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Journey to the Centre of Arcanum - CYOA

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by ironyuri, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Kashmir Slippers Augur

    Kashmir Slippers
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    Here, obviously
    C2
     
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  2. Computer Gamer Refugee Learned

    Computer Gamer Refugee
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
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    382
    Project: Eternity
    A2

    By the way, this guy must not forget his monicle before heading into the great unknown.
     
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  3. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    A2, just to make it a tie.
     
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  4. Arpad Educated

    Arpad
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    248
  5. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
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    Jersey for now
    A2, and tell your father to get your uncle to wake the fuck up.
    Can we have an option to telegraph uncle?
     
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  6. Erebus Arcane

    Erebus
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    Our uncle may like us, but I don't think he'll really help us if we don't bother visiting him. He's a pretty important person, after all.
     
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  7. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    This was basically my logic. In my head at the moment the idea is that the Uncle is the patriarch of the family, so he'd be dealing with requests (financial, career, family) from all branches of the family in Tarant and abroad. As a Councillor he will also have a fairly full inbox with messages from his petitioners, lobbyists, etc. So basically my thinking was, if you want to talk to him, you've got to knock on his door. He'd always make time for a family member, but you're just part of his paperwork, he won't necessarily get around to it any time soon.

    Edit: Updated tally -- A: 8; B: 1; C: 9; D: 0 // 1: 4; 2: 14

    I think 2 will be the clear winner for the second option, barring 9 flops, so we now need to determine A or C.

    Edit2: Paging Esquilax if he's still participating in voting (update on page four).

    Edit3: Updated tally.
     
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  8. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
    Joined:
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    Well, after the word of our ridiculous bet has managed to get around town, I don't think the old man will give any money to us whatsoever. Still participating.

    C2
     
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  9. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    Alright, I'll close voting for this round. The winning choices are C (visit your Uncle) at 9 votes, and 2 (telegram your C.O.) at 14 votes, update shortly. I've been ill this week, hence the relative speed of updates. Once I get back to work you may have to settle for less frequent updates, gents (just a forewarning).
     
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  10. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
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    15,726
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    Jersey for now
    Nice. Let's use that pistol in the meantime and rape us some halforc slut scum.
     
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  11. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    Prologue, Part III.

    With only a few short hours before the Professor holds conference, you have much to do and very little time in which to do it. You quickly come to the conclusion that you cannot face your father, it’s possible that by now he’ll have heard about the fool’s wager you made last night and the last thing you need is a dressing down from the old man. Your Uncle Gottfried has always doted on you, much to your father’s disapproval, and there’s no doubt he’ll be interested to hear it was magickers who tried to foil the Professor’s expedition, and, by extension, deprive Tarant of its rightful laurels. A visit to his offices at City Hall might be just the thing... and doubtless he can pass on your filial respects.

    Before heading for the underground rail, you make a detour to the offices of the Tarant Telegraph Company, #79 Kensington Broadway. It’s high time, you think, that you informed your superiors at the Military College of your impending absence. Brigadier General Smythe owes a great deal of good fortune to the Kleinmann family, but with recent shifts in power and the meteoric rise of Councillors Babcock and Throgg under the rubric of the Radical Party, the good General seems to be paying less and less heed to the trajectory of your career.

    You hurriedly dash off a telegram for the General, informing him of the necessaries:

    TARANT TELEGRAPH COMPANY
    MEMORANDUM FOR: BRIGADIER GENERAL ACTON SMYTHE TARANT 1ST FIELD CORPS 89 EAST END AVENUE TARANT
    SUBJECT: MEMORANDUM OF REQUEST FOR LEAVE OF ABSENCE FOR KLEINMANN ELIAS LT COL 95TH TARANT RIFLES
    MY PRESENCE HAS BEEN REQUESTED BY PROFESSOR JOHANNES BROCKENLID ON EXPEDITION PARTY STOP REQUIRE EXTENDED LEAVE OF ABSENCE STOP EXPEDITION WILL BRING GLORY TO THE REGIMENT AND HONOUR TO THE CITY STOP FORMALLY REQUESTING REGIMENTAL SUPPORT STOP DEPARTURE ESTIMATED 7 OF THE CLOCK 20 VENDEMIAIRE STOP
    LT COL ELIAS KLEINMANN
    95TH TARANT RIFLES

