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1030186 No. 1030186 ID: 9b127b

This is a NSFW clothing damage adventure!
the quest will contain nudity and violence and possibly some sexual content
Lewd suggestions are encouraged but not required.

A single choice can shape the future, a single person can change the face of the world

This quest is funded by Patreon,
if you'd like to see more consider sending a few coins!
https://www.patreon.com/KingOfPentacles

Previous Threads
https://questden.org/kusaba/questarch/res/780786.html
https://questden.org/kusaba/questarch/res/858442.html
https://questden.org/kusaba/questarch/res/918309.html
https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/966089.html

Discussion
https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/111417.html
89 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
>>
No. 1036805 ID: 629f2e

Y'know what, screw it, A or C! We've got a good thing going on here with Reefa rn, don't fucking blow it by getting wishy washy and trying to make everyone happy. Make Reefa happy, because that will make you happy. Making Xiatzu unhappy is sad, but you can just be honest with her later and say "Hey, I'm sorry if I lead you on earlier, but I don't think this is happening."

Unless you change your mind and do want it to happen, but if that's the case you'd better commit to her now.
>>
No. 1036806 ID: e51896

A
>>
No. 1036822 ID: e5709d

Mostly D, because any suspicions of womanizing will be lost when Vivian rattles her insufferable head at the two high socials, forcing them to collaborate in persuading this loose cannon.
>>
No. 1036839 ID: 399bc9

A
>>
No. 1036842 ID: 322af8

E) If we can spend time with both, why not go for it.
>>
No. 1036968 ID: 8483cf

A! I have absolutely no ulterior motives.
>>
No. 1038263 ID: 9b127b
File 165794190608.png - (562.83KB , 657x858 , Pentacle211.png )
1038263

Xiatzu may care for Garrin, but Princes Reefa holds his heart
'I did promise, however the task isn't important. Garcio can escort her' Grarcio state speaking only to Reefa

'Oh I just thought...'Xiatzu looks to Garrin in confusion, Garrin stares coldly but doesn't respond she probes for more explanation 'the other night...' Garrin averts his eyes looking to an expectant Princess. Xiatzu then sees his choice.
Disappointment fills the merchant's many eyes, Garrin can see tears glistening for a moment before the woman turns and shuffles away towards the market district with her face in her hands.

'I guess she didn't need protection after all, what an odd woman.'

Garrin always hates this part, how does he handle the scorpion, or is she already handled?
A) go after Xiatzu he can't part on such poor terms
B) the situation is resolved the Princess might get impatient if he delays any longer.
C) Disturb Garcio and make him go after her, the streets are still dangerous
D) other?

>>
No. 1038265 ID: 899c9f

Well, I'd like to do A, but you can't just keep changing your mind back and forth. If you can step out of your roleplay with Reefa for a moment, send Garcio after her so he can swoop in and steal her heart while doing your job.
>>
No. 1038267 ID: a6f7dc

C. Don't toy with her heart by flip-flopping. If you get the chance later, you can apologize for leading her on, but for now send Garci9 to comfort her.
>>
No. 1038273 ID: 322af8

C. The princess might get impatient but we have to have someone escort our host. Make it up by playing it up as a noble knight to the princess while doing so.
>>
No. 1038274 ID: 10c07d

C
>>
No. 1038308 ID: e5709d

D) Slap Reefa. Order Garcio to stare at her menacingly.
A) Immediately chase after Xiatzu
>>
No. 1038438 ID: 12f554

>>1038263
God damn we're an asshole.

C. We might as well send a more heroic knight-type to smooth things over until we can give a proper apology.
>>
No. 1039152 ID: 9b127b
File 165872749936.png - (487.09KB , 657x858 , Pentacle212.png )
1039152

Garrin can't allow Xiatzu to come to harm, the princess can wait a few moments more he decides 'No your highness these streets ARE dangerous, give me a moment I need to fetch Garcio.'

'Garcio? now that you mention it, where has he been all morning?' a touch of annoyance tint's Reefa's tone.

'He's been taking inventory of our supplies.'Garrin lies quickly.

the lie pleases the princess as a smile graces her face'Oh that's wonderful! he will be very useful in helping Xiatzu buy everything we'll need'

Garrin hates pleasing the princess through deception 'Indeed' he responds, he then turns and heads to the wagons.
The knight opens the wagon shutter and gazes in.
>>
No. 1039153 ID: 9b127b
File 165872790369.png - (478.38KB , 657x858 , Pentacle213.png )
1039153

Garrin finds Garcio in the arms of Xiatzu's servants Ling and Ming, he's pretty sure he knows which is which.
The interruption doesn't bother Garcio in the slightest'Oh! Garrin we were about to go for round four, I don't mind sharing.' the two baxets are not impressed by this offer.

Garrin chooses to ignore the comment.'Garcio, enough play, I need you to look after Xiatsu, she is upset and acting recklessly.'

Ming hisses nastily at him 'nasty bird wants to take away our delicious man meat!'
Ling pouts 'he wouldn't do such a cruel thing to us...'

Garcio merely laughs'Hah seems like you're upsetting a lot of ladies today'

'you can't have him! he's my big strong knight!' Ling cries
'you leave now grumpy pigeon!' Ming snarls

Garcio gives his trademark winning smile 'now now ladies, be nice.' he caresses both ladies once more before standing 'Duty calls for now but I'll not leave you two treasure waiting any longer than I absolutely have to. think of these past few hours as a warm up for what I have in store this evening! ' this excites and pleases the women.
Ling hops up and fetches his clothes 'You promised! We know strong man has strong word!'
Ming follows with his armor 'when you're done with sulky miss pincers come back to us very quick~'
the two felines then proceed to dress him.

