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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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929271 No. 929271 ID: 5a5548

THIS QUEST MAY OR MAY NOT CONTAIN: adult content, gay and lesbian content, gore, asphyxiation, nonconsensual immolation, necromantic life drain, vivisection by way of mideival weaponry, full on cannibalism through swarms of sapient insects, cube-based dissection, and vaginal fingering.

a girl entered the tavern about a half ago, beaming from ear to ear, and strapped for war.

"a mug of your finest, sir!" she said, "you're looking at the newest initiate of the Crawler's Guild!"

Select a Race:

GARGOYLES: stout of body, stout of soul. gargoyles are as unmoveable as the mountains.

MURDERSCRUBS: Death begins, death ends. Murderscrubs are masters of the fine art of killing.

FURIES: anger within, fury without. Furies burn with a righteous and uncontrolled rage.

ZENLINGS: fleet of foot, fleet of mind. Zenlings move like a cold breeze, and strike like a sandstorm.

LUDELINGS: perfection of self, perfection of the world. Ludelings walk like men, and think like wolves.
226 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
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No. 941693 ID: 5a5548
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941693

Emerald begins interviewing Corona.

>care to fill us in a bit more on what the invoker games are?
hah. the Invoker games. real barbaric shit. it's a week long tournament held between Spellers of all kinds. Hellfire Invokers started it, so it's called the Invoker Games. the games are split into several brackets. there are the trials, which are really more of an entertainment for the kids, there's rarely much blood spilt there, it's just a lot of hopping over obsticals and casting your way out of traps. the doubles, in which two teams of two Spellers are pitted against each other. then there's the grand melee. that's the big event. it's six rounds. the first two rounds are 30 man brawls. the spells fly like hunks of spit and fuckers get KO'd left and right. you have to be quick and stay low or you're liable to get your skull rattled by a necrosiphon or a severbolt. after that, the top 16 are put together and the next 4 rounds are duels. those are the real tests of mettle; and thrice now I've come out on top. past the Necromancers, and the Bleeders, the Gorepriests, the Dragonspeakers, the Paladins, the Elementalists... every school comes down to the games and no one is treated unequal. at the end of the day, the victor is the better caster.

>What kind of spells do you know?
huh? well I don't really cast spells. I invoke Hellfire. I can pull Hellfire from hell and will it to the shape, temperature, and size that I want. Invokers know a few tricks with Hellfire that we use to make it do what we need it to. I can wreath my hands in it, that's called a Wrathshroud, and I can use it to deal with melee combatants; the fire creates a bubble of pressure so I can turn blades if I need to. if I shape the fire into a dart and send it flying we call that a Malicespike, and we normally use it to poke someone between armored plates. a Spiteblossom, that's just when I cause a small eruption of Hellfire, that can originate on any surface or living creature so we usually use it to disperse crowds of people. if I create a small pocket of it and blast that outward in a cone, we call that Grieve Flechette, and it's how I get people to back off if I need them to. I've been looking into more tricks but those are the ones I can do no problem. there is a trick I've been meaning to learn called Spitemare but it's pretty risky, and I'm just as flammable as anyone else.

>Seeing how you just got done with a mission what are some other missions you've been on?
oh that was just a starting mission. some test Crawlers need to pass to earn the coin. mine was clearing out a crypt of some ghouls. I just rang the dinner bell and got them all close together before roasting them. the other chick who was on assignment with me mostly set up behind me and picked the more resilient ones off with her throwing knives. that was my first Crawl, but I've done a bit of dungeon crawling here and there, nothing too major. I mostly just do these dives to pass the time between Invoker Games or Atrue Services. if you're asking if I know what I'm getting into going down there, I'm well aware of the risk.

>How well do you think you could figure out what some random magic do-dad we may come across does?
that's not really my skill set, but if you need someone to identify a spell, I'm pretty good at that. I've dealt with enough Spellers that I can pretty easily size up a spell just by seeing and hearing it get cast. that kind of skill is important when you're in the Grand Melee or Doubles. in Doubles if your partner can trust you will know what they're casting without them having to spell it out for you beforehand that's a few seconds you don't have to waste while dodging Power Words and Cinder Sigils. of course, magic items are just normal items with a spell cast on them, so if I fool around with it for a bit I could at least narrow down the enchantment.

>Can you demonstrate any sensory magic? Please provide an estimate of Dance's dangerous strengths and vulnerable weaknesses as a combat opponent.
nah I can't really cast a spell that makes me see better or whatever. you want me to size up that Zenling you were talking to? sure. I'm guessing she's a Linewriter. the glasses are likely crystal lenses, and that's something only Linewriters tend to use. if that's the case... it's not really fair for me to size her up as an opponent. Linewriting is a slow and tedious kind of magic. not something you use in combat a whole lot. if she's quick with her writing she could try to Linebite me, but that's hardly a match for a Hellfire Invoker's combat abilities in a one-on-one scrap. then again, I did see a Linewriter make it to the finals one year, but that guy is maybe the best Linewriter there ever was, and he was still knocked out in the last round by an Invoker. if she were to want to fight me, her best bet would be to prepare ahead of time and set some Leyline traps, but if I just jumped her and starting hucking fire, nah. forget about it.

>You have any experience putting out fires with your magic instead of starting them?
hmm... maybe I could do that. something like a firebreak. Hellfire doesn't need fuel to burn but I think it still consumes the fuel it comes in contact with. I know that I can start normal fires with Hellfire if I will it to burn cold enough. I'll say I haven't tried it, but it's definitely possible.

>How much power can you direct outward? You say you're the best, but that doesn't give me much indication of how much strength you can output into your spells, or how long.
I can make a Hellfire as big and as hot as I want, but if I go too far I start to get burned since I am the conduit to Hell that the fire is coming through. same thing happens when I manifest for too long. I can keep a fire hot enough to melt steel and make stone glow, but I can only make it so big and hold it for so long. that's why I usually channel that into a dart and toss it through armor plates. that's also why the big explosions I can manifest are usually a bit colder.

