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Myth: A New Age CYOA

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

  1. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,052
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    The funny thing is that there actually is Chtulhu right besides our mage tower. It's the creature in the center of the colony of blind hunchbacked monsters.

    Hm. Can we play a match-maker between it and the Spider Goddess? They are a perfect fit for each other!
     
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  2. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,493
    Hello Zerozero well met.

    King in North probably is regretting now not listening to Derryth to not fall for this Stockholm Syndrome crap. Oh well...
     
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  3. zerozero Literate

    zerozero
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    Thanks Nevill and Jester for the welcome and your feedback.

    I will try to adjust and clarify my points

    I agree that the secret tower is a good idea and I can see it being used as a secret research facility for the mad inventor Melete (if you can get her to wake up) and a retreat point but having Amena, Ithapi and 13 kids to protect the base is not a strong option.

    Having it staffed by some loyal mercs would be a better option and having Amena, Ithapi and 13 kids sent to the mercenary guild for training.

    I cannot see you coming back here to look at the vault for ages, so it would be advantageous to hide the vault by walling it off and putting rubbish in the room to obscure the false wall.

    The secret tower still has it's own risks as there are still hidden forces here that you haven't deal with and the tower could be attacked at anytime.

    I was mistaken about the current base and I didn't think that it could fit the extra 15 ppl from the secret tower and act as a training facility. You probably don't need a larger base.

    From the impression of most of the battles that Derryth has fought to beat the odds was the use of magic, ranged weapons and a lot of explosives. The Black Arrows seem to be a good role model to follow but with a mix of some pathfinder training would be better.

    I don't suggest hiring the Black arrows or Pathfinders as tutors but take the ideas that they use for combat to create our own force but add in the use of poison.

    Amena can act as a 2nd mage for Bridget and Ithapi can support Gareth.

    You are right that the game characters don't know what is happening with One Serpent and Christine but considering that you need extra help in Muirthemne to help setting up the guild and to train the new members you could send a messenger up north to request them to re-join the guild and then you will find out about their adventures.

    Then you send military advisors and craftmens to help to reform their army and maybe more as they can become a very useful ally.

    I do think that war is brewing again, I will try to put my view across.

    It started in the first arc with you initially went down to the catacombs and you passed a small army of 200 ghols lead by a shade attacking the city of Muirthemne. That is a bit strange.

    As you were going to the dwarven city you came across a necromancer and undead.

    The dwarven palace was attacked by Watcher agents, undead etc who had links to the Eberhardt house who has links to the Brannons who are the richest family in the empire.

    Most recently the Watcher army sent to Blackfort was not just sent to eliminate you but to attack the dwarven city who strangely sent most of it's forces south at this critical time.

    Known to us but not to the characters is that the north was meant to be conquered by the prophet who is an agent of the dark.

    This sounds like the Watcher and co are trying to set up a pincer attack on the empire and weakening it within via the Brannons and Eberhardt.

    I wanted to consolidate all the resources and personnel in the Muirthemne city in one place. If or when you get back you will probably have to deal with stuff in the city and then you want to do some research on the books and artefacts' in the Secret tower.

    Given that Derryth, Thais and Lyssa are bound together via the necklaces you can't split up for long periods of time.

    For example you want to talk to some ppl in the city and do some shopping and want to research the book and artefacts in the secret tower. You will do the stuff in the city and then move to the secret tower to do the research but you might need more knowledge that you can get in the city.

    If you bring the books and artefacts to a secure location in the city, once you arrive in Muirthemne, you can save time and do everything.
     
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  4. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Thank you for the kind words. I will definitely include options for sending off messages and the like when you lot finally get back to Mygard (most likely a few broad suggestions and then just let people go wild with the freeform stuff like always. Much more entertaining that way. :salute:). You also likely have a letter waiting for you there with Lyssa's last eagle so you should get a better idea of what is going on up north.

    But first, the secret passage.

    The update is done (and has been mostly done since yesterday but I ran out of time to properly finish it), I am just going to give it one final pass and post it so it should be up within the hour.
     
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  5. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    619
  6. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Chapter 51: Lost or Hidden?

    You have decided to remain, to await the arrival of Albrecht's army before you rush off to the capital. You have not defended this fort against an army several times your size and orders of magnitude more power to leave anything to chance.

    Besides, it will only be half a day right?

    That is not to say that you have wasted time. You have been busy, doing what you can to secure your own position and strike out at your enemies. That is why you have returned to the Dreaming so soon after your last trip.

    You sit in that same serene meadow, under that same lazy sky, resting on your emerald altar. You wait, eyes closed, for Morpheus to arrive.

    It was not difficult to summon him, he has instructed you in a simple meditative routine to induce lucid dreaming and he has given you a simple incantation with which to call him as you drifted off.

    "Where is he?" Thaïs asks, perched next to you on your altar. When you told her your plan she insisted on coming with you and a little company is always appreciated.

    "Time is... odd, here. He may be a while but it won't matter," Lyssa answers from behind you, her back against the far side of the altar as she too rests her eyes. The witch also insisted on accompanying you and you could not think of any reason to refuse her, the more company you have in this place the better.

    You intend to speak with Morpheus about two separate, yet important issues and-

    "Ah! Ladies!" a weak voice calls out to you.

    "Morpheus?" you call in response, "Where are you?"

    "Everywhere and nowhere dear ladies!" the tiny voice shouts to you.

    "Quit playing games and come out now or we are leaving!" Lyssa hollers into the empty meadow.

    "Oh very well, you three are no fun," he steps out from behind a tuft of grass, only twenty centimetres tall and less than a metre away from you. He begins to grow as plumes of azure smoke billow up around him and the sky clouds over.

    "Show off," the three of you mutter together.

    He sighs, shaking his head as the smoke disappears and the sky clears, "You mortal mages, so hard to impress," he frowns for a moment, taking the three of you in as Lyssa rounds the altar and hops up next to you. He mutters something you do not quite make out though you think it is directed at the witch.

    Whatever he said and whatever is bothering him they quickly evaporate as a toothy grin splits seamlessly across his face, "So, what did you want to talk to me about?"

    You match his grin, excited to lay out your plans, you raise a single hand and two fingers, "Two matters, separate issues but I am sure you will like both."

    He edges closer grinning, then scowls for a second, puts his hand to his chin and mutters, "Hold on! This won't do! If we are going to scheme then we need proper scheming chairs!"

    He reaches into his mouth and tears out five large, razor sharp teeth. He casts them in the dirt and with a casual wave of his hand furniture begins to grow from the very earth. Broad, high-backed armchairs, like the great thrones of dark archmages from a storybook take shape before you and a large circular table of bone and grass springs up between them.

    "Please sit," he gestures to the furniture.

    He is clearly still trying to impress but you oblige him only to find the chairs far more comfortable than they look.

    When everyone is seated you continue, "As I said, we have called you here to discuss two matters we would like to put to you. The first has to do with using the Dreaming to relive memories and dreams from our lives."

    He arches an eyebrow and leans in, "Why would you want me to help you with that, you have the necessary meditative technique to enter lucid dreams yourselves."

    "But not as a group," your friend corrects him. You have already discussed this issue with her and she was all for it, you both reasoned that it should help you better integrate your impressions and as an added bonus it should hopefully increase the cohesion of your group. No secrets has been a motto of the Lost since its founding under Muirthemne, time to put that belief into practice with your growing team.

    Lyssa squirms in her seat at your words and takes a deep breath. The concept does not seem to fill her with confidence.