What further instructions if any does Garrin give Garcio?
>>
No. 1039154 ID: 8483cf

Promise to give Garcio a reward if Xiatzu comes back happy. Maybe he knows a way to cheer her up. Plus this encourages him to play nice instead of just grabbing her and hauling her back.
>>
No. 1039155 ID: 629f2e

Garcio is actually decent with women. Just give him the basic gist, and he'll probably figure out a better way to handle it than you could come up with.

"I fear that I may have lead her on, and she feels scorned. Please tend to her in whatever manner you find appropriate."
>>
No. 1039156 ID: e51896

Probably best to let him know to take inventory of our supplies, just to make that lie more convincing for the princess.
>>
No. 1039168 ID: e5709d

>>1039153
"You realize Xiatzu will dock your pay if she stays miserable, right?"
>>
No. 1039173 ID: 322af8

For further instructions, just tell him to be himself. He's quite charming and the lady needs to be calmed.
>>
No. 1039222 ID: d9c193

Say to tell her you'll apologize later for, well, a personal issue.
Poor girl at least deserves the "too dedicated to the job to give her what she desires" excuse.
Fits, too, because the whole needle scare would prompt that type of epiphany, so... yeah.
>>
No. 1039499 ID: 9540a7

Tell him to take her out somewhere nice. Buy her some nice scorpion lingerie on your dime. Make her feel pretty.
>>
No. 1040436 ID: 9b127b
File 166007540639.png - (642.35KB , 657x858 , Pentacle214.png )
1040436

Garrin doesn't need to micromange, Garcio is better with women then he is.
As the knight steps out of the carriage Garrin simply states 'Be kind to her'.

'You know it!' Garcio responds flashing his winning smile.

'Now that safety has been properly observed, shall we be off?'Princess Reefa states as she begins crossing Belgate bridge'You simply must see this lovely Tavern, you'd love it I'm certain!'
Again the tavern is mentioned, Garrin isn't sure Reefa is playing up an act anymore.
Perhaps Garcio told her about some local establishments?.
Princess Reefa doesn't elaborate and keeps walking.


How does Garrin handle this stroll.
A) Follow silently, only speak if spoken to
B) Question Reefa further regarding this Tavern
c) point out that she's never been to a Tavern in her life
D) start a conversation about something else
E) offer to take her arm as you walk
F) other?

>>
No. 1040438 ID: 899c9f

C. Tell the lady of tales you've er, "heard" travelers to be wary of to try and give her tips, such that she can take it or leave it. But, it is your duty to keep her safe wherever she wants to go.
>>
No. 1040439 ID: ea2a0c

E. Be the gentleman+
>>
No. 1040444 ID: 322af8

Go with E. If she accepts then it shows that we're seen as more than just a guard. If she declines then we know how she sees us.
>>
No. 1040445 ID: e5709d

Just walk behind her and act as if you're the son of a knight talking to a rich duchess.
Eventually you might be able to properly criticize nobility for their narrow-minded long-term decisions, but that's for next year.
>>
No. 1040447 ID: 9bb8e7

F. Offer an anecdote about your own tavern days. What better way to prepare a lady for the bustling world than experience? Surely you've got something you can share. Dig deep!
>>
No. 1040460 ID: 629f2e

E + B. Start a conversation about the tavern as you walk. "I've seen few taverns I'd consider lovely. What raises the caliber of this venue above the rest?"
>>
No. 1040507 ID: 10c07d

>>1040460
This
>>
No. 1041354 ID: 9b127b
File 166094966465.png - (591.69KB , 657x858 , Pentacle215.png )
1041354

Garrin presents his arm and Reefa casually takes it.

Reefa Appreciates the curtesy

at an appropriate lull Garrin states 'I've seen few taverns I'd considerlovely'Garrin states, "What raises the caliber of this venue above the rest?"

Reefa seems alarmed by his contradiction and responds 'oh ... well ... I understand that the building was well put together and has a pleasant mood to it.'

Garrin gives her a look 'you've never been to this tavern have you?'

'Is it that obvious?' Reefa sighs

'As plain as the beak on my face' Garrin states plainly

Reefa shakes her head 'This is dreadful, I don't wish to embarrass the patron by acting in poor etiquette'

'Well I've been to quite a few, I might be able to give you a few pointers' Garrin suggests.

The delights the princess. 'Oh yes! I simply have no knowledge of how to act among commoners, your guidance would be most appreciated!'

What advice does Garrin give
>>
No. 1041356 ID: 629f2e

Taverns more or less exist as their own societies, so to participate as a patron you simply have to respect the unspoken rules. Respect the staff, especially the bartender; refrain from dishing out what you cannot take; and never claim rank. If you aren't the staff, then you are on the same level as your fellow patrons. The only exception is if you shame yourself and fall below the otherwise equal standard.

Don't take any of these rules as a slight against you. Obviously you could present yourself as a noble and demand respect from all, but the experience you receive would not be normal tavern society.

