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Myth: A New Age CYOA

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

  1. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
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    She spent the last of it a few days ago, simple as that. :smug:

    You do not know where or when and I probably should not have even told you she is out of money, but there you go. :lol:
     
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  2. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Alright, so can we buy anything for her before we set out? This is not a personal matter, the security of the group is going to be compromised if she falls to a stray javelin. I-it's not like we are worried about her or anything! :oops::P

    With her constitution, I can't imagine she would wear anything but the leather armor anyway.

    Or just give her what is left of our funds after shopping and tell her to buy whatever she thinks will help.
     
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  3. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    Hello. Hope you will have as much fun as i.
     
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  4. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    Dont we pay her some kind of salary or percentage? I mean i cant see Derryth not taking care of her favourite Necromancer.
     
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  5. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I think she is like Thais or like the girls in that regard, and does not get a salary.

    Of course, Thais and the girls know that they can just ask us for anything and we will give it to them if it is in our power. Lys, on the other hand, is a bit shy.

    We'll cure her of that. :smug:
     
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  6. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Sure, you can buy things for her if you like. She would likely appreciate the gift too.

    Unlike Berty you do not actually pay Lyssa a salary. You sort of 'purchased' her from Mazzarin with that favour and the issue of giving her a wage has not come up. For the moment it is much as Nevill guessed, Derryth would be given the option to buy things for her if she would actually ask for anything but she has not asked yet. Could be she does not feel comfortable asking for things from D&T after everything they have done for her.

    If you want to pay her a monthly wage then I can arrange to add it as a question on the next update (there is too much to vote for on this one to add more questions), just let me know.
     
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  7. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Eh, just buy her a good armor in the meantime so that she does not go to battle in her robes.

    What should it be? 2D1 Lyssa (to distinguish from other purchases)? But she probably needs to size it up, first.

    One of the spell rings should probably go to her, too. Three mages, three necklaces, three rings. Why not?

    Also, we should probably charge all of our rings with Heal, now that we are out of roots.
     
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  8. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
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    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I thought it might be useful to have some sort of a brief longwinded summary for the newcomers to get into the game quicker. Here is the summary for the first two chapters, shamelessly plagiarized after the one by Baltika9. Thanks, bro! :salute:

    Prologue (open)
    We establish the world and our place in it. We are Derryth ó Foghladh, a scavenger and a grave robber, searching for a part of the powerful artefact, the Halcyon Stone, in the ruins of an old city, Muirthemne, right as the new one by the same name is being rebuilt on top of it. The problem is, the artefact was last seen in the offices of the Smiths of Muirthemne, an ancient and a secretive group, and the said offices are buried deep beneath the ground where untold horrors lie in wait of their prey.

    We start by assembling a team of the brave and desperate souls willing to dive into the most dangerous dungeon crawl known to man.
    - Thais of Scales, a prostitute down on her luck who dabbles in a bit of magic. She joined us in hopes that this occupation would prove more profitable than her last one.
    - Gareth, a war veteran from The Legion, thrown out on the streets to provide for himself once the war was over.
    - Tyrvard, a Berserk from the north, drawn to the city in search of GLORIOUS BATTLES.
    - Serpent, or rather, One Serpent Green Talon, an exile from the barbaric lands in the north and a genius in the art of medicine. His reasons for accompanying us are his own.
    - Dr. Miosguinn and his apprentice Isolde, scholars from the circle of the Children of the Callieach, who are interested in the relics and forgotten knowledge of the Smiths.
    - And our latest addition, Brigit, a thief who appeared one day in our tent to offer her services as well as the services of her company in exchange for a favor. We have turned her down, so we never learned what it was about, but as fate would have it, we have managed to save her life on the night we went into the ruins of the old city, so she ended up joining us anyway.

    Things are looking up, except that Tyrvard and Serpent can't stand each other, the apprentice is staring daggers at us for no apparent reason, the good Doctor Miosguinn is a creep, and Thais wants to get in our pants for a better share of loot. Oh boy.

    Maybe it will work out, though. We will bring this team of misfits closer; we will create a circle of equals where there would be no betrayals, no mistrust and paranoia so common among the mages; and we will forge a better future for us all. Now, if only we could make anyone listen to us with our 2 CHA... :lol:

    Chapter 1 (open)
    Chapters 1-2
    We assemble our team and dive straight into the dungeon.

    We encounter our first crossroads three days in, and decide to check a path seemingly covered by a menacing darkness. We soon come to regret our decision, as we are attacked repeatedly by malicious shadows, and are finally cornered by hundreds of them in what appears to be a chamber with a crystal in it. We prepare to sell our lives dearly, but we are saved by someone's intervention as the crystal lights up and pushes the shadows back. Following the runes leading to the chamber we discover a half-ruined mage tower. Inside we find a fetch - an otherworldly priestess - by the name of Eris, as well as her human slave-apprentice, Amena, and Amena's maul pet-servant-bodyguard, Ithapi. Eris offers us a deal - she wishes to return back to her own world, but she needs an incantation for planar travel from a nearby library. In return she promises us everything she owns, as well as to purge the tunnels from the shadows. Without much choice in the matter, we agree.

    Chapters 3-5
    Eris only allowed four of our people to go to the library, leaving wounded Tyrvard, Serpent and Thais with her as hostages. The friction between the two men becomes dangerous, so we ask Thais to mediate peace between them before heading off, escorted by Amena and her bodyguard. We use our chance to talk to her away from Eris, and even manage to convince her to join our circle of mages.

    In the library, we order our people to search the place, sending Miosguinn and Amena to the Theology section while we check the artefact vault with Brigit. There we find the required incantation and bring it back to our party, only to discover that Amena was attacked by spiders while browsing the books with Miosguinn. She does not remember the details very well, though. We decide to quickly withdraw from the library before it is overrun by hostiles.

    Back at the tower we find that Tyrvard and Serpent became best buddies thanks to Thais' machinations, and together we manage to blackmail Eris into giving us an insurance that she will uphold her part of the deal if we send her home ourselves. We link several mages together and cast our first Planar Gate spell to create a portal between worlds. Eris goes through, but she is unwelcome there, and her own kin slaughter her. We collapse the portal before they get to us.

    With Eris gone, Amena and Ithapi technically become our 'property'. We decide to free them and welcome them to our team. They know how to create the runes to ward off the shadows, and so we finally move away from the cursed place, but not before claiming the tower for ourselves and masking it from the eyes of others with protective enchantments.

    Chapters 6-7
    We decide to go through the Dwarven Quarter and discover an illegal dwarven expedition fighting for their lives in a three-way struggle between the armies of ghosts and spiders. We decide to intervene before they are overwhelmed, and break down the hordes of enemies with clever use of Miosguinn's illusions. The dwarves are distrustful of us, even after we treat their wounded. Only a couple of them (a literal one, too), Ari and Bari, appear to speak in our tongue. They tell us that their leader, Jori, is on a mission for the Dwarven Kingdom, but refuse to elaborate. As their destination seems to lie in the same offices of the Smiths we are heading towards, we incorporate them in our group as we push closer to our goal.

    We become suspicious of Miosguinn as we ask Amena what happened at the library and she tells us that the spiders attacked after the old man took a black tome from a shelf. We decide to spy on the Children.

    Chapters 8-10:
    We go cave diving for some mandrake roots and encounter a riddle which we promptly solve and receive a talking head with seemingly vast magical knowledge for our trouble. It might have possibly belonged to an archmage, but she does not remember who she was or how she got there, and there is a rune on her forehead that interferes with her casting. We call her Nine, The Orb Of Ultimate Power. She’s rather happy to be set free from her prison and offers to be our magical instructor.

