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Myth: A New Age CYOA

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

  1. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
    Joined:
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    Divinity: Original Sin
    What's wrong with immersing ourselves in blood? We can just ask our orphans for donations. (Virgin's blood is more potent, right?)

    A great spell to cast and maintain in your twenties.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
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  2. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    The archmages are all extremely distant and detached towards others. Entirely without empathy. If that's the way you want Derryth to go, sure, asking for regular blood donations for her bath is A-OK with me.

    I'd rather have her stay, at least somewhat human. Living off of other peoples blood like this is strikes a sour note in that regard.
     
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  3. GreyViper Erudite

    GreyViper
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Estonia
    Guys what about portal we could pop into our vault and pick up some of the stuff we might want to identify or trade. Besides how long did the journey take to dwarven capital?
    It would be a good source of income if we play or cards right with banks.
     
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  4. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
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    Sort of, there was a very slight chance (smaller than when you opened Eris' Gate) that he could have risen as some sort of insane god of murder in which case you probably would have died though there may have been a way out. Either way the operation was a complete success and you have restored him to his magical prime.

    I did not want to get bogged down too much in the details (and bore people ;)) but the theory behind the spell is essentially modified Galenic medical theory (with MAGIC!).

    Medical Magic (open)
    Pneuma (the elemental air of life) is drawn into the body through the lungs, brought to the liver through the veins and refined into natural spirits (these are responsible for digestion and growth) which in turn are brought to the heart through the arteries and used to manufacture vital spirits which warm and vivify the rest of the body. The vital spirits travel to the brain which in turn is divided into a number of chambers. The vital spirits are used in the formation of animal spririts which are responsible for movement and properly animating the body, these travel through the nerves back into the body. The soul also exists in a localized state according to this theory with the rational part of the soul bound to the brain. The dramatic changes brought about by the 'death' and 'resurrection' of Mazzarin's body could have destabilized the humoural balance within him and led to temporary or permenant madness. That does not mean that he would necessarily have attacked you (though that was a slight possibility) it could manifest a number of ways, it would depend on how exactly his humours were unbalanced. Too much black bile and he would become melancholic, an excess of blood would lead to sanguine conditions and so on.

    It is difficult to say if the theory is in fact correct or if that is simply how mages understand what is actually happening in the body. The natural sciences are still very much in their infancy so the only theories currently in wide circulation are those held by mages and priests.

    Some of the theory is stolen from classical authors, a little comes from medieval authors though it has be modified a bit (for example there is no real concept of 'sin' as fundamental to madness. The 'living' (worshipped) gods of Myth fall into three categories, Wyrd and Nyx which everyone know about but no one worship (Wyrd because he is dead and Nyx because only the Trow worship her), the Dark Gods which few know about and fewer still would bother to worship, and the many, many strange local and regional dieties which usually do not answer (because they do not exist) or answer infrequently (because they are actually some monster or archmage pretending to be a god).


    Religion and your party (open)
    Most of the characters you have encountered so far don't really worship a 'god' or 'gods' in the traditional sense. The dwarves all subscribe to a sort of ancestor worship though they don't talk about it and it would be considered very rude to press them. Gareth believes in his sword arm and the man next to him, he will leave philosophical questions to the philosophers. Brigit vaguely believes in a couple luck spirits and she leaves them tiny offerings but it is nothing really noticible and she would not be able to give you much information if you asked her. Amena and Ithapi were raised by a Fetch, they believe in the dark goddess of the Fetch but do not worship her. Eris made it quite clear to them that they were not Fetch and had no place within Fetch society, as a result they don't much believe in anything, spiritually. You suspect that Biliku, Uttu, and Christine still believe in their spider goddess to a degree though they do not openly worship her so you can not be sure. You are fairly certain that they are convinced that she is a different being from the one they fought. Serpent has a few charms he carries around, symbols of his village's spirits but given the odd relationship he has with his own people he does not really use them for anything. You have seen him play with them when he is idle and nervous but he prefers to be doing something practical when he is nervous so it rarely happens.

    Neither Derryth nor Thaïs seem to believe in much save their own abilities and each other, as is befitting a mage. It is very rare to find a skilled mage (and almost impossible to find an archmage) that worships anything but themselves. This is easy to understand really. Mazzarin for example could easily beat the Spider Goddess two or three times over. Why bow to a god when you essentially are one?


    Yes, that is correct. You simply need a substance to aid in the channeling of the magical energies involved. You could achieve the same effect with mandrake root paste for example (Derryth suspects that this may be similar to how the Heron Guard manage to stay young for hundreds (sometimes thousands) of years) the mandrake roots contain a certain amount of the fundamental energies of life derived from the earth and the air. When broken these energies can be channeled into healing spells but if prepared properly mandrake root paste can be used in place of human blood to preform the Eternal Bloom ritual. Mandrake roots are more expensive than blood though but as a trade off it would be much better for Derryth's long term mental health...