    A hint of recognition flashes before him as your friend speaks, "You want to do it here, you want me to connect your minds every time so that you can hold these sessions correct?"

    You give him a quick nod, "Yes, but not just the three of us, there would be at least three more, maybe more than that depending on the situation."

    He taps the table slowly and grins, his missing teeth have already been replaced by slightly shorter new members and it gives his smile an off center appearance which is slightly disturbing, well, slightly more disturbing, "Oh, I get it, a team building exercise of sorts, if you show one another your pasts and your dreams you will trust one another more?" he chuckles, "Well that or you will ruin your relationships," he looks directly at Lyssa as he speaks and she fidgets a little under his gaze, he shakes his head and turns his attention back to you, "So six, maybe seven, minds at a time? That is within my capabilities but I fail to see what I get out of this. Now if you could offer me something..." he lets his words drift off into the clear, clean meadow.

    You lean forward, resting your elbow on the table, "Yes, we suspected as much-"

    "-so here is our offer-" your friend chimes in.

    With a nod to her you continue to present your offer, "-you will be allowed to participate in as many of our sessions as you wish-"

    "-but there is a condition you must agree to first." Thaïs is quick to add.

    "Which is?" he asks with a confident smirk.

    You match his confidence as best as you are able, "You will vow not to harm any of our number, you will swear not to abduct us, detain us or transport us against our will-"

    Your friend picks up the strains of your contract without the slightest pause, "-you will also give your word that you will do everything in your power to protect us from any of the denizens of your realm that might decide to molest us. Furthermore you will swear not to undermine us or do anything knowingly to tempt us to stay with you in the future."

    "That is quite the condition ladies," he rubs his chin, "You are asking a lot."

    "We do not think so," you answer together.

    You push on, "We will be supplying you with new and interesting stories from the physical world and we will be presenting you with a platform from which to tell stories of your own."

    "Both of which I am more than capable of doing on my own," he replies without batting an eye.

    "But not in this manner," Lyssa finally speaks, she grabs the demon prince's gaze and does not let go, "Not as part of a group sharing stories. You will not be a lone observer, you will be part of a group and I suspect that, that is something quite novel for you."

    The witch and the demon stare at one another, he beams and she shifts slightly. He turns back to the pair of you, "Your friend is right. It would be a, unique, experience. I will do it, I will agree to your conditions and you will provide me with stories and a place to tell stories for the rest of your days-"

    "Till a time of our choosing," you correct him together.

    "Ah," he pouts, "But naturally if you stop providing me with stories-"

    "Then we will no longer expect your protection and aid, naturally," the two of you nod as you speak together.

    He rubs his hands together, "Brilliant! I will look forward to our first session. In a week, your time, perhaps?"

    You nod, "A week seems fine though we retain the right to reschedule as necessary."

    He waves of your concern, "Of course, of course, I know how busy you mortals can be."

    "Now then, moving on to the second matter before us," your friend begins.

    "We have been thinking about your desire to capture the boy's master, this Thin White Mage, and we have a plan," he leans forward as you speak, clearly interested in what you will say next.

    Lyssa takes a turn at outlining your plan, it is good to see her involving herself more directly in your dealings of late. Perhaps giving her a command during the battle was the exact sort of catalyst she needed to become more outgoing, you grin slightly as she speaks, "We know where he is in our world, and we know where he will be for the next few days. What we need you to do is contact an acquaintance of ours so that we might speak with her."

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

    Empress of the East, it has such a nice ring to it. Who would have thought that everything would have gone this well!

    The Watcher, that petty little mageling fell before her armies, his creatures broken, his hounds all slain, that scheming White Mage blasted from the face of the world by her complete mastery of the arcane arts! She had been instrumental in their defeat and she had reaped the rewards of such a victory.

    Within three years every ghôl tribe from the Seven Silver Cities in the south to the Twenty Nine Mounds in the east had sworn fealty to her and she was finally ready to lead this grand host against the dwarves.

    Stoneheim fell in three nights, she broke their armies two days south of Myrgard not a week later, but the capital, now that was a battle worthy of remembrance.

    The Royal Academy, the Royal Army, the best the dwarves could throw against her, casualties were high to be sure but she pushed on, leading with grace, intelligence and cunning.

    The greatest challenge came from the 'Heroes of the Kingdom', Derryth, Thaïs, Lyssa and their followers. Those mages, now archmages, that had shown her such kindness were now terrible in their fury. They fought for their people even as she fought for her own and their defeat only came at a great cost. A magical duel that lasted a day and a half at the very heart of the city!

    Laid low, heads bowed, they were brought to her in chains. He chiefs called for their heads, for blood to stain the ancient altars but no! She had spared their lives as they had spared hers and in her mercy she had shown the world her greatness!

    They served now, not as slaves but as partners in her growing Empire, their knowledge had been instrumental in warding off the first few blows from the infuriated Cath Bruig, manipulated by dwarves and their agents into a war that was as bloody as it was unnecessary!

    But today it all ends! Today she will marry the Emperor Alric! Today they will unite their empires and bring about a new order in the world, a civilization that will stand the test of time! One that will outlast the ages and-

    "Your majesty!" Derryth, Thaïs and Lyssa burst into the room, their silken ribbons trailing behind them as they race to her throne, hand in hand.

    "What is it my dearest companions," she asks as she leaps to her feet, spear in hand.

    "The dwarves! Our most beautiful lady! They have abducted the Emperor himself with their vile trickery!" her closest friends quiver in fear before her, clinging to one another, awaiting her response.

    Beautiful hands upon golden draped hips she raise her chin in the air, "Do not fear my dear friends! Marshal our forces, we will ride at once to my husband's aid! We will crush the monstrous dwarves under our exquisite boots, we will drive the desperate cannibals back to their holes and we will make the world safe for all right thinking peoples!"

    Her three bonny companions laugh, emboldened by her courage, all they needed was a little reassurance to once more be the heroes she knew they could be, they cheer her as she descends the stairs from her six metre tall throne, magic swirling around her magnificent form. They shout in unison, "For glory! For reason! For the Empress!"

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

    "For glory?" Lyssa answers with a smirk.

    "For reason?" Thaïs stares at the ghôl, doing her best to stifle a snicker.

    "For the Empress? Really?" you shake your head and sigh.

    "I, ah, you saw all that didn't you," Nanshe rubs the back of her neck, singularly embarrassed. It took considerable effort on Morpheus' part to draw her out of her dream and into the meadow, not the least because he was laughing so hard.

    "Is that really how you want things to go?" you can't help but ask.

    "It- it was a dream alright, I want the best for my people," she answers, assuming a slightly defensive tone, "Besides, are you telling me that none of you have ever dreamed of ruling the world."

    "Ah-" you begin, "Well..." you have to admit that she has you there, what good is power if you never use it and you would not mind a little kingdom of your own, or a big one, or an empire, or a-

    Your thoughts are interrupted by the shuffling of Thaïs and Lyssa and Morpheus' laughter, with a devious grin he begins, "Am I really the only one here that does not dream of ruling an empire?"

    "It, it was just a phase," Lyssa mutters, "I, I am over it, I think..."

    Thaïs raises her gaze from her feet, "What little girl does not wish to be a princess... and command demonic legions as they conquer the world..." with a cough she rallies your collective defense against the demon prince, "Anyway, perhaps that has something to do with the fact that you already rule an entire plane of existence."

    The three of you nod in agreement with her.

    "Well you four could always stay here," he grins, "You could help me rule this entire plane as my queens."

