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1071683 No. 1071683 ID: 64dbac

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

https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1010895.html - Act I Thread
https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/137106.html#137106 - Discussion Thread

Google sheet & gamebook w/ detailed character reference.:

( Warning! Will contain spoilers if you're not caught up! )
51 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 1073159 ID: a7a180

A. Those levers seem related. Got a long stick?
No. 1073160 ID: 273c18

A. But make sure it's relatively quiet.
No. 1073166 ID: f8083d

So it seems at least, Volkregar is still in the hands of those you came to meet.
If you can toss him some rope, you can solve the horizontal problem while you work on the vertical one.
Be aware though, that doing so might sour your encounter with the masters of this place.
No. 1073167 ID: 32bc15

A) The bars look relatively easy to squeeze through. It just seems like a matter of throwing him a rope and making sure the other end is properly secured to something. I'm not sure our delightful bun can reliable take his whole weight.

Also, ask if he could kindly cover himself until we get him some clothes. It's a little distracting.
No. 1073176 ID: d3bf48

A. Smart guy.

Also, yes, ask him to cover up to avoid awkwardness.
No. 1073190 ID: 91a28f

A) Secure one end of a rope and toss him the other to loop around a cage bar, so you can work together on getting him above the platform. Maybe your bedroll could cushion the noise of the cage on the ground.
Be careful with the levers, see if he knows how they work before touching them.
No. 1073192 ID: 58dd24

You own a grappling hook. That part does not need to be difficult.
It is probably worth asking how loud the mechanism is before attempting to operate it. Don't know how much time we have before someone comes by, but no sense shortening it with undue noise.
No. 1073208 ID: a785dd

A. Tell your companions what you're going to attempt and where the gaoler is first, we wouldn't want them to be caught unprepared.
No. 1073239 ID: b57fea

No. 1073240 ID: 809e5e
File 169569538324.jpg - (147.50KB , 750x450 , soj_126.jpg )

Taking stock of the distance and sway to the cage, you ask after the mechanisms if Conrad is familiar. "I figure they bring the cages down and up, so they're accessible where you're standing. They used hooked poles for the rest of the distance." Reflecting on this, you anticipate that you could draw it near enough without having to engage the mechanisms -- though if you wished to examine the other cages and their occupants (or banish Conrad to the depths) such would likely be sufficient.

Set on your intended approach, you decide you ought to inform the others first -- but before you go, you pause to ask a courtesy. "Wood yew kindly cover your cawk? Eet distracts." Conrad blinks a few times rapidly at that before he glances down, widening his eyes; the man swiftly darts his hands to cover his groin, cheeks burning darkly as he clears his throat again. "I'm sorry, I hadn't realized you could see that."
No. 1073241 ID: 809e5e
File 169569540920.jpg - (135.81KB , 750x450 , soj_127.jpg )

With that distraction ameliorated, you make a swift descent back and around to the gap in the platforms before signalling for Geoffrey. "We turning a prisoner loose?" He nods towards the hanging cage when he comes to stand across from you. You affirm such, explaining your plan for the retavii's retrieval -- along with caution for whatever gaolers lurk beyond.

"Right then." Geoffrey nods, flexing his grip at his blade. "Zarin heard some groans back there, but no sign of trouble yet. No telling how long that'll last, though."
No. 1073242 ID: 809e5e
File 169569546560.jpg - (376.94KB , 750x450 , soj_128.jpg )

Afterwards, you make your way back up onto the central platform and set your bag down to grab your tools -- there are several large gnarled branches stuffed inside the enchanted space. C.C. whuffs nearby, apparently delighted at your discovery of these treasures. Sifting past the branches for now you withdraw your rope, grappling hook and bedroll before assessing the platform. At its corners are two iron rungs set into the stone, large enough to thread; with this, your own strength and C.C. providing additional leverage, it ought to do the trick.

Laying out your bedroll to cushion against the edge of the ledge that you might better muffle the draw of the cage, you alert Conrad before giving a deft toss of the grappling hook -- having little trouble landing it against the edge of the cage itself. Conrad draws up the slack and helps further anchor and secure it before you get to work with C.C. (who rather enjoys the ensuing 'tug of war' you find.)