    I like this idea but as you noted there are a few hurdles to overcome.

    The first is that while in theory you could retrieve the box in question over long distances. You would only retrieve the box, not its contents as you would have no way to know what the contents look like exactly. You could place a box somewhere which you have memorized and fill it with whatever you want (which again you will have to memorize) then bring the whole thing over together but it would not work as an effective means of long distance communication.

    The second hurdle is the power it would take. If you are transporting an item over very long distances you will need a lot of power. Derryth can easily snatch a belt buckle or a box from across the room (especially if it is very unique) but to transport an item from let's say Muirthemne to Myrgard would take four or five mages and maybe forty minutes or so. If you had your whole Circle (which will be eight mages shortly) then you could recall a large container from Myrgard to Muirthemne within fifteen minutes of continuous casting provided everyone trusted each other and worked together well.

    The third hurdle comes into play should you meet magical resistance. When you first recieved the Gate spell I mentioned that it was possible to resist it/ jam it/ or otherwise prevent its use. This can be done by a powerful enough archmage or group of mages or by background magical energies if they are sufficiently powerful (those found around Dream pillars can react in that way sometimes). You would face similar challenges with a very long distance retrieve item spell, if someone knew to expect it (or was just very paranoid) they can try to stop you from doing it, like the spider goddess tried to do with Miosguinn's control cube, they might succeed or they might fail but they would be aware of your presence and what you tried to do/succeeded in doing.

    If those hurdles can be somehow overcome then I can not see any reason why the spell could not be used in the fashion you describe though it might be difficult to figure out a workaround.

    Actually... yes... sort of, but not because they are virgins. The younger the blood used the more 'alive' it is. The blood of children is actually more powerful than the blood of adults or the elderly. The blood of a newborn is the most powerful of all as a result. So there is a grain of truth to the old stories about 'witches' kidnapping peasant children though no self respecting mage would go around doing such things, particularly when there are plenty of orphans about...

    A couple weeks and you have to worry about the undead, bandits, and other nasty things. If you could open a commercial route between the two capitals you really could charge whatever you want. It would also draw a lot of attention to your organization from some very powerful players.


    Anyway I am going to close the vote now since there has not been any real movement in a while.

    1. C wins, you will send everyone else away and Derryth and Thaïs shall await the return of Mazzarin.

    2, 3, and 4 B all win. You will not give the incredibly powerful archmage anything he asks for... :lol: . And you will use up one of your favours.

    5. A wins, you will ask for Lyssa.

    Update within twelve hours.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
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  5. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    Let's hope he respects Derryth's stubborn defiance of his wishes. After all, having resurrected him, she should have accrued considerable goodwill, and seeing as she is not directly opposing Mazzarin, just saying no to requests (they were not worded as demands at all), I have faith she's not screwed. Completely. Yet. :M
     
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  6. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
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    Messages:
    11,063
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I don't think Derryth is deluded into thinking that the mage can't take anything he wants anyway, from her life to virginity. Derryth knows that, Thais knows that, and of course Mazzarin knows that. But if he bothered to ask us regardless, it is only good manners to let him know our will and intent. It is up to him whether to respect it or not.

    That, and Derryth bows to no one.
     
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  7. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
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    1,997
    Actually that is one thing he can't take. Some dumb but cute farmboy beat him to that by about a decade. ;)
     
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  8. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Farmboys get all the action.
     
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  9. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I know our skills list.

    But... archmage!
     
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  10. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Chapter 20: The Arrows in Flight

    Your return to the surface is quick and silent. This is no time for words, you need to get the children and Nine away from here before the archmage returns. Negotiating with him will be difficult enough as it is, you do not want to give him hostages to use against you as well.

    Ceannard ambles up to the three of you as you rush out into the morning air. He has recovered slightly and the colour has returned to his face. Behind him the Arrows mill about chatting while a few sentries stand with the girls keeping watch.

    Down in that hole you had not noticed the passage of time but it has been hours. You suspect it is approaching noon.

    Ceannard gets a closer look at your face, a hint of concern passes over his in response, "What happened Derryth? You look worried," he grins, "Well more worried than normal."

    You give him a nod as you pass him, headed for the girls, "I am."

    He falls into your wake as Thaïs gives him the details, he absorbs it all in silence.

    You glance at him over your shoulder, to his credit he does not even flinch. He increases his pace slightly, pulling up beside you, he speaks, "You will be needing our services then?"

