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Shattered [CYOA]

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Karwelas, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    All right, I had small problems with different thing so update will appear tonight. It will be based on a bit of background of your last choice, so it may be little bit longer.

    Show Spoiler
    And it may have some answers.
    Show Spoiler
    Also, I finally have my first glasses so my eyes won't hurt when I write anymore!

     
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  2. wjw Augur

    wjw
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  3. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    Somewhere - Mind? - Memory of Palace

    You smile as you pull mask and throw it away. You see how shadows suddenly shiver under your gaze. They recognize you, after all that time. All those years. You can't help it, as you chucke looking at those shadows. They are frightened. Well, good reaction. You don't intend to make it easy for them.

    Ten years ago, they tried to assassinate you. Not like you remember, at least not like how you remembered it just a while ago. You now remember it, how it really was. And with it, at least part of the past:

    Fifteen years before that happend, you came to City. Lord Regent of City was one of best friends of your father and father though that his friend court may be best place for you. And he send you there so Lord could take care for you. Under his wary and wise eyes, you became young, but talented noble. Not too powerful and wealthy, but you was one. As a part of his court, you weren't treated better then other people. Everybody had hard time there.

    And then, around five years after your arrival, someone stabbed you. During Masquerade Ball. You couldn't predict it... actually, you could. You should did it. But it was too late at that moment. As blade embedded into your wound, you realized that Lord Regent couldn't protect you forever. You pulled dagger out of wound and got even with attacker. Another young noble, jealous of your position as Lord's favourite. He bleeded out soon before you lost your consciousness.

    Three days later, you woke up. Your enemy, didn't. You didn't only woke up, you woke up healthy and well-rested. It was easy to guess what happend - The Gift. Unique trait that some people possess. Unique enough to make people that possess it valuable as soliders, spies or servants. (of course, it depends on nature of your Gift) You had The Body. But then, you decided to do something stupid, despite wise words of Lord.

    You decided to meet with Voices, group of sages and mages that had large knowledge about magic and other interesting things. Among those - Gifts. You discovered that they want to use you for their own research far too late to stop them, but fast enough to escape from operating table. You disappeared, wounded and beaten. You knew that now, after you killed few of Voices, even Lord couldn't protect you. His position in City wasn't as strong as in the past. You barely survived, but your wounds regenerated. You decided to escape from City... and you did so.

    You don't remember anything 'between'. Something is not right with your memories, you are sure of that... does it mean that you are in your mind? That those shard are part of your knowledge? You must know. You must find answers.

    And then, nine years later (or year ago, depends how you look at it) you came back to City, with mask on your face. In less then six months, along with forces you brought with yourself - more then solders. Spies, agents, everyone you could need - you managed to weak position of old Lord enough to take his place. You didn't killed him, of course. He was old friend and he never did anything to harm you. Still, you forced him to leave the City, not without revealing who you are. He wasn't too angry, rather impressed... mostly because you gave him small part of your ally land, far away from there. Far away to never hear of him again.

    As Masked Player, you became Lord of City. And day after you crowned yourself by hand of your ally, you decided to visit Voices. When you throw your mask away, they realized what just happend. Every piece of puzzle jumped on it's place. Why your agents decided to weak their position? Why you take so many of their privileges? Well, now they have their answer.

    ***
    As you remember, shadows became people. You see old men and woman, looking at you with fear in their eyes. Three squads of soldiers stand behind you, waiting for any sort of movement - or your order. You turn your head to left, only to see two shadows... weird. You should see them, at least you think so. But you only hear their voices.

    "What we should do with them?" - you hear cold and sharp voice. For some reason, you don't speak anymore. You are part of memory, only playing your role.

    "I have an idea. For now, take your squad. And make sure that if any of those old fools make wrong move, they will be dead before they finish it." - your voice sounds a bit different then you though it do. Well, it is nice. And now, it is intimidating enough to make old Voices shiver. You don't say that too loud - but loud enough to make sure that some of those people will hear it.

    Shadows nods and order some of his soliders - your soldiers - to surround them and observe if anybody try to cast some spell. Or do something else that could be dangerous for you or your people - you actually wouldn't care too much if one or two of those people would lose their heads. As you slowly walk toward one of podiums... you have an idea. Interesting idea...

    End of part I. Why is it divided into parts? Well, yesterday I was resmithing something and I couldn't wrote full text, so I decided to send some fragment that contain actually interesting informations and isn't too long. Part two will appear tomorrow, with rest of story about fate of Voices and next choice.

