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1047747 No. 1047747 ID: 8483cf

Lazy Wiki: https://questden.org/wiki/Lazy_Fairy

Takes Place Immediately After POV 6(b): https://questden.org/kusaba/questarch/res/1037510.html#1037510
48 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 1048797 ID: e51896

He does not, because this is the more silly choice.
No. 1048803 ID: 894419

What ever could you mean Taranis commits no crimes, Taranis only engages in daring resuces and good deeds, all else is slander!
No. 1048807 ID: dee951

Taranis doesn't confess per se. But he boasts about things... and inadvertently lets on precisely what he was ACTUALLY doing, since he IS actually proud of what he did! It's too much to resist, how horrible would it be if no one knew of his genius?!
No. 1048812 ID: e5709d

Taranis takes the shrewd option and short-sells the truth! He chants a lewd song about his newfound powers manifested from the servants of the gods and the wealth they'll bring and the many undergarments he had to steal as ritual components for these boons!
No. 1048891 ID: 8483cf
File 166805397652.png - (14.61KB , 391x500 , LF6c_9.png )

Taranis shrugs his wings. He has absolutely no idea why some witches would be hunting such a helpful and noble bird like him who only does good deeds and performs daring wardrobe-related rescues.

“Yeah!” Apricot says. “A witch hunt doesn’t make sense. What could a cute lil’ bird like Taranis do to a whole bunch of powerful witches with big spells and stuff?”

“Maybe there’s another black bird or familiar who stole something from them,” Autumn says, “and they’re blaming Taranis for it. Clearly, any bird who stole something from a coven of witches would have to be exceptionally clever and quick-clawed to avoid being roasted, especially if that crow had stolen something exceptionally powerful from them.”

Taranis bobs his head in vigorous agreement.

“I heard some witches have magical undergarments,” I say nonchalantly. “Maybe the bird stole it right off them?”

“No way,” Apricot says. “That’s ridiculous. I don’t care how clever some birds might be, they can’t steal the panties right off somebody.”

Taranis ruffles his feathers indignantly. Of course it’s possible!

“It’s silly,” Apricot scoffs. “I think it’s very unfair of those witches to blame you for something you obviously didn’t do. Don’t worry, we’ll defend you.”

“I’m glad you’re on his side,” I say. “What would he do without you?”

Taranis glares at me and makes a long, drawn-out squawk.

“It might not be safe for Taranis at the adventurers’ guild until the witches realize they have the wrong bird,” Autumn says. “Maybe we could go camping for a bit? There’s a reward for information on malevolent spirits in the woods outside Minga, we might even get paid for it.”

“I’m not in my adventuring gear,” Apricot complains. “And I hate getting into it. Plus I left it at the guild.”

“Don’t worry, I have it in my inventory!”

Apricot groans.

“The woods shouldn’t be too dangerous,” Autumn continues, “Except for that Spirit of Bloodshed that got reported a few months ago, and those other ones we haven’t identified yet,” Autumn says. “And gear wouldn’t be very useful against them anyway, unless you have an enchanted weapon. We would just keep an eye out and report back what we see.”

As a matter of fact, I do have a sword that can harm spirits. Samhain is my go-to against… well, everything that gets close, but doubly so against spirits that can’t be affected by normal arrows. I’ve got it and my archery gear with me at the moment.

I don’t like the idea of camping with these two newbie adventurers, but there’s no separating them from Taranis at the moment. And I won’t leave Taranis to deal with either the witches or spirits alone.

What should I suggest?
1. Forget camping; insist we solve the situation with the witches right now
2. Go straight out to camping, and let Apricot go casual
3. Go camping, but insist Apricot gear up first
No. 1048893 ID: a7a180

No. 1048896 ID: 629f2e

3. I'd say 1, but the newbies might follow. Taranis is probably totally guilty. Let's not out him in front of his minions.
No. 1048897 ID: 894419

3 I think
No. 1048898 ID: e51896

kinda 2, kinda 3 (but lean towards 2) Let her decide while giving her a simple warning

Let Apricot know If she doesn't want to gear up, she doesn't have to as you understand it might be less restrictive on a bird that needs their entire wings to fly, and that gear would hold her down... but also warn her that while it might be safe in the forest, she should know that as an adventurer, she should always be prepared for the unexpected and stay protected with gear to protect herself from wardrobe malfunctions or injuries that could happen during a surprise fight.

it's up to her to listen to that warning, as It'll be a learning experience if something does happens to her that required her to gear up, and if she doesn't gear up, you're strong enough to make sure things to get worse for her and she'll learn her lesson. Experience is the greatest teacher after all, and she could use it. And if she complains, just say "i tried to warn you"
No. 1048899 ID: 15c72a

3. Give advice for her to make the gear more comfortable.
No. 1048998 ID: 8483cf
File 166814110113.png - (63.04KB , 1059x1112 , LF6c_10.png )

“A quick foray into the woods is a good plan to make money and buy time,” I say, “But not without protection.”

