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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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611113 No. 611113 ID: 7e38be

under the surface of the island of Tyson many strange beings stir, none more odd than the Pit things. Daemons of every shape and size mingle in the infinite darkness of the Pit, none more capricious than the Fates.

the Fates, in their omniscient boredom, meddle in the lives of mortals; some benevolent, others more mischievous, and a few purely sadistic in their interference.

you, the innumerable and fickle Fates can choose one of three strings to pluck:

The Raka warlord who must win one more battle to decide this war.
The Mraach Hexadept searching for her brother in Tezcata lands.
The Klangg who has found herself in a dark place.
Expand all images
>>
No. 611114 ID: f886e5

The Klangg who has found herself in a dark place.
>>
No. 611115 ID: 2ec61a

the mraach hexadept (no idea what any of those means)
>>
No. 611116 ID: ba4e8d

Let's go for the Klan g!
>>
No. 611117 ID: f461c5

The Mraach seems like she might have the most interesting adventure.
>>
No. 611137 ID: c9f2af

Klangg
>>
No. 611138 ID: d3be40

Klangg
>>
No. 611590 ID: 7e38be
File 141856554184.png - (16.16KB , 1000x1000 , 0001.png )
611590

the curious machinations of the Fates chooses to disturb the underling Klangg; a petty thief caught looting the dead by a group of Mraach soldiers. she was to be transferred to a penal military colony, but as the Klangg slept in the uncomfortable wagon seat, a calamity of some sort struck. she lies in the dark, half buried under the ruins of her rolling prison.
>>
No. 611591 ID: 7e38be
File 141856557387.png - (26.46KB , 1000x1000 , 0002.png )
611591

the Fates tap directly into the mortal's mind, drinking her thoughts.

I awaken slowly. my hands are bound in thick hexsteel manacles, there is a stabbing pain in my right side and right shoulder, and I can't see anything. somewhere Arenei is laughing at me.
>>
No. 611592 ID: 5f6c91

>>611591
Wake up and realize you're pinned under rubble.
>>
No. 611595 ID: 2ec61a

try to shift the rubble off of you slighting and crawl forwards
>>
No. 611609 ID: 6c42b7

can you move, do you know where you are? Why do you have menacles? Also, there is a corpse next to you, could it have the key?
>>
No. 611615 ID: c9f2af

You appear to have a wagon broken over your back. Or maybe just a beam. Can you crawl out?

There's someone in a spikey skull mask impaled behind you, on your right. Does that sound like one of your captors? If so, maybe you can find the key to your shackles on him.

What do you remember about how you got here? Who's Arenei?
>>
No. 611652 ID: 9ddf68

>Arenei is laughing at me.
sure that isn't just us? I mean we're not laughing yet but time makes fools of us all.
>>
No. 611654 ID: db83ac

Pull yourself together, and slowly pull the cart off your torso. Jiggle it so that the debris on top of the cart falls off, lightening the load.
>>
No. 611753 ID: 7e38be
File 141860763083.png - (26.89KB , 1000x1000 , 0003.png )
611753

>>611592

I am awake, Daemon, and well aware of the rubble on top of me. I can probably slip out from under it, if I could move my arms, but the shackles are restricting my movement, and I can't find my lockpicks. I managed to sneak them past the two guards but the belt I keep them in is gone.

>>611609

I know where I am in a gerneral sense. I am in the underkingdom. probably in a Mraach province, likely on the side of a deep road.

I have manacles on because I am a prisoner. some Mraach caught me pulling gold fillings out of some corpses. Mraach don't like people touching their corpses except for them.

I can see the corpse but I can't reach it from here. besides, that one is Ulric, the lesser of the two guards. if I were to find the keys, I would need to locate Strauss, who appears to be absent.

>>611615

Arenei is my patron deity. she has a twisted sense of humor.

>>611654

the rubble is heavier than I can manage. I'm not a very strong person.
>>
No. 611760 ID: 687279

>>611753
Unless you have magical powers you're gonna have to call out for help.
>>
No. 611761 ID: 9ddf68

well since you seem to be sticking around for the moment maybe you can take in your surroundings. Might be able to find something to help you out. if nothing else see if you can't find something to use as a lever and see if you can't make enough room for you to slip out.
>>
No. 611764 ID: c9f2af

>the rubble is heavier than I can manage. I'm not a very strong person.
Hmm. Instead of trying to push the rubble up, could you try pushing yourself down? You appear to be in a small indent in the ground. If you got low enough, and tried moving to your left (the weight is on your right side), you might be able to get in a position where you're under the debris, with the full weight on the ground, not you. That might make it easier to get out.

We'd offer a hand, but well, we're somewhat insubstantial, here.

>Arenei is my patron deity. she has a twisted sense of humor.
Oh! We'd probably get along, then.
>>
No. 611773 ID: 0ab5c5

>>611753
If you value your survival, then dig. Use your mandibles. EAT DIRT TO LIVE. Your survival depends on it.
>>
No. 612313 ID: 7e38be
File 141871928775.png - (26.97KB , 1000x1000 , 0004.png )
612313

>>611760

no magical powers I'm afraid, just the standard Paralytic venom. I doubt that'll help me though, unless Strauss comes within biting or touching distance, that is.

>>611761

I can't see much. Klangg have poor eyesight, I'm afraid. I have very keen ears, though. as far as I can tell nothing but me is moving around in the nearby area. as far as echoes go I can tell I am in a small chamber, probably little bigger than the wagon. there are a few exits, some big enough for me to squeeze through, if I can get out from under this wagon.

>>611764
>>611773

you're right. I'm gonna die if I don't get out from under this rubble. I shift my weight onto my right side. white hot pain shoot through my side as I feel metal scrape my ribcage.

I think I found my lockpicks.

despite the certainly unique sensation of my chest cavity's real estate becoming home to the no doubt contaminated iron of my thieve's tools, I dig into the dirt under my hip and manage to spread the opening slightly.
>>
No. 612314 ID: 7e38be
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612314

I shift back and feel the weight of the wagon let off of me. I might be able to wiggle my way out in just a few minutes.
>>
No. 612315 ID: 7e38be
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612315

>>
No. 612317 ID: 687279

>>612315
Support the wagon or it'll collapse fully on you! Just work on picking those locks so you can do some real work getting out from under there.
>>
No. 612321 ID: 2ec61a

move!
>>
No. 612325 ID: 9ddf68

not sure if you have that much time, so uh move faster if you can... and maybe see if you can't remove the lock picks form you chest, that doesn't look healthy in the slightest.
>>
No. 612327 ID: d3be40

Get away from the debris as fast as you can, and then do something about the lockpicks. Do not take them out unless you are in danger of something hitting them. Find a medic as soon as possible, scavenge the area for a medical crate or something!
>>
No. 612378 ID: c9f2af

...I don't think you have a few minutes. If you don't drag yourself out of there fast, you're going to be crushed.
>>
No. 612867 ID: 7e38be
File 141889779792.png - (28.12KB , 1000x1000 , 0007.png )
612867

>>612317
>>612325

right. pick the locks. I need to pick the locks. I need to stay calm and-
>>
No. 612868 ID: 7e38be
File 141889782192.png - (29.70KB , 1000x1000 , 0008.png )
612868

>>612321
>>612327
>>612378

I NEED TO MOVE VERY FAST.
>>
No. 612869 ID: 7e38be
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612869

>>
No. 612870 ID: 7e38be
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612870

>>
No. 612871 ID: 7e38be
File 141889787083.png - (23.76KB , 1000x1000 , 0011.png )
612871

victory! a small one, at least.

I'm still trapped in a cave, and I'm still filled with lockpicks, what should I do next?
>>
No. 612872 ID: 2ec61a

scrap some bits of clothing to make a bandage, remove picks,apply bandage.
>>
No. 612889 ID: d3be40

Look around and describe your surroundings. Go to the landmark that looks like the best chance for shelter.
>>
No. 612901 ID: dbe554

We also need to head to a safer location as well, the other guard may be nearby.
>>
No. 612902 ID: 001618

well you're free to move around now, so scavenge anything useful you come across and look for a way out… maybe some new threads as well if you can find some, you know something that doesn't scream "I'm an escaped prisoner, arrest me." Might help when you actually run across someone. Oh and maybe see if you can't find something to bandage up your wounds as well. Would really suck for you to get free just to bleed out later or die of an infection.
>>
No. 612920 ID: 185cb8

>what should I do next?
Roll over into a more comfortable position. Check how bad the injury in your side is, start picking those cuffs off, and look around your surroundings.
>>
No. 613129 ID: 7e38be
File 141897495070.png - (28.94KB , 1000x1000 , 0012.png )
613129

>>612920

Comfort achieved.

the wound is not bleeding too badly, all things considered. the punctures are very thin, and the picks are blocking the blood from flowing out. what I'm really worried about is infection. these lockpicks are pretty dirty, and Klangg are notoriously susceptible to illness.

>>612872

well I don't exactly have a surplus of covering. Klangg don't like wearing too much, any direct contact to our skin is really uncomfortable and itchy.

I guess I could use a sock, but then I'd be barefoot in the dark, or I might be able to salvage some cloth from Ulric, but who knows how sanitary any of his clothes might be.

>>612902

I'm wearing pretty standard dress. granted, I probably still look like a criminal, but that's more of a racial image than one based upon my clothing.

>>612889
>>612901

well there is the wagon. it's pretty messed up, and as far as I could tell when I was riding in it it was pretty nearly empty of supplies. it had some food and water in it, but nothing else.

Ulric has the standard equipment of a Mraach peacekeeper, he has a heavy armored overcoat, a rebreather filled with methane, a rifle that non-Mraach are likely to detonate themselves handling, and a very nasty looking war hatchet.

I scope out two possible tunnels, one on each side of the wagon. there is a large tunnel that the Wagon likely fell through, but I'm not gonna be able to reach that. I notice the slightest bit of light coming from the upper tunnel.

so should I remove the lockpicks, should I bandage myself up, should I scavenge something from the wreck, and which direction should I start heading?
>>
No. 613130 ID: 9ddf68

some food and water couldn't hurt, if nothing else you could use the water to try and clean your wound. As for where to go, where were the Mraach trying to take you, as in into the tunnels or out of? Because I suggest walking the opposite way they were trying to take you. Maybe take the hatchet as well, never know when you'll come across a barred path and a few good hatchet swings could unbar it for you. Oh and are you any good at fighting?
>>
No. 613131 ID: 687279

>>613129
Remove the lockpicks. Like you said the punctures are thin. You won't bleed out, and lockpicks are useful. Look for something from the wreck to rinse the wound with, then bandage it.
>>
No. 613157 ID: 185cb8

>so should I remove the lockpicks
Yes. It's nearly certain that the advantage of having your hands free (after you pick the lock on your cuffs) is more than worth the risk of removing the picks.

>should I bandage myself up
Well, you're right that dirty bandages aren't ideal. Risk of infection and all. Still, I'd take that risk over a certainty of bleeding out, if faced with the choice.

I would scavenge materials to bind yourself with before removing the lockpicks. Just in case there's more blood than you're expecting when you remove them.

Any chance the guard or wagon was carrying any alcohol? That's an easy option for cleaning the wound and/or bandages. Failing that, clean water helps. It might even be possible to boil it and make clean bandages if we can rig a crude methane cooker from the supply in the rebreather.
>>
No. 613285 ID: d3be40

Don't forget to scavenge the remaining lockpicks and the dead guard. Strange, the guard looks like he's been dead for weeks...
>>
No. 613528 ID: 6c42b7

>>613129
wash the cuts with the water, then try to clean the bandages
>>
No. 613900 ID: 7e38be
File 141924766144.png - (73.11KB , 1000x1000 , 0013.png )
613900

>>613130

I'm not sure which direction I was heading, I was asleep for most of the journey. I guess it would be in the direction the wagon is facing now? if that's the case then the path on the right would be the opposite direction. that particular hole looks as though it was man made, like it was mined out.

this particular hatchet was made for cutting flesh and bone, not wood, but in a pinch it will hack through a door easily.

fighting has never been my strength. I've been in a couple scraps, but none of them were very serious. I fight dirty and try to get out of there quickly.

>>613285

Ulric was alive last time I saw him. I at least hope that I've not been asleep for weeks.

>>613131
>>613157

>methane cooker

I have no idea how to make a "methane cooker" with proper tools, much less how to jury rig one. I can try and wing it, but Mraach tech has a nasty habit of exploding if misused.
>>
No. 613901 ID: 7e38be
File 141924768230.png - (30.81KB , 1000x1000 , 0014.png )
613901

I pull the lockpicks out and remove the cuffs.

I dig through Ulrics coat. no alcohol, just some photos, some hexflame concentrators (useless), some rounds for his rifle, and...

oh hey a spellbomb.
>>
No. 613902 ID: 7e38be
File 141924771346.png - (31.34KB , 1000x1000 , 0015.png )
613902

I can use this. not sure what the spell inside is but all I need to do is pull the pin and toss it. I set it aside.

I also notice Ulric has a chunk missing from his shoulder. Mraach eat their dead... that likely means Strauss has been by.

I pull Ulric's shirt off and tear it into strips, preparing to bandage myself, but first I need to wash my wound or I'm gonna end up dead anyway. I poke through the wagon and find a few waterskins. I take two of them, along with some jerky rations, and use one of the waterskins to wash out my punctures, then I wrap the cleanest of the bandages around my torso.

well it's still sore but I think this wound is as dressed as it can be, considering the circumstances.

currently I'm holding the Warhatchet in one hand and the waterskin in the other. I can keep the lockpicks in a hidden pocket in my shorts but anything bigger I need to hold in my hand.

should I take the Spellbomb? which way should I go? is there anything else to do before I leave?
>>
No. 613921 ID: dbe554

Keep the spellbomb but don't use, it already looks like there has been a cave in thus the cave itself likely isn't stable enough and you'll cause it come crashing down.

We should try and head back where the wagon was before, it looks more like the debris is up front.
>>
No. 613925 ID: 2ec61a

check corpses for meat
>>
No. 613933 ID: 1ae57f

>I can try and wing it
No, if you don't have the relevant skills, trying to jury rig something with flammable gas is a bad idea.

>I can use this. not sure what the spell inside is but all I need to do is pull the pin and toss it.
So it's a good assumption that it's an offensive spell in nature?

>what carry
The waterskin has a strap, you can't wear it over a shoulder? That would at least partially free up one hand.

I'd take the spellbomb. Kind of silly to have to carry it in hand all the time, though. Could we steal a strap or belt from the dead guy?
>>
No. 613951 ID: 9ddf68

can you throw the waterskin around your shoulder or hang the spell bomb or hatchet form your belt? Just saying, there has to bee an easier way to carry some of your stuff then you're making it out to be.
>>
No. 613957 ID: 742b4a

>>613902
Can you take Ulric's coat for more pockets? Or attach the cuffs to your belt and use them as a holster for the axe?
>>
No. 614254 ID: 7e38be
File 141932256410.png - (32.18KB , 1000x1000 , 0016.png )
614254

>>613925

but I've got some food already... unless you mean eating Ulric... yeah that isn't happening.

>>613921
>>613933
>>613951
>>613957

>spellbomb

yeah it's probably a fireball or glass bomb, something lethal and painful. I doubt it would cause any damage to the cave. I don't think there would be enough concussive force.

I suppose I can wear Ulric's coat. it would let me stash a couple of extra items, though it would be quite heavy and uncomfortable.

I hang the waterskin by my shoulder and pick up the spell bomb. I pull Ulric's jacket off and try it on.

so... how does it look on me?
>>
No. 614256 ID: 6c42b7

>>614254
you look adorable!...Cut the end of the sleeves, so it's more confortable.
>>
No. 614257 ID: a19cd5

Adorably hard-boiled.
>>
No. 614263 ID: 9ddf68

other then the gabbing blood soaked hole in the side that makes it look like something ripped your heart out not to bad.
>>
No. 614360 ID: 742b4a

>>614254
Alright keep the spellbomb, canteen, and axe. Leave the extra slot open, partially to save on weight.
>>
No. 614362 ID: 1ae57f

>how does it look on me?
Big!
>>
No. 617008 ID: 7e38be
File 142004306213.png - (29.84KB , 1000x1000 , 0017.png )
617008

>>614256
>>614257
>>614263

guys, quit it. you're gonna give me a complex.
>>
No. 617009 ID: 7e38be
File 142004310037.png - (44.90KB , 1500x1000 , 0018.png )
617009

>>614362

yeah it is a big coat, for me, at least.

>>614360

I roll up the sleeves and stash the spellbomb inside the coat.

I think I've spent enough time hanging out with Ulric. I need to find a way out of here. I duck through the opening to the right of the wreck.

on the other side I see the tunnel splits, one path continues down into the darkness, the other terminates a few yards away at a massive hexsteel door. looks like a service hatch. it should exit out to the deep road. and there is something by the door... it looks like...
>>
No. 617010 ID: 7e38be
File 142004312008.png - (28.43KB , 1000x1000 , 0019.png )
617010

Strauss?
>>
No. 617011 ID: 2ec61a

be careful he isn't just mostly dead. aka approach with caution.
>>
No. 617021 ID: a19cd5

>>617010
"No, it's the prisoner.
...I'm sorry."
Honesty is the best policy.
>>
No. 617024 ID: dd4ed3

Oh Geeze, what killed him. Did he wander away from the cart already injured, or is that door trapped.

Be cautious, here.
>>
No. 617027 ID: 9ddf68

>>617010
looks like he was shot. Look around and make sure that whoever put this guy down isn't still around, Then maybe we should head down the other tunnel. I mean dead bodies are normally a good sign that you are heading the wrong way.
>>
No. 617028 ID: 687279

>>617010
Whoa, what? It looks like someone shot him. Was there anyone else with the caravan or was the caravan attacked by bandits?

Swap the gun for the axe, I think.
>>
No. 617057 ID: db83ac

Loot the body for ammo and information, and then take the gun.

Examine the door for clues, but don't poke it.

Also, you may want to take his jacket for use later, in case you find someone else or your jacket gets ripped.
>>
No. 617345 ID: f562ed

>>617010
The was his right hand is set, he may still be alive and at least semi-conscious.

Lay eggs in his chest cavity so your spawn have a warm meal to hatch to.

Alternatively, peek around to see if there's anyone/thing else around.
>>
No. 617832 ID: 7e38be
File 142038409891.png - (27.04KB , 1000x1000 , 0020.png )
617832

>>617028
>>617027
>>617024

yeah that definitely looks like a gun shot. not just a regular gun shot either, that looks like he was hit with a shot from a Mraach rifle.

bandits? like muggers? not on the Deep Roads. those tunnels are heavily guarded

by the Mraach Flammengart. they're like these guards but more hardcore.

I can hold the gun, and I can use it as a melee weapon pretty effectively, if a bit sluggishly. I can fire the weapon pretty easily, just point and squeeze the trigger, but I have no idea how to reload it. if I were to figure it out, Strauss likely has some ammo on him.

>>617057

the door is a service hatch. I can't imagine it could be trapped, just locked, and really heavy.

>>617011
>>617345
>>617021

he wouldn't be a threat if he were alive. honestly Strauss was always quite nice to me. he'd even give me some of his food when we'd stop to rest.

>>617021

"uh, hey... Strauss?" I say, approaching slowly, "it's me... the prisoner..."
>>
No. 617833 ID: 7e38be
File 142038412770.png - (31.00KB , 1000x1000 , 0021.png )
617833

"are you... are you dead?" I creep up closer, "I guess so, huh?"

I suppose I should mourn? I'm not sure. Klangg don't really do funerals, not like the Mraach do.

"uh... well, sorry." I mutter, "sorry that you're dead."
>>
No. 617834 ID: 7e38be
File 142038417012.png - (31.87KB , 1000x1000 , 0022.png )
617834

"and uh... thanks... for giving me your food and water... and for saying I'm not a bad person... just for being a thief. you said I was uh... Nakka... I can't remember..."

"I said your conscience is injured due to the circumstances laid down by the capricious machinations of the Fates." the corpse groans out, as long winded as always.
>>
No. 617835 ID: 7e38be
File 142038418861.png - (25.81KB , 1000x1000 , 0023.png )
617835

"you're alive?" I gasp.

"indeed. this one is spoken to still." he replies painfully, "it is unlikely I will continue to live for much longer."

he looks pretty messed up, but he seems pretty lucid. what should I do?
>>
No. 617836 ID: c6d84f

Keep him alive as long as possible and ask whatever questions YOU want or quickly finish him off.
>>
No. 617839 ID: dbe554

With the wounds he has and the lack of medical supplies, it's likely you won't be able to do much more then simply stabilize him till his death.

I'd suggest asking him a few things if you can, and make him a bit more comfortable.
>>
No. 617840 ID: 6e79d4

Be careful not to get any paralytic stuff on him. Ask what happened.
>>
No. 617860 ID: 42443a

Ask him if there's anything you can do. (You're not really in a position to save him, but we might be able to fulfill last requests, deliver a message, that kind of thing).

"What happened" or "Who did this" are also things you might want to ask.
>>
No. 617861 ID: 7d7f93

Also hold a funeral for him after he goes dead and ask how does he prefer it. Six feet under, cremation and the ashes spread throughout his birthplace, or whatever.
>>
No. 617900 ID: f562ed

>>617835
just ask him: what happened?
Is there anything I can do for you?

And of course, if its even slightly feasable, you should honor his wishes. It might earn you some points with Mraach society.
>>
No. 620325 ID: 7e38be
File 142123835619.png - (22.15KB , 1000x1000 , 0024.png )
620325

>>617900

"what happened?" I ask. he is silent for a few moments.

"Ulric shot me."

"when? I checked him and it looked like he'd been dead for a while."

"he was dead." he replies grimly, "I am sure of it. I had just removed a chunk of his flesh in order to give him a proper funeral. as I tried to leave, I heard rustling from the wagon, when I turned, his corpse glared at me with empty red eyes and shot me."

well that is... distressing.

>>617839
>>617840
>>617836
>>617860

"let me see the wound." I say, "I might be able to do something with it... make it hurt less."

he moves his hand hestitantly. I pull his jacket off and lift his undershirt. that is definitely a shot from a Mraach weapon. that's actually lucky for him. wounds from Mraach guns never get infected, maybe because the fire burns too hot?

the wound itself might still kill him, though. it look like it shot straight through his chest. I'm not sure what organs it might have hit.

I am careful not to touch the wound, though. if my venom were to touch him it would paralyze and numb him basically from the neck down.
>>
No. 620326 ID: 7e38be
File 142123841910.png - (29.82KB , 1000x1000 , 0025.png )
620326

>>617861

"is there something I can do for you... i-if you don't make it."

"I would not ask you to consume me." he reassures, thank Arenei.

he coughs, then speaks again, "this place... the whisper in my mane, it speaks lowly of this place. it calls it the 'Throne of Nothing'. it says this place is evil, more evil than you or I can understand."

a whisper in his mane... he's talking about his Daemonic possession. all Mraach are born possessed by a Daemon

what should I do? are there any other questions I should ask him? is there some way I can stabilize his wounds or at least make him more comfortable?
>>
No. 620332 ID: eb959a

Give him a blowjob before he dies. Or use venom to ease the pain.
>>
No. 620333 ID: be839b

It's a wound, clean it up, cover it up, get him up, and get out.
>>
No. 620334 ID: 9ddf68

could you use some of your webs to bind the wound and maybe some of your venom to ease the pain. I mean how long does your venom last and how much does it usually take to paralyze someone? Maybe you could just use a drop or something to ease the pain but not fully paralyze him.

As for question, ask if he knows which way is an useable exit because you'd rather not stay here if it's all the same to him. That and if we can bind the wound effectively I guess we could try and drag him out.
>>
No. 620352 ID: a18f15

>shot by a corpse
Great, we're going to have to be careful even around bodies. Meaning you might suddenly go from dealing with a dying friendly to a zombie trying to kill you.

...although if Ulric went undead, why was he back to dead when you examined him?