>Suppose you accidentally trigger a trap and don't dodge in time, wounding you. What would be the first three things you would do?
well I assume we'll be taking a healer along with us, I'm thinking that they will be the one to handle injury. I've taken a few blows before so I'm not too worried I'll start panicking or go into shock over a caltrop or something. if there isn't a healer around, I've cauterised a wound a few times before. it's not exactly my favorite way to spend the day but it works.

>Are you willing to stay in close contact with anyone for extended periods of time, even if they are the most disgusting person you have ever met, if your leader orders you to use them as a meatshield?
I'm not a big fan of meat shields to be honest. I don't like having to lob malicespikes over their heads. honestly I don't have much trouble dealing with anyone. if they get out of line, start acting like a shit head, I'll remind them of the pecking order real fast.

>How many days are you willing to starve yourself on partial rations and drops of water?
oh now we're getting into the real shit, Horns? I was wondering when you'd quit with the softball. I can outlast any of the chuckleheads you put in front of me. most of these preppies in the hall here are used to mommie's fresh baked bread and thick sliced bacon. they'd likely keel over if they went a night without a flagon of midshelf wine. I grew up in the gutter, I spent days and weeks eating what I could catch and kill in the sluices and drinking what little clean water I could forage for in that shit bowl of a city. before I started claiming my winnings at the Games I lived like a rat. now that I do have money, I live like a rat in the clothing of a churchmouse. I still go without, because I know one day it might not be something I can choose to do. let me ask you, how many days do you think you could go without food and water?

>do you have any knowledge about monsters? You're probably gonna be fighting some.
I've picked some things up. I know that undead don't take kindly to fire. I know that Daemons can't be hurt directly by Hellfire but you can certainly choke them out by burning up all the air in their lungs. I know that most every bandit, beast, and bastard creeping around in those dungeons would very much not like to be immolated. most of my knowledge comes from fighting the various cretins I've faced off against. I've not got much scholarly information though. don't expect me to know the Estrus cycle of a Scythedrake, but if you need me to roast one I can.

>Ask Corona if she does anything other than blow things up. Does she have any utilitarian or buff/debuff spells?
huh. none yet. I know there are a few Hellfire tricks for buffing party members. I can Wrathshroud your weapon if you don't mind having Hellfire that close to your face. there is an other Trick I'm trying to get down where I can use the Hellfire to heal minor wounds, but it's a tough one, and it's not easy finding volunteers to help me practice.

>have you defended yourself before? Magic or not.
get a load of this chick. asking me if I can defend myself. yeah tough guy, I'm easy pickins, go ahead and throw a jab.

>If I swing at you with this, what would you do?
I'll fuck up your face pretty bad. but seriously, let's see here. a longsword like that is pretty heavy, so I'm not going to want to try and parry it with a Wrathshroud. I'd probably either want to pop your noggin with a Malicespike before you got in swinging distance, or, if I couldn't do that, I'd dodge the swing and spray you with a Grieve Flechette. that'd either kill you or knock you on your ass so I could finish you off. really, swinging a sword at an Invoker is a bad idea. it's like bringing a knife to a hand grenade fight. not to say that you couldn't outplay me with that blade of yours. it looks pretty well smithed and you don't exactly look like a rookie when it comes to swinging it around, but I'll say you're going to be at a disadvantage.

>"devoted of Atrue"? are you religious?
huh. you've not met many Furies, I guess. yeah, I have a Patron. I don't worship her, though. I'm courting her. when I eventually burn out, Atrue is going to take my fire to her realm, and when she does, if I impressed her, I'll get her hand in matrimony. really I could care less about the living happily ever after part, I just want a handful of that ass. the ass of the original flame. the oldest fire. the first light that once illuminated the world. that, my friend, is the most heavenly of asses to sink one's fingers into.

>what do you think of Armada?
what kind? are we talking about a Bleeder? a Gorepriest? some kind of other Speller? or are we talking about a boring one with no magic? I like Bleeders a lot. I used to do Doubles with a Bleeder. he was a firecracker. you would hear him throwing out those dumb ass poems and then suddenly he'd be chucking little needles of blood from his fingers like shuriken. Bleeders don't give a fuck about their own safety. little dude would jump in the way of spells all the time and just keep spitting lines and psalms like it was nothing. I think he had a crush on me, but I'm pretty sure most Bleeders get their cocks cut off. as far as Gorepriests go? eh. I'll pass on that. I've seen enough people get turned inside out. they're certainly effective combatants, but I was not sad to see them go when I found out they would be banned from the Invoker Games. the Games aren't supposed to be fought to the death. sure, sometimes when the spellcraft is flying about an unluck sod buys the farm, but Gorepriests? nah. they put you underground like you're nothing. well, the put most folks underground. I had little trouble with them. it's not so easy popping my ribs out when you're sucking in as much hellfire as air.

Emerald thanks Corona for her answers and then interviews Dances-Nude.
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No. 941694 ID: 5a5548
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941694

>what kind of tricks can a line writer pull off?
oh well. like I said I can rewrite the code of a Leyline. where the Leylines intersect I would be able to change the physical properties of that area. for instance, there are Leyline intersections down your spine. those are called Chakras, and I can change the properties of your chakras to make physical changes to you. uhm for example I can select your heart chakra and change the properties of it to make you stronger, or dull your pain, or uhm... I'm sorry I am trying to remember the code for it, but I could change the code of your heart chakra to do several things that would make you a bit stronger. same goes for the mind chakra, or the spirit chakra. I can also effect other intersections that aren't attached to people. any magical item has an intersection, there are static intersections in the world, there are intersections everywhere, and I can change the code to , for instance, reverse gravity in an area, or create a magic bubble that nullifies other spells in the area. there's no limit to the codes I can learn. of course, I am still learning, so I don't know a lot of codes, and I still have to memorize a few before I can start writing them freehand, without my books.