    Chapters 11-13:
    Returning to the cave entrance, we find that our party is being attacked by cultists in red uniforms riding giant spiders while a lone figure in silver robes observes the carnage. On a whim we decide to talk to her right in the middle of the battle. We do not appear to like each other very much, and the only thing that saves us from mutual annihilation is Serpent's timely intervention, which also costs him his freedom when Christine - that's her name - takes him away to meet her parents (I wish I was kidding) after binding us with spiderwebs. We break free after a while and help our forces push the Red cultists back, capturing their leaders, young girls by the name of Biliku and Uttu (daughters of the High Priest of the Red Order). We trick into talking by pretending to be a Big Bad Archmage and scaring them to death. They promise to show us the way to the offices of the Smiths of Muirthemne where the Silver and the Red Orders reside, and where Serpent was supposedly taken to.

    Miosguinn abandons our group during the battle. He leaves behind a message warning us to turn back and flee. We don’t, or rather, can't, with our friend being captured.

    Jori finally cracks after we save his life for the second time. He reveals that his mission is to bring the stolen artefact, the Maul of Dwarven Kings, back to his homeland. He pledges his loyalty to our cause and asks us to see to it that the Maul is returned to his father, King Albrecht VII, should he fail.

    Chapters 14-17:
    Approaching the Cult’s base, we encounter half-man half-spider abominations in the blue robes feasting on the remains of the Reds and Silvers alike, and laying siege to a chapel in a large compound. We surface from an underground tunnel leading to the compound, destroy the Blues within, barricade the compound from the inside and meet the remnants of the Red and Silver Orders that were holed up in the chapel. There are not many survivors, mostly the kids, the elderly and those unfit to fight, but we also find Serpent among them, treating the wounded. It turns out that Serpent and Christine got married while we were away and are well and truly in love, so he refuses to leave the cultists to their fate.

    We agree to help them out, if only to rescue the children and protect the relics, the Maul of Dwarven Kings being one of them. So we shore up the fortress-monastery’s defences and repel the attack of the Blue Order. As luck would have it, Miosguinn was one of the Blues and their agent on the surface for a long time now, and he ends up in charge of their army after we kill the rest of the leadership with a well-placed mortar strike. Oblivious to our presence, as we have managed to keep our arrival a secret from him, he prepares an assault on the compound while we frantically scramble the last of our resources to mount a defence.

    Most of the Red and Silver leadership fall in the ensuing fight, as well as Jori, Bari’s wife and Tyrvard (he dies to Isolde, who proves to be yet another of these half-spider monstrosities, but not before he takes her out as well). The Berserk's last wish to Serpent as to a fellow northerner is for his claymore to be returned home. Miosguinn flees after his forces are destroyed, but he has our half of the Halcyon Stone and most of our group is baying for his blood.

    Chapter 18:
    The fighting has left a lot of kids orphans, so Thais, Amena and Ithapi split up from our group to see them to the safety of our tower.

    Derryth and Christine get a little less bitchy with one another and start kinda-sorta working together. Bari demonstrates his spec-ops badassery again as he tracks Miosguinn to his hideout.

    Chapter 19:
    We go in as one group to search the building and find Miosguinn in the upstairs office. We talk to the old man and discover his mad cloning experiments. Turns out that he sold his soul out to the Spider Goddess for the life of his love who died a long time ago (he has several Isolde clones growing in the tanks), and that he used his knowledge of the Gate spell as well as the book from the Theology section of the library to open up a portal to the Goddess' realm and create an army of the human-spider hybrids in a matter of days. He tries to get us on her side between the promises of power and threats of destruction. Being The 'Dex Derryth, we refuse.

    Chapter 20:
    Miosguinn attacks us with powerful illusions which Nine helps us resist, we throw down an improvised anti-magic grenade and together with Christine we manage to subdue him. After a short moment of “I can’t believe this worked,” we go into the room with the black egg, an artefact the Spider Goddess uses to contact mortals. She tries to seduce us one last time, but we shrug off the temptation and blast the egg away, earning her eternal enmity. We hand Miosguinn over to Bari, who then tortures him seven ways to Sunday for his dead wife. We return to our tower to find that the second team has made it safely there together with the kids.

    The Interlude has us poring over the treasures and maps we found in the tower vault, as well as deciding our plans for the next year:
    - Christine and Serpent go on their honeymoon to Tyrvard's homeland with a generous gift from us.
    - Gareth gets a magical sword and shield, and is dispatched to start up his own mercenary company in the city, hiring from both Legion vets and whatever fighters he can come across. He will be taking on jobs at his own discretion. Brigit accompanies him as his girlfriend and as his liaison with the underground elements of the city.
    - Amena and Ithapi stay at the mage tower with the orphans as their caretakers and teachers.
    - Derryth gets the Stone of Waterbreathing, a “Ring of the Master”, as well as a bracelet from a matched set (the other goes to Thais). They go to the Dwarven Kingdom to fulfill Jori's will, with Biliku and Uttu as their bodyguards and Bari as their guide.

    We hire some of Bari's old pals from his army days as escorts. We spend our time on the road studying Dwarven and learning the art of drinking.
    We destroy the cursed artifacts of the Spider Goddess just to be safe.
    We take Nine with us in our backpack, disembodied head that she is.

    So ends the first Chapter.

    Chapter 2; Part 1 (open)
    Chapters 1-2:
    Derryth and Thais put on their matching set of bracelets… and find out those things are enchanted/cursed and cannot be taken off. After a farewell feast, we see Serpent and Christine off, and set out to meet Brigit’s father, the local big-shot gang boss going by the nickname Dagda, about a warehouse for Gareth's new company. Unfortunately, the man thinks we have stolen his daughter from him, so it turns a bit heated as we lash out and intimidate him into leaving Gareth and Brigit alone, but we still do business with him (as we find out later, that wasn’t the best idea).

    We finally set out for Myrgard, which is currently a warzone (the usual ghols plus some occasional necromancers) and nine days into our travels we notice a smoke on the horizon. We come upon a village besieged by undead, we lure them out, ambush and win. We then question the village mayor who doesn’t appear to know jack shit and spot ravens and eagles observing us, after which they take off in different directions. Shit’s suspicious. We take whatever supplies we can and leave the village in a hurry.

    Chapter 3:
    During our travels, we bond with Bari and his mercenary friends (Trakk is the leader’s name, they are all good bros and solid soldiers). We learn more about the secret organisation called the Pathfinders that Bari belongs to, they are the Kingdom's Spec Ops forces, loyal only to the King himself. After a few more days, we notice yet another smoke cloud coming from where a dwarven fort was supposed to be. The fort is still standing, but that would not last for long, as it is besieged by an overwhelming amount of undead (three hundred ghasts, one hundred thralls, thirty wights and a couple dozen soulless or so). We count about nine people in our group and are outnumbered 50-to-1, BUT THIS IS CODEXIA! So we decide to engage anyway because fuck it, YOLO.

    No, really. Nothing changed since Ean.

    Chapter 4:
    Gratuitous battle scene follows. In an unprecedented stroke of good luck we manage to stay alive, though just barely. The bracelets we share with Taide save both our sexy asses (both of our girls rate 9/10 on the hotness scale, GM's statement) since they can apparently alert us when something is about to kill our friend. Inside the fort, one of the officers, Ori, rebels against his commander (who decided to “wait and see” while our group was getting slaughtered) and sallies out from the fort to help us decimate the undead host. It turns out that Ori is Bari’s buddy from their army days. He explains to us that the fort was under attack because of the necromancer he captured. He also tells us that they found some kind of an artefact on her, a single piece of black stone. When we try to experiment with it to determine what it is, we find out that it is a fragment of the Watcher, a Fallen Lord turned to stone and shattered into hundreds of pieces. The stone appears to be linked to his consciousness, that seems - somehow - to be very much alive as the archmage roars and causes a whiplash across our minds when he notices our meddling. Guess we have his attention now.

    After some boozing and celebrating, we get to Myrgard and split up: we go on our way while Bari reports to the King. They can not reward us openly for the return of the artefact Maul, as its theft is in itself a state secret, but our heroic defence of the fortress offered Albrecht an excuse to award us with money and prestige. All we need is to wait for a proper audience with the King.