>treating a through and through bullet hole
Geeze. It went right through bones, looks like. There's surprisingly little blood for an outright hole through his chest (did it cauterize?). Not sure binding it would do much good by itself (the whole point is to keep things from getting in the body, and trying to stop bleeding. But blood will still pool in the hole).

Organs? It probably didn't hit his heart, unless he's got more than one, because then he'd already be dead. Maybe it got a lung, which might explain the coughing and the less blood than I'd expect (the blood's pooling there).

All speculation though, considering we know squat about Mraach physiology.

But yeah, with the resources we have at hand, the only things you might be able to try are cleaning the wound (which might be moot if there's no risk of infection anyways), blinding it, or antiseptic application of venom.

Do you know how much venom it takes to induce paralysis? A smaller amount, applied directly to the site of injury, could numb the area. Bonus if local paralysis stops muscles or whatever near the injury from trying to move and doing further damage.
>>
No. 620387 ID: 687279

>>620326
Um, perhaps ask if he knows where the closest town is? Maybe you should run the fuck away.
>>
No. 621346 ID: 7e38be
File 142179841083.png - (26.38KB , 1000x1000 , 0026.png )
621346

>>620332

maybe just the venom for now, huh?

>>620333
>>620334
>>620352

"what are you doing?" he says, backing away.

"calm down, buddy. I'm just going to put a bit of venom around the wound. it should make you feel better... well not better, but it should make you feel nothing, which is probably an improvement."
>>
No. 621347 ID: 7e38be
File 142179854936.png - (30.91KB , 1000x1000 , 0027.png )
621347

"I appreciate the concern but it is not nece-SSARY!" he yelps as my venom reaches below his flesh. about now I expect an icy chill is creeping from his chest to his various appendages. his breathing slows down and sounds less painful.

"Thank you, weaver." he sighs out eventually. the paralysis should indeed keep him from moving and further injuring himself.

"say, Strauss, are there any exits besides the service hatch?" I ask him.

he takes some time to answer, "hmmm... perhaps. there may be an alternate exit out onto the deep roads, or perhaps this cavern opens up..."

"are there any nearby cities?"

"assuming we are where I think we are... Geistharbor is near... maybe a Kilometer... there should be signs directing you to it on the deep road..." his voice slurs and his eyelids seem heavy. the venom looks like it's working, at least.

it seems like I have three options right now: I can keep conversing with Strauss, I could inspect the service hatch, or I could continue deeper into the cavern.
>>
No. 621349 ID: 9ddf68

>keep conversing with Strauss, and inspect the service hatch
I mean the hatch is right there. Don't see why you can't take as you work. As for things to talk about, ask how you open the door.

We can try to look for the deep roads if we can't figure out the hatch.
>>
No. 621350 ID: d90668

Look for some clean cloth to bind his wound. It might not be bleeding but you need something to keep out any dirt.
>>
No. 621358 ID: f13517

Yay for awkward chest biting.

Annother plus: if he does die and turn into an undead monster, maybe the paralysis will prevent it from coming after you, immediately.

The cart's pretty wrecked, right? If we get him stabilized, and if we find a route out, how are we supposed to move him?

>what do
Tell him to try not to die on you while you go check out that hatch.
>>
No. 621365 ID: d3be40

Just remember: alcohol is a good disinfectant for wounds, since it kills germs and lasts long.
>>
No. 621375 ID: 687279

>>621347
How long will the venom last? I'm thinking if you find a safe place you could drag him there, but... you should also make sure to plan ahead for him maybe turning into a zombie.

In the meantime examine that hatch.
>>
No. 621415 ID: dbe554

Also ask him about Ulric, he said he shot him, but is that all? Did his eyes just glow momentarily and shoot him or why did he stop if he wanted him dead?
>>
No. 621470 ID: 7e38be
File 142187297659.png - (32.43KB , 1000x1000 , 0029.png )
621470

>>621365

I'll keep it in mind, though I haven't found any yet. Mraach don't drink too often, they don't like the volatile nature of alcohol. I wonder if Wyrmwood Rum is safe to use as a disinfectant? it's a common Klangg drink, but it's filled with sugar.

>>621375

>How long will the venom last?

it will paralyze a Teufelhund for about 3 hours, so I think something as big as a Mraach will be immobile for a little less than one hour?

>>621350
>>621358

>awkward chest biting

was it? I thought it might be. he looked pretty uncomfortable with the situation... I should probably apologize when we make it out of here, huh?

I tear his shirt up and wrap it around the wound. that should keep it clean for now. moving him around to do this makes me realize how heavy the Mraach is. I hope I don't have to carry him any time soon.

"hey don't die for a minute okay? I'm gonna check out the service hatch."

he nods.


>>621349

I examine the door closer. the carvings depict a male and female Mraach and a couple of Daemons. this probably has some cultural context I'm not grasping, but I doubt it has anything to do with opening it. I suspect to open it would require a key, or a deft hand and the right lockpick; both of which I have. right here in...
>>
No. 621471 ID: 7e38be
File 142187302350.png - (33.22KB , 1000x1000 , 0030.png )
621471

shit! where is my "T" pick? let's see... "L" pick, "C" pick... every damn one except the one I need. I have a spare set in my bag, but I still haven't found it.

now that I think about it, where could my bag have gone? it wasn't in the wreck or with Ulric, and if Strauss had it I probably would have found it while I was dressing his wounds.

"hey buddy do you know where my bag is?" I ask him.

"confiscated it... should have been in the wagon... didn't see it after crash..." he mumbles.

"any idea how to open this door?"

"need the key. door's too heavy to force open... maybe a hexmage could open it..."

well I'm wearing our hexmage's coat so I think that's a dead end.

>>621415

"hey Strauss is there anything else you could tell me about Ulric?"

"he stood up... I thought he was hurt... but he moved like... a marionette, an unnatural stilted gait...he stared at me with... glowing red eyes and leveled his rifle. I called to him but he shot me. I saw him throw himself upon the wreck and impale himself on a broken axle as I crawled away."

"why would he shoot you and then let you escape?"

he shrugs.

"how long ago was this?"

"not sure... I passed out until you came by..."
>>
No. 621475 ID: 9ddf68

alright so this way is a dead end so unless you can find your bag bag at the wreck we're going to have to find another way out. Also if we have to go the long way see if there isn't something at the wreck site that you could use to help move Strauss around.
>>
No. 621478 ID: dbe554

Also as good as time as any to ask him about the bomb you have and what spell is procced for it, but yes we do need to look around for your toolkit.
>>
No. 621517 ID: 687279

Oh, wait, he didn't say how the wagon was wrecked in the first place. Ask him about that.
>>
No. 621533 ID: d3be40

You may want to make sure that Ulric is officially dead, and not a zombie. After looting the wagon, set it on fire.
>>
No. 621540 ID: d90668

Lets hope you still don't have one of your lock picks stuck in you.

Might be a good time to go over the wagon wreckage again.
>>
No. 621555 ID: a18f15

>where is my "T" pick?
It's not still in your side, I hope.

We could go back and look for it, but finding a tiny little sliver of metal amid all the dust and rubble in poor light is pretty close to a needle in a haystack situation.

>Ulric
So something possessed him, and needed to suicide to get back out?

What did that and why are still pretty unclear.

>>621517
That might be important.
>>
No. 621691 ID: 7e38be
File 142198532126.png - (19.45KB , 1000x1000 , 0031.png )
621691

>>621517

"hey Strauss do you know how the wagon managed to wreck in the first place?"

"memory hazy... bright red light filled my vision... I fell into darkness... and the wagon on top of me..."

huh... red light? not sure what could cause that. it wasn't hexfire, hexfire's green. maybe it has something to do with this reanimated corpse business?

>>621478

"do you know what spell is written inside of this bomb?"

"what does it say?"

I look at the strip of paper, written in Mraach script, "Uhm... Knockenfeiren und Standigmiserie?"

"it causes liquid in those affected to freeze into crystals and makes moving both more difficult and extremely painful..."

>>621475

my bag's not back there, I'm sure.

but you're right, this door is currently a dead end.

>>621540
>>621555

>It's not still in your side, I hope.

you and me both, buddy. I don't feel anything shifting around in there, but then again the whole area is still pretty sore.

>>621533

>set on fire

I'm not sure how I would be able to start a mundane fire with the tools I have. I might be able to start a hexfire but that stuff is dangerous, even relative to normal fire. though I guess I should check on Ulric, just to make sure I don't get nibbled on by any undead abominations.

I peek out into the chamber...

well Ulric is missing, but I found my bag, or at least the straps...
>>
No. 621693 ID: 687279

>>621691
Aw fuck. There's a zombie shambling about and you just paralyzed your only ally. Track it down, and chop it to pieces. Discard the cloak for now if it'll help you move stealthily. Just bring the axe and spellbomb.
>>
No. 621695 ID: 9ddf68

damn what a shitty neighborhood. I mean even the dead go around and steal your shit. I feel sorry for whoever tries to sell the real-estate on this place and I feel worse for the poor sod they manage to talk into it.

But yeah it's probably better not to stay here longer then we need to. think you can make something to cary the half dead guy back there from the wreckage? I mean if you can find two pieces of wood long enough you could put them in an X formation, try your coat around it and put Strauss on it and just kinda drag him with you. It might not be comfortable but it beats carrying the guy all the way to wherever we're going.
>>
No. 621714 ID: a18f15

>well Ulric is missing
Great, so there's either a murder zombie up and about, or something that can carry off corpses.

Now we've got the problem that we're stuck down here with a hostile and someone we can't move easily. Bad position.
>>
No. 622336 ID: 971050
File 142231567101.png - (36.13KB , 1000x1000 , 0032.png )
622336

>>621693
>>621695
>>621714

I'm gonna miss you, stolen coat, but you will probably get me killed. I tie the coat and two beams together.

"hey Strauss look what I made!" I beam.

"a rack..." he replies.

"no, it's a stretcher." I huff

"why would you need a... no, I do not need to be carried."

"you're filled with paralytic venom, buddy."

"I can walk just..."
>>
No. 622337 ID: 971050
File 142231578404.png - (37.84KB , 1000x1000 , 0033.png )
622337

>>
No. 622338 ID: 971050
File 142231579648.png - (41.08KB , 1000x1000 , 0034.png )
622338

"GAH... just fine... on my own..."
>>
No. 622340 ID: d958ad

>>622338
How about you give him a walking stick, see if he actually can walk with it.
>>
No. 622345 ID: 9ddf68

help the guy up at least so he doesn't tear his wound open. Also take the stretcher for when he falls down.
>>
No. 622370 ID: a18f15

Just because you can move, doesn't mean you should. I mean, it's good you can do something if you have to, but you shouldn't aggravate your injury if you don't need to.
>>
No. 624003 ID: 7e38be
File 142339274404.png - (34.05KB , 1000x1000 , 0035.png )
624003

>>622370

"you got a hole straight through your chest and you're filled with venom, moving too much is not a good idea."

"I will not allow you to burden yourself with me..."

>>622345

"well let me help you up, at least." I pick him up with great effort, and lean him against the wall. he looks like he's gonna topple over any second. I get some venom on him, but does it really matter at this point? with the dose he already had on him he should be completely unable to move.

"thank you, weaver." he pants. I nod, smiling. I like the word weaver. it's a slang term, not exactly the most dignified way to refer to a Klangg, but it has always been a welcome change to the skulk I usually hear said.

>>622340

"we need a walking stick or something, huh?" I look around. "what about the rifle?"

"we need the Hexengewehr ready in case we need to fire it... give me one of those beams."
>>
No. 624004 ID: 7e38be
File 142339276828.png - (22.74KB , 1000x1000 , 0036.png )
624004

I sadly deconstruct my masterfully crafted stretcher and hand him one of the axles. he leans heavily on the axle, and shakily walks forward a few steps.

"see...? I can walk just fine..."

right... I suppose we should continue into the tunnel? unless you guys have some other plans?
>>
No. 624005 ID: d958ad

>>624004
Unless you can bend one of your lockpicks to make up for the missing one, yeah. Or maybe you can MAKE one from the wrecked wagon?
>>
No. 624007 ID: 022489

make a crutch with it, instead of a pole! he will make fewer movements while walking!
>>
No. 624028 ID: 9ddf68

stubren son of a... (sigh)

Just make sure you stay near him incase he stumbles. If it looks like he's about to collapse again run up to him and let him lean one you for support. If he complains to much tell him you will just let him topple over and drag him by his tail if he wants you to do that instead.

But yeah head down the tunnel. If he needs to stop to rest let him rest and use that time to run ahead and scout our the area ahead of you to make sure nothing scary or something that would like to kill you is ahead of you.

OH and since he isn't using the stretcher I believe that means you can wear the coat again. Score.
>>
No. 624072 ID: 82efdc

You'll be more of a burden to me if you kill yourself and leave me lone down here. Especially if your corpse turns into a monster that tries to kill me. Pace yourself, okay?

Honestly, if we don't have the means to open the door, I don't think you have anywhere to go but down the tunnel.
>>
No. 624074 ID: dbe554

Consider it a repaying a debt after giving me food and being kind, accept my kindness in return.
>>
No. 624106 ID: d958ad

Oh, don't forget to warn him his friend's body is missing.
>>
No. 628367 ID: 7e38be
File 142589531192.png - (30.01KB , 1000x1000 , 0037.png )
628367

>>624005

I wish. I'm not a locksmith; the only reason I know how to pick locks in the first place is because my mother showed me how.

>>624007

I rearrange the axles and make a workable crutch. he takes the crutch and takes a few steps, seemingly much more stable.

>>624028

I also take the coat again.

how I've missed you, gigantic itchy overcoat...

>>624106

"Ulric's stretching his legs."

"what do you mean?" he grunts.

"he was gone when I went back."

he looks down at the rifle in his hand, then back up at me, "I may not be able to use this when the time comes... can you operate a Hexengewehr?"

"I can shoot it, but I don't know how to reload it."

"you may not need to." he replies, "if you can score a shot in the head, the entire skull will be vaporized."

"are you sure that would kill it?"

he shrugs, "it might... it might not... but it will likely make the creature unable to see or hear by normal means. it could give you an escape. in that case throw the Hexengewehr to me and run... I'll handle it from there."
>>
No. 628368 ID: 7e38be
File 142589536085.png - (19.58KB , 1000x1000 , 0038.png )
628368

>>624072

"stop being so macho, buddy." I say as we walk down the tunnel, "you're going to get yourself hurt."

"I have a gaping hole in my chest."

"...more hurt." I correct, "we need to stick together. if you... y'know... die... then I'll be alone down here."

he remains silent.

"and what about Ulric? what if what happens to Ulric happens to you?"

"I'll not let that happen." he replies, "I'd sooner dismember myself than let my body be some vile thing's puppet. you need not worry about my corpse

>>624074

"it would be a lot easier to help you if you let me." I huff out.

"I agree."

I sigh, "you've been so kind to me... let me return it."

"kindness is not some precious resource, to be traded like gold or iron." he replies, "it is simply the natural language spoken by all humourous mortals... my kindness to you is simply that. I expect nothing in return."

"well... well if altruism is the natural language of mortals, then why won't you accept my kindness?"

he stares back at me thoughtfully, "I suppose that is hypocritical of me, Weaver..."
>>
No. 628369 ID: 7e38be
File 142589540185.png - (124.47KB , 2000x1000 , 0039.png )
628369

after a few moments, I see a faint blue light down the tunnel. Strauss sees it as well, and with great effort, hefts the rifle in his hands. the scent of brass becomes more apparent as we continue down the path and eventually find the source of the pale blue light.

"ah..." the words stick to the back of my throat, "it's... beautiful..."
>>
No. 628370 ID: 7e38be
File 142589542267.png - (46.40KB , 1000x1000 , 0040.png )
628370

"it's Daemonic." Strauss corrects.

"Daemonic? like... like the Fates?"

he shakes his head, "Fates reside in a realm apart from this one, called the Pit. all Daemons do, other than mortal born Humours."

"mortal born?"

"sometimes a virgin maiden, usually a M'raach, will become sick with children. she'll give birth to a horned thing, a Humour. it's not a true living mortal, however, just a surrogate corpse being controlled by a pit spawn."

"these uh... these Daemons, are they still kicking around somewhere?"

"not in this city, that's for certain." he looks around cautiously, "I doubt any sentient being has seen this settlement in a few thousand years..."

my mind is slightly eased... but something about this place seems... unnatural. what should I do right now?
>>
No. 628371 ID: 9ddf68

well the only way to go is forward so I suggest doing that. Just keep an eye out for anything that looks like it will be helpful or lead to an exit.
>>
No. 628373 ID: 88960e

>like the fates?
Oh hey, we know them. They sent us here!

>virgins sometimes spontaneously birth demons
Um. Well, that's incentive to lose it as soon as possible, I suppose.

Although are demons considered a bad thing? They have one in their mane, and you haven't been terribly bothered by our presence, honestly.

>what do
Nowhere to go but forward.

Not sure if there are useful supplies in the abandoned city. I think I see an aquduct, so there might be water. Or maybe not, since it's damaged.
>>
No. 628384 ID: 290660

>>628370
"What are the odds that blue stuff is bad to touch?"
>>
No. 628385 ID: dbe554

>>628373

That would be us actually, we just chose a string to pluck, and we offered to see this one out to the end afterall.

Though I almost wonder if there's anything you can find here to nab..Shiny pretty things of value.
>>
No. 628389 ID: d958ad

>>628369
I see a trail of blood leading to... a bloody body? Maybe that's Ulric. Go check it out. Get the rifle ready, maybe hand over your stuff to Strauss so you can wield the weapon.
>>
No. 628444 ID: ea0ad9

Daemons, huh? I like daemons. Daemons are cool. It's vital to note that it's pronounced differently than Demons. Eh versus Ee. I don't know what your world's Daemons are like, but often it's just that the most vocal presense of them happen to be Demons as well, but even many benevolent or neutral immortals can be counted as Daemons.
>Fates reside in a realm apart from this one, called the Pit. all Daemons do, other than mortal born Humours.
In fact, he suggests that the Fates themselves are Daemons.
>"mortal born [humours]?"
Since you aren't any more familiar with the term than we are, ask him, are the Humours a malicious sort of Daemon, or are they as capable of malice and benevolence as any mortal?
>>
No. 629058 ID: 7e38be
File 142633206221.png - (76.47KB , 1000x1000 , 0041.png )
629058

>>628371
>>628389

yeah that's blood alright... and it's fresh, too. I trade the hatchet for the rifle and we begin to walk down the path, cautiously looking around at the strange scenery.

"this is way heavier than it looks" I grunt, "what's in this thing?"

"the shaft is filled with a haunted wyrmwood log. the explosive cartridge drives a cursed hexsteel nail into the log and the spirit inside fires a hexflame bolt in its agony."

"that sounds a bit cruel... torturing a spirit just to fire a gun."

he shrugs, "don't think of the spirit as a person. its a mindless manifestation of daemonic energy."

>>628373

>Well, that's incentive to lose one's virginity as soon as possible.

yeah, I'll get right on that, chief. you guys keep an eye out for any gorgeous specimens to ravish, yeah?

>Not sure if there are useful supplies in the abandoned city.

well I'm not looking for a streetside diner or a wine cellar, I just need something to open that door. maybe some kind of horrid Daemonic relic, or a hammer...

>>628384

"any idea what these crystals are?"

"I'm not sure." he looks around the chamber, "likely mundane minerals of some sort.

>>628444
>>628385

I don't really know much about Daemons. I know that Mraach worship them, and that Chtzo have pretty friendly contact with them. I've been told that the Surfacers are afraid of Daemons, especially Humours. I also know that they are very powerful and unpredictable.

"these mortal born Humours, are they the malicious type?"

he shakes his head, "they are by no means selfless, but their meddling is normally harmless, or benevolent."

he scratches behind his quills, "the Whispers in the mane are similar, though they only speak to the Mraach. if not for their guidance, Mraach would still be fighting each other with flint spears."

"and the Fates?"

"you'd do well not to think about them. Fates have no moral or ethical obligation to their charges. if it pleases them they could lead one to great windfall or great ruin, sometimes both."

oh... well I guess it's too late for that, huh?

you guys aren't gonna lead me to great ruin, right?
>>
No. 629062 ID: 9ddf68

>you guys aren't gonna lead me to great ruin, right?
lady we don't really even know where the hell you are right now so it's kinda hard for us to lead you anywhere. But if you want to know what plans I had for you if it helps calm you down then I'll tell you. Find a city that won't try to kill you on sight, find someone to look after grumpy over there so he can get some real medical help, ditch the guy once we don't have to worry about him dying on us so he doesn't lock you back up, wing it from there. All in all we do try to help whoever we're with since we actually like being able to talk with the people we're stuck with and if we give them nothing but bad advice they tend to stop listening to us completely and that's usually pretty boring unless they do a lot of stupid shit that we can laugh at them for. Also unless we find you a massive dick we do try to aim for windfall instead of ruin if for nothing else then bragging rights. We save ruin for those we dislike a lot or when something happens that we didn't see coming and fucks everything up. Those ones can be pretty fun when they take us by surprise as it forces us to think on our feet but can be a pain as well.

So to answer your question, maybe or maybe not. We do try to help but what we see as helping might not be all that helpful in your eyes or perhaps we just fuck up along the way and make everything worse. The only way to see how things will end is to put one foot in front of the other and see where the journey takes you. Besides whats the fun in just telling you the outcome when it's so much more fun to take it as it comes?
>>
No. 629065 ID: a80350

>>629058
If we lead you to your doom now, we'll never find out where that last lockpick ended up.

If word gets out, there will likely be more than one side version the story, one in which the Fates favored a Klanng down on her luck, and another where the Fates lured her into a dangerous life that she narrowly escaped... if we end up helping you in opposition to someone else, it could be argued we led that entity to their doom.

People suffer and die all on their own. We would like you to last for a while longer.
>>
No. 629067 ID: 9297f4

Ma'am, if we were to lead to your destruction, we would have already done so a million times over. We want to see you get out, and be free like you were before this mess. Maybe try to help you stay out of trouble. Then we'll find you the biggest the dick you handle for that virgin problem, cutie.
>>
No. 629071 ID: dbe554

If we really wanted you dead we would've just left you to the cart that almost crumbled down on your head.

Interesting people keep our interest, you and Strauss so far...Quite interesting, want to see this through to the end.
>>
No. 629080 ID: 5db52c

>you guys aren't gonna lead me to great ruin, right?
Not deliberately, no. I mean, we're kind of just along for the ride, and it's less interesting for us if we bring the ride to an end.

But, I would encourage you to think about the things we say to you. Not every idea we have is necessarily a good one, and sometimes one of us will just suggest something they think is funny, or that's obviously a bad idea, cause they feel it needs to be said. You kind of have to filter with your own judgement.

That and well... you got yourself trapped underground with some kind of undead monster before we even showed up. You don't need us to be doomed. But you sure could use help getting out.
>>
No. 629141 ID: ea0ad9

>you guys aren't gonna lead me to great ruin, right?
We're just leading you to leave a great story. Whether the story is success or failure is on your shoulders.
>>
No. 629165 ID: d958ad

>>629058
Hee hee hee... well, you'll find out one way or another. Don't want to spoil the ending for you, now would we?

>gorgeous specimens
How about Strauss?
>>
No. 629685 ID: 7e38be
File 142663827999.png - (41.66KB , 1000x1000 , 0042.png )
629685

>>629062
>>629065
>>629071
>>629080
>>629141

I never doubted you guys for a second! I'll stop worrying so much and just let you do your thing.
>>
No. 629686 ID: 7e38be
File 142663830740.png - (38.67KB , 1000x1000 , 0043.png )
629686

>>629067
>>629165

"is something the matter?" Strauss peers back at me.

"what do you mean?"

"you were staring at me. is there something wrong?"

"oh." I squeak, "I was just zoning out, I guess... sorry."

"it's no problem, just keep your eyes open for any sudden movements."

