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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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736312 No. 736312 ID: ea2bfa

You awaken in your bed. You groan softly to yourself, still a bit groggy. You're extremely comfortable right now, and silently thank whoever's listening that you have the day off today...

You silently disentangle yourself from your lover's arms, and head for the bathroom, beginning your morning routine.

While you do this, I should probably do a bit of explaining. You are a Deity, one of those members of the Celestial Court. Except... not really. You're actually just one of those deities who couldn't make it into the Court itself. One whose parents weren't important or powerful enough.

Actually, now that we're talking about it... who are your parents? What did they do?

>Members of the Celestial Guard
>Renowned Artists
>Keepers of Knowledge
>Members of The Executioners
Expand all images
>>
No. 736314 ID: 2e2d71

Artists!
>>
No. 736317 ID: 3663d3

yeah sure, art.
>>
No. 736321 ID: f65280

Executioner artists.
>>
No. 736323 ID: 15a025

Members of The Executioners
>>
No. 736325 ID: b2d501

Executioners OF the arts.

Basically, your parents were tasked with phasing out bad ideas in mortal civilization.

Something is considered a 'bad idea' when the majority of human rulers / sages consider it a detriment to human survival and sanity. You're pretty sure they smothered "Twerking" and "My Little Virus" last decade.
>>
No. 736327 ID: ea2bfa

>>736325
The question is, how did they accomplish this? Careful maneuvering in the artistic world, or just plain ol' shanking dudes before they could start shit?
>>
No. 736328 ID: b2d501

>>736327
Anything that hasn't been subconsciously voted by the ruling class as a 'bad idea' is usable as a tactic. They've scavenged a few tricks while massacring the families of tyrants and mad wizards/scientists.
>>
No. 736329 ID: ea2bfa

I'd say we've got a solid 2/2 split between Artists and Executioners. I'll give it a bit more time for another vote or two to pop up.
>>
No. 736331 ID: f94c67

like Exicutioner of the arts or just exicutioner if thats not an option. Also Tim, and Mit'al McNoumgaout for parents names.
>>
No. 736355 ID: 398fe1

Can't one be an artist and the other an executioner?
>>
No. 736419 ID: ea2bfa

Your parents were an Artist, renowned amongst Heaven for their musical works, and an Executioner, one of The Judge's agents in the Mortal World, ending the lives of those who would prove particularly detrimental to the continuation of mortality.

However, you always took more after your Executioner parent than anything, fascinated in the ways of physical prowess that being an Executioner represented. Sure, Guard members had to be fit enough for duty, but Executioners were considered the best of the best!

So it wasn't much of a surprise when you took up their mantle when you were old enough, taking to the training with extreme dedication. And with that dedication, you made it in.

On the other hand, your Artist parent insisted you know how to play an instrument. So you're also pretty kickass at playing a keyboard.

Of course, it's not like you were practicing to be an Executioner since the day you were born or anything. Nope, you had a pretty standard childhood. What did you enjoy doing as a child?

>Playing Outside (+Strength)
>Reading Books (+Intelligence)
>Socializing With Other Kids (+Charisma)
>>
No. 736446 ID: 2e2d71

Reading.
>>
No. 736483 ID: 398fe1

Okay fine reading.
>>
No. 736487 ID: ea2bfa

>>736446
You were always the bookish sort, reading up on history and magic and whatever else caught your fancy. Not only do you know more things, but you know how to use your Battle Techs better!

(+2 Intelligence!)

You finish brushing your teeth just as Aria enters the room. Your girlfriend seems to still be a bit groggy, her feathers more than a little puffed out and her eyes still half-closed.

She completely disregards your presence, stripping down and turning on the shower, coincidentally giving you more than a few good looks at her body.

She steps under the running water and begins cleaning herself off. You take a moment to reflect on your relationship with her.

You'd both pretty much been friends since you were little. She was pretty much the only girl you knew who could keep up with you when you rough-housed... okay, well, she was the only one who could keep up with you, period. Not many can out-rough-house a literal anthropomorphic bull, after all.

You lived pretty close to each other, and you pretty much did everything together...

And then you became a teenager, and started noticing her breasts. Which, yknow, made everything a million times more awkward.

You spent your entire adolescence trying to ignore the deluge of hormones flooding you, and when she asked if you wanted to share an apartment you agreed, figuring it was entirely innocent and that you'd just have to avoid fapping too loudly...

And then the very first night she pinned you to the couch, grabbed you by your horns and rode you like... well, a mechanical bull.

Things got a lot nicer after that. Much, much nicer.

She started learning Bardic stuff after you moved in together. She said if you were gonna be an Executioner, she was gonna be useful too. And a year later, she came home one night and played a drum solo that literally knocked your socks off.

...you asked her to not use any more attack spells in the apartment after that.

She's still washing herself off while you spaced out. She's either too tired to notice, or feels extremely grody.

>What do you do?
>>
No. 736506 ID: 2e2d71

So if you're a god, you must have a "vice", right? Are you the god of anything in particular?

Ditto for Aria, if you know the answers.

>She's still washing herself off while you spaced out. She's either too tired to notice, or feels extremely grody.
Well you can either admire the view a little longer... or go help her wash off.
>>
No. 736513 ID: 3663d3

help. the back and feathers are probably hard to do yourself.
>>
No. 736689 ID: 67d5dc

Ugh, washing feathers must take years. I bet she has like, a dozen specific little combs for each visually identical but obviously different type of feather...

Help her out. If nothing else you can pass her stuff while she talk through her day.
>>
No. 736694 ID: ea2bfa

>>736506
Your Vice? How'd you know about... uh, anyways, yeah, your Vice! Yours is "Prevent Miscarriages of Justice", and you think Aria's is "Ensure The Safety Of The Young."

You're a God of Protection Of The Law, she's a Goddess of Innocence... which is a little funny, considering she's far from innocent herself...

You spend a bit longer just admiring her body, then decide to ask her if she needs any help.

"Hey, you need some help there, babe?" You ask, smiling.

She seems a bit startled, but turns to you and smiles. "Oh. Mornin', stud. Yeah, I could use a bit of help, thanks... You're gonna need to get the combs, I think..."

You nod, and grab out the supplies for her feathers. And put on a bit of music, because this may take a while and you know for a fact Aria prefers music when she's taking care of her feathers.

"Cara bella, cara mia bella!
Mia bambina, o ciel!"

She sighs as you step into the shower with her and begin carefully taking care of the feathers on her back. "Thanks, babe... Today's the day... The big concert, yknow? Shit, I heard the Head Juror's gonna be there, too..."

She chuckles. "Never took her for the sort to enjoy my sorta music, but hey, I won't judge..."

She's visibly tense, though. This is pretty much the biggest day of her life, after all...

>What do you do?
>>
No. 736696 ID: ea2bfa

Also, in case anyone wants, play this as background music for this scene! And probably the next few updates.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tL_TFXbSnLY
>>
No. 736697 ID: 3d2d5f

>she's a Goddess of Innocence... which is a little funny, considering she's far from innocent herself
Well, maybe in a cliched, outdated definition of innocence. I'd like to think the concept today is a little more nuanced, especially in the context of justice.

>What do you do?
Reassure her? Massage her shoulders? Go make breakfast?

It's her big day, you should be doing what you can to make it easier on her / keep things going smooth.
>>
No. 736704 ID: ea2bfa

>>736697
You put aside the comb you were using on her feathers, and gently reach down, your large, rough hands taking hold of her shoulders and beginning to gently massage them. She sighs in contentment, and leans her head back against your broad chest.

"You're the best, you know that?" She closes her eyes and lets you keep going. You're not really the absolute best at this, but apparently you're doing something right because she keeps letting out these adorable little noises as you go.

You can't stop looking at her body, pretty much every part of her looking perfect in your eyes. The toning and definition in her arms and abdomen, her slender legs, her... Well, okay, if you're being honest with yourself, you're pretty sure you'd love her chest regardless of its size...

Unfortunately, perhaps because you're basically blatantly checking out your girlfriend, something pretty unfortunate happens involving your exposed junk...

It begins prodding Aria right in her back.

Her eyes shoot open, and she looks up at you. "You, uh... you getting a bit excited there, stud?"


>What do you do?
>>
No. 736718 ID: 79a07e

>>736704
"Aheh, sorry, but I'm looking at physical perfection here. Sorta can't help it." Kiss her in between her neck and shoulder, I forget the name of the place.
>>
No. 736732 ID: ea2bfa

>>736718
"Oh, you charmer..." She says, turning around and pressing herself against you. "I think someone needs a bit of help with that, don't they?" She smiles up at you, and you smile back, your face gaining a slight blush...

---MEANWHILE---

A woman sits in front of a bank of monitors, her face buried in her hands. Slowly reaching forward, she enters another command into the machine, one-handed, the other still covering her eyes.

"This can't be right..." She mutters, entering more calculations, more commands, anything to get the damned machine to tell her the opposite of what she was seeing.

Opening her eyes, she looks at the largest monitor, a sigil blinking on-screen as it calculates the probabilities again and again, searching for a result to her liking.

Eventually, text fills the screen.

"PROBABILITY OF ASSAULT ON HEAVEN: 90%"

She takes a deep, shuddering breath. She'd been told again and again and again, the number usually off by a percent or so... but this time, there was no way around.

Taking a breath and licking her chapped lips, she leaned towards a microphone set over the keyboard and uttered one last command.

"Calculate Safest Course Of Action."

The computers went blank, every last inch of hardware going to solve the problem in front of her. Eventually, more text arrived.

She stared at what was demanded of her. She knew it couldn't be wrong, as much as she wished it was. She'd programmed the thing herself, after all...

The Judge lowered her head, and wept.

---BACK AT THE APARTMENT---

Aria slumps against the wall of the shower, panting like she just ran a marathon. "A-alright... alright, you can put me down now, I can stand... I think..."

You move to put her back down on the ground, your length sliding from within her depths.

She stands on shaky legs, then grabs the washcloth again and sighs. "Okay, fun's over. Get out, I gotta clean up this mess. She says, gesturing to the sticky mess you left between her legs. "Maybe if you're good, we can do this again later."

You don't argue, a little worn out yourself from your vigorous lovemaking. You step out of the shower and dry yourself off, getting on a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of jeans before stepping back into the bedroom.


You have a little while until you have to go show up at Executioner Headquarters. You don't have to work or anything, but daily training is expected of all members of the Executioners...

Your cell-phone rings. When you pick it up, the number is one you don't recognize. When you answer it, you hear a familiar voice.

"Humble One. Your services are required." The Judge says, her voice steely and even. "Arrive at the Courthouse at 8:00 PM. Do not be late. I expect full cooperation."

With that, she hangs up. She must need something important, she only directly contacts people when something big's going on...

But 8:00 is also during when Aria's concert's being held...

You sigh, and sit down, holding your head in your hands. What are you gonna do?

>What do you do?
>>
No. 736735 ID: 398fe1

>>736732
>safest course of action
Safest for who? It's probably best to seek out other less (or equally) "safe" solutions if the one given is objectionable.

>What do you do?
Maybe you can go to the meeting earlier than 8, and be done in time to catch some of the concert? Well, first off, tell your girlfriend the Judge personally called you and wants you at the courthouse at 8. She'll understand that it's incredibly important. If you can't get back in time to see her perform in person, maybe you can get a recording of it?
>>
No. 736736 ID: ea2bfa

>>736735
YOU ARE NOT THE ONE IN CONTROL, FOOLISH ONE.

The Judge isn't happy with you trying to manipulate her...
>>
No. 736741 ID: 398fe1

>>736736
Wow, rude.
>>
No. 736743 ID: ea2bfa

>>736741

"...my apologies. My tempers flared. You have another to control, do you not? Please, leave me to my thoughts..."

Huh. The Judge apologized. That's something.
>>
No. 736747 ID: 2e2d71

Is the judge yelling at us directly? Because mister minotaur had already hung up.

>>736736
Every interaction is, to some extent, a manipulation. Intent matters, though.

>You have another to control, do you not?
Well yeah, but we're waiting on her to get a move on with the tailjob already.
>>
No. 736748 ID: ea2bfa

>>736747
"...Forget I asked, though I will inform you the Devil shall be getting on with it shortly. I meant my servant, The Humble One, Mr. Minotaur as you call him. Look, I'm a little busy. Hold on a second."

You decide to inform Aria about your meeting after her shower. She seems... a lot less okay with it than you were hoping.

"Wait, huh? Really? So... you can't make it?" She frowns. "Are... are you sure? The concert ends at 8:30, you could just tell her you were busy or something! People've shown up late to meetings with The Judge before, I doubt she'll smite you!"

Well, she is right... but you're also not sure how The Judge will react to you being late... You have a choice to make here, and either way you doubt it's gonna end too well...

