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Myth: A New Age CYOA

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

  1. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,493
    Point always is to use our resources as well as we can. We now have some armour. Maximum magic/physical resistance for armour was 5% for current tech? My point of view is that we dont get anything better than what 7-10% max? if we are lucky in medium time. Mode armour on other hand is try at evading damage altogether, by keeping low profile. Less likely to be focused, after all always go for a mage is basic rule of battle here. Its help to mask other possible applications of technology. People will more likely concentrate on what armour can do and what we wish to achieve with it, instead on what can we do with theoretical knowledge we gain from developing this project. Might work even better taking into consideration we have studied rather illusive form of magic. Personally I dont care to much about loosing time on measurements now. At first i planed to buy basic normal armours and later update on enchanted ones, but now it wont be to much of increase i guess.


    Well i dont know if batman cloak project still exist it was heavly based on spinner. And isnt Jan doing research with spearhead? I refuse letting anyone else near that deadly thing.

    And Ironman as in Marvel comics. There are things making you living tank.
     
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  2. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    621
    I forgot about our bodygaurds. I would want them with us. New baby is draining my soul battery and consequently my rpg cunning.
     
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  3. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    9,501
    First off, a big thank you to Nevill for distilling my chapter summary which I originally wrote for another guy There is a stylized, Total War-style summary in the works, but it will be out in June-July at best. Maybe even August.
    Since I honestly skipped the majority of the DISCUSS!, I'll just vote for what I want to see, selfish asshole that I am.
    1 Evi
    2 -
    3 Elephants
    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
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
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  4. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    All right, I will add the grenadiers to my vote with a caveat that we take as many as we can without sacrificing our mobility. Don't know how many that would be, though.

    Otherwise I don't need them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
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  5. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    9,501
    I agree with that.
     
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  6. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    So it looks like everyone has voted by now. I will close the votes and start tabulating the results.

    This might take me a few minutes so I will update this post with the results as soon as I am done.

    I will post them in a new post so they don't get buried.

    In the meantime how about something to read?

    Now that you have decided to go to Nanshe I can tell you the outcome of the battle between her and TWM. I will post it in a few minutes after I have it formatted.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
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  7. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,175
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    :yeah:
     
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  8. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Interlude 6: The Price of Freedom

    In the heart of the mountains south of Myrgard an army waits. An army of mages, horrors, and monstrosities dragged down through the ages and concentrated here. It has been brought together for one purpose and one purpose only. To avenge his failure, to prove to his 'master' that he has not lost his skill and potency. He will meet them here and will crush them here. He will break them and make them his and then he will march them before the Old Goat and show him the proof of his ability.

    This army will win.

    It is unstoppable.

    It is wholly and completely his.

    He stirs in his tent, a thing of white silk, canvas and gold. It once belonged to... Who was it again? Ah, yes, the Consul of Quartz. A beautiful city when it stood but there are some slights that simply can not be tolerated.

    A single, startling, blue eye opens and greets the day. It has been three days and he is getting restless. How long does it take to marshal an army? How long does it take to draw together their forces? Admittedly, the dwarves do have tiny little legs...

    He smiles, his grin as sharp as any blade, those little legs will not serve them well in retreat. When his slaves lash the flesh from their bones and his hounds track them through the caves and hills.

    He rises and glides along the floor of his tent. He feels alive again. He expects so very much from them but he knows those three delightful darlings will not disappoint.

    They will be magnificent as always but this time they will fall.

    He spins, and twists and claps as he dresses, humming along with an ancient spell in preparation of the battle to come.

    Gracefully now he drops into a throne of bone and brass, a 'gift' from the Hetman of Briar. A bribe to spare his life and the minds of his sons. A nice chair but not nearly enough to buy his mercy.

    He snatches a coral comb from his desk and runs his thumb along its edge. It is his favourite, taken from the warm, soft hands of the Empress Dowager of the Blue Mountains moments before he fulfilled her purpose and claimed her soul.

    He runs the comb through his hair and sighs as he takes in his glorious image in his mirror.

    The delay has been almost unbearable.

    Oh how he wishes they would race toward him, crash against him, fall before him.

    He will have them.

    Those pretty things.

    He will strip them of all they have, all they want, all they are. He will take from them their foolish hopes, their oh-so-banal dreams, their fears, their regrets, their loyalties.

    He will take everything.

    Then, he will give them something new to hope for, something new to dream of.

    Him.

    And they will love him for it.

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

    At least the days are beginning to cool and from the peaks of the mountains the odd refreshing breeze pours down to momentarily revive her.

    Not much farther now.

    She hopes she ready for this.

    That Thin White Monstrosity has always been powerful and she doubts that he will be holding anything back now. It worries her a little. Four hundred braves, the best she could find, and a half dozen of her priests sent to battle against all that, that horror can muster. She would be lying if she said the odds were stacked in her favour.

    She glances behind her at the chieftains marching with their men: Ninhursag and her sons, clad in iron, heavy shields bound to their arms and sharp spears in hand; old Nammu with a fur cap on her head and a sack over her shoulder, her renowned slingers similarly attired; Irkalla, sword at his side and seventy fearless soldiers at his back; and finally wise Enki, at her side with the other priests of the Gods.

