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File 163198472971.jpg - (967.32KB , 1053x562 , sojourn_titlecard.jpg )
1010895 No. 1010895 ID: 673fe6

||=========||
|| SOJOURN || NOTE: This will be a NSFW / 18+ only quest!
||=========||

It is the FOURTH AGE, and now is a time of dire peril and uncertainty; the GREAT KHAN, AZAD KHAZARAD,
has perished at the apex of his ascension ceremony — leaving prophecies in tatters. Once mighty empires
teeter on the precipice of destruction, and the greatest among them, the KHANATE OF KHOR, lies in ruin
beneath a dark and mysterious PALL.

From the heart of the KHANATE, a terrible CURSE has begun to sweep the land, the spreading PALL warping
the very landscape and changing those with the misfortune of its touch in strange and sometimes MONSTROUS
ways. Sages say this is a prelude to the END TIMES: if left unchecked, all may be lost.

Desperate to avert calamity, many have dispatched expeditions or even armies, hoping to quash and forestall
such great perils and open the way to the FATED CITY at the heart of the KHANATE, where it is said answers
may lie. Few have returned, and the realms of man have grown restless -- and those beyond watch with
a growing concern.
133 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 1012467 ID: 673fe6
File 163347089781.jpg - (195.31KB , 550x350 , soj_disctome.jpg )
1012467

Quick addendum / clarification:

STUDY of the grimoire is in addition to / a free pick an activity, and I'll further note (because frankly it's a fine idea) you can submit a suggestion for a possible cantrip / ritual to pick from in the next follow-up. I have a pool I'll be drawing from, but may also include some choice suggestions as options as well.

I'd also planned to give an opportunity to direct additional growth from your inspiration, there was just already a lot there to digest in one post; as I don't want folks to think that the grimoire alone is your option though, I may as well include this extended bit:

There are other sorts of inspiration Kaia can reach as well as you adventure -- as a buune with strong ties to ESSENCE and its flow, you have the potential to discover and unlock wholly new abilities and expertise along your journey -- some of which may be quite unexpected or potent. Other paths will remain surprises for now, but this is a good place to make note that communing, forming BONDS or finding powerful concentrations of ESSENCE can lead to new branches of growth as well!

So, beyond your STUDY -- you have also been INSPIRED to...

> 1) Pursue the Path of Shrouds, further honing your stealth and subtlety
> 2) Pursue the Path of Thorns, further improving your handling of martial combat
> 3) Pursue the Path of Stars, further attuning yourself to occultism and sooth-saying
> 4) Pursue the Path of Roots, further developing your form for acrobatics and athletics

Note: available paths may fluctuate / lead to new discoveries / close along the way.

To recap - please pick three downtime activities in order of preference / priority, and one inspiration; you can also optionally suggest a cantrip or ritual, which may or may not end up in the selections available when we see the results next!
>>
No. 1012469 ID: c92a02

Thorns cantrip (or ritual). Pick the lockbox, the scroll, and forage for cool stuff.
>>
No. 1012470 ID: 96c896

I'm gonna say 4. If things go tits up, the best backup plan is running away.
>>
No. 1012488 ID: 094652

Path of Shrouds - you're currently alone, so you need to focus on stealth until you can form an adventuring party. Stealth is also great for scouting ahead and stealing from the strong-yet-stupid.
>>
No. 1012492 ID: bc1608

Path of Shrouds
>>
No. 1012494 ID: 92c1dc

Path of Stars seems like the wise choice. It seems as if our magical gifts are the most useful tools we have at our disposal, and making them more powerful would be a great boon.
>>
No. 1012497 ID: b6986d

>>1012459
Study the BRAMBLE GRIMOIRE and learn a matchstick spell!
> F) Pray for favor & guidance (To Khasma)
> C) Attempt to sooth-say about traps or danger in the lockbox
> A) Attempt to open the small lock-box and examine its contents
>>
No. 1012498 ID: 92c1dc

> C) Attempt to sooth-say about traps or danger in the lockbox
> A) Attempt to open the small lock-box and examine its contents
> G) STUDY Logenthal's Lines for Lagomorphs and practice your 'trade tongue'

I think that we should probably want to open this box, but we could be smart about it. If there is anything worth selling in it, I think practicing the trade tongue would be beneficial!
>>
No. 1012508 ID: f8fa51