For the most part, you'll be fine if you don't make any effort to stand out.
>>
No. 1041360 ID: 322af8

Be polite to the servers and try not to stick out too much as a royal. One never knows who might be prowling about. Also he should ask her what sort of drinks she normally prefers.
>>
No. 1041832 ID: 3aa06e

Learn to read the room and adapt so that you may better fit in. Treat the staff with respect, they've probably dealt with all sorts of drunken fights and other shenanigans. Don't flash your noble status, people tend to treat nobility differently and act differently in a noble's presence obviously. This is a golden opportunity to just see how the commoners act without the outside influence of uniformed guards letting them know royalty is around, maybe you might catch them saying something you wouldn't have heard before.

>>1041360
Right see what kind of drinks Reefa might like.
>>
No. 1042027 ID: e5709d

Your authority in the underworld consists of what you can get away with in the next thirty minutes. A fully kitted praetorian guard ready to purge the gutters? Sure, they'll treat you like the goddamn empress. Your lone self and a royal title? They'll cut you to ribbons and sell the scraps for ransom.

Don't overreach, but don't try to stay hidden, they've trained to pick up on that. Make commentary, be contrary, but only by the length of your skills (which are few) and the strength of your blades (which are moderate). Keep a close eye on how your retinue is holding up; if they act nervous when you say something, that means you're indirectly sending them into challenges too tough for them to handle.
>>
No. 1042100 ID: 9b127b
File 166173015651.png - (669.77KB , 657x858 , Pentacle216.png )
1042100

Garrin hasn't given proper tavern behavior any thought, yet feels compelled to say what he knows 'well first you should treat the staff with respect and always be polite.'

'I would never-' Reefa seems annoyed at first before cracking a smile, assuming the comment was a joke 'Oh to suggest such a thing! I'm being serious Garrin I could really use your help.'

Garrin changes his approach 'What sort of drinks do you like?'

The princess is delighted to share 'well if I'm feeling indulgent I adore a ninety-three starshine stirred with two doses of crystal firewater, regarding the firewater I prefer Basetian Fort, but I'll settle for Chulmundt heater since I've heard that's more common in southern cities.'
Garrin shakes his head and sighs 'That sort of request might draw a lot of attention, you want to fit in, not stand out.'

Reefa frowns at this 'Fit in?, don't stand out? Are you making sport of me? I am not enjoying this type of conversation.'

Reefa thinks she's being teased, and is upset

'I've tried my very best to blend in, I know I have failed miserably in that task but you'd do no better posing as a king.' Reefa pouts

Garrin has to concede that the princess' large wings and bright scales are exceedingly recognizable, she'll be known wherever she goes.
as if to illustrate the point the bridge guards bow at her approach 'Welcome to Herrone your highness, we are at your service'
Reefa give a nod in response 'no further service is required. your vigil over this fine city is all I ask of you.'

As Garrin and Reefa pass through the gate Reefa remains silent.
>>
No. 1042108 ID: 629f2e

"I suppose it's fine to stand out somewhat, as long as it's not for the wrong reasons. The issue isn't blending in, but acting appropriately."

"To be honest, it's difficult to say. Social scenarios are delicate, and are best played by ear most of the time. Instead of giving unhelpful advice, or insult you by repeating basic manners you were likely taught while you were young, why don't we take a more free-form approach? I'll stay close-by, and will only step in if you give me a signal or if I think an interaction is getting dire."

"Or if you'd prefer, I could stay by your side and help guide a few conversations until you feel confident in dealing with common folk. Whichever you'd prefer."
>>
No. 1042110 ID: 8483cf

>>1042108
This
>>
No. 1042141 ID: 936ce8

Sheltered and naive. Sheesh, this will be tough.

"Perhaps in the midst of a war posing as a king would work, but otherwise as you say there is a roughness about the edges. Help with that later would be appreciated, there would be few better to teach about kingly poise. Little doubt it would be good for all who could learn how.
For now, though...
Princess, it's not about you, it's about what the request for such a drink says to everybody else there. Perhaps it's upscale enough that such requests are average, but if not, well... Without a doubt you simply like the drink, but to others who don't know better it says, 'I am of a higher stature, I am here to flaunt that stature, treat me differently than everybody else.' Whereas a more common drink will say 'I am here to relax, just as everyone else here is.' Displays of opulence will have that reaction, regardless of if it's from a noble, the wealthy, or simply a commoner on a spending spree. Saying things that indicate you've had an easy life will elicit similar reactions. So, it's all about how you wish to be viewed, Princess. Just be aware that, to a degree, you will be treated differently simply because of your high status."

Little bit curious if she's aware of how exceedingly hostile people can be to those who have had easy lives, especially if they haven't had to toil. However, it's a tough topic to be gentle with, so best to let it lie.
>>
No. 1042809 ID: 9b127b
File 166226243315.png - (634.65KB , 657x858 , Pentacle217.png )
1042809

Garrin Concedes the point 'I suppose the issue isn't blending in, but acting appropriately'

Reefa rolls her eyes 'obviously but how would I even begin to do that?'

Garrin marks his words carefully 'To be honest, it's difficult to say' social scenarios are delicate and are best played by ear most of the time.'

'how revolting. you sound like one of my fathers sycophants.' Reefa sneers 'they speak a great deal but commit to nothing.'

Garrin has always loved the fiery passion the princess speaks with, he wonders if she might prefer passionate words in turn but dismisses the idea. his heart is too cold.
'why don't we take a more free-form approach? I'll stay close-by, and will only step in if you give me a signal or if I think an interaction is getting dire.'

'At this rate I think you'd do more harm than good, at least if I say something stupid they'll be my own words that I believe in.'Reefa sighs deeply 'I wish Tawny was here...'

