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File 125692963512.jpg - (48.95KB , 800x554 , PMOE Spleen Merchant.jpg )
70355 No. 70355 ID: d1210a

Okay, okay, OOKAAAAAY, I am back in business! Yes, that little trouble with those Battle Angels did leave me in a precarious spot (How was I to know they'd take my words to heart, and secede from The Collective to make their own empire? Jeez, you tell someone that you have the next best thing to Bohemian Rhapsody, and they get delusions of grandeur.), but I pulled through!

...Granted, all I have right now are (50 units of honey), (5 units of royal jelly[I may have helped myself to some when at the Battle Angel's hive]), and (70 units of giant termite), and not a bit more to my name.

Well, a challenge is always invigorating! I just arrived at the bazaar in The Collective, what kind of mar-customer, yes, valued customer, which type should I keep an eye out for?

So far, the only notable consumers are The Big Duo, The Big O's little brother, a burnished gold beetle named Bob Marley, and a fly named Rocket Man. Granted, since they are known to have a good bit of resources, everyone tries to grab them as customers, so going after them might not be easy.

Conversely, I see plenty of fairly...... innocent looking consumers on the sidelines, and of course I could always wander about the bazaar, looking for the right customer.

Hm, what should I do?
Expand all images
No. 70359 ID: 25db2c

Start easy, see how many small-timers you can bring in. No sense in wandering, trying to find a perfect customer will just take up time you could be using to make profit from selling to other potential marks.
No. 70362 ID: d1210a

EXACTLY, right you are!

After all, how can anyone rise up as a businessfly without the help of those dear gullib-unseasoned buyers who will be tomorrow's veteran shoppers.

Hmm, small-time, small-time.... AH HA! I spy with my great big eyes, a fly, oh my! Oh, she smells a bit confused, definitely a new customer.

Oh? An ant queen is wandering around all alone, looking a bit lost. That one would likely be a good place to start too.

And what's this? A blue weevil is nosing about, his scent broadcasting a desperate need for food to make him strong.

My, my, such nice options before me.

Who should I approach to vend my wares?
No. 70369 ID: 25db2c

Go for the fly, and pour on the charm. If you can make a good impression on this inexperienced newcomer, chances are she'll spread word of your business 'round to others and so in turn bring more customers to you, instead of needing to hunt them down.
No. 70386 ID: d1210a
File 125693964857.jpg - (56.48KB , 600x376 , Fly.jpg )

Yes, yes, what better way to get customers than to let the customers bring themselves!

I approach the soon-to-be customer,, rubbing my forelegs together in glee as I address her.

"Well now, what lovely items are you looking to buy this fine day? I guarantee I have the lowest prices of anyone here, or I'll pluck out my eyes in shame!"

The little fly looks up to me in surprise, before skittering back a bit.

"Come now, don't be shy, you must be hungry, wouldn't you like a reasonably priced, delicious AND nutritious!? Why, I must be insane to offer such a deal to you, but for someone as cute as you, I just can't help myself!"

The shameless flattery seems to be hitting the mark, as the fly is most assuredly intrigued.

"..I do need some things, do you have anything that can rot nicely for later consumption? Maybe lay some eggs in it later, something like that?"

Ah, looking to invest in the future, this one is.

Well, the giant termite corpses I have are a bit old already, if not outright rotting.

How should I pitch the sale of the giant termites?
No. 70388 ID: 6faa8c

"Oh, yes, got some fine termite corpses here, already well along. perfect for what you mentioned, not all that expensive, come along and take a look.."
No. 70520 ID: ed8d8a

Pfah! you sir are no C.M.O.T Dibbler. You gotta SELL it. These are the finest rot chambers around, perfectly sized for a clutch of eggs, with a protective hardened exterior to keep the young safe. And they are already nice and gushy on the inside, ready to go any time, for your convenience.
No. 70545 ID: d1210a

I lead her along back to my stall, where I have some wares on display. I bring her before one of my more putrescent Giant Termite corpses, some several days old.

"Oh, yes, got some fine termite corpses here, already well along. perfect for what you mentioned, not all that expensive, come along and take a look..."
"....I don't know, I only want to spend so much..."
Oh-ho, the hard sell? Well, I can work with that! P.M.E.O. Spleen Merchant, at your service!
"But dear customer, these are the absolute, very top-of-the-line finest rot chambers around, indeed they are, perfectly sized for a clutch of eggs, with a protective hardened exterior to keep the young safe, safe in these troubled times. And they are already nice and gushy on the inside, ready to go any time, for your convenience. And I'll guarantee you can't find a better deal anywhere else or I'll pluck out my eyes, that's my guarantee!"

She seems bedazzled by my pitch, and is swiftly convinced to acquire a body containing some (20 units of Giant Termite) in exchange for parting with the oh, so measly, arbitrary, really, amount of (65 units of Decadent Honey Flower Nectar). Really, I'm the one taking a loss in this trade, I am indeed.... hehehehHEHEHE

Okay, so my stock has expanded, and the innocent shopper is very content with her purchase.... for now. Ah, things are looking a bit better!

What should I do next to expand my market? Any particular customers or types of customers to look for?
No. 70554 ID: af3e6d

That's a good bit of honey you got there now. See if you can turn it into either more honey or something better.
No. 70576 ID: 25db2c

Right, aside from the termite corpses, now you've got a nice, potentially bundle-able lot of honey and nectar with a dab of royal jelly as further enticement. See if you can track down a gourmet, someone with taste. Maybe that queen ant you spotted earlier.
No. 70683 ID: d1210a

Yes, I could certainly collectively package (5 units of royal jelly) (50 units of honey) (65 units of decadent honey flower nectar) as a grand treat for any gourmand, no doubt, no doubt. Perhaps even one of the big name customers, yes?

Hmm, I wonder if the lone ant queen might be interested? But more importantly, could she offer anything worthwhile? It's rare for established colonies to have their queens wandering around like so.

.....Then again, juicy tidbits of knowledge can be valuable too...

I hail the queen, beckoning her over to inspect my wares. Once she sees I am intending to sell to her, she starts off again.

...Hmm, not even going to look? I wonder, she could have some very juicy reason to not be shopping, but then, no guarantee, and a customer for this gourmand package could most assuredly be found somewhere in this bazaar.

What should I do?
No. 70685 ID: 3d26c9

Don't let her get away! Sell sell sell! You can't just take no for an answer - you have what she needs, even if she doesn't know it yet!
No. 70706 ID: d1210a
File 125697011818.jpg - (544.90KB , 1600x1067 , Mother Love Envoy.jpg )

I dart after her. After all, who could possibly NOT need such fine merchandise as I possess?

"Don't leave so soon, I know you would find the fine products I can offer unbelievably fantastic, and exceptionally also reasonably priced. After all, what noble queen cou-"
"I don't have time for your prattle, merchant, I am here to purchase mercenaries for The great and powerful Mother Love's cause, or to procure warrior's aide, not food."

Oh-ho, is that so? I happen to know a couple guys who deal in this stuff, perhaps I could get a commission for bringing her, or maybe even trade for some mercenaries and market them to her myself. Oh, the possibilities!

I know three merchants that deal in what could be deemed mercenaries.

Narita represents The Beatles, and always has a couple of their number with him looking for work. They're rarely as good as some of the better members of The Beatles that can only get hired by friends of members, but they are still quite formidable warriors, if quite expensive.

Next is Riot, who represents a rather large ant colony. They always have a wide and well-stocked selection, but they lack any large, individually powerful units. Hah, I guess that Scars Of Yesterday fellow is the odd man out among his kind. Riot has reasonable prices, and frequently discounts.

Last..... Papa Roach, the Death Merchant. You never know who or what he can offer, and his offers change constantly, but sometimes, you can get a phenomenal deal from him. Other times, even I have to admit he stays a steadfast cheapskate.]

Hmm, who should I lead the ant queen to while trying to convince her to buy?
No. 70714 ID: 9891a9

Can't go wrong with The Beatles and Narita.
No. 70716 ID: 3d26c9

I concur with >>70714
No. 70733 ID: d1210a
File 125697378469.jpg - (169.27KB , 1122x750 , Beatles Narita The Dispatcher.jpg )

A queen representing another queen? My, they must have some resources to draw on. Might as well try to sell them the best around, right?

"Well, I happen to be good friends with Narita, an old pal with The Beatles. ....You have heard of The Beatles, right?"
"No, who are they?"
"You don't know who The Beatles are?! Well, let me tell you, The Beatles are easily the best one could ever hope to get on their side, the very best. If you are looking for some extra oomph for Mother Love, then look no further than The Beatles, they can easily lay claim to having the best fighting force for hire around!"

Finally the ant queen stops, looking at me with singular focus.

"This friend of yours, they can offer powerful mercenaries?"
"Why, Narita can offer the very best! If you hire from them, I have no doubt whatever excursion is planned will be a rousing success!"
"Then take me to him, I have no time to waste."

Oh-ho, a pressing need, is it? This is a great opportunity!

I lead the ant queen representing someone called Mother Love through the bazaar, extolling the great features of The Beatles, before finally reaching Narita.

As always, the grizzled beetle looks bored, and doesn't bother hailing customers. When you have a reputation like theirs, you don't need to. Ah, I see he has several beetles with him, excellent.

Narita sees me, and my companion, and greets me warmly. We have worked together before, he knows what I brought to him.

"My old friend Spleen Merchant, I hope life is treating you well! I header about that business with the Battle Angels, a bad affair, that. So, what can I do for you?"
"Well, I-"
"I require powerful warriors, and will trade whatever is necessary to get what I need."

I can barely hide my glee. She actually said it, she flat out told us how much she needs them! Oh, profit shall be made here!

Narita is getting ready to introduce the beetles that can be acquired, should I let him do his routine or should I try to spice it up a bit?
No. 70738 ID: 9891a9

Let him do the routine, don't sound TOO eager to the queen. You're the "humble merchant", after all.
No. 70844 ID: d1210a
File 125700729862.jpg - (309.90KB , 2000x1435 , Beatles Narita Introducing Warriors.jpg )

....Yes, perhaps this time I should let Narita just do the introductions himself, after all, it's not like I need to extol the virtues of The Beatles any further, their size, thick shells, and powerful bodies speak for themselves. Still, standing by like this, waiting for a sale to be made by someone else, is not something a 'respectable' merchant like me should do.

Narita leads the ant queen over to inspect the five warriors with him.

"Today, I happen to have five different warriors, looking for employment. Each one is a veteran of several campaigns, and capable of filling any roll on the battlefield you can think of, be it leading a vanguard, guarding notable members of your forces, or breaking sieges, as well as having a few areas of personal excellence."

