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File 164971292339.png - (649.78KB , 1524x2364 , CrystalSpire_Page1.png )
1028895 No. 1028895 ID: 0838d6

A quest disguised as a CYOA chart inspired by that one chart about the girls in towers.

Written by EDMANGO and illustrated by TIPPLER

DISCUSSION: https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/134892.html
EDMANGO'S PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/Edmango
TIPPLER'S PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/tippler

EDMANGO NOTE: This quest will likely contain 18+ content including violence, arguments, and light sexual content. You've been warned!

236 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 1032109 ID: 0838d6
File 165246444063.png - (7.59KB , 500x500 , p39.png )

You opt into following Key's enhanced sense of smell and after a few minutes you find the mentioned cave. Mia magics up a light for you all, it's soft and warm on your carapace.

But as you walk deeper in, you hear the sound of heavy breathing, feel a charge in the air, and can practically taste the ozone. It looks like the cave is occupied, and you don't need the soft light to see the sparks emanating off of a large dog-sized creature. It looks like a LIGHTNING COBRA.

You only know one thing about them. That they're annoying and territorial. You're not sure if they're venomous, or how "in control" of their lightning they are. You look at your companions with a questioning look, but none of them have seen the beast before.

You: Drat.
You: Well, it's either this or the tree...

A. Nuki: The tree's still an option...
- 30% chance of a night-time encounter
- Additional 20% chance the Lightning Cobra gets involved
- You and Mia will prep as previously stated

B. Key: Key could try to commune with the beast
- 50% chance the beast will let you stay at a cost
- 50% chance the beast will be pissed you woke them up
- Should the beast be pissed, your group will fight it
- 60% chance someone is injured in the fight

C. Mia: Oooh, Oooh, can I, can I pleaaaaase
- Let Mia dispose of the creature
- Unknown chance of success
- 60% chance someone is injured in the event of failure

D. Hunter: It’s sleeping, we could just… y’know
- Attempt to assassinate the beast
- You will kill the beast using your sneaking skills
- 40% chance of sustaining an injury due to it’s unknown biology and response time

E. Other
- Do something else or use an item
- Stats/Inventory: https://questden.org/wiki/Crystal_Spire_Stats

EDMANGO'S NOTE: Two things. First, regardless of the result, you'll be talking with Mia next update. It's just been delayed until this is resolved. Second, combat is automated in situations like the above. In this case, should you get into combat, it will resolve without any input and injuries will be rolled for.

Unless otherwise stated, you will win most combat encounters you come across since you are a GUARD, you are experienced enough in this field. No die rolls for winning *most* basic fights, though you’ll still have to roll for injuries.

No. 1032111 ID: 96c896

C, let's see what she can do. She said please!
No. 1032112 ID: 6b01d0

D. Stabbety stab!
No. 1032114 ID: 629f2e

C, she did say please after all. Let Mia do some funky blood junk!
No. 1032116 ID: d5ef73

C, she said the magic word.
No. 1032118 ID: e5709d

Group Dances of Unfortunate Travel
Specific Target: Lightning Cobras
Distance: 500 miles
Type: Distracted by extreme sexual attraction
No. 1032126 ID: d0108b

reminds me of Nooodle, B
No. 1032128 ID: f779ec

Either this (specific target, far distance, direction)

Or C. She really wants to do this.
No. 1032132 ID: bdef6e

C) We should trust more in Mia, didn't follow any of her plans and we all should work as a team. We should show we trust everyone opinions.
No. 1032145 ID: 7c0da2

Group Dance of Unfortunate Travel.
Let's specify Target (the snake), and a combination of Direction and Distance that puts it in a solid object like the middle of the cavern wall, to see if that's possible and what happens.
No. 1032148 ID: 36784c


Let’s give Mia a chance to show us what she can do.
No. 1032391 ID: afe7de
File 165266135815.png - (11.29KB , 500x500 , p40.png )

Part of you thinks the smarter, safer option would be to just teleport the dang cobra out of here with a group dance. But the other, slightly guilty part of you thinks that you should let Mia have her chance in the spotlight. You’ve listened to the other so far, why not her too?

You: Alright, Mia. Yer up!
Mia: EEEEEEEeeeeeee yes.