Sure enough, the chain above provides slack enough to draw the prisoner to the platform as the metal base presses into the cushion of your bedroll. Clever thinking, that. Holding it steady, with your help Conrad is able to squeeze his way free from the cage -- clearly meant to hold those of the realms of man, rather than a retavii prisoner.

"My thanks to you." He offers gladly as you disengage and retrieve your grappling hook and rope before stowing them in your bag once more; as you rifle, you think to draw free the silk fabric you'd acquired. Straightening then, you find you fairly well tower over Conrad and briefly reflect that Geoffrey is fairly tall himself. (Among the realms of man, some may consider your kind, the buune, 'Amazonian'.)

"To cover." You explain as you hold the fabric out, closing your eyes respectfully that he may at least nominally cover his loins.

"Right then. Much as I'd like to be free and out of this place, I recognize I'm in your debt." Conrad offers, having cinched the fabric as a makeshift kilt about his waist. "We can put our heads together for a time, though I'll be much more effective if we can get my kit back from those wretches." He wrinkles his nose, then gestures to the gaoler's hall. "Here's what I can tell you from what I recall..."

You listen to Conrad enough to form a mental map of your options, then decide to...

> A) Regroup with intent to venture into the gaoler's chambers; there, you can find access to the lower cells in a guard room, an 'interrogation' room with an adjoining goods storage and a passage beyond, presumably to some manner of barracks.
> B) Rejoin the others, then take the northern corridor to lead up and into the underbelly of Volkregar abandoning Conrad's equipment
> C) Rally with the others but make a tactical retreat back up into the waterfall cavern.
> D) _

It's time for you to put your heads together and consider your next big move! Much is unfolding within Volkregar. Taking stock for more practical purposes: Conrad seems tall (for a retavii) and fighting fit -- you've freed him before any particularly egregious harm was wrought. Nevertheless, he's smaller than you, Geoffrey and Zarin and currently wanting for arms and armor.

Conrad is seemingly nimble, stealthy and an excellent marksman (you folks have managed to route your way to some synergies among the various possible paths!) Note: Conrad has seen no sign of his gaolers since being stuffed in the cage with a ration of bread. Incidentally, he's very hungry and thirsty.

No. 1073247 ID: fb8a42

A, but take it slow to give Conrad some time to eat up. We have 15 trail rations, and presumably some water to go with it. Let's get Conrad some munchies from the Mag Bag. That's it's name now. Mag Bag.

As tempting as it is to give Conrad some silk to cover himself with, that stuff is expensive. Sorry, buddy.

Maybe Geoff has an extra pair of shorts?
No. 1073286 ID: 58dd24

Lets investigate that guard room. Might give us a better idea what to expect around here too. In the short term, hand him one (1) baked goods and one (1) dagger from your stock. And some water, sure.
No. 1073287 ID: 23c010

I think it's time to explain that we'd like to remain on neutral-at-worst terms with the owners; we can check out the gaoler's room for Conrad's stuff, mug them for it even, but no killing. If your companions disapprove, you may have to tell them more of your quest. If Conrad can't abide this, he's on his own.
No. 1073289 ID: ef26f0

A, he’s much more immediately helpful with his existing kit.
No. 1073345 ID: 809e5e
File 169579012547.jpg - (202.13KB , 750x450 , soj_129.jpg )

Together with Conrad, you make your way back across the span -- relieved to find the retavii man is able enough to make the crossing as well. Regrouping with Geoffrey and Zarin, you relay what you have gleaned along with an intent to see to the potential recovery of Conrad's belongings. "If posseeble, try not to keel." You affirm to your mercenary companions; the two exchange looks before Geoffrey shrugs. "As you wish."

Given Conrad's famished state, you favor the man with one of your trail rations, along with a leftover baked good and one of your daggers, to arm and feed him. As he eats, you prod Geoffrey for potential garb. "I'm a lot bigger than he is, but..." Geoffrey appraises, but rummages in his stowed gear and pulls free a long linen shirt. "Enough to cover you at least."

"My thanks." Conrad offers back after hastily finishing off a crunchy dinner roll without complaint. Pulling the shirt over his head, the hem hangs down past his waist nearly to his knees; he tests the weight of the provided dagger before giving you and Geoffrey a nod. "Better, much better."