    The old priest nods to her when he catches her looking, she smiles slightly in response and turns away. She is not the type to pray but in a moment like this she is sorely tempted.

    She breaths in. She breathes out. In. Out. Again and again. It calms her. She focuses on the beating of her heart as it slows. She focuses on her feet as they move to the beat of her column's march

    She smirks, no sense worrying about it anymore as she can no longer turn back. Any weakness and the tribes that have been drawn to her will disperse again. Then she will be left with nothing but her own clan and that will mean eventual death. At the hands of the Watcher, or his creature, or the dwarves, or even her own people.

    She must fight and she must win to prove that she deserves the title she has claimed. She must pile victory upon victory and what better way to start than by crushing the 'man' responsible for the enslavement of hundreds of her people. It is a gesture that will mean little to the eastern and southern tribes but it is one that will elevate her status in the eyes of the remaining independent northern tribes.

    In a lead lined box to her right sits the gift Derryth, Thaïs and Lyssa have given her. It will serve as bait, the magical signal that will draw in the creature and allow her to make her move.

    If he does not fall for it then she will have to break his army and capture him herself.

    A scout comes racing down the path toward her and she orders the army to halt.

    He stops, breathing heavily, as her bodyguards form a solid wall around her and succeed in completely blocking her sight.

    She rolls her eyes, these soldiers, these 'Immortals', were Enki's idea. He insisted that she travel with an escort of fifty braves, hand picked warriors from the tribes most loyal to their cause. A sound idea she must admit but they also have an annoying tendency of being overprotective toward their Empress.

    She slips her fingers between the plate clad shoulders of the two nearest immortals and pushes her way through their barrier, "Out of my way damn it! If a single messenger was enough to fell me I would not be worth protecting in the first place!"

    The scout begins to bow as she nears but she waves away such formalities and gestures for him to speak. Behind her she can hear the Immortals advancing to once more envelop her.

    The scout takes a few unsteady breaths and points up the trail repeatedly, "Five minutes, straight ahead."

    Alright then, time to prove her worth and strike a blow for her people. She sends out her runners to her captains as Enki negotiates his way through her layers of security.

    "Any news, my Empress?" the old ghôl enquires, bowing deeply.

    She grunts in response, "It seems we have found the Watcher's creature."

    She catches the hint of a frown on the priest's face, "How close."

    "Five minutes march directly in front of us," she answers, "He will probably offer battle in the next valley, seize the high ground and make us attack him."

    Her only loyal advisor nods, "Anything you want me to do?"

    She grins, "Two things. First, send one of your people to get Cass and a couple of the slaves. Second, I want you to tell me about your clan and the stone you were tasked to guard, Crom Cruach."

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

    He shifts on his throne as his servants give their report. Charming Cerulean, plucked from the soft, warm waters of the endless sea and the dower Empress Dowager, far from her mountain home, they are amongst his best remaining scouts and what they tell him is difficult to accept at first.

    Ghôls?

    He turns to Orchid and Indigo to see how they react to the news, the brothers stare on impassively. He sighs, it is to be expected. They were never much for conversation those two and entering his service has done little to improve their disposition.

    He leans back in his chair and shifts to his right, resting his head on a single perfect hand.

    Not dwarves, but ghôls?

    He scans his 'court', mages in every hue, sporting furs, feathers, silks and leathers, most stare at their feet waiting for instruction. None of them are eager to express an idea. Really it is his own fault, most of his servants have not seen use in decades and if he does not regularly exercise them he should not expect them to be terribly active.

    With no one to turn to or talk to he once more falls back on his own great intellect and keen intuition. Now, this information is certainly a surprise, but he has no reason to doubt it. Cerulean and the Empress Dowager have always been reliable when it comes to collecting information. Today he will be fighting a different enemy than intended but it should not substantially change his plans. He has seen how ghôls fight and he is not impressed. What has fired his imagination though is the second revelation his scouts have delivered. That his quarry is with them, Mazzarin's apprentices are embedded in the ghôlish host.

    There is only one way to respond to this, with laughter.

    He can barely contain his joy at this particular turn of events. It is all the proof he could ever need. Mazzarin, through his apprentices, is the mastermind behind the ghôlish uprising! All of his enemies are in league and they have come together to offer him one final battle! He will drag all four of them before the Watcher and he will force them to recount in detail their master's plans! Victory here will restore him and the others: the slave, the puppet, the beast, the apprentice and even his dear 'wife', they will respect and fear him once more!

    So he laughs as he straps his armour on, he cackles as snatches up his blade, and striding from his tent he gives the order to offer battle.

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

    The Empress of the Ghôls surveys her forces. She has done well she thinks.

    The enemy is drawn up across from them, and the mages have seized the high, uneven terrain at the far end of the valley. There must be at least seventy of them, all mages or similarly powerful horrors drawn here by the will of that thing. Their position is secure and as soon as she tries to charge them they will pour fire, lightning and the gods know what else down on her army.

