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Myth: A New Age CYOA

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Fangshi, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Imagine Derryth's reputation now, 8 feet tall, lightning sparking from her eyes, an almost godly healing touch, monstrous plants leaping to her defense, jabbing people to death with broken pottery. :yeah:
     
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  2. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
  3. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
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    Except for the huge Dwarven army that mysteriously appears from the Muirthemne ruins 10 minutes after the declaration of war and decapitates their leadership.

    :yeah:

    Nevill can I convince you to go 1.D? We need to get both our operations up and running fairly quickly. We don't want to give the mercenaries time to take a bad contract or the merchants time to jump ship. We can send Lyssa and the bracelet with her if you are worried but I think the mercenaries may be the more dangerous party.
     
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  4. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    You probably can't, as I was tempted to flop myself, but in the end decided against it.

    I do not view fixing our security enterprise as a good enough incentive to venture out without an escort while being hunted by professional assassins.

    Even if those don't get to us, they can cause trouble in the city, and the last thing we need right now is starting another fire when we sneak out against the King's orders.

    I'd loathe to take off the bracelets after we promised Caoilainn we wouldn't, too. I dislike the idea of separating with Thais. You don't even know if it would be our party that gets attacked. The Eberhardts are essentially sending suicide bombers after us, and the escort is not failproof against those.

    I know this is still better than what was initially proposed, but I don't want to take any more risks here just to squeeze a couple more coins out of our deal. Our lives are worth more than that.
     
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  5. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Well... yeah. They would have supported the rebel houses if those paid them. They would also have shared the fate of the Eberhardts if the fortune turned their back to them, since it is pretty much mutiny.

    I just don't know... abandoning your sovereign, and more than that, your supreme commander (it is a Royal Army, for Wyrd's sake) at a time of need when following him is your primary duty as an officer... it calls for a reprimand, to put it mildly. I'd say it actually calls for a tribunal, but the situation is difficult as it is to make enemies out of those who don't necessarily need to be.

    Still, it makes me very much doubt that Albrecht has 'almost full control of the Kingdom' when stuff like this happens and everyone goes about their business as if it was nothing.
     
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  6. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Well a lot of them are not in the army because of duty or patriotism so abandoning their sovereign is less of a big deal for them. Many of them were open to committing treason after all.

    I guess it is all in how you look at it. No House will move against the King right now unless given a good reason and he does directly or indirectly control most of the important assets and industries in the kingdom. Physically he is almost unchallengeable as long as the remaining Houses stay loyal.
     
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  7. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Interesting. I thought Alric would be pissed enough at Brannons for stirring the enmity between the kingdoms to execute them himself. That he would wage war over it comes as a bit of a surprise. I get it that he has to show everyone that he is the big boss around here, but don't you primarily show it by making sure your associates do not try to murder your allies, rather than stomping your allies when they get upset at your inaction?

    Either he isn't all that benevolent and wise, or the Brannons hold even more power than I though they did.
     
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  8. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    It is because he is quite wise that he would be willing to fight that war. He views the Empire as the greatest hope for civilization and the Light, whatever endangers that must be dealt with decisively.

    He is smart enough to realize that even if he was inclined to side with the dwarves it would still mean war. The Brannons hold a lot of power, to remove the clan would require either a string of perfectly executed assassinations or a civil war.

    He might not like it but if he were to view the situation pragmatically it would be less destructive to exterminate the dwarves and keep the Brannons as firm supporters than to fight that civil war to support Albrecht's claims.

    Of course that is a rather dire scenario to begin with and not the most likely of outcomes anyway.
     
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  9. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    AACC

    The security company is the most important. If that's organized and competent, it can defend our merchants and we can gain a reputation for being reliable on safety that will grow our caravans even if we start smaller. Starting with a lot of loot and little organized security... that's asking for trouble.
     
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  10. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    But will we have the merchants to protect, come next week?

    We aren't taking several months between the business visits. We plan to deal with them consequently in two weeks, from what I gathered.
     