    "No," the answer comes from four sets of lips in unison.

    He shrugs, "Suit yourselves, but there is only so much land to go around out there," he gestures vaguely into the sky, "You are not all going to get what you want out of life."

    "We'll manage I am sure," you reply.

    The demon prince shrugs, "Whatever you say ladies."

    "Perhaps we should attend to the matter at hand?" your friend suggests.

    "Yes, I want to know why you three are invading my dreams," the ghôl royal demands, "And who is that, ah, gentleman?"

    You decide to take the initiative, "Nanshe, this is Morpheus, Prince of the Dreaming."

    He bows low, takes her hand and planting a single kiss on it, "An absolute pleasure madam."

    She blushes slightly, "Ah, thanks, I guess."

    "And Morpheus, this is Nanshe, the," you decide to take a lesson from your friend and use her more dignified title, a little courtesy can go a long way as you are learning, "The Hand of Justice."

    The ghôl royal smiles slightly and nods at you, she really does enjoy the small courtesy you have shown her.

    "A pleasure to meet you as well Morpheus," she bows slightly, "Now, I ask again why did you lot bring me here?"

    Your friend commences your pitch, "We have an opportunity for you. A chance to strike at a mutual enemy."

    "You have my attention," Nanshe motions for the three of you to continue.

    With a slight nod and a smile your friend continues, "Prince Morpheus has recently learnt of the existence of our mutual acquaintance the Thin White Mage and he wishes to add that most distinguished gentleman to his permanent collection-"

    "-he has offered to permanently move the mage from our world to his plane and as luck would have it we know exactly where the mage will be for the next few days," you pick up your friend's line of thought, "We don't really have the time to deal with him, but we thought perhaps-"

    "I do?" the ghôl nods, "I am, of course quite busy seeing to my own affairs, but for him," her grin becomes positively predatory, "For him I would make an exception."

    "Alright then," Lyssa reaches into a pocket and pulls out an oversized map, an advantage of dreaming, not everything has to make complete sense. She stretches it out before Nanshe, "Two days march to the south of Fort Blackrock, he is waiting for us."

    "Why would he wait for you in the mountains?" the puzzled ghôl asks, "He should have chosen a place closer to Myrgard, I assume you are in Myrgard correct?"

    She is not so subtly trying to extract information from you but you decide to give her this, partially because you need to be honest for your plan to work but also because you want to see how she will react.

    "No," you begin with a grin, quickly matched by Thaïs and Lyssa, you look for all the world like a trio of wolves circling a lost lamb, "We are still at the fort, we had a few minor difficulties with the Watcher's northern army but they are gone now."

    "Gone?" Nanshe asks, bewildered.

    "Gone," Lyssa replies with a nod and a predatory grin, "As in dead or 're-dead' in the case of the undead."

    "Oh, you stood your ground then..." she casts her gaze to the ground, "And you won..." clearly that was not in her plans, you can almost see the juggling she is doing, the altering of schemes and plots, it is the same sort of reaction you would have in her place.

    After a few moments she glances back up at the three of you and beams, "That is great to hear! Any victory against the Watcher is a victory for all of us. So the Thin White Mage is sitting in the middle of the mountains waiting for you? I knew he was obsessive but not this bad..."

    "Well," your friend is quick to add, "We did kill him twice."

    She laughs and her eyes twinkle as she speaks, "Twice! How did you do that?"

    "We blew him off a cliff," Lyssa answers laughing, "Then we dropped a good chunk of the cliff on top of him just to be sure."

    "And the second time-" you begin.

    "-birds," your friend finishes cryptically.

    "Birds?" Nanshe and Morpheus ask in unison.

    "Birds," the three of you reply with a nod.

    "You have to tell me that one!" the demon prince insists, playing the part of a small boy to a tittle.

    "Yes, I have to hear this," Nanshe insists.

    "Some other time perhaps," you insist, it is always best to leave them wanting more, "For now we need to discuss just how to go about defeating and trapping the Thin White Mage, now I have a few ideas," you begin with a quick glance to Thaïs and Lyssa.

    "Actually, now that you mention it I might have a few ideas as well," the ghôl is quick to add.

    You spend what seems like hours huddled around that large table, plotting the downfall of one very self-important mage and you are sure he will appreciate all the attention when he finally realizes what you have done.

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

    The trio of mages blink out of the Dreaming and he is alone once again.

    He likes this plot, it will be fun.

    He likes those women, they are fun and all of their friends are fun too.

    Hopefully they will live long enough to realize how much better it would be for them in his world. It is slightly vexing that he won't be able to convince them to stay for the duration of their contract but such is the way of the world. We can't always get what we want.

    The ghôl empress coughs behind him, "Any chance you can return me to my own mind now."

    He wonders, does she qualify as one of the ladies' 'people', it is a legal grey area, it is doubtful that they are members of the same organization however she was brought here on their command and she does seem to be an ally, of sorts... Not that he could take her now even if he wanted to, he needs her to get this 'Thin White Mage' and as a regular dreamer she is free to leave whenever she wants anyway, she just has to realize it.

    He tells her as much, "You can go wherever you want Empress Nanshe."

    "Oh," she replies with a little surprise, "You know who I am then?"

    "There are few things that I do not," he answers casually, mortals are usually impressed by lines such as that.

    "Well good for you," she answers with a shrug.

    He glowers, what is with all of these mortal women, not one of them is suitably impressed by his powers. Ah, it is a strange and jaded age he is forced to endure. He remembers a time when mortals bowed and scraped at the feet of the dark gods and most of them still do but these mages they are different and they presage a new age.

    Ah well, things change, that is the nature of existence, it is the only constant in his life and those that can not move with the times will be forgotten, or trampled. So many of his colleagues will fail that test but he does not intend to, if the mortals wish to be treated as equals instead of livestock then that is how he will treat them for better or worse, at least it will be interesting.

    "One quick question," the Empress asks him, "Before I am off."

    "Ask away," he answers, carefully considering the mage before him.

    "What sort of rewards are you going to give me for this?" her question is a fair one and one he had expected.

    "Anything you want," he spreads his arms, "Anything I have the power to give."

    "Well, what did you offer my," it takes her a moment to settle on a word, "Allies?"

    "Ah the usual," he can not, or will not, lie when it comes to a contract, though he can not remember if it is an actual physical impossibility or merely his own aversion to such base dealings, "Power," she nods and motions for him to continue, "Magic," again she mechanically nods, "Ah, servants?" she raise an eyebrow at that but shakes her head, he waves a hand in the air, "All sorts of things really, secrets, metal, hidden items, odd rituals, that sort of thing."

    She thinks for a moment, "What's metal?"

    Fuck, she locked on to that far too quickly.

    He attempts to downplay it, "Nothing you would care for, just noise and-"

    "Noise you say?" she begins to think, "What kind of noise? Is it magical? Can it inspire my soldiers? Can it help me consolidate my empire and crush the dwarves?"

    "Ah," he begins to back up, "How about I let you think about your options for a while, no need to choose anything immediately."

    "I am not," she begins to advance towards him, "I want to carefully weigh all my options which means, for now, I want you to tell me about this 'metal'."

    "No," he crosses his great arms over his chest, "Not until I have the mage."

    Nanshe tilts her head and folds her arms, "Alright then, I will bring this mage to you and then we can discuss my reward and this 'metal' of yours."

    He casts his head back, his brothers are going to kill him for this but he has never been able to say no to a pretty face, he sighs, then laughs.