    Under normal conditions when a ghôlish warband encounters an enemy there is only one decision a leader will make. They will either charge or withdraw based on the perceived strength of their opponent. That is the sole concern of the warchief and beyond this single choice they have very little real authority. Each brave fights individually, utilizing all of the cunning, brutality and malice they can muster, victory or defeat is then determined by the skill and ingenuity of each clan's combatants. Against this enemy though, an organized opponent and a mage, such traditions are suicide and so the Empress has taken it upon herself to try something different, hopefully it will catch the Watcher's creature by surprise. Hopefully it will actually work.

    She will make the enemy army abandon its position and charge her.

    When it does Nammu and the slingers, deployed to the front, will do their best to thin out the enemies ranks at range then, contrary to tradition, they will fall back through her own lines. Behind them Ninhursag and her brave sons stand with a gap between each warrior, if all goes according to plan then Nammu's warriors will be able to flee through the gaps as Ninhursag's soldiers step forward, close ranks and meet the enemy. She has practiced this manoeuvre with them hundreds of times but this will be its true trial, its first test in battle. Ninhursag's infantry will do their best to hold the enemy in place while Irkalla, on the right flank will sweep around the enemy formation and strike at their softer warriors. The Empress herself will hold the left with her clan's warriors and her Immortals, right across from the enemies hounds. Already they bay for blood, slithering, clawing, hopping in place. The fighting will be worst here and she needs her best to keep the creatures from breaking through.

    At the rear of her army, with what little reserves she can spare will sit 'Derryth', 'Thaïs', and 'Lyssa' 'commanding' the army and giving the whole affair an air of plausibility.

    It should be enough to surprise and capture the Thin White Mage. All she has to do is get him to attack and Enki will handle that.

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

    Why aren't they charging?

    It is quite the little puzzle isn't it?

    Never before has he encountered a ghôlish warband that has behaved with so much restraint. Even as his patience wanes his respect for his darlings grows to new heights. He wonders what sorts of threats, what kinds of magic, they have used to hold these savage clansmen in place. When he crushes this rabble and captures them he will have to ask.

    Well, he has time. He is no rush as the Old Goat has directed his attention elsewhere. The Watcher's gaze is fixed on the south and his 'successful' lieutenants, his loyal little beasts, as they work their way through the defenders of the Kingdom. He has been left out of these plans, his 'manifold failures' weighing him down. He must admit he has had a streak of unfortunate luck lately but all of that is set to change today. Today he does not have the undead to slow him down! He does not have the incompetence of the Shades to force his hand! Today he has his own people, all of them or those that could be spared, and he will win there can be no other outcome! His fifty mages are arrayed in groups of five along a loose line among the hills at this end of the valley. They are outnumbered by the savages but that means little to a mage. Eventually those animals will charge and when they do his followers will cut them down with magic of every variety imaginable! Why, if they are not enough then his hounds will-

    What's that now?

    What is happening at the front of the enemy's formation?

    What are those strange little beasts in their bizarre robes doing?

    The wind begins to build, howling through the peaks above them.

    It screams down at them and the pressure builds as if someone or something is intently scrutinizing him and his servants.

    He raises his gaze and leans forward on his ivory staff as he teeters on his casting dais and his entourage mimic his behaviour, all eight of them, looking into the darkening sky.

    He turns back to face the enemy as an ancient ghôl steps from the ranks, smeared in ash and blood, he raises his gnarled, thick staff above his head and his fellows mimic the action. Their chanting builds and as it strikes his ear it takes on new forms, it is the gurgling of a drowning man, it is the screaming of a burning one, it is the flailing, stumbling, faltering shriek of the damned and as their voices rise he realizes finally, fatally, what they are doing. They have no intention to attack, or rather this is their attack...

    The wailing builds and from the swirling maelstrom above him a sickly green and yellow mist begins to billow. The lead ghôlish mage points his staff right at the Thin White Mage and his followers mimic the ghôl's movements.

    The cloud begins to shift on a foul breeze. Drifting down toward his lines with a certain enthusiasm, a certain malice, that suggests to the Thin White Mage that perhaps it is alive.

    For a moment he is at a loss. He had not expected this, whatever it is, and he is not sure how to counter it. He has heard of elemental spells with similar properties and so he orders his elementalists to try and blow the cloud away and toward the ghôls.

    The wind mages push with all they can muster and the cloud... It roars at them... In indignation, the spell roars! It bellows its contempt for them, a single deafening, smothering noise that blasts his army and causes his hounds to throw up a chorus of bleating, hissing, growing pleas.

    This spell is not mere elemental magic.

    It begins to snatch at the forward elements of his force. To his right the mist coils out ethereal tendrils and envelops a dozen of his mages. They do not flee, he has not told them to. They do not scream as the blood begins to leak from their eyes and their mouths. They do not move as their skins and muscles are scrubbed from their bones and their robes dissolve at their feet. In less then half a minute they are little more than bones and after a full minute they are nothing at all.

    He hears howling, squawking, barking to his right. One of his hounds is snatched up by the spell and it spins through the air as it is drawn into the cloud. The rest of his hounds begin to back away, their tails, fins, wings folded up in caution and fear.