    Why there are no names? You don't remember them. What are shadows? People that belong to other memories, but also are part of those. What happend? Who knows. Questions, questions...
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
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  4. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    Part 2

    You smile as eyes of Voices look only at podium, right where you are standing. They are waiting for your judgement, their punishment - at least those that are aware who you are. You don't intend to tell those who already don't know. As you start your speech everyone stop speaking, whispering or whatever they were doing just moment ago.

    "I know many of you heard of me, as Masked Lord. But some of you know my other name. They know me for a long, long time." you point at group of the older Voices, at other side of Plaza. "You know me well enough. I see fear on your faces. I hear your frightened voices. You tried to use me for your own goals, nine years ago. I died that day... well, at least part of me died." suddenly, you shout at the top of your voice. "Did you really thought that I would forget about this?! Well, answer is NO!"

    You pull your weapon out of sheath. One of two shadow yells as soldiers point their spears at crowd. People start screaming, but you slience them with one gesture - you hit podium with your weapon. And it's upper part slowly fall on the ground. "I didn't forget." you speak calmly again. "But I never said that I didn't forgave you."

    As you point at group of older Voices, your words resound in air. "Elder Tarkam, I forgive you what you did to me. Come here." Face of Tarkam is pale. As he slowly walk toward you... well, he looks like it could be his execution as well - it probably would be under normal circumstances. As he finally stops next to you, you offer him your handshake. At first, he don't know what to do, but he finally shake your hand. You pull him closer and whisper to him as his eyes widens.

    "You are mine now. Time to repay, Elder. And you have much to pay... including interest."

    ***​

    You suddenly jump in space and time, again. Now you are standing in Palace. Your Palace, in War Room. You look through the window... City is beautiful as it always is... or maybe was? Falling leaves dance on the wind, as the shadows sitting at the table argue. You count those shadows... at least 20? You remember one of those voices - the same shadow that was with you at The Plaza. And Elder is here, too.

    "You know what I'm talking about, - " while one of shadow is speaking, you didn't heard one of words. Probably another name. Why you can't remember names? Is something blocking those? "You fucking send your troops at our border with other town. Do you want to risk war while we aren't ready for one?" you heard as someone snorts. Then same voice you heard at the Plaza.

    "You always was boring bitch, you know about that? At least I do something, not only suck his dick." the shadow shake it's head and chuckles. Another shadows have large variety of reactions - chuckles, growls, angry gestures. Only shadow that spoke before, with woman voice stand still. At least until she speak again. Her voice is calm, but cold. And so sweet that it could make you vomit.

    "Say that again and you will end drowned in your own toilet, like your beloved brother." you hear as laugher stops, suddenly. You body moves again, as you pull knive out of your pocket and throw it right at center of the table, just before anybody can do anything. Like jump at table and start attacking each other.

    "Enough. If you can't control your temper now, we will talk about this later. Meeting is over. And don't even try to cut each other outside of those doors." you look at pair of shadows, looking at each other and heavy breathing... at least you think that those breath like that. "Both of you... I will talk with you later. For now, each one of you will go... at other side of town. Until you calm fucking down. Is that clear?"

    Silence must be not good enough for you, as you ask again. "I asked. Is THAT clear?!"

    "Yes. Yes, it is." The male shadow nods. "I will wait for your order, you know where I will be."

    The female shadow stand there for a while, before she speaks again. "Why you tolerate him? He is dangerous, mad and violent."

    "I tolerate him because he is loyal and useful. Also, if you don't insult him everytime and don't remind him about his brother death, he can be pretty nice. You should try it sometimes, you know." you snarks, as she snarls again.

    "Gah! I sometimes don't understand why I damn help you." she mutters and turn away in a huff.

    "Because I'm so charming." you whisper to yourself and chuckle. You turn to window again and look at panorama of The City. For a while, before someone coughs. You turn your head at the door. Elder Tarkam is standing in it.

    "May I take some of your time, my Lord?" he asks, silently. He is... humble. Ah, yes. So many things changed since that time you decided to make use of The Voices. Yes, they started some problems. Yes, you was forced to eliminate some of them. But in the end, they decided to work with you. They suddenly saw opportunities you could gave them. Tarkam tried to kill you, yes. He sometimes tried to fool you. But as years passed, he learned that he isn't a prisoner. Not an companion like some of those around you - you could never trust him like those people.