    Times are changing and they will be interesting indeed.

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

    You and your command staff have taken over the main boardroom again.

    When everyone is seated and quiet you begin, "So who wants to come with me-"

    "With us," Thaïs interjects.

    You nod, naturally she will be coming, "With us, to explore that passage the mice found?"

    "Not me," Kaf is quick to answer, "I want a break from dark places and ancient horrors."

    "Look, the only horrors likely to be down there are horrific clots of dust," Lyssa speaks up, "I will go with you two."

    She has definitely been more forceful and confident lately, a welcome change all things considered, hopefully she is getting more comfortable with your group, with her group, ideally.

    "Alright, so that is three," you answer with a appreciative nod.

    "Well, we are going!" Biliku chimes in from the doorway.

    "Right!" her little sister added enthusiastically.

    You have no real problem with that but it seems someone else does. Berty rises from his stool in the far corner, "Girls, you have lessons today. You will never be officers if you spend all your time running around dank hallways."

    You rarely see this side of the girls' instructor. Normally Berty is guaranteed to be the wildest one in the room and that manic energy never truly leaves him but you have seen him preparing the girls' lessons in private and you know that it is a duty that he takes very seriously.

    "Sorry girls-" your friend begins.

    "-but Berty is right," you add, presenting a unified front, "You need to complete your lessons."

    "But what if you get in trouble?" Uttu insists.

    "Well that is why I am going with them," Ceannard rises and gives you each a slight bow, "If they will have me."

    "You don't have to Ceannard," you remind him, "It is not in your contract."

    He smirks slightly, "I hardly need a contract to escort three beautiful women around their own fort. Besides, it is as you say, all we are likely to encounter is the occasional insect and a great deal of dust."

    Well, that makes four. You run through the rest of your staff in your mind.

    Astrid and Ori are still tending to Bari, so they are busy. They did not even answer your summons to appear at the meeting. Understandable really, out of everyone in the fort they are the only ones you have no claim over, they did not fight because this is their cause, they did not fight because this is their assignment, they did not fight for money nor for honour, they fought because they were your friends and that has cost them enough already.

    You have not bothered your escort either, Hámundr has to see to his remaining men and you have left him to that task. He has given you enough already.

    Argus and Myora are also absent, patrolling the fort and coordinating their efforts. You want a clear chain of command in place by the time Albrecht's army arrives in a few hours. That last thing you want is to leave the fort divided and disordered, you did not fight off that army only to see the fort tear itself apart as soon as you leave.

    "Well, I guess it is just the four of us then," you answer with a shrug.

    "Five actually," Otto rises next to his commander.

    Ceannard grins at the younger officer, "Are you trying to ruin my triple date son?"

    "I am not as convinced as you are that we will find nothing sir," he replies, a twinkle in his eye, "Better to bring along a few soldiers as well."

    "Then it is settled," you begin to rise, "The five of us and maybe five more soldiers?"

    "That sounds fine ma'am, too many people and we will just get in each other's way anyway," the younger man replies with a spring in his step as he makes for the door, "I will pick them myself and meet you at the entrance to the passage in ten minutes."

    Marvellous, hopefully this time you won't uncover some ancient horror.

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

    "I suppose it would have been too much to ask for," Lyssa comments with weary grunt.

    "Well at least nothing is attacking us," Otto replies merrily, "That has to count for something right?"

    "Yes, but why does it always have to be something creepy," you answer as you kick at a tube.

    The tunnel led deep into the bowels of the fort but it was not difficult to find your way. The mice were not even really needed though Martin and his fellows are certainly having a wonderful time checking every nook and cranny. It only took you about five minutes to reach the end of the tunnel and what you saw on the other side was not terribly encouraging.

    The room is shades of black and red, the black being the same black stone which most of the fort is constructed from, the red being a sort of faded velvet that was likely worth a lot a few centuries ago before time and water set to work on it. The room is poorly lit but that is largely down to the lack of torches in the wall sconces rather than actual design, if the place was tidied up a little it would actually look quite inviting.

    The room itself has little left in it, no secret libraries, no stashes of artefacts, no piles of gold, it is quite disappointing really. There are a few items of interest though. The room is divided into two unequal portions at different levels by thick bars made from a metal you have not encountered before. There is a single door with an interesting lock that you can not quite fathom, it seems to shift slightly when you focus on it and the more you attempt to retain any details about it the less you can actually recall. You know it exists and you know it is a lock but beyond that you can not actually retain any information about it.

    There is also a sort of large box with a handle on it attached to the bars, you play with it a little and quickly deduce its purpose. If you wanted to you could put almost any item into the box and have it come out the far side but it seems to be designed to only go one way. You think that if you really tried, and had a team on your side of the bars all pull together, you might be able to raise an item placed into the chute back through the box and out of the cage but you would definitely be working against the intentions of the box's designer.

    Behind the bars is a gate pushed up against the far wall, it is made of the same black stone as the rest of the fort but it is has intricate patterns carved down its length, a spider motif from what you can see.

    Thaïs, next to you, mutters, "So are we thinking Spider Goddess?"

    "Seems that way," you quietly reply.

    You turn your attention from the sunken 'prison cell', as you have taken to thinking of it, and instead focus on your side of the room. There are four large tubes, the size of an average human along one wall. One of the tubes is filled with fluid but otherwise empty while the remaining three are open. Two of them still have the odd fleck of a semisolid substance about them while the last is completely dry.

    Immediately your mind jumps to Miosguinn's tanks under Muirthemne. It does make a sick sort of sense that others would make similar attempts.

    On the opposite wall is a small desk, a simple stool, a cot and a bucket. The desk has been ransacked, its shelves scattered out on the floor and their contents removed. The stool lies on it side, perhaps tipped over by whatever or whoever went through the desk so violently. The cot is empty, the bucket is not, unfortunately it adds to the wonderful damp aroma of the place.

    Other than that there is not that much to see.

    "Well this was a waste of time," Otto remarks as he checks the desk for any subtle clues.

    "Is it?" a feminine voice calls in response, a slight chattering adds the impression of an exotic accent to the voice.

    "Is someone there?" Ceannard asks as he makes a slow circuit of the room, torch outstretched and a hand on the hilt of his blade.

    "Yes," the voice replies sweetly.

    "Will you show yourself?" you ask calmly.

    "I doubt that is a good idea," she answers quietly.

    "Why not?" your friend interrogates the room's occupant.

    "You would try to kill me," her tone is far more relaxed than her words suggest.

    "You would be surprised," Lyssa confidently retorts, "I think you will find we are 'fairer' than most."

    "Yes, please come out," your friend insists.

    "I'm shy," the voice coos.

    "I doubt that," you call back.

    She laughs, "I like you, I am not supposed to but I do."

    "Ah," you look to your friend, she shrugs and mouths 'keep her talking', "Ah, thank you but this would be much easier if you would show yourself. Think of it as an act of trust."

    "Do you want to trust me?" the voice teasingly asks.

    "I want to see who I am talking to," you press her.

    The response comes quickly, "Then send your soldiers out of the room."

    Well, in truth if this voice could strike at you now then your soldiers would likely do you little good and you are awfully curious. It is doubtful that this is the riskiest thing you have ever done or even the most dangerous thing you have done this week. So...

    To hell with it, you will just have to be careful, "Ceannard, please lead the men outside, if we do not call within ten minutes than have your men seal the room and await the army."

    "Alright," he turns to Otto, "You heard Miss Derryth, take the men outside."