    "Yes, though not here," you wave at the girls, "I need you and your men to take the girls and Nine away from here. Get them to Myrgard, they will know where to go from there, I-"

    He does not let you finish, "Our contract was to ensure you all made it back to the city," Ceannard places a hand on your shoulder as you stop short, "I always honour my contracts. If you need us to we will put this archmage back in the ground."

    His professionalism is reassuring, the concern in his voice is touching, but now really is not the time, he has not even the slightest clue of what he is up against, "Thank you Ceannard but it will take much more than sixteen men and a couple mages to defeat this man. I have no intention of fighting him but I need the children safe if I am going to do this."

    He frowns but nods, "Alright then, I will send them back with Otto and I will stay-"

    You shake your head and raise a hand, "You need to be the one to do this, understand? I am trusting my people to your care. I expect you to see them safely to the city and I want your word that you and all of your men will leave."

    He wants to argue. You get the feeling that on this issue he could be as stubborn as you are. He tries to speak. You stare at him. He tries again, but you will not be moved; not on this at least. He makes a fist and shakes his head, "You are too Wyrd damned stubborn for your own good, you know that? Fine, I give you my word, we will see your people safely to the city or die in the attempt." He snaps a salute and marches off to organize his people. They still look drained, weak, but they are professionals. They will give it everything they have.

    Biliku and Uttu slow their advance from a brisk trot to almost a crawl as they see the look on your face. They know instinctively that you are about to give them instructions they will not like.

    You motion for them to hurry up as they wander over to you and Thaïs, you begin, "Girls we have a very important task for you. We need you to take Mistress Nine and go with the Arrows back to Myrgard."

    Their jaws drop, Uttu stamps a foot. Biliku protests, "If we leave we won't be able to protect you and Thaïs! We won't be able to do our jobs! You can not ask us to flee like that. We are not cowards!"

    The younger girl turns red in the face, "We won't leave and you can't make us!"

    It would almost be cute if the most powerful archmage to ever live were not breathing down your neck. Thaïs drops to a knee and takes both of the girls by the hand, softly she begins, taking a slightly different tact, "We know you are brave girls, but that man you saw earlier wants to take Nine away. We can not let that happen. It is of the utmost importance that you take Nine back to Myrgard and find Bari. This is a very important task that no one but you two can do for us. Do you understand?"

    Slowly they nod. You place a hand on Thaïs' shoulder, "Do you think you and Uttu could go help the Arrows? I need to talk to Biliku for a moment."

    Your friend leads the younger girl away.

    Biliku examines you as you take off your pack. Carefully you withdraw Nine's sleeping head and help store it away in her pack, "Nine should not wake up for quite some time and she requires no special care. Just let her sleep and protect her, we should be along shortly..." you try to hide your concern behind a tired smile. You are glad you are so exhausted, had you the energy you would be terrified and you don't want the girl to pick up on that.

    You search your mind for advice, "If she does wake up for whatever reason be polite to her, smile, don't contradict her too much and try to get her to go back to sleep. Do not let her poke around in your head either. If she tries, call for Ceannard or one of the Arrows..."

    With Nine securely stowed away you straighten he pack, you check the straps to ensure they are properly secured. Biliku fidgets slightly as you fuss over her perhaps a little too much, "You listen to Ceannard understand? He knows these tunnels and the desert well. When you get back to Myrgard you take Uttu and Nine and go straight to the safehouse. Find Bari-"

    She shakes free of your grasp and begins readjusting the straps on her pack, quietly she speaks, "Don't worry Derryth I won't let you down. I will get them both safely to Bari," she breaks eye contact, "Just... please... please don't die."

    She throws her arms around you, catching you off guard.

    Lightly you pat her on the head.

    You are not sure what to say really.

    The truth is anything but certain.

    You know all too well that you may not see either of them again so you tell her what she wants to hear, what she wants to be the truth, what you want to be the truth, "Don't worry kid, we will be absolutely fine. You just take care of your sister and we can go shopping or something when we get back safe and sound."

    She smiles at the thought though she looks a little confused. It occurs to you that she has probably never been shopping. She probably does not even really know what that is. The realization makes you laugh a little. It proves contagious as she begins to laugh as well.

    If this is to be the last time you see her. At least it will be joyous not sombre.

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

    The Arrows led by Ceannard march past you. Each with his bow at the ready. He gives you a slight nod as he passes. You feel better that he will be with them. As foolish as he can be, at this moment he exudes confidence. You know he will do everything he can to get them to safety.

    As they disappear into the darkness of the tunnels Uttu looks back at you and waves dramatically. The two of you can not help but wave back.