Narita leads the ant queen over to the five warriors sitting on their haunches behind him.

"-Now, first up, I have Thundersteel, the green beetle over here. He is surprisingly adept at stealth amongst green foliage, and is quite capable in the field of tactics, as well as being an accomplished lightning raider, able to do as much damage as possible in a surprise attack. Quite handy, reliable.
-Next up is Ostrogoth, the red-brown beetle with five horns. You have some defended location you need broken open, he's your go-to-beetle. Swift of leg and capable of overwhelming charges, he can break through defensive formations, enemy ranks, even break open new entrances to colonies.
-Next is Outlaw, the mostly black beetle with two horns jutting out before her eyes. Always vigilant, always watchful, no one under her care will come to harm while she draws breath. The consummate personal bodyguard.
-Then we have Coroner, a rather unusually talented with upward facing horns. She can use these, in addition to her powerful legs for leaping, to snatch fliers out of the air and rend them in twain. Further, she is a capable flier, and can move about any battlefield with great speed.
-And finally, there is Savatage, The great horned beetle of blackened red hue, the hero-killer specialist. If you face a foe with some rather powerful allies on their side, Savatage is your best friend for making those problems just paste on the ground.
All of these powerful warriors are on offer, and could be serving your cause for the right price!"

Narita has finished his initial pitch, and is waiting for the ant queen to indicate which one she would like to look at first. Perhaps this is a chance for some dual-marketing strategy, I am getting the shakes in anticipation of this sale.

Which beetle should I extol the virtues and strengths of to the ant queen?
No. 70845 ID: 3d26c9

Let's go with Coroner. Ants traditionally don't have much of a counter to flying units. Besides, you yourself are a flier, so you can spice up the pitch with a bit of a personal connection!
No. 70849 ID: d1210a

Yes, yes, ants usually don't have much in the way of aerial units, Coroner would be a perfect fit, bless her for being here now. I sidle up alongside the queen, rubbing my forelegs together in glee.

"What about that Coroner, eh? Why, she could rip a wasp in half, one strike, that's all she needs, she's that good! And beyond her specialty, she is still capable at many other vital military actions, just as the other talented warriors here are. Why, I-"
"All of them can fly, yes? And all of them can lead troops?"
"Why of course, that's on-"
"I will take all of them."



I turn to look at Narita, to see if this was just some jest I had misunderstood, but Narita also seems put upon.

".....Now, little miss, I do have to warn you, The Beatles are not exactly cheap soldiers-"
"I was sent with significant funds at my disposal. I do not have time to dally, will (250 units of Bohemian Rhapsody) and (500 units of royal jelly) be sufficient, or must I look elsewhere?


Are you kidding!? She would trade that much freely, no prodding needed? I can barely fathom it as she addresses one of the little green creatures that help run The Collective as it hops by, hailing it to make a withdrawal. In short order, Narita beckons at the warriors behind him, who move up to follow the already leaving queen.

I am still stunned enough to see an ant with those kind of resources that I barely even notice Narita mentioning that my cut of the staggering deal was transferred to my account at the bank about The Fight Song. Yes, business like this will get me back up to my old places in no time at all, but.....

I've been a merchant for a long time, and I've seen buyers act that way only once before, back when the Mandarinian Empire first appeared. It lead to a bloody war, but still.... war can be quite profitable.....

Should I stay here in The Collective trading, or should I follow the ant queen and her newly acquired warriors in the hopes of capitalizing on conflict (if I choose this, I will probably lose (50 units of Honey) and (50 units of Giant Termite) as payment for express transit of my other goods alongside me)?
No. 70851 ID: 6faa8c

Follow the mo-er, follow the Rhapsody!
No. 70854 ID: af3e6d

You said it yourself, war is profitable. Go where the profit is.
No. 70855 ID: d1210a
File 125701088213.jpg - (68.56KB , 800x600 , Crazy Train Express Shipping.jpg )

Of course, I would be a fool to not follow up on this. There is far too much potential profit to be made in a war, after all.

I quickly fly over to another old friend, Crazy Train, of Crazy Train Express Shipping: If you don't get your goods in a timely fashion, feel free to eat the deliverer is her motto (granted, she can ooze arsenic from her body, but still, it's the thought that counts, right?)

I don't waste any time trying to haggle the price down, and after a brief exchange Crazy Train agrees to take the Bohemian Rhapsody, the Decadent Honey Flower Nectar and the Royal Jelly, in exchange for the honey, the giant termites, and (5 units of Royal Jelly) 'to get her system working.' Addict.

Still, she knows my scent, and after she has my remaining goods secured to her body, she will follow after me, and she can move very fast for someone bound to the ground.

I fly back to Narita's location once more, and from there race after the ant queen and her new warriors.

Oh, there is PROFIT to be made!!
No. 70979 ID: d1210a
File 125703416882.jpg - (149.15KB , 800x532 , Mr_ Crowley.jpg )

Ah, another day of being me, the incredible, magnificent, amazing Mr. Crowley!

Oh, if only more knew of my enormous talents and accomplishments.... But no, I must live the life of a hermit, for if I were known by all, surely I would never be able to rest, constantly hounded by adoring fans and those seeking answers only I could ever give them.

Well, lets see, lets see..... what should I do today? I feel a bit peckish, but currently, I'm still within my grand home, safely protected from those who would mean me harm.

....Yes, most assuredly hungry. I climb out of the tunnel I bored into the tall branches of this tree, and prepare to see out.

What kind of foods should I look for?
No. 70980 ID: 9891a9

Well, what kind do you like?
No. 70987 ID: d1210a

Well, any kind of food! I can eat bark, I can eat leaves, roots, corpses, grass, pollen, whatever! I know it's hard to even fathom someone as impressive as that, but I really am that awesome.

Oh-ho? I do believe I here some ruckus down below. Probably some new batch of idiots trying to take on Knorkator..... Well, if he doesn't eat them all, I could get some fresh meat, very tasty.

What should i do?
No. 70996 ID: 9891a9

Well, taking a quick peek at Knorkator couldn't hurt.
No. 71001 ID: d1210a
File 125703529252.jpg - (1.57MB , 3072x2048 , Knorkator.jpg )

Yes, what better way to start the day than watching some idiots die for being stupid?

I start making a stately progression down one of the many paths worn into the trunk, trying to get a better look at the scuffle below.

.....Hm, looks like Knorkator already finished. Ah, I guess that's all that could be expected, he only got attacked by thirty odd challengers this time, and judging from his appearance they didn't even manage to wound him much.

The giant muscle brained oaf munches on a few of the corpses before trundling off, already forgetting those who challenged him. Really, I feel bad for the guy, all these fools coming, whining about how they'll prove how strong they are, yada yada yada. Mad, the lot of them.

Well, it seems I am in luck. In addition to the normal fair of mantis, huge beetles and hornets, there was a scorpion that challenged Knorkator today as well. Oh, I have not had the chance to sample such a dish before, they usually don't come this far north.

Hm, choices, choices. What meal would suit the great me best right now, I wonder?
No. 71002 ID: 43d730

Fairly good chance it's at least decent.
No. 71004 ID: 632862

Try out the new food first! Stay away from the stinger and any venom sacs, you don't want to get poisoned.
No. 71013 ID: d1210a
File 125703667178.jpg - (533.09KB , 1024x768 , Dead Scorpion.jpg )

Who would pass up the opportuniy to eat such a rare meal? Obviously, I should stay away from the tail and the venom stored within the beast, but, given that I am something along the lines of 1/500th the mass of the scorpion's corpse, I doubt I will have trouble restricting myself to non-poisonous body parts.

Well, the creature most assuredly had a durable carapace, I certainly would not be able to even scratch it. But then, I don't have to, Knorkator was so kind as to completely crush the creature's flank, and delicious innards ooze out, readily accessible.

I take a bite, and oh! The flavor, the rich, tangy mix of taste and texture! Quite the meal, quite the meal indeed.

Well, I have eaten enough to sate my great self for the moment, but I could still eat more, much more. After all, when one has an intellect as staggeringly prolific as mine, one needs a goodly supply of food to keep going. Now now, if I was perfect, then there would be no reason for anyone else to even try.

Should I keep eating scorpion flesh, eat from a different corpse, or wander off to find a different food entirely?
No. 71146 ID: 9891a9

Are there any corpses that look to have a golden hue? If not, fill up on scorpion before exploring today.
No. 71151 ID: 632862

Look around at the various corpses for ones that look different than usual.
No. 71281 ID: d1210a

I see some of the fools had Valiances, I can't see the point of them myself. I suppose I am just that much smarter than them, to know the ramifications of just munching willy-nilly on any Valiance I see. Besides, why would I need a Valiance, I am the greatest, most incredible individual around, some strange gimmick would only tarnish my amazing and esteemed self.

I continue feeding on the scorpion, after all, to waste such a delightful rarity would be shameful, most shameful. Obviously, someone as intelligent as me would capitalize on this.

As I eat, I glance about, looking for any other strange tidbits.


What's this? There's some ants among the fallen foolish warriors this time. They are giants of their kind, I grant that, but still, this is most strange.

What should I do?
No. 71327 ID: 9891a9

Not much you can do, they're dead. Unless by chance one still lives, of which could be asked where it came from. If they are truly all dead, search for tracks or any indication of which way they came from, and follow it. It'll be an adventure!
No. 71364 ID: d1210a
File 125712179099.jpg - (128.01KB , 800x547 , Ant Survivor.jpg )

Yes, that's right, this does seem intriguing! Far more interesting than continuing to feed from this scorpion, rare as it may be.

I start inspecting the feet of these oversized ants, to get a rough feel for what kind of track they might make. Being as incredible as I am, it only takes me a brief moment to identify tracks that could belong to the ants.

.....Stranger still, it seems, based on the tracks, that while there are five dead ants scattered about, a significantly larger number, something in excess of a dozen, came here to fight Knorkator. I see outward bound tracks belonging to ants heading out into the forest.

Most interesting, some had the sense to flee. Good for them. I think I shall go to meet them.

...after following the trail for some time, I happen upon a living example of the type of ants I saw among the dead. It's passage is slowed by some damage to it's torso preventing it from moving it's legs normally on one side.

What should I do?
No. 71369 ID: 9891a9

Follow them stealthily, figuring whether they are hostile or not is a good priority.
No. 71388 ID: d1210a
File 125712353997.jpg - (159.75KB , 800x534 , Giant Ant Fighting.jpg )

Of course, discretion is the friend of all gentlebugs, is it not? Incredible as I am, it will be easy to follow this ant without it noticing me.