Geoffrey cranes to take a look down the corridor before looking to Zarin, then you -- hiking a thumb towards the onager. "No sneaking with the big 'un. Stick back here and keep an eye out, in case we've company from behind; if we've trouble enough we can call out and bring you running." With that settled for the moment, you proceed under stealth with Geoffrey and Conrad, bringing about your SHROUD for yourself once more...


Traversing the dim passageway, you reach the corner where the path turns before quietly positioning yourself to have a look. Beyond, a broad hearth crackles with flames sending smoke up through a chimney into the stone. A foul stench assails your nose -- a tang of blood and something moldering. It takes a few moments for your eyes to adjust to the new lighting before you can make out two figures that you can see.

Most noticeable is a huge, broad man with a bald pate and a thick, muscular neck and limbs on a heavy frame, seated with his back towards you as he leans over a table. From what you can make out, he seems to be in the midst of eating some manner of meat, cutting at it periodically with a large hooked knife. Seated further down the table is a second man, far more lean; there is no plate before him as he sits in still silence, a black hood drawn over his head.

From your position you can't make out the right half of the room without rounding the corner and drawing much closer. On the opposite end of the chamber, a passageway with an ensconced torch leads off to a darker room; there, according to Conrad's description, were torture implements and other paraphernalia.

You decide to...

> A) Attempt to dispatch the gaolers discretely...
> B) Attempt to dispatch the gaolers directly...
> C) Attempt to gather more information, through magic or other means...
> D) _

Each option is open to input on how you'd like to go about things. Zarin has been posted at the entrance to the corridor presently, for the sake of affording you maximal stealth at the moment; if things get out of hand, you can call out to them to join you. From what Conrad told you there are at least three gaolers, but may be more.
No. 1073346 ID: fb8a42

A. Have Conrad call out for help in a pathetic voice, and be as annoying as possible. Say he’s cut himself on a cage edge and is and is bleeding somehow, might get a guard to come out.
No. 1073347 ID: a7a180

Discrete. Don't cause a distraction from the same direction you're coming from, cut the gaoler's meal short then work on the others.
No. 1073348 ID: 32bc15

C) Wait until they say something or reveal some information? If need be, you could send a ghostly pup forwards to distract them while you either sneak past or creep up to dispatch them.
No. 1073355 ID: f8083d

A) Back off a bit; use your slumber ritual on the fat one, the lean one will take a second longer to notice since he's farther from his direct line of sight. Then conk the lean one on the head.
Edit: No wait, if there's talking going on, find out which one of them is talking the most, and use Slumber on the other one.
No. 1073801 ID: 809e5e
File 169622415840.jpg - (287.81KB , 750x450 , soj_130.jpg )

Silent and wary, you lend an ear to listening intently that more information might yet be gleaned. You hear a gruff guttural baritone from the large gaoler, muttering between noisome mouthfuls of meat -- seemingly in the midst of intermittent conversation. "And so we're safe down 'ere, just you wait now: Mistress'll sort out the lot of them yet, you'll see."

There is a long lull filled with hoarse chewing; the lean figure scarcely stirs, but you finally hear him speak in turn in a slow, crisp, chilly tone. "Lots of them still in the lower keep. Zealots with them, too." A snort. "Wish she'd hurry up." With a grunt, the larger man brandishes a hock of meat by protruding bone, waggling it at his counterpart. "Ain't our concern. Mind 'er playthings and keep our noses down."

It would seem then that the Sarken attacks remain active within Volkregar -- and may well have occupied the lower portions of the fortress. You recall a span between the larger fortifications and suspect that may be where the conflict remains at the fore, for now...
No. 1073802 ID: 809e5e
File 169622417822.jpg - (277.54KB , 750x450 , soj_131.jpg )

Once the conversation subsides, only the crackle of firewood and the scrape of cutlery against plates occupies much of the air. You wait a few moments more in case another of the gaolers might be revealed, but feel confident only two occupy the room before you at last. With focused concentration you commit to performing the SLUMBER rite from some distance away, consuming some of your reagents in the process to assure its efficacy; you elect to target the much larger man for assurance that you might negate the threat of him.

To your satisfaction, you see his gestures slow and grow swiftly lethargic before settling and slumping in his seat; his counterpart does not seem to have noticed the digression at first. Capitalizing on the moment, you stalk swiftly and silently, claiming a cudgel you spy in passing from an assortment of implements set along the wall; taking up position behind the lean gaoler, you deliver a decisive blow against his hooded head with a satisfying thunk. He groans, then slumps in his seat -- unconscious at the very least.