She skips happily into the cave, not at all worried about the noise she’s making. The remaining three of you peek your head around a nearby rock, watching her play. As she takes steps forward, you notice her body exude a potent red aura. You can practically taste the killing intent from her. The LIGHTNING COBRA stirs, but it’s too late. It starts to fill with a red aura and…
No. 1032392 ID: afe7de
File 165266136949.png - (13.16KB , 500x500 , p41.png )

You blink once, and then twice, getting the blood and viscera out of your eyes. Yeah, she just detonated the darn thing. There’s uh… Yeah this won’t be edible, or usable for anything. Ugh, and that noise…

You: Uh, good work Mia, though could you uh
Key: Key is covered in goo!
Nuki: Nuki is also covered in goo…
Mia: Oh yeah totes!
Mia: Helped that it was sleeping and a more young creature
Mia: No wards, no resistances, just an easy detonation of it’s core and POW!

It takes a moment but you watch Mia attract the mass of blood and viscera from your bodies and the walls. The blood then coalesces into a dense rock, about the size of a peach in her hand. She takes a bite out of it and gestures for the group to set up camp. You do.

It doesn't take long to set up some webs and an alarm ward at the entrance. Now that that’s out of the way, you leave two of your companions behind so that they can rest and take the first watch with Mia.

You: Soooooo
Mia: Soooooo?
You: Was that [BLOOD] magic?
Mia: Partial application of [MANA] and [BLOOD] yes
Mia: [MANA] to form an aura, invest it in the eyes, let me pierce their body, locate the core, and then expend a good chunk of [BLOOD] to overload the core aaaaand yeah!
You: So you can just DO that to anyone?
Mia: Naw, silly, it takes a good bit to set up, and if the thing had any basic resistances…
Mia: We just had a good set of circumstances is all.
Mia: *CRUNCH* Mmm, though crystallized monster blood
Mia: Stuff hits the spot
Mia: Want a bite?
You: Uhhh, is it safe?
Mia: Full of vitamins, nutrients, proteins from the viscera. It’s pretty healthy.

You take a bite and it strangely tastes like peaches.
No. 1032393 ID: afe7de
File 165266138736.png - (9.17KB , 500x500 , p42.png )

You: Hmm, pretty good actually
Mia: Old family recipe!
You: Pfff
Mia: Okay that was a lie, you saw me make it from a monster
You: So what can [BLOOD] magic even do? Just detonate things?
Mia: It’s more nuanced than that
Mia: It’s the manipulation of LIFE itself, more bio-alchemical than anything else
Mia: And it takes my own blood, or uh, acquired blood to use it.

You take a look at the girl and notice that she’s a fair bit skinnier than she was before. Her hips are still pretty wide, but all the surplus is gone. If what she’s saying is accurate, another spell like that and she’ll be practically skin and bones, anemic even.

Mia: Yeah, the blood part is the problem, hence a secondary application of Mana
Mia: Oh, and eating this, it stimulates the production of red blood cells, so more to cast with.
You: Well, I just learned more about [BLOOD] magic then I think anyone else has in years
Mia: Why’s that? It’s super common I thought
You: Well, about that…
You: The pantheon kind of… hunts down any practitioners
Mia: Psh, and what, the [BLOOD] mages are losing? Fat chance.
You: Uh yeah, they are. They’re basically forced into hiding.
Mia: That…

You see her disposition falter for a bit, her right eye twitching for the faintest of moments while she contemplates a response.

Mia: That’s bad, like really bad.
You: Yeah… No one knows why they’re hunting them either
You: Well, the story goes that the [ORGANIZATION GROUP]-
Mia: Stupid name.
You: Detonated a few towns and raised mass swarms of undead.
You: Decimating a neighboring world-plate nation.
Mia: There are other world-plates?
You: Apparently, even though no one’s found one
Mia: So they’re lying
You: Most kin think so, but the [PANTHEON] has the numbers to make it so we can’t just…
You: *Sigh*
Mia: Big dick diplomacy huh?
You: I… guess? I thought it was “stick”.
Mia: Yeah, no, it’s dick, whoever told you otherwise is a liar and a charlatan.

No. 1032394 ID: afe7de
File 165266140655.png - (9.89KB , 500x500 , p43.png )

You leave Mia after a little while, informing her of some potential issues she might encounter. She promises to behave for the most part, and you head off to bed, slinking into your spot next to Key. Morning comes, far too quickly in your opinion, along with no issues that you can detect, so you eat breakfast and carry on.

Your party consumed [3 RATIONS] leaving you with 3 remaining.
- Mia did not consume a ration and instead is still eating her crystallized blood

The trees start thinning as you reach the edge of the SPIRELANDS, eventually finding a slightly less forested trail, and a more civilized and well worn dirt path. At the center of the path lies a signpost pointing in three directions.