    Biliku drags her into the darkness, yelling something about 'professionalism' and 'embarrassment'. The sisters fall to bickering and you can hear them for minutes after they disappear from view.

    You turn to Lyssa and Thaïs, the witch speaks up, "Now what?"

    You motion back to the hut, "I guess we wait."

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

    Waiting is your least favourite part of the life you lead. The danger, the horror, the blood, all of the terrible and disgusting things you have to put up with, none of it is as bad as the waiting. The moments when you are caught between the promise of success and the terror of failure. It can sap you of your strength, deprive you of your rest, if you let it, it can ruin you.

    So you do something to keep your mind off it.

    "When is he going to show up?" Lyssa asks to no one in particular as she deals out three cards to each of you. She places a another four cards on the table, face up.

    "He is an archmage. He will get here when he feels like it," you snatch a four of swords from the table with your four of coins.

    "Yes, but he did say he would only be a couple hours," Thaïs reminds you as she places a two of cups on the table.

    "Maybe he won't come back?" Lyssa hazards as she sweeps the table, grabbing all three cards with a six of coins, "Hah!"

    For a girl that supposedly does not gamble. Lyssa is far too good at this.

    Maybe if you can distract her...

    You try to redirect the conversation, "Lyssa?"

    "Yes?" she responds as you play out your hands.

    "How did you wind up out here to begin with?" you frown considering your options.

    "I made mistakes... lots of mistakes," she shrugs as she snatches up another card.

    Thaïs is doing poorly, must be her nerves, "Well yes, we gathered as much, but I think what Derryth was saying is what kind of mistakes."

    She frowns, "The kind it would be very stupid to talk about," she plays her last card to the table.

    You snatch it up triumphantly, it is working, you are battling back, "Oh come on, you can tell us. It might make you feel better."

    For a second you think she might actually do it. She shakes her head, "It would and it wouldn't..." she begins to deal out another three cards to each of you, "I can't tell you Derryth, please don't ask."

    "Alright," you stare at your new hand, "So you can not tell us why you are here but what do you hope to get out of this? Magical knowledge?"

    She has a distant look in her eyes, "I have things to make up for Derryth. I was walking a path that... well it would not end well. I can't say my odds are much better here but maybe I can do some good. Helping Mazzarin... I thought I was doing some good. He is... er... was, a hero! The hero, next to Connacht, he could do so much good. He wants to remove the threat of the Dark once and for all...

    She places the beautiful seven on the table. This is working almost too well, "Yes, but if you keep going as you have you will be dead within the year. You can not do anyone any good if you are dead."

    She considers your words, "I suppose. What are you getting at Derryth?"

    "I," you look to your partner and she nods, "We, are offering you a job Lyssa."

    She drops her cards, the game forgotten by the three of you, "A job? What... what sort of job?"

    Thaïs helps you build your case, "You have talent Lyssa. That much is obvious but you are wasted out here. We would like you to come with us. We may not be archmages but we have our own resources, we can give you knowledge and the tools needed to help people and I can assure you your working conditions will be far superior to those you currently endure."

    "I... I think I would like that. What is the catch?" she interrogates you both with her gaze. Her eyes are filled with doubt but there is hope there as well.

    You smile, "You are right, there is a catch. We don't want slaves in our organization and we don't want servants either. If you come with us, you become one of us. We trust you and you have to trust us. That means no secrets between us."

    Her eyes drop, "Derryth, I already told you... I can't-"

    You raise a hand to stop her, "You don't have to answer right away. Think about it. We have time it seems..."

    Afternoon passes into evening and still the archmage does not arrive.

    You begin to worry.

    Was he waiting for you out in the desert?

    Have you sent your girls off to their deaths?

    Everything is made clear however when Mazzarin does finally arrive.

    It begins as a slight glow in the meadow. A greenish haze that seeps under the door of the hut.

    The three of you follow the light outside.

    It begins to solidify as storm clouds gather.

    Mazzarin has decided to enter with style.

    The tree in the meadow bursts into emerald flame, a twisting inferno that screams into the coming night.

    Lyssa groans, "Damn it... I liked that tree..."

    Pink strands weave through the air.

    They wrap around the hut and constrict.

    The hut folds in on itself. "My bird!" Lyssa screams and starts for the hut. You grab her by the arm and restrain her. There is nothing she can do for it.

    You are certain that this entire show is calculated to impress you.

    What it does is infuriate you. You scream into the wind, "We get the Wyrd damned point! Your a big bloody magician! Would you please stop now you grumpy old bastard!"

    The wind laughs in reply.

    You can feel the ground shake. Mazzarin must have collapsed the tunnel underneath the hut and his old cell with it.

    Purple lightning cracks through the air and he appears mere metres from you.