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  11. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    Two weeks is a lot of time for things to go wrong, and reorganization will not occur right away. But vote for what you will, I'm just paranoid that some disaster will occur due to a poorly organized force and we will be left with less men and scared caravans to screw this up and leave us in nasty debt.
     
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  12. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    The vote will close in approximately thirteen hours with an update to follow within the usual time frame.

    Your current leading choices are:

    1.A - you will check in with Blackrock first

    2.B - Mayer will continue much as he has.

    3.B - You will not bother to teach Caoilainn any more magic.

    4.B - You will put off deciding on a course of action about research into possible unorthodox applications of Infiltration until you get back to your tower.
     
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  13. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Come on, guys, not a single spell for when you are in a pinch? For shame, Codex, for shame!

    It does not cost you anything and it might save your life down the line. So why not do this?
     
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  14. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    It costs us time and effort that can be put elsewhere.

    Also I really dislike Caoilainn and want use her soul to make a talking sword or something.
     
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  15. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    A single spell does not cost us anything and it might prove crucial at a right moment.

    We've already taught her the magical theory, and it took us quite some time. Teaching her a spell (as opposed to making her a full blown mage) is a mere pittance compared to that.
     
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  16. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    She's talentless and spells can go really badly if miscast. She has a high likelihood of that too. I'd rather leave off teaching magic to muggles altogether.
     
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  17. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Which is why we help her master a single simple spell. So that she would have a spell that is impossible to miscast. Especially since it does not require much effort on our part.

    We have already taught her magic. Not capitalizing on that is a bit of a waste.
     
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  18. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    Why do you say firebolt is impossible to miscast? Hell, Thais almost miscast a simple incantation badly the first time we taught her a spell. We taught her magic to have a better control of the bracelets, she does now. I don't see going further being worth our while.
     
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  19. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
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    Maybe having Caoillain cast Calm Casting on us (is it even possible to cast on someone else?) would be interesting. Also a simple confusion/stun spell for the 'oh shit!' momments. But lets leave it for a later time.
     
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  20. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Most of those would take more time but if you want to set up training for your non mage staff you can probably try to do it once you get back to Muirthemne.

    Anyway the vote is closed, the update will be out in sixteen hours or so. The winning options are as listed at the top of the page.
     
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  21. GreyViper Erudite

    GreyViper
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    1.A

    2.B

    3.A

    4.A
     
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  22. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Too late GreyViper, vote is closed, sorry. :M
    Look at the post just above yours.
     
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  23. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
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    His vote didn't have any effect on the winning options anyway.
     
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  24. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Had a bit of a distraction show up. The update needs a few more passes and it will be done. Another hour or so, I think, provided I do not suffer any other interruptions.
     
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  25. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Chapter 36: New Management

    You clutch the dirty, worn folder in your hand as the dim light filtering through the carriage window dances on your lap. In the relative darkness of your transport you avoid the worst of the heat but the air is thick today, humid, and you can not escape it crowded together as you are in this overstuffed conveyance.

    Albrecht was kind enough to give you his fastest carriage and twenty light chariots to see you to your destination. It was a kind gesture.

    It is just a shame that his quickest carriage was not built for a group your size.

    Five people, packed into a cabin designed for two and for over six hours no less. It has been anything but fun, however each individual has a compelling reason to be present. You and Thaïs, crammed together into one corner of the carriage, have to be present as the new owners of Blackrock. Lyssa, wedged in on the other side of you, also needs to be present to set up a proper line of communication between the palace and Fort Blackrock. You can not see them but you suspect that even now a pair of her eagles circle overhead, tracking your movements and those of your escorts. Finally Berty, perched up on the roof driving, had to come to give you a proper military perspective on the usefulness of your new employees.

    Normally this would be a job tailor made for Gareth but you do not have time to send for him from the North and you are not certain that it would be wise to weaken your presence in the Imperial Capital further. Thankfully Berty seized upon your idea with his usual enthusiasm, he insisted that it would be a good learning opportunity for Biliku and Uttu though you suspect he simply wants to get out of the palace for a spell.