Silence then, save for the crackling fire still; Geoffrey and Conrad await your signal and direction, with C.C. at hand. Within this chamber you can see a variety of tools and implements in service of what you suspect to be a cruel regard for the prisoners of this place. To one corner of the room, a spiral staircase descends to a lower level -- other cells set deeper, from what you recall.

As well, a passage lit by a single torch heads further on, towards the interrogation room, goods storage and deeper reaches of the gaoler's chambers. At least one, but maybe more gaolers remain.

You decide to...

> A) Proceed deeper to the interrogation room, to contend with what resistance may be found there...
> B) Descend the stairs to the lower cells first, where you might find other prisoners...
> C) Deal with the gaolers you've disabled, thoroughly search this space or other such interests...
> D) _

You can freely task / direct your accompanying companions as you please, and are free to include additional discretion with the options above. From what you've gathered, the situation in Volkregar is still undecided.
No. 1073803 ID: a7a180

C. Did they drop any good loot?
No. 1073811 ID: 2c474b

C.) Have Geoffrey and Zarin secure the jailers, i'm sure there's plenty of bindings and manacles about.

A.) Scout ahead with Conrad and maybe C. C, once all hostiles are neutralized we can snoop and loot as much as we want.
No. 1073855 ID: fb8a42

Agreed, this is the best course of action. Have the team ready an ambush for when we return, just in case we have to book it back.
No. 1074889 ID: 809e5e
File 169751310042.jpg - (254.72KB , 750x450 , soj_132.jpg )

By your signal and call, Geoffrey and Conrad move in swiftly to join you while Zarin trails to re-position and guard the rear. With a cursory search of the gaolers and their accouterments, Conrad dons a thick leather forge apron for a modicum of armor before taking up one of the lengthy cage hooks -- sharp as it is, the end is more akin to a sickle you find. There are a variety of implements of pain here, but the gaolers themselves seem otherwise lacking in material value and no keys are found on their person.

Working to bind and strip the gaolers-turned-prisoners, Geoffrey finds a draught vial secreted on the larger man and gives it a cursory sniff; he wrinkles his nose and grimaces, but re-stopped the vial and tosses it to you. "Fireheart." He notes curtly; you're passingly familiar with it among alchemical concoctions, a mixture that can serve to set a creature into a zealous rage -- deadening pain and providing a surge of adrenaline and strength for a short while.

1x Fireheart Draught added to inventory.
No. 1074890 ID: 809e5e
File 169751312131.jpg - (230.59KB , 750x450 , soj_133.jpg )

Conrad sets off ahead of you down the adjoining corridor, carried on swift and nearly silent footfalls; the retavii seems capable of being quite stealthy from what you've observed. Upon reaching the end of the corridor however, you hear a clatter before Conrad swiftly steps into the chamber. You move swiftly to close the distance as torchlight crackles along the side of the passage, hearing a shout cut short with a choked gurgle.

Upon arriving to join Conrad, you find that he has dragged down a third gaoler by a hook through the neck -- dead where he lay as a pool of blood forms. "Don't shed tears over that one." He offers to you with a level gaze, before gesturing about the room: a torture chamber. A smaller cooked sickle rests near the slain gaoler's hand caked with gristle and pockmarked with rust.

Opposite whence you came is another short corridor, though it appears to be blocked off with a heavy slab of stone. At the far end of the chamber you see the caged storage Conrad spake of -- and it is to there that the retavii makes haste.
No. 1074891 ID: 809e5e
File 169751314488.jpg - (182.33KB , 750x450 , soj_134.jpg )

"My kit ought to be in here..." He mutters, kneeling down as he examines what looks to be a sturdy lock; you spy that he seems to have snatched up a leather roll of smaller torture implements -- picks, needles and blades -- beginning to probe about the lock's surface as his tail curls against the floor. "Shouldn't take me long."

Past the heavy bars you see a stone holding cell where several crates, barrels and a few strongboxes can be glimpsed along with standing racks for equipment -- though those seem mostly bare. Whatever the current purpose of the cell might be, you suspect it held more importance than a simpler lock-up for prisoner's belongings.

You decide to...