After some time, the ant meets up with some thirteen other ants, all of similar gargantuan proportion. There is some sort of conflict going on, but only one ant participates.

But the one that does fight is far larger than the rest, large even by other standards. This is put in perspective nicely by the Mandarinian Warrior it struggles against.

...? It smells like the one fighting is a queen! This is quite the unusual find indeed! Only one as incredible as me could have noticed the indicators that something like this could be found. Ah, what a rare sight!

What should I do?
No. 71472 ID: ba11ea

stay low, keep watching
No. 71530 ID: d1210a
File 125714581160.jpg - (176.87KB , 800x534 , Giant Ant Wins.jpg )

Yes, this looks most intriguing.


...? Well now, that sting she gave the Mandarinian a moment ago seems to be taking a toll. It's movements are slowing, becoming sloppy.

!! Well well, the ant queen bit the Mandarinian in half. What a sight! Oh, she's standing atop her fallen foe, how pretentiously dramatic of her, there is no reason anyone but I should feel the need to advertise so.

"My Queen, we should continue. That monster could be pursuing us, an-"
"SILENCE, Blitzkrieg!"

Oh? Who addressed the queen?
No. 71531 ID: d1210a
File 125714591567.jpg - (182.07KB , 800x555 , Blitzkrieg.jpg )

Why, that's quite the colorful ant! Hm, must have Valiance, several unless I miss my guess. The ant is some magnitude of size roughly halfway between the queen and the other ants present, and carries itself lightly. This one, it has the feel of a cautious, wary fighter.

The queen, however, is not so restrained.
"We will take that monster's head, that Primal Valiance is far too valuable, no matter what it takes to do so. With that, nothing could oppose my will!"
Once more, Blitzkrieg interjects.
"How are we to do that? We fought alongside others and still lost."
"It may not be now, but we will amass the power needed to claim that prize, I swear it!"

The ants once more set out, continuing away from the fight with Knorkator.

Should I continue following them? Should I hail them?
No. 71820 ID: 632862

Stay the hell away from that crazy queen. Nibble on the Mandarinian instead.
No. 71824 ID: d1210a

Yes, I have not eaten one of their number in a time. And it would be quite uncouth, for a gentlebug such as myself to not even eat some of this fresh meal before me. Why, it is simply providence that the food is here, evidence the world bends to suit my whims.

I decide to let the rather aggressive ant queen, the cautious one called Blitzkrieg and the other titanic ants that are her brood leave, not interested in them any further. They are larger and more capable than most ants, I will admit that, but they have the same power hungry idea nearly everyone who comes to challenge Knorkator has, thirsting for that Primal Valiance.

....I suppose it is a bit harsh to simply call all those who seek it fools. Yes, the choice to attack Knorkator was foolish, but some have sought it for altruistic reasons, such as to defend their homes from an outside threat.

Still suicidal, however noble the reasons may be. In all the time I have lived here, I have not seen Knorkator lose, not once has he even faltered before the veritable hordes of challengers. But if the choice is between certain death and the loss of your home, those you value, is not a choice anyone should have to make.

....But always, the Primal Valiance Knorkator has will draw those seeking power to him. He doesn't even need to hunt anymore. I suppose he is happy with how things have turned out.

Well, I believe my belly is full enough of Mandarinian Hornet, I must admit I am not the greatest of fans of the flavor.

What should I do? Return to the tree I call home, or look about for something interesting? Perhaps travel to the Red Wall, to once more gaze upon it's splendor?
No. 71832 ID: 632862

Red Wall? Yes, go check that out.
No. 71837 ID: d1210a
File 125722465592.jpg - (1.24MB , 1600x1200 , Ancient Forest Grand Red Wall.jpg )

Hm, I have not gazed upon it for a time. It is appropriate to visit now, as someone as grand as I can only be complimented by a similarly grand locale.

The journey does not take long, I know quite a few shortcuts throughout the forest. It takes little time for me to reach the Red Wall.

Ah.... the impenetrable barrier that slays all who try to cross it, The unassailable, eternal wall that can only be opened by the power of a storm's brilliant white lance. The barrier that protects the source of Primal Valiance.

Hmm.... how long ago was it, that the Red Wall was breached, and Knorkator was the one to claim the Primal Valiance? Four ages? Five? And before that? Ten ages? Eleven? It is a rare event, in any case, and those who know of it flock here, seeking the power held within.

Ah..... it was most exciting, that most recent time the wall was breached. A great many legends were born or concluded that day. A good time to reminisce about, I suppose.

Now, what should the great me do now?
No. 71840 ID: 632862

Think about what the Primal Valiance is, and what it does? C'mon, tell us!
No. 71849 ID: d1210a

Of course, an individual as great as I knows all about Primal Valiances, something that quite a few are ignorant of. Many jealously guard the knowledge from others, lest they have more seekers to contend with.

Just like a normal Valiance, Primal Valiances can be of any type or format, but are always several orders of magnitude more capable than normal Valiance. There is a price, though. Not only will the thirst for power draw unending challengers to all but the most isolated and nomadic of bearers of Primal Valiance, but the power itself demands a far dearer price for it's use. Knorkator's very body starts to wither and die when he uses Dark Side Of The Moon, the Primal Valiance he lays claim to. Granted, he possesses a Valiance that lets him regenerate, but it is not a passive thing, he must feed to fuel it.

Although, it isn't all bad for Knorkator, I suppose. He has grown reluctant to employ his power, and as a result has become far more adept with his more common Valiance.

...? What is that? I could have sworn I just saw movement among the flora that makes up the Red Wall, but how could that be, it dissolves and destroys anything that tries to cross it.

What should I do? Display more of my dazzling knowledge, or investigate the movement in the Red Wall?
No. 71857 ID: 632862

Investigate the movement.
No. 71900 ID: d1210a
File 125722966672.jpg - (1.71MB , 2592x1944 , Mandarinian Warrior New Strain.jpg )

What a strange day, to find such oddities in rapid succession. Of course I would be intrigued, an intellect as magnificent as mine needs appropriate stimulation.

Oh ho? A figure struggles out of the wall, it's body dissolving around it. Wait, not it's whole body, it's head and torso decay much more slowly.

As the creature falls to the ground, already dying, another lands next to it, inspecting it's fallen counterpart.

Oh, these are the new soldiers the Mandarinian Empire has been fielding recently. I doubt it coincidence that the metallic green carapace covering their heads and torsos is somehow more durable than normal, but still, it is surprising to see an entire species with what looks like a watered down Valiance inherent to their kind.

?Hm No, I am certain now: The other body parts seem to regenerate slowly, I can see tissue attempting to regrow even as it continues to be broken down by the terminal effects of the Red Wall.

What, did they think their new pet project could get through the wall? Psh, all these idiots, so sure that they will be the ones to disprove skeptics.

Still, this seems notable, that Mandarinians are trying to find some way to pierce the Red Wall. Granted, I laugh at their probability of success, but still, noteworthy nonetheless.

Should I attempt to move closer and listen to the dying Mandarinian's last words to it's unwounded comrade? Or should I leave, and let matters lie in favor of assured safety?
No. 71959 ID: 9891a9

Listening in could reveal some interesting secrets, and the unwounded warrior will likely be too distracted trying to listen to his comrade to notice you. Go for it.
No. 71967 ID: d1210a

I move in closer, curious what the warrior that braved the wall even at the nearing cost of it's life will say.

"....There are.... three plants.... within. Don't know.... which one..... is the one...... we seek. I.........I................."
The decay finally claims the warrior, and in short order it's whole body has dissolved into an odorless goo on the ground.

The unmarred one wastes no time, taking off to presumably deliver the news it just heard to others.

Hmm... three plants inside? That's strange, there were only two last time the Red Wall was open, I wonder what this new plant is?

There are no others near me, now that the surviving warrior left.

What should I do? Should I head back to my home, or perhaps keep exploring? The Red Wall is most certainly the most notable site in this forest, but there are other things one can seek out.....
No. 71979 ID: 632862

Go check out something else.
No. 72030 ID: af3e6d

How was it opened last time?
No. 72126 ID: d1210a
File 125727979051.jpg - (71.79KB , 800x534 , Giant Ant Finds Mr Crowley.jpg )

By a great, brilliant lance of power and noise from a storm overhead, that happened to strike the wall. That is how it is opened, as I denoted here: >>71837 However, I would not expect any intellect but my own to be able to recall such details.

Yes, I shall just head elsewhere now, and-

Oh? One of those giant ants from earlier seems to have made it's way over here. Further, it would seem to have noticed me, and is heading my way at a slow lope.

What should I do?
No. 72140 ID: 9891a9

Well since it's spotted you, be as polite and courteous as you no doubt are normally. Since he's coming over slowly, he likely does not intend harm.
No. 72145 ID: d1210a
File 125729103762.jpg - (95.34KB , 800x534 , Giant Ant Attacks Mr Crowley.jpg )

Of course, what kind of gentlebug would I be, where I not to greet the newcomer?

"Hail, ant, how fare thee?"

Hmm, it doesn't seem to be responding to me. Is it incapable of dialogue?

The ant abruptly breaks out into a dead sprint, racing towards me, it's jaws wide.

So, it intends to assault the great me? What a preposterous notion!

What should I do?
No. 72155 ID: 43d730

Stand in front of the Red Wall.
Wait for it to charge at you, then jump or dodge out of the way.
Keep running, hope it gets eaten by the wall.
No. 72170 ID: d1210a

Brilliant as I am, I position myself in front of the Red Wall, awaiting my charging foe.