This isn't surprising to Garrin, Sister Tawny Lanix is first among the princess attendants, and the closest thing to a best friend she's ever had.
The Princess, behavior is definitely more touchy than usual, Garrin suspects she may be worried about her friend.

Garrin himself however is more worried about the short masked figure who appears to be tailing them
>>
No. 1042814 ID: 629f2e

Hold your ground. Don't be rude about it, but stand by the answers you've already given, else you'll just be proving yourself the sycophant she thinks you are.

"All that I'm saying is that there's no catch-all answer I can offer for dealing with common people. The rules of what's acceptable, polite, or offensive change so much from person to person, that it just can't be done. I'm not saying this because it's a safe answer, I just can't be more specific without a more precise prompt."

"You said that you had no knowledge of how to act around commoners, and based on that I can only give broad and simple answers: Avoid politics and religion, as such topics are divisive; ask follow-up questions to show that you're listening; and take care not to talk about yourself too much, as it can make you seem vain."

"Before we continue this discussion however, we're being followed. I think we should pause and address them directly while the city guard is still near." Note the blue bird in the bg.
>>
No. 1042815 ID: e5709d

Two mid-level guards are nearby, so there's little chance of a gang ambush. Just move Reefa out of the way and let the man pass. If he waits instead of going about his business, ask why he's waiting. If he doesn't give an appropriate answer, call the guards over and move.
>>
No. 1042816 ID: 515982

Wow. Remember, you could have been shopping with Xiatzu right now.
Your father's sycophants tell him the answers he wants to hear, and clearly that's not what I'm doing right now is it? There are no easy answers, just be humble, be polite, and play it by ear.
Don't act like you're being tailed, and there's no point alarming the princess either with explaining why if you say 'run' she should run like the wind.
>>
No. 1043000 ID: 8483cf

>>1042814
This, and add that "in addition, you also have to worry about assassins, who could also be commoners. So you have an excuse to behave differently than most people. By the way, is that an assassin?"
>>
No. 1043329 ID: 9b127b
File 166275933902.png - (593.21KB , 657x858 , Pentacle218.png )
1043329

Garrin continues to choose words careful to express his exact meaning.'There are no catch-all answers I can offer for dealing with common people. The rules of what's acceptable, polite, or offensive change so much from person to person, that it just can't be done. I'm not saying this because it's a safe answer, I just can't be more specific without a more precise prompt'

Princess Reefa seems to mull something over, then bluntly responds.'...Let's just get to the blasted tavern.'

Garrin raises hand and motions for her to stop.'Before we continue, we're being followed. I suggest we halt and address them directly'

The princes rests her face in her hand'Truly? Fine, tell him to jump in the river, I'd like to reach the tavern before sunset.'

Garrin stops and approaches the masked man who also stops.
'you want something pal?' he asks

'I don't like how closely you are following us' Garrin states

Garrin is sure the face under the mask is smirking 'I dunno buddy. seems like you's the one with a problem gettin in folks personal space.' he remarks.

How does Garrin handle the mysterious person?
>>
No. 1043331 ID: 629f2e

Gesture towards the direction you were both traveling and let him know that he can gladly continue on his way if it's a baseless accusation. Put him in a situation where he either admits to following you, or leaves ahead of you so that you can't be ambushed. Don't drop your guard until there's enough distance between him and the two of you for him to do anything.

If the situation goes over smoothly and you get back to your chat, maybe ask Reefa about what she would do at a tavern if Tawny was here. Thinking about her friend might make her feel better, and it'll give you some idea of what she's really looking for.
>>
No. 1043357 ID: 8483cf

"Keep a respectable distance and keep walking, friend."

If he challenges you again, go back the way you came. Don't engage him and allow yourself to be distracted, just delay until you see town guards, and be aware of any additional people who might be waiting to abscond with Reefa when you're distracted.

Seriously, this is a textbook distraction play. Don't fall for it.
>>
No. 1043368 ID: 322af8

Toss them into the river. Should take care of the problem.
>>
No. 1045018 ID: 9b127b
File 166447021561.png - (610.73KB , 657x858 , Pentacle219.png )
1045018

Garrin gestures to the road past them, and speaks in a cold manner 'Keep a respectable distance and keep walking friend.'

'Yeah, sure thing buddy' the man responds bluntly before striding away

Garrin motions Reefa to continue at a distance only satisfied when the stranger turns a corner towards some market stalls.
Considering that the situation has calmed down a bit Garrin determines it's now safe enough to continue the conversation 'What would you do if Sister Lanix were here?'

Reefa's prior impatience evaporates, sadness taking it's place.'I ... well going to this tavern was all her idea'

Sister Lanix suggested going to a tavern? an odd choice for a Harbinger Garrin balks.
>>
No. 1045019 ID: 9b127b
File 166447054167.png - (514.38KB , 657x858 , Pentacle220.png )
1045019

Perceiving an insult Reefa jumps to her friends defense.'No! Sister Lanix is very kind! She thought it would do me good to make more friends, she just wanted me to have some fun and relax a little bit, she told me the pressure of the court was effecting me poorly. She even managed to convince father!'