>What do you tell her?
>>
No. 736751 ID: ea2bfa

>>736748
Whoops, this is an official thing. Sorry, forgot to re-add my name and tripcode.
>>
No. 736752 ID: ea2bfa

>>736743
This too.
>>
No. 736754 ID: 2e2d71

>>736748
Hmm. Confirmation that the operator of some nigh-omniscient monitoring program is aware of our little hellspawn. Big brother is watching.

>"Wait, huh? Really? So... you can't make it?" She frowns. "Are... are you sure? The concert ends at 8:30, you could just tell her you were busy or something! People've shown up late to meetings with The Judge before, I doubt she'll smite you!"
If it's just a half hour delay, I suggest you beg leave from the Judge so you can try and make it.
>>
No. 736755 ID: 398fe1

>>736748
Tell her you'll go early to the meeting and try to make it back in time to see her. There's no telling how long the meeting will be, but you know it's something big, and The Judge explicitly said not to be late.
>>
No. 736762 ID: ea2bfa

>>736754
You attempt to recontact the judge, and find that she actually answers your calls.

"Hello?" She sounds tired, but then she clears her throat and it's that same even tone that could cut iron. "Er, yes, Humble One?"

You tell her you have something you'll need to attend to, and ask to reschedule the appointment for 8:30.

CHARISMA CHECK!

(Stat Checks are Checks of your three main Stats. In this case, you'll be using Charisma. Stat Checks are a d20 roll with your Stat (in this case, One) added to the roll!)

Please roll 1d20+1. The highest roll of the first three shall be taken.
>>
No. 736763 ID: 398fe1

rolled 4 + 1 = 5

>>736762
Here we go.
>>
No. 736764 ID: 2e2d71

rolled 7 + 1 = 8

>>736762
>>
No. 736765 ID: 486e87

rolled 15 = 15

Praise the almighty d20
>>
No. 736767 ID: ea2bfa

>>736765

The Judge hesitates. You can hear her let out a sigh. She sounds almost... Sad?

"That is acceptable, Humble One. With any luck, your important business goes well. My strength be with you, my child..." She hangs up.

You inform Aria of what The Judge said, and she hugs you tight. "Yessss!!! Thank you so much! You've earned something really awesome tonight... Though I'll have to figure something out..."

She looks up at you. "I promise, it'll be awesome!"

Eventually, though, you have to go train. You head for Executioner HQ and enter, being greeted by your usual sparring partner.

"Hammer Of The Judge." He says, referring to your title. You... Haven't actually picked a non-title name yet...

You nod to him. "Sharpclaw."

The tiger frowns. "You seem distracted, friend. Does something trouble you?"

>What do you say?
>>
No. 736768 ID: 398fe1

Tell him The Judge is having a meeting with you. It's worrying.
>>
No. 736785 ID: ea2bfa

>>736768
He frowns. "Woah, really? Yeah, that does sound bad... I'm sure it's nothing too huge, right? Hope it doesn't cut into the concert or anything, I dunno if Aria would ever forgive you." He jokes. Then, he pats you on the shoulder. "Cmon, big guy. Let's get some sparring in, that'll make you feel better."

You both head to the sparring grounds, and Sharpclaw summons his weapons of choice, a pair of brass knuckles with spikes the length of steak knives jutting out. He hops back and forth, apparently waiting for you to make the first move.

"C'mon! Let's do this!"

COMBAT START!

Your HP: 12/12
Sharpclaw's HP: 6/6

Combat Tutorial: Combat is a bit more refined than in Devil Quest! Attacks are accomplished through d20 rolls plus your Strength! In this case, 1. If you roll over your opponent's secret DODGE CHANCE, you hit! As a Slayer, your default weapon is 1d8! Yes, this means if you hit well, you could end this fight in one hit. Slayers are powerful!

You can also use BATTLE TECHS (currently disabled) and ITEMS (also disabled)! Use these to gain a leg-up in tough battles!

Now then, Sharpclaw's giving you the first attack! Roll 1d20+1! Highest of three will be accepted!
>>
No. 736792 ID: 398fe1

rolled 7 + 1 = 8

>>736785
Alright, let's do this.

Try not to kill the guy.
>>
No. 736793 ID: 3663d3

rolled 3 + 1 = 4

ATTACK
>>
No. 736796 ID: 2e2d71

rolled 11 + 1 = 12

>You... Haven't actually picked a non-title name yet...
Bartholomew?

>dice
So 1d20+1 over ??? to hit, 1d8 for damage.
>>
No. 736798 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 4 = 4

>>736796
You swing your hammer for Sharpclaw, and the weapon makes contact! Sharpclaw lets out a pained "Oof!" As the heavy weapon makes contact, and he's sent back a bit by the force of the impact!
>>
No. 736799 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 2 + 2 = 4

>>736798
He's still standing, though only barely. He chuckles. "Good hit! I'm still in the fight, though!" He raises a fist and dashes forward, aiming to hit you with his punch!
>>
No. 736800 ID: ea2bfa

>>736799
(For reference, your Dodge Chance is 10 + your Intelligence. So 13.)

You dodge out of the way of his punch, his lunge turning into a graceful roll as he hits the ground. He leaps up, and turns back to you. "Okay, that didn't go so well..." he says, frowning. He's visibly not looking forward to your next attack...

Your HP: 12/12
Sharpclaw's HP: 2/6

>Attack
>Battle Tech (Disabled)
>Items (Disabled)
>>
No. 736807 ID: b2d501

rolled 11 + 1 = 12

Tackle the legs and stab the back of his knees! Do a flourish charge while he's stunned from the pain.
>>
No. 736809 ID: 398fe1

rolled 1 + 1 = 2

>>736800
Smack.
>>
No. 736812 ID: 2e2d71

rolled 4 + 1 = 5

>>736800
Well we managed not to accidentally collapse our sparring partner's lung, so this is already going better than last time!
>>
No. 736817 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 5 = 5

>>736807
You rise up, and bring your hammer down in a powerful arc... then stop, and tap him gently on the head. "Bam. You're dead." You tell him, grinning.

He sighs, and stands, unsummoning his weapons and dusting himself off. "Yeah, yeah, you win. Well, technically speaking, we're done training for today."

>COMBAT WON!

>YOU GOT: 0 XP! 0 ???!

>NEW UNLOCK: BATTLE TECHS!

>NEW BATTLE TECH: METAL CRUSHER! (Do double damage on single hit!)

You unsummon your hammer, and stretch a bit. Sharpclaw heads for the door out. "Well, I'm gonna go grab a drink or something. You wanna come along? You're gonna need something to do until the concert, and I imagine Aria's too busy for anything you'd have planned.

>What do you do?
>>
No. 736824 ID: 2e2d71

>>736817
Hang out with your bud, but no getting drunk. Aria would kill you if you showed up trashed to her concert, nevermind what the judge might do.
>>
No. 736832 ID: 398fe1

Hey how long does it take to get to The Judge's office from the concert hall or whatever?
>>
No. 736839 ID: ea2bfa

>>736832
It's not as long a walk as you'd think. Which is good, because you'd hate to keep The Judge waiting too long. Especially after she approved the extra time...

>>736824
You decide to hang out with Sharpclaw, though you don't do any drinking yourself. You start off heading to a bar, but at some point Sharpclaw decides in his inebriated state that no, bro, you totally need to check out the arcade, they got this new game and everything.

After that, he disappears entirely, and you assume he probably went home to throw up and take a nap. It's what you'd do in his position, at least.

Thankfully, all your fucking around has managed to waste enough time that you can get to the Concert! You arrive early, and manage to meet Aria backstage. She's just helped her bandmates set everything up, and she looks both like she's about to throw up and like she's having the time of her life. When she sees you, she wraps you in a tight hug and kisses you deeply.

"You ready for this?" She asks you... though she sounds more like she's trying to make sure she's ready for it...

>What do you say?
>>
No. 736856 ID: 2e2d71

>>736839
Of course I'm ready. I know you're going to be fantastic.
>>
No. 736886 ID: ea2bfa

She smiles at this, and kisses you again. "Thanks... I really hope this goes well..." She nuzzles you, then turns you around and pushes you towards the door out. "Alright, get in your seat, you."

"Fine, alright." You tell her, heading for the seats and finding the one she reserved for you. You settle in, and wait for the show to start.

About fifteen minutes later, the entire place is packed with both mortal souls and other deities, and the lights go down.

A single spotlight shines down on the lead guitarist of Aria's band, who takes the mic with all sorts of dramatic flair that you're sure is getting most of the girls in the auditorium wet.

"Ladies and gentlemen! We are Everyday Sanctuary, and tonight, we're here to rock your world!" He practically screams, sounding for all the world like the sort of singer whose voice could fill this entire auditorium even without a microphone.

And with that, the band launches into their first song.

The night passes in more or less a blur at that point, your heart practically pounding to the beat of every song the band plays. The music gets your blood pumping, and Aria keeps the beat perfectly, laying down beats that even the most skilled drummer would have difficulties keeping up with. You've honestly never seen her more beautiful, flailing at the drums and looking like she's never been happier in all her life...

You go to see her after the show's over, and she throws herself into your arms and kisses you like her life depends on it. She's covered in sweat and incredibly tense and you would probably take her right here if you had the guts to do it.

Instead, after the kiss, she sighs and pushes you towards the door again. "Alright, you should probably go see The Judge, right? This oughta be important..."

You nod, and head for the Celestial Courthouse. The building is empty, most of the cases done for today. You head for The Judge's Chambers, which are not actually her chambers but instead serve as a meeting place for her and those she wants to see.

You knock on the door, and after a moment her voice responds. "Come in."

You enter the room, and see her sitting at the head of a large table. Still in that human form she insists on wearing. You've never understood why she'd surround herself with Chimeras when she herself takes the form of a human.

"Sit down, please." She tells you. It doesn't sound like an order, but you know it is, and sit down promptly.

She eyes you for a moment, and even though she's at least two feet shorter than you, you feel like she's towering. Eventually, she speaks.

"How much do you know about The Wild Place, Humble One?"

Song Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPK7qykXPLw[/spoiler]
>>
No. 736887 ID: 398fe1

>>736886
It's a chaotic land full of monsters and the occasional Devil. Other than that, not a whole lot (or do we know more, from the books?)
>>
No. 736899 ID: ea2bfa

>>736887
Nope, the books never expanded on The Wild Place beyond that, besides some mentions of Monsters and Landmarks you could find in the place...

The Judge nods. "Well, I'm sure you're at least aware of the fact that The Wild Place has a Queen. I've been placed under the impression that she intends on mounting an assault on Heaven. While it could be repelled, it would cause an unacceptable level of casualties amongst both the population of Mortal Souls and the population of Deities. However, there is a way around this."

She places her hands on the table and stands. "Though she is, to put it bluntly, immortal, she can be "killed" for a short period of time. When she is slain, The Wild Place will fall into even greater chaos, and the Monster population will begin culling itself rapidly. This will disorient things enough that we can prevent the attack altogether..."

She turns to face away from you, though you can see the tenseness of her form. "Humble One... you will need to travel to The Wild Place, and slay The Queen of Monsters. This is non-negotiable. Consider this the highest honor. Even if you do not come back, know that you will go down as a champion of divinity, and your name will be remembered forevermore."

She turns to you. "You will arrive here tomorrow morning. 7 AM. Alone. You will be transported to The Wild Place, and from there you will travel to The Queen's palace. You will slay her on her throne, and you will be returned to Heaven. Do you understand?"

Her tone offers no room for argument. You nod dumbly, and she sighs, sitting back down. "You are dismissed, Humble One. I'd suggest using the remaining night to get your affairs in order. Perhaps say any goodbyes you might need to... you may not come back from this."

She sounds resigned. Tired. Things you'd never even expected from The Judge... you have to admit, it scares you a little...

You leave The Courthouse, and on the way home you get a call from Aria. Seems she made it home okay.

"Heeeeey, stud! I'm just lying here, thinking of you... how'd the meeting go?"

>What do you say?
>>
No. 736907 ID: b2d501

"I'm fucked."
>>
No. 736909 ID: 398fe1

>>736899
Tell her you're going on a big mission. It's a great honor! Leave out the fact that it's most likely a suicide mission.

...this doesn't make sense. Why are they not sending a more skilled Executioner? Do you even stand a CHANCE against the Queen of Monsters? Or did The Judge just lie to your face and you're not expected to complete your mission as she told it? Maybe something else will happen once you're there that will prevent the attack... or am I overthinking this, and maybe one of your skills is uniquely adapted to this sort of work?
>>
No. 736912 ID: 3663d3

>>736909
maybe we have a powerset that perfectly negates the queen's?
>>
No. 736951 ID: 4e9864

>>736909
It does seem likely that there's something more going on here, but I don't think there's any immediate way for us to find out.

>>736899
Tell her exactly what happened; don't try to hide anything from her. Ask her for advice. And then spend the evening with her as though it might be your last.
>>
No. 736970 ID: 3d2d5f

>>736899
Shouldn't they have more... experienced executioners for that?