    Chapters 5-7:
    We spend our time looking for one of Taide’s friends, the Inventor, and investigating the Dwarven banking system. We learn of the different sorts of banking (traditional and community trust banks) the dwarves employ and begin evaluating our potential contacts and opportunities for expanding this system into Cath Bruig (under our careful guidance, of course). We come across Mister Mayer, an up-and-coming bourgeoisie banker with a godly willpower score (seriously, our combined efforts couldn’t have pierced his minds on an initial probe; dude has a sturdy mind), and consider making him a partner in this new enterprise.

    A while later, we find out what happened to the Inventor, a woman named Melete. Turns out she has a bounty on her head from a noble house and was captured by a group of mercenaries going by the name of the Black Arrows. She is about to be moved out of the city, so Derryth and Thais decide to infiltrate the compound where she is held before that happens. Using our mental spells to avoid unwanted attention, we sneak inside and find our VIP, bound and spouting obscenities at her captors. Just as they stuff a rag into her mouth, their captain interrupts and invites Melete to his quarters. Using our proficiency in mind manipulation, we draw out the guards one-by-one with false memories and subtle suggestions, and disable them without killing them. Then we walk into the captain’s office, render him unconscious and free Thais’ friend.

    Chapter 8:
    We choose to hide Melete with Trakk and his mercs (after paying them appropriately, of course), but Melete complains about having to leave her inventions in the hands of her captors. She was experimenting with the gunpowder among other things, and have created the first rifle prototypes. In a fit of greed, we decide to loot the workshop before anyone learns about her escape.

    This turns out to be a horrible idea: the workshop is stalked by about 50 different mercenary companies who didn't know she was captured in the first place, all of them looking to turn a quick profit by claiming the bounty on her head. We are beset by three of them just about the moment we enter the door. Being mentalists, we provoke a fight between them and slip out of the workshop as one of the mages ignites the gunpowder and sends the whole block sky-high. During our escape, we get ambushed by a company of illusionists that hit Melete with an advanced sleep spell and put her into a coma that she is still under as of this moment, while the fire from the explosion ravages a quarter of the city.

    We make it to Trakk and his boys, whereupon he has a heart attack. They hide us in a bunker and tell us to sit still until the commotion dies down.

    Chapters 9-10:
    Three days later, Trakk passes a message that Bari wants to meet us in a Pathfinder warehouse. We decide to come alone, because that’s totally not a dead giveaway for an ambush. Turns out that it was, and we would have been done for if it weren’t for actual Bari. Dude tracked us down and was waiting at the ambush site with our would-be kidnappers dead and turned into chairs. Trakk is accused of treason and interrogated, revealing that his family was kidnapped and used to coerce him. Bari wants to execute him on the spot, but not wanting him dead for this, we exile him from the dwarven lands instead - which is a sentence worse than death for a dwarf, - earning his complete hatred and the enmity of his mercenary group.

    Later, Bari escorts us to secretly meet King Albrecht, a pretty cool dude, who explains the situation to us. This whole thing with Melete involves House Brannon of the Cath Bruig Empire, an extremely wealthy and powerful family with their leader serving as the Minister of Finance to Emperor Alric. They have connections with House Eberhardt of the Dwarven Kingdom, who were the ones that sent the Arrows after our friend, captured Trakk's family, and generally want us dead. The Eberhardts are also involved in a conspiracy to overthrow Albrecht. Seeing as they are both his enemies and ours, the King offers us an opportunity to bring them down. We agree.

    Chapters 10-11:
    Using the uniforms of the enforcers the Eberhardts sent after us, we infiltrate their compound thanks to Bari’s fast talk and creativity and split up the group to search the whole compound for clues that would let us accuse the House of treason. We go with Bari to find and capture Ullr, the apparent leader of the compound.

    Some mental spells and more fast talking from Bari later, and we’re inside Ullr’s office. He is not alone, though: the leader of the Black Arrows himself, Ceannard, is with him, as well as the captain who was guarding Melete when we barged in. We impersonate the messengers from the team sent to capture us, and Ullr is quick to cancel his contract with the mercenaries. However, the captain - who goes by the name of Otto - recognizes us, which forces us to act.

    Chapter 12:
    We end the charade and incapacitate Ullr. Ceannard is quite amused by this turn of events, and enquires what do we think to do next. Fairly certain that we employ exclusively non-lethal mental spells, he tries a charm spell on us and nearly loses his eyebrows in the process when we answer with an elemental spell to the face. The mercenary stops playing around and comes clean with us. His current employer have heard that we are harbouring Nine and wants her head (literally). The mercenary offers to show us a way out of the compound and let us go quietly as long as we give him what he wants. Having no better option available, we agree, but we demand to come along to meet this employer of his.

    Chapter 13:
    We make our way across the desert and enter a cave where the employer resides. Someone tries to intimidate us with a cheap illusion, we see through it and proceed to a small cottage built on a meadow in the middle of the cave complex. There, we find the witch, Lyssa, who was monitoring us through the eagles, and her master, a dried up, almost dead husk of a man, claiming to be Mazzarin, a (former?) hero of the Light.

    Mazzarin needs Nine’s anti-aging spell, but she forgot everything, even her own name. Yet Mazzarin insists that the knowledge is still with her. Since Mazzarin is used to get what he wants and we are curious ourselves, Derryth and Thais go into Nine’s mind to find the necessary information and uncover the mystery of Nine's origins.

    Chapters 14-20:
    These all take place in Nine’s mind. Long story short, Mazzarin and Nine give us a crash-course in mind-travel and we go in. Nine is an amalgamation of two powerful archmages: Culwyeh, the Empress of Yer-Ks (which would later be known as Shiver) and Ravanna, the Voiceless One.

    As if having two Fallen Lords around was not enough, we discover that our bracelets are inhabited by yet another of their ilk when we nearly lose ourselves to a careless mind spell we cast without due considerations. Derryth's and Thais' consciousness nearly merge, and it is only by a stroke of good luck that we notice an external influence trying to make us accept defeat and turn into an insane abomination. We call the voice out on it, and get to meet the Faceless Man, who was trapped in the bracelets this whole time. It appears that he needs our bodies alive for the bracelets to function, but our minds are another matter and the merge would only make us easier to control. After we threaten to end our own life and render the bracelets useless, he agrees to help us get through this predicament. Our minds stay individual, but we form an odd connection with Thais as we inherit each other's memories.

    Meanwhile, in the mindscape, a neverending battle between Culwyeh and Ravanna takes place for the control of Nine's body. Their personalities are not like Nine's in the slightest, so not wanting to aid any of them we continue looking for the woman we know. We find her in a chamber in the very 'heart' of her mindscape as the fight continues to rage on, threatening to shatter Nine's mind and bury us under the rubble.

    Nine points us to a musical box which contains a puzzle we must solve to unlock her memories. We manage it and get a glimpse of her story (Faceless was Culwyeh's Master; she was betrayed by the Deceiver along with her rival, Ravanna; what we saw in her mind was the result of a consciousness meld that we have avoided by a hair's breadth; her mind was sealed in by Faceless to prevent the abomination from getting out there; the puzzle contained the information necessary to subjugate and integrate the other personalities - it was designed for Culwyeh, but Nine got it instead), and get rewarded, as Faceless, impressed by us solving his puzzle in less steps than it usually takes, awards us with the Warrior’s Mask spell.

    Nine goes to 'sleep', as she has to sort through two lifetimes of memories, each spanning a couple thousands of years. She tells us to keep her safe and wake her up in a few years.

    We get the ritual Mazzarin required from her, exit Nine's mind, and proceed to restore Mazzarin according to the spell. He grants us two favors for our services - well, technically, it was three, but we used one of them to receive a lesson in mind manipulation before attempting the mind-travel. He also requests that we give him the bracelets with the Faceless Man (to the latter's utmost horror), we refuse; he requests we give him Nine's head in exchange for another favor - again, we refuse; furious at our irreverence, he turns to leave, but we are not done with him yet. We use one of the remaining favors to take his mistreated apprentice, Lyssa, away from him - oh, and we also tell the most powerful mage in known history that he has a small penis. It was here that we got a 'no self-preservation instinct' trait that was long overdue. :lol:

    Then we go back to Myrgard.