Garrin finds that suspect King Flagrion has little patience for frivolity 'The King knew of this-'

Reefa interrupts 'But that's not why I wish she was here! I'm so worried about Tawny! I know you said they had the giant on the run but what if it's an ambush and there's more giants, I'm certain Inquisitor Sabria can handle herself what with all the wars she's fought and Sister Rolita is the sturdiest woman I've ever met, but my poor Tawney she's so long and thin, she's a scholar you know not truly a warrior in any sense and my only true friend in the world, I try to only think of good outcomes but when I close my eyes all I can see is her poor broken body crushed and ruined by those filthy monsters and tossed aside like so much rubbish. I can't bare these horrid thoughts and I feel so utterly useless! Had I the strength of Uncle Midas I could slay them all and protect everyone I care about, had I the wisdom of my father I would have had the foresight to bring a mightier contingent, as it is I continue to play the role of defenseless child while my kingdom burns around me in the fires of chaos, Gods help me I am suffocating under the weight of my unending parade of failures... '

Princess Reefa seems well engaged in the conversation!
>>
No. 1045033 ID: e5709d

"Reefa, is there yet something else troubling you? Typically, people only unleash their emotions if they have something they keep hidden associated with that emotion, even from themselves."
>>
No. 1045039 ID: a7a180

Stiff upper lip, Reefa. No need to make a scene in public. The tavern is a place for you to relax... responsibly, of course.
>>
No. 1045051 ID: 629f2e

Okay, Reefa has just opened up to you about her many concerns. This is the most critical moment in this whole conversation, and you need to respond correctly.

It is very simple, but because you are bad at this I will spell it out clearly: Show her some actual sympathy.

Don't try to hit the root cause of her frustrations so that you can fix them, and don't tell her to calm down. She's stayed calm for some time now, and this was clearly boiling under the surface for a while. It is imperative that you do not make her feel like she cannot trust you with her feelings if you want this to go anywhere.

She's scared for her friend's potential fate, and she's upset that she can't do more to help with either this or the overarching kingdom's situation. These are valid concerns, and there is nothing you can reasonably say that will clear them away in a single conversation.

Loosen up slightly, place a hand on her shoulder, and tell her "I'm sorry. You've been going through a lot."

Maybe after that you can address specific points.

"I wish I could do more as well, even if I don't share the weight and expectations of nobility as you do."

"Our companions will come back, and you will be with your friend again. I have the upmost faith in this."

Let her feel the pain and fear that she does. Share it with her. Make it clear that it's alright to feel that way. When she is ready, she will accept it and continue to move forward. Fear and sadness are simply parts of life.
>>
No. 1045068 ID: 322af8

Gently rest a hand on her shoulder and work on calming her down as you head to the tavern. Suggest she get something strong to help dull the worries.
>>
No. 1045070 ID: 8483cf

>>1045051
This. Place a hand on her shoulder, say you wish you could help but aren't as well-versed as she is, and let her know you're willing to listen to her again in the future as she works through her concerns.
>>
No. 1045080 ID: 7dae82

Oh, this part's obvious, she's laying bare her soul here! Small barbs will feel like deep wounds, while small comforts will feel like... well, you get the idea, so comfort the girl!
Get that charisma going, assure her that her friend is well! Get her swooning! She gets addicted to that comforting presence, she'll be easy to reel in like a fish.

Do take note of Lanix's... unusual behavior though, should she have lied about the king approving, she has to be investigated. Worth keeping an eye on her to see if she slips up or pulls unusual stunts.
>>
No. 1046535 ID: 9b127b
File 166576213146.png - (515.43KB , 657x858 , Pentacle221.png )
1046535

Garrin knows when one bares their heart you must tread carefully 'it's true I know little of noble life and I cannot understand the struggles that brings.' He chooses to tap into some genuine sympathy and places a hand on Reefa's shoulder 'However Lanix is not as weak as she may seem, she has never shirked on her training and is every ounce the warrior her sisters are. I know warriors, I've trained many. Fresh youths have surprised me with their resilience and courage many time, Lanix I suspect will surprise us both.' he avoids address how many young soldiers never return.

She doesn't respond for a while when she responds it's with a practiced calm.'Thank you Garrin' she states before adding 'Forgive me for my outburst, I'm so very tired.'

Garrin suspects there's more troubling the women but decides not to press the issue.
>>
No. 1046536 ID: 9b127b
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1046536

Garrin considers his next talking point but has no time to voice it.

'Oh! There it is!' Princess Reefa exclaims.

sure enough a tavern called "the sunken treasure" stand before them.
the building looks clean and expensive, a far cry from the back alley dives Garrin is more familiar with.
A sullen group of kobold hoodlums are loitering nearby.
>>
No. 1046538 ID: e51896

drive those kobolds outta here, we can't have our princess be seen near such disgusting hoodlums that are beneath her, especially when their not bowing to her. Make way for the royal princess!
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No. 1046539 ID: 629f2e

Ignore the hoodlums for now. This is a tavern, not everyone who shows up here will be of a higher caliber. If they do anything, then you may respond.

While you're at it, try to gauge how Reefa is looking at them. Does she give them a friendly look that she would give any of her subjects, or one of disgust? Don't attack them just because the lady finds them distasteful, but keep it in mind if the need to confront approaches.
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No. 1046554 ID: a7a180

Shoo them away, they are besmirching the fine exterior of this establishment.
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No. 1046577 ID: 322af8

Ignore the kobolds. You're not a town guard. If they bother the Princess get between you and them. Otherwise go to the bar, open the door for her and get ready to spend a lot of coin on those drinks.
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No. 1046691 ID: 755399

Let's at least give the kobolds a friendly smile and wave. She's their princess too.
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No. 1047873 ID: 9b127b
File 166715768490.png - (1.42MB , 657x858 , Pentacle223.png )
1047873

Garrin decides to take no action, as they walk past the hoodlums eye the Princess, Garrin gives them a stern look.