    "You're staying?" Lyssa asks, mildly amused.

    "Certainly," he bows, "My honour as a gentleman demands it."

    "And your decision has nothing to do with how cute this mysterious stranger sounds, sir?" Otto manages to ask with a wink.

    "Of course not Otto," Ceannard guides his officer to the door, "That is just an added bonus."

    With the rest of your soldiers gone and the door to the room safely shut your charming new acquaintance works up the courage to show herself.

    She materializes before you, on the other side of the metal bars. She is of average height and dimensions, clad in a ragged black dress that is fairly ordinary save for its condition. That is all that is ordinary about her however. Her skin is not the skin of a person it is instead composed of a series of plates, her eyes, well there are so many of them and each looks more like that of an arachnid than a person. Her jaw is roughly human but retains the fangs of the beast she is no doubt based off of. She is, taken together, a cruel and sickening mixture of spider and human and she eyes you with a mixture of bemused contempt and hunger.

    "Now that is something different..." Caoilainn whispers in your mind, almost afraid that the creature will somehow hear her.

    Instinctively both you and your friend nod at her words.

    This creature folds one of her set of arms behind her and begins to pace on her primary legs, "So, now what," she begins, a certain bitterness behind her words.

    You are at a bit of a loss for words, this, thing, reminds you of the Blues. It reminds you of the beasts you butchered below Muirthemne, the creatures that killed the girls' parents and destroyed their home and it is clear that it shows you no real love but it is also clearly more intelligent than any hybrid you have ever seen.

    "I-" you have to think about this for a moment, "Well, why don't we start with introductions, I-"

    She does not let you finish, "You are Derryth, sworn enemy of my dear old, neglectful mother," she begins to point at each of your companions with a different hand, "That is Thaïs, that is Lyssa and that is Ceannard, commander of the, Black Arrows, is it? You can call me anything you want really, the last occupant of this cell called me Nancy, the one before that called me Anne, it is all the same to me."

    "How do you know our names," Lyssa naturally enquires.

    "The stone, it is woven through with my threads, it makes it stronger than regular rock. Part of the bargain that the original builders of this place made with mother dearest," she does not seem terribly interested in this history lesson, "All I have to do is attach a string to the right block and I can hear everything. It is about the only thing to do down here most of the time."

    "How did you get down here my dear," Ceannard, doing his best to remain a gentleman and a professional asks.

    "It was all part of a contract," she shrugs, thoroughly bored, "Some dwarven noble wanted a unique castle, something like no one else had and my mother has always had a strong following among the dwarves, probably because both dwarves and spiders love holes in the ground and a well laid trap. You don't need to know the details and I am tired of giving them every decade so let's just say that there were betrayals involved on both sides. The fort was built, people died, my mother received a little entertainment and I became a prisoner for all eternity."

    "Why did they keep you around," it seems like the next logical question to ask so you do.

    "I am useful," she mutters, "I know you have already run into those charming beasts in the mountain below us, yes? Well I keep them away from the fort, I can emit a slight noise from the rocks by tugging on certain strings, this in turn scares off the rhyming beasts and protects the fort. I have had other uses as well," she gestures at the tubes and drops her head, "Anything else?"

    "What do you want?" your friend asks, a safe question, everyone wants something after all.

    "A good lay," she winks at Ceannard and he takes a step back in response, "Failing that I would like a live meal perhaps. But if I could ask for anything it would be my freedom, either through the gate behind me or out the door behind you."

    You are not sure that would be a good idea, this thing is a demon or half a demon as the case may be and you doubt it would be a good idea to turn it loose.

    She can see the doubt written on your face, "Don't worry about it. You are probably the twentieth group to come through here and none of them showed much interest in freeing me. Like I said, if you could bring me a, well you probably would not feed me a dwarf, you have not exactly struck me as the ruthless type, no offense intended. But a horse, that would be quite nice if you could spare one. Or you could just do the smart thing and kill me, it would be easier for both of us, I guess," she sighs and drops down in the corner of the cell, "I suspect though that you will bombard me with questions so I might as well start you off. Don't trust Rand, he will fuck you."

    Some small part of you admires this... woman's straight forward manner. If she is as useful as she says then it might be worth keeping her around. After all, you can not be sure that all those beasts died under the mountain, though she would likely resent you for using her. Still, that is not really your problem and you are not certain you can just let such a creature go either.

    Maybe you can come to some sort of arrangement or maybe she will betray you in the end, in hindsight it probably would have been easier to just leave her down here to starve. You would have been able to sidestep this situation entirely but every choice is an opportunity, you may as well make a decision now that you are here.

    You just hope there are not any more 'ancient arcane abominations' in and around the fort, though with your luck who knows...


    1. The Unusual Prisoner: Anne or Nancy or whatever you want to call her she has been trapped down there for some time. There are a few different ways you can go about dealing with her.

    A) Status Quo: She will stay where she is and you will keep her alive by feeding her livestock. Things will continue as they always have and she will likely resent you for that though she does not seem to have the resolve to do anything about it part of you wonders if maybe she can't.

    B) Kill Her/It: At the end of it all she is a servant of the Spider Goddess, even if she is not the most enthusiastic of servants, she is your enemy and some day she will betray you. Might as well get this over with now and blast her through the bars while you are safe. You will deal with any consequences of this action as they come up and it seems to be something part of her desires at any rate.

    C) 'Hire her'? : There is probably a way to get her out of that cage if you really put your mind to it and you do have a history of 'helping the helpless', of course it might burn you someday, still you are prepared to deal with the consequences as they arise and you will just have to hope that this, er, demon is worth the risk.

    D) Send her back? : You could try to use that gate to send her back to her mother's realm. Though you have no way to know how the Spider Goddess would respond to such an action. You would also likely need more mages or a lot of energon cubes and, well, you would need to enter that cage one way or the other to take a good look at the gate.

    E) Lay lady, lay... : She says she wants a good lay, well you are sure your group can oblige her... hopefully she won't take a limb off or anything and hopefully you will be able to get back out of that cage once you enter it... (all E options will be counted separately given how important the distinctions are...).

    i. Brave lone soldier: you will feed the creature and extract a promise of protection from it, then you will send Ceannard in there to attempt seduce her and win her to your cause...

    ii. If you want something done right... : you will feed the creature and extract a promise of protection from it, then you and Thaïs will attempt to seduce the creature and win her to your cause...

    F) Scorched Earth: You are sick of this fort and the demons that infest it. You will kill the creature, destroy the portal, collapse the room, level the fort, and leave, never to return.

    G) Deal with a Demon:

    You will have her agree to the following terms in exchange for her freedom:

    Options (there are a variety of ways you can choose to part ways or stick together, they are as follows. They are all counted together and the most popular choice will be chosen should this option win.):

    H) freeform: for something more complex or simply different.


    2. Nephila says she knows the wards on the TWM's journal and the language Gullveig wrote her books in. You can enter an agreement and give her several items to translate, crack, or identify, and then return to you at a place of your choosing and share the information.

    A. You give her the following items:

    i) The Thin White Mage's journal

    ii) Gullveig's spellbook

    iii) Gullveig's documents

    iv) Gullveig's cyphered letters

    v) The Ring of the Master

    B. You don't give her anything. You will sort it out on your own.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014
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  7. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,997
    Party/Organizational Changes:

    Honestly there are not many changes of note in this update.

    Party Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    Not much of anything. You have not had a chance to expend any more resources and the bird you tamed to send a message to TWM is not going to come back so there is no point adding it to Lyssa's character sheet.

