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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:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,698
    Divinity: Original Sin
    It'd be nice if Thais had some divergent magical skills of our own. That's why I'm voting Cii for her. Because right now we both kind of just serve as an augment to each other for different spells.
     
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  2. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
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    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Smashing Axe, Zero Credibility, can we agree to vote thus:

    Don't split up, unless it is to learn spells from another magic school in the Academy?

    There, problem solved.

    I believe it would be:

    Thais (XYCii) or (XYF) or (XYDi), where XY are same as Derryth's, and Cii/F/Di is only present if Ci wins, which it looks like it will.
     
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  3. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
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    2,874
    Actually, I'd prefer if she helps out with one of the things previously mentioned we could do in the academy. Say, she can research out her friends condition while we look for the power source. Or the other way around. Or we both check on her friend but she looks for the power source while we research the enchantment.

    If that is not possible then honestly I'd rather we keep it simple and don't bother splitting up. We'll probably see an update quicker that way too.
     
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  4. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
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    8,175
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    Do not split the party.
     
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  5. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    May as well call it as the last tie has been settled.

    You will undergo retail therapy, you will investigate the nature of the trinkets you are stuck with and you will ask the Arrows to help you track down these violet mages.

    You will take the moderate path and try to gently pry into Lyssa's past (narrowly avoiding tragedy :lol: ).

    You will work to integrate the impressions you have picked up though this will take time.

    And finally you will not split up.

    Update should be out in the next twelve to fourteen hours, earlier if I can manage it.
     
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  6. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Dammit, what is safe in this god forsaken universe?!

    Next thing we know, every time we go to sleep we'll have to roll for the right to wake up.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
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  7. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
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    8,175
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    Don't give the man ideas, Nevill..
     
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  8. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
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    1,997
    Don't worry it was not the sort of tragedy that kills you. Things just could have gotten out of hand, is all, and [spoilers].

    The next morning with your friends might have been a bit awkward as a result... :lol:
     
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  9. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
    Joined:
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    Divinity: Original Sin
    Oh thank god. We just narrowly avoided lesbian sex, right?
     
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  10. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    No. That would have been the tragedy.
     
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  11. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,493
    Wait a second... We arent rolling that already?

    Let me guess we would find out that cooking isnt her strong point... as long as you dont wish to kill person eating. Baking bread capable of causing serious impact damage sound like something handy for mage or warrior.
     
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  12. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Bit longer than expected... my apologies...

    Chapter 21: Troubled Dreams and Sweet Nightmares

    The six of you weave your way through the mid morning crowd towards the commercial district of the great city. Past temples that look like banks and banks that look like temples, past the grocers and smiths, past the tinkerers and traders. You are headed towards one of the best kept secrets in the city. The shop of the brothers Dietfried, purveyors of all things magical, they will have everything you need and more.

    The smell has finally begun to dissipate from the fire, your fire, and the city has slipped back into its usual rhythm. With a few exceptions.

    At every major corner a pair of dwarven soldiers stand watch, blades and shields at the ready. Albrecht has not formally raised the emergency measure he instituted following the fire. The official reason for this is to prevent a reoccurrence of that tragedy while the government hunts down all those involved. You, however, know the real reason. Albrecht intends to move against his enemies within the week and he will use the army to help him reinforce his rule. It might just be the pessimist in you, but you are certain that the streets of Myrgard will yet run red with blood. That the glittering white marble of its buildings will be smeared with ash. You have seen it... in your dreams...

    In truth you have not been resting well lately. Your experiences out in the desert have drained you and one look to your friend tells you that they have marked her as well. You lean on one another as the girls bounce and spring around you, eternal founts of optimism and energy. It does you a world of good to spend some time relaxing with them.

    "Girls! Don't run too far ahead!" you call out to them, smiling.

    The sound of your voice reminds them of your presence and their 'duty', Uttu calls back, "We were just scouting!"

    Thaïs lets out a melodic laugh, "Well then scout a bit closer please!"

    The girls come racing back. Uttu slips under Thaïs's free arm and Biliku slips under yours.

    "Now that is a sweet picture right there," Astrid chuckles from behind you. The Pathfinder is your minder for the day.

    You asked Bari if he wanted to come but he feigned horror and laughed. He had said that he would follow you into the very mouth of hell. He would fight ancient archmages and dark gods out of friendship to you but shopping... that was one bridge too far for even him.

    Astrid on the other hand was delighted to come and as the resident inventor of the Pathfinders she even knew the best shops and shopkeepers to go see.

    Lyssa laughs in agreement, she is in better spirits then you have ever seen her, "Reminds me of my family when I was just a little girl."

    "Family?" you ask, shooting a questioning glance at them over your shoulder.

    "Well aren't you?" Lyssa replies confidently, "You look after one another. You care for each other. If that does not make you a family then I do not know what does."

    Astrid nods, "The whole world has been levelled twice in the last hundred years. Take it from a dwarf, find comfort and strength wherever you can get it. Does your soul good."

    They are right of course, these people have become your family over the last couple months. A result of a common bond forged by constant danger and reinforced by your dependence on one another for survival. Your Circle, your friends, without them none of this would have been possible. You would do anything for them, well maybe not Christine, but still, the thought fills you with peace, with calm, with satisfaction.

    "Ah, here we are," the Pathfinder ducks down a side street as the five of you turn and follow. She leads you down a series of increasingly narrow alleys. The fine marble of the high street shops give way to wood and baked brick. There are no guards on these streets and the dwarves that mill about eye your group suspiciously.

    She leads you to a shabby little house. No markings of any kind distinguish it from those around it. Something is off about the building and it takes a moment you a moment to realize that the entire structure is wrapped in powerful illusions. You and Thaïs nod to one another as Astrid explains, "The whole place is layered in spells, part of their security. The Dietfried Brothers are quite good at what they do, good friends of the crown too. They normally won't just see anyone off the street but with me along you should be fine," she gives you a wink, "Consider it just another advantage of working for the crown."