    Chapters 21-26:
    We return to the city, take a day off for shopping and relaxation, go to the academy and get our cursed bracelets checked out to find a way to remove the Faceless Man. They said that lead is the most likely thing to block a magical signal and give us a pair of lead gloves.

    Then we visit Ceannard and he identifies the people that put Melete to sleep: a group of illusionists and mentalists called the Oneiroi. We hire the Arrows to assault their compound and capture some of the mages so that they would undo the spell, but as we are about to begin the operation, we realize that the whole place is magically protected by some sort of unknown spell. As we try to unwind the spell, we are sucked inside it, and our minds end up in the Plane of Dreaming, which hosts the dreams of mortals. We are hypnotized into believing ourselves wolves eternally serving the gods of the forest in their war against the Oneiroi fort, which is present in the Dreaming as well. Thankfully, since we were not wearing the gloves at a time, the Faceless Man comes to our aid yet again (he has to, because the bracelets we wear are his only means of interacting with the world), and we strike a bargain with the spirits of the Dreaming to bring down the fort.

    Once inside, we capture Caoilainn, one of the mercenaries the Oneiroi contracted to keep an eye on the Dreaming. She tells us that the Oneiroi have build their fort out of human souls, as it is the only thing that scares away the spirits, and have imprisoned one of the greater demons to power their spells. Indeed, in the basement of the fort we find a powerful Demon Prince, Morpheus, chained to a slab and keeping the spell that traps us in the Dreaming active, against his will. There is also a gate that the Oneiroi and their mercenaries use to travel between the realms. Upon seeing it, the Faceless Man ‘betrays’ us (or you could say, abandons us), stabs Caoilainn to coat himself in her blood and trick the spell into thinking he is her, briefly takes Lyssa hostage to ensure our non-intervention, escapes the Plane of Dreaming into Caoilainn's physical body waiting for her on the other side of the gate, and becomes a Faceless Woman/Tranny.

    We take pity on the disembodied officer and put her consciousness in the now vacant bracelets. We unbind Morpheus, thus depowering the spell, and return to the waking world to find that the Faceless slaughtered the whole Oneiroi compound but left our people intact and two of the captives ready for an interrogation, as a farewell gift.

    Meanwhile, Lyssa reveals her past history as a necromancer, which is an offence punishable by death, but after all our experiences with demons, cultists and Fallen Lords we do not feel like it is our place to judge her.

    The preparations to put the Eberhardts on trial are underway, and we accept Albrecht’s proposal to become the Heroes of the Kingdom and the face of the prosecution.

    Chapters 27-31:
    We try to go to the Assembly of Lords with a personal escort of Albrecht guards to make a case against the Eberhardts, but as we near the Royal Palace, we realize that it is under attack. A rather large force of undead besieged the palace and we get to work rescuing the day. After dispatching the undead outside of the Palace walls, we enter the courtyard, and it is there when we meet the Thin White Mage for the first time. Things look a bit grim for a moment as we are outnumbered and outmatched by the enemy mages, but reinforcements are quick to arrive. A young cavalry officer makes a grand entrance with a Heron Champion, Six-Winds-Soaring-Eagle, and engages the enemy. The officer dies no more than 5 seconds later to a stray javelin (a shameful display!), but Eagle fares better and together we manage to overcome the Thin White Mage (TWM for short) with a bit of improvisation on our part, turning the tides of battle in our favor.

    Once he finds out that Eberhardt and his supporters fled the capital for Stoneheim before the attack (likely because they knew of our plans to accuse them), the King ties the two events together and condemns the Eberhardts for 'conspiring with the Dark'. They didn't, but it does not much matter, as these charges are so grave that they lose whatever support they might have had. Their rebellion is crushed before it even has a chance to begin, and they are brought back to Myrgard in chains.

    While all of this is happening, we decide to spend our time making contacts with the financial circles of the dwarven society (which involved two our least favorite pastimes - visiting official events and eating ghol brains) and discover that about three quarters of the bankers were supporting House Eberhardt. They are all highly nervous because most of them would likely hang. Feeling that they would be of no help with our financial woes, we turn our attention back to Mayer, and visit his estate to strengthen our acquaintance with the dwarf. He knows a lot about our connections and our actions, so he starts pressing us for details and we get a “tits or GTFO” as he demands an answer why do we feel the need to meddle in the affairs of the Kingdom. We strike a deal with him: he gives us a secret and we give him a secret, so he introduces us to his wife. She is an insane, half-feral dwarf who guards him with a murderous jealousy. Almost killed all of us, in fact, when Mayer invited us to the other room to continue our talk.

    It is from Mayer that we learn that House of Albrecht was on the verge of collapse before we came to the Kingdom, and that our actions have turned the balance of power completely upside down. We explain our part of the story to him and agree on a partnership to make the best of our respective situations in these troubled times.

    Chapter 2; Part 2 (open)
    Chapters 32-35:
    We hire Berty Levy, a master of irregular warfare and a former explorer-warrior-dissident-criminal-priest-spy-mercenary-what-have-you, to tutor Biliku and Uttu. He is a rather eccentric man with a questionable past, but very good at his job and cheap to boot. He immediately sets to work turning our girls into Che Guevaras.

    King Albrecht invites us as key witnesses to the trial of House Eberhardt, where he lays out all the evidence we have gathered (and made up) and even brings out Trakk’s kidnapped son and granddaughter, who were mutilated during their time as hostages. This was a masterful show by the King, the nobility applauds his justice and the whole House Eberhardt is sentenced to death alongside everyone who backed them. The hangings went non-stop for a day and a half. Their fall from grace left a huge power vacuum in Myrgard with a lot of properties now up for sale, which we instruct Mayer, master banker that he is, to seize with an aggressive approach. We choose to take over a security firm, as well as get our hands on some of the merchant contracts regulating trade between Myrgard and Stoneheim.

    Trakk’s mutilated family weighs heavily on Derryth's and Thais' conscience, so we decide to persuade Six-Winds-Soaring-Eagle on sharing his Heron Guard expertise to help us with a ritual that will restore them to full health. He is willing, but we are interrupted by a drunken and ornery Damh of House Brannon, the Empire’s ambassador and Eagle’s current ‘boss’ who is distraught over the loss of his son Colin during the Palace siege (the cavalry officer from before), and insists that the Heron Guard stays at his post. We don’t let it lie there and suggest that we should go for a drink in memory of the man’s fallen son. He accepts our offer and takes us to the Silver Flame, the most elite and storied social club in the city. Thais really works her magic there, gets him all drunk and mushy, we sing a song in remembrance of his boy, and he caves in. We also get two one-time passes to the club if we ever want to give a repeat performance.

    We also learn from Damh that the relationship between the Empire and the Kingdom have soured after the trial, and that the head of House Brannon have convinced Alric to recall the embassy. The Dwarven Kingdom is now on its own.

    We proceed with our plan for the healing ritual for which we buy most of the mandrake roots in the whole Kingdom thanks to Albrecht’s sponsorship, but he insists that we turn this into a PR event for him in full view of the nobility. The ritual works perfectly, but the ceremony is disrupted by House Eberhardt assassins who aim for us and the King. Berty Levy rolled a natural 20, however, and have killed them all with chipped plates and a spoon, all the while disguised as a potted fern. Don't ask.

    After being hailed as Heroes yet again, we set out of the city to attend to one of our acquisitions, the mercenary company by the name of Blackrock Securities, formerly belonging to the Eberhardts.

    Chapters 36-41:
    We arrive at their largest piece of property, Fort Blackrock, introduce ourselves to our troops and officers, discuss future plans and past history with them and get a tour of the place. When we enter the treasury vault for an inspection, instead of gold we find a party of ghols that have tunneled beneath the fort and are stealing all of our money.