Princess Reefa waves to them in response, but they merely sneer and turn away.

She seems a little put off by this but makes no comment.
Garrin opens the door to a lively tavern with an ethereal décor, a cool dampness fills the air and the place smells of the sea.

A few people take notice of the entrance of new patrons, nudges and hushed murmurs follow then one man exclaims loudly 'By the sea mother! Flops' been tellin the truth it's her royal highness!'

There are numerous gasps then all eyes turn to Reefa standing in the doorway.
>>
No. 1047874 ID: a7a180

Just wave to them too, Garrin promises it will be better received this time.
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No. 1047875 ID: 629f2e

Let her take the lead. Step in yourself if there's trouble or if she asks, but give her a chance to be independent.
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No. 1047965 ID: 322af8

Let the Princess do what she feels needed. Lead her to a table. Maybe next to that one horse lady. If things go poorly with Princess maybe she might lift our spirits...
>>
No. 1047966 ID: e51896

>>1047875
this
>>
No. 1048017 ID: 8483cf

Who's Flops?

Smile and wave, smile and wave.
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No. 1048370 ID: 9b127b
File 166749254861.png - (1.22MB , 657x858 , Pentacle224.png )
1048370

Garrin let's the princess handle the crowd.

'Hello everyone!' Reefa waves to the crowd with a large smile on her face 'yes it is I your crown princess!'
The crowd cheers and mugs are raised in support, she motions for them to remain sitting as they begin to stand 'please! don't get up on my account, enjoy you drinks! the kingdom is buying this day! The cheers return louder than before.

A bewildered barkeep emerges from the back room 'Now what's all this-' he freezes when he sees the red figure in his doorway.

upon being noticed by the man the princess shouts 'Surprise!' she gives a cheeky grin 'I've found you at long last!' with that slips past Garrin and begins descending the stairs

the barkeep blinks twice before a warm smile spread across his tired face 'Bless my stars the little spicy pepper has graced my humble establishment!'
Garrin knows this Ichthian well; Philipose "Flops" Oropesci, the king's old jester five years retired.
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No. 1048371 ID: 629f2e

If you know them, then offer a greeting of your own. Not too formal, just something appropriately casual for how well you knew them.
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No. 1048414 ID: 322af8

Oh bother. Hopefully you have the coin on you to buy all those drinks. Check your coin purse as I doubt the princess has any on her. Other than that say hello to the barkeep and stay close to the princess.
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No. 1048423 ID: 8483cf

Remind the former jester that he's not in court, and it's impolite to refer to Reefa as a spicy pepper.
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No. 1049037 ID: 9b127b
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1049037

The crown has accounts in all cities, the king however might not be pleased with how his daughter intends to spend his money.
Flops has always been a rival to Garrin for the kings ear, the knight had petitioned for his retirement and Inquisitor Sabria support in this had proved invaluable.
though the king had only agreed after awarding him a hefty some of gold for "loyal service to the crown" his majesty HAD promised that he would have no further contact with the princess...

Reefa hustles delicately over to Flops and embraces him, he turns to his compatriot'haHA! I tol'ya Sheeka I knew royalty! you owe me forty scales!'
A dumbfound Ichthian can only mumble 'of all the things that fool could tell the truth about..' ruffles through her pouch for some coin

Garrin has never liked Flops, too often has he placed the princess in danger for the sake of entertainment.'Mister Oropesci, You are no longer court jester, and this is not the royal court even if you were. you will address her royal highness correctly.'
Flops grins broadly and laughs'haHA! Garrin you old stiff! Didn't see you step in! still running yourself ragged over the little things?' The former jester then mocks Garrin's superior demeanor'You're in My tavern now! as proprietor I order you to relax and take it easy.'
'you better do as he says, he IS the proprietor.' Reefa reiterates, her serious tone ruined by the smile emerging on her face.
Garrin clenches his beak but yields, not to the irritating clown but instead his crown princess 'As you wish your highness..'

The Ichthian Sheeka tries to give a weak smile 'Uh here I go, um repaying my debt, like an upstand citizen yer majesty' she then hands over a small pouch of silver to Flops.
Reefa pouts 'Flops, you should let her keep the money! think of it as penance, shame on you for being so hard to find!'
Garrin quietly agree that he's a shockingly hard man to find. The king had once placed a bounty on the jester, regrettably he's been long since pardoned.

Flops adopts a hurt look 'I weren't hiding far, I sent you you letters.'
Reefa pretends, poorly, to be angry.'letters that had no return address! it was very rude! I couldn't even respond! not that I could when all that was written was a giant "F" '
Flops laughs harder than he needs to at this 'ha HA HAAAAH! I'm so glad you got my letters! did you figure out what they spelled?'

Garrin wonders if he should ...
A) participate in the conversation further
B) scope the place for danger
C) Engage some of the patrons
D) Stand by in case the Princess requires anything

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No. 1049063 ID: 322af8

I'd argue B) seeing that is our job. Also listen to what the letters spelled out.
>>
No. 1049069 ID: 8483cf

B. Get a feel for the patrons.
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No. 1049104 ID: 629f2e

C. You should try to be social for Reefa's sake, but she'll pick up on your hostility if you can't be civil with the ex-jester. Perhaps you could try talking to Sheeka, while staying nearby.
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No. 1049149 ID: 9b127b
File 166836249187.png - (1.02MB , 657x858 , Pentacle226.png )
1049149

Reefa recites from memory '"Flops flips Taps N' Tips." a riddle to tell me you were working in a bar'
Flops claps his flippers together 'haHA exactly! now now I have so much to tell you!...'