>Can it be used in a fight or is it not really viable to use during battle?
uhm... well, it is not very easy to use Leylines offensively. when people move around, their chakras become harder to track, and writing these codes take some time. I would have trouble, for instance, using someone's heart chakra to stop bloodflow and make them pass out. the main way that Linewriters can cast offensively is through a Linebite. I will write garbage code and attach it to their chakras, and when the Leyline tries to run that code, it will be unable to, and will expunge it from its directory, which will cause damage to that chakra. it isn't as effective as a Firebolt or a Necrosiphon, and it's still slower than many other offensive spells, but it is something that any Linewriter can do without trying to keep a bead on a shifting chakra while writing code.

>What kind of schooling did you receive as in were you taught how to fight, how easily can you identify unknown magical items, those sort of things?
Daddy taught me all about the Magical theories. he wants me to become a Sorceress Supreme, like he is. you know, master all the schools of Sorcery. I'm an apprentice Linewriter right now, but I plan to learn the other schools as soon as I can. can I identify magical items? sure! some of them! Daddy taught me some Artifice. I know a lot of common enchanments. I can usually identify if an item is enchanted or cursed, unless it has a strong glamour or is something foreign, but Daddy has a large library of exotic cursed items. he has a pair of vintage Fuck Up Boots, a Howling Headsman's Axe, a Sword of Shearing, Meatclown, and loads of other knick knacks. he... uhm... never taught me much in the way of fighting, though. he said that only fools and farmers fight their own battles when Daemons are so cheap.

>Glasses. Do you need them? What would break them? How easily can spares be acquired?
o-oh. these? uhm. yes I need them. they're crystal lenses. I use them to see the Leylines, and also to read. th-that part's not an enchantment, they're corrective lenses. they are pretty hardy. Daddy forged them from sand he got from Hell. they're not easy to replace, though. I should be able to get a new pair from Daddy, but I'd be unable to Linewrite until I got them back.

>You ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
oh! uhm. aheh. well... Daddy has a lot of Daemon summoning equipment and I... it's perfectly normal, you see. Daemon pacts are not anything to be ashamed of! of course, if that pact had anything to do with dancing, that wouldn't be weird either! heheh... heh...

>What's the subject you're weakest in?
Daddy has tried to tutor me in public speaking. I'm afraid I'm talentless there. he says that strength of personality is vital for a Sorceress. I hope he's wrong...

>so... Dances-Nude. not what it sounds like?
uhm! w-well. you see... I uh. Zenlings collect names as we grow older. my full name is Snow-Upon-Fresh-Earth Sugarcane Reads-From-Kings Dances-Nude. so, you see... Dances-Nude isn't even that relevant of a name! it is in fact, completely irrelevant. m-meaningless. h-has no meaning. none!

>How often do Leylines come up that your specialty comes into play often enough to see use?
Leylines are everywhere, and so Leyline Writers have utility anywhere they go. we mostly see use in the civilian sector, though. there, you have all the time you need to write out codes. Leyline Writers are the reason why the Ghost Lattice works, we are the reason why enchantments can be placed upon items, we are the reason why the mail can get delivered so quickly. in combat, Layline Writers usually prepare ahead of time. they rewrite the chakras of their allies to give them an edge, and they set Linetraps on the battlefield to try to disrupt the enemy.

>You say you can direct things, but how far can you push them would you say?
right now I have to make the changes sort of small. if you push the code too much without proper syntax, you could risk getting Linebitten yourself, so novice Linewriters have to keep the code simple, and therefore the effects are less powerful than a more experienced Writer.

>Suppose you accidentally trigger a trap and don't dodge in time, wounding you. What would be the first three things you would do?
o-oh! uhm. I uh! oh no. I would uhm. first thing to do would be to try to uhm. elevate the wound, apply pr- E-elevate the wound, apply pressure, staunch bleeding. I would uh... alter the heart chakra to lower my heartrate, which should...make me pass out. no that's no good...

>Are you willing to stay in close contact with anyone for extended periods of time, even if they are the most disgusting person you have ever met, if your leader orders you to use them as a meatshield?
oh! uhm... I would hope I would get along well with everyone! do you think I would have a problem with one of the party members? did they say they didn't like me? I will try to be good to them if that is the case!

>How many days are you willing to starve yourself on partial rations and drops of water?
oh no! I would... if you need me to I would go without for a while. I uh, I've never done that before, though. I can't say for certain. I uh... Daddy has always provided me with food. Zenling metabolism is quite high, so I should hope that we won't run too low. if needed, I could go without as long as you need, though. m-ma'am

>If you see a strange object, what will you do first?
I would, uhm. I would read the Leylines. it might have some code on it that could be referenced. that's how I normally Identify enchantments. the Item will have a code that binds the enchantment to it. once that's done I can try to figure out what the enchantment does.

>do you have any knowledge about monsters? You're probably gonna be fighting some.
oh yes I have studied several Monster Manuals. I know a good amount about Undead, Daemons, and Dragon-alikes. they come up a lot in Sorcery. I know a lot of miscellaneous facts about many creatures as well. mostly what kind of reagents you can obtain from them; that's important for Alchemy. I'm not so good at actually fighting the monsters, but in theory I should be able to point out weaknesses or warn you about natural abilities of many monsters.