B) Scroll Case
E) Forage
A) Lockbox

Path of Shrouds
>>
No. 1012519 ID: f610a0

My votes: A, G, F in that order, and study the Path of Stars. I agree that magic is our best play but I want to keep balance between that and our athleticism; we wanted to be dual-role rollin' so let's keep to that!
>>
No. 1012608 ID: 9c850e

>>1012459
D > G > B

>>1012467
Path of Shrouds
>>
No. 1012630 ID: e0aaa8

Path of Roots.
Gotta unlock those sex positions.
>>
No. 1012636 ID: 094652

EGAd!
>>
No. 1012643 ID: c4817a

A B F sounds nice to me.
And the path of shrouds has taken us this far, so let's keep at it.
>>
No. 1012680 ID: 673fe6
File 163382056121.jpg - (138.49KB , 350x464 , soj_027.jpg )
1012680

As you consider your options for the evening ahead, you run your fingertips along the hinged lid of the lock-box and peer with some fascination at how snug a seal it has formed. Curiosity brimming, you can scarcely resist the allure of secured containers with mechanisms; you gather up the lock-box and scroll case along with your tools, seating yourself on the edge of the bed and pulling the small table at its side to use as a workspace.

Before you begin, you take a moment to center yourself and focus on the faint brush of essence threaded around your vicinity; retrieving a pinch of herbs from your reagents, you tuck them into your mouth and lightly chew, closing your eyes and steadying yourself with slow, deep breaths: attempting to search the nudges of fate. Weal... and woe. A vexing result, but not entirely unexpected -- you elect to proceed with caution.

Setting out the lock box and gathering up your tools, you go to work. Carefully, you probe about the conspicuously larger top to the keyhole as you feel out the pins of the lock -- pausing in hesitancy before you begin to test them; with a deft, gradual twist you find a secondary mechanism occupying the space. Woe indeed. Angling the box to one side, you swap tools and tease at the mechanism to better visualize it in your mind's eye -- and with a distinct, satisfying click you cinch it.
>>
No. 1012681 ID: 673fe6
File 163382057360.jpg - (207.61KB , 450x450 , soj_028.jpg )
1012681

Satisfied that you have disabled the trap, your handiwork is swift and practiced as you move on to the lock itself -- defeating it after a short span once it is safe. You open the lock box, discovering an exceptional find secured within: a roughly egg-shaped object four inches long, fashioned from smoothly polished kalatite crystal and secured with golden caps. With your knowledge of arcane and the occult, you recognize it to be a VESSEL for ESSENCE -- capable of containing and storing a substantial quantity of such, whatever the source, and making it available for later use.

You can feel a twinge in the pit of your stomach as you run your fingers along its polished surface, seeing faint glimmers of light shimmer and fade from your presence; it is warm to the touch and faintly, you can feel it tugging at your own spirit -- albeit fruitlessly with your present self-control. This is quite a find, though also a somewhat troubling one as it suggests a knowledge of essence weaving among the realms of man.

From what you can discern, there is a faint store of spiritual essence within the vessel already.

You have gained:
> Soul Vessel

With this object, you can potentially store spiritual essence or 'soul' energy from whatever sources you may discover; stored energy can be consumed to significantly augment your arcane abilities, to imbue items with magical properties, or as a means of containing spirits divorced of their own mortal or immortal vessels. You may draw your own implications from this.
>>
No. 1012682 ID: 673fe6
File 163382058583.jpg - (196.03KB , 450x450 , soj_029.jpg )
1012682

Stowing the vessel for the time being, you turn your attentions to the scroll case next -- its stoppered ends proving slightly more elaborate than a more straightforward removal; after puzzling out twists and pressure while listening with your keen ears, you are able to determine the correct motion to open the case and retrieve bundled parchment from within. Numerous written documents have been secured within the case, but regrettably they are written in a script you do not presently understand; there are, however, several diagrams included among the writings, some of which you glean to be the designs for intricate traps of a large scale for securing passageways and chambers.