> A) Assist Conrad or take over contending with the lock, taking advantage of your own skill and tools...
> B) Observe Conrad as he works and converse while there is a lull, keeping an eye out for trouble...
> C) Leave Conrad to the task at hand and direct the others in the meantime...
> D) _

Passage deeper beyond the torture chamber seems to be blocked off, albeit with an impermanent barrier -- it is likely beyond more basic prowess and tools available to you at a glance. You could have a closer look around the torture chamber if you so choose, though it is quite abundantly clear that grisly work has been done here -- and recently, too.

Google sheet & character reference (spoilers if you're not caught up!):
No. 1074894 ID: fb8a42

C. Time to see if there are any notes from the interrogations, or personal effects from the victims that might identify them or give hints as to places of origin.

Once that's done, gather our forces and venture fo- uh, back up the passageway since this exit is blocked. Then we can take the northern corridor to lead up and into the underbelly of Volkregar,
No. 1074897 ID: 58dd24

B, but if he isn't very quick indeed, transition to A. A moment of bonding and assessment would be appreciated, and low key judging his skill. He is using improvised tools and your set is very nice, so no doubt it would be easier with your assistance, but maybe he really is that good.

Don't wander off though, you'll want an idea of what is in the confiscated item pile, both to get an idea of what he has, and what else might be available for immediate use.
No. 1075076 ID: 2c474b

B.) Observe his methods and his demeanor...and maybe his ass.

Hes an unknown factor, best to keep him in eyeshot until we get a full measure of him.

We know what he was here for but not why. Ask a few prying questions about his mission. Is he a foreign agent under orders; fool in search of adventure, or burglar after riches?
No. 1077645 ID: 809e5e
File 170042124147.jpg - (404.53KB , 750x450 , soj_135.jpg )

With a cursory search of the torture chamber, you are able to uncover a small compilation of notations seemingly scrawled in the process of interrogations; however, it is penned in a tongue you are unfamiliar with, perhaps more common among the khanate here. You stow the documents nevertheless, reasoning you can translate them later. Once that is settled, you step over to Conrad where he works at the lock.

Assuming the man capable, you assert to let him proceed as assigned and instead assuage your more dubious curiosity and assess Conrad's assailing without assistance. Assured by his performance you assay the rat may prove a promising asset as he defeats the lock with a satisfied grunt; Conrad proceeds to enter the locked space with its assorted goods before your new associate begins assembling his ensemble of equipment to don.

He does have a nice ass.

Granting Conrad some modesty as he sheds the leather apron and begins to clad and clothe himself with arms and armor once more, taking the opportunity to question him further -- and try to glean what sorts of articles he gathers. "Were yew on your own, or werking with others?" You inquire, leaning against the barred gate.

"I wasn't the only one sent on the errand, if that's what you mean -- but I tend to work alone with my approach." Conrad offers as he finishes cinching leggings and pulling on tall leather boots. "But I'd wager there's a couple others still up there; don't want to leave these sorts of things with a single point of failure." He casts you a look with a smirk at that, gathering up several belts and pouches.
No. 1077646 ID: 809e5e
File 170042126804.jpg - (360.36KB , 450x750 , soj_136.jpg )

Your long ears twitch as you consider, before probing further. "In service of a keeng, some lord, or...?" You watch as Conrad crosses a pair of belts at his waist, one with several large pouches in easy reach while the other hosts a loop he slings an axe to hang from. "Could be." He shoots you a look -- but you don't believe the remark to be made cheekily. "Discretion is part of the business and this client was very cautious."

Conrad dons long gloves that extend past his elbows, securing straps and cinching more of his garb; the man's gear is dark and well-suited for moving among the shadows at the very least. You glimpse him tucking several short blades into hidden but accessible places before draping a bandolier across his chest with several slender metal cylinders tucked into loops.

"Still, I do my due diligence and plan for contingencies." Conrad mutters as he pauses to check through a satchel he then slings to rest against the small of his back before draping himself in a long, dark cloak; curiously, his cloak extends around his left flank to the front, allowing him to more fully hide his actions there. "No one apparently knew there was a torture dungeon beneath the damned place though."

Lastly, you watch as Conrad gathers up a long cloth-wrapped bundle with a carrying strap which he slings at his back with some heft. "And what eez that?" You gesture.

"A contingency."

You decide to...