>What can you tell me about this sword?
o-oh is that the Drakkunmesser? made by the blacksmith Drakkungall? where did you get that sword? Daddy told me about it. he said that it was considered one of the most powerful nonmagical weapons ever crafted! it's a shame that the blacksmith died, he made some really amazing pieces... uhm. are you okay? you seem upset. d-did I do something wrong? I'm sorry! it's uhm. it's a bluesteel bladed longsword. bluesteel is a little heavier than steel, but it holds its edge incredibly well, and can be shaped to be much sharper than traditional metals. this means that Bluesteel swords have a lot of shear strength and don't require as much maintenance.

>Are you willing to work with members of any race?
oh. hum. I think so. that's really more of a question of whether the individual is someone I'd wish to associate with. I've only ever had much interaction with other Zenlings and Daddy. I am interested in learning more about the various races of Alt, though.

>even an Armada?
an Armada? oh. those are the southern people, right? Daddy told me about them. I was told not to associate with them. they take Zenlings as slaves. I... suppose, hypothetically, I would be ok working with an Armada... would they be a Crawler? I would hope a Crawler wouldn't have any interest in working with slavers... r-right? I've got nothing to worry about, right?

Emerald thinks about the responses she's gotten so far. she thinks she might be ready to make a decision, though she might have a couple last minute questions.
if there are any followup questions posted there will be a quick update to answer those, otherwise now is the time to vote for a party member.
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No. 941695 ID: ad51b8

so from what I'm getting Corona is a MUCH better fighter and while not to great at figuring out whatever magic thing we may come across is or be able to tell us what kind of monster we're fighting she can at least be able to tell us how to deal with fighting any possible enemy spell users and can probably fight any monster quite handily as long as it needs to breath and isn't hell fire proof.

Dances on the other hand sounds like she'd be almost useless in a fight but if given some for warning could at least boast everyone else in the party to make them all better fighters. So basically a buff/debuff spell user whoooo happens not to be so good at the debuffing part of her job. However she does sound like she is VERY knowledgable so assuming she has some time to study something their would probably be very little we wouldn't be able to figure out.

So Corona is a better fighter but her spell list seems a bit more niche as their is only so much you can do with fire. Dances on the other hand is very much a support member and since she is being pushed to become sorcerer supreme will probably have a lot more options available to her in the future then Corona.

Honestly since this is our first run leading people I'm honestly leaning towards Corona as she seems much more capable then Dances-Nude and I would very much hate to see what would happen to us if daddy's little girl got hurt.

As for questions 1 for Dances. "Why doesn't she just call herself snow instead of Dance's Nude?"
and 2 for KultKanser. "are these team mates permanent members to our team or we go our separate ways once the mission is done and unless we find them available for future missions won't run into them again? Also if we don't pick someone now might we be able to see them again in the future when building a different team... or at least trying to replace fallen members?"
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No. 941710 ID: b1b4f3

This seems like kindof a blowout for Corona honestly. She's no support caster and is somewhat more likely to cause party friction, but is extremely good in a fight, is good enough at dealing with magic and magical items, and can easily tolerate hardship.

Also Dances hasn't even passed her entry exam, she needs to do that before she can join. How long would that take?
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No. 941715 ID: 0fae41

Dances would summon demons, buff allies, and has an interest in multiclassing? Yes please and thankyou. Don't worry, we won't be working with any slavers. (This run, at least...)
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No. 941720 ID: 977456

>I'll remind them of the pecking order real fast.
This sounds like a problem, voting Dances. We're new at this leadership gig and she sounds like she has already decided that she is the most important member of the team and will resort to violence to prove it. We're just too green to handle her. Also, it sounds as though Dances could pull off some crazy stuff if we can lure monsters into a prepared trap. Maybe we can set up some portable traps? A low-quality magic shield with a reverse-gravity code on it that can be tossed into a passage to mess up anyone who steps on it?

I have this weird feeling that the invoker games are fought while wearing elaborately-painted masks and making speeches mid-battle.

>I use them to see the Leylines
I wonder if it is possible to train to see leylines without lenses. It'd be something I would like her to look into. Maybe we could get her a corrective monocle and a cheap crystal monocle and she could train to adapt to blurry leylines and...
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No. 941722 ID: 094652

At this point, I think we should hire Corona now, but plan to frequently hire Dances in the long term.

Corona is independent and has high survival skills, at the cost of being slightly shortsighted. If things go pear-shaped she will survive long enough to get everyone out of a few sticky situations, just enough time to retreat. She also has real Crawler experience, so she'll keep herself from making rookie mistakes, which means her arrogant short temper isn't a real threat in the short-term.

Dances, on the other hand, is an all-round improvement with high maintenance. If she's well protected and given time to learn, she'll be an outright force multiplier and overall intelligence boost to your party. That's essential in the long run, when starvation and bad decisions are exponentially more of a threat than a horde of murderhobos. But right now, she's simply too under-prepared to act independently; all it would take is one bad turn to get her killed. Level up first, then grind her levels until she's your second brain.
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No. 941724 ID: 10c408

Alright, I like Corona. Lots of experience fighting other spell casters, decent knowledge about determing what type of creature she's targetting before killing it with fire and unlikely to freak out.

HOWEVER, we're dungeon crawling. We're not signing up to fight casters in an arena or going into a hostile area to neutralize enemy combatants. For those tasks sure I'd pick Corona in a heartbeat but I'm voting for dances for the following reasons.

1: Corona admitted that she's never studied and her best method for determining spellwork is hearing it being cast. Good for fighting casters, bad for literally everything else we probably will come across. No point in one person on the team knowing that we've accidentally set off an explosives rune trap right before it frags everyone in the group.

2: friendly fire isn't actually very friendly, and as she so clearly stated, she doesn't give a crap about causing it. And considering that anyone on the frontline is most likely going to be wearing full body armor, getting splashback because the fire mage didn't care at all is far too much trouble to take along.