    We aren’t cool with that, so we intervene, and after a battle that involves throwing bronze electrified midgets around we succeed in capturing their leader, a Pretty Gholish Tsun-Princess Nanshe, 'the Hand of Justice' (9/10 on the ghol hotness scale), but her forces escape with the loot. We interrogate the prisoner and learn that she and most of the ghol leadership are basically slaves to the Watcher (they all have tracking necklaces bonded to their flesh), and that she is here to relay that the Watcher wants to meet us. Later in our quarters Berty Levy tells us about Connacht and how he turned the slaves of the Trow against the masters, demolishing their empire from the inside, and suggests that we do the same here.

    We agree; make an alliance of convenience with Nanshe; modify our lead gloves into a collar to hide her presence from the Watcher and his beasts by dampening her necklace signal, and let her escape while we are 'pursuing' the ghols who stole our money. She mostly held up her part of the bargain and retuned our gold and half of our diamonds to us, but stole the other half since she doesn’t want the same fate that befell the Trow Empire’s rebellious slaves - a complete and utter extermination - for her people. But we’re kinda-sorta friends with her now. I think.

    She also mentions that we shouldn’t be returning to Blackrock since the whole operation was a distraction and the Thin White Mage has probably seized it already, BUT THIS IS CODEXIA, and so we turn back to get them off our property even as we are chased by the Watcher's forces. The Fort has indeed fallen into enemy hands, so we end up trapped between its defenders and whatever is following us. We rig the slope leading from the mountain the fort is built on with explosives, and offer a battle to our pursuers. When the raiders led by TWM come out of the fort to strike us in the rear, we blow up the satchel charges and watch their remains rain from the sky. The fortress is retaken, and the Thin White Mage is killed again. Too bad death does not stick to him and the Watcher’s armies are all coming down on us. Berty urges us to capitalize on our stroke of good luck and do not let the Watcher solidify his position in the mountains. We send word to any allies we can reach and bunker down in an anticipation of a siege.

    One of our officers, Rand, deserts us. We don't make a big deal out of it.

    Chapters 42-48:
    We clear out the ghol remnants in the fort, huddle up in the fortress and strategize. Bari and the Pathfinders are quick to answer our call, and Ceannard and his Arrows show up soon after that. Not a day later we catch the sight of the Watcher's main army - about 400 thralls, as many soulless, only a few ghols thanks to the rebellion Nanshe started, and about 50 mages of varying strengths, led by undead archmages of enormous power, as well as TWM, again. We spare a few moments to take in how fucked we are, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS BY NOW, and thus we get to work.

    It seems like TWM is offering us battle yet again by sending an advance party ahead of the main army and having them construct a building of unknown purpose not far from the fort. Not willing to find out what it is the hard way, we sally out of the fort and duke it out with them. This time, our gambit is Lyssa’s eagles: we put spell rings on them which could unleash the Greater Elemental Bolts on command. As the TWM goes in for the kill and aims for our leadership using a large shard of the Watcher to bind our souls, we commence Operation: Avian Assault, and the birds swoop down on the mage and destroy him with a double airstrike.

    We pick up TWM's journal and learn the name of one of the enemy archmages/generals marching their forces on our fort, a Shade by the name of Gullveig. We also learn the purpose of the pavilion TWM tried to build - it is a magical cannon of immense destructive strength aimed at our fort and designed to be powered by eight mages. We rig it to blow up in case they ever attempt to fire a shot, and withdraw to the fortress with the enemy on top of us. Unfortunately, we are ambushed by yet another Shade on the way back, and are nearly wiped out. We manage to break through, thanks to Bari's and our tracker Neel's heroics, but they are cornered by the undead forces and have to dive in the mountain tunnels to make their escape. Their fate is unknown.

    The enemy falls for our trap not long after, and the pavillion blows up with eight of their best mages trapped inside, severely crippling their offensive. However, Gullveig remains alive and now is the sole commander of the whole army. Much more careful that her deceased colleagues, she takes a patient approach as her forces sit outside our walls for a week without doing anything. She is preparing something, but we have no way of knowing what it is.

    Encouraged by our recent success with the eagles, we make efforts to modify our spells to allow animal teleportation. Sadly, the first attempt goes FUBAR, and our guinea hare ends up picking a bit of an extra while travelling through the Void between the worlds. Thankfully, it is just our acquaintance, Morpheus. He offers us a deal - if we bring him more souls for his ever-growing collection, he will give us power, information and wealth. We decline for now.

    We have Lyssa recruit some of the local critters to help with the scouting of the underground tunnels and passages, and that is how we come upon the rodent community of fort Blackrock. Apparently, the previous owners of the fort experimented on the local mice and rats and that made them extremely intelligent. There are even mice who can cast spells, being raised on a diet of the energon dust mixed with whiskey! Taking advantage of this opportunity, we enlist the help of the mice and rat clans and commence Operation: Molehill. We have our rat and hare (and even some marmot) volunteers dig up a burrow under the Gullveig's command tent and start filling it with gunpowder and any other explosives the rats can carry. Over the course of the week we have enough to blow the undead commander up to pieces before she could spring her own trap.

    The undead army routs. One of the surviving necromancers takes charge of the remnants and tries to buy his fellows some time to escape, but they ultimately fail and we utterly crush and slaughter them. As if on cue, we receive a message from King Albrecht that the dwarven army will come to the fortress to reinforce us and beat back the undead. Uh, thanks, I guess.

    Chapters 49-50:
    We once again employ our rodents, now to map out the tunnel system and discover the fate of our missing people. It is easy to find our way into the mountain with their help, whereupon we encounter some truly fucked up Lovecraftian abominations, flesh-eating slug-centipedes that communicate through song, which they use to hypnotize their prey, and steal people’s heads to attach them to the creatures' bodies. The people we have come looking for have been horribly mutilated - Bari is now no more that a head on a torso, - but they are kept alive by some strange substance that seals their wounds. There is also a mage from the Thin White Mage's entourage, an immortal child, bound to the slab together with them. The eldritch horrors apparently do not discriminate between the Watcher's followers and ours.

    The things obviously want to add our heads to their collection. We disagree, and remembering our encounter a few days before, we summon the Demon Prince Morpheus to cover our retreat in exchange for the child's soul. A three-way rock off ensues - Morpheus and his boys set up a concert stage and start blasting Dio on max volume (no, I am not joking; they fought off singing shoggoths with the Power of Rock), while we flee to the surface with our men howling a ribald song at a top of their lungs to drown out the creatures’ enthralling melodies (no, I’m not joking; we executed a literal singing retreat as our cadence). This has resulted in the most awesome battle scene to date and is truly a highlight of the CYOA. :salute:

    Back at the fort, we receive a request to return to Myrgard from Albrecht and a direct challenge for another battle from the Thin White Mage, who is waiting for us in the mountains to the south - which is quite handy, as Morpheus comes to us in a dream and promises us any favor that would be in his power to grant in exchange for the child's master.

    Chapters 51-52:
    We contact Morpheus again and establish a contract requesting his protection in the Dreaming in exchange for entertaining him with various stories from our lives, a la Scheherazade. We also ask him to contact Nanshe - who has broken the ghols from under the Watcher’s influence and has now crowned herself their Golden Empress - through a dream and propose that she ambushes the TWM’s forces in the south and helps us capture him for her share of rewards.

    Back in the waking world, the rodents have discovered a secret dungeon in our fort, and we go down to explore. Inside, we find a half-spider demon named Nephila, who is a daughter of the Spider Goddess and Morpheus. She has been trapped in the fortress since its foundation and knows its every secret. She has seen the first dwarven kings, Balor and his Fallen Lords, necromancers, ghols, mercenaries and scheming nobles as the fort changed hands through millennia. Her webs are woven into the very stones of the fort, allowing her to eavesdrop on anything that takes place within its walls.