    He certainly looks the part now.

    His robes are red and white, a heavy hood hides his face. Around him strands of green and pink magic dance. At his belt is a blade of gold and moonlight. In his hand a coiled staff of darkness and despair. Serpents of silver and sapphire slither up and down its length. It is massive and well made but more than a little gaudy. It is all clearly crafted to invoke a sense of awe in all that see it.

    Naturally you can not help yourself...

    You grin, "Compensating for something?"

    The ladies giggle nervously.

    As an archmage Mazzarin is a master showman but you can tell that deflated him just a little. He looks decidedly unamused, "I have no idea what you mean..."

    You can taste the blood in the water. You know you should not but it is just too tempting to press this pompous ass, "Really?" your grin spreads, "I mean we all saw you in the cell. I just thought maybe, you are, you know... a little insecure..." you hold your hands a couple inches apart and tilt your head in mock sympathy.

    You can't see his eyes but his jaw clenches.

    The Faceless Man cackles in your mind.

    Wyrd, girl! Even if we die in the next minute this is completely... utterly... worth it!

    Mazzarin drops his spells. The wind dies down, the lightning stops, and the clouds disperse. He glares at you. You stand in silence, you will not give ground to him.

    Slowly his mouth stretches into an approximation of a smile, "You lack manners child... but you have done me a great service and it would be a shame to destroy such a useful... ally..." there is a certain menace in that word 'ally'. You think he would prefer to say 'servant' or 'slave' instead. Still for whatever reason he has not broken you yet, something you are doing must be working.

    With his entrance ruined he quickly pushes on to the business at hand, "Now, if you will both present your arms I can remove your bracelets and free you from the influence of this... adversary."

    "I am afraid we can not do that," Thaïs answers politely.

    You chime in as well, "Yes, I am afraid we must decline your generous offer. We shall deal with this archmage ourselves."

    Mazzarin frowns, "So you would ally with the Dark?"

    You are quick to end that line of thought, "No. Never. But all the same we shall handle this one ourselves."

    He practically growls in response, "As you wish... Have you decided what you want in exchange for your talking head?"

    "No," you respond coolly.

    He grins, "Well that is understandable. I can grant you anything and for those of limited vision-"

    You interrupt him, "No, I meant we do not want anything for her. We are sorry but she is a good friend and we simply will not betray our friends for anything.""

    "So..." rage begins to build in him, "You would take a Fallen Lord for a friend?"

    Thaïs speaks up, "She is no longer a Fallen Lord. The woman, or women, she was are gone forever. She is her own person and she has been nothing but helpful to us. If she shows signs of succumbing to the Dark then we will deal with her as well."

    He balls his fist, "She is too dangerous. She is a manipulator, a liar. She was using you! Why she even lied to you! She filled your spells with holes and backdoors!"

    Instinctively you reach back to Thaïs and she takes your hand, stepping up next to you.

    Calmly you interrupt him again, "So did you."

    The two of you wait for him to answer.

    He does not respond well to that.

    He raises his free hand, "Do you have any idea who you so freely insult! Do you have the slightest clue! I will! I will crush you! I will flay you! I will-"

    "Behave exactly like a Fallen Lord?" you give him your best grin. If you are going to die here then you are going to hold nothing back. Thaïs squeezes your hand.

    "You torture your apprentice!" you gesture to Lyssa.

    "You destroy all around you!" you gesture to the tree and the remains of the hut.

    "And now you threaten to snuff out the lives of the very people that helped you, over a slight!" the two of you take a step towards him and he backs up as you build steam, "You know what! I don't think you are Mazzarin! I think you are Balor! Or the Deceiver! Or The Watcher! 'Cause you sure as hell behave like them! So go ahead! Kill us and prove me right!"

    You prepare yourself for oblivion.

    For the spell or the blow that will strike you down.

    It never comes.

    He can't do it.

    Not now.

    Even if he killed all three of you.

    He would know.

    He would know and it would ruin him.

    That knowledge does nothing for his temper however. He steps past you towards his apprentice, "Lyssa, come! We are leaving! We have things to do!"

    You raise an arm to block his path, "Not yet. We want a favour first."

    It takes every ounce of strength in him not to hit you.

    He begins to laugh. It is deep and unrestrained.

    "You would..." he sighs, "Very well, what do you want. Some trinket that will elevate you to the status of a minor god? One of my best spells with which to lay all your enemies low? Enough wealth to buy whole kingdoms? Tell me, what do you want Derryth ó Foghladh? What do you want from me?"

    "Your apprentice," the answer rolls off your tongue.

    He pulls the hood from over his eyes. He stares at you and you meet his gaze. He looks into you, through you, as if he is trying to fathom your very soul.