3: authority issues. We are the expedition leader and we have to make the hard decisions. Corona doesn't sound like she'll respect this at all and if there's any in-fighting on the crawl, she'll probably win it decisively. And that's not something we can afford.

So, for those three reasons I'm voting for taking the Dances. Yes, she's inexperienced but it sounds like she can do some amazing shit with ample prepr work and in a pinch she can still attack while we defend her.
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No. 941738 ID: 8eaf98

Dances hands down. My original reasoning still stands and is reinforced by the interviews
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No. 941748 ID: b5bc34

I mean, first off tell Dances-Nude that her idea about the heart-rate would only be a problem if she was alone. Slowing the bleeding by lowering the heart-rate would be really useful, on her or on others. She's got good instincts.

And you asked about the sword, it's not her fault she knew more than you expected or that it affected you, she should be told it's okay.

This decision is super difficult. Corona is an excellent fighter and you need that, but you have yourself, and maybe the Armada as capable fighters, and you really need someone with a lot of knowledge on your team.

I'm convinced we need Dances-Nude. You're not really in a position to hire someone who's such an investment, but your whole M.O. at this point is hiring hidden potential, so go for it.
Just make sure she agrees ahead of time to not tell Daddy about the Armada on the team and we're good to go.
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No. 941773 ID: 7fafab

>>941694
Corona can fight, but so can everyone else. She would only be useful in combat, unlike Dances. For example, if you were doing recon or setting up an ambush, Corona could only describe the appearance of an unaware enemy. Dances could tell you far more than that by looking at their "code", and perhaps even perform subtle chakra manipulation to make them less effective if/when you fight them.

Dances will get better at combat with time, while Corona has rejected education.
Dances has stated her desires to improve where she is lacking, while Corona has outright refused to do so.

Corona seems more egotistical, which is never a plus in a group-based activity. Dances has established that she's friendly.

Corona points out that Dances would be useless in an ambush, but I believe the insect would be quite useful in preventing an ambush. If she can manipulate things in the way she says she can, she could make your eyes see with far greater precision in the darkest of caves.

In the end, Corona is a magical fighter. She doesn't bring anything particularly special to the group.
Dances brings a unique set of skills with their own application that other team members are unlikely to be able to cover.
Dances is my choice. I doubt our first run will be one that involves starvation and amputation.

>>941693
"I just want a handful of that ass. the ass of the original flame."
Dick Souls

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No. 941775 ID: 0091dc

How long do leyline buffs last?
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No. 941793 ID: 5a5548
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941793

>are these team mates permanent members to our team or we go our separate ways once the mission is done and unless we find them available for future missions won't run into them again? Also if we don't pick someone now might we be able to see them again in the future when building a different team... or at least trying to replace fallen members?
the character that is unselected will not be appearing later in this story, but they may be seen again sometime in an other story. the character that is selected will be participating in the adventure hopefully to its conclusion. they will at least be an active participant until their personal conclusion...

"why don't you go by Snow? if Dances-Nude is a problem." Emerald asks.

"y-you want me to go by my birth name?" Dance replies confusedly.

"is that a problem?"

"it's a bit tacky." Dance explains, "Zenlings don't generally go by their old names. it's a social faux pas. we usually go by our most recent name. unfortunately until I do something noteworthy, I'm just... Dances-Nude."

Emerald nods unsurely, then asks "how long do Leyline effects last?"

"until the Leyline purges itself. it's usually every couple of minutes that the Leyline resets its code to the unmodded state, though some codes are designed to be self replicating and permanent. I don't know any of those yet, but those codes are how the Ghost Lattice is set up."

"have you done your starting crawl yet?" Emerald wonders.

"oh. uhm. I was talking to Daddy about it when I came in. I had just gotten through the exam and Daddy felt that the Skirmisher I was working with was trying to take advantage of me. we had a bit of a miscommunication about it and I was just explaining to him my stance that having a jury of Daemons beat the crap out of her was an overreaction. b-but the point is that I have my coin, or I will when Daddy gets back from dealing with the Scribe."
>>
No. 941794 ID: b1b4f3

>>941793
Wait, can she summon demons to help with fights too?
>>
No. 941798 ID: b5bc34

We heard that Linewriters can make traps in the environment to catch enemies in, what are those like and which ones can you do?

I still want to pick her but I'm curious about this too.
>>
No. 941810 ID: af0014

I'm gonna ask a few more questions just for curiosities sake since I already voted.

Exactly how close would you have to be to a leyline in order to write with it? If you and the line are close enough but your target is elsewhere, what are your immediate options? And if we came across a room full of, say, floating rocks shooting lasers at intruders, how would you handle it?
>>
No. 941812 ID: 864e49

Can "one-trick" Corona find and disarm hidden traps or read ancient text? If no then go with Dances.

I mean we're going dungeon crawling not to war, and anyway we already have two blades for dealing with demons and spirits, a claymore for anything else, a healer who is a blood mage and quit possibly once a high level member of her armada clan and we still have to find a Rogue and a Warrior. We do not need another fighter.

Also Dances cute and needs the experience.
>>
No. 941816 ID: 864e49

>pair of vintage Fuck Up Boots
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
>Meatclown
HAha ha wait waht

Also should we inform her that she looks really hot in that school uniform? And why is one sleeve different?
>>
No. 941817 ID: b1b4f3

>>941812
I think our rogue is gonna be dealing with the traps, not the speller.
>>
No. 941820 ID: 864e49

>>941817
But what if hidden MAGIC traps!?
>>
No. 941821 ID: d6afc2

This is pretty much the question if we want JoCat or Zee Bashew be our wizard.
>>
No. 941827 ID: 7fafab

>>941793
"Well, three of your fellow teammates aren't Zenlings, so if you're more comfortable with Snow, I'll address you as such and ask them to do the same. Fair warning: I can't guarantee that losing the lewd name will stop me from teasing a cutie like you."

