; you slew two ancient enemies, Shoggoth and Devourer, and so you shall take their titles: ‘Hopolis’, a word you’ve heard used for both, meaning ‘horror’
>Though she does not know it, you ebar the balde of an ancient elven king—a demigod, long-dead, Son of the Moon; you will take his auspicious name, and tell her to call you ‘Endymion’
>Write-in

But you are not here for games and names, but for important and vital discussions, far from prying ears; the queen keeps a single trusted courtier, the short-one whom she sent for you, as you keep Ivno. There are no others here to hear, and so speak freely on the subject which brought you two together…
>Parenting and/or bug-rearing advice, though only you know the two subjects are related
>The conversion of the Queen and her court—nay, her race—to the True Faith
>Your offer to help install the Queen’s favoured candidate for King, by means legitimate or otherwise
>Your offer of sanctuary for her House Yvonlace and her supporters… In the Bloodrise
>Your possession of the fabled moon-blade of King Endymion
>The threats which approach: necromancer Hapo and the Green Knight
>A sexual proposition [religion roll needed]
>An assassination attempt [swordsmanship roll needed[
>Write-in
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>>5421830
*religion roll to even attempt a sexual proposition; seduction needed to succeed, btw
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>>5421830
>The Bugbear’s leader—he who may or may not be alive—first called you ‘Copper’ as a name, in elven-tongue… ‘Theral’ has a good ring to it

>The conversion of the Queen and her court—nay, her race—to the True Faith

We can bring the Drow out of their squalor, and this pitch is important to that.
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>>5421830
>The Bugbear’s leader—he who may or may not be alive—first called you ‘Copper’ as a name, in elven-tongue… ‘Theral’ has a good ring to it

>The conversion of the Queen and her court—nay, her race—to the True Faith
>Your offer to help install the Queen’s favoured candidate for King, by means legitimate or otherwise
>>
>>5421867
Supporting

But also add:
>The current state of our alliance
>The threats which approach: necromancer Hapo and the Green Knight

With more of a focus on Hapo
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>>5421830
>Dovahkiin
I'm used to everyone calling us Dragonborn. Using names is a cringe mammalian custom anyway.
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>>5421830
>The threats which approach: necromancer Hapo and the Green Knight
Forgot second vote
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>>5421830
>Though she does not know it, you ebar the balde of an ancient elven king—a demigod, long-dead, Son of the Moon; you will take his auspicious name, and tell her to call you ‘Endymion’
big dick

>The conversion of the Queen and her court—nay, her race—to the True Faith
>Your offer to help install the Queen’s favoured candidate for King, by means legitimate or otherwise
>>
Kinda would be funny if we went for name that means "two blades" or something similar, cause two dicks and two swords lmao.
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>>5421916
[In fairness, while this makes you remarkable among elves and surely was a contributing factor Davora's lasting physical affection, to a reptoid it's pretty much to be expected.]
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>>5421830
>>The conversion of the Queen and her court—nay, her race—to the True Faith
>The current state of our alliance.

>>5421903
>>5421867
we shouldn't be promising anything that major yet. we haven't even meet the lady's favored heir yet. (for all we know House lahabar's heir is a total meager fop.)
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>>5421983
Well, it's supposed to be a name for elves, not reptilians. We're the only specimen they've met.
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>>5421867
+1
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>>5421830
>>The conversion of the Queen and her court—nay, her race—to the True Faith
>The current state of our alliance
>>
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>>5422577
>>5422535
>>5422138
>>5421903
>>5421894
>>5421891
>>5421883
>>5421867
>>5421842
[Writing up!]
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>>5422708
“My kind do not use names the way yorus do, in such interactions,” you explain. “If I must have one, ‘Theral’ will do.”

“‘Theral’?” asks Queen Myrymma. “I ask to call you something other than ‘The Copper Dragon-King of Bloodrise’, and your answer is that I may call you… ‘Copper, the Dragon-King of Bloodrise’?”

The Queen-of-Elves laughs, exposing her teeth in a full-hearted guffaw for the first time since you have encountered her.

“You are a funny one… Theral.”

You sense it is meant as a compliment, even if a bit of a backhanded one, and you choose to take it as such. You do not dwell on Myrymma’s laughter, but instead move onto other business.

“I wish to discuss the current state of our people’s alliance,” you say.

“Ah, yes,” the Queen says. “I understand that you were quite generous with seized territory, which you gave over to Jazkarmel in exchange for our forces’ aid… And that, with the disappearance of the bugbears, you have come to rely quite heavily on elves for your approach to conquering such forts.”

You DO have a tendency to implement Drow in your infiltrator-assassin parties, this is true, though you can’t help but feel she overstates your reliance. You say as much.

“Oh?” she asks innocently. “But did my Princess and her forces not care for your injured… Shelter your secret?”