At the last moment, right before it is upon me, I-

No. 72200 ID: d1210a
File 125730426750.jpg - (1.04MB , 1600x1200 , Guns Of Brixton.jpg )

TITLE: G u n s O f B r i x t o n STATUS: H u n g e r i n g SPIRE STATUS: W a r r i o r s d e p l e t e d CONCLUSION: M o r e W a r r i o r s m u s t b e c r e a t e d ERROR: N o t w e l l f e d e n o u g h t o m a k e m o r e W a r r i o r s EXTRAPOLATED CONCLUSION: M o r e f o o d n e e d e d t o m a k e n e w W a r r i o r s ACTION:

No. 72201 ID: 6faa8c

No. 72202 ID: d1210a

ACTION: S e e k f o o d ERROR: C o m m a n d n o t s p e c i f i c e n o u g h CLARIFICATION: F l o r a / F a u n a , a b o v e o r b e l o w g r o u n d REVELATION: B o h e m i a n R h a p s o d y s u p p l i e s d e p l e t e d EVALUATION: R e a s o n f o r l o s t s u p p l i e s u n k n o w n COMMAND:

No. 72203 ID: 43d730

Assuming that mushroom farms are stockpiles. If not, see if there's any crop on those.
No. 72227 ID: 3be0dc

No. 72239 ID: d1210a

COMMAND: l o c a t e a b o v e g r o u n d f l o r a , b r i n g b a c k t o s p i r e COMMAND TARGET: A l l u n a s s i g n e d w o r k e r s COMMAND ISSUED QUERY: C a u s e o f l o s t B o h e m i a n R h a p s o d y ? ERROR: U n k n o w n QUERY: C a u s e o f l o s t B o h e m i a n R h a p s o d y ? COMMAND:________

No. 72244 ID: 632862

Investigate possible connection between loss of warriors and loss of Bohemian Rhapsody.
No. 72257 ID: d1210a

QUERY: C a u s e o f d e p l e t e d w a r r i o r s SEARCHING..... SEARCHING..... CAUSE FOUND: A s s a u l t b y o u t s i d e f o r c e s QUERY: C a u s e o f d e p l e t e d B o h e m i a n R h a p s o d y SEARCHING..... SEARCHING..... SEARCHING..... CAUSE FOUND: O u t s i d e r p e n e t r a t e d c o r e o f s p i r e , t o o k B o h e m i a n R h a p s o d y EVENT COMPARISON: PROBABILITY EVENTS ARE RELATED: 91% COMMAND:___________

No. 72259 ID: 43d730

Gather evidence of pheromone trails from the raid, pass them around, be on the lookout for such 'style' of trail or creatures that put them down in the future.
Failing that, add another level of complexity to the entrances or plot out another breed of warrior.
No. 72260 ID: 632862

Use code tags in a less table-breaking manner.

Also, investigate nature of Outsiders.
No. 72271 ID: d1210a

DATA REQUEST: A l l d a t a o n r e c e n t a s s a u l t p a r t i c i p a n t s SEARCHING..... SEARCHING..... SEARCHING..... DATA FOUND: ( 4 ) u n k n o w n s p e c i e s , ( 5 ) t o t a l m e m b e r s i n g r o u p DATA FOUND: C a s u a l t i e s s u f f e r e d : ( 1 0 4 ) DATA FOUND: P h e r o m o n e s o f a s s a i l a n t s i d e n t i f i e d COMMAND: P a s s f o u n d d a t a t o a l l w a r r i o r s COMMAND COMPLETE COMMAND: E v a l u a t e s p i r e ' s d e f e n s i v e s t r u c t u r e f o r w e a k n e s s ................. ................. FLAW FOUND: E x t e r n a l s u b t e r r a n e a n b a r r a c k s p r o v i d e s a c c e s s t o c o r e o f s p i r e SUGGESTED CORRECTION: C h a n g e e n t r y p o i n t o f b a r r a c k t o s p i r e COMMAND:________

No. 72388 ID: ffdecc

Request: Map of barracks and surrounding area.
No. 72462 ID: d1210a
File 125737105653.jpg - (33.79KB , 1143x862 , Guns Of Brixton Spire Status.jpg )

REQUEST: M a p o f b a r r a c k s a n d s u r r o u n d i n g a r e a DATA RETRIEVED: M a p o f b a r r a c k s a n d s u r r o u n d i n g a r e a DATA DISPLAY: C o m p l e t e COMMAND:_________________

No. 72483 ID: ffdecc
File 125737347447.png - (123.10KB , 1143x862 , proposed changes.png )

Proposal: Change Barracks-Spire entry point to the Royal Guard's chamber.
No. 72556 ID: 152de6

query: what castes can we currently breed?
No. 72677 ID: d1210a



No. 72691 ID: 632862

Which types were depleted? Also, what is the current energy available?
No. 72695 ID: a2583f

(pssst! the archives, they contain the death totals. We killed lots of warriors, several heavies, and a squad of royal guards.)
No. 72697 ID: d1210a

ASSESSING LOOSES: Moderate losses to WARRIORS and HEAVY WARRIORS, minor losses to ROYAL GUARD CURRENT TOTALS: 600 WORKERS 301 WARRIORS 78 HEAVY WARRIORS 45 ROYAL GUARD ENERGY RESERVES ASSESSMENT REQUEST: INCOMPATIBLE COMMAND CLARIFICATION: Order batches of a given caste, and the group will begin being constructed. The rate of construction is influenced by the energy requirement. COMMAND:_________

No. 72700 ID: 632862

Make a SUBSERVIENT QUEEN to create a sister colony.
No. 72703 ID: d1210a


No. 72704 ID: 632862

Gather 20 units of each type. Also evaluate availability of each type, and how renewable each is.
No. 72708 ID: d1210a


No. 72715 ID: 632862

Set 50 workers each to harvest Leaf A, Leaf B, and Bark B. Send 20 workers each to harvest Leaf C and Stalk B. Send 5 workers each to harvest Bark A and Vine A. Send 1 worker to harvest Stalk A.

Evaluate resource replenishment with this setup.
No. 72731 ID: d1210a

[code:]COMMAND: Accepted
201 Workers assigned to above ground flora resource gathering resource gathering.

Found resources have not been tested for usefulness, storage not recommended until they have been analyzed.

No. 72734 ID: 632862

Test one unit of each food by having a worker eat it.
No. 72806 ID: d1210a


No. 72812 ID: 632862

Adjust workers thusly:
50 gathering Leaf A
5 gathering Leaf B
30 gathering Leaf C
5 gathering Bark A
75 gathering Bark B
2 gathering Vine A
1 gathering Stalk A
30 gathering Stalk B

Evaluate plant recovery for long-term sustainability.

Also, test all types of food on Warrior, Heavy Warrior, and Royal Guard castes.
No. 72824 ID: d1210a

HARVESTER REDISTRIBUTION CONFIRMED. DISTRIBUTION: 50 gathering Leaf A 5 gathering Leaf B 30 gathering Leaf C 5 gathering Bark A 75 gathering Bark B 2 gathering Vine A 1 gathering Stalk A 30 gathering Stalk B EVALUATING PLANT RECOVERY: ERROR UNKNOWN TERM: SELF-SUSTAINING DISREGARDING CLARIFICATION: All breeds can eat the same food, it is part of their design. COMMAND:_________

No. 72825 ID: 632862

Make more Bohemian Rhapsody.
No. 72946 ID: 97a01e

query: what are our capabilities? And will our current foraging of the local flora have any destructive effects? Do we have ant self sustaining sources of food maybe a fungus farm?
No. 76457 ID: d1210a

ASSESSING..... ASSESSING..... WARNING: Unknown amount of time has passed. ASSESSING: ERROR REASON: No records exist connecting now and the time period foraging occurred. ASSESSING: Bohemian Rhapsody Stores have been replenished. ASSESSING: Surrogate Queen complete ESTIMATION: Time gap of approximately two hours. ALERT: Valiance reported as detected near spire shortly before loss of records. ASSESSING: No threat currently detectable. FOOD ASSESSMENT:>>72825 Bohemian Rhapsody stocks are full. Attempt Refinement? >>72946 EXPLANATION: Fungus farm exists for Bohemian Rhapsody. QUERY: Self-Sustaining: Definition COMMAND:__________

No. 76458 ID: 43d730

Yes, attempt refinement.
No. 76550 ID: 898207

do we have any unique individuals
No. 76563 ID: 898207

their were other termite haves around right? ARe they our sisters?
No. 76587 ID: ddafe0

Sustainable: Able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.

If the speed at which the harvested resource is replenished is equal to or greater than the speed at which it is harvested, then the harvesting of that resource is sustainable.
No. 76752 ID: d1210a

REFINEMENT: UNDERWAY >>76550 CLARIFICATION: Gun Of Brixton is the hive mind that controls her drone progeny. One mind, a legion of forms. >>76563 ASSESSMENT: Each Spire is controlled by a given sapient queen. Guns Of Brixton currently has no alliances/vendettas with any other spires. >>76587 DEFINITION: Accepted ERROR: Other spires also harvest resources. Their harvesting cannot currently be accurately assessed. PROGRESS: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY REFINEMENT: 4% WARNING: Valiance traces in spire theorized to include Primal Valiance. COMMAND:__________

No. 76771 ID: 632862

Something with a Primal Valiance invaded, but didn't take any Bohemian Rhapsody?

Check numbers of current servants for losses.
No. 77020 ID: d1210a

>>76771 ASSESSMENT: No missing bodies ASSESSMENT: Primal Valiance traces found in areas previously attacked. HYPOTHESIS: Bearer of Primal Valiance investigated attack. ERROR: Bearer of Primal Valiance of a divergent source to prior attackers. No known reason to investigate attack. PROGRESS: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY REFINEMENT: 8% COMMAND:___________

No. 77886 ID: 632862

Send the SUBSERVIENT QUEEN out to make another colony.

Create 50 Warriors, 25 Heavy Warriors, and 15 Royal Guard.
No. 77887 ID: 632862

In addition, send 100 Warriors, 20 Heavy Warriors, and 10 Royal Guard with the SUBSERVIENT QUEEN to protect her.
No. 77888 ID: 5d5878

And start spamming mutalisks.
No. 78828 ID: d1210a

>>77886 >>77887 CLARIFICATION: Subservient Queen Purpose: -designed to improve production capabilities of the spire. -to allow more units to be produced at the same time -to allow units to be readies faster. CLARIFICATION: Only %.02 of Subservient Queens claim names and found spires. CLARIFICATION: Guns Of Brixton is one of such. COMMAND: (50) Warriors, (25) Heavy Warriors, (15) Royal Guards produced. PROGRESS: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY REFINEMENT: 11% REINFORCEMENTS PRODUCTION: 19% COMMAND:___________

No. 78835 ID: 632862

Stop harvesting Vine A at 20 units, Stalk A at 10 units, and Leaf B at 40 units, since they serve no purpose yet.