"And yes, your teammates - you're welcome aboard, if you would have us alongside you."
>>
No. 941828 ID: 7fafab

>>941827
Do Zenlings have an equivalent of Ludeling petting? If you don't know, ask her; if so, do it.
>>
No. 943376 ID: 5a5548
File 156654531614.png - (602.64KB , 1500x1444 , 0053.png )
943376

"I think I'm going to go with the Sorceress. I'm sorry." Emerald says to the Fury after some thought, "you seem powerful, but I'm looking for someone with more book smarts right now. maybe some other time we could group up?"

"sounds like a date, horns." Corona says seductively, "I'm probably going to be off somewhere else pretty soon, though. say, how about you come down to next year's Invoker Games? you could watch me do my thing. if the door guy gives you any shit, you tell him you're with me."

she punctuates this by clapping a hand on the small of Emerald's back affectionately. her tail springs up in response to the sudden touch. Emerald realizes that Corona has been coming on to her this whole time, she starts to blush as Corona waits for her answer, eyes narrowing.

"yeah! s-sure. I'd love to see more of you- to see more of what you do, that is. heheh."

"yeah, same." Corona flashes a genuine smile before turning away, "see you around, Horns~"

Emerald gulps down her nervous stutter and tries to lose her blush as she returns to Dance, "uhm. ahem. I have decided to take you on as our party's speller."

"really?" Dance beams back.
>>
No. 943377 ID: 5a5548
File 156654551573.png - (541.18KB , 1500x1500 , 0054.png )
943377

"yes. after some thought I decided that you wou- ACK"

Dance wraps her arms around Emerald and squeals in excitement. for a scrawny girl, Emerald can't help but notice she's got some serious grip. Emerald eventually wriggles out from Dance's grapple.

"s-sorry!" Dance gasps, "I got too excited. I'm really sorry!"

"it's ok. before you go to get your paperwork sorted, could you answer just a few more questions? they'll be quick, I swear."

"yes, of course!" Dance beams, "no one past Daddy has been so interested in me! it makes me feel a bit conceited, if you must know."

"you said you could lay traps?"

"oh yes!" she nods happily, "I only know a few right now. I can make a Siphon Trap which makes all magic in the area fizzle out, a Gravity Trap which can increase or lower gravity in the area enough to either ground or levitate those who enter the area, and I can also make a ghostfire trap which will cause a small explosion of heat in the area which can singe skin and burn flammable objects. the trigger for these traps is based on Leyline ripples, which means that the closer they are to the intersection I put the code in the better."

"interesting." Emerald says, "you said you have summoned Daemons before?"

"oh yes, but I wouldn't be able to do it again without a stocked laboratory." she explains, "truenames are long and complicated so I need to read them out of a special tome until I can memorize them, I need a lot of supplies to prepare for the ritual as well. Daemonists eventually learn how to summon Daemons without salt circles and anitholy artifacts by bartering souls with them, but Daddy hasn't taught me how to do that yet. he says Daemonism and Necromancy are too dangerous for apprentices to meddle with. actually, if he asks, I never went into his laboratory and summoned a Greater Daemon of Song, ok?"

"how far away from a Leyline can you still affect it?"

"I have to be able to touch a Leyline to write its code, but Leylines are very long and intersect everywhere. the longer the code has to travel on a Leyline the more likely I will get packet loss on the new code, so I would say optimal range would be... 20-30 meters before some of my codes begin to fizzle out. and uh, obviously I need to see where the intersection is. trying to write coordinates blind is tricky, and Linebites hurt a lot!"

"well. that's all I can think of for now." Emerald says, rubbing her chin, "welcome to the team. is there a Zenling equivalent to petting a Ludeling?"

"uhm? you mean f-foreplay?" she stutters, "w-well yes we h-have a certain uhm. ah, r-ritual that..."

"what? no I meant like a friendly gesture!"

"OH!" she turns beet red, "mnnn. sorry. I misunderstood. y-yes we have several gestures of endearment. usually we sing for our friends. that, and dancing. Zenlings dance for many occasions."

"you sing for your friends?"

"yes! like this." she clears her throat, "Emerald caldi evne akku ie veraika talvikkii!"

it's a short little diddy, but Dance sings it incredibly sweetly, and with a volume that Emerald did not expect from her.

"it's in old Zeni, sorry." she mutters, rubbing the back of her neck apologetically, "usually we sing in old Zeni."

"what did you say?"

"Emerald the Gargoyle, stout and stoic, Crawler queen." she says, "oh it sounds so dorky in Commoner Tongue! I'm sorry Zenling songs are usually better I promise."

"it was good!" Emerald laughs, "you've got a much better singing voice than I do. I'll have to work on mine and give you a song of my own, how's that sound?"

"sounds lovely!" she giggles, "I'll work on my lyrics as well, maybe we can make a duet together?"

Emerald watches her as she trots away to finish her paperwork with her father. was... was Dance also trying to flirt with her? Emerald is beginning to worry that everyone is secretly trying to fuck her. she banishes the thought. she needs to find a Warrior and a Thief. she quickly checks her Ghost Lattice. it seems Harvess is still busy for now, so she should still have some time to find more companions. where to next?
>>
No. 943379 ID: b1b4f3

>>943377
Let's find us a big ol warrior.
I'm guessing you can find one at a training hall or blacksmith?
>>
No. 943381 ID: ad51b8

might as well go warrior. Figure if we can grab one now it will let us figure out what kind of skill monkey we want for our thief.
>>
No. 943383 ID: 0fae41

Let's get ahold of a rogue before they're all 'called away' to deal with the aftermath (i.e. looting) of that runaway wildfire.
>>
No. 943387 ID: 094652

See if you can get a sniper-class long-range archer for your rogue slot. With Dances-Nude laying traps and your 'Paladin' Harvess scaring the ^&*( out of the opposition, most of your higher-level threats are going to stay the @#$% away from your killzones and take potshots until you stop moving. Hire someone who can take potshots at them first.