    But he is useful, intelligent and he accepted you as his Lord. That was enough. "Yes, my dear Elder. Come in."

    "Thanks you, sir." he closes door behind himself. You walk away from window and sit in your small throne. He decides to sit nearby, in another chair. "I assume you wanted to talk about something?"

    "Actually, I wanted to ask about something." he pauses for a moment, long moment. Finally, he speaks again. "I always was wondering about this... why you let us live." his calm gaze meets your eyes.

    "It depends what do you mean." you lean on back of your throne. Tarkam seems to be disconcerted and suprised by your responce at first, but his face become calm in a few seconds.

    "I mean back then. At Plaza. You could kill us without any problems. You knew that nobles didn't cared about us at all. Some of them even would support you if you would do that." his eyes are anxious, as he speaks. "Or you could take all our power. We would be powerless. But you decided to use us, despite possible problems. To be honest..." he pauses for a moment again. "I would do that if I would be you."

    You suddenly chuckles and look at him. "You know, I was thinking about that moment for long, long time. I mean, before it happend. Yes, I wanted to get my revange. Of course, it wasn't my only motive to rule City. But one of those, yes."

    "You know, I never truly spoke to you, about my feelings. I will tell you those now, as we are... allies. You deserve to know, after all this time. I will never forget what happend to me that day. I will never forget how you stunned me, when I come to you, to ask about my Gift. Young, foolish man died that day, at that table... or maybe at pile of trash in Lower Ward. Or maybe he bleed out in river. Who knows. But I must tell you that I may hate you and your Voices for that. But I’d like to express my gratitude to you all for all that what you did to me." you smiles in your mind when he looks at you, suprised.

    "You made me who I'm now. And for that, I thank you, Elder."


    ***
    You feel how crystal shard shatters under your hands, again. As you remember, colors whirl around you. You feel stronger again, as you stand firmly on your legs, looking around. Some of shards suddenly slowly slip back into crystal surface. You heard as few of floating parts of the crystal slowly float down, forming a almost complete bridge, above one of gulfs. Only one shard left, at least within your reach.

    You slowly walk toward it. Yes. You are sure now. This is your mind. You must be again. You must remember. And you do, as you touch last shard.

    ***​

    When you open your eyes again, you are in some kind of woods, hidding behind trees and bushes, with small group of people. One of those is shadow, but he quickly become man, as your sight became clear.

    Young, but mature. Not too high, but rather muscular. Tanned skin. Short black hair, barely visible. And smile of a man that would go to hell, for taste of adventure alone. Brown, watchful eyes.

    As you look at his face, you know that this is one of those people that you could trust. And for now, in this memory, you can trust him. You would give your live for his... and you are sure he would do the same. As you look around, you see group of other, mostly young people. They wear same kind of uniform as you do, right now. You know those are only fake ones - a disguise. As you look throught bushes, you see walls of keep, maybe town. You know that your quest is simple - get inside, kill one of enemy captain, save your agent and escape in one piece... It sounds simple.

    Sounds is a keyword. "So... any ideas?" Your friend, Borad, looks at you, waiting.

    "Gah, I told you already. I don't want to be man who give ideas for whole squad." your voice sounds younger then before. "What about others?" you look at other people, but most of them only mutter.

    Borad shakes his head. "Are you drunk or something? We already voted that you will make the plan."

    "Wait, when?!" you mutter silently. "Gah, damn you! Fine. If you want the plan, you will get the plan. But don't blame me in afterlife if we all die." You hear how few of them chuckle and whisper to each other. Borad grins to you.

    "Don't count on it, brother."

    You must get inside of fort protected by solders - not well trained, but soldiers anyway. With much smaller group, you may don't have any chance in open fight. But you may try anyway... plan is yours. (This vote is very, very important. During that memory, you will deterimine old skills and ways of your character. Be careful with your choices and feel free to ask way what each one mean)

    A - You will use a trick. While part of your troops will fake an attack by burning woods around fort, you will try to get their attention. Climb walls on another side. And then you will attack, by surpise! Sweet, fast and safe!

    B - Why even bother with that kind of thing? They won't believe that small group of soldiers would attack fortress like this - frontal attack will do the thing. Gates are barely holding and using alchemist fire, you can knock them - and carve your way throught their people!

    C - Wait until night and then climb on walls. Hide in shadows, eliminate their patrols and get into their keep. Free agent, kill captain, escape in the night. Maybe blow up their supply of alchemist fire, just to get some of their attention when you will get into safe darkness of forest.

