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Myth: A New Age CYOA

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

  1. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Now, that was unexpected. What did Eris do to them to make them react that way?

    I mean, what does Derryth acknowledging their status as free people... mauls... creatures even does for them in this dungeon? It is not like we are treating them any differently, and they may very well die here with us, be it as slaves or otherwise. Why does it even matter to them that much?

    Amena I might be ablle to understand, but when did the maul get the notion of what it means to be free? He was taken here as a kid, he does not know what life is like outside. How does he even know that you are not supposed to be a slave?
    It seems that his only duty was to serve and protect Amena, the duty that he was bound to not through a threat of force, but by the laws and customs of his own people, and it is the duty that he is still happily carrying out even now that he is free from our service. I don't get the reason behind this sudden outburst of happiness. :?

    Perhaps Eris was a bigger asshole than we gave her credit for, if they hate being subservient just because.

    Not butthurt about the loss of a slavegirl. Not butthurt at all.
     
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  2. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    A
    E if its like Nevill said, if not C
    B
     
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  3. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    That is essentially 2c so I have put you down for that.


    It is more that at this point you have a lot of ranged fighters but you are all still fairly "squishy".

    By Derryth's estimates you personally could take 3-5 depending on your accuracy. Thaïs and Serpent can each take 2-3, Thaïs has her crossbow as well so three is quite reasonable for her. Brigit can drop somewhere in the range 6-7 with her bow and spells. Miosguinn and the Apprentice can drop about 10 and Amena can handle 2-3 as well so defeating 25 before they hit you was very doable. At that point your three melee fighters would have to carry a lot of the load but you might have been able to actually defeat fifty without losing anyone. Of course if those had been real ghôls they may have had wight pieces in which case you all would have died... ;)

    That is fairly close to what E is I think. You will try to distract and break up the hordes and wear them down without getting too close to the dwarves and their explosives.

    Ok. 3D can be "ask Miosguinn nicely to see the book". If he says no do you want to leave it at that?

    Just think like a ghost. They still rely on sight and sound to find their targets so Miosguinn can easily trick them but they have no sense of self preservation so you can not terrify them into leaving. The spiders by contrast are just as easy to trick but they are also living creatures, if a large enough threat shows up they could panic and flee.

    Well you could always ask them but they have only known you for a week and they really do not want to talk about their time with Eris too much. You can tell that they feel very indebted to her but also more than a little scared of her, so much so that the memory of her makes them a little jumpy. Amena has a lot of trouble expressing how she feels about Eris, she was like a mother to her but she was also quite evil. There may be more things in the tower that would explain her behaviour but you did not conduct a full search. You did not really want to have Miosguinn claim anything so you kept most of the group out of the tower proper, Derryth intends to search the tower fully when this is over at her leisure.

    Good question. You stop the Maul one day and you ask him, he is at first very surprised that you even care but he dutifully begins to explain his actions. This is the gist of what he told Derryth:

    Amena spent a lot of time reading, not just histories and spell books but also the fiction and romances found in the tower's library (even a wizard wants a little light reading every now and then ;)). To pass the time she would often read the books out loud to Ithapi and he as her protector would dutifully listen. These stories told of impossible battles, beautiful vistas, fair maidens and brave warriors. They also spoke of a world beyond the tower and beyond the dark where an individual could go anywhere, do anything. Amena read to him largely to pass the time and did not terribly care if he retained what she told him but he did listen and he did dream.

    He does have his own goals, hopes, and dreams so I would not just assume that he is simple muscle. He does not talk much because no one has ever asked for his opinion, in fact this conversation with Derryth is the longest conversation he has ever had but he is quite enjoying it.

    Eris would barely recognize his presence and when she did it was rarely good and Amena as much as she cares for him still tends to treat him like a pet or a guardian but not like a person (she mimics Eris' attitudes in a lot of things without even knowing it, there is no malice there she simply does not "see" him as an actual person).