"yeah, will do." I stutter.

we walk in silence for a few moments, as I scan around. it's too dark for me to make out many details, but I don't see any movement.
>>
No. 629687 ID: 7e38be
File 142663833587.png - (42.22KB , 1000x1000 , 0044.png )
629687

"hey Strauss," I say finally, "are you married?"

he remains quiet for a moment, "I was. my wife passed away a few years ago."

"I'm sorry."

he shakes his head, "don't be. in the short time we were together we lived a full life. I'm past grieving. I'm just happy for the memories we shared."

unsure of what to say, I just keep peering around the cave.

"I doubt an old military dog like myself has much monogamy in his future, anyway." he laughs.
>>
No. 629688 ID: d958ad

>>629687
Tell him that is up to Fate.

The bloody box looks like a trap- is it just me or is there more blood on the other side of the rocks? Circle around, make sure nothing's lying in ambush.
>>
No. 629691 ID: 5db52c

>bloody footprints leading to a box
That's reassuring.

>"I doubt an old military dog like myself has much monogamy in his future, anyway." he laughs.
Uh, yeah, hehehe. (Totally not him hitting on you, nope).
>>
No. 629695 ID: 9297f4

Dongs aside, that looks like a satchel. With all the blood, it's either a trap, Ulric passed by here, or someone killed Ulric and left it here.

>>629685
Also, you have the final say in what you do. We may supply the suggest but, (like the whole virgin deal) it's up to you what this road leads to.
>>
No. 629697 ID: f75cf9

>>629688
I see what you did there...

>Advencha!
Hmm, what's the white stuff all over those rocks? Just crystals/striations or something of note?
>>
No. 629756 ID: 8d0e32

>>629687
Dawww, someone has a crush.

>>629686
But for real, I'm seeing some blood past the rock behind the bag and this whole thing screams trap. Honestly if it wasn't for the fact you took zombie boy's gun I'd be freaking out right now.

I say see if your crush can aim his gun stright and have him cover you as yo come in towards the side while he stays on the road. This way you're more likely to see anything hiding in the rocks, you can move better so you have a better chance at getting out of harms way should something jump out and the other guy actually knows how to use a gun. By the way to aim line up the crosshairs so the line up and are level with each other and that should let you hit whatever you're aiming at. Also be aware of the kick that thing probably had
>>
No. 632587 ID: 7e38be
File 142797556810.png - (24.40KB , 1000x1000 , 0045.png )
632587

>>629697

it looks more like the rocks are white and covered in mud and dirt.

>>629691

>Totally not him hitting on you, nope

you think so? maybe I should make a move or something? maybe after we get out of here; it would probably be weird to come onto a guy while we're trapped in a cave.


>>629688

"guess that's up to the Fates." I smile.

he glances at me, then nods, brandishing a grin I've never seen on him before, "I hope I'm favorable to them, then."
>>
No. 632588 ID: 7e38be
File 142797559781.png - (18.90KB , 1000x1000 , 0046.png )
632588

>>629691
>>629695
>>629756

no... that's not a box. it looks kind of like...

my bag!
>>
No. 632589 ID: 7e38be
File 142797563509.png - (48.37KB , 1000x1000 , 0047.png )
632589

"what are you- be careful!" Strauss warns as I approach the bag.

"don't worry." I reply, "just watch my back, ok bud?"

he nods in reply. I slowly approach the leather knapsack, keeping the heavy rifle leveled and watching the shadows around me. I quickly snatch it up and dig through the pockets.
>>
No. 632590 ID: 7e38be
File 142797566375.png - (33.19KB , 1000x1000 , 0048.png )
632590

"check it out!" I yell, presenting proudly the T shaped lockpick.
>>
No. 632591 ID: 7e38be
File 142797572061.png - (34.24KB , 1000x1000 , 0049.png )
632591

"MORTAL... BORN?"
>>
No. 632592 ID: 9297f4

GRAB YOUR SHIT AND RUN. GIVE THE GUN TO STRAUSS AND READY YOUR HATCHET OR WHATEVER OTHER WEAPON YOU HAVE.
>>
No. 632598 ID: d90668

No mortal born here. Just go back to sleep. Its all a dream.
>>
No. 632601 ID: 9b7a8e

>>632591
Might as well try this:
"These mortals are watched over by the Fates! Permit them safe passage."
>>
No. 632630 ID: 296917

The red rocks... are alive? Get some distance away and ask what they are.
>>
No. 632631 ID: 9ddf68

oh would you look at that, it's GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE O'clock. Whelp nothing to do but try to keep up with the times so grab your lot and scoot young lady.
>>
No. 632649 ID: 5db52c

>MORTAL... BORN?
Jeeze, people can't all be immortal, jerk. Think how crowded the place would get, then.
>>
No. 632669 ID: ea0ad9

>>632591
Oi, calm down. She's not a Mortal Born Humourous, just a typical mortal.
>>
No. 633004 ID: 7e38be
File 142823481714.png - (35.13KB , 1000x1000 , 0050.png )
633004

>>632592
>>632631

I don't know what that thing is but I'm not sticking around to find out. I scamper to my feet and dash toward Strauss, grabbing the rifle and my bag.
>>
No. 633005 ID: 7e38be
File 142823485079.png - (29.03KB , 1000x1000 , 0051.png )
633005

"HALT."

the words come from inside my skull and wrap around my brain. my muscles refuse to move.

"TURN."

I do.
>>
No. 633006 ID: 7e38be
File 142823491647.png - (21.38KB , 1000x1000 , 0052.png )
633006

"SPEAK."

>>632598

"would you believe this is a dream?"

"HMM... NO, IT COULDN'T BE A DAEMON, COULD IT?"

>>632649
>>632669

"I'm a mortal."

"YES, YOU MUST BE. I CAN HEAR YOUR HEARTBEAT TICKING AWAY TOWARD THE GRAVE... HMM... SOONER THAN YOU'D SUSPECT, I IMAGINE..."

>>632630

"what are you?"

"AN INTERESTING QUESTION, THOUGH SOMEWHAT PRIMITIVE... WHAT I AM IS MUCH LESS IMPORTANT THAN WHAT YOU ARE... A QUESTION YOU HAVE YET TO ANSWER FOR ME."

"I'm... I'm a Klangg."

"KLANGG? WHAT AN AWFUL NAME FOR A SPECIES."

"sorry?"

"THERE'S NO NEED TO APOLOGIZE, YOU DIDN'T COME UP WITH THE NAME, I IMAGINE. THIS LANGUAGE IS THE LANGUAGE OF THE KLANGG, THEN?'

"no, this is Mraachi. Klangg don't actually have their own language..." I start to feel embarassed admitting this to the thing in front of me.

"A SAPIENT CREATURE WITHOUT ITS OWN FORM OF COMMUNICATION? WHAT ABOUT A GOVERNMENT? OR SOME KIND OF INFRASTRUCTURE? DO YOU MAKE TOOLS OR CRAFTS OR ART? DO YOU HAVE SOME FORM OF MILITARY PRESCENSE?"

"n-no... none of that..." I shrink, "we just... take stuff from other races..."

"PERFECT. THIS ONE WILL DO NICELY..."

oh crap. that's ominous.

>>632601

"these mortals are... are watched over by the Fates! p-permit them safe passage!" I try to sound as loud and imposing as I can.

"THE FATES? WHAT IS A- OH..."
>>
No. 633007 ID: 7e38be
File 142823494909.png - (23.33KB , 1000x1000 , 0053.png )
633007

"YOU."
>>
No. 633008 ID: bd8b82

yes, us. hello.
>>
No. 633009 ID: 9ddf68

>"YOU."
suuuuuuup. From your tone I take it you're not very fond of us. Would it be to much to ask for a name and to ask what you're doing?
>>
No. 633011 ID: f7c356

Why hellooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
>>
No. 633022 ID: 9297f4

AYYYY, let her go. It's us you want right? WE'LL 1V1 YOU, NO ITEMS, FINAL DESTINATION.
>>
No. 633028 ID: f0a5e4

Good sir, I must remind that we Fates are not known for our memory, spending the vast majority of eternity outside time and space, and as such I apologize if we are unable to recall you or the nature of any previous interventions which have led to negative consequences for you or your loved ones.
Add. Eyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!
>>
No. 633033 ID: d90668

Hey buddy its been awhile.
>>
No. 633039 ID: 5db52c

At least Strauss had the sense to get out of sight.

>>633007
Sup.

If you harbor any enmity towards us, please remember she bears as little responsibility for that as she does the name of her species.
>>
No. 633057 ID: ea0ad9

>>633007
Damn. You must have fallen victim to a group that was interested in bringing about a downfall, from that tone of voice.

Contrary to what a few of us might say, we're not in a position to really protect anybody... Just assist them.
>>
No. 633060 ID: 296917

>>633007
Have we met?
>>
No. 633132 ID: f4096e

>>633007
...Sorry? Please don't hurt the girl because of us, It's not her fault for us to be here.
>>
No. 634000 ID: 7e38be
File 142886310130.png - (28.88KB , 1000x1000 , 0054.png )
634000

"THEY'RE TALKING TO YOU RIGHT NOW, AREN'T THEY? SO CURIOUS, THESE FATES. SO FORGETFUL... GO AHEAD AND ASK... THEY HAVE NOTHING BUT TIME ANYMORE..."

>>633008
>>633009
>>633011
>>633028
>>633033
>>633060

"they are greeting you and asking who you are."

"I BELIEVE I HAVE ALREADY STATED THAT WHO I AM IS UNIMPORTANT. I AM NOT A PERSON, NOT BY MORTAL NOR EVEN DAEMONIC STANDARDS. I SIMPLY AM. I BELIEVE THE HUMOURS CALL ME NIHILIM. THIS IS ONLY A TITLE, HOWEVER. A MEANINGLESS ONE, AT THAT. AS FOR WHAT I AM... THIS IS A MORE INVOLVED ANSWER, ONE WHICH I WILL BE HAPPY TO GIVE AT A LATER TIME. FOR NOW... BE PATIENT.'

>>633057
>>633039
>>633132

"they apologize for whatever misfortune they may have caused you. they ask for you not to hold it against me."

"DON'T MISUNDERSTAND. I HOLD NO EMNITY TOWARD THE FATES. THEY ONCE HELPED ME TOWARD MY GOALS. THIS GOAL EVIDENTLY HAS YET TO BE ACHIEVED... WHICH BRINGS ME TO YOU, KLANGG. WORRY NOT. I WILL NOT BRING HARM TO YOUR FLESH... IT IS MUCH TOO IMPORTANT TO ME..."
>>
No. 634001 ID: 296917

>>634000
Alright, what are its goals? What does it plan to do to you?
>>
No. 634005 ID: 5db52c

>I AM NOT A PERSON
We'd disagree with that, actually. You appear conscious, sapient, and capable of communication, which is usually more than enough for us to treat something as a person.

May just be a problem of conflicting definitions, though.

>THIS GOAL EVIDENTLY HAS YET TO BE ACHIEVED...
Goals / promises left unachieved means something to us. What did we owe you? We might be able to help now, within a certain amount of skepticism, since we don't remember and all.

>YOUR FLESH... IT IS MUCH TOO IMPORTANT TO ME...
Um. That doesn't sound terrible at all. Why?
>>
No. 634007 ID: ea0ad9

>IT IS MUCH TOO IMPORTANT TO ME...
Whoa hey if you're going to use her as a vessel, please, be a backseat passenger, not the driver! Finishing what has been started certainly is an important thing, but if you take over completely, you'll leave her own tasks unfinished.
>>
No. 634010 ID: 57d76a

>>634000
He's talking, he has agency and goals, sounds like a person to me.

>I WILL NOT BRING HARM TO YOUR FLESH... IT IS MUCH TOO IMPORTANT TO ME...

Crap, he intends to possess you. Not sure what's to be done about that. Running's no guarantee, it might be that negotiating is your best bet.
>>
No. 634023 ID: c26446

>>634000
There's parts to mortals that aren't flesh though. If those parts get harmed death might be preferable.

Especially since you're a Mortal, Female Virgin.
He might not be going for mind control. He might not consider having you spawn a Humor for him to be harm, either.

If you don't want Daemon babies, aim the rifle at that big, red eye and shoot. Then run for your life and more.
>>
No. 634027 ID: 2b067f

>>634023
No.
>>
No. 634056 ID: 9ddf68

...I'm choosing to believe that he's just socially stunted and how he's saying things is is simply because he doesn't realize that what he's saying could be counted as threatening... or just doesn't care.

So ask what he wants then.
>>
No. 634077 ID: bd8b82

>>634010
>>634007
probably not. their current body looks pretty okay from here.
>>
No. 634109 ID: e2a92b

>>634000
I believe you still owe us ten bucks from the last time we helped you. (Bluff check)
>>
No. 634528 ID: eb385b

Git out
>>
No. 634529 ID: b5b419

>>634000
Looks like he could do with a patch job. Maybe a new coat of paint.

Green maybe.
>>
No. 634575 ID: f4096e

>>634000
What do you need us for?
>>
No. 634923 ID: 7e38be
File 142926925129.png - (28.94KB , 1000x1000 , 0055.png )
634923

>>634007
>>634023
>>634027
>>634077
>>634528
>>634529

the thing- Nihilim- is holding me still somehow, but its grip seems to be weakening. if I need to, I think I can level the gun. can this thing even be hurt by a shot from the rifle I wonder? I notice also that it seems to be cracking and falling apart. big guy might not be long for this world, huh?

"don't tell me you intend to possess me or fill me up with horrible babies."

"GOOD GUESS. YOU'D BE WRONG, THOUGH. POSSESSION IS THE TOOL OF COMMONERS. I WOULD NEVER RESORT TO CONTROLLING A CREATURE, ALIVE OR DEAD, DIRECTLY. MY INTENTION, AS IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN, IS TO UPLIFT. YOUR FLESH IS PERFECT FOR THIS. YOU COME FROM NOTHING, LESS THAN DIRT. YOU ARE ESSENTIALLY INVISIBLE... MY ANNIHILATION IS AT HAND. THE STRING I GLARE UPON IS FRAYED, AND TERMINATES IN THIS CHAMBER. I MUST ENSURE MY PLANS CONTINUE PAST MY IMPENDING DECONSTRUCTION. THAT IS WHERE YOU COME IN. CONSIDER YOURSELF THE EXECUTOR OF MY WILL."

>>634010
>>634005

"you seem to be a person. you have sapience, goals, and agency-"

"AGENCY?!" it makes a noise like a laugh but distorted and awful, "DID THEY TELL YOU TO SAY THAT? HOW IRONIC."

"they want to know what it was that they helped you with."

"THEY NEARLY ACHIEVED IT, OBVIOUSLY NOT, THOUGH. IF I HAVE AWAKENED I IMAGINE I AM NOT THE LAST. I DOUBT I AM THE FIRST, EITHER..."
>>
No. 634924 ID: 7e38be
File 142926934588.png - (43.47KB , 1000x1000 , 0056.png )
634924

>>634001

"what is it you plan to do with me?"

"I SIMPLY WISH TO GIVE YOU A GIFT." Nihilim extends a finger which splits open to reveal a long and wicked barbed stinger, "THE GIFT IS A DIVINE SEED."

"can I refuse?"

"YOU CAN. IN FACT, THE DIVINE SEED MUST BE ACCEPTED WILLINGLY. IT IS POWERLESS IN THE POSSESSION OF A SLAVE. LET ME ASK YOU: HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO BE STRONGER? TOUGHER? DO YOU WISH TO STAY YOUNG? THIS IS THE VESSEL OF SUCH EXPERIENCES. WITH MY DIVINE SEED, YOU WILL BE A DIVINE ENTITY. I CAN UPLIFT YOU FROM INSIGNIFIGANCE AND SQUALOR, AND ALL I REQUIRE IN RETURN IS A SIMPLE FAVOR."

"what is that?"

"MY KIND. ALL THAT SHARE KINSHIP WITH ME... MY ETERNAL SIBLINGS..."
>>
No. 634925 ID: 7e38be
File 142926937935.png - (21.82KB , 1000x1000 , 0057.png )
634925

"DESTROY THEM."
>>
No. 634928 ID: f4096e

>>634925
Do it!
>>
No. 634929 ID: 88960e

>DESTROY THEM
Um. Why?

I... never wanted to kill anyone. Much less go on a crusade to execute a dying race.
>>
No. 634930 ID: bd8b82

neat. guessing the others are assholes that need killing.
>>
No. 634932 ID: 9ddf68

"DESTROY THEM."

well that escalated quicker then I thought it would.

So some quick questions, will this seed hurt, why do you want to eliminate your own kind, where would we find them, and if we say yes what can we expect in the way of opposition?
>>
No. 634939 ID: dbe554

Hmmm, raising of a Klangg into a proper divine being...Now that would certainly be fascinating! Do it!
>>
No. 634944 ID: 9297f4

Are the other's assholes? If so, LES GO!
>>
No. 634947 ID: 2a7417

What if we try to control them, or seek some sort of synthesis?
>>
No. 634967 ID: 57d76a

>>634932
Seems like the right questions to ask.

>>634924
>it is powerless
Can't tell if ominous or more odd phrasing.

Let's add this question: will my mind remain intact unaffected my own I don't know how to phrase this.
>>
No. 634969 ID: 296917

>>634925
Uh, why? If it's a good reason, accept.
>>
No. 634992 ID: 5db52c

...maybe we should be a little less gung ho to accept this?

I mean, first of all, one guy's say so is lot to take on trust before accepting genocide as your mission.

That and we'd be pretty remiss in our duties not to point out accepting this mission would in all likelihood put our current charge in danger, likely for some time to come.
>>
No. 634997 ID: f0a5e4

Hey kid. Now's the time you have to do a little bit of introspectin'.
What do you want? Obviously you want to live, to go home, maybe, probably to live well....but is this what you want?
If you do like this guy asks, you might be able to do some really good things for the Klangg. Might be able to raise them outta the gutter. But you might have to do some horseshit things first. Thing syou'll have to do, whether you want to or not. Are you okay with that?
Cause if you are, let's do this.
>>
No. 635011 ID: ed70ad

This could be your ticket Out, my dear.

What did you have to look forward to after you got out of this pit? Being an escaped convict? Dutifully following Strauss to prison, hoping for a reduced sentence after helping him? Either path would essentially require you to start your life over. This offering, if its legitimate, could be its own new start.
>>
No. 635494 ID: ea0ad9

>"DESTROY THEM."
Those who seek death, either for themselves or to force it upon others, I would be willing to help destroy... But for those who want to harmlessly enjoy life, I don't think I can condone their destruction, should any such beings exist...
What's your opinion... Uh, Weaver? I realize I never got your name.
>>
No. 636118 ID: 7e38be
File 142984257715.png - (32.61KB , 1000x1000 , 0058.png )
636118

>>634997
>>635011
>>634939
>>634928

I really could do whatever I want... live where I want... be who ever I want to be. I never thought of myself as someone who could do any good for anyone... I don't know how the feeling settles with me. if I accept this deal and it gives me the power to do something good... then not accepting would be selfish, right? and if I could do something with lasting effects, something that helps others... I think I would want the power to do that... but I've never hurt someone else on purpose before, could I really kill someone? multiple people? an entire race? I need to ask him more questions before I decide.

>>634929

"I-I can't kill somebody for no reason... and you're asking me to end an entire race!"

"IF YOU HAD LISTENED YOU WOULD KNOW BY NOW THAT MY ILK ARE NO SUCH THING. YOU ARE NOT BEING ASKED TO END A SINGLE LIFE. I ASK INSTEAD FOR YOU TO DISMANTLE MY KIND.'

"you can phrase it however you want, but I'm still snuffing out the life of a thinking entity."
>>
No. 636120 ID: 7e38be
File 142984274962.png - (27.13KB , 1000x1000 , 0059.png )
636120

"and why would you even want to destroy them?"

"IN ORDER FOR A CANCER PATIENT'S TREATMENT TO BE EFFECTIVE, THE TUMOR MUST BE REMOVED. INFECTED AND MALICIOUS TISSUE SERVES NO PURPOSE BUT TO HARM THE ENTITY IT INFESTS, DON'T YOU AGREE?"

"a-a what? a cancer? what is a tumor?"

"RIGHT..." Nihilim half mutters to itself, "STILL POKING ABOUT WITH LEECHES AND INCENSE... I SUPPOSE THE SURGICAL STEEL SCALPELS AND PENICILLIN WILL COME ABOUT SOON ENOUGH... IN ANY CASE, YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT THESE THINGS ARE NOT ALIVE, AND THAT NO ONE AND NOTHING WILL MOURN THEIR PASSING. THE WHY SHOULD NOT CONCERN YOU."

"well, I'm not going to agree to something without knowing why I'm doing it."

"VERY WELL. YOU SPOKE EARLIER ABOUT AGENCY? YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT A DELUSION THAT IS, RIGHT? FREE WILL IS SIMPLY THE MIND'S INABILITY TO PERCIEVE THE STRANDS OF FATE. THE MORTAL MIND CAN NOT UNDERSTAND ITS OWN MEANINGLESSNESS, AND SO YOU VIEW THE RIGID PATH THE FATES CARVE FOR YOU AS A SERIES OF CHOICES AND ACTIONS. IN REALITY, EVERYTHING THAT EVER WAS, AND EVER WILL BE HAS ALREADY BEEN DECIDED BY CREATURES OUTSIDE OF SPACE AND TIME. THE FATES ARE ABOVE EACH AND EVERY OTHER BEING. I KNOW THAT NOW, PERHAPS IT WAS TOO LATE WHEN I FINALLY REALIZED IT." the creature trails off, then snaps back to attention, "REGARDLESS. UNDERSTAND THAT THE REASON I MUST END MY KIND IS SIMPLY THAT IT MUST HAPPEN. I SIMPLY AM THAT WHICH EXISTS TO CEASE. THE STRINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS CLEAR, BUT THEY ARE NEVER WRONG. FOR INSTANCE, I ALREADY KNOW THAT YOU WILL ACCEPT MY OFFER, SIMPLY BECAUSE IT MUST HAPPEN. THIS LITTLE... NEGOTIATION? A FORMALITY. ONCE AGAIN TRICKING THAT FRONTAL LOBE INTO VALUING ITS OWN EXISTANCE..."

>>634932

"where would I find them? what would I need to do in order to... um... destroy them?"

"BE PATIENT. AS I SEE IT, YOU WILL CROSS PATHS WITH THEM IN TIME, AND TIME IS SOMETHING YOU WILL HAVE NO SHORTAGE OF. AS FAR AS DESTROYING THEM, ANY OBJECT BREAKS IF THE RIGHT FORCE IS APPLIED IN THE RIGHT SPOT. ONE OF MY KIND IS NO DIFFERENT. ONCE THE DIVINITY IS PULLED, SHRIEKING FROM THEIR BUSOM, THEY WILL MOVE NO LONGER. IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN YOU WILL BE SEEING A DEMONSTRATION SOON ENOUGH."

"will this seed hurt?"

"YOU WILL FIND PAIN... TAKES ON A NEW DEFINITION ONCE YOU SHED YOUR MORTALITY. IT WILL HURT, CERTAINLY, BUT DYING ALWAYS DOES, DOESN'T IT?"

"wait, you never said anything about dying!"

"WHAT IS IT EXACTLY YOU THOUGHT IMMORTALITY WAS? IT MEANS WITHOUT LIFE."

>>634967

"ok, so you're going to kill me, and then I'm immortal... would my mind still be... me?"

"I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION. YOU WILL REMEMBER WHAT YOU USED TO BE, CERTAINLY. YOU WILL FIND YOUR BEHAVIOR MAY BE ALTERED AFTER A FEW CENTURIES. ONE'S SENSE OF PERSPECTIVE TENDS TO SKEW ONCE THEY SEE ALL THEIR LOVED ONES DIE OVER AND OVER... AND OVER..."

>>634992

"I have plans currently, I need to get out of this cave with my friend."