Send 50 idle Workers to expand knowledge of surrounding territory.
No. 79015 ID: d1210a

>>78835 ORDERS: Workers, IDLE: investigate surrounding area, seek to expand knowledge. WORKERS DISPATCHED ..... ..... TIME ELAPSED PROGRESS: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY REFINEMENT: 24% REINFORCEMENTS PRODUCTION: 100% COMPLETE WORKERS INITIAL SCOUTING: COMPLETE Reinforcements available DATA: Workers found spire next to it completely abandoned, and it seems to have it's Bohemian Rhapsody reserves still. DATA: Workers found evidence the Primal Valiance bearer detected in the spire was also present at the now empty spire adjacent to this one. DATA: Primal Valiance scent found nearby, on top of a nearby large rock. Bearer presumed present. DATA: Strangely shaped, golden insect leg found. DATA: A small party of small to mid sized insects approaches the Crucible Of Valiance. COMMAND:__________

No. 79688 ID: 45be60

begin claiming empty spire as yours.
move insect leg into food storage.
No. 79750 ID: 5d5878

Convert the spire to a Greater Spire, start muta production, and turn some to Guardians.
No. 80713 ID: d1210a

>>79688 COMMAND: [GOLDEN LEG] stored in spire. COMPLETED COMMAND: Attempt to claim empty spire. ERROR: Unidentified rot is corroding the empty spire from the top earthward. ASSESSMENT: Bohemian Rhapsody reserves are stored beneath ground level. CALCULATION: 81% probability workers could claim the Bohemian Rhapsody and return with at least 25% of the reserves. CALCULATION: 45% probability workers could claim the Bohemian Rhapsody and return with at least 50% of the reserves. CALCULATION: 27% probability workers could claim the Bohemian Rhapsody and return with at least 75% of the reserves. CALCULATION: 12% probability workers could claim the Bohemian Rhapsody and return with all 100% of the reserves. PROGRESS: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY REFINEMENT: 31% COMMAND:____________

No. 80732 ID: 632862

Send 50 warriors above ground to meet the group of insects approaching. Do not attack before they do, but block the path to the entrance tunnel.

Send 300 workers to collect Bohemian Rhapsody from the spire. Pull from idle workers first, then exploring ones. Send one extra to investigate the Primal Valiance user more closely. Attempt communication?

Once the spire has been dealt with, send the workers back to fill jobs they were interrupted from.
No. 80971 ID: d1210a

(roll a d100 to determine how much Bohemian Rhapsody is successfully harvested.)
No. 80984 ID: 632862

rolled 87 = 87

No. 80985 ID: 632862

Haha, wow. Additional command: Expand the Bohemian Rhapsody storage area.
No. 81059 ID: f21d88

>>80984 COMMAND: Retrieve Bohemian Rhapsody ISSUED: 300 Workers, idle first >>80985 COMMAND: Expand Bohemian Rhapsody storage facilities. COMMAND ACCEPTED >>80732 COMMAND: 50 Warriors, guard entrances to spire. STIPULATION: Do not engage intruders unless attacked. COMMAND: 1 Worker, sent to attempt communication with presumed source of Primal Valiance. ........ ........ ........ ASSESSMENT: All 100% of Bohemian Rhapsody reserves retrieved. ASSESSMENT: Group of small to midsized intruders currently at a short distance from spire and guarding warriors. ASSESSMENT: Worker beginning to ascend rock presumed to have a Primal Valiance bearer at it's peak. ASSESSMENT: Additional Bohemian Rhapsody reserves increases time needed to refine stock. PROGRESS BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY REFINEMENT(Of new total stock): 23% BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY STORAGE EXPANSION: 48% COMMAND:__________

No. 82591 ID: 6164e0
File 125943214044.jpg - (504.44KB , 1024x816 , Bob Marley.jpg )

Well, finally made it. Pfaw, you would think with how many members can't fly, be it from injury or design of form, that a base atop a tree would be considered inadvisable, but no. Took me a good half hour to make my way up to where the apprentices preparing for their first placement are.

But the point is I'm here. Ah, I can here the sound of jousting mandibles, of weighty clashes, I can smell determination, hope, desperation, envy and diligence. This isn't the absolute pinnacle of the tree The Beatles call home, but still, the massive branches have been carved out, tunnels and platforms abounding.

I nod to Big Duo as I arrive, one of the others tapped to be a judge for this batch of apprentices, and wonder where Guns N' Roses, the final of the three judges, could be. Usually, she is quite punctual.

Well, there is some time before the official judging starts, and I have some few moments to take an unofficial peek at an apprentice or two before the judging starts.

Hm. Should I wait here (perhaps converse with Big Duo), or should I wander over to the sound of sparring to get a sneak peek at those we will be judging?
No. 82598 ID: af3e6d

Get a sneak peek, see who to look out for this time.
No. 82690 ID: 6164e0
File 12594479455.jpg - (291.46KB , 900x917 , 7 Year Bitch.jpg )

Hm. Might as well get a look at those I am going to be judging now, when they aren't trying to impress the judges.

I wander over to one of the leveled sections of intertwined branches, to find a small crowd of future members of The Beatles, all at varying stages in their developement and instruction, clustered around two beetles, both tense and ready for the bout to begin.

...In particular, I can taste the desire for battle, the desire to reav a slaughter-filled path through her foes emanating from one of the two beetles. Her scent identifies her as 7 Year Bitch.... ah, she's one of the apprentices I am judging today.

The instructor watching the match lets out a hiss, and the two titans lumber towards each other, building up speed.

A horrendous cracking noise is heard as the two finally meet. I would expect the larger beetle to be winning this contest of strength, and yet 7 Year Bitch slowly is pushing him back, rage, excitement, bloodlust and joy rolling off of her in a chaotic wave.

How can..... Ah. I see the ichor starting to leak from her spiracles, the cracks slowly whispering across her legs: She pushes her body past it's reasonable limits, without care for the repercussions: Victory, conquest, those are the only things she sees. I watch as she strains, heaves, more ichor dripping from her as she heaves her opponent out of her way, slamming him against the tree. The instructor calls the match, and 7 Year Bitch hisses in triumph, euphoria washing off of her as she emerges victorious.

.....Hm. Her dedication to victory is certainly unquestionable, but I wonder at her long term viability: Fighting like that usually leads to a bright yet brief career.

Hm..... how should I feel about her nigh-berserker dedication to victory? Certainly there are merits to it, but.....

How should I take what I just saw, for the purposes of evaluating her later? Should I stay and try to glean more information, or should I continue wandering, and try to find more of the apprentices that I will be judging?
No. 82730 ID: af3e6d

I think that's all you need to learn about her. She's strong, but she's not smart. Victory at all costs seems like a good idea, but it's bound to get you killed. Seems that she'll do reasonably well, but prowess is not measured solely in strength.
No. 83120 ID: 6164e0
File 125947988843.jpg - (228.78KB , 680x962 , In The Way.jpg )

I continue along, letting the brutal 7 Year Bitch continue in her bloody practice.

I see an arena with only a single audience member, the judge disinterested. It is hard to disagree, as the fight is horrendously one sided, a powerful beetle knocking about it's far smaller foe. Shortly, the little combatant is knocked prone, it's form battered and dented, it's spiracles heaving in exhaustion.

".....A......again...... please."

Oh? The little one wants to challenge her foe again? Well, I suppose some learn their limitations more slowly than others.

"Again? Hah..... look, this is what, the thirtieth time you have challenged Anberlin, do you really think anything has changed? Face it, you aren't going to win."

The little one struggles to it's feat, slowly limping it's way over to the center of the ring.

"Doesn't..... matter. I'll try.... again, and again.... as many times... as it takes. What kind of.. warrior.. would I be, if.. I gave up so easily?

Oh? So this is the plucky little one I heard about, In The Way. Certainly, that will, that dedication to meeting the expectations of others, to striving for success, it is phenomenal, the will of a titan.

...It is sad, that such determination is trapped within such a form. I doubt she will be able to even succeed in the trials without a Valiance to compensate for her... deficiencies.

...And yet, that absolute, complete and utter devotion, that perfect loyalty to the creed of The Beatles.... there are only a scant few who could be considered even half as dedicated.

I am torn. I want to applaud her will, but I cannot deny her lack of power.

How should I view what I have seen? Should I try to learn more about In The Way? Should I inspect who the lone audience member is? Or should I go looking for other apprentices?
No. 83123 ID: 632862

It all depends on how much she is improving from the experience. If she learns from each battle, and her sheer willpower allows her to fight over and over again without giving up, then she will slowly grow to become a better warrior despite her size.
No. 83129 ID: 45be60

strength can be gained, skill can be taught, but such a force of will can only come from within. With someone to mentor this one, to take her under a wing, there is much potential here.
No. 83133 ID: 6164e0
File 125948359595.jpg - (328.68KB , 1000x1500 , Excalibur.jpg )

Hmm... Valiance could provide strength, but the same is not true of such dedicated will as this one has.
...But if she does not learn from her failures, can that will truly be claimed as useful? Some thirty failed attempts to surpass this one,and she still gets trounced handily....

Once more she challenges Anberlin, and once more she falls. If there was any difference between this and her last bout, I cannot percieve it.

Anberlin looks down on her prone form, and sighs.

"...I won't fight you anymore. You could die if you keep this up."
"But nothing. You're up for evaluation today, do you really want to ruin that crippling yourself? Just head back and do what you can to freshen up, okay?"

As Anberlin and the instructor acting as judge depart, In The Way turns to the lone audience member, pride radiating from her.

"Did you see, did you see? I finally dodged two of Anberlins kicks in a row! I knew I could do it!"

A sense of.... peace? Not quite paternal or even familial, but protective nonetheless, faintly emenates from the audience member.

"I saw, In The Way, I saw your acheivement. You are improving, bit by bit."
"I just wanted to say thanks for the advice you gave me, Anberlin really does list to the left when he tries to kick too quickly! I couldn't have done it without you, Excalibur."

Oh? So this is the one that Big Duo nominated for early acceptance into the Rite Of Apprenticeship. Not even fully grown, and already his prodigious jaws make him larger than several full members of The Beatles.

Should I continue listening, or should I approach them and address them? Or should I go elsewhere? I still have some time before the official evaluations begin.
No. 83142 ID: 59c190

Address them. The little one could easily become as deadly as the other if she awakens a Valience.
No. 92812 ID: 6164e0

I decide to hail both In The Way and Excalibur, in the hopes of gaining more incite into to radically different apprentices of The Beatles.

“Hail, apprentices? How fare thee?”

Only In The Way turns to face me, but it is Excalibur who responds first.

“You are Bob Marley, yes? I recognize your scent.”
“Oh? I do not recall having met you before.”
“Strictly speaking, you have not. I was, however, present at a function you attended some time ago. It was when Big Fau challenged The Ace Of Spades for leadership of The Beatles.”
..? Nearly every member of The Beatles was present for that, it was huge to see someone actually challenge The Ace Of Spades. But the apprentice remembers my scent that clearly, merely from being in the same area as me? Quite the feat, that.