Returning the scrolls to their container and stowing it in turn, you tidy up your belongings and haul before settling in for more lengthy study with your remaining hours. You capitalize on your inspiration to delve deeper into the Bramble Grimoire in poring over extended ritual-work, committing the incantations and foci for reflection while you dream -- and then finish out the evening nibbling rations as you pore over SARKEN segments of your translation guide to better foster your communication.
>>
No. 1012683 ID: 673fe6
File 163382059656.jpg - (246.45KB , 750x350 , soj_030.jpg )
1012683

When at last you settle in for slumber, sleep takes you swiftly after the long day's affairs -- ferried off to the depths of your own starry subconscious. There, inspiration helps to guide you as you reflect on your experiences, invigorating your core with the inklings of ancestry and more primordial ebbs and flows. Collectively, this helps you to focus your subconscious to better bolster your conscious expertise.

Your have set your current primary focus to the Path of Shadows, with lesser foci in Stars and Roots.

You have learned a new cantrip:
> KINDLE - Focus your touch or elicit heat with a snap of your fingers and produce a small flame, comparable to a matchstick while concentrating.

You may learn one new ritual:
> A) PHANTASM - Conjure an illusory figment in an attempt to frighten or vex observers with visual and auditory elements. Magnitude and convincing efficacy are dependent on time and reagents invested in preparation, while more detailed or specific phantasms are more difficult to pull off. Interacting directly with a phantasm can allow beings to realize its farce.

> B) SHROUD - Cover yourself in an illusory shroud which provides misdirection for your presence, bending light with a faint shimmer to render yourself nearly invisible. Potent augment for particularly focused stealth, though fast or rigorous movement can hinder its efficacy. Duration dependent on concentration and partly fueled by your own essence.

> C) AUGURY - Divination of a more potent magnitude which augments your sooth-saying capabilities, potentially allowing you to commune on subjects in search of portents of futures which may yet be. Can allow you a glimpse of possible outcomes ahead, or to glean sometimes cryptic omens which have yet to transpire.

> D) WARD - Wreath a measure of magical barrier about an individual or object, providing a degree of added protection; subtly turns or lessens blows, diminishes force and offers a modicum of resistance to the supernatural. Magnitude and duration of wards depend on essence and reagents invested in their creation -- can be applied to yourself, others, or objects.
>>
No. 1012684 ID: 673fe6
File 163382060944.jpg - (228.62KB , 750x390 , soj_031.jpg )
1012684

When morning comes, you rouse refreshed and readied; taking advantage of your undisturbed respite, you tidy yourself up and have a good breakfast before donning your gear. Descending from the upper floor of the bakery, you take the time to scrounge around the lower level -- managing to collect a few old baked goods and a container of cinnamon from otherwise threadbare stock.

You have gained:
> 3x Old Baked Goods
> Cinnamon Shaker

Taking stock of the vicinity of the bakery, you see no signs of passerby in the morning -- though you do faintly hear some clamor off to the north. Avoiding the front door, you instead double back into the alleyway before proceeding to follow the narrow pathways further still, arriving at an exit into a broader open square. In the distance, to the northeast you can see light penetrating the PALL still -- a curious anomaly.

Though muffled by your hood, you can also hear what sounds like a commotion off in that same direction beyond what you can currently see; you hear what sounds like a short cheer before it is interrupted by shouting.

Note: Please be sure to also include your vote for the new ritual in addition to your response below!

You decide to...

> 1) Move swiftly and directly, attempting to gain a vantage on what is transpiring with more time to respond to it.
> 2) Follow a more circuitous route, seeking to maximize your position but arrive later.
> 3) _
>>
No. 1012685 ID: e51896

B, shroud, we're in unfamiliar territory, best to have this to spy on others before making major decisions.

1, move swiftly
>>
No. 1012691 ID: 51c10d

I vote B as well. Who needs to know what's coming or not get hit when nothing can see you?

1 as well. Don't want to miss whatever's going on.
>>
No. 1012692 ID: f3efdd

B, for sneaky invisibility fun.

2, circuitous route. Best to make an escape route.

But if we do 1, lets test out our new shroud ritual first to gauge how invisible we'll become, and what parts of us will be invisible. If there are a lot of people over there, there is a large chance someone might turn to see us if we dont use our shroud ritual.
>>
No. 1012705 ID: f610a0

As a veteran D&D player I pick A) because the ways you can apply illusions are infinite and truly sicko. And circuitous route
>>
No. 1012706 ID: 96c896

B, Shroud. Let's lean into our dual-class specialization.