    You consider the door for a moment. Sturdy but worn, a crooked doorknocker in the shape of a sleeping demon hangs from the middle of the door. Astrid strikes the door three times. The door knocker blinks twice as it opens an eye, to your shock it is alive, "This," she whispers to you, "Is their doorman. Say hello Hartmann."

    The doorknocker yawns, "Hello Astrid. Who are your friends?"

    "Just some guests in service to the crown," your guide responds, "May we please enter?"

    "Depends," the demon answers coyly, "Have an appointment?"

    She leans on the door, it grunts, "Come on Hartmann, I am bringing your masters new customers, rich customers. Do me a favour here."

    "Hmm..." his scrunches up his face, "Got a bribe?"

    Astrid sighs as she roots around in her pocket. She turns to explain as she draws a small pouch from her pocket, "He will do just about anything for peppermints. He won't let in a threat but for a friend..." she pull out a peppermint and pops it into Hartmann's open mouth.

    The door demon smiles, "Thank you Lady Astrid, you and your friends may enter. I have alerted my masters and they will be with you shortly," Hartmann closes his eyes, humming slightly as he sucks on the mint.

    "In here," Astrid gestures as she pushes the door open and steps into the darkness, you are not far behind.

    The interior of this building could not be any different from the exterior.

    Polished brass, imported oak, gold filigree, and red velvet. A number of display cases show off weapons and armour, spellbooks and artefacts. The place is filled from floor to roof with the tools of the adventuring trade.

    The elder Dietfried a bald, fat man with a jolly face waltzes towards you, moving between the mounds of magical items with a grace that belies his heavy frame.

    He spreads his arms wide, "Astrid! It has been far to long since you have stopped by! It is an absolute pleasure as always! And who are these, your lovely friends! Why it is an absolute pleasure-"

    "Brother, may we dispense with all of these pointless courtesies? They women are here to shop not talk," the younger Dietfried appears from behind a tower of spellbooks. He is lean and thin, his eyes red from tears and an eternal frown fixed to the center of his gaunt face. The two brothers could not be more different.

    You spend hours window shopping as the elder Dietfried shows you his wares. Uttu and Biliku are well behaved and spend most of their time trying out the various weapons in one of the back rooms under the guidance of the younger Dietfried, Astrid keeps an eye on them for you. You, Thaïs, and Lyssa remain in the front of the shop negotiating over spellbooks and scrolls, artefacts and anomalies.

    You all see at least one item you would like and you are able to negotiate a price for a large bag of energon cubes and the last of the Dietfrieds' mandrake roots. Astrid offers to cover the costs in the name of the crown should you desire. If you let her do so the Dietfrieds will add the total to the Pathfinders' business account.

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

    1. Shopping (Each part A through G is a seperate sub question. Feel free to vote in each.)


    A) Uttu's Bowstring:

    Uttu wants a new bowstring. It looks to be made of some sort of hair and radiates a faint, chartreuse light. She thinks it looks pretty and she likes the name. The 'Bowstring of the Fairies'. It is superior to the one she has and will improve the strength of her shots. It also has the ability to transform a single arrow into a flare of light when fully charged (approximately once a day provided it has access to sufficient light to recharge). Do you get it for her?

    i. Yes (10 WPs)

    ii. No

    iii. Let Astrid pay for it.


    B) Biliku's Bargain:

    Biliku has been involved in hours of negotiation with the younger Dietfried over a small round shield and a scabbard. While her arguments are not sound her conviction has worn him down a little. You suspect he just wants to get rid of her and is cutting her a deal to do so. The shield is made out of a strange silver metal and is completely frictionless. All attacks slide right off of it and projectiles thrown at it glance off. The scabbard appears to be a normal, worn, leather scabbard but when a blade is placed within it the light bends around it hiding both the scabbard and the hilt of the blade. It allows the user to appear unarmed while still carrying a weapon. Do you get them for her?

    i. Yes (10 WPs)

    ii. No

    iii. Let Astrid pay for it.


    C) Lyssa's Aphids:

    Lyssa and the elder Dietfried have been discussing the finer points of animal training and magical infusion. On a hunch he brought her a small vial filled with little blue and bronze aphids. When unleashed they attack a target designated by their owner and leech off the target's magical energies. Once full they will either return to the owner or detonate on the target as per the owner's instructions at the time of release. She seems quite interested in them and intends to purchase them, if you want you could offer to cover the expense or let Astrid do so.

    i. Yes, you pay for them (15 WPs)

    ii. No, you let Lyssa buy them.

    iii. You let Astrid pay for it.


    D) Thaïs' Ring:

    Thaïs has her eye on a simple gold band. It allows the caster to store a single spell in it for immediate activation. Nice, simple and practical but it is not cheap. Do you let her pay for it, offer to buy it yourself or let Astrid pay for it?

    i. Yes, you pay for it (25 WPs)

    ii. No, you let Thaïs pay for it.

    iii. You let Astrid pay for it.