Rounding out this party, get a Defender who focuses more on mass-defending the team than aggro-tanking.

Suggested Crawler re-name: Killzone.
>>
No. 943401 ID: b5bc34

I don't know if Dances-Nude was flirting but she seemed really ready to be flirted with and at that point the distinction isn't that important.

Okay, let's check out the Rogues. A fighter is a fighter, as variable as that can be, but a rogue is variety as a job description. Don't want to miss out on any possible members by waiting too long.
>>
No. 943484 ID: 10c408

>>943482
Dea was going to meet up with us when she was done with her current adventure and help ensure that the expedition goes as smoothly as possible since we're a rookie at leading them.

And since there's quite possibly two warriors or at least one warrior and one unarmoured bruiser in the party...

Look for a thief next. We've got any assortment of weird magical shit covered
>>
No. 943485 ID: 32b5ec

>>943377
I don't believe Dances is flirting with us. To me, she simply seems very earnest and friendly.
This, however, should not stop us from being friendly and flirtatious with her when given an effective opportunity.

I'd say we find a warrior first. You've got a more passive spellcaster; we need to find a big ol' fleshwall-in-training.

Also, is Dea coming with us? What role is she covering? Have I mis-interpreted/remembered things?
>>
No. 953338 ID: 5a5548
File 157893743677.png - (1.79MB , 1943x1704 , 0055.png )
953338

a Rogue! I'm one of those! sort of! the thing you want to look for in a good Rogue is adaptability. they need to be ready to handle any kind of situation, and keep a cool head when doing it! their role in a party is both combat and support. they skulk around the sidelines of the fight, keeping the rest of the group safe from hidden threats and dispensing targets in a more precise way than a fighter or Speller. there are a lot of kinds of rogues, too. thieves and acrobats, assassins, scouts, brigands; there are all kinds, my first group called me a uh... Brawler? maybe you can find one of those! when you shop around for a Rogue always remember to look for adaptability, applicable skills, and self reliance! it's the cornerstone of good Roguery.

Emerald thinks on what Dia told her about rogues as she walks down the hall and out into the Guild courtyard. the courtyard is quite big, just like the guildhall. Emerald thinks that it's odd that a smallish city like this one has such a massive guild. maybe this is just a central location for Crawler related activities? she shrugs it off and refocuses on the task at hand.
>>
No. 953339 ID: 5a5548
File 157893745866.png - (510.39KB , 1500x1500 , 0056.png )
953339

"now just where am I going to find a Rogue?" she thinks aloud, rubbing her chin. as the words leave her lips, a rumbling overtakes the ground.
>>
No. 953340 ID: 5a5548
File 157893749585.png - (879.00KB , 2000x2130 , 0057.png )
953340

"you need a rogue?"

"hey Rogue here!"

"Rogue looking for group!"

"hey I'm a Rogue! please! Please!"

Emerald gets bowled over by a mass of Cutpurses and Backstabbers as they all vie for a spot in her party.
>>
No. 953341 ID: 5a5548
File 157893763919.png - (927.32KB , 2000x2000 , 0058.png )
953341

"hey there, sis!" Emerald hears a voice as someone grabs ahold of her collar and yanks her out from under the crowd, "you've look like a proper mark, calling out for Rogues to come to you, eh?"

Emerald stands and dusts herself off. the person who pulled her free from the mob is a Gargoyle. shorter by a bit than her, and about half as wide, sporting a grin and a thick coastliner accent.

"Yeah, we've got a reputation for eagerness." The Zenling cuts in. Emerald looks the two of them down. They both look young. Good looking, too. She had always thought of rogues as shifty, unsettling figures, grown old prematurely from hard lives in the gutters, but these men seem almost like school boys. she supposes it only follows logic. Dia is a Rogue as well, and she looks more like a dancer or a fancy noble lady, when she's not bruised and battered...

"But, hey. 'long as we've got you here... Word is you're looking to hire." The gargoyle smiles as he holds out his hand to shake, "name's Flynt. Strauss clan."

Emerald shakes his hand, her palm clammy from flynt's warm gaze. he really is a rather charming man. his demeanor is disarming.

"And you can call me Red-feather." The zenling says, "it's been a while since Flynt and I had a partner. And a lady of high blood no less."

"High blood? No I'm just a village girl."

"Village girls don't carry around Bluesteel choppers, m'lady" Flynt mockingly tips the brim of a mimed hat. Emerald turns to show the blade on her back.

"This? Oh thats just-"

"Drakkunmesser" Red-feather finishes, "yeah, that's a fine thing. Who'd you nick that from? You know you could fence that thing and retire from it?"

"I didn't steal it!" Emerald Huff's, "it's mine! And I'm not looking to sell it."

"So you're Drakkungart, then?" Flynt rubs his chin, "alright. Whatever you got brewing, I'm in."

"Hey now, friend. The lady's not looking for rogues. She looking for a rogue. One. That means you're redundant." Red-feather sticks his togue out derisively as he says so.

"I'm redundant eh?" Flynt scoffs, "s'that's your expert opinion, then? you're gonna turn this into an other contest, then?"

"may as well." Red-Feather gloats, "I always win anyway~"

"you've Dementia, old timer." Flynt counters, "last few times as memory serves I was on top and you were eatin' shite."

"then you're delusional. you've contracted a head sickness from your constant whoring and carousing."

"Aye and you've contracted a parasite in your mush filled insect brain."

"and you've had a concussion in your bald, empty head."

"And your cock has rotted off."

"And your arsehole has fallen out."