    A common army would have fled by now, thankfully none of his servants are common. They will hold their ground as long as he tell them to. In light of this new information he turns the problem over in his mind as the main body of the cloud creeps closer, building speed as it senses the lungs and minds of even more fresh prey.

    Of course!

    It hits him and damn near sends him fleeing into the mountains. This spell is a Dream. Not just any Dream either, it is the Rotting Mist Dream that the Dark Gods tore from the corpse of Wyrd and later presented to their favourite children.

    He believed it had been destroyed by the dwarves during the Great War but perhaps it survived in a form, passed from one generation of ghôlish priests to another, or perhaps one of those craven beasts that pick at the edge of this world decided to help their mortal fellows by returning this gift to them.

    At any rate this knowledge makes things both easier and more difficult. He can not stop this spell, he can not counter it with anything he possesses and it will not stop until the ritual is ended or his army has dissolved entirely. However it should be easy enough to end the ritual. He simply has to kill or disrupt the mages casting it which will mean attacking...

    He grins, he did want a challenge after all and they are not disappointing him. If they want him to attack then that is what he will do and he knows just how to begin...

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

    Enki, the Empress' First Priest is quite proud of his work.

    There are certain days that live in the memory and that refuse to die:

    The day he met his wife.

    The day he became high priest of his clan.

    The day his son was born.

    The day he lost them both, son and wife, in the defence of Myrgard.

    The day that the damned dwarves destroyed Crom Cruach.

    The night the Golden Ones visited him and promised vengeance.

    The evening that he finally mastered their gift, the Rotting Mist Dream.

    To those he can now add the day that he used that gift to fell the first of their foes. His apprentices pour all they have into the spell. Their focus is absolute, just as he taught them, though his begins to drift. He takes in the scene, the silent destruction of the enemy and he is struck by how casually the enemy's slaves embrace their fate. He shivers, considering the idea that he might have been among them given time. He raises his gaze and scans the cloud above them, the devouring, putrefying mist that they have summoned to snuff out the Watcher's slaves. He mutters a prayer to his gods and once more seizes control of the spell, preparing to launch another offensive.

    He feels a hand on his shoulder.

    Someone is shouting but he can not spare them a moment.

    He is struck, knocked to the ground and his connection to the spell breaks.

    He shakes his head and looks up. Above him stands his own bodyguard. The ghôl draws his blade and raises it to strike. Enki concentrates and unleashes gouts of poison from his palm, they splatter the bodyguard and his eyes bulge though he makes no sound. The Guard swings the blade down and it bites into Enki's arm, cutting flesh and shattering bone. The priest's arm comes off and the Guard raises his blade again.

    This is it. Was it treachery? Was this guard bought? Who betrayed him?

    The blow should come any second. He closes his eyes and prays.

    He hears a thud and opens his eyes just a crack. The Bodyguard lies dead beside him, a javelin protruding from his back.

    Enki tries to rise, the blood pouring from his wound. He makes it to his knees before falling back into the dirt. Around him his soldiers are tearing each other apart. What has come over them?

    He coughs, why can't his people achieve anything of lasting worth?

    Above his the vultures circle and the Dream dies, along with his own dreams, revealing the sun. He watches the birds circling, their hooked beaks, their sharp talons, their rotting wings... Rotting wings?

    He squints, trying to focus on them. They are not living, are they? Yes, they are corpses and buried into each of them are shards of something dark. Black stone in their chests, in their necks, bound to their feet.

    He manages a weak laugh. The Watcher's stones. The birds are being used to project the Watcher's influence over the whole host from the air. The entire army must be tearing itself apart at this very moment...

    They never did stand a chance did they?

    The Old Priest closes his eyes and admits defeat.

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

    He hums as he strolls through the slaughter, an escort of twenty mages shielding him from all harm. Then his lips part and he sings, magnificently, joyously he sings and here amongst the carnage he finds the breath of life once more:

    Look out my window and what do I see

    A crack in the sky and a hand reaching down to me

    All the nightmares came today

    And it looks as though they're here to stay

    The horrors that race ahead of him and drag behind him chortle at his words. Six of his escorts peal off to handle the charge of a few dozen of the savages. The beasts are cut down without remorse or hesitation. He pushes on, merrily, gracefully:

    What are we coming to

    No room for me, no fun for you

    I think about a world to come

    Where the books were found by the Golden Ones

    Written in pain, written in awe

    By a puzzled man who questioned

    What we were here for

    All the strangers came today

    And it looks as though they're here to stay

    With wave of his staff he pitches thirty warriors out of his path. The magic pouring from his artefacts lights the battlefield as he marches along. Ten of his followers break off to handle a massed block of slingers honing in on his command group.

    He is almost there now, having cut right through the heart of the dissolving enemy formation. His birds circle lazily overhead. Such creative minds those ladies have and what a wonderful inspiration they have been to him but they were simply outdone by a superior foe. His centuries of experience matched against their mere decades of training, it was a foregone conclusion really.

    He can see the leader of these creatures attempting to fight her way to him, poor, poor Nanshe. To rebel against her true master only to follow frauds, she will get all she deserves. Her golden armour catches the rays of the sun, it glimmers and those around her fight all the harder. Her bodyguards also seem to be immune to the influence of his eagles. He wonders why that is exactly.

    Ah, no matter, it is of little concern now. He orders all but three of his escort to intercept the 'Empress' and her soldiers. They quickly throw their magic behind the efforts of his hounds and to his immense satisfaction she falls and her soldiers begin to waver.

    Hopefully she is not dead. A firebrand like her would make an excellent addition to his collection and he would like to acquire the 'full set' of all four ladies.

    He stalks into the enemy's camp and flays the first three beasts he encounters. Few oppose him after that and confidently he steps forward, weaving, dancing, through the wagons toward the command tent.

    He opens the flap and orders his followers to bring the ladies out alive.

    Cerulean is the first in, followed by the Empress Dowager and the King of Coins. He hears screams, he hears crashing, then the Dowager's head rolls back out of the tent.

    He smiles, these three will be worth everything he has been through, everything.

    Sweetly he sings as he enters:

    Oh you Pretty Things

    Don't you know you're driving your Mamas and Papas insane

    Oh you Pretty Things

    Don't you know you're driving your Mamas an-

    The iron fist that connects with the side of his head would have killed a lesser man.

    As it is it merely stung a great deal.

    He drops and rolls. Leaping back to his feet he readies his spells and frees his sword from its sheath.

    The tent is completely dark, the thick canvas blotting out any light.

    He mutters an incantation and fills the marquee with light.

    They stand together on the far side of the room, covered in thick robes with hoods drawn over their faces. When they notice him they cower together against the far wall. He finds that odd for a moment. They have never cowered before him in any of their past meetings. Perhaps they know that nothing will stop him now? Perhaps they are cowards at their core, the same as all the others? A pang of disappointment rings out within him but he has more pressing matters to attend to. Between them and him is a single ghôl clad in the same black plate as the traitor's bodyguards though it wears a hood instead of a helmet and is missing its right guantlet.

    It must have had to dress in a hurry he thinks with a slight chuckle.

    It is the one last, tiny obstacle between him and his goal and he will be delayed no longer!

    He lashes out with his magic but is met with a curious spell. A black, stone labyrinth rises in his mind, a structure baking below a trio of merciless purple suns. Did they cast this? It does not matter. He presses forward and the labyrinth resists him. He shifts his thoughts but the labyrinth twists with him, enveloping him, one moment it is a sphere, then a pyramid, then a cube. He strains against the spell. He will overcome this trap, he will beat their last gambit, then he will slay their final guardian and he will drag them into the light. He will have them, so close now he pours everything into tearing this spell to pieces.

    He hones his mind into a single point, a cutting edge that can rend their defences and he throws everything in one, mighty push. The labyrinth begins to fracture, it begins to crumble and it opens just enough for him to once more see the sky. Those three suns hanging above him, he makes them his target and he pushes. He grasps two of them firmly and with a single, monumental effort he drags them toward one another.

    He hears a scream, but not the screams he was expecting. He knows that voice, he has taught that voice and for a moment it throws him.

    Nanshe?

    He asks instinctively.

    Empress.

    The answer hits him as a fourth sun rises from beyond the horizon.

    Everything burns.

    He screams.

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

    It was a close thing, far closer than she had intended but she won. They lost half the army and a good third of her Immortals but it could have been far worse. They could have lost everything.

    As it is they have simply had to retreat further into the mountains, They have found a cave system and it seems to be clear of anything more dangerous than a few bandits and the odd wild beast. Nothing that can threaten an army of two hundred even one as battered as hers is.

    The Watcher's creature is bound and drugged with enough nepenthe to sedate a man twice his size. She will not take any chances. As soon as he lost consciousness his birds began to fall from the sky and without their influence the army was able to rally and drive off the remnants of the Thin White Bastard's slaves but they are still out there, she can feel it, and the Hounds are with them.

    She ordered her followers to gather as many of the Watcher's shards as they could find and she has had them encased in lead, taken from the helmets and armour of her Immortals. She grunts, lead in the armour, it was an inspired idea and that little trick probably saved her army today. However, she knows that the fighting is far from over. It will only be a matter of time until his remaining servants make an attempt to free their master. They all would have heard his last cry before he fell and they will be compelled to make the attempt one way or another.

    Outside, in the distance, something howls, caws, mewls into the coming night. Hopefully her people managed to find all of the Watcher's shards present at the battle. If they left even a single one then the remnants of the enemy force will be able to contact the Watcher directly and ask for reinforcements.

    He could send anything and there are horrors to the south that she would not want to stare down without a fresh army and a few dozen battle mages.

    She shudders slightly and shifts at her writing desks.

    Something stirs in the corner of her eye, in the shadow by the entrance to her 'room'.

    Her mind screams assassin and she carefully reaches into one of the drawers of her desk, fumbling for an energon cube.

    Casually she asks "That you Cass?" it is not even a serious question really, more just a way to fill the silence and discern who might be behind her. Odds are quite good that it is her clerk, the human and her child have hardly left her side since the battle. Partly out of concern and partly for their own safety.

    She should think of a way to reward Cassandra, she played an adequate 'Derryth' even if she lacks much of the fire that makes the mage so compelling.

    "No," an aged voice answers, "I am not your human girl," the disapproving tone the voice takes at the mention of Cass confirms its identity for the young Empress.

    "So you lived you old bastard?" she turns half way in her chair to get a good look at her First Priest.

    "An empress should not swear, it is not dignified," Enki grunts and scratches at his stump absentmindedly, "But yes, by the will of the Gods I did."

    "Fuck dignity Enki," she spits on the dirt floor, "I am living in a cave with an army that has been severely mauled. I will speak as I like."

    He bows as much as he is able to, "As you wish my Empress."

    She frowns, he is in no condition to be scraping and bowing like that, "How is the arm?"

    "Lost," he replies calmly. He is taking it well, far better than she would to be sure, "Our people did all they could to coax the embers of my life back into a flame but restoring my arm was simply beyond their art. I gave it to my apprentices to consume, perhaps they will inherit a measure of my skill from the act."

    She shrugs, she would have kept the arm. You never know what can be done with magic...

    She shifts the topic, "When can we be mobile again?"

    "Two or three days," the priest answers.

    She nods to herself, "Two it is then. I want to be back to the city before the Watcher can bring anything else against us."

    "Do you really think he will expend resources to recover such a failure?" the old ghôl asks.

    "Yes," the Empress answers without doubt, "The Thin White Mage is near indestructible and he is a learning beast. It is one thing to kill him but in capturing him we deny the Watcher one of his agents and an irreplaceable one at that. If the Mad Goat gets word of his creature's capture he will make an effort to save such an asset and to avenge himself on us for the defeat we have handed him here."

    The old Priest bows his head and mutters a prayer.

    The young Empress rolls her eyes and mutters a few choice words of her own.

    They glare at one another.

    She smiles.

    He does as well.

    She would have missed him had he fallen today and she tells him as much.

    "My Empress, you are too kind," he attempts another bow and winces slightly, "What will you do now?"

    She gives him an inscrutable grin, "Call a few reinforcements of our own. I am going to bed, Enki, see that I am not disturbed unless it is important."

    Enki does his best to back out of the chamber and she can hear him giving strict orders to her Immortals as he goes.

    She rises from her desk, puts her things in order and slips onto her cot.

    She closes her eyes and pictures a field with altars in it and a certain charming Prince of Dreams...
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
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  9. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    So here are the results based on my tally (if I screwed up the count be sure to yell at me until I fix it):

    1. Closed - You will buy the Arrows indiectly and make Ceannard a partner. The first payment will be covered by Albrecht and he will have full use of the Arrows while you are gone in the South so long as it does not severely compromise your own instructions to them. They will do their best to meet both your orders and their demands and Ceannard will use his own judgement when needed.

    2. Open - Shopping List:

    - 1 bottle energon whiskey

    - 10 quivers for Uttu

    - 6 magazines for Taide

    - 1 pair entangled dice

    - 1 enchanting oil can

    - 4 vomit disks

    - 2 suits fire resistant armour

    - 1 wooden fire resistant shield

    And possible one or more suits of leather armour. By my count Jester voted to buy one suit for Lyssa, Azira voted to pick up two suits for D&T and Grimgravy wanted to pick up something 'for the mages'. Since you are buying the fire resistant leather for your two other mages it would stand to reason that you will not need anything for D&T but I don't want to make assumptions, an extra suit might come in handy if you managed to get your current ones destroyed.

    I will need some sort of vote one way or the other about the leather. You have enough votes to buy some but I will need to know how many and for whom.

    A single vote will be enough to decide the issue and it won't impact the text of the update so I will leave this vote particular vote open for now.

    Currently the bill is sitting at:

    91 WPs

    With one suit of leather you are at 95, two suits puts you at 100, and four at 109 WPs.

    Edit: forgot the discount on the fire armour, I have adjust the price accordingly.

    3. Closed - You will hire the elephants for 40 WPs.

    4. Closed - You will bring your 'core group' and the following:

    The former Legionaries, the mortars and the grenadiers.

    5. Closed - The Arrows will go with you to Nanshe they will then return to the city.

    6. Closed - You will leave the spy in place, leak information through her and attempt to turn her into a double agent should the opportunity present itself. Timo will handle the issue personally.

    7. Closed - By a very slim margin Mel will remain at the palace until you return. Hopefully it will not be raised by the enemy or anything... :lol:

    8. Closed - So based on the Jester-Nevill plan as coined by Baltika9 you will leave the following orders:

    To the Arrows:

    They will work to support the King is all endevours, they will see what can be done about finding and destroying any cultist compounds in the city with a particular emphasis on finding and destroying the cloning facilities if present.

    Half of their number will work to tutor the Greys and try to turn them into real soldiers.

    To the Greys:

    Simply 'get good'. Sit tight and learn from the Arrows.

    That goes doubly for Lady Grey, try and get Ceannard and his officers to turn her into a proper mercenary captain.

    To Astrid and the Sovereigns:

    Investigate the 'unforgotten, unforgiven' graffiti in the city. the Sovereigns and Letta are to report directly to Astrid in this.

    To Timo and Mayer:

    Root out Spider Cultists and Necromancers as they find them. Run the information game and see how much of your enemies' networks they can collapse between them.

    To Mayer:

    You are essentially giving him overall control of your projects in the city. He will manage your finances, work with Timo against the Cultists, and periodically check in with your projects at the Academy. He will be instructed to respect the letter and the spirit of all contracts you have made.

    To the Boys and Blackrock:

    The Boys will be transferred to Blackrock with an escort of loyal Hose Albrecht Guards who will hopefully keep them out of trouble. Sufficient House Hesse Guards will be recalled to the city to make room for your people. Once there the Blackrock mercenaries will train those whose primary potential lies in soldering while those without such potential will set to work pursuing their trades in an attempt to make the Fort more self sufficient and reduce costs. Your people will also work to expand the fort as needed. Mayer will oversee all 'civilian' matters from Myrgard while Myora and the Brothers deal with the miltiary end of things and matters at the fort itself.

    9. Closed - For your escort you will once more take the charioteers.

    10. Closed - You will go through with your con. You will invest 50 WPs of your money to see it done.

    11. Closed - You will interrogate the Weasel Captain for a full seven hours.

    12. Closed - Since most of those that presented ideas generally wanted to investigate magical signal manipulation and suppression that is what you will do. A whole sub department of volunteers will be put together to see what they can come up with in the area of personal signal dampening or displacement. They will try everything they can think of and Mayer will check in from time to time to see how it is going.

    13. Closed - You will hire advanced tutors for another 6WPs monthly.

    So you are looking at a final cost somewhere in the range of 181WPs to 199WPs.

    This will necessitate a loan unless I misunderstood you all. The loan will be for 47 to 65 WPs depending on how much you buy and it will be at 25% compound monthly interest.

    If you want to borrow more you can should you wish to leave yourself some money.

    Also if you want to spend those shells you acquired with the Brothers then you can do that too, they are worth 15WPs. That would leave you short something in the range of 32WPs to 50WPs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
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  10. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I believe I voted to hire them with Albrecht's money.

    I have not seen any confirmation or objections to this, though.

    Baltika9 and Azira, can you weigh in on this?

    Between our own funds and the sack of ghol shells (15 WPs), we have enough money to pay for the rest.
     
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  11. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    I thought that was what we were doing.
     
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  12. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    A suit of leather for Lyssa would be good in addition to the ones for D & T.
     
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  13. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Yes, put me down for a suit of leather for her, too.
     
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  14. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    So from what I am hearing you want to:

    1. Buy a suit of leather for Lyssa for 5WPs

    2. Use the shell curency with the Brothers to cover 15WPs

    3. Use Albrecht's money to hire the elephants saving you 40WPs

    That would leave you with 3 WPs to your name if my math is correct.

    Is that what you want to do?
     
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  15. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Yes.
     
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  16. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Sounds good.

    Also, good thing we decided to go to Nanshe, now that the interlude confirmed that she's caught TWM. Now we just need to shove him into the dreaming and hope he doesn't wrangle himself out of that place..
     
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  17. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Alright then, that seems to be the will of the majority of those that voted for the elephants (and the votes in favour of Lyssa's armour are enough to break that tie as well) so that is what you will do.

    The update will be up hopefully some time in the next twenty four hours depending on how things line up. If I can't make that deadline then it should still be up within the next forty eight hours at the latest.
     
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  18. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Care to share any information about the rolls involved in the update, now that we know the outcome of the fight?

    I am also interested in the rolls made prior to the battle. If I remember correctly there was a chance the TWM would grow restless and would not buy our excuse. What other rolls were made?

    Did our vase ever come into play?

    I wonder if it were his vultures that intercepted our eagles. Seems plausible.
     
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  19. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    Can someone only tell me a few things?
    - This Thin White Mage is servant of Watcher - so he seems to be our bad guy in this story?
    - The Empress of the Ghôls and her army are on our site? Why they have fake 'Derryth' and rest of our team?
    - Are Dreams some more powerfull forms of magic (or rituals)?
    And the most important question: Why the hell that guy sings in the middle of battle? (Kind of joke question ;) )
     
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  20. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    TWM is a bad guy. Not the worst one out there though. That'd probably be the Watcher.

    Nanshe and us have an ... agreement. Fake Derryth was arranged to bait TWM.

    Dreams are the foundation of spells. Know a dream (or nightmare), and you know a piece of really powerful, primordial magic.

    TWM sings because he's got class. Sure, he is a narcissistic, psychopathic creep, but he's got class.
     
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  21. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    The Thin White Mage and The Watcher are at the top of the very long list of the bad guys of the story. The world of Myth is not a very happy place, and two wars that wiped out most of the humanity in the last 60 years did not make it better.

    The current 'big bad guys' of the arc are the Spider Goddess, one of the Dark Gods, and the Watcher, one of the Fallen Lords. Of the two, the Watcher is the worst, by a fair margin. At least the Spider Goddess has a need of living followers.

    There are all sorts of shades of grey, too: The Faceless Man (the Watcher's colleague, by the way, though he is listed as our ally) is up to no good; the Wyrm, whose motives are unknown, is stalking us; and even the entities we work with, like the Demon Prince Morpheus and the Silver Lady, the only living sister of the Spider Goddess, are closer to the 'bad' side, and could well become antagonists given time.

    The Empress of the ghols is our 'ally', though one that is best kept secret. You can learn more of how it came to pass in Chapter 39: In for a Pound. We are currently working for the dwarves, and the dwarves and the ghols hate each other unconditionally and probably irreconcilably. If words of our association ever gets out, the consequences would not be pretty. It is well within the realm of possibility that we will end up at each other's throats, but for now we have a common enemy.

    Faking Derryth's presence was a part of our plan. TWM has a certain unhealthy fascination with us, given that we have outsmarted and killed him about 3 times in a course of a month.

    You can find more about Dreams in this post.

    Because musical magic is strong with this one. Wait until we learn Heavy Metal (and no, I am not kidding, this is a thing).

    I have nearly completed the summary, so you can read on the 2nd Chapter if you want. :)
     
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  22. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    Send me it please, if you can. I will have debt.

    So we already fucked with 'god' and one of Fallen Lords. Good timing. Playing with dwarfs and ghols. We fucked deeply. But I like it. At it is start for me!
     
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  23. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    It is still in the same place. I am just editing the post as I type it out. :)

    Maybe Fangshi can link to it from the front page?
     
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  24. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Sure, sounds like a good idea. Will do. :salute:

    Most of them you should be able to guess based on how things went but sure, I have no problem quickly listing them:

    -both sides had a number of movement checks to get into position and the like.

    -Enki and the priests had a set of rolls to cast the Rotting Mist Dream successfully. It was not too difficult as Enki knew the spell quite well.

    - TWM had to roll to identify the giant spell devouring his people.

    - The vultures had to roll to move into place around the spell without getting dissolved. Most of them gave it enough space, a few got 'eaten'

    - Once the vultures were in place everyone had to foll will checks except for those warriors with lead in their helmets. Instead of rolling for each individual which would have taken a long time or buckets of dice I split the army into sections and assigned willpower values based on the average strength of the warrior there. Those sections that failed fell to infighting. Most of the chieftains also wore lead lined caps so none of them were compromised (the only one at risk was Enki as he needed to be able to cast so could not wear the armour. He did not have to pass a test though as I had TWM avoid directly aiming for the mages who would require an additional effort to subdue (an additional willpower check). Instead TWM successfully realized it would be easier to break the spell by controlling the lower WIS guards of the mages and then have them attack their masters.

    - There were a number of rolls here for all of the named characters on Nanshe's side to determine if any of them would die. A few came close but they all made it.

    - At this point TWM began to advance across the battlefield with his retinue and he made a number of rolls against different groups he came across to determine how he would handle them.

    - When Nanshe saw TWM advancing she broke off from her bodyguards (before the battle she cleverly switched her armour with one of her Immortals and used the freedom that allowed her to escape the attention of the hounds and mages.

    - She reached the tent first and set up a few traps within it for TWM, she also removed her helmet and one gauntlet to let her cast properly in the lead armour.

    - TWM and his remaining escort reach the tent and he sends his mages in with orders to capture the ladies alive. Nanshe was operating with no such limitations and so she quite readily cut them down.

    - The TWM enters and Nanshe gets a roll to try and incapacitate him, she fails.

    - He rolls to light the tent and gets a few checks to determine if he can figure out what is going on that second, he fails but not by much.

    - He launches his attack and Nanshe activates the Purple Sun Nightmare that you successfully broke a few weeks ago.

    - TWM manages to muscle his way through it and almost manages to shatter the spell so Nanshe in desperation activate the fourth stage of the Nightmare and renders TWM unconscious.

    - TWM screams as he falls and his followers scatter as he projects his panic onto them. The vultures also drop out of the sky without his power to keep them going.

    - The hounds allow basic self preservation to kick in when their master's influence disappears and they scatter into the hills as well.

    - What follows are a lot of movement, perception and medical checks to determine who dies, who lives, how far the wounded army can crawl and how many of the Watcher's fragments they are able to find since several of them were quite small.

    Rolls to see what sort warriors Nanshe could mobilize in three days.

    Rolls to see if TWM would edge closer to Blackrock.

    Rolls to see if the Watcher would demand that TWM stop wasting time and return to the south.

    Rolls to see if the Watcher would even notice what TWM was up to (he did not have orders to engage you again, this was all done on his own initiative and arguably hurt the aims of his 'master').

    Just that sort of thing really.

    It cast a few times before the fighting started and helped to reassure TWM that you were actually there but it was empty by the time TWM reached the tent.
     
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  25. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    So the priests worked as batteries for that one?

    I wonder if our Seekers can pull off something crazy if they all link together. :)

    Damn it! Er, I mean, good job, Princess. Good job indeed.

    But they weren't told to bring Nanshe alive as they had no reason to believe she was there in the first place. Did they even have no chance to retaliate?

    But she did not know the 4th stage when we fought her! Or did we just not wait long enough to see it? Did she have a limit break level-up? :)

    Yeah, this is the stuff that I find interesting. Little random things out of our control that failures and victories are made of.

    I wonder, though... if the Watcher recalled him, would he have followed when he was so close?
     
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