    He is no longer angry, no longer amused, he is confused, "I do not understand you. You have access to the greatest mage who has ever lived. Magical knowledge and artefacts that most can not even dream of and you choose my middling apprentice," she wilts at those damning words, "Why would you want her? Of all things why her? I... I just do not understand..."

    "You don't need to," you do not feel like explaining yourself to him, "Will you grant my request or will you break your word?"

    He narrows his eyes perhaps in the belief that if he looks hard enough it will all make sense. He is certain that you are stealing some advantage from him but he can not fathom what and it drives him to distraction. He hisses his answer, "Yes... You may have her... Lyssa you are free to leave with these women should you so desire. I shall not stop you."

    Lyssa nods, "Thank you Master, I would like that."

    He shrugs, "All the same to me if you want to turn down a chance at ultimate power..."

    He turns his piercing gaze back to you and a grin creeps back across his face.

    "You intrigue me child, and amuse me..." he reaches into his robe and draws forth three black necklaces, chokers. They are as intricate and gaudy as everything else he has, not really your style. A large crystal glimmers at the center of each, "Take these as a gift. I would not want anything to happen to you or the ones you travel with."

    You stare at the chokers suspiciously, "Thank you for your courtesy but we must decline."

    Take them. Mazzarin commands you.

    Each of you reaches out and grabs one.

    Put them on. The command rings out in your mind, cold and metallic.

    You fight it, even as Lyssa and Thaïs slowly raise theirs and clip them in place.

    Put it on. The command comes out stronger.

    Slowly your hands rise. Slowly you clip it into place.

    Quickly it constricts around your neck, Quickly it bonds to your skin.

    It shifts in shape, transforming into a single black ribbon with a tiny spec of a crystal on the front. At least this way it will be easier to hide.

    He grins at the three of you, "There, you will all be much safer now."

    You can not help but note the ambiguity in his words. Will you be safer from danger or will you be safer for him? You suppose it does not much matter now as you can not do anything about it at the moment.

    He steps back from your group, "Until we meet again ladies. I shall think of my three saviours fondly!"

    He begins to waver in the light and with a flash he is gone again.

    The first thing you do is try to peal his 'gift' off, it won't even budge.

    As you turn around you notice Thaïs and Lyssa doing the same thing.

    You give your friend an grin of complete and total exhaustion, "Well, eventually we will run out of body parts to get things stuck on..."

    You share a laugh over the absurdity of your situation as you help Lyssa sort through the wreckage of her home for supplies.

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

    Your trip back to the city was without incident.

    Unfortunately you learn from Biliku and Uttu that theirs was not.

    After they let go of the two of you and you manage to calm them down they explain everything.

    "Ceannard was so brave Derryth!" Biliku frowns as Uttu explains, "We were attacked by a horde of ghôls! Like five hundred!"

    Biliku plays the role of the calm, collected older sister in their little drama, "It was not five hundred Derryth... maybe... um... eighty? One hundred? No more than one hundred and twenty to be certain."

    Uttu gives her a shove, "That does not matter! He was so cool! He was all like 'Arrows! Ready bows!'" she stands tall mimicking Ceannard, "'Nock!' And they did! 'Mark!' And they did! 'Draw'"

    "And they did..." Biliku replies sarcastically in mockery of her younger sister.

    Uttu sticks her tongue out at her, "Then he said it! 'Loose!' And the sky filled with arrows!"

    "You are exaggerating again!" Biliku chimes in, "There were only sixteen of them!"

    "Nuh uh, seventeen! Ceannard let me fire too! He put me right next to him in the 'spot of honour'! It was amazing Derryth. The Arrows can fire so fast! I mean I though I was fast but wow!" she drops down in front of you, "Not one of the ghôls made it to our line! It was amazing!"

    Biliku crosses her arms, "Gareth is better..."

    Now you understand their behaviour. This is about pride in their chosen professions. Uttu is happy she got to fight while Biliku is upset that she had to wait.

    Uttu shoots back, "No he isn't! Ceannard can kill a man from across the room!"

    Biliku returns fire, "So can Gareth! He will hit them with his magic sword!"

    "That is cheating!" Uttu insists, "Bows are better!"

    "No swords!", Biliku shouts.

    "Bows!", Uttu answers.

    Astrid yells from the other room, "Who wants to help me test out the latest batch of grenades?"

    Both girls squeal at the same time, "Grenades!" you are immediately forgotten as they race off to try out the new toys.

    As they run out, Bari finally enters the room, "They have been like that since they got back... I tried to explain to them that it is how you use a weapon that determines its worth but they seem happier fighting to be honest," he lets out a merry laugh as he presents you with a large box, "Your... ah... other friend... Don't worry I didn't tell anyone and no one saw anything. I was careful. She looks a bit different though..."