    The likelihood of receiving a reply before your possible departure in the morning is slim, but you cannot be faulted for having informed Smythe of your intentions. He’s always gone in for that cock and bull about glory and honour and that telegram should tickle him in just the right way to keep him satisfied in your absence. You might even get something useful out of him with any luck.
    **********************
    A short while later you’re seated comfortably in the lavishly decorated Council Offices of City Hall. Your Uncle will return from his meeting with Willoughsby presently, so you’ve been informed by his plump human secretary.
    I’d wouldn’t half mind a bit of that. I bet the old bastard’s had a few rides himself.

    You’re dragged out of your perverted reverie by the sound of Uncle Gottfried’s particular nose whistle, which seems to become more pronounced when the man isin some way vexed or frustrated. Likely his meeting did not go as planned. As he gets closer and notices your presence outside his offices he seems to brighten up.
    “It’s good to see you Elias, my boy! I always thought you cut a fine figure in that uniform—oh, but won’t we have to do something about getting you that golden Colonel’s braid, eh? Now, how fine that would be!”
    ‘Good afternoon, Uncle,’ you bow respectfully, as is proper gnomish custom, ‘I’ve come with big news. You may already have heard about it in the newsp-’
    “Dear boy, step into my office! Do join me for a cigar and tell me all about it. Shall I send for tea, or perhaps, brandy?”
    ‘Brandy, uncle. If it please you.’
    You light your cigars and the office is soon thick with unctuous, spicy smoke. You explain to your uncle the circumstances of your visit, Brockenlid’s proposed expedition, your involvement, and finally the theft of his prized tome. Impossible as it may seem, you omit the precise details of the wager you made at the club last evening, and withhold the financial exactitudes of the original wager which placed you at Brockenlid’s apartment.

    “Well, well... Confounded magickers! Nothing will be safe in this blasted city as long as those addle-brained conjurers are severely restricted in their use of such trickery! You’ve done me a good turn informing me of this particular case. Where did you say the thieves were from again? Caladon? Tulla? Magicker spies! Once I bring this before the Council they’ll have to do something.” His face begins to turn red as he blusters, and so it goes on, “Now, I suppose I should order an investigation into this affair. Yes, an investigation ought to be just the thing! Maybe we’ll turn up a few Tullan lapdogs hiding behind the drapes-”

    You clear your throat loudly.

    “Ah yes, now, about you, my dear boy... I think it is most fortunate that you have agreed to this undertaking. From what I’ve heard Brockenlid is all the bit the village idiot of the academy that you’ve described to me, but with the political situation being what it is we might hardly let him drag some half-orc upstart along. Too many of them being pushed into non-commissioned roles thanks to the pandering whims of Babcock—We’ll soon see to his lot, I assure you, my boy!—What I mean, Elias, is I think it’s right and proper you should lead this expedition. It’s just what the Kleinmann family needs right now, our name in the papers and we might put the wind up the other side.” He strokes his greying cavalier moustache, exhales another cloud of cigar smoke, and continues, “Now, about your plans to join this expedition. A commendable decision, but doubtless the result of some foolish wager,” he shoots you a knowing look, a grin forming at the corners of his mouth, “Your father will not be pleased should that be the case. Now, I have nothing to hand in the immediate that might prove helpful, my boy, but I’ve a few pieces that might just help you out of a rough spot should you fallen into one. I’ll have something sent to your apartment this evening, as well as a crate of sherry and a box of cigars with my compliments. Kerlin knows when you’ll get a bit of luxury on this damnable journey.”
    ‘That is most kind uncle, as always you have been most generous.’
    “Now, dear boy, if you’ll excuse me, I have a meeting concerning the approval of a new steel mill which I cannot put off. I shall give your regards to your father.”

    You bow graciously, every bit the dutiful member of the family you are expected to be.
    Perhaps when I tire of this military lark I ought to run for a spot on the Council... Gottfried’s not getting any bloody younger, and a comfortable spot of work in politics might be just the thing I need.
    ****************************
    You are not the first to arrive at Brockenlid’s home, just after seven o’ the clock. Seated once more in his bourgeois study, dominated by that imposing black stone desk, you find yourself sharing the room with three others, excluding Brockenlid.
    Immediately to your left is a skittish human, no more than twenty five years. He seems skittish, and is continually tinkering with a small metal box, a mechanical or electric contraption of some sort.