    The only changes of note are who is in your party. The girls left and Ceannard joined, Otto too I suppose but I will give you any information you might need for him if it is ever neccesary. He might get an 'ally' character sheet when I update that page at the end of this arc though, so that might be worth looking for later if you like picking through character details.

    Biliku and Uttu leave party, Ceannard joins the party.


    Organizational Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    There will be a lot of these when you get back to Myrgard (seriously the mechanics post for that one will take a long time to write) but for now nothing has really changed. The Pathfinders have used up a bit more of their explosives playing around with Astrid's prototypes in an attempt to 'help' her while she looks after Bari but beyond that this update did not see much in the way of changes.


    Rolls:

    Show Spoiler
    There were a handful of rolls involved here. Mostly to bring Morpheus and Nanshe in to your plots but they were not that hard and you got three checks for each as each of the ladies made their attempts to win them over. Nanshe did get a check to see if she would catch the 'metal' reference in Morpheus' little sales pitch and she beat him fair to spot it. The only reason that was a roll is that Morpheus was actively trying to downplay it though he did not feel he could outright omit it for whatever reason.

    Beyond that though almost all of the rolls have to do with events occuing elsewhere so pretty much everything is 'spoilers'.

    I can tell you about some of the rolls relating to Anne though, there was a chance she would die before you met her, there was a chance she would kill someone way back when the fort fell, there was also a single chance she had to escape but she completely botched it so it is hardly worth mentioning.

    The Pathfinders have taken over Astrid's experiments in her absence (so that you would at least have a chance at moving the research along while she is busy with Bari). Surprisingly they have actually done something and have made quite a bit of progress in half a day, that came as a bit of a surprise actually.

    Ah, Gareth, Brigit, Amena and Ithapi's letters have likely arrived at the capital by now, that is a minor spoiler but nothing too bad which means when you get back you are probably looking at a huge party/organizational update. It won't make your organization/character sheets completely accurate though, partially because time has past between when the letters were written and when you will receive them and partially because they are not going to put anything in the letters that they would not want spies to read.

    The only way to have completely accurate reports would be to invent a means of secure long distance communication or near instant transport between your hubs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
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  8. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    E- give her a good lay.
     
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  9. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Oh my. Didn't expect that one.

    Normally we destroy everything related to the Spider Goddess on sight. I suppose what we will do with Anne will largely depend on her relationship with her 'mother', on whether or not she has a free will, and on what that will is.

    We will also need a way to verify her words. I wonder if we can link her with the Book of the Past.

    Personally, I would not be against freeing her if people are not her sole diet and if there is a safe way for us to get her out. Don't really want to deal with her for the moment, but I also don't want to kill her.

    Do you have someone in particular in mind?
     
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  10. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
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    I am leaning towards status quo. Sounds like she is disinterested in anything but freedom and we don't know what exactly what she wants to do with it. Maybe after some horses she will be more talkative and we can feel her out more.

    I also don't like leaving our keep a pile of rubble or attacked by the rhyme monsters if she does leave. Then there is opening the portal back to spider goddess ville without knowing if it goes both ways. Looks like a lot of bad that can happen without an obvious good.
     
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  11. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    The keep is barricaded and our people are trained to deal with the creatures by now. They can tell the others. Those beasts are fairly easy to kill, all things considered, if you do it from behind a fort wall.

    And we collapsed the tunnels that lead inside the keep, so they can't enter that way.

    I do not want to keep her against her will, because that way we will have enemies inside the keep. Never a good idea.

    The question for me is whether freeing her is actually in any way better. :)
     
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  12. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Us, of course. We have a professional courtesan right here.
     
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  13. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
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    Location:
    Greece
    Lets ask her what she is going to do if we free her.
     
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  14. zerozero Literate

    zerozero
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    Derryth reminds me of a mix of John Constantine and the A team. Dodgy deals, bluffing and the plan lol.
     
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  15. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
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    She mentions that the keep is somehow being sustained by her threads. They may stick around after she is dead, but we don't know that.
     
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  16. zerozero Literate

    zerozero
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    Sep 5, 2014
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    Interesting ..... how many demons are there here?

    The status quo cannot be maintained as I suspect that Rand has the key to the cell, given his abilities he could get back into the fort and could make a deal with Nancy and free her. He may also know something about the contract dealing with Nancy among the ransacked gear he stole.

    Nancy has indicated that she has heard all the conversations since the fort was built, a possible goldmine for information of current and past events. This could help with our dealings with the Dwaven King with information on Eberhardt and Blackfort personnel etc.

    She also might know about the artefacts from the secret tower but there is a risk asking her about it as she will know that we have them and it could be useful to either of us and she could lie.

    It seems that it is the contract that binds her to the fort and the bars to restrict her movement. I could be wrong lol.

    There might be scope for interpretation in the contract if we know more details about it.

    We could ask Nancy about the contract but I doubt the she will tell us everything.

    I suspect that the contract is written down somewhere maybe in the ransacked papers, maybe in a vault of the original owners of the fort, maybe the key that Rand has controls her but he doesn't know how to use it, maybe it is in the room hidden in plain sight or in a secret vault.

    From her eavesdropping she will know that we are open to deals that is fair on both sides.

    Negotiations could start by asking Nancy about:-

    The contract and what it all entails

    Her cell i.e. the metal bars,

    Her background, more details on how she was created etc

    The original owners, who were they etc.

    Her wants i.e. freedom and what she will do with it

    What she has done for all her visitors and who she works for. I find it strange that there is a desk and paper here. It looks like the person is recording information from Nancy. Maybe the current owners knew nothing of Nancy but Rand was spying on them all or the management was spying on the staff.

    Any dealings with Rand.

    If we are stuck for time, we could offer limited freedom from the confines of the cell. If the contract binds her to the fort she doesn't have to be in the cell and could be allowed to roam the tunnels and act as a guard down there and eat anything big that comes through but not us or specific members of the Blackrock. Risky but depending what she gives us

    I am more inclined to get all the details of the contract before offering freedom, limited or on a permanent basis.
     
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  17. zerozero Literate

    zerozero
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    Hi Fangshi,

    I was wondering whether you could lucid dream together in pairs and above but not using Morpheus power to connect everyone and to train.

    For example Derryth and Lyssa lucid dream together in the same room at night. Derryth has a language skill and wants to teach it to Lyssa. Could this be done?

    How does the perception of time work in lucid dreaming, faster or slower compared to the real world. If you tried this would you be mentally exhausted when you wake up.

    Is it worthwhile to try to learn some soft skills from this or is it gaming the rules a bit.

    Cheers
     
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  18. Absinthe Prophet

    Absinthe
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    Lets have a shared dream with Christine for more information about what to do with this spider and the power of metal.
     
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  19. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    All right.

    First things first, get her something to eat. Doesn't have to be a horse, may be just another one of those rabbits if Aquila would be so kind to oblige. A week without food can't be good for one's health, and it is a simple courtesy akin to offering a prisoner a glass of water. I want to have a talk with her.

    1) What is her real name? I know she said it makes no difference to her how we call her, but we would prefer to address her by her true name. Names are important. She must have heard us talking to Nanshe when we captured her:
    It would be easier for us to treat her... ah, more fairly... if she has a name of her own.

    2) What is her connection to the Spider Goddess? She referred to her as 'mother', but is she her 'biological daughter', or just one of her creations? What is the story between those two? She does not seem to like her 'mother' very much, but she does not appear to resent her either.