1. Move swiftly.
>>
No. 1012733 ID: b6986d

>>1012684
>Eat a baked goods
If necessary, toast it a bit with our new cantrip to negate the staleness.
>>
No. 1012843 ID: 673fe6
File 163409502871.jpg - (284.56KB , 450x750 , soj_032.jpg )
1012843

Intent on seeking the source of the commotion swiftly, you nevertheless take the time to put to practice your new SHROUD ritual -- focusing your spiritual essence as you gesture and shape the force of your will to coax the incantation into being. Having not seen it put to practice before, you're initially startled as the faint glimmers and shimmers blossom about your belongings and being in rippling waves -- leading to the unexpected and somewhat embarrassing predicament of inadvertently baring portions of yourself beneath garments and gear as they grow more translucent.

In turn, you can feel a prickling sensation as the shroud washes over your form in broadening waves, affording you a chance to see through yourself save for a faint shimmering blur, quite a unique experience on reflection...
>>
No. 1012844 ID: 673fe6
File 163409505355.jpg - (250.23KB , 450x750 , soj_033.jpg )
1012844

Fortunately, the spell completes its wreathing of your figure after only a few moments -- and as far as you're aware, no one witnessed your temporary arcane wardrobe malfunctions this time. You make a mental note to remind yourself that SHROUD's casting and full effect takes some time to complete, helpful to know in future potential predicaments.

As professed, you are not entirely invisible as a result of the magic hiding your presence -- but it certainly will lend itself to making you even more difficult to discern from a distance and liable to amplify your stealth in dim light or near darkness that much more.

You move with haste then towards the source of the commotion, opting for the swiftest and most direct route to seek a better vantage of what is already underway.
>>
No. 1012845 ID: 673fe6
File 163409510178.jpg - (248.54KB , 550x450 , soj_034.jpg )
1012845

Darting deftly among the shadows along the main thoroughfare's buildings and awnings, you maneuver your way to a broad junction of several broader streets; you arrive in time to see six SARKEN men running after a seventh figure in the distance -- most of them with weapons drawn and shouting in clear agitation.

Thanks to brushing up on your translation guide, you're able to readily discern "It's him! Get the bastard!" and "He's fast, don't let him get away!" among a litany of curses.

All you can make out of the pursued figure is a mustard-colored cloak -- and he appears to be quite swift. One of the SARKEN is lightly armed and armored, one of them is heavily armored and the other four wear heavier lamellar and leathers. They do not appear to have noticed your arrival or observation, distracted as they are.

Of interest, the SARKEN have been drawn away from a pair of tall pillars with an overhanging archway leading to similar structures down a more ornately cobbled path. You recognize the path to the HALL OF LORDS from your wall-top vantage.

You decide to...

> 1) Pursue the SARKEN and the mustard-cloaked figure, to see what unfolds and have a chance to get involved.
> 2) Follow the path to the HALL OF LORDS in their absence, a chance to investigate without guards.
> 3) _
>>
No. 1012846 ID: 51c10d

Follow the scene! We've already been granted the powers of not-exactly-invisibility. Sneaking past them again shouldn't pose any issue.
>>
No. 1012847 ID: 8483cf

Hall of Lords! Couldn't have asked for a better distraction.
>>
No. 1012858 ID: 820483

Follow them. As much as getting riches is nice, we can use this opportunity to instead learn more and get an understanding what is going on and who to help and gain an ally, lets not let out invisibility go to waste
>>
No. 1012859 ID: 094652

He'll be fine. Get the loot while you can!
>>
No. 1012864 ID: f57349

Follow, and get your rope ready. All sorts of ways an invisible rope could be used to interfere, and it's a chance to test out the duration. If you go into the hall and start poking at stuff, that risks getting cornered inside when your shroud wears off and the guards come back.
>>
No. 1012866 ID: 1ee277

Given the input of our confidant in Rolph telling us that the SARKEN have been lately harassed by an unknown figure, the relative sanctuary that our cadbury-clad compatriot has provided on the path to the HOUSE OF LORDS and their insistence on defending it, it would be wise to slip inside unnoticed. There must be a reason they linger in this place despite the brigands and the PALL; if you are able to ascertain why and assist them in this moment, you may forge a powerful alliance of them yet. Rogues must stick together!
>>
No. 1012868 ID: b6986d

>>1012845
To the HALL OF LORDS! This is a perfect distraction, and if this is the unknown figure haranguing the SARKEN in the city, it's doubtful they'll catch him now. If we run into him later, we can thank him.
>>
No. 1012921 ID: 673fe6
File 163427244214.jpg - (353.06KB , 750x750 , soj_035_halloflords.jpg )
1012921

Weighing the situation, you consider following the men in their pursuit, that you might intervene -- but reflect that the figure is like as not the one Rolph had mentioned haranguing the SARKEN in the city; if so, perhaps they are elusive enough to avoid capture and combat even still. Instead, you decide to capitalize on the distraction offered while your shrouding magic remains, treading down the cobbled path towards the HALL OF LORDS.