    The second is an older man, with the delicate features of an elf, but the bearing of a city gent. He is moving around Brockenlid’s bookshelves, his elongated nose close to touching the spines of the dusty volumes as he scans their titles and the names of their authors. It would seem he has, as yet, found nothing of interest.

    Finally, and most appallingly, a swarthy looking half-orc is seated uncomfortably in the far right corner of the room by the window. He too wears the uniform. Racking your brain you form an image of the dolt who so carelessly barged into you leaving the Professor’s home yesterday morning. This is the same ruffian Second Lieutenant, and now, getting a closer look, you can make out the regimental badge of the 2nd Expeditionary Infantry, a company only recently returned from a border dispute with Cumbria. You remember reading in the papers that some lowly muckraker managed to drag himself up from the ranks, and was gazetted for so-called “gallantry” during the engagement, he too was a half-orc.
    Gallantry, pah. Surely it must have been political. Filth like that don’t make proper soldiers, they’re only good for one thing and that’s digging latrines. I wonder how the bastard weaselled himself into Brockenlid’s good graces...

    It’s not much longer before the good Professor enters the room, makes his apologies for having kept his guests and launches into an enthusiastic explanation of his reasons for having called this conference. He follows much the same lines as he did at your first meeting with the man, and the tedium of this speech bores you. You check your pocket watch more than once, and punctuate his windbagging with the occasional pinch of snuff.

    Finally, after laboured elocution, the Professor comes to a point:
    “And so, gentleman, as you see, each of you has been selected, or seconded to this expedition for the particular set of skills you possess. My good friend Ranulph An’ar, here,” he gestures toward the half-elf standing by the bookshelves, “is an experienced biologist and botanist, who in his years has documented the species of the Dark Fens and the jungles of Thanatos. Then there is Mr. Wilbert Langfield,” he motions ineffectually to the young man seated to your left, “he has been seconded to the expedition by the faculty of Natural Sciences. I’m told he has a fine mind, and is quite the budding mechanical engineer. He shall be monitoring and maintaining our field equipment. The good gnome seated directly in front of me is the Lieutenant Colonel Kleinmann, I have selected him for his experience and leadership qualities, the same qualities I so keenly felt when he sat in my office just yesterday—a true officer and gentleman. Finally, allow me to present Simeon Maug, who, if you might ignore his half-orcish looks, is a most fine fellow—a fine example of the derring-do spirit that we need for such an expedition as this. He was recommended to me expressly by the Lord General Ambrose Westfield following his recent exploits on the field. I believe, Lieutenant Colonel that he and yourself will have much to discuss regarding the protection and advancement of our expedition, he has already agreed of course, to defer to your rank as superior officer.”

    Maug casts a quick glance in your direction, nods slightly, seemingly as a show of respect.
    Something will need to be done about this upstart. Perhaps he’ll lose his footing and fall into a crevasse in the earth, or the rope he’s climbing down will fray and break. How unfortunate that would be. A Kleinmann does not share his honours with the likes of him.

    With introductions and the formalities out of the way, the rest of the meeting is taken up with the particular details of the journey. The Professor explains that the Mysterium Orbis indicates a system of caves leading deep into the volcanic rock beneath a certain island, a system of caves through which one might gain access to the unexplored, as yet, uncharted parts of the earth—a place far deeper than any Dwarven mountainhome. The details are, at best, sketchy, and the Professor seems to have a blind faith in the possibility that some passage might be charted through these caves, their interconnecting tunnels, and the underground rivers which flow, forgotten below the earth. Finally the Professor produces a chart, marked with the destination of your initial journey:

    [​IMG]
    You will leave in the morning, just after sunrise, aboard a train for Ashbury, at which point the Professor has charted a seafaring ship that might transport you to a small unnamed island south of the dreaded Isle of Despair. You’d heard it was nothing but a volcanic rock jutting out of the eastern sea, but it seems the Professor thinks differently. The meeting is adjourned and your presence, along with what baggage you do no not wish to have sent ahead, is requested at Vermillion Station at seven o’ the clock on the morning of the 21st.