As I ponder this, Excalibur turns away, and begins to march off.

“Now if you will excuse me sir judge, I am required to participate in some sparring.”

At this, In The Way excitedly darts off after the larger crimson beetle, my presence already forgotten. So, In The Way is quite attached to Excalibur. I wonder, is it admiration, friendship, or something else? I suppose I shall have to see more to be sure.

…Ah, I think I smell Guns N’ Roses now. Are all three judges finally present? I imagine that means the official events will be starting in the near future.

Should I follow Excalibur, or seek out the other judges?
No. 92830 ID: 632862

How did the fight between Big Fau and the Ace of Spades go?

Seek out the judges.
No. 92885 ID: 6164e0
File 126098976763.jpg - (266.76KB , 2136x1373 , Guns N Roses.jpg )

Of course Big Fau fell before The Ace Of Spades, no other outcome was expected. There is a reason that one has been the leader of The Beatles since it's founding: He forged this organization out of his own strength, prodigious even among titanic beetles. Big Fau was bested without The Ace Of Spades ever having to reveal the Primal Valiance he possesses.

A pity. In the sixteen ages I have known our leader for, I have not even heard of him using his greatest Valiance. I was hoping to see it revealed in the bout, as I imagine many spectators were.

Well, if all three judges are here, I imagine I should meet up with them, prepare for the event itself. I track both Big Duo and Gun N' Roses's scents back to the trunk of the tree, to find the two amiably chatting.

As usual, Gun N' Roses is late, and I see several organizers of these events rushing about, trying to make up for lost time now that all three judges are here.

By the time I make it over to my two fellow judges, a small crowd has started to form, in anticipation of the judging. Excellent, that means I shall be able to reference the general membership of The Beatle's opinion on any given performance, during the judging. Such things, I feel, are just as important as my own opinions, as these are the ones the apprentices will eventually be serving alongside.

As I approach, Gun N' Roses hails me, a lazy warmth spilling from her.

"Oh-ho, Bob Marley, it has been some time since I have seen you: I hope your crops do well?"

Hmph. The moocher. I spend most of my time cultivating my preferred type of intoxicant/food source, and pushy gluttons like Metallica and my fellow judge invariably partake of my food, without ever asking or caring about the effort it takes to grow such things.

Should I tell her the truth, that the plants are doing well, or should I lie, and say the crops are doing poorly in the hopes of warding her off? And what event should I suggest we view first, a set of Sparring, a Race, or a Tactical Appraisal session? All three must take place before we can move on to further events.
No. 93532 ID: 6faa8c

Give her a nuetral response, like "There was some trouble recently, and my harvest is limited as of late."
Let's go watch Excalibur spar. With a name like that...
No. 93565 ID: 6164e0
File 126109543460.jpg - (149.79KB , 800x1200 , Beatles Promising Newcomer Excalibur.jpg )

"The crops have not been performing as well as I would like, sadly. Putting that aside for now, though, I suggest we go watch some sparring, I know at least three of the apprentices are there, and one named Excalibur has a match soon."

Big Duo speaks up before Gun N' Roses can even respond, his interest clearly piqued.

"Excalibur? Then I agree with Bob Marley, we should go watch the match. A good chance to see an apprentice in action."
"And this has nothing to do with your favoritism towards Excalibur, I take it?"
"Please, if you can find another apprentice with combat skills as great as his, please, point them out. No? We are a mercenary force, and strength is of the utmost importance."

After some more light banter and bickering, we make our way along one of the larger branches in the massive tree, passing by a few clearings still being used for practice spars between Beatles members, until we come upon a fairly large crowd, gathered around one of the fields. Unsurprisingly, I can smell Excalibur within the mass.

While I contemplate how to get closer without alerting any apprentices that the judges have come to watch, Big Duo simply clears a path by dint of his bulk and strength, which Gun N' Roses traverses in his wake amiably.

....I follow along after, knowing it futile to attempt to remain hidden now.

I see Excalibur is facing... oh? Why is Barael, one of the longfangs here? And why is an apprentice about to face off against an elite member of the Beatles that specializes in fighting singularly powerful foes?

...And why does Excalibur smell so calm in such a situation? He is fighting Barael, a longfang with considerable weight, strength and experience advantages over him.

..Well, either this will be very, VERY interesting, or it will be very predictable.

Big Duo seems confident in the apprentice, so I suppose I shall-
"Hey. Marley."
"What is it, Big Duo?"
"[10 units of Bohemian Rhapsody] says Excalibur is going to win this."
"what? You want to gamble while serving as an arbiter?!"
"You gonna take the bet or not?"

The crowd starts to go quiet as the fighters get ready. Barael tilts his head from side to side, stretching, while Excalibur only opens his prodigious mandibles wider, setting himself firmly in place.

...What should I do? Should I accept the bet, or not?
No. 93568 ID: 6faa8c

No bet. Jesus, Excalibur is a little frightening.
No. 93573 ID: 632862

Excalibur is probably going to win, yes... but betting is not fitting of a judge.
No. 93576 ID: bebdd2

Excalibur has his own little minion, large ambitions, and is very calm while facing off against an apparently vastly superior foe. He needs watching.

Don't take the bet. Besides the ethical issues, you might actually lose.
No. 93610 ID: 6164e0
File 126109931598.jpg - (244.46KB , 1200x800 , Beatles Excalibur Sparring.jpg )

Perhaps I could claim the reason to be because I do not approve of such frivolous acts as gambling when working. Or perhaps it is because of how clam Excalibur appears. Either way.... I do not wish to accept this bet.

"No deal, Duo."
"HAH! Smart. Now, watch this, it should be quite interesting, I think."

I watch as the spar begins, unsurprised to see Barael charging forward, his mandibles starting to softly glow.


Barael's mandibles become inflamed as he dashes towards the still stationary Excalibur, who-


I barely even catch what happens as the two fighters meet. Excalibur snaps his jaws open far wider than I would have thought possible, catching one of Barael's forelegs before it settles upon the ground, unbalancing the charging warrior. Excalibur's jaws slam shut with tremendous force, catching the larger beetle's own jaws firmly in their grasp.

With a heave, Excalibur lifts Barael off the ground, his legs now futilely scrabbling in the air, his mandible's fires extinguished in his surprise.

Barael struggles on for a few moments to retaliate in some format, before the bout is called, in Excalibur's favor. He drops his hold on Barael, who now appears enraged he was caught off guard so.

Interesting. He didn't approach it as a means of proving his strength, even when judges where present, but only as a means of most effectively achieving victory. I understand now why Big Duo was so confident, and yet.... 'tis true enough, that Excalibur won, but did he actually prove himself stronger? He only fought to win by the rules of a practice match as quickly as possible.

...As a judge, I could request that the two fight again. Barael would likely be more wary this time, and his anger should lend him strength, should he channel it appropriately.

What should I do? Should I force a rematch? Commune with someone?
No. 93623 ID: 6faa8c

Ask Duo if he thinks a rematch would be a good idea.
No. 93755 ID: 59c190

Do not FORCE a rematch, but request one. If Excalibur declines it is every bit his right.
No. 93770 ID: 1876d1

An honest match with a seasoned veteran would tire out Excalibur, even if he is as skilled enough to win. It would skew the examination.
No. 93818 ID: f256f2

I agree. This is fair.
No. 93829 ID: 6164e0

The examinations are largely informal: All that matters is the end opinion of each judge on the apprentices. Strictly speaking, the judging has already started.

"Duo, what say you, should Barael be given another chance, now that he is more wary, more focused?"
"Hmm.... well, it would certainly be a harder fight for Excalibur.... Ah, I do not know. I default to you, Bob Marley. What do you think should be done?"
"....Excalibur!" I blast the area with my scent, gaining everyone's attention as I address the apprentice. He simply looks at me, waiting to see what it is I wish to communicate.
"If you are willing, I would like to see you spar with Barael once more. What say you, apprentice?"

Excalibur continues to stare at me for a time, before he nods his head, and once more turns to face Barael.
"So Big Duo, what are your assessments of how things will go this time?" Guns N' Roses inquires as she trundles closer, her interest clearly piqued.
"...I don't really know, actually. Excalibur is very good at catching his foes off guard, but Barael is going to be more careful now.:
"Would you wish to make that bet you offered Bob Marley now? I would be willing to wager."
"...Yes. Yes I would. [10 units of Bohemian Rhapsody], on Excalibur winning."
"And so I shall be the same on Barael. Let us see how this goes."

OPTION: This fight can either be viewed normally from Bob Marley's perspective, or as one of the participants. If it is chosen to be viewed from a participant's vantage point, a D2 shall be rolled, to determine which one is followed. A 1 will dictate Excalibur, a 2 Barael.

From which viewpoint, Judge or Combatant, shall this fight take place?
No. 93892 ID: 6faa8c

rolled 2 = 2


Excalibur Excalibur Excalibur Excalibur...
No. 93893 ID: 6faa8c

No. 93904 ID: 5d5878

Quick, delete the post before Bob checks!
No. 93944 ID: 6164e0


No. 93959 ID: 6164e0



Oh, I am going to grind that little cretin into paste, I will crush him for humiliating me so!

I see Excalibur before me, once more standing still, his mandibles held akimbo, awaiting my strike. I am perhaps 10 centimeters away from him, and considering that each of us are near to 4 centimeters each in length, the distance is short enough to be crossed very swiftly. Both of us are capable of flight, but at this proximity, it's usefulness can be difficult to exploit.

Barael's Abilities

Can emit phosphorous and sulfur based powders constantly for five seconds, causing the mandibles to ignite and be inflamed for five seconds. After each use, twenty seconds must elapse before it can be used again.

Barael can eject ink from an organic jet built into the bottom of his jaw. The jet must first be readied before a given use, which takes 2/3 of a second.

I am... normally... fairly deft in my footing, despite my previous performance. I am also a very capable flier. Sadly, I do not know much about how Excalibur fights, other than his recent performance.

How should I approach this?
No. 93961 ID: 6faa8c

Fight defensively. Ready the ink RIGHT NOW, and fire it when he becomes impatient and closes the distance. Then flip the little bastard.
No. 94548 ID: 6164e0

If he is so confident that he can employ that attack of his on me again so simply, then I shall endeavor to not give him the chance.

I set my jaw as I begin to prepare a blast of To Take The Black to blind my foe.