Along the way, you pass beneath stone archways held aloft twixt tall pillars of carved stone, before arriving at a broad central plaza; further pillars stand in a ring connected by further archways, separating the plaza from an encircling pavilion beyond. At the heart of the plaza, broad stone steps lead up twin terraced stone platforms -- the way forward flanked by sizable braziers steeped with ashen embers.

As you ascend the first set of steps and arrive at the base of the second, you turn your gaze skyward and take in the sight of the grand hall's entrance. From above a shaft of light continues to penetrate the PALL beyond, wreathing a faint glow about a trio of towering statues poised overlooking the entrance below -- each depicting a crowned figure you surmise to be a 'lord' by its namesake.

On the left stands a man in heavy armor with an immense kite shield and sword, wearing some manner of lenses over his eyes; at the center, a robed figure supported by a long staff with a bell hung from its hooked top. Lastly, the figure on the right is garbed in a long cloak and holds aloft what appear to be a scepter and sling with a fiery arch between them. You feel as though the statues observe you where you stand; the air feels cold here, but you can still feel slight warmth from the braziers nearby.

Beneath the stone figures and above the entrance lies a broad recessed mural of intricately etched and painted stonework -- though the pain seems to have chipped and faded. A trio of figures stand to the left of the mural, seeming to correspond with the statues above, with a mountainous landscape in the background; on the right of the mural, you see a creature only vaguely resembling a horse made monstrous -- with multitudinous limbs, frightful jaws and a billowing cloud of miasma surging behind it.

Below, flanked by carved pillars in turn, lies the entrance to the HALL OF LORDS: heavy stone doors carved with two of the figures from above hang ajar -- affording access to a darkened span beyond with steps trailing down into the greater structure below the plaza ahead.

Faintly, you can smell the remnants of the SARKEN having lingered here -- and easing your hood, you allow your ears to stand tall to better listen to the path before you. There is a sound, quite faint, reminiscent of wind chimes somewhere in the dark ahead as a breeze filters through the opened entrance.

You still have some of your obscuring magic in effect and neither hear nor see signs of the SARKEN here at this time; you recall from your interrogation of Rolph that the way ahead being opened was an apparently significant and recent development.

INVENTORY as of this post: https://pastebin.com/jCRpvtT0

How do you proceed?

> _

Collectively, you can form a plan of action / approach to proceeding utilizing what you know, what you have, and what you can do according to your suggestions.
>>
No. 1012922 ID: 094652

Light the braziers, set caltrops in the shadow of the entrance, press forward.
>>
No. 1012925 ID: b6986d

>>1012921
Hold the SOUL VESSEL aloft and check for stray magic or spirits it can absorb, before proceeding.
>>
No. 1013092 ID: f6821f

The remains of the responses can be solidified as such: as this is sacred ground, it is best to tread lightly and ensure that those who may yet pursue you do as well. Do both above suggestions in the same order then venture within.
>>
No. 1013165 ID: e51896

try to stay in the shadows if you can, you're not totally invisible
>>
No. 1013290 ID: 51c10d

Lay caltrops at the entrance before descending down the stairs. Hopefully you'll be able to jump them if you need to leave in a hurry!
>>
No. 1013296 ID: 673fe6
File 163478195618.jpg - (361.37KB , 750x750 , soj_036.jpg )
1013296

Reasoning that you tread on what may be sacred ground, you consider the braziers and their dwindling heat; though it would doubtless draw more evident sign of your passage from afar, you decide that lighting the path into the HALL OF LORDS may nevertheless prove fortuitous -- for reasons you can't quite crystallize, it feels right to do so. With the aid of your new KINDLE cantrip and a bit of stoking to coax re-lit embers into flames -- you soon have the braziers brightly lit again, the warmth of their light bolstering your determination.