    D - Use you alchemy knowledge to create itching powder and use it during change of guard. Then, use some poisons on those that will manage to stay on their legs. Get inside of keep, make use of your mixtures and alchemist fire. Show them true power of alchemy.

    E - Time to use your magical power. It was quite a while, but you can finally prove that you are true wizard, after so many trainings... of course, you aren't as powerful as you could be, but for those mere worms... it should be enough. One fireball there, blinding light in another place and this keep will fall into chaos.

    F - It is time to use your charms. You can become an officer of this squad of recruits if you want. You can get into fortress... damn, THEY will let you get there. You can talk with everybody around and make you think you are one of their own. And whey they will finally relax... you will do what you will do. Kill them? Persuade captain into releasing agent and then stab him in back? Who knows.

    Yeah, it took a while. But here is it! Update finished!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
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  5. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    C seems fine. We're not all that personally vulnerable assuming that we still have the skill we picked up before, and we burn through less of the cannon fodder unlike B. A 'stealth' game in which you have an obscene health stat rapidly enters hilarity.
     
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  6. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Not sure of whether we're in Rasputin mode, so A.
     
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  7. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    I will lock votes sometime tomorrow, so feel free to post.
     
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  8. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    B>E>D. We have invulnerability for a reason.
     
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  9. wjw Augur

    wjw
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    I think D is the best option. With Chemical knowlegde on our side and a body that recovers from almost everything, we might be able to enhance a thing or two 'the hard way'. Besides. Alchemy is always OP. So the first thing we have to do is make potions that increase our potionmaking skill. Do this forever and then enhance all our other skills. The gateway to morrowind-heaven lies right open. Let's Heisenberg this.
     
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  10. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    Votes closed - it seems we have tie between D and C. Well, up to you if you want to change votes. If iit don't solve itself, I will be forced to... Flip The Coin!
     
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  11. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Nah, I call C.
     
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  12. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    All right, C won. Update - probably today.
     
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  13. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    Mind - Dreams of Fortress

    You smile as your head slowly create the plan. Almost like machine, good clock. It would be a bit stupid to do it any other way then waiting until nightfall. Too many guards on walls, looking everywhere. Frontal attack would be suicide, at least with that small party. Blowing up everything isn't exactly your style... So this is what remains, then.

    'We will stay here until night. No fire tonight, sadly. I would want to eat warm meal too, guys. Really.' you say silently as everyone either sigh or mutter something. Nobody enjoy cold meal and another night without fire. But sadly, there is no other way to stay undetected so close to fort walls. You pick few people for first night watch. Rest of them, including you, can sleep a bit, at least until next watch.

    As you close your eyes, you feel weird. Sleeping in another dreams never seems... normal. Or in your memories. You almost instantly wake up, as someone shakes your arm. You yawn and shake your head. Borad kneels next to you and point at walls.

    'Time is right. This is middle of their night patrol. They are tired and probably couldn't care less... they tired to shoot some birds just few minutes ago. If it would be fort of our employer, they would be already locked for being careless.' he shakes his head with disgust. If there is one thing he hates, it is slacking off at job. At least important ones.

    'Yes. It is time. Get people ready, game begins.'

    ***​

    Suggested soundtrack - S. P. Q. R.

    As you and you people slowly moves in darkness between tress, guards above you talk and mutter. You can see at least six of them in one place, drinking something. Gah, they don't keep any of their posts, this should be easy. Your people shoot few water arows, with small flasks instead of arrowheads. They aim at lights away from guards, so it maybe don't notice it until it will be too late. Next - grapnels. You and your people quickly climb on dark parts of walls. Few guards notice that lights extinguished and decide to check it.

    As one of them walks nearby, you pull him into shadows and twists his neck. Your companions do same with another two. You quickly undress the bodies and put their tabards on yourself. After all, you are dressed almost like them - only tabards are missing. Your companion throw bodies down the walls, into darkness. Of course, you make sure that they don't have any thing that could make too much noise.

    As your people quickly clean wall next to you and dress like guard, first part of your plan is already completed. Good. This mean you have right people on right place.

    What you should do next?

    A - Focus on mission goals:
    1 - Killing the captain is most important thing to do around here. He is quite skilled tactician and ending his life will severely weaken enemy in this region. Agent can wait, or even be replaced if something goes wrong.
    2 - Informations that that agent may have are much more important then killing one man. Deal with this first, then kill captain if it will be possible.
    3 - Just deal with everything as you should do. Your employer expect you will do both things. And you don't intend to fail.