    E) Derryth's Purchase Part 1:

    The shop is filled with a variety of interesting items. Do you want to buy anything? (List as many or as few as you want.)

    i. A ring of spell storage just like the one Thaïs wants. (25 WPs)

    ii. The Book of the Past: An odd little tome that attunes to whoever holds it in their bare hands for more than twenty minutes. Once attuned it begins to fill up with the true and complete life story of its 'owner'. Every time it is picked up by its owner after that it will attempt to update its contents with new information. It can be reset by attuning it to a new owner at which point its contents will be wiped and the process will begin again. (10 WPs)

    iii. The Bloodroot: An odd parasitic plant that will bond to the arm of any host it comes in contact with. It will shift into the shape of any weapon the host knows how to use and is remarkably strong and resistant to harm. It is a living part of the hosts body however and if damaged will harm the host. It also has a nasty tendency to spread its young to those close to its host through direct contact or fluid transmission. The Dietfrieds have theirs caged and should you purchase it they will throw the cage in for free. When attached to a host it requires no special care, when unattached it requires water, light and food in the form of rodents and the like. (15 WPs)

    iv. The Spinner: A tiny magic powered machine in the shape of a spider. If fed plant matter it will produce organic tread of a high quality. If fed metals it will spin thread of that metal. The Dietfrieds have not tried to feed it anything else but the same process probably applies to a variety of substances. (20 WPs)

    v. A vial of aphids similar to those Lyssa is considering. (15 WPs)

    vi. The Box: A plain, sealed wooden box. The Dietfrieds have no idea what is in it and won't risk damaging it to find out. It is a complete mystery... a mystery box... (5 WPs)

    vii. A tome on elemental spells (35 WPs)

    viii. A comb that can store an invisibility spell but makes a humming noise when active. (5 WPs)

    ix. A book titled 'Golems for dummies' but they assure you it is just a novelty item. They have not been able to get the spells in it to work. (1 WP)

    x. A squid shaped vase that can store up to ten spells but releases them at random. (10 WPs)

    xi. freeform - Looking for something in particular. Propose it and the brothers will check their stock.


    F) Derryth's Purchase Part 2:

    i. You pay for it yourself.

    ii. You let Astrid pay for it.


    G) General Supplies: Twelve Energon Cubes and Six Mandrake Roots

    i. You buy them (10 WPs)

    ii. You by just the roots (6 WPs)

    iii. You buy just the cubes (6 WPs)

    iv. Let Astrid pay for it.

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

    You make your purchases and leave satisfied.

    The brothers, or rather the cheerful elder brother, extends to you an open invitation to stop by should you ever require their services again.

    As you leave the shop Astrid presents you with one final gift.

    "What's this?" you ask as she hands you and Thaïs a pair of tickets.

    "Two passes to the most exclusive spa in the entire city," she grins, "I could see the looks on your faces yesterday. I know exactly what exhaustion looks like and exactly how to cure it! So I booked you both an evening at the Temple of Asclepius. By tomorrow morning you will be as good as new."

    The two of you try to politely decline, "We can't take these..."

    "Yes you can," she insists, "Don't worry about anything. Lyssa and I will see the girls home safe and sound," she whistles a happy tune, "When you work for the king you get only the best."

    She escorts Lyssa and the girls away. They wave as they turn the corner, chattering amongst themselves.

    "Well it would be nice to relax," you take your friend by the arm and head back to the high street.

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

    You whistle as you dress. All things considered you are in a great mood.

    The Temple was perfect and just what you needed. The natural springs it was built on revived you bodies and the vapours coming from the deepest parts of the temple restored your minds. When you collapsed in your bed at the end of the day you slipped into the most restful night's sleep you have had in ages.

    Now as the sun begins to rise over the desert you can not help but be cheerful as you slip into your smallclothes.

    Naturally it was not made to last.

    Your whistling is contagious it seems as a second voice drifts into your mind singing in harmony.

    "Are you always around?" you mumble to the Faceless Man.

    Well Derryth it is not like I can turn our connection off... he replies merrily.

    "So every moment... you see and hear everything?" you groan as you slip into your trousers.

    Yep. Great isn't it. He sounds far too smug.

    "Even when I wake?" you push on.

    Yes. He calmly answers.

    "When I go to sleep?" you query as you pull on your tunic.

    Yes. The same call rings out.

    "When I..." he stops you.

    Derryth darling. I see everything. I hear everything. If you keep pushing you are going to get an answer you will not like. It is best for your sanity not to worry about it. He chuckles.

    "Can't say I appreciate you spying on me all the time..." you mutter all the same.

    Well for what it is worth you are not alone. I spy on your friend all the time too. He pauses, you can sense the mischief in him. He is up to no good. Like usual, You know she likes you right.

    "I know, I am not an idiot-" you begin to respond but he cuts you off.

    No, I mean really likes you- You in turn cut him off.

    You have everything you need except your hat...

    Now a little annoyed at misplacing it you press on, "Like I said, I am not an idiot. I know. And she is not an idiot, she knows I know. We have spent a good portion of the last two months climbing through each others' minds. We do not have secrets and at least for the time being we are not going to do anything about it. I mean in the last two weeks we have each almost died over twenty times, we almost got our minds wiped, we were almost fused together, several archmages almost murdered us, I-"

    Believe me I know. He butts in again terribly self-satisfied, I have been keeping score. Actually if you are curious you are one up on her currently.

    You check the closet and the washroom as the Faceless Man drones on...

    "Really?" you respond as you continue your search. It feels good for a moment to be winning but you frown as you remember what you are winning at.

    He pushes on, But trust me here, you should not pass up a chance at actual happiness. The two of you would be good together-

    "Wait a minute," you interject as you check under the bed for your hat.

    What? He replies, all curiosity.

    "When did you give a damn about love?" you put your hands on your hips and survey the room. It has to be in here somewhere... right?

    Um... well... I have been thinking since I told you about Culwyeh. If I had been there for her either time... maybe things would have been different. Maybe... maybe I would be a better man and she would still exist? I don't want you to walk the same path I did Derryth. He lets out a strained sigh.

    You will give him that, the man is a natural liar. If you did not know him as well as you do. If you had not seen him in Nine's mind, had not felt him as Mazzarin threatened him you might just believe him. As it is though you don't buy a word of it.

    There it is! Under your pillow... a bit flattened but you can fix it. As you pull your hair back and wedge your hat on you confront the Faceless Man, "You creepy old bastard! I don't buy that whole 'I'm reformed' crap for one second! You just want to watch us make out!"

    With a sigh he drops his act, Alright Derryth, you got me. I am a disembodied mind bound to a pair of bracelets. If I can not live vicariously through my hosts than what can I do? Can you really blame me?