    Not thinking too hard on it, we make a blood oath with her that we won’t work to knowingly harm one another and release her from the prison. We ask her about the origins of the Spider Goddess and learn how she came to power. Apparently, the Goddess usurped her plane from an original Dark God by the name of the Swimmer with the help of her 7 sisters, 3 princes of the Dreaming (Morpheus and his 2 brothers), and two other demons Nephila knows little about. We ask her about the dealings of House Eberhardt, and learn that they opposed House of Albrecht because they believed that the Crown and most of the Great Houses supporting it were conspiring with the Dark (oh, the irony!). There may be a traitor in the royal family serving something unnatural, and half the reinforcements the King sent to our fort are led by the Lord of a compromised House. We also learn the our deserter officer, Rand, is an agent of the Spider Goddess and her cult, and are warned not to trust him.

    We give her money and a recommendation letter to one of our friends in Muirthemne, but first we ask that she and Ceannard collapse the tunnels leading to the fort to seal the rhyming beasts under the mountain if any of them survived our musical onslaught.

    At this point the dwarven Lords sent by Albrecht finally arrive and act like total jealous dicks to us. We confirm our suspicions that at least one of them is a possible traitor and a cultist, but we still have to leave the fort in their care while we go back to the capital on the King’s summons.

    While we were gone, Mayer pursued an aggressive approach to the expansion of our financial empire, which cost him an eye and a couple of fingers over a disagreement in policies, but he came out ahead in the end. It also greatly strained our relationships with some of the Great Houses, which may partly answer why most of the Lords want us dead.

    In the meantime, Albrecht is beset by enemies on all sides and is very much concerned for the survival of his country. The south is a total mess - the dwarves lost contact with Stoneheim, and there are reports of a major clusterfuck happening down there (ghol raiders, the Watcher’s armies, Mazzarin’s return, demonic invasion, Eberhardt rebels etc all clashing together). The army was mobilized and have moved to respond to these threats, but Albrecht does not believe that they will be able to succeed. There are also rumors that Lord Eberhardt was resurrected somehow (it appears that the research on the clones Dr. Miosguinn did did not die with him), and this news have revitalized the rebellion. The Kingdom is being torn apart, and there are no people left Albrecht can trust safe for us.

    He narrowed down the potential traitors to specific Houses and some of his ambitious children, though he knows nothing for a fact. He requests our help resolving either the conspiracy in Myrgard or the crisis in the south. We take a balanced approach and will depart for Stoneheim in a few days, after we have refilled our supplies and procured some leads that would help Albrecht unfold the conspiracy in our absence.

    Chapters 53-56.
    Albrecht's children currently in the city are all from his first wife: Timo, Albrecht's second son, right hand and shadow chancellor; Wenzel, Albrecht's third son, a never-do-well, a drunk, and a crime lord to boot; and Jan, Albrecht's fourth son, a Professor in the Royal Magical Adademy. We deside to start in the reverse order.

    We meet Jan in his private study, which he had devoted to researching the cult of the Spider Goddess. He dodges our questions and does not trust us, so we use a bit of deception, pretending to be fellow scientists searching to exchange our findings with a colleague. He caves in and demonstrates a number of documents that our girls, who formerly belonged to the cult in Muirthemne, readily translate for him. However, once it comes to translating the story about the origins of the Goddess, Jan suddenly excuses himself and bolts out of the study without so much as a goodbye.

    We pursue him to the hidden temple in the deepest levels of the Academy. There, we find our dwarf in possession of a strange spearhead. Jan is convinced that we are cultists and threatens to destroy the artefact, rather then see it fall into the hands of fanatics. He is interrupted by actual cultists, led by Rand's clone, who followed us to the temple. It is a bit of a close call, but we manage to wiggle our way out of the situation by playing the middle-man between the hostile parties, and then slaughter the opposition when they give us an opening.

    Apparently, the spearhead was designed to kill anything, even a God. It may have been the same one that an ally of the Spider Goddess used to dispose of the Swimmer. It might be used to get rid of the Watcher as well, but it needs to be activated, first, and that secret is lost to time. Jan promises us to look into that.

    The story of the origins of the Spider Goddess mentions another two 'demons' Nephila spoke about: a 'mortal wanderer', whom we strongly suspect to be Faceless, and 'a wyrm of flame and shadow'. No information is available on that one, though it is likely that if Morpheus, the Goddess and Faceless are still around, so is the Wyrm.

    Chapters 57-59.
    Albrecht also has a number of bastard children, the most interesting of which is Letta, an owner of a small mercenary group 'Ten Sovereigns'. We've heard good things about her, so we think it might me worthwhile to recruit her and her team. However, when we reach the tavern the Sovereigns are supposedly staying at, we soon learn that Letta and a half of their number were kidnapped by Wenzel, who now demands a ransom for their freedom. As we have scheduled to meet the jerk on the next day anyway, we decide to kill two birds with one stone, and have Albrecht summon him to the Palace for a talk.

    The talk does not bear fruit, and as it ends, we are no closer to understanding if Wenzel is involved in treasonous activity than we were before. So we settle on tricking him into freeing Letta by obtaining a sample of his writing and forging a letter to his lieutenants holding her imprisoned. Wenzel leaves us without suspecting a thing, but he will likely be furious when he finds out.

    Unsatisfied with the results of our investigation, we order one of Wenzel's captains captured and secretly brought to us for an interrogation. Meanwhile, Letta agrees to look into one of our leads - a series of strange graffiti with the words 'Unforgotten, Unforgiven' appearing all over the capital.

    Chapters 60-61.
    We have convinced the King to hire a company of battlemages called the Seekers to be sent south with us, and we go meet their leader, the Old Man. The mages are really creepy, and they appear to serve someone, though they do not trust us enough to say who. They seem to oppose demons and Dark Gods, though, which may be a mixed blessing, considering how deep we are mired in their affairs.

    Timo is the last suspect on our list. We arrive in his office in the Silver Flame and have a little chat about the current situation in the Kingdom. Timo does not hide that he is a believer in absolutist monarchy, and that he has more than a few disageements with his father over how the Kingdom should be run, but he seems solid. He offers us to work for him instead of Albrecht, which we politely decline.

    Timo is certain there is no traitor in the family, and that it was due to Wenzel's carelessness that some of the state secrets were leaked. It remains to be seen whether it is really the case.

    We arrange for a meeting in the Dreaming with the sister of the Spider Goddess, the Silver Lady, who is well-disposed towards us, and has a desire to stop her sibling. We try to cross-reference the information we have with her, and learn that the Silver Flame was founded by her daughter, that Mayer is an agent of Morpheus, that the Wyrm may have taken an interest in us, and a few other interesting and disturbing facts.

    Morpheus tells us that Nanshe informed him she had a 'parcel' for us, and that we should hurry to claim it. We assemble our forces and prepare to head south.

    Chapter 2 Interludes (open)
    Serpent and Christine arrive to Tyrvard's tribe to find it in the middle of a power struggle, as a mysterious Prophet attempts to subjugate the northerners under his rule. The Prophet appears to be connected to the Watcher, or at least to the power behind the crows, though Serpent has no way of knowing that. As he aids the rebels in their bid for independence, he becomes their leader, and after defeating the Prophet in a decisive battle, their King. A strange honeymoon to be sure, though Christine does not seem to mind her newfound title of the Queen of the Northlands.

    Meanwhile, in Muirthemne, Gareth and Brigit are expanding their business. As a new mercenary company with no reputation to speak of they struggle to find clientele, which lead to them taking extremely risky jobs.

    Brigit still clings to the hope of making her father accept her boyfriend, and so she urges Gareth to work more closely with her organisation, a plan that soon backfires as Dagda tries to get rid of an unrequired son-in-law and get his daughter to return back home. Fortunately, our team successfully avoids the trap, and has a talk with the old man afterwards. He never tries anything again, but his relationships with Brigit remain strained at best.

    It is implied that Faceless took an interest in our company after being freed. Only time will tell what comes out of it.

    In the mage tower, Amena and Ithapi continue to raise the kids as they were once raised by Eris. The kids feel insecure in a tower that is in the middle of nowhere, so Amena, following Ithapi's advice, decides to teach them how to protect themselves. Some of the children express interest in magic, while others prefer to hone martial arts with Ithapi, and our maul, who was never taught how to read or write before, attends Amena's lessons alongside the youngest kids. For the first time in a long while the tower is bursting with energy as it stands proudly as a monument to our adventure under Muirthemne, much to the Spider Goddess' chagrin.