Maybe you should contact your parent for advice.

>how'd it go
I think I have a suicide mission.

>heavan
Is this a third world, distinct from the wild place and normal world?

What happens when a god dies, anyways?
>>
No. 737000 ID: ea2bfa

>>736909
"Really? Awesome! That's really great! So I guess you're leaving Heaven tomorrow, huh? Guess I better plan something extra special for the best boyfriend ever, huh?"

Oh my god you think you may have hit the jackpot.

"Really? You don't have to or anything..." You tell her, though you really hope she does.

"Nope! Tonight's gonna be an awesome night for you. That's final." And with that, she hangs up.

You decide not to rush home, because that might seem desperate or something. You continue your same pace, and when you reach the apartment you head inside with your head just swimming with what she may have planned.

"Aria?" You call out.

"In the bedroom." She sounds... kinda frustrated?

You head into the bedroom, and find Aria lying on the bed... completely nude.

"Yeah, I couldn't think of any sinful things to do to you. Sue me." She glances over at you. "You're the awesome boyfriend who has an important mission tomorrow. Why don't you come up with something?"

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737001 ID: f65280

Alright, time to break out the board-games! It's family game night!
>>
No. 737003 ID: 3d2d5f

>awesome night for you. That's final.
Yup. One final awesome night before you die.

Oh wait, nudity, can't focus on brooding.
>>
No. 737021 ID: ea2bfa

>>737001
"Uh, board games?" You say, doing your best to come off as casual and joking. Judging from the way Aria frowns, you don't come off that way at all.

"Okay, that's definitely Worried Hammer I'm hearing. Something's up. Sit down and talk to me."

You do so, and she sits down besides you, putting a hand on your shoulder. "So, what's up? I'm gonna guess it has something to do with the quest you're being sent on, right?"

>What do you say?
>>
No. 737024 ID: 4e9864

>>737021
Tell her exactly what happened, and exactly what the Judge said. Don't try to hide anything from her. Ask her for advice.
>>
No. 737027 ID: 2e2d71

>>737021
Kinda being sent into the wild place. Solo. To kill the Monster Queen.
>>
No. 737029 ID: ea2bfa

>>737027
She puts both hands over her mouth in shock. She looks terribly frightened. "Oh, Judge..." She says.

She suddenly stands up and begins getting dressed. "That's it, I'm going straight to that bitch and telling her what's what! You can't go to The Wild Place alone, you'd be torn limb from limb!"

She turns to you, frowning, her tank-top half on. "Not... not that you aren't strong or anything, but... i-it's the Wild Place! And she's sending you to kill The Queen? You've barely been an Executioner for a decade! She just expects you to be able to do this?"

You remember The Judge's tone. Sad. Resigned. You get the feeling that she would have gladly sent someone else if she could have... It had to be you... But why?

Your phone buzzes, and you pick it up and answer as Aria gets into a pair of jeans and mutters to herself.

It's The Judge again. "Humble One. I've made a miscalculation. You must not enter The Wild Place alone, or you will surely die. You require the services of a Bard. I can provide one, but if you'd rather choose one you know and trust, I will gladly allow it. That is all. My strength be with you, child."

And with that, she hangs up.

You glance over at Aria, who has just discovered she was attempting to get on a pair of your jeans and is cursing under her breath.

She's a Bard... maybe... maybe you'd do better if you brought her along?

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737037 ID: 398fe1

Take your girlfriend with you, yeah.
>>
No. 737040 ID: 2e2d71

>She's a Bard... maybe... maybe you'd do better if you brought her along?
Hmmm. I'm not sure "but you can come on my suicide mission with me!" will calm her down.

I mean, if you have to be stuck with someone she's a good choice, but I don't know how to get her from angry to okay with that.

How big a deal would your getting killed here be, anyways? Gods come back, don't you? I mean, the Monster Queen might be one of the things bad enough to kill you for real, but in all likelyhood, you'll fall before you get close to her.
>>
No. 737042 ID: 3663d3

interesting, the judge wouldn't forget something like that, so she waited until now on purpose.
>>
No. 737043 ID: ea2bfa

>>737040
You're sure that, eventually, you could be brought back. You're both young enough that short of something like The Maiden or Babel getting their hands on you, it'd take a while... but you'd come back.

You're not sure if she'd be willing to come with you... and are you sure you'd want to make her? It'd be good to have a familiar face, and you know for a fact she's a damn good Bard... but do you want to risk her on this mission?

She pulls on her jeans and heads for the front door. "I'm going to talk to The Judge. You can stay if you want, but when I get back you're sure as hell not going on this crazy suicide mission.

She's about to leave. Do you say something to her? Try to get her to stay? Go with her?

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737045 ID: 4e9864

>>737029
How does the idea of a Judge making a "miscalculation" strike you? Is that a thing that happens? Because this does seem really coincidental.

>>737043
Tell her what the Judge just said; talk to her. She shouldn't go off and blow up at the Judge. But do share your suspicions that something more is going on.

And also throw in: "Besides, there should be no putting on of pants right now".
>>
No. 737046 ID: 4e9864

>>737043
>>737045
Besides, it's not fair to her to not tell her, and to decide for her that she shouldn't go. Do tell her how worried we are, for ourselves, and for her if she went. We'd hate to go without her, but we don't want her to get hurt or killed. It's OK to share that we're feeling conflicted.
>>
No. 737047 ID: 2e2d71

>>737043
Put out a hand.

Stay, please. She wouldn't have asked if it weren't important, and I'd rather have you here.
>>
No. 737070 ID: ea2bfa

>>737045
"Wait, Aria..." you tell her, frowning. "The Judge just called... apparently I'm not going alone. I need a Bard's help and... she said I could choose someone, if I wanted..."

She seems to catch your drift, and her look softens a little. "Well, it's good to have backup, but... slaying the Queen, Hammer? Are... are we really capable of something like that?"

You frown. "I think something's up, here... but The Judge wouldn't let anything permanent happen to us, right?" You attempt to smile reassuringly. "There's gotta be something she's got planned, The Judge doesn't make mistakes."

Yeah, you know that line about miscalculation was a crock of shit. But you're not about to go questioning that sort of thing. Usually leads to a bunch of headaches...

She sighs, and just presses herself against you. You wrap your arms around her gently. "I just... I don't wanna lose you, you big doofus..." She says. She's visibly crying. "If... if you're really going, then I'm going with you, and that's final, got it?"

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737076 ID: 398fe1

Okay. Now let's enjoy the day, before we go off to become heroes.
>>
No. 737084 ID: 2e2d71

>>737070
I wouldn't have it any other way.

>boring stuff
Okay, when you're done all your sappy emotional and/or physical stuff: there are boring mundane things to tie up.

You guys are gonna be gone for a while, longer if you die. Probably should make sure someone takes care of your apartment, your bills. Maybe tell your parents something. (Probably not the whole truth if you want to avoid a blowup...) Aria will probably have to tell her band she's gonna be away for while, etc.
>>
No. 737101 ID: ea2bfa

>>737084
"I wouldn't have it any other way." You tell her, then lean down to kiss her.

You kiss each other deeply, like you're worried the other might disappear if you stop. You both head for the bedroom, still kissing each other, and you help each other strip down, exposing yourselves to each other.

She lies down on her back and you climb on top her. She's not quite ready yet, so you spend a bit kissing her and caressing her chest. She moans into your mouth, adorable little chirps of sound that make your heart flutter.

When she's aroused enough, you slowly push into her, and begin moving in and out. You both let out various noises of pleasure as you move together, just trying to bring one another as much pleasure as you possibly can.

Eventually, she moans out as she hits her orgasm, and this manages to drive you over the edge too, releasing your rather copious load within her.

When it's over, you lie together, a tangle of limbs and bliss. She leans up and kisses you on your nose. "You know we're totally doing that again, right?"


>What do you do?
>>
No. 737103 ID: 4e9864

>>737101
"Absolutely. Our own little slice of heaven, right here. (And here, and here, and definitely over here...)"

Time for the right combination of sappy and corny; time to smile, laugh, and forget about tomorrow for a little while. No references to what we have to do. Just go to sleep in each others' embrace, and make an early night of it.

Tomorrow, we can get up early and make all the arrangements we need to make to leave, like notifying people; that'll also make sure we don't get caught up in anything (like tearful goodbyes) that would cause us to not get a full night's sleep. (Assuming we don't need any major supplies we can't trivially obtain or be furnished with.)

When we report in in the morning, we're going to want to get more information if we can. Beseech the Judge, in her unerring, calculated wisdom, to tell us whatever she can to help us succeed. But all that can wait until tomorrow.
>>
No. 737154 ID: 91ee5f

>"Absolutely. Our own little slice of heaven, right here. (And here, and here, and definitely over here...)"
If we had a blacklight, this house would look like a Jackson Pollock painting! XD
>>
No. 737157 ID: ea2bfa

>>737103
You're not sure how long you two spend just making love, though by the time you fall asleep you're both thoroughly exahusted and just the littlest bit sore. The entire time you're with each other, you manage to forget the task ahead of you, for just the slightest amount of time...

You are now Aria. Your boyfriend is fast alseep after blowing who knows how many loads inside of you, but you can't sleep just yet. You know the rest of the band is going to be fast asleep when you leave, so you'll have to talk to them now. And while you're out, you should probably go say goodbye to your parents too...

Also, you left your actual enchanted drumsticks in their house anyways, after your last jam session with dad. The ones you use for Bardic shit. So you should probably get those... But then you should probably take a shower too, considering you're currently full of and also leaking bull cum...

Damnit, you're not getting to sleep any time soon, are you?


>What do you do?
>>
No. 737159 ID: 4e9864

>>737157
Leave a quick note for Hammer, because tonight of all nights, he'd worry if he woke up and you weren't there. "Gone to say goodbye to parents and band. Back soon. Call if you think of anything we'll need. Love you."

Get a quick shower, Give the band a quick call and ask if you can drop by later in the evening (they'll be up later into the night than your parents), then head towards your parents and call on the way to ask if you can come over and talk (they won't be up as late, and they'll worry between the time you call and when you get there). When you get there, tell them that you're going on a mission, and you're not sure when you'll be back. Ask them for advice. Get your sticks. Head to the band after you give your parents as much time as you and they need.
>>
No. 737160 ID: 398fe1

Can't you do some of that stuff tomorrow, before you leave?
>>
No. 737162 ID: 4e9864

>>737160
The band won't be up that early in the morning. Our parents might be (though we'd probably still be catching them pretty early in the morning), so we could choose to say goodbye them either in the morning or tonight. I think that mostly depends on whether we want to get all the goodbyes done at once or still have some in the morning; they're probably going to be emotionally draining, and we might want to sleep afterward, so I figured tonight.

(And I don't think Hammer wants or needs to be there for either of our goodbyes.)
>>
No. 737163 ID: 4e9864

Am I the only one that immediately thought of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_O0jNYOGTQ when Aria first said Hammer's name?
>>
No. 737265 ID: ea2bfa

>>737160
You'd honestly love to, but you figure it'll be simpler and somewhat less emotionally draining to just get it out of the way now. Also, yknow, you'd rather that Hammer not see you getting all emotional. You've got a reputation to uphold, after all...

You shower just enough so that you aren't literally leaking, then head out and immediately call up the other members of the band.

"Yo, you guys done circle-jerking over how good the performance was?" You greet Roue with when he picks up.

"Depends, you done celebrating in bed with the minotaur?" He replies. You both promptly break down laughing. "Nah, but seriously, what's up?" He asks.

"Has anyone passed out yet? I've got something I need to tell you guys. It's kinda big."

"Yeah, sure, no problem. I'll go kick Impératrice a few times, make sure she isn't dead or something." He replies. "You alright? Sounds like you've got something big on your mind..."

"It's... it's fine, promise." You say, entirely sure he isn't convinced. "Just wait, okay?"

"Sure thing, Aria... See you soon, then." Roue hangs up.

You take a deep breath, and make the next call you'll have to make tonight.

The phone rings for a little while, and some small part of you hopes maybe they're already asleep, and you can just put it off. But then he picks up.

"Aria?" Your dad asks. "It's a little bit late to be calling... What's going on?"

"Listen, I... I need to talk to you guys, tonight." You say, trying to keep your cool. "Something big's come up, and you deserve to know. I'll be over in a little bit, okay?"

Your dad pauses. You're sure he can tell something's up. "Alright, Aria... We'll be waiting, okay?" He says.

"Alright. Love you guys..." You say, before hanging up. Oh merciful Judge, you don't know if you can do this.

You take a deep breath, and head for the house where your bandmates live. Judging from the lights on, they're still celebrating.

You knock on the door, and Roue answers. He doesn't bother with any sort of irreverent greeting, instead slapping you on the shoulder and leading you inside.