    He is or rather was fine with that, it was his duty and for the most part he did not have a choice but you have now given him a choice and he will always be grateful for that. So hopefully that goes some way towards explaining his actions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
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  4. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    "Let him know he can keep it regardless."
    Of course, put Thais to the task. I suppose it will be a roll?

    Sure, he is secretive, so we will probably get a 'no', but I am willing to try on the off-chance it succeeds, and it might be better than to spy on him or to just leave him be.
     
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  5. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Right, but if he just says no did you want to leave it at that (which is the impression I am getting) or try something else?

    Edit:
    Okay, added.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
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  6. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    If you ask me, I am in favor of dropping the matter.
     
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  7. Absinthe Prophet

    Absinthe
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    I'll back this D option.
     
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  8. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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    Well it's not an actively confrontational option so that's good in my book, but is it better than just doing nothing? I mean, if he is hiding anything he will just lie and we would tip him off that we might be suspicious of him. And if he is on the level than all we get is a small risk of pissing him off for sticking our nose in his business.

    I do think this whole business is strange though. Why would seeing him taking a book make the girl not want to be near him? Oh, and "it is clear that she is not upset but rather is having trouble remembering what she saw or perhaps she simply does not wish to tell you", that also sounds strange to me. I'm probably just being paranoid, but I do wonder, are there any memory altering or charm / domination spells in this setting?
     
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  9. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    If he refuses to answer, we know to be more concerned.

    If he lies, we know he's hiding something.

    If he tells us, we know he's on the level.

    Considering that we had emotional reactions to looking at artifacts in the vault, the book itself could have caused it.
     
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  10. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I thought it might have been a spell from our illusionist, but when you put it like that... yes, the book could have been the source, and that is bad news.
     
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  11. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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    Right, but how will we know which is the case? How will we know that he refused to answer because he is hiding something rather than because he feels insulted? How will we know he is lying, and how will we know is telling us the truth? Hell, we can't even be certain he is on the level if he shows us a book. If he really is up to no good he could have taken another book from the library to show us in just such a case.

    Maybe, but that was an artefact hidden in a trapped and locked vault. Why would something like that be left just lying around in an openly accessible part of the library?
     
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  12. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    The library has been long abandoned and everyone involved is probably dead. Who knows how it could have got there.
     
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  13. Rex Feral Liturgist

    Rex Feral
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    Am I the only one who thinks that old mage played an illusion trick on Amena? I mean the way she described it was really weird, like her memories were shrouded. She didn't seem very sure about what she remembered and her instincts might've told her not to trust the guy after what she really witnessed. I mean why freak out on being left alone with a guy that just saved your ass when all he did is pick up a book.

    Another thing I want to comment on is the actual book. It's black. And I can swear it's necromancy. Just a feeling in my gut, reinforced by all those discussions about Black Skin Bound books you guys were talking about earlier.

    As for the choices:

    1 - A - why not? they could give us directions or help us out later. I do hope however they aren't some murderous plundering dwarves, that would cut our throat in our sleep and make of with our loot.
    2 - C - Let's not risk our lives too much
    3 - D - sure we could try some psychology with him, just to see how he reacts. If it's a no, we can go C.
     
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  14. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Current Tally (# in brackets is max possible votes):

    1.
    A) 13 votes
    B) -
    C) -

    2.
    A) 2 votes
    B) -
    C) 3 (5) votes
    D) 1 (3) votes
    E) 7 votes

    3.
    A) 1 vote
    B) 4 votes
    C) 4 (7) votes
    D) 4 votes

    I will keep it open for another day or so, to give the update at least 48hrs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
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  15. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Who is voting for D?

    I see Absinthe, me and Rex Feral. tuluse is arguing somewhat for it, but his vote still has A bolded. Who is the last one, and are they aware they are counted as such? :)
     
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  16. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Hmm... you are right I thought tuluse was on D but he is still A, also seems I had Grimgravy's vote in the wrong column for some reason. Good thing you caught that Nevill or your option might have had a good chance to win... updating the count. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
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  17. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    My votes now

    2) E
    3) D


    Forgot to update them.
     