    "Well, once I figure out how to take you off it won't be a problem for either of us, will it?" you frown as you grab your pack and head out of your room.

    Thaïs is waiting in the hallway, "Good morning Derryth."

    You nod at her, "Morning."

    You look one another in the eyes. Instantly you can both tell, "He's been bugging you too huh?"

    She nods, "Why is it that every archmage we have met is a creep?

    The Faceless Man broadcasts the answer into both your minds, Boredom dear ladies. We have time and we have power and the rest comes naturally.

    You both shake your heads as you slip out the front door and meet up with Lyssa.

    Today you begin an important task, to get this parasitic archmage off your arms, out of your heads and gone from your lives.

    Behind you, somewhere in the bowels of the safehouse you hear giggling and explosions. At least someone is having fun.

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

    "Fascinating! Absolutely fascinating!" he exclaims, wheezing.

    "Why these enchantments are expertly, wonderfully crafted!" his colleague replies in a raspy voice.

    "I sense the Dark in those bracelets through!" a third, nasally voice exclaims.

    "Maybe they are necromancers or witches? Maybe we should burn them!" squeaks a fourth voice.

    A fifth, female and bored, responds, "You don't burn witches idiot! If you inhale the sulphurous fumes you might go mad. You need to drown them!"

    "WE SHOULD WEIGH THEM FIRST!" screams a deaf little dwarf.

    "We are out of ducks..." comes the reply from the first.

    This has been going on for hours...

    The rest of the faculty at Myrgard's Royal Academy crowds around the three of you poking and prodding you. They paw at your arms and necks. Muttering dozens of theories as they argue with one another.

    You have been dragged apart and pushed together. You have been shoved into a variety of boxes: wooden, metal, stone. You have been submerged in every substance imaginable and still the dwarves ceaselessly prattle on.

    You have been assured that they are geniuses. That they are responsible for the innovations that have driven the dwarven state forward.

    They babble about experimentation and categorization. About natural principles that you have never encountered before. Something about 'radio waves' though you have no idea what those are. You know the words they are using, or at least they sound familiar, but the way they use them makes no sense. One of them suggests that you have been infected with a 'germ' whatever that is.

    You try to be patient. You really do.

    But you only have so much patience, "Alright! Enough!"

    They hop backward en masse. Startled at your sudden outburst.

    "You!" you point to the lead naturalist, "What is wrong with us and how do we fix it!"

    "Ah... well..." he looks to his fellows and they begin whispering to each other. They stay like that for five minutes. When you can take no more the lead naturalist spins back around, a wide and deranged smile on his wide lips, "You have two problems ladies! The first are those bracelets. We think there may be a psychic entity residing in them!"

    "Which means?" you urge him to speak plainly.

    "Uh... there is a consciousness in those bracelets!" he exclaims triumphantly.

    "We know that already," Thaïs sighs.

    If these are the best you have ladies... I have nothing at all to worry about! the Faceless Man laughs.

    The naturalist pushes on undeterred, "But wait! There's more!" he races over to a large tablet and begins to draw with a little piece of stone, "The entity keeps the bracelets locked on your wrists and it is powerful. It grants you some physical protection and should be able to act as a means of communication between the two of you provided you do not get too far apart," you know all of this already and tell him so. He nods and skips to the important part, "So the way to deal with your problem is to remove the entity from the bracelets!"

    You grin, "Well now we are making progress! How do we do that?"

    Derryth do not do this. The Faceless Man warns you, a hint of fear creeping into his voice.

    "Ah... we don't know..." the philosopher hangs his head.

    Ah ha ha ha ha! The Faceless Man cackles in your mind.

    "YES WE DO!" the tiny dwarf yells at the top of his lungs, "WE CUT THEIR ARMS OFF!"

    The Faceless Man laughs harder.

    The lead naturalist shakes his head, "That is too crude. It could work but it is a high price to pay. I have a more elegant solution!"

    He wheels out a pair of large lead gloves. One for each of you. Proudly he explains, "Wear these and the entity will not be able to do anything!"

    The Faceless Man stops laughing.

    They look rather bulky and awkward...

    You don't really relish wearing those for the rest of your days.

    The female dwarf coughs as she roots around in a large bin, "This could help!" She drags out a small backpack with a rod attached to it.

    "Oh not that thing Janine!" the head naturalist whines, "It is embarrassing!"

    She glares at her colleague, "Doctor Spengler was a genius and this was his greatest work!"

    "Was?" you ask, suddenly worried, "What happen to him?"

    She won't make eye contact, "He was a genius... but... not all of his inventions worked as well as others, his Myrkridia repellent for example... But this invention will work! The proton pack will suck that spirit right out of your arms! I think... maybe..."

    The head naturalist coughs, "The less said about Doctor Spengler and his inventions the better! Now if you would like to try on the gloves ladies-"

    "I STILL SAY WE SHOULD CUT THEIR ARMS OFF!" the deaf dwarf insists, "IT WOULD SOLVE EVERYTHING AND WE CAN HEAL THEM UP, RIGHT QUICK!"

    "Yes but we can not restore a missing arm, you fool!" the naturalist snaps, "There is only so much we can do for them!"

    You decide to interject before they get completely distracted, "What about the necklaces?"

    "WELL WE CAN'T CUT YOUR HEADS OFF SO I GOT NOTHING!" the little dwarf shrugs.

    The naturalist leads you away from his colleagues, "The bracelets are well made, expertly made in fact, but those necklaces are something else entirely," The Faceless Man grunts, annoyed as Mazzarin upstages him yet again, "From what we can tell they have a number of subtle spells woven into them. One of which is a signal."

    "A signal?" Lyssa asks concerned.

    He tries to reassure you, " The necklaces emit a slight signal but do not worry ladies. It was difficult to detect and doubtful that your average mage could use the necklaces to find you. They would have to know what to look for in the first place. Even if they did, they would require a lot of skill without our tools to make use of that information."