"Hey, guys, Aria's here!" He says, leading you into the living room. Everyone looks at you as you enter. You have their undivided attention.

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737271 ID: 398fe1

Tell them you're going on a really dangerous mission with your boyfriend tomorrow, so... this is goodbye.
>>
No. 737272 ID: 3d2d5f

The Judge deployed Hammer. He's leaving tomorrow. And... you're going with him. And you don't know when you'll be back.
>>
No. 737275 ID: ea2bfa

>>737271
"I'm being sent on a mission with Hammer." You tell them. "I'm... gonna be gone. For a while, really. You uh... you may wanna look into a replacement drummer, for the time being." You tell them, trying to be somewhat humorous.

They all seem upset with the news, but Roue pats you on the shoulder. "Well, I think this will work out well. You're gonna be a hero, Aria! Just... yknow, keep us in mind, right?"

The others agree with him, and you take a moment to enjoy a group hug. You spend a bit longer just generally saying your goodbyes, then head off. You've got one last stop for the night.

When you arrive at your parents' house, dad gets the door before you even knock. He was probably waiting for you to show up...

He looks up at you, smiling. "There's my little girl..." He says, even though you haven't been "little" for ages now...

"Hi, dad." You say, kneeling down to hug your dad. You still wonder how exactly a mouse Chimera and a blackbird Chimera wound up having you, but you've learned to stop questioning deity genetics.

"Here, your mom's waiting inside." He says, and you both head into the sitting room. Your mother's there, sewing something. She must be extremely nervous, she only sews when she's upset...

She looks up at you, and gestures for you to sit down beside her. You do so, and she hugs you. "You must have something very important to tell us... what is it?"

Your father sits down on your other side, and you feel emotions welling up within you. You're not sure if you can do this...

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737301 ID: 4e9864

>>737275
>>737159
> When you get there, tell them that you're going on a mission, and you're not sure when you'll be back. Ask them for advice. Get your sticks.

Mention you'll be going on the mission with Hammer, assuming your parents already know about him.
>>
No. 737305 ID: 4e9864

>>737275
>>737301
Do tell them enough of the details of the mission to get good advice. They've been around longer than Hammer and Aria have; they might know something more, and perhaps they'll be able to shed more light on this.
>>
No. 737492 ID: ea2bfa

>>737301
"I'm going on a mission with Hammer..." You begin, taking a deep breath. "To The Wild Place. Apparently we've got to slay The Queen. We're... gonna be gone. For a while."

Your parents seem stunned by the news, but you can tell they're trying to remain calm. "I... I see." Your dad says. "Well... if The Judge is sending you... There's gotta be a reason, right? She wouldn't just... send you to die or anything..."

"That's right." Your mom adds, though she doesn't sound all that convinced. "I'm... I'm sure everything's gonna be fine."

And then all three of you hug and you tell each other how much you love each other and there is DEFINITELY some ugly crying. But in the end, you finish up. And everyone takes a deep breath to steady themselves.

"Well..." Your dad says, finally. "You should... probably get home, and get some rest. Big day tomorrow, right?" He says, visibly trying to remain cheerful.

"Y-yeah." You say, standing up. "I just need to get my drumsticks real quick."

"Stay safe, please?" Your mother says. "If... if not for yourself, then for us?"

You nod. "Of course."

And with that, you go to grab your drumsticks, and then leave. On your way home, you reflect on the mission ahead of you. This is gonna be rough. Really rough. But... everything's gonna go fine, in the end, right? You trust The Judge on this one...

But, do you really?

When you're back at the apartment, you get out of your clothes and get into bed besides Hammer, who hasn't apparently woken up since you left. When you press yourself against him, he turns over in his sleep and wraps you in his arms.

You fall asleep in his strong arms, your head pressed against his chest. You may be in a lot of trouble... but at least you'll be in a lot of trouble with the love of your life...

You are now Hammer again. You wake up with Aria in your arms, on the day of your mission from The Judge. It's currently 6 AM, which gives you roughly enough time to get ready and maybe say any goodbyes you need to.

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737501 ID: 3d2d5f

>>737492
Hammer should, if possible, check in with his folks before leaving. Executioner-parent might have useful advice.
>>
No. 737508 ID: 4e9864

>>737492
Shift a few feet lower, and wake Aria up non-verbally.

Then quickly get ready and pack for the trip, and go visit your parents as >>737501 suggests, for goodbyes and possible advice.
>>
No. 737521 ID: ea2bfa

>>737508
You smirk, feeling a bit mischevious, and gently lower yourself until you're face to face with Aria's crotch. You begin probing at it with your tongue, and you can hear Aria moan in her sleep. Doesn't seem like she's waking up yet...

You keep going, and Aria's sleepy moans get a bit louder. "Mmm, yeah..." She mutters. You keep going like this for a while, until her orgasm hits and she finally wakes up, judging from the way her legs wrap around your head.

She looks down at you, her face bright red and her breathing somewhat heavy. "M-morning, stud..." She says, smiling.


Afterwards, the both of you get up and get dressed. You gather your armor together and a few other supplies, and Aria briefly practices to make sure her drumsticks are still operating properly.

You decide to make one stop on your way to The Courthouse. Namely, to see your parents. Knowing your father, he's already out taking photographs, but you know your mother'll probably be there...

When you knock on the door, you're not surprised when your mother answers. "Executioner HQ already got the call, dear." She says. "I... suppose this is goodbye, isn't it?"

You nod, and wrap her in a hug. You're both strong enough that the hug is mutually painful, but you wouldn't have it any other way.

"Stay safe. The Wild Place is dangerous. Don't trust anyone, and for The Judge's sake don't let Aria out of your sight." She says. "Your father's not here. You know he's not any good at goodbyes..."

She sighs. "One last bit of advice. Some Monsters can be negotiated with. It's not a good idea to think of them as real allies, but a temporary alliance is still an alliance. Make us proud." She says.

When you leave, your head is held just a bit higher, and your step is just a bit sturdier. When you arrive at The Courthouse, The Judge is waiting.

"Humble Ones." She says, nodding at you both. "We shall begin shortly. Do you have any questions for me?"

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737524 ID: 3d2d5f

Well, I wouldn't normally ask, but since you did, and I doubt I'll be seeing you again soon...

You really think this is going to work?
>>
No. 737527 ID: 4e9864

>>737521
Since she explicitly asked for questions:

"How do the calculations look this morning? Has anything else changed? Is there any other information or equipment you can provide to improve our chances of success?"

And if we can bring ourselves to ask the question:

"Is something more going on here than what we've been told so far?"
>>
No. 737534 ID: ea2bfa

Music Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnnqoFzT6p0&index=32&list=PLU4ktq2pWONtSYFFHnFZPFfSXMF5Rw0fn

>>737524

"It's guaranteed to." She says. "Everything is in place. The only thing to do now is begin the procedure." Her eyes are stoic, and even though she needs to look up to be looking into your eyes, you are intimidated by the intensity of her gaze.

>>737527
"The calculations are unerring. Everything has been arranged for the success of your mission. You will require no supplies beyond that which you have brought. I have only one piece of advice: Avoid the Hecate Sisters, and avoid Babel. Though they are incapable of killing you, they will provide an unnecessary amount of distraction."

Aria speaks up. "Is there something you're not telling us?"

The Judge's expression goes dark. "Questioning is not your place, Humble One. I can offer you only two guarantees. The first is that your mission will be seen through to the end. The second is that you shall return alive."

She stares you down. "I will allow one further question. If you have none, we shall proceed with your entrance to The Wild Place."
>>
No. 737548 ID: 398fe1

How do we get back?
>>
No. 737557 ID: 2e2d71

>>737534
She's pretty confident, here. I guess we just have to have faith we've got a part to play in a bigger gambit / plan that ensures the not-nearly-high-leveled-enough heroes are in a position to succeed.

That or she has a plan that averts disaster, but we're necessary sacrifices and she's lying her ass off even as she sends us to our deaths. But we serve, regardless.
>>
No. 737588 ID: ea2bfa

(Play the music link from last update for maximum effect!)

>>737548
"You shall be retrieved as soon as The Queen lies dead. No sooner. The process will be instantaneous, and allow no chance for Monstrous retaliation."

You nod. Seems about right, and with any luck that means you don't have the chance to be killed by some angry Monster...

She sighs, and closes her eyes, extending one hand to you, and one to Aria.

"Take my hands. I shall transport you to The Queen's Royal Gardens. They provide a direct path to The Throne Room. Follow the path, and you will survive."

Music Link: https://youtu.be/kO2B-dNm9tQ
You nod, and take one of her hands. Aria takes the other. You both blink, and when your eyes open again, you stand in what looks to be a lush garden. Greenery surrounds you, and the perfume-like fragrance of flowers surrounds you. Several trees bear ripe, plump fruit... A handful of which you've never seen before.

The sky, rather than the whirling kaleidescope you'd expected, is dark, the moon shining bright overhead. Several stars twinkle evenly.

A large hedge surrounds you, blocking off every way except one. A single path forward.

Off in the distance, you see a large Palace. The air is quiet, beside the clicks and buzzing of unseen insects. Some of the greenery rustles, though that may just be the breeze that just passed...

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737595 ID: 398fe1

Forward march. Keep your wits about you and be ready for combat at any time. Stay silent if possible, quiet if not.
>>
No. 737608 ID: ea2bfa

>>737595

You head down the dirt path. The air is cool, and the garden peaceful. You see no signs of life beside yourself and Aria. The path is long and winding, but you follow it nonetheless. Eventually, you reach what seems to be a large, ornate wooden door. Two statues of knights flank it, though both statues boast four arms.

In front of the steps leading to the door, is a single bench. On it is seated a young woman, who seems to have a tablet open. You're not sure who she is or what she's browsing, but she looks up at you in shock when you step closer.

"Oh my god." She says. "Judgy actually did it." She stands up, the tablet disappearing into thin air. "You're actually here!" She says, backing towards the steps. "No way!"

You're not sure what's up with her, to be honest. She appears to be an anthropomorphic marsupial of some sort. She's clad in a short skirt and a bright blue t-shirt.

"You... You were sent by The Judge, right?"

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737613 ID: 398fe1

>>737608
Yes. Don't try to stop us.

(can we get a listing of our battle techs?)
>>
No. 737614 ID: 2e2d71

>tele strait to the palace
So much for hoping we could grind our way through some lesser dungeons first, accumulating gear and experience before going for the boss.

>Two statues of knights flank it, though both statues boast four arms.
They're probably going to become animate and attack you from behind at the most inconvenient moment.

>You're not sure what's up with her, to be honest. She appears to be an anthropomorphic marsupial of some sort. She's clad in a short skirt and a bright blue t-shirt.
Careful. The fact that she's here at all likely means she's a monster or a devil. Monster more likely, considering this is the Queen's palace and there's animosity between monsters in general and devils. Also, the fact that she's here, lazing about, with web access, rather than working suggests she's one of the residents, and not staff. Meaning she's likely a powerful or dangerous monster.

She's also aware of the Judge's plans (apparently) though she could be cold reading / taking a shot in the dark if she's dumped deities in this way before.

>"You... You were sent by The Judge, right?"
>What do you do?
You were sent here on a direct attack path. There's little subtlety in that, and I would be surprised if the denizens here didn't have some means of detecting divinity. No point in lying, I see.

"Yes, we were."

See how she reacts to that. If she tries to attack you or sound an alarm, stop her, with force. If she speaks, stay your hand for the moment. It's possible she's part of the improbable plan, or you were placed in front of her for a reason.
>>
No. 737627 ID: ea2bfa

>>737613
BATTLETECH LIST
Hammer: Metal Crusher (Deal 2x Damage With One Attack)
Aria: Right To Remain (Heal 1d8 + 3 HP)

>>737614
"Yeah, we are." You tell her, figuring she'll be able to tell if you're lying or not.

She grins, and suddenly springs forward a bit. "Really? That's great! Then you're the protagonist! Uh... Chuck, right? No, wait... Uuuunity??? Fuck, I can never keep you guys straight..."

She stomps a foot petulantly. "Damnit! Look, point is, you can call me Moderator!" She extends a hand. "I'm a friend of... Well... The Judge knows me. And I'm here to make a deal with you."

She says she's making a deal with you... But you have a feeling that when she says "you", she's referring to someone other than you, Hammer The Bull...

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737629 ID: 4e9864

>>737627
Might as well hear her out. "We're listening..."
>>
No. 737635 ID: 2e2d71

Oh look, she's breaking the fourth wall. That automatically makes her dangerously genre savy.

"Moderator" wasn't one of the ones The Judge said not to speak to although I suppose she could be one of the Hecate sisters (she is standing in front of an entryway, and at a metaphorical crossroads. And with fourth wall breaking, metaphorical crossroads aren't so abstract for her).