Again, the full force of the silver eyes bears down on you. You do not flinch, but must suppress a small shudder. She refers to Glowie, of course… But how much does she know? How much does even Jazkarmel understand of the… Relationship… Between the great-worm and yourself?

“It seems a fruitful alliance for you and for Jazkarmel both,” the Queen says, looking away and granting you relief from the inexplicable intensity of her eyes. “How would you improve upon it?”

You regulate your breathing calming yourself with meditative techniques before answering:

“The Dark Gods have sent me as their instrument,” you say. “They would have our peoples bound in faith.”

“I have heard murmurings of your conversion efforts,” Myrymma acknowledges. “You may take the minds and souls of any elf weak enough to offer them.”

You shake your head. You remember Jazkarmel’s warning, that conversion would be seen as weakness, but you MUST pursue it.

“It is not weakness,” you dispute. “The Dark Gods offer strength to those who will earn it and seize it. They offer health, and bounty.”

Queen Myrymma waves her hand through the air, brushing away some of the fluttering moths.

“Let them have it,” she says. “An elf who earns and seizes power is already strong. She does not need a god to approve of her to know this. Health and bounty… With magic, these, too, can be seized by one’s own merit.”

“Why do you so reject the Dark Gods?” you ask.
>>
>>5422723
She stares at you again, and your brace yourself against the quiet fierceness in her eyes, her voice.

“I reject all gods,” she whispers, “as the gods rejected my ancestors.”

“Those were Gods of Light,” you point out.

“Yes, they were... The very gods who made my people, from whom my line descends! And yet they trhew us away for rebelling against a false king..."

The Queen takes a moment to collect herself, though even this outburst of passion was rather controlled, by your estimation.... Well, for an elf. They ARE a passionate, warmblooded race.

"And where were the Dark Gods for my people, then, when we were harried into the dark places and forced down into this pit? When we feasted on our own young and old to keep our strongest alive… Were there Dark Gods Below in those days, down here in what is supposedly their realm? When we prayed desperately for relief, did they fail to hear us? Or just ignore us, because we brought them no gifts? Perhaps, if they seek us out now, it is only because NOW we have something that they want?”

You hesitate. You, yourself, have actually been the driving force in forming a union of faith between your Master Race and these outcast elves… But the Dark Gods HAVE shown appreciation, most recently the Lady of the Rookery. You remember your vision, many months ago now, of a multiracial Dark Alliance, where your great and terrible successors are served by dark elven guards and courtiers, by dwarven smiths and miners, by kobold attendants, in a vast and hive-like network filling the entirety of the mountains and the underdark below... These elves are an integral art of the New Age of Darkness, you KNOW it!
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>>5422726

You recall again the recurring nightmare of flashing steel and green armour… Of murals of dead and dying dragons, and the sheen of green steel… You remember the pallid and empty eyes, hanging mouths, and deathless persistence of the zombie bugbears on the path, and the simmering resentment and hatred of their hidden necromancer master, Hapo.

“Threats emerge which demand a deeper alliance,” you say.

“Maybe,” Myrymma acknowledges, noncommittally. “Perhaps it is something to discuss with the next King-of-Elves… But I think you will find that every candidate shares my feelings on this matter. The Drow remember what it is like to be alone in an eternal night, Theral.”

How will you persuade the Drow Queen of the necessity of an official alliance? What alliance do you even desire?
>Show Queen Myrymma the moon-sword and shoggoth-sword, and tell her of your vanquishing of those great beasts... With the aid of the Gods!
>Abandon talk of religious conversion (for now), and instead focus on practicalities: an official alliance, and declaration of war on the surface, to extend this ‘season’ of Queenly dominion
>Offer to demonstrate the value of the Gods, and of your alliance, by completing labours for the Queen-of-Elves—tasks of her choosing, requiring great mighty
>Threaten to interfere in the kingly selection process, and to support a rival and weaken her own house’s position, if she does not heed you
>Pray to one of the Dark Gods [which one? Specify!] for a direct manifestation… Though you know it will come at a price, or with unexpected consequences...
>Write-in
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>>5422730
>Offer to demonstrate the value of the Gods, and of your alliance, by completing labours for the Queen-of-Elves—tasks of her choosing, requiring great mighty
Dragon!Hercules baby!
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>>5422730
>Show Queen Myrymma the moon-sword and shoggoth-sword, and tell her of your vanquishing of those great beasts... With the aid of the Gods!

>Offer to demonstrate the value of the Gods, and of your alliance, by completing labours for the Queen-of-Elves—tasks of her choosing, requiring great might
>>
>>5422730
>Offer to demonstrate the value of the Gods, and of your alliance, by completing labours for the Queen-of-Elves—tasks of her choosing, requiring great mighty
What a bunch of pussies. If they didn't get driven underground, they wouldn't have to live like rats... oh wait.
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>>5422730
>Pray to serpent-daddy
Time to put a paladin in the paladin-quest
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>>5422730
>Show Queen Myrymma the moon-sword and shoggoth-sword, and tell her of your vanquishing of those great beasts... With the aid of the Gods!