    "Well she is a bit different Bari, better I think," you take the box from him and carefully slip it into your pack.

    "Albrecht wants to see you, you know. He is not terribly happy you ran off," the dwarf grabs a seat next to you.

    "When?" you reply.

    "Three days," Bari stretches, "We just about have all the information we need. Between Ullr, Dacey and Trakk's remaining family-"

    You stop him there, "They are alive?"

    "Sort of... some of them... The Eberhardts were not kind though. One of the kids made it, Trakk's youngest granddaughter, and the girl's father is alive as well... what is left of him... from what the team tell me it was a real mess. Most of them were on death's door. The only mercy for them was to kill them..." he coughs, "Don't worry though. We have that son of a bitch jailer sitting in a cell in the royal prisons. I am going to pay him a few visits. Show him what a professional can do..."

    "If I wanted to see them... could I?" you stare at the dwarf.

    "Um... yes I suppose that could be arranged but you look terrible Derryth. My recommendation, get some rest," he slaps you on the back, hops to his feet and wanders out of the room.

    You have a couple days before Albrecht will be ready to move against his rivals. How would you like to spend that time?


    1. Activities: Pick Three (Top three will be chosen):

    A) Rest and Recover - Bari is right, you are completely spent. You will take some time to relax. You are also out of supplies. You will kill two birds with one stone. You will take the girls shopping and spend some time relaxing. Who knows what you will have to deal with next.

    B) Meet with Mayer - You want to meet with the dwarf to discuss a future partnership that could make you both a lot of money.

    C) The Magical Academy - Your close ties to the Royal House of Albrecht should grant you access to the academies resources. You will spend time learning as much as you can about:

    i. Enchantment Spells - you want the ability to remove the bracelets and Mazzarin's little 'present'. The dwarves are experts when it comes to weaving enchantments, hopefully they can help you get started.

    ii. Light Manipulation - the dwarves have a great deal of interest in this field. You might not be able to learn a lot in such a short amount of time but you can at least make a start.

    D) Look into Meletē's condition - she is still unconscious. Whatever spells are at work in her seem to have a long duration. You hope they are not permanent but the only way to find out is to investigate.

    i. The Academy - you will look into what the mages know about her condition and attackers. They might be able to help.

    ii. The Violet Mages - you will search the mercenary community for her attackers and extract the information from them. You will approach Ceannard for help in this, he should know the players involved and he is reliable provided you pay.

    E) You visit Trakk's family - They are being held at a safe location outside of the city. Bari says you can meet them if you want to... you are not sure what if anything you can do for them or what you will say to them...

    F) Inquire at the academy about a power source capable of holding your gate spell open. They may have something or could give you a lead on where to find something.

    G) freeform


    2. Lyssa: She came with you but you know very little about her. You could try to coax her past out with Thaïs' help. Do you?

    A) Yes. You will try to find out more about her through quiet, polite conversation.

    B) Yes. You will take the girls out drinking, get her drunk enough and she might tell you something... though things could get out of hand...

    C) No. You will not push her.

    C) freeform


    3. The Impressions: You now have a collection of memories in your head that are not your own. What do you want to do with them?

    A) Fence them off - you do not want these ideas influencing you. You will do your best to contain them and advise Thaïs to do the same.

    B) Integrate them - they memories are now a part of you anyway. You will work together sort through them in as healthy a way as possible. This process will probably influence you both a little.

    C) freeform

    4. Split the party or not? You will send Thaïs off to perform three separate tasks while you work.

    A) Yes - Split up, you can get twice as much done. List the three tasks you want her to work on. The options are the same as in question 1.

    B) No - Do not split up, you work better together and are less exposed as a team.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
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  11. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,063
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    The girls are so much d'aaaw, it hurts.
    :love:

    We promised to take them shopping, and Derryth keeps her promises. Besides, we deserve some rest after all the crazyness we've been through.

    And this is still a thing.

    As for the rest, I'm torn between a visit to the Magical Academy to find out about our 'gifts', and trying to get Melete healed. I think Derryth always prioritizes people under her care over everything else, but the bracelets and the necklaces do concern Thais as well.

    I don't want to burn another half of the city, so we'll show some restraint with Lyssa. But no, the curiosity will not be contained.

    And we will integrate our impressions. I am intrigued at the possibilities it offers.

    ACiDii AB

    Damn. I guess, the more stubborn they are, the more I like them.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
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  12. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,701
    Divinity: Original Sin
    Nevill, we choose 3, you seem to be missing a choice from 1.