"YOUR FRIEND? THE CORPSE? OR THE MURDERER?"
>>
No. 636121 ID: 7e38be
File 142984276499.png - (35.77KB , 1000x1000 , 0060.png )
636121

"the...? no, Strauss, the Mraach that came with me."

"I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT A MRAACH IS BUT ALL I SENSE NEARBY IS THE FRESHLY DECEASED AND A MAN WHO MURDERED A SOLDIER. AS I SAID BEFORE, YOU MAY TAKE YOUR TIME... THE OTHERS WILL COME TO YOU."

well I've asked more questions... I feel more confused and apprehensive about all of this now, but it looks like I'll need to make a decision. I can't keep stalling. either I take this deal, or I walk out of here.
>>
No. 636123 ID: d3be40

Quite the dilemma.

You could have everything that you could ever want, but it comes with a hefty price tag - war on entities that could survive the death of a universe.

But do you really think that your life could be better if you reject his offer and attempt to escape?

Why not visit the other siblings first? Prove that you are capable of confronting them without the power of a divine seed, and then decide if you really want to war against them.

Test the waters. I mean, would you be capable of war if you could not fight as you are right now?
>>
No. 636127 ID: d90668

Do it. What he asks is simple enough and this sort of deal almost never comes along in a lifetime. That and your chances of survival go up considerably.

Also Strauss is walking in your direction sans crutch. And he switched his axe to his other hand. Not saying he is a threat but you never know how people will take there secrets getting revealed.

He might just be approaching now that he knows this thing is not a immediate threat. Or he has been faking how injured he was and now that you know his horrible secret is going to axe murder you. The axe murdering part is probably unlikely. But would feel bad if we did not mention the possibility.
>>
No. 636128 ID: ed9797

I don't like the idea of watching infinite generations of loved ones passing before us for all eternity, and I've always been one for flipping off destiny. He says you're going to accept? Do you want to prove him wrong? Say no.

Unless, of course, he's lying through his teeth and using reverse psychology. That's certainly an option.
>>
No. 636129 ID: 296917

>>636121
...I want you to say no. Just to see how this thing reacts to someone defying fate.

Strauss is the corpse, obviously, as he has a hole in him, able to walk despite being heavily paralyzed, and Ulric only had the self-inflicted wound. Clarify to this stone dude: the man carrying the axe is Strauss. If "Strauss" is some kind of puppet by now, and the thing controlling him has been talking through him all this time... you may have no choice. "Strauss" may be about to axe you, so agreeing to the deal may be your only chance to survive, and hunt down the thing that killed him and Ulric.
>>
No. 636132 ID: ea0ad9

>ALL I SENSE NEARBY IS THE FRESHLY DECEASED AND A MAN WHO MURDERED A SOLDIER.
Probably Strauss putting Ulric out of his misery. Or killing the Daemon. Hell, could have nothing to do with the current situation, and it's a past he's left behind. No reason to bother with that.
>"a-a what? a cancer? what is a tumor?"
Imagine, if you will, an insect leaving eggs in the flesh of the living. Cancer is sort of like that, but it's your own body leaving a bunch of tiny ovoid objects in itself, and they grow, getting bigger. If you want to remove it, you have to cut with care; if you simply try to cut without careful calculations, and pull out a chunk, you may be cutting out healthy flesh, or you might be leaving in some of the "Cancer." Cancer is sort of like a starfish--As long as it's still alive, it will grow back. It cannot live without the blood from your own body, though, so removing it will kill it, allowing your body to heal up.
>FREE WILL IS SIMPLY THE MIND'S INABILITY TO PERCIEVE THE STRANDS OF FATE.
Heh, thing about strings... They're typically many separate strands woven together. Sure, their path goes in the same direction, but the experiences are different--Some may tear and flay after a certain distance, while others keep going on. There are those who gnaw at their fate, and leave some strands to fall apart, altering where those paths end up. Sometimes, a frayed strand connects to another string, as well, allowing somebody to step into a whole new direction.
Immortality is no light path. Think of the path leading up to it as a fully woven string--But once you hit the immortality, you hit vice, holding the string to that point together, while the strands, ALL of them, go separate ways afterwards. You will gain the ability to change your fate by a grand amount, but you also will lose the ability to reach the ends that were initially available.

My personal recommendation? Go for it only if you have an out. A way to end yourself, as well; not just the other immortals. Everlasting immortality isn't all it's cracked up to be.
>>
No. 636133 ID: dbe554

Defying fate yet at the same time it seems in our nature to try to defy fate.

It's never been written in stone whether or not you'd become immortal, but I say it's in your best interests to.
>>
No. 636134 ID: 809713

>BE PATIENT. AS I SEE IT, YOU WILL CROSS PATHS WITH THEM IN TIME, AND TIME IS SOMETHING YOU WILL HAVE NO SHORTAGE OF
It occurs to me that literally limitless time somewhat removes the burden of your task.

So long as they can't reproduce, you can literally wait them out. If there's no time limit, you could wait until each and every one of them wanted to die. (Or until they do something that proves them deserving of death). You're obligated to complete the task eventually, not as soon as possible, and your eventually could be quite long.

>THE CORPSE? OR THE MURDERER?
Say this, verbatim, and quickly. "Who approaches behind me?"

...although, I would point out, just because Strauss might be a zombie or a killer doesn't necessarily make him bad. After all, if you take this deal, you'll be "without life" yourself and obligated to kill some people / things.

>but it looks like I'll need to make a decision
Okay, you have two obvious choices.

One is to say no to the crazy person who wants to do something you don't understand to you, who's only justification is babbling about fate (and we're fates! That's saying something if we question it). It's just another trap or danger down here.

The other is to accept immortality, because, realistically, your odds of making it of here alive are not good. Maybe this will make your life complicated later, but is that such a price to pay? This is not an opportunity you'll ever have again.

...go for it. You'll spend the rest of your life wondering, if you don't. And if you need to fix things, you'll have time.

>defy fate?
Of course... since we're fate, that kind of makes that meaningless.

You can say what's fated is what you will do, but turn that around and we're just saying the future that happens is fated. Tautology. The future always happens. What happens happens.
>>
No. 636151 ID: b5b419

>>636121
Take the deal.
>>
No. 636171 ID: 9ddf68

It feels like the question here is how far are you willing to go to gain power, what sacrifices are you willing to make. Will you throw away your life and everything you are to become something more, how many others will you cast down to further your own goals, who will you cast aside? These are the questions you should be asking yourself because this choice, no mater what you pick, will shape the rest of your days. Just know that power always comes at a price and you may not know what that price is until it is much to late.

Also your crippled friend is coming up behind you with an ax sooooo that's happening.
>>
No. 636174 ID: 2a7417

>>636171
Perhaps he is (rightfully) concerned about the large, dripping, and really really pointy tendril hovering over us.
In fact, why don't we just ax him what's up?
>>
No. 636178 ID: e6e219

Power gives you options. The powerless have to live with whatever life throws at them because they do not have the strength to change there fate.

Sure there are downsides to his offer. But there are when you make any decision in life. But I am betting the perks will outweigh any problems.

That and if you get tired of immortality you can end it some day. But if you are mortal you don't have nearly as much choice over when and why you die.

So I say go for it. We will still guide you either way you choose but this seems like a good deal.
>>
No. 636179 ID: 88960e

>That and if you get tired of immortality you can end it some day.
That kind of depends on the type of immortality. There's a spectrum from 'won't die until killed' to 'can't be killed' to 'inviolate immovable object'.
>>
No. 638787 ID: 7e38be
File 143098541121.png - (49.29KB , 1000x1000 , 0061.png )
638787

>>636134
>>636171
>>636174

"who approaches behind me?" I whisper shortly.

"YOU LEFT MUCH MORE OF YOUR PAST IN THAT WAGON THAN YOU THINK, KLANGG.", Nihilim laughs evilly, "WHY DON'T YOU ASK 'STRAUSS'?"

"can you answer a single question straight?"

"DEPENDS ON THE QUESTION. PERHAPS YOU'VE BEEN ASKING THE WRONG QUESTIONS?"

Strauss moves between me and the tendril, "what is this thing, Weaver?"

"it's um... I'm not sure... it's not hostile."

"it's pointing a stinger at your face."

I shrug, "it's kind of a long story... it's asking me to do it a favor, and in return, it will... um..."

"please tell me this gigantic stinger has nothing to do with it..."

I shrug, smiling awkwardly, then turn back to Nihilim.
>>
No. 638789 ID: 7e38be
File 143098546267.png - (20.43KB , 1000x1000 , 0062.png )
638789

>>636128
>>636129

"what if I say no? you said that you can't give me your seed unless I accept it, so if I refuse, then your predetermination falls apart."

"INDEED, IF YOU DECLINE MY OFFER, IT WOULD DEFY FATE ENTIRELY. THE QUESTION IS, WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO GIVE UP THIS OPPORTUNITY SIMPLY TO SPITE A FATE THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN WRITTEN?"

>>636123

"could I meet the others before I decide?"

"WOULD YOU BELIEVE YOU WILL BE SPEAKING WITH ONE OF THEM SHORTLY? IT WILL NOT BE A PLEASANT CONVERSATION. UNFORTUNATELY, IT WILL BE SOME TIME BEFORE YOU MEET THE OTHERS; REST ASSURED, THOUGH, YOU WILL BE MEETING EACH OF MY SIBLINGS IN TIME."

"if I have unlimited time, couldn't I just wait until eventually your siblings want to die? my 'eventually' would be a pretty long time, huh?"

"THEORETICALLY, THOUGH I WOULD WARN YOU, I AND MY SIBLINGS ARE NOT SIMPLY TIMELESS. THIS... SLUMBER MAY HAVE SLOWED US DOWN, BUT WE HAVE TASKS THAT FATE DECREES WE MUST CARRY OUT. IF YOU WERE TO ATTEMPT TO 'WAIT US OUT' YOU WOULD SEE THOSE TASKS CARRIED OUT. I WOULD SUGGEST YOU NOT LET THAT HAPPEN."

"what tasks?"

"IT DEPENDS. AS I SAID, MY TASK IS TO END MY KIND, BUT THE OTHERS HAVE SEPARATE OBLIGATIONS.'

>>636179

"this eternal life... could it end somehow?"

"WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO CEASE YOURSELF IF YOU BECOME TIRED OF EXISTING, YOU MEAN? I SUPPOSE SO. YOU MORTALS ALWAYS WONDER SUCH INANE THINGS WHEN PRESENTED WITH ETERNITY. YOUR PERSPECTIVE WILL SHIFT AFTER A FEW CENTURIES, I ASSURE YOU. YOU FIND EVEN WITH LIMITLESS TIME, YOU NEVER HAVE THE TIME YOU NEED. IMPORTANT THINGS KEEP SLIPPING THROUGH YOUR TREMBLING FINGERS LIKE SAND, SHINING IN THE PALE MOONLIGHT..."

the colossus seems lost for a few seconds.
>>
No. 638790 ID: 7e38be
File 143098549874.png - (25.39KB , 1000x1000 , 0063.png )
638790

>>636178
>>636151
>>636133
>>636127

"Strauss, I need you to step aside, please."

he looks back with a look of concern, "not going to happen. whatever this thing is I'm not letting it get to you. it'll have to go through me first."

"I CAN ARRANGE THAT. THIS CREATURE'S BODY IS LITTLE MORE THAN SOFT MEAT AND BONE.'

"that won't be necessary, friend." I assure the goliath.

"whatever this thing is saying to you, don't listen to it." Strauss turns to Nihilim, "the Whisper in the Mane speaks and I hear it, Nihilim. do not speak your poison to me or to this girl."

"WE CAN BOTH SPIT NAMES AT EACH OTHER, KESSLAR."

he opens his mouth to speak, but then closes it.

"Strauss, that name... Kesslar... I've heard it before."

he looks back, "I have no idea what it's talking about."
>>
No. 638793 ID: e114bc

>>638790
Ask Strauss to tell you the truth. You trust him more than Nihilim. What does that name mean? Does it have something to do with why he's able to walk around unassisted while envenomed and missing a large chunk of his torso? Also, explain what the deal is Nihilim is offering. Tell him you are considering agreeing (though I personally still want to say no, to prove that fate is not set in stone)

Hang on... ask how your body will function after you become "immortal". Will wounds kill you? Will they heal with unnatural speed? Will your heart still beat, will your body be warm? Will you still be able to eat, drink, among other biological things?
>>
No. 638794 ID: 57d76a

>>638790
Where have you heard the name before? Myths, news, around town?
>>
No. 638796 ID: bd8b82

>>638793
spiting fate to site fate and no other higher reason is silly. what do we gain from saying no?

i still say take it. and if he refuses to leave duck and kick him in the back of the knees.
>>
No. 638823 ID: 88960e

>Strauss trying to protect you
Look, if it really meant me harm, why ask for anything? It had ample opportunity to just stab me.

...And can we really afford to turn down something that might help? We're not in a good situation down here.

>that name... Kesslar... I've heard it before.
Context, please? We haven't.

Remember, also, even if he's got a hidden past, it does change the way he already treated you. He's still him.
>>
No. 638825 ID: 94b817

Is that another name for the "Whispers in the mane"?
Also living forever is your choice kid, just remember "immortality is a curse I would not wish upon my greatest of enemies".
>>
No. 638829 ID: d90668

Strauss I am strongly considering its offer. If you want to sway my opinion I think the time for hiding things is past.

If I am to accept or decline this properly I need to go into it knowing all the facts. No matter how painful they might be.

Still voting for taking the offer but more info is good.
>>
No. 643012 ID: 7e38be
File 143256782865.png - (40.69KB , 1000x1000 , 0064.png )
643012

I remember the name but I don't remember who. it's just on the edge of my thought, like a dream.

"Strauss... who's Kesslar?"

he looks at me silently with a fearful desperation in his eyes.

"you know something, and you're not telling me." I press him, "I trust you, more than this thing, but you need to be open with me."

"I'm sorry." he replies.

"...fine." I huff, "if you won't tell me then I have nothing else to consider, do I?"
>>
No. 643013 ID: 7e38be
File 143256785345.png - (42.13KB , 1000x1000 , 0065.png )
643013

I step forward, pushing Strauss out of the way, "Nihilim. I accept."
>>
No. 643014 ID: 7e38be
File 143256787134.png - (50.84KB , 1000x1000 , 0066.png )
643014

first comes a moment of pain.
>>
No. 643015 ID: 7e38be
File 143256789353.png - (48.77KB , 1000x1000 , 0067.png )
643015

...then a moment of clarity.
>>
No. 643016 ID: 7e38be
File 143256791718.png - (5.58KB , 1000x1000 , 0068.png )
643016

then... darkness.

this is a two-parter. More update coming soon, but feel free to post now. suggestions will be carried over to the next update.
>>
No. 643024 ID: 9297f4

Well, that was gory. See anything? Able to taste the colors yet?
>>
No. 643040 ID: e2a92b

Are you experiencing a 'spike' in neural activity?
>>
No. 643041 ID: d3be40

Concentrate. Don't lose yourself in the divine seed, it's got enough to contend with already.
>>
No. 643061 ID: 78a595

You know, when we joked about losing your virginity earlier, tentacle skullfucking wasn't exactly what we had in mind.

Um. Seriously, you okay? I'm gonna feel really bad if we talked you into letting him murder you.
>>
No. 643110 ID: 9ddf68

the choice has been made but has the price been fully paid? Let's find out... and I'm wondering just how bad Strauss is freaking out after seeing that? Not going to lie I'm feeling like we kinda screwed the pouch a little here.
>>
No. 643468 ID: 7e38be
File 143274068959.png - (175.52KB , 1000x1000 , 0069.png )
643468

>>
No. 643469 ID: 7e38be
File 143274071014.png - (225.76KB , 1000x1000 , 0070.png )
643469

>>
No. 643470 ID: 7e38be
File 143274072668.png - (439.08KB , 1000x1000 , 0071.png )
643470

>>
No. 643471 ID: 7e38be
File 143274074187.png - (463.84KB , 1000x1000 , 0072.png )
643471

>>
No. 643472 ID: 7e38be
File 143274075640.png - (193.61KB , 1000x1000 , 0073.png )
643472

>>
No. 643473 ID: 7e38be
File 143274077267.png - (532.04KB , 1000x1000 , 0074.png )
643473

>>
No. 643474 ID: 7e38be
File 143274078886.png - (472.86KB , 1000x1000 , 0075.png )
643474

>>
No. 643475 ID: 7e38be
File 143274082236.png - (38.30KB , 1000x1000 , 0076.png )
643475

I wake screaming. I don't know why.

"Weaver, you're awake!" Strauss gasps, relieved. he looks stressed, and tired. how long was I asleep? or dead... I guess?

I feel an unfamiliar pressure in my skull and down my spine, but it doesn't hurt. in fact, I can't feel any pain from my side or my forehead.

that... dream? I'm not sure what I saw, but for some reason I can't get that signpost or that creature out of my head...

what should I do now?
>>
No. 643476 ID: 2a7417

Prance about with your sparkly new unicorn horn.
>>
No. 643477 ID: 88960e

You're... leashed? Don't like the symbolism, there.

Feel horny. And by that, I mean feel up your new horn.

That wasn't in the advertisement. And it kind of gives away you're not normal. Poor design, that. You'll need a hat to fit in. ...or start a fashion trend where people strap horns to their heads. An advantage of long life is you have some ability to shape or influence the culture you live in.

Ask what happened and how long you were out.

...pinch yourself. Get Strauss to pinch you. Maybe escalate to poking yourself with something sharp. We should test if immortal means you still hurt / bleed. Or can be harmed.

Do you still have a pulse? Do you breathe? Are you warm, or are you cold now?
>>
No. 643478 ID: 88960e

Also. There's no blood. Did he clean you up?
>>
No. 643479 ID: dbe554

That creature...It's somewhat of an odd representation of us, the fates in a way, that string was your connection to fate itself, the Strand of Fate itself.

You have true free will now, I wonder how that will change what was your original destiny. We are so proud of you.

Though considering that signpost, your destiny may have been to die soon, so who knows. You've got a new fancy horn, I wouldn't recommend tugging on it.
>>
No. 643484 ID: bd8b82

the red string of fate. yours is severed.
>>
No. 643493 ID: 9ddf68

the sign, the one that said tombstone was crossed out. Asked what happened after... well after you got a hole drilled into your head? Oh and on a related note, I really do like the horn, it brings out your eyes.
>>
No. 643497 ID: e114bc

What should you do? That is entirely up to you know, as you are a Weaver of your own fate. What is your name, anyway? I don't think it ever came up. You could call yourself X the Fateless from now on, wouldn't that be cool?

Might I suggest checking up on Nihilim? I noticed that when it delivered the divine seed, the lights in the cavern turned red. They're still red.
>>
No. 643505 ID: 2a154e

>>643475
That creature was surprisingly honest. I think you just had your original destiny surgically removed.
>>
No. 643709 ID: 7e38be
File 143283906739.png - (23.21KB , 1000x1000 , 0077.png )
643709

>>643061

>I'm gonna feel really bad if we talked you into letting him murder you.

well no offense but you kind of did that exactly, buddy.

>>643110

Strauss looks like he's freaking out pretty bad. I probably should have warned him.

>>643041
>>643040
>>643024

I feel different, that's for sure. I don't exactly feel smarter, but I feel more... aware, I guess? it's difficult to describe, but I'm noticing things I didn't before. I can feel Strauss' heartbeat, and hear a low vibrating hum from the crystals.

>>643479
>>643493
>>643505

>You have true free will now, We are so proud of you.

maybe? that creature seemed so malicious in the dream though. the look on its face was pure hatred...

how do I even test having free will?

>>643476
>>643477

pulse. check. breathing. check. body heat. check.

"Oh no what the hell is this thing?" I touch the 8 inch bone spike.

"I don't know." Strauss replies, "after the creature did whatever it did to you, its appendage snapped off. what... what was that? what did that thing do to you?"

"I'm not entirely sure. it said it needs me to do something in return for it giving me some sort of Divine power."
>>
No. 643711 ID: 7e38be
File 143283910863.png - (37.52KB , 1000x1000 , 0078.png )
643711

"and you just accepted that?" he replies, dumbfounded, "that could have killed you, it should have killed you! it could have been some parasite or some kind of mind control!"

"if Nihilim were going to kill me it wouldn't need to trick me. the thing is like ten stories tall."

"none of that matters, anyway." Strauss says, "I'm glad you're alright."

>>643478

"did you clean the blood off of my face while I was out?"

he nods, scratching the back of his neck, "I cleaned you up because I thought you might have... I was waiting for your pulse to stop before I..."

I shake my head, "no, spare me the details, I'm good."

"hey Strauss." I say finally, "do you know my name?"

he is silent for a few moments, "Ravlikin, I think."

"no, that's my clan name. do you know my first name?"

"I do not, I'm sorry."

"it's fine, thanks anyway." I shrug. I guess I'm nameless for now.
>>
No. 643712 ID: 7e38be
File 143283913338.png - (32.03KB , 1000x1000 , 0079.png )
643712

"IF THE BOTH OF YOU ARE DONE CATCHING UP, WE HAVE BUSINESS TO DISCUSS. I'VE GIVEN YOU IMMORTALITY, KLANGG, NOW YOU MUST UPHOLD YOUR END OF THE BARGAIN."
>>
No. 643713 ID: 4b66a4

Naming time. :D
>>
No. 643715 ID: e2a92b

Um, if you could walk us through the process of killing you- er, I mean, your kind, pointing out weak spots and explaining (not demonstrating! eep) common methods of defense. Oh, and maybe a crash course on how to use this thing, other than headbutting people?
>>
No. 643716 ID: e114bc

>>643712
That being was one of the Fates. We have varying personalities. Don't worry about it though. It's fiiine.

First, "how?". Second, tell it your string of fate is cut. If you kill all of them, it will be your choice to uphold the bargain. Mostly. I mean, we're going to be pushing you along still.

...what's keeping you from just not killing the others after him? Will your immortality go away?
>>
No. 643721 ID: 9ddf68

right right right, kill off the rest of your kind before they kill us, which way where they again or is this just one of those things where we just have to walk around for a bit and they'll come to us? Oh and does the horn do anything else besides just making it easier to notice things or what?
>>
No. 643725 ID: 88960e

>well no offense but you kind of did that exactly, buddy.
Not permanently! Or, well, immortality is kind of permanent. Semantics.

>guess I'm nameless now
Oh. Sorry. There's an unintended consequence. I guess it was tied to your fate. Or life. (Or you're just brain damaged).

Just don't go around introducing yourself as "the nameless". That's just pretentious.

>>643712
Oh. You want me to kill you?

Um. How?
>>
No. 643747 ID: 8e0b6a

>how do I even test having free will?
You don't. There's no empirical means to test for the existence of free will. Standard operating procedure is to assume you do, because there's no observable difference if you don't.

>free of fate
I'm not sure what significance that even has. Or if that even makes sense. I mean, you're still going to do things. But you're still not going to have any way to know if anyone else predicted them in advance. You're still interacting with a world that influences and shapes your thoughts and actions- a world which, presumably, is not free from fate (so it's influence on you is simply one degree removed). You're still listening to our advice, and we're fates. And, if the big guy was right before, you were fated to make the choice you did. What does it mean to be free of something that put you there? Fate is responsible for this mission / bargain that's going to shape your existence for the rest of... forever.
>>
No. 643788 ID: b424e1

Ask him if there's any significance to the horn. Is it special in some way? Is it just some kind of symbolic?
>>
No. 643834 ID: ea0ad9

>how do I even test having free will?
Give yourself a name!
>>
No. 644705 ID: 7e38be
File 143325204432.png - (39.05KB , 1000x1000 , 0080.png )
644705

>>643713
>>643834

yeah. name. I need a name. I can name myself, that means I'm free from fate, right?

ok. name...

ok.

um...

shit. this is hard. I'll worry about names later. I'm busy right now.

>>643788
>>643715

"does this horn do anything cool?"