    He pauses for a moment to see if you have any questions. When none are forthcoming he presses on, "Aside from the slight signal the necklaces have a number of spells woven into them all designed to achieve one purpose."

    "Which is?" Thaïs asks as concern creeps back into her voice.

    "To keep the wearers of the necklaces together. They generate subtle magical and physical protections based on how close the wearers are to one another. When two of you come within ten metres of one another the spells begin to activate and when all three of your necklaces are brought within ten metres of the each other the spells further build in strength."

    "Well that does not sound too bad then," you sigh in relief.

    He coughs, "Well there is a more sinister aspect to it as well. Some of the spells alter the production of... oh how to explain this... when you are together. All three of you or even two of you. You will feel better... um... happier. More stable. That sort of thing. You will handle stress better too. But, and this is a big but, if you get too far from one another you will start to suffer additional mental strain. You will become more irritable, more prone to fits of depression and the like. As I said, whoever designed these necklaces built them to keep the wearers together. They really are quite brilliant but I am afraid I have little good news for you. These things are so far beyond what we know, honestly I can not even tell you for certain that, that is all they do. These things were created by a true master... I... I am humbled just being in the same room as them," he pauses and looks each of you in the eyes, "Ladies?"

    "Yes?" you respond in unison.

    "Where did you find those necklaces anyway? They are truly like nothing I have ever seen and I would like to know," his sharp gaze bores into you, you doubt you could fool him.

    Thankfully Thaïs is with you, "Far to the west Sir. Before the war with Soulblighter. We thought they were so beautiful but once we put them on we could not take them off. We had hoped that the skill of you and your fellows could aid us but it looks like we must endure their presence for a while yet."

    An idea occurs to Lyssa, "Could we wrap our necks in lead perhaps? Like with the bracelets?"

    He shakes his head, "It would block the signal but that would also trigger the withdrawal effects. You would all go mad within a week, two at most."

    With that wonderful news you turn back to the issue of your bracelets.

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


    2. The Faceless Man, how do you want to get rid of him? Or do you even want to?

    A) No, for the time being you will put up with him.

    B) Yes, YOU WILL CUT- ahem, you will cut off your arms. It is guaranteed to work and they can have you back on your feet by tomorrow but the cost is high.

    C) Yes, you will let Janine use he proton pack on you. It might suck the Faceless Man out of your bracelets but you are not sure what will happen after that.

    D) Sort of, you will wear the giant lead gloves. They look odd and will limit what you can do with one of your hands but they will shield you from the Faceless Man until you can come up with something better.

    E) Yes, you have an idea. A very dangerous idea. You will use infiltration to invade the Faceless Man's mind and kill him there. That should wipe his mind and allow you to take of the bracelets. Though it would mean fighting a Fallen Lord in his own mind. Naturally you can not afford to do this immediately so you will take the lead gloves to disable the Faceless Man while you plot your assault.

    F) You will take the gloves, but you won't wear them constantly. When you need a private moment, or when you sleep, or when you need to execute some plan The Faceless Man does not need to know about, you'll put them on. When you find yourself in a tough combat sitiuation, or when you aren't doing something terribly suspicious, you'll slip out of them.

    G) freeform


    3. You are at the Royal Academy anyway. You do not have too much time but you can each study a little about a field of enchanting if you want. (Just pick three choices and list who will study what. Neither of them have any real preference so they are fine leaving it up to Derryth.)

    A) The prayers of protection. Used mostly to make armour and other protective items.

    B) The songs of joy and inspiration. Used to inspire courage and aid in battle amongst other things. Used mostly in the crafting of weapons and banners.

    C) The oaths of the elements. Used in weapons and for all sorts of utility items.

    D) The riddles of understanding. Used to strengthen the mind. Often found on robes, hood, or circlets.

    E) The paths of progress. Used to sharpen the mind, often woven together with the riddles of understanding or used in their place.

    F) Nothing, you will instead use the time and faculties to work on your own spells. Choose a spell to progress with or a spell to teach the someone else. If you want to learn a spell from one of your companions that can also be done. The most popular spell will be chosen if this option wins. Depending on the difficulty of the spell you may not master it in one sitting.

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

    "Evening Lyssa," the two of you step out onto the roof and greet the witch, you each wear a heavy cloak to keep out the night air. It does not seem to bother her though.

    She stands framed in the setting sun repeating her calls to her eagles.

    She turns to you and nods slightly, "Derryth, Thaïs."

    "How are your efforts going?" your friend asks.

    "I have faith my birds will find me," she smiles, the look of worry on her face loses its edge as you approach, "They are quite intelligent animals really. I left them a message before we left. They will know to look for me in Myrgard. I just have to be patient," it is clear it pains her but talking about it seems to help. You hope that what she is feeling is actual relief and not simply the effects of the necklaces but you can not be sure.

    You feel better with her around, happier, like you did while on your shopping trip yesterday or at the academy today. Looking at the other women it is clear that they feel the same. You curse Mazzarin under your breathe for toying with people this way. He might see himself as a protector, as a hero, but in many ways he is as bad as a Fallen Lord.

    From under your cloak you draw a pot of spiced wine, nothing strong. This is a simply a social occasion and it would be bad form to drink to excess. The wine isn't good, about the best you could expect in dwarven lands though and the spices cover some of the taste.

    The three of you fall to friendly conversation for several hours as the sun lazily drifts down past the mountains.

    You talk of your childhood in the Province first on the farm with your parents, then fighting and stealing on the streets following their passing. You speak of Henry and Lyssa smiles, she can tell you cared deeply for the old man. Thaïs smiles as well but it has a different quality to it. She has heard many of these stories already but that is not it.

    She knows these stories, has known them for months, but now she has lived them as well.

    After a great deal of discussion you have decided to help one another work through the impressions you gave each other. You will not hide from them, they are a part of you now.