“Awww,” Apricot whines. “I hate getting into my gear. It’s such a hassle.”

“Even with my help?” Autumn asks, a little downcast.

“I know you’re trying your best,” Apricot says. “Sorry.”

“We could get a few extra accessories, if that would make things more exciting,” Autumn adds. “You have a little money left over from your first mission.”


I follow the duo to a nearby armorer’s shop. They disappear into the changing stall, and I ask them what kind of gear might help her combat style.

Apricot is a dive-bombing melee fighter who relies on Autumn to provide armor and spell resistance, as well as buffs to strength so she can lift magic casters up and drop them from high in the air. With Autumn’s inventory magic adding aerial bombardment capabilities, she also has an (expensive) option for safer assaults if she can buy alchemist’s bombs.

Paperdoll! Edit in an outfit for Apricot to wear.
No. 1049002 ID: fb2164
File 166815379569.png - (80.68KB , 1059x1112 , x-tremetactical.png )


Belt (with room for any consumables to hook in) and Goggles.

Nothing else :V
No. 1049014 ID: dee951

Okay, I'm no artist, but artist people... those talons are going to need some metal bits for extra damage and to protect her primary means of attack! And maybe some cloth armor, something lightweight? But focused on protecting the legs and groin, often from attacks from below! And a leather helmet of some sort! And goggles!
No. 1049026 ID: 481e64
File 166819859536.png - (185.21KB , 1059x1112 , Illustration3.png )

My suggestion is for an outfit which allows the swift delivery of payloads upon all your foes
No. 1049028 ID: 481e64
File 166819866922.png - (214.56KB , 1059x1112 , Illustration4.png )

Here is another featuring some of the suggestions from >>1049014
No. 1049032 ID: 694c7b

That is one badass aviatrix!
No. 1049052 ID: 9b127b
File 166821343220.png - (166.71KB , 1059x1112 , PaperDoll1.png )

A perfectly practical outfit...
No. 1049071 ID: 5499f4
File 166822741870.png - (72.86KB , 1059x1112 , DonutApricotPaperDoll.png )

She doesen't like it because it's hard to get the belts on and the shoulder armor. The leg strap for the knife is also annoying but very neccesary to grasp with her other leg!

Crotches out! Bird crotch power!
No. 1049073 ID: dee951


Out of curiosity, what would cloth armor that is less 'khaki-wearing explorer kit' and more 'actual gambeson or linothorax or something, I dunno!' look like? Most of those tend to be very much torso armor, so I don't know if there's a viable way to do that in a 'you expect attack to come from below' means, hmmm! Still, it's pretty awesome!

As far as the other suggested options... it doesn't LOOK like those claws on the wings can grab things especially well; what sorts of bags and satchels and bandoliers would synergize most with the actual available inventory magic? Maybe something that lets the inventory magic throw alchemical bombs OR metal aerial flechettes equally well??
No. 1049097 ID: a7a180
File 166826596290.png - (93.46KB , 1059x1112 , death from above.png )

Don't need to fuss about your top half when you're flying above your enemies. Save that weight for an armored underside and steel talons. Steel talons rule!
No. 1049099 ID: dee951


Needs more foot and thigh armor! Getting your foot cut off would be horrible! Also lots of important arteries on the thighs!
No. 1049102 ID: f46656

Wings need to move a lot to fly so the pauldrons would probable be more trouble than help. Excluding that belts and pouches seem function.

The skirt may restrict how far apart she can move the legs.
Would this claw accessories be glued in place? They would need to be attached to a custom glove with buckles to stay in place.

For the most part this seem very functional. If votes count my is for this.
The belts doesn't seem to serve any function as they are, but they could be support for pouches.
The sleeves got to go, they interfere with the feathers.
No. 1049103 ID: e27f22
File 166827854190.png - (84.57KB , 1059x1112 , Illustration.png )

No. 1049647 ID: 8483cf
File 166889670516.png - (42.30KB , 579x500 , LF6c_11.png )

Apricot thinks goggles are cool. She has at least three pairs.