Next, you turn your thoughts towards more corporeal concerns and rummage in your back for your enormous supply of sharp iron caltrops to sprinkle about the entrance to the hall -- with more to spread along the stairs descending when you proceed, affording you more protection from interlopers who may arrive behind you. While you are commit to memory the presence of this deterrent, you feel confident that others are likely to overlook them in any haste to descend as well.

Finally, you take a moment to fish out the SOUL VESSEL and hold it aloft, concentrating and searching for any latent spiritual essence which may be lingering in the vicinity...
>>
No. 1013297 ID: 673fe6
File 163478199454.jpg - (158.43KB , 450x450 , soj_037.jpg )
1013297

...perhaps unsurprisingly, you promptly feel a concentration of such spiritual energies clustered within the entryway -- some of it you estimate to be emanating from the structure itself, for ancient places of power could be suffused with essence. You reflect that the source of such an infusion could be the result of ambient gathering ( common for sites revered or paid homage by living beings ) or may otherwise be enriched by purposeful ritual or ceremony ( such as the consecration of sacred ground, or sacrificial forfeiture of the spirit. )

While you find that much of the latent essence here resists the draw of the vessel, so potently tethered to the HALL as it is -- you are still able to search out the spiritual essence of a lingering LESSER SPIRIT, which becomes snared by kalatite crystal before being drawn within it by your coaxing influence. When you have finished, it has grown warmer to the touch and you believe that you have likely captured some manner of entity.

You have CAPTURED:
> LESSER SPIRIT, (Unknown entity)

The faint store of spiritual essence within the vessel has been increased by what latent energy you were able to gather; additionally, the captured entity can also serve as a source of energy to augment your arcane abilities, imbue items with magical properties or interact with other vessels you may discover. You can also COMMUNE with captured entities.
>>
No. 1013298 ID: 673fe6
File 163478223714.jpg - (285.23KB , 750x450 , soj_038.jpg )
1013298

Finally, you proceed to descend the steps into the HALL OF LORDS, taking the time to sprinkle caltrops periodically as you go in order to potentially hinder or disable unwary beings who might follow you into the depths. As you venture deeper, your nose is greeted with a prevalent scent of dust and musty ash; you strongly consider removing your mask as you proceed, so as to take full advantage of your keen senses ahead. Though predominately unlit, there is still a bare enough shaft of ambient light cast from above that your eyes are able to adjust without the aid of magical or mundane light sources as of yet.

Treading deeper, you are surprised at just how far beneath the surface of the plaza above the structure seems to extend; you absently count in the back of your mind while you traverse the dark stairway, estimating roughly one hundred steps before at last it levels out into a passage proper. Here, the floor beneath your feet appears to be hewn and worked natural earth and stone, with occasional paving stones laid out. Stone masonry walls stand to a surprising height of ten feet, before extending a further four to the apex of an arched ceiling above.

Three paths are presented to you at this antechamber, while you are also able to faintly make out several torch sconces set into the walls flanking arched doorways. Very faintly, you can still smell what you believe to be the scent of man -- perspiration, grit, and some subtler aromas you can't quite identify. To your left, a detailed bust has been carved over the doorway in what seems to be the image of an armored figure with pauldrons and a hooded cloak presented with a skull for a head. It is very dark in the passage beyond, but you can faintly make out a steady dripping sound somewhere in the gloom and glimpse hazy silhouettes in a broader span at the edge of your vision.

To your right, a similarly detailed bust has been carved in the image of a robed skeletal figure wreathed with flames; for reasons unclear to you, this figure has been fashioned still possessing eyes in its sockets. As before, this passage is also quite dark beyond -- though listening intently you hear a faint crackling akin to a hearth and can just barely make out a ruddy orange glow from beyond a distant bend further down the passage. There are carved bas-relief murals a ways down which you can also faintly discern.

Ahead of you, the largest of the archways has been capped with a carving of what appears to be either a lantern or perhaps the top of a lighthouse, emanating the imagery of gross incandescence. Judging by the scents on the air, you estimate the SARKEN who have been down here may have traversed that passage most recently; despite the imagery over the doorway, you find the further reaches of this passage particularly dark, though it may just be your imagination playing tricks on you.

INVENTORY as of this post: https://pastebin.com/jCRpvtT0
MAGIC as of this post: https://pastebin.com/E8iTCvFQ

How do you proceed?