    It was not an easy thing to decide on but once you agreed to head down that road neither of you looked back. Quickly you realized that the best way to do this is to link up mentally and relive these memories together. Your first session dealt with Henry and Thaïs' father respectively. When you were done you were changed forever. You gained a better understanding of the people that help you become the women you are and you gained memories and insights that will forever be a part of you.

    When you laugh about Henry's mannerisms she laughs too. We you cry over his death she cries as well.

    With your tale done, Thaïs once more goes over the story of her life. You have heard the broad strokes before. Living in Strand and later Scales. Her time with the courtesans and before that with her family, with her father. When she speaks of her love for him you feel it in your breast, when she speaks of her pride at his encouragement, that same pride stirs within you. When she speaks of the deal that ruined them all and broke him you can see the empty look in his eyes, you can feel the terror she felt when she found him and the anger she felt that he would leave her. Not every memory can be happy and you both have enough bad ones for a lifetime...

    You do not look forward to reliving them. Yet... it helps... it really does help to have someone that truly and completely understands and you know she feels the same way.

    You study Lyssa as Thaïs tells her story. She pours out the wine, she laughs at the good times, she sighs at the bad and you get the distinct impression that maybe now she will tell you something, anything.

    The two of you tell Lyssa one final story about the formation of your company, of the Lost and of your battle against the Spider Goddess and her pawn Miosguinn.

    When you are finished she is left in awe, "You two... you really are heroes aren't you? Actual Wyrd-damned heroes! I don't know... I mean maybe you are lying to me but," she squints at you, "No, no I don't think you are lying," she smiles, "I think I really did make the right choice joining you."

    "So now that we have told you everything..." you begin optimistically.

    Thaïs finishes your sentience, "Care to share a little now that you know all about us?"

    Instantly Lyssa shuts herself off, "I can't, I already told you. I made mistakes, the kind I have to take to my grave or my grave will come to me."

    "Hmm," you grin at Thaïs, she grins back, "Well fine, if you want to be all mysterious we won't push you for now but you have to tell us something after everything we have said. Where did you grow up? That has to be fairly innocuous right?"

    "Yes..." she hesitates, "I grew up near Tallow, by the Forest Heart..."

    "Oh an eastern girl," you press on enthusiastically, "So you were a farm girl then?"

    Lyssa nods, "Yes, we had a small place. My father, mother, brother and me. It was hard living but then you understand that Derryth."

    You shrug, "Sure, though I did not spend that many years on a farm."

    "Well, I did," Lyssa smiles weakly, "Do you really want to hear about this? I mean it is awfully boring stuff. I did not fight a Dark Goddess or an undead army. I planted the harvest and mended the clothes and I would have grown up to marry a farmer and pop out a few more happy kids. It was not an interesting life..."

    "Oh, Lyssa don't run yourself down. I-" Thaïs tries to cheer her up but Lyssa will have none of that.

    "No, you misunderstand," she takes a sip from her glass, "It was a simple life but it was a good life. I loved it. My parent were understanding, my brother was kind, the neighbours were nice and they had a boy my age that... well he was my first crush. It was all I needed, all I wanted. All those great lords and powerful mages! Not one of them was happier than I was and that was the truth of it. It did not last though," she sighs, "I guess that much is obvious or I would not be here."

    "So what happened," you push her gently.

    "Brother died," she shrugs, "Myrkridia attack. Neighbours died too. The loss killed mother. Dad... well he tried his best he really did but at fifty, going on sixty, he could not do it like he used to. I tried to help, did everything I could. Tried to get a job or attract a man or something. Anything to help him out really. Didn't work. Worked himself to death for me... worked himself beyond death really..." she laughs.

    "I don't quite get that last bit Lyssa," you scrutinize her.

    "I... look if I go any further. If I tell you what I did, well you will probably kill me," she rubs her temples, "I want to tell you. I don't know if it is the necklace influencing me or the kindness you have shown me but I want to tell you. So you tell me, do you want to hear it?"

    You are not given time to answer as Bari pokes his head through the access door, "You three are still out here! It is the middle of the night! Come inside! You will catch your death out here!"

    The four of you laugh, Lyssa harder than any of you.

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


    4. Lyssa's story. Do you want to hear the rest of it? Or would you rather not know?

    A) Yes, you do not want there to be any secrets between you.

    B) No, you get the feeling you will not like what you hear.

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

    "Violet mages. Hmmm..." Ceannard sits behind his beautiful and massive desk, "You know Derryth, you still owe me a lot of money. Why should I help you?

    You hand him a promissory note, "Your money Ceannard, courtesy of the House of Albrecht."

    He holds it up to the light, and grins, "Well then. Good to see you are not all talk Derryth. Please sit down, both of you, we can do business."

    You and Thaïs each grab a seat across from him, "Well it was reassuring to see that you are not all talk either Ceannard. Uttu had nothing but good things to say about your performance."

    His eyes light up at the mention of Uttu, "She is a sweet kid Derryth, both her and her sister were real professionals out there and you can tell them I said that. If they ever need employment-"

    "They are children Ceannard," you shake your head.

    "They are warriors Derryth, sure they are kids but they have the spirit in them. I should know. Anyway it is never too early to consider your options. Drink?" he gestures to a bottle of whiskey off to one side of his desk.

    "Sure," you take a glass as he fills you up, "So about these violet mages?"

    He frowns, "They are small time lunatics. They call themselves the Oneiroi. A group of maybe a dozen mages all of which deal in sleep based magics. They take a lot of bounty jobs since they can easily incapacitate their targets. Worked with them once... never again... they are not professionals."

    "What do you mean?" you knock back another shot.

    "They have a nasty tendency of betraying their employers... their partners," his eyes shift, they take on a dangerous aspect, "I got burnt once. Lost five good men. But they got theirs too. I took three mages for each of the five men I lost. A sleep spell can not stop an arrow and they have never really recovered from that."

    "Why not wipe them out?" you naturally ask.