I ask what she’s used to wearing, and Apricot mentions her first part-time job was a mail carrier. She’s used to flying long distances with a payload, despite her small stature.

Apricot’s current scouting and ground attack outfit has buckles for payload release as well as places for Apricot to grab on to, but it’s relatively unarmored.

Autumn insists Apricot try on a nightie to kill time while the shopkeep works on a few adjustments to her armor. It’s a huge hit with the Murder members, but I don’t see the big deal. At least it doesn’t take up much space in Autumn’s inventory.

This outfit is a solid choice for defending attacks from above and maintaining light weight. However, Apricot refuses to wear her aerial dogfighting armor without pants.

“I’m a big city bird with big city fashion sense. The pantsless look is so backwater bird,” Apricot declares with utter finality.

Likewise, Apricot also refuses to skimp on her top. The dressed-down look is so provincial.

“Wait,” Autumn says. “Didn’t you come from a small little-“


Apricot can put on tee shirts, but taking them off is an adventure all by itself. Plus the sleeves get in the way of her feathers.

Apricot is mixing and matching among different sets of armor. I agree that she should likely armor her talons and/or thighs, but as we’ll be on a reconnaissance mission, this is a preventative measure against unexpected enemies more than anything else. If we actually run into a spirit, there’s very little Apricot can do other than point out its location and relay it to me to finish off with my blade, Samhain.

It would be a terrific help if any of Taranis’s Murder could communicate with me over long distance. I ask if they know any spells that would make communication easier and clearer than using the coded bird calls I normally do. Apricot and Autumn don’t have anything like that. Taranis hesitates, but eventually shakes his head. He’s hiding something, I can tell, but I won’t press him over something so minor.

What genuinely concerns me is that we’ll be searching the area adjacent to where I saw the uncleansed circle of ritual druidic combat. If my old Circle is using that place to fight against other Circles, they’ll likely have a presence in the area. They won’t want to make it known, of course, and Autumn isn’t well-trained enough to spot my Circle’s warriors, scouts or pick out their thralled wildlife. I’ll have to do that myself.

I sincerely do not want to encounter any Circle members, even Uí Liatháin. If they make their presence known, it’s because they have issues with someone. Usually brought up at point of blade, claw or arrow. And that’s assuming we- they- don’t just kill their target without giving it a chance to fight.

Circle members will ignore Apricot, Autumn and Taranis; the Murder is utterly beneath their notice. For me… well, I’ve operated out of neutral territory for years and haven’t run into them yet. But that was before the fights started. My one advantage is that no Circle expects my ruined eye to be working again. I’m the only one of the group who stands a chance at spotting the signs of an elven ambush and surviving. I’m also the only one worth ambushing from their point of view. Again, that’s assuming any of the Circles have an active presence in the area.

With all that said…

Do I give Apricot any advice on whether to armor specific parts of her body? Which armor set/s should she choose?
No. 1049652 ID: e51896

Knee armor and skirt of >>1049097
Shoulder armor, top, of >>1049071
metal talon claw shoes of >>1049028
bag to carry stuff in of >>1049026
goggles of >>1049002
pajamas for night time camping of >>1049052
And finally, this symbol somewhere on her top >>1049103

A little bit of one thing from each of the costumes
No. 1049656 ID: e51896
File 166890108884.png - (356.24KB , 1059x2224 , gear.png )

pictured is what I'm talking about

One with scarf, one without. (scarf might be a little much since it covers the shoulder armor, but I'll leave it up to Donut and other suggestions)
No. 1049660 ID: b4571d

this is a really good get-up, I personally would go for further the look of hoplites, if its armor she needs leave her arms bare, give her greaves and a muscle cuirass!
No. 1049661 ID: b4571d

NO PANTS THOUGH! Just a birdly skirt...
No. 1049662 ID: dee951


If it's not some kind of leather armor skirt thing with strips of armor hanging down, you definitely want it to have pleats and not be so tight, so your legs have the most freedom of movement!
No. 1049666 ID: dee951

I also REALLY don't like those poorly designed pauldrons (they REALLY restrict wing movement), nor do I like the memetic design.

Honestly, this:


With only the short sleeves removed so as not to impact wing movement, is perfectly fine.
No. 1049677 ID: 629f2e


Honestly, this is my favorite of the lot. It's got my vote.