    3) How long has she been down there? What was the original contract, and how did she end up here? I know she must be tired from repeating the same story over and over again, but that might affect our decision on what to do with her further, and anything would be better than just sitting in that cell all alone. That she would be able to do at any time.

    4) If she is to be freed, what will she do with her freedom? For that matter, what are her eating habits? We don't really want her to be feeding on our people... or any people, really.

    5) What is it that she was called here to do, exactly? Does her 'hearing' extends to the fort, or does it go farther? How much farther? The cave system, the kingdom, the whole world? What 'other uses' did she refer to? What were the tubes for?

    6) What does she know about Rand? Is he one of her creations from the tubes? Is he a Spider Goddess cultist? Why did she tell us not to trust him?

    7) What does she know about the Dreaming? If it turns out we can't grant her freedom, wouldn't it be preferrable for her to go there, keep Morpheus company and enjoy herself instead of dying here or slaving away for a new fort owner?

    8) What does she think will happen if we open a portal to her realm? If her mother betrayed her once, doesn't she think it might not be such a good idea to return to her?

    9) If she is a demon, or a half-demon, is there a way to enforce a deal with her, if we struck one? With an oath, perhaps?

    10) What is the magic behind the lock on her cell? Is it the same one that was used on Rand to make him unremarkable? Is there a way to dispel it?

    By the way, is she humanoid, or more spider-like? How many arms and legs does she have? I'm asking because we have a keyboardist position open, and she might just present a rare opportunity... :lol:

    I am currently considering this solution to our little dilemma here: bring her a horse, have her kill it and construct a gate to Morpheus' realm from its remains, and let her enter the Dreaming. It rids us of a troublesome 'guest', lets her escape the captivity (or at least change her cell to a far more comfortable one), and probably entertains Morpheus as well.

    If a deal could be struck with her, one that she wouldn't be able to break, then I am fine with releasing her on certain conditions, too.

    Edit: it's funny how zerozero came up with almost the same list of questions.
    :bro:
     
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  20. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Well, how about hundreds of shadows that still swarm the place? The best defense the base has is that its location is unknown to most of our enemies.

    We'll probably relocate the kids to the surface and stuff the tower with some loyal personnel in the future, but for now I don't see a reason to change anything. Besides, I don't know if there even are mercenaries I would trust with the information about the tower. How exactly would you ensure their loyalty? Unsanctioned ruin delving is still punisheable with a lifetime prison sentence - is that a risk we are willing to take?

    What are their ideas, though? The idea of shooting a bow or throwing explosives around is pretty simple. It's their perfect execution that is tricky.

    Ceannard or Bari don't have any tactical skills that we would be able to utilize. They weren't the ones who came up with the plan how to defeat the Watcher's army. What they and their men have in abundance, though, are fighting skills, and those require training.

    I don't know, I kind of like the idea of some mercenary tutors from elite combat groups throughout the world whipping our rabble into shape.

    I feel I need to make a correction here. I know the Watcher have been on the move recently. It is understandable - after the Soulblighter and Shiver/Ravanna were destroyed, the remnants of their armies have scattered, and he is the only known force left in the world to rally them. It is only natural that the necromancers and the shades gather around him.

    However, what are your sources about the Eberhardts' (and by extension, the Brannons') involvement with the Dark (or rather, that particular aspect of the Dark, if we leave the matter of the Spider Cult aside)? I hope it wasn't their trial where we presented fake evidence to get rid of them all in one fell swoop? :lol: They never gave us a reason to suspect they were supporting the Watcher, and, in fact, Colin Brannon fell while trying to repel the attack on the Palace by the Thin White Mage.

    I don't think there is some major conspiracy there. :) It very well could be, but for the moment I don't see enough facts confirming this.
     
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  21. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    C
    It followed me to my castle can i keep it? Can i keep it?

    Ask her to send massage to her mum to stop even thinking about attempting to get even with us. We faced many people who would say that she is a light weight when power is concerned. There is even quite big possibility of taking her mother as a pet by some them, just for laughs. We dont have time nor interest for her crap.
     
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  22. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    You only communicate with people beings that are worth your time.

    If you are trying to threaten her into inaction, you are showing that you are afraid of what she can potentially do.

    We are still dealing with a god, even though a minor one. I don't want to contact it just to spite it.
     
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  23. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    24,370
    Kill it with fire, destroy the gate, collapse the room, blown up the fort and get away to never come back.
     
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  24. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Alright, one batch of questions answered. If you have any more or any follow up questions you know what to do.

    :hmmm:

    Added...

    All gates Derryth has ever encountered are two way gates so it should be safe to assume that this gate is also two way.

    She shrugs and says that would have a lot to do with how you free her and what sorts of strings are attached. If given complete freedom she would need time to appraise her options and figure out what exactly she can do in this world. She claims that she has no immediate plans to try to conquer the world or anything like that if that is what you are asking.

    Those bars were created by another demon brought in specifically to help cage her, she does not know who or what he was but he seemed to know a lot about metallurgy. She can not break the bars though she has tried on several occasions. She does know that the dwarves tried to capture the other demon as well but he killed several of them an returned to his own plane by a gate made from the skulls of the dead.

    About once an age or so (and she does not really know how long that is in your time) a hero or a demon prince or some sort of monster will try and invade her mother's realm. If this invader does well enough or has champions that are strong enough her mother will lay with them when she defeats them. When she is done she will then kill and eat her mate, a rather nasty habit the Goddess has.

    Her mother will then inevitably fall pregnant and lay thousands of eggs. When they hatch she will have a new brood of demonic spiders to serve her in her scheming. A lot of her daughter die within a day of hatching as they are murdered by their fellow broodmates or by jealous older brothers and sisters. Many more are taken as slaves and servants by their more powerful siblings. Some however manage to rise into power of their own and carve out a place within the endless halls of their mother's domain. She is a daughter of the twenty first spawning and she used to be quite proud that she has never once been forced to serve her elders. Of course a lot of that pride evaporated when she was forced to serve a series of short-lived and short-sighted mortals but she claims to have mellowed a lot in the last few centuries.

    They where known as The Cunning House Erbach, presumably they were not as cunning as everyone thought but she has no idea what happened to the House as a whole after they lost the fort.

    She has spied for them, a popular ploy has been to invite guests to the fort and then have her listen in on their private meetings. Business secrets and politics for the most part but it was like listening to half a conversation, she rarely gets the context of peoples' words, just what they actually say. She has also been used to remove certain people on occasion, some of them her employers, through that chute in the bars. Some of her former 'masters' where rather ruthless and they would feed her live sentients, she would eat them, not like she had much choice really and if she is being truthful then it is not like she has any real problems with eating sentients to begin with.

    The desk has been there for years now, it was brought in by a fellow, three 'masters' ago, she is not sure how long that is in years though. Rand would use it when he would come by, sometimes he would have her spy for him but she can not get more specific than that. One of the previous owners knew about her before Rand started to directly command her. She is not sure what happened to the 'master' before Rand, he was a mage of some sort.

    It is possible to do but at the moment the ladies can not pull it off without Morpheus. What would be required is some way to move out of your own dreams by your own power and only the demons know how to do that (as far as the ladies can tell). If you requested Morpheus' Nightmare or similar spells as your reward when you capture the mage then it would definitely be a possibility it just is not something they can do now.

    Time in the dreaming can move faster or slower than in the real world, if you are a lucid dreamer you can even control it to a degree provided a stronger mind does not stop you.