"I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION. IT IS SIMPLY THE REMNANT OF THE UMBILICAL CORD. YOUR DIVINITY COMES FROM THE SEED INSIDE OF YOU."

"so what can I do now?"

"YOU WILL NOT AGE AND DIE. FOOD AND WATER ARE IRRELEVANCIES, YOUR BLOOD NEEDS NO OXYGEN AND YOUR BRONCHI WILL NOT ABSORB IT FROM THE ATMOSPHERE. IN TIME YOU WILL NOTICE YOUR INTERNAL ORGANS ATROPHY AND YOUR SEED WILL MORPH AND GROW TO FILL THE DEAD SPACE. WITH TIME AND DILIGENCE YOU WILL HAVE MORE CONTROL OVER THE SEED. FOR NOW I WILL ADVISE YOU TO LAY LOW. YOUR SEED IS JUVENILE, WEAK. A NORMAL MORTAL COULD END YOUR LIMITLESS LIFE WITH NAUGHT BUT A DAGGER."
>>
No. 644706 ID: 7e38be
File 143325206011.png - (34.69KB , 1000x1000 , 0081.png )
644706

>>643721
>>643725

"but you said I need to uphold the bargain now?"

"YES. YOUR OBLIGATION IS TO END MY KIND. NOW THAT OBLIGATION BEGINS."

"ok. who?"

"WHAT."

"ok, what."

"ME"

"wh-" I gulp, "what? I don't want to kill you!"

"YOU CHOSE POORLY IN YOUR NEGOTIATION, THEN. BESIDES, YOU WILL NOT BE KILLING ANYONE, YOU IMBECILE. I AM SIMPLY AN OTHER OF MY KIND WHICH MUST BE EXTERMINATED. NOW, PULL MY DIVINITY FROM MY SHRIEKING CRAW AND BE ON YOUR WAY.'

>>643747
>>643716

"when I was... whatever I was, asleep or dead, I saw something. I think I might be free from the bonds of fate." I confide in Nihilim, "what keeps me from skipping out on my part of the deal now?"

Nihilim smiles. it is a smile devoid of happiness or charm. it is the look of pure evil, "ARE YOU SO CERTAIN? YOU REMIND ME OF SOMEONE. AH, EXCUSE ME, YOU REMIND ME OF SOMETHING. IF YOU ARE SO SURE THAT YOU ARE FREE FROM THE BONDS OF OUR AGREEMENT, THEN WALK AWAY. YOU CAN OPEN THAT DOOR, THERE IS NOTHING KEEPING YOU HERE BUT OBLIGATION NOW."
>>
No. 644707 ID: cb299e

Well kill him. And deal with ptsd later.
>>
No. 644709 ID: 2a7417

Looks like you're not getting any more information out of him on how to use the "seed." Vague spiritual mumbo jumbo is a go! Look deep inside yourself, probably for something shiny, concentrate on it, then reach out towards the Nihilim!
>>
No. 644710 ID: d90668

Being free from fate is one thing. Being someone who goes back on your word is another.

Finish him off like you agreed.

Just remember that from now on all your choices happen because you make them. Not because fate wrangled you into it.
>>
No. 644713 ID: 88960e

>IN TIME YOU WILL NOTICE YOUR INTERNAL ORGANS ATROPHY
Ew.

>ARE YOU SO CERTAIN?
Of course not. It was metaphor in a dream. You'd have to be a fool to be certain of that.

>what keeps me from skipping out on my part of the deal now?
Um. If you're still growing into your immortality and can be killed with a dagger, I'm pretty sure that means the hulking giant could still kill you if you reneged.

...also, do you really want to be the kind of person who betrays a bargain like that?

Or the kind of person who hears someone beg for the mercy of death and does nothing? Just a few minutes ago, you asked if you would be able to end your immortal existence if you truly wanted. Can you really deny someone else the same request?

If he's a person, he deserves that dignity. If he truly isn't, as he claims, well, there's nothing stopping you then, either.

I think you're stuck. Say some words, give him his rest.

>final question
Wait, can all of you do this kind of thing? Will the others have made deals to create immortals to defend them? How do I get around that?
>>
No. 644722 ID: ef13d8

>>644706
It is actually a little reassuring to know that you are still capable of 'dying'. Eternity is a long time to be trapped, after all.

Perhaps our patron is trapped here, bound by Fate, or his perception of it, at least.

You should attempt to honor the agreement.. or at least learn how you're supposed to 'exterminate' him. What does physical divinity even look like?

And maybe.. ask him if he knows what will happen after his 'death'. This might not be the end for him.
>>
No. 644753 ID: 9ddf68

alright here's another question for him, HOW can we kill him?

...and what did he mean you'll look different with time?
>>
No. 644758 ID: e114bc

>>644706
He said that you can be killed. I'm guessing all it takes is someone piercing the seed inside you. Being free from Fate does not mean being free from obligation, Weaver. There are still consequences for your actions. I believe if you do not kill him, he will kill you.

You should try to get used to the idea before you do it, though. Don't push yourself. Ask Nihilim what he has done in his existence. What was his purpose? What is the purpose of the others?

Also try holding your breath, to see how it feels, since apparently you don't need to breathe anymore.
>>
No. 647587 ID: 7e38be
File 143394817033.png - (22.34KB , 1000x1000 , 0082.png )
647587

>>644710
>>644758
>>644722
>>644713
>>644707

"it was just hypothetical, of course." I reply, "I'm going to honor my agreement..."

"IF YOU WEREN'T I WOULDN'T HAVE GIVEN YOU THE AGREEMENT IN THE FIRST PLACE. YOU WILL CERTAINLY FALTER IN YOUR DUTY, BUT NEVER WILL YOU LOSE YOUR WAY COMPLETELY."

"before I... do it, can I ask you some things?"

it nods, "FEEL FREE."

"these other things, your siblings. how many are there?"

"I AM UNSURE THE EXACT NUMBER. TWENTY AT LEAST, THOUGH MANY ARE SIMPLY MINDLESS THRALLS. THEIR DESTRUCTION IS OF CONCERN AS WELL, BUT NOT AS MUCH AS THE FOUR PROGENITORS. THE OLDEST OF MY KIND, AND THE MOST PROFICIENT IN THE USE OF THE DIVINE SEED."

"who are they? what is their purpose?"

"THE FIRST IS METULIM. ITS PURPOSE IS TO BRING PAIN AND FEAR TO THE ENEMIES OF OUR KIND. METULIM WAS ONCE THE MOST LOYAL AND SELFLESS OF US, CHOOSING TO GIVE ITSELF IN TO THE DIVINE SEED COMPLETELY, AS IT KNEW THE IMPORTANCE OF ITS CRUSADE AGAINST THE ENEMY."

"what enemy?"

"FUNNY...' it smiles bitterly, "I DON'T EVEN REMEMBER ANYMORE. THE OLDEST OF US IS NAMED UNUM. IT WAS ONCE A DEAR FRIEND. ITS OBLIGATION WAS LONG SINCE FORGOTTEN. NOW IT SEEMS ONLY TO CARE FOR SOVEREIGNTY. UNUM IS THE SELF STYLED GOD OF ITS OWN BIBLE. BESIDE UNUM WILL UNDOUBTEDLY BE PLURINUM, UNUM'S RIGHT HAND. PLURINUM'S SINGLE PURPOSE IS TO PROTECT UNUM AND IT IS WILLING TO SACRIFICE ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THAT GOAL."

"and the last one?"

"I WAS SIMPLY THE SAFEGUARD. WE KNEW AT THE TIME THAT THE POWER THAT WE WERE FLIRTING WITH WAS DANGEROUS. WE DECIDED THAT ONE OF US MUST KEEP THE OTHERS IN CHECK. I TOOK THIS VILE TASK WITH AS MUCH GRACE AS I COULD, BUT UNFORTUNATELY I FAILED. IT WAS ONLY WITH GREAT SACRIFICE THAT I ENSURED THAT I AND MY SIBLINGS WOULD SLUMBER LONG ENOUGH FOR ME TO FIND A SUITABLE REPLACEMENT. I WAS EXPECTING A HUMOUR, BUT OBVIOUSLY SHE'S NOT COMING."

"can all of you do this?" I wonder aloud, "am I going to be dealing with other immortals created by your siblings?"

"IT IS A POSSIBILITY, YES. ALL OF MY KIND ARE CAPABLE OF PASSING ON FRAGMENTS OF OUR DIVINITY, ALTHOUGH IT IS QUITE TAXING. I HAVE ESSENTIALLY SHEARED OFF A PORTION OF MYSELF AND IMPLANTED IT INTO YOU. FOR A TIME AFTERWARD, I AM SIGNIFICANTLY WEAKER."

"you said I would look different over time?"

"CERTAINLY. YOU DO NOT AGE, BUT YOUR FLESH IS WEAK AND MORTAL STILL. IT IS PRONE TO DAMAGE AND NEEDS TO BE REPLACED BY BIOLOGICAL FUNCTIONS YOU NO LONGER HAVE. THE DIVINE SEED WILL MORPH TO FILL THAT VOID BUT YOU WILL CERTAINLY LOOK DIFFERENT."
>>
No. 647588 ID: 7e38be
File 143394820569.png - (37.56KB , 1000x1000 , 0083.png )
647588

I approach the goliath slowly and unsurely.

"Strauss, could you give me a minute? I'll catch up to you."

he nods and makes his way back to the tunnel. I put my hand on the front plate of Nihilim's chest. the material is smooth and cold. I take an uneasy breath. I guess I don't need to do that anymore, but it calms me down a bit.

"h-how do I-"

"THE SAME AS A NEW BORN CALF WALKS. IT IS NOTHING BUT INSTINCT BUILT INTO YOUR GENETIC CODE. YOUR PURPOSE IS TO END, SO END IT."

my hand is trembling. I don't know how to do this. I don't want to, either.

"after I... do this..." I stutter out, "what happens to you after death?"

"NOTHING. I AM UNABLE TO DIE, KLANGG. AFTER YOU PULL OUT MY DIVINITY I SIMPLY CEASE TO BE."
>>
No. 647589 ID: 7e38be
File 143394823164.png - (33.41KB , 1000x1000 , 0084.png )
647589

>>644707
>>644709

I have to do this.

I look inside of myself, trying to find something, anything that will allow me to do it.

"I don't know what I have to do to get to this divinity."

"YOU'RE STALLING. HURRY UP WITH THIS CHORE, IF YOU HAVE THIS MUCH TROUBLE DESTROYING ME THEN YOU HAVE NO CHANCE AGAINST THE OTHERS."

"I'm trying!" I snap, "what do I do?!"

"YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO, YOU'RE JUST TO WEAK TO DO IT. BECOME STRONGER."

"I'm trying!" I repeat, more frantic, "how is it I'm weak? compared to you? you hid in a cave for centuries waiting for me to do your job for you!"
>>
No. 647590 ID: 7e38be
File 143394825548.png - (29.67KB , 1000x1000 , 0085.png )
647590

"I GAVE UP EVERYTHING!" I flinch as Nihilim roars, "I'VE LOVED MORE DEEPLY AND HURT MORE SHARPLY THAN ANY CREATURE ALIVE COULD EVEN FATHOM. I'VE GIVEN UP THOSE I CARED FOR, EVERYTHING THAT WAS ONCE IMPORTANT TO ME. I'VE SACRIFICED MY FRIENDS, MY PASSIONS, MY OWN LIFE. I'VE DONE ALL OF THIS TO PROTECT THOSE THAT COME AFTER ME FROM AN EVIL OLDER AND MORE PRIMORDIAL THAN EVEN I. I DID ALL OF THIS FOR YOU AND YOUR PETTY AND EVIL ILK, AND YOU REFUSE TO DO EVEN THE MOST SIMPLE OF TASKS. YES, I SEE YOU AS WEAK."
>>
No. 647591 ID: 7e38be
File 143394828210.png - (11.28KB , 1000x1000 , 0086.png )
647591

"I'm sorry." I reply, "I didn't mean that. I am trying to do this, but I- I don't know what to do."

"THEN DO IT IN IGNORANCE."

I put my hand on the creature's chest again, not sure what to do.
>>
No. 647592 ID: 7e38be
File 143394830970.png - (22.12KB , 1000x1000 , 0087.png )
647592

something shifts inside of me, like a muscle in my neck. it pops out of place, and then slides downward. I feel something large and rigid slip down my arm, under my flesh. it reaches my hand and long blades erupt from out of my skin. I scream, not from pain, but shock. it should hurt, but for some reason I feel nothing. my body moves on its own, pushing into the smooth material and piercing it.

"YES. LIKE THAT."

my arm fishes through the fibers and tissue. I don't know how, but I know where the divinity is. I find my prize and as my fingers make contact the parasite emits a shriek. I ignore it and wrench the mass of divinity from Nihilim's chest.
>>
No. 647593 ID: 7e38be
File 143394833357.png - (41.87KB , 1000x1000 , 0088.png )
647593

there is a stillness and silence as I stare at the thing. it's just some flesh. I look up and present it to the dying titan.
>>
No. 647594 ID: 7e38be
File 143394835641.png - (18.00KB , 1000x1000 , 0089.png )
647594

"GOOD." it nods, the life draining from it, "JUST DO THAT. WHEN YOU SEE. THE OTHERS. DO NOT. FAIL ME."
>>
No. 647595 ID: 7e38be
File 143394837741.png - (31.96KB , 1000x1000 , 0090.png )
647595

Nihilim closes its one massive eye one final time, and remains still. I stand in silence, holding the squirming mass of immortality. it's twitching slows down as well, eventually it stills. leaving me in the dark alone with myself. I start to process everything that's happened.

I think I might throw up.
>>
No. 647597 ID: 88960e

>I think I might throw up.
That seems appropriate. And you might as well, before your stomach atrophies away to nothing.

>the titans took on this power
Does that mean that's going to be you someday? Have you started down the same path they did?
>>
No. 647599 ID: 2a7417

Try to keep your insides inside for as long as you can. Also see if you can retract your BIG MEATY CLAWS.
Go tell Strauss that it's over.
>>
No. 647602 ID: dbe554

Huh...I wonder if you could absorb this divine seed completely.
>>
No. 647604 ID: d3be40

One down.

You need a minute? We can wait. Given that you're an immortal now, I don't think you have the stomach control to throw up anymore.

Try talking to the "Divinity". See if they're sentient or not. Given their abilities and powers, they might be able to help you without actually merging with you.

So, what are you supposed to do with the "Divinity Cores"? Given that they were used to fight a supposed enemy, you may want to seal them away until the time is right.
>>
No. 647608 ID: bd8b82

try communing with your seed, do you eat this chunk you pulled out?
>>
No. 647610 ID: 9297f4

[x]Eat it
[]Don't eat it
>>
No. 647611 ID: 9ddf68

so uh, that thing in your hand... are we suppose to do anything with it or just leave it?
>>
No. 647626 ID: e114bc

Go find Strauss.
>>
No. 647847 ID: b5b419

>>647595
Should have asked him if there was anything he wanted you to remember.

Throw up.

You'll need to absorb the immortal seed in your hand after.

Hold a brief funeral, maybe write an epitaph on the body. It won't help the titan any, but it will make you feel better.
>>
No. 647851 ID: b424e1

Poke the thing curiously
>>
No. 648395 ID: 0851b9

rip it in two just to be certain.
>>
No. 649159 ID: 7e38be
File 143460571139.png - (30.94KB , 1000x1000 , 0091.png )
649159

>>647599

I don't know how to retract the claws, or even if I can.

>>647602
>>647610
>>647604
>>647611
>>647851
>>648395

whatever it was, it's just a lump of dead flesh now. I don't know how, but I felt its power fade away. now it's just meat.

>>647847

I look up at Nihilim's corpse. funerals have always been so foreign to me.

"um. thanks." I stammer quietly, "thanks for the divinity. sorry that I killed you, or I guess you're welcome."

>>647597
>is that going to be you someday?

I don't want to think about it.
>>
No. 649160 ID: 7e38be
File 143460573886.png - (22.38KB , 1000x1000 , 0092.png )
649160

>>647626

I swallow my nausea and wait a few moments for my trembling to die down. I need to catch up to my companion. I'm almost out of this cave.

he turns when he hears my footsteps approach, and his eyes widen when he glances my arm, "what happened?"

I shake my head in response. we walk together quietly for a while.
>>
No. 649161 ID: 7e38be
File 143460582401.png - (32.88KB , 1000x1000 , 0093.png )
649161

"I started to remember some things." I say, "whatever this thing in me is, I think it's repairing my head."

"that's good." he replies, "anything in particular?"

I nod, "I remember the smell of brazed hound meat. I remember my mother's name is Lok. I remember how to make Klangg silk."

"good, good." he smiles.

"I remember who Kesslar is."

he nods, solemnly, his smile melted. "the other prisoner."

"yeah." I reply, "he was the outlaw Hexmage. he never really talked during the journey. I forgot he was even there, and his body wasn't at the crash site, either."
>>
No. 649162 ID: 7e38be
File 143460583764.png - (30.91KB , 1000x1000 , 0094.png )
649162

>>
No. 649164 ID: 7e38be
File 143460586054.png - (34.01KB , 1000x1000 , 0095.png )
649164

"I'm sorry." Kesslar says, "Strauss and Ulric... they were good men."
>>
No. 649165 ID: bd8b82

shrug
>>
No. 649166 ID: a19cd5

>>649164
"Eh, it's alright. They would have had me in jail regardless."
>>
No. 649167 ID: 9297f4

Eh. Some adventure currently, huh?
>>
No. 649169 ID: ab7529

>Strauss and Ulric... they were good men.
Ulric was a dick. Strauss was decent to me.

*Sigh*. Why did you lie? What was the point?

...I guess this means we're not gonna have to have an awkward conversation over whether I'm still a prisoner once we're clear of the caves. I don't have to tell you I don't hold you doing your job against of, or have to try and run.

Strauss wouldn't have known anything about what just happened back there. Do you know something you couldn't say before?
>>
No. 649172 ID: 0fc976

That still leaves us short one guard corpse, doesn't it? Also... Did you make any of the wounds in Strauss's coat?

Well, back to that T-locked door I had almost forgotten about! Destiny awaits us! ...Oh, right.
>>
No. 649175 ID: e114bc

>>649164
Then where is Strauss's body? Also, I guess this explains why he's able to walk around full of venom, and shrug off a wound that large. He's using his Hexmage power.

So uh what's a Hexmage, again?
>>
No. 649221 ID: 9ddf68

huh, wait then what happened to the other guy? I mean is he dead as well or is he still kicking? Becuase if he's alive that means it's most likely that he dragged off his dead partner. Good news there is that means we don't have to worry about undead, demons, or whatever, but also means we might have some problems if they get to town ahead of us. If they're both dead in a ditch then we don't need to worry about word getting out that you've escaped but undead are still on the table.

As for Kesslar, this actually makes things simpler. I mean I was planning on dragging him back to the city then ditching him once we got him to a hospital since you're still a wanted criminal and it would suck balls to go through all of this only to still go to jail. Now at least we don't have to worry about getting arrested again once we hit town.
>>
No. 650409 ID: 7e38be
File 143513080021.png - (17.59KB , 1000x1000 , 0096.png )
650409

>>649169

I don't know exactly how to take this information. Strauss was more than just decent to me, he seemed to genuinely care about me as a person; the first person I've met who did.

all I know about Kesslar is that he's a Hexmage and he was arrested for a string of murders. he seems nice, but he's been lying to me.

I sigh, "why did you lie?"

he stares ahead, thinking to himself.

"I suppose I was afraid of how you may react." he says finally.

>>649165
>>649166


"well it doesn't matter." I reply, "let's get out of here."

"let me ask you something, weaver." he looks into my eyes. there's a numbness to them that I only now notice, "after we get out of here, after you and I are through the door..."

he stays silent for a while.

"nevermind." he mutters, "let's focus on opening the door for now."

>>649175

I'm not sure exactly what a Hexmage is, but I know that they can control Hexfire with their mind. I'm not sure if that's how he's still standing with a big hole in his chest, but maybe.

"ok," I nod, "I'll go ahead and check on that door."
>>
No. 650410 ID: 7e38be
File 143513082242.png - (20.67KB , 1000x1000 , 0097.png )
650410

>>649172
>>649221

I walk ahead, examining the T pick I pulled from my bag. I wonder did Kesslar move the bodies for some reason? he couldn't have, he was on the ground the whole time. I try piecing together how many of Kesslar's words were true and what were lies. a sound catches my ear and I look ahead.
>>
No. 650411 ID: 7e38be
File 143513083559.png - (29.11KB , 1000x1000 , 0098.png )
650411

"M-Mal?" Strauss stutters as he carries the corpse of his comrade. blood pours from a slash across his torso.
>>
No. 650413 ID: 6d15f0

Wat
>>
No. 650415 ID: 0fc976

>>650411
Get between Kesslar and Strauss, before they start shooting hexes at each other. Ask if Strauss is alright, and what happened.

Mal. Is that our name?
>>
No. 650420 ID: 38ec0a

Oh god damnit, nothing can ever be simple can it?

First things first, try and make sure nobody tried and kills each other, but if that doesn't work out find a rock and us it for cover.
>>
No. 650425 ID: e114bc

Okay. The corpse moving on its own is the only explanation for it leaving the blood trail down to your bag at Nihilim. It took control of the corpse in order to lure you to it. That part of Kesslar's story checks out.

However, Kesslar definitely lied about how Ulric died, and likely about why the fight broke out in the first place. Keep in mind that he's wearing Strauss's coat. He is the murderer Nihilim was talking about. I'm thinking Strauss was unconscious from the crash, Kesslar stripped the coat off of Strauss to disguise himself for an escape, Ulric attacked him to try to take him prisoner again, they fought and Kesslar shoved him onto the spike before or after getting shot. Strauss uh... I'm not sure what Strauss has been doing after that. Keep Kesslar from making any sudden moves, hell, get the axe away from him even. Point the rifle at him if you have to. Shoot him if he starts anything.

Ask Strauss where he's been since the crash. Where did he get those wounds?
>>
No. 650441 ID: e6fcea

Should quip at Kesslar that he'll look far less attractive to you if he starts getting violent now. Then it might be a good idea to inform Strauss about your hazy memory, and the body-horror just being you getting a promotion in life. Time to play doctor again!
>>
No. 650446 ID: 88960e

I only see one eye, no pupil. And he doesn't have a mask or respirator- doesn't he (or they, for that matter) need one?

I sure hope that doesn't mean he's dead and walking around (although who would you be to complain about that).

>What do
Immediate priority is making sure no one kills each other. Quick glance at your companion- he's not about to any violent hexmagic, right?

Second, assuming Strauss is alive, we should really treat that injury.

>Mal. Is that our name?
Mal. Was that your name?
>>
No. 650826 ID: 7e38be
File 143531108624.png - (30.58KB , 1000x1000 , 0099.png )
650826

>>650446

Mal Ravlikin. yeah, I think that's my name. I suppose it was my name. I'll decide later if I should keep it.

they don't need respirators right now. the methane in the air is breathable, they're both probably a bit short of breath, though.

>>650425
>>650441

Kesslar is still a ways behind me. he sensed my uneasiness I think and let me have some time alone.

Strauss leans Ulric's body on the wall then approaches me, "Mal, what happened? are you hurt?"

"no I'm- well, not really." I stutter as he examines my horn, "it's a long story but we-"

he puts a hand lightly on my cheek as he looks closely at the protrusion, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but understand that this is a serious situation. the other convict, Franz Kesslar, he's loose."

"yeah that's what I need to tell you, I-"

"listen, this guy is dangerous, not just violent, he's a manipulator, he'll get into your head. he got into Ulric's, he got into mine. Ulric's dead because of that, and I'm leaking bad."

"I know, but listen I-"
>>
No. 650827 ID: 7e38be
File 143531110662.png - (36.53KB , 1000x1000 , 0100.png )
650827

>>
No. 650828 ID: 7e38be
File 143531113899.png - (69.42KB , 1500x1000 , 0101.png )
650828

"away from him, Weaver." Kesslar's voice rumbles with a demonic baritone, "I'm going to put this dog down."