Wouldn't mind adding the top from >>1049071 if she feels this is a bit too lacking in shirt. Leave off the shoulder bits though, they're a bit much.
No. 1050075 ID: 8483cf
File 166926150262.png - (63.19KB , 855x1094 , LF6c_12.png )

Apricot’s basic combat gear is lightweight and protects her upper thighs; armoring her lower legs isn’t as necessary, since she can tuck her legs in if she needs to protect herself from enemy fire. I point out that a trained fighter is going to try swinging at her as she attacks, and I recommend she protect against glancing strikes by wrapping her talons and legs in tight, rigid bandages and leather boots that allow maximum mobility without adding too much weight.

The end result is fairly decent protection against anyone that’s not an elf.

Autumn is very proud of her adventurer. Taranis gives a head bob of approval.

With that, we head out to the woods outside Minga. Autumn’s inventory has enough supplies for a one-night trip for two, and I’m more than comfortable roughing it. The only disadvantage is that I’m not able to change into my ghille gear I created specifically for woodland stealth; I’m stuck in my cloak, but it’ll do just fine with a simple camouflage spell. Anything to avoid going back to the adventurers’ guild and dealing with angry witches. Speaking of which, I’ll have to ask Taranis more about that later if we have time away from his minions.

It takes a few hours for us to hike to the edge of the area that malevolent spirits are suspected to be haunting. Autumn hops inside the pouch on the small of Apricot’s back (perfect for dropping things out of mid-flight, and keeping her safe at high speeds) and they fly high into the air. Taranis heads in a different direction to cover more area. We’ve gone over the bird calls we’re to use if we find trouble, and agree to meet up at a designated point in a few hours.

I stick to the ground, and begin my search for things out of the ordinary.

I find nothing.

No signs of ritual combat. No blood or carcasses from spirits of bloodshed. No signs of desperate overhunting or prey starvation, either. Interestingly, the insect population is far below what it should be, and there’s even fewer as I progress inward. It’s almost as if the woodland creatures have just… abandoned the area. The silence is unnerving.

I slow my search after an hour. My senses are on high alert for any signs of movement, sounds of life, or traces of covered tracks. Still nothing.

Something is terribly wrong.

I find a peculiarly shaped rocky outcropping on a slope. It’s a convenient landmark, one I remember from decades ago, and plot my position relative to my Druidic Circle. It’s about a day and a half’s trek from the edge of our territory, and it’s a straight shot from this landmark to the nearest rival Circle as the crow flies.

I peer between the rocks, to the center, where the largest formation is. There’s a straight, narrow slice on the biggest one, cut impossibly deep.

I pull out Samhain and place its blade inside the cut. It slides cleanly through the groove. A perfect match.

My brother was here, and he wants everyone to know it.


I meet up with Apricot, Autumn and Taranis as planned. We pick a spot to camp at, thankfully far from my brother’s mark.

Taranis met up with a flock of starlings passing through. They didn’t spare him much time, but they did tell him this specific area was no longer good to find food in. There are no insects, and the berries and nuts have all gone dry and husky, lacking any nutrients. They told him that it’s safe to spend the night here, but no birds are comfortable spending any time longer than necessary.

Autumn and Apricot haven’t been able to find any signs of spirits or paranormal activity. Theoretically, there might be a spirit that leeches nutrients out of the soil and scares off the wildlife, but I don’t believe a single spirit could affect the area we searched today without leaving any marks, or setting off Autumn’s attunement to magical disturbances. What we’re dealing with is something that’s scared off everything and left nothing.

The sun is setting, and we’ve found no hard evidence of what might be causing the depopulation.

Apricot wants to make camp. Autumn asks if she wants to try on her new nightie, and Taranis cheers the idea. Apricot looks to me with those big bird eyes and asks if I want to call it a night.

I think Apricot’s confused an expedition for a sleepover. She’s far too cavalier.

On the other hand, this is my home turf, and I know the signs of danger and what to watch out for, even from my Circle. It used to be a well-traveled area for adventurers, until the word got out about sprits. My Circle’s eyes may be elsewhere at the moment, and even if they do somehow know I’m here and send a scout to ask what I’m doing, they won’t know I’ve got my ruined eye working again.

It’s a calculated risk, especially considering I don’t know what’s going on. But on the other hand, a little bait might draw out answers.