I feel like these are pretty big labors already.
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>>5422730
>Pray to one of the Dark Gods {Serpent ascendant.} for a direct manifestation… Though you know it will come at a price, or with unexpected consequences...

she wants a display of power in order to believe, that the path of the dark gods isn't one of weakness. Who better for this task then the serpent ascendant?
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>>5422730
>Abandon religious talk for now
>>
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[Hmm... Well, we have a slight lean, but I think I'll leave this open until later, partly because we don't have a majority and partly because I am having an off day, with low energy, and I worry I won't write anything of quality right now.]
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>>5422730
>Show Queen Myrymma the moon-sword and shoggoth-sword, and tell her of your vanquishing of those great beasts... With the aid of the Gods!

We were going to show her them anyway…
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>>5422800
+1
>>
>>5422749
+1
>>
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Rolled 17, 1, 17, 2, 16 = 53 (5d20)

>>5423234
>>5423127
>>5423122
>>5423097
>>5423060
>>5422895
>>5422800
>>5422763
>>5422749
>>5422733
[Locked and writing!]
>>
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>>5423851
You gnash you teeth, passing the gesture off as a smile with a small nod. These elves—nearly as haughty and as full of themselves at the Novice, but with only half the charm! Maybe if they hadn’t been so pitiful as to lose their war and get driven underground, they wouldn’t be living like…

Like…

Ah, right. Like you.

You take a breath, calming your automatic reaction of outrage and vitriol. You maybe be a devout follower of the True Faith, but you are no zealot, unable to see the virtue in outsiders or the faults of your own traditions. You can understand the Elf Queen’s skepticism, even if you resent it (and the difficulties thus presented). You are equal to such a challenge—and you’ll prove it!

The Elf Queen watches with interest—not alarm, just interest—as you draw your shoggoth-sword. The descendant-attendant who she permits to observe this affair starts to move towards you, raising his hands and beginning to draw mana up through his body and into his flexing palm, but his Queen-Mother stops him with a look and a slight gesture of the chin; Ivno, who was watching him, returns his dagger to his belt.

The watches as you take a deep breath. Humming quietly to focus upon the feeling which your bard-servant once drew forth, and focusing your Fearsome Presence, you will the shoggoth-sword’s dagger-length to extend…

>17

And extend it does! The blade unfolds into a panoply of sharp and jagged edges, eyes sprouting forth across its length and flitting about the room. The Queen of Elves shrinks back, but only slightly, then settles in to regard it curiously.

“You and your people know the ‘shoggoth’, Myrymma?” you ask.

Queen Myrymma fixes you with an expression of mild bemusement, and perhaps slight annoyance.

“You know we do,” she answers. “I know you slew the thing… Or at least, took a portion of it for your own, and drove the rest back into the shadows.”

“I did,” you agree, “and I did it with the help of the Dark Gods Below and Beyond. This is the strength they offer. It is no empty promise.”

“You did this with their strength?” Myrymma asks pointedly. “Or they USED your strength, YOUR strength, and pretended that it was a gift rather than the result of your own struggle? Theral, a god can command or take credit for any task, but what do they really DO?”
>>
>>5423883
She will not be convinced. You will not be deterred. One of you must relent… But a dragon does not submit so readily! With a hiss of frustration, you pull the moon-sword from your belt and lay it upon the table. Still swaddled in silk, it provokes an arched eyebrow, but no other reaction from the Elf Queen.

“Fine,” you say through hostile grin. “That doesn’t convince you, Myrymma?”

She simply watches as, with dramatic flourish, you unwrap the blade…

>17

And then, her silver eyes go wide, and her deep-purple lips part with a gasp of genuine shock. For the second time, and far more dramatic than the first, you see this Queen-for-the-Season’s cultivated calmness broken by a burst of true, irrepressible emotion.

“That is—”

“The sword of Endymion,” you say, with small satisfaction. “The blade of a king, of a false God of Light before him!”

“It was lost,” The Queen murmurs, reaching out to caress the broad blade of the elven sabre, her pitch-dark fingers smoothly gliding over the faintly-glowing white of its untarnished stone.

“The Dark Gods found it,” you assert, with some embellishment, “and guided me to it. From the throat of the Devourer, your other ancient enemy, I drew it forth! I slew two of your greatest threats, liberating your people, and I did it under the protection of the True Faith. I am an Antipaladin of the Dark Gods, Queen Myrymma… And perhaps, now, you understand what that means!”