Pick a destination.
A. The town of Blanketburg
- A majority plush-kin settlement
- You’ll typically find Candy Crops, Entertainment, and little to no weapon shops
- A good place to find nonviolent jobs
- Nuki seems apprehensively curious about this place
- 20% chance of a random encounter

B. The town of Canitus
- A majority beast-kin settlement
- Filled with Monster hunters, merchants, and very little entertainment
- A good place to find violent jobs
- Mia seems very interested in this place
- 30% chance of a random encounter
C. Fort Meadshire
- A human outpost on the fringe of the forest
- Filled with merchants, luxury goods, mercenaries, and priests
- A good place to find violent people
- No you are not biased, it’s true!
- Fine, okay, it’s a good place to find expensive and hard to get resources
- No one seems interested in this place
- 100% chance of a random encounter? Man I don’t know.
D. Mantisleaf village
- A woodkin town in the middle of nowhere
- Definitely not Hunter’s former home
- Why would he say that, I dunno
- They’ve got a general mix of goods and one asshole merchant
- Key seems VERY interested in this place
- Hunter is praying no one wants to go here
- 100% chance that Hunter feels embarrassed at some point.

No. 1032396 ID: 629f2e

We don't really need weapons, and I'd really just like to meet a bunch of Plushkin. Plus, I like avoiding the obvious options, so screw you D, I pick A.
No. 1032398 ID: 899c9f

D. Go to Mantisleaf! It's good to check in every once in a while, and if that merchant has any more leads on crystals - Take them. No questions asked. Buy him out before someone else takes him up on it!
No. 1032399 ID: 96c896

Key convinces everyone that D is the best option.
No. 1032400 ID: e51896

C or D
No. 1032401 ID: 8483cf

D is for Donut
No. 1032403 ID: bdef6e

D is also for Diplodocus. We must trust in diplodocus!
No. 1032413 ID: ce39da

A. We need somewhere safe to have a breather and take stock of our situation.
No. 1032416 ID: e5709d

Most of your funds need to go towards buying food and rations. Get supplies for cheap at a farming town.
No. 1032609 ID: afe7de
File 165282800849.png - (11.05KB , 500x500 , p44.png )

Key: Well Key thinks that she would like to see Mantisleaf Village
Nuki: Nuki wants to see that place too…
Mia: Oh goddess she’s being influenced by Key
You: Uh, I mean it’s a bit boring, and small, and uhhhh

Quick, you’ve got to come up with some sort of reason, some sort of excuse not to go.

You: Uhhhhhhhhh its… embarrassing I JUST left.
You: I mean we could go to Blanketburg, there’s a hug-house there

You catch a brief amount of interest and a blush from Nuki before her normal, reserved, expression returns.

Key: Yes, and Key thinks they would appreciate knowing you were alive
Mia: Despite any… misunderstandings you might’ve had before.

UGHHHHHHH, YOU JUST WANTED AN ADVENTURE, UGHHHHHH BLLUUUUUUGHH. Okay, a quick visit is fine, you guess. You’ll just… stay out the outskirts, yeah, that’s it, they can go in, no one will spot you, and it’ll be fine.

You: Fine…

The group squeals in that way that you recognize as distinctly “Excitement at getting away with something they shouldn’t.” You let out a deep and baritone sigh as you lead them through a circuitous and unmarked path. At least this way you won’t encounter anything untoward.
No. 1032610 ID: afe7de
File 165282803472.png - (10.42KB , 500x500 , p45.png )

You would have done your best to avoid walking quickly through the path if it wasn’t for your familiarity with the place. You make good time, traveling through twice the distance in half the time, pushing your companions a bit too hard as you stew in mild frustration and anxiety, hoping beyond hopes that nothing happens.

Eventually, you reach a clearing, a clearing that tugs at your heartstrings ever so subtly. You feel a warm sense of melancholy as you park your thorax on a log. Its edges are etched with notes, tips, ideas, and jokes. Ones you and yours once wrote all those years ago. You rub the etchings for a moment as the party looks at you.

You: Oh, right.
You: Yeah, just follow that path right over there to town
You: It’s like 3 minutes away, can’t miss it
Mia: Won’t they find it weird or anything
You: Nah, none of ya are human so they won’t bat an eye
You: Just tell the guard you want to trade or something and they’ll let you in.
Nuki: Why don’t you guide us
You: Uhhhhhhhhhh

Congratulations, you chose the one decision guaranteed to make our protagonist uncomfortable. Hunter will operate under less than ideal conditions until he has left the area, or the source of this uncomfortableness is resolved.