Should we call it a night?
1. Yes, and tell Apricot, Autumn and Taranis to relax and have fun. Apricot will probably put on her new nightie.
2. Yes, but tell Apricot and the team to stay armored and ready for anything.
3. No, return to Minga and report back now. We’ll still be paid for the day’s scouting work.
No. 1050076 ID: a7a180

No. 1050082 ID: e51896

I originally went with 2, but I think I'll go with 1 instead.
No. 1050111 ID: dee951

2, at least those types of armor that isn't unreasonable to sleep in -- there is a set of armor where you can reasonably do that, yes?
No. 1050112 ID: 629f2e

2, Some precautions are necessary. 3 sounds safer, but you could be ambushed on the way back while you're exhausted. Better to get some rest and try in the morning, while being ready in case of a late night attack.
No. 1050227 ID: 8483cf
File 166945790212.png - (128.66KB , 501x500 , LF6c_13.png )

I tell Autumn and Apricot to stay armored and ready. Apricot’s armor is lightweight for flying, so she can sleep in it comfortably.

I volunteer to take second watch, since I could probably just stay up all night anyway. It gives Apricot, Autumn and Taranis time to wind down after their day. I lie back against a tree and let my thoughts wander, keeping a half-conscious ear to the woods, and letting my ruined eye keep watch for suspicious movements through the shadows of the trees. Soon enough it’s my turn to take watch, and when I do, I hear a distinct, high-pitched single-tone whistle, barely more than a breeze through the branches. It’s almost impossible to distinguish from the wind, but if you know to listen for it, it’s there.

My Circle is calling me. I surrepetitiously scan the surroundings, and find a single hunched figure a few dozen meters away. There aren’t any others- it’s a note meant to summon me specifically.

I nudge Taranis into wakefulness and whisper to him to keep back and be ready to rouse Autumn and Apricot if I give the signal. He nods and takes flight, and I send the reply whistle back. Three quick clicks come back: we’re to meet at the midpoint of where those clicks came from.

I make my way forward and spy a familiar face.

“Ailín,” I say quietly.

“Ráichéalín,” he responds. “I am happy to see you well.”

“And you,” I say. “Did you receive my messages about the Spirit of Bloodshed?”

“We were already aware of the situation,” he says. “I am here on another matter. There is no time for pleasantries, I’m afraid. Your brother wishes to warn you of an impending conflict, likely greater than any you have seen before. He recommends you seek shelter elsewhere. It would be a tragedy for you to be caught up in it without knowledge, and if you were to be captured by another Circle, it would force Ciarán to respond.”

“How sentimental.” I say, crossing my arms. “You can already guess my response. My family’s made it clear they wished I’d died instead of getting these scars. Why would Ciarán care if a failure like me got captured?”

“You are still his sister,” Ailín says. “A slight to a member of the Circle cannot go unanswered.”

“Of course.” The unspoken implication is that it’s not my honor my brother would need to defend, but his. “I take it he’s been answering other slights to his honor in ritual combat. He’s getting sloppy. Skipping steps in the ritual, letting spirits congregate. Leaving obvious marks where he’s been.”

“Ciarán’s name echoes in the forest,” Ailín nods. “He has become mighty since you left. He has risen to take up your mantle, and done so admirably.”

“Well, good for him,” I say, turning my head aside. “But he’s reckless. The humans are noticing the side effects of the Circle’s work. Just how much blood has my brother spilled in these rituals? How many challengers to his authority has he put down?”

“Many, and he has done so in pursuit of a greater goal. We are no longer binding animals to our will. Instead, Ciarán has found more powerful thralls. Ones we have not seen since twoscore years ago.”

Forty years. That was the time of the great fire. I can’t remember the details- I was too young. But everyone in the Circle knows what horrors the fire banished.

“He’s trying to summon them?” My throat is almost too dry to say it. “The Airceacháin. Father would have beat him bloody for even saying the name. Does my mother know about this madness?”

“No,” Ailín says softly. “She has lain down her arms forever.”

The air chills. My legs go weak.

“M-Mom?” A hand goes to my good eye unbidden, and despite everything, I can’t keep the tears from coming. “She’s gone?”

“It was a good death,” Ailín says. “A great battle. She killed many Clann an lasair before falling. It’s been more than a year, and they still haven’t dared challenge us.”

“A year?” An icy hand wraps around my gut and squeezes tight, filling my throat with sick, acrid bile. “Ciarán didn’t even… not even a single… he… he really does wish me dead, doesn’t he?”

“I’m sorry, Ráichéalín.”

“Fuck you.” I spit at his feet, tears threatening to spill down my cheek. “You didn’t tell me, either. How hard could have been? Just a simple fucking letter.”

“It would have changed nothing. We were far from home, deep within what was once Iasair land. You wouldn’t have been able to-”

“I know! I know that. But she’s my… was my mother. Once the battle was over, Ciarán could have invited me to Mom’s pyre. He couldn’t even let me say goodbye to her, could he?!”