Garrin Considers the dangers present

1) On the way in Garrin had seen a group of globalan sailors, probably pirates. even if they aren't Globala has taken a lot of Teroth land and always seem to want more.
2) the serving wench is an abeilite, odd for one to be working so far from her hive, abeilites have been known allies of various freedom fighters and rebels could she be one as well?
3) The Elderly kobold peasant was the only one who didn't cheer when Reefa made her entrance, perhaps he's just hard of hearing, but who is that young finely clothed hoofer he's with?
4) Sheeka, she seems nervous yet battle ready clearly she fight for a living but in what outfit?. her exchange with Flops also seemed a little odd. were his comment some sort of signal?
5) A gargoyle, rare in these parts many are worshipers of violent gods. an Ithkarian from the west most likely which would put him at odds with Teroth and it's Prismatican rulers.
6) The local ichthians seem like simple common folk, but there's a lot of them and they stick together, any or all of them could be Flop's cohorts at the very least.
7) more ithkarians, a human and a dwarf, judging from the matching masks likely associated with the gargoyle. they could be spies or mercenaries they're presence in Teroth is technically forbidden though rarely enforced.

he's not sure who poses the greatest threat.

>>
No. 1049150 ID: a7a180

The elderly kobold is quite suspect, seconded by the abellite. Approach calmly, not accusatory.
>>
No. 1049162 ID: 8483cf

Let’s break it down.

1: Sailors are most dangerous when on their ships, and when they get drunk and rowdy. They’re probably just here for a good time, if they’re happy, we’re happy. Not a threat.

2: Abelite: Very odd to see one here. A serving wench would hear many things. An excellent position for an informer and/or freedom fighter.

3: Elderly Kobold is pretty suspicious, but not a physical threat. His companion, however…

4: Body language for Sheeka is very suspect. Keep an eye on her, and don’t let her get close to the Princess.

5: A lone gargoyle? Suspicious by itself. Again, don’t let him near Reefa.

6. Uncertain. Read their body language and intervene if they get antsy.

7. If they’re visible, they’re trying not to get noticed so they don’t get hassled by the authorities. Most likely not a threat.

So, going by the above, 4 is highest, then 3, then 2, then 5.
>>
No. 1049163 ID: 629f2e

That is an irrelevant question.

It doesn't matter which of these parties is the most likely to post a threat, or which would be the most difficult to deal with if they choose to act.

What matters is that if ANY of them act, you have to be ready for it. Most of them probably won't. A good chunk haven't even thought about it, while some simply lack the nerve. It's unlikely that you'll fight more than two of those groups, if any. But if the worst happens, and all turn against you, have an escape route in mind for you and the Princess.

Keep an eye out, but don't treat them with hostility until it becomes clear they will be a threat. Reefa will think less of you if you continue worrying about phantom threats. You don't have to let down your guard, but it wouldn't hurt to pretend you have.
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No. 1049198 ID: 322af8

To be honest, I'd argue that if everyone is suspect, we best head to our table quickly and just make sure that no one gets too close other than the server.
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No. 1050014 ID: 9b127b
File 166921823283.png - (1.37MB , 657x858 , Pentacle227.png )
1050014

The former jester and Princess continue chatting as Garrin scans the room, he ignores most of the drivel.
Reefa claps her hands together '...I've got a great idea! why don't you give me a tour of this wonderful tavern'
'haHA! thought you'd never ask my Spicy Pepper! you can well see my fine collection of wines...'Flops begins escorting Reefa around the place.

Garrin follows somewhat close by, using the tour to pass by some of the more suspicious clients without drawing too much attention, the elderly kobold being top of his list.
On a closer look he recognize the bold, a Gem cutter by the name of Yiddler. he's been a staple personality of the town for many years the bold having worked his trade since Garrin was a boy
Yiddler had been a serious sort of man with strong connections despite the typical station of his kind. Currently he scowls at the princess openly, though Reefa doesn't seem to notice.

'... oh my has Tilipa sprouted! she must be taller than her dear old father now!' Reefa Exclaims.

Flops beams with pride 'that she is! My girls talent has surpassed me as well '

Reefa sways to the music and closes her eyes Hmm I don't know she is quite good, but the way you performed was always so magical

Flops gives a sly grin 'Magic indeed! a spell to enchant a lovely lady into liking my terrible singing haHA!' the Princess laughs along with him.

Garrin takes in the woman accompanying Yiddler, A client perhaps? her state of dress and hair signify a woman of wealth yet she averts her gaze from the princess and is very quiet.
neither trait seems fighting for a noble in the presence of a princess, why hasn't she formally introduced herself?

Does Garrin
1) approach them?
2) sit down near them and listen to what they might say when the Princess walks away.?
3) Continue with Reefa but keep an eye on them?
4) focus on another patron?
5) Rejoin Flops and Reefa's conversation?
6) something else?