You stand tall and proud, having (you now realize) risen from your seat to loom above the others in the room. You worry for a moment that this might be perceived as a threat, and your gaze drifts to Myrymma’s attendant… But he, too, so too stunned by the moon-sword of Endymion to do much but stare.

“I… I understand,” the Queen says, looking to you with renewed wonder and respect. “You are…”

She stops herself, shakes her head.
>>
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>>5423888
“To bow to a god—any god—is heresy here. It will ruin the chances of my favoured candidate, destroy my house. Unless…”

“Unless?” you press.

“You must show the other elves your might,” she says.

You hesitate, but shrug.

“If it is a matter of flashing these swords, … And if they will all understand MY claim to them…”

“They won’t,” she interrupts. “If the Drow see this sacred weapon in your hands, they will deny the truth of it… Especially and Prince-Ascending whose claim it threatens.”

“I’ll MAKE them acknowledge it,” you growl.

“Then they’ll swarm you, and take it by force.”

“They can TRY!” you all but bellow… But then, you calm yourself again.

“What do you propose?” you ask.

“A trial. A… Great labour.”

“Is slaying two ancient elven enemies with my own hands not enough?” you scoff.

Really, now…

The Queen laughs, a small sound, and regards you with a touch of the old bemusement. Your youthful impudence, perhaps, reminds her that you are not a god yourself—just their champion.

“Nobody saw the one, and only MY supporters saw the other. You must undertake a task which ALL Drow of merit and worth can see—every Prince-Ascending and Princess-Consort with potential to one day be a Queen or King-Mother.”

She offers you a few options, which she things would be worthy. What do you choose?

>There is a terrible beast who dwells in the lake—oasis that it may be—and has been known to snatch up Drow from the shores… You could swim out, or boat out, and slay it [Lowest difficulty, least dramatic]

>Among the ghouls who stalk the Drow graves, there is a greater-one, a Ghoul Supreme, who is said to have intelligence and great might… And even some necromantic power. Maybe you could put an end to it for good? [Medium difficulty, mysterious implications]

>Among the surface-elves, there is one forest-glen hated more than all the others—a group of pink-hued surface-elves who remembered the Drow, when all others forgot, and who dedicated a sacred order to their suppression… And order with a gateway-keep, and a stalwart old ‘paladin’ of sorts, who has never been bested [Higher difficulty, mysterious implications]

>You hear the Elf-Queen’s words, but you are not satisfied with any mere labour to prove your worth indirectly—you will take your blade to the meeting-place of the Princes-Ascending, unveil it, and challenge any of these ‘worthy’ elven males to take it… On penalty of submission to YOUR rule!
>>
>>5423890
>Among the surface-elves, there is one forest-glen hated more than all the others—a group of pink-hued surface-elves who remembered the Drow, when all others forgot, and who dedicated a sacred order to their suppression… And order with a gateway-keep, and a stalwart old ‘paladin’ of sorts, who has never been bested [Higher difficulty, mysterious implications]

Let's get some gainz in vs. paladins of the Light. We'll need it to face the last Yosef.

very compelling writing as always RQM, you're a champion, whatever that means from one random anon
>>
>>5423890
>the ghoul supreme
I don’t wanna get shit on by pink elves

Plus good prep for Necro hapo
>>
>>5423890
>Among the ghouls who stalk the Drow graves, there is a greater-one, a Ghoul Supreme, who is said to have intelligence and great might… And even some necromantic power. Maybe you could put an end to it for good? [Medium difficulty, mysterious implications]

Needs some anti-necro training
>>
>>5423890
>Among the ghouls who stalk the Drow graves, there is a greater-one, a Ghoul Supreme, who is said to have intelligence and great might… And even some necromantic power. Maybe you could put an end to it for good? [Medium difficulty, mysterious implications]
>>
>>5423890
>Among the ghouls who stalk the Drow graves, there is a greater-one, a Ghoul Supreme, who is said to have intelligence and great might… And even some necromantic power. Maybe you could put an end to it for good? [Medium difficulty, mysterious implications]
>>
>>5423890
>Among the surface-elves, there is one forest-glen hated more than all the others—a group of pink-hued surface-elves who remembered the Drow, when all others forgot, and who dedicated a sacred order to their suppression… And order with a gateway-keep, and a stalwart old ‘paladin’ of sorts, who has never been bested [Higher difficulty, mysterious implications]

>You hear the Elf-Queen’s words, but you are not satisfied with any mere labour to prove your worth indirectly—you will take your blade to the meeting-place of the Princes-Ascending, unveil it, and challenge any of these ‘worthy’ elven males to take it… On penalty of submission to YOUR rule!

Do the hardest difficulty, then challenge them all into submission. Simple enough.
>>
>>5423890
>Among the ghouls
>picrel
dios mio, rqm



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