"Speak."
>>
No. 737636 ID: ea2bfa

>>737629
"So, listen. I see things. Lots of things." She says, as if responding to a statement you were thinking of making but didn't get the opportunity to.

"And I see that if you walk through those doors, you'll be slaughtered like a fucking steer. The glorious death of the Sacred Bull. You'd come back, and then they'd kill you again. And again. And through this outpouring of aggression, all the Monsters in charge would calm their collective tits enough so that they don't get the bright idea to assault heaven."

She smiles politely. "So your mission would be seen through to the end. And you would return alive. But, the question is, at that point... Would you really want to?"

She shrugs. "I mean, disregarding what the big guys upstairs think, I don't think either of you two..." She points to you and Aria. "Wanna go get your asses murdered for who knows how many years."

She smiles and claps her hands together. "But we can avoid all of that! No messy decapitations via The Gardener's clippers! No chainsaws through the gut! Hell, no magic searing flesh from bone!"

She leans forward. "Lemme level with you. You're not gonna kill The Queen like this. It's... Well, not impossible. But you'd have to be damn lucky."

She leans back, moving to stand on her heels. "So, here's what's gonna go down. I'm gonna get you away from The Palace, and you're gonna build up some strength and prevent Armageddon through another method of population control."

She smiles and looks into your eyes, and you cringe slightly at her gaze. It's surprisingly intense for such a carefree young woman.

"You're gonna cull the herd, my friends."

>What do you say?
>>
No. 737637 ID: 4e9864

>>737636
"Is that a euphemism for 'do a lot of killing'?"
>>
No. 737638 ID: 2e2d71

>>737636
Not really surprised, I rather thought she was trying something like this. Promising survival to a being that will respawn anyways, except in a few rare cases, isn't saying much.

Technically, getting killed over and over wouldn't get us home, though. The Judge specifically said we wouldn't be returned until the Queen lies dead (until we either get lucky, or someone else does our dirty work).

Also this seems to assume gods respawn a lot faster than I thought they did. (A property of this realm, or one of the nasty monsters here, to allow spawn-camping?).

I am curious where Narrator lies on the god / monster / devil spectrum. It seems likely she's not one of the palace's usual residents- she's here specifically to intercept us.

>What do you [s]say[/] [think]?
The path where you don't have to watch Aria die over and over, and make her watch you die, is way better than the alternative.
>>
No. 737639 ID: 398fe1

>>737636
If that were a good alternative, the Judge would have offered it!

NO DEAL.
>>
No. 737664 ID: ea2bfa

>>737638
"Smart. Real smart. I'm not gonna lie, The Judge was lying through her fucking teeth. You were never meant to kill The Queen in the first place. You were basically godly punching bags. Aria might've been left alone, though. The Queen fucking loves music." She says, snapping a finger.

Moderater Used BATTLETECH: Mercy Street!

A single portal opens in front of the both of you. Through it, you can see what seems to be an abandoned campsite. A tent and a firepit sit, alone and seemingly forgotten.

"If you guys don't mind running off of sleep only, this'll serve as a good base of operations." She says, smiling. "It's remarkably close to a decent number of Landmarks." She continues. "Which, might I add, are pretty much ideal Monster Hunting Grounds."

She smiles. "Find the biggest, baddest Monsters you can, and kill them dead. I'll give you one hint, though. Go to the Parade Grounds first. You'll find a friend. Tell them Mod sent you."

>>737639
She laughs at this. "Well, I mean, she wouldn't want to offer this option because she thinks it'd piss off the Head Honchos of Monsterkind. But lemme level with you guys here."

She sits down, legs crossed. "Nobody gives a shit. Babel thinks death is hilarious. The King's too busy with his "eternal pilgrimage." The Queen's too Hands Off, and The Hecate Sisters only care about... Well, The Hecate Sisters."

She smiles up at you. "But hey. You don't gotta believe me. Wanna roll the dice, pally?"

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737671 ID: 2e2d71

rolled 14 = 14

>Wanna roll the dice, pally?


>What do you do?
Share a look with Aria, see how she's taking all this.

(And then yes, let's do the portal).
>>
No. 737673 ID: 398fe1

>>737664
Again, if The Judge were fallible, I think we would know?
>>
No. 737684 ID: ea2bfa

>>737673
She sighs. "Look. I understand. You don't wanna think the main quest-giver and all-powerful god of the setting could be falliable. But trust me, she's not as on top of things as she thinks she is." She pauses, then sighs. "Me and her go way back. But now's not the time. But I promise, I'm not fucking with you here. I want to help."

You look in her eyes, and can tell she's being genuine.

>>737671
You turn to look at Aria, while Moderator looks like she just bit into a lemon and mutters something about "total smartass..."

Aria seems to be accepting this as stoically as she possibly can... Though you can tell she's more than a bit disturbed that the two of you were apparently marching towards potential years of torture...

You take her hand. "I trust her." You say. "Do you?"

She nods. "Yeah. I don't think they're bullshitting us."

Moderater clears her throat. "I'm right here, you know." She gestures to the portal. "Alright, go on through, you two. There's a map in the tent. Remember: Parade Grounds first, Mod sent you. And Aria, try playing a song while you travel. Any song'll do. It calms The Wild Place a little."

You both nod, and step through the portal together. Moderater gives one last wave, and it disappears with a pop.

In the tent, like Moderater said, is a map. At the moment, you notice three locations on the map circled in red pen, though there are others labelled. For now, you focus on four that stand out.

>Parade Grounds (Marking: Buddy Here!!! :D)
>Forest Of Myth (Marking: Find The Mask!)
>Emperor's Crypt (Marking: Lotsa Zombies!)
>Palace (Marking: Bad Idea!!!)

Unlike in the Garden, the sky is bright, and several odd colors flash in sequence.
>>
No. 737687 ID: 2e2d71

>>737684
We trusted her this far, we might as well hit the parade grounds first.
>>
No. 737696 ID: 4e9864

>>737687
Agreed. And do play some music when we travel.

Does Aria know any bawdy tavern songs?
>>
No. 737704 ID: ea2bfa

>>737696
"Baby? I'm a Metal drummer." She holds up her sticks and twirls them, and begins playing an incredibly fast beat. You notice the shifting ground around the campsite calm a bit, especially the ground leading to the Parade Grounds.

Suddenly, your phone buzzes in your pocket. You get reception here?

BanHammer105: YOOOOOOOO
BanHammer105: S'you!
BanHammer105: Mister Smash Things himself!
BanHammer105: It's me!!! Mod!!!
BanHammer105: I figured I should let u know...
BanHammer105: I'm here if u need tips or somethin!
BanHammer105: If u get a bit confused...
BanHammer105: Just hmu!!!
BanHammer105: OH ALSO I KNOW ABOUT MONSTERS!
BanHammer105: If you text me a pic, I can tell you stuff about them!
BanHammer105: So, yeah! That's it! Byyyyeeee!

You put away your phone.

New BATTLETECH unlocked for Aria and Hammer!

Hotline! (Get Monster Info From Moderator!)

New MENU unlocked!

Bestiary! (Learn cool Monster Facts!)

Eventually, you arrive at the Parade Grounds. A large wall and a set of gates separate you from the actual parade grounds. You can hear cheering and other assorted celebration noises from within.

Two guards eye you both up as you approach.

"You 'ere for the party?" One of them asks in a gruff voice.

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737709 ID: 398fe1

Tell them Mod sent you.
>>
No. 737835 ID: ea2bfa

>>737709
"Who?" One of the guards asks. The other shrugs. "I dunno. They're here for the party I guess. Let 'em through."

One of the guards goes to move one of the large gate doors, which move surprisingly easily.

As you step through, you see what seems to be a large amount of Monsters partying and generally enjoying themselves. It seems like they're dancing, but most of them don't have the sort of bodies that allow dancing as you'd know it. On top of a large platform is a single figure, seemingly an anthropomorphic tiger... though his hands seem to be on backwards?

Behind that figure is a large burlap sack. Something seems to be struggling from within...

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737842 ID: 398fe1

Ask one of the dancers what's up with the sack.
>>
No. 737859 ID: 398fe1

Also, what is Aria's Vice?
>>
No. 737872 ID: 2e2d71

Well I hope we're not here to murder the party. Monsters chilling out and having parties at home is to be encouraged, not naturally selected against!

Hmmm. Someone here is supposed to be friendly to us, though.

My first guess might be whoever's in the sack. Might as well check that line of inquiry first, as you probably only have a short window before something bad happens to whoever that is. If it's someone else, well, you have time.

Make like the two of you are mingling, but move towards the stage. Might have to follow Aria's lead, she's probably gonna be better at acting like she belongs in a strange party, being a bard and all.

>>737859
"Ensure The Safety Of The Young", according to >>736694
>>
No. 737877 ID: 398fe1

Oh right I forgot to ask but considering all the jizz our minotaur keeps injecting into Aria why isn't she pregnant yet?
>>
No. 737917 ID: ea2bfa

>>737842
You ask one of the celebrating Monsters what's up with the sack. It grins. "Surely you haven't forgotten? Rakshasa has captured an enemy of The Faith! We will sacrifice him to The Others in hopes for a boon!"

Welp. Apparently you've walked in on a cult meeting. That's... great. Just amazing.

>>737872
You both decide to try and act natural and head towards the stage. With Aria's help, you manage to get up there without looking too suspicious.

Rakshasa, or at least you're assuming the man on stage is Rakshasa, stares down at the crowd, smiling. You don't think he's noticed you yet...

A set of stairs sits beside the stage. They should get you onto the stage...

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737928 ID: 398fe1

Aria can pose as a distraction with her music... what are the escape routes?
>>
No. 737935 ID: 2e2d71

>Welp. Apparently you've walked in on a cult meeting. That's... great. Just amazing.
Well at least you won't have to feel bad about breaking it up, then.

Safe bet the victim is the person we're here to meet, not the cult.

>What do you do?
Fighting your way out of the middle of an entire cult is probably just as much suicide as charging the palace.

One of you will need to make a distraction so the other can grab the sacked person.
>>
No. 737943 ID: 076308

Send Mod a dickpic.

I guess a pic of the guy on stage too...
>>
No. 737945 ID: 398fe1

>>737943
Oh RIGHT, yeah we should probably ask Mod for advice here.
>>
No. 737948 ID: 4e9864

>>737928
This is a really good idea. This seems pretty informal; she could ask if they accept performances, and draw everyone's attention to the other half of the stage. We'd still have to make a rapid exit, but it'll improve our chances.
>>
No. 737954 ID: ea2bfa

>>737943
You text Moderator a picture of Rakshasa. Immediately, she begins typing.

BanHammer105: the gorgol fanart's kinda NSFW?
BanHammer105: Oh, hi. Uh, don't mind that.
BanHammer105: Just... chatting with a friend...
BanHammer105: Now who's this asshole?
BanHammer105: Rakshasa. Definitely Rakshasa. Powerful summoning magic, may or may not be an insane cultist.
BanHammer105: Usually pretty up for a show, and definitely a glory hog.
BanHammer105: He'll probably challenge you to a duel for something. If you win, he'll probably let you go free.
BanHammer105: Just don't kill him. If his cult's there, they'll tear you limb from limb.
BanHammer105: Also, have you found Speaker yet???
BanHammer105: She was supposed to be waiting for you!!!

Nearby, the sack begins shaking again.

BanHammer105: Anyways, I should get back to the conversation I was having. Lemme know if you need any more help!!!

Well, you know more about Rakshasa now. You have a bit more to work with...

>What do you do?
>>
No. 737964 ID: 398fe1

>>737954
Challenge him to a duel for possession of the sack.
>>
No. 737967 ID: 2e2d71

>BanHammer105: Also, have you found Speaker yet???
>BanHammer105: She was supposed to be waiting for you!!!
I think she might be a little tied up at the moment.

>>737964
Might be too straightforward. We might want to get him to challenge us to a contest as strength as part of the celebration, and have Aria sneak Speaker out while they're distracted.
>>
No. 737969 ID: 398fe1

...well, sneaking off with the sack depends on if it's near somewhere we can sneak off to. If it's surrounded by the crowd of cultists then there's no sneaking off with it.

Is this a wide open space or are the walls nearby? Or what?
>>
No. 738044 ID: ea2bfa

>>737969
The Parade Grounds are enclosed by four large walls. The crowd of cultists has two large gaps to the sides, but you're not sure you could make it to the gate while carrying the sack.

You may have to fight Rakshasa for it, unless you can come up with some more clever ideas...

>What do you do?
>>
No. 738116 ID: 398fe1

How high can either of our heroes jump? If we can do a Heroic Leap across the crowd or over the wall we could grab it and run.

I suspect we're gonna have to fight the leader though.
>>
No. 738138 ID: 4e9864

>>738044
> you're not sure you could make it to the gate while carrying the sack

We don't need to carry the sack; it clearly has a person inside, and they're struggling so they're conscious. If we free them, they can run with us.