>>
No. 1050016 ID: 629f2e

Don't lose sight of the princess, but approach them. Try to be proactive! Greet them, ask what brings them there, and then be on your way.
>>
No. 1050069 ID: 322af8

1) approach them. Introduce yourself first to the lovely lady. You should get to know her...intimately.
>>
No. 1050079 ID: a7a180

2. Don't mix business and pleasure.
>>
No. 1050080 ID: 8483cf

>>1050016
1 (this)
>>
No. 1050386 ID: 61540c

3
Dude's probably just the capo for the thugs outside. Guard the girl.
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No. 1050399 ID: e5709d

Play wingman for Garcio because seriously look at the curves on that mare.
>>
No. 1050588 ID: 9b127b
File 166983413021.png - (1.31MB , 657x858 , Pentacle228.png )
1050588

Garrin approaches the taller woman 'My lady, I could not help but notice a fellow troubled soul.' she gives the faint hint of a smile. Garcio had joked many times that Garrin had it bad for moody nobles...
...The man was right of course this woman immediatly appealed to Garrin.

Yiddler clears his throat to draw attention to himself, his efforts are in vain.
Garrin deliberately ignores him and continues to speak with the lady'Indeed the mood is too pleasant here for me as well, might I have your name?'

Her voice has the whisper of one who rarely speaks'T-Tirzaea, Tirzaea Ahtas' Garrin smiles "Ahtas",he knows they name, a Knight household with delusions of grandeur, they have no love for the crown that holds them from higher station.

Garrin nods his head in respect'Ahtas... I know your family well they've served the crown for many generations, a shame I never met your acquaintance before now, I am Garrin Veraki.' Garrin introduces himself honestly, he is too well known in the knightly circles to conceal who he is.
Tirzaea expects that name and nods'I've heard of your deeds Knight captain...' the words are intended as a compliment. "Some of them" Garrin corrects in his mind.

Garrin and the rest of the table are briefly distracted by Tavern keeper beginning to shout 'Ladis! you're a guest in this house! NOT a serving girl!'

His niece Ladis rolls her eyes'I was just helping Snowpea she seemed rather busy...'

Garrin has never seen Flops so angry.'Snowpea can handle the customers herself! you're above all this' he sweeps his hand around the tavern 'you're apprentice to a legendary monster hunter! you need to play the part!' That's right Garrin remembers Vivian Hearth had a minion by the name of Ladis.

Ladis sighs 'She's not legendary and I'm more of a hand maiden really...'

The argument continues but the bar patrons lose interest
Yiddler takes the moment to speak 'We've all heard of your deeds, Knight Captain' his words dripping with disdain 'but we've no time to discuss empty glory and really should be leaving'

Tirzaea looks down and her shoulders slump'Master Yiddler is correct...' despite her words her eyes plead "save me..."
the two stand up ready to leave
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No. 1050590 ID: 629f2e

The Princess has been separated by a decent number of her guards, and is also lacking female companionship at the moment. Considering both of these thoughts, you can certainly find justification to pull this knight away for matters of greater importance.
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No. 1050591 ID: 3e9cdf

Oh, there’s no need to get up, let your tired old bones rest.
Offer to buy them both another drink as a courtesy for meeting them for the first time.
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No. 1050605 ID: e5709d

You have business with Viv, direct orders of your patrons. That's all the excuse you need to keep chatting with her minion.
Have her lure Vivian into your clutches.
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No. 1050621 ID: 8483cf

>>1050590
This
>>
No. 1050627 ID: 322af8

I agree with Himitsu. We should try and get Ahtas to stick around and join our dear princess in talk.
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No. 1050808 ID: 9b127b
File 167004559744.png - (1.31MB , 657x858 , Pentacle229.png )
1050808

Garrin shakes his head'I'm afraid that's not possible, I need you here Ahtas'

'you do?' The mare smiles with exitement.

Garrin gives a nod'Indeed the Princess has lost most of her guards, and needs replacement companionship'

Tirzaea's smile fades replaced with confusion '...w-what?'

'as you are of fighting age your family's oath to the crown requires you to serve in the role of guardian.' Garrin explains.

Realization finally reaches the woman her voice cracks into a childish whine 'But I haven't been trained for such things, you couldn't expect me to bear arms could you?! My father said-'

Yiddle interrupts with a scowl'Be quite child! you are beholden to the knight captain, you better do has he says or it's the dungeons for you. forget anything your foolish father told you.' the old kobold then hobbles off.

'Y-Yes master Yiddler...' Tirzaea Ahtas seems on the verge of tears. but otherwise seems obediently awaiting instruction.
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No. 1050812 ID: 629f2e

"Please calm yourself. My choice of words was intentional, in that the princess requires companionship. She's been separated from her friend, and might benefit from another female acquaintance. Certainly try to protect her if she's attacked, but your main purpose is to help her feel comfortable. Just... Be sociable."
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No. 1050829 ID: 4cce43

I'm not asking you to bear arms, I'm asking yout to provide protection and companionship for your princess. Do your best within your capabilities, and you will be rewarded appropriately.
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No. 1050861 ID: 322af8

Hopefully the only arms you will require are the two that are attached to your body. We just need to you be friends with the Princess and help keep a look out for trouble.
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No. 1051203 ID: e5709d

"I don't think you understand how important this is. You are being assigned as a squire of Princess Reefa's retinue. This is the kind of career opportunity that, over a few decades, promotes you to the cushy position of Knight-Maiden of the Empress' Praetorian Guard. There are dukes who would murder their pets for this kind of privilege.

I'm offering this once-in-a-lifetime deal, because we have a situation. It may not seem like much, but it's classified, and all I can tell Master Yiddler is that if we screw up, a lot of people are going to die. Screaming. We need you specifically. Please help us, and please help yourself."
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