    Still, despite your cramped conditions you are surprisingly content and you do not feel any hostility coming from your traveling companions either. Perhaps it is the promise of adventure, or of profit. Perhaps it is simply the calming effect of your necklaces in such close proximity to one another. Either way, everyone seems remarkably high-spirited and focused.

    Well, except for the girls who doze quietly across from you. The two of them have commandeered an entire bench to themselves as they sleep soundly. Berty has been running them hard since the moment he began training them and this is probably the first chance to rest they have had in days.

    You do not dream of waking them.

    Instead the three of you make do with your rather limited space as you review your notes one final time.

    "Personnel?" you begin.

    "One hundred and twenty that we know of," Thaïs replies as she checks her figures, "Known assets?"

    "Hmm," you rummage through your mind for the answer, it takes you but a moment before you begin listing off assets, "Fort Blackrock, so imaginatively named, about a half day's journey from Myrgard," that would be your current destination, "A smaller facility located in Stoneheim and finally a ship registered in their name based out of Tyr," you frown, "The ship is probably a write off."

    Your friend gives you a sad smile in agreement, "By the time we can get an agent out there to prove our ownership it will likely be gone. Either stolen, destroyed, or claimed and renamed by Eberhardt loyalists or simple opportunists."

    "Anything else?" you both turn to Lyssa as she sorts out some of the old paperwork you have on your new employees, recovered from Eberhardt's private records.

    "Not much," she shrugs, "They barely broke even over the last decade."

    "Poor financial management," Thaïs is quick to add.

    Lyssa nods, "But they have managed to turn a fair profit under Eberhardt management since their acquisition three years ago. However, a lot of the work came from House Eberhardt itself. It looks like they were being used to undermine Eberhardt's competitors."

    "Anything shady?" you ask as you lean in slightly to get a better look at the documents.

    "Well none of these records state anything directly but," she flips through a few more sheets, "If one reads between the lines then yes. It looks like they were kidnapping people," she shakes he head, "also extortion, bribery, the occasional 'disappearance', that sort of thing."

    "Well, that might come in handy," you suggest half-heartedly and elbow your friend.

    Thaïs grins and pokes you back, "What we desperately need them for though, is what they are known for in an official capacity. They are quite proficient at hunting bandits, exterminating monsters and protecting assets," she pulls out three loose pages of notes, "They have never been employed to defend trade routes before, the Eberhardts had other employees for that, but based on the accounts we have here they should be able to handle the work."

    You continue in this vein for hours as your escort makes its way into the mountains and the merciless sun begins to retreat below the horizon.

    Once during the trip you casually lean over to Thaïs and the two of you take a look out the window; drawing back the velvet curtain with a single slender finger. The scene that greets you is at once awe inspiring and slightly unnerving. You have seen mountains before in your travels. You have crossed the great passes at Bagrada and Seven Gates, through the Cloudspine Mountains, however you have never seen mountains like this before. They are worn, rounded and low; they are also a deep red, made more vivid and menacing by the setting sun. In the distance, nestled near the peak of one of the larger mountains, you see a fort. Black marble, ribboned through with red. A high curtain wall blocks most of your view but you can make out five towers, like the fingers of a hand reaching up into the sky.

    Just looking at the place sends a shiver down your spine. Not a shiver of fear mind you but one of excitement. There is magic here, you can feel it, and a single glance at your friend's face confirms it.

    "Lyssa," you call to the witch, "Look at this."

    With a little effort she manages to reach the window as well and the three of you watch in silence as you make the long and winding trip up the mountainside toward the fort.

    ------------------------------------------------

    The five of you peal yourselves off the interior of your carriage and file out into the courtyard of the fort.

    The scene that greets you is as refreshing as the cool evening air winding through the mountains. Row upon row of mercenaries stand at attention in front of you, all in perfect order. Their black tunics are crisp, their white trousers are spotless, each has his or her weapon out in front of them, pointed toward the red dirt. They are awaiting your inspection and they look quite smart in the fading sunlight.

    For once it would seem, you have not arrived to mass confusion and panic.

    You have to admit that you half expected the place to be in ruins. Raided by royal forces, looters, or the mercenaries themselves as they abandoned the company. Instead everything appears to be in perfect order. A pleasant surprise that brings a collective smile to your faces.