    After we struck a deal with Nanshe at Fort Blackrock, she raises the tribes in an open rebellion against the Watcher. To demonstrate the clans that you can oppose the archmage and live, she decimates the priesthood at the Watcher's Grand Temple and kills the Hounds sent in retaliation. Her people abandon the Watcher right as Mazzarin descends on the temple, razing it to the ground and setting the Watcher's plans back by decades.

    Nanshe becomes a leader of her people, gradually uniting more and more clans behind a single figure, and finally crowns herself the Golden Empress. But her ambitions do not stop there, as she plans to destroy the very kingdom of the dwarves that appears to lie in the heart of ghol ancestral lands.

    Serpent learns of a new threat arising in the north - a legion of the myrkridia that are being prepared to be unleashed on his kingdom. He ventures to the gathering of the clans of the Twelve Duns to warn them and make them unite behind him in the face of this new enemy, as Christine seeks aid from the druids. Both of them find a bit more than they bargained for.

    Christine returns home wielding the Power of Metal after she recruits the druids into her service, only to find that her husband has brought back with him a second wife, Kara, a daughter of the most respected Dunnish elder, as the result of his efforts to earn the loyalty of the clans. Serpent's life is about to become very interesting, as both wives compete for the first place in the household.

    And in the latest interlude so far, Nanshe clashes with the Thin White Mage in an attempt to finally get rid of her former mentor. When the dust settles, the ancient horror is captured, but only half of the Empress' forces are left standing as the remnants of TWM's army rally to free their master. She hides in the mountains as sends us a message to make haste if we want to send the mage to his prison in the Dreaming before he breaks loose.

    Chapter 2; Part 3 (open)
    Chapter 62-64.

    We spend our last day in Myrgard giving orders to our troops, chastising the fellows of the Royal Academy for breaking our artefact Spinner, interrogating the Weazel captain (and obtaining enough information to run the Weazels into the ground) and instructing Mayer to con the magical community out of Energon Cubes supply.

    We also finally decide to buy out the Black Arrows and make Ceannard a junior partner like Mayer.

    We move out of the city in the best carriage Albrecht could find, with our forces loaded in wagons pulled by four elephants. We intend to split at a first opportunity and swing to the east to meet Nanshe and fulfill our secret agreement with her.

    We take the Arrows with us and clean the remnants of the TWM's army without much difficulty. The unconscious mage is then sold off to Morpheus in exchange for the Secrets of Metal. For the moment, though, all we know is how to channel a bit of magic through our voices.

    We send Ceannard and his people back to Myrgard to serve as Albrecht's agents and rejoin our forces where we left them, only to discover that our scouts have made contact with the 'demons' who are now pursuing them back to our positions.

    Chapter 65-69.

    We have a fairly good guess that these 'demons' are in fact in Mazzarin's service and attempt to negotiate with them, much to the displeasure of the Seekers, who are hell bent on attacking them. Sure enough, it turns out that those are, in fact, fairies pursuing our men - whom they suspect to be compromised by the Watcher - at Mazzarin's behest. The Seekers do not believe them, though, and we are forced to tamper with our necklaces to try and prove that Mazzarin is alive and real, and that we have met him.

    It turned out that a message from the Great Mage was recorded in the necklaces (and that those were not necklaces, but dog collars Mazzarin commissioned from Brothers Dietfried a millennium ago or so). The message does not fully convince the Seekers, but it does make them less willing to take a risk of crossing the archmage, should we be telling the truth.

    The fairies' spokesman, the lad with hare ears by the name of Cropper, tells us that their Lord, King Finnbheara of the Cnoc Meadha, will soon be arriving with his host. We decide to wait for the person in charge to discuss with him a possibility of alliance as well as the fate of the scouts who Cropper alleges to be allied with the Watcher.

    When the King shows up, he immediately attempts to put a spell on us and compel us to do his bidding, or his bedding, as the case may be, but his plan is quickly foiled by Berty and a pair of mortars loaded with salt. Turns out Berty has a fair bit of fey blood in him and is well wersed in fairy tricks. We still decide to conduct negotiations in good faith, and the King, or Finn, as we started calling him, quickly takes a liking to us. We learn that the Watcher's army is led by an undead general who is referred to as 'The Beast', and that it numbers approximately five thousands of bodies. They are a considerable threat, and so we strike an alliance between our forces in the south and exchange gifts as proof of our mutual goodwill: the finest carriage in the Dwarven Kingdom for a pack of fairy hounds.

    Finn conducts a full scan of our forces and tells us that the Seekers are angry with us for conspiring with something they deem 'unnatural', and thus outfits their whole company with magical collars which are set to detonate if either tempered with, or on command by the owner of the controlling gem. He gives the controlling gem to us to do with it as we see fit.

    Meanwhile it appears that our fumbling with the necklaces has inadvertently summoned Mazzarin straight from Muirthemne, where he was appointed the Governor of the East by Emperor Alric. The mage is still mad at us for our behavior back in the desert, as well as for setting Faceless free, but it is not like he can do anything about it. He demands Nine again, but we have given her to Berty for safekeeping, and anyone who wishes to harm the man would have to step over Finn's dead body due to some obscure oath between those two. Seeing how Finn was drafted into Mazzarin's service to do things the mage is too lazy to do himself, that does not seem like an option. :lol:

    Naturally, we take advantage of this sudden stroke of good luck, and put our charms to work trying to rope the Great Mage into helping the kingdom. He resists our attempts valiantly, but is ultimately helpless before our puppy-eyed stares. Derryth starts calling him 'dad' - partially as a joke, and partially in retaliation to him calling us 'children'. She would soon regret it.

    We come into contact with the Royal army on the very next day, split and beset from two different directions by ghols and spider demons alike. Mazzarin goes alone to intercept the demon cultist forces and with just three spells he single-handedly butchers their whole army, creating what would later become known as the Sea of Glass. On our end, we dispatch the ghols without casualties and go meet the high command of the army.

    Mazzarin delegates all of the boring work to his 'daughters', steals all credit for our past and future actions, and goes to sleep, leaving us to deal with the whole mess. Hopefully, it will be worth it in the end.

    To be continued.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
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  9. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    Damn! A big one. But thanks you, this will help me!
     
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  10. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    Imagine that it was told like this. :lol:
     
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  11. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    We did not get to the musical part yet.

    But we are slowly getting there. Just 40 more updates to go. :negative:
     
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  12. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    Was thinking mostly about voice tone.

    Karwelas you might wish to vote. Dunno when Fangshi will lock votes, still if i recall right he was talking about today. (and Nevill updated summary of 2nd chapter)
     
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  13. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I am nowhere near finished. The 2nd chapter is massive and until it runs its course completely, there is no telling which events are important and which are not. I will continue to update the summary bit by bit.