> A) Accompany Conrad back to the others to set out...
> B) Begin a search of what else may be in the locked storage while the others continue their watch for trouble...
> C) Confront Conrad with further questioning or more insistent interrogation...
> D) _

As usual you can generally finagle from these choices a bit, they're more general directions to take things. It's uncertain if or when trouble may come down to find your party here if you linger over-long. Barring anything unusual, once you choose to gather the party and venture forth we'll proceed with attempting to ascend within Volkregar.
No. 1077647 ID: 32bc15

B) Searching the storage can't hurt. Also, complement his buns. They're pretty good for someone who was imprisoned.
No. 1077661 ID: 3c2dff

C. We know he's after the Kalatite crystal. Let's tell him of our objective, and inform him that if he's going to get to his with our help, he'll need to repay his debt and assist us with searching for a way to combat the PALL. We can leave the FATED CITY out of it for now.
No. 1077662 ID: b3eab7

B must time may still be a concern. Don't spend too much time searching.

Respect Conrad's secrets.
No. 1077806 ID: a785dd

B) But don't take too long, focus on the strongboxes.
No. 1077884 ID: 2c474b

B.) It would be a shame not to loot something, but be quick about it.

Also keep an eye on Conrads' package

The one in his back

Are Buns familiar with Guns?
No. 1078592 ID: 809e5e
File 170165218429.jpg - (320.92KB , 750x450 , soj_137.jpg )

Considering your options, you decide to chance complications from the time spent to search the strongboxes among the storage containers. Settling into a kneel, you produce your mastercraft tools to pick the locks. Conrad snorts upon spotting your handiwork, shaking his head ruefully. "I see how it is. I'll keep an eye out, try to be swift."

Fortunately, with your talent and tools you're able to make short work of the locks once you're confident there are no hidden traps or other mechanisms to defeat first. Among the several strongboxes you open and rifle through, you collect what coinage you find among the mix, alongside two notable surprise finds: a portable alchemist's travel kit and several fulminating canisters -- when thrown, they will billow a tremendous amount of smoke to obscure and debilitate any caught within.

You elect to eschew the bulkier mundane goods you discover, for concern of filling your marvelous bag to its capacity. Packing away your collected goods, you set out with Conrad to rejoin the others and proceed further into Volkregar.

8g, 42s coins added to inventory
Alchemist Travel Kit added to inventory
3x Fulminating Canisters added to inventory

You are not familiar with 'guns.'
No. 1078593 ID: 809e5e
File 170165220397.jpg - (242.67KB , 750x450 , soj_138.jpg )

Checking in with the others, you find Geoffrey and Zarin at the ready with C.C. -- now joined by an armed and equipped Conrad, you gather the party and venture forth. Together, you navigate the pathway around the cavernous drop into the abyss below, making your way up the steps along the northern wall before heading down the arched corridor beyond.

Putting the hidden dungeon at your back, you proceed for some sixty feet of unlit tunnel before arriving at an antechamber with wooden benches, a smouldering bronze brazier and a set of stone steps ascending some distance. Here, you take to the lead from Zarin and C.C., particularly wary of the possibility of traps and ultimately arriving at a place where the steps lead up into a stone ceiling.

With a cursory search, you find a lever mechanism -- upon activating it, some hidden contraption begins to shift the immense weight of stone above you as it slides slowly back, revealing a grand open chamber beyond with high vaulted ceilings.
No. 1078594 ID: 809e5e
File 170165226002.jpg - (282.46KB , 450x750 , soj_139.jpg )

Cautiously, you begin to make your way to crest the steps as your long ears prick to a din and clamor in the near distance. With a look about your surroundings, you find yourself to be at the top of a previously hidden staircase -- a sizable statue of a robed figure having shifted aside. Nearby, you see the cubby beneath an altar set before a long carpet flanked by wooden pews: some manner of grand cathedral or temple hall, you reason.

To either side of the immense chamber are several doorways on two separate floors with an open atrium above the pews; though most of the chamber is dimly lit, light filters through an immense stained glass window set high above the far yonder wall. Beneath it, you glimpse the source of the calamitous sounds: a large, heavy set of double doors have been burst open by force and you can see numerous figures in armor engaged in melee with an enormous, perilous creature of brawny limbs, tough hide and curved horns.