Strauss snatches a hatchet from Ulric's belt, "blasphemer. you did this to her, didn't you?"

the two look like they're about to start tearing at each other, Strauss seems like he might fall over, though. he's definitely going to die if he doesn't get help soon.

>>650415
>>650420

"hey guys, let's calm down. we need to open the door before we start bickering." I say, stepping between them.

"I can't do that, Mal." Strauss replies, "Kesslar is too dangerous to let walk."

"if we let Strauss live, he'll just cart the both of us to a penal legion."
>>
No. 650835 ID: ad7bba

Honestly, spending some time in prison seems fine. Good way to stay low, and the lost time isn't meaningful to us anymore.
>>
No. 650836 ID: e114bc

>>650828
Yeah I'm gonna pick Strauss here. Kesslar has been lying to you repeatedly, probably only treating you nicely because you're a fellow prisoner, plus you can pick the lock on that door.

Stick the gun in his face and tell him to stand down or you'll put a second hole in him. Hell, I'm tempted to just shoot him. He KNOWS that Strauss treated you nicely, but he's trying to kill him unprovoked anyway.

Plus I have no idea what he's capable of.
>>
No. 650845 ID: e6fcea

You can get out of here without either of them, so either they both play nice or you're going to leave without either of them.
You have just been given the task of offing a family of not-quite-gods, you got bigger issues to deal with than a pair of studs fighting over your attention!
>>
No. 650848 ID: 9ddf68

honestly I was planning on ditching them anyways so I'd say unlock the door and just book it. I mean with the guard guy My plan was to dump him on a doctors door and leave him since the slammer doesn't sound like a fun place to be right now and when I learned we're with another escapee who aparntly already killed one of the guards I figured it would be better to lose him in a city or something since while you do now have a horn growing out of your head no one is really going to be looking to hard for a simple pick pocket and seeing how little you know of the giant we just met I am pretty sure we could keep our new giant slaying career and you privet life fairly separate, at least at the beginning anyways.

So yeah, if they start duking it out, rush to the door, open it, and get the hell out of here before the dust settles and they realize that you're gone.
>>
No. 650850 ID: 88960e

>blasphemer. you did this to her, didn't you?
He, uh, actually tried to stop me from letting it happen.

>if we let Strauss live, he'll just cart the both of us to a penal legion.
I don't care. Also, if you set your sights on simply leaving, rather than trying to kill him, I very much doubt he's in any shape to stop you.

>Kesslar is too dangerous to let walk.
Tough! You're barely standing and I'm no warrior. You don't have a means to stop him, and I'm not letting you throw your life away.

I'm not standing here and watching you two Macho bullshit each other to death.

>possible plays
They both seem to want to protect you. Staying in the line of fire forces them to be aware of you.

You might be able to immobilize them out with your venom, but that would have to be applied one at a time and close in. Plus, Kessler might be resistant, given what we've seen.

We still have the spellbomb, right? Pulling a grenade in a close quarters fight makes people hesitate. You've got a bluff to work with.
>>
No. 650851 ID: f461c5

In case you forgot... I am the only one who can open the door.

So shut up.
>>
No. 650864 ID: 0fc976

>>650851
Unless they kill us and take the lockpick. Not a guaranteed bargaining chip.

Kesslar, Strauss is hurt and too weak to give chase. We'll find him a healer and you, or we, I'm not certain yet, can leave without pursuit. I helped you when you were injured, 'Strauss,' and I'll do the same for him. You stand down too Strauss, before you collapse.
How did that fireball bounce off our jacket without harming us?
>>
No. 650866 ID: 88960e

>>650864
A lockpick isn't worth as much without the requisite skill set, though. It does give us a little leverage.
>>
No. 650935 ID: d3be40

Call them out on deciding the fate of the entire world based on personal survival and obsolete order. You have a job to do, you don't need your squad committing mutual suicide!
>>
No. 651006 ID: 040c81

If we pick a side, I say Strauss.
>>
No. 651066 ID: 04cc21

Shut the fuck up both of you! I'm the immortal with the god like powers here so you'll do as I say and I say I'm saving both you asses!

cause two dicks are better then one
>>
No. 651612 ID: b424e1

>>651006
I agree. If it comes down to it and we simply MUST pick one, I think we should pick Strauss. But trying to keep them both from killing each other is also good.
>>
No. 653740 ID: 7e38be
File 143629531745.png - (34.47KB , 1000x1000 , 0102.png )
653740

"we shouldn't be fighting right now." I plead, "this isn't helping anyone."

"you're young, Mal. you don't understand." Strauss says.

"he's right." Kesslar replies, "this is just how it has to be, step aside."
>>
No. 653741 ID: 7e38be
File 143629535373.png - (21.95KB , 1000x1000 , 0103.png )
653741

Kesslar and Strauss take swings at each other while I stand and watch, helpless to fate. my blood boils and my teeth clench. they don't even care what I have to say, they're at it like wild dogs. something shifts under my flesh, just below my eye.
>>
No. 653742 ID: 7e38be
File 143629538069.png - (19.87KB , 1000x1000 , 0104.png )
653742

"don't talk down to me, I'm not a kid! I'm trying help and you two are just fighting like children!"
>>
No. 653743 ID: 7e38be
File 143629539598.png - (21.74KB , 1000x1000 , 0105.png )
653743

>>
No. 653748 ID: 7e38be
File 143629554215.png - (24.99KB , 1000x1000 , 0106.png )
653748

"Mal!" Strauss grabs me as my muscles give out and I crumple to the floor, "are you okay?"

"I've been better." I mutter out panickedly.

"...I think you've made a poor decision, Weaver." Kesslar remarks.
>>
No. 653749 ID: 7e38be
File 143629556639.png - (25.35KB , 1000x1000 , 0107.png )
653749

I shrug. it's difficult to argue with him with blood pouring out of my face. there's a still silence as I move out of Strauss' embrace and sit against the wall. it's as though for a short few seconds, we were just three strangers sitting in the dark. I suppose we are, but the situation has made us allies and enemies without our consent.

"so." I say finally, breaking the silence, "what do we do?"

the two look at each other, then back to me. neither speak for a while. Kesslar breaks the silence.

"I want to be a free man. I don't care about Strauss, but I will let him walk if he lets me."

Strauss shakes his head, "he's a murderer. he killed his brother, his niece, his nephew..."

"I had my reasons." Kesslar snaps back, "I'll not sleep easy for all my nights because of it, but it had to be done. I can't explain to you why, but I had no choice."

"he killed Ulric, he tried to kill me."

"I will succeed in killing you if you don't get to a hospital soon." Kesslar replies.
>>
No. 653754 ID: 9ddf68

well some good news at least, your hand doesn't seem to be a giant red claw of death anymore and just seems to be covered in bone plating, Might be able to pass it off as a gantlet or something. As for what to do. You have the lock pick now, I say use it and open that door. Oh and lets hope you don't have to sleep anymore because I feel like you're going to have to play babysitter for these two for the rest of your trip.
>>
No. 653757 ID: 88960e

I'm no warrior, and I'm not helping either of you kill the other.

...and no offense, Strauss, but I'm not sure you can stop the hexmage on your own. He has resources you don't. Is this really worth throwing your life away? I don't want you to die.
>>
No. 653758 ID: e114bc

>>653749
Unlock the door, unless you have medical supplies of any sort you can use to help Strauss right this very moment.
>>
No. 653759 ID: 2a7417

Now that you've blown your load, just take a moment to rest. And think. Can you pick locks one handed, or with that claw? Maybe with your horn?
>>
No. 653761 ID: bd8b82

try tell tell that divine seed to watch the face. you need to blend in until you find the target.
>>
No. 653781 ID: ab7529

Lockpicks. Do something familiar while you still have at least one hand and eye that can.

>...I think you've made a poor decision, Weaver.
Geeze, immortality needs less unannounced spikes ripping out of your body. And red eyed rage moments.

>he killed Ulric, he tried to kill me.
...I'm sorry you lost a friend. But I can't help you kill him. And I won't help him kill you.

For whatever it's worth, he did try and look out for me. Granted, he was pretending to be you at the time, but...
>>
No. 654948 ID: 7e38be
File 143661542943.png - (23.92KB , 1000x1000 , 0108.png )
654948

>>653761

I don't know if I can. it doesn't seem like I have any control over this seed whatsoever.

>>653759

it seems I haven't lost any movement in my right hand. that's good, because I can't pick with my left hand.


>>653781
>>653757

"you can't fight Kesslar by yourself, Strauss." I reason, "you can't even stand right now, and I won't help you."

"I have my duties as a captain of the-"

"I don't want you to die." I cut him off. he stares back at me silently, then he nods.
>>
No. 654949 ID: 7e38be
File 143661547513.png - (24.72KB , 1000x1000 , 0109.png )
654949

then he slumps over.

"he's just unconcious." Kesslar reassures me as I draw gasping breaths, "he's alive, but if you want him to stay that way, we need to move quickly.

>>653758
>>653754

"right." I breathlessly reply. I set to opening the door. it's slow work, and there is a strange silence as I probe the lock. I search for something to say to ease the silence, but nothing comes to mind. Kesslar seems similarly lacking. he opens his mouth to speak, but shuts it again.
>>
No. 654950 ID: 1cebc8

Do you think you'll end up with more spikes than the two of them combined? By the end of the month?

Use your mental focus to give us an approximate 3-dimensional picture of the inside of the lock, we might be able to solve something. Try using your divinity seed to give you a clearer insight of the door.
>>
No. 654951 ID: b424e1

Jokingly ask about the weather. It's the best way to break up an awkward silence.
>>
No. 654952 ID: 9ddf68

so can you open your left eye at all or is it stuck close because of the spike? Also I'm not seeing any webbing on your hands anymore, what's up with that?

As for questions to ask... ask him if he thinks you look like hell. I mean I bet he wants to talk about what the hell is happening to you but isn't sure how to bring it up... that or he wants to talk about the guy who just passed out but is ashamed about it or is trying to find a way to word it that will get you to either do something he doesn't thing you'll do or is just afraid he'll piss you off if he words it wrong.
>>
No. 654965 ID: bd8b82

maybe you can't control it but you can try. suggest that steroscopic vision would still be nice to have, so if it could let you see out of your left eye still that would be great.
>>
No. 654988 ID: ab7529

>I don't know if I can. it doesn't seem like I have any control over this seed whatsoever.
I wonder if we do.
[Hey, watch the face! She needs to blend in if she's gonna find her targets. Also, depth perception would help, and you've made that unavailable]

>>654949
So how much of that looking out for me before was real, and how much was just pretending to be Strauss?
>>
No. 655140 ID: 0fc976

Just you and me again. Y'know, it's funny, we're both dead men walking right now.
>>
No. 655144 ID: e114bc

>>654949
Ask him if anything about what happened between you was true. Does he even like you, or is he using you?
>>
No. 656758 ID: 7e38be
File 143725654391.png - (21.84KB , 1000x1000 , 0110.png )
656758

>>654950

>Do you think you'll end up with more spikes than the two of them combined?

I hope not. I'm no looker, but I'd rather keep what good looks I do have.

I don't know if I can use the seed to help with the lock, but I don't need to anyway. this is a pretty simple set up, it's just a tedious process. it'll probably take a good minute.

>>654951

what is "weather"? is that a surfacer thing?

>>654952

it's not stuck closed, but it's tough to open. it feels like I have a black eye, but a lot more swollen.

I also noticed my hands and mandibles aren't producing venom. it might just be stress or something. I hope.

>>654965

Uh hey divinity? can you do me a favor and let me see out of both eyes?

...well, wish in one hand, I guess.

>>655140

"just you and me again." I say, "two dead men walking, huh?"

he nods, "though I suppose for you death's not nearly the hinderance it is for me."

"yeah, but it's been hell on my face." I reply, "I must look like shit, huh?"

he shakes his head, "you look fine. perhaps your appeal has... narrowed, but refinement often tastes unpallateable to laymen, doesn't it?"

I shrug, "I guess so."

>>654988
>>655144

"before, how much of that was an act?"

he blinks, confused, "what?"

"when you were pretending to be strauss, were you just pretending? did you mean anything that you said?"

"I meant the important things." he replies. "I am a widower, and an old military dog."

the tumbler clicks into place.

"so when you said-"

"I meant every word."
>>
No. 656762 ID: e114bc

>>656758
While opening the door, ask him how he managed to shake off your venom, and the hole in his chest.
>>
No. 656763 ID: 9ddf68

well any idea how long we have until we reach the nearest town/city? I mean we are going to have to drag the two guards with us... and it's probably going to have to be you seeing as hex-y over there still has a big ass hole in his chest.
>>
No. 656773 ID: 0fc976

OH HEY THE DOOR IS OPEN! Let's gather up Strauss and move on. Keep Kesslar on your good eye's side.
>>
No. 656889 ID: ea0ad9

>"you look fine. perhaps your appeal has... narrowed, but refinement often tastes unpallateable to laymen, doesn't it?"
>"I meant every word."
He totally wants you, even with the seed.

Well, that will be, what, a few decades of enjoyment you can have?
>>
No. 658106 ID: 7e38be
File 143788920312.png - (27.23KB , 1000x1000 , 0111.png )
658106

>>656763

next town is Geistharbor, and it's a little less than half a click south on the Deep Road.

>>656762

I pull open the heavy door. there is a winding tunnel ahead. it looks like worked stone, and
the lit passage has signs pointing to the Deep Road.

I turn back to Kesslar, "can I ask how you're able to stand with all that poison in you, or
how you can walk around with a hole in your chest?"

"Hexmagic is strange." he replies, "don't worry about my injuries. they're a nonissue. just
lead the way, I'll carry Strauss."

>>656889

"I never got your first name."

"Heinrich." he replies.
>>
No. 658107 ID: 7e38be
File 143788922296.png - (27.79KB , 1000x1000 , 0113.png )
658107

>>
No. 658108 ID: 7e38be
File 143788926091.png - (32.35KB , 1000x1000 , 0114.png )
658108

"alright Heinrich, we've got a lot of walking to do. let's go."

he stutters out a response and quickly hefts the unconscious Strauss.

how should we make our way to Geistharbor? neither of us looks like an escaped prisoner, so it's not like being spotted would cause us any problems, but I do kind of stand out.
>>
No. 658109 ID: 1cebc8

Uh...

Just get out of the caves. Look for some treasure rooms, you're in no shape to fight mooks, much less an agent of a titan.
>>
No. 658112 ID: e114bc

>>658107
I hope you know what you're doing, Mal.

>>658108
What do you mean, how? Do we have a choice other than walking? Or a route other than the road?
>>
No. 658113 ID: e114bc

>>658109
>get out of the caves
I have some bad news for you.
>>
No. 658114 ID: 0ee153

>>658113
>replying to kome
Just don't acknowledge his existence if you can avoid it.
>>
No. 658115 ID: 0fc976

>>658107
Not sure what shocked him more, the kiss or the horn pointed directly at his face.

You sure a guard jacket with a gunshot in it doesn't scream 'fugitive'? If you say so. You should travel behind Kesslar, both so you're spotted last and can keep an eye on him. When you get to Geistharbor, find someplace that doesn't ask too many questions and can get you guys more concealing clothes, fast.
>>
No. 658125 ID: ab7529

>how should we make our way
>but I do kind of stand out
For your race (are you guys not normally found in this area) or your new metal spikey bits?

The metal hand can probably be covered by by the baggy sleeve if you roll down the cuff and are careful, your race and/or the spike in your eye to some extent if you put on a hood, and or wear one of those respirator things. There's no good way to hide the horn, though. Short of a very impressive hat.

He probably wants to hide the symbol on his head, since he's apparently infamous.

>>658107
Haha, you go, girl.

>I hope you know what you're doing, Mal.
She's doing the big guy with a hole in his chest.
>>
No. 658127 ID: bd8b82

get a hat.
>>
No. 658133 ID: d6fb37

>>658108
Are you sure you dont look like an escaped prisoner? wearing a Peacekeeper jacket that's a little big for you with a huge hole in it? Normal folks might not raise an eyebrow but actual Peacekeepers probably will.
>>
No. 658172 ID: 9ddf68

Alright here's my plan. there's still one more dead guard with a coat right? Since Heinrich likes playing guard so much lets have him do it again. Heinrich is a guard and Strauss is his partner, They were questioning the dead guy when the group was ambush by an unknown party. Dead guy bit it in the opening volley and Strauss got wounded before they were able to push them back. He dragged the dead guy back to the city since they needed to get Strauss help anyways. Strauss managed to walk back part of the way before collapsing himself forcing Heinrich to drag them both back. Have him dump the bodies at the hospital and then leave to "pick up the trail before it gets to cold". You will enter the city before him to make sure nothing will ruin the plan. Like other guards blocking the road. Don't think you can actually help without people asking questions since I'm not sure if your kind are even aloud in the guard to say nothing of the horn growing out of your head.

The plan is basically run into the city, dump those two off, and get out before anyone can even get a chance to ask questions. Once Heinrich get's out of sight of the hospital have him ditch the coat and met up somewhere quite. We can work on what to do next from there.
>>
No. 658460 ID: ea0ad9

>Peacekeeper jacket, oversized
Trim the thing. Try and get as straight a cut as you can at about knee length. (Don't worry if it's not perfect, it doesn't need to be) You have a hole in the jacket, and him in his chest, so it'll just look like you were in a nasty fight. As for the Divine Seed... I wonder if Hexmagic, being strange as it is, could be used as an excuse?
>>
No. 661031 ID: 7e38be
File 143904072823.png - (37.70KB , 1000x1000 , 0115.png )
661031

>>658112

>I hope you know what you're doing.

I'm immortal. what's the worst that could happen?

>>658127

not a bad idea in the long term, I need to remember to find a haberdasher that can keep quiet.

>>658133
>>658115

actually you're right, a soldier would spot the jacket and assume I stole it, then I'd be in the same position I was just in a few hours ago.

>>658125
>>658460

Klangg aren't uncommon on the deep road. you'll see a lot of them begging or selling themselves as spies or locksmiths. they're less common in the cities, but I wouldn't raise many eyebrows normally.

Hexmagic is strange, but I've never seen it capable of causing someone's bone to protrude like this. I think my appearance is going to draw attention no matter what story I tell.

>>658109
>>658172

it's time to get out of these caves, I think.

we dress up Strauss in one of the uniforms, and Kesslar dons the other one. I have him walk ahead of me, and try my best to conceal myself behind him.

we make our way out of the access tunnel, and find ourselves on the Deep Road. I always find the Roads unsettling, something about the shape of the tunnel gives me the heebie jeebies, it's like some giant burrowing thing's trail.

"what's our story?" Kesslar asks.

"you two are Peacekeepers, the two of you were attacked and Strauss was injured."

"and what about you?"

I shrug, "I'm just a Klangg that's following you, maybe you bought me? it doesn't matter."

"just as well." he remarks, "there's no explaining your appearance away. let's just hope that no one notices you."
>>
No. 661032 ID: 7e38be
File 143904075727.png - (32.41KB , 1000x1000 , 0116.png )
661032

Kesslar stops abruptly.

"someone's following us." he whispers.

"who?" I ask, glancing behind us.

two Mraach approach behind us, wearing armored overcoats colored black and blue. they look pretty heavily armed.

"are those soldiers?" I gulp.

"no." he replies, "no company flies those colors, and that equipment is custom made, and very expensive. whoever they are, they seem to be heading to Geistharbor, like us."

what should we do?
>>
No. 661034 ID: fa0ef9

I say we must find out if they have any markings to show that they are a part of a group or they are just 2 guys ready to take on the world.
>>
No. 661037 ID: 1cebc8

You have a divine biosynthetic symbiotic and they have no @#$%ing clue. You can take them with one hand period.

Just let them pass, no need for fuss.
>>
No. 661045 ID: 71c504

Try turning onto a few random crossroads to see of they're 'following' following you.
>>
No. 661046 ID: ea0ad9

Just don't worry about the guys unless they make a fuss over your group. If they look like they're moving quickly and want to pass, let them. There's no reason not to.
>>
No. 661058 ID: ab7529

>I'm immortal. what's the worst that could happen?
[Jafar voice]There are things so much worse than death.[/Jafar voice]

Probably the worst thing would be unending torture from which not even the release of death will save you. You can still be made to suffer, and if someone manages to hold you, you're in trouble.

>Hexmagic is strange, but I've never seen it capable of causing someone's bone to protrude like this.
Unless you manage to pass the off as external additions rather than internal growths. Be that freaky person who straps spikes to themselves rather than the one who grows them naturally. You'd still attract attention, but more for being deviant than a freak of nature.

>no company flies those colors
There's an emblem of a sun over mountains on both their shoulders. They're part of something. A private force, mercenaries, bounty hunters, something like that?

>what should we do?
Safest outcome is to avoid them and let them pass. No need to borrow trouble if you can help it.
>>
No. 661083 ID: 3663d3

they do not seem to be in a battle ready position, ether they are not soon to be in battle or are the worst at following someone.
>>
No. 661088 ID: c0d22b

Just let them pass, better to avoid a fight if we can.
>>
No. 665534 ID: 7e38be
File 144084875849.png - (30.27KB , 1000x1000 , 0117.png )
665534

>>661045

time is kind of limited right now. if we don't get Strauss to a hospital soon he might bleed out.

>>661058

>unending torture from which not even the release of death will save you.

yeah I guess. I guess unending torture would be a pretty bad outcome from kissing someone. lucky I dodged that bullet.

>>661034

the patch is a crimson and red shape. not sure what it's supposed to represent.

>>661037
>>661046
>>661083
>>661088

"just keep walking." I whisper, "let them pass us."

Kesslar nods.

the two Mraach approach behind.

"listening well?" the female of the two greets Kesslar.

"I'm spoken to still." Kesslar replies.
>>
No. 665535 ID: 7e38be
File 144084880850.png - (29.63KB , 1000x1000 , 0118.png )
665535

she nods, then looks at Strauss, "oh shit. is he okay?"

she approaches and motions to the other one, "hey Arlo give this guy a hand."

Arlo supports Strauss on the other side.

"what happened to you guys?" she asks.

"we were attacked while on patrol." Kesslar replies, the naturalness and relaxedness with which he lies is kind of unsettling, "they got my partner in the chest, and I took some shots as well before we bested them. I'm only standing with the help of Hex magic."

"you headed to Geistharbor?" she asks, "we can help you and your friend there."

Kessler utters for a moment, trying to find a way to refuse without causing suspicion, but the girl begins looking around.

"you got a kid with you?"
>>
No. 665536 ID: 7e38be
File 144084886240.png - (23.81KB , 1000x1000 , 0119.png )
665536

I step into view after a short pause, "no, I'm here too."

she stares at me for a few seconds, cocking her head to the side quizzically.
>>
No. 665537 ID: 7e38be
File 144084891557.png - (21.78KB , 1000x1000 , 0120.png )
665537

"that is so cute!" she leans in, "what is that? some kind of body mod? that's so cool! do all Klangg do that?"

"uh"

"sorry." she backs away, "I get kind of silly around new people. My name's Anna Steinsburg, and this is my brother, Arlo. nice to meet you and your friend."
>>
No. 665538 ID: 9ddf68

>nice to meet you and your friend.
uh, thanks?

Got a nickname or something? might want to give her that if she ask for your name. Don't really think they'd know you by name or that you're a thief but the guard in the next town might and if they get it from them it might raise some red flags.

>what is that? some kind of body mod? that's so cool! do all Klangg do that?
...body mod? we can use that. If asked about why you have a spike coming out of the side of your face just kind of mumble something to the effect of "cheaper isn't always better".