    The current tally looks like this:
    Tally (open)
    Jester:
    1)E
    2) C1 F10 G6 P Q R4 O2 S
    3) F
    4) Lyssa, Berty, Girls, Legion, Mortars, Warriors, Grenadiers
    5) Charioteers
    6) F
    7) A
    8) See this post
    9) A
    10) A50
    11) Aiii
    12) See this post
    13) C

    Nevill:
    1) Evi
    2) C1 F10 G6 P Q R4 O2 S
    3) F
    4) Lyssa, Berty, Girls, Legion, Mortars, Grenadiers?
    5) Arrows
    6) F
    7) B
    8) See this post
    9) A
    10) A50
    11) Aii>B
    12) -
    13) C

    Azira:
    1) Eiii>Evi
    2) C2 D2 P Q R4
    3) F
    4) Lyssa, Berty, Girls, half of the Arrows
    5) Arrows
    6) F
    7) B
    8) Half of the Arrows to stay in the city and train Greys
    9) A
    10) A50
    11) Aiii
    12) Masking enchantment armor
    13) C

    Kz3r0:
    1) Evi
    2) C1 F10 G6 P Q R4 O2 S
    3) nothing
    4) Lyssa, Berty, Girls, Legion, Mortars, Warriors, Grenadiers
    5) Arrows
    6) F
    7) B
    8) - (?)
    9) A
    10) A50
    11) Aiii
    12) -
    13) C

    Grimgravy:
    1)Evi>Eiii
    2) A1? B1? C1 P R2? plus armor / shields to replace the stuff we lost. I'd prefer to get stuff (leathers for the mages maybe chain for the girls) from the royal armorers.
    3)F
    4) -
    5) Arrows
    6) F>A
    7) B
    8) -
    9) A
    10) B
    11) Aii
    12) See 2. Comparable leathers for D & T. Leather for chain plus a shield for the girls. All with as much enchant as we can get but still reach us before we meet Nanshe.
    13) B

    archaen:
    1) Evi
    2) -
    3) nothing
    4) Lyssa, Girls, Legion, Mortars
    5) Arrows
    6) G
    7) A
    8) Leave Berty in charge of our merc operations, Arrows return to the city
    9) A
    10) A50
    11) B
    12) -
    13) C

    Baltika9:
    1 Evi
    2 -
    3 F
    4 +1 for Grenadiers
    5 Arrows
    6 F
    7 A
    8 The Nevill-Jester Strategy
    9 A
    10 A (whichever option is winning)
    11 Aiii
    12 -
    13 C

    Overall:

    1) What to do with the Arrows:
    Eiii - 1 - Buy Arrows with our money
    Evi - 5 - Buy Arrows with the first payment made by Albrecht, keep them semi-independent.
    E - 1 - Just buy them, no matter how

    2) What to buy:
    A - 1/5 (1 item) - Roots
    B - 1/5 (1 item) - Energon Crystal
    C - 5/5 (1 item - 4, 2 items - 1) - Whiskey
    D - 2/5 (2 items - 1, 4 items - 1) - Regular leather Armor
    F - 3/5 (10 items) - Bow arrows for Uttu
    G - 3/5 (6 items) - Crossbow bolts for Thais
    P - 5/5 - Entangled Dice
    Q - 4/5 - Enchanted Oil
    R - 5/5 (4 items - 3, 2 items - 1) - Vomit Disks
    O - 3/5 (2 items) - Fire Resistant Armor
    S - 3/5 - Fire Resistant Shield


    3) Who to hire:
    F - 5/7 - Elephants

    4) Who to bring south:
    Lyssa - 5/5
    Berty - 4/5
    Girls - 5/5

    Arrows - 1/6
    Legion - 4/5
    Mortars - 4/5

    Warriors - 2/5
    Grenadiers - 4/6? - I vote for it as long as they do not compromise our mobility.

    5) Who goes to Nanshe:
    Arrows - 6/7
    Charioteers - 1/7

    6) Maid Spy:
    F - 6 - Spy on her, leak information through her, and maybe turn her into a double agent.
    G - 1 - Try to outright recruit her to become a double agent

    7) Melete:
    A - 3 - Take her with us
    B - 4 - Leave her at the Palace

    8) Orders:
    Varied. Mine and Jester's are almost identical, so something along those lines?

    9) Escort:
    A - 7/7 - Charioteers

    10) Fata Morgana:
    A50 - 6 - Do a proper con
    B - 1 - Don't bother

    11) What to do with the Weasel Captain:
    Aii - 2 - Interrogate her for 3 hours
    Aiii - 4 - Interrogate her for 7 hours
    B - 1 - Leave her alone, time is of the essense

    12) No idea. :D

    13) Tutors:
    B - 1 - Hire basic tutors
    C - 6 - Hire advanced tutors

    I am pretty happy with almost everything, though I still think we are choosing the wrong time and place for our self-improvement.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
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  14. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    I will join after next update, Jester. I must end read some things and I don't want to join in middle of voting.
     
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  15. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    As you wish Karwelas.

    Ok Nevill floping my vote to buying elephants. I don't wish for this to prevent update. You might want to vote for 12 looks like there are either 3 options 1 vote each, or does thing Azira and I wish to do are close enough.
     
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  16. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Yeah, I want to have it closed some time today. I have a few errands to run so I can leave it open for a few more hours though.

    The general timeline I am looking at here is:

    I will close it sometime within the next eight hours when I get back. I will then post Nanshe's Interlude and the update itself will come some time tomorrow in all likelihood.

    Looking at my tally it seems like everything is resolved now except for the question of the custom armour. From what I can tell most people are interested in playing with signal alteration so if there is no consensus that is the general direction the dwarves will work towards. If you simply tell them you want that effect in broad terms then they will likely break into 'teams' and take a 'shotgun' approach, throwing everything at the problem and seeing what works.

    If you can reach some sort of consensus before I close the vote then we can go with that and you can tell them to focus on a specific method of signal manipulation.
     
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  17. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Well, just tell me what you would prefer. I really am indifferent about this option, as we are not likely to see any benefits from it for a long time.

    Armor does not excite me, things like rifles, dice machines, rat airplanes and other constructs of Melete's insane mind do.

    Which reminds me why I didn't like the modular idea - the Fellows would not be able to do anything useful with it by themselves, and I would prefer Mel on other projects.

    Still, if people are interested in masking enchantments, I suppose I can go for something like a 'magic radiation' grenade, something strong enough to scramble the signals in the area. But why does it have to be armor? It can be just that - a grenade.

    My money is on the power armor plate. ;)

    Air delivery? I would not mind seeing an air balloon down south.

    By the way, how big or heavy are the energon cubes?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
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  18. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Well, Morpheus knows a guy that can get you these:

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]

    Only down side is you might not be able to take them off again... :lol:


    That might be possible. Though you would need to send word of where exactly you are and you would have to remain there for pick up.

    They fit comfortably in the ladies' hands so something like a smaller sized Rubik's cube:

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    The crystals are quite a bit larger though you can hold them with one hand without too much difficulty.
     
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  19. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Do you think it is possible to miss the whole dwarven army?

    I assumed that in 5 days it takes for Fata Morgana to produce a noticeable effect, we will be with them, if our timeline is anything to go by.
     
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  20. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Jan 9, 2014
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    Should be easy enough to spot you (provided you are with the army) from the air but it would help the balloon crew to know where you are so they don't have to search and maybe find something... else.
     
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  21. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I assumed the army is marching straight to Stoneheim, though. Shouldn't it be located somewhere on a direct line connecting the two capitals?
     
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  22. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Jan 9, 2014
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    Assuming it has not been pushed or pulled off course for some reason it should be somewhere in a straight line between Myrgard and Stoneheim, that is correct.
     
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  23. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Alright, so if we leave one of our eagles with the King, would it help his people find us?

    We might want to do this anyway to have means of communicating with the capital in case they find out something important they would need to tell us. I will add it to the list of orders for our troops.
     
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  24. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
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    In my option yes. Grimgravy wish to send armours to academy to enchant it and get them before we reach our destination.
    Depends what armour. I think Ironman might have things you would find interesting.

    Well i dont expect perfection, still Fangshi said that Academy have rest of people on Mel level available so i wouldnt underestimate them. Mostly i wish them to do basic research and number crunching on theory of magic signals. Reduction is but a first step. Useful still. When we find out how to hide it completely it will get interesting. Non traceable magic items for instance.

    Actually its mostly idea that reducing wizard emission rate to enchantment level will help them hide in crowd of signals while being able to trace enemy mages and catch them offguard. Granades will mask enemy presence to. There was idea that later we might try to harness passive emission to make wearable personal battery and full signal masking, but giving people at accademy that idea is be bad so we would depend on Mel to end research. Guess we dont have to go with armour as long as we dont get to point of full reduction. Im mostly interested in research and possible application of said magitech.
     
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  25. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    What do you call Ironman?

    That is what I am willing to do, yes, but I thought the point was to make the armor so that all of the hours we spent on shopping weren't wasted.

    Then there is the matter of any new research diverting resourses from existing projects (batman cloak and the spearhead).
     
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