A few possible ideas, depending on how blatant we want to be.

We can have Ari go for a musical distraction, and try to sneak the sack away and get it open without anyone noticing; however, Ari may have trouble getting away before anyone notices the sack.

We could directly challenge Rakshasa for the sack. As long as we just defeat him, without killing him, we might get away without the cult all wanting to kill us.

Or, we could go all-in and challenge Rakshasa for leadership of the cult itself. Then, when we're running it, no more sacrifices. And followers might be useful.
>>
No. 738139 ID: 2e2d71

>We don't need to carry the sack; it clearly has a person inside, and they're struggling so they're conscious. If we free them, they can run with us.
That comes with its own risks. They might have additional bindings we can't see through the bag right now, and we might not be able to remove them quickly. Or they might be injured an unable to run, or they might just be uncooperative if they see a big scary bull-man dragging them out of a sack as they expect to be killed.

>Ari may have trouble getting away before anyone notices the sack.
...can she just go full-on dove and fly away?
>>
No. 738141 ID: d16536

>>738139

Yes, Aria can become a dove and fly away. However, several Monsters in the crowd appear to be capable of flight.
>>
No. 738163 ID: 4e9864

>>738141
Better than the entire cult chasing us on foot.
>>
No. 738178 ID: d16536

>>738163
Though Aria is fast in Dove form, it's not guaranteed that she'd be able to escape uninjured. (In game terms, escaping without damage would require a Medium Strength Check.)

She's willing to risk it... But are you?
>>
No. 738201 ID: 398fe1

Can't we just fight the guy? How tough is he? Ask Mod what your chances are.
>>
No. 738206 ID: ea2bfa

>>738201
You text Mod again, inquiring about your chances against Rakshasa.

BanHammer105: Depends, I guess.
BanHammer105: He probably won't take you too seriously.
BanHammer105: Might summon one of the Deaths, might summon a From The Air, might summon a Siren.
BanHammer105: Beat that up, then go after him. He's a pushover when he can't hide behind a Monster bigger than him.
BanHammer105: Might take a few scrapes, but I'm pretty sure you'll win!
BanHammer105: Also seriously where's Speaker? Don't tell me she bailed...

>What do you do?
>>
No. 738208 ID: 2e2d71

>>738206
Text back:

She's kind of tied up right now.
Literally. In a sack.
At least I assume that's her.

>what do
Hammer is kind of combat oriented, our odds of coming out on top in a fight are probably better than our odds of running for it and having nothing go wrong?
>>
No. 738209 ID: 398fe1

Yeah let's just try fighting him.
>>
No. 738211 ID: 4e9864

>>738206
>>738208
Wait for a response to this, then challenge Rakshasa for control of the cult.
>>
No. 738215 ID: ea2bfa

>>738211
>>738211

DropTheGavel: She's, uh, tied up.
DropTheGavel: Literally. I think they put her in a burlap sack.
DropTheGavel: We're trying to rescue her.
BanHammer105: ...what
BanHammer105: Okay, listen.
BanHammer105: Get her out of the bag. That's your priority. If they covered her mouth, uncover her mouth.
BanHammer105: She'll be good to go after that.
BanHammer105: Good luck, Hammer. I'm rooting for you~

You put away your phone, and take the opportunity to climb onto the stage with Aria.

Rakshasa raises an eyebrow as you stare him down. "Huh. You're awful bold for Monsters, aren't you?" He asks, putting one of his weird backward hands under his chin. "What, are you Devils?"

He pauses and scrutinizes you... and his eyes go wide. "No... pretenders to the throne! Fascinating! What brings you here?"

"We're here to rescue the person you captured! We're challenging you for her!" You say, summoning your warhammer and hefting it menacingly.

He grins. "Oh, wow. Really? That's awesome. So, what happens if you win?"

"I lead the cult, and you let us take the Speaker with us when we leave." You say, narrowing your eyes.

Rakshasa begins literally clapping in excitement. "Oh, shit, you're asking for the Cult? Sure, fine! I mean, you know absolutely nothing about how to appease the Others, and I've literally danced with one, but sure! We'll see who they prefer more!"

He grabs the sack, and with surprising strength literally kicks it towards you. The person within lets out a muffled cry of pain. "Here, how about this? Let's make it interesting. That sack's been tied with a whole bunch of knots. You get it open, she joins you in the fight." He says. "But first... let's begin."

He reaches for the heavy robe he's wearing, and throws it off dramatically, revealing that underneath the black fabric he's clad in only a particularly baggy pair of pants. As well, the oversized robe was hiding a remarkably lithe form.

You're not even into dudes and you have to admit that Rakshasa is absolutely stunning.

Rakshasa strikes a pose, and suddenly Aria's drumsticks begin vibrating heavily in her hands. "Woah!" She says. "These things are picking up... something..." She begins laying down a beat, and the rest of the song it goes with begins playing out of thin air!

Music Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9CyxL1gpTE

COMBAT START!

Rakshasa gives you a dazzling smile. "Hope you don't mind if I go first, right?"

Rakshasa Uses Battletech: Invoke Hekatonkheires!

Rakshasa focuses for a moment, and suddenly begins an elaborate dance! He moves in ways you couldn't imagine anyone moving without some serious pain, flowing seamlessly between styles that would normally seem completely opposed, but are instead surprisingly appealing when he does it...

Normally, you feel like this'd take a while, but something in the air feels electric. Like raw anger. You get the feeling you've pissed someone off, and you're about to pay for it...

Hekatonkheires will arrive next turn!

Rakshasa HP: 15/15
Hammer HP: 12/12
Aria HP: 8/8

Hammer Actions:
>Attack
>Battletech
>Items (No Items)

Aria Actions
>Attack
>Battletechs
>Items (No Items)
>>
No. 738220 ID: 398fe1

I guess try smacking him.

If we win we're obviously not going to lead the cult, we're gonna dissolve it.
>>
No. 738303 ID: ea2bfa

>>738220
"You know we're burning this fucking cult to the ground if we win, right?" Aria says, smashing the drums like they insulted her mother.

Rakshasa's dance continues, but the grin on his face changes to genuine fear for a moment before he recovers his wits. "Oh, no, no..." He says, making a particularly sinuous move before speaking again. "The Others wouldn't allow it. In fact, they're a bit offended you'd try... Actually, they're angry out of their fucking minds."

Suddenly, a deep rumbling emanates from the ground. Somehow, even with the vibrating ground, Aria never skips a beat and Rakshasa's footing remains sure.

HEKATONKHEIRES HAS FORCED HERSELF INTO YOUR REALITY!

You get the briefest feeling that something has gone extremely wrong before dozens of hands begin bursting from the ground around you. Only a few are human, the rest from species of all sorts, and a few you don't even recognize. More than a few wield various weapons and implements, and at least two have large, red eyes that stare down at you and Aria.

Rakshasa takes a break from his dance to offer some vigorous jazz hands in the direction of the arms. "Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Hekatonkheires to the party! Let's all give her a big hand! Oh! No pun intended, ma'am!"

Roll 2 d20s! 1d20+3 for Hammer's attack, and 1d20+1 for Aria's attack! Best of 3 will be accepted!
>>
No. 738307 ID: 398fe1

rolled 14, 19 = 33

>>738303
Attack the eyes. Blind her and we might have a chance to drive her back.

...I can't roll two separate rolls like that. Add the +3 and +1 yourself.
>>
No. 738310 ID: 4e9864

rolled 4, 5 = 9

>>738303
thwack
>>
No. 738311 ID: 4e9864

>>738307
I thought we were attacking Rakshasa first?
>>
No. 738312 ID: 398fe1

>>738311
Well that was because he was the only target. Now that we have something in the way we'd better deal with that first, like Mod advised.

Oh and we should use Hammer's Battle Tech to double the initial hit.
>>
No. 738411 ID: 24100f

rolled 19, 14 = 33

>Let's make it interesting. That sack's been tied with a whole bunch of knots. You get it open, she joins you in the fight.
Aria might want to try this, considering she's probably a lot more dexterous than you.

...although the Gordian solution is a lot faster. If Aria can cram Speaker down one end of the bag and then pull the other end taught, you could cut the top off it and right through a bunch of rope with your axe.
>>
No. 738468 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 2 = 2

Both attacks hit! You swing with your hammer while Aria manipulates her drum strikes to send shockwaves of sound at Rakshasa!
>>
No. 738469 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 1 = 1

Rolling Aria damage
>>
No. 738472 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 13 + 1 = 14

Unfortunately, both of your strikes prove uneffective, Rakshasa dodging them easily. "Really? This is the best you guys can do?" He asks, swaying to the beat. "I'm a little disappointed, honestly."

Hekatonkheires needs a turn to adjust to your reality!

Rakshasa pulls a wicked looking dagger from within his pants and takes an opportunity to slash at you!
>>
No. 738474 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 2 = 2

>>738472
Rakshasa's attack hits! The crowd roars in approval!
>>
No. 738476 ID: ea2bfa

>>738474
Rakshasa HP: 12/15
Hammer HP: 10/12
Aria HP: 8/8
Hekatonkheires HP: 20/20

Thankfully, he only manages one slash on your chest, leaving a thin, bleeding line. You grimace, but the pain is bearable.

The sack wriggles beside you. Apparently whoever's inside has renewed dedication towards escaping.

Hammer Actions:
>Attack
>Battletech
>No Items

Aria Actions:
>Attack
>Battletech
>No Items
>>
No. 738477 ID: 398fe1

>>738476
He has damage resistance?!

Fuck it. Focus on the sack. Cut it open, with Aria's help if you need to.
>>
No. 738479 ID: ea2bfa

>>738477
No damage resistance, just shitty rolls.
>>
No. 738483 ID: 398fe1

>>738479
Oh dur, his hp went down despite him taking no injury.
>>
No. 738485 ID: ea2bfa

>>738483
I meant he dodged the worst of the attacks. He didn't get complete frigging smashed into a paste by your hugeass hammer.

It's a bit too late to go back and edit it now, though.
>>
No. 738490 ID: 398fe1

Oh right, hammer, not axe. We can't cut open the sack anyway.
>>
No. 738499 ID: 24100f

rolled 15, 10 = 25

Right, this is dumb.

Hammer, just pick up the sack in two hands and rip it in two. Minotaur fighter strength check, how hard can it be? (Just orient the sack so you are dropping Seeker on her head).

>Hekatonkheires needs a turn to adjust to your reality!
Aria, make that adjustment as hard as possible. Heavy metal has been used to torture, especially those from cultures not familiar with it.
>>
No. 738500 ID: 24100f

>>738499
...so you are not dropping her on her head. Whups.
>>
No. 738556 ID: 4e9864

>>738476
Hammer should focus on guarding both himself and Aria against that dagger while Aria focuses on getting the sack open. (Or the other way around, either way works.)
>>
No. 738566 ID: ea2bfa

>>738499
Aria would need to take over the song to hamper Hekatonkheires' adjustment! This would require a Charisma Check!

The Sack seems very fragile. With your strength, it would probably be EASY to tear it open.

This would use up your turn. Are you sure you want to do this?

>Yes
>No
>>
No. 738569 ID: 398fe1

>>738566
Yes to tearing open the sack. Reinforcements would be much appreciated.

Stunning Hekat for a turn sounds like a good idea too.
>>
No. 738570 ID: 4e9864

>>738566
> Aria would need to take over the song to hamper Hekatonkheires' adjustment! This would require a Charisma Check!

Go for it.

>>738566
> The Sack seems very fragile. With your strength, it would probably be EASY to tear it open.

> This would use up your turn. Are you sure you want to do this?

Yes

One turn to bring Speaker into the fray, and Moderator specifically said:
> BanHammer105: Get her out of the bag. That's your priority. If they covered her mouth, uncover her mouth.
> BanHammer105: She'll be good to go after that.
>>
No. 738575 ID: ea2bfa

Aria focuses, and with what can only be described as an ideal metal scream she begins whaling on her drums! With any luck, she'll be able to take control of the song!

Meanwhile, you tear open the burlap sack easily, revealing a young woman curled up inside. Her hands are bound, and a piece of duct-tape is currently covering her mouth!

You tear it off, and she lets out a shout of pain.

"Thanks, I guess." She says, her voice melodic and soft. She stands up while Hekatonkheires and Rakshasa are distracted, then scowls at the ropes binding her hands.

"Fall." she says, her voice suddenly taking on a commanding quality. The ropes shudder for a moment, then seemingly untie themselves and fall away from her wrists.

She looks up at you, nodding approvingly. "Now then. Shall we?"

>SPEAKER HAS JOINED THE PARTY!