    1.
    Rest is for the weak. We don't want Derryth getting lazy. So I'm not voting A

    B

    Ci

    Di


    2.
    A

    3. Going to adopt a Sensate perspective from Planet Escape.

    B

    Fangshi, do we pay the arrows 100 wp or 300 wp since they got into a fight, but not with Mazzarin?
     
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  13. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Ceannard is quite good at this. He will argue that you owe the full three hundred as a third party attacked during the meeting.

    Now he will argue that 'during the meeting' could either be taken to mean the time it took them to escort the children back or the time it took you to return to the city. Either way he will maintain that the meeting was still under way and as such he was still under contact.

    If you want to try and get out of it feel free to but he is expecting another 200.
     
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  14. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,701
    Divinity: Original Sin
    Technically they weren't fighting during the meeting, since Mazzarin hadn't turned up at the time of the fight. If Mazzarin wasn't there it wasn't a meeting.
     
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  15. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    He argues that the meeting began when you first encountered either 1. the illusion or 2. Lyssa.

    Lyssa was present at all times and remained an employee of Mazzarin's and his representative in all things until your final meeting with Mazzarin where he realised her from his employ (though Ceannard does not know that last bit yet). As a result the meeting was in session from 'Hope and Hatred' until your final encounter with Mazzarin in 'The Arrows in Flight'.
     
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  16. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    2,880
    1)
    Ci
    - in case we need to remove the damn things it would be nice to be able to.
    Di - find out just what is wrong with our future inventor. I want my guns.
    F - find a power source capable of holding our gate spell open (maybe in the academy). If we can open a permanent gate between two capitals given the situation on the roads we would make a fortune. Fuck banking, we will be the Spacing Guild.

    Shame that doesn't leave us with time to rest, but plenty of time to do that in the grave (hopefully not). Anyway, if we spend all of our time in the Academy, in how much trouble can we get? Don't answer that.
    2)
    A -
    take it easy. We already know some stuff - she did things she regrets, now she is with us and hopefully she won't repeat them. I also don't like the idea of things getting out of hand, we already burned a part of the city.

    3)
    B -
    hell if I know what is the better answer to this one. But I don't know how effective (or healthy) would it be to suppress part of our memories permanently. Maybe working things out would be better.

    Also, if we are voting about this as well, give the mercs their expected share. We are rich (though it is a significant payout) and we could need him in the future while we definitely don't need more enemies. And he did protect the kids, so there's that.
     
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  17. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,063
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Let me remind you that exhaustion is a very real and a very crippling game mechanics, especially if we are going to butt heads with The Faceless Man again.

    I think our personal safety comes first. Right now we are useless as a mage.
     
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  18. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,701
    Divinity: Original Sin
    Hogwash, all Derryth needs is to sleep seven hours and she'd be right as rain. If we indulge her here and now, she'll be sleeping when there's work that needs doing.

    Continuing to be active during this period will drive into Derryth a strong work ethic that allows her to continue longer and harder next time. She'll never be an archmage if she spends all her time shopping.
     
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  19. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,189
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    1A, Ci, Dii
    2A
    3B
     
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  20. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    807
    Location:
    Greece
    1. B + Dii + F
    2. A
    3. B

    I think B + F are a pretty great combo for the first choice. The rest are all nice options, except the visit to Trakk's family. There is nothing we can say to them. I also vote for Dii to kick some violet mage ass.
    2A and 3B seem to be the "Derryth" way.
     
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  21. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,063
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Fangshi, would we still get enough rest to get back into shape (e.g. rid of the exhausted condition) if we don't go with 1A?

    I'd still want to restock our supplies - something tells me that we are going to delve even deeper into Myrgard's trouble, and there might not be enough time to spend our cash.

    Much as it pains me to say so, we need to recover a bit of our sanity as well. The experiences of the last week couldn't have been good for us. Twice or thrice already Derryth volunteered to end her life if things didn't go her way. This is not a healthy sign.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
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  22. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    24,595
    1.
    A) Rest and Recover

    C) The Magical Academy
    i. Enchantment Spells

    D) Look into Meletē's condition
    ii. The Violet Mages

    2. Lyssa:
    A) Yes

    3. The Impressions
    B) Integrate them
    Lesbomancy unlocked.


    4. Split the party
    B) No - Do not split up
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
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  23. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    24,595
    Stop being a Jew.
    Pay them and add a bonus too.
     
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  24. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,063
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Pay them. They have protected our girls, after all.

    But no bonus. That was a shameful display during the business with the illusion. They should prove themselves if they want to work with us further.
     
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  25. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,493
    Hmm must learn how to get user link thingie.

    Can we tell Thais to search for power source while we are visiting track family for example?
     
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