    If you spent all of your sleeping hours studying then you would likely feel exhausted when you wake up, do it too often and you would likely pick up a status effect to that effect.

    It is certainly something you could look into though you would need the right spells as previously mentioned.

    You have never seen a rabbit skinned and eaten that quickly in your entire life. She thanks you for the snack but she is going to need something more substantial soon as well. Still her spirits seem improved a little and she is not giving you hungry glances anymore. She still shoots Ceannard the odd predatory glance though and he refuses to get within a metre and a half of the bars.

    She gives you a slight smile and an awkward curtsy, the name she prefers is Nephila, if you wish to call her that she would appreciate it.

    She is one of the ten thousand daughters of the Spider Goddess, she was born from an egg laid by her mother some time ago, she can not really say when as time has odd meanings outside of the physical world. She is quick to stress that she is not some sort of mortal 'creation' or 'experiment', she is 'natural' not an abomination.

    She loves her mother, without the Goddess she would not exist and that is a debt she will always be mindful of. However she does not actually like her mother very much, she finds her alternatively cold and distant or furious and overbearing. She usually tried to avoid direct contact with the Goddess, it kept things safer for her. She also respects her mother a great deal, her mother was not born a goddess, she had to earn her position through plotting and scheming like any true demon, she grins at you, or like any true mage she suspects.

    For a long time she also hated her mother, she hated her for her cruelty, for her cunning, for her need to control everything and her ruthlessness in exploiting her own daughters.

    Then the decades turned to centuries and with time came perspective. She no longer hates her mother though she might kill her given half a chance. For now though she does not really want to do anything to her mother, she does not want to interact with her at all in fact, she just wants something of her own and to be excluded from her mother's plans.

    She sighs slightly, then nods and begins to reount her tale.

    Oh, it must be a couple centuries by now at the very least. The contract stipulated that she would enter the physical world to weave her threads into the stone of the fortress. She was to stay until the fort was complete and then she was to return home.

    Obviously that plan fell through. She would like to blame the dwarves but in truth both sides broke their words. The dwarves sealed her away so that they would have an infinite supply of thread though she naturally refused to weave any more for them and they could not devise a way of forcing her to that would not kill her. So instead they tried to create more creatures like her that could weave her thread and would lack the intellect to rebel.

    Of course these new creatures still had a link to her mother and unlike a full demon they lacked the willpower necessary to resist her commands. So once enough of the hybrids had been created they rebelled and tried to force open a portal to the Spider Goddess' plane from which she could send in a proper army.

    Well a few of the dwarven lords got wind of this and along with the Pathfinders of their time they besieged the fort and took it. One of the lords was a rather power hungry fellow, she can not remember his first name but his last name was Albrecht. She grins at the minor shock she has given you, she says this Albrecht was a minor lord at the head of a lesser house but with her help and control of the fort he began to grow in power. At some point he stopped coming to visit her and he must not have informed any of his subordinates about her as she did not get a visitor for quite some time. Thankfully Albrecht was on of her kinder 'masters', he kept her caged but he also supplied her with a great deal of luxuries and preserved foods so she rationed her resources as best she could for as long as she could. A human mage found her next, then another dwarf, a ghôlish raider, a necromancer, several different groups of mercenaries, the occasional lord, and so on down the ages. They were all different and yet so very similar...

    She does not know yet what she will do with her freedom, the only part of your world she has seen is the mountain the fort rests on and the room she is currently in.

    She can technically eat anything and she can go long periods without much food as long as she does not do much but she prefers live meals, something that will squirm a little. She is well aware of how uncomfortable that makes most people so she will refrain from going into details. The longer she goes without food the harder it becomes to hold herself back from taking any 'opportunity' that presents itself, if she is full though she has complete control over her actions. She also finds that killing her own prey and devouring it seems to be more 'satisfying', if she takes down a cow or something then she tends to be more satisfied for longer than eating a steak though she is also well aware of the demands placed by 'polite society', she can live off cooked meat, she just needs a lot of it.

    Already touched on but her hearing extends as far as her thread so for now only through the black rock of the fortress.

    She was used to make abominations. The tubes were for growing said abominations.

    Rand is both a smashing success and a grave disappointment, he is an interesting man but she can not say anything specific about him. She puts a great deal of emphasis on this, she can not say anything specific about him though she does insist that you should not trust him.

    She says that Dreaming and this cell are one in the same. If given the choice she would rather know she is a prisoner than forget there is even a jail.

    She is fully willing to admit that she has no idea what her mother will do but one way or the other it will provide closure.

    Certainly, as a demon if she were to make a pact with you (and she is not necessarily saying she would) she could not break it unless the pact were dissolved. She does note though that such a pact would bind all parties involved, you would be forced to live up to your end of the agreement or the pact would be dissolved and she would be excused from any obligations or limitations you might place on her.

    That lock is both a smashing success and a grave disappointment, it is a very interesting item but she can not say anything specific about it. She, again, puts a great deal of emphasis on this, she can not say anything specific about it but she does insist that you be quite careful around it.

    This might be easier to do with images.

    First off she is definitely not a D&D style drider. So she is not a spider-centaur or 'aranchnotaur' or whatever that hell one would call a generic half spider/half woman.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]

    She is not this. In fact, even the abominations were rarely like this, most of the were bipedal actually. She does tell you that many of the Goddess' 'greater daughters' are like this though and all of her sons are as well. The Spider Goddess also likes to take this general form, usually a massive version of it but she can also look like a human or a dwarf or just a really big spider or even a regular sized spider. As a goddess she can more or less appear as she wants on her own plane.


    Now she is a bizarre mixture of spider and human. So to start off she seems to have an exoskeleton or at the very least plate like skin which matches the stone the fort is made from. She might have an actual skeletal system as well but you are not sure (though it would make sense given her size). She is roughly as tall as you are, maybe a few inches shorter but she is in that upper five foot range that most of the women in the setting inhabit. She also has the same general 'bulkiness' to her that a person would.

    So for a start her body is similar to this:

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]

    Though obviously female instead of male. She also is far less human looking and has more of the features of a spider one would expect.


    She does have a spider's abdomen though, it extends behind her from her hips and the spinnerets at the end are likely how she made all the strings that run through the fort.

    Each of her limbs ends in something resembling a hand and each seems to have a full suite of fingers and opposable thumbs.

    Her face has already been descibed, fangs, human jaw and humanish mouth, her eyes are based on those of jumping spiders so she has very good eyesight and three different sets of specialized eyes. She has hair, it is black with the odd streek of red.

    I think that is everything you would need to know about what she looks like, if you want to know something in particular and it is something Derryth can figure out or something she could safely ask then just let me know.

    You can contact her if you wish though she might not be willing to give Derryth much information without something in return. It is doubtful she will have anything useful to tell you about metal at the moment and she would also likely hide it from you even if she did. She is not really Derryth's friend yet, they just sort of tolerate each other for Serpent's sake at the moment though they have both definitely taken a step back from outright hating each other and trying to kill one another.

    On the issue of the spider she could probably tell you how best to kill it and might be able to show you a couple spells to try and bind it to your will if you want.

    I can put it to a vote if you would like.

    She can not directly communicate with her mother, she would need a proper artefact to do it or she would need to enter a dream and ask Morpheus to go get her (which Morpheus is probably not going to do willingly even if he is in all likelihood her father... she may have just said too much... :lol: ).

    Added.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
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  25. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,931
    Location:
    Vicksburg
    E

    It's just the obvious solution.
     
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