A. Guide them through the town
- Hunter will end up in an argument with someone
- There will be consequences for picking this action
- Start the [RIVAL] subplot

B. Stay behind by yourself
- Someone will come visit you
- Start the [???] subplot

C. Go visit Kris
- You know his hidey hole
- Start the [OLD GUARD] subplot

D. Have someone hang back with you
- Pick a companion
- Have a [FLASHBACK] and explain why you left

E. You could also just leave them here, avoid responsibility, and run off
- Uh, what are you doing?
- Don’t pick this!

F. Other
- Do something else!
- Stats Page: https://questden.org/wiki/Crystal_Spire_Stats

No. 1032612 ID: 96c896

No. 1032614 ID: 899c9f

C or B.
No. 1032617 ID: bdef6e

>> Congratulations, you chose the one decision guaranteed to make our protagonist uncomfortable.

Anything for our beloved spider-person.
A) of course
No. 1032619 ID: 629f2e

C! Visit our good buddy, and pray our companions aren't learning all of our embarrassing childhood moments that everybody in town knows.
No. 1032642 ID: 325f24

A. Cant have an adventure without drama
No. 1032703 ID: a9af05

What's wrong? Are you afraid of someone seeing you traveling with 3 women and everyone starting a rumor about you having a harem?

Or are you worried that you'll meet your parents and they'll tell your companions some embarrassing childhood stories about you?

>what do?
No. 1032826 ID: f8fa51

E... is a terrible idea. Let's go B. I don't know what the [???] subplot is, but I want to find out.
No. 1032843 ID: 1c6255

Embarrassment and rival? Sign me up!
No. 1032848 ID: de5f3b

Let’s C our old pal and hope they don’t bite our head off.
No. 1032872 ID: 055dbd

A. If this leads where I think it does, this is gonna be capital-F Fun.
No. 1032875 ID: 0838d6
File 165300183829.png - (9.19KB , 500x500 , p46(1).png )

Why, why, why, why, why, why. You didn't want to come here, you didn't want to be here, you didn't want the sights, the smells, the SADNESS. But no, you just let your new "friends" just run all over you with their honeyed words and eager interest and now you're here, going through the motions, leading them through the town.

You're answering the questions asked of you in a near lifeless manner. Trying not to look too deeply at it, and luckily your companions are not paying too much attention to you to notice your growing melancholy.

???: Hey

You ignore the voice, that one specific voice you really don't want to hear.

???: Hey Hunter!!!

You point out the tavern and inn, they've got some good mead and mushroom sauteed. Then to the town square, the general store, and the weaver's hut. You pause for a moment, looking at it, hoping your mom isn't home. Which, of course, is a fool's errand. She's always home.


You finally deign to acknowledge the voice, turning around to see, practically in slow motion, a massive foot, inches from your face. It impacts.

You're no stranger to pain, and honestly you probably deserved it, but it still takes a moment for both you and your body to register what happened. And then the moment passes and you are knocked into a cart, over it, and onto a nearby pile of hay. You're definitely bleeding and probably have a concussion, but you sit there, lifeless. You don't want to have this conversation, but here you are, a glutton for punishment.

You look at your aggressor, and you feel a pang in your heart as you notice your companions holding her back, and one Mia priming herself to do something a bit more lethal than is necessary. You let out a sigh, and a cough, and they all look towards you.
No. 1032876 ID: 0838d6
File 165300185377.png - (10.22KB , 500x500 , p47.png )

You: H-*spit*-hey Char
Charissa: It's CHARISSA to you, you... you...
You: You guys can let her go, it's fine.
Mia: What?!? She hit you?!!?

You get up, wiping yourself off, happy you didn't break anything in your body or outside of it. You spit out some more blood and hay before she continues. You can practically feel the guilt oozing down your thorax.

Charissa: So what, you just leave?!!?
Charissa: And then come waltzing back a month later?!!?
Charissa: Claiming you were gonna "Slay the Spire"
Charissa: And then it fluffing breaks?!?!!?
You: Nice to see you too Char.
Charissa: No, no it's not!

Please don't talk about it, please don't talk about it.

Charissa: So, did he tell you about why he left?
Key: No, but why does that matter?
Charissa: I uh, because he just gathered a harem
Mia: Pf, yeah, this is *his* harem, sure
Key: Key is Key's own keeper, thank you
Charissa: Well, whatever shrimp, I'm just saying
Charissa: He just ran away!
Charissa: One big old failure and that's it.
You: You know that's not-
Charissa: What? Not true?!?!
Charissa: Not that you left after he died?!?
Charissa: That you couldn't even come to his funeral??!?
Charissa: That you left me hanging too!?!?!?
You: just wanted a new start...
Charissa: What? Speak up ya baby!
You: I just wanted a new start!