At present, you see the beast lifting a man from the ground as he struggles frantically midst shouts and calls to action. Strewn about the entryway are casualties, some clearly worse off than others -- but whatever force faces the beast seems to be under great duress. Up on the mezzanine to the side, you can see a robed figure chanting and gesturing with a vantage of the battle below as arcane energy crackles in the air. You expect that the combatants below are either Sarken, or ones who may be aligned with such; some of the casualties appear to be robed figures.

Considering your options, you decide to...

> A) Aid the imperiled Sarken against the defenders of Volkregar...
> B) Bolster Volkregar's defenses in a bid to ensure the Sarken are rebuked...
> C) Conceal yourselves as best as you're able, trying to avoid the encounter as it unfolds...
> D) _

Google sheet & character reference (spoilers if you're not caught up!):

At present, you have an opportunity to try to aid an abet either faction present if you so choose, or you can attempt to avoid notice with your party. For any of the listed options, it's flexible as far as how you choose to proceed with such -- so feel free to offer more involved direction.

With the four of you along with C.C., you can likely represent a decisive turn to battle. Consider how you'd like to proceed, you may wish to discuss this among yourselves as this may have a lasting influence on how things unfold!

No. 1078615 ID: 1bb0f1


On one side we have the away team, the (presumably) SARKEN. The Sarken are currently having a terrific season, scoring a string of victories this season over the home team, the Khanate of KHOR.

Our heroine, Kaia, has not drawn blood against the Sarken as a faction. Kaia has fought some brigands/deserters who were formerly part of the Sarken invading force, but were no longer flying that banner. So if Kaia decides to pick a side here for or against the Sarken, she’ll be putting herself (and indirectly the Briar Spire, and Obsidian Sanctum, and Coven) on the table as a political player. We should evaluate our options here.


- Currently kicking ass and taking names, doing okay military wise
- Have a cool Empress, according to her fan club
- Strong military presence
- Have divine casters

- Geoff thinks they’re all zealots
- Probably have committed atrocities in the invasion


- Have powerful magi, which are VERY rare in this setting so it’s cool (though the Sarken have divine casters)
- One of the four Magi currently controls Volkregar, so if we help the occupying mage here, they might help us in our quest

- Weaker military presence
- Power vacuum at the top due to the Great Khan dying
- Were about to torture Conrad, so he’s not gonna like them probably, though he could be mature about the whole thing
- Definitely tortured some other people
- Their mages tend to throw around nasty bad magic

Stay Neutral and Watch them Fight

- Is entertaining and safe
- Keeps our options open
- No risk to pissing off Geoff or Conrad

- If we want to join up with either side later, they’ll ask why the buune didn’t help them here, duude
- Passes over a chance to straight up get the stuff we want from Volkregar (if we want to team up with Khor)
- Passes over the chance to take over Volkregar (If we want to team up with Sarken)
- No opportunities to team up with powerful mages (Khor) or other exciting party members (Sarken)

If we like mages and underdogs, go Khor. If we want to be on the (currently) winning team with an actual leader and army that isn’t succumbing to infighting and not dealing with the PALL, go Sarken.

Or we could just watch them fight it out and see who comes out on top. Though if I had to guess, the guy slinging spells from the mezzanine might be the great magi (maybe) so that could tip the scales in favor of Khor unless we take him out.

I’m not actually voting at the moment I just felt like being a sportscaster for a bit, I’ll vote later
No. 1078618 ID: 32c482


We can solo, no diff.
No. 1078623 ID: a7a180

Sarken may not be our favorite faction politically, but the footsoldiers are alright and our goals align at the moment. Alliance of convenience, go A.
No. 1078624 ID: a25322


Very well explained.

B, let's side against Sarken.
No. 1078627 ID: b42d1e

it's so much easier to manage a defense, takes less manpower too... and lot less risky for the party!
No. 1078630 ID: eb0a9c

D) Kill them both, chalk it up to retaliation against rogue companies that were 'clearly instigated by independent brigades failing to uphold the rules of war'.
tl;dr: They committed war crimes, you treat them as bandits and not enlisted soldiers.
No. 1078635 ID: 2c474b

C.) the boring, cautious, neutral option...

From where you are would you be able to safely aid any of the casualties or at least drag them clear of danger?

It would be amusing to see how everyone reacts.
No. 1078636 ID: b3eab7

B) Check with your party for objections (and possible no-kill requests), then side with the Khor, since you are here to parlay with the magi.
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