    "I do not kill out of bloodlust Derryth. Today's enemy maybe be useful tomorrow. They killed my men so I killed some of theirs, simple as that," he shrugs and knocks back a shot, "Why do you think I like you so much Derryth? You do not kill when you do not have to. That is smart, no matter what these dwarves say about honour. So if you want to hire the Arrows to go after these guys I am sure we can come to a suitable rate."

    "Which you will then knock fifty percent off of," for the first time since you entered Thaïs speaks up, "After that display with the illusion you owe us Ceannard."

    Ceannard laughs, "Alright. After all not all of my clients are as cute as you two."

    "You are hopeless Ceannard," you shake your head.

    "That's why you love me," he grins, you both stare at the man trying your best not to laugh, "You do love me right? Like me at least?... girls?... Thaïs?... Derryth?"

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


    5. The Arrows and the Oneiroi:

    A) You hire the Arrows to help you take on the Oneiroi. (40 WPs)

    B) You ask for directions and go by yourselves. (5 WPs)

    C) You ask for directions and see if any of the Pathfinders want to come. (5 WPs)

    D) freeform
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
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  13. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
    Joined:
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    Messages:
    9,501
    Hmmm. Destiny seems to be drawing us to Lesbomancy.
     
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  14. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
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    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    If we are throwing our lot in with Albrecht and the Pathfinders, how much money would we be allowed to use from their account so that it does not appear rude? 100 WP? Less? We didn't study dwarven diplomacy for nothing, did we?

    I want almost everything on the list, and I have a feeling we will be involved knee-deep in what is about to come anyway. So I want to accumulate as much personal power as humanly possible without souring our relationships.

    What is the difference between buying the ring for Thais and letting her buy it? We are partners, and the money belong to us both equally, no? They come from a single wallet anyway.
     
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  15. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    Good thing we did not split up. +M

    Fangshi, could you list Derryth's current wealth in WPs in the inventory? So we know how much she has to spend, when the need arises?
     
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  16. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Alright, so while we wait for the answer, I'll just list the items I want and ask questions about them.

    A) Uttu's Bowstring - it's cheap, and incredibly useful by the sound of it. How bright is the flare? Is it enough to blind an unprepared opponent? Does it work like a signal flare? Can it be easily seen from a distance in daylight?

    B) Biliku's Bargain - can't have enough protection, and the scabbard goes nice with our mentalist theme, where appearing harmless is a major part of it.

    C) Lyssa's Aphids - she'll buy them regardless, so it is only a matter of how much money we have available. How fast is the feeding process? What can be done with the aphids that just fed - can the energies stored be used by their owner? How bad is the explosion they produce? Can the strength of the explosion be regulated by choosing how many of them would detonate, or does the owner not have that fine a control over them?

    D) Thaïs' Ring - wonder which spells can be stored. I bet the difficult spells that require a group of mages to cast them are out of question.

    1) Can we store a Heal as an insurance against death? Can we activate it in time if we are dying?
    2) Does it really allow to store a spell, or does it merely reduce the casting time? In other words, does the 'storing' effect mean we are free from the strain that casting the spell ourselves puts on us? If we aren't, does the draining effect occurs at the moment of putting the spell in a storage, or at the moment of casting?
    3) What about spells that require maintainance (The Warrior's Mask, Compulsion, Suggestion, Projection and others) - does using the ring have benefits with those?

    E)
    i) I want the ring. Even if it can't do anything fancy (which it might), one more instant spell is a life saver. If it can cast Heal, then literally so.
    ii) The book is cheap, and is a good interrogation device. How fast is the process?
    iii) Not sure if want. How bad is the damage to the host once it is 'dies'? What was that about young ones? Why is it bad if it can be detached at will? For that matter, can it? How direct needs to be the direct contact? How do the young ones differ from the older specimens?
    iv) I can't think of a use for that. Silksteel? I guess we can tailor something nice out of these metal threads, but we don't really know anyone who would be able to do it.
    v) No. One is enough, I think. Though it depends on their efficiency.
    vi) Oh God, it is the ashes of the Deceiver, isn't it? He - and maybe the Lurker - are the only ones missing so far. Nevertheless, Derryth never turned a mystery down.

    All in all, we are looking at a 100-150 WP worth of purchases here.

    vii) Do they have something else that stores spells? Wands of Fireballs, that kind of stuff? Do they have tarncappes on sale, or are those only issued to the Pathfinders? Can we eventually get one (or, hey, the full set for our party)? I am interested in everything that provides invisibility or at least some sort of a distraction. Any scrolls that aren't on offer in the Academy? Anything that boosts evasion or movement rates?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
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  17. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    As for the other choices,

    2. F) You will take the gloves, but you won't wear them constantly. When you need a private moment, or when you sleep, or when you need to execute some plan The Faceless Man does not need to know about, you'll put them on. When you find yourself in a tough combat sitiuation, or when you aren't doing something terribly suspicious, you'll slip out of them.

    I take it that The Faceless Man experiences everything we do, but does not have access to our memories (yet)? In that case, we don't need to block him out all the time. Oh, and it is a good way to shut him up when he becomes annoying. If he does not want to get blocked from perceiving the world, he'd better learn to behave himself.

    Basically, it's a combination of A and D. Do nothing about him, but have means to change this attitude at any time. And I hope the ability to cut him off at will should benefit our sanity as well.

    I will NOT infiltrate his mind to get rid of him. We weren't terribly successful in Nine's mind, and she was trying to be helpful. This man won't be. It would be smarter to cut the arms off right away than risk going inside his perverted head.

    3. D) Derryth E) Thais F) Lyssa (Heal). No preferences here, really, though I want to get to the mastery of Heal to start working on a Greater Heal. Then we cut our arms off. :lol:

    4. A) What's done is done. I guess what we are about to hear won't bring us closer, but if the intent with which we are going for the choice matters, try your best not to begrudge her for what she did. She wants to make amends, and we took her in to provide her with an opportunity. Whether she can be forgiven or not does not affect whether she can do good from now on.