    ****************************
    The time between the conclusion of the meeting at Brockenlid’s and your departure in the morning is taken up with the minutiae of your final preparations. In the morning you receive a return telegram, the details of which send you into a rage which ends in the courier being sent packing bloodied and bruised after a severe beating with one of your dress canes. It would seem that politics touches even the Military College.

    The support you requested has already been provided at the behest of Lord General Westfield. 2nd Lt Maug has been seconded to your command, along with two first class privates of the rifle regiment whose job it will be to see the expedition safely to its initial base camp. The utter cheek of it leaves you in a foul mood, what’s worse, there is no word as yet of your future promotion to Colonel—no doubt more politicking.

    Whatever special parcel your uncle had the intention of sending to your apartment has not arrived, the sherry and cigars, however, have done. Nothing you can do about that at this late stage, so you leave orders with your butler for any further packages to be forwarded to Ashbury that you might pick them up there.

    The Industrial Council had organised a farewall parade to see the Professor to the train, you humbly accepted an invitation to take up a seat of honour in the front carriage.

    [​IMG]
    **************************
    The train ride itself is, at first, slow and uneventful. The steam engine, once it has picked up speed, hurtles across what were once the forests of Morbihan, now open plains used for grazing land by the wealthy land owners of the Unified Kingdom.


    It is a little after midnight when you are rudely awakened by a sudden jolt, and thrown from the feather-down fold out bed in your first class cabin. The train has stopped. You hear the shouts of men, and the footfalls of many, booted feet in the corridors.
    “The tracks have been pulled up, sir! We can’t go further at the moment!”
    “What the bloody hell do you mean ‘pulled up’, how might someone have pulled up the damned things? Send a party out to investigate by torchlight! We must get this damnable thing moving!”

    You rub your head, a bump is forming after your hard landing and grope around for your pistol. There is of course no immediate need to step outside your cabin, but if the door opens you’d rather be ready to shoot first and ask questions later.

    The muffled scream of a woman comes from another carriage, followed by pistol fire—flintlock, by the sound of it. You’ve heard stories of orcish bandit gangs roaming the countryside, rustling sheep and holding up passenger trains, but this is unexpected. You’ve never been one to go looking for a fight, and suddenly the underside of your bunk looks terribly appealing. No time to get dressed, still in your pyjamas you crawl beneath the bunk, sweating profusely and cursing the dreadful luck of this confounded expedition. You begin sneezing nervously, and your snuffbox is buried somewhere in your luggage. Have they heard you? They might have. Your cabin is dark, and the curtains drawn, but the tramp of feet in the corridor has not ceased.

    Suddenly, the cabin door bursts open and a lumbering great orc in a tattered woollen jacket and felt pants bursts in. “Where are ya, chicken guts? The boy said there’d be an officer’n ‘ere! Come out and we’ll give yer a real treat!” The orc starts rummaging through your luggage, distracted by the golden glint of your pocket watch, for all he knows you’ve slipped out the window, and right now he'd rather take what he can get before the rest of his band arrives for their share. You can't make it out, but it would appear he's armed with a rusty revolver.

    Your meeting with Uncle Gottfried allowed you to bid farewell to your family without any unnecessary displays of emotion, and what's more, you avoided a possible lecture from your father about your gambling. Your uncle has promised first, to dig up information on the thieves who made off with the Professor's book, and secondly, to dig up something that may be of use for your journey. You have not yet received either, but you trust him to provide.

    The response you received from Brigadier General Smythe was not to your liking. It seems the top brass already had ideas about who they wanted accompanying the Professor on his expedition and your direct request for assistance was met with what you perceive as a glib slap across the face. They've sent you a bloody jumped-up Half-Orc and two privates. What's worse, the Half-Orc seems to have been approved of by the Professor himself.