But yeah my advice here is act a little shy and answer with as few words as possible. Let Kesslar do most of the talking if possible since we didn't really have time to match stories and he seems like the smoother talker of the two of you.
>>
No. 665546 ID: dbe554

Tell her it varies from person to person, and that you wanted something that stood out.
>>
No. 665551 ID: 0fc976

*tips mandibles* M'lady.
>>
No. 665553 ID: ea0ad9

>some kind of body mod?
Uh, yeah I guess.
>do all Klangg do that?
No, not unless they decided to start getting them after I left.
>>
No. 665559 ID: e114bc

>>665537
Cool, they're friendly. Ask what's with the insignia.
>>
No. 665604 ID: 57dfcc

>I guess unending torture would be a pretty bad outcome from kissing someone. lucky I dodged that bullet.
I meant more general worst case than specific.

But yes, getting involved with a criminal with poorly understood magic and who encountered a situation where the good choice was killing his family could, in theory, turn ugly. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now, though.

>that is so cute!" she leans in, "what is that? some kind of body mod? that's so cool! do all Klangg do that?
Huh. Honestly, a much better first reaction than I expected.

Oh, um, thank you. Nice to meet you too. And no, we don't all do this, I'm a bit weird.
>>
No. 666858 ID: 2a9623
File 144125884969.png - (16.80KB , 1000x1000 , 0121.png )
666858

>>665551

I bow slightly with my hands crossed behind me. I think that's the way Mraach greet each other formally.

"nice to meet you too." I reply, "I'm uh..."

"she's a hireling. not too keen to give her name to a Hexmage, it seems." Kesslar interrupts, "not that I blame her. I'm Herman Schultz. it's a pleasure, miss Steinsburg."
>>
No. 666859 ID: 2a9623
File 144125887581.png - (18.38KB , 1000x1000 , 0122.png )
666859

she disengages her helmet with a hiss and pulls it off of her head. she looks about 20 years old, and very pretty. if not for the armor, I would have placed her as an actress or a singer.

"did you get a good look at the attackers?" she asks, "any guesses as to why they'd want to pick a fight with the Deep Road patrol?"

Kesslar shakes his head, "they weren't wearing any identifying clothing. it was just a gang of Mraach with poorly calibrated Hexengewher. I've no clue what they may have been after."

she shrugs, "probably some smugglers who got nervous."

>>665538
>>665546
>>665553
>>665604

she glances back at me, "so is that a religious thing or...?"

"not really." I reply, "it's just... it does stand out, doesn't it?"

"yeah, it's pretty noticeable."

I sigh, trying to sound convincing, "well it's all I could afford..."

her face washes over with awkward guilt, "oh. I didn't mean... sorry."

"it's fine." I shrug.

>>665559

"what's that thing on your shoulder mean?" I ask after a few moments.

she grins, "it means were mercenaries! we're with Blackrock Company."

"are you on a mission right now?"

"sort of." she replies, "we're getting paid to find someone in Geistharbor."

a tinge of panic hits me in the spine, "who are you looking for?"

"no idea. we're meeting the contact in Geistharbor. they'll give us the info in person, then we'll find the guy."
>>
No. 666860 ID: e114bc

>>666859
Why so nervous, Mal? Do you know someone there?
>>
No. 666880 ID: ef2801

Does there kind normally have blue eyes or what? Not sure what else there is to ask so it's probably better to not force questions. Any idea until we hit town? Just wondering how long of a walk we have.
>>
No. 667055 ID: 57dfcc

>>666859
Oh man, they can have freckles?

>mercenaries
Called it!

>looking for someone
Well there's no way anyone could know about you and be paying mercs to come and get you, right? And no one even knows Kessler broke free yet. So they couldn't be here you either of you. Right?

>then we'll find the guy
Oh. Well, hopefully that won't be too hard.
>>
No. 670334 ID: 7e38be
File 144257479674.png - (17.44KB , 1000x1000 , 0123.png )
670334

>>666880
>>667055

blue eyes and freckles aren't exactly common, but it's not a cause for alarm. it just means she's from the south.

>>666860

I don't know anyone from Geistharbor. I guess I'm just being paranoid right now.

"hey, Cutie," Anna's face softens into a sad smile, "can I ask you something?"

"uh." I stare back, confused, "sure."

"what is it you do as a hireling?"

I shrug, "I pick locks, deliver letters, nothing important."

"Anna stop stalling." the other mercenary barks. his voice is soft and raspy, like that of an old man.
>>
No. 670335 ID: 7e38be
File 144257483966.png - (25.76KB , 1000x1000 , 0124.png )
670335

she nods, then smiles at me warmly, "Arlo and I were hired by a man named Sel'kothath to find a girl with a horn and a hand made from bone. he said it's important that we find you so he could talk with you. he told me to tell you he knows about Nihilim."

I swallow hard. I have never heard of a man named Sel'kothath. how could he know all of that, and how could he send mercenaries to the exact place I am? I glance back at Kesslar. he's got his hand on the shaft of the War hatchet, waiting for a signal.
>>
No. 670340 ID: e14bec

Well, it's pretty unlikely to have witnessed any of that in a conventional way, so I guess this Sel'kothath is also somewhat half-divine...

Well, let's go with them. If he knows what and where we were and are, he could have and still can send more aggressive things instead of those two.
>>
No. 670347 ID: 211d83

I would probably be willing to talk to him. Where does he live?
>>
No. 670348 ID: 88960e

>blue eyes and freckles aren't exactly common, but it's not a cause for alarm.
I think you're confusing alarm with something else. She's adorable.

>>670335
...when did he hire you?

Cause either their boss was remotely informed as soon as it happened and somehow got assets in place impossibly quick, or he cheated, and knew your fate in advance.

The other obvious question is where is this guy. That factors into how unreasonable their request is.

Immediate priority is unchanged. We're getting Strauss to town and medical attention. They got a problem with that?
>>
No. 670351 ID: 2a7417

Well honestly I'm amazed your boss expected you to come back alive from this confrontation. Sure, but it'll have to wait until after this medical emergency.
>>
No. 670353 ID: a4e757

I am guessing this Sel'kothath is probably a mage or scholar of some sort that has been monitoring the situation with the Nihilim. That being said he could be good or bad news.

Could be some scheming elderly mage eager to avoid death who has been waiting for this moment to try and steal your seed of immortality away before it fully bonds to you. While you will get stronger right now any random thug could knock you over the head and carry you off.

Or could just be someone who is involved with the mess and wants to help guide you. But again could be trying to guide you in the direction they want.

I think it would be worth meeting this person but tell them you are in no shape to make any long trips. You need to care for your companions first and get some rest before you go anywhere.
>>
No. 670356 ID: ab5f13

Wonder if this guy is one of those inmortal guys we were told to take out? Probably. Maybe. We need more info. Tell some of the truth, like who the hell is the guy they're talking about and how does he know you have a horn? I mean we got that thing less then a day ago! Either way you still need to drag the passed out guy to town before he bites it so everything else will have to wait.
>>
No. 677107 ID: 0fff38
File 144508393560.png - (41.75KB , 1000x1000 , 0125.png )
677107

>>670340
>>670347
>>670348
>>670351
>>670353
>>670356

I suppose these mercenaries are better than most. they've been upfront, and it looks like they're trying to remain friendly, even though they could definitely just overpower me and drag me to this guy.

"who is Sel'kothath?" I ask, "and what does he want with me?"

"I'd like to tell you," she says, shaking her head, "but what little I do know I'm not allowed to say. he did say that he has no intention of harming you."

"that sounds pretty suspicious, you know." I shoot back, "when did he hire you to do this?"

"well we've been under his employ for a few months now as bodyguards, but he only told us about you five days ago."

I perk an eyebrow, that still means he knew about it before it happened.

"where is this guy?"

she shakes her head, "sorry, he won't let me say. it's not far from here, though. only a few hours by foot."

"well, I guess I'll talk with him, but not before I get my friend to the hospital."

"oh don't worry about that." she replies matronly, "Arlo will help your friends out. you can come with me to Sel'kothath."

"oh." I stutter out, strangely nervous at the propostion, "o-okay..."

"wait a moment!" Kesslar shouts, "our separation was never a part of this alleged deal!"
>>
No. 677108 ID: 0fff38
File 144508396789.png - (22.64KB , 1000x1000 , 0126.png )
677108

Anna twirls around, suddenly in a readied stance, "no one asked for your input, 'Schultz'! you can either do as you're told or I'll let the actual Freurguards throw your heretical child murdering ass in the darkest murkiest cell in the UnterGrube!"
>>
No. 677109 ID: 0fff38
File 144508398795.png - (22.41KB , 1000x1000 , 0127.png )
677109

she gulps a lungful of breath, than twirls back around to me, gun back at rest.

"anyway, you don't need to worry. Arlo will have your friend to a doctor in no time. if you're ready, we need to get going. Sel's waiting."
>>
No. 677110 ID: 0fff38
File 144508402584.png - (27.65KB , 1000x1000 , 0128.png )
677110

the dead girl reluctantly follows the doomed mercenary, as the Fates decide to turn their attention away. the endless cacophony of creation continues to call to them. such is the lot in the life of the fates, that they must continue to pull the strings all around them.

[END OF CHAPTER]
>>
No. 677114 ID: 0ed6e9

well shit. Good run though
>>
No. 677115 ID: 2ccbb3

Mal, we need to disconnect. We'll probably help someone else for now, but we might be able to find you an ally or two.

You did great, let's meet again sometime!
>>
No. 677131 ID: e2e5b3

>>677108
WOAH WOAH WOAH WOAH no need to be rude to our god damned friend bitch

And we never did agree to be separated from our boy toys! I am displeased!
>>
No. 677146 ID: dbe554

>>677131
He still is pretty much a murdering asshole, so yeah. Threads of fate and all to play with, we've got new toys to deal with.
>>
No. 677165 ID: 025c3c

>even though they could definitely just overpower me and drag me to this guy
Even though they could try to overpower you and get into a fight with a crazy hexmage.

>>677110
Boo. We can follow lots of threads simultaneously. Get us back there!
>>
No. 677210 ID: 5ad4a7

>>677110
So.... we're gonna be following one of the other two threads now?
>>
No. 677846 ID: 0fff38
File 144526118610.png - (14.07KB , 1000x1000 , 0129.png )
677846

three threads in particular catch the eyes of the capricious fates.

The Raka Warlord who must gather an army.
The Raksha Page who will soon face her wedding day.
The Nameless Abomination that wakes up in chains.
>>
No. 677848 ID: 88960e

>>677846
Abomination
>>
No. 677849 ID: e4abe1

>>677846
abomination
>>
No. 677850 ID: 2a7417

We did such a great job with the last one, let's "help" the Abomination next!
>>
No. 677851 ID: 3663d3

raksha, let's crash a wedding.
>>
No. 677854 ID: 2ccbb3

We shouldn't keep the warlord waiting, but blowing up a wedding sounds REALLY fun...

I vote half-and-half? Or both if we aren't using first-past-the-post system.
>>
No. 677939 ID: 0ed6e9

Abomination sounds fun
>>
No. 677940 ID: fbc59e

wedding crashers!
>>
No. 677987 ID: dbe554

Raksha Page
>>
No. 677999 ID: e53226

Hell yeah lets abomination!
>>
No. 678002 ID: 7861de

Abomination!
>>
No. 678032 ID: ad936f

Abomination all the way!
>>
No. 678068 ID: a79844

Raka warlord
>>
No. 679020 ID: 0fff38
File 144568185077.png - (25.88KB , 1000x1000 , 0130.png )
679020

the Fates spy a queer scene. a man kneels in front of a chained monster, weeping, praying. his back is deeply scarred from the lash, and his patchwork robes belie an animalistic or perhaps druidic existence.

"my goddess, I have given you my life, my love, and my blood." he speaks hushedly, fearing he may be heard, "I have given you the blood and lives of others. I have given freely my lady."

he bows to the floor, his face pressed against the bloodsoaked stone.
>>
No. 679021 ID: 0fff38
File 144568188010.png - (25.58KB , 1000x1000 , 0131.png )
679021

"now I need you. I won't leave this Coven alive, not by myself." he speaks rapidly and breathlessly, "I don't want to die. not yet. I can't die yet! please, goddess, deliver me from this nightmare!"
>>
No. 679022 ID: 0fff38
File 144568192887.png - (34.27KB , 1000x1000 , 0132.png )
679022

a single brilliant red drop of blood rolls down the creature's cheek, and drips down on the back of the unfortunate cultist. he shakily looks up at the sleeping deity, and its tears, flowing in increasing volume down its porcelain face.

he leaps up, grasping the restrained abomination tightly, frantically yelling thanks to the false god. it awakens.
>>
No. 679023 ID: 0fff38
File 144568195732.png - (20.46KB , 1000x1000 , 0133.png )
679023

I awaken. something is grabbing me, speaking in a language I do not understand, and I have been wrapped in chains. whatever is currently transpiring is of no interest to me. I must make my way out of here and... and... my mind is a blank... I remember I must do something important, but I can not remember what. I can not remember anything, actually.
>>
No. 679024 ID: dbe554

You are bound in chains nameless one, that.. pathetic creature seems to consider you a god, a goddess even, a cultist of some un-named order based around the worship of yourself perhaps? One based around the works of self-flagellation and blood letting it seems.

He prays for salvation, but now we are curious.. What will you do with your newly awakened self?
>>
No. 679027 ID: 0ed6e9

the thing grabbing you is a follower of yours. He believes you to be his deity and he is praying for help leaving this place and for your aid. So in short harmless and will probably do anything he can to serve you granted you two can find a way around the language barrier that seems to have presented itself.

As for us, we are observers and we happened to overhear your follower there and it peeked our curiosity. Then we saw you and now you have our attention. We'll help you because we want to see what you'll do, and because you remind me of someone we met not to long ago.

does the name Nihlim mean anything to you?
>>
No. 679047 ID: 2ccbb3

This is going to be hard to explain.

If you are what we THINK you are, then you were once a guardian of this planet, augmented with the power of the eldritch and given abilities and a lifespan beyond mortal comprehension.

Then everything went to hell, as was expected. We don't know who or what you even are, but you were worshipped as a goddess for who knows how long.

That ends today.

A little thief beat the odds and found a dying guardian. She has been tasked with destroying the corrupt immortals scattered across the planet. That probably includes you.

If you can redeem yourself though, we might be able to convince her to stay her blade against you. Now to begin with, you have a single loyalist supporting you. Join forces and escape this place; your other "followers" aren't... look, they've never talked to you; they'll think that you're a demon possessing their leader.

Tell the cultist a variation of this:

"Events have been set into motion. My brother, if he ever was a brother, is dead, his champion is coming, to kill us all... and I don't know if I even care anymore. I don't even know if she intends to follow through with her duty, a mere thief given the power of a demigod.

I have stayed here for eons. No longer.

The prophecies will now be tested.

Let's go, little brother."
>>
No. 679087 ID: 5ad4a7

>>679023
Disentangle yourself, tell him you can't understand him(he won't understand you either but at least he'll become aware you speak a different language), then take stock of your current condition. What are your capabilities?
>>
No. 679088 ID: 0fc976

It is time.

Time to get outta the BONE ZONE

Take this guy with you, he has more answers than you do right now.
>>
No. 679090 ID: ad936f

>>679088
Why would anyone ever want to leave the BONE ZONE!?
>>
No. 679111 ID: 5812ad

Welcome back to the waking world, mate.
It's a pleasure to start workin' with you.
If you don't remember your name, or your calling, do you recall how you were imprisoned here? Was it of your own will, or anothers'?
>>
No. 680013 ID: 0fff38
File 144610451911.png - (21.37KB , 1000x1000 , 0134.png )
680013

>>679024
>>679047
>>679111
>>679027

that familiar buzzing returns. the Fates. I see that you remain constant even in the strange eons past my deep slumber. how long has it been, I wonder?

as for answers, I am unsure of anything, Fates. I simply know that I am, and that I was forced into slumber so I would not complete my task. I suppose it has worked so far, as I can not remember what that task is.

>do you recall how you were imprisoned here? Was it of your own will, or anothers'?
as far as I am aware, I am much older than this structure, perhaps even older than the stone that makes up the bricks around me. I doubt I was imprisoned here. I was likely exhumed some years ago and placed here as some sort of religious artifact.

>Nihilim
...something surfaces. a half remembered dream, perhaps. Nihilim is the one that betrayed me, weren't they? Nihilim is the reason why I fell asleep. you are telling me that this same being wishes to annihilate me? I suppose I will have to deal with this "thief" once I escape this prison.

>If you can redeem yourself though, we might be able to convince her to stay her blade against you.
that will not be necessary. I am untold eons more experienced than this ill-directioned child. if I can find the thief while it is still young and inexperienced, I can put an end to Nihilim's legacy for good.

>>679087
>>679088

>What are your capabilities?
I am a weapon of war. every part of my body has been crafted to excel at combat. in battle, I am an engine of destruction. compared to a mortal, I am unnaturally fast, highly resilient, and frightfully strong.

I disentangle myself. it is a simple matter. the creature makes a noise like a frightened animal, falling backward.
>>
No. 680014 ID: 0fff38
File 144610457783.png - (30.52KB , 1000x1000 , 0135.png )
680014

I grab him and stare deeply into his frightened eyes. I see his soul, bare and fragile. I see the eyes of his mother, his lazy days as a child, his fathers' murder, his disillusionment and abandonment of faith, and his weakness being exploited by a dark and horrible Daemon.

"Where. am. I." my speech is slow and deliberate. his language is cumbersome.

he stutters frightfully, "m-m-m-my Goddess! you are in your temple. your earthly home!"

"this is no home of mine, Newfolk." I reply, "and I am no Goddess."

what shall I do, Fates?
>>
No. 680015 ID: 5ad4a7

>>680014
We have no indication how long it has been since the thief gained her power. She might indeed be a danger to you. You should play it safe until you know for sure, and at least pretend not to be evil, so that she doesn't come after you.

As for this poor idiot, ask him why he is here. If he's seeking your help, maybe you can come to an arrangement. Use him for information and as a slave I guess, since he seems to worship you regardless of your true nature. In exchange you can use your body to satisfy his desires.
>>
No. 680016 ID: b5053e

Might as well take him with you. He's not really a threat to you and who knows, he might prove useful.
>>
No. 680018 ID: 2ccbb3

>>680013
Nihilim knew that the divinity augmentations were flawed. You were using biotechnology or eldritch powers or WHATEVER, did you expect that they would last forever?

You need to get them fixed periodically, or you will DIE. Or destroy the planet. Whichever comes first.

Also, please do not kill this guy. He wants to help. He's been trained and conditioned to follow you. Far more importantly, he BELIEVES in YOU; not the dogma, not the ritual sacrifices, JUST YOU.

Don't kill him, HE CAN HELP YOU. Lead like an immortal and he'll follow.
>>
No. 680023 ID: 0ed6e9

>>680014
>>680016
WAIT!

I have an idea. I'm going to have to suggest that you don't try hunting down the thief. At least not yet. Before Nihilim died she told the thief one of her brethren were nearby and would be hunting her down. She seemed confident that the thief would win the confrontation. If she was talking about you then you could be walking into a trap. While it is true the thief is still young and inexperience the same could be said of you. After all while you may know how to fight you have no memories besides vague dreams. It would be easy to lure you into a trap with the right bait. That and the fact that someone seemed to send people to capture the thief 5 DAYS before she even excepted Nihilim's gift or even met her for that matter so the thief is now surrounded by allies who seem to know more then anyone else at this time, and it doesn't matter how fast you are when you enemy can predict your every move before you can even think of it. Even if you're not the one Nihilim was speaking of then that means when you finally do track down the thief she'll already have a kill under her belt and know how to defend herself AS WELL as friends.

So I say do something different, I say try something unexpected. You already feel for Nihilim's tricks once and while you've been asleep she's been plotting for god knows how long. I say use the thief's naivety against her, turn Nihilim weapon into your weapon, because what would be sweater, breaking Nihilim's ultimate tool or wielding it yourself and turning all of her efforts into your victories? How does one do this you ask? Simple, you let her join you willingly and that boy behind you the first step. He already follows you and as you said you are no god but you are a warrior, and a warrior could make a good leader of an army no? Take him and craft him into a general, YOUR GENERAL. Build him into something to lead your armies and let him serve as a template on how you will do the same to the thief. Now what armies are those, why your army of followers of course. People seem to worship you while you slept and you can use that, turn that faith into loyalty and build yourself an army. Train them into a force worthy of serving you. Find this thief once you have built yourself a respectable force and see whether or not you can get her to join you. If not then you have your own forces to counter whatever tricks Nihilim may have left to protect her champion and take the thief out then. And who knows, maybe in doing this you'll find out what those forgotten goals were or maybe even find new goals to follow.

But this is all down the road. For now see if the boy will not follow you, find out what you can about this cult that worships you, and then we can truly start to plan from there.
>>
No. 680034 ID: 2a7417

You must kill the demons!
>>
No. 680172 ID: 0fff38
File 144621710355.png - (21.47KB , 1000x1000 , 0136.png )
680172

>>680034

I remember a war with the Daemons, however, I do not remember the outcome. I suppose that eradication of the Daemons could be my purpose, but I can not be certain.

>>680015

>use your body to satisfy his desires.
I assume you mean giving this mortal some of my divinity. unlikely. I would not share my divine seed with a Newfolk. I find them too... eventual to be worth giving a portion of my power to.

>>680023
>Take him and craft him into a general.
...perhaps I've discounted the idea of giving this Newfolk some fraction of my power too soon? he is young, and certainly irrelevant, but blind loyalty is a rare resource to be sure. I can use this.

I am unsure if allying myself, however briefly, with my annihilator would be wise. this thief is still very much a variable. in my experience it is best to remove variables if possible, rather than trying to work around them.

>>680018
>>680016

I am capable on my own, but clueless in a world that has long left me behind. I need this mortal. I need to leave this pit of filth and find my siblings, and this Newfolk may be able to help me.

"Newfolk." I address him, "you require my help?"

"yes." he replies, "the Coven, they want to kill me. they think I'm with the Inquisition."

"very well. I require your services, Newfolk. I will solve this problem for you, but then you will do as I say."

he nods, "I am yours, my Goddess."

"yes. my first commandment is for you to cease calling me my Goddess. I am no such thing. perhaps no such thing truly exists."

"then what should I call you?"
>>
No. 680174 ID: 2a7417

A name must be chosen carefully, for it will follow you for the rest of your days. that said, I shall suggest... Lucy. Truly it is a name befitting an immortal warrior!
>>
No. 680188 ID: f56624

>>680172
You shall call me Mega-Moe.
pronounced "me-ga mow-ay."
>>
No. 680189 ID: e4abe1

call me Bianca.
(White)
>>
No. 680190 ID: 3bc92d

"How about Xandra? That should work, at least until I can think of something better."
>>
No. 680192 ID: 5ad4a7

>>680172
Mistress.
>>
No. 680200 ID: ad936f

Master.
>>
No. 680244 ID: 2ccbb3

You are The Immortal, but your new rookie shall address you as "Commander".

Be revered for your actions, not the rumors surrounding you.
>>
No. 681306 ID: 0fff38
File 144662032783.png - (24.37KB , 1000x1000 , 0137.png )
681306

"call me what ever you wish, just so long as it embodies the proper respect I command."

"calling you a goddess isn't respectful?"

"of course not. I am no Daemon, nor a god." I begin to descend the stairway, "Daemons and Gods are my prey."

he follows me down, "then should I call you master? lord? mistress?"

"nothing such." I reply, "you are no slave. you are free to act as you wish. if you must call me something... call me by the color of my bone plates."

"Alba?" he asks.

"or Bianca." I reply, "however that's a word from a language that doesn't exist currently, so perhaps the meaning is lost?"

he stares back confused. I continue, "your name?"

"...Numot cacatzactli." he replies hesitantly. dark outsider. not the most permissive name, but it fits, I suppose.

"very well, Numot. I will help you, but I need to leave this pit. I assume you know the way out?"

he nods, "we're in the nethertombs, below the complex. the tunnels are long and winding, but I know the way to the surface."

"I will lead." I declare.