No. 1032877 ID: 0838d6
File 165300188594.png - (8.31KB , 500x500 , p48.png )

Charissa: Oh boo, our best friend died, which…
Charissa: And you don’t even talk to me?!? Or seek me out?!?!
Charissa: So I have to find out SECONDHAND?!?!?

Your companions chime in quietly, but you can’t hear them, in fact, hearing anything is becoming difficult. You resist the very real urge to curl up into a ball at this very moment to be as small as possible in the hopes that she’ll ignore you. You have to say or do something, but your brain isn’t working properly. Your chest is tight, and your breathing is intensifying.

Why is it that you can react calmly in the middle of combat, that you can see your best friend and lover slain and then mercilessly and cruelly tear that fiend limb from limb. Your brain is just a swirling web of emotions, like there’s too many flies, or a rival spider is trying to take it down or, or, or. You reach deep, deep inside, and…

What happens?

EDMANGO’S NOTE: Hunter’s currently in the middle of a pretty big panic attack. It's up to you on how he resolves it, does someone help, does he snap out of it, does he go deeper? Careful not to break him!
No. 1032878 ID: 629f2e

Send in our key duo, Key and Nuki, for emotional support! Mia is on "Don't let the roo make things worse" duty, and has enough sense not to do anything too harmful in that mission hopefully.
No. 1032879 ID: 899c9f

Mia can sense your heartbeat, perhaps she can use her blood magic to help return it to normal.
Use your webs as a shield. Put up a barrier between the cart and the ground, and you and Char. If she wants to work out her frustrations on you physically, let her have at it. She'll be stuck there on your webs in the middle of town, and you can just leave.
No. 1032891 ID: 9a2966

>You reach deep, deep inside, and…
And take an even deeper breath and say "I'm sorry."

Sorry you ran away from reality and couldn't hack it, sorry you didn't have the courage to face her at all. You let them down, and then you let her down, and that's not okay, and it will never be okay, but you... really needed the space and time, to do something wild and crazy.

So you could someday manage to come back and feel it worth it, even if you hate every moment of this and deserve it besides. Thank your new acquaintances over there - if they hadn't unknowingly pushed you into coming... ugh, it'd have been a lot longer. And that's awful, too.

But that's who you are. You're not okay. You're also, somehow, doing better, and you're here. How are they?

(You're rambling, but it's better to say what should be said than to keep it all inside and stew/implode in abject shame.)
No. 1032903 ID: 5822c5

>does someone help
Hunter's Mom comes to help!

Her Spider Mother Sense starts to tingle, letting her know that her baby boy is in trouble somewhere nearby. She comes outside and sees what's happening, then she webs Charissa's mouth shut to prevent her from saying anymore hurtful things. She then asks Charissa if her friend would want to see her yelling at Hunter like this?

And with Charissa's mouth webbed shut, it gives Hunter a chance to speak without Charissa interrupting him. When Hunter speaks, he should say all of this right here >>1032891 .
No. 1032904 ID: 96c896

It's been a month... The body might still be intact enough for the potion of raise dead to work, unless it was cremated.
No. 1032921 ID: e51896

Kris jumps in between Hunter and Char. Apparently he heard Hunter was in town and wanted to check and see if he was okay.

Being a mantis of a few words, He simply tells Char that she has customers waiting at her merchant stand. Charissa tries to argue otherwise, but Kris simply repeats the same thing but more sternly. Charissa gives up and leaves, but not before announcing that she's not through with Hunter yet.

Kris then decides to take the silent Hunter and his companions to Hunter's mother's, or his hiding place, and assures Hunter he can take all the time he needs to rest and think until he is ready.

(Mia is really attracted to how intimidating Kris was)
No. 1032922 ID: e51896

True, but keep in mind that on the wiki for that potion, it reads
"Can bring a corpse found within 3 days of death back to life as they were. Creates mindless undead if used on an older corpse"

If we use the potion on Hunter's dead friend, he'd unfortunately be a mindless zombie as it has been way past three days
No. 1032924 ID: 8483cf

No. 1032928 ID: 96c896

Oh yeah I forgot.
No. 1032939 ID: 1c6255

Use your panic.

Tell her the grief was too strong for you to bear thinking about, so you ran away because you were in too much pain.
No. 1032950 ID: bdef6e

I like this!

Also, maybe Hunter went to the spire to get that resurrection potion for his friend? Only to find it has to be used up to three days latter and it took him more than one month? And now he has returned with the shame of leaving like that only to return empty handed?
No. 1033015 ID: a2aeab

One other thing!
Whatever we decide to do, and Whether we do this during or after this confrontation, let Key use the flower of embrace to hug and calm Hunter down.
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