    DO YOU:
    A)Continue hiding, you may be a cowardly wretch, but you’re not stupid. You don’t want any more of these thugs bearing down on you.
    B)Take this opportunity to shoot the bounder in the back, you’re a ruthless bastard of a gnome and you won’t have this filth touching your under garments!
    C)Wait until he’s gone, then seek out the other military members of the expedition, Maug and the guardsmen. Together the four of you might drive this congregation of louts off the train.

    YOUR INVENTORY CONSISTS OF:
    A small pair of striped silk pyjamas.
    A Fassbender F83 early development model semi-automatic pistol, 9 rounds.

    (This choice will have some bearing on the future direction of the character)
     
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  12. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Codex 2012
    Shoot him in the back, only to wound him and then die horribly! :salute:

    Option B

    :troll:
     
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  13. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    It is entirely possible that once on the island, our gnome will be wearing and using equipment not indistinct from this:

    [​IMG]

    (standard Boer War officers kit)

    Edit: Please consider the misprint in the Tarantian of "Professor" rather than "Professeur" in the title to be due to typographical errors before the initial print run. The offending type-setters have been shot.
     
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  14. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
    Joined:
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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Did our uncle end up sending us anything?
     
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  15. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    We'll find out more about that in the next update. It may seem like a loose end, but:

    Show Spoiler
    we'll be hearing from him via telegram when we arrive in Ashbury


    I'll add a line explaining that we haven't actually received what he intended to send yet.

    Edit-I also spotted a type in that paragraph because you drew my attention back to it. Oh ho.

    Edit2-I would have written in the arrival at Ashbury, but I felt everything was going to drag if it was all setup and no action, and I think a split second combat decision might liven things up and give us a chance to decide exactly what kind of coward Kleinmann is (coward coward, ruthless bastard coward (the dangerous kind), or the kind of coward who'll hide behind better men than he), which will help me begin to shape his personality when we get down to the nitty gritty.

    (Would he rather shoot a man in the back, or hope they go down fighting in front of him? Would he hide while others fight, then try to talk his way out of accusations of cowardice, or, despite his yellow streak, lay in ambush and shoot his opponent when they're offguard, then claim he took them down in a heroic fire-fight?)
     
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  16. Gondolin Arcane

    Gondolin
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    In the back? Shoot him in the head.

    Or offer him an outrageously large sum of money to become your bodyguard and then shoot him.
     
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  17. Monty Arcane

    Monty
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    Location:
    Grognardia
    B Time to put our 'duelling' skills to good use.
     
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  18. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    Presumably "shoot him in the back" means (because the pistol is semi-automatic) keep shooting him til he crumples in a pool of his own blood, or until it runs out of ammunition.
     
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  19. Stygian Lurker Scholar

    Stygian Lurker
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  20. Gondolin Arcane

    Gondolin
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    Yes, this. B
     
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  21. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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  22. Erebus Arcane

    Erebus
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    Jul 12, 2008
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    Nice job writing our character so far ! He's quite an unusual hero !

    I'm voting B. Not that I'm turning my back on shameless cowardice, but shooting an orc bandit in the back at point blank is too good an occasion to miss. With a few embellishments, it'll make a wonderful little story to tell everyone.

    Maug may not just be a filthy half-orc, but a treacherous one too. It's quite possible that he's "the boy" the orc mentioned. I wouldn't be surprised if he resented our clear superiority and wanted to be in charge of the expedition. We'll have to make sure an accident doesn't happen to us before it can happen to him.

    As for our destination, the good thing about it is that teleportation may not work properly so close to the Island of Despair.
     
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  23. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
    Joined:
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    Did somebody rat us out? Anyways, I'm getting the impression that someone leaked this. I don't think it was Maug, though - Maug is already a grown man, so referring to him as "the boy" wouldn't make sense. The downside here is that we're going to start running out of bullets. There's more of these guys, so I hope that we don't run out. But Elias has embellished stories of countless duels before - this isn't the first person he's dishonourably shot in the head when the opportunity has presented itself.

    B
     
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  24. ironyuri Guest

    ironyuri
    Ammunition will be the least of our worries when our untested new model pistol jams after the first shot, or it misfires, killing the protagonist.



    :troll:
     
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  25. Erebus Arcane

    Erebus
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    Well, if the introduction of Arcanum has taught us anything, it's that you can call someone "the boy" no matter how old he actually is. :D
     
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