> _

While the broader vote here is ultimately picking which passage is of first interest to you, I want to also leave this open-ended enough for you to once more help one another to form a collective plan of action with your available knowledge and resources. You can also elect to do more within the antechamber before you proceed, as well.
>>
No. 1013300 ID: f6821f

>>1013298
The purpose of any is only partially discernable given the unknown purpose of this HOUSE or its significance to the SARKEN who once occupied this city. At best guess the halls are of rough analogue to the positions of the figures above the HOUSE: notice the left path features almost exactly the same armor and hood, the left is a catacomb of tombs of the interred LORDS, the right a cloaked figure flanked by fire as a spellcaster of some sort. Of worry is that the center figure has no bearing on the center figure but remains of interest given the darkness, the portrayal of illumination and the statue bearing a bell. Perhaps they are of rough analogue to their roles to the end of the city: the left is a crypt of interred dead, the right some sort of infirmary and the center a hall of worship to 'find' oneself. In the midst of the PALL, such shelter and promise is likely not lost on those who remain.

Given the potential of less than savory figures remaining, slipping to the right to see who if anyone lingers while we are still invisible would be the best choice of action to ensure they can only come from one direction -- or worse, that we only have one way to leave.
>>
No. 1013441 ID: 5c87b4

I guess the lesser spirit we caught is one of the dudes that went down here and got done unto. So first I'd try to COMMUNE with the spirit on anything noteworthy in this place, or ask how it died. We'll probably also need to cast GLOW on one of our items. I also feel we may need to CLEANSE this place, however there is no obvious target for such a ritual yet.

Three lords, three paths. A rather arbitrary choice. Our profession does not match any of these lords - we're not a valiant warrior, a pious priest, or an elemental sorceress. But since the SARKEN that went forward likely found their demise, left or right would be a slightly safer choice and one that I would split my vote on.

If we lit the braziers, we might as well put some torches in the scones here and light them up... well, since we only have 3 torches, use 2 to light the path that we'll be taking.
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No. 1013544 ID: 673fe6
File 163510717272.jpg - (231.59KB , 750x450 , soj_039.jpg )
1013544

For a few moments you consider which passage to address first, part of you imagining what regular function each might hold and whether the carvings could offer clues to such. Of the three, you regard the right passage first -- taking the time to ignite the torches poised to either side of the archway; fortunately, they are brought to flickering light fairly readily.

With this done, the spirit you snared comes to mind for questioning -- and so you COMMUNE, focusing on the vessel as you cradle it in your grasp and watching as the stirred entity manifests before you. As you suspected, he appears to have been a SARKEN man as the vestigial memory of his garb partly clothes his skeletal visage along faint echoes of long hair and a beard.

"El tlinn co sceath," you offer in customary greeting to the spirit, dipping your head, before you begin to question him. "What can yew tell me off these place?" You gesture broadly. "And how deed yew perish?"

Apparently the spirit is agitated. "What is this--where is Lars?! Egert!" He gestures a skeletal fist towards you. "Who are you--what did you do to me?!" Briefly, a more corporeal facsimile of his form ripples over the remains beneath before swiftly fading. "...perish?" He gawks, looking down -- nothing at all beneath the ethereal apparition's waist. "I heard the snap -- and Lars yelled to jump, but then..." He seems distracted then.

Silent for a long moment, the spirit looks to you with empty sockets. "What of you? Are you a spirit?" You remain partly infused with your SHROUD magic, semi-translucent.

> _
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No. 1013546 ID: 51c10d

Explain that you are living and they are a spirit. Hopefully, they won't freak out too much.

Then ask their name! Always polite to ask someone's name.
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No. 1013547 ID: 5c87b4

Huh, he only obtained consciousness once you tried to talk to him? What a mindless spirit.

Tell him that you're translucent because, uhh, it's magic and you don't need to explain shit. While touching your tiddy tell him that, see, it's all real.

Anyway, tell him that you came to investigate this place and if he helps you out, in return you'll try to find his body and give it a proper burial. He wouldn't want his body to remain rotting in this place, right?
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No. 1013569 ID: f57349

Pretend to be some sort of psychopomp or judge of the dead, but try to avoid saying anything explicitly false. Calm, formal, like this is serious but also just an ordinary job for you.

"Within the Pall, you died. I found you wandering. Now, we speak. You answer my questions, and I answer yours, in balance - as all things must be. Speak truth and I shall aid the next stage of your journey."
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