Roll 1d20+3 for Aria's Charisma check. Best of three will be accepted.
>>
No. 738579 ID: 398fe1

rolled 16 + 3 = 19

>>738575
Let's.
>>
No. 738605 ID: 4e9864

rolled 3 + 3 = 6

>>738575
Rock.
>>
No. 738612 ID: 24100f

rolled 11 + 3 = 14

And Roll.
>>
No. 738751 ID: ea2bfa
File 146953234075.png - (12.94KB , 1000x1000 , Trip.png )
738751

With sheer force of will, Aria takes over the song! The tune from before is replaced!

The song blares from seemingly everywhere at once, and Hekatonkheires doesn't like it one bit. Hands cringe, shudder, and more than a few start slamming the ground in apparent pain. Apparently Bardic playing is just that powerful.

The ground shudders even harder, and due to this, Rakshasa finally misses a step in his dance, and trips!

He hits the ground with a thud, but quickly clambers to his feet. He glares at the three of you. "You must think you're real clever! But this won't work forever! Hekatonkheires will claim you!"

Speaker stares at the hands surrounding you, and seems genuinely surprised. "Ho-lee shit he can summon Others now."

She sighs, and clears her throat. "Well, I'll be happy to help you take these guys out, don't worry."

>Hammer Actions
>Attack
>Battletech
>No Items

>Aria Actions
>Attack
>Battletech
>No Items

>Speaker Actions
>Attack
>Battletechs
>No Items

Rakshasa HP: 12/15
Hammer HP: 10/12
Aria HP: 8/8
Speaker HP: 8/8
Hekatonkheires HP:20/20
>>
No. 738758 ID: 91ee5f

>>738751
Can we please have a list Speaker's Battletechs and what they do?
>>
No. 738759 ID: ea2bfa

>>738758
Speaker's Battletechs:
Ruinous Command (Inflicts 1d8 Physical Damage) (2 Turn Cooldown)
Heated Argument (Inflicts 1d8 Fire Damage) (3 Turn Cooldown)
>>
No. 738763 ID: 3d2d5f

rolled 5, 4, 13 = 22

Everyone gang up on the summoner while he's helpless on the ground! That leaves him unable to summon anything else or buff the other, and maybe without him it'll go out of control and target the cult.

Hammer, apply double damage battle tech, Speaker, light him on fire, Aria attack.

(Redirect later attacks to the summon if he gets KOed by earlier ones).

>don't worry, I'll help
How gracious of you to assist in your rescue! (Banter, said without Malice).
>>
No. 738778 ID: 398fe1

>>738763
He got up again though.

I'd rather take out Hekat, since she's more dangerous. Hammer can use his battle tech, Aria can Attack, and Speaker can use Ruinous Command.
>>
No. 738810 ID: 4e9864

>>738778
Would taking out the summoner either dismiss or weaken the summon? If so, focus on Rakshasa.
>>
No. 738811 ID: 24100f

rolled 12, 17, 20 = 49

Rolling to see if we can do better than that 3 and 4.
>>
No. 739098 ID: ea2bfa

Are you targeting Hekatonkheires or Rakshasa?
>>
No. 739150 ID: 398fe1

I feel we should take Mod's advice and target the summon first, but I think I'm in the minority.
>>
No. 749061 ID: ea2bfa

>20
You have successfully gotten a critical hit! Critical Hits allow you to roll damage twice and combine the numbers! Please declare who you will give the crit to! Take note, this will only happen once! Unless a character order is specified, all crits in the future will be determined through a roll of 1d3!
>>
No. 749069 ID: 3d2d5f

>>749061
Let's go with Hammer, since he used the double damage tech.
>>
No. 749270 ID: 4e9864

>>749069
Agreed.
>>
No. 749538 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 6, 1 = 7

Rolling Hammer's damage!
>>
No. 749539 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 6 = 6

With a bellow of rage and a mighty swing, Hammer hits Rakshasa directly in the chest! The tiger-man is sent sailing across the stage, outright flying off and landing in a crumpled heap beside it!

RAKSHASA DEFEATED!

Aria and Speaker turn their focus onto Hekatonkheires, launching attacks at the various hands!

Speaker offers a Ruinous Command, closing her eyes and commanding the hands to BLEED.

Rolling Speaker's damage.
>>
No. 749540 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 5 = 5

Several gashes open up along the arms and hands around you, and one of the eyes adorning a few hands outright bursts open! Several hands retreat into the ground, leaving no holes behind them.

Aria sends a few shockwaves of sound outwards, herself!

Rolling Aria damage
>>
No. 749541 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 14, 6, 9 = 29

Hekatonkheires' hands are buffeted around by the sound, and several of them seem to suffer serious enough injuries to retreat. The remaining ones seem very angry, though.

Three fists armed with assorted knives stab downwards at the party!

Attack order is Hammer, Aria, Speaker
>>
No. 749542 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 4 = 4

One of the knives catches Hammer, though Aria and Speaker dodge out of the way of their own attacks. The butterfly knife sinks into your flesh!

Rolling damage.
>>
No. 749543 ID: ea2bfa

The wound is bad, though not as bad as it could be, and you're still standing! A multitude of arms surround you, but Speaker brings up something. "She's panicking. I can tell. Give her a few more hits and she'll probably run off. She never had much of a stomach for foes that could fight back."

She's apparently referring to Hekatonkheires, though you're not sure how she knows so much about a being seemingly made of hands.

Hekatonkheires HP: 9/20
Hammer HP: 6/12
Aria HP: 8/8
Speaker HP: 8/8

Hammer:
Attack
Battletech (2 Turns until M. Crusher Available!)
No Items

Aria
Attack
Battletech
No Items

Speaker
Attack
Battletechs
No Items
>>
No. 749544 ID: 398fe1

rolled 2, 11, 1 = 14

Hammer, hit a thing.
Aria: use healing battletech on Hammer.
Speaker: use Heated Argument on Hekat.

Rolling to hit, in order.
>>
No. 749558 ID: 3abd97

rolled 15, 5, 6 = 26

>She's apparently referring to Hekatonkheires, though you're not sure how she knows so much about a being seemingly made of hands.
Maybe she know it? Or it's some supernatural ability to "speak" for others.

>what do
Hammer: normal attack
Aria: Right To Remain, on Hammer.
Speaker: Heated Argument

Rolling respectively.
>>
No. 750010 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 6 + 1 = 7

Hammer's blow hits another arm, and Aria pounds out a few notes that, while only healing Hammer slightly, at least keep him in the fight, the two slashes on his body closing up a little and hurting less.

Speaker, however, seems to be having some trouble. She commands the hands to BURN, but nothing happens. It almost sounds like... she doesn't have the conviction to do it?

Rolling Hammer damage.
>>
No. 750011 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 6 + 3 = 9

Hammer lets loose with a large, sweeping blow, shattering the bones of several arms! They too retreat into the ground, leaving several behind... but they seem to be hesitating.

Rolling Aria healing
>>
No. 750013 ID: ea2bfa

rolled 9 + 3 = 12

Hammer's HP is completely restored! The wounds on him still remain, but they're small enough to heal on their own with only a little time, and they don't hurt at all regardless.

Hekatonkheires seems to hesitate, but eventually, one hand gets bold and moves forward, attempting to grab Hammer!
>>
No. 750015 ID: ea2bfa

Hammer dodges the hand's grab! It begins moving as if it had him, swinging around as if slamming him into the ground, before apparently realizing it does not, in fact, have Hammer in its hand.

An eye covered hand gazes down at you and blinks once. Then, it retreats into the ground. The rest of the hands follow suit, and soon you're alone... well, alone with a large, stunned crowd and Rakshasa crumpled in a heap at the side of the stage.

Rakshasa: "Oh, shit... they won... oh god..."

YOU WIN!!!

10 EXP Gained! 10 Relic Fragments Obtained!

In several of the areas where Hekatonkheires' hands were, you notice several golden, softly glowing orbs. You take a picture and send it to Moderator.

BanHammer105: Oh! Oh! Those're Relic Fragments!
BanHammer105: You know what those are worth???
DropTheGavel: Uh, no?
BanHammer105: ...actually, not a lot.
BanHammer105: I don't think those even add up to a full Relic.
BanHammer105: But hold onto those! There are some guys who'd give you some pretty neat shit for those!
DropTheGavel: Alright, gotcha.

You put away your phone, and Rakshasa has stumbled up onto the stage. He's clutching his arm, which is currently leaking blood that dissolves into blue smoke.

"Alright. You win. You've got the cult. What're you gonna do now, bigshot?" He seems both incredibly pissed off, and more than a little scared!
>>
No. 750093 ID: 3abd97

>what do with cult?
I think maybe we should first ask Speaker how she ended up in the situation we found her in? That would impact our judgement. (A longer conversation with Speaker if she's joining is a good idea, but later, not in front of an audience, awaiting judgement).

Also maybe get advice from Moderator.

(Breaking them up entirely might not work / would allow them to reform later / might just set them all on us at once. We might want to make them our servants or minions? Suddenly we have eyes and ears on the ground to gather information, and to do chore level stuff like making sure we have food and water).
>>
No. 750299 ID: f865ac

>>750093
You examine the crowd, all of which are gazing up at you. Or glancing at Rakshasa, who is currently prodding at his visibly broken arm.

"So, uh, how'd you wind up like that?" You ask Speaker.

"I was hanging out here, when the party showed up. It was originally gonna be a sacrifice of worshippers, but they thought I'd make a better one."

You nod. Aria is currently tapping away at her phone, and shows you a conversation she's been having with Mod.

Crypteque: okay so rakshasa just got beaten to a pulp, and we own a cult. what now
BanHammer105: ...what?
BanHammer105: Uh, okay, don't disband them. They'll just reform, I'm calling it now.
Crypteque: neat, okay. any idea what we should do?
BanHammer105: I'd suggest just letting them do their own thing?
BanHammer105: Maybe throw in some stipulations about not sacrificing people and needing to help you with things?
BanHammer105: Don't ask them to fight for you, though.
BanHammer105: I got a good view of the crowd (don't ask how) and you're basically dealing with a bunch of cannon fodder.
Crypteque: really? the guy with no head and a meat cleaver looks pretty intimidating.
BanHammer105: He's a spirit of halloween. The cleaver is dull. He actually hates hurting people. Goes by Sam.
Crypteque: ...fuck.
BanHammer105: It's up to you guys, though. Might be good to have some minions to at least do some scouting or some shit.

>What do you do?
>>
No. 750326 ID: 3abd97

>BanHammer105: I'd suggest just letting them do their own thing?
>BanHammer105: Maybe throw in some stipulations about not sacrificing people and needing to help you with things?
This was basically the plan I would have gone with, so it's good to see she also thinks it would work.

>what say
All right, from now on, you're all officially minions. No more sacrifices, you do small stuff for us, bring us information, and keep from doing anything that would piss off god-fearing types. Which is all of you now, seeing as how you should be afraid of me. And you know, don't go running to any big bad monsters or devils and try and rat us out to them. Obvious stuff.

Other than that I think we can avoid micromanaging, let you do your own thing. Fair enough?
>>
No. 750482 ID: 4e9864

>>750326
This, but a little less sanctimonious. Let them do their own thing, ask them to be decent, not-sacrificing-others people, and ask them to pray to you if they're in serious trouble. Deities help those who helps themselves, but sometimes people really do need serious help, and we ought to be there for them if they do.
>>
No. 750940 ID: ea2bfa

>>750482
You grab the microphone up on the stage, and clear your throat.

"Okay, listen! We're the ones in charge now, got it? And we have some new ground rules for you. You can keep worshipping whoever the hell you want to worship, but we'd rather you not go murdering people to satisfy them?"

The crowd seems a bit unsure.

Speaker facepalms, and grabs the mic from you. "Your worship of The Others may continue. But the taking of lives is forbidden. If you require assistance, you may seek us out, but we may ask assistance from you in turn. If you attempt to disclose our location to those more powerful than you, you will suffer. Understood?"

The crowd murmurs some sort of assent.

"You are dismissed." She literally drops the mic, then crosses her arms and glares down at the crowd. They slowly begin filing out, two other Monsters helping Rakshasa leave.

When the crowd is gone, Speaker pinches the bridge of her nose. "You're obviously not one of those "Be not afraid" sort of Gods, aren't you?" Before you can answer, she hops off the stage and approaches the gate of the Parade Grounds. "That's fine, you're young. You've got plenty of time. Now, come on, let's get out of here and plan our next move."

There's nothing else really left for you here, so you guide her back to the campsite. She examines the area, then frowns and commands the air itself to Be Whole. A sleeping bag materializes out of nowhere and plops onto the ground. She sits down on top of it, and examines the two of you.

"Hi. I'm Speaker. I'm a friend, and technically one of the Others. Any questions?"

>What do you do?
>>
No. 750991 ID: 3abd97

>speaking lets her summon objects
Well, that's certainly useful.

>what do
She introduced herself, return the favor.