    B - You heard that many people are captured in fort dungeons. Most of them are just simple villagers and other kind of shaddy people, but some are veteran soldiers and people that approve your party. If you free them, you may gain many favours. Prehaps even new recruits to your squad. Besides, with those people, you have bigger chance to get alive form there.

    C - Burn supplies of soldiers. There is big possiblity that soon your forces may be forced to get that fort in your hand. And you are pretty sure burning supplies of enemy will be great help. Besides, you need some kind of "smokescreen", right?

    D - To hell with all those orders - you are something above things like that. You are something greater. Time to show this. You will get this fort into your hands, free everyone, kill captain and drink wine with that fucking spy in his rooms. If you do that, you will not only gain fame amoung your people - reward will be great. Risk is great too, but it may be worth it.

    Well, another update. I know it was some time ago, but I was somewhere else (family outside of town, far away from my internet, at last for most of time) and to be honest, I was stoned as fuck for last three days. Heh, at least I'm honest. Anyway, feel free to vote, next update will be a bit longer and probably most important one around here.


    And you really, really don't want me to write on phone. :lol:
     
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  14. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    A3 - We're fairly skilled, right? Let's test and see to what extent, hopefully we don't get overextended and fail but if we do then we can at least get an idea of the lower bounds of competence for our guy.
     
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  15. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    A3
     
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  16. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    C. Fire solves everything.

    By the way: that mention of having acquired your first glasses, your mention of being stoned and even positng that Asterix game's song... I believe you Karwelas happen to be quite younger than what I expected (not that's an issue). And most likely more social than the average basement dweller Codexer.


    Lastly, is our character not-Sans the Masked Man from Dead Gods? It would be fitting.
     
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  17. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    lightbane

    Heh, I'm quite young - 19 years old. Actually, I get glasses mostly for my own comfort, I don't have much problems with my eyes, but those glasses really help me. About being stoned... well, heh. At least those aren't cigs. And hey, Asterix cartoons and comics are damn classics and I love those. (most of older ones, actually + first two movies)

    Sadly, nope. Shattered is part of other setting, I'm aware of mistakes I did when I wrote my first CYOA and decided to start this one with clean slate. And actually, you couldn't be more wrong about origins of Masked, he was there long before Toby game. Soulcatcher from Black Company was main inspiration with this character, but Masked is little bit more different. Sans rather wouldn't turn you into empty shell for his construct or worse.
     
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  18. wjw Augur

    wjw
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    A3. We wont divert from the plan, unless there is some kind of girl bait around. That's the codex way of things.
     
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  19. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    Voting closed. Option A3 won. Update will appear tommorow. It will be last one in this weird, twisted place... who knows what will be next?
     
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  20. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    Update will appear tomorrow. Note to fucking self - Don't left text on Codex editor itself and remember to save it before you turn of computer. Yeah, it disappeared so it took some time to rewrite that.

    Show Spoiler
    I really to start saving those somewhere else.
     
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  21. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    Mind - Memory about Fortress and Doubt

    As your people dispose of bodies, you talk with Borad about your tasks. Both of you quickly decide that you should free the spy, while he will take care of fortress commander. Borad knows fighting techniques little better then you and it isn't first time when he will do that kind of job. He always was "muscle" type of guy, but this of course doesn't mean that he isn't wise. Damn, he is one of most clever people you ever met, this is one of reason why you still work with him. He just feels better with that kind of job.

    'All right, I will take Solzar, Bruno and Kuziho with me.' Board mutters to you, leaning on the wall. 'I will need some backup if everyone suddenly decide to stab us into our back.'

    You don't blame him for picking three best fighters in your squad. Well, maybe Kuziho isn't one you would call best, but Borad likes her. Prehaps even too much. But you quickly add: 'Fine, but I take Twins and Targo with me. I need some "manpower".' you chuckle and quickly look around. 'Also - Belzo, Karot, Lapo. I may need someone to get lock open or something like this.'

    You whisper for another while or two, creating backup plan, if enemy will see through your disguises. Spy is priority, so if everything will go to hell, you must get her out of there. Captain go can, as Borad said "Fuck himself along with his troops." Well, you agree with that. You aren't bunch of trained assassins, but you are much cheaper then most of those. And assassins probably don't spent few weeks in woods, without fire or good meal.