“You know as well as I that our rites are closely kept,” Ailín says, his voice as empty as his heart. “You are not a warrior of the Uí Liatháin. Not anymore.”

“And I’m better off for it.”

Ailín doesn’t respond.

I take a deep, shuddering breath. I can barely hold myself back. I want to murder the elf I thought was my friend since we were children.

“So that’s it?” I ask. “You’ve come here to… to tell me there’s nothing left for me? That I’m not wanted? That I’m free to go? Well, I don’t fucking think so. I’ve got a place here, now.”

“With the humans?” Ailín gestures toward Minga. “You are selling scraps for coin. You could be so much more. And what will you do now? Will you tell the humans that the elves are warring once again? Scurrying in their backyard, growing in power? What will you do, Ráichéalín? Share our secrets with outsiders? Lead them to our beds, as a traitor to your kin?”

“How dare you?!” My voice cracks. “Is that what you really think of me? That I’d stoop so low? Slit my own people’s throats? Fuck you, Ailín. I thought you knew me better, but I’m obviously wrong. Wrong about so many things, and people, that… that are… important, and… and… I…”

A sob bursts out of my throat and I clap a hand to my mouth, finding it wet with tears. My shoulders hitch, and I feel a great, dull emptiness inside my chest that’s growing with every breath.

There’s a soft flutter of wings, and a gentle caress of feathers. When did Taranis land on my shoulder? He’s supposed to be hanging back, and… I don’t care. I just don’t care anymore. I cry into Taranis’s wings until I don’t have any tears left.

Ailín is gone.

I walk back to camp. Apricot and Autumn are still sleeping.

Taranis takes watch and I fall into a deep, deep sleep.


When I wake, I find Apricot and Autumn preparing breakfast. Taranis is gone, probably on patrol.

“Oh! You’re up!” Apricot says. “How are you feeling? Taranis said to let you sleep in. Are you okay?”

Okay? Why would I not be-


“Leave me alone,” I say, and wrap my cloak tight around me.

I thought I was cast out before, but now, I truly am alone. Alone in every way that matters.

No more adventuring. No more exploring. I just want to curl up and wither away.

I’m done.
No. 1050232 ID: 15c72a

Your brother is out of control. Let me guess- this barren land is like this because of what your brother is trying to summon? Don't you have a duty to protect nature, and stop him? You don't have to betray any secrets... maybe all you have to do is beat him. How did his skill compare to yours? Does he have the eye? Perhaps even a half-working seer's eye will be enough to counteract his, and his overconfidence will be his undoing. You could beat him in ritual combat, then use your position to force the druids to heal the land they've been abusing...

Or maybe the solution lies in the very land itself. Surely the forest must realize what is happening, and that the druids no longer serve nature? Turn the force of the very world against them, and teach them the lesson they have forgotten-- that all live by the mercy of life itself.
No. 1050237 ID: bc4cda

Has he given you a single reason not to report them to relevant authorities? That they're family? Not according to them they aren't. Take that spite and throw it on the pyre for fuel.
No. 1050253 ID: e51896

Think about why Serah, Landi, and Dotti wanted you on their team in the first place, why you were hired, and how well you've protected them this whole time. think about why Taranis chose you to be your companion. If you can't figure out why, ask them. Realize in a way, you have a circle of your own with them.

In fact, here's an idea, while your asking Landi, remember that she has that review coming up with Salt. Maybe if Salt sees that Landi can get Rae out of that slump she is in regarding her circle, it might be a big enough change to help Landi pass. In any case, maybe go talk to Landi about helping you get through your issues.

Alternatively, Maybe you should search out where your mother's grave is at and pay your respects for some closure at least. I'm not sure where it might be, but maybe it could be where your Circle used to hang out a lot in.

But really, don't be an adventurer for yourself and for anyone's approval, become an adventurer to help people who needs it, like Taranis and his witch problem. He trusts you to have his back, just like you trusted him to have yours.
No. 1050258 ID: 629f2e

What a jerk.

"He has become mighty since you left. He has risen to take up your mantle, and done so admirably."

Dude could have just said "He has become mighty" and left it there. Instead he went out of his way to emphasize your failure in his phrasing, contrasting it with how your bro has taken to it well in the way you should have.

"You are selling scraps for coin. You could be so much more."

What the fuck is he talking about? What part of "My family’s made it clear they wished I’d died instead of getting these scars" is he not comprehending here. You aren't wanted there, so you have effectively been FORCED to find your own life outside of it. Why the hell is he shitting on what you've made for yourself and acting like you should just come back to the circle, when it was the circle that seemed to decide it didn't want you? Like, you deciding you still want to be part of the circle doesn't change the fact that nobody there has even the minimum quantity of affection you would need to dedicate yourself to them. Not one fucking letter about mom.