I see Excalibur tweak an antenna the moment I begin my preparations. He suspects I am preparing something, although it's unlikely he could predict what it is having never seen it before, or heard about it, since we Longfangs stand somewhat apart from the rest of The Beatles due to our... specialization.

Excalibur clamps his legs firmly onto the ground and flares his shell swiftly.

...Hrm, almost ready...

Excalibur's shell snaps shut with vicious force as I finally fire To Take The Black



!? Excalibur is hurtling at me, far more swiftly than I anticipated. Thankfully, his speed works against him, as he charges straight into the jet of blinding ink.

....And seems completely unfazed by the loss of vision as he collides with me, accelerating to make sure he can strike me before I can move.

The impact is jarring, but my carapace can take such an impact. I manage to right and reorient myself, to find Excalibur already using his antenna to scrub the ink off of his eyes. He still does not seem able to see, although given enough time he will be rid of the ink.

I was thrown some fifteen centimeters away by the charge, and while jarring, I am not injured.

What should I do?
No. 94554 ID: 6faa8c

Come from the side. He won't see something like that coming, considering his LOLCHARGE 'strategy'.
No. 94561 ID: f256f2

Press the advantage. It might be best to keep the second Valiance under wraps for now in case he doesn't know you have it, so rip into him the old fashioned way.
No. 94936 ID: 6164e0

While he already has seen my other Valiance, Barael's Blade, the one I awakened myself, he does not know the mechanics behind it, not after only seeing it once. I decide to keep it in reserve for the moment anyway, just to keep something in reserve should I need it.

I circle around to Excalibur's side, noting that he does not even pause in his scrubbing to attempt to detect my placement by sound sans the scrubbing noise so close to his head. However, I do note him setting his jaws askew once more, only this time, stretching them.... phenomenally wide, now running parallel to each other like a great set of horns jutting from either side of his head. I was... not aware mandibles could even be opened that wide, not for beetles of our size. Quite flexible... and, if he demonstrates control over them equal to our first bout, potentially dangerous.

I continue to circle about, now somewhat behind and to the right of Excalibur, still vigorously scrubbing at his eyes. He still cannot see, but for how much longer, I cannot say.

I charge towards his flank at full speed, eager to finally beat some respect into this apprentice.

As I charge, I see Excalibur slam the end of his right mandible into the floor, driving it into the tree. Why-


Excalibur's form blurs as he wrenches his right mandible shut while kicking off the ground, his body careening through the air about the staked mandible. His rapid movement wrenches the mandible free, now turned to face towards my charge by his rapid movement.

And then I note he has once more flared his shell open and gripped the ground. That littl-


With my forward motion, the charge becomes far more brutal, and Excalibur rends a long gash down my side as he barrels past my left side, my body wrenched about by the impact. It wells with some ichor, but is not grievous enough to cause me undue worry. Damn that upstart, that caught me by surprise! As far as I can tell, though, he still can't see yet. If I could get close to him without him hearing my approach.... or, if I came at him with inflamed mandibles, I would gladly suffer another hit, if it meant I could counterattack, I know my personal mandible to be quite devastating. Currently, I am some twenty centimeters behind Excalibur.

What should I do?
No. 94942 ID: 632862

Well, flying is harder to track, isn't it? Get close to him via the air and use Barael's Blade again.
No. 94973 ID: bebdd2

Buzzing wings make a lot of noise. He'd probably notice us.

But, if we fly high enough, we'll be out of his hearing range. Then we can just stop flying, and land on the ambitious little upstart.
No. 95499 ID: 6164e0
File 126135539092.jpg - (266.99KB , 1020x680 , Excalibur Emerald Sword Suplex.jpg )

Yes, if I take to the air and attack him from above, he should not be able to face my assault as easily, both of our forms designed for dealing with lateral threats. And if I simply drop onto him after ascending, he should not even be able to hear my approach. If I couple that with Barael's Blade, I could end this match now, and pay back the whelp for the humiliation he heaped upon me.

I flick my shell open and unfurl my wings, taking to the air with a furious burst of noise and wind. I see Excalibur cock his head to the side, his antenna still furiously scrubbing at his eyes. Then... he begins to make his way along the curve of the arena floor, finding a perch where the tree limb begins to slope away, his head aimed towards the sky, but not at my location.

I flutter still higher, in the hopes of gaining enough height to drop on him in silent surprise, ready to employ Barael's Blade as necessary. Once I am some thirty, forty inches above him, I snap my wings in and close my shell, descending towards Excalibur's form. At some ten inches distance, I ignite my mandibles in preparation for the conclusion of this match.


!?!? One of my mandibles won't ignite properly, it-


I snap my attention back to Excalibur, to see his shell flared open, his mandibles canted incredibly wide as he leaps from the tree branch, his wings buzzing furiously as he builds momentum, aimed straight at me. It seems he can hear the hissing flames shrouding one of my fangs. But as he nears me, he snaps his wings shut, abruptly accelerating even further, and jets into me faster than I can react to, his mandibles swinging shut about me with a morbid finality.

Our forms collide heavily in the air, and we crash back down onto the branch heavily, Excalibur's tenacious hold around me unrelenting.

But he is not done. As we crash to the ground, he immediately heaves his body, redirecting the force of the fall into flipping me about, and drives the ends of my mandibles into the tree, pinning me in place.

....The time he charged me, right at the start of this bout: I thought the impact caused me no harm, but he clearly damaged the pores on one of my mandibles with the strike, that's why it wouldn't ignite. ....Did he plan this? After seeing me use Barael's Blade but once, he realized how to wound my from to impede it?


...I cannot free myself, either from the tree or his grip.

...I lost.

To a foe who was blinded for most of the match, who had to find me by sound and scent alone.

.........................................[BOB MARLEY].........................................

The match is called, with Excalibur once more the winner.

"HAHA! What do you think of that, Guns? I told you he was something special!"
"...I must admit surprise. Very well, Duo, after we are done here, I shall get you your winnings."

Guns N' Roses is not the only surprised one. I was not expecting Excalibur to direct the flow of the fight so deftly as that.

Well, what kind of opinion should I hold on Excalibur so far? On the one hand, his performance in practical combat is stellar (THREE abilities, without any Valiance to employ? Most interesting). On the other hand, he is rather consistently said to only perform well in combat, being apathetic towards most other pursuits....

Perhaps I should speak with him?
No. 95501 ID: 6faa8c

Of course! He's excellent. As we've seen before with the relationship with the other beetle, he also seems to have a little talent teaching as well.
No. 95560 ID: 632862

What other pursuits are there, anyway? Let's go chat with him a little more.
No. 96184 ID: 6164e0

Anything the judges want, really. But each apprentice must be judged in the following categories before this event is over. Each apprentice must be deemed 'acceptable' or better by at least two judges in three categories or more to pass, and be eligible for the Rite Of Apprenticeship, their first active duty:

1: One-on-one sparring against other beetles to display hero-killing capabilities.
2: One vs. many group combat against a local beehive, to display ability to best groups of smaller foes.
3: Tactics comprehension: Hypothetical scenarios will be presented, with the judges assessing how each apprentice chooses to respond.
4: Ability to defend a target (An Acorn) from attack by others (The Beatles trainers).
5: A mobility test, assessed via a race from the base of the tree to the very top.

Other than the race and the one vs. many assessment, both of which involve all apprentices at the same time, any apprentice can be made to take any test in any order, the judges choosing when it happens. Excalibur's performance now can be used for determining how well he does in one on one matches: I would hazard to guess he passes in the eyes of all three judges for his display.

I hail Excalibur, only moments before the boisterous Big Duo does the same.
"Excalibur, an admirable performance, that."
"Hah, quite the sight, you pulling those fancy moves! Well done, squirt!"

Excalibur, who had been finishing cleaning the last specks of ink from his carapace meticulously, stops grooming himself, standing stock-still. ...He smells.... wary?

"I...I simply chose the most sound actions I could take, in each situation."

"Bah, nonsense! You were stellar, kid!"
"I must agree with Big Duo, your aptitude for dueling is most commendable."

...He still smells wary, but something else is creeping into his scent. ....Nervousness?

What should I do? Now that Excalibur is speaking to us, he could be tested on tactics, by being presented with a hypothetical scenario to solve. Perhaps I should come up with one? Or should I do something else, such as request the presence of other apprentices to test, or move on to another subject?
No. 96204 ID: 6faa8c

Tactics test!
No. 96228 ID: 6faa8c


"The enemy holds an object of great value that you are seeking, along with four other beetles. Assume for the purpose of this test that their abilities as warriors are average. The enemy has strong fortifications and an enourmous advantage in numbers. How do you proceed?"
No. 96757 ID: 6164e0

Yes, this is a perfect chance to assess his ability to plan battles.
"Excalibur, say that you and four other beetles, presumed graduates of The Beatles, are tasked with retrieving a specific object from a heavily fortified enemy location, where there are sufficient enemy forces as to constitute an enormous number advantage. How do you proceed?"

Excalibur looks at me askance for a moment before responding, his nervousness gone, now replaced with.... mild irritation?

"Firstly, the specifics of who those other Beatles members fighting alongside me are would be needed before any plan of this nature could be made, as relying on individual potent units is largely based around exploiting each individuals particular strengths as much as possible.

Secondly, who the enemy is would need to be known. Is it a beehive? A termite mound? An outpost of The Mandarinian Empire? Any of these examples would have radically different methods of approach desired. There is no blanket answer from a tactical standpoint, not in this situation.

And lastly, no battle strategy can predict what shall happen over the course of a conflict: It is by it's very nature chaotic and unpredictable. Staying open to changing your methods immediately based on new events is the cornerstone of a good warrior. Planning an approach that may be rendered irrelevant by a new development or new intelligence gained mid-battle seems pointless. Just approach and adapt."

...Hm. while I suppose there might be some truth to the viewpoint he is expressing, he also seems to be missing the point of the question.

What was the point, and how did he do, in my opinion? And more importantly, does he have a mind that could be considered capable for leadership in military planning?
No. 96759 ID: 6faa8c

He did very well!