"and you-"

"Guys!" Emerald barks. the two of them jump and turn back to her, "how about instead of you two fighting like Goylings, I just decide? let's start with your class, ok?"
>>
No. 953342 ID: 5a5548
File 157893766705.png - (436.30KB , 1500x1500 , 0059.png )
953342

"right." Flynt grins, "I'm a Brigand. grew up as a pup in m' dad's raider clan. we would skulk up to unsuspecting merchants and preppy richfolk as they set up camp for the night and pull 'em off their horses and drakecattle, then have off with their tatt as quick as we came. 'course, I'm not in the raidin' life no more. I'm a legitimate sanctioned throat slitter these days. I do most of my work side by side with your warrior. while they keep the riff raff occupied I find m'self a foe that's suitably froggy and I make an opening, then when they're off balance, I bring up m' hatchets and find soft meats. if things get hairy, I'm no wilting daisy, either. I can take a knuckle to the jaw as good as any knight or merc you can find in the guild house. 'course, I know my way around the tools of the trade as well. I can pick locks, pop traps, and skulk about as well as keep my head down when our travels get hairy. also, not to brag, but I've not met a better cook 'round any campfire I've been in."

"and you?" Emerald turns to Red-Feather, who has been making mocking gestures the whole time Flynt has been talking.
>>
No. 953343 ID: 5a5548
File 157893774564.png - (498.98KB , 1500x1500 , 0060.png )
953343

"hehehe. well, since he set the bar as low as he did, let me just say, it's not totally his fault. I would be the better choice even if my opponent was half decent."

"aye, I'm decent enough to polish the cobblestone with your teeth, beanpole." Flynt retorts.

"my, how disrespectful." Red mocks, "well, let's see. where do I start... I'm a classically trained Velagunn Autendelaide. that's a long and complicated Zenling way to say I'm a Ranger. I have been to and killed people in every province in this continent. above ground, I am imperceptible as I fly from tree branch to tree branch, tall grass to sand dune, rocky outcrop to snow drift. in a dungeon, I am a ghost, flying silently through the hewn stone hallways and stalking the hapless beast guardians like a specter. I'm most comfortable with a bow in my hands, and an enemy at my front to skewer, but if it's a close encounter I've got my daggers, and the sharpness of mind to push them through the gaps of my foes' armor. if it's a trap or a blocked door, I'm just as capable as my friend here. outside of such filthy shitholes and into the wide world of nature, I can keep the party from stumbling into trouble, or having trouble stumble onto us as we sleep. let's be honest, the choice is obvious."

"maybe to you." Emerald replies, "but I need a minute to think about it.
just like last time, Emerald may ask the two questions before she decides between them.
>>
No. 953346 ID: 2202fb

>>953343
So he seems like the obvious choice, however one question we must know the answer to: can he cook?

That is a main selling point of our other candidate. As an outdoorsman and a ranger I would imagine that while his cooking may not be as great, he is probably experienced with scavenging and cooking with wild ingredients, not to mention hunting.

So, can he cook (also hunt and/or scavenge)?
>>
No. 953353 ID: e7c7d3

You seem to know each other quite well. What would you say is the other's best feature?
>>
No. 953358 ID: b1b4f3

>>953341
Sword's not visible. You do still have it, right?

>>953343
I'm pretty set on Red since we picked the support caster and thus need someone who can do reliable damage at range, but I guess we may as well look closer at their abilities.
Ask Flynt if he has any ranged options, and how good he is at dealing with mages or monstrous opponents. Does he have any other special tools or tricks or is it just the one-two combo he described?
Ask Red if he can take a hit. What kind of opponents is he used to?
>>
No. 953362 ID: 0fae41

Brigand's made a good first impression, but talk is cheap. The Zephyr has some catching up to do.
On a scale of one to rogue, how quick are you to cut and run if the raid starts going downhill?
Seems they have a bit of a friendly rivalry going on. Ask both of them to name one good quality about the other guy.
>>
No. 953364 ID: 5b0071

"Tell me about me."

A good test of their perception and a good way to filter out ass-kissers.
>>
No. 953368 ID: 2aa5f0

So Flynt seems more like a duelist. He can sneak and find and disarm traps but also can get into a fight and not crumble like a wet paper bag. Sounds like he works better when fighting with a partner since it sounds like he good at taking advantage of openings and also seems found of ambushes. And since I don't know if we can cook having someone able to cook could actually be good for party moral.

Red on the other hand seems to be your more typical rouge and he sounds better a being able to stay hidden and attacking from the shadows and so far seems to be the only person we've come across that can attack at range.

Guess you could ask Flynt how good he is in a ranged fight and red if he knows how to cook. And seeing how our healer is someone that people might have trouble with ask how they feel about Armada. If they're going to be in the party it's best to make sure everyone can get along.
>>
No. 953369 ID: 094652

"If I paid you a princess' ransom to kill your friend right now, how would you go about it?"

Hire the one that doesn't try to kill the other, or kills the other in a split second, or manages a feat of skill (ninja teleportation or sniper shot) while bragging about it.
>>
No. 953397 ID: cfc80f

Have 'em tell you about their greatest achievements and worst failures. What was the largest contributing factor to the victory and what could have been done to avert the loss?

Try not to entertain the notion of having them make out with you or each other and awarding the job to the one who can go the longest without coming up for air.
>>
No. 953417 ID: 0efe8e

>>953364
this
>>
No. 953418 ID: 37896a

>>953364
Maybe prompt them to also respond regarding fighting, but the question is good even if that part is a wash.
>>
No. 953438 ID: 9876c4

The skillsets of a ranger and a rogue have some overlap but not a lot. Let's just hire them both and keep the sexual tension sizzlin'.
>>
No. 953487 ID: 977456

Ask if they are willing to return your stuff.
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