For the record, Ailín didn't deny that your brother wants you dead. He only said "I'm sorry" when you suggested it. So why is he trying to push you into coming back in the same conversation?

Look, my point is that Ailín went out of his way to not simply give you the information he needed to, but to try to guilt you into going back to a place where you aren't welcome. And the fact that you aren't welcome isn't because you're not good enough, it's because they aren't.

You've met people with the capacity to care about people who've made mistakes. Serah kept Landi around in the face of all her screw-ups and bad habits; you had to go on an entire quest to the Terrorscale caves because Dotti amnestied someone, and she's still a member of the party you're all watching out for; and speaking of your failures to the others hasn't seemed to degrade their opinions of you any.

You don't ignore the bad shit, you just accept it. Try to do better next time. If the people of your circle can't accept you because of one screw up that they basically set you up for by tossing you to the wolves before you were ready, then you shouldn't go back to them. They're the ones who need to change, not you. And judging by this conversation with Ailín, they aren't ready yet.

Let's talk about what you should do.

Cuddle with Taranis. It'll make you feel better.

Go back and talk to Serah. You don't want to betray the circle, but the fact is that they've been getting sloppy, and it's putting innocent people in danger. They cannot just be leaving Spirits of Bloodshed behind for others to stumble upon. Something needs to be done, and if you don't have all the answers on the best way to handle it then Serah will. This isn't you being a traitor, it's about protecting others from being caught in the crossfire.

Spend some time with your friends. You could use the distraction.
No. 1050259 ID: e5709d

...You know what? Your brother doesn't deserve a fair fight. The little psychopath is on the verge of starting a war. And for what? To help a demon lord covertly transport an entire army, all because he can't even tell chaos from order anymore?

Screw your secrets. He needs to be stopped, by any means necessary. The province, for all its flaws, doesn't deserve a fucking horde to rape it raw. This could even ruin the continent. Warn the entire country. Rally every human, dwarf, and dragon you can scream to. Stop your family from going down in history as The Hellbringers.

If he wants to slaughter families just to provoke a fight, you'll dump the whole Royal Army on his ass.

And as for Ailín? It's clear that he's simply a tool. His loyalty to your family is used for the purposes of bigotry and genocide. He's been groomed to believe that the more humans he stomps on, the more honor and respect he brings you and your family. His delusions are not worth the lives of your friends. You may need to neutralize him as well, if only to bring the potential body count down by a few hundred.
No. 1050287 ID: 15c72a

Maybe we're focusing too much on what your family is doing. You need to find another purpose? Commune with nature, center yourself, maybe find out if it wants you to do something.
No. 1050347 ID: 8483cf
File 166959073779.png - (37.29KB , 540x329 , LF6c_14.png )

There’s food in front of me, but I’d just vomit it back up if I ate any.

There’s whispering around me, but I don’t listen. I curl up tight into my cloak and smother myself in darkness.

I’m not sure when it happens, but at some point I feel Taranis nestled against me.

He’s got a life to live. Having fun. Stealing stuff. Migrating around. Living it up. All things I don’t want to do.

I poke my head out of my cloak. Taranis hops in front of me, beady little eyes glimmering. Apricot and Autumn are sitting in a tree, keeping watch for… I’m not sure what. The camp is packed up. My food is gone.

“Go with them,” I say.

Taranis shakes his head.

“You don’t get it,” I say, voice hoarse. “I quit. We’re through.”

Taranis squawks loudly and hops down to my hands holding my cloak tight. He pecks and nips them. Hard. When I pull them away and let go of the cloak, he places himself right in my palms.

“He’s not leaving you,” Autumn says softly. “Neither are we.”

“We’re all going back to Minga,” Apricot insists. “And, fair warning, I’ve carried heavier loads than you with Autumn’s strength spells. So you’re coming back with us one way or another.”

I don’t respond. Taranis is warm and fluffy. It’s kind of nice to cuddle him. Just a little.

At some point I find myself walking again, on the road back Minga.


There’s a knock at my door.

“Rae? Are you in there?”

It’s Serah.

I don’t care.

“Rae, I’m leaving some food outside,” Serah says. “Taranis and his friends told us what happened. I’m sorry, and… if you want to talk, I’m here.”

I go back to sleep.

No. 1050348 ID: 8483cf
File 166959075141.png - (50.14KB , 450x352 , LF6c_15.png )

There’s fluttering and flapping, and my window blows open to admit Taranis and Landi.