    As you quickly tell your plan to rest of your group, they mutter and whisper. Some of them like it, some don't. But nobody of them dare to disobey you - mostly because they know that thanks to your plans most of them still walk among living. You put helmet on your head and walk down the stairs. Your people follow you, in chaotic formation.

    You look around, looking for anything that could be entrance to dungeons. Another group of soldiers rests nearby, around the campfire, drinking and talking. You see two another walking nearby gates and small group standing next to fortress entrance. Not too many of those, but you are sure there are at least squad or two, sleeping in the barracks. Maybe another little squad, guarding fortress interior.

    You decide to look around, during patrol. Or at least druing predending to patrol. Iy take only few minutes to find entrance to dungeon, guarded by two soldiers. Those two must be from captain guard... different colors of tabards and marks on armor. Not good. You may have problems.

    'Hey, how are you, guys?' you wave to them. One of them rise his eyebrow, you can see that, but other, younger one smiles to you as he pull his helmet of his head.

    'Alive, bored and damn tired.' he says and other one almost instantly responds, in an accusing tone of voice.

    'We are on damn guard, boy. We aren't suppose to talk with those...' he pauses for a while, before he finish his sentence. His voice was spitefully. '...guards.'

    'Come on, old man.' younger one mutters to him. 'All we do whole day is standing there and guard damn prisoners that don't have even slight chance to get out of their cells. I don't even speak about escaping."

    Older guard looks at younger one with expression that could some of people you know look away immediately, but he doesn't even shrug, just look into his eyes. At his very moment, you run your eye over them. Older one have bunch of keys, attached to his belt. They both wear heavy plate armors, so killing them fast and instantly may be a problem. This problem, however, solves itself faster then you could think. As they start to argue, you hear as someone yells: 'ALERT! ENEM-', but scream cut short his sentence. Still, guards everywhere react by getting up and starting running around, screaming and yelling. Chaos, pure chaos.

    Two guards next to you look at each other and finally older one speaks, grabbing his spear.

    'We must get in and lock the door.' he looks at you and your group. 'We don't need backup for now, so better check it with your squad.' He start walking towards the door, but you know you can't let them do that. You fast pull dagger out one of your gloves and grab shoulder of younger guard. He turns toward you, suprised and open his mouth, but you don't let him speak. You stab, aiming at gap in helmet. He screams as your dagger strike right into his eye and probably get deeper. You pull it out and in meanwhile, older soldier already aim at you with his spear, but one of your people jump next to him and strike on his head with mace. Guard fall on his knees and then on the ground, when mace hit his head second time.

    You quickly grab one of bodies, looking around. It seems that nobody saw your small fight. One of twins opens door and you pull bodies inside, locking door behind you. Small corridor, illuminated by torches lead you and your squad down, to small dungeon. You almost don't smell shit and piss, which mean that prisoners have buckets... or some kind of toilets. You quickly get down, to another small corridor. Six cells, three in each side of corridor. In one of them, you see young man, looking at you, surpised. Another four contain other men. One is empty.

    'Damn it... Where is that bitch? She was supposed to be here.' Lapo mutters and spits on the floor. 'What we do now, boss?'

    Before you can respond, one of prisoners speaks: 'Wait, who are you? Are you part of Werigs forces?' You look at him for a while, before you nod. He smiles and says happily: 'You see?! I told you that they will come to rescue us!'

    One of men, lying on bed, finally gets up and walk toward door. He glances at you, for a while. Suspiciously, you think. 'How we can be sure that this isn't some sort of trap? Prehaps they want to lure us into something... or guards are bored again.' he growls, looking at you. You grins, before you says sarcastically.

    'Yeah, it is another joke. Big joke. Entire fortress is part of it. Heard those screams?' you shakes your head, as man listens to echoes. Finally he nods.

    'So this really is fucking truth... Damn it, I wouldn't believe that." he mutters and look at you. 'But I bet you aren't here for us, simple soldiers. Probably for that girl... spy, you said.'

    You nods after few seconds of thinking. 'You know where she is?'

    Man snickers and shakes his head, almost like he would hear great joke. "Oh, the irony... Of course I know. She is with captain of this humble fortress. Probably sleeping with him, again.' he pauses for a while. 'In other words, this bitch sold you, us and her kingdom for his pretty face. And probably her life and freedom.'