Questioning the question itself is key to winning any situation! Gathering information before making a decision is important. I'd say the kid passes!
No. 96762 ID: 632862

I say he failed to take into account the possibility of the item being impossible to retrieve.
No. 96796 ID: 5d5878

In this sense, he just correctly answered a trick question. I believe he did quite well.
No. 97001 ID: 45be60

All he has proven is that he likes to know a lot of information before he commits to anything. Sometimes you cannot know everything, and trying to take the time to figure it out will mean mission failure. You must simply act quickly on best guesses and gut instinct. He does not know with precise detail what the other warriors are capable of, only that they posses no spectacular valiances, and the enemy is a foreign group of large, primarily land based insects who's brutal attacks have left few witnesses.
No. 97009 ID: d8ba70

He did well in some respects, he adequately stated concerns which would be important in a combat situation, but he is somewhat lacking in other areas.
"You are the leader of a party, consisting of 2 stag, a tiger and a Hercules beetle, returning from a mission with the payment and an item in tow. You are accosted mid-journey by a force of innumerable 'bullet' ants. The Hercules was put down instantly and the items were taken and moved inside the large group of ants. The item must be retrieved. The beetles along with you posses no valiances. How do you proceed"
No. 97333 ID: 6164e0

Certainly, if Excalibur's goal was to dissect the evaluation process and debunk it, he did neglect to acknowledge the possibility of impossible orders, or how knowing everything you could wish for planning purposes is an impossibility of it's own, the same as a generic answer being universally applicable.

...Although I could be acting harshly, I know tactics are something of a personal point of interest, and conflict and war theory are specialties of mine. He readily recognized the inherent trap in my vague question, and does demonstrate a practical acknowledgment of the need for flexible responses on a battlefield.

Perhaps a non-trick question, then? To more directly assess how he approaches difficult scenarios?

"Then what of this scenario, Excalibur: You are the leader of a party, consisting of 2 stag beetles, as well as a tiger and a Hercules beetle, all members of The Beatles, returning from a mission with payment and a specific item in tow. You are accosted mid-journey by a force of innumerable 'bullet' ants. The Hercules was put down instantly and the items were taken and moved inside the large group of ants. While the payment itself is of importance, the additional item must be retrieved at any cost. The beetles along with you possess no valiances. How do you proceed?"

"That... depends. If our force is close enough to known locations of other The Beatles members or manned outposts, then at least one beetle should withdraw to seek reinforcements while the rest engage and harass the ants to prevent their departure or use of the item, whatever it may be. If, however, there is no chance of reinforcements, and we are faced with a force much larger with the capability to slay us.... well, none of that really matter, if the item must absolutely be retrieved, then if necessary, all but one soldier would be sacrificed to clear a path to retrieve the item and secure it's safe acquisition and removal from the hive. If possible, a plan to minimize losses might be enacted based on the specifics of the situation, but if the highest priority is the item's retrieval, than that is what must occur, no matter what."

Hm. Well, between this and his previous response, I imagine I have enough to determine if he passes from a tactical standpoint.

Does Excalibur possess sufficient tactical capabilities as an apprentice? And what else should I do? Perhaps summon other apprentices for appraisal, or move on to a different event?
No. 97334 ID: 6faa8c

I would say he passes. Excellent. I hope he develops a Valiance, as good as he is without, imagine his power with one!
No. 97663 ID: 216f37

I would say that his tactical mind is definitely en tact an sound, though i must say that i don't like his attitude. i don't believe that he is showing proper respect.

Lets move on, call the other wannabes to do this trial. give them the same scenario.
No. 97719 ID: 45be60

nah, different scenarios all around. The point is not how they respond to this specific question, or if they get the "right" answer, it is to judge their ability to think around a problem tactically.

Excalibur shows a pragmatic and analytical approach to the challenge, though it lacks creativity and passion. He does get a pass for being able to think things through, but unless something changes about his thought process, it is unlikely he will find himself in a true leadership role. He may be suited to a second-in-command, advisory role in squad based deployment.
No. 98721 ID: 6164e0
File 126188715143.jpg - (232.01KB , 680x1020 , Beatles Gallows Pole Appraised.jpg )

Hmm. Well, attitude problems that could potentially cripple him in a supreme leadership role aside, he does display a sound grasp of general tactical planning, despite his crass nature. I must rate him as passable, and I imagine that the other two judges will feel the same.

I put out a call for apprentices, so that all may be tactically assessed and evaluated in one-on-one sparring now whilst we are here. I see beetles running about, looking from apprentices.

The first one to arrive is a heavy beetle with a brilliant green shell. He nods to Excalibur as he comes to a stop before us. ...From his scent, his name seems to be Gallows Pole.

Should I ask him a tactical question first, or ask him to do some sparring (And if so, against a fair opponent, or against a much stronger one [or someone specific])? Or should I do something else?
No. 98731 ID: 903f16

Give him a fair opponent to fight. Then question him on his tactical knowledge.
No. 100248 ID: 6164e0
File 126205485166.jpg - (250.08KB , 1020x680 , Beatles Gallows Pole Ranked Match.jpg )


I call for an opponent to be brought for Gallows Pole, someone challenging but expected for an apprentice to spar against.

...Oh? The new one coming to face apprentices has just the same sheen to his shell as Gallow's Pole... Ah. His scent identifies him as Blind Guardian, from the same clutch as Gallows Pole. He however has already exited apprenticeship, and serves as a baseline instructor after having passed the Rite Of Apprenticeship some time ago.

Hm. I detect a singularly potent and intense pocket of emotions wafting through the air. Well, in any event, let's find out how well the apprentice can handle himself.

ROLL 1d2
1: Gallow's Pole
2: Blind Guardian
No. 100260 ID: 903f16

rolled 1 = 1

Either one will be interesting to play as. Hoping for Gallow's Pole though.
No. 101917 ID: 6164e0



I did not expect that I would have to face one of my brothers during these evaluations, but such seems to be my fate.

So, I must fight one of my brothers to be assessed by the judges here, hm? Well, I suppose I must accept my fate, and fight Blind Guardian.

Blind Guardian is larger and stronger than me, though I am faster than him. I know this rather concretely, as I recall our time spent as new members of The Beatles, I remember growing alongside him.

Both of us have mandibles built for the same purpose: To flip, to spin and imbalance our foes, to expose their belly to the sky, and feast upon them. Neither one of us possesses much cutting force, but our ability to spin anything we grasp is not to be underestimated.

If I am t face my brother now, then this will in all likelihood come down to mandible rotation. At any given time that I lock fangs with my brother, I can choose to try to heave his bulk in a given direction right or left. So, I can attempt to predict the directions that he shall try to spin me in, in an effort to counteract them. I can predict anywhere from one to five turns in a single bout. The more turns (left or right) that I correctly predict, the more I can benefit from my perception, and manipulate my foe with my knowledge. However, mistakenly predicting a turn is highly disadvantageous, so I endeavor to be as accurate as possible.

My brother, Blind Guardian, stands before me. The one watching our match as arbiter signals the start of our contest.

What should I do? And if I try to predict Blind Guardian's turns in the next clash of fangs, what directions do I think he shall turn, and how many (between 1 and 5 turns) should I try to predict?
No. 101974 ID: 45be60

hrr grr grr grrk. need more data.
You have obviously fought him before. Does he tend to favor any strategies or have any habits? do YOU?
No. 101989 ID: 6164e0

My brother Blind Guardian is fairly capable, when it comes to choosing directions to apply torque. As far as I can recall, not once has he established a definitive pattern for his assault.

Contrary to this, I do have an as of yet established pattern for mandible use:

Normally, I follow a pattern of LEFT LEFT RIGHT, usually following it with LEFT RIGHT LEFT thereafter. As far as my brother is concerned, I am not aware of any established directional preferences.

Blind Guardian still stands immobile, waiting for my choice of action. As of yet, he has not adopted any stance for this fight, content to wait for me to act first.

What should I do?
No. 102026 ID: bebdd2

Well, if he knows your rotation strategy, he'll try to counteract it. Go with RIGHT RIGHT LEFT.
He'll realizes you're reversing your rotation, so rotate LEFT RIGHT LEFT. Switching between your normal and it's reverse should confuse him.
No. 102280 ID: ab04d4

Oooor, you could throw in a random bit once in a while. Maybe change your pattern to a 4-turn, and then switch between the 4-turn sets, some 5-turn sets, and your usual 3-turn sets.

Improvisation is always a good thing too.
No. 102309 ID: 716eb0

alternately, you could try to catch him off guard with a different opening attack entirely. It may devolve into a turning match anyway, but if you can catch him off balance at the start, you will have won a potent mental edge.
No. 104965 ID: d1210a

My brother has taken advantage of my patterns before, and I wonder if this match shall end the same as so many others. Other times I have tried to outsmart him, to alter my patterns, but he has been able to keep up each time, every time.

...But perhaps if I were to expand my repertoire? Even though our mandibles are made for turning and flipping our foes, that does not mean it is all we can do: I shall abandon my normal methods, for the moment at least, and attempt to upset Blind Guardian's focus.

As he starts to trundle towards me, his mandibles held wide, I charge forward, slamming into one of the widely held mouth-parts of Blind Guardian, spinning his body about, surprise faintly emitting from his form.

I cannot relent now, not when I have unsettled him, even if only just: I must continue, attempt to press this momentary advantage as much as I can. I start off with an inverted form of my normal attack pattern. grabbing his head and sharply wrenching RIGHT RIGHT LEFT, the final turn sending my brother skittering across the tree trunk. I race after him, unwilling to let this moment of strength pass so quickly. As I reach him, he manages to latch his mandibles about me as I do the same to him.

I return to my normal rotation pattern, hoping to catch him off guard. The first turn catches him unprepared, his head wrenching to the left.... but his uncertainty seems to lesson. My followup turn to the right is met with some resistance, and I smell his uncertainty vanish. When I attempt to turn him to the left again, I find my efforts turned upon me, as Blind Guardian pulls and twists at my head, using my own force to enhance his efforts.

But when I turn for a fourth time, attempting to wrest control back from Blind Guardian, he seems ill-prepared... or at least, he seems so. As he loses his footing, he violently flings his head bout, and we both fall to the ground, our bellies to the sky as we roll about on our shells.

Currently, we are both upside down, on our back shells, some scant five centimeters apart.

What should I do?
No. 105524 ID: 45be60

If you are truly faster than your brother, now is the time to press your advantage. Get to your feet and close with him before he has a chance to recover himself. Flip yourself up with a flick of your wing shell if you are the sort of beetle capable of such motions. In any event, you must close the gap and grasp your opponent quickly, by his mandibles, or anything else which presents itself, and turn for all you are worth.

Left Left Left Left RIGHT

With any luck, he will be too shaken to catch your first few turns, but he will expect that in your haste you have fallen back on your old turn pattern. He will expect the third to be to the right, and then you will have him.
No. 107096 ID: 903f16

Press our advantage, we're faster. We may not be able to get to him before he rights himself but we should be able to reach him before he regains his bearings. When we reach him attempt to flip him with a solid RIGHT LEFT RIGHT.
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