    5. A) A bit torn between employing the Arrows or going with the Pathfinders if they don't mind. Money aren't really an issue for us, though we'll have to talk with Mayer next time we'll get a chance.
     
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  18. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    She did a spot of necromancy, as she could not bear to part with her dear father so soon after the loss of the rest of her family.
     
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  19. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,698
    Divinity: Original Sin
    It's sad, she stumbled upon an economic paradigm shift that necromancers heretofore have ignored the potential for, and didn't exploit the opportunity to its fullest. Imagine fields upon fields attended by the ever loyal undead. You'd increase food production exponentially. Yet more endeavours for the Circle to investigate I suppose.
     
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  20. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    24,412
    1. Shopping
    E) Derryth's Purchase Part 1





    Fangshi Can we ask from where the spinner comes from?
    I am getting spider goddess vibes here, in this case I would like to purchase it to destroy it.


    F) Derryth's Purchase Part 2:

    E) General Supplies: Twelve Energon Cubes and Six Mandrake Roots
    2. The Faceless Man, how do you want to get rid of him?

    3. You are at the Royal Academy
    4. Lyssa's story. Do you want to hear the rest of it?
    5. The Arrows and the Oneiroi:
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
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  21. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    We've just nearly died 20 times in the span of 2 weeks, and we are only alive because of the bracers. Do we really want to take a chance with the dice when we are trying to remove the said bracers? It's not like we have another safeguard, and the cure might prove worse than the desease.

    On another note, we've gained two new skills!
    Congratulations, Codex, we've finally broken Derryth's survival instinct. :lol:
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
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  22. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
    Joined:
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    We have Mazarin little gift now. but I agree with you, for now better not try anythng stupid, the proton pack was tempting tho.
     
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  23. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,493
    Hmm skeletons would be best. Old bones no one would care if went missing should be easy to come by. Less socially awkward than zombies, no crying close family and they can double as scarecrows, zombies would lure crows and other scavengers. Implication of such technology... intriguing.
     
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  24. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    2,874
    I love shopping.

    1) Ai, Bi, Ci, Di - shopping is good for stress relief and all these items are useful and could make our party that more effective. I think it's a nice touch that we personally buy it for them. So it costs money - big deal: "True power lies not in wealth, but in the things it affords you."

    As for us:

    1) Ei, Eiv, Evi - that ring is a must have for any mage and the mystery box could be anything. No way can our girl resist a mystery box. The other items are somewhat meh - book could be useful for interrogation but is actually slower that just using our now quite formidable magic instead. Parasite sounds like something quite dangerous and we are not even that good with any weapon in the first place. The spinner device sounds usefull as hell, but I just can't think of for what exactly. Maybe if we study enchantment more we could find some use for it. And I'm not a big fan of animals, least of all bugs.

    But for my freeform, I wish to ask them for the power source capable of holding a gate spell open. They are not very likely to have something like that around, but maybe they can at least point us in the right direction. Seriously, with the state the roads between major cities are in having a permanent gate between say this place and the capital of the empire would be equivalent to owning a money printing machine: "Sure, you could hire mercs and transport your merchandise with a caravan. It will costs you an arm and a leg, it will take time and there is a risk of losing it anyway. Or you could transport it there with our gate, right now, perfectly safe and for less money." Hell, we could even come to an agreement with the goverments for a nice subsidy and protection of our monopoly in exchange for free transport for their citizens.

    1) Fi - though I suppose we can make Astrid pay for our things as well, these choices don't cost that much.
    1) Ei > Eiv - same thing for the supplies. Supplies are good.

    That was a lot of shopping. Now for the rest:

    2) F > C* - if he doesn't have access to our memories but is just for the ride instead this would work. When we need privacy we put on the gloves, the rest of the time we can put up with him until we figure out a more permanent solution. But if this is not the case, if he has full access to our mind, our memories and our thoughts then this is not going to work. In that case it's C for me - he needs to go, now.

    3) F - picking up some enchantment could be useful, but I'd prefer to first concentrate on our own spells. Mastering heal and/or picking up some illusion spells from our new party member would be my picks.

    4) B - drop the issue for now. We can probably guess the rest of the story and I don't think the rest of our party needs to hear it. In fact, I'm pretty sure they don't. She regrets it, that's enough for now.

    5) C > A - honestly, I'm not sure how we are going to do this. Use pathfinders or arrows to set up a meeting pretending we wish to hire them, then ambush their party, knock them out and read their minds for the way to neutralise their spell? Could that work? With the way he makes them out to be I'm not sure how we could trust them not to attack us if we try approaching them openly. That bounty on our inventor must be staggering.

    There, I hope I've voted for everything now.

    edit:

    Adding the following items to my shopping list:

    viii.
    A comb that can store an invisibility spell but makes a humming noise when active. (5 WPs)
    ix. A book titled 'Golems for dummies' but they assure you it is just a novelty item. They have not been able to get the spells in it to work. (1 WP)

    A comb is a bargain but could still make us much safer in a fight, even if they know we are somewhere around. A book is a bit of a gamble, but maybe one of our contacts (inventor? Nine?) could make some sense of it. Maybe. But it is only 1WP, so why not.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
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  25. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
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    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Wait, the rest of our party? Will Bari listen to Lyssa's story, too? Because I don't think this one is for him.

    All things considered, I'd rather not guess it. Lyssa wants to tell us, so let her speak. The sooner this is out of our way, the sooner we can begin integrating her into the circle. Why did we ask about her past if we didn't want to know?

    Let's put her at ease. If we start plugging ears now, this will only bite us in the ass next time we'll need to poke in her mind for one reason or the other. Let's not promote the thought that withholding secrets is the way to go in our circle. We must know things about our companions, good or bad, if we want to be a leader worth their salt.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
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