    You look at him for a while, before you hit kick one of doors, angry. 'For fuck sake!' you growls and look at man again. 'Thanks you. Lapo, free them.' you turn to him again. 'You are able to fight?'

    Man nods after a while, as Lapo opened his doors. 'Give us something that can bash, slash or kill and we won't get in your way.'

    'Great.' you pull sword, part of your disguise and give it to man. You have your own shortsword hidden under cloak. Another two of your squad give their backup weapon to prisoners, after you nods to them. 'There are two bodies in the corridor. Feel free to take their weapons. I can't give you anything else or spare any of my men. But listen to me - head on walls and when you see anyone with cloak, tell them password - "Harpy" and told them that Boss let you free. They will make sure to get you off the walls, to safety. This is everything I can do for you.'

    Prisoner look at you and nods, with respect. "Thanks you. I hope we will meet again. We will get out of there in a while, so we don't blow your cover.'

    As you quickly storm out of dungeon and run toward keep, you hear how prisoners also get out and charge at small squad of soliders near closest stairs on walls. You hope that at least one of them will get out of this alive. But for now, there is a bigger problem - Borad and his people may be trapped in keep. Damn, even if they get inside of captain's room, they may kill spy by mistake, thinking it is simple whore. Suddenly, you see how one of windows in upper part of keep opens and somebody lowers rope. You are pretty sure that those can be only your men. However, another group of guards notices it and run toward it.

    'Boys, stop those motherfuckers!' you scream as your charge at suprised group. They don't even attack you at first, screaming about mistake or cursing, but as soon as you cut down one of them, they start fighting back. You know that only thing that could make you stand out of those soldiers are your cloaks, but you prefer to don't get attacked by your own people. Of course, everyone can wear cloak, but at least you know the password.

    Borad is first man that climb down, carring something in his arms... or rather someone! Someone wrapped up in a carpet. Your spy? Yes, you see long hair sticking out of carpet. Huh, so it seems he find out who is she. You quickly cut another enemy and scream: 'Harpy!' He notices you and smiles, as he get small axe in his free hand. Another of his men carry... other carpet? You cover rest of his squad, but only five more people gets out. You look at your friend, but he only shakes his head. You curse silently. And then yell.

    'ENEMIES IN KEEP! CAPTAIN FIGHTING IN HIS ROOM! EVERYBODY TO KEEP! ENEMIES IN KEEP!' you yell, slashing last soldiers on your way. Then, you adds, quieter. 'Harpy! On the walls, people. We are getting our of there.' you start running toward stairs, looking around, but everybody seems to be either rushing to keep or trying to think about what is happening. As you get on top of walls, you quickly scream password again. 'Take them of the walls. Twins, Borad and Bruno with me. We must tell others on walls.' Borad quickly give carpet to other man from his squad and follows you.

    It take only a while to warn everybody who are still alive and on the walls. You lost some people there, as enemy started to see through your plans. Keep was already empty, so they attacked only place where you could be - walls. Still, most of your people are safe now. You quickly head to one of ropes and climb down. Arrows fly above your heads, as you run to safe forest...

    ***
    You and your people quickly head deeper into forest, but enemy don't follow you. Chaos, wounds (and burning warehouses - mentions one of your men, smiling) will keep them busy for a longer while. Still, you know that you should be far away from there before they will start searching. You walk for a rest of the night, before you finally order to stop when first rays of the sun light up the sky.

    You quickly look around, at your people. Some of them are wounded, but thanks Gods, it is nothing serious. Still, you lost around ten people... good people. Three of them in keep, two during burning warehouses (you don't blame anybody for that, it probably was thing that most of your people lives) and another five on the walls. But rest of you are alive. Alive!

    As some of your men take care of the wounded, you look at prisoners. Four of them managed to get out of there alive. You smile - it is good to know that those people are alive. They will be good soldiers, if they will be willing to join your squad, of course. You wave to that prisoner that have your sword. He have deep cut on his hand, but he sees you and nods, with grin on his face.

    'I told you that we will manage to get out!' he yells to you.

    'I can see it! You owe me and my men round in tavern.' you chuckles.

    'Round?! For getting me out of that shithole, I will fucking buy you brewery!' he laughs and suddenly moans, as one of your men clean his wound with alcohol.

    'I hold you to your promise!' you respond and walk toward Borad and your... carpets. Or rather prisoners.

    Borad smiles to you as soon as you get close enough to see his face. 'You will like this, I promise you.'