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  18. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Alright, polls are closed.

    Final Tally:
    Grimgravy 1a 2c 3a/c (counting it as C, since there is nothing in the contract that says he has to show you the tome)
    Anabanana 1a 2a 3b
    Erebus 1a 2a 3c
    tuluse 1a 2e 3d
    Baltika9 1a 2d 3c
    Smashing Axe 1a 2e>c>d 3c
    Zero Credibility 1a 2e>d 3b>c
    Azira 1a 2e 3c
    Kz3r0 1a 2e 3b
    Absinthe 1a 2c 3d
    Nevill 1a 2e 3d
    Jester 1a 2e 3b
    Rex Feral 1a 2c 3d

    So the final count should be...

    1.
    A) 13 votes
    B) -
    C) -

    Never turn down a side quest, right? ;)

    2.
    A) 2 votes
    B) -
    C) 3 votes
    D) 1 vote
    E) 7 votes

    Misdirection it is.

    3.
    A) -
    B) 3 votes
    C) 5 votes
    D) 4 votes

    And you will try and discreetly spy on the man.

    Update will be out in about 6-9 hours when I get a moment.
     
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  19. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Chapter 7: Emptiness and Fullness

    In the dark city, far from the light of day, the sounds of battle can be heard. Two of the dwarves have fallen but the remaining eight manage to keep up a steady stream of projectiles. They are just holding back the tide of chattering beasts and howling ghosts but by your estimate they will last maybe another fifteen minutes at best.

    You have never really considered yourself a hero, the word rings falsely in your ears and you have no desire to rush to your death. However, you will not just leave these people to their deaths. You want to help and so you give the order.

    "We are going to help them," all present understand that this order is not open to negotiation. There will be no arguing this and so they quickly move to discussing the best ways to neutralize the enemy.

    "Well why don't we just charge their rear?" asks the Beserk, perhaps more willing to wade into battle than to consider the consequences.

    "Not with those explosives being thrown about," Gareth steps forward, "We would be best to attack from a distance to be honest."

    That sounds like a fair plan but you think you can do one better, "Doctor Miosguinn, can you and your apprentice draw out some of the attackers with your illusions?"

    Miosguinn immediately grasps your strategy, "Yes, Miss Derryth, we can trick the ghosts and probably scare off the spiders as well if it comes to that."

    You give the word and the old wizard starts casting, glad to finally have an opportunity to really cut loose. He turns his attention to the ghosts while his apprentice focuses on the spiders.

    While the Children cast Gareth offers further advice, "It would be best to concentrate on each splinter group, one at a time, if the eight of us can bring overwhelming force to bear against each group we will be able to minimize the risk of casualties."

    The apprentice is finished with her spell, a wall of flame erupts from the ground between the dwarves and the spiders, an obvious illusion but enough to scare off the animals. Out of instinct the arachnids pull back and turn their attention to the deathless horde assaulting them. The dwarves, quite confused by this stroke of good luck, quickly adapt and concentrate their fire on the ghosts still assaulting their position.

    As the eight of you move into place for your first ambush, you watch as Miosguinn casts his spells. Behind the horde of ghosts and to either side dance wisps of blue-grey smoke which slowly take on human shape. Gradually colour bleeds into them and after a few moments they seem almost genuine, at a quick glance they would fool you and you are sure the ghosts will take the bait.

    Sure enough the ghosts see these new targets and they turn. The horde fractures, torn into four ragged pieces by the dispersing ghosts as each races off in pursuit of these new targets. Miosguinn must be having fun with all of this as he puts on a little show for your enemies. The illusions turn to see the ghosts charging towards them, they begin to scream without a voice, horror expressed in pantomime. The group closest to your position begins to gesture wildly and turn to run. One of them, a little elderly man trips and his daughter attempts to pull him along. The doctor has really outdone himself, even against an actual living opponent these illusions would prove difficult to detect, against the ghosts they work perfectly.