“Room service!” Landi says. A sparkle of inventory magic grows into a glimmer, and a platter of sandwiches and vegetables appear on my desk. “Can’t let good food go to waste. Seriously, you should see some people’s reactions to it. Eat up!”

Taranis lands next to me and nudges my hand. I don’t bother to reply.

“Wow,” Landi says. “You should see the look on Taranis’s face right now, girl. He’s, like, super worried about you. And it’s making me worried too. You sure you don’t want to eat anything?”

“No,” I say.

“Well, it’s here for you when you want it. Can I get you anything else? I know you like books, right? Yeah, I’ll grab some books for ya. Any book you want. Seriously, any. I’ve got a friend who works for literally the biggest library ever. We’ve got myths and fables and stories you barely remember.”

“Just leave me alone.”

“Sure, sure,” Landi says. “But I don’t have anything to do today. I put off my performance review with Big Sodium, so all I have on my calendar is to hang out with you. Guess you and Taranis are gonna have to live with it.”

That’s enough to get me to roll over. “You what? Your performance review?” I remember I agreed to let Landi dress me up for some reason. Was that supposed to be earlier today? Oh, shit...

I let her down. I let Landi down like the complete fucking failure I am.

“I’m sorry,” I mumble into the blankets. “I’m so sorry.”

“No! Nonono!” Landi says. “Don’t worry about it. I’m sure Nancy Clarice will be happy if I, like, turn Dotti’s fur green or something. It’s not a big deal at all. We’ve got bigger issues here, like a sad elf. I’m here for you.”

“Landi,” I say, voice rising, “You need to go talk with your djinn. Now. Please.”

“Too late,” Landi says. “I already told her I’ve got an emergency on my hands, so that meeting is kaput. I’ll find something that’ll make it up to her, and that’s my problem, not yours.”

I’m too stupid, forgetful and slow to help Landi. I can’t help anyone.

I push Taranis aside and roll over, facing away from them both.

What do Landi and Taranis do?
No. 1050349 ID: e5709d

Use your combined magic to pull Raelynn straight out of bed and up to Salt.
No. 1050353 ID: e51896

Landi realizes that getting Rae out of her depression might actually help her succeed in her performance review with Salt. She decides to do what Rae said and summons salt right now, and tell her the performance review is back on, and that she is going to attempt to make a depressed elf find a reason to keep on living. That should be a big enough change to succeed in the performance review.

Now to figure out HOW to make Rae feel better. Will figure something out in a future post.
No. 1050366 ID: 5499f4

Remember when Landi dusted people at a party and it enhanced the mood? Do that here Landi! Goooo fairy drugs.

In all seriousness just using a light spritz of dust on her to get her into a lightly more active state to have her like vent or talk or act and then you can go "So I didn't actually use that much dust on you" And get Rae all emberassed and in a somewhat functional mood. It won't resolve it all, but this isn't an immediately resolvable thing, getting her to not wallow is the first step.
No. 1050373 ID: 15c72a

Landi wants extra credit for her performance review, and shaking Rae out of her funk is indeed a big change. So she is very motivated to do it.

Hmmm... the witches might be able to help as well. Perhaps Landi can arrange a trade? The panties, in exchange for their expertise in bringing someone out of depression.
No. 1050638 ID: e51896

I just thought of something, but in order for it to work, Taranis is going to have to sacrifice one of his beloved trophies. But it is for the greater good, to save Rae's life... AND it might also help a certain priestess out.

So right now, Rae have lost all faith, in herself, and in everyone, in life. So what we might need to do is bring her to somebody who is an expert on faith in order to learn how to have faith in herself again, and that person is: Priscilla, the Priestess of Peace!

We need to take Rae to The Church of Eirene to see Priscilla so that she can give some Rae some advice from her sermons on the goddess Eirene, and learn to have faith in herself again.

Now, I'm not expecting Rae will convert to this religion, but I think at least hearing stories from Priscilla about the religion may have some lessons Rae could learn from.

Also, this could help Priscilla out too, her church has been pretty low on attendance. Maybe Rae being there will make Priscilla a little happier that there is someone willing to listen to her preach.

Now, in order to actually GET Rae over there, we'll need to make the ultimate sacrifice, and give Rae Priscilla's panties. the panties have the religion of the goddess Eirene's logo on it, so that might give Rae some incentive to at least go there to return them to Priscilla. From there, perhaps Priscilla will see how depressed Rae is, and invite her in for one of her sermons.
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