    You snort. 'Well, I must say I like good carpets, but I think it wasn't our mission.' Borad shakes his head and kneel next to one of carpets and roll it. You see young woman, tied up with her own dress. Or what left of it. She moans and open her eyes, looking around. Her expression quickly changes as she looks at your uniform. Fear appeared in her eyes like flame on lit candle. She try to break free, but you know it is pointless.

    'Here is our dear locked spy. Locked in fucking arms of enemy captain. Whore.' he spits on her face and she shivers. Gag in her mouth moves, as she attempt to speak. You ignore her and walk toward next carpet. You already know who is there.

    You smile, looking at young face of Captain Lo-Fan. He still is unconscious.

    'Borad, you magnificent bastard...'
    ***​
    As another shard of crystal explodes, you feel another wave of power flowing through your body... yes! It is it! You remember now! One of your most famous actions - capture of Captain Lo-Fan, one of youngest and in same time best commanders in enemy army. With your spy in his bed. You created rumors quicker then fire burns rotten wood. Shame of Lo-Fan, as they call it. He turned his side quickly, after he learned that his own lord ordered to execute him for his "establishing contact with enemy".

    Yes, it was good. One of your actions... Many. But you don't remember for who you fought. But you remember that you did that for long time... Five years. Somewhere around five years. Far away from City. After you escaped... yes.

    You quickly turn, looking for another shard, but something weird happends. Shards suddenly stop glowing and your mind shakes again. Yes, this crystal is your mind... or at least projection of it. You are sure of it now. Shattered... your mind shattered. Your memory - shattered. You - shattered. But you won't let it happend again. You will be whole again. Yes, you will!

    As your mind shakes, you see how big chasm suddenly start to close, as floating fragments create some sort of bridge between your side and other one. You feel that shards won't work, but you try anyway. You touch shard and nothing happends... it seems that something awaits you on the other side of bridge. You don't have choice - you walk through bridge.

    After a while of walking, you see big shard. It is glowing. And someone is inside of it. You can't tell who is it, but you suddenly heard how bridge behind you crumble into pieces. Shard start to shake as you walk toward it. It react to you... and when you finally get close enough - it explodes into pieces. Person trapped inside of it, suddenly fall on the crystal. You glance at this person and suddenly, you know who is it. You saw him before.

    Borad is slowly get on his knees, looking at you. His eyes are full of uncertainty and tiredness. His voice is weak, almost silent as a whisper.

    'So you have come... I was sure it was the end, this time.' his words seems to be so heavy that those have weight... he speaks as man that lost everything. Man living only because he must. For some reason you know about this. And it scaries you, deep inside of you.

    'The end? This time? What are you talking about?... Who are you?" you says, but he only laughs for a while. It is desperate laugh, without any kind of positive emotion in it.

    'So you don't remember anything? Haha... So plan failed. Everything...' his voice suddenly changes, you hear anger in his words. 'FAILED. Enough!' he rises and place a hand on his sword. 'You ask, who I'm?! I will tell you then! I'm Doubt! And I will end this, once for all.'

    He looks at the ground, as he pull blade out of sheath.

    'Protect yourself. Or give up.'

    You jump just before blade cut off your head... If this is your mind, is it your doubt? Is he part of you? You know only that you must do something, becouse if he succeed... this will be the end. This time, true end.

    1. Fighting the Doubt:

    A - You will attempt to destroy it. You can't let him stop you. Not when you are so close... not even your own doubt will get in your way!

    B - You will embrace it. Absorb it. You know it will be hard to do, you must probably weak it before this will be possible. But you can do that. You are sure of that.

    C - This is madness... If it is part of you, why it want to fight you? What is happening? You must know and only it hold the answers for now. You must talk to it, even if first you will are forced to beat some sense into it. And then, maybe you can convince it to help you. Maybe.


    D - Do as it says. Give up. Let it go... (If you do that, something bad will happend. Everything you did so far will be lost. Prehaps even you will be lost...)

    All righto, update is here. Sorry it take a while and I hope it isn't too long. Damn, it really fucking make me mad when it disappeared first time. Well, here you have last piece of information for now, I hope you like it. Next update will be... well, outside. If you will manage to survive.

    Also, I think this is one of longer updates you will see for longer while, so don't worry. Or worry, if you want longer updates. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
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  22. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    C
     
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  23. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    Vicksburg
    2. Bend it to our will and devour it for all it's worth, whatever it is.
     
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