You were sent here on what amounts to a fools errand, until moderator pulled you aside at the last minute. Now you're basically figuring out how to deal with surviving a virtual exile here.
>>
No. 751013 ID: 91ee5f

>Any questions?
You can start with how you got caught and why you got caught. And what's your relationship with Mod? Oh yeah, if it wasn't obvious already, she said to tell you that she sent us.
>>
No. 752226 ID: ea2bfa

>>751013
"I was hanging out, waiting for you to show up, and then the crowd got there first. It was gonna be a sacrifice of worshippers, but there were dozens of them and one of me, and they figured sacrificing an Other would get more favor than a few losers with no power."

She puts a finger on her chin. "Mod and I... we go back. Way back. We ran in the same general crews, had similarly aligning goals, and so we were friends. And now she called in a favor to get me to help you guys. So here we are."

>>750991
You inform her who you are, and Aria does likewise. She nods. "Yeah, I heard about what happened to you guys. Really shit deal. Well, hopefully once we thin the crowds a little you can head back."

She thinks for a moment, then unrolls the sleeping bag. "We should get some rest. Tomorrow we'll need to head out to another Landmark. We can't rest for too long, yknow?"

>What do you do?
>>
No. 752227 ID: 91ee5f

>>752226
Ask if we can get something to eat first. Then we can go to sleep.
>>
No. 752241 ID: 3abd97

>Landmark
We never did get how those work explained, did we?
>>
No. 752248 ID: ea2bfa

>>752241
You inquire as to how the fuck Landmarks work. Speaker pauses.

"Uh, well, it's kinda hard to explain, but... basically, the idea is, in an environment of perfect chaos, anything can happen, right? Which means that, hypothetically, order could rise out of that chaos. Landmarks are that order. Little islands of more-or-less stability in the world. Due to this, they're frequent prowling grounds for monsters, and usually where the most powerful ones hang out."

She picks up your map and points to the two other circled areas.

"The forest, right here, is basically where a lot of quote unquote "nature" based Monsters hang out. It is divided into Night and Day, and both halves have a dedicated ruler. The Night Forest is ruled over by The Wendigo, Queen of Ice and Death, while The Day Forest is controlled by The Firebird, King of Flames and Life."

She points to the other one. "This crypt, right here, is usually filled with "undead" Monsters. As Monsters do not leave bodies when they die, this means they're not actually undead. They simply take forms and share concepts relating to the idea of Undeath. There are two wings, East and West. The West is full of rank-and-file Undead, and ruled over by some asshole called The Necromancer. The East is full of assorted Demon Monsters, ruled over by Asmodeus, Princess of Lust and Sin."

She puts the map down, then crosses off The Parade Grounds. "Any more questions?"

>>752227
You inquire about food, and she frowns. "Okay, I'm gonna level with you. Food's gonna be scarce as hell here, and I only ever learned how to create sandwiches with my voice. Not even good, complex ones. I'm talking ham and lettuce and no condiments. But, yknow, if you want."

She commands a patch of air to BE WHOLE again and a few sandwiches appear. You eat the (admittedly bland) food and Speaker wills the leftovers away.

"Alright, can we get to sleep now?"

>What do you do?
>>
No. 752259 ID: 91ee5f

>BE WHOLE
Hammer says, "What? You couldn't command it to 'BE WHOLEWHEAT'?"

And then Aria takes advantage of the opportunity and does a *ba dum tss* with her drumsticks! XD

"....I'm not sorry for the pun."

Then everybody go to sleep.
>>
No. 752265 ID: 3abd97

>You eat the (admittedly bland) food and Speaker wills the leftovers away.
We're gonna have to see if we can turn that cult to finding a better food source, if we're gonna be stuck here for years.

>"Alright, can we get to sleep now?"
Well I guess, if you're going to call more sleeping bags out of whole cloth.
>>
No. 752267 ID: ea2bfa

>>752265
She shakes her head. "There's one in that tent. This is the "Campsite" Landmark, I know how this place works. Should be big enough for the both of you."

She frowns. "Please don't get frisky or anything. I have to share this space with you two."

With that, she gets into the sleeping bag and closes her eyes. You and Aria enter the tent, and see the aforementioned sleeping bag. You both squeeze in, and while you aren't uncomfortable, it is a bit of a tight squeeze. Aria kisses you and snuggles against you. "Guess we've got a while of this to go, huh? It's alright. I know we'll get out of this fine, right?"

She looks up at you, trust and love in her eyes, her head pressed against your chest.

>What do you do?
>>
No. 752269 ID: 3abd97

>>752267
Yeah. We'll be fine. Weird situation, but we've got friends here, apparently.

Go to sleep.

>don't get frisky in my tent
Better living arrangements will have to go on the wishlist along with better food, cause that's an injunction you won't be able to obey forever.
>>
No. 752273 ID: 91ee5f

>>752269
>Better living arrangements will have to go on the wishlist along with better food, cause that's an injunction you won't be able to obey forever.
You got that right.
>>
No. 752274 ID: ea2bfa

>>752269
You tell her that you've got friends here, and everything should be fine. Then, you snuggle against her and tell her to go to sleep. You fall asleep in each other's arms...

DAY 2

You're awoken by Speaker whispering AWAKEN right in your ear. You jolt up and nearly gore her with your horns, and she jumps back out of the tent.

"Uh, guys? You might wanna see this..."
>>
No. 752275 ID: ea2bfa
File 147615792852.png - (9.24KB , 1000x1000 , Shop.png )
752275

A strange gray creature in a black robe is standing at a small, hand-made stand right at the edge of the camp. He blinks at you, then raises a hand.

"HOY! Welcome to Shopkeep's Super Good Stand, Customer-Person! I am having many deals for you on this day! Please, come see wares!"

>What do you do?
>>
No. 752280 ID: 3abd97

...you know this guy, Speaker?

>shop
Ask what currency he accepts. Because I kind of expect you guys didn't bring your wallets, and even if you did, it probably would have been the wrong kind.

>question
Okay, you're a shopkeeper in monsterland. I gotta ask, how exactly do you keep from getting murdered by things that decide it would be better to take your stuff than pay for it?
>>
No. 752304 ID: ea2bfa

>>752280
"I've never seen this individual before in my life." Speaker tells you.

You ask "Shopkeep" what currency he accepts.

"Relic fragments, Customer-Friend! Bits and pieces of big Scary Monster Things! I refine. I make into merchandise. Then I sell Merchandise to Customer-Person! Is good. Is circle of commerce."

You ask him how he stays in business in The Wild Place.

"I have patron! Is good man. He watch me, give me way to defend myself. I not use on Customer Person! You are good Customer Person. Patron tells me so. He sends me here, to sell you things! So you give me fragments, and I give you items, yes? What will you have?

>Massive Scythe: Hammer Weapon, 2d6 damage (8 fragments). "Is good, Customer Person! I make from Death Monsters! Very powerful, very deadly! Good for big man like you!"
>Western Scroll: Ressurects defeated Ally (2 fragments) "Is made using forbidden techniques from dead scientist! Brings back recently dead! But only recently. Is design flaw."
>Restoration Formula: Heals 1d10 damage and removes all status ailments (1 fragment) "I make from special forest berries and water! Make you feel better! Very cheap, very simple."

>What do you do?
>>
No. 752307 ID: 3abd97

>>752304
Buy the weapon upgrade, and two restorations.
>>
No. 752312 ID: 398fe1

Resurrection seems a bit harder to get our hands on than healing-- oh wait I forgot you guys come back to life on your own. How much of a problem would that be?
>>
No. 752314 ID: ea2bfa

>>752312
Hypothetically, Deities can bring each other back to life with a few uninterrupted minutes of concentration. While impossible in combat, you should be able to do it AFTER a battle.

As long as one of you is alive at the end of a battle, you should be able to resurrect everyone else afterwards. You can't do this mid-combat without certain battletechs you don't have yet.

>What do you do?
>>
No. 752317 ID: 398fe1

Healing's probably a better idea, then.
>>
No. 752322 ID: ea2bfa

You purchase the scythe, along with two healing potions, handing over all of your relic fragments to Shopkeep. He sweeps them underneath his robe.

"Thank! You are good Customer Person. I stay here, sell you things! Sometimes I am gone, though, making more merchandise for you! Just put fragments on counter, and take what you want!"

You go back to Speaker and Aria, who're sitting at the map. "Well, we're at a crossroads, Hammer." Aria says, staring at the map.

"Indeed. I say we should go to the forest, but Aria wants to go to the Crypt."

Aria shrugs. "No particular reason. Just think it's a good idea. More loot."

Speaker frowns. "Look, just act as a tiebreaker, okay, Hammer? Where do you want to go?"

>Forest
>Crypt
>>
No. 752539 ID: 3abd97

Uh, forest? Sorry, babe. But I'd kinda like to find a less bland food source, and the woods seem like a better place for that than skeleton land.
>>
No. 752550 ID: 398fe1

Good point. Go to the forest, get some real food along with hunting monsters. Can we store gathered food in some way so that it won't spoil?
>>
No. 756254 ID: 4d0e33

>>752322
The forest, for a different reason. The forest seems like a more likely place to find allies and less unambiguously evil folk, and the King and Queen of the Day and Night halves of the forest seem more likely to be potential allies. I don't think we'd have nearly the same shot at that with the Necromancer and Asmodeus. And as much as I relish a good ass-kicking, I'm rather enjoying having a couple of allies already, and I wouldn't mind a few more, or an army or two.
>>
No. 756259 ID: 2169b1
File 147791976138.png - (22.12KB , 1000x1000 , Reading Asshole.png )
756259

>>752550
Well, you do have your BAG OF HOLDING, which is basically your inventory. You're not sure how perishables interact with it, but considering that most items enter a state of suspended animation while they're in the bag, they should stay fresh until you remove them.

Failing that, there's a dented cooler in the corner of the campsite that should still work.

>>756254
You also mention how there may be a chance to find allies in the forest, and Speaker nods.

"My thoughts exactly. I've heard that The Firebird is relatively level-headed for a powerful monster. With any luck we can get some help from him. Or at least some resources.

Aria sighs. "Alright, sounds logical. I guess fighting through hordes of undead doesn't sound like that great a time either."

After a bit of preparation, the three of you head on your way, Aria keeping up a beat as you go. After a long while spent walking, the roiling ground underneath you changes to soft grass, and you stand at the edge of a large forest.

You seem to be at the DAYTIME portion of the forest. A strange creature sits on a blanket in front of you on the grass. He appears human, but completely bald and with pure white skin. He wears a suit seemingly carefully folded from paper, with a tie inked onto the front. Words cover the suit, constantly shifting.

He looks up at you as you approach, lowering the book he's reading. He looks you up and down as you approach.

"Howdy." He says, though he doesn't seem friendly whatsoever.
>>
No. 756273 ID: 3abd97

>I guess fighting through hordes of undead doesn't sound like that great a time either.
Let's refrain from commenting how much the guy we just came across resembles a mummy.

>though he doesn't seem friendly whatsoever
Well he's not jumping up to attack us, or offering anyone up as a sacrifice, so he has that in his favor.

>Howdy
Hey.
>>
No. 757543 ID: ec08e4

>>756273
He scowls as you greet him, and stands up. He steps forward, the blanket underneath him disappearing in a puff of paper shreds and the scent of binding glue. He closes his book, and seemingly inserts it into thin air, the book disappearing as he pushes it to the side.

"Well, the rumorsss were true, huh?" He says, looking the three of you over. "Two Godsss and an Other. Bit of a motley crew you've got going, isssn't it?"

He shakes his head. "Regardlesss, my name isss Babel. I get the feeling you all know who I am?"

You and Aria feel rather disturbed at the revelation that one of the strongest Monsters known to any living being is in front of you... and then Speaker snaps her fingers and points. "You're Queen's kid! Gosh, you've sprouted up like a weed! And also you're not a snake anymore!"

Babel scowls. "Ah, yesss, missss Ssspeaker. How pleasssant to sssee you again."

He pulls another tome from the shelf, this one labelled "Le Grimoire des Contes". He flips it open and begins examining the pages critically. "Really, she wanted me to ussse thisss one?"

He shakes his head and looks up at you again. "I sssuppossse you have sssome quessstionsss for me. I'd sssuggessst asssking them now."
>>
No. 757636 ID: 3abd97

"You got some kind of beef with us, kid? I seem to recall deciding not to fuck with you royal types."

"And hey it's a free... anarchist wasteland. We're just walking here, and the only fight we've been in we were invited to."
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No. 768793 ID: cf8ee7

>>757543
> He shakes his head. "Regardlesss, my name isss Babel. I get the feeling you all know who I am?"

> You and Aria feel rather disturbed at the revelation that one of the strongest Monsters known to any living being is in front of you... and then Speaker snaps her fingers and points. "You're Queen's kid! Gosh, you've sprouted up like a weed! And also you're not a snake anymore!"

What do we know about Babel, in-character?
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