    Berty whistles to the girls as soon as they are out of the carriage. Without a moment's hesitation they are off in pursuit as he makes his rounds.

    He has already begun his assessment.

    He darts back and forth, a ball of pure maniac energy. He pokes and prods at the mercenaries, nodding or frowning in turn. Every now and then he points and whispers something to the girls. Frantically, a pair of officers race behind the trio; trying in vain to keep up.

    The three of you stand together off to one side as your warriors go about their business. None of you have the sort of knowledge to lend much help here. Instead you have learnt through experience to let the experts handle such issues.

    You do not waste your time however, "What do you two think? Can you feel that?"

    They both nod, Lyssa answers first, "Yes, there is definitely magic at work here. Some sort of persistent spell or the aura from an artefact perhaps?"

    Thaïs scans the courtyard, "None of these people strike me as mages though. I wonder if they even know about it?"

    "Well, we need to find someone in charge and ask them then," no sooner do you say those words than a voice calls out to you.

    "Mistress Derryth? Mistress Thaïs?", as you turn to greet the voice you notice a trio of figures approaching your position. The first, the one that called out to you, is an impossibly thin and tall dwarf. He is beardless, boney, almost skeletal. This you surmise is Mr Jawbone. He is flanked by a maul and a man. A study in contrasts.

    The maul carries herself with the air of a professional warrior. Her broken tusk and weathered expression hint at a long and bloody tale and pique your curiosity.

    Even unarmed and unarmoured as she is she exudes a quiet confidence that you are certain most would find unnerving. The effect is largely lost on the three of you though, a fact that she quickly notices and which earns you a broad smile.

    Finally your gaze falls upon the man. It is not surprising that he should come last as he is a complete non-presence. You look at him and you see nothing. He is of average height, average weight, average build. His brown eyes are dull, his brown hair is flat, his black and white uniform is completely standard in the most exact detail. Not even his face is memorable. If you looked away from this man you would have a great deal of difficulty remembering anything about him.

    Immediately you realize how useful such a man could be, particularly for less savoury work.

    "Yes, I'm Derryth, that's Thaïs and Lyssa" you gesture to each of your colleagues, "Would you be Mr 'Jawbone'?"

    "I am," he replies as he advances toward you.

    Your escort eyes the trio carefully, their hands do not stray far from the hilts of their blades.

    "Well then, good to meet you," you extend a hand and he takes it.

    Thaïs steps up next to you, "It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance Mr Jawbone."

    The dwarf shakes her hand next before moving on to Lyssa, "Thank you for your kindness ladies, it is more than an old servant deserves. It is my pleasure to welcome you to your keep. Blackrock, magnificent is it not?"

    The three of you signal your agreement.

    "I should also introduce you to your remaining senior officers, this is Myora," he gestures to the maul.

    She bows, "A pleasure."

    "And this is Rand," the old dwarf continues.

    Rand does not speak, he barely even nods at the mention of his name. Jawbone coughs once and Rand sighs, "It is a pleasure to meet you," he drones on in a dreary monotone. Wyrd, even his voice is boring.

    "Well Derry! I have ta say you have got yourself some fine young soldiers here! Fine young soldiers!" Berty hollers as he finishes up his inspection and approaches you; the girls, as always, in his shadow, "Give me a few months with them and ya won't believe the results I will get!"

    Jawbone positively beams, "Well that is good to hear, mister..."

    "Berty. Berty Levy but you can just call me Berty. I insist," he grasps the dwarf's hand and gives it a strong shake.

    "Well then," Jawbone smiles contently as he turns to his officers, "Myora, Rand, if you would dismiss the men I will show our new employers around the facilities."

    The maul and the man disappear into the growing darkness and Jawbone directs you toward the main keep, "We may as well start with the most important offices, and of course the treasury though there is not much to see at the moment."

    As you walk Berty falls into a natural back and forth with the mercenary, "So how did ya get a name like Jawbone anyway?"

    The dwarf laughs, "Well, in my youth I was quite the persuasive fellow..."