"wait! the coven, they are all over the complex. we can't just walk out of here, they'll kill us!"
>>
No. 681307 ID: 0fff38
File 144662036762.png - (26.58KB , 1000x1000 , 0138.png )
681307

I let out a humorless laugh, and retrieve my son and daughter, Rex and Sovereign.

"let them try. I haven't had a good battle in eons."
>>
No. 681308 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681307
Seems kindof odd to design a creature that must wound itself to unsheath its weapons. I can only assume the wounds are superficial and the blood loss irrelevant.

I would suggest stealth over direct confrontation, as to not draw attention to your fresh existence.
>>
No. 681309 ID: e4abe1

>>681307
Dat ASS! It's Holy!
>>
No. 681310 ID: e7137b

So this is your stage now, you going in and killing everyone stupid enough to get in your way or are you going to try and sneak in and ambush them to gain the element surprise
>>
No. 681311 ID: 0fc976

Go get'em, slugger.
>>
No. 681315 ID: 2ccbb3

Test a little of each combat field; your close-range combat (dodging, parrying, executions, combos, CQC hand-to-hand), some ranged weaponry (grenades, knives, any firearms or crossbows you can find), tactics (recall all the powers and gadgets at your disposal and how to use them efficiently and appropriately in combat), and stealth (start your raid by performing as many nonlethal stealth takedowns as possible, for interrogation later).
>>
No. 681459 ID: 0fff38
File 144669227579.png - (51.48KB , 1000x1000 , 0139.png )
681459

>>681308

any form of physical activity is injurious to the body, mortals have the ability to heal themselves of minor damage from such actions, however, and consider such injury negligible. I similarly require my body to take relatively minor damage in order to do what I will it to.

>>681310
>>681315
>>681311

I am capable of both subterfuge and extended open combat. both approaches obviously have their advantages and weaknesses. I have no firearms, no grenades, no ranged weapons to speak of, but I am certainly capable of closing distance safely. I am personally not in any danger myself, Numot is incredibly eventual, and can be snuffed out by a stray swing or shot from whatever ranged armaments they are equipped.

I flatten against the wall, before a curve in the tunnel. I can sense two mortal souls about 30 meters down the tunnel, and I can hear the shuffling of boots on the dusty stone floor of the cavern.

"two beings. one male, one female." I whisper to Numot.

"mimihqueh." he replies, "they guard the catacombs. the man is Kuzotl, the woman is Mercatl."
>>
No. 681460 ID: 12b273

>>681459
Simplest thing to do is to leave him here and attempt to sneak up on them. Then they can be rendered unconscious, disabled, or dead, and he's not in the line of fire if they spot you soon enough to attempt resistance.

Tell him to stay. You'll call for him.
>>
No. 681461 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681459
I suppose he can just stay here while you go kill them, then.
>>
No. 681465 ID: ad936f

Why are your weapons so oddly shaped?
>>
No. 681470 ID: 2ccbb3

Try to spare them for the time being. You might be able to interrogate or recruit these two. Worst-case scenario, having a hostage or meatshield won't slow you down much.
>>
No. 681471 ID: 0fc976

Not much of a challenge, but they are in your way, so they must be dealt with swiftly and surely.
>>
No. 681488 ID: feef96

Well unless your new friend there had any objections I say sneak up on the and take them out quick. Then loot the bodies to get an idea what kind of weapons they have available to them. Maybe ask your new friend what you can expect them to be packing while you're at it.
>>
No. 681520 ID: 1efe31

Hold on one of your boneswords is called rex? Fucking seriously? oh god
and speaking of which does Numnut think they will worship you as a god too? that could be a way to get close to them
>>
No. 681794 ID: 0fff38
File 144680888429.png - (32.31KB , 1000x1000 , 0140.png )
681794

>>681465

Rex and sovereign were both forged by the greatest weapon smith to ever exist: me. Rex's blade is curved at the optimal angle for amputation, and sovereign's tip is honed to an edge fine enough to split even one of my own kind's bone plating.

>>681520

"these mimihqueh, are they worshipers of mine?"

"er... no." he replies, "in truth, I'm the only one in the coven that recognized your divinity. most everyone else thought you were simply some ancient Daemon fossil. this is a Coven that worships the Crimson Queen."

>>681488

"what kind of armaments are these mimihqueh wielding?"

"Macuahuitl. wooden clubs with Obsidian blades inset."

I feel slightly offended. I was hoping creatures in this epoch were more well equipped. obsidian is incapable of injuring me if it were speared through my eye.

>>681460
>>681461
>>681471

very well. stay here. I'll be back in a moment to retrieve you.
>>
No. 681795 ID: 0fff38
File 144680891724.png - (26.46KB , 1000x1000 , 0141.png )
681795

I skewer the man with my blade. the woman tumbles back in panic.
>>
No. 681796 ID: 0fff38
File 144680893732.png - (30.87KB , 1000x1000 , 0142.png )
681796

he barely has time to react when I lay the killing blows upon his form.
>>
No. 681797 ID: 0fff38
File 144680895731.png - (22.36KB , 1000x1000 , 0143.png )
681797

"your turn." I step toward the woman. her mask has tumbled off in the confusion, revealing her face. to call her a woman would be an overstatement. this is a girl. the daughter of a farmer. her mother was a seamstress.

>>681470

...hesitation. why am I feeling... hesitation? this is an unnatural and uncomfortable feeling.
>>
No. 681799 ID: f56624

That's probably because she's an important npc or something. Don't kill her, offer her a hand up.
>>
No. 681801 ID: ad936f

>>681797
Hesitation is okay. just bind and gag her and carry her along. We can find a use for her later.
>>
No. 681802 ID: c8a8a9

No rest for the wicked. No mercy for the weak.

Unless they might turn out important. Question her, and eventually remove her if she's useless.
>>
No. 681804 ID: 0ed6e9

>...hesitation. why am I feeling... hesitation?
Probably because you were a weapon designed to slay gods and you're about to instead slay a child who's barely off her mother's tit.

I say crouch down to her eye level and get right on up in her face and ask what she plans to do now? What did she hope to achieve by leaving the farm? By joining a cult?

Hell if we play our cards right you might be looking at a new follower.
>>
No. 681812 ID: 5812ad

>>681797
It could very well be that despite your nature as one who hunts and kills, you remain a social and ethical being, whatever ethics those might be.
As you said, Daemons and Gods are your prey, and these are but mortals. Apparently you can see so much as to know her past as though it were written on her face. I can't see many ways that would fail to create empathic resonance.
Are the deaths of these people necessary if their ability to do you harm is so limited?
That said, you have killed someone very close to her, and she may seek vengeance.
>>
No. 681845 ID: 2a7417

Because something inside you may have decayed during your slumber, developed... erratic behaviors. Shake it off and send this farmgirl back into the ground she tills.
>>
No. 681848 ID: 2ccbb3

You've been stuck in a coma for ages, unable to move, possibly sentient all that time but constrained against the weakest of chains. Now that little girl is left in a similar situation.

You may not give two @#$%s about the girl, but performing any action that makes you consider your coma can be... distasteful.

In any case, you shouldn't kill her yet. You don't know if Numot is feeding you lives to save his skin, and Mercatl could have a different skill set that could be useful on the road. If either of them becomes a problem down the line, do what you have to, but right now this is a scared little girl who can be easily "recruited".
>>
No. 681849 ID: 28bcec

You are hesitating because its not fun to kill the weak the young and the sick.

If you were out hunting you would not chase down a yearling for its meat. You would go for the old buck who has years of experience behind him.

Ask her how she came to be here.
>>
No. 681856 ID: 88960e

>...hesitation. why am I feeling... hesitation? this is an unnatural and uncomfortable feeling.
Because you exit for proper battle, not senseless slaughter. There is no doubt as to the outcome of this conflict, nothing to be gained or proven. Their deaths are pointless.
>>
No. 681900 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681797
How do you know her lineage?

How about you give her a chance to convert first.
>>
No. 681926 ID: ea0ad9

>...hesitation. why am I feeling... hesitation? this is an unnatural and uncomfortable feeling.
Perhaps your task was to bring to bring the mortals into a position of being able to take care of themselves.
>>
No. 683472 ID: 0fff38
File 144731823393.png - (29.30KB , 1000x1000 , 0144.png )
683472

>>681900
>How do you know her lineage?

I can read the strands of her fate. it gives me a hazy picture of their past and, if I concentrate for some time, their future. I did something similar to Numot after I awoke.

>>681926

I... can't remember. I think I may remember my task being... protecting... something...? perhaps I was designed to protect mortals?

>>681799
>>681801
>>681848
>>681812

I present my hand to the child. she looks at it, terrified.

"who..." she speaks in a mousey, breathless murmur.

"I am... I'm not sure what I am" I reply. I realize she's staring not at me, but at the blood on me. "who was he?" I ask.

"Kuzotl Zumoqeh." she replies, "he... you..."

she looks like she's going to start crying. I lean down, and look into her eyes, she averts her gaze.
>>
No. 683473 ID: 0fff38
File 144731829805.png - (17.19KB , 1000x1000 , 0145.png )
683473

"I am sorry for what has happened." I lie, "I am not going to hurt you. I need to leave this building. if you follow me, I can make sure you leave this building as well. you wish to see your family again, don't you? if you do as I tell you, I will make sure you see your family again. do you understand?"

her eyes harden. she is young, but in her eyes there is a certain grim fire that reminds me of someone from a very long time ago.

"I understand." she whispers.

"excellent." I reply, "my name is Alba, and I promise I will protect you.
>>
No. 683474 ID: 0fff38
File 144731831752.png - (18.04KB , 1000x1000 , 0146.png )
683474

SEARING WHITE HOT PAIN EXPLODING OUT OF MY BODY.
>>
No. 683475 ID: 0fff38
File 144731834018.png - (30.10KB , 1000x1000 , 0147.png )
683475

MY BLOOD IS ON FIRE. WHAT IS THIS PAIN?!

"my Go- Alba!" Numot embraces me even as my scalding blood sprays forth like a boiling geyser, "what is happening?"

I have no idea what is happening. this has never happened before. my blood is burning, dissolving me from the inside out.

"what do you need?" he asks, shaken.

"BLOOD." I bellow, "I NEED BLOOD. FRESH WARM LIVING BLOOD."

"take mine!" he replies.

"I NEED MORE THAN YOU CAN GIVE. I'D NEED TO DRAIN A BODY TO THE MARROW."
>>
No. 683476 ID: 0fff38
File 144731835340.png - (28.76KB , 1000x1000 , 0148.png )
683476

>>681802
>>681845
>>
No. 683477 ID: f56624

>>683476
Oh shit, we can't mercy or it kills us
haha, that's kinda hilarious actually
>>
No. 683481 ID: ca183f

Or is it she can't disobey us without exploding?

Because if that's the case we'd best be careful not to disagree.
>>
No. 683482 ID: 5ad4a7

Did that feel like it was caused by sparing her, or promising to protect her, or was it just bad timing?

Anyway, if the fresh corpse doesn't work then you're gonna have to go with whoever you feel least attached to. Shame about that promise, huh?
>>
No. 683483 ID: 225f37

Oh. That's... unfortunate. There's really only one option to you now, if you want to live. I'd say that an apology for having to break your promise so soon would be in order if I were more sure that the act of apologizing wouldn't outright kill you.

What the hell caused this, though? I mean, you have one mortal ally- so it's not like not killing someone did it. Was it for sparing someone you earlier intended to kill? Or for making the guarantee to save them? If it was either of those, you can work around them int he future by choosing your battles more carefully- but if it was because of some other reason that you couldn't avoid, that's one hell of a curse you're going to be living with.

Oh, wait- is the blood of that guy you killed fresh enough? Because if you can use that, it would probably be preferable to killing the girl.
>>
No. 683485 ID: fe5d85

Could you eat the dead body you just killed?
>>
No. 683487 ID: 0fc976

YOUR BLOOD WILL DO NICELY FOR THIS TASK, CHILD.

NEVERTHELESS, A PROMISE IS A PROMISE. SO I PROMISE... I SHALL FIND YOUR FAMILY, AND SEND THEM ALL TO THE AFTERLIFE.

(We can protect them from the horrors of this world by ending their life, so we aren't breaking that vow. Just in case, y'know, oathbreaking also causes spontaneous bloodsplosion.)

Know this, Numot. When your usefulness is at an end, you will likely meet a similar fate. Should you not want that to happen, I advise you to run as far away as you can.
>>
No. 683490 ID: 5ad4a7

Oh. If you really need to know for sure what to do you could always look at her fate.
>>
No. 683519 ID: 88960e

>I NEED BLOOD. FRESH WARM LIVING BLOOD.
>I'D NEED TO DRAIN A BODY TO THE MARROW.
Isn't there a nice warm body you created not a minute ago?

Or if it really has to be from a living person, you could split the load. Drain some from each of the two mortals here.
>>
No. 683522 ID: 2ccbb3

A nonlethal blood transfer should give you some extra time. You're strong enough to take on an army, so switch to high-profile mode and draw out all the cultists to the slaughter.
>>
No. 684832 ID: 0fff38
File 144793554605.png - (27.63KB , 1000x1000 , 0149.png )
684832

>>683477

forgive me but I see no humor in this situation.

>>683481

not likely. I fought a war against your kind. if disobeying you were so catastrophic, I doubt I'd have survived that war.

>>683482

I've shown mercy before. I've let vermin crawl back into the shadows unmolested. this is not normal. this is unlike anything I've ever experienced in my life.

>>683485

cold. too cold. I can consume it, but it will have an adverse effect on me. I will need to get a fresh transfusion as soon as possible. then again, any blood is preferable to my current blood.

>>683490

I don't have time. I have a scant few moments to reach some decision. trying to read strands of fate that haven't been laid yet would take hours.

>>683487
>>683483

I shamble to my knees. I can barely move. I turn to the girl. she looks back at me, expectantly.

"Alba, don't!" Numot grabs me hard by the shoulder, "take mine, please!"

"it will be fatal." I reply.

"I know." he says solemnly, "I called you here. it's my fault you're here. if anyone has to die it's me."

"you had nothing to do with me awakening nor did you have anything to do with this affliction." I reply, "and beside that, the entire reason you 'called' me was in order to save your own life. your sudden sacrifice is illogical nonsense."

his brow furrows sadly, and opens his mouth to speak.
>>
No. 684833 ID: 0fff38
File 144793561137.png - (17.77KB , 1000x1000 , 0150.png )
684833

>>683519

"you need blood?" Mercatl says, cutting Numot off, "too much for one person to give you... can't you just split it?"

"you have tried to walk around with half of your blood missing?" I ask, "I would end up with two corpses, then."

>>683522

"well..." she thinks, "do you need all of that blood immediately? you can't... say... take some from one of us now and find more later?"

"I need to drain my blood right now. it is poisoning me. if I were to take a less than lethal amount from both of you I could keep alive and combat ready for a quarter hour perhaps. how close is an other creature I can drain?"

"we're in the upper Nethertombs right now." Numot answers, "if we hurry, we could reach the barracks in less than ten minutes."

that doesn't leave much time to feed. it would be a risk.

it seems my current options are:

feeding on either Numot or Mercatl. this would certainly be fatal. Numot is strangely willing to give himself to me, but I suspect Mercatl would put up a fight. in my current state, she may well be able to escape.

feeding on the corpse. it will fill me up, but cold blood will leave me rather slow, and I would need a fresh transfusion very quickly.

feeding lightly on both Numot and Mercatl. the process, even if not lethal, is certainly uncomfortable, and it will leave both of them anemic for some time. I will need a full transfusion very quickly afterward.
>>
No. 684845 ID: fcfc2f

>>684833
Could do a bit from all three so you wouldn't be completely bogged down and they wouldn't be as anemic.
>>
No. 684849 ID: 0e16cd

Feed lightly.
>>
No. 684855 ID: 2ccbb3

Use the corpse for now; you have the tactical advantage, and there should be a few more patrols here and there.
>>
No. 684858 ID: dbe554

While Numot sudden sacrifice sounds illogical, it does make sense from a standpoint that he values you above his own life, which from his previous standpoint of calling you a "goddess" seems to stem from.

If you could drain from all three, you might be able to leave them alive for longer, without the full penalties of drawing forth much from a corpse.
>>
No. 684907 ID: 0fc976

Make that corpse extra-dead.
>>
No. 684913 ID: 86cfc3

Assuming you're the sort who keeps their promises, killing Mercatl would be counter productive to that.

I'd say drain the corpse. Flush the poison out of you, if nothing else.

Potentially nonlethal does can be taken after or in addition to that to hang on if you don't find a more appetizing target sooner.

>this is unlike anything I've ever experienced in my life.
What is the origin or source of your divinity? If your originator were to be destroyed, could you be suffering the aftereffects / reverberations of that?
>>
No. 775981 ID: 5e2c69
File 148587232370.png - (37.80KB , 1000x1000 , 0151.png )
775981

I don't have much more time before the little blood I have scavenged will need to be flushed. this one will have to do.
>>
No. 775982 ID: 5e2c69
File 148587234491.png - (18.54KB , 1000x1000 , 0152.png )
775982

I pull him into the shadows and prepare to feast.
>>
No. 775983 ID: 5e2c69
File 148587237466.png - (26.11KB , 1000x1000 , 0153.png )
775983

he's paralyzed in terror, mute. he's young. only 17. his father owns a corn mill and he desperately wants to go home. he has a sweetheart in his home village that he wants to marry, and he never wanted to truly abandon his religion, but the cult of the Red Queen promised him all the gold and power he needed to make his life better.
>>
No. 775984 ID: 5e2c69
File 148587239748.png - (38.42KB , 1000x1000 , 0155.png )
775984

his muffled scream hums lowly as my auger begins to drain away his life force.

I silently watch as the last bits of survival instinct flee from his body. his last vestiges of life drain away and his kicking stops. I am not finished, though. I drain even the essence of his form.
>>
No. 775985 ID: 5e2c69
File 148587241893.png - (39.71KB , 1000x1000 , 0156.png )
775985

when I am finished, there is little more than dust left in my hands. dust that once had aspirations, once had dreams...

I am a war machine. weapons of war do not question themselves. I banish such feelings from my mind.
>>
No. 775986 ID: 5e2c69
File 148587244817.png - (37.88KB , 1000x1000 , 0157.png )
775986

"are... are you finished with... whatever it is you do?" Mercatl says, covering her mouth and looking away as she beholds my regenerating form. Numot is no doubt lagging behind. I tried to drink only enough blood from him as was necessary, but even still, he is likely anemic and close to passing out.

"yes..." I state finally, "I have consumed all I need to for now."

she looks behind her to see Numot approaching slowly, and whispers under her breath, "what do you know about the inquisition?"

"virtually nothing." I reply.

she looks back and forth worriedly, "long story short, the inquisition is the part of my race's government that hunts down witches, Daemons, and cultists."

I nod, "I suppose you are going to tell me you're an undercover Inquisitor, then?"

"no." she shakes her head angrily, "you killed the undercover Inquisitor down un the catacombs. I was his apprentice. you've made EVERYTHING more complicated! the two of us were about to spring the bulk of the whole Orditas on these wackos before you came in and cut him into ribbons!"
>>
No. 775987 ID: 5e2c69
File 148587247618.png - (35.79KB , 1000x1000 , 0158.png )
775987

"am I meant to feel some kind of guilt for foiling the plans of a few mortals?" I reply, "the lot of you are little more than a food source to my kind. my only objective right now is to escape this tunnel."

"bullshit." she spits, "if you're so above us then why let Numot and I tag along at all? you've proven you can cut a man up like he were made of wicker, and yet you don't. why is that?"

my eye regenerates in time for me to glare at the child. she certainly is bold for someone speaking to a god, "the truth is, I am not sure myself. if I were you I wouldn't question it and just thank providence that I don't siphon you dry like I did to this unfortunate soul."
>>
No. 775988 ID: 5e2c69
File 148587250145.png - (30.05KB , 1000x1000 , 0159.png )
775988

"Alba." Numot gasps as he rights himself against the wall, "you are healed!"

"I am. stay awake, I need you to navigate."

"yes of course, Alba." he takes a moment to catch his breath, "we are close to the surface of the compound. the path splits up here. one direction leads to the cathedral, the other leads to the dormitories."

"the dormitories?"

"yes." he huffs, "today is the Red Mass, so most everyone is in the cathedral, but there will be some faithful still working in the dorms, if you need more to feast upon."

I shiver slightly. I am still somewhat unfed, but the thought of feasting on an other mortal makes me uncomfortable for reasons I am not willing to think about. I suppose I could just walk out into the chapel and be done with this, but from what Numot tells me, there are likely quite a few mortals waiting up there.
>>
No. 775995 ID: 0555b9

Leaving through the cathdral serves two goals: Sating your hunger, and ingratiating yourself with the local non-cultists. (or scaring them half to death. Either works.) Instruct your two tagalongs to stay back - you're not likely to differentiate friend from foe in the middle of a bloodbath.

Also, it's a 'Red Mass.' I am led to believe there will be some sort of sacrifices there. You'll be a hero for brutally murdering their captors. Everybody wins (except the cultists) and your face doesn't explode again!

Before we continue - do you feel so hungry you could consume an entire cathedral? I'd hate to let warm bodies go to waste.
>>
No. 776027 ID: 094652

>Killed the undercover cop
Whoops. Well, they wouldn't have shown you mercy anyway, you aren't exactly a scripturally canonical heroine...

>What do
They want a sabbatical? You'll give them a sabbatical. Teach these inquisitors the meaning of doubt. Teach the cultists NOTHING. Head in, save the civilians, and use every eldritch ability at your disposal. Kill or incapacitate all targets, and make sure the survivors know who hunts the gods.

It might increase your profile, but once you show the inquisitors that their beliefs are insignificantly close-minded and infest a sliver of eldritch insight into their feeble minds, their faiths will crumble and their word will be moot in the eyes of the grandmaster. Some may even join you!
>>
No. 776028 ID: d79f26

well, it's because having someone worship you is kinda fun, you wont tell them that, of course.

head out, be ready to kill various flavor of cultist.
>>
No. 776040 ID: 398fe1

I think the problem was that you promised something that was counter to your purpose. You are a killing machine. You promised to protect a life. Or maybe it was a promise to protect an enemy. She's an inquisitor in training, you're a monster. Also you just killed her friend/master. Also you're already aiding someone who would be hunted by the inquisition. So you probably performed a traitorous or self-destructive act by that promise, and you have safeguards.
Alternatively, it was that you made a promise at all, but you must have done that before, surely? Like promised to kill someone?

Anyway, you can see the fates of people. Look into the future of the two "allies" you're currently with. Maybe that will clear things up.
>>
No. 776062 ID: 8d4593

You. A weapon. Find Killing distasteful. Oh the sweet irony.

You truly have forgotten your purpose.
Good.
The wound you just endured was but a single blow from this era's machinations.
However... in your current state the child of Nihilim might yet spare you.
Accept and explore this new part of yourself. Do not let it die in the coming moments of violence. You have been granted a new existence.
Embrace your newfound mortality.
>>
No. 776129 ID: ba506f

ask the girl if the inquisition is ready to strike right now and ask Numot how many cultist are actually here. a dozen, a hundred, what? Because if you're still up for building an army... or at least a group of followers, to assist you we might be able to march through the cathedral and slay the head cultist and whoever resist and maybe get some more followers as well. However if they're are a lot of them might be better to sneak out seeing how something is clearly wrong with you right now and I rather not risk you exploding into gore again if I can help it.
>>
No. 776191 ID: 3abd97

>"no." she shakes her head angrily, "you killed the undercover Inquisitor down un the catacombs. I was his apprentice. you've made EVERYTHING more complicated! the two of us were about to spring the bulk of the whole Orditas on these wackos before you came in and cut him into ribbons!"
So... from the local goverment's position, you did their dirty work for them. They should have no objection to this. Win-win for everyone. Except the cult, but they were dead anyways.

>where go
If there's bodies both ways, and what you're interested in is in the chapel, might as well go to the chapel.
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