    The ghosts crash into the illusions and are met with empty air, you do not know if a ghost can be confused but they come to an immediate stop and turn to rejoin the horde. At that moment you spring your attack.

    You reach deep into your mind for a memory, excitement would do, maybe love but the best for a firebolt spell would be a fragment of anger, betrayal or rage. Something powerful and with a desire to hurt another. You remember a stable boy that used to mock you as a child, who used to beat and bully you... good enough.

    That ember sparks a flame, and this flame jumps from your hand to your target. The crimson dart dives through the air and strikes your first victim, the bent and scarred ghost of a ghôl. The flames turn green as they snake around the ghost devouring its form, it screams and fades away. Meanwhile, the combined assault of your seven companions easily overwhelms your ghostly prey and you quickly move on to your next target.

    You cast and you fight, with whip and knife when needed, and after ten minutes of terror and battle your group has destroyed the last of the ghosts. As you battle the last of these foul spectres, Miosguinn turns his attentions to the spiders. He slowly bottles them up with illusionary fire, driving them further back, before he rejoins your group with his apprentice and the wagon. The dwarves give the crawling masses a parting volley of cocktails to see them on their way before they turn their attention and their weapons towards you.

    Now that you are closer you can see that they are not all outfitted with the normal dwarven kit. Five of them look as you would expect; woollen clothes and strange caps, backpacks filled with their explosive concoctions and odd inventions, and short, well groomed beards. Two more match that description save for a lack of beards, fitting given that they are women. The last three however are covered from head to toe in thick plate armour of a make you have rarely seen before, the smaller two have simple but well made equipment while the largest one has an ornate weapon and armour. Four of the lightly armed dwarves lay on the ground injured or unconscious, you can not tell from this distance whether or not their wounds are fatal.

    It seems that the large dwarf is in charge and it is also clear that he can not or will not speak Bruig. They eye your group suspiciously. Talking, or rather arguing, amongst themselves. It seems that a few of the younger ones are trying to convince the armoured dwarf to do or say something.

    You turn and call back to your group stationed outside of the dwarves' range of fire, "Just great, does anyone speak Dwarven?"

    The unanimous answer you receive is no and you are about to try and communicate through a pathetic sort of sign language when two of the dwarves approach you.

    It is two of the dwarves that were arguing with their leader, one male and one female, young, probably about the same age if you had to take a guess.

    They stop about ten feet from you and bow, when they begin speaking you are surprised that it is in accented yet fluent Bruig, he begins "Greetings and thanks to you for your aid against the creatures of this place."

    They are stiff, formal, and a little worried; she picks up where he left off, "We did not think that we would encounter an imperial patrol this far into the old city. Your Emperor Alric must be great indeed if he seeks to claim so much of the city in such little time."

    You consider their words before you respond. It seems likely that these dwarves are testing your motives. Surely they must know that you are not Imperials as they would have to sneak past the Imperials just to get down here and well one of you is a Maul.

    They want to see if you will lie to them so you take a slight gamble and tell them the truth. They are in your debt at the moment and from what little you know of the dwarves they do not take such things lightly

    "I am afraid that as great as Alric is, we are not here as his representatives today. We seek the passages from the Dwarven quarters to the old offices of the Smiths of Muirthemne."

    At the mention of the Smiths, the two representatives relax a little. It seems that they were concerned you would try to arrest them or plunder the Dwarven Quarter itself. While you had admittedly planned to do so, you can always do it latter when the dwarves are not around.

    The male dwarf coninues, "My name is Bari and this is my wife Ari, we serve as scouts and protectors for our Lord Jari," he gestures back to the armoured dwarf.

    Ari cuts in, it seems the two of them have a habit of finishing each others thoughts, "We have come in search of an artefact important to our people, its last known location was within the workshops of the Smiths, it is a-" Ari pauses for a moment and looks at Bari, unsure if she should tell you.

    After a moment Bari continues, "I am afraid we can not tell you what it is, it is a matter of personal and communal shame and we must leave it at that."

    Jari calls out to the two dwarves in Dwarven and they quickly answer before turning back to you, "My Lord wishes to know if he could purchase your services to escort us to our target, we would of course pay you for your time and any supplies we may require."

    You look them over, they are hopeful but you also still sense an undercurrent of fear, they are worried. Shifting your gaze from the dwarves to their equipment it looks like they have next to no supplies with them, perhaps they did not prepare properly or more likely they lost their supplies to the denizens of this place. With almost half their number wounded and the rest worn out they are not likely to survive without further help. Serpent could probably even save most or all of their wounded if you let him. It also looks like they do not have much in the way of riches on them, any payment you would receive will only come if they live to reach the surface.

    They could be an asset or a liability, but the choice is yours. You take a deep breath and give them your answer.

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

    It took a couple hours to get into the main complex and properly secure the building. It looks like the place was once a warehouse and there are an assortment of weapons and supplies strewn about in boxes, and chests. Most of it is useless to you but a more detailed search may turn up useful resources.

    Once the building is fully under your control, you enter the basement storage down a long and very wide ramp. Seems everything in this city was built big. You find more dust and boxes but at least there are no monsters.

    A little voice in the back of your mind suggests that they are merely hiding, waiting for you to slip up but you quickly chase such thoughts away. Serpent notices a very narrow side tunnel and says he recognizes the smell of mandrake roots coming from the darkness, it may be worth checking out.

    Finally there is the great door leading into the old tunnels, you would easily be able to drive two wagons through it so space should not be a large problem as long as you stick to the main road. It looks like the tunnels are still intact as best as you can tell, it would speed up your trip tremendously but part of you wonders what new horrors will be waiting in those tunnels.

    Brigit also has her first report for you. She has been watching the Children and so far they have done nothing suspicious, well nothing more suspicious than normal. She has not seen either of them in possession of a black tome like you described to her. They are however very protective of a warded blue-grey metal chest but that is not too odd for a pair of mages. She also noticed that each wears a small amulet around their necks which they try to always keep concealed. It is odd but when you ask her for more details on the amulets she has trouble remembering anything.

    An interesting mystery but for now you have more pressing concerns:


    1. The Dwarves, do you help them?

    A)Yes - You agree to escort them since you are all headed to the same place anyway. (If you pick this then choose an option for choice 2)

    B)No - You do not need an extra burden, you tell them to return to the surface. You will not help them.

    C) Maybe - If they can give you some sort of partial payment up front then you will help, otherwise they are on their own

    D)Other - Free form


    2. If you choose to help them then do you use your supplies to help them, if so how much?

    A) No - they can survive off what they can find.

    B) Yes - but basic supplies and mundane medicine only.

    C) Yes - you tell Serpent to use any resources needed to save as many lives as possible. Including Mandrake Roots. (You currently have four Mandrake Roots left in total)

    D) Yes - you tell Serpent to only use your mundane supplies for now, if you find more Mandrake Roots you can then use some on the Dwarves. They may be upset if they find out you risked their lives so you will probably have to lie a little.

    E) Other - free form


    3. You have a bit of time to look around the building if you want, though this will spread your group out a bit. Do you?

    A) Yes - might as well look for supplies.

    B) No - you just want to move on quickly before you run into something else.

    C) Other - free form


    4. Serpent thinks there are Mandrake Roots down the side tunnel in the basement. Do you let him investigate?

    A) Yes - We could use more Mandrake Roots

    B) No - Who knows what is down there and it is too narrow a tunnel to send the fighters.

    C) Yes - But not alone. Derryth will go with him as will _______ (if you vote for this option then list the third party member that you want to take, the most popular one will go. Tyrvard and Ithapi can not fit and Gareth will have to leave his shield behind to fit)

    D) Yes - But send alot of people; Derryth, Gareth, Serpent, Amena, Miosguinn, the apprentice and some of the dwarves, if they complain tell them that in this way we can treat better their wounded comrades. With such a larger group you should be able to handle any challenge. Of course you will get in the way of each other and you will leave the main camp understaffed...

    E) Other - free form


    5. Then there is the question of the tunnels themselves. Do you want to use them or would you rather go back to the tower and travel through the city and upper tunnels?

    A) Use the lower tunnels, it is quicker.

    B) Go back to the tower, who knows what is down there.

    C) Other - free form
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
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  20. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Question: what can Mandrake roots do in this setting, what makes them so valuable?
     
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  21. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    On a practical level mandrake roots behave much as they do in the games. They can heal and they can harm the undead. The difference is in how they work on a conceptual level. I touched on it before but I can go into it again. The roots act as a sort of specialized energon cube specifically tied to the way that Heron Guards/Journeymen use magic. Since there are no real clerics in the setting almost all magic is handled the same way. (The Fetch are clerics and there are a few other cults that have clerics as well but again these are exceptions.) For everyone else I am using a fatigue based system to try and mimic the cooldowns the game uses without actually using cooldowns. To cast any spell drains the mental and sometimes physical strength of the caster, cast too much or too often and you can do permanent damage or even die. This ties nicely into the most difficult field of magic known to man, healing magic.

    Now first off healing spells in the setting are very difficult to cast and are very draining for the spellcaster (physically and mentally). Within the setting only the Heron Guards really cast healing spells and turn/harm undead spells on a consistent basis because of just how difficult it is. Any Heron Guard could technically cast a Heal spell without a Mandrake Root since they do know the spells involved but to do so would completely exhaust all but the best of them which is why they never do it in the games. Their combat doctrine forbids them from doing so in an actual battle (it is deemed too risky).

    So instead of trying to cast the spell directly they use a substitute energy source, in this case mandrake roots. The roots are a naturally occurring source of magical energy that works well with the Heron Guard's healing magics. The spells themselves have even been tailored to work best when used with the roots. It is also important to note that mandrake roots are difficult and dangerous to harvest and properly prepare but if you know the right rituals you can collect them safely and without wasting the magics stored within them.

    If a spell caster knows the proper rituals then they can even tap into the natural properties of the roots without necessarily knowing the Heron Guards' spells. This is what Serpent does, he has been taught the rituals to find, harvest and preserve the roots and when combined with his knowledge of medicine he can use the roots to heal people in a manner similar to the Heron Guard. His treatments are weaker and take longer but they achieve a similar outcome. If he had to he could also probably use the roots to paralyze and harm the undead but it would not be guaranteed to work or work immediately.

    Most people in the setting just make do with regular medicine and mundane physicians as mandrake roots are rare and only really valuable or useful in the hands of a skilled individual, but they are also the only way to quickly recover from injuries or ailments known to most within the setting.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
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  22. Absinthe Prophet

    Absinthe
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    1A. It's either help, one of us goes back, or both of us go and we butt heads. Helping is probably the safest option.
    2D. If we find extra mandrake roots, then we do C. If not, then B.
    3A. More supplies is a good idea if we're friendly with dwarves.
    4C. Serpent, Gareth, and Derryth investigate it together. This way all of the fronts will be covered in case anything goes wrong and all three of them have the Herbalism skill, so this should improve progress at collecting any Mandrake roots.
     
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  23. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Okay, added.


    Sure, it is possible to send in a team but they will be going in single file and Gareth will have to leave his shield behind as the tunnel is quite narrow.
     
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  24. Absinthe Prophet

    Absinthe
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    That's fine by me. Serpent, Derryth, and Gareth without his shield. That way we have all the herbalists down there and all the expertise we could need.
     
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  25. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Sounds good, Derryth and Gareth would both have to be taught how to harvest the roots without dying which will slow things down a bit but after that they should be fine as they both have basic herbal knowledge.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
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