    Jawbone shows you around most of the main keep while describing the rest of the fort in great detail. Most of it is fairly standard though. There is a building for servants, a pair of barracks, four floors of offices, a vault in the basement, and officer quarters on the upper floors. The five towers rising out of the top of the keep each belonged to one of the senior officers of the company before the purge. He has been reluctant to open them up out of respect for his former superiors.

    Your conversation turns from the compound to the organization as a whole.

    The rank and file of the organization have remained remarkably loyal. There were a few desertions but the Myrgard branch of the company still numbers almost sixty. Impressive given how uncertain the future looks for them at the moment. Disciple is good all things considered, morale is down but that is to be expected. Really the only serious problem Blackrock faces is a lack of contracts and the connections needed to find work.

    If you can find them that, you should be well on your way to securing their future, a useful asset for yourself, and a possible stream of revenue to fill your coffers.

    It is all quite heartening to hear.

    In fact everything is going so well that you are beginning to feel paranoid.

    Could it be possible that this is all a trap?

    Are these people, former followers of the Eberhardts, to be trusted?

    Could it be that they are luring you into their fort to seek vengeance on you for murdering their employers?

    Perhaps these mercenaries are actually cultists that are merely waiting for you to drop your guard before they sacrifice you to their Dark God. Maybe the magic you can feel is in fact the Watcher, slumbering in the dark heart of the very mountain you are standing on. Or, it just might be possible that-

    No, for once things are going your way.

    There are no secret cultists, not Dark Gods and no Watcher!

    Still it would be worth asking about the magical signal you are picking up, "Jawbone?"

    "Yes?" he replies as he leads you deeper into the basement, toward the treasure vault.

    "Do you keep anything magical in the vault? Anything with persistent enchantments?" you begin to interrogate the dwarf.

    "No, why do you ask?" he leads you around the final corner.

    "Well, I am picking up a signal coming from somewhere in this general area," you casually reply as you confidently turn the corner while Jawbone swings open the door to the treasury.

    "Oh dear," Jawbone mutters.

    Thaïs sighs, "I guess we have our answer now-"

    "-and things were going so well too," you match her sentiment.

    You are confronted by half a dozen ghôls and a rather large hole in the wall.

    Most of them are carrying sacks filled with gold, one of them however has a different sort of sack. You can not make out what is in it, but it drips slightly.

    The lead ghôl turns as you stand there with Jawbone and Thaïs by your side. It is huge, milky white with red eyes. On its shoulder is perched a fat, old crow. Around its neck hangs some sort of amulet carved from a large chunk of bone, it glows slightly.

    It grins at you as its smaller companions race past it into the hole. It begins to swing its sack, it probably intends to throw whatever is inside at you.


    What do you do?

    A) You are still in the doorway you pull Thaïs and Jawbone back into the hall and slam the door. Whatever is in that sack you do not want it to hit you.

    B) You attack the sack. If you can destroy it while the ghôl is holding it or in mid air you will not have to worry about what it is. You can then turn your attention to the ghôl itself. It might be a difficult shot though.

    C) You attack the ghôl, elementalist. You will attempt to take the ghôl out directly. If it does not work though you are likely to get hit with whatever is in that sack.

    D) You attack the ghôl, mentalist. You will attempt to attack the ghôl's mind. It might be possible to neutralize it without injuring it. That would allow you to properly interrogate it should you desire. Of course, if you fail then you will likely get hit with whatever is in the sack.

    E) You yell to Lyssa to begin casting Strong Wind. You and Thaïs should have time to launch a single round of mental spells. Either the ghôl goes down or she throws the bag. Lyssa will launch the spell if she sees the sack released and will push everyone and everything in front of her away. You, Thaïs and Jawbone will attempt grab the door frame or each other to avoid getting thrown into the room. You will also instruct Uttu to fire on the sack should it leave the ghôl's hand. One way or another that sack will not reach your group. Of course this is a lot to coordinate in a matter of seconds and you hope nothing goes wrong. You will just have to see how